Browsing by Subject "CRISPR-CAS SYSTEMS"

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  • Teikari, Jonna E.; Hou, Shengwei; Wahlsten, Matti; Hess, Wolfgang R.; Sivonen, Kaarina (2018)
    Salinity is an important abiotic factor controlling the distribution and abundance of Nodularia spumigena, the dominating diazotrophic and toxic phototroph, in the brackish water cyanobacterial blooms of the Baltic Sea. To expand the available genomic information for brackish water cyanobacteria, we sequenced the isolate Nodularia spurn/germ UHCC 0039 using an Illumina-SMRT hybrid sequencing approach, revealing a chromosome of 5,294,286 base pairs (bp) and a single plasmid of 92,326 bp. Comparative genomics in Nostocales showed pronounced genetic similarity among Nodularia spumigena strains evidencing their short evolutionary history. The studied Baltic Sea strains share similar sets of CRISPR-Cas cassettes and a higher number of insertion sequence (IS) elements compared to Nodularia spumigena CENA596 isolated from a shrimp production pond in Brazil. Nodularia spumigena UHCC 0039 proliferated similarly at three tested salinities, whereas the lack of salt inhibited its growth and triggered transcriptome remodeling, including the up-regulation of five sigma factors and the down-regulation of two other sigma factors, one of which is specific for strain UHCC 0039. Down-regulated genes additionally included a large genetic region for the synthesis of two yet unidentified natural products. Our results indicate a remarkable plasticity of the Nodularia salinity acclimation, and thus salinity strongly impacts the intensity and distribution of cyanobacterial blooms in the Baltic Sea.
  • Sun, Zhihong; Harris, Hugh M. B.; McCann, Angela; Guo, Chenyi; Argimon, Silvia; Zhang, Wenyi; Yang, Xianwei; Jeffery, Ian B.; Cooney, Jakki C.; Kagawa, Todd F.; Liu, Wenjun; Song, Yuqin; Salvetti, Elisa; Wrobel, Agnieszka; Rasinkangas, Pia; Parkhill, Julian; Rea, Mary C.; O'Sullivan, Orla; Ritari, Jarmo; Douillard, Francois P.; Ross, R. Paul; Yang, Ruifu; Briner, Alexandra E.; Felis, Giovanna E.; de Vos, Willem M.; Barrangou, Rodolphe; Klaenhammer, Todd R.; Caufield, Page W.; Cui, Yujun; Zhang, Heping; O'Toole, Paul W. (2015)
    Lactobacilli are a diverse group of species that occupy diverse nutrient-rich niches associated with humans, animals, plants and food. They are used widely in biotechnology and food preservation, and are being explored as therapeutics. Exploiting lactobacilli has been complicated by metabolic diversity, unclear species identity and uncertain relationships between them and other commercially important lactic acid bacteria. The capacity for biotransformations catalysed by lactobacilli is an untapped biotechnology resource. Here we report the genome sequences of 213 Lactobacillus strains and associated genera, and their encoded genetic catalogue for modifying carbohydrates and proteins. In addition, we describe broad and diverse presence of novel CRISPR-Cas immune systems in lactobacilli that may be exploited for genome editing. We rationalize the phylogenomic distribution of host interaction factors and bacteriocins that affect their natural and industrial environments, and mechanisms to withstand stress during technological processes. We present a robust phylogenomic framework of existing species and for classifying new species.
  • Karcher, Nicolai; Nigro, Eleonora; Puncochar, Michal; Blanco-Miguez, Aitor; Ciciani, Matteo; Manghi, Paolo; Zolfo, Moreno; Cumbo, Fabio; Manara, Serena; Golzato, Davide; Cereseto, Anna; Arumugam, Manimozhiyan; Bui, Thi Phuong Nam; Tytgat, Hanne L. P.; Valles-Colomer, Mireia; de Vos, Willem M.; Segata, Nicola (2021)
    Background Akkermansia muciniphila is a human gut microbe with a key role in the physiology of the intestinal mucus layer and reported associations with decreased body mass and increased gut barrier function and health. Despite its biomedical relevance, the genomic diversity of A. muciniphila remains understudied and that of closely related species, except for A. glycaniphila, unexplored. Results We present a large-scale population genomics analysis of the Akkermansia genus using 188 isolate genomes and 2226 genomes assembled from 18,600 metagenomes from humans and other animals. While we do not detect A. glycaniphila, the Akkermansia strains in the human gut can be grouped into five distinct candidate species, including A. muciniphila, that show remarkable whole-genome divergence despite surprisingly similar 16S rRNA gene sequences. These candidate species are likely human-specific, as they are detected in mice and non-human primates almost exclusively when kept in captivity. In humans, Akkermansia candidate species display ecological co-exclusion, diversified functional capabilities, and distinct patterns of associations with host body mass. Analysis of CRISPR-Cas loci reveals new variants and spacers targeting newly discovered putative bacteriophages. Remarkably, we observe an increased relative abundance of Akkermansia when cognate predicted bacteriophages are present, suggesting ecological interactions. A. muciniphila further exhibits subspecies-level genetic stratification with associated functional differences such as a putative exo/lipopolysaccharide operon. Conclusions We uncover a large phylogenetic and functional diversity of the Akkermansia genus in humans. This variability should be considered in the ongoing experimental and metagenomic efforts to characterize the health-associated properties of A. muciniphila and related bacteria.
  • Sattar, Muhammad Naeem; Iqbal, Zafar; Al-Khayri, Jameel M.; Jain, Shri Mohan (2021)
    Fruit trees provide essential nutrients to humans by contributing to major agricultural outputs and economic growth globally. However, major constraints to sustainable agricultural productivity are the uncontrolled proliferation of the population, and biotic and abiotic stresses. Tree mutation breeding has been substantially improved using different physical and chemical mutagens. Nonetheless, tree plant breeding has certain crucial bottlenecks including a long life cycle, ploidy level, occurrence of sequence polymorphisms, nature of parthenocarpic fruit development and linkage. Genetic engineering of trees has focused on boosting quality traits such as productivity, wood quality, and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Recent technological advances in genome editing provide a unique opportunity for the genetic improvement of woody plants. This review examines application of the CRISPR-Cas system to reduce disease susceptibility, alter plant architecture, enhance fruit quality, and improve yields. Examples are discussed of the contemporary CRISPR-Cas system to engineer easily scorable PDS genes, modify lignin, and to alter the flowering onset, fertility, tree architecture and certain biotic stresses.
  • Laanto, Elina; Hoikkala, Ville; Ravantti, Janne; Sundberg, Lotta-Riina (2017)
    Antagonistic coevolution of parasite infectivity and host resistance may alter the biological functionality of species, yet these dynamics in nature are still poorly understood. Here we show the molecular details of a long-term phage-bacterium arms race in the environment. Bacteria (Flavobacterium columnare) are generally resistant to phages from the past and susceptible to phages isolated in years after bacterial isolation. Bacterial resistance selects for increased phage infectivity and host range, which is also associated with expansion of phage genome size. We identified two CRISPR loci in the bacterial host: a type II-C locus and a type VI-B locus. While maintaining a core set of conserved spacers, phage-matching spacers appear in the variable ends of both loci over time. The spacers mostly target the terminal end of the phage genomes, which also exhibit the most variation across time, resulting in arms-race-like changes in the protospacers of the coevolving phage population.