, a widespread epiphyte and commensal bacterium, has evolved into an Hrp-dependent and host-specific tumorigenic pathogen by acquiring a plasmid containing a pathogenicity island (PAI). The PAI was evolved on an iteron plasmid of the IncN family, which is distributed among genetically diverse populations of . The structure of the PAI supports the premise of a recently evolved pathogen. This review offers insight into a unique model for emergence of new bacterial pathogens. It illustrates how horizontal gene transfer was the major driving force in the creation of the PAI, although a pathoadaptive mechanism might also be involved. It describes the crucial function of plant-produced indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and cytokinines (CK) in gall initiation as opposed to the significant but secondary role of pathogen-secreted phytohormones. It also unveils the role of type III effectors in determination of host specificity and evolution of the pathogen into pathovars. Finally, it describes how interactions between the quorum sensing system, regulatory genes, and bacterially secreted IAA or CKs affect gall formation and epiphytic fitness.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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