, 2008). The genome of a bacterial taxon can be divided into two compartments: a ‘core genome’ containing genes conserved in all the strains, and a ‘dispensable genome’ containing genes that are absent from one or more strains. Together, these two components make up the ‘pan-genome’ (Medini et al., 2005). About 96% of the Xcm 4381 genome and 92% of the Xvv 702 click here genome are conserved between the two strains. However,
these two genomes each contained several hundred kilobases of sequence that was not conserved (Table 2), representing part of the dispensable genome of the species X. vasicola. About 60–80% of the Xcm 4381 and Xvv 702 genomes were conserved in other sequenced Xanthomonas species. Figure 1 shows the sequence data from Xcm 4381 and Xvv 702 aligned against the genome of Xanthomonas oryzae pathovar oryzae MAFF 311018, revealing global patterns of conservation and variation. Alignment of the Illumina sequence reads vs. the Xoo genome also revealed 3011 high-confidence single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) between Xcm 4381 and Xvv 702 (see Supporting Information, Appendix S1). Several predicted proteins from Xcm
4381 and Xvv 702 most closely resembled sequences from bacteria not closely related to Xanthomonas species. Most of these proteins do not have a known function or have similarity to proteins encoded by phage, transposons or other mobile genetic elements. Many of those for which a function could be inferred were associated with plasmid Selleck C59 wnt replication, maintenance or transfer. For example, a 7.6-kb contig from Xvv 702 (GenBank: ACHS01000311.1) encoded several proteins with sequence similarity to proteins however encoded by the gammaproteobacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae (Fouts et al., 2008). Several of these proteins (Fig. 2a) share at least 80% amino acid sequence identity with K. pneumoniae plasmid-associated proteins RepA, TrbJ and TrbL. This gene cluster may
have been horizontally transferred between a Klebsiella strain and an ancestor of Xvv, likely as part of a conjugative plasmid. Klebsiella species are often found as endophytic symbionts in plants, including sugarcane (Nunez & Colmer, 1968; Ando et al., 2005; Govindarajan et al., 2007) and so it is plausible that Xanthomonas and Klebsiella strains may come into close contact in planta. Xvv 702 harbours DNA sequence similar to that of plasmid pMRAD02 from the alphaproteobacterium Methylobacterium radiotolerans JCM2831 and to the broad-host-range plasmids pIPO2 and pSB102, which were isolated, respectively, from bacteria of the wheat rhizosphere (Tauch et al., 2002; Mela et al., 2008) and the alfalfa rhizosphere (Schneiker et al., 2001). Opportunities for genetic exchange between Xanthomonas and Methylobacterium species might be common because the latter are often found to be associated with plants such as epiphytes, endophytes or symbionts (Pirttila et al., 2000; Sy et al., 2001; Idris et al., 2006; Delmotte et al.