Repository logo

Genetic variation associated with infection and the environment in the accidental pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei.

Published version



Change log


Chewapreecha, Claire  ORCID logo
Mather, Alison E 
Harris, Simon R 
Hunt, Martin 
Holden, Matthew T G  ORCID logo


The environmental bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei causes melioidosis, an important endemic human disease in tropical and sub-tropical countries. This bacterium occupies broad ecological niches including soil, contaminated water, single-cell microbes, plants and infection in a range of animal species. Here, we performed genome-wide association studies for genetic determinants of environmental and human adaptation using a combined dataset of 1,010 whole genome sequences of B. pseudomallei from Northeast Thailand and Australia, representing two major disease hotspots. With these data, we identified 47 genes from 26 distinct loci associated with clinical or environmental isolates from Thailand and replicated 12 genes in an independent Australian cohort. We next outlined the selective pressures on the genetic loci (dN/dS) and the frequency at which they had been gained or lost throughout their evolutionary history, reflecting the bacterial adaptability to a wide range of ecological niches. Finally, we highlighted loci likely implicated in human disease.



Genome-wide Association Studies, Bacterial Genetics, Evolutionary Genetics

Journal Title

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title


Wellcome Trust (089275/Z/09/Z, 216457/Z/19/Z, 098051)