The role of secretion systems and small molecules in soft-rot Enterobacteriaceae pathogenicity

Annu Rev Phytopathol. 2012;50:425-49. doi: 10.1146/annurev-phyto-081211-173013. Epub 2012 Jun 12.


Soft-rot Enterobacteriaceae (SRE), which belong to the genera Pectobacterium and Dickeya, consist mainly of broad host-range pathogens that cause wilt, rot, and blackleg diseases on a wide range of plants. They are found in plants, insects, soil, and water in agricultural regions worldwide. SRE encode all six known protein secretion systems present in gram-negative bacteria, and these systems are involved in attacking host plants and competing bacteria. They also produce and detect multiple types of small molecules to coordinate pathogenesis, modify the plant environment, attack competing microbes, and perhaps to attract insect vectors. This review integrates new information about the role protein secretion and detection and production of ions and small molecules play in soft-rot pathogenicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Bacterial Secretion Systems / physiology*
  • Enterobacteriaceae / chemistry
  • Enterobacteriaceae / pathogenicity*
  • Enterobacteriaceae / physiology
  • Insecta / microbiology
  • Ions / metabolism
  • Pectobacterium / chemistry
  • Pectobacterium / pathogenicity
  • Pectobacterium / physiology
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology*
  • Plants / microbiology*
  • Virulence


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Bacterial Secretion Systems
  • Ions