Comparative genomics identifies genes shared by distantly related insect-transmitted plant pathogenic mollicutes

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Abstract

Phytoplasmas and spiroplasmas are distantly related insect-transmitted plant pathogens within the class Mollicutes. Genome sequencing projects of phytoplasma strain Aster Yellows-Witches' Broom (AY-WB) and Spiroplasma kunkelii are near completion. Complete genome sequences of seven obligate animal and human pathogenic mollicutes (Mycoplasma and Ureaplasma spp.), and OY phytoplasma have been reported. Putative ORFs predicted from the genome sequences of AY-WB and S. kunkelii were compared to those of the completed genomes. This resulted in identification of at least three ORFs present in AY-WB, OY and S. kunkelii but not in the obligate animal and human pathogenic mollicutes. Moreover, we identified ORFs that seemed more closely related between AY-WB and S. kunkelii than to their mycoplasma counterparts. Phylogenetic analyses using parsimony were employed to study the origin of these genes, resulting in identification of one gene that may have undergone horizontal gene transfer. The possible involvement of these genes in plant pathogenicity is discussed. © 2004 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Bai, X., Zhang, J., Holford, I. R., & Hogenhout, S. A. (2004). Comparative genomics identifies genes shared by distantly related insect-transmitted plant pathogenic mollicutes. FEMS Microbiology Letters, 235(2), 249–258. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.femsle.2004.04.043

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