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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Extensive horizontal gene transfer in cheese-associated bacteria.

Acquisition of genes through horizontal gene transfer (HGT) allows microbes to rapidly gain new capabilities and adapt to new or changing environments. Identifying widespread HGT regions within multispecies microbiomes can pinpoint the molecular mechanisms that play key roles in microbiome assembly. We sought to identify horizontally transferred genes within a model microbiome, the cheese rind. Comparing 31 newly sequenced and 134 previously sequenced bacterial isolates from cheese rinds, we identified over 200 putative horizontally transferred genomic regions containing 4733 protein coding genes. The largest of these regions are enriched for genes involved in siderophore acquisition, and are widely distributed in…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparative genomics and transcriptomics analysis-guided metabolic engineering of Propionibacterium acidipropionici for improved propionic acid production.

Acid stress induced by the accumulation of organic acids during the fermentation of propionibacteria is a severe limitation in the microbial production of propionic acid (PA). To enhance the acid resistance of strains, the tolerance mechanisms of cells must first be understood. In this study, comparative genomic and transcriptomic analyses were conducted on wild-type and acid-tolerant Propionibacterium acidipropionici to reveal the microbial response of cells to acid stress during fermentation. Combined with the results of previous proteomic and metabolomic studies, several potential acid-resistance mechanisms of P. acidipropionici were analyzed. Energy metabolism and transporter activity of cells were regulated to maintain…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparative genomics and identification of an enterotoxin-bearing pathogenicity island, SEPI-1/SECI-1, in Staphylococcus epidermidis pathogenic strains.

Staphylococcus epidermidis is a leading cause of nosocomial infections, majorly resistant to beta-lactam antibiotics, and may transfer several mobile genetic elements among the members of its own species, as well as to Staphylococcus aureus; however, a genetic exchange from S. aureus to S. epidermidis remains controversial. We recently identified two pathogenic clinical strains of S. epidermidis that produce a staphylococcal enterotoxin C3-like (SEC) similar to that by S. aureus pathogenicity islands. This study aimed to determine the genetic environment of the SEC-coding sequence and to identify the mobile genetic elements. Whole-genome sequencing and annotation of the S. epidermidis strains were…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Biosynthesis of antibiotic chuangxinmycin from Actinoplanes tsinanensis.

Chuangxinmycin is an antibiotic isolated from Actinoplanes tsinanensis CPCC 200056 in the 1970s with a novel indole-dihydrothiopyran heterocyclic skeleton. Chuangxinmycin showed in vitro antibacterial activity and in vivo efficacy in mouse infection models as well as preliminary clinical trials. But the biosynthetic pathway of chuangxinmycin has been obscure since its discovery. Herein, we report the identification of a stretch of DNA from the genome of A. tsinanensis CPCC 200056 that encodes genes for biosynthesis of chuangxinmycin by bioinformatics analysis. The designated cxn cluster was then confirmed to be responsible for chuangxinmycin biosynthesis by direct cloning and heterologous expressing in Streptomyces…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparison of phasing strategies for whole human genomes.

Humans are a diploid species that inherit one set of chromosomes paternally and one homologous set of chromosomes maternally. Unfortunately, most human sequencing initiatives ignore this fact in that they do not directly delineate the nucleotide content of the maternal and paternal copies of the 23 chromosomes individuals possess (i.e., they do not ‘phase’ the genome) often because of the costs and complexities of doing so. We compared 11 different widely-used approaches to phasing human genomes using the publicly available ‘Genome-In-A-Bottle’ (GIAB) phased version of the NA12878 genome as a gold standard. The phasing strategies we compared included laboratory-based assays…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Gene presence-absence polymorphism in castrating anther-smut fungi: Recent gene Gains and Phylogeographic Structure.

Gene presence-absence polymorphisms segregating within species are a significant source of genetic variation but have been little investigated to date in natural populations. In plant pathogens, the gain or loss of genes encoding proteins interacting directly with the host, such as secreted proteins, probably plays an important role in coevolution and local adaptation. We investigated gene presence-absence polymorphism in populations of two closely related species of castrating anther-smut fungi, Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae (MvSl) and M. silenes-dioicae (MvSd), from across Europe, on the basis of Illumina genome sequencing data and high-quality genome references. We observed presence-absence polymorphism for 186 autosomal genes (2%…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Multiple convergent supergene evolution events in mating-type chromosomes.

Convergent adaptation provides unique insights into the predictability of evolution and ultimately into processes of biological diversification. Supergenes (beneficial gene linkage) are striking examples of adaptation, but little is known about their prevalence or evolution. A recent study on anther-smut fungi documented supergene formation by rearrangements linking two key mating-type loci, controlling pre- and post-mating compatibility. Here further high-quality genome assemblies reveal four additional independent cases of chromosomal rearrangements leading to regions of suppressed recombination linking these mating-type loci in closely related species. Such convergent transitions in genomic architecture of mating-type determination indicate strong selection favoring linkage of mating-type loci…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Mutant phenotypes for thousands of bacterial genes of unknown function.

One-third of all protein-coding genes from bacterial genomes cannot be annotated with a function. Here, to investigate the functions of these genes, we present genome-wide mutant fitness data from 32 diverse bacteria across dozens of growth conditions. We identified mutant phenotypes for 11,779 protein-coding genes that had not been annotated with a specific function. Many genes could be associated with a specific condition because the gene affected fitness only in that condition, or with another gene in the same bacterium because they had similar mutant phenotypes. Of the poorly annotated genes, 2,316 had associations that have high confidence because they…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A reference genome of the Chinese hamster based on a hybrid assembly strategy.

Accurate and complete genome sequences are essential in biotechnology to facilitate genome-based cell engineering efforts. The current genome assemblies for Cricetulus griseus, the Chinese hamster, are fragmented and replete with gap sequences and misassemblies, consistent with most short-read-based assemblies. Here, we completely resequenced C. griseus using single molecule real time sequencing and merged this with Illumina-based assemblies. This generated a more contiguous and complete genome assembly than either technology alone, reducing the number of scaffolds by >28-fold, with 90% of the sequence in the 122 longest scaffolds. Most genes are now found in single scaffolds, including up- and downstream regulatory…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genomic signatures of mitonuclear coevolution across populations of Tigriopus californicus.

The copepod Tigriopus californicus shows extensive population divergence and is becoming a model for understanding allopatric differentiation and the early stages of speciation. Here, we report a high-quality reference genome for one population (~190?megabases across 12 scaffolds, and ~15,500 protein-coding genes). Comparison with other arthropods reveals 2,526 genes presumed to be specific to T. californicus, with an apparent proliferation of genes involved in ion transport and receptor activity. Beyond the reference population, we report re-sequenced genomes of seven additional populations, spanning the continuum of reproductive isolation. Populations show extreme mitochondrial DNA divergence, with higher levels of amino acid differentiation than…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Integration of genomic data with NMR analysis enables assignment of the full stereostructure of neaumycin B, a potent inhibitor of glioblastoma from a marine-derived Micromonospora.

The microbial metabolites known as the macrolides are some of the most successful natural products used to treat infectious and immune diseases. Describing the structures of these complex metabolites, however, is often extremely difficult due to the presence of multiple stereogenic centers inherent in this class of polyketide-derived metabolites. With the availability of genome sequence data and a better understanding of the molecular genetics of natural product biosynthesis, it is now possible to use bioinformatic approaches in tandem with spectroscopic tools to assign the full stereostructures of these complex metabolites. In our quest to discover and develop new agents for…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparison of highly and weakly virulent Dickeya solani strains, with a view on the pangenome and panregulon of this species.

Bacteria belonging to the genera Dickeya and Pectobacterium are responsible for significant economic losses in a wide variety of crops and ornamentals. During last years, increasing losses in potato production have been attributed to the appearance of Dickeya solani. The D. solani strains investigated so far share genetic homogeneity, although different virulence levels were observed among strains of various origins. The purpose of this study was to investigate the genetic traits possibly related to the diverse virulence levels by means of comparative genomics. First, we developed a new genome assembly pipeline which allowed us to complete the D. solani genomes.…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Changes in the genetic requirements for microbial interactions with increasing community complexity.

Microbial community structure and function rely on complex interactions whose underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. To investigate these interactions in a simple microbiome, we introduced E. coli into an experimental community based on a cheese rind and identified the differences in E. coli’s genetic requirements for growth in interactive and non-interactive contexts using Random Barcode Transposon Sequencing (RB-TnSeq) and RNASeq. Genetic requirements varied among pairwise growth conditions and between pairwise and community conditions. Our analysis points to mechanisms by which growth conditions change as a result of increasing community complexity and suggests that growth within a community relies on…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Deletions linked to PROG1 gene participate in plant architecture domestication in Asian and African rice.

Improving the yield by modifying plant architecture was a key step during crop domestication. Here, we show that a 110-kb deletion on the short arm of chromosome 7 in Asian cultivated rice (Oryza sativa), which is closely linked to the previously identified PROSTRATE GROWTH 1 (PROG1) gene, harbors a tandem repeat of seven zinc-finger genes. Three of these genes regulate the plant architecture, suggesting that the deletion also promoted the critical transition from the prostrate growth and low yield of wild rice (O. rufipogon) to the erect growth and high yield of Asian cultivated rice. We refer to this locus…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Targeted genotyping of variable number tandem repeats with adVNTR.

Whole-genome sequencing is increasingly used to identify Mendelian variants in clinical pipelines. These pipelines focus on single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) and also structural variants, while ignoring more complex repeat sequence variants. Here, we consider the problem of genotyping Variable Number Tandem Repeats (VNTRs), composed of inexact tandem duplications of short (6-100 bp) repeating units. VNTRs span 3% of the human genome, are frequently present in coding regions, and have been implicated in multiple Mendelian disorders. Although existing tools recognize VNTR carrying sequence, genotyping VNTRs (determining repeat unit count and sequence variation) from whole-genome sequencing reads remains challenging. We describe a method,…

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