The whole gnome

Legend has it that in the dim and distant mists around the dawn of time a tiny typing (sic) error let to the term “whole gnome sequencing” being substituted for “whole genome sequencing”. Nothing more than a slip of the key (or single nucleotide deletion), and quite easily missed at the initial proof reading stage. The rest, as is painfuly evident from this Blog, has been put down to history.

Courtesy D Ussery, Biocentrum.

But after that brief historical preamble, now is the time to note the publication of several draft bacterial genomes from the genus Burkholderia. The fifteen reported in this paper include 5 from the WA group, including the WA outbreak strain Burkholderia pseudomallei NCTC 13177, the persistently mucoid phenotype B. pseudomallei DM 97, the Brazil outbreak strain B. pseudomallei BCC 215, a B. thailandensis from Northern Australia and the very first B. ubonensis to be fully sequenced, also from WA.

These 5 bacteria bridge several critical divergence points in the proposed phylogeny of the genus Burkholderia and therefore illustrate why we are beginning to wonder whether the origins of the disease-causing Burkholderias lie in northern Australia.

For pseudomalleiologists and other wrinklies, could WA be near the root of all evil?

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