Comparative genomic analysis of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citrumelo F1, which causes citrus bacterial spot disease, and related strains provides insights into virulence and host specificity

J Bacteriol. 2011 Nov;193(22):6342-57. doi: 10.1128/JB.05777-11. Epub 2011 Sep 9.


Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citrumelo is a citrus pathogen causing citrus bacterial spot disease that is geographically restricted within the state of Florida. Illumina, 454 sequencing, and optical mapping were used to obtain a complete genome sequence of X. axonopodis pv. citrumelo strain F1, 4.9 Mb in size. The strain lacks plasmids, in contrast to other citrus Xanthomonas pathogens. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that this pathogen is very close to the tomato bacterial spot pathogen X. campestris pv. vesicatoria 85-10, with a completely different host range. We also compared X. axonopodis pv. citrumelo to the genome of citrus canker pathogen X. axonopodis pv. citri 306. Comparative genomic analysis showed differences in several gene clusters, like those for type III effectors, the type IV secretion system, lipopolysaccharide synthesis, and others. In addition to pthA, effectors such as xopE3, xopAI, and hrpW were absent from X. axonopodis pv. citrumelo while present in X. axonopodis pv. citri. These effectors might be responsible for survival and the low virulence of this pathogen on citrus compared to that of X. axonopodis pv. citri. We also identified unique effectors in X. axonopodis pv. citrumelo that may be related to the different host range as compared to that of X. axonopodis pv. citri. X. axonopodis pv. citrumelo also lacks various genes, such as syrE1, syrE2, and RTX toxin family genes, which were present in X. axonopodis pv. citri. These may be associated with the distinct virulences of X. axonopodis pv. citrumelo and X. axonopodis pv. citri. Comparison of the complete genome sequence of X. axonopodis pv. citrumelo to those of X. axonopodis pv. citri and X. campestris pv. vesicatoria provides valuable insights into the mechanism of bacterial virulence and host specificity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Citrus / microbiology*
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Genomics*
  • Host Specificity*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology*
  • Virulence
  • Xanthomonas / classification
  • Xanthomonas / genetics
  • Xanthomonas / pathogenicity
  • Xanthomonas / physiology
  • Xanthomonas axonopodis / classification
  • Xanthomonas axonopodis / genetics*
  • Xanthomonas axonopodis / pathogenicity*
  • Xanthomonas axonopodis / physiology


  • Bacterial Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/CP002914