Diversity in a variable-number tandem repeat from Yersinia pestis

D. M. Adair, P. L. Worsham, K. K. Hill, A. M. Klevytska, P. J. Jackson, A. M. Friedlander, P. Keim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

104 Scopus citations

Abstract

We have identified a tetranucleotide repeat sequence, (CAAA)(N), in the genome of Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague. This variable- number tandem repeat (VNTR) region has nine alleles and great diversity (calculated as 1 minus the sum of the squared allele frequencies) (diversity value, 0.82) within a set of 35 diverse Y. pestis strains. In contrast, the nucleotide sequence of the lcrV (low-calcium-response) gene differed only slightly among these strains, having a haplotype diversity value of 0.17. Replicated cultures, phenotypic variants of particular strains, and extensively cultured replicates within strains did not differ in VNTR allele type. Thus, while a high mutation rate must contribute to the great diversity of this locus, alleles appear stable under routine laboratory culture conditions. The classic three plague biovars did not have single identifying alleles, although there were allelic biases within biovar categories. The antiqua biovar was the most diverse, with four alleles observed in 5 strains, while the orientalis and mediaevalis biovars exhibited five alleles in 21 strains and three alleles in 8 strains, respectively. The CAAA VNTR is located immediately adjacent to the transcriptional promoters for flanking open reading frames and may affect their activity. This VNTR marker may provide a high-resolution tool for epidemiological analyses of plague.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1516-1519
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Diversity in a variable-number tandem repeat from Yersinia pestis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Adair, D. M., Worsham, P. L., Hill, K. K., Klevytska, A. M., Jackson, P. J., Friedlander, A. M., & Keim, P. (2000). Diversity in a variable-number tandem repeat from Yersinia pestis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 38(4), 1516-1519. https://doi.org/10.1128/jcm.38.4.1516-1519.2000