July 19, 2019  |  

Single molecule real-time sequencing of Xanthomonas oryzae genomes reveals a dynamic structure and complex TAL (transcription activator-like) effector gene relationships.

Pathogen-injected, direct transcriptional activators of host genes, TAL (transcription activator-like) effectors play determinative roles in plant diseases caused by Xanthomonas spp. A large domain of nearly identical, 33-35 aa repeats in each protein mediates DNA recognition. This modularity makes TAL effectors customizable and thus important also in biotechnology. However, the repeats render TAL effector (tal) genes nearly impossible to assemble using next-generation, short reads. Here, we demonstrate that long-read, single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing solves this problem. Taking an ensemble approach to first generate local, tal gene contigs, we correctly assembled de novo the genomes of two strains of the rice pathogen X. oryzae completed previously using the Sanger method and even identified errors in those references. Sequencing two more strains revealed a dynamic genome structure and a striking plasticity in tal gene content. Our results pave the way for population-level studies to inform resistance breeding, improve biotechnology and probe TAL effector evolution.


July 19, 2019  |  

AnnoTALE: bioinformatics tools for identification, annotation, and nomenclature of TALEs from Xanthomonas genomic sequences.

Transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) are virulence factors, produced by the bacterial plant-pathogen Xanthomonas, that function as gene activators inside plant cells. Although the contribution of individual TALEs to infectivity has been shown, the specific roles of most TALEs, and the overall TALE diversity in Xanthomonas spp. is not known. TALEs possess a highly repetitive DNA-binding domain, which is notoriously difficult to sequence. Here, we describe an improved method for characterizing TALE genes by the use of PacBio sequencing. We present ‘AnnoTALE’, a suite of applications for the analysis and annotation of TALE genes from Xanthomonas genomes, and for grouping similar TALEs into classes. Based on these classes, we propose a unified nomenclature for Xanthomonas TALEs that reveals similarities pointing to related functionalities. This new classification enables us to compare related TALEs and to identify base substitutions responsible for the evolution of TALE specificities.


July 19, 2019  |  

Methylome analysis of two Xanthomonas spp. using Single-Molecule Real-Time Sequencing.

Single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing allows identification of methylated DNA bases and methylation patterns/motifs at the genome level. Using SMRT sequencing, diverse bacterial methylomes including those of Helicobacter pylori, Lactobacillus spp., and Escherichia coli have been determined, and previously unreported DNA methylation motifs have been identified. However, the methylomes of Xanthomonas species, which belong to the most important plant pathogenic bacterial genus, have not been documented. Here, we report the methylomes of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. glycines (Xag) strain 8ra and X. campestris pv. vesicatoria (Xcv) strain 85-10. We identified N(6)-methyladenine (6mA) and N(4)-methylcytosine (4mC) modification in both genomes. In addition, we assigned putative DNA methylation motifs including previously unreported methylation motifs via REBASE and MotifMaker, and compared methylation patterns in both species. Although Xag and Xcv belong to the same genus, their methylation patterns were dramatically different. The number of 4mC DNA bases in Xag (66,682) was significantly higher (29 fold) than in Xcv (2,321). In contrast, the number of 6mA DNA bases (4,147) in Xag was comparable to the number in Xcv (5,491). Strikingly, there were no common or shared motifs in the 10 most frequently methylated motifs of both strains, indicating they possess unique species- or strain-specific methylation motifs. Among the 20 most frequent motifs from both strains, for 9 motifs at least 1% of the methylated bases were located in putative promoter regions. Methylome analysis by SMRT sequencing technology is the first step toward understanding the biology and functions of DNA methylation in this genus.


July 19, 2019  |  

TAL effector driven induction of a SWEET gene confers susceptibility to bacterial blight of cotton.

Transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors from Xanthomonas citri subsp. malvacearum (Xcm) are essential for bacterial blight of cotton (BBC). Here, by combining transcriptome profiling with TAL effector-binding element (EBE) prediction, we show that GhSWEET10, encoding a functional sucrose transporter, is induced by Avrb6, a TAL effector determining Xcm pathogenicity. Activation of GhSWEET10 by designer TAL effectors (dTALEs) restores virulence of Xcm avrb6 deletion strains, whereas silencing of GhSWEET10 compromises cotton susceptibility to infections. A BBC-resistant line carrying an unknown recessive b6 gene bears the same EBE as the susceptible line, but Avrb6-mediated induction of GhSWEET10 is reduced, suggesting a unique mechanism underlying b6-mediated resistance. We show via an extensive survey of GhSWEET transcriptional responsiveness to different Xcm field isolates that additional GhSWEETs may also be involved in BBC. These findings advance our understanding of the disease and resistance in cotton and may facilitate the development cotton with improved resistance to BBC.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome sequence of Xanthomonas sacchari R1, a biocontrol bacterium isolated from the rice seed.

Xanthomonas sacchari, was first identified as a pathogenic bacterium isolated from diseased sugarcane in Guadeloupe. In this study, R1 was first isolated from rice seed samples from Philippines in 2002. The antagonistic ability against several rice pathogens raises our attention. The genomic feature of this strain was described in this paper. The total genome size of X. sacchari R1 is 5,000,479bp with 4315 coding sequences (CDS), 59 tRNAs, 2rRNAs and one plasmid. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequences of six copper-resistant Xanthomonas strains causing bacterial spot of solaneous plants, belonging to X. gardneri, X. euvesicatoria, and X. vesicatoria, using long-read technology.

Xanthomonas vesicatoria, Xanthomonas euvesicatoria, and Xanthomonas gardneri cause bacterial spot disease. Copper has been applied since the 1920s as part of integrated management programs. The first copper-resistant strains were reported some decades later. Here, we fully sequenced six Xanthomonas strains pathogenic to tomato and/or pepper and having a copper-resistant phenotype. Copyright © 2017 Richard et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequences of three Xanthomonas citri strains from Texas.

The complete genome sequences of three Xanthomonas citri strains isolated from lime trees in Texas were found to belong to the A(w) group. All carried nearly identical large plasmids with similarity to those of a citrus canker strain from India and to xanthomonads from Africa and Colombia. All three strains harbored unusual pthA homologs. Copyright © 2017 Munoz Bodnar et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genomics-enabled analysis of the emergent disease cotton bacterial blight.

Cotton bacterial blight (CBB), an important disease of (Gossypium hirsutum) in the early 20th century, had been controlled by resistant germplasm for over half a century. Recently, CBB re-emerged as an agronomic problem in the United States. Here, we report analysis of cotton variety planting statistics that indicate a steady increase in the percentage of susceptible cotton varieties grown each year since 2009. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that strains from the current outbreak cluster with race 18 Xanthomonas citri pv. malvacearum (Xcm) strains. Illumina based draft genomes were generated for thirteen Xcm isolates and analyzed along with 4 previously published Xcm genomes. These genomes encode 24 conserved and nine variable type three effectors. Strains in the race 18 clade contain 3 to 5 more effectors than other Xcm strains. SMRT sequencing of two geographically and temporally diverse strains of Xcm yielded circular chromosomes and accompanying plasmids. These genomes encode eight and thirteen distinct transcription activator-like effector genes. RNA-sequencing revealed 52 genes induced within two cotton cultivars by both tested Xcm strains. This gene list includes a homeologous pair of genes, with homology to the known susceptibility gene, MLO. In contrast, the two strains of Xcm induce different clade III SWEET sugar transporters. Subsequent genome wide analysis revealed patterns in the overall expression of homeologous gene pairs in cotton after inoculation by Xcm. These data reveal important insights into the Xcm-G. hirsutum disease complex and strategies for future development of resistant cultivars.


July 7, 2019  |  

Adaptation of genetically monomorphic bacteria: evolution of copper resistance through multiple horizontal gene transfers of complex and versatile mobile genetic elements.

Copper-based antimicrobial compounds are widely used to control plant bacterial pathogens. Pathogens have adapted in response to this selective pressure. Xanthomonas citri pv. citri, a major citrus pathogen causing Asiatic citrus canker, was first reported to carry plasmid-encoded copper resistance in Argentina. This phenotype was conferred by the copLAB gene system. The emergence of resistant strains has since been reported in Réunion and Martinique. Using microsatellite-based genotyping and copLAB PCR, we demonstrated that the genetic structure of the copper-resistant strains from these three regions was made up of two distant clusters and varied for the detection of copLAB amplicons. In order to investigate this pattern more closely, we sequenced six copper-resistant X. citri pv. citri strains from Argentina, Martinique and Réunion, together with reference copper-resistant Xanthomonas and Stenotrophomonas strains using long-read sequencing technology. Genes involved in copper resistance were found to be strain dependent with the novel identification in X. citri pv. citri of copABCD and a cus heavy metal efflux resistance-nodulation-division system. The genes providing the adaptive trait were part of a mobile genetic element similar to Tn3-like transposons and included in a conjugative plasmid. This indicates the system’s great versatility. The mining of all available bacterial genomes suggested that, within the bacterial community, the spread of copper resistance associated with mobile elements and their plasmid environments was primarily restricted to the Xanthomonadaceae family.© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequences of three isolates of Xanthomonas fragariae, the bacterium responsible for angular leaf spots on strawberry plants.

Xanthomonas fragariae is a worldwide-spread plant bacterial disease causing angular leaf spots, thus reducing the yield of production for strawberry fruits. Three isolates with various geographic and time origins were sequenced with long-read technology (PacBio) to generate finished genome sequences of virulent strains and observe the variability in their contents. Copyright © 2017 Gétaz et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequencing and targeted mutagenesis reveal virulence contributions of Tal2 and Tal4b of Xanthomonas translucens pv. undulosa ICMP11055 in bacterial leaf streak of wheat

Bacterial leaf streak caused by Xanthomonas translucens pv. undulosa (Xtu) is an important disease of wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare) worldwide. Transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) play determinative roles in many of the plant diseases caused by the different species and pathovars of Xanthomonas, but their role in this disease has not been characterized. ICMP11055 is a highly virulent Xtu strain from Iran. The aim of this study was to better understand genetic diversity of Xtu and to assess the role of TALEs in bacterial leaf streak of wheat by comparing the genome of this strain to the recently completely sequenced genome of a U.S. Xtu strain, and to several other draft X. translucens genomes, and by carrying out mutational analyses of the TALE (tal) genes the Iranian strain might harbor. The ICMP11055 genome, including its repeat-rich tal genes, was completely sequenced using single molecule, real-time technology (Pacific Biosciences). It consists of a single circular chromosome of 4,561,583 bp, containing 3,953 genes. Whole genome alignment with the genome of the United States Xtu strain XT4699 showed two major re-arrangements, nine genomic regions unique to ICMP11055, and one region unique to XT4699. ICMP110055 harbors 26 non-TALE type III effector genes and seven tal genes, compared to 25 and eight for XT4699. The tal genes occur singly or in pairs across five scattered loci. Four are identical to tal genes in XT4699. In addition to common repeat-variable diresidues (RVDs), the tal genes of ICMP11055, like those of XT4699, encode several RVDs rarely observed in Xanthomonas, including KG, NF, Y*, YD, and YK. Insertion and deletion mutagenesis of ICMP11055 tal genes followed by genetic complementation analysis in wheat cv. Chinese Spring revealed that Tal2 and Tal4b of ICMP11055 each contribute individually to the extent of disease caused by this strain. A largely conserved ortholog of tal2 is present in XT4699, but for tal4b, only a gene with partial, fragmented RVD sequence similarity can be found. Our results lay the foundation for identification of important host genes activated by Xtu TALEs as targets for the development of disease resistant varieties.


July 7, 2019  |  

The genome of the cotton bacterial blight pathogen Xanthomonas citri pv. malvacearum strain MSCT1.

Xanthomonas citri pv. malvacearum is a major pathogen of cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L.. In this study we report the complete genome of the X. citri pv. malvacearum strain MSCT1 assembled from long read DNA sequencing technology. The MSCT1 genome is the first X. citri pv. malvacearum genome with complete coding regions for X. citri pv. malvacearum transcriptional activator-like effectors. In addition functional and structural annotations are presented in this study that will provide a foundation for future pathogenesis studies with MSCT1.


July 7, 2019  |  

Xanthomonas adaptation to common bean is associated with horizontal transfers of genes encoding TAL effectors.

Common bacterial blight is a devastating bacterial disease of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) caused by Xanthomonas citri pv. fuscans and Xanthomonas phaseoli pv. phaseoli. These phylogenetically distant strains are able to cause similar symptoms on common bean, suggesting that they have acquired common genetic determinants of adaptation to common bean. Transcription Activator-Like (TAL) effectors are bacterial type III effectors that are able to induce the expression of host genes to promote infection or resistance. Their capacity to bind to a specific host DNA sequence suggests that they are potential candidates for host adaption.To study the diversity of tal genes from Xanthomonas strains responsible for common bacterial blight of bean, whole genome sequences of 17 strains representing the diversity of X. citri pv. fuscans and X. phaseoli pv. phaseoli were obtained by single molecule real time sequencing. Analysis of these genomes revealed the existence of four tal genes named tal23A, tal20F, tal18G and tal18H, respectively. While tal20F and tal18G were chromosomic, tal23A and tal18H were carried on plasmids and shared between phylogenetically distant strains, therefore suggesting recent horizontal transfers of these genes between X. citri pv. fuscans and X. phaseoli pv. phaseoli strains. Strikingly, tal23A was present in all strains studied, suggesting that it played an important role in adaptation to common bean. In silico predictions of TAL effectors targets in the common bean genome suggested that TAL effectors shared by X. citri pv. fuscans and X. phaseoli pv. phaseoli strains target the promoters of genes of similar functions. This could be a trace of convergent evolution among TAL effectors from different phylogenetic groups, and comforts the hypothesis that TAL effectors have been implied in the adaptation to common bean.Altogether, our results favour a model where plasmidic TAL effectors are able to contribute to host adaptation by being horizontally transferred between distant lineages.


July 7, 2019  |  

First complete genome sequences of Xanthomonas citri pv. vignicola strains CFBP7111, CFBP7112, and CFBP7113 obtained using long-read technology

Xanthomonas citri pv. vignicola strains cause bacterial blight of the legume crop cowpea. We report whole-genome sequences of three X. citri pv. vignicola strains obtained using PacBio single-molecule real-time sequencing. Such genomic data provide new information on pathogenicity factors, such as transcription activator-like effectors. Copyright © 2017 Ruh et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Long read and single molecule DNA sequencing simplifies genome assembly and TAL effector gene analysis of Xanthomonas translucens.

The species Xanthomonas translucens encompasses a complex of bacterial strains that cause diseases and yield loss on grass species including important cereal crops. Three pathovars, X. translucens pv. undulosa, X. translucens pv. translucens and X. translucens pv.cerealis, have been described as pathogens of wheat, barley, and oats. However, no complete genome sequence for a strain of this complex is currently available.A complete genome sequence of X. translucens pv. undulosa strain XT4699 was obtained by using PacBio long read, single molecule, real time (SMRT) DNA sequences and Illumina sequences. Draft genome sequences of nineteen additional X. translucens strains, which were collected from wheat or barley in different regions and at different times, were generated by Illumina sequencing. Phylogenetic relationships among different Xanthomonas strains indicates that X. translucens are members of a distinct clade from so-called group 2 xanthomonads and three pathovars of this species, undulosa, translucens and cerealis, represent distinct subclades in the group 1 clade. Knockout mutation of type III secretion system of XT4699 eliminated the ability to cause water-soaking symptoms on wheat and barley and resulted in a reduction in populations on wheat in comparison to the wild type strain. Sequence comparison of X. translucens strains revealed the genetic variation on type III effector repertories among different pathovars or within one pathovar. The full genome sequence of XT4699 reveals the presence of eight members of the Transcription-Activator Like (TAL) effector genes, which are phylogenetically distant from previous known TAL effector genes of group 2 xanthomonads. Microarray and qRT-PCR analyses revealed TAL effector-specific wheat gene expression modulation.PacBio long read sequencing facilitates the assembly of Xanthomonas genomes and the multiple TAL effector genes, which are difficult to assemble from short read platforms. The complete genome sequence of X. translucens pv. undulosa strain XT4699 and draft genome sequences of nineteen additional X. translucens strains provides a resource for further genetic analyses of pathogenic diversity and host range of the X. translucens species complex. TAL effectors of XT4699 strain play roles in modulating wheat host gene expressions.


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