1887

Abstract

Mobile genetic elements can innovate bacteria with new traits. In plant pathogenic frequent and recent acquisition of integrative and conjugative or mobilizable genetic elements is predicted to lead to the emergence of new lineages that gained the capacity to synthesize Thaxtomin, a phytotoxin neccesary for induction of common scab disease on tuber and root crops. Here, we identified components of the -potato pathosystem implicated in virulence and investigated them as a nested and interacting system to reevaluate evolutionary models. We sequenced and analysed genomes of 166 strains isolated from over six decades of sampling primarily from field-grown potatoes. Virulence genes were associated to multiple subtypes of genetic elements differing in mechanisms of transmission and evolutionary histories. Evidence is consistent with few ancient acquisition events followed by recurrent loss or swaps of elements carrying Thaxtomin A-associated genes. Subtypes of another genetic element implicated in virulence are more distributed across . However, neither the subtype classification of genetic elements containing virulence genes nor taxonomic identity was predictive of pathogenicity on potato. Last, findings suggested that phytopathogenic strains are generally endemic to potato fields and some lineages were established by historical spread and further dispersed by few recent transmission events. Results from a hierarchical and system-wide characterization refine our understanding by revealing multiple mechanisms that gene and bacterial dispersion have had on shaping the evolution of a Gram-positive pathogen in agricultural settings.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture (Award 2020-51181-32154)
    • Principle Award Recipient: JeffH. Chang
  • Agricultural Research Service (Award 8042-21000-283)
    • Principle Award Recipient: ChristopherR Clarke
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
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2023-11-06
2024-06-16
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