Bacteria belonging to the Burkholderia genus are extremely versatile and diverse. They can be environmental isolates, opportunistic pathogens in cystic fibrosis, immunocompromised or chronic granulomatous disease patients, or cause disease in healthy people (e.g., Burkholderia pseudomallei) or animals (as in the case of Burkholderia mallei). Since the genus was separated from the Pseudomonas one in the 1990s, the methodological tools to study and characterize these bacteria are evolving fast. Here we reviewed the techniques used in the last few years to update the taxonomy of the genus, to study gene functions and regulations, to deepen the knowledge on the drug resistance which characterizes these bacteria, and to elucidate their mechanisms to establish infections. The availability of these tools significantly impacts the quality of research on Burkholderia and the choice of the most appropriated is fundamental for a precise characterization of the species of interest. Key points • Updated techniques to study the genus Burkholderia were reviewed. • Taxonomy, genomics, assays, and animal models were described. • A comprehensive overview on recent advances in Burkholderia studies was made. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]
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