Arcobacter butzleri is a member of the epsilon subdivision of the Proteobacteria and a close taxonomic relative of established pathogens, such as Campylobacter jejuni and Helicobacter pylori. Here we present the complete genome sequence of the human clinical isolate, A. butzleri strain RM4018.
Arcobacter butzleri is a member of the Campylobacteraceae, but the majority of its proteome is most similar to those of Sulfuromonas denitrificans and Wolinella succinogenes, both members of the Helicobacteraceae, and those of the deep-sea vent Epsilonproteobacteria Sulfurovum and Nitratiruptor. In addition, many of the genes and pathways described here, e.g. those involved in signal transduction and sulfur metabolism, have been identified previously within the epsilon subdivision only in S. denitrificans, W. succinogenes, Sulfurovum, and/or Nitratiruptor, or are unique to the subdivision. In addition, the analyses indicated also that a substantial proportion of the A. butzleri genome is devoted to growth and survival under diverse environmental conditions, with a large number of respiration-associated proteins, signal transduction and chemotaxis proteins and proteins involved in DNA repair and adaptation. To investigate the genomic diversity of A. butzleri strains, we constructed an A. butzleri DNA microarray comprising 2238 genes from strain RM4018. Comparative genomic indexing analysis of 12 additional A. butzleri strains identified both the core genes of A. butzleri and intraspecies hypervariable regions, where <70% of the genes were present in at least two strains.
The presence of pathways and loci associated often with non-host-associated organisms, as well as genes associated with virulence, suggests that A. butzleri is a free-living, water-borne organism that might be classified rightfully as an emerging pathogen. The genome sequence and analyses presented in this study are an important first step in understanding the physiology and genetics of this organism, which constitutes a bridge between the environment and mammalian hosts.