May 21, 2010

Molecular evolution of Legionella pneumophila dotA gene, the contribution of natural environmental strains

Environmental Microbiology
Joana CostaA Veríssimo


Given the role of DotA protein in establishing successful infections and the diversity of host cells interacting with Legionella pneumophila in nature, it is possible that this gene product is a target for adaptive evolution. We investigated the influence of L. pneumophila isolates from natural environments with the molecular evolution of this crucial virulence-related gene. The population genetic structure of L. pneumophila was inferred from the partial sequences of rpoB and dotA of 303 worldwide strains. The topology of the two inferred trees was not congruent and in the inferred dotA tree the vast majority of the natural environmental isolates were clustered in a discrete group. The Ka/Ks ratio demonstrated that this group, contrary to all others, has been under strong diversifying selection. The alignment of all DotA sequences allowed the identification of several alleles and the amino acid variations were not randomly distributed. Moreover, from these results we can conclude that dotA from L. pneumophila clinical and man-made environmental strains belong to a sub-set of all genotypes existing in nature. A split graph analysis showed evidence of a network-like organization and several intergenic recombination events were de...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Bacterial Proteins
Recombination, Genetic
Genes, Bacterial
Genome Encoded Entity
DotA protein, Legionella pneumophila

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