Exploiting genomics to improve the biological control potential of Pasteuria spp., an organisms with potential to control plant-parasitic nematodes
The Pasteuria group of Gram positive bacteria are invertebrate parasites with the potential to be developed into biological control agents of plant-parasitic nematodes. A key step in the infection process is the attachment of endospores to the cuticle of plant-parasitic nematodes, possibly through a Velcro-like attachment system involving the collagen-like fibres of the exosporium (Davies, 2009). Phylogenetically these bacteria are members of the Firmicutes and closely related to the members of genus Bacillus. Some of the genes involved in the construction of the endospore and in particular the exosporium in Bacillus spp. have already been identified. The Pasteuria sequences in the public databases and the complete genomes of Bacillus spp. were investigated for the genes linked with the endospore and associated exosporium. On the basis of our in silico studies we report the presence of genes putatively similar to bclA, exsJ and vrrB in Pasteuria.