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The Waddlia genome: a window into chlamydial biology.
Growing evidence suggests that a novel member of the Chlamydiales order, Waddlia chondrophila, is a potential agent of miscarriage in humans and abortion in ruminants. Due to the lack of genetic tools to manipulate chlamydia, genomic analysis is proving to be the most incisive tool in stimulating investigations into the biology of these obligate intracellular bacteria. 454/Roche and Solexa/Illumina technologies were thus used to sequence and assemble de novo the full genome of the first representative of the Waddliaceae family, W. chondrophila. The bacteria possesses a 2'116'312 bp chromosome and a 15'593 bp low-copy number plasmid that might integrate into the bacterial chromosome. The Waddlia genome displays numerous repeated sequences indicating different genome dynamics from classical chlamydia which almost completely lack repetitive elements. Moreover, W. chondrophila exhibits many virulence factors also present in classical chlamydia, including a functional type III secretion system, but also a large complement of specific factors for resistance to host or environmental stresses. Large families of outer membrane proteins were identified indicating that these highly immunogenic proteins are not Chlamydiaceae specific and might have been present in their last common ancestor. Enhanced metabolic capability for the synthesis of nucleotides, amino acids, lipids and other co-factors suggests that the common ancestor of the modern Chlamydiales may have been less dependent on their eukaryotic host. The fine-detailed analysis of biosynthetic pathways brings us closer to possibly developing a synthetic medium to grow W. chondrophila, a critical step in the development of genetic tools. As a whole, the availability of the W. chondrophila genome opens new possibilities in Chlamydiales research, providing new insights into the evolution of members of the order Chlamydiales and the biology of the Waddliaceae.
Aborted Bovine Fetus, Outer-Membrane Protein, Protochlamydia-Amoebophila, Order Chlamydiales, III Secretion, Fam. Nov., Chondrophila, Identification, Peptidoglycan, Bacteria
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