A DeoR-Type Transcription Regulator Is Required for Sugar-Induced Expression of Type III Secretion-Encoding Genes in Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000


The type III secretion system (T3SS) of plant-pathogenic Pseudomonas syringae is essential for virulence. Genes encoding the T3SS are not constitutively expressed and must be induced upon infection. Plant-derived metabolites, including sugars such as fructose and sucrose, are inducers of T3SS-encoding genes, yet the molecular mechanisms underlying perception of these host signals by P. syringae are unknown. Here, we report that sugar-induced expression of type III secretion A (setA), predicted to encode a DeoR-type transcription factor, is required for maximal sugar-induced expression of T3SS-associated genes in P. syringae DC3000. From a Tn5 transposon mutagenesis screen, we identified two independent mutants with insertions in setA. When both setA::Tn5 mutants were cultured in minimal medium containing fructose, genes encoding the T3SS master regulator HrpL and effector AvrRpm1 were expressed at lower levels relative to that of a wild-type strain. Decreased hrpL and avrRpm1 expression also occurred in a setA::Tn5 mutant in response to glucose, sucrose, galactose, and mannitol, demonstrating that setA is genetically required for T3SS induction by many different sugars. Expression of upstream regulators hrpR/S and rpoN was not altered in setA::Tn5, indicating that SetA positively regulates hrpL expression independently of increased transcription of these genes. In addition to decreased response to defined sugar signals, a setA::Tn5 mutant had decreased T3SS deployment during infection and was compromised in its ability to grow in planta and cause disease. These data suggest that SetA is necessary for P. syringae to effectively respond to T3SS-inducing sugar signals encountered during infection.



bacterial pathogenesis, DeoR-type regulator, metabolism, plant pathogens, Pseudomonas syringae, type III secretion, virulence regulation


Turner, Sydney E., Yin-Yuin Pang, Megan R. O’Malley, Alexandra J. Weisberg, Valerie N. Fraser, Qing Yan, Jeff H. Chang, and Jeffrey C. Anderson. "A DeoR-type transcription regulator is required for sugar-induced expression of type III secretion-encoding genes in Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000." Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 33, no. 3 (2020): 509-518.
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