Evolution, genomics and epidemiology of Pseudomonas syringae: Challenges in Bacterial Molecular Plant Pathology

David A. Baltrus, Honour C. McCann, David S. Guttman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


A remarkable shift in our understanding of plant-pathogenic bacteria is underway. Until recently, nearly all research on phytopathogenic bacteria was focused on a small number of model strains, which provided a deep, but narrow, perspective on plant–microbe interactions. Advances in genome sequencing technologies have changed this by enabling the incorporation of much greater diversity into comparative and functional research. We are now moving beyond a typological understanding of a select collection of strains to a more generalized appreciation of the breadth and scope of plant–microbe interactions. The study of natural populations and evolution has particularly benefited from the expansion of genomic data. We are beginning to have a much deeper understanding of the natural genetic diversity, niche breadth, ecological constraints and defining characteristics of phytopathogenic species. Given this expanding genomic and ecological knowledge, we believe the time is ripe to evaluate what we know about the evolutionary dynamics of plant pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-168
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular Plant Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Pseudomonas syringae
  • evolution
  • mutation
  • natural selection
  • population structure
  • recombination
  • species definition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science
  • Plant Science


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