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Characterization of a highly conserved island in the otherwise divergent Bordetella holmesii and Bordetella pertussis genomes.


ABSTRACT: The recently discovered pathogen Bordetella holmesii has been isolated from the airways and blood of diseased humans. Genetic events contributing to the emergence of B. holmesii are not understood, and its phylogenetic position among the bordetellae remains unclear. To address these questions, B. holmesii strains were analyzed by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) to a Bordetella pertussis microarray and by multilocus sequence typing. Both methods indicated substantial sequence divergence between B. pertussis and B. holmesii. However, CGH identified a putative pathogenicity island of 66 kb that is highly conserved between these species and contains several IS481 elements that may have been laterally transferred from B. pertussis to B. holmesii. This island contains, among other genes, a functional, iron-regulated locus encoding the biosynthesis, export, and uptake of the siderophore alcaligin. The acquisition of this genomic island by B. holmesii may have significantly contributed to its emergence as a human pathogen. Horizontal gene transfer between B. pertussis and B. holmesii may also explain the unusually high sequence identity of their 16S rRNA genes.

SUBMITTER: Diavatopoulos DA 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC1698220 | BioStudies | 2006-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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