[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lymphatic filariasis is a neglected tropical disease afflicting more than 120 million people, while another 1.3 billion people are at risk of infection. The nematode worm Brugia malayi is one of the causative agents of the disease and exists in a mutualistic symbiosis with Wolbachia bacteria. Since extensive lateral gene transfer occurs frequently between Wolbachia and its hosts, we sought to measure the extent of such LGT in B. malayi by whole genome sequencing of Wolbachia-depleted worms.
A considerable fraction (at least 115.4-kbp, or 10.6%) of the 1.08-Mbp Wolbachia wBm genome has been transferred to its nematode host and retains high levels of similarity, including 227 wBm genes and gene fragments. Complete open reading frames were transferred for 32 of these genes, meaning they have the potential to produce functional proteins. Moreover, four transfers have evidence of life stage-specific regulation of transcription at levels similar to other nematode transcripts, strengthening the possibility that they are functional.
There is extensive and ongoing transfer of Wolbachia DNA to the worm genome and some transfers are transcribed in a stage-specific manner at biologically relevant levels.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The microsporidia parasite Nosema contributes to the steep global decline of honey bees that are critical pollinators of food crops. There are two species of Nosema that have been found to infect honey bees, Nosema apis and N. ceranae. Genome sequencing of N. apis and comparative genome analysis with N. ceranae, a fully sequenced microsporidia species, reveal novel insights into host-parasite interactions underlying the parasite infections.
We applied the whole-genome shotgun sequencing approach to sequence and assemble the genome of N. apis which has an estimated size of 8.5 Mbp. We predicted 2,771 protein- coding genes and predicted the function of each putative protein using the Gene Ontology. The comparative genomic analysis led to identification of 1,356 orthologs that are conserved between the two Nosema species and genes that are unique characteristics of the individual species, thereby providing a list of virulence factors and new genetic tools for studying host-parasite interactions. We also identified a highly abundant motif in the upstream promoter regions of N. apis genes. This motif is also conserved in N. ceranae and other microsporidia species and likely plays a role in gene regulation across the microsporidia.
The availability of the N. apis genome sequence is a significant addition to the rapidly expanding body of microsprodian genomic data which has been improving our understanding of eukaryotic genome diversity and evolution in a broad sense. The predicted virulent genes and transcriptional regulatory elements are potential targets for innovative therapeutics to break down the life cycle of the parasite.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA cytosine methylation is a widely conserved epigenetic mark in eukaryotes that appears to have critical roles in the regulation of genome structure and transcription. Genome-wide methylation maps have so far only been established from the supergroups Archaeplastida and Unikont. Here we report the first whole-genome methylome from a stramenopile, the marine model diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Around 6% of the genome is intermittently methylated in a mosaic pattern. We find extensive methylation in transposable elements. We also detect methylation in over 320 genes. Extensive gene methylation correlates strongly with transcriptional silencing and differential expression under specific conditions. By contrast, we find that genes with partial methylation tend to be constitutively expressed. These patterns contrast with those found previously in other eukaryotes. By going beyond plants, animals and fungi, this stramenopile methylome adds significantly to our understanding of the evolution of DNA methylation in eukaryotes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Streptococcus pneumoniae is a leading cause of childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide, despite the availability of effective pneumococcal vaccines. Understanding the molecular interactions between the bacterium and the host will contribute to the control and prevention of pneumococcal disease. RESULTS: We used a combination of adherence assays, mutagenesis and functional genomics to identify novel factors involved in adherence. By contrasting these processes in two pneumococcal strains, TIGR4 and G54, we showed that adherence and invasion capacities vary markedly by strain. Electron microscopy showed more adherent bacteria in association with membranous pseudopodia in the TIGR4 strain. Operons for cell wall phosphorylcholine incorporation (lic), manganese transport (psa) and phosphate utilization (phn) were up-regulated in both strains on exposure to epithelial cells. Pneumolysin, pili, stress protection genes (adhC-czcD) and genes of the type II fatty acid synthesis pathway were highly expressed in the naturally more invasive strain, TIGR4. Deletion mutagenesis of five gene regions identified as regulated in this study revealed attenuation in adherence. Most strikingly, [increment]SP_1922 which was predicted to contain a B-cell epitope and revealed significant attenuation in adherence, appeared to be expressed as a part of an operon that includes the gene encoding the cytoplasmic pore-forming toxin and vaccine candidate, pneumolysin. CONCLUSION: This work identifies a list of novel potential pneumococcal adherence determinants.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MOTIVATION: A large and rapidly growing number of bacterial organisms have been sequenced by the newest sequencing technologies. Cheaper and faster sequencing technologies make it easy to generate very high coverage of bacterial genomes, but these advances mean that DNA preparation costs can exceed the cost of sequencing for small genomes. The need to contain costs often results in the creation of only a single sequencing library, which in turn introduces new challenges for genome assembly methods. RESULTS: We evaluated the ability of multiple genome assembly programs to assemble bacterial genomes from a single, deep-coverage library. For our comparison, we chose bacterial species spanning a wide range of GC content, and measured the contiguity and accuracy of the resulting assemblies. We compared the assemblies produced by this very-high-coverage, one-library strategy to the best assemblies created by two-library sequencing, and found that remarkably good bacterial assemblies are possible with just one library. We also measured the effect of read length and depth of coverage on assembly quality and determined the values that provide the best results with current algorithms.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We applied whole-exome sequencing (WES) for identification of an underlying genetic cause of a disease in a family presented with fatal infantile hyperthermia. Analysis of WES results revealed novel, deleterious compound missense mutations, Val160Ala and Pro233Thr, in the synthesis of cytochrome C oxidase 2 gene (SCO2) encoding a mitochondrial protein, Sco2, which is important for cytochrome C oxidase (COX) synthesis. Autosomal recessive mutations in SCO2 are known to be associated with COX deficiency recognized as fatal infantile cardio-encephalomyopathy (604272, OMIM). The Val160Ala and Pro233Thr mutations occurred in the conserved thioredoxin domain of Sco2 and predicted to disrupt protein folding and interaction of Sco2 with other proteins. Our results show applicability of WES in identification of disease-causing mutations and in establishing molecular diagnosis of severe, infantile onset disorder with a challenging diagnosis.Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 31 January 2013; doi:10.1038/jhg.2012.156.
Journal of Human Genetics 01/2013; · 2.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: First identified in 1982, Escherichia coli O157:H7 is the dominant enterohemorrhagic serotype underlying food-borne human infections in North America. Here, we report the genomes of twenty-six strains derived from patients and the bovine reservoir. These resources enable detailed whole-genome comparisons and permit investigations of genotypic and phenotypic plasticity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium massiliense (Mycobacterium abscessus group) is an emerging pathogen causing pulmonary disease and skin and soft tissue infections. We report the genome sequence of the type strain CCUG 48898.
Journal of bacteriology 10/2012; 194(19):5450. · 3.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The millions of deaths from cholera during the past 200 y, coupled with the morbidity and mortality of cholera in Haiti since October 2010, are grim reminders that Vibrio cholerae, the etiologic agent of cholera, remains a scourge. We report the isolation of both V. cholerae O1 and non-O1/O139 early in the Haiti cholera epidemic from samples collected from victims in 18 towns across eight Arrondissements of Haiti. The results showed two distinct populations of V. cholerae coexisted in Haiti early in the epidemic. As non-O1/O139 V. cholerae was the sole pathogen isolated from 21% of the clinical specimens, its role in this epidemic, either alone or in concert with V. cholerae O1, cannot be dismissed. A genomic approach was used to examine similarities and differences among the Haitian V. cholerae O1 and V. cholerae non-O1/O139 strains. A total of 47 V. cholerae O1 and 29 V. cholerae non-O1/O139 isolates from patients and the environment were sequenced. Comparative genome analyses of the 76 genomes and eight reference strains of V. cholerae isolated in concurrent epidemics outside Haiti and 27 V. cholerae genomes available in the public database demonstrated substantial diversity of V. cholerae and ongoing flux within its genome.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2012; 109(29):E2010-7. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Numerous methods exist for enriching bacterial or mammalian mRNA prior to transcriptome experiments. Yet there persists a need for methods to enrich for mRNA in non-mammalian animal systems. For example, insects contain many important and interesting obligate intracellular bacteria, including endosymbionts and vector-borne pathogens. Such obligate intracellular bacteria are difficult to study by traditional methods. Therefore, genomics has greatly increased our understanding of these bacteria. Efficient subtraction methods are needed for removing both bacteria and insect rRNA in these systems to enable transcriptome-based studies.
A method is described that efficiently removes >95% of insect rRNA from total RNA samples, as determined by microfluidics and transcriptome sequencing. This subtraction yielded a 6.2-fold increase in mRNA abundance. Such a host rRNA-depletion strategy, in combination with bacterial rRNA depletion, is necessary to analyze transcription of obligate intracellular bacteria. Here, transcripts were identified that arise from a lateral gene transfer of an entire Wolbachia bacterial genome into a Drosophila ananassae chromosome. In this case, an rRNA depletion strategy is preferred over polyA-based enrichment since transcripts arising from bacteria-to-animal lateral gene transfer may not be poly-adenylated.
This enrichment method yields a significant increase in mRNA abundance when poly-A selection is not suitable. It can be used in combination with bacterial rRNA subtraction to enable experiments to simultaneously measure bacteria and insect mRNA in vector and endosymbiont biology experiments.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The genetic architecture of ischemic stroke is complex and is likely to include rare or low frequency variants with high penetrance and large effect sizes. Such variants are likely to provide important insights into disease pathogenesis compared to common variants with small effect sizes. Because a significant portion of human functional variation may derive from the protein-coding portion of genes we undertook a pilot study to identify variation across the human exome (i.e., the coding exons across the entire human genome) in 10 ischemic stroke cases. Our efforts focused on evaluating the feasibility and identifying the difficulties in this type of research as it applies to ischemic stroke. The cases included 8 African-Americans and 2 Caucasians selected on the basis of similar stroke subtypes and by implementing a case selection algorithm that emphasized the genetic contribution of stroke risk. Following construction of paired-end sequencing libraries, all predicted human exons in each sample were captured and sequenced. Sequencing generated an average of 25.5 million read pairs (75 bp×2) and 3.8 Gbp per sample. After passing quality filters, screening the exomes against dbSNP demonstrated an average of 2839 novel SNPs among African-Americans and 1105 among Caucasians. In an aggregate analysis, 48 genes were identified to have at least one rare variant across all stroke cases. One gene, CSN3, identified by screening our prior GWAS results in conjunction with our exome results, was found to contain an interesting coding polymorphism as well as containing excess rare variation as compared with the other genes evaluated. In conclusion, while rare coding variants may predispose to the risk of ischemic stroke, this fact has yet to be definitively proven. Our study demonstrates the complexities of such research and highlights that while exome data can be obtained, the optimal analytical methods have yet to be determined.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e35591. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neurotrophin-dependent activation of the tyrosine kinase receptor trkB.FL modulates neuromuscular synapse maintenance and function; however, it is unclear what role the alternative splice variant, truncated trkB (trkB.T1), may have in the peripheral neuromuscular axis. We examined this question in trkB.T1 null mice and demonstrate that in vivo neuromuscular performance and nerve-evoked muscle tension are significantly increased. In vitro assays indicated that the gain-in-function in trkB.T1(-/-) animals resulted specifically from an increased muscle contractility, and increased electrically evoked calcium release. In the trkB.T1 null muscle, we identified an increase in Akt activation in resting muscle as well as a significant increase in trkB.FL and Akt activation in response to contractile activity. On the basis of these findings, we conclude that the trkB signaling pathway might represent a novel target for intervention across diseases characterized by deficits in neuromuscular function.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chlamydia psittaci is a highly prevalent avian pathogen and the cause of a potentially lethal zoonosis, causing life-threatening pneumonia in humans. We report the genome sequences of C. psittaci 6BC, the prototype strain of the species, and C. psittaci Cal10, a widely used laboratory strain.
Journal of bacteriology 05/2011; 193(15):4039-40. · 3.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli (ExPEC) are a common cause of disease in both mammals and birds. A vaccine to prevent such infections would be desirable given the increasing antibiotic resistance of these bacteria. We have determined the genome sequence of ExPEC IHE3034 (ST95) isolated from a case of neonatal meningitis and compared this to available genome sequences of other ExPEC strains and a few nonpathogenic E. coli. We found 19 genomic islands present in the genome of IHE3034, which are absent in the nonpathogenic E. coli isolates. By using subtractive reverse vaccinology we identified 230 antigens present in ExPEC but absent (or present with low similarity) in nonpathogenic strains. Nine antigens were protective in a mouse challenge model. Some of them were also present in other pathogenic non-ExPEC strains, suggesting that a broadly protective E. coli vaccine may be possible. The gene encoding the most protective antigen was detected in most of the E. coli isolates, highly conserved in sequence and found to be exported by a type II secretion system which seems to be nonfunctional in nonpathogenic strains.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2010; 107(20):9072-7. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome sequences of human rhinoviruses (HRV) have primarily been from stocks collected in the 1960s, with genomes and phylogeny of modern HRVs remaining undefined. Here, two modern isolates (hrv-A101 and hrv-A101-v1) collected approximately 8 years apart were sequenced in their entirety. Incorporation into our full-genome HRV alignment with subsequent phylogenetic network inference indicated that these represent a unique HRV-A, localized within a distinct divergent clade. They appear to have resulted from recombination of the hrv-65 and hrv-78 lineages. These results support our contention that there are unrecognized distinct HRV-A strains, and that recombination is evident in currently circulating strains.
Archives of Virology 11/2009; 155(1):83-7. · 2.03 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to enrich the phylogenetic diversity represented in the available sequenced bacterial genomes and as part of an "Assembling the Tree of Life" project, we determined the genome sequence of Thermomicrobium roseum DSM 5159. T. roseum DSM 5159 is a red-pigmented, rod-shaped, Gram-negative extreme thermophile isolated from a hot spring that possesses both an atypical cell wall composition and an unusual cell membrane that is composed entirely of long-chain 1,2-diols. Its genome is composed of two circular DNA elements, one of 2,006,217 bp (referred to as the chromosome) and one of 919,596 bp (referred to as the megaplasmid). Strikingly, though few standard housekeeping genes are found on the megaplasmid, it does encode a complete system for chemotaxis including both chemosensory components and an entire flagellar apparatus. This is the first known example of a complete flagellar system being encoded on a plasmid and suggests a straightforward means for lateral transfer of flagellum-based motility. Phylogenomic analyses support the recent rRNA-based analyses that led to T. roseum being removed from the phylum Thermomicrobia and assigned to the phylum Chloroflexi. Because T. roseum is a deep-branching member of this phylum, analysis of its genome provides insights into the evolution of the Chloroflexi. In addition, even though this species is not photosynthetic, analysis of the genome provides some insight into the origins of photosynthesis in the Chloroflexi. Metabolic pathway reconstructions and experimental studies revealed new aspects of the biology of this species. For example, we present evidence that T. roseum oxidizes CO aerobically, making it the first thermophile known to do so. In addition, we propose that glycosylation of its carotenoids plays a crucial role in the adaptation of the cell membrane to this bacterium's thermophilic lifestyle. Analyses of published metagenomic sequences from two hot springs similar to the one from which this strain was isolated, show that close relatives of T. roseum DSM 5159 are present but have some key differences from the strain sequenced.
PLoS ONE 02/2009; 4(1):e4207. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polydnaviruses, double-stranded DNA viruses with segmented genomes, have evolved as obligate endosymbionts of parasitoid wasps. Virus particles are replication deficient and produced by female wasps from proviral sequences integrated into the wasp genome. These particles are co-injected with eggs into caterpillar hosts, where viral gene expression facilitates parasitoid survival and, thereby, survival of proviral DNA. Here we characterize and compare the encapsidated viral genome sequences of bracoviruses in the family Polydnaviridae associated with Glyptapanteles gypsy moth parasitoids, along with near complete proviral sequences from which both viral genomes are derived.
The encapsidated Glyptapanteles indiensis and Glyptapanteles flavicoxis bracoviral genomes, each composed of 29 different size segments, total approximately 517 and 594 kbp, respectively. They are generated from a minimum of seven distinct loci in the wasp genome. Annotation of these sequences revealed numerous novel features for polydnaviruses, including insect-like sugar transporter genes and transposable elements. Evolutionary analyses suggest that positive selection is widespread among bracoviral genes.
The structure and organization of G. indiensis and G. flavicoxis bracovirus proviral segments as multiple loci containing one to many viral segments, flanked and separated by wasp gene-encoding DNA, is confirmed. Rapid evolution of bracovirus genes supports the hypothesis of bracovirus genes in an 'arms race' between bracovirus and caterpillar. Phylogenetic analyses of the bracoviral genes encoding sugar transporters provides the first robust evidence of a wasp origin for some polydnavirus genes. We hypothesize transposable elements, such as those described here, could facilitate transfer of genes between proviral segments and host DNA.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata is closely associated with the transmission of human schistosomiasis. An ecologically sound method has been proposed to control schistosomiasis using genetically modified snails to displace endemic, susceptible ones. To assess the viability of this form of biological control, studies towards understanding the molecular makeup of the snail relative to the presence of endogenous mobile genetic elements are being undertaken since they can be exploited for genetic transformation studies. We previously cloned a 1.95kb BamHI fragment in B. glabrata (BGR2) with sequence similarity to the human long interspersed nuclear element (LINE or L1). A contiguous, full-length sequence corresponding to BGR2, hereafter-named nimbus (BgI), has been identified from a B. glabrata bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library. Sequence analysis of the 65,764bp BAC insert contained one full-length, complete nimbus (BgI) element (element I), two full-length elements (elements II and III) containing deletions and flanked by target site duplications and 10 truncated copies. The intact nimbus (BgI) contained two open-reading frames (ORFs 1 and 2) encoding the characteristic hallmark domains found in non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons belonging to the I-clade; a nucleic acid binding protein in ORF1 and an apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease, reverse transcriptase and RNase H in ORF2. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that nimbus (BgI) is closely related to Drosophila (I factor), mosquito Aedes aegypti (MosquI) and chordate ascidian Ciona intestinalis (CiI) retrotransposons. Nimbus (BgI) represents the first complete mobile element characterised from a mollusk that appears to be transcriptionally active and is widely distributed in snails of the neotropics and the Old World.
International Journal for Parasitology 11/2007; 37(12):1307-18. · 3.64 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parasitic nematodes that cause elephantiasis and river blindness threaten hundreds of millions of people in the developing world. We have sequenced the approximately 90 megabase (Mb) genome of the human filarial parasite Brugia malayi and predict approximately 11,500 protein coding genes in 71 Mb of robustly assembled sequence. Comparative analysis with the free-living, model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans revealed that, despite these genes having maintained little conservation of local synteny during approximately 350 million years of evolution, they largely remain in linkage on chromosomal units. More than 100 conserved operons were identified. Analysis of the predicted proteome provides evidence for adaptations of B. malayi to niches in its human and vector hosts and insights into the molecular basis of a mutualistic relationship with its Wolbachia endosymbiont. These findings offer a foundation for rational drug design.