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  Stone Age Yersinia pestis genomes shed light on the early evolution, diversity, and ecology of plague

Andrades Valtueña, A., Neumann, G., Spyrou, M. A., Musralina, L., Aron, F., Beisenov, A., et al. (2022). Stone Age Yersinia pestis genomes shed light on the early evolution, diversity, and ecology of plague. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(17): e2116722119, pp. 1-11. doi:10.1073/pnas.2116722119.

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Andrades Valtueña, Aida1, Author           
Neumann, Gunnar1, Author           
Spyrou, Maria A., Author
Musralina, Lyazzat1, Author           
Aron, Franziska1, Author           
Beisenov, Arman, Author
Belinskiy, Andrey B., Author
Bos, Kirsten I., Author
Buzhilova, Alexandra, Author
Conrad, Matthias, Author
Djansugurova, Leyla B., Author
Dobes, Miroslav, Author
Ernee, Michal, Author
Fernandez-Eraso, Javier, Author
Frohlich, Bruno, Author
Furmanek, Mirosław, Author
Hałuszko, Agata, Author
Hansen, Svend, Author
Harney, Eadaoin, Author
Hiss, Alina N.1, Author           
Hübner, Alexander, AuthorKey, Felix M., AuthorKhussainova, Elmira, AuthorKitov, Egor, AuthorKitova, Alexandra O., AuthorKnipper, Corina, AuthorKühnert, Denise, AuthorLalueza-Fox, Carles, AuthorLittleton, Judith, AuthorMassy, Ken, AuthorMittnik, Alissa, AuthorMujika-Alustiza, Jose Antonio, AuthorOlalde, Inigo, AuthorPapac, Luka1, Author           Penske, Sandra Ellen1, Author           Peska, Jaroslav, AuthorPinhasi, Ron, AuthorReich, David, AuthorReinhold, Sabine, AuthorStahl, Raphaela1, Author           Stäuble, Harald, AuthorTukhbatova, Rezeda I.1, Author           Vasilyev, Sergey, AuthorVeselovskaya, Elizaveta, AuthorWarinner, Christina, AuthorStockhammer, Philipp W., AuthorHaak, Wolfgang2, Author           Krause, Johannes2, Author           Herbig, Alexander2, Author            more..
1Archaeogenetics, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, ou_2074310              
2tide, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society, Kahlaische Str. 10, 07745 Jena, DE, ou_2591691              


Free keywords: ancient DNA, plague, Yersinia pestis
 Abstract: The bacterial pathogen Yersinia pestis gave rise to devastating outbreaks throughout human history, and ancient DNA evidence has shown it afflicted human populations as far back as the Neolithic. Y. pestis genomes recovered from the Eurasian Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age (LNBA) period have uncovered key evolutionary steps that led to its emergence from a Yersinia pseudotuberculosis-like progenitor; however, the number of reconstructed LNBA genomes are too few to explore its diversity during this critical period of development. Here, we present 17 Y. pestis genomes dating to 5,000 to 2,500 y BP from a wide geographic expanse across Eurasia. This increased dataset enabled us to explore correlations between temporal, geographical, and genetic distance. Our results suggest a nonflea-adapted and potentially extinct single lineage that persisted over millennia without significant parallel diversification, accompanied by rapid dispersal across continents throughout this period, a trend not observed in other pathogens for which ancient genomes are available. A stepwise pattern of gene loss provides further clues on its early evolution and potential adaptation. We also discover the presence of the flea-adapted form of Y. pestis in Bronze Age Iberia, previously only identified in in the Caucasus and the Volga regions, suggesting a much wider geographic spread of this form of Y. pestis. Together, these data reveal the dynamic nature of plague’s formative years in terms of its early evolution and ecology.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2022-04-262022-04
 Publication Status: Issued
 Pages: 11
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: Results
- Screening and Genome Reconstruction.
- Sixteen Newly Reconstructed Genomes Phylogenetically Placed within the LNBA Lineage.
- First Evidence of Prehistoric Plague on the Iberian Peninsula.
- Temporal Coexistence of Y. pestis Lineages with Different Transmission Potential.
- Genomic Content of Y. pestis During the LNBA Period.
- LNBA Genomes Derive from a Single Lineage.
Materials and Methods
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2116722119
Other: shh3196
 Degree: -



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Project information

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Project name : PALEoRIDER
Grant ID : 771234
Funding program : Horizon 2020 (H2020)
Funding organization : European Commission (EC)

Source 1

Title: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  Other : PNAS
  Other : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA
  Abbreviation : Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A.
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Washington, D.C. : National Academy of Sciences
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 119 (17) Sequence Number: e2116722119 Start / End Page: 1 - 11 Identifier: ISSN: 0027-8424
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925427230