We report a draft genome sequence of Rhodococcus ruber IEGM 231, isolated from a water spring near an oil-extracting enterprise (Perm region, Russian Federation). This sequence provides important insights into the genetic mechanisms of propane and n-butane metabolism, organic sulfide and beta-sitosterol biotransformation, glycolipid biosurfactant production, and heavy metal resistance in actinobacteria.
Many plant-pathogenic fungi have a tendency towards genome size expansion, mostly driven by increasing content of transposable elements (TEs). Through comparative and evolutionary genomics, five members of the Leptosphaeria maculans-Leptosphaeria biglobosa species complex (class Dothideomycetes, order Pleosporales), having different host ranges and pathogenic abilities towards cruciferous plants, were studied to infer the role of TEs on genome shaping, speciation, and on the rise of better adapted pathogens.
L. maculans ‘brassicae’, the most damaging species on oilseed rape, is the only member of the species complex to have a TE-invaded genome (32.5%) compared to the other members genomes (<4%). These TEs had an impact at the structural level by creating large TE-rich regions and are suspected to have been instrumental in chromosomal rearrangements possibly leading to speciation. TEs, associated with species-specific genes involved in disease process, also possibly had an incidence on evolution of pathogenicity by promoting translocations of effector genes to highly dynamic regions and thus tuning the regulation of effector gene expression in planta.
Invasion of L. maculans ‘brassicae’ genome by TEs followed by bursts of TE activity allowed this species to evolve and to better adapt to its host, making this genome species a peculiarity within its own species complex as well as in the Pleosporales lineage.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-891) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Comparative genomics; Fungal plant pathogen; Transposable elements; Effector genes; Speciation; Adaptation to host
Klebsiella pneumoniae strains are pathogenic to animals and humans, in which they are both a frequent cause of nosocomial infections and a re-emerging cause of severe community-acquired infections. K. pneumoniae isolates of the capsular serotype K2 are among the most virulent. In order to identify novel putative virulence factors that may account for the severity of K2 infections, the genome sequence of the K2 reference strain Kp52.145 was determined and compared to two K1 and K2 strains of low virulence and to the reference strains MGH 78578 and NTUH-K2044.
In addition to diverse functions related to host colonization and virulence encoded in genomic regions common to the four strains, four genomic islands specific for Kp52.145 were identified. These regions encoded genes for the synthesis of colibactin toxin, a putative cytotoxin outer membrane protein, secretion systems, nucleases and eukaryotic-like proteins. In addition, an insertion within a type VI secretion system locus included sel1 domain containing proteins and a phospholipase D family protein (PLD1). The pld1 mutant was avirulent in a pneumonia model in mouse. The pld1 mRNA was expressed in vivo and the pld1 gene was associated with K. pneumoniae isolates from severe infections. Analysis of lipid composition of a defective E. coli strain complemented with pld1 suggests an involvement of PLD1 in cardiolipin metabolism.
Determination of the complete genome of the K2 reference strain identified several genomic islands comprising putative elements of pathogenicity. The role of PLD1 in pathogenesis was demonstrated for the first time and suggests that lipid metabolism is a novel virulence mechanism of K. pneumoniae.
Genome sequencing; Host-microbe interactions; Bacterial pathogenesis; Lipid metabolism
The industrially important yeast Blastobotrys (Arxula) adeninivorans is an asexual hemiascomycete phylogenetically very distant from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Its unusual metabolic flexibility allows it to use a wide range of carbon and nitrogen sources, while being thermotolerant, xerotolerant and osmotolerant.
The sequencing of strain LS3 revealed that the nuclear genome of A. adeninivorans is 11.8 Mb long and consists of four chromosomes with regional centromeres. Its closest sequenced relative is Yarrowia lipolytica, although mean conservation of orthologs is low. With 914 introns within 6116 genes, A. adeninivorans is one of the most intron-rich hemiascomycetes sequenced to date. Several large species-specific families appear to result from multiple rounds of segmental duplications of tandem gene arrays, a novel mechanism not yet described in yeasts. An analysis of the genome and its transcriptome revealed enzymes with biotechnological potential, such as two extracellular tannases (Atan1p and Atan2p) of the tannic-acid catabolic route, and a new pathway for the assimilation of n-butanol via butyric aldehyde and butyric acid.
The high-quality genome of this species that diverged early in Saccharomycotina will allow further fundamental studies on comparative genomics, evolution and phylogenetics. Protein components of different pathways for carbon and nitrogen source utilization were identified, which so far has remained unexplored in yeast, offering clues for further biotechnological developments. In the course of identifying alternative microorganisms for biotechnological interest, A. adeninivorans has already proved its strengthened competitiveness as a promising cell factory for many more applications.
Yeast; Genome; Biotechnology; Tannic acid; n-butanol; Metabolism
Bacteria of the genus Photobacterium thrive worldwide in oceans and show substantially varied lifestyles, including free-living, commensal, pathogenic, symbiotic, and piezophilic. Here, we present the genome sequence of a luminous, piezophilic Photobacterium phosphoreum strain, ANT-2200, isolated from a water column at 2,200 m depth in the Mediterranean Sea. It is the first genomic sequence of the P. phosphoreum group. An analysis of the sequence provides insight into the adaptation of bacteria to the deep-sea habitat.
Plant pararetroviruses integrate serendipitously into their host genomes. The banana genome harbors integrated copies of banana streak virus (BSV) named endogenous BSV (eBSV) that are able to release infectious pararetrovirus. In this investigation, we characterized integrants of three BSV species—Goldfinger (eBSGFV), Imove (eBSImV), and Obino l'Ewai (eBSOLV)—in the seedy Musa balbisiana Pisang klutuk wulung (PKW) by studying their molecular structure, genomic organization, genomic landscape, and infectious capacity. All eBSVs exhibit extensive viral genome duplications and rearrangements. eBSV segregation analysis on an F1 population of PKW combined with fluorescent in situ hybridization analysis showed that eBSImV, eBSOLV, and eBSGFV are each present at a single locus. eBSOLV and eBSGFV contain two distinct alleles, whereas eBSImV has two structurally identical alleles. Genotyping of both eBSV and viral particles expressed in the progeny demonstrated that only one allele for each species is infectious. The infectious allele of eBSImV could not be identified since the two alleles are identical. Finally, we demonstrate that eBSGFV and eBSOLV are located on chromosome 1 and eBSImV is located on chromosome 2 of the reference Musa genome published recently. The structure and evolution of eBSVs suggest sequential integration into the plant genome, and haplotype divergence analysis confirms that the three loci display differential evolution. Based on our data, we propose a model for BSV integration and eBSV evolution in the Musa balbisiana genome. The mutual benefits of this unique host-pathogen association are also discussed.
Global spread and genetic monomorphism are hallmarks of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the agent of human tuberculosis. In contrast, Mycobacterium canettii, and related tubercle bacilli that also cause human tuberculosis and exhibit unusual smooth colony morphology, are restricted to East-Africa. Here, we sequenced and analyzed the genomes of five representative strains of smooth tubercle bacilli (STB) using Sanger (4-5x coverage), 454/Roche (13-18x coverage) and/or Illumina DNA sequencing (45-105x coverage). We show that STB are highly recombinogenic and evolutionary early-branching, with larger genome sizes, 25-fold more SNPs, fewer molecular scars and distinct CRISPR-Cas systems relative to M. tuberculosis. Despite the differences, all tuberculosis-causing mycobacteria share a highly conserved core genome. Mouse-infection experiments revealed that STB are less persistent and virulent than M. tuberculosis. We conclude that M. tuberculosis emerged from an ancestral, STB-like pool of mycobacteria by gain of persistence and virulence mechanisms and we provide genome-wide insights into the molecular events involved.
The numerous yeast genome sequences presently available provide a rich source of information for functional as well as evolutionary genomics but unequally cover the large phylogenetic diversity of extant yeasts. We present here the complete sequence of the nuclear genome of the haploid-type strain of Kuraishia capsulata (CBS1993T), a nitrate-assimilating Saccharomycetales of uncertain taxonomy, isolated from tunnels of insect larvae underneath coniferous barks and characterized by its copious production of extracellular polysaccharides. The sequence is composed of seven scaffolds, one per chromosome, totaling 11.4 Mb and containing 6,029 protein-coding genes, ∼13.5% of which being interrupted by introns. This GC-rich yeast genome (45.7%) appears phylogenetically related with the few other nitrate-assimilating yeasts sequenced so far, Ogataea polymorpha, O. parapolymorpha, and Dekkera bruxellensis, with which it shares a very reduced number of tRNA genes, a novel tRNA sparing strategy, and a common nitrate assimilation cluster, three specific features to this group of yeasts. Centromeres were recognized in GC-poor troughs of each scaffold. The strain bears MAT alpha genes at a single MAT locus and presents a significant degree of conservation with Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes, suggesting that it can perform sexual cycles in nature, although genes involved in meiosis were not all recognized. The complete absence of conservation of synteny between K. capsulata and any other yeast genome described so far, including the three other nitrate-assimilating species, validates the interest of this species for long-range evolutionary genomic studies among Saccharomycotina yeasts.
phylogeny; centromere; synteny; noncoding RNA; introgression
Xanthomonads are plant-associated bacteria responsible for diseases on economically important crops. Xanthomonas fuscans subsp. fuscans (Xff) is one of the causal agents of common bacterial blight of bean. In this study, the complete genome sequence of strain Xff 4834-R was determined and compared to other Xanthomonas genome sequences.
Comparative genomics analyses revealed core characteristics shared between Xff 4834-R and other xanthomonads including chemotaxis elements, two-component systems, TonB-dependent transporters, secretion systems (from T1SS to T6SS) and multiple effectors. For instance a repertoire of 29 Type 3 Effectors (T3Es) with two Transcription Activator-Like Effectors was predicted. Mobile elements were associated with major modifications in the genome structure and gene content in comparison to other Xanthomonas genomes. Notably, a deletion of 33 kbp affects flagellum biosynthesis in Xff 4834-R. The presence of a complete flagellar cluster was assessed in a collection of more than 300 strains representing different species and pathovars of Xanthomonas. Five percent of the tested strains presented a deletion in the flagellar cluster and were non-motile. Moreover, half of the Xff strains isolated from the same epidemic than 4834-R was non-motile and this ratio was conserved in the strains colonizing the next bean seed generations.
This work describes the first genome of a Xanthomonas strain pathogenic on bean and reports the existence of non-motile xanthomonads belonging to different species and pathovars. Isolation of such Xff variants from a natural epidemic may suggest that flagellar motility is not a key function for in planta fitness.
Seed-borne pathogen; Secretion system; Insertion sequence; Bean; Effector; Chemotaxis; Pseudogene
We report the genome sequence of Halomonas sp. strain A3H3, a bacterium with a high tolerance to arsenite, isolated from multicontaminated sediments of the l’Estaque harbor in Marseille, France. The genome is composed of a 5,489,893-bp chromosome and a 157,085-bp plasmid.
Various bacteria can use non-ribosomal peptide synthesis (NRPS) to produce peptides or other small molecules. Conserved features within the NRPS machinery allow the type, and sometimes even the structure, of the synthesized polypeptide to be predicted. Thus, bacterial genome mining via in silico analyses of NRPS genes offers an attractive opportunity to uncover new bioactive non-ribosomally synthesized peptides. Xanthomonas is a large genus of Gram-negative bacteria that cause disease in hundreds of plant species. To date, the only known small molecule synthesized by NRPS in this genus is albicidin produced by Xanthomonas albilineans. This study aims to estimate the biosynthetic potential of Xanthomonas spp. by in silico analyses of NRPS genes with unknown function recently identified in the sequenced genomes of X. albilineans and related species of Xanthomonas.
We performed in silico analyses of NRPS genes present in all published genome sequences of Xanthomonas spp., as well as in unpublished draft genome sequences of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae strain BAI3 and Xanthomonas spp. strain XaS3. These two latter strains, together with X. albilineans strain GPE PC73 and X. oryzae pv. oryzae strains X8-1A and X11-5A, possess novel NRPS gene clusters and share related NRPS-associated genes such as those required for the biosynthesis of non-proteinogenic amino acids or the secretion of peptides. In silico prediction of peptide structures according to NRPS architecture suggests eight different peptides, each specific to its producing strain. Interestingly, these eight peptides cannot be assigned to any known gene cluster or related to known compounds from natural product databases. PCR screening of a collection of 94 plant pathogenic bacteria indicates that these novel NRPS gene clusters are specific to the genus Xanthomonas and are also present in Xanthomonas translucens and X. oryzae pv. oryzicola. Further genome mining revealed other novel NRPS genes specific to X. oryzae pv. oryzicola or Xanthomonas sacchari.
This study revealed the significant potential of the genus Xanthomonas to produce new non-ribosomally synthesized peptides. Interestingly, this biosynthetic potential seems to be specific to strains of Xanthomonas associated with monocotyledonous plants, suggesting a putative involvement of non-ribosomally synthesized peptides in plant-bacteria interactions.
Microcystis aeruginosa is one of the most common bloom-forming cyanobacteria in freshwater ecosystems worldwide. This species produces numerous secondary metabolites, including microcystins, which are harmful to human health. We sequenced the genomes of ten strains of M. aeruginosa in order to explore the genomic basis of their ability to occupy varied environments and proliferate. Our findings show that M. aeruginosa genomes are characterized by having a large open pangenome, and that each genome contains similar proportions of core and flexible genes. By comparing the GC content of each gene to the mean value of the whole genome, we estimated that in each genome, around 11% of the genes seem to result from recent horizontal gene transfer events. Moreover, several large gene clusters resulting from HGT (up to 19 kb) have been found, illustrating the ability of this species to integrate such large DNA molecules. It appeared also that all M. aeruginosa displays a large genomic plasticity, which is characterized by a high proportion of repeat sequences and by low synteny values between the strains. Finally, we identified 13 secondary metabolite gene clusters, including three new putative clusters. When comparing the genomes of Microcystis and Prochlorococcus, one of the dominant picocyanobacteria living in marine ecosystems, our findings show that they are characterized by having almost opposite evolutionary strategies, both of which have led to ecological success in their respective environments.
Photosynthetic bacteria can switch from planktonic lifestyle to phototrophic biofilm in mats in response to environmental changes. The mechanisms of phototrophic biofilm formation are, however, not characterized. Herein, we report a two-component system EmbRS that controls the biofilm formation in a photosynthetic member of the Burkholderiales order, the purple bacterium Rubrivivax gelatinosus. EmbRS inactivation results in cells that form conspicuous bacterial veils and fast-sinking aggregates in liquid. Biofilm analyses indicated that EmbRS represses the production of an extracellular matrix and biofilm formation. Mapping of transposon mutants that partially or completely restore the wild-type (WT) phenotype allowed the identification of two gene clusters involved in polysaccharide synthesis, one fully conserved only in Thauera sp., a floc-forming wastewater bacterium. A second two-component system BmfRS and a putative diguanylate cyclase BdcA were also identified in this screen suggesting their involvement in biofilm formation in this bacterium. The role of polysaccharides in sinking of microorganisms and organic matter, as well as the importance and the evolution of such regulatory system in phototrophic microorganisms are discussed.
Biofilm formation; biofilm regulation; burkholderiales; exopolysaccharides; phototrophic biofilm; two-component system
The geographic mosaic of coevolution predicts parasite virulence should be locally adapted to the host community. Cotesia parasitoid wasps adapt to local lepidopteran species possibly through their symbiotic bracovirus. The virus, essential for the parasitism success, is at the heart of the complex coevolutionary relationship linking the wasps and their hosts. The large segmented genome contained in the virus particles encodes virulence genes involved in host immune and developmental suppression. Coevolutionary arms race should result in the positive selection of particular beneficial alleles. To understand the global role of bracoviruses in the local adaptation or specialization of parasitoid wasps to their hosts, we studied the molecular evolution of four bracoviruses associated with wasps of the genus Cotesia, including C congregata, C vestalis and new data and annotation on two ecologically differentiated populations of C sesamie, Kitale and Mombasa. Paired orthologs analyses revealed more genes under positive selection when comparing the two C sesamiae bracoviruses belonging to the same species, and more genes under strong evolutionary constraint between species. Furthermore branch-site evolutionary models showed that 17 genes, out of the 54 currently available shared by the four bracoviruses, harboured sites under positive selection including: the histone H4-like, a C-type lectin, two ep1-like, ep2, a viral ankyrin, CrV1, a ben-domain, a Serine-rich, and eight unknown genes. Lastly the phylogenetic analyses of the histone, ep2 and CrV1 genes in different African C sesamiae populations showed that each gene described differently the individual relationships. In particular we found recombination had happened between the ep2 and CrV1 genes, which are localized 37.5 kb apart on the wasp chromosomes. Involved in multidirectional coevolutionary interactions, C sesamiae wasps rely on different bracovirus mediated molecular pathways to overcome local host resistance.
Nocardia cyriacigeorgica is recognized as one of the most prevalent etiological agents of human nocardiosis. Human exposure to these Actinobacteria stems from direct contact with contaminated environmental matrices. The full genome sequence of N. cyriacigeorgica strain GUH-2 was studied to infer major trends in its evolution, including the acquisition of novel genetic elements that could explain its ability to thrive in multiple habitats.
N. cyriacigeorgica strain GUH-2 genome size is 6.19 Mb-long, 82.7% of its CDS have homologs in at least another actinobacterial genome, and 74.5% of these are found in N. farcinica. Among N. cyriacigeorgica specific CDS, some are likely implicated in niche specialization such as those involved in denitrification and RuBisCO production, and are found in regions of genomic plasticity (RGP). Overall, 22 RGP were identified in this genome, representing 11.4% of its content. Some of these RGP encode a recombinase and IS elements which are indicative of genomic instability. CDS playing part in virulence were identified in this genome such as those involved in mammalian cell entry or encoding a superoxide dismutase. CDS encoding non ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS) and polyketide synthases (PKS) were identified, with some being likely involved in the synthesis of siderophores and toxins. COG analyses showed this genome to have an organization similar to environmental Actinobacteria.
N. cyriacigeorgica GUH-2 genome shows features suggesting a diversification from an ancestral saprophytic state. GUH-2 ability at acquiring foreign DNA was found significant and to have led to functional changes likely beneficial for its environmental cycle and opportunistic colonization of a human host.
Nocardia cyriacigeorgica; Regions of genomic plasticity; Insertion sequences; COG; Evolution; Opportunistic pathogen
During host specialization, inactivation of genes whose function is no more required is favored by changes in selective constraints and evolutionary bottlenecks. The Gram positive bacteria Streptococcus agalactiae (also called GBS), responsible for septicemia and meningitis in neonates also emerged during the seventies as a cause of severe epidemics in fish farms. To decipher the genetic basis for the emergence of these highly virulent GBS strains and of their adaptation to fish, we have analyzed the genomic sequence of seven strains isolated from fish and other poikilotherms.
Comparative analysis shows that the two groups of GBS strains responsible for fish epidemic diseases are only distantly related. While strains belonging to the clonal complex 7 cannot be distinguished from their human CC7 counterparts according to their gene content, strains belonging to the ST260-261 types probably diverged a long time ago. In this lineage, specialization to the fish host was correlated with a massive gene inactivation and broad changes in gene expression. We took advantage of the low level of sequence divergence between GBS strains and of the emergence of sublineages to reconstruct the different steps involved in this process. Non-homologous recombination was found to have played a major role in the genome erosion.
Our results show that the early phase of genome reduction during host specialization mostly involves accumulation of small and likely reversible indels, followed by a second evolutionary step marked by a higher frequency of large deletions.
Streptococcus agalactiae; Host-adaptation; Non-homologous recombination; Gene inactivation; Virulence
Arsenic is widespread in the environment and its presence is a result of natural or anthropogenic activities. Microbes have developed different mechanisms to deal with toxic compounds such as arsenic and this is to resist or metabolize the compound. Here, we present the first reference set of genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic data of an Alphaproteobacterium isolated from an arsenic-containing goldmine: Rhizobium sp. NT-26. Although phylogenetically related to the plant-associated bacteria, this organism has lost the major colonizing capabilities needed for symbiosis with legumes. In contrast, the genome of Rhizobium sp. NT-26 comprises a megaplasmid containing the various genes, which enable it to metabolize arsenite. Remarkably, although the genes required for arsenite oxidation and flagellar motility/biofilm formation are carried by the megaplasmid and the chromosome, respectively, a coordinate regulation of these two mechanisms was observed. Taken together, these processes illustrate the impact environmental pressure can have on the evolution of bacterial genomes, improving the fitness of bacterial strains by the acquisition of novel functions.
arsenic metabolism; motility/biofilm; Rhizobium/Agrobacterium; transcriptomics/proteomics; phylogeny; rhizosphere
Here we report the full genome sequence of Modestobacter marinus strain BC501, an actinobacterial isolate that thrives on stone surfaces. The generated chromosome is circular, with a length of 5.57 Mb and a G+C content of 74.13%, containing 5,445 protein-coding genes, 48 tRNAs, and 3 ribosomal operons.
Desulfovibrio hydrothermalis AM13T is a piezophilic, mesophilic, hydrogenotrophic sulfate-reducing bacterium collected from a deep-sea hydrothermal chimney on the East Pacific Rise (2,600 m depth, 13°N). We report the genome sequence of this bacterium, which includes a 3,702,934-bp chromosome and a circular plasmid of 5,328 bp.
An annotated high-quality draft genome sequence for Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris race 1 strain Xca5 (originally described as X. campestris pv. armoraciae), the causal agent of black rot on Brassicaceae plants, has been determined. This genome sequence is a valuable resource for comparative genomics within the campestris pathovar.
Desulfovibrio piezophilus strain C1TLV30T is a piezophilic anaerobe that was isolated from wood falls in the Mediterranean deep-sea. D. piezophilus represents a unique model for studying the adaptation of sulfate-reducing bacteria to hydrostatic pressure. Here, we report the 3.6 Mbp genome sequence of this piezophilic bacterium. An analysis of the genome revealed the presence of seven genomic islands as well as gene clusters that are most likely linked to life at a high hydrostatic pressure. Comparative genomics and differential proteomics identified the transport of solutes and amino acids as well as amino acid metabolism as major cellular processes for the adaptation of this bacterium to hydrostatic pressure. In addition, the proteome profiles showed that the abundance of key enzymes that are involved in sulfate reduction was dependent on hydrostatic pressure. A comparative analysis of orthologs from the non-piezophilic marine bacterium D. salexigens and D. piezophilus identified aspartic acid, glutamic acid, lysine, asparagine, serine and tyrosine as the amino acids preferentially replaced by arginine, histidine, alanine and threonine in the piezophilic strain. This work reveals the adaptation strategies developed by a sulfate reducer to a deep-sea lifestyle.
Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Desulfotomaculum hydrothermale, a sulfate-reducing, spore-forming bacterium isolated from a Tunisian hot spring. The genome is composed of 2.7 Mb, with a G+C content of 49.48%, and it contains 2,643 protein-coding sequences.
Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus SP17 forms biofilms specifically at the interface between water and hydrophobic organic compounds (HOCs) that are used as carbon and energy sources. Biofilm formation at the HOC-water interface has been recognized as a strategy to overcome the low availability of these nearly water-insoluble substrates. Here, we present the genome sequence of SP17, which could provide further insights into the mechanisms of enhancement of HOCs assimilation through biofilm formation.
Bacteria of the genus Azospirillum colonize roots of important cereals and grasses, and promote plant growth by several mechanisms, notably phytohormone synthesis. The genomes of several Azospirillum strains belonging to different species, isolated from various host plants and locations, were recently sequenced and published. In this study, an additional genome of an A. brasilense strain, isolated from maize grown on an alkaline soil in the northeast of Mexico, strain CBG497, was obtained. Comparative genomic analyses were performed on this new genome and three other genomes (A. brasilense Sp245, A. lipoferum 4B and Azospirillum sp. B510). The Azospirillum core genome was established and consists of 2,328 proteins, representing between 30% to 38% of the total encoded proteins within a genome. It is mainly chromosomally-encoded and contains 74% of genes of ancestral origin shared with some aquatic relatives. The non-ancestral part of the core genome is enriched in genes involved in signal transduction, in transport and in metabolism of carbohydrates and amino-acids, and in surface properties features linked to adaptation in fluctuating environments, such as soil and rhizosphere. Many genes involved in colonization of plant roots, plant-growth promotion (such as those involved in phytohormone biosynthesis), and properties involved in rhizosphere adaptation (such as catabolism of phenolic compounds, uptake of iron) are restricted to a particular strain and/or species, strongly suggesting niche-specific adaptation.
Azospirillum; core genome; chromid; horizontal gene transfer; orthologous groups; rhizosphere
Xanthomonas albilineans causes leaf scald, a lethal disease of sugarcane. X. albilineans exhibits distinctive pathogenic mechanisms, ecology and taxonomy compared to other species of Xanthomonas. For example, this species produces a potent DNA gyrase inhibitor called albicidin that is largely responsible for inducing disease symptoms; its habitat is limited to xylem; and the species exhibits large variability. A first manuscript on the complete genome sequence of the highly pathogenic X. albilineans strain GPE PC73 focused exclusively on distinctive genomic features shared with Xylella fastidiosa—another xylem-limited Xanthomonadaceae. The present manuscript on the same genome sequence aims to describe all other pathogenicity-related genomic features of X. albilineans, and to compare, using suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH), genomic features of two strains differing in pathogenicity.
Comparative genomic analyses showed that most of the known pathogenicity factors from other Xanthomonas species are conserved in X. albilineans, with the notable absence of two major determinants of the “artillery” of other plant pathogenic species of Xanthomonas: the xanthan gum biosynthesis gene cluster, and the type III secretion system Hrp (hypersensitive response and pathogenicity). Genomic features specific to X. albilineans that may contribute to specific adaptation of this pathogen to sugarcane xylem vessels were also revealed. SSH experiments led to the identification of 20 genes common to three highly pathogenic strains but missing in a less pathogenic strain. These 20 genes, which include four ABC transporter genes, a methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein gene and an oxidoreductase gene, could play a key role in pathogenicity. With the exception of hypothetical proteins revealed by our comparative genomic analyses and SSH experiments, no genes potentially involved in any offensive or counter-defensive mechanism specific to X. albilineans were identified, supposing that X. albilineans has a reduced artillery compared to other pathogenic Xanthomonas species. Particular attention has therefore been given to genomic features specific to X. albilineans making it more capable of evading sugarcane surveillance systems or resisting sugarcane defense systems.
This study confirms that X. albilineans is a highly distinctive species within the genus Xanthomonas, and opens new perpectives towards a greater understanding of the pathogenicity of this destructive sugarcane pathogen.