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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Genomic analysis of three Clostridioides difficile isolates from urban water sources.

We investigated inflow of a wastewater treatment plant and sediment of an urban lake for the presence of Clostridioides difficile by cultivation and PCR. Among seven colonies we sequenced the complete genomes of three: two non-toxigenic isolates from wastewater and one toxigenic isolate from the urban lake. For all obtained isolates, a close genomic relationship with human-derived isolates was observed.Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Insights into the evolution and drug susceptibility of Babesia duncani from the sequence of its mitochondrial and apicoplast genomes.

Babesia microti and Babesia duncani are the main causative agents of human babesiosis in the United States. While significant knowledge about B. microti has been gained over the past few years, nothing is known about B. duncani biology, pathogenesis, mode of transmission or sensitivity to currently recommended therapies. Studies in immunocompetent wild type mice and hamsters have shown that unlike B. microti, infection with B. duncani results in severe pathology and ultimately death. The parasite factors involved in B. duncani virulence remain unknown. Here we report the first known completed sequence and annotation of the apicoplast and mitochondrial genomes of…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Extended insight into the Mycobacterium chelonae-abscessus complex through whole genome sequencing of Mycobacterium salmoniphilum outbreak and Mycobacterium salmoniphilum-like strains.

Members of the Mycobacterium chelonae-abscessus complex (MCAC) are close to the mycobacterial ancestor and includes both human, animal and fish pathogens. We present the genomes of 14 members of this complex: the complete genomes of Mycobacterium salmoniphilum and Mycobacterium chelonae type strains, seven M. salmoniphilum isolates, and five M. salmoniphilum-like strains including strains isolated during an outbreak in an animal facility at Uppsala University. Average nucleotide identity (ANI) analysis and core gene phylogeny revealed that the M. salmoniphilum-like strains are variants of the human pathogen Mycobacterium franklinii and phylogenetically close to Mycobacterium abscessus. Our data further suggested that M. salmoniphilum…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Meiotic sex in Chagas disease parasite Trypanosoma cruzi.

Genetic exchange enables parasites to rapidly transform disease phenotypes and exploit new host populations. Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasitic agent of Chagas disease and a public health concern throughout Latin America, has for decades been presumed to exchange genetic material rarely and without classic meiotic sex. We present compelling evidence from 45 genomes sequenced from southern Ecuador that T. cruzi in fact maintains truly sexual, panmictic groups that can occur alongside others that remain highly clonal after past hybridization events. These groups with divergent reproductive strategies appear genetically isolated despite possible co-occurrence in vectors and hosts. We propose biological explanations for…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Within-host evolution of Helicobacter pylori shaped by niche-specific adaptation, intragastric migrations and selective sweeps.

The human pathogen Helicobacter pylori displays extensive genetic diversity. While H. pylori is known to evolve during infection, population dynamics inside the gastric environment have not been extensively investigated. Here we obtained gastric biopsies from multiple stomach regions of 16 H. pylori-infected adults, and analyze the genomes of 10 H. pylori isolates from each biopsy. Phylogenetic analyses suggest location-specific evolution and bacterial migration between gastric regions. Migration is significantly more frequent between the corpus and the fundus than with the antrum, suggesting that physiological differences between antral and oxyntic mucosa contribute to spatial partitioning of H. pylori populations. Associations between H. pylori…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Comparative genomics reveals structural and functional features specific to the genome of a foodborne Escherichia coli O157:H7.

Escherichia coli O157:H7 (O157) has been linked to numerous foodborne disease outbreaks. The ability to rapidly sequence and analyze genomes is important for understanding epidemiology, virulence, survival, and evolution of outbreak strains. In the current study, we performed comparative genomics to determine structural and functional features of the genome of a foodborne O157 isolate NADC 6564 and infer its evolutionary relationship to other O157 strains.The chromosome of NADC 6564 contained 5466?kb compared to reference strains Sakai (5498?kb) and EDL933 (5547?kb) and shared 41 of its 43 Linear Conserved Blocks (LCB) with the reference strains. However, 18 of 41 LCB had…

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Monday, March 30, 2020

AGBT Conference: Automated de novo genome assemblies and bacterial epigenomes using PacBio sequencing

In this AGBT plenary talk, Jonas Korlach presented a number of collaborative studies between PacBio and other institutions to make use of highly accurate, long-read sequence data, which has led to a revival of finished genomes. Examples from the infectious disease or pathogen realm included Pertussis, Salmonella, and Listeria, all of which now have closed genomes from PacBio-generated data. Korlach also reported on epigenomic information in Salmonella and Listeria, indicating potential new forms of DNA modifications.

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Monday, March 30, 2020

AGBT Conference: High-throughput NGS for screening of microbial pathogens

Ulf Gyllensten from Uppsala University used SMRT Sequencing to study multi-drug-resistant bacteria. Time to results was faster than other NGS platforms and generally resulted in complete genome assemblies, even for an organism with a 70% AT-rich genome. He also applied SMRT Sequencing for the characterization of HPV subtypes, important in cervical cancer.

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Monday, March 30, 2020

ASM PacBio Workshop: Genomics in food security – 100k pathogen genome project

UC Davis’s Bart Weimer describes foodborne pathogens and their proclivity for rapid genome rearrangement. The 100K Pathogen Genome Project he leads is using PacBio long-read sequencing to close genomes and analyze methylation; Weimer reports that his team has already discovered new epigenetic modifications in Salmonella and Listeria with the technology.

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Monday, March 30, 2020

ASM PacBio Workshop: Phasevarion – switching expression of multiple genes by methyltransferases in host-adapted pathogens

Epigenetics expert Michael Jennings from Griffith University first posited the phasevarion, or the phase variable regulon mechanism in host-adapted pathogens. This mechanism switches expression of multiple genes in a coordinated fashion and has significant implications on pathogen virulence. In his talk, Jennings describes the phasevarion and his use of whole methylome data to rapidly identify methylation targets.

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Monday, March 30, 2020

AGBT Conference: Automated, non-hybrid de novo genome assemblies and epigenomes of bacterial pathogens

Jonas Korlach, CSO of PacBio, discusses the revival of finished genomes the microbial community will see with long read data, emphasizing that for certain organisms such as rapidly evolving microbes, having a de novo finished genome will be more useful than creating a draft based on a previous related reference genome. Korlach describes two bioinformatic methods from PacBio, a hierarchical genome assembly process (HGAP) and an consensus caller (Quiver), which are used to generate finished genomes from just long-read PacBio data, with final genome sequence accuracies over 99.999%. Korlach demonstrates the ability of PacBio data to generate closed, high-quality de…

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