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Genetic and molecular analyses of picA, a plant-inducible locus on the Agrobacterium tumefaciens chromosome.

By L J Rong, S J Karcher and S B Gelvin


picA is an Agrobacterium tumefaciens chromosomal locus, identified by Mu d11681 mutagenesis, that is inducible by certain acidic polysaccharides found in carrot root extract. Cloning and genetic analysis of a picA::lacZ fusion defined a region of the picA promoter that is responsible for the induction of this locus. Furthermore, we identified a possible negative regulator of picA expression upstream of the picA locus. This sequence, denoted pgl, has extensive homology to polygalacturonase genes from several organisms and inhibited the induction of the picA promoter when present in multiple copies in A. tumefaciens. DNA sequence analysis indicated at least two long open reading frames (ORFs) in the picA region. S1 nuclease mapping was used to identify the transcription initiation site of picA. Mutation of ORF1, but not ORF2, of the picA locus was responsible for an increased aggregation of A. tumefaciens, forming "ropes" in the presence of pea root cap cells. In addition, a potato tuber disk virulence assay indicated that a preinduced picA mutant was more virulent than was the wild-type control, a further indication that the picA locus regulates the surface properties of the bacterium in the presence of plant cells or plant cell extracts

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1991
DOI identifier: 10.1128/jb.173.16.5110-5120.1991
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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