July 7, 2019  |  

A17, the first sequenced strain of Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris with potential immunomodulatory functions.

Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris A17, isolated from Taiwan fermented cabbage, is the first sequenced strain of L. lactis subsp. cremoris with immunomodulatory activity and antiallergic functions. The resulting A17 draft genome contains 2,679,936 bp and indicates that A17 is a potential exopolysaccharide-producing strain without any known virulence gene. Copyright © 2015 Yang et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Characterization of the effect of the histidine kinase CovS on response regulator phosphorylation in group A Streptococcus.

Two-component gene regulatory systems (TCSs) are a major mechanism by which bacteria respond to environmental stimuli and thus are critical to infectivity. For example, the control of virulence regulator/sensor kinase (CovRS) TCS is central to the virulence of the major human pathogen group A Streptococcus (GAS). Here, we used a combination of quantitative in vivo phosphorylation assays, isoallelic strains that varied by only a single amino acid in CovS, and transcriptome analyses to characterize the impact of CovS on CovR phosphorylation and GAS global gene expression. We discovered that CovS primarily serves to phosphorylate CovR, thereby resulting in the repression of virulence factor-encoding genes. However, a GAS strain selectively deficient in CovS phosphatase activity had a distinct transcriptome relative to that of its parental strain, indicating that both CovS kinase and phosphatase activities influence the CovR phosphorylation status. Surprisingly, compared to a serotype M3 strain, serotype M1 GAS strains had high levels of phosphorylated CovR, low transcript levels of CovR-repressed genes, and strikingly different responses to environmental cues. Moreover, the inactivation of CovS in the serotype M1 background resulted in a greater decrease in phosphorylated CovR levels and a greater increase in the transcript levels of CovR-repressed genes than did CovS inactivation in a serotype M3 strain. These data clarify the influence of CovS on the CovR phosphorylation status and provide insight into why serotype M1 GAS strains have high rates of spontaneous mutations in covS during invasive GAS infection, thus providing a link between TCS molecular function and the epidemiology of deadly bacterial infections. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Insights on the emergence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from the analysis of Mycobacterium kansasii.

By phylogenetic analysis, Mycobacterium kansasii is closely related to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Yet, although both organisms cause pulmonary disease, M. tuberculosis is a global health menace, whereas M. kansasii is an opportunistic pathogen. To illuminate the differences between these organisms, we have sequenced the genome of M. kansasii ATCC 12478 and its plasmid (pMK12478) and conducted side-by-side in vitro and in vivo investigations of these two organisms. The M. kansasii genome is 6,432,277 bp, more than 2 Mb longer than that of M. tuberculosis H37Rv, and the plasmid contains 144,951 bp. Pairwise comparisons reveal conserved and discordant genes and genomic regions. A notable example of genomic conservation is the virulence locus ESX-1, which is intact and functional in the low-virulence M. kansasii, potentially mediating phagosomal disruption. Differences between these organisms include a decreased predicted metabolic capacity, an increased proportion of toxin-antitoxin genes, and the acquisition of M. tuberculosis-specific genes in the pathogen since their common ancestor. Consistent with their distinct epidemiologic profiles, following infection of C57BL/6 mice, M. kansasii counts increased by less than 10-fold over 6 weeks, whereas M. tuberculosis counts increased by over 10,000-fold in just 3 weeks. Together, these data suggest that M. kansasii can serve as an image of the environmental ancestor of M. tuberculosis before its emergence as a professional pathogen, and can be used as a model organism to study the switch from an environmental opportunistic pathogen to a professional host-restricted pathogen. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome sequence of the Drosophila melanogaster male-killing Spiroplasma strain MSRO endosymbiont.

Spiroplasmas are helical and motile members of a cell wall-less eubacterial group called Mollicutes. Although all spiroplasmas are associated with arthropods, they exhibit great diversity with respect to both their modes of transmission and their effects on their hosts; ranging from horizontally transmitted pathogens and commensals to endosymbionts that are transmitted transovarially (i.e., from mother to offspring). Here we provide the first genome sequence, along with proteomic validation, of an endosymbiotic inherited Spiroplasma bacterium, the Spiroplasma poulsonii MSRO strain harbored by Drosophila melanogaster. Comparison of the genome content of S. poulsonii with that of horizontally transmitted spiroplasmas indicates that S. poulsonii has lost many metabolic pathways and transporters, demonstrating a high level of interdependence with its insect host. Consistent with genome analysis, experimental studies showed that S. poulsonii metabolizes glucose but not trehalose. Notably, trehalose is more abundant than glucose in Drosophila hemolymph, and the inability to metabolize trehalose may prevent S. poulsonii from overproliferating. Our study identifies putative virulence genes, notably, those for a chitinase, the H2O2-producing glycerol-3-phosphate oxidase, and enzymes involved in the synthesis of the eukaryote-toxic lipid cardiolipin. S. poulsonii also expresses on the cell membrane one functional adhesion-related protein and two divergent spiralin proteins that have been implicated in insect cell invasion in other spiroplasmas. These lipoproteins may be involved in the colonization of the Drosophila germ line, ensuring S. poulsonii vertical transmission. The S. poulsonii genome is a valuable resource to explore the mechanisms of male killing and symbiont-mediated protection, two cardinal features of many facultative endosymbionts.Most insect species, including important disease vectors and crop pests, harbor vertically transmitted endosymbiotic bacteria. These endosymbionts play key roles in their hosts’ fitness, including protecting them against natural enemies and manipulating their reproduction in ways that increase the frequency of symbiont infection. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms that underlie these processes. Here, we provide the first genome draft of a vertically transmitted male-killing Spiroplasma bacterium, the S. poulsonii MSRO strain harbored by D. melanogaster. Analysis of the S. poulsonii genome was complemented by proteomics and ex vivo metabolic experiments. Our results indicate that S. poulsonii has reduced metabolic capabilities and expresses divergent membrane lipoproteins and potential virulence factors that likely participate in Spiroplasma-host interactions. This work fills a gap in our knowledge of insect endosymbionts and provides tools with which to decipher the interaction between Spiroplasma bacteria and their well-characterized host D. melanogaster, which is emerging as a model of endosymbiosis. Copyright © 2015 Paredes et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Phylogeographical analysis of the dominant multidrug-resistant H58 clade of Salmonella Typhi identifies inter- and intracontinental transmission events.

The emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) typhoid is a major global health threat affecting many countries where the disease is endemic. Here whole-genome sequence analysis of 1,832 Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) identifies a single dominant MDR lineage, H58, that has emerged and spread throughout Asia and Africa over the last 30 years. Our analysis identifies numerous transmissions of H58, including multiple transfers from Asia to Africa and an ongoing, unrecognized MDR epidemic within Africa itself. Notably, our analysis indicates that H58 lineages are displacing antibiotic-sensitive isolates, transforming the global population structure of this pathogen. H58 isolates can harbor a complex MDR element residing either on transmissible IncHI1 plasmids or within multiple chromosomal integration sites. We also identify new mutations that define the H58 lineage. This phylogeographical analysis provides a framework to facilitate global management of MDR typhoid and is applicable to similar MDR lineages emerging in other bacterial species.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genomes of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ Haplotype A from New Zealand and the United States Suggest Significant Genome Plasticity in the Species.

‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ contains two solanaceous crop-infecting haplotypes, A and B. Two haplotype A draft genomes were assembled and compared with ZC1 (haplotype B), revealing inversion and relocation genomic rearrangements, numerous single-nucleotide polymorphisms, and differences in phage-related regions. Differences in prophage location and sequence were seen both within and between haplotype comparisons. OrthoMCL and BLAST analyses identified 46 putative coding sequences present in haplotype A that were not present in haplotype B. Thirty-eight of these loci were not found in sequences from other Liberibacter spp. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays designed to amplify sequences from 15 of these loci were screened against a panel of ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’-positive samples to investigate genetic diversity. Seven of the assays demonstrated within-haplotype diversity; five failed to amplify loci in at least one haplotype A sample while three assays produced amplicons from some haplotype B samples. Eight of the loci assays showed consistent A-B differentiation. Differences in genome arrangements, prophage, and qPCR results suggesting locus diversity within the haplotypes provide more evidence for genetic complexity in this emerging bacterial species.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Piscirickettsia salmonis LF-89 (ATCC VR-1361) a major pathogen of farmed salmonid fish.

Piscirickettsia salmonis, the causative agent of salmonid rickettsial septicemia (SRS), is a significant threat to the healthy and sustainable production of salmonid farming industry. This Gram-negative bacterium, originally isolated from a coho salmon in Southern Chile, produces a systemic infection characterized by colonization of several fish organs. P. salmonis is able to infect, survive, and replicate inside salmonid macrophages however little is known about its mechanisms of pathogenesis. Here, we present the whole genome sequence and annotation of the P. salmonis reference strain LF-89 (ATCC VR-1361). The genome contains one circular chromosome of 3,184,851bp and three plasmids, pPSLF89-1 (180,124bp), pPSLF89-2 (33,516bp) and pPSLF89-3 (51,573bp). A total of 2850 protein-coding genes, 56 tRNAs and six copies of 5S-16S-23S rRNA. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome architecture of Lactobacillus plantarum PS128, a probiotic strain with potential immunomodulatory activity.

Clinical and preclinical observations indicate that Lactobacillus plantarum has anti-inflammatory activity and may regulate the immune responses of its hosts when ingested. Recently, modification of teichoic acids (TAs) produced by L. plantarum was reported as a key to regulating the systemic immune response in mice. However, data linking TA-related genetic determinants and the immunomodulatory effect are limited. To provide genomic information for elucidating the underlying mechanism of immunomodulation by L. plantarum, we sequenced the genome of L. plantarum strain PS128.The PS128 genome contains 11 contigs (3,325,806 bp; 44.42% GC content) after hybrid assembly of sequences derived with Illumina MiSeq and PacBio RSII systems. The most abundant functions of the protein-coding genes are carbohydrate, amino acid, and protein metabolism. The 16S rDNA sequences of PS128 are closest to the sequences of L. plantarum WCFS1 and B21; these three strains form a distinct clade based on 16S rDNA sequences. PS128 shares core genes encoding the metabolism, transport, and modification of TAs with other sequenced L. plantarum strains. Compared with the TA-related genes of other completely sequenced L. plantarum strains, the PS128 contains more lipoteichoic acid exporter genes.We determined the draft genome sequence of PS128 and compared its TA-related genes with those of other L. plantarum strains. Shared genomic features with respect to TA-related subsystems may be important clues to the mechanism by which L. plantarum regulates its host immune responses, but unique TA-related genetic determinants should be further investigated to elucidate strain-specific immunomodulatory effects.


July 7, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics and characterization of hybrid Shigatoxigenic and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC/ETEC) strains.

Shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) and enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) cause serious foodborne infections in humans. These two pathogroups are defined based on the pathogroup-associated virulence genes: stx encoding Shiga toxin (Stx) for STEC and elt encoding heat-labile and/or est encoding heat-stable enterotoxin (ST) for ETEC. The study investigated the genomics of STEC/ETEC hybrid strains to determine their phylogenetic position among E. coli and to define the virulence genes they harbor.The whole genomes of three STEC/ETEC strains possessing both stx and est genes were sequenced using PacBio RS sequencer. Two of the strains were isolated from the patients, one with hemolytic uremic syndrome, and one with diarrhea. The third strain was of bovine origin. Core genome analysis of the shared chromosomal genes and comparison with E. coli and Shigella spp. reference genomes was performed to determine the phylogenetic position of the STEC/ETEC strains. In addition, a set of virulence genes and ETEC colonization factors were extracted from the genomes. The production of Stx and ST were studied.The human STEC/ETEC strains clustered with strains representing ETEC, STEC, enteroaggregative E. coli, and commensal and laboratory-adapted E. coli. However, the bovine STEC/ETEC strain formed a remote cluster with two STECs of bovine origin. All three STEC/ETEC strains harbored several other virulence genes, apart from stx and est, and lacked ETEC colonization factors. Two STEC/ETEC strains produced both toxins and one strain Stx only.This study shows that pathogroup-associated virulence genes of different E. coli can co-exist in strains originating from different phylogenetic lineages. The possibility of virulence genes to be associated with several E. coli pathogroups should be taken into account in strain typing and in epidemiological surveillance. Development of novel hybrid E. coli strains may cause a new public health risk, which challenges the traditional diagnostics of E. coli infections.


July 7, 2019  |  

A novel type pathway-specific regulator and dynamic genome environments of solanapyrone biosynthesis gene cluster in the fungus Ascochyta rabiei.

Secondary metabolite genes are often clustered together and situated in particular genomic regions, like the subtelomere, that can facilitate niche adaptation in fungi. Solanapyrones are toxic secondary metabolites produced by fungi occupying different ecological niches. Full-genome sequencing of the ascomycete Ascochyta rabiei revealed a solanapyrone biosynthesis gene cluster embedded in an AT-rich region proximal to a telomere end and surrounded by Tc1/Mariner-type transposable elements. The highly AT-rich environment of the solanapyrone cluster is likely the product of repeat-induced point mutations. Several secondary metabolism-related genes were found in the flanking regions of the solanapyrone cluster. Although the solanapyrone cluster appears to be resistant to repeat-induced point mutations, a P450 monooxygenase gene adjacent to the cluster has been degraded by such mutations. Among the six solanapyrone cluster genes (sol1 to sol6), sol4 encodes a novel type of Zn(II)2Cys6 zinc cluster transcription factor. Deletion of sol4 resulted in the complete loss of solanapyrone production but did not compromise growth, sporulation, or virulence. Gene expression studies with the sol4 deletion and sol4-overexpressing mutants delimited the boundaries of the solanapyrone gene cluster and revealed that sol4 is likely a specific regulator of solanapyrone biosynthesis and appears to be necessary and sufficient for induction of the solanapyrone cluster genes. Despite the dynamic surrounding genomic regions, the solanapyrone gene cluster has maintained its integrity, suggesting important roles of solanapyrones in fungal biology. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complex population structure and virulence differences among serotype 2 Streptococcus suis strains belonging to sequence type 28.

Streptococcus suis is a major swine pathogen and a zoonotic agent. Serotype 2 strains are the most frequently associated with disease. However, not all serotype 2 lineages are considered virulent. Indeed, sequence type (ST) 28 serotype 2 S. suis strains have been described as a homogeneous group of low virulence. However, ST28 strains are often isolated from diseased swine in some countries, and at least four human ST28 cases have been reported. Here, we used whole-genome sequencing and animal infection models to test the hypothesis that the ST28 lineage comprises strains of different genetic backgrounds and different virulence. We used 50 S. suis ST28 strains isolated in Canada, the United States and Japan from diseased pigs, and one ST28 strain from a human case isolated in Thailand. We report a complex population structure among the 51 ST28 strains. Diversity resulted from variable gene content, recombination events and numerous genome-wide polymorphisms not attributable to recombination. Phylogenetic analysis using core genome single-nucleotide polymorphisms revealed four discrete clades with strong geographic structure, and a fifth clade formed by US, Thai and Japanese strains. When tested in experimental animal models, strains from this latter clade were significantly more virulent than a Canadian ST28 reference strain, and a closely related Canadian strain. Our results highlight the limitations of MLST for both phylogenetic analysis and virulence prediction and raise concerns about the possible emergence of ST28 strains in human clinical cases.


Talk with an expert

If you have a question, need to check the status of an order, or are interested in purchasing an instrument, we're here to help.