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Plant Microbe Shares Features With Drug-resistant Pathogen

An international team of scientists has discovered extensive similarities between a strain of bacteria commonly associated with plants and one increasingly linked to opportunistic infections in hospital patients. The findings suggest caution in the use of the plant-associated strain for a range of biotech applications.

The genetic analysis was conducted in part at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, and will be published in the July 2009 issue of Nature Reviews Microbiology, now available online.

The research team — which included scientists from Ireland, Austria, and the United Kingdom as well as the U.S. — was investigating the versatility and adaptability of a group of bacteria known as Stenotrophomonas. These bacteria have great metabolic versatility, allowing them to thrive in very diverse environments.
 
 

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