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    The soil bacterium and plant pathogen Agrobacterium fabrum C58 has two phytochrome photoreceptors, Agp1 and Agp2. We found that plant infection and tumor induction by A. fabrum is down-regulated by light and that phytochrome knockout mutants of A. fabrum have diminished infection rates. The regulation pattern of infection matches with that of bacterial conjugation reported earlier, suggesting similar regulatory mechanisms. In the regulation of conjugation and plant infection, phytochromes are active in darkness. This is a major difference to plant phytochromes, which are typically active after irradiation. We also found that propagation and motility were affected in agp1- and agp2- knockout mutants, although propagation was not always affected by light. The regulatory patterns can partially but not completely be explained by modulated histidine kinase activities of Agp1 and Agp2. In a mass spectrometry-based proteomic study, 24 proteins were different between light and dark grown A. fabrum, whereas 382 proteins differed between wild type and phytochrome knockout mutants, pointing again to light independent roles of Agp1 and Agp2.


    Peng Xue, Yingnan Bai, Gregor Rottwinkel, Elizaveta Averbukh, Yuanyuan Ma, Thomas Roeder, Patrick Scheerer, Norbert Krauß, Tilman Lamparter. Phytochrome Mediated Responses in Agrobacterium fabrum: Growth, Motility and Plant Infection. Current microbiology. 2021 Jul;78(7):2708-2719

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    PMID: 34023916

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