July 19, 2019  |  

Gapless genome assembly of Colletotrichum higginsianum reveals chromosome structure and association of transposable elements with secondary metabolite gene clusters.

The ascomycete fungus Colletotrichum higginsianum causes anthracnose disease of brassica crops and the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Previous versions of the genome sequence were highly fragmented, causing errors in the prediction of protein-coding genes and preventing the analysis of repetitive sequences and genome architecture. Here, we re-sequenced the genome using single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology and, in combination with optical map data, this provided a gapless assembly of all twelve chromosomes except for the ribosomal DNA repeat cluster on chromosome 7. The more accurate gene annotation made possible by this new assembly revealed a large repertoire of secondary metabolism (SM) key genes (89) and putative biosynthetic pathways (77 SM gene clusters). The two mini-chromosomes differed from the ten core chromosomes in being repeat- and AT-rich and gene-poor but were significantly enriched with genes encoding putative secreted effector proteins. Transposable elements (TEs) were found to occupy 7% of the genome by length. Certain TE families showed a statistically significant association with effector genes and SM cluster genes and were transcriptionally active at particular stages of fungal development. All 24 subtelomeres were found to contain one of three highly-conserved repeat elements which, by providing sites for homologous recombination, were probably instrumental in four segmental duplications.The gapless genome of C. higginsianum provides access to repeat-rich regions that were previously poorly assembled, notably the mini-chromosomes and subtelomeres, and allowed prediction of the complete SM gene repertoire. It also provides insights into the potential role of TEs in gene and genome evolution and host adaptation in this asexual pathogen.


July 7, 2019  |  

Active site and laminarin binding in glycoside hydrolase family 55.

The Carbohydrate Active Enzyme (CAZy) database indicates that glycoside hydrolase family 55 (GH55) contains both endo- and exo-ß-1,3-glucanases. The founding structure in the GH55 is PcLam55A from the white rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium (Ishida, T., Fushinobu, S., Kawai, R., Kitaoka, M., Igarashi, K., and Samejima, M. (2009) Crystal structure of glycoside hydrolase family 55 ß-1,3-glucanase from the basidiomycete Phanerochaete chrysosporium. J. Biol. Chem. 284, 10100-10109). Here, we present high resolution crystal structures of bacterial SacteLam55A from the highly cellulolytic Streptomyces sp. SirexAA-E with bound substrates and product. These structures, along with mutagenesis and kinetic studies, implicate Glu-502 as the catalytic acid (as proposed earlier for Glu-663 in PcLam55A) and a proton relay network of four residues in activating water as the nucleophile. Further, a set of conserved aromatic residues that define the active site apparently enforce an exo-glucanase reactivity as demonstrated by exhaustive hydrolysis reactions with purified laminarioligosaccharides. Two additional aromatic residues that line the substrate-binding channel show substrate-dependent conformational flexibility that may promote processive reactivity of the bound oligosaccharide in the bacterial enzymes. Gene synthesis carried out on ~30% of the GH55 family gave 34 active enzymes (19% functional coverage of the nonredundant members of GH55). These active enzymes reacted with only laminarin from a panel of 10 different soluble and insoluble polysaccharides and displayed a broad range of specific activities and optima for pH and temperature. Application of this experimental method provides a new, systematic way to annotate glycoside hydrolase phylogenetic space for functional properties.© 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.


July 7, 2019  |  

A rebeccamycin analog provides plasmid-encoded niche defense.

Bacterial symbionts of fungus-growing ants occupy a highly specialized ecological niche and face the constant existential threat of displacement by another strain of ant-adapted bacteria. As part of a systematic study of the small molecules underlying this fraternal competition, we discovered an analog of the antitumor agent rebeccamycin, a member of the increasingly important indolocarbazole family. While several gene clusters consistent with this molecule’s newly reported modification had previously been identified in metagenomic studies, the metabolite itself has been cryptic. The biosynthetic gene cluster for 9-methoxyrebeccamycin is encoded on a plasmid in a manner reminiscent of plasmid-derived peptide antimicrobials that commonly mediate antagonism among closely related Gram-negative bacteria.


July 7, 2019  |  

High-coverage sequencing and annotated assemblies of the budgerigar genome.

Parrots belong to a group of behaviorally advanced vertebrates and have an advanced ability of vocal learning relative to other vocal-learning birds. They can imitate human speech, synchronize their body movements to a rhythmic beat, and understand complex concepts of referential meaning to sounds. However, little is known about the genetics of these traits. Elucidating the genetic bases would require whole genome sequencing and a robust assembly of a parrot genome.We present a genomic resource for the budgerigar, an Australian Parakeet (Melopsittacus undulatus) — the most widely studied parrot species in neuroscience and behavior. We present genomic sequence data that includes over 300× raw read coverage from multiple sequencing technologies and chromosome optical maps from a single male animal. The reads and optical maps were used to create three hybrid assemblies representing some of the largest genomic scaffolds to date for a bird; two of which were annotated based on similarities to reference sets of non-redundant human, zebra finch and chicken proteins, and budgerigar transcriptome sequence assemblies. The sequence reads for this project were in part generated and used for both the Assemblathon 2 competition and the first de novo assembly of a giga-scale vertebrate genome utilizing PacBio single-molecule sequencing.Across several quality metrics, these budgerigar assemblies are comparable to or better than the chicken and zebra finch genome assemblies built from traditional Sanger sequencing reads, and are sufficient to analyze regions that are difficult to sequence and assemble, including those not yet assembled in prior bird genomes, and promoter regions of genes differentially regulated in vocal learning brain regions. This work provides valuable data and material for genome technology development and for investigating the genomics of complex behavioral traits.


July 7, 2019  |  

Pseudoautosomal region 1 length polymorphism in the human population.

The human sex chromosomes differ in sequence, except for the pseudoautosomal regions (PAR) at the terminus of the short and the long arms, denoted as PAR1 and PAR2. The boundary between PAR1 and the unique X and Y sequences was established during the divergence of the great apes. During a copy number variation screen, we noted a paternally inherited chromosome X duplication in 15 independent families. Subsequent genomic analysis demonstrated that an insertional translocation of X chromosomal sequence into theMa Y chromosome generates an extended PAR. The insertion is generated by non-allelic homologous recombination between a 548 bp LTR6B repeat within the Y chromosome PAR1 and a second LTR6B repeat located 105 kb from the PAR boundary on the X chromosome. The identification of the reciprocal deletion on the X chromosome in one family and the occurrence of the variant in different chromosome Y haplogroups demonstrate this is a recurrent genomic rearrangement in the human population. This finding represents a novel mechanism shaping sex chromosomal evolution.


July 7, 2019  |  

Replication of the Escherichia coli chromosome in RNase HI-deficient cells: multiple initiation regions and fork dynamics.

DNA replication in Escherichia coli is normally initiated at a single origin, oriC, dependent on initiation protein DnaA. However, replication can be initiated elsewhere on the chromosome at multiple ectopic oriK sites. Genetic evidence indicates that initiation from oriK depends on RNA-DNA hybrids (R-loops), which are normally removed by enzymes such as RNase HI to prevent oriK from misfiring during normal growth. Initiation from oriK sites occurs in RNase HI-deficient mutants, and possibly in wild-type cells under certain unusual conditions. Despite previous work, the locations of oriK and their impact on genome stability remain unclear. We combined 2D gel electrophoresis and whole genome approaches to map genome-wide oriK locations. The DNA copy number profiles of various RNase HI-deficient strains contained multiple peaks, often in consistent locations, identifying candidate oriK sites. Removal of RNase HI protein also leads to global alterations of replication fork migration patterns, often opposite to normal replication directions, and presumably eukaryote-like replication fork merging. Our results have implications for genome stability, offering a new understanding of how RNase HI deficiency results in R-loop-mediated transcription-replication conflict, as well as inappropriate replication stalling or blockage at Ter sites outside of the terminus trap region and at ribosomal operons. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


July 7, 2019  |  

The Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis specific mptD gene is required for maintenance of the metabolic homeostasis necessary for full virulence in mouse infections.

Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) causes Johne’s disease, a chronic granulomatous enteritis in ruminants. Furthermore, infections of humans with MAP have been reported and a possible association with Crohn’s disease and diabetes type I is currently discussed. MAP owns large sequence polymorphisms (LSPs) that were exclusively found in this mycobacteria species. The relevance of these LSPs in the pathobiology of MAP is still unclear. The mptD gene (MAP3733c) of MAP belongs to a small group of functionally uncharacterized genes, which are not present in any other sequenced mycobacteria species. mptD is part of a predicted operon (mptABCDEF), encoding a putative ATP binding cassette-transporter, located on the MAP-specific LSP14. In the present study, we generated an mptD knockout strain (MAP?mptD) by specialized transduction. In order to investigate the potential role of mptD in the host, we performed infection experiments with macrophages. By this, we observed a significantly reduced cell number of MAP?mptD early after infection, indicating that the mutant was hampered with respect to adaptation to the early macrophage environment. This important role of mptD was supported in mouse infection experiments where MAP?mptD was significantly attenuated after peritoneal challenge. Metabolic profiling was performed to determine the cause for the reduced virulence and identified profound metabolic disorders especially in the lipid metabolism of MAP?mptD. Overall our data revealed the mptD gene to be an important factor for the metabolic adaptation of MAP required for persistence in the host.


July 7, 2019  |  

Implementation and data analysis of Tn-seq, whole genome resequencing, and single-molecule real time sequencing for bacterial genetics.

Few discoveries have been more transformative to the biological sciences than the development of DNA sequencing technologies. The rapid advancement of sequencing and bioinformatics tools has revolutionized bacterial genetics, deepening our understanding of model and clinically relevant organisms. Although application of newer sequencing technologies to studies in bacterial genetics is increasing, the implementation of DNA sequencing technologies and development of the bioinformatics tools required for analyzing the large data sets generated remains a challenge for many. In this minireview, we have chosen to summarize three sequencing approaches that are particularly useful for bacterial genetics. We provide resources for scientists new to and interested in their application. Herein, we discuss the analysis of Tn-seq data to determine gene disruptions differentially represented in a mutant population, Illumina sequencing for identification of suppressor or other mutations, and we summarize single-molecule real time (SMRT) sequencing for de novo genome assembly and the use of the output data for detection of DNA base modifications. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

A gapless genome sequence of the fungus Botrytis cinerea.

Following earlier incomplete and fragmented versions of a genome sequence for the grey mould Botrytis cinerea, we here report a gapless, near-finished genome sequence for B. cinerea strain B05.10. The assembly comprises 18 chromosomes and was confirmed by an optical map and a genetic map based on ~75 000 SNP markers. All chromosomes contain fully assembled centromeric regions, and 10 chromosomes have telomeres on both ends. The genetic map consisted of 4153 cM and comparison of genetic distances with the physical distances identified 40 recombination hotspots. The linkage map also identified two mutations, located in the previously described genes Bos1 and BcsdhB, that confer resistance to the fungicides boscalid and iprodione. The genome was predicted to encode 11 701 proteins. RNAseq data from >20 different samples were used to validate and improve gene models. Manual curation of chromosome 1 revealed interesting features, such as the occurrence of a dicistronic transcript and fully overlapping genes in opposite orientations, as well as many spliced antisense transcripts. Manual curation also revealed that UTRs of genes can be complex and long, with many UTRs exceeding lengths of 1 kb and possessing multiple introns. Community annotation is in progress. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2016 BSPP AND JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Escherichia coli BLR(DE3), a recA-deficient derivative of E. coli BL21(DE3).

Escherichia coli BLR(DE3) is a commercially available recA-deficient derivative of BL21(DE3), one of the most widely used strains for recombinant protein expression. Here, we present the full-genome sequence of BLR(DE3) and highlight additional differences with its parent strain BL21(DE3) which were previously unreported but may affect its physiology. Copyright © 2017 Goffin and Dehottay.


July 7, 2019  |  

Linear peptides are the major products of a biosynthetic pathway that encodes for cyclic depsipeptides.

Three new dentigerumycin analogues are produced by Streptomyces sp. M41, a bacterium isolated from a South African termite, Macrotermes natalensis. The structures of the complex nonribosomal peptide synthetase-polyketide synthase (NRPS/PKS) hybrid compounds were determined by 1D- and 2D-NMR spectroscopy, high-resolution mass spectrometry, and circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy. Both cyclic and linear peptides are reported, and the genetic organization of the NRPS modules within the biosynthetic gene cluster accounts for the observed structural diversity.


July 7, 2019  |  

In planta comparative transcriptomics of host-adapted strains of Ralstonia solanacearum.

Background. Ralstonia solanacearum is an economically important plant pathogen with an unusually large host range. The Moko (banana) and NPB (not pathogenic to banana) strain groups are closely related but are adapted to distinct hosts. Previous comparative genomics studies uncovered very few differences that could account for the host range difference between these pathotypes. To better understand the basis of this host specificity, we used RNAseq to profile the transcriptomes of an R. solanacearum Moko strain and an NPB strain under in vitro and in planta conditions. Results. RNAs were sequenced from bacteria grown in rich and minimal media, and from bacteria extracted from mid-stage infected tomato, banana and melon plants. We computed differential expression between each pair of conditions to identify constitutive and host-specific gene expression differences between Moko and NPB. We found that type III secreted effectors were globally up-regulated upon plant cell contact in the NPB strain compared with the Moko strain. Genes encoding siderophore biosynthesis and nitrogen assimilation genes were highly up-regulated in the NPB strain during melon pathogenesis, while denitrification genes were up-regulated in the Moko strain during banana pathogenesis. The relatively lower expression of oxidases and the denitrification pathway during banana pathogenesis suggests that R. solanacearum experiences higher oxygen levels in banana pseudostems than in tomato or melon xylem. Conclusions. This study provides the first report of differential gene expression associated with host range variation. Despite minimal genomic divergence, the pathogenesis of Moko and NPB strains is characterized by striking differences in expression of virulence- and metabolism-related genes.


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