Query: NC_017259:388000 Buchnera aphidicola str. Ua (Uroleucon ambrosiae) chromosome, Lineage: Buchnera aphidicola; Buchnera; Enterobacteriaceae; Enterobacteriales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: 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 strain carries the anthrax toxin plasmid pXO1 but not the capsule plasmid pXO2 and is therefore avirulent but toxigenic. It is the counterpart to the Pasteur strain that carries pXO2 but not pXO1. This strain is often used for vaccine development. Under starvation conditions this group of bacteria initiate a pathway that leads to endospore formation, a process that is thoroughly studied and is a model system for prokaryotic development and differentiation. Spores are highly resistant to heat, cold, dessication, radiation, and disinfectants, and enable the organism to persist in otherwise inhospitable environments. Under more inviting conditions the spores germinate to produce vegetative cells. This organism was the first to be shown to cause disease by Dr. Louis Pasteur (the organism, isolated from sick animals, was grown in the laboratory and then used to infect healthy animals and make them sick). This organism was also the first for which an attenuated strain was developed as a vaccine. Herbivorous animals become infected with the organism when they ingest spores from the soil whereas humans become infected when they come into contact with a contaminated animal. PA/LF and PA/EF complexes are internalized by host cells where the LF (metalloprotease) and EF (calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase) components act. At high levels LF induces cell death and release of the bacterium while EF increases host susceptibility to infection and promotes fluid accumulation in the cells.