July 7, 2019  |  

High-quality permanent draft genome sequence of Ensifer sp. PC2, isolated from a nitrogen-fixing root nodule of the legume tree (Khejri) native to the Thar Desert of India.

Ensifer sp. PC2 is an aerobic, motile, Gram-negative, non-spore-forming rod that was isolated from a nitrogen-fixing nodule of the tree legume P. cineraria (L.) Druce (Khejri), which is a keystone species that grows in arid and semi-arid regions of the Indian Thar desert. Strain PC2 exists as a dominant saprophyte in alkaline soils of Western Rajasthan. It is fast growing, well-adapted to arid conditions and is able to form an effective symbiosis with several annual crop legumes as well as species of mimosoid trees and shrubs. Here we describe the features of Ensifer sp. PC2, together with genome sequence information and its annotation. The 8,458,965 bp high-quality permanent draft genome is arranged into 171 scaffolds of 171 contigs containing 8,344 protein-coding genes and 139 RNA-only encoding genes, and is one of the rhizobial genomes sequenced as part of the DOE Joint Genome Institute 2010 Genomic Encyclopedia for Bacteria and Archaea-Root Nodule Bacteria (GEBA-RNB) project proposal.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genomics-informed isolation and characterization of a symbiotic Nanoarchaeota system from a terrestrial geothermal environment.

Biological features can be inferred, based on genomic data, for many microbial lineages that remain uncultured. However, cultivation is important for characterizing an organism’s physiology and testing its genome-encoded potential. Here we use single-cell genomics to infer cultivation conditions for the isolation of an ectosymbiotic Nanoarchaeota (‘Nanopusillus acidilobi’) and its host (Acidilobus, a crenarchaeote) from a terrestrial geothermal environment. The cells of ‘Nanopusillus’ are among the smallest known cellular organisms (100-300?nm). They appear to have a complete genetic information processing machinery, but lack almost all primary biosynthetic functions as well as respiration and ATP synthesis. Genomic and proteomic comparison with its distant relative, the marine Nanoarchaeum equitans illustrate an ancient, common evolutionary history of adaptation of the Nanoarchaeota to ectosymbiosis, so far unique among the Archaea.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of the intracellular bacterial symbiont TC1 in the anaerobic ciliate Trimyema compressum.

A free-living ciliate, Trimyema compressum, found in anoxic freshwater environments harbors methanogenic archaea and a bacterial symbiont named TC1 in its cytoplasm. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of the TC1 symbiont, consisting of a 1.59-Mb chromosome and a 35.8-kb plasmid, which was determined using the PacBio RSII sequencer. Copyright © 2016 Shinzato et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Ectomycorrhizal ecology is imprinted in the genome of the dominant symbiotic fungus Cenococcum geophilum.

The most frequently encountered symbiont on tree roots is the ascomycete Cenococcum geophilum, the only mycorrhizal species within the largest fungal class Dothideomycetes, a class known for devastating plant pathogens. Here we show that the symbiotic genomic idiosyncrasies of ectomycorrhizal basidiomycetes are also present in C. geophilum with symbiosis-induced, taxon-specific genes of unknown function and reduced numbers of plant cell wall-degrading enzymes. C. geophilum still holds a significant set of genes in categories known to be involved in pathogenesis and shows an increased genome size due to transposable elements proliferation. Transcript profiling revealed a striking upregulation of membrane transporters, including aquaporin water channels and sugar transporters, and mycorrhiza-induced small secreted proteins (MiSSPs) in ectomycorrhiza compared with free-living mycelium. The frequency with which this symbiont is found on tree roots and its possible role in water and nutrient transport in symbiosis calls for further studies on mechanisms of host and environmental adaptation.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genomes of Candidatus Wolbachia bourtzisii wDacA and Candidatus Wolbachia pipientis wDacB from the cochineal insect Dactylopius coccus (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae).

Dactylopius species, known as cochineal insects, are the source of the carminic acid dye used worldwide. The presence of two Wolbachia strains in Dactylopius coccus from Mexico was revealed by PCR amplification of wsp and sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. A metagenome analysis recovered the genome sequences of Candidatus Wolbachia bourtzisii wDacA (supergroup A) and Candidatus Wolbachia pipientis wDacB (supergroup B). Genome read coverage, as well as 16S rRNA clone sequencing, revealed that wDacB was more abundant than wDacA. The strains shared similar predicted metabolic capabilities that are common to Wolbachia, including riboflavin, ubiquinone, and heme biosynthesis, but lacked other vitamin and cofactor biosynthesis as well as glycolysis, the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway, and sugar uptake systems. A complete tricarboxylic acid cycle and gluconeogenesis were predicted as well as limited amino acid biosynthesis. Uptake and catabolism of proline were evidenced in Dactylopius Wolbachia strains. Both strains possessed WO-like phage regions and type I and type IV secretion systems. Several efflux systems found suggested the existence of metal toxicity within their host. Besides already described putative virulence factors like ankyrin domain proteins, VlrC homologs, and patatin-like proteins, putative novel virulence factors related to those found in intracellular pathogens like Legionella and Mycobacterium are highlighted for the first time in Wolbachia Candidate genes identified in other Wolbachia that are likely involved in cytoplasmic incompatibility were found in wDacB but not in wDacA. Copyright © 2016 Ramírez-Puebla et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Assembly and transfer of tripartite integrative and conjugative genetic elements.

Integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs) are ubiquitous mobile genetic elements present as “genomic islands” within bacterial chromosomes. Symbiosis islands are ICEs that convert nonsymbiotic mesorhizobia into symbionts of legumes. Here we report the discovery of symbiosis ICEs that exist as three separate chromosomal regions when integrated in their hosts, but through recombination assemble as a single circular ICE for conjugative transfer. Whole-genome comparisons revealed exconjugants derived from nonsymbiotic mesorhizobia received three separate chromosomal regions from the donor Mesorhizobium ciceri WSM1271. The three regions were each bordered by two nonhomologous integrase attachment (att) sites, which together comprised three homologous pairs of attL and attR sites. Sequential recombination between each attL and attR pair produced corresponding attP and attB sites and joined the three fragments to produce a single circular ICE, ICEMcSym(1271) A plasmid carrying the three attP sites was used to recreate the process of tripartite ICE integration and to confirm the role of integrase genes intS, intM, and intG in this process. Nine additional tripartite ICEs were identified in diverse mesorhizobia and transfer was demonstrated for three of them. The transfer of tripartite ICEs to nonsymbiotic mesorhizobia explains the evolution of competitive but suboptimal N2-fixing strains found in Western Australian soils. The unheralded existence of tripartite ICEs raises the possibility that multipartite elements reside in other organisms, but have been overlooked because of their unusual biology. These discoveries reveal mechanisms by which integrases dramatically manipulate bacterial genomes to allow cotransfer of disparate chromosomal regions.


July 7, 2019  |  

Decay of sexual trait genes in an asexual parasitoid wasp.

Trait loss is a widespread phenomenon with pervasive consequences for a species’ evolutionary potential. The genetic changes underlying trait loss have only been clarified in a small number of cases. None of these studies can identify whether the loss of the trait under study was a result of neutral mutation accumulation or negative selection. This distinction is relatively clear-cut in the loss of sexual traits in asexual organisms. Male-specific sexual traits are not expressed and can only decay through neutral mutations, whereas female-specific traits are expressed and subject to negative selection. We present the genome of an asexual parasitoid wasp and compare it to that of a sexual lineage of the same species. We identify a short-list of 16 genes for which the asexual lineage carries deleterious SNP or indel variants, whereas the sexual lineage does not. Using tissue-specific expression data from other insects, we show that fifteen of these are expressed in male-specific reproductive tissues. Only one deleterious variant was found that is expressed in the female-specific spermathecae, a trait that is heavily degraded and thought to be under negative selection in L. clavipes. Although the phenotypic decay of male-specific sexual traits in asexuals is generally slow compared with the decay of female-specific sexual traits, we show that male-specific traits do indeed accumulate deleterious mutations as expected by theory. Our results provide an excellent starting point for detailed study of the genomics of neutral and selected trait decay.


July 7, 2019  |  

The draft genome of whitefly Bemisia tabaci MEAM1, a global crop pest, provides novel insights into virus transmission, host adaptation, and insecticide resistance.

The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is among the 100 worst invasive species in the world. As one of the most important crop pests and virus vectors, B. tabaci causes substantial crop losses and poses a serious threat to global food security. We report the 615-Mb high-quality genome sequence of B. tabaci Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1), the first genome sequence in the Aleyrodidae family, which contains 15,664 protein-coding genes. The B. tabaci genome is highly divergent from other sequenced hemipteran genomes, sharing no detectable synteny. A number of known detoxification gene families, including cytochrome P450s and UDP-glucuronosyltransferases, are significantly expanded in B. tabaci. Other expanded gene families, including cathepsins, large clusters of tandemly duplicated B. tabaci-specific genes, and phosphatidylethanolamine-binding proteins (PEBPs), were found to be associated with virus acquisition and transmission and/or insecticide resistance, likely contributing to the global invasiveness and efficient virus transmission capacity of B. tabaci. The presence of 142 horizontally transferred genes from bacteria or fungi in the B. tabaci genome, including genes encoding hopanoid/sterol synthesis and xenobiotic detoxification enzymes that are not present in other insects, offers novel insights into the unique biological adaptations of this insect such as polyphagy and insecticide resistance. Interestingly, two adjacent bacterial pantothenate biosynthesis genes, panB and panC, have been co-transferred into B. tabaci and fused into a single gene that has acquired introns during its evolution.The B. tabaci genome contains numerous genetic novelties, including expansions in gene families associated with insecticide resistance, detoxification and virus transmission, as well as numerous horizontally transferred genes from bacteria and fungi. We believe these novelties likely have shaped B. tabaci as a highly invasive polyphagous crop pest and efficient vector of plant viruses. The genome serves as a reference for resolving the B. tabaci cryptic species complex, understanding fundamental biological novelties, and providing valuable genetic information to assist the development of novel strategies for controlling whiteflies and the viruses they transmit.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Agrobacterium pusense VsBac-Y9, a bacterial symbiont of the dark septate endophytic fungus Veronaeopsis simplex Y34 with potential for improving fungal colonization in roots.

A Rhizobium-related bacterium (Rhizobium sp. VsBac-Y9) is a symbiont living with the dark septate endophytic (DSE) fungus Veronaeopsis simplex Y34. Co-inoculation of Rhizobium sp. VsBac-Y9 with V. simplex Y34 improves the fungal colonization of tomato roots, resulting in a significant increase in aboveground biomass. This study sequenced the complete genome of this V. simplex-helper bacterium using the PacBio and Illumina MiSeq platforms. Hybrid assembly using SPAdes outputted a circular chromosome, a linear chromid, and a circular plasmid for a total genome 5,321,211 bp in size with a G?+?C content of 59.2%. Analysis of concatenated housekeeping genes (atpD-dnaK-groEL-lepA-recA-rpoB-thrE) and calculation of average nucleotide identity, showed that VsBac-Y9 was affiliated with the species Agrobacterium pusense (syn. Rhizobium pusense). Genome analysis revealed that A. pusense VsBac-Y9 contains a series of genes responsible for the host interactions with both fungus and plant. Such genomic information will provide new insights into developing co-inoculants of endophytic fungus and its symbiotic bacterium in future agricultural innovation. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Methanogenic and bacterial endosymbionts of free-living anaerobic ciliates

Trimyema compressum thrives in anoxic freshwater environments in which it preys on bacteria and grows with fermentative metabolisms. Like many anaerobic protozoa, instead of mitochondria, T. compressum possess hydrogenosomes, which are hydrogen-producing, energy-generating organelles characteristic of anaerobic protozoa and fungi. The cytoplasm of T. compressum harbours hydrogenotrophic methanogens that consume the hydrogen produced by hydrogenosome, which confers an energetic advantage to the host ciliate. Symbiotic associations between methanogenic archaea and Trimyema ciliates are thought to be established independently and/or repeatedly in their evolutional history. In addition to methanogenic symbionts, T. compressum houses bacterial symbiont TC1 whose function is unknown in its cytoplasm. Recently, we analysed whole-genome sequence of TC1 symbiont to investigate its physiological function in the tripartite symbiosis and found that fatty acid synthesis fab operon of TC1 symbiont lacked typical transcriptional repressor, which is normally coded on the upstream of the fab operon. The sequence data suggested that TC1 symbiont contributes to host Trimyema by the synthesis of fatty acid or its derivative. In this review, we summarize the early works and recent progress of the studies on Trimyema ciliates, including a stably cultivable model protozoa T. compressum, and discuss about symbiotic associations in oxygen-scarce environments.


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