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Research Article

Contribution of Exogenous Genetic Elements to the Group A Streptococcus Metagenome

  • Stephen B. Beres,

    Affiliation: Center for Molecular and Translational Human Infectious Diseases Research, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, Houston, Texas, United States of America

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  • James M. Musser mail

    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: jmmusser@tmh.tmc.edu

    Affiliation: Center for Molecular and Translational Human Infectious Diseases Research, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute, Houston, Texas, United States of America

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  • Published: August 29, 2007
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000800
  • Published in PLOS ONE

Reader Comments (4)

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GAS metagenome: Academic Editor's Impressions

Posted by NiyazAhmed on 30 Aug 2007 at 08:16 GMT

Indeed a neat, interesting and exciting paper; shall be a pleasure for anyone who reads it.
The GAS metagenome encompassing the 8 previously sequenced GAS genomes and the 4 genomes sequenced herein makes the GAS organisms so far the best dissected ones and explored at the genomic level.
While handling and reviewing this manuscript I was thrilled to notice that the voluminous genome data generated was managed, handled, annotated, holistically processed and interpreted by just a two member team. How humble I feel! In general we see enormously lengthy author bylines in such type of papers. This reminds us partly the terrific speed and automation of genome analysis pipelines that the authors seemingly enjoyed; a lot of money needs to be pumped in though! So in a way it is quite an expensive study which will ultimately benefit the cause of world’s poor who are crippled by non-availability of the medical interventions against GAS. So a generous investment indeed!
Having said that, I can clearly foresee based on these findings a tremendous potential for the ensuing patho-biology of the GAS, specially addressing the putative functions encoded by the flexible genome component. The second major benefit shall be the availability of conventions based on metagenomic repertoire of the GAS mobile elements to tag and track field level diversity of the circulating strains; this will be of paramount significance in vaccine development and testing.
Finally, there are certain omissions (although they are sidelined at the moment –with pleasure!) such as simultaneous development of a system that collates and integrates various aspects of the metagenomic information, a complete dataset of DNA and protein sequences linked to the relevant annotations and functional assignments. I feel that this will be necessary in future although the development of such a comprehensive system is beyond the scope of a single laboratory. I expect some efforts will be directed towards that.