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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2007 Aug;10(4):410-7. Epub 2007 Aug 23.

Role of phages in the pathogenesis of Burkholderia, or 'Where are the toxin genes in Burkholderia phages?'.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-2128, United States.


Most bacteria of the genus Burkholderia are soil- and rhizosphere-associated, and rhizosphere associated, noted for their metabolic plasticity in the utilization of a wide range of organic compounds as carbon sources. Many Burkholderia species are also opportunistic human and plant pathogens, and the distinction between environmental, plant, and human pathogens is not always clear. Burkholderia phages are not uncommon and multiple cryptic prophages are identifiable in the sequenced Burkholderia genomes. Phages have played a crucial role in the transmission of virulence factors among many important pathogens; however, the data do not yet support a significant correlation between phages and pathogenicity in the Burkholderia. This may be due to the role of Burkholderia as a 'versaphile' such that selection is occurring in several niches, including as a pathogen and in the context of environmental survival.

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