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Structure and regulation of the Erwinia carotovora subspecies carotovora SCC3193 cellulase gene celV1 and the role of cellulase in phytopathogenicity


The ceIV1 gene encoding a secreted cellulase (CelV1) of Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora SCC3193 was cloned and its nucleotide sequence determined. The gene contains an open reading frame of 1511 by and codes for an exported protein of 504 amino acids. The predicted amino acid sequence of Ce1V1 was highly similar to that of CeIV of another E. c. subsp. carotovora strain SCRI193 but completely different from the previously characterized cellulase, CelS, of the strain SCC3193. Gene fusions to the lacZ reporter were employed to characterize the regulation of celV1 and celS. Both genes are coordinately induced in a growth phase-dependent manner and are catabolite repressed. Expression of celV1 but not celS was stimulated by plant extracts. The celS gene was expressed at a much lower level than celV1 under all conditions tested. Inactivation of the celV1 gene in E. c. subsp. carotovora strain SCC3193 by marker exchange showed that celV1 encodes the major cellulase of strain SCC3193, as the resulting mutant strain SCC6001 was devoid of cellulase activity. Ce1Vl mutants exhibited reduced virulence suggesting that CelV1, although not absolutely required for pathogenicity, enhances the ability of strain SCC3193 to macerate plant tissue. Inactivation of the celS gene in the celV1 mutant did not lead to any further decrease in virulence.

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Communicated by A. Kondorosi

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Mäe, A., Heikinheimo, R. & Palva, E.T. Structure and regulation of the Erwinia carotovora subspecies carotovora SCC3193 cellulase gene celV1 and the role of cellulase in phytopathogenicity. Molec. Gen. Genet. 247, 17–26 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00425817

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Key words

  • Erwinia
  • Cellulase gene
  • Marker exchange
  • Pathogenicity