September 22, 2019  |  

Directed evolution of multiple genomic loci allows the prediction of antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic development is frequently plagued by the rapid emergence of drug resistance. However, assessing the risk of resistance development in the preclinical stage is difficult. Standard laboratory evolution approaches explore only a small fraction of the sequence space and fail to identify exceedingly rare resistance mutations and combinations thereof. Therefore, new rapid and exhaustive methods are needed to accurately assess the potential of resistance evolution and uncover the underlying mutational mechanisms. Here, we introduce directed evolution with random genomic mutations (DIvERGE), a method that allows an up to million-fold increase in mutation rate along the full lengths of multiple predefined loci in a range of bacterial species. In a single day, DIvERGE generated specific mutation combinations, yielding clinically significant resistance against trimethoprim and ciprofloxacin. Many of these mutations have remained previously undetected or provide resistance in a species-specific manner. These results indicate pathogen-specific resistance mechanisms and the necessity of future narrow-spectrum antibacterial treatments. In contrast to prior claims, we detected the rapid emergence of resistance against gepotidacin, a novel antibiotic currently in clinical trials. Based on these properties, DIvERGE could be applicable to identify less resistance-prone antibiotics at an early stage of drug development. Finally, we discuss potential future applications of DIvERGE in synthetic and evolutionary biology. Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

September 22, 2019  |  

Genome-wide analysis of Borrelia turcica and ‘Candidatus Borrelia tachyglossi’ shows relapsing fever-like genomes with unique genomic links to Lyme disease Borrelia.

Borrelia are tick-borne bacteria that in humans are the aetiological agents of Lyme disease and relapsing fever. Here we present the first genomes of B. turcica and B. tachyglossi, members of a recently described and rapidly expanding Borrelia clade associated with reptile (B. turcica) or echidna (B. tachyglossi) hosts, transmitted by hard ticks, and of unknown pathogenicity. Borrelia tachyglossi and B. turcica genomes are similar to those of relapsing fever Borrelia species, containing a linear ~ 900?kb chromosome, a single long (> 70?kb) linear plasmid, and numerous short (< 40?kb) linear and circular plasmids, as well as a suite of housekeeping and macronutrient biosynthesis genes which are not found in Lyme disease Borrelia. Additionally, both B. tachyglossi and B. turcica contain paralogous vsp and vlp proteins homologous to those used in the multiphasic antigen-switching system used by relapsing fever Borrelia to evade vertebrate immune responses, although their number was greatly reduced compared to human-infectious species. However, B. tachyglossi and B. turcica chromosomes also contain numerous genes orthologous to Lyme disease Borrelia-specific genes, demonstrating a unique evolutionary, and potentially phenotypic link between these groups. Borrelia tachyglossi and B. turcica genomes also have unique genetic features, including degraded and deleted tRNA modification genes, and an expanded range of macronutrient salvage and biosynthesis genes compared to relapsing fever and Lyme disease Borrelia. These genomes and genomic comparisons provide an insight into the biology and evolutionary origin of these Borrelia, and provide a valuable resource for future work. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

September 22, 2019  |  

The Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) genome and transcriptome assembly.

Arctic charr have a circumpolar distribution, persevere under extreme environmental conditions, and reach ages unknown to most other salmonids. The Salvelinus genus is primarily composed of species with genomes that are structured more like the ancestral salmonid genome than most Oncorhynchus and Salmo species of sister genera. It is thought that this aspect of the genome may be important for local adaptation (due to increased recombination) and anadromy (the migration of fish from saltwater to freshwater). In this study, we describe the generation of a new genetic map, the sequencing and assembly of the Arctic charr genome (GenBank accession: GCF_002910315.2) using the newly created genetic map and a previous genetic map, and present several analyses of the Arctic charr genes and genome assembly. The newly generated genetic map consists of 8,574 unique genetic markers and is similar to previous genetic maps with the exception of three major structural differences. The N50, identified BUSCOs, repetitive DNA content, and total size of the Arctic charr assembled genome are all comparable to other assembled salmonid genomes. An analysis to identify orthologous genes revealed that a large number of orthologs could be identified between salmonids and many appear to have highly conserved gene expression profiles between species. Comparing orthologous gene expression profiles may give us a better insight into which genes are more likely to influence species specific phenotypes.

September 22, 2019  |  

Genomic assemblies of newly sequenced Trypanosoma cruzi strains reveal new genomic expansion and greater complexity.

Chagas disease is a complex illness caused by the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi displaying highly diverse clinical outcomes. In this sense, the genome sequence elucidation and comparison between strains may lead to disease understanding. Here, two new T. cruzi strains, have been sequenced, Y using Illumina and Bug2148 using PacBio, assembled, analyzed and compared with the T. cruzi annotated genomes available to date. The assembly stats from the new sequences show effective improvement of T. cruzi genome over the actual ones. Such as, the largest contig assembled (1.3?Mb in Bug2148) in de novo attempts and the highest mean assembly coverage (71X for Y). Our analysis reveals a new genomic expansion and greater complexity for those multi-copy gene families related to infection process and disease development, such as Trans-sialidases, Mucins and Mucin Associated Surface Proteins, among others. On one side, we demonstrate that multi-copy gene families are located near telomeric regions of the “chromosome-like” 1.3?Mb contig assembled of Bug2148, where they likely suffer high evolutive pressure. On the other hand, we identified several strain-specific single copy genes that might help to understand the differences in infectivity and physiology among strains. In summary, our results indicate that T. cruzi has a complex genomic architecture that may have promoted its evolution.

September 22, 2019  |  

pYR4 from a Norwegian isolate of Yersinia ruckeri is a putative virulence plasmid encoding both a type IV pilus and a type IV secretion system

Enteric redmouth disease caused by the pathogen Yersinia ruckeri is a significant problem for fish farming around the world. Despite its importance, only a few virulence factors of Y. ruckeri have been identified and studied in detail. Here, we report and analyze the complete DNA sequence of pYR4, a plasmid from a highly pathogenic Norwegian Y. ruckeri isolate, sequenced using PacBio SMRT technology. Like the well-known pYV plasmid of human pathogenic Yersiniae, pYR4 is a member of the IncFII family. Thirty-one percent of the pYR4 sequence is unique compared to other Y. ruckeri plasmids. The unique regions contain, among others genes, a large number of mobile genetic elements and two partitioning systems. The G+C content of pYR4 is higher than that of the Y. ruckeri NVH_3758 genome, indicating its relatively recent horizontal acquisition. pYR4, as well as the related plasmid pYR3, comprises operons that encode for type IV pili and for a conjugation system (tra). In contrast to other Yersinia plasmids, pYR4 cannot be cured at elevated temperatures. Our study highlights the power of PacBio sequencing technology for identifying mis-assembled segments of genomic sequences. Comparative analysis of pYR4 and other Y. ruckeri plasmids and genomes, which were sequenced by second and the third generation sequencing technologies, showed errors in second generation sequencing assemblies. Specifically, in the Y. ruckeri 150 and Y. ruckeri ATCC29473 genome assemblies, we mapped the entire pYR3 plasmid sequence. Placing plasmid sequences on the chromosome can result in erroneous biological conclusions. Thus, PacBio sequencing or similar long-read methods should always be preferred for de novo genome sequencing. As the tra operons of pYR3, although misplaced on the chromosome during the genome assembly process, were demonstrated to have an effect on virulence, and type IV pili are virulence factors in many bacteria, we suggest that pYR4 directly contributes to Y. ruckeri virulence.

September 22, 2019  |  

A continuous genome assembly of the corkwing wrasse (Symphodus melops).

The wrasses (Labridae) are one of the most successful and species-rich families of the Perciformes order of teleost fish. Its members display great morphological diversity, and occupy distinct trophic levels in coastal waters and coral reefs. The cleaning behaviour displayed by some wrasses, such as corkwing wrasse (Symphodus melops), is of particular interest for the salmon aquaculture industry to combat and control sea lice infestation as an alternative to chemicals and pharmaceuticals. There are still few genome assemblies available within this fish family for comparative and functional studies, despite the rapid increase in genome resources generated during the past years. Here, we present a highly continuous genome assembly of the corkwing wrasse using PacBio SMRT sequencing (x28.8) followed by error correction with paired-end Illumina data (x132.9). The present genome assembly consists of 5040 contigs (N50?=?461,652?bp) and a total size of 614 Mbp, of which 8.5% of the genome sequence encode known repeated elements. The genome assembly covers 94.21% of highly conserved genes across ray-finned fish species. We find evidence for increased copy numbers specific for corkwing wrasse possibly highlighting diversification and adaptive processes in gene families including N-linked glycosylation (ST8SIA6) and stress response kinases (HIPK1). By comparative analyses, we discover that de novo repeats, often not properly investigated during genome annotation, encode hundreds of immune-related genes. This new genomic resource, together with the ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta), will allow for in-depth comparative genomics as well as population genetic analyses for the understudied wrasses. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

September 22, 2019  |  

Thermosipho spp. immune system differences affect variation in genome size and geographical distributions.

Thermosipho species inhabit thermal environments such as marine hydrothermal vents, petroleum reservoirs, and terrestrial hot springs. A 16S rRNA phylogeny of available Thermosipho spp. sequences suggested habitat specialists adapted to living in hydrothermal vents only, and habitat generalists inhabiting oil reservoirs, hydrothermal vents, and hotsprings. Comparative genomics of 15 Thermosipho genomes separated them into three distinct species with different habitat distributions: The widely distributed T. africanus and the more specialized, T. melanesiensis and T. affectus. Moreover, the species can be differentiated on the basis of genome size (GS), genome content, and immune system composition. For instance, the T. africanus genomes are largest and contained the most carbohydrate metabolism genes, which could explain why these isolates were obtained from ecologically more divergent habitats. Nonetheless, all the Thermosipho genomes, like other Thermotogae genomes, show evidence of genome streamlining. GS differences between the species could further be correlated to differences in defense capacities against foreign DNA, which influence recombination via HGT. The smallest genomes are found in T. affectus that contain both CRISPR-cas Type I and III systems, but no RM system genes. We suggest that this has caused these genomes to be almost devoid of mobile elements, contrasting the two other species genomes that contain a higher abundance of mobile elements combined with different immune system configurations. Taken together, the comparative genomic analyses of Thermosipho spp. revealed genetic variation allowing habitat differentiation within the genus as well as differentiation with respect to invading mobile DNA.

September 22, 2019  |  

The enterococcus cassette chromosome, a genomic variation enabler in enterococci.

Enterococcus faecium has a highly variable genome prone to recombination and horizontal gene transfer. Here, we have identified a novel genetic island with an insertion locus and mobilization genes similar to those of staphylococcus cassette chromosome elements SCCmec This novel element termed the enterococcus cassette chromosome (ECC) element was located in the 3′ region of rlmH and encoded large serine recombinases ccrAB similar to SCCmec Horizontal transfer of an ECC element termed ECC::cat containing a knock-in cat chloramphenicol resistance determinant occurred in the presence of a conjugative reppLG1 plasmid. We determined the ECC::cat insertion site in the 3′ region of rlmH in the E. faecium recipient by long-read sequencing. ECC::cat also mobilized by homologous recombination through sequence identity between flanking insertion sequence (IS) elements in ECC::cat and the conjugative plasmid. The ccrABEnt genes were found in 69 of 516 E. faecium genomes in GenBank. Full-length ECC elements were retrieved from 32 of these genomes. ECCs were flanked by attR and attL sites of approximately 50?bp. The attECC sequences were found by PCR and sequencing of circularized ECCs in three strains. The genes in ECCs contained an amalgam of common and rare E. faecium genes. Taken together, our data imply that ECC elements act as hot spots for genetic exchange and contribute to the large variation of accessory genes found in E. faeciumIMPORTANCEEnterococcus faecium is a bacterium found in a great variety of environments, ranging from the clinic as a nosocomial pathogen to natural habitats such as mammalian intestines, water, and soil. They are known to exchange genetic material through horizontal gene transfer and recombination, leading to great variability of accessory genes and aiding environmental adaptation. Identifying mobile genetic elements causing sequence variation is important to understand how genetic content variation occurs. Here, a novel genetic island, the enterococcus cassette chromosome, is shown to contain a wealth of genes, which may aid E. faecium in adapting to new environments. The transmission mechanism involves the only two conserved genes within ECC, ccrABEnt, large serine recombinases that insert ECC into the host genome similarly to SCC elements found in staphylococci. Copyright © 2018 Sivertsen et al.

September 22, 2019  |  

Three New Genome Assemblies Support a Rapid Radiation in Musa acuminata (Wild Banana).

Edible bananas result from interspecific hybridization between Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana, as well as among subspecies in M. acuminata. Four particular M. acuminata subspecies have been proposed as the main contributors of edible bananas, all of which radiated in a short period of time in southeastern Asia. Clarifying the evolution of these lineages at a whole-genome scale is therefore an important step toward understanding the domestication and diversification of this crop. This study reports the de novo genome assembly and gene annotation of a representative genotype from three different subspecies of M. acuminata. These data are combined with the previously published genome of the fourth subspecies to investigate phylogenetic relationships. Analyses of shared and unique gene families reveal that the four subspecies are quite homogenous, with a core genome representing at least 50% of all genes and very few M. acuminata species-specific gene families. Multiple alignments indicate high sequence identity between homologous single copy-genes, supporting the close relationships of these lineages. Interestingly, phylogenomic analyses demonstrate high levels of gene tree discordance, due to both incomplete lineage sorting and introgression. This pattern suggests rapid radiation within Musa acuminata subspecies that occurred after the divergence with M. balbisiana. Introgression between M. a. ssp. malaccensis and M. a. ssp. burmannica was detected across the genome, though multiple approaches to resolve the subspecies tree converged on the same topology. To support evolutionary and functional analyses, we introduce the PanMusa database, which enables researchers to exploration of individual gene families and trees.

September 22, 2019  |  

Implications of stx loss for clinical diagnostics of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli.

The dynamics related to the loss of stx genes from Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli remain unclear. Current diagnostic procedures have shortcomings in the detection and identification of STEC. This is partly owing to the fact that stx genes may be lost during an infection or in the laboratory. The aim of the present study was to provide new insight into in vivo and in vitro stx loss in order to improve diagnostic procedures. Results from the study support the theory that loss of stx is a strain-related phenomenon and not induced by patient factors. It was observed that one strain could lose stx both in vivo and in vitro. Whole genome comparison of stx-positive and stx-negative isolates from the same patient revealed that different genomic rearrangements, such as complete or partial loss of the parent prophage, may be factors in the loss of stx. Of diagnostic interest, it was shown that patients can be co-infected with different E. coli pathotypes. Therefore, identification of eae-positive, but stx-negative isolates should not be interpreted as “Shiga toxin-lost” E. coli without further testing. Growth and recovery of STEC were supported by different selective agar media for different strains, arguing for inclusion of several media in STEC diagnostics.

September 22, 2019  |  

Complete and de novo assembly of the Leishmania braziliensis (M2904) genome.

Leishmania braziliensis is the etiological agent of American mucosal leishmaniasis, one of the most severe clinical forms of leishmaniasis. Here, we report the assembly of the L. braziliensis (M2904) genome into 35 continuous chromosomes. Also, the annotation of 8395 genes is provided. The public availability of this information will contribute to a better knowledge of this pathogen and help in the search for vaccines and novel drug targets aimed to control the disease caused by this Leishmania species.

July 19, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Tessaracoccus sp. strain T2.5-30 isolated from 139.5 meters deep on the subsurface of the Iberian Pyritic Belt.

Here, we report the complete genome sequence of Tessaracoccus sp. strain T2.5-30, which consists of a chromosome with 3.2 Mbp, 70.4% G+C content, and 3,005 coding DNA sequences. The strain was isolated from a rock core retrieved at a depth of 139.5 m in the subsurface of the Iberian Pyritic Belt (Spain). Copyright © 2017 Leandro et al.

July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Vibrio anguillarum strain NB10, a virulent isolate from the Gulf of Bothnia.

Vibrio anguillarum causes a fatal hemorrhagic septicemia in marine fish that leads to great economical losses in aquaculture world-wide. Vibrio anguillarum strain NB10 serotype O1 is a Gram-negative, motile, curved rod-shaped bacterium, isolated from a diseased fish on the Swedish coast of the Gulf of Bothnia, and is slightly halophilic. Strain NB10 is a virulent isolate that readily colonizes fish skin and intestinal tissues. Here, the features of this bacterium are described and the annotation and analysis of its complete genome sequence is presented. The genome is 4,373,835 bp in size, consists of two circular chromosomes and one plasmid, and contains 3,783 protein-coding genes and 129 RNA genes.

July 7, 2019  |  

Genome sequences of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis strains 48252 (human, pneumonia), CS_10 (lab strain), Ft_2193/ 67 (goat, pus), and CCUG 27541.

Here we report the genome sequencess of four Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis strains. These include a strain isolated from a patient with C. pseudotuberculosis pneumonia (48252), a strain isolated from pus in goat (Ft_2193/67), a laboratory strain originating from strain Ft_2193/67 (CS_10), and the draft genome of an equine reference strain, CCUG 27541. Copyright © 2014 Håvelsrud et al.

July 7, 2019  |  

Seeking the source of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections in a recently opened hospital: an observational study using whole-genome sequencing.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common nosocomial pathogen responsible for significant morbidity and mortality internationally. Patients may become colonised or infected with P. aeruginosa after exposure to contaminated sources within the hospital environment. The aim of this study was to determine whether whole-genome sequencing (WGS) can be used to determine the source in a cohort of burns patients at high risk of P. aeruginosa acquisition.An observational prospective cohort study.Burns care ward and critical care ward in the UK.Patients with >7% total burns by surface area were recruited into the study.All patients were screened for P. aeruginosa on admission and samples taken from their immediate environment, including water. Screening patients who subsequently developed a positive P. aeruginosa microbiology result were subject to enhanced environmental surveillance. All isolates of P. aeruginosa were genome sequenced. Sequence analysis looked at similarity and relatedness between isolates.WGS for 141 P. aeruginosa isolates were obtained from patients, hospital water and the ward environment. Phylogenetic analysis revealed eight distinct clades, with a single clade representing the majority of environmental isolates in the burns unit. Isolates from three patients had identical genotypes compared with water isolates from the same room. There was clear clustering of water isolates by room and outlet, allowing the source of acquisitions to be unambiguously identified. Whole-genome shotgun sequencing of biofilm DNA extracted from a thermostatic mixer valve revealed this was the source of a P. aeruginosa subpopulation previously detected in water. In the remaining two cases there was no clear link to the hospital environment.This study reveals that WGS can be used for source tracking of P. aeruginosa in a hospital setting, and that acquisitions can be traced to a specific source within a hospital ward. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to

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