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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Simultaneous non-contiguous deletions using large synthetic DNA and site-specific recombinases.

Toward achieving rapid and large scale genome modification directly in a target organism, we have developed a new genome engineering strategy that uses a combination of bioinformatics aided design, large synthetic DNA and site-specific recombinases. Using Cre recombinase we swapped a target 126-kb segment of the Escherichia coli genome with a 72-kb synthetic DNA cassette, thereby effectively eliminating over 54 kb of genomic DNA from three non-contiguous regions in a single recombination event. We observed complete replacement of the native sequence with the modified synthetic sequence through the action of the Cre recombinase and no competition from homologous recombination. Because…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Discovery of enzymes for toluene synthesis from anoxic microbial communities.

Microbial toluene biosynthesis was reported in anoxic lake sediments more than three decades ago, but the enzyme catalyzing this biochemically challenging reaction has never been identified. Here we report the toluene-producing enzyme PhdB, a glycyl radical enzyme of bacterial origin that catalyzes phenylacetate decarboxylation, and its cognate activating enzyme PhdA, a radical S-adenosylmethionine enzyme, discovered in two distinct anoxic microbial communities that produce toluene. The unconventional process of enzyme discovery from a complex microbial community (>300,000 genes), rather than from a microbial isolate, involved metagenomics- and metaproteomics-enabled biochemistry, as well as in vitro confirmation of activity with recombinant enzymes. This…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Extensively drug-resistant Escherichia coli sequence type 1642 carrying an IncX3 plasmid containing the blaKPC-2 gene associated with transposon Tn4401a.

Extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Enterobacteriaceae carrying the bla(KPC) gene have emerged as a major global therapeutic concern. The purpose of this study was to analyze the complete sequences of plasmids from KPC-2 carbapenemase-producing XDR Escherichia coli sequence type (ST) 1642 isolates.We performed antimicrobial susceptibility testing, PCR, multilocus sequence typing (MLST), and whole-genome sequencing to characterize the plasmid-mediated KPC-2-producing E. coli clinical isolates.The isolates were resistant to most available antibiotics, including meropenem, ampicillin, ceftriaxone, gentamicin, and ciprofloxacin, but susceptible to tigecycline and colistin. The isolates were identified as the rare ST1642 by MLST. The isolates carried four plasmids: the first 69-kb conjugative…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Functional metagenomics reveals a novel carbapenem-hydrolyzing mobile beta-lactamase from Indian river sediments contaminated with antibiotic production waste.

Evolution has provided environmental bacteria with a plethora of genes that give resistance to antibiotic compounds. Under anthropogenic selection pressures, some of these genes are believed to be recruited over time into pathogens by horizontal gene transfer. River sediment polluted with fluoroquinolones and other drugs discharged from bulk drug production in India constitute an environment with unprecedented, long-term antibiotic selection pressures. It is therefore plausible that previously unknown resistance genes have evolved and/or are promoted here. In order to search for novel resistance genes, we therefore analyzed such river sediments by a functional metagenomics approach. DNA fragments providing resistance to…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Characterization of plasmids harboring blaCTX-M and blaCMY genes in E. coli from French broilers.

Resistance to extended-spectrum cephalosporins (ESC) is a global health issue. The aim of this study was to analyze and compare plasmids coding for resistance to ESC isolated from 16 avian commensal and 17 avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) strains obtained respectively at slaughterhouse or from diseased broilers in 2010-2012. Plasmid DNA was used to transform E. coli DH5alpha, and the resistances of the transformants were determined. The sequences of the ESC-resistance plasmids prepared from transformants were obtained by Illumina (33 plasmids) or PacBio (1 plasmid). Results showed that 29 of these plasmids contained the blaCTX-M-1 gene and belonged to the…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

High genetic plasticity in multidrug-resistant sequence type 3-IncHI2 plasmids revealed by sequence comparison and phylogenetic analysis.

We report a novel fusion plasmid, pP2-3T, cointegrating sequence type 3 (ST3)-IncHI2 with an IncFII plasmid backbone mediating multidrug resistance (MDR) and virulence. Phylogenetic analysis and comparative genomics revealed that pP2-3T and other MDR ST3-IncHI2 plasmids clustered together, representing a unique IncHI2 lineage that exhibited high conservation in backbones of plasmids but possessed highly genetic plasticity in various regions by acquiring numerous antibiotic resistance genes and fusing with other plasmids. Surveillance studies should be performed to monitor multiresistance IncHI2 plasmids among Enterobacteriaceae. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A combinatorial approach to synthetic transcription factor-promoter combinations for yeast strain engineering.

Despite the need for inducible promoters in strain development efforts, the majority of engineering in Saccharomyces cerevisiae continues to rely on a few constitutively active or inducible promoters. Building on advances that use the modular nature of both transcription factors and promoter regions, we have built a library of hybrid promoters that are regulated by a synthetic transcription factor. The hybrid promoters consist of native S. cerevisiae promoters, in which the operator regions have been replaced with sequences that are recognized by the bacterial LexA DNA binding protein. Correspondingly, the synthetic transcription factor (TF) consists of the DNA binding domain…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Recombination of plasmids in a carbapenem-resistant NDM-5-producing clinical Escherichia coli isolate.

To investigate the genetic features of five plasmids recovered from an NDM-5-producing clinical Escherichia coli strain, BJ114, and to characterize the plasmid recombination event that occurred during the conjugation process.The genetic profiles of the five plasmids were determined by PCR, conjugation, S1-PFGE, Southern hybridization and WGS analysis. Plasmid sequences were analysed with various bioinformatic tools.Complete sequences of five plasmids were obtained. Two small plasmids, pBJ114-141 and pBJ114-46, were speculated to have recombined into a large fusion plasmid, pBJ114T-190. When conjugated to other E. coli strains, some of the fusion plasmids were able to be resolved into the original two single…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

An improved medium for colistin susceptibility testing.

The plasmid-located colistin resistance gene mcr-1 confers low-level resistance to colistin, a last-line antibiotic against multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Current CLSI-EUCAST recommendations require the use of a broth microdilution (BMD) method with cation-adjusted Mueller-Hinton (CA-MH) medium for colistin susceptibility testing, but approximately 15% of all MCR-1 producers are classified as sensitive in that broth. Here we report on an improved calcium-enhanced Mueller-Hinton (CE-MH) medium that permits simple and reliable determination of mcr-1-containing Enterobacteriaceae Colistin susceptibility testing was performed for 50 mcr-1-containing Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates, 7 intrinsically polymyxin-resistant species, K. pneumoniae and E. coli isolates with acquired resistance to…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Whole sequences and characteristics of mcr-1-harboring plasmids of Escherichia coli strains isolated from livestock in South Korea.

Of 11 mcr-1-harboring plasmids previously identified from livestock in Korea, we performed whole plasmid sequencing on 3 plasmids and determined the genetic structure surrounding mcr-1 for all 11 plasmids. Transconjugation frequencies were measured for all mcr-1-harboring plasmids and competitive growth experiments were performed to investigate the fitness cost of each plasmid. Although they belong to different clones, the mcr-1-harboring plasmids, pEC006 and pEC019, were highly similar to the first identified mcr-1-carrying Incl2-type plasmid, pHNSHP45. Another IncX4-type plasmid, pEC111, had completely different structure from these plasmids, but was similar to pMCR1-IncX4. A nearly identical 11.3?kb mcr-1 region (nikB-ISApl1-mcr-1-pap2-topB) was shared by…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Characterization of the complete sequences and stability of plasmids carrying the genes aac(6′)-Ib-cr or qnrS in Shigella flexneri in the Hangzhou area of China.

The aim of this study was to explore the fluoroquinolone resistance mechanism of aac (6′)-Ib-cr and qnrS gene by comparing complete sequences and stability of the aac(6′)-Ib-cr- and qnrS-positive plasmids from Shigella isolates in the Hangzhou area of China. The complete sequences of four newly acquired plasmids carrying aac(6′)-Ib-cr or qnrS were compared with those of two plasmids obtained previously and two similar reference Escherichia coli plasmids. The results showed that the length, antibiotic resistance genes and genetic environment were different among the plasmids. Moreover, the plasmid stability of three wild-type isolates and five plasmid transformants carrying aac(6′)-Ib-cr and/or qnrS…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Clinical Staphylococcus argenteus develops to small colony variants to promote persistent infection.

Staphylococcus argenteus is a novel staphylococcal species (also considered as a part of Staphylococcus aureus complex) that is infrequently reported on, and clinical S. argenteus infections are largely unstudied. Here, we report a persistent and recurrent hip joint infection case in which a S. argenteus strain and its small colony variants (SCVs) strain were successively isolated. We present features of the two S. argenteus strains and case details of their pathogenicity, explore factors that induce S. argenteus SCVs formation in the course of anti-infection therapy, and reveal potential genetic mechanisms for S. argenteus SCVs formation. S. argenteus strains were identified…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Pol V-mediated translesion synthesis elicits localized untargeted mutagenesis during post-replicative gap repair.

In vivo, replication forks proceed beyond replication-blocking lesions by way of downstream repriming, generating daughter strand gaps that are subsequently processed by post-replicative repair pathways such as homologous recombination and translesion synthesis (TLS). The way these gaps are filled during TLS is presently unknown. The structure of gap repair synthesis was assessed by sequencing large collections of single DNA molecules that underwent specific TLS events in vivo. The higher error frequency of specialized relative to replicative polymerases allowed us to visualize gap-filling events at high resolution. Unexpectedly, the data reveal that a specialized polymerase, Pol V, synthesizes stretches of DNA both upstream and…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Identification and characterization of conjugative plasmids that encode ciprofloxacin resistance in Salmonella.

This study aimed to characterize novel conjugative plasmids that encode transferrable ciprofloxacin resistance in Salmonella In this study, 157 non-duplicated Salmonella isolates were recovered from food products, 55 out of which were found to be resistant to ciprofloxacin. Interestingly, 37 out of the 55 (67%) CipRSalmonella isolates did not harbor any mutations in the Quinolone resistance determine regions (QRDR). Interestingly, six Salmonella isolates were shown to carry two novel types of conjugative plasmids that could transfer ciprofloxacin resistance phenotype to E. coli J53 (AziR). The first type belonged to the ~110kb IncFIB type conjugative plasmid carrying qnrB-bearing and aac(6′)-Ib-cr-bearing mobile…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Emergence of XDR Escherichia coli carrying both blaNDM and mcr-1 genes in chickens at slaughter and the characterization of two novel blaNDM-bearing plasmids.

The emergence and spread of carbapenem-resistant isolates, especially New Delhi MBL (NDM)-producing Enterobacteriaceae, has become a global concern. Although NDM-producing Enterobacteriaceae have been mostly observed in clinical cases, they have also been identified in food-producing animals and wildlife. Recently, XDR bacteria harbouring both blaNDMand mcr-1 genes were observed in isolates from animals, posing a potential threat to public health. However, reports on the coexistence of blaNDMand mcr-1 in bacteria isolated from animals at slaughter remains sporadic. Here, we report two Escherichia coli strains, SD133 and SD138, co-producing NDM and MCR-1, isolated from chickens at slaughter in July 2015 in China.

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