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Chalk and cheese


Genome Watch this month sees the publication of genome sequences of species from two genera that are worlds apart in terms of the motivation for studying — and therefore sequencing — them. The first, Desulfovibrio vulgaris, is non-pathogenic and is a model organism for the sulphate-reducing bacteria. The second publication presents the genome sequences — one complete and two unfinished — of three strains of a well-known pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes. This adds to the previously published L. monocytogenes and Listeria innocua genome sequences, and promotes Listeria into the same realms as Staphylococcus and Chlamydia in terms of the number of available genome sequences.

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Figure 1: Hydrogen and formate cycling in Desulfovibrio vulgaris.
Figure 2: False colour electron micrograph of Listeria monocytogenes.


  1. 1

    Heidelberg, J. F. et al. The genome sequence of the anaerobic, sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough. Nature Biotechnol. 22, 554–559 (2004).

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    Singleton, R. Jr. in The Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria: Contemporary Perspectives (eds Odom, J. M. & Singleton, R. Jr) 189–210 (Springer, New York, 1993).

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    Nelson, K. E. et al. Whole-genome comparisons of serotype 4b and 1/2a strains of the food-borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes reveal new insights into the core genome components of this species. Nucleic Acids Res. 32, 2386–2395 (2004).

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    Glaser, P. et al. Comparative genomics of Listeria species. Science 294, 849–852 (2001).

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Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough

Listeria innocua

L. monocytogenes EGD-e

L. monocytogenes F2365

L. monocytogenes F6854

L. monocytogenes H7858


The Pathogen Sequencing Unit

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Crossman, L., Cerdeño-Tárraga, A. & Thomson, N. Chalk and cheese. Nat Rev Microbiol 2, 528–529 (2004).

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