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Lateral gene transfer in Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis

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Lateral gene transfer is an integral part of genome evolution in most bacteria. Bacteria can readily change the contents of their genomes to increase adaptability to ever-changing surroundings and to generate evolutionary novelty. Here, we report instances of lateral gene transfer in Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, a pathogenic bacteria that causes Johne's disease in cattle. A set of 275 genes are identified that are likely to have been recently acquired by lateral gene transfer. The analysis indicated that 53 of the 275 genes were acquired after the divergence of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis from M. avium subsp. avium, whereas the remaining 222 genes were possibly acquired by a common ancestor of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis and M. avium subsp. avium after its divergence from the ancestor of M. tuberculosis complex. Many of the acquired genes were from proteobacteria or soil dwelling actinobacteria. Prominent among the predicted laterally transferred genes is the gene rsbR, a possible regulator of sigma factor, and the genes designated MAP3614 and MAP3757, which are similar to genes in eukaryotes. The results of this study suggest that like most other bacteria, lateral gene transfers seem to be a common feature in M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis and that the proteobacteria contribute most of these genetic exchanges.Key words: mycobacteria, M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis, lateral gene transfer, unique genes, phylogeny.

Le transfert génique latéral fait partie intégrante de l'évolution du génome chez la plupart des bactéries. Les bactéries peuvent couramment changer le contenu de leur génome afin d'augmenter l'adaptabilité à des environnements en changement constant et pour générer des nouveautés évolutionnaires. Nous rapportons ici des cas de transferts de gènes latéraux chez Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, une bactérie pathogène causant la maladie de Johne chez la vache. Un ensemble de 275 gènes a été identifié comme pouvant avoir été récemment acquis par transfert génique latéral. Une analyse a indiqué que 53 des 275 gènes ont été acquis après la divergence de M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis de M. avium subsp. avium alors que les 222 gènes restants ont été potentiellement acquis par un ancêtre commun de M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis et M. avium subsp. avium après sa divergences de l'ancêtre du complexe M. tuberculosis. Plusieurs des gènes acquis provenaient de protéobactéries ou d'actinobactéries du sol. Parmi les gènes prédits transférés latéralement, on remarque rsbR, un régulateur potentiel de facteurs sigma, et les gènes désignés MAP3614 et MAP3757 qui sont semblables à des gènes chez les eucaryotes. Les résultats de cette étude indiquent que, comme la plupart des autres bactéries, les transferts géniques latéraux semblent être une caractéristique commune chez M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis et que les protéobactéries contribuent à la majorité de ces échanges génétiques.Mots clés : mycobactéries, M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis, transfert génique latéral, gènes uniques, phylogénie.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2006

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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