The overall objective for this project is to develop new methods for the analysis of genetic diversity between closely related species of bacteria and between distinct strains within those species in order to improve methods of detection and surveillance. <P>These developments will enhance existing technologies designed to rapidly detect and identify microorganisms of importance to public health and safety. The results from this project will be generally applicable to a wide range of microorganisms of importance in agriculture.
Approach: Multilocus DNA sequence databases will be developed for select bacterial species. These data will be combined with data from complete genome sequences and analyzed in order to provide an evolutionary framework for the rapid detection, identification and surveillance of these species. This evolutionary framework, along with information concerning the geographic distribution of strains and the substrates from which they were isolated, will be used to develop DNA sequence-based subtyping technologies that will enhance the detection, surveillance and source-tracking efforts applied to these microorganisms.