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Sequenced the genome of Pseudomonas savastanoi

The sequencing of the genome of this pathogen opens the doors to the identification of the genes responsible for the virulence of this bacteria and its survival on the philosphere

Researchers at the Public University of Navarra, the Polytechnic University of Madrid (CBGP), the University of Malaga, the University of Wisconsin and the Valencian Institute of Agricultural Research have managed to sequence the genome of the bacteria responsible for tuberculosis in the olive tree.

The study, published in the June issue of Environmental Microbiology, represents the first sequencing of the genome of a pathogenic bacteria undertaken in Spain, being the first genome known worldwide of a pathogenic Pseudomonas in woody plants.

Pseudomonas savastanoi is the agent that gives rise to tuberculosis in the olive tree, a disease that causes important losses in the olive crops in Spain. Trees affected present tumours (known as verrucas) that can grow to several centimetres diameter in trunks, branches, stalks and buds. Diseased trees are less robust and have less growth, to the point of being non-productive if the attack is very intense. To date, due to the absence of effective methods of control, preventive strategies have been carried out, reducing populations of bacteria with phytosanitary treatment.

Plant diseases produced by pathogenic microorganisms not only reduce production but can also alter the quality of the food and drastically diminish the commercial value of the crops. The new strategies for disease control today involve the analysis of information contained in the genome of pathogenic organisms.

by R. T.
07 june 2010, Technical Area > Science News

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