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BACKGROUND The phenotypic consequences of large genomic architecture modifications within a clonal bacterial population are rarely evaluated because of the difficulties associated with using molecular approaches in a mixed population. Bacterial variants frequently arise among Photorhabdus luminescens, a nematode-symbiotic and insect-pathogenic bacterium. We(More)
Bacteria of the genus Xenorhabdus are symbionts of soil entomopathogenic nematodes of the genus Steinernema. This symbiotic association constitutes an insecticidal complex active against a wide range of insect pests. Unlike other Xenorhabdus species, Xenorhabdus poinarii is avirulent when injected into insects in the absence of its nematode host. We(More)
BACKGROUND Symbioses between invertebrates and prokaryotes are biological systems of particular interest in order to study the evolution of mutualism. The symbioses between the entomopathogenic nematodes Steinernema and their bacterial symbiont Xenorhabdus are very tractable model systems. Previous studies demonstrated (i) a highly specialized relationship(More)
The trade-off hypothesis proposes that the evolution of pathogens' virulence is shaped by a link between virulence and contagiousness. This link is often assumed to come from the fact that pathogens are contagious only if they can reach high parasitic load in the infected host. In this paper we present an experimental test of the hypothesis that selection(More)
Among pathogenic Enterobacteriaceae, the proteins of the Ail/OmpX/PagC family form a steadily growing family of outer membrane proteins with diverse biological properties, potentially involved in virulence such as human serum resistance, adhesion and entry into eukaryotic culture cells. We studied the proteins Ail/OmpX/PagC in the bacterial Photorhabdus(More)
Some of the bacterial cells in isogenic populations behave differently from others. We describe here how a new type of phenotypic heterogeneity relating to resistance to cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) is determinant for the pathogenic infection process of the entomopathogenic bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens. We demonstrate that the resistant(More)
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