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1.  Characterization of the Asian Citrus Psyllid Transcriptome 
Journal of Genomics  2014;2:54-58.
The Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) is a vector for the causative agents of Huanglongbing, which threatens citrus production worldwide. This study reports and discusses the first D. citri transcriptomes, encompassing the three main life stages of D. citri, egg, nymph and adult. The transcriptomes were annotated using Gene Ontology (GO) and insecticide-related genes within each life stage were identified to aid the development of future D. citri insecticides. Transcriptome assemblies and other sequence data are available for download at the International Asian Citrus Psyllid Genome Consortium website [] and at NCBI [].
PMCID: PMC3914308  PMID: 24511328
Asian Citrus Psyllid; Diaphorina citri Kuwayama
2.  Characterization of the Asian Citrus Psyllid Transcriptome 
Journal of genomics  2014;2:54-58.
The Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Psyllidae) is a vector for the causative agents of Huanglongbing, which threatens citrus production worldwide. This study reports and discusses the first D. citri transcriptomes, encompassing the three main life stages of D. citri, egg, nymph and adult. The transcriptomes were annotated using Gene Ontology (GO) and insecticide-related genes within each life stage were identified to aid the development of future D. citri insecticides. Transcriptome assemblies and other sequence data are available for download at the International Asian Citrus Psyllid Genome Consortium website [] and at NCBI [].
PMCID: PMC3914308  PMID: 24511328
Asian Citrus Psyllid; Diaphorina citri Kuwayama
3.  Genome Sequences of Pseudomonas spp. Isolated from Cereal Crops 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(3):e00209-13.
Compared to those of dicot-infecting bacteria, the available genome sequences of bacteria that infect wheat and barley are limited. Herein, we report the draft genome sequences of four pseudomonads originally isolated from these cereals. These genome sequences provide a useful resource for comparative analyses within the genus and for cross-kingdom analyses of plant pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3650443  PMID: 23661484
4.  Survey of Endosymbionts in the Diaphorina citri Metagenome and Assembly of a Wolbachia wDi Draft Genome 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e50067.
Diaphorina citri (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), the Asian citrus psyllid, is the insect vector of Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus, the causal agent of citrus greening disease. Sequencing of the D. citri metagenome has been initiated to gain better understanding of the biology of this organism and the potential roles of its bacterial endosymbionts. To corroborate candidate endosymbionts previously identified by rDNA amplification, raw reads from the D. citri metagenome sequence were mapped to reference genome sequences. Results of the read mapping provided the most support for Wolbachia and an enteric bacterium most similar to Salmonella. Wolbachia-derived reads were extracted using the complete genome sequences for four Wolbachia strains. Reads were assembled into a draft genome sequence, and the annotation assessed for the presence of features potentially involved in host interaction. Genome alignment with the complete sequences reveals membership of Wolbachia wDi in supergroup B, further supported by phylogenetic analysis of FtsZ. FtsZ and Wsp phylogenies additionally indicate that the Wolbachia strain in the Florida D. citri isolate falls into a sub-clade of supergroup B, distinct from Wolbachia present in Chinese D. citri isolates, supporting the hypothesis that the D. citri introduced into Florida did not originate from China.
PMCID: PMC3500351  PMID: 23166822
6.  Unifying Themes in Microbial Associations with Animal and Plant Hosts Described Using the Gene Ontology 
Summary: Microbes form intimate relationships with hosts (symbioses) that range from mutualism to parasitism. Common microbial mechanisms involved in a successful host association include adhesion, entry of the microbe or its effector proteins into the host cell, mitigation of host defenses, and nutrient acquisition. Genes associated with these microbial mechanisms are known for a broad range of symbioses, revealing both divergent and convergent strategies. Effective comparisons among these symbioses, however, are hampered by inconsistent descriptive terms in the literature for functionally similar genes. Bioinformatic approaches that use homology-based tools are limited to identifying functionally similar genes based on similarities in their sequences. An effective solution to these limitations is provided by the Gene Ontology (GO), which provides a standardized language to describe gene products from all organisms. The GO comprises three ontologies that enable one to describe the molecular function(s) of gene products, the biological processes to which they contribute, and their cellular locations. Beginning in 2004, the Plant-Associated Microbe Gene Ontology (PAMGO) interest group collaborated with the GO consortium to extend the GO to accommodate terms for describing gene products associated with microbe-host interactions. Currently, over 900 terms that describe biological processes common to diverse plant- and animal-associated microbes are incorporated into the GO database. Here we review some unifying themes common to diverse host-microbe associations and illustrate how the new GO terms facilitate a standardized description of the gene products involved. We also highlight areas where new terms need to be developed, an ongoing process that should involve the whole community.
PMCID: PMC3008171  PMID: 21119014
7.  Information Management of Genome Enabled Data Streams for Pseudomonas syringae on the Pseudomonas-Plant Interaction (PPI) Website 
Genes  2011;2(4):841-852.
Genome enabled research has led to a large and ever-growing body of data on Pseudomonas syringae genome variation and characteristics, though systematic capture of this information to maximize access by the research community remains a significant challenge. Major P. syringae data streams include genome sequence data, newly identified type III effectors, biological characterization data for type III effectors, and regulatory feature characterization. To maximize data access, the Pseudomonas-Plant Interaction (PPI) website [1] is primarily focused on categorization of type III effectors and curation of effector functional data represented in the Hop database and Pseudomonas-Plant Interaction Resource, respectively. The PPI website further serves as a conduit for incorporation of new genome characterization data into the annotation records at NCBI and other data repositories, and clearinghouse for additional data sets and updates in response to the evolving needs of the research community.
PMCID: PMC3927588  PMID: 24710295
Pseudomonas syringae; genome annotation; PPI; type III effector
8.  Genome Sequence of the Plant-Pathogenic Bacterium Dickeya dadantii 3937▿ 
Journal of Bacteriology  2011;193(8):2076-2077.
Dickeya dadantii is a plant-pathogenic enterobacterium responsible for the soft rot disease of many plants of economic importance. We present here the sequence of strain 3937, a strain widely used as a model system for research on the molecular biology and pathogenicity of this group of bacteria.
PMCID: PMC3133054  PMID: 21217001
9.  The Plant Pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato Is Genetically Monomorphic and under Strong Selection to Evade Tomato Immunity 
PLoS Pathogens  2011;7(8):e1002130.
Recently, genome sequencing of many isolates of genetically monomorphic bacterial human pathogens has given new insights into pathogen microevolution and phylogeography. Here, we report a genome-based micro-evolutionary study of a bacterial plant pathogen, Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato. Only 267 mutations were identified between five sequenced isolates in 3,543,009 nt of analyzed genome sequence, which suggests a recent evolutionary origin of this pathogen. Further analysis with genome-derived markers of 89 world-wide isolates showed that several genotypes exist in North America and in Europe indicating frequent pathogen movement between these world regions. Genome-derived markers and molecular analyses of key pathogen loci important for virulence and motility both suggest ongoing adaptation to the tomato host. A mutational hotspot was found in the type III-secreted effector gene hopM1. These mutations abolish the cell death triggering activity of the full-length protein indicating strong selection for loss of function of this effector, which was previously considered a virulence factor. Two non-synonymous mutations in the flagellin-encoding gene fliC allowed identifying a new microbe associated molecular pattern (MAMP) in a region distinct from the known MAMP flg22. Interestingly, the ancestral allele of this MAMP induces a stronger tomato immune response than the derived alleles. The ancestral allele has largely disappeared from today's Pto populations suggesting that flagellin-triggered immunity limits pathogen fitness even in highly virulent pathogens. An additional non-synonymous mutation was identified in flg22 in South American isolates. Therefore, MAMPs are more variable than expected differing even between otherwise almost identical isolates of the same pathogen strain.
Author Summary
Our knowledge of the recent evolution of bacterial human pathogens has increased dramatically over the last five years. By comparison, relatively little is known about recent evolution of bacterial plant pathogens. Here, we analyze a large collection of isolates of the economically important plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato with markers derived from the comparison of five genomes of this pathogen. We find that this pathogen likely evolved on a relatively recent time scale and continues to adapt to tomato by minimizing its recognition by the tomato immune system. We find that an allele of the flagellin subunit fliC that appeared in the pathogen population for the first time in the 1980s, and which is the most common allele of this gene in North America and Europe today, triggers a weaker tomato immune response than the fliC allele found in the 1960s and 1970s. These results not only impact our understanding of pathogen – plant interactions and pathogen evolution but also have important ramifications for disease prevention. Given the speed with which new pathogen strains spread and replace existing strains, limiting the movement of specific strains between geographic regions is critically important, even for pathogens known to have worldwide distribution.
PMCID: PMC3161960  PMID: 21901088
10.  Transcriptome Analysis of Pseudomonas syringae Identifies New Genes, Noncoding RNAs, and Antisense Activity▿ †  
Journal of Bacteriology  2010;192(9):2359-2372.
To fully understand how bacteria respond to their environment, it is essential to assess genome-wide transcriptional activity. New high-throughput sequencing technologies make it possible to query the transcriptome of an organism in an efficient unbiased manner. We applied a strand-specific method to sequence bacterial transcripts using Illumina's high-throughput sequencing technology. The resulting sequences were used to construct genome-wide transcriptional profiles. Novel bioinformatics analyses were developed and used in combination with proteomics data for the qualitative classification of transcriptional activity in defined regions. As expected, most transcriptional activity was consistent with predictions from the genome annotation. Importantly, we identified and confirmed transcriptional activity in areas of the genome inconsistent with the annotation and in unannotated regions. Further analyses revealed potential RpoN-dependent promoter sequences upstream of several noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), suggesting a role for these ncRNAs in RpoN-dependent phenotypes. We were also able to validate a number of transcriptional start sites, many of which were consistent with predicted promoter motifs. Overall, our approach provides an efficient way to survey global transcriptional activity in bacteria and enables rapid discovery of specific areas in the genome that merit further investigation.
PMCID: PMC2863471  PMID: 20190049
11.  Gene Ontology annotation highlights shared and divergent pathogenic strategies of type III effector proteins deployed by the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000 and animal pathogenic Escherichia coli strains 
BMC Microbiology  2009;9(Suppl 1):S4.
Genome-informed identification and characterization of Type III effector repertoires in various bacterial strains and species is revealing important insights into the critical roles that these proteins play in the pathogenic strategies of diverse bacteria. However, non-systematic discipline-specific approaches to their annotation impede analysis of the accumulating wealth of data and inhibit easy communication of findings among researchers working on different experimental systems. The development of Gene Ontology (GO) terms to capture biological processes occurring during the interaction between organisms creates a common language that facilitates cross-genome analyses. The application of these terms to annotate type III effector genes in different bacterial species – the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000 and animal pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli – illustrates how GO can effectively describe fundamental similarities and differences among different gene products deployed as part of diverse pathogenic strategies. In depth descriptions of the GO annotations for P. syringae pv tomato DC3000 effector AvrPtoB and the E. coli effector Tir are described, with special emphasis given to GO capability for capturing information about interacting proteins and taxa. GO-highlighted similarities in biological process and molecular function for effectors from additional pathosystems are also discussed.
PMCID: PMC2654664  PMID: 19278552
12.  Programmed cell death in host-symbiont associations, viewed through the Gene Ontology 
BMC Microbiology  2009;9(Suppl 1):S5.
Manipulation of programmed cell death (PCD) is central to many host microbe interactions. Both plant and animal cells use PCD as a powerful weapon against biotrophic pathogens, including viruses, which draw their nutrition from living tissue. Thus, diverse biotrophic pathogens have evolved many mechanisms to suppress programmed cell death, and mutualistic and commensal microbes may employ similar mechanisms. Necrotrophic pathogens derive their nutrition from dead tissue, and many produce toxins specifically to trigger programmed cell death in their hosts. Hemibiotrophic pathogens manipulate PCD in a most exquisite way, suppressing PCD during the biotrophic phase and stimulating it during the necrotrophic phase. This mini-review will summarize the mechanisms that have evolved in diverse microbes and hosts for controlling PCD and the Gene Ontology terms developed by the Plant-Associated Microbe Gene Ontology (PAMGO) Consortium for describing those mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC2654665  PMID: 19278553
13.  Common and contrasting themes in host cell-targeted effectors from bacterial, fungal, oomycete and nematode plant symbionts described using the Gene Ontology 
BMC Microbiology  2009;9(Suppl 1):S3.
A wide diversity of plant-associated symbionts, including microbes, produce proteins that can enter host cells, or are injected into host cells in order to modify the physiology of the host to promote colonization. These molecules, termed effectors, commonly target the host defense signaling pathways in order to suppress the defense response. Others target the gene expression machinery or trigger specific modifications to host morphology or physiology that promote the nutrition and proliferation of the symbiont. When recognized by the host's surveillance machinery, which includes cognate resistance (R) gene products, defense responses are engaged to restrict pathogen proliferation. Effectors from diverse symbionts may be delivered into plant cells via varied mechanisms, including whole organism cellular entry (viruses, some bacteria and fungi), type III and IV secretion (in bacteria), physical injection (nematodes and insects) and protein translocation signal sequences (oomycetes and fungi). This mini-review will summarize both similarities and differences in effectors and effector delivery systems found in diverse plant-associated symbionts as well as how these are described with Plant-Associated Microbe Gene Ontology (PAMGO) terms.
PMCID: PMC2654663  PMID: 19278551
14.  PHI-base update: additions to the pathogen–host interaction database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;36(Database issue):D572-D576.
The pathogen–host interaction database (PHI-base) is a web-accessible database that catalogues experimentally verified pathogenicity, virulence and effector genes from bacterial, fungal and Oomycete pathogens, which infect human, animal, plant, insect, fish and fungal hosts. Plant endophytes are also included. PHI-base is therefore an invaluable resource for the discovery of genes in medically and agronomically important pathogens, which may be potential targets for chemical intervention. The database is freely accessible to both academic and non-academic users. This publication describes recent additions to the database and both current and future applications. The number of fields that characterize PHI-base entries has almost doubled. Important additional fields deal with new experimental methods, strain information, pathogenicity islands and external references that link the database to external resources, for example, gene ontology terms and Locus IDs. Another important addition is the inclusion of anti-infectives and their target genes that makes it possible to predict the compounds, that may interact with newly identified virulence factors. In parallel, the curation process has been improved and now involves several external experts. On the technical side, several new search tools have been provided and the database is also now distributed in XML format. PHI-base is available at:
PMCID: PMC2238852  PMID: 17942425
15.  Whole-Genome Sequence Analysis of Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola 1448A Reveals Divergence among Pathovars in Genes Involved in Virulence and Transposition†  
Journal of Bacteriology  2005;187(18):6488-6498.
Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola, a gram-negative bacterial plant pathogen, is the causal agent of halo blight of bean. In this study, we report on the genome sequence of P. syringae pv. phaseolicola isolate 1448A, which encodes 5,353 open reading frames (ORFs) on one circular chromosome (5,928,787 bp) and two plasmids (131,950 bp and 51,711 bp). Comparative analyses with a phylogenetically divergent pathovar, P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000, revealed a strong degree of conservation at the gene and genome levels. In total, 4,133 ORFs were identified as putative orthologs in these two pathovars using a reciprocal best-hit method, with 3,941 ORFs present in conserved, syntenic blocks. Although these two pathovars are highly similar at the physiological level, they have distinct host ranges; 1448A causes disease in beans, and DC3000 is pathogenic on tomato and Arabidopsis. Examination of the complement of ORFs encoding virulence, fitness, and survival factors revealed a substantial, but not complete, overlap between these two pathovars. Another distinguishing feature between the two pathovars is their distinctive sets of transposable elements. With access to a fifth complete pseudomonad genome sequence, we were able to identify 3,567 ORFs that likely comprise the core Pseudomonas genome and 365 ORFs that are P. syringae specific.
PMCID: PMC1236638  PMID: 16159782
16.  Identification of Specific Residues in Colicin E1 Involved in Immunity Protein Recognition 
Journal of Bacteriology  2001;183(6):2132-2136.
The basis of specificity between pore-forming colicins and immunity proteins was explored by interchanging residues between colicins E1 (ColE1) and 10 (Col10) and testing for altered recognition by their respective immunity proteins, Imm and Cti. A total of 34 divergent residues in the pore-forming domain of ColE1 between residues 419 and 501, a region previously shown to contain the specificity determinants for Imm, were mutagenized to the corresponding Col10 sequences. The residue changes most effective in converting ColE1 to the Col10 phenotype are residue 448 at the N terminus of helix VI and residues 470, 472, and 474 at the C terminus of helix VII. Mutagenesis of helix VI residues 416 to 419 in Col10 to the corresponding ColE1 sequence resulted in increased recognition by Imm and loss of recognition by Cti.
PMCID: PMC95113  PMID: 11222616
17.  External Loops at the C Terminus of Erwinia chrysanthemi Pectate Lyase C Are Required for Species-Specific Secretion through the Out Type II Pathway 
Journal of Bacteriology  1998;180(6):1431-1437.
The type II secretion system (main terminal branch of the general secretion pathway) is used by diverse gram-negative bacteria to secrete extracellular proteins. Proteins secreted by this pathway are synthesized with an N-terminal signal peptide which is removed upon translocation across the inner membrane, but the signals which target the mature proteins for secretion across the outer membrane are unknown. The plant pathogens Erwinia chrysanthemi and Erwinia carotovora secrete several isozymes of pectate lyase (Pel) by the out-encoded type II pathway. However, these two bacteria cannot secrete Pels encoded by heterologously expressed pel genes from the other species, suggesting the existence of species-specific secretion signals within these proteins. The functional cluster of E. chrysanthemi out genes carried on cosmid pCPP2006 enables Escherichia coli to secrete E. chrysanthemi, but not E. carotovora, Pels. We exploited the high sequence similarity between E. chrysanthemi PelC and E. carotovora Pel1 to construct 15 hybrid proteins in which different regions of PelC were replaced with homologous sequences from Pel1. The differential secretion of these hybrid proteins by E. coli(pCPP2006) revealed M118 to D175 and V215 to C329 as regions required for species-specific secretion of PelC. We propose that the primary targeting signal is contained within the external loops formed by G274 to C329 but is dependent on residues in M118 to D170 and V215 to G274 for proper positioning.
PMCID: PMC107041  PMID: 9515910

Results 1-17 (17)