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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Metagenomic binning and association of plasmids with bacterial host genomes using DNA methylation.

Shotgun metagenomics methods enable characterization of microbial communities in human microbiome and environmental samples. Assembly of metagenome sequences does not output whole genomes, so computational binning methods have been developed to cluster sequences into genome ‘bins’. These methods exploit sequence composition, species abundance, or chromosome organization but cannot fully distinguish closely related species and strains. We present a binning method that incorporates bacterial DNA methylation signatures, which are detected using single-molecule real-time sequencing. Our method takes advantage of these endogenous epigenetic barcodes to resolve individual reads and assembled contigs into species- and strain-level bins. We validate our method using synthetic…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Bypassing the Restriction System To Improve Transformation of Staphylococcus epidermidis.

Staphylococcus epidermidis is the leading cause of infections on indwelling medical devices worldwide. Intrinsic antibiotic resistance and vigorous biofilm production have rendered these infections difficult to treat and, in some cases, require the removal of the offending medical prosthesis. With the exception of two widely passaged isolates, RP62A and 1457, the pathogenesis of infections caused by clinical S. epidermidis strains is poorly understood due to the strong genetic barrier that precludes the efficient transformation of foreign DNA into clinical isolates. The difficulty in transforming clinical S. epidermidis isolates is primarily due to the type I and IV restriction-modification systems, which…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Complete genome sequence of Geobacillus thermodenitrificans T12, a potential host for biotechnological applications.

In attempt to obtain a thermophilic host for the conversion of lignocellulose derived substrates into lactic acid, Geobacillus thermodenitrificans T12 was isolated from a compost heap. It was selected from over 500 isolates as a genetically tractable hemicellulolytic lactic acid producer, requiring little nutrients. The strain is able to ferment glucose and xylose simultaneously and can produce lactic acid from xylan, making it a potential host for biotechnological applications. The genome of strain T12 consists of a 3.64 Mb chromosome and two plasmids of 59 and 56 kb. It has a total of 3.676 genes with an average genomic GC content of…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The non-specific adenine DNA methyltransferase M.EcoGII.

We describe the cloning, expression and characterization of the first truly non-specific adenine DNA methyltransferase, M.EcoGII. It is encoded in the genome of the pathogenic strain Escherichia coli O104:H4 C227-11, where it appears to reside on a cryptic prophage, but is not expressed. However, when the gene encoding M.EcoGII is expressed in vivo – using a high copy pRRS plasmid vector and a methylation-deficient E. coli host-extensive in vivo adenine methylation activity is revealed. M.EcoGII methylates adenine residues in any DNA sequence context and this activity extends to dA and rA bases in either strand of a DNA:RNA-hybrid oligonucleotide duplex…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparative genome and methylome analysis reveals restriction/modification system diversity in the gut commensal Bifidobacterium breve.

Bifidobacterium breve represents one of the most abundant bifidobacterial species in the gastro-intestinal tract of breast-fed infants, where their presence is believed to exert beneficial effects. In the present study whole genome sequencing, employing the PacBio Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing platform, combined with comparative genome analysis allowed the most extensive genetic investigation of this taxon. Our findings demonstrate that genes encoding Restriction/Modification (R/M) systems constitute a substantial part of the B. breve variable gene content (or variome). Using the methylome data generated by SMRT sequencing, combined with targeted Illumina bisulfite sequencing (BS-seq) and comparative genome analysis, we were able…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Culture-facilitated comparative genomics of the facultative symbiont Hamiltonella defensa.

Many insects host facultative, bacterial symbionts that confer conditional fitness benefits to their hosts. Hamiltonella defensa is a common facultative symbiont of aphids that provides protection against parasitoid wasps. Protection levels vary among strains of H. defensa that are also differentially infected by bacteriophages named APSEs. However, little is known about trait variation among strains because only one isolate has been fully sequenced. Generating complete genomes for facultative symbionts is hindered by relatively large genome sizes but low abundances in hosts like aphids that are very small. Here, we took advantage of methods for culturing H. defensa outside of aphids…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Analyzing AbrB-knockout effects through genome and transcriptome sequencing of Bacillus licheniformis DW2.

As an industrial bacterium, Bacillus licheniformis DW2 produces bacitracin which is an important antibiotic for many pathogenic microorganisms. Our previous study showed AbrB-knockout could significantly increase the production of bacitracin. Accordingly, it was meaningful to understand its genome features, expression differences between wild and AbrB-knockout (?AbrB) strains, and the regulation of bacitracin biosynthesis. Here, we sequenced, de novo assembled and annotated its genome, and also sequenced the transcriptomes in three growth phases. The genome of DW2 contained a DNA molecule of 4,468,952 bp with 45.93% GC content and 4,717 protein coding genes. The transcriptome reads were mapped to the assembled…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Characterizing the DNA methyltransferases of Haloferax volcanii via bioinformatics, gene deletion, and SMRT Sequencing.

DNA methyltransferases (MTases), which catalyze the methylation of adenine and cytosine bases in DNA, can occur in bacteria and archaea alongside cognate restriction endonucleases (REases) in restriction-modification (RM) systems or independently as orphan MTases. Although DNA methylation and MTases have been well-characterized in bacteria, research into archaeal MTases has been limited. A previous study examined the genomic DNA methylation patterns (methylome) of the halophilic archaeonHaloferax volcanii, a model archaeal system which can be easily manipulated in laboratory settings, via single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing and deletion of a putative MTase gene (HVO_A0006). In this follow-up study, we deleted other putative MTase…

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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

Comparative genomics of cocci-shaped Sporosarcina strains with diverse spatial isolation.

Cocci-shaped Sporosarcina strains are currently one of the few known cocci-shaped spore-forming bacteria, yet we know very little about the genomics. The goal of this study is to utilize comparative genomics to investigate the diversity of cocci-shaped Sporosarcina strains that differ in their geographical isolation and show different nutritional requirements.For this study, we sequenced 28 genomes of cocci-shaped Sporosarcina strains isolated from 13 different locations around the world. We generated the first six complete genomes and methylomes utilizing PacBio sequencing, and an additional 22 draft genomes using Illumina sequencing. Genomic analysis revealed that cocci-shaped Sporosarcina strains contained an average genome…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparative genomics of Spiraeoideae-infecting Erwinia amylovora strains provides novel insight to genetic diversity and identifies the genetic basis of a low-virulence strain.

Erwinia amylovora is the causal agent of fire blight, one of the most devastating diseases of apple and pear. Erwinia amylovora is thought to have originated in North America and has now spread to at least 50 countries worldwide. An understanding of the diversity of the pathogen population and the transmission to different geographical regions is important for the future mitigation of this disease. In this research, we performed an expanded comparative genomic study of the Spiraeoideae-infecting (SI) E. amylovora population in North America and Europe. We discovered that, although still highly homogeneous, the genetic diversity of 30 E. amylovora genomes examined…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genome biology of a novel lineage of planctomycetes widespread in anoxic aquatic environments.

Anaerobic strains affiliated with a novel order-level lineage of the Phycisphaerae class were retrieved from the suboxic zone of a hypersaline cyanobacterial mat and anoxic sediments of solar salterns. Genome sequences of five isolates were obtained and compared with metagenome-assembled genomes representing related uncultured bacteria from various anoxic aquatic environments. Gene content surveys suggest a strictly fermentative saccharolytic metabolism for members of this lineage, which could be confirmed by the phenotypic characterization of isolates. Genetic analyses indicate that the retrieved isolates do not have a canonical origin of DNA replication, but initiate chromosome replication at alternative sites possibly leading to…

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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

Large plasmidome of dairy Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis FM03P encodes technological functions and appears highly unstable.

Important industrial traits have been linked to plasmids in Lactococcus lactis.The dairy isolate L. lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis FM03P was sequenced revealing the biggest plasmidome of all completely sequenced and published L. lactis strains up till now. The 12 plasmids that were identified are: pLd1 (8277 bp), pLd2 (15,218 bp), pLd3 (4242 bp), pLd4 (12,005 bp), pLd5 (7521 bp), pLd6 (3363 bp), pLd7 (30,274 bp), pLd8 (47,015 bp), pLd9 (15,313 bp), pLd10 (39,563 bp), pLd11 (9833 bp) and pLd12 (3321 bp). Structural analysis of the repB promoters and the RepB proteins showed that eleven of the plasmids replicate via the theta-type mechanism, while only plasmid pLd3 replicates via a rolling-circle replication…

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