July 19, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics reveals the diversity of restriction-modification systems and DNA methylation sites in Listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterial pathogen that is found in a wide variety of anthropogenic and natural environments. Genome sequencing technologies are rapidly becoming a powerful tool in facilitating our understanding of how genotype, classification phenotypes, and virulence phenotypes interact to predict the health risks of individual bacterial isolates. Currently, 57 closed L. monocytogenes genomes are publicly available, representing three of the four phylogenetic lineages, and they suggest that L. monocytogenes has high genomic synteny. This study contributes an additional 15 closed L. monocytogenes genomes that were used to determine the associations between the genome and methylome with host invasion magnitude. In contrast to previous findings, large chromosomal inversions and rearrangements were detected in five isolates at the chromosome terminus and within rRNA genes, including a previously undescribed inversion within rRNA-encoding regions. Each isolate’s epigenome contained highly diverse methyltransferase recognition sites, even within the same serotype and methylation pattern. Eleven strains contained a single chromosomally encoded methyltransferase, one strain contained two methylation systems (one system on a plasmid), and three strains exhibited no methylation, despite the occurrence of methyltransferase genes. In three isolates a new, unknown DNA modification was observed in addition to diverse methylation patterns, accompanied by a novel methylation system. Neither chromosome rearrangement nor strain-specific patterns of epigenome modification observed within virulence genes were correlated with serotype designation, clonal complex, or in vitro infectivity. These data suggest that genome diversity is larger than previously considered in L. monocytogenes and that as more genomes are sequenced, additional structure and methylation novelty will be observed in this organism.Listeria monocytogenes is the causative agent of listeriosis, a disease which manifests as gastroenteritis, meningoencephalitis, and abortion. Among Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, and Listeria-causing the most prevalent foodborne illnesses-infection by L. monocytogenes carries the highest mortality rate. The ability of L. monocytogenes to regulate its response to various harsh environments enables its persistence and transmission. Small-scale comparisons of L. monocytogenes focusing solely on genome contents reveal a highly syntenic genome yet fail to address the observed diversity in phenotypic regulation. This study provides a large-scale comparison of 302 L. monocytogenes isolates, revealing the importance of the epigenome and restriction-modification systems as major determinants of L. monocytogenes phylogenetic grouping and subsequent phenotypic expression. Further examination of virulence genes of select outbreak strains reveals an unprecedented diversity in methylation statuses despite high degrees of genome conservation. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

July 7, 2019  |  

Draft genome sequence of Mentha longifolia (L.) and development of resources for mint cultivar improvement.

The genus Mentha encompasses mint species cultivated for their essential oils, which are formulated into a vast array of consumer products. Desirable oil characteristics and resistance to the fungal disease Verticillium wilt are top priorities for the mint industry. However, cultivated mints have complex polyploid genomes and are sterile. Breeding efforts, therefore, require the development of genomic resources for fertile mint species. Here, we present draft de novo genome and plastome assemblies for a wilt-resistant South African accession of Mentha longifolia (L.) Huds., a diploid species ancestral to cultivated peppermint and spearmint. The 353 Mb genome contains 35 597 predicted protein-coding genes, including 292 disease resistance gene homologs, and nine genes determining essential oil characteristics. A genetic linkage map ordered 1397 genome scaffolds on 12 pseudochromosomes. More than two million simple sequence repeats were identified, which will facilitate molecular marker development. The M. longifolia genome is a valuable resource for both metabolic engineering and molecular breeding. This is exemplified by employing the genome sequence to clone and functionally characterize the promoters in a peppermint cultivar, and demonstrating the utility of a glandular trichome-specific promoter to increase expression of a biosynthetic gene, thereby modulating essential oil composition. Copyright © 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

July 7, 2019  |  

Genome of the pitcher plant Cephalotus reveals genetic changes associated with carnivory

Carnivorous plants exploit animals as a nutritional source and have inspired long-standing questions about the origin and evolution of carnivory-related traits. To investigate the molecular bases of carnivory, we sequenced the genome of the heterophyllous pitcher plant Cephulotus folliculnris, in which we succeeded in regulating the developmental switch between carnivorous and non-carnivorous leaves. Transcriptome comparison of the two leaf types and gene repertoire analysis identi- fied genetic changes associated with prey attraction, capture, digestion and nutrient absorption. Analysis of digestive fluid proteins from C. folliculnris and three other carnivorous plants with independent carnivorous origins revealed repeated co-options of stress-responsive protein lineages coupled with convergent amino acid substitutions to acquire digestive physiology. These results imply constraints on the available routes to evolve plant carnivory.

July 7, 2019  |  

Genomic sequence of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ haplotype C and its comparison with haplotype A and B genomes.

Haplotypes A and B of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ (CLso) are associated with diseases of solanaceous plants, especially Zebra chip disease of potato, and haplotypes C, D and E are associated with symptoms on apiaceous plants. To date, one complete genome of haplotype B and two high quality draft genomes of haplotype A have been obtained for these unculturable bacteria using metagenomics from the psyllid vector Bactericera cockerelli. Here, we present the first genomic sequences obtained for the carrot-associated CLso. These two genomic sequences of haplotype C, FIN114 (1.24 Mbp) and FIN111 (1.20 Mbp), were obtained from carrot psyllids (Trioza apicalis) harboring CLso. Genomic comparisons between the haplotypes A, B and C revealed that the genome organization differs between these haplotypes, due to large inversions and other recombinations. Comparison of protein-coding genes indicated that the core genome of CLso consists of 885 ortholog groups, with the pan-genome consisting of 1327 ortholog groups. Twenty-seven ortholog groups are unique to CLso haplotype C, whilst 11 ortholog groups shared by the haplotypes A and B, are not found in the haplotype C. Some of these ortholog groups that are not part of the core genome may encode functions related to interactions with the different host plant and psyllid species.

July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Acinetobacter sp. strain NCu2D-2 isolated from a mouse.

Whole-genome sequencing of Acinetobacter sp. strain NCu2D-2, isolated from the trachea of a mouse, revealed the presence of a plasmid of 309,964 bp with little overall similarity to known plasmids and enriched in insertion sequences (ISs) closely related to IS elements known from the nosocomial pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii. Copyright © 2017 Blaschke and Wilharm.

July 7, 2019  |  

Identification of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 DNA methyltransferase, its targets, and physiological roles.

DNA methylation is widespread among prokaryotes, and most DNA methylation reactions are catalyzed by adenine DNA methyltransferases, which are part of restriction-modification (R-M) systems. R-M systems are known for their role in the defense against foreign DNA; however, DNA methyltransferases also play functional roles in gene regulation. In this study, we used single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing to uncover the genome-wide DNA methylation pattern in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. We identified a conserved sequence motif targeted by an adenine methyltransferase of a type I R-M system and quantified the presence of N(6)-methyladenine using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Changes in the PAO1 methylation status were dependent on growth conditions and affected P. aeruginosa pathogenicity in a Galleria mellonella infection model. Furthermore, we found that methylated motifs in promoter regions led to shifts in sense and antisense gene expression, emphasizing the role of enzymatic DNA methylation as an epigenetic control of phenotypic traits in P. aeruginosa Since the DNA methylation enzymes are not encoded in the core genome, our findings illustrate how the acquisition of accessory genes can shape the global P. aeruginosa transcriptome and thus may facilitate adaptation to new and challenging habitats.IMPORTANCE With the introduction of advanced technologies, epigenetic regulation by DNA methyltransferases in bacteria has become a subject of intense studies. Here we identified an adenosine DNA methyltransferase in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1, which is responsible for DNA methylation of a conserved sequence motif. The methylation level of all target sequences throughout the PAO1 genome was approximated to be in the range of 65 to 85% and was dependent on growth conditions. Inactivation of the methyltransferase revealed an attenuated-virulence phenotype in the Galleria mellonella infection model. Furthermore, differential expression of more than 90 genes was detected, including the small regulatory RNA prrF1, which contributes to a global iron-sparing response via the repression of a set of gene targets. Our finding of a methylation-dependent repression of the antisense transcript of the prrF1 small regulatory RNA significantly expands our understanding of the regulatory mechanisms underlying active DNA methylation in bacteria. Copyright © 2017 Doberenz et al.

July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of the gamma-aminobutyric acid-producing strain Streptococcus thermophilus APC151.

Here is presented the whole-genome sequence of Streptococcus thermophilus APC151, isolated from a marine fish. This bacterium produces gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in high yields and is biotechnologically suitable to produce naturally GABA-enriched biofunctional yogurt. Its complete genome comprises 2,097 genes and 1,839,134 nucleotides, with an average G+C content of 39.1%. Copyright © 2017 Linares et al.

July 7, 2019  |  

Evolutionary origin of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec).

Several lines of evidence indicate that the most primitive staphylococcal species, those of the Staphylococcus sciuri group, were involved in the first stages of evolution of the staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec), the genetic element carrying the ß-lactam resistance gene mecA However, many steps are still missing from this evolutionary history. In particular, it is not known how mecA was incorporated into the mobile element SCC prior to dissemination among Staphylococcus aureus and other pathogenic staphylococcal species. To gain insights into the possible contribution of several species of the Staphylococcus sciuri group to the assembly of SCCmec, we sequenced the genomes of 106 isolates, comprising S. sciuri (n = 76), Staphylococcus vitulinus (n = 18), and Staphylococcus fleurettii (n = 12) from animal and human sources, and characterized the native location of mecA and the SCC insertion site by using a variety of comparative genomic approaches. Moreover, we performed a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis of the genomes in order to understand SCCmec evolution in relation to phylogeny. We found that each of three species of the S. sciuri group contributed to the evolution of SCCmec: S. vitulinus and S. fleurettii contributed to the assembly of the mec complex, and S. sciuri most likely provided the mobile element in which mecA was later incorporated. We hypothesize that an ancestral SCCmec III cassette (an element carried by one of the most epidemic methicillin-resistant S. aureus clones) originated in S. sciuri possibly by a recombination event in a human host or a human-created environment and later was transferred to S. aureus. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

July 7, 2019  |  

Assembly of the draft genome of buckwheat and its applications in identifying agronomically useful genes.

Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench; 2n = 2x = 16) is a nutritionally dense annual crop widely grown in temperate zones. To accelerate molecular breeding programmes of this important crop, we generated a draft assembly of the buckwheat genome using short reads obtained by next-generation sequencing (NGS), and constructed the Buckwheat Genome DataBase. After assembling short reads, we determined 387,594 scaffolds as the draft genome sequence (FES_r1.0). The total length of FES_r1.0 was 1,177,687,305 bp, and the N50 of the scaffolds was 25,109 bp. Gene prediction analysis revealed 286,768 coding sequences (CDSs; FES_r1.0_cds) including those related to transposable elements. The total length of FES_r1.0_cds was 212,917,911 bp, and the N50 was 1,101 bp. Of these, the functions of 35,816 CDSs excluding those for transposable elements were annotated by BLAST analysis. To demonstrate the utility of the database, we conducted several test analyses using BLAST and keyword searches. Furthermore, we used the draft genome as a reference sequence for NGS-based markers, and successfully identified novel candidate genes controlling heteromorphic self-incompatibility of buckwheat. The database and draft genome sequence provide a valuable resource that can be used in efforts to develop buckwheat cultivars with superior agronomic traits.© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute.

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