September 22, 2019  |  

The bacterial microbiome of Dermacentor andersoni ticks influences pathogen susceptibility.

Ticks are of medical importance owing to their ability to transmit pathogens to humans and animals. The Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni, is a vector of a number of pathogens, including Anaplasma marginale, which is the most widespread tick-borne pathogen of livestock. Although ticks host pathogenic bacteria, they also harbor bacterial endosymbionts that have a role in tick physiology, survival, as well as pathogen acquisition and transmission. The goal of this study was to characterize the bacterial microbiome and examine the impact of microbiome disruption on pathogen susceptibility. The bacterial microbiome of two populations of D. andersoni with historically different susceptibilities to A. marginale was characterized. In this study, the microbiome was disrupted and then ticks were exposed to A. marginale or Francisella novicida to determine whether the microbiome correlated with pathogen susceptibility. Our study showed that an increase in proportion and quantity of Rickettsia bellii in the microbiome was negatively correlated to A. marginale levels in ticks. Furthermore, a decrease in Francisella endosymbionts was associated with lower F. novicida infection levels, demonstrating a positive pathogen-endosymbiont relationship. We demonstrate that endosymbionts and pathogens have varying interactions, and suggest that microbiome manipulation may provide a possible method for biocontrol by decreasing pathogen susceptibility of ticks.


September 22, 2019  |  

An improved assembly and annotation of the allohexaploid wheat genome identifies complete families of agronomic genes and provides genomic evidence for chromosomal translocations.

Advances in genome sequencing and assembly technologies are generating many high-quality genome sequences, but assemblies of large, repeat-rich polyploid genomes, such as that of bread wheat, remain fragmented and incomplete. We have generated a new wheat whole-genome shotgun sequence assembly using a combination of optimized data types and an assembly algorithm designed to deal with large and complex genomes. The new assembly represents >78% of the genome with a scaffold N50 of 88.8 kb that has a high fidelity to the input data. Our new annotation combines strand-specific Illumina RNA-seq and Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) full-length cDNAs to identify 104,091 high-confidence protein-coding genes and 10,156 noncoding RNA genes. We confirmed three known and identified one novel genome rearrangements. Our approach enables the rapid and scalable assembly of wheat genomes, the identification of structural variants, and the definition of complete gene models, all powerful resources for trait analysis and breeding of this key global crop. © 2017 Clavijo et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


September 22, 2019  |  

Robust and effective methodologies for cryopreservation and DNA extraction from anaerobic gut fungi.

Cell storage and DNA isolation are essential to developing an expanded suite of microorganisms for biotechnology. However, many features of non-model microbes, such as an anaerobic lifestyle and rigid cell wall, present formidable challenges to creating strain repositories and extracting high quality genomic DNA. Here, we establish accessible, high efficiency, and robust techniques to store lignocellulolytic anaerobic gut fungi long term without specialized equipment. Using glycerol as a cryoprotectant, gut fungal isolates were preserved for a minimum of 23 months at -80 °C. Unlike previously reported approaches, this improved protocol is non-toxic and rapid, with samples surviving twice as long with negligible growth impact. Genomic DNA extraction for these isolates was optimized to yield samples compatible with next generation sequencing platforms (e.g. Illumina, PacBio). Popular DNA isolation kits and precipitation protocols yielded preps that were unsuitable for sequencing due to carbohydrate contaminants from the chitin-rich cell wall and extensive energy reserves of gut fungi. To address this, we identified a proprietary method optimized for hardy plant samples that rapidly yielded DNA fragments in excess of 10 kb with minimal RNA, protein or carbohydrate contamination. Collectively, these techniques serve as fundamental tools to manipulate powerful biomass-degrading gut fungi and improve their accessibility among researchers. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Identification and characterization of a carboxypeptidase N1 from red lip mullet (Liza haematocheila); revealing its immune relevance.

Complement system orchestrates the innate and adaptive immunity via the activation, recruitment, and regulation of immune molecules to destroy pathogens. However, regulation of the complement is essential to avoid injuries to the autologous tissues. The present study unveils the characteristic features of an important complement component, anaphylatoxin inactivator from red lip mullet at its molecular and functional level. Mullet carboxypeptidase N1 (MuCPN1) cDNA sequence possessed an open reading frame of 1347 bp, which encoded a protein of 449 amino acids with a predicted molecular weight of 51?kDa. In silico analysis discovered two domains of PM14-Zn carboxypeptidase and a C-terminal domain of M14 N/E carboxypeptidase, two zinc-binding signature motifs, and an N-glycosylation site in the MuCPN1 sequence. Homology analysis revealed that most of the residues in the sequence are conserved among the other selected homologs. Phylogeny analysis showed that MuCPN1 closely cladded with the Maylandia zebra CPN1 and clustered together with the teleostean counterparts. A challenge experiment showed modulated expression of MuCPN1 upon polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid and Lactococcus garviae in head kidney, spleen, gill, and liver tissues. The highest upregulation of MuCPN1 was observed 24?h post infection against poly I:C in each tissue. Moreover, the highest relative expressions upon L. garviae challenge were observed at 24?h post infection in head kidney tissue and 48?h post infection in spleen, gill, and liver tissues. MuCPN1 transfected cells triggered a 2.2-fold increase of nitric oxide (NO) production upon LPS stimulation compared to the un-transfected controls suggesting that MuCPN1 is an active protease which releases arginine from complement C3a, C4a, and C5a. These results have driven certain way towards enhancing the understanding of immune role of MuCPN1 in the complement defense mechanism of red lip mullet. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Analysis of the duodenal microbiotas of weaned piglet fed with epidermal growth factor-expressed Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

The bacterial community of the small intestine is a key factor that has strong influence on the health of gastrointestinal tract (GIT) in mammals during and shortly after weaning. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of the diets of supplemented with epidermal growth factor (EGF)-expressed Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) on the duodenal microbiotas of weaned piglets.Revealed in this study, at day 7, 14 and 21, respectively, the compositional sequencing analysis of the 16S rRNA in the duodenum had no marked difference in microbial diversity from the phylum to species levels between the INVSc1(EV) and other recombinant strains encompassing INVSc1-EE(+), INVSc1-TE(-), and INVSc1-IE(+). Furthermore, the populations of potentially enterobacteria (e.g., Clostridium and Prevotella) and probiotic (e.g., Lactobacilli and Lactococcus) also remained unchanged among recombinant S. cerevisiae groups (P?>?0.05). However, the compositional sequencing analysis of the 16S rRNA in the duodenum revealed significant difference in microbial diversity from phylum to species levels between the control group and recombinant S. cerevisiae groups. In terms of the control group (the lack of S. cerevisiae), these data confirmed that dietary exogenous S. cerevisiae had the feasibility to be used as a supplement for enhancing potentially probiotic (e.g., Lactobacilli and Lactococcus) (P?


September 22, 2019  |  

Transcriptome profiling using single-molecule direct RNA sequencing approach for in-depth understanding of genes in secondary metabolism pathways of Camellia sinensis.

Characteristic secondary metabolites, including flavonoids, theanine and caffeine, are important components of Camellia sinensis, and their biosynthesis has attracted widespread interest. Previous studies on the biosynthesis of these major secondary metabolites using next-generation sequencing technologies limited the accurately prediction of full-length (FL) splice isoforms. Herein, we applied single-molecule sequencing to pooled tea plant tissues, to provide a more complete transcriptome of C. sinensis. Moreover, we identified 94 FL transcripts and four alternative splicing events for enzyme-coding genes involved in the biosynthesis of flavonoids, theanine and caffeine. According to the comparison between long-read isoforms and assemble transcripts, we improved the quality and accuracy of genes sequenced by short-read next-generation sequencing technology. The resulting FL transcripts, together with the improved assembled transcripts and identified alternative splicing events, enhance our understanding of genes involved in the biosynthesis of characteristic secondary metabolites in C. sinensis.


September 22, 2019  |  

Koumiss consumption alleviates symptoms of patients with chronic atrophic gastritis: A possible link To modulation of gut microbiota

Intestinal dysbiosisis closely related to a variety of medical conditions, especially gastrointestinal diseases. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of koumiss on chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG) in an out-patient clinical trial (n = 10; all female subjects aged 41-55; body mass index ranging from 19.5 to 25.8). Each patient consumed three servings of koumiss per day (i.e. 250 ml daily before each of 3 meals) for a 60-day period. The improvement of patients’ symptoms was monitored by comparing the total scores of symptoms before and after the treatment. Meanwhile, the changes in the patients’ fecal microbiota composition and specific blood parameters were determined. After the 60-day koumiss administration, significant symptom improvements were observed, as evidenced by the reduction of the total symptoms score, and changes in blood platelet and cholesterol levels. The changes in patients’ fecal microbiota composition were found. The patients’ fecal microbiota fell into two distinct enterotypes, Bacteroides dorei/ Bacteroides uniformis (BB-enterotype) and Prevotella copri (P-enterotype). Significant less Bacteroides uniformis was found in the BB-enterotype patient group, while significant more butyrate-producing bacteria (e.g. Eubacterium rectale and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii) were found in the P-enterotype patient group, following koumiss administration. After stopping koumiss consumption, the relative abundance of some biomarker taxa returned to the original level, suggesting that the gut microbiota modulatory effect was not permanent and that continuous koumiss administration was required to maintain the therapeutic effect. In conclusion, koumiss consumption could alleviate the symptoms of CAG patients. Our results may help understand the mechanism of koumiss in alleviating CAG disease symptoms, facilitating the development of such products with desired therapeutic functions.


September 22, 2019  |  

High-confidence coding and noncoding transcriptome maps.

The advent of high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) has led to the discovery of unprecedentedly immense transcriptomes encoded by eukaryotic genomes. However, the transcriptome maps are still incomplete partly because they were mostly reconstructed based on RNA-seq reads that lack their orientations (known as unstranded reads) and certain boundary information. Methods to expand the usability of unstranded RNA-seq data by predetermining the orientation of the reads and precisely determining the boundaries of assembled transcripts could significantly benefit the quality of the resulting transcriptome maps. Here, we present a high-performing transcriptome assembly pipeline, called CAFE, that significantly improves the original assemblies, respectively assembled with stranded and/or unstranded RNA-seq data, by orienting unstranded reads using the maximum likelihood estimation and by integrating information about transcription start sites and cleavage and polyadenylation sites. Applying large-scale transcriptomic data comprising 230 billion RNA-seq reads from the ENCODE, Human BodyMap 2.0, The Cancer Genome Atlas, and GTEx projects, CAFE enabled us to predict the directions of about 220 billion unstranded reads, which led to the construction of more accurate transcriptome maps, comparable to the manually curated map, and a comprehensive lncRNA catalog that includes thousands of novel lncRNAs. Our pipeline should not only help to build comprehensive, precise transcriptome maps from complex genomes but also to expand the universe of noncoding genomes.© 2017 You et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


September 22, 2019  |  

Effects of metal and metalloid pollutants on the microbiota composition of feces obtained from twelve commercial pig farms across China.

Understanding the metal and metalloid contamination and microbiota composition of pig feces is an important step required to support the design and implementation of effective pollution control and prevention strategies. A survey was implemented in 12 locations across China to investigate the content of metals and metalloids, and the main composition of the microbial communities of commercially reared pigs during two growth periods, defined as the early (Q group) and the later fattening growth phases (H group). These data showed widespread Al, Mn, Cu, Zn, and Fe pollution in pig feces. The concentration of Zn in the Q group feces was nearly two times higher than the levels measured in the H group. The microbial composition of the Q group exhibited greater richness of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and fewer bacteria associated with zoonotic diseases compared with the microbial composition of the H group. Spearman rank correlation analysis showed that Cu and northern latitudes had a significant positive effect on the richness of bacterial communities in pig feces. Zn and Cd exhibited the biggest impact on microbial community composition based on canonical correspondence analysis. Functional metagenomic prediction indicated that about 0.8% genes present in the pig feces bacteria community are related to human diseases, and significantly more predicted pathogenic genes were detected in the H group than in the Q group. These results support the need to monitor heavy metal contamination and to control for zoonotic pathogens disseminated from pig feces in Chinese pig farms. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.


September 22, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Paenibacillus polymyxa YC0136, a plant growth–promoting rhizobacterium isolated from tobacco rhizosphere.

Paenibacillus polymyxa strain YC0136 is a plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium with antimicrobial activity, which was isolated from tobacco rhizosphere. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of P. polymyxa YC0136. Several genes with antifungal and antibacterial activity were discovered. Copyright © 2017 Liu et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

Community profiling of Fusarium in combination with other plant associated fungi in different crop species using SMRT Sequencing.

Fusarium head blight, caused by fungi from the genus Fusarium, is one of the most harmful cereal diseases, resulting not only in severe yield losses but also in mycotoxin contaminated and health-threatening grains. Fusarium head blight is caused by a diverse set of species that have different host ranges, mycotoxin profiles and responses to agricultural practices. Thus, understanding the composition of Fusarium communities in the field is crucial for estimating their impact and also for the development of effective control measures. Up to now, most molecular tools that monitor Fusarium communities on plants are limited to certain species and do not distinguish other plant associated fungi. To close these gaps, we developed a sequencing-based community profiling methodology for crop-associated fungi with a focus on the genus Fusarium. By analyzing a 1600 bp long amplicon spanning the highly variable segments ITS and D1-D3 of the ribosomal operon by PacBio SMRT sequencing, we were able to robustly quantify Fusarium down to species level through clustering against reference sequences. The newly developed methodology was successfully validated in mock communities and provided similar results as the culture-based assessment of Fusarium communities by seed health tests in grain samples from different crop species. Finally, we exemplified the newly developed methodology in a field experiment with a wheat-maize crop sequence under different cover crop and tillage regimes. We analyzed wheat straw residues, cover crop shoots and maize grains and we could reveal that the cover crop hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) acts as a potent alternative host for Fusarium (OTU F.ave/tri) showing an eightfold higher relative abundance compared with other cover crop treatments. Moreover, as the newly developed methodology also allows to trace other crop-associated fungi, we found that vetch and green fallow hosted further fungal plant pathogens including Zymoseptoria tritici. Thus, besides their beneficial traits, cover crops can also entail phytopathological risks by acting as alternative hosts for Fusarium and other noxious plant pathogens. The newly developed sequencing based methodology is a powerful diagnostic tool to trace Fusarium in combination with other fungi associated to different crop species.


September 22, 2019  |  

Contrasting distribution patterns between aquatic and terrestrial Phytophthora species along a climatic gradient are linked to functional traits.

Diversity of microbial organisms is linked to global climatic gradients. The genus Phytophthora includes both aquatic and terrestrial plant pathogenic species that display a large variation of functional traits. The extent to which the physical environment (water or soil) modulates the interaction of microorganisms with climate is unknown. Here, we explored the main environmental drivers of diversity and functional trait composition of Phytophthora communities. Communities were obtained by a novel metabarcoding setup based on PacBio sequencing of river filtrates in 96 river sites along a geographical gradient. Species were classified as terrestrial or aquatic based on their phylogenetic clade. Overall, terrestrial and aquatic species showed contrasting patterns of diversity. For terrestrial species, precipitation was a stronger driver than temperature, and diversity and functional diversity decreased with decreasing temperature and precipitation. In cold and dry areas, the dominant species formed resistant structures and had a low optimum temperature. By contrast, for aquatic species, temperature and water chemistry were the strongest drivers, and diversity increased with decreasing temperature and precipitation. Within the same area, environmental filtering affected terrestrial species more strongly than aquatic species (20% versus 3% of the studied communities, respectively). Our results highlight the importance of functional traits and the physical environment in which microorganisms develop their life cycle when predicting their distribution under changing climatic conditions. Temperature and rainfall may be buffered differently by water and soil, and thus pose contrasting constrains to microbial assemblies.


September 22, 2019  |  

Fine mapping and candidate gene identification of the genic male-sterile gene ms3 in cabbage 51S.

The ms3 gene responsible for a male-sterile phenotype in cabbage was mapped to a 187.4-kb genomic fragment. The gene BoTPD1, a homolog of Arabidopsis TPD1, was identified as a strong candidate gene. Cabbage 51S is a spontaneous male-sterile mutant. Phenotypic investigation revealed defects in anther cell differentiation, with failure to form the tapetum layer and complete abortion of microsporocytes before the tetrad stage. Genetic analysis indicated that this male sterility was controlled by a single recessive gene, ms3. Using an F2 population, we mapped ms3 to a 187.4-kb interval. BoTPD1 was identified as a candidate from this interval. Sequence analysis revealed an intronic 182-bp insertion in 51S that interrupted the conserved motif at the 5′ splicing site of the third intron, possibly resulting in a truncated transcript. Analyses of BoTPD1 homologous proteins revealed evolutionarily conserved roles in anther cell fate determination during reproductive development. RT-PCR showed that BoTPD1 was expressed in various tissues, excluding the root, and high expression levels were detected in anthers and buds. A BoTPD1-specific marker based on the 182-bp insertion cosegregated with male sterility and can be used for marker-assisted selection.


September 22, 2019  |  

Chromosome-level reference genome and alternative splicing atlas of moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis).

Bamboo is one of the most important nontimber forestry products worldwide. However, a chromosome-level reference genome is lacking, and an evolutionary view of alternative splicing (AS) in bamboo remains unclear despite emerging omics data and improved technologies.Here, we provide a chromosome-level de novo genome assembly of moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) using additional abundance sequencing data and a Hi-C scaffolding strategy. The significantly improved genome is a scaffold N50 of 79.90 Mb, approximately 243 times longer than the previous version. A total of 51,074 high-quality protein-coding loci with intact structures were identified using single-molecule real-time sequencing and manual verification. Moreover, we provide a comprehensive AS profile based on the identification of 266,711 unique AS events in 25,225 AS genes by large-scale transcriptomic sequencing of 26 representative bamboo tissues using both the Illumina and Pacific Biosciences sequencing platforms. Through comparisons with orthologous genes in related plant species, we observed that the AS genes are concentrated among more conserved genes that tend to accumulate higher transcript levels and share less tissue specificity. Furthermore, gene family expansion, abundant AS, and positive selection were identified in crucial genes involved in the lignin biosynthetic pathway of moso bamboo.These fundamental studies provide useful information for future in-depth analyses of comparative genome and AS features. Additionally, our results highlight a global perspective of AS during evolution and diversification in bamboo.


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