April 21, 2020  |  

Salmonella Genomic Island 3 Is an Integrative and Conjugative Element and Contributes to Copper and Arsenic Tolerance of Salmonella enterica.

Salmonella genomic island 3 (SGI3) was first described as a chromosomal island in Salmonella 4,[5],12:i:-, a monophasic variant of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium. The SGI3 DNA sequence detected from Salmonella 4,[5],12:i:- isolated in Japan was identical to that of a previously reported one across entire length of 81?kb. SGI3 consists of 86 open reading frames, including a copper homeostasis and silver resistance island (CHASRI) and an arsenic tolerance operon, in addition to genes related to conjugative transfer and DNA replication or partitioning, suggesting that the island is a mobile genetic element. We successfully selected transconjugants that acquired SGI3 after filter-mating experiments using the S. enterica serovars Typhimurium, Heidelberg, Hadar, Newport, Cerro, and Thompson as recipients. Southern blot analysis using I-CeuI-digested genomic DNA demonstrated that SGI3 was integrated into a chromosomal fragment of the transconjugants. PCR and sequencing analysis demonstrated that SGI3 was inserted into the 3′ end of the tRNA genes pheV or pheR The length of the target site was 52 or 55?bp, and a 55-bp attI sequence indicating generation of the circular form of SGI3 was also detected. The transconjugants had a higher MIC against CuSO4 compared to the recipient strains under anaerobic conditions. Tolerance was defined by the cus gene cluster in the CHASRI. The transconjugants also had distinctly higher MICs against Na2HAsO4 compared to recipient strains under aerobic conditions. These findings clearly demonstrate that SGI3 is an integrative and conjugative element and contributes to the copper and arsenic tolerance of S. enterica.Copyright © 2019 American Society for Microbiology.


April 21, 2020  |  

The bacteriocin from the prophylactic candidate Streptococcus suis 90-1330 is widely distributed across S. suis isolates and appears encoded in an integrative and conjugative element.

The Gram-positive a-hemolytic Streptococcus suis is a major pathogen in the swine industry and an emerging zoonotic agent that can cause several systemic issues in both pigs and humans. A total of 35 S. suis serotypes (SS) have been identified and genotyped into > 700 sequence types (ST) by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Eurasian ST1 isolates are the most virulent of all S. suis SS2 strains while North American ST25 and ST28 strains display moderate to low/no virulence phenotypes, respectively. Notably, S. suis 90-1330 is an avirulent Canadian SS2-ST28 isolate producing a lantibiotic bacteriocin with potential prophylactic applications. To investigate the suitability of this strain for such purposes, we sequenced its complete genome using the Illumina and PacBio platforms. The S. suis 90-1330 bacteriocin was found encoded in a locus cargoed in what appears to be an integrative and conjugative element (ICE). This bacteriocin locus was also found to be widely distributed across several streptococcal species and in a few Staphylococcus aureus strains. Because the locus also confers protection from the bacteriocin, the potential prophylactic benefits of using this strain may prove limited due to the spread of the resistance to its effects. Furthermore, the S. suis 90-1330 genome was found to code for genes involved in blood survival, suggesting that strain may not be a benign as previously thought.


April 21, 2020  |  

A prophage and two ICESa2603-family integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs) carrying optrA in Streptococcus suis.

To investigate the presence and transfer of the oxazolidinone/phenicol resistance gene optrA and identify the genetic elements involved in the horizontal transfer of the optrA gene in Streptococcus suis.A total of 237 S. suis isolates were screened for the presence of the optrA gene by PCR. Whole-genome DNA of three optrA-positive strains was completely sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq and Pacbio RSII platforms. MICs were determined by broth microdilution. Transferability of the optrA gene in S. suis was investigated by conjugation. The presence of circular intermediates was examined by inverse PCR.The optrA gene was present in 11.8% (28/237) of the S. suis strains. In three strains, the optrA gene was flanked by two copies of IS1216 elements in the same orientation, located either on a prophage or on ICESa2603-family integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs), including one tandem ICE. In one isolate, the optrA-carrying ICE transferred with a frequency of 2.1?×?10-8. After the transfer, the transconjugant displayed elevated MICs of the respective antimicrobial agents. Inverse PCRs revealed that circular intermediates of different sizes were formed in the three optrA-carrying strains, containing one copy of the IS1216E element and the optrA gene alone or in combination with other resistance genes.A prophage and two ICESa2603-family ICEs (including one tandem ICE) associated with the optrA gene were identified in S. suis. The association of the optrA gene with the IS1216E elements and its location on either a prophage or ICEs will aid its horizontal transfer. © 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  |  

Plastid genomes from diverse glaucophyte genera reveal a largely conserved gene content and limited architectural diversity.

Plastid genome (ptDNA) data of Glaucophyta have been limited for many years to the genus Cyanophora. Here, we sequenced the ptDNAs of Gloeochaete wittrockiana, Cyanoptyche gloeocystis, Glaucocystis incrassata, and Glaucocystis sp. BBH. The reported sequences are the first genome-scale plastid data available for these three poorly studied glaucophyte genera. Although the Glaucophyta plastids appear morphologically “ancestral,” they actually bear derived genomes not radically different from those of red algae or viridiplants. The glaucophyte plastid coding capacity is highly conserved (112 genes shared) and the architecture of the plastid chromosomes is relatively simple. Phylogenomic analyses recovered Glaucophyta as the earliest diverging Archaeplastida lineage, but the position of viridiplants as the first branching group was not rejected by the approximately unbiased test. Pairwise distances estimated from 19 different plastid genes revealed that the highest sequence divergence between glaucophyte genera is frequently higher than distances between species of different classes within red algae or viridiplants. Gene synteny and sequence similarity in the ptDNAs of the two Glaucocystis species analyzed is conserved. However, the ptDNA of Gla. incrassata contains a 7.9-kb insertion not detected in Glaucocystis sp. BBH. The insertion contains ten open reading frames that include four coding regions similar to bacterial serine recombinases (two open reading frames), DNA primases, and peptidoglycan aminohydrolases. These three enzymes, often encoded in bacterial plasmids and bacteriophage genomes, are known to participate in the mobilization and replication of DNA mobile elements. It is therefore plausible that the insertion in Gla. incrassata ptDNA is derived from a DNA mobile element.


April 21, 2020  |  

Mobilome of Brevibacterium aurantiacum Sheds Light on Its Genetic Diversity and Its Adaptation to Smear-Ripened Cheeses.

Brevibacterium aurantiacum is an actinobacterium that confers key organoleptic properties to washed-rind cheeses during the ripening process. Although this industrially relevant species has been gaining an increasing attention in the past years, its genome plasticity is still understudied due to the unavailability of complete genomic sequences. To add insights on the mobilome of this group, we sequenced the complete genomes of five dairy Brevibacterium strains and one non-dairy strain using PacBio RSII. We performed phylogenetic and pan-genome analyses, including comparisons with other publicly available Brevibacterium genomic sequences. Our phylogenetic analysis revealed that these five dairy strains, previously identified as Brevibacterium linens, belong instead to the B. aurantiacum species. A high number of transposases and integrases were observed in the Brevibacterium spp. strains. In addition, we identified 14 and 12 new insertion sequences (IS) in B. aurantiacum and B. linens genomes, respectively. Several stretches of homologous DNA sequences were also found between B. aurantiacum and other cheese rind actinobacteria, suggesting horizontal gene transfer (HGT). A HGT region from an iRon Uptake/Siderophore Transport Island (RUSTI) and an iron uptake composite transposon were found in five B. aurantiacum genomes. These findings suggest that low iron availability in milk is a driving force in the adaptation of this bacterial species to this niche. Moreover, the exchange of iron uptake systems suggests cooperative evolution between cheese rind actinobacteria. We also demonstrated that the integrative and conjugative element BreLI (Brevibacterium Lanthipeptide Island) can excise from B. aurantiacum SMQ-1417 chromosome. Our comparative genomic analysis suggests that mobile genetic elements played an important role into the adaptation of B. aurantiacum to cheese ecosystems.


September 22, 2019  |  

Extensive horizontal gene transfer in cheese-associated bacteria.

Acquisition of genes through horizontal gene transfer (HGT) allows microbes to rapidly gain new capabilities and adapt to new or changing environments. Identifying widespread HGT regions within multispecies microbiomes can pinpoint the molecular mechanisms that play key roles in microbiome assembly. We sought to identify horizontally transferred genes within a model microbiome, the cheese rind. Comparing 31 newly sequenced and 134 previously sequenced bacterial isolates from cheese rinds, we identified over 200 putative horizontally transferred genomic regions containing 4733 protein coding genes. The largest of these regions are enriched for genes involved in siderophore acquisition, and are widely distributed in cheese rinds in both Europe and the US. These results suggest that HGT is prevalent in cheese rind microbiomes, and that identification of genes that are frequently transferred in a particular environment may provide insight into the selective forces shaping microbial communities.


September 22, 2019  |  

Whole-genome-sequencing characterization of bloodstream infection-causing hypervirulent Klebsiella pneumoniae of capsular serotype K2 and ST374.

Hypervirulent K. pneumoniae variants (hvKP) have been increasingly reported worldwide, causing metastasis of severe infections such as liver abscesses and bacteremia. The capsular serotype K2 hvKP strains show diverse multi-locus sequence types (MLSTs), but with limited genetics and virulence information. In this study, we report a hypermucoviscous K. pneumoniae strain, RJF293, isolated from a human bloodstream sample in a Chinese hospital. It caused a metastatic infection and fatal septic shock in a critical patient. The microbiological features and genetic background were investigated with multiple approaches. The Strain RJF293 was determined to be multilocis sequence type (ST) 374 and serotype K2, displayed a median lethal dose (LD50) of 1.5 × 102 CFU in BALB/c mice and was as virulent as the ST23 K1 serotype hvKP strain NTUH-K2044 in a mouse lethality assay. Whole genome sequencing revealed that the RJF293 genome codes for 32 putative virulence factors and exhibits a unique presence/absence pattern in comparison to the other 105 completely sequenced K. pneumoniae genomes. Whole genome SNP-based phylogenetic analysis revealed that strain RJF293 formed a single clade, distant from those containing either ST66 or ST86 hvKP. Compared to the other sequenced hvKP chromosomes, RJF293 contains several strain-variable regions, including one prophage, one ICEKp1 family integrative and conjugative element and six large genomic islands. The sequencing of the first complete genome of an ST374 K2 hvKP clinical strain should reinforce our understanding of the epidemiology and virulence mechanisms of this bloodstream infection-causing hvKP with clinical significance.


September 22, 2019  |  

Candidatus Nitrosocaldus cavascurensis, an ammonia oxidizing, extremely thermophilic archaeon with a highly mobile genome.

Ammonia oxidizing archaea (AOA) of the phylum Thaumarchaeota are widespread in moderate environments but their occurrence and activity has also been demonstrated in hot springs. Here we present the first enrichment of a thermophilic representative with a sequenced genome, which facilitates the search for adaptive strategies and for traits that shape the evolution of Thaumarchaeota.CandidatusNitrosocaldus cavascurensis has been enriched from a hot spring in Ischia, Italy. It grows optimally at 68°C under chemolithoautotrophic conditions on ammonia or urea converting ammonia stoichiometrically into nitrite with a generation time of approximately 23 h. Phylogenetic analyses based on ribosomal proteins place the organism as a sister group to all known mesophilic AOA. The 1.58 Mb genome ofCa.N. cavascurensis harbors anamoAXCB gene cluster encoding ammonia monooxygenase and genes for a 3-hydroxypropionate/4-hydroxybutyrate pathway for autotrophic carbon fixation, but also genes that indicate potential alternative energy metabolisms. Although abona fidegene for nitrite reductase is missing, the organism is sensitive to NO-scavenging, underlining the potential importance of this compound for AOA metabolism.Ca.N. cavascurensis is distinct from all other AOA in its gene repertoire for replication, cell division and repair. Its genome has an impressive array of mobile genetic elements and other recently acquired gene sets, including conjugative systems, a provirus, transposons and cell appendages. Some of these elements indicate recent exchange with the environment, whereas others seem to have been domesticated and might convey crucial metabolic traits.


September 22, 2019  |  

PGI2, a novel SGI1-relative multidrug-resistant genomic island characterized in Proteus mirabilis.

A novel 61,578-bp genomic island named Proteus genomic island 2 (PGI2) was characterized in Proteus mirabilis of swine origin in China. The 23.85-kb backbone of PGI2 is related to those of Salmonella genomic island 1 and Acinetobacter genomic island 1. The multidrug resistance (MDR) region of PGI2 is a complex class 1 integron containing 14 different resistance genes. PGI2 was conjugally mobilized in trans to Escherichia coli in the presence of a conjugative IncC helper plasmid. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.


September 22, 2019  |  

Acquisition of resistance to carbapenem and macrolide-mediated quorum sensing inhibition by Pseudomonas aeruginosa via ICE Tn4371 6385

Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause life-threatening infections in immunocompromised patients. The first-line agents to treat P. aeruginosa infections are carbapenems. However, the emergence of carbapenem-resistant P. aeruginosa strains greatly compromised the effec- tiveness of carbapenem treatment, which makes the surveillance on their spreading and transmission important. Here we characterized the full-length genomes of two carbapenem- resistant P. aeruginosa clinical isolates that are capable of producing New Delhi metallo-ß- lactamase-1 (NDM-1). We show that blaNDM-1 is carried by a novel integrative and conjugative element (ICE) ICETn43716385, which also carries the macrolide resistance gene msr(E) and the florfenicol resistance gene floR. By exogenously expressing msr(E) in P. aeruginosa laboratory strains, we show that Msr(E) can abolish azithromycin-mediated quorum sensing inhibition in vitro and anti-Pseudomonas effect in vivo. We conclude that ICEs are important in transmitting carbapenem resistance, and that anti-virulence treatment of P. aeruginosa infections using sub-inhibitory concentrations of macrolides can be challenged by horizontal gene transfer.


September 22, 2019  |  

Long-read whole genome sequencing and comparative analysis of six strains of the human pathogen Orientia tsutsugamushi.

Orientia tsutsugamushi is a clinically important but neglected obligate intracellular bacterial pathogen of the Rickettsiaceae family that causes the potentially life-threatening human disease scrub typhus. In contrast to the genome reduction seen in many obligate intracellular bacteria, early genetic studies of Orientia have revealed one of the most repetitive bacterial genomes sequenced to date. The dramatic expansion of mobile elements has hampered efforts to generate complete genome sequences using short read sequencing methodologies, and consequently there have been few studies of the comparative genomics of this neglected species.We report new high-quality genomes of O. tsutsugamushi, generated using PacBio single molecule long read sequencing, for six strains: Karp, Kato, Gilliam, TA686, UT76 and UT176. In comparative genomics analyses of these strains together with existing reference genomes from Ikeda and Boryong strains, we identify a relatively small core genome of 657 genes, grouped into core gene islands and separated by repeat regions, and use the core genes to infer the first whole-genome phylogeny of Orientia.Complete assemblies of multiple Orientia genomes verify initial suggestions that these are remarkable organisms. They have larger genomes compared with most other Rickettsiaceae, with widespread amplification of repeat elements and massive chromosomal rearrangements between strains. At the gene level, Orientia has a relatively small set of universally conserved genes, similar to other obligate intracellular bacteria, and the relative expansion in genome size can be accounted for by gene duplication and repeat amplification. Our study demonstrates the utility of long read sequencing to investigate complex bacterial genomes and characterise genomic variation.


September 22, 2019  |  

Redefinition and unification of the SXT/R391 family of integrative and conjugative elements.

Integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs) of the SXT/R391 family are key drivers of the spread of antibiotic resistance in Vibrio cholerae, the infectious agent of cholera, and other pathogenic bacteria. The SXT/R391 family of ICEs was defined based on the conservation of a core set of 52 genes and site-specific integration into the 5′ end of the chromosomal gene prfC Hence, the integrase gene int has been intensively used as a marker to detect SXT/R391 ICEs in clinical isolates. ICEs sharing most core genes but differing by their integration site and integrase gene have been recently reported and excluded from the SXT/R391 family. Here we explored the prevalence and diversity of atypical ICEs in GenBank databases and their relationship with typical SXT/R391 ICEs. We found atypical ICEs in V. cholerae isolates that predate the emergence and expansion of typical SXT/R391 ICEs in the mid-1980s in seventh-pandemic toxigenic V. cholerae strains O1 and O139. Our analyses revealed that while atypical ICEs are not associated with antibiotic resistance genes, they often carry cation efflux pumps, suggesting heavy metal resistance. Atypical ICEs constitute a polyphyletic group likely because of occasional recombination events with typical ICEs. Furthermore, we show that the alternative integration and excision genes of atypical ICEs remain under the control of SetCD, the main activator of the conjugative functions of SXT/R391 ICEs. Together, these observations indicate that substitution of the integration/excision module and change of specificity of integration do not preclude atypical ICEs from inclusion into the SXT/R391 family.IMPORTANCEVibrio cholerae is the causative agent of cholera, an acute intestinal infection that remains to this day a world public health threat. Integrative and conjugative elements (ICEs) of the SXT/R391 family have played a major role in spreading antimicrobial resistance in seventh-pandemic V. cholerae but also in several species of Enterobacteriaceae Most epidemiological surveys use the integrase gene as a marker to screen for SXT/R391 ICEs in clinical or environmental strains. With the recent reports of closely related elements that carry an alternative integrase gene, it became urgent to investigate whether ICEs that have been left out of the family are a liability for the accuracy of such screenings. In this study, based on comparative genomics, we broaden the SXT/R391 family of ICEs to include atypical ICEs that are often associated with heavy metal resistance. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.


September 22, 2019  |  

The integrative conjugative element clc (ICEclc) of Pseudomonas aeruginosa JB2.

Integrative conjugative elements (ICE) are a diverse group of chromosomally integrated, self-transmissible mobile genetic elements (MGE) that are active in shaping the functions of bacteria and bacterial communities. Each type of ICE carries a characteristic set of core genes encoding functions essential for maintenance and self-transmission, and cargo genes that endow on hosts phenotypes beneficial for niche adaptation. An important area to which ICE can contribute beneficial functions is the biodegradation of xenobiotic compounds. In the biodegradation realm, the best-characterized ICE is ICEclc, which carries cargo genes encoding for ortho-cleavage of chlorocatechols (clc genes) and aminophenol metabolism (amn genes). The element was originally identified in the 3-chlorobenzoate-degrader Pseudomonas knackmussii B13, and the closest relative is a nearly identical element in Burkholderia xenovorans LB400 (designated ICEclc-B13 and ICEclc-LB400, respectively). In the present report, genome sequencing of the o-chlorobenzoate degrader Pseudomonas aeruginosa JB2 was used to identify a new member of the ICEclc family, ICEclc-JB2. The cargo of ICEclc-JB2 differs from that of ICEclc-B13 and ICEclc-LB400 in consisting of a unique combination of genes that encode for the utilization of o-halobenzoates and o-hydroxybenzoate as growth substrates (ohb genes and hyb genes, respectively) and which are duplicated in a tandem repeat. Also, ICEclc-JB2 lacks an operon of regulatory genes (tciR-marR-mfsR) that is present in the other two ICEclc, and which controls excision from the host. Thus, the mechanisms regulating intracellular behavior of ICEclc-JB2 may differ from that of its close relatives. The entire tandem repeat in ICEclc-JB2 can excise independently from the element in a process apparently involving transposases/insertion sequence associated with the repeats. Excision of the repeats removes important niche adaptation genes from ICEclc-JB2, rendering it less beneficial to the host. However, the reduced version of ICEclc-JB2 could now acquire new genes that might be beneficial to a future host and, consequently, to the survival of ICEclc-JB2. Collectively, the present identification and characterization of ICEclc-JB2 provides insights into roles of MGE in bacterial niche adaptation and the evolution of catabolic pathways for biodegradation of xenobiotic compounds.


September 22, 2019  |  

Co-location of the blaKPC-2, blaCTX-M-65, rmtB and virulence relevant factors in an IncFII plasmid from a hypermucoviscous Klebsiella pneumoniae isolate.

Hypervirulent variants of klebsiella pneumoniae (hvKP), which cause serious infections not only healthy individuals, but also the immunocompromised patients, have been increasingly reported recently. One conjugation of a hypermucoviscous strian SWU01 co-carried the resistance gene blaKPC-2 and virulence gene iroN by the PCR detection from three carbapenem-resistance hvKP. To know the genetic context of this plasmid. The whole genome of this strain was sequenced. We got a 162,552-bp plasmid (pSWU01) which co-carried the resistance gene blaKPC-2 and virulence gene iroN. It is composed of a typical IncFII-type backbone, five resistance genes including blaCTX-M-65, blaKPC-2, blaSHV-12, blaTEM-1 and rmtB, and several virulence relevant factors including iroN, traT and toxin-antitoxin systems. The plasmid pSWU01 co-carrying the multidrug resistance determinants and virulence relevant factors from the hypermucoviscous K. pneumoniae represents a novel therapeutic challenge. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics of Salmonella enterica serovar Montevideo reveals lineage-specific gene differences that may influence ecological niche association.

Salmonella enterica serovar Montevideo has been linked to recent foodborne illness outbreaks resulting from contamination of products such as fruits, vegetables, seeds and spices. Studies have shown that Montevideo also is frequently associated with healthy cattle and can be isolated from ground beef, yet human salmonellosis outbreaks of Montevideo associated with ground beef contamination are rare. This disparity fuelled our interest in characterizing the genomic differences between Montevideo strains isolated from healthy cattle and beef products, and those isolated from human patients and outbreak sources. To that end, we sequenced 13 Montevideo strains to completion, producing high-quality genome assemblies of isolates from human patients (n=8) or from healthy cattle at slaughter (n=5). Comparative analysis of sequence data from this study and publicly available sequences (n=72) shows that Montevideo falls into four previously established clades, differentially occupied by cattle and human strains. The results of these analyses reveal differences in metabolic islands, environmental adhesion determinants and virulence factors within each clade, and suggest explanations for the infrequent association between bovine isolates and human illnesses.


Talk with an expert

If you have a question, need to check the status of an order, or are interested in purchasing an instrument, we're here to help.