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Vibrio cholerae is the causative agent of cholera. In order to understand the genetic basis underlying the emergence of novel epidemic strains of V. cholerae, the genetics of surface polysaccharide biogenesis, and the role of lateral gene transfer in the evolution of this species, we investigated. NRT36S and A5 are both NAG-ST producing, cholera toxin negative, serogroup O31 V. cholerae. NRT36S is encapsulated and causes diarrhea when administered to volunteers; A5 is acapsular and does not colonize or cause illness in humans. The structure of the capsular (CPS) polysaccharide in NRT36S was determined by NMR. The gene cluster of CPS biogenesis was identified by transposon mutagenesis combined with whole genome sequencing data. The CPS gene cluster shared the same genetic locus as that of the O-antigen of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) ...
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