Plant Science Innovation, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in JOURNAL OF BACTERIOLOGY, Vol. 188, No. 17, Sept. 2006, p. 6060–6069


Copyright © 2006, American Society for Microbiology


The bacterial plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae requires a type III protein secretion system (TTSS) to cause disease. The P. syringae TTSS is encoded by the hrp-hrc gene cluster. One of the genes within this cluster, hrpJ, encodes a protein with weak similarity to YopN, a type III secreted protein from the animal pathogenic Yersinia species. Here, we show that HrpJ is secreted in culture and translocated into plant cells by the P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000 TTSS. A DC3000 hrpJ mutant, UNL140, was greatly reduced in its ability to cause disease symptoms and multiply in Arabidopsis thaliana. UNL140 exhibited a reduced ability to elicit a hypersensitive response (HR) in nonhost tobacco plants. UNL140 was unable to elicit an AvrRpt2- or AvrB1- dependent HR in A. thaliana but maintained its ability to secrete AvrB1 in culture via the TTSS. Additionally, UNL140 was defective in its ability to translocate the effectors AvrPto1, HopB1, and AvrPtoB. Type III secretion assays showed that UNL140 secreted HrpA1 and AvrPto1 but was unable to secrete HrpZ1, a protein that is normally secreted in culture in relatively large amounts, into culture supernatants. Taken together, our data indicate that HrpJ is a type III secreted protein that is important for pathogenicity and the translocation of effectors into plant cells. Based on the failure of UNL140 to secrete HrpZ1, HrpJ may play a role in controlling type III secretion, and in its absence, specific accessory proteins, like HrpZ1, may not be extracellularly localized, resulting in disabled translocation of effectors into plant cells.