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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2007 Dec;30(8):587-600. Epub 2007 Oct 23.

Avirulence gene and insertion element-based RFLP as well as RAPD markers reveal high levels of genomic polymorphism in the rice pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae.

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State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Datun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, PR China.


Genetic polymorphism within the genomes of bacterial pathogens determines their evolutionary potential during long-term interaction with their hosts. To investigate the level of genetic variation in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), the causative agent of rice bacterial blight disease, three DNA marker systems, including (i) restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the avrBs3/PthA family genes (avrXa27), (ii) RFLP of insertion (IS) elements and (iii) random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers, were used to detect polymorphism among 32 Xoo strains that differed in their virulence patterns. All these strains contained multiple avrXa27 homologs that were variable in copy number and genomic location. RFLP of six IS elements revealed that these mobile sequences were abundant in Xoo genomes, with 150 of the total of 165 discernable markers being variable. Thirty-eight decamer primers of RAPD amplified a total of 691 bands, with 100% of them being variable. In addition, analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) of data from RFLP analysis of IS elements and from RAPD analysis showed that most of the genetic variation residues were within Xoo populations, rather than between populations. Although all three DNA marker systems supported that substantial variation was maintained in Xoo genomes, Mantel tests did not identify significant correlation between the similarity coefficients calculated from them. The results of the present study indicated that Xoo genomes contain a high level of genetic polymorphism, which greatly facilitates the evolution of this important pathogen during interaction with its host rice plant.

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