Evolutionary placement of Xanthomonadales based on conserved protein signature sequences

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Xanthomonadales comprises one of the largest phytopathogenic bacterial groups, and is currently classified within the gamma-proteobacteria. However, the phylogenetic placement of this group is not clearly resolved, and the results of different studies contradict one another. In this work, the evolutionary position of Xanthomonadales was determined by analyzing the presence of shared insertions and deletions (INDELs) in highly conserved proteins. Several distinctive insertions found in most of the members of the gamma-proteobacteria are absent in Xanthomonadales and groups such as Legionelalles, Chromatiales, Methylococcales, Thiotrichales and Cardiobacteriales. These INDELs were most likely introduced after the branching of Xanthomonadales from most of the gamma-proteobacteria and provide evidence for the phylogenetic placement of the early gamma-proteobacteria. Moreover, other proteins contain insertions exclusive to the Xanthomonadales order, confirming that this is a monophyletic group and provide important specific genetic markers. Thus, the data presented clearly support the Xanthomonadales group as an independent subdivision, and constitute one of the deepest branching lineage within the gamma-proteobacteria clade. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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