September 22, 2019  |  

Stress-induced formation of cell wall-deficient cells in filamentous actinomycetes.

The cell wall is a shape-defining structure that envelopes almost all bacteria and protects them from environmental stresses. Bacteria can be forced to grow without a cell wall under certain conditions that interfere with cell wall synthesis, but the relevance of these wall-less cells (known as L-forms) is unclear. Here, we show that several species of filamentous actinomycetes have a natural ability to generate wall-deficient cells in response to hyperosmotic stress, which we call S-cells. This wall-deficient state is transient, as S-cells are able to switch to the normal mycelial mode of growth. However, prolonged exposure of S-cells to hyperosmotic stress yields variants that are able to proliferate indefinitely without their cell wall, similarly to L-forms. We propose that formation of wall-deficient cells in actinomycetes may serve as an adaptation to osmotic stress.

September 22, 2019  |  

Complete and de novo assembly of the Leishmania braziliensis (M2904) genome.

Leishmania braziliensis is the etiological agent of American mucosal leishmaniasis, one of the most severe clinical forms of leishmaniasis. Here, we report the assembly of the L. braziliensis (M2904) genome into 35 continuous chromosomes. Also, the annotation of 8395 genes is provided. The public availability of this information will contribute to a better knowledge of this pathogen and help in the search for vaccines and novel drug targets aimed to control the disease caused by this Leishmania species.

September 22, 2019  |  

Emerging multidrug-resistant hybrid pathotype shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O80 and related strains of clonal complex 165, Europe.

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli serogroup O80, involved in hemolytic uremic syndrome associated with extraintestinal infections, has emerged in France. We obtained circularized sequences of the O80 strain RDEx444, responsible for hemolytic uremic syndrome with bacteremia, and noncircularized sequences of 35 O80 E. coli isolated from humans and animals in Europe with or without Shiga toxin genes. RDEx444 harbored a mosaic plasmid, pR444_A, combining extraintestinal virulence determinants and a multidrug resistance-encoding island. All strains belonged to clonal complex 165, which is distantly related to other major enterohemorrhagic E. coli lineages. All stx-positive strains contained eae-?, ehxA, and genes characteristic of pR444_A. Among stx-negative strains, 1 produced extended-spectrum ß-lactamase, 1 harbored the colistin-resistance gene mcr1, and 2 possessed genes characteristic of enteropathogenic and pyelonephritis E. coli. Because O80-clonal complex 165 strains can integrate intestinal and extraintestinal virulence factors in combination with diverse drug-resistance genes, they constitute dangerous and versatile multidrug-resistant pathogens.

September 21, 2019  |  

Toward complete bacterial genome sequencing through the combined use of multiple next-generation sequencing platforms.

PacBio’s long-read sequencing technologies can be successfully used for a complete bacterial genome assembly using recently developed non-hybrid assemblers in the absence of secondgeneration, high-quality short reads. However, standardized procedures that take into account multiple pre-existing second-generation sequencing platforms are scarce. In addition to Illumina HiSeq and Ion Torrent PGM-based genome sequencing results derived from previous studies, we generated further sequencing data, including from the PacBio RS II platform, and applied various bioinformatics tools to obtain complete genome assemblies for five bacterial strains. Our approach revealed that the hierarchical genome assembly process (HGAP) non-hybrid assembler resulted in nearly complete assemblies at a moderate coverage of ~75x, but that different versions produced non-compatible results requiring post processing. The other two platforms further improved the PacBio assembly through scaffolding and a final error correction.

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