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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Haematococcus lacustris: the makings of a giant-sized chloroplast genome.

Recent work on the chlamydomonadalean green alga Haematococcus lacustris uncovered the largest plastid genome on record: a whopping 1.35 Mb with >90 % non-coding DNA. A 500-word description of this genome was published in the journal Genome Announcements. But such a short report for such a large genome leaves many unanswered questions. For instance, the H. lacustris plastome was found to encode only 12 tRNAs, less than half that of a typical plastome, it appears to have a non-standard genetic code, and is one of only a few known plastid DNAs (ptDNAs), out of thousands of available sequences, not biased…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Physiological genomics of dietary adaptation in a marine herbivorous fish

Adopting a new diet is a significant evolutionary change and can profoundly affect an animaltextquoterights physiology, biochemistry, ecology, and its genome. To study this evolutionary transition, we investigated the physiology and genomics of digestion of a derived herbivorous fish, the monkeyface prickleback (Cebidichthys violaceus). We sequenced and assembled its genome and digestive transcriptome and revealed the molecular changes related to important dietary enzymes, finding abundant evidence for adaptation at the molecular level. In this species, two gene families experienced expansion in copy number and adaptive amino acid substitutions. These families, amylase, and bile salt activated lipase, are involved digestion of…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Bacterial virulence against an oceanic bloom-forming phytoplankter is mediated by algal DMSP

Emiliania huxleyi is a bloom-forming microalga that affects the global sulfur cycle by producing large amounts of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) and its volatile metabolic product dimethyl sulfide. Top-down regulation of E. huxleyi blooms has been attributed to viruses and grazers; however, the possible involvement of algicidal bacteria in bloom demise has remained elusive. We demonstrate that a Roseobacter strain, Sulfitobacter D7, that we isolated from a North Atlantic E. huxleyi bloom, exhibited algicidal effects against E. huxleyi upon coculturing. Both the alga and the bacterium were found to co-occur during a natural E. huxleyi bloom, therefore establishing this host-pathogen system as…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Understanding explosive diversification through cichlid fish genomics.

Owing to their taxonomic, phenotypic, ecological and behavioural diversity and propensity for explosive diversification, the assemblages of cichlid fish in the East African Great Lakes Victoria, Malawi and Tanganyika are important role models in evolutionary biology. With the release of five reference genomes and many additional genomic resources, as well as the establishment of functional genomic tools, the cichlid system has fully entered the genomic era. The in-depth genomic exploration of the East African cichlid fauna – in combination with the examination of their ecology, morphology and behaviour – permits novel insights into the way organisms diversify.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genomic characterization reveals significant divergence within Chlorella sorokiniana (Chlorellales, Trebouxiophyceae)

Selection of highly productive algal strains is crucial for establishing economically viable biomass and biopro- duct cultivation systems. Characterization of algal genomes, including understanding strain-specific differences in genome content and architecture is a critical step in this process. Using genomic analyses, we demonstrate significant differences between three strains of Chlorella sorokiniana (strain 1228, UTEX 1230, and DOE1412). We found that unique, strain-specific genes comprise a substantial proportion of each genome, and genomic regions with> 80% local nucleotide identity constitute

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Thermus sediminis sp. nov., a thiosulfate-oxidizing and arsenate-reducing organism isolated from Little Hot Creek in the Long Valley Caldera, California.

Thermus species are widespread in natural and artificial thermal environments. Two new yellow-pigmented strains, L198T and L423, isolated from Little Hot Creek, a geothermal spring in eastern California, were identified as novel organisms belonging to the genus Thermus. Cells are Gram-negative, rod-shaped, and non-motile. Growth was observed at temperatures from 45 to 75 °C and at salinities of 0-2.0% added NaCl. Both strains grow heterotrophically or chemolithotrophically by oxidation of thiosulfate to sulfate. L198T and L423 grow by aerobic respiration or anaerobic respiration with arsenate as the terminal electron acceptor. Values for 16S rRNA gene identity (=?97.01%), digital DNA-DNA hybridization (=?32.7%),…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Alpha- and beta-mannan utilization by marine Bacteroidetes.

Marine microscopic algae carry out about half of the global carbon dioxide fixation into organic matter. They provide organic substrates for marine microbes such as members of the Bacteroidetes that degrade algal polysaccharides using carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes). In Bacteroidetes genomes CAZyme encoding genes are mostly grouped in distinct regions termed polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs). While some studies have shown involvement of PULs in the degradation of algal polysaccharides, the specific substrates are for the most part still unknown. We investigated four marine Bacteroidetes isolated from the southern North Sea that harbour putative mannan-specific PULs. These PULs are similarly organized as…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genomic analysis of Picochlorum species reveals how microalgae may adapt to variable environments.

Understanding how microalgae adapt to rapidly changing environments is not only important to science but can help clarify the potential impact of climate change on the biology of primary producers. We sequenced and analyzed the nuclear genome of multiple Picochlorum isolates (Chlorophyta) to elucidate strategies of environmental adaptation. It was previously found that coordinated gene regulation is involved in adaptation to salinity stress, and here we show that gene gain and loss also play key roles in adaptation. We determined the extent of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from prokaryotes and their role in the origin of novel functions in the…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Reconstitution of eukaryotic chromosomes and manipulation of DNA N6-methyladenine alters chromatin and gene expression

DNA N6-adenine methylation (6mA) has recently been reported in diverse eukaryotes, spanning unicellular organisms to metazoans. Yet the functional significance of 6mA remains elusive due to its low abundance, difficulty of manipulation within native DNA, and lack of understanding of eukaryotic 6mA writers. Here, we report a novel DNA 6mA methyltransferase in ciliates, termed MTA1. The enzyme contains an MT-A70 domain but is phylogenetically distinct from all known RNA and DNA methyltransferases. Disruption of MTA1 in vivo leads to the genome-wide loss of 6mA in asexually growing cells and abolishment of the consensus ApT dimethylated motif. Genes exhibit subtle changes…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Insights into the microbiota of Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer) with tenacibaculosis symptoms and description of sp. nov. Tenacibaculum singaporense

Outbreaks of diseases in farmed fish remain a recurring problem despite the development of vaccines and improved hygiene standards on aquaculture farms. One commonly observed bacterial disease in tropical aquaculture of the South-East Asian region is tenacibaculosis, which is attributed to members of the Bacteroidetes genus Tenacibaculum, most notably T. maritimum. The impact of tenacibaculosis on fish microbiota remains poorly understood. In this study, we analysed the microbiota of different tissue types of commercially reared Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer) that showed symptoms of tenacibaculosis and compared the microbial communities to those of healthy and experimentally infected fish that were exposed…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Complete Genome Sequence of Massilia oculi sp. nov. CCUG 43427T (=DSM 26321T), the Type Strain of M. oculi, and Comparison with Genome Sequences of Other Massilia Strains.

Massilia oculi sp. nov. of type strain CCUG 43427T is a Gram-negative, rod-shaped, nonspore-forming bacterium, which was recently isolated from the eye of a patient suffering from endophthalmitis and was described as novel species in Massilia genus. In this study, we present the complete genome sequence of this strain by using Pacbio SMRT cell platform and compare this sequence with the genomes of 30 Massilia representative strains. Also, a comprehensive search was conducted for genes and proteins involved in antibiotic resistance and pathogenicity. The genome of CCUG 43427T is 5,844,653 bp with 65.55% GC content. This genome contains four prophages and…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Biparental Inheritance of Mitochondrial DNA in Humans.

Although there has been considerable debate about whether paternal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) transmission may coexist with maternal transmission of mtDNA, it is generally believed that mitochondria and mtDNA are exclusively maternally inherited in humans. Here, we identified three unrelated multigeneration families with a high level of mtDNA heteroplasmy (ranging from 24 to 76%) in a total of 17 individuals. Heteroplasmy of mtDNA was independently examined by high-depth whole mtDNA sequencing analysis in our research laboratory and in two Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments and College of American Pathologists-accredited laboratories using multiple approaches. A comprehensive exploration of mtDNA segregation in these families…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

N6-methyladenine DNA methylation in Japonica and Indica rice genomes and its association with gene expression, plant development, and stress responses.

N6-Methyladenine (6mA) DNA methylation has recently been implicated as a potential new epigenetic marker in eukaryotes, including the dicot model Arabidopsis thaliana. However, the conservation and divergence of 6mA distribution patterns and functions in plants remain elusive. Here we report high-quality 6mA methylomes at single-nucleotide resolution in rice based on substantially improved genome sequences of two rice cultivars, Nipponbare (Nip; Japonica) and 93-11 (Indica). Analysis of 6mA genomic distribution and its association with transcription suggest that 6mA distribution and function is rather conserved between rice and Arabidopsis. We found that 6mA levels are positively correlated with the expression of key…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Phototaxis in a wild isolate of the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus.

Many cyanobacteria, which use light as an energy source via photosynthesis, have evolved the ability to guide their movement toward or away from a light source. This process, termed “phototaxis,” enables organisms to localize in optimal light environments for improved growth and fitness. Mechanisms of phototaxis have been studied in the coccoid cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803, but the rod-shaped Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942, studied for circadian rhythms and metabolic engineering, has no phototactic motility. In this study we report a recent environmental isolate of S. elongatus, the strain UTEX 3055, whose genome is 98.5% identical to that of…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Chromulinavorax destructans, a pathogenic TM6 bacterium with an unusual replication strategy targeting protist mitochondrion

Most of the diversity of microbial life is not available in culture, and as such we lack even a fundamental understanding of the biological diversity of several branches on the tree of life. One branch that is highly underrepresented is the candidate phylum TM6, also known as the Dependentiae. Their biology is known only from reduced genomes recovered from metagenomes around the world and two isolates infecting amoebae, all suggest that they live highly host-associated lifestyles as parasites or symbionts. Chromulinavorax destructans is an isolate from the TM6/Dependentiae that infects and lyses the abundant heterotrophic flagellate, Spumella elongata. Chromulinavorax destructans…

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