Helicobacter pylori, strain 26695, has a circular genome of 1,667,867 base pairs and 1,590 predicted coding sequences. Sequence analysis indicates that H. pylori has well-developed systems for motility, for scavenging iron, and for DNA restriction and modification. Many putative adhesins, lipoproteins and other outer membrane proteins were identified, underscoring the potential complexity of host-pathogen interaction. Based on the large number of sequence-related genes encoding outer membrane proteins and the presence of homopolymeric tracts and dinucleotide repeats in coding sequences, H. pylori, like several other mucosal pathogens, probably uses recombination and slipped-strand mispairing within repeats as mechanisms for antigenic variation and adaptive evolution. Consistent with its restricted niche, H. pylori has a few regulatory networks, and a limited metabolic repertoire and biosynthetic capacity. Its survival in acid conditions depends, in part, on its ability to establish a positive inside-membrane potential in low pH.