Comparative genome analysis of Fusobacterium nucleatum

Mia Yang Ang, Avirup Dutta, Wei Yee Wee, David Dymock, Ian C Paterson, Siew Woh Choo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
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Fusobacterium nucleatum is considered to be a key oral bacterium in recruiting periodontal pathogens into subgingival dental plaque. Currently F. nucleatum can be subdivided into five subspecies. Our previous genome analysis of F. nucleatum W1481 (referred to hereafter as W1481), isolated from an 8-mm periodontal pocket in a patient with chronic periodontitis, suggested the possibility of a new subspecies. To further investigate the biology and relationships of this possible subspecies with other known subspecies, we performed comparative analysis between W1481 and 35 genome sequences represented by the five known Fusobacterium subspecies. Our analyses suggest that W1481 is most likely a new F. nucleatum subspecies, supported by evidence from phylogenetic analyses and maximal unique match indices (MUMi). Interestingly, we found a horizontally transferred W1481-specific genomic island harboring the tripartite ATP-independent (TRAP)-like transporter genes, suggesting this bacterium might have a high-affinity transport system for the C4-dicarboxylates malate, succinate, and fumarate. Moreover, we found virulence genes in the W1481 genome that may provide a strong defense mechanism which might enable it to colonize and survive within the host by evading immune surveillance. This comparative study provides better understanding of F. nucleatum and the basis for future functional work on this important pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2928-2938
Number of pages11
JournalGenome Biology and Evolution
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2016


  • Fusobacterium nucleatum
  • Comparative genomics
  • F. nucleatum
  • W1481


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