Brucella abortus

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A Microbial Biorealm page on the genus Brucella abortus


Higher order taxa

Bacteria; Proteobacteria; Alphaproteobacteria; Rhizobiales; Brucellaceae [Others may be used. Use NCBI link to find]


NCBI: Taxonomy

Brucella abortus

Description and significance

Describe the appearance, habitat, etc. of the organism, and why it is important enough to have its genome sequenced. Describe how and where it was isolated. Include a picture or two (with sources) if you can find them.

Genome structure

The B. abortus genome contains 2 circular DNA chromosomes. The first chromosome is 2,124,241 nucleotides long and codes for 2200 genes. The second chromosome is 1,162,204 nucleotides long and codes for 1156 genes. The genome has a GC content of 57%, and 81% of the genome is a coding region (10). This pathogen is different from many in that it does not contain any plasmids or genomic islands that relate to pathogenicity within its genome (5). In addition to lacking these two features, the genome also lack many other genes that code for common virulence factors including “capsules, fimbriae, exotoxins, cytolysins, resistance forms, antigenic variation, plasmids, or lysogenic phages” (1). The genes that do encode for virulence in are being examined but they are not well enough understood to say for sure what the mode of virulence is for this intracellular pathogen (5).

Cell structure and metabolism

Describe any interesting features and/or cell structures; how it gains energy; what important molecules it produces.


Describe any interactions with other organisms (included eukaryotes), contributions to the environment, effect on environment, etc.


How does this organism cause disease? Human, animal, plant hosts? Virulence factors, as well as patient symptoms.

Application to Biotechnology

Does this organism produce any useful compounds or enzymes? What are they and how are they used?

Current Research

Enter summaries of the most recent research here--at least three required


[Sample reference] Takai, K., Sugai, A., Itoh, T., and Horikoshi, K. "Palaeococcus ferrophilus gen. nov., sp. nov., a barophilic, hyperthermophilic archaeon from a deep-sea hydrothermal vent chimney". International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. 2000. Volume 50. p. 489-500.

Edited by student of Rachel Larsen and Kit Pogliano