Comparison of three typing methods for Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from patients with cystic fibrosis

Waters V, Zlosnik JE, Yau YC, Speert DP, Aaron SD, Guttman DS

Eur. J. Clin. Microbiol. Infect. Dis. 2012 Dec;31(12):3341-50

PMID: 22843295


The aim of this study was to compare two traditional pattern matching techniques, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), with the more reproducible technique of multilocus sequence typing (MLST) to genotype a blinded sample of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. A blinded sample of 48 well-characterized CF P. aeruginosa isolates was genotyped by PFGE, RAPD, and MLST, each performed in a different laboratory. The discriminatory power and congruence between the methods were compared using the Simpson’s index, Rand index, and Wallace coefficient. PFGE and MLST had the greatest congruence with the highest Rand index (0.697). The discriminatory power of PFGE, RAPD, and MLST were comparable, with high Simpson’s indices (range 0.973-0.980). MLST identified the most clonal relationships. When clonality was defined as agreement between two or more methods, MLST had the greatest predictive value (100 %) in labeling strains as unique, while PFGE had the greatest predictive value (96 %) in labeling strains as clonal. This study demonstrated the highest level of agreement between PFGE and MLST in genotyping P. aeruginosa isolates from CF patients. MLST had the greatest predictive value in identifying strains as unique and, thus, has the potential to be a cost-efficient, high-throughput, first-pass typing method.

Proteomics of effector-triggered immunity (ETI) in plants

Hurley B, Subramaniam R, Guttman DS, Desveaux D

Virulence 2014;5(7):752-60

PMID: 25513776


Effector-triggered immunity (ETI) was originally termed gene-for-gene resistance and dates back to fundamental observations of flax resistance to rust fungi by Harold Henry Flor in the 1940s. Since then, genetic and biochemical approaches have defined our current understanding of how plant “resistance” proteins recognize microbial effectors. More recently, proteomic approaches have expanded our view of the protein landscape during ETI and contributed significant advances to our mechanistic understanding of ETI signaling. Here we provide an overview of proteomic techniques that have been used to study plant ETI including both global and targeted approaches. We discuss the challenges associated with ETI proteomics and highlight specific examples from the literature, which demonstrate how proteomics is advancing the ETI research field.

Comparative genomic analysis of multiple strains of two unusual plant pathogens: Pseudomonas corrugata and Pseudomonas mediterranea

Trantas EA, Licciardello G, Almeida NF, Witek K, Strano CP, Duxbury Z, Ververidis F, Goumas DE, Jones JD, Guttman DS, Catara V, Sarris PF

Front Microbiol 2015;6:811

PMID: 26300874


The non-fluorescent pseudomonads, Pseudomonas corrugata (Pcor) and P. mediterranea (Pmed), are closely related species that cause pith necrosis, a disease of tomato that causes severe crop losses. However, they also show strong antagonistic effects against economically important pathogens, demonstrating their potential for utilization as biological control agents. In addition, their metabolic versatility makes them attractive for the production of commercial biomolecules and bioremediation. An extensive comparative genomics study is required to dissect the mechanisms that Pcor and Pmed employ to cause disease, prevent disease caused by other pathogens, and to mine their genomes for genes that encode proteins involved in commercially important chemical pathways. Here, we present the draft genomes of nine Pcor and Pmed strains from different geographical locations. This analysis covered significant genetic heterogeneity and allowed in-depth genomic comparison. All examined strains were able to trigger symptoms in tomato plants but not all induced a hypersensitive-like response in Nicotiana benthamiana. Genome-mining revealed the absence of type III secretion system and known type III effector-encoding genes from all examined Pcor and Pmed strains. The lack of a type III secretion system appears to be unique among the plant pathogenic pseudomonads. Several gene clusters coding for type VI secretion system were detected in all genomes. Genome-mining also revealed the presence of gene clusters for biosynthesis of siderophores, polyketides, non-ribosomal peptides, and hydrogen cyanide. A highly conserved quorum sensing system was detected in all strains, although species specific differences were observed. Our study provides the basis for in-depth investigations regarding the molecular mechanisms underlying virulence strategies in the battle between plants and microbes.