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CRISPR elements provide a new framework for the genealogy of the citrus canker pathogen Xanthomonas citri pv. citri

Jeong K., Muñoz-Bodnar A., Arias Rojas N., Poulin L., Rodríguez-R L.M., Gagnevin L., Vernière C., Pruvost O., Koebnik R.. 2019. BMC Genomics, 20 : 19 p..

Background: Xanthomonads are an important clade of Gram-negative bacteria infecting a plethora of economically important host plants, including citrus. Knowledge about the pathogen's diversity and population structure are prerequisite for epidemiological surveillance and efficient disease management. Rapidly evolving genetic loci, such as Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR), are of special interest to develop new molecular typing tools. Results: We analyzed CRISPR loci of 56 Xanthomonas citri pv. citri strains of world-wide origin, a regulated pathogen causing Asiatic citrus canker in several regions of the world. With one exception, 23 unique sequences built up the repertoire of spacers, suggesting that this set of strains originated from a common ancestor that already harbored these 23 spacers. One isolate originating from Pakistan contained a string of 14 additional, probably more recently acquired spacers indicating that this genetic lineage has or had until recently the capacity to acquire new spacers. Comparison of CRISPR arrays with previously obtained molecular typing data, such as amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP), variable-number of tandem-repeats (VNTR) and genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP), demonstrated that these methods reveal similar evolutionary trajectories. Notably, genome analyses allowed to generate a model for CRISPR array evolution in X. citri pv. citri, which provides a new framework for the genealogy of the citrus canker pathogen. Conclusions: CRISPR-based typing will further improve the accuracy of the genetic identification of X. citri pv. citri outbreak strains in molecular epidemiology analyses, especially when used concomitantly with another genotyping method.

Thématique : Maladies des plantes; Génétique et amélioration des plantes

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