Skip to main content

Comparative Microbial Genomics

Comparative genomics enables scientists to compare large-scale genetic differences and similarities between different species and between sample members of the same species that differ in function or phenotype. In so doing, we can study gene content variation, gene function and their relationships. We are interested in the patterns that characterize the evolution and function of microbial infections of animals and plants. In particular, how does a symbiotic lifestyle affect abundance of mobile elements and host-interaction genes? How widespread is horizontal gene transfer between different cellular domains of life? Further, we use comparative genomics to investigate the evolution and function of bacteriophages in obligate intracellular bacteria.

Select Publications:

  • Perlmutter, J.I.  S.R. Bordenstein, D.P. LePage, J.A. Metcalf, T. Hill, J. Martinez, R.L. Unckless, F.M. Jiggins, and S.R. Bordenstein (2019) The phage gene wmk is a candidate for male killing by a bacterial endosymbiont. PLOS Pathogens 15(9): e1007936 Paper
  • Bordenstein SR and SR Bordenstein. (2016) Eukaryotic association module in phage WO genomes from Wolbachia. Nature Communications 7: 13155.
  • Metcalf, JA, LJ Funkhouser, K Brileya, AL Reysenbach, SR Bordenstein (2014) Antibacterial gene transfer across the tree of life. eLife 3:e04266
  • Jernigan, KK and Bordenstein, SR (2014) Ankyrin domains across the tree of life PeerJ 2:e264.
  • Funkhouser-Jones, L.J., S.R. Sehnert, P. Martinez-Rodriguez, R. Toribio-Fernandez, M. Pita, J.L. Bella and S.R. Bordenstein. (2015) Wolbachia co-infection in a hybrid zone: discovery of horizontal gene transfers from two Wolbachia supergroups into an animal genome PeerJ
  • Newton, IL and Bordenstein, SR (2011) Correlations between bacterial ecology and mobile DNA. Current Microbiology 62(1): 198-208.
  • Bordenstein, SR and Reznikoff WR (2005) Mobile DNA in obligate intracellular bacteria. Nature Reviews Microbiology 3, 688-699.