June 1, 2021  |  

SMRT Sequencing and assembly of the human microbiome project Mock Community sample – a feasibility project.

While the utility of Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing for de novo assembly and finishing of bacterial isolates is well established, this technology has not yet been widely applied to shotgun sequencing of microbial communities. In order to demonstrate the feasibility of this approach, we sequenced genomic DNA from the Microbial Mock Community B of the Human Microbiome Project


June 1, 2021  |  

Minimization of chimera formation and substitution errors in full-length 16S PCR amplification

The constituents and intra-communal interactions of microbial populations have garnered increasing interest in areas such as water remediation, agriculture and human health. One popular, efficient method of profiling communities is to amplify and sequence the evolutionarily conserved 16S rRNA sequence. Currently, most targeted amplification focuses on short, hypervariable regions of the 16S sequence. Distinguishing information not spanned by the targeted region is lost and species-level classification is often not possible. SMRT Sequencing easily spans the entire 1.5 kb 16S gene, and in combination with highly-accurate single-molecule sequences, can improve the identification of individual species in a metapopulation. However, when amplifying a mixture of sequences with close similarities, the products may contain chimeras, or recombinant molecules, at rates as high as 20-30%. These PCR artifacts make it difficult to identify novel species, and reduce the amount of productive sequences. We investigated multiple factors that have been hypothesized to contribute to chimera formation, such as template damage, denaturing time before and during cycling, polymerase extension time, and reaction volume. Of the factors tested, we found two major related contributors to chimera formation: the amount of input template into the PCR reaction and the number of PCR cycles. Sequence errors generated during amplification and sequencing can also confound the analysis of complex populations. Circular Consensus Sequencing (CCS) can generate single-molecule reads with >99% accuracy, and the SMRT Analysis software provides filtering of these reads to >99.99% accuracies. Remaining substitution errors in these highly-filtered reads are likely dominated by mis-incorporations during amplification. Therefore, we compared the impact of several commercially-available high-fidelity PCR kits with full-length 16S amplification. We show results of our experiments and describe an optimized protocol for full-length 16S amplification for SMRT Sequencing. These optimizations have broader implications for other applications that use PCR amplification to phase variations across targeted regions and to generate highly accurate reference sequences.


June 1, 2021  |  

Minimization of chimera formation and substitution errors in full-length 16S PCR amplification

The constituents and intra-communal interactions of microbial populations have garnered increasing interest in areas such as water remediation, agriculture and human health. Amplification and sequencing of the evolutionarily conserved 16S rRNA gene is an efficient method of profiling communities. Currently, most targeted amplification focuses on short, hypervariable regions of the 16S sequence. Distinguishing information not spanned by the targeted region is lost, and species-level classification is often not possible. PacBio SMRT Sequencing easily spans the entire 1.5 kb 16S gene in a single read, producing highly accurate single-molecule sequences that can improve the identification of individual species in a metapopulation.However, this process still relies upon PCR amplification from a mixture of similar sequences, which may result in chimeras, or recombinant molecules, at rates upwards of 20%. These PCR artifacts make it difficult to identify novel species, and reduce the amount of informative sequences. We investigated multiple factors that may contribute to chimera formation, such as template damage, denaturation time before and during thermocycling, polymerase extension time, and reaction volume. We found two related factors that contribute to chimera formation: the amount of input template into the PCR reaction, and the number of PCR cycles.A second problem that can confound analysis is sequence errors generated during amplification and sequencing. With the updated algorithm for circular consensus sequencing (CCS2), single-molecule reads can be filtered to 99.99% predicted accuracy. Substitution errors in these highly filtered reads may be dominated by mis-incorporations during amplification. Sequence differences in full-length 16S amplicons from several commercial high-fidelity PCR kits were compared.We show results of our experiments and describe our optimized protocol for full-length 16S amplification for SMRT Sequencing. These optimizations have broader implications for other applications that use PCR amplification to phase variations across targeted regions and generate highly accurate reference sequences.


June 1, 2021  |  

Unbiased characterization of metagenome composition and function using HiFi sequencing on the PacBio Sequel II System

Recent work comparing metagenomic sequencing methods indicates that a comprehensive picture of the taxonomic and functional diversity of complex communities will be difficult to achieve with short-read technology alone. While the lower cost of short reads has enabled greater sequencing depth, the greater contiguity of long-read assemblies and lack of GC bias in SMRT Sequencing has enabled better gene finding. However, since long-read assembly requires high coverage for error correction, the benefits of unbiased coverage have in the past been lost for low abundance species. SMRT Sequencing performance improvements and the introduction of the Sequel II System has enabled a new, high throughput data type uniquely suited to metagenome characterization: HiFi reads. HiFi reads combine high accuracy with read lengths up to 15 kb, eliminating the need for assembly for most microbiome applications, including functional profiling, gene discovery, and metabolic pathway reconstruction. Here we present the application of the HiFi data type to enable a new method of analyzing metagenomes that does not require assembly.


June 1, 2021  |  

Unbiased characterization of metagenome composition and function using HiFi sequencing on the PacBio Sequel II System

Recent work comparing metagenomic sequencing methods indicates that a comprehensive picture of the taxonomic and functional diversity of complex communities will be difficult to achieve with one sequencing technology alone. While the lower cost of short reads has enabled greater sequencing depth, the greater contiguity of long-read assemblies and lack of GC bias in SMRT Sequencing has enabled better gene finding. However, since long-read assembly typically requires high coverage for error correction, these benefits have in the past been lost for low-abundance species. The introduction of the Sequel II System has enabled a new, higher throughput, assembly-optional data type that addresses these challenges: HiFi reads. HiFi reads combine QV20 accuracy with long read lengths, eliminating the need for assembly for most metagenome applications, including gene discovery and metabolic pathway reconstruction. In fact, the read lengths and accuracy of HiFi data match or outperform the quality metrics of most metagenome assemblies, enabling cost-effective recovery of intact genes and operons while omitting the resource intensive and data-inefficient assembly step. Here we present the application of HiFi sequencing to both mock and human fecal samples using full-length 16S and shotgun methods. This proof-of-concept work demonstrates the unique strengths of the HiFi method. First, the high correspondence between the expected community composition,16S and shotgun profiling data reflects low context bias. In addition, every HiFi read yields ~5-8 predicted genes, without assembly, using standard tools. If assembly is desired, excellent results can be achieved with Canu and contig binning tools. In summary, HiFi sequencing is a new, cost-effective option for high-resolution functional profiling of metagenomes which complements existing short read workflows.


April 21, 2020  |  

Membrane proteomic analysis reveals overlapping and independent functions of Streptococcus mutans Ffh, YidC1, and YidC2.

A comparative proteomic analysis was utilized to evaluate similarities and differences in membrane samples derived from the cariogenic bacterium Streptococcus mutans, including the wild-type strain and four mutants devoid of protein translocation machinery components, specifically ?ffh, ?yidC1, ?yidC2, or ?ffh/yidC1. The purpose of this work was to determine the extent to which the encoded proteins operate individually or in concert with one another and to identify the potential substrates of the respective pathways. Ffh is the principal protein component of the signal recognition particle (SRP), while yidC1 and yidC2 are dual paralogs encoding members of the YidC/Oxa/Alb family of membrane-localized chaperone insertases. Our results suggest that the co-translational SRP pathway works in concert with either YidC1 or YidC2 specifically, or with no preference for paralog, in the insertion of most membrane-localized substrates. A few instances were identified in which the SRP pathway alone, or one of the YidCs alone, appeared to be most relevant. These data shed light on underlying reasons for differing phenotypic consequences of ffh, yidC1 or yidC2 deletion. Our data further suggest that many membrane proteins present in a ?yidC2 background may be non-functional, that ?yidC1 is better able to adapt physiologically to the loss of this paralog, that shared phenotypic properties of ?ffh and ?yidC2 mutants can stem from impacts on different proteins, and that independent binding to ribosomal proteins is not a primary functional activity of YidC2. Lastly, genomic mutations accumulate in a ?yidC2 background coincident with phenotypic reversion, including an apparent W138R suppressor mutation within yidC1. © 2019 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete Genome Sequence of Streptococcus mutans Strain LAB761, Which Harbors Several Bacteriocin Loci, Isolated from a Caries-Active Child in Canada.

Streptococcus mutans LAB761 has been isolated from dental plaque collected from a child with severe caries. We report here the complete genome sequence of S. mutans strain LAB761, which has a chromosome of 2.0 Mb. The genome sequence reported herein contains several loci encoding double-glycine-motif peptides and lantibiotic and nonlantibiotic bacteriocins.


April 21, 2020  |  

Streptococcus periodonticum sp. nov., Isolated from Human Subgingival Dental Plaque of Periodontitis Lesion.

A novel facultative anaerobic and Gram-stain-positive coccus, designated strain ChDC F135T, was isolated from human subgingival dental plaque of periodontitis lesion and was characterized by polyphasic taxonomic analysis. The 16S rRNA gene (16S rDNA) sequence of strain ChDC F135T was closest to that of Streptococcus sinensis HKU4T (98.2%), followed by Streptococcus intermedia SK54T (97.0%), Streptococcus constellatus NCTC11325T (96.0%), and Streptococcus anginosus NCTC 10713T (95.7%). In contrast, phylogenetic analysis based on the superoxide dismutase gene (sodA) and the RNA polymerase beta-subunit gene (rpoB) showed that the nucleotide sequence similarities of strain ChDC F135T were highly similar to the corresponding genes of S. anginosus NCTC 10713T (99.2% and 97.6%, respectively), S. constellatus NCTC11325T (87.8% and 91.4%, respectively), and S. intermedia SK54T (85.8% and 91.2%, respectively) rather than those of S. sinensis HKU4T (80.5% and 82.6%). The complete genome of strain ChDC F135T consisted of 1,901,251 bp and the G+C content was 38.9 mol %. Average nucleotide identity value between strain ChDC F135T and S. sinensis HKU4T or S. anginosus NCTC 10713T were 75.7% and 95.6%, respectively. The C14:0 composition of the cellular fatty acids of strain ChDC F135T (32.8%) was different from that of S. intermedia (6-8%), S. constellatus (6-13%), and S. anginosus (13-20%). Based on the results of phylogenetic and phenotypic analysis, strain ChDC F135T (=?KCOM 2412T?=?JCM 33300T) was classified as a type strain of a novel species of the genus Streptococcus, for which we proposed the name Streptococcus periodonticum sp. nov.


April 21, 2020  |  

Streptococcus gwangjuense sp. nov., Isolated from Human Pericoronitis.

A novel facultative anaerobic, Gram-stain-negative coccus, designated strain ChDC B345T, was isolated from human pericoronitis lesion and was characterized by polyphasic taxonomic analysis. The 16S ribosomal RNA gene (16S rDNA) sequence revealed that the strain belonged to the genus Streptococcus. The 16S rDNA sequence of strain ChDC B345T was most closely related to those of  Streptococcus mitis NCTC 12261T (99.5%) and Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae ATCC BAA-960T (99.5%). Complete genome of strain ChDC B345T was 1,972,471 bp in length and the G?+?C content was 40.2 mol%. Average nucleotide identity values between strain ChDC B345T and S. pseudopneumoniae ATCC BAA-960T or S. mitis NCTC 12261T were 92.17% and 93.63%, respectively. Genome-to-genome distance values between strain ChDC B345T and S. pseudopneumoniae ATCC BAA-960T or S. mitis NCTC 12261T were 47.8% (45.2-50.4%) and 53.0% (51.0-56.4%), respectively. Based on these results, strain ChDC B345T (=?KCOM 1679T?=?JCM 33299T) should be classified as a novel species of genus Streptococcus, for which we propose the name Streptococcus gwangjuense sp. nov.


April 21, 2020  |  

Biomimetic hydroxyapatite nanocrystals are an active carrier for Salmonella bacteriophages.

The use of bacteriophages represents a valid alternative to conventional antimicrobial treatments, overcoming the widespread bacterial antibiotic resistance phenomenon. In this work, we evaluated whether biomimetic hydroxyapatite (HA) nanocrystals are able to enhance some properties of bacteriophages. The final goal of this study was to demonstrate that biomimetic HA nanocrystals can be used for bacteriophage delivery in the context of bacterial infections, and contribute – at the same time – to enhance some of the biological properties of the same bacteriophages such as stability, preservation, antimicrobial activity, and so on.Phage isolation and characterization were carried out by using Mitomycin C and following double-layer agar technique. The biomimetic HA water suspension was synthesized in order to obtain nanocrystals with plate-like morphology and nanometric dimensions. The interaction of phages with the HA was investigated by dynamic light scattering and Zeta potential analyses. The cytotoxicity and intracellular killing activities of the phage-HA complex were evaluated in human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells. The bacterial inhibition capacity of the complex was assessed on chicken minced meat samples infected with Salmonella Rissen.Our data highlighted that the biomimetic HA nanocrystal-bacteriophage complex was more stable and more effective than phages alone in all tested experimental conditions.Our results evidenced the important contribution of biomimetic HA nanocrystals: they act as an excellent carrier for bacteriophage delivery and enhance its biological characteristics. This study confirmed the significant role of the mineral HA when it is complexed with biological entities like bacteriophages, as it has been shown for molecules such as lactoferrin.


April 21, 2020  |  

Whole Genome Analysis of Lactobacillus plantarum Strains Isolated From Kimchi and Determination of Probiotic Properties to Treat Mucosal Infections by Candida albicans and Gardnerella vaginalis.

Three Lactobacillus plantarum strains ATG-K2, ATG-K6, and ATG-K8 were isolated from Kimchi, a Korean traditional fermented food, and their probiotic potentials were examined. All three strains were free of antibiotic resistance, hemolysis, and biogenic amine production and therefore assumed to be safe, as supported by whole genome analyses. These strains demonstrated several basic probiotic functions including a wide range of antibacterial activity, bile salt hydrolase activity, hydrogen peroxide production, and heat resistance at 70°C for 60 s. Further studies of antimicrobial activities against Candida albicans and Gardnerella vaginalis revealed growth inhibitory effects from culture supernatants, coaggregation effects, and killing effects of the three probiotic strains, with better efficacy toward C. albicans. In vitro treatment of bacterial lysates of the probiotic strains to the RAW264.7 murine macrophage cell line resulted in innate immunity enhancement via IL-6 and TNF-a production without lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment and anti-inflammatory effects via significantly increased production of IL-10 when co-treated with LPS. However, the degree of probiotic effect was different for each strain as the highest TNF-a and the lowest IL-10 production by the RAW264.7 cell were observed in the K8 lysate treated group compared to the K2 and K6 lysate treated groups, which may be related to genomic differences such as chromosome size (K2: 3,034,884 bp, K6: 3,205,672 bp, K8: 3,221,272 bp), plasmid numbers (K2: 3, K6 and K8: 1), or total gene numbers (K2: 3,114, K6: 3,178, K8: 3,186). Although more correlative inspections to connect genomic information and biological functions are needed, genomic analyses of the three strains revealed distinct genomic compositions of each strain. Also, this finding suggests genome level analysis may be required to accurately identify microorganisms. Nevertheless, L. plantarum ATG-K2, ATG-K6, and ATG-K8 demonstrated their potential as probiotics for mucosal health improvement in both microbial and immunological contexts.


April 21, 2020  |  

Resource Concentration Modulates the Fate of Dissimilated Nitrogen in a Dual-Pathway Actinobacterium.

Respiratory ammonification and denitrification are two evolutionarily unrelated dissimilatory nitrogen (N) processes central to the global N cycle, the activity of which is thought to be controlled by carbon (C) to nitrate (NO3-) ratio. Here we find that Intrasporangium calvum C5, a novel dual-pathway denitrifier/respiratory ammonifier, disproportionately utilizes ammonification rather than denitrification when grown under low C concentrations, even at low C:NO3- ratios. This finding is in conflict with the paradigm that high C:NO3- ratios promote ammonification and low C:NO3- ratios promote denitrification. We find that the protein atomic composition for denitrification modules (NirK) are significantly cost minimized for C and N compared to ammonification modules (NrfA), indicating that limitation for C and N is a major evolutionary selective pressure imprinted in the architecture of these proteins. The evolutionary precedent for these findings suggests ecological importance for microbial activity as evidenced by higher growth rates when I. calvum grows predominantly using its ammonification pathway and by assimilating its end-product (ammonium) for growth under ammonium-free conditions. Genomic analysis of I. calvum further reveals a versatile ecophysiology to cope with nutrient stress and redox conditions. Metabolite and transcriptional profiles during growth indicate that enzyme modules, NrfAH and NirK, are not constitutively expressed but rather induced by nitrite production via NarG. Mechanistically, our results suggest that pathway selection is driven by intracellular redox potential (redox poise), which may be lowered when resource concentrations are low, thereby decreasing catalytic activity of upstream electron transport steps (i.e., the bc1 complex) needed for denitrification enzymes. Our work advances our understanding of the biogeochemical flexibility of N-cycling organisms, pathway evolution, and ecological food-webs.


Talk with an expert

If you have a question, need to check the status of an order, or are interested in purchasing an instrument, we're here to help.