Navigation Links
Tomato pathogen genome may offer clues about bacterial evolution at dawn of agriculture

Blacksburg, Va. The availability of new genome sequencing technology has prompted a Virginia Tech plant scientist to test an intriguing hypothesis about how agricultures early beginnings may have impacted the evolution of plant pathogens.

Boris Vinatzer, assistant professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, has received a $1 million, five-year Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to investigate the pathogen that causes bacterial speck disease of tomatoes and to develop a new undergraduate course in microbial genomics.

Little is known about how plant pathogens, which were adapted to natural mixed-plant communities in pre-agriculture times, evolved into todays highly aggressive pathogens of crops cultivated in monoculture, Vinatzer said. To fill this void, this project aims at identifying the molecular evolutionary mechanisms that allow pathogens to specialize to specific plant species and to become more aggressive.

In 2007, Vinatzer sequenced the genome of a Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato strain using technology from the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech and funding from the universitys Institute for Biomedical and Public Health Sciences. The tomato pathogen was the first genome to be sequenced on the new Roche GS-FLX machine, which VBI had just purchased with Virginias Commonwealth Research Initiative funding.

That sequence, in addition to other preliminary data, allowed me to develop a hypothesis on the evolution of plant pathogenic bacteria since the beginning of agriculture, Vinatzer said. The hypothesis is that plant pathogenic bacteria evolved from relatively weak pathogens that caused disease in many plants to specialized highly virulent pathogens of single crops after entire fields of the same plant species became available to them in agricultural fields. Importantly, understanding the mechanisms pathogens used to adapt to crops in the past will help us predict how they might change again in the future and allow us to breed or engineer crops for long-lasting disease resistance.

Vinatzers approach combines comparative evolutionary genomics, population genetics, and microbial genetics and leverages the latest advances in the biological sciences and the computer sciences. He is collaborating with Joo Setubal, associate professor and deputy director at VBI.


Contact: Michael Sutphin
Virginia Tech

Related biology news :

1. Breakthrough research turns the tide on water-borne pathogen
2. Can interacting pathogens explain disease patterns?
3. Pathogens use previously undescribed mechanism to sabotage host immune system
4. K-State specialist in tick-borne pathogens receives $1.8 million grant
5. New system would use rotating magnetic field to detect pathogens
6. New magnetic separation technique might detect multiple pathogens at once
7. Understanding, combating foodborne pathogens E. coli 0157 and salmonella
8. DOE JGI releases soybean genome assembly to enable worldwide bioenergy research efforts
9. Moss genome shows how plants invaded the land and learned to survive heat and drought
10. WUSTL researchers spearhead key genome initiative
11. DOE JGI Community Sequencing Program delivers first moss genome
Post Your Comments:
(Date:3/30/2017)... NEW YORK , March 30, 2017 ... by type (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, ... recognition, voice recognition, and others), by end use industry ... travel and immigration, financial and banking, and others), and ... Europe , Asia Pacific ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017  Catholic Health ... and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving ... Adoption Model sm . In addition, CHS previously ... U.S. hospitals using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... its high level of EMR usage in an ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 2017 The report "Gesture Recognition and Touchless Sensing Market ... - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to ... between 2017 and 2022. Continue Reading ... ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017 SomaGenics announced ... the NIH to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected to ... profiling small RNAs (including microRNAs) from single cells using ... highlights the need to accelerate development of approaches to ... "New techniques for measuring levels of ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings ... mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell therapy ... limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment with ... of limbs saved as compared to standard bone ... molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... The Giving Tree Wellness Center ... the needs of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their wellness and ... , As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s two founders, ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... Seattle, WA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... the industry leader in Hi-C-based genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome ... the ProxiMeta Hi-C kit and accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C ...
Breaking Biology Technology: