Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a ubiquitous environmental bacterium that is one of the top three causes of opportunistic human infections. A major factor in its prominence as a pathogen is its intrinsic resistance to antibiotics and disinfectants. Here we report the complete sequence of P. aeruginosa strain PAO1. At 6.3 million base pairs, this is the largest bacterial genome sequenced, and the sequence provides insights into the basis of the versatility and intrinsic drug resistance of P. aeruginosa. Consistent with its larger genome size and environmental adaptability, P. aeruginosa contains the highest proportion of regulatory genes observed for a bacterial genome and a large number of genes involved in the catabolism, transport and efflux of organic compounds as well as four potential chemotaxis systems. We propose that the size and complexity of the P. aeruginosa genome reflect an evolutionary adaptation permitting it to thrive in diverse environments and resist the effects of a variety of antimicrobial substances.
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