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SUMMARY

Type VI secretion systems (T6SS) of Gram-negative bacteria form injectisomes that have the potential to translocate effector proteins into eukaryotic host cells. In silico analysis of the genomes in six Pseudomonas syringae pathovars revealed that P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000, pv. tabaci ATCC 11528, pv. tomato T1 and pv. oryzae 1-6 each carry two putative T6SS gene clusters (HSI-I and HSI-II; HSI: Hcp secretion island), whereas pv. phaseolicola 1448A and pv. syringae B728 each carry one. The pv. tomato DC3000 HSI-I and pv. tomato T1 HSI-II possess a highly similar organization and nucleotide sequence, whereas the pv. tomato DC3000, pv. oryzae 1-6 and pv. tabaci 11528 HSI-II are more divergent. Putative effector orthologues vary in number among the strains examined. The Clp-ATPases and IcmF orthologues form distinct phylogenetic groups: the proteins from pv. tomato DC3000, pv. tomato T1, pv. oryzae and pv. tabaci 11528 from HSI-II group together with most orthologues from other fluorescent pseudomonads, whereas those from pv. phaseolicola, pv. syringae, pv. tabaci, pv. tomato T1 and pv. oryzae from HSI-I group closer to the Ralstonia solanacearum and Xanthomonas orthologues. Our analysis suggests multiple independent acquisitions and possible gene attrition/loss of putative T6SS genes by members of P. syringae.