April 21, 2020  |  

A megaplasmid family responsible for dissemination of multidrug resistance in Pseudomonas

Multidrug resistance (MDR) represents a global threat to health. Although plasmids can play an important role in the dissemination of MDR, they have not been commonly linked to the emergence of antimicrobial resistance in the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We used whole genome sequencing to characterize a collection of P. aeruginosa clinical isolates from a hospital in Thailand. Using long-read sequence data we obtained complete sequences of two closely related megaplasmids (>420 kb) carrying large arrays of antibiotic resistance genes located in discrete, complex and dynamic resistance regions, and revealing evidence of extensive duplication and recombination events. A comprehensive pangenomic and phylogenomic analysis indicated that 1) these large plasmids comprise a family present in different members of the Pseudomonas genus and associated with multiple sources (geographical, clinical or environmental); 2) the megaplasmids encode diverse niche-adaptive accessory traits, including multidrug resistance; 3) the pangenome of the megaplasmid family is highly flexible and diverse, comprising a substantial core genome (average of 48% of plasmid genes), but with individual members carrying large numbers of unique genes. The history of the megaplasmid family, inferred from our analysis of the available database, suggests that members carrying multiple resistance genes date back to at least the 1970s.


April 21, 2020  |  

Multiple Long-read Sequencing Survey of Herpes Simplex Virus Lytic Transcriptome

Long-read sequencing (LRS) has become increasingly important in RNA research due to its strength in resolving complex transcriptomic architectures. In this regard, currently two LRS platforms have demonstrated adequate performance: the Single Molecule Real-Time Sequencing by Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) and the nanopore sequencing by Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT). Even though these techniques produce lower coverage and are more error prone than short-read sequencing, they continue to be more successful in identifying transcript isoforms including polycistronic and multi-spliced RNA molecules, as well as transcript overlaps. Recent reports have successfully applied LRS for the investigation of the transcriptome of viruses belonging to various families. These studies have substantially increased the number of previously known viral RNA molecules. In this work, we used the Sequel and MinION technique from PacBio and ONT, respectively, to characterize the lytic transcriptome of the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). In most samples, we analyzed the poly(A) fraction of the transcriptome, but we also performed random oligonucleotide-based sequencing. Besides cDNA sequencing, we also carried out native RNA sequencing. Our investigations identified more than 160 previously undetected transcripts, including coding and non-coding RNAs, multi-splice transcripts, as well as polycistronic and complex transcripts. Furthermore, we determined previously unsubstantiated transcriptional start sites, polyadenylation sites, and splice sites. A large number of novel transcriptional overlaps were also detected. Random-primed sequencing revealed that each convergent gene pair produces non-polyadenylated read-through RNAs overlapping the partner genes. Furthermore, we identified novel replication-associated transcripts overlapping the HSV-1 replication origins, and novel LAT variants with very long 5’ regions, which are co-terminal with the LAT-0.7kb transcript. Overall, our results demonstrated that the HSV-1 transcripts form an extremely complex pattern of overlaps, and that entire viral genome is transcriptionally active. In most viral genes, if not in all, both DNA strands are expressed.


April 21, 2020  |  

Exceptional subgenome stability and functional divergence in allotetraploid teff, the primary cereal crop in Ethiopia

Teff (Eragrostis tef) is a cornerstone of food security in the Horn of Africa, where it is prized for stress resilience, grain nutrition, and market value. Despite its overall importance to small-scale farmers and communities in Africa, teff suffers from low production compared to other cereals because of limited intensive selection and molecular breeding. Here we report a chromosome-scale genome assembly of allotetraploid teff (variety textquoteleftDabbitextquoteright) and patterns of subgenome dynamics. The teff genome contains two complete sets of homoeologous chromosomes, with most genes maintained as syntenic gene pairs. Through analyzing the history of transposable element activity, we estimate the teff polyploidy event occurred ~1.1 million years ago (mya) and the two subgenomes diverged ~5.0 mya. Despite this divergence, we detected no large-scale structural rearrangements, homoeologous exchanges, or bias gene loss, contrasting most other allopolyploid plant systems. The exceptional subgenome stability observed in teff may enable the ubiquitous and recurrent polyploidy within Chloridoideae, possibly contributing to the increased resilience and diversification of these grasses. The two teff subgenomes have partitioned their ancestral functions based on divergent expression patterns among homoeologous gene pairs across a diverse expression atlas. The most striking differences in homoeolog expression bias are observed during seed development and under abiotic stress, and thus may be related to agronomic traits. Together these genomic resources will be useful for accelerating breeding efforts of this underutilized grain crop and for acquiring fundamental insights into polyploid genome evolution.


April 21, 2020  |  

Emergence of plasmid-mediated high-level tigecycline resistance genes in animals and humans.

Tigecycline is a last-resort antibiotic that is used to treat severe infections caused by extensively drug-resistant bacteria. tet(X) has been shown to encode a flavin-dependent monooxygenase that modifies tigecycline1,2. Here, we report two unique mobile tigecycline-resistance genes, tet(X3) and tet(X4), in numerous Enterobacteriaceae and Acinetobacter that were isolated from animals, meat for consumption and humans. Tet(X3) and Tet(X4) inactivate all tetracyclines, including tigecycline and the newly FDA-approved eravacycline and omadacycline. Both tet(X3) and tet(X4) increase (by 64-128-fold) the tigecycline minimal inhibitory concentration values for Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Acinetobacter baumannii. In addition, both Tet(X3) (A. baumannii) and Tet(X4) (E. coli) significantly compromise tigecycline in in vivo infection models. Both tet(X3) and tet(X4) are adjacent to insertion sequence ISVsa3 on their respective conjugative plasmids and confer a mild fitness cost (relative fitness of >0.704). Database mining and retrospective screening analyses confirm that tet(X3) and tet(X4) are globally present in clinical bacteria-even in the same bacteria as blaNDM-1, resulting in resistance to both tigecycline and carbapenems. Our findings suggest that both the surveillance of tet(X) variants in clinical and animal sectors and the use of tetracyclines in food production require urgent global attention.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete genome sequences of pooled genomic DNA from 10 marine bacteria using PacBio long-read sequencing.

High-quality, completed genomes are important to understand the functions of marine bacteria. PacBio sequencing technology provides a powerful way to obtain high-quality completed genomes. However individual library production is currently still costly, limiting the utility of the PacBio system for high-throughput genomics. Here we investigate how to generate high-quality genomes from pooled marine bacterial genomes.Pooled genomic DNA from 10 marine bacteria were subjected to a single library production and sequenced with eight SMRT cells on the PacBio RS II sequencing platform. In total, 7.35 Gbp of long-read data was generated, which is equivalent to an approximate 168× average coverage for the input genomes. Genome assembly showed that eight genomes with average nucleotide identities (ANI) lower than 91.4% can be assembled with high-quality and completion using standard assembly algorithms (e.g. HGAP or Canu). A reference-based reads phasing step was developed and incorporated to assemble the complete genomes of the remaining two marine bacteria that had an ANI?>?97% and whose initial assemblies were highly fragmented.Ten complete high-quality genomes of marine bacteria were generated. The findings and developments made here, including the reference-based read phasing approach for the assembly of highly similar genomes, can be used in the future to design strategies to sequence pooled genomes using long-read sequencing.Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier B.V.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete genome sequence of Pseudoalteromonas sp. MEBiC 03485, isolated from deep-sea sediment

Pseudoalteromonas strains are widely distributed in the marine environment and most have attracted considerable interest owing to their ability to synthesize biologically active metabolites. In this study, we report and describe the genome sequence of Pseudoalteromonas sp. MEBiC 03485, isolated from the deep-sea sediment of Pacific Ocean at a depth of 2000?m. The complete genome consisted of three contigs with a total genome size of 4,167,407?bp and a GC content of 40.76?l%, and was predicted to contain 4194 protein-coding genes and 131 non-coding RNA genes. The strain MEBiC 03485 genome was also shown to contain genes for diverse metabolic pathways. Genome analysis revealed that the genome of strain MEBiC 03485 was enriched with genes involved in signal transduction, mobile elements, and cold-adaptation, some of which might improve ecological fitness in the deep-sea environment. These findings improve our understanding of microbial adaptation strategies in deep-sea environments.


April 21, 2020  |  

Variation in genome content and predatory phenotypes between Bdellovibrio sp. NC01 isolated from soil and B. bacteriovorus type strain HD100

The range of naturally occurring variation in the ability of Bdellovibrio strains to attack and kill Gram-negative bacteria is not well understood. Defining phenotypic and associated genotypic variation among Bdellovibrio may further our understanding of how this genus impacts microbial communities. In addition, comparisons of the predatory phenotypes of divergent strains may inform the development of Bdellovibrio as biocontrol agents to combat bacterial infections. We isolated Bdellovibrio sp. NC01 from soil and compared its genome and predatory phenotypes to B. bacteriovorus type strain HD100. Based on analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences and average amino acid identity, NC01 belongs to a different species than HD100. Genome-wide comparisons and individual gene analyses indicated that eight NC01 genome regions were likely acquired by horizontal gene transfer (HGT), further supporting an important role for HGT in Bdellovibrio genome evolution. Within these regions, multiple protein-coding sequences were assigned predicted functions related to transcriptional regulation and transport; however, most were annotated as hypothetical proteins. Compared to HD100, NC01 has a limited prey range and kills E. coli ML35 less efficiently. Whereas HD100 drastically reduces the ML35 population and then maintains low prey population density, NC01 causes a smaller reduction in ML35, after which the prey population recovers, accompanied by a decrease in NC01. In addition, NC01 forms turbid plaques on lawns of E. coli ML35, in contrast to clear plaques formed by HD100. Characterizing variation in interactions between Bdellovibrio and Gram-negative bacteria, such as observed with NC01 and HD100, is valuable for understanding the ecological significance of predatory bacteria and evaluating their effectiveness in clinical applications.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genome rearrangements induce biofilm formation in Escherichia coli C, an old model organism with a new application in biofilm research

Escherichia coli C forms more robust biofilms than the other laboratory strains. Biofilm formation and cell aggregation under a high shear force depends on temperature and salt concentrations. It is the last of five E. coli strains (C, K12, B, W, Crooks) designated as safe for laboratory purposes whose genome has not been sequenced. Here we present the complete genomic sequence of this strain in which we utilized both long-read PacBio-based sequencing and high resolution optical mapping to confirm a large inversion in comparison to the other laboratory strains. Notably, DNA sequence comparison revealed the absence of several genes thought to be involved in biofilm formation, including antigen 43, waaSBOJYZUL for LPS synthesis, and cpsB for curli synthesis. The first main difference we identified that likely affects biofilm formation is the presence of an IS3-like insertion sequence in front of the carbon storage regulator csrA gene. This insertion is located 86 bp upstream of the csrA start codon inside the -35 region of P4 promoter and blocks the transcription from the sigma32 and sigma70 promoters P1-P3 located further upstream. The second is the presence of an IS5/IS1182 in front of the csgD gene, which may drive its overexpression in biofilm. And finally, E. coli C encodes an additional sigma70 subunit overexpressed in biofilm and driven by the same IS3-like insertion sequence. Promoter analyses using GFP gene fusions and total expression profiles using RNA-seq analyses comparing planktonic and biofilm envirovars provided insights into understanding this regulatory pathway in E. coli.


April 21, 2020  |  

Haplotype-phased genome assembly of virulent Phythophthora ramorum isolate ND886 facilitated by long-read sequencing reveals effector polymorphisms and copy number variation.

Phytophthora ramorum is a destructive pathogen that causes Sudden Oak Death. The genome sequence of P. ramorum isolate Pr102 was previously produced using Sanger reads, and contained 12 Mb of gaps. However, isolate Pr102 had shown reduced aggressiveness and genome abnormalities. In order to produce an improved genome assembly for P. ramorum, we performed long read sequencing of highly aggressive P. ramorum isolate CDFA1418886 (abbreviated as ND886). We generated a 60.5 Mb assembly of the ND886 genome using the Pacific Biosciences sequencing platform. The assembly includes 302 primary contigs (60.2 Mb) and 9 unplaced contigs (265 Kb). Additionally, we found a “Highly repetitive” component from the Pacbio unassembled unmapped reads containing tandem repeats that are not part of the 60.5 Mb genome. The overall repeat content in the primary assembly was much higher than the Pr102 Sanger version (48% vs. 29%) indicating that the long reads have captured repetitive regions effectively. The 302 primary contigs were phased into 345 haplotype blocks and 222,892 phased variants, of which the longest phased block was 1,513,201 bp with 7,265 phased variants. The improved phased assembly facilitated identification of 21 and 25 Crinkler effectors and 393 and 394 RXLR effector genes from two haplotypes. Of these, 24 and 25 RXLR effectors were newly predicted from Haplotype A and Haplotype B, respectively. In addition, 7 new paralogs of effector Avh207 were found in contig 54, not reported earlier. Comparison of the ND886 assembly with Pr102 V1 assembly suggests that several repeat-rich smaller scaffolds within the Pr102 V1 assembly were possibly misassembled; these regions are fully encompassed now in ND886 contigs. Our analysis further reveals that Pr102 is a heterokaryon with multiple nuclear types in the sequences corresponding to contig 10 of ND886 assembly.


April 21, 2020  |  

CRISPR/Cas9-targeted enrichment and long-read sequencing of the Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy-associated TCF4 triplet repeat.

To demonstrate the utility of an amplification-free long-read sequencing method to characterize the Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD)-associated intronic TCF4 triplet repeat (CTG18.1).We applied an amplification-free method, utilizing the CRISPR/Cas9 system, in combination with PacBio single-molecule real-time (SMRT) long-read sequencing, to study CTG18.1. FECD patient samples displaying a diverse range of CTG18.1 allele lengths and zygosity status (n?=?11) were analyzed. A robust data analysis pipeline was developed to effectively filter, align, and interrogate CTG18.1-specific reads. All results were compared with conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based fragment analysis.CRISPR-guided SMRT sequencing of CTG18.1 provided accurate genotyping information for all samples and phasing was possible for 18/22 alleles sequenced. Repeat length instability was observed for all expanded (=50 repeats) phased CTG18.1 alleles analyzed. Furthermore, higher levels of repeat instability were associated with increased CTG18.1 allele length (mode length =91 repeats) indicating that expanded alleles behave dynamically.CRISPR-guided SMRT sequencing of CTG18.1 has revealed novel insights into CTG18.1 length instability. Furthermore, this study provides a framework to improve the molecular diagnostic accuracy for CTG18.1-mediated FECD, which we anticipate will become increasingly important as gene-directed therapies are developed for this common age-related and sight threatening disease.


April 21, 2020  |  

A comprehensive evaluation of long read error correction methods

Motivation: Third-generation sequencing technologies can sequence long reads, which is advancing the frontiers of genomics research. However, their high error rates prohibit accurate and efficient downstream analysis. This difficulty has motivated the development of many long read error correction tools, which tackle this problem through sampling redundancy and/or leveraging accurate short reads of the same biological samples. Existing studies to asses these tools use simulated data sets, and are not sufficiently comprehensive in the range of software covered or diversity of evaluation measures used. Results: In this paper, we present a categorization and review of long read error correction methods, and provide a comprehensive evaluation of the corresponding long read error correction tools. Leveraging recent real sequencing data, we establish benchmark data sets and set up evaluation criteria for a comparative assessment which includes quality of error correction as well as run-time and memory usage. We study how trimming and long read sequencing depth affect error correction in terms of length distribution and genome coverage post-correction, and the impact of error correction performance on an important application of long reads, genome assembly. We provide guidelines for practitioners for choosing among the available error correction tools and identify directions for future research.


April 21, 2020  |  

Fam83F induces p53 stabilisation and promotes its activity.

p53 is one of the most important tumour suppressor proteins currently known. It is activated in response to DNA damage and this activation leads to proliferation arrest and cell death. The abundance and activity of p53 are tightly controlled and reductions in p53’s activity can contribute to the development of cancer. Here, we show that Fam83F increases p53 protein levels by protein stabilisation. Fam83F interacts with p53 and decreases its ubiquitination and degradation. Fam83F is induced in response to DNA damage and its overexpression also increases p53 activity in cell culture experiments and in zebrafish embryos. Downregulation of Fam83F decreases transcription of p53 target genes in response to DNA damage and increases cell proliferation, identifying Fam83F as an important regulator of the DNA damage response. Overexpression of Fam83F also enhances migration of cells harbouring mutant p53 demonstrating that it can also activate mutant forms of p53.


April 21, 2020  |  

Combinations of Spok genes create multiple meiotic drivers in Podospora.

Meiotic drive is the preferential transmission of a particular allele during sexual reproduction. The phenomenon is observed as spore killing in multiple fungi. In natural populations of Podospora anserina, seven spore killer types (Psks) have been identified through classical genetic analyses. Here we show that the Spok gene family underlies the Psks. The combination of Spok genes at different chromosomal locations defines the spore killer types and creates a killing hierarchy within a population. We identify two novel Spok homologs located within a large (74-167 kbp) region (the Spok block) that resides in different chromosomal locations in different strains. We confirm that the SPOK protein performs both killing and resistance functions and show that these activities are dependent on distinct domains, a predicted nuclease and kinase domain. Genomic and phylogenetic analyses across ascomycetes suggest that the Spok genes disperse through cross-species transfer, and evolve by duplication and diversification within lineages. © 2019, Vogan et al.


April 21, 2020  |  

The genomes of polyextremophilic Cyanidiales contain 1% horizontally transferred genes with diverse adaptive functions.

The role and extent of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in eukaryotes are hotly disputed topics that impact our understanding of the origin of metabolic processes and the role of organelles in cellular evolution. We addressed this issue by analyzing 10 novel Cyanidiales genomes and determined that 1% of their gene inventory is HGT-derived. Numerous HGT candidates share a close phylogenetic relationship with prokaryotes that live in similar habitats as the Cyanidiales and encode functions related to polyextremophily. HGT candidates differ from native genes in GC-content, number of splice sites, and gene expression. HGT candidates are more prone to loss, which may explain the absence of a eukaryotic pan-genome. Therefore, the lack of a pan-genome and cumulative effects fail to provide substantive arguments against our hypothesis of recurring HGT followed by differential loss in eukaryotes. The maintenance of 1% HGTs, even under selection for genome reduction, underlines the importance of non-endosymbiosis related foreign gene acquisition. © 2019, Rossoni et al.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete Genome Sequence of a Parabacteroides distasonis Strain (CavFT hAR46) Isolated from a Gut Wall-Cavitating Microlesion in a Patient with Severe Crohn’s Disease.

Crohn’s disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) of the digestive tract in humans. There is evidence that Parabacteroides distasonis could contribute to IBD. Here, we present the complete genome sequence of a strain designated CavFT-hAR46, which was isolated from a gut intramural cavernous fistulous tract (CavFT) microlesion in a CD patient.Copyright © 2019 Yang et al.


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