1887

Abstract

The genus is a highly diverse group comprising free-living, and both pathogenic and non-pathogenic host-associating species. Pathogenic isolates have been found to infect insects, plants and humans, yet it is unclear whether these isolates have similar pathogenic potential to the free-living environmental populations. Using MLSA of six housekeeping genes, we evaluated the phylogenetic relationships among 115 environmental and clinical (human) isolates representing 11 species. An overlay of the location of isolation onto the resulting tree revealed that clinical and environmental isolates are interspersed, and do not form distinctive groups. We then conducted quantitative growth assays of our isolates using maize, onion and fruit flies as hosts. Notably, most clinical isolates were able to grow in both plant hosts often comparably or even better than the environmental isolates. There were no obvious growth or host colonization patterns that could distinguish those isolates with clinical potential. Growth of an isolate in one host could not be predicted based on its performance in another host, nor could host growth be predicted by phylogeny or source of isolation. This work demonstrates that the host-colonizing capabilities of all species groups is unpredictable, indicating a broader host range and pathogenic potential than currently assumed.

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2014-03-01
2019-09-16
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