September 22, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequences of two genotype A2 small ruminant lentiviruses isolated from infected U.S. sheep.

Two distinct subgroups of genotype A2 small ruminant lentiviruses (SRLVs) have been identified in the United States that infect sheep with specific host transmembrane protein 154 (TMEM154) diplotypes. Here, we report the first two complete genome sequences of SRLV strains infecting U.S. sheep belonging to genotype A2, subgroups 1 and 2. Copyright © 2017 Workman et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

Evaluation of 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing using two next-generation sequencing technologies for phylogenetic analysis of the rumen bacterial community in steers.

Next generation sequencing technologies have vastly changed the approach of sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene for studies in microbial ecology. Three distinct technologies are available for large-scale 16S sequencing. All three are subject to biases introduced by sequencing error rates, amplification primer selection, and read length, which can affect the apparent microbial community. In this study, we compared short read 16S rRNA variable regions, V1-V3, with that of near-full length 16S regions, V1-V8, using highly diverse steer rumen microbial communities, in order to examine the impact of technology selection on phylogenetic profiles. Short paired-end reads from the Illumina MiSeq platform were used to generate V1-V3 sequence, while long “circular consensus” reads from the Pacific Biosciences RSII instrument were used to generate V1-V8 data. The two platforms revealed similar microbial operational taxonomic units (OTUs), as well as similar species richness, Good’s coverage, and Shannon diversity metrics. However, the V1-V8 amplified ruminal community resulted in significant increases in several orders of taxa, such as phyla Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia (P < 0.05). Taxonomic classification accuracy was also greater in the near full-length read. UniFrac distance matrices using jackknifed UPGMA clustering also noted differences between the communities. These data support the consensus that longer reads result in a finer phylogenetic resolution that may not be achieved by shorter 16S rRNA gene fragments. Our work on the cattle rumen bacterial community demonstrates that utilizing near full-length 16S reads may be useful in conducting a more thorough study, or for developing a niche-specific database to use in analyzing data from shorter read technologies when budgetary constraints preclude use of near-full length 16S sequencing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


July 19, 2019  |  

Genome sequencing and comparative genomics provides insights on the evolutionary dynamics and pathogenic potential of different H-serotypes of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O104.

Various H-serotypes of the Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O104, including H4, H7, H21, and H¯, have been associated with sporadic cases of illness and have caused food-borne outbreaks globally. In the U.S., STEC O104:H21 caused an outbreak associated with milk in 1994. However, there is little known on the evolutionary origins of STEC O104 strains, and how genotypic diversity contributes to pathogenic potential of various O104 H-antigen serotypes isolated from different ecological niches and/or geographical regions.Two STEC O104:H21 (milk outbreak strain) and O104:H7 (cattle isolate) strains were shot-gun sequenced, and the genomes were closed. The intimin (eae) gene, involved in the attaching-effacing phenotype of diarrheagenic E. coli, was not found in either strain. Examining various O104 genome sequences, we found that two “complete” left and right end portions of the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) pathogenicity island were present in 13 O104 strains; however, the central portion of LEE was missing, where the eae gene is located. In O104:H4 strains, the missing central portion of the LEE locus was replaced by a pathogenicity island carrying the aidA (adhesin involved in diffuse adherence) gene and antibiotic resistance genes commonly carried on plasmids. Enteroaggregative E. coli-specific virulence genes and European outbreak O104:H4-specific stx2-encoding Escherichia P13374 or Escherichia TL-2011c bacteriophages were missing in some of the O104:H4 genome sequences available from public databases. Most of the genomic variations in the strains examined were due to the presence of different mobile genetic elements, including prophages and genomic island regions. The presence of plasmids carrying virulence-associated genes may play a role in the pathogenic potential of O104 strains.The two strains sequenced in this study (O104:H21 and O104:H7) are genetically more similar to each other than to the O104:H4 strains that caused an outbreak in Germany in 2011 and strains found in Central Africa. A hypothesis on strain evolution and pathogenic potential of various H-serotypes of E. coli O104 strains is proposed.


July 19, 2019  |  

Improved maize reference genome with single-molecule technologies.

Complete and accurate reference genomes and annotations provide fundamental tools for characterization of genetic and functional variation. These resources facilitate the determination of biological processes and support translation of research findings into improved and sustainable agricultural technologies. Many reference genomes for crop plants have been generated over the past decade, but these genomes are often fragmented and missing complex repeat regions. Here we report the assembly and annotation of a reference genome of maize, a genetic and agricultural model species, using single-molecule real-time sequencing and high-resolution optical mapping. Relative to the previous reference genome, our assembly features a 52-fold increase in contig length and notable improvements in the assembly of intergenic spaces and centromeres. Characterization of the repetitive portion of the genome revealed more than 130,000 intact transposable elements, allowing us to identify transposable element lineage expansions that are unique to maize. Gene annotations were updated using 111,000 full-length transcripts obtained by single-molecule real-time sequencing. In addition, comparative optical mapping of two other inbred maize lines revealed a prevalence of deletions in regions of low gene density and maize lineage-specific genes.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Edwardsiella hoshinae ATCC 35051.

Edwardsiella hoshinae is a Gram-negative facultative anaerobe that has primarily been isolated from avians and reptiles. We report here the complete and annotated genome sequence of an isolate from a monitor lizard (Varanus sp.), which contains a chromosome of 3,811,650 bp and no plasmids. Copyright © 2017 Reichley et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Zinc resistance within swine associated methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Isolates in the USA is associated with MLST lineage.

Zinc resistance in livestock-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) sequence type (ST) 398 is primarily mediated by the czrC gene co-located with the mecA gene, encoding methicillin resistance, within the type V SCCmec element. Because czrC and mecA are located within the same mobile genetic element, it has been suggested that the use of in feed zinc as an antidiarrheal agent has the potential to contribute to the emergence and spread of MRSA in swine through increased selection pressure to maintain the SCCmec element in isolates obtained from pigs. In this study we report the prevalence of the czrC gene and phenotypic zinc resistance in US swine associated LA-MRSA ST5 isolates, MRSA ST5 isolates from humans with no swine contact, and US swine associated LA-MRSA ST398 isolates. We demonstrate that the prevalence of zinc resistance in US swine associated LA-MRSA ST5 isolates was significantly lower than the prevalence of zinc resistance in MRSA ST5 isolates from humans with no swine contact, swine associated LA-MRSA ST398 isolates, and previous reports describing zinc resistance in other LA-MRSA ST398 isolates. Collectively our data suggest that selection pressure associated with zinc supplementation in feed is unlikely to have played a significant role in the emergence of LA-MRSA ST5 in the US swine population. Additionally, our data indicate that zinc resistance is associated with MLST lineage suggesting a potential link between genetic lineage and carriage of resistance determinants.Importance Our data suggest that coselection thought to be associated with the use of zinc in feed as an antimicrobial agent is not playing a role in the emergence of livestock-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) ST5 in the US swine population. Additionally, our data indicate that zinc resistance is more associated with multi locus sequence type (MLST) lineage suggesting a potential link between genetic lineage and carriage of resistance markers. This information is important to public health professionals, veterinarians, producers, and consumers. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.


July 7, 2019  |  

Structural basis for recombinatorial permissiveness in the generation of Anaplasma marginale Msp2 antigenic variants.

Sequential expression of outer membrane protein antigenic variants is an evolutionarily convergent mechanism used by bacterial pathogens to escape host immune clearance and establish persistent infection. Variants must be sufficiently structurally distinct to escape existing immune effectors yet retain core structural elements required for localization and function within the outer membrane. We examined this balance using Anaplasma marginale, which generates antigenic variants in the outer membrane protein Msp2 using gene conversion. The overwhelming majority of Msp2 variants expressed during long-term persistent infection are mosaics, derived by recombination of oligonucleotide segments from multiple alleles to form unique hypervariable regions (HVR). As a result, the mosaics are not under long-term selective pressure to encode a functional protein; consequently, we hypothesized that the Msp2 HVR is structurally permissive for mosaic expression. Using an integrated approach of predictive modeling with determination of native Msp2 protein structure and function, we demonstrate that structured elements, most notably ß-sheets, are significantly concentrated in the highly conserved N- and C-terminal domains. In contrast the HVR is overwhelmingly random coil with the structured a-helices and ß-sheets confined to the genomically defined “structural tethers” that separate the antigenically variable microdomains. This structure is supported by the surface exposure of the HVR microdomains and the slow diffusion type porin function in native Msp2. Importantly, the predominance of random coil provides plasticity for formation of functional HVR mosaics and realization of the full potential of segmental gene conversion to dramatically expand the variant repertoire. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


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