BACKGROUND : Currently, Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most important pathogens worldwide, especially for methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) infection. However, few reports referred to patients' MRSA infections in Yunnan province, southwest China. METHODS : In this study, we selected representative MRSA strains from patients' systemic surveillance in Yunnan province of China, performed the genomic sequencing and compared their features, together with some food derived strains. RESULTS : Among sixty selective isolates, forty strains were isolated from patients, and twenty isolated from food. Among the patients' strains, sixteen were recognized as community-acquired (CA), compared with 24 for hospital-acquired (HA). ST6-t701, ST59-t437 and ST239-t030 were the three major genotype profiles. ST6-t701 was predominated in food strains, while ST59-t437 and ST239-t030 were the primary clones in patients. The clinical features between CA and HA-MRSA of patients were statistical different. Compared the antibiotic resistant results between patients and food indicated that higher antibiotic resistant rates were found in patients' strains. Totally, the average genome sizes of 60 isolates were 2.79 ± 0.05 Mbp, with GC content 33% and 84.50 ± 0.20% of coding rate. The core genomes of these isolates were 1593 genes. Phylogenetic analysis based on pan-genome and SNP of strains showed that five clustering groups were generated. Clustering ST239-t030 contained all the HA-MRSA cases in this study; clustering ST6-t701 referred to food and CA-MRSA infections in community; clustering ST59-t437 showed the heterogeneity for provoking different clinical diseases in both community and hospital. Phylogenetic tree, incorporating 24 isolates from different regions, indicated ST239-t030 strains in this study were more closely related to T0131 isolate from Tianjin, China, belonged to 'Turkish clade' from Eastern Europe; two groups of ST59-t437 clones of MRSA in Yunnan province were generated, belonged to the 'Asian-Pacific' clone (AP) and 'Taiwan' clone (TW) respectively. CONCLUSIONS : ST239-t030, ST59-t437 and ST6-t701 were the three major MRSA clones in Yunnan province of China. ST239-t030 clonal Yunnan isolates demonstrated the local endemic of clone establishment for a number of years, whereas ST59-t437 strains revealed the multi-origins of this clone. In general, genomic study on epidemic clones of MRSA in southwest China provided the features and evolution of this pathogen.