September 22, 2019  |  

Genome and secretome analysis of Pochonia chlamydosporia provide new insight into egg-parasitic mechanisms.

Pochonia chlamydosporia infects eggs and females of economically important plant-parasitic nematodes. The fungal isolates parasitizing different nematodes are genetically distinct. To understand their intraspecific genetic differentiation, parasitic mechanisms, and adaptive evolution, we assembled seven putative chromosomes of P. chlamydosporia strain 170 isolated from root-knot nematode eggs (~44?Mb, including 7.19% of transposable elements) and compared them with the genome of the strain 123 (~41?Mb) isolated from cereal cyst nematode. We focus on secretomes of the fungus, which play important roles in pathogenicity and fungus-host/environment interactions, and identified 1,750 secreted proteins, with a high proportion of carboxypeptidases, subtilisins, and chitinases. We analyzed the phylogenies of these genes and predicted new pathogenic molecules. By comparative transcriptome analysis, we found that secreted proteins involved in responses to nutrient stress are mainly comprised of proteases and glycoside hydrolases. Moreover, 32 secreted proteins undergoing positive selection and 71 duplicated gene pairs encoding secreted proteins are identified. Two duplicated pairs encoding secreted glycosyl hydrolases (GH30), which may be related to fungal endophytic process and lost in many insect-pathogenic fungi but exist in nematophagous fungi, are putatively acquired from bacteria by horizontal gene transfer. The results help understanding genetic origins and evolution of parasitism-related genes.

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  |  

Sooty mangabey genome sequence provides insight into AIDS resistance in a natural SIV host.

In contrast to infections with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in humans and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in macaques, SIV infection of a natural host, sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus atys), is non-pathogenic despite high viraemia. Here we sequenced and assembled the genome of a captive sooty mangabey. We conducted genome-wide comparative analyses of transcript assemblies from C. atys and AIDS-susceptible species, such as humans and macaques, to identify candidates for host genetic factors that influence susceptibility. We identified several immune-related genes in the genome of C. atys that show substantial sequence divergence from macaques or humans. One of these sequence divergences, a C-terminal frameshift in the toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4) gene of C. atys, is associated with a blunted in vitro response to TLR-4 ligands. In addition, we found a major structural change in exons 3-4 of the immune-regulatory protein intercellular adhesion molecule 2 (ICAM-2); expression of this variant leads to reduced cell surface expression of ICAM-2. These data provide a resource for comparative genomic studies of HIV and/or SIV pathogenesis and may help to elucidate the mechanisms by which SIV-infected sooty mangabeys avoid AIDS.

September 22, 2019  |  

A hybrid-hierarchical genome assembly strategy to sequence the invasive golden mussel Limnoperna fortunei.

For more than 25 years, the golden mussel Limnoperna fortunei has aggressively invaded South American freshwaters, having travelled more than 5,000 km upstream across five countries. Along the way, the golden mussel has outcompeted native species and economically harmed aquaculture, hydroelectric powers, and ship transit. We have sequenced the complete genome of the golden mussel to understand the molecular basis of its invasiveness and search for ways to control it.We assembled the 1.6 Gb genome into 20548 scaffolds with an N50 length of 312 Kb using a hybrid and hierarchical assembly strategy from short and long DNA reads and transcriptomes. A total of 60717 coding genes were inferred from a customized transcriptome-trained AUGUSTUS run. We also compared predicted protein sets with those of complete molluscan genomes, revealing an exacerbation of protein-binding domains in L. fortunei. Conclusions: We built one of the best bivalve genome assemblies available using a cost-effective approach using Illumina pair-end, mate pair, and PacBio long reads. We expect that the continuous and careful annotation of L. fortunei’s genome will contribute to the investigation of bivalve genetics, evolution, and invasiveness, as well as to the development of biotechnological tools for aquatic pest control.© The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

September 22, 2019  |  

Biosynthesis of antibiotic chuangxinmycin from Actinoplanes tsinanensis.

Chuangxinmycin is an antibiotic isolated from Actinoplanes tsinanensis CPCC 200056 in the 1970s with a novel indole-dihydrothiopyran heterocyclic skeleton. Chuangxinmycin showed in vitro antibacterial activity and in vivo efficacy in mouse infection models as well as preliminary clinical trials. But the biosynthetic pathway of chuangxinmycin has been obscure since its discovery. Herein, we report the identification of a stretch of DNA from the genome of A. tsinanensis CPCC 200056 that encodes genes for biosynthesis of chuangxinmycin by bioinformatics analysis. The designated cxn cluster was then confirmed to be responsible for chuangxinmycin biosynthesis by direct cloning and heterologous expressing in Streptomyces coelicolor M1146. The cytochrome P450 CxnD was verified to be involved in the dihydrothiopyran ring closure reaction by the identification of seco-chuangxinmycin in S. coelicolor M1146 harboring the cxn gene cluster with an inactivated cxnD. Based on these results, a plausible biosynthetic pathway for chuangxinmycin biosynthesis was proposed, by hijacking the primary sulfur transfer system for sulfur incorporation. The identification of the biosynthetic gene cluster of chuangxinmycin paves the way for elucidating the detail biochemical machinery for chuangxinmycin biosynthesis, and provides the basis for the generation of novel chuangxinmycin derivatives by means of combinatorial biosynthesis and synthetic biology.

September 22, 2019  |  

Functional genomics of lipid metabolism in the oleaginous yeast Rhodosporidium toruloides.

The basidiomycete yeast Rhodosporidium toruloides (also known as Rhodotorula toruloides) accumulates high concentrations of lipids and carotenoids from diverse carbon sources. It has great potential as a model for the cellular biology of lipid droplets and for sustainable chemical production. We developed a method for high-throughput genetics (RB-TDNAseq), using sequence-barcoded Agrobacterium tumefaciens T-DNA insertions. We identified 1,337 putative essential genes with low T-DNA insertion rates. We functionally profiled genes required for fatty acid catabolism and lipid accumulation, validating results with 35 targeted deletion strains. We identified a high-confidence set of 150 genes affecting lipid accumulation, including genes with predicted function in signaling cascades, gene expression, protein modification and vesicular trafficking, autophagy, amino acid synthesis and tRNA modification, and genes of unknown function. These results greatly advance our understanding of lipid metabolism in this oleaginous species and demonstrate a general approach for barcoded mutagenesis that should enable functional genomics in diverse fungi.

September 22, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics of bdelloid rotifers: Insights from desiccating and nondesiccating species.

Bdelloid rotifers are a class of microscopic invertebrates that have existed for millions of years apparently without sex or meiosis. They inhabit a variety of temporary and permanent freshwater habitats globally, and many species are remarkably tolerant of desiccation. Bdelloids offer an opportunity to better understand the evolution of sex and recombination, but previous work has emphasised desiccation as the cause of several unusual genomic features in this group. Here, we present high-quality whole-genome sequences of 3 bdelloid species: Rotaria macrura and R. magnacalcarata, which are both desiccation intolerant, and Adineta ricciae, which is desiccation tolerant. In combination with the published assembly of A. vaga, which is also desiccation tolerant, we apply a comparative genomics approach to evaluate the potential effects of desiccation tolerance and asexuality on genome evolution in bdelloids. We find that ancestral tetraploidy is conserved among all 4 bdelloid species, but homologous divergence in obligately aquatic Rotaria genomes is unexpectedly low. This finding is contrary to current models regarding the role of desiccation in shaping bdelloid genomes. In addition, we find that homologous regions in A. ricciae are largely collinear and do not form palindromic repeats as observed in the published A. vaga assembly. Consequently, several features interpreted as genomic evidence for long-term ameiotic evolution are not general to all bdelloid species, even within the same genus. Finally, we substantiate previous findings of high levels of horizontally transferred nonmetazoan genes in both desiccating and nondesiccating bdelloid species and show that this unusual feature is not shared by other animal phyla, even those with desiccation-tolerant representatives. These comparisons call into question the proposed role of desiccation in mediating horizontal genetic transfer.

September 22, 2019  |  

Genetic and molecular basis of the immune system in the brachiopod Lingula anatina.

The extension of comparative immunology to non-model systems, such as mollusks and annelids, has revealed an unexpected diversity in the complement of immune receptors and effectors among evolutionary lineages. However, several lophotrochozoan phyla remain unexplored mainly due to the lack of genomic resources. The increasing accessibility of high-throughput sequencing technologies offers unique opportunities for extending genome-wide studies to non-model systems. As a result, the genome-based study of the immune system in brachiopods allows a better understanding of the alternative survival strategies developed by these immunologically neglected phyla. Here we present a detailed overview of the molecular components of the immune system identified in the genome of the brachiopod Lingula anatina. Our findings reveal conserved intracellular signaling pathways as well as unique strategies for pathogen detection and killing in brachiopods. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

September 22, 2019  |  

A reference genome of the European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.).

The European beech is arguably the most important climax broad-leaved tree species in Central Europe, widely planted for its valuable wood. Here, we report the 542 Mb draft genome sequence of an up to 300-year-old individual (Bhaga) from an undisturbed stand in the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park in central Germany.Using a hybrid assembly approach, Illumina reads with short- and long-insert libraries, coupled with long Pacific Biosciences reads, we obtained an assembled genome size of 542 Mb, in line with flow cytometric genome size estimation. The largest scaffold was of 1.15 Mb, the N50 length was 145 kb, and the L50 count was 983. The assembly contained 0.12% of Ns. A Benchmarking with Universal Single-Copy Orthologs (BUSCO) analysis retrieved 94% complete BUSCO genes, well in the range of other high-quality draft genomes of trees. A total of 62,012 protein-coding genes were predicted, assisted by transcriptome sequencing. In addition, we are reporting an efficient method for extracting high-molecular-weight DNA from dormant buds, by which contamination by environmental bacteria and fungi was kept at a minimum.The assembled genome will be a valuable resource and reference for future population genomics studies on the evolution and past climate change adaptation of beech and will be helpful for identifying genes, e.g., involved in drought tolerance, in order to select and breed individuals to adapt forestry to climate change in Europe. A continuously updated genome browser and download page can be accessed from, which will include future genome versions of the reference individual Bhaga, as new sequencing approaches develop.

September 22, 2019  |  

Raising the stakes: Loss of efflux pump regulation decreases meropenem susceptibility in Burkholderia pseudomallei

Burkholderia pseudomallei, the causative agent of the high-mortality disease melioidosis, is a gram-negative bacterium that is naturally resistant to many antibiotics. There is no vaccine for melioidosis, and effective eradication is reliant on biphasic and prolonged antibiotic administration. The carbapenem drug meropenem is the current gold standard option for treating severe melioidosis. Intrinsic B. pseudomallei resistance toward meropenem has not yet been documented; however, resistance could conceivably develop over the course of infection, leading to prolonged sepsis and treatment failure.We examined our 30-year clinical collection of melioidosis cases to identify B. pseudomallei isolates with reduced meropenem susceptibility. Isolates were subjected to minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) testing toward meropenem. Paired isolates from patients who had evolved decreased susceptibility were subjected to whole-genome sequencing. Select agent-compliant genetic manipulation was carried out to confirm the molecular mechanisms conferring resistance.We identified 11 melioidosis cases where B. pseudomallei isolates developed decreased susceptibility toward meropenem during treatment, including 2 cases not treated with this antibiotic. Meropenem MICs increased from 0.5-0.75 µg/mL to 3-8 µg/mL. Comparative genomics identified multiple mutations affecting multidrug resistance-nodulation-division (RND) efflux pump regulators, with concomitant overexpression of their corresponding pumps. All cases were refractory to treatment despite aggressive, targeted therapy, and 2 were associated with a fatal outcome.This study confirms the role of RND efflux pumps in decreased meropenem susceptibility in B. pseudomallei. These findings have important ramifications for the diagnosis, treatment, and management of life-threatening melioidosis cases.

September 22, 2019  |  

A reference genome of the Chinese hamster based on a hybrid assembly strategy.

Accurate and complete genome sequences are essential in biotechnology to facilitate genome-based cell engineering efforts. The current genome assemblies for Cricetulus griseus, the Chinese hamster, are fragmented and replete with gap sequences and misassemblies, consistent with most short-read-based assemblies. Here, we completely resequenced C. griseus using single molecule real time sequencing and merged this with Illumina-based assemblies. This generated a more contiguous and complete genome assembly than either technology alone, reducing the number of scaffolds by >28-fold, with 90% of the sequence in the 122 longest scaffolds. Most genes are now found in single scaffolds, including up- and downstream regulatory elements, enabling improved study of noncoding regions. With >95% of the gap sequence filled, important Chinese hamster ovary cell mutations have been detected in draft assembly gaps. This new assembly will be an invaluable resource for continued basic and pharmaceutical research.© 2018 The Authors. Biotechnology and Bioengineering Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

September 22, 2019  |  

The opium poppy genome and morphinan production.

Morphinan-based painkillers are derived from opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.). We report a draft of the opium poppy genome, with 2.72 gigabases assembled into 11 chromosomes with contig N50 and scaffold N50 of 1.77 and 204 megabases, respectively. Synteny analysis suggests a whole-genome duplication at ~7.8 million years ago and ancient segmental or whole-genome duplication(s) that occurred before the Papaveraceae-Ranunculaceae divergence 110 million years ago. Syntenic blocks representative of phthalideisoquinoline and morphinan components of a benzylisoquinoline alkaloid cluster of 15 genes provide insight into how this cluster evolved. Paralog analysis identified P450 and oxidoreductase genes that combined to form the STORR gene fusion essential for morphinan biosynthesis in opium poppy. Thus, gene duplication, rearrangement, and fusion events have led to evolution of specialized metabolic products in opium poppy. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

September 22, 2019  |  

Constant conflict between Gypsy LTR retrotransposons and CHH methylation within a stress-adapted mangrove genome.

The evolutionary dynamics of the conflict between transposable elements (TEs) and their host genome remain elusive. This conflict will be intense in stress-adapted plants as stress can often reactivate TEs. Mangroves reduce TE load convergently in their adaptation to intertidal environments and thus provide a unique opportunity to address the host-TE conflict and its interaction with stress adaptation. Using the mangrove Rhizophora apiculata as a model, we investigated methylation and short interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting patterns in relation to the abundance and age of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons. We also examined the distance of LTR retrotransposons to genes, the impact on neighboring gene expression and population frequencies. We found differential accumulation amongst classes of LTR retrotransposons despite high overall methylation levels. This can be attributed to 24-nucleotide siRNA-mediated CHH methylation preferentially targeting Gypsy elements, particularly in their LTR regions. Old Gypsy elements possess unusually abundant siRNAs which show cross-mapping to young copies. Gypsy elements appear to be closer to genes and under stronger purifying selection than other classes. Our results suggest a continuous host-TE battle masked by the TE load reduction in R. apiculata. This conflict may enable mangroves, such as R. apiculata, to maintain genetic diversity and thus evolutionary potential during stress adaptation.© 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.

September 21, 2019  |  

Whole genome sequence of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines.

Aphids are emerging as model organisms for both basic and applied research. Of the 5,000 estimated species, only three aphids have published whole genome sequences: the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum, the Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia, and the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae. We present the whole genome sequence of a fourth aphid, the soybean aphid (Aphis glycines), which is an extreme specialist and an important invasive pest of soybean (Glycine max). The availability of genomic resources is important to establish effective and sustainable pest control, as well as to expand our understanding of aphid evolution. We generated a 302.9 Mbp draft genome assembly for Ap. glycines using a hybrid sequencing approach. This assembly shows high completeness with 19,182 predicted genes, 92% of known Ap. glycines transcripts mapping to contigs, and substantial continuity with a scaffold N50 of 174,505 bp. The assembly represents 95.5% of the predicted genome size of 317.1 Mbp based on flow cytometry. Ap. glycines contains the smallest known aphid genome to date, based on updated genome sizes for 19 aphid species. The repetitive DNA content of the Ap. glycines genome assembly (81.6 Mbp or 26.94% of the 302.9 Mbp assembly) shows a reduction in the number of classified transposable elements compared to Ac. pisum, and likely contributes to the small estimated genome size. We include comparative analyses of gene families related to host-specificity (cytochrome P450’s and effectors), which may be important in Ap. glycines evolution. This Ap. glycines draft genome sequence will provide a resource for the study of aphid genome evolution, their interaction with host plants, and candidate genes for novel insect control methods. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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