Recent studies have examined gene transfer from bacteria to humans that would result in vertical inheritance. Bacterial DNA appears to integrate into the human somatic genome through an RNA intermediate, and such integrations are detected more frequently in tumors than normal samples and in RNA than DNA samples. Also, vertebrate viruses encode products that interfere with the RNA silencing machinery, suggesting that RNA silencing may indeed be important for antiviral responses in vertebrates. RNA silencing in response to virus infection could be due to microRNAs encoded by either the virus or the host. We hypothesized that bacterial expression of RNA molecules with secondary structures is potentially able to generate miRNA molecules that can interact with the human host mRNA during bacterial infection. To test this hypothesis, we developed a pipeline-based bioinformatics approach to identify putative micro-RNAs derived from bacterial RNAs that may have the potential to regulate gene expression of the human host cell. Our results suggest that 68 bacterial RNAs predicted from 37 different bacterial genomes have predicted secondary structures potentially able to generate putative microRNAs that may interact with messenger RNAs of genes involved in 47 different human diseases. As an example, we examined the effect of transfecting three putative microRNAs into human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells. The results show that the bacterially derived microRNA sequence can significantly regulate the expression of the respective target human gene. We suggest that the study of these predicted microRNAs may yield important clues as to how the human host cell processes involved in human diseases like cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and others may respond to a particular bacterial environment.
Botrytis cinerea causes gray mold on a great number of host plants. Infection is initiated by airborne conidia that invade the host tissue, often by penetration of intact epidermal cells. To mimic the surface properties of natural plant surfaces, conidia were incubated on apple wax-coated surfaces, resulting in rapid germination and appressorium formation. Global changes in gene expression were analyzed by microarray hybridization between conidia incubated for 0 h (dormant), 1 h (pregermination), 2.5 h (postgermination), 4 h (appressoria), and 15 h (early mycelium). Considerable changes were observed, in particular between 0 h and 1 h. Genes induced during germination were enriched in those genes encoding secreted proteins, including lytic enzymes. Comparison of wild-type and a nonpathogenic MAP kinase mutant (bmp1) revealed marked differences in germination-related gene expression, in particular related to secretory proteins. Using promoter-GFP reporter strains, we detected a strictly germination-specific expression pattern of a putative chitin deacetylase gene (cda1). In contrast, a cutinase gene (cutB) was found to be expressed only in the presence of plant lipids, in a developmentally less stringent pattern. We also identified a coregulated gene cluster possibly involved in secondary metabolite synthesis which was found to be controlled by a transcription factor also encoded in this cluster. Our data demonstrate that early conidial development in B. cinerea is accompanied by rapid shifts in gene expression that prepare the fungus for germ tube outgrowth and host cell invasion.
Acidithiobacillus caldus is a sulfur oxidizing extreme acidophile and the only known mesothermophile within the Acidithiobacillales. As such, it is one of the preferred microbes for mineral bioprocessing at moderately high temperatures. In this study, we explore the genomic diversity of A. caldus strains using a combination of bioinformatic and experimental techniques, thus contributing first insights into the elucidation of the species pangenome.
Deformed wing virus (DWV) is one of the most common viruses affecting honey bee specimens. Although the presence of DWV has been reported in many countries, there is no data of the current situation in Chile. In this report, we detected the presence of DWV in apiaries from two different locations in central Chile. Furthermore, the genome of a Chilean DWV isolate was completely sequenced. This is the first report of the presence of a honey bee virus in Chile.
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