ResearchPad - bacterial-taxonomy https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Codon Pairs are Phylogenetically Conserved: A comprehensive analysis of codon pairing conservation across the Tree of Life]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14487 Identical codon pairing and co-tRNA codon pairing increase translational efficiency within genes when two codons that encode the same amino acid are translated by the same tRNA before it diffuses from the ribosome. We examine the phylogenetic signal in both identical and co-tRNA codon pairing across 23 428 species using alignment-free and parsimony methods. We determined that conserved codon pairing typically has a smaller window size than the length of a ribosome, and codon pairing tracks phylogenies across various taxonomic groups. We report a comprehensive analysis of codon pairing, including the extent to which each codon pairs. Our parsimony method generally recovers phylogenies that are more congruent with the established phylogenies than our alignment-free method. However, four of the ten taxonomic groups did not have sufficient orthologous codon pairings and were therefore analyzed using only the alignment-free methods. Since the recovered phylogenies using only codon pairing largely match phylogenies from the Open Tree of Life and the NCBI taxonomy, and are comparable to trees recovered by other algorithms, we propose that codon pairing biases are phylogenetically conserved and should be considered in conjunction with other phylogenomic techniques.

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<![CDATA[Characterization of the intestinal microbiota of the sea cucumber Holothuria glaberrima]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5241d5eed0c4842bc579

High-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing has been used to identify the intestinal microbiota of many animal species, but that of marine invertebrate organisms remains largely unknown. There are only a few high-throughput sequencing studies on the intestinal microbiota of echinoderms (non-vertebrate Deuterostomes). Here we describe the intestinal microbiota of the sea cucumber Holothuria glaberrima, an echinoderm, well-known for its remarkable power of regeneration. We characterized the microbiota from the anterior descending intestine, the medial intestine (these two comprise the small intestine) and the posterior descending intestine (or large intestine), using pyrosequencing to sequence the V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene. We compared animals in their natural marine environment and in sea-water aquaria. A total of 8,172 OTU’s were grouped in 10 bacterial phyla, 23 classes, 44 orders, 83 families, 127 genera and 1 group of unknown bacteria, present across the digestive tract of 10 specimens. The results showed that the anterior intestine is dominated by Proteobacteria (61%) and Bacteroidetes (22%), the medium intestine is similar but with lower Bacteroidetes (4%), and the posterior intestine was remarkably different, dominated by Firmicutes (48%) and Bacteroidetes (35%). The structure of the community changed in animals kept in aquaria, which had a general dominance of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, regardless the intestinal segment. Our results evidence that in the natural sea environment, there is intestinal segment differentiation in the microbiota of H. glaberrima, which is lost in artificial conditions. This is relevant for physiological studies, such as mechanisms of digestive regeneration, which might be affected by the microbiota.

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<![CDATA[Fecal microbiota changes associated with dehorning and castration stress primarily affects light-weight dairy calves]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521839d5eed0c484797843

Gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microbiota and stress can impact animal health. Studies have shown that perturbations in the GIT microbiota can influence host health and productivity by affecting physiological homeostasis, metabolism, hematopoiesis and inflammation. The present study aimed to evaluate possible effects of dehorning and castration stress on the GIT microbiota of dairy calves. Dehorning and castration are routinely performed on over 90% of dairy farms, and analgesics like flunixin meglumine (FLU) are given at the time of these procedures to reduce pain. We analyzed fecal microbiota of 24 weaned male dairy calves at two different stages in their life (at 10 weeks for dehorning and 36 weeks age for castration) to determine any GIT microbiota changes due to these stressful procedures and the FLU treatment. Dehorning was performed using an electrocautery dehorner applied to the horn for 10 seconds, and surgical castration was used as the castration method. Our analysis showed that the Shannon diversity index was significantly higher in animals that were not dehorned compared to dehorned animals. Castration stress also resulted in a significant decrease in Shannon diversity index, which was more pronounced in lower weight calves. Body weight and stress had significant effects on the taxonomic profiles of the GIT microbiota. There was a significant difference in the GIT bacterial community structure between heavy- and light-weight calves at Day 3 after castration but not at Day 0 (prior to castration). Our results indicate that dehorning and castration stress reduced microbial diversity of the GIT microbiota, but only in light-weight calves. This work is important for elucidating biological effects of stress on dairy calves and identifying potential modulation points in the microbiota of these food-producing animals to improve animal health and production.

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<![CDATA[Symbiotic Associations in the Phenotypically-Diverse Brown Alga Saccharina japonica]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa4ab0ee8fa60ba6e39

The brown alga Saccharina japonica (Areschoug) Lane, Mayes, Druehl et Saunders is a highly polymorphic representative of the family Laminariaceae, inhabiting the northwest Pacific region. We have obtained 16S rRNA sequence data in symbiont microorganisms of the typical form (TYP) of S. japonica and its common morphological varieties, known as “longipes” (LON) and “shallow-water” (SHA), which show contrasting bathymetric distribution and sharp morphological, life history traits, and ecological differences. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA sequences shows that the microbial communities are significantly different in the three forms studied and consist of mosaic sets of common and form-specific bacterial lineages. The divergence in bacterial composition is substantial between the TYP and LON forms in spite of their high genetic similarity. The symbiont distribution in the S. japonica forms and in three other laminarialean species is not related to the depth or locality of the algae settlements. Combined with our previous results on symbiont associations in sea urchins and taking into account the highly specific character of bacteria-algae associations, we propose that the TYP and LON forms may represent incipient species passing through initial steps of reproductive isolation. We suggest that phenotype differences between genetically similar forms may be caused by host-symbiont interactions that may be a general feature of evolution in algae and other eukaryote organisms. Bacterial symbionts could serve as sensitive markers to distinguish genetically similar algae forms and also as possible growth-promoting inductors to increase algae productivity.

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<![CDATA[Population Genomic Analysis of a Bacterial Plant Pathogen: Novel Insight into the Origin of Pierce's Disease of Grapevine in the U.S.]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da58ab0ee8fa60b8f54a

Invasive diseases present an increasing problem worldwide; however, genomic techniques are now available to investigate the timing and geographical origin of such introductions. We employed genomic techniques to demonstrate that the bacterial pathogen causing Pierce's disease of grapevine (PD) is not native to the US as previously assumed, but descended from a single genotype introduced from Central America. PD has posed a serious threat to the US wine industry ever since its first outbreak in Anaheim, California in the 1880s and continues to inhibit grape cultivation in a large area of the country. It is caused by infection of xylem vessels by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa subsp. fastidiosa, a genetically distinct subspecies at least 15,000 years old. We present five independent kinds of evidence that strongly support our invasion hypothesis: 1) a genome-wide lack of genetic variability in X. fastidiosa subsp. fastidiosa found in the US, consistent with a recent common ancestor; 2) evidence for historical allopatry of the North American subspecies X. fastidiosa subsp. multiplex and X. fastidiosa subsp. fastidiosa; 3) evidence that X. fastidiosa subsp. fastidiosa evolved in a more tropical climate than X. fastidiosa subsp. multiplex; 4) much greater genetic variability in the proposed source population in Central America, variation within which the US genotypes are phylogenetically nested; and 5) the circumstantial evidence of importation of known hosts (coffee plants) from Central America directly into southern California just prior to the first known outbreak of the disease. The lack of genetic variation in X. fastidiosa subsp. fastidiosa in the US suggests that preventing additional introductions is important since new genetic variation may undermine PD control measures, or may lead to infection of other crop plants through the creation of novel genotypes via inter-subspecific recombination. In general, geographically mixing of previously isolated subspecies should be avoided.

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<![CDATA[The Occurrence of Photorhabdus-Like Toxin Complexes in Bacillus thuringiensis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3aab0ee8fa60bd4ab0

Recently, genomic sequencing of a Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) isolate from our collection revealed the presence of an apparent operon encoding an insecticidal toxin complex (Tca) similar to that first described from the entomopathogen Photorhabdus luminescens. To determine whether these genes are widespread among Bt strains, we screened isolates from the collection for the presence of tccC, one of the genes needed for the expression of fully functional toxin complexes. Among 81 isolates chosen to represent commonly encountered biochemical phenotypes, 17 were found to possess a tccC. Phylogenetic analysis of the 81 isolates by multilocus sequence typing revealed that all the isolates possessing a tccC gene were restricted to two sequence types related to Bt varieties morrisoni, tenebrionis, israelensis and toumanoffi. Sequencing of the ∼17 kb tca operon from two isolates representing each of the two sequence types revealed >99% sequence identity. Optical mapping of DNA from Bt isolates representing each of the sequence types revealed nearly identical plasmids of ca. 333 and 338 kbp, respectively. Selected isolates were found to be toxic to gypsy moth larvae, but were not as effective as a commercial strain of Bt kurstaki. Some isolates were found to inhibit growth of Colorado potato beetle. Custom Taqman® relative quantitative real-time PCR assays for Tc-encoding Bt revealed both tcaA and tcaB genes were expressed within infected gypsy moth larvae.

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<![CDATA[The Bacterial Composition within the Sarracenia purpurea Model System: Local Scale Differences and the Relationship with the Other Members of the Food Web]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadaab0ee8fa60bb9632

The leaves of the carnivorous pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea, contain a microscopic aquatic food web that is considered a model system in ecological research. The species identity of the intermediate and top trophic level of this food web, as well the detritivore midge, are highly similar across the native geographic range of S. purpurea and, in some cases, appear to have co-evolved with the plant. However, until recently, the identity, geographic variation, and diversity of the bacteria in the bottom trophic level of this food web have remained largely unknown. This study investigated bacterial community composition inside the leaves of S. purpurea to address: 1) variation in bacterial communities at the beginning of succession at the local scale in different areas of the plant’s native geographic range (southern and mid-regional sites) and 2) the impacts of bacterial consumers and other members of the aquatic food web (i.e., insects) on bacterial community structure. Communities from six leaves (one leaf per plant) from New York and Florida study sites were analyzed using 16S ribosomal RNA gene cloning. Each pitcher within each site had a distinct community; however, there was more overlap in bacterial composition within each site than when communities were compared across sites. In contrast, the identity of protozoans and metazoans in this community were similar in species identity both within a site and between the two sites, but abundances differed. Our results indicate that, at least during the beginning of succession, there is no strong selection for bacterial taxa and that there is no core group of bacteria required by the plant to start the decomposition of trapped insects. Co-evolution between the plant and bacteria appears to not have occurred as it has for other members of this community.

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<![CDATA[Substrate Type Determines Metagenomic Profiles from Diverse Chemical Habitats]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da4eab0ee8fa60b8d6d7

Environmental parameters drive phenotypic and genotypic frequency variations in microbial communities and thus control the extent and structure of microbial diversity. We tested the extent to which microbial community composition changes are controlled by shifting physiochemical properties within a hypersaline lagoon. We sequenced four sediment metagenomes from the Coorong, South Australia from samples which varied in salinity by 99 Practical Salinity Units (PSU), an order of magnitude in ammonia concentration and two orders of magnitude in microbial abundance. Despite the marked divergence in environmental parameters observed between samples, hierarchical clustering of taxonomic and metabolic profiles of these metagenomes showed striking similarity between the samples (>89%). Comparison of these profiles to those derived from a wide variety of publically available datasets demonstrated that the Coorong sediment metagenomes were similar to other sediment, soil, biofilm and microbial mat samples regardless of salinity (>85% similarity). Overall, clustering of solid substrate and water metagenomes into discrete similarity groups based on functional potential indicated that the dichotomy between water and solid matrices is a fundamental determinant of community microbial metabolism that is not masked by salinity, nutrient concentration or microbial abundance.

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<![CDATA[High-Throughput Sequencing of 16S rRNA Gene Amplicons: Effects of Extraction Procedure, Primer Length and Annealing Temperature]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa2ab0ee8fa60ba614d

The analysis of 16S-rDNA sequences to assess the bacterial community composition of a sample is a widely used technique that has increased with the advent of high throughput sequencing. Although considerable effort has been devoted to identifying the most informative region of the 16S gene and the optimal informatics procedures to process the data, little attention has been paid to the PCR step, in particular annealing temperature and primer length. To address this, amplicons derived from 16S-rDNA were generated from chicken caecal content DNA using different annealing temperatures, primers and different DNA extraction procedures. The amplicons were pyrosequenced to determine the optimal protocols for capture of maximum bacterial diversity from a chicken caecal sample. Even at very low annealing temperatures there was little effect on the community structure, although the abundance of some OTUs such as Bifidobacterium increased. Using shorter primers did not reveal any novel OTUs but did change the community profile obtained. Mechanical disruption of the sample by bead beating had a significant effect on the results obtained, as did repeated freezing and thawing. In conclusion, existing primers and standard annealing temperatures captured as much diversity as lower annealing temperatures and shorter primers.

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<![CDATA[Discrimination of Escherichia coli O157, O26 and O111 from Other Serovars by MALDI-TOF MS Based on the S10-GERMS Method]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da21ab0ee8fa60b7eeb1

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), causes a potentially life-threatening infection in humans worldwide. Serovar O157:H7, and to a lesser extent serovars O26 and O111, are the most commonly reported EHEC serovars responsible for a large number of outbreaks. We have established a rapid discrimination method for E. coli serovars O157, O26 and O111 from other E. coli serovars, based on the pattern matching of mass spectrometry (MS) differences and the presence/absence of biomarker proteins detected in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight MS (MALDI-TOF MS). Three biomarkers, ribosomal proteins S15 and L25, and acid stress chaperone HdeB, with MS m/z peaks at 10138.6/10166.6, 10676.4/10694.4 and 9066.2, respectively, were identified as effective biomarkers for O157 discrimination. To distinguish serovars O26 and O111 from the others, DNA-binding protein H-NS, with an MS peak at m/z 15409.4/15425.4 was identified. Sequence analysis of the O157 biomarkers revealed that amino acid changes: Q80R in S15, M50I in L25 and one mutation within the start codon ATG to ATA in the encoded HdeB protein, contributed to the specific peak pattern in O157. We demonstrated semi-automated pattern matching using these biomarkers and successfully discriminated total 57 O157 strains, 20 O26 strains and 6 O111 strains with 100% reliability by conventional MALDI-TOF MS analysis, regardless of the sample conditions. Our simple strategy, based on the S10-spc-alpha operon gene-encoded ribosomal protein mass spectrum (S10-GERMS) method, therefore allows for the rapid and reliable detection of this pathogen and may prove to be an invaluable tool both clinically and in the food industry.

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<![CDATA[First Investigation of the Microbiology of the Deepest Layer of Ocean Crust]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad6ab0ee8fa60bb7ff4

The gabbroic layer comprises the majority of ocean crust. Opportunities to sample this expansive crustal environment are rare because of the technological demands of deep ocean drilling; thus, gabbroic microbial communities have not yet been studied. During the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expeditions 304 and 305, igneous rock samples were collected from 0.45-1391.01 meters below seafloor at Hole 1309D, located on the Atlantis Massif (30 °N, 42 °W). Microbial diversity in the rocks was analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and sequencing (Expedition 304), and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism, cloning and sequencing, and functional gene microarray analysis (Expedition 305). The gabbroic microbial community was relatively depauperate, consisting of a low diversity of proteobacterial lineages closely related to Bacteria from hydrocarbon-dominated environments and to known hydrocarbon degraders, and there was little evidence of Archaea. Functional gene diversity in the gabbroic samples was analyzed with a microarray for metabolic genes (“GeoChip”), producing further evidence of genomic potential for hydrocarbon degradation - genes for aerobic methane and toluene oxidation. Genes coding for anaerobic respirations, such as nitrate reduction, sulfate reduction, and metal reduction, as well as genes for carbon fixation, nitrogen fixation, and ammonium-oxidation, were also present. Our results suggest that the gabbroic layer hosts a microbial community that can degrade hydrocarbons and fix carbon and nitrogen, and has the potential to employ a diversity of non-oxygen electron acceptors. This rare glimpse of the gabbroic ecosystem provides further support for the recent finding of hydrocarbons in deep ocean gabbro from Hole 1309D. It has been hypothesized that these hydrocarbons might originate abiotically from serpentinization reactions that are occurring deep in the Earth's crust, raising the possibility that the lithic microbial community reported here might utilize carbon sources produced independently of the surface biosphere.

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<![CDATA[TaqMan Real-Time PCR Assays for Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms Which Identify Francisella tularensis and Its Subspecies and Subpopulations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da5eab0ee8fa60b906c3

Francisella tularensis, the etiologic agent of tularemia and a Class A Select Agent, is divided into three subspecies and multiple subpopulations that differ in virulence and geographic distribution. Given these differences, there is a need to rapidly and accurately determine if a strain is F. tularensis and, if it is, assign it to subspecies and subpopulation. We designed TaqMan real-time PCR genotyping assays using eleven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were potentially specific to closely related groups within the genus Francisella, including numerous subpopulations within F. tularensis species. We performed extensive validation studies to test the specificity of these SNPs to particular populations by screening the assays across a set of 565 genetically and geographically diverse F. tularensis isolates and an additional 21 genetic near-neighbor (outgroup) isolates. All eleven assays correctly determined the genetic groups of all 565 F. tularensis isolates. One assay differentiates F. tularensis, F. novicida, and F. hispaniensis from the more genetically distant F. philomiragia and Francisella-like endosymbionts. Another assay differentiates F. tularensis isolates from near neighbors. The remaining nine assays classify F. tularensis-confirmed isolates into F. tularensis subspecies and subpopulations. The genotyping accuracy of these nine assays diminished when tested on outgroup isolates (i.e. non F. tularensis), therefore a hierarchical approach of assay usage is recommended wherein the F. tularensis-specific assay is used before the nine downstream assays. Among F. tularensis isolates, all eleven assays were highly sensitive, consistently amplifying very low concentrations of DNA. Altogether, these eleven TaqMan real-time PCR assays represent a highly accurate, rapid, and sensitive means of identifying the species, subspecies, and subpopulation of any F. tularensis isolate if used in a step-wise hierarchical scheme. These assays would be very useful in clinical, epidemiological, and/or forensic investigations involving F. tularensis.

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<![CDATA[Genomic Analysis of Melioribacter roseus, Facultatively Anaerobic Organotrophic Bacterium Representing a Novel Deep Lineage within Bacteriodetes/Chlorobi Group]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da00ab0ee8fa60b73cbc

Melioribacter roseus is a moderately thermophilic facultatively anaerobic organotrophic bacterium representing a novel deep branch within Bacteriodetes/Chlorobi group. To better understand the metabolic capabilities and possible ecological functions of M. roseus and get insights into the evolutionary history of this bacterial lineage, we sequenced the genome of the type strain P3M-2T. A total of 2838 open reading frames was predicted from its 3.30 Mb genome. The whole proteome analysis supported phylum-level classification of M. roseus since most of the predicted proteins had closest matches in Bacteriodetes, Proteobacteria, Chlorobi, Firmicutes and deeply-branching bacterium Caldithrix abyssi, rather than in one particular phylum. Consistent with the ability of the bacterium to grow on complex carbohydrates, the genome analysis revealed more than one hundred glycoside hydrolases, glycoside transferases, polysaccharide lyases and carbohydrate esterases. The reconstructed central metabolism revealed pathways enabling the fermentation of complex organic substrates, as well as their complete oxidation through aerobic and anaerobic respiration. Genes encoding the photosynthetic and nitrogen-fixation machinery of green sulfur bacteria, as well as key enzymes of autotrophic carbon fixation pathways, were not identified. The M. roseus genome supports its affiliation to a novel phylum Ignavibateriae, representing the first step on the evolutionary pathway from heterotrophic ancestors of Bacteriodetes/Chlorobi group towards anaerobic photoautotrophic Chlorobi.

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<![CDATA[Diversity of Bacteria Associated with Bursaphelenchus xylophilus and Other Nematodes Isolated from Pinus pinaster Trees with Pine Wilt Disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0eab0ee8fa60b789ee

The pinewood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, has been thought to be the only causal agent of pine wilt disease (PWD), however, since bacteria have been suggested to play a role in PWD, it is important to know the diversity of the microbial community associated to it. This study aimed to assess the microbial community associated with B. xylophilus and with other nematodes isolated from pine trees, Pinus pinaster, with PWD from three different affected forest areas in Portugal. One hundred and twenty three bacteria strains were isolated from PWN and other nematodes collected from 14 P. pinaster. The bacteria strains were identified by comparative analysis of the 16S rRNA gene partial sequence. All except one Gram-positive strain (Actinobacteria) belonged to the Gram-negative Beta and Gammaproteobacteria. Most isolates belonged to the genus Pseudomonas, Burkholderia and to the family Enterobacteriaceae. Species isolated in higher percentage were Pseudomonas lutea, Yersinia intermedia and Burkholderia tuberum. The major bacterial population associated to the nematodes differed according to the forest area and none of the isolated bacterial species was found in all different forest areas. For each of the sampled areas, 60 to 100% of the isolates produced siderophores and at least 40% produced lipases. The ability to produce siderophores and lipases by most isolates enables these bacteria to have a role in plant physiological response. This research showed a high diversity of the microbial community associated with B. xylophilus and other nematodes isolated from P. pinaster with PWD.

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<![CDATA[Microbial Biogeography of Public Restroom Surfaces]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db09ab0ee8fa60bc952d

We spend the majority of our lives indoors where we are constantly exposed to bacteria residing on surfaces. However, the diversity of these surface-associated communities is largely unknown. We explored the biogeographical patterns exhibited by bacteria across ten surfaces within each of twelve public restrooms. Using high-throughput barcoded pyrosequencing of the 16 S rRNA gene, we identified 19 bacterial phyla across all surfaces. Most sequences belonged to four phyla: Actinobacteria, Bacteriodetes, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. The communities clustered into three general categories: those found on surfaces associated with toilets, those on the restroom floor, and those found on surfaces routinely touched with hands. On toilet surfaces, gut-associated taxa were more prevalent, suggesting fecal contamination of these surfaces. Floor surfaces were the most diverse of all communities and contained several taxa commonly found in soils. Skin-associated bacteria, especially the Propionibacteriaceae, dominated surfaces routinely touched with our hands. Certain taxa were more common in female than in male restrooms as vagina-associated Lactobacillaceae were widely distributed in female restrooms, likely from urine contamination. Use of the SourceTracker algorithm confirmed many of our taxonomic observations as human skin was the primary source of bacteria on restroom surfaces. Overall, these results demonstrate that restroom surfaces host relatively diverse microbial communities dominated by human-associated bacteria with clear linkages between communities on or in different body sites and those communities found on restroom surfaces. More generally, this work is relevant to the public health field as we show that human-associated microbes are commonly found on restroom surfaces suggesting that bacterial pathogens could readily be transmitted between individuals by the touching of surfaces. Furthermore, we demonstrate that we can use high-throughput analyses of bacterial communities to determine sources of bacteria on indoor surfaces, an approach which could be used to track pathogen transmission and test the efficacy of hygiene practices.

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<![CDATA[Reconstructed Ancestral Sequences Improve Pathogen Identification Using Resequencing DNA Microarrays]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e9ab0ee8fa60b6c335

We describe the benefit of using reconstructed ancestral sequences (RAS) on resequencing microarrays for rapid pathogen identification, with Enterobacteriaceae rpoB sequences as a model. Our results demonstrate a sharp improvement of call rate and accuracy when using RASs as compared to extant sequences. This improvement was attributed to the lower sequence divergence of RASs, which also expanded the sequence space covered by the microarray. Extension of this novel microarray design strategy to viruses, antimicrobial resistance elements or toxins is straightforward.

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<![CDATA[Candidatus Sodalis melophagi sp. nov.: Phylogenetically Independent Comparative Model to the Tsetse Fly Symbiont Sodalis glossinidius]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac4ab0ee8fa60bb1eeb

Bacteria of the genus Sodalis live in symbiosis with various groups of insects. The best known member of this group, a secondary symbiont of tsetse flies Sodalis glossinidius, has become one of the most important models in investigating establishment and evolution of insect-bacteria symbiosis. It represents a bacterium in the early/intermediate state of the transition towards symbiosis, which allows for exploring such interesting topics as: usage of secretory systems for entering the host cell, tempo of the genome modification, and metabolic interaction with a coexisting primary symbiont. In this study, we describe a new Sodalis species which could provide a useful comparative model to the tsetse symbiont. It lives in association with Melophagus ovinus, an insect related to tsetse flies, and resembles S. glossinidius in several important traits. Similar to S. glossinidius, it cohabits the host with another symbiotic bacterium, the bacteriome-harbored primary symbiont of the genus Arsenophonus. As a typical secondary symbiont, Candidatus Sodalis melophagi infects various host tissues, including bacteriome. We provide basic morphological and molecular characteristics of the symbiont and show that these traits also correspond to the early/intermediate state of the evolution towards symbiosis. Particularly, we demonstrate the ability of the bacterium to live in insect cell culture as well as in cell-free medium. We also provide basic characteristics of type three secretion system and using three reference sequences (16 S rDNA, groEL and spaPQR region) we show that the bacterium branched within the genus Sodalis, but originated independently of the two previously described symbionts of hippoboscoids. We propose the name Candidatus Sodalis melophagi for this new bacterium.

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<![CDATA[Ultralong C100 Mycolic Acids Support the Assignment of Segniliparus as a New Bacterial Genus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1bab0ee8fa60b7d0c6

Mycolic acid-producing bacteria isolated from the respiratory tract of human and non-human mammals were recently assigned as a distinct genus, Segniliparus, because they diverge from rhodococci and mycobacteria in genetic and chemical features. Using high accuracy mass spectrometry, we determined the chemical composition of 65 homologous mycolic acids in two Segniliparus species and separately analyzed the three subclasses to measure relative chain length, number and stereochemistry of unsaturations and cyclopropyl groups within each class. Whereas mycobacterial mycolate subclasses are distinguished from one another by R groups on the meromycolate chain, Segniliparus species synthesize solely non-oxygenated α-mycolates with high levels of cis unsaturation. Unexpectedly Segniliparus α-mycolates diverge into three subclasses based on large differences in carbon chain length with one bacterial culture producing mycolates that range from C58 to C100. Both the overall chain length (C100) and the chain length diversity (C42) are larger than previously seen for mycolic acid-producing organisms and provide direct chemical evidence for assignment of Segniliparus as a distinct genus. Yet, electron microscopy shows that the long and diverse mycolates pack into a typical appearing membrane. Therefore, these new and unexpected extremes of mycolic acid chemical structure raise questions about the modes of mycolic acid packing and folding into a membrane.

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<![CDATA[Variable Copy Number, Intra-Genomic Heterogeneities and Lateral Transfers of the 16S rRNA Gene in Pseudomonas]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9dcab0ee8fa60b6814e

Even though the 16S rRNA gene is the most commonly used taxonomic marker in microbial ecology, its poor resolution is still not fully understood at the intra-genus level. In this work, the number of rRNA gene operons, intra-genomic heterogeneities and lateral transfers were investigated at a fine-scale resolution, throughout the Pseudomonas genus. In addition to nineteen sequenced Pseudomonas strains, we determined the 16S rRNA copy number in four other Pseudomonas strains by Southern hybridization and Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis, and studied the intra-genomic heterogeneities by Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis and sequencing. Although the variable copy number (from four to seven) seems to be correlated with the evolutionary distance, some close strains in the P. fluorescens lineage showed a different number of 16S rRNA genes, whereas all the strains in the P. aeruginosa lineage displayed the same number of genes (four copies). Further study of the intra-genomic heterogeneities revealed that most of the Pseudomonas strains (15 out of 19 strains) had at least two different 16S rRNA alleles. A great difference (5 or 19 nucleotides, essentially grouped near the V1 hypervariable region) was observed only in two sequenced strains. In one of our strains studied (MFY30 strain), we found a difference of 12 nucleotides (grouped in the V3 hypervariable region) between copies of the 16S rRNA gene. Finally, occurrence of partial lateral transfers of the 16S rRNA gene was further investigated in 1803 full-length sequences of Pseudomonas available in the databases. Remarkably, we found that the two most variable regions (the V1 and V3 hypervariable regions) had probably been laterally transferred from another evolutionary distant Pseudomonas strain for at least 48.3 and 41.6% of the 16S rRNA sequences, respectively. In conclusion, we strongly recommend removing these regions of the 16S rRNA gene during the intra-genus diversity studies.

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<![CDATA[Novel Bacterial Taxa in the Human Microbiome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da8bab0ee8fa60b9ddde

The human gut harbors thousands of bacterial taxa. A profusion of metagenomic sequence data has been generated from human stool samples in the last few years, raising the question of whether more taxa remain to be identified. We assessed metagenomic data generated by the Human Microbiome Project Consortium to determine if novel taxa remain to be discovered in stool samples from healthy individuals. To do this, we established a rigorous bioinformatics pipeline that uses sequence data from multiple platforms (Illumina GAIIX and Roche 454 FLX Titanium) and approaches (whole-genome shotgun and 16S rDNA amplicons) to validate novel taxa. We applied this approach to stool samples from 11 healthy subjects collected as part of the Human Microbiome Project. We discovered several low-abundance, novel bacterial taxa, which span three major phyla in the bacterial tree of life. We determined that these taxa are present in a larger set of Human Microbiome Project subjects and are found in two sampling sites (Houston and St. Louis). We show that the number of false-positive novel sequences (primarily chimeric sequences) would have been two orders of magnitude higher than the true number of novel taxa without validation using multiple datasets, highlighting the importance of establishing rigorous standards for the identification of novel taxa in metagenomic data. The majority of novel sequences are related to the recently discovered genus Barnesiella, further encouraging efforts to characterize the members of this genus and to study their roles in the microbial communities of the gut. A better understanding of the effects of less-abundant bacteria is important as we seek to understand the complex gut microbiome in healthy individuals and link changes in the microbiome to disease.

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