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Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2010 Dec;74(4):621-41. doi: 10.1128/MMBR.00027-10.

The accessory genome of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology-Immunology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains exhibit significant variability in pathogenicity and ecological flexibility. Such interstrain differences reflect the dynamic nature of the P. aeruginosa genome, which is composed of a relatively invariable "core genome" and a highly variable "accessory genome." Here we review the major classes of genetic elements comprising the P. aeruginosa accessory genome and highlight emerging themes in the acquisition and functional importance of these elements. Although the precise phenotypes endowed by the majority of the P. aeruginosa accessory genome have yet to be determined, rapid progress is being made, and a clearer understanding of the role of the P. aeruginosa accessory genome in ecology and infection is emerging.

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