Large-scale comparative and functional genomics study characterizes bacterial pathogen responsible for major vegetable crop losses worldwide
Scientists at four major genomics and plant pathology laboratories in China have collaborated on a project to characterize the causative agent of "black rot" disease, which is the most serious disease of vegetable crops worldwide. Their study, which represents the largest comparative and functional genomics screen for a plant or animal bacterial pathogen to date, is published online today in the journal Genome Research.
"Black rot" is caused by the pathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pathovar campestris (or Xcc). Under favorable conditions (high humidity and temperature), Xcc infects vegetable crops by spreading through the plants’ vascular tissues, turning the veins in their leaves yellow and black, and causing V-shaped lesions along the margins of the leaves. All vegetables in the crucifer family, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mustard, radish, rutabaga, and turnip, are potential hosts for Xcc. The model plant Arabidopsis thaliana is also susceptible to Xcc infection. Surprisingly, however, some wild cruciferous weed species do not manifest the characteristic symptoms of "black rot" disease when infected.
Maria A. Smit | EurekAlert!
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