Comparative genomic analysis of coffee-infecting Xylella fastidiosa strains isolated from Brazil

Text - scientific article/review article


Strains of Xylella fastidiosa constitute a complex group of bacteria that develop within the xylem of many plant hosts, causing diseases of significant economic importance, such as Pierce's disease in North American grapevines and citrus variegated chlorosis in Brazil. X. fastidiosa has also been obtained from other host plants, in direct correlation with the development of diseases, as in the case of coffee leaf scorch (CLS) a disease with potential to cause severe economic losses to the Brazilian coffee industry. This paper describes a thorough genomic characterization of coffee-infecting X fastidiosa strains, initially performed through a microarray-based approach, which demonstrated that CLS strains could be subdivided in two phylogenetically distinct subgroups. Whole-genomic sequencing of two of these bacteria (one from each subgroup) allowed identification of ORFs and horizontally transferred elements (HTEs) that were specific to CLS-related X fastidiosa strains. Such analyses confirmed the size and importance of HTEs as major mediators of chromosomal evolution amongst these bacteria, and allowed identification of differences in gene content, after comparisons were made with previously sequenced X. fastidiosa strains, isolated from alternative hosts. Although direct experimentation still needs to be performed to elucidate the biological consequences associated with such differences, it was interesting to verify that CLS-related bacteria display variations in genes that produce toxins, as well as surface-related factors (such as fimbrial adhesins and LPS) that have been shown to be involved with recognition of specific host factors in different pathogenic bacteria


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  • Escherichia coli
  • Xylella fastidiosa


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