Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2004
Publication Date: 6/1/2004
Citation: Davis, R.E., Zhao, Y., Dally, E.L., Jomantiene, R., Lin, S., Roe, B., Shao, J.Y. 2004. The spiroplasma kunkelii genome: clues to a parasitic lifestyle in insects and plants. Phytopathology. 94(3):123. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Spiroplasmas are characteristically helical, motile, cell wall-less prokaryotes that are classified in class Mollicutes. We are sequencing the 1.6 Mbp genome of Spiroplasma kunkelii, causal agent of corn stunt disease, to gain insights into its parasitism and pathogenicity in plants and insect vectors. Sequences, >9X sequencing coverage per base position, were assembled into contigs, available at http://www.genome.ou.edu/spiro.html. Features of the genome include genes found in bacteria of the Bacillus/Clostridium group but absent in Mycoplasma species; absence of cell wall biosynthesis genes found in the division/cell wall gene cluster of walled bacteria; numerous repeated sequences; and genes encoding adhesions, an abbreviated array of ABC transporters, and mobile elements including spiroplasmavirus and plasmids. The data provide clues to understanding evolutionary genome reduction and the development of a genome approaching the minimal set of genes required for parasitism and pathogenicity in insect and plant hosts.