A North American Yersinia pestisdraft genome sequence: SNPs and phylogenetic analysis

Jeffrey W. Touchman, David M. Wagner, Jicheng Hao, Stephen D. Mastrian, Maulik K. Shah, Amy J. Vogler, Christopher J. Allender, Erin A. Clark, Debbie S. Benitez, David J. Youngkin, Jessica M. Girard, Raymond K. Auerbach, Stephen M. Beckstrom-Sternberg, Paul Keim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background. Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is responsible for some of the greatest epidemic scourges of mankind. It is widespread in the western United States, although it has only been present there for just over 100 years. As a result, there has been very little time for diversity to accumulate in this region. Much of the diversity that has been detected among North American isolates is at loci that mutate too quickly to accurately reconstruct large-scale phylogenetic patterns. Slowly-evolving but stable markers such as SNPs could be useful for this purpose, but are difficult to identify due to the monomorphic nature of North American isolates. Methodology/Principal Findings. To identify SNPs that are polymorphic among North American populations of Y. pestis, a gapped genome sequence of Y. pestis strain FV-1 was generated. Sequence comparison of FV-1 with another North American strain, CO92, identified 19 new SNP loci that differ among North American isolates. Conclusions/Significance. The 19 SNP loci identified in this study should facilitate additional studies of the genetic population structure of Y. pestis across North America.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere220
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 21 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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