The genetic relatedness of Porphyromonas gingivalis clinical and laboratory strains assessed by analysis of insertion sequence (IS) element distribution

J. V. Califano, T. Arimoto, T. Kitten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Objectives: Porphyromonas gingivalis is frequently found in periodontitis lesions. This organism contains a large number of insertion sequence (IS) elements. We sought to determine the distribution of seven IS elements from strain W83 among nine P. gingivalis laboratory strains and nine clinical isolates and to use these findings to determine strain relationships. Methods: Southern blots of BamHI digested genomic DNA digests were probed with insertion sequence elements ISPg1-7. Results: The restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) patterns revealed that five of the nine laboratory strains, including strain W83, were nearly identical for all seven IS elements. Two of nine clinical isolates were similar to the five laboratory strains. Two of the four remaining laboratory strains had similar or identical RFLP patterns. The remaining two laboratory strains had limited similarity to clinical strains. Four of the clinical isolates had identical RFLP patterns for all seven IS elements. The three remaining clinical isolates were unique in their RFLP patterns. Several strains lacked from one to four of the IS elements. Similar strain relationships were suggested regardless of the IS element examined. Conclusions: Transposition and recombination between IS elements are not sufficiently pervasive to obscure strain relationships, though this does not preclude the possibility that such events play an important role in allowing P. gingivalis to adapt to new environments. Given the level of genetic diversity observed, it may be especially important to examine genetically diverse strains when drawing conclusions based on the W83 P. gingivalis genomic database.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-416
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Periodontal Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2003



  • Insertion sequence
  • Phylogeny
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis
  • Virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics

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