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Using Whole-Genome Sequencing to Examine the Taxonomy of Yersinia

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ASM Microbe 2019

San Francisco, California, United States

June 20, 2019


Comprising 19 species/subspecies, Yersinia are Gram-negative coccobacilli implicated in a variety of human and zoonotic diseases. Several species of Yersinia share high genomic similarity with each other, and the ability to discern these species is vital—particularly for Y. pestis, the causative agent of plague, whose genomic composition is closely related to Y. pseudotuberculosis. In this study, we aim to revisit the taxonomy of Yersinia through whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of the type strains and confirm their taxonomic assignment. Whole-genome distances and phylogenomic analyses confirmed the current taxonomy of 17 species/subspecies. Unsurprisingly, four species that showed a greater degree of relatedness are Y. pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, Y. similis, and Y. wautersii, which constitute the Y. pseudotuberculosis complex. Recent research using multilocus sequence analysis identified Y. wautersii as a novel member species of the Y. pseudotuberculosis complex. However, based on whole-genome distances, our data shows enough similarity between Y. wautersii and Y. pseudotuberculosis to be considered the same species but different subspecies. Phylogenomic trees, which place Y. wautersii and Y. pseudotuberculosis on the same branch, further substantiate this data. We propose the unification of Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. wautersii as Y. pseudotuberculosis subsp. pseudotuberculosis and Y. pseudotuberculosis subsp. wautersii, respectively.

Download the poster to explore the use of WGS to examine the taxonomy of Yersinia.

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Reference-quality sequences

When performing comparative genomic analyses, it is important to have access to reliable whole-genome sequences. Through the ATCC Genome Portal, you can easily search, access, and analyze hundreds of reference-quality genome sequences, including a variety of Yersinia species and strains! Each sequence was developed using an optimized methodology that combines the power of highly accurate short reads with the revolutionary scaffolding ability of ultra-long reads. We then took our workflow one step further by accompanying each stage of the process with rigorous quality control analyses that ensure our data are the highest quality possible. Only the data that passes all quality control criteria are published to the ATCC Genome Portal. Visit the portal today to find the high-quality data you need for your research.

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