April 21, 2020  |  

Confident phylogenetic identification of uncultured prokaryotes through long read amplicon sequencing of the 16S-ITS-23S rRNA operon.

Amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene is the predominant method to quantify microbial compositions and to discover novel lineages. However, traditional short amplicons often do not contain enough information to confidently resolve their phylogeny. Here we present a cost-effective protocol that amplifies a large part of the rRNA operon and sequences the amplicons with PacBio technology. We tested our method on a mock community and developed a read-curation pipeline that reduces the overall read error rate to 0.18%. Applying our method on four environmental samples, we captured near full-length rRNA operon amplicons from a large diversity of prokaryotes. The method operated at moderately high-throughput (22286-37,850 raw ccs reads) and generated a large amount of putative novel archaeal 23S rRNA gene sequences compared to the archaeal SILVA database. These long amplicons allowed for higher resolution during taxonomic classification by means of long (~1000 bp) 16S rRNA gene fragments and for substantially more confident phylogenies by means of combined near full-length 16S and 23S rRNA gene sequences, compared to shorter traditional amplicons (250 bp of the 16S rRNA gene). We recommend our method to those who wish to cost-effectively and confidently estimate the phylogenetic diversity of prokaryotes in environmental samples at high throughput. © 2019 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete Genome Sequence of Photobacterium damselae Subsp. damselae Strain SSPD1601 Isolated from Deep-Sea Cage-Cultured Sebastes schlegelii with Septic Skin Ulcer.

Photobacterium damselae subsp. damselae (PDD) is a Gram-negative bacterium that can infect a variety of aquatic organisms and humans. Based on an epidemiological investigation conducted over the past 3 years, PDD is one of the most important pathogens causing septic skin ulcer in deep-sea cage-cultured Sebastes schlegelii in the Huang-Bohai Sea area and present throughout the year with high abundance. To further understand the pathogenicity of this species, the pathogenic properties and genome of PDD strain SSPD1601 were analyzed. The results revealed that PDD strain SSPD1601 is a rod-shaped cell with a single polar flagellum, and the clinical symptoms were replicated during artificial infection. The SSPD1601 genome consists of two chromosomes and two plasmids, totaling 4,252,294?bp with 3,751 coding sequences (CDSs), 196 tRNA genes, and 47 rRNA genes. Common virulence factors including flagellin, Fur, RstB, hcpA, OMPs, htpB-Hsp60, VasK, and vgrG were found in strain SSPD1601. Furthermore, SSPD1601 is a pPHDD1-negative strain containing the hemolysin gene hlyAch and three putative hemolysins (emrA, yoaF, and VPA0226), which are likely responsible for the pathogenicity of SSPD1601. The phylogenetic analysis revealed SSPD1601 to be most closely related to Phdp Wu-1. In addition, the antibiotic resistance phenotype indicated that SSPD1601 was not sensitive to ceftazidime, pipemidic, streptomycin, cefalexin, bacitracin, cefoperazone sodium, acetylspiramycin, clarithromycin, amikacin, gentamycin, kanamycin, oxacillin, ampicillin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, but only the bacitracin resistance gene bacA was detected based on Antibiotic Resistance Genes Database. These results expand our understanding of PDD, setting the stage for further studies of its pathogenesis and disease prevention.


April 21, 2020  |  

High temperature-induced proteomic and metabolomic profiles of a thermophilic Bacillus manusensis isolated from the deep-sea hydrothermal field of Manus Basin.

Thermophiles are organisms that grow optimally at 50?°C-80?°C and studies on the survival mechanisms of thermophiles have drawn great attention. Bacillus manusensis S50-6 is the type strain of a new thermophilic species isolated from hydrothermal vent in Manus Basin. In this study, we examined the growth and global responses of S50-6 to high temperature on molecular level using multi-omics method (genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics). S50-6 grew optimally at 50?°C (Favorable, F) and poorly at 65?°C (Non-Favorable, NF); it formed spores at F but not at NF condition. At NF condition, S50-6 formed long filaments containing undivided cells. A total of 1621 proteins were identified at F and NF conditions, and 613 proteins were differentially expressed between F and NF. At NF condition, proteins of glycolysis, rRNA mature and modification, and DNA/protein repair were up-regulated, whereas proteins of sporulation and amino acid/nucleotide metabolism were down-regulated. Consistently, many metabolites associated with amino acid and nucleotide metabolic processes were down-regulated at NF condition. Our results revealed molecular strategies of deep-sea B. manusensis to survive at unfavorable high temperature and provided new insights into the thermotolerant mechanisms of thermophiles. SIGNIFICANCE: In this study, we systematically characterized the genomic, proteomic and metabolomic profiles of a thermophilic deep-sea Bacillus manusensis under different temperatures. Based on these analysis, we propose a model delineating the global responses of B. manusensis to unfavorable high temperature. Under unfavorable high temperature, glycolysis is a more important energy supply pathway; protein synthesis is subjected to more stringent regulation by increased tRNA modification; protein and DNA repair associated proteins are enhanced in production to promote heat survival. In contrast, energy-costing pathways, such as sporulation, are repressed, and basic metabolic pathways, such as amino acid and nucleotide metabolisms, are slowed down. Our results provide new insights into the thermotolerant mechanisms of thermophilic Bacillus.Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


April 21, 2020  |  

A First Study of the Virulence Potential of a Bacillus subtilis Isolate From Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vent.

Bacillus subtilis is the best studied Gram-positive bacterium, primarily as a model of cell differentiation and industrial exploitation. To date, little is known about the virulence of B. subtilis. In this study, we examined the virulence potential of a B. subtilis strain (G7) isolated from the Iheya North hydrothermal field of Okinawa Trough. G7 is aerobic, motile, endospore-forming, and requires NaCl for growth. The genome of G7 is composed of one circular chromosome of 4,216,133 base pairs with an average GC content of 43.72%. G7 contains 4,416 coding genes, 27.5% of which could not be annotated, and the remaining 72.5% were annotated with known or predicted functions in 25 different COG categories. Ten sets of 23S, 5S, and 16S ribosomal RNA operons, 86 tRNA and 14 sRNA genes, 50 tandem repeats, 41 mini-satellites, one microsatellite, and 42 transposons were identified in G7. Comparing to the genome of the B. subtilis wild type strain NCIB 3610T, G7 genome contains many genomic translocations, inversions, and insertions, and twice the amount of genomic Islands (GIs), with 42.5% of GI genes encoding hypothetical proteins. G7 possesses abundant putative virulence genes associated with adhesion, invasion, dissemination, anti-phagocytosis, and intracellular survival. Experimental studies showed that G7 was able to cause mortality in fish and mice following intramuscular/intraperitoneal injection, resist the killing effect of serum complement, and replicate in mouse macrophages and fish peripheral blood leukocytes. Taken together, our study indicates that G7 is a B. subtilis isolate with unique genetic features and can be lethal to vertebrate animals once being introduced into the animals by artificial means. These results provide the first insight into the potential harmfulness of deep-sea B. subtilis.


April 21, 2020  |  

Adaptive Strategies in a Poly-Extreme Environment: Differentiation of Vegetative Cells in Serratia ureilytica and Resistance to Extreme Conditions.

Poly-extreme terrestrial habitats are often used as analogs to extra-terrestrial environments. Understanding the adaptive strategies allowing bacteria to thrive and survive under these conditions could help in our quest for extra-terrestrial planets suitable for life and understanding how life evolved in the harsh early earth conditions. A prime example of such a survival strategy is the modification of vegetative cells into resistant resting structures. These differentiated cells are often observed in response to harsh environmental conditions. The environmental strain (strain Lr5/4) belonging to Serratia ureilytica was isolated from a geothermal spring in Lirima, Atacama Desert, Chile. The Atacama Desert is the driest habitat on Earth and furthermore, due to its high altitude, it is exposed to an increased amount of UV radiation. The geothermal spring from which the strain was isolated is oligotrophic and the temperature of 54°C exceeds mesophilic conditions (15 to 45°C). Although the vegetative cells were tolerant to various environmental insults (desiccation, extreme pH, glycerol), a modified cell type was formed in response to nutrient deprivation, UV radiation and thermal shock. Scanning (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) analyses of vegetative cells and the modified cell structures were performed. In SEM, a change toward a circular shape with reduced size was observed. These circular cells possessed what appears as extra coating layers under TEM. The resistance of the modified cells was also investigated, they were resistant to wet heat, UV radiation and desiccation, while vegetative cells did not withstand any of those conditions. A phylogenomic analysis was undertaken to investigate the presence of known genes involved in dormancy in other bacterial clades. Genes related to spore-formation in Myxococcus and Firmicutes were found in S. ureilytica Lr5/4 genome; however, these genes were not enough for a full sporulation pathway that resembles either group. Although, the molecular pathway of cell differentiation in S. ureilytica Lr5/4 is not fully defined, the identified genes may contribute to the modified phenotype in the Serratia genus. Here, we show that a modified cell structure can occur as a response to extremity in a species that was previously not known to deploy this strategy. This strategy may be widely spread in bacteria, but only expressed under poly-extreme environmental conditions.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genome sequence and transcriptomic profiles of a marine bacterium, Pseudoalteromonas agarivorans Hao 2018.

Members of the marine genus Pseudoalteromonas have attracted great interest because of their ability to produce a large number of biologically active substances. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of Pseudoalteromonas agarivorans Hao 2018, a strain isolated from an abalone breeding environment, using second-generation Illumina and third-generation PacBio sequencing technologies. Illumina sequencing offers high quality and short reads, while PacBio technology generates long reads. The scaffolds of the two platforms were assembled to yield a complete genome sequence that included two circular chromosomes and one circular plasmid. Transcriptomic data for Pseudoalteromonas were not available. We therefore collected comprehensive RNA-seq data using Illumina sequencing technology from a fermentation culture of P. agarivorans Hao 2018. Researchers studying the evolution, environmental adaptations and biotechnological applications of Pseudoalteromonas may benefit from our genomic and transcriptomic data to analyze the function and expression of genes of interest.


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