TB Natural Mutation Rate Database

The goal of this project is to sequence a unique set of 12 well characterized clinical strains of M. tuberculosis. Sequence analysis of these strains will allow direct calculation of a natural mutation rate for this organism.

Project Information

The 12 clinical isolates sequenced in this project were identified during a population genetic study of M. tuberculosis from high incidence, isolated Canadian communities (Pepperell, 2010). These M.tb organisms are very closely related with each other, and the collection of sequence data is thus ideally suited to the study of micro-evolutionary processes. Bacterial clones were specifically chosen to allow the inference of a mutation rate for M.tuberculosis in its natural environment. Deeper knowledge of M.tb mutational processes in general, and rates of mutation in particular, will allow more powerful analyses of emerging genomic data, and will aid the translation of these data into concrete achievements in tuberculosis control. Researchers from a variety of disciplines, who have an interest in dynamics of the M.tb genome as the pathogen circulates among human hosts, should find this dataset valuable.

Project Collaborators

  • Caitlin Pepperell, Stanford University
  • Gary Schoolnik, Stanford University
  • Vernon Hoeppner, University of Saskatchewan
  • Sebastien Gagneux, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London
  • Peter Small, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Marcus Feldman, Stanford University
  • James Galagan, Broad Institute, Boston University