[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Visceral leishmaniasis is a potentially fatal disease endemic to large parts of Asia and Africa, primarily caused by the protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani. Here, we report a high-quality reference genome sequence for a strain of L. donovani from Nepal, and use this sequence to study variation in a set of 16 related clinical lines, isolated from visceral leishmaniasis patients from the same region, which also differ in their response to in vitro drug susceptibility. We show that whole-genome sequence data reveals genetic structure within these lines not shown by multilocus typing, and suggests that drug resistance has emerged multiple times in this closely related set of lines. Sequence comparisons with other Leishmania species and analysis of single-nucleotide diversity within our sample showed evidence of selection acting in a range of surface- and transport-related genes, including genes associated with drug resistance. Against a background of relative genetic homogeneity, we found extensive variation in chromosome copy number between our lines. Other forms of structural variation were significantly associated with drug resistance, notably including gene dosage and the copy number of an experimentally verified circular episome present in all lines and described here for the first time. This study provides a basis for more powerful molecular profiling of visceral leishmaniasis, providing additional power to track the drug resistance and epidemiology of an important human pathogen.
Genome Research 12/2011; 21(12):2143-56. · 14.40 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sequencing large insert clones to completion is useful for characterizing specific genomic regions, identifying haplotypes, and closing gaps in whole genome sequencing projects. Despite being a standard technique in molecular laboratories, DNA sequencing using the Sanger method can be highly problematic when complex secondary structures or sequence repeats are encountered in genomic clones. Here, we describe methods to isolate DNA from a large insert clone (fosmid or BAC), subclone the sample, and sequence the region to the highest industry standard. Troubleshooting solutions for sequencing difficult templates are discussed.
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2011; 772:59-81.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Large insert genome libraries have been a core resource required to sequence genomes, analyze haplotypes, and aid gene discovery. While next generation sequencing technologies are revolutionizing the field of genomics, traditional genome libraries will still be required for accurate genome assembly. Their utility is also being extended to functional studies for understanding DNA regulatory elements. Here, we present a detailed method for constructing genomic fosmid libraries, testing for common contaminants, gridding the library to nylon membranes, then hybridizing the library membranes with a radiolabeled probe to identify corresponding genomic clones. While this chapter focuses on fosmid libraries, many of these steps can also be applied to bacterial artificial chromosome libraries.
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2011; 772:37-58.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The obligately anaerobic bacterium Bacteroides fragilis, an opportunistic pathogen and inhabitant of the normal human colonic microbiota, exhibits considerable within-strain phase and antigenic variation of surface components. The complete genome sequence has revealed an unusual breadth (in number and in effect) of DNA inversion events that potentially control expression of many different components, including surface and secreted components, regulatory molecules, and restriction-modification proteins. Invertible promoters of two different types (12 group 1 and 11 group 2) were identified. One group has inversion crossover (fix) sites similar to the hix sites of Salmonella typhimurium. There are also four independent intergenic shufflons that potentially alter the expression and function of varied genes. The composition of the 10 different polysaccharide biosynthesis gene clusters identified (7 with associated invertible promoters) suggests a mechanism of synthesis similar to the O-antigen capsules of Escherichia coli.