Blue-light perception by epiphytic Pseudomonas syringae drives chemoreceptor expression, enabling efficient plant infection.

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Adaptation and efficient colonization of the phyllosphere are essential processes for the switch to an epiphytic stage in foliar bacterial pathogens. Here, we explore the interplay among light perception and global transcriptomic alterations in epiphytic populations of the hemibiotrophic pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (PsPto) following contact with tomato leaves. We found that blue-light perception by PsPto on leaf surfaces is required for optimal colonization. Blue light triggers the activation of metabolic activity and increases the transcript levels of five chemoreceptors through the function of light oxygen voltage and BphP1 photoreceptors. The inactivation of PSPTO_1008 and PSPTO_2526 chemoreceptors causes a reduction in virulence. Our results indicate that during PsPto interaction with tomato plants, light perception, chemotaxis, and virulence are highly interwoven processes.
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Pseudomonas syringae, chemosensory proteins, light perception, virulence