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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Occurrence, evolution, and functions of DNA phosphorothioate epigenetics in bacteria.

The chemical diversity of physiological DNA modifications has expanded with the identification of phosphorothioate (PT) modification in which the nonbridging oxygen in the sugar-phosphate backbone of DNA is replaced by sulfur. Together with DndFGH as cognate restriction enzymes, DNA PT modification, which is catalyzed by the DndABCDE proteins, functions as a bacterial restriction-modification (R-M) system that protects cells against invading foreign DNA. However, the occurrence of dnd systems across a large number of bacterial genomes and their functions other than R-M are poorly understood. Here, a genomic survey revealed the prevalence of bacterial dnd systems: 1,349 bacterial dnd systems were…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A survey of Type III restriction-modification systems reveals numerous, novel epigenetic regulators controlling phase-variable regulons; phasevarions.

Many bacteria utilize simple DNA sequence repeats as a mechanism to randomly switch genes on and off. This process is called phase variation. Several phase-variable N6-adenine DNA-methyltransferases from Type III restriction-modification systems have been reported in bacterial pathogens. Random switching of DNA methyltransferases changes the global DNA methylation pattern, leading to changes in gene expression. These epigenetic regulatory systems are called phasevarions – phase-variable regulons. The extent of these phase-variable genes in the bacterial kingdom is unknown. Here, we interrogated a database of restriction-modification systems, REBASE, by searching for all simple DNA sequence repeats in mod genes that encode Type III N6-adenine…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Haemophilus influenzae genome evolution during persistence in the human airways in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) exclusively colonize and infect humans and are critical to the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In vitro and animal models do not accurately capture the complex environments encountered by NTHi during human infection. We conducted whole-genome sequencing of 269 longitudinally collected cleared and persistent NTHi from a 15-y prospective study of adults with COPD. Genome sequences were used to elucidate the phylogeny of NTHi isolates, identify genomic changes that occur with persistence in the human airways, and evaluate the effect of selective pressure on 12 candidate vaccine antigens. Strains persisted in individuals with COPD…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

T-independent IFN? and B cells cooperate to prevent mortality associated with disseminated Chlamydia muridarum genital tract infection.

CD4 T cells and antibody are required for optimal acquired immunity to C. muridarum genital tract infection, and T cell-mediated IFN? production is necessary to clear infection in the absence of humoral immunity. However, the role of T cell-independent immune responses during primary infection remains unclear. We investigated this question by inoculating wild-type and immune-deficient mice with C. muridarum CM001, a clonal isolate capable of enhanced extragenital replication. Genital inoculation of wild-type mice resulted in transient dissemination to the lungs and spleen that then was rapidly cleared from these organs. However, CM001 genital infection proved lethal for STAT1-/- and IFNG-/-…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genome-based population structure analysis of the strawberry plant pathogen Xanthomonas fragariae reveals two distinct groups that evolved independently before its species description.

Xanthomonas fragariae is a quarantine organism in Europe, causing angular leaf spots on strawberry plants. It is spreading worldwide in strawberry-producing regions due to import of plant material through trade and human activities. In order to resolve the population structure at the strain level, we have employed high-resolution molecular typing tools on a comprehensive strain collection representing global and temporal distribution of the pathogen. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat regions (CRISPRs) and variable number of tandem repeats (VNTRs) were identified within the reference genome of X. fragariae LMG 25863 as a potential source of variation. Strains from our collection…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Identification of the DNA methyltransferases establishing the methylome of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.

DNA methylation in bacteria is important for defense against foreign DNA, but is also involved in DNA repair, replication, chromosome partitioning, and regulatory processes. Thus, characterization of the underlying DNA methyltransferases in genetically tractable bacteria is of paramount importance. Here, we characterized the methylome and orphan methyltransferases in the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing revealed four DNA methylation recognition sequences in addition to the previously known motif m5CGATCG, which is recognized by M.Ssp6803I. For three of the new recognition sequences, we identified the responsible methyltransferases. M.Ssp6803II, encoded by the sll0729 gene, modifies GGm4CC, M.Ssp6803III,…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The complete methylome of an entomopathogenic bacterium reveals the existence of loci with unmethylated adenines.

DNA methylation can serve to control diverse phenomena in eukaryotes and prokaryotes, including gene regulation leading to cell differentiation. In bacteria, DNA methylomes (i.e., methylation state of each base of the whole genome) have been described for several species, but methylome profile variation during the lifecycle has rarely been studied, and only in a few model organisms. Moreover, major phenotypic changes have been reported in several bacterial strains with a deregulated methyltransferase, but the corresponding methylome has rarely been described. Here we report the first methylome description of an entomopathogenic bacterium, Photorhabdus luminescens. Eight motifs displaying a high rate of…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genome alterations associated with improved transformation efficiency in Lactobacillus reuteri.

Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are one of the microorganisms of choice for the development of protein delivery systems for therapeutic purposes. Although there are numerous tools to facilitate genome engineering of lactobacilli; transformation efficiency still limits the ability to engineer their genomes. While genetically manipulating Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 (LR 6475), we noticed that after an initial transformation, several LR 6475 strains significantly improved their ability to take up plasmid DNA via electroporation. Our goal was to understand the molecular basis for how these strains acquired the ability to increase transformation efficiency.Strains generated after transformation of plasmids pJP067 and…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Type II restriction modification system in Ureaplasma parvum OMC-P162 strain.

Ureaplasma parvum serovar 3 strain, OMC-P162, was isolated from the human placenta of a preterm delivery at 26 weeks’ gestation. In this study, we sequenced the complete genome of OMC-P162 and compared it with other serovar 3 strains isolated from patients with different clinical conditions. Ten unique genes in OMC-P162, five of which encoded for hypothetical proteins, were identified. Of these, genes UPV_229 and UPV_230 formed an operon whose open reading frames were predicted to code for a DNA methyltransferase and a hypothetical protein, respectively. DNA modification analysis of the OMC-P162 genome identified N4-methylcytosine (m4C) and N6-methyladenine (m6A), but not…

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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

Comparative genomic and methylome analysis of non-virulent D74 and virulent Nagasaki Haemophilus parasuis isolates.

Haemophilus parasuis is a respiratory pathogen of swine and the etiological agent of Glässer’s disease. H. parasuis isolates can exhibit different virulence capabilities ranging from lethal systemic disease to subclinical carriage. To identify genomic differences between phenotypically distinct strains, we obtained the closed whole-genome sequence annotation and genome-wide methylation patterns for the highly virulent Nagasaki strain and for the non-virulent D74 strain. Evaluation of the virulence-associated genes contained within the genomes of D74 and Nagasaki led to the discovery of a large number of toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems within both genomes. Five predicted hemolysins were identified as unique to Nagasaki and…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Streptococcus suis contains multiple phase-variable methyltransferases that show a discrete lineage distribution.

Streptococcus suis is a major pathogen of swine, responsible for a number of chronic and acute infections, and is also emerging as a major zoonotic pathogen, particularly in South-East Asia. Our study of a diverse population of S. suis shows that this organism contains both Type I and Type III phase-variable methyltransferases. In all previous examples, phase-variation of methyltransferases results in genome wide methylation differences, and results in differential regulation of multiple genes, a system known as the phasevarion (phase-variable regulon). We hypothesized that each variant in the Type I and Type III systems encoded a methyltransferase with a unique…

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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

Microevolution of Neisseria lactamica during nasopharyngeal colonisation induced by controlled human infection.

Neisseria lactamica is a harmless coloniser of the infant respiratory tract, and has a mutually-excluding relationship with the pathogen Neisseria meningitidis. Here we report controlled human infection with genomically-defined N. lactamica and subsequent bacterial microevolution during 26 weeks of colonisation. We find that most mutations that occur during nasopharyngeal carriage are transient indels within repetitive tracts of putative phase-variable loci associated with host-microbe interactions (pgl and lgt) and iron acquisition (fetA promotor and hpuA). Recurrent polymorphisms occurred in genes associated with energy metabolism (nuoN, rssA) and the CRISPR-associated cas1. A gene encoding a large hypothetical protein was often mutated in…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

DNA Methylation by Restriction Modification Systems Affects the Global Transcriptome Profile in Borrelia burgdorferi.

Prokaryote restriction modification (RM) systems serve to protect bacteria from potentially detrimental foreign DNA. Recent evidence suggests that DNA methylation by the methyltransferase (MTase) components of RM systems can also have effects on transcriptome profiles. The type strain of the causative agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi B31, possesses two RM systems with N6-methyladenosine (m6A) MTase activity, which are encoded by the bbe02 gene located on linear plasmid lp25 and bbq67 on lp56. The specific recognition and/or methylation sequences had not been identified for either of these B. burgdorferi MTases, and it was not previously known whether these RM systems…

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