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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genome analysis of clinical multilocus sequence Type 11 Klebsiella pneumoniae from China.

The increasing prevalence of KPC-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae strains in clinical settings has been largely attributed to dissemination of organisms of specific multilocus sequence types, such as ST258 and ST11. Compared with the ST258 clone, which is prevalent in North America and Europe, ST11 is common in China but information regarding its genetic features remains scarce. In this study, we performed detailed genetic characterization of ST11 K. pneumoniae strains by analyzing whole-genome sequences of 58 clinical strains collected from diverse geographic locations in China. The ST11 genomes were found to be highly heterogeneous and clustered into at least three major lineages…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genetic separation of Listeria monocytogenes causing central nervous system infections in animals.

Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that causes abortion, septicemia, gastroenteritis and central nervous system (CNS) infections in ruminants and humans. L. monocytogenes strains mainly belong to two distinct phylogenetic groups, named lineages I and II. In general, clinical cases in humans and animals, in particular CNS infections, are caused by lineage I strains, while most of the environmental and food strains belong to lineage II. Little is known about why lineage I is more virulent than lineage II, even though various molecular factors and mechanisms associated with pathogenesis are known. In this study, we have used a variety of…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A reference genome and methylome for the Plasmodium knowlesi A1-H.1 line.

Plasmodium knowlesi, a common parasite of macaques, is recognised as a significant cause of human malaria in Malaysia. The P. knowlesi A1H1 line has been adapted to continuous culture in human erythrocytes, successfully providing an in vitro model to study the parasite. We have assembled a reference genome for the PkA1-H.1 line using PacBio long read combined with Illumina short read sequence data. Compared with the H-strain reference, the new reference has improved genome coverage and a novel description of methylation sites. The PkA1-H.1 reference will enhance the capabilities of the in vitro model to improve the understanding of P.…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A sub-population of group A Streptococcus elicits a population-wide production of bacteriocins to establish dominance in the host.

Bacteria use quorum sensing (QS) to regulate gene expression. We identified a group A Streptococcus (GAS) strain possessing the QS system sil, which produces functional bacteriocins, through a sequential signaling pathway integrating host and bacterial signals. Host cells infected by GAS release asparagine (ASN), which is sensed by the bacteria to alter its gene expression and rate of proliferation. We show that upon ASN sensing, GAS upregulates expression of the QS autoinducer peptide SilCR. Initial SilCR expression activates the autoinduction cycle for further SilCR production. The autoinduction process propagates throughout the GAS population, resulting in bacteriocin production. Subcutaneous co-injection of…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

In vitro culture of the insect endosymbiont Spiroplasma poulsonii highlights bacterial genes involved in host-symbiont interaction.

Endosymbiotic bacteria associated with eukaryotic hosts are omnipresent in nature, particularly in insects. Studying the bacterial side of host-symbiont interactions is, however, often limited by the unculturability and genetic intractability of the symbionts. Spiroplasma poulsonii is a maternally transmitted bacterial endosymbiont that is naturally associated with several Drosophila species. S. poulsonii strongly affects its host’s physiology, for example by causing male killing or by protecting it against various parasites. Despite intense work on this model since the 1950s, attempts to cultivate endosymbiotic Spiroplasma in vitro have failed so far. Here, we developed a method to sustain the in vitro culture of…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Synchronous termination of replication of the two chromosomes is an evolutionary selected feature in Vibrionaceae.

Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of the cholera disease, is commonly used as a model organism for the study of bacteria with multipartite genomes. Its two chromosomes of different sizes initiate their DNA replication at distinct time points in the cell cycle and terminate in synchrony. In this study, the time-delayed start of Chr2 was verified in a synchronized cell population. This replication pattern suggests two possible regulation mechanisms for other Vibrio species with different sized secondary chromosomes: Either all Chr2 start DNA replication with a fixed delay after Chr1 initiation, or the timepoint at which Chr2 initiates varies such…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparative genome analysis reveals a complex population structure of Legionella pneumophila subspecies.

The majority of Legionnaires’ disease (LD) cases are caused by Legionella pneumophila, a genetically heterogeneous species composed of at least 17 serogroups. Previously, it was demonstrated that L. pneumophila consists of three subspecies: pneumophila, fraseri and pascullei. During an LD outbreak investigation in 2012, we detected that representatives of both subspecies fraseri and pascullei colonized the same water system and that the outbreak-causing strain was a new member of the least represented subspecies pascullei. We used partial sequence based typing consensus patterns to mine an international database for additional representatives of fraseri and pascullei subspecies. As a result, we identified…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparative genomics of the wheat fungal pathogen Pyrenophora tritici-repentis reveals chromosomal variations and genome plasticity.

Pyrenophora tritici-repentis (Ptr) is a necrotrophic fungal pathogen that causes the major wheat disease, tan spot. We set out to provide essential genomics-based resources in order to better understand the pathogenicity mechanisms of this important pathogen.Here, we present eight new Ptr isolate genomes, assembled and annotated; representing races 1, 2 and 5, and a new race. We report a high quality Ptr reference genome, sequenced by PacBio technology with Illumina paired-end data support and optical mapping. An estimated 98% of the genome coverage was mapped to 10 chromosomal groups, using a two-enzyme hybrid approach. The final reference genome was 40.9 Mb…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Transposable element genomic fissuring in Pyrenophora teres is associated with genome expansion and dynamics of host-pathogen genetic interactions.

Pyrenophora teres, P. teres f. teres (PTT) and P. teres f. maculata (PTM) cause significant diseases in barley, but little is known about the large-scale genomic differences that may distinguish the two forms. Comprehensive genome assemblies were constructed from long DNA reads, optical and genetic maps. As repeat masking in fungal genomes influences the final gene annotations, an accurate and reproducible pipeline was developed to ensure comparability between isolates. The genomes of the two forms are highly collinear, each composed of 12 chromosomes. Genome evolution in P. teres is characterized by genome fissuring through the insertion and expansion of transposable…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Identification and pathogenomic analysis of an Escherichia coli strain producing a novel Shiga toxin 2 subtype.

Shiga toxin (Stx) is the key virulent factor in Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). To date, three Stx1 subtypes and seven Stx2 subtypes have been described in E. coli, which differed in receptor preference and toxin potency. Here, we identified a novel Stx2 subtype designated Stx2h in E. coli strains isolated from wild marmots in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, China. Stx2h shares 91.9% nucleic acid sequence identity and 92.9% amino acid identity to the nearest Stx2 subtype. The expression of Stx2h in type strain STEC299 was inducible by mitomycin C, and culture supernatant from STEC299 was cytotoxic to Vero cells. The…

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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

The complete replicons of 16 Ensifer meliloti strains offer insights into intra- and inter-replicon gene transfer, transposon-associated loci, and repeat elements.

Ensifer meliloti (formerly Rhizobium meliloti and Sinorhizobium meliloti) is a model bacterium for understanding legume-rhizobial symbioses. The tripartite genome of E. meliloti consists of a chromosome, pSymA and pSymB, and in some instances strain-specific accessory plasmids. The majority of previous sequencing studies have relied on the use of assemblies generated from short read sequencing, which leads to gaps and assembly errors. Here we used PacBio-based, long-read assemblies and were able to assemble, de novo, complete circular replicons. In this study, we sequenced, de novo-assembled and analysed 10 E. meliloti strains. Sequence comparisons were also done with data from six previously…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Parallels between experimental and natural evolution of legume symbionts.

The emergence of symbiotic interactions has been studied using population genomics in nature and experimental evolution in the laboratory, but the parallels between these processes remain unknown. Here we compare the emergence of rhizobia after the horizontal transfer of a symbiotic plasmid in natural populations of Cupriavidus taiwanensis, over 10 MY ago, with the experimental evolution of symbiotic Ralstonia solanacearum for a few hundred generations. In spite of major differences in terms of time span, environment, genetic background, and phenotypic achievement, both processes resulted in rapid genetic diversification dominated by purifying selection. We observe no adaptation in the plasmid carrying…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The impact of Staphylococcus aureus genomic variation on clinical phenotype of children with acute hematogenous osteomyelitis.

Children with acute hematogenous osteomyelitis (AHO) have a broad spectrum of illness ranging from mild to severe. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of genomic variation of Staphylococcus aureus on clinical phenotype of affected children and determine which virulence genes correlate with severity of illness.De novo whole genome sequencing was conducted for a strain of Community Acquired Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA), using PacBio Hierarchical Genome Assembly Process (HGAP) from 6 Single Molecule Real Time (SMRT) Cells, as a reference for DNA library assembly of 71 Staphylococcus aureus isolates from children with AHO. Virulence gene annotation…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Landscape of the genome and host cell response of Mycobacterium shigaense reveals pathogenic features.

A systems approach was used to explore the genome and transcriptome of Mycobacterium shigaense, a new opportunistic pathogen isolated from a patient with a skin infection, and the host response transcriptome was assessed using a macrophage infection model. The M. shigaense genome comprises 5,207,883?bp, with 67.2% G+C content and 5098 predicted coding genes. Evolutionarily, the bacterium belongs to a cluster in the phylogenetic tree along with three target opportunistic pathogenic strains, namely, M. avium, M. triplex and M. simiae. Potential virulence genes are indeed expressed by M. shigaense under culture conditions. Phenotypically, M. shigaense had similar infection and replication capacities…

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