Bacteria that survive under variable conditions possess an assortment of genetic regulators to meet these challenges. The group IV or extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factors regulate gene expression in response to specific environmental signals by altering the promoter specificity of RNA polymerase. We have undertaken a study of PvdS, a group IV sigma factor encoded by Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 (DC3000), a plant pathogen that is likely to encounter variations in nutrient availability as well as plant host defences. The gene encoding PvdS was previously identified by sequence similarity to the Pseudomonas aeruginosa orthologue, which directs transcription of genes encoding the biosynthesis of pyoverdine, a siderophore involved in iron acquisition, and is responsible for the characteristic fluorescence of the pseudomonads. We identified 15 promoters regulated by PvdS in DC3000 and characterized the promoter motif using computational analysis. Mutagenesis of conserved nucleotides within the motif interfered with promoter function and the degree of the effect was different depending on which region of the motif was mutated. Hidden Markov models constructed from alignments of sequence motifs extracted from DC3000 and PAO1 were used to query genomes of DC3000 and other fluorescent pseudomonads for similar motifs. We conclude that the role of PvdS as a regulator of pyoverdine synthesis is conserved among the fluorescent pseudomonads, but the promoters recognized by PvdS orthologues may differ subtly from species to species.