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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Case Study: Diving Deep – Revealing the mysteries of marine life with SMRT Sequencing

Many scientists are using PacBio Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing to explore the genomes and transcriptomes of a wide variety of marine species and ecosystems. These studies are already adding to our understanding of how marine species adapt and evolve, contributing to conservation efforts, and informing how we can optimize food production through efficient aquaculture.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Polysaccharide utilization loci of North Sea Flavobacteriia as basis for using SusC/D-protein expression for predicting major phytoplankton glycans.

Marine algae convert a substantial fraction of fixed carbon dioxide into various polysaccharides. Flavobacteriia that are specialized on algal polysaccharide degradation feature genomic clusters termed polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs). As knowledge on extant PUL diversity is sparse, we sequenced the genomes of 53 North Sea Flavobacteriia and obtained 400 PULs. Bioinformatic PUL annotations suggest usage of a large array of polysaccharides, including laminarin, a-glucans, and alginate as well as mannose-, fucose-, and xylose-rich substrates. Many of the PULs exhibit new genetic architectures and suggest substrates rarely described for marine environments. The isolates’ PUL repertoires often differed considerably within genera, corroborating…

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

High resolution profiling of coral-associated bacterial communities using full-length 16S rRNA sequence data from PacBio SMRT sequencing system.

Coral reefs are a complex ecosystem consisting of coral animals and a vast array of associated symbionts including the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium, fungi, viruses and bacteria. Several studies have highlighted the importance of coral-associated bacteria and their fundamental roles in fitness and survival of the host animal. The scleractinian coral Porites lutea is one of the dominant reef-builders in the Indo-West Pacific. Currently, very little is known about the composition and structure of bacterial communities across P. lutea reefs. The purpose of this study is twofold: to demonstrate the advantages of using PacBio circular consensus sequencing technology in microbial community studies…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Is there foul play in the leaf pocket? The metagenome of floating fern Azolla reveals endophytes that do not fix N2 but may denitrify.

Dinitrogen fixation by Nostoc azollae residing in specialized leaf pockets supports prolific growth of the floating fern Azolla filiculoides. To evaluate contributions by further microorganisms, the A. filiculoides microbiome and nitrogen metabolism in bacteria persistently associated with Azolla ferns were characterized. A metagenomic approach was taken complemented by detection of N2 O released and nitrogen isotope determinations of fern biomass. Ribosomal RNA genes in sequenced DNA of natural ferns, their enriched leaf pockets and water filtrate from the surrounding ditch established that bacteria of A. filiculoides differed entirely from surrounding water and revealed species of the order Rhizobiales. Analyses of seven cultivated…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A comprehensive fungi-specific 18S rRNA gene sequence primer toolkit suited for diverse research issues and sequencing platforms.

Several fungi-specific primers target the 18S rRNA gene sequence, one of the prominent markers for fungal classification. The design of most primers goes back to the last decades. Since then, the number of sequences in public databases increased leading to the discovery of new fungal groups and changes in fungal taxonomy. However, no reevaluation of primers was carried out and relevant information on most primers is missing. With this study, we aimed to develop an 18S rRNA gene sequence primer toolkit allowing an easy selection of the best primer pair appropriate for different sequencing platforms, research aims (biodiversity assessment versus…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Single-cell (meta-)genomics of a dimorphic Candidatus Thiomargarita nelsonii reveals genomic plasticity.

The genus Thiomargarita includes the world’s largest bacteria. But as uncultured organisms, their physiology, metabolism, and basis for their gigantism are not well understood. Thus, a genomics approach, applied to a single Candidatus Thiomargarita nelsonii cell was employed to explore the genetic potential of one of these enigmatic giant bacteria. The Thiomargarita cell was obtained from an assemblage of budding Ca. T. nelsonii attached to a provannid gastropod shell from Hydrate Ridge, a methane seep offshore of Oregon, USA. Here we present a manually curated genome of Bud S10 resulting from a hybrid assembly of long Pacific Biosciences and short…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Precise fecal microbiome of the herbivorous Tibetan antelope inhabiting high-altitude alpine plateau

The metataxonomic approach combining 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing using the PacBio technology with the application of the operational phylogenetic unit (OPU) approach, has been used to analyze the fecal microbial composition of the high-altitude and herbivorous Tibetan antelopes. The fecal samples of the antelope were collected in Hoh Xil National Nature Reserve, at an altitude over 4500 m, the largest depopulated zone in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China, where non-native animals or humans may experience life-threatening acute mountain sickness. In total, 104 antelope fecal samples were enrolled in this study, and were clustered into 61,258 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) at an…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Mesoscale variability of the summer bloom over the northern Ross Sea shelf: A tale of two banks

Multi-year satellite records indicate an asymmetric spatial pattern in the summer bloom in the Northern Ross Sea, with the largest blooms over the shallows of Pennell Bank compared to Mawson Bank. In 2010–2011, high-resolution spatiotemporal in situ sampling focused on these two banks to better understand factors contributing to this pattern. Dissolved and particulate Fe profiles suggested similar surface water depletion of dissolved Fe on both banks. The surface sediments and velocity observations indicate a more energetic water column over Mawson Bank. Consequently, the surface mixed layer over Pennell Bank was more homogeneous and shallower. Over Mawson Bank we observed…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Towards long-read metagenomics: complete assembly of three novel genomes from bacteria dependent on a diazotrophic cyanobacterium in a freshwater lake co-culture.

Here we report three complete bacterial genome assemblies from a PacBio shotgun metagenome of a co-culture from Upper Klamath Lake, OR. Genome annotations and culture conditions indicate these bacteria are dependent on carbon and nitrogen fixation from the cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, whose genome was assembled to draft-quality. Due to their taxonomic novelty relative to previously sequenced bacteria, we have temporarily designated these bacteria as incertae sedis Hyphomonadaceae strain UKL13-1 (3,501,508 bp and 56.12% GC), incertae sedis Betaproteobacterium strain UKL13-2 (3,387,087 bp and 54.98% GC), and incertae sedis Bacteroidetes strain UKL13-3 (3,236,529 bp and 37.33% GC). Each genome consists of a single circular chromosome…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Metagenomic binning of a marine sponge microbiome reveals unity in defense but metabolic specialization.

Marine sponges are ancient metazoans that are populated by distinct and highly diverse microbial communities. In order to obtain deeper insights into the functional gene repertoire of the Mediterranean sponge Aplysina aerophoba, we combined Illumina short-read and PacBio long-read sequencing followed by un-targeted metagenomic binning. We identified a total of 37 high-quality bins representing 11 bacterial phyla and two candidate phyla. Statistical comparison of symbiont genomes with selected reference genomes revealed a significant enrichment of genes related to bacterial defense (restriction-modification systems, toxin-antitoxin systems) as well as genes involved in host colonization and extracellular matrix utilization in sponge symbionts. A…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Metabolic versatility of a novel N2-fixing Alphaproteobacterium isolated from a marine oxygen minimum zone.

The N2-fixing (diazotrophic) community in marine ecosystems is dominated by non-cyanobacterial microorganisms. Yet, very little is known about their identity, function and ecological relevance due to a lack of cultured representatives. Here we report a novel heterotrophic diazotroph isolated from the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) off Peru. The new species belongs to the genus Sagittula (Rhodobacteraceae, Alphaproteobacteria) and its capability to fix N2was confirmed in laboratory experiments. Genome sequencing revealed that it is a strict heterotroph with a high versatility in substrate utilization and energy acquisition mechanisms. Pathways for sulfide oxidation and nitrite reduction to nitrous oxide are encoded in…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Characterization and heterologous expression of the neoabyssomicin/abyssomicin biosynthetic gene cluster from Streptomyces koyangensis SCSIO 5802.

The deep-sea-derived microbe Streptomyces koyangensis SCSIO 5802 produces neoabyssomicins A-B (1-2) and abyssomicins 2 (3) and 4 (4). Neoabyssomicin A (1) augments human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) replication whereas abyssomicin 2 (3) selectively reactivates latent HIV and is also active against Gram-positive pathogens including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Structurally, neoabyssomicins A-B constitute a new subtype within the abyssomicin family and feature unique structural traits characteristic of extremely interesting biosynthetic transformations.In this work, the biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC) for the neoabyssomicins and abyssomicins, composed of 28 opening reading frames, was identified in S. koyangensis SCSIO 5802, and its role in neoabyssomicin/abyssomicin biosynthesis…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genome sequencing of Streptomyces atratus SCSIOZH16 and activation production of nocardamine via metabolic engineering.

The Actinomycetes are metabolically flexible microorganisms capable of producing a wide range of interesting compounds, including but by no means limited to, siderophores which have high affinity for ferric iron. In this study, we report the complete genome sequence of marine-derived Streptomyces atratus ZH16 and the activation of an embedded siderophore gene cluster via the application of metabolic engineering methods. The S. atratus ZH16 genome reveals that this strain has the potential to produce 26 categories of natural products (NPs) barring the ilamycins. Our activation studies revealed S. atratus SCSIO ZH16 to be a promising source of the production of…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Biosynthetic Baeyer-Villiger chemistry enables access to two anthracene scaffolds from a single gene cluster in Deep-Sea-derived Streptomyces olivaceus SCSIO T05.

Four known compounds, rishirilide B (1), rishirilide C (2), lupinacidin A (3), and galvaquinone B (4), representing two anthracene scaffolds typical of aromatic polyketides, were isolated from a culture of the deep-sea-derived Streptomyces olivaceus SCSIO T05. From the S. olivaceus producer was cloned and sequenced the rsd biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC) that drives rishirilide biosynthesis. The structural gene rsdK2 inactivation and heterologous expression of the rsd BGC confirmed the single rsd BGC encodes construction of 1-4 and, thus, accounts for two anthracene scaffolds. Precursor incubation experiments with 13C-labeled acetate revealed that a Baeyer-Villiger-type rearrangement plays a central role in construction…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Antimicrobial resistance profile of mcr-1 positive clinical isolates of Escherichia coli in China From 2013 to 2016.

Multidrug-resistant (MDR) Escherichia coli poses a great challenge for public health in recent decades. Polymyxins have been reconsidered as a valuable therapeutic option for the treatment of infections caused by MDR E. coli. A plasmid-encoded colistin resistance gene mcr-1 encoding phosphoethanolamine transferase has been recently described in Enterobacteriaceae. In this study, a total of 123 E. coli isolates obtained from patients with diarrheal diseases in China were used for the genetic analysis of colistin resistance in clinical isolates. Antimicrobial resistance profile of polymyxin B (PB) and 11 commonly used antimicrobial agents were determined. Among the 123 E. coli isolates, 9…

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