1887

Abstract

The genetic variation in the dTDP-L-rhamnose pathway gene set (, , , ) in was examined after sequencing the four genes from 11 -containing gene clusters encoding seven O antigens, and a 903 bp segment from another 23 strains representing the seven subspecies. There was considerable sequence variation and strong polarity in the nature and level of variation among genes. The 5′ end of the gene set, including , and most of , is in general subspecies specific. In contrast, the 3′ end, including part of and all of , is O antigen specific. The G+C content of the 3′ end is lower than that of the 5′ end. The variation in the 3′ end of the gene set is much greater than that of the 5′ end. It is apparent that the gene set of includes genes with two different evolutionary histories. In addition, there has been extensive recombination in the gene set, probably related to O antigen transfer between subspecies. These findings provide evidence for the lateral transfer of O antigen genes between species and among subspecies of . The results have also shown that conserved genes at the end of an O antigen gene cluster play a major role in mediating exchange of the central serogroup-specific regions.

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2000-09-01
2020-02-19
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