The 3.31-Mb genome sequence of the intracellular pathogen and potential bioterrorism agent, Brucella suis, was determined. Comparison of B. suis with Brucella melitensis has defined a finite set of differences that could be responsible for the differences in virulence and host preference between these organisms, and indicates that phage have played a significant role in their divergence. Analysis of the B. suis genome reveals transport and metabolic capabilities akin to soil/plant-associated bacteria. Extensive gene synteny between B. suis chromosome 1 and the genome of the plant symbiont Mesorhizobium loti emphasizes the similarity between this animal pathogen and plant pathogens and symbionts. A limited repertoire of genes homologous to known bacterial virulence factors were identified.