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Friday, July 19, 2019

Evolution of mosquito preference for humans linked to an odorant receptor.

Female mosquitoes are major vectors of human disease and the most dangerous are those that preferentially bite humans. A ‘domestic’ form of the mosquito Aedes aegypti has evolved to specialize in biting humans and is the main worldwide vector of dengue, yellow fever, and chikungunya viruses. The domestic form coexists with an ancestral, ‘forest’ form that prefers to bite non-human animals and is found along the coast of Kenya. We collected the two forms, established laboratory colonies, and document striking divergence in preference for human versus non-human animal odour. We further show that the evolution of preference for human odour…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Radical remodeling of the Y chromosome in a recent radiation of malaria mosquitoes.

Y chromosomes control essential male functions in many species, including sex determination and fertility. However, because of obstacles posed by repeat-rich heterochromatin, knowledge of Y chromosome sequences is limited to a handful of model organisms, constraining our understanding of Y biology across the tree of life. Here, we leverage long single-molecule sequencing to determine the content and structure of the nonrecombining Y chromosome of the primary African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. We find that the An. gambiae Y consists almost entirely of a few massively amplified, tandemly arrayed repeats, some of which can recombine with similar repeats on the X…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Site-specific genetic engineering of the Anopheles gambiae Y chromosome.

Despite its function in sex determination and its role in driving genome evolution, the Y chromosome remains poorly understood in most species. Y chromosomes are gene-poor, repeat-rich and largely heterochromatic and therefore represent a difficult target for genetic engineering. The Y chromosome of the human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae appears to be involved in sex determination although very little is known about both its structure and function. Here, we characterize a transgenic strain of this mosquito species, obtained by transposon-mediated integration of a transgene construct onto the Y chromosome. Using meganuclease-induced homologous repair we introduce a site-specific recombination signal onto…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genome analysis of a major urban malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles stephensi.

Background Anopheles stephensi is the key vector of malaria throughout the Indian subcontinent and Middle East and an emerging model for molecular and genetic studies of mosquito-parasite interactions. The type form of the species is responsible for the majority of urban malaria transmission across its range.ResultsHere, we report the genome sequence and annotation of the Indian strain of the type form of An. stephensi. The 221 Mb genome assembly represents more than 92% of the entire genome and was produced using a combination of 454, Illumina, and PacBio sequencing. Physical mapping assigned 62% of the genome onto chromosomes, enabling chromosome-based…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genome scaffolding and annotation for the pathogen vector Ixodes ricinus by ultra-long single molecule sequencing.

Global warming and other ecological changes have facilitated the expansion of Ixodes ricinus tick populations. Ixodes ricinus is the most important carrier of vector-borne pathogens in Europe, transmitting viruses, protozoa and bacteria, in particular Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato), the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis, the most prevalent vector-borne disease in humans in the Northern hemisphere. To faster control this disease vector, a better understanding of the I. ricinus tick is necessary. To facilitate such studies, we recently published the first reference genome of this highly prevalent pathogen vector. Here, we further extend these studies by scaffolding and annotating the first…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Prevalence and molecular characterization of mcr-1-positive Salmonella strains recovered from clinical specimens in China.

The recently discovered colistin resistance element, mcr-1, adds to the list of antimicrobial resistance genes that rapidly erode the antimicrobial efficacy of not only the commonly used antibiotics but also the last-line agents of carbapenems and colistin. This study investigated the prevalence of the mobile colistin resistance determinant mcr-1 in Salmonella strains recovered from clinical settings in China and the transmission potential of mcr-1-bearing mobile elements harbored by such isolates. The mcr-1 gene was recoverable in 1.4% of clinical isolates tested, with the majority of them belonging to Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium. These isolates exhibited diverse pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE)…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Complete genome sequence of Amycolatopsis orientalis CPCC200066, the producer of norvancomycin.

Amycolatopsis orientalis CPCC200066 is an actinomycete exploited commercially in China for the production of norvancomycin, an important glycopeptide antibiotic structurally close to the well-known vancomycin. The availability of the complete genome sequence of CPCC200066 would greatly strengthen our understanding of the regulation pattern of norvancomycin biosynthesis and ultimately improve its production, as well as potentiate discoveries of novel bioactive compounds. Here we report the complete genome sequence of A. orientalis CPCC200066, a circular chromosome consisting of 9,490,992bp. Forty putative secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters, including norvancomycin, were predicted, covering 20.3% of the whole genome. To facilitate genetic manipulation of this…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Improved annotation of the insect vector of citrus greening disease: biocuration by a diverse genomics community.

The Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama) is the insect vector of the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), the pathogen associated with citrus Huanglongbing (HLB, citrus greening). HLB threatens citrus production worldwide. Suppression or reduction of the insect vector using chemical insecticides has been the primary method to inhibit the spread of citrus greening disease. Accurate structural and functional annotation of the Asian citrus psyllid genome, as well as a clear understanding of the interactions between the insect and CLas, are required for development of new molecular-based HLB control methods. A draft assembly of the D. citri genome has been…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Transcriptional profiling the 150 kb linear megaplasmid of Borrelia turicatae suggests a role in vector colonization and initiating mammalian infection.

Adaptation is key for survival as vector-borne pathogens transmit between the arthropod and vertebrate, and temperature change is an environmental signal inducing alterations in gene expression of tick-borne spirochetes. While plasmids are often associated with adaptation, complex genomes of relapsing fever spirochetes have hindered progress in understanding the mechanisms of vector colonization and transmission. We utilized recent advances in genome sequencing to generate the most complete version of the Borrelia turicatae 150 kb linear megaplasmid (lp150). Additionally, a transcriptional analysis of open reading frames (ORFs) in lp150 was conducted and identified regions that were up-regulated during in vitro cultivation at…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Large-scale mitogenomics enables insights into Schizophora (Diptera) radiation and population diversity.

True flies are insects of the order Diptera and encompass one of the most diverse groups of animals on Earth. Within dipterans, Schizophora represents a recent radiation of insects that was used as a model to develop a pipeline for generating complete mitogenomes using various sequencing platforms and strategies. 91 mitogenomes from 32 different species were sequenced and assembled with high fidelity, using amplicon, whole genome shotgun or single molecule sequencing approaches. Based on the novel mitogenomes, we estimate the origin of Schizophora within the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary, about 68.3?Ma. Detailed analyses of the blowfly family (Calliphoridae) place its origin…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Horizontal gene acquisitions, mobile element proliferation, and genome decay in the host-restricted plant pathogen Erwinia tracheiphila.

Modern industrial agriculture depends on high-density cultivation of genetically similar crop plants, creating favorable conditions for the emergence of novel pathogens with increased fitness in managed compared with ecologically intact settings. Here, we present the genome sequence of six strains of the cucurbit bacterial wilt pathogen Erwinia tracheiphila (Enterobacteriaceae) isolated from infected squash plants in New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Michigan. These genomes exhibit a high proportion of recent horizontal gene acquisitions, invasion and remarkable amplification of mobile genetic elements, and pseudogenization of approximately 20% of the coding sequences. These genome attributes indicate that E. tracheiphila recently emerged as a…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Complete genome sequence of the larvicidal bacterium Lysinibacillus sphaericus strain OT4b.25.

Lysinibacillus sphaericus OT4b.25 is a native Colombian strain isolated from coleopteran larvae in an oak forest near Bogotá D.C.; this strain has shown high levels of pathogenic activity against Culex quinquefasciatus larvae in laboratory assays compared to that of other members of the same species. Using Pacific Biosciences sequencing technology, we propose a chromosomal contig of 4,665,775 bp that, according to comparative analysis, is highly similar to that of reference strain L. sphaericus C3-41. Copyright © 2016 Rey et al.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Complete genome sequence of Lysinibacillus sphaericus WHO reference strain 2362.

Lysinibacillus sphaericus is a species that contains strains widely used in the biological control of mosquitoes. Here, we present the complete 4.67-Mb genome of the WHO entomopathogenic reference strain L. sphaericus 2362, which is probably one of the most commercialized and studied strains. Genes coding for mosquitocidal toxin proteins were detected. Copyright © 2016 Hernández-Santana et al.

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