Yersinia pestis genome sequencing identifies patterns of global phylogenetic diversity


Plague is a pandemic human invasive disease caused by the bacterial agent Yersinia pestis. We here report a comparison of 17 whole genomes of Y. pestis isolates from global sources. We also screened a global collection of 286 Y. pestis isolates for 933 SNPs using Sequenom MassArray SNP typing. We conducted phylogenetic analyses on this sequence variation dataset, assigned isolates to populations based on maximum parsimony and, from these results, made inferences regarding historical transmission routes. Our phylogenetic analysis suggests that Y. pestis evolved in or near China and spread through multiple radiations to Europe, South America, Africa and Southeast Asia, leading to country-specific lineages that can be traced by lineage-specific SNPs. All 626 current isolates from the United States reflect one radiation, and 82 isolates from Madagascar represent a second radiation. Subsequent local microevolution of Y. pestis is marked by sequential, geographically specific SNPs.

DOI: 10.1038/ng.705

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@article{Morelli2010YersiniaPG, title={Yersinia pestis genome sequencing identifies patterns of global phylogenetic diversity}, author={Giovanna Morelli and Yajun Song and Camila J. Mazzoni and Mark Eppinger and Philippe Roumagnac and David M. Wagner and Mirjam Feldkamp and Barica Ku{\vs}e{\'c}ek and Amy J. Vogler and Yanjun Li and Yujun Cui and Nicholas R Thomson and Thibaut Jombart and Raphael Leblois and Peter C. Lichtner and Lila Rahalison and Jeannine M. Petersen and François Balloux and Paul Keim and Thierry Wirth and Jacques Ravel and Ruifu Yang and Elisabeth Carniel and Mark Achtman}, journal={Nature Genetics}, year={2010}, volume={42}, pages={1140-1143} }