Bursaphelenchus xylophilus is an economically important plant pathogen, responsible for an ongoing epidemic of pine wilt disease in Asia and Europe. The nematode is native to North America and here it causes little damage to trees. Where it is introduced to new regions it causes huge damage. The most severely affected areas are found in the Far East but more recently B. xylophilus has been introduced into Portugal and the potential for damage here is also high. This nematode is very different to the nematodes responsible for other economically important plant diseases – it has a complex life cycle and it appears to have independently acquired the ability to cause disease.
The B. xylophilus genome is ~75Mb in size, G+C content is approximately 40% and encodes at least 18,074 genes. The genome was sequenced by a collaboration of The Pathogen Genomics group at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and FFPRI Japan.
The B. xylophilus genome database contains v1.2 of the genome. Some gene predictions may have been deleted or added between the versions. Improved genome builds and new annotations are constantly being added to GeneDB, so if you wish to perform a large scale analysis please contact Dr. Matt Berriman <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> or Taisei Kikuchi <mailto:email@example.com>.
» Kikuchi T, Cotton JA, Dalzell JJ, Hasegawa K, Kanzaki N, et al. 2011 Genomic Insights into the Origin of Parasitism in the Emerging Plant Pathogen Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. PLoS Pathog 7(9): e1002219. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002219