Comprehensive genome analysis of a pangolin-associated Paraburkholderia fungorum provides new insights into its secretion systems and virulence

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Background. Paraburkholderia fungorum (P. fungorum) is a Gram-negative environmental species that has been commonly used as a beneficial microorganism in agriculture as an agent for biocontrol and bioremediation. Its use in agriculture is controversial as many people believe that it could harm human health; however, there is no clear evidence to support. Methodology. The pangolin P. fungorum (pangolin Pf) genome has a genomic size of approximately 7.7 Mbps with N50 of 69,666 bps. Our study showed that pangolin Pf is a Paraburkholderia fungorum supported by evidence from the core genome SNP-based phylogenetic analysis and the ANI analysis. Functional analysis has shown that the presence of a considerably large number of genes related to stress response, virulence, disease, and defence. Interestingly, we identified different types of secretion systems in the genome of pangolin Pf, which are highly specialized and responsible for a bacterium’s response to its environment and in physiological processes such as survival, adhesion, and adaptation. The pangolin Pf also shared some common virulence genes with the known pathogenic member of the Burkholderiales. These genes play important roles in adhesion, motility, and invasion. Conclusion. This study may provide better insights into the functions, secretion systems and virulence of this pangolin-associated bacterial strain. The addition of this genome sequence is also important for future comparative analysis and functional work of P. fungorum.

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