Genome-wide identification and mapping of variable sequences in the genomes of Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei.Res Microbiol. 2005 Mar; 156(2):278-88.RM
Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei, closely related Gram-negative bacteria, are the causative agents of such serious infectious diseases of humans and animals as glanders and melioidosis, respectively. Despite numerous studies of these pathogens, the detailed mechanisms of their pathogenesis is still poorly understood. One of the serious obstacles to revealing factors responsible for pathogenicity lies in the considerable natural variability of B. pseudomallei and B. mallei, which is also a challenge to development of rapid and efficient diagnostic tools facilitating unambiguous identification of the infectious agents. To gain a deeper insight into B. mallei and B. pseudomallei interspecies divergence and intraspecies polymorphism, we compared the genomes of B. mallei C-5 and B. pseudomallei C-141 strains using a subtractive hybridization technique. A library of DNA fragments specific for B. mallei C-5 and absent from B. pseudomallei C-141 was obtained and analyzed. Some of the differential sequences detected were also not found in the recently sequenced genome of B. pseudomallei K96243. However, a multitude of B. mallei C-5 sequences absent from the B. pseudomallei C-141 genome were detected in the genome of B. pseudomallei K96243. On the other hand, some sequences identified as constituents of the B. mallei C-5 genome were not found in the genome of B. mallei ATCC 23344. Some of the differential DNA fragments displayed similarity to different mobile elements that have not yet been described for B. mallei, whereas the others matched fragments of various prophages, or, when translated into protein sequences, components of active transport systems and different enzymes. A substantial proportion of the differential clones had no database matches either at the nucleotide or amino acid sequence level. The results suggest great genome-wide intra- and interspecies variability of B. mallei and B. pseudomallei. The differences identified may be useful as molecular signatures for identification of B. mallei strains.