April 21, 2020  |  

Midrib Sucrose Accumulation and Sugar Transporter Gene Expression in YCS-Affected Sugarcane Leaves

Sucrose accumulation and decreased photosynthesis are early symptoms of yellow canopy syndrome (YCS) in sugarcane (Saccharum spp.), and precede the visual yellowing of the leaves. To investigate broad-scale gene expression changes during YCS-onset, transcriptome analyses coupled to metabolome analyses were performed. Across leaf tissues, the greatest number of differentially expressed genes related to the chloroplast, and the metabolic processes relating to nitrogen and carbohydrates. Five genes represented 90% of the TPM (Transcripts Per Million) associated with the downregulation of transcription during YCS-onset, which included PSII D1 (PsbA). This differential expression was consistent with a feedback regulatory effect upon photosynthesis. Broad-scale gene expression analyses did not reveal a cause for leaf sugar accumulation during YCS-onset. Interestingly, the midrib showed the greatest accumulation of sugars, followed by symptomatic lamina. To investigate if phloem loading/reloading may be compromised on a gene expression level – to lead to leaf sucrose accumulation – sucrose transport-related proteins of SWEETs, Sucrose Transporters (SUTs), H+-ATPases and H+-pyrophosphatases (H+-PPases) were characterised from a sugarcane transcriptome and expression analysed. Two clusters of Type I H+-PPases, with one upregulated and the other downregulated, were evident. Although less pronounced, a similar pattern of change was observed for the H+-ATPases. The disaccharide transporting SWEETs were downregulated after visual symptoms were present, and a monosaccharide transporting SWEET upregulated preceding, as well as after, symptom development. SUT gene expression was the least responsive to YCS development. The results are consistent with a reduction of photoassimilate movement through the phloem leading to sucrose build-up in the leaf.


April 21, 2020  |  

Characterization of vanM carrying clinical Enterococcus isolates and diversity of the suppressed vanM gene cluster.

Here we report the prevalence of the suppressed vanM gene cluster as a reservoir of vancomycin resistance genes. Among 1284 clinical isolates of enterococci from four hospitals in Hangzhou, China, 55 isolates of Enterococcus faecium and one isolate of Enterococcus faecalis were screened positive for the vanM genotype. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed that 55 of the 56 vanM-positive isolates were susceptible to vancomycin and teicoplanin. Most of them (54/56) belonged to the main epidemic lineage CC17, mostly the ST78 type. The vanM gene clusters in the 55 vancomycin-susceptible isolates showed sequence diversity owing to different insertion locations of IS1216E. The vanM transposons could be classified into five types and they all carried two or more IS1216E elements, leading to complete or partial deletions of vanR, vanS, or vanX. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction showed that the expression level of vanM was significantly lower in the vancomycin-susceptible isolates than in the vancomycin-resistant isolate. Considering the prevalence of the vanM genotype and the potential for conversion to a resistant phenotype, vanM might act as an important determinant of glycopeptide resistance in the future. It is essential to strengthen the surveillance of vanM-containing enterococci to control the dissemination of vancomycin resistance. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.


April 21, 2020  |  

Improvement of the Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis) reference genome and development of male-specific DNA markers.

The Pacific bluefin tuna, Thunnus orientalis, is a highly migratory species that is widely distributed in the North Pacific Ocean. Like other marine species, T. orientalis has no external sexual dimorphism; thus, identifying sex-specific variants from whole genome sequence data is a useful approach to develop an effective sex identification method. Here, we report an improved draft genome of T. orientalis and male-specific DNA markers. Combining PacBio long reads and Illumina short reads sufficiently improved genome assembly, with a 38-fold increase in scaffold contiguity (to 444 scaffolds) compared to the first published draft genome. Through analysing re-sequence data of 15 males and 16 females, 250 male-specific SNPs were identified from more than 30 million polymorphisms. All male-specific variants were male-heterozygous, suggesting that T. orientalis has a male heterogametic sex-determination system. The largest linkage disequilibrium block (3,174?bp on scaffold_064) contained 51 male-specific variants. PCR primers and a PCR-based sex identification assay were developed using these male-specific variants. The sex of 115 individuals (56 males and 59 females; sex was diagnosed by visual examination of the gonads) was identified with high accuracy using the assay. This easy, accurate, and practical technique facilitates the control of sex ratios in tuna farms. Furthermore, this method could be used to estimate the sex ratio and/or the sex-specific growth rate of natural populations.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genome analysis of the rice coral Montipora capitata.

Corals comprise a biomineralizing cnidarian, dinoflagellate algal symbionts, and associated microbiome of prokaryotes and viruses. Ongoing efforts to conserve coral reefs by identifying the major stress response pathways and thereby laying the foundation to select resistant genotypes rely on a robust genomic foundation. Here we generated and analyzed a high quality long-read based ~886 Mbp nuclear genome assembly and transcriptome data from the dominant rice coral, Montipora capitata from Hawai’i. Our work provides insights into the architecture of coral genomes and shows how they differ in size and gene inventory, putatively due to population size variation. We describe a recent example of foreign gene acquisition via a bacterial gene transfer agent and illustrate the major pathways of stress response that can be used to predict regulatory components of the transcriptional networks in M. capitata. These genomic resources provide insights into the adaptive potential of these sessile, long-lived species in both natural and human influenced environments and facilitate functional and population genomic studies aimed at Hawaiian reef restoration and conservation.


April 21, 2020  |  

The Impact of cDNA Normalization on Long-Read Sequencing of a Complex Transcriptome

Normalization of cDNA is widely used to improve the coverage of rare transcripts in analysis of transcriptomes employing next-generation sequencing. Recently, long-read technology has been emerging as a powerful tool for sequencing and construction of transcriptomes, especially for complex genomes containing highly similar transcripts and transcript-spliced isoforms. Here, we analyzed the transcriptome of sugarcane, with a highly polyploidy plant genome, by PacBio isoform sequencing (Iso-Seq) of two different cDNA library preparations, with and without a normalization step. The results demonstrated that, while the two libraries included many of the same transcripts, many longer transcripts were removed and many new generally shorter transcripts were detected by normalization. For the same input cDNA and the same data yield, the normalized library recovered more total transcript isoforms, number of predicted gene families and orthologous groups, resulting in a higher representation for the sugarcane transcriptome, compared to the non-normalized library. The non-normalized library, on the other hand, included a wider transcript length range with more longer transcripts above ~1.25 kb, more transcript isoforms per gene family and gene ontology terms per transcript. A large proportion of the unique transcripts comprising ~52% of the normalized library were expressed at a lower level than the unique transcripts from the non-normalized library, across three tissue types tested including leaf, stalk and root. About 83% of the total 5,348 predicted long noncoding transcripts was derived from the normalized library, of which ~80% was derived from the lowly expressed fraction. Functional annotation of the unique transcripts suggested that each library enriched different functional transcript fractions. This demonstrated the complementation of the two approaches in obtaining a complete transcriptome of a complex genome at the sequencing depth used in this study.


April 21, 2020  |  

A Phage-Like Plasmid Carrying blaKPC-2 Gene in Carbapenem-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Background: Lateral gene transfer plays a central role in the dissemination of carbapenem resistance in bacterial pathogens associated with nosocomial infections, mainly Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Despite their clinical significance, there is little information regarding the mobile genetic elements and mechanism of acquisition and propagation of lateral genes in P. aeruginosa, and they remain largely unknown. Objectives: The present study characterized the genetic context of blaKPC-2 in carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa strain BH9. Methods:Pseudomonas aeruginosa BH9 sequencing was performed using the long-read PacBio SMRT platform and the Ion Proton System. De novo assembly was carried out using the SMRT pipeline and Canu, and gene prediction and annotation were performed using Prokka and RAST. Results:Pseudomonas aeruginosa BH9 exhibited a 7.1 Mb circular chromosome. However, the blaKPC-2 gene is located in an additional contig composed by a small plasmid pBH6 from P. aeruginosa strain BH6 and several phage-related genes. Further analysis revealed that the beginning and end of the contig contain identical sequences, supporting a circular plasmid structure. This structure spans 41,087 bp, exhibiting all the Mu-like phage landmarks. In addition, 5-bp direct repeats (GGATG) flanking the pBH6 ends were found, strongly indicating integration of the Mu-like phage into the pBH6 plasmid. Mu phages are commonly found in P. aeruginosa. However, for the first time showing a potential impact in shaping the vehicles of the dissemination of antimicrobial (e.g., plasmid pBH6) resistance genes in the Pseudomonas genus. Conclusion: pBH6 captured the Mu-like Phage BH9, creating a co-integrate pBH6::Phage BH9, and this phage-plasmid complex may represent novel case of a phage-like plasmid.


October 23, 2019  |  

Nuclease-mediated gene editing by homologous recombination of the human globin locus.

Tal-effector nucleases (TALENs) are engineered proteins that can stimulate precise genome editing through specific DNA double-strand breaks. Sickle cell disease and ß-thalassemia are common genetic disorders caused by mutations in ß-globin, and we engineered a pair of highly active TALENs that induce modification of 54% of human ß-globin alleles near the site of the sickle mutation. These TALENS stimulate targeted integration of therapeutic, full-length beta-globin cDNA to the endogenous ß-globin locus in 19% of cells prior to selection as quantified by single molecule real-time sequencing. We also developed highly active TALENs to human ?-globin, a pharmacologic target in sickle cell disease therapy. Using the ß-globin and ?-globin TALENs, we generated cell lines that express GFP under the control of the endogenous ß-globin promoter and tdTomato under the control of the endogenous ?-globin promoter. With these fluorescent reporter cell lines, we screened a library of small molecule compounds for their differential effect on the transcriptional activity of the endogenous ß- and ?-globin genes and identified several that preferentially upregulate ?-globin expression.


September 22, 2019  |  

Transcriptional adaptations during long-term persistence of Staphylococcus aureus in the airways of a cystic fibrosis patient.

The lungs of Cystic fibrosis (CF) patients are often colonized and/or infected by Staphylococcus aureus for years, mostly by one predominant clone. For long-term survival in this environment, S. aureus needs to adapt during its interactions with host factors, antibiotics, and other pathogens. Here, we study long-term transcriptional as well as genomic adaptations of an isogenic pair of S. aureus isolates from a single patient using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) and whole genome sequencing (WGS). Mimicking in vivo conditions, we cultivated the S. aureus isolates using artificial sputum medium before harvesting RNA for subsequent analysis. We confirmed our RNA-Seq data using quantitative real-time (qRT)-PCR and additionally investigated intermediate isolates from the same patient representing in total 13.2 years of persistence in the CF airways. Comparative RNA-Seq analysis of the first and the last (“late”) isolate revealed significant differences in the late isolate after 13.2 years of persistence. Of the 2545 genes expressed in both isolates that were cultivated aerobically, 256 genes were up- and 161 were down-regulated with a minimum 2-fold change (2f). Focusing on 25 highly (=8f) up- (n=9) or down- (n=16) regulated genes, we identified several genes encoding for virulence factors involved in immune evasion, bacterial spread or secretion (e.g. spa, sak, and esxA). Moreover, these genes displayed similar expression trends under aerobic, microaerophilic and anaerobic conditions. Further qRT-PCR-experiments of highly up- or down-regulated genes within intermediate S. aureus isolates resulted in different gene expression patterns over the years. Using sequencing analysis of the differently expressed genes and their upstream regions in the late S. aureus isolate resulted in only few genomic alterations. Comparative transcriptomic analysis revealed adaptive changes affecting mainly genes involved in host-pathogen interaction. Although the underlying mechanisms were not known, our results suggest adaptive processes beyond genomic mutations triggered by local factors rather than by activation of global regulators. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Draft genome sequence of Sulfurospirillum sp. strain MES, reconstructed from the metagenome of a microbial electrosynthesis system.

A draft genome of Sulfurospirillum sp. strain MES was isolated through taxonomic binning of a metagenome sequenced from a microbial electrosynthesis system (MES) actively producing acetate and hydrogen. The genome contains the nosZDFLY genes, which are involved in nitrous oxide reduction, suggesting the potential role of this strain in denitrification. Copyright © 2015 Ross et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

IsoSeq analysis and functional annotation of the infratentorial ependymoma tumor tissue on PacBio RSII platform.

Here, we sequenced and functionally annotated the long reads (1-2 kb) cDNAs library of an infratentorial ependymoma tumor tissue on PacBio RSII by Iso-Seq protocol using SMRT technology. 577 MB, data was generated from the brain tissues of ependymoma tumor patient, producing 1,19,313 high-quality reads assembled into 19,878 contigs using Celera assembler followed by Quiver pipelines, which produced 2952 unique protein accessions in the nr protein database and 307 KEGG pathways. Additionally, when we compared GO terms of second and third level with alternative splicing data obtained through HTA Array2.0. We identified four and twelve transcript cluster IDs in Level-2 and Level-3 scores respectively with alternative splicing index predicting mainly the major pathways of hallmarks of cancer. Out of these transcript cluster IDs only transcript cluster IDs of gene PNMT, SNN and LAMB1 showed Reads Per Kilobase of exon model per Million mapped reads (RPKM) values at gene-level expression (GE) and transcript-level (TE) track. Most importantly, brain-specific genes–PNMT, SNN and LAMB1 show their involvement in Ependymoma.


September 22, 2019  |  

The bacterial microbiome of Dermacentor andersoni ticks influences pathogen susceptibility.

Ticks are of medical importance owing to their ability to transmit pathogens to humans and animals. The Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni, is a vector of a number of pathogens, including Anaplasma marginale, which is the most widespread tick-borne pathogen of livestock. Although ticks host pathogenic bacteria, they also harbor bacterial endosymbionts that have a role in tick physiology, survival, as well as pathogen acquisition and transmission. The goal of this study was to characterize the bacterial microbiome and examine the impact of microbiome disruption on pathogen susceptibility. The bacterial microbiome of two populations of D. andersoni with historically different susceptibilities to A. marginale was characterized. In this study, the microbiome was disrupted and then ticks were exposed to A. marginale or Francisella novicida to determine whether the microbiome correlated with pathogen susceptibility. Our study showed that an increase in proportion and quantity of Rickettsia bellii in the microbiome was negatively correlated to A. marginale levels in ticks. Furthermore, a decrease in Francisella endosymbionts was associated with lower F. novicida infection levels, demonstrating a positive pathogen-endosymbiont relationship. We demonstrate that endosymbionts and pathogens have varying interactions, and suggest that microbiome manipulation may provide a possible method for biocontrol by decreasing pathogen susceptibility of ticks.


September 22, 2019  |  

CRISPR/Cas9 deletions in a conserved exon of Distal-less generates gains and losses in a recently acquired morphological novelty in flies.

Distal-less has been repeatedly co-opted for the development of many novel traits. Here, we document its curious role in the development of a novel abdominal appendage (“sternite brushes”) in sepsid flies. CRISPR/Cas9 deletions in the homeodomain result in losses of sternite brushes, demonstrating that Distal-less is necessary for their development. However, deletions in the upstream coding exon (Exon 2) produce losses or gains of brushes. A dissection of Exon 2 reveals that the likely mechanism for gains involves a deletion in an exon-splicing enhancer site that leads to exon skipping. Such contradictory phenotypes are also observed in butterflies, suggesting that mutations in the conserved upstream regions have the potential to generate phenotypic variability in insects that diverged 300 million years ago. Our results demonstrate the importance of Distal-less for the development of a novel abdominal appendage in insects and highlight how site-specific mutations in the same exon can produce contradictory phenotypes. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Lentinula edodes genome survey and postharvest transcriptome analysis.

Lentinula edodes is a popular, cultivated edible and medicinal mushroom. Lentinula edodes is susceptible to postharvest problems, such as gill browning, fruiting body softening, and lentinan degradation. We constructed a de novo assembly draft genome sequence and performed gene prediction for Lentinula edodesDe novo assembly was carried out using short reads from paired-end and mate-paired libraries and by using long reads by PacBio, resulting in a contig number of 1,951 and an N50 of 1 Mb. Furthermore, we predicted genes by Augustus using transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) data from the whole life cycle of Lentinula edodes, resulting in 12,959 predicted genes. This analysis revealed that Lentinula edodes lacks lignin peroxidase. To reveal genes involved in the loss of quality of Lentinula edodes postharvest fruiting bodies, transcriptome analysis was carried out using serial analysis of gene expression (SuperSAGE). This analysis revealed that many cell wall-related enzymes are upregulated after harvest, such as ß-1,3-1,6-glucan-degrading enzymes in glycoside hydrolase (GH) families GH5, GH16, GH30, GH55, and GH128, and thaumatin-like proteins. In addition, we found that several chitin-related genes are upregulated, such as putative chitinases in GH family 18, exochitinases in GH20, and a putative chitosanase in GH family 75. The results suggest that cell wall-degrading enzymes synergistically cooperate for rapid fruiting body autolysis. Many putative transcription factor genes were upregulated postharvest, such as genes containing high-mobility-group (HMG) domains and zinc finger domains. Several cell death-related proteins were also upregulated postharvest.IMPORTANCE Our data collectively suggest that there is a rapid fruiting body autolysis system in Lentinula edodes The genes for the loss of postharvest quality newly found in this research will be targets for the future breeding of strains that keep fresh longer than present strains. De novoLentinula edodes genome assembly data will be used for the construction of a complete Lentinula edodes chromosome map for future breeding. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.


September 22, 2019  |  

The features of mucosa-associated microbiota in primary sclerosing cholangitis.

Little is known about the role of the microbiome in primary sclerosing cholangitis.To explore the mucosa-associated microbiota in primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) patients across different locations in the gut, and to compare it with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)-only patients and healthy controls.Biopsies from the terminal ileum, right colon, and left colon were collected from patients and healthy controls undergoing colonoscopy. Microbiota profiling using bacterial 16S rRNA sequencing was performed on all biopsies.Forty-four patients were recruited: 20 with PSC (19 with PSC-IBD and one with PSC-only), 15 with IBD-only and nine healthy controls. The overall microbiome profile was similar throughout different locations in the gut. No differences in the global microbiome profile were found. However, we observed significant PSC-associated enrichment in Barnesiellaceae at the family level, and in Blautia and an unidentified Barnesiellaceae at the genus level. At the operational taxa unit level, most shifts in PSC were observed in Clostridiales and Bacteroidales orders, with approximately 86% of shifts occurring within the former order.The overall microbiota profile was similar across multiple locations in the gut from the same individual regardless of disease status. In this study, the mucosa associated-microbiota of patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis was characterised by enrichment of Blautia and Barnesiellaceae and by major shifts in operational taxa units within Clostridiales order.© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


September 22, 2019  |  

A survey of the complex transcriptome from the highly polyploid sugarcane genome using full-length isoform sequencing and de novo assembly from short read sequencing.

Despite the economic importance of sugarcane in sugar and bioenergy production, there is not yet a reference genome available. Most of the sugarcane transcriptomic studies have been based on Saccharum officinarum gene indices (SoGI), expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and de novo assembled transcript contigs from short-reads; hence knowledge of the sugarcane transcriptome is limited in relation to transcript length and number of transcript isoforms.The sugarcane transcriptome was sequenced using PacBio isoform sequencing (Iso-Seq) of a pooled RNA sample derived from leaf, internode and root tissues, of different developmental stages, from 22 varieties, to explore the potential for capturing full-length transcript isoforms. A total of 107,598 unique transcript isoforms were obtained, representing about 71% of the total number of predicted sugarcane genes. The majority of this dataset (92%) matched the plant protein database, while just over 2% was novel transcripts, and over 2% was putative long non-coding RNAs. About 56% and 23% of total sequences were annotated against the gene ontology and KEGG pathway databases, respectively. Comparison with de novo contigs from Illumina RNA-Sequencing (RNA-Seq) of the internode samples from the same experiment and public databases showed that the Iso-Seq method recovered more full-length transcript isoforms, had a higher N50 and average length of largest 1,000 proteins; whereas a greater representation of the gene content and RNA diversity was captured in RNA-Seq. Only 62% of PacBio transcript isoforms matched 67% of de novo contigs, while the non-matched proportions were attributed to the inclusion of leaf/root tissues and the normalization in PacBio, and the representation of more gene content and RNA classes in the de novo assembly, respectively. About 69% of PacBio transcript isoforms and 41% of de novo contigs aligned with the sorghum genome, indicating the high conservation of orthologs in the genic regions of the two genomes.The transcriptome dataset should contribute to improved sugarcane gene models and sugarcane protein predictions; and will serve as a reference database for analysis of transcript expression in sugarcane.


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