September 21, 2019  |  

Characterization of multi-drug resistant Enterococcus faecalis isolated from cephalic recording chambers in research macaques (Macaca spp.).

Nonhuman primates are commonly used for cognitive neuroscience research and often surgically implanted with cephalic recording chambers for electrophysiological recording. Aerobic bacterial cultures from 25 macaques identified 72 bacterial isolates, including 15 Enterococcus faecalis isolates. The E. faecalis isolates displayed multi-drug resistant phenotypes, with resistance to ciprofloxacin, enrofloxacin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, tetracycline, chloramphenicol, bacitracin, and erythromycin, as well as high-level aminoglycoside resistance. Multi-locus sequence typing showed that most belonged to two E. faecalis sequence types (ST): ST 4 and ST 55. The genomes of three representative isolates were sequenced to identify genes encoding antimicrobial resistances and other traits. Antimicrobial resistance genes identified included aac(6′)-aph(2″), aph(3′)-III, str, ant(6)-Ia, tetM, tetS, tetL, ermB, bcrABR, cat, and dfrG, and polymorphisms in parC (S80I) and gyrA (S83I) were observed. These isolates also harbored virulence factors including the cytolysin toxin genes in ST 4 isolates, as well as multiple biofilm-associated genes (esp, agg, ace, SrtA, gelE, ebpABC), hyaluronidases (hylA, hylB), and other survival genes (ElrA, tpx). Crystal violet biofilm assays confirmed that ST 4 isolates produced more biofilm than ST 55 isolates. The abundance of antimicrobial resistance and virulence factor genes in the ST 4 isolates likely relates to the loss of CRISPR-cas. This macaque colony represents a unique model for studying E. faecalis infection associated with indwelling devices, and provides an opportunity to understand the basis of persistence of this pathogen in a healthcare setting.


July 7, 2019  |  

Nonribosomal peptide synthase gene clusters for lipopeptide biosynthesis in Bacillus subtilis 916 and their phenotypic functions.

Bacillus cyclic lipopeptides (LPs) have been well studied for their phytopathogen-antagonistic activities. Recently, research has shown that these LPs also contribute to the phenotypic features of Bacillus strains, such as hemolytic activity, swarming motility, biofilm formation, and colony morphology. Bacillus subtilis 916 not only coproduces the three families of well-known LPs, i.e., surfactins, bacillomycin Ls (iturin family), and fengycins, but also produces a new family of LP called locillomycins. The genome of B. subtilis 916 contains four nonribosomal peptide synthase (NRPS) gene clusters, srf, bmy, fen, and loc, which are responsible for the biosynthesis of surfactins, bacillomycin Ls, fengycins, and locillomycins, respectively. By studying B. subtilis 916 mutants lacking production of one, two, or three LPs, we attempted to unveil the connections between LPs and phenotypic features. We demonstrated that bacillomycin Ls and fengycins contribute mainly to antifungal activity. Although surfactins have weak antifungal activity in vitro, the strain mutated in srfAA had significantly decreased antifungal activity. This may be due to the impaired productions of fengycins and bacillomycin Ls. We also found that the disruption of any LP gene cluster other than fen resulted in a change in colony morphology. While surfactins and bacillomycin Ls play very important roles in hemolytic activity, swarming motility, and biofilm formation, the fengycins and locillomycins had little influence on these phenotypic features. In conclusion, B. subtilis 916 coproduces four families of LPs which contribute to the phenotypic features of B. subtilis 916 in an intricate way. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genetic determinants of reutericyclin biosynthesis in Lactobacillus reuteri.

Reutericyclin is a unique antimicrobial tetramic acid produced by some strains of Lactobacillus reuteri. This study aimed to identify the genetic determinants of reutericyclin biosynthesis. Comparisons of the genomes of reutericyclin-producing L. reuteri strains with those of non-reutericyclin-producing strains identified a genomic island of 14 open reading frames (ORFs) including genes coding for a nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS), a polyketide synthase (PKS), homologues of PhlA, PhlB, and PhlC, and putative transport and regulatory proteins. The protein encoded by rtcN is composed of a condensation domain, an adenylation domain likely specific for d-leucine, and a thiolation domain. rtcK codes for a PKS that is composed of a ketosynthase domain, an acyl-carrier protein domain, and a thioesterase domain. The products of rtcA, rtcB, and rtcC are homologous to the diacetylphloroglucinol-biosynthetic proteins PhlABC and may acetylate the tetramic acid moiety produced by RtcN and RtcK, forming reutericyclin. Deletion of rtcN or rtcABC in L. reuteri TMW1.656 abrogated reutericyclin production but did not affect resistance to reutericyclin. Genes coding for transport and regulatory proteins could be deleted only in the reutericyclin-negative L. reuteri strain TMW1.656?rtcN, and these deletions eliminated reutericyclin resistance. The genomic analyses suggest that the reutericyclin genomic island was horizontally acquired from an unknown source during a unique event. The combination of PhlABC homologues with both an NRPS and a PKS has also been identified in the lactic acid bacteria Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus plantarum, suggesting that the genes in these organisms and those in L. reuteri share an evolutionary origin. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain BH072, isolated from honey.

The genome of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain BH072, isolated from a honey sample and showing strong antimicrobial activity against plant pathogens, is 4.07 Mb and harbors 3,785 coding sequences (CDS). Several gene clusters for nonribosomal synthesis of antimicrobial peptides and a complete gene cluster for biosynthesis of mersacidin were detected. Copyright © 2015 Zhao et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Paenibacillus polymyxa strain Sb3-1, a soilborne bacterium with antagonistic activity toward plant pathogens.

The genome of Paenibacillus polymyxa Sb3-1, a strain that shows antagonistic activities against pathogenic fungi and bacteria, consists of one 5.6-Mb circular chromosome and two plasmids of 223 kb and 8 kb. The genome reveals several genes that potentially contribute to its antagonistic and plant growth promotion activity. Copyright © 2015 Rybakova et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Draft genome sequence of Pseudoalteromonas luteoviolacea HI1, determined using Roche 454 and PacBio single-molecule real-time hybrid sequencing.

We report here the 6.0-Mb draft genome assembly of Pseudoalteromonas luteoviolacea strain HI1 using Roche 454 and PacBio single-molecule real-time hybrid-sequencing analysis. This strain is of biological importance since it has the capacity to induce the settlement and metamorphosis of the serpulid polychaete Hydroides elegans and the coral Pocillopora damicornis. Copyright © 2015 Asahina and Hadfield.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of biocontrol strain Pseudomonas fluorescens LBUM223.

Pseudomonas fluorescens LBUM223 is a plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium (PGPR) with biocontrol activity against various plant pathogens. It produces the antimicrobial metabolite phenazine-1-carboxylic acid, which is involved in the biocontrol of Streptomyces scabies, the causal agent of common scab of potato. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of P. fluorescens LBUM223. Copyright © 2015 Roquigny et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Identification and heterologous expression of the chaxamycin biosynthetic gene cluster from Streptomyces leeuwenhoekii.

Streptomyces leeuwenhoekii, isolated from the hyperarid Atacama Desert, produces the new ansamycin-like compounds chaxamycins A to D, which possess potent antibacterial activity and moderate antiproliferative activity. We report the development of genetic tools to manipulate S. leeuwenhoekii and the identification and partial characterization of the 80.2-kb chaxamycin biosynthesis gene cluster, which was achieved by both mutational analysis in the natural producer and heterologous expression in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) strain M1152. Restoration of chaxamycin production in a nonproducing ?cxmK mutant (cxmK encodes 3-amino-5-hydroxybenzoic acid [AHBA] synthase) was achieved by supplementing the growth medium with AHBA, suggesting that mutasynthesis may be a viable approach for the generation of novel chaxamycin derivatives. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Identification and structural characterization of naturally-occurring broad-spectrum cyclic antibiotics isolated from Paenibacillus.

The rise of antimicrobial resistance necessitates the discovery and/or production of novel antibiotics. Isolated strains of Paenibacillus alvei were previously shown to exhibit antimicrobial activity against a number of pathogens, such as E. coli, Salmonella, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The responsible antimicrobial compounds were isolated from these Paenibacillus strains and a combination of low and high resolution mass spectrometry with multiple-stage tandem mass spectrometry was used for identification. A group of closely related cyclic lipopeptides was identified, differing primarily by fatty acid chain length and one of two possible amino acid substitutions. Variation in the fatty acid length resulted in mass differences of 14 Da and yielded groups of related MS(n) spectra. Despite the inherent complexity of MS/MS spectra of cyclic compounds, straightforward analysis of these spectra was accomplished by determining differences in complementary product ion series between compounds that differ in molecular weight by 14 Da. The primary peptide sequence assignment was confirmed through genome mining; the combination of these analytical tools represents a workflow that can be used for the identification of complex antibiotics. The compounds also share amino acid sequence similarity to a previously identified broad-spectrum antibiotic isolated from Paenibacillus. The presence of such a wide distribution of related compounds produced by the same organism represents a novel class of broad-spectrum antibiotic compounds.


July 7, 2019  |  

Whole genome sequence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa F9676, an antagonistic bacterium isolated from rice seed.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a group of bacteria, which can be isolated from diverse ecological niches. P. aeruginosa strain F9676 was first isolated from a rice seed sample in 2003. It showed strong antagonism against several plant pathogens. In this study, whole genome sequencing was carried out. The total genome size of F9676 is 6368,008bp with 5586 coding genes (CDS), 67 tRNAs and 3 rRNAs. The genome sequence of F9676 may shed a light on antagonism P. aeruginosa. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain Co1-6, a plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium of Calendula officinalis.

The genome sequence of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain Co1-6, a plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium (PGPR) with broad-spectrum antagonistic activity against plant-pathogenic fungi, bacteria, and nematodes, consists of a single 3.9-Mb circular chromosome. The genome reveals genes putatively responsible for its promising biocontrol and PGP properties. Copyright © 2015 Köberl et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

A rebeccamycin analog provides plasmid-encoded niche defense.

Bacterial symbionts of fungus-growing ants occupy a highly specialized ecological niche and face the constant existential threat of displacement by another strain of ant-adapted bacteria. As part of a systematic study of the small molecules underlying this fraternal competition, we discovered an analog of the antitumor agent rebeccamycin, a member of the increasingly important indolocarbazole family. While several gene clusters consistent with this molecule’s newly reported modification had previously been identified in metagenomic studies, the metabolite itself has been cryptic. The biosynthetic gene cluster for 9-methoxyrebeccamycin is encoded on a plasmid in a manner reminiscent of plasmid-derived peptide antimicrobials that commonly mediate antagonism among closely related Gram-negative bacteria.


July 7, 2019  |  

Bovine NK-lysin: Copy number variation and functional diversification.

NK-lysin is an antimicrobial peptide and effector protein in the host innate immune system. It is coded by a single gene in humans and most other mammalian species. In this study, we provide evidence for the existence of four NK-lysin genes in a repetitive region on cattle chromosome 11. The NK2A, NK2B, and NK2C genes are tandemly arrayed as three copies in ~30-35-kb segments, located 41.8 kb upstream of NK1. All four genes are functional, albeit with differential tissue expression. NK1, NK2A, and NK2B exhibited the highest expression in intestine Peyer’s patch, whereas NK2C was expressed almost exclusively in lung. The four peptide products were synthesized ex vivo, and their antimicrobial effects against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria were confirmed with a bacteria-killing assay. Transmission electron microcopy indicated that bovine NK-lysins exhibited their antimicrobial activities by lytic action in the cell membranes. In summary, the single NK-lysin gene in other mammals has expanded to a four-member gene family by tandem duplications in cattle; all four genes are transcribed, and the synthetic peptides corresponding to the core regions are biologically active and likely contribute to innate immunity in ruminants.


July 7, 2019  |  

First genome sequences of Achromobacter phages reveal new members of the N4 family.

Multi-resistant Achromobacter xylosoxidans has been recognized as an emerging pathogen causing nosocomially acquired infections during the last years. Phages as natural opponents could be an alternative to fight such infections. Bacteriophages against this opportunistic pathogen were isolated in a recent study. This study shows a molecular analysis of two podoviruses and reveals first insights into the genomic structure of Achromobacter phages so far.Growth curve experiments and adsorption kinetics were performed for both phages. Adsorption and propagation in cells were visualized by electron microscopy. Both phage genomes were sequenced with the PacBio RS II system based on single molecule, real-time (SMRT) technology and annotated with several bioinformatic tools. To further elucidate the evolutionary relationships between the phage genomes, a phylogenomic analysis was conducted using the genome Blast Distance Phylogeny approach (GBDP).In this study, we present the first detailed analysis of genome sequences of two Achromobacter phages so far. Phages JWAlpha and JWDelta were isolated from two different waste water treatment plants in Germany. Both phages belong to the Podoviridae and contain linear, double-stranded DNA with a length of 72329 bp and 73659 bp, respectively. 92 and 89 putative open reading frames were identified for JWAlpha and JWDelta, respectively, by bioinformatic analysis with several tools. The genomes have nearly the same organization and could be divided into different clusters for transcription, replication, host interaction, head and tail structure and lysis. Detailed annotation via protein comparisons with BLASTP revealed strong similarities to N4-like phages.Analysis of the genomes of Achromobacter phages JWAlpha and JWDelta and comparisons of different gene clusters with other phages revealed that they might be strongly related to other N4-like phages, especially of the Escherichia group. Although all these phages show a highly conserved genomic structure and partially strong similarities at the amino acid level, some differences could be identified. Those differences, e.g. the existence of specific genes for replication or host interaction in some N4-like phages, seem to be interesting targets for further examination of function and specific mechanisms, which might enlighten the mechanism of phage establishment in the host cell after infection.


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