July 7, 2019  |  

Genomic analysis of Clavibacter michiganensis reveals insight into virulence strategies and genetic diversity of a gram-positive bacterial pathogen.

Authors: Thapa, Shree P and Pattathil, Sivakumar and Hahn, Michael G and Jacques, Marie-Agnès and Gilbertson, Robert L and Coaker, Gitta

Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis is a gram-positive bacterial pathogen that proliferates in the xylem vessels of tomato, causing bacterial canker disease. In this study, we sequenced and assembled genomes of 11 C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis strains isolated from infected tomato fields in California as well as five Clavibacter strains that colonize tomato endophytically but are not pathogenic in this host. The analysis of the C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis genomes supported the monophyletic nature of this pathogen but revealed genetic diversity among strains, consistent with multiple introduction events. Two tomato endophytes that clustered phylogenetically with C. michiganensis strains capable of infecting wheat and pepper and were also able to cause disease in these plants. Plasmid profiles of the California strains were variable and supported the essential role of the pCM1-like plasmid and the CelA cellulase in virulence, whereas the absence of the pCM2-like plasmid in some pathogenic C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis strains revealed it is not essential. A large number of secreted C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis proteins were carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes). Glycome profiling revealed that C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis but not endophytic Clavibacter strains is able to extensively alter tomato cell-wall composition. Two secreted CAZymes found in all C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis strains, CelA and PelA1, enhanced pathogenicity on tomato. Collectively, these results provide a deeper understanding of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis diversity and virulence strategies.

Journal: Molecular plant-microbe interactions
DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-06-17-0146-R
Year: 2017

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