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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Pantoea ananatis genetic diversity analysis reveals limited genomic diversity as well as accessory genes correlated with onion pathogenicity.

Pantoea ananatis is a member of the family Enterobacteriaceae and an enigmatic plant pathogen with a broad host range. Although P. ananatis strains can be aggressive on onion causing foliar necrosis and onion center rot, previous genomic analysis has shown that P. ananatis lacks the primary virulence secretion systems associated with other plant pathogens. We assessed a collection of fifty P. ananatis strains collected from Georgia over three decades to determine genetic factors that correlated with onion pathogenic potential. Previous genetic analysis studies have compared strains isolated from different hosts with varying diseases potential and isolation sources. Strains varied greatly…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Expansions of intronic TTTCA and TTTTA repeats in benign adult familial myoclonic epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder, and mutations in genes encoding ion channels or neurotransmitter receptors are frequent causes of monogenic forms of epilepsy. Here we show that abnormal expansions of TTTCA and TTTTA repeats in intron 4 of SAMD12 cause benign adult familial myoclonic epilepsy (BAFME). Single-molecule, real-time sequencing of BAC clones and nanopore sequencing of genomic DNA identified two repeat configurations in SAMD12. Intriguingly, in two families with a clinical diagnosis of BAFME in which no repeat expansions in SAMD12 were observed, we identified similar expansions of TTTCA and TTTTA repeats in introns of TNRC6A and RAPGEF2, indicating…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Massive lateral transfer of genes encoding plant cell wall-degrading enzymes to the mycoparasitic fungus Trichoderma from its plant-associated hosts.

Unlike most other fungi, molds of the genus Trichoderma (Hypocreales, Ascomycota) are aggressive parasites of other fungi and efficient decomposers of plant biomass. Although nutritional shifts are common among hypocrealean fungi, there are no examples of such broad substrate versatility as that observed in Trichoderma. A phylogenomic analysis of 23 hypocrealean fungi (including nine Trichoderma spp. and the related Escovopsis weberi) revealed that the genus Trichoderma has evolved from an ancestor with limited cellulolytic capability that fed on either fungi or arthropods. The evolutionary analysis of Trichoderma genes encoding plant cell wall-degrading carbohydrate-active enzymes and auxiliary proteins (pcwdCAZome, 122 gene…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Solar-panel and parasol strategies shape the proteorhodopsin distribution pattern in marine Flavobacteriia.

Proteorhodopsin (PR) is a light-driven proton pump that is found in diverse bacteria and archaea species, and is widespread in marine microbial ecosystems. To date, many studies have suggested the advantage of PR for microorganisms in sunlit environments. The ecophysiological significance of PR is still not fully understood however, including the drivers of PR gene gain, retention, and loss in different marine microbial species. To explore this question we sequenced 21 marine Flavobacteriia genomes of polyphyletic origin, which encompassed both PR-possessing as well as PR-lacking strains. Here, we show that the possession or alternatively the lack of PR genes reflects…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Discovery of the first germline-restricted gene by subtractive transcriptomic analysis in the zebra finch, Taeniopygia guttata.

Developmentally programmed genome rearrangements are rare in vertebrates, but have been reported in scattered lineages including the bandicoot, hagfish, lamprey, and zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) [1]. In the finch, a well-studied animal model for neuroendocrinology and vocal learning [2], one such programmed genome rearrangement involves a germline-restricted chromosome, or GRC, which is found in germlines of both sexes but eliminated from mature sperm [3, 4]. Transmitted only through the oocyte, it displays uniparental female-driven inheritance, and early in embryonic development is apparently eliminated from all somatic tissue in both sexes [3, 4]. The GRC comprises the longest finch chromosome at over…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A reference genome of the European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.).

The European beech is arguably the most important climax broad-leaved tree species in Central Europe, widely planted for its valuable wood. Here, we report the 542 Mb draft genome sequence of an up to 300-year-old individual (Bhaga) from an undisturbed stand in the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park in central Germany.Using a hybrid assembly approach, Illumina reads with short- and long-insert libraries, coupled with long Pacific Biosciences reads, we obtained an assembled genome size of 542 Mb, in line with flow cytometric genome size estimation. The largest scaffold was of 1.15 Mb, the N50 length was 145 kb, and the L50 count…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Reprogramming of the antimycin NRPS-PKS assembly lines inspired by gene evolution.

Reprogramming of the NRPS/PKS assembly line is an attractive method for the production of new bioactive molecules. However, it is usually hampered by the loss of intimate domain/module interactions required for the precise control of chain transfer and elongation reactions. In this study, we first establish heterologous expression systems of the unique antimycin-type cyclic depsipeptides: JBIR-06 (tri-lactone) and neoantimycin (tetra-lactone), and engineer their biosyntheses by taking advantage of bioinformatic analyses and evolutionary insights. As a result, we successfully accomplish three manipulations: (i) ring contraction of neoantimycin (from tetra-lactone to tri-lactone), (ii) ring expansion of JBIR-06 (from tri-lactone to tetra-lactone), and…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Towards map-based cloning of FB_Mfu10: identification of a receptor-like kinase candidate gene underlying the Malus fusca fire blight resistance locus on linkage group 10.

Breeding for resistance against the destructive fire blight disease of apples is the most sustainable strategy to control the menace of this disease, and has become increasingly important in European apple breeding programs. Since most cultivars are susceptible, wild accessions have been explored for resistance with quantitative trait loci detected in a few wild species. Fire blight resistance of Malus fusca was described following phenotypic evaluations with a C-type strain of Erwinia amylovora, Ea222_JKI, and the detection of a major QTL on chromosome 10 (Mfu10) of this crabapple. The stability of the resistance of M. fusca and Mfu10 has been…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The energy-coupling factor transporter module EcfAA’T, a novel candidate for the genetic basis of fatty acid-auxotrophic small-colony variants of Staphylococcus aureus.

Staphylococcal small-colony variants (SCVs) are invasive and persistent due to their ability to thrive intracellularly and to evade the host immune response. Thus, the course of infections due to this phenotype is often chronic, relapsing, and therapy-refractory. In order to improve treatment of patients suffering from SCV-associated infections, it is of major interest to understand triggers for the development of this phenotype, in particular for strains naturally occurring in clinical settings. Within this study, we comprehensively characterized two different Staphylococcus aureus triplets each consisting of isogenic strains comprising (i) clinically derived SCV phenotypes with auxotrophy for unsaturated fatty acids, (ii)…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sharing of human milk oligosaccharides degradants within bifidobacterial communities in faecal cultures supplemented with Bifidobacterium bifidum.

Gut microbiota of breast-fed infants are generally rich in bifidobacteria. Recent studies show that infant gut-associated bifidobacteria can assimilate human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) specifically among the gut microbes. Nonetheless, little is known about how bifidobacterial-rich communities are shaped in the gut. Interestingly, HMOs assimilation ability is not related to the dominance of each species. Bifidobacterium longum susbp. longum and Bifidobacterium breve are commonly found as the dominant species in infant stools; however, they show limited HMOs assimilation ability in vitro. In contrast, avid in vitro HMOs consumers, Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis, are less abundant in infant stools.…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Extraordinary genome instability and widespread chromosome rearrangements during vegetative growth

The haploid genome of the pathogenic fungus Zymoseptoria tritici is contained on “core” and “accessory” chromosomes. While 13 core chromosomes are found in all strains, as many as eight accessory chromosomes show presence/absence variation and rearrangements among field isolates. The factors influencing these presence/absence polymorphisms are so far unknown. We investigated chromosome stability using experimental evolution, karyotyping, and genome sequencing. We report extremely high and variable rates of accessory chromosome loss during mitotic propagation in vitro and in planta Spontaneous chromosome loss was observed in 2 to >50% of cells during 4 weeks of incubation. Similar rates of chromosome loss…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Whole genome sequencing and microsatellite analysis of the Plasmodium falciparum E5 NF54 strain show that the var, rifin and stevor gene families follow Mendelian inheritance.

Plasmodium falciparum exhibits a high degree of inter-isolate genetic diversity in its variant surface antigen (VSA) families: P. falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1, repetitive interspersed family (RIFIN) and subtelomeric variable open reading frame (STEVOR). The role of recombination for the generation of this diversity is a subject of ongoing research. Here the genome of E5, a sibling of the 3D7 genome strain is presented. Short and long read whole genome sequencing (WGS) techniques (Ilumina, Pacific Bioscience) and a set of 84 microsatellites (MS) were employed to characterize the 3D7 and non-3D7 parts of the E5 genome. This is the first…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The genomic basis of color pattern polymorphism in the Harlequin ladybird.

Many animal species comprise discrete phenotypic forms. A common example in natural populations of insects is the occurrence of different color patterns, which has motivated a rich body of ecological and genetic research [1-6]. The occurrence of dark, i.e., melanic, forms displaying discrete color patterns is found across multiple taxa, but the underlying genomic basis remains poorly characterized. In numerous ladybird species (Coccinellidae), the spatial arrangement of black and red patches on adult elytra varies wildly within species, forming strikingly different complex color patterns [7, 8]. In the harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis, more than 200 distinct color forms have been described,…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The central exons of the human MUC2 and MUC6 mucins are highly repetitive and variable in sequence between individuals

The DNA sequence of the two human mucin genes MUC2 and MUC6 have not been completely resolved due to the repetitive nature of their central exon coding for Proline, Threonine and Serine rich sequences. The exact nucleotide sequence of these exons has remained unknown for a long time due to limitations in traditional sequencing techniques. These are still very poorly covered in new whole genome sequencing projects with the corresponding protein sequences partly missing. We used a BAC clone containing both these genes and third generation sequencing technology, SMRT sequencing, to obtain the full-length contiguous MUC2 and MUC6 tandem repeat…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

DNA-guided delivery of single molecules into zero-mode waveguides.

Zero-mode waveguides (ZMWs) are powerful analytical tools corresponding to optical nanostructures fabricated in a thin metallic film capable of confining an excitation volume to the range of attoliters. This small volume of confinement allows single-molecule fluorescence experiments to be performed at physiologically relevant concentrations of fluorescently labeled biomolecules. Exactly one molecule to be studied must be attached at the floor of the ZMW for signal detection and analysis; however, the massive parallelism of these nanoarrays suffers from a Poissonian-limited distribution of these biomolecules. To date, there is no method available that provides full single-molecule occupancy of massively arrayed ZMWs. Here…

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