1887

Abstract

This study uses sequences from four genes, which are involved in the formation of the type III secretion apparatus, to determine the role of horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of virulence genes for the enterobacterial plant pathogens. Sequences of , , , and were compared (a) with one another, (b) with sequences of enterobacterial animal pathogens, and (c) with sequences of plant pathogenic and proteobacteria, to evaluate probable paths of lateral exchange leading to the current distribution of virulence determinants among these micro-organisms. Phylogenies were reconstructed based on , , and gene sequences using parsimony and maximum-likelihood algorithms. Virulence gene phylogenies were also compared with several housekeeping gene loci in order to evaluate patterns of lateral versus vertical acquisition. The resulting phylogenies suggest that multiple horizontal gene transfer events have occurred both within and among the enterobacterial plant pathogens and plant pathogenic and proteobacteria. sequences are the most similar, exhibiting anywhere from 2 to 50 % variation at the nucleotide level, with the highest degree of variation present between plant and animal pathogen sequences. sequences are conserved among plant and animal pathogens at the N terminus. The C-terminal domain is conserved only among the enterobacterial plant pathogens, as are the and sequences. Additionally, and sequence phylogenies suggest that at least some type III secretion system virulence genes from enterobacterial plant pathogens are related more closely to those of the genus , a conclusion neither supported nor refuted by or .

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2009-10-01
2020-01-17
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