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Vol. 188, No. 2, 2006; Pages: 809–814

Whole-Genome Comparison between Photorhabdus Strains To Identify Genomic Regions Involved in the Specificity of Nematode Interaction

S. Gaudriault,1* E. Duchaud,1† A. Lanois,1 A.-S. Canoy,2‡ S. Bourot,2 R. DeRose,2§
F. Kunst,3 N. Boemare,1 and A. Givaudan1

Laboratoire EMIP Ecologie Microbienne des Insectes et Interaction Hotes-Pathogene, Universite
Montpellier II, UMR1133 INRA-UMII, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France.


The bacterium Photorhabdus establishes a highly specific association with Heterorhabditis, its nematode host. Photorhabdus strains associated with Heterorhabditis bacteriophora or Heterorhabditis megidis were compared using a Photorhabdus DNA microarray. We describe 31 regions belonging to the Photorhabdus flexible gene pool. Distribution analysis of regions among the Photorhabdus genus identified loci possibly involved in nematode specificity.Photorhabdus is an entomopathogenic gram-negative bacterium belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae. Both Photorhabdus luminescens and Photorhabdus temperata species are symbionts of entomopathogenic Heterorhabditis nematodes (7). Bacterial and nematode taxonomic data reveal a highly specific association between bacterial strains and nematode species. A recently described species, Photorhabdus asymbiotica, was never found to be associated with nematodes but was isolated from human infections (3, 12, 15, 22). Although a few studies have identified several Photorhabdus genes that are required for normal growth and development of the nematode (5, 6, 9, 19, 29), we have little molecular and functional data about the first step of nematode colonization and nematode specificity.

Keywords:Photorhabdus;Heterorhabditis;Heterorhabditisbacteriophora;Heterorhabditismegidis;PhotorhabdusDNA microarray;Photorhabdus genus;Enterobacteriaceae;taxonomy.

Corresponding author: Tel 33 4 67144812; Fax 33 4 67144679

E-mail: sgaudriault@univ-montp2.fr


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