HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Missing genes may help explain why plague bacteria are so deadly

LIVERMORE, Calif. What makes the germ that causes plague so fearsomely lethal, while a close relative only produces digestive disorders and is rarely fatal?

The answer may be in its genes or rather, its lack of them.

By comparing the genome of the plague bacillus, Yersinia pestis, with the almost-identical DNA sequence of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, an international team led by researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has found that several hundred genes that apparently were inactivated as the plague bacterium evolved may be largely responsible for its virulence.

In a report published today (Sept. 9) in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers said the "massive gene loss" and DNA rearrangements that occurred as Y. pestis evolved "provide a sobering example of how a highly virulent epidemic (pathogen) can suddenly emerge from a less virulent, closely related progenitor."

"This work is seminal because it has enabled us for the first time to follow the precise molecular events that led to the emergence of this highly virulent bacterium," said LLNL biologist Emilio Garcia, who headed the research team.

Knowledge of the genetic factors that contribute to the plague bacteria's virulence could aid researchers in developing better ways to detect, prevent, and treat the deadly disease.

The LLNL research, conducted in conjunction with the Yersinia Research Unit of the Institut Pasteur in Paris and several other organizations, suggests that natural selection may have led to the inactivation of genes in Y. pestis that tended to suppress its lethality, possibly giving it an evolutionary leg up on its more benign cousins.

Evolutionary pressures may have also made the bacterium better adapted to colonize the flea, its preferred vector (means of transmission), and thus facilitate the flea-borne spread of the disease.

Perhaps the most infectious of all bacter
'"/>

Contact: Charlie Osolin
osolin1@llnl.gov
925-422-8367
DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
9-Sep-2004


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Missing gene a potential risk factor for birth defects
2. Missing link detected in insulin mechanism
3. Missing protein is double-edged sword in cancer development
4. A Missing Link Fossil Adds Foliage To The Early Human Ancestor Family Tree
5. Horses Prefer Bridles That Have A Bit Missing
6. Jefferson Scientists Find Potential Deadly Effects Of Two Missing Cancer-Suppressor Genes
7. Belgian researchers explore revolutionary approach to angiogenesis
8. Tracing genes, biologists show lizard migration is traced to Florida
9. Certain genes boost fish oils protection against breast cancer
10. Fossil genes reveal how life sheds form and function
11. Do genes respond to global warming?

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/2/2020)... ... July 01, 2020 , ... AltruBio Inc. http://www.altrubio.com , ... biologic for the treatment of steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease (SR-aGVHD), at European Hematology ... Martin of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, this single-arm, open-label Phase 1 ...
(Date:7/1/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... July 01, 2020 , ... ... that it had completed the purchase of Teva-Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ packaging facility in Minakuchi, ... company’s existing Japanese clinical supply facility located in Kakegawa, the new 60,000-square-foot facility ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, ... ... of enterprise software solutions for biopharmaceutical R&D, today announced that it has ... developing innovative, full-length multispecific antibodies (Multiclonics®), to support their translational and clinical ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/18/2020)... ... ... After research model surgery and catheter implantation, the long journey of catheter maintenance ... a successful study, while protecting and accessing the catheter or device post-surgery is often ... Envigo in a live webinar on Wednesday, August 5, 2020 ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... DAYTON, Ohio (PRWEB) , ... July 16, 2020 ... ... clinical data solutions to aid in the early detection and prevention of high-burden ... partnership to enable US-based hospitals and healthcare organizations to utilize existing data in ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... 08, 2020 , ... Bode Technology, a leading ... operations through its COVID-19 testing service, Bode-CARES . Bode-CARES combines high-volume clinical ... provides a turnkey solution that includes a comprehensive collection and virus-management program ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 09, 2020 , ... In ... commonly used to suppress pigment formation in zebrafish embryos, maintaining optical transparency to ... by Dr MA has been using the zebrafish model to investigate the causes ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: