Pathogenicity and other genomic islands in plant pathogenic bacteria
Arnold, D. L., Pitman, A. and Jackson, R. W. (2003) Pathogenicity and other genomic islands in plant pathogenic bacteria. Molecular Plant Pathology, 4 (5). pp. 407-420. ISSN 1464-6722
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1046/j.1364-3703.2003.00187.x
Pathogenicity islands (PAIs) were first described in uropathogenic E. coli. They are now defined as regions of DNA that contain virulence genes and are present in the genome of pathogenic strains, but absent from or only rarely present in non-pathogenic variants of the same or related strains. Other features include a variable G+C content, distinct boundaries from the rest of the genome and the presence of genes related to mobile elements such as insertion sequences, integrases and transposases. Although PAIs have now been described in a wide range of both plant and animal pathogens it has become evident that the general features of PAIs are displayed by a number of regions of DNA with functions other than pathogenicity, such as symbiosis and antibiotic resistance, and the general term genomic islands has been adopted. This review will describe a range of genomic islands in plant pathogenic bacteria including those that carry effector genes, phytotoxins and the type III protein secretion cluster. The review will also consider some medically important bacteria in order to discuss the range, acquisition and stabilization of genomic islands.