April 21, 2020  |  

Genome Analyses of a New Mycoplasma Species from the Scorpion Centruroides vittatus.

Arthropod Mycoplasma are little known endosymbionts in insects, primarily known as plant disease vectors. Mycoplasma in other arthropods such as arachnids are unknown. We report the first complete Mycoplasma genome sequenced, identified, and annotated from a scorpion, Centruroides vittatus, and designate it as Mycoplasma vittatus We find the genome is at least a 683,827 bp single circular chromosome with a GC content of 42.7% and with 987 protein-coding genes. The putative virulence determinants include 11 genes associated with the virulence operon associated with protein synthesis or DNA transcription and ten genes with antibiotic and toxic compound resistance. Comparative analysis revealed that the M. vittatus genome is smaller than other Mycoplasma genomes and exhibits a higher GC content. Phylogenetic analysis shows M. vittatus as part of the Hominis group of Mycoplasma As arthropod genomes accumulate, further novel Mycoplasma genomes may be identified and characterized. Copyright © 2019 Yamashita et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

Egg case silk gene sequences from Argiope spiders: Evidence for multiple loci and a loss of function between paralogs.

Spiders swath their eggs with silk to protect developing embryos and hatchlings. Egg case silks, like other fibrous spider silks, are primarily composed of proteins called spidroins (spidroin = spider-fibroin). Silks, and thus spidroins, are important throughout the lives of spiders, yet the evolution of spidroin genes has been relatively understudied. Spidroin genes are notoriously difficult to sequence because they are typically very long (= 10 kb of coding sequence) and highly repetitive. Here, we investigate the evolution of spider silk genes through long-read sequencing of Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) clones. We demonstrate that the silver garden spiderArgiope argentatahas multiple egg case spidroin loci with a loss of function at one locus. We also use degenerate PCR primers to search the genomic DNA of congeneric species and find evidence for multiple egg case spidroin loci in otherArgiopespiders. Comparative analyses show that these multiple loci are more similar at the nucleotide level within a species than between species. This pattern is consistent with concerted evolution homogenizing gene copies within a genome. More complicated explanations include convergent evolution or recent independent gene duplications within each species. Copyright © 2018 Chaw et al.


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