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J Theor Biol. 2014 Feb 21;343:193-8.

A bioinformatics approach to the determination of genes involved in endophytic behavior in Burkholderia spp.


The vast majority of plants harbor endophytic bacteria that colonize a portion of the plant's interior tissues without harming the plant. Like plant pathogens, endophytes gain entry into their plants hosts through various mechanisms. Bacterial endophytes display a broad range of symbiotic interactions with their host plants. The molecular bases of these plant-endophyte interactions are currently not fully understood. In the present study, a set of genes possibly responsible for endophytic behavior for genus Burkholderia was predicted and then compared and contrasted with a number (nine endophytes from different genera) of endophytes by comparative genome analysis. The nine endophytes included Burkholderia phytofirmans PsJN, Burkholderia spp. strain JK006, Azospirillum lipoferum 4B, Enterobacter cloacae ENHKU01, Klebsiella pneumoniae 342, Pseudomonas putida W619, Enterobacter spp. 638, Azoarcus spp. BH72, and Serratia proteamaculans 568. From the genomes of the analyzed bacterial strains, a set of bacterial genes orthologs was identified that are predicted to be involved in determining the endophytic behavior of Burkholderia spp. The genes and their possible functions were then investigated to establish a potential connection between their presence and the role they play in bacterial endophytic behavior. Nearly all of the genes identified by this bioinformatics procedure encode function previously suggested in other studies to be involved in endophytic behavior.

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