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February 1, 2019

In situ enrichment of microbial communities on polarized electrodes deployed in alkaline hot springs

The discovery of the ability of microorganisms to exchange electrons with inert electrodes has triggered new areas in fundamental and applied research. However, the field is currently limited to several known electrochemically active microorganisms enriched and isolated in research laboratories. An alternative strategy is to enrich such microorganisms in their native environment by allowing them to exchange electrons with polarized solid electrodes. The use of this approach is currently limited because of a lack of available tools. We developed a low-cost, battery-operated potentiostat that is capable of controlling the potential of a working electrode and can be deployed and operated…

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November 1, 2018

Genome sequence resources for the wheat stripe rust pathogen (Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici) and the barley stripe rust pathogen (Puccinia striiformis f. sp. hordei)

Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici causes devastating stripe (yellow) rust on wheat and P. striiformis f. sp. hordei causes stripe rust on barley. Several P. striiformis f. sp. tritici genomes are available, but no P. striiformis f. sp. hordei genome is available. More genomes of P. striiformis f. sp. tritici and P. striiformis f. sp. hordei are needed to understand the genome evolution and molecular mechanisms of their pathogenicity. We sequenced P. striiformis f. sp. tritici isolate 93-210 and P. striiformis f. sp. hordei isolate 93TX-2, using PacBio and Illumina technologies and RNA sequencing. Their genomic sequences were assembled to…

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August 1, 2018

Evolution of the U.S. biological select agent Rathayibacter toxicus.

Rathayibacter toxicus is a species of Gram-positive, corynetoxin-producing bacteria that causes annual ryegrass toxicity, a disease often fatal to grazing animals. A phylogenomic approach was employed to model the evolution of R. toxicus to explain the low genetic diversity observed among isolates collected during a 30-year period of sampling in three regions of Australia, gain insight into the taxonomy of Rathayibacter, and provide a framework for studying these bacteria. Analyses of a data set of more than 100 sequenced Rathayibacter genomes indicated that Rathayibacter forms nine species-level groups. R. toxicus is the most genetically distant, and evidence suggested that this species experienced…

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March 1, 2018

Complete genome sequence of a ciprofloxacin-resistant Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Kentucky sequence type 198 strain, PU131, isolated from a human patient in Washington State.

Strains of the ciprofloxacin-resistant (Cipr) Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Kentucky sequence type 198 (ST198) have rapidly and extensively disseminated globally to become a major food safety and public health concern. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of a CiprS. Kentucky ST198 strain, PU131, isolated from a human patient in Washington State (USA).

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February 8, 2018

Draft genome sequence of Cyanobacterium sp. strain HL-69, isolated from a benthic microbial mat from a magnesium sulfate-dominated hypersaline lake.

The complete genome sequence ofCyanobacteriumsp. strain HL-69 consists of 3,155,247 bp and contains 2,897 predicted genes comprising a chromosome and two plasmids. The genome is consistent with a halophilic nondiazotrophic phototrophic lifestyle, and this organism is able to synthesize most B vitamins and produces several secondary metabolites. Copyright © 2018 Mobberley et al.

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October 10, 2017

Characterization of four multidrug resistance plasmids captured from the sediments of an urban coastal wetland.

Self-transmissible and mobilizable plasmids contribute to the emergence and spread of multidrug-resistant bacteria by enabling the horizontal transfer of acquired antibiotic resistance. The objective of this study was to capture and characterize self-transmissible and mobilizable resistance plasmids from a coastal wetland impacted by urban stormwater runoff and human wastewater during the rainy season. Four plasmids were captured, two self-transmissible and two mobilizable, using both mating and enrichment approaches. Plasmid genomes, sequenced with either Illumina or PacBio platforms, revealed representatives of incompatibility groups IncP-6, IncR, IncN3, and IncF. The plasmids ranged in size from 36 to 144 kb and encoded known…

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October 6, 2017

The Babesia bovis hap2 gene is not required for blood stage replication, but expressed upon in vitro sexual stage induction.

Babesia bovis, is a tick borne apicomplexan parasite responsible for important cattle losses globally. Babesia parasites have a complex life cycle including asexual replication in the mammalian host and sexual reproduction in the tick vector. Novel control strategies aimed at limiting transmission of the parasite are needed, but transmission blocking vaccine candidates remain undefined. Expression of HAP2 has been recognized as critical for the fertilization of parasites in the Babesia-related Plasmodium, and is a leading candidate for a transmission blocking vaccine against malaria. Hereby we identified the B. bovis hap2 gene and demonstrated that it is widely conserved and differentially…

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October 4, 2017

Laboratory colonization stabilizes the naturally dynamic microbiome composition of field collected Dermacentor andersoni ticks.

Nearly a quarter of emerging infectious diseases identified in the last century are arthropod-borne. Although ticks and insects can carry pathogenic microorganisms, non-pathogenic microbes make up the majority of their microbial communities. The majority of tick microbiome research has had a focus on discovery and description; very few studies have analyzed the ecological context and functional responses of the bacterial microbiome of ticks. The goal of this analysis was to characterize the stability of the bacterial microbiome of Dermacentor andersoni ticks between generations and two populations within a species.The bacterial microbiome of D. andersoni midguts and salivary glands was analyzed…

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August 10, 2017

Whole genome sequence of two Rathayibacter toxicus strains reveals a tunicamycin biosynthetic cluster similar to Streptomyces chartreusis.

Rathayibacter toxicus is a forage grass associated Gram-positive bacterium of major concern to food safety and agriculture. This species is listed by USDA-APHIS as a plant pathogen select agent because it produces a tunicamycin-like toxin that is lethal to livestock and may be vectored by nematode species native to the U.S. The complete genomes of two strains of R. toxicus, including the type strain FH-79, were sequenced and analyzed in comparison with all available, complete R. toxicus genomes. Genome sizes ranged from 2,343,780 to 2,394,755 nucleotides, with 2079 to 2137 predicted open reading frames; all four strains showed remarkable synteny…

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May 10, 2017

Avoidance of APOBEC3B-induced mutation by error-free lesion bypass.

APOBEC cytidine deaminases mutate cancer genomes by converting cytidines into uridines within ssDNA during replication. Although uracil DNA glycosylases limit APOBEC-induced mutation, it is unknown if subsequent base excision repair (BER) steps function on replication-associated ssDNA. Hence, we measured APOBEC3B-induced CAN1 mutation frequencies in yeast deficient in BER endonucleases or DNA damage tolerance proteins. Strains lacking Apn1, Apn2, Ntg1, Ntg2 or Rev3 displayed wild-type frequencies of APOBEC3B-induced canavanine resistance (CanR). However, strains without error-free lesion bypass proteins Ubc13, Mms2 and Mph1 displayed respective 4.9-, 2.8- and 7.8-fold higher frequency of APOBEC3B-induced CanR. These results indicate that mutations resulting from APOBEC…

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April 15, 2017

Evaluation of long-term performance of sediment microbial fuel cells and the role of natural resources

Sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) are expected to be used as a renewable power source for remote environmental monitoring; therefore, evaluation of their long-term power performance is critical for their usability. In this paper, we present novel data needed to understand the long-term performance of SMFCs. We used 3-D Microemulsion (3DMe)™ doped anodes, which slowly release lactate and its fermented products. During our tests, anode-limited SMFCs with and without 3DMe-doped anodes were operated for more than 18 months with a load simulating a sensor operation. We found that doping an anode with an electron donor reduced startup time and increased…

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March 3, 2017

Sequencing the genomic regions flanking S-linked PvGLO sequences confirms the presence of two GLO loci, one of which lies adjacent to the style-length determinant gene CYP734A50.

Primula vulgaris contains two GLOBOSA loci, one located adjacent to the style length determinant gene CYP734A50 which lies within the S -locus. Using a combination of BAC walking and PacBio sequencing, we have sequenced two substantial genomic contigs in and around the S-locus of Primula vulgaris. Using these data, we were able to demonstrate that two alleles of PvGlo (P) as well as PvGlo (T) can be present in the genome of a single plant, providing empirical evidence that these two forms of the MADS-box gene GLOBOSA are separate loci and not allelic as previously reported. We propose they should…

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February 7, 2017

The influence of energy harvesting strategies on performance and microbial community for sediment microbial fuel cells

Sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) are being developed as potential energy sources where remote sensing and monitoring would be useful. Several energy harvesting techniques for SMFCs have emerged, but effects of these different strategies on startup, performance, and microbial community are not well understood. We investigated these effects by comparing a continuous energy harvesting (CEH) strategy with an intermittent energy harvesting (IEH) strategy. During startup, IEH systems immediately produced higher power and were cathode limited. CEH systems exhibited a gradual power increase and were anode-limited during startup. Both system types produced similar amounts of steady-state power, 1.5 mW ft-2 (16…

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January 19, 2017

Towards long-read metagenomics: complete assembly of three novel genomes from bacteria dependent on a diazotrophic cyanobacterium in a freshwater lake co-culture.

Here we report three complete bacterial genome assemblies from a PacBio shotgun metagenome of a co-culture from Upper Klamath Lake, OR. Genome annotations and culture conditions indicate these bacteria are dependent on carbon and nitrogen fixation from the cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, whose genome was assembled to draft-quality. Due to their taxonomic novelty relative to previously sequenced bacteria, we have temporarily designated these bacteria as incertae sedis Hyphomonadaceae strain UKL13-1 (3,501,508 bp and 56.12% GC), incertae sedis Betaproteobacterium strain UKL13-2 (3,387,087 bp and 54.98% GC), and incertae sedis Bacteroidetes strain UKL13-3 (3,236,529 bp and 37.33% GC). Each genome consists of a single circular chromosome…

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October 1, 2016

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…

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