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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Pseudomonas orientalis F9: A potent antagonist against phytopathogens with phytotoxic effect in the apple flower.

In light of public concerns over the use of pesticides and antibiotics in plant protection and the subsequent selection for spread of resistant bacteria in the environment, it is inevitable to broaden our knowledge about viable alternatives, such as natural antagonists and their mode of action. The genus Pseudomonas is known for its metabolic versatility and genetic plasticity, encompassing pathogens as well as antagonists. We characterized strain Pseudomonas orientalis F9, an isolate from apple flowers in a Swiss orchard, and determined its antagonistic activity against several phytopathogenic bacteria, in particular Erwinia amylovora, the causal agent of fire blight. P. orientalis…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The genome of Naegleria lovaniensis, the basis for a comparative approach to unravel pathogenicity factors of the human pathogenic amoeba N. fowleri.

Members of the genus Naegleria are free-living eukaryotes with the capability to transform from the amoeboid form into resting cysts or moving flagellates in response to environmental conditions. More than 40 species have been characterized, but only Naegleria fowleri (N. fowleri) is known as a human pathogen causing primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a fast progressing and mostly fatal disease of the central nervous system. Several studies report an involvement of phospholipases and other molecular factors, but the mechanisms involved in pathogenesis are still poorly understood. To gain a better understanding of the relationships within the genus of Naegleria and to…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Extraordinary genome instability and widespread chromosome rearrangements during vegetative growth

The haploid genome of the pathogenic fungus Zymoseptoria tritici is contained on “core” and “accessory” chromosomes. While 13 core chromosomes are found in all strains, as many as eight accessory chromosomes show presence/absence variation and rearrangements among field isolates. The factors influencing these presence/absence polymorphisms are so far unknown. We investigated chromosome stability using experimental evolution, karyotyping, and genome sequencing. We report extremely high and variable rates of accessory chromosome loss during mitotic propagation in vitro and in planta Spontaneous chromosome loss was observed in 2 to >50% of cells during 4 weeks of incubation. Similar rates of chromosome loss…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Mistranslation drives the evolution of robustness in TEM-1 ß-lactamase.

How biological systems such as proteins achieve robustness to ubiquitous perturbations is a fundamental biological question. Such perturbations include errors that introduce phenotypic mutations into nascent proteins during the translation of mRNA. These errors are remarkably frequent. They are also costly, because they reduce protein stability and help create toxic misfolded proteins. Adaptive evolution might reduce these costs of protein mistranslation by two principal mechanisms. The first increases the accuracy of translation via synonymous “high fidelity” codons at especially sensitive sites. The second increases the robustness of proteins to phenotypic errors via amino acids that increase protein stability. To study…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Vertical transmission of highly similar bla CTX-M-1-harboring IncI1 plasmids in Escherichia coli with different MLST types in the poultry production pyramid.

The purpose of this study was to characterize sets of extended-spectrum ß-lactamases (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae collected longitudinally from different flocks of broiler breeders, meconium of 1-day-old broilers from theses breeder flocks, as well as from these broiler flocks before slaughter.Five sets of ESBL-producing Escherichia coli were studied by multi-locus sequence typing (MLST), phylogenetic grouping, PCR-based replicon typing and resistance profiling. The bla CTX-M-1-harboring plasmids of one set (pHV295.1, pHV114.1, and pHV292.1) were fully sequenced and subjected to comparative analysis.Eleven different MLST sequence types (ST) were identified with ST1056 the predominant one, isolated in all five sets either on the broiler breeder…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Highly sensitive, non-invasive detection of colorectal cancer mutations using single molecule, third generation sequencing.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) represents one of the most prevalent and lethal malignant neoplasms and every individual of age 50 and above should undergo regular CRC screening. Currently, the most effective preventive screening procedure to detect adenomatous polyps, the precursors to CRC, is colonoscopy. Since every colorectal cancer starts as a polyp, detecting all polyps and removing them is crucial. By exactly doing that, colonoscopy reduces CRC incidence by 80%, however it is an invasive procedure that might have unpleasant and, in rare occasions, dangerous side effects. Despite numerous efforts over the past two decades, a non-invasive screening method for the…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Deep genome annotation of the opportunistic human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae D39.

A precise understanding of the genomic organization into transcriptional units and their regulation is essential for our comprehension of opportunistic human pathogens and how they cause disease. Using single-molecule real-time (PacBio) sequencing we unambiguously determined the genome sequence of Streptococcus pneumoniae strain D39 and revealed several inversions previously undetected by short-read sequencing. Significantly, a chromosomal inversion results in antigenic variation of PhtD, an important surface-exposed virulence factor. We generated a new genome annotation using automated tools, followed by manual curation, reflecting the current knowledge in the field. By combining sequence-driven terminator prediction, deep paired-end transcriptome sequencing and enrichment of primary…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Accelerated ex situ breeding of GBSS- and PTST1-edited cassava for modified starch.

Crop diversification required to meet demands for food security and industrial use is often challenged by breeding time and amenability of varieties to genome modification. Cassava is one such crop. Grown for its large starch-rich storage roots, it serves as a staple food and a commodity in the multibillion-dollar starch industry. Starch is composed of the glucose polymers amylopectin and amylose, with the latter strongly influencing the physicochemical properties of starch during cooking and processing. We demonstrate that CRISPR-Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9)-mediated targeted mutagenesis of two genes involved in amylose biosynthesis, PROTEIN TARGETING TO STARCH…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

A novel Tn3-like composite transposon harboring blaVIM-1 in Klebsiella pneumoniae spp. pneumoniae isolated from river water.

We present a new plasmid (pOW16C2) with a novel Tn3-like transposon harboring blaVIM-1 from a Klebsiella pneumoniae strain isolated from river water in Switzerland.Complete nucleotide sequence of pOW16C2 was obtained using a Pacific Biosciences SMRT sequencing approach and coding sequences were predicted.The 59,228?bp sequence included a typical IncN-like backbone and a mosaic structure with blaVIM-1, aacA4, aphA15, aadA1, catB2, qnrS1, sul1, and dfrA14 conferring resistance to carbapenems and other ß-lactam antibiotics, aminoglycosides, chloramphenicol, quinolones, sulfonamides, and trimethoprim, respectively. Most of these resistance genes were inserted in a class 1 integron that was embedded in a novel Tn3-like composite transposon.IncN plasmids…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The odd one out: Bacillus ACT bacteriophage CP-51 exhibits unusual properties compared to related Spounavirinae W.Ph. and Bastille.

The Bacillus ACT group includes three important pathogenic species of Bacillus: anthracis, cereus and thuringiensis. We characterized three virulent bacteriophages, Bastille, W.Ph. and CP-51, that infect various strains of these three species. We have determined the complete genome sequences of CP-51, W.Ph. and Bastille, and their physical genome structures. The CP-51 genome sequence could only be obtained using a combination of conventional and second and third next generation sequencing technologies – illustrating the problems associated with sequencing highly modified DNA. We present evidence that the generalized transduction facilitated by CP-51 is independent of a specific genome structure, but likely due…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Mutation in the C-di-AMP cyclase dacA affects fitness and resistance of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Faster growing and more virulent strains of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are increasingly displacing highly resistant MRSA. Elevated fitness in these MRSA is often accompanied by decreased and heterogeneous levels of methicillin resistance; however, the mechanisms for this phenomenon are not yet fully understood. Whole genome sequencing was used to investigate the genetic basis of this apparent correlation, in an isogenic MRSA strain pair that differed in methicillin resistance levels and fitness, with respect to growth rate. Sequencing revealed only one single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the diadenylate cyclase gene dacA in the faster growing but less resistant strain.…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Next generation sequencing technologies and the changing landscape of phage genomics.

The dawn of next generation sequencing technologies has opened up exciting possibilities for whole genome sequencing of a plethora of organisms. The 2nd and 3rd generation sequencing technologies, based on cloning-free, massively parallel sequencing, have enabled the generation of a deluge of genomic sequences of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic origin in the last seven years. However, whole genome sequencing of bacterial viruses has not kept pace with this revolution, despite the fact that their genomes are orders of magnitude smaller in size compared with bacteria and other organisms. Sequencing phage genomes poses several challenges; (1) obtaining pure phage genomic material,…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Competition assays and physiological experiments of soil and phyllosphere yeasts identify Candida subhashii as a novel antagonist of filamentous fungi.

While recent advances in next generation sequencing technologies have enabled researchers to readily identify countless microbial species in soil, rhizosphere, and phyllosphere microbiomes, the biological functions of the majority of these species are unknown. Functional studies are therefore urgently needed in order to characterize the plethora of microorganisms that are being identified and to point out species that may be used for biotechnology or plant protection. Here, we used a dual culture assay and growth analyses to characterise yeasts (40 different isolates) and their antagonistic effect on 16 filamentous fungi; comprising plant pathogens, antagonists, and saprophytes.Overall, this competition screen of…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Draft genome sequences of five Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli isolates harboring the new and recently described subtilase cytotoxin allelic variant subAB2-3.

We present here the draft genome sequences of five Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains which tested positive in a primary subAB screening. Assembly and annotation of the draft genomes revealed that all strains harbored the recently described allelic variant subAB2-3 Based on the sequence data, primers were designed to identify and differentiate this variant. Copyright © 2017 Tasara et al.

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