Query: NC_012560:1260031 Azotobacter vinelandii DJ, complete genome Lineage: Azotobacter vinelandii; Azotobacter; Pseudomonadaceae; Pseudomonadales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: This organism was first isolated from the soil in Vineland, New Jersey, although it is found worldwide. It is a large obligate aerobe that has one of the highest respiratory rates of any organism. Azotobacter vinelandii also produces a number of unusual nitrogenases which allow it to fix atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia, a compound it can then use as a nitrogen source. It protects the oxygen-sensitive nitrogenase enzymes through its high respiratory rate, which sequesters the nitrogenase complexes in an anoxic environment. This organism has a number of unusual characteristics. Under extreme environmental conditions, the cell will produce a cyst that is resistant to dessication and is surrounded by two capsular polysaccharide layers. This organism produces two industrially important polysaccharides, poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) and alginate. PHB is a thermoplastic biopolymer, and alginate is used in the food industry. Alginate is also used by the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa to infect the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients.
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General Information: Causative agent of plague. Specific virulence factors are encoded within pathogenicity islands (PAIs) that are required for the invasive phenotype associated with Yersinia infections. One key virulence plasmid contained by the three human-specific pathogens is pCD1/pYv, which encodes a type III secretion system for the delivery of virulence proteins that contribute to internalization into the host cell. It is the causative agent of plague (bubonic and pulmonary) a devastating disease which has killed millions worldwide. The organism can be transmitted from rats to humans through the bite of an infected flea or from human-to-human through the air during widespread infection. Yersinia pestis is an extremely pathogenic organism that requires very few numbers in order to cause disease, and is often lethal if left untreated. The organism is enteroinvasive, and can survive and propagate in macrophages prior to spreading systemically throughout the host. Yersinia pestis consists of three biotypes or serovars, Antiqua, Mediavalis, and Orientalis, that are associated with three major pandemics throughout human history. pMT1 encodes a protein, murine toxin, that aids rat-to-human transmission by enhancing survival of the organism in the flea midgut. Yersinia pestis also contains a PAI on the chromosome that is similar to the SPI-2 PAI from Salmonella that allows intracellular survival in the organism.