A multiomic approach to defining the essential genome of the globally important pathogen Corynebacterium diphtheriae

Emily C. A. Goodall*, Camila Azevedo Antunes, Jens Möller, Vartul Sangal, Von Vergel L. Torres, Jessica Gray, Adam F. Cunningham, Paul A. Hoskisson, Andreas Burkovski, Ian R. Henderson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Diphtheria is a respiratory disease caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae. While the toxin-based vaccine has helped control outbreaks of the disease since the mid-20th century there has been an increase in cases in recent years, including systemic infections caused by non-toxigenic C. diphtheriae strains. Here we describe the first study of gene essentiality in C. diphtheriae, providing the most-dense Transposon Directed Insertion Sequencing (TraDIS) library in the phylum Actinobacteriota. This high-density library has allowed the identification of conserved genes across the genus and phylum with essential function and enabled the elucidation of essential domains within the resulting proteins including those involved in cell envelope biogenesis. Validation of these data through protein mass spectrometry identified hypothetical and uncharacterized proteins in the proteome which are also represented in the vaccine. These data are an important benchmark and useful resource for the Corynebacterium, Mycobacterium, Nocardia and Rhodococcus research community. It enables the identification of novel antimicrobial and vaccine targets and provides a basis for future studies of Actinobacterial biology.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1010737
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalPLoS Genetics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2023

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