July 19, 2019  |  

Genome-wide mapping of methylated adenine residues in pathogenic Escherichia coli using single-molecule real-time sequencing.

Single-molecule real-time (SMRT) DNA sequencing allows the systematic detection of chemical modifications such as methylation but has not previously been applied on a genome-wide scale. We used this approach to detect 49,311 putative 6-methyladenine (m6A) residues and 1,407 putative 5-methylcytosine (m5C) residues in the genome of a pathogenic Escherichia coli strain. We obtained strand-specific information for methylation sites and a quantitative assessment of the frequency of methylation at each modified position. We deduced the sequence motifs recognized by the methyltransferase enzymes present in this strain without prior knowledge of their specificity. Furthermore, we found that deletion of a phage-encoded methyltransferase-endonuclease (restriction-modification; RM) system induced global transcriptional changes and led to gene amplification, suggesting that the role of RM systems extends beyond protecting host genomes from foreign DNA.


July 19, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence and analysis of Lactobacillus hokkaidonensis LOOC260(T), a psychrotrophic lactic acid bacterium isolated from silage.

Lactobacillus hokkaidonensis is an obligate heterofermentative lactic acid bacterium, which is isolated from Timothy grass silage in Hokkaido, a subarctic region of Japan. This bacterium is expected to be useful as a silage starter culture in cold regions because of its remarkable psychrotolerance; it can grow at temperatures as low as 4°C. To elucidate its genetic background, particularly in relation to the source of psychrotolerance, we constructed the complete genome sequence of L. hokkaidonensis LOOC260(T) using PacBio single-molecule real-time sequencing technology.The genome of LOOC260(T) comprises one circular chromosome (2.28 Mbp) and two circular plasmids: pLOOC260-1 (81.6 kbp) and pLOOC260-2 (41.0 kbp). We identified diverse mobile genetic elements, such as prophages, integrated and conjugative elements, and conjugative plasmids, which may reflect adaptation to plant-associated niches. Comparative genome analysis also detected unique genomic features, such as genes involved in pentose assimilation and NADPH generation.This is the first complete genome in the L. vaccinostercus group, which is poorly characterized, so the genomic information obtained in this study provides insight into the genetics and evolution of this group. We also found several factors that may contribute to the ability of L. hokkaidonensis to grow at cold temperatures. The results of this study will facilitate further investigation for the cold-tolerance mechanism of L. hokkaidonensis.


July 19, 2019  |  

The pineapple genome and the evolution of CAM photosynthesis.

Pineapple (Ananas comosus (L.) Merr.) is the most economically valuable crop possessing crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM), a photosynthetic carbon assimilation pathway with high water-use efficiency, and the second most important tropical fruit. We sequenced the genomes of pineapple varieties F153 and MD2 and a wild pineapple relative, Ananas bracteatus accession CB5. The pineapple genome has one fewer ancient whole-genome duplication event than sequenced grass genomes and a conserved karyotype with seven chromosomes from before the ? duplication event. The pineapple lineage has transitioned from C3 photosynthesis to CAM, with CAM-related genes exhibiting a diel expression pattern in photosynthetic tissues. CAM pathway genes were enriched with cis-regulatory elements associated with the regulation of circadian clock genes, providing the first cis-regulatory link between CAM and circadian clock regulation. Pineapple CAM photosynthesis evolved by the reconfiguration of pathways in C3 plants, through the regulatory neofunctionalization of preexisting genes and not through the acquisition of neofunctionalized genes via whole-genome or tandem gene duplication.


July 19, 2019  |  

Sequencing the CYP2D6 gene: from variant allele discovery to clinical pharmacogenetic testing.

CYP2D6 is one of the most studied enzymes in the field of pharmacogenetics. The CYP2D6 gene is highly polymorphic with over 100 catalogued star (*) alleles, and clinical CYP2D6 testing is increasingly accessible and supported by practice guidelines. However, the degree of variation at the CYP2D6 locus and homology with its pseudogenes make interrogating CYP2D6 by short-read sequencing challenging. Moreover, accurate prediction of CYP2D6 metabolizer status necessitates analysis of duplicated alleles when an increased copy number is detected. These challenges have recently been overcome by long-read CYP2D6 sequencing; however, such platforms are not widely available. This review highlights the genomic complexities of CYP2D6, current sequencing methods and the evolution of CYP2D6 from allele discovery to clinical pharmacogenetic testing.


July 7, 2019  |  

Essential roles of methionine and S-adenosylmethionine in the autarkic lifestyle of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Multidrug resistance, strong side effects, and compliance problems in TB chemotherapy mandate new ways to kill Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). Here we show that deletion of the gene encoding homoserine transacetylase (metA) inactivates methionine and S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) biosynthesis in Mtb and renders this pathogen exquisitely sensitive to killing in immunocompetent or immunocompromised mice, leading to rapid clearance from host tissues. Mtb ?metA is unable to proliferate in primary human macrophages, and in vitro starvation leads to extraordinarily rapid killing with no appearance of suppressor mutants. Cell death of Mtb ?metA is faster than that of other auxotrophic mutants (i.e., tryptophan, pantothenate, leucine, biotin), suggesting a particularly potent mechanism of killing. Time-course metabolomics showed complete depletion of intracellular methionine and SAM. SAM depletion was consistent with a significant decrease in methylation at the DNA level (measured by single-molecule real-time sequencing) and with the induction of several essential methyltransferases involved in biotin and menaquinone biosynthesis, both of which are vital biological processes and validated targets of antimycobacterial drugs. Mtb ?metA could be partially rescued by biotin supplementation, confirming a multitarget cell death mechanism. The work presented here uncovers a previously unidentified vulnerability of Mtb-the incapacity to scavenge intermediates of SAM and methionine biosynthesis from the host. This vulnerability unveils an entirely new drug target space with the promise of rapid killing of the tubercle bacillus by a new mechanism of action.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence, metabolic model construction and phenotypic characterization of Geobacillus LC300, an extremely thermophilic, fast growing, xylose-utilizing bacterium.

We have isolated a new extremely thermophilic fast-growing Geobacillus strain that can efficiently utilize xylose, glucose, mannose and galactose for cell growth. When grown aerobically at 72°C, Geobacillus LC300 has a growth rate of 2.15h(-1) on glucose and 1.52h(-1) on xylose (doubling time less than 30min). The corresponding specific glucose and xylose utilization rates are 5.55g/g/h and 5.24g/g/h, respectively. As such, Geobacillus LC300 grows 3-times faster than E. coli on glucose and xylose, and has a specific xylose utilization rate that is 3-times higher than the best metabolically engineered organism to date. To gain more insight into the metabolism of Geobacillus LC300 its genome was sequenced using PacBio?s RS II single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing platform and annotated using the RAST server. Based on the genome annotation and the measured biomass composition a core metabolic network model was constructed. To further demonstrate the biotechnological potential of this organism, Geobacillus LC300 was grown to high cell-densities in a fed-batch culture, where cells maintained a high xylose utilization rate under low dissolved oxygen concentrations. All of these characteristics make Geobacillus LC300 an attractive host for future metabolic engineering and biotechnology applications. Copyright © 2015 International Metabolic Engineering Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Metabolomics-driven discovery of a prenylated isatin antibiotic produced by Streptomyces species MBT28.

Actinomycetes are a major source of antimicrobials, anticancer compounds, and other medically important products, and their genomes harbor extensive biosynthetic potential. Major challenges in the screening of these microorganisms are to activate the expression of cryptic biosynthetic gene clusters and the development of technologies for efficient dereplication of known molecules. Here we report the identification of a previously unidentified isatin-type antibiotic produced by Streptomyces sp. MBT28, following a strategy based on NMR-based metabolomics combined with the introduction of streptomycin resistance in the producer strain. NMR-guided isolation by tracking the target proton signal resulted in the characterization of 7-prenylisatin (1) with antimicrobial activity against Bacillus subtilis. The metabolite-guided genome mining of Streptomyces sp. MBT28 combined with proteomics identified a gene cluster with an indole prenyltransferase that catalyzes the conversion of tryptophan into 7-prenylisatin. This study underlines the applicability of NMR-based metabolomics in facilitating the discovery of novel antibiotics.


July 7, 2019  |  

High-quality draft genome sequence of Kallotenue papyrolyticum JKG1T reveals broad heterotrophic capacity focused on carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism.

The draft genome of Kallotenue papyrolyticum JKG1(T), a member of the order Kallotenuales, class Chloroflexia, consists of 4,475,263 bp in 4 contigs and encodes 4,010 predicted genes, 49 tRNA-encoding genes, and 3 rRNA operons. The genome is consistent with a heterotrophic lifestyle including catabolism of polysaccharides and amino acids. Copyright © 2015 Hedlund et al.


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 initiation of chromosome replication or for DNA mismatch repair. By contrast, our transcriptome analysis shows that >10% of the genes are misexpressed in cells lacking or constitutively over-expressing CcrM. Strikingly, GANTC methylation is needed for the efficient transcription of dozens of genes that are essential for cell cycle progression, in particular for DNA metabolism and cell division. Many of them are controlled by promoters methylated by CcrM and co-regulated by other global cell cycle regulators, demonstrating an extensive cross talk between DNA methylation and the complex regulatory network that controls the cell cycle of C. crescentus and, presumably, of many other Alphaproteobacteria.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome sequence of Candidatus Nitrososphaera evergladensis from group I.1b enriched from Everglades soil reveals novel genomic features of the ammonia-oxidizing archaea.

The activity of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) leads to the loss of nitrogen from soil, pollution of water sources and elevated emissions of greenhouse gas. To date, eight AOA genomes are available in the public databases, seven are from the group I.1a of the Thaumarchaeota and only one is from the group I.1b, isolated from hot springs. Many soils are dominated by AOA from the group I.1b, but the genomes of soil representatives of this group have not been sequenced and functionally characterized. The lack of knowledge of metabolic pathways of soil AOA presents a critical gap in understanding their role in biogeochemical cycles. Here, we describe the first complete genome of soil archaeon Candidatus Nitrososphaera evergladensis, which has been reconstructed from metagenomic sequencing of a highly enriched culture obtained from an agricultural soil. The AOA enrichment was sequenced with the high throughput next generation sequencing platforms from Pacific Biosciences and Ion Torrent. The de novo assembly of sequences resulted in one 2.95 Mb contig. Annotation of the reconstructed genome revealed many similarities of the basic metabolism with the rest of sequenced AOA. Ca. N. evergladensis belongs to the group I.1b and shares only 40% of whole-genome homology with the closest sequenced relative Ca. N. gargensis. Detailed analysis of the genome revealed coding sequences that were completely absent from the group I.1a. These unique sequences code for proteins involved in control of DNA integrity, transporters, two-component systems and versatile CRISPR defense system. Notably, genomes from the group I.1b have more gene duplications compared to the genomes from the group I.1a. We suggest that the presence of these unique genes and gene duplications may be associated with the environmental versatility of this group.


July 7, 2019  |  

The Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis specific mptD gene is required for maintenance of the metabolic homeostasis necessary for full virulence in mouse infections.

Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) causes Johne’s disease, a chronic granulomatous enteritis in ruminants. Furthermore, infections of humans with MAP have been reported and a possible association with Crohn’s disease and diabetes type I is currently discussed. MAP owns large sequence polymorphisms (LSPs) that were exclusively found in this mycobacteria species. The relevance of these LSPs in the pathobiology of MAP is still unclear. The mptD gene (MAP3733c) of MAP belongs to a small group of functionally uncharacterized genes, which are not present in any other sequenced mycobacteria species. mptD is part of a predicted operon (mptABCDEF), encoding a putative ATP binding cassette-transporter, located on the MAP-specific LSP14. In the present study, we generated an mptD knockout strain (MAP?mptD) by specialized transduction. In order to investigate the potential role of mptD in the host, we performed infection experiments with macrophages. By this, we observed a significantly reduced cell number of MAP?mptD early after infection, indicating that the mutant was hampered with respect to adaptation to the early macrophage environment. This important role of mptD was supported in mouse infection experiments where MAP?mptD was significantly attenuated after peritoneal challenge. Metabolic profiling was performed to determine the cause for the reduced virulence and identified profound metabolic disorders especially in the lipid metabolism of MAP?mptD. Overall our data revealed the mptD gene to be an important factor for the metabolic adaptation of MAP required for persistence in the host.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Thermus brockianus GE-1 reveals key enzymes of xylan/xylose metabolism.

Thermus brockianus strain GE-1 is a thermophilic, Gram-negative, rod-shaped and non-motile bacterium that was isolated from the Geysir geothermal area, Iceland. Like other thermophiles, Thermus species are often used as model organisms to understand the mechanism of action of extremozymes, especially focusing on their heat-activity and thermostability. Genome-specific features of T. brockianus GE-1 and their properties further help to explain processes of the adaption of extremophiles at elevated temperatures. Here we analyze the first whole genome sequence of T. brockianus strain GE-1. Insights of the genome sequence and the methodologies that were applied during de novo assembly and annotation are given in detail. The finished genome shows a phred quality value of QV50. The complete genome size is 2.38 Mb, comprising the chromosome (2,035,182 bp), the megaplasmid pTB1 (342,792 bp) and the smaller plasmid pTB2 (10,299 bp). Gene prediction revealed 2,511 genes in total, including 2,458 protein-encoding genes, 53 RNA and 66 pseudo genes. A unique genomic region on megaplasmid pTB1 was identified encoding key enzymes for xylan depolymerization and xylose metabolism. This is in agreement with the growth experiments in which xylan is utilized as sole source of carbon. Accordingly, we identified sequences encoding the xylanase Xyn10, an endoglucanase, the membrane ABC sugar transporter XylH, the xylose-binding protein XylF, the xylose isomerase XylA catalyzing the first step of xylose metabolism and the xylulokinase XylB, responsible for the second step of xylose metabolism. Our data indicate that an ancestor of T. brockianus obtained the ability to use xylose as alternative carbon source by horizontal gene transfer.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome sequences of Cyberlindnera fabianii 65, Pichia kudriavzevii 129, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae 131 isolated from fermented masau fruits in Zimbabwe.

Cyberlindnera fabianii 65, Pichia kudriavzevii 129, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae 131 have been isolated from the microbiota of fermented masau fruits. C. fabianii and P. kudriavzevii especially harbor promising features for biotechnology and food applications. Here, we present the draft annotated genome sequences of these isolates. Copyright © 2017 van Rijswijck et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

High metabolic versatility of different toxigenic and non-toxigenic Clostridioides difficile isolates.

Clostridioides difficile (formerly Clostridium difficile) is a major nosocomial pathogen with an increasing number of community-acquired infections causing symptoms from mild diarrhea to life-threatening colitis. The pathogenicity of C. difficile is considered to be mainly associated with the production of genome-encoded toxins A and B. In addition, some strains also encode and express the binary toxin CDT. However; a large number of non-toxigenic C. difficile strains have been isolated from the human gut and the environment. In this study, we characterized the growth behavior, motility and fermentation product formation of 17 different C. difficile isolates comprising five different major genomic clades and five different toxin inventories in relation to the C. difficile model strains 630?erm and R20291. Within 33 determined fermentation products, we identified two yet undescribed products (5-methylhexanoate and 4-(methylthio)-butanoate) of C. difficile. Our data revealed major differences in the fermentation products obtained after growth in a medium containing casamino acids and glucose as carbon and energy source. While the metabolism of branched chain amino acids remained comparable in all isolates, the aromatic amino acid uptake and metabolism and the central carbon metabolism-associated fermentation pathways varied strongly between the isolates. The patterns obtained followed neither the classification of the clades nor the ribotyping patterns nor the toxin distribution. As the toxin formation is strongly connected to the metabolism, our data allow an improved differentiation of C. difficile strains. The observed metabolic flexibility provides the optimal basis for the adaption in the course of infection and to changing conditions in different environments including the human gut. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


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