International Journal of Genomics

International Journal of Genomics / 2000 / Article

Research Article | Open Access

Volume 1 |Article ID 147574 |

Timothy B. L. Ho, Brian D. Robertson, G. Michael Taylor, Rory J. Shaw, Douglas B. Young, "Comparison of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Genomes Reveals Frequent Deletions in a 20 kb Variable Region in Clinical Isolates", International Journal of Genomics, vol. 1, Article ID 147574, 11 pages, 2000.

Comparison of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Genomes Reveals Frequent Deletions in a 20 kb Variable Region in Clinical Isolates

Received28 Sep 2000
Accepted28 Sep 2000


The Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex is associated with a remarkably low level of structural gene polymorphism. As part of a search for alternative forms of genetic variation that may act as a source of biological diversity in M. tuberculosis, we have identified a region of the genome that is highly variable amongst a panel of unrelated clinical isolates. Fifteen of 24 isolates examined contained one or more copies of the M. tuberculosis-specific IS6110 insertion element within this 20 kb variable region. In nine of the isolates, including the laboratory-passaged strain H37Rv, genomic deletions were identified, resulting in loss of between two and 13 genes. In each case, deletions were associated with the presence of a copy of the IS6110 element. Absence of flanking tri- or tetra-nucleotide repeats identified homologous recombination between adjacent IS6110 elements as the most likely mechanism of the deletion events. IS6110 insertion into hot-spots within the genome of M. tuberculosis provides a mechanism for generation of genetic diversity involving a high frequency of insertions and deletions.

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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