Author(s): Huang J, Carney BF, Denny TP, Weissinger AK, Schell MA
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Abstract We have discovered an unusual and complex regulatory network used by the phytopathogen Pseudomonas solanacearum to control transcription of eps, which encodes for production of its primary virulence factor, the exopolysaccharide EPS I. The major modules of this network were shown to be three separate signal transduction systems: PhcA, a LysR-type transcriptional regulator, an dual two-component regulatory systems, VsrA/VsrD and VsrB/VsrC. Using lacZ fusions and RNA analysis, we found that both PhcA and VsrA/VsrD control transcription of another network component, xpsR, which in turn acts in conjunction with vsrB/vsrC to increase transcription of the eps promoter by > 25-fold. Moreover, gel shift DNA binding assays showed that PhcA specifically binds to the xpsR promoter region. Thus, the unique XpsR protein interconnects the three signal transduction systems, forming a network for convergent control of EPS I in simultaneous response to multiple environmental inputs. In addition, we demonstrate that each individual signaling system of the network also acts independently to divergently regulate other unique sets of virulence factors. The purpose of this complex network may be to allow this phytopathogen to both coordinately or independently regulate diverse virulence factors in order to cope with the dynamic situations and conditions encountered during interactions with plants.
This article was published in J Bacteriol
and referenced in Journal of Bacteriology & Parasitology