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Vet Microbiol. 2000 Mar 1;72(1-2):121-34.

Genetic organisation of the capsule biosynthetic locus of Pasteurella multocida M1404 (B:2).

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Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.


Capsules from a range of bacterial species have been shown to be major virulence determinants and capsule has been implicated in virulence in Pasteurella multocida. Moreover, capsular serogroup appears to be related to disease predilection. Haemorrhagic septicaemia strains belong to serogroup B and E, fowl cholera strains to serogroup A and atrophic rhinitis strains to serogroup D. The entire capsule biosynthetic locus of P. multocida A:1 has been cloned and its nucleotide sequence determined (Chung et al., 1998. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 166, 289-296); however, nothing is known of the P. multocida B:2 capsule locus. In this work we have determined the nucleotide sequence and genetic organisation of the P. multocida M1404 (B:2) capsule locus. By analogy with the cap loci of other bacteria, the nucleotide sequence can be divided into three functional regions. Regions 1 and 3 comprise six genes involved in transport of the polysaccharide capsule to the cell surface. The deduced products of these genes show high similarity to proteins involved in capsule export in other bacteria. Region 2 comprises nine genes which are likely involved in biosynthesis of the polysaccharide capsule. The deduced products of three of these genes (bcbA, bcbB and bcbC) show significant similarity to proteins known to be involved in polysaccharide biosynthesis while the other six show no similarity to known proteins. However, their organisation indicates they are co-transcribed with bcbA, bcbB, bcbC and the Region 1 capsule export genes, suggesting strongly that they are also involved in capsule biosynthesis.

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