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Sunday, September 22, 2019

An introduced crop plant is driving diversification of the virulent bacterial pathogen Erwinia tracheiphila.

Erwinia tracheiphila is the causal agent of bacterial wilt of cucurbits, an economically important phytopathogen affecting an economically important phytopathogen affecting few cultivated Cucurbitaceae few cultivated Cucurbitaceae host plant species in temperate eastern North America. However, essentially nothing is known about E. tracheiphila population structure or genetic diversity. To address this shortcoming, a representative collection of 88 E. tracheiphila isolates was gathered from throughout its geographic range, and their genomes were sequenced. Phylogenomic analysis revealed three genetic clusters with distinct hrpT3SS virulence gene repertoires, host plant association patterns, and geographic distributions. Low genetic heterogeneity within each cluster suggests a recent…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Characterization and genomic analyses of Pseudomonas aeruginosa podovirus TC6: establishment of genus Pa11virus.

Phages have attracted a renewed interest as alternative to chemical antibiotics. Although the number of phages is 10-fold higher than that of bacteria, the number of genomically characterized phages is far less than that of bacteria. In this study, phage TC6, a novel lytic virus of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, was isolated and characterized. TC6 consists of an icosahedral head with a diameter of approximately 54 nm and a short tail with a length of about 17 nm, which are characteristics of the family Podoviridae. TC6 can lyse 86 out of 233 clinically isolated P. aeruginosa strains, thus showing application potentials for…

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Sunday, 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…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Phylogenomics of colistin-susceptible and resistant XDR Acinetobacter baumannii.

Acinetobacter baumannii is a healthcare-associated pathogen with high rates of carbapenem resistance. Colistin is now routinely used for treatment of infections by this pathogen. However, colistin use has been associated with development of resistance to this agent.To elucidate the phylogenomics of colistin-susceptible and -resistant A. baumannii strain pairs from a cohort of hospitalized patients at a tertiary medical centre in the USA.WGS data from 21 pairs of colistin-susceptible and -resistant, XDR clinical strains were obtained and compared using phylogeny of aligned genome sequences, assessment of pairwise SNP differences and gene content.Fourteen patients had colistin-resistant strains that were highly genetically related…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Molecular epidemiology of isolates with multiple mcr plasmids from a pig farm in Great Britain: the effects of colistin withdrawal in the short and long term.

The environment, including farms, might act as a reservoir for mobile colistin resistance (mcr) genes, which has led to calls for reduction of usage in livestock of colistin, an antibiotic of last resort for humans.To establish the molecular epidemiology of mcr Enterobacteriaceae from faeces of two cohorts of pigs, where one group had initially been treated with colistin and the other not, over a 5?month period following stoppage of colistin usage on a farm in Great Britain; faecal samples were also taken at ~20?months.mcr-1 Enterobacteriaceae were isolated from positive faeces and was WGS performed; conjugation was performed on selected Escherichia…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Phenazines in plant-beneficial Pseudomonas spp.: biosynthesis, regulation, function and genomics.

Plant-beneficial phenazine-producing Pseudomonas spp. are proficient biocontrol agents of soil-dwelling plant pathogens. Phenazines are redox-active molecules that display broad-spectrum antibiotic activity toward many fungal, bacterial and oomycete plant pathogens. Phenazine compounds also play a role in the persistence and survival of Pseudomonas spp. in the rhizosphere. This mini-review focuses on plant-beneficial phenazine-producing Pseudomonas spp. from the P. fluorescens species complex, which includes numerous well-known phenazine-producing strains of biocontrol interest. In this review the current knowledge on phenazine biosynthesis and regulation, the role played by phenazines in biocontrol and rhizosphere colonization, as well as exciting new advances in the genomics of…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Excision-reintegration at a pneumococcal phase-variable restriction-modification locus drives within- and between-strain epigenetic differentiation and inhibits gene acquisition.

Phase-variation of Type I restriction-modification systems can rapidly alter the sequence motifs they target, diversifying both the epigenetic patterns and endonuclease activity within clonally descended populations. Here, we characterize the Streptococcus pneumoniae SpnIV phase-variable Type I RMS, encoded by the translocating variable restriction (tvr) locus, to identify its target motifs, mechanism and regulation of phase variation, and effects on exchange of sequence through transformation. The specificity-determining hsdS genes were shuffled through a recombinase-mediated excision-reintegration mechanism involving circular intermediate molecules, guided by two types of direct repeat. The rate of rearrangements was limited by an attenuator and toxin-antitoxin system homologs that…

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Sunday, 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…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Staying alive: growth and survival of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. animalis under in vitro and in vivo conditions.

Members of the Bifidobacterium genus are widely used as probiotics in fermented milk products. Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. animalis CNCM I-4602 grows and survives poorly in reconstituted skimmed milk (RSM). Availing of genome and transcriptome information, this poor growth and survival phenotype in milk was substantially improved by the addition of certain compounds, such as yeast extract, uric acid, glutathione, cysteine, ferrous sulfate, and a combination of magnesium sulfate and manganese sulfate. Carbohydrate utilization of CNCM I-4602 was also investigated, allowing the identification of several carbohydrate utilization gene clusters, and highlighting this strain’s inability to utilize lactose, unlike the type strain…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparative analysis of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii genomes shows a high level of genome plasticity and warrants separation into new species-level taxa.

Faecalibacterium prausnitzii is a ubiquitous member of the human gut microbiome, constituting up to 15% of the total bacteria in the human gut. Substantial evidence connects decreased levels of F. prausnitzii with the onset and progression of certain forms of inflammatory bowel disease, which has been attributed to its anti-inflammatory potential. Two phylogroups of F. prausnitzii have been identified, with a decrease in phylogroup I being a more sensitive marker of intestinal inflammation. Much of the genomic and physiological data available to date was collected using phylogroup II strains. Little analysis of F. prausnitzii genomes has been performed so far…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Description of Schaedlerella arabinophila gen. nov., sp. nov., a D-arabinose utilizing bacterium isolated from feces of C57BL/6J mice and a close relative of Clostridium sp. ASF 502

The use of gnotobiotics has gained large interest in recent years due to technological advances that have revealed the importance of host-associated microbiomes for host physiology and health. One of the oldest and most important gnotobiotics mouse model, the Altered Schaedler Flora (ASF) has been used for several decades. ASF comprises eight different bacterial species, which have been characterized to different extent, but only few are available through public strain collections. Here, the isolation of a close relative to one of the less studied ASF strains, Clostridium sp. ASF 502, is reported. Isolate TLL-A1, which shares 99.6% 16S rRNA gene…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Functional analysis of the first complete genome sequence of a multidrug resistant sequence type 2 Staphylococcus epidermidis.

Staphylococcus epidermidis is a significant opportunistic pathogen of humans. The ST2 lineage is frequently multidrug resistant and accounts for most of the clinical disease worldwide. However, there are no publically available, closed ST2 genomes and pathogenesis studies have not focused on these strains. We report the complete genome and methylome of BPH0662, a multidrug resistant, hospital adapted, ST2 S. epidermidis, and describe the correlation between resistome and phenotype, as well as demonstrate its relationship to publically available, international ST2 isolates. Furthermore, we delineate the methylome determined by the two type I restriction modification systems present in BPH0662 through heterologous expression…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Comparative genomics of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O145:H28 demonstrates a common evolutionary lineage with Escherichia coli O157:H7.

Although serotype O157:H7 is the predominant enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), outbreaks of non-O157 EHEC that cause severe foodborne illness, including hemolytic uremic syndrome have increased worldwide. In fact, non-O157 serotypes are now estimated to cause over half of all the Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) cases, and outbreaks of non-O157 EHEC infections are frequently associated with serotypes O26, O45, O103, O111, O121, and O145. Currently, there are no complete genomes for O145 in public databases.We determined the complete genome sequences of two O145 strains (EcO145), one linked to a US lettuce-associated outbreak (RM13514) and one to a Belgium ice-cream-associated outbreak…

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