Erwinia amylovora is a plant-pathogenic bacterium that causes fire blight disease in Rosaceae plants. Since fire blight is highly contagious and results in serious losses once introduced, it is regulated as a quarantine disease. Recently, for the first time in East Asia, fire blight emerged in Korea with strains of E. amylovora being isolated from lesions of infected trees. Five of those strains were selected and subjected to whole-genome shotgun sequencing. Each strain had two circular replicons, a 3.8-Mb chromosome and a 28-kb plasmid. The genome sequences were compared with those of other E. amylovora strains isolated from different hosts or geographical regions. Genome synteny was analyzed and sequence variations including nucleotide substitutions, inversions, insertions, and deletions were detected. Analysis of the population genomic structure revealed that the five strains form a distinct structural group. Phylogenomic analysis was performed to infer the evolutionary relationships among E. amylovora strains, which indicated that the Korean isolates, all descended from a common ancestor, are closely related to a lineage of North American strains. These results provide useful information for understanding the genomic dynamics of E. amylovora strains including those in Korea, developing genetic markers for surveillance of the pathogen or diagnosis of the disease, and eventually developing measures to eradicate it.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science