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Lookup NU author(s): Professor Hans-Peter Klenk
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
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.
Author(s): Gao XY, Zhi XY, Li HW, Klenk HP, Li WJ
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: PLoS One
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
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