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Involvement of Type IV Pili in Pathogenicity of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria

Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology and the Otto Warburg Center for Agricultural Biotechnology, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel
Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current Address: Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Genes 2011, 2(4), 706-735;
Received: 30 August 2011 / Revised: 8 October 2011 / Accepted: 10 October 2011 / Published: 18 October 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genes and Genomes of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria)
Type IV pili (T4P) are hair-like appendages found on the surface of a wide range of bacteria belonging to the β-, γ-, and δ-Proteobacteria, Cyanobacteria and Firmicutes. They constitute an efficient device for a particular type of bacterial surface motility, named twitching, and are involved in several other bacterial activities and functions, including surface adherence, colonization, biofilm formation, genetic material uptake and virulence. Tens of genes are involved in T4P synthesis and regulation, with the majority of them being generally named pil/fim genes. Despite the multiple functionality of T4P and their well-established role in pathogenicity of animal pathogenic bacteria, relatively little attention has been given to the role of T4P in plant pathogenic bacteria. Only in recent years studies have begun to examine with more attention the relevance of these surface appendages for virulence of plant bacterial pathogens. The aim of this review is to summarize the current knowledge about T4P genetic machinery and its role in the interactions between phytopathogenic bacteria and their plant hosts. View Full-Text
Keywords: type IV pili; twitching; virulence; biofilm type IV pili; twitching; virulence; biofilm
MDPI and ACS Style

Burdman, S.; Bahar, O.; Parker, J.K.; De La Fuente, L. Involvement of Type IV Pili in Pathogenicity of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria. Genes 2011, 2, 706-735.

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