Digging for iron: A genome-wide analysis of Erwinia genus
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Erwinia amylovora is the etiological agent of fire blight, a devastating disease which is a global threat to commercial apple and pear production. The Erwinia genus includes a wide range of different species belonging to plant pathogens, epiphytes and even opportunistic human pathogens. The aim of the present study is to understand the genetic differences within Erwinia spp. between phytopathogenic and non-phytopathogenic strains, with a special focus on the genes related to the hydroxamate sidephores iron uptake. In E. amylovora siderophore-mediated iron acquisition plays a relevant role in the progression of Fire blight. Here we analyzed the taxonomic relations within phytopathogen e non-phytopathogen Erwinia and the relevance of the genes related to the siderophore-mediated iron uptake pathway. The results of this study highlight the presence of a well-defined sub-group of Rosaceae infecting species taxonomically and genetically related with a high number of conserved core genes. The analysis of the complete ferrioxamine transport system has led to the identification of two genes exclusively present in the Rosaceae infecting strains.