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Can J Microbiol. 2007 Nov;53(11):1211-21.

Yersinia genome diversity disclosed by Yersinia pestis genome-wide DNA microarray.

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Laboratory of Analytical Microbiology, State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity, Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing 100071, China.


The genus Yersinia includes 11 species, 3 of which (Y. pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y. enterocolitica) are pathogenic for humans. The remaining 8 species (Y. frederiksenii, Y. intermedia, Y. kristensenii, Y. bercovieri, Y. mollaretii, Y. rohdei, Y. ruckeri, and Y. aldovae) are merely opportunistic pathogens found mostly in the environment. In this work, the genomic differences among Yersinia were determined using a Y. pestis-specific DNA microarray. The results revealed 292 chromosomal genes that were shared by all Yersinia species tested, constituting the conserved gene pool of the genus Yersinia. Hierarchical clustering analysis of the microarray data revealed the genetic relationships among all 11 species in this genus. The microarray analysis in conjunction with PCR screening greatly reduced the number of chromosomal genes (32) specific for Y. pestis to 16 genes and uncovered a high level of genomic plasticity within Y. pseudotuberculosis, indicating that its different serotypes have undergone an extensively parallel loss or acquisition of genetic content, which is likely to be important for its adaptation to changes in environmental niches.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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