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Microbiology. 2011 Jul;157(Pt 7):2033-2041. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.048520-0. Epub 2011 Apr 28.

The genome sequence of Bacillus subtilis subsp. spizizenii W23: insights into speciation within the B. subtilis complex and into the history of B. subtilis genetics.

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Bacillus Genetic Stock Center, The Ohio State University, 484 W 12th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


The genome sequence of Bacillus subtilis subsp. spizizenii W23 has been determined. The sequence strongly suggests that W23 is a direct descendant of B. subtilis ATCC 6633. W23 shares a 3.6 Mb core genome with the intensively studied model organism B. subtilis subsp. subtilis 168, and gene order within this core has been strongly conserved. Additionally, the W23 genome has 157 accessory (that is, non-core) genome segments that are not found in 168, while the 168 genome has 141 segments not found in W23. The distribution of sequences similar to these accessory segments among other genomes of the B. subtilis species complex shows that those sequences having entered into the phylogeny of the complex more recently tend to be larger and more AT-rich than those having entered earlier. A simple model can account for these observations, in which parasitic or symbiotic DNAs are transferred into the genome and then are reduced in size and modified in base composition during speciation.

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