Analyses of virulence genes of clavibacter michiganensis subsp. Michiganensis strains reveal heterogeneity and deletions that correlate with pathogenicity

Miryam Valenzuela, Marianela González, Alexis Velásquez, Fernando Dorta, Iván Montenegro, XIMENA ALEJANDRA BESOAIN CANALES, Francisco Salvà-Serra, Daniel Jaén-Luchoro, Edward R.B. Moore, Michael Seeger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis (Cmm) is the causal agent of bacterial canker of tomato. Differences in virulence between Cmm strains have been reported. The aim of this study was the characterization of nine Cmm strains isolated in Chile to reveal the causes of their differences in virulence. The virulence assays in tomato seedlings revealed different levels of severity associated with the strains, with two highly virulent strains and one causing only mild symptoms. The two most virulent showed increased cellulase activity, and no cellulase activity was observed in the strain causing mild symptoms. In three strains, including the two most virulent strains, PCR amplification of the 10 virulence genes analyzed was observed. In the strain causing mild symptoms, no amplification was observed for five genes, including celA. Sequence and cluster analyses of six virulence genes grouped the strains, as has been previously reported, except for gene pelA1. Gene sequence analysis from the genomes of five Chilean strains revealed the presence of deletions in the virulence genes, celB, xysA, pat-1, and phpA. The results of this study allow us to establish correlations between the differences observed in disease severity and the presence/absence of genes and deletions not previously reported.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1530
JournalMicroorganisms
Volume9
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cellulase
  • Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis
  • Genome deterioration
  • Strain diversity
  • Tomato bacterial canker
  • Virulence assay
  • Virulence genes

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