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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Evaluation of tools for long read RNA-seq splice-aware alignment.

High-throughput sequencing has transformed the study of gene expression levels through RNA-seq, a technique that is now routinely used by various fields, such as genetic research or diagnostics. The advent of third generation sequencing technologies providing significantly longer reads opens up new possibilities. However, the high error rates common to these technologies set new bioinformatics challenges for the gapped alignment of reads to their genomic origin. In this study, we have explored how currently available RNA-seq splice-aware alignment tools cope with increased read lengths and error rates. All tested tools were initially developed for short NGS reads, but some have…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Bypassing the Restriction System To Improve Transformation of Staphylococcus epidermidis.

Staphylococcus epidermidis is the leading cause of infections on indwelling medical devices worldwide. Intrinsic antibiotic resistance and vigorous biofilm production have rendered these infections difficult to treat and, in some cases, require the removal of the offending medical prosthesis. With the exception of two widely passaged isolates, RP62A and 1457, the pathogenesis of infections caused by clinical S. epidermidis strains is poorly understood due to the strong genetic barrier that precludes the efficient transformation of foreign DNA into clinical isolates. The difficulty in transforming clinical S. epidermidis isolates is primarily due to the type I and IV restriction-modification systems, which…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

In vitro culture of the insect endosymbiont Spiroplasma poulsonii highlights bacterial genes involved in host-symbiont interaction.

Endosymbiotic bacteria associated with eukaryotic hosts are omnipresent in nature, particularly in insects. Studying the bacterial side of host-symbiont interactions is, however, often limited by the unculturability and genetic intractability of the symbionts. Spiroplasma poulsonii is a maternally transmitted bacterial endosymbiont that is naturally associated with several Drosophila species. S. poulsonii strongly affects its host’s physiology, for example by causing male killing or by protecting it against various parasites. Despite intense work on this model since the 1950s, attempts to cultivate endosymbiotic Spiroplasma in vitro have failed so far. Here, we developed a method to sustain the in vitro culture of…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

A supergene determines highly divergent male reproductive morphs in the ruff.

Three strikingly different alternative male mating morphs (aggressive ‘independents’, semicooperative ‘satellites’ and female-mimic ‘faeders’) coexist as a balanced polymorphism in the ruff, Philomachus pugnax, a lek-breeding wading bird. Major differences in body size, ornamentation, and aggressive and mating behaviors are inherited as an autosomal polymorphism. We show that development into satellites and faeders is determined by a supergene consisting of divergent alternative, dominant and non-recombining haplotypes of an inversion on chromosome 11, which contains 125 predicted genes. Independents are homozygous for the ancestral sequence. One breakpoint of the inversion disrupts the essential CENP-N gene (encoding centromere protein N), and pedigree…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Comparative genome analysis of Pseudomonas knackmussii B13, the first bacterium known to degrade chloroaromatic compounds.

Pseudomonas knackmussii B13 was the first strain to be isolated in 1974 that could degrade chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons. This discovery was the prologue for subsequent characterization of numerous bacterial metabolic pathways, for genetic and biochemical studies, and which spurred ideas for pollutant bioremediation. In this study, we determined the complete genome sequence of B13 using next generation sequencing technologies and optical mapping. Genome annotation indicated that B13 has a variety of metabolic pathways for degrading monoaromatic hydrocarbons including chlorobenzoate, aminophenol, anthranilate and hydroxyquinol, but not polyaromatic compounds. Comparative genome analysis revealed that B13 is closest to Pseudomonas denitrificans and Pseudomonas…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

High quality draft genomes of the Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides challenge strains Afadé and B237.

Members of the Mycoplasma mycoides cluster’ represent important livestock pathogens worldwide. Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides is the etiologic agent of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), which is still endemic in many parts of Africa. We report the genome sequences and annotation of two frequently used challenge strains of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides, Afadé and B237. The information provided will enable downstream ‘omics’ applications such as proteomics, transcriptomics and reverse vaccinology approaches. Despite the absence of Mycoplasma pneumoniae like cyto-adhesion encoding genes, the two strains showed the presence of protrusions. This phenotype is likely encoded by another set of genes.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The functions of DNA methylation by CcrM in Caulobacter crescentus: a global approach.

DNA methylation is involved in a diversity of processes in bacteria, including maintenance of genome integrity and regulation of gene expression. Here, using Caulobacter crescentus as a model, we exploit genome-wide experimental methods to uncover the functions of CcrM, a DNA methyltransferase conserved in most Alphaproteobacteria. Using single molecule sequencing, we provide evidence that most CcrM target motifs (GANTC) switch from a fully methylated to a hemi-methylated state when they are replicated, and back to a fully methylated state at the onset of cell division. We show that DNA methylation by CcrM is not required for the control of the…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Draft genome sequence of Microbacterium foliorum strain 122 isolated from a plant growing in a chronically hydrocarbon-contaminated site.

Microbacterium foliorum strain 122 is a bacterial endophyte isolated from a Dactylis glomerata plant growing in a natural oil seep soil located in Oil Springs, Ontario, Canada. We present here a draft genome sequence of an endophytic strain that has promising potential in hydrocarbon degradation and plant growth promotion. Copyright © 2017 Lumactud et al.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Draft genome sequence of Plantibacter flavus strain 251 isolated from a plant growing in a chronically hydrocarbon-contaminated site.

Plantibacter flavus isolate 251 is a bacterial endophyte isolated from an Achillea millefolium plant growing in a natural oil seep soil located in Oil Springs, Ontario, Canada. We present here a draft genome sequence of an infrequently reported genus Plantibacter, highlighting an endophytic lifestyle and biotechnological potential. Copyright © 2017 Lumactud et al.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genomic and transcriptomic analysis of the streptomycin-dependent Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain 18b.

The ability of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to establish a latent infection (LTBI) in humans confounds the treatment of tuberculosis. Consequently, there is a need to discover new therapeutic agents that can kill M. tuberculosis both during active disease and LTBI. The streptomycin-dependent strain of M. tuberculosis, 18b, provides a useful tool for this purpose since upon removal of streptomycin (STR) it enters a non-replicating state that mimics latency both in vitro and in animal models.The 4.41 Mb genome sequence of M. tuberculosis 18b was determined and this revealed the strain to belong to clade 3 of the ancient ancestral lineage of the…

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