September 22, 2019  |  

Construction of a draft reference transcripts of onion (Allium cepa) using long-read sequencing

To obtain intact and full-length RNA transcripts of onion (Allium cepa), long-read sequencing technology was first applied. Total RNAs extracted from four tissues; flowers, leaves, bulbs and roots, of red–purple and yellow-colored onions (A. cepa) were sequenced using long-read sequencing (RSII platform, P4-C2 chemistry). The 99,247 polished high-quality isoforms were produced by sequence correction processes of consensus calling, quality filtering, orientation verification, misread-nucleotide correction and dot-matrix view. The dot-matrix view was subsequently used to remove artificial inverted repeats (IRs), and resultantly 421 IRs were removed. The remaining 98,826 isoforms were condensed to 35,505 through the removal process of redundant isoforms. To assess the completeness of the 35,505 isoforms, the ratio of full-length isoforms, short-read mapping to the isoforms, and differentially expressed genes among the four tissues were analyzed along with the gene ontology across the tissues. As a result, the 35,505 isoforms were verified as a collection of isoforms with high completeness, and designated as draft reference transcripts (DRTs, ver 1.0) constructed by long-read sequencing.


September 22, 2019  |  

In situ analyses directly in diarrheal stool reveal large variations in bacterial load and active toxin expression of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and Vibrio cholerae.

The bacterial pathogens enterotoxigenicEscherichia coli(ETEC) andVibrio choleraeare major causes of diarrhea. ETEC causes diarrhea by production of the heat-labile toxin (LT) and heat-stable toxins (STh and STp), whileV. choleraeproduces cholera toxin (CT). In this study, we determined the occurrence and bacterial doses of the two pathogens and their respective toxin expression levels directly in liquid diarrheal stools of patients in Dhaka, Bangladesh. By quantitative culture and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) detection of the toxin genes, the two pathogens were found to coexist in several of the patients, at concentrations between 102and 108bacterial gene copies per ml. Even in culture-negative samples, gene copy numbers of 102to 104of either ETEC orV. choleraetoxin genes were detected by qPCR. RNA was extracted directly from stool, and gene expression levels, quantified by reverse transcriptase qPCR (RT-qPCR), of the genes encoding CT, LT, STh, and STp showed expression of toxin genes. Toxin enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) confirmed active toxin secretion directly in the liquid diarrhea. Analysis of ETEC isolates by multiplex PCR, dot blot analysis, and genome sequencing suggested that there are genetic ETEC profiles that are more commonly found as dominating single pathogens and others that are coinfectants with lower bacterial loads. The ETEC genomes, including assembled genomes of dominating ETEC isolates expressing LT/STh/CS5/CS6 and LT/CS7, are provided. In addition, this study highlights an emerging important ETEC strain expressing LT/STp and the novel colonization factor CS27b. These findings have implications for investigations of pathogenesis as well as for vaccine development. IMPORTANCEThe cause of diarrheal disease is usually determined by screening for several microorganisms by various methods, and sole detection is used to assign the agent as the cause of disease. However, it has become increasingly clear that many infections are caused by coinfections with several pathogens and that the dose of the infecting pathogen is important. We quantified the absolute numbers of enterotoxigenicE. coli(ETEC) andVibrio choleraedirectly in diarrheal fluid. We noted several events where both pathogens were found but also a large dose dependency. In three samples, we found ETEC as the only pathogen sought for. These isolates belonged to globally distributed ETEC clones and were the dominating species in stool with active toxin expression. This suggests that certain superior virulent ETEC lineages are able to outcompete the gut microbiota and be the sole cause of disease and hence need to be specifically monitored.


September 22, 2019  |  

The putative functions of lysogeny in mediating the survivorship of Escherichia coli in seawater and marine sediment.

Escherichia coli colonizes various body parts of animal hosts as a commensal and a pathogen. It can also persist in the external environment in the absence of fecal pollution. It remains unclear how this species has evolved to adapt to such contrasting habitats. Lysogeny plays pivotal roles in the diversification of the phenotypic and ecologic characters of E. coli as a symbiont. We hypothesized that lysogeny could also confer fitness to survival in the external environment. To test this hypothesis, we used the induced phages of an E. coli strain originating from marine sediment to infect a fecal E. coli strain to obtain an isogenic lysogen of the latter. The three strains were tested for survivorship in microcosms of seawater, marine sediment and sediment interstitial water as well as swimming motility, glycogen accumulation, biofilm formation, substrate utilization and stress resistance. The results indicate that lysogenic infection led to tractable changes in many of the ecophysiological attributes tested. Particularly, the lysogen had better survivorship in the microcosms and had a substrate utilization profile resembling the sediment strain more than the wild type fecal strain. Our findings provide new insights into the understanding of how E. coli survives in the natural environment.© FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.


September 22, 2019  |  

Comparative genomic analysis reveals the evolution and environmental adaptation strategies of vibrios.

Vibrios are among the most diverse and ecologically important marine bacteria, which have evolved many characteristics and lifestyles to occupy various niches. The relationship between genome features and environmental adaptation strategies is an essential part for understanding the ecological functions of vibrios in the marine system. The advent of complete genome sequencing technology has provided an important method of examining the genetic characteristics of vibrios on the genomic level.Two Vibrio genomes were sequenced and found to occupy many unique orthologues families which absent from the previously genes pool of the complete genomes of vibrios. Comparative genomics analysis found vibrios encompass a steady core-genome and tremendous pan-genome with substantial gene gain and horizontal gene transfer events in the evolutionary history. Evolutionary analysis based on the core-genome tree suggested that V. fischeri emerged ~?385 million years ago, along with the occurrence of cephalopods and the flourish of fish. The relatively large genomes, the high number of 16S rRNA gene copies, and the presence of R-M systems and CRISPR system help vibrios live in various marine environments. Chitin-degrading related genes are carried in nearly all the Vibrio genomes. The number of chitinase genes in vibrios has been extremely expanded compared to which in the most recent ancestor of the genus. The chitinase A genes were estimated to have evolved along with the genus, and have undergone significant purifying selective force to conserve the ancestral state.Vibrios have experienced extremely genome expansion events during their evolutionary history, allowing them to develop various functions to spread globally. Despite their close phylogenetic relationships, vibrios were found to have a tremendous pan-genome with a steady core-genome, which indicates the highly plastic genome of the genus. Additionally, the existence of various chitin-degrading related genes and the expansion of chitinase A in the genus demonstrate the importance of the chitin utilization for vibrios. Defensive systems in the Vibrio genomes may protect them from the invasion of external DNA. These genomic features investigated here provide a better knowledge of how the evolutionary process has forged Vibrio genomes to occupy various niches.


September 22, 2019  |  

N4-cytosine DNA methylation regulates transcription and pathogenesis in Helicobacter pylori.

Many bacterial genomes exclusively display an N4-methyl cytosine base (m4C), whose physiological significance is not yet clear. Helicobacter pylori is a carcinogenic bacterium and the leading cause of gastric cancer in humans. Helicobacter pylori strain 26695 harbors a single m4C cytosine methyltransferase, M2.HpyAII which recognizes 5′ TCTTC 3′ sequence and methylates the first cytosine residue. To understand the role of m4C modification, M2.hpyAII deletion strain was constructed. Deletion strain displayed lower adherence to host AGS cells and reduced potential to induce inflammation and apoptosis. M2.hpyAII gene deletion strain exhibited reduced capacity for natural transformation, which was rescued in the complemented strain carrying an active copy of M2.hpyAII gene in the genome. Genome-wide gene expression and proteomic analysis were carried out to discern the possible reasons behind the altered phenotype of the M2.hpyAII gene deletion strain. Upon the loss of m4C modification a total of 102 genes belonging to virulence, ribosome assembly and cellular components were differentially expressed. The present study adds a functional role for the presence of m4C modification in H. pylori and provides the first evidence that m4C signal acts as a global epigenetic regulator in H. pylori.


September 22, 2019  |  

Loss of stomach, loss of appetite? Sequencing of the ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) genome and intestinal transcriptomic profiling illuminate the evolution of loss of stomach function in fish.

The ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) belongs to a large teleost family containing more than 600 species showing several unique evolutionary traits such as lack of stomach and hermaphroditism. Agastric fish are found throughout the teleost phylogeny, in quite diverse and unrelated lineages, indicating stomach loss has occurred independently multiple times in the course of evolution. By assembling the ballan wrasse genome and transcriptome we aimed to determine the genetic basis for its digestive system function and appetite regulation. Among other, this knowledge will aid the formulation of aquaculture diets that meet the nutritional needs of agastric species.Long and short read sequencing technologies were combined to generate a ballan wrasse genome of 805 Mbp. Analysis of the genome and transcriptome assemblies confirmed the absence of genes that code for proteins involved in gastric function. The gene coding for the appetite stimulating protein ghrelin was also absent in wrasse. Gene synteny mapping identified several appetite-controlling genes and their paralogs previously undescribed in fish. Transcriptome profiling along the length of the intestine found a declining expression gradient from the anterior to the posterior, and a distinct expression profile in the hind gut.We showed gene loss has occurred for all known genes related to stomach function in the ballan wrasse, while the remaining functions of the digestive tract appear intact. The results also show appetite control in ballan wrasse has undergone substantial changes. The loss of ghrelin suggests that other genes, such as motilin, may play a ghrelin like role. The wrasse genome offers novel insight in to the evolutionary traits of this large family. As the stomach plays a major role in protein digestion, the lack of genes related to stomach digestion in wrasse suggests it requires formulated diets with higher levels of readily digestible protein than those for gastric species.


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  |  

Benefit from decline: the primary transcriptome of Alteromonas macleodii str. Te101 during Trichodesmium demise.

Interactions between co-existing microorganisms deeply affect the physiology of the involved organisms and, ultimately, the function of the ecosystem as a whole. Copiotrophic Alteromonas are marine gammaproteobacteria that thrive during the late stages of phytoplankton blooms in the marine environment and in laboratory co-cultures with cyanobacteria such as Trichodesmium. The response of this heterotroph to the sometimes rapid and transient changes in nutrient supply when the phototroph crashes is not well understood. Here, we isolated and sequenced the strain Alteromonas macleodii str. Te101 from a laboratory culture of Trichodesmium erythraeum IMS101, yielding a chromosome of 4.63?Mb and a single plasmid of 237?kb. Increasing salinities to =43 ppt inhibited the growth of Trichodesmium but stimulated growth of the associated Alteromonas. We characterized the transcriptomic responses of both microorganisms and identified the complement of active transcriptional start sites in Alteromonas at single-nucleotide resolution. In replicate cultures, a similar set of genes became activated in Alteromonas when growth rates of Trichodesmium declined and mortality was high. The parallel activation of fliA, rpoS and of flagellar assembly and growth-related genes indicated that Alteromonas might have increased cell motility, growth, and multiple biosynthetic activities. Genes with the highest expression in the data set were three small RNAs (Aln1a-c) that were identified as analogs of the small RNAs CsrB-C in E. coli or RsmX-Z in pathogenic bacteria. Together with the carbon storage protein A (CsrA) homolog Te101_05290, these RNAs likely control the expression of numerous genes in responding to changes in the environment.


September 22, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequences of seven Vibrio anguillarum strains as derived from PacBio sequencing.

We report here the complete genome sequences of seven Vibrio anguillarum strains isolated from multiple geographic locations, thus increasing the total number of genomes of finished quality to 11. The genomes were de novo assembled from long-sequence PacBio reads. Including draft genomes, a total of 44?V. anguillarum genomes are currently available in the genome databases. They represent an important resource in the study of, for example, genetic variations and for identifying virulence determinants. In this article, we present the genomes and basic genome comparisons of the 11 complete genomes, including a BRIG analysis, and pan genome calculation. We also describe some structural features of superintegrons on chromosome 2?s, and associated insertion sequence (IS) elements, including 18 new ISs (ISVa3?-?ISVa20), both of importance in the complement of V. anguillarum genomes.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genomic structural variations affecting virulence during clonal expansion of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae biovar 3 in Europe.

Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) biovar 3 caused pandemic bacterial canker of Actinidia chinensis and Actinidia deliciosa since 2008. In Europe, the disease spread rapidly in the kiwifruit cultivation areas from a single introduction. In this study, we investigated the genomic diversity of Psa biovar 3 strains during the primary clonal expansion in Europe using single molecule real-time (SMRT), Illumina and Sanger sequencing technologies. We recorded evidences of frequent mobilization and loss of transposon Tn6212, large chromosome inversions, and ectopic integration of IS sequences (remarkably ISPsy31, ISPsy36, and ISPsy37). While no phenotype change associated with Tn6212 mobilization could be detected, strains CRAFRU 12.29 and CRAFRU 12.50 did not elicit the hypersensitivity response (HR) on tobacco and eggplant leaves and were limited in their growth in kiwifruit leaves due to insertion of ISPsy31 and ISPsy36 in the hrpS and hrpR genes, respectively, interrupting the hrp cluster. Both strains had been isolated from symptomatic plants, suggesting coexistence of variant strains with reduced virulence together with virulent strains in mixed populations. The structural differences caused by rearrangements of self-genetic elements within European and New Zealand strains were comparable in number and type to those occurring among the European strains, in contrast with the significant difference in terms of nucleotide polymorphisms. We hypothesize a relaxation, during clonal expansion, of the selection limiting the accumulation of deleterious mutations associated with genome structural variation due to transposition of mobile elements. This consideration may be relevant when evaluating strategies to be adopted for epidemics management.


September 22, 2019  |  

Isolation, functional characterization and transmissibility of p3PS10, a multidrug resistance plasmid of the fish pathogen Piscirickettsia salmonis.

Antibiotic resistance is a major public health concern due to its association with the loss of efficacy of antimicrobial therapies. Horizontal transfer events may play a significant role in the dissemination of resistant bacterial phenotypes, being mobilizable plasmids a well-known mechanism. In this study, we aimed to gain insights into the genetics underlying the development of antibiotic resistance by Piscirickettsia salmonis isolates, a bacterial fish pathogen and causative agent of salmonid piscirickettsiosis, and the main target of antibiotics used in Chilean salmon farming. We provide experimental evidence that the plasmid p3PS10, which harbors multidrug resistance genes for chloramphenicol (cat2), tetracyclines [tet(31)], aminoglycosides (sat1 and aadA1), and sulfonamides (sul2), is carried by a group of P. salmonis isolates exhibiting a markedly reduced susceptibility to oxytetracycline in vitro (128-256 µg/mL of minimal inhibitory concentration, MIC). Antibiotic susceptibility analysis extended to those antibiotics showed that MIC of chloramphenicol, streptomycin, and sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim were high, but the MIC of florfenicol remained at the wild-type level. By means of molecular cloning, we demonstrate that those genes encoding putative resistance markers are indeed functional. Interestingly, mating assays clearly show that p3PS10 is able to be transferred into and replicate in different hosts, thereby conferring phenotypes similar to those found in the original host. According to epidemiological data, this strain is distributed across aquaculture settings in southern Chile and is likely to be responsible for oxytetracycline treatment failures. This work demonstrates that P. salmonis is more versatile than it was thought, capable of horizontally transferring DNA, and probably playing a role as a vector of resistance traits among the seawater bacterial population. However, the low transmission frequency of p3PS10 suggests a negligible chance of resistance markers being spread to human pathogens.


September 22, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics of Campylobacter concisus: Analysis of clinical strains reveals genome diversity and pathogenic potential.

In recent years, an increasing number of Campylobacter species have been associated with human gastrointestinal (GI) diseases including gastroenteritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and colorectal cancer. Campylobacter concisus, an oral commensal historically linked to gingivitis and periodontitis, has been increasingly detected in the lower GI tract. In the present study, we generated robust genome sequence data from C. concisus strains and undertook a comprehensive pangenome assessment to identify C. concisus virulence properties and to explain potential adaptations acquired while residing in specific ecological niche(s) of the GI tract. Genomes of 53 new C. concisus strains were sequenced, assembled, and annotated including 36 strains from gastroenteritis patients, 13 strains from Crohn’s disease patients and four strains from colitis patients (three collagenous colitis and one lymphocytic colitis). When compared with previous published sequences, strains clustered into two main groups/genomospecies (GS) with phylogenetic clustering explained neither by disease phenotype nor sample location. Paired oral/faecal isolates, from the same patient, indicated that there are few genetic differences between oral and gut isolates which suggests that gut isolates most likely reflect oral strain relocation. Type IV and VI secretion systems genes, genes known to be important for pathogenicity in the Campylobacter genus, were present in the genomes assemblies, with 82% containing Type VI secretion system genes. Our findings indicate that C. concisus strains are genetically diverse, and the variability in bacterial secretion system content may play an important role in their virulence potential.


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) transporter system and the phosphotransferase system (PTS). CagA is a metabolism system that includes bacterial extracellular solute-binding protein. Glutathione reductase can purge superoxide radicals (O22-) and hydrogen peroxide (H2 O2 ) damage in V. aestuarianus strain W-40. The presence of two compete type I restriction-modification systems was confirmed. A total of 42 insertion sequences (IS) elements and 16 IS elements were identified. Our results revealed a host of virulence factors that likely contribute to the pathogenicity of V. aestuarianus strain W-40, including the virulence factor genes vacA, clpC, and bvgA, which are important for biofilm dispersion. Several bacitracin and tetracycline antibiotic resistance-encoding genes and type VI secretion systems were also identified in the genome. The complete genome sequence will aid future studies of the pathogenesis of V. aestuarianus strain W-40 and allow for new strategies to control disease to be developed.© 2018 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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 the SXT/R391 family. Here we explored the prevalence and diversity of atypical ICEs in GenBank databases and their relationship with typical SXT/R391 ICEs. We found atypical ICEs in V. cholerae isolates that predate the emergence and expansion of typical SXT/R391 ICEs in the mid-1980s in seventh-pandemic toxigenic V. cholerae strains O1 and O139. Our analyses revealed that while atypical ICEs are not associated with antibiotic resistance genes, they often carry cation efflux pumps, suggesting heavy metal resistance. Atypical ICEs constitute a polyphyletic group likely because of occasional recombination events with typical ICEs. Furthermore, we show that the alternative integration and excision genes of atypical ICEs remain under the control of SetCD, the main activator of the conjugative functions of SXT/R391 ICEs. Together, these observations indicate that substitution of the integration/excision module and change of specificity of integration do not preclude atypical ICEs from inclusion into the SXT/R391 family.IMPORTANCEVibrio cholerae is the causative agent of cholera, an acute intestinal infection that remains to this day a world public health threat. Integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs) of the SXT/R391 family have played a major role in spreading antimicrobial resistance in seventh-pandemic V. cholerae but also in several species of Enterobacteriaceae Most epidemiological surveys use the integrase gene as a marker to screen for SXT/R391 ICEs in clinical or environmental strains. With the recent reports of closely related elements that carry an alternative integrase gene, it became urgent to investigate whether ICEs that have been left out of the family are a liability for the accuracy of such screenings. In this study, based on comparative genomics, we broaden the SXT/R391 family of ICEs to include atypical ICEs that are often associated with heavy metal resistance. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.


September 22, 2019  |  

PBHoover and CigarRoller: a method for confident haploid variant calling on Pacific Biosciences data and its application to heterogeneous population analysis

Motivation: Single Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing has important and underutilized advantages that amplification-based platforms lack. Lack of systematic error (e.g. GC-bias), complete de novo assembly (including large repetitive regions) without scaffolding, can be mentioned. SMRT sequencing, however suffers from high random error rate and low sequencing depth (older chemistries). Here, we introduce PBHoover, software that uses a heuristic calling algorithm in order to make base calls with high certainty in low coverage regions. This software is also capable of mixed population detection with high sensitivity. PBHoovertextquoterights CigarRoller attachment improves sequencing depth in low-coverage regions through CIGAR-string correction. Results: We tested both modules on 348 M.tuberculosis clinical isolates sequenced on C1 or C2 chemistries. On average, CigarRoller improved percentage of usable read count from 68.9% to 99.98% in C1 runs and from 50% to 99% in C2 runs. Using the greater depth provided by CigarRoller, PBHoover was able to make base and variant calls 99.95% concordant with Sanger calls (QV33). PBHoover also detected antibiotic-resistant subpopulations that went undetected by Sanger. Using C1 chemistry, subpopulations as small as 9% of the total colony can be detected by PBHoover. This provides the most sensitive amplification-free molecular method for heterogeneity analysis and is in line with phenotypic methodstextquoteright sensitivity. This sensitivity significantly improves with the greater depth and lower error rate of the newer chemistries. Availability and Implementation: Executables are freely available under GNU GPL v3+ at http://www.gitlab.com/LPCDRP/pbhoover and http://www.gitlab.com/LPCDRP/CigarRoller. PBHoover is also available on bioconda: https://anaconda.org/bioconda/pbhoover.


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