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Microbiology. 2007 Jun;153(Pt 6):1720-33.

Optical maps distinguish individual strains of Escherichia coli O157 : H7.

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Division of Molecular Biology, Office of Applied Research and Safety Assessment, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, US Food and Drug Administration, Laurel, MD 20708, USA.


Optical maps of 11 Escherichia coli O157 : H7 strains have been generated by the assembly of contiguous sets of restriction fragments across their entire 5.3 to 5.6 Mbp chromosomes. Each strain showed a distinct, highly individual configuration of 500-700 BamHI fragments, yielding a map resembling a DNA 'bar code'. The accuracy of optical mapping was assessed by comparing directly the in silico restriction maps of two wholly sequenced reference genomes of E. coli O157 : H7, i.e. EDL933 and the Sakai isolate (RIMD 0509952), with the optical maps of the same strains. The optical maps of nine other E. coli O157 : H7 strains were compared similarly, using the sequence-based maps of the Sakai and EDL933 strains as references. A total of 91 changes at 28 loci were positioned and sized; these included complex chromosomal inversions, insertions, deletions, substitutions, as well as a number of simple RFLPs. The optical maps defined unique genome landmarks in each of the strains and demonstrated the ability of optical mapping to distinguish and differentiate, at the individual level, strains of this important pathogen.

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