Navigation Links
Genome of Botulism Bacterium Revealed

The Botulism bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, produces the world's most lethal toxin. Less than 2 kg is enough to wipe off humanity from the face of the earth! Botox , that contains miniscule amounts of the toxin, is used medically.

Now, the genome of the organism is exposed. The report in Genome Research reveals that the bacterium does not possess the means to escape human defences or resist antibiotics. C. botulinum exists as a dormant spore or a scavenger of decaying animal remains in the soil; its interaction with human or other large animal hosts does not involve long periods of time.

Occasionally it gets into a living animal, via contaminated food or open wounds, leading to infant botulism or wound botulism, both of which are serious human infections. The host can be quickly overpowered and, in some cases, killed by the toxin, and C. botulinum has a new food source.

"Although in the same group as Clostridium difficile - the Cdiff superbug - C. botulinum has a genome that is remarkable because it is so stable, "commented Dr Mohammed Sebaihia, lead author on the paper from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "Unlike Cdiff, in which more than 10% of genes have been acquired from other bacteria, there is almost no footprint of these in C. botulinum."

There are several types of C. botulinum: although described as variants of a single species, they are really very different organisms linked simply because they have the deadly toxin. For each type, there is also a near-identical but harmless relative that lacks the toxin. C. sporogenes is the non-malignant, near twin of the organism sequenced.

Professor Mike Peck, from the Institute of Food Research, commented that "It is astonishing that 43% of the predicted genes in the C. botulinum genome are absent from the other five sequenced clostridia, and only 16% of the C. botulinum genes are common to all five. Our findings emphasise just how different clostridia are from each other."

C. botulinum toxin stops nerves from working - the basis of its use in medicine to control tremors and in cosmetic treatments. For the prey of its opportunistic attacks, death is swift. Perhaps the most important tool it has to act out its stealth attacks is its ability to hibernate when times are hard by forming dormant spores.

More than 110 of its set of almost 3700 genes are used to control spore formation and germination when opportunity arises.

"C. botulinum shows us one extreme of the ways that bacteria can make the most of animal hosts," explained Dr Julian Parkhill of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "Some organisms use subtle approaches, elegantly choreographing their interaction with us and our defences.

"C. botulinum takes the opposite approach. It lies in wait and, if it gets the opportunity, it hits its host with a microbial sledgehammer. It then eats the remains and lays low until the next host comes along."

The genome sequence is peppered with genes that produce enzymes to digest proteins and other animal material in the soil. Also found, uniquely in this species, is a range of genes that allow it to attack the many insect and other small creatures that live in the soil. The chitinases' produced by these genes can degrade the casing of insects and small crustaceans.

It is not only animals that can feel the wrath of C. botulinum, explains Dr Sebaihia: "The soil can be a harsh environment and food can be scarce. To see off the competition, C. botulinum comes with its own antibiotic' - a chemical called boticin that kills competing bacteria."

Genome sequences can tell us a lot about the biology of the organism, but research into clostridia has been hampered by the lack of a good genetic system. Professor Nigel Minton, Professor of Applied Molecular Microbiology at the University of Nottingham, has developed new methods t o knock out genes in clostridia.

"Even after decades of research, only a handful of mutants had been made in clostridia, and none in C. botulinum," Professor Minton explains. "We have developed a highly efficient system, the ClosTron, with which we have, in a few months, knocked out over 30 genes in four different clostridial species, including eight in C. botulinum. The availability of this tool should revolutionise functional genomic studies in clostridia."

This remarkable, stable genome demonstrates the wide range of strategies used by bacteria to enhance their chances of survival. For the Clostridia, these range from the approach used by C. difficile - long-term interaction with hosts, which involves evading the immune system and countering antibiotics - to the single-minded opportunistic approach of C. botulinum.


'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Human Genome Project Achieves Technological Triumph
2. Human Diseases May Have Clue In Human-Chimp Genome Difference
3. Race Based Genome Project Launched By Mexico
4. Dog (Mans best friend) Genome Sequenced
5. Decoding the Fungi Genome Will Save Millions of Lives.
6. Yeast Genome Unravels Genes Critical For Maintaining DNA Integrity
7. Unraveling the Secrets of MHC in Human Genome
8. NHGRI Aims To Sequence Primate Genomes
9. p53, the Guardian of Our Genome
10. Genome Code Cracked for Breast and Colon Cancers
11. Sea Urchin Genome Similar To Man And May Cure Diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... World Patent Marketing , a vertically ... automotive invention that improves the storage features of a pick up truck. , ... Cooper, CEO and Creative Director of World Patent Marketing. "Over the next five ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Sedona, Arizona (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 ... ... Shamanic Healing and Spiritual Awakening , announces the addition Onnit brand Alpha BRAIN ... , The addition of Onnit brain and mood optimization products to the store ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... The White House announced efforts ... more information about their loan terms and accounts, and more protections for borrowers. ... federal and private loans, has reached $1.3 trillion, with 43 million Americans holding ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... The Wharton School of ... Grand Prize of the 2016 Wharton Business Plan Competition —as well as ... Award, and the Committee Award for Most ‘Wow Factor,’ making them the first ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Torrance, CA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... comprehensive cosmetic dental treatments to improve smiles. Cosmetic dentistry is a fast-growing field as ... smiles. This offer allows patients to learn more about the options currently available to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... 2016 TapImmune,Inc. (TPIV), a ... and gene-based immunotherapeutics and vaccines for the treatment of cancer ... the 3rd Annual Growth Capital Expo to be ... at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The Company ... 4 th by Dr. John N. Bonfiglio ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... April 27, 2016   ... Growth in Recurring Consumable Sales  Clinical sales ... Kea Technologies (Euronext: MKEA, OTCQX: MKEAY) inventor of Cellvizio®, ... sales for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016 ... execution of its commercial strategy. First Quarter ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... 27, 2016  Bayer Animal Health today announced ... the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, ... in Communication Award (BECA). Brittany was selected from ... a total of $70,000 in scholarship funds through ... Bayer has provided a total of $232,500 in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: