Aims: To identify a chromosomal marker with signature nucleotides specific for Bacillus anthracis. Methods and Results: Repetitive element polymorphism-polymerase chain reaction with BOX-A1R primer was used to discriminate 52 strains of all six species of the 'B. cereus group'. A B. anthracis signature fragment, named AC-390, was cloned and sequenced. The deduced amino acid sequence was homologous to that of YwfK of B. subtilis. Using two internal primers, the AC-390 fragment was sequenced from two other B. anthracis strains as well as from strains of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis which have an AC-390 fragment homologous to that of B. anthracis as shown by Southern hybridization experiments. Conclusions: Two new signature sequences specific for B. anthracis were identified on a chromosomal fragment homologous to YwfK, a transcriptional regulator of B. subtilis. Significance and Impact of the Study: These results show a new chromosomal DNA trait useful for distinguishing B. anthracis from the related species of the B. cereus group, regardless of the presence of the virulence plasmids pXO1 and pXO2.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology