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New Type IV Pili–Related Genes Involved in Early Stages of Ralstonia solanacearum Potato Infection

July 2014 , Volume 27 , Number  7
Pages  712 - 724

María Inés Siri,1 Analía Sanabria,1 Christian Boucher,2 and María Julia Pianzzola1

1Cátedra de Microbiología, Departamento de Biociencias, Facultad de Química, Universidad de la República, Av. Gral. Flores 2124, CP11800, Montevideo, Uruguay; 2Laboratoire des Interactions Plantes Micro-organismes (LIPM), UMR CNRS-INRA 2594/441, F-31320 Castanet Tolosan, France

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Accepted 19 February 2014.

This study provides insights into the pathogenesis of Ralstonia solanacearum, in particular with regards to strains belonging to phylotype IIB, sequevar 1 (IIB-1) and their interaction with potato, its natural host. We performed a comparative genomic analysis among IIB-1 R. solanacearum strains with different levels of virulence in order to identify candidate virulence genes. With this approach, we identified a 33.7-kb deletion in a strain showing reduced virulence on potato. This region contains a cluster of six genes putatively involved in type IV pili (Tfp) biogenesis. Functional analysis suggests that these proteins contribute to several Tfp-related functions such as twitching motility and biofilm formation. In addition, this genetic cluster was found to contribute to early bacterial wilt pathogenesis and colonization fitness of potato roots.

© 2014 The American Phytopathological Society