April 21, 2020  |  

Genome mining identifies cepacin as a plant-protective metabolite of the biopesticidal bacterium Burkholderia ambifaria.

Beneficial microorganisms are widely used in agriculture for control of plant pathogens, but a lack of efficacy and safety information has limited the exploitation of multiple promising biopesticides. We applied phylogeny-led genome mining, metabolite analyses and biological control assays to define the efficacy of Burkholderia ambifaria, a naturally beneficial bacterium with proven biocontrol properties but potential pathogenic risk. A panel of 64 B.?ambifaria strains demonstrated significant antimicrobial activity against priority plant pathogens. Genome sequencing, specialized metabolite biosynthetic gene cluster mining and metabolite analysis revealed an armoury of known and unknown pathways within B.?ambifaria. The biosynthetic gene cluster responsible for the production of the metabolite cepacin was identified and directly shown to mediate protection of germinating crops against Pythium damping-off disease. B.?ambifaria maintained biopesticidal protection and overall fitness in the soil after deletion of its third replicon, a non-essential plasmid associated with virulence in Burkholderia?cepacia complex bacteria. Removal of the third replicon reduced B.?ambifaria persistence in a murine respiratory infection model. Here, we show that by using interdisciplinary phylogenomic, metabolomic and functional approaches, the mode of action of natural biological control agents related to pathogens can be systematically established to facilitate their future exploitation.

April 21, 2020  |  

Complete Genome Sequencing of Bacillus velezensis WRN014, and Comparison with Genome Sequences of other Bacillus velezensis Strains.

Bacillus velezensis strain WRN014 was isolated from banana fields in Hainan, China. Bacillus velezensis is an important member of the plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) which can enhance plant growth and control soil-borne disease. The complete genome of Bacillus velezensis WRN014 was sequenced by combining Illumina Hiseq 2500 system and Pacific Biosciences SMRT high-throughput sequencing technologies. Then, the genome of Bacillus velezensis WRN014, together with 45 other completed genome sequences of the Bacillus velezensis strains, were comparatively studied. The genome of Bacillus velezensis WRN014 was 4,063,541bp in length and contained 4,062 coding sequences, 9 genomic islands and 13 gene clusters. The results of comparative genomic analysis provide evidence that (i) The 46 Bacillus velezensis strains formed 2 obviously closely related clades in phylogenetic trees. (ii) The pangenome in this study is open and is increasing with the addition of new sequenced genomes. (iii) Analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) revealed local diversification of the 46 Bacillus velezensis genomes. Surprisingly, SNPs were not evenly distributed throughout the whole genome. (iv) Analysis of gene clusters revealed that rich gene clusters spread over Bacillus velezensis strains and some gene clusters are conserved in different strains. This study reveals that the strain WRN014 and other Bacillus velezensis strains have potential to be used as PGPR and biopesticide.

April 21, 2020  |  

The role of long-term mineral and organic fertilisation treatment in changing pathogen and symbiont community composition in soil

Application of organic fertilisers to soil prevents erosion, improves fertility and may suppress certain soil-borne plant pathogens, but it is still unclear how different trophic groups of fungi and oomycetes respond to long-term fertilisation treatment. The objective of the study was to examine the effect of different fertilisation regimes on fungal and oomycete pathogen- and mycorrhizal symbiont diversity and community structure in both soil and roots, using PacBio SMRT sequencing. The field experiment included three fertilisation treatments that have been applied since 1989: nitrogen fertilisation (WOM), nitrogen fertilisation with manure amendment (FYM) and alternative organic fertilisation (AOF), each applied at five different rates. Soil samples were collected three times during the growing season, while root samples were collected during the flowering stage. There was no influence of the studied variables on soil and root pathogen richness. Contrary to our hypothesis, pathogen relative abundance in both soil and roots was significantly higher in plots with the AOF treatment. Furthermore, richness and relative abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi decreased significantly in the AOF treatment. Permutational analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) demonstrated the effect of fertilisation treatment on pathogen community composition in both soil and roots. Our findings indicate that organic fertilisers may not always benefit soil microbial community composition. Therefore, further studies are needed to understand how fertilisation affects mycorrhizal mutualists and pathogens.

April 21, 2020  |  

Complete genome sequence of a marine-sediment-derived bacterial strain Bacillus velezensis SH-B74, a cyclic lipopeptides producer and a biopesticide.

A marine-sediment sample-derived strain Bacillus velezensis SH-B74 has the capacity to produce cyclic lipopeptides (CLPs), and these CLPs secreted by the strain show biological activities against various pests under both in vitro and in planta conditions, such evidence has supported that the strain SH-B74 is a biopesticide. To get a better insight into the mechanisms on the control of the pesticides by the strain, a genome sequencing project has been applied to the genomic DNA of the strain SH-B74. The results show that the strain SH-B74 has a chromosome size of 4,042,190 bp, with a GC content of 46.5%, in addition, the strain contains a 61,634 bp plasmid pSH-B74, with a GC content of 40.8%. Data from bioinformatic analysis reveal that the strain SH-B74 has genes with the capacity to increase environmental adaptation, promote the rhizosphere fitnesses and secrete a spectrum of antibiotics, including nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs)-derived CLPs bacillopeptin, plipastatin, and surfactin. The presence of CLPs in the bacterial cultures of the strain SH-B74 was confirmed further by LC-MS analysis. Thus, genome sequencing and analyses together with chemical analysis reveal the promising perspectives of the strain SH-B74 that are of spectacular importance to its trait as a plant beneficial microbe to be used in agriculture practices.

September 22, 2019  |  

Comprehensive analysis of single molecule sequencing-derived complete genome and whole transcriptome of Hyposidra talaca nuclear polyhedrosis virus.

We sequenced the Hyposidra talaca NPV (HytaNPV) double stranded circular DNA genome using PacBio single molecule sequencing technology. We found that the HytaNPV genome is 139,089?bp long with a GC content of 39.6%. It encodes 141 open reading frames (ORFs) including the 37 baculovirus core genes, 25 genes conserved among lepidopteran baculoviruses, 72 genes known in baculovirus, and 7 genes unique to the HytaNPV genome. It is a group II alphabaculovirus that codes for the F protein and lacks the gp64 gene found in group I alphabaculovirus viruses. Using RNA-seq, we confirmed the expression of the ORFs identified in the HytaNPV genome. Phylogenetic analysis showed HytaNPV to be closest to BusuNPV, SujuNPV and EcobNPV that infect other tea pests, Buzura suppressaria, Sucra jujuba, and Ectropis oblique, respectively. We identified repeat elements and a conserved non-coding baculovirus element in the genome. Analysis of the putative promoter sequences identified motif consistent with the temporal expression of the genes observed in the RNA-seq data.

September 22, 2019  |  

Genomic analysis of the insect-killing fungus Beauveria bassiana JEF-007 as a biopesticide.

Insect-killing fungi have high potential in pest management. A deeper insight into the fungal genes at the whole genome level is necessary to understand the inter-species or intra-species genetic diversity of fungal genes, and to select excellent isolates. In this work, we conducted a whole genome sequencing of Beauveria bassiana (Bb) JEF-007 and characterized pathogenesis-related features and compared with other isolates including Bb ARSEF2860. A large number of Bb JEF-007 genes showed high identity with Bb ARSEF2860, but some genes showed moderate or low identity. The two Bb isolates showed a significant difference in vegetative growth, antibiotic-susceptibility, and virulence against Tenebrio molitor larvae. When highly identical genes between the two Bb isolates were subjected to real-time PCR, their transcription levels were different, particularly in heat shock protein 30 (hsp30) gene which is related to conidial thermotolerance. In several B. bassiana isolates, chitinases and trypsin-like protease genes involved in pathogenesis were highly conserved, but other genes showed noticeable sequence variation within the same species. Given the transcriptional and genetic diversity in B. bassiana, a selection of virulent isolates with industrial advantages is a pre-requisite, and this genetic approach could support the development of excellent biopesticides with intellectual property protection.

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