NEW YORK, Dec. 20 (GenomeWeb News) - Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have sequenced the genome of the symbiotic bacterium Sodalis glossinidius, the university announced last week.
Sodalis is a maternally transmitted endosymbiont of tsetse flies, and is one of three kinds of bacteria that help the tsetse fly feed off the host's blood. It is related to human bacterial pathogens like Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Yersinia.
The Yale researchers found that Sodalis had many of the same features of pathogenic bacteria, although it is a beneficial organism that does not harm its tsetse fly host. Serap Aksoy, professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine, said in a statement that this finding "has changed our view of host pathogen characteristics."
At around 4 million base pairs and approximately 2,400 protein-coding sequences, the Sodalis genome has a physical structure and size similar to that of free-living bacteria, the researchers said.
Scientists grew Sodalis in vitro in the laboratory and genetically modified it before inserting into the fly.
The results were published online on Dec. 15 in Genome Research and will appear in the print publication in February 2006.