July 19, 2019  |  

The methylomes of six bacteria.

Six bacterial genomes, Geobacter metallireducens GS-15, Chromohalobacter salexigens, Vibrio breoganii 1C-10, Bacillus cereus ATCC 10987, Campylobacter jejuni subsp. jejuni 81-176 and C. jejuni NCTC 11168, all of which had previously been sequenced using other platforms were re-sequenced using single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing specifically to analyze their methylomes. In every case a number of new N(6)-methyladenine ((m6)A) and N(4)-methylcytosine ((m4)C) methylation patterns were discovered and the DNA methyltransferases (MTases) responsible for those methylation patterns were assigned. In 15 cases, it was possible to match MTase genes with MTase recognition sequences without further sub-cloning. Two Type I restriction systems required sub-cloning to differentiate their recognition sequences, while four MTase genes that were not expressed in the native organism were sub-cloned to test for viability and recognition sequences. Two of these proved active. No attempt was made to detect 5-methylcytosine ((m5)C) recognition motifs from the SMRT® sequencing data because this modification produces weaker signals using current methods. However, all predicted (m6)A and (m4)C MTases were detected unambiguously. This study shows that the addition of SMRT sequencing to traditional sequencing approaches gives a wealth of useful functional information about a genome showing not only which MTase genes are active but also revealing their recognition sequences.


July 19, 2019  |  

A comparative analysis of methylome profiles of Campylobacter jejuni sheep abortion isolate and gastroenteric strains using PacBio data.

Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of human gastrointestinal disease and small ruminant abortions in the United States. The recent emergence of a highly virulent, tetracycline-resistant C. jejuni subsp. jejuni sheep abortion clone (clone SA) in the United States, and that strain’s association with human disease, has resulted in a heightened awareness of the zoonotic potential of this organism. Pacific Biosciences’ Single Molecule, Real-Time sequencing technology was used to explore the variation in the genome-wide methylation patterns of the abortifacient clone SA (IA3902) and phenotypically distinct gastrointestinal-specific C. jejuni strains (NCTC 11168 and 81-176). Several notable differences were discovered that distinguished the methylome of IA3902 from that of 11168 and 81-176: identification of motifs novel to IA3902, genome-specific hypo- and hypermethylated regions, strain level variability in genes methylated, and differences in the types of methylation motifs present in each strain. These observations suggest a possible role of methylation in the contrasting disease presentations of these three C. jejuni strains. In addition, the methylation profiles between IA3902 and a luxS mutant were explored to determine if variations in methylation patterns could be identified that might explain the role of LuxS-dependent methyl recycling in IA3902 abortifacient potential.


July 19, 2019  |  

Analysis of the Campylobacter jejuni genome by SMRT DNA Sequencing identifies restriction-modification motifs.

Campylobacter jejuni is a leading bacterial cause of human gastroenteritis. The goal of this study was to analyze the C. jejuni F38011 strain, recovered from an individual with severe enteritis, at a genomic and proteomic level to gain insight into microbial processes. The C. jejuni F38011 genome is comprised of 1,691,939 bp, with a mol.% (G+C) content of 30.5%. PacBio sequencing coupled with REBASE analysis was used to predict C. jejuni F38011 genomic sites and enzymes that may be involved in DNA restriction-modification. A total of five putative methylation motifs were identified as well as the C. jejuni enzymes that could be responsible for the modifications. Peptides corresponding to the deduced amino acid sequence of the C. jejuni enzymes were identified using proteomics. This work sets the stage for studies to dissect the precise functions of the C. jejuni putative restriction-modification enzymes. Taken together, the data generated in this study contributes to our knowledge of the genomic content, methylation profile, and encoding capacity of C. jejuni.


July 19, 2019  |  

Phase variation of a Type IIG restriction-modification enzyme alters site-specific methylation patterns and gene expression in Campylobacter jejuni strain NCTC11168.

Phase-variable restriction-modification systems are a feature of a diverse range of bacterial species. Stochastic, reversible switches in expression of the methyltransferase produces variation in methylation of specific sequences. Phase-variable methylation by both Type I and Type III methyltransferases is associated with altered gene expression and phenotypic variation. One phase-variable gene of Campylobacter jejuni encodes a homologue of an unusual Type IIG restriction-modification system in which the endonuclease and methyltransferase are encoded by a single gene. Using both inhibition of restriction and PacBio-derived methylome analyses of mutants and phase-variants, the cj0031c allele in C. jejuni strain NCTC11168 was demonstrated to specifically methylate adenine in 5’CCCGA and 5’CCTGA sequences. Alterations in the levels of specific transcripts were detected using RNA-Seq in phase-variants and mutants of cj0031c but these changes did not correlate with observed differences in phenotypic behaviour. Alterations in restriction of phage growth were also associated with phase variation (PV) of cj0031c and correlated with presence of sites in the genomes of these phages. We conclude that PV of a Type IIG restriction-modification system causes changes in site-specific methylation patterns and gene expression patterns that may indirectly change adaptive traits.© The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.


July 7, 2019  |  

Methods for genome-wide methylome profiling of Campylobacter jejuni.

Methylation has a profound role in the regulation of numerous biological processes in bacteria including virulence. The study of methylation in bacteria has greatly advanced thanks to next-generation sequencing technologies. These technologies have expedited the process of uncovering unique features of many bacterial methylomes such as characterizing previously uncharacterized methyltransferases, cataloging genome-wide DNA methylations in bacteria, identifying the frequency of methylation at particular genomic loci, and revealing regulatory roles of methylation in the biology of various bacterial species. For instance, methylation has been cited as a potential source for the pathogenicity differences observed in C. jejuni strains with syntenic genomes as seen in recent publications. Here, we describe the methodology for the use of Pacific Biosciences’ single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing for detecting methylation patterns in C. jejuni and bioinformatics tools to profile its methylome.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Campylobacter jejuni RM1246-ERRC, which exhibits resistance to quaternary ammonium compounds.

Campylobacter jejuni strain RM1246-ERRC is a clinical isolate. In laboratory experiments, RM1246-ERRC exhibited greater resistance to the antimicrobial effects of quaternary ammonium compounds than other C. jejuni strains. The chromosome of RM1246-ERRC is 1,659,694 bp with a G+C content of 30.56%. The strain also possesses a 45,197-bp plasmid.


July 7, 2019  |  

Methylation-dependent DNA discrimination in natural transformation of Campylobacter jejuni.

Campylobacter jejuni, a leading cause of bacterial gastroenteritis, is naturally competent. Like many competent organisms, C. jejuni restricts the DNA that can be used for transformation to minimize undesirable changes in the chromosome. Although C. jejuni can be transformed by C. jejuni-derived DNA, it is poorly transformed by the same DNA propagated in Escherichia coli or produced with PCR. Our work indicates that methylation plays an important role in marking DNA for transformation. We have identified a highly conserved DNA methyltransferase, which we term Campylobacter transformation system methyltransferase (ctsM), which methylates an overrepresented 6-bp sequence in the chromosome. DNA derived from a ctsM mutant transforms C. jejuni significantly less well than DNA derived from ctsM(+) (parental) cells. The ctsM mutation itself does not affect transformation efficiency when parental DNA is used, suggesting that CtsM is important for marking transforming DNA, but not for transformation itself. The mutant has no growth defect, arguing against ongoing restriction of its own DNA. We further show that E. coli plasmid and PCR-derived DNA can efficiently transform C. jejuni when only a subset of the CtsM sites are methylated in vitro. A single methylation event 1 kb upstream of the DNA involved in homologous recombination is sufficient to transform C. jejuni, whereas otherwise identical unmethylated DNA is not. Methylation influences DNA uptake, with a slight effect also seen on DNA binding. This mechanism of DNA discrimination in C. jejuni is distinct from the DNA discrimination described in other competent bacteria.


July 7, 2019  |  

Integrated genomic and proteomic analyses of high-level chloramphenicol resistance in Campylobacter jejuni.

Campylobacter jejuni is a major zoonotic pathogen, and its resistance to antibiotics is of great concern for public health. However, few studies have investigated the global changes of the entire organism with respect to antibiotic resistance. Here, we provide mechanistic insights into high-level resistance to chloramphenicol in C. jejuni, using integrated genomic and proteomic analyses. We identified 27 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) as well as an efflux pump cmeB mutation that conferred modest resistance. We determined two radical S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) enzymes, one each from an SNP gene and a differentially expressed protein. Validation of major metabolic pathways demonstrated alterations in oxidative phosphorylation and ABC transporters, suggesting energy accumulation and increase in methionine import. Collectively, our data revealed a novel rRNA methylation mechanism by a radical SAM superfamily enzyme, indicating that two resistance mechanisms existed in Campylobacter. This work provided a systems biology perspective on understanding the antibiotic resistance mechanisms in bacteria.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of UV-resistant Campylobacter jejuni RM3194, including an 81.08-kilobase plasmid.

Campylobacter jejuni strain RM3194 was originally isolated from a human with enteritis and contains a novel 81,079-bp plasmid. RM3194 has exhibited superior survival compared to other Campylobacter jejuni strains when challenged with UV light. The chromosome of RM3194 was determined to be 1,651,183 bp, with a G+C content of 30.5%. Copyright © 2016 Gunther et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genomic insights into Campylobacter jejuni virulence and population genetics

Campylobacter jejuni has long been recognized as a main food-borne pathogen in many parts of the world. Natural reservoirs include a wide variety of domestic and wild birds and mammals, whose intestines offer a suitable biological niche for the survival and dissemination of the organism. Understanding the genetic basis of the biology and pathogenicity of C. jejuni is vital to prevent and control Campylobacter-associated infections. The recent progress in sequencing techniques has allowed for a rapid increase in our knowledge of the molecular biology and the genetic structures of Campylobacter. Single-molecule realtime (SMRT) sequencing, which goes beyond four-base sequencing, revealed the role of DNA methylation in modulating the biology and virulence of C. jejuni at the level of epigenetics. In this review, we will provide an up-to-date review on recent advances in understanding C. jejuni genomics, including structural features of genomes, genetic traits of virulence, population genetics, and epigenetics.


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