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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Insights into the biology of acidophilic members of the Acidiferrobacteraceae family derived from comparative genomic analyses.

The family Acidiferrobacteraceae (order Acidiferrobacterales) currently contains Gram negative, neutrophilic sulfur oxidizers such as Sulfuricaulis and Sulfurifustis, as well as acidophilic iron and sulfur oxidizers belonging to the Acidiferrobacter genus. The diversity and taxonomy of the genus Acidiferrobacter has remained poorly explored. Although several metagenome and bioleaching studies have identified its presence worldwide, only two strains, namely Acidiferrobacter thiooxydans DSM 2932T, and Acidiferrobacter spp. SP3/III have been isolated and made publically available. Using 16S rRNA sequence data publically available for the Acidiferrobacteraceae, we herein shed light into the molecular taxonomy of this family. Results obtained support the presence of three…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Emergence of an extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 15A by capsular switching.

Recently, we have identified an extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 15A isolate from a patient with bacterial meningitis. It belonged to sequence type 8279 (ST8279), a clone identified as XDR serotype 11A isolated in South Korea. We obtained and compared the genome sequences of an XDR 15A and an XDR 11A isolate. The genomes of two XDR isolates were highly identical, except for the capsular polysaccharide (cps) locus and another small region. Capsular switching from 11A to 15A may have occurred via recombination of the cps locus. The emergence of a new XDR clone via capsular switching would be…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Complete genome sequence of Leuconostoc citreum EFEL2700, a host strain for transformation of pCB vectors.

Leuconostoc citreum is an important lactic acid bacterium used as a starter culture for producing kimchi, the traditional Korean fermented vegetables. An efficient host strain for plasmid transformation, L. citreum EFEL2700, was isolated from kimchi, and it has been frequently used for genetic engineering of L. citreum. In this study, we report the whole genome sequence of the strain and its genetic characteristics. Genome assembly yielded 5 contigs (1 chromosome and 4 plasmids), and the complete genome contained 1,923,830 base pairs (bp) with a G?+?C content of 39.0%. Average nucleotide identity analysis showed high homology (= 99%) to the reference…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A large, refractory nosocomial outbreak of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing Escherichia coli demonstrates carbapenemase gene outbreaks involving sink sites require novel approaches to infection control.

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) represent a health threat, but effective control interventions remain unclear. Hospital wastewater sites are increasingly being highlighted as important potential reservoirs. We investigated a large Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing Escherichia coli outbreak and wider CRE incidence trends in the Central Manchester University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) (United Kingdom) over 8 years, to determine the impact of infection prevention and control measures. Bacteriology and patient administration data (2009 to 2017) were linked, and a subset of CMFT or regional hospital KPC-producing E. coli isolates (n = 268) were sequenced. Control interventions followed international guidelines and included cohorting,…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The changing landscape of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium in Australia: a population-level genomic study.

Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREfm) represent a major source of nosocomial infection worldwide. In Australia, there has been a recent concerning increase in bacteraemia associated with the vanA genotype, prompting investigation into the genomic epidemiology of VREfm.A population-level study of VREfm (10 November-9 December 2015) was conducted. A total of 321 VREfm isolates (from 286 patients) across Victoria State were collected and sequenced with Illumina NextSeq. SNPs were used to assess relatedness. STs and genes associated with resistance and virulence were identified. The vanA-harbouring plasmid from an isolate from each ST was assembled using long-read data. Illumina reads from remaining isolates…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genomic characterization of carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae with chromosomally encoded blaNDM-1.

We report here Klebsiella pneumoniae strains carrying chromosomal blaNDM-1 in Thailand. The genomes of these two isolates include a 160-kbp insertion containing blaNDM-1, which is almost identical to that in the IncHI1B-like plasmid. Further analysis indicated that IS5-mediated intermolecular transposition and Tn3 transposase-mediated homologous recombination resulted in the integration of blaNDM-1 into the chromosome from an IncHI1B-like plasmid. The spread of this type of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae may threaten public health and warrants further monitoring. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Discovery of the actinoplanic acid pathway in Streptomyces rapamycinicus reveals a genetically conserved synergism with rapamycin.

Actinobacteria possess a great wealth of pathways for production of bioactive compounds. Following advances in genome mining, dozens of natural product (NP) gene clusters are routinely found in each actinobacterial genome; however, the modus operandi of this large arsenal is poorly understood. During investigations of the secondary metabolome of Streptomyces rapamycinicus, the producer of rapamycin, we observed accumulation of two compounds never before reported from this organism. Structural elucidation revealed actinoplanic acid A and its demethyl analogue. Actinoplanic acids (APLs) are potent inhibitors of Ras farnesyltransferase and therefore represent bioactive compounds of medicinal interest. Supported with the unique structure of…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Staying alive: growth and survival of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. animalis under in vitro and in vivo conditions.

Members of the Bifidobacterium genus are widely used as probiotics in fermented milk products. Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. animalis CNCM I-4602 grows and survives poorly in reconstituted skimmed milk (RSM). Availing of genome and transcriptome information, this poor growth and survival phenotype in milk was substantially improved by the addition of certain compounds, such as yeast extract, uric acid, glutathione, cysteine, ferrous sulfate, and a combination of magnesium sulfate and manganese sulfate. Carbohydrate utilization of CNCM I-4602 was also investigated, allowing the identification of several carbohydrate utilization gene clusters, and highlighting this strain’s inability to utilize lactose, unlike the type strain…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Report from the Killer-cell Immunoglobulin-like Receptors (KIR) component of the 17th International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop.

The goals of the KIR component of the 17th International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop (IHIW) were to encourage and educate researchers to begin analyzing KIR at allelic resolution, and to survey the nature and extent of KIR allelic diversity across human populations. To represent worldwide diversity, we analyzed 1269 individuals from ten populations, focusing on the most polymorphic KIR genes, which express receptors having three immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domains (KIR3DL1/S1, KIR3DL2 and KIR3DL3). We identified 13 novel alleles of KIR3DL1/S1, 13 of KIR3DL2 and 18 of KIR3DL3. Previously identified alleles, corresponding to 33 alleles of KIR3DL1/S1, 38 of KIR3DL2, and 43…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Biparental Inheritance of Mitochondrial DNA in Humans.

Although there has been considerable debate about whether paternal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) transmission may coexist with maternal transmission of mtDNA, it is generally believed that mitochondria and mtDNA are exclusively maternally inherited in humans. Here, we identified three unrelated multigeneration families with a high level of mtDNA heteroplasmy (ranging from 24 to 76%) in a total of 17 individuals. Heteroplasmy of mtDNA was independently examined by high-depth whole mtDNA sequencing analysis in our research laboratory and in two Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments and College of American Pathologists-accredited laboratories using multiple approaches. A comprehensive exploration of mtDNA segregation in these families…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Evolutionary conservation of Y Chromosome ampliconic gene families despite extensive structural variation.

Despite claims that the mammalian Y Chromosome is on a path to extinction, comparative sequence analysis of primate Y Chromosomes has shown the decay of the ancestral single-copy genes has all but ceased in this eutherian lineage. The suite of single-copy Y-linked genes is highly conserved among the majority of eutherian Y Chromosomes due to strong purifying selection to retain dosage-sensitive genes. In contrast, the ampliconic regions of the Y Chromosome, which contain testis-specific genes that encode the majority of the transcripts on eutherian Y Chromosomes, are rapidly evolving and are thought to undergo species-specific turnover. However, ampliconic genes are…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Stress-induced formation of cell wall-deficient cells in filamentous actinomycetes.

The cell wall is a shape-defining structure that envelopes almost all bacteria and protects them from environmental stresses. Bacteria can be forced to grow without a cell wall under certain conditions that interfere with cell wall synthesis, but the relevance of these wall-less cells (known as L-forms) is unclear. Here, we show that several species of filamentous actinomycetes have a natural ability to generate wall-deficient cells in response to hyperosmotic stress, which we call S-cells. This wall-deficient state is transient, as S-cells are able to switch to the normal mycelial mode of growth. However, prolonged exposure of S-cells to hyperosmotic…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The genomic landscape of molecular responses to natural drought stress in Panicum hallii

Environmental stress is a major driver of ecological community dynamics and agricultural productivity. This is especially true for soil water availability, because drought is the greatest abiotic inhibitor of worldwide crop yields. Here, we test the genetic basis of drought responses in the genetic model for C4perennial grasses, Panicum hallii, through population genomics, field-scale gene-expression (eQTL) analysis, and comparison of two complete genomes. While gene expression networks are dominated by local cis-regulatory elements, we observe three genomic hotspots of unlinked trans-regulatory loci. These regulatory hubs are four times more drought responsive than the genome-wide average. Additionally, cis- and trans-regulatory networks…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Regulation of yeast-to-hyphae transition in Yarrowia lipolytica.

The yeast Yarrowia lipolytica undergoes a morphological transition from yeast-to-hyphal growth in response to environmental conditions. A forward genetic screen was used to identify mutants that reliably remain in the yeast phase, which were then assessed by whole-genome sequencing. All the smooth mutants identified, so named because of their colony morphology, exhibit independent loss of DNA at a repetitive locus made up of interspersed ribosomal DNA and short 10- to 40-mer telomere-like repeats. The loss of repetitive DNA is associated with downregulation of genes with stress response elements (5′-CCCCT-3′) and upregulation of genes with cell cycle box (5′-ACGCG-3′) motifs in…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genomic insights into multidrug-resistance, mating and virulence in Candida auris and related emerging species.

Candida auris is an emergent multidrug-resistant fungal pathogen causing increasing reports of outbreaks. While distantly related to C. albicans and C. glabrata, C. auris is closely related to rarely observed and often multidrug-resistant species from the C. haemulonii clade. Here, we analyze near complete genome assemblies for the four C. auris clades and three related species, and map intra- and inter-species rearrangements across the seven chromosomes. Using RNA-Seq-guided gene predictions, we find that most mating and meiosis genes are conserved and that clades contain either the MTLa or MTLa mating loci. Comparing the genomes of these emerging species to those…

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