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July 19, 2018

Comparison between complete genomes of an isolate of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae from Japan and a New Zealand isolate of the pandemic.

The modern pandemic of the bacterial kiwifruit pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv actinidiae (Psa) is caused by a particular Psa lineage. To better understand the genetic basis of the virulence of this lineage, we compare the completely assembled genome of a pandemic New Zealand strain with that of the Psa type strain first isolated in Japan in 1983. Aligning the two genomes shows numerous translocations, constrained so as to retain the appropriate orientation of the Architecture Imparting Sequences (AIMs). There are several large horizontally acquired regions, some of which include Type I, Type II or Type III restriction systems. The activity…

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May 1, 2018

The highly heterogeneous methylated genomes and diverse restriction-modification systems of bloom-forming Microcystis.

The occurrence of harmful Microcystis blooms is increasing in frequency in a myriad of freshwater ecosystems. Despite considerable research pertaining to the cause and nature of these blooms, the molecular mechanisms behind the cosmopolitan distribution and phenotypic diversity in Microcystis are still unclear. We compared the patterns and extent of DNA methylation in three strains of Microcystis, PCC 7806SL, NIES-2549 and FACHB-1757, using Single Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing technology. Intact restriction-modification (R-M) systems were identified from the genomes of these strains, and from two previously sequenced strains of Microcystis, NIES-843 and TAIHU98. A large number of methylation motifs and R-M…

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November 25, 2017

Methods for genome-wide methylome profiling of Campylobacter jejuni.

Methylation has a profound role in the regulation of numerous biological processes in bacteria including virulence. The study of methylation in bacteria has greatly advanced thanks to next-generation sequencing technologies. These technologies have expedited the process of uncovering unique features of many bacterial methylomes such as characterizing previously uncharacterized methyltransferases, cataloging genome-wide DNA methylations in bacteria, identifying the frequency of methylation at particular genomic loci, and revealing regulatory roles of methylation in the biology of various bacterial species. For instance, methylation has been cited as a potential source for the pathogenicity differences observed in C. jejuni strains with syntenic genomes…

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September 10, 2017

Genomics of Helicobacter pylori

As Helicobacter pylori infects half the world's population and displays an extensive intraspecies diversity, genomics is a powerful tool to understand evolution and disease, to identify factors that confer higher risk of severe sequelae, and to find new approaches for therapy both among bacterial and host targets. In line with these objectives, this review article summarizes the major findings in Helicobacter genomics in papers published between April 2016 and March 2017.

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September 1, 2017

The third restriction-modification system from Thermus aquaticus YT-1: solving the riddle of two TaqII specificities.

Two restriction-modification systems have been previously discovered in Thermus aquaticus YT-1. TaqI is a 263-amino acid (aa) Type IIP restriction enzyme that recognizes and cleaves within the symmetric sequence 5'-TCGA-3'. TaqII, in contrast, is a 1105-aa Type IIC restriction-and-modification enzyme, one of a family of Thermus homologs. TaqII was originally reported to recognize two different asymmetric sequences: 5'-GACCGA-3' and 5'-CACCCA-3'. We previously cloned the taqIIRM gene, purified the recombinant protein from Escherichia coli, and showed that TaqII recognizes the 5'-GACCGA-3' sequence only. Here, we report the discovery, isolation, and characterization of TaqIII, the third R-M system from T. aquaticus YT-1.…

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July 17, 2017

Phase-variable methylation and epigenetic regulation by type I restriction-modification systems.

Epigenetic modifications in bacteria, such as DNA methylation, have been shown to affect gene regulation, thereby generating cells that are isogenic but with distinctly different phenotypes. Restriction-modification (RM) systems contain prototypic methylases that are responsible for much of bacterial DNA methylation. This review focuses on a distinctive group of type I RM loci that , through phase variation, can modify their methylation target specificity and can thereby switch bacteria between alternative patterns of DNA methylation. Phase variation occurs at the level of the target recognition domains of the hsdS (specificity) gene via reversible recombination processes acting upon multiple hsdS alleles.…

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June 9, 2017

Clostridium chauvoei, an evolutionary dead-end pathogen.

Full genome sequences of 20 strains of Clostridium chauvoei, the etiological agent of blackleg of cattle and sheep, isolated from four different continents over a period of 64 years (1951-2015) were determined and analyzed. The study reveals that the genome of the species C. chauvoei is highly homogeneous compared to the closely related species C. perfringens, a widespread pathogen that affects human and many animal species. Analysis of the CRISPR locus is sufficient to differentiate most C. chauvoei strains and is the most heterogenous region in the genome, containing in total 187 different spacer elements that are distributed as 30…

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May 1, 2017

Efficient genome editing of a facultative thermophile using mesophilic spCas9.

Well-developed genetic tools for thermophilic microorganisms are scarce, despite their industrial and scientific relevance. Whereas highly efficient CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing is on the rise in prokaryotes, it has never been employed in a thermophile. Here, we apply Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 (spCas9)-based genome editing to a moderate thermophile, i.e., Bacillus smithii, including a gene deletion, gene knockout via insertion of premature stop codons, and gene insertion. We show that spCas9 is inactive in vivo above 42 °C, and we employ the wide temperature growth range of B. smithii as an induction system for spCas9 expression. Homologous recombination with plasmid-borne editing templates…

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February 9, 2017

DNA target recognition domains in the Type I restriction and modification systems of Staphylococcus aureus.

Staphylococcus aureus displays a clonal population structure in which horizontal gene transfer between different lineages is extremely rare. This is due, in part, to the presence of a Type I DNA restriction–modification (RM) system given the generic name of Sau1, which maintains different patterns of methylation on specific target sequences on the genomes of different lineages. We have determined the target sequences recognized by the Sau1 Type I RM systems present in a wide range of the most prevalent S. aureus lineages and assigned the sequences recognized to particular target recognition domains within the RM enzymes. We used a range…

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November 10, 2016

Complete genome sequence of Brevibacterium linens SMQ-1335.

Brevibacterium linens is one of the main bacteria found in the smear of surface-ripened cheeses. The genome of the industrial strain SMQ-1335 was sequenced using PacBio. It has 4,209,935 bp, a 62.6% G+C content, 3,848 open reading frames, and 61 structural RNAs. A new type I restriction-modification system was identified. Copyright © 2016 de Melo et al.

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November 2, 2016

Novel m4C modification in type I restriction-modification systems.

We identify a new subgroup of Type I Restriction-Modification enzymes that modify cytosine in one DNA strand and adenine in the opposite strand for host protection. Recognition specificity has been determined for ten systems using SMRT sequencing and each recognizes a novel DNA sequence motif. Previously characterized Type I systems use two identical copies of a single methyltransferase (MTase) subunit, with one bound at each half site of the specificity (S) subunit to form the MTase. The new m4C-producing Type I systems we describe have two separate yet highly similar MTase subunits that form a heterodimeric M1M2S MTase. The MTase…

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October 1, 2016

A roadmap for gene system development in Clostridium.

Clostridium species are both heroes and villains. Some cause serious human and animal diseases, those present in the gut microbiota generally contribute to health and wellbeing, while others represent useful industrial chassis for the production of chemicals and fuels. To understand, counter or exploit, there is a fundamental requirement for effective systems that may be used for directed or random genome modifications. We have formulated a simple roadmap whereby the necessary gene systems maybe developed and deployed. At its heart is the use of 'pseudo-suicide' vectors and the creation of a pyrE mutant (a uracil auxotroph), initially aided by ClosTron…

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September 30, 2016

Novel methyltransferase recognition motif identified in Chania multitudinisentens RB-25(T) gen. nov., sp. nov.

DNA methylation, defined by the addition of a methyl group to adenine or cytosine bases in DNA catalyzed by DNA methyltransferases (MTases), is one of the most studied post-replicative DNA modification mechanism in bacteria (Roberts et al., 2003b). The three forms of nucleotide methylation identified to date are: N6-methyladenine(m6A), N4-methylcytosine (m4C), and 5-methylcytosine (m5C) (Gromova and Khoroshaev, 2003).

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August 20, 2016

Finished genome sequence and methylome of the cyanide-degrading Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes strain CECT5344 as resolved by single-molecule real-time sequencing.

Pseudomonas pseudoalcaligenes CECT5344 tolerates cyanide and is also able to utilize cyanide and cyano-derivatives as a nitrogen source under alkaline conditions. The strain is considered as candidate for bioremediation of habitats contaminated with cyanide-containing liquid wastes. Information on the genome sequence of the strain CECT5344 became available previously. The P. pseudoalcaligenes CECT5344 genome was now resequenced by applying the single molecule, real-time (SMRT(®)) sequencing technique developed by Pacific Biosciences. The complete and finished genome sequence of the strain consists of a 4,696,984 bp chromosome featuring a GC-content of 62.34%. Comparative analyses between the new and previous versions of the P.…

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