June 1, 2021  |  

Comparative genome analysis of Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis strains provides insights into genetic diversity and virulence.

Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis (Cmm) is a gram positive actinomycete, causing bacterial canker of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) a disease that can cause significant losses in tomato production. In this study, we determined the complete genome sequence of 13 California Cmm strains and one saprophytic Clavibacter strain using a combination of Ilumina and PacBio sequencing. The California Cmm strains have genome size (3.2 -3.3 mb) similar to the reference strain NCPPB382 (3.3 mb) with =98% sequence identity. Cmm strains from California share =92% genes (8-10% are noble genes) with the reference Cmm strain NCPPB382. Despite this similarity, we detected significant alternatives in California strains with respect to plasmid number, plasmid composition, and genomic island presence indicating acquisition of unique mechanisms controlling virulence. Plasmids pCM1 and pCM2, that were previously demonstrated to be required for NCPPB382 virulence, also differ in their presence and gene content across Cmm strains. pCM2 is absent in some Cmm strains and that still retain virulence in tomato. Saprophytic Clavibacter possess a novel plasmid, pSCM, and lacks the majority of characterized virulence factors. Genome sequence information was also used to design specific and sensitive primer pairs for Cmm detection. A mechanistic understanding of how genomic changes have impacted Cmm virulence and survival across diverse strains will be necessary for developing a robust disease control strategies for bacterial canker of tomato.


April 21, 2020  |  

The complete genome sequence and comparative genome analysis of the multi-drug resistant food-borne pathogen Bacillus cereus.

Bacillus cereus is an opportunistic human pathogen causing food-borne gastrointestinal infections and non-gastrointestinal infections worldwide. The strain B. cereus FORC_013 was isolated from fried eel. Its genome was completely sequenced by PacBio technology, analyzed and compared with other complete genome sequences of Bacillus to elucidate the distinct pathogenic features of the strain isolated in South Korea. Genomic analysis revealed pathogenesis and host immune evasion-associated genes encoding tissue-destructive exoenzymes, and pore-forming toxins. In particular, tissue-destructive (hemolysin BL, nonhaemolytic enterotoxins) and cytolytic proteins (cytolysin) were observed in the genome, which damage the plasma membrane of the epithelial cells of the small intestine causing diarrhea in humans. Capsule biosynthesis gene found in both chromosome and plasmid, which might be responsible for protecting the pathogen from the host cell immune defense system after host cell invasion. Additionally, multidrug resistance operon and efflux pumps were identified in the genome, which play a prominent role in multi-antibiotic resistance. Comparative phylogenetic tree analysis of the strain FORC_013 and other B. cereus strains revealed that the closest strains are ATCC 14579 and B4264. This genome data can be used to identify virulence factors that can be applied for the development of novel biomarkers for the rapid detection of this pathogen in foods.Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.


April 21, 2020  |  

Antibiotic susceptibility of plant-derived lactic acid bacteria conferring health benefits to human.

Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) confer health benefits to human when administered orally. We have recently isolated several species of LAB strains from plant sources, such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, and medicinal plants. Since antibiotics used to treat bacterial infection diseases induce the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria in intestinal microflora, it is important to evaluate the susceptibility of LAB strains to antibiotics to ensure the safety and security of processed foods. The aim of the present study is to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of antibiotics against several plant-derived LAB strains. When aminoglycoside antibiotics, such as streptomycin (SM), kanamycin (KM), and gentamicin (GM), were evaluated using LAB susceptibility test medium (LSM), the MIC was higher than when using Mueller-Hinton (MH) medium. Etest, which is an antibiotic susceptibility assay method consisting of a predefined gradient of antibiotic concentrations on a plastic strip, is used to determine the MIC of antibiotics world-wide. In the present study, we demonstrated that Etest was particularly valuable while testing LAB strains. We also show that the low susceptibility of the plant-derived LAB strains against each antibiotic tested is due to intrinsic resistance and not acquired resistance. This finding is based on the whole-genome sequence information reflecting the horizontal spread of the drug-resistance genes in the LAB strains.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete Genome of Bacillus velezensis CMT-6 and Comparative Genome Analysis Reveals Lipopeptide Diversity.

The complete genome sequence of Bacillus velezensis type strain CMT-6 is presented for the first time. A comparative analysis between the genome sequences of CMT-6 with the genome of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens DSM7T, B. velezensis FZB42, and Bacillus subtilis 168 revealed major differences in the lipopeptide synthesis genes. Of the above, only the CMT-6 strain possessed an integrated synthetase gene for synthesizing surfactin, iturin, and fengycin. However, CMT-6 shared 14, 12, and 10 other lipopeptide-producing genes with FZB42, DSM7T, and 168 respectively. The largest numbers of non-synonymous mutations were detected in 205 gene sequences that produced these three lipopeptides in CMT-6 and 168. Comparing CMT-6 with DSM7T, 58 non-synonymous mutations were detected in gene sequences that contributed to produce lipopeptides. In addition, InDels were identified in yczE and glnR genes. CMT-6 and FZB42 had the lowest number of non-synonymous mutations with 8 lipopeptide-related gene sequences. And InDels were identified in only yczE. The numbers of core genes, InDels, and non-synonymous mutations in genes were the main reasons for the differences in yield and variety of lipopeptides. These results will enrich the genomic resources available for B. velezensis and provide fundamental information to construct strains that can produce specific lipopeptides.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genome analysis and Hi-C assisted assembly of Elaeagnus angustifolia L., a deciduous tree belonging to Elaeagnaceae

Elaeagnus angustifolia L. is a deciduous tree of the Elaeagnaceae family. It is widely used in the study of abiotic stress tolerance in plants and for the improvement of desertification-affected land due to its characteristics of drought resistance, salt tolerance, cold resistance, wind resistance, and other environmental adaptation. Here, we report the complete genome sequencing using the Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) platform and Hi-C assisted assembly of E. angustifolia. A total of 44.27 Gb raw PacBio sequel reads were obtained after filtering out low-quality data, with an average length of 8.64 Kb. Assembly using Canu gave an assembly length of 781.09 Mb, with a contig N50 of 486.92 Kb. A total of 39.56 Gb of clean reads was obtained, with a sequencing coverage of 75×, and Q30 ratio > 95.46%. The 510.71 Mb genomic sequence was mapped to the chromosome, accounting for 96.94% of the total length of the sequence, and the corresponding number of sequences was 269, accounting for 45.83% of the total number of sequences. The genome sequence study of E. angustifolia can be a valuable source for the comparative genome analysis of the Elaeagnaceae family members, and can help to understand the evolutionary response mechanisms of the Elaeagnaceae to drought, salt, cold and wind resistance, and thereby provide effective theoretical support for the improvement of desertification-affected land.


April 21, 2020  |  

Comparative genome analysis reveals the evolution of chloroacetanilide herbicide mineralization in Sphingomonas wittichii DC-6.

The environmental fate of the extensively used chloroacetanilide herbicides (CH) has been a cause of increasing concern in the past decade because of their carcinogenic properties. Although microbes play important roles in CH degradation, Sphingomonas wittichii DC-6 was the first reported CH-mineralizing bacterium. In this study, the complete genome of strain DC-6 was sequenced and comparative genomic analysis was performed using strain DC-6 and other three partial CH-degrading bacteria, Sphingobium quisquiliarum DC-2, Sphingobium baderi DE-13, and Sphingobium sp. MEA3-1. 16S rDNA phylogenetic analysis indicated that strain DC-2, MEA3-1, and DE-13 are closely related and DC-6 has relatively distant genetic relationship with the other three strains. The identified CH degradation genes responsible for the upstream and downstream pathway, including cndA, cmeH, meaXY, and meaAB, were all located in conserved DNA fragments (or genetic islands) in the vicinity of mobile element proteins. Protein BLAST in the NCBI database showed that cndA and cmeH were present in the genomes of other sequenced strains isolated from various habitats; however, the gene compositions in these host strains were completely different from those of other sphingomonads, and codon usage of genes for upstream pathway were also different from that of downstream pathway. These results showed that the upstream and downstream pathways of CH degradation in strain DC-6 have evolved by horizontal gene transfer and gene combination. In addition, the genes of the ring-cleavage pathway were not conserved and may have evolved directly from bacterial degradation of hydroxyquinol. The present study provides insights into the evolutionary strategy and microbial catabolic pathway of CH mineralization.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genome sequence analysis of 91 Salmonella Enteritidis isolates from mice caught on poultry farms in the mid 1990s.

A total of 91 draft genome sequences were used to analyze isolates of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis obtained from feral mice caught on poultry farms in Pennsylvania. One objective was to find mutations disrupting open reading frames (ORFs) and another was to determine if ORF-disruptive mutations were present in isolates obtained from other sources. A total of 83 mice were obtained between 1995-1998. Isolates separated into two genomic clades and 12 subgroups due to 742 mutations. Nineteen ORF-disruptive mutations were found, and in addition, bigA had exceptional heterogeneity requiring additional evaluation. The TRAMS algorithm detected only 6 ORF disruptions. The sefD mutation was the most frequently encountered mutation and it was prevalent in human, poultry, environmental and mouse isolates. These results confirm previous assessments of the mouse as a rich source of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis that varies in genotype and phenotype. Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Inc.


April 21, 2020  |  

Identification of Virulence-Associated Properties by Comparative Genome Analysis of Streptococcus pneumoniae, S. pseudopneumoniae, S. mitis, Three S. oralis Subspecies, and S. infantis.

From a common ancestor, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus mitis evolved in parallel into one of the most important pathogens and a mutualistic colonizer of humans, respectively. This evolutionary scenario provides a unique basis for studies of both infection-associated properties and properties important for harmonious coexistence with the host. We performed detailed comparisons of 60 genomes of S. pneumoniae, S. mitis, Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae, the three Streptococcus oralis subspecies oralis, tigurinus, and dentisani, and Streptococcus infantis Nonfunctional remnants of ancestral genes in both S. pneumoniae and in S. mitis support the evolutionary model and the concept that evolutionary changes on both sides were required to reach their present relationship to the host. Confirmed by screening of >7,500 genomes, we identified 224 genes associated with virulence. The striking difference to commensal streptococci was the diversity of regulatory mechanisms, including regulation of capsule production, a significantly larger arsenal of enzymes involved in carbohydrate hydrolysis, and proteins known to interfere with innate immune factors. The exclusive presence of the virulence factors in S. pneumoniae enhances their potential as vaccine components, as a direct impact on beneficial members of the commensal microbiota can be excluded. In addition to loss of these virulence-associated genes, adaptation of S. mitis to a mutualistic relationship with the host apparently required preservation or acquisition of 25 genes lost or absent from S. pneumoniae Successful adaptation of S. mitis and other commensal streptococci to a harmonious relationship with the host relied on genetic stability and properties facilitating life in biofilms.IMPORTANCEStreptococcus pneumoniae is one of the most important human pathogens but is closely related to Streptococcus mitis, with which humans live in harmony. The fact that the two species evolved from a common ancestor provides a unique basis for studies of both infection-associated properties and properties important for harmonious coexistence with the host. By detailed comparisons of genomes of the two species and other related streptococci, we identified 224 genes associated with virulence and 25 genes unique to the mutualistic species. The exclusive presence of the virulence factors in S. pneumoniae enhances their potential as vaccine components, as a direct impact on beneficial members of the commensal microbiota can be excluded. Successful adaptation of S. mitis and other commensal streptococci to a harmonious relationship with the host relied on genetic stability and properties facilitating life in biofilms.Copyright © 2019 Kilian and Tettelin.


April 21, 2020  |  

Detection of VIM-1-Producing Enterobacter cloacae and Salmonella enterica Serovars Infantis and Goldcoast at a Breeding Pig Farm in Germany in 2017 and Their Molecular Relationship to Former VIM-1-Producing S. Infantis Isolates in German Livestock Production.

In 2011, VIM-1-producing Salmonella enterica serovar Infantis and Escherichia coli were isolated for the first time in four German livestock farms. In 2015/2016, highly related isolates were identified in German pig production. This raised the issue of potential reservoirs for these isolates, the relation of their mobile genetic elements, and potential links between the different affected farms/facilities. In a piglet-producing farm suspicious for being linked to some blaVIM-1 findings in Germany, fecal and environmental samples were examined for the presence of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae and Salmonella spp. Newly discovered isolates were subjected to Illumina whole-genome sequencing (WGS) and S1 pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) hybridization experiments. WGS data of these isolates were compared with those for the previously isolated VIM-1-producing Salmonella Infantis isolates from pigs and poultry. Among 103 samples, one Salmonella Goldcoast isolate, one Salmonella Infantis isolate, and one Enterobacter cloacae isolate carrying the blaVIM-1 gene were detected. Comparative WGS analysis revealed that the blaVIM-1 gene was part of a particular Tn21-like transposable element in all isolates. It was located on IncHI2 (ST1) plasmids of ~290 to 300?kb with a backbone highly similar (98 to 100%) to that of reference pSE15-SA01028. SNP analysis revealed a close relationship of all VIM-1-positive S Infantis isolates described since 2011. The findings of this study demonstrate that the occurrence of the blaVIM-1 gene in German livestock is restricted neither to a certain bacterial species nor to a certain Salmonella serovar but is linked to a particular Tn21-like transposable element located on transferable pSE15-SA01028-like IncHI2 (ST1) plasmids, being present in all of the investigated isolates from 2011 to 2017.IMPORTANCE Carbapenems are considered one of few remaining treatment options against multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens in human clinical settings. The occurrence of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae in livestock and food is a major public health concern. Particularly the occurrence of VIM-1-producing Salmonella Infantis in livestock farms is worrisome, as this zoonotic pathogen is one of the main causes for human salmonellosis in Europe. Investigations on the epidemiology of those carbapenemase-producing isolates and associated mobile genetic elements through an in-depth molecular characterization are indispensable to understand the transmission of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae along the food chain and between different populations to develop strategies to prevent their further spread.Copyright © 2019 Roschanski et al.


April 21, 2020  |  

Infection mechanisms and putative effector repertoire of the mosquito pathogenic oomycete Pythium guiyangense uncovered by genomic analysis.

Pythium guiyangense, an oomycete from a genus of mostly plant pathogens, is an effective biological control agent that has wide potential to manage diverse mosquitoes. However, its mosquito-killing mechanisms are almost unknown. In this study, we observed that P. guiyangense could utilize cuticle penetration and ingestion of mycelia into the digestive system to infect mosquito larvae. To explore pathogenic mechanisms, a high-quality genome sequence with 239 contigs and an N50 contig length of 1,009 kb was generated. The genome assembly is approximately 110 Mb, which is almost twice the size of other sequenced Pythium genomes. Further genome analysis suggests that P. guiyangense may arise from a hybridization of two related but distinct parental species. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that P. guiyangense likely evolved from common ancestors shared with plant pathogens. Comparative genome analysis coupled with transcriptome sequencing data suggested that P. guiyangense may employ multiple virulence mechanisms to infect mosquitoes, including secreted proteases and kazal-type protease inhibitors. It also shares intracellular Crinkler (CRN) effectors used by plant pathogenic oomycetes to facilitate the colonization of plant hosts. Our experimental evidence demonstrates that CRN effectors of P. guiyangense can be toxic to insect cells. The infection mechanisms and putative virulence effectors of P. guiyangense uncovered by this study provide the basis to develop improved mosquito control strategies. These data also provide useful knowledge on host adaptation and evolution of the entomopathogenic lifestyle within the oomycete lineage. A deeper understanding of the biology of P. guiyangense effectors might also be useful for management of other important agricultural pests.


April 21, 2020  |  

Finding the needle in a haystack: Mapping antifungal drug resistance in fungal pathogen by genomic approaches.

Fungi are ubiquitous on earth and are essential for the maintenance of the global ecological equilibrium. Despite providing benefits to living organisms, they can also target specific hosts and inflict damage. These fungal pathogens are known to affect, for example, plants and mam- mals and thus reduce crop production necessary to sustain food supply and cause mortality in humans and animals. Designing defenses against these fungi is essential for the control of food resources and human health. As far as fungal pathogens are concerned, the principal option has been the use of antifungal agents, also called fungicides when they are used in the environment.


April 21, 2020  |  

Comparative Genome Analysis of an Extensively Drug-Resistant Isolate of Avian Sequence Type 167 Escherichia coli Strain Sanji with Novel In Silico Serotype O89b:H9.

Extensive drug resistance (XDR) is an escalating global problem. Escherichia coli strain Sanji was isolated from an outbreak of pheasant colibacillosis in Fujian province, China, in 2011. This strain has XDR properties, exhibiting sensitivity to carbapenems but no other classes of known antibiotics. Whole-genome sequencing revealed a total of 32 known antibiotic resistance genes, many associated with insertion sequence 26 (IS26) elements. These were found on the Sanji chromosome and 2 of its 6 plasmids, pSJ_255 and pSJ_82. The Sanji chromosome also harbors a type 2 secretion system (T2SS), a type 3 secretion system (T3SS), a type 6 secretion system (T6SS), and several putative prophages. Sanji and other ST167 strains have a previously uncharacterized O-antigen (O89b) that is most closely related to serotype O89 as determined on the basis of analysis of the wzm-wzt genes and in silico serotyping. This O89b-antigen gene cluster was also found in the genomes of a few other pathogenic sequence type 617 (ST617) and ST10 complex strains. A time-scaled phylogeny inferred from comparative single nucleotide variant analysis indicated that development of these O89b-containing lineages emerged about 30?years ago. Comparative sequence analysis revealed that the core genome of Sanji is nearly identical to that of several recently sequenced strains of pathogenic XDR E. coli belonging to the ST167 group. Comparison of the mobile elements among the different ST167 genomes revealed that each genome carries a distinct set of multidrug resistance genes on different types of plasmids, indicating that there are multiple paths toward the emergence of XDR in E. coli. IMPORTANCE E. coli strain Sanji is the first sequenced and analyzed genome of the recently emerged pathogenic XDR strains with sequence type ST167 and novel in silico serotype O89b:H9. Comparison of the genomes of Sanji with other ST167 strains revealed distinct sets of different plasmids, mobile IS elements, and antibiotic resistance genes in each genome, indicating that there exist multiple paths toward achieving XDR. The emergence of these pathogenic ST167 E. coli strains with diverse XDR capabilities highlights the difficulty of preventing or mitigating the development of XDR properties in bacteria and points to the importance of better understanding of the shared underlying virulence mechanisms and physiology of pathogenic bacteria.


April 21, 2020  |  

Potential KPC-2 carbapenemase reservoir of environmental Aeromonas hydrophila and Aeromonas caviae isolates from the effluent of an urban wastewater treatment plant in Japan.

Aeromonas hydrophila and Aeromonas caviae adapt to saline water environments and are the most predominant Aeromonas species isolated from estuaries. Here, we isolated antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) Aeromonas strains (A. hydrophila GSH8-2 and A. caviae GSH8M-1) carrying the carabapenemase blaKPC-2 gene from a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent in Tokyo Bay (Japan) and determined their complete genome sequences. GSH8-2 and GSH8M-1 were classified as newly assigned sequence types ST558 and ST13, suggesting no supportive evidence of clonal dissemination. The strains appear to have acquired blaKPC-2 -positive IncP-6-relative plasmids (pGSH8-2 and pGSH8M-1-2) that share a common backbone with plasmids in Aeromonas sp. ASNIH3 isolated from hospital wastewater in the United States, A. hydrophila WCHAH045096 isolated from sewage in China, other clinical isolates (Klebsiella, Enterobacter and Escherichia coli), and wastewater isolates (Citrobacter, Pseudomonas and other Aeromonas spp.). In addition to blaKPC-2 , pGSH8M-1-2 carries an IS26-mediated composite transposon including a macrolide resistance gene, mph(A). Although Aeromonas species are opportunistic pathogens, they could serve as potential environmental reservoir bacteria for carbapenemase and AMR genes. AMR monitoring from WWTP effluents will contribute to the detection of ongoing AMR dissemination in the environment and might provide an early warning of potential dissemination in clinical settings and communities. © 2019 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology Reports published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


April 21, 2020  |  

The Isolation and Characterization of Kronos, a Novel Caulobacter Rhizosphere Phage that is Similar to Lambdoid Phages.

Despite their ubiquity, relatively few bacteriophages have been characterized. Here, we set out to explore Caulobacter bacteriophages (caulophages) in the rhizosphere and characterized Kronos, the first caulophage isolated from the rhizosphere. Kronos is a member of the Siphoviridae family since it has a long flexible tail. In addition, an analysis of the Kronos genome indicated that many of the predicted proteins were distantly related to those of bacteriophages in the lambdoid family. Consistent with this observation, we were able to demonstrate the presence of cos sites that are similar to those found at the ends of lambdoid phage genomes. Moreover, Kronos displayed a relatively rare head and tail morphology compared to other caulophages but was similar to that of the lambdoid phages. Taken together, these data indicate that Kronos is distantly related to lambdoid phages and may represent a new Siphoviridae genus.


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