1887

Abstract

The invasive plant pathogen currently threatens European flora through the loss of economically and culturally important host plants. This emerging vector-borne bacterium, native to the Americas, causes several important diseases in a wide range of plants including crops, ornamentals, and trees. Previously absent from Europe, and considered a quarantine pathogen, was first detected in Apulia, Italy in 2013 associated with a devastating disease of olive trees (Olive Quick Decline Syndrome, OQDS). OQDS has led to significant economic, environmental, cultural, as well as political crises. Although the biology of diseases have been studied for over a century, there is still no information on the determinants of specificity between bacterial genotypes and host plant species, which is particularly relevant today as is expanding in the naive European landscape. We analysed the genomes of 79 . samples from diseased olive trees across the affected area in Italy as well as genomes of the most genetically closely related strains from Central America. We provided insights into the ecological and evolutionary emergence of this pathogen in Italy. We first showed that the outbreak in Apulia is due to a single introduction from Central America that we estimated to have occurred in 2008 [95 % HPD: 1930–2016]. By using a combination of population genomic approaches and evolutionary genomics methods, we further identified a short list of genes that could play a major role in the adaptation of to this new environment. We finally provided experimental evidence for the adaptation of the strain to this new environment.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • california department of food and agriculture
    • Principle Award Recipient: RodrigoP.P. Almeida
  • horizon 2020 (Award 727987)
    • Principle Award Recipient: MariaSaponari
  • h2020 marie skłodowska-curie actions (Award 707013)
    • Principle Award Recipient: AnneSicard
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License. This article was made open access via a Publish and Read agreement between the Microbiology Society and the corresponding author’s institution.
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2021-12-14
2022-01-28
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