Pseudomonas syringae type III effector AvrRpt2 alters Arabidopsis thaliana auxin physiology

Zhongying Chen, Jennifer L. Agnew, Jerry D. Cohen, Ping He, Libo Shan, Jen Sheen, Barbara N. Kunkel

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280 Scopus citations


The Pseudomonas syringae type III effector AvrRpt2 promotes bacterial virulence on Arabidopsis thaliana plants lacking a functional RPS2 gene (rps2 mutant plants). To investigate the mechanisms underlying the virulence activity of AvrRpt2, we examined the phenotypes of transgenic A. thaliana rps2 seedlings constitutively expressing AvrRpt2. These seedlings exhibited phenotypes reminiscent of A. thaliana mutants with altered auxin physiology, including longer primary roots, increased number of lateral roots, and increased sensitivity to exogenous auxin. They also had increased levels of free indole acetic acid (IAA). The presence of AvrRpt2 also was correlated with a further increase in free IAA levels during infection with P. syringae pv. tomato strain DC3000 (PstDC3000). These results indicate that AvrRpt2 alters A. thaliana auxin physiology. Application of the auxin analog 1-naphthalene-acetic acid promoted disease symptom development in PstDC3000-infected plants, suggesting that elevated auxin levels within host tissue promote PstDC3000 virulence. Thus, AvrRpt2 may be among the virulence factors of P. syringae that modulate host auxin physiology to promote disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20131-20136
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number50
StatePublished - Dec 11 2007


  • Disease
  • Host physiology
  • Indole acetic acid
  • Pathogen
  • Virulence


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