Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) is the causal agent of rice bacterial leaf blight, one of the most important rice bacterial diseases in China and many other countries. The upstream portions of 41 candidate genes encoding non-transcription activator-like effectors of Xoo Chinese strain 13751 were fused with the coding sequence of AvrBs1(59-445) in a broad host-range vector. The constructed plasmids were respectively introduced into Xoo strain 13751 and avrBs1 deletion mutant of X. campestris pv. campestris strain 8004 by tri-parental conjugation. The resultant transconjugants were respectively tested for hypersensitive response (HR) elicitation on pepper ECW-10R. Nine strains were able to elicit HR on pepper, indicating that the nine genes (XOO0037, XOO0103, XOO0110, XOO0315, XOO1488, XOO2875, XOO3150, XOO3222 and XOO4134) encoded effectors. Among them, xopAE13751 (XOO0110), expressed in Xoo strain 13751 growing in rice leaves, was a new experimentally confirmed effector gene. XopAE13751 contains 11 leucine rich repeats. Furthermore, mutants for the nine effector genes were created in Xoo strain 13751 and subsequently tested for virulence in rice. As a result, only the xopR13751 (XOO4134) deletion mutant GXMxopR showed a significant reduction in virulence in hybrid rice cv. Teyou63 compared to the wild type. However, the growth of GXMxopR in host plant rice was not affected. These results indicated that xopR13751 was required for full virulence of Xoo strain 13751 by inducing rice disease tolerance.
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