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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Lost in plasmids: next generation sequencing and the complex genome of the tick-borne pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi.

Borrelia (B.) burgdorferi sensu lato, including the tick-transmitted agents of human Lyme borreliosis, have particularly complex genomes, consisting of a linear main chromosome and numerous linear and circular plasmids. The number and structure of plasmids is variable even in strains within a single genospecies. Genes on these plasmids are known to play essential roles in virulence and pathogenicity as well as host and vector associations. For this reason, it is essential to explore methods for rapid and reliable characterisation of molecular level changes on plasmids. In this study we used three strains: a low passage isolate of B. burgdorferi sensu…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

No evidence for maintenance of a sympatric Heliconius species barrier by chromosomal inversions.

Mechanisms that suppress recombination are known to help maintain species barriers by preventing the breakup of coadapted gene combinations. The sympatric butterfly species Heliconius melpomene and Heliconius cydno are separated by many strong barriers, but the species still hybridize infrequently in the wild, and around 40% of the genome is influenced by introgression. We tested the hypothesis that genetic barriers between the species are maintained by inversions or other mechanisms that reduce between-species recombination rate. We constructed fine-scale recombination maps for Panamanian populations of both species and their hybrids to directly measure recombination rate within and between species, and generated…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Population genomics of picophytoplankton unveils novel chromosome hypervariability.

Tiny photosynthetic microorganisms that form the picoplankton (between 0.3 and 3 µm in diameter) are at the base of the food web in many marine ecosystems, and their adaptability to environmental change hinges on standing genetic variation. Although the genomic and phenotypic diversity of the bacterial component of the oceans has been intensively studied, little is known about the genomic and phenotypic diversity within each of the diverse eukaryotic species present. We report the level of genomic diversity in a natural population of Ostreococcus tauri (Chlorophyta, Mamiellophyceae), the smallest photosynthetic eukaryote. Contrary to the expectations of clonal evolution or cryptic…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Comparative analysis of Ralstonia solanacearum methylomes.

Ralstonia solanacearum is an important soil-borne plant pathogen with broad geographical distribution and the ability to cause wilt disease in many agriculturally important crops. Genome sequencing of multiple R. solanacearum strains has identified both unique and shared genetic traits influencing their evolution and ability to colonize plant hosts. Previous research has shown that DNA methylation can drive speciation and modulate virulence in bacteria, but the impact of epigenetic modifications on the diversification and pathogenesis of R. solanacearum is unknown. Sequencing of R. solanacearum strains GMI1000 and UY031 using Single Molecule Real-Time technology allowed us to perform a comparative analysis of…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Repeated divergent selection on pigmentation genes in a rapid finch radiation.

Instances of recent and rapid speciation are suitable for associating phenotypes with their causal genotypes, especially if gene flow homogenizes areas of the genome that are not under divergent selection. We study a rapid radiation of nine sympatric bird species known as capuchino seedeaters, which are differentiated in sexually selected characters of male plumage and song. We sequenced the genomes of a phenotypically diverse set of species to search for differentiated genomic regions. Capuchinos show differences in a small proportion of their genomes, yet selection has acted independently on the same targets in different members of this radiation. Many divergent…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Proteogenomics produces comprehensive and highly accurate protein-coding gene annotation in a complete genome assembly of Malassezia sympodialis.

Complete and accurate genome assembly and annotation is a crucial foundation for comparative and functional genomics. Despite this, few complete eukaryotic genomes are available, and genome annotation remains a major challenge. Here, we present a complete genome assembly of the skin commensal yeast Malassezia sympodialis and demonstrate how proteogenomics can substantially improve gene annotation. Through long-read DNA sequencing, we obtained a gap-free genome assembly for M. sympodialis (ATCC 42132), comprising eight nuclear and one mitochondrial chromosome. We also sequenced and assembled four M. sympodialis clinical isolates, and showed their value for understanding Malassezia reproduction by confirming four alternative allele combinations…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genomesequencing of Ralstonia solanacearum CQPS-1, a phylotype I strain collected from a highland area with continuous cropping of tobacco.

Ralstonia solanacearum, an agent of bacterial wilt, is a highly variable species with a broad host range and wide geographic distribution. As a species complex, it has extensive genetic diversity and its living environment is polymorphic like the lowland and the highland area, so more genomes are needed for studying population evolution and environment adaptation. In this paper, we reported the genome sequencing of R. solanacearum strain CQPS-1 isolated from wilted tobacco in Pengshui, Chongqing, China, a highland area with severely acidified soil and continuous cropping of tobacco more than 20 years. The comparative genomic analysis among different R. solanacearum…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Candida auris for the clinical microbiology laboratory: Not your grandfather’s Candida species

Candida auris is a newly emerging species that was first identified in Asia in 2009 but has rapidly spread across the world. C. auris differs from most other Candida species in that antifungal resistance is the norm rather than the exception, it is a commensal of human skin rather than the human gut, and it can be easily transmitted from person to person in a health care setting. This review discusses the emergence of C. auris, global epidemiology, identification, antifungal susceptibility testing, and precautions to be taken when it is identified from a patient specimen.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Natural competence rates are variable among Xylella fastidiosa strains and homologous recombination occurs in vitro between subspecies fastidiosa and multiplex.

Xylella fastidiosa, an etiological agent of emerging crop diseases around the world, is naturally competent for the uptake of DNA from the environment that is incorporated into its genome by homologous recombination. Homologous recombination between subspecies of X. fastidiosa was inferred by in silico studies and was hypothesized to cause disease emergence. However, no experimental data are available on the degree to which X. fastidiosa strains are capable of competence and whether recombination can be experimentally demonstrated between subspecies. Here, using X. fastidiosa strains from different subspecies, natural competence in 11 of 13 strains was confirmed with plasmids containing antibiotic…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Adaptation of genetically monomorphic bacteria: evolution of copper resistance through multiple horizontal gene transfers of complex and versatile mobile genetic elements.

Copper-based antimicrobial compounds are widely used to control plant bacterial pathogens. Pathogens have adapted in response to this selective pressure. Xanthomonas citri pv. citri, a major citrus pathogen causing Asiatic citrus canker, was first reported to carry plasmid-encoded copper resistance in Argentina. This phenotype was conferred by the copLAB gene system. The emergence of resistant strains has since been reported in Réunion and Martinique. Using microsatellite-based genotyping and copLAB PCR, we demonstrated that the genetic structure of the copper-resistant strains from these three regions was made up of two distant clusters and varied for the detection of copLAB amplicons. In…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Complete genome sequencing and targeted mutagenesis reveal virulence contributions of Tal2 and Tal4b of Xanthomonas translucens pv. undulosa ICMP11055 in bacterial leaf streak of wheat

Bacterial leaf streak caused by Xanthomonas translucens pv. undulosa (Xtu) is an important disease of wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare) worldwide. Transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) play determinative roles in many of the plant diseases caused by the different species and pathovars of Xanthomonas, but their role in this disease has not been characterized. ICMP11055 is a highly virulent Xtu strain from Iran. The aim of this study was to better understand genetic diversity of Xtu and to assess the role of TALEs in bacterial leaf streak of wheat by comparing the genome of this strain to the recently…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Recombination of virulence genes in divergent Acidovorax avenae strains that infect a common host.

Bacterial etiolation and decline (BED), caused by Acidovorax avenae, is an emerging disease of creeping bentgrass on golf courses in the United States. We performed the first comprehensive analysis of A. avenae on a nationwide collection of turfgrass- and maize-pathogenic A. avenae. Surprisingly, our results reveal that the turfgrass-pathogenic A. avenae in North America are not only highly divergent but also belong to two distinct phylogroups. Both phylogroups specifically infect turfgrass but are more closely related to maize pathogens than to each other. This suggests that, although the disease is only recently reported, it has likely been infecting turfgrass for…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genome diversity and evolution in the budding yeasts (Saccharomycotina).

Considerable progress in our understanding of yeast genomes and their evolution has been made over the last decade with the sequencing, analysis, and comparisons of numerous species, strains, or isolates of diverse origins. The role played by yeasts in natural environments as well as in artificial manufactures, combined with the importance of some species as model experimental systems sustained this effort. At the same time, their enormous evolutionary diversity (there are yeast species in every subphylum of Dikarya) sparked curiosity but necessitated further efforts to obtain appropriate reference genomes. Today, yeast genomes have been very informative about basic mechanisms of…

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