A genome-wide analysis of desferrioxamine mediated iron uptake in Erwinia spp. reveals genes exclusive of the Rosaceae infecting strains
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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, within the Erwinia genus, the genetic differences between phytopathogenic strains and those strains not reported to be phytopathogenic. The genes related to the hydroxamate siderophores iron uptake have been considered due to their potential druggability. In E. amylovora siderophore-mediated iron acquisition plays a relevant role in the progression of Fire blight. Here we analyzed the taxonomic relations within Erwinia genus 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.