July 7, 2019  |  

Short communication: Single molecule, real-time sequencing technology revealed species- and strain-specific methylation patterns of 2 Lactobacillus strains.

Pacific Biosciences’ (Menlo Park, CA) single molecule, real-time sequencing technology was reported to have some advantages in generating finished genomes and characterizing the epigenome of bacteria. In the present study, this technology was used to sequence 2 Lactobacillus strains, Lactobacillus casei Zhang and Lactobacillus plantarum P-8. Previously, the former bacterium was sequenced by an Applied Biosystems 3730 DNA analyzer (Grand Island, NY), whereas the latter one was analyzed with Roche 454 (Indianapolis, IN) and Illumina sequencing technologies (San Diego, CA). The results showed that single molecule, real-time sequencing resulted in high-quality, finished genomes for both strains. Interestingly, epigenome analysis indicates the presence of 1 active N(6)-methyladenine methyltransferase in L. casei Zhang, but none in L. plantarum P-8. Our study revealed for the first time a completely different methylation pattern in 2 Lactobacillus strains. Copyright © 2015 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

DNA N(6)-methyladenine: a new epigenetic mark in eukaryotes?

DNA N(6)-adenine methylation (N(6)-methyladenine; 6mA) in prokaryotes functions primarily in the host defence system. The prevalence and significance of this modification in eukaryotes had been unclear until recently. Here, we discuss recent publications documenting the presence of 6mA in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans; consider possible roles for this DNA modification in regulating transcription, the activity of transposable elements and transgenerational epigenetic inheritance; and propose 6mA as a new epigenetic mark in eukaryotes.


July 7, 2019  |  

Whole-genome sequence of an evolved Clostridium pasteurianum strain reveals Spo0A deficiency responsible for increased butanol production and superior growth.

Biodiesel production results in crude glycerol waste from the transesterification of fatty acids (10 % w/w). The solventogenic Clostridium pasteurianum, an anaerobic Firmicute, can produce butanol from glycerol as the sole carbon source. Coupling butanol fermentation with biodiesel production can improve the overall economic viability of biofuels. However, crude glycerol contains growth-inhibiting byproducts which reduce feedstock consumption and solvent production.To obtain a strain with improved characteristics, a random mutagenesis and directed evolution selection technique was used. A wild-type C. pasteurianum (ATCC 6013) culture was chemically mutagenized, and the resulting population underwent 10 days of selection in increasing concentrations of crude glycerol (80-150 g/L). The best-performing mutant (M150B) showed a 91 % increase in butanol production in 100 g/L crude glycerol compared to the wild-type strain, as well as increased growth rate, a higher final optical density, and less production of the side product PDO (1,3-propanediol). Wild-type and M150B strains were sequenced via Single Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing. Mutations introduced to the M150B genome were identified by sequence comparison to the wild-type and published closed sequences. A major mutation (a deletion) in the gene of the master transcriptional regulator of sporulation, Spo0A, was identified. A spo0A single gene knockout strain was constructed using a double–crossover genome-editing method. The Spo0A-deficient strain showed similar tolerance to crude glycerol as the evolved mutant strain M150B. Methylation patterns on genomic DNA identified by SMRT sequencing were used to transform plasmid DNA to overcome the native C. pasteurianum restriction endonuclease.Solvent production in the absence of Spo0A shows C. pasteurianum differs in solvent-production regulation compared to other solventogenic Clostridium. Growth-associated butanol production shows C. pasteurianum to be an attractive option for further engineering as it may prove a better candidate for butanol production through continuous fermentation.


July 7, 2019  |  

Methylome diversification through changes in DNA methyltransferase sequence specificity.

Epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation have large effects on gene expression and genome maintenance. Helicobacter pylori, a human gastric pathogen, has a large number of DNA methyltransferase genes, with different strains having unique repertoires. Previous genome comparisons suggested that these methyltransferases often change DNA sequence specificity through domain movement–the movement between and within genes of coding sequences of target recognition domains. Using single-molecule real-time sequencing technology, which detects N6-methyladenines and N4-methylcytosines with single-base resolution, we studied methylated DNA sites throughout the H. pylori genome for several closely related strains. Overall, the methylome was highly variable among closely related strains. Hypermethylated regions were found, for example, in rpoB gene for RNA polymerase. We identified DNA sequence motifs for methylation and then assigned each of them to a specific homology group of the target recognition domains in the specificity-determining genes for Type I and other restriction-modification systems. These results supported proposed mechanisms for sequence-specificity changes in DNA methyltransferases. Knocking out one of the Type I specificity genes led to transcriptome changes, which suggested its role in gene expression. These results are consistent with the concept of evolution driven by DNA methylation, in which changes in the methylome lead to changes in the transcriptome and potentially to changes in phenotype, providing targets for natural or artificial selection.


July 7, 2019  |  

Type I restriction enzymes and their relatives.

Type I restriction enzymes (REases) are large pentameric proteins with separate restriction (R), methylation (M) and DNA sequence-recognition (S) subunits. They were the first REases to be discovered and purified, but unlike the enormously useful Type II REases, they have yet to find a place in the enzymatic toolbox of molecular biologists. Type I enzymes have been difficult to characterize, but this is changing as genome analysis reveals their genes, and methylome analysis reveals their recognition sequences. Several Type I REases have been studied in detail and what has been learned about them invites greater attention. In this article, we discuss aspects of the biochemistry, biology and regulation of Type I REases, and of the mechanisms that bacteriophages and plasmids have evolved to evade them. Type I REases have a remarkable ability to change sequence specificity by domain shuffling and rearrangements. We summarize the classic experiments and observations that led to this discovery, and we discuss how this ability depends on the modular organizations of the enzymes and of their S subunits. Finally, we describe examples of Type II restriction-modification systems that have features in common with Type I enzymes, with emphasis on the varied Type IIG enzymes.


July 7, 2019  |  

Whole-genome assembly of Klebsiella pneumoniae coproducing NDM-1 and OXA-232 carbapenemases using Single-Molecule, Real-Time Sequencing.

The whole-genome sequence of a carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae strain, PittNDM01, which coproduces NDM-1 and OXA-232 carbapenemases, was determined in this study. The use of single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing provided a closed genome in a single sequencing run. K. pneumoniae PittNDM01 has a single chromosome of 5,348,284 bp and four plasmids: pPKPN1 (283,371 bp), pPKPN2 (103,694 bp), pPKPN3 (70,814 bp), and pPKPN4 (6,141 bp). The contents of the chromosome were similar to that of the K. pneumoniae reference genome strain MGH 78578, with the exception of a large inversion spanning 23.3% of the chromosome. In contrast, three of the four plasmids are unique. The plasmid pPKPN1, an IncHI1B-like plasmid, carries the blaNDM-1, armA, and qnrB1 genes, along with tellurium and mercury resistance operons. blaNDM-1 is carried on a unique structure in which Tn125 is further bracketed by IS26 downstream of a class 1 integron. The IncFIA-like plasmid pPKPN3 also carries an array of resistance elements, including blaCTX-M-15 and a mercury resistance operon. The ColE-type plasmid pPKPN4 carrying blaOXA-232 is identical to a plasmid previously reported from France. SMRT sequencing was useful in resolving the complex bacterial genomic structures in the de novo assemblies. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

The genomic landscape of the verrucomicrobial methanotroph Methylacidiphilum fumariolicum SolV.

Aerobic methanotrophs can grow in hostile volcanic environments and use methane as their sole source of energy. The discovery of three verrucomicrobial Methylacidiphilum strains has revealed diverse metabolic pathways used by these methanotrophs, including mechanisms through which methane is oxidized. The basis of a complete understanding of these processes and of how these bacteria evolved and are able to thrive in such extreme environments partially resides in the complete characterization of their genome and its architecture.In this study, we present the complete genome sequence of Methylacidiphilum fumariolicum SolV, obtained using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology. The genome assembles to a single 2.5 Mbp chromosome with an average GC content of 41.5%. The genome contains 2,741 annotated genes and 314 functional subsystems including all key metabolic pathways that are associated with Methylacidiphilum strains, including the CBB pathway for CO2 fixation. However, it does not encode the serine cycle and ribulose monophosphate pathways for carbon fixation. Phylogenetic analysis of the particulate methane mono-oxygenase operon separates the Methylacidiphilum strains from other verrucomicrobial methanotrophs. RNA-Seq analysis of cell cultures growing in three different conditions revealed the deregulation of two out of three pmoCAB operons. In addition, genes involved in nitrogen fixation were upregulated in cell cultures growing in nitrogen fixing conditions, indicating the presence of active nitrogenase. Characterization of the global methylation state of M. fumariolicum SolV revealed methylation of adenines and cytosines mainly in the coding regions of the genome. Methylation of adenines was predominantly associated with 5′-m6ACN4GT-3′ and 5′-CCm6AN5CTC-3′ methyltransferase recognition motifs whereas methylated cytosines were not associated with any specific motif.Our findings provide novel insights into the global methylation state of verrucomicrobial methanotroph M. fumariolicum SolV. However, partial conservation of methyltransferases between M. fumariolicum SolV and M. infernorum V4 indicates potential differences in the global methylation state of Methylacidiphilum strains. Unravelling the M. fumariolicum SolV genome and its epigenetic regulation allow for robust characterization of biological processes that are involved in oxidizing methane. In turn, they offer a better understanding of the evolution, the underlying physiological and ecological properties of SolV and other Methylacidiphilum strains.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genomic mapping of phosphorothioates reveals partial modification of short consensus sequences.

Bacterial phosphorothioate (PT) DNA modifications are incorporated by Dnd proteins A-E and often function with DndF-H as a restriction-modification (R-M) system, as in Escherichia coli B7A. However, bacteria such as Vibrio cyclitrophicus FF75 lack dndF-H, which points to other PT functions. Here we report two novel, orthogonal technologies to map PTs across the genomes of B7A and FF75 with >90% agreement: single molecule, real-time sequencing and deep sequencing of iodine-induced cleavage at PT (ICDS). In B7A, we detect PT on both strands of GpsAAC/GpsTTC motifs, but with only 12% of 40,701 possible sites modified. In contrast, PT in FF75 occurs as a single-strand modification at CpsCA, again with only 14% of 160,541 sites modified. Single-molecule analysis indicates that modification could be partial at any particular genomic site even with active restriction by DndF-H, with direct interaction of modification proteins with GAAC/GTTC sites demonstrated with oligonucleotides. These results point to highly unusual target selection by PT-modification proteins and rule out known R-M mechanisms.


July 7, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics of the Campylobacter lari group.

The Campylobacter lari group is a phylogenetic clade within the epsilon subdivision of the Proteobacteria and is part of the thermotolerant Campylobacter spp., a division within the genus that includes the human pathogen Campylobacter jejuni. The C. lari group is currently composed of five species (C. lari, Campylobacter insulaenigrae, Campylobacter volucris, Campylobacter subantarcticus, and Campylobacter peloridis), as well as a group of strains termed the urease-positive thermophilic Campylobacter (UPTC) and other C. lari-like strains. Here we present the complete genome sequences of 11 C. lari group strains, including the five C. lari group species, four UPTC strains, and a lari-like strain isolated in this study. The genome of C. lari subsp. lari strain RM2100 was described previously. Analysis of the C. lari group genomes indicates that this group is highly related at the genome level. Furthermore, these genomes are strongly syntenic with minor rearrangements occurring only in 4 of the 12 genomes studied. The C. lari group can be bifurcated, based on the flagella and flagellar modification genes. Genomic analysis of the UPTC strains indicated that these organisms are variable but highly similar, closely related to but distinct from C. lari. Additionally, the C. lari group contains multiple genes encoding hemagglutination domain proteins, which are either contingency genes or linked to conserved contingency genes. Many of the features identified in strain RM2100, such as major deficiencies in amino acid biosynthesis and energy metabolism, are conserved across all 12 genomes, suggesting that these common features may play a role in the association of the C. lari group with coastal environments and watersheds. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution 2014. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.


July 7, 2019  |  

Direct sequencing of small genomes on the Pacific Biosciences RS without library preparation.

We have developed a sequencing method on the Pacific Biosciences RS sequencer (the PacBio) for small DNA molecules that avoids the need for a standard library preparation. To date this approach has been applied toward sequencing single-stranded and double-stranded viral genomes, bacterial plasmids, plasmid vector models for DNA-modification analysis, and linear DNA fragments covering an entire bacterial genome. Using direct sequencing it is possible to generate sequence data from as little as 1 ng of DNA, offering a significant advantage over current protocols which typically require 400-500 ng of sheared DNA for the library preparation.


July 7, 2019  |  

Sensitive and specific single-molecule sequencing of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine.

We describe strand-specific, base-resolution detection of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) in genomic DNA with single-molecule sensitivity, combining a bioorthogonal, selective chemical labeling method of 5-hmC with single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) DNA sequencing. The chemical labeling not only allows affinity enrichment of 5-hmC-containing DNA fragments but also enhances the kinetic signal of 5-hmC during SMRT sequencing. We applied the approach to sequence 5-hmC in a genomic DNA sample with high confidence.


July 7, 2019  |  

Direct detection and sequencing of damaged DNA bases.

Products of various forms of DNA damage have been implicated in a variety of important biological processes, such as aging, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. Therefore, there exists great interest to develop methods for interrogating damaged DNA in the context of sequencing. Here, we demonstrate that single-molecule, real-time (SMRT®) DNA sequencing can directly detect damaged DNA bases in the DNA template – as a by-product of the sequencing method – through an analysis of the DNA polymerase kinetics that are altered by the presence of a modified base. We demonstrate the sequencing of several DNA templates containing products of DNA damage, including 8-oxoguanine, 8-oxoadenine, O6-methylguanine, 1-methyladenine, O4-methylthymine, 5-hydroxycytosine, 5-hydroxyuracil, 5-hydroxymethyluracil, or thymine dimers, and show that these base modifications can be readily detected with single-modification resolution and DNA strand specificity. We characterize the distinct kinetic signatures generated by these DNA base modifications.


July 7, 2019  |  

Methods for genome-wide methylome profiling of Campylobacter jejuni.

Methylation has a profound role in the regulation of numerous biological processes in bacteria including virulence. The study of methylation in bacteria has greatly advanced thanks to next-generation sequencing technologies. These technologies have expedited the process of uncovering unique features of many bacterial methylomes such as characterizing previously uncharacterized methyltransferases, cataloging genome-wide DNA methylations in bacteria, identifying the frequency of methylation at particular genomic loci, and revealing regulatory roles of methylation in the biology of various bacterial species. For instance, methylation has been cited as a potential source for the pathogenicity differences observed in C. jejuni strains with syntenic genomes as seen in recent publications. Here, we describe the methodology for the use of Pacific Biosciences’ single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing for detecting methylation patterns in C. jejuni and bioinformatics tools to profile its methylome.


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