April 21, 2020  |  

Whole-genome sequence of Arthrinium phaeospermum, a globally distributed pathogenic fungus.

Arthrinium phaeospermum (Corda) M.B. Ellis is a globally distributed pathogenic fungus with a wide host range; its hosts include not only plants, but also humans and animals. This study aimed to develop genomic resources for A. phaeospermum to provide solid data and a theoretical basis for further studies of its pathogenesis, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and RNA genomics. The genome was obtained from the mycelia of the strain AP-Z13 using a combination of analyses with the high-throughput Illumina HiSeq 4000 system and PacBio RSII LongRead sequencing platform. Functional annotation was performed by BLASTing protein sequences against those in different publicly available databases to obtain their corresponding annotations. The genome is 48.45?Mb in size, with an N90 scaffold size of 1,931,147?bp, and encodes 19,836 putative predicted genes. This is the first report of the genome-scale assembly and annotation for A. phaeospermum, the first species in the genus Arthrinium to be subjected to whole genome sequencing. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


April 21, 2020  |  

The Reference Genome Sequence of Scutellaria baicalensis Provides Insights into the Evolution of Wogonin Biosynthesis.

Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi is important in Chinese traditional medicine where preparations of dried roots, “Huang Qin,” are used for liver and lung complaints and as complementary cancer treatments. We report a high-quality reference genome sequence for S. baicalensis where 93% of the 408.14-Mb genome has been assembled into nine pseudochromosomes with a super-N50 of 33.2 Mb. Comparison of this sequence with those of closely related species in the order Lamiales, Sesamum indicum and Salvia splendens, revealed that a specialized metabolic pathway for the synthesis of 4′-deoxyflavone bioactives evolved in the genus Scutellaria. We found that the gene encoding a specific cinnamate coenzyme A ligase likely obtained its new function following recent mutations, and that four genes encoding enzymes in the 4′-deoxyflavone pathway are present as tandem repeats in the genome of S. baicalensis. Further analyses revealed that gene duplications, segmental duplication, gene amplification, and point mutations coupled to gene neo- and subfunctionalizations were involved in the evolution of 4′-deoxyflavone synthesis in the genus Scutellaria. Our study not only provides significant insight into the evolution of specific flavone biosynthetic pathways in the mint family, Lamiaceae, but also will facilitate the development of tools for enhancing bioactive productivity by metabolic engineering in microbes or by molecular breeding in plants. The reference genome of S. baicalensis is also useful for improving the genome assemblies for other members of the mint family and offers an important foundation for decoding the synthetic pathways of bioactive compounds in medicinal plants.Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


April 21, 2020  |  

Computational aspects underlying genome to phenome analysis in plants.

Recent advances in genomics technologies have greatly accelerated the progress in both fundamental plant science and applied breeding research. Concurrently, high-throughput plant phenotyping is becoming widely adopted in the plant community, promising to alleviate the phenotypic bottleneck. While these technological breakthroughs are significantly accelerating quantitative trait locus (QTL) and causal gene identification, challenges to enable even more sophisticated analyses remain. In particular, care needs to be taken to standardize, describe and conduct experiments robustly while relying on plant physiology expertise. In this article, we review the state of the art regarding genome assembly and the future potential of pangenomics in plant research. We also describe the necessity of standardizing and describing phenotypic studies using the Minimum Information About a Plant Phenotyping Experiment (MIAPPE) standard to enable the reuse and integration of phenotypic data. In addition, we show how deep phenotypic data might yield novel trait-trait correlations and review how to link phenotypic data to genomic data. Finally, we provide perspectives on the golden future of machine learning and their potential in linking phenotypes to genomic features. © 2018 The Authors The Plant Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Experimental Biology.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genome and transcriptome sequencing of the astaxanthin-producing green microalga, Haematococcus pluvialis.

Haematococcus pluvialis is a freshwater species of Chlorophyta, family Haematococcaceae. It is well known for its capacity to synthesize high amounts of astaxanthin, which is a strong antioxidant that has been utilized in aquaculture and cosmetics. To improve astaxanthin yield and to establish genetic resources for H. pluvialis, we performed whole-genome sequencing, assembly, and annotation of this green microalga. A total of 83.1 Gb of raw reads were sequenced. After filtering the raw reads, we subsequently generated a draft assembly with a genome size of 669.0?Mb, a scaffold N50 of 288.6?kb, and predicted 18,545 genes. We also established a robust phylogenetic tree from 14 representative algae species. With additional transcriptome data, we revealed some novel potential genes that are involved in the synthesis, accumulation, and regulation of astaxanthin production. In addition, we generated an isoform-level reference transcriptome set of 18,483 transcripts with high confidence. Alternative splicing analysis demonstrated that intron retention is the most frequent mode. In summary, we report the first draft genome of H. pluvialis. These genomic resources along with transcriptomic data provide a solid foundation for the discovery of the genetic basis for theoretical and commercial astaxanthin enrichment.


April 21, 2020  |  

Methylome and Metabolome Analyses Reveal Adaptive Mechanisms in Geobacter sulfurreducens Grown on Different Terminal Electron Acceptors.

The Geobacter species evolved respiratory versatility to utilize a wide range of terminal electron acceptors. To explore this adaptive mechanism, Fe(III) citrate, hydrous ferric oxide, and fumarate were selected as electron acceptors, and the methylome and metabolome of Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA grown on each electron acceptor were investigated via third-generation, single-molecule real-time DNA sequencing and gas chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry-based metabolomics, respectively. Results showed that the patterns of 4-methylcytosine (m4C) and 6-methyladenine (m6A) modification, the concentrations of fatty acids (e.g., caprylic acid, capric acid, and squalene), and the activity of antioxidant enzymes (e.g., superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione reductase) were all varied in different electron acceptor cultures. Moreover, genes (e.g., GSU0466 and GSU1467) with low expression levels generally had high methylation levels. These findings suggest that m4C and m6A modifications, fatty acids, and antioxidant enzymes all play a role in the adaptation of G. sulfurreducens to diverse electron acceptors, and DNA methylation may be involved in the adaptation mainly via gene expression regulation.


April 21, 2020  |  

High temperature-induced proteomic and metabolomic profiles of a thermophilic Bacillus manusensis isolated from the deep-sea hydrothermal field of Manus Basin.

Thermophiles are organisms that grow optimally at 50?°C-80?°C and studies on the survival mechanisms of thermophiles have drawn great attention. Bacillus manusensis S50-6 is the type strain of a new thermophilic species isolated from hydrothermal vent in Manus Basin. In this study, we examined the growth and global responses of S50-6 to high temperature on molecular level using multi-omics method (genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics). S50-6 grew optimally at 50?°C (Favorable, F) and poorly at 65?°C (Non-Favorable, NF); it formed spores at F but not at NF condition. At NF condition, S50-6 formed long filaments containing undivided cells. A total of 1621 proteins were identified at F and NF conditions, and 613 proteins were differentially expressed between F and NF. At NF condition, proteins of glycolysis, rRNA mature and modification, and DNA/protein repair were up-regulated, whereas proteins of sporulation and amino acid/nucleotide metabolism were down-regulated. Consistently, many metabolites associated with amino acid and nucleotide metabolic processes were down-regulated at NF condition. Our results revealed molecular strategies of deep-sea B. manusensis to survive at unfavorable high temperature and provided new insights into the thermotolerant mechanisms of thermophiles. SIGNIFICANCE: In this study, we systematically characterized the genomic, proteomic and metabolomic profiles of a thermophilic deep-sea Bacillus manusensis under different temperatures. Based on these analysis, we propose a model delineating the global responses of B. manusensis to unfavorable high temperature. Under unfavorable high temperature, glycolysis is a more important energy supply pathway; protein synthesis is subjected to more stringent regulation by increased tRNA modification; protein and DNA repair associated proteins are enhanced in production to promote heat survival. In contrast, energy-costing pathways, such as sporulation, are repressed, and basic metabolic pathways, such as amino acid and nucleotide metabolisms, are slowed down. Our results provide new insights into the thermotolerant mechanisms of thermophilic Bacillus.Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


April 21, 2020  |  

Modulation of metabolome and bacterial community in whole crop corn silage by inoculating homofermentative Lactobacillus plantarum and heterofermentative Lactobacillus buchneri.

The present study investigated the species level based microbial community and metabolome in corn silage inoculated with or without homofermentative Lactobacillus plantarum and heterofermentative Lactobacillus buchneri using the PacBio SMRT Sequencing and time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF/MS). Chopped whole crop corn was treated with (1) deionized water (control), (2) Lactobacillus plantarum, or (3) Lactobacillus buchneri. The chopped whole crop corn was ensiled in vacuum-sealed polyethylene bags containing 300 g of fresh forge for 90 days, with three replicates for each treatment. The results showed that a total of 979 substances were detected, and 316 different metabolites were identified. Some metabolites with antimicrobial activity were detected in whole crop corn silage, such as catechol, 3-phenyllactic acid, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, azelaic acid, 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid and 4-hydroxycinnamic acid. Catechol, pyrogallol and ferulic acid with antioxidant property, 4-hydroxybutyrate with nervine activity, and linoleic acid with cholesterol lowering effects, were detected in present study. In addition, a flavoring agent of myristic acid and a depression mitigation substance of phenylethylamine were also found in this study. Samples treated with inoculants presented more biofunctional metabolites of organic acids, amino acids and phenolic acids than untreated samples. The Lactobacillus species covered over 98% after ensiling, and were mainly comprised by the L. acetotolerans, L. silagei, L. parafarraginis, L. buchneri and L. odoratitofui. As compared to the control silage, inoculation of L. plantarum increased the relative abundances of L. acetotolerans, L. buchneri and L. parafarraginis, and a considerable decline in the proportion of L. silagei was observed; whereas an obvious decrease in L. acetotolerans and increases in L. odoratitofui and L. farciminis were observed in the L. buchneri inoculated silage. Therefore, inoculation of L. plantarum and L. buchneri regulated the microbial composition and metabolome of the corn silage with different behaviors. The present results indicated that profiling of silage microbiome and metabolome might improve our current understanding of the biological process underlying silage formation.


April 21, 2020  |  

The Not-so-Sterile Womb: Evidence That the Human Fetus Is Exposed to Bacteria Prior to Birth.

The human microbiome includes trillions of bacteria, many of which play a vital role in host physiology. Numerous studies have now detected bacterial DNA in first-pass meconium and amniotic fluid samples, suggesting that the human microbiome may commence in utero. However, these data have remained contentious due to underlying contamination issues. Here, we have used a previously described method for reducing contamination in microbiome workflows to determine if there is a fetal bacterial microbiome beyond the level of background contamination. We recruited 50 women undergoing non-emergency cesarean section deliveries with no evidence of intra-uterine infection and collected first-pass meconium and amniotic fluid samples. Full-length 16S rRNA gene sequencing was performed using PacBio SMRT cell technology, to allow high resolution profiling of the fetal gut and amniotic fluid bacterial microbiomes. Levels of inflammatory cytokines were measured in amniotic fluid, and levels of immunomodulatory short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) were quantified in meconium. All meconium samples and most amniotic fluid samples (36/43) contained bacterial DNA. The meconium microbiome was dominated by reads that mapped to Pelomonas puraquae. Aside from this species, the meconium microbiome was remarkably heterogeneous between patients. The amniotic fluid microbiome was more diverse and contained mainly reads that mapped to typical skin commensals, including Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus spp. All meconium samples contained acetate and propionate, at ratios similar to those previously reported in infants. P. puraquae reads were inversely correlated with meconium propionate levels. Amniotic fluid cytokine levels were associated with the amniotic fluid microbiome. Our results demonstrate that bacterial DNA and SCFAs are present in utero, and have the potential to influence the developing fetal immune system.


April 21, 2020  |  

Closing the Yield Gap for Cannabis: A Meta-Analysis of Factors Determining Cannabis Yield.

Until recently, the commercial production of Cannabis sativa was restricted to varieties that yielded high-quality fiber while producing low levels of the psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In the last few years, a number of jurisdictions have legalized the production of medical and/or recreational cannabis with higher levels of THC, and other jurisdictions seem poised to follow suit. Consequently, demand for industrial-scale production of high yield cannabis with consistent cannabinoid profiles is expected to increase. In this paper we highlight that currently, projected annual production of cannabis is based largely on facility size, not yield per square meter. This meta-analysis of cannabis yields reported in scientific literature aimed to identify the main factors contributing to cannabis yield per plant, per square meter, and per W of lighting electricity. In line with previous research we found that variety, plant density, light intensity and fertilization influence cannabis yield and cannabinoid content; we also identified pot size, light type and duration of the flowering period as predictors of yield and THC accumulation. We provide insight into the critical role of light intensity, quality, and photoperiod in determining cannabis yields, with particular focus on the potential for light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to improve growth and reduce energy requirements. We propose that the vast amount of genomics data currently available for cannabis can be used to better understand the effect of genotype on yield. Finally, we describe diversification that is likely to emerge in cannabis growing systems and examine the potential role of plant-growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) for growth promotion, regulation of cannabinoid biosynthesis, and biocontrol.


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