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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Molecular genetic diversity and characterization of conjugation genes in the fish parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis.

Ichthyophthirius multifiliis is the etiologic agent of “white spot”, a commercially important disease of freshwater fish. As a parasitic ciliate, I. multifiliis infects numerous host species across a broad geographic range. Although Ichthyophthirius outbreaks are difficult to control, recent sequencing of the I. multifiliis genome has revealed a number of potential metabolic pathways for therapeutic intervention, along with likely vaccine targets for disease prevention. Nonetheless, major gaps exist in our understanding of both the life cycle and population structure of I. multifiliis in the wild. For example, conjugation has never been described in this species, and it is unclear whether…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Somatic APP gene recombination in Alzheimer’s disease and normal neurons.

The diversity and complexity of the human brain are widely assumed to be encoded within a constant genome. Somatic gene recombination, which changes germline DNA sequences to increase molecular diversity, could theoretically alter this code but has not been documented in the brain, to our knowledge. Here we describe recombination of the Alzheimer’s disease-related gene APP, which encodes amyloid precursor protein, in human neurons, occurring mosaically as thousands of variant ‘genomic cDNAs’ (gencDNAs). gencDNAs lacked introns and ranged from full-length cDNA copies of expressed, brain-specific RNA splice variants to myriad smaller forms that contained intra-exonic junctions, insertions, deletions, and/or single…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A quantitative SMRT cell sequencing method for ribosomal amplicons.

Advances in sequencing technologies continue to provide unprecedented opportunities to characterize microbial communities. For example, the Pacific Biosciences Single Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) platform has emerged as a unique approach harnessing DNA polymerase activity to sequence template molecules, enabling long reads at low costs. With the aim to simultaneously classify and enumerate in situ microbial populations, we developed a quantitative SMRT (qSMRT) approach that involves the addition of exogenous standards to quantify ribosomal amplicons derived from environmental samples. The V7-9 regions of 18S SSU rDNA were targeted and quantified from protistan community samples collected in the Ross Sea during the Austral…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Discovery of enzymes for toluene synthesis from anoxic microbial communities.

Microbial toluene biosynthesis was reported in anoxic lake sediments more than three decades ago, but the enzyme catalyzing this biochemically challenging reaction has never been identified. Here we report the toluene-producing enzyme PhdB, a glycyl radical enzyme of bacterial origin that catalyzes phenylacetate decarboxylation, and its cognate activating enzyme PhdA, a radical S-adenosylmethionine enzyme, discovered in two distinct anoxic microbial communities that produce toluene. The unconventional process of enzyme discovery from a complex microbial community (>300,000 genes), rather than from a microbial isolate, involved metagenomics- and metaproteomics-enabled biochemistry, as well as in vitro confirmation of activity with recombinant enzymes. This…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Prey range and genome evolution of Halobacteriovorax marinus predatory bacteria from an estuary

Halobacteriovorax strains are saltwater-adapted predatory bacteria that attack Gram-negative bacteria and may play an important role in shaping microbial communities. To understand how Halobacteriovorax strains impact ecosystems and develop them as biocontrol agents, it is important to characterize variation in predation phenotypes and investigate Halobacteriovorax genome evolution. We isolated Halobacteriovorax marinus BE01 from an estuary in Rhode Island using Vibrio from the same site as prey. Small, fast-moving, attack-phase BE01 cells attach to and invade prey cells, consistent with the intraperiplasmic predation strategy of the H. marinus type strain, SJ. BE01 is a prey generalist, forming plaques on Vibrio strains from…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The genome of the Hi5 germ cell line from Trichoplusia ni, an agricultural pest and novel model for small RNA biology.

We report a draft assembly of the genome of Hi5 cells from the lepidopteran insect pest,Trichoplusia ni, assigning 90.6% of bases to one of 28 chromosomes and predicting 14,037 protein-coding genes. Chemoreception and detoxification gene families revealT. ni-specific gene expansions that may explain its widespread distribution and rapid adaptation to insecticides. Transcriptome and small RNA data from thorax, ovary, testis, and the germline-derived Hi5 cell line show distinct expression profiles for 295 microRNA- and >393 piRNA-producing loci, as well as 39 genes encoding small RNA pathway proteins. Nearly all of the W chromosome is devoted to piRNA production, andT. nisiRNAs…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Complete genome analysis of Gluconacetobacter xylinus CGMCC 2955 for elucidating bacterial cellulose biosynthesis and metabolic regulation.

Complete genome sequence of Gluconacetobacter xylinus CGMCC 2955 for fine control of bacterial cellulose (BC) synthesis is presented here. The genome, at 3,563,314?bp, was found to contain 3,193 predicted genes without gaps. There are four BC synthase operons (bcs), among which only bcsI is structurally complete, comprising bcsA, bcsB, bcsC, and bcsD. Genes encoding key enzymes in glycolytic, pentose phosphate, and BC biosynthetic pathways and in the tricarboxylic acid cycle were identified. G. xylinus CGMCC 2955 has a complete glycolytic pathway because sequence data analysis revealed that this strain possesses a phosphofructokinase (pfk)-encoding gene, which is absent in most BC-producing strains.…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparative genomics of cocci-shaped Sporosarcina strains with diverse spatial isolation.

Cocci-shaped Sporosarcina strains are currently one of the few known cocci-shaped spore-forming bacteria, yet we know very little about the genomics. The goal of this study is to utilize comparative genomics to investigate the diversity of cocci-shaped Sporosarcina strains that differ in their geographical isolation and show different nutritional requirements.For this study, we sequenced 28 genomes of cocci-shaped Sporosarcina strains isolated from 13 different locations around the world. We generated the first six complete genomes and methylomes utilizing PacBio sequencing, and an additional 22 draft genomes using Illumina sequencing. Genomic analysis revealed that cocci-shaped Sporosarcina strains contained an average genome…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Precise control of SCRaMbLE in synthetic haploid and diploid yeast.

Compatibility between host cells and heterologous pathways is a challenge for constructing organisms with high productivity or gain of function. Designer yeast cells incorporating the Synthetic Chromosome Rearrangement and Modification by LoxP-mediated Evolution (SCRaMbLE) system provide a platform for generating genotype diversity. Here we construct a genetic AND gate to enable precise control of the SCRaMbLE method to generate synthetic haploid and diploid yeast with desired phenotypes. The yield of carotenoids is increased to 1.5-fold by SCRaMbLEing haploid strains and we determine that the deletion of YEL013W is responsible for the increase. Based on the SCRaMbLEing in diploid strains, we…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genetic diversity of Cryptosporidium hominis in a Bangladeshi community as revealed by whole genome sequencing.

We studied the genetic diversity of Cryptosporidium hominis infections in slum-dwelling infants from Dhaka over a 2-year period. Cryptosporidium hominis infections were common during the monsoon, and were genetically diverse as measured by gp60 genotyping and whole-genome resequencing. Recombination in the parasite was evidenced by the decay of linkage disequilibrium in the genome over

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Mosaic structure as the main feature of Mycobacterium bovis BCG genomes

Background: The genome stability of attenuated live BCG vaccine preventing the acute forms of childhood tuberculosis is an important aspect of vaccine production. The pur- pose of our study was a whole genome comparative analysis of BCG sub-strains and identification of potential triggers of sub-strains’ transition. Results: Genomes of three BCG Russia seed lots (1963, 1982, 2006 years) have been sequenced, and the stability of vaccine sub-strain genomes has been confirmed. A com- parative genome analysis of nine Mycobacterium bovis BCG and three M. bovis strains revealed their specific genome features associated with prophage profiles. A number of prophage-coded homologs…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Isolation, development, and genomic analysis of Bacillus megaterium SR7 for growth and metabolite production under supercritical carbon dioxide

Supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) is an attractive substitute for conventional organic solvents due to its unique transport and thermodynamic properties, its renewability and labile nature, and its high solubility for compounds such as alcohols, ketones, and aldehydes. However, biological systems that use scCO2 are mainly limited to in vitro processes due to its strong inhibition of cell viability and growth. To solve this problem, we used a bioprospecting approach to isolate a microbial strain with the natural ability to grow while exposed to scCO2. Enrichment culture and serial passaging of deep subsurface fluids from the McElmo Dome scCO2 reservoir in…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Ring synthetic chromosome V SCRaMbLE.

Structural variations (SVs) exert important functional impacts on biological phenotypic diversity. Here we show a ring synthetic yeast chromosome V (ring_synV) can be used to continuously generate complex genomic variations and improve the production of prodeoxyviolacein (PDV) by applying Synthetic Chromosome Recombination and Modification by LoxP-mediated Evolution (SCRaMbLE) in haploid yeast cells. The SCRaMbLE of ring_synV generates aneuploid yeast strains with increased PDV productivity, and we identify aneuploid chromosome I, III, VI, XII, XIII, and ring_synV. The neochromosome of SCRaMbLEd ring_synV generated more unbalanced forms of variations, including duplication, insertions, and balanced forms of translocations and inversions than its linear…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Discovery of the actinoplanic acid pathway in Streptomyces rapamycinicus reveals a genetically conserved synergism with rapamycin.

Actinobacteria possess a great wealth of pathways for production of bioactive compounds. Following advances in genome mining, dozens of natural product (NP) gene clusters are routinely found in each actinobacterial genome; however, the modus operandi of this large arsenal is poorly understood. During investigations of the secondary metabolome of Streptomyces rapamycinicus, the producer of rapamycin, we observed accumulation of two compounds never before reported from this organism. Structural elucidation revealed actinoplanic acid A and its demethyl analogue. Actinoplanic acids (APLs) are potent inhibitors of Ras farnesyltransferase and therefore represent bioactive compounds of medicinal interest. Supported with the unique structure of…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A novel probiotic, Lactobacillus johnsonii 456, resists acid and can persist in the human gut beyond the initial ingestion period.

Probiotics are considered to have multiple beneficial effects on the human gastrointestinal tract, including immunomodulation, pathogen inhibition, and improved host nutrient metabolism. However, extensive characterization of these properties is needed to define suitable clinical applications for probiotic candidates. Lactobacillus johnsonii 456 (LBJ 456) was previously demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory and anti-genotoxic effects in a mouse model. Here, we characterize its resistance to gastric and bile acids as well as its ability to inhibit gut pathogens and adhere to host mucosa. While bile resistance and in vitro host attachment properties of LBJ 456 were comparable to other tested probiotics, LBJ 456…

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