June 1, 2021  |  

High-quality, highly contiguous re-assembly of the pig genome

Many applications of high throughput sequencing rely on the availability of an accurate reference genome. Errors in the reference genome assembly increase the number of false-positives in downstream analyses. Recently, we have shown that over 33% of the current pig reference genome, Sscrofa10.2, is either misassembled or otherwise unreliable for genomic analyses. Additionally, ~10% of the bases in the assembly are Ns in gaps of an arbitrary size. Thousands of highly fragmented contigs remain unplaced and many genes are known to be missing from the assembly. Here we present a new assembly of the pig genome, Sscrofa11, assembled using 65X PacBio sequencing from T.J. Tabasco, the same Duroc sow used in the assembly of Sscrofa10.2. The PacBio reads were assembled using the Falcon assembly pipeline resulting in 3,206 contigs with an initial contig N50 of 14.5Mb. We used Sscrofa10.2 as a template to scaffold the PacBio contigs, under the assumption that its gross structure is correct, and used PBJelly to fill gaps. Additional gaps were filled using large, sequenced BACs from the original assembly. Following gap filling, the assembly has substantially improved contiguity and contains more sequence than the Sscrofa10.2 assembly. Arrow and Pilon were used to polish the assembly. The contig N50 is now 58.5Mb with 103 gaps remaining. By comparing regions of the two assemblies we show that regions with structural abnormalities we identified in Sscrofa10.2 are resolved in the new PacBio assembly.


July 7, 2019  |  

Sequence analysis of Staphylococcus hyicus ATCC 11249T, an etiological agent of exudative epidermitis in swine, reveals a type VII secretion system locus and a novel 116-kilobase genomic island harboring toxin-encoding genes.

Staphylococcus hyicus is the primary etiological agent of exudative epidermitis in swine. Analysis of the complete genome sequence of the type strain revealed a locus encoding a type VII secretion system and a large chromosomal island harboring the genes encoding exfoliative toxin ExhA and an EDIN toxin homolog. Copyright © 2015 Calcutt et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complex population structure and virulence differences among serotype 2 Streptococcus suis strains belonging to sequence type 28.

Streptococcus suis is a major swine pathogen and a zoonotic agent. Serotype 2 strains are the most frequently associated with disease. However, not all serotype 2 lineages are considered virulent. Indeed, sequence type (ST) 28 serotype 2 S. suis strains have been described as a homogeneous group of low virulence. However, ST28 strains are often isolated from diseased swine in some countries, and at least four human ST28 cases have been reported. Here, we used whole-genome sequencing and animal infection models to test the hypothesis that the ST28 lineage comprises strains of different genetic backgrounds and different virulence. We used 50 S. suis ST28 strains isolated in Canada, the United States and Japan from diseased pigs, and one ST28 strain from a human case isolated in Thailand. We report a complex population structure among the 51 ST28 strains. Diversity resulted from variable gene content, recombination events and numerous genome-wide polymorphisms not attributable to recombination. Phylogenetic analysis using core genome single-nucleotide polymorphisms revealed four discrete clades with strong geographic structure, and a fifth clade formed by US, Thai and Japanese strains. When tested in experimental animal models, strains from this latter clade were significantly more virulent than a Canadian ST28 reference strain, and a closely related Canadian strain. Our results highlight the limitations of MLST for both phylogenetic analysis and virulence prediction and raise concerns about the possible emergence of ST28 strains in human clinical cases.


July 7, 2019  |  

Zinc resistance within swine associated methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Isolates in the USA is associated with MLST lineage.

Zinc resistance in livestock-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) sequence type (ST) 398 is primarily mediated by the czrC gene co-located with the mecA gene, encoding methicillin resistance, within the type V SCCmec element. Because czrC and mecA are located within the same mobile genetic element, it has been suggested that the use of in feed zinc as an antidiarrheal agent has the potential to contribute to the emergence and spread of MRSA in swine through increased selection pressure to maintain the SCCmec element in isolates obtained from pigs. In this study we report the prevalence of the czrC gene and phenotypic zinc resistance in US swine associated LA-MRSA ST5 isolates, MRSA ST5 isolates from humans with no swine contact, and US swine associated LA-MRSA ST398 isolates. We demonstrate that the prevalence of zinc resistance in US swine associated LA-MRSA ST5 isolates was significantly lower than the prevalence of zinc resistance in MRSA ST5 isolates from humans with no swine contact, swine associated LA-MRSA ST398 isolates, and previous reports describing zinc resistance in other LA-MRSA ST398 isolates. Collectively our data suggest that selection pressure associated with zinc supplementation in feed is unlikely to have played a significant role in the emergence of LA-MRSA ST5 in the US swine population. Additionally, our data indicate that zinc resistance is associated with MLST lineage suggesting a potential link between genetic lineage and carriage of resistance determinants.Importance Our data suggest that coselection thought to be associated with the use of zinc in feed as an antimicrobial agent is not playing a role in the emergence of livestock-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) ST5 in the US swine population. Additionally, our data indicate that zinc resistance is more associated with multi locus sequence type (MLST) lineage suggesting a potential link between genetic lineage and carriage of resistance markers. This information is important to public health professionals, veterinarians, producers, and consumers. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.


July 7, 2019  |  

Expanding landscapes of the diversified mcr-1-bearing plasmid reservoirs.

Polymyxin is a cationic polypeptide antibiotic that can disrupt bacterial cell membrane by interacting with its lipopolysaccharide molecules and is used as a last resort drug against lethal infections by the carbapenem-resistant superbugs (like NDM-1). However, global discovery of the MCR-1 colistin resistance dramatically challenges the newly renewed interest in colistin for clinical use.The mcr-1-harboring plasmids were acquired from swine and human Escherichia coli isolated in China, from 2015 to 2016, and subjected to Illumina PacBio RSII and Hi-Seq2000 for full genome sequencing. PCR was applied to close the gap of the assembled contigs. Ori-Finder was employed to predict the replication origin (oriC) in plasmids. The phenotype of MCR-1-producing isolates was evaluated on the LBA plates with various level of colistin. Genetic deletion was used to test the requirement of the initial “ATG” codon for the MCR-1 function.Here, we report full genomes of over 10 mcr-1-harboring plasmids with diversified replication incompatibilities. A novel hybrid IncI2/IncFIB plasmid pGD17-2 was discovered and characterized from a swine isolate with colistin resistance. Intriguingly, co-occurrence of two unique mcr-1-bearing plasmids (pGD65-3, IncI2, and pGD65-5, IncX4) was detected in a single isolate GD65, which might accelerate dissemination of the mcr-1 under environmental selection pressure. Genetic analyses of these plasmids mapped mobile elements in the context of antibiotic resistance and determined two insertion sequences (ISEcp1 and ISApl1) that are responsible for the mobilization of mcr-1. Gene deletion also proved that the first ATG codon is redundant in the mcr-1 gene.Collectively, our results extend landscapes of the diversified mcr-1-bearing plasmid reservoirs.


July 7, 2019  |  

Population structure and antimicrobial resistance profiles of Streptococcus suis serotype 2 sequence type 25 strains

Strains of serotype 2 Streptococcus suis are responsible for swine and human infections. Different serotype 2 genetic backgrounds have been defined using multilocus sequence typing (MLST). However, little is known about the genetic diversity within each MLST sequence type (ST). Here, we used whole-genome sequencing to test the hypothesis that S. suis serotype 2 strains of the ST25 lineage are genetically heterogeneous. We evaluated 51 serotype 2 ST25 S. suis strains isolated from diseased pigs and humans in Canada, the United States of America, and Thailand. Whole-genome sequencing revealed numerous large-scale rearrangements in the ST25 genome, compared to the genomes of ST1 and ST28 S. suis strains, which result, among other changes, in disruption of a pilus island locus. We report that recombination and lateral gene transfer contribute to ST25 genetic diversity. Phylogenetic analysis identified two main and distinct Thai and North American clades grouping most strains investigated. These clades also possessed distinct patterns of antimicrobial resistance genes, which correlated with acquisition of different integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs). Some of these ICEs were found to be integrated at a recombination hot spot, previously identified as the site of integration of the 89K pathogenicity island in serotype 2 ST7 S. suis strains. Our results highlight the limitations of MLST for phylogenetic analysis of S. suis, and the importance of lateral gene transfer and recombination as drivers of diversity in this swine pathogen and zoonotic agent.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of highly virulent Haemophilus parasuis serotype 11 strain SC1401.

Haemophilus parasuis, a normal Gram-negative bacterium, may cause Glässer’s disease and pneumonia in pigs. This study aims to identify the genes related to natural competence of the serotype 11 strain SC1401, which frequently shows competence and high pathogenicity. SC1401 shows many differences from strains without natural competence within the molecular basis. We performed complete genome sequencing together with restriction modification system analysis to lay the foundation for later study. Copyright © 2016 Dai et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of a colistin resistance gene (mcr-1)-bearing isolate of Escherichia coli from the United States.

Transmissible colistin resistance conferred by the mcr-1 gene-bearing IncI2 plasmid has been recently reported in Escherichia coli in the United States. We report here the completed genome sequence of a second E. coli strain isolated from swine in the United States that carried the mcr-1 gene on an IncI2-type plasmid. Copyright © 2016 Meinersmann et al.


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