July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Microbacterium sp. CGR1, bacterium tolerant to wide abiotic conditions isolated from the Atacama Desert.

Microbacterium sp. CGR1 (RGM2230) is an isolate from the Atacama Desert that displays a wide pH, salinity and temperature tolerance. This strain exhibits riboflavin overproducer features and traits for developing an environmental arsenic biosensor. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of this strain, which represents the first genome of the genus Microbacterium sequenced and assembled in a single contig. The genome contains 3,634,864bp, 3299 protein-coding genes, 45 tRNAs, six copies of 5S-16S-23S rRNA and a high genome average GC-content of 68.04%. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

A rebeccamycin analog provides plasmid-encoded niche defense.

Bacterial symbionts of fungus-growing ants occupy a highly specialized ecological niche and face the constant existential threat of displacement by another strain of ant-adapted bacteria. As part of a systematic study of the small molecules underlying this fraternal competition, we discovered an analog of the antitumor agent rebeccamycin, a member of the increasingly important indolocarbazole family. While several gene clusters consistent with this molecule’s newly reported modification had previously been identified in metagenomic studies, the metabolite itself has been cryptic. The biosynthetic gene cluster for 9-methoxyrebeccamycin is encoded on a plasmid in a manner reminiscent of plasmid-derived peptide antimicrobials that commonly mediate antagonism among closely related Gram-negative bacteria.


July 7, 2019  |  

Lesions from patients with sporadic cerebral cavernous malformations harbor somatic mutations in the CCM genes: evidence for a common biochemical pathway for CCM pathogenesis.

Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are vascular lesions affecting the central nervous system. CCM occurs either sporadically or in an inherited, autosomal dominant manner. Constitutional (germline) mutations in any of three genes, KRIT1, CCM2 and PDCD10, can cause the inherited form. Analysis of CCM lesions from inherited cases revealed biallelic somatic mutations, indicating that CCM follows a Knudsonian two-hit mutation mechanism. It is still unknown, however, if the sporadic cases of CCM also follow this genetic mechanism. We extracted DNA from 11 surgically excised lesions from sporadic CCM patients, and sequenced the three CCM genes in each specimen using a next-generation sequencing approach. Four sporadic CCM lesion samples (36%) were found to contain novel somatic mutations. Three of the lesions contained a single somatic mutation, and one lesion contained two biallelic somatic mutations. Herein, we also describe evidence of somatic mosaicism in a patient presenting with over 130 CCM lesions localized to one hemisphere of the brain. Finally, in a lesion regrowth sample, we found that the regrown CCM lesion contained the same somatic mutation as the original lesion. Together, these data bolster the idea that all forms of CCM have a genetic underpinning of the two-hit mutation mechanism in the known CCM genes. Recent studies have found aberrant Rho kinase activation in inherited CCM pathogenesis, and we present evidence that this pathway is activated in sporadic CCM patients. These results suggest that all CCM patients, including those with the more common sporadic form, are potentially amenable to the same therapy. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.


July 7, 2019  |  

High-coverage sequencing and annotated assemblies of the budgerigar genome.

Parrots belong to a group of behaviorally advanced vertebrates and have an advanced ability of vocal learning relative to other vocal-learning birds. They can imitate human speech, synchronize their body movements to a rhythmic beat, and understand complex concepts of referential meaning to sounds. However, little is known about the genetics of these traits. Elucidating the genetic bases would require whole genome sequencing and a robust assembly of a parrot genome.We present a genomic resource for the budgerigar, an Australian Parakeet (Melopsittacus undulatus) — the most widely studied parrot species in neuroscience and behavior. We present genomic sequence data that includes over 300× raw read coverage from multiple sequencing technologies and chromosome optical maps from a single male animal. The reads and optical maps were used to create three hybrid assemblies representing some of the largest genomic scaffolds to date for a bird; two of which were annotated based on similarities to reference sets of non-redundant human, zebra finch and chicken proteins, and budgerigar transcriptome sequence assemblies. The sequence reads for this project were in part generated and used for both the Assemblathon 2 competition and the first de novo assembly of a giga-scale vertebrate genome utilizing PacBio single-molecule sequencing.Across several quality metrics, these budgerigar assemblies are comparable to or better than the chicken and zebra finch genome assemblies built from traditional Sanger sequencing reads, and are sufficient to analyze regions that are difficult to sequence and assemble, including those not yet assembled in prior bird genomes, and promoter regions of genes differentially regulated in vocal learning brain regions. This work provides valuable data and material for genome technology development and for investigating the genomics of complex behavioral traits.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Kosakonia sacchari type strain SP1(T.).

Kosakonia sacchari sp. nov. is a new species within the new genus Kosakonia, which was included in the genus Enterobacter. K sacchari is a nitrogen-fixing bacterium named for its association with sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum L.). K sacchari bacteria are Gram-negative, aerobic, non-spore-forming, motile rods. Strain SP1(T) (=CGMCC1.12102(T)=LMG 26783(T)) is the type strain of the K sacchari sp. nov and is able to colonize and fix N2 in association with sugarcane plants, thus promoting plant growth. Here we summarize the features of strain SP1(T) and describe its complete genome sequence. The genome contains a single chromosome and no plasmids, 4,902,024 nucleotides with 53.7% GC content, 4,460 protein-coding genes and 105 RNA genes including 22 rRNA genes, 82 tRNA genes, and 1 ncRNA gene.


July 7, 2019  |  

Evaluation and validation of de novo and hybrid assembly techniques to derive high-quality genome sequences.

To assess the potential of different types of sequence data combined with de novo and hybrid assembly approaches to improve existing draft genome sequences.Illumina, 454 and PacBio sequencing technologies were used to generate de novo and hybrid genome assemblies for four different bacteria, which were assessed for quality using summary statistics (e.g. number of contigs, N50) and in silico evaluation tools. Differences in predictions of multiple copies of rDNA operons for each respective bacterium were evaluated by PCR and Sanger sequencing, and then the validated results were applied as an additional criterion to rank assemblies. In general, assemblies using longer PacBio reads were better able to resolve repetitive regions. In this study, the combination of Illumina and PacBio sequence data assembled through the ALLPATHS-LG algorithm gave the best summary statistics and most accurate rDNA operon number predictions. This study will aid others looking to improve existing draft genome assemblies.All assembly tools except CLC Genomics Workbench are freely available under GNU General Public License.brownsd@ornl.govSupplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.


July 7, 2019  |  

Surveillance of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae: tracking molecular epidemiology and outcomes through a regional network.

Carbapenem resistance in Gram-negative bacteria is on the rise in the United States. A regional network was established to study microbiological and genetic determinants of clinical outcomes in hospitalized patients with carbapenem-resistant (CR) Klebsiella pneumoniae in a prospective, multicenter, observational study. To this end, predefined clinical characteristics and outcomes were recorded and K. pneumoniae isolates were analyzed for strain typing and resistance mechanism determination. In a 14-month period, 251 patients were included. While most of the patients were admitted from long-term care settings, 28% of them were admitted from home. Hospitalizations were prolonged and complicated. Nonsusceptibility to colistin and tigecycline occurred in isolates from 7 and 45% of the patients, respectively. Most of the CR K. pneumoniae isolates belonged to repetitive extragenic palindromic PCR (rep-PCR) types A and B (both sequence type 258) and carried either blaKPC-2 (48%) or blaKPC-3 (51%). One isolate tested positive for blaNDM-1, a sentinel discovery in this region. Important differences between strain types were noted; rep-PCR type B strains were associated with blaKPC-3 (odds ratio [OR], 294; 95% confidence interval [CI], 58 to 2,552; P < 0.001), gentamicin nonsusceptibility (OR, 24; 95% CI, 8.39 to 79.38; P < 0.001), amikacin susceptibility (OR, 11.0; 95% CI, 3.21 to 42.42; P < 0.001), tigecycline nonsusceptibility (OR, 5.34; 95% CI, 1.30 to 36.41; P = 0.018), a shorter length of stay (OR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.95 to 1.00; P = 0.043), and admission from a skilled-nursing facility (OR, 3.09; 95% CI, 1.26 to 8.08; P = 0.013). Our analysis shows that (i) CR K. pneumoniae is seen primarily in the elderly long-term care population and that (ii) regional monitoring of CR K. pneumoniae reveals insights into molecular characteristics. This work highlights the crucial role of ongoing surveillance of carbapenem resistance determinants. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Replication of the Escherichia coli chromosome in RNase HI-deficient cells: multiple initiation regions and fork dynamics.

DNA replication in Escherichia coli is normally initiated at a single origin, oriC, dependent on initiation protein DnaA. However, replication can be initiated elsewhere on the chromosome at multiple ectopic oriK sites. Genetic evidence indicates that initiation from oriK depends on RNA-DNA hybrids (R-loops), which are normally removed by enzymes such as RNase HI to prevent oriK from misfiring during normal growth. Initiation from oriK sites occurs in RNase HI-deficient mutants, and possibly in wild-type cells under certain unusual conditions. Despite previous work, the locations of oriK and their impact on genome stability remain unclear. We combined 2D gel electrophoresis and whole genome approaches to map genome-wide oriK locations. The DNA copy number profiles of various RNase HI-deficient strains contained multiple peaks, often in consistent locations, identifying candidate oriK sites. Removal of RNase HI protein also leads to global alterations of replication fork migration patterns, often opposite to normal replication directions, and presumably eukaryote-like replication fork merging. Our results have implications for genome stability, offering a new understanding of how RNase HI deficiency results in R-loop-mediated transcription-replication conflict, as well as inappropriate replication stalling or blockage at Ter sites outside of the terminus trap region and at ribosomal operons. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


July 7, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics reveals insights into avian genome evolution and adaptation.

Birds are the most species-rich class of tetrapod vertebrates and have wide relevance across many research fields. We explored bird macroevolution using full genomes from 48 avian species representing all major extant clades. The avian genome is principally characterized by its constrained size, which predominantly arose because of lineage-specific erosion of repetitive elements, large segmental deletions, and gene loss. Avian genomes furthermore show a remarkably high degree of evolutionary stasis at the levels of nucleotide sequence, gene synteny, and chromosomal structure. Despite this pattern of conservation, we detected many non-neutral evolutionary changes in protein-coding genes and noncoding regions. These analyses reveal that pan-avian genomic diversity covaries with adaptations to different lifestyles and convergent evolution of traits. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.


July 7, 2019  |  

Assemblathon 2: evaluating de novo methods of genome assembly in three vertebrate species.

The process of generating raw genome sequence data continues to become cheaper, faster, and more accurate. However, assembly of such data into high-quality, finished genome sequences remains challenging. Many genome assembly tools are available, but they differ greatly in terms of their performance (speed, scalability, hardware requirements, acceptance of newer read technologies) and in their final output (composition of assembled sequence). More importantly, it remains largely unclear how to best assess the quality of assembled genome sequences. The Assemblathon competitions are intended to assess current state-of-the-art methods in genome assembly.In Assemblathon 2, we provided a variety of sequence data to be assembled for three vertebrate species (a bird, a fish, and snake). This resulted in a total of 43 submitted assemblies from 21 participating teams. We evaluated these assemblies using a combination of optical map data, Fosmid sequences, and several statistical methods. From over 100 different metrics, we chose ten key measures by which to assess the overall quality of the assemblies.Many current genome assemblers produced useful assemblies, containing a significant representation of their genes and overall genome structure. However, the high degree of variability between the entries suggests that there is still much room for improvement in the field of genome assembly and that approaches which work well in assembling the genome of one species may not necessarily work well for another.


July 7, 2019  |  

Hammondia hammondi, an avirulent relative of Toxoplasma gondii, has functional orthologs of known T. gondii virulence genes.

Toxoplasma gondii is a ubiquitous protozoan parasite capable of infecting all warm-blooded animals, including humans. Its closest extant relative, Hammondia hammondi, has never been found to infect humans and, in contrast to T. gondii, is highly attenuated in mice. To better understand the genetic bases for these phenotypic differences, we sequenced the genome of a H. hammondi isolate (HhCatGer041) and found the genomic synteny between H. hammondi and T. gondii to be >95%. We used this genome to determine the H. hammondi primary sequence of two major T. gondii mouse virulence genes, TgROP5 and TgROP18. When we expressed these genes in T. gondii, we found that H. hammondi orthologs of TgROP5 and TgROP18 were functional. Similar to T. gondii, the HhROP5 locus is expanded, and two distinct HhROP5 paralogs increased the virulence of a T. gondii TgROP5 knockout strain. We also identified a 107 base pair promoter region, absent only in type III TgROP18, which is necessary for TgROP18 expression. This result indicates that the ROP18 promoter was active in the most recent common ancestor of these two species and that it was subsequently inactivated in progenitors of the type III lineage. Overall, these data suggest that the virulence differences between these species are not solely due to the functionality of these key virulence factors. This study provides evidence that other mechanisms, such as differences in gene expression or the lack of currently uncharacterized virulence factors, may underlie the phenotypic differences between these species.


July 7, 2019  |  

Next-generation polyploid phylogenetics: rapid resolution of hybrid polyploid complexes using PacBio single-molecule sequencing.

Difficulties in generating nuclear data for polyploids have impeded phylogenetic study of these groups. We describe a high-throughput protocol and an associated bioinformatics pipeline (Pipeline for Untangling Reticulate Complexes (Purc)) that is able to generate these data quickly and conveniently, and demonstrate its efficacy on accessions from the fern family Cystopteridaceae. We conclude with a demonstration of the downstream utility of these data by inferring a multi-labeled species tree for a subset of our accessions. We amplified four c. 1-kb-long nuclear loci and sequenced them in a parallel-tagged amplicon sequencing approach using the PacBio platform. Purc infers the final sequences from the raw reads via an iterative approach that corrects PCR and sequencing errors and removes PCR-mediated recombinant sequences (chimeras). We generated data for all gene copies (homeologs, paralogs, and segregating alleles) present in each of three sets of 50 mostly polyploid accessions, for four loci, in three PacBio runs (one run per set). From the raw sequencing reads, Purc was able to accurately infer the underlying sequences. This approach makes it easy and economical to study the phylogenetics of polyploids, and, in conjunction with recent analytical advances, facilitates investigation of broad patterns of polyploid evolution.© 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.


July 7, 2019  |  

Organelle_PBA, a pipeline for assembling chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes from PacBio DNA sequencing data.

The development of long-read sequencing technologies, such as single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing by PacBio, has produced a revolution in the sequencing of small genomes. Sequencing organelle genomes using PacBio long-read data is a cost effective, straightforward approach. Nevertheless, the availability of simple-to-use software to perform the assembly from raw reads is limited at present.We present Organelle-PBA, a Perl program designed specifically for the assembly of chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes. For chloroplast genomes, the program selects the chloroplast reads from a whole genome sequencing pool, maps the reads to a reference sequence from a closely related species, and then performs read correction and de novo assembly using Sprai. Organelle-PBA completes the assembly process with the additional step of scaffolding by SSPACE-LongRead. The program then detects the chloroplast inverted repeats and reassembles and re-orients the assembly based on the organelle origin of the reference. We have evaluated the performance of the software using PacBio reads from different species, read coverage, and reference genomes. Finally, we present the assembly of two novel chloroplast genomes from the species Picea glauca (Pinaceae) and Sinningia speciosa (Gesneriaceae).Organelle-PBA is an easy-to-use Perl-based software pipeline that was written specifically to assemble mitochondrial and chloroplast genomes from whole genome PacBio reads. The program is available at https://github.com/aubombarely/Organelle_PBA .


July 7, 2019  |  

Identification of small RNAs in extracellular vesicles from the commensal yeast Malassezia sympodialis.

Malassezia is the dominant fungus in the human skin mycobiome and is associated with common skin disorders including atopic eczema (AE)/dermatitis. Recently, it was found that Malassezia sympodialis secretes nanosized exosome-like vesicles, designated MalaEx, that carry allergens and can induce inflammatory cytokine responses. Extracellular vesicles from different cell-types including fungi have been found to deliver functional RNAs to recipient cells. In this study we assessed the presence of small RNAs in MalaEx and addressed if the levels of these RNAs differ when M. sympodialis is cultured at normal human skin pH versus the elevated pH present on the skin of patients with AE. The total number and the protein concentration of the released MalaEx harvested after 48?h culture did not differ significantly between the two pH conditions nor did the size of the vesicles. From small RNA sequence data, we identified a set of reads with well-defined start and stop positions, in a length range of 16 to 22 nucleotides consistently present in the MalaEx. The levels of small RNAs were not significantly differentially expressed between the two different pH conditions indicating that they are not influenced by the elevated pH level observed on the AE skin.


July 7, 2019  |  

Identification of mutant genes and introgressed tiger salamander DNA in the laboratory axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum.

The molecular genetic toolkit of the Mexican axolotl, a classic model organism, has matured to the point where it is now possible to identify genes for mutant phenotypes. We used a positional cloning-candidate gene approach to identify molecular bases for two historic axolotl pigment phenotypes: white and albino. White (d/d) mutants have defects in pigment cell morphogenesis and differentiation, whereas albino (a/a) mutants lack melanin. We identified in white mutants a transcriptional defect in endothelin 3 (edn3), encoding a peptide factor that promotes pigment cell migration and differentiation in other vertebrates. Transgenic restoration of Edn3 expression rescued the homozygous white mutant phenotype. We mapped the albino locus to tyrosinase (tyr) and identified polymorphisms shared between the albino allele (tyr (a) ) and tyr alleles in a Minnesota population of tiger salamanders from which the albino trait was introgressed. tyr (a) has a 142?bp deletion and similar engineered alleles recapitulated the albino phenotype. Finally, we show that historical introgression of tyr (a) significantly altered genomic composition of the laboratory axolotl, yielding a distinct, hybrid strain of ambystomatid salamander. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of identifying genes for traits in the laboratory Mexican axolotl.


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