[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Haloferax volcanii is an easily culturable moderate halophile that grows on simple defined media, is readily transformable, and has a relatively stable genome. This, in combination with its biochemical and genetic tractability, has made Hfx. volcanii a key model organism, not only for the study of halophilicity, but also for archaeal biology in general.
We report here the sequencing and analysis of the genome of Hfx. volcanii DS2, the type strain of this species. The genome contains a main 2.848 Mb chromosome, three smaller chromosomes pHV1, 3, 4 (85, 438, 636 kb, respectively) and the pHV2 plasmid (6.4 kb).
The completed genome sequence, presented here, provides an invaluable tool for further in vivo and in vitro studies of Hfx. volcanii.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here we present the draft genome of Synergistes jonesii 78-1, ATCC 49833, a member of the Synergistes phylum. This organism was isolated from the rumen of a Hawaiian goat and ferments pyridinediols. The assembly contains 2,747,397 bp
in 61 contigs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne human illness in North America. In order to understand the molecular pathogenesis, natural diversity, population structure and epizootic spread of the North American Lyme agent, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto, a much better understanding of the natural diversity of its genome will be required. Towards this end we present a comparative analysis of the nucleotide sequences of the numerous plasmids of B. burgdorferi isolates B31, N40, JD1 and 297. These strains were chosen because they include the three most commonly studied laboratory strains, and because they represent different major genetic lineages and so are informative regarding the genetic diversity and evolution of this organism. A unique feature of Borrelia genomes is that they carry a large number of linear and circular plasmids, and this work shows that strains N40, JD1, 297 and B31 carry related but non-identical sets of 16, 20, 19 and 21 plasmids, respectively, that comprise 33-40% of their genomes. We deduce that there are at least 28 plasmid compatibility types among the four strains. The B. burgdorferi ∼900 Kbp linear chromosomes are evolutionarily exceptionally stable, except for a short ≤20 Kbp plasmid-like section at the right end. A few of the plasmids, including the linear lp54 and circular cp26, are also very stable. We show here that the other plasmids, especially the linear ones, are considerably more variable. Nearly all of the linear plasmids have undergone one or more substantial inter-plasmid rearrangements since their last common ancestor. In spite of these rearrangements and differences in plasmid contents, the overall gene complement of the different isolates has remained relatively constant.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Castor bean is an important oil-producing plant in the Euphorbiaceae family. Its high-quality oil contains up to 90% of the unusual fatty acid ricinoleate, which has many industrial and medical applications. Castor bean seeds also contain ricin, a highly toxic Type 2 ribosome-inactivating protein, which has gained relevance in recent years due to biosafety concerns. In order to gain knowledge on global genetic diversity in castor bean and to ultimately help the development of breeding and forensic tools, we carried out an extensive chloroplast sequence diversity analysis. Taking advantage of the recently published genome sequence of castor bean, we assembled the chloroplast and mitochondrion genomes extracting selected reads from the available whole genome shotgun reads. Using the chloroplast reference genome we used the methylation filtration technique to readily obtain draft genome sequences of 7 geographically and genetically diverse castor bean accessions. These sequence data were used to identify single nucleotide polymorphism markers and phylogenetic analysis resulted in the identification of two major clades that were not apparent in previous population genetic studies using genetic markers derived from nuclear DNA. Two distinct sub-clades could be defined within each major clade and large-scale genotyping of castor bean populations worldwide confirmed previously observed low levels of genetic diversity and showed a broad geographic distribution of each sub-clade.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For over a decade, genome 43 sequences have adhered to only two standards that are relied on for purposes of sequence analysis by interested third parties (1, 2). However, ongoing developments in revolutionary sequencing technologies have resulted in a redefinition of traditional whole genome sequencing that requires a careful reevaluation of such standards. With commercially available 454 pyrosequencing (followed by Illumina, SOLiD, and now Helicos), there has been an explosion of genomes sequenced under the moniker 'draft', however these can be very poor quality genomes (due to inherent errors in the sequencing technologies, and the inability of assembly programs to fully address these errors). Further, one can only infer that such draft genomes may be of poor quality by navigating through the databases to find the number and type of reads deposited in sequence trace repositories (and not all genomes have this available), or to identify the number of contigs or genome fragments deposited to the database. The difficulty in assessing the quality of such deposited genomes has created some havoc for genome analysis pipelines and contributed to many wasted hours of (mis)interpretation. These same novel sequencing technologies have also brought an exponential leap in raw sequencing capability, and at greatly reduced prices that have further skewed the time- and cost-ratios of draft data generation versus the painstaking process of improving and finishing a genome. The resulting effect is an ever-widening gap between drafted and finished genomes that only promises to continue (Figure 1), hence there is an urgent need to distinguish good and poor datasets. The sequencing institutes in the authorship, along with the NIH's Human Microbiome Project Jumpstart Consortium (3), strongly believe that a new set of standards is required for genome sequences. The following represents a set of six community-defined categories of genome sequence standards that better reflect the quality of the genome sequence, based on our collective understanding of the different technologies, available assemblers, and the varied efforts to improve upon drafted genomes. Due to the increasingly rapid pace of genomics we avoided the use of rigid numerical thresholds in our definitions to take into account the types of products achieved by any combination of technology, chemistry, assembler, or improvement/finishing process.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The complete genomes of three strains from the phylum Acidobacteria were compared. Phylogenetic analysis placed them as a unique phylum. They share genomic traits with members of the Proteobacteria, the Cyanobacteria, and the Fungi. The three strains appear to be versatile heterotrophs. Genomic and culture traits indicate the use of carbon sources that span simple sugars to more complex substrates such as hemicellulose, cellulose, and chitin. The genomes encode low-specificity major facilitator superfamily transporters and high-affinity ABC transporters for sugars, suggesting that they are best suited to low-nutrient conditions. They appear capable of nitrate and nitrite reduction but not N(2) fixation or denitrification. The genomes contained numerous genes that encode siderophore receptors, but no evidence of siderophore production was found, suggesting that they may obtain iron via interaction with other microorganisms. The presence of cellulose synthesis genes and a large class of novel high-molecular-weight excreted proteins suggests potential traits for desiccation resistance, biofilm formation, and/or contribution to soil structure. Polyketide synthase and macrolide glycosylation genes suggest the production of novel antimicrobial compounds. Genes that encode a variety of novel proteins were also identified. The abundance of acidobacteria in soils worldwide and the breadth of potential carbon use by the sequenced strains suggest significant and previously unrecognized contributions to the terrestrial carbon cycle. Combining our genomic evidence with available culture traits, we postulate that cells of these isolates are long-lived, divide slowly, exhibit slow metabolic rates under low-nutrient conditions, and are well equipped to tolerate fluctuations in soil hydration.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2009 · Applied and Environmental Microbiology