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Sunday, July 7, 2019

An antimicrobial peptide-resistant minor subpopulation of Photorhabdus luminescens is responsible for virulence.

Some of the bacterial cells in isogenic populations behave differently from others. We describe here how a new type of phenotypic heterogeneity relating to resistance to cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) is determinant for the pathogenic infection process of the entomopathogenic bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens. We demonstrate that the resistant subpopulation, which accounts for only 0.5% of the wild-type population, causes septicemia in insects. Bacterial heterogeneity is driven by the PhoPQ two-component regulatory system and expression of pbgPE, an operon encoding proteins involved in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) modifications. We also report the characterization of a core regulon controlled by the DNA-binding PhoP protein,…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genome architecture and evolution of a unichromosomal asexual nematode.

Asexual reproduction in animals, though rare, is the main or exclusive mode of reproduction in some long-lived lineages. The longevity of asexual clades may be correlated with the maintenance of heterozygosity by mechanisms that rearrange genomes and reduce recombination. Asexual species thus provide an opportunity to gain insight into the relationship between molecular changes, genome architecture, and cellular processes. Here we report the genome sequence of the parthenogenetic nematode Diploscapter pachys with only one chromosome pair. We show that this unichromosomal architecture is shared by a long-lived clade of asexual nematodes closely related to the genetic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans.…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Comparative genome analysis of programmed DNA elimination in nematodes.

Programmed DNA elimination is a developmentally regulated process leading to the reproducible loss of specific genomic sequences. DNA elimination occurs in unicellular ciliates and a variety of metazoans, including invertebrates and vertebrates. In metazoa, DNA elimination typically occurs in somatic cells during early development, leaving the germline genome intact. Reference genomes for metazoa that undergo DNA elimination are not available. Here, we generated germline and somatic reference genome sequences of the DNA eliminating pig parasitic nematode Ascaris suum and the horse parasite Parascaris univalens. In addition, we carried out in-depth analyses of DNA elimination in the parasitic nematode of humans,…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Insights into adaptations to a near-obligate nematode endoparasitic lifestyle from the finished genome of Drechmeria coniospora.

Nematophagous fungi employ three distinct predatory strategies: nematode trapping, parasitism of females and eggs, and endoparasitism. While endoparasites play key roles in controlling nematode populations in nature, their application for integrated pest management is hindered by the limited understanding of their biology. We present a comparative analysis of a high quality finished genome assembly of Drechmeria coniospora, a model endoparasitic nematophagous fungus, integrated with a transcriptomic study. Adaptation of D. coniospora to its almost completely obligate endoparasitic lifestyle led to the simplification of many orthologous gene families involved in the saprophytic trophic mode, while maintaining orthologs of most known fungal…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Haemonchus contortus: genome structure, organization and comparative genomics

One of the first genome sequencing projects for a parasitic nematode was that for Haemonchus contortus. The open access data from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute provided a valuable early resource for the research community, particularly for the identification of specific genes and genetic markers. Later, a second sequencing project was initiated by the University of Melbourne, and the two draft genome sequences for H. contortus were published back-to-back in 2013. There is a pressing need for long-range genomic information for genetic mapping, population genetics and functional genomic studies, so we are continuing to improve the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute assembly…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Comparative genomic and functional analyses: unearthing the diversity and specificity of nematicidal factors in Pseudomonas putida strain 1A00316.

We isolated Pseudomonas putida (P. putida) strain 1A00316 from Antarctica. This bacterium has a high efficiency against Meloidogyne incognita (M. incognita) in vitro and under greenhouse conditions. The complete genome of P. putida 1A00316 was sequenced using PacBio single molecule real-time (SMRT) technology. A comparative genomic analysis of 16 Pseudomonas strains revealed that although P. putida 1A00316 belonged to P. putida, it was phenotypically more similar to nematicidal Pseudomonas fluorescens (P. fluorescens) strains. We characterized the diversity and specificity of nematicidal factors in P. putida 1A00316 with comparative genomics and functional analysis, and found that P. putida 1A00316 has diverse…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Evidence for an opportunistic and endophytic lifestyle of the Bursaphelenchus xylophilus-associated bacteria Serratia marcescens PWN146 isolated from wilting Pinus pinaster.

Pine wilt disease (PWD) results from the interaction of three elements: the pathogenic nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus; the insect-vector, Monochamus sp.; and the host tree, mostly Pinus species. Bacteria isolated from B. xylophilus may be a fourth element in this complex disease. However, the precise role of bacteria in this interaction is unclear as both plant-beneficial and as plant-pathogenic bacteria may be associated with PWD. Using whole genome sequencing and phenotypic characterization, we were able to investigate in more detail the genetic repertoire of Serratia marcescens PWN146, a bacterium associated with B. xylophilus. We show clear evidence that S. marcescens PWN146…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Ditylenchus destructor genome provides new insights into the evolution of plant parasitic nematodes.

Plant-parasitic nematodes were found in 4 of the 12 clades of phylum Nematoda. These nematodes in different clades may have originated independently from their free-living fungivorous ancestors. However, the exact evolutionary process of these parasites is unclear. Here, we sequenced the genome sequence of a migratory plant nematode, Ditylenchus destructor We performed comparative genomics among the free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans and all the plant nematodes with genome sequences available. We found that, compared with C. elegans, the core developmental control processes underwent heavy reduction, though most signal transduction pathways were conserved. We also found D. destructor contained more homologies of…

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