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Journal Articles BMC Research Notes Year : 2016

Inverse correlation between salt tolerance and host-adaptation in mycobacteria


BACKGROUND: The genus Mycobacterium includes host-adapted organisms regarded as obligate and opportunistic pathogens and environmental organisms. Factors contributing to this wide range of adaptations are poorly known. RESULTS: We studied the salt tolerance of 46 Mycobacterium species of medical interest. Representative strains of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, Mycobacterium avium complex, Mycobacterium chelonae-abscessus complex, Mycobacterium ulcerans, Mycobacterium marinum, Mycobacterium lentiflavum, Mycobacterium fortuitum and Mycobacterium conceptionense were inoculated on Middlebrook 7H10 medium supplemented with 0-10 % sodium chloride. Colonies were counted after 2-4 week incubation at the appropriate 30-37 °C temperature depending on the tested strain. Further comparative genomics was done on 15 Mycobacterium strains representing the spectrum of salt-tolerance of mycobacteria. Based on the results the different species were grouped according to their salt tolerance into a "salt-sensitive" group (growth up to ≤3 % salt) containing the M. tuberculosis complex, Mycobacterium chelonae, Mycobacterium lentiflavum, Mycobacterium ulcerans and Mycobacterium marinum; a "salt-intermediate" group (growth between 4 and 6 % salt) comprising Mycobacterium avium, Mycobacterium intracellulare, Mycobacterium chimaera and a "salt-resistant" group (growth up to \textgreater6 %) comprising Mycobacterium homonissuis, Mycobacterium bolettii, Mycobacterium fortuitum and Mycobacterium conceptionense. Genomic analysis revealed that 290 genes were unique to species belonging to the salt-sensitive group; and that 15 % were annotated as being functionally associated with the ESX secretion systems Pro-Glu and Pro-Pro-Glu family proteins. CONCLUSIONS: In this work we found an inverse correlation between salt tolerance and host adaptation. We thus propose that salinity is one of the multiple factors determining the ecological niches of mycobacteria
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hal-01313742 , version 1 (19-10-2023)



Shady Asmar, Mohamed Sassi, Michael Phelippeau, Michel Drancourt. Inverse correlation between salt tolerance and host-adaptation in mycobacteria. BMC Research Notes, 2016, 9 (1), pp.249. ⟨10.1186/s13104-016-2054-y⟩. ⟨hal-01313742⟩
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