Flagellin, a constituent of the flagellar filament, is a potent elicitor of hypersensitive cell death in plant cells. Flagellins of Pseudomonas syringae pvs. glycinea and tomato induce hypersensitive cell death in their non-host tobacco plants, whereas those of P. syringae pv. tabaci do not remarkably induce it in its host tobacco plants. However, the deduced amino acid sequences of flagellins from pvs. tabaci and glycinea are identical, indicating that post-translational modification of flagellins plays an important role in determining hypersensitive reaction (HR)-inducibility. To investigate genetically the role of modification of flagellin in HR-induction, biological and phytopathological phenotypes of a flagella-defective ΔfliC mutant and ΔfliC mutants complemented by the introduction of the flagellin gene (fliC) from different pathovars of P. syringae were investigated. The ΔfliC mutant of pv. tabaci lost flagella, motility, the ability to induce HR cell death in non-host tomato cells and virulence toward host tobacco plants, whereas all pv. tabaci complemented by the introduction of the fliC gene of pvs. tabaci, glycinea or tomato recovered all the abilities that the ΔfliC mutant had lost. These results indicate that post-translational modification of flagellins is strongly correlated with the ability to cause HR cell death.
- Post-translational modification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology