Papazisi, L., Rasko, D. A., Ratnayake, S., Bock, G. R., Remortel, B. G., Appalla, L., Liu, J., Dracheva, T., Braisted, J. C., Shallom, S., Jarrahi, B., Snesrud, E., Ahn, S., Sun, Q., Rilstone, J., Okstad, O. A., Kolsto, A. B., Fleischmann, R. D., Peterson, S. N.
Investigating the Genome Diversity of B. cereus and Evolutionary Aspects of B. anthracis Emergence
Genomics. 2011 Mar 26;
Here we report the use of a multi-genome DNA microarray to investigate the genome diversity of Bacillus cereus group members and elucidate the events associated with the emergence of B. anthracis the causative agent of anthrax-a lethal zoonotic disease. We initially performed directed genome sequencing of seven diverse B. cereus strains to identify novel sequences encoded in those genomes. The novel genes identified, combined with those publicly available, allowed the design of a "species" DNA microarray. Comparative genomic hybridization analyses of 41 strains indicates that substantial heterogeneity exists with respect to the genes comprising functional role categories. While the acquisition of the plasmid-encoded pathogenicity island (pXO1) and capsule genes (pXO2) represent a crucial landmark dictating the emergence of B. anthracis, the evolution of this species and its close relatives was associated with an overall a shift in the fraction of genes devoted to energy metabolism, cellular processes, transport, as well as virulence.