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March 1, 2019

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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October 1, 2018

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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September 1, 2018

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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September 1, 2018

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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September 1, 2018

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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August 1, 2018

Clustering of circular consensus sequences: accurate error correction and assembly of single molecule real-time reads from multiplexed amplicon libraries.

Targeted resequencing with high-throughput sequencing (HTS) platforms can be used to efficiently interrogate the genomes of large numbers of individuals. A critical issue for research and applications using HTS data, especially from long-read platforms, is error in base calling arising from technological limits and bioinformatic algorithms. We found that the community standard long amplicon analysis (LAA) module from Pacific Biosciences is prone to substantial bioinformatic errors that raise concerns about findings based on this pipeline, prompting the need for a new method.A single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing-error correction and assembly pipeline, C3S-LAA, was developed for libraries of pooled amplicons. By…

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July 31, 2018

Chromulinavorax destructans, a pathogenic TM6 bacterium with an unusual replication strategy targeting protist mitochondrion

Most of the diversity of microbial life is not available in culture, and as such we lack even a fundamental understanding of the biological diversity of several branches on the tree of life. One branch that is highly underrepresented is the candidate phylum TM6, also known as the Dependentiae. Their biology is known only from reduced genomes recovered from metagenomes around the world and two isolates infecting amoebae, all suggest that they live highly host-associated lifestyles as parasites or symbionts. Chromulinavorax destructans is an isolate from the TM6/Dependentiae that infects and lyses the abundant heterotrophic flagellate, Spumella elongata. Chromulinavorax destructans…

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June 4, 2018

Enterobacter cloacae complex ST171 isolates expressing KPC-4 carbapenemase recovered from canine patients in Ohio, USA

Carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) have emerged as a critical public health threat. Organisms expressing the Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) were first recognized in the US in the late 1990s and continue to be the predominant CRE genotype reported in clinical isolates. Strains harboring blaKPC alleles have been observed in multiple species of Enterobacteriaceae, including the Enterobacter cloacae complex. A major E. cloacae clone, Enterobacter xiangfangensis ST171, has emerged as an important cause of hospital associated infections (HAI) and has been shown to carry different alleles of KPC in the context of Tn4401, residing on plasmids of multiple incompatibility groups. While…

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June 1, 2018

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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March 1, 2018

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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November 22, 2017

Complete genome sequences of two strains of the meat spoilage bacterium Brochothrix thermosphacta isolated from ground chicken.

Brochothrix thermosphacta is an important meat spoilage bacterium. Here we report the genome sequences of two strains of B. thermosphacta isolated from ground chicken. The genome sequences were determined using long-read PacBio single-molecule real-time (SMRT) technology and are the first complete genome sequences reported for B. thermosphacta.

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