Comparative genomics of Lactobacillus crispatus from the gut and vagina reveals genetic diversity and lifestyle adaptation

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Zhang, Qiuxiang
Zhang, Lili
Ross, R. Paul
Zhao, Jianxin
Zhang, Hao
Chen, Wei
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Lactobacillus crispatus colonizes the human feces, human vagina, and the crops and ceca of chicken. To explore the genetic characteristics and evolutionary relationships of L. crispatus isolated from different niches, we selected 37 strains isolated from the human vagina (n = 17), human feces (n = 11), and chicken feces (n = 9), and used comparative genomics to explore the genetic information of L. crispatus from the feces and vagina. No significant difference was found in the three sources of genomic features such as genome size, GC content, and number of protein coding sequences (CDS). However, in a phylogenetic tree constructed based on core genes, vagina-derived L. crispatus and feces-derived strains were each clustered separately. Therefore, the niche exerted an important impact on the evolution of L. crispatus. According to gene annotation, the L. crispatus derived from the vagina possessed a high abundance of genes related to acid tolerance, redox reactions, pullulanase, and carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs). These genes helped L. crispatus to better adapt to the acidic environment of the vagina and obtain more nutrients, maintaining its dominance in the vagina in competition with other strains. In feces-derived bacteria, more genes encoding CRISPR/Cas system, glycoside hydrolases (GHs) family, and tetracycline/lincomycin resistance genes were found to adapt to the complex intestinal environment. This study highlights the evolutionary relationship of L. crispatus strains isolated from the vagina and feces, and the adaptation of L. crispatus to the host environment.
Acid tolerance , Comparative genomics , Evolution , Host adaptation , Lactobacillus crispatus
Zhang, Q., Zhang, L., Ross, P., Zhao, J., Zhang, H. and Chen, W. (2020) ‘Comparative genomics of Lactobacillus crispatus from the gut and vagina reveals genetic diversity and lifestyle adaptation’, Genes, 11(4), 360 (14pp). doi: 10.3390/genes11040360
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