Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Transcriptional profile of P. syringae pv. phaseolicola NPS3121 at low temperature: Physiology of phytopathogenic bacteria

Jackeline Lizzeta Arvizu-Gómez1, Alejandro Hernández-Morales2, Juan Ramiro Pacheco Aguilar3 and Ariel Álvarez-Morales1*

Author Affiliations

1 Departamento de Ingeniería Genética, CINVESTAV-IPN Unidad Irapuato, Apdo Postal 629, Irapuato, Gto, CP 36821, Mexico

2 Unidad Académica Multidisciplinaria Zona Huasteca, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, Romualdo del Campo 501, Fraccionamiento Rafael Curiel, Cd. Valles, San Luis Potosí, CP 79060, Mexico

3 Laboratorio de Plantas y Biotecnología Agrícola. Facultad de Química, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, Cerro de las campanas S/N, CU. Col. Las Campanas, Querétaro Qro, CP 76010, Mexico

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BMC Microbiology 2013, 13:81  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-13-81

Published: 12 April 2013



Low temperatures play key roles in the development of most plant diseases, mainly because of their influence on the expression of various virulence factors in phytopathogenic bacteria. Thus far, studies regarding this environmental parameter have focused on specific themes and little is known about phytopathogenic bacteria physiology under these conditions. To obtain a global view regarding phytopathogenic bacteria strategies in response to physiologically relevant temperature changes, we used DNA microarray technology to compare the gene expression profile of the model bacterial pathogen P. syringae pv. phaseolicola NPS3121 grown at 18°C and 28°C.


A total of 236 differentially regulated genes were identified, of which 133 were up-regulated and 103 were down-regulated at 18°C compared to 28°C. The majority of these genes are involved in pathogenicity and virulence processes. In general, the results of this study suggest that the expression profile obtained may be related to the fact that low temperatures induce oxidative stress in bacterial cells, which in turn influences the expression of iron metabolism genes. The expression also appears to be correlated with the profile expression obtained in genes related to motility, biofilm production, and the type III secretion system.


From the data obtained in this study, we can begin to understand the strategies used by this phytopathogen during low temperature growth, which can occur in host interactions and disease development.

P. syringae pv. phaseolicola; Phytopathogen; Low temperature; Transcriptional profile; Physiology