To investigate specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of different lineages of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, cell wall biosynthesis-associated genes encoding antigen 85 complex (fbpA, fbpB, and fbpC) and mannosyltransferase (pimB) were analyzed. Genetically diversified and predominant M. tuberculosis and Mycobacterium bovis genotypes identified in Taiwan (26 Beijing and 44 non-Beijing) were included in the study. Sequence analyses revealed that nine novel SNPs were found within main lineages of M. tuberculosis complex, including East-African-Indian (EAI), Beijing, Central-Asian (CAS), Bovis, and one lineage containing Latin American and Mediterranean (LAM), Haarlem and T. Specifically, a SNP in pimB codon 270 was identified in EAI, fbpA codon 156 in ancestral Beijing, fbpB codon 238 in modern Beijing, fbpA codon 4 and fbpC codon 158 in CAS, fbpA codon 311 in M. bovis and an additional SNP in fbpB codon 140 in M. bovis-BCG, and pimB codon 107 in other spoligotypes lineages including an additional SNP in fbpC codon 103 in LAM. In addition, we proved that isolates with spoligotype shared type (ST) no. 523 (carrying all 43 spacers), designated as unknown lineage in an international spoligotyping database (SpolDB4), belong to an early ancestral Beijing sublineage. Accordingly, a phylogenetic tree was constructed using those SNPs, and an evolutionary hypothesis for lineages of M. tuberculosis was proposed. These novel lineage-specific SNPs will be informative genetic markers in molecular epidemiological and evolutionary studies of M. tuberculosis.
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