DNA Molecules and Polypeptides of Pseudomonas Syringe Hypersensitive Response and Pathogenicity



Invention Summary

The bacterium Pseudomonas syringae is noted for its diverse and host-specific interactions with plants. In host plants, the bacteria typically grow to high population levels in leaf intercellular spaces and then produce necrotic lesions. In non-host plants or in host plants with race-specific resistance, the bacteria elicit a hypersensitive response (HR), a rapid, defense-associated programmed death of plant cells in contact with the pathogen. The ability to produce either of these reactions in plants appears to be directed by hrp (HR and pathogenicity) and hrc (HR and conserved) genes. Based on distinct gene arrangements and regulatory components, the hrp/hrc gene clusters of four bacteria can be divided into two groups: I (Pseudomonas and Erwinia) and II (Xanthomonas and Ralstonia). The discrepancy between the distribution of these groups and the phylogeny of the bacteria provide some evidence that hrp/hrc gene clusters have been horizontally acquired and, therefore, represent pathogenicity islands—the genetic elements within the genome of organisms responsible for the capacity to cause disease. The virulence of organisms is modulated through genes harbored on the islands. The invention relates to the DNA molecules and polypeptides of Pseudomonas Syringae Hrp pathogenicity islands and their uses.


Market Opportunity

The nucleic acid molecules and proteins of the invention can be used to impart disease resistance to a plant, making a plant hypersusceptible to colonization by nonpathogenic (harmless) bacteria, causing eukaryotic cell (a cell with a nucleus) death, and treating cancerous conditions.


Features & Benefits

• There is substantial evidence that phytopathogen effector proteins have evolved to elicit exquisite changes in eukaryote metabolism at extremely low levels, and at least some of these activities are potentially relevant to mammals and other organisms in addition to plants.


• The P. syringae CEL (Conserved Effector Loci) and EEL (Exchangeable Effector Loci) regions are enriched in effector protein genes, which make these regions fertile targets for effector gene



• Rapidly developing technologies for delivering genes and proteins into plant and animal cells improve the efficacy of protein-based therapies.


Intellectual Property        Patent No.: 7,102,059 and 6,852,835


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
John Minnick
Business Development Officer
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
James Alfano
Amy Charkowski
Alan Collmer
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