Plant Pathology Department



James R. Alfano

Date of this Version



Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions Vol. 17, No. 5, 2004, pp. 447–455. Publication no. M-2004-0226-01R.


Copyright © 2004 The American Phytopathological Society. Used by permission.


Type III secretion systems are highly conserved among gram-negative plant and animal pathogenic bacteria. Through the type III secretion system, bacteria inject a number of virulence proteins into the host cells. Analysis of the whole genome sequence of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 strain identified a locus, named HopPtoF, that is homologous to the avirulence gene locus avrPphF in P. syringae pv. phaseolicola. The HopPtoF locus harbors two genes, ShcFPto and HopFPto, that are preceded by a single hrp box promoter. We present evidence here to show that ShcFPto and HopFPto encode a type III chaperone and a cognate effector, respectively. ShcFPto interacts with and stabilizes the HopFPto protein in the bacterial cell. Translation of HopFPto starts at a rare initiation codon ATA that limits the synthesis of the HopFPto protein to a low level in bacterial cells.