Comparative Genomics of Multiple Strains of Pseudomonas cannabina pv. alisalensis, a Potential Model Pathogen of Both Monocots and Dicots


Comparative genomics of closely related pathogens that differ in host range can provide insights into mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions and host adaptation. Furthermore, sequencing of multiple strains with the same host range reveals information concerning pathogen diversity and the molecular basis of virulence. Here we present a comparative analysis of draft genome sequences for four strains of Pseudomonas cannabina pathovar alisalensis (Pcal), which is pathogenic on a range of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants. These draft genome sequences provide a foundation for understanding host range evolution across the monocot-dicot divide. Like other phytopathogenic pseudomonads, Pcal strains harboured a hrp/hrc gene cluster that codes for a type III secretion system. Phylogenetic analysis based on the hrp/hrc cluster genes/proteins, suggests localized recombination and functional divergence within the hrp/hrc cluster. Despite significant conservation of overall genetic content across Pcal genomes, comparison of type III effector repertoires reinforced previous molecular data suggesting the existence of two distinct lineages within this pathovar. Furthermore, all Pcal strains analyzed harbored two distinct genomic islands predicted to code for type VI secretion systems (T6SSs). While one of these systems was orthologous to known P. syringae T6SSs, the other more closely resembled a T6SS found within P. aeruginosa. In summary, our study provides a foundation to unravel Pcal adaptation to both monocot and dicot hosts and provides genetic insights into the mechanisms underlying pathogenicity.