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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Molecular Biology of Human Pathogens Associated with Food

Location: Produce Safety and Microbiology Research

Title: Hybrid speciation in agricultural Campylobacter coli

item Sheppard, Samual -
item Didalot, Xavier -
item Jolley, Kieth -
item Darling, Aaron -
item Kelley, David -
item Colles, Francis -
item Cody, Allison -
item Strachan, Norval -
item Ogden, Ian -
item Forbes, Ken -
item French, Nigel -
item Carter, Philip -
item Miller, William
item Mccarthy, Noel -
item Owen, Robert -
item Litrup, Eva -
item Egholm, Michael -
item Affourtit, Jason P -
item Bentley, Steven -
item Parkhill, Julian -
item Maiden, Martin -
item Falush, Daniel -

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 10, 2011
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Introduction Hybridization between distantly related organisms can facilitate rapid adaptation but is constrained by epistatic fitness interactions. The zoonotic pathogens Campylobacter coli and C. jejuni differ from each other at an average of nearly 40 amino acids per gene. Nevertheless, they have started to exchange substantial amounts of DNA. Results By analyzing whole genome data from 200 Campylobacter isolates our results describe how a C. coli diversified into three clades that could be considered different species. The clade 1 C. coli lineage has successfully colonized the agricultural niche. Descendants fall into two groups, the ST-828 and ST-1150 clonal complexes both of which have been progressively accumulating C. jejuni DNA. The 1150 complex is less common among genotyped isolates but has undergone a substantially greater amount of introgression, leading to replacement of up to 23% of the C. coli core genome as well as import of novel DNA. By contrast, 828 complex strains have 10-11% introgressed DNA and C. jejuni and non-agricultural C. coli strains each have less than 2%. Conclusions These findings highlight the importance of recombination in pathogen emergence and shows remarkable interchangeability of basic cellular machinery even after a prolonged period of independent evolution.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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