Horizontal gene transfer is a major driving force in the evolution of many bacterial pathogens. The development of high-throughput sequencing tools and more sophisticated genomic and proteomic techniques in recent years has resulted in a better understanding of this phenomenon. Written by leading experts in the field, this edited volume is aimed at graduate students and researchers and provides an overview of current knowledge relating to the evolution of microbial pathogenicity. This volume provides an overview of the mechanisms and biological consequences of the genome rearrangements resulting from horizontal gene transfer, in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes, as well as overviews of the key mobile genetic elements involved. Subsequent chapters focus on paradigms for the evolution of important bacterial pathogens, including Salmonella enterica, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Staphylococcus aureus. The influence of socioeconomic parameters in the dissemination of transferable elements, such as antibiotic resistant genes in bacteria, is also discussed.
Michael Hensel is currently Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Erlangen in Germany. Herbert Schmidt is currently Professor of Food Microbiology at the University of Hohenheim in Germany.
Part I. Theoretical Considerations on the Evolution of Bacterial Pathogens: 1. Genomes in motion - gene transfer as a catalyst for genome change Jeffrey G. Lawrence and Heather Hendrickson; 2. Bacterial recombination in vivo Xavier Didelot and Daniel Falush; Part II. Mobile Genetic Elements in Bacterial Evolution: 3. Phage-bacterium co-evolution and its implication for bacterial pathogenesis Harald Brussow; 4. Phage conversion - driving forces in the development and spread of bacterial pathogens Roger W. Hendrix and Sherwood R. Casjens; 5. Genomic islands in the bacterial chromosome - paradigms of microevolution in quantum leaps Tobias OElschlager and Joerg Hacker; Part III. Paradigms of Bacterial Evolution: 6. Genomic islands in plant-pathogenic bacteria Dawn L. Arnold and Robert W. Jackson; 7. Prophage contribution to salmonella virulence and diversity Sebastien Lemire, Nara Figueroa-Bossi and Lionello Bossi; 8. Pathogenic yersiniae: stepwise gain of virulence due to sequential acquisition of mobile genetic elements Elisabeth Carniel; 9. Genomic or pathogenicity islands in streptococcus pneumoniae Barbara Albiger, Christel Blomberg, Jessica Dagerhamm, Staffan Normark and Brigitta Henriques-Normark; 10. The mobile genetic elements of staphylococcus aureus Richard P. Novick; 11. Influence of human lifestyle on dissemination of transferable elements Wolfgang Witte; Part IV. Interkingdom Transfer and Endosymbiosis: 12. Eukaryotic gene transfer: adaptation and replacements Jan O. Andersson; 13. Lessons in evolution from genome reduction in bacterial endosymbionts Andres Moya and Amparo Latorre.