Glycogen metabolism loss: a common marker of parasitic behaviour in bacteria?

Trends Genet. 2002 Sep;18(9):437-40. doi: 10.1016/s0168-9525(02)02734-8.


We searched 55 completely sequenced bacterial genomes for glycogen synthesis and degradation enzymes. A significant proportion of these bacteria appears to lack glycogen metabolism capability. Interestingly, these bacteria are parasitic, symbiotic or fastidious (i.e. difficult to culture outside their normal environment). It is suggested that the lack of bacterial glycogen metabolism is a trait associated with parasitic behaviour in bacteria.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Behaviorism*
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Down-Regulation
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Glycogen / metabolism*
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Humans
  • Plants
  • Sequence Homology
  • Symbiosis


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Biomarkers
  • Glycogen