PLoS ONE, 2012, Vol.7(2), p.e30624
Whole genome sequencing allowed the development of a number of high resolution sequence based typing tools for Yersinia (Y.) pestis . The application of these methods on isolates from most known foci worldwide and in particular from China and the Former Soviet Union has dramatically improved our understanding of the population structure of this species. In the current view, Y. pestis including the non or moderate human pathogen Y. pestis subspecies microtus emerged from Yersinia pseudotuberculosis about 2,600 to 28,600 years ago in central Asia. The majority of central Asia natural foci have been investigated. However these investigations included only few strains from Mongolia. ; Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Prokaryotic Repeats (CRISPR) analysis and Multiple-locus variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) analysis (MLVA) with 25 loci was performed on 100 strains, isolated from 37 sampling areas in Mongolia. The resulting data were compared with previously published data from more than 500 plague strains, 130 of which had also been previously genotyped by single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis. The comparison revealed six main clusters including the three biovars Ulegeica, Altaica, and Xilingolensis. The largest cluster comprises 78 isolates, with unique and new genotypes seen so far in Mongolia only. Typing of selected isolates by key SNPs was used to robustly assign the corresponding clusters to previously defined SNP branches. ; We show that Mongolia hosts the most recent clade (Ulegeica). Interestingly no representatives of the ancestral subspecies nodes previously identified in North-western China were identified in this study. This observation suggests that the subsequent evolution steps within did not occur in Mongolia. Rather, Mongolia was most likely re-colonized by more recent clades coming back from China contemporary of the black death pandemic, or more recently in the past 600 years.
Research Article ; Biology ; Computational Biology ; Evolutionary Biology ; Microbiology ; Medicine ; Infectious Diseases