A portal for rhizobial genomes: RhizoGATE integrates a Sinorhizobium meliloti genome annotation update with postgenome data

Genetics and Systems Biology, Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.
Journal of Biotechnology (Impact Factor: 2.87). 03/2009; 140(1-2):45-50. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbiotec.2008.11.006
Source: PubMed


Sinorhizobium meliloti is a symbiotic soil bacterium of the alphaproteobacterial subdivision. Like other rhizobia, S. meliloti induces nitrogen-fixing root nodules on leguminous plants. This is an ecologically and economically important interaction, because plants engaged in symbiosis with rhizobia can grow without exogenous nitrogen fertilizers. The S. meliloti-Medicago truncatula (barrel medic) association is an important symbiosis model. The S. meliloti genome was published in 2001, and the M. truncatula genome currently is being sequenced. Many new resources and data have been made available since the original S. meliloti genome annotation and an update was needed. In June 2008, we submitted our annotation update to the EMBL and NCBI databases. Here we describe this new annotation and a new web-based portal RhizoGATE. About 1000 annotation updates were made; these included assigning functions to 313 putative proteins, assigning EC numbers to 431 proteins, and identifying 86 new putative genes. RhizoGATE incorporates the new annotion with the S. meliloti GenDB project, a platform that allows annotation updates in real time. Locations of transposon insertions, plasmid integrations, and array probe sequences are available in the GenDB project. RhizoGATE employs the EMMA platform for management and analysis of transcriptome data and the IGetDB data warehouse to integrate a variety of heterogeneous external data sources.

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Available from: Sharon R Long
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    • "A total of 4,430 mTSS were assigned to 2,657 protein-coding genes (Figures 1b and 1c; Additional file 2: Table S2). The total number of S. meliloti annotated protein- coding genes is 6296 [33], and 1090 operons were predicted [34]. Assuming a rough estimate of three co-transcribed genes per operon, we have identified TSS for most protein-coding genes in the S. meliloti genome. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Sinorhizobium meliloti is a soil-dwelling α-proteobacterium that possesses a large, tripartite genome and engages in a nitrogen fixing symbiosis with its plant hosts. Although much is known about this important model organism, global characterization of genetic regulatory circuits has been hampered by a lack of information about transcription and promoters. Results Using an RNAseq approach and RNA populations representing 16 different growth and stress conditions, we comprehensively mapped S. meliloti transcription start sites (TSS). Our work identified 17,001 TSS that we grouped into six categories based on the genomic context of their transcripts: mRNA (4,430 TSS assigned to 2,657 protein-coding genes), leaderless mRNAs (171), putative mRNAs (425), internal sense transcripts (7,650), antisense RNA (3,720), and trans-encoded sRNAs (605). We used this TSS information to identify transcription factor binding sites and putative promoter sequences recognized by seven of the 15 known S. meliloti σ factors σ70, σ54, σH1, σH2, σE1, σE2, and σE9). Altogether, we predicted 2,770 new promoter sequences, including 1,302 located upstream of protein coding genes and 722 located upstream of antisense RNA or trans-encoded sRNA genes. To validate promoter predictions for targets of the general stress response σ factor, RpoE2 (σE2), we identified rpoE2-dependent genes using microarrays and confirmed TSS for a subset of these by 5′ RACE mapping. Conclusions By identifying TSS and promoters on a global scale, our work provides a firm foundation for the continued study of S. meliloti gene expression with relation to gene organization, σ factors and other transcription factors, and regulatory RNAs.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · BMC Genomics
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    • "This fully automated first round of annotation ended with a functional assignment procedure to infer specific function(s) for each individual gene. This functional assignment was first based on annotations of the S. meliloti 1021 reference genome [50] for strong orthologs (>85% identity over at least 80% of the length of the smallest protein). All data (syntactic and functional annotations and results of comparative analysis) were stored in the relational database SinorhizoScope. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background The sinorhizobia are amongst the most well studied members of nitrogen-fixing root nodule bacteria and contribute substantial amounts of fixed nitrogen to the biosphere. While the alfalfa symbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti RM 1021 was one of the first rhizobial strains to be completely sequenced, little information is available about the genomes of this large and diverse species group. Results Here we report the draft assembly and annotation of 48 strains of Sinorhizobium comprising five genospecies. While S. meliloti and S. medicae are taxonomically related, they displayed different nodulation patterns on diverse Medicago host plants, and have differences in gene content, including those involved in conjugation and organic sulfur utilization. Genes involved in Nod factor and polysaccharide biosynthesis, denitrification and type III, IV, and VI secretion systems also vary within and between species. Symbiotic phenotyping and mutational analyses indicated that some type IV secretion genes are symbiosis-related and involved in nitrogen fixation efficiency. Moreover, there is a correlation between the presence of type IV secretion systems, heme biosynthesis and microaerobic denitrification genes, and symbiotic efficiency. Conclusions Our results suggest that each Sinorhizobium strain uses a slightly different strategy to obtain maximum compatibility with a host plant. This large genome data set provides useful information to better understand the functional features of five Sinorhizobium species, especially compatibility in legume-Sinorhizobium interactions. The diversity of genes present in the accessory genomes of members of this genus indicates that each bacterium has adopted slightly different strategies to interact with diverse plant genera and soil environments.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Genome biology
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    • "One possibility is that the competitive advantage that the SMc00911-insertion mutant strains have against the 1021 wild type strain is due to the expression of this truncated protein, rather than simply a loss-of-function of the full-length protein. Even though SMc00911 is annotated as a “SodM-like” protein in the NCBI database [53,54,56], there are only two short segments of similarity (8 amino acids [38% identity] and 11 amino acids [36% identity]) with a protein confirmed to be a SodM from Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (accession no. "
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    ABSTRACT: We have used the genomic data in the Integrated Microbial Genomes system of the Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute to make predictions about rhizobial open reading frames that play a role in nodulation of host plants. The genomic data was screened by searching for ORFs conserved in α-proteobacterial rhizobia, but not conserved in closely-related non-nitrogen-fixing α-proteobacteria. Using this approach, we identified many genes known to be involved in nodulation or nitrogen fixation, as well as several new candidate genes. We knocked out selected new genes and assayed for the presence of nodulation phenotypes and/or nodule-specific expression. One of these genes, SMc00911, is strongly expressed by bacterial cells within host plant nodules, but is expressed minimally by free-living bacterial cells. A strain carrying an insertion mutation in SMc00911 is not defective in the symbiosis with host plants, but in contrast to expectations, this mutant strain is able to out-compete the S. meliloti 1021 wild type strain for nodule occupancy in co-inoculation experiments. The SMc00911 ORF is predicted to encode a "SodM-like" (superoxide dismutase-like) protein containing a rhodanese sulfurtransferase domain at the N-terminus and a chromate-resistance superfamily domain at the C-terminus. Several other ORFs (SMb20360, SMc01562, SMc01266, SMc03964, and the SMc01424-22 operon) identified in the screen are expressed at a moderate level by bacteria within nodules, but not by free-living bacteria. Based on the analysis of ORFs identified in this study, we conclude that this comparative genomics approach can identify rhizobial genes involved in the nitrogen-fixing symbiosis with host plants, although none of the newly identified genes were found to be essential for this process.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · BMC Microbiology
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