Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of foodborne illness in industrialized countries. This pathogen exhibits significant strain-to-strain variability, which results in differences in virulence potential and clinical presentations. Here, we report that acquisition of the capacity to utilize specific nutrients enhanced the ability of a highly pathogenic strain of C. jejuni to colonize specific tissues. The acquisition of a gene encoding a gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase enabled this strain to utilize glutamine and glutathione and enhanced its ability to colonize the intestine. Furthermore, the acquisition of a DNA segment, which added a sec-dependent secretion signal to an otherwise cytoplasmic asparaginase, allowed this pathogen to utilize asparagine and to more efficiently colonize the liver. Our results reveal that subtle genetic changes in a bacterial pathogen result in significant changes in its ability to colonize specific tissues. In addition, these studies revealed remarkably specific nutritional requirements for a pathogen to effectively colonize different tissues.