Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae Draft Genomes Comparison Reveal Strain-Specific Features Involved in Adaptation and Virulence to Actinidia Species

Text - scientific article/review article


A recent re-emerging bacterial canker disease incited by Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) is causing severe economic losses to Actinidia chinensis and A. deliciosa cultivations in southern Europe, New Zealand, Chile and South Korea. Little is known about the genetic features of this pathovar. We generated genome-wide Illumina sequence data from two Psa strains causing outbreaks of bacterial canker on the A. deliciosa cv. Hayward in Japan (J-Psa, type-strain of the pathovar) and in Italy (I-Psa) in 1984 and 1992, respectively as well as from a Psa strain (I2-Psa) isolated at the beginning of the recent epidemic on A. chinensis cv. Hort16A in Italy. All strains were isolated from typical leaf spot symptoms. The phylogenetic relationships revealed that Psa is more closely related to P. s. pv. theae than to P. avellanae within genomospecies 8. Comparative genomic analyses revealed both relevant intrapathovar variations and putative pathovar-specific genomic regions in Psa. The genomic sequences of J-Psa and I-Psa were very similar. Conversely, the I2-Psa genome encodes four additional effector protein genes, lacks a 50 kb plasmid and the phaseolotoxin gene cluster, argK-tox but has acquired a 160 kb plasmid and putative prophage sequences. Several lines of evidence from the analysis of the genome sequences support the hypothesis that this strain did not evolve from the Psa population that caused the epidemics in 1984-1992 in Japan and Italy but rather is the product of a recent independent evolution of the pathovar actinidiae for infecting Actinidia spp. All Psa strains share the genetic potential for copper resistance, antibiotic detoxification, high affinity iron acquisition and detoxification of nitric oxide of plant origin. Similar to other sequenced phytopathogenic pseudomonads associated with woody plant species, the Psa strains isolated from leaves also display a set of genes involved in the catabolism of plantderived aromatic compounds.


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  • Actinidia chinensis
  • Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. phaseolicola
  • Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae
  • Xylella fastidiosa


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