Query: NC_013961:3269368 Erwinia amylovora, complete genome Lineage: Erwinia amylovora; Erwinia; Enterobacteriaceae; Enterobacteriales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: This bacterium is the causative agent of Fire Blight, a destructive disease of Maloid fruit trees, such as apple and pear. Outbreaks are sporadic in the Northeast, but result in serious damage to roots, blossoms, fruit, and shoots when they occur. The pathogen overwinters in cankers or in smaller limbs. During early spring, in response to both temperature increases and bud development, the bacteria multiplies and may be seen as a yellowish ooze around the perimeter of the canker. Flies and other insects are attracted to the ooze and disperse the inoculum to other trees in the orchard. This species has recently become resistant to streptomycin, an antibiotic traditionally used in its control.
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General Information: This strain carries the anthrax toxin plasmid pXO1 but not the capsule plasmid pXO2 and is therefore avirulent but toxigenic. It is the counterpart to the Pasteur strain that carries pXO2 but not pXO1. This strain is often used for vaccine development. Under starvation conditions this group of bacteria initiate a pathway that leads to endospore formation, a process that is thoroughly studied and is a model system for prokaryotic development and differentiation. Spores are highly resistant to heat, cold, dessication, radiation, and disinfectants, and enable the organism to persist in otherwise inhospitable environments. Under more inviting conditions the spores germinate to produce vegetative cells. This organism was the first to be shown to cause disease by Dr. Louis Pasteur (the organism, isolated from sick animals, was grown in the laboratory and then used to infect healthy animals and make them sick). This organism was also the first for which an attenuated strain was developed as a vaccine. Herbivorous animals become infected with the organism when they ingest spores from the soil whereas humans become infected when they come into contact with a contaminated animal. PA/LF and PA/EF complexes are internalized by host cells where the LF (metalloprotease) and EF (calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase) components act. At high levels LF induces cell death and release of the bacterium while EF increases host susceptibility to infection and promotes fluid accumulation in the cells.