April 21, 2020  |  

Complete Genome Assembly of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis IP2666pIB1.

Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, closely related to Yersinia pestis, is a human pathogen and model organism for studying bacterial pathogenesis. To aid in genomic analysis and understanding bacterial virulence, we sequenced and assembled the complete genome of the human pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis IP2666pIB1.


July 19, 2019  |  

Exploring the roles of DNA methylation in the metal-reducing bacterium Shewanella oneidensis MR-1.

We performed whole-genome analyses of DNA methylation in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 to examine its possible role in regulating gene expression and other cellular processes. Single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing revealed extensive methylation of adenine (N6mA) throughout the genome. These methylated bases were located in five sequence motifs, including three novel targets for type I restriction/modification enzymes. The sequence motifs targeted by putative methyltranferases were determined via SMRT sequencing of gene knockout mutants. In addition, we found that S. oneidensis MR-1 cultures grown under various culture conditions displayed different DNA methylation patterns. However, the small number of differentially methylated sites could not be directly linked to the much larger number of differentially expressed genes under these conditions, suggesting that DNA methylation is not a major regulator of gene expression in S. oneidensis MR-1. The enrichment of methylated GATC motifs in the origin of replication indicates that DNA methylation may regulate genome replication in a manner similar to that seen in Escherichia coli. Furthermore, comparative analyses suggest that many Gammaproteobacteria, including all members of the Shewanellaceae family, may also utilize DNA methylation to regulate genome replication.


July 19, 2019  |  

Insertion sequence IS26 reorganizes plasmids in clinically isolated multidrug-resistant bacteria by replicative transposition.

Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE), which are resistant to most or all known antibiotics, constitute a global threat to public health. Transposable elements are often associated with antibiotic resistance determinants, suggesting a role in the emergence of resistance. One insertion sequence, IS26, is frequently associated with resistance determinants, but its role remains unclear. We have analyzed the genomic contexts of 70 IS26 copies in several clinical and surveillance CPE isolates from the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. We used target site duplications and their patterns as guides and found that a large fraction of plasmid reorganizations result from IS26 replicative transpositions, including replicon fusions, DNA inversions, and deletions. Replicative transposition could also be inferred for transposon Tn4401, which harbors the carbapenemase blaKPC gene. Thus, replicative transposition is important in the ongoing reorganization of plasmids carrying multidrug-resistant determinants, an observation that carries substantial clinical and epidemiological implications for understanding how such extreme drug resistance phenotypes evolve.Although IS26 is frequently reported to reside in resistance plasmids of clinical isolates, the characteristic hallmark of transposition, target site duplication (TSD), is generally not observed, raising questions about the mode of transposition for IS26. The previous observation of cointegrate formation during transposition implies that IS26 transposes via a replicative mechanism. The other possible outcome of replicative transposition is DNA inversion or deletion, when transposition occurs intramolecularly, and this would also generate a specific TSD pattern that might also serve as supporting evidence for the transposition mechanism. The numerous examples we present here demonstrate that replicative transposition, used by many mobile elements (including IS26 and Tn4401), is prevalent in the plasmids of clinical isolates and results in significant plasmid reorganization. This study also provides a method to trace the evolution of resistance plasmids based on TSD patterns. Copyright © 2015 He et al.


July 19, 2019  |  

Lineage-specific methyltransferases define the methylome of the globally disseminated Escherichia coli ST131 clone.

Escherichia coli sequence type 131 (ST131) is a clone of uropathogenic E. coli that has emerged rapidly and disseminated globally in both clinical and community settings. Members of the ST131 lineage from across the globe have been comprehensively characterized in terms of antibiotic resistance, virulence potential, and pathogenicity, but to date nothing is known about the methylome of these important human pathogens. Here we used single-molecule real-time (SMRT) PacBio sequencing to determine the methylome of E. coli EC958, the most-well-characterized completely sequenced ST131 strain. Our analysis of 52,081 methylated adenines in the genome of EC958 discovered three (m6)A methylation motifs that have not been described previously. Subsequent SMRT sequencing of isogenic knockout mutants identified the two type I methyltransferases (MTases) and one type IIG MTase responsible for (m6)A methylation of novel recognition sites. Although both type I sites were rare, the type IIG sites accounted for more than 12% of all methylated adenines in EC958. Analysis of the distribution of MTase genes across 95 ST131 genomes revealed their prevalence is highly conserved within the ST131 lineage, with most variation due to the presence or absence of mobile genetic elements on which individual MTase genes are located.DNA modification plays a crucial role in bacterial regulation. Despite several examples demonstrating the role of methyltransferase (MTase) enzymes in bacterial virulence, investigation of this phenomenon on a whole-genome scale has remained elusive until now. Here we used single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing to determine the first complete methylome of a strain from the multidrug-resistant E. coli sequence type 131 (ST131) lineage. By interrogating the methylome computationally and with further SMRT sequencing of isogenic mutants representing previously uncharacterized MTase genes, we defined the target sequences of three novel ST131-specific MTases and determined the genomic distribution of all MTase target sequences. Using a large collection of 95 previously sequenced ST131 genomes, we identified mobile genetic elements as a major factor driving diversity in DNA methylation patterns. Overall, our analysis highlights the potential for DNA methylation to dramatically influence gene regulation at the transcriptional level within a well-defined E. coli clone. Copyright © 2015 Forde et al.


July 19, 2019  |  

Genomic repeats, misassembly and reannotation: a case study with long-read resequencing of Porphyromonas gingivalis reference strains.

Without knowledge of their genomic sequences, it is impossible to make functional models of the bacteria that make up human and animal microbiota. Unfortunately, the vast majority of publicly available genomes are only working drafts, an incompleteness that causes numerous problems and constitutes a major obstacle to genotypic and phenotypic interpretation. In this work, we began with an example from the class Bacteroidia in the phylum Bacteroidetes, which is preponderant among human orodigestive microbiota. We successfully identify the genetic loci responsible for assembly breaks and misassemblies and demonstrate the importance and usefulness of long-read sequencing and curated reannotation.We showed that the fragmentation in Bacteroidia draft genomes assembled from massively parallel sequencing linearly correlates with genomic repeats of the same or greater size than the reads. We also demonstrated that some of these repeats, especially the long ones, correspond to misassembled loci in three reference Porphyromonas gingivalis genomes marked as circularized (thus complete or finished). We prove that even at modest coverage (30X), long-read resequencing together with PCR contiguity verification (rrn operons and an integrative and conjugative element or ICE) can be used to identify and correct the wrongly combined or assembled regions. Finally, although time-consuming and labor-intensive, consistent manual biocuration of three P. gingivalis strains allowed us to compare and correct the existing genomic annotations, resulting in a more accurate interpretation of the genomic differences among these strains.In this study, we demonstrate the usefulness and importance of long-read sequencing in verifying published genomes (even when complete) and generating assemblies for new bacterial strains/species with high genomic plasticity. We also show that when combined with biological validation processes and diligent biocurated annotation, this strategy helps reduce the propagation of errors in shared databases, thus limiting false conclusions based on incomplete or misleading information.


July 7, 2019  |  

Thirty-two complete genome assemblies of nine Yersinia species, including Y. pestis, Y. pseudotuberculosis, and Y. enterocolitica.

The genus Yersinia includes three human pathogens, of which Yersinia pestis is responsible for >2,000 illnesses each year. To aid in the development of detection assays and aid further phylogenetic elucidation, we sequenced and assembled the complete genomes of 32 strains (across 9 Yersinia species). Copyright © 2015 Johnson et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Novel recA-independent horizontal gene transfer in Escherichia coli K-12.

In bacteria, mechanisms that incorporate DNA into a genome without strand-transfer proteins such as RecA play a major role in generating novelty by horizontal gene transfer. We describe a new illegitimate recombination event in Escherichia coli K-12: RecA-independent homologous replacements, with very large (megabase-length) donor patches replacing recipient DNA. A previously uncharacterized gene (yjiP) increases the frequency of RecA-independent replacement recombination. To show this, we used conjugal DNA transfer, combining a classical conjugation donor, HfrH, with modern genome engineering methods and whole genome sequencing analysis to enable interrogation of genetic dependence of integration mechanisms and characterization of recombination products. As in classical experiments, genomic DNA transfer begins at a unique position in the donor, entering the recipient via conjugation; antibiotic resistance markers are then used to select recombinant progeny. Different configurations of this system were used to compare known mechanisms for stable DNA incorporation, including homologous recombination, F’-plasmid formation, and genome duplication. A genome island of interest known as the immigration control region was specifically replaced in a minority of recombinants, at a frequency of 3 X 10-12 CFU/recipient per hour.


July 7, 2019  |  

Quorum sensing activity of Aeromonas caviae strain YL12, a bacterium isolated from compost.

Quorum sensing is a well-studied cell-to-cell communication method that involves a cell-density dependent regulation of genes expression mediated by signalling molecules. In this study, a bacterium isolated from a plant material compost pile was found to possess quorum sensing activity based on bioassay screening. Isolate YL12 was identified using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry and molecular typing using rpoD gene which identified the isolate as Aeromonas caviae. High resolution tandem mass spectrometry was subsequently employed to identify the N-acyl homoserine lactone profile of Aeromonas caviae YL12 and confirmed that this isolate produced two short chain N-acyl homoserine lactones, namely C4-HSL and C6, and the production was observed to be cell density-dependent. Using the thin layer chromatography (TLC) bioassay, both AHLs were found to activate C. violaceum CV026, whereas only C6-HSL was revealed to induce bioluminescence expression of E. coli [pSB401]. The data presented in this study will be the leading steps in understanding the role of quorum sensing in Aeromonas caviae strain YL12.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome sequences of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis strains 48252 (human, pneumonia), CS_10 (lab strain), Ft_2193/ 67 (goat, pus), and CCUG 27541.

Here we report the genome sequencess of four Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis strains. These include a strain isolated from a patient with C. pseudotuberculosis pneumonia (48252), a strain isolated from pus in goat (Ft_2193/67), a laboratory strain originating from strain Ft_2193/67 (CS_10), and the draft genome of an equine reference strain, CCUG 27541. Copyright © 2014 Håvelsrud et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Enabling the democratization of the genomics revolution with a fully integrated web-based bioinformatics platform.

Continued advancements in sequencing technologies have fueled the development of new sequencing applications and promise to flood current databases with raw data. A number of factors prevent the seamless and easy use of these data, including the breadth of project goals, the wide array of tools that individually perform fractions of any given analysis, the large number of associated software/hardware dependencies, and the detailed expertise required to perform these analyses. To address these issues, we have developed an intuitive web-based environment with a wide assortment of integrated and cutting-edge bioinformatics tools in pre-configured workflows. These workflows, coupled with the ease of use of the environment, provide even novice next-generation sequencing users with the ability to perform many complex analyses with only a few mouse clicks and, within the context of the same environment, to visualize and further interrogate their results. This bioinformatics platform is an initial attempt at Empowering the Development of Genomics Expertise (EDGE) in a wide range of applications for microbial research.© The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.


July 7, 2019  |  

Identification of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 DNA methyltransferase, its targets, and physiological roles.

DNA methylation is widespread among prokaryotes, and most DNA methylation reactions are catalyzed by adenine DNA methyltransferases, which are part of restriction-modification (R-M) systems. R-M systems are known for their role in the defense against foreign DNA; however, DNA methyltransferases also play functional roles in gene regulation. In this study, we used single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing to uncover the genome-wide DNA methylation pattern in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. We identified a conserved sequence motif targeted by an adenine methyltransferase of a type I R-M system and quantified the presence of N(6)-methyladenine using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Changes in the PAO1 methylation status were dependent on growth conditions and affected P. aeruginosa pathogenicity in a Galleria mellonella infection model. Furthermore, we found that methylated motifs in promoter regions led to shifts in sense and antisense gene expression, emphasizing the role of enzymatic DNA methylation as an epigenetic control of phenotypic traits in P. aeruginosa Since the DNA methylation enzymes are not encoded in the core genome, our findings illustrate how the acquisition of accessory genes can shape the global P. aeruginosa transcriptome and thus may facilitate adaptation to new and challenging habitats.IMPORTANCE With the introduction of advanced technologies, epigenetic regulation by DNA methyltransferases in bacteria has become a subject of intense studies. Here we identified an adenosine DNA methyltransferase in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1, which is responsible for DNA methylation of a conserved sequence motif. The methylation level of all target sequences throughout the PAO1 genome was approximated to be in the range of 65 to 85% and was dependent on growth conditions. Inactivation of the methyltransferase revealed an attenuated-virulence phenotype in the Galleria mellonella infection model. Furthermore, differential expression of more than 90 genes was detected, including the small regulatory RNA prrF1, which contributes to a global iron-sparing response via the repression of a set of gene targets. Our finding of a methylation-dependent repression of the antisense transcript of the prrF1 small regulatory RNA significantly expands our understanding of the regulatory mechanisms underlying active DNA methylation in bacteria. Copyright © 2017 Doberenz et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genomic changes associated with the evolutionary transition of an insect gut symbiont into a blood-borne pathogen.

The genus Bartonella comprises facultative intracellular bacteria with a unique lifestyle. After transmission by blood-sucking arthropods they colonize the erythrocytes of mammalian hosts causing acute and chronic infectious diseases. Although the pathogen-host interaction is well understood, little is known about the evolutionary origin of the infection strategy manifested by Bartonella species. Here we analyzed six genomes of Bartonella apis, a honey bee gut symbiont that to date represents the closest relative of pathogenic Bartonella species. Comparative genomics revealed that B. apis encodes a large set of vertically inherited genes for amino acid and cofactor biosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism. Most pathogenic bartonellae have lost these ancestral functions, but acquired specific virulence factors and expanded a vertically inherited gene family for harvesting cofactors from the blood. However, the deeply rooted pathogen Bartonella tamiae has retained many of the ancestral genome characteristics reflecting an evolutionary intermediate state toward a host-restricted intraerythrocytic lifestyle. Our findings suggest that the ancestor of the pathogen Bartonella was a gut symbiont of insects and that the adaptation to blood-feeding insects facilitated colonization of the mammalian bloodstream. This study highlights the importance of comparative genomics among pathogens and non-pathogenic relatives to understand disease emergence within an evolutionary-ecological framework.


July 7, 2019  |  

AidP, a novel N-Acyl homoserine lactonase gene from Antarctic Planococcus sp.

Planococcus is a Gram-positive halotolerant bacterial genus in the phylum Firmicutes, commonly found in various habitats in Antarctica. Quorum quenching (QQ) is the disruption of bacterial cell-to-cell communication (known as quorum sensing), which has previously been described in mesophilic bacteria. This study demonstrated the QQ activity of a psychrotolerant strain, Planococcus versutus strain L10.15(T), isolated from a soil sample obtained near an elephant seal wallow in Antarctica. Whole genome analysis of this bacterial strain revealed the presence of an N-acyl homoserine lactonase, an enzyme that hydrolyzes the ester bond of the homoserine lactone of N-acyl homoserine lactone (AHLs). Heterologous gene expression in E. coli confirmed its functions for hydrolysis of AHLs, and the gene was designated as aidP (autoinducer degrading gene from Planococcus sp.). The low temperature activity of this enzyme suggested that it is a novel and uncharacterized class of AHL lactonase. This study is the first report on QQ activity of bacteria isolated from the polar regions.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Photobacterium damselae subsp. piscicida strain OT-51443 isolated from yellowtail (Seriola quinqueradiata) in Japan.

Pseudotuberculosis caused by infection of Photobacterium damselae subsp. piscicida has caused serious economic damages to aquaculture farms worldwide. Here, the whole-genome sequence of P. damselae subsp. piscicida strain OT-51443, isolated in Japan, was determined and suggests that this genome consists of two chromosomes and five plasmids. Copyright © 2017 Aoki et al.


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