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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sea cucumber genome provides insights into saponin biosynthesis and aestivation regulation.

Echinoderms exhibit several fascinating evolutionary innovations that are rarely seen in the animal kingdom, but how these animals attained such features is not well understood. Here we report the sequencing and analysis of the genome and extensive transcriptomes of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus, a species from a special echinoderm group with extraordinary potential for saponin synthesis, aestivation and organ regeneration. The sea cucumber does not possess a reorganized Hox cluster as previously assumed for all echinoderms, and the spatial expression of Hox7 and Hox11/13b potentially guides the embryo-to-larva axial transformation. Contrary to the typical production of lanosterol in animal…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The complete genome sequence of Vibrio aestuarianus W-40 reveals virulence factor genes.

Vibrio aestuarianus is an opportunistic environmental pathogen that has been associated with epidemics in cultured shrimp Penaeus vannamei. Hepatopancreas microsporidian (HPM) and monodon slow growth syndrome (MSGS) have been reported in cultured P. vannamei. In this study, we sequenced and assembled the whole genome of V. aestuarianus strain W-40, a strain that was originally isolated from the intestines of an infected P. vannamei. The genome of V. aestuarianus strain W-40 contains two circular chromosomes of 483,7307 bp with a 46.23% GC content. We identified 4,457 open reading frames (ORFs) that occupy 86.35% of the genome. Vibrio aestuarianus strain W-40 consists primarily of the ATP-binding cassette (ABC)…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Redefinition and unification of the SXT/R391 family of integrative and conjugative elements.

Integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs) of the SXT/R391 family are key drivers of the spread of antibiotic resistance in Vibrio cholerae, the infectious agent of cholera, and other pathogenic bacteria. The SXT/R391 family of ICEs was defined based on the conservation of a core set of 52 genes and site-specific integration into the 5′ end of the chromosomal gene prfC Hence, the integrase gene int has been intensively used as a marker to detect SXT/R391 ICEs in clinical isolates. ICEs sharing most core genes but differing by their integration site and integrase gene have been recently reported and excluded from…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genome survey of the freshwater mussel Venustaconcha ellipsiformis (Bivalvia: Unionida) using a hybrid de novo assembly approach.

Freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionida) serve an important role as aquatic ecosystem engineers but are one of the most critically imperilled groups of animals. Here, we used a combination of sequencing strategies to assemble and annotate a draft genome of Venustaconcha ellipsiformis, which will serve as a valuable genomic resource given the ecological value and unique “doubly uniparental inheritance” mode of mitochondrial DNA transmission of freshwater mussels. The genome described here was obtained by combining high-coverage short reads (65× genome coverage of Illumina paired-end and 11× genome coverage of mate-pairs sequences) with low-coverage Pacific Biosciences long reads (0.3× genome coverage). Briefly,…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Quorum-quenching bacteria isolated from Red Sea sediments reduce biofilm formation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Quorum sensing (QS) is the process by which bacteria communicate with each other through small signaling molecules such as N-acylhomoserine lactones (AHLs). Certain bacteria can degrade AHL molecules by a process called quorum quenching (QQ); therefore, QQ can be used to control bacterial infections and biofilm formation. In this study, we aimed to identify new species of bacteria with QQ activity. Red Sea sediments were collected either from the close vicinity of seagrass or from areas with no vegetation. We isolated 72 bacterial strains, which were tested for their ability to degrade/inactivate AHL molecules. Chromobacterium violaceum CV026-based bioassay was used…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Extensive genomic diversity among Mycobacterium marinum strains revealed by whole genome sequencing.

Mycobacterium marinum is the causative agent for the tuberculosis-like disease mycobacteriosis in fish and skin lesions in humans. Ubiquitous in its geographical distribution, M. marinum is known to occupy diverse fish as hosts. However, information about its genomic diversity is limited. Here, we provide the genome sequences for 15 M. marinum strains isolated from infected humans and fish. Comparative genomic analysis of these and four available genomes of the M. marinum strains M, E11, MB2 and Europe reveal high genomic diversity among the strains, leading to the conclusion that M. marinum should be divided into two different clusters, the “M”-…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Identification of natural product compounds as quorum sensing inhibitors in Pseudomonas fluorescens P07 through virtual screening.

Pseudomonas fluorescens, a Gram-negative psychrotrophic bacteria, is the main microorganism causing spoilage of chilled raw milk and aquatic products. Quorum sensing (QS) widely exists in bacteria to monitor their population densities and regulate numerous physiological activities, such as the secretion of siderophores, swarming motility and biofilm formation. Thus, searching for quorum sensing inhibitors (QSIs) may be another promising way to control the deterioration of food caused by P. fluorescens. Here, we screened a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) database to discover potential QSIs with lesser toxicity. The gene sequences of LuxI- and LuxR-type proteins of P. fluorescens P07 were obtained through…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genomic analysis of Sparus aurata reveals the evolutionary dynamics of sex-biased genes in a sequential hermaphrodite fish

Sexual dimorphism is a fascinating subject in evolutionary biology and mostly results from sex-biased expression of genes, which have been shown to evolve faster in gonochoristic species. We report here genome and sex-specific transcriptome sequencing of Sparus aurata, a sequential hermaphrodite fish. Evolutionary comparative analysis reveals that sex-biased genes in S. aurata are similar in number and function, but evolved following strikingly divergent patterns compared with gonochoristic species, showing overall slower rates because of stronger functional constraints. Fast evolution is observed only for highly ovary-biased genes due to female-specific patterns of selection that are related to the peculiar reproduction mode…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Discovery of multi-drug resistant, MCR-1 and ESBL-coproducing ST117 Escherichia coli from diseased chickens in Northeast China

An endemic multi-drug resistant ST117 E. coli isolate coproducing MCR-1 and 3 ESBL loci was, for the first time, detected from diseased chicken, Liaoning Province, in Northeast China, from 2011 to 2012. Whole-genome sequencing revealed 5 unique plasmids, namely pHXH-1, pHXH-2, pHXH-3, pHXH-4 and pHXH-5). Among them, pHXH1 and pHXH4 encode ESBL, and pHXH-5 mediates MCR-1 colistin resistance. The results indicate that the potentially-national dissemination of MCR-1-positive pathogens with pan-drug resistance proceeds via food chains.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Completion of genome of Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida 01-B526 reveals how sequencing technologies can influence sequence quality and result interpretations.

Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida is a pathogen that primarily infects salmonids. A strain of this bacterium, 01-B526, has been used in several studies as a reference. The genomic sequence of this strain is available, but comes from pyrosequencing and is the second most fragmented assembly for this bacterium. We generated its closed genome sequence and found a pitfall in result interpretations associated with low-quality genomic sequences.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Characterization of a novel SXT/R391 Integrative and Conjugative Element carrying cfr, blaCTX-M-65, fosA3 and aac(6′)-Ib-cr in Proteus mirabilis.

A novel 139,487-bp SXT/R391 integrative and conjugative element, ICEPmiChnBCP11, was characterized in Proteus mirabilis of swine origin in China. ICEPmiChnBCP11 harbors 20 different antimicrobial resistance genes, including the clinically important rRNA methyltransferase gene cfr, the extended-spectrum ß-lactamase gene blaCTX-M-65, fosfomycin resistance gene fosA3, and fluoroquinolone resistance gene aac(6′)-Ib-cr An ISPpu12-mediated composite transposon containing various resistance genes and 10 copies of IS26 is inserted in hot spot 4. ICEPmiChnBCP11 was successfully transferred to Escherichia coli. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Draft genome of Glyptosternon maculatum, an endemic fish from Tibet Plateau.

Mechanisms for high-altitude adaption have attracted widespread interest among evolutionary biologists. Several genome-wide studies have been carried out for endemic vertebrates in Tibet, including mammals, birds, and amphibians. However, little information is available about the adaptive evolution of highland fishes. Glyptosternon maculatum (Regan 1905), also known as Regan or barkley and endemic to the Tibetan Plateau, belongs to the Sisoridae family, order Siluriformes (catfishes). This species lives at an elevation ranging from roughly 2,800 m to 4,200 m. Hence, a high-quality reference genome of G. maculatum provides an opportunity to investigate high-altitude adaption mechanisms of fishes.To obtain a high-quality reference…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genome analyses of the microalga Picochlorum provide insights into the evolution of thermotolerance in the green lineage.

While the molecular events involved in cell responses to heat stress have been extensively studied, our understanding of the genetic basis of basal thermotolerance, and particularly its evolution within the green lineage, remains limited. Here, we present the 13.3-Mb haploid genome and transcriptomes of a halotolerant and thermotolerant unicellular green alga, Picochlorum costavermella (Trebouxiophyceae) to investigate the evolution of the genomic basis of thermotolerance. Differential gene expression at high and standard temperatures revealed that more of the gene families containing up-regulated genes at high temperature were recently evolved, and less originated at the ancestor of green plants. Inversely, there was…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A draft genome assembly of the Chinese sillago (Sillago sinica), the first reference genome for Sillaginidae fishes.

Sillaginidae, also known as smelt-whitings, is a family of benthic coastal marine fishes in the Indo-West Pacific that have high ecological and economic importance. Many Sillaginidae species, including the Chinese sillago (Sillago sinica), have been recently described in China, providing valuable material to analyze genetic diversification of the family Sillaginidae. Here, we constructed a reference genome for the Chinese sillago, with the aim to set up a platform for comparative analysis of all species in this family.Using the single-molecule real-time DNA sequencing platform Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) Sequel, we generated ~27.3 Gb genomic DNA sequences for the Chinese sillago. We reconstructed…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Insights into the evolution of multicellularity from the sea lettuce genome.

We report here the 98.5 Mbp haploid genome (12,924 protein coding genes) of Ulva mutabilis, a ubiquitous and iconic representative of the Ulvophyceae or green seaweeds. Ulva’s rapid and abundant growth makes it a key contributor to coastal biogeochemical cycles; its role in marine sulfur cycles is particularly important because it produces high levels of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), the main precursor of volatile dimethyl sulfide (DMS). Rapid growth makes Ulva attractive biomass feedstock but also increasingly a driver of nuisance “green tides.” Ulvophytes are key to understanding the evolution of multicellularity in the green lineage, and Ulva morphogenesis is dependent on bacterial…

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