The phylogenomic landscape of the genus Serratia

David J. Williams, Patrick A.D. Grimont, Adrián Cazares, Francine Grimont, Elisabeth Ageron, Kerry Pettigrew, Daniel Cazares, Elisabeth Njamkepo, François Xavier Weill, Eva Heinz, Matthew T.G. Holden, Nicholas R. Thomson, Sarah J. Coulthurst

Research output: Working paperPreprint


The genus Serratia has been studied for over a century and includes clinically-important and diverse environmental members. Despite this, there is a paucity of genomic information across the genus and a robust whole genome-based phylogenetic framework is lacking. Here, we have assembled and analysed a representative set of 664 genomes from across the genus, including 215 historic isolates originally used in defining the genus. Phylogenomic analysis of the genus reveals a clearly-defined population structure which displays deep divisions and aligns with ecological niche, as well as striking congruence between historical biochemical phenotyping data and contemporary genomics data. We show that Serratia is a diverse genus which displays striking plasticity and ability to adapt to its environment, including a highly-varied portfolio of plasmids, and provide evidence of different patterns of gene flow across the genus. This work provides an essential platform for understanding the emergence of clinical and other lineages of Serratia.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2022


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