April 21, 2020  |  

Comparative genome analysis reveals the evolution of chloroacetanilide herbicide mineralization in Sphingomonas wittichii DC-6.

The environmental fate of the extensively used chloroacetanilide herbicides (CH) has been a cause of increasing concern in the past decade because of their carcinogenic properties. Although microbes play important roles in CH degradation, Sphingomonas wittichii DC-6 was the first reported CH-mineralizing bacterium. In this study, the complete genome of strain DC-6 was sequenced and comparative genomic analysis was performed using strain DC-6 and other three partial CH-degrading bacteria, Sphingobium quisquiliarum DC-2, Sphingobium baderi DE-13, and Sphingobium sp. MEA3-1. 16S rDNA phylogenetic analysis indicated that strain DC-2, MEA3-1, and DE-13 are closely related and DC-6 has relatively distant genetic relationship with the other three strains. The identified CH degradation genes responsible for the upstream and downstream pathway, including cndA, cmeH, meaXY, and meaAB, were all located in conserved DNA fragments (or genetic islands) in the vicinity of mobile element proteins. Protein BLAST in the NCBI database showed that cndA and cmeH were present in the genomes of other sequenced strains isolated from various habitats; however, the gene compositions in these host strains were completely different from those of other sphingomonads, and codon usage of genes for upstream pathway were also different from that of downstream pathway. These results showed that the upstream and downstream pathways of CH degradation in strain DC-6 have evolved by horizontal gene transfer and gene combination. In addition, the genes of the ring-cleavage pathway were not conserved and may have evolved directly from bacterial degradation of hydroxyquinol. The present study provides insights into the evolutionary strategy and microbial catabolic pathway of CH mineralization.


April 21, 2020  |  

Harnessing long-read amplicon sequencing to uncover NRPS and Type I PKS gene sequence diversity in polar desert soils.

The severity of environmental conditions at Earth’s frigid zones present attractive opportunities for microbial biomining due to their heightened potential as reservoirs for novel secondary metabolites. Arid soil microbiomes within the Antarctic and Arctic circles are remarkably rich in Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria, bacterial phyla known to be prolific producers of natural products. Yet the diversity of secondary metabolite genes within these cold, extreme environments remain largely unknown. Here, we employed amplicon sequencing using PacBio RS II, a third generation long-read platform, to survey over 200 soils spanning twelve east Antarctic and high Arctic sites for natural product-encoding genes, specifically targeting non-ribosomal peptides (NRPS) and Type I polyketides (PKS). NRPS-encoding genes were more widespread across the Antarctic, whereas PKS genes were only recoverable from a handful of sites. Many recovered sequences were deemed novel due to their low amino acid sequence similarity to known protein sequences, particularly throughout the east Antarctic sites. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that a high proportion were most similar to antifungal and biosurfactant-type clusters. Multivariate analysis showed that soil fertility factors of carbon, nitrogen and moisture displayed significant negative relationships with natural product gene richness. Our combined results suggest that secondary metabolite production is likely to play an important physiological component of survival for microorganisms inhabiting arid, nutrient-starved soils. © FEMS 2019.


April 21, 2020  |  

Distribution and characterization of N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL)-degrading activity and AHL lactonase gene (qsdS) in Sphingopyxis.

N-Acylhomoserine lactone (AHL)-degrading enzyme is identified from the various environments and applied for quorum-sensing inhibition. In this study, we isolated two AHL-degrading strains, Sphingopyxis sp. EG6 and FD7, from the industrial cooling water samples. When the eight Sphingopyxis type strains were checked for the AHL-degrading activity, two strains, Sphingopyxis alaskensis DSM 13593 and Sphingopyxis bauzanensis DSM 22271, showed high AHL-degrading activity. The complete genome sequences of EG6 and FD7 revealed the presence of gene homolog of qsdS, which encodes AHL-lactonase in Sphingomonas ursincola. The qsdS gene is seated between putative gene homologs involved in 3-isopropylmalate dehydratase large (leuC2) and small (leuD) subunits in the genome of EG6, FD7, DSM 13593, and DSM 22271, but completely disappeared between leuC2 and leuD in the genome sequences of Sphingopyxis type strains without AHL-degrading activity. Purified His-tagged QsdS showed high AHL-degrading activity and catalyzed AHL ring opening by hydrolyzing lactones. In addition, heterologous expression of qsdS in Pseudomonas aeruginosa resulted in reduction of biofilm formation. These results suggested that the AHL-degrading activity in Sphingopyxis is useful as an effective agent for biofilm inhibition.Copyright © 2018 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


April 21, 2020  |  

Characterization of the genome of a Nocardia strain isolated from soils in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau that specifically degrades crude oil and of this biodegradation.

A strain of Nocardia isolated from crude oil-contaminated soils in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau degrades nearly all components of crude oil. This strain was identified as Nocardia soli Y48, and its growth conditions were determined. Complete genome sequencing showed that N. soli Y48 has a 7.3?Mb genome and many genes responsible for hydrocarbon degradation, biosurfactant synthesis, emulsification and other hydrocarbon degradation-related metabolisms. Analysis of the clusters of orthologous groups (COGs) and genomic islands (GIs) revealed that Y48 has undergone significant gene transfer events to adapt to changing environmental conditions (crude oil contamination). The structural features of the genome might provide a competitive edge for the survival of N. soli Y48 in oil-polluted environments and reflect the adaptation of coexisting bacteria to distinct nutritional niches.Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genomic Characterization of a Newly Isolated Rhizobacteria Sphingomonas panacis Reveals Plant Growth Promoting Effect to Rice

This article reports the full genome sequence of Sphingomonas panacis DCY99T (=KCTC 42347T =JCM30806T), which is a Gram-negative rod-shaped, non-spore forming, motile bacterium isolated from rusty ginseng root in South Korea. A draft genome of S. panacis DCY99T and a single circular plasmid were generated using the PacBio platform. Antagonistic activity experiment showed S. panacis DCY99T has the plant growth promoting effect. Thus, the genome sequence of S. panacis DCY99T may contribute to biotechnological application of the genus Sphingomonas in agriculture.


April 21, 2020  |  

Modulation of metabolome and bacterial community in whole crop corn silage by inoculating homofermentative Lactobacillus plantarum and heterofermentative Lactobacillus buchneri.

The present study investigated the species level based microbial community and metabolome in corn silage inoculated with or without homofermentative Lactobacillus plantarum and heterofermentative Lactobacillus buchneri using the PacBio SMRT Sequencing and time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF/MS). Chopped whole crop corn was treated with (1) deionized water (control), (2) Lactobacillus plantarum, or (3) Lactobacillus buchneri. The chopped whole crop corn was ensiled in vacuum-sealed polyethylene bags containing 300 g of fresh forge for 90 days, with three replicates for each treatment. The results showed that a total of 979 substances were detected, and 316 different metabolites were identified. Some metabolites with antimicrobial activity were detected in whole crop corn silage, such as catechol, 3-phenyllactic acid, 4-hydroxybenzoic acid, azelaic acid, 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid and 4-hydroxycinnamic acid. Catechol, pyrogallol and ferulic acid with antioxidant property, 4-hydroxybutyrate with nervine activity, and linoleic acid with cholesterol lowering effects, were detected in present study. In addition, a flavoring agent of myristic acid and a depression mitigation substance of phenylethylamine were also found in this study. Samples treated with inoculants presented more biofunctional metabolites of organic acids, amino acids and phenolic acids than untreated samples. The Lactobacillus species covered over 98% after ensiling, and were mainly comprised by the L. acetotolerans, L. silagei, L. parafarraginis, L. buchneri and L. odoratitofui. As compared to the control silage, inoculation of L. plantarum increased the relative abundances of L. acetotolerans, L. buchneri and L. parafarraginis, and a considerable decline in the proportion of L. silagei was observed; whereas an obvious decrease in L. acetotolerans and increases in L. odoratitofui and L. farciminis were observed in the L. buchneri inoculated silage. Therefore, inoculation of L. plantarum and L. buchneri regulated the microbial composition and metabolome of the corn silage with different behaviors. The present results indicated that profiling of silage microbiome and metabolome might improve our current understanding of the biological process underlying silage formation.


July 19, 2019  |  

Biosynthesis and function of modified bases in bacteria and their viruses.

Naturally occurring modification of the canonical A, G, C, and T bases can be found in the DNA of cellular organisms and viruses from all domains of life. Bacterial viruses (bacteriophages) are a particularly rich but still underexploited source of such modified variant nucleotides. The modifications conserve the coding and base-pairing functions of DNA, but add regulatory and protective functions. In prokaryotes, modified bases appear primarily to be part of an arms race between bacteriophages (and other genomic parasites) and their hosts, although, as in eukaryotes, some modifications have been adapted to convey epigenetic information. The first half of this review catalogs the identification and diversity of DNA modifications found in bacteria and bacteriophages. What is known about the biogenesis, context, and function of these modifications are also described. The second part of the review places these DNA modifications in the context of the arms race between bacteria and bacteriophages. It focuses particularly on the defense and counter-defense strategies that turn on direct recognition of the presence of a modified base. Where modification has been shown to affect other DNA transactions, such as expression and chromosome segregation, that is summarized, with reference to recent reviews.


July 19, 2019  |  

Genome sequencing of strain Cellulosimicrobium sp. TH-20 with ginseng biotransformation ability.

Biotransformation for increasing the pharmaceutical effect of ginsenosides is getting more and more attractions. Strain Cellulosimicrobium sp. TH-20 isolated from ginseng soil samples was identified to produce enzymes contributing to its excellent biotransformation activity against ginsenosides, the main active components of ginseng. Based on phylogenetic tree and homology analysis, the strain can be designated as Cellulosimicrobium sp. Genome sequencing was performed using the Illumina Miseq to explore the functional genes involved in ginsenoside transformation. The draft genome of Cellulosimicrobium sp. TH-20 encoded 3450 open reading frames, 51 tRNA, and 9 rRNA. All ORFs were annotated using NCBI BLAST with non-redundant proteins, Gene Ontology, Cluster of Orthologous Gene, and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes databases. A total of 11 genes were selected based on the functional annotation analysis. These genes are relevant to ginsenoside biotransformation, including 6 for beta-glucosidase, 1 for alpha-N-arabinofuranosidase, 1 for alpha-1,6-glucosidase, 1 for endo-1,4-beta-xylanase, 1 for alpha-L-arabinofuranosidase, and 1 for beta-galactosidase. These glycosidases were predicted to catalyze the hydrolysis of sugar moieties attached to the aglycon of ginsenosides and led to the transformation of PPD-type and PPT-type ginsenosides.


July 7, 2019  |  

Enzymatic degradation of phenazines can generate energy and protect sensitive organisms from toxicity.

Diverse bacteria, including several Pseudomonas species, produce a class of redox-active metabolites called phenazines that impact different cell types in nature and disease. Phenazines can affect microbial communities in both positive and negative ways, where their presence is correlated with decreased species richness and diversity. However, little is known about how the concentration of phenazines is modulated in situ and what this may mean for the fitness of members of the community. Through culturing of phenazine-degrading mycobacteria, genome sequencing, comparative genomics, and molecular analysis, we identified several conserved genes that are important for the degradation of three Pseudomonas-derived phenazines: phenazine-1-carboxylic acid (PCA), phenazine-1-carboxamide (PCN), and pyocyanin (PYO). PCA can be used as the sole carbon source for growth by these organisms. Deletion of several genes in Mycobacterium fortuitum abolishes the degradation phenotype, and expression of two genes in a heterologous host confers the ability to degrade PCN and PYO. In cocultures with phenazine producers, phenazine degraders alter the abundance of different phenazine types. Not only does degradation support mycobacterial catabolism, but also it provides protection to bacteria that would otherwise be inhibited by the toxicity of PYO. Collectively, these results serve as a reminder that microbial metabolites can be actively modified and degraded and that these turnover processes must be considered when the fate and impact of such compounds in any environment are being assessed.Phenazine production by Pseudomonas spp. can shape microbial communities in a variety of environments ranging from the cystic fibrosis lung to the rhizosphere of dryland crops. For example, in the rhizosphere, phenazines can protect plants from infection by pathogenic fungi. The redox activity of phenazines underpins their antibiotic activity, as well as providing pseudomonads with important physiological benefits. Our discovery that soil mycobacteria can catabolize phenazines and thereby protect other organisms against phenazine toxicity suggests that phenazine degradation may influence turnover in situ. The identification of genes involved in the degradation of phenazines opens the door to monitoring turnover in diverse environments, an essential process to consider when one is attempting to understand or control communities influenced by phenazines. Copyright © 2015 Costa et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Novosphingobium pentaromativorans US6-1(T).

Novosphingobium pentaromativorans US6-1(T) is a species in the family Sphingomonadaceae. According to the phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequence of the N. pentaromativorans US6-1(T) and nine genome-sequenced strains in the genus Novosphingobium, the similarity ranged from 93.9 to 99.9 % and the highest similarity was found with Novosphingobium sp. PP1Y (99.9 %), whereas the ANI value based on genomes ranged from 70.9 to 93 % and the highest value was 93 %. This microorganism was isolated from muddy coastal bay sediments where the environment is heavily polluted by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). It was previously shown to be capable of degrading multiple PAHs, including benzo[a]pyrene. To further understand the PAH biodegradation pathways the previous draft genome of this microorganism was revised to obtain a complete genome using Illumina MiSeq and PacBio platform. The genome of strain US6-1(T) consists of 5,457,578 bp, which includes the 3,979,506 bp chromosome and five megaplasmids. It comprises 5110 protein-coding genes and 82 RNA genes. Here, we provide an analysis of the complete genome sequence which enables the identification of new characteristics of this strain.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome sequence and description of the anaerobic lignin-degrading bacterium Tolumonas lignolytica sp. nov.

Tolumonas lignolytica BRL6-1(T) sp. nov. is the type strain of T. lignolytica sp. nov., a proposed novel species of the Tolumonas genus. This strain was isolated from tropical rainforest soils based on its ability to utilize lignin as a sole carbon source. Cells of Tolumonas lignolytica BRL6-1(T) are mesophilic, non-spore forming, Gram-negative rods that are oxidase and catalase negative. The genome for this isolate was sequenced and returned in seven unique contigs totaling 3.6Mbp, enabling the characterization of several putative pathways for lignin breakdown. Particularly, we found an extracellular peroxidase involved in lignin depolymerization, as well as several enzymes involved in ß-aryl ether bond cleavage, which is the most abundant linkage between lignin monomers. We also found genes for enzymes involved in ferulic acid metabolism, which is a common product of lignin breakdown. By characterizing pathways and enzymes employed in the bacterial breakdown of lignin in anaerobic environments, this work should assist in the efficient engineering of biofuel production from lignocellulosic material.


July 7, 2019  |  

The oxygen-independent metabolism of cyclic monoterpenes in Castellaniella defragrans 65Phen.

The facultatively anaerobic betaproteobacterium Castellaniella defragrans 65Phen utilizes acyclic, monocyclic and bicyclic monoterpenes as sole carbon source under oxic as well as anoxic conditions. A biotransformation pathway of the acyclic ß-myrcene required linalool dehydratase-isomerase as initial enzyme acting on the hydrocarbon. An in-frame deletion mutant did not use myrcene, but was able to grow on monocyclic monoterpenes. The genome sequence and a comparative proteome analysis together with a random transposon mutagenesis were conducted to identify genes involved in the monocyclic monoterpene metabolism. Metabolites accumulating in cultures of transposon and in-frame deletion mutants disclosed the degradation pathway.Castellaniella defragrans 65Phen oxidizes the monocyclic monoterpene limonene at the primary methyl group forming perillyl alcohol. The genome of 3.95 Mb contained a 70 kb genome island coding for over 50 proteins involved in the monoterpene metabolism. This island showed higher homology to genes of another monoterpene-mineralizing betaproteobacterium, Thauera terpenica 58EuT, than to genomes of the family Alcaligenaceae, which harbors the genus Castellaniella. A collection of 72 transposon mutants unable to grow on limonene contained 17 inactivated genes, with 46 mutants located in the two genes ctmAB (cyclic terpene metabolism). CtmA and ctmB were annotated as FAD-dependent oxidoreductases and clustered together with ctmE, a 2Fe-2S ferredoxin gene, and ctmF, coding for a NADH:ferredoxin oxidoreductase. Transposon mutants of ctmA, B or E did not grow aerobically or anaerobically on limonene, but on perillyl alcohol. The next steps in the pathway are catalyzed by the geraniol dehydrogenase GeoA and the geranial dehydrogenase GeoB, yielding perillic acid. Two transposon mutants had inactivated genes of the monoterpene ring cleavage (mrc) pathway. 2-Methylcitrate synthase and 2-methylcitrate dehydratase were also essential for the monoterpene metabolism but not for growth on acetate.The genome of Castellaniella defragrans 65Phen is related to other genomes of Alcaligenaceae, but contains a genomic island with genes of the monoterpene metabolism. Castellaniella defragrans 65Phen degrades limonene via a limonene dehydrogenase and the oxidation of perillyl alcohol. The initial oxidation at the primary methyl group is independent of molecular oxygen.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of the lignin-degrading bacterium Klebsiella sp. strain BRL6-2.

In an effort to discover anaerobic bacteria capable of lignin degradation, we isolated Klebsiella sp. strain BRL6-2 on minimal media with alkali lignin as the sole carbon source. This organism was isolated anaerobically from tropical forest soils collected from the Bisley watershed at the Ridge site in the El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico, USA, part of the Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research Station. At this site, the soils experience strong fluctuations in redox potential and are characterized by cycles of iron oxidation and reduction. Genome sequencing was targeted because of its ability to grow on lignin anaerobically and lignocellulolytic activity via in vitro enzyme assays. The genome of Klebsiella sp. strain BRL6-2 is 5.80 Mbp with no detected plasmids, and includes a relatively small arsenal of genes encoding lignocellulolytic carbohydrate active enzymes. The genome revealed four putative peroxidases including glutathione and DyP-type peroxidases, and a complete protocatechuate pathway encoded in a single gene cluster. Physiological studies revealed Klebsiella sp. strain BRL6-2 to be relatively stress tolerant to high ionic strength conditions. It grows in increasing concentrations of ionic liquid (1-ethyl-3-methyl-imidazolium acetate) up to 73.44 mM and NaCl up to 1.5 M.


July 7, 2019  |  

Methods for genome-wide methylome profiling of Campylobacter jejuni.

Methylation has a profound role in the regulation of numerous biological processes in bacteria including virulence. The study of methylation in bacteria has greatly advanced thanks to next-generation sequencing technologies. These technologies have expedited the process of uncovering unique features of many bacterial methylomes such as characterizing previously uncharacterized methyltransferases, cataloging genome-wide DNA methylations in bacteria, identifying the frequency of methylation at particular genomic loci, and revealing regulatory roles of methylation in the biology of various bacterial species. For instance, methylation has been cited as a potential source for the pathogenicity differences observed in C. jejuni strains with syntenic genomes as seen in recent publications. Here, we describe the methodology for the use of Pacific Biosciences’ single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing for detecting methylation patterns in C. jejuni and bioinformatics tools to profile its methylome.


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