Comparative analyses of Xanthomonas and Xylella complete genomes
Computational analyses of four bacterial genomes of the Xanthomonadaceae family reveal new unique genes that may be involved in adaptation, pathogenicity, and host specificity. The Xanthomonas genus presents 3636 unique genes distributed in 1470 families, while Xylella genus presents 1026 unique genes distributed in 375 families. Among Xanthomonas-specific genes, we highlight a large number of cell wall degrading enzymes, proteases, and iron receptors, a set of energy metabolism genes, second copy of the type II secretion system, type III secretion system, flagella and chemotactic machinery, and the xanthomonadin synthesis gene cluster. Important genes unique to the Xylella genus are an additional copy of a type IV pili gene cluster and the complete machinery of colicin V synthesis and secretion. Intersections of gene sets from both genera reveal a cluster of genes homologous to Salmonella's SPI-7 island in Xanthomonas axonopodis pv citri and Xylella fastidiosa 9a5c, which might be involved in host specificity. Each genome also presents important unique genes, such as an HMS cluster, the kdgT gene, and O-antigen in Xanthomonas axonopodis pv citri; a number of avrBS genes and a distinct O-antigen in Xanthomonas campestris pv campestris, a type I restriction-modification system and a nickase gene in Xylella fastidiosa 9a5c, and a type II restriction-modification system and two genes related to peptidoglycan biosynthesis in Xylella fastidiosa temecula 1. All these differences imply a considerable number of gene gains and losses during the divergence of the four lineages, and are associated with structural genome modifications that may have a direct relation with the mode of transmission, adaptation to specific environments and pathogenicity of each organism.