University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

By the same authors


  • fiy217

    Final published version, 997 KB, PDF document

View graph of relations
Original languageEnglish
Article numberfiy217
Number of pages8
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Early online date30 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


Pasteuria spp. belong to a group of genetically diverse endospore-forming bacteria (phylum: Firmicutes) that are known to parasitize plant-parasitic nematodes and water fleas (Daphnia spp.). Collagen-like fibres form the nap on the surface of endospores and the genes encoding these sequences have been hypothesised to be involved in the adhesion of the endospores of Pasteuria spp. to their hosts. We report a group of 17 unique collagen-like genes putatively encoded by Pasteuria penetrans (strain: Res148) that formed five different phylogenetic clusters and suggest that collagen-like proteins are an important source of genetic diversity in animal pathogenic Firmicutes including Pasteuria. Additionally, and unexpectedly, we identified a putative collagen-like sequence which had a very different sequence structure to the other collagen-like proteins but was similar to the protein sequences in Megaviruses that are involved in host-parasite interactions. We, therefore, suggest that these diverse endospore surface proteins in Pasteuria are involved in biological functions, such as cellular adhesion; however, they are not of monophyletic origin and were possibly obtained de novo by mutation or possibly through selection acting upon several historic horizontal gene transfer events.


© FEMS 2018. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

ID: 14488911