Global genetic population structure of Bacillus anthracis

Matthew N. Van Ert, W. Ryan Easterday, Lynn Y. Huynh, Richard T. Okinaka, Martin E. Hugh-Jones, Jacques Ravel, Shaylan R. Zanecki, Talima R Pearson, Tatum S. Simonson, Jana M. U'Ren, Sergey M. Kachur, Rebecca R. Leadem-Dougherty, Shane D. Rhoton, Guenevier Zinser, Jason Farlow, Pamala R. Coker, Kimothy L. Smith, Bingxiang Wang, Leo J. Kenefic, Claire M. Fraser-LiggettDavid M Wagner, Paul S Keim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

227 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Anthrax, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is a disease of historical and current importance that is found throughout the world. The basis of its historical transmission is anecdotal and its true global population structure has remained largely cryptic. Seven diverse B. anthracis strains were whole-genome sequenced to identify rare single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), followed by phylogenetic reconstruction of these characters onto an evolutionary model. This analysis identified SNPs that define the major clonal lineages within the species. These SNPs, in concert with 15 variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) markers, were used to subtype a collection of 1,033 B. anthracis isolates from 42 countries to create an extensive genotype data set. These analyses subdivided the isolates into three previously recognized major lineages (A, B, and C), with further subdivision into 12 clonal sub-lineages or sub-groups and, finally, 221 unique MLVA15 genotypes. This rare genomic variation was used to document the evolutionary progression of B. anthracis and to establish global patterns of diversity, isolates in the A lineage are widely dispersed globally, whereas the B and C lineages occur on more restricted spatial scales. Molecular clock models based upon genome-wide synonymous substitutions indicate there was a massive radiation of the A lineage that occurred in the mid-Holocene (3,064-6,127 ybp). On more recent temporal scales, the global population structure of B. anthracis reflects colonial-era importation of specific genotypes from the Old World into the New World, as well as the repeated industrial importation of diverse genotypes into developed countries via spore-contaminated animal products. These findings indicate humans have played an important role in the evolution of anthrax by increasing the proliferation and dispersal of this now global disease. Finally, the value of global genotypic analysis for investigating bioterrorist-mediated outbreaks of anthrax is demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere461
JournalPLoS One
Volume2
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 23 2007

Fingerprint

Bacillus anthracis
Genetic Structures
Bacilli
Polymorphism
population structure
Nucleotides
Anthrax
anthrax
Genotype
single nucleotide polymorphism
Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
Genes
genotype
Minisatellite Repeats
Clocks
Genome
Bacteria
Animals
Substitution reactions
Molecular Models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Van Ert, M. N., Easterday, W. R., Huynh, L. Y., Okinaka, R. T., Hugh-Jones, M. E., Ravel, J., ... Keim, P. S. (2007). Global genetic population structure of Bacillus anthracis. PLoS One, 2(5), [e461]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000461

Global genetic population structure of Bacillus anthracis. / Van Ert, Matthew N.; Easterday, W. Ryan; Huynh, Lynn Y.; Okinaka, Richard T.; Hugh-Jones, Martin E.; Ravel, Jacques; Zanecki, Shaylan R.; Pearson, Talima R; Simonson, Tatum S.; U'Ren, Jana M.; Kachur, Sergey M.; Leadem-Dougherty, Rebecca R.; Rhoton, Shane D.; Zinser, Guenevier; Farlow, Jason; Coker, Pamala R.; Smith, Kimothy L.; Wang, Bingxiang; Kenefic, Leo J.; Fraser-Liggett, Claire M.; Wagner, David M; Keim, Paul S.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 2, No. 5, e461, 23.05.2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Van Ert, MN, Easterday, WR, Huynh, LY, Okinaka, RT, Hugh-Jones, ME, Ravel, J, Zanecki, SR, Pearson, TR, Simonson, TS, U'Ren, JM, Kachur, SM, Leadem-Dougherty, RR, Rhoton, SD, Zinser, G, Farlow, J, Coker, PR, Smith, KL, Wang, B, Kenefic, LJ, Fraser-Liggett, CM, Wagner, DM & Keim, PS 2007, 'Global genetic population structure of Bacillus anthracis', PLoS One, vol. 2, no. 5, e461. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000461
Van Ert MN, Easterday WR, Huynh LY, Okinaka RT, Hugh-Jones ME, Ravel J et al. Global genetic population structure of Bacillus anthracis. PLoS One. 2007 May 23;2(5). e461. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000461
Van Ert, Matthew N. ; Easterday, W. Ryan ; Huynh, Lynn Y. ; Okinaka, Richard T. ; Hugh-Jones, Martin E. ; Ravel, Jacques ; Zanecki, Shaylan R. ; Pearson, Talima R ; Simonson, Tatum S. ; U'Ren, Jana M. ; Kachur, Sergey M. ; Leadem-Dougherty, Rebecca R. ; Rhoton, Shane D. ; Zinser, Guenevier ; Farlow, Jason ; Coker, Pamala R. ; Smith, Kimothy L. ; Wang, Bingxiang ; Kenefic, Leo J. ; Fraser-Liggett, Claire M. ; Wagner, David M ; Keim, Paul S. / Global genetic population structure of Bacillus anthracis. In: PLoS One. 2007 ; Vol. 2, No. 5.
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