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Comparative Genomics of the Bacterial Genus Streptococcus Illuminates Evolutionary Implications of Species Groups

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Hans-Peter Klenk

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Abstract

Members of the genus Streptococcus within the phylum Firmicutes are among the most diverse and significant zoonotic pathogens. This genus has gone through considerable taxonomic revision due to increasing improvements of chemotaxonomic approaches, DNA hybridization and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. It is proposed to place the majority of streptococci into “species groups”. However, the evolutionary implications of species groups are not clear presently. We use comparative genomic approaches to yield a better understanding of the evolution of Streptococcus through genome dynamics, population structure, phylogenies and virulence factor distribution of species groups. Genome dynamics analyses indicate that the pan-genome size increases with the addition of newly sequenced strains, while the core genome size decreases with sequential addition at the genus level and species group level. Population structure analysis reveals two distinct lineages, one including Pyogenic, Bovis, Mutans and Salivarius groups, and the other including Mitis, Anginosus and Unknown groups. Phylogenetic dendrograms show that species within the same species group cluster together, and infer two main clades in accordance with population structure analysis. Distribution of streptococcal virulence factors has no obvious patterns among the species groups; however, the evolution of some common virulence factors is congruous with the evolution of species groups, according to phylogenetic inference. We suggest that the proposed streptococcal species groups are reasonable from the viewpoints of comparative genomics; evolution of the genus is congruent with the individual evolutionary trajectories of different species groups.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Gao XY, Zhi XY, Li HW, Klenk HP, Li WJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: PLoS One

Year: 2014

Volume: 9

Issue: 6

Online publication date: 30/06/2014

Acceptance date: 04/06/2014

Date deposited: 18/03/2015

ISSN (electronic): 1932-6203

Publisher: Public Library of Science

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0101229

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0101229


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