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The neisserial genomes: what they reveal about the diversity and behavior of these species

Part 2. Genomics

2.5. Bacteria and Other Pathogens

Short Specialist Review

  1. Nigel J. Saunders,
  2. Lori A. S. Snyder

Published Online: 15 APR 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047001153X.g205314

Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics

Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics

How to Cite

Saunders, N. J. and Snyder, L. A. S. 2005. The neisserial genomes: what they reveal about the diversity and behavior of these species. Encyclopedia of Genetics, Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics. 2:2.5:62.

Author Information

  1. University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2005

Abstract

Considered singly and together, the neisserial genomes provide global perspectives of the great genetic and functional flexibility of these species. They provide a useful model for the behaviors and diversifying strategies that are common to many of the naturally transformable, relatively panmictic, bacterial species. Comparisons of gene complements suggest that the very different pathogenic potentials of these species are associated with a relatively limited number of key genes. Differences between the strains and species can be used to address their behavior, but to be informative this has to include assessments of several different types of diversity. These species have differences not only in gene complements, but also in phase-variable genes, genes containing repeats altering protein structures, and in genome organization, all of which have the potential to affect function and behavior. These studies have to be extended to functional comparisons based upon expression analysis at both transcript and protein levels, and for each such investigation the genome sequences and annotations are an essential platform.

Keywords:

  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae;
  • Neisseria meningitidis;
  • comparative genomics