Bacterial Mutation During Seasonal Epidemics

Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2024 Feb;37(2):93-97. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-10-23-0164-SC. Epub 2024 Feb 21.


Rapidly evolving bacterial pathogens pose a unique challenge for long-term plant disease management. In this study, we investigated the types and rate of mutations in bacterial populations during seasonal disease epidemics. Two phylogenetically distinct strains of the bacterial spot pathogen, Xanthomonas perforans, were marked, released in tomato fields, and recaptured at several time points during the growing season. Genomic variations in recaptured isolates were identified by comparative analysis of their whole-genome sequences. In total, 180 unique variations (116 substitutions, 57 insertions/deletions, and 7 structural variations) were identified from 300 genomes, resulting in the overall host-associated mutation rate of ∼0.3 to 0.9/genome/week. This result serves as a benchmark for bacterial mutation during epidemics in similar pathosystems. [Formula: see text] Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license.

Keywords: Xanthomonas perforans; bacteria; epidemics; mutation rate; whole-genome sequencing.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Genome, Bacterial / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Plant Diseases* / microbiology
  • Seasons
  • Xanthomonas* / genetics