September 22, 2019  |  

Comparative genomic analysis of Sulfurospirillum cavolei MES reconstructed from the metagenome of an electrosynthetic microbiome.

Sulfurospirillum spp. play an important role in sulfur and nitrogen cycling, and contain metabolic versatility that enables reduction of a wide range of electron acceptors, including thiosulfate, tetrathionate, polysulfide, nitrate, and nitrite. Here we describe the assembly of a Sulfurospirillum genome obtained from the metagenome of an electrosynthetic microbiome. The ubiquity and persistence of this organism in microbial electrosynthesis systems suggest it plays an important role in reactor stability and performance. Understanding why this organism is present and elucidating its genetic repertoire provide a genomic and ecological foundation for future studies where Sulfurospirillum are found, especially in electrode-associated communities. Metabolic comparisons and in-depth analysis of unique genes revealed potential ecological niche-specific capabilities within the Sulfurospirillum genus. The functional similarities common to all genomes, i.e., core genome, and unique gene clusters found only in a single genome were identified. Based upon 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic analysis and average nucleotide identity, the Sulfurospirillum draft genome was found to be most closely related to Sulfurospirillum cavolei. Characterization of the draft genome described herein provides pathway-specific details of the metabolic significance of the newly described Sulfurospirillum cavolei MES and, importantly, yields insight to the ecology of the genus as a whole. Comparison of eleven sequenced Sulfurospirillum genomes revealed a total of 6246 gene clusters in the pan-genome. Of the total gene clusters, 18.5% were shared among all eleven genomes and 50% were unique to a single genome. While most Sulfurospirillum spp. reduce nitrate to ammonium, five of the eleven Sulfurospirillum strains encode for a nitrous oxide reductase (nos) cluster with an atypical nitrous-oxide reductase, suggesting a utility for this genus in reduction of the nitrous oxide, and as a potential sink for this potent greenhouse gas.


September 22, 2019  |  

Prey range and genome evolution of Halobacteriovorax marinus predatory bacteria from an estuary

Halobacteriovorax strains are saltwater-adapted predatory bacteria that attack Gram-negative bacteria and may play an important role in shaping microbial communities. To understand how Halobacteriovorax strains impact ecosystems and develop them as biocontrol agents, it is important to characterize variation in predation phenotypes and investigate Halobacteriovorax genome evolution. We isolated Halobacteriovorax marinus BE01 from an estuary in Rhode Island using Vibrio from the same site as prey. Small, fast-moving, attack-phase BE01 cells attach to and invade prey cells, consistent with the intraperiplasmic predation strategy of the H. marinus type strain, SJ. BE01 is a prey generalist, forming plaques on Vibrio strains from the estuary, Pseudomonas from soil, and Escherichia coli. Genome analysis revealed extremely high conservation of gene order and amino acid sequences between BE01 and SJ, suggesting strong selective pressure to maintain the genome in this H. marinus lineage. Despite this, we identified two regions of gene content difference that likely resulted from horizontal gene transfer. Analysis of modal codon usage frequencies supports the hypothesis that these regions were acquired from bacteria with different codon usage biases than H. marinus. In one of these regions, BE01 and SJ carry different genes associated with mobile genetic elements. Acquired functions in BE01 include the dnd operon, which encodes a pathway for DNA modification, and a suite of genes involved in membrane synthesis and regulation of gene expression that was likely acquired from another Halobacteriovorax lineage. This analysis provides further evidence that horizontal gene transfer plays an important role in genome evolution in predatory bacteria. IMPORTANCE Predatory bacteria attack and digest other bacteria and therefore may play a role in shaping microbial communities. To investigate phenotypic and genotypic variation in saltwater-adapted predatory bacteria, we isolated Halobacteriovorax marinus BE01 from an estuary in Rhode Island, assayed whether it could attack different prey bacteria, and sequenced and analyzed its genome. We found that BE01 is a prey generalist, attacking bacteria from different phylogenetic groups and environments. Gene order and amino acid sequences are highly conserved between BE01 and the H. marinus type strain, SJ. By comparative genomics, we detected two regions of gene content difference that likely occurred via horizontal gene transfer events. Acquired genes encode functions such as modification of DNA, membrane synthesis and regulation of gene expression. Understanding genome evolution and variation in predation phenotypes among predatory bacteria will inform their development as biocontrol agents and clarify how they impact microbial communities.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genome sequence of the Japanese oak silk moth, Antheraea yamamai: the first draft genome in the family Saturniidae.

Antheraea yamamai, also known as the Japanese oak silk moth, is a wild species of silk moth. Silk produced by A. yamamai, referred to as tensan silk, shows different characteristics such as thickness, compressive elasticity, and chemical resistance compared with common silk produced from the domesticated silkworm, Bombyx mori. Its unique characteristics have led to its use in many research fields including biotechnology and medical science, and the scientific as well as economic importance of the wild silk moth continues to gradually increase. However, no genomic information for the wild silk moth, including A. yamamai, is currently available.In order to construct the A. yamamai genome, a total of 147G base pairs using Illumina and Pacbio sequencing platforms were generated, providing 210-fold coverage based on the 700-Mb estimated genome size of A. yamamai. The assembled genome of A. yamamai was 656 Mb (>2 kb) with 3675 scaffolds, and the N50 length of assembly was 739 Kb with a 34.07% GC ratio. Identified repeat elements covered 37.33% of the total genome, and the completeness of the constructed genome assembly was estimated to be 96.7% by Benchmarking Universal Single-Copy Orthologs v2 analysis. A total of 15 481 genes were identified using Evidence Modeler based on the gene prediction results obtained from 3 different methods (ab initio, RNA-seq-based, known-gene-based) and manual curation.Here we present the genome sequence of A. yamamai, the first genome sequence of the wild silk moth. These results provide valuable genomic information, which will help enrich our understanding of the molecular mechanisms relating to not only specific phenotypes such as wild silk itself but also the genomic evolution of Saturniidae.© The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.


September 22, 2019  |  

First draft genome of an iconic clownfish species (Amphiprion frenatus).

Clownfishes (or anemonefishes) form an iconic group of coral reef fishes, principally known for their mutualistic interaction with sea anemones. They are characterized by particular life history traits, such as a complex social structure and mating system involving sequential hermaphroditism, coupled with an exceptionally long lifespan. Additionally, clownfishes are considered to be one of the rare groups to have experienced an adaptive radiation in the marine environment. Here, we assembled and annotated the first genome of a clownfish species, the tomato clownfish (Amphiprion frenatus). We obtained 17,801 assembled scaffolds, containing a total of 26,917 genes. The completeness of the assembly and annotation was satisfying, with 96.5% of the Actinopterygii Benchmarking Universal Single-Copy Orthologs (BUSCOs) being retrieved in A. frenatus assembly. The quality of the resulting assembly is comparable to other bony fish assemblies. This resource is valuable for advancing studies of the particular life history traits of clownfishes, as well as being useful for population genetic studies and the development of new phylogenetic markers. It will also open the way to comparative genomics. Indeed, future genomic comparison among closely related fishes may provide means to identify genes related to the unique adaptations to different sea anemone hosts, as well as better characterize the genomic signatures of an adaptive radiation.© 2018 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Resources Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


September 22, 2019  |  

The draft genome assembly of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus supports identification of novel allergen isoforms in Dermatophagoides species.

Background: Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (DP) and Dermatophagoides farinae (DF) are highly similar disease-asso- ciated mites with frequently overlapping geographic distributions. A draft genome of DP was assembled to identify the candidate allergens in DP that are homologous to those in DF, investigate allergen isoforms, and facilitate comparisons with related Acari. Methods: PacBio and Illumina whole-genome sequencing was performed on DP. Assembly and reconstruction of the genomes were optimized for isoform identification in a heterogeneous population. Bioinformatic analyses of Acari genomes were performed. Results: The predicted size of the DP nuclear genome is 52.5 Mb. A predicted set of 19,368 proteins was identified, including all 19 currently recognized allergens from this species. Orthologs for 12 allergens established for DF were found. The population of DP mites showed a high level of heterozygosity that allowed the identification of 43 new isoforms for both established and candidate allergens in DP including a new isoform for the major allergen Der p 23. Reanalyzing the previous DF data assuming heterozygosity, 14 new allergen isoforms could be identified. Some new isoforms were observed in both species, suggesting that these isoforms predated speciation. The high quality of both genomes allowed an examination of synteny which showed that many allergen orthologs are physically clustered but with species-specific exon/intron structures. Comparative genomic analyses of other Acariformes mites showed that most of the allergen homologs are widely conserved within this Superorder. Conclusions: Candidate allergens in DP were identified to facilitate future serological studies. While DP and DF are highly similar genetically, species-specific allergen isoforms exist to facilitate molecular differentiation.


September 22, 2019  |  

The genome of the Hi5 germ cell line from Trichoplusia ni, an agricultural pest and novel model for small RNA biology.

We report a draft assembly of the genome of Hi5 cells from the lepidopteran insect pest,Trichoplusia ni, assigning 90.6% of bases to one of 28 chromosomes and predicting 14,037 protein-coding genes. Chemoreception and detoxification gene families revealT. ni-specific gene expansions that may explain its widespread distribution and rapid adaptation to insecticides. Transcriptome and small RNA data from thorax, ovary, testis, and the germline-derived Hi5 cell line show distinct expression profiles for 295 microRNA- and >393 piRNA-producing loci, as well as 39 genes encoding small RNA pathway proteins. Nearly all of the W chromosome is devoted to piRNA production, andT. nisiRNAs are not 2´-O-methylated. To enable use of Hi5 cells as a model system, we have established genome editing and single-cell cloning protocols. TheT. nigenome provides insights into pest control and allows Hi5 cells to become a new tool for studying small RNAs ex vivo.© 2018, Fu et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

Cross-species comparison of the gut: Differential gene expression sheds light on biological differences in closely related tenebrionids.

The gut is one of the primary interfaces between an insect and its environment. Understanding gene expression profiles in the insect gut can provide insight into interactions with the environment as well as identify potential control methods for pests. We compared the expression profiles of transcripts from the gut of larval stages of two coleopteran insects, Tenebrio molitor and Tribolium castaneum. These tenebrionids have different life cycles, varying in the duration and number of larval instars. T. castaneum has a sequenced genome and has been a model for coleopterans, and we recently obtained a draft genome for T. molitor. We assembled gut transcriptome reads from each insect to their respective genomes and filtered mapped reads to RPKM>1, yielding 11,521 and 17,871 genes in the T. castaneum and T. molitor datasets, respectively. There were identical GO terms in each dataset, and enrichment analyses also identified shared GO terms. From these datasets, we compiled an ortholog list of 6907 genes; 45% of the total assembled reads from T. castaneum were found in the top 25 orthologs, but only 27% of assembled reads were found in the top 25 T. molitor orthologs. There were 2281 genes unique to T. castaneum, and 2088 predicted genes unique to T. molitor, although improvements to the T. molitor genome will likely reduce these numbers as more orthologs are identified. We highlight a few unique genes in T. castaneum or T. molitor that may relate to distinct biological functions. A large number of putative genes expressed in the larval gut with uncharacterized functions (36 and 68% from T. castaneum and T. molitor, respectively) support the need for further research. These data are the first step in building a comprehensive understanding of the physiology of the gut in tenebrionid insects, illustrating commonalities and differences that may be related to speciation and environmental adaptation. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


September 22, 2019  |  

Draft genome of the Peruvian scallop Argopecten purpuratus.

The Peruvian scallop, Argopecten purpuratus, is mainly cultured in southern Chile and Peru was introduced into China in the last century. Unlike other Argopecten scallops, the Peruvian scallop normally has a long life span of up to 7 to 10 years. Therefore, researchers have been using it to develop hybrid vigor. Here, we performed whole genome sequencing, assembly, and gene annotation of the Peruvian scallop, with an important aim to develop genomic resources for genetic breeding in scallops.A total of 463.19-Gb raw DNA reads were sequenced. A draft genome assembly of 724.78 Mb was generated (accounting for 81.87% of the estimated genome size of 885.29 Mb), with a contig N50 size of 80.11 kb and a scaffold N50 size of 1.02 Mb. Repeat sequences were calculated to reach 33.74% of the whole genome, and 26,256 protein-coding genes and 3,057 noncoding RNAs were predicted from the assembly.We generated a high-quality draft genome assembly of the Peruvian scallop, which will provide a solid resource for further genetic breeding and for the analysis of the evolutionary history of this economically important scallop.


September 22, 2019  |  

Nine draft genome sequences of Claviceps purpurea s.lat., including C. arundinis, C. humidiphila, and C. cf. spartinae, pseudomolecules for the pitch canker pathogen Fusarium circinatum, draft genome of Davidsoniella eucalypti, Grosmannia galeiformis, Quambalaria eucalypti, and Teratosphaeria destructans.

This genome announcement includes draft genomes from Claviceps purpurea s.lat., including C. arundinis, C. humidiphila and C. cf. spartinae. The draft genomes of Davidsoniella eucalypti, Quambalaria eucalypti and Teratosphaeria destructans, all three important eucalyptus pathogens, are presented. The insect associate Grosmannia galeiformis is also described. The pine pathogen genome of Fusarium circinatum has been assembled into pseudomolecules, based on additional sequence data and by harnessing the known synteny within the Fusarium fujikuroi species complex. This new assembly of the F. circinatum genome provides 12 pseudomolecules that correspond to the haploid chromosome number of F. circinatum. These are comparable to other chromosomal assemblies within the FFSC and will enable more robust genomic comparisons within this species complex.


July 19, 2019  |  

Major improvements to the Heliconius melpomene genome assembly used to confirm 10 chromosome fusion events in 6 million years of butterfly evolution.

The Heliconius butterflies are a widely studied adaptive radiation of 46 species spread across Central and South America, several of which are known to hybridize in the wild. Here, we present a substantially improved assembly of the Heliconius melpomene genome, developed using novel methods that should be applicable to improving other genome assemblies produced using short read sequencing. First, we whole-genome-sequenced a pedigree to produce a linkage map incorporating 99% of the genome. Second, we incorporated haplotype scaffolds extensively to produce a more complete haploid version of the draft genome. Third, we incorporated ~20x coverage of Pacific Biosciences sequencing, and scaffolded the haploid genome using an assembly of this long-read sequence. These improvements result in a genome of 795 scaffolds, 275 Mb in length, with an N50 length of 2.1 Mb, an N50 number of 34, and with 99% of the genome placed, and 84% anchored on chromosomes. We use the new genome assembly to confirm that the Heliconius genome underwent 10 chromosome fusions since the split with its sister genus Eueides, over a period of about 6 million yr. Copyright © 2016 Davey et al.


July 19, 2019  |  

Sequencing of Australian wild rice genomes reveals ancestral relationships with domesticated rice.

The related A genome species of the Oryza genus are the effective gene pool for rice. Here, we report draft genomes for two Australian wild A genome taxa: O. rufipogon-like population, referred to as Taxon A, and O. meridionalis-like population, referred to as Taxon B. These two taxa were sequenced and assembled by integration of short- and long-read next-generation sequencing (NGS) data to create a genomic platform for a wider rice gene pool. Here, we report that, despite the distinct chloroplast genome, the nuclear genome of the Australian Taxon A has a sequence that is much closer to that of domesticated rice (O. sativa) than to the other Australian wild populations. Analysis of 4643 genes in the A genome clade showed that the Australian annual, O. meridionalis, and related perennial taxa have the most divergent (around 3 million years) genome sequences relative to domesticated rice. A test for admixture showed possible introgression into the Australian Taxon A (diverged around 1.6 million years ago) especially from the wild indica/O. nivara clade in Asia. These results demonstrate that northern Australia may be the centre of diversity of the A genome Oryza and suggest the possibility that this might also be the centre of origin of this group and represent an important resource for rice improvement.© 2016 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


July 19, 2019  |  

Reduction in chromosome mobility accompanies nuclear organization during early embryogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

In differentiated cells, chromosomes are packed inside the cell nucleus in an organised fashion. In contrast, little is known about how chromosomes are packed in undifferentiated cells and how nuclear organization changes during development. To assess changes in nuclear organization during the earliest stages of development, we quantified the mobility of a pair of homologous chromosomal loci in the interphase nuclei of Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. The distribution of distances between homologous loci was consistent with a random distribution up to the 8-cell stage but not at later stages. The mobility of the loci was significantly reduced from the 2-cell to the 48-cell stage. Nuclear foci corresponding to epigenetic marks as well as heterochromatin and the nucleolus also appeared around the 8-cell stage. We propose that the earliest global transformation in nuclear organization occurs at the 8-cell stage during C. elegans embryogenesis.


July 19, 2019  |  

The draft genome of Globodera ellingtonae.

Globodera ellingtonae is a newly described potato cyst nematode (PCN) found in Idaho, Oregon, and Argentina. Here, we present a genome assembly for G. ellingtonae, a relative of the quarantine nematodes G. pallida and G. rostochiensis, produced using data from Illumina and Pacific Biosciences DNA sequencing technologies.


July 7, 2019  |  

Accumulation-associated protein enhances Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilm formation under dynamic conditions and is required for infection in a rat catheter model.

Biofilm formation is the primary virulence factor of Staphylococcus epidermidis. S. epidermidis biofilms preferentially form on abiotic surfaces and may contain multiple matrix components, including proteins such as accumulation-associated protein (Aap). Following proteolytic cleavage of the A domain, which has been shown to enhance binding to host cells, B domain homotypic interactions support cell accumulation and biofilm formation. To further define the contribution of Aap to biofilm formation and infection, we constructed an aap allelic replacement mutant and an icaADBC aap double mutant. When subjected to fluid shear, strains deficient in Aap production produced significantly less biofilm than Aap-positive strains. To examine the in vivo relevance of our findings, we modified our previously described rat jugular catheter model and validated the importance of immunosuppression and the presence of a foreign body to the establishment of infection. The use of our allelic replacement mutants in the model revealed a significant decrease in bacterial recovery from the catheter and the blood in the absence of Aap, regardless of the production of polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA), a well-characterized, robust matrix molecule. Complementation of the aap mutant with full-length Aap (containing the A domain), but not the B domain alone, increased initial attachment to microtiter plates, as did in trans expression of the A domain in adhesion-deficient Staphylococcus carnosus. These results demonstrate Aap contributes to S. epidermidis infection, which may in part be due to A domain-mediated attachment to abiotic surfaces. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


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