Genomics-enabled analysis of the emergent disease cotton bacterial blight.
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Cotton bacterial blight (CBB), an important disease of (Gossypium hirsutum) in the early 20th century, had been controlled by resistant germplasm for over half a century. Recently, CBB re-emerged as an agronomic problem in the United States. Here, we report analysis of cotton variety planting statistics that indicate a steady increase in the percentage of susceptible cotton varieties grown each year since 2009. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that strains from the current outbreak cluster with race 18 Xanthomonas citri pv. malvacearum (Xcm) strains. Illumina based draft genomes were generated for thirteen Xcm isolates and analyzed along with 4 previously published Xcm genomes. These genomes encode 24 conserved and nine variable type three effectors. Strains in the race 18 clade contain 3 to 5 more effectors than other Xcm strains. SMRT sequencing of two geographically and temporally diverse strains of Xcm yielded circular chromosomes and accompanying plasmids. These genomes encode eight and thirteen distinct transcription activator-like effector genes. RNA-sequencing revealed 52 genes induced within two cotton cultivars by both tested Xcm strains. This gene list includes a homeologous pair of genes, with homology to the known susceptibility gene, MLO. In contrast, the two strains of Xcm induce different clade III SWEET sugar transporters. Subsequent genome wide analysis revealed patterns in the overall expression of homeologous gene pairs in cotton after inoculation by Xcm. These data reveal important insights into the Xcm-G. hirsutum disease complex and strategies for future development of resistant cultivars.