April 21, 2020  |  

Tandem repeats lead to sequence assembly errors and impose multi-level challenges for genome and protein databases.

The widespread occurrence of repetitive stretches of DNA in genomes of organisms across the tree of life imposes fundamental challenges for sequencing, genome assembly, and automated annotation of genes and proteins. This multi-level problem can lead to errors in genome and protein databases that are often not recognized or acknowledged. As a consequence, end users working with sequences with repetitive regions are faced with ‘ready-to-use’ deposited data whose trustworthiness is difficult to determine, let alone to quantify. Here, we provide a review of the problems associated with tandem repeat sequences that originate from different stages during the sequencing-assembly-annotation-deposition workflow, and that may proliferate in public database repositories affecting all downstream analyses. As a case study, we provide examples of the Atlantic cod genome, whose sequencing and assembly were hindered by a particularly high prevalence of tandem repeats. We complement this case study with examples from other species, where mis-annotations and sequencing errors have propagated into protein databases. With this review, we aim to raise the awareness level within the community of database users, and alert scientists working in the underlying workflow of database creation that the data they omit or improperly assemble may well contain important biological information valuable to others. © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.


April 21, 2020  |  

A microbial factory for defensive kahalalides in a tripartite marine symbiosis.

Chemical defense against predators is widespread in natural ecosystems. Occasionally, taxonomically distant organisms share the same defense chemical. Here, we describe an unusual tripartite marine symbiosis, in which an intracellular bacterial symbiont (“Candidatus Endobryopsis kahalalidefaciens”) uses a diverse array of biosynthetic enzymes to convert simple substrates into a library of complex molecules (the kahalalides) for chemical defense of the host, the alga Bryopsis sp., against predation. The kahalalides are subsequently hijacked by a third partner, the herbivorous mollusk Elysia rufescens, and employed similarly for defense. “Ca E. kahalalidefaciens” has lost many essential traits for free living and acts as a factory for kahalalide production. This interaction between a bacterium, an alga, and an animal highlights the importance of chemical defense in the evolution of complex symbioses.Copyright © 2019 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.


April 21, 2020  |  

Remedial Treatment of Corroded Iron Objects by Environmental Aeromonas Isolates.

Using bacteria to transform reactive corrosion products into stable compounds represents an alternative to traditional methods employed in iron conservation. Two environmental Aeromonas strains (CA23 and CU5) were used to transform ferric iron corrosion products (goethite and lepidocrocite) into stable ferrous iron-bearing minerals (vivianite and siderite). A genomic and transcriptomic approach was used to analyze the metabolic traits of these strains and to evaluate their pathogenic potential. Although genes involved in solid-phase iron reduction were identified, key genes present in other environmental iron-reducing species are missing from the genome of CU5. Several pathogenicity factors were identified in the genomes of both strains, but none of these was expressed under iron reduction conditions. Additional in vivo tests showed hemolytic and cytotoxic activities for strain CA23 but not for strain CU5. Both strains were easily inactivated using ethanol and heat. Nonetheless, given a lesser potential for a pathogenic lifestyle, CU5 is the most promising candidate for the development of a bio-based iron conservation method stabilizing iron corrosion. Based on all the results, a prototype treatment was established using archaeological items. On those, the conversion of reactive corrosion products and the formation of a homogenous layer of biogenic iron minerals were achieved. This study shows how naturally occurring microorganisms and their metabolic capabilities can be used to develop bio-inspired solutions to the problem of metal corrosion.IMPORTANCE Microbiology can greatly help in the quest for a sustainable solution to the problem of iron corrosion, which causes important economic losses in a wide range of fields, including the protection of cultural heritage and building materials. Using bacteria to transform reactive and unstable corrosion products into more-stable compounds represents a promising approach. The overall aim of this study was to develop a method for the conservation and restoration of corroded iron items, starting from the isolation of iron-reducing bacteria from natural environments. This resulted in the identification of a suitable candidate (Aeromonas sp. strain CU5) that mediates the formation of desirable minerals at the surfaces of the objects. This led to the proof of concept of an application method on real objects.Copyright © 2019 Kooli et al.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genomic characterization of Nocardia seriolae strains isolated from diseased fish.

Members of the genus Nocardia are widespread in diverse environments; a wide range of Nocardia species are known to cause nocardiosis in several animals, including cat, dog, fish, and humans. Of the pathogenic Nocardia species, N. seriolae is known to cause disease in cultured fish, resulting in major economic loss. We isolated two N. seriolae strains, CK-14008 and EM15050, from diseased fish and sequenced their genomes using the PacBio sequencing platform. To identify their genomic features, we compared their genomes with those of other Nocardia species. Phylogenetic analysis showed that N. seriolae shares a common ancestor with a putative human pathogenic Nocardia species. Moreover, N. seriolae strains were phylogenetically divided into four clusters according to host fish families. Through genome comparison, we observed that the putative pathogenic Nocardia strains had additional genes for iron acquisition. Dozens of antibiotic resistance genes were detected in the genomes of N. seriolae strains; most of the antibiotics were involved in the inhibition of the biosynthesis of proteins or cell walls. Our results demonstrated the virulence features and antibiotic resistance of fish pathogenic N. seriolae strains at the genomic level. These results may be useful to develop strategies for the prevention of fish nocardiosis. © 2018 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


April 21, 2020  |  

A High-Quality Grapevine Downy Mildew Genome Assembly Reveals Rapidly Evolving and Lineage-Specific Putative Host Adaptation Genes.

Downy mildews are obligate biotrophic oomycete pathogens that cause devastating plant diseases on economically important crops. Plasmopara viticola is the causal agent of grapevine downy mildew, a major disease in vineyards worldwide. We sequenced the genome of Pl. viticola with PacBio long reads and obtained a new 92.94?Mb assembly with high contiguity (359 scaffolds for a N50 of 706.5?kb) due to a better resolution of repeat regions. This assembly presented a high level of gene completeness, recovering 1,592 genes encoding secreted proteins involved in plant-pathogen interactions. Plasmopara viticola had a two-speed genome architecture, with secreted protein-encoding genes preferentially located in gene-sparse, repeat-rich regions and evolving rapidly, as indicated by pairwise dN/dS values. We also used short reads to assemble the genome of Plasmopara muralis, a closely related species infecting grape ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata). The lineage-specific proteins identified by comparative genomics analysis included a large proportion of RxLR cytoplasmic effectors and, more generally, genes with high dN/dS values. We identified 270 candidate genes under positive selection, including several genes encoding transporters and components of the RNA machinery potentially involved in host specialization. Finally, the Pl. viticola genome assembly generated here will allow the development of robust population genomics approaches for investigating the mechanisms involved in adaptation to biotic and abiotic selective pressures in this species. © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.


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  |  

One Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida isolate with a pAsa5 variant bearing antibiotic resistance and a pRAS3 variant making a link with a swine pathogen.

The Gram-negative bacterium Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida is an aquatic pathogen which causes furunculosis to salmonids, especially in fish farms. The emergence of strains of this bacterium exhibiting antibiotic resistance is increasing, limiting the effectiveness of antibiotherapy as a treatment against this worldwide disease. In the present study, we discovered an isolate of A. salmonicida subsp. salmonicida that harbors two novel plasmids variants carrying antibiotic resistance genes. The use of long-read sequencing (PacBio) allowed us to fully characterize those variants, named pAsa5-3432 and pRAS3-3432, which both differ from their classic counterpart through their content in mobile genetic elements. The plasmid pAsa5-3432 carries a new multidrug region composed of multiple mobile genetic elements, including a Class 1 integron similar to an integrated element of Salmonella enterica. With this new region, probably acquired through plasmid recombination, pAsa5-3432 is the first reported plasmid of this bacterium that bears both an essential virulence factor (the type three secretion system) and multiple antibiotic resistance genes. As for pRAS3-3432, compared to the classic pRAS3, it carries a new mobile element that has only been identified in Chlamydia suis. Hence, with the identification of those two novel plasmids harboring mobile genetic elements that are normally encountered in other bacterial species, the present study puts emphasis on the important impact of mobile genetic elements in the genomic plasticity of A. salmonicida subsp. salmonicida and suggests that this aquatic bacterium could be an important reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes that can be exchanged with other bacteria, including human and animal pathogens. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genetic characterization and potential molecular dissemination mechanism of tet(31) gene in Aeromonas caviae from an oxytetracycline wastewater treatment system.

Recently, the rarely reported tet(31) tetracycline resistance determinant was commonly found in Aeromonas salmonicida, Gallibacterium anatis, and Oblitimonas alkaliphila isolated from farming animals and related environment. However, its distribution in other bacteria and potential molecular dissemination mechanism in environment are still unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential mechanism underlying dissemination of tet(31) by analysing the tet(31)-carrying fragments in A. caviae strains isolated from an aerobic biofilm reactor treating oxytetracycline bearing wastewater. Twenty-three A. caviae strains were screened for the tet(31) gene by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Three strains (two harbouring tet(31), one not) were subjected to whole genome sequencing using the PacBio RSII platform. Seventeen A. caviae strains carried the tet(31) gene and exhibited high resistance levels to oxytetracycline with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) ranging from 256 to 512?mg/L. tet(31) was comprised of the transposon Tn6432 on the chromosome of A. caviae, and Tn6432 was also found in 15 additional tet(31)-positive A. caviae isolates by PCR. More important, Tn6432 was located on an integrative conjugative element (ICE)-like element, which could mediate the dissemination of the tet(31)-carrying transposon Tn6432 between bacteria. Comparative analysis demonstrated that Tn6432 homologs with the structure ISCR2-?phzF-tetR(31)-tet(31)-?glmM-sul2 were also carried by A. salmonicida, G. anatis, and O. alkaliphila, suggesting that this transposon can be transferred between species and even genera. This work provides the first report on the identification of the tet(31) gene in A. caviae, and will be helpful in exploring the dissemination mechanisms of tet(31) in water environment.Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.


April 21, 2020  |  

Comparative genome analysis provides novel insight into the interaction of Aquimarina sp. AD1, BL5 and AD10 with their macroalgal host.

The Aquimarina genus is widely distributed throughout the marine environment, however little is understood regarding its ecological role, particularly when in association with eukaryotic hosts. Here, we examine the genomes of two opportunistic pathogens, Aquimarina sp. AD1 and BL5, and a non-pathogenic strain Aquimarina sp. AD10, that were isolated from diseased individuals of the red alga Delisea pulchra. Each strain encodes multiple genes for the degradation of marine carbohydrates and vitamin biosynthesis. These traits are hypothesised to promote nutrient exchange between the Aquimarina strains and their algal host, facilitating a close symbiotic relationship. Moreover, each strain harbours the necessary genes for the assembly of a Type 9 Secretion System (T9SS) and the associated gliding motility apparatus. In addition to these common features, pathogenic strains AD1 and BL5, encode genes for the production of flexirubin type pigments and a number of unique non-ribosomal peptide synthesis (NRPS) gene clusters, suggesting a role for these uncharacterised traits in virulence. This study provides valuable insight into the potential ecological role of Aquimarina in the marine environment and the complex factors driving pathogenesis and symbiosis in this genus.Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequencing of the luminescent bacterium, Vibrio qinghaiensis sp. Q67 using PacBio technology.

Vibrio qinghaiensis sp.-Q67 (Vqin-Q67) is a freshwater luminescent bacterium that continuously emits blue-green light (485?nm). The bacterium has been widely used for detecting toxic contaminants. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of Vqin-Q67, obtained using third-generation PacBio sequencing technology. Continuous long reads were attained from three PacBio sequencing runs and reads >500?bp with a quality value of >0.75 were merged together into a single dataset. This resultant highly-contiguous de novo assembly has no genome gaps, and comprises two chromosomes with substantial genetic information, including protein-coding genes, non-coding RNA, transposon and gene islands. Our dataset can be useful as a comparative genome for evolution and speciation studies, as well as for the analysis of protein-coding gene families, the pathogenicity of different Vibrio species in fish, the evolution of non-coding RNA and transposon, and the regulation of gene expression in relation to the bioluminescence of Vqin-Q67.


September 22, 2019  |  

The repeat structure of two paralogous genes, Yersinia ruckeri invasin (yrInv) and a “Y. ruckeri invasin-like molecule”, (yrIlm) sheds light on the evolution of adhesive capacities of a fish pathogen.

Inverse autotransporters comprise the recently identified type Ve secretion system and are exemplified by intimin from enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli and invasin from enteropathogenic Yersiniae. These proteins share a common domain architecture and promote bacterial adhesion to host cells. Here, we identified and characterized two putative inverse autotransporter genes in the fish pathogen Yersinia ruckeri NVH_3758, namely yrInv (for Y. ruckeri invasin) and yrIlm (for Y. ruckeri invasin-like molecule). When trying to clone the highly repetitive genes for structural and functional studies, we experienced problems in obtaining PCR products. PCR failures and the highly repetitive nature of inverse autotransporters prompted us to sequence the genome of Y. ruckeri NVH_3758 using PacBio sequencing, which produces some of the longest average read lengths available in the industry at this moment. According to our sequencing data, YrIlm is composed of 2603 amino acids (7812bp) and has a molecular mass of 256.4kDa. Based on the new genome information, we performed PCR analysis on four non-sequenced Y. ruckeri strains as well as the sequenced. Y. ruckeri type strain. We found that the genes are variably present in the strains, and that the length of yrIlm, when present, also varies. In addition, the length of the gene product for all strains, including the type strain, was much longer than expected based on deposited sequences. The internal repeats of the yrInv gene product are highly diverged, but represent the same bacterial immunoglobulin-like domains as in yrIlm. Using qRT-PCR, we found that yrIlm and yrInv are differentially expressed under conditions relevant for pathogenesis. In addition, we compared the genomic context of both genes in the newly sequenced Y. ruckeri strain to all available PacBio-sequenced Y. ruckeri genomes, and found indications of recent events of horizontal gene transfer. Taken together, this study demonstrates and highlights the power of Single Molecule Real-Time technology for sequencing highly repetitive proteins, and sheds light on the genetic events that gave rise to these highly repetitive genes in a commercially important fish pathogen. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

The genome sequence of a new strain of Mycobacterium ulcerans ecovar Liflandii, emerging as a sturgeon pathogen

Mycobacterium ulcerans ecovar Liflandii (MuLiflandii) is emerging as a non-mycobacterial pathogen in amphibians. Here, we make the first report on the prevalence of a new strain of MuLiflandii infection in Chinese sturgeon. All the diseased fish showed the classic clinical symptoms of ascites and/or muscle ulceration. A new slow-growing and acid-fast bacillus ASM001 strain was obtained from the ascites of infected fish; this strain demonstrated pathogenicity when tested in hybrid sturgeon. The complete genome sequence of MuLiflandii ASM001 is a circular chromosome of 6,167,296?bp, with a G?+?C content of 65.57%, containing 4518 predicted coding DNA sequences and 999 pseudo-genes, 3 rRNA operons, and 47 transfer RNA sequences. In addition, we found 245 copies of IS2404, 34 microsatellites, and 36 CRISPR sequences in the whole MuLiflandii ASM001 genome. Among the predicted genes of MuLiflandii ASM001, we found orthologs of 203 virulence factors of clinical MuLiflandii 128FXT operating in host cell invasion, modulation of phagocyte function, and survival inside the macrophages. These virulence factor candidates provide a key basis for understanding their pathogenic mechanisms at the molecular level. A comparative analysis that used complete, existing genomes showed that MuLiflandii ASM001 has high synteny with MuLiflandii 128FXT. We anticipate the availability of the complete MuLiflandii ASM001 genome sequence will provide a valuable resource for comparative genomic studies of MuLiflandii isolates, as well as provide new insights into the host, ecological, and functional diversity of the genus Mycobacterium.


September 22, 2019  |  

Transcriptional profiling, molecular cloning, and functional analysis of C1 inhibitor, the main regulator of the complement system in black rockfish, Sebastes schlegelii.

C1-inhibitor (C1inh) plays a crucial role in assuring homeostasis and is the central regulator of the complement activation involved in immunity and inflammation. A C1-inhibitor gene from Sebastes schlegelii was identified and designated as SsC1inh. The identified genomic DNA and cDNA sequences were 6837 bp and 2161 bp, respectively. The genomic DNA possessed 11 exons, interrupted by 10 introns. The amino acid sequence possessed two immunoglobulin-like domains and a serpin domain. Multiple sequence alignment revealed that the serpin domain of SsC1inh was highly conserved among analyzed species where the two immunoglobulin-like domains showed divergence. The distinctiveness of teleost C1inh from other homologs was indicated by the phylogenetic analysis, genomic DNA organization, and their extended N-terminal amino acid sequences. Under normal physiological conditions, SsC1inh mRNA was most expressed in the liver, followed by the gills. The involvement of SsC1inh in homeostasis was demonstrated by modulated transcription profiles in the liver and spleen upon pathogenic stress by different immune stimulants. The protease inhibitory potential of recombinant SsC1inh (rSsC1inh) and the potentiation effect of heparin on rSsC1inh was demonstrated against C1esterase and thrombin. For the first time, the anti-protease activity of the teleost C1inh against its natural substrates C1r and C1s was proved in this study. The protease assay conducted with recombinant black rockfish C1r and C1s proteins in the presence or absence of rSsC1inh showed that the activities of both proteases were significantly diminished by rSsC1inh. Taken together, results from the present study indicate that SsC1inh actively plays a significant role in maintaining homeostasis in the immune system of black rock fish. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genome sequence, assembly and characterization of two Metschnikowia fructicola strains used as biocontrol agents of postharvest diseases.

The yeast Metschnikowia fructicola was reported as an efficient biological control agent of postharvest diseases of fruits and vegetables, and it is the bases of the commercial formulated product “Shemer.” Several mechanisms of action by which M. fructicola inhibits postharvest pathogens were suggested including iron-binding compounds, induction of defense signaling genes, production of fungal cell wall degrading enzymes and relatively high amounts of superoxide anions. We assembled the whole genome sequence of two strains of M. fructicola using PacBio and Illumina shotgun sequencing technologies. Using the PacBio, a high-quality draft genome consisting of 93 contigs, with an estimated genome size of approximately 26 Mb, was obtained. Comparative analysis of M. fructicola proteins with the other three available closely related genomes revealed a shared core of homologous proteins coded by 5,776 genes. Comparing the genomes of the two M. fructicola strains using a SNP calling approach resulted in the identification of 564,302 homologous SNPs with 2,004 predicted high impact mutations. The size of the genome is exceptionally high when compared with those of available closely related organisms, and the high rate of homology among M. fructicola genes points toward a recent whole-genome duplication event as the cause of this large genome. Based on the assembled genome, sequences were annotated with a gene description and gene ontology (GO term) and clustered in functional groups. Analysis of CAZymes family genes revealed 1,145 putative genes, and transcriptomic analysis of CAZyme expression levels in M. fructicola during its interaction with either grapefruit peel tissue or Penicillium digitatum revealed a high level of CAZyme gene expression when the yeast was placed in wounded fruit tissue.


September 22, 2019  |  

The Phytophthora cactorum genome provides insights into the adaptation to host defense compounds and fungicides.

Phytophthora cactorum is a homothallic oomycete pathogen, which has a wide host range and high capability to adapt to host defense compounds and fungicides. Here we report the 121.5?Mb genome assembly of the P. cactorum using the third-generation single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology. It is the second largest genome sequenced so far in the Phytophthora genera, which contains 27,981 protein-coding genes. Comparison with other Phytophthora genomes showed that P. cactorum had a closer relationship with P. parasitica, P. infestans and P. capsici. P. cactorum has similar gene families in the secondary metabolism and pathogenicity-related effector proteins compared with other oomycete species, but specific gene families associated with detoxification enzymes and carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) underwent expansion in P. cactorum. P. cactorum had a higher utilization and detoxification ability against ginsenosides-a group of defense compounds from Panax notoginseng-compared with the narrow host pathogen P. sojae. The elevated expression levels of detoxification enzymes and hydrolase activity-associated genes after exposure to ginsenosides further supported that the high detoxification and utilization ability of P. cactorum play a crucial role in the rapid adaptability of the pathogen to host plant defense compounds and fungicides.


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