July 19, 2019  |  

PacBio but not Illumina technology can achieve fast, accurate and complete closure of the high GC, complex Burkholderia pseudomallei two-chromosome genome

Although PacBio third-generation sequencers have improved the read lengths of genome sequencing which facilitates the assembly of complete genomes, no study has reported success in using PacBio data alone to completely sequence a two-chromosome bacterial genome from a single library in a single run. Previous studies using earlier versions of sequencing chemistries have at most been able to finish bacterial genomes containing only one chromosome with de novo assembly. In this study, we compared the robustness of PacBio RS II, using one SMRT cell and the latest P6-C4 chemistry, with Illumina HiSeq 1500 in sequencing the genome of Burkholderia pseudomallei, a bacterium which contains two large circular chromosomes, very high G+C content of 68–69%, highly repetitive regions and substantial genomic diversity, and represents one of the largest and most complex bacterial genomes sequenced, using a reference genome generated by hybrid assembly using PacBio and Illumina datasets with subsequent manual validation. Results showed that PacBio data with de novo assembly, but not Illumina, was able to completely sequence the B. pseudomallei genome without any gaps or mis-assemblies. The two large contigs of the PacBio assembly aligned unambiguously to the reference genome, sharing >99.9% nucleotide identities. Conversely, Illumina data assembled using three different assemblers resulted in fragmented assemblies (201–366 contigs), sharing only 92.2–100% and 92.0–100% nucleotide identities to chromosomes I and II reference sequences, respectively, with no indication that the B. pseudomallei genome consisted of two chromosomes with four copies of ribosomal operons. Among all assemblies, the PacBio assembly recovered the highest number of core and virulence proteins, and housekeeping genes based on whole-genome multilocus sequence typing (wgMLST). Most notably, assembly solely based on PacBio outperformed even hybrid assembly using both PacBio and Illumina datasets. Hybrid approach generated only 74 contigs, while the PacBio data alone with de novo assembly achieved complete closure of the two-chromosome B. pseudomallei genome without additional costly bench work and further sequencing. PacBio RS II using P6-C4 chemistry is highly robust and cost-effective and should be the platform of choice in sequencing bacterial genomes, particularly for those that are well-known to be difficult-to-sequence.


July 7, 2019  |  

Burkholderia pseudomallei sequencing identifies genomic clades with distinct recombination, accessory, and epigenetic profiles.

Burkholderia pseudomallei (Bp) is the causative agent of the infectious disease melioidosis. To investigate population diversity, recombination, and horizontal gene transfer in closely related Bp isolates, we performed whole-genome sequencing (WGS) on 106 clinical, animal, and environmental strains from a restricted Asian locale. Whole-genome phylogenies resolved multiple genomic clades of Bp, largely congruent with multilocus sequence typing (MLST). We discovered widespread recombination in the Bp core genome, involving hundreds of regions associated with multiple haplotypes. Highly recombinant regions exhibited functional enrichments that may contribute to virulence. We observed clade-specific patterns of recombination and accessory gene exchange, and provide evidence that this is likely due to ongoing recombination between clade members. Reciprocally, interclade exchanges were rarely observed, suggesting mechanisms restricting gene flow between clades. Interrogation of accessory elements revealed that each clade harbored a distinct complement of restriction-modification (RM) systems, predicted to cause clade-specific patterns of DNA methylation. Using methylome sequencing, we confirmed that representative strains from separate clades indeed exhibit distinct methylation profiles. Finally, using an E. coli system, we demonstrate that Bp RM systems can inhibit uptake of non-self DNA. Our data suggest that RM systems borne on mobile elements, besides preventing foreign DNA invasion, may also contribute to limiting exchanges of genetic material between individuals of the same species. Genomic clades may thus represent functional units of genetic isolation in Bp, modulating intraspecies genetic diversity. © 2015 Nandi et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequences for 59 burkholderia isolates, both pathogenic and near neighbor.

The genus Burkholderia encompasses both pathogenic (including Burkholderia mallei and Burkholderia pseudomallei, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Category B listed), and nonpathogenic Gram-negative bacilli. Here we present full genome sequences for a panel of 59 Burkholderia strains, selected to aid in detection assay development. Copyright © 2015 Johnson et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Finished annotated genome sequence of Burkholderia pseudomallei strain Bp1651, a multidrug-resistant clinical isolate.

Burkholderia pseudomallei strain Bp1651, a human isolate, is resistant to all clinically relevant antibiotics. We report here on the finished genome sequence assembly and annotation of the two chromosomes of this strain. This genome sequence may assist in understanding the mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance for this pathogenic species. Copyright © 2015 Bugrysheva et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Two stable variants of Burkholderia pseudomallei strain MSHR5848 express broadly divergent in vitro phenotypes associated with their virulence differences.

Burkholderia pseudomallei (Bp), the agent of melioidosis, causes disease ranging from acute and rapidly fatal to protracted and chronic. Bp is highly infectious by aerosol, can cause severe disease with nonspecific symptoms, and is naturally resistant to multiple antibiotics. However, no vaccine exists. Unlike many Bp strains, which exhibit random variability in traits such as colony morphology, Bp strain MSHR5848 exhibited two distinct and relatively stable colony morphologies on sheep blood agar plates: a smooth, glossy, pale yellow colony and a flat, rough, white colony. Passage of the two variants, designated “Smooth” and “Rough”, under standard laboratory conditions produced cultures composed of > 99.9% of the single corresponding type; however, both could switch to the other type at different frequencies when incubated in certain nutritionally stringent or stressful growth conditions. These MSHR5848 derivatives were extensively characterized to identify variant-associated differences. Microscopic and colony morphology differences on six differential media were observed and only the Rough variant metabolized sugars in selective agar. Antimicrobial susceptibilities and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) features were characterized and phenotype microarray profiles revealed distinct metabolic and susceptibility disparities between the variants. Results using the phenotype microarray system narrowed the 1,920 substrates to a subset which differentiated the two variants. Smooth grew more rapidly in vitro than Rough, yet the latter exhibited a nearly 10-fold lower lethal dose for mice than Smooth. Finally, the Smooth variant was phagocytosed and replicated to a greater extent and was more cytotoxic than Rough in macrophages. In contrast, multiple locus sequence type (MLST) analysis, ribotyping, and whole genome sequence analysis demonstrated the variants’ genetic conservation; only a single consistent genetic difference between the two was identified for further study. These distinct differences shown by two variants of a Bp strain will be leveraged to better understand the mechanism of Bp phenotypic variability and to possibly identify in vitro markers of infection.


July 7, 2019  |  

Whole-genome sequences of Burkholderia pseudomallei isolates exhibiting decreased meropenem susceptibility.

We report here paired isogenic Burkholderia pseudomallei genomes obtained from three patients receiving intravenous meropenem for melioidosis treatment, with post-meropenem isolates developing decreased susceptibility. Two genomes were finished, and four were drafted to improved high-quality standard. These genomes will be used to identify meropenem resistance mechanisms in B. pseudomallei. Copyright © 2017 Price et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Antibiotic resistance markers in Burkholderia pseudomallei strain Bp1651 identified by genome sequence analysis.

Burkholderia pseudomallei Bp1651 is resistant to several classes of antibiotics that are usually effective for treatment of melioidosis, including tetracyclines, sulfonamides, and ß-lactams such as penicillins (amoxicillin-clavulanic acid), cephalosporins (ceftazidime), and carbapenems (imipenem and meropenem). We sequenced, assembled, and annotated the Bp1651 genome and analyzed the sequence using comparative genomic analyses with susceptible strains, keyword searches of the annotation, publicly available antimicrobial resistance prediction tools, and published reports. More than 100 genes in the Bp1651 sequence were identified as potentially contributing to antimicrobial resistance. Most notably, we identified three previously uncharacterized point mutations in penA, which codes for a class A ß-lactamase and was previously implicated in resistance to ß-lactam antibiotics. The mutations result in amino acid changes T147A, D240G, and V261I. When individually introduced into select agent-excluded B. pseudomallei strain Bp82, D240G was found to contribute to ceftazidime resistance and T147A contributed to amoxicillin-clavulanic acid and imipenem resistance. This study provides the first evidence that mutations in penA may alter susceptibility to carbapenems in B. pseudomallei Another mutation of interest was a point mutation affecting the dihydrofolate reductase gene folA, which likely explains the trimethoprim resistance of this strain. Bp1651 was susceptible to aminoglycosides likely because of a frameshift in the amrB gene, the transporter subunit of the AmrAB-OprA efflux pump. These findings expand the role of penA to include resistance to carbapenems and may assist in the development of molecular diagnostics that predict antimicrobial resistance and provide guidance for treatment of melioidosis. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.


July 7, 2019  |  

Phylogeography of Burkholderia pseudomallei isolates, Western Hemisphere.

The bacterium Burkholderia pseudomallei causes melioidosis, which is mainly associated with tropical areas. We analyzed single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) among genome sequences from isolates of B. pseudomallei that originated in the Western Hemisphere by comparing them with genome sequences of isolates that originated in the Eastern Hemisphere. Analysis indicated that isolates from the Western Hemisphere form a distinct clade, which supports the hypothesis that these isolates were derived from a constricted seeding event from Africa. Subclades have been resolved that are associated with specific regions within the Western Hemisphere and suggest that isolates might be correlated geographically with cases of melioidosis. One isolate associated with a former World War II prisoner of war was believed to represent illness 62 years after exposure in Southeast Asia. However, analysis suggested the isolate originated in Central or South America.


July 7, 2019  |  

Identification of sRNA mediated responses to nutrient depletion in Burkholderia pseudomallei.

The Burkholderia genus includes many species that are known to survive in diverse environmental conditions including low nutrient environments. One species, Burkholderia pseudomallei is a versatile pathogen that can survive in a wide range of hosts and environmental conditions. In this study, we investigated how a nutrient depleted growth environment evokes sRNA mediated responses by B. pseudomallei. Computationally predicted B. pseudomallei D286 sRNAs were mapped to RNA-sequencing data for cultures grown under two conditions: (1) BHIB as a nutrient rich media reference environment and (2) M9 media as a nutrient depleted stress environment. The sRNAs were further selected to identify potentially cis-encoded systems by investigating their possible interactions with their flanking genes. The mappings of predicted sRNA genes and interactions analysis to their flanking genes identified 12 sRNA candidates that may possibly have cis-acting regulatory roles that are associated to a nutrient depleted growth environment. Our approach can be used for identifying novel sRNA genes and their possible role as cis-mediated regulatory systems.


July 7, 2019  |  

The effects of signal erosion and core genome reduction on the identification of diagnostic markers.

Whole-genome sequence (WGS) data are commonly used to design diagnostic targets for the identification of bacterial pathogens. To do this effectively, genomics databases must be comprehensive to identify the strict core genome that is specific to the target pathogen. As additional genomes are analyzed, the core genome size is reduced and there is erosion of the target-specific regions due to commonality with related species, potentially resulting in the identification of false positives and/or false negatives.A comparative analysis of 1,130 Burkholderia genomes identified unique markers for many named species, including the human pathogens B. pseudomallei and B. mallei Due to core genome reduction and signature erosion, only 38 targets specific to B. pseudomallei/mallei were identified. By using only public genomes, a larger number of markers were identified, due to undersampling, and this larger number represents the potential for false positives. This analysis has implications for the design of diagnostics for other species where the genomic space of the target and/or closely related species is not well defined. Copyright © 2016 Sahl et al.


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