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      Analysis of the unexplored features of rrs (16S rDNA) of the Genus Clostridium

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          Bacterial taxonomy and phylogeny based on rrs (16S rDNA) sequencing is being vigorously pursued. In fact, it has been stated that novel biological findings are driven by comparison and integration of massive data sets. In spite of a large reservoir of rrs sequencing data of 1,237,963 entries, this analysis invariably needs supplementation with other genes. The need is to divide the genetic variability within a taxa or genus at their rrs phylogenetic boundaries and to discover those fundamental features, which will enable the bacteria to naturally fall within them. Within the large bacterial community, Clostridium represents a large genus of around 110 species of significant biotechnological and medical importance. Certain Clostridium strains produce some of the deadliest toxins, which cause heavy economic losses. We have targeted this genus because of its high genetic diversity, which does not allow accurate typing with the available molecular methods.


          Seven hundred sixty five rrs sequences (> 1200 nucleotides, nts) belonging to 110 Clostridium species were analyzed. On the basis of 404 rrs sequences belonging to 15 Clostridium species, we have developed species specific: (i) phylogenetic framework, (ii) signatures (30 nts) and (iii) in silico restriction enzyme (14 Type II REs) digestion patterns. These tools allowed: (i) species level identification of 95 Clostridium sp. which are presently classified up to genus level, (ii) identification of 84 novel Clostridium spp. and (iii) potential reduction in the number of Clostridium species represented by small populations.


          This integrated approach is quite sensitive and can be easily extended as a molecular tool for diagnostic and taxonomic identification of any microbe of importance to food industries and health services. Since rapid and correct identification allows quicker diagnosis and consequently treatment as well, it is likely to lead to reduction in economic losses and mortality rates.

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          Most cited references 56

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          TreeView: an application to display phylogenetic trees on personal computers.

           Roderic Page (1996)
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            Health care costs and mortality associated with nosocomial diarrhea due to Clostridium difficile.

            A total of 271 patients were prospectively followed up to determine whether patients whose hospital stay is complicated by diarrhea due to Clostridium difficile experience differences in cost and length of stay and survival rates when compared with patients whose stay is not complicated by C. difficile-associated diarrhea. Forty patients (15%) developed nosocomial C. difficile-associated diarrhea. These patients incurred adjusted hospital costs of $3669--that is, 54% (95% confidence interval [CI], 17%-103%)--higher than patients whose course was not complicated by C. difficile-associated diarrhea. The extra length of stay attributable to C. difficile-associated diarrhea was 3.6 days (95% CI, 1.5-6.2). C. difficile-associated diarrhea was not associated with excess 3-month or 1-year mortality after adjustment for age, comorbidity, and disease severity. On the basis of the findings of this study, a conservative estimate of the cost of this disease in the United States exceeds $1.1 billion per year.
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              Genome sequence and comparative analysis of the solvent-producing bacterium Clostridium acetobutylicum.

              The genome sequence of the solvent-producing bacterium Clostridium acetobutylicum ATCC 824 has been determined by the shotgun approach. The genome consists of a 3.94-Mb chromosome and a 192-kb megaplasmid that contains the majority of genes responsible for solvent production. Comparison of C. acetobutylicum to Bacillus subtilis reveals significant local conservation of gene order, which has not been seen in comparisons of other genomes with similar, or, in some cases closer, phylogenetic proximity. This conservation allows the prediction of many previously undetected operons in both bacteria. However, the C. acetobutylicum genome also contains a significant number of predicted operons that are shared with distantly related bacteria and archaea but not with B. subtilis. Phylogenetic analysis is compatible with the dissemination of such operons by horizontal transfer. The enzymes of the solventogenesis pathway and of the cellulosome of C. acetobutylicum comprise a new set of metabolic capacities not previously represented in the collection of complete genomes. These enzymes show a complex pattern of evolutionary affinities, emphasizing the role of lateral gene exchange in the evolution of the unique metabolic profile of the bacterium. Many of the sporulation genes identified in B. subtilis are missing in C. acetobutylicum, which suggests major differences in the sporulation process. Thus, comparative analysis reveals both significant conservation of the genome organization and pronounced differences in many systems that reflect unique adaptive strategies of the two gram-positive bacteria.

                Author and article information

                BMC Genomics
                BMC Genomics
                BioMed Central
                11 January 2011
                : 12
                : 18
                [1 ]Microbial Biotechnology and Genomics, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), CSIR, Delhi University Campus, Mall Road, Delhi-110007, India
                Copyright ©2011 Kalia et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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