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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Implications of stx loss for clinical diagnostics of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli.

The dynamics related to the loss of stx genes from Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli remain unclear. Current diagnostic procedures have shortcomings in the detection and identification of STEC. This is partly owing to the fact that stx genes may be lost during an infection or in the laboratory. The aim of the present study was to provide new insight into in vivo and in vitro stx loss in order to improve diagnostic procedures. Results from the study support the theory that loss of stx is a strain-related phenomenon and not induced by patient factors. It was observed that one strain…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Density-dependent enhanced replication of a densovirus in Wolbachia-infected Aedes cells is associated with production of piRNAs and higher virus-derived siRNAs.

The endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia pipientis has been shown to restrict a range of RNA viruses in Drosophila melanogaster and transinfected dengue mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Here, we show that Wolbachia infection enhances replication of Aedes albopictus densovirus (AalDNV-1), a single stranded DNA virus, in Aedes cell lines in a density-dependent manner. Analysis of previously produced small RNAs of Aag2 cells showed that Wolbachia-infected cells produced greater absolute abundance of virus-derived short interfering RNAs compared to uninfected cells. Additionally, we found production of virus-derived PIWI-like RNAs (vpiRNA) produced in response to AalDNV-1 infection. Nuclear fractions of Aag2 cells produced a primary vpiRNA…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Mosaicism diminishes the value of pre-implantation embryo biopsies for detecting CRISPR/Cas9 induced mutations in sheep.

The production of knock-out (KO) livestock models is both expensive and time consuming due to their long gestational interval and low number of offspring. One alternative to increase efficiency is performing a genetic screening to select pre-implantation embryos that have incorporated the desired mutation. Here we report the use of sheep embryo biopsies for detecting CRISPR/Cas9-induced mutations targeting the gene PDX1 prior to embryo transfer. PDX1 is a critical gene for pancreas development and the target gene required for the creation of pancreatogenesis-disabled sheep. We evaluated the viability of biopsied embryos in vitro and in vivo, and we determined the…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Staying alive: growth and survival of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. animalis under in vitro and in vivo conditions.

Members of the Bifidobacterium genus are widely used as probiotics in fermented milk products. Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. animalis CNCM I-4602 grows and survives poorly in reconstituted skimmed milk (RSM). Availing of genome and transcriptome information, this poor growth and survival phenotype in milk was substantially improved by the addition of certain compounds, such as yeast extract, uric acid, glutathione, cysteine, ferrous sulfate, and a combination of magnesium sulfate and manganese sulfate. Carbohydrate utilization of CNCM I-4602 was also investigated, allowing the identification of several carbohydrate utilization gene clusters, and highlighting this strain’s inability to utilize lactose, unlike the type strain…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Report from the Killer-cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptors (KIR) component of the 17th International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop.

The goals of the KIR component of the 17th International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop (IHIW) were to encourage and educate researchers to begin analyzing KIR at allelic resolution, and to survey the nature and extent of KIR allelic diversity across human populations. To represent worldwide diversity, we analyzed 1269 individuals from ten populations, focusing on the most polymorphic KIR genes, which express receptors having three immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domains (KIR3DL1/S1, KIR3DL2 and KIR3DL3). We identified 13 novel alleles of KIR3DL1/S1, 13 of KIR3DL2 and 18 of KIR3DL3. Previously identified alleles, corresponding to 33 alleles of KIR3DL1/S1, 38 of KIR3DL2, and 43…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Desiccation Tolerance Evolved through Gene Duplication and Network Rewiring in Lindernia.

Although several resurrection plant genomes have been sequenced, the lack of suitable dehydration-sensitive outgroups has limited genomic insights into the origin of desiccation tolerance. Here, we utilized a comparative system of closely related desiccation-tolerant (Lindernia brevidens) and -sensitive (Lindernia subracemosa) species to identify gene- and pathway-level changes associated with the evolution of desiccation tolerance. The two high-quality Lindernia genomes we assembled are largely collinear, and over 90% of genes are conserved. L. brevidens and L. subracemosa have evidence of an ancient, shared whole-genome duplication event, and retained genes have neofunctionalized, with desiccation-specific expression in L. brevidens Tandem gene duplicates also…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The genome of the tegu lizard Salvator merianae: combining Illumina, PacBio, and optical mapping data to generate a highly contiguous assembly.

Reptiles are a species-rich group with great phenotypic and life history diversity but are highly underrepresented among the vertebrate species with sequenced genomes.Here, we report a high-quality genome assembly of the tegu lizard, Salvator merianae, the first lacertoid with a sequenced genome. We combined 74X Illumina short-read, 29.8X Pacific Biosciences long-read, and optical mapping data to generate a high-quality assembly with a scaffold N50 value of 55.4 Mb. The contig N50 value of this assembly is 521 Kb, making it the most contiguous reptile assembly so far. We show that the tegu assembly has the highest completeness of coding genes…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Novel type of pilus associated with a Shiga-toxigenic E. coli hybrid pathovar conveys aggregative adherence and bacterial virulence.

A large German outbreak in 2011 was caused by a locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE)-negative enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) strain of the serotype O104:H4. This strain harbors markers that are characteristic of both EHEC and enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC), including aggregative adhesion fimbriae (AAF) genes. Such rare EHEC/EAEC hybrids are highly pathogenic due to their possession of a combination of genes promoting severe toxicity and aggregative adhesion. We previously identified novel EHEC/EAEC hybrids and observed that one strain exhibited aggregative adherence but had no AAF genes. In this study, a genome sequence analysis showed that this strain belongs to the…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Stress-induced formation of cell wall-deficient cells in filamentous actinomycetes.

The cell wall is a shape-defining structure that envelopes almost all bacteria and protects them from environmental stresses. Bacteria can be forced to grow without a cell wall under certain conditions that interfere with cell wall synthesis, but the relevance of these wall-less cells (known as L-forms) is unclear. Here, we show that several species of filamentous actinomycetes have a natural ability to generate wall-deficient cells in response to hyperosmotic stress, which we call S-cells. This wall-deficient state is transient, as S-cells are able to switch to the normal mycelial mode of growth. However, prolonged exposure of S-cells to hyperosmotic…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Regulation of yeast-to-hyphae transition in Yarrowia lipolytica.

The yeast Yarrowia lipolytica undergoes a morphological transition from yeast-to-hyphal growth in response to environmental conditions. A forward genetic screen was used to identify mutants that reliably remain in the yeast phase, which were then assessed by whole-genome sequencing. All the smooth mutants identified, so named because of their colony morphology, exhibit independent loss of DNA at a repetitive locus made up of interspersed ribosomal DNA and short 10- to 40-mer telomere-like repeats. The loss of repetitive DNA is associated with downregulation of genes with stress response elements (5′-CCCCT-3′) and upregulation of genes with cell cycle box (5′-ACGCG-3′) motifs in…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Investigation of a cluster of Sphingomonas koreensis infections.

Plumbing systems are an infrequent but known reservoir for opportunistic microbial pathogens that can infect hospitalized patients. In 2016, a cluster of clinical sphingomonas infections prompted an investigation.We performed whole-genome DNA sequencing on clinical isolates of multidrug-resistant Sphingomonas koreensis identified from 2006 through 2016 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center. We cultured S. koreensis from the sinks in patient rooms and performed both whole-genome and shotgun metagenomic sequencing to identify a reservoir within the infrastructure of the hospital. These isolates were compared with clinical and environmental S. koreensis isolates obtained from other institutions.The investigation showed that two…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genomic characterization of ß-glucuronidase-positive Escherichia coli O157:H7 producing Stx2a.

Among Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7 strains, those producing Stx2a cause more severe diseases. Atypical STEC O157:H7 strains showing a ß-glucuronidase-positive phenotype (GP STEC O157:H7) have rarely been isolated from humans, mostly from persons with asymptomatic or mild infections; Stx2a-producing strains have not been reported. We isolated, from a patient with bloody diarrhea, a GP STEC O157:H7 strain (PV15-279) that produces Stx2a in addition to Stx1a and Stx2c. Genomic comparison with other STEC O157 strains revealed that PV15-279 recently emerged from the stx1a/stx2c-positive GP STEC O157:H7 clone circulating in Japan. Major virulence genes are shared between typical (ß-glucuronidase-negative)…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Role of phage ?1 in two strains of Salmonella Rissen, sensitive and resistant to phage ?1.

The study describes the Salmonella Rissen phage ?1 isolated from the ?1-sensitive Salmonella Rissen strain RW. The same phage was then used to select the resistant strain RR?1+, which can harbour or not ?1.Following this approach, we found that ?1, upon excision from RW cells with mitomycin, behaves as a temperate phage: lyses host cells and generates phage particles; instead, upon spontaneous excision from RR?1+ cells, it does not generate phage particles; causes loss of phage resistance; switches the O-antigen from the smooth to the rough phenotype, and favors the transition of Salmonella Rissen from the planktonic to the biofilm…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparative analysis of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii genomes shows a high level of genome plasticity and warrants separation into new species-level taxa.

Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is a ubiquitous member of the human gut microbiome, constituting up to 15% of the total bacteria in the human gut. Substantial evidence connects decreased levels of F. prausnitzii with the onset and progression of certain forms of inflammatory bowel disease, which has been attributed to its anti-inflammatory potential. Two phylogroups of F. prausnitzii have been identified, with a decrease in phylogroup I being a more sensitive marker of intestinal inflammation. Much of the genomic and physiological data available to date was collected using phylogroup II strains. Little analysis of F. prausnitzii genomes has been performed so far…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

MadID, a versatile approach to map protein-DNA interactions, highlights telomere-nuclear envelope contact sites in human cells.

Mapping the binding sites of DNA- or chromatin-interacting proteins is essential to understanding biological processes. DNA adenine methyltransferase identification (DamID) has emerged as a comprehensive method to map genome-wide occupancy of proteins of interest. A caveat of DamID is the specificity of Dam methyltransferase for GATC motifs that are not homogenously distributed in the genome. Here, we developed an optimized method named MadID, using proximity labeling of DNA by the methyltransferase M.EcoGII. M.EcoGII mediates N6-adenosine methylation in any DNA sequence context, resulting in deeper and unbiased coverage of the genome. We demonstrate, using m6A-specific immunoprecipitation and deep sequencing, that MadID…

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