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Genome Res. 2007 Nov;17(11):1657-64. Epub 2007 Oct 4.

Lateral gene transfer between obligate intracellular bacteria: evidence from the Rickettsia massiliae genome.

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  • 1Structural and Genomic Information Laboratory, CNRS-UPR 2589, Institut de Biologie Structurale et Microbiologie, IFR 88, Parc Scientifique de Luminy, 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France. guillaume.blanc@igs.cnrs-mrs.fr

Abstract

Rickettsia massiliae is a tick-borne obligate intracellular alpha-proteobacteria causing spotted fever in humans. Here, we present the sequence of its genome, comprising a 1.3-Mb circular chromosome and a 15.3-kb plasmid. The chromosome exhibits long-range colinearity with the other Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia genomes, except for a large fragment specific to R. massiliae that contains 14 tra genes presumably involved in pilus formation and conjugal DNA transfer. We demonstrate that the tra region was acquired recently by lateral gene transfer (LGT) from a species related to Rickettsia bellii. Further analysis of the genomic sequences identifies additional candidates of LGT between Rickettsia. Our study indicates that recent LGT between obligate intracellular Rickettsia is more common than previously thought.

PMID:
17916642
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2045148
Free PMC Article

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