Editor: Josep Casadesús
Genome dynamics in major bacterial pathogens
Article first published online: 30 MAR 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd
FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Special Issue: Genome Dynamics
Volume 33, Issue 3, pages 453–470, May 2009
How to Cite
Ambur, O. H., Davidsen, T., Frye, S. A., Balasingham, S. V., Lagesen, K., Rognes, T. and Tønjum, T. (2009), Genome dynamics in major bacterial pathogens. FEMS Microbiology Reviews, 33: 453–470. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6976.2009.00173.x
- Issue published online: 6 APR 2009
- Article first published online: 30 MAR 2009
- Received 30 January 2009; revised 24 February 2009; accepted 25 February 2009.First published online April 2009.
- genome sequences;
- gene profile;
- DNA repair;
Pathogenic bacteria continuously encounter multiple forms of stress in their hostile environments, which leads to DNA damage. With the new insight into biology offered by genome sequences, the elucidation of the gene content encoding proteins provides clues toward understanding the microbial lifestyle related to habitat and niche. Campylobacter jejuni, Haemophilus influenzae, Helicobacter pylori, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the pathogenic Neisseria, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus are major human pathogens causing detrimental morbidity and mortality at a global scale. An algorithm for the clustering of orthologs was established in order to identify whether orthologs of selected genes were present or absent in the genomes of the pathogenic bacteria under study. Based on the known genes for the various functions and their orthologs in selected pathogenic bacteria, an overview of the presence of the different types of genes was created. In this context, we focus on selected processes enabling genome dynamics in these particular pathogens, namely DNA repair, recombination and horizontal gene transfer. An understanding of the precise molecular functions of the enzymes participating in DNA metabolism and their importance in the maintenance of bacterial genome integrity has also, in recent years, indicated a future role for these enzymes as targets for therapeutic intervention.