Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

The complete genome sequence of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis FRC41 isolated from a 12-year-old girl with necrotizing lymphadenitis reveals insights into gene-regulatory networks contributing to virulence

Eva Trost12, Lisa Ott3, Jessica Schneider124, Jasmin Schröder1, Sebastian Jaenicke4, Alexander Goesmann4, Peter Husemann5, Jens Stoye5, Fernanda Alves Dorella6, Flavia Souza Rocha6, Siomar de Castro Soares6, Vívian D'Afonseca6, Anderson Miyoshi6, Jeronimo Ruiz7, Artur Silva8, Vasco Azevedo6, Andreas Burkovski3, Nicole Guiso9, Olivier F Join-Lambert10, Samer Kayal11 and Andreas Tauch1*

Author affiliations

1 Institut für Genomforschung und Systembiologie, Centrum für Biotechnologie, Universität Bielefeld, Universitätsstraße 27, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany

2 CLIB Graduate Cluster Industrial Biotechnology, Centrum für Biotechnologie, Universität Bielefeld, Universitätsstraße 27, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany

3 Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Staudtstraße 5, D-91058 Erlangen, Germany

4 Bioinformatics Resource Facility, Centrum für Biotechnologie, Universität Bielefeld, Universitätsstraße 27, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany

5 AG Genominformatik, Technische Fakultät, Universität Bielefeld, Universitätsstraße 25, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany

6 Laboratório de Genética Celular e Molecular, Departamento de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Av. Antonio Carlos 6627, Pampulha, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

7 Cellular and Molecular Parasitology Laboratory, Rene Rachou Research Center, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

8 Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Pará, Rua Augusto Corrêa, 01 - Guamá, Belém, PA, Brazil

9 Institut Pasteur, Unité de Prévention et Thérapies Moléculaires des Maladies Humaines, National Centre of Reference of Toxigenic Corynebacteria, 25 rue du Dr. Roux, 75724 Paris Cedex 15, France

10 Medical Faculty, University Paris Descartes, Hospital Necker Enfants Malades, Department of Microbiology, 147 rue de Sèvres, 75015 Paris, France

11 Medical Faculty, University Rennes 1, Hospital Pontchaillou, Department of Microbiology, 2 rue Henri le Guilloux, 35000 Rennes, France

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Genomics 2010, 11:728  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-728

Published: 30 December 2010



Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis is generally regarded as an important animal pathogen that rarely infects humans. Clinical strains are occasionally recovered from human cases of lymphadenitis, such as C. pseudotuberculosis FRC41 that was isolated from the inguinal lymph node of a 12-year-old girl with necrotizing lymphadenitis. To detect potential virulence factors and corresponding gene-regulatory networks in this human isolate, the genome sequence of C. pseudotuberculosis FCR41 was determined by pyrosequencing and functionally annotated.


Sequencing and assembly of the C. pseudotuberculosis FRC41 genome yielded a circular chromosome with a size of 2,337,913 bp and a mean G+C content of 52.2%. Specific gene sets associated with iron and zinc homeostasis were detected among the 2,110 predicted protein-coding regions and integrated into a gene-regulatory network that is linked with both the central metabolism and the oxidative stress response of FRC41. Two gene clusters encode proteins involved in the sortase-mediated polymerization of adhesive pili that can probably mediate the adherence to host tissue to facilitate additional ligand-receptor interactions and the delivery of virulence factors. The prominent virulence factors phospholipase D (Pld) and corynebacterial protease CP40 are encoded in the genome of this human isolate. The genome annotation revealed additional serine proteases, neuraminidase H, nitric oxide reductase, an invasion-associated protein, and acyl-CoA carboxylase subunits involved in mycolic acid biosynthesis as potential virulence factors. The cAMP-sensing transcription regulator GlxR plays a key role in controlling the expression of several genes contributing to virulence.


The functional data deduced from the genome sequencing and the extended knowledge of virulence factors indicate that the human isolate C. pseudotuberculosis FRC41 is equipped with a distinct gene set promoting its survival under unfavorable environmental conditions encountered in the mammalian host.