Recombination and the population structures of bacterial pathogens

Citation
Ej. Feil et Bg. Spratt, Recombination and the population structures of bacterial pathogens, ANN R MICRO, 55, 2001, pp. 561-590
Citations number
89
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Review
Categorie Soggetti
Microbiology
Journal title
ANNUAL REVIEW OF MICROBIOLOGY
ISSN journal
0066-4227 → ACNP
Volume
55
Year of publication
2001
Pages
561 - 590
Database
ISI
SICI code
0066-4227(2001)55:<561:RATPSO>2.0.ZU;2-T
Abstract
The population structures of bacterial species are complex and often contro versial. To a large extent, this is due to uncertainty about the frequency and impact of recombination in bacteria. The existence of clones within bac terial populations, and of linkage disequilibrium between alleles at differ ent loci, is often cited as evidence for low rates of recombination. Howeve r, clones and linkage disequilibrium are almost inevitable in species that divide by binary fission and can be present in populations where recombinat ion is frequent. In recent years, it has become possible to directly compar e rates of recombination in different species. These studies indicate that in many bacterial species, including Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Staphylococcus aureus, evolutionary change at neutral (hous ekeeping) loci is more likely to occur by recombination than mutation and c an result in the elimination of any deep-rooted phylogenetic signal. In suc h species, the long-term evolution of the population is dominated by recomb ination, but this does not occur at a sufficiently high frequency to preven t the emergence of adaptive clones, although these are relatively short-liv ed and rapidly diversify.