April 21, 2020  |  

Molecular Characterization of a Multidrug-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae Strain R46 Isolated from a Rabbit

To investigate the mechanisms of multiple resistance and the horizontal transfer of resistance genes in animal pathogens, we characterized the molecular structures of the resistance gene-related sequences in a multidrug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae strain R46 isolated from a rabbit. Molecular cloning was performed to clone the resistance genes, and minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were measured to determine the resistance characteristics of the cloned genes and related strains. A conjugation experiment was conducted to assess the transferability of the resistance plasmids. Sequencing and comparative genomic methods were used to analyze the structures of the resistance gene-related sequences. The K. pneumoniae R46 genome consisted of a chromosome and three resistance plasmids named pR46-27, pR46-42, and pR46-270, respectively. The whole genome encoded 34 antibiotic resistance genes including a newly identified chromosome-encoded florfenicol resistance gene named mdfA2. pR46-270, besides encoding 26 antibiotic resistance genes, carried four clusters of heavy metal resistance genes and several virulence-related genes or gene clusters. The plasmid-encoded resistance genes were mostly associated with mobile genetic elements. The plasmid with the most similarity to the floR gene-harboring plasmid pR46-27 was pCTXM-2271, a plasmid from Escherichia coli. The results of this work demonstrated that the plasmids with multidrug resistance genes were present in animal-derived bacteria and more florfenicol resistance genes such as mdfA2 could be present in bacterial populations. The resistance genes encoded on the plasmids may spread between the bacteria of different species or genera and cause the resistance dissemination.

April 21, 2020  |  

Inter-chromosomal coupling between vision and pigmentation genes during genomic divergence.

Recombination between loci underlying mate choice and ecological traits is a major evolutionary force acting against speciation with gene flow. The evolution of linkage disequilibrium between such loci is therefore a fundamental step in the origin of species. Here, we show that this process can take place in the absence of physical linkage in hamlets-a group of closely related reef fishes from the wider Caribbean that differ essentially in colour pattern and are reproductively isolated through strong visually-based assortative mating. Using full-genome analysis, we identify four narrow genomic intervals that are consistently differentiated among sympatric species in a backdrop of extremely low genomic divergence. These four intervals include genes involved in pigmentation (sox10), axial patterning (hoxc13a), photoreceptor development (casz1) and visual sensitivity (SWS and LWS opsins) that develop islands of long-distance and inter-chromosomal linkage disequilibrium as species diverge. The relatively simple genomic architecture of species differences facilitates the evolution of linkage disequilibrium in the presence of gene flow.

April 21, 2020  |  

Metaepigenomic analysis reveals the unexplored diversity of DNA methylation in an environmental prokaryotic community.

DNA methylation plays important roles in prokaryotes, and their genomic landscapes-prokaryotic epigenomes-have recently begun to be disclosed. However, our knowledge of prokaryotic methylation systems is focused on those of culturable microbes, which are rare in nature. Here, we used single-molecule real-time and circular consensus sequencing techniques to reveal the ‘metaepigenomes’ of a microbial community in the largest lake in Japan, Lake Biwa. We reconstructed 19 draft genomes from diverse bacterial and archaeal groups, most of which are yet to be cultured. The analysis of DNA chemical modifications in those genomes revealed 22 methylated motifs, nine of which were novel. We identified methyltransferase genes likely responsible for methylation of the novel motifs, and confirmed the catalytic specificities of four of them via transformation experiments using synthetic genes. Our study highlights metaepigenomics as a powerful approach for identification of the vast unexplored variety of prokaryotic DNA methylation systems in nature.

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