Comparative Genomics and Phylogenetic Analyses Suggest Several Novel Species within the Genus Clavibacter, Including Nonpathogenic Tomato-Associated Strains.
ABSTRACT: Members of the genus Clavibacter are economically important bacterial plant pathogens infecting a set of diverse agricultural crops (e.g., alfalfa, corn, potato, tomato, and wheat). Tomato-associated Clavibacter sp. strains account for a great portion of the genetic diversity of the genus, and C. michiganensis sensu stricto (formerly C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis), causing bacterial canker disease, is considered one of the most destructive seed-borne agents for the crop worldwide. However, current taxonomic descriptions of the genus do not reflect the existing diversity of the strains, resulting in unsatisfactory results in quarantine surveys for the pathogens. In this study, we used all the available genome sequences of Clavibacter sp. strains, including the type strains of newly described subspecies, to provide precise insight into the diversity of tomato-associated members of the genus and further clarify the taxonomic status of the strains using genotypic and phenotypic features. The results of phylogenetic analyses revealed the existence of nine hypothetical new species among the investigated strains. None of the three new subspecies (i.e., C. michiganensis subsp. californiensis, C. michiganensis subsp. chilensis, and C. michiganensis subsp. phaseoli) is included within the tomato-pathogenic C. michiganensis sensu stricto lineage. Although comparative genomics revealed the lack of chp and tomA pathogenicity determinant gene clusters in the nonpathogenic strains, a number of pathogenicity-related genes were noted to be present in all the strains regardless of their pathogenicity characteristics. Altogether, our results indicate a need for a formal taxonomic reconsideration of tomato-associated Clavibacter sp. strains to facilitate differentiation of the lineages in quarantine inspections.IMPORTANCE Clavibacter spp. are economically important bacterial plant pathogens infecting a set of diverse agricultural crops, such as alfalfa, corn, pepper, potato, tomato, and wheat. A number of plant-pathogenic members of the genus (e.g., C. michiganensis sensu stricto and C. sepedonicus, infecting tomato and potato plants, respectively) are included in the A2 (high-risk) list of quarantine pathogens by the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO). Although tomato-associated members of Clavibacter spp. account for a significant portion of the genetic diversity in the genus, only the strains belonging to C. michiganensis sensu stricto (formerly C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis) cause bacterial canker disease of tomato and are subjected to the quarantine inspections. Hence, discrimination between the pathogenic and nonpathogenic Clavibacter sp. strains associated with tomato seeds and transplants plays a pivotal role in the accurate detection and cost-efficient management of the disease. On the other hand, detailed information on the genetic contents of different lineages of the genus would lead to the development of genome-informed specific detection techniques. In this study, we have provided an overview of the phylogenetic and genomic differences between the pathogenic and nonpathogenic tomato-associated Clavibacter sp. strains. We also noted that the taxonomic status of newly introduced subspecies of C. michiganensis (i.e., C. michiganensis subsp. californiensis, C. michiganensis subsp. chilensis, and C. michiganensis subsp. phaseoli) should be reconsidered.
Project description:The genus Clavibacter comprises one species and five subspecies of plant-pathogenic bacteria, four of which are classified as quarantine organisms due to the high economic threat they pose. Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis is one of the most important pathogens of tomato, but the recommended diagnostic tools are not satisfactory due to false-negative and/or -positive results. To provide a robust analysis of the genetic relatedness among a worldwide collection of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis strains, relatives (strains from the four other C. michiganensis subspecies), and nonpathogenic Clavibacter-like strains isolated from tomato, we performed multilocus sequence-based analysis and typing (MLSA and MLST) based on six housekeeping genes (atpD, dnaK, gyrB, ppK, recA, and rpoB). We compared this "framework" with phenotypic and genotypic characteristics such as pathogenicity on tomato, reaction to two antisera by immunofluorescence and to five PCR identification tests, and the presence of four genes encoding the main C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis pathogenicity determinants. We showed that C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis is monophyletic and is distinct from its closest taxonomic neighbors. The nonpathogenic Clavibacter-like strains were identified as C. michiganensis using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. These strains, while cross-reacting with C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis identification tools, are phylogenetically distinct from the pathogenic strains but belong to the C. michiganensis clade. C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis clonal complexes linked strains from highly diverse geographical origins and also strains isolated over long periods of time in the same location. This illustrates the importance of seed transmission in the worldwide dispersion of this pathogen and its survival and adaptation abilities in a new environment once introduced.
Project description:Tomato bacterial canker caused by Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis is one of the most important seed-borne tomato diseases around the globe. The disease was initially reported in 1993 in Iran, and it became a rising threat for the multibillion dollar tomato industry of the country during the last decade. In this study, using phylogeographic analyses, we determined genetic diversity and geographic distribution of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis in Iran. Our field surveys showed that the pathogen is expanding into the southern and eastern areas of the country. Furthermore, multilocus sequence analysis and typing (MLSA/MLST) using the sequences of five housekeeping genes (atpD, gyrB, ppk, recA, and rpoB) revealed that 37 C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis strains isolated in Iran had high genetic diversity and placed in 15 sequence types (STs), while all the available 184 worldwide C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis sequences were placed in 43 STs. MLSA divided the worldwide C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis strains into two phylogroups (I and II). Among the 37 strains isolated in Iran, 30 strains clustered in phylogroup I, while 7 strains clustered in phylogroup II. Phylogeographic data inferred from the allelic profile of the five housekeeping genes suggested multiple introductions of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis inoculum into Iran, while the geographic origin of the Iranian C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis strains remains undetermined. Further analyses using higher numbers of strains are warranted to decipher the evolutionary history of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis in Iran. Additionally, stricter seed/transplant inspections are recommended to reduce the risk of pathogen expansion to areas with no history of the disease.IMPORTANCE Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, the causal agent of tomato bacterial canker disease, is one of the economically important pathogens of solanaceous crops (e.g., eggplant, pepper, and tomato) around the world. The disease occurs in many countries, with a particular importance in regions characterized by high precipitation and humid environmental conditions. As a seed-borne pathogen, C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis is included in the A2 (high risk) list of quarantine pathogens by the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO). Bacterial canker disease was reported for the first time in 1993 in Iran, while the geographic distribution, genetic diversity, and phylogenetic position of the causal agent remain undetermined. In this study, using the multilocus sequence analysis and typing (MLSA/MLST) approach, we provided a phylogeographic scheme for the C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis strains isolated in Iran. Furthermore, global-scale phylogenetic analyses led to determination of phylogenetic position of Iranian C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis strains among worldwide population of the pathogen. Based on diversity parameters and population structure, we suggest relatively higher genetic diversity of the bacterial canker pathogen in Iran than has so far been observed in the other areas of the world. Results obtained in this study provide a novel insight into the genetic diversity and population structure of the bacterial canker pathogen on a global scale.
Project description:A multiplex real-time PCR method based on fluorescent TaqMan® probes was developed for the simultaneous detection of the tomato pathogenic bacteria Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato and bacterial spot-causing xanthomonads. The specificity of the multiplex assay was validated on 44 bacterial strains, including 32 target pathogen strains as well as closely related species and nontarget tomato pathogenic bacteria. The designed multiplex real-time PCR showed high sensitivity when positive amplification was observed for one pg of bacterial DNA in the cases of Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato bacteria and 100 pg for bacterial spot-causing xanthomonads. The reliability of the developed multiplex real-time PCR assay for in planta detection was verified by recognition of the target pathogens in 18 tomato plants artificially inoculated by each of the target bacteria and tomato samples from production greenhouses.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The genus Clavibacter harbors economically important plant pathogens infecting agricultural crops such as potato and tomato. Although the vast majority of Clavibacter strains are pathogenic, there is an increasing number of non-pathogenic isolates reported. Non-pathogenic Clavibacter strains isolated from tomato seeds are particularly problematic because they affect the current detection and identification tests for Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis (Cmm), which is regulated with a zero tolerance in tomato seed. Their misidentification as pathogenic Cmm hampers a clear judgment on the seed quality and health. RESULTS: To get more insight in the genetic features linked to the lifestyle of these bacteria, a whole-genome sequence of the tomato seed-borne non-pathogenic Clavibacter LMG 26808 was determined. To gain a better understanding of the molecular determinants of pathogenicity, the genome sequence of LMG 26808 was compared with that of the pathogenic Cmm strain (NCPPB 382). The comparative analysis revealed that LMG 26808 does not contain plasmids pCM1 and pCM2 and also lacks the majority of important virulence factors described so far for pathogenic Cmm. This explains its apparent non-pathogenic nature in tomato plants. Moreover, the genome analysis of LMG 26808 detected sequences from a plasmid originating from a member of Enterobacteriaceae/Klebsiella relative. Genes received that way and coding for antibiotic resistance may provide a competitive advantage for survival of LMG 26808 in its ecological niche. Genetically, LMG 26808 was the most similar to the pathogenic Cmm NCPPB 382 but contained more mobile genetic elements. The genome of this non-pathogenic Clavibacter strain contained also a high number of transporters and regulatory genes. CONCLUSIONS: The genome sequence of the non-pathogenic Clavibacter strain LMG 26808 and the comparative analyses with other pathogenic Clavibacter strains provided a better understanding of the genetic bases of virulence and adaptation mechanisms present in the genus Clavibacter.
Project description:The Gram-positive bacterium Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, causal agent of bacterial wilt and canker of tomato, is an economically devastating pathogen that inflicts considerable damage throughout all major tomato-producing regions. Annual outbreaks continue to occur in New York, where C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis spreads via infected transplants, trellising stakes, tools, and/or soil. Globally, new outbreaks can be accompanied by the introduction of contaminated seed stock; however, the route of seed infection, especially the role of fruit lesions, remains undefined. In order to investigate the modes of seed infection, New York C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis field strains were stably transformed with a gene encoding enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP). A constitutively eGFP-expressing virulent C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis isolate, GCMM-22, was used to demonstrate that C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis could not only access seeds systemically through the xylem but also externally through tomato fruit lesions, which harbored high intra- and intercellular populations. Active movement and expansion of bacteria into the fruit mesocarp and nearby xylem vessels followed, once the fruits began to ripen. These results highlight the ability of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis to invade tomato fruits and seeds through multiple entry routes.
Project description:We have previously demonstrated that inoculation of tomato plants with 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol (DAPG)- and hydrogen cyanide (HCN)-producing Pseudomonas brassicacearum LBUM300 could significantly reduce bacterial canker symptoms caused by Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis In this study, in order to better characterize the population dynamics of LBUM300 in the rhizosphere of tomato plants, we characterized the role played by DAPG and HCN production by LBUM300 on rhizosphere colonization of healthy and C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis-infected tomato plants. The impact of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis presence on the expression of DAPG and HCN biosynthetic genes in the rhizosphere was also examined. In planta assays were performed using combinations of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis and wild-type LBUM300 or DAPG (LBUM300?phlD) or HCN (LBUM300?hcnC) isogenic mutant strains. Populations of LBUM300 and phlD and hcnC gene expression levels were quantified in rhizosphere soil at several time points up to 264 h postinoculation using culture-independent quantitative PCR (qPCR) and reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) TaqMan assays, respectively. The presence of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis significantly increased rhizospheric populations of LBUM300. In C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis-infected tomato rhizospheres, the populations of wild-type LBUM300 and strain LBUM300?hcnC, both producing DAPG, were significantly higher than the population of strain LBUM300?phlD A significant upregulation of phlD expression was observed in the presence of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, while hcnC expression was only slightly increased in the mutant strain LBUM300?phlD when C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis was present. Additionally, biofilm production was found to be significantly reduced in strain LBUM300?phlD compared to the wild-type and LBUM300?hcnC strains.IMPORTANCE The results of this study suggest that C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis infection of tomato plants contributes to increasing rhizospheric populations of LBUM300, a biocontrol agent, as well as the overexpression of the DAPG biosynthetic operon in this bacterium. The increasing rhizospheric populations of LBUM300 represent one of the key factors in controlling C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis in tomato plants, as DAPG-producing bacteria have shown the ability to decrease bacterial canker symptoms in tomato plants.
Project description:Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis is a plant-pathogenic actinomycete that causes bacterial wilt and canker of tomato. The nucleotide sequence of the genome of strain NCPPB382 was determined. The chromosome is circular, consists of 3.298 Mb, and has a high G+C content (72.6%). Annotation revealed 3,080 putative protein-encoding sequences; only 26 pseudogenes were detected. Two rrn operons, 45 tRNAs, and three small stable RNA genes were found. The two circular plasmids, pCM1 (27.4 kbp) and pCM2 (70.0 kbp), which carry pathogenicity genes and thus are essential for virulence, have lower G+C contents (66.5 and 67.6%, respectively). In contrast to the genome of the closely related organism Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus, the genome of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis lacks complete insertion elements and transposons. The 129-kb chp/tomA region with a low G+C content near the chromosomal origin of replication was shown to be necessary for pathogenicity. This region contains numerous genes encoding proteins involved in uptake and metabolism of sugars and several serine proteases. There is evidence that single genes located in this region, especially genes encoding serine proteases, are required for efficient colonization of the host. Although C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis grows mainly in the xylem of tomato plants, no evidence for pronounced genome reduction was found. C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis seems to have as many transporters and regulators as typical soil-inhabiting bacteria. However, the apparent lack of a sulfate reduction pathway, which makes C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis dependent on reduced sulfur compounds for growth, is probably the reason for the poor survival of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis in soil.
Project description:Here, we present the draft genome sequences of 10 Clavibacter sp. strains, including the type strains of different subspecies of Clavibacter michiganensis and a potentially novel species within the genus. Genome lengths of the strains varied between 2,982,864 and 3,288,331?bp, with G+C contents of 72.23 to 73.50%.
Project description:It has previously been shown that the tomato pathogen Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis secretes a 14-kDa protein, C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis AMP-I (CmmAMP-I), that inhibits growth of Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus, the causal agent of bacterial ring rot of potato. Using sequences obtained from tryptic fragments, we have identified the gene encoding CmmAMP-I and we have recombinantly produced the protein with an N-terminal intein tag. The gene sequence showed that CmmAMP-I contains a typical N-terminal signal peptide for Sec-dependent secretion. The recombinant protein was highly active, with 50% growth inhibition (IC50) of approximately 10 pmol, but was not toxic to potato leaves or tubers. CmmAMP-I does not resemble any known protein and thus represents a completely new type of bacteriocin. Due to its high antimicrobial activity and its very narrow inhibitory spectrum, CmmAMP-1 may be of interest in combating potato ring rot disease.
Project description:Members of the actinomycete genus Clavibacter are known to produce antimicrobial compounds, but so far none of these compounds has been purified and characterized. We have isolated an antimicrobial peptide, michiganin A, from the tomato pathogen Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, using ammonium sulfate precipitation followed by cation-exchange and reversed-phase chromatography steps. Upon chemical derivatization of putative dehydrated amino acids and lanthionine bridges by alkaline ethanethiol, Edman degradation yielded sequence information that proved to be sufficient for cloning of the gene by a genome-walking strategy. The mature unmodified peptide consists of 21 amino acids, SSSGWLCTLTIECGTIICACR. All of the threonine residues undergo dehydration, and three of them interact with cysteines via thioether bonds to form methyllanthionine bridges. Michiganin A resembles actagardine, a type B lantibiotic with a known three-dimensional structure, produced by Actinoplanes liguriae, which is a filamentous actinomycete. The DNA sequence of the gene showed that the michiganin A precursor contains an unusual putative signal peptide with no similarity to well-known secretion signals and only very limited similarity to the (only two) available leader peptides of other type B lantibiotics. Michiganin A inhibits the growth of Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus, the causal agent of ring rot of potatoes, with MICs in the low nanomolar range. Thus, michiganin A may have some potential in biological control of potato ring rot.