David A. Relman

Publication Details

  • Bordetella species are distinguished by patterns of substantial gene loss and host adaptation JOURNAL OF BACTERIOLOGY Cummings, C. A., Brinig, M. M., Lepp, P. W., van de Pas, S., Relman, D. A. 2004; 186 (5): 1484-1492


    Pathogens of the bacterial genus Bordetella cause respiratory disease in humans and animals. Although virulence and host specificity vary across the genus, the genetic determinants of this diversity remain unidentified. To identify genes that may underlie key phenotypic differences between these species and clarify their evolutionary relationships, we performed a comparative analysis of genome content in 42 Bordetella strains by hybridization of genomic DNA to a microarray representing the genomes of three Bordetella species and by subtractive hybridization. Here we show that B. pertussis and B. parapertussis are predominantly differentiated from B. bronchiseptica by large, species-specific regions of difference, many of which encode or direct synthesis of surface structures, including lipopolysaccharide O antigen, which may be important determinants of host specificity. The species also exhibit sequence diversity at a number of surface protein-encoding loci, including the fimbrial major subunit gene, fim2. Gene loss, rather than gene acquisition, accompanied by the proliferation of transposons, has played a fundamental role in the evolution of the pathogenic bordetellae and may represent a conserved evolutionary mechanism among other groups of microbial pathogens.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000189117900030

    View details for PubMedID 14973121

Stanford Medicine Resources:

Footer Links: