1887

Abstract

Previously, a complete genome analysis of strain MC58 revealed the largest repertoire of putative phase-variable genes described in any species to date. Initial comparisons with two incomplete spp. genome sequences available at that time revealed differences in the repeats associated with these genes in the form of polymorphisms, the absence of the potentially unstable elements in some alleles, and in the repertoire of the genes that were present. Analyses of the complete genomes of strain Z2491 and strain FA1090 have been performed and are combined with a comprehensive comparative analysis between the three available complete genome sequences. This has increased the sensitivity of these searches and provided additional contextual information that facilitates the interpretation of the functional consequences of repeat instability. This analysis identified: (i) 68 phase-variable gene candidates in strain Z2491, rather than the 27 previously reported; (ii) 83 candidates in strain FA1090; and (iii) 82 candidates in strain MC58, including an additional 19 identified through cross-comparisons with the other two strains. In addition to the 18 members of the gene family, a repertoire of 119 putative phase-variable genes is described, indicating a huge potential for diversification mediated by this mechanism of gene switching in these species that is central to their interactions with the host and environmental transitions. Eighty-two of these are either known (14) or strong (68) candidates for phase variation, which together with the genes make a total of 100 identified genes. The repertoires of the genes identified in this analysis diverge from the different species groupings, indicating horizontal exchange that significantly affects the species and strain complements of these genes.

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2001-08-01
2019-08-21
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