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J Bacteriol. 2000 Jun;182(11):3125-35.

Sequence diversity of Pseudomonas aeruginosa: impact on population structure and genome evolution.

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Klinische Forschergruppe, Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, D-30623 Hannover, Germany.


Comparative sequencing of Pseudomonas aeruginosa genes oriC, citS, ampC, oprI, fliC, and pilA in 19 environmental and clinical isolates revealed the sequence diversity to be about 1 order of magnitude lower than in comparable housekeeping genes of Salmonella. In contrast to the low nucleotide substitution rate, the frequency of recombination among different P. aeruginosa genotypes was high, leading to the random association of alleles. The P. aeruginosa population consists of equivalent genotypes that form a net-like population structure. However, each genotype represents a cluster of closely related strains which retain their sequence signature in the conserved gene pool and carry a set of genotype-specific DNA blocks. The codon adaptation index, a quantitative measure of synonymous codon bias of genes, was found to be consistently high in the P. aeruginosa genome irrespective of the metabolic category and the abundance of the encoded gene product. Such uniformly high codon adaptation indices of 0.55 to 0.85 fit the ubiquitous lifestyle of P. aeruginosa.

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