Analysis of the hypervariable region of the Salmonella enterica genome associated with tRNAleuX

Anne L. Bishop, Stephen Baker, Sara Jenks, Maria Fookes, Peadar Ó Gaora, Derek Pickard, Muna Anjum, Jeremy Farrar, Tran T. Hien, Al Ivens, Gordon Dougan

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35 Citations (Scopus)


The divergence of Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli is estimated to have occurred approximately 140 million years ago. Despite this evolutionary distance, the genomes of these two species still share extensive synteny and homology. However, there are significant differences between the two species in terms of genes putatively acquired via various horizontal transfer events. Here we report on the composition and distribution across the Salmonella genus of a chromosomal region designated SPI-10 in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi and located adjacent to tRNAleuX. We find that across the Salmonella genus the tRNAleuX region is a hypervariable hot spot for horizontal gene transfer; different isolates from the same S. enterica serovar can exhibit significant variation in this region. Many P4 phage, plasmid, and transposable element-associated genes are found adjacent to tRNAleuX in both Salmonella and E. coli, suggesting that these mobile genetic elements have played a major role in driving the variability of this region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2469-2482
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes

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