Molecular Mechanisms of Host-adaptation in Helicobacter
Stephan C. Schuster, Nicola E. Wittekindt and Bodo Linz
from: Helicobacter pylori: Molecular Genetics and Cellular Biology (Edited by: Yoshio Yamaoka). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2008)
Helicobacter pylori has lived in close association with its human host for 100,000s of years. This has resulted in the highly adapted strains, on which today's clinical and molecular research is based. Through the host-jump of a Helicobacter from an early human to large felines, it became possible to study the adaptation process in a genomic comparative analysis. In this chapter we describe the molecular mechanisms that have driven the genomic evolution of Helicobacter in its host and have enabled the enormous plasticity of the bacterium's genome. Based on its unusually high mutation and recombination rate, we propose a 6 step model for host adaptation that also includes Helicobacter's ability for horizontal gene transfer in combination with its natural competence for DNA uptake read more ...