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Title: Inter-species horizontal transfer resulting in core-genome and niche-adaptive variation within Helicobacter pylori
Authors: Saunders, NJ
Boonmee, P
Peden, JF
Jarvis, SA
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Biomed Central Ltd
Citation: BMC Genomics, 6: 9, Jan 2005
Abstract: Background: Horizontal gene transfer is central to evolution in most bacterial species. The detection of exchanged regions is often based upon analysis of compositional characteristics and their comparison to the organism as a whole. In this study we describe a new methodology combining aspects of established signature analysis with textual analysis approaches. This approach has been used to analyze the two available genome sequences of H. pylori. Results: This gene-by-gene analysis reveals a wide range of genes related to both virulence behaviour and the strain differences that have been relatively recently acquired from other sequence backgrounds. These frequently involve single genes or small numbers of genes that are not associated with transposases or bacteriophage genes, nor with inverted repeats typically used as markers for horizontal transfer. In addition, clear examples of horizontal exchange in genes associated with 'core' metabolic functions were identified, supported by differences between the sequenced strains, including: ftsK, xerD and polA. In some cases it was possible to determine which strain represented the 'parent' and 'altered' states for insertion-deletion events. Different signature component lengths showed different sensitivities for the detection of some horizontally transferred genes, which may reflect different amelioration rates of sequence components. Conclusion: New implementations of signature analysis that can be applied on a gene-by-gene basis for the identification of horizontally acquired sequences are described. These findings highlight the central role of the availability of homologous substrates in evolution mediated by horizontal exchange, and suggest that some components of the supposedly stable 'core genome' may actually be favoured targets for integration of foreign sequences because of their degree of conservation.
Description: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited - © 2005 Saunders et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
ISSN: 1471-2164
Appears in Collections:Biological Sciences
Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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