Genomic islands are regions of the bacterial genome responsible for unique aspects of bacterial behaviour, such as host symbiosis and pathogenicity. Where such regions are involved in pathogenesis, they are termed pathogenicity islands (PAIs). Photorhabdus luminescens is an insect pathogen that spends part of its life in symbiosis with a nematode and part of its life as an insect pathogen. Here, several novel PAIs from P. luminescens ssp. akhurstii strain W14 are described that encode factors involved apparently in both nematode symbiosis and insect pathogenicity. The structures of these islands are compared with those found in mammalian pathogens, and the potential cross-talk between virulence factors used against invertebrates and those used against vertebrates is discussed.
Waterfield, N. R., Daborn, P. J., & Ffrench-Constant, R. H. (2004). Insect pathogenicity islands in the insect pathogenic bacterium Photorhabdus. Physiological Entomology, 29(3), 240-250. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0307-6962.2004.00407.x