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Infect Genet Evol. 2012 Mar;12(2):274-7. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2011.11.004. Epub 2011 Dec 3.

Functional bias of positively selected genes in Streptococcus genomes.

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Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Rates of nonsynonymous substitution (dN) significantly higher than rates of synonymous substitution (dS) have been used as evidence of positive selection for the fixation of advantageous point mutations. It has been suggested that positive selection contributes to the evolution of virulence factors and certain functional categories in bacterial pathogens. The genus Streptococcus contains a number of important human and agricultural pathogens. Here we assessed positive selection across 13 Streptococcus species, and their relationship with virulence factors and functional categories. We found that known virulence genes were subject to positive selection pressure as much as other genes. After false discovery rate correction for multiple comparisons, no functional categories were significantly over- or under-represented in positively selected genes relative to other genes. Our results suggest that within the genus Streptococcus positive selection based on dN/dS ratios is not distributed with bias across biological functions.

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