September 22, 2019  |  

The methylome of the gut microbiome: disparate Dam methylation patterns in intestinal Bacteroides dorei

Despite the large interest in the human microbiome in recent years, there are no reports of bacterial DNA methylation in the microbiome. Here metagenomic sequencing using the Pacific Biosciences platform allowed for rapid identification of bacterial GATC methylation status of a bacterial species in human stool samples. For this work, two stool samples were chosen that were dominated by a single species, Bacteroides dorei. Based on 16S rRNA analysis, this species represented over 45% of the bacteria present in these two samples. The B. dorei genome sequence from these samples was determined and the GATC methylation sites mapped. The Bacteroides dorei genome from one subject lacked any GATC methylation and lacked the DNA adenine methyltransferase genes. In contrast, B. dorei from another subject contained 20,551 methylated GATC sites. Of the 4970 open reading frames identified in the GATC methylated B. dorei genome, 3184 genes were methylated as well as 1735 GATC methylations in intergenic regions. These results suggest that DNA methylation patterns are important to consider in multi-omic analyses of microbiome samples seeking to discover the diversity of bacterial functions and may differ between disease states.


September 22, 2019  |  

Evaluating the mobility potential of antibiotic resistance genes in environmental resistomes without metagenomics.

Antibiotic resistance genes are ubiquitous in the environment. However, only a fraction of them are mobile and able to spread to pathogenic bacteria. Until now, studying the mobility of antibiotic resistance genes in environmental resistomes has been challenging due to inadequate sensitivity and difficulties in contig assembly of metagenome based methods. We developed a new cost and labor efficient method based on Inverse PCR and long read sequencing for studying mobility potential of environmental resistance genes. We applied Inverse PCR on sediment samples and identified 79 different MGE clusters associated with the studied resistance genes, including novel mobile genetic elements, co-selected resistance genes and a new putative antibiotic resistance gene. The results show that the method can be used in antibiotic resistance early warning systems. In comparison to metagenomics, Inverse PCR was markedly more sensitive and provided more data on resistance gene mobility and co-selected resistances.


September 22, 2019  |  

Bacteroides dorei dominates gut microbiome prior to autoimmunity in Finnish children at high risk for type 1 diabetes.

The incidence of the autoimmune disease, type 1 diabetes (T1D), has increased dramatically over the last half century in many developed countries and is particularly high in Finland and other Nordic countries. Along with genetic predisposition, environmental factors are thought to play a critical role in this increase. As with other autoimmune diseases, the gut microbiome is thought to play a potential role in controlling progression to T1D in children with high genetic risk, but we know little about how the gut microbiome develops in children with high genetic risk for T1D. In this study, the early development of the gut microbiomes of 76 children at high genetic risk for T1D was determined using high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Stool samples from children born in the same hospital in Turku, Finland were collected at monthly intervals beginning at 4-6 months after birth until 2.2 years of age. Of those 76 children, 29 seroconverted to T1D-related autoimmunity (cases) including 22 who later developed T1D, the remaining 47 subjects remained healthy (controls). While several significant compositional differences in low abundant species prior to seroconversion were found, one highly abundant group composed of two closely related species, Bacteroides dorei and Bacteroides vulgatus, was significantly higher in cases compared to controls prior to seroconversion. Metagenomic sequencing of samples high in the abundance of the B. dorei/vulgatus group before seroconversion, as well as longer 16S rRNA sequencing identified this group as Bacteroides dorei. The abundance of B. dorei peaked at 7.6 months in cases, over 8 months prior to the appearance of the first islet autoantibody, suggesting that early changes in the microbiome may be useful for predicting T1D autoimmunity in genetically susceptible infants. The cause of increased B. dorei abundance in cases is not known but its timing appears to coincide with the introduction of solid food.


September 22, 2019  |  

Cloning of the wheat Yr15 resistance gene sheds light on the plant tandem kinase-pseudokinase family.

Yellow rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), is a devastating fungal disease threatening much of global wheat production. Race-specific resistance (R)-genes are used to control rust diseases, but the rapid emergence of virulent Pst races has prompted the search for a more durable resistance. Here, we report the cloning of Yr15, a broad-spectrum R-gene derived from wild emmer wheat, which encodes a putative kinase-pseudokinase protein, designated as wheat tandem kinase 1, comprising a unique R-gene structure in wheat. The existence of a similar gene architecture in 92 putative proteins across the plant kingdom, including the barley RPG1 and a candidate for Ug8, suggests that they are members of a distinct family of plant proteins, termed here tandem kinase-pseudokinases (TKPs). The presence of kinase-pseudokinase structure in both plant TKPs and the animal Janus kinases sheds light on the molecular evolution of immune responses across these two kingdoms.


July 19, 2019  |  

Identification of a common risk haplotype for canine idiopathic epilepsy in the ADAM23 gene.

Idiopathic epilepsy is a common neurological disease in human and domestic dogs but relatively few risk genes have been identified to date. The seizure characteristics, including focal and generalised seizures, are similar between the two species, with gene discovery facilitated by the reduced genetic heterogeneity of purebred dogs. We have recently identified a risk locus for idiopathic epilepsy in the Belgian Shepherd breed on a 4.4 megabase region on CFA37.We have expanded a previous study replicating the association with a combined analysis of 157 cases and 179 controls in three additional breeds: Schipperke, Finnish Spitz and Beagle (pc?=?2.9e-07, pGWAS?=?1.74E-02). A targeted resequencing of the 4.4 megabase region in twelve Belgian Shepherd cases and twelve controls with opposite haplotypes identified 37 case-specific variants within the ADAM23 gene. Twenty-seven variants were validated in 285 cases and 355 controls from four breeds, resulting in a strong replication of the ADAM23 locus (praw?=?2.76e-15) and the identification of a common 28 kb-risk haplotype in all four breeds. Risk haplotype was present in frequencies of 0.49-0.7 in the breeds, suggesting that ADAM23 is a low penetrance risk gene for canine epilepsy.These results implicate ADAM23 in common canine idiopathic epilepsy, although the causative variant remains yet to be identified. ADAM23 plays a role in synaptic transmission and interacts with known epilepsy genes, LGI1 and LGI2, and should be considered as a candidate gene for human epilepsies.


July 19, 2019  |  

Detection and screening of chromosomal rearrangements in uterine leiomyomas by long-distance inverse PCR.

Genome instability is a hallmark of many tumors and recently, next-generation sequencing methods have enabled analyses of tumor genomes at an unprecedented level. Studying rearrangement-prone chromosomal regions (putative “breakpoint hotspots”) in detail, however, necessitates molecular assays that can detect de novo DNA fusions arising from these hotspots. Here we demonstrate the utility of a long-distance inverse PCR-based method for the detection and screening of de novo DNA rearrangements in uterine leiomyomas, one of the most common types of human neoplasm. This assay allows in principle any genomic region suspected of instability to be queried for DNA rearrangements originating there. No prior knowledge of the identity of the fusion partner chromosome is needed. We used this method to screen uterine leiomyomas for rearrangements at genomic locations known to be rearrangement-prone in this tumor type: upstream HMGA2 and within RAD51B. We identified a novel DNA rearrangement upstream of HMGA2 that had gone undetected in an earlier whole-genome sequencing study. In more than 30 additional uterine leiomyoma samples, not analyzed by whole-genome sequencing previously, no rearrangements were observed within the 1,107 bp and 1,996 bp assayed in the RAD51B and HMGA2 rearrangement hotspots. Our findings show that long-distance inverse PCR is a robust, sensitive, and cost-effective method for the detection and screening of DNA rearrangements from solid tumors that should be useful for many diagnostic applications. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


July 7, 2019  |  

The Glanville fritillary genome retains an ancient karyotype and reveals selective chromosomal fusions in Lepidoptera.

Previous studies have reported that chromosome synteny in Lepidoptera has been well conserved, yet the number of haploid chromosomes varies widely from 5 to 223. Here we report the genome (393?Mb) of the Glanville fritillary butterfly (Melitaea cinxia; Nymphalidae), a widely recognized model species in metapopulation biology and eco-evolutionary research, which has the putative ancestral karyotype of n=31. Using a phylogenetic analyses of Nymphalidae and of other Lepidoptera, combined with orthologue-level comparisons of chromosomes, we conclude that the ancestral lepidopteran karyotype has been n=31 for at least 140?My. We show that fusion chromosomes have retained the ancestral chromosome segments and very few rearrangements have occurred across the fusion sites. The same, shortest ancestral chromosomes have independently participated in fusion events in species with smaller karyotypes. The short chromosomes have higher rearrangement rate than long ones. These characteristics highlight distinctive features of the evolutionary dynamics of butterflies and moths.


July 7, 2019  |  

Organellar genomes of the four-toothed moss, Tetraphis pellucida.

Mosses are the largest of the three extant clades of gametophyte-dominant land plants and remain poorly studied using comparative genomic methods. Major monophyletic moss lineages are characterised by different types of a spore dehiscence apparatus called the peristome, and the most important unsolved problem in higher-level moss systematics is the branching order of these peristomate clades. Organellar genome sequencing offers the potential to resolve this issue through the provision of both genomic structural characters and a greatly increased quantity of nucleotide substitution characters, as well as to elucidate organellar evolution in mosses. We publish and describe the chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes of Tetraphis pellucida, representative of the most phylogenetically intractable and morphologically isolated peristomate lineage.Assembly of reads from Illumina SBS and Pacific Biosciences RS sequencing reveals that the Tetraphis chloroplast genome comprises 127,489 bp and the mitochondrial genome 107,730 bp. Although genomic structures are similar to those of the small number of other known moss organellar genomes, the chloroplast lacks the petN gene (in common with Tortula ruralis) and the mitochondrion has only a non-functional pseudogenised remnant of nad7 (uniquely amongst known moss chondromes).Structural genomic features exist with the potential to be informative for phylogenetic relationships amongst the peristomate moss lineages, and thus organellar genome sequences are urgently required for exemplars from other clades. The unique genomic and morphological features of Tetraphis confirm its importance for resolving one of the major questions in land plant phylogeny and for understanding the evolution of the peristome, a likely key innovation underlying the diversity of mosses. The functional loss of nad7 from the chondrome is now shown to have occurred independently in all three bryophyte clades as well as in the early-diverging tracheophyte Huperzia squarrosa.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome sequencing of two Neorhizobium galegae strains reveals a noeT gene responsible for the unusual acetylation of the nodulation factors.

The species Neorhizobium galegae comprises two symbiovars that induce nodules on Galega plants. Strains of both symbiovars, orientalis and officinalis, induce nodules on the same plant species, but fix nitrogen only in their own host species. The mechanism behind this strict host specificity is not yet known. In this study, genome sequences of representatives of the two symbiovars were produced, providing new material for studying properties of N. galegae, with a special interest in genomic differences that may play a role in host specificity.The genome sequences confirmed that the two representative strains are much alike at a whole-genome level. Analysis of orthologous genes showed that N. galegae has a higher number of orthologs shared with Rhizobium than with Agrobacterium. The symbiosis plasmid of strain HAMBI 1141 was shown to transfer by conjugation under optimal conditions. In addition, both sequenced strains have an acetyltransferase gene which was shown to modify the Nod factor on the residue adjacent to the non-reducing-terminal residue. The working hypothesis that this gene is of major importance in directing host specificity of N. galegae could not, however, be confirmed.Strains of N. galegae have many genes differentiating them from strains of Agrobacterium, Rhizobium and Sinorhizobium. However, the mechanism behind their ecological difference is not evident. Although the final determinant for the strict host specificity of N. galegae remains to be identified, the gene responsible for the species-specific acetylation of the Nod factors was identified in this study. We propose the name noeT for this gene to reflect its role in symbiosis.


July 7, 2019  |  

LoRDEC: accurate and efficient long read error correction.

PacBio single molecule real-time sequencing is a third-generation sequencing technique producing long reads, with comparatively lower throughput and higher error rate. Errors include numerous indels and complicate downstream analysis like mapping or de novo assembly. A hybrid strategy that takes advantage of the high accuracy of second-generation short reads has been proposed for correcting long reads. Mapping of short reads on long reads provides sufficient coverage to eliminate up to 99% of errors, however, at the expense of prohibitive running times and considerable amounts of disk and memory space.We present LoRDEC, a hybrid error correction method that builds a succinct de Bruijn graph representing the short reads, and seeks a corrective sequence for each erroneous region in the long reads by traversing chosen paths in the graph. In comparison, LoRDEC is at least six times faster and requires at least 93% less memory or disk space than available tools, while achieving comparable accuracy. Availability and implementaion: LoRDEC is written in C++, tested on Linux platforms and freely available at http://atgc.lirmm.fr/lordec. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Akkermansia glycaniphila strain PytT, a mucin-degrading specialist of the reticulated python gut.

Akkermansia glycaniphila is a novel Akkermansia species that was isolated from the intestine of the reticulated python and shares the capacity to degrade mucin with the human strain Akkermansia muciniphila Muc(T) Here, we report the complete genome sequence of strain Pyt(T) of 3,074,121 bp. The genomic analysis reveals genes for mucin degradation and aerobic respiration. Copyright © 2017 Ouwerkerk et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Conjugative ESBL plasmids differ in their potential to rescue susceptible bacteria via horizontal gene transfer in lethal antibiotic concentrations.

Emergence (and proliferation) of resistant pathogens under strong antibiotic selection is an evolutionary process where bacteria overcome the otherwise growth inhibiting or lethal concentration of antimicrobial substances. In this study, we set to investigate a largely unexplored mechanism, namely evolutionary rescue (that is, adaptive evolutionary change that restores positive growth to declining population and prevents extinction) via horizontal gene transfer, by which new resistant bacteria may emerge both in and out of clinical environments.


July 7, 2019  |  

Simultaneous production of Anabaenopeptins and Namalides by the cyanobacterium Nostoc sp. CENA543.

Anabaenopeptins are a diverse group of cyclic peptides, which contain an unusual ureido linkage. Namalides are shorter structural homologues of anabaenopeptins, which also contain an ureido linkage. The biosynthetic origins of namalides are unknown despite a strong resemblance to anabaenopeptins. Here, we show the cyanobacterium Nostoc sp. CENA543 strain producing new (nostamide B-E (2, 4, 5, and 6)) and known variants of anabaenopeptins (schizopeptin 791 (1) and anabaenopeptin 807 (3)). Surprisingly, Nostoc sp. CENA543 also produced namalide B (8) and the new namalides D (7), E (9), and F (10) in similar amounts to anabaenopeptins. Analysis of the complete Nostoc sp. CENA543 genome sequence indicates that both anabaenopeptins and namalides are produced by the same biosynthetic pathway through module skipping during biosynthesis. This unique process involves the skipping of two modules present in different nonribosomal peptide synthetases during the namalide biosynthesis. This skipping is an efficient mechanism since both anabaenopeptins and namalides are synthesized in similar amounts by Nostoc sp. CENA543. Consequently, gene skipping may be used to increase and possibly broaden the chemical diversity of related peptides produced by a single biosynthetic gene cluster. Genome mining demonstrated that the anabaenopeptin gene clusters are widespread in cyanobacteria and can also be found in tectomicrobia bacteria.


July 7, 2019  |  

Heat resistance mediated by pLM58 plasmid-borne ClpL in Listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria monocytogenes is one of the most heat-resistant non-spore-forming food-borne pathogens and poses a notable risk to food safety, particularly when mild heat treatments are used in food processing and preparation. While general heat stress properties and response mechanisms of L. monocytogenes have been described, accessory mechanisms providing particular L. monocytogenes strains with the advantage of enhanced heat resistance are unknown. Here, we report plasmid-mediated heat resistance of L. monocytogenes for the first time. This resistance is mediated by the ATP-dependent protease ClpL. We tested the survival of two wild-type L. monocytogenes strains-both of serotype 1/2c, sequence type ST9, and high sequence identity-at high temperatures and compared their genome composition in order to identify genetic mechanisms involved in their heat survival phenotype. L. monocytogenes AT3E was more heat resistant (0.0 CFU/ml log10 reduction) than strain AL4E (1.4 CFU/ml log10 reduction) after heating at 55°C for 40 min. A prominent difference in the genome compositions of the two strains was a 58-kb plasmid (pLM58) harbored by the heat-resistant AT3E strain, suggesting plasmid-mediated heat resistance. Indeed, plasmid curing resulted in significantly decreased heat resistance (1.1 CFU/ml log10 reduction) at 55°C. pLM58 harbored a 2,115-bp open reading frame annotated as an ATP-dependent protease (ClpL)-encoding clpL gene. Introducing the clpL gene into a natively heat-sensitive L. monocytogenes strain (1.2 CFU/ml log10 reduction) significantly increased the heat resistance of the recipient strain (0.4 CFU/ml log10 reduction) at 55°C. Plasmid-borne ClpL is thus a potential predictor of elevated heat resistance in L. monocytogenes. IMPORTANCEListeria monocytogenes is a dangerous food pathogen causing the severe illness listeriosis that has a high mortality rate in immunocompromised individuals. Although destroyed by pasteurization, L. monocytogenes is among the most heat-resistant non-spore-forming bacteria. This poses a risk to food safety, as listeriosis is commonly associated with ready-to-eat foods that are consumed without thorough heating. However, L. monocytogenes strains differ in their ability to survive high temperatures, and comprehensive understanding of the genetic mechanisms underlying these differences is still limited. Whole-genome-sequence analysis and phenotypic characterization allowed us to identify a novel plasmid, designated pLM58, and a plasmid-borne ATP-dependent protease (ClpL), which mediated heat resistance in L. monocytogenes. As the first report on plasmid-mediated heat resistance in L. monocytogenes, our study sheds light on the accessory genetic mechanisms rendering certain L. monocytogenes strains particularly capable of surviving high temperatures-with plasmid-borne ClpL being a potential predictor of elevated heat resistance.


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