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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1996 Dec 1;145(2):173-9.

Genome plasticity in Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Biologie, Abteilung Infektionsbiologie, Tübingen, Germany.


The pathogenic Neisseria have exploited the processes of horizontal DNA transfer and genetic recombination as mechanisms for the generation of extensive protein variation and modulation of gene expression. Localized recombinations have been well documented in members of multigene families as have alterations in short repetitive sequences. Here we report an analysis of the chromosomal structure of a defined lineage of Neisseria gonorrhoeae strain MSl1 pilin variants. This study reveals the occurrence of large rearrangements, including the amplification of a 26 kb region and an inversion involving more than a third of the chromosome. Additionally, a restriction site polymorphism that correlates with pilin expression has been observed. These findings highlight the flexibility of the gonococcal genome.

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