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PloS one

The 3-hydroxy-2-butanone pathway is required for Pectobacterium carotovorum pathogenesis.


PMID 21876734

Abstract

Pectobacterium species are necrotrophic bacterial pathogens that cause soft rot diseases in potatoes and several other crops worldwide. Gene expression data identified Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum budB, which encodes the α-acetolactate synthase enzyme in the 2,3-butanediol pathway, as more highly expressed in potato tubers than potato stems. This pathway is of interest because volatiles produced by the 2,3-butanediol pathway have been shown to act as plant growth promoting molecules, insect attractants, and, in other bacterial species, affect virulence and fitness. Disruption of the 2,3-butanediol pathway reduced virulence of P. c. subsp. carotovorum WPP14 on potato tubers and impaired alkalinization of growth medium and potato tubers under anaerobic conditions. Alkalinization of the milieu via this pathway may aid in plant cell maceration since Pectobacterium pectate lyases are most active at alkaline pH.