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Trends Microbiol. 2011 Apr;19(4):156-61. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2010.12.008. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

The rise and fall of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome.

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  • 1Unité des Infections Bactériennes Invasives, Département Infection et Epidémiologie, Pasteur Institute, Paris, France.

Abstract

When studied from the perspective of non-tuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) it is apparent that Mycobacterium tuberculosis has undergone a biphasic evolutionary process involving genome expansion (gene acquisition and duplication) and reductive evolution (deletions). This scheme can instruct descriptive and experimental studies that determine the importance of ancestral events (including horizontal gene transfer) in shaping the present-day pathogen. For example, heterologous complementation in an NTM can test the functional importance of M. tuberculosis-specific genetic insertions. An appreciation of both phases of M. tuberculosis evolution is expected to improve our fundamental understanding of its pathogenicity and facilitate the evaluation of novel diagnostics and vaccines.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21277778
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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