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Environ Microbiol. 2003 Dec;5(12):1341-9.

Genome mosaicism is conserved but not unique in Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from the airways of young children with cystic fibrosis.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, Health Sciences Building, K-140, Box 357710, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains from the chronic lung infections of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients are phenotypically and genotypically diverse. Using strain PAO1 whole genome DNA microarrays, we assessed the genomic variation in P. aeruginosa strains isolated from young children with CF (6 months to 8 years of age) as well as from the environment. Eighty-nine to 97% of the PAO1 open reading frames were detected in 20 strains by microarray analysis, while subsets of 38 gene islands were absent or divergent. No specific pattern of genome mosaicism defined strains associated with CF. Many mosaic regions were distinguished by their low G + C content; their inclusion of phage related or pyocin genes; or by their linkage to a vgr gene or a tRNA gene. Microarray and phenotypic analysis of sequential isolates from individual patients revealed two deletions of greater than 100 kbp formed during evolution in the lung. The gene loss in these sequential isolates raises the possibility that acquisition of pyomelanin production and loss of pyoverdin uptake each may be of adaptive significance. Further characterization of P. aeruginosa diversity within the airways of individual CF patients may reveal common adaptations, perhaps mediated by gene loss, that suggest new opportunities for therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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