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Authors: Zhang, Shuhuan and Huang, Jun and Di, Jun and Du, Hao and Xu, Qiaoqing and Zhou, Qiong and Congiu, Leonardo and Wei, Qiwei

Mycobacterium ulcerans ecovar Liflandii (MuLiflandii) is emerging as a non-mycobacterial pathogen in amphibians. Here, we make the first report on the prevalence of a new strain of MuLiflandii infection in Chinese sturgeon. All the diseased fish showed the classic clinical symptoms of ascites and/or muscle ulceration. A new slow-growing and acid-fast bacillus ASM001 strain was obtained from the ascites of infected fish; this strain demonstrated pathogenicity when tested in hybrid sturgeon. The complete genome sequence of MuLiflandii ASM001 is a circular chromosome of 6,167,296?bp, with a G?+?C content of 65.57%, containing 4518 predicted coding DNA sequences and 999 pseudo-genes, 3 rRNA operons, and 47 transfer RNA sequences. In addition, we found 245 copies of IS2404, 34 microsatellites, and 36 CRISPR sequences in the whole MuLiflandii ASM001 genome. Among the predicted genes of MuLiflandii ASM001, we found orthologs of 203 virulence factors of clinical MuLiflandii 128FXT operating in host cell invasion, modulation of phagocyte function, and survival inside the macrophages. These virulence factor candidates provide a key basis for understanding their pathogenic mechanisms at the molecular level. A comparative analysis that used complete, existing genomes showed that MuLiflandii ASM001 has high synteny with MuLiflandii 128FXT. We anticipate the availability of the complete MuLiflandii ASM001 genome sequence will provide a valuable resource for comparative genomic studies of MuLiflandii isolates, as well as provide new insights into the host, ecological, and functional diversity of the genus Mycobacterium.

Journal: Aquaculture
DOI: 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2018.02.001
Year: 2018

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