Genetic dissection of the tissue-specific roles of type III effectors and phytotoxins in the pathogenicity of Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae to cherry

Andrea Vadillo-Dieguez, Ziyue Zeng, John W. Mansfield, Nastasiya F. Grinberg, Samantha C. Lynn, Adam Gregg, John Connell, Richard J. Harrison, Robert W. Jackson*, Michelle T. Hulin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

When compared with other phylogroups (PGs) of the Pseudomonas syringae species complex, P. syringae pv. syringae (Pss) strains within PG2 have a reduced repertoire of type III effectors (T3Es) but produce several phytotoxins. Effectors within the cherry pathogen Pss 9644 were grouped based on their frequency in strains from Prunus as the conserved effector locus (CEL) common to most P. syringae pathogens; a core of effectors common to PG2; a set of PRUNUS effectors common to cherry pathogens; and a FLEXIBLE set of T3Es. Pss 9644 also contains gene clusters for biosynthesis of toxins syringomycin, syringopeptin and syringolin A. After confirmation of virulence gene expression, mutants with a sequential series of T3E and toxin deletions were pathogenicity tested on wood, leaves and fruits of sweet cherry (Prunus avium) and leaves of ornamental cherry (Prunus incisa). The toxins had a key role in disease development in fruits but were less important in leaves and wood. An effectorless mutant retained some pathogenicity to fruit but not wood or leaves. Striking redundancy was observed amongst effector groups. The CEL effectors have important roles during the early stages of leaf infection and possibly acted synergistically with toxins in all tissues. Deletion of separate groups of T3Es had more effect in P. incisa than in P. avium. Mixed inocula were used to complement the toxin mutations in trans and indicated that strain mixtures may be important in the field. Our results highlight the niche-specific role of toxins in P. avium tissues and the complexity of effector redundancy in the pathogen Pss 9644.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13451
JournalMolecular Plant Pathology
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • comparative genomics
  • mutagenesis
  • phytotoxins
  • Prunus
  • Pseudomonas syringae
  • type 3 effectors
  • virulence

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