Comparative analysis of the Borrelia garinii genome

Nucleic Acids Res. 2004 Nov 16;32(20):6038-46. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkh953. Print 2004.


Three members of the genus Borrelia (B.burgdorferi, B.garinii, B.afzelii) cause tick-borne borreliosis. Depending on the Borrelia species involved, the borreliosis differs in its clinical symptoms. Comparative genomics opens up a way to elucidate the underlying differences in Borrelia species. We analysed a low redundancy whole-genome shotgun (WGS) assembly of a B.garinii strain isolated from a patient with neuroborreliosis in comparison to the B.burgdorferi genome. This analysis reveals that most of the chromosome is conserved (92.7% identity on DNA as well as on amino acid level) in the two species, and no chromosomal rearrangement or larger insertions/deletions could be observed. Furthermore, two collinear plasmids (lp54 and cp26) seem to belong to the basic genome inventory of Borrelia species. These three collinear parts of the Borrelia genome encode 861 genes, which are orthologous in the two species examined. The majority of the genetic information of the other plasmids of B.burgdorferii is also present in B.garinii although orthology is not easy to define due to a high redundancy of the plasmid fraction. Yet, we did not find counterparts of the B.burgdorferi plasmids lp36 and lp38 or their respective gene repertoire in the B.garinii genome. Thus, phenotypic differences between the two species could be attributable to the presence or absence of these two plasmids as well as to the potentially positively selected genes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Borrelia burgdorferi / genetics
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / classification*
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / genetics*
  • Borrelia burgdorferi Group / isolation & purification
  • Chromosomes, Bacterial
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Humans
  • Lyme Disease / microbiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Plasmids / genetics

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY722917
  • GENBANK/AY722918
  • GENBANK/AY722919
  • GENBANK/AY722920
  • GENBANK/AY722921
  • GENBANK/AY722922
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  • GENBANK/AY722924
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  • GENBANK/AY722927
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  • GENBANK/AY722930
  • GENBANK/AY722931
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  • GENBANK/AY722934
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  • GENBANK/AY722940
  • GENBANK/AY722941
  • GENBANK/AY722942
  • GENBANK/AY722943
  • GENBANK/AY722944
  • GENBANK/AY722945
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  • GENBANK/AY722950
  • GENBANK/AY722951
  • GENBANK/AY722952
  • GENBANK/AY722953
  • GENBANK/CP000013
  • GENBANK/CP000014
  • GENBANK/CP000015