Genome comparisons provide insights into the role of secondary metabolites in the pathogenic phase of the Photorhabdus life cycle

  • Background: Bacteria within the genus Photorhabdus maintain mutualistic symbioses with nematodes in complicated lifecycles that also involves insect pathogenic phases. Intriguingly, these bacteria are rich in biosynthetic gene clusters that produce compounds with diverse biological activities. As a basis to better understand the life cycles of Photorhabdus we sequenced the genomes of two recently discovered representative species and performed detailed genomic comparisons with five publically available genomes. Results: Here we report the genomic details of two new reference Photorhabdus species. By then conducting genomic comparisons across the genus, we show that there are several highly conserved biosynthetic gene clusters. These clusters produce a range of bioactive small molecules that support the pathogenic phase of the integral relationship that Photorhabdus maintain with nematodes. Conclusions: Photorhabdus contain several genetic loci that allow them to become specialist insect pathogens by efficiently evading insect immune responses and killing the insect host.
Author:Nicholas J. TobiasORCiD, Bagdevi Mishra, Deepak Kumar GuptaORCiD, Rahul SharmaGND, Marco ThinesORCiDGND, Timothy P. Stinear, Helge Björn BodeORCiDGND
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):BMC genomics
Publisher:BioMed Central ; Springer
Place of publication:London ; Berlin ; Heidelberg
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2016/12/01
Date of first Publication:2016/08/03
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2016/12/01
Tag:Photorhabdus; Secondary metabolites; Sequencing; Symbiosis
Page Number:11
First Page:1
Last Page:11
© 2016 The Author(s). Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Institutes:Biowissenschaften / Biowissenschaften
Biowissenschaften / Institut für Ökologie, Evolution und Diversität
Fachübergreifende Einrichtungen / Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum (BiK-F)
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0