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Genome Sequencing Reveals Unique Mutations in Characteristic Metabolic Pathways and the Transfer of Virulence Genes between V. mimicus and V. cholerae

By Duochun Wang, Haiyin Wang, Yanyan Zhou, Qiuxiang Zhang, Fanfei Zhang, Pengcheng Du, Shujing Wang, Chen Chen and Biao Kan


Vibrio mimicus, the species most similar to V. cholerae, is a microbe present in the natural environmental and sometimes causes diarrhea and internal infections in humans. It shows similar phenotypes to V. cholerae but differs in some biochemical characteristics. The molecular mechanisms underlying the differences in biochemical metabolism between V. mimicus and V. cholerae are currently unclear. Several V. mimicus isolates have been found that carry cholera toxin genes (ctxAB) and cause cholera-like diarrhea in humans. Here, the genome of the V. mimicus isolate SX-4, which carries an intact CTX element, was sequenced and annotated. Analysis of its genome, together with those of other Vibrio species, revealed extensive differences within the Vibrionaceae. Common mutations in gene clusters involved in three biochemical metabolism pathways that are used for discrimination between V. mimicus and V. cholerae were found in V. mimicus strains. We also constructed detailed genomic structures and evolution maps for the general types of genomic drift associated with pathogenic characters in polysaccharides, CTX elements and toxin co-regulated pilus (TCP) gene clusters. Overall, the whole-genome sequencing of the V. mimicus strain carrying the cholera toxin gene provides detailed information for understanding genomic differences among Vibrio spp. V. mimicus has a large number of diverse gene and nucleotide differences from its nearest neighbor, V. cholerae. The observed mutations in the characteristic metabolism pathways may indicate different adaptations to different niches for these species and may be caused by ancient events in evolution before the divergence of V. cholerae and V. mimicus. Horizontal transfers of virulence-related genes from an uncommon clone of V. cholerae, rather than the seventh pandemic strains, have generated the pathogenic V. mimicus strain carrying cholera toxin genes

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Public Library of Science
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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