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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Effects of low crude oil chronic exposure on the northern krill (Meganyctiphanes norvegica)

Chronic oil pollution related to gas and oil drilling activities is increasing in the sea due to the rising offshore petroleum industry activity. Among marine organisms, zooplankton play a crucial role in the marine ecosystem and therefore understanding the effects of crude oil chronic exposure on zooplankton is needed to determine the impact of oil in marine environments. The present study reports on the effect of crude oil on adult northern krill, Meganyctiphanes norvegica, collected during three seasons. Their sensitivity to oil was examined with oil concentration of 0.01 versus 0.1 mg oil L- 1 and photo-modified oil in flowing…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Early life stages of Northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) are sensitive to fish feed containing the anti-parasitic drug diflubenzuron.

Increasing use of fish feed containing the chitin synthesis inhibiting anti-parasitic drug diflubenzuron (DFB) in salmon aquaculture has raised concerns over its impact on coastal ecosystems. Larvae of Northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) were exposed to DFB medicated feed under Control conditions (7.0?°C, pH 8.0) and under Ocean Acidification and Warming conditions (OAW, 9.5?°C and pH 7.6). Two weeks’ exposure to DFB medicated feed caused significantly increased mortality. The effect of OAW and DFB on mortality of shrimp larvae was additive; 10% mortality in Control, 35% in OAW, 66% in DFB and 92% in OAW?+?DFB. In OAW?+?DFB feeding and swimming activity…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Whole-genome analysis of three yeast strains used for production of sherry-like wines revealed genetic traits specific to Flor yeasts.

Flor yeast strains represent a specialized group of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeasts used for biological wine aging. We have sequenced the genomes of three flor strains originated from different geographic regions and used for production of sherry-like wines in Russia. According to the obtained phylogeny of 118 yeast strains, flor strains form very tight cluster adjacent to the main wine clade. SNP analysis versus available genomes of wine and flor strains revealed 2,270 genetic variants in 1,337 loci specific to flor strains. Gene ontology analysis in combination with gene content evaluation revealed a complex landscape of possibly adaptive genetic changes in…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Excision-reintegration at a pneumococcal phase-variable restriction-modification locus drives within- and between-strain epigenetic differentiation and inhibits gene acquisition.

Phase-variation of Type I restriction-modification systems can rapidly alter the sequence motifs they target, diversifying both the epigenetic patterns and endonuclease activity within clonally descended populations. Here, we characterize the Streptococcus pneumoniae SpnIV phase-variable Type I RMS, encoded by the translocating variable restriction (tvr) locus, to identify its target motifs, mechanism and regulation of phase variation, and effects on exchange of sequence through transformation. The specificity-determining hsdS genes were shuffled through a recombinase-mediated excision-reintegration mechanism involving circular intermediate molecules, guided by two types of direct repeat. The rate of rearrangements was limited by an attenuator and toxin-antitoxin system homologs that…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

A random six-phase switch regulates pneumococcal virulence via global epigenetic changes.

Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus) is the world’s foremost bacterial pathogen in both morbidity and mortality. Switching between phenotypic forms (or ‘phases’) that favour asymptomatic carriage or invasive disease was first reported in 1933. Here, we show that the underlying mechanism for such phase variation consists of genetic rearrangements in a Type I restriction-modification system (SpnD39III). The rearrangements generate six alternative specificities with distinct methylation patterns, as defined by single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) methylomics. The SpnD39III variants have distinct gene expression profiles. We demonstrate distinct virulence in experimental infection and in vivo selection for switching between SpnD39III variants. SpnD39III is ubiquitous in…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

A comparative analysis of methylome profiles of Campylobacter jejuni sheep abortion isolate and gastroenteric strains using PacBio data.

Campylobacter jejuni is a leading cause of human gastrointestinal disease and small ruminant abortions in the United States. The recent emergence of a highly virulent, tetracycline-resistant C. jejuni subsp. jejuni sheep abortion clone (clone SA) in the United States, and that strain’s association with human disease, has resulted in a heightened awareness of the zoonotic potential of this organism. Pacific Biosciences’ Single Molecule, Real-Time sequencing technology was used to explore the variation in the genome-wide methylation patterns of the abortifacient clone SA (IA3902) and phenotypically distinct gastrointestinal-specific C. jejuni strains (NCTC 11168 and 81-176). Several notable differences were discovered that…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Fc? receptors: genetic variation, function, and disease.

Fc? receptors (Fc?Rs) are key immune receptors responsible for the effective control of both humoral and innate immunity and are central to maintaining the balance between generating appropriate responses to infection and preventing autoimmunity. When this balance is lost, pathology results in increased susceptibility to cancer, autoimmunity, and infection. In contrast, optimal Fc?R engagement facilitates effective disease resolution and response to monoclonal antibody immunotherapy. The underlying genetics of the Fc?R gene family are a central component of this careful balance. Complex in humans and generated through ancestral duplication events, here we review the evolution of the gene family in mammals,…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Phase variation of a Type IIG restriction-modification enzyme alters site-specific methylation patterns and gene expression in Campylobacter jejuni strain NCTC11168.

Phase-variable restriction-modification systems are a feature of a diverse range of bacterial species. Stochastic, reversible switches in expression of the methyltransferase produces variation in methylation of specific sequences. Phase-variable methylation by both Type I and Type III methyltransferases is associated with altered gene expression and phenotypic variation. One phase-variable gene of Campylobacter jejuni encodes a homologue of an unusual Type IIG restriction-modification system in which the endonuclease and methyltransferase are encoded by a single gene. Using both inhibition of restriction and PacBio-derived methylome analyses of mutants and phase-variants, the cj0031c allele in C. jejuni strain NCTC11168 was demonstrated to specifically…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

A pipeline for local assembly of minisatellite alleles from single-molecule sequencing data.

The advent of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) has led to the generation of enormous volumes of short read sequence data, cheaply and in reasonable time scales. Nevertheless, the quality of genome assemblies generated using NGS technologies has been greatly affected, compared to those generated using Sanger DNA sequencing. This is largely due to the inability of short read sequence data to scaffold repetitive structures, creating gaps, inversions and rearrangements and resulting in assemblies that are, at best, draft forms. Third generation single-molecule sequencing (SMS) technologies (e.g. Pacific Biosciences Single Molecule Real Time (SMRT) system) address this challenge by generating sequences…

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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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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Phase-variable methylation and epigenetic regulation by type I restriction-modification systems.

Epigenetic modifications in bacteria, such as DNA methylation, have been shown to affect gene regulation, thereby generating cells that are isogenic but with distinctly different phenotypes. Restriction-modification (RM) systems contain prototypic methylases that are responsible for much of bacterial DNA methylation. This review focuses on a distinctive group of type I RM loci that , through phase variation, can modify their methylation target specificity and can thereby switch bacteria between alternative patterns of DNA methylation. Phase variation occurs at the level of the target recognition domains of the hsdS (specificity) gene via reversible recombination processes acting upon multiple hsdS alleles.…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

ICESag37, a novel integrative and conjugative element carrying antimicrobial resistance genes and potential virulence factors in Streptococcus agalactiae.

ICESag37, a novel integrative and conjugative element carrying multidrug resistance and potential virulence factors, was characterized in a clinical isolate of Streptococcus agalactiae. Two clinical strains of S. agalactiae, Sag37 and Sag158, were isolated from blood samples of new-borns with bacteremia. Sag37 was highly resistant to erythromycin and tetracycline, and susceptible to levofloxacin and penicillin, while Sag158 was resistant to tetracycline and levofloxacin, and susceptible to erythromycin. Transfer experiments were performed and selection was carried out with suitable antibiotic concentrations. Through mating experiments, the erythromycin resistance gene was found to be transferable from Sag37 to Sag158. SmaI-PFGE revealed a new…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

De novo genome assembly shows genome wide similarity between Trypanosoma brucei brucei and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense.

Trypanosoma brucei is a eukaryotic pathogen which causes African trypanosomiasis. It is notable for its variant surface glycoprotein (VSG) coat, which undergoes antigenic variation enabled by a large suite of VSG pseudogenes, allowing for persistent evasion of host adaptive immunity. While Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense (Tbr) and T. b gambiense (Tbg) are human infective, related T. b. brucei (Tbb) is cleared by human sera. A single gene, the Serum Resistance Associated (SRA) gene, confers Tbr its human infectivity phenotype. Potential genetic recombination of this gene between Tbr and non-human infective Tbb strains has significant epidemiological consequences for Human African Trypanosomiasis outbreaks.Using…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Insight into the evolution of the Solanaceae from the parental genomes of Petunia hybrida.

Petunia hybrida is a popular bedding plant that has a long history as a genetic model system. We report the whole-genome sequencing and assembly of inbred derivatives of its two wild parents, P. axillaris N and P. inflata S6. The assemblies include 91.3% and 90.2% coverage of their diploid genomes (1.4 Gb; 2n?=?14) containing 32,928 and 36,697 protein-coding genes, respectively. The genomes reveal that the Petunia lineage has experienced at least two rounds of hexaploidization: the older gamma event, which is shared with most Eudicots, and a more recent Solanaceae event that is shared with tomato and other solanaceous species.…

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