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Origin of the plague microbe Yersinia pestis: Structure of the process of speciation

Abstract

The origin and evolution of the plague microbe Yersinia pestis are considered in the context of propositions of modern Darwinism. It was shown that the plague pathogen diverged from the pseudotuberculous microbe Yersinia pseudotuberculosis O:1b in the mountain steppe landscapes of Central Asia in the Sartan: 22000-15000 years ago. Speciation occurred in the tarbagan (Marmota sibirica)-flea (Oropsylla silantiewi) parasitic system. The structure of the speciation process included six stages: isolation, genetic drift, enhancement of intrapopulational polymorphism, the beginning of pesticin synthesis (genetic conflict and emergence of hiatus), specialization (stabilization of characteristics), and adaptive irradiation (transformation of the monotypic species Y. pestis tarbagani into a polytypic species). The scenario opens up wide prospects for construction of the molecular phylogeny of the plague microbe Y. pestis and for investigation of the biochemical and molecular-genetic aspects of “Darwinian” evolution of pathogens from many other nature-focal infections.

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Correspondence to V. V. Suntsov.

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Original Russian Text © V.V. Suntsov, 2012, published in Izvestiya Akademii Nauk, Seriya Biologicheskaya, 2012, No. 1, pp. 5–13.

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Suntsov, V.V. Origin of the plague microbe Yersinia pestis: Structure of the process of speciation. Biol Bull Russ Acad Sci 39, 1–9 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1134/S1062359012010104

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Keywords

  • Biology Bulletin
  • Plague
  • Yersinia Pestis
  • Parasitic System
  • Mouth Cavity