Comparative genomic analysis of the pPT23A plasmid family of Pseudomonas syringae

Youfu Zhao, Zhonghua Ma, George W. Sundin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Members of the pPT23A plasmid family of Pseudomonas syringae play an important role in the interaction of this bacterial pathogen with host plants. Complete sequence analysis of several pPT23A family plasmids (PFPs) has provided a glimpse of the gene content and virulence function of these plasmids. We constructed a macroarray containing 161 genes to estimate and compare the gene contents of 23 newly analyzed and eight known PFPs from 12 pathovars of P. syringae, which belong to four genomospecies. Hybridization results revealed that PFPs could be distinguished by the type IV secretion system (T4SS) encoded and separated into four groups. Twelve PFPs along with pPSR1 from P. syringae pv. syringae, pPh1448B from P. syringae pv. phaseolicola, and pPMA4326A from P. syringae pv. maculicola encoded a type IVA T4SS (VirB-VirD4 conjugative system), whereas 10 PFPs along with pDC3000A and pDC3000B from P. syringae pv. tomato encoded a type IVB T4SS (tra system). Two plasmids encoded both T4SSs, whereas six other plasmids carried none or only a few genes of either the type IVA or type IVB secretion system. Most PFPs hybridized to more than one putative type III secretion system effector gene and to a variety of additional genes encoding known P. syringae virulence factors. The overall gene contents of individual PFPs were more similar among plasmids within each of the four groups based on T4SS genes; however, a number of genes, encoding plasmid-specific functions or hypothetical proteins, were shared among plasmids from different T4SS groups. The only gene shared by all PFPs in this study was the repA gene, which encoded sequences with 87 to 99% amino acid identity among 25 sequences examined. We proposed a model to illustrate the evolution and gene acquisition of the pPT23A plasmid family. To our knowledge, this is the first such attempt to conduct a global genetic analysis of this important plasmid family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2113-2126
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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