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Mutational analysis of the bean-pathogenic Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae strain B728a has led to the genetic identification of the gacA gene as encoding the response regulator for the unlinked lemA sensor kinase. The analysis of a collection of spontaneous mutants of P. syringae pv. syringae suggested that the gacA gene was involved in lesion formation and the production of protease and syringomycin. The gacA gene originally was identified as a regulator of extracellular antibiotic production by Pseudomonas fluorescens, and the predicted GacA protein is a member of the FixJ family of bacterial response regulators. The sequence of the putative B728a GacA protein revealed 92% identity with the P. fluorescens GacA protein. An insertional mutation within the P. syringae pv. syringae gacA gene abrogated lesion formation on beans, production of extracellular protease, and production of the toxin syringomycin, the same phenotypes affected by a lemA mutation. DNA sequence analysis identified the P. syringae pv. syringae uvrC gene immediately downstream of the gacA gene, an arrangement conserved in P. fluorescens and Escherichia coli. The gacA insertional mutant was sensitive to UV, presumably because of polarity on transcription of the downstream uvrC gene. Southwestern (DNA-protein) analysis revealed that the lemA and gacA genes were required for the full expression of a DNA binding activity.