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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A chromosomal-scale genome assembly of Tectona grandis reveals the importance of tandem gene duplication and enables discovery of genes in natural product biosynthetic pathways.

Teak, a member of the Lamiaceae family, produces one of the most expensive hardwoods in the world. High demand coupled with deforestation have caused a decrease in natural teak forests, and future supplies will be reliant on teak plantations. Hence, selection of teak tree varieties for clonal propagation with superior growth performance is of great importance, and access to high-quality genetic and genomic resources can accelerate the selection process by identifying genes underlying desired traits.To facilitate teak research and variety improvement, we generated a highly contiguous, chromosomal-scale genome assembly using high-coverage Pacific Biosciences long reads coupled with high-throughput chromatin conformation…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

CD8 T cells targeting adapted epitopes in chronic HIV infection promote dendritic cell maturation and CD4 T cell trans-infection.

HIV-1 frequently escapes from CD8 T cell responses via HLA-I restricted adaptation, leading to the accumulation of adapted epitopes (AE). We previously demonstrated that AE compromise CD8 T cell responses during acute infection and are associated with poor clinical outcomes. Here, we examined the impact of AE on CD8 T cell responses and their biological relevance in chronic HIV infection (CHI). In contrast to acute infection, the majority of AE are immunogenic in CHI. Longitudinal analyses from acute to CHI showed an increased frequency and magnitude of AE-specific IFN? responses compared to NAE-specific ones. These AE-specific CD8 T cells also…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Analyses of four new Caulobacter Phicbkviruses indicate independent lineages.

Bacteriophages with genomes larger than 200 kbp are considered giant phages, and the giant Phicbkviruses are the most frequently isolated Caulobacter crescentus phages. In this study, we compare six bacteriophage genomes that differ from the genomes of the majority of Phicbkviruses. Four of these genomes are much larger than those of the rest of the Phicbkviruses, with genome sizes that are more than 250 kbp. A comparison of 16 Phicbkvirus genomes identified a ‘core genome’ of 69 genes that is present in all of these Phicbkvirus genomes, as well as shared accessory genes and genes that are unique for each…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Improved performance of the PacBio SMRT technology for 16S rDNA sequencing.

Improved sequencing accuracy was obtained with 16S amplicons from environmental samples and a known pure culture when upgraded Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) hardware and enzymes were used for the single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing platform. The new PacBio RS II system with P4/C2 chemistry, when used with previously constructed libraries (Mosher et al., 2013) surpassed the accuracy of Roche/454 pyrosequencing platform. With accurate read lengths of >1400 base pairs, the PacBio system opens up the possibility of identifying microorganisms to the species level in environmental samples. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

PHASIS: A computational suite for de novo discovery and characterization of phased, siRNA-generating loci and their miRNA triggers

Phased, secondary siRNAs (phasiRNAs) are found widely in plants, from protein-coding transcripts and long, non-coding RNAs; animal piRNAs are also phased. Integrated methods characterizing textquotedblleftPHAStextquotedblright loci are unavailable, and existing methods are quite limited and inefficient in handling large volumes of sequencing data. The PHASIS suite described here provides complete tools for the computational characterization of PHAS loci, with an emphasis on plants, in which these loci are numerous. Benchmarked comparisons demonstrate that PHASIS is sensitive, highly scalable and fast. Importantly, PHASIS eliminates the requirement of a sequenced genome and PARE/degradome data for discovery of phasiRNAs and their miRNA triggers.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Localized electron transfer rates and microelectrode-based enrichment of microbial communities within a phototrophic microbial mat.

Phototrophic microbial mats frequently exhibit sharp, light-dependent redox gradients that regulate microbial respiration on specific electron acceptors as a function of depth. In this work, a benthic phototrophic microbial mat from Hot Lake, a hypersaline, epsomitic lake located near Oroville in north-central Washington, was used to develop a microscale electrochemical method to study local electron transfer processes within the mat. To characterize the physicochemical variables influencing electron transfer, we initially quantified redox potential, pH, and dissolved oxygen gradients by depth in the mat under photic and aphotic conditions. We further demonstrated that power output of a mat fuel cell was…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Plant 24-nt reproductive phasiRNAs from intramolecular duplex mRNAs in diverse monocots.

In grasses, two pathways that generate diverse and numerous 21-nt (premeiotic) and 24-nt (meiotic) phased siRNAs are highly enriched in anthers, the male reproductive organs. These “phasiRNAs” are analogous to mammalian piRNAs, yet their functions and evolutionary origins remain largely unknown. The 24-nt meiotic phasiRNAs have only been described in grasses, wherein their biogenesis is dependent on a specialized Dicer (DCL5). To assess how evolution gave rise to this pathway, we examined reproductive phasiRNA pathways in nongrass monocots: garden asparagus, daylily, and lily. The common ancestors of these species diverged approximately 115-117 million years ago (MYA). We found that premeiotic…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Caught in the middle with multiple displacement amplification: the myth of pooling for avoiding multiple displacement amplification bias in a metagenome.

Shotgun metagenomics has become an important tool for investigating the ecology of microorganisms. Underlying these investigations is the assumption that metagenome sequence data accurately estimates the census of microbial populations. Multiple displacement amplification (MDA) of microbial community DNA is often used in cases where it is difficult to obtain enough DNA for sequencing; however, MDA can result in amplification biases that may impact subsequent estimates of population census from metagenome data. Some have posited that pooling replicate MDA reactions negates these biases and restores the accuracy of population analyses. This assumption has not been empirically tested.Using mock viral communities, we…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Tn2008-driven carbapenem resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii isolates from a period of increased incidence of infections in a Southwest Virginia hospital (USA).

The objectives of this study were (i) to determine the genetic basis for carbapenem resistance in multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii strains isolated from patients affected by a sudden increase in the incidence of infections by such organisms in a tertiary care hospital in Virginia, USA, in 2009-2010 and (ii) to examine whether such strains are commonly encountered in the hospital setting.The whole genomes of one outbreak strain as well as one carbapenem-resistant and one carbapenem-sensitive strain from sporadic infections in 2010-2012 were sequenced and analysed. Then, 5 outbreak isolates and 57 sporadic isolates (of which 39 were carbapenem-resistant) were screened…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A genome comparison of T7-like Podoviruses that infect Caulobacter crescentus.

Bacteriophages remain an understudied component of bacterial communities. Therefore, our laboratory has initiated an effort to isolate large numbers of bacteriophages that infect Caulobacter crescentus to provide an estimate of the diversity of bacteriophages that infect this common environmental bacterium. The majority of the new isolates are phicbkviruses, a genus of giant viruses that appear to be Caulobacter specific. However, we have also isolated several Podoviruses with icosahedral heads and small tails. One of these Podoviruses, designated Lullwater, is similar to two previously isolated Caulobacter phages, Cd1 and Percy. All three have genomes that are approximately 45 kb and contain approximately…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

PacBio-based mitochondrial genome assembly of Leucaena trichandra (Leguminosae) and an intrageneric assessment of mitochondrial RNA editing.

Reconstructions of vascular plant mitochondrial genomes (mt-genomes) are notoriously complicated by rampant recombination that has resulted in comparatively few plant mt-genomes being available. The dearth of plant mitochondrial resources has limited our understanding of mt-genome structural diversity, complex patterns of RNA editing, and the origins of novel mt-genome elements. Here, we use an efficient long read (PacBio) iterative assembly pipeline to generate mt-genome assemblies for Leucaena trichandra (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae: mimosoid clade), providing the first assessment of non-papilionoid legume mt-genome content and structure to date. The efficiency of the assembly approach facilitated the exploration of alternative structures that are common place…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Evolutionary history of human Plasmodium vivax revealed by genome-wide analyses of related ape parasites.

Wild-living African apes are endemically infected with parasites that are closely related to human Plasmodium vivax, a leading cause of malaria outside Africa. This finding suggests that the origin of P. vivax was in Africa, even though the parasite is now rare in humans there. To elucidate the emergence of human P. vivax and its relationship to the ape parasites, we analyzed genome sequence data of P. vivax strains infecting six chimpanzees and one gorilla from Cameroon, Gabon, and Côte d’Ivoire. We found that ape and human parasites share nearly identical core genomes, differing by only 2% of coding sequences.…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Amycomicin is a potent and specific antibiotic discovered with a targeted interaction screen.

The rapid emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria has accelerated the search for new antibiotics. Many clinically used antibacterials were discovered through culturing a single microbial species under nutrient-rich conditions, but in the environment, bacteria constantly encounter poor nutrient conditions and interact with neighboring microbial species. In an effort to recapitulate this environment, we generated a nine-strain actinomycete community and used 16S rDNA sequencing to deconvolute the stochastic production of antimicrobial activity that was not observed from any of the axenic cultures. We subsequently simplified the community to just two strains and identified Amycolatopsis sp. AA4 as the producing strain and…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Enterobacter cloacae Complex Sequence Type 171 Isolates Expressing KPC-4 Carbapenemase Recovered from Canine Patients in Ohio.

Companion animals are likely relevant in the transmission of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. Enterobacter xiangfangensis sequence type 171 (ST171), a clone that has been implicated in clusters of infections in humans, was isolated from two dogs with clinical disease in Ohio. The canine isolates contained IncHI2 plasmids encoding blaKPC-4 Whole-genome sequencing was used to put the canine isolates in phylogenetic context with available human ST171 sequences, as well as to characterize their blaKPC-4 plasmids. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.

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