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gbpA and chiA genes are not uniformly distributed amongst diverse Vibrio cholerae.

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Fennell, Thea G 
Blackwell, Grace A 
Thomson, Nicholas R 
Dorman, Matthew J 


Members of the bacterial genus Vibrio utilize chitin both as a metabolic substrate and a signal to activate natural competence. Vibrio cholerae is a bacterial enteric pathogen, sub-lineages of which can cause pandemic cholera. However, the chitin metabolic pathway in V. cholerae has been dissected using only a limited number of laboratory strains of this species. Here, we survey the complement of key chitin metabolism genes amongst 195 diverse V. cholerae. We show that the gene encoding GbpA, known to be an important colonization and virulence factor in pandemic isolates, is not ubiquitous amongst V. cholerae. We also identify a putatively novel chitinase, and present experimental evidence in support of its functionality. Our data indicate that the chitin metabolic pathway within V. cholerae is more complex than previously thought, and emphasize the importance of considering genes and functions in the context of a species in its entirety, rather than simply relying on traditional reference strains.



ChiA, GbpA, Vibrio cholerae, chitin, chitinase, cholera, Bacterial Proteins, Chitin, Chitinases, Cholera, Cloning, Molecular, Fimbriae Proteins, Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial, Sequence Alignment, Vibrio cholerae, Virulence Factors

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Microb Genom

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Microbiology Society