ERWINIA AMYLOVORA IN THE GENOMICS ERA: FROM GENOMES TO PATHOGEN VIRULENCE REGULATION AND DISEASE CONTROL STRATEGIES
T.H.M. Smits, B. Duffy, G.W. Sundin, Y.F. Zhao, F. Rezzonico
The publication of the first Erwinia amylovora genome has greatly accelerated and advanced our understanding of the fire blight organism. With the availability of multiple genomes, it quickly became clear that chromosomal diversity is relatively small, and that most of the pan-genome variance is attributable to plasmids. In addition to gaining a more detailed view of the known virulence factors, genomics has enabled new breakthrough studies of virulence regulation mechanisms. Furthermore, several niche adaptation and ecological fitness factors, though not directly influencing virulence, have been studied in greater detail, providing novel insights into the physiology and ecology of the bacterium. Additionally, application of genome data has yielded improved diagnostics and enabled population studies at different geographic scales.