Yersinia Genome Project


The genomes of eight additional Yersinia pestis strains and one Yersinia pseudotuberculosis strain are being sequenced to complement the seven Y. pestis genomes and single Y. pseudotuberculosis genome known to be finished or at a draft stage. Owing to the critical importance of these organisms, additional sequence information is important for examining variation in virulence phenotype at the level of individual polymorphisms. Y. pestis Angola, an atypical biovar Antiqua strain, has genotypic similarities intermediate between typical Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis strains, and is the oldest Y. pestis strain analyzed to date. The Angola strain is being sequenced to closure, as is Y. pseudotuberculosis IP31758, a strain isolated from a patient with Far East scarlet-like fever (FESLF). Additionally, seven other Y. pestis isolates representing the Orientalis, Antiqua, and Mediavalis biovars are being sequenced to draft coverage. The additional sequence data obtained from this important pathogen will add to our knowledge of the biology, evolution, and microevolution of the organism, and will aid in forensic analysis by setting up the basis for an accurate and robust typing system.

Isolate Selection

Strain selection was performed after consultation with the Advisory Committee, which is composed of prominent Y. pestis scientists, as well as different agencies funding similar projects. We are sequencing to completion two organisms as well as 8X coverage a total of seven additional strains from various biovars. This data will allow for discovery of polymophisms that could be used to develop robust and accurate typing systems.

Investigators and Collaborators

Bearden, Scott

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Carniel, Elisabeth

Insitut Pasteur, Paris, France

Keim, Paul

Northern Arizona University

Lindler, Luther

Department of Homeland Security

Rasko, David A.

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Ravel, Jacques

Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Rosovitz, M.J.

Midwest Research Institute

Schriefer, Martin

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Worsham, Patricia

U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

Yang, Ruifu

Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, China

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