Mycobacterium marinum is the causative agent for the tuberculosis-like disease mycobacteriosis in fish and skin lesions in humans. Ubiquitous in its geographical distribution, M. marinum is known to occupy diverse fish as hosts. However, information about its genomic diversity is limited. Here, we provide the genome sequences for 15 M. marinum strains isolated from infected humans and fish. Comparative genomic analysis of these and four available genomes of the M. marinum strains M, E11, MB2 and Europe reveal high genomic diversity among the strains, leading to the conclusion that M. marinum should be divided into two different clusters, the "M"- and the "Aronson"-type. We suggest that these two clusters should be considered to represent two M. marinum subspecies. Our data also show that the M. marinum pan-genome for both groups is open and expanding and we provide data showing high number of mutational hotspots in M. marinum relative to other mycobacteria such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This high genomic diversity might be related to the ability of M. marinum to occupy different ecological niches.
Journal: Scientific reports