Journal Article Genome-wide variation in the pinewood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus and its relationship with pathogenic traits

Palomares-Rius, Juan E.  ,  Tsai, Isheng J.  ,  Karim, Nurul  ,  Akiba, Mitsuteru  ,  Kato, Tetsuro  ,  Maruyama, Haruhiko  ,  Takeuchi, Yuko  ,  Kikuchi, Taisei

162015-10-23 , BioMed Central Ltd.
Background: Bursaphelenchus xylophilus is an emerging pathogenic nematode that is responsible for a devastating epidemic of pine wilt disease across Asia and Europe. In this study, we report the first genome-wide variation analysis of the nematode with an aim to obtain a full picture of its diversity. Methods: We sequenced six keyB.xylophilusstrains using Illumina HiSeq sequencer. All the strains were isolated in Japan and have been widely used in previous studies.Detection of genomic variations were done by mapping the reads to the reference genome. Results: Over 3Mb of genetic variations, accounting for 4.1% of the total genome, were detected as single nucleotide polymorphisms or small indels, suggesting multiple introductions of this invaded species from its native area into the country. The high level of genetic diversity of the pine wood nematode was related to its pathogenicity and ecological trait differences. Moreover, we identified a gene set affected by genomic variation, and functional annotation of those genes indicated that some of them had potential roles in pathogenesis. Conclusions: This study provides an important resource for understanding the population structure, pathogenicity and evolutionary ecology of the nematode, and further analysis based on this study with geographically diverse B. xylophilus populations will greatly accelerate our understanding of the complex evolutionary/epidemic history of this emerging pathogen.

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