April 21, 2020  |  

Multiple modes of convergent adaptation in the spread of glyphosate-resistant Amaranthus tuberculatus.

The selection pressure exerted by herbicides has led to the repeated evolution of herbicide resistance in weeds. The evolution of herbicide resistance on contemporary timescales in turn provides an outstanding opportunity to investigate key questions about the genetics of adaptation, in particular the relative importance of adaptation from new mutations, standing genetic variation, or geographic spread of adaptive alleles through gene flow. Glyphosate-resistant Amaranthus tuberculatus poses one of the most significant threats to crop yields in the Midwestern United States, with both agricultural populations and herbicide resistance only recently emerging in Canada. To understand the evolutionary mechanisms driving the spread of resistance, we sequenced and assembled the A. tuberculatus genome and investigated the origins and population genomics of 163 resequenced glyphosate-resistant and susceptible individuals from Canada and the United States. In Canada, we discovered multiple modes of convergent evolution: in one locality, resistance appears to have evolved through introductions of preadapted US genotypes, while in another, there is evidence for the independent evolution of resistance on genomic backgrounds that are historically nonagricultural. Moreover, resistance on these local, nonagricultural backgrounds appears to have occurred predominantly through the partial sweep of a single haplotype. In contrast, resistant haplotypes arising from the Midwestern United States show multiple amplification haplotypes segregating both between and within populations. Therefore, while the remarkable species-wide diversity of A. tuberculatus has facilitated geographic parallel adaptation of glyphosate resistance, more recently established agricultural populations are limited to adaptation in a more mutation-limited framework.Copyright © 2019 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.


April 21, 2020  |  

Midrib Sucrose Accumulation and Sugar Transporter Gene Expression in YCS-Affected Sugarcane Leaves

Sucrose accumulation and decreased photosynthesis are early symptoms of yellow canopy syndrome (YCS) in sugarcane (Saccharum spp.), and precede the visual yellowing of the leaves. To investigate broad-scale gene expression changes during YCS-onset, transcriptome analyses coupled to metabolome analyses were performed. Across leaf tissues, the greatest number of differentially expressed genes related to the chloroplast, and the metabolic processes relating to nitrogen and carbohydrates. Five genes represented 90% of the TPM (Transcripts Per Million) associated with the downregulation of transcription during YCS-onset, which included PSII D1 (PsbA). This differential expression was consistent with a feedback regulatory effect upon photosynthesis. Broad-scale gene expression analyses did not reveal a cause for leaf sugar accumulation during YCS-onset. Interestingly, the midrib showed the greatest accumulation of sugars, followed by symptomatic lamina. To investigate if phloem loading/reloading may be compromised on a gene expression level – to lead to leaf sucrose accumulation – sucrose transport-related proteins of SWEETs, Sucrose Transporters (SUTs), H+-ATPases and H+-pyrophosphatases (H+-PPases) were characterised from a sugarcane transcriptome and expression analysed. Two clusters of Type I H+-PPases, with one upregulated and the other downregulated, were evident. Although less pronounced, a similar pattern of change was observed for the H+-ATPases. The disaccharide transporting SWEETs were downregulated after visual symptoms were present, and a monosaccharide transporting SWEET upregulated preceding, as well as after, symptom development. SUT gene expression was the least responsive to YCS development. The results are consistent with a reduction of photoassimilate movement through the phloem leading to sucrose build-up in the leaf.


April 21, 2020  |  

Characterization of a blaIMP-4-carrying plasmid from Enterobacter cloacae of swine origin.

To characterize an MDR blaIMP-4-harbouring plasmid from Enterobacter cloacae EC62 of swine origin in China.Plasmid pIMP-4-EC62 from E. cloacae EC62 was transferred by conjugation via filter mating into Escherichia coli J53. Plasmid DNA was extracted from an E. coli J53 transconjugant and sequenced using single-molecule real-time (SMRT) technology. MIC values for both the isolate EC62 and the transconjugant were determined using the broth microdilution and agar dilution methods. Plasmid stability in both the isolate EC62 and the transconjugant was assessed through a series of passages on antibiotic-free media.Plasmid pIMP-4-EC62 is 314351?bp in length, encodes 369 predicted proteins and harbours a novel class 1 integron carrying blaIMP-4 and a group II intron. The blaIMP-4-bearing plasmid belongs to the IncHI2/ST1 incompatibility group. Sequence analysis showed that pIMP-4-EC62 carries four MDR regions and several gene clusters encoding heavy metal resistance. Plasmid pIMP-4-EC62 was stably maintained in both the E. cloacae EC62 isolate and the transconjugant E. coli J53-pIMP-4-EC62 in the absence of selective pressure. Analysis of the evolutionary relatedness of selected IncHI2 plasmids indicates that ST1-type plasmids are key carriers of carbapenemase genes among IncHI2 plasmids.pIMP-4-EC62 represents the first fully sequenced IncHI2-type blaIMP-4-harbouring plasmid from E. cloacae in China. Co-location of blaIMP-4 with other resistance genes on an MDR plasmid is likely to further accelerate the dissemination of blaIMP-4 by co-selection among bacteria from humans, animals and the environment under the selective pressure of other antimicrobial agents, heavy metals and disinfectants. © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genome Comparisons of Wild Isolates of Caulobacter crescentus Reveal Rates of Inversion and Horizontal Gene Transfer.

Since previous interspecies comparisons of Caulobacter genomes have revealed extensive genome rearrangements, we decided to compare the nucleotide sequences of four C. crescentus genomes, NA1000, CB1, CB2, and CB13. To accomplish this goal, we used PacBio sequencing technology to determine the nucleotide sequence of the CB1, CB2, and CB13 genomes, and obtained each genome sequence as a single contig. To correct for possible sequencing errors, each genome was sequenced twice. The only differences we observed between the two sets of independently determined sequences were random omissions of a single base in a small percentage of the homopolymer regions where a single base is repeated multiple times. Comparisons of these four genomes indicated that horizontal gene transfer events that included small numbers of genes occurred at frequencies in the range of 10-3 to 10-4 insertions per generation. Large insertions were about 100 times less frequent. Also, in contrast to previous interspecies comparisons, we found no genome rearrangements when the closely related NA1000, CB1, and CB2 genomes were compared, and only eight inversions and one translocation when the more distantly related CB13 genome was compared to the other genomes. Thus, we estimate that inversions occur at a rate of one per 10 to 12 million generations in Caulobacter genomes. The inversions seem to be complex events that include the simultaneous creation of indels.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genetic characterization of an MDR/virulence genomic element carrying two T6SS gene clusters in a clinical Klebsiella pneumoniae isolate of swine origin.

Multiresistant Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates rarely cause infections in pigs. The aim of this study was to investigate a multiresistant porcine K. pneumoniae isolate for plasmidic and chromosomal antimicrobial resistance and virulence genes and their genetic environment.K. pneumoniae strain ZYST1 originated from a pig with pneumonia. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed using broth microdilution. Conjugation experiments were conducted using Escherichia coli J53 as the recipient. The complete sequences of the chromosomal DNA and the plasmids were generated by WGS and analysed for the presence of resistance and virulence genes.The MDR K. pneumoniae ST1 strain ZYST1 contained three plasmids belonging to incompatibility groups IncFIIk5-FIB, IncI1 and IncX4, respectively. The IncFIIk5-FIB plasmid carried the resistance genes aadA2, mph(A), sul1 and aph(3′)-Ia, and the IncI1 plasmid carried aadA22 and erm(B). No resistance genes were present on the IncX4 plasmid. Plasmids related to the aforementioned three plasmids were also present in other Enterobacteriaceae species from humans, animals and the environment. Bioinformatic analyses identified a chromosomal 904?kb MDR element flanked by two copies of ISKpn26. This element included virulence factors, such as a type VI secretion system (T6SS) and genes for type 1 fimbriae, the toxin-antitoxin system HipA/HipB, antimicrobial resistance genes, such as blaSHV-187, mdtk, catA and the multiple antibiotic resistance operon marRABC, and heavy metal resistance determinants, such as chrB/chrA and tehA/tehB.This study reports a novel 904?kb MDR/virulence genomic element and three important plasmids coexisting in a clinical K. pneumoniae isolate of animal origin. © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.


April 21, 2020  |  

Effect of sulfur-iron modified biochar on the available cadmium and bacterial community structure in contaminated soils.

Cadmium contamination in paddy soils has aroused increasing concern around the world, and biochar has many positive properties, such as large specific surface areas, micro porous structure for the heavy metal immobilization in soils. However there are few studies on sulfur-iron modified biochar as well as its microbiology effects. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the Cd immobilization effects of sulfur or sulfur-iron modified biochar and its related microbial community changes in Cd-contaminated soils. SEM-EDX analysis confirmed that sulfur and iron were loaded on the raw biochar successfully. Sulfur-modified biochar (S-BC) and sulfur-iron modified biochar (SF-BC) addition increased pH value and the content of soil organic matter, and also decreased DTPA-extractable Cd. There was a negative significant correlation between organic matter content and the available Cd (P?


April 21, 2020  |  

Antibiotic resistance and heavy metal tolerance plasmids: the antimicrobial bulletproof properties of Escherichia fergusonii isolated from poultry.

We describe the mobilome of Escherichia fergusonii 40A isolated from poultry, consisting of four different plasmids, p46_40A (IncX1, 45,869 bp), p80_40A (non-typable, 79,635 bp), p150_40A (IncI1-ST1, 148,340 bp) and p280_40A (IncHI2A-ST2, 279,537 bp). The mobilome-40A carries a blend of several different resistance and virulence genes, heavy metal tolerance operons and conjugation system. This mobilome 40A is a perfect tool to preserve and disseminate antimicrobial resistance and makes the bacterial isolate incredibly adapted to survive under constant antimicrobial pressure.


April 21, 2020  |  

Identification of plasmid encoded osmoregulatory genes from halophilic bacteria isolated from the rhizosphere of halophytes.

Bacterial plasmids carry genes that code for additional traits such as osmoregulation, CO2 fixation, antibiotic and heavy metal resistance, root nodulation and nitrogen fixation. The main objective of the current study was to identify plasmid-conferring osmoregulatory genes in bacteria isolated from rhizospheric and non-rhizospheric soils of halophytes (Salsola stocksii and Atriplex amnicola). More than 55% of halophilic bacteria from the rhizosphere and 70% from non-rhizospheric soils were able to grow at 3?M salt concentrations. All the strains showed optimum growth at 1.5-3.0?M NaCl. Bacterial strains from the Salsola rhizosphere showed maximum (31%) plasmid elimination during curing experiments as compared to bacterial strains from the Atriplex rhizosphere and non-rhizospheric soils. Two plasmid cured strains Bacillus HL2HP6 and Oceanobacillus HL2RP7 lost their ability to grow in halophilic medium, but they grew well on LB medium. The plasmid cured strains also showed a change in sensitivity to specific antibiotics. These plasmids were isolated and transformed into E. coli strains and growth response of wild-type and transformed E. coli strains was compared at 1.5-4?M NaCl concentrations. Chromosomal DNA and plasmids from Bacillus filamentosus HL2HP6 were sequenced by using high throughput sequencing approach. Results of functional analysis of plasmid sequences showed different proteins and enzymes involved in osmoregulation of bacteria, such as trehalose, ectoine synthetase, porins, proline, alanine, inorganic ion transporters, dehydrogenases and peptidases. Our results suggested that plasmid conferring osmoregulatory genes play a vital role to maintain internal osmotic balance of bacterial cells and these genes can be used to develop salt tolerant transgenic crops.Copyright © 2019 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


April 21, 2020  |  

An African Salmonella Typhimurium ST313 sublineage with extensive drug-resistance and signatures of host adaptation.

Bloodstream infections by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium constitute a major health burden in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). These invasive non-typhoidal (iNTS) infections are dominated by isolates of the antibiotic resistance-associated sequence type (ST) 313. Here, we report emergence of ST313 sublineage II.1 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Sublineage II.1 exhibits extensive drug resistance, involving a combination of multidrug resistance, extended spectrum ß-lactamase production and azithromycin resistance. ST313 lineage II.1 isolates harbour an IncHI2 plasmid we name pSTm-ST313-II.1, with one isolate also exhibiting decreased ciprofloxacin susceptibility. Whole genome sequencing reveals that ST313 II.1 isolates have accumulated genetic signatures potentially associated with altered pathogenicity and host adaptation, related to changes observed in biofilm formation and metabolic capacity. Sublineage II.1 emerged at the beginning of the 21st century and is involved in on-going outbreaks. Our data provide evidence of further evolution within the ST313 clade associated with iNTS in SSA.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete genome sequence analysis of the thermoacidophilic verrucomicrobial methanotroph “Candidatus Methylacidiphilum kamchatkense” strain Kam1 and comparison with its closest relatives.

The candidate genus “Methylacidiphilum” comprises thermoacidophilic aerobic methane oxidizers belonging to the Verrucomicrobia phylum. These are the first described non-proteobacterial aerobic methane oxidizers. The genes pmoCAB, encoding the particulate methane monooxygenase do not originate from horizontal gene transfer from proteobacteria. Instead, the “Ca. Methylacidiphilum” and the sister genus “Ca. Methylacidimicrobium” represent a novel and hitherto understudied evolutionary lineage of aerobic methane oxidizers. Obtaining and comparing the full genome sequences is an important step towards understanding the evolution and physiology of this novel group of organisms.Here we present the closed genome of “Ca. Methylacidiphilum kamchatkense” strain Kam1 and a comparison with the genomes of its two closest relatives “Ca. Methylacidiphilum fumariolicum” strain SolV and “Ca. Methylacidiphilum infernorum” strain V4. The genome consists of a single 2,2 Mbp chromosome with 2119 predicted protein coding sequences. Genome analysis showed that the majority of the genes connected with metabolic traits described for one member of “Ca. Methylacidiphilum” is conserved between all three genomes. All three strains encode class I CRISPR-cas systems. The average nucleotide identity between “Ca. M. kamchatkense” strain Kam1 and strains SolV and V4 is =95% showing that they should be regarded as separate species. Whole genome comparison revealed a high degree of synteny between the genomes of strains Kam1 and SolV. In contrast, comparison of the genomes of strains Kam1 and V4 revealed a number of rearrangements. There are large differences in the numbers of transposable elements found in the genomes of the three strains with 12, 37 and 80 transposable elements in the genomes of strains Kam1, V4 and SolV respectively. Genomic rearrangements and the activity of transposable elements explain much of the genomic differences between strains. For example, a type 1h uptake hydrogenase is conserved between strains Kam1 and SolV but seems to have been lost from strain V4 due to genomic rearrangements.Comparing three closed genomes of “Ca. Methylacidiphilum” spp. has given new insights into the evolution of these organisms and revealed large differences in numbers of transposable elements between strains, the activity of these explains much of the genomic differences between strains.


April 21, 2020  |  

Denitrifying Bacteria Active in Woodchip Bioreactors at Low-Temperature Conditions.

Woodchip bioreactor technology removes nitrate from agricultural subsurface drainage by using denitrifying microorganisms. Although woodchip bioreactors have demonstrated success in many field locations, low water temperature can significantly limit bioreactor efficiency and performance. To improve bioreactor performance, it is important to identify the microbes responsible for nitrate removal at low temperature conditions. Therefore, in this study, we identified and characterized denitrifiers active at low-temperature conditions by using culture-independent and -dependent approaches. By comparative 16S rRNA (gene) analysis and culture isolation technique, Pseudomonas spp., Polaromonas spp., and Cellulomonas spp. were identified as being important bacteria responsible for denitrification in woodchip bioreactor microcosms at relatively low temperature conditions (15°C). Genome analysis of Cellulomonas sp. strain WB94 confirmed the presence of nitrite reductase gene nirK. Transcription levels of this nirK were significantly higher in the denitrifying microcosms than in the non-denitrifying microcosms. Strain WB94 was also capable of degrading cellulose and other complex polysaccharides. Taken together, our results suggest that Cellulomonas sp. denitrifiers could degrade woodchips to provide carbon source and electron donors to themselves and other denitrifiers in woodchip bioreactors at low-temperature conditions. By inoculating these denitrifiers (i.e., bioaugmentation), it might be possible to increase the nitrate removal rate of woodchip bioreactors at low-temperature conditions.


April 21, 2020  |  

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Blood Isolates Harboring a Novel Pseudo-staphylococcal Cassette Chromosome mec Element.

The aim of this work was to assess a novel pseudo-staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (?SCCmec) element in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) blood isolates. Community-associated MRSA E16SA093 and healthcare-associated MRSA F17SA003 isolates were recovered from the blood specimens of patients with S. aureus bacteremia in 2016 and in 2017, respectively. Antimicrobial susceptibility was determined via the disk diffusion method, and SCCmec typing was conducted by multiplex polymerase chain reaction. Whole genome sequencing was carried out by single molecule real-time long-read sequencing. Both isolates belonged to sequence type 72 and agr-type I, and they were negative for Panton-Valentine leukocidin and toxic shock syndrome toxin. The spa-types of E16SA093 and F17SA003 were t324 and t2460, respectively. They had a SCCmec IV-like element devoid of the cassette chromosome recombinase (ccr) gene complex, designated as ?SCCmecE16SA093. The element was manufactured from SCCmec type IV and the deletion of the ccr gene complex and a 7.0- and 31.9-kb portion of each chromosome. The deficiency of the ccr gene complex in the SCCmec unit is likely resulting in mobility loss, which would be an adaptive evolutionary mechanism. The dissemination of this clone should be monitored closely.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete genome sequence of Raoultella sp. strain X13, a promising cell factory for the synthesis of CdS quantum dots.

A novel cadmium-resistant bacterium, Raoultella sp. strain X13, recently isolated from heavy metal-contaminated soil, and this strain can synthesize CdS quantum dots using cadmium nitrate [Cd(NO4)2] and l-cysteine. Biomineralization of CdS by strain X13 can efficiently remove cadmium from aqueous solution. To illuminate the molecular mechanisms for the biosynthesis of CdS nanoparticle, the complete genome of Raoultella sp. strain X13 was sequenced. The whole genome sequence comprises a circular chromosome and a circular plasmid. Cysteine desulfhydrase smCSE has been previously found to be associated with the synthesis of CdS quantum dots. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that the genome of Raoultella sp. strain X13 encodes five putative cysteine desulfhydrases and all of them are located in the chromosome. The genome information may help us to determine the molecular mechanisms of the synthesis of CdS quantum dots and potentially enable us to engineer this microorganism for applications in biotechnology.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete genome sequence of Caulobacter flavus RHGG3T, a type species of the genus Caulobacter with plant growth-promoting traits and heavy metal resistance.

Caulobacter flavus RHGG3T, a novel type species in the genus Caulobacter, originally isolated from rhizosphere soil of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), has the ability to improve the growth of watermelon seedling and tolerate heavy metals. In vitro, C. flavus RHGG3T was able to solubilize phosphate (80.56 mg L-1), produce indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) (11.58 mg L-1) and was resistant to multiple heavy metals (copper, zinc, cadmium, cobalt and lead). Inoculating watermelon with this strain increased shoot and root length by 22.1% and 43.7%, respectively, and the total number of lateral roots by 55.9% compared to non-inoculated watermelon. In this study, we present the complete genome sequence of C. flavus RHGG3T, which was comprised of a single circular chromosome of 5,659,202 bp with a G?+?C content of 69.25%. An annotation analysis revealed that the C. flavus RHGG3T genome contained 5172 coding DNA sequences, 9 rRNA and 55 tRNA genes. Genes related to plant growth promotion (PGP), such as those associated with phosphate solubilization, nitrogen fixation, IAA, phenazine, volatile compounds, spermidine and cobalamin synthesis, were found in the C. flavus RHGG3T genome. Some genes responsible for heavy metal tolerance were also identified. The genome sequence of strain RHGG3T reported here provides new insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying the promotion of plant growth and the resistance to heavy metals in C. flavus. This study will be valuable for further exploration of the biotechnological applications of strain RHGG3T in agriculture.


April 21, 2020  |  

Differential retention of transposable element-derived sequences in outcrossing Arabidopsis genomes.

Transposable elements (TEs) are genomic parasites with major impacts on host genome architecture and host adaptation. A proper evaluation of their evolutionary significance has been hampered by the paucity of short scale phylogenetic comparisons between closely related species. Here, we characterized the dynamics of TE accumulation at the micro-evolutionary scale by comparing two closely related plant species, Arabidopsis lyrata and A. halleri.Joint genome annotation in these two outcrossing species confirmed that both contain two distinct populations of TEs with either ‘recent’ or ‘old’ insertion histories. Identification of rare segregating insertions suggests that diverse TE families contribute to the ongoing dynamics of TE accumulation in the two species. Orthologous TE fragments (i.e. those that have been maintained in both species), tend to be located closer to genes than those that are retained in one species only. Compared to non-orthologous TE insertions, those that are orthologous tend to produce fewer short interfering RNAs, are less heavily methylated when found within or adjacent to genes and these tend to have lower expression levels. These findings suggest that long-term retention of TE insertions reflects their frequent acquisition of adaptive roles and/or the deleterious effects of removing nearly neutral TE insertions when they are close to genes.Our results indicate a rapid evolutionary dynamics of the TE landscape in these two outcrossing species, with an important input of a diverse set of new insertions with variable propensity to resist deletion.


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