July 7, 2019  |  

The genetic basis of anoxygenic photosynthetic arsenite oxidation.

‘Photoarsenotrophy’, the use of arsenite as an electron donor for anoxygenic photosynthesis, is thought to be an ancient form of phototrophy along with the photosynthetic oxidation of Fe(II), H2 S, H2 and NO2-. Photoarsenotrophy was recently identified from Paoha Island’s (Mono Lake, CA) arsenic-rich hot springs. The genomes of several photoarsenotrophs revealed a gene cluster, arxB2AB1CD, where arxA is predicted to encode for the sole arsenite oxidase. The role of arxA in photosynthetic arsenite oxidation was confirmed by disrupting the gene in a representative photoarsenotrophic bacterium, resulting in the loss of light-dependent arsenite oxidation. In situ evidence of active photoarsenotrophic microbes was supported by arxA mRNA detection for the first time, in red-pigmented microbial mats within the hot springs of Paoha Island. This work expands on the genetics for photosynthesis coupled to new electron donors and elaborates on known mechanisms for arsenic metabolism, thereby highlighting the complexities of arsenic biogeochemical cycling.© 2016 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


July 7, 2019  |  

Fallacy of the unique genome: sequence diversity within single Helicobacter pylori strains.

Many bacterial genomes are highly variable but nonetheless are typically published as a single assembled genome. Experiments tracking bacterial genome evolution have not looked at the variation present at a given point in time. Here, we analyzed the mouse-passaged Helicobacter pylori strain SS1 and its parent PMSS1 to assess intra- and intergenomic variability. Using high sequence coverage depth and experimental validation, we detected extensive genome plasticity within these H. pylori isolates, including movement of the transposable element IS607, large and small inversions, multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms, and variation in cagA copy number. The cagA gene was found as 1 to 4 tandem copies located off the cag island in both SS1 and PMSS1; this copy number variation correlated with protein expression. To gain insight into the changes that occurred during mouse adaptation, we also compared SS1 and PMSS1 and observed 46 differences that were distinct from the within-genome variation. The most substantial was an insertion in cagY, which encodes a protein required for a type IV secretion system function. We detected modifications in genes coding for two proteins known to affect mouse colonization, the HpaA neuraminyllactose-binding protein and the FutB a-1,3 lipopolysaccharide (LPS) fucosyltransferase, as well as genes predicted to modulate diverse properties. In sum, our work suggests that data from consensus genome assemblies from single colonies may be misleading by failing to represent the variability present. Furthermore, we show that high-depth genomic sequencing data of a population can be analyzed to gain insight into the normal variation within bacterial strains.IMPORTANCE Although it is well known that many bacterial genomes are highly variable, it is nonetheless traditional to refer to, analyze, and publish “the genome” of a bacterial strain. Variability is usually reduced (“only sequence from a single colony”), ignored (“just publish the consensus”), or placed in the “too-hard” basket (“analysis of raw read data is more robust”). Now that whole-genome sequences are regularly used to assess virulence and track outbreaks, a better understanding of the baseline genomic variation present within single strains is needed. Here, we describe the variability seen in typical working stocks and colonies of pathogen Helicobacter pylori model strains SS1 and PMSS1 as revealed by use of high-coverage mate pair next-generation sequencing (NGS) and confirmed by traditional laboratory techniques. This work demonstrates that reliance on a consensus assembly as “the genome” of a bacterial strain may be misleading. Copyright © 2017 Draper et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Dolosigranulum pigrum from a patient with interstitial lung disease using single-molecule real-time sequencing technology.

The whole genome sequence of Dolosigranulum pigrum isolated from the blood of a patient with interstitial lung disease was sequenced with the Pacific Biosciences RS II platform. The genome size is 2.1 Mb with 2,127 annotated coding sequences; it contained two clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated proteins (Cas) systems. Copyright © 2017 Mukhopadhyay et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Divergent and convergent modes of interaction between wheat and Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici isolates revealed by the comparative gene co-expression network and genome analyses.

Two opposing evolutionary constraints exert pressure on plant pathogens: one to diversify virulence factors in order to evade plant defenses, and the other to retain virulence factors critical for maintaining a compatible interaction with the plant host. To better understand how the diversified arsenals of fungal genes promote interaction with the same compatible wheat line, we performed a comparative genomic analysis of two North American isolates of Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt).The patterns of inter-isolate divergence in the secreted candidate effector genes were compared with the levels of conservation and divergence of plant-pathogen gene co-expression networks (GCN) developed for each isolate. Comprative genomic analyses revealed substantial level of interisolate divergence in effector gene complement and sequence divergence. Gene Ontology (GO) analyses of the conserved and unique parts of the isolate-specific GCNs identified a number of conserved host pathways targeted by both isolates. Interestingly, the degree of inter-isolate sub-network conservation varied widely for the different host pathways and was positively associated with the proportion of conserved effector candidates associated with each sub-network. While different Pgt isolates tended to exploit similar wheat pathways for infection, the mode of plant-pathogen interaction varied for different pathways with some pathways being associated with the conserved set of effectors and others being linked with the diverged or isolate-specific effectors.Our data suggest that at the intra-species level pathogen populations likely maintain divergent sets of effectors capable of targeting the same plant host pathways. This functional redundancy may play an important role in the dynamic of the “arms-race” between host and pathogen serving as the basis for diverse virulence strategies and creating conditions where mutations in certain effector groups will not have a major effect on the pathogen’s ability to infect the host.


July 7, 2019  |  

Detection of diazotrophy in the acetylene-fermenting anaerobe, Pelobacter strain SFB93.

Acetylene (C2H2) is a trace constituent of the present Earth’s oxidizing atmosphere, reflecting a mix of terrestrial and marine emissions from anthropogenic, biomass burning, and unidentified biogenic sources. Fermentation of acetylene was serendipitously discovered during C2H2-block assays of N2O reductase, and Pelobacter acetylenicus was shown to grow on C2H2 via acetylene hydratase (AH). AH is a W-containing, catabolic, low redox potential enzyme that unlike nitrogenase (N2ase) is specific for acetylene. Acetylene fermentation is a rare metabolism that is well-characterized only in P. acetylenicus DSM3246 and DSM3247, and Pelobacter sp. strain SFB93. To better understand the genetic controls on AH activity, we sequenced the genomes of the three acetylene-fermenting Pelobacter strains. Genome assembly and annotation produced three novel genomes containing gene sequences for AH, with two copies being present in SFB93. In addition, gene sequences for all five compulsory genes for Mo-Fe nitrogenase were also present in the three genomes, indicating the co-occurrence of 2 acetylene-transformation pathways. Nitrogen fixation growth assays showed that DSM3426 could ferment acetylene in the absence of ammonium, but no ethylene was produced. However, SFB93 degraded acetylene, and in the absence of ammonium, produced ethylene indicating an active N2ase. Diazotrophic growth was observed under N2 but not in experimental controls incubated under Ar. SFB93 exhibits acetylene fermentation and nitrogen fixation, the only known biochemical mechanisms for acetylene transformation. Our results indicate complex interactions between N2ase and AH and suggest novel evolutionary pathways of these relic enzymes from early Earth to modern day.Importance Here we show that a single Pelobacter strain can grow via acetylene fermentation and carry out nitrogen fixation, using the only 2 enzymes known to transform acetylene. These findings provide new insights into acetylene transformations and adaptations for nutrient (C, N) and energy acquisition by microorganisms. Enhanced understanding of acetylene transformations in modern environments (i.e., extent, occurrence, rates, etc.) is important for using acetylene as a potential biomarker for extraterrestrial life and degradation of anthropogenic contaminants. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genomic analysis of Clavibacter michiganensis reveals insight into virulence strategies and genetic diversity of a gram-positive bacterial pathogen.

Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis is a gram-positive bacterial pathogen that proliferates in the xylem vessels of tomato, causing bacterial canker disease. In this study, we sequenced and assembled genomes of 11 C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis strains isolated from infected tomato fields in California as well as five Clavibacter strains that colonize tomato endophytically but are not pathogenic in this host. The analysis of the C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis genomes supported the monophyletic nature of this pathogen but revealed genetic diversity among strains, consistent with multiple introduction events. Two tomato endophytes that clustered phylogenetically with C. michiganensis strains capable of infecting wheat and pepper and were also able to cause disease in these plants. Plasmid profiles of the California strains were variable and supported the essential role of the pCM1-like plasmid and the CelA cellulase in virulence, whereas the absence of the pCM2-like plasmid in some pathogenic C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis strains revealed it is not essential. A large number of secreted C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis proteins were carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes). Glycome profiling revealed that C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis but not endophytic Clavibacter strains is able to extensively alter tomato cell-wall composition. Two secreted CAZymes found in all C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis strains, CelA and PelA1, enhanced pathogenicity on tomato. Collectively, these results provide a deeper understanding of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis diversity and virulence strategies.


July 7, 2019  |  

Finished genome sequences of Xanthomonas fragariae, the cause of bacterial angular leaf spot of strawberry.

Xanthomonas fragariae is a foliar pathogen of strawberry that is of significant concern to nursery production of strawberry transplants and field production of strawberry fruit. Long-read sequencing was employed to generate finished genomes for two isolates (each with one chromosome and two plasmids) from symptomatic plants in northern California. Copyright © 2016 Henry and Leveau.


Talk with an expert

If you have a question, need to check the status of an order, or are interested in purchasing an instrument, we're here to help.