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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1993 Jul 1;110(3):275-80.

The absence of correlation between allozyme and rrn RFLP analysis indicates a high gene flow rate within human clinical Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates.

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Laboratoire de Biochimie Génétique, Hôpital Robert Debré, Paris, France.


Two hundred and fifty seven human clinical Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains isolated between 1984 and 1990 in several regions of France, as well as two reference strains, were studied by computer-assisted statistical analysis of the data from their esterase electrophoretic patterns and rrn restriction fragment length polymorphisms. No correlation was found between the two sets of data except for some strains of serotype O12 which, thus, may constitute a distinct group within the species. This absence of correlation indicates a high gene flow rate within human isolates of the P. aeruginosa species. A possible explanation is that, because of an as yet unidentified selective advantage, the esterase loci are a major target for recombinational events. Alternatively, horizontal genetic transfers between strains may have occurred at so high a rate that the clonal structure usually observed in bacterial populations has been disrupted. This study highlights clearly the need for caution in inferring bacterial population structure from any single class of genetic markers.

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