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Friday, July 19, 2019

Complete bypass of restriction systems for major Staphylococcus aureus lineages.

Staphylococcus aureus is a prominent global nosocomial and community-acquired bacterial pathogen. A strong restriction barrier presents a major hurdle for the introduction of recombinant DNA into clinical isolates of S. aureus. Here, we describe the construction and characterization of the IMXXB series of Escherichia coli strains that mimic the type I adenine methylation profiles of S. aureus clonal complexes 1, 8, 30, and ST93. The IMXXB strains enable direct, high-efficiency transformation and streamlined genetic manipulation of major S. aureus lineages.The genetic manipulation of clinical S. aureus isolates has been hampered due to the presence of restriction modification barriers that detect and subsequently degrade inappropriately…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Variable genetic architectures produce virtually identical molecules in bacterial symbionts of fungus-growing ants.

Small molecules produced by Actinobacteria have played a prominent role in both drug discovery and organic chemistry. As part of a larger study of the actinobacterial symbionts of fungus-growing ants, we discovered a small family of three previously unreported piperazic acid-containing cyclic depsipeptides, gerumycins A-C. The gerumycins are slightly smaller versions of dentigerumycin, a cyclic depsipeptide that selectively inhibits a common fungal pathogen, Escovopsis. We had previously identified this molecule from a Pseudonocardia associated with Apterostigma dentigerum, and now we report the molecule from an associate of the more highly derived ant Trachymyrmex cornetzi. The three previously unidentified compounds, gerumycins…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

SMRT Sequencing for parallel analysis of multiple targets and accurate SNP phasing.

Single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing generates much longer reads than other widely used next-generation (next-gen) sequencing methods, but its application to whole genome/exome analysis has been limited. Here, we describe the use of SMRT sequencing coupled with barcoding to simultaneously analyze one or a small number of genomic targets derived from multiple sources. In the budding yeast system, SMRT sequencing was used to analyze strand-exchange intermediates generated during mitotic recombination and to analyze genetic changes in a forward mutation assay. The general barcoding-SMRT approach was then extended to diffuse large B-cell lymphoma primary tumors and cell lines, where detected changes agreed…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Increased risk of low birth weight in women with placental malaria associated with P. falciparum VAR2CSA clade.

Pregnancy associated malaria (PAM) causes adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes owing to Plasmodium falciparum accumulation in the placenta. Placental accumulation is mediated by P. falciparum protein VAR2CSA, a leading PAM-specific vaccine target. The extent of its antigen diversity and impact on clinical outcomes remain poorly understood. Through amplicon deep-sequencing placental malaria samples from women in Malawi and Benin, we assessed sequence diversity of VAR2CSA’s ID1-DBL2x region, containing putative vaccine targets and estimated associations of specific clades with adverse birth outcomes. Overall, var2csa diversity was high and haplotypes subdivided into five clades, the largest two defined by homology to parasites strains,…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Pacific Biosciences sequencing and IMGT/HighV-QUEST analysis of full-length single chain fragment variable from an in vivo selected phage-display combinatorial Library.

Phage-display selection of immunoglobulin (IG) or antibody single chain Fragment variable (scFv) from combinatorial libraries is widely used for identifying new antibodies for novel targets. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has recently emerged as a new method for the high throughput characterization of IG and T cell receptor (TR) immune repertoires bothin vivoandin vitro. However, challenges remain for the NGS sequencing of scFv from combinatorial libraries owing to the scFv length (>800?bp) and the presence of two variable domains [variable heavy (VH) and variable light (VL) for IG] associated by a peptide linker in a single chain. Here, we show that single-molecule…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

RNAi is a critical determinant of centromere evolution in closely related fungi.

The centromere DNA locus on a eukaryotic chromosome facilitates faithful chromosome segregation. Despite performing such a conserved function, centromere DNA sequence as well as the organization of sequence elements is rapidly evolving in all forms of eukaryotes. The driving force that facilitates centromere evolution remains an enigma. Here, we studied the evolution of centromeres in closely related species in the fungal phylum of Basidiomycota. Using ChIP-seq analysis of conserved inner kinetochore proteins, we identified centromeres in three closely related Cryptococcus species: two of which are RNAi-proficient, while the other lost functional RNAi. We find that the centromeres in the RNAi-deficient…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) T cell receptor loci exhibit V subgroup synteny and chain-specific evolution.

The Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) has limited diversity in the immunoglobulin heavy chain. We therefore investigated the antigen receptor loci of the other arm of the adaptive immune system: the T cell receptor. Manatees are the first species from Afrotheria, a basal eutherian superorder, to have an in-depth characterization of all T cell receptor loci. By annotating the genome and expressed transcripts, we found that each chain has distinct features that correlates to their individual functions. The genomic organization also plays a role in modulating sequence conservation between species. There were extensive V subgroup synteny blocks in the TRA…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

HIV envelope glycoform heterogeneity and localized diversity govern the initiation and maturation of a V2 apex broadly neutralizing antibody lineage.

Understanding how broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) to HIV envelope (Env) develop during natural infection can help guide the rational design of an HIV vaccine. Here, we described a bnAb lineage targeting the Env V2 apex and the Ab-Env co-evolution that led to development of neutralization breadth. The lineage Abs bore an anionic heavy chain complementarity-determining region 3 (CDRH3) of 25 amino acids, among the shortest known for this class of Abs, and achieved breadth with only 10% nucleotide somatic hypermutation and no insertions or deletions. The data suggested a role for Env glycoform heterogeneity in the activation of the lineage…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Fern genomes elucidate land plant evolution and cyanobacterial symbioses.

Ferns are the closest sister group to all seed plants, yet little is known about their genomes other than that they are generally colossal. Here, we report on the genomes of Azolla filiculoides and Salvinia cucullata (Salviniales) and present evidence for episodic whole-genome duplication in ferns-one at the base of ‘core leptosporangiates’ and one specific to Azolla. One fern-specific gene that we identified, recently shown to confer high insect resistance, seems to have been derived from bacteria through horizontal gene transfer. Azolla coexists in a unique symbiosis with N2-fixing cyanobacteria, and we demonstrate a clear pattern of cospeciation between the…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Complete genome sequence of uropathogenic Escherichia coli strain CI5.

Escherichia coli represents the primary etiological agent responsible for urinary tract infections, one of the most common infections in humans. We report here the complete genome sequence of uropathogenic Escherichia coli strain CI5, a clinical pyelonephritis isolate used for studying pathogenesis. Copyright © 2015 Mehershahi et al.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Complete genome sequence of endophytic nitrogen-fixing Klebsiella variicola strain DX120E.

Klebsiella variicola strain DX120E (=CGMCC 1.14935) is an endophytic nitrogen-fixing bacterium isolated from sugarcane crops grown in Guangxi, China and promotes sugarcane growth. Here we summarize the features of the strain DX120E and describe its complete genome sequence. The genome contains one circular chromosome and two plasmids, and contains 5,718,434 nucleotides with 57.1% GC content, 5,172 protein-coding genes, 25 rRNA genes, 87 tRNA genes, 7 ncRNA genes, 25 pseudo genes, and 2 CRISPR repeats.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Comparative analyses of clinical and environmental populations of Cryptococcus neoformans in Botswana.

Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii (Cng) is the most common cause of fungal meningitis, and its prevalence is highest in sub-Saharan Africa. Patients become infected by inhaling airborne spores or desiccated yeast cells from the environment, where the fungus thrives in avian droppings, trees and soil. To investigate the prevalence and population structure of Cng in southern Africa, we analysed isolates from 77 environmental samples and 64 patients. We detected significant genetic diversity among isolates and strong evidence of geographic structure at the local level. High proportions of isolates with the rare MATa allele were observed in both clinical and environmental…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Draft genome sequences of Burkholderia contaminans, a Burkholderia cepacia complex species that is increasingly recovered from cystic fibrosis patients.

Burkholderia contaminans belongs to the Burkholderia cepacia complex (BCC), a group of bacteria that are ubiquitous in the environment and capable of infecting the immunocompromised and people with cystic fibrosis. We report here draft genome sequences for the B. contaminans type strain LMG 23361 and an Argentinian cystic fibrosis sputum isolate. Copyright © 2015 Bloodworth et al.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

A synteny-based draft genome sequence of the forage grass Lolium perenne.

Here we report the draft genome sequence of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), an economically important forage and turf grass species that is widely cultivated in temperate regions worldwide. It is classified along with wheat, barley, oats and Brachypodium distachyon in the Pooideae sub-family of the grass family (Poaceae). Transcriptome data was used to identify 28 455 gene models, and we utilized macro-co-linearity between perennial ryegrass and barley, and synteny within the grass family, to establish a synteny-based linear gene order. The gametophytic self-incompatibility mechanism enables the pistil of a plant to reject self-pollen and therefore promote out-crossing. We have used the…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genomic identification of nitrogen-fixing Klebsiella variicola, K. pneumoniae and K. quasipneumoniae.

It was difficult to differentiate Klebsiella pneumoniae, K. quasipneumoniae and K. variicola by biochemical and phenotypic tests. Genomics increase the resolution and credibility of taxonomy for closely-related species. Here, we obtained the complete genome sequence of the K. variicola type strain DSM 15968(T) (=F2R9(T) ). The genome of the type strain is a circular chromosome of 5,521,203?bp with 57.56% GC content. From 540 Klebsiella strains whose genomes had been publicly available as at 3 March 2015, we identified 21 strains belonging to K. variicola and 8 strains belonging to K. quasipneumoniae based on the genome average nucleotide identities (ANI). All…

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