Dougan, Gordon, Haque, Ashraful, Pickard, Derek, Frankel, Gad, O'Goara, Peadar and Wain, John (2001) The Escherichia coli gene pool. Current Opinion in Microbiology, 41: 90-94. doi:10.1016/S1369-5274(00)00170-3
Wild Escherichia coli are superbly adapted to survive in the intestines of their mammalian hosts and in the environment. E. coli K12 derivative (MG1655) encodes 4288 potential genes that provide the background genetic framework of this species. Particular E. coli clonal types encode additional chromosomal and extrachromosomal genes that facilitate the ability of E. coli to adapt to new environments. These additional genes are often clustered, have related functions (for example, virulence-associated genes in pathogenicity islands) and may be integrated at specific sites on the E. coli chromosome.