Pierre Lefeuvre

University of La Réunion, Saint-Denis, Réunion, Reunion

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Publications (56)164.75 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In the 2000s, tobacco plantations on the Comoros Islands were afflicted with a previously unobserved tobacco leaf curl disease characterised by symptoms of severe leaf curling and deformation. Previous molecular characterization of potential viral pathogens revealed a complex of African monopartite tobacco leaf curl begomovirus (TbLCVs). Our molecular investigation allowed the characterization of a new monopartite virus involved in the disease: tomato leaf curl Namakely virus (ToLCNamV). Agroinoculation experiments indicated that TbLCVs and tomato leaf curl viruses (ToLCVs) can infect both tomato and tobacco but that infectivity and symptom expression fluctuate depending on the virus and the plant cultivar combination.
    Archives of Virology 12/2011; 157(3):545-50. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We used multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) on a worldwide collection of the plant pathogenic Ralstonia solanacearum (Betaproteobacteria) to retrace its complex evolutionary history. Using genetic imprints left during R. solanacearum evolution, we were able to delineate distinct evolutionary complex displaying contrasting dynamics. Among the phylotypes already described (I, IIA, IIB, III, IV), eight groups of strains with distinct evolutionary patterns, named clades, were identified. From our recombination analysis, we identified 21 recombination events that occurred within and across these lineages. Although appearing the most divergent and ancestral phylotype, phylotype IV was inferred as a gene donor for the majority of the recombination events that we detected. Whereas this phylotype apparently fuelled the species diversity, ongoing diversification was mainly detected within phylotype I, IIA and III. These three groups presented a recent expanding population structure, a high level of homologous recombination and evidences of long-distance migrations. Factors such as adaptation to a specific host or intense trading of infected crops may have promoted this diversification. Whether R. solanacearum lineages will eventually evolve in distinct species remains an open question. The intensification of cropping and increase of geographical dispersion may favour situations of phylotype sympatry and promote higher exchange of key factors for host adaptation from their common genetic pool.
    The ISME Journal 11/2011; 6(5):961-74. · 8.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dahlia mosaic disease of the ornamental flowering plant Dahlia is caused by two caulimoviruses, dahlia mosaic virus (DMV) and dahlia common mosaic virus (DCMV). We used a rolling-circle amplification method to amplify, clone and determine for the first time the full genome sequence of a DCMV isolate from New Zealand (DCMV-NZ). Within the 7949-bp circular double-stranded retro-transcribing DCMV-NZ DNA, we identified six putative open reading frames, typical of all genomes in the family Caulimoviridae. The availability of the complete DCMV sequence provides a reference genome against which all others can be compared.
    Archives of Virology 09/2011; 156(12):2297-301. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although single stranded (ss) DNA viruses that infect humans and their domesticated animals do not generally cause major diseases, the arthropod borne ssDNA viruses of plants do, and as a result seriously constrain food production in most temperate regions of the world. Besides the well known plant and animal-infecting ssDNA viruses, it has recently become apparent through metagenomic surveys of ssDNA molecules that there also exist large numbers of other diverse ssDNA viruses within almost all terrestrial and aquatic environments. The host ranges of these viruses probably span the tree of life and they are likely to be important components of global ecosystems. Various lines of evidence suggest that a pivotal evolutionary process during the generation of this global ssDNA virus diversity has probably been genetic recombination. High rates of homologous recombination, non-homologous recombination and genome component reassortment are known to occur within and between various different ssDNA virus species and we look here at the various roles that these different types of recombination may play, both in the day-to-day biology, and in the longer term evolution, of these viruses. We specifically focus on the ecological, biochemical and selective factors underlying patterns of genetic exchange detectable amongst the ssDNA viruses and discuss how these should all be considered when assessing the adaptive value of recombination during ssDNA virus evolution.
    Viruses 09/2011; 3(9):1699-738. · 2.51 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic recombination is an important process during the evolution of many virus species and occurs particularly frequently amongst begomoviruses in the single stranded DNA virus family, Geminiviridae. As in many other recombining viruses it is apparent that non-random recombination breakpoint distributions observable within begomovirus genomes sampled from nature are the product of variations both in basal recombination rates across genomes and in the over-all viability of different recombinant genomes. Whereas factors influencing basal recombination rates might include local degrees of sequence similarity between recombining genomes, nucleic acid secondary structures and genomic sensitivity to nuclease attack or breakage, the viability of recombinant genomes could be influenced by the degree to which their co-evolved protein-protein and protein-nucleotide and nucleotide-nucleotide interactions are disreputable by recombination. Here we investigate patterns of recombination that occur over 120 day long experimental infections of tomato plants with the begomoviruses Tomato yellow leaf curl virus and Tomato leaf curl Comoros virus. We show that patterns of sequence exchange between these viruses can be extraordinarily complex and present clear evidence that factors such as local degrees of sequence similarity but not genomic secondary structure strongly influence where recombination breakpoints occur. It is also apparent from our experiment that over-all patterns of recombination are strongly influenced by selection against individual recombinants displaying disrupted intra-genomic interactions such as those required for proper protein and nucleic acid folding. Crucially, we find that selection favoring the preservation of co-evolved longer-range protein-protein and protein DNA interactions is so strong that its imprint can even be used to identify the exact sequence tracts involved in these interactions.
    PLoS Pathogens 09/2011; 7(9):e1002203. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Maize streak virus strain A (MSV-A), the causal agent of maize streak disease, is today one of the most serious biotic threats to African food security. Determining where MSV-A originated and how it spread transcontinentally could yield valuable insights into its historical emergence as a crop pathogen. Similarly, determining where the major extant MSV-A lineages arose could identify geographical hot spots of MSV evolution. Here, we use model-based phylogeographic analyses of 353 fully sequenced MSV-A isolates to reconstruct a plausible history of MSV-A movements over the past 150 years. We show that since the probable emergence of MSV-A in southern Africa around 1863, the virus spread transcontinentally at an average rate of 32.5 km/year (95% highest probability density interval, 15.6 to 51.6 km/year). Using distinctive patterns of nucleotide variation caused by 20 unique intra-MSV-A recombination events, we tentatively classified the MSV-A isolates into 24 easily discernible lineages. Despite many of these lineages displaying distinct geographical distributions, it is apparent that almost all have emerged within the past 4 decades from either southern or east-central Africa. Collectively, our results suggest that regular analysis of MSV-A genomes within these diversification hot spots could be used to monitor the emergence of future MSV-A lineages that could affect maize cultivation in Africa.
    Journal of Virology 06/2011; 85(18):9623-36. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The genus Mastrevirus of the single-stranded DNA virus family Geminiviridae consists of four distinct virus lineages that have been sampled in different parts of the Old World. These include the Panicoideae-infecting African streak viruses (ten described species including the geographical outlier, Digitaria streak virus [DSV] from Vanuatu) and Australian striate mosaic viruses (three described species), the dicotyledonous-plant-infecting mastreviruses (seven described species), and the Eurasian Pooideae-infecting dwarf viruses (three described species). Of all known mastrevirus species, Miscanthus streak virus (MiSV), members of which are found in Japan, is the most divergent and is the only one that lies outside these four main lineages. Besides the full-genome sequences of three very closely related MiSV isolates, nothing is presently known about the diversity of what is potentially a fifth major lineage of mastreviruses. Here, we describe a new MiSV-like virus isolated from the grass Eragrostis minor. Curiously, this virus, which we have tentatively named Eragrostis minor streak virus (EMSV), was discovered in Namibia, Southern Africa—almost as far from Japan as it is possible to get within the Old World. An Eragrostis minor plant displaying chlorotic discontinuous streaks running along the major leaf veins (i.e., streak symptoms characteristic of mastrevirus infections) was sampled in the Caprivi region (S18.06447; E21.83855) of Namibia in November 2009. Circular DNA molecules were amplified from a crude total DNA extract using Phi29 DNA polymerase (TempliPhi TM , GE Healthcare, USA) as
    Archives of Virology 05/2011; 156(7):1299-303. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite having single stranded DNA genomes that are replicated by host DNA polymerases, viruses in the family Geminiviridae are apparently evolving as rapidly as some RNA viruses. The observed substitution rates of geminiviruses in the genera Begomovirus and Mastrevirus are so high that the entire family could conceivably have originated less than a million years ago (MYA). However, the existence of geminivirus related DNA (GRD) integrated within the genomes of various Nicotiana species suggests that the geminiviruses probably originated >10 MYA. Some have even suggested that a distinct New-World (NW) lineage of begomoviruses may have arisen following the separation by continental drift of African and American proto-begomoviruses ∼110 MYA. We evaluate these various geminivirus origin hypotheses using Bayesian coalescent-based approaches to date firstly the Nicotiana GRD integration events, and then the divergence of the NW and Old-World (OW) begomoviruses. Besides rejecting the possibility of a<2 MYA OW-NW begomovirus split, we could also discount that it may have occurred concomitantly with the breakup of Gondwanaland 110 MYA. Although we could only confidently narrow the date of the split down to between 2 and 80 MYA, the most plausible (and best supported) date for the split is between 20 and 30 MYA--a time when global cooling ended the dispersal of temperate species between Asia and North America via the Beringian land bridge.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(5):e19193. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Yellow vein disease (YVD) is a major problem in pepper in West Africa. Despite the recent implication of a begomovirus in YVD in Mali and in Burkina Faso, the aetiology of the disease remains unclear. Using symptomatic samples from the main vegetable cultivation regions in Burkina Faso, 10 full-length DNA-A-like begomovirus sequences were obtained, each showing 98% nucleotide identity to pepper yellow vein Mali virus (PepYVMV). The host range was determined after construction of a viral clone for agroinfection. Severe symptoms developed in tomato and Nicotiana benthamiana. By contrast, no symptoms developed in either commercial or local pepper cultivars, demonstrating that the aetiology of YVD is not only associated with the presence of PepYVMV.
    Archives of Virology 11/2010; 156(3):483-7. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: RDP3 is a new version of the RDP program for characterizing recombination events in DNA-sequence alignments. Among other novelties, this version includes four new recombination analysis methods (3SEQ, VISRD, PHYLRO and LDHAT), new tests for recombination hot-spots, a range of matrix methods for visualizing over-all patterns of recombination within datasets and recombination-aware ancestral sequence reconstruction. Complementary to a high degree of analysis flow automation, RDP3 also has a highly interactive and detailed graphical user interface that enables more focused hands-on cross-checking of results with a wide variety of newly implemented phylogenetic tree construction and matrix-based recombination signal visualization methods. The new RDP3 can accommodate large datasets and is capable of analyzing alignments ranging in size from 1000 × 10 kilobase sequences to 20 × 2 megabase sequences within 48 h on a desktop PC. AVAILABILITY: RDP3 is available for free from its web site http://darwin.uvigo.es/rdp/rdp.html.
    Bioinformatics 10/2010; 26(19):2462-3. · 5.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The phylogeny and the biogeographical history of the genus Vanilla was investigated using four chloroplastic genes (psbB, psbC; psaB and rbcL), on 47 accessions of Vanilla chosen from the ex situ CIRAD collection maintained in Reunion Island and additional sequences from GenBank. Bayesian methods provided a fairly well supported reconstruction of the phylogeny of the Vanilloideae sub-family and more particularly of the genus Vanilla. Three major phylogenetic groups in the genus Vanilla were differentiated, which is in disagreement with the actual classification in two sections (Foliosae and Aphyllae) based on morphological traits. Recent Bayesian relaxed molecular clock methods allowed to test the two main hypotheses of the phylogeography of the genus Vanilla. Early radiation of the Vanilla genus and diversification by vicariance consecutive to the break-up of Gondwana, 95 million years ago (Mya), was incompatible with the admitted age of origin of Angiosperm. Based on the Vanilloideae age recently estimated to 71 million years ago (Mya), we conclude that the genus Vanilla would have appeared approximately 34 Mya in South America, when continents were already separated. Nevertheless, whatever the two extreme scenarios tested, at least three long distance migration events are needed to explain the present distribution of Vanilla species in tropical areas. These transoceanic dispersions could have occurred via transoceanic passageway such as the Rio Grande Ridge and the involvement of floating vegetation mats and migratory birds.
    Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 05/2010; 55(2):621-30. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Okra leaf curl disease (OLCD) is a major constraint on okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) production and is widespread in Africa. Using a large number of samples representative of the major growing regions in Burkina Faso (BF), we show that the disease is associated with a monopartite begomovirus and satellite DNA complexes. Twenty-three complete genomic sequences of Cotton leaf curl Gezira virus (CLCuGV) isolates associated with OLCD, sharing 95 to 99% nucleotide identity, were cloned and sequenced. Six betasatellite and four alphasatellite (DNA-1) molecules were also characterized. The six isolates of betasatellite associated with CLCuGV isolates correspond to Cotton leaf curl Gezira betasatellite (CLCuGB) (88 to 98% nucleotide identity). One isolate of alphasatellite is a variant of Cotton leaf curl Gezira alphasatellite (CLCuGA) (89% nucleotide identity), whereas the three others isolates appear to correspond to a new species of alphasatellite (CLCuGA most similar sequence present 52 to 60% nucleotide identity), provisionally named Okra leaf curl Burkina Faso alphasatellite (OLCBFA). Recombination analysis of the viruses demonstrated the interspecies recombinant origin of all CLCuGV isolates, with parents being close to Hollyhock leaf crumple virus (AY036009) and Tomato leaf curl Diana virus (AM701765). Combined with the presence of satellites DNA, these results highlight the complexity of begomoviruses associated with OLCD.
    Virology Journal 02/2010; 7:48. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial spot of tomato and pepper, a major problem in tropical climates, can be caused by several Xanthomonas genospecies. We examined the genetic and pathological diversity of a collection of 72 strains from the southwest Indian Ocean region as part of a regional research and development program to update inventories of agricultural pests and pathogens. Xanthomonas euvesicatoria, X. perforans, X. gardneri, and X. vesicatoria were identified in our strain collection. The identification of strains at the species level was consistently achieved by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA). Overall, X. euvesicatoria was the species recovered prevalently. MLSA data based on four housekeeping genes identified two to three sequence types per genospecies. It suggested that sequence variations primarily consisted of synonymous mutations, although a recombination event spanning several hundred nucleotides was detected for some strains of X. euvesicatoria on the atpD gene coding for the F1-F0-ATPase beta subunit. The pathogenicity of strains was consistent with data found in the literature. Some pathological variations were primarily observed among strains identified as X. euvesicatoria. This study provides the first ever comprehensive description of the status of Xanthomonas species that cause bacterial spot of tomato and pepper in the southwest Indian Ocean region.
    Plant Disease. 01/2010; 94(8):993-999.
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    ABSTRACT: The ongoing global spread of Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV; Genus Begomovirus, Family Geminiviridae) represents a serious looming threat to tomato production in all temperate parts of the world. Whereas determining where and when TYLCV movements have occurred could help curtail its spread and prevent future movements of related viruses, determining the consequences of past TYLCV movements could reveal the ecological and economic risks associated with similar viral invasions. Towards this end we applied Bayesian phylogeographic inference and recombination analyses to available TYLCV sequences (including those of 15 new Iranian full TYLCV genomes) and reconstructed a plausible history of TYLCV's diversification and movements throughout the world. In agreement with historical accounts, our results suggest that the first TYLCVs most probably arose somewhere in the Middle East between the 1930s and 1950s (with 95% highest probability density intervals 1905-1972) and that the global spread of TYLCV only began in the 1980s after the evolution of the TYLCV-Mld and -IL strains. Despite the global distribution of TYLCV we found no convincing evidence anywhere other than the Middle East and the Western Mediterranean of epidemiologically relevant TYLCV variants arising through recombination. Although the region around Iran is both the center of present day TYLCV diversity and the site of the most intensive ongoing TYLCV evolution, the evidence indicates that the region is epidemiologically isolated, which suggests that novel TYLCV variants found there are probably not direct global threats. We instead identify the Mediterranean basin as the main launch-pad of global TYLCV movements.
    PLoS Pathogens 01/2010; 6(10):e1001164. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    Virology Journal 11/2009; · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Three pathogenic variants (i.e. pathotypes) have been described within Xanthomonas citri pv. citri, the causal agent of Asiatic citrus canker. Pathotype A strains naturally infect a wide range of Citrus species and members of some related genera. In contrast, pathotypes A* and A(w) have narrow host ranges within the genus Citrus and have been isolated from Mexican lime (Citrus aurantifolia L.) and from Mexican lime and alemow (Citrus macrophylla L.), respectively. We used amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) based on four partial housekeeping gene sequences (atpD, dnaK, efp and gyrB ) for the genotypic classification of Xanthomonas citri pv. citri and the poorly characterized citrus pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. bilvae. A Mantel test showed that genetic distances derived from AFLP and MLSA were highly correlated. X. campestris pv. bilvae showed a close relatedness to the type strain of X. citri, indicating that this pathovar should be reclassified as X. citri pv. bilvae. All pathotype A* and A(w) strains were most closely related to X. citri pv. citri strains with a wide host range (pathotype A), confirming previous DNA-DNA hybridization data. Pathotype A(w) should be considered a junior synonym of pathotype A* on the basis of pathogenicity tests, AFLP, MLSA and PCR using pathovar-specific primers. Evolutionary genome divergences computed from AFLP data suggested that pathotype A* (including A(w) strains) is a group of strains that shows a wider genetic diversity than pathotype A.
    International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 09/2009; 60(Pt 3):515-25. · 2.11 Impact Factor
  • Plant Pathology 07/2009; 58(4):783 - 783. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ability of pathogens to escape the host's immune response is crucial for the establishment of persistent infections and can influence virulence. Recombination has been observed to contribute to this process by generating novel genetic variants. Although distinctive recombination patterns have been described in many viral pathogens, little is known about the influence of biases in the recombination process itself relative to selective forces acting on newly formed recombinants. Understanding these influences is important for determining how recombination contributes to pathogen genome and proteome evolution. Most previous research on recombination-driven protein evolution has focused on relatively simple proteins, usually in the context of directed evolution experiments. Here, we study recombination in the envelope gene of HIV-1 between primary isolates belonging to subtypes that recombine naturally in the HIV/AIDS pandemic. By characterizing the early steps in the generation of recombinants, we provide novel insights into the evolutionary forces that shape recombination patterns within viral populations. Specifically, we show that the combined effects of mechanistic processes that determine the locations of recombination breakpoints across the HIV-1 envelope gene, and purifying selection acting against dysfunctional recombinants, can explain almost the entire distribution of breakpoints found within this gene in nature. These constraints account for the surprising paucity of recombination breakpoints found in infected individuals within this highly variable gene. Thus, the apparent randomness of HIV evolution via recombination may in fact be relatively more predictable than anticipated. In addition, the dominance of purifying selection in localized areas of the HIV genome defines regions where functional constraints on recombinants appear particularly strong, pointing to vulnerable aspects of HIV biology.
    PLoS Pathogens 06/2009; 5(5):e1000418. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Complete genomic sequences of Tomato yellow leaf curl Mali virus isolates infecting tomato and pepper from the North Province of Cameroon.
    Archives of Virology 03/2009; 154(3):535-40. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have used amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) and DNA-DNA hybridization for genotypic classification of Xanthomonas pathovars associated with the plant family Anacardiaceae. AFLP and MLSA results showed congruent phylogenetic relationships of the pathovar mangiferaeindicae (responsible for mango bacterial canker) with strains of Xanthomonas axonopodis subgroup 9.5. This subgroup includes X. axonopodis pv. citri (synonym Xanthomonas citri). Similarly, the pathovar anacardii, which causes cashew bacterial spot in Brazil, was included in X. axonopodis subgroup 9.6 (synonym Xanthomonas fuscans). Based on the thermal stability of DNA reassociation, consistent with the AFLP and MLSA data, the two pathovars share a level of similarity consistent with their being members of the same species. The recent proposal to elevate X. axonopodis pv. citri to species level as X. citri is supported by our data. Therefore, the causal agents of mango bacterial canker and cashew bacterial spot should be classified as pathovars of X. citri, namely X. citri pv. mangiferaeindicae (pathotype strain CFBP 1716) and X. citri pv. anacardii (pathotype strain CFBP 2913), respectively. Xanthomonas fuscans should be considered to be a later heterotypic synonym of Xanthomonas citri.
    International journal of systematic and evolutionary microbiology 03/2009; 59(Pt 2):306-18. · 2.11 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
164.75 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006–2013
    • University of La Réunion
      • Plant Communities and Biological Invaders in Tropical Environment (PVBMT)
      Saint-Denis, Réunion, Reunion
  • 2012
    • Institut de l'Environnement et Recherches Agricoles
      Tugan, Boucle du Mouhoun Region, Burkina Faso
    • Maseno University
      Winam, Kisumu, Kenya
  • 2011–2012
    • Cirad - La recherche agronomique pour le développement
      Montpelhièr, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
    • University of Canterbury
      • School of Biological Sciences
      Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
  • 2008–2011
    • University of Cape Town
      • • Institute of Infectious Disease & Molecular Medicine (IIDMM)
      • • Division of Cell Biology
      Cape Town, Province of the Western Cape, South Africa