April 21, 2020  |  

Structural and functional characterization of an intradiol ring-cleavage dioxygenase from the polyphagous spider mite herbivore Tetranychus urticae Koch.

Genome analyses of the polyphagous spider mite herbivore Tetranychus urticae (two-spotted spider mite) revealed the presence of a set of 17 genes that code for secreted proteins belonging to the “intradiol dioxygenase-like” subgroup. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that this novel enzyme family has been acquired by horizontal gene transfer. In order to better understand the role of these proteins in T. urticae, we have structurally and functionally characterized one paralog (tetur07g02040). It was demonstrated that this protein is indeed an intradiol ring-cleavage dioxygenase, as the enzyme is able to cleave catechol between two hydroxyl-groups using atmospheric dioxygen. The enzyme was characterized functionally and structurally. The active site of the T. urticae enzyme contains an Fe3+ cofactor that is coordinated by two histidine and two tyrosine residues, an arrangement that is similar to those observed in bacterial homologs. However, the active site is significantly more solvent exposed than in bacterial proteins. Moreover, the mite enzyme is monomeric, while almost all structurally characterized bacterial homologs form oligomeric assemblies. Tetur07g02040 is not only the first spider mite dioxygenase that has been characterized at the molecular level, but is also the first structurally characterized intradiol ring-cleavage dioxygenase originating from a eukaryote.Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


April 21, 2020  |  

Identification of the novel class D ß-lactamase OXA-679 involved in carbapenem resistance in Acinetobacter calcoaceticus.

The aim of this study was to characterize the Acinetobacter calcoaceticus clinical isolate AC_2117 with the novel carbapenem-hydrolysing class D ß-lactamase (CHDL) OXA-679.Identification of the species and ß-lactamases was verified by genome sequencing (PacBio) and phylogenetic analyses. Antibiotic susceptibility of AC_2117 and transformants harbouring cloned blaOXA-679 was evaluated using antibiotic gradient strips and microbroth dilution. OXA-679 was purified heterologously and kinetic parameters were determined using spectrometry or isothermal titration calorimetry. The impact of OXA-679 production during imipenem therapy was evaluated in the Galleria mellonella infection model.Sequencing of the complete genome of the clinical A. calcoaceticus isolate AC_2117 identified a novel CHDL, termed OXA-679. This enzyme shared sequence similarity of 71% to each of the families OXA-143 and OXA-24/40. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that OXA-679 represents a member of a new OXA family. Cloning and expression of blaOXA-679 as well as measurement of kinetic parameters revealed the effective hydrolysis of carbapenems which resulted in reduced susceptibility to carbapenems in Escherichia coli and A. calcoaceticus, and high-level carbapenem resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii. Infection of larvae of G. mellonella with a sublethal dose of blaOXA-679-expressing A. baumannii could not be cured by high-dose imipenem therapy, indicating carbapenem resistance in vivo.We identified blaOXA-679 in a clinical A. calcoaceticus isolate that represents a member of the new OXA-679 family and that conferred high-level carbapenem resistance in vitro and in vivo. © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.


April 21, 2020  |  

A novel plasmid carrying carbapenem-resistant gene blaKPC-2 in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

A carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA1011 (ST463) was isolated from a patient in a surgical intensive care unit. PCR detection showed that PA1011 carried the blaKPC-2 gene. A plasmid was isolated and sequenced using the Illumina NextSeq 500 and PacBio RSII sequencing platforms. The plasmid was named pPA1011 and carried the carbapenem-resistant gene blaKPC-2. pPA1011 was a 62,793 bp in length with an average G+C content of 58.8%. It was identified as a novel plasmid and encoded a novel genetic environment of blaKPC-2 gene (?IS6-Tn3-ISKpn8-blaKPC-2-ISKpn6-IS26).


April 21, 2020  |  

Effect of sulfur-iron modified biochar on the available cadmium and bacterial community structure in contaminated soils.

Cadmium contamination in paddy soils has aroused increasing concern around the world, and biochar has many positive properties, such as large specific surface areas, micro porous structure for the heavy metal immobilization in soils. However there are few studies on sulfur-iron modified biochar as well as its microbiology effects. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the Cd immobilization effects of sulfur or sulfur-iron modified biochar and its related microbial community changes in Cd-contaminated soils. SEM-EDX analysis confirmed that sulfur and iron were loaded on the raw biochar successfully. Sulfur-modified biochar (S-BC) and sulfur-iron modified biochar (SF-BC) addition increased pH value and the content of soil organic matter, and also decreased DTPA-extractable Cd. There was a negative significant correlation between organic matter content and the available Cd (P?


April 21, 2020  |  

Relocation of Tn2009 and characterization of an ABGRI3-2 from re-sequenced genome sequence of Acinetobacter baumannii MDR-ZJ06.

Sir,Acinetobacter baumannii is becoming an important opportunistic Gram-negative pathogen and has shown extensive MDR to most first-line antibiotics in recent years. The acquisition of the MDR phenotype is a determining factor for the success of A. baumannii. For example, blaOXA-23is the most common acquired gene for car- bapenem resistance, and it is acquired via mobile element. Our previous studies identified six clones (clones A–F) of imipenem- resistant A. baumannii strains isolated from 16 cities in 2005 in China and clone C was the dominant clone in various cities.1 One isolate of clone C, MDR-ZJ06, which belonged to global clone 2, was sequenced by the 454 Genome Sequencer FLX system, Illumina sequencer and Sanger sequencing. The blaOXA-23 of MDR-ZJ06 was located in Tn2009, which was initially named as part of the analysis of MDR-ZJ06 and was mostly reported in isolates from China. In this study, we present the revised complete genome sequence of A. baumannii MDR-ZJ06, which is widespread in China. Materials and methods are available as Supplementary data at JAC Online. The sequence data for the revised genome of A. baumannii MDR-ZJ06 have been deposited in GenBank under the accession number CP001937.2.


April 21, 2020  |  

Real time monitoring of Aeromonas salmonicida evolution in response to successive antibiotic therapies in a commercial fish farm.

Our ability to predict evolutionary trajectories of pathogens in response to antibiotic pressure is one of the promising leverage to fight against the present antibiotic resistance worldwide crisis. Yet, few studies tackled this question in situ at the outbreak level, due to the difficulty to link a given pathogenic clone evolution with its precise antibiotic exposure over time. In this study, we monitored the real-time evolution of an Aeromonas salmonicida clone in response to successive antibiotic and vaccine therapies in a commercial fish farm. The clone was responsible for a four-year outbreak of furunculosis within a Recirculating Aquaculture System Salmo salar farm in China, and we reconstructed the precise tempo of mobile genetic elements (MGEs) acquisition events during this period. The resistance profile provided by the acquired MGEs closely mirrored the antibiotics used to treat the outbreak, and we evidenced that two subclonal groups developed similar resistances although unrelated MGE acquisitions. Finally, we also demonstrated the efficiency of vaccination in outbreak management and its positive effect on antibiotic resistance prevalence. Our study provides unprecedented knowledge critical to understand evolutionary trajectories of resistant pathogens outside the laboratory. © 2019 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete genome sequence and phylogenetic analysis of nosocomial pathogen Acinetobacter nosocomialis strain NCTC 8102.

Acinetobacter has emerged recently as one of the most challenging nosocomial pathogens because of its increased rate of antimicrobial resistance. The genetic complexity and genome diversity, as well as the lack of adequate knowledge on the pathogenic determinants of Acinetobacter strains often hinder with pathogenesis studies for the development of better therapeutics to tackle this nosocomial pathogen.In this study, we comparatively analyzed the whole genome sequence of a virulent Acinetobacternosocomialis strain NCTC 8102.The genomic DNA of A. nosocomialis NCTC 8102 was isolated and sequenced using PacBio RS II platform. The sequenced genome was functionally annotated and gene prediction was carried out using the program, Glimmer 3. The phylogenetic analysis of the genome was performed using Mega 6 program and the comparative genome analysis was carried out by BLAST (Basic Local Alignment Search Tool).The complete genome analysis depicted that the genome consists of a circular chromosome with an average G?+?C content of 38.7%. The genome comprises 3700 protein-coding genes, 96 RNA genes (18 rRNA, 74 tRNA and 4 ncRNA genes), and 91 pseudogenes. In addition, 6 prophage regions comprising 2 intact, 1 incomplete and 3 questionable ones and 18 genomic islands were identified in the genome, suggesting the possible occurrence of horizontal gene transfer in this strain. Comparative genome analysis of A. nosocomialis NCTC 8102 genome with the already sequenced A. nosocomialis strain SSA3 showed an average nucleotide identity of 99.0%. In addition, the number of prophages and genomic islands were higher in the A. nosocomialis NCTC 8102 genome compared to that of the strain SSA3. 14 of the genomic islands were unique to A. nosocomialis NCTC 8102 compared to strain SSA3 and they harbored genes which are involved in virulence, multidrug resistance, biofilm formation and bacterial pathogenesis.We sequenced the whole genome of A. nosocomialis strain NCTC 8102 followed by comparatively genome analysis. The study provides valuable information on the genetic features of A. nosocomialis strain and the data from this study would assist in further studies for the development of control measures for this nosocomial pathogen.


April 21, 2020  |  

Strain-level metagenomic assignment and compositional estimation for long reads with MetaMaps.

Metagenomic sequence classification should be fast, accurate and information-rich. Emerging long-read sequencing technologies promise to improve the balance between these factors but most existing methods were designed for short reads. MetaMaps is a new method, specifically developed for long reads, capable of mapping a long-read metagenome to a comprehensive RefSeq database with >12,000 genomes in <16?GB or RAM on a laptop computer. Integrating approximate mapping with probabilistic scoring and EM-based estimation of sample composition, MetaMaps achieves >94% accuracy for species-level read assignment and r2?>?0.97 for the estimation of sample composition on both simulated and real data when the sample genomes or close relatives are present in the classification database. To address novel species and genera, which are comparatively harder to predict, MetaMaps outputs mapping locations and qualities for all classified reads, enabling functional studies (e.g. gene presence/absence) and detection of incongruities between sample and reference genomes.


April 21, 2020  |  

Urinary tract colonization is enhanced by a plasmid that regulates uropathogenic Acinetobacter baumannii chromosomal genes.

Multidrug resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii poses a growing threat to global health. Research on Acinetobacter pathogenesis has primarily focused on pneumonia and bloodstream infections, even though one in five A. baumannii strains are isolated from urinary sites. In this study, we highlight the role of A. baumannii as a uropathogen. We develop the first A. baumannii catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) murine model using UPAB1, a recent MDR urinary isolate. UPAB1 carries the plasmid pAB5, a member of the family of large conjugative plasmids that represses the type VI secretion system (T6SS) in multiple Acinetobacter strains. pAB5 confers niche specificity, as its carriage improves UPAB1 survival in a CAUTI model and decreases virulence in a pneumonia model. Comparative proteomic and transcriptomic analyses show that pAB5 regulates the expression of multiple chromosomally-encoded virulence factors besides T6SS. Our results demonstrate that plasmids can impact bacterial infections by controlling the expression of chromosomal genes.


April 21, 2020  |  

Closing the Yield Gap for Cannabis: A Meta-Analysis of Factors Determining Cannabis Yield.

Until recently, the commercial production of Cannabis sativa was restricted to varieties that yielded high-quality fiber while producing low levels of the psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In the last few years, a number of jurisdictions have legalized the production of medical and/or recreational cannabis with higher levels of THC, and other jurisdictions seem poised to follow suit. Consequently, demand for industrial-scale production of high yield cannabis with consistent cannabinoid profiles is expected to increase. In this paper we highlight that currently, projected annual production of cannabis is based largely on facility size, not yield per square meter. This meta-analysis of cannabis yields reported in scientific literature aimed to identify the main factors contributing to cannabis yield per plant, per square meter, and per W of lighting electricity. In line with previous research we found that variety, plant density, light intensity and fertilization influence cannabis yield and cannabinoid content; we also identified pot size, light type and duration of the flowering period as predictors of yield and THC accumulation. We provide insight into the critical role of light intensity, quality, and photoperiod in determining cannabis yields, with particular focus on the potential for light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to improve growth and reduce energy requirements. We propose that the vast amount of genomics data currently available for cannabis can be used to better understand the effect of genotype on yield. Finally, we describe diversification that is likely to emerge in cannabis growing systems and examine the potential role of plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) for growth promotion, regulation of cannabinoid biosynthesis, and biocontrol.


April 21, 2020  |  

Assignment of virus and antimicrobial resistance genes to microbial hosts in a complex microbial community by combined long-read assembly and proximity ligation.

We describe a method that adds long-read sequencing to a mix of technologies used to assemble a highly complex cattle rumen microbial community, and provide a comparison to short read-based methods. Long-read alignments and Hi-C linkage between contigs support the identification of 188 novel virus-host associations and the determination of phage life cycle states in the rumen microbial community. The long-read assembly also identifies 94 antimicrobial resistance genes, compared to only seven alleles in the short-read assembly. We demonstrate novel techniques that work synergistically to improve characterization of biological features in a highly complex rumen microbial community.


April 21, 2020  |  

Whole-Genome Sequences of Five Acinetobacter baumannii Strains From a Child With Leukemia M2.

Acinetobacter baumannii is an opportunistic pathogen and is one of the primary etiological agents of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). A. baumannii infections are difficult to treat due to the intrinsic and acquired antibiotic resistance of strains of this bacterium, which frequently limits therapeutic options. In this study, five A. baumannii strains (810CP, 433H, 434H, 483H, and A-2), all of which were isolated from a child with leukemia M2, were characterized through antibiotic susceptibility profiling, the detection of genes encoding carbapenem hydrolyzing oxacillinases, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), multilocus sequence typing (MLST), adherence and invasion assays toward the A549 cell line, and the whole-genome sequence (WGS). The five strains showed Multidrug resistant (MDR) profiles and amplification of the blaOXA-23 gene, belonging to ST758 and grouped into two PFGE clusters. WGS of 810CP revealed the presence of a circular chromosome and two small plasmids, pAba810CPa and pAba810CPb. Both plasmids carried genes encoding the Sp1TA system, although resistance genes were not identified. A gene-by-gene comparison analysis was performed among the A. baumannii strains isolated in this study and others A. baumannii ST758 strains (HIMFG and INCan), showing that 86% of genes were present in all analyzed strains. Interestingly, the 433H, 434H, and 483H strains varied by 8-10 single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), while the A2 and 810CP strains varied by 46 SNVs. Subsequently, an analysis using BacWGSTdb showed that all of our strains had the same resistance genes and were ST758. However, some variations were observed in relation to virulence genes, mainly in the 810CP strain. The genes involved in the synthesis of hepta-acylated lipooligosaccharides, the pgaABCD locus encoding poly-ß-1-6-N-acetylglucosamine, the ompA gene, Csu pili, bap, the two-component system bfms/bfmR, a member of the phospholipase D family, and two iron-uptake systems were identified in our A. baumannii strains genome. The five A. baumannii strains isolated from the child were genetically different and showed important characteristics that promote survival in a hospital environment. The elucidation of their genomic sequences provides important information for understanding their epidemiology, antibiotic resistance, and putative virulence factors.


April 21, 2020  |  

Comparative Genomic Analyses Reveal Core-Genome-Wide Genes Under Positive Selection and Major Regulatory Hubs in Outlier Strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Genomic information for outlier strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is exiguous when compared with classical strains. We sequenced and constructed the complete genome of an environmental strain CR1 of P. aeruginosa and performed the comparative genomic analysis. It clustered with the outlier group, hence we scaled up the analyses to understand the differences in environmental and clinical outlier strains. We identified eight new regions of genomic plasticity and a plasmid pCR1 with a VirB/D4 complex followed by trimeric auto-transporter that can induce virulence phenotype in the genome of strain CR1. Virulence genotype analysis revealed that strain CR1 lacked hemolytic phospholipase C and D, three genes for LPS biosynthesis and had reduced antibiotic resistance genes when compared with clinical strains. Genes belonging to proteases, bacterial exporters and DNA stabilization were found to be under strong positive selection, thus facilitating pathogenicity and survival of the outliers. The outliers had the complete operon for the production of vibrioferrin, a siderophore present in plant growth promoting bacteria. The competence to acquire multidrug resistance and new virulence factors makes these strains a potential threat. However, we identified major regulatory hubs that can be used as drug targets against both the classical and outlier groups.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genome plasticity favours double chromosomal Tn4401b-blaKPC-2 transposon insertion in the Pseudomonas aeruginosa ST235 clone.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa Sequence Type 235 is a clone that possesses an extraordinary ability to acquire mobile genetic elements and has been associated with the spread of resistance genes, including genes that encode for carbapenemases. Here, we aim to characterize the genetic platforms involved in resistance dissemination in blaKPC-2-positive P. aeruginosa ST235 in Colombia.In a prospective surveillance study of infections in adult patients attended in five ICUs in five distant cities in Colombia, 58 isolates of P. aeruginosa were recovered, of which, 27 (46.6%) were resistant to carbapenems. The molecular analysis showed that 6 (22.2%) and 4 (14.8%) isolates harboured the blaVIM and blaKPC-2 genes, respectively. The four blaKPC-2-positive isolates showed a similar PFGE pulsotype and belonged to ST235. Complete genome sequencing of a representative ST235 isolate shows a unique chromosomal contig of 7097.241?bp with eight different resistance genes identified and five transposons: a Tn6162-like with ant(2?)-Ia, two Tn402-like with ant(3?)-Ia and blaOXA-2 and two Tn4401b with blaKPC-2. All transposons were inserted into the genomic islands. Interestingly, the two Tn4401b copies harbouring blaKPC-2 were adjacently inserted into a new genomic island (PAGI-17) with traces of a replicative transposition process. This double insertion was probably driven by several structural changes within the chromosomal region containing PAGI-17 in the ST235 background.This is the first report of a double Tn4401b chromosomal insertion in P. aeruginosa, just within a new genomic island (PAGI-17). This finding indicates once again the great genomic plasticity of this microorganism.


July 19, 2019  |  

New insights into dissemination and variation of the health care-associated pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii from genomic analysis.

Acinetobacter baumannii is a globally important nosocomial pathogen characterized by an increasing incidence of multidrug resistance. Routes of dissemination and gene flow among health care facilities are poorly resolved and are important for understanding the epidemiology of A. baumannii, minimizing disease transmission, and improving patient outcomes. We used whole-genome sequencing to assess diversity and genome dynamics in 49 isolates from one United States hospital system during one year from 2007 to 2008. Core single-nucleotide-variant-based phylogenetic analysis revealed multiple founder strains and multiple independent strains recovered from the same patient yet was insufficient to fully resolve strain relationships, where gene content and insertion sequence patterns added additional discriminatory power. Gene content comparisons illustrated extensive and redundant antibiotic resistance gene carriage and direct evidence of gene transfer, recombination, gene loss, and mutation. Evidence of barriers to gene flow among hospital components was not found, suggesting complex mixing of strains and a large reservoir of A. baumannii strains capable of colonizing patients.Genome sequencing was used to characterize multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii strains from one United States hospital system during a 1-year period to better understand how A. baumannii strains that cause infection are related to one another. Extensive variation in gene content was found, even among strains that were very closely related phylogenetically and epidemiologically. Several mechanisms contributed to this diversity, including transfer of mobile genetic elements, mobilization of insertion sequences, insertion sequence-mediated deletions, and genome-wide homologous recombination. Variation in gene content, however, lacked clear spatial or temporal patterns, suggesting a diverse pool of circulating strains with considerable interaction between strains and hospital locations. Widespread genetic variation among strains from the same hospital and even the same patient, particularly involving antibiotic resistance genes, reinforces the need for molecular diagnostic testing and genomic analysis to determine resistance profiles, rather than a reliance primarily on strain typing and antimicrobial resistance phenotypes for epidemiological studies.


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