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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Methylomic and phenotypic analysis of the ModH5 phasevarion of Helicobacter pylori.

The Helicobacter pylori phase variable gene modH, typified by gene HP1522 in strain 26695, encodes a N6-adenosine type III DNA methyltransferase. Our previous studies identified multiple strain-specific modH variants (modH1 – modH19) and showed that phase variation of modH5 in H. pylori P12 influenced expression of motility-associated genes and outer membrane protein gene hopG. However, the ModH5 DNA recognition motif and the mechanism by which ModH5 controls gene expression were unknown. Here, using comparative single molecule real-time sequencing, we identify the DNA site methylated by ModH5 as 5′-Gm6ACC-3′. This motif is vastly underrepresented in H. pylori genomes, but overrepresented in…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The plastid genome in Cladophorales green algae is encoded by hairpin chromosomes.

Virtually all plastid (chloroplast) genomes are circular double-stranded DNA molecules, typically between 100 and 200 kb in size and encoding circa 80-250 genes. Exceptions to this universal plastid genome architecture are very few and include the dinoflagellates, where genes are located on DNA minicircles. Here we report on the highly deviant chloroplast genome of Cladophorales green algae, which is entirely fragmented into hairpin chromosomes. Short- and long-read high-throughput sequencing of DNA and RNA demonstrated that the chloroplast genes of Boodlea composita are encoded on 1- to 7-kb DNA contigs with an exceptionally high GC content, each containing a long inverted…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Rapid emergence and evolution of Staphylococcus aureus clones harbouring fusC-containing Staphylococcal cassette chromosome elements.

The prevalence of fusidic acid (FA) resistance amongst Staphylococcus aureus in New Zealand (NZ) is amongst the highest reported globally, with a recent study describing a resistance rate of approximately 28%. Three FA-resistant S. aureus clones (ST5 MRSA, ST1 MSSA and ST1 MRSA) have emerged over the past decade and now predominate in NZ, and in all three clones FA resistance is mediated by the fusC gene. In particular, ST5 MRSA has rapidly become the dominant MRSA clone in NZ, although the origin of FA-resistant ST5 MRSA has not been explored, and the genetic context of fusC in FA-resistant NZ…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The emergence and intercontinental spread of a multidrug-resistant clade of typhoid agent Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi

Multidrug-resistant typhoid is a global health problem. Previous studies conducted in countries of Asia and Africa have identified a highly clonal, multidrug-resistant lineage of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S Typhi), known as H58. However, little is known about the emergence and geographical spread of the H58 clade. In this study, we have used whole-genome sequencing of a global collection of S Typhi to investigate this highly successful lineage.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Global phylogeography and evolutionary history of Shigella dysenteriae type 1

Together with plague, smallpox and typhus, epidemics of dysentery have been a major scourge of human populations for centuries1. A previous genomic study concluded that Shigella dysenteriae type 1 (Sd1), the epidemic dysentery bacillus, emerged and spread worldwide after the First World War, with no clear pattern of transmission2. This is not consistent with the massive cyclic dysentery epidemics reported in Europe during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries1,3,4 and the first isolation of Sd1 in Japan in 18975. Here, we report a whole-genome analysis of 331 Sd1 isolates from around the world, collected between 1915 and 2011, providing us with…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Haemonchus contortus: genome structure, organization and comparative genomics

One of the first genome sequencing projects for a parasitic nematode was that for Haemonchus contortus. The open access data from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute provided a valuable early resource for the research community, particularly for the identification of specific genes and genetic markers. Later, a second sequencing project was initiated by the University of Melbourne, and the two draft genome sequences for H. contortus were published back-to-back in 2013. There is a pressing need for long-range genomic information for genetic mapping, population genetics and functional genomic studies, so we are continuing to improve the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute assembly…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Isolation and plasmid characterization of carbapenemase (IMP-4) producing Salmonella enterica Typhimurium from cats.

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are a pressing public health issue due to limited therapeutic options to treat such infections. CREs have been predominantly isolated from humans and environmental samples and they are rarely reported among companion animals. In this study we report on the isolation and plasmid characterization of carbapenemase (IMP-4) producing Salmonella enterica Typhimurium from a companion animal. Carbapenemase-producing S. enterica Typhimurium carrying blaIMP-4 was identified from a systemically unwell (index) cat and three additional cats at an animal shelter. All isolates were identical and belonged to ST19. Genome sequencing revealed the acquisition of a multidrug-resistant IncHI2 plasmid (pIMP4-SEM1) that…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Emergence of endemic MLST non-typeable vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium.

Enterococcus faecium is a major nosocomial pathogen causing significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Assessment of E. faecium using MLST to understand the spread of this organism is an important component of hospital infection control measures. Recent studies, however, suggest that MLST might be inadequate for E. faecium surveillance.To use WGS to characterize recently identified vancomycin-resistant E. faecium (VREfm) isolates non-typeable by MLST that appear to be causing a multi-jurisdictional outbreak in Australia.Illumina NextSeq and Pacific Biosciences SMRT sequencing platforms were used to determine the genome sequences of 66 non-typeable E. faecium (NTEfm) isolates. Phylogenetic and bioinformatics analyses were subsequently performed…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Key experimental evidence of chromosomal DNA transfer among selected tuberculosis-causing mycobacteria.

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a major driving force of bacterial diversification and evolution. For tuberculosis-causing mycobacteria, the impact of HGT in the emergence and distribution of dominant lineages remains a matter of debate. Here, by using fluorescence-assisted mating assays and whole genome sequencing, we present unique experimental evidence of chromosomal DNA transfer between tubercle bacilli of the early-branching Mycobacterium canettii clade. We found that the obtained recombinants had received multiple donor-derived DNA fragments in the size range of 100 bp to 118 kbp, fragments large enough to contain whole operons. Although the transfer frequency between M. canettii strains was…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genomic insights into a sustained national outbreak of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis.

In 2014, a sustained outbreak of yersiniosis due to Yersinia pseudotuberculosis occurred across all major cities in New Zealand (NZ), with a total of 220 laboratory-confirmed cases, representing one of the largest ever reported outbreaks of Y. pseudotuberculosis. Here, we performed whole genome sequencing of outbreak-associated isolates to produce the largest population analysis to date of Y. pseudotuberculosis, giving us unprecedented capacity to understand the emergence and evolution of the outbreak clone. Multivariate analysis incorporating our genomic and clinical epidemiological data strongly suggested a single point-source contamination of the food chain, with subsequent nationwide distribution of contaminated produce. We additionally…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

STRetch: detecting and discovering pathogenic short tandem repeat expansions.

Short tandem repeat (STR) expansions have been identified as the causal DNA mutation in dozens of Mendelian diseases. Most existing tools for detecting STR variation with short reads do so within the read length and so are unable to detect the majority of pathogenic expansions. Here we present STRetch, a new genome-wide method to scan for STR expansions at all loci across the human genome. We demonstrate the use of STRetch for detecting STR expansions using short-read whole-genome sequencing data at known pathogenic loci as well as novel STR loci. STRetch is open source software, available from github.com/Oshlack/STRetch .

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Complete genome sequence of WM99c, an antibiotic-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii global clone 2 (GC2) strain representing an Australian GC2 lineage.

The extensively antibiotic-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii isolate WM99c recovered in Sydney, Australia, in 1999 is an early representative of a distinct lineage of global clone 2 (GC2) seen on the east coast of Australia. We present the complete 4.121-Mbp genome sequence (chromosome plus 2 plasmids), generated via long-read sequencing (PacBio).

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