April 21, 2020  |  

Genetic characterization and potential molecular dissemination mechanism of tet(31) gene in Aeromonas caviae from an oxytetracycline wastewater treatment system.

Recently, the rarely reported tet(31) tetracycline resistance determinant was commonly found in Aeromonas salmonicida, Gallibacterium anatis, and Oblitimonas alkaliphila isolated from farming animals and related environment. However, its distribution in other bacteria and potential molecular dissemination mechanism in environment are still unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential mechanism underlying dissemination of tet(31) by analysing the tet(31)-carrying fragments in A. caviae strains isolated from an aerobic biofilm reactor treating oxytetracycline bearing wastewater. Twenty-three A. caviae strains were screened for the tet(31) gene by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Three strains (two harbouring tet(31), one not) were subjected to whole genome sequencing using the PacBio RSII platform. Seventeen A. caviae strains carried the tet(31) gene and exhibited high resistance levels to oxytetracycline with minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) ranging from 256 to 512?mg/L. tet(31) was comprised of the transposon Tn6432 on the chromosome of A. caviae, and Tn6432 was also found in 15 additional tet(31)-positive A. caviae isolates by PCR. More important, Tn6432 was located on an integrative conjugative element (ICE)-like element, which could mediate the dissemination of the tet(31)-carrying transposon Tn6432 between bacteria. Comparative analysis demonstrated that Tn6432 homologs with the structure ISCR2-?phzF-tetR(31)-tet(31)-?glmM-sul2 were also carried by A. salmonicida, G. anatis, and O. alkaliphila, suggesting that this transposon can be transferred between species and even genera. This work provides the first report on the identification of the tet(31) gene in A. caviae, and will be helpful in exploring the dissemination mechanisms of tet(31) in water environment.Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.


April 21, 2020  |  

Iron-associated protein interaction networks reveal the key functional modules related to survival and virulence of Pasteurella multocida.

Pasteurella multocida causes respiratory infectious diseases in a multitude of birds and mammals. A number of virulence-associated genes were reported across different strains of P. multocida, including those involved in the iron transport and metabolism. Comparative iron-associated genes of P. multocida among different animal hosts towards their interaction networks have not been fully revealed. Therefore, this study aimed to identify the iron-associated genes from core- and pan-genomes of fourteen P. multocida strains and to construct iron-associated protein interaction networks using genome-scale network analysis which might be associated with the virulence. Results showed that these fourteen strains had 1587 genes in the core-genome and 3400 genes constituting their pan-genome. Out of these, 2651 genes associated with iron transport and metabolism were selected to construct the protein interaction networks and 361 genes were incorporated into the iron-associated protein interaction network (iPIN) consisting of nine different iron-associated functional modules. After comparing with the virulence factor database (VFDB), 21 virulence-associated proteins were determined and 11 of these belonged to the heme biosynthesis module. From this study, the core heme biosynthesis module and the core outer membrane hemoglobin receptor HgbA were proposed as candidate targets to design novel antibiotics and vaccines for preventing pasteurellosis across the serotypes or animal hosts for enhanced precision agriculture to ensure sustainability in food security. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


April 21, 2020  |  

Global-level population genomics reveals differential effects of geography and phylogeny on horizontal gene transfer in soil bacteria.

Although microorganisms are known to dominate Earth’s biospheres and drive biogeochemical cycling, little is known about the geographic distributions of microbial populations or the environmental factors that pattern those distributions. We used a global-level hierarchical sampling scheme to comprehensively characterize the evolutionary relationships and distributional limitations of the nitrogen-fixing bacterial symbionts of the crop chickpea, generating 1,027 draft whole-genome sequences at the level of bacterial populations, including 14 high-quality PacBio genomes from a phylogenetically representative subset. We find that diverse Mesorhizobium taxa perform symbiosis with chickpea and have largely overlapping global distributions. However, sampled locations cluster based on the phylogenetic diversity of Mesorhizobium populations, and diversity clusters correspond to edaphic and environmental factors, primarily soil type and latitude. Despite long-standing evolutionary divergence and geographic isolation, the diverse taxa observed to nodulate chickpea share a set of integrative conjugative elements (ICEs) that encode the major functions of the symbiosis. This symbiosis ICE takes 2 forms in the bacterial chromosome-tripartite and monopartite-with tripartite ICEs confined to a broadly distributed superspecies clade. The pairwise evolutionary relatedness of these elements is controlled as much by geographic distance as by the evolutionary relatedness of the background genome. In contrast, diversity in the broader gene content of Mesorhizobium genomes follows a tight linear relationship with core genome phylogenetic distance, with little detectable effect of geography. These results illustrate how geography and demography can operate differentially on the evolution of bacterial genomes and offer useful insights for the development of improved technologies for sustainable agriculture.


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.


April 21, 2020  |  

ICESsuHN105, a Novel Multiple Antibiotic Resistant ICE in Streptococcus suis Serotype 5 Strain HN105.

Streptococcussuis serotype 5, an emerging zoonosis bacterial pathogen, has been isolated from infections in both pigs and humans. In this study, we sequenced the first complete genome of a virulent, multidrug-resistant SS5 strain HN105. The strain HN105 displayed enhanced pathogenicity in zebrafish and BABL/c mouse infection models. Comparative genome analysis identified a novel 80K integrative conjugative element (ICE), ICESsuHN105, as required for the multidrug resistance phenotype. Six corresponding antibiotic resistance genes in this ICE were identified, namely tet (O), tet (M), erm (two copies), aph, and spc. Phylogenetic analysis classified the element as a homolog of the ICESa2603 family, containing the typical family backbone and insertion DNA. DNA hybrids mediated by natural transformation between HN105 and ZY05719 verified the antibiotic resistant genes of ICESsuHN105 that could be transferred successfully, while they were dispersedly inserted with a single gene in different genomic locations of ZY05719(HN105) transformants. To further identify the horizontal transfer of ICESsuHN105 as a whole mobile genetic element, a circular intermediate form of ICESsuHN105 was detected by PCR. However, the effective conjugation using serotype 2 S. suis as recipients was not observed in current assays in vitro. Further studies confirmed the presence of the complete lantibiotic locus encoded in ICESsuHN105 that effectively inhibits the growth of other streptococci. In summary, this study demonstrated the presence of antibiotic resistance genes in ICE that are able to transfer between different clinical isolates and adapt to a broader range of Streptococcus serotype or species.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genetic basis of chromosomally-encoded mcr-1 gene.

Compared with plasmid-borne mcr-1, the occurrence of chromosomally-encoded mcr-1 is rare although it has been reported in several cases. This study aimed to investigate the genetic features of chromosomally-encoded mcr-1 among Escherichia coli strains as well as the potential genetic basis governing mobilisation of mcr-1 in bacterial chromosomes. The genome sequences of 16 E. coli strains containing a chromosomal mcr-1 gene were obtained and analysed. Phylogenetic and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) analysis demonstrated that mcr-1 was associated with four major types of genetic arrangements, namely ISApl1-mcr1-orf, Tn6330, complex Tn6330 and ?Tn6330 in chromosomes of genetically unrelated E. coli strains. The mcr-1-carrying mobile elements were shown to insert into the AT-rich region, which was also the case for ISApl1. Analysis of complete E. coli genome sequences showed that there were multiple copies of ISApl1 present in E. coli chromosomes that also carried mcr-1, whilst all mcr-1-negative chromosomes were absent of any copy of ISApl1, suggesting the strong association of ISApl1 and mcr-1. Insertion of ISApl1 into E. coli chromosomes may be a prerequisite for the insertion of mcr-1-carrying mobile elements. Insertion of mcr-1 into E. coli chromosomes would enable it to become intrinsically resistant, which is expected to become more prevalent. Policy on the prudent use of colistin both in veterinary and clinical settings should be imposed globally to further prevent dissemination of mcr-1 in E. coli and other bacterial pathogens. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and International Society of Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.


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  |  

Comparative genomics and genotype-phenotype associations in Bifidobacterium breve.

Bifidobacteria are common members of the gastro-intestinal microbiota of a broad range of animal hosts. Their successful adaptation to this particular niche is linked to their saccharolytic metabolism, which is supported by a wide range of glycosyl hydrolases. In the current study a large-scale gene-trait matching (GTM) effort was performed to explore glycan degradation capabilities in B. breve. By correlating the presence/absence of genes and associated genomic clusters with growth/no-growth patterns across a dataset of 20 Bifidobacterium breve strains and nearly 80 different potential growth substrates, we not only validated the approach for a number of previously characterized carbohydrate utilization clusters, but we were also able to discover novel genetic clusters linked to the metabolism of salicin and sucrose. Using GTM, genetic associations were also established for antibiotic resistance and exopolysaccharide production, thereby identifying (novel) bifidobacterial antibiotic resistance markers and showing that the GTM approach is applicable to a variety of phenotypes. Overall, the GTM findings clearly expand our knowledge on members of the B. breve species, in particular how their variable genetic features can be linked to specific phenotypes.


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 reveal a flagellar system, a type VI secretion system and plant growth-promoting gene clusters unique to the endophytic bacterium Kosakonia radicincitans.

The recent worldwide discovery of plant growth-promoting (PGP) Kosakonia radicincitans in a large variety of crop plants suggests that this species confers significant influence on plants, both in terms of yield increase and product quality improvement. We provide a comparative genome analysis which helps to unravel the genetic basis for K. radicincitans’ motility, competitiveness and plant growth-promoting capacities. We discovered that K. radicincitans carries multiple copies of complex gene clusters, among them two flagellar systems and three type VI secretion systems (T6SSs). We speculate that host invasion may be facilitated by different flagella, and bacterial competitor suppression by effector proteins ejected via T6SSs. We found a large plasmid in K. radicincitans DSM 16656T, the species type strain, that confers the potential to exploit plant-derived carbon sources. We propose that multiple copies of complex gene clusters in K. radicincitans are metabolically expensive but provide competitive advantage over other bacterial strains in nutrient-rich environments. The comparison of the DSM 16656T genome to genomes of other genera of enteric plant growth-promoting bacteria (PGPB) exhibits traits unique to DSM 16656T and K. radicincitans, respectively, and traits shared between genera. We used the output of the in silico analysis for predicting the purpose of genomic features unique to K. radicincitans and performed microarray, PhyloChip, and microscopical analyses to gain deeper insight into the interaction of DSM 16656T, plants and associated microbiota. The comparative genome analysis will facilitate the future search for promising candidates of PGPB for sustainable crop production.


September 22, 2019  |  

Construction of stable fluorescent laboratory control strains for several food safety relevant Enterobacteriaceae.

Using naturally-occurring bacterial strains as positive controls in testing protocols is typically feared due to the risk of cross-contaminating samples. We have developed a collection of strains which express Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) at high-level, permitting rapid screening of the following species on selective or non-selective plates: Escherichia coli O157:H7, Shigella sonnei, S. flexneri, Salmonella enterica subsp. Enterica serovar Gaminera, S. Mbandaka, S. Tennesse, S. Minnesota, S. Senftenberg and S. Typhimurium. These new strains fluoresce when irradiated with UV light and maintain this phenotype in absence of antibiotic selection. Recombinants were phenotypically equivalent to the parent strain, except for S. Tennessee Sal66 that appeared Lac- on Xylose Lysine Deoxycholate (XLD) agar plates and Lac+ on Mac Conkey and Hektoen Enteric agar plates. Analysis of closed whole genome sequences revealed that Sal66 had lost one lactose operon; slower rates of lactose metabolism may affect lactose fermentation on XLD agar. These fluorescent enteric control strains were challenging to develop and should provide an easy and effective means of identifying cross-contamination. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


July 19, 2019  |  

Resistance determinants and mobile genetic elements of an NDM-1-encoding Klebsiella pneumoniae strain.

Multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae are emerging as a serious infectious disease challenge. These strains can accumulate many antibiotic resistance genes though horizontal transfer of genetic elements, those for ß-lactamases being of particular concern. Some ß-lactamases are active on a broad spectrum of ß-lactams including the last-resort carbapenems. The gene for the broad-spectrum and carbapenem-active metallo-ß-lactamase NDM-1 is rapidly spreading. We present the complete genome of Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC BAA-2146, the first U.S. isolate found to encode NDM-1, and describe its repertoire of antibiotic-resistance genes and mutations, including genes for eight ß-lactamases and 15 additional antibiotic-resistance enzymes. To elucidate the evolution of this rich repertoire, the mobile elements of the genome were characterized, including four plasmids with varying degrees of conservation and mosaicism and eleven chromosomal genomic islands. One island was identified by a novel phylogenomic approach, that further indicated the cps-lps polysaccharide synthesis locus, where operon translocation and fusion was noted. Unique plasmid segments and mosaic junctions were identified. Plasmid-borne blaCTX-M-15 was transposed recently to the chromosome by ISEcp1. None of the eleven full copies of IS26, the most frequent IS element in the genome, had the expected 8-bp direct repeat of the integration target sequence, suggesting that each copy underwent homologous recombination subsequent to its last transposition event. Comparative analysis likewise indicates IS26 as a frequent recombinational junction between plasmid ancestors, and also indicates a resolvase site. In one novel use of high-throughput sequencing, homologously recombinant subpopulations of the bacterial culture were detected. In a second novel use, circular transposition intermediates were detected for the novel insertion sequence ISKpn21 of the ISNCY family, suggesting that it uses the two-step transposition mechanism of IS3. Robust genome-based phylogeny showed that a unified Klebsiella cluster contains Enterobacter aerogenes and Raoultella, suggesting the latter genus should be abandoned.


July 19, 2019  |  

Evolutionary dynamics of Vibrio cholerae O1 following a single-source introduction to Haiti.

Prior to the epidemic that emerged in Haiti in October of 2010, cholera had not been documented in this country. After its introduction, a strain of Vibrio cholerae O1 spread rapidly throughout Haiti, where it caused over 600,000 cases of disease and >7,500 deaths in the first two years of the epidemic. We applied whole-genome sequencing to a temporal series of V. cholerae isolates from Haiti to gain insight into the mode and tempo of evolution in this isolated population of V. cholerae O1. Phylogenetic and Bayesian analyses supported the hypothesis that all isolates in the sample set diverged from a common ancestor within a time frame that is consistent with epidemiological observations. A pangenome analysis showed nearly homogeneous genomic content, with no evidence of gene acquisition among Haiti isolates. Nine nearly closed genomes assembled from continuous-long-read data showed evidence of genome rearrangements and supported the observation of no gene acquisition among isolates. Thus, intrinsic mutational processes can account for virtually all of the observed genetic polymorphism, with no demonstrable contribution from horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Consistent with this, the 12 Haiti isolates tested by laboratory HGT assays were severely impaired for transformation, although unlike previously characterized noncompetent V. cholerae isolates, each expressed hapR and possessed a functional quorum-sensing system. Continued monitoring of V. cholerae in Haiti will illuminate the processes influencing the origin and fate of genome variants, which will facilitate interpretation of genetic variation in future epidemics.Vibrio cholerae is the cause of substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide, with over three million cases of disease each year. An understanding of the mode and rate of evolutionary change is critical for proper interpretation of genome sequence data and attribution of outbreak sources. The Haiti epidemic provides an unprecedented opportunity to study an isolated, single-source outbreak of Vibrio cholerae O1 over an established time frame. By using multiple approaches to assay genetic variation, we found no evidence that the Haiti strain has acquired any genes by horizontal gene transfer, an observation that led us to discover that it is also poorly transformable. We have found no evidence that environmental strains have played a role in the evolution of the outbreak strain.


July 19, 2019  |  

PacBio SMRT assembly of a complex multi-replicon genome reveals chlorocatechol degradative operon in a region of genome plasticity.

We have sequenced a Burkholderia genome that contains multiple replicons and large repetitive elements that would make it inherently difficult to assemble by short read sequencing technologies. We illustrate how the integrated long read correction algorithms implemented through the PacBio Single Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing technology successfully provided a de novo assembly that is a reasonable estimate of both the gene content and genome organization without making any further modifications. This assembly is comparable to related organisms assembled by more labour intensive methods. Our assembled genome revealed regions of genome plasticity for further investigation, one of which harbours a chlorocatechol degradative operon highly homologous to those previously identified on globally ubiquitous plasmids. In an ideal world, this assembly would still require experimental validation to confirm gene order and copy number of repeated elements. However, we submit that particularly in instances where a polished genome is not the primary goal of the sequencing project, PacBio SMRT sequencing provides a financially viable option for generating a biologically relevant genome estimate that can be utilized by other researchers for comparative studies. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.


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