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Mol Microbiol. 1987 Nov;1(3):301-8.

Evolutionary relationships in the genus Bordetella.

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Sclavo Research Centre, Siena, Italy.


The nucleotide sequence of the pertussis toxin operon of Bordetella pertussis, Bordetella parapertussis and Bordetella bronchiseptica, has shown that the last two species contain many common mutations and are likely to derive from a common ancestor (Aricò and Rappuoli, 1987). To elucidate further the evolutionary relationships between the Bordetella species, we have cloned and sequenced the promoter region and the gene coding for the S1 subunit of pertussis toxin from additional B. pertussis strains, such as the type strain BP 18323 and two recent clinical isolates, namely strain BP 13456 from Sweden and strain BP SA1 from Italy. While the strains BP SA1 and BP 13456 are shown to differ from the published B. pertussis sequences by only one base pair, the type strain BP 18323 contains a total of 11 base-pair substitutions. Remarkably, 9 of the 11 substitutions found in BP 18323 are also common to B. parapertussis and B. bronchiseptica, strongly suggesting that this strain derives from the same ancestor as B. parapertussis and B. bronchiseptica. Computer analysis of the sequence data allows the construction of an evolutionary 'tree' showing that the B. pertussis strains are very homogeneous and significantly distant from B. parapertussis and B. bronchiseptica. Therefore the proposed conversion from B. parapertussis to B. pertussis appears highly improbable.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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