Comparative genomics of streptococcal species

Joseph J. Ferretti, Dragana Ajdic, W. Michael McShan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Microbial genome sequencing has produced an unprecedented amount of new information and insights into an organism's metabolic activities, virulence properties, and evolution. The complete genome sequence has been reported for four different species of streptococci, including Streptococcus pyogenes, S. agalactiae, S. pneumoniae and S. mutans. Comparative genome analysis among organisms of the same species not only shows a high degree of similarity in gene content and organization, but also a high degree of sequence heterogeneity as evidenced by the large number of single nucleotide polymorphisms present. Considerable differences were also observed in the number of mobile genetic elements found in each organism, including complete and partial bacteriophage genomes, IS elements, transposons, and plasmids. S. pyogenes was the only species to contain complete bacteriophage genomes in its genome, while only S. pneumoniae and S. mutans contained the full complement of competence genes essential for natural transformation. Comparative genome analysis between the species showed that S. pyogenes was more closely related to S. agalactiae than with S. pneumoniae or S. mutans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Medical Research, Supplement
Issue numberMAY
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Genomes of Streptococcus pyogenes
  • S. agalactiae
  • S. mutans
  • S. pneumoniae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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