June 1, 2021  |  

SMRT Sequencing of DNA and RNA samples extracted from formalin-fixed and paraffin embedded tissues using adaptive focused acoustics by Covaris.

Recent advances in next-generation sequencing have led to an increased use of formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues for medical samples in disease and scientific research. Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing offers a unique advantage for direct analysis of FFPE samples without amplification. However, obtaining ample long-read information from FFPE samples has been a challenge due to the quality and quantity of the extracted DNA. FFPE samples often contain damaged sites, including breaks in the backbone and missing or altered nucleotide bases, which directly impact sequencing and target enrichment. Additionally, the quality and quantity of the recovered DNA vary depending on the extraction methods used. We have evaluated the Covaris® Adaptive Focused Acoustics (AFA) system as a method for obtaining high molecular weight DNA suitable for SMRTbell™ template preparation and subsequent PacBio RS II sequencing. To test the Covaris system, we extracted DNA from normal kidney FFPE scrolls acquired from the Cooperative Human Tissue Network (CHTN), University of Pennsylvania. Damaged sites in the extracted DNA were repaired using a DNA Damage Repair step, and the treated DNA was constructed into SMRTbell libraries for sequencing on the PacBio System. Using the same repaired DNA, we also tested the efficiency of PCR in amplifying targets of up to 10 kb. The resulting amplicons were also constructed into SMRTbell templates for full-length sequencing on the PacBio System. We found the Adaptive Focused Acoustics (AFA) system by Covaris to be effective. This system is easy and simple to use, and the resulting DNA is compatible with SMRTbell library preparation for targeted and whole genome SMRT Sequencing. The data presented here demonstrates feasibility of SMRT Sequencing with FFPE samples.


April 21, 2020  |  

Stout camphor tree genome fills gaps in understanding of flowering plant genome evolution.

We present reference-quality genome assembly and annotation for the stout camphor tree (Cinnamomum kanehirae (Laurales, Lauraceae)), the first sequenced member of the Magnoliidae comprising four orders (Laurales, Magnoliales, Canellales and Piperales) and over 9,000 species. Phylogenomic analysis of 13 representative seed plant genomes indicates that magnoliid and eudicot lineages share more recent common ancestry than monocots. Two whole-genome duplication events were inferred within the magnoliid lineage: one before divergence of Laurales and Magnoliales and the other within the Lauraceae. Small-scale segmental duplications and tandem duplications also contributed to innovation in the evolutionary history of Cinnamomum. For example, expansion of the terpenoid synthase gene subfamilies within the Laurales spawned the diversity of Cinnamomum monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes.


April 21, 2020  |  

RADAR-seq: A RAre DAmage and Repair sequencing method for detecting DNA damage on a genome-wide scale.

RAre DAmage and Repair sequencing (RADAR-seq) is a highly adaptable sequencing method that enables the identification and detection of rare DNA damage events for a wide variety of DNA lesions at single-molecule resolution on a genome-wide scale. In RADAR-seq, DNA lesions are replaced with a patch of modified bases that can be directly detected by Pacific Biosciences Single Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing. RADAR-seq enables dynamic detection over a wide range of DNA damage frequencies, including low physiological levels. Furthermore, without the need for DNA amplification and enrichment steps, RADAR-seq provides sequencing coverage of damaged and undamaged DNA across an entire genome. Here, we use RADAR-seq to measure the frequency and map the location of ribonucleotides in wild-type and RNaseH2-deficient E. coli and Thermococcus kodakarensis strains. Additionally, by tracking ribonucleotides incorporated during in vivo lagging strand DNA synthesis, we determined the replication initiation point in E. coli, and its relation to the origin of replication (oriC). RADAR-seq was also used to map cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) in Escherichia coli (E. coli) genomic DNA exposed to UV-radiation. On a broader scale, RADAR-seq can be applied to understand formation and repair of DNA damage, the correlation between DNA damage and disease initiation and progression, and complex biological pathways, including DNA replication.Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


April 21, 2020  |  

SMRT sequencing reveals differential patterns of methylation in two O111:H- STEC isolates from a hemolytic uremic syndrome outbreak in Australia.

In 1995 a severe haemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) outbreak in Adelaide occurred. A recent genomic analysis of Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) O111:H- strains 95JB1 and 95NR1 from this outbreak found that the more virulent isolate, 95NR1, harboured two additional copies of the Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2) genes encoded within prophage regions. The structure of the Stx2-converting prophages could not be fully resolved using short-read sequence data alone and it was not clear if there were other genomic differences between 95JB1 and 95NR1. In this study we have used Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing to characterise the genome and methylome of 95JB1 and 95NR1. We completely resolved the structure of all prophages including two, tandemly inserted, Stx2-converting prophages in 95NR1 that were absent from 95JB1. Furthermore we defined all insertion sequences and found an additional IS1203 element in the chromosome of 95JB1. Our analysis of the methylome of 95NR1 and 95JB1 identified hemi-methylation of a novel motif (5′-CTGCm6AG-3′) in more than 4000 sites in the 95NR1 genome. These sites were entirely unmethylated in the 95JB1 genome, and included at least 177 potential promoter regions that could contribute to regulatory differences between the strains. IS1203 mediated deactivation of a novel type IIG methyltransferase in 95JB1 is the likely cause of the observed differential patterns of methylation between 95NR1 and 95JB1. This study demonstrates the capability of PacBio SMRT sequencing to resolve complex prophage regions and reveal the genetic and epigenetic heterogeneity within a clonal population of bacteria.


September 22, 2019  |  

Improved full-length killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor transcript discovery in Mauritian cynomolgus macaques.

Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) modulate disease progression of pathogens including HIV, malaria, and hepatitis C. Cynomolgus and rhesus macaques are widely used as nonhuman primate models to study human pathogens, and so, considerable effort has been put into characterizing their KIR genetics. However, previous studies have relied on cDNA cloning and Sanger sequencing that lack the throughput of current sequencing platforms. In this study, we present a high throughput, full-length allele discovery method utilizing Pacific Biosciences circular consensus sequencing (CCS). We also describe a new approach to Macaque Exome Sequencing (MES) and the development of the Rhexome1.0, an adapted target capture reagent that includes macaque-specific capture probe sets. By using sequence reads generated by whole genome sequencing (WGS) and MES to inform primer design, we were able to increase the sensitivity of KIR allele discovery. We demonstrate this increased sensitivity by defining nine novel alleles within a cohort of Mauritian cynomolgus macaques (MCM), a geographically isolated population with restricted KIR genetics that was thought to be completely characterized. Finally, we describe an approach to genotyping KIRs directly from sequence reads generated using WGS/MES reads. The findings presented here expand our understanding of KIR genetics in MCM by associating new genes with all eight KIR haplotypes and demonstrating the existence of at least one KIR3DS gene associated with every haplotype.


September 22, 2019  |  

Characterization of the SN35N strain-specific exopolysaccharide encoded in the whole circular genome of a plant-derived Lactobacillus plantarum.

Lactobacillus plantarum SN35N, which has been previously isolated from pear, secretes exopolysaccharide (EPS). The aim of the present study is to characterize the EPS chemically and to find the EPS-biosynthesizing gene cluster. The present study demonstrates that the strain produces an acidic EPS carrying phosphate residue, which is composed of glucose, galactose, and mannose at a molecular ratio of 15.0?:?5.7?:?1.0. We also show that acidic EPS strongly inhibits the catalytic activity of hyaluronidase (EC 3.2.1.35), promoting an inflammatory reaction. In the present study, we also determined the complete genome sequence of the SN35N strain, demonstrating that the genome is a circular DNA with 3267626?bp, and the number of predicted coding genes is 3146, with a GC content of 44.51%. In addition, the strain harbors four plasmids, designated pSN35N-1, -2, -3, and -4. Although four EPS-biosynthesizing genes, designated lpe1, lpe2, lpe3, and lpe4, are present in the SN35N chromosomal DNA, another EPS gene cluster, lpe5, is located in the pSN35N-3 plasmid, composed of 35425?bp. EPS low-producing mutants, which were obtained by treating SN35N cells with novobiocin, lost the lpe5 gene cluster in the plasmid-curing experiment, suggesting that the gene cluster for the biosynthesis of acidic EPS is present in the plasmid. The present study shows the chemical characterization of the acidic EPS and its inhibitory effect to the hyaluronidase.


September 22, 2019  |  

Loss of stomach, loss of appetite? Sequencing of the ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) genome and intestinal transcriptomic profiling illuminate the evolution of loss of stomach function in fish.

The ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) belongs to a large teleost family containing more than 600 species showing several unique evolutionary traits such as lack of stomach and hermaphroditism. Agastric fish are found throughout the teleost phylogeny, in quite diverse and unrelated lineages, indicating stomach loss has occurred independently multiple times in the course of evolution. By assembling the ballan wrasse genome and transcriptome we aimed to determine the genetic basis for its digestive system function and appetite regulation. Among other, this knowledge will aid the formulation of aquaculture diets that meet the nutritional needs of agastric species.Long and short read sequencing technologies were combined to generate a ballan wrasse genome of 805 Mbp. Analysis of the genome and transcriptome assemblies confirmed the absence of genes that code for proteins involved in gastric function. The gene coding for the appetite stimulating protein ghrelin was also absent in wrasse. Gene synteny mapping identified several appetite-controlling genes and their paralogs previously undescribed in fish. Transcriptome profiling along the length of the intestine found a declining expression gradient from the anterior to the posterior, and a distinct expression profile in the hind gut.We showed gene loss has occurred for all known genes related to stomach function in the ballan wrasse, while the remaining functions of the digestive tract appear intact. The results also show appetite control in ballan wrasse has undergone substantial changes. The loss of ghrelin suggests that other genes, such as motilin, may play a ghrelin like role. The wrasse genome offers novel insight in to the evolutionary traits of this large family. As the stomach plays a major role in protein digestion, the lack of genes related to stomach digestion in wrasse suggests it requires formulated diets with higher levels of readily digestible protein than those for gastric species.


September 22, 2019  |  

Antibiotic resistance plasmids cointegrated into a megaplasmid harboring the blaOXA-427 carbapenemase gene.

OXA-427 is a new class D carbapenemase encountered in different species of Enterobacteriaceae in a Belgian hospital. To study the dispersal of this gene, we performed a comparative analysis of two plasmids containing the blaOXA-427 gene, isolated from a Klebsiella pneumoniae strain and an Enterobacter cloacae complex strain. The two IncA/C2 plasmids containing blaOXA-427 share the same backbone; in the K. pneumoniae strain, however, this plasmid is cointegrated into an IncFIb plasmid, forming a 321-kb megaplasmid with multiple multiresistance regions. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.


September 22, 2019  |  

Heterogeneous and flexible transmission of mcr-1 in hospital-associated Escherichia coli.

The recent emergence of a transferable colistin resistance mechanism, MCR-1, has gained global attention because of its threat to clinical treatment of infections caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. However, the possible transmission route of mcr-1 among Enterobacteriaceae species in clinical settings is largely unknown. Here, we present a comprehensive genomic analysis of Escherichia coli isolates collected in a hospital in Hangzhou, China. We found that mcr-1-carrying isolates from clinical infections and feces of inpatients and healthy volunteers were genetically diverse and were not closely related phylogenetically, suggesting that clonal expansion is not involved in the spread of mcr-1 The mcr-1 gene was found on either chromosomes or plasmids, but in most of the E. coli isolates, mcr-1 was carried on plasmids. The genetic context of the plasmids showed considerable diversity as evidenced by the different functional insertion sequence (IS) elements, toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems, heavy metal resistance determinants, and Rep proteins of broad-host-range plasmids. Additionally, the genomic analysis revealed nosocomial transmission of mcr-1 and the coexistence of mcr-1 with other genes encoding ß-lactamases and fluoroquinolone resistance in the E. coli isolates. These findings indicate that mcr-1 is heterogeneously disseminated in both commensal and pathogenic strains of E. coli, suggest the high flexibility of this gene in its association with diverse genetic backgrounds of the hosts, and provide new insights into the genome epidemiology of mcr-1 among hospital-associated E. coli strains. IMPORTANCE Colistin represents one of the very few available drugs for treating infections caused by extensively multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. The recently emergent mcr-1 colistin resistance gene threatens the clinical utility of colistin and has gained global attention. How mcr-1 spreads in hospital settings remains unknown and was investigated by whole-genome sequencing of mcr-1-carrying Escherichia coli in this study. The findings revealed extraordinary flexibility of mcr-1 in its spread among genetically diverse E. coli hosts and plasmids, nosocomial transmission of mcr-1-carrying E. coli, and the continuous emergence of novel Inc types of plasmids carrying mcr-1 and new mcr-1 variants. Additionally, mcr-1 was found to be frequently associated with other genes encoding ß-lactams and fluoroquinolone resistance. These findings provide important information on the transmission and epidemiology of mcr-1 and are of significant public health importance as the information is expected to facilitate the control of this significant antibiotic resistance threat. Copyright © 2018 Shen et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

A gene-rich fraction analysis of the Passiflora edulis genome reveals highly conserved microsyntenic regions with two related Malpighiales species.

Passiflora edulis is the most widely cultivated species of passionflowers, cropped mainly for industrialized juice production and fresh fruit consumption. Despite its commercial importance, little is known about the genome structure of P. edulis. To fill in this gap in our knowledge, a genomic library was built, and now completely sequenced over 100 large-inserts. Sequencing data were assembled from long sequence reads, and structural sequence annotation resulted in the prediction of about 1,900 genes, providing data for subsequent functional analysis. The richness of repetitive elements was also evaluated. Microsyntenic regions of P. edulis common to Populus trichocarpa and Manihot esculenta, two related Malpighiales species with available fully sequenced genomes were examined. Overall, gene order was well conserved, with some disruptions of collinearity identified as rearrangements, such as inversion and translocation events. The microsynteny level observed between the P. edulis sequences and the compared genomes is surprising, given the long divergence time that separates them from the common ancestor. P. edulis gene-rich segments are more compact than those of the other two species, even though its genome is much larger. This study provides a first accurate gene set for P. edulis, opening the way for new studies on the evolutionary issues in Malpighiales genomes.


September 22, 2019  |  

A PECTIN METHYLESTERASE gene at the maize Ga1 locus confers male function in unilateral cross-incompatibility.

Unilateral cross-incompatibility (UCI) is a unidirectional inter/intra-population reproductive barrier when both parents are self-compatible. Maize Gametophyte factor1 (Ga1) is an intraspecific UCI system and has been utilized in breeding. However, the mechanism underlying maize UCI specificity has remained mysterious for decades. Here, we report the cloning of ZmGa1P, a pollen-expressed PECTIN METHYLESTERASE (PME) gene at the Ga1 locus that can confer the male function in the maize UCI system. Homozygous transgenic plants expressing ZmGa1P in a ga1 background can fertilize Ga1-S plants and can be fertilized by pollen of ga1 plants. ZmGa1P protein is predominantly localized to the apex of growing pollen tubes and may interact with another pollen-specific PME protein, ZmPME10-1, to maintain the state of pectin methylesterification required for pollen tube growth in Ga1-S silks. Our study discloses a PME-mediated UCI mechanism and provides a tool to manipulate hybrid breeding.


September 22, 2019  |  

Ma orthologous genes in Prunus spp. shed light on a noteworthy NBS-LRR cluster conferring differential resistance to root-knot nematodes.

Root-knot nematodes (RKNs) are considerable polyphagous pests that severely challenge plants worldwide and especially perennials. The specific genetic resistance of plants mainly relies on the NBS-LRR genes that are pivotal factors for pathogens control. In Prunus spp., the Ma plum and RMja almond genes possess different spectra for resistance to RKNs. While previous works based on the Ma gene allowed to clone it and to decipher its peculiar TIR-NBS-LRR (TNL) structure, we only knew that the RMja gene mapped on the same chromosome as Ma. We carried out a high-resolution mapping using an almond segregating F2 progeny of 1448 seedlings from resistant (R) and susceptible (S) parental accessions, to locate precisely RMja on the peach genome, the reference sequence for Prunus species. We showed that the RMja gene maps in the Ma resistance cluster and that the Ma ortholog is the best candidate for RMja. This co-localization is a crucial step that opens the way to unravel the molecular determinants involved in the resistance to RKNs. Then we sequenced both almond parental NGS genomes and aligned them onto the RKN susceptible reference peach genome. We produced a BAC library of the R parental accession and, from two overlapping BAC clones, we obtained a 336-kb sequence encompassing the RMja candidate region. Thus, we could benefit from three Ma orthologous regions to investigate their sequence polymorphism, respectively, within plum (complete R spectrum), almond (incomplete R spectrum) and peach (null R spectrum). We showed that the Ma TNL cluster has evolved orthologs with a unique conserved structure comprised of five repeated post-LRR (PL) domains, which contain most polymorphism. In addition to support the Ma and RMja orthologous relationship, our results suggest that the polymorphism contained in the PL sequences might underlie differential resistance interactions with RKNs and an original immune mechanism in woody perennials. Besides, our study illustrates how PL exon duplications and losses shape TNL structure and give rise to atypical PL domain repeats of yet unknown role.


September 22, 2019  |  

Convergent evolution of complex genomic rearrangements in two fungal meiotic drive elements.

Meiotic drive is widespread in nature. The conflict it generates is expected to be an important motor for evolutionary change and innovation. In this study, we investigated the genomic consequences of two large multi-gene meiotic drive elements, Sk-2 and Sk-3, found in the filamentous ascomycete Neurospora intermedia. Using long-read sequencing, we generated the first complete and well-annotated genome assemblies of large, highly diverged, non-recombining regions associated with meiotic drive elements. Phylogenetic analysis shows that, even though Sk-2 and Sk-3 are located in the same chromosomal region, they do not form sister clades, suggesting independent origins or at least a long evolutionary separation. We conclude that they have in a convergent manner accumulated similar patterns of tandem inversions and dense repeat clusters, presumably in response to similar needs to create linkage between genes causing drive and resistance.


September 22, 2019  |  

Discovery of mcr-1-mediated colistin resistance in a highly virulent Escherichia coli lineage.

Resistance to last-line polymyxins mediated by the plasmid-borne mobile colistin resistance gene (mcr-1) represents a new threat to global human health. Here we present the complete genome sequence of an mcr-1-positive multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli strain (MS8345). We show that MS8345 belongs to serotype O2:K1:H4, has a large 241,164-bp IncHI2 plasmid that carries 15 other antibiotic resistance genes (including the extended-spectrum ß-lactamase blaCTX-M-1) and 3 putative multidrug efflux systems, and contains 14 chromosomally encoded antibiotic resistance genes. MS8345 also carries a large ColV-like virulence plasmid that has been associated with E. coli bacteremia. Whole-genome phylogeny revealed that MS8345 clusters within a discrete clade in the sequence type 95 (ST95) lineage, and MS8345 is very closely related to the highly virulent O45:K1:H4 clone associated with neonatal meningitis. Overall, the acquisition of a plasmid carrying resistance to colistin and multiple other antibiotics in this virulent E. coli lineage is concerning and might herald an era where the empirical treatment of ST95 infections becomes increasingly more difficult.IMPORTANCEEscherichia coli ST95 is a globally disseminated clone frequently associated with bloodstream infections and neonatal meningitis. However, the ST95 lineage is defined by low levels of drug resistance amongst clinical isolates, which normally provides for uncomplicated treatment options. Here, we provide the first detailed genomic analysis of an E. coli ST95 isolate that has both high virulence potential and resistance to multiple antibiotics. Using the genome, we predicted its virulence and antibiotic resistance mechanisms, which include resistance to last-line antibiotics mediated by the plasmid-borne mcr-1 gene. Finding an ST95 isolate resistant to nearly all antibiotics that also has a high virulence potential is of major clinical importance and underscores the need to monitor new and emerging trends in antibiotic resistance development in this important global lineage. Copyright © 2018 Forde et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

Functionality of two origins of replication in Vibrio cholerae strains with a single chromosome.

Chromosomal inheritance in bacteria usually entails bidirectional replication of a single chromosome from a single origin into two copies and subsequent partitioning of one copy each into daughter cells upon cell division. However, the human pathogen Vibrio cholerae and other Vibrionaceae harbor two chromosomes, a large Chr1 and a small Chr2. Chr1 and Chr2 have different origins, an oriC-type origin and a P1 plasmid-type origin, respectively, driving the replication of respective chromosomes. Recently, we described naturally occurring exceptions to the two-chromosome rule of Vibrionaceae: i.e., Chr1 and Chr2 fused single chromosome V. cholerae strains, NSCV1 and NSCV2, in which both origins of replication are present. Using NSCV1 and NSCV2, here we tested whether two types of origins of replication can function simultaneously on the same chromosome or one or the other origin is silenced. We found that in NSCV1, both origins are active whereas in NSCV2 ori2 is silenced despite the fact that it is functional in an isolated context. The ori2 activity appears to be primarily determined by the copy number of the triggering site, crtS, which in turn is determined by its location with respect to ori1 and ori2 on the fused chromosome.


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