The evolution of bacterial pathogenesis: a genomic approach (2008–2012)
Bacterial pathogens are locked in a battle of survival with their eukaryotic hosts. Coevolution of pathogen and host has been aptly described as a genetic ''"arms race" employing various key proteins expressed by both prokaryote and eukaryote cells. As the prokaryote cell evolves to evade the host defences, the host evolves in parallel to thwart these efforts. The over-riding aim of this project is to draw upon the wealth of microbial genome sequence data to investigate the mechanisms of evolution amongst different bacterial pathogens. A primary focus is the role of positive "Darwinian" selection in the evolution of bacterial pathogenesis.