Jiayuan Jia, Shi-En Lu

Comparative Genome Analyses Provide Insight into the Antimicrobial Activity of Endophytic Burkholderia

  • Virology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology

Endophytic bacteria are endosymbionts that colonize a portion of plants without harming the plant for at least a part of its life cycle. Bacterial endophytes play an essential role in promoting plant growth using multiple mechanisms. The genus Burkholderia is an important member among endophytes and encompasses bacterial species with high genetic versatility and adaptability. In this study, the endophytic characteristics of Burkholderia species are investigated via comparative genomic analyses of several endophytic Burkholderia strains with pathogenic Burkholderia strains. A group of bacterial genes was identified and predicted as the putative endophytic behavior genes of Burkholderia. Multiple antimicrobial biosynthesis genes were observed in these endophytic bacteria; however, certain important pathogenic and virulence genes were absent. The majority of resistome genes were distributed relatively evenly among the endophytic and pathogenic bacteria. All known types of secretion systems were found in the studied bacteria. This includes T3SS and T4SS, which were previously thought to be disproportionately represented in endophytes. Additionally, questionable CRISPR-Cas systems with an orphan CRISPR array were prevalent, suggesting that intact CRISPR-Cas systems may not exist in symbiotes of Burkholderia. This research not only sheds light on the antimicrobial activities that contribute to biocontrol but also expands our understanding of genomic variations in Burkholderia’s endophytic and pathogenic bacteria.

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