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December 1, 2017

Morphological and genetic analyses of the invasive forest pathogen Phytophthora austrocedri reveal two clonal lineages colonised Britain and Argentina from a common ancestral population.

Phytophthora austrocedri is causing widespread mortality of Austrocedrus chilensis in Argentina and Juniperus communis in Britain. The pathogen has also been isolated from J. horizontalis in Germany. Isolates from Britain, Argentina and Germany are homothallic with no clear differences in the dimensions of sporangia, oogonia or oospores. Argentinian and German isolates grew faster than British isolates across a range of media and had a higher temperature tolerance although most isolates regardless of origin grew best at 15°C and all isolates were killed at 25°C. Argentinian and British isolates caused lesions on both hosts when inoculated onto A. chilensis and J.…

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January 6, 2016

In planta comparative transcriptomics of host-adapted strains of Ralstonia solanacearum.

Background. Ralstonia solanacearum is an economically important plant pathogen with an unusually large host range. The Moko (banana) and NPB (not pathogenic to banana) strain groups are closely related but are adapted to distinct hosts. Previous comparative genomics studies uncovered very few differences that could account for the host range difference between these pathotypes. To better understand the basis of this host specificity, we used RNAseq to profile the transcriptomes of an R. solanacearum Moko strain and an NPB strain under in vitro and in planta conditions. Results. RNAs were sequenced from bacteria grown in rich and minimal media, and from…

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August 1, 2015

BreakSeek: a breakpoint-based algorithm for full spectral range INDEL detection.

Although recent developed algorithms have integrated multiple signals to improve sensitivity for insertion and deletion (INDEL) detection, they are far from being perfect and still have great limitations in detecting a full size range of INDELs. Here we present BreakSeek, a novel breakpoint-based algorithm, which can unbiasedly and efficiently detect both homozygous and heterozygous INDELs, ranging from several base pairs to over thousands of base pairs, with accurate breakpoint and heterozygosity rate estimations. Comprehensive evaluations on both simulated and real datasets revealed that BreakSeek outperformed other existing methods on both sensitivity and specificity in detecting both small and large INDELs,…

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July 1, 2015

Novel katG mutations causing isoniazid resistance in clinical M. tuberculosis isolates.

We report the discovery and confirmation of 23 novel mutations with previously undocumented role in isoniazid (INH) drug resistance, in catalase-peroxidase (katG) gene of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) isolates. With these mutations, a synonymous mutation in fabG1 (g609a), and two canonical mutations, we were able to explain 98% of the phenotypic resistance observed in 366 clinical Mtb isolates collected from four high tuberculosis (TB)-burden countries: India, Moldova, Philippines, and South Africa. We conducted overlapping targeted and whole-genome sequencing for variant discovery in all clinical isolates with a variety of INH-resistant phenotypes. Our analysis showed that just two canonical mutations (katG 315AGC-ACC…

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August 1, 2014

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…

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August 27, 2013

Mutation in the C-di-AMP cyclase dacA affects fitness and resistance of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Faster growing and more virulent strains of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are increasingly displacing highly resistant MRSA. Elevated fitness in these MRSA is often accompanied by decreased and heterogeneous levels of methicillin resistance; however, the mechanisms for this phenomenon are not yet fully understood. Whole genome sequencing was used to investigate the genetic basis of this apparent correlation, in an isogenic MRSA strain pair that differed in methicillin resistance levels and fitness, with respect to growth rate. Sequencing revealed only one single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the diadenylate cyclase gene dacA in the faster growing but less resistant strain.…

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