April 21, 2020  |  

Genome sequence resource for Ilyonectria mors-panacis, causing rusty root rot of Panax notoginseng.

Ilyonectria mors-panacis is a serious disease hampering the production of Panax notoginseng, an important Chinese medicinal herb, widely used for its anti-inflammatory, anti-fatigue, hepato-protective, and coronary heart disease prevention effects. Here, we report the first Illumina-Pacbio hybrid sequenced draft genome assembly of I. mors-panacis strain G3B and its annotation. The availability of this genome sequence not only represents an important tool toward understanding the genetics behind the infection mechanism of I. mors-panacis strain G3B but also will help illuminate the complexities of the taxonomy of this species.


April 21, 2020  |  

Complete genome sequence and characterization of virulence genes in Lancefield group C Streptococcus dysgalactiae isolated from farmed amberjack (Seriola dumerili).

Lancefield group C Streptococcus dysgalactiae causes infections in farmed fish. Here, the genome of S. dysgalactiae strain kdys0611, isolated from farmed amberjack (Seriola dumerili) was sequenced. The complete genome sequence of kdys0611 consists of a single chromosome and five plasmids. The chromosome is 2,142,780?bp long and has a GC content of 40%. It possesses 2061 coding sequences and 67 tRNA and 6 rRNA operons. One clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat, 125 insertion sequences, and four predicted prophage elements were identified. Phylogenetic analysis based on 126 core genes suggested that the kdys0611 strain is more closely related to S. dysgalactiae subsp. dysgalactiae than to S. dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis. The genome of kdys0611 harbors 87 genes with sequence similarity to putative virulence-associated genes identified in other bacteria, of which 57 exhibit amino acid identity (>52%) to genes of the S. dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis GGS124 human clinical isolate. Four putative virulence genes, emm5 (FGCSD_0256), spg_2 (FGCSD_1961), skc (FGCSD_1012), and cna (FGCSD_0159), in kdys0611 did not show significant homology with any deposited S. dysgalactiae genes. The chromosomal sequence of kdys0611 has been deposited in GenBank under Accession No. AP018726. This is the first report of the complete genome sequence of S. dysgalactiae isolated from fish. © 2019 The Societies and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.


April 21, 2020  |  

Rapid transcriptional responses to serum exposure are associated with sensitivity and resistance to antibody-mediated complement killing in invasive Salmonella Typhimurium ST313

Background: Salmonella Typhimurium ST313 exhibits signatures of adaptation to invasive human infection, including higher resistance to humoral immune responses than gastrointestinal isolates. Full resistance to antibody-mediated complement killing (serum resistance) among nontyphoidal Salmonellae is uncommon, but selection of highly resistant strains could compromise vaccine-induced antibody immunity. Here, we address the hypothesis that serum resistance is due to a distinct genotype or transcriptome response in S. Typhimurium ST313.


April 21, 2020  |  

The Complete Genome of the Atypical Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli Archetype Isolate E110019 Highlights a Role for Plasmids in Dissemination of the Type III Secreted Effector EspT.

Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) is a leading cause of moderate to severe diarrhea among young children in developing countries, and EPEC isolates can be subdivided into two groups. Typical EPEC (tEPEC) bacteria are characterized by the presence of both the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE) and the plasmid-encoded bundle-forming pilus (BFP), which are involved in adherence and translocation of type III effectors into the host cells. Atypical EPEC (aEPEC) bacteria also contain the LEE but lack the BFP. In the current report, we describe the complete genome of outbreak-associated aEPEC isolate E110019, which carries four plasmids. Comparative genomic analysis demonstrated that the type III secreted effector EspT gene, an autotransporter gene, a hemolysin gene, and putative fimbrial genes are all carried on plasmids. Further investigation of 65 espT-containing E. coli genomes demonstrated that different espT alleles are associated with multiple plasmids that differ in their overall gene content from the E110019 espT-containing plasmid. EspT has been previously described with respect to its role in the ability of E110019 to invade host cells. While other type III secreted effectors of E. coli have been identified on insertion elements and prophages of the chromosome, we demonstrated in the current study that the espT gene is located on multiple unique plasmids. These findings highlight a role of plasmids in dissemination of a unique E. coli type III secreted effector that is involved in host invasion and severe diarrheal illness.Copyright © 2019 American Society for Microbiology.


April 21, 2020  |  

Klebsiella quasipneumoniae Provides a Window into Carbapenemase Gene Transfer, Plasmid Rearrangements, and Patient Interactions with the Hospital Environment.

Several emerging pathogens have arisen as a result of selection pressures exerted by modern health care. Klebsiella quasipneumoniae was recently defined as a new species, yet its prevalence, niche, and propensity to acquire antimicrobial resistance genes are not fully described. We have been tracking inter- and intraspecies transmission of the Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC) gene, blaKPC, between bacteria isolated from a single institution. We applied a combination of Illumina and PacBio whole-genome sequencing to identify and compare K. quasipneumoniae from patients and the hospital environment over 10- and 5-year periods, respectively. There were 32 blaKPC-positive K. quasipneumoniae isolates, all of which were identified as K. pneumoniae in the clinical microbiology laboratory, from 8 patients and 11 sink drains, with evidence for seven separate blaKPC plasmid acquisitions. Analysis of a single subclade of K. quasipneumoniae subsp. quasipneumoniae (n?=?23 isolates) from three patients and six rooms demonstrated seeding of a sink by a patient, subsequent persistence of the strain in the hospital environment, and then possible transmission to another patient. Longitudinal analysis of this strain demonstrated the acquisition of two unique blaKPC plasmids and then subsequent within-strain genetic rearrangement through transposition and homologous recombination. Our analysis highlights the apparent molecular propensity of K. quasipneumoniae to persist in the environment as well as acquire carbapenemase plasmids from other species and enabled an assessment of the genetic rearrangements which may facilitate horizontal transmission of carbapenemases. Copyright © 2019 Mathers et al.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genomic Analysis of Emerging Florfenicol-Resistant Campylobacter coli Isolated from the Cecal Contents of Cattle in the United States.

Genomic analyses were performed on florfenicol-resistant (FFNr) Campylobacter coli isolates recovered from cattle, and the cfr(C) gene-associated multidrug resistance (MDR) plasmid was characterized. Sixteen FFNrC. coli isolates recovered between 2013 and 2018 from beef cattle were sequenced using MiSeq. Genomes and plasmids were found to be closed for three of the isolates using the PacBio system. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the genome and the structures of MDR plasmids were investigated. Conjugation experiments were performed to determine the transferability of cfr(C)-associated MDR plasmids. The spectrum of resistance encoded by the cfr(C) gene was further investigated by agar dilution antimicrobial susceptibility testing. All 16 FFNr isolates were MDR and exhibited coresistance to ciprofloxacin, nalidixic acid, clindamycin, and tetracycline. All isolates shared the same resistance genotype, carrying aph (3′)-III, hph, ?aadE (truncated), blaOXA-61, cfr(C), and tet(O) genes plus a mutation of GyrA (T86I). The cfr(C), aph (3′)-III, hph, ?aadE, and tet(O) genes were colocated on transferable MDR plasmids ranging in size from 48 to 50?kb. These plasmids showed high sequence homology with the pTet plasmid and carried several Campylobacter virulence genes, including virB2, virB4, virB5, VirB6, virB7, virB8, virb9, virB10, virB11, and virD4 The cfr(C) gene conferred resistance to florfenicol (8 to 32?µg/ml), clindamycin (512 to 1,024?µg/ml), linezolid (128 to 512?µg/ml), and tiamulin (1,024?µg/ml). Phylogenetic analysis showed SNP differences ranging from 11 to 2,248 SNPs among the 16 isolates. The results showed that the cfr(C) gene located in the conjugative pTet MDR/virulence plasmid is present in diverse strains, where it confers high levels of resistance to several antimicrobials, including linezolid, a critical drug for treating infections by Gram-positive bacteria in humans. This report highlights the power of genomic antimicrobial resistance surveillance to uncover the intricacies of transmissible coresistance and provides information that is needed for accurate risk assessment and mitigation strategies.IMPORTANCECampylobacter is a leading cause of foodborne diarrheal illness worldwide, with more than one million cases each year in the United States alone. The global emergence of antimicrobial resistance in this pathogen has become a growing public health concern. Florfenicol-resistant (FFNr) Campylobacter has been very rare in the United States. In this study, we employed whole-genome sequencing to characterize 16 multidrug-resistant Campylobacter coli isolates recovered from cattle in the United States. A gene [cfr(C)] was found to be responsible for resistance not only to florfenicol but also to several other antimicrobials, including linezolid, a critical drug for treating infections by Gram-positive bacteria in humans. The results showed that cfr(C) is located in a conjugative pTet MDR/virulence plasmid. This report highlights the power of antimicrobial resistance surveillance to uncover the intricacies of transmissible coresistance and provides information that is needed for accurate risk assessment and mitigation strategies.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genomic analysis of bacteria in the Acute Oak Decline pathobiome.

The UK’s native oak is under serious threat from Acute Oak Decline (AOD). Stem tissue necrosis is a primary symptom of AOD and several bacteria are associated with necrotic lesions. Two members of the lesion pathobiome, Brenneria goodwinii and Gibbsiella quercinecans, have been identified as causative agents of tissue necrosis. However, additional bacteria including Lonsdalea britannica and Rahnella species have been detected in the lesion microbiome, but their role in tissue degradation is unclear. Consequently, information on potential genome-encoded mechanisms for tissue necrosis is critical to understand the role and mechanisms used by bacterial members of the lesion pathobiome in the aetiology of AOD. Here, the whole genomes of bacteria isolated from AOD-affected trees were sequenced, annotated and compared against canonical bacterial phytopathogens and non-pathogenic symbionts. Using orthologous gene inference methods, shared virulence genes that retain the same function were identified. Furthermore, functional annotation of phytopathogenic virulence genes demonstrated that all studied members of the AOD lesion microbiota possessed genes associated with phytopathogens. However, the genome of B. goodwinii was the most characteristic of a necrogenic phytopathogen, corroborating previous pathological and metatranscriptomic studies that implicate it as the key causal agent of AOD lesions. Furthermore, we investigated the genome sequences of other AOD lesion microbiota to understand the potential ability of microbes to cause disease or contribute to pathogenic potential of organisms isolated from this complex pathobiome. The role of these members remains uncertain but some such as G. quercinecans may contribute to tissue necrosis through the release of necrotizing enzymes and may help more dangerous pathogens activate and realize their pathogenic potential or they may contribute as secondary/opportunistic pathogens with the potential to act as accessory species for B. goodwinii. We demonstrate that in combination with ecological data, whole genome sequencing provides key insights into the pathogenic potential of bacterial species whether they be phytopathogens, part-contributors or stimulators of the pathobiome.


April 21, 2020  |  

Rapid antigen diversification through mitotic recombination in the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

Malaria parasites possess the remarkable ability to maintain chronic infections that fail to elicit a protective immune response, characteristics that have stymied vaccine development and cause people living in endemic regions to remain at risk of malaria despite previous exposure to the disease. These traits stem from the tremendous antigenic diversity displayed by parasites circulating in the field. For Plasmodium falciparum, the most virulent of the human malaria parasites, this diversity is exemplified by the variant gene family called var, which encodes the major surface antigen displayed on infected red blood cells (RBCs). This gene family exhibits virtually limitless diversity when var gene repertoires from different parasite isolates are compared. Previous studies indicated that this remarkable genome plasticity results from extensive ectopic recombination between var genes during mitotic replication; however, the molecular mechanisms that direct this process to antigen-encoding loci while the rest of the genome remains relatively stable were not determined. Using targeted DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) and long-read whole-genome sequencing, we show that a single break within an antigen-encoding region of the genome can result in a cascade of recombination events leading to the generation of multiple chimeric var genes, a process that can greatly accelerate the generation of diversity within this family. We also found that recombinations did not occur randomly, but rather high-probability, specific recombination products were observed repeatedly. These results provide a molecular basis for previously described structured rearrangements that drive diversification of this highly polymorphic gene family.


April 21, 2020  |  

Distinct evolutionary dynamics of horizontal gene transfer in drug resistant and virulent clones of Klebsiella pneumoniae.

Klebsiella pneumoniae has emerged as an important cause of two distinct public health threats: multi-drug resistant (MDR) healthcare-associated infections and drug susceptible community-acquired invasive infections. These pathotypes are generally associated with two distinct subsets of K. pneumoniae lineages or ‘clones’ that are distinguished by the presence of acquired resistance genes and several key virulence loci. Genomic evolutionary analyses of the most notorious MDR and invasive community-associated (‘hypervirulent’) clones indicate differences in terms of chromosomal recombination dynamics and capsule polysaccharide diversity, but it remains unclear if these differences represent generalised trends. Here we leverage a collection of >2200 K. pneumoniae genomes to identify 28 common clones (n = 10 genomes each), and perform the first genomic evolutionary comparison. Eight MDR and 6 hypervirulent clones were identified on the basis of acquired resistance and virulence gene prevalence. Chromosomal recombination, surface polysaccharide locus diversity, pan-genome, plasmid and phage dynamics were characterised and compared. The data showed that MDR clones were highly diverse, with frequent chromosomal recombination generating extensive surface polysaccharide locus diversity. Additional pan-genome diversity was driven by frequent acquisition/loss of both plasmids and phage. In contrast, chromosomal recombination was rare in the hypervirulent clones, which also showed a significant reduction in pan-genome diversity, largely driven by a reduction in plasmid diversity. Hence the data indicate that hypervirulent clones may be subject to some sort of constraint for horizontal gene transfer that does not apply to the MDR clones. Our findings are relevant for understanding the risk of emergence of individual K. pneumoniae strains carrying both virulence and acquired resistance genes, which have been increasingly reported and cause highly virulent infections that are extremely difficult to treat. Specifically, our data indicate that MDR clones pose the greatest risk, because they are more likely to acquire virulence genes than hypervirulent clones are to acquire resistance genes.


April 21, 2020  |  

DNA methylation from a Type I restriction modification system influences gene expression and virulence in Streptococcus pyogenes.

DNA methylation is pervasive across all domains of life. In bacteria, the presence of N6-methyladenosine (m6A) has been detected among diverse species, yet the contribution of m6A to the regulation of gene expression is unclear in many organisms. Here we investigated the impact of DNA methylation on gene expression and virulence within the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes, or Group A Streptococcus. Single Molecule Real-Time sequencing and subsequent methylation analysis identified 412 putative m6A sites throughout the 1.8 Mb genome. Deletion of the Restriction, Specificity, and Methylation gene subunits (?RSM strain) of a putative Type I restriction modification system lost all detectable m6A at the recognition sites and failed to prevent transformation with foreign-methylated DNA. RNA-sequencing identified 20 genes out of 1,895 predicted coding regions with significantly different gene expression. All of the differentially expressed genes were down regulated in the ?RSM strain relative to the parent strain. Importantly, we found that the presence of m6A DNA modifications affected expression of Mga, a master transcriptional regulator for multiple virulence genes, surface adhesins, and immune-evasion factors in S. pyogenes. Using a murine subcutaneous infection model, mice infected with the ?RSM strain exhibited an enhanced host immune response with larger skin lesions and increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines compared to mice infected with the parent or complemented mutant strains, suggesting alterations in m6A methylation influence virulence. Further, we found that the ?RSM strain showed poor survival within human neutrophils and reduced adherence to human epithelial cells. These results demonstrate that, in addition to restriction of foreign DNA, gram-positive bacteria also use restriction modification systems to regulate the expression of gene networks important for virulence.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genomic characterization of Nocardia seriolae strains isolated from diseased fish.

Members of the genus Nocardia are widespread in diverse environments; a wide range of Nocardia species are known to cause nocardiosis in several animals, including cat, dog, fish, and humans. Of the pathogenic Nocardia species, N. seriolae is known to cause disease in cultured fish, resulting in major economic loss. We isolated two N. seriolae strains, CK-14008 and EM15050, from diseased fish and sequenced their genomes using the PacBio sequencing platform. To identify their genomic features, we compared their genomes with those of other Nocardia species. Phylogenetic analysis showed that N. seriolae shares a common ancestor with a putative human pathogenic Nocardia species. Moreover, N. seriolae strains were phylogenetically divided into four clusters according to host fish families. Through genome comparison, we observed that the putative pathogenic Nocardia strains had additional genes for iron acquisition. Dozens of antibiotic resistance genes were detected in the genomes of N. seriolae strains; most of the antibiotics were involved in the inhibition of the biosynthesis of proteins or cell walls. Our results demonstrated the virulence features and antibiotic resistance of fish pathogenic N. seriolae strains at the genomic level. These results may be useful to develop strategies for the prevention of fish nocardiosis. © 2018 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


April 21, 2020  |  

Reconstruction of the genomes of drug-resistant pathogens for outbreak investigation through metagenomic sequencing

Culture-independent methods that target genome fragments have shown promise in identifying certain pathogens, but the holy grail of comprehensive pathogen genome detection from microbiologically complex samples for subsequent forensic analyses remains a challenge. In the context of an investigation of a nosocomial outbreak, we used shotgun metagenomic sequencing of a human fecal sample and a neural network algorithm based on tetranucleotide frequency profiling to reconstruct microbial genomes and tested the same approach using rectal swabs from a second patient. The approach rapidly and readily detected the genome of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing K. pneumoniae in the patient fecal specimen and in the rectal swab sample, achieving a level of strain resolution that was sufficient for confident transmission inference during a highly clonal outbreak. The analysis also detected previously unrecognized colonization of the patient by vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, another multidrug-resistant bacterium.IMPORTANCE The study results reported here perfectly demonstrate the power and promise of clinical metagenomics to recover genome sequences of important drug-resistant bacteria and to rapidly provide rich data that inform outbreak investigations and treatment decisions, independently of the need to culture the organisms.


April 21, 2020  |  

A High-Quality Grapevine Downy Mildew Genome Assembly Reveals Rapidly Evolving and Lineage-Specific Putative Host Adaptation Genes.

Downy mildews are obligate biotrophic oomycete pathogens that cause devastating plant diseases on economically important crops. Plasmopara viticola is the causal agent of grapevine downy mildew, a major disease in vineyards worldwide. We sequenced the genome of Pl. viticola with PacBio long reads and obtained a new 92.94?Mb assembly with high contiguity (359 scaffolds for a N50 of 706.5?kb) due to a better resolution of repeat regions. This assembly presented a high level of gene completeness, recovering 1,592 genes encoding secreted proteins involved in plant-pathogen interactions. Plasmopara viticola had a two-speed genome architecture, with secreted protein-encoding genes preferentially located in gene-sparse, repeat-rich regions and evolving rapidly, as indicated by pairwise dN/dS values. We also used short reads to assemble the genome of Plasmopara muralis, a closely related species infecting grape ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata). The lineage-specific proteins identified by comparative genomics analysis included a large proportion of RxLR cytoplasmic effectors and, more generally, genes with high dN/dS values. We identified 270 candidate genes under positive selection, including several genes encoding transporters and components of the RNA machinery potentially involved in host specialization. Finally, the Pl. viticola genome assembly generated here will allow the development of robust population genomics approaches for investigating the mechanisms involved in adaptation to biotic and abiotic selective pressures in this species. © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genetic variation in the conjugative plasmidome of a hospital effluent multidrug resistant Escherichia coli strain.

Bacteria harboring conjugative plasmids have the potential for spreading antibiotic resistance through horizontal gene transfer. It is described that the selection and dissemination of antibiotic resistance is enhanced by stressors, like metals or antibiotics, which can occur as environmental contaminants. This study aimed at unveiling the composition of the conjugative plasmidome of a hospital effluent multidrug resistant Escherichia coli strain (H1FC54) under different mating conditions. To meet this objective, plasmid pulsed field gel electrophoresis, optical mapping analyses and DNA sequencing were used in combination with phenotype analysis. Strain H1FC54 was observed to harbor five plasmids, three of which were conjugative and two of these, pH1FC54_330 and pH1FC54_140, contained metal and antibiotic resistance genes. Transconjugants obtained in the absence or presence of tellurite (0.5?µM or 5?µM), arsenite (0.5?µM, 5?µM or 15?µM) or ceftazidime (10?mg/L) and selected in the presence of sodium azide (100?mg/L) and tetracycline (16?mg/L) presented distinct phenotypes, associated with the acquisition of different plasmid combinations, including two co-integrate plasmids, of 310 kbp and 517 kbp. The variable composition of the conjugative plasmidome, the formation of co-integrates during conjugation, as well as the transfer of non-transferable plasmids via co-integration, and the possible association between antibiotic, arsenite and tellurite tolerance was demonstrated. These evidences bring interesting insights into the comprehension of the molecular and physiological mechanisms that underlie antibiotic resistance propagation in the environment. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


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