Francisella tularensis subspecies holarctica FTNF002-00 strain was originally obtained from the first known clinical case of bacteremic F. tularensis pneumonia in Southern Europe isolated from an immunocompetent individual. The FTNF002-00 complete genome contains the RD23 deletion and represents a type strain for a clonal population from the first epidemic tularemia outbreak in Spain between 1997-1998. Here, we present the complete sequence analysis of the FTNF002-00 genome. The complete genome sequence of FTNF002-00 revealed several large as well as small genomic differences with respect to two other published complete genome sequences of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica strains, LVS and OSU18. The FTNF002-00 genome shares >99.9% sequence similarity with LVS and OSU18, and is also ∼5 MB smaller by comparison. The overall organization of the FTNF002-00 genome is remarkably identical to those of LVS and OSU18, except for a single 3.9 kb inversion in FTNF002-00. Twelve regions of difference ranging from 0.1-1.5 kb and forty-two small insertions and deletions were identified in a comparative analysis of FTNF002-00, LVS, and OSU18 genomes. Two small deletions appear to inactivate two genes in FTNF002-00 causing them to become pseudogenes; the intact genes encode a protein of unknown function and a drug:H+ antiporter. In addition, we identified ninety-nine proteins in FTNF002-00 containing amino acid mutations compared to LVS and OSU18. Several non-conserved amino acid replacements were identified, one of which occurs in the virulence-associated intracellular growth locus subunit D protein. Many of these changes in FTNF002-00 are likely the consequence of direct selection that increases the fitness of this subsp. holarctica clone within its endemic population. Our complete genome sequence analyses lay the foundation for experimental testing of these possibilities.
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