Author(s): Parker CT, Gilbert M, Yuki N, Endtz HP, Mandrell RE
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Abstract The lipooligosaccharide (LOS) biosynthesis region is one of the more variable genomic regions between strains of Campylobacter jejuni. Indeed, eight classes of LOS biosynthesis loci have been established previously based on gene content and organization. In this study, we characterize additional classes of LOS biosynthesis loci and analyze various mechanisms that result in changes to LOS structures. To gain further insights into the genomic diversity of C. jejuni LOS biosynthesis region, we sequenced the LOS biosynthesis loci of 15 strains that possessed gene content that was distinct from the eight classes. This analysis identified 11 new classes of LOS loci that exhibited examples of deletions and insertions of genes and cassettes of genes found in other LOS classes or capsular biosynthesis loci leading to mosaic LOS loci. The sequence analysis also revealed both missense mutations leading to "allelic" glycosyltransferases and phase-variable and non-phase-variable gene inactivation by the deletion or insertion of bases. Specifically, we demonstrated that gene inactivation is an important mechanism for altering the LOS structures of strains possessing the same class of LOS biosynthesis locus. Together, these observations suggest that LOS biosynthesis region is a hotspot for genetic exchange and variability, often leading to changes in the LOS produced.
This article was published in J Bacteriol
and referenced in Journal of Glycomics & Lipidomics