Design, Validation, and Application of a Seven-Strain Staphylococcus aureus PCR Product Microarray for Comparative Genomics.

Witney, AA; Marsden, GL; Holden, MT; Stabler, RA; Husain, SE; Vass, JK; Butcher, PD; Hinds, J; Lindsay, JA; (2005) Design, Validation, and Application of a Seven-Strain Staphylococcus aureus PCR Product Microarray for Comparative Genomics. Applied and environmental microbiology, 71 (11). pp. 7504-14. ISSN 0099-2240 DOI:

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Bacterial comparative genomics has been revolutionized by microarrays, but the power of any microarray is dependent on the number and diversity of gene reporters it contains. Staphylococcus aureus is an important human pathogen causing a wide range of invasive and toxin-mediated diseases, and more than 20% of the genome of any isolate consists of variable genes. Seven whole-genome sequences of S. aureus are available, and we exploited this rare opportunity to design, build, and validate a comprehensive, nonredundant PCR product microarray carrying reporters that represent every predicted open reading frame (3,623 probes). Such a comprehensive microarray necessitated a novel design strategy. Validation with the seven sequenced strains showed correct identification of 93.9% of genes present or absent/divergent but was dependent on the method of analysis chosen. Microarray data were highly reproducible, reducing the need for many replicate slides. Interpretation of microarray data was enhanced by focusing on the major areas of variation-the presence or absence of mobile genetic elements (MGEs). We compiled "composite genomes" of every individual MGE and visualized their distribution. This allowed the sensitive discrimination of related isolates, including the first clear description of how isolates of the same clone of epidemic methicillin-resistant S. aureus differ substantially in their carriage of MGEs. These MGEs carry virulence and resistance genes, suggesting differences in pathogenic potential. The novel methods of design and interpretation of data generated from this microarray will enable further studies of S. aureus evolution, epidemiology, and pathogenesis.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Pathogen Molecular Biology
PubMed ID: 16269792
Web of Science ID: 233225000123


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