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November 1, 2017

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…

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November 1, 2017

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…

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June 1, 2017

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.

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February 14, 2017

AGBT Virtual Poster: Interspecies interation amoung meat spoilage-related lactic acid bacteria

In this AGBT 2017 poster, the University of Helsinki’s Petri Auevinen reports on efforts to understand bacteria that grow on, and subsequently spoil, food. This analysis monitored DNA modifications and transcriptomic changes in three species of lactic acid bacteria. Scientists discovered that the organisms’ metabolic profiles change substantially when grown together compared to those cultured individually, and are now studying how Cas protein activity changes under these conditions too.

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January 5, 2017

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.

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December 1, 2016

Comparative genomics and physiology of the butyrate-producing bacterium Intestinimonas butyriciproducens.

Intestinimonas is a newly described bacterial genus with representative strains present in the intestinal tract of human and other animals. Despite unique metabolic features including the production of butyrate from both sugars and amino acids, there is to date no data on their diversity, ecology, and physiology. Using a comprehensive phylogenetic approach, Intestinimomas was found to include at least three species that colonize primarily the human and mouse intestine. We focused on the most common and cultivable species of the genus, Intestinimonas butyriciproducens, and performed detailed genomic and physiological comparison of strains SRB521(T) and AF211, isolated from the mouse and…

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October 21, 2016

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,…

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August 1, 2016

Scoping the effectiveness and evolutionary obstacles in using plasmid-dependent phages to fight antibiotic resistance.

To investigate the potential evolutionary obstacles in the sustainable therapeutic use of plasmid-dependent phages to control the clinically important conjugative plasmid-mediated dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes to pathogenic bacteria.The lytic plasmid-dependent phage PRD1 and the multiresistance conferring plasmid RP4 in an Escherichia coli host were utilized to assess the genetic and phenotypic changes induced by combined phage and antibiotic selection.Resistance to PRD1 was always coupled with either completely lost or greatly reduced conjugation ability. Reversion to full conjugation efficiency was found to be rare, and it also restored the susceptibility to plasmid-dependent phages. Consequently, plasmid-dependent phages constitute an interesting candidate…

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March 1, 2016

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…

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June 1, 2015

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…

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December 1, 2014

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…

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December 1, 2014

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…

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September 5, 2014

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…

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July 14, 2014

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…

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June 1, 2014

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…

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