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Sunday, October 25, 2020

ASM PacBio Workshop: Large-scale analysis of restriction-modification in systems using SMRT Sequencing

Brian Anton from New England BioLabs presents data on methylation analysis using SMRT Sequencing. He describes both restriction-modification systems and orphan methylases, noting that the number of methylases characterized has more than tripled since the introduction of SMRT Sequencing. The presentation includes a phylogenetic analysis of methyltransferase genes

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Rational development of transformation in Clostridium thermocellum ATCC 27405 via complete methylome analysis and evasion of native restriction-modification systems.

A major barrier to both metabolic engineering and fundamental biological studies is the lack of genetic tools in most microorganisms. One example is Clostridium thermocellum ATCC 27405T, where genetic tools are not available to help validate decades of hypotheses. A significant barrier to DNA transformation is restriction-modification systems, which defend against foreign DNA methylated differently than the host. To determine the active restriction-modification systems in this strain, we performed complete methylome analysis via single-molecule, real-time sequencing to detect 6-methyladenine and 4-methylcytosine and the rarely used whole-genome bisulfite sequencing to detect 5-methylcytosine. Multiple active systems were identified, and corresponding DNA methyltransferases…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Functional genomics reveals extensive diversity in Staphylococcus epidermidis restriction modification systems compared to Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus epidermidis is a significant opportunistic pathogen of humans. Molecular studies in this species have been hampered by the presence of restriction-modification (RM) systems that limit introduction of foreign DNA. Here we establish the complete genomes and methylomes for seven clinically significant, genetically diverse S. epidermidis isolates and perform the first systematic genomic analyses of the type I RM systems within both S. epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus. Our analyses revealed marked differences in the gene arrangement, chromosomal location and movement of type I RM systems between the two species. Unlike S. aureus, S. epidermidis type I RM systems demonstrate extensive…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Complete genome screening of clinical MRSA isolates identifies lineage diversity and provides full resolution of transmission and outbreak events

Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of Staphylococcus aureus is increasingly used as part of infection prevention practices, but most applications are focused on conserved core genomic regions due to limitations of short-read technologies. In this study we established a long-read technology-based WGS screening program of all first-episode MRSA blood infections at a major urban hospital. A survey of 132 MRSA genomes assembled from long reads revealed widespread gain/loss of accessory mobile genetic elements among established hospital- and community-associated lineages impacting >10% of each genome, and frequent megabase-scale inversions between endogenous prophages. We also characterized an outbreak of a CC5/ST105/USA100 clone among 3…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Complete genome sequence of Helicobacter pylori B128 7.13 and a single-step method for the generation of unmarked mutations.

Helicobacter pylori represents an interesting model of bacterial pathogenesis given that most infections are asymptomatic, while a minority of infections cause severe gastric disease. H pylori strain B128 7.13 is used extensively to understand H pylori pathophysiology. Due to extensive restriction-modification systems, the fact that only some H pylori strains are naturally transformable, the inability of common plasmid and transposon vectors to replicate in this bacterium, as well as the limited number of antibiotic cassettes that are functional in H pylori, there are relatively few genetic tools for the mutagenesis of this bacterium.Here, we use PacBio and Illumina sequencing to reveal the complete genome…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

DNA methylation from a Type I restriction modification system influences gene expression and virulence in Streptococcus pyogenes.

DNA methylation is pervasive across all domains of life. In bacteria, the presence of N6-methyladenosine (m6A) has been detected among diverse species, yet the contribution of m6A to the regulation of gene expression is unclear in many organisms. Here we investigated the impact of DNA methylation on gene expression and virulence within the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes, or Group A Streptococcus. Single Molecule Real-Time sequencing and subsequent methylation analysis identified 412 putative m6A sites throughout the 1.8 Mb genome. Deletion of the Restriction, Specificity, and Methylation gene subunits (?RSM strain) of a putative Type I restriction modification system lost all…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

BREX system of Escherichia coli distinguishes self from non-self by methylation of a specific DNA site.

Prokaryotes evolved numerous systems that defend against predation by bacteriophages. In addition to well-known restriction-modification and CRISPR-Cas immunity systems, many poorly characterized systems exist. One class of such systems, named BREX, consists of a putative phosphatase, a methyltransferase and four other proteins. A Bacillus cereus BREX system provides resistance to several unrelated phages and leads to modification of specific motif in host DNA. Here, we study the action of BREX system from a natural Escherichia coli isolate. We show that while it makes cells resistant to phage ? infection, induction of ? prophage from cells carrying BREX leads to production…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Deciphering bacterial epigenomes using modern sequencing technologies.

Prokaryotic DNA contains three types of methylation: N6-methyladenine, N4-methylcytosine and 5-methylcytosine. The lack of tools to analyse the frequency and distribution of methylated residues in bacterial genomes has prevented a full understanding of their functions. Now, advances in DNA sequencing technology, including single-molecule, real-time sequencing and nanopore-based sequencing, have provided new opportunities for systematic detection of all three forms of methylated DNA at a genome-wide scale and offer unprecedented opportunities for achieving a more complete understanding of bacterial epigenomes. Indeed, as the number of mapped bacterial methylomes approaches 2,000, increasing evidence supports roles for methylation in regulation of gene expression,…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Systematic evasion of the restriction-modification barrier in bacteria.

Bacteria that are recalcitrant to genetic manipulation using modern in vitro techniques are termed genetically intractable. Genetic intractability is a fundamental barrier to progress that hinders basic, synthetic, and translational microbiology research and development beyond a few model organisms. The most common underlying causes of genetic intractability are restriction-modification (RM) systems, ubiquitous defense mechanisms against xenogeneic DNA that hinder the use of genetic approaches in the vast majority of bacteria and exhibit strain-level variation. Here, we describe a systematic approach to overcome RM systems. Our approach was inspired by a simple hypothesis: if a synthetic piece of DNA lacks the…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

SMRT sequencing reveals differential patterns of methylation in two O111:H- STEC isolates from a hemolytic uremic syndrome outbreak in Australia.

In 1995 a severe haemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) outbreak in Adelaide occurred. A recent genomic analysis of Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) O111:H- strains 95JB1 and 95NR1 from this outbreak found that the more virulent isolate, 95NR1, harboured two additional copies of the Shiga toxin 2 (Stx2) genes encoded within prophage regions. The structure of the Stx2-converting prophages could not be fully resolved using short-read sequence data alone and it was not clear if there were other genomic differences between 95JB1 and 95NR1. In this study we have used Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing to characterise the genome…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Genome-wide systematic identification of methyltransferase recognition and modification patterns.

Genome-wide analysis of DNA methylation patterns using single molecule real-time DNA sequencing has boosted the number of publicly available methylomes. However, there is a lack of tools coupling methylation patterns and the corresponding methyltransferase genes. Here we demonstrate a high-throughput method for coupling methyltransferases with their respective motifs, using automated cloning and analysing the methyltransferases in vectors carrying a strain-specific cassette containing all potential target sites. To validate the method, we analyse the genomes of the thermophile Moorella thermoacetica and the mesophile Acetobacterium woodii, two acetogenic bacteria having substantially modified genomes with 12 methylation motifs and a total of 23…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Single-molecule sequencing detection of N6-methyladenine in microbial reference materials.

The DNA base modification N6-methyladenine (m6A) is involved in many pathways related to the survival of bacteria and their interactions with hosts. Nanopore sequencing offers a new, portable method to detect base modifications. Here, we show that a neural network can improve m6A detection at trained sequence contexts compared to previously published methods using deviations between measured and expected current values as each adenine travels through a pore. The model, implemented as the mCaller software package, can be extended to detect known or confirm suspected methyltransferase target motifs based on predictions of methylation at untrained contexts. We use PacBio, Oxford…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Comparative Genomic Analyses Reveal Core-Genome-Wide Genes Under Positive Selection and Major Regulatory Hubs in Outlier Strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Genomic information for outlier strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is exiguous when compared with classical strains. We sequenced and constructed the complete genome of an environmental strain CR1 of P. aeruginosa and performed the comparative genomic analysis. It clustered with the outlier group, hence we scaled up the analyses to understand the differences in environmental and clinical outlier strains. We identified eight new regions of genomic plasticity and a plasmid pCR1 with a VirB/D4 complex followed by trimeric auto-transporter that can induce virulence phenotype in the genome of strain CR1. Virulence genotype analysis revealed that strain CR1 lacked hemolytic phospholipase C…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The complete genome and methylome of Helicobacter pylori hpNEAfrica strain HP14039

Background Helicobacter pylori is a Gram-negative bacterium which mainly causes peptic ulcer disease in human, but is also the predominant cause of stomach cancer. It has been coevolving with human since 120,000 years and, according to Multi-locus sequence typing (MLST), H. pylori can be classified into seven major population types, namely, hpAfrica1, hpAfrica2, hpNEAfrica, hpEastAsia, hpAsia2, hpEurope and hpSahul. Helicobacter pylori harbours a large number of restriction-modification (R-M) systems. The methyltransferase (MTase) unit plays a significant role in gene regulation and also possibly modulates pathogenicity. The diversity in MTase can act as geomarkers to correlate strains with the phylogeographic origins.…

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