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Multiple oligomeric structures of a bacterial small heat shock protein
Small heat shock proteins are ubiquitous molecular chaperones that form the first line of defence against the detrimental effects of cellular stress. Under conditions of stress they undergo drastic conformational rearrangements in order to bind to misfolded substrate proteins and prevent cellular protein aggregation. Owing to the dynamic nature of small heat shock protein oligomers, elucidating the structural basis of chaperone action and oligomerization still remains a challenge. In order to understand the organization of sHSP oligomers, we have determined crystal structures of a small heat shock protein from Salmonella typhimurium in a dimeric form and two higher oligomeric forms: an 18-mer and a 24-mer. Though the core dimer structure is conserved in all the forms, structural heterogeneity arises due to variation in the terminal regions. Small heat shock proteins are ubiquitous molecular chaperones that form the first line of defence against the detrimental effects of cellular stress. Under conditions of stress they undergo drastic conformational rearrangements in order to bind to misfolded substrate proteins and prevent cellular protein aggregation. Owing to the dynamic nature of small heat shock protein oligomers, elucidating the structural basis of chaperone action and oligomerization still remains a challenge. In order to understand the organization of sHSP oligomers, we have determined crystal structures of a small heat shock protein from Salmonella typhimurium in a dimeric form and two higher oligomeric forms: an 18-mer and a 24-mer. Though the core dimer structure is conserved in all the forms, structural heterogeneity arises due to variation in the terminal regions.
MicroRNA Expression during Bovine Oocyte Maturation and Fertilization
Successful fertilization and subsequent embryo development rely on complex molecular processes starting with the development of oocyte competence through maturation. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules that function as gene regulators in many biological systems, including the oocyte and embryo. In order to further explore the roles of miRNAs in oocyte maturation, we employed small RNA sequencing as a screening tool to identify and characterize miRNA populations present in pools of bovine germinal vesicle (GV) oocytes, metaphase II (MII) oocytes, and presumptive zygotes (PZ). Each stage contained a defined miRNA population, some of which showed stable expression while others showed progressive changes between stages that were subsequently confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Bta-miR-155, bta-miR-222, bta-miR-21, bta-let-7d, bta-let-7i, and bta-miR-190a were among the statistically significant differentially expressed miRNAs (p < 0.05). To determine whether changes in specific primary miRNA (pri-miRNA) transcripts were responsible for the observed miRNA changes, we evaluated pri-miR-155, -222 and let-7d expression. Pri-miR-155 and -222 were not detected in GV oocytes but pri-miR-155 was present in MII oocytes, indicating transcription during maturation. In contrast, levels of pri-let-7d decreased during maturation, suggesting that the observed increase in let-7d expression was likely due to processing of the primary transcript. This study demonstrates that both dynamic and stable populations of miRNAs are present in bovine oocytes and zygotes and extend previous studies supporting the importance of the small RNA landscape in the maturing bovine oocyte and early embryo. Successful fertilization and subsequent embryo development rely on complex molecular processes starting with the development of oocyte competence through maturation. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules that function as gene regulators in many biological systems, including the oocyte and embryo. In order to further explore the roles of miRNAs in oocyte maturation, we employed small RNA sequencing as a screening tool to identify and characterize miRNA populations present in pools of bovine germinal vesicle (GV) oocytes, metaphase II (MII) oocytes, and presumptive zygotes (PZ). Each stage contained a defined miRNA population, some of which showed stable expression while others showed progressive changes between stages that were subsequently confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Bta-miR-155, bta-miR-222, bta-miR-21, bta-let-7d, bta-let-7i, and bta-miR-190a were among the statistically significant differentially expressed miRNAs (p < 0.05). To determine whether changes in specific primary miRNA (pri-miRNA) transcripts were responsible for the observed miRNA changes, we evaluated pri-miR-155, -222 and let-7d expression. Pri-miR-155 and -222 were not detected in GV oocytes but pri-miR-155 was present in MII oocytes, indicating transcription during maturation. In contrast, levels of pri-let-7d decreased during maturation, suggesting that the observed increase in let-7d expression was likely due to processing of the primary transcript. This study demonstrates that both dynamic and stable populations of miRNAs are present in bovine oocytes and zygotes and extend previous studies supporting the importance of the small RNA landscape in the maturing bovine oocyte and early embryo.
The resveratrol enriched rice DJ526 boosts motor coordination and physical strength
The main objective of current genetic modifications in crops is to boost agricultural production or to develop GM crops with an improved nutrient profile by introducing a new trait to the plants. A GM crop surpassing the ability of the introduced genetic characteristics has not been developed yet. Here, we show that the resveratrol-enriched rice DJ526, a GM crop, has unexpectedly high beneficial health effects surpassing the introduced genetic characteristic of resveratrol synthetic ability. The synergistic effect of its innate and transgenic properties not only ameliorates age-related deterioration but also boosts motor coordination and physical strength during the aging process. The gene expression profiling analyses by DNA chip showed that the gene expression pattern of mice fed resveratrol-enriched rice DJ526 was very different from mice fed either resveratrol or Dongjin rice alone, respectively, modifying expression of genes related to aging regulation, cell differentiation, extracellular matrix, neurogenesis, or secretion. The main objective of current genetic modifications in crops is to boost agricultural production or to develop GM crops with an improved nutrient profile by introducing a new trait to the plants. A GM crop surpassing the ability of the introduced genetic characteristics has not been developed yet. Here, we show that the resveratrol-enriched rice DJ526, a GM crop, has unexpectedly high beneficial health effects surpassing the introduced genetic characteristic of resveratrol synthetic ability. The synergistic effect of its innate and transgenic properties not only ameliorates age-related deterioration but also boosts motor coordination and physical strength during the aging process. The gene expression profiling analyses by DNA chip showed that the gene expression pattern of mice fed resveratrol-enriched rice DJ526 was very different from mice fed either resveratrol or Dongjin rice alone, respectively, modifying expression of genes related to aging regulation, cell differentiation, extracellular matrix, neurogenesis, or secretion.
Metagenomic Sequencing with Strain Level Resolution Implicates Uropathogenic E. coli in Necrotizing Enterocolitis and Mortality in Preterm Infants
SUMMARY Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) afflicts approximately 10% of extremely preterm infants with high fatality. Inappropriate bacterial colonization with Enterobacteriaceae is implicated, but no specific pathogen has been identified. We identify uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) colonization as a significant risk factor for the development of NEC and subsequent mortality. We describe a large-scale deep shotgun metagenomic sequence analysis of the early intestinal microbiome of 144 preterm and 22 term infants. Using a pan-genomic approach to functionally subtype the E. coli, we identify genes associated with NEC and mortality that indicate colonization by UPEC. Metagenomic multilocus sequence typing analysis further defined NEC-associated strains as sequence types often associated with urinary tract infections, including ST69, ST73, ST95, ST127, ST131, and ST144. Although other factors associated with prematurity may also contribute, this report suggests a link between UPEC and NEC and indicates that further attention to these sequence types as potential causal agents is needed. SUMMARY Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) afflicts approximately 10% of extremely preterm infants with high fatality. Inappropriate bacterial colonization with Enterobacteriaceae is implicated, but no specific pathogen has been identified. We identify uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) colonization as a significant risk factor for the development of NEC and subsequent mortality. We describe a large-scale deep shotgun metagenomic sequence analysis of the early intestinal microbiome of 144 preterm and 22 term infants. Using a pan-genomic approach to functionally subtype the E. coli, we identify genes associated with NEC and mortality that indicate colonization by UPEC. Metagenomic multilocus sequence typing analysis further defined NEC-associated strains as sequence types often associated with urinary tract infections, including ST69, ST73, ST95, ST127, ST131, and ST144. Although other factors associated with prematurity may also contribute, this report suggests a link between UPEC and NEC and indicates that further attention to these sequence types as potential causal agents is needed.
Monitoring of Ebola Virus Makona Evolution through Establishment of Advanced Genomic Capability in Liberia
The effects of EBOV evolution on diagnostic assays and therapeutic drugs appear to be low. The effects of EBOV evolution on diagnostic assays and therapeutic drugs appear to be low.To support Liberia’s response to the ongoing Ebola virus (EBOV) disease epidemic in Western Africa, we established in-country advanced genomic capabilities to monitor EBOV evolution. Twenty-five EBOV genomes were sequenced at the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research, which provided an in-depth view of EBOV diversity in Liberia during September 2014–February 2015. These sequences were consistent with a single virus introduction to Liberia; however, shared ancestry with isolates from Mali indicated at least 1 additional instance of movement into or out of Liberia. The pace of change is generally consistent with previous estimates of mutation rate. We observed 23 nonsynonymous mutations and 1 nonsense mutation. Six of these changes are within known binding sites for sequence-based EBOV medical countermeasures; however, the diagnostic and therapeutic impact of EBOV evolution within Liberia appears to be low. To support Liberia’s response to the ongoing Ebola virus (EBOV) disease epidemic in Western Africa, we established in-country advanced genomic capabilities to monitor EBOV evolution. Twenty-five EBOV genomes were sequenced at the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research, which provided an in-depth view of EBOV diversity in Liberia during September 2014–February 2015. These sequences were consistent with a single virus introduction to Liberia; however, shared ancestry with isolates from Mali indicated at least 1 additional instance of movement into or out of Liberia. The pace of change is generally consistent with previous estimates of mutation rate. We observed 23 nonsynonymous mutations and 1 nonsense mutation. Six of these changes are within known binding sites for sequence-based EBOV medical countermeasures; however, the diagnostic and therapeutic impact of EBOV evolution within Liberia appears to be low.
Tissue specific Differentiation Potency of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells from Perinatal Tissues
Human perinatal tissue is an abundant source of mesenchymal stromal cells(MSCs) and lacks the ethical concerns. Perinatal MSCs can be obtained from various tissues as like amnion, chorion, and umbilical cord. Still, little is known of the distinct nature of each MSC type. In this study, we successfully isolated and cultured MSCs from amnion(AMSCs), chorion(CMSCs), and umbilical cord(UC-MSCs). Proliferation potential was different among them, that AMSCs revealed the lowest proliferation rate due to increased Annexin V and senescence-associated β-galactosidase positive cells. We demonstrated distinct characteristic gene expression according to the source of the original tissue using microarray. In particular, genes associated with apoptosis and senescence including CDKN2A were up-regulated in AMSCs. In CMSCs, genes associated with heart morphogenesis and blood circulation including HTR2B were up-regulated. Genes associated with neurological system processes including NPY were up-regulated in UC-MSCs. Quantitative RT-PCR confirmed the gene expression data. And in vitro differentiation of MSCs demonstrated that CMSCs and UC-MSCs had a more pronounced ability to differentiate into cardiomyocyte and neural cells, respectively. This study firstly demonstrated the innate tissue-specific differentiation potency of perinatal MSCs which can be helpful in choosing more adequate cell sources for better outcome in a specific disease. Human perinatal tissue is an abundant source of mesenchymal stromal cells(MSCs) and lacks the ethical concerns. Perinatal MSCs can be obtained from various tissues as like amnion, chorion, and umbilical cord. Still, little is known of the distinct nature of each MSC type. In this study, we successfully isolated and cultured MSCs from amnion(AMSCs), chorion(CMSCs), and umbilical cord(UC-MSCs). Proliferation potential was different among them, that AMSCs revealed the lowest proliferation rate due to increased Annexin V and senescence-associated β-galactosidase positive cells. We demonstrated distinct characteristic gene expression according to the source of the original tissue using microarray. In particular, genes associated with apoptosis and senescence including CDKN2A were up-regulated in AMSCs. In CMSCs, genes associated with heart morphogenesis and blood circulation including HTR2B were up-regulated. Genes associated with neurological system processes including NPY were up-regulated in UC-MSCs. Quantitative RT-PCR confirmed the gene expression data. And in vitro differentiation of MSCs demonstrated that CMSCs and UC-MSCs had a more pronounced ability to differentiate into cardiomyocyte and neural cells, respectively. This study firstly demonstrated the innate tissue-specific differentiation potency of perinatal MSCs which can be helpful in choosing more adequate cell sources for better outcome in a specific disease.
The role of human adenoviruses type 41 in acute diarrheal disease in Minas Gerais after rotavirus vaccination
Human adenovirus species F (HAdV-F) type 40 and 41 are commonly associated with acute diarrheal disease (ADD) across the world. Despite being the largest state in southeastern Brazil and having the second largest number of inhabitants, there is no information in the State of Minas Gerais regarding the role of HAdV-F in the etiology of ADD. This study was performed to determine the prevalence, to verify the epidemiological aspects of infection, and to characterize the strains of human adenoviruses (HAdV) detected. A total of 377 diarrheal fecal samples were obtained between January 2007 and August 2011 from inpatient and outpatient children of age ranging from 0 to 12 years. All samples were previously tested for rotavirus, norovirus, and astrovirus, and 314 of 377 were negative. The viral DNA was extracted, amplified using the polymerase chain reaction and the HAdV-positive samples were sequenced and phylogenetically analyzed. Statistical analyses were performed using the Chi-square test (p < 0.05), considering two conditions: the total of samples tested (377) and the total of negative samples for the remaining viruses tested (314). The overall prevalence of HAdV was 12.47% (47/377); and in 76.60% (36/47) of the positive samples, this virus was the only infectious agent detected. The phylogenetic analysis of partial sequences of 32 positive samples revealed that they all clustered with the HAdV-F type 41. The statistical analysis showed that there was no correlation between the onset of the HAdV infection and the origin of the samples (inpatients or outpatients) in the two conditions tested: the total of samples tested (p = 0.598) and the total of negative samples for the remaining viruses tested (p = 0.614). There was a significant association in the occurrence of infection in children aged 0–12 months for the condition 1 (p = 0.030) as well as condition 2 (p = 0.019). The occurrence of infections due to HAdV did not coincide with a pattern of seasonal distribution. These data indicate the significant involvement of HAdV-F type 41 in the etiology of ADD in Minas Gerais, which demonstrates the importance of other viral agents in the development of the disease after the introduction of rotavirus vaccine immunization. Human adenovirus species F (HAdV-F) type 40 and 41 are commonly associated with acute diarrheal disease (ADD) across the world. Despite being the largest state in southeastern Brazil and having the second largest number of inhabitants, there is no information in the State of Minas Gerais regarding the role of HAdV-F in the etiology of ADD. This study was performed to determine the prevalence, to verify the epidemiological aspects of infection, and to characterize the strains of human adenoviruses (HAdV) detected. A total of 377 diarrheal fecal samples were obtained between January 2007 and August 2011 from inpatient and outpatient children of age ranging from 0 to 12 years. All samples were previously tested for rotavirus, norovirus, and astrovirus, and 314 of 377 were negative. The viral DNA was extracted, amplified using the polymerase chain reaction and the HAdV-positive samples were sequenced and phylogenetically analyzed. Statistical analyses were performed using the Chi-square test (p < 0.05), considering two conditions: the total of samples tested (377) and the total of negative samples for the remaining viruses tested (314). The overall prevalence of HAdV was 12.47% (47/377); and in 76.60% (36/47) of the positive samples, this virus was the only infectious agent detected. The phylogenetic analysis of partial sequences of 32 positive samples revealed that they all clustered with the HAdV-F type 41. The statistical analysis showed that there was no correlation between the onset of the HAdV infection and the origin of the samples (inpatients or outpatients) in the two conditions tested: the total of samples tested (p = 0.598) and the total of negative samples for the remaining viruses tested (p = 0.614). There was a significant association in the occurrence of infection in children aged 0–12 months for the condition 1 (p = 0.030) as well as condition 2 (p = 0.019). The occurrence of infections due to HAdV did not coincide with a pattern of seasonal distribution. These data indicate the significant involvement of HAdV-F type 41 in the etiology of ADD in Minas Gerais, which demonstrates the importance of other viral agents in the development of the disease after the introduction of rotavirus vaccine immunization.
Microbial DNA records historical delivery of anthropogenic mercury
Mercury (Hg) is an anthropogenic pollutant that is toxic to wildlife and humans, but the response of remote ecosystems to globally distributed Hg is elusive. Here, we use DNA extracted from a dated sediment core to infer the response of microbes to historical Hg delivery. We observe a significant association between the mercuric reductase gene (merA) phylogeny and the timing of Hg deposition. Using relaxed molecular clock models, we show a significant increase in the scaled effective population size of the merA gene beginning ~200 years ago, coinciding with the Industrial Revolution and a coincident strong signal for positive selection acting on residues in the terminal region of the mercuric reductase. This rapid evolutionary response of microbes to changes in the delivery of anthropogenic Hg indicates that microbial genomes record ecosystem response to pollutant deposition in remote regions. Mercury (Hg) is an anthropogenic pollutant that is toxic to wildlife and humans, but the response of remote ecosystems to globally distributed Hg is elusive. Here, we use DNA extracted from a dated sediment core to infer the response of microbes to historical Hg delivery. We observe a significant association between the mercuric reductase gene (merA) phylogeny and the timing of Hg deposition. Using relaxed molecular clock models, we show a significant increase in the scaled effective population size of the merA gene beginning ~200 years ago, coinciding with the Industrial Revolution and a coincident strong signal for positive selection acting on residues in the terminal region of the mercuric reductase. This rapid evolutionary response of microbes to changes in the delivery of anthropogenic Hg indicates that microbial genomes record ecosystem response to pollutant deposition in remote regions.
Genome Sequence of Kocuria palustris Strain W4
We report the 3.09 Mb draft genome sequence of Kocuria palustris W4, isolated from a slaughterhouse in Denmark. We report the 3.09 Mb draft genome sequence of Kocuria palustris W4, isolated from a slaughterhouse in Denmark.
The compact genome of the plant pathogen Plasmodiophora brassicae is adapted to intracellular interactions with host Brassica spp
Background The protist Plasmodiophora brassicae is a soil-borne pathogen of cruciferous species and the causal agent of clubroot disease of Brassicas including agriculturally important crops such as canola/rapeseed (Brassica napus). P. brassicae has remained an enigmatic plant pathogen and is a rare example of an obligate biotroph that resides entirely inside the host plant cell. The pathogen is the cause of severe yield losses and can render infested fields unsuitable for Brassica crop growth due to the persistence of resting spores in the soil for up to 20 years. Results To provide insight into the biology of the pathogen and its interaction with its primary host B. napus, we produced a draft genome of P. brassicae pathotypes 3 and 6 (Pb3 and Pb6) that differ in their host range. Pb3 is highly virulent on B. napus (but also infects other Brassica species) while Pb6 infects only vegetable Brassica crops. Both the Pb3 and Pb6 genomes are highly compact, each with a total size of 24.2 Mb, and contain less than 2 % repetitive DNA. Clustering of genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of Pb3, Pb6 and three additional re-sequenced pathotypes (Pb2, Pb5 and Pb8) shows a high degree of correlation of cluster grouping with host range. The Pb3 genome features significant reduction of intergenic space with multiple examples of overlapping untranslated regions (UTRs). Dependency on the host for essential nutrients is evident from the loss of genes for the biosynthesis of thiamine and some amino acids and the presence of a wide range of transport proteins, including some unique to P. brassicae. The annotated genes of Pb3 include those with a potential role in the regulation of the plant growth hormones cytokinin and auxin. The expression profile of Pb3 genes, including putative effectors, during infection and their potential role in manipulation of host defence is discussed. Conclusion The P. brassicae genome sequence reveals a compact genome, a dependency of the pathogen on its host for some essential nutrients and a potential role in the regulation of host plant cytokinin and auxin. Genome annotation supported by RNA sequencing reveals significant reduction in intergenic space which, in addition to low repeat content, has likely contributed to the P. brassicae compact genome. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-016-2597-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Background The protist Plasmodiophora brassicae is a soil-borne pathogen of cruciferous species and the causal agent of clubroot disease of Brassicas including agriculturally important crops such as canola/rapeseed (Brassica napus). P. brassicae has remained an enigmatic plant pathogen and is a rare example of an obligate biotroph that resides entirely inside the host plant cell. The pathogen is the cause of severe yield losses and can render infested fields unsuitable for Brassica crop growth due to the persistence of resting spores in the soil for up to 20 years. Results To provide insight into the biology of the pathogen and its interaction with its primary host B. napus, we produced a draft genome of P. brassicae pathotypes 3 and 6 (Pb3 and Pb6) that differ in their host range. Pb3 is highly virulent on B. napus (but also infects other Brassica species) while Pb6 infects only vegetable Brassica crops. Both the Pb3 and Pb6 genomes are highly compact, each with a total size of 24.2 Mb, and contain less than 2 % repetitive DNA. Clustering of genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) of Pb3, Pb6 and three additional re-sequenced pathotypes (Pb2, Pb5 and Pb8) shows a high degree of correlation of cluster grouping with host range. The Pb3 genome features significant reduction of intergenic space with multiple examples of overlapping untranslated regions (UTRs). Dependency on the host for essential nutrients is evident from the loss of genes for the biosynthesis of thiamine and some amino acids and the presence of a wide range of transport proteins, including some unique to P. brassicae. The annotated genes of Pb3 include those with a potential role in the regulation of the plant growth hormones cytokinin and auxin. The expression profile of Pb3 genes, including putative effectors, during infection and their potential role in manipulation of host defence is discussed. Conclusion The P. brassicae genome sequence reveals a compact genome, a dependency of the pathogen on its host for some essential nutrients and a potential role in the regulation of host plant cytokinin and auxin. Genome annotation supported by RNA sequencing reveals significant reduction in intergenic space which, in addition to low repeat content, has likely contributed to the P. brassicae compact genome. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-016-2597-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Coral Associated Bacterial Diversity Is Conserved across Two Deep Sea Anthothela Species
Cold-water corals, similar to tropical corals, contain diverse and complex microbial assemblages. These bacteria provide essential biological functions within coral holobionts, facilitating increased nutrient utilization and production of antimicrobial compounds. To date, few cold-water octocoral species have been analyzed to explore the diversity and abundance of their microbial associates. For this study, 23 samples of the family Anthothelidae were collected from Norfolk (n = 12) and Baltimore Canyons (n = 11) from the western Atlantic in August 2012 and May 2013. Genetic testing found that these samples comprised two Anthothela species (Anthothela grandiflora and Anthothela sp.) and Alcyonium grandiflorum. DNA was extracted and sequenced with primers targeting the V4–V5 variable region of the 16S rRNA gene using 454 pyrosequencing with GS FLX Titanium chemistry. Results demonstrated that the coral host was the primary driver of bacterial community composition. Al. grandiflorum, dominated by Alteromonadales and Pirellulales had much higher species richness, and a distinct bacterial community compared to Anthothela samples. Anthothela species (A. grandiflora and Anthothela sp.) had very similar bacterial communities, dominated by Oceanospirillales and Spirochaetes. Additional analysis of core-conserved bacteria at 90% sample coverage revealed genus level conservation across Anthothela samples. This core included unclassified Oceanospirillales, Kiloniellales, Campylobacterales, and genus Spirochaeta. Members of this core were previously recognized for their functional capabilities in nitrogen cycling and suggest the possibility of a nearly complete nitrogen cycle within Anthothela species. Overall, many of the bacterial associates identified in this study have the potential to contribute to the acquisition and cycling of nutrients within the coral holobiont. Cold-water corals, similar to tropical corals, contain diverse and complex microbial assemblages. These bacteria provide essential biological functions within coral holobionts, facilitating increased nutrient utilization and production of antimicrobial compounds. To date, few cold-water octocoral species have been analyzed to explore the diversity and abundance of their microbial associates. For this study, 23 samples of the family Anthothelidae were collected from Norfolk (n = 12) and Baltimore Canyons (n = 11) from the western Atlantic in August 2012 and May 2013. Genetic testing found that these samples comprised two Anthothela species (Anthothela grandiflora and Anthothela sp.) and Alcyonium grandiflorum. DNA was extracted and sequenced with primers targeting the V4–V5 variable region of the 16S rRNA gene using 454 pyrosequencing with GS FLX Titanium chemistry. Results demonstrated that the coral host was the primary driver of bacterial community composition. Al. grandiflorum, dominated by Alteromonadales and Pirellulales had much higher species richness, and a distinct bacterial community compared to Anthothela samples. Anthothela species (A. grandiflora and Anthothela sp.) had very similar bacterial communities, dominated by Oceanospirillales and Spirochaetes. Additional analysis of core-conserved bacteria at 90% sample coverage revealed genus level conservation across Anthothela samples. This core included unclassified Oceanospirillales, Kiloniellales, Campylobacterales, and genus Spirochaeta. Members of this core were previously recognized for their functional capabilities in nitrogen cycling and suggest the possibility of a nearly complete nitrogen cycle within Anthothela species. Overall, many of the bacterial associates identified in this study have the potential to contribute to the acquisition and cycling of nutrients within the coral holobiont.
Draft Genome Sequence of Two Sphingopyxis sp. Strains, Dominant Members of the Bacterial Community Associated with a Drinking Water Distribution System Simulator
We report the draft genomes of two Sphingopyxis sp. strains isolated from a chloraminated drinking water distribution system simulator. Both strains are ubiquitous residents and early colonizers of water distribution systems. Genomic annotation identified a class 1 integron (intI1) gene associated with sulfonamide (sul1) and puromycin (pac) antibiotic resistance genes. We report the draft genomes of two Sphingopyxis sp. strains isolated from a chloraminated drinking water distribution system simulator. Both strains are ubiquitous residents and early colonizers of water distribution systems. Genomic annotation identified a class 1 integron (intI1) gene associated with sulfonamide (sul1) and puromycin (pac) antibiotic resistance genes.
Data set for transcriptional response to depletion of the Shoc2 scaffolding protein
The Suppressor of Clear, Caenorhabditis elegans Homolog (SHOC2) is a scaffold protein that positively modulates activity of the RAS/ERK1/2 MAP kinase signaling cascade. We set out to understand the ERK1/2 pathway transcriptional response transduced through the SHOC2 scaffolding module. This data article describes raw gene expression within triplicates of kidney fibroblast-like Cos1 cell line expressing non-targeting shRNA (Cos-NT) and triplicates of Cos1 cells depleted of SHOC2 using shRNA (Cos-LV1) upon activation of ERK1/2 pathway by the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR). The data referred here is available in NCBI׳s Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), accession GEO: GSE67063 as well as NCBI׳s Sequence Read Archive (SRA), accession SRA: SRP056324. A complete analysis of the results can be found in “Shoc2-tranduced ERK1/2 motility signals – Novel insights from functional genomics”(Jeoung et al., 2016) [1]. The Suppressor of Clear, Caenorhabditis elegans Homolog (SHOC2) is a scaffold protein that positively modulates activity of the RAS/ERK1/2 MAP kinase signaling cascade. We set out to understand the ERK1/2 pathway transcriptional response transduced through the SHOC2 scaffolding module. This data article describes raw gene expression within triplicates of kidney fibroblast-like Cos1 cell line expressing non-targeting shRNA (Cos-NT) and triplicates of Cos1 cells depleted of SHOC2 using shRNA (Cos-LV1) upon activation of ERK1/2 pathway by the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR). The data referred here is available in NCBI׳s Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO), accession GEO: GSE67063 as well as NCBI׳s Sequence Read Archive (SRA), accession SRA: SRP056324. A complete analysis of the results can be found in “Shoc2-tranduced ERK1/2 motility signals – Novel insights from functional genomics”(Jeoung et al., 2016) [1].
Dissociating the neural correlates of tactile temporal order and simultaneity judgements
Perceiving temporal relationships between sensory events is a key process for recognising dynamic environments. Temporal order judgement (TOJ) and simultaneity judgement (SJ) are used for probing this perceptual process. TOJ and SJ exhibit identical psychometric parameters. However, there is accumulating psychophysical evidence that distinguishes TOJ from SJ. Some studies have proposed that the perceptual processes for SJ (e.g., detecting successive/simultaneity) are also included in TOJ, whereas TOJ requires more processes (e.g., determination of the temporal order). Other studies have proposed two independent processes for TOJ and SJ. To identify differences in the neural activity associated with TOJ versus SJ, we performed functional magnetic resonance imaging of participants during TOJ and SJ with identical tactile stimuli. TOJ-specific activity was observed in multiple regions (e.g., left ventral and bilateral dorsal premotor cortices and left posterior parietal cortex) that overlap the general temporal prediction network for perception and motor systems. SJ-specific activation was observed only in the posterior insular cortex. Our results suggest that TOJ requires more processes than SJ and that both TOJ and SJ implement specific process components. The neural differences between TOJ and SJ thus combine features described in previous psychophysical hypotheses that proposed different mechanisms. Perceiving temporal relationships between sensory events is a key process for recognising dynamic environments. Temporal order judgement (TOJ) and simultaneity judgement (SJ) are used for probing this perceptual process. TOJ and SJ exhibit identical psychometric parameters. However, there is accumulating psychophysical evidence that distinguishes TOJ from SJ. Some studies have proposed that the perceptual processes for SJ (e.g., detecting successive/simultaneity) are also included in TOJ, whereas TOJ requires more processes (e.g., determination of the temporal order). Other studies have proposed two independent processes for TOJ and SJ. To identify differences in the neural activity associated with TOJ versus SJ, we performed functional magnetic resonance imaging of participants during TOJ and SJ with identical tactile stimuli. TOJ-specific activity was observed in multiple regions (e.g., left ventral and bilateral dorsal premotor cortices and left posterior parietal cortex) that overlap the general temporal prediction network for perception and motor systems. SJ-specific activation was observed only in the posterior insular cortex. Our results suggest that TOJ requires more processes than SJ and that both TOJ and SJ implement specific process components. The neural differences between TOJ and SJ thus combine features described in previous psychophysical hypotheses that proposed different mechanisms.
Comparative Genome Analysis Provides Insights into the Pathogenicity of Flavobacterium psychrophilum
Flavobacterium psychrophilum is a fish pathogen in salmonid aquaculture worldwide that causes cold water disease (CWD) and rainbow trout fry syndrome (RTFS). Comparative genome analyses of 11 F. psychrophilum isolates representing temporally and geographically distant populations were used to describe the F. psychrophilum pan-genome and to examine virulence factors, prophages, CRISPR arrays, and genomic islands present in the genomes. Analysis of the genomic DNA sequences were complemented with selected phenotypic characteristics of the strains. The pan genome analysis showed that F. psychrophilum could hold at least 3373 genes, while the core genome contained 1743 genes. On average, 67 new genes were detected for every new genome added to the analysis, indicating that F. psychrophilum possesses an open pan genome. The putative virulence factors were equally distributed among isolates, independent of geographic location, year of isolation and source of isolates. Only one prophage-related sequence was found which corresponded to the previously described prophage 6H, and appeared in 5 out of 11 isolates. CRISPR array analysis revealed two different loci with dissimilar spacer content, which only matched one sequence in the database, the temperate bacteriophage 6H. Genomic Islands (GIs) were identified in F. psychrophilum isolates 950106-1/1 and CSF 259–93, associated with toxins and antibiotic resistance. Finally, phenotypic characterization revealed a high degree of similarity among the strains with respect to biofilm formation and secretion of extracellular enzymes. Global scale dispersion of virulence factors in the genomes and the abilities for biofilm formation, hemolytic activity and secretion of extracellular enzymes among the strains suggested that F. psychrophilum isolates have a similar mode of action on adhesion, colonization and destruction of fish tissues across large spatial and temporal scales of occurrence. Overall, the genomic characterization and phenotypic properties may provide new insights to the mechanisms of pathogenicity in F. psychrophilum. Flavobacterium psychrophilum is a fish pathogen in salmonid aquaculture worldwide that causes cold water disease (CWD) and rainbow trout fry syndrome (RTFS). Comparative genome analyses of 11 F. psychrophilum isolates representing temporally and geographically distant populations were used to describe the F. psychrophilum pan-genome and to examine virulence factors, prophages, CRISPR arrays, and genomic islands present in the genomes. Analysis of the genomic DNA sequences were complemented with selected phenotypic characteristics of the strains. The pan genome analysis showed that F. psychrophilum could hold at least 3373 genes, while the core genome contained 1743 genes. On average, 67 new genes were detected for every new genome added to the analysis, indicating that F. psychrophilum possesses an open pan genome. The putative virulence factors were equally distributed among isolates, independent of geographic location, year of isolation and source of isolates. Only one prophage-related sequence was found which corresponded to the previously described prophage 6H, and appeared in 5 out of 11 isolates. CRISPR array analysis revealed two different loci with dissimilar spacer content, which only matched one sequence in the database, the temperate bacteriophage 6H. Genomic Islands (GIs) were identified in F. psychrophilum isolates 950106-1/1 and CSF 259–93, associated with toxins and antibiotic resistance. Finally, phenotypic characterization revealed a high degree of similarity among the strains with respect to biofilm formation and secretion of extracellular enzymes. Global scale dispersion of virulence factors in the genomes and the abilities for biofilm formation, hemolytic activity and secretion of extracellular enzymes among the strains suggested that F. psychrophilum isolates have a similar mode of action on adhesion, colonization and destruction of fish tissues across large spatial and temporal scales of occurrence. Overall, the genomic characterization and phenotypic properties may provide new insights to the mechanisms of pathogenicity in F. psychrophilum.
Reconstruction of Bacterial and Viral Genomes from Multiple Metagenomes
Several metagenomic projects have been accomplished or are in progress. However, in most cases, it is not feasible to generate complete genomic assemblies of species from the metagenomic sequencing of a complex environment. Only a few studies have reported the reconstruction of bacterial genomes from complex metagenomes. In this work, Binning-Assembly approach has been proposed and demonstrated for the reconstruction of bacterial and viral genomes from 72 human gut metagenomic datasets. A total 1156 bacterial genomes belonging to 219 bacterial families and, 279 viral genomes belonging to 84 viral families could be identified. More than 80% complete draft genome sequences could be reconstructed for a total of 126 bacterial and 11 viral genomes. Selected draft assembled genomes could be validated with 99.8% accuracy using their ORFs. The study provides useful information on the assembly expected for a species given its number of reads and abundance. This approach along with spiking was also demonstrated to be useful in improving the draft assembly of a bacterial genome. The Binning-Assembly approach can be successfully used to reconstruct bacterial and viral genomes from multiple metagenomic datasets obtained from similar environments. Several metagenomic projects have been accomplished or are in progress. However, in most cases, it is not feasible to generate complete genomic assemblies of species from the metagenomic sequencing of a complex environment. Only a few studies have reported the reconstruction of bacterial genomes from complex metagenomes. In this work, Binning-Assembly approach has been proposed and demonstrated for the reconstruction of bacterial and viral genomes from 72 human gut metagenomic datasets. A total 1156 bacterial genomes belonging to 219 bacterial families and, 279 viral genomes belonging to 84 viral families could be identified. More than 80% complete draft genome sequences could be reconstructed for a total of 126 bacterial and 11 viral genomes. Selected draft assembled genomes could be validated with 99.8% accuracy using their ORFs. The study provides useful information on the assembly expected for a species given its number of reads and abundance. This approach along with spiking was also demonstrated to be useful in improving the draft assembly of a bacterial genome. The Binning-Assembly approach can be successfully used to reconstruct bacterial and viral genomes from multiple metagenomic datasets obtained from similar environments.
Genetic Adaptation of Giant Lobelias (Lobelia aberdarica and Lobelia telekii) to Different Altitudes in East African Mountains
The giant lobelias in East African mountains are good models for studying molecular mechanisms of adaptation to different altitudes. In this study, we generated RNA-seq data of a middle-altitude species Lobelia aberdarica and a high-altitude species L. telekii, followed by selective pressure estimation of their orthologous genes. Our aim was to explore the important genes potentially involved in adaptation to different altitudes. About 9.3 Gb of clean nucleotides, 167,929–170,534 unigenes with total lengths of 159,762,099–171,138,936 bp for each of the two species were generated. OrthoMCL method identified 3,049 1:1 orthologous genes (each species was represented by one ortholog). Estimations of non-synonymous to synonymous rate were performed using an approximate method and a maximum likelihood method in PAML. Eighty-five orthologous genes were under positive selection. At least 8 of these genes are possibly involved in DNA repair, response to DNA damage and temperature stimulus, and regulation of gene expression, which hints on how giant lobelias adapt to high altitudinal environment that characterized by cold, low oxygen, and strong ultraviolet radiation. The negatively selected genes are over-represented in Gene Ontology terms of hydrolase, macromolecular complex assembly among others. This study sheds light on understanding the molecular mechanism of adaptation to different altitudes, and provides genomic resources for further studies of giant lobelias. The giant lobelias in East African mountains are good models for studying molecular mechanisms of adaptation to different altitudes. In this study, we generated RNA-seq data of a middle-altitude species Lobelia aberdarica and a high-altitude species L. telekii, followed by selective pressure estimation of their orthologous genes. Our aim was to explore the important genes potentially involved in adaptation to different altitudes. About 9.3 Gb of clean nucleotides, 167,929–170,534 unigenes with total lengths of 159,762,099–171,138,936 bp for each of the two species were generated. OrthoMCL method identified 3,049 1:1 orthologous genes (each species was represented by one ortholog). Estimations of non-synonymous to synonymous rate were performed using an approximate method and a maximum likelihood method in PAML. Eighty-five orthologous genes were under positive selection. At least 8 of these genes are possibly involved in DNA repair, response to DNA damage and temperature stimulus, and regulation of gene expression, which hints on how giant lobelias adapt to high altitudinal environment that characterized by cold, low oxygen, and strong ultraviolet radiation. The negatively selected genes are over-represented in Gene Ontology terms of hydrolase, macromolecular complex assembly among others. This study sheds light on understanding the molecular mechanism of adaptation to different altitudes, and provides genomic resources for further studies of giant lobelias.
Homogenous Population Genetic Structure of the Non Native Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in Europe as a Result of Rapid Population Expansion
The extent of gene flow during the range expansion of non-native species influences the amount of genetic diversity retained in expanding populations. Here, we analyse the population genetic structure of the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in north-eastern and central Europe. This invasive species is of management concern because it is highly susceptible to fox rabies and an important secondary host of the virus. We hypothesized that the large number of introduced animals and the species’ dispersal capabilities led to high population connectivity and maintenance of genetic diversity throughout the invaded range. We genotyped 332 tissue samples from seven European countries using 16 microsatellite loci. Different algorithms identified three genetic clusters corresponding to Finland, Denmark and a large ‘central’ population that reached from introduction areas in western Russia to northern Germany. Cluster assignments provided evidence of long-distance dispersal. The results of an Approximate Bayesian Computation analysis supported a scenario of equal effective population sizes among different pre-defined populations in the large central cluster. Our results are in line with strong gene flow and secondary admixture between neighbouring demes leading to reduced genetic structuring, probably a result of its fairly rapid population expansion after introduction. The results presented here are remarkable in the sense that we identified a homogenous genetic cluster inhabiting an area stretching over more than 1500km. They are also relevant for disease management, as in the event of a significant rabies outbreak, there is a great risk of a rapid virus spread among raccoon dog populations. The extent of gene flow during the range expansion of non-native species influences the amount of genetic diversity retained in expanding populations. Here, we analyse the population genetic structure of the raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in north-eastern and central Europe. This invasive species is of management concern because it is highly susceptible to fox rabies and an important secondary host of the virus. We hypothesized that the large number of introduced animals and the species’ dispersal capabilities led to high population connectivity and maintenance of genetic diversity throughout the invaded range. We genotyped 332 tissue samples from seven European countries using 16 microsatellite loci. Different algorithms identified three genetic clusters corresponding to Finland, Denmark and a large ‘central’ population that reached from introduction areas in western Russia to northern Germany. Cluster assignments provided evidence of long-distance dispersal. The results of an Approximate Bayesian Computation analysis supported a scenario of equal effective population sizes among different pre-defined populations in the large central cluster. Our results are in line with strong gene flow and secondary admixture between neighbouring demes leading to reduced genetic structuring, probably a result of its fairly rapid population expansion after introduction. The results presented here are remarkable in the sense that we identified a homogenous genetic cluster inhabiting an area stretching over more than 1500km. They are also relevant for disease management, as in the event of a significant rabies outbreak, there is a great risk of a rapid virus spread among raccoon dog populations.
Unique haplotypes of cacao trees as revealed by trnH psbA chloroplast DNA
Cacao trees have been cultivated in Mesoamerica for at least 4,000 years. In this study, we analyzed sequence variation in the chloroplast DNA trnH-psbA intergenic spacer from 28 cacao trees from different farms in the Soconusco region in southern Mexico. Genetic relationships were established by two analysis approaches based on geographic origin (five populations) and genetic origin (based on a previous study). We identified six polymorphic sites, including five insertion/deletion (indels) types and one transversion. The overall nucleotide diversity was low for both approaches (geographic = 0.0032 and genetic = 0.0038). Conversely, we obtained moderate to high haplotype diversity (0.66 and 0.80) with 10 and 12 haplotypes, respectively. The common haplotype (H1) for both networks included cacao trees from all geographic locations (geographic approach) and four genetic groups (genetic approach). This common haplotype (ancient) derived a set of intermediate haplotypes and singletons interconnected by one or two mutational steps, which suggested directional selection and event purification from the expansion of narrow populations. Cacao trees from Soconusco region were grouped into one cluster without any evidence of subclustering based on AMOVA (FST = 0) and SAMOVA (FST = 0.04393) results. One population (Mazatán) showed a high haplotype frequency; thus, this population could be considered an important reservoir of genetic material. The indels located in the trnH-psbA intergenic spacer of cacao trees could be useful as markers for the development of DNA barcoding. Cacao trees have been cultivated in Mesoamerica for at least 4,000 years. In this study, we analyzed sequence variation in the chloroplast DNA trnH-psbA intergenic spacer from 28 cacao trees from different farms in the Soconusco region in southern Mexico. Genetic relationships were established by two analysis approaches based on geographic origin (five populations) and genetic origin (based on a previous study). We identified six polymorphic sites, including five insertion/deletion (indels) types and one transversion. The overall nucleotide diversity was low for both approaches (geographic = 0.0032 and genetic = 0.0038). Conversely, we obtained moderate to high haplotype diversity (0.66 and 0.80) with 10 and 12 haplotypes, respectively. The common haplotype (H1) for both networks included cacao trees from all geographic locations (geographic approach) and four genetic groups (genetic approach). This common haplotype (ancient) derived a set of intermediate haplotypes and singletons interconnected by one or two mutational steps, which suggested directional selection and event purification from the expansion of narrow populations. Cacao trees from Soconusco region were grouped into one cluster without any evidence of subclustering based on AMOVA (FST = 0) and SAMOVA (FST = 0.04393) results. One population (Mazatán) showed a high haplotype frequency; thus, this population could be considered an important reservoir of genetic material. The indels located in the trnH-psbA intergenic spacer of cacao trees could be useful as markers for the development of DNA barcoding.
Phleboviruses detection in Phlebotomus perniciosus from a human leishmaniasis focus in South West Madrid region, Spain
Background Phlebotomus-borne (PhB-) viruses are distributed in large areas of the Old World and are widespread throughout the Mediterranean basin, where recent investigations have indicated that virus diversity is higher than initially suspected. Some of these viruses are causes of meningitis, encephalitis and febrile illnesses. In order to monitor the viral presence and the infection rate of PhB-viruses in a recently identified and well characterized human zoonotic leishmaniasis focus in southwestern Madrid, Spain, a sand fly collection was carried out. Methods Sand fly insects were collected in four stations using CDC light traps during 2012–2013 summer seasons. Screening for Phlebovirus presence both via isolation on Vero cells and via polymerase chain reaction (PCR), using degenerated primers targeting a portion of the L segment, was performed. The serological identity and phylogenetic relationships on the three genomic segments of the viral isolates were carried out. Results Six viral isolates belonging to different serological complexes of the genus Phlebovirus were obtained from fifty pools on a total of 963 P. perniciosus (202 females). Phylogenetic analysis and serological assays allowed the identification of two isolates of Toscana virus (TOSV) B genotype, three isolates strongly related to Italian Arbia virus (ARBV), and one isolate of a novel putative Phlebovirus related to the recently characterized Arrabida virus in South Portugal, tentatively named Arrabida-like virus. Positive male sand fly pools suggested that transovarial or venereal transmission could occur under natural conditions. Conclusions Our findings highlighted the presence of different Phlebovirus species in the South-West area of the Madrid Autonomous Community where an outbreak of cutaneous and visceral human leishmaniasis has been recently described. The evidence of viral species never identified before in Spain, as ARBV and Arrabida-like virus, and TOSV B genotype focus stability was demonstrated. Environmental aspects such as climate change, growing urbanization, socio-economic development could have contributed to the genesis of this wide ecological niche of PhB-viruses and Leishmania spp. The potential role of vertebrates as reservoir for the phleboviruses identified and the possibility of Phleboviruses-Leishmania co-infection in the same sand fly should be assessed. Furthermore the PhB-viruses impact on human health should be implemented. Background Phlebotomus-borne (PhB-) viruses are distributed in large areas of the Old World and are widespread throughout the Mediterranean basin, where recent investigations have indicated that virus diversity is higher than initially suspected. Some of these viruses are causes of meningitis, encephalitis and febrile illnesses. In order to monitor the viral presence and the infection rate of PhB-viruses in a recently identified and well characterized human zoonotic leishmaniasis focus in southwestern Madrid, Spain, a sand fly collection was carried out. Methods Sand fly insects were collected in four stations using CDC light traps during 2012–2013 summer seasons. Screening for Phlebovirus presence both via isolation on Vero cells and via polymerase chain reaction (PCR), using degenerated primers targeting a portion of the L segment, was performed. The serological identity and phylogenetic relationships on the three genomic segments of the viral isolates were carried out. Results Six viral isolates belonging to different serological complexes of the genus Phlebovirus were obtained from fifty pools on a total of 963 P. perniciosus (202 females). Phylogenetic analysis and serological assays allowed the identification of two isolates of Toscana virus (TOSV) B genotype, three isolates strongly related to Italian Arbia virus (ARBV), and one isolate of a novel putative Phlebovirus related to the recently characterized Arrabida virus in South Portugal, tentatively named Arrabida-like virus. Positive male sand fly pools suggested that transovarial or venereal transmission could occur under natural conditions. Conclusions Our findings highlighted the presence of different Phlebovirus species in the South-West area of the Madrid Autonomous Community where an outbreak of cutaneous and visceral human leishmaniasis has been recently described. The evidence of viral species never identified before in Spain, as ARBV and Arrabida-like virus, and TOSV B genotype focus stability was demonstrated. Environmental aspects such as climate change, growing urbanization, socio-economic development could have contributed to the genesis of this wide ecological niche of PhB-viruses and Leishmania spp. The potential role of vertebrates as reservoir for the phleboviruses identified and the possibility of Phleboviruses-Leishmania co-infection in the same sand fly should be assessed. Furthermore the PhB-viruses impact on human health should be implemented.
Human oropharynx as natural reservoir of Streptobacillus hongkongensis
Recently, we reported the isolation of Streptobacillus hongkongensis sp. nov. from patients with quinsy or septic arthritis. In this study, we developed a PCR sequencing test after sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim and nalidixic acid enrichment for detection of S. hongkongensis. During a three-month study period, among the throat swabs from 132 patients with acute pharyngitis and 264 controls, PCR and DNA sequencing confirmed that S. hongkongensis and S. hongkongensis-like bacteria were detected in 16 patients and 29 control samples, respectively. Among these 45 positive samples, five different sequence variants were detected. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene showed that sequence variant 1 was clustered with S. hongkongensis HKU33T/HKU34 with high bootstrap support; while the other four sequence variants formed another distinct cluster. When compared with the 16S rRNA gene of S. hongkongensis HKU33T, the five sequence variants possessed 97.5–100% sequence identities. Among sequence variants 2–5, their sequences showed ≥99.5% nucleotide identities to each other. Forty-two individuals (93.3%) only harbored one sequence variant. We showed that the human oropharynx is a reservoir of S. hongkongensis, but the bacterium is not associated with acute pharyngitis. Another undescribed novel Streptobacillus species is probably also residing in the human oropharynx. Recently, we reported the isolation of Streptobacillus hongkongensis sp. nov. from patients with quinsy or septic arthritis. In this study, we developed a PCR sequencing test after sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim and nalidixic acid enrichment for detection of S. hongkongensis. During a three-month study period, among the throat swabs from 132 patients with acute pharyngitis and 264 controls, PCR and DNA sequencing confirmed that S. hongkongensis and S. hongkongensis-like bacteria were detected in 16 patients and 29 control samples, respectively. Among these 45 positive samples, five different sequence variants were detected. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene showed that sequence variant 1 was clustered with S. hongkongensis HKU33T/HKU34 with high bootstrap support; while the other four sequence variants formed another distinct cluster. When compared with the 16S rRNA gene of S. hongkongensis HKU33T, the five sequence variants possessed 97.5–100% sequence identities. Among sequence variants 2–5, their sequences showed ≥99.5% nucleotide identities to each other. Forty-two individuals (93.3%) only harbored one sequence variant. We showed that the human oropharynx is a reservoir of S. hongkongensis, but the bacterium is not associated with acute pharyngitis. Another undescribed novel Streptobacillus species is probably also residing in the human oropharynx.
Draft genome sequence of Psychrobacter sp. ENNN9_III, a strain isolated from water in a polluted temperate estuarine system (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal)
The genus Psychrobacter includes Gram-negative coccobacilli that are non-pigmented, oxidase-positive, non-motile, psychrophilic or psychrotolerant, and halotolerant. Psychrobacter strain ENNN9_III was isolated from water in a polluted temperate estuarine system, contaminated with hydrocarbons and heavy metals. The genome has a G + C content of 42.7%, 2618 open reading frames (ORFs), three copies of the rRNAs operon, and 29 tRNA genes. Twenty-five sequences related to the degradation of aromatic compounds were predicted, as well as numerous genes related to resistance to metals or metal(loid)s. The genome sequence of Psychrobacter strain ENNN9_III provides the groundwork for further elucidation of the mechanisms of metal resistance and aromatic compounds degradation. Future studies are needed to confirm the usefulness of this strain for bioremediation proposes. The genus Psychrobacter includes Gram-negative coccobacilli that are non-pigmented, oxidase-positive, non-motile, psychrophilic or psychrotolerant, and halotolerant. Psychrobacter strain ENNN9_III was isolated from water in a polluted temperate estuarine system, contaminated with hydrocarbons and heavy metals. The genome has a G + C content of 42.7%, 2618 open reading frames (ORFs), three copies of the rRNAs operon, and 29 tRNA genes. Twenty-five sequences related to the degradation of aromatic compounds were predicted, as well as numerous genes related to resistance to metals or metal(loid)s. The genome sequence of Psychrobacter strain ENNN9_III provides the groundwork for further elucidation of the mechanisms of metal resistance and aromatic compounds degradation. Future studies are needed to confirm the usefulness of this strain for bioremediation proposes.
Rapid Microbiome Changes in Freshly Deposited Cow Feces under Field Conditions
Although development of next generation sequencing (NGS) has substantially improved our understanding of the microbial ecology of animal feces, previous studies have mostly focused on freshly excreted feces. There is still limited understanding of the aging process dynamics of fecal microbiomes in intact cowpats exposed to natural environments. Fresh cowpats were sampled at multiple time points for 57 days under field conditions; half the samples were exposed to sunlight (unshaded) while the other half was protected from sunlight (shaded). The 16SRNA hypervariable region 4 was amplified from each sample and sequenced on an Illumina MiSeq Platform. While Clostridia, Bacteroidia, and Sphingobacteria were dominant classes of bacteria in fresh cowpats, Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Bacilli were the dominant classes by the end of the study, indicating a general shift from anaerobic to aerobic bacterial populations. This change was most likely influenced by the shift from cattle gut (anaerobic) to pasture ground (aerobic). Reduced moisture in cowpats may also contribute to the community shift since air can penetrate the dryer cowpat more easily. Twelve genera consisting pathogenic bacteria were detected, with Mycobacterium, Bacillus, and Clostridium being the most abundant; their combined abundance accounts for 90% of the total pathogenic genera. Taxonomic richness and diversity increased throughout the study for most samples, which could be due to bacteria regrowth and colonization of bacteria from the environment. In contrast to the high taxonomic diversity, the changes of PICRUSt inferred function profile were minimal for all cowpats throughout the study, which suggest that core functions predicted by PICRUSt may be too conserved to distinguish differences between aerobe and anaerobe. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating that cowpat exposure to air and sunlight can cause drastic microbiome changes soon after deposition in natural environments. Our findings offer important insights for future research characterizing the microbiome of feces collected in natural environments and the impact of cattle fecal contamination on water resources. Although development of next generation sequencing (NGS) has substantially improved our understanding of the microbial ecology of animal feces, previous studies have mostly focused on freshly excreted feces. There is still limited understanding of the aging process dynamics of fecal microbiomes in intact cowpats exposed to natural environments. Fresh cowpats were sampled at multiple time points for 57 days under field conditions; half the samples were exposed to sunlight (unshaded) while the other half was protected from sunlight (shaded). The 16SRNA hypervariable region 4 was amplified from each sample and sequenced on an Illumina MiSeq Platform. While Clostridia, Bacteroidia, and Sphingobacteria were dominant classes of bacteria in fresh cowpats, Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Bacilli were the dominant classes by the end of the study, indicating a general shift from anaerobic to aerobic bacterial populations. This change was most likely influenced by the shift from cattle gut (anaerobic) to pasture ground (aerobic). Reduced moisture in cowpats may also contribute to the community shift since air can penetrate the dryer cowpat more easily. Twelve genera consisting pathogenic bacteria were detected, with Mycobacterium, Bacillus, and Clostridium being the most abundant; their combined abundance accounts for 90% of the total pathogenic genera. Taxonomic richness and diversity increased throughout the study for most samples, which could be due to bacteria regrowth and colonization of bacteria from the environment. In contrast to the high taxonomic diversity, the changes of PICRUSt inferred function profile were minimal for all cowpats throughout the study, which suggest that core functions predicted by PICRUSt may be too conserved to distinguish differences between aerobe and anaerobe. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating that cowpat exposure to air and sunlight can cause drastic microbiome changes soon after deposition in natural environments. Our findings offer important insights for future research characterizing the microbiome of feces collected in natural environments and the impact of cattle fecal contamination on water resources.
Transcriptome profiling identifies genes and pathways deregulated upon floxuridine treatment in colorectal cancer cells harboring GOF mutant p53
Mutation in TP53 is a common genetic alteration in human cancers. Certain tumor associated p53 missense mutants acquire gain-of-function (GOF) properties and confer oncogenic phenotypes including enhanced chemoresistance. The colorectal cancers (CRC) harboring mutant p53 are generally aggressive in nature and difficult to treat. To identify a potential gene expression signature of GOF mutant p53-driven acquired chemoresistance in CRC, we performed transcriptome profiling of floxuridine (FUdR) treated SW480 cells expressing mutant p53R273H (GEO#: GSE77533). We obtained several genes differentially regulated between FUdR treated and untreated cells. Further, functional characterization and pathway analysis revealed significant enrichment of crucial biological processes and pathways upon FUdR treatment in SW480 cells. Our data suggest that in response to chemotherapeutics treatment, cancer cells with GOF mutant p53 can modulate key cellular pathways to withstand the cytotoxic effect of the drugs. The genes and pathways identified in the present study can be further validated and targeted for better chemotherapy response in colorectal cancer patients harboring mutant p53. Mutation in TP53 is a common genetic alteration in human cancers. Certain tumor associated p53 missense mutants acquire gain-of-function (GOF) properties and confer oncogenic phenotypes including enhanced chemoresistance. The colorectal cancers (CRC) harboring mutant p53 are generally aggressive in nature and difficult to treat. To identify a potential gene expression signature of GOF mutant p53-driven acquired chemoresistance in CRC, we performed transcriptome profiling of floxuridine (FUdR) treated SW480 cells expressing mutant p53R273H (GEO#: GSE77533). We obtained several genes differentially regulated between FUdR treated and untreated cells. Further, functional characterization and pathway analysis revealed significant enrichment of crucial biological processes and pathways upon FUdR treatment in SW480 cells. Our data suggest that in response to chemotherapeutics treatment, cancer cells with GOF mutant p53 can modulate key cellular pathways to withstand the cytotoxic effect of the drugs. The genes and pathways identified in the present study can be further validated and targeted for better chemotherapy response in colorectal cancer patients harboring mutant p53.
Analyzing the temporal regulation of translation efficiency in mouse liver
Mammalian physiology and behavior follow daily rhythms that are orchestrated by endogenous timekeepers known as circadian clocks. Rhythms in transcription are considered the main mechanism to engender rhythmic gene expression, but important roles for posttranscriptional mechanisms have recently emerged as well (reviewed in Lim and Allada (2013) [1]). We have recently reported on the use of ribosome profiling (RPF-seq), a method based on the high-throughput sequencing of ribosome protected mRNA fragments, to explore the temporal regulation of translation efficiency (Janich et al., 2015 [2]). Through the comparison of around-the-clock RPF-seq and matching RNA-seq data we were able to identify 150 genes, involved in ribosome biogenesis, iron metabolism and other pathways, whose rhythmicity is generated entirely at the level of protein synthesis. The temporal transcriptome and translatome data sets from this study have been deposited in NCBI's Gene Expression Omnibus under the accession number GSE67305. Here we provide additional information on the experimental setup and on important optimization steps pertaining to the ribosome profiling technique in mouse liver and to data analysis. Mammalian physiology and behavior follow daily rhythms that are orchestrated by endogenous timekeepers known as circadian clocks. Rhythms in transcription are considered the main mechanism to engender rhythmic gene expression, but important roles for posttranscriptional mechanisms have recently emerged as well (reviewed in Lim and Allada (2013) [1]). We have recently reported on the use of ribosome profiling (RPF-seq), a method based on the high-throughput sequencing of ribosome protected mRNA fragments, to explore the temporal regulation of translation efficiency (Janich et al., 2015 [2]). Through the comparison of around-the-clock RPF-seq and matching RNA-seq data we were able to identify 150 genes, involved in ribosome biogenesis, iron metabolism and other pathways, whose rhythmicity is generated entirely at the level of protein synthesis. The temporal transcriptome and translatome data sets from this study have been deposited in NCBI's Gene Expression Omnibus under the accession number GSE67305. Here we provide additional information on the experimental setup and on important optimization steps pertaining to the ribosome profiling technique in mouse liver and to data analysis.
Utilizing Gene Tree Variation to Identify Candidate Effector Genes in Zymoseptoria tritici
Zymoseptoria tritici is a host-specific, necrotrophic pathogen of wheat. Infection by Z. tritici is characterized by its extended latent period, which typically lasts 2 wks, and is followed by extensive host cell death, and rapid proliferation of fungal biomass. This work characterizes the level of genomic variation in 13 isolates, for which we have measured virulence on 11 wheat cultivars with differential resistance genes. Between the reference isolate, IPO323, and the 13 Australian isolates we identified over 800,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms, of which ∼10% had an effect on the coding regions of the genome. Furthermore, we identified over 1700 probable presence/absence polymorphisms in genes across the Australian isolates using de novo assembly. Finally, we developed a gene tree sorting method that quickly identifies groups of isolates within a single gene alignment whose sequence haplotypes correspond with virulence scores on a single wheat cultivar. Using this method, we have identified < 100 candidate effector genes whose gene sequence correlates with virulence toward a wheat cultivar carrying a major resistance gene. Zymoseptoria tritici is a host-specific, necrotrophic pathogen of wheat. Infection by Z. tritici is characterized by its extended latent period, which typically lasts 2 wks, and is followed by extensive host cell death, and rapid proliferation of fungal biomass. This work characterizes the level of genomic variation in 13 isolates, for which we have measured virulence on 11 wheat cultivars with differential resistance genes. Between the reference isolate, IPO323, and the 13 Australian isolates we identified over 800,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms, of which ∼10% had an effect on the coding regions of the genome. Furthermore, we identified over 1700 probable presence/absence polymorphisms in genes across the Australian isolates using de novo assembly. Finally, we developed a gene tree sorting method that quickly identifies groups of isolates within a single gene alignment whose sequence haplotypes correspond with virulence scores on a single wheat cultivar. Using this method, we have identified < 100 candidate effector genes whose gene sequence correlates with virulence toward a wheat cultivar carrying a major resistance gene.
Molecular and geographic evolutionary support for the essential role of GIGANTEAa in soybean domestication of flowering time
Background Flowering time is a domestication trait of Glycine max and varies in soybeans, yet, a gene for flowering time variation has not been associated with soybean domestication. GIGANTEA (GI) is a major gene involved in the control of flowering time in Arabidopsis, although three GI homologs complicate this model in the soybean genome. Results In the present work, we revealed that the geographic evolution of the GIGANTEAa (GIa) haplotypes in G. max (GmGIa) and Glycine soja (GsGIa). Three GIa haplotypes (H1, H2, and H3) were found among cultivated soybeans and their wild relatives, yet an additional 44 diverse haplotypes were observed in wild soybeans. H1 had a premature stop codon in the 10th exon, whereas the other haplotypes encoded full-length GIa protein isoforms. In both wild-type and cultivated soybeans, H2 was present in the Southern region of China, and H3 was restricted to areas near the Northeast region of China. H1 was genetically derived from H2, and it was dominant and widely distributed among cultivated soybeans, whereas in wild populations, the ortholog of this domesticated haplotype H1 was only found in Yellow River basin with a low frequency. Moreover, this mutated GIa haplotype significantly correlated with early flowering. We further determined that the differences in gene expression of the three GmGIa haplotypes were not correlated to flowering time variations in cultivated soybeans. However, only the truncated GmGIa H1 could partially rescue gi-2 Arabidopsis from delayed flowering in transgenic plants, whereas both GmGIa H2 and H3 haplotypes could significantly repress flowering in transgenic Arabidopsis with a wild-type background. Conclusions Thus, GmGIa haplotype diversification may have contributed to flowering time adaptation that facilitated the radiation of domesticated soybeans. In light of the evolution of the GIa gene, soybean domestication history for an early flowering phenotype is discussed. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12862-016-0653-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Background Flowering time is a domestication trait of Glycine max and varies in soybeans, yet, a gene for flowering time variation has not been associated with soybean domestication. GIGANTEA (GI) is a major gene involved in the control of flowering time in Arabidopsis, although three GI homologs complicate this model in the soybean genome. Results In the present work, we revealed that the geographic evolution of the GIGANTEAa (GIa) haplotypes in G. max (GmGIa) and Glycine soja (GsGIa). Three GIa haplotypes (H1, H2, and H3) were found among cultivated soybeans and their wild relatives, yet an additional 44 diverse haplotypes were observed in wild soybeans. H1 had a premature stop codon in the 10th exon, whereas the other haplotypes encoded full-length GIa protein isoforms. In both wild-type and cultivated soybeans, H2 was present in the Southern region of China, and H3 was restricted to areas near the Northeast region of China. H1 was genetically derived from H2, and it was dominant and widely distributed among cultivated soybeans, whereas in wild populations, the ortholog of this domesticated haplotype H1 was only found in Yellow River basin with a low frequency. Moreover, this mutated GIa haplotype significantly correlated with early flowering. We further determined that the differences in gene expression of the three GmGIa haplotypes were not correlated to flowering time variations in cultivated soybeans. However, only the truncated GmGIa H1 could partially rescue gi-2 Arabidopsis from delayed flowering in transgenic plants, whereas both GmGIa H2 and H3 haplotypes could significantly repress flowering in transgenic Arabidopsis with a wild-type background. Conclusions Thus, GmGIa haplotype diversification may have contributed to flowering time adaptation that facilitated the radiation of domesticated soybeans. In light of the evolution of the GIa gene, soybean domestication history for an early flowering phenotype is discussed. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12862-016-0653-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Synergistic action of master transcription factors controls epithelial to mesenchymal transition
Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a complex multistep process in which phenotype switches are mediated by a network of transcription factors (TFs). Systematic characterization of all dynamic TFs controlling EMT state transitions, especially for the intermediate partial-EMT state, represents a highly relevant yet largely unexplored task. Here, we performed a computational analysis that integrated time-course EMT transcriptomic data with public cistromic data and identified three synergistic master TFs (ETS2, HNF4A and JUNB) that regulate the transition through the partial-EMT state. Overexpression of these regulators predicted a poor clinical outcome, and their elimination readily abolished TGF-β-induced EMT. Importantly, these factors utilized a clique motif, physically interact and their cumulative binding generally characterized EMT-associated genes. Furthermore, analyses of H3K27ac ChIP-seq data revealed that ETS2, HNF4A and JUNB are associated with super-enhancers and the administration of BRD4 inhibitor readily abolished TGF-β-induced EMT. These findings have implications for systematic discovery of master EMT regulators and super-enhancers as novel targets for controlling metastasis. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a complex multistep process in which phenotype switches are mediated by a network of transcription factors (TFs). Systematic characterization of all dynamic TFs controlling EMT state transitions, especially for the intermediate partial-EMT state, represents a highly relevant yet largely unexplored task. Here, we performed a computational analysis that integrated time-course EMT transcriptomic data with public cistromic data and identified three synergistic master TFs (ETS2, HNF4A and JUNB) that regulate the transition through the partial-EMT state. Overexpression of these regulators predicted a poor clinical outcome, and their elimination readily abolished TGF-β-induced EMT. Importantly, these factors utilized a clique motif, physically interact and their cumulative binding generally characterized EMT-associated genes. Furthermore, analyses of H3K27ac ChIP-seq data revealed that ETS2, HNF4A and JUNB are associated with super-enhancers and the administration of BRD4 inhibitor readily abolished TGF-β-induced EMT. These findings have implications for systematic discovery of master EMT regulators and super-enhancers as novel targets for controlling metastasis.
Draft Genome Sequences of 18 Strains of Pseudomonas Isolated from Kiwifruit Plants in New Zealand and Overseas
In this paper, we present the draft sequences of 18 genetically diverse Pseudomonas strains isolated from kiwifruit plants in New Zealand and overseas, including a number that are currently not fully characterized. These sequences will aid in the diagnosis of Pseudomonas on kiwifruit for future pest management and border security decision-making. In this paper, we present the draft sequences of 18 genetically diverse Pseudomonas strains isolated from kiwifruit plants in New Zealand and overseas, including a number that are currently not fully characterized. These sequences will aid in the diagnosis of Pseudomonas on kiwifruit for future pest management and border security decision-making.
Comprehensive molecular characterization of Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 adapted for 1 butanol tolerance
Background The toxicity of alcohols is one of the major roadblocks of biological fermentation for biofuels production. Methylobacterium extorquens AM1, a facultative methylotrophic α-proteobacterium, has been engineered to generate 1-butanol from cheap carbon feedstocks through a synthetic metabolic pathway. However, M. extorquens AM1 is vulnerable to solvent stress, which impedes further development for 1-butanol production. Only a few studies have reported the general stress response of M. extorquens AM1 to solvent stress. Therefore, it is highly desirable to obtain a strain with ameliorated 1-butanol tolerance and elucidate the molecular mechanism of 1-butnaol tolerance in M. extorquens AM1 for future strain improvement. Results In this work, adaptive laboratory evolution was used as a tool to isolate mutants with 1-butanol tolerance up to 0.5 %. The evolved strains, BHBT3 and BHBT5, demonstrated increased growth rates and higher survival rates with the existence of 1-butanol. Whole genome sequencing revealed a SNP mutation at kefB in BHBT5, which was confirmed to be responsible for increasing 1-butanol tolerance through an allelic exchange experiment. Global metabolomic analysis further discovered that the pools of multiple key metabolites, including fatty acids, amino acids, and disaccharides, were increased in BHBT5 in response to 1-butanol stress. Additionally, the carotenoid synthesis pathway was significantly down-regulated in BHBT5. Conclusions We successfully screened mutants resistant to 1-butanol and provided insights into the molecular mechanism of 1-butanol tolerance in M. extorquens AM1. This research will be useful for uncovering the mechanism of cellular response of M. extorquens AM1 to solvent stress, and will provide the genetic blueprint for the rational design of a strain of M. extorquens AM1 with increased 1-butanol tolerance in the future. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13068-016-0497-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Background The toxicity of alcohols is one of the major roadblocks of biological fermentation for biofuels production. Methylobacterium extorquens AM1, a facultative methylotrophic α-proteobacterium, has been engineered to generate 1-butanol from cheap carbon feedstocks through a synthetic metabolic pathway. However, M. extorquens AM1 is vulnerable to solvent stress, which impedes further development for 1-butanol production. Only a few studies have reported the general stress response of M. extorquens AM1 to solvent stress. Therefore, it is highly desirable to obtain a strain with ameliorated 1-butanol tolerance and elucidate the molecular mechanism of 1-butnaol tolerance in M. extorquens AM1 for future strain improvement. Results In this work, adaptive laboratory evolution was used as a tool to isolate mutants with 1-butanol tolerance up to 0.5 %. The evolved strains, BHBT3 and BHBT5, demonstrated increased growth rates and higher survival rates with the existence of 1-butanol. Whole genome sequencing revealed a SNP mutation at kefB in BHBT5, which was confirmed to be responsible for increasing 1-butanol tolerance through an allelic exchange experiment. Global metabolomic analysis further discovered that the pools of multiple key metabolites, including fatty acids, amino acids, and disaccharides, were increased in BHBT5 in response to 1-butanol stress. Additionally, the carotenoid synthesis pathway was significantly down-regulated in BHBT5. Conclusions We successfully screened mutants resistant to 1-butanol and provided insights into the molecular mechanism of 1-butanol tolerance in M. extorquens AM1. This research will be useful for uncovering the mechanism of cellular response of M. extorquens AM1 to solvent stress, and will provide the genetic blueprint for the rational design of a strain of M. extorquens AM1 with increased 1-butanol tolerance in the future. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13068-016-0497-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Using Transcriptomics to Identify Differential Gene Expression in Response to Salinity among Australian Phragmites australis Clones
Common Reed (Phragmites australis) is a frequent component of inland and coastal wetlands in temperate zones worldwide. Ongoing environmental changes have resulted in the decline of this species in many areas and invasive expansion in others. In the Gippsland Lakes coastal waterway system in south-eastern Australia, increasing salinity is thought to have contributed to the loss of fringing P. australis reed beds leading to increased shoreline erosion. A major goal of restoration in this waterway is to address the effect of salinity by planting a genetically diverse range of salt-tolerant P. australis plants. This has prompted an interest in examining the variation in salinity tolerance among clones and the underlying basis of this variation. Transcriptomics is an approach for identifying variation in genes and their expression levels associated with the exposure of plants to environmental stressors. In this paper we present initial results of the first comparative culm transcriptome analysis of P. australis clones. After sampling plants from sites of varied surface water salinity across the Gippsland Lakes, replicates from three clones from highly saline sites (>18 g L-1 TDS) and three from low salinity sites (<6 g L-1) were grown in containers irrigated with either fresh (<0.1 g L-1) or saline water (16 g L-1). An RNA-Seq protocol was used to generate sequence data from culm tissues from the 12 samples allowing an analysis of differential gene expression. Among the key findings, we identified several genes uniquely up- or down-regulated in clones from highly saline sites when irrigated with saline water relative to clones from low salinity sites. These included the higher relative expression levels of genes associated with photosynthesis and lignan biosynthesis indicative of a greater ability of these clones to maintain growth under saline conditions. Combined with growth data from a parallel study, our data suggests local adaptation of certain clones to salinity and provides a basis for more detailed studies. Common Reed (Phragmites australis) is a frequent component of inland and coastal wetlands in temperate zones worldwide. Ongoing environmental changes have resulted in the decline of this species in many areas and invasive expansion in others. In the Gippsland Lakes coastal waterway system in south-eastern Australia, increasing salinity is thought to have contributed to the loss of fringing P. australis reed beds leading to increased shoreline erosion. A major goal of restoration in this waterway is to address the effect of salinity by planting a genetically diverse range of salt-tolerant P. australis plants. This has prompted an interest in examining the variation in salinity tolerance among clones and the underlying basis of this variation. Transcriptomics is an approach for identifying variation in genes and their expression levels associated with the exposure of plants to environmental stressors. In this paper we present initial results of the first comparative culm transcriptome analysis of P. australis clones. After sampling plants from sites of varied surface water salinity across the Gippsland Lakes, replicates from three clones from highly saline sites (>18 g L-1 TDS) and three from low salinity sites (<6 g L-1) were grown in containers irrigated with either fresh (<0.1 g L-1) or saline water (16 g L-1). An RNA-Seq protocol was used to generate sequence data from culm tissues from the 12 samples allowing an analysis of differential gene expression. Among the key findings, we identified several genes uniquely up- or down-regulated in clones from highly saline sites when irrigated with saline water relative to clones from low salinity sites. These included the higher relative expression levels of genes associated with photosynthesis and lignan biosynthesis indicative of a greater ability of these clones to maintain growth under saline conditions. Combined with growth data from a parallel study, our data suggests local adaptation of certain clones to salinity and provides a basis for more detailed studies.
Changes in snoRNA and snRNA Abundance in the Human, Chimpanzee, Macaque, and Mouse Brain
Small nuclear and nucleolar RNAs (snRNAs and snoRNAs) are known to be functionally and evolutionarily conserved elements of transcript processing machinery. Here, we investigated the expression evolution of snRNAs and snoRNAs by measuring their abundance in the frontal cortex of humans, chimpanzees, rhesus monkeys, and mice. Although snRNA expression is largely conserved, 44% of the 185 measured snoRNA and 40% of the 134 snoRNA families showed significant expression divergence among species. The snRNA and snoRNA expression divergence included drastic changes unique to humans: A 10-fold elevated expression of U1 snRNA and a 1,000-fold drop in expression of SNORA29. The decreased expression of SNORA29 might be due to two mutations that affect secondary structure stability. Using in situ hybridization, we further localized SNORA29 expression to nucleolar regions of neuronal cells. Our study presents the first observation of snoRNA abundance changes specific to the human lineage and suggests a possible mechanism underlying these changes. Small nuclear and nucleolar RNAs (snRNAs and snoRNAs) are known to be functionally and evolutionarily conserved elements of transcript processing machinery. Here, we investigated the expression evolution of snRNAs and snoRNAs by measuring their abundance in the frontal cortex of humans, chimpanzees, rhesus monkeys, and mice. Although snRNA expression is largely conserved, 44% of the 185 measured snoRNA and 40% of the 134 snoRNA families showed significant expression divergence among species. The snRNA and snoRNA expression divergence included drastic changes unique to humans: A 10-fold elevated expression of U1 snRNA and a 1,000-fold drop in expression of SNORA29. The decreased expression of SNORA29 might be due to two mutations that affect secondary structure stability. Using in situ hybridization, we further localized SNORA29 expression to nucleolar regions of neuronal cells. Our study presents the first observation of snoRNA abundance changes specific to the human lineage and suggests a possible mechanism underlying these changes.
Genetic Load of Loss of Function Polymorphic Variants in Great Apes
Loss of function (LoF) genetic variants are predicted to disrupt gene function, and are therefore expected to substantially reduce individual’s viability. Knowing the genetic burden of LoF variants in endangered species is of interest for a better understanding of the effects of declining population sizes on species viability. In this study, we have estimated the number of LoF polymorphic variants in six great ape populations, based on whole-genome sequencing data in 79 individuals. Our results show that although the number of functional variants per individual is conditioned by the effective population size, the number of variants with a drastic phenotypic effect is very similar across species. We hypothesize that for those variants with high selection coefficients, differences in effective population size are not important enough to affect the efficiency of natural selection to remove them. We also describe that mostly CpG LoF mutations are shared across species, and an accumulation of LoF variants at olfactory receptor genes in agreement with its pseudogenization in humans and other primate species. Loss of function (LoF) genetic variants are predicted to disrupt gene function, and are therefore expected to substantially reduce individual’s viability. Knowing the genetic burden of LoF variants in endangered species is of interest for a better understanding of the effects of declining population sizes on species viability. In this study, we have estimated the number of LoF polymorphic variants in six great ape populations, based on whole-genome sequencing data in 79 individuals. Our results show that although the number of functional variants per individual is conditioned by the effective population size, the number of variants with a drastic phenotypic effect is very similar across species. We hypothesize that for those variants with high selection coefficients, differences in effective population size are not important enough to affect the efficiency of natural selection to remove them. We also describe that mostly CpG LoF mutations are shared across species, and an accumulation of LoF variants at olfactory receptor genes in agreement with its pseudogenization in humans and other primate species.
Developmental Progression in the Coral Acropora digitifera Is Controlled by Differential Expression of Distinct Regulatory Gene Networks
Corals belong to the most basal class of the Phylum Cnidaria, which is considered the sister group of bilaterian animals, and thus have become an emerging model to study the evolution of developmental mechanisms. Although cell renewal, differentiation, and maintenance of pluripotency are cellular events shared by multicellular animals, the cellular basis of these fundamental biological processes are still poorly understood. To understand how changes in gene expression regulate morphogenetic transitions at the base of the eumetazoa, we performed quantitative RNA-seq analysis during Acropora digitifera’s development. We collected embryonic, larval, and adult samples to characterize stage-specific transcription profiles, as well as broad expression patterns. Transcription profiles reconstructed development revealing two main expression clusters. The first cluster grouped blastula and gastrula and the second grouped subsequent developmental time points. Consistently, we observed clear differences in gene expression between early and late developmental transitions, with higher numbers of differentially expressed genes and fold changes around gastrulation. Furthermore, we identified three coexpression clusters that represented discrete gene expression patterns. During early transitions, transcriptional networks seemed to regulate cellular fate and morphogenesis of the larval body. In late transitions, these networks seemed to play important roles preparing planulae for switch in lifestyle and regulation of adult processes. Although developmental progression in A. digitifera is regulated to some extent by differential coexpression of well-defined gene networks, stage-specific transcription profiles appear to be independent entities. While negative regulation of transcription is predominant in early development, cell differentiation was upregulated in larval and adult stages. Corals belong to the most basal class of the Phylum Cnidaria, which is considered the sister group of bilaterian animals, and thus have become an emerging model to study the evolution of developmental mechanisms. Although cell renewal, differentiation, and maintenance of pluripotency are cellular events shared by multicellular animals, the cellular basis of these fundamental biological processes are still poorly understood. To understand how changes in gene expression regulate morphogenetic transitions at the base of the eumetazoa, we performed quantitative RNA-seq analysis during Acropora digitifera’s development. We collected embryonic, larval, and adult samples to characterize stage-specific transcription profiles, as well as broad expression patterns. Transcription profiles reconstructed development revealing two main expression clusters. The first cluster grouped blastula and gastrula and the second grouped subsequent developmental time points. Consistently, we observed clear differences in gene expression between early and late developmental transitions, with higher numbers of differentially expressed genes and fold changes around gastrulation. Furthermore, we identified three coexpression clusters that represented discrete gene expression patterns. During early transitions, transcriptional networks seemed to regulate cellular fate and morphogenesis of the larval body. In late transitions, these networks seemed to play important roles preparing planulae for switch in lifestyle and regulation of adult processes. Although developmental progression in A. digitifera is regulated to some extent by differential coexpression of well-defined gene networks, stage-specific transcription profiles appear to be independent entities. While negative regulation of transcription is predominant in early development, cell differentiation was upregulated in larval and adult stages.
Characterisation of worldwide Helicobacter pylori strains reveals genetic conservation and essentiality of serine protease HtrA
Summary HtrA proteases and chaperones exhibit important roles in periplasmic protein quality control and stress responses. The genetic inactivation of htrA has been described for many bacterial pathogens. However, in some cases such as the gastric pathogen H elicobacter pylori, HtrA is secreted where it cleaves the tumour‐suppressor E‐cadherin interfering with gastric disease development, but the generation of htrA mutants is still lacking. Here, we show that the htrA gene locus is highly conserved in worldwide strains. HtrA presence was confirmed in 992 H . pylori isolates in gastric biopsy material from infected patients. Differential RNA‐sequencing (dRNA‐seq) indicated that htrA is encoded in an operon with two subsequent genes, HP1020 and HP1021. Genetic mutagenesis and complementation studies revealed that HP1020 and HP1021, but not htrA, can be mutated. In addition, we demonstrate that suppression of HtrA proteolytic activity with a newly developed inhibitor is sufficient to effectively kill H . pylori, but not other bacteria. We show that H elicobacter htrA is an essential bifunctional gene with crucial intracellular and extracellular functions. Thus, we describe here the first microbe in which htrA is an indispensable gene, a situation unique in the bacterial kingdom. HtrA can therefore be considered a promising new target for anti‐bacterial therapy. Summary HtrA proteases and chaperones exhibit important roles in periplasmic protein quality control and stress responses. The genetic inactivation of htrA has been described for many bacterial pathogens. However, in some cases such as the gastric pathogen H elicobacter pylori, HtrA is secreted where it cleaves the tumour‐suppressor E‐cadherin interfering with gastric disease development, but the generation of htrA mutants is still lacking. Here, we show that the htrA gene locus is highly conserved in worldwide strains. HtrA presence was confirmed in 992 H . pylori isolates in gastric biopsy material from infected patients. Differential RNA‐sequencing (dRNA‐seq) indicated that htrA is encoded in an operon with two subsequent genes, HP1020 and HP1021. Genetic mutagenesis and complementation studies revealed that HP1020 and HP1021, but not htrA, can be mutated. In addition, we demonstrate that suppression of HtrA proteolytic activity with a newly developed inhibitor is sufficient to effectively kill H . pylori, but not other bacteria. We show that H elicobacter htrA is an essential bifunctional gene with crucial intracellular and extracellular functions. Thus, we describe here the first microbe in which htrA is an indispensable gene, a situation unique in the bacterial kingdom. HtrA can therefore be considered a promising new target for anti‐bacterial therapy.
Identification and Expression Analysis of BURP Domain Containing Genes in Medicago truncatula
BURP domain-containing proteins belong to a newly identified protein class that is unique to plants and plays an important role in plant development and metabolism. Although systematic characterization of BURP domain-containing proteins have been carried out in many species, such as rice, poplar and maize, little is known about BURP domain-containing proteins in Medicago. In this study, multiple bioinformatics approaches were employed to identify all the members of BURP family genes in Medicago. A complete set of 39 BURP family genes were identified. These genes have diverse structures and were distributed on chromosome 1–8 except 7. According to phylogenetic analysis, these BURP family genes could be classified into eight classes. Motif and exon-intron organization, stress-related cis-elements in promoter regions and microarray analysis of MtBURPs were also performed. Furthermore, transcript level analysis of MtBURP genes in response to drought stress revealed that all of the 39 BURP genes were regulated by drought stress. The results of this study reveal a comprehensive overview of the Medicago BURP gene family and provide the first step toward the selection of MtBURP genes for cloning and functional analysis of the BURP gene family in Medicago truncatula. BURP domain-containing proteins belong to a newly identified protein class that is unique to plants and plays an important role in plant development and metabolism. Although systematic characterization of BURP domain-containing proteins have been carried out in many species, such as rice, poplar and maize, little is known about BURP domain-containing proteins in Medicago. In this study, multiple bioinformatics approaches were employed to identify all the members of BURP family genes in Medicago. A complete set of 39 BURP family genes were identified. These genes have diverse structures and were distributed on chromosome 1–8 except 7. According to phylogenetic analysis, these BURP family genes could be classified into eight classes. Motif and exon-intron organization, stress-related cis-elements in promoter regions and microarray analysis of MtBURPs were also performed. Furthermore, transcript level analysis of MtBURP genes in response to drought stress revealed that all of the 39 BURP genes were regulated by drought stress. The results of this study reveal a comprehensive overview of the Medicago BURP gene family and provide the first step toward the selection of MtBURP genes for cloning and functional analysis of the BURP gene family in Medicago truncatula.
Horizontal Gene Acquisitions, Mobile Element Proliferation, and Genome Decay in the Host Restricted Plant Pathogen Erwinia Tracheiphila
Modern industrial agriculture depends on high-density cultivation of genetically similar crop plants, creating favorable conditions for the emergence of novel pathogens with increased fitness in managed compared with ecologically intact settings. Here, we present the genome sequence of six strains of the cucurbit bacterial wilt pathogen Erwinia tracheiphila (Enterobacteriaceae) isolated from infected squash plants in New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Michigan. These genomes exhibit a high proportion of recent horizontal gene acquisitions, invasion and remarkable amplification of mobile genetic elements, and pseudogenization of approximately 20% of the coding sequences. These genome attributes indicate that E. tracheiphila recently emerged as a host-restricted pathogen. Furthermore, chromosomal rearrangements associated with phage and transposable element proliferation contribute to substantial differences in gene content and genetic architecture between the six E. tracheiphila strains and other Erwinia species. Together, these data lead us to hypothesize that E. tracheiphila has undergone recent evolution through both genome decay (pseudogenization) and genome expansion (horizontal gene transfer and mobile element amplification). Despite evidence of dramatic genomic changes, the six strains are genetically monomorphic, suggesting a recent population bottleneck and emergence into E. tracheiphila’s current ecological niche. Modern industrial agriculture depends on high-density cultivation of genetically similar crop plants, creating favorable conditions for the emergence of novel pathogens with increased fitness in managed compared with ecologically intact settings. Here, we present the genome sequence of six strains of the cucurbit bacterial wilt pathogen Erwinia tracheiphila (Enterobacteriaceae) isolated from infected squash plants in New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Michigan. These genomes exhibit a high proportion of recent horizontal gene acquisitions, invasion and remarkable amplification of mobile genetic elements, and pseudogenization of approximately 20% of the coding sequences. These genome attributes indicate that E. tracheiphila recently emerged as a host-restricted pathogen. Furthermore, chromosomal rearrangements associated with phage and transposable element proliferation contribute to substantial differences in gene content and genetic architecture between the six E. tracheiphila strains and other Erwinia species. Together, these data lead us to hypothesize that E. tracheiphila has undergone recent evolution through both genome decay (pseudogenization) and genome expansion (horizontal gene transfer and mobile element amplification). Despite evidence of dramatic genomic changes, the six strains are genetically monomorphic, suggesting a recent population bottleneck and emergence into E. tracheiphila’s current ecological niche.
Gene Expression Variation Resolves Species and Individual Strains among Coral Associated Dinoflagellates within the Genus Symbiodinium
Reef-building corals depend on symbiotic mutualisms with photosynthetic dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium. This large microalgal group comprises many highly divergent lineages (“Clades A–I”) and hundreds of undescribed species. Given their ecological importance, efforts have turned to genomic approaches to characterize the functional ecology of Symbiodinium. To date, investigators have only compared gene expression between representatives from separate clades—the equivalent of contrasting genera or families in other dinoflagellate groups—making it impossible to distinguish between clade-level and species-level functional differences. Here, we examined the transcriptomes of four species within one Symbiodinium clade (Clade B) at ∼20,000 orthologous genes, as well as multiple isoclonal cell lines within species (i.e., cultured strains). These species span two major adaptive radiations within Clade B, each encompassing both host-specialized and ecologically cryptic taxa. Species-specific expression differences were consistently enriched for photosynthesis-related genes, likely reflecting selection pressures driving niche diversification. Transcriptional variation among strains involved fatty acid metabolism and biosynthesis pathways. Such differences among individuals are potentially a major source of physiological variation, contributing to the functional diversity of coral holobionts composed of unique host–symbiont genotype pairings. Our findings expand the genomic resources available for this important symbiont group and emphasize the power of comparative transcriptomics as a method for studying speciation processes and interindividual variation in nonmodel organisms. Reef-building corals depend on symbiotic mutualisms with photosynthetic dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium. This large microalgal group comprises many highly divergent lineages (“Clades A–I”) and hundreds of undescribed species. Given their ecological importance, efforts have turned to genomic approaches to characterize the functional ecology of Symbiodinium. To date, investigators have only compared gene expression between representatives from separate clades—the equivalent of contrasting genera or families in other dinoflagellate groups—making it impossible to distinguish between clade-level and species-level functional differences. Here, we examined the transcriptomes of four species within one Symbiodinium clade (Clade B) at ∼20,000 orthologous genes, as well as multiple isoclonal cell lines within species (i.e., cultured strains). These species span two major adaptive radiations within Clade B, each encompassing both host-specialized and ecologically cryptic taxa. Species-specific expression differences were consistently enriched for photosynthesis-related genes, likely reflecting selection pressures driving niche diversification. Transcriptional variation among strains involved fatty acid metabolism and biosynthesis pathways. Such differences among individuals are potentially a major source of physiological variation, contributing to the functional diversity of coral holobionts composed of unique host–symbiont genotype pairings. Our findings expand the genomic resources available for this important symbiont group and emphasize the power of comparative transcriptomics as a method for studying speciation processes and interindividual variation in nonmodel organisms.
Identification and Genomic Analysis of a Novel Group C Orthobunyavirus Isolated from a Mosquito Captured near Iquitos, Peru
Author Summary Arthropod-borne viruses remain a significant cause of human and domestic animal disease and new viruses are constantly being discovered. RNA virus discovery and assembly remains a challenge due to highly polymorphic genomes, current lack of breadth and depth of publicly available viral genomes, and confounding factors due to host sequence and sequencing biases. We describe the discovery and genome assembly of El Huayo virus, a group C orthobunyavirus isolated from a pool of Culex portesi mosquitoes captured near Iquitos, Peru, and named for the Jardin Botanicao Arboretum El Huayo near where the Cx. portesi from which the virus was isolated were captured. Although orthobunyaviruses are not commonly associated with human disease, Group C members are widespread in Central and South America and known to cause febrile illness. The discovery, and genome assembly, of El Huayo virus may help to explain numerous dengue-like illnesses where Aedes aegypti are not commonly found. Author Summary Arthropod-borne viruses remain a significant cause of human and domestic animal disease and new viruses are constantly being discovered. RNA virus discovery and assembly remains a challenge due to highly polymorphic genomes, current lack of breadth and depth of publicly available viral genomes, and confounding factors due to host sequence and sequencing biases. We describe the discovery and genome assembly of El Huayo virus, a group C orthobunyavirus isolated from a pool of Culex portesi mosquitoes captured near Iquitos, Peru, and named for the Jardin Botanicao Arboretum El Huayo near where the Cx. portesi from which the virus was isolated were captured. Although orthobunyaviruses are not commonly associated with human disease, Group C members are widespread in Central and South America and known to cause febrile illness. The discovery, and genome assembly, of El Huayo virus may help to explain numerous dengue-like illnesses where Aedes aegypti are not commonly found.Group C orthobunyaviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses found in both South and North America. Until very recently, and despite their status as important vector-borne human pathogens, no Group C whole genome sequences containing all three segments were available in public databases. Here we report a Group C orthobunyavirus, named El Huayo virus, isolated from a pool of Culex portesi mosquitoes captured near Iquitos, Peru. Although initial metagenomic analysis yielded only a handful of reads belonging to the genus Orthobunyavirus, single contig assemblies were generated for L, M, and S segments totaling over 200,000 reads (~0.5% of sample). Given the moderately high viremia in hamsters (>107 plaque-forming units/ml) and the propensity for Cx. portesi to feed on rodents, it is possible that El Huayo virus is maintained in nature in a Culex portesi/rodent cycle. El Huayo virus was found to be most similar to Peruvian Caraparu virus isolates and constitutes a novel subclade within Group C. Group C orthobunyaviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses found in both South and North America. Until very recently, and despite their status as important vector-borne human pathogens, no Group C whole genome sequences containing all three segments were available in public databases. Here we report a Group C orthobunyavirus, named El Huayo virus, isolated from a pool of Culex portesi mosquitoes captured near Iquitos, Peru. Although initial metagenomic analysis yielded only a handful of reads belonging to the genus Orthobunyavirus, single contig assemblies were generated for L, M, and S segments totaling over 200,000 reads (~0.5% of sample). Given the moderately high viremia in hamsters (>107 plaque-forming units/ml) and the propensity for Cx. portesi to feed on rodents, it is possible that El Huayo virus is maintained in nature in a Culex portesi/rodent cycle. El Huayo virus was found to be most similar to Peruvian Caraparu virus isolates and constitutes a novel subclade within Group C.
De Novo and Rare Variants at Multiple Loci Support the Oligogenic Origins of Atrioventricular Septal Heart Defects
Author Summary Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a leading cause of childhood morbidity in the developed world. There are few prevalent clinical risk factors and though it is possible that up to 90% of risk for CHD may be genetic, the number of genes clinically associated with disease is small. Rather than grouping disparate CHD phenotypes as other studies have done, we studied a single specific malformation- the atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD). Instead of recurrent variation in a handful of genes, we observed de novo and inherited variation in 19 genes associated with human disease, syndromic loci, and genes implicated in cardiac development by mouse knockout. The number of loci identified support the longstanding hypothesis of a complex oligogenic inheritance for a single malformation and suggest that analyses of CHD data to include inherited variation may uncover additional loci contributing risk for cardiac malformations. Author Summary Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a leading cause of childhood morbidity in the developed world. There are few prevalent clinical risk factors and though it is possible that up to 90% of risk for CHD may be genetic, the number of genes clinically associated with disease is small. Rather than grouping disparate CHD phenotypes as other studies have done, we studied a single specific malformation- the atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD). Instead of recurrent variation in a handful of genes, we observed de novo and inherited variation in 19 genes associated with human disease, syndromic loci, and genes implicated in cardiac development by mouse knockout. The number of loci identified support the longstanding hypothesis of a complex oligogenic inheritance for a single malformation and suggest that analyses of CHD data to include inherited variation may uncover additional loci contributing risk for cardiac malformations.Congenital heart disease (CHD) has a complex genetic etiology, and recent studies suggest that high penetrance de novo mutations may account for only a small fraction of disease. In a multi-institutional cohort surveyed by exome sequencing, combining analysis of 987 individuals (discovery cohort of 59 affected trios and 59 control trios, and a replication cohort of 100 affected singletons and 533 unaffected singletons) we observe variation at novel and known loci related to a specific cardiac malformation the atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD). In a primary analysis, by combining developmental coexpression networks with inheritance modeling, we identify a de novo mutation in the DNA binding domain of NR1D2 (p.R175W). We show that p.R175W changes the transcriptional activity of Nr1d2 using an in vitro transactivation model in HUVEC cells. Finally, we demonstrate previously unrecognized cardiovascular malformations in the Nr1d2tm1-Dgen knockout mouse. In secondary analyses we map genetic variation to protein-interaction networks suggesting a role for two collagen genes in AVSD, which we corroborate by burden testing in a second replication cohort of 100 AVSDs and 533 controls (p = 8.37e-08). Finally, we apply a rare-disease inheritance model to identify variation in genes previously associated with CHD (ZFPM2, NSD1, NOTCH1, VCAN, and MYH6), cardiac malformations in mouse models (ADAM17, CHRD, IFT140, PTPRJ, RYR1 and ATE1), and hypomorphic alleles of genes causing syndromic CHD (EHMT1, SRCAP, BBS2, NOTCH2, and KMT2D) in 14 of 59 trios, greatly exceeding variation in control trios without CHD (p = 9.60e-06). In total, 32% of trios carried at least one putatively disease-associated variant across 19 loci,suggesting that inherited and de novo variation across a heterogeneous group of loci may contribute to disease risk. Congenital heart disease (CHD) has a complex genetic etiology, and recent studies suggest that high penetrance de novo mutations may account for only a small fraction of disease. In a multi-institutional cohort surveyed by exome sequencing, combining analysis of 987 individuals (discovery cohort of 59 affected trios and 59 control trios, and a replication cohort of 100 affected singletons and 533 unaffected singletons) we observe variation at novel and known loci related to a specific cardiac malformation the atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD). In a primary analysis, by combining developmental coexpression networks with inheritance modeling, we identify a de novo mutation in the DNA binding domain of NR1D2 (p.R175W). We show that p.R175W changes the transcriptional activity of Nr1d2 using an in vitro transactivation model in HUVEC cells. Finally, we demonstrate previously unrecognized cardiovascular malformations in the Nr1d2tm1-Dgen knockout mouse. In secondary analyses we map genetic variation to protein-interaction networks suggesting a role for two collagen genes in AVSD, which we corroborate by burden testing in a second replication cohort of 100 AVSDs and 533 controls (p = 8.37e-08). Finally, we apply a rare-disease inheritance model to identify variation in genes previously associated with CHD (ZFPM2, NSD1, NOTCH1, VCAN, and MYH6), cardiac malformations in mouse models (ADAM17, CHRD, IFT140, PTPRJ, RYR1 and ATE1), and hypomorphic alleles of genes causing syndromic CHD (EHMT1, SRCAP, BBS2, NOTCH2, and KMT2D) in 14 of 59 trios, greatly exceeding variation in control trios without CHD (p = 9.60e-06). In total, 32% of trios carried at least one putatively disease-associated variant across 19 loci,suggesting that inherited and de novo variation across a heterogeneous group of loci may contribute to disease risk.
Advances in understanding – genetic basis of intellectual disability
Intellectual disability is the most common developmental disorder characterized by a congenital limitation in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior. It often co-occurs with other mental conditions like attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder, and can be part of a malformation syndrome that affects other organs. Considering the heterogeneity of its causes (environmental and genetic), its frequency worldwide varies greatly. This review focuses on known genes underlying (syndromic and non-syndromic) intellectual disability, it provides a succinct analysis of their Gene Ontology, and it suggests the use of transcriptional profiling for the prioritization of candidate genes. Intellectual disability is the most common developmental disorder characterized by a congenital limitation in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior. It often co-occurs with other mental conditions like attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder, and can be part of a malformation syndrome that affects other organs. Considering the heterogeneity of its causes (environmental and genetic), its frequency worldwide varies greatly. This review focuses on known genes underlying (syndromic and non-syndromic) intellectual disability, it provides a succinct analysis of their Gene Ontology, and it suggests the use of transcriptional profiling for the prioritization of candidate genes.
Transcriptome landscape of Lactococcus lactis reveals many novel RNAs including a small regulatory RNA involved in carbon uptake and metabolism
ABSTRACT RNA sequencing has revolutionized genome-wide transcriptome analyses, and the identification of non-coding regulatory RNAs in bacteria has thus increased concurrently. Here we reveal the transcriptome map of the lactic acid bacterial paradigm Lactococcus lactis MG1363 by employing differential RNA sequencing (dRNA-seq) and a combination of manual and automated transcriptome mining. This resulted in a high-resolution genome annotation of L. lactis and the identification of 60 cis-encoded antisense RNAs (asRNAs), 186 trans-encoded putative regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) and 134 novel small ORFs. Based on the putative targets of asRNAs, a novel classification is proposed. Several transcription factor DNA binding motifs were identified in the promoter sequences of (a)sRNAs, providing insight in the interplay between lactococcal regulatory RNAs and transcription factors. The presence and lengths of 14 putative sRNAs were experimentally confirmed by differential Northern hybridization, including the abundant RNA 6S that is differentially expressed depending on the available carbon source. For another sRNA, LLMGnc_147, functional analysis revealed that it is involved in carbon uptake and metabolism. L. lactis contains 13% leaderless mRNAs (lmRNAs) that, from an analysis of overrepresentation in GO classes, seem predominantly involved in nucleotide metabolism and DNA/RNA binding. Moreover, an A-rich sequence motif immediately following the start codon was uncovered, which could provide novel insight in the translation of lmRNAs. Altogether, this first experimental genome-wide assessment of the transcriptome landscape of L. lactis and subsequent sRNA studies provide an extensive basis for the investigation of regulatory RNAs in L. lactis and related lactococcal species. ABSTRACT RNA sequencing has revolutionized genome-wide transcriptome analyses, and the identification of non-coding regulatory RNAs in bacteria has thus increased concurrently. Here we reveal the transcriptome map of the lactic acid bacterial paradigm Lactococcus lactis MG1363 by employing differential RNA sequencing (dRNA-seq) and a combination of manual and automated transcriptome mining. This resulted in a high-resolution genome annotation of L. lactis and the identification of 60 cis-encoded antisense RNAs (asRNAs), 186 trans-encoded putative regulatory RNAs (sRNAs) and 134 novel small ORFs. Based on the putative targets of asRNAs, a novel classification is proposed. Several transcription factor DNA binding motifs were identified in the promoter sequences of (a)sRNAs, providing insight in the interplay between lactococcal regulatory RNAs and transcription factors. The presence and lengths of 14 putative sRNAs were experimentally confirmed by differential Northern hybridization, including the abundant RNA 6S that is differentially expressed depending on the available carbon source. For another sRNA, LLMGnc_147, functional analysis revealed that it is involved in carbon uptake and metabolism. L. lactis contains 13% leaderless mRNAs (lmRNAs) that, from an analysis of overrepresentation in GO classes, seem predominantly involved in nucleotide metabolism and DNA/RNA binding. Moreover, an A-rich sequence motif immediately following the start codon was uncovered, which could provide novel insight in the translation of lmRNAs. Altogether, this first experimental genome-wide assessment of the transcriptome landscape of L. lactis and subsequent sRNA studies provide an extensive basis for the investigation of regulatory RNAs in L. lactis and related lactococcal species.
GacA is essential for Group A S treptococcus and defines a new class of monomeric dTDP‐4‐dehydrorhamnose reductases (RmlD)
Summary The sugar nucleotide dTDP‐L‐rhamnose is critical for the biosynthesis of the Group A Carbohydrate, the molecular signature and virulence determinant of the human pathogen Group A S treptococcus (GAS). The final step of the four‐step dTDP‐L‐rhamnose biosynthesis pathway is catalyzed by dTDP‐4‐dehydrorhamnose reductases (RmlD). RmlD from the Gram‐negative bacterium S almonella is the only structurally characterized family member and requires metal‐dependent homo‐dimerization for enzymatic activity. Using a biochemical and structural biology approach, we demonstrate that the only RmlD homologue from GAS, previously renamed GacA, functions in a novel monomeric manner. Sequence analysis of 213 Gram‐negative and Gram‐positive RmlD homologues predicts that enzymes from all Gram‐positive species lack a dimerization motif and function as monomers. The enzymatic function of GacA was confirmed through heterologous expression of gac A in a S. mutans rml D knockout, which restored attenuated growth and aberrant cell division. Finally, analysis of a saturated mutant GAS library using Tn‐sequencing and generation of a conditional‐expression mutant identified gac A as an essential gene for GAS. In conclusion, GacA is an essential monomeric enzyme in GAS and representative of monomeric RmlD enzymes in Gram‐positive bacteria and a subset of Gram‐negative bacteria. These results will help future screens for novel inhibitors of dTDP‐L‐rhamnose biosynthesis. Summary The sugar nucleotide dTDP‐L‐rhamnose is critical for the biosynthesis of the Group A Carbohydrate, the molecular signature and virulence determinant of the human pathogen Group A S treptococcus (GAS). The final step of the four‐step dTDP‐L‐rhamnose biosynthesis pathway is catalyzed by dTDP‐4‐dehydrorhamnose reductases (RmlD). RmlD from the Gram‐negative bacterium S almonella is the only structurally characterized family member and requires metal‐dependent homo‐dimerization for enzymatic activity. Using a biochemical and structural biology approach, we demonstrate that the only RmlD homologue from GAS, previously renamed GacA, functions in a novel monomeric manner. Sequence analysis of 213 Gram‐negative and Gram‐positive RmlD homologues predicts that enzymes from all Gram‐positive species lack a dimerization motif and function as monomers. The enzymatic function of GacA was confirmed through heterologous expression of gac A in a S. mutans rml D knockout, which restored attenuated growth and aberrant cell division. Finally, analysis of a saturated mutant GAS library using Tn‐sequencing and generation of a conditional‐expression mutant identified gac A as an essential gene for GAS. In conclusion, GacA is an essential monomeric enzyme in GAS and representative of monomeric RmlD enzymes in Gram‐positive bacteria and a subset of Gram‐negative bacteria. These results will help future screens for novel inhibitors of dTDP‐L‐rhamnose biosynthesis.
A human haploid gene trap collection to study lncRNAs with unusual RNA biology
ABSTRACT Many thousand long non-coding (lnc) RNAs are mapped in the human genome. Time consuming studies using reverse genetic approaches by post-transcriptional knock-down or genetic modification of the locus demonstrated diverse biological functions for a few of these transcripts. The Human Gene Trap Mutant Collection in haploid KBM7 cells is a ready-to-use tool for studying protein-coding gene function. As lncRNAs show remarkable differences in RNA biology compared to protein-coding genes, it is unclear if this gene trap collection is useful for functional analysis of lncRNAs. Here we use the uncharacterized LOC100288798 lncRNA as a model to answer this question. Using public RNA-seq data we show that LOC100288798 is ubiquitously expressed, but inefficiently spliced. The minor spliced LOC100288798 isoforms are exported to the cytoplasm, whereas the major unspliced isoform is nuclear localized. This shows that LOC100288798 RNA biology differs markedly from typical mRNAs. De novo assembly from RNA-seq data suggests that LOC100288798 extends 289kb beyond its annotated 3' end and overlaps the downstream SLC38A4 gene. Three cell lines with independent gene trap insertions in LOC100288798 were available from the KBM7 gene trap collection. RT-qPCR and RNA-seq confirmed successful lncRNA truncation and its extended length. Expression analysis from RNA-seq data shows significant deregulation of 41 protein-coding genes upon LOC100288798 truncation. Our data shows that gene trap collections in human haploid cell lines are useful tools to study lncRNAs, and identifies the previously uncharacterized LOC100288798 as a potential gene regulator. ABSTRACT Many thousand long non-coding (lnc) RNAs are mapped in the human genome. Time consuming studies using reverse genetic approaches by post-transcriptional knock-down or genetic modification of the locus demonstrated diverse biological functions for a few of these transcripts. The Human Gene Trap Mutant Collection in haploid KBM7 cells is a ready-to-use tool for studying protein-coding gene function. As lncRNAs show remarkable differences in RNA biology compared to protein-coding genes, it is unclear if this gene trap collection is useful for functional analysis of lncRNAs. Here we use the uncharacterized LOC100288798 lncRNA as a model to answer this question. Using public RNA-seq data we show that LOC100288798 is ubiquitously expressed, but inefficiently spliced. The minor spliced LOC100288798 isoforms are exported to the cytoplasm, whereas the major unspliced isoform is nuclear localized. This shows that LOC100288798 RNA biology differs markedly from typical mRNAs. De novo assembly from RNA-seq data suggests that LOC100288798 extends 289kb beyond its annotated 3' end and overlaps the downstream SLC38A4 gene. Three cell lines with independent gene trap insertions in LOC100288798 were available from the KBM7 gene trap collection. RT-qPCR and RNA-seq confirmed successful lncRNA truncation and its extended length. Expression analysis from RNA-seq data shows significant deregulation of 41 protein-coding genes upon LOC100288798 truncation. Our data shows that gene trap collections in human haploid cell lines are useful tools to study lncRNAs, and identifies the previously uncharacterized LOC100288798 as a potential gene regulator.
Draft Genome Sequence of the New Pathogen for Bivalve Larvae Vibrio bivalvicida
Vibrio bivalvicida is a novel pathogen of bivalve larvae responsible for recent vibriosis outbreaks affecting shellfish hatcheries. Here, we announce the draft genome sequence of V. bivalvicida 605T and describe potential virulence factors. Vibrio bivalvicida is a novel pathogen of bivalve larvae responsible for recent vibriosis outbreaks affecting shellfish hatcheries. Here, we announce the draft genome sequence of V. bivalvicida 605T and describe potential virulence factors.
No Distinction of Orthology/Paralogy between Human and Chimpanzee Rh Blood Group Genes
On human (Homo sapiens) chromosome 1, there is a tandem duplication encompassing Rh blood group genes (Hosa_RHD and Hosa_RHCE). This duplication occurred in the common ancestor of humans, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), and gorillas, after splitting from their common ancestor with orangutans. Although several studies have been conducted on ape Rh blood group genes, the clear genome structures of the gene clusters remain unknown. Here, we determined the genome structure of the gene cluster of chimpanzee Rh genes by sequencing five BAC (Bacterial Artificial Chromosome) clones derived from chimpanzees. We characterized three complete loci (Patr_RHα, Patr_RHβ, and Patr_RHγ). In the Patr_RHβ locus, a short version of the gene, which lacked the middle part containing exons 4–8, was observed. The Patr_RHα and Patr_RHβ genes were located on the locations corresponding to Hosa_RHD and Hosa_RHCE, respectively, and Patr_RHγ was in the immediate vicinity of Patr_RHβ. Sequence comparisons revealed high sequence similarity between Patr_RHβ and Hosa_RHCE, while the chimpanzee Rh gene closest to Hosa_RHD was not Patr_RHα but rather Patr_RHγ. The results suggest that rearrangements and gene conversions frequently occurred between these genes and that the classic orthology/paralogy dichotomy no longer holds between human and chimpanzee Rh blood group genes. On human (Homo sapiens) chromosome 1, there is a tandem duplication encompassing Rh blood group genes (Hosa_RHD and Hosa_RHCE). This duplication occurred in the common ancestor of humans, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), and gorillas, after splitting from their common ancestor with orangutans. Although several studies have been conducted on ape Rh blood group genes, the clear genome structures of the gene clusters remain unknown. Here, we determined the genome structure of the gene cluster of chimpanzee Rh genes by sequencing five BAC (Bacterial Artificial Chromosome) clones derived from chimpanzees. We characterized three complete loci (Patr_RHα, Patr_RHβ, and Patr_RHγ). In the Patr_RHβ locus, a short version of the gene, which lacked the middle part containing exons 4–8, was observed. The Patr_RHα and Patr_RHβ genes were located on the locations corresponding to Hosa_RHD and Hosa_RHCE, respectively, and Patr_RHγ was in the immediate vicinity of Patr_RHβ. Sequence comparisons revealed high sequence similarity between Patr_RHβ and Hosa_RHCE, while the chimpanzee Rh gene closest to Hosa_RHD was not Patr_RHα but rather Patr_RHγ. The results suggest that rearrangements and gene conversions frequently occurred between these genes and that the classic orthology/paralogy dichotomy no longer holds between human and chimpanzee Rh blood group genes.
The gut microbiome and degradation enzyme activity of wild freshwater fishes influenced by their trophic levels
Vertebrate gut microbiome often underpins the metabolic capability and provides many beneficial effects on their hosts. However, little was known about how host trophic level influences fish gut microbiota and metabolic activity. In this study, more than 985,000 quality-filtered sequences from 24 16S rRNA libraries were obtained and the results revealed distinct compositions and diversities of gut microbiota in four trophic categories. PCoA test showed that gut bacterial communities of carnivorous and herbivorous fishes formed distinctly different clusters in PCoA space. Although fish in different trophic levels shared a large size of OTUs comprising a core microbiota community, at the genus level a strong distinction existed. Cellulose-degrading bacteria Clostridium, Citrobacter and Leptotrichia were dominant in the herbivorous, while Cetobacterium and protease-producing bacteria Halomonas were dominant in the carnivorous. PICRUSt predictions of metagenome function revealed that fishes in different trophic levels affected the metabolic capacity of their gut microbiota. Moreover, cellulase and amylase activities in herbivorous fishes were significantly higher than in the carnivorous, while trypsin activity in the carnivorous was much higher than in the herbivorous. These results indicated that host trophic level influenced the structure and composition of gut microbiota, metabolic capacity and gut content enzyme activity. Vertebrate gut microbiome often underpins the metabolic capability and provides many beneficial effects on their hosts. However, little was known about how host trophic level influences fish gut microbiota and metabolic activity. In this study, more than 985,000 quality-filtered sequences from 24 16S rRNA libraries were obtained and the results revealed distinct compositions and diversities of gut microbiota in four trophic categories. PCoA test showed that gut bacterial communities of carnivorous and herbivorous fishes formed distinctly different clusters in PCoA space. Although fish in different trophic levels shared a large size of OTUs comprising a core microbiota community, at the genus level a strong distinction existed. Cellulose-degrading bacteria Clostridium, Citrobacter and Leptotrichia were dominant in the herbivorous, while Cetobacterium and protease-producing bacteria Halomonas were dominant in the carnivorous. PICRUSt predictions of metagenome function revealed that fishes in different trophic levels affected the metabolic capacity of their gut microbiota. Moreover, cellulase and amylase activities in herbivorous fishes were significantly higher than in the carnivorous, while trypsin activity in the carnivorous was much higher than in the herbivorous. These results indicated that host trophic level influenced the structure and composition of gut microbiota, metabolic capacity and gut content enzyme activity.
Genome Sequence of Pseudomonas sp. HUK17, Isolated from Hexachlorocyclohexane Contaminated Soil
Pseudomonas sp. HUK17 has been isolated from hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) long-term contaminated soil. The genome of strain HUK17 was sequenced to elucidate its adaptation toward HCH and to evaluate the presence of pesticide degradation pathways. Here, we report the annotated draft genome sequence (~2.6 Mbp) of this strain. Pseudomonas sp. HUK17 has been isolated from hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) long-term contaminated soil. The genome of strain HUK17 was sequenced to elucidate its adaptation toward HCH and to evaluate the presence of pesticide degradation pathways. Here, we report the annotated draft genome sequence (~2.6 Mbp) of this strain.
Draft Whole Genome Sequences of Escherichia fergusonii Strains Isolated from Beef Trim (GTA EF02), Ground Beef (GTA EF03), and Chopped Kale (GTA EF04)
Escherichia fergusonii is a Gram-negative, rod-shaped, non-spore-forming member of the Enterobacteriaceae family and is a bacterium with both biotechnological applications and implication in human clinical disease. Here, we report the draft genome sequences of three isolates of E. fergusonii from beef trim (GTA-EF02), ground beef (GTA-EF03), and chopped kale (GTA-EF04). Escherichia fergusonii is a Gram-negative, rod-shaped, non-spore-forming member of the Enterobacteriaceae family and is a bacterium with both biotechnological applications and implication in human clinical disease. Here, we report the draft genome sequences of three isolates of E. fergusonii from beef trim (GTA-EF02), ground beef (GTA-EF03), and chopped kale (GTA-EF04).
Draft Genome Sequence of the Strict Anaerobe Clostridium neopropionicum X4 (DSM 3847T)
Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Clostridium neopropionicum X4 (DSM 3847T), a strictly anaerobic bacterium capable of fermenting ethanol and CO2 to propionate, acetate, and propanol. The genome consists of a single chromosome (3.19 Mb). Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Clostridium neopropionicum X4 (DSM 3847T), a strictly anaerobic bacterium capable of fermenting ethanol and CO2 to propionate, acetate, and propanol. The genome consists of a single chromosome (3.19 Mb).
Genome Sequences of Nine Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Isolates from South America
We report nine full-genome sequences of vesicular stomatitis virus obtained by Illumina next-generation sequencing of RNA, isolated from either cattle epithelial suspensions or cell culture supernatants. Seven of these viral genomes belonged to the New Jersey serotype/species (clade III), while two isolates belonged to the Indiana serotype/species. We report nine full-genome sequences of vesicular stomatitis virus obtained by Illumina next-generation sequencing of RNA, isolated from either cattle epithelial suspensions or cell culture supernatants. Seven of these viral genomes belonged to the New Jersey serotype/species (clade III), while two isolates belonged to the Indiana serotype/species.
Genome Sequence of Salegentibacter mishustinae KCTC 12263, Containing a Complete Subtype I B CRISPR Cas System
Salegentibacter mishustinae KCTC strain 12263 was isolated from the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus intermedius inhabiting the Sea of Japan. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Salegentibacter mishustinae KCTC 12263. It comprises ~3.78 Mb in 38 contigs with a G+C content of 36.5%, and a total of 3,490 proteins-coding genes were obtained. One complete CRISPR-Cas gene cluster was identified in the genome, which shows the strategy against invasive genetic elements of the strain. Salegentibacter mishustinae KCTC strain 12263 was isolated from the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus intermedius inhabiting the Sea of Japan. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Salegentibacter mishustinae KCTC 12263. It comprises ~3.78 Mb in 38 contigs with a G+C content of 36.5%, and a total of 3,490 proteins-coding genes were obtained. One complete CRISPR-Cas gene cluster was identified in the genome, which shows the strategy against invasive genetic elements of the strain.
Draft Genome Sequence of Providencia heimbachae, Isolated from a Diabetic Foot Ulcer
Providencia spp. are ubiquitous Gram-negative bacteria of the family Enterobacteriaceae that are common opportunistic pathogens. In the present work, we have sequenced, annotated, and compared the draft genome of Providencia heimbachae, which was recovered from a diabetic foot ulcer. It is composed of 4.22 Mb and encodes 3,843 protein-coding genes and 79 RNA genes, including 11 rRNA genes. Providencia spp. are ubiquitous Gram-negative bacteria of the family Enterobacteriaceae that are common opportunistic pathogens. In the present work, we have sequenced, annotated, and compared the draft genome of Providencia heimbachae, which was recovered from a diabetic foot ulcer. It is composed of 4.22 Mb and encodes 3,843 protein-coding genes and 79 RNA genes, including 11 rRNA genes.
Draft Genome Sequence of Alkane Degrading Acinetobacter venetianus JKSF02, Isolated from Contaminated Sediment of the San Jacinto River in Houston, Texas
Acinetobacter venetianus JKSF02 was isolated from contaminated sediment in eastern Houston, Texas along the San Jacinto River. This microorganism specializes in n-alkane degradation and is well suited for bioremediation of the petroleum hydrocarbon deposited throughout the region by shipping and industrial activity from the Houston Ship Channel. Acinetobacter venetianus JKSF02 was isolated from contaminated sediment in eastern Houston, Texas along the San Jacinto River. This microorganism specializes in n-alkane degradation and is well suited for bioremediation of the petroleum hydrocarbon deposited throughout the region by shipping and industrial activity from the Houston Ship Channel.
Draft Genome Sequence of Pseudomonas stutzeri ODKF13, Isolated from Farmland Soil in Alvin, Texas
Pseudomonas stutzeri ODKF13 is a bacterial microorganism isolated from farmland soil in Alvin, Texas. This strain is notable for its naphthalene degradation and nitrogen fixation pathways and for its characterization as an organophosphate degrader of phosphotriester and phosphorothioate insecticides. Pseudomonas stutzeri ODKF13 is a bacterial microorganism isolated from farmland soil in Alvin, Texas. This strain is notable for its naphthalene degradation and nitrogen fixation pathways and for its characterization as an organophosphate degrader of phosphotriester and phosphorothioate insecticides.
Complete Genome Sequence of the Amino Acid Fermenting Clostridium propionicum X2 (DSM 1682)
Clostridium propionicum is a strict anaerobic, Gram positive, rod-shaped bacterium that belongs to the clostridial cluster XIVb. The genome consists of one replicon (3.1 Mb) and harbors 2,936 predicted protein-encoding genes. The genome encodes all enzymes required for fermentation of the amino acids α-alanine, β-alanine, serine, threonine, and methionine. Clostridium propionicum is a strict anaerobic, Gram positive, rod-shaped bacterium that belongs to the clostridial cluster XIVb. The genome consists of one replicon (3.1 Mb) and harbors 2,936 predicted protein-encoding genes. The genome encodes all enzymes required for fermentation of the amino acids α-alanine, β-alanine, serine, threonine, and methionine.
Expression and characterization of a novel 1,3 regioselective cold adapted lipase from Rhizomucor endophyticus suitable for biodiesel synthesis
Background The biodiesel production can be carried out by transesterification using either chemical or enzymatic process. The enzymatic transesterification is more promising as it offers an environmental friendly option compared to the chemical process, where the lipases with high catalytic efficiency and good stability play a key role. Hence, it is of great value to identify novel lipases which are suitable for biodiesel production. Results A lipase gene (ReLipA) from Rhizomucor endophyticus was cloned and heterologously expressed in Pichia pastoris. ReLipA shared the highest identity of 61 % with the lipases from Rhizopus delemar, Rhizopus oryzae, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The recombinant lipase (ReLipA) was secreted as an active protein with the highest activity of 1961 U mL−1 in a 5-L fermentor by high cell-density fermentation. ReLipA was purified to homogeneity with a recovery yield of 75.7 %. The purified enzyme was most active at pH 6.0 and 40 °C, respectively, and it was stable up to 55 °C. ReLipA displayed 75 % of its maximal activity at 0 °C, indicating that it is a cold-adapted lipase. It exhibited broad substrate specificity toward various p-nitrophenyl esters and triglycerides. ReLipA hydrolyzed triolein to release mainly 1,2-diolein without the formation of 1,3-diolein, suggesting that it is a sn-1,3 regiospecific lipase. Furthermore, ReLipA synthesized different types of oleates by esterification using oleic acid and short chain alcohols (e.g., methanol, ethanol, and butanol) as the substrates with the highest conversion yield of 82.2 %. Therefore, the cold-adapted lipase may be a good biocatalyst in ester synthesis in biodiesel industry. Conclusions A novel cold-adapted lipase was identified and characterized. The high yield and excellent properties may confer the enzyme with great potential for biodiesel production in bioenergy industry. This is the first report on a cold-adapted lipase from Rhizomucor species. Background The biodiesel production can be carried out by transesterification using either chemical or enzymatic process. The enzymatic transesterification is more promising as it offers an environmental friendly option compared to the chemical process, where the lipases with high catalytic efficiency and good stability play a key role. Hence, it is of great value to identify novel lipases which are suitable for biodiesel production. Results A lipase gene (ReLipA) from Rhizomucor endophyticus was cloned and heterologously expressed in Pichia pastoris. ReLipA shared the highest identity of 61 % with the lipases from Rhizopus delemar, Rhizopus oryzae, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The recombinant lipase (ReLipA) was secreted as an active protein with the highest activity of 1961 U mL−1 in a 5-L fermentor by high cell-density fermentation. ReLipA was purified to homogeneity with a recovery yield of 75.7 %. The purified enzyme was most active at pH 6.0 and 40 °C, respectively, and it was stable up to 55 °C. ReLipA displayed 75 % of its maximal activity at 0 °C, indicating that it is a cold-adapted lipase. It exhibited broad substrate specificity toward various p-nitrophenyl esters and triglycerides. ReLipA hydrolyzed triolein to release mainly 1,2-diolein without the formation of 1,3-diolein, suggesting that it is a sn-1,3 regiospecific lipase. Furthermore, ReLipA synthesized different types of oleates by esterification using oleic acid and short chain alcohols (e.g., methanol, ethanol, and butanol) as the substrates with the highest conversion yield of 82.2 %. Therefore, the cold-adapted lipase may be a good biocatalyst in ester synthesis in biodiesel industry. Conclusions A novel cold-adapted lipase was identified and characterized. The high yield and excellent properties may confer the enzyme with great potential for biodiesel production in bioenergy industry. This is the first report on a cold-adapted lipase from Rhizomucor species.
Unique geometry of sister kinetochores in human oocytes during meiosis I may explain maternal age associated increases in chromosomal abnormalities
Summary: Sister kinetochores in meiosis I human oocytes are not physically fused, with the degree of separation increasing with maternal age. This may have implications for the high incidence of aneuploidy in human oocytes. Summary: Sister kinetochores in meiosis I human oocytes are not physically fused, with the degree of separation increasing with maternal age. This may have implications for the high incidence of aneuploidy in human oocytes.ABSTRACT The first meiotic division in human oocytes is highly error-prone and contributes to the uniquely high incidence of aneuploidy observed in human pregnancies. A successful meiosis I (MI) division entails separation of homologous chromosome pairs and co-segregation of sister chromatids. For this to happen, sister kinetochores must form attachments to spindle kinetochore-fibres emanating from the same pole. In mouse and budding yeast, sister kinetochores remain closely associated with each other during MI, enabling them to act as a single unified structure. However, whether this arrangement also applies in human meiosis I oocytes was unclear. In this study, we perform high-resolution imaging of over 1900 kinetochores in human oocytes, to examine the geometry and architecture of the human meiotic kinetochore. We reveal that sister kinetochores in MI are not physically fused, and instead individual kinetochores within a pair are capable of forming independent attachments to spindle k-fibres. Notably, with increasing female age, the separation between kinetochores increases, suggesting a degradation of centromeric cohesion and/or changes in kinetochore architecture. Our data suggest that the differential arrangement of sister kinetochores and dual k-fibre attachments may explain the high proportion of unstable attachments that form in MI and thus indicate why human oocytes are prone to aneuploidy, particularly with increasing maternal age. ABSTRACT The first meiotic division in human oocytes is highly error-prone and contributes to the uniquely high incidence of aneuploidy observed in human pregnancies. A successful meiosis I (MI) division entails separation of homologous chromosome pairs and co-segregation of sister chromatids. For this to happen, sister kinetochores must form attachments to spindle kinetochore-fibres emanating from the same pole. In mouse and budding yeast, sister kinetochores remain closely associated with each other during MI, enabling them to act as a single unified structure. However, whether this arrangement also applies in human meiosis I oocytes was unclear. In this study, we perform high-resolution imaging of over 1900 kinetochores in human oocytes, to examine the geometry and architecture of the human meiotic kinetochore. We reveal that sister kinetochores in MI are not physically fused, and instead individual kinetochores within a pair are capable of forming independent attachments to spindle k-fibres. Notably, with increasing female age, the separation between kinetochores increases, suggesting a degradation of centromeric cohesion and/or changes in kinetochore architecture. Our data suggest that the differential arrangement of sister kinetochores and dual k-fibre attachments may explain the high proportion of unstable attachments that form in MI and thus indicate why human oocytes are prone to aneuploidy, particularly with increasing maternal age.
Unearthing microbial diversity of Taxus rhizosphere via MiSeq high throughput amplicon sequencing and isolate characterization
The species variability and potential environmental functions of Taxus rhizosphere microbial community were studied by comparative analyses of 15 16S rRNA and 15 ITS MiSeq sequencing libraries from Taxus rhizospheres in subtropical and temperate regions of China, as well as by isolating laccase-producing strains and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading strains. Total reads could be assigned to 2,141 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) belonging to 31 bacteria phyla and 2,904 OTUs of at least seven fungi phyla. The abundance of Planctomycetes, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi was higher in T. cuspidata var. nana and T. × media rhizospheres than in T. mairei rhizosphere (NF), while Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria, Nitrospirae, and unclassified bacteria were more abundant in the latter. Ascomycota and Zygomycota were predominant in NF, while two temperate Taxus rhizospheres had more unclassified fungi, Basidiomycota, and Chytridiomycota. The bacterial/fungal community richness and diversity were lower in NF than in other two. Three dye decolorizing fungal isolates were shown to be highly efficient in removing three classes of reactive dye, while two PAH-degrading fungi were able to degrade recalcitrant benzo[a]pyrene. The present studies extend the knowledge pedigree of the microbial diversity populating rhizospheres, and exemplify the method shift in research and development of resource plant rhizosphere. The species variability and potential environmental functions of Taxus rhizosphere microbial community were studied by comparative analyses of 15 16S rRNA and 15 ITS MiSeq sequencing libraries from Taxus rhizospheres in subtropical and temperate regions of China, as well as by isolating laccase-producing strains and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-degrading strains. Total reads could be assigned to 2,141 Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) belonging to 31 bacteria phyla and 2,904 OTUs of at least seven fungi phyla. The abundance of Planctomycetes, Actinobacteria, and Chloroflexi was higher in T. cuspidata var. nana and T. × media rhizospheres than in T. mairei rhizosphere (NF), while Acidobacteria, Proteobacteria, Nitrospirae, and unclassified bacteria were more abundant in the latter. Ascomycota and Zygomycota were predominant in NF, while two temperate Taxus rhizospheres had more unclassified fungi, Basidiomycota, and Chytridiomycota. The bacterial/fungal community richness and diversity were lower in NF than in other two. Three dye decolorizing fungal isolates were shown to be highly efficient in removing three classes of reactive dye, while two PAH-degrading fungi were able to degrade recalcitrant benzo[a]pyrene. The present studies extend the knowledge pedigree of the microbial diversity populating rhizospheres, and exemplify the method shift in research and development of resource plant rhizosphere.
Diversity and Temporal Dynamics of the Epiphytic Bacterial Communities Associated with the Canopy Forming Seaweed Cystoseira compressa (Esper) Gerloff and Nizamuddin
Canopy-forming seaweed species of the genus Cystoseira form diverse and productive habitats along temperate rocky coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. Despite numerous studies on the rich macrofauna and flora associated with Cystoseira spp., there is little knowledge about the epiphytic bacteria. We analyzed bacterial populations associated with canopies of Cystoseira compressa, over an annual vegetative cycle (May-October), and their relationships with the bacterial populations in the surrounding seawater, at intertidal rocky shores in Vasto (Chieti—Italy). The bacterial diversity was assessed using Illumina Miseq sequences of V1-V3 hypervariable regions of 16S rRNA gene. C. compressa bacterial community was dominated by sequences of Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes, Verrucomicrobia, Actinobacteria, and Cyanobacteria especially of the Rhodobacteriaceae, Flavobacteriaceae, Sapropiraceae, Verrucomicrobiaceae, and Phyllobacteriaceae families. Seawater libraries were also dominated by Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes sequences, especially of the Candidatus Pelagibacter (SAR11) and Rhodobacteriaceae families, but were shown to be clearly distinct from C. compressa libraries with only few species in common between the two habitats. We observed a clear successional pattern in the epiphytic bacteria of C. compressa over time. These variations were characterized by gradual addition of OTUs (Verrucomicrobia, Actinobacteria and SR1) to the community over a growing season, indicative of a temporal gradient, rather than a radical reorganization of the bacterial community. Moreover, we also found an increase in abundance over time of Rhodobacteraceae, comprising six potential pathogenic genera, Ruegeria, Nautella, Aquimarina, Loktanella, Saprospira, and Phaeobacter which seemed to be associated to aged thalli of C. compressa. These bacteria could have the potential to affect the health and ecology of the algae, suggesting the hypothesis of a possible, but still unexplored, role of the microbial communities in contributing to the extensive ongoing declines of populations of Cystoseira spp. in the Mediterranean Sea. Canopy-forming seaweed species of the genus Cystoseira form diverse and productive habitats along temperate rocky coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. Despite numerous studies on the rich macrofauna and flora associated with Cystoseira spp., there is little knowledge about the epiphytic bacteria. We analyzed bacterial populations associated with canopies of Cystoseira compressa, over an annual vegetative cycle (May-October), and their relationships with the bacterial populations in the surrounding seawater, at intertidal rocky shores in Vasto (Chieti—Italy). The bacterial diversity was assessed using Illumina Miseq sequences of V1-V3 hypervariable regions of 16S rRNA gene. C. compressa bacterial community was dominated by sequences of Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes, Verrucomicrobia, Actinobacteria, and Cyanobacteria especially of the Rhodobacteriaceae, Flavobacteriaceae, Sapropiraceae, Verrucomicrobiaceae, and Phyllobacteriaceae families. Seawater libraries were also dominated by Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes sequences, especially of the Candidatus Pelagibacter (SAR11) and Rhodobacteriaceae families, but were shown to be clearly distinct from C. compressa libraries with only few species in common between the two habitats. We observed a clear successional pattern in the epiphytic bacteria of C. compressa over time. These variations were characterized by gradual addition of OTUs (Verrucomicrobia, Actinobacteria and SR1) to the community over a growing season, indicative of a temporal gradient, rather than a radical reorganization of the bacterial community. Moreover, we also found an increase in abundance over time of Rhodobacteraceae, comprising six potential pathogenic genera, Ruegeria, Nautella, Aquimarina, Loktanella, Saprospira, and Phaeobacter which seemed to be associated to aged thalli of C. compressa. These bacteria could have the potential to affect the health and ecology of the algae, suggesting the hypothesis of a possible, but still unexplored, role of the microbial communities in contributing to the extensive ongoing declines of populations of Cystoseira spp. in the Mediterranean Sea.
Population Dynamics of Bulking and Foaming Bacteria in a Full scale Wastewater Treatment Plant over Five Years
Bulking and foaming are two notorious problems in activated sludge wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), which are mainly associated with the excessive growth of bulking and foaming bacteria (BFB). However, studies on affecting factors of BFB in full-scale WWTPs are still limited. In this study, data sets of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) of 16S V3–V4 amplicons of 58 monthly activated sludge samples from a municipal WWTP was re-analyzed to investigate the BFB dynamics and further to study the determinative factors. The population of BFB occupied 0.6~36% (averagely 8.5% ± 7.3%) of the total bacteria and showed seasonal variations with higher abundance in winter-spring than summer-autumn. Pair-wise correlation analysis and canonical correlation analysis (CCA) showed that Gordonia sp. was positively correlated with NO2-N and negatively correlated with NO3-N, and Nostocodia limicola II Tetraspharea sp. was negatively correlated with temperature and positively correlated with NH3-N in activated sludge. Bacteria species correlated with BFB could be clustered into two negatively related modules. Moreover, with intensive time series sampling, the dominant BFB could be accurately modeled with environmental interaction network, i.e. environmental parameters and biotic interactions between BFB and related bacteria, indicating that abiotic and biotic factors were both crucial to the dynamics of BFB. Bulking and foaming are two notorious problems in activated sludge wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), which are mainly associated with the excessive growth of bulking and foaming bacteria (BFB). However, studies on affecting factors of BFB in full-scale WWTPs are still limited. In this study, data sets of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) of 16S V3–V4 amplicons of 58 monthly activated sludge samples from a municipal WWTP was re-analyzed to investigate the BFB dynamics and further to study the determinative factors. The population of BFB occupied 0.6~36% (averagely 8.5% ± 7.3%) of the total bacteria and showed seasonal variations with higher abundance in winter-spring than summer-autumn. Pair-wise correlation analysis and canonical correlation analysis (CCA) showed that Gordonia sp. was positively correlated with NO2-N and negatively correlated with NO3-N, and Nostocodia limicola II Tetraspharea sp. was negatively correlated with temperature and positively correlated with NH3-N in activated sludge. Bacteria species correlated with BFB could be clustered into two negatively related modules. Moreover, with intensive time series sampling, the dominant BFB could be accurately modeled with environmental interaction network, i.e. environmental parameters and biotic interactions between BFB and related bacteria, indicating that abiotic and biotic factors were both crucial to the dynamics of BFB.
Draft Genome Sequence of Agrobacterium sp. Strain R89 1, a Morphine Alkaloid Biotransforming Bacterium
Agrobacterium sp. strain R89-1 isolated from composted wastes of Papaver somniferum can effectively biotransform codeine/morphine into 14-OH-derivatives. Here, we present a 4.7-Mb assembly of the R89-1 strain genome. The draft shows that the strain R89-1 represents a distinct phylogenetic lineage within the genus Agrobacterium. Agrobacterium sp. strain R89-1 isolated from composted wastes of Papaver somniferum can effectively biotransform codeine/morphine into 14-OH-derivatives. Here, we present a 4.7-Mb assembly of the R89-1 strain genome. The draft shows that the strain R89-1 represents a distinct phylogenetic lineage within the genus Agrobacterium.
Evolutionary Changes on the Way to Clathrin Mediated Endocytosis in Animals
Endocytic pathways constitute an evolutionarily ancient system that significantly contributed to the eukaryotic cell architecture and to the diversity of cell type–specific functions and signaling cascades, in particular of metazoans. Here we used comparative proteomic studies to analyze the universal internalization route in eukaryotes, clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME), to address the issues of how this system evolved and what are its specific features. Among 35 proteins crucially required for animal CME, we identified a subset of 22 proteins common to major eukaryotic branches and 13 gradually acquired during evolution. Based on exploration of structure–function relationship between conserved homologs in sister, distantly related and early diverged branches, we identified novel features acquired during evolution of endocytic proteins on the way to animals: Elaborated way of cargo recruitment by multiple sorting proteins, structural changes in the core endocytic complex AP2, the emergence of the Fer/Cip4 homology domain-only protein/epidermal growth factor receptor substrate 15/intersectin functional complex as an additional interaction hub and activator of AP2, as well as changes in late endocytic stages due to recruitment of dynamin/sorting nexin 9 complex and involvement of the actin polymerization machinery. The evolutionary reconstruction showed the basis of the CME process and its subsequent step-by-step development. Documented changes imply more precise regulation of the pathway, as well as CME specialization for the uptake of specific cargoes and cell type-specific functions. Endocytic pathways constitute an evolutionarily ancient system that significantly contributed to the eukaryotic cell architecture and to the diversity of cell type–specific functions and signaling cascades, in particular of metazoans. Here we used comparative proteomic studies to analyze the universal internalization route in eukaryotes, clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME), to address the issues of how this system evolved and what are its specific features. Among 35 proteins crucially required for animal CME, we identified a subset of 22 proteins common to major eukaryotic branches and 13 gradually acquired during evolution. Based on exploration of structure–function relationship between conserved homologs in sister, distantly related and early diverged branches, we identified novel features acquired during evolution of endocytic proteins on the way to animals: Elaborated way of cargo recruitment by multiple sorting proteins, structural changes in the core endocytic complex AP2, the emergence of the Fer/Cip4 homology domain-only protein/epidermal growth factor receptor substrate 15/intersectin functional complex as an additional interaction hub and activator of AP2, as well as changes in late endocytic stages due to recruitment of dynamin/sorting nexin 9 complex and involvement of the actin polymerization machinery. The evolutionary reconstruction showed the basis of the CME process and its subsequent step-by-step development. Documented changes imply more precise regulation of the pathway, as well as CME specialization for the uptake of specific cargoes and cell type-specific functions.
RNA seq Transcriptome Analysis of Panax japonicus, and Its Comparison with Other Panax Species to Identify Potential Genes Involved in the Saponins Biosynthesis
The Panax genus has been a source of natural medicine, benefitting human health over the ages, among which the Panax japonicus represents an important species. Our understanding of several key pathways and enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of ginsenosides, a pharmacologically active class of metabolites and a major chemical constituents of the rhizome extracts from the Panax species, are limited. Limited genomic information, and lack of studies on comparative transcriptomics across the Panax species have restricted our understanding of the biosynthetic mechanisms of these and many other important classes of phytochemicals. Herein, we describe Illumina based RNA sequencing analysis to characterize the transcriptome and expression profiles of genes expressed in the five tissues of P. japonicus, and its comparison with other Panax species. RNA sequencing and de novo transcriptome assembly for P. japonicus resulted in a total of 135,235 unigenes with 78,794 (58.24%) unigenes being annotated using NCBI-nr database. Transcriptome profiling, and gene ontology enrichment analysis for five tissues of P. japonicus showed that although overall processes were evenly conserved across all tissues. However, each tissue was characterized by several unique unigenes with the leaves showing the most unique unigenes among the tissues studied. A comparative analysis of the P. japonicus transcriptome assembly with publically available transcripts from other Panax species, namely, P. ginseng, P. notoginseng, and P. quinquefolius also displayed high sequence similarity across all Panax species, with P. japonicus showing highest similarity with P. ginseng. Annotation of P. japonicus transcriptome resulted in the identification of putative genes encoding all enzymes from the triterpene backbone biosynthetic pathways, and identified 24 and 48 unigenes annotated as cytochrome P450 (CYP) and glycosyltransferases (GT), respectively. These CYPs and GTs annotated unigenes were conserved across all Panax species and co-expressed with other the transcripts involved in the triterpenoid backbone biosynthesis pathways. Unigenes identified in this study represent strong candidates for being involved in the triterpenoid saponins biosynthesis, and can serve as a basis for future validation studies. The Panax genus has been a source of natural medicine, benefitting human health over the ages, among which the Panax japonicus represents an important species. Our understanding of several key pathways and enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of ginsenosides, a pharmacologically active class of metabolites and a major chemical constituents of the rhizome extracts from the Panax species, are limited. Limited genomic information, and lack of studies on comparative transcriptomics across the Panax species have restricted our understanding of the biosynthetic mechanisms of these and many other important classes of phytochemicals. Herein, we describe Illumina based RNA sequencing analysis to characterize the transcriptome and expression profiles of genes expressed in the five tissues of P. japonicus, and its comparison with other Panax species. RNA sequencing and de novo transcriptome assembly for P. japonicus resulted in a total of 135,235 unigenes with 78,794 (58.24%) unigenes being annotated using NCBI-nr database. Transcriptome profiling, and gene ontology enrichment analysis for five tissues of P. japonicus showed that although overall processes were evenly conserved across all tissues. However, each tissue was characterized by several unique unigenes with the leaves showing the most unique unigenes among the tissues studied. A comparative analysis of the P. japonicus transcriptome assembly with publically available transcripts from other Panax species, namely, P. ginseng, P. notoginseng, and P. quinquefolius also displayed high sequence similarity across all Panax species, with P. japonicus showing highest similarity with P. ginseng. Annotation of P. japonicus transcriptome resulted in the identification of putative genes encoding all enzymes from the triterpene backbone biosynthetic pathways, and identified 24 and 48 unigenes annotated as cytochrome P450 (CYP) and glycosyltransferases (GT), respectively. These CYPs and GTs annotated unigenes were conserved across all Panax species and co-expressed with other the transcripts involved in the triterpenoid backbone biosynthesis pathways. Unigenes identified in this study represent strong candidates for being involved in the triterpenoid saponins biosynthesis, and can serve as a basis for future validation studies.
C9orf72 is differentially expressed in the central nervous system and myeloid cells and consistently reduced in C9orf72, MAPT and GRN mutation carriers
A non-coding hexanucleotide repeat expansion (HRE) in C9orf72 is a common cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) acting through a loss of function mechanism due to haploinsufficiency of C9orf72 or a gain of function mediated by aggregates of bidirectionally transcribed HRE-RNAs translated into di-peptide repeat (DPR) proteins. To fully understand regulation of C9orf72 expression we surveyed the C9orf72 locus using Cap Analysis of Gene Expression sequence data (CAGEseq). We observed C9orf72 was generally lowly expressed with the exception of a subset of myeloid cells, particularly CD14+ monocytes that showed up to seven fold higher expression as compared to central nervous system (CNS) and other tissues. The expression profile at the C9orf72 locus showed a complex architecture with differential expression of the transcription start sites (TSSs) for the annotated C9orf72 transcripts between myeloid and CNS tissues suggesting cell and/or tissue specific functions. We further detected novel TSSs in both the sense and antisense strand at the C9orf72 locus and confirmed their existence in brain tissues and CD14+ monocytes. Interestingly, our experiments showed a consistent decrease of C9orf72 coding transcripts not only in brain tissue and monocytes from C9orf72-HRE patients, but also in brains from MAPT and GRN mutation carriers together with an increase in antisense transcripts suggesting these could play a role in regulation of C9orf72. We found that the non-HRE related expression changes cannot be explained by promoter methylation but by the presence of the C9orf72-HRE risk haplotype and unknown functional interactions between C9orf72, MAPT and GRN. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40478-016-0306-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. A non-coding hexanucleotide repeat expansion (HRE) in C9orf72 is a common cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) acting through a loss of function mechanism due to haploinsufficiency of C9orf72 or a gain of function mediated by aggregates of bidirectionally transcribed HRE-RNAs translated into di-peptide repeat (DPR) proteins. To fully understand regulation of C9orf72 expression we surveyed the C9orf72 locus using Cap Analysis of Gene Expression sequence data (CAGEseq). We observed C9orf72 was generally lowly expressed with the exception of a subset of myeloid cells, particularly CD14+ monocytes that showed up to seven fold higher expression as compared to central nervous system (CNS) and other tissues. The expression profile at the C9orf72 locus showed a complex architecture with differential expression of the transcription start sites (TSSs) for the annotated C9orf72 transcripts between myeloid and CNS tissues suggesting cell and/or tissue specific functions. We further detected novel TSSs in both the sense and antisense strand at the C9orf72 locus and confirmed their existence in brain tissues and CD14+ monocytes. Interestingly, our experiments showed a consistent decrease of C9orf72 coding transcripts not only in brain tissue and monocytes from C9orf72-HRE patients, but also in brains from MAPT and GRN mutation carriers together with an increase in antisense transcripts suggesting these could play a role in regulation of C9orf72. We found that the non-HRE related expression changes cannot be explained by promoter methylation but by the presence of the C9orf72-HRE risk haplotype and unknown functional interactions between C9orf72, MAPT and GRN. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40478-016-0306-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Implication of Long noncoding RNAs in the endothelial cell response to hypoxia revealed by RNA sequencing
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are non-protein coding RNAs regulating gene expression. Although for some lncRNAs a relevant role in hypoxic endothelium has been shown, the regulation and function of lncRNAs is still largely unknown in the vascular physio-pathology. Taking advantage of next-generation sequencing techniques, transcriptomic changes induced by endothelial cell exposure to hypoxia were investigated. Paired-end sequencing of polyadenylated RNA derived from human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) exposed to 1% O2 or normoxia was performed. Bioinformatics analysis identified ≈2000 differentially expressed genes, including 122 lncRNAs. Extensive validation was performed by both microarray and qPCR. Among the validated lncRNAs, H19, MIR210HG, MEG9, MALAT1 and MIR22HG were also induced in a mouse model of hindlimb ischemia. To test the functional relevance of lncRNAs in endothelial cells, knockdown of H19 expression was performed. H19 inhibition decreased HUVEC growth, inducing their accumulation in G1 phase of the cell cycle; accordingly, p21 (CDKN1A) expression was increased. Additionally, H19 knockdown also diminished HUVEC ability to form capillary like structures when plated on matrigel. In conclusion, a high-confidence signature of lncRNAs modulated by hypoxia in HUVEC was identified and a significant impact of H19 lncRNA was shown. Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are non-protein coding RNAs regulating gene expression. Although for some lncRNAs a relevant role in hypoxic endothelium has been shown, the regulation and function of lncRNAs is still largely unknown in the vascular physio-pathology. Taking advantage of next-generation sequencing techniques, transcriptomic changes induced by endothelial cell exposure to hypoxia were investigated. Paired-end sequencing of polyadenylated RNA derived from human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) exposed to 1% O2 or normoxia was performed. Bioinformatics analysis identified ≈2000 differentially expressed genes, including 122 lncRNAs. Extensive validation was performed by both microarray and qPCR. Among the validated lncRNAs, H19, MIR210HG, MEG9, MALAT1 and MIR22HG were also induced in a mouse model of hindlimb ischemia. To test the functional relevance of lncRNAs in endothelial cells, knockdown of H19 expression was performed. H19 inhibition decreased HUVEC growth, inducing their accumulation in G1 phase of the cell cycle; accordingly, p21 (CDKN1A) expression was increased. Additionally, H19 knockdown also diminished HUVEC ability to form capillary like structures when plated on matrigel. In conclusion, a high-confidence signature of lncRNAs modulated by hypoxia in HUVEC was identified and a significant impact of H19 lncRNA was shown.
Prediction of the molecular mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets for diabetic nephropathy by bioinformatics methods
In this study, we aimed to explore the molecular mechanisms of and genetic factors influencing diabetic nephropathy (DN). Gene expression profiles associated with DN were obtained from the GEO database (Accession no. GSE20844). The differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between diabetic mice and non-diabetic mice were screened. Subsequently, the DEGs were subjected to functional and pathway analysis. The protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed and the transcription factors (TFs) were screened among the DEGs. A total of 92 upregulated and 118 downregulated genes were screened. Pathway analysis revealed that the p53 signaling pathway, the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β signaling pathway and the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway were significantly enriched by upregulated genes. Serpine1 (also known as plasminogen activator inhibitor-1), early growth response 1 (Egr1) and Mdk were found to be significant nodes in the PPI network by three methods. A total of 12 TFs were found to be differentially expressed, of which nuclear receptor subfamily 4, group A, member 1 (Nr4a1) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparg) were found to have multiple interactions with other DEGs. We demonstrated that the p53 signaling pathway, the TGF-β signaling pathway and the MAPK signaling pathway were dysregulated in the diabetic mice. The significant nodes (Serpine1, Egr1 and Mdk) and differentially expressed TFs (Nr4a1 and Pparg) may provide a novel avenue for the targeted therapy of DN. In this study, we aimed to explore the molecular mechanisms of and genetic factors influencing diabetic nephropathy (DN). Gene expression profiles associated with DN were obtained from the GEO database (Accession no. GSE20844). The differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between diabetic mice and non-diabetic mice were screened. Subsequently, the DEGs were subjected to functional and pathway analysis. The protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed and the transcription factors (TFs) were screened among the DEGs. A total of 92 upregulated and 118 downregulated genes were screened. Pathway analysis revealed that the p53 signaling pathway, the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β signaling pathway and the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway were significantly enriched by upregulated genes. Serpine1 (also known as plasminogen activator inhibitor-1), early growth response 1 (Egr1) and Mdk were found to be significant nodes in the PPI network by three methods. A total of 12 TFs were found to be differentially expressed, of which nuclear receptor subfamily 4, group A, member 1 (Nr4a1) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparg) were found to have multiple interactions with other DEGs. We demonstrated that the p53 signaling pathway, the TGF-β signaling pathway and the MAPK signaling pathway were dysregulated in the diabetic mice. The significant nodes (Serpine1, Egr1 and Mdk) and differentially expressed TFs (Nr4a1 and Pparg) may provide a novel avenue for the targeted therapy of DN.
Leishmania infantum Genetic Diversity and Lutzomyia longipalpis Mitochondrial Haplotypes in Brazil
Leishmania infantum is the etiological agent of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in the Americas with domestic dogs being its major reservoir hosts. The main VL vector is the sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis, while other Lutzomyia species may play a role in disease transmission. Although the genetic structure of L. infantum populations has been widely evaluated, only a few studies have addressed this subject coupled to the genetic structure of the respective sandfly vectors. In this study, we analyzed the population structure of L. infantum in three major VL endemic areas in Brazil and associated it with Lutzomyia longipalpis geographic structure. Leishmania infantum is the etiological agent of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in the Americas with domestic dogs being its major reservoir hosts. The main VL vector is the sandfly Lutzomyia longipalpis, while other Lutzomyia species may play a role in disease transmission. Although the genetic structure of L. infantum populations has been widely evaluated, only a few studies have addressed this subject coupled to the genetic structure of the respective sandfly vectors. In this study, we analyzed the population structure of L. infantum in three major VL endemic areas in Brazil and associated it with Lutzomyia longipalpis geographic structure.
Evidence of new species for malaria vector Anopheles nuneztovari sensu lato in the Brazilian Amazon region
Background Anopheles nuneztovari sensu lato comprises cryptic species in northern South America, and the Brazilian populations encompass distinct genetic lineages within the Brazilian Amazon region. This study investigated, based on two molecular markers, whether these lineages might actually deserve species status. Methods Specimens were collected in five localities of the Brazilian Amazon, including Manaus, Careiro Castanho and Autazes, in the State of Amazonas; Tucuruí, in the State of Pará; and Abacate da Pedreira, in the State of Amapá, and analysed for the COI gene (Barcode region) and 12 microsatellite loci. Phylogenetic analyses were performed using the maximum likelihood (ML) approach. Intra and inter samples genetic diversity were estimated using population genetics analyses, and the genetic groups were identified by means of the ML, Bayesian and factorial correspondence analyses and the Bayesian analysis of population structure. Results The Barcode region dataset (N = 103) generated 27 haplotypes. The haplotype network suggested three lineages. The ML tree retrieved five monophyletic groups. Group I clustered all specimens from Manaus and Careiro Castanho, the majority of Autazes and a few from Abacate da Pedreira. Group II clustered most of the specimens from Abacate da Pedreira and a few from Autazes and Tucuruí. Group III clustered only specimens from Tucuruí (lineage III), strongly supported (97 %). Groups IV and V clustered specimens of A. nuneztovaris.s. and A. dunhami, strongly (98 %) and weakly (70 %) supported, respectively. In the second phylogenetic analysis, the sequences from GenBank, identified as A. goeldii, clustered to groups I and II, but not to group III. Genetic distances (Kimura-2 parameters) among the groups ranged from 1.60 % (between I and II) to 2.32 % (between I and III). Microsatellite data revealed very high intra-population genetic variability. Genetic distances showed the highest and significant values (P = 0.005) between Tucuruí and all the other samples, and between Abacate da Pedreira and all the other samples. Genetic distances, Bayesian (Structure and BAPS) analyses and FCA suggested three distinct biological groups, supporting the barcode region results. Conclusions The two markers revealed three genetic lineages for A. nuneztovaris.l. in the Brazilian Amazon region. Lineages I and II may represent genetically distinct groups or species within A. goeldii. Lineage III may represent a new species, distinct from the A. goeldii group, and may be the most ancestral in the Brazilian Amazon. They may have differences in Plasmodium susceptibility and should therefore be investigated further. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12936-016-1217-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Background Anopheles nuneztovari sensu lato comprises cryptic species in northern South America, and the Brazilian populations encompass distinct genetic lineages within the Brazilian Amazon region. This study investigated, based on two molecular markers, whether these lineages might actually deserve species status. Methods Specimens were collected in five localities of the Brazilian Amazon, including Manaus, Careiro Castanho and Autazes, in the State of Amazonas; Tucuruí, in the State of Pará; and Abacate da Pedreira, in the State of Amapá, and analysed for the COI gene (Barcode region) and 12 microsatellite loci. Phylogenetic analyses were performed using the maximum likelihood (ML) approach. Intra and inter samples genetic diversity were estimated using population genetics analyses, and the genetic groups were identified by means of the ML, Bayesian and factorial correspondence analyses and the Bayesian analysis of population structure. Results The Barcode region dataset (N = 103) generated 27 haplotypes. The haplotype network suggested three lineages. The ML tree retrieved five monophyletic groups. Group I clustered all specimens from Manaus and Careiro Castanho, the majority of Autazes and a few from Abacate da Pedreira. Group II clustered most of the specimens from Abacate da Pedreira and a few from Autazes and Tucuruí. Group III clustered only specimens from Tucuruí (lineage III), strongly supported (97 %). Groups IV and V clustered specimens of A. nuneztovaris.s. and A. dunhami, strongly (98 %) and weakly (70 %) supported, respectively. In the second phylogenetic analysis, the sequences from GenBank, identified as A. goeldii, clustered to groups I and II, but not to group III. Genetic distances (Kimura-2 parameters) among the groups ranged from 1.60 % (between I and II) to 2.32 % (between I and III). Microsatellite data revealed very high intra-population genetic variability. Genetic distances showed the highest and significant values (P = 0.005) between Tucuruí and all the other samples, and between Abacate da Pedreira and all the other samples. Genetic distances, Bayesian (Structure and BAPS) analyses and FCA suggested three distinct biological groups, supporting the barcode region results. Conclusions The two markers revealed three genetic lineages for A. nuneztovaris.l. in the Brazilian Amazon region. Lineages I and II may represent genetically distinct groups or species within A. goeldii. Lineage III may represent a new species, distinct from the A. goeldii group, and may be the most ancestral in the Brazilian Amazon. They may have differences in Plasmodium susceptibility and should therefore be investigated further. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12936-016-1217-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Neofunctionalization of Chromoplast Specific Lycopene Beta Cyclase Gene (CYC B) in Tomato Clade
The ancestor of tomato underwent whole genome triplication ca. 71 Myr ago followed by widespread gene loss. However, few of the triplicated genes are retained in modern day tomato including lycopene beta cyclase that mediates conversion of lycopene to β-carotene. The fruit specific β-carotene formation is mediated by a chromoplast-specific paralog of lycopene beta cyclase (CYC-B) gene. Presently limited information is available about how the variations in CYC-B gene contributed to its neofunctionalization. CYC-B gene in tomato clade contained several SNPs and In-Dels in the coding sequence (33 haplotypes) and promoter region (44 haplotypes). The CYC-B gene coding sequence in tomato appeared to undergo purifying selection. The transit peptide sequence of CYC-B protein was predicted to have a stronger plastid targeting signal than its chloroplast specific paralog indicating a possible neofunctionalization. In promoter of two Bog (Beta old gold) mutants, a NUPT (nuclear plastid) DNA fragment of 256 bp, likely derived from a S. chilense accession, was present. In transient expression assay, this promoter was more efficient than the “Beta type” promoter. CARGATCONSENSUS box sequences are required for the binding of the MADS-box regulatory protein RIPENING INHIBITOR (RIN). The loss of CARGATCONSENSUS box sequence from CYC-B promoter in tomato may be related to attenuation of its efficiency to promote higher accumulation of β-carotene than lycopene during fruit ripening. The ancestor of tomato underwent whole genome triplication ca. 71 Myr ago followed by widespread gene loss. However, few of the triplicated genes are retained in modern day tomato including lycopene beta cyclase that mediates conversion of lycopene to β-carotene. The fruit specific β-carotene formation is mediated by a chromoplast-specific paralog of lycopene beta cyclase (CYC-B) gene. Presently limited information is available about how the variations in CYC-B gene contributed to its neofunctionalization. CYC-B gene in tomato clade contained several SNPs and In-Dels in the coding sequence (33 haplotypes) and promoter region (44 haplotypes). The CYC-B gene coding sequence in tomato appeared to undergo purifying selection. The transit peptide sequence of CYC-B protein was predicted to have a stronger plastid targeting signal than its chloroplast specific paralog indicating a possible neofunctionalization. In promoter of two Bog (Beta old gold) mutants, a NUPT (nuclear plastid) DNA fragment of 256 bp, likely derived from a S. chilense accession, was present. In transient expression assay, this promoter was more efficient than the “Beta type” promoter. CARGATCONSENSUS box sequences are required for the binding of the MADS-box regulatory protein RIPENING INHIBITOR (RIN). The loss of CARGATCONSENSUS box sequence from CYC-B promoter in tomato may be related to attenuation of its efficiency to promote higher accumulation of β-carotene than lycopene during fruit ripening.
Genome Sequence of Staphylococcus aureus Strain HUK16, Isolated from Hexachlorocyclohexane Contaminated Soil
Staphylococcus aureus strain HUK16 has been isolated from hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH)-long-term contaminated soil. The genome of strain HUK16 was sequenced to understand the genetic basis of its adaptation to HCH and to find the potential metabolic pathways allowing it to degrade the pesticide. Here, we report the annotated draft genome sequence (~2.7 Mbp) of this strain. Staphylococcus aureus strain HUK16 has been isolated from hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH)-long-term contaminated soil. The genome of strain HUK16 was sequenced to understand the genetic basis of its adaptation to HCH and to find the potential metabolic pathways allowing it to degrade the pesticide. Here, we report the annotated draft genome sequence (~2.7 Mbp) of this strain.
A Comparative Analysis of Mitochondrial Genomes in Eustigmatophyte Algae
Eustigmatophyceae (Ochrophyta, Stramenopiles) is a small algal group with species of the genus Nannochloropsis being its best studied representatives. Nuclear and organellar genomes have been recently sequenced for several Nannochloropsis spp., but phylogenetically wider genomic studies are missing for eustigmatophytes. We sequenced mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) of three species representing most major eustigmatophyte lineages, Monodopsis sp. MarTras21, Vischeria sp. CAUP Q 202 and Trachydiscus minutus, and carried out their comparative analysis in the context of available data from Nannochloropsis and other stramenopiles, revealing a number of noticeable findings. First, mitogenomes of most eustigmatophytes are highly collinear and similar in the gene content, but extensive rearrangements and loss of three otherwise ubiquitous genes happened in the Vischeria lineage; this correlates with an accelerated evolution of mitochondrial gene sequences in this lineage. Second, eustigmatophytes appear to be the only ochrophyte group with the Atp1 protein encoded by the mitogenome. Third, eustigmatophyte mitogenomes uniquely share a truncated nad11 gene encoding only the C-terminal part of the Nad11 protein, while the N-terminal part is encoded by a separate gene in the nuclear genome. Fourth, UGA as a termination codon and the cognate release factor mRF2 were lost from mitochondria independently by the Nannochloropsis and T. minutus lineages. Finally, the rps3 gene in the mitogenome of Vischeria sp. is interrupted by the UAG codon, but the genome includes a gene for an unusual tRNA with an extended anticodon loop that we speculate may serve as a suppressor tRNA to properly decode the rps3 gene. Eustigmatophyceae (Ochrophyta, Stramenopiles) is a small algal group with species of the genus Nannochloropsis being its best studied representatives. Nuclear and organellar genomes have been recently sequenced for several Nannochloropsis spp., but phylogenetically wider genomic studies are missing for eustigmatophytes. We sequenced mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) of three species representing most major eustigmatophyte lineages, Monodopsis sp. MarTras21, Vischeria sp. CAUP Q 202 and Trachydiscus minutus, and carried out their comparative analysis in the context of available data from Nannochloropsis and other stramenopiles, revealing a number of noticeable findings. First, mitogenomes of most eustigmatophytes are highly collinear and similar in the gene content, but extensive rearrangements and loss of three otherwise ubiquitous genes happened in the Vischeria lineage; this correlates with an accelerated evolution of mitochondrial gene sequences in this lineage. Second, eustigmatophytes appear to be the only ochrophyte group with the Atp1 protein encoded by the mitogenome. Third, eustigmatophyte mitogenomes uniquely share a truncated nad11 gene encoding only the C-terminal part of the Nad11 protein, while the N-terminal part is encoded by a separate gene in the nuclear genome. Fourth, UGA as a termination codon and the cognate release factor mRF2 were lost from mitochondria independently by the Nannochloropsis and T. minutus lineages. Finally, the rps3 gene in the mitogenome of Vischeria sp. is interrupted by the UAG codon, but the genome includes a gene for an unusual tRNA with an extended anticodon loop that we speculate may serve as a suppressor tRNA to properly decode the rps3 gene.
Genome Sequence of Bacillus subtilis Strain HUK15, Isolated from Hexachlorocyclohexane Contaminated Soil
Bacillus subtilis strain HUK15 has been isolated from hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH)-long-term-contaminated soil. The genome of strain HUK15 was sequenced to investigate its adaptation toward HCH and its potential capability to degrade the pesticide. Here, we report the annotated draft genome sequence (~4.3 Mbp) of this strain. Bacillus subtilis strain HUK15 has been isolated from hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH)-long-term-contaminated soil. The genome of strain HUK15 was sequenced to investigate its adaptation toward HCH and its potential capability to degrade the pesticide. Here, we report the annotated draft genome sequence (~4.3 Mbp) of this strain.
The microbiome associated with equine periodontitis and oral health
Equine periodontal disease is a common and painful condition and its severe form, periodontitis, can lead to tooth loss. Its aetiopathogenesis remains poorly understood despite recent increased awareness of this disorder amongst the veterinary profession. Bacteria have been found to be causative agents of the disease in other species, but current understanding of their role in equine periodontitis is extremely limited. The aim of this study was to use high-throughput sequencing to identify the microbiome associated with equine periodontitis and oral health. Subgingival plaque samples from 24 horses with periodontitis and gingival swabs from 24 orally healthy horses were collected. DNA was extracted from samples, the V3–V4 region of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplified by PCR and amplicons sequenced using Illumina MiSeq. Data processing was conducted using USEARCH and QIIME. Diversity analyses were performed with PAST v3.02. Linear discriminant analysis effect size (LEfSe) was used to determine differences between the groups. In total, 1308 OTUs were identified and classified into 356 genera or higher taxa. Microbial profiles at health differed significantly from periodontitis, both in their composition (p < 0.0001, F = 12.24; PERMANOVA) and in microbial diversity (p < 0.001; Mann–Whitney test). Samples from healthy horses were less diverse (1.78, SD 0.74; Shannon diversity index) and were dominated by the genera Gemella and Actinobacillus, while the periodontitis group samples showed higher diversity (3.16, SD 0.98) and were dominated by the genera Prevotella and Veillonella. It is concluded that the microbiomes associated with equine oral health and periodontitis are distinct, with the latter displaying greater microbial diversity. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13567-016-0333-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Equine periodontal disease is a common and painful condition and its severe form, periodontitis, can lead to tooth loss. Its aetiopathogenesis remains poorly understood despite recent increased awareness of this disorder amongst the veterinary profession. Bacteria have been found to be causative agents of the disease in other species, but current understanding of their role in equine periodontitis is extremely limited. The aim of this study was to use high-throughput sequencing to identify the microbiome associated with equine periodontitis and oral health. Subgingival plaque samples from 24 horses with periodontitis and gingival swabs from 24 orally healthy horses were collected. DNA was extracted from samples, the V3–V4 region of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplified by PCR and amplicons sequenced using Illumina MiSeq. Data processing was conducted using USEARCH and QIIME. Diversity analyses were performed with PAST v3.02. Linear discriminant analysis effect size (LEfSe) was used to determine differences between the groups. In total, 1308 OTUs were identified and classified into 356 genera or higher taxa. Microbial profiles at health differed significantly from periodontitis, both in their composition (p < 0.0001, F = 12.24; PERMANOVA) and in microbial diversity (p < 0.001; Mann–Whitney test). Samples from healthy horses were less diverse (1.78, SD 0.74; Shannon diversity index) and were dominated by the genera Gemella and Actinobacillus, while the periodontitis group samples showed higher diversity (3.16, SD 0.98) and were dominated by the genera Prevotella and Veillonella. It is concluded that the microbiomes associated with equine oral health and periodontitis are distinct, with the latter displaying greater microbial diversity. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13567-016-0333-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
CD14 in the TLRs signaling pathway is associated with the resistance to E. coli F18 in Chinese domestic weaned piglets
Escherichia coli F18 (E. coli F18) is mainly responsible for post-weaning diarrhea (PWD) in piglets. The genetic basis and regulatory mechanism of E. coli F18 resistance in Chinese domestic weaned piglets remain unclear. Meishan piglets were used as model animals to test their susceptibility to E. coli F18. By performing a comparative transcriptome study on duodenum tissues of sensitive and resistant pigs, we identified 198 differentially expressed genes (DEGs; 125 upregulated and 73 downregulated) in the resistant pigs. DEGs were predominately involved in immune system pathways, including the Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling pathway. qPCR and western blot showed CD14, IFN-α, TLR4 and IL-1β, etc. in the TLR signaling pathway had significantly higher expression levels in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced small intestinal epithelial cell lines (IPEC-J2) than those in normal IPEC-J2 cells. Immunohistochemical analysis showed the increased expression of CD14 gene in the E. coli F18-resistant individuals. After CD14 knockdown, the levels of cytokines IL-6 and IL-12 were significantly reduced in IPEC-J2 cell supernatants. The adhesion ability of F18ab strain with IPEC-J2 cells was significantly increased (p < 0.01). This study revealed the TLR signaling pathway, and especially CD14, probably plays an important role in resistance to E. coli F18 infection in Chinese domestic piglets. Escherichia coli F18 (E. coli F18) is mainly responsible for post-weaning diarrhea (PWD) in piglets. The genetic basis and regulatory mechanism of E. coli F18 resistance in Chinese domestic weaned piglets remain unclear. Meishan piglets were used as model animals to test their susceptibility to E. coli F18. By performing a comparative transcriptome study on duodenum tissues of sensitive and resistant pigs, we identified 198 differentially expressed genes (DEGs; 125 upregulated and 73 downregulated) in the resistant pigs. DEGs were predominately involved in immune system pathways, including the Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling pathway. qPCR and western blot showed CD14, IFN-α, TLR4 and IL-1β, etc. in the TLR signaling pathway had significantly higher expression levels in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced small intestinal epithelial cell lines (IPEC-J2) than those in normal IPEC-J2 cells. Immunohistochemical analysis showed the increased expression of CD14 gene in the E. coli F18-resistant individuals. After CD14 knockdown, the levels of cytokines IL-6 and IL-12 were significantly reduced in IPEC-J2 cell supernatants. The adhesion ability of F18ab strain with IPEC-J2 cells was significantly increased (p < 0.01). This study revealed the TLR signaling pathway, and especially CD14, probably plays an important role in resistance to E. coli F18 infection in Chinese domestic piglets.
The effects of salinity on nitrification using halophilic nitrifiers in a Sequencing Batch Reactor treating hypersaline wastewater
With annual increases in the generation and use of saline wastewater, the need to avoid environmental problems such as eutrophication is critical. A previous study identified ways to start up a halophilic sludge domesticated from estuarine sediments to remove nitrogen from wastewater with a salinity of 30 g/L. This investigation expands that work to explore the impact of salinity on nitrogen removal. This study demonstrated that the mixed halophilic consortia removed nitrogen from wastewater with a salinity of 30–85 g/L. A kinetic analysis showed that halophilic nitrifiers selected based on hypersalinity were characterized by low Ks, μmax and specific ammonium oxidization rates. This explains the decrease in ammonium removal efficiency in the high salinity operational phases. Salinity inhibited ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) activity, as well as the number of dominant AOB, but did not significantly affect the AOB dominant species. Three most dominant AOB lineages in the halophilic sludge were Nitrosomonas marina, Nitrosomonas europaea, and Nitrosococcus mobilis. Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrosococcus mobilis were mainly affected by salinity, while nitrite accumulation and ammonia loading played the key role in determining the abundance of Nitrosococcus mobilis and Nitrosococcus europaea. The study contributes insights about shifts in halophilic nitrifying bacterial populations. With annual increases in the generation and use of saline wastewater, the need to avoid environmental problems such as eutrophication is critical. A previous study identified ways to start up a halophilic sludge domesticated from estuarine sediments to remove nitrogen from wastewater with a salinity of 30 g/L. This investigation expands that work to explore the impact of salinity on nitrogen removal. This study demonstrated that the mixed halophilic consortia removed nitrogen from wastewater with a salinity of 30–85 g/L. A kinetic analysis showed that halophilic nitrifiers selected based on hypersalinity were characterized by low Ks, μmax and specific ammonium oxidization rates. This explains the decrease in ammonium removal efficiency in the high salinity operational phases. Salinity inhibited ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) activity, as well as the number of dominant AOB, but did not significantly affect the AOB dominant species. Three most dominant AOB lineages in the halophilic sludge were Nitrosomonas marina, Nitrosomonas europaea, and Nitrosococcus mobilis. Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrosococcus mobilis were mainly affected by salinity, while nitrite accumulation and ammonia loading played the key role in determining the abundance of Nitrosococcus mobilis and Nitrosococcus europaea. The study contributes insights about shifts in halophilic nitrifying bacterial populations.
Daboxin P, a Major Phospholipase A2 Enzyme from the Indian Daboia russelii russelii Venom Targets Factor X and Factor Xa for Its Anticoagulant Activity
In the present study a major protein has been purified from the venom of Indian Daboia russelii russelii using gel filtration, ion exchange and Rp-HPLC techniques. The purified protein, named daboxin P accounts for ~24% of the total protein of the crude venom and has a molecular mass of 13.597 kDa. It exhibits strong anticoagulant and phospholipase A2 activity but is devoid of any cytotoxic effect on the tested normal or cancerous cell lines. Its primary structure was deduced by N-terminal sequencing and chemical cleavage using Edman degradation and tandem mass spectrometry. It is composed of 121 amino acids with 14 cysteine residues and catalytically active His48 -Asp49 pair. The secondary structure of daboxin P constitutes 42.73% of α-helix and 12.36% of β-sheet. It is found to be stable at acidic (pH 3.0) and neutral pH (pH 7.0) and has a Tm value of 71.59 ± 0.46°C. Daboxin P exhibits anticoagulant effect under in-vitro and in-vivo conditions. It does not inhibit the catalytic activity of the serine proteases but inhibits the activation of factor X to factor Xa by the tenase complexes both in the presence and absence of phospholipids. It also inhibits the tenase complexes when active site residue (His48) was alkylated suggesting its non-enzymatic mode of anticoagulant activity. Moreover, it also inhibits prothrombinase complex when pre-incubated with factor Xa prior to factor Va addition. Fluorescence emission spectroscopy and affinity chromatography suggest the probable interaction of daboxin P with factor X and factor Xa. Molecular docking analysis reveals the interaction of the Ca+2 binding loop; helix C; anticoagulant region and C-terminal region of daboxin P with the heavy chain of factor Xa. This is the first report of a phospholipase A2 enzyme from Indian viper venom which targets both factor X and factor Xa for its anticoagulant activity. In the present study a major protein has been purified from the venom of Indian Daboia russelii russelii using gel filtration, ion exchange and Rp-HPLC techniques. The purified protein, named daboxin P accounts for ~24% of the total protein of the crude venom and has a molecular mass of 13.597 kDa. It exhibits strong anticoagulant and phospholipase A2 activity but is devoid of any cytotoxic effect on the tested normal or cancerous cell lines. Its primary structure was deduced by N-terminal sequencing and chemical cleavage using Edman degradation and tandem mass spectrometry. It is composed of 121 amino acids with 14 cysteine residues and catalytically active His48 -Asp49 pair. The secondary structure of daboxin P constitutes 42.73% of α-helix and 12.36% of β-sheet. It is found to be stable at acidic (pH 3.0) and neutral pH (pH 7.0) and has a Tm value of 71.59 ± 0.46°C. Daboxin P exhibits anticoagulant effect under in-vitro and in-vivo conditions. It does not inhibit the catalytic activity of the serine proteases but inhibits the activation of factor X to factor Xa by the tenase complexes both in the presence and absence of phospholipids. It also inhibits the tenase complexes when active site residue (His48) was alkylated suggesting its non-enzymatic mode of anticoagulant activity. Moreover, it also inhibits prothrombinase complex when pre-incubated with factor Xa prior to factor Va addition. Fluorescence emission spectroscopy and affinity chromatography suggest the probable interaction of daboxin P with factor X and factor Xa. Molecular docking analysis reveals the interaction of the Ca+2 binding loop; helix C; anticoagulant region and C-terminal region of daboxin P with the heavy chain of factor Xa. This is the first report of a phospholipase A2 enzyme from Indian viper venom which targets both factor X and factor Xa for its anticoagulant activity.
The Role of Complement in Cnidarian Dinoflagellate Symbiosis and Immune Challenge in the Sea Anemone Aiptasia pallida
The complement system is an innate immune pathway that in vertebrates, is responsible for initial recognition and ultimately phagocytosis and destruction of microbes. Several complement molecules including C3, Factor B, and mannose binding lectin associated serine proteases (MASP) have been characterized in invertebrates and while most studies have focused on their conserved role in defense against pathogens, little is known about their role in managing beneficial microbes. The purpose of this study was to (1) characterize complement pathway genes in the symbiotic sea anemone Aiptasia pallida, (2) investigate the evolution of complement genes in invertebrates, and (3) examine the potential dual role of complement genes Factor B and MASP in the onset and maintenance of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis and immune challenge using qPCR based studies. The results demonstrate that A. pallida has multiple Factor B genes (Ap_Bf-1, Ap_Bf-2a, and Ap_Bf-2b) and one MASP gene (Ap_MASP). Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the evolutionary history of complement genes is complex, and there have been many gene duplications or gene loss events, even within members of the same phylum. Gene expression analyses revealed a potential role for complement in both onset and maintenance of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis and immune challenge. Specifically, Ap_Bf-1 and Ap_MASP are significantly upregulated in the light at the onset of symbiosis and in response to challenge with the pathogen Serratia marcescens suggesting that they play a role in the initial recognition of both beneficial and harmful microbes. Ap_Bf-2b in contrast, was generally downregulated during the onset and maintenance of symbiosis and in response to challenge with S. marcescens. Therefore, the exact role of Ap_Bf-2b in response to microbes remains unclear, but the results suggest that the presence of microbes leads to repressed expression. Together, these results indicate functional divergence between Ap_Bf-1 and Ap_Bf-2b, and that Ap_Bf-1 and Ap_MASP may be functioning together in an ancestral hybrid of the lectin and alternative complement pathways. Overall, this study provides information on the role of the complement system in a basal metazoan and its role in host-microbe interactions. The complement system is an innate immune pathway that in vertebrates, is responsible for initial recognition and ultimately phagocytosis and destruction of microbes. Several complement molecules including C3, Factor B, and mannose binding lectin associated serine proteases (MASP) have been characterized in invertebrates and while most studies have focused on their conserved role in defense against pathogens, little is known about their role in managing beneficial microbes. The purpose of this study was to (1) characterize complement pathway genes in the symbiotic sea anemone Aiptasia pallida, (2) investigate the evolution of complement genes in invertebrates, and (3) examine the potential dual role of complement genes Factor B and MASP in the onset and maintenance of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis and immune challenge using qPCR based studies. The results demonstrate that A. pallida has multiple Factor B genes (Ap_Bf-1, Ap_Bf-2a, and Ap_Bf-2b) and one MASP gene (Ap_MASP). Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the evolutionary history of complement genes is complex, and there have been many gene duplications or gene loss events, even within members of the same phylum. Gene expression analyses revealed a potential role for complement in both onset and maintenance of cnidarian-dinoflagellate symbiosis and immune challenge. Specifically, Ap_Bf-1 and Ap_MASP are significantly upregulated in the light at the onset of symbiosis and in response to challenge with the pathogen Serratia marcescens suggesting that they play a role in the initial recognition of both beneficial and harmful microbes. Ap_Bf-2b in contrast, was generally downregulated during the onset and maintenance of symbiosis and in response to challenge with S. marcescens. Therefore, the exact role of Ap_Bf-2b in response to microbes remains unclear, but the results suggest that the presence of microbes leads to repressed expression. Together, these results indicate functional divergence between Ap_Bf-1 and Ap_Bf-2b, and that Ap_Bf-1 and Ap_MASP may be functioning together in an ancestral hybrid of the lectin and alternative complement pathways. Overall, this study provides information on the role of the complement system in a basal metazoan and its role in host-microbe interactions.
Screening for genes and subnetworks associated with pancreatic cancer based on the gene expression profile
The present study aimed to screen for potential genes and subnetworks associated with pancreatic cancer (PC) using the gene expression profile. The expression profile GSE 16515 was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database, which included 36 PC tissue samples and 16 normal samples. Limma package in R language was used to screen differentially expressed genes (DEGs), which were grouped as up- and downregulated genes. Then, PFSNet was applied to perform subnetwork analysis for all the DEGs. Moreover, Gene Ontology (GO) and REACTOME pathway enrichment analysis of up- and downregulated genes was performed, followed by protein-protein interaction (PPI) network construction using Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes. In total, 1,989 DEGs including 1,461 up- and 528 downregulated genes were screened out. Subnetworks including pancreatic cancer in PC tissue samples and intercellular adhesion in normal samples were identified, respectively. A total of 8 significant REACTOME pathways for upregulated DEGs, such as hemostasis and cell cycle, mitotic were identified. Moreover, 4 significant REACTOME pathways for downregulated DEGs, including regulation of β-cell development and transmembrane transport of small molecules were screened out. Additionally, DEGs with high connectivity degrees, such as CCNA2 (cyclin A2) and PBK (PDZ binding kinase), of the module in the protein-protein interaction network were mainly enriched with cell-division cycle. CCNA2 and PBK of the module and their relative pathway cell-division cycle, and two subnetworks (pancreatic cancer and intercellular adhesion subnetworks) may be pivotal for further understanding of the molecular mechanism of PC. The present study aimed to screen for potential genes and subnetworks associated with pancreatic cancer (PC) using the gene expression profile. The expression profile GSE 16515 was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database, which included 36 PC tissue samples and 16 normal samples. Limma package in R language was used to screen differentially expressed genes (DEGs), which were grouped as up- and downregulated genes. Then, PFSNet was applied to perform subnetwork analysis for all the DEGs. Moreover, Gene Ontology (GO) and REACTOME pathway enrichment analysis of up- and downregulated genes was performed, followed by protein-protein interaction (PPI) network construction using Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes. In total, 1,989 DEGs including 1,461 up- and 528 downregulated genes were screened out. Subnetworks including pancreatic cancer in PC tissue samples and intercellular adhesion in normal samples were identified, respectively. A total of 8 significant REACTOME pathways for upregulated DEGs, such as hemostasis and cell cycle, mitotic were identified. Moreover, 4 significant REACTOME pathways for downregulated DEGs, including regulation of β-cell development and transmembrane transport of small molecules were screened out. Additionally, DEGs with high connectivity degrees, such as CCNA2 (cyclin A2) and PBK (PDZ binding kinase), of the module in the protein-protein interaction network were mainly enriched with cell-division cycle. CCNA2 and PBK of the module and their relative pathway cell-division cycle, and two subnetworks (pancreatic cancer and intercellular adhesion subnetworks) may be pivotal for further understanding of the molecular mechanism of PC.
Altered microRNA expression and pre mRNA splicing events reveal new mechanisms associated with early stage Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis infection
The molecular regulatory mechanisms of host responses to Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) infection during the early subclinical stage are still not clear. In this study, surgically isolated ileal segments in newborn calves (n = 5) were used to establish in vivo MAP infection adjacent to an uninfected control intestinal compartment. RNA-Seq was used to profile the whole transcriptome (mRNAs) and the microRNAome (miRNAs) of ileal tissues collected at one-month post-infection. The most related function of the differentially expressed mRNAs between infected and uninfected tissues was “proliferation of endothelial cells”, indicating that MAP infection may lead to the over-proliferation of endothelial cells. In addition, 46.2% of detected mRNAs displayed alternative splicing events. The pre-mRNA of two genes related to macrophage maturation (monocyte to macrophage differentiation-associated) and lysosome function (adenosine deaminase) showed differential alternative splicing events, suggesting that specific changes in the pre-mRNA splicing sites may be a mechanism by which MAP escapes host immune responses. Moreover, 9 miRNAs were differentially expressed after MAP infection. The integrated analysis of microRNAome and transcriptome revealed that these miRNAs might regulate host responses to MAP infection, such as “proliferation of endothelial cells” (bta-miR-196 b), “bacteria recognition” (bta-miR-146 b), and “regulation of the inflammatory response” (bta-miR-146 b). The molecular regulatory mechanisms of host responses to Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) infection during the early subclinical stage are still not clear. In this study, surgically isolated ileal segments in newborn calves (n = 5) were used to establish in vivo MAP infection adjacent to an uninfected control intestinal compartment. RNA-Seq was used to profile the whole transcriptome (mRNAs) and the microRNAome (miRNAs) of ileal tissues collected at one-month post-infection. The most related function of the differentially expressed mRNAs between infected and uninfected tissues was “proliferation of endothelial cells”, indicating that MAP infection may lead to the over-proliferation of endothelial cells. In addition, 46.2% of detected mRNAs displayed alternative splicing events. The pre-mRNA of two genes related to macrophage maturation (monocyte to macrophage differentiation-associated) and lysosome function (adenosine deaminase) showed differential alternative splicing events, suggesting that specific changes in the pre-mRNA splicing sites may be a mechanism by which MAP escapes host immune responses. Moreover, 9 miRNAs were differentially expressed after MAP infection. The integrated analysis of microRNAome and transcriptome revealed that these miRNAs might regulate host responses to MAP infection, such as “proliferation of endothelial cells” (bta-miR-196 b), “bacteria recognition” (bta-miR-146 b), and “regulation of the inflammatory response” (bta-miR-146 b).
Genome sequencing and analysis of the first complete genome of Lactobacillus kunkeei strain MP2, an Apis mellifera gut isolate
Background. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the most important pollinator in agriculture worldwide. However, the number of honey bees has fallen significantly since 2006, becoming a huge ecological problem nowadays. The principal cause is CCD, or Colony Collapse Disorder, characterized by the seemingly spontaneous abandonment of hives by their workers. One of the characteristics of CCD in honey bees is the alteration of the bacterial communities in their gastrointestinal tract, mainly due to the decrease of Firmicutes populations, such as the Lactobacilli. At this time, the causes of these alterations remain unknown. We recently isolated a strain of Lactobacillus kunkeei (L. kunkeei strain MP2) from the gut of Chilean honey bees. L. kunkeei, is one of the most commonly isolated bacterium from the honey bee gut and is highly versatile in different ecological niches. In this study, we aimed to elucidate in detail, the L. kunkeei genetic background and perform a comparative genome analysis with other Lactobacillus species. Methods. L. kunkeei MP2 was originally isolated from the guts of Chilean A. mellifera individuals. Genome sequencing was done using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time sequencing technology. De novo assembly was performed using Celera assembler. The genome was annotated using Prokka, and functional information was added using the EggNOG 3.1 database. In addition, genomic islands were predicted using IslandViewer, and pro-phage sequences using PHAST. Comparisons between L. kunkeei MP2 with other L. kunkeei, and Lactobacillus strains were done using Roary. Results. The complete genome of L. kunkeei MP2 comprises one circular chromosome of 1,614,522 nt. with a GC content of 36,9%. Pangenome analysis with 16 L. kunkeei strains, identified 113 unique genes, most of them related to phage insertions. A large and unique region of L. kunkeei MP2 genome contains several genes that encode for phage structural protein and replication components. Comparative analysis of MP2 with other Lactobacillus species, identified several unique genes of L. kunkeei MP2 related with metabolism, biofilm generation, survival under stress conditions, and mobile genetic elements (MGEs). Discussion. The presence of multiple mobile genetic elements, including phage sequences, suggest a high degree of genetic variability in L. kunkeei. Its versatility and ability to survive in different ecological niches (bee guts, flowers, fruits among others) could be given by its genetic capacity to change and adapt to different environments. L. kunkeei could be a new source of Lactobacillus with beneficial properties. Indeed, L. kunkeei MP2 could play an important role in honey bee nutrition through the synthesis of components as isoprenoids. Background. The honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the most important pollinator in agriculture worldwide. However, the number of honey bees has fallen significantly since 2006, becoming a huge ecological problem nowadays. The principal cause is CCD, or Colony Collapse Disorder, characterized by the seemingly spontaneous abandonment of hives by their workers. One of the characteristics of CCD in honey bees is the alteration of the bacterial communities in their gastrointestinal tract, mainly due to the decrease of Firmicutes populations, such as the Lactobacilli. At this time, the causes of these alterations remain unknown. We recently isolated a strain of Lactobacillus kunkeei (L. kunkeei strain MP2) from the gut of Chilean honey bees. L. kunkeei, is one of the most commonly isolated bacterium from the honey bee gut and is highly versatile in different ecological niches. In this study, we aimed to elucidate in detail, the L. kunkeei genetic background and perform a comparative genome analysis with other Lactobacillus species. Methods. L. kunkeei MP2 was originally isolated from the guts of Chilean A. mellifera individuals. Genome sequencing was done using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time sequencing technology. De novo assembly was performed using Celera assembler. The genome was annotated using Prokka, and functional information was added using the EggNOG 3.1 database. In addition, genomic islands were predicted using IslandViewer, and pro-phage sequences using PHAST. Comparisons between L. kunkeei MP2 with other L. kunkeei, and Lactobacillus strains were done using Roary. Results. The complete genome of L. kunkeei MP2 comprises one circular chromosome of 1,614,522 nt. with a GC content of 36,9%. Pangenome analysis with 16 L. kunkeei strains, identified 113 unique genes, most of them related to phage insertions. A large and unique region of L. kunkeei MP2 genome contains several genes that encode for phage structural protein and replication components. Comparative analysis of MP2 with other Lactobacillus species, identified several unique genes of L. kunkeei MP2 related with metabolism, biofilm generation, survival under stress conditions, and mobile genetic elements (MGEs). Discussion. The presence of multiple mobile genetic elements, including phage sequences, suggest a high degree of genetic variability in L. kunkeei. Its versatility and ability to survive in different ecological niches (bee guts, flowers, fruits among others) could be given by its genetic capacity to change and adapt to different environments. L. kunkeei could be a new source of Lactobacillus with beneficial properties. Indeed, L. kunkeei MP2 could play an important role in honey bee nutrition through the synthesis of components as isoprenoids.
A novel family VIII carboxylesterase hydrolysing third and fourth generation cephalosporins
A metagenomic library was constructed from a soil sample of spindle tree-rhizosphere. From this library, one clone with esterase activity was selected. The sequence analysis revealed an open reading frame (EstSTR1) encoded protein of 390 amino acids. EstSTR1 is a family VIII carboxylesterase and retains the S-X-X-K motif conserved in both family VIII carboxylesterases and class C β-lactamases. The estSTR1 gene was overexpressed in E. coli and the recombinant protein was purified by purified by metal chelating affinity chromatography and size-exclusion chromatography. EstSTR1 hydrolysed p-nitrophenyl esters, exhibited the highest activity toward p-nitrophenyl butyrate. Furthermore, EstSTR1 could hydrolyse third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins (cefotaxime and cefepime) as well as first-generation cephalosporin (cephalothin). Site-directed mutagenesis studies revealed that a catalytic residue, Ser71, of EstSTR1 plays an essential role in hydrolysing both antibiotics and p-nitrophenyl esters. We demonstrate that a metagenome-derived carboxylesterase displays β-lactam-hydrolysing activities toward third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40064-016-2172-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. A metagenomic library was constructed from a soil sample of spindle tree-rhizosphere. From this library, one clone with esterase activity was selected. The sequence analysis revealed an open reading frame (EstSTR1) encoded protein of 390 amino acids. EstSTR1 is a family VIII carboxylesterase and retains the S-X-X-K motif conserved in both family VIII carboxylesterases and class C β-lactamases. The estSTR1 gene was overexpressed in E. coli and the recombinant protein was purified by purified by metal chelating affinity chromatography and size-exclusion chromatography. EstSTR1 hydrolysed p-nitrophenyl esters, exhibited the highest activity toward p-nitrophenyl butyrate. Furthermore, EstSTR1 could hydrolyse third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins (cefotaxime and cefepime) as well as first-generation cephalosporin (cephalothin). Site-directed mutagenesis studies revealed that a catalytic residue, Ser71, of EstSTR1 plays an essential role in hydrolysing both antibiotics and p-nitrophenyl esters. We demonstrate that a metagenome-derived carboxylesterase displays β-lactam-hydrolysing activities toward third- and fourth-generation cephalosporins. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40064-016-2172-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Investigation of the Activity of the Microorganisms in a Reblochon Style Cheese by Metatranscriptomic Analysis
The microbial communities in cheeses are composed of varying bacteria, yeasts, and molds, which contribute to the development of their typical sensory properties. In situ studies are needed to better understand their growth and activity during cheese ripening. Our objective was to investigate the activity of the microorganisms used for manufacturing a surface-ripened cheese by means of metatranscriptomic analysis. The cheeses were produced using two lactic acid bacteria (Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus), one ripening bacterium (Brevibacterium aurantiacum), and two yeasts (Debaryomyces hansenii and Geotrichum candidum). RNA was extracted from the cheese rinds and, after depletion of most ribosomal RNA, sequencing was performed using a short-read sequencing technology that generated ~75 million reads per sample. Except for B. aurantiacum, which failed to grow in the cheeses, a large number of CDS reads were generated for the inoculated species, making it possible to investigate their individual transcriptome over time. From day 5 to 35, G. candidum accounted for the largest proportion of CDS reads, suggesting that this species was the most active. Only minor changes occurred in the transcriptomes of the lactic acid bacteria. For the two yeasts, we compared the expression of genes involved in the catabolism of lactose, galactose, lactate, amino acids, and free fatty acids. During ripening, genes involved in ammonia assimilation and galactose catabolism were down-regulated in the two species. Genes involved in amino acid catabolism were up-regulated in G. candidum from day 14 to day 35, whereas in D. hansenii, they were up-regulated mainly at day 35, suggesting that this species catabolized the cheese amino acids later. In addition, after 35 days of ripening, there was a down-regulation of genes involved in the electron transport chain, suggesting a lower cellular activity. The present study has exemplified how metatranscriptomic analyses provide insight into the activity of cheese microbial communities for which reference genome sequences are available. In the future, such studies will be facilitated by the progress in DNA sequencing technologies and by the greater availability of the genome sequences of cheese microorganisms. The microbial communities in cheeses are composed of varying bacteria, yeasts, and molds, which contribute to the development of their typical sensory properties. In situ studies are needed to better understand their growth and activity during cheese ripening. Our objective was to investigate the activity of the microorganisms used for manufacturing a surface-ripened cheese by means of metatranscriptomic analysis. The cheeses were produced using two lactic acid bacteria (Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus), one ripening bacterium (Brevibacterium aurantiacum), and two yeasts (Debaryomyces hansenii and Geotrichum candidum). RNA was extracted from the cheese rinds and, after depletion of most ribosomal RNA, sequencing was performed using a short-read sequencing technology that generated ~75 million reads per sample. Except for B. aurantiacum, which failed to grow in the cheeses, a large number of CDS reads were generated for the inoculated species, making it possible to investigate their individual transcriptome over time. From day 5 to 35, G. candidum accounted for the largest proportion of CDS reads, suggesting that this species was the most active. Only minor changes occurred in the transcriptomes of the lactic acid bacteria. For the two yeasts, we compared the expression of genes involved in the catabolism of lactose, galactose, lactate, amino acids, and free fatty acids. During ripening, genes involved in ammonia assimilation and galactose catabolism were down-regulated in the two species. Genes involved in amino acid catabolism were up-regulated in G. candidum from day 14 to day 35, whereas in D. hansenii, they were up-regulated mainly at day 35, suggesting that this species catabolized the cheese amino acids later. In addition, after 35 days of ripening, there was a down-regulation of genes involved in the electron transport chain, suggesting a lower cellular activity. The present study has exemplified how metatranscriptomic analyses provide insight into the activity of cheese microbial communities for which reference genome sequences are available. In the future, such studies will be facilitated by the progress in DNA sequencing technologies and by the greater availability of the genome sequences of cheese microorganisms.
Epitheliocystis Distribution and Characterization in Brown Trout (Salmo trutta) from the Headwaters of Two Major European Rivers, the Rhine and Rhone
We present a first description of the distribution and characterization of epitheliocystis infections in brown trout (Salmo trutta) from the upper catchments of two major European rivers, the Rhine and the Rhone. Overall, epitheliocystis was widely distributed, with 70% of the Rhine and 67% of the Rhone sites harboring epitheliocystis positive brown trout. The epitheliocystis agents Candidatus Piscichlamydia salmonis and Candidatus Clavichlamydia salmonicola could be identified in both catchments, although their relative proportions differed from site to site. Additionally, in two rivers in the Rhine catchment, a new species of Candidatus Similichlamydia was identified. Based on the histology, infection intensity, and severity of pathological changes were significantly more pronounced in mixed chlamydial infections, whereas single infections showed only low numbers of cysts and mild pathology. Infections could be found over a wide range of temperatures, which showed no correlation to infection prevalence or intensity. We present a first description of the distribution and characterization of epitheliocystis infections in brown trout (Salmo trutta) from the upper catchments of two major European rivers, the Rhine and the Rhone. Overall, epitheliocystis was widely distributed, with 70% of the Rhine and 67% of the Rhone sites harboring epitheliocystis positive brown trout. The epitheliocystis agents Candidatus Piscichlamydia salmonis and Candidatus Clavichlamydia salmonicola could be identified in both catchments, although their relative proportions differed from site to site. Additionally, in two rivers in the Rhine catchment, a new species of Candidatus Similichlamydia was identified. Based on the histology, infection intensity, and severity of pathological changes were significantly more pronounced in mixed chlamydial infections, whereas single infections showed only low numbers of cysts and mild pathology. Infections could be found over a wide range of temperatures, which showed no correlation to infection prevalence or intensity.
Development of Monoclonal Antibody and Diagnostic Test for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Using Cell Free Synthesized Nucleocapsid Antigen
Protein nativity is one of the most critical factors for the quality of antigens used as immunogens and the reactivities of the resultant antibodies. The preparation and purification of native viral antigens in conventional cell-based protein expression systems are often accompanied by technical hardships. These challenges are attributable mainly to protein aggregation and insolubility during expression and purification, as well as to very low expression levels associated with the toxicity of some viral proteins. Here, we describe a novel approach for the production of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against nucleocapsid protein (NP) of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Using a wheat germ cell-free protein synthesis system, we successfully prepared large amounts of MERS-CoV NP antigen in a state that was highly soluble and intact for immunization. Following mouse immunization and hybridoma generation, we selected seven hybridoma clones that produced mAbs with exclusive reactivity against MERS-CoV NP. Epitope mapping and subsequent bioinformatic analysis revealed that these mAbs recognized epitopes located within relatively highly conserved regions of the MERS-CoV amino-acid sequence. Consistently, the mAbs exhibited no obvious cross-reactivity with NPs derived from other related viruses, including SARS coronavirus. After determining the optimal combinations of these mAbs, we developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a rapid immunochromatographic antigen detection test that can be reliably used for laboratory diagnosis of MERS-CoV. Thus, this study provides strong evidence that the wheat germ cell-free system is useful for the production of diagnostic mAbs against emerging pathogens. Protein nativity is one of the most critical factors for the quality of antigens used as immunogens and the reactivities of the resultant antibodies. The preparation and purification of native viral antigens in conventional cell-based protein expression systems are often accompanied by technical hardships. These challenges are attributable mainly to protein aggregation and insolubility during expression and purification, as well as to very low expression levels associated with the toxicity of some viral proteins. Here, we describe a novel approach for the production of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against nucleocapsid protein (NP) of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Using a wheat germ cell-free protein synthesis system, we successfully prepared large amounts of MERS-CoV NP antigen in a state that was highly soluble and intact for immunization. Following mouse immunization and hybridoma generation, we selected seven hybridoma clones that produced mAbs with exclusive reactivity against MERS-CoV NP. Epitope mapping and subsequent bioinformatic analysis revealed that these mAbs recognized epitopes located within relatively highly conserved regions of the MERS-CoV amino-acid sequence. Consistently, the mAbs exhibited no obvious cross-reactivity with NPs derived from other related viruses, including SARS coronavirus. After determining the optimal combinations of these mAbs, we developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a rapid immunochromatographic antigen detection test that can be reliably used for laboratory diagnosis of MERS-CoV. Thus, this study provides strong evidence that the wheat germ cell-free system is useful for the production of diagnostic mAbs against emerging pathogens.
Landscape genetic structure and evolutionary genetics of insecticide resistance gene mutations in Anopheles sinensis
Background Anopheles sinensis is one of the most abundant vectors of malaria and other diseases in Asia. Vector control through the use of insecticides is the front line control method of vector-borne diseases. Pyrethroids are the most commonly used insecticides due to their low toxicity to vertebrates and low repellency. However, the extensive use of insecticides has imposed strong selection pressure on mosquito populations for resistance. High levels of resistance to pyrethroid insecticides and various mutations and haplotypes in the para sodium channel gene that confers knockdown resistance (kdr) have been detected in An. sinensis. Despite the importance of kdr mutations in pyrethroid resistance, the evolutionary origin of the kdr mutations is unknown. This study aims to examine the evolutionary genetics of kdr mutations in relation to spatial population genetic structure of An. sinensis. Methods Adults or larvae of Anopheles sinensis were collected from various geographic locations in China. DNA was extracted from individual mosquitoes. PCR amplification and DNA sequencing of the para-type sodium channel gene were conducted to analyse kdr allele frequency distribution, kdr codon upstream and downstream intron polymorphism, population genetic diversity and kdr codon evolution. The mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase COI and COII genes were amplified and sequenced to examine population variations, genetic differentiation, spatial population structure, population expansion and gene flow patterns. Results Three non-synonymous mutations (L1014F, L1014C, and L1014S) were detected at the kdr codon L1014 of para-type sodium channel gene. A patchy distribution of kdr mutation allele frequencies from southern to central China was found. Near fixation of kdr mutation was detected in populations from central China, but no kdr mutations were found in populations from southwestern China. More than eight independent mutation events were detected in the three kdr alleles, and at least one of them evolved multiple times subsequent to their first divergence. Based on sequence analysis of the mitochondrial COI and COII genes, significant and large genetic differentiation was detected between populations from southwestern China and central China. The patchy distribution of kdr mutation frequencies is likely a consequence of geographic isolation in the mosquito populations and the long-term insecticide selection. Conclusion Our results indicate multiple origins of the kdr insecticide-resistant alleles in An. sinensis from southern and central China. Local selection related to intense and prolonged use of insecticide for agricultural purposes, as well as frequent migrations among populations are likely the explanations for the patchy distribution of kdr mutations in China. On the contrary, the lack of kdr mutations in Yunnan and Sichuan is likely a consequence of genetic isolation and absence of strong selection pressure. The present study compares the genetic patterns revealed by a functional gene with a neutral marker and demonstrates the combined impact of demographic and selection factors on population structure. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13071-016-1513-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Background Anopheles sinensis is one of the most abundant vectors of malaria and other diseases in Asia. Vector control through the use of insecticides is the front line control method of vector-borne diseases. Pyrethroids are the most commonly used insecticides due to their low toxicity to vertebrates and low repellency. However, the extensive use of insecticides has imposed strong selection pressure on mosquito populations for resistance. High levels of resistance to pyrethroid insecticides and various mutations and haplotypes in the para sodium channel gene that confers knockdown resistance (kdr) have been detected in An. sinensis. Despite the importance of kdr mutations in pyrethroid resistance, the evolutionary origin of the kdr mutations is unknown. This study aims to examine the evolutionary genetics of kdr mutations in relation to spatial population genetic structure of An. sinensis. Methods Adults or larvae of Anopheles sinensis were collected from various geographic locations in China. DNA was extracted from individual mosquitoes. PCR amplification and DNA sequencing of the para-type sodium channel gene were conducted to analyse kdr allele frequency distribution, kdr codon upstream and downstream intron polymorphism, population genetic diversity and kdr codon evolution. The mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase COI and COII genes were amplified and sequenced to examine population variations, genetic differentiation, spatial population structure, population expansion and gene flow patterns. Results Three non-synonymous mutations (L1014F, L1014C, and L1014S) were detected at the kdr codon L1014 of para-type sodium channel gene. A patchy distribution of kdr mutation allele frequencies from southern to central China was found. Near fixation of kdr mutation was detected in populations from central China, but no kdr mutations were found in populations from southwestern China. More than eight independent mutation events were detected in the three kdr alleles, and at least one of them evolved multiple times subsequent to their first divergence. Based on sequence analysis of the mitochondrial COI and COII genes, significant and large genetic differentiation was detected between populations from southwestern China and central China. The patchy distribution of kdr mutation frequencies is likely a consequence of geographic isolation in the mosquito populations and the long-term insecticide selection. Conclusion Our results indicate multiple origins of the kdr insecticide-resistant alleles in An. sinensis from southern and central China. Local selection related to intense and prolonged use of insecticide for agricultural purposes, as well as frequent migrations among populations are likely the explanations for the patchy distribution of kdr mutations in China. On the contrary, the lack of kdr mutations in Yunnan and Sichuan is likely a consequence of genetic isolation and absence of strong selection pressure. The present study compares the genetic patterns revealed by a functional gene with a neutral marker and demonstrates the combined impact of demographic and selection factors on population structure. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13071-016-1513-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Comparative analysis of viral RNA signatures on different RIG I like receptors
eLife digest An immune system can protect against disease-causing microbes such as viruses. Human cells contain three different receptors that can recognize and respond when a virus enters and begins to replicate inside. These receptors include RIG-I, MDA5 and LGP2, and they are collectively known as the RIG-I-like receptors. RIG-I-like receptors specifically recognize viruses that store their genetic material in the form of molecules of RNA. However, the specific viral parts that trigger RIG-I-like receptors to respond remain almost completely unknown. RNA viruses include well-known and re-emerging viruses such as polio and measles, as well as chikungunya – a virus that is spread by mosquitoes and causes illness worldwide. This means that understanding how RIG-I-like receptors identify RNA viruses and then trigger an immune response to eradicate them has the potential to inform the development of vaccines and antiviral therapies for many diseases. Sanchez David et al. now describe and validate a new experimental approach to determine the distinct viral regions that are recognized by human RIG-I-like receptors. The approach involves purifying the RIG-I-like receptors out of infected cells and then working out the sequence of RNA fragments that bind to the receptors. This approach revealed that each of the three human RIG-I-like receptors detected different viral RNA sequences during a measles infection. On the other hand, only RIG-I could recognize a specific part of the chikungunya virus genome. All together, the experiments illustrate how to identify the RNA sequences recognized by any of the three human RIG-I-like receptors during infection by a RNA virus. With the ability to gain this kind of insight, it may soon be possible to develop ways of using the RIG-I-like receptor pathway to control viral infections and enhance the body’s immune response to vaccination. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11275.002 eLife digest An immune system can protect against disease-causing microbes such as viruses. Human cells contain three different receptors that can recognize and respond when a virus enters and begins to replicate inside. These receptors include RIG-I, MDA5 and LGP2, and they are collectively known as the RIG-I-like receptors. RIG-I-like receptors specifically recognize viruses that store their genetic material in the form of molecules of RNA. However, the specific viral parts that trigger RIG-I-like receptors to respond remain almost completely unknown. RNA viruses include well-known and re-emerging viruses such as polio and measles, as well as chikungunya – a virus that is spread by mosquitoes and causes illness worldwide. This means that understanding how RIG-I-like receptors identify RNA viruses and then trigger an immune response to eradicate them has the potential to inform the development of vaccines and antiviral therapies for many diseases. Sanchez David et al. now describe and validate a new experimental approach to determine the distinct viral regions that are recognized by human RIG-I-like receptors. The approach involves purifying the RIG-I-like receptors out of infected cells and then working out the sequence of RNA fragments that bind to the receptors. This approach revealed that each of the three human RIG-I-like receptors detected different viral RNA sequences during a measles infection. On the other hand, only RIG-I could recognize a specific part of the chikungunya virus genome. All together, the experiments illustrate how to identify the RNA sequences recognized by any of the three human RIG-I-like receptors during infection by a RNA virus. With the ability to gain this kind of insight, it may soon be possible to develop ways of using the RIG-I-like receptor pathway to control viral infections and enhance the body’s immune response to vaccination. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11275.002The RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) play a major role in sensing RNA virus infection to initiate and modulate antiviral immunity. They interact with particular viral RNAs, most of them being still unknown. To decipher the viral RNA signature on RLRs during viral infection, we tagged RLRs (RIG-I, MDA5, LGP2) and applied tagged protein affinity purification followed by next-generation sequencing (NGS) of associated RNA molecules. Two viruses with negative- and positive-sense RNA genome were used: measles (MV) and chikungunya (CHIKV). NGS analysis revealed that distinct regions of MV genome were specifically recognized by distinct RLRs: RIG-I recognized defective interfering genomes, whereas MDA5 and LGP2 specifically bound MV nucleoprotein-coding region. During CHIKV infection, RIG-I associated specifically to the 3’ untranslated region of viral genome. This study provides the first comparative view of the viral RNA ligands for RIG-I, MDA5 and LGP2 in the presence of infection. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11275.001 The RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) play a major role in sensing RNA virus infection to initiate and modulate antiviral immunity. They interact with particular viral RNAs, most of them being still unknown. To decipher the viral RNA signature on RLRs during viral infection, we tagged RLRs (RIG-I, MDA5, LGP2) and applied tagged protein affinity purification followed by next-generation sequencing (NGS) of associated RNA molecules. Two viruses with negative- and positive-sense RNA genome were used: measles (MV) and chikungunya (CHIKV). NGS analysis revealed that distinct regions of MV genome were specifically recognized by distinct RLRs: RIG-I recognized defective interfering genomes, whereas MDA5 and LGP2 specifically bound MV nucleoprotein-coding region. During CHIKV infection, RIG-I associated specifically to the 3’ untranslated region of viral genome. This study provides the first comparative view of the viral RNA ligands for RIG-I, MDA5 and LGP2 in the presence of infection. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11275.001
Tor forms a dimer through an N terminal helical solenoid with a complex topology
The target of rapamycin (Tor) is a Ser/Thr protein kinase that regulates a wide range of anabolic and catabolic processes. Here the authors describe a sub-nanometer cryo-EM structure of a yeast Tor–Lst8 complex and propose an overall topology that differs from that previously suggested for mTORC1. The target of rapamycin (Tor) is a Ser/Thr protein kinase that regulates a wide range of anabolic and catabolic processes. Here the authors describe a sub-nanometer cryo-EM structure of a yeast Tor–Lst8 complex and propose an overall topology that differs from that previously suggested for mTORC1.The target of rapamycin (Tor) is a Ser/Thr protein kinase that regulates a range of anabolic and catabolic processes. Tor is present in two complexes, TORC1 and TORC2, in which the Tor–Lst8 heterodimer forms a common sub-complex. We have determined the cryo-electron microscopy (EM) structure of Tor bound to Lst8. Two Tor–Lst8 heterodimers assemble further into a dyad-symmetry dimer mediated by Tor–Tor interactions. The first 1,300 residues of Tor form a HEAT repeat-containing α-solenoid with four distinct segments: a highly curved 800-residue N-terminal 'spiral', followed by a 400-residue low-curvature 'bridge' and an extended ‘railing' running along the bridge leading to the 'cap' that links to FAT region. This complex topology was verified by domain insertions and offers a new interpretation of the mTORC1 structure. The spiral of one TOR interacts with the bridge of another, which together form a joint platform for the Regulatory Associated Protein of TOR (RAPTOR) regulatory subunit. The target of rapamycin (Tor) is a Ser/Thr protein kinase that regulates a range of anabolic and catabolic processes. Tor is present in two complexes, TORC1 and TORC2, in which the Tor–Lst8 heterodimer forms a common sub-complex. We have determined the cryo-electron microscopy (EM) structure of Tor bound to Lst8. Two Tor–Lst8 heterodimers assemble further into a dyad-symmetry dimer mediated by Tor–Tor interactions. The first 1,300 residues of Tor form a HEAT repeat-containing α-solenoid with four distinct segments: a highly curved 800-residue N-terminal 'spiral', followed by a 400-residue low-curvature 'bridge' and an extended ‘railing' running along the bridge leading to the 'cap' that links to FAT region. This complex topology was verified by domain insertions and offers a new interpretation of the mTORC1 structure. The spiral of one TOR interacts with the bridge of another, which together form a joint platform for the Regulatory Associated Protein of TOR (RAPTOR) regulatory subunit.
Investigation of TGFβ1 Induced Long Noncoding RNAs in Endothelial Cells
Objective. To evaluate the relationship between TGFβ signaling and endothelial lncRNA expression. Methods. Human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVECs) lncRNAs and mRNAs were profiled with the Arraystar Human lncRNA Expression Microarray V3.0 after 24 hours of exposure to TGFβ1 (10 ng/mL). Results. Of the 30,584 lncRNAs screened, 2,051 were significantly upregulated and 2,393 were appreciably downregulated (P < 0.05) in response to TGFβ. In the same HUVEC samples, 2,148 of the 26,106 mRNAs screened were upregulated and 1,290 were downregulated. Of these 2,051 differentially expressed upregulated lncRNAs, MALAT1, which is known to be induced by TGFβ in endothelial cells, was the most (~220-fold) upregulated lncRNA. Bioinformatics analyses indicated that the differentially expressed upregulated mRNAs are primarily enriched in hippo signaling, Wnt signaling, focal adhesion, neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction, and pathways in cancer. The most downregulated are notably involved in olfactory transduction, PI3-Akt signaling, Ras signaling, neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction, and apoptosis. Conclusions. This is the first lncRNA and mRNA transcriptome profile of TGFβ-mediated changes in human endothelial cells. These observations may reveal potential new targets of TGFβ in endothelial cells and novel therapeutic avenues for cardiovascular disease-associated endothelial dysfunction. Objective. To evaluate the relationship between TGFβ signaling and endothelial lncRNA expression. Methods. Human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVECs) lncRNAs and mRNAs were profiled with the Arraystar Human lncRNA Expression Microarray V3.0 after 24 hours of exposure to TGFβ1 (10 ng/mL). Results. Of the 30,584 lncRNAs screened, 2,051 were significantly upregulated and 2,393 were appreciably downregulated (P < 0.05) in response to TGFβ. In the same HUVEC samples, 2,148 of the 26,106 mRNAs screened were upregulated and 1,290 were downregulated. Of these 2,051 differentially expressed upregulated lncRNAs, MALAT1, which is known to be induced by TGFβ in endothelial cells, was the most (~220-fold) upregulated lncRNA. Bioinformatics analyses indicated that the differentially expressed upregulated mRNAs are primarily enriched in hippo signaling, Wnt signaling, focal adhesion, neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction, and pathways in cancer. The most downregulated are notably involved in olfactory transduction, PI3-Akt signaling, Ras signaling, neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction, and apoptosis. Conclusions. This is the first lncRNA and mRNA transcriptome profile of TGFβ-mediated changes in human endothelial cells. These observations may reveal potential new targets of TGFβ in endothelial cells and novel therapeutic avenues for cardiovascular disease-associated endothelial dysfunction.
Energy efficiency trade offs drive nucleotide usage in transcribed regions
Substantial cellular resources are devoted to nucleotide biosynthesis. Here the authors propose that transcribed regions prefer ‘cheaper' nucleotides, which appears true for synonymous sites, although more expensive nucleotides coding for cheaper amino acids are selected for at non-synonymous sites. Substantial cellular resources are devoted to nucleotide biosynthesis. Here the authors propose that transcribed regions prefer ‘cheaper' nucleotides, which appears true for synonymous sites, although more expensive nucleotides coding for cheaper amino acids are selected for at non-synonymous sites.Efficient nutrient usage is a trait under universal selection. A substantial part of cellular resources is spent on making nucleotides. We thus expect preferential use of cheaper nucleotides especially in transcribed sequences, which are often amplified thousand-fold compared with genomic sequences. To test this hypothesis, we derive a mutation-selection-drift equilibrium model for nucleotide skews (strand-specific usage of ‘A' versus ‘T' and ‘G' versus ‘C'), which explains nucleotide skews across 1,550 prokaryotic genomes as a consequence of selection on efficient resource usage. Transcription-related selection generally favours the cheaper nucleotides ‘U' and ‘C' at synonymous sites. However, the information encoded in mRNA is further amplified through translation. Due to unexpected trade-offs in the codon table, cheaper nucleotides encode on average energetically more expensive amino acids. These trade-offs apply to both strand-specific nucleotide usage and GC content, causing a universal bias towards the more expensive nucleotides ‘A' and ‘G' at non-synonymous coding sites. Efficient nutrient usage is a trait under universal selection. A substantial part of cellular resources is spent on making nucleotides. We thus expect preferential use of cheaper nucleotides especially in transcribed sequences, which are often amplified thousand-fold compared with genomic sequences. To test this hypothesis, we derive a mutation-selection-drift equilibrium model for nucleotide skews (strand-specific usage of ‘A' versus ‘T' and ‘G' versus ‘C'), which explains nucleotide skews across 1,550 prokaryotic genomes as a consequence of selection on efficient resource usage. Transcription-related selection generally favours the cheaper nucleotides ‘U' and ‘C' at synonymous sites. However, the information encoded in mRNA is further amplified through translation. Due to unexpected trade-offs in the codon table, cheaper nucleotides encode on average energetically more expensive amino acids. These trade-offs apply to both strand-specific nucleotide usage and GC content, causing a universal bias towards the more expensive nucleotides ‘A' and ‘G' at non-synonymous coding sites.
Untangling the brain's neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative transcriptional responses
Whole tissue RNA profiling can help identify altered molecular pathways underlying neurodegenerative disease, but often masks cell type-specific transcriptional changes. Here, the authors compare transcriptomes of neurons, astrocytes, and microglia from Alzheimer's disease model brains and identify hundreds of cell-type specific changes. Whole tissue RNA profiling can help identify altered molecular pathways underlying neurodegenerative disease, but often masks cell type-specific transcriptional changes. Here, the authors compare transcriptomes of neurons, astrocytes, and microglia from Alzheimer's disease model brains and identify hundreds of cell-type specific changes.A common approach to understanding neurodegenerative disease is comparing gene expression in diseased versus healthy tissues. We illustrate that expression profiles derived from whole tissue RNA highly reflect the degenerating tissues' altered cellular composition, not necessarily transcriptional regulation. To accurately understand transcriptional changes that accompany neuropathology, we acutely purify neurons, astrocytes and microglia from single adult mouse brains and analyse their transcriptomes by RNA sequencing. Using peripheral endotoxemia to establish the method, we reveal highly specific transcriptional responses and altered RNA processing in each cell type, with Tnfr1 required for the astrocytic response. Extending the method to an Alzheimer's disease model, we confirm that transcriptomic changes observed in whole tissue are driven primarily by cell type composition, not transcriptional regulation, and identify hundreds of cell type-specific changes undetected in whole tissue RNA. Applying similar methods to additional models and patient tissues will transform our understanding of aberrant gene expression in neurological disease. A common approach to understanding neurodegenerative disease is comparing gene expression in diseased versus healthy tissues. We illustrate that expression profiles derived from whole tissue RNA highly reflect the degenerating tissues' altered cellular composition, not necessarily transcriptional regulation. To accurately understand transcriptional changes that accompany neuropathology, we acutely purify neurons, astrocytes and microglia from single adult mouse brains and analyse their transcriptomes by RNA sequencing. Using peripheral endotoxemia to establish the method, we reveal highly specific transcriptional responses and altered RNA processing in each cell type, with Tnfr1 required for the astrocytic response. Extending the method to an Alzheimer's disease model, we confirm that transcriptomic changes observed in whole tissue are driven primarily by cell type composition, not transcriptional regulation, and identify hundreds of cell type-specific changes undetected in whole tissue RNA. Applying similar methods to additional models and patient tissues will transform our understanding of aberrant gene expression in neurological disease.
Abnormal Osmotic Avoidance Behavior in C. elegans Is Associated with Increased Hypertonic Stress Resistance and Improved Proteostasis
Protein function is controlled by the cellular proteostasis network. Proteostasis is energetically costly and those costs must be balanced with the energy needs of other physiological functions. Hypertonic stress causes widespread protein damage in C. elegans. Suppression and management of protein damage is essential for optimal survival under hypertonic conditions. ASH chemosensory neurons allow C. elegans to detect and avoid strongly hypertonic environments. We demonstrate that mutations in osm-9 and osm-12 that disrupt ASH mediated hypertonic avoidance behavior or genetic ablation of ASH neurons are associated with enhanced survival during hypertonic stress. Improved survival is not due to altered systemic volume homeostasis or organic osmolyte accumulation. Instead, we find that osm-9(ok1677) mutant and osm-9(RNAi) worms exhibit reductions in hypertonicity induced protein damage in non-neuronal cells suggesting that enhanced proteostasis capacity may account for improved hypertonic stress resistance in worms with defects in osmotic avoidance behavior. RNA-seq analysis revealed that genes that play roles in managing protein damage are upregulated in osm-9(ok1677) worms. Our findings are consistent with a growing body of work demonstrating that intercellular communication between neuronal and non-neuronal cells plays a critical role in integrating cellular stress resistance with other organismal physiological demands and associated energy costs. Protein function is controlled by the cellular proteostasis network. Proteostasis is energetically costly and those costs must be balanced with the energy needs of other physiological functions. Hypertonic stress causes widespread protein damage in C. elegans. Suppression and management of protein damage is essential for optimal survival under hypertonic conditions. ASH chemosensory neurons allow C. elegans to detect and avoid strongly hypertonic environments. We demonstrate that mutations in osm-9 and osm-12 that disrupt ASH mediated hypertonic avoidance behavior or genetic ablation of ASH neurons are associated with enhanced survival during hypertonic stress. Improved survival is not due to altered systemic volume homeostasis or organic osmolyte accumulation. Instead, we find that osm-9(ok1677) mutant and osm-9(RNAi) worms exhibit reductions in hypertonicity induced protein damage in non-neuronal cells suggesting that enhanced proteostasis capacity may account for improved hypertonic stress resistance in worms with defects in osmotic avoidance behavior. RNA-seq analysis revealed that genes that play roles in managing protein damage are upregulated in osm-9(ok1677) worms. Our findings are consistent with a growing body of work demonstrating that intercellular communication between neuronal and non-neuronal cells plays a critical role in integrating cellular stress resistance with other organismal physiological demands and associated energy costs.
Sero Prevalence and Genetic Diversity of Pandemic V. parahaemolyticus Strains Occurring at a Global Scale
Pandemic Vibrio parahaemolyticus is an emerging public health concern as it has caused numerous gastroenteritis outbreaks worldwide. Currently, the absence of a global overview of the phenotypic and molecular characteristics of pandemic strains restricts our overall understanding of these strains, especially for environmental strains. To generate a global picture of the sero-prevalence and genetic diversity of pandemic V. parahaemolyticus, pandemic isolates from worldwide collections were selected and analyzed in this study. After a thorough analysis, we found that the pandemic isolates represented 49 serotypes, which are widely distributed in 22 countries across four continents (Asia, Europe, America and Africa). All of these serotypes were detected in clinical isolates but only nine in environmental isolates. O3:K6 was the most widely disseminated serotype, followed by O3:KUT, while the others were largely restricted to certain countries. The countries with the most abundant pandemic serotypes were China (26 serotypes), India (24 serotypes), Thailand (15 serotypes) and Vietnam (10 serotypes). Based on MLST analysis, 14 sequence types (STs) were identified among the pandemic strains, nine of which fell within clonal complex (CC) 3. ST3 and ST305 were the only two STs that have been reported in environmental pandemic strains. Pandemic ST3 has caused a wide range of infections in as many as 16 countries. Substantial serotypic diversity was mainly observed among isolates within pandemic ST3, including as many as 12 combinations of O/K serotypes. At the allele level, the dtdS and pntA, two loci that perfectly conserved in CC3, displayed a degree of polymorphism in some pandemic strains. In conclusion, we provide a comprehensive understanding of sero-prevalence and genetic differentiation of clinical and environmental pandemic isolates collected from around the world. Although, further studies are needed to delineate the specific mechanisms by which the pandemic strains evolve and spread, the findings in this study are helpful when seeking countermeasures to reduce the spread of V. parahaemolyticus in endemic areas. Pandemic Vibrio parahaemolyticus is an emerging public health concern as it has caused numerous gastroenteritis outbreaks worldwide. Currently, the absence of a global overview of the phenotypic and molecular characteristics of pandemic strains restricts our overall understanding of these strains, especially for environmental strains. To generate a global picture of the sero-prevalence and genetic diversity of pandemic V. parahaemolyticus, pandemic isolates from worldwide collections were selected and analyzed in this study. After a thorough analysis, we found that the pandemic isolates represented 49 serotypes, which are widely distributed in 22 countries across four continents (Asia, Europe, America and Africa). All of these serotypes were detected in clinical isolates but only nine in environmental isolates. O3:K6 was the most widely disseminated serotype, followed by O3:KUT, while the others were largely restricted to certain countries. The countries with the most abundant pandemic serotypes were China (26 serotypes), India (24 serotypes), Thailand (15 serotypes) and Vietnam (10 serotypes). Based on MLST analysis, 14 sequence types (STs) were identified among the pandemic strains, nine of which fell within clonal complex (CC) 3. ST3 and ST305 were the only two STs that have been reported in environmental pandemic strains. Pandemic ST3 has caused a wide range of infections in as many as 16 countries. Substantial serotypic diversity was mainly observed among isolates within pandemic ST3, including as many as 12 combinations of O/K serotypes. At the allele level, the dtdS and pntA, two loci that perfectly conserved in CC3, displayed a degree of polymorphism in some pandemic strains. In conclusion, we provide a comprehensive understanding of sero-prevalence and genetic differentiation of clinical and environmental pandemic isolates collected from around the world. Although, further studies are needed to delineate the specific mechanisms by which the pandemic strains evolve and spread, the findings in this study are helpful when seeking countermeasures to reduce the spread of V. parahaemolyticus in endemic areas.
Identification of OP354 like human rotavirus strains with subtype P[8]b in Ghanaian children with diarrhoea
Background Rotaviruses with the P[8] genotype have been associated with majority of infections. Recent improvements in molecular diagnostics have delineated the P[8] genotype into P[8]a and P[8]b subtypes. P[8]a is the previously known P[8] genotype which is common whilst P[8]b subtype also known as OP354-like strain is genetically distinct, rarely detected and reported from a few countries. In a previous study, the P-types could not be determined for 80 RVA-positive samples by conventional RT-PCR genotyping methods with the recommended pool of P-genotype specific primers used in the WHO Regional Rotavirus Reference Laboratory in Ghana. The present study employed sequence-dependent cDNA amplification method to genotype previously non-typeable P-types. Methods Viral RNAs were extracted and rotavirus VP4 genes amplified by one step RT-PCR using gene specific primers. PCR amplicons were purified, sequenced and sequences aligned with cognate gene sequences available in GenBank using the ClustalW algorithm. Phylogenetic analysis was performed using the Neighbour-Joining method in MEGA v6.06 software. Phylogenetic tree was statistically supported by bootstrapping with 1000 replicates, and distances calculated using the Kimura-2 parameter model. Results Of the 80 RVA-positive samples, 57 were successfully sequenced and characterized. Forty-eight of these were identified as P[8] strains of which 5 were characterized as the rare P[8]b subtype. Phylogenetic analysis of the VP8* fragment of the VP4 genes of these P[8]b strains revealed a close relationship with prototype OP354-like P[8]b strain and P[8]b strains of Russian and South African P[8]b origin. Conclusion The study highlights the importance of regularly updating the primers employed for molecular typing of rotaviruses. Background Rotaviruses with the P[8] genotype have been associated with majority of infections. Recent improvements in molecular diagnostics have delineated the P[8] genotype into P[8]a and P[8]b subtypes. P[8]a is the previously known P[8] genotype which is common whilst P[8]b subtype also known as OP354-like strain is genetically distinct, rarely detected and reported from a few countries. In a previous study, the P-types could not be determined for 80 RVA-positive samples by conventional RT-PCR genotyping methods with the recommended pool of P-genotype specific primers used in the WHO Regional Rotavirus Reference Laboratory in Ghana. The present study employed sequence-dependent cDNA amplification method to genotype previously non-typeable P-types. Methods Viral RNAs were extracted and rotavirus VP4 genes amplified by one step RT-PCR using gene specific primers. PCR amplicons were purified, sequenced and sequences aligned with cognate gene sequences available in GenBank using the ClustalW algorithm. Phylogenetic analysis was performed using the Neighbour-Joining method in MEGA v6.06 software. Phylogenetic tree was statistically supported by bootstrapping with 1000 replicates, and distances calculated using the Kimura-2 parameter model. Results Of the 80 RVA-positive samples, 57 were successfully sequenced and characterized. Forty-eight of these were identified as P[8] strains of which 5 were characterized as the rare P[8]b subtype. Phylogenetic analysis of the VP8* fragment of the VP4 genes of these P[8]b strains revealed a close relationship with prototype OP354-like P[8]b strain and P[8]b strains of Russian and South African P[8]b origin. Conclusion The study highlights the importance of regularly updating the primers employed for molecular typing of rotaviruses.
Co expression network analysis reveals transcription factors associated to cell wall biosynthesis in sugarcane
Sugarcane is a hybrid of Saccharum officinarum and Saccharum spontaneum, with minor contributions from other species in Saccharum and other genera. Understanding the molecular basis of cell wall metabolism in sugarcane may allow for rational changes in fiber quality and content when designing new energy crops. This work describes a comparative expression profiling of sugarcane ancestral genotypes: S. officinarum, S. spontaneum and S. robustum and a commercial hybrid: RB867515, linking gene expression to phenotypes to identify genes for sugarcane improvement. Oligoarray experiments of leaves, immature and intermediate internodes, detected 12,621 sense and 995 antisense transcripts. Amino acid metabolism was particularly evident among pathways showing natural antisense transcripts expression. For all tissues sampled, expression analysis revealed 831, 674 and 648 differentially expressed genes in S. officinarum, S. robustum and S. spontaneum, respectively, using RB867515 as reference. Expression of sugar transporters might explain sucrose differences among genotypes, but an unexpected differential expression of histones were also identified between high and low Brix° genotypes. Lignin biosynthetic genes and bioenergetics-related genes were up-regulated in the high lignin genotype, suggesting that these genes are important for S. spontaneum to allocate carbon to lignin, while S. officinarum allocates it to sucrose storage. Co-expression network analysis identified 18 transcription factors possibly related to cell wall biosynthesis while in silico analysis detected cis-elements involved in cell wall biosynthesis in their promoters. Our results provide information to elucidate regulatory networks underlying traits of interest that will allow the improvement of sugarcane for biofuel and chemicals production. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11103-016-0434-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. Sugarcane is a hybrid of Saccharum officinarum and Saccharum spontaneum, with minor contributions from other species in Saccharum and other genera. Understanding the molecular basis of cell wall metabolism in sugarcane may allow for rational changes in fiber quality and content when designing new energy crops. This work describes a comparative expression profiling of sugarcane ancestral genotypes: S. officinarum, S. spontaneum and S. robustum and a commercial hybrid: RB867515, linking gene expression to phenotypes to identify genes for sugarcane improvement. Oligoarray experiments of leaves, immature and intermediate internodes, detected 12,621 sense and 995 antisense transcripts. Amino acid metabolism was particularly evident among pathways showing natural antisense transcripts expression. For all tissues sampled, expression analysis revealed 831, 674 and 648 differentially expressed genes in S. officinarum, S. robustum and S. spontaneum, respectively, using RB867515 as reference. Expression of sugar transporters might explain sucrose differences among genotypes, but an unexpected differential expression of histones were also identified between high and low Brix° genotypes. Lignin biosynthetic genes and bioenergetics-related genes were up-regulated in the high lignin genotype, suggesting that these genes are important for S. spontaneum to allocate carbon to lignin, while S. officinarum allocates it to sucrose storage. Co-expression network analysis identified 18 transcription factors possibly related to cell wall biosynthesis while in silico analysis detected cis-elements involved in cell wall biosynthesis in their promoters. Our results provide information to elucidate regulatory networks underlying traits of interest that will allow the improvement of sugarcane for biofuel and chemicals production. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11103-016-0434-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Enantioselective Utilization of D Amino Acids by Deep Sea Microorganisms
Microorganisms that utilize various D-amino acids (DAAs) were successfully isolated from deep-sea sediments. The isolates were phylogenetically assigned to Alphaproteobacteria, Gammmaproteobacteria, and Bacilli. Some of the isolates exhibited high enantioselective degradation activities to various DAAs. In particular, the Alphaproteobacteria Nautella sp. strain A04V exhibited robust growth in minimal medium supplemented with D-Val as a sole carbon and nitrogen source, whereas its growth was poor on minimal medium supplemented with L-Val instead of D-Val. Its growth was facilitated most when racemic mixtures of valine were used. In contrast, the Nautella strains isolated from shallow-sea grew only with L-Val. No significant differences were found among the strains in the genome sequences including genes possibly related to DAA metabolisms. Microorganisms that utilize various D-amino acids (DAAs) were successfully isolated from deep-sea sediments. The isolates were phylogenetically assigned to Alphaproteobacteria, Gammmaproteobacteria, and Bacilli. Some of the isolates exhibited high enantioselective degradation activities to various DAAs. In particular, the Alphaproteobacteria Nautella sp. strain A04V exhibited robust growth in minimal medium supplemented with D-Val as a sole carbon and nitrogen source, whereas its growth was poor on minimal medium supplemented with L-Val instead of D-Val. Its growth was facilitated most when racemic mixtures of valine were used. In contrast, the Nautella strains isolated from shallow-sea grew only with L-Val. No significant differences were found among the strains in the genome sequences including genes possibly related to DAA metabolisms.
Mincle mediated translational regulation is required for strong nitric oxide production and inflammation resolution
Resolution of granulomas in mycobacterial infection requires macrophages to switch from cytokine to nitric oxide (NO) production. Here the authors show that Mincle stimulates translation of the key NO synthesis genes by a mechanism dependent on p38-mediated hypusination of eiF5A. Resolution of granulomas in mycobacterial infection requires macrophages to switch from cytokine to nitric oxide (NO) production. Here the authors show that Mincle stimulates translation of the key NO synthesis genes by a mechanism dependent on p38-mediated hypusination of eiF5A.In response to persistent mycobacteria infection, the host induces a granuloma, which often fails to eradicate bacteria and results in tissue damage. Diverse host receptors are required to control the formation and resolution of granuloma, but little is known concerning their regulatory interactions. Here we show that Mincle, the inducible receptor for mycobacterial cord factor, is the key switch for the transition of macrophages from cytokine expression to high nitric oxide production. In addition to its stimulatory role on TLR-mediated transcription, Mincle enhanced the translation of key genes required for nitric oxide synthesis through p38 and eIF5A hypusination, leading to granuloma resolution. Thus, Mincle has dual functions in the promotion and subsequent resolution of inflammation during anti-mycobacterial defence using both transcriptional and translational controls. In response to persistent mycobacteria infection, the host induces a granuloma, which often fails to eradicate bacteria and results in tissue damage. Diverse host receptors are required to control the formation and resolution of granuloma, but little is known concerning their regulatory interactions. Here we show that Mincle, the inducible receptor for mycobacterial cord factor, is the key switch for the transition of macrophages from cytokine expression to high nitric oxide production. In addition to its stimulatory role on TLR-mediated transcription, Mincle enhanced the translation of key genes required for nitric oxide synthesis through p38 and eIF5A hypusination, leading to granuloma resolution. Thus, Mincle has dual functions in the promotion and subsequent resolution of inflammation during anti-mycobacterial defence using both transcriptional and translational controls.
Prevalence, Molecular Characterization, and Antibiotic Susceptibility of Vibrio parahaemolyticus from Ready to Eat Foods in China
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is the leading cause of foodborne outbreaks, particularly outbreaks associated with consumption of fish and shellfish, and represents a major threat to human health worldwide. This bacterium harbors two main virulence factors: the thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH) and TDH-related hemolysin (TRH). Additionally, various serotypes have been identified. The extensive use of antibiotics is a contributing factor to the increasing incidence of antimicrobial-resistant V. parahaemolyticus. In the current study, we aimed to determine the incidence and features of V. parahaemolyticus in ready-to-eat (RTE) foods in China. We found 39 V. parahaemolyticus strains on Chinese RTE foods through investigation of 511 RTE foods samples from 24 cities in China. All isolates were analyzed for the presence of tdh and trh gene by PCR, serotyping was performed using multiplex PCR, antibiotic susceptibility analysis was carried out using the disk diffusion method, and molecular typing was performed using enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus sequence PCR (ERIC-PCR) typing and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The results showed that none of the isolates were positive for tdh and trh. Most of the isolates (33.3%) were serotype O2. Antimicrobial susceptibility results indicated that most strains were resistant to streptomycin (89.7%), cefazolin (51.3%), and ampicillin (51.3%). The isolates were grouped into five clusters by ERIC-PCR and four clusters by MLST. We updated 10 novel loci and 33 sequence types (STs) in the MLST database. Thus, our findings demonstrated the presence of V. parahaemolyticus in Chinese RTE foods, provided insights into the dissemination of antibiotic-resistant strains, and improved our knowledge of methods of microbiological risk assessment in RTE foods. Vibrio parahaemolyticus is the leading cause of foodborne outbreaks, particularly outbreaks associated with consumption of fish and shellfish, and represents a major threat to human health worldwide. This bacterium harbors two main virulence factors: the thermostable direct hemolysin (TDH) and TDH-related hemolysin (TRH). Additionally, various serotypes have been identified. The extensive use of antibiotics is a contributing factor to the increasing incidence of antimicrobial-resistant V. parahaemolyticus. In the current study, we aimed to determine the incidence and features of V. parahaemolyticus in ready-to-eat (RTE) foods in China. We found 39 V. parahaemolyticus strains on Chinese RTE foods through investigation of 511 RTE foods samples from 24 cities in China. All isolates were analyzed for the presence of tdh and trh gene by PCR, serotyping was performed using multiplex PCR, antibiotic susceptibility analysis was carried out using the disk diffusion method, and molecular typing was performed using enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus sequence PCR (ERIC-PCR) typing and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). The results showed that none of the isolates were positive for tdh and trh. Most of the isolates (33.3%) were serotype O2. Antimicrobial susceptibility results indicated that most strains were resistant to streptomycin (89.7%), cefazolin (51.3%), and ampicillin (51.3%). The isolates were grouped into five clusters by ERIC-PCR and four clusters by MLST. We updated 10 novel loci and 33 sequence types (STs) in the MLST database. Thus, our findings demonstrated the presence of V. parahaemolyticus in Chinese RTE foods, provided insights into the dissemination of antibiotic-resistant strains, and improved our knowledge of methods of microbiological risk assessment in RTE foods.
Afferent Connectivity of the Zebrafish Habenulae
The habenulae are bilateral nuclei located in the dorsal diencephalon that are conserved across vertebrates. Here we describe the main afferents to the habenulae in larval and adult zebrafish. We observe afferents from the subpallium, nucleus rostrolateralis, posterior tuberculum, posterior hypothalamic lobe, median raphe; we also see asymmetric afferents from olfactory bulb to the right habenula, and from the parapineal to the left habenula. In addition, we find afferents from a ventrolateral telencephalic nucleus that neurochemical and hodological data identify as the ventral entopeduncular nucleus (vENT), confirming and extending observations of Amo et al. (2014). Fate map and marker studies suggest that vENT originates from the diencephalic prethalamic eminence and extends into the lateral telencephalon from 48 to 120 hour post-fertilization (hpf). No afferents to the habenula were observed from the dorsal entopeduncular nucleus (dENT). Consequently, we confirm that the vENT (and not the dENT) should be considered as the entopeduncular nucleus “proper” in zebrafish. Furthermore, comparison with data in other vertebrates suggests that the vENT is a conserved basal ganglia nucleus, being homologous to the entopeduncular nucleus of mammals (internal segment of the globus pallidus of primates) by both embryonic origin and projections, as previously suggested by Amo et al. (2014). The habenulae are bilateral nuclei located in the dorsal diencephalon that are conserved across vertebrates. Here we describe the main afferents to the habenulae in larval and adult zebrafish. We observe afferents from the subpallium, nucleus rostrolateralis, posterior tuberculum, posterior hypothalamic lobe, median raphe; we also see asymmetric afferents from olfactory bulb to the right habenula, and from the parapineal to the left habenula. In addition, we find afferents from a ventrolateral telencephalic nucleus that neurochemical and hodological data identify as the ventral entopeduncular nucleus (vENT), confirming and extending observations of Amo et al. (2014). Fate map and marker studies suggest that vENT originates from the diencephalic prethalamic eminence and extends into the lateral telencephalon from 48 to 120 hour post-fertilization (hpf). No afferents to the habenula were observed from the dorsal entopeduncular nucleus (dENT). Consequently, we confirm that the vENT (and not the dENT) should be considered as the entopeduncular nucleus “proper” in zebrafish. Furthermore, comparison with data in other vertebrates suggests that the vENT is a conserved basal ganglia nucleus, being homologous to the entopeduncular nucleus of mammals (internal segment of the globus pallidus of primates) by both embryonic origin and projections, as previously suggested by Amo et al. (2014).
Shortcomings of the Commercial MALDI TOF MS Database and Use of MLSA as an Arbiter in the Identification of Nocardia Species
Nocardia species are difficult to identify, a consequence of the ever increasing number of species known and their homogeneous genetic characteristics. 16S rRNA analysis has been the gold standard for identifying these organisms, but proteomic techniques such as matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF MS) and housekeeping gene analysis, have also been explored. One hundred high (n = 25), intermediate (n = 20), and low (n = 55) prevalence (for Spain) Nocardia strains belonging to 30 species were identified via 16S rRNA and MALDI-TOF MS analysis. The manufacturer-provided database MALDI Biotyper library v4.0 (5.627 entries, Bruker Daltonik) was employed. In the high prevalence group (Nocardia farcinica, N. abscessus, N. cyriacigeorgica and N. nova), the 16S rRNA and MALDI-TOF MS methods provided the same identification for 76% of the strains examined. For the intermediate prevalence group (N. brasiliensis, N. carnea, N. otitidiscaviarum and N. transvalensis complex), this figure fell to 45%. In the low-prevalence group (22 species), these two methods were concordant only in six strains at the species level. Tetra-gene multi-locus sequencing analysis (MLSA) involving the concatemer gyrB-16S rRNA-hsp65-secA1 was used to arbitrate between discrepant identifications (n = 67). Overall, the MLSA confirmed the results provided at species level by 16S rRNA analysis in 34.3% of discrepancies, and those provided by MALDI-TOF MS in 13.4%. MALDI-TOF MS could be a strong candidate for the identification of Nocardia species, but only if its reference spectrum database improves, especially with respect to unusual, recently described species and species included in the described Nocardia complexes. Nocardia species are difficult to identify, a consequence of the ever increasing number of species known and their homogeneous genetic characteristics. 16S rRNA analysis has been the gold standard for identifying these organisms, but proteomic techniques such as matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF MS) and housekeeping gene analysis, have also been explored. One hundred high (n = 25), intermediate (n = 20), and low (n = 55) prevalence (for Spain) Nocardia strains belonging to 30 species were identified via 16S rRNA and MALDI-TOF MS analysis. The manufacturer-provided database MALDI Biotyper library v4.0 (5.627 entries, Bruker Daltonik) was employed. In the high prevalence group (Nocardia farcinica, N. abscessus, N. cyriacigeorgica and N. nova), the 16S rRNA and MALDI-TOF MS methods provided the same identification for 76% of the strains examined. For the intermediate prevalence group (N. brasiliensis, N. carnea, N. otitidiscaviarum and N. transvalensis complex), this figure fell to 45%. In the low-prevalence group (22 species), these two methods were concordant only in six strains at the species level. Tetra-gene multi-locus sequencing analysis (MLSA) involving the concatemer gyrB-16S rRNA-hsp65-secA1 was used to arbitrate between discrepant identifications (n = 67). Overall, the MLSA confirmed the results provided at species level by 16S rRNA analysis in 34.3% of discrepancies, and those provided by MALDI-TOF MS in 13.4%. MALDI-TOF MS could be a strong candidate for the identification of Nocardia species, but only if its reference spectrum database improves, especially with respect to unusual, recently described species and species included in the described Nocardia complexes.