Transient expression of the Pseudomonas syringae avirulence gene avrPto in plant cells resulted in a Pto-dependent necrosis. The AvrPto avirulence protein was observed to interact directly with the Pto resistance protein in the yeast two-hybrid system. Mutations in the Pto and avrPto genes which reduce in vivo activity had parallel effects on association in the two- hybrid assay. These data suggest that during infection the pathogen delivers AvrPto into the plant host cell and that resistance is specified by direct interaction of Pto with AvrPto.
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