September 22, 2019  |  

Extensive allele-specific translational regulation in hybrid mice.

Translational regulation is mediated through the interaction between diffusible trans-factors and cis-elements residing within mRNA transcripts. In contrast to extensively studied transcriptional regulation, cis-regulation on translation remains underexplored. Using deep sequencing-based transcriptome and polysome profiling, we globally profiled allele-specific translational efficiency for the first time in an F1 hybrid mouse. Out of 7,156 genes with reliable quantification of both alleles, we found 1,008 (14.1%) exhibiting significant allelic divergence in translational efficiency. Systematic analysis of sequence features of the genes with biased allelic translation revealed that local RNA secondary structure surrounding the start codon and proximal out-of-frame upstream AUGs could affect translational efficiency. Finally, we observed that the cis-effect was quantitatively comparable between transcriptional and translational regulation. Such effects in the two regulatory processes were more frequently compensatory, suggesting that the regulation at the two levels could be coordinated in maintaining robustness of protein expression. © 2015 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.


September 22, 2019  |  

In vitro characterization of phenylacetate decarboxylase, a novel enzyme catalyzing toluene biosynthesis in an anaerobic microbial community.

Anaerobic bacterial biosynthesis of toluene from phenylacetate was reported more than two decades ago, but the biochemistry underlying this novel metabolism has never been elucidated. Here we report results of in vitro characterization studies of a novel phenylacetate decarboxylase from an anaerobic, sewage-derived enrichment culture that quantitatively produces toluene from phenylacetate; complementary metagenomic and metaproteomic analyses are also presented. Among the noteworthy findings is that this enzyme is not the well-characterized clostridial p-hydroxyphenylacetate decarboxylase (CsdBC). However, the toluene synthase under study appears to be able to catalyze both phenylacetate and p-hydroxyphenylacetate decarboxylation. Observations suggesting that phenylacetate and p-hydroxyphenylacetate decarboxylation in complex cell-free extracts were catalyzed by the same enzyme include the following: (i) the specific activity for both substrates was comparable in cell-free extracts, (ii) the two activities displayed identical behavior during chromatographic separation of cell-free extracts, (iii) both activities were irreversibly inactivated upon exposure to O2, and (iv) both activities were similarly inhibited by an amide analog of p-hydroxyphenylacetate. Based upon these and other data, we hypothesize that the toluene synthase reaction involves a glycyl radical decarboxylase. This first-time study of the phenylacetate decarboxylase reaction constitutes an important step in understanding and ultimately harnessing it for making bio-based toluene.


September 22, 2019  |  

Predominant contribution of cis-regulatory divergence in the evolution of mouse alternative splicing.

Divergence of alternative splicing represents one of the major driving forces to shape phenotypic diversity during evolution. However, the extent to which these divergences could be explained by the evolving cis-regulatory versus trans-acting factors remains unresolved. To globally investigate the relative contributions of the two factors for the first time in mammals, we measured splicing difference between C57BL/6J and SPRET/EiJ mouse strains and allele-specific splicing pattern in their F1 hybrid. Out of 11,818 alternative splicing events expressed in the cultured fibroblast cells, we identified 796 with significant difference between the parental strains. After integrating allele-specific data from F1 hybrid, we demonstrated that these events could be predominately attributed to cis-regulatory variants, including those residing at and beyond canonical splicing sites. Contrary to previous observations in Drosophila, such predominant contribution was consistently observed across different types of alternative splicing. Further analysis of liver tissues from the same mouse strains and reanalysis of published datasets on other strains showed similar trends, implying in general the predominant contribution of cis-regulatory changes in the evolution of mouse alternative splicing. © 2015 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.


September 22, 2019  |  

Early transmissible ampicillin resistance in zoonotic Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium in the late 1950s: a retrospective, whole-genome sequencing study.

Ampicillin, the first semi-synthetic penicillin active against Enterobacteriaceae, was released onto the market in 1961. The first outbreaks of disease caused by ampicillin-resistant strains of Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium were identified in the UK in 1962 and 1964. We aimed to date the emergence of this resistance in historical isolates of S enterica serotype Typhimurium.In this retrospective, whole-genome sequencing study, we analysed 288 S enterica serotype Typhimurium isolates collected between 1911 and 1969 from 31 countries on four continents and from various sources including human beings, animals, feed, and food. All isolates were tested for antimicrobial drug susceptibility with the disc diffusion method, and isolates shown to be resistant to ampicillin underwent resistance-transfer experiments. To provide insights into population structure and mechanisms of ampicillin resistance, we did whole-genome sequencing on a subset of 225 isolates, selected to maximise source, spatiotemporal, and genetic diversity.11 (4%) of 288 isolates were resistant to ampicillin because of acquisition of various ß lactamase genes, including blaTEM-1, carried by various plasmids, including the virulence plasmid of S enterica serotype Typhimurium. These 11 isolates were from three phylogenomic groups. One isolate producing TEM-1 ß lactamase was isolated in France in 1959 and two isolates producing TEM-1 ß lactamase were isolated in Tunisia in 1960, before ampicillin went on sale. The vectors for ampicillin resistance were different from those reported in the strains responsible for the outbreaks in the UK in the 1960s.The association between antibiotic use and selection of resistance determinants is not as direct as often presumed. Our results suggest that the non-clinical use of narrow-spectrum penicillins (eg, benzylpenicillin) might have favoured the diffusion of plasmids carrying the blaTEM-1gene in S enterica serotype Typhimurium in the late 1950s.Institut Pasteur, Santé publique France, the French Government’s Investissement d’Avenir programme, the Fondation Le Roch-Les Mousquetaires. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Spread of plasmid-encoded NDM-1 and GES-5 carbapenemases among extensively drug-resistant and pandrug-resistant clinical Enterobacteriaceae in Durban, South Africa.

Whole-genome sequence analyses revealed the presence of blaNDM-1 (n = 31), blaGES-5 (n = 8), blaOXA-232 (n = 1), or blaNDM-5 (n = 1) in extensively drug-resistant and pandrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae organisms isolated from in-patients in 10 private hospitals (2012 to 2013) in Durban, South Africa. Two novel NDM-1-encoding plasmids from Klebsiella pneumoniae were circularized by PacBio sequencing. In p19-10_01 [IncFIB(K); 223.434 bp], blaNDM-1 was part of a Tn1548-like structure (16.276 bp) delineated by IS26 The multireplicon plasmid p18-43_01 [IncR_1/IncFIB(pB171)/IncFII(Yp); 212.326 bp] shared an 80-kb region with p19-10_01, not including the blaNDM-1-containing region. The two plasmids were used as references for tracing NDM-1-encoding plasmids in the other genome assemblies. The p19-10_01 sequence was detected in K. pneumoniae (n = 7) only, whereas p18-43_01 was tracked to K. pneumoniae (n = 4), Klebsiella michiganensis (n = 1), Serratia marcescens (n = 11), Enterobacter spp. (n = 7), and Citrobacter freundii (n = 1), revealing horizontal spread of this blaNDM-1-bearing plasmid structure. Global phylogeny showed clustering of the K. pneumoniae (18/20) isolates together with closely related carbapenemase-negative ST101 isolates from other geographical origins. The South African isolates were divided into three phylogenetic subbranches, where each group had distinct resistance and replicon profiles, carrying either p19-10_01, p18-10_01, or pCHE-A1 (8,201 bp). The latter plasmid carried blaGES-5 and aacA4 within an integron mobilization unit. Our findings imply independent plasmid acquisition followed by local dissemination. Additionally, we detected blaOXA-232 carried by pPKPN4 in K. pneumoniae (ST14) and blaNDM-5 contained by a pNDM-MGR194-like genetic structure in Escherichia coli (ST167), adding even more complexity to the multilayer molecular mechanisms behind nosocomial spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in Durban, South Africa. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.


September 22, 2019  |  

Mosaic structure as the main feature of Mycobacterium bovis BCG genomes

Background: The genome stability of attenuated live BCG vaccine preventing the acute forms of childhood tuberculosis is an important aspect of vaccine production. The pur- pose of our study was a whole genome comparative analysis of BCG sub-strains and identification of potential triggers of sub-strains’ transition. Results: Genomes of three BCG Russia seed lots (1963, 1982, 2006 years) have been sequenced, and the stability of vaccine sub-strain genomes has been confirmed. A com- parative genome analysis of nine Mycobacterium bovis BCG and three M. bovis strains revealed their specific genome features associated with prophage profiles. A number of prophage-coded homologs to Caudovirales ORFs were common to all BCG genomes. Prophage profiles of BCG Tice and BCG Montreal genomes were unique and coded homologs to herpes viruses ORFs. The data of phylogenetic analysis of BCG sub-strain groups based on whole genome sequences and genome restriction maps were in con- gruence with prophage profiles. The only fragmentary similarity of specific prophage sequences of BCG Tice, BCG Montreal, and BCG Russia 368 in pair-wise alignments was observed, suggesting the impact of prophages on mosaic structure of genomes. Conclusions: The whole genome sequencing approach is essential for genomes with mosaic structure, harboring numerous prophage sequences. Tools for prophage search are effective instruments in this analysis.


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 to their own original susceptible strain with a median pairwise SNP distance of 5.5 (range 1-40 SNPs), while seven other strain pairs were divergent with =84 SNP differences. In addition, several strains from different patients formed distinct clusters on the phylogeny in keeping with closely linked transmission chains. The majority of colistin-resistant strains contained non-synonymous mutations within the pmrAB locus suggesting a central role for pmrAB mutations in colistin resistance. Excellent genotype-phenotype correlation was also observed for carbapenems, aminoglycosides and tetracyclines.The findings suggest that colistin resistance in the clinical setting arises through both in vivo evolution from colistin-susceptible strains and reinfection by unrelated colistin-resistant strains, the latter of which may involve patient-to-patient transmission.


September 22, 2019  |  

Leishmania genome dynamics during environmental adaptation reveal strain-specific differences in gene copy number variation, karyotype instability, and telomeric amplification.

Protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania adapt to environmental change through chromosome and gene copy number variations. Only little is known about external or intrinsic factors that govern Leishmania genomic adaptation. Here, by conducting longitudinal genome analyses of 10 new Leishmania clinical isolates, we uncovered important differences in gene copy number among genetically highly related strains and revealed gain and loss of gene copies as potential drivers of long-term environmental adaptation in the field. In contrast, chromosome rather than gene amplification was associated with short-term environmental adaptation to in vitro culture. Karyotypic solutions were highly reproducible but unique for a given strain, suggesting that chromosome amplification is under positive selection and dependent on species- and strain-specific intrinsic factors. We revealed a progressive increase in read depth towards the chromosome ends for various Leishmania isolates, which may represent a nonclassical mechanism of telomere maintenance that can preserve integrity of chromosome ends during selection for fast in vitro growth. Together our data draw a complex picture of Leishmania genomic adaptation in the field and in culture, which is driven by a combination of intrinsic genetic factors that generate strain-specific phenotypic variations, which are under environmental selection and allow for fitness gain.IMPORTANCE Protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania cause severe human and veterinary diseases worldwide, termed leishmaniases. A hallmark of Leishmania biology is its capacity to adapt to a variety of unpredictable fluctuations inside its human host, notably pharmacological interventions, thus, causing drug resistance. Here we investigated mechanisms of environmental adaptation using a comparative genomics approach by sequencing 10 new clinical isolates of the L. donovani, L. major, and L. tropica complexes that were sampled across eight distinct geographical regions. Our data provide new evidence that parasites adapt to environmental change in the field and in culture through a combination of chromosome and gene amplification that likely causes phenotypic variation and drives parasite fitness gains in response to environmental constraints. This novel form of gene expression regulation through genomic change compensates for the absence of classical transcriptional control in these early-branching eukaryotes and opens new venues for biomarker discovery. Copyright © 2018 Bussotti et al.


July 19, 2019  |  

Complete telomere-to-telomere de novo assembly of the Plasmodium falciparum genome through long-read (>11?kb), single molecule, real-time sequencing.

The application of next-generation sequencing to estimate genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum, the most lethal malaria parasite, has proved challenging due to the skewed AT-richness [~80.6% (A?+?T)] of its genome and the lack of technology to assemble highly polymorphic subtelomeric regions that contain clonally variant, multigene virulence families (Ex: var and rifin). To address this, we performed amplification-free, single molecule, real-time sequencing of P. falciparum genomic DNA and generated reads of average length 12?kb, with 50% of the reads between 15.5 and 50?kb in length. Next, using the Hierarchical Genome Assembly Process, we assembled the P. falciparum genome de novo and successfully compiled all 14 nuclear chromosomes telomere-to-telomere. We also accurately resolved centromeres [~90-99% (A?+?T)] and subtelomeric regions and identified large insertions and duplications that add extra var and rifin genes to the genome, along with smaller structural variants such as homopolymer tract expansions. Overall, we show that amplification-free, long-read sequencing combined with de novo assembly overcomes major challenges inherent to studying the P. falciparum genome. Indeed, this technology may not only identify the polymorphic and repetitive subtelomeric sequences of parasite populations from endemic areas but may also evaluate structural variation linked to virulence, drug resistance and disease transmission. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute.


July 19, 2019  |  

A case study into microbial genome assembly gap sequences and finishing strategies.

This study characterized regions of DNA which remained unassembled by either PacBio and Illumina sequencing technologies for seven bacterial genomes. Two genomes were manually finished using bioinformatics and PCR/Sanger sequencing approaches and regions not assembled by automated software were analyzed. Gaps present within Illumina assemblies mostly correspond to repetitive DNA regions such as multiple rRNA operon sequences. PacBio gap sequences were evaluated for several properties such as GC content, read coverage, gap length, ability to form strong secondary structures, and corresponding annotations. Our hypothesis that strong secondary DNA structures blocked DNA polymerases and contributed to gap sequences was not accepted. PacBio assemblies had few limitations overall and gaps were explained as cumulative effect of lower than average sequence coverage and repetitive sequences at contig termini. An important aspect of the present study is the compilation of biological features that interfered with assembly and included active transposons, multiple plasmid sequences, phage DNA integration, and large sequence duplication. Our targeted genome finishing approach and systematic evaluation of the unassembled DNA will be useful for others looking to close, finish, and polish microbial genome sequences.


July 7, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics of extrachromosomal elements in Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis.

Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis is one of the most important microorganisms used against mosquitoes. It was intensively studied following its discovery and became a model bacterium of the B. thuringiensis species. Those studies focused on toxin genes, aggregation-associated conjugation, linear genome phages, etc. Recent announcements of genomic sequences of different strains have not been explicitly related to the biological properties studied. We report data on plasmid content analysis of four strains using ultra-high-throughput sequencing. The strains were commercial product isolates, with their putative ancestor and type B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis strain sequenced earlier. The assembled contigs corresponding to published and novel data were assigned to plasmids described earlier in B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis and other B. thuringiensis strains. A new 360 kb plasmid was identified, encoding multiple transporters, also found in most of the earlier sequenced strains. Our genomic data show the presence of two toxin-coding plasmids of 128 and 100 kb instead of the reported 225 kb plasmid, a co-integrate of the former two. In two of the sequenced strains, only a 100 kb plasmid was present. Some heterogeneity exists in the small plasmid content and structure between strains. These data support the perception of active plasmid exchange among B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis strains in nature. Copyright © 2016 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Phenotypic and genomic comparison of Mycobacterium aurum and surrogate model species to Mycobacterium tuberculosis: implications for drug discovery.

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and represents one of the major challenges facing drug discovery initiatives worldwide. The considerable rise in bacterial drug resistance in recent years has led to the need of new drugs and drug regimens. Model systems are regularly used to speed-up the drug discovery process and circumvent biosafety issues associated with manipulating M. tuberculosis. These include the use of strains such as Mycobacterium smegmatis and Mycobacterium marinum that can be handled in biosafety level 2 facilities, making high-throughput screening feasible. However, each of these model species have their own limitations.We report and describe the first complete genome sequence of Mycobacterium aurum ATCC23366, an environmental mycobacterium that can also grow in the gut of humans and animals as part of the microbiota. This species shows a comparable resistance profile to that of M. tuberculosis for several anti-TB drugs. The aims of this study were to (i) determine the drug resistance profile of a recently proposed model species, Mycobacterium aurum, strain ATCC23366, for anti-TB drug discovery as well as Mycobacterium smegmatis and Mycobacterium marinum (ii) sequence and annotate the complete genome sequence of this species obtained using Pacific Bioscience technology (iii) perform comparative genomics analyses of the various surrogate strains with M. tuberculosis (iv) discuss how the choice of the surrogate model used for drug screening can affect the drug discovery process.We describe the complete genome sequence of M. aurum, a surrogate model for anti-tuberculosis drug discovery. Most of the genes already reported to be associated with drug resistance are shared between all the surrogate strains and M. tuberculosis. We consider that M. aurum might be used in high-throughput screening for tuberculosis drug discovery. We also highly recommend the use of different model species during the drug discovery screening process.


July 7, 2019  |  

Population structure and local adaptation of MAC lung disease agent Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis.

Mycobacterium avium subsp. hominissuis (MAH) is one of the most common nontuberculous mycobacterial species responsible for chronic lung disease in humans. Despite increasing worldwide incidence, little is known about the genetic mechanisms behind the population evolution of MAH. To elucidate the local adaptation mechanisms of MAH, we assessed genetic population structure, the mutual homologous recombination, and gene content for 36 global MAH isolates, including 12 Japanese isolates sequenced in the present study. We identified five major MAH lineages and found that extensive mutual homologous recombination occurs among them. Two lineages (MahEastAsia1 and MahEastAsia2) were predominant in the Japanese isolates. We identified alleles unique to these two East Asian lineages in the loci responsible for trehalose biosynthesis (treS and mak) and in one mammalian cell entry operon, which presumably originated from as yet undiscovered mycobacterial lineages. Several genes and alleles unique to East Asian strains were located in the fragments introduced via recombination between East Asian lineages, suggesting implication of recombination in local adaptation. These patterns of MAH genomes are consistent with the signature of distribution conjugative transfer, a mode of sexual reproduction reported for other mycobacterial species.© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genomic sequences of two Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serogroup C2 (O:6,8) strains from Central California.

Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica strains RM11060, serotype 6,8:d:-, and RM11065, serotype 6,8:-:e,n,z15, were isolated from environmental samples collected in central California in 2009. We report the complete genome sequences of these two strains. These genomic sequences are distinct and will provide additional data to our understanding of S. enterica genomics.


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