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Genomic Structure and Phylogeny of the Plant Pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum Inferred from Gene Distribution Analysis

Abstract : In the present study, we investigated the gene distribution among strains of the highly polymorphic plant pathogenic ␤-proteobacterium Ralstonia solanacearum, paying particular attention to the status of known or candidate pathogenicity genes. Based on the use of comparative genomic hybridization on a pangenomic microarray for the GMI1000 reference strain, we have defined the conditions that allowed comparison of the repertoires of genes among a collection of 18 strains that are representative of the biodiversity of the R. solanacearum species. This identified a list of 2,690 core genes present in all tested strains. As a corollary, a list of 2,338 variable genes within the R. solanacearum species has been defined. The hierarchical clustering based on the distribution of variable genes is fully consistent with the phylotype classification that was previously defined from the nucleotide sequence analysis of four genes. The presence of numerous pathogenicity-related genes in the core genome indicates that R. solanacearum is an ancestral pathogen. The results establish the long coevolution of the two replicons that constitute the bacterial genome. We also demonstrate the clustering of variable genes in genomic islands. Most genomic islands are included in regions with an alternative codon usage, suggesting that they originate from acquisition of foreign genes through lateral gene transfers. Other genomic islands correspond to genes that have the same base composition as core genes, suggesting that they either might be ancestral genes lost by deletion in certain strains or might originate from horizontal gene transfers.
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Alice Guidot, Philippe Prior, Jens Schoenfeld, Sébastien Carrere, Stéphane Genin, et al.. Genomic Structure and Phylogeny of the Plant Pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum Inferred from Gene Distribution Analysis. Journal of Bacteriology, American Society for Microbiology, 2007, 189, pp.377-387. ⟨10.1128/JB.00999-06⟩. ⟨hal-02936820⟩



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