The yersiniae are Gram-negative rods belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae. They consist of 11 species that have been traditionally distinguished by DNA-DNA hybridisation and biochemical analyses. Three of them are pathogenic to humans: Yersinia pestis and the enteropathogenic yersiniae, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and Yersinia enterocolitica. All three species target the lymph tissues during infection and carry a 70 kb virulence plasmid (pYV), which is essential for infection in these tissues as well as to overcome host defense mechanisms. We have generated reference genomes for two of the human pathogenic Yersinia: Y. pestis and Y. enterocolitica.
The genome of Y. pestis is punctuated with pseudogenes demonstrating that despite its high virulence Y. pestis is in the early stage of genome decay, eliminating genes no longer required outside it mammalian host.
Yersinia enterocolitica is a psychotropic bacterium, which causes acute gastro-enteritis and occasionally more serious disease in humans. In some countries it rivals Salmonella as a food borne pathogen and because it can grow at refrigeration temperature it is an increasing concern in terms of food safety. Y. enterocolitica has evolved into an apparently heterogeneous collection of organisms encompassing six biotypes differentiated by biochemical tests (1A, 1B, 2, 3, 4 and 5). These in vitro biotypes group into three distinct grades of pathogen: a historically defined non-pathogenic group (biogroup 1A); a weakly pathogenic group that are unable to kill mice (biogroups 2 to 5); and a highly pathogenic, mouse-lethal group (biogroup 1B). These biogroups have geographically distinct distributions with biotype 1B being most frequently isolated in North America (termed the ‘New-World’ strains), whereas biogroups 2-5 predominate in Europe and Japan (termed the ‘Old-World’ strains), with biotype 1A strains ubiquitous in the environment.
We have determined the genome sequence of Y. enterocolitica biotype 1B. Our current interests are to determine the genetic differences that define the biotypes and to look at global diversity of the Y. enterocolitica biotypes.
Brendan Wren (LSHTM)
Alan McNally (NTU)
Michael Prentice (U of Cork)
Muriel Dufour (ESR NCBID New Zealand)
Thilo M. Fuchs (U of München)
Mark Achtman (U of Cork)
Mikael Skurnik (U of Helsinki)
Elizabeth Carniel (Inst Pasteur)
Andrey V. Karlyshev (Kingston U)
Published Genome Data
The sequenced strain, CO92, is a recent clinical isolate from the U.S.A. The chromosome sequence is 4,653,728 bp in length with a G+C content of 47.64%, and was generated from 95,000 shotgun reads. The start of the sequence was chosen to correspond with the origin of replication. There are 4,012 protein-coding genes (including 149 pseudogenes). Both the sequence and annotation have been deposited in the public databases with the accession number AL590842. In addition, there are three plasmids: pMT1 (accession number AL117211), pCD1 (accession number AL117189), and pPCP1 (accession number AL109969).
We have sequenced the strain 8081 and the complete sequence consists of a chromosome of 4,615,899 bp, with a G+C content of 47.27%, and a plasmid (pYVe8081) of 67,721 bp, with a G+C content of 43.92%. The complete chromosome sequence and annotation have been deposited in the public databases with the accession number AM286415.
Shotgun and assembly data from these projects are available from our FTP site.
Yersinia pseudotuberculosis project investigating localised evolution towards increased pathogenesis in the bovine host
The complete genome sequence and comparative genome analysis of the high pathogenicity Yersinia enterocolitica strain 8081.
PLoS genetics 2006;2;12;e206
Genome sequence of Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague.
Data Use Statement
This sequencing centre plans on publishing the completed and annotated sequences in a peer-reviewed journal as soon as possible. Permission of the principal investigator should be obtained before publishing analyses of the sequence/open reading frames/genes on a chromosome or genome scale. See our data sharing policy.
Please address all sequencing enquiries to: email@example.com