September 22, 2019  |  

Full-length isoform sequencing reveals novel transcripts and substantial transcriptional overlaps in a herpesvirus.

Whole transcriptome studies have become essential for understanding the complexity of genetic regulation. However, the conventionally applied short-read sequencing platforms cannot be used to reliably distinguish between many transcript isoforms. The Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) RS II platform is capable of reading long nucleic acid stretches in a single sequencing run. The pseudorabies virus (PRV) is an excellent system to study herpesvirus gene expression and potential interactions between the transcriptional units. In this work, non-amplified and amplified isoform sequencing protocols were used to characterize the poly(A+) fraction of the lytic transcriptome of PRV, with the aim of a complete transcriptional annotation of the viral genes. The analyses revealed a previously unrecognized complexity of the PRV transcriptome including the discovery of novel protein-coding and non-coding genes, novel mono- and polycistronic transcription units, as well as extensive transcriptional overlaps between neighboring and distal genes. This study identified non-coding transcripts overlapping all three replication origins of the PRV, which might play a role in the control of DNA synthesis. We additionally established the relative expression levels of gene products. Our investigations revealed that the whole PRV genome is utilized for transcription, including both DNA strands in all coding and intergenic regions. The genome-wide occurrence of transcript overlaps suggests a crosstalk between genes through a network formed by interacting transcriptional machineries with a potential function in the control of gene expression.


September 22, 2019  |  

PCR and omics based techniques to study the diversity, ecology and biology of anaerobic fungi: Insights, challenges andopportunities.

Anaerobic fungi (phylum Neocallimastigomycota) are common inhabitants of the digestive tract of mammalian herbivores, and in the rumen, can account for up to 20% of the microbial biomass. Anaerobic fungi play a primary role in the degradation of lignocellulosic plant material. They also have a syntrophic interaction with methanogenic archaea, which increases their fiber degradation activity. To date, nine anaerobic fungal genera have been described, with further novel taxonomic groupings known to exist based on culture-independent molecular surveys. However, the true extent of their diversity may be even more extensively underestimated as anaerobic fungi continue being discovered in yet unexplored gut and non-gut environments. Additionally many studies are now known to have used primers that provide incomplete coverage of the Neocallimastigomycota. For ecological studies the internal transcribed spacer 1 region (ITS1) has been the taxonomic marker of choice, but due to various limitations the large subunit rRNA (LSU) is now being increasingly used. How the continued expansion of our knowledge regarding anaerobic fungal diversity will impact on our understanding of their biology and ecological role remains unclear; particularly as it is becoming apparent that anaerobic fungi display niche differentiation. As a consequence, there is a need to move beyond the broad generalization of anaerobic fungi as fiber-degraders, and explore the fundamental differences that underpin their ability to exist in distinct ecological niches. Application of genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics to their study in pure/mixed cultures and environmental samples will be invaluable in this process. To date the genomes and transcriptomes of several characterized anaerobic fungal isolates have been successfully generated. In contrast, the application of proteomics and metabolomics to anaerobic fungal analysis is still in its infancy. A central problem for all analyses, however, is the limited functional annotation of anaerobic fungal sequence data. There is therefore an urgent need to expand information held within publicly available reference databases. Once this challenge is overcome, along with improved sample collection and extraction, the application of these techniques will be key in furthering our understanding of the ecological role and impact of anaerobic fungi in the wide range of environments they inhabit.


September 22, 2019  |  

Emergence, retention and selection: A trilogy of origination for functional de novo proteins from ancestral lncRNAs in primates.

While some human-specific protein-coding genes have been proposed to originate from ancestral lncRNAs, the transition process remains poorly understood. Here we identified 64 hominoid-specific de novo genes and report a mechanism for the origination of functional de novo proteins from ancestral lncRNAs with precise splicing structures and specific tissue expression profiles. Whole-genome sequencing of dozens of rhesus macaque animals revealed that these lncRNAs are generally not more selectively constrained than other lncRNA loci. The existence of these newly-originated de novo proteins is also not beyond anticipation under neutral expectation, as they generally have longer theoretical lifespan than their current age, due to their GC-rich sequence property enabling stable ORFs with lower chance of non-sense mutations. Interestingly, although the emergence and retention of these de novo genes are likely driven by neutral forces, population genetics study in 67 human individuals and 82 macaque animals revealed signatures of purifying selection on these genes specifically in human population, indicating a proportion of these newly-originated proteins are already functional in human. We thus propose a mechanism for creation of functional de novo proteins from ancestral lncRNAs during the primate evolution, which may contribute to human-specific genetic novelties by taking advantage of existed genomic contexts.


September 22, 2019  |  

Reference assembly and annotation of the Pyrenophora teres f. teres isolate 0-1.

Pyrenophora teres f.teres, the causal agent of net form net blotch (NFNB) of barley, is a destructive pathogen in barley-growing regions throughout the world. Typical yield losses due to NFNB range from 10 to 40%; however, complete loss has been observed on highly susceptible barley lines where environmental conditions favor the pathogen. Currently, genomic resources for this economically important pathogen are limited to a fragmented draft genome assembly and annotation, with limited RNA support of theP. teresf.teresisolate 0-1. This research presents an updated 0-1 reference assembly facilitated by long-read sequencing and scaffolding with the assistance of genetic linkage maps. Additionally, genome annotation was mediated by RNAseq analysis using three infection time points and a pure culture sample, resulting in 11,541 high-confidence gene models. The 0-1 genome assembly and annotation presented here now contains the majority of the repetitive content of the genome. Analysis of the 0-1 genome revealed classic characteristics of a “two-speed” genome, being compartmentalized into GC-equilibrated and AT-rich compartments. The assembly of repetitive AT-rich regions will be important for future investigation of genes known as effectors, which often reside in close proximity to repetitive regions. These effectors are responsible for manipulation of the host defense during infection. This updatedP. teresf.teresisolate 0-1 reference genome assembly and annotation provides a robust resource for the examination of the barley-P. teresf.tereshost-pathogen coevolution. Copyright © 2018 Wyatt et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

Vertebrate genome evolution in the light of fish cytogenomics and rDNAomics.

To understand the cytogenomic evolution of vertebrates, we must first unravel the complex genomes of fishes, which were the first vertebrates to evolve and were ancestors to all other vertebrates. We must not forget the immense time span during which the fish genomes had to evolve. Fish cytogenomics is endowed with unique features which offer irreplaceable insights into the evolution of the vertebrate genome. Due to the general DNA base compositional homogeneity of fish genomes, fish cytogenomics is largely based on mapping DNA repeats that still represent serious obstacles in genome sequencing and assembling, even in model species. Localization of repeats on chromosomes of hundreds of fish species and populations originating from diversified environments have revealed the biological importance of this genomic fraction. Ribosomal genes (rDNA) belong to the most informative repeats and in fish, they are subject to a more relaxed regulation than in higher vertebrates. This can result in formation of a literal ‘rDNAome’ consisting of more than 20,000 copies with their high proportion employed in extra-coding functions. Because rDNA has high rates of transcription and recombination, it contributes to genome diversification and can form reproductive barrier. Our overall knowledge of fish cytogenomics grows rapidly by a continuously increasing number of fish genomes sequenced and by use of novel sequencing methods improving genome assembly. The recently revealed exceptional compositional heterogeneity in an ancient fish lineage (gars) sheds new light on the compositional genome evolution in vertebrates generally. We highlight the power of synergy of cytogenetics and genomics in fish cytogenomics, its potential to understand the complexity of genome evolution in vertebrates, which is also linked to clinical applications and the chromosomal backgrounds of speciation. We also summarize the current knowledge on fish cytogenomics and outline its main future avenues.


September 22, 2019  |  

The genome sequence of the commercially cultivated mushroom Agrocybe aegerita reveals a conserved repertoire of fruiting-related genes and a versatile suite of biopolymer-degrading enzymes.

Agrocybe aegerita is an agaricomycete fungus with typical mushroom features, which is commercially cultivated for its culinary use. In nature, it is a saprotrophic or facultative pathogenic fungus causing a white-rot of hardwood in forests of warm and mild climate. The ease of cultivation and fructification on solidified media as well as its archetypal mushroom fruit body morphology render A. aegerita a well-suited model for investigating mushroom developmental biology.Here, the genome of the species is reported and analysed with respect to carbohydrate active genes and genes known to play a role during fruit body formation. In terms of fruit body development, our analyses revealed a conserved repertoire of fruiting-related genes, which corresponds well to the archetypal fruit body morphology of this mushroom. For some genes involved in fruit body formation, paralogisation was observed, but not all fruit body maturation-associated genes known from other agaricomycetes seem to be conserved in the genome sequence of A. aegerita. In terms of lytic enzymes, our analyses suggest a versatile arsenal of biopolymer-degrading enzymes that likely account for the flexible life style of this species. Regarding the amount of genes encoding CAZymes relevant for lignin degradation, A. aegerita shows more similarity to white-rot fungi than to litter decomposers, including 18 genes coding for unspecific peroxygenases and three dye-decolourising peroxidase genes expanding its lignocellulolytic machinery.The genome resource will be useful for developing strategies towards genetic manipulation of A. aegerita, which will subsequently allow functional genetics approaches to elucidate fundamentals of fruiting and vegetative growth including lignocellulolysis.


September 22, 2019  |  

Tn6450, a novel multidrug resistance transposon characterized in a Proteus mirabilis isolate from chicken in China.

A novel 65.8-kb multidrug resistance transposon, designated Tn6450, was characterized in a Proteus mirabilis isolate from chicken in China. Tn6450 contains 18 different antimicrobial resistance genes, including cephalosporinase gene blaDHA-1 and fluoroquinolone resistance genes qnrA1 and aac(6′)-Ib-cr It carries a class 1/2 hybrid integron composed of intI2 and a 3′ conserved segment of the class 1 integron. Tn6450 is derived from Tn7 via acquisition of new mobile elements and resistance genes. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.


September 22, 2019  |  

Reference quality genome assemblies of three Parastagonospora nodorum isolates differing in virulence on wheat.

Parastagonospora nodorum, the causal agent of Septoria nodorum blotch in wheat, has emerged as a model necrotrophic fungal organism for the study of host-microbe interactions. To date, three necrotrophic effectors have been identified and characterized from this pathogen, including SnToxA, SnTox1, and SnTox3. Necrotrophic effector identification was greatly aided by the development of a draft genome of Australian isolate SN15 via Sanger sequencing, yet it remained largely fragmented. This research presents the development of nearly finished genomes of P. nodorum isolates Sn4, Sn2000, and Sn79-1087 using long-read sequencing technology. RNAseq analysis of isolate Sn4, consisting of eight time points covering various developmental and infection stages, mediated the annotation of 13,379 genes. Analysis of these genomes revealed large-scale polymorphism between the three isolates, including the complete absence of contig 23 from isolate Sn79-1087, and a region of genome expansion on contig 10 in isolates Sn4 and Sn2000. Additionally, these genomes exhibit the hallmark characteristics of a “two-speed” genome, being partitioned into two distinct GC-equilibrated and AT-rich compartments. Interestingly, isolate Sn79-1087 contains a lower proportion of AT-rich segments, indicating a potential lack of evolutionary hotspots. These newly sequenced genomes, consisting of telomere-to-telomere assemblies of nearly all 23 P. nodorum chromosomes, provide a robust foundation for the further examination of effector biology and genome evolution. Copyright © 2018 Richards et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

De novo assembly and phasing of dikaryotic genomes from two isolates of Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae, the causal agent of oat crown rust.

Oat crown rust, caused by the fungus Pucinnia coronata f. sp. avenae, is a devastating disease that impacts worldwide oat production. For much of its life cycle, P. coronata f. sp. avenae is dikaryotic, with two separate haploid nuclei that may vary in virulence genotype, highlighting the importance of understanding haplotype diversity in this species. We generated highly contiguous de novo genome assemblies of two P. coronata f. sp. avenae isolates, 12SD80 and 12NC29, from long-read sequences. In total, we assembled 603 primary contigs for 12SD80, for a total assembly length of 99.16 Mbp, and 777 primary contigs for 12NC29, for a total length of 105.25 Mbp; approximately 52% of each genome was assembled into alternate haplotypes. This revealed structural variation between haplotypes in each isolate equivalent to more than 2% of the genome size, in addition to about 260,000 and 380,000 heterozygous single-nucleotide polymorphisms in 12SD80 and 12NC29, respectively. Transcript-based annotation identified 26,796 and 28,801 coding sequences for isolates 12SD80 and 12NC29, respectively, including about 7,000 allele pairs in haplotype-phased regions. Furthermore, expression profiling revealed clusters of coexpressed secreted effector candidates, and the majority of orthologous effectors between isolates showed conservation of expression patterns. However, a small subset of orthologs showed divergence in expression, which may contribute to differences in virulence between 12SD80 and 12NC29. This study provides the first haplotype-phased reference genome for a dikaryotic rust fungus as a foundation for future studies into virulence mechanisms in P. coronata f. sp. avenaeIMPORTANCE Disease management strategies for oat crown rust are challenged by the rapid evolution of Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae, which renders resistance genes in oat varieties ineffective. Despite the economic importance of understanding P. coronata f. sp. avenae, resources to study the molecular mechanisms underpinning pathogenicity and the emergence of new virulence traits are lacking. Such limitations are partly due to the obligate biotrophic lifestyle of P. coronata f. sp. avenae as well as the dikaryotic nature of the genome, features that are also shared with other important rust pathogens. This study reports the first release of a haplotype-phased genome assembly for a dikaryotic fungal species and demonstrates the amenability of using emerging technologies to investigate genetic diversity in populations of P. coronata f. sp. avenae. Copyright © 2018 Miller et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

Complete genome of Cobetia marina JCM 21022T and phylogenomic analysis of the family Halomonadaceae

Cobetia marina is a model proteobacteria in researches on marine biofouling. Its taxonomic nomenclature has been revised many times over the past few decades. To better understand the role of the surface-associated lifestyle of C. marina and the phylogeny of the family Halomonadaceae, we sequenced the entire genome of C. marina JCM 21022T using single molecule real-time sequencing technology (SMRT) and performed comparative genomics and phylogenomics analyses. The circular chromosome was 4 176 300 bp with an average GC content of 62.44% and contained 3 611 predicted coding sequences, 72 tRNA genes, and 21 rRNA genes. The C. marina JCM 21022T genome contained a set of crucial genes involved in surface colonization processes. The comparative genome analysis indicated the significant diff erences between C. marina JCM 21022T and Cobetia amphilecti KMM 296 (formerly named C. marina KMM 296) resulted from sequence insertions or deletions and chromosomal recombination. Despite these diff erences, pan and core genome analysis showed similar gene functions between the two strains. The phylogenomic study of the family Halomonadaceae is reported here for the first time. We found that the relationships were well resolved among every genera tested, including Chromohalobacter, Halomonas, Cobetia, Kushneria, Zymobacter, and Halotalea.


September 22, 2019  |  

Synchronous termination of replication of the two chromosomes is an evolutionary selected feature in Vibrionaceae.

Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of the cholera disease, is commonly used as a model organism for the study of bacteria with multipartite genomes. Its two chromosomes of different sizes initiate their DNA replication at distinct time points in the cell cycle and terminate in synchrony. In this study, the time-delayed start of Chr2 was verified in a synchronized cell population. This replication pattern suggests two possible regulation mechanisms for other Vibrio species with different sized secondary chromosomes: Either all Chr2 start DNA replication with a fixed delay after Chr1 initiation, or the timepoint at which Chr2 initiates varies such that termination of chromosomal replication occurs in synchrony. We investigated these two models and revealed that the two chromosomes of various Vibrionaceae species terminate in synchrony while Chr2-initiation timing relative to Chr1 is variable. Moreover, the sequence and function of the Chr2-triggering crtS site recently discovered in V. cholerae were found to be conserved, explaining the observed timing mechanism. Our results suggest that it is beneficial for bacterial cells with multiple chromosomes to synchronize their replication termination, potentially to optimize chromosome related processes as dimer resolution or segregation.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genetic basis of chromosomally-encoded mcr-1 gene.

Compared with plasmid-borne mcr-1, the occurrence of chromosomally-encoded mcr-1 is rare although it has been reported in several cases. This study aimed to investigate the genetic features of chromosomally-encoded mcr-1 among Escherichia coli strains as well as the potential genetic basis governing mobilisation of mcr-1 in bacterial chromosomes. The genome sequences of 16 E. coli strains containing a chromosomal mcr-1 gene were obtained and analysed. Phylogenetic and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) analysis demonstrated that mcr-1 was associated with four major types of genetic arrangements, namely ISApl1-mcr1-orf, Tn6330, complex Tn6330 and ?Tn6330 in chromosomes of genetically unrelated E. coli strains. The mcr-1-carrying mobile elements were shown to insert into the AT-rich region, which was also the case for ISApl1. Analysis of complete E. coli genome sequences showed that there were multiple copies of ISApl1 present in E. coli chromosomes that also carried mcr-1, whilst all mcr-1-negative chromosomes were absent of any copy of ISApl1, suggesting the strong association of ISApl1 and mcr-1. Insertion of ISApl1 into E. coli chromosomes may be a prerequisite for the insertion of mcr-1-carrying mobile elements. Insertion of mcr-1 into E. coli chromosomes would enable it to become intrinsically resistant, which is expected to become more prevalent. Policy on the prudent use of colistin both in veterinary and clinical settings should be imposed globally to further prevent dissemination of mcr-1 in E. coli and other bacterial pathogens. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and International Society of Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics of the wheat fungal pathogen Pyrenophora tritici-repentis reveals chromosomal variations and genome plasticity.

Pyrenophora tritici-repentis (Ptr) is a necrotrophic fungal pathogen that causes the major wheat disease, tan spot. We set out to provide essential genomics-based resources in order to better understand the pathogenicity mechanisms of this important pathogen.Here, we present eight new Ptr isolate genomes, assembled and annotated; representing races 1, 2 and 5, and a new race. We report a high quality Ptr reference genome, sequenced by PacBio technology with Illumina paired-end data support and optical mapping. An estimated 98% of the genome coverage was mapped to 10 chromosomal groups, using a two-enzyme hybrid approach. The final reference genome was 40.9 Mb and contained a total of 13,797 annotated genes, supported by transcriptomic and proteogenomics data sets.Whole genome comparative analysis revealed major chromosomal segmental rearrangements and fusions, highlighting intraspecific genome plasticity in this species. Furthermore, the Ptr race classification was not supported at the whole genome level, as phylogenetic analysis did not cluster the ToxA producing isolates. This expansion of available Ptr genomics resources will directly facilitate research aimed at controlling tan spot disease.


September 22, 2019  |  

Transposable element genomic fissuring in Pyrenophora teres is associated with genome expansion and dynamics of host-pathogen genetic interactions.

Pyrenophora teres, P. teres f. teres (PTT) and P. teres f. maculata (PTM) cause significant diseases in barley, but little is known about the large-scale genomic differences that may distinguish the two forms. Comprehensive genome assemblies were constructed from long DNA reads, optical and genetic maps. As repeat masking in fungal genomes influences the final gene annotations, an accurate and reproducible pipeline was developed to ensure comparability between isolates. The genomes of the two forms are highly collinear, each composed of 12 chromosomes. Genome evolution in P. teres is characterized by genome fissuring through the insertion and expansion of transposable elements (TEs), a process that isolates blocks of genic sequence. The phenomenon is particularly pronounced in PTT, which has a larger, more repetitive genome than PTM and more recent transposon activity measured by the frequency and size of genome fissures. PTT has a longer cultivated host association and, notably, a greater range of host-pathogen genetic interactions compared to other Pyrenophora spp., a property which associates better with genome size than pathogen lifestyle. The two forms possess similar complements of TE families with Tc1/Mariner and LINE-like Tad-1 elements more abundant in PTT. Tad-1 was only detectable as vestigial fragments in PTM and, within the forms, differences in genome sizes and the presence and absence of several TE families indicated recent lineage invasions. Gene differences between P. teres forms are mainly associated with gene-sparse regions near or within TE-rich regions, with many genes possessing characteristics of fungal effectors. Instances of gene interruption by transposons resulting in pseudogenization were detected in PTT. In addition, both forms have a large complement of secondary metabolite gene clusters indicating significant capacity to produce an array of different molecules. This study provides genomic resources for functional genetics to help dissect factors underlying the host-pathogen interactions.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genomic analysis of oral Campylobacter concisus strains identified a potential bacterial molecular marker associated with active Crohn’s disease.

Campylobacter concisus is an oral bacterium that is associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) including Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). C. concisus consists of two genomospecies (GS) and diverse strains. This study aimed to identify molecular markers to differentiate commensal and IBD-associated C. concisus strains. The genomes of 63 oral C. concisus strains isolated from patients with IBD and healthy controls were examined, of which 38 genomes were sequenced in this study. We identified a novel secreted enterotoxin B homologue, Csep1. The csep1 gene was found in 56% of GS2 C. concisus strains, presented in the plasmid pICON or the chromosome. A six-nucleotide insertion at the position 654-659?bp in csep1 (csep1-6bpi) was found. The presence of csep1-6bpi in oral C. concisus strains isolated from patients with active CD (47%, 7/15) was significantly higher than that in strains from healthy controls (0/29, P?=?0.0002), and the prevalence of csep1-6bpi positive C. concisus strains was significantly higher in patients with active CD (67%, 4/6) as compared to healthy controls (0/23, P?=?0.0006). Proteomics analysis detected the Csep1 protein. A csep1 gene hot spot in the chromosome of different C. concisus strains was found. The pICON plasmid was only found in GS2 strains isolated from the two relapsed CD patients with small bowel complications. This study reports a C. concisus molecular marker (csep1-6bpi) that is associated with active CD.


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