Activation and manipulation of host responses by a Gram-positive bacterium

Vasudevan Balaji, Guido Sessa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interaction between tomato plants and Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis (Cmm) represents a model pathosystem to study the interplay between the virulence determinants of a Gram-positive bacterium and the attempt of a crop plant to counteract pathogen invasion. To investigate plant responses activated during this compatible interaction, we recently analyzed gene expression profiles of tomato stems infected with Cmm. This analysis revealed activation of basal defense responses that are typically observed upon plant perception of pathogen-associated molecular patterns. In addition, Cmm infection upregulated the expression of host genes related to ethylene synthesis and response. Further analysis of tomato plants impaired in ethylene perception and production demonstrated an important role for ethylene in the development of disease symptoms. Here we discuss possible molecular strategies used by the plant to recognize Cmm infection and possible mechanisms employed by the pathogen to interfere with the activation of plant defense responses and promote disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-41
Number of pages3
JournalPlant Signaling and Behavior
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008


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