JW numbers in the Keio

Saturday, 3 September 2016

JW numbers in the Keio

Hirotada Mori is one of the top five names* in E. coli genomics as his group built the Keio and the ASKA collections. Yet the strains from the Keio and ASKA do not start with HM, but JW. Here is why...


The reason comes from a race in the 90s between multiple groups in trying to sequence the E. coli genome. Some groups used MG1655 and others used W3110. The Japanese group used W3110.


E. coli loci have different loci schemes and for once this is not the fault of NCBI's Rast reannotation —(those XXX_RSxxxx loci in NCBI genbank files for genomes). The main scheme for E. coli is the Blattner number or b-number (b0xxxx) —Fred Battner is the first author on the '97 Science paper where the complete sequence of MG1655 was unveiled. For W3110, the loci numbering scheme was ... JW numbers.
That is to say JW numbers are loci numbers and ASKA and Keio strain IDs.
JW is not a name. BW25113, the Keio mother strain, bears Barry Wanner's initials —he and Kiril Datsenko (pKD46 plasmid) invented recombineering (I blogged about it in another post).
JW actually stands for Japanese W3110 number!


*) My ad hoc ranking:

  1. Fred Blattner —MG1655 sequencing, MSD42 strain
  2. Hirotada Mori — Keio and ASKA collection, W3110 sequencing
  3. Barry Wanner —recombineering
  4. George Church — MG1655 sequencing, MAGE
  5. Peter Karp —a non-standard choice, yes, but EcoCyc is simply amazing.


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