The genus Burkholderia consists of some 35 bacterial species, most of which are soil saprophytes and phytopathogens that occupy a wide range of environmental niches. Several of these species, referred to as the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc), are characterized by unusually high inter-species DNA-DNA hybridization values. Species within this group are further distinguished by being opportunistic human pathogens, particularly problematic in persons with cystic fibrosis (CF). Among these species, Burkholderia cenocepacia is both widely distributed in the environment and accounts for most human infection.
B. cenocepacia strain AU1054 was recovered from the blood of a patient with CF. By using various genotyping methods, including macrorestriction digestion with pulsed field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing, AU1054 is characterized as a representative of the B. cenocepacia PHDC clonal lineage (Chen et al. 2001). This clone appears to be widely distributed, having been found in CF patients in 24 US states (Liu et al. 2003) and Europe (Coenye et al. 2004), as well as in agricultural soil (LiPuma et al. 2002). AU1054 has three chromosomes consisting of approximately 3.2 Mb, 2.6 Mb and 1.1 Mb. The genome is characterized by the presence of peh, which encodes a polygalacturonase involved in maceration of onion tissue, and a type IV secretion system, similar in arrangement and sequence homology to those of Brucella suis and Sinorhizobium meliloti .
Chen JS, Witzmann K, Spilker T, Fink R, and LiPuma JJ. 2001. Endemicity and inter-city spread of Burkholderia cepacia genomovar III in cystic fibrosis. J Pediatr 139:643-649.
Liu L, Spilker T, Coenye T, and LiPuma JJ. 2003. Identification by subtractive hybridization of a novel insertion element specific for two wide spread epidemic Burkholderia cepacia genomovar III strains. J Clin Microbiol 41: 2471-2476.
Coenye T, Spilker T, Van Schoor A, LiPuma JJ, and Vandamme P. Recovery of Burkholderia cenocepacia strain PHDC from cystic fibrosis patients in Europe. 2004. Thorax 59:952-954.
LiPuma JJ, Spilker T, Coenye T, and Gonzalez CF. 2002. An epidemic Burkholderia cepacia complex strain identified in soil. Lancet 359:2002-200