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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Optical mapping of the Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis genome

Chia-wei Wu1, Timothy M Schramm2, Shiguo Zhou2, David C Schwartz2 and Adel M Talaat1*

Author Affiliations

1 The Laboratory of Bacterial Genomics, Department of Pathobiological Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, USA

2 Laboratory for Molecular and Computational Genomics, Department of Chemistry, Laboratory of Genetics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, USA

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BMC Genomics 2009, 10:25  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-10-25

Published: 15 January 2009



Infection of cattle with Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (M. ap) causes severe economic losses to the dairy industry in the USA and worldwide. In an effort to better examine diversity among M. ap strains, we used optical mapping to profile genomic variations between strains of M. ap K-10 (sequenced strain) and M. ap ATCC 19698 (type strain).


The assembled physical restriction map of M. ap ATCC 19698 showed a genome size of 4,839 kb compared to the sequenced K-10 genome of 4,830 kb. Interestingly, alignment of the optical map of the M. ap ATCC 19698 genome to the complete M. ap K-10 genome sequence revealed a 648-kb inversion around the origin of replication. However, Southern blotting, PCR amplification and sequencing analyses of the inverted region revealed that the genome of M. ap K-10 differs from the published sequence in the region starting from 4,197,080 bp to 11,150 bp, spanning the origin of replication. Additionally, two new copies of the coding sequences > 99.8% were identified, identical to the MAP0849c and MAP0850c genes located immediately downstream of the MAP3758c gene.


The optical map of M. ap ATCC 19698 clearly indicated the miss-assembly of the sequenced genome of M. ap K-10. Moreover, it identified 2 new genes in M. ap K-10 genome. This analysis strongly advocates for the utility of physical mapping protocols to complement genome sequencing projects.