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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Computational identification of novel genes: current and future perspectives.

While it has long been thought that all genomic novelties are derived from the existing material, many genes lacking homology to known genes were found in recent genome projects. Some of these novel genes were proposed to have evolved de novo, ie, out of noncoding sequences, whereas some have been shown to follow a duplication and divergence process. Their discovery called for an extension of the historical hypotheses about gene origination. Besides the theoretical breakthrough, increasing evidence accumulated that novel genes play important roles in evolutionary processes, including adaptation and speciation events. Different techniques are available to identify genes and…

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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

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…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A comprehensive approach to expression of L1 loci.

L1 elements represent the only currently active, autonomous retrotransposon in the human genome, and they make major contributions to human genetic instability. The vast majority of the 500 000 L1 elements in the genome are defective, and only a relatively few can contribute to the retrotransposition process. However, there is currently no comprehensive approach to identify the specific loci that are actively transcribed separate from the excess of L1-related sequences that are co-transcribed within genes. We have developed RNA-Seq procedures, as well as a 1200 bp 5? RACE product coupled with PACBio sequencing that can identify the specific L1 loci…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genomics and host specialization of honey bee and bumble bee gut symbionts.

Gilliamella apicola and Snodgrassella alvi are dominant members of the honey bee (Apis spp.) and bumble bee (Bombus spp.) gut microbiota. We generated complete genomes of the type strains G. apicola wkB1(T) and S. alvi wkB2(T) (isolated from Apis), as well as draft genomes for four other strains from Bombus. G. apicola and S. alvi were found to occupy very different metabolic niches: The former is a saccharolytic fermenter, whereas the latter is an oxidizer of carboxylic acids. Together, they may form a syntrophic network for partitioning of metabolic resources. Both species possessed numerous genes [type 6 secretion systems, repeats…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

PacBio sequencing and its applications.

Single-molecule, real-time sequencing developed by Pacific BioSciences offers longer read lengths than the second-generation sequencing (SGS) technologies, making it well-suited for unsolved problems in genome, transcriptome, and epigenetics research. The highly-contiguous de novo assemblies using PacBio sequencing can close gaps in current reference assemblies and characterize structural variation (SV) in personal genomes. With longer reads, we can sequence through extended repetitive regions and detect mutations, many of which are associated with diseases. Moreover, PacBio transcriptome sequencing is advantageous for the identification of gene isoforms and facilitates reliable discoveries of novel genes and novel isoforms of annotated genes, due to its…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Long-read sequencing and de novo assembly of a Chinese genome.

Short-read sequencing has enabled the de novo assembly of several individual human genomes, but with inherent limitations in characterizing repeat elements. Here we sequence a Chinese individual HX1 by single-molecule real-time (SMRT) long-read sequencing, construct a physical map by NanoChannel arrays and generate a de novo assembly of 2.93?Gb (contig N50: 8.3?Mb, scaffold N50: 22.0?Mb, including 39.3?Mb N-bases), together with 206?Mb of alternative haplotypes. The assembly fully or partially fills 274 (28.4%) N-gaps in the reference genome GRCh38. Comparison to GRCh38 reveals 12.8?Mb of HX1-specific sequences, including 4.1?Mb that are not present in previously reported Asian genomes. Furthermore, long-read sequencing…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Prey range and genome evolution of Halobacteriovorax marinus predatory bacteria from an estuary

Halobacteriovorax strains are saltwater-adapted predatory bacteria that attack Gram-negative bacteria and may play an important role in shaping microbial communities. To understand how Halobacteriovorax strains impact ecosystems and develop them as biocontrol agents, it is important to characterize variation in predation phenotypes and investigate Halobacteriovorax genome evolution. We isolated Halobacteriovorax marinus BE01 from an estuary in Rhode Island using Vibrio from the same site as prey. Small, fast-moving, attack-phase BE01 cells attach to and invade prey cells, consistent with the intraperiplasmic predation strategy of the H. marinus type strain, SJ. BE01 is a prey generalist, forming plaques on Vibrio strains from…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparative genome and phenotypic analysis of three Clostridioides difficile strains isolated from a single patient provide insight into multiple infection of C. difficile.

Clostridioides difficile infections (CDI) have emerged over the past decade causing symptoms that range from mild, antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) to life-threatening toxic megacolon. In this study, we describe a multiple and isochronal (mixed) CDI caused by the isolates DSM 27638, DSM 27639 and DSM 27640 that already initially showed different morphotypes on solid media.The three isolates belonging to the ribotypes (RT) 012 (DSM 27639) and 027 (DSM 27638 and DSM 27640) were phenotypically characterized and high quality closed genome sequences were generated. The genomes were compared with seven reference strains including three strains of the RT 027, two of the…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Complete nucleotide sequences of two KPC-2-encoding plasmids from the same Citrobacter freundii isolate.

Large amounts of antibiotics are released from humans and animals into aquatic environments and lead to an increased abundance of environmental MDR bacteria, which pose a potential threat to public health. It is worrisome that the entry of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) into the environment is increasingly reported; these carbapenem-resistant bacteria pose a severe health threat as few therapeutic options are available for such pathogens. Although culture-independent approaches are capable of revealing the vast genetic diversity of the environmental resistome, there are few data regarding deeper characterization of mechanisms of environmental CPE isolates. Here, we describe the complete sequences of two…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genetic basis of emerging vancomycin, linezolid, and daptomycin heteroresistance in a case of persistent Enterococcus faecium bacteremia.

Whole-genome sequencing was used to examine a persistent Enterococcus faecium bacteremia that acquired heteroresistance to three antibiotics in response to prolonged multidrug therapy. A comparison of the complete genomes before and after each change revealed the emergence of known resistance determinants for vancomycin and linezolid and suggested that a novel mutation in fabF, encoding a fatty acid synthase, was responsible for daptomycin nonsusceptibility. Plasmid recombination contributed to the progressive loss of vancomycin resistance after withdrawal of the drug. Copyright © 2018 Chacko et al.

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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

In vitro culture of the insect endosymbiont Spiroplasma poulsonii highlights bacterial genes involved in host-symbiont interaction.

Endosymbiotic bacteria associated with eukaryotic hosts are omnipresent in nature, particularly in insects. Studying the bacterial side of host-symbiont interactions is, however, often limited by the unculturability and genetic intractability of the symbionts. Spiroplasma poulsonii is a maternally transmitted bacterial endosymbiont that is naturally associated with several Drosophila species. S. poulsonii strongly affects its host’s physiology, for example by causing male killing or by protecting it against various parasites. Despite intense work on this model since the 1950s, attempts to cultivate endosymbiotic Spiroplasma in vitro have failed so far. Here, we developed a method to sustain the in vitro culture of…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The global distribution and spread of the mobilized colistin resistance gene mcr-1.

Colistin represents one of the few available drugs for treating infections caused by carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. As such, the recent plasmid-mediated spread of the colistin resistance gene mcr-1 poses a significant public health threat, requiring global monitoring and surveillance. Here, we characterize the global distribution of mcr-1 using a data set of 457 mcr-1-positive sequenced isolates. We find mcr-1 in various plasmid types but identify an immediate background common to all mcr-1 sequences. Our analyses establish that all mcr-1 elements in circulation descend from the same initial mobilization of mcr-1 by an ISApl1 transposon in the mid 2000s (2002-2008; 95% highest…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance in Shigella flexneriisolated from macaques.

Non-human primates (NHPs) for biomedical research are commonly infected with Shigella spp. that can cause acute dysentery or chronic episodic diarrhea. These animals are often prophylactically and clinically treated with quinolone antibiotics to eradicate these possible infections. However, chromosomally- and plasmid-mediated antibiotic resistance has become an emerging concern for species in the family Enterobacteriaceae. In this study, five individual isolates of multi-drug resistant Shigella flexneri were isolated from the feces of three macaques. Antibiotic susceptibility testing confirmed resistance or decreased susceptibility to ampicillin, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, cephalosporins, gentamicin, tetracycline, ciprofloxacin, enrofloxacin, levofloxacin, and nalidixic acid. S. flexneri isolates were susceptible to…

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