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Pseudomonas syringae

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Pseudomonas syringae

Pseudomonas syringae
Cultures of Pseudomonas syringae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Gamma Proteobacteria
Order: Pseudomonadales
Family: Pseudomonadaceae
Genus: Pseudomonas
Species: P. syringae
Binomial name
Pseudomonas syringae
Van Hall, 1904
Type strain
ATCC 19310

CCUG 14279
CFBP 1392
CIP 106698
ICMP 3023
LMG 1247
NCAIM B.01398
NRRL B-1631


P. s. pv. aceris
P. s. pv. aptata
P. s. pv. atrofaciens
P. s. pv. dysoxylis
P. s. pv. japonica
P. s. pv. lapsa
P. s. pv. panici
P. s. pv. papulans
P. s. pv. pisi
P. s. pv. syringae
P. s. pv. morsprunorum

Pseudomonas syringae is a rod-shaped, ICMP, and others. It is unclear whether these pathovars represent a single species.

P. syringae is a member of the Pseudomonas genus, and based on 16S rRNA analysis, it has been placed in the P. syringae group.[1] It is named after the lilac tree (Syringa vulgaris), from which it was first isolated.[2]

P. syringae tests negative for arginine dihydrolase and oxidase activity, and forms the polymer levan on sucrose nutrient agar. Many, but not all, strains secrete the lipodepsinonapeptide plant toxin syringomycin,[3] and it owes its yellow fluorescent appearance when cultured in vitro on King's B medium to production of the siderophore pyoverdin.[4]

P. syringae also produces Ina proteins which cause water to freeze at fairly high temperatures (-4 °C to -2 °C), resulting in injury to plants.[5] Since the 1970s, P. syringae has been implicated as an atmospheric "biological ice nucleator", with airborne bacteria serving as cloud condensation nuclei. Recent evidence has suggested the species plays a larger role than previously thought in producing rain and snow. They have also been found in the cores of hailstones, aiding in bioprecipitation.[6] These Ina proteins are also used in making artificial snow.[7]

P. syringae pathogenesis is dependent on effector proteins secreted into the plant cell by the bacterial [8] Type III effectors contribute to pathogenesis chiefly through their role in suppressing plant defense. Owing to early availability of the genome sequence for three P. syringae strains and the ability of selected strains to cause disease on well-characterized host plants, including Arabidopsis thaliana, Nicotiana benthemiana, and tomato, P. syringae has come to represent an important model system for experimental characterization of the molecular dynamics of plant-pathogen interactions.

Bacterial speck on tomato in Upstate New York
Tomato plant leaf infected with bacterial speck

Ice-nucleating properties

P. syringae—more than any mineral or other organism—is responsible for the surface frost damage in plants[9] exposed to the environment. For plants without antifreeze proteins, frost damage usually occurs between -4 and -12 °C as the water in plant tissue can remain in a supercooled liquid state. P. syringae can cause water to freeze at temperatures as high as −1.8 °C (28.8 °F),[10] but strains causing ice nucleation at lower temperatures (down to −8 °C) are more common.[11] The freezing causes injuries in the epithelia and makes the nutrients in the underlying plant tissues available to the bacteria.

P. syringae has ina (ice nucleation-active) genes that make Ina proteins which translocate to the outer bacterial membrane on the surface of the bacteria, where the Ina proteins act as nuclei for ice formation.[11] Artificial strains of P. syringae known as ice-minus bacteria have been created to reduce frost damage.

P. syringae has been found in the center of hailstones, suggesting the bacterium may play a role in Earth's hydrological cycle.[6]


Disease by P. syringae tends to be favoured by wet, cool conditions—optimum temperatures for disease tend to be around 12–25 °C, although this can vary according to the pathovar involved. The bacteria tend to be seed-borne, and are dispersed between plants by rain splash.[12]

Although it is a plant pathogen, it can also live as a saprotroph in the phyllosphere when conditions are not favourable for disease.[13] Some saprotrophic strains of P. syringae have been used as biocontrol agents against postharvest rots.[14]


Following ribotypical analysis, incorporation of several pathovars of P. syringae into other species was proposed[15] (see P. amygdali, 'P. tomato', P. coronafaciens, P. avellanae, 'P. helianthi', P. tremae, P. cannabina, and P. viridiflava). According to this schema, the remaining pathovars are:

However, many of the strains for which new species groupings were proposed continue to be referred to in the scientific literature as pathovars of P. syringae, including pathovars tomato, phaseolicola, and maculicola. Pseudomonas savastanoi was once considered a pathovar or subspecies of P. syringae, and in many places continues to be referred to as Pseudomonas syringae pv. savastanoi, although as a result of DNA-relatedness studies, it has been instated as a new species.[15] It has three host-specific pathovars: fraxini (which causes ash canker), nerii (which attacks oleander), and oleae (which causes olive knot).

Genome sequencing projects

This table lists some of the genomes of strains of P. syringae that have been sequenced so far (or are in the process of being sequenced):
Pathovar Strain Disease Hosts
tomato DC3000 (NCPPB 4369) bacterial speck tomato, Arabidopsis
syringae B728a brown spot bean
phaseolicola 1448A (NCPPB 4478) halo blight bean
savastanoi NCPPB 3335 olive knot olive
tomato T1 bacterial speck tomato
tomato NCPPB1108 tomato
tomato Max13 tomato
tomato K40 tomato
tabaci ATCC11528 wildfire tobacco
aesculi 2250 bleeding canker European horse chestnut
aesculi NCPPB 3681 leaf spot Indian horse chestnut
oryzae 1_6 rice
syringae FF5
syringae 642
glycinea race 4 bacterial blight soybean
glycinea B076 bacterial blight soybean

Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (Donors reference DC52) is a mutant generated from NCPPB 1106. The difference between 1106 and DC3000 is rifampicin resistance (it was generated as a spontaneous mutant). Both DC3000 (NCPPB 4369) and NCPPB 1106 are available from the National Collection of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria.

Pseudomonas syringae as a model system

Owing to early availability of genome sequences for Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato strain DC3000, P. syringae pv. syringae strain B728a, and P. syringae pv phaseolicola strain 1448A, together with the ability of selected strains to cause disease on well-characterized host plants such as [20]

P. syringae pv tomato strain DC3000 and Arabidopsis thaliana

As mentioned above, the genome of P. syringae pv tomato DC3000 has been sequenced,[21] and approximately 40 Hop (Hrp Outer Protein) effectors, pathogenic proteins that attenuate the host cell, have been identified.[22] These 40 effectors are not recognized by A. thaliana thus making P. syringae pv tomato DC3000 virulent, that is, P. syringae pv tomato DC3000 is able to infect A. thaliana which is susceptible to this pathogen.

Many resistance genes (R-genes). P. syringae pv tomato DC3000 is a useful tool for studying avr: R-gene interactions in A. thaliana because it can be transformed with avr genes from other bacterial pathogens, and furthermore, because none of the endogenous hops genes are recognized by A. thaliana, thus any observed aver recognition identified using this model can be attributed to recognition of the introduced avr by A. thaliana.[23] The transformation of P. syringae pv tomato DC3000 with effectors from other pathogens have led to the identification of many R-genes in Arabidopsis to further advance knowledge of plant pathogen interactions.

Examples of avr genes in Pseudomonas syringae DC3000 and A. thaliana R-genes that recognize them
Avr gene A. thaliana R-gene
AvrRpm1 RPM1
AvrRpt2 RPS2
AvrRps4 RPS4
AvrRps6 RPS6
AvrPphB RPS5

See also


  1. ^ Anzai, Y; Kim, H; Park, JY; Wakabayashi, H; Oyaizu, H (2000). "Phylogenetic affiliation of the pseudomonads based on 16S rRNA sequence". International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 50 (4): 1563–89.  
  2. ^ Kreig, N. R.; Holt, J. G., eds. (1984). Bergey's Manual of Systematic Biology. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins. pp. 141–99. 
  3. ^ Scholz-Schroeder, Brenda K.; Soule, Jonathan D.; Gross, Dennis C. (2003). "The sypA, sypB, and sypC Synthetase Genes Encode Twenty-Two Modules Involved in the Nonribosomal Peptide Synthesis of Syringopeptin by Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae B301D". Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 16 (4): 271–280.  
  4. ^ Cody, YS; Gross, DC (1987). "Characterization of Pyoverdin(pss), the Fluorescent Siderophore Produced by Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae". Applied and environmental microbiology 53 (5): 928–34.  
  5. ^ Maki, Leroy (Sep 1974). "Ice Nucleation Induced by Pseudomonas syringae". Applied Microbiology 28 (3): 456–459. 
  6. ^ a b Palmer, Jason (25 May 2011). "Bacteria-rich hailstones add to 'bioprecipitation' idea". BBC News. 
  7. ^ Robbins, Jim (24 May 2010). "From Trees and Grass, Bacteria That Cause Snow and Rain". The New York Times. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Hirano, Susan S.; Upper, Christen D. (1995). "Ecology of Ice Nucleation – Active Bacteria". In Lee, Richard E.; Warren, Gareth J.; Gusta, L. V. Biological Ice Nucleation and Its Applications. St. Paul, Minnesota:  
  10. ^ Maki, LR; Galyan, EL; Chang-Chien, MM; Caldwell, DR (1974). "Ice nucleation induced by pseudomonas syringae". Applied microbiology 28 (3): 456–9.  
  11. ^ a b Fall, Ray; Wolber, Paul K. (1995). "Biochemistry of Bacterial Ice Nuclei". In Lee, Richard E.; Warren, Gareth J.; Gusta, L. V. Biological Ice Nucleation and Its Applications. St. Paul, Minnesota:  
  12. ^ Hirano, S S; Upper, C D (1990). "Population Biology and Epidemiology of Pseudomonas Syringae". Annual Review of Phytopathology 28: 155–77.  
  13. ^ Hirano, S. S.; Upper, C. D. (2000). "Bacteria in the Leaf Ecosystem with Emphasis on Pseudomonas syringae---a Pathogen, Ice Nucleus, and Epiphyte". Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews 64 (3): 624–53.  
  14. ^ Janisiewicz WJ, Marchi A (1992). "Pseudomonas syringae"Control of Storage Rots on Various Pear Cultivars with a Saprophytic Strain of . Plant Disease 76: 555–60.  
  15. ^ a b Gardan, L.; Shafik, H.; Belouin, S.; Broch, R.; Grimont, F.; Grimont, P. A. D. (1999). "DNA relatedness among the pathovars of Pseudomonas syringae and description of Pseudomonas tremae sp. nov. and Pseudomonas cannabina sp. nov. (ex Sutic and Dowson 1959)". International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology 49 (2): 469–78.  
  16. ^ "Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae". European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  17. ^ "Bleeding Canker of Horse Chestnut". UK Forestry Commission. Retrieved 2011-01-24. 
  18. ^ Mansfield, John W. (2009). "From bacterial avirulence genes to effector functions via thehrpdelivery system: an overview of 25 years of progress in our understanding of plant innate immunity". Molecular Plant Pathology 10 (6): 721–34.  
  19. ^ Tobe, T.; Beatson, S. A.; Taniguchi, H.; Abe, H.; Bailey, C. M.; Fivian, A.; Younis, R.; Matthews, S. et al. (2006). "An extensive repertoire of type III secretion effectors in Escherichia coli O157 and the role of lambdoid phages in their dissemination". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103 (40): 14941–6.  
  20. ^ Torto-Alalibo, T.; Collmer, C. W.; Gwinn-Giglio, M.; Lindeberg, M.; Meng, S.; Chibucos, M. C.; Tseng, T.-T.; Lomax, J. et al. (2010). "Unifying Themes in Microbial Associations with Animal and Plant Hosts Described Using the Gene Ontology". Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews 74 (4): 479–503.  
  21. ^ Buell, CR; Joardar V, Lindeberg M, Selengut J, Paulsen IT, Gwinn ML, Dodson RJ, Deboy RT, Durkin AS, Kolonay JF, Madupu R, Daugherty S, Brinkac L, Beanan MJ, Haft DH, Nelson WC, Davidsen T, Zafar N, Zhou L, Liu J, Yuan Q, Khouri H, Fedorova N, Tran B, Russell D, Berry K, Utterback T, Van Aken SE, Feldblyum TV, D'Ascenzo M, Deng WL, Ramos AR, Alfano JR, Cartinhour S, Chatterjee AK, Delaney TP, Lazarowitz SG, Martin GB, Schneider DJ, Tang X, Bender CL, White O, Fraser CM, Collmer A. (9 January 1996). "The complete genome sequence of the Arabidopsis and tomato pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000.". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 100 (18): 10181–6.  
  22. ^ Petnicki-Ocwieja, T; Schneider DJ, Tam VC, Chancey ST, Shan L, Jamir Y, Schechter LM, Janes MD, Buell CR, Tang X, Collmer A, Alfano JR. (28 May 2002). "Genomewide identification of proteins secreted by the Hrp type III protein secretion system of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 11 (11): 7652–7.  
  23. ^ Hinsch, M; Staskawicz B. (9 January 1996). "Identification of a new Arabidopsis disease resistance locus, RPs4, and cloning of the corresponding avirulence gene, avrRps4, from Pseudomonas syringae pv. pisi.". Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 9 (1): 55–61.  

Di Lallo, G., Evangelisti, M., Mancuso, F., Ferrante, P., Marcelletti, S., Tinari, A., ... & Thaller, M. C. (2014). Isolation and partial characterization of bacteriophages infecting Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae, causal agent of kiwifruit bacterial canker. Journal of basic microbiology.

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