An 84 base pair sequence of the Streptococcus mutansvirulence factor, known as dextranase, has been obtained from 10 individuals from the Bronze Age to the Modern Era in Europe and from before and after the colonization in America. Modern samples show four polymorphic sites that have not been found in the ancient samples studied so far. The nucleotide and haplotype diversity of this region have increased over time, which could be reflecting the footprint of a population expansion. While this segment has apparently evolved according to neutral evolution, we have been able to detect one site that is under positive selection pressure both in present and past populations. This study is a first step to study the evolution of this microorganism, analysed using direct evidence obtained from ancient remains. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.
|Journal||Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences|
|Publication status||Published - 23 Jul 2014|
- Neutral evolution
- Positive selection
- Streptococcus mutans