April 21, 2020  |  

Diversification and collapse of a telomere elongation mechanism.

In most eukaryotes, telomerase counteracts chromosome erosion by adding repetitive sequence to terminal ends. Drosophila melanogaster instead relies on specialized retrotransposons that insert exclusively at telomeres. This exchange of goods between host and mobile element-wherein the mobile element provides an essential genome service and the host provides a hospitable niche for mobile element propagation-has been called a “genomic symbiosis.” However, these telomere-specialized, jockey family retrotransposons may actually evolve to “selfishly” overreplicate in the genomes that they ostensibly serve. Under this model, we expect rapid diversification of telomere-specialized retrotransposon lineages and, possibly, the breakdown of this ostensibly symbiotic relationship. Here we report data consistent with both predictions. Searching the raw reads of the 15-Myr-old melanogaster species group, we generated de novo jockey retrotransposon consensus sequences and used phylogenetic tree-building to delineate four distinct telomere-associated lineages. Recurrent gains, losses, and replacements account for this retrotransposon lineage diversity. In Drosophila biarmipes, telomere-specialized elements have disappeared completely. De novo assembly of long reads and cytogenetics confirmed this species-specific collapse of retrotransposon-dependent telomere elongation. Instead, telomere-restricted satellite DNA and DNA transposon fragments occupy its terminal ends. We infer that D. biarmipes relies instead on a recombination-based mechanism conserved from yeast to flies to humans. Telomeric retrotransposon diversification and disappearance suggest that persistently “selfish” machinery shapes telomere elongation across Drosophila rather than completely domesticated, symbiotic mobile elements. © 2019 Saint-Leandre et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


April 21, 2020  |  

TSD: A Computational Tool To Study the Complex Structural Variants Using PacBio Targeted Sequencing Data.

PacBio sequencing is a powerful approach to study DNA or RNA sequences in a longer scope. It is especially useful in exploring the complex structural variants generated by random integration or multiple rearrangement of endogenous or exogenous sequences. Here, we present a tool, TSD, for complex structural variant discovery using PacBio targeted sequencing data. It allows researchers to identify and visualize the genomic structures of targeted sequences by unlimited splitting, alignment and assembly of long PacBio reads. Application to the sequencing data derived from an HBV integrated human cell line(PLC/PRF/5) indicated that TSD could recover the full profile of HBV integration events, especially for the regions with the complex human-HBV genome integrations and multiple HBV rearrangements. Compared to other long read analysis tools, TSD showed a better performance for detecting complex genomic structural variants. TSD is publicly available at: https://github.com/menggf/tsd. Copyright © 2019 Meng et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

A novel probiotic, Lactobacillus johnsonii 456, resists acid and can persist in the human gut beyond the initial ingestion period.

Probiotics are considered to have multiple beneficial effects on the human gastrointestinal tract, including immunomodulation, pathogen inhibition, and improved host nutrient metabolism. However, extensive characterization of these properties is needed to define suitable clinical applications for probiotic candidates. Lactobacillus johnsonii 456 (LBJ 456) was previously demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory and anti-genotoxic effects in a mouse model. Here, we characterize its resistance to gastric and bile acids as well as its ability to inhibit gut pathogens and adhere to host mucosa. While bile resistance and in vitro host attachment properties of LBJ 456 were comparable to other tested probiotics, LBJ 456 maintained higher viability at lower pH conditions compared to other tested strains. LBJ 456 also altered pathogen adhesion to LS 174T monolayers and demonstrated contact-dependent and independent inhibition of pathogen growth. Genome analyses further revealed possible genetic elements involved in host attachment and pathogen inhibition. Importantly, we show that ingestion of Lactobacillus johnsonii 456 over a one week yogurt course leads to persistent viable bacteria detectable even beyond the period of initial ingestion, unlike many other previously described probiotic species of lactic acid bacteria.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of strain Lentibacillus amyloliquefaciens LAM0015(T) isolated from saline sediment.

The type strain Lentibacillus amyloliquefaciens LAM0015(T) with considerably highly NaCl tolerance is a member of halophiles. Here we report its genome sequence, the first to publish complete genome sequence of the Lentibacillus genus. It contains 3,858,520bp with an average GC content of 42.12%, encoding multiple valuable proteins academically and industrially. The genome sequence of strain LAM0015(T) provides basic information for further elucidation of halophilic mechanism and wider exploitation of functional genes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


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