Browsing by Subject "GENOME SEQUENCE"

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  • Skurnik, Mikael; Jaakkola, Salla; Mattinen, Laura; von Ossowski, Lotta; Nawaz, Ayesha; Pajunen, Maria; Happonen, Lotta J. (2021)
    Bacteriophages vB_YpeM_fEV-1 (fEV-1) and vB_YpeM_fD1 (fD1) were isolated from incoming sewage water samples in Turku, Finland, using Yersinia pestis strains EV76 and KIM D27 as enrichment hosts, respectively. Genomic analysis and transmission electron microscopy established that fEV-1 is a novel type of dwarf myovirus, while fD1 is a T4-like myovirus. The genome sizes are 38 and 167 kb, respectively. To date, the morphology and genome sequences of some dwarf myoviruses have been described; however, a proteome characterization such as the one presented here, has currently been lacking for this group of viruses. Notably, fEV-1 is the first dwarf myovirus described for Y. pestis. The host range of fEV-1 was restricted strictly to Y. pestis strains, while that of fD1 also included other members of Enterobacterales such as Escherichia coli and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. In this study, we present the life cycles, genomes, and proteomes of two Yersinia myoviruses, fEV-1 and fD1.
  • Smith, Chris R; Morandin, Claire Marthe; Noureddine, M; Pant, S (2018)
    Much of the variation among insects is derived from the different ways that chitin has been moulded to form rigid structures, both internal and external. In this study, we identify a highly conserved expression pattern in an insect-only gene family, the Osiris genes, that is essential for development, but also plays a significant role in phenotypic plasticity and in immunity/toxicity responses. The majority of Osiris genes exist in a highly syntenic cluster, and the cluster itself appears to have arisen very early in the evolution of insects. We used developmental gene expression in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, the bumble bee, Bombus terrestris, the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex barbatus, and the wood ant, Formica exsecta, to compare patterns of Osiris gene expression both during development and between alternate caste phenotypes in the polymorphic social insects. Developmental gene expression of Osiris genes is highly conserved across species and correlated with gene location and evolutionary history. The social insect castes are highly divergent in pupal Osiris gene expression. Sets of co-expressed genes that include Osiris genes are enriched in gene ontology terms related to chitin/cuticle and peptidase activity. Osiris genes are essential for cuticle formation in both embryos and pupae, and genes co-expressed with Osiris genes affect wing development. Additionally, Osiris genes and those co-expressed seem to play a conserved role in insect toxicology defences and digestion. Given their role in development, plasticity, and protection, we propose that the Osiris genes play a central role in insect adaptive evolution.
  • Mgbeahuruike, Anthony C.; Kovalchuk, Andriy; Ubhayasekera, Wimal; Nelson, David R.; Yadav, Jagjit S. (2017)
    The molecular mechanisms underlying the interaction of the pathogen, Heterobasidion annosum s.l., the conifer tree and the biocontrol fungus, Phlebiopsis gigantea have not been fully elucidated. Members of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) protein family may contribute to the detoxification of components of chemical defence of conifer trees by H. annosum during infection. Additionally, they may also be involved in the interaction between H. annosum and P. gigantea. A genome-wide analysis of CYPs in Heterobasidion irregulare was carried out alongside gene expression studies. According to the Standardized CYP Nomenclature criteria, the H. irregulare genome has 121 CYP genes and 17 CYP pseudogenes classified into 11 clans, 35 families, and 64 subfamilies. Tandem CYP arrays originating from gene duplications and belonging to the same family and subfamily were found. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all the families of H. irregulare CYPs were monophyletic groups except for the family CYP5144. Microarray analysis revealed the transcriptional pattern for 130 transcripts of CYP-encoding genes during growth on culture filtrate produced by P. gigantea. The high level of P450 gene diversity identified in this study could result from extensive gene duplications presumably caused by the high metabolic demands of H. irregulare in its ecological niches. (C) 2016 British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Oghenekaro, Abbot O.; Raffaello, Tommaso; Kovalchuk, Andriy; Asiegbu, Fred O. (2016)
    Background: The basidiomycete Rigidoporus microporus is a fungus that causes the white rot disease of the tropical rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis, the major source of commercial natural rubber. Besides its lifestyle as a pathogen, the fungus is known to switch to saprotrophic growth on wood with the ability to degrade both lignin and cellulose. There is almost no genomic or transcriptomic information on the saprotrophic abilities of this fungus. In this study, we present the fungal transcriptomic profiles during saprotrophic growth on rubber wood. Results: A total of 266.6 million RNA-Seq reads were generated from six libraries of the fungus growing either on rubber wood or without wood. De novo assembly produced 34, 518 unigenes with an average length of 217(bp. Annotation of unigenes using public databases; GenBank, Swiss-Prot, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG), Cluster of Orthologous Groups (COG) and Gene Ontology (GO) produced 25, 880 annotated unigenes. Transcriptomic profiling analysis revealed that the fungus expressed over 300 genes encoding lignocellulolytic enzymes. Among these, 175 genes were up-regulated in rubber wood. These include three members of the glycoside hydrolase family 43, as well as various glycosyl transferases, carbohydrate esterases and polysaccharide lyases. A large number of oxidoreductases which includes nine manganese peroxidases were also significantly up-regulated in rubber wood. Several genes involved in fatty acid metabolism and degradation as well as natural rubber degradation were expressed in the transcriptome. Four genes (acyl-CoA synthetase, enoyl-CoA hydratase, 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase and acyl-CoA acetyltransferase) potentially involved in rubber latex degradation pathway were also induced. A number of ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters and hydrophobin genes were significantly expressed in the transcriptome during saprotrophic growth. Some genes related to energy metabolism were also induced. Conclusions: The analysed data gives an insight into the activation of lignocellulose breakdown machinery of R. microporus. This study also revealed genes with relevance in antibiotic metabolism (e.g. cephalosporin esterase) as well as those with potential applications in fatty acid degradation. This is the first study on the transcriptomic analysis of R. microporus on rubber wood and should serve as a pioneering resource for future studies of the fungus at the genomic or transcriptomic level.
  • Meric, Guillaume; Miragaia, Maria; de Been, Mark; Yahara, Koji; Pascoe, Ben; Mageiros, Leonardos; Mikhail, Jane; Harris, Llinos G.; Wilkinson, Thomas S.; Rolo, Joana; Lamble, Sarah; Bray, James E.; Jolley, Keith A.; Hanage, William P.; Bowden, Rory; Maiden, Martin C. J.; Mack, Dietrich; de Lencastre, Herminia; Feil, Edward J.; Corander, Jukka; Sheppard, Samuel K. (2015)
    The opportunistic pathogens Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis represent major causes of severe nosocomial infection, and are associated with high levels of mortality and morbidity worldwide. These species are both common commensals on the human skin and in the nasal pharynx, but are genetically distinct, differing at 24% average nucleotide divergence in 1,478 core genes. To better understand the genome dynamics of these ecologically similar staphylococcal species, we carried out a comparative analysis of 324 S. aureus and S. epidermidis genomes, including 83 novel S. epidermidis sequences. A reference pan-genome approach and whole genome multilocus-sequence typing revealed that around half of the genome was shared between the species. Based on a BratNextGen analysis, homologous recombination was found to have impacted on 40% of the core genes in S. epidermidis, but on only 24% of the core genes in S. aureus. Homologous recombination between the species is rare, with a maximum of nine gene alleles shared between any two S. epidermidis and S. aureus isolates. In contrast, there was considerable interspecies admixture of mobile elements, in particular genes associated with the SaPIn1 pathogenicity island, metal detoxification, and the methicillin-resistance island SCCmec. Our data and analysis provide a context for considering the nature of recombinational boundaries between S. aureus and S. epidermidis and, the selective forces that influence realized recombination between these species.
  • Lebreton, Francois; van Schaik, Willem; McGuire, Abigail Manson; Godfrey, Paul; Griggs, Allison; Mazumdar, Varun; Corander, Jukka; Cheng, Lu; Saif, Sakina; Young, Sarah; Zeng, Qiandong; Wortman, Jennifer; Birren, Bruce; Willems, Rob J. L.; Earl, Ashlee M.; Gilmore, Michael S. (2013)
  • Veloz Villavicencio, Eliana Estefanía; Mali, Tuulia; Mattila, Hans; Lundell, Taina (2020)
    Four well-studied saprotrophic Basidiomycota Agaricomycetes species with different decay strategies were cultivated on solid lignocellulose substrates to compare their extracellular decomposing carbohydrate-active and lignin-attacking enzyme production profiles. Two Polyporales species, the white rot fungus Phlebia radiata and brown rot fungus Fomitopsis pinicola, as well as one Agaricales species, the intermediate “grey” rot fungus Schizophyllum commune, were cultivated on birch wood pieces for 12 weeks, whereas the second Agaricales species, the litter-decomposing fungus Coprinopsis cinerea was cultivated on barley straw for 6 weeks under laboratory conditions. During 3 months of growth on birch wood, only the white rot fungus P. radiata produced high laccase and MnP activities. The brown rot fungus F. pinicola demonstrated notable production of xylanase activity up to 43 nkat/mL on birch wood, together with moderate β-glucosidase and endoglucanase cellulolytic activities. The intermediate rot fungus S. commune was the strongest producer of β-glucosidase with activities up to 54 nkat/mL, and a notable producer of xylanase activity, even up to 620 nkat/mL, on birch wood. Low lignin-attacking but moderate activities against cellulose and hemicellulose were observed with the litter-decomposer C. cinerea on barley straw. Overall, our results imply that plant cell wall decomposition ability of taxonomically and ecologically divergent fungi is in line with their enzymatic decay strategy, which is fundamental in understanding their physiology and potential for biotechnological applications.
  • Feng, Yuan; Stams, Alfons J. M.; Anchez-Andrea, Irene S.; de Vos, Willem M. (2018)
    A novel anaerobic, non-spore-forming bacterium was isolated from a faecal sample of a healthy adult. The isolate, designated strain YIT, was cultured in a basal liquid medium under a gas phase of H-2/CO2 supplemented with yeast extract (0.1 g l(-1)). Cells of strain YIT were short rods (0.4-0.7 x 2.0-2.5 mu m), appearing singly or in pairs, and stained Gram-positive. Catalase activity and gelatin hydrolysis were positive while oxidase activity, indole formation, urease activity and aesculin hydrolysis were negative. Growth was observed within a temperature range of 20-45 degrees C (optimum, 35-37 degrees C), and a pH range of 5.0-8.0 (optimum pH 7.0-7.5). Doubling time was 2.3 h when grown with glucose at pH 7.2 and 37 degrees C. Besides acetogenic growth, the isolate was able to ferment a large range of monomeric sugars with acetate and butyrate as the main end products. Strain YIT did not show respiratory growth with sulfate, sulfite, thiosulfate or nitrate as electron acceptors. The major cellular fatty acids of the isolate were C-16:0 and C-18:0. The genomic DNA G+C content was 47.8 mol%. Strain YIT is affiliated to the genus Eubacterium, sharing highest levels of 16S rRNA gene similarity with Eubacterium limosum ATCC 8486(T) (97.3 %), Eubacterium callanderi DSM 3662(T) (97.5 %), Eubacterium aggregans DSM 12183(T) (94.4 %) and Eubacterium barkeri DSM 1223(T) (94.8 %). Considering its physiological and phylogenetic characteristics, strain YIT represents a novel species within the genus Eubacterium, for which the name Eubacterium maltosivorans sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is YIT (= DSM 105863(T) = JCM 32297(T)).
  • Jakava-Viljanen, Miia; Tiina, Nokireki; Sironen, Tarja; Vapalahti, Olli; Sihvonen, Liisa; Anita, Huovilainen (2015)
    Among other Lyssaviruses, Daubenton's and pond-bat-related European bat lyssavirus type 2 (EBLV-2) can cause human rabies. To investigate the diversity and evolutionary trends of EBLV-2, complete genome sequences of two Finnish isolates were analysed. One originated from a human case in 1985, and the other originated from a bat in 2009. The overall nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequence identity of the two Finnish isolates were high, as well as the similarity to fully sequenced EBLV-2 strains originating from the UK and the Netherlands. In phylogenetic analysis, the EBLV-2 strains formed a monophyletic group that was separate from other bat-type lyssaviruses, with significant support. EBLV-2 shared the most recent common ancestry with Bokeloh bat lyssavirus (BBLV) and Khujan virus (KHUV). EBLV-2 showed limited diversity compared to RABV and appears to be well adapted to its host bat species. The slow tempo of viral evolution was evident in the estimations of divergence times for EBLV-2: the current diversity was estimated to have built up during the last 2000 years, and EBLV-2 diverged from KHUV about 8000 years ago. In a phylogenetic tree of partial N gene sequences, the Finnish EBLV-2 strains clustered with strains from Central Europe, supporting the hypothesis that EBLV-2 circulating in Finland might have a Central European origin. The Finnish EBLV-2 strains and a Swiss strain were estimated to have diverged from other EBLV-2 strains during the last 1000 years, and the two Finnish strains appear to have evolved from a common ancestor during the last 200 years.
  • Andreevskaya, Margarita; Jääskelainen, Elina; Johansson, Per; Ylinen, Anne; Paulin, Lars; Björkroth, Johanna; Auvinen, Petri (2018)
    Psychrotrophic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are the prevailing spoilage organisms in packaged cold-stored meat products. Species composition and metabolic activities of such LAB spoilage communities are determined by the nature of the meat product, storage conditions, and interspecies interactions. Our knowledge of system level responses of LAB during such interactions is very limited. To expand it, we studied interactions between three common psychrotrophic spoilage LAB (Leuconostoc gelidum, Lactococcus piscium, and Lactobacillus oligofermentans) by comparing their time course transcriptome profiles obtained during their growth in individual, pairwise, and triple cultures. The study revealed how these LAB employed different strategies to cope with the consequences of interspecies competition. The fastest-growing bacterium, Le. gelidum, attempted to enhance its nutrient-scavenging and growth capabilities in the presence of other LAB through upregulation of carbohydrate catabolic pathways, pyruvate fermentation enzymes, and ribosomal proteins, whereas the slower-growing Lc. piscium and Lb. oligofermentans downregulated these functions. These findings may explain the competitive success and predominance of Le. gelidum in a variety of spoiled foods. Peculiarly, interspecies interactions induced overexpression of prophage genes and restriction modification systems (mechanisms of DNA exchange and protection against it) in Lc. piscium and Lb. oligofermentans but not in Le. gelidum. Cocultivation induced also overexpression of the numerous putative adhesins in Lb. oligofermentans. These adhesins might contribute to the survival of this slowly growing bacterium in actively growing meat spoilage communities. IMPORTANCE Despite the apparent relevance of LAB for biotechnology and human health, interactions between members of LAB communities are not well known. Knowledge of such interactions is crucial for understanding how these communities function and, consequently, whether there is any possibility to develop new strategies to interfere with their growth and to postpone spoilage of packaged and refrigerated foods. With the help of controlled experiments, detailed regulation events can be observed. This study gives an insight into the system level interactions and the different competition-induced survival strategies related to enhanced uptake and catabolism of carbon sources, overexpression of adhesins and putative bacteriocins, and the induction of exchange of genetic material. Even though this experiment dealt with only three LAB strains in vitro, these findings agreed well with the relative abundance patterns typically reported for these species in natural food microbial communities.
  • Reuter, Sandra; Connor, Thomas R.; Barquist, Lars; Walker, Danielle; Feltwell, Theresa; Harris, Simon R.; Fookes, Maria; Hall, Miquette E.; Petty, Nicola K.; Fuchs, Thilo M.; Corander, Jukka; Dufour, Muriel; Ringwood, Tamara; Savin, Cyril; Bouchier, Christiane; Martin, Liliane; Miettinen, Minna; Shubin, Mikhail; Riehm, Julia M.; Laukkanen-Ninios, Riikka; Sihvonen, Leila M.; Siitonen, Anja; Skurnik, Mikael; Falcao, Juliana Pfrimer; Fukushima, Hiroshi; Scholz, Holger C.; Prentice, Michael B.; Wren, Brendan W.; Parkhill, Julian; Carniel, Elisabeth; Achtman, Mark; McNally, Alan; Thomson, Nicholas R. (2014)
  • Nordenstedt, Noora; Marcenaro, Delfia; Chilagane, Daudi; Mwaipopo, Beatrice; Rajamaki, Minna-Liisa; Nchimbi-Msolla, Susan; Njau, Paul J. R.; Mbanzibwa, Deusdedith R.; Valkonen, Jari P. T. (2017)
    Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is an annual grain legume that was domesticated in Mesoamerica (Central America) and the Andes. It is currently grown widely also on other continents including Africa. We surveyed seedborne viruses in new common bean varieties introduced to Nicaragua (Central America) and in landraces and improved varieties grown in Tanzania (eastern Africa). Bean seeds, harvested from Nicaragua and Tanzania, were grown in insect-controlled greenhouse or screenhouse, respectively, to obtain leaf material for virus testing. Equal amounts of total RNA from different samples were pooled (30-36 samples per pool), and small RNAs were deep-sequenced (Illumina). Assembly of the reads (21-24 nt) to contiguous sequences and searches for homologous viral sequences in data-bases revealed Phaseolus vulgaris endornavirus 1 (PvEV-1) and PvEV-2 in the bean varieties in Nicaragua and Tanzania. These viruses are not known to cause symptoms in common bean and are considered non-pathogenic. The small-RNA reads from each pool of samples were mapped to the previously characterized complete PvEV-1 and PvEV-2 sequences (genome lengths ca. 14 kb and 15 kb, respectively). Coverage of the viral genomes was 87.9-99.9%, depending on the pool. Coverage per nucleotide ranged from 5 to 471, confirming virus identification. PvEV-1 and PvEV-2 are known to occur in Phaseolus spp. in Central America, but there is little previous information about their occurrence in Nicaragua, and no information about occurrence in Africa. Aside from Cowpea mild mosaic virus detected in bean plants grown from been seeds harvested from one region in Tanzania, no other pathogenic seedborne viruses were detected. The low incidence of infections caused by pathogenic viruses transmitted via bean seeds may be attributable to new, virus-resistant CB varieties released by breeding programs in Nicaragua and Tanzania.
  • Katayama, Shintaro; Ranga, Vipin; Jouhilahti, Eeva-Mari; Airenne, Tomi T.; Johnson, Mark S.; Mukherjee, Krishanu; Bürglin, Thomas R.; Kere, Juha (2018)
    Recently, human PAIRED-LIKE homeobox transcription factor (TF) genes were discovered whose expression is limited to the period of embryo genome activation up to the 8-cell stage. One of these TFs is LEUTX, but its importance for human embryogenesis is still subject to debate. We confirmed that human LEUTX acts as a TAATCC-targeting transcriptional activator, like other K50-type PAIRED-LIKE TFs. Phylogenetic comparisons revealed that Leutx proteins are conserved across Placentalia and comprise two conserved domains, the homeodomain, and a Leutx-specific domain containing putative transcriptional activation motifs (9aa TAD). Examination of human genotype resources revealed 116 allelic variants in LEUTX. Twenty-four variants potentially affect function, but they occur only heterozygously at low frequency. One variant affects a DNA-specificity determining residue, mutationally reachable by a one-base transition. In vitro and in silico experiments showed that this LEUTX mutation (alanine to valine at position 54 in the homeodomain) results in a transactivational loss-of-function to a minimal TAATCC-containing promoter and a 36 bp motif enriched in genes involved in embryo genome activation. A compensatory change in residue 47 restores function. The results support the notion that human LEUTX functions as a transcriptional activator important for human embryogenesis.
  • Frohnmeyer, Esther Gesine; Deptula, Paulina; Nyman, Tuula Anneli; Laine, Pia Kati Sofia; Vihinen, Anja Helena; Paulin, Lars Göran; Auvinen, Petri Olli Viljami; Jokitalo, Eija Sofia; Piironen, Vieno Irene; Varmanen, Pekka Kristian; Savijoki, Kirsi Kristiina (2018)
    This study compared the secretomes (proteins exported out of the cell) of Propionibacterium freudenreichii of different origin to identify plausible adaptation factors. Phylosecretomics indicated strain-specific variation in secretion of adhesins/invasins (SlpA, InlA), cell-wall hydrolysing (NlpC60 peptidase, transglycosylase), protective (RpfB) and moonlighting (DnaK, GroEL, GaPDH, IDH, ENO, ClpB) enzymes and/or proteins. Detailed secretome comparison suggested that one of the cereal strains (JS14) released a tip fimbrillin (FimB) in to the extracellular milieu, which was in line with the electron microscopy and genomic analyses, indicating the lack of surface-associated fimbrial-like structures, predicting a mutated type-2 fimbrial gene cluster (fimB-fimA-srtC2) and production of anchorless FimB. Instead, the cereal strain produced high amounts of SlpB that tentatively mediated adherent growth on hydrophilic surface and adherence to hydrophobic material. One of the dairy strains (JS22), producing non-covalently bound surface-proteins (LspA, ClpB, AraI) and releasing SlpA and InlA into the culture medium, was found to form clumps under physiological conditions. The JS22 strain lacked SlpB and displayed a non-clumping and biofilm-forming phenotype only under conditions of increased ionic strength (300mM NaCl). However, this strain cultured under the same conditions was not adherent to hydrophobic support, which supports the contributory role of SlpB in mediating hydrophobic interactions. Thus, this study reports significant secretome variation in P.freudenreichii and suggests that strain-specific differences in protein export, modification and protein-protein interactions have been the driving forces behind the adaptation of this bacterial species.
  • Vetterli, Adrien; Hietanen, Susanna; Leskinen, Elina (2016)
    The diversity and dynamics of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) nitrifying communities in the sediments of the eutrophic Gulf of Finland (GoF) were investigated. Using clone libraries of ammonia monooxygenase (amoA) gene fragments and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP), we found a low richness of both AOB and AOA. The AOB amoA phylogeny matched that of AOB 16S ribosomal genes from the same samples. AOA communities were characterized by strong spatial variation while AOB communities showed notable temporal patterns. At open sea sites, where transient anoxic conditions prevail, richness of both AOA and AOB was lowest and communities were dominated by organisms with gene signatures unique to the GoF. Given the importance of nitrification as a link between the fixation of nitrogen and its removal from aquatic environments, the low diversity of ammonia-oxidizing microbes across the GoF could be of relevance for ecosystem resilience in the face of rapid global environmental changes. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Rytioja, Johanna; Hilden, Kristiina; Di Falco, Marcos; Zhou, Miaomiao; Aguilar-Pontes, Maria Victoria; Sietiö, Outi-Maaria; Tsang, Adrian; de Vries, Ronald; Mäkelä, Miia R. (2017)
    The ability to obtain carbon and energy is a major requirement to exist in any environment. For several ascomycete fungi, (post-)genomic analyses have shown that species that occupy a large variety of habitats possess a diverse enzymatic machinery, while species with a specific habitat have a more focused enzyme repertoire that is well-adapted to the prevailing substrate. White-rot basidiomycete fungi also live in a specific habitat, as they are found exclusively in wood. In this study, we evaluated how well the enzymatic machinery of the white-rot fungus Dichomitus squalens is tailored to degrade its natural wood substrate. The transcriptome and exoproteome of D. squalens were analyzed after cultivation on two natural substrates, aspen and spruce wood, and two non-woody substrates, wheat bran and cotton seed hulls. D. squalens produced ligninolytic enzymes mainly at the early time point of the wood cultures, indicating the need to degrade lignin to get access to wood polysaccharides. Surprisingly, the response of the fungus to the non-woody polysaccharides was nearly as good a match to the substrate composition as observed for the wood polysaccharides. This indicates that D. squalens has preserved its ability to efficiently degrade plant biomass types not present in its natural habitat.
  • Pimenoff, Ville N.; Houldcroft, Charlotte J.; Rifkin, Riaan F.; Underdown, Simon (2018)
    Analysis of pathogen genome data sequenced from clinical and historical samples has made it possible to perform phylogenetic analyses of sexually transmitted infections on a global scale, and to estimate the diversity, distribution, and coevolutionary host relationships of these pathogens, providing insights into pathogen emergence and disease prevention. Deep-sequenced pathogen genomes from clinical studies and ancient samples yield estimates of within-host and between-host evolutionary rates and provide data on changes in pathogen genomic stability and evolutionary responses. Here we examine three groups of pathogens transmitted mainly through sexual contact between modern humans to provide insight into ancient human behavior and history with their pathogens. Exploring ancient pathogen genomic divergence and the ancient viral-host parallel evolutionary histories will help us to reconstruct the origin of present-day geographical distribution and diversity of clinical pathogen infections, and will hopefully allow us to foresee possible environmentally induced pathogen evolutionary responses. Lastly, we emphasize that ancient pathogen DNA research should be combined with modern clinical pathogen data, and be equitable and provide advantages for all researchers worldwide, e.g., through shared data.
  • Atanasova, Nina S.; Heiniö, Camilla H.; Demina, Tatiana A.; Bamford, Dennis H.; Oksanen, Hanna M. (2018)
    Extremely halophilic Archaea are the only known hosts for pleolipoviruses which are pleomorphic non-lytic viruses resembling cellular membrane vesicles. Recently, pleolipoviruses have been acknowledged by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) as the first virus family that contains related viruses with different DNA genomes. Genomic diversity of pleolipoviruses includes single-stranded and double-stranded DNA molecules and their combinations as linear or circular molecules. To date, only eight viruses belong to the family Pleolipoviridae. In order to obtain more information about the diversity of pleolipoviruses, further isolates are needed. Here we describe the characterization of a new halophilic virus isolate, Haloarcula hispanica pleomorphic virus 4 (HHPV4). All pleolipoviruses and related proviruses contain a conserved core of approximately five genes designating this virus family, but the sequence similarity among different isolates is low. We demonstrate that over half of HHPV4 genome is identical to the genome of pleomorphic virus HHPV3. The genomic regions encoding known virion components are identical between the two viruses, but HHPV4 includes unique genetic elements, e.g., a putative integrase gene. The co-evolution of these two viruses demonstrates the presence of high recombination frequency in halophilic microbiota and can provide new insights considering links between viruses, membrane vesicles, and plasmids.
  • Beres, Stephen B.; Kachroo, Priyanka; Nasser, Waleed; Olsen, Randall J.; Zhu, Luchang; Flores, Anthony R.; de la Riva, Ivan; Paez-Mayorga, Jesus; Jimenez, Francisco E.; Cantu, Concepcion; Vuopio, Jaana; Jalava, Jari; Kristinsson, Karl G.; Gottfredsson, Magnus; Corander, Jukka; Fittipaldi, Nahuel; Di Luca, Maria Chiara; Petrelli, Dezemona; Vitali, Luca A.; Raiford, Annessa; Jenkins, Leslie; Musser, James M. (2016)
    For over a century, a fundamental objective in infection biology research has been to understand the molecular processes contributing to the origin and perpetuation of epidemics. Divergent hypotheses have emerged concerning the extent to which environmental events or pathogen evolution dominates in these processes. Remarkably few studies bear on this important issue. Based on population pathogenomic analysis of 1,200 Streptococcus pyogenes type emm89 infection isolates, we report that a series of horizontal gene transfer events produced a new pathogenic genotype with increased ability to cause infection, leading to an epidemic wave of disease on at least two continents. In the aggregate, these and other genetic changes substantially remodeled the transcriptomes of the evolved progeny, causing extensive differential expression of virulence genes and altered pathogen-host interaction, including enhanced immune evasion. Our findings delineate the precise molecular genetic changes that occurred and enhance our understanding of the evolutionary processes that contribute to the emergence and persistence of epidemically successful pathogen clones. The data have significant implications for understanding bacterial epidemics and for translational research efforts to blunt their detrimental effects. IMPORTANCE The confluence of studies of molecular events underlying pathogen strain emergence, evolutionary genetic processes mediating altered virulence, and epidemics is in its infancy. Although understanding these events is necessary to develop new or improved strategies to protect health, surprisingly few studies have addressed this issue, in particular, at the comprehensive population genomic level. Herein we establish that substantial remodeling of the transcriptome of the human-specific pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes by horizontal gene flow and other evolutionary genetic changes is a central factor in precipitating and perpetuating epidemic disease. The data unambiguously show that the key outcome of these molecular events is evolution of a new, more virulent pathogenic genotype. Our findings provide new understanding of epidemic disease.