Comparison of genome degradation in Paratyphi A and Typhi, human-restricted serovars of Salmonella enterica that cause typhoid

Nat Genet. 2004 Dec;36(12):1268-74. doi: 10.1038/ng1470. Epub 2004 Nov 7.


Salmonella enterica serovars often have a broad host range, and some cause both gastrointestinal and systemic disease. But the serovars Paratyphi A and Typhi are restricted to humans and cause only systemic disease. It has been estimated that Typhi arose in the last few thousand years. The sequence and microarray analysis of the Paratyphi A genome indicates that it is similar to the Typhi genome but suggests that it has a more recent evolutionary origin. Both genomes have independently accumulated many pseudogenes among their approximately 4,400 protein coding sequences: 173 in Paratyphi A and approximately 210 in Typhi. The recent convergence of these two similar genomes on a similar phenotype is subtly reflected in their genotypes: only 30 genes are degraded in both serovars. Nevertheless, these 30 genes include three known to be important in gastroenteritis, which does not occur in these serovars, and four for Salmonella-translocated effectors, which are normally secreted into host cells to subvert host functions. Loss of function also occurs by mutation in different genes in the same pathway (e.g., in chemotaxis and in the production of fimbriae).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Library
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genome Components / genetics
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Humans
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Pseudogenes / genetics
  • Salmonella paratyphi A / genetics*
  • Salmonella typhi / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Species Specificity

Associated data

  • RefSeq/NC_000913
  • RefSeq/NC_003197
  • RefSeq/NC_003198
  • RefSeq/NC_004631
  • RefSeq/NC_005810