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March 1, 2019

Genome-Wide Screening for Enteric Colonization Factors in Carbapenem-Resistant ST258 Klebsiella pneumoniae.

A diverse, antibiotic-naive microbiota prevents highly antibiotic-resistant microbes, including carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CR-Kp), from achieving dense colonization of the intestinal lumen. Antibiotic-mediated destruction of the microbiota leads to expansion of CR-Kp in the gut, markedly increasing the risk of bacteremia in vulnerable patients. While preventing dense colonization represents a rational approach to reduce intra- and interpatient dissemination of CR-Kp, little is known about pathogen-associated factors that enable dense growth and persistence in the intestinal lumen. To identify genetic factors essential for dense colonization of the gut by CR-Kp, we constructed a highly saturated transposon mutant library with >150,000 unique mutations…

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March 1, 2019

Complete Genome Sequence of Halorubrum ezzemoulense Strain Fb21.

Isolated from Aran-Bidgol Lake in Iran, and reported here, Halorubrum ezzemoulense strain Fb21 represents the first complete genome from this archaeal species. Local recombination in this genome is in stark contrast to equidistant recombination events in bacteria. The genome's GC bias, however, points to a genome architecture and origin that resemble those of a bacterium. Its availability, genome signatures, and frequent intragenomic recombination mean that Fb21 presents an attractive model organism for this species. Copyright © 2019 Feng et al.

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December 1, 2018

Evolution of host support for two ancient bacterial symbionts with differentially degraded genomes in a leafhopper host.

Plant sap-feeding insects (Hemiptera) rely on bacterial symbionts for nutrition absent in their diets. These bacteria experience extreme genome reduction and require genetic resources from their hosts, particularly for basic cellular processes other than nutrition synthesis. The host-derived mechanisms that complete these processes have remained poorly understood. It is also unclear how hosts meet the distinct needs of multiple bacterial partners with differentially degraded genomes. To address these questions, we investigated the cell-specific gene-expression patterns in the symbiotic organs of the aster leafhopper (ALF), Macrosteles quadrilineatus (Cicadellidae). ALF harbors two intracellular symbionts that have two of the smallest known bacterial…

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November 1, 2018

Streptococcus suis contains multiple phase-variable methyltransferases that show a discrete lineage distribution.

Streptococcus suis is a major pathogen of swine, responsible for a number of chronic and acute infections, and is also emerging as a major zoonotic pathogen, particularly in South-East Asia. Our study of a diverse population of S. suis shows that this organism contains both Type I and Type III phase-variable methyltransferases. In all previous examples, phase-variation of methyltransferases results in genome wide methylation differences, and results in differential regulation of multiple genes, a system known as the phasevarion (phase-variable regulon). We hypothesized that each variant in the Type I and Type III systems encoded a methyltransferase with a unique…

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August 1, 2018

Population genomics of Culiseta melanura, the principal vector of Eastern equine encephalitis virus in the United States.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) (Togaviridae, Alphavirus) is a highly pathogenic mosquito-borne arbovirus that circulates in an enzootic cycle involving Culiseta melanura mosquitoes and wild Passeriformes birds in freshwater swamp habitats. Recently, the northeastern United States has experienced an intensification of virus activity with increased human involvement and northward expansion into new regions. In addition to its principal role in enzootic transmission of EEE virus among avian hosts, recent studies on the blood-feeding behavior of Cs. melanura throughout its geographic range suggest that this mosquito may also be involved in epizootic / epidemic transmission to equines and humans in certain locales.…

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July 19, 2018

Closed complete genome sequences of two nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae strains containing novel modA alleles from the sputum of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) is an important bacterial pathogen that causes otitis media and exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Here, we report the complete genome sequences of NTHi strains 10P129H1 and 84P36H1, isolated from COPD patients, which contain the phase-variable epigenetic regulators ModA15 and ModA18, respectively.

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July 1, 2018

Long-read sequencing of nascent RNA reveals coupling among RNA processing events.

Pre-mRNA splicing is accomplished by the spliceosome, a megadalton complex that assembles de novo on each intron. Because spliceosome assembly and catalysis occur cotranscriptionally, we hypothesized that introns are removed in the order of their transcription in genomes dominated by constitutive splicing. Remarkably little is known about splicing order and the regulatory potential of nascent transcript remodeling by splicing, due to the limitations of existing methods that focus on analysis of mature splicing products (mRNAs) rather than substrates and intermediates. Here, we overcome this obstacle through long-read RNA sequencing of nascent, multi-intron transcripts in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe Most…

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April 10, 2018

Inferring the minimal genome of Mesoplasma florum by comparative genomics and transposon mutagenesis.

The creation and comparison of minimal genomes will help better define the most fundamental mechanisms supporting life. Mesoplasma florum is a near-minimal, fast-growing, nonpathogenic bacterium potentially amenable to genome reduction efforts. In a comparative genomic study of 13 M. florum strains, including 11 newly sequenced genomes, we have identified the core genome and open pangenome of this species. Our results show that all of the strains have approximately 80% of their gene content in common. Of the remaining 20%, 17% of the genes were found in multiple strains and 3% were unique to any given strain. On the basis of random…

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April 1, 2018

Haemophilus influenzae genome evolution during persistence in the human airways in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) exclusively colonize and infect humans and are critical to the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In vitro and animal models do not accurately capture the complex environments encountered by NTHi during human infection. We conducted whole-genome sequencing of 269 longitudinally collected cleared and persistent NTHi from a 15-y prospective study of adults with COPD. Genome sequences were used to elucidate the phylogeny of NTHi isolates, identify genomic changes that occur with persistence in the human airways, and evaluate the effect of selective pressure on 12 candidate vaccine antigens. Strains persisted in individuals with COPD…

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March 1, 2018

Editing out five Serpina1 paralogs to create a mouse model of genetic emphysema.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease affects 10% of the worldwide population, and the leading genetic cause is a-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency. Due to the complexity of the murine locus, which includes up to six Serpina1 paralogs, no genetic animal model of the disease has been successfully generated until now. Here we create a quintuple Serpina1a-e knockout using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing. The phenotype recapitulates the human disease phenotype, i.e., absence of hepatic and circulating AAT translates functionally to a reduced capacity to inhibit neutrophil elastase. With age, Serpina1 null mice develop emphysema spontaneously, which can be induced in younger mice by a…

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February 1, 2018

Origin of the plasmid-mediated fosfomycin resistance gene fosA3.

fosA3 is the most commonly reported plasmid-mediated fosfomycin resistance gene among Enterobacteriaceae.To identify the origin of fosA3.The chromosome of Kluyvera georgiana clinical strain YDC799 was fully sequenced with single-molecule real-time sequencing. Comparative genetic analysis was performed for K. georgiana YDC799, K. georgiana type strain ATCC 51603 and representative fosA3-carrying plasmids. fosA genes were cloned in Escherichia coli to confirm function.K. georgiana YDC799 harboured fosA (designated fosAKG) and blaCTX-M-8 on the chromosome. The genetic environments surrounding fosA3 and bounded by IS26 were nearly identical with the corresponding regions of K. georgiana YDC799 and ATCC 51603. The amino acid sequence of FosAKG…

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December 8, 2017

The genome sequence of Bipolaris cookei reveals mechanisms of pathogenesis underlying target leaf spot of sorghum.

Bipolaris cookei (=Bipolaris sorghicola) causes target leaf spot, one of the most prevalent foliar diseases of sorghum. Little is known about the molecular basis of pathogenesis in B. cookei, in large part due to a paucity of resources for molecular genetics, such as a reference genome. Here, a draft genome sequence of B. cookei was obtained and analyzed. A hybrid assembly strategy utilizing Illumina and Pacific Biosciences sequencing technologies produced a draft nuclear genome of 36.1?Mb, organized into 321 scaffolds with L50 of 31 and N50 of 378?kb, from which 11,189 genes were predicted. Additionally, a finished mitochondrial genome sequence…

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December 1, 2017

Moving beyond microbiome-wide associations to causal microbe identification.

Microbiome-wide association studies have established that numerous diseases are associated with changes in the microbiota. These studies typically generate a long list of commensals implicated as biomarkers of disease, with no clear relevance to disease pathogenesis. If the field is to move beyond correlations and begin to address causation, an effective system is needed for refining this catalogue of differentially abundant microbes and to allow subsequent mechanistic studies. Here we demonstrate that triangulation of microbe-phenotype relationships is an effective method for reducing the noise inherent in microbiota studies and enabling identification of causal microbes. We found that gnotobiotic mice harbouring…

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November 1, 2017

Comparative genomics of maize ear rot pathogens reveals expansion of carbohydrate-active enzymes and secondary metabolism backbone genes in Stenocarpella maydis.

Stenocarpella maydis is a plant pathogenic fungus that causes Diplodia ear rot, one of the most destructive diseases of maize. To date, little information is available regarding the molecular basis of pathogenesis in this organism, in part due to limited genomic resources. In this study, a 54.8 Mb draft genome assembly of S. maydis was obtained with Illumina and PacBio sequencing technologies, and analyzed. Comparative genomic analyses with the predominant maize ear rot pathogens Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium verticillioides, and Fusarium graminearum revealed an expanded set of carbohydrate-active enzymes for cellulose and hemicellulose degradation in S. maydis. Analyses of predicted genes…

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