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Friday, July 19, 2019

Single molecule-level detection and long read-based phasing of epigenetic variations in bacterial methylomes.

Beyond its role in host defense, bacterial DNA methylation also plays important roles in the regulation of gene expression, virulence and antibiotic resistance. Bacterial cells in a clonal population can generate epigenetic heterogeneity to increase population-level phenotypic plasticity. Single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing enables the detection of N6-methyladenine and N4-methylcytosine, two major types of DNA modifications comprising the bacterial methylome. However, existing SMRT sequencing-based methods for studying bacterial methylomes rely on a population-level consensus that lacks the single-cell resolution required to observe epigenetic heterogeneity. Here, we present SMALR (single-molecule modification analysis of long reads), a novel framework for single molecule-level…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Lineage-specific methyltransferases define the methylome of the globally disseminated Escherichia coli ST131 clone.

Escherichia coli sequence type 131 (ST131) is a clone of uropathogenic E. coli that has emerged rapidly and disseminated globally in both clinical and community settings. Members of the ST131 lineage from across the globe have been comprehensively characterized in terms of antibiotic resistance, virulence potential, and pathogenicity, but to date nothing is known about the methylome of these important human pathogens. Here we used single-molecule real-time (SMRT) PacBio sequencing to determine the methylome of E. coli EC958, the most-well-characterized completely sequenced ST131 strain. Our analysis of 52,081 methylated adenines in the genome of EC958 discovered three (m6)A methylation motifs that have…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

DNA methylation assessed by SMRT Sequencing is linked to mutations in Neisseria meningitidis isolates.

The Gram-negative bacterium Neisseria meningitidis features extensive genetic variability. To present, proposed virulence genotypes are also detected in isolates from asymptomatic carriers, indicating more complex mechanisms underlying variable colonization modes of N. meningitidis. We applied the Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing method from Pacific Biosciences to assess the genome-wide DNA modification profiles of two genetically related N. meningitidis strains, both of serogroup A. The resulting DNA methylomes revealed clear divergences, represented by the detection of shared and of strain-specific DNA methylation target motifs. The positional distribution of these methylated target sites within the genomic sequences displayed clear biases, which suggest…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Precision methylome characterization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) using PacBio single-molecule real-time (SMRT) technology.

Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the most common infectious diseases caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC). To panoramically analyze MTBC’s genomic methylation, we completed the genomes of 12 MTBC strains (Mycobacterium bovis; M. bovis BCG; M. microti; M. africanum; M. tuberculosis H37Rv; H37Ra; and 6 M. tuberculosis clinical isolates) belonging to different lineages and characterized their methylomes using single-molecule real-time (SMRT) technology. We identified three (m6)A sequence motifs and their corresponding methyltransferase (MTase) genes, including the reported mamA, hsdM and a newly discovered mamB. We also experimentally verified the methylated motifs and functions of HsdM and MamB. Our analysis indicated…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

The complete genome sequence of the murine pathobiont Helicobacter typhlonius.

Immuno-compromised mice infected with Helicobacter typhlonius are used to model microbially inducted inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The specific mechanism through which H. typhlonius induces and promotes IBD is not fully understood. Access to the genome sequence is essential to examine emergent properties of this organism, such as its pathogenicity. To this end, we present the complete genome sequence of H. typhlonius MIT 97-6810, obtained through single-molecule real-time sequencing.The genome was assembled into a single circularized contig measuring 1.92 Mbp with an average GC content of 38.8%. In total 2,117 protein-encoding genes and 43 RNA genes were identified. Numerous pathogenic features…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

DNA methylation on N(6)-adenine in mammalian embryonic stem cells.

It has been widely accepted that 5-methylcytosine is the only form of DNA methylation in mammalian genomes. Here we identify N(6)-methyladenine as another form of DNA modification in mouse embryonic stem cells. Alkbh1 encodes a demethylase for N(6)-methyladenine. An increase of N(6)-methyladenine levels in Alkbh1-deficient cells leads to transcriptional silencing. N(6)-methyladenine deposition is inversely correlated with the evolutionary age of LINE-1 transposons; its deposition is strongly enriched at young (6 million years old) L1 elements. The deposition of N(6)-methyladenine correlates with epigenetic silencing of such LINE-1 transposons, together with their neighbouring enhancers and genes, thereby resisting the gene activation signals…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Biosynthesis and function of modified bases in bacteria and their viruses.

Naturally occurring modification of the canonical A, G, C, and T bases can be found in the DNA of cellular organisms and viruses from all domains of life. Bacterial viruses (bacteriophages) are a particularly rich but still underexploited source of such modified variant nucleotides. The modifications conserve the coding and base-pairing functions of DNA, but add regulatory and protective functions. In prokaryotes, modified bases appear primarily to be part of an arms race between bacteriophages (and other genomic parasites) and their hosts, although, as in eukaryotes, some modifications have been adapted to convey epigenetic information. The first half of this…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Methylome analysis of two Xanthomonas spp. using Single-Molecule Real-Time Sequencing.

Single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing allows identification of methylated DNA bases and methylation patterns/motifs at the genome level. Using SMRT sequencing, diverse bacterial methylomes including those of Helicobacter pylori, Lactobacillus spp., and Escherichia coli have been determined, and previously unreported DNA methylation motifs have been identified. However, the methylomes of Xanthomonas species, which belong to the most important plant pathogenic bacterial genus, have not been documented. Here, we report the methylomes of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. glycines (Xag) strain 8ra and X. campestris pv. vesicatoria (Xcv) strain 85-10. We identified N(6)-methyladenine (6mA) and N(4)-methylcytosine (4mC) modification in both genomes. In addition, we…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

SMRT genome assembly corrects reference errors, resolving the genetic basis of virulence in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

The genetic basis of virulence in Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been investigated through genome comparisons of virulent (H37Rv) and attenuated (H37Ra) sister strains. Such analysis, however, relies heavily on the accuracy of the sequences. While the H37Rv reference genome has had several corrections to date, that of H37Ra is unmodified since its original publication.Here, we report the assembly and finishing of the H37Ra genome from single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing. Our assembly reveals that the number of H37Ra-specific variants is less than half of what the Sanger-based H37Ra reference sequence indicates, undermining and, in some cases, invalidating the conclusions of several studies.…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Widespread adenine N6-methylation of active genes in fungi.

N6-methyldeoxyadenine (6mA) is a noncanonical DNA base modification present at low levels in plant and animal genomes, but its prevalence and association with genome function in other eukaryotic lineages remains poorly understood. Here we report that abundant 6mA is associated with transcriptionally active genes in early-diverging fungal lineages. Using single-molecule long-read sequencing of 16 diverse fungal genomes, we observed that up to 2.8% of all adenines were methylated in early-diverging fungi, far exceeding levels observed in other eukaryotes and more derived fungi. 6mA occurred symmetrically at ApT dinucleotides and was concentrated in dense methylated adenine clusters surrounding the transcriptional start…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Methylation in Mycobacterium tuberculosis is lineage specific with associated mutations present globally.

DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification of the genome involved in regulating crucial cellular processes, including transcription and chromosome stability. Advances in PacBio sequencing technologies can be used to robustly reveal methylation sites. The methylome of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex is poorly understood but may be involved in virulence, hypoxic survival and the emergence of drug resistance. In the most extensive study to date, we characterise the methylome across the 4 major lineages of M. tuberculosis and 2 lineages of M. africanum, the leading causes of tuberculosis disease in humans. We reveal lineage-specific methylated motifs and strain-specific mutations that are…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Resolving the complete genome of Kuenenia stuttgartiensis from a membrane bioreactor enrichment using Single-Molecule Real-Time sequencing.

Anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bacteria are a group of strictly anaerobic chemolithoautotrophic microorganisms. They are capable of oxidizing ammonium to nitrogen gas using nitrite as a terminal electron acceptor, thereby facilitating the release of fixed nitrogen into the atmosphere. The anammox process is thought to exert a profound impact on the global nitrogen cycle and has been harnessed as an environment-friendly method for nitrogen removal from wastewater. In this study, we present the first closed genome sequence of an anammox bacterium, Kuenenia stuttgartiensis MBR1. It was obtained through Single-Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing of an enrichment culture constituting a mixture of at…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

The highly heterogeneous methylated genomes and diverse restriction-modification systems of bloom-forming Microcystis.

The occurrence of harmful Microcystis blooms is increasing in frequency in a myriad of freshwater ecosystems. Despite considerable research pertaining to the cause and nature of these blooms, the molecular mechanisms behind the cosmopolitan distribution and phenotypic diversity in Microcystis are still unclear. We compared the patterns and extent of DNA methylation in three strains of Microcystis, PCC 7806SL, NIES-2549 and FACHB-1757, using Single Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing technology. Intact restriction-modification (R-M) systems were identified from the genomes of these strains, and from two previously sequenced strains of Microcystis, NIES-843 and TAIHU98. A large number of methylation motifs and R-M…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Identification and analysis of adenine N6-methylation sites in the rice genome.

DNA N6-methyladenine (6mA) is a non-canonical DNA modification that is present at low levels in different eukaryotes1-8, but its prevalence and genomic function in higher plants are unclear. Using mass spectrometry, immunoprecipitation and validation with analysis of single-molecule real-time sequencing, we observed that about 0.2% of all adenines are 6mA methylated in the rice genome. 6mA occurs most frequently at GAGG motifs and is mapped to about 20% of genes and 14% of transposable elements. In promoters, 6mA marks silent genes, but in bodies correlates with gene activity. 6mA overlaps with 5-methylcytosine (5mC) at CG sites in gene bodies and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Complete genome sequence of the Clostridium difficile laboratory strain 630¿ erm reveals differences from strain 630, including translocation of the mobile element CTn 5.

Background Clostridium difficile strain 630¿erm is a spontaneous erythromycin sensitive derivative of the reference strain 630 obtained by serial passaging in antibiotic-free media. It is widely used as a defined and tractable C. difficile strain. Though largely similar to the ancestral strain, it demonstrates phenotypic differences that might be the result of underlying genetic changes. Here, we performed a de novo assembly based on single-molecule real-time sequencing and an analysis of major methylation patterns.ResultsIn addition to single nucleotide polymorphisms and various indels, we found that the mobile element CTn5 is present in the gene encoding the methyltransferase rumA rather than…

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