A fungal gene for antibiotic resistance on a dispensable ("B") chromosome.
ABSTRACT A family of cytochrome P-450 (Pda) genes in the pathogenic fungus Nectria haematococca is responsible for the detoxification of the phytoalexin pisatin, an antimicrobial compound produced by garden pea (Pisum sativum L.). The Pda6 gene was mapped by electrophoretic karyotype analysis to a small meiotically unstable chromosome that is dispensable for normal growth. Such traits are typical of B chromosomes. The strains of Nectria studied here have no sequences that are homologous to the Pda family other than Pda6 and therefore demonstrate that unique, functional genes can be found on B chromosomes. Unstable B chromosomes may be one mechanism for generating pathogenic variation in fungi.
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ABSTRACT: Recent work has shown that Fusarium species and genotypes most commonly associated with human infections, particularly of the cornea (mycotic keratitis), are the same as those most commonly isolated from plumbing systems. The species most dominant in plumbing biofilms is Fusarium keratoplasticum, a cosmopolitan fungus known almost exclusively from animal infections and biofilms. To better understand its diversity and population dynamics, we developed and utilized a nine-locus sequence-based typing system to make inferences about clonality, recombination, population structure, species boundaries and hybridization. High levels of genetic diversity and evidence for recombination and clonality were detected among 75 clinical and 156 environmental isolates of Fusarium keratoplasticum. The multilocus sequence typing system (MLST) resolved 111 unique nine-locus sequence types (STs). The single locus bifactorial determinants of mating compatibility (mating types MAT1-1 and MAT1-2), were found in a ratio of 70:30. All but one of the 49 isolates of the most common ST (FSSC 2d-2) came from human infections, mostly of the cornea, and from biofilms associated with contact lenses and plumbing surfaces. Significant levels of phylogenetic incongruence were found among loci. Putative clonal relationships among genotypes were estimated, showing a mixture of large clonal complexes and unrelated singletons. Discordance between the nuclear ribosomal rRNA and other gene genealogies is consistent with introgression of ribosomal RNA alleles of phylogenetic species FSSC 9 into F. keratoplasticum. No significant population subdivision based on clinical versus non-clinical sources was found. Incongruent phylogenetic trees and the presence of both mating types within otherwise identical STs were observed, providing evidence for sexuality in F. keratoplasticum. Cryptic speciation suggested in a published three-locus MLST system was not supported with the addition of new loci, but evidence of introgression of ribosomal RNA genes from another strongly supported phylogenetic species (FSSC 9), also known from plumbing systems and human infections, was detected in two isolates. Overall, F. keratoplasticum is a diverse and geographically unstructured species with a mixed clonal and recombinant life history.BMC Evolutionary Biology 04/2014; 14(1):91. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Supernumerary (B) chromosomes have been shown to contain a wide variety of repetitive sequences. For this reason, fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) is a useful tool for ascertaining the origin of these genomic elements, especially when combined with painting from microdissected B chromosomes. In order to investigate the origin of B chromosomes in the fish species Astyanax paranae, these two approaches were used along with PCR amplification of specific DNA sequences obtained from the B chromosomes and its comparison with those residing in the A chromosomes. Remarkably, chromosome painting with the one-arm metacentric B chromosome probe showed hybridization signals on entire B chromosome, while FISH mapping revealed the presence of H1 histone and 18S rDNA genes symmetrically placed in both arms of the B chromosome. These results support the hypothesis that the B chromosome of A. paranae is an isochromosome. Additionally, the chromosome pairs Nos. 2 or 23 are considered the possible B chromosome ancestors since both contain syntenic H1 and 18S rRNA sequences. The analysis of DNA sequence fragments of the histone and rRNA genes obtained from the microdissected B chromosomes showed high similarity with those obtained from 0B individuals, which supports the intraspecific origin of B chromosomes in A. paranae. Finally, the population hereby analysed showed a female-biased B chromosome presence suggesting that B chromosomes in this species could influence sex determinism.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(4):e94896. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Chromatin structure can affect the organization and maintenance of chromosomes. Recent discoveries in several filamentous fungi suggest mechanisms for the clustering and co-regulation of secondary metabolite genes or pathogenicity islands. An extreme case of this may be fungal 'accessory', 'conditionally dispensable', or 'supernumerary' chromosomes that often confer beneficial traits. Fungal supernumerary chromosomes may be derived by similar mechanisms as animal or plant B chromosomes, and we thus propose that this term should be reconsidered to capture the wide variety of fungal accessory chromosomes. In some fungi, both the 'ends' of chromosomes and these 'odd B chromosomes are enriched with a silencing histone modification, H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3), suggesting parallel mechanisms in evolving subtelomeric or B-chromosomal pathogenicity islands and secondary metabolite clusters (SMCs).Current opinion in microbiology. 05/2014; 20C:19-26.