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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Gut symbionts from distinct hosts exhibit genotoxic activity via divergent colibactin biosynthetic pathways.

Secondary metabolites produced by nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) or polyketide synthase (PKS) pathways are chemical mediators of microbial interactions in diverse environments. However, little is known about their distribution, evolution, and functional roles in bacterial symbionts associated with animals. A prominent example is “colibactin”, a largely unknown family of secondary metabolites produced by Escherichia coli via a hybrid NRPS-PKS biosynthetic pathway, inflicting DNA damage upon eukaryotic cells and contributing to colorectal cancer and tumor formation in the mammalian gut. Thus far, homologs of this pathway have only been found in closely related Enterobacteriaceae, while a divergent variant of this gene…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genome sequence of the Drosophila melanogaster male-killing Spiroplasma strain MSRO endosymbiont.

Spiroplasmas are helical and motile members of a cell wall-less eubacterial group called Mollicutes. Although all spiroplasmas are associated with arthropods, they exhibit great diversity with respect to both their modes of transmission and their effects on their hosts; ranging from horizontally transmitted pathogens and commensals to endosymbionts that are transmitted transovarially (i.e., from mother to offspring). Here we provide the first genome sequence, along with proteomic validation, of an endosymbiotic inherited Spiroplasma bacterium, the Spiroplasma poulsonii MSRO strain harbored by Drosophila melanogaster. Comparison of the genome content of S. poulsonii with that of horizontally transmitted spiroplasmas indicates that S. poulsonii has…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

High quality draft genomes of the Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides challenge strains Afadé and B237.

Members of the Mycoplasma mycoides cluster’ represent important livestock pathogens worldwide. Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides is the etiologic agent of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), which is still endemic in many parts of Africa. We report the genome sequences and annotation of two frequently used challenge strains of Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides, Afadé and B237. The information provided will enable downstream ‘omics’ applications such as proteomics, transcriptomics and reverse vaccinology approaches. Despite the absence of Mycoplasma pneumoniae like cyto-adhesion encoding genes, the two strains showed the presence of protrusions. This phenotype is likely encoded by another set of genes.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The functions of DNA methylation by CcrM in Caulobacter crescentus: a global approach.

DNA methylation is involved in a diversity of processes in bacteria, including maintenance of genome integrity and regulation of gene expression. Here, using Caulobacter crescentus as a model, we exploit genome-wide experimental methods to uncover the functions of CcrM, a DNA methyltransferase conserved in most Alphaproteobacteria. Using single molecule sequencing, we provide evidence that most CcrM target motifs (GANTC) switch from a fully methylated to a hemi-methylated state when they are replicated, and back to a fully methylated state at the onset of cell division. We show that DNA methylation by CcrM is not required for the control of the…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Dissecting a hidden gene duplication: the Arabidopsis thaliana SEC10 locus.

Repetitive sequences present a challenge for genome sequence assembly, and highly similar segmental duplications may disappear from assembled genome sequences. Having found a surprising lack of observable phenotypic deviations and non-Mendelian segregation in Arabidopsis thaliana mutants in SEC10, a gene encoding a core subunit of the exocyst tethering complex, we examined whether this could be explained by a hidden gene duplication. Re-sequencing and manual assembly of the Arabidopsis thaliana SEC10 (At5g12370) locus revealed that this locus, comprising a single gene in the reference genome assembly, indeed contains two paralogous genes in tandem, SEC10a and SEC10b, and that a sequence segment…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Global phylogenomic analysis of nonencapsulated Streptococcus pneumoniae reveals a deep-branching classic lineage that is distinct from multiple sporadic lineages.

The surrounding capsule of Streptococcus pneumoniae has been identified as a major virulence factor and is targeted by pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV). However, nonencapsulated S. pneumoniae (non-Ec-Sp) have also been isolated globally, mainly in carriage studies. It is unknown if non-Ec-Sp evolve sporadically, if they have high antibiotic nonsusceptiblity rates and a unique, specific gene content. Here, whole-genome sequencing of 131 non-Ec-Sp isolates sourced from 17 different locations around the world was performed. Results revealed a deep-branching classic lineage that is distinct from multiple sporadic lineages. The sporadic lineages clustered with a previously sequenced, global collection of encapsulated S. pneumoniae…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genome of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus provides insight into the oldest plant symbiosis.

The mutualistic symbiosis involving Glomeromycota, a distinctive phylum of early diverging Fungi, is widely hypothesized to have promoted the evolution of land plants during the middle Paleozoic. These arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) perform vital functions in the phosphorus cycle that are fundamental to sustainable crop plant productivity. The unusual biological features of AMF have long fascinated evolutionary biologists. The coenocytic hyphae host a community of hundreds of nuclei and reproduce clonally through large multinucleated spores. It has been suggested that the AMF maintain a stable assemblage of several different genomes during the life cycle, but this genomic organization has been…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

MAR-Mediated transgene integration into permissive chromatin and increased expression by recombination pathway engineering.

Untargeted plasmid integration into mammalian cell genomes remains a poorly understood and inefficient process. The formation of plasmid concatemers and their genomic integration has been ascribed either to non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) or homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair pathways. However, a direct involvement of these pathways has remained unclear. Here, we show that the silencing of many HR factors enhanced plasmid concatemer formation and stable expression of the gene of interest in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, while the inhibition of NHEJ had no effect. However, genomic integration was decreased by the silencing of specific HR components, such as Rad51, and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

An antimicrobial peptide-resistant minor subpopulation of Photorhabdus luminescens is responsible for virulence.

Some of the bacterial cells in isogenic populations behave differently from others. We describe here how a new type of phenotypic heterogeneity relating to resistance to cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs) is determinant for the pathogenic infection process of the entomopathogenic bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens. We demonstrate that the resistant subpopulation, which accounts for only 0.5% of the wild-type population, causes septicemia in insects. Bacterial heterogeneity is driven by the PhoPQ two-component regulatory system and expression of pbgPE, an operon encoding proteins involved in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) modifications. We also report the characterization of a core regulon controlled by the DNA-binding PhoP protein,…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The histidine decarboxylase gene cluster of Lactobacillus parabuchneri was gained by horizontal gene transfer and is mobile within the species.

Histamine in food can cause intolerance reactions in consumers. Lactobacillus parabuchneri (L. parabuchneri) is one of the major causes of elevated histamine levels in cheese. Despite its significant economic impact and negative influence on human health, no genomic study has been published so far. We sequenced and analyzed 18 L. parabuchneri strains of which 12 were histamine positive and 6 were histamine negative. We determined the complete genome of the histamine positive strain FAM21731 with PacBio as well as Illumina and the genomes of the remaining 17 strains using the Illumina technology. We developed the synteny aware ortholog finding algorithm…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genomic changes associated with the evolutionary transition of an insect gut symbiont into a blood-borne pathogen.

The genus Bartonella comprises facultative intracellular bacteria with a unique lifestyle. After transmission by blood-sucking arthropods they colonize the erythrocytes of mammalian hosts causing acute and chronic infectious diseases. Although the pathogen-host interaction is well understood, little is known about the evolutionary origin of the infection strategy manifested by Bartonella species. Here we analyzed six genomes of Bartonella apis, a honey bee gut symbiont that to date represents the closest relative of pathogenic Bartonella species. Comparative genomics revealed that B. apis encodes a large set of vertically inherited genes for amino acid and cofactor biosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism. Most pathogenic…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Draft genome sequence of Microbacterium foliorum strain 122 isolated from a plant growing in a chronically hydrocarbon-contaminated site.

Microbacterium foliorum strain 122 is a bacterial endophyte isolated from a Dactylis glomerata plant growing in a natural oil seep soil located in Oil Springs, Ontario, Canada. We present here a draft genome sequence of an endophytic strain that has promising potential in hydrocarbon degradation and plant growth promotion. Copyright © 2017 Lumactud et al.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Draft genome sequence of Plantibacter flavus strain 251 isolated from a plant growing in a chronically hydrocarbon-contaminated site.

Plantibacter flavus isolate 251 is a bacterial endophyte isolated from an Achillea millefolium plant growing in a natural oil seep soil located in Oil Springs, Ontario, Canada. We present here a draft genome sequence of an infrequently reported genus Plantibacter, highlighting an endophytic lifestyle and biotechnological potential. Copyright © 2017 Lumactud et al.

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