New chromosome map points the way through Campylobacter’s genetic controls

A study from the Institute of Food Research has produced a new map of the Campylobacter genome, showing the points where all of this pathogenic bacteria’s genes are turned on.

This information is already being used to find new genes and control mechanisms that could provide us with new ways of reducing the amount of food borne infection Campylobacter causes.

The study published in BMC Genomics has received a “Highly Accessed” accolade just two weeks after publication, an indication of its value to Campylobacter researchers across the world.

Genome map of Campylobacter jejuni

Genome map of Campylobacter jejuni

Using a high-throughput sequencing technique, Dr Ida Porcelli and colleagues at the IFR, strategically funded by BBSRC, identified in high resolution transcriptional start sites (TSS). These are the points in the genome where genes are switched on. They have then produced a map of the whole Campylobacter genome showing all of these TSS – an invaluable resource for Campylobacter researchers across the world.

From the map it is possible to get a better understanding of how Campylobacter controls its gene expression in response to different environments, and to get a better idea of how this important pathogen has evolved and adapted to become such a problem in the food chain. This knowledge is invaluable in designing new ways of reducing the burden of Campylobacter.

Read more on the Gut Health and Food Safety blog: http://blogs.ifr.ac.uk/ghfs/2013/11/campy-map

Reference: ‘Parallel evolution of genome structure and transcriptional landscape in the Epsilonproteobacteria’ Porcelli I et al BMC Genomics 2013, 14:616 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-616.

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