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Microbial Pathogenomics

Editor(s): de Reuse H. (Paris) 
Bereswill S. (Berlin) 
Cover

Helicobacter pylori Genome Plasticity

Baltrus D.A.a · Blaser M.J.b · Guillemin K.c

Author affiliations

aDepartment of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C., bDepartment of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, N.Y, cInstitute of Molecular Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oreg., USA

Related Articles for ""

de Reuse H, Bereswill S (eds): Microbial Pathogenomics. Genome Dyn. Basel, Karger, 2009, vol 6, pp 75–90

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Paper

Published online: August 19, 2009
Cover Date: 2009

Number of Print Pages: 16
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0

ISBN: 978-3-8055-9192-8 (Print)
eISBN: 978-3-8055-9193-5 (Online)

Abstract

Helicobacter pylori, a Gram-negative pathogen associated with ulcers, chronic gastritis, and gastric cancers, has been a resident of the human stomach since early human history [1]. This association has only recently begun to erode with the advent of antibiotics and modern lifestyles, but even today H. pylori colonizes approximately half the world’s population. To have remained a successful colonizer of humans during thousands of years of association, populations of H. pylori must have been able to survive and adapt to countless evolutionary challenges within and between hosts. As a species, H. pylori possesses one of the most fluid genomes within the prokaryotic kingdom [2], a characteristic that has likely aided its continued success. H. pylori exhibits exceptionally high rates of DNA point mutations, intragenomic recombination (facilitated by repetitive elements common in H. pylori genomes), and intergenomic recombination (mediated by natural transformation), all of which contribute to the high genomic variability between isolates. Previous reviews have focused on these processes as agents of evolutionary change within H. pylori [2–8]. The mechanisms of both mutation and natural transformation, and the evolutionary processes that retain genetic variation generated by these mechanisms, dictate the extent to which each contributes to genomic diversity in the context of different bacterial population structures [9–13]. Unlike well-studied evolutionary systems, such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli, H. pylori is notable in its lack of an environmental reservoir outside of human and other primate stomachs, suggesting that between-host survival is a relatively weak determinant of selection pressures [14, 15]. Given that H. pylori exist largely as distinct host-associated populations, it is possible to begin to model the evolutionary mechanisms that affect the long-term persistence of this species. In this chapter, we consider how the attributes of H. pyloris natural history as a long-term resident of the human stomach and the specific mechanisms of mutation and genetic exchange in this organism have shaped the H. pylori genome. We begin with a survey of genome plasticity in H. pylori. We then discuss mechanisms of mutation and natural transformation in H. pylori and examine experimental evidence for the generation of genomic changes within populations. Finally, we consider how different models of H. pylori population structure affect the relative contributions of mutation and recombination to the evolutionary success of this organism. By bridging evolutionary studies with investigations of pathogenesis from a molecular perspective, we hope to shed new light on how H. pylori has and continues to evolve with its human hosts.

© 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Paper

Published online: August 19, 2009
Cover Date: 2009

Number of Print Pages: 16
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0

ISBN: 978-3-8055-9192-8 (Print)
eISBN: 978-3-8055-9193-5 (Online)


Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer

Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.