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Karpathy SE, Qin X, Gioia J, Jiang H, Liu Y, et al. (2007) Genome Sequence of Fusobacterium nucleatum Subspecies Polymorphum ¿ a Genetically Tractable Fusobacterium. PLoS ONE 2(8): e659. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0000659
Fusobacterium nucleatum is an anaerobic Gram-negative non-sporeforming bacterium, and the type species for the genus Fuosbacterium. The species has a low G+C content (27 to 28%), and phylogenetic studies group the fusobacteria as a branch among the high and low G+C Gram-positive bacteria.
The cells of F. nucleatum are spindle-shaped or fusiform rods of variable length. All strains obtain energy from the fermentation of sugars or amino acids, and produce butyric acid as a major metabolic by-product. F. nucleatum is found in the dental plaque of primates, including man. This microorganism has been postulated to play a central role in dental plaque formation, based on its ability to adhere to a wide range of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative plaque microorganisms. F. nucleatum is frequently associated with periodontitis, as well as invasive human infections of the head and neck, chest, lung, liver and abdomen. Properties of F. nucleatum that may be related to virulence include it's adherence to and invasion of host tissue cells, and modulation of the host immune response. Native plasmids have been identified in strains of F. nucleatum, and an F. nucleatum - E. coli shuttle vector has been developed using the native plasmid pFN1.
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