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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Recombination rate heterogeneity within Arabidopsis disease resistance genes.

Meiotic crossover frequency varies extensively along chromosomes and is typically concentrated in hotspots. As recombination increases genetic diversity, hotspots are predicted to occur at immunity genes, where variation may be beneficial. A major component of plant immunity is recognition of pathogen Avirulence (Avr) effectors by resistance (R) genes that encode NBS-LRR domain proteins. Therefore, we sought to test whether NBS-LRR genes would overlap with meiotic crossover hotspots using experimental genetics in Arabidopsis thaliana. NBS-LRR genes tend to physically cluster in plant genomes; for example, in Arabidopsis most are located in large clusters on the south arms of chromosomes 1 and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Transposons passively and actively contribute to evolution of the two-speed genome of a fungal pathogen.

Genomic plasticity enables adaptation to changing environments, which is especially relevant for pathogens that engage in “arms races” with their hosts. In many pathogens, genes mediating virulence cluster in highly variable, transposon-rich, physically distinct genomic compartments. However, understanding of the evolution of these compartments, and the role of transposons therein, remains limited. Here, we show that transposons are the major driving force for adaptive genome evolution in the fungal plant pathogen Verticillium dahliae We show that highly variable lineage-specific (LS) regions evolved by genomic rearrangements that are mediated by erroneous double-strand repair, often utilizing transposons. We furthermore show that recent…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Complete genome sequence of Spiroplasma turonicum Tab4cT, a bacterium isolated from horse flies (Haematopota sp.).

Spiroplasma turonicum Tab4c(T) was isolated from a horse fly (Haematopota sp.; probably Haematopota pluvialis) collected at Champchevrier, Indre-et-Loire, Touraine, France, in 1991. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of this bacterium to facilitate the investigation of its biology and the comparative genomics among Spiroplasma spp. Copyright © 2016 Lo et al.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Understanding the pathogenicity of Burkholderia contaminans, an emerging pathogen in cystic fibrosis.

Several bacterial species from the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) are feared opportunistic pathogens that lead to debilitating lung infections with a high risk of developing fatal septicemia in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. However, the pathogenic potential of other Bcc species is yet unknown. To elucidate clinical relevance of Burkholderia contaminans, a species frequently isolated from CF respiratory samples in Ibero-American countries, we aimed to identify its key virulence factors possibly linked with an unfavorable clinical outcome. We performed a genome-wide comparative analysis of two isolates of B. contaminans ST872 from sputum and blood culture of a female CF patient in…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Persistence of a dominant bovine lineage of group B Streptococcus reveals genomic signatures of host adaptation.

Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a host-generalist species, most notably causing disease in humans and cattle. However, the differential adaptation of GBS to its two main hosts, and the risk of animal to human infection remain poorly understood. Despite improvements in control measures across Europe, GBS is still one of the main causative agents of bovine mastitis in Portugal. Here, by whole-genome analysis of 150 bovine GBS isolates we discovered that a single CC61 clone is spreading throughout Portuguese herds since at least the early 1990s, having virtually replaced the previous GBS population. Mutations within an iron/manganese transporter were independently…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Supergene evolution triggered by the introgression of a chromosomal inversion.

Supergenes are groups of tightly linked loci whose variation is inherited as a single Mendelian locus and are a common genetic architecture for complex traits under balancing selection [1-8]. Supergene alleles are long-range haplotypes with numerous mutations underlying distinct adaptive strategies, often maintained in linkage disequilibrium through the suppression of recombination by chromosomal rearrangements [1, 5, 7-9]. However, the mechanism governing the formation of supergenes is not well understood and poses the paradox of establishing divergent functional haplotypes in the face of recombination. Here, we show that the formation of the supergene alleles encoding mimicry polymorphism in the butterfly Heliconius…

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