July 7, 2019  |  

Large scale and significant expression from pseudogenes in Sodalis glossinidius – a facultative bacterial endosymbiont

Authors: Goodhead, Ian and Blow, Frances and Brownridge, Philip and Hughes, Margaret and Kenny, John and Krishna, Ritesh and McLean, Lynn and Pongchaikul, Pisut and Beynon, Rob and Darby, Alistair C

The majority of bacterial genomes have high coding efficiencies, but there are some genomes of intracellular bacteria that have low gene density. The genome of the endosymbiont Sodalis glossinidius contains almost 50% pseudogenes containing mutations that putatively silence them at the genomic level. We have applied multiple omic strategies, combining: Illumina and Pacific Biosciences Single-Molecule Real Time DNA-sequencing and annotation; stranded RNA-sequencing; and proteome analysis to better understand the transcriptional and translational landscape of Sodalis pseudogenes, and potential mechanisms for their control. Between 53% and 74% of the Sodalis transcriptome remains active in cell-free culture. Mean sense transcription from Coding Domain Sequences (CDS) is four-times greater than that from pseudogenes. Comparative genomic analysis of six Illumina-sequenced Sodalis isolates from different host Glossina species shows pseudogenes make up ~40% of the 2,729 genes in the core genome, suggesting are stable and/or Sodalis is a recent introduction across the Glossina genus as a facultative symbiont. These data further shed light on the importance of transcriptional and translational control in deciphering host-microbe interactions, and demonstrate that pseudogenes are more complex than a simple degrading DNA sequence. The combination of genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics give a multidimensional perspective for studying prokaryotic genomes with a view to elucidating evolutionary adaptation to novel environmental niches.

Journal: BioRxiv
DOI: 10.1101/124388
Year: 2017

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