Identification of Campylobacter jejuni ATCC 43431-specific genes by whole microbial genome comparisons

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Abstract

This study describes a novel approach to identify unique genomic DNA sequences from the unsequenced strain C. jejuni ATCC 43431 by comparison with the sequenced strain C. jejuni NCTC 11168. A shotgun DNA microarray was constructed by arraying 9,600 individual DNA fragments from a C. jejuni ATCC 43431 genomic library onto a glass slide. DNA fragments unique to C. jejuni ATCC 43431 were identified by competitive hybridization to the array with genomic DNA of C. jejuni NCTC 11168. The plasmids containing unique DNA fragments were sequenced, allowing the identification of up to 130 complete and incomplete genes. Potential biological roles were assigned to 66% of the unique open reading frames. The mean G+C content of these unique genes (26%) differs significantly from the G+C content of the entire C. jejuni genome (30.6%). This suggests that they may have been acquired through horizontal gene transfer from an organism with a G+C content lower than that of C. jejuni. Because the two C. jejuni strains differ by Penner serotype, a large proportion of the unique ATCC 43431 genes encode proteins involved in lipooligosaccharide and capsular biosynthesis, as expected. Several unique open reading frames encode enzymes which may contribute to genetic variability, i.e., restriction-modification systems and integrases. Interestingly, many of the unique C. jejuni ATCC 43431 genes show identity with a possible pathogenicity island from Helicobacter hepaticus and components of a potential type IV secretion system. In conclusion, this study provides a valuable resource to further investigate Campylobacter diversity and pathogenesis.

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Poly, F., Threadgill, D., & Stintzi, A. (2004). Identification of Campylobacter jejuni ATCC 43431-specific genes by whole microbial genome comparisons. Journal of Bacteriology, 186(14), 4781–4795. https://doi.org/10.1128/JB.186.14.4781-4795.2004

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