1887

Abstract

Large-scale recombination events have led to the emergence of epidemic clones of several major bacterial pathogens. However, the functional impact of the recombination on clonal success is not understood. Here, we identified a novel widespread hybrid clone (ST71) of livestock-associated that evolved from an ancestor belonging to the major bovine lineage CC97, through multiple large-scale recombination events with other lineages occupying the same ruminant niche. The recombination events, affecting a 329 kb region of the chromosome spanning the origin of replication, resulted in allele replacement and loss or gain of an array of genes influencing host–pathogen interactions. Of note, molecular functional analyses revealed that the ST71 hybrid clone has acquired multiple novel pathogenic traits associated with acquired and innate immune evasion and bovine extracellular matrix adherence. These findings provide a paradigm for the impact of large-scale recombination events on the rapid evolution of bacterial pathogens within defined ecological niches.

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2015-10-13
2019-12-12
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