Query: NC_004061:31500 Buchnera aphidicola str. Sg (Schizaphis graminum), complete genome Lineage: Buchnera aphidicola; Buchnera; Enterobacteriaceae; Enterobacteriales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: This strain is the symbiont of the aphid Schizaphis graminum and contains a large circular chromosome. Aphid endosymbiont. Almost all aphids contain maternally transmitted bacteriocyte cells, which themselves contain bacteria called Buchnera. The aphids live on a restricted diet (plant sap), rich in carbohydrates, but poor in nitrogenous or other essential compounds. It is believed that the Buchnera provide the essential nutrients the host lacks. Besides a nutritional co-dependence, due to a co-existence of millions of years, Buchnera have lost the ability to produce cell surface components such as lipopolysaccharides. This makes for an obligate endosymbiont relationship between host and Buchnera. Buchnera are prokaryotic cells which belong to the gamma-Proteobacteria, closely related to the Enterobacteriaceae family. Phylogenetic studies using 16S rRNA indicate that the symbiotic relationship was established around 200-250 million years ago. Since Buchnera are closely related to Escherichia coli and Haemophilus influenzae, comparative genomic studies can shed light on the evolutionary mechanisms of intracellular endosymbiosis as well as the different underlying molecular basis between organisms with parasitic behavior and symbionts.
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General Information: This organism produces one of the most potent and deadly neurotoxins known, a botulinum toxin that prevents the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, thereby inhibiting muscle contraction and causing paralysis. In most cases the diseased person dies of asphyxiation as a result of paralysis of chest muscles involved in breathing. The spores are heat-resistant and can survive in inadequately heated, prepared, or processed foods. Spores germinate under favorable conditions (anaerobiosis and substrate-rich environment) and bacteria start propagating very rapidly, producing the toxin.Botulinum toxin, and C. botulinum cells, has been found in a wide variety of foods, including canned ones. Almost any food that has a high pH (above 4.6) can support growth of the bacterium. Honey is the most common vehicle for infection in infants. Food poisoning through C. botulinum is the most frequent type of infection caused by this bacterium. The wound botulism that occurs when C. botulinum infects an individual via an open wound is much rarer and is very similar to tetanus disease. There are several types of botulinum toxin known (type A through type F), all of them being neurotoxic polypeptides. The most common and widely distributed are strains and serovars of C. botulinum that produce type A toxin.