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Genes 2011, 2(4), 980-997; doi:10.3390/genes2040980

Insights into Cross-Kingdom Plant Pathogenic Bacteria

Department of Biology, University of Regina, 3737 Wascana Parkway, Regina, Saskatchewan S4S0A2, Canada
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 August 2011 / Revised: 2 November 2011 / Accepted: 7 November 2011 / Published: 28 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genes and Genomes of Plant Pathogenic Bacteria)
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Plant and human pathogens have evolved disease factors to successfully exploit their respective hosts. Phytopathogens utilize specific determinants that help to breach reinforced cell walls and manipulate plant physiology to facilitate the disease process, while human pathogens use determinants for exploiting mammalian physiology and overcoming highly developed adaptive immune responses. Emerging research, however, has highlighted the ability of seemingly dedicated human pathogens to cause plant disease, and specialized plant pathogens to cause human disease. Such microbes represent interesting systems for studying the evolution of cross-kingdom pathogenicity, and the benefits and tradeoffs of exploiting multiple hosts with drastically different morphologies and physiologies. This review will explore cross-kingdom pathogenicity, where plants and humans are common hosts. We illustrate that while cross-kingdom pathogenicity appears to be maintained, the directionality of host association (plant to human, or human to plant) is difficult to determine. Cross-kingdom human pathogens, and their potential plant reservoirs, have important implications for the emergence of infectious diseases.
Keywords: cross-kingdom; human pathogens; host specificity; multi-host pathogens; reservoirs; evolution; insects cross-kingdom; human pathogens; host specificity; multi-host pathogens; reservoirs; evolution; insects
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kirzinger, M.W.; Nadarasah, G.; Stavrinides, J. Insights into Cross-Kingdom Plant Pathogenic Bacteria. Genes 2011, 2, 980-997.

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