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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Gill bacteria enable a novel digestive strategy in a wood-feeding mollusk.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 11-12-2014
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Bacteria play many important roles in animal digestive systems, including the provision of enzymes critical to digestion. Typically, complex communities of bacteria reside in the gut lumen in direct contact with the ingested materials they help to digest. Here, we demonstrate a previously undescribed digestive strategy in the wood-eating marine bivalve Bankia setacea, wherein digestive bacteria are housed in a location remote from the gut. These bivalves, commonly known as shipworms, lack a resident microbiota in the gut compartment where wood is digested but harbor endosymbiotic bacteria within specialized cells in their gills. We show that this comparatively simple bacterial community produces wood-degrading enzymes that are selectively translocated from gill to gut. These enzymes, which include just a small subset of the predicted wood-degrading enzymes encoded in the endosymbiont genomes, accumulate in the gut to the near exclusion of other endosymbiont-made proteins. This strategy of remote enzyme production provides the shipworm with a mechanism to capture liberated sugars from wood without competition from an endogenous gut microbiota. Because only those proteins required for wood digestion are translocated to the gut, this newly described system reveals which of many possible enzymes and enzyme combinations are minimally required for wood degradation. Thus, although it has historically had negative impacts on human welfare, the shipworm digestive process now has the potential to have a positive impact on industries that convert wood and other plant biomass to renewable fuels, fine chemicals, food, feeds, textiles, and paper products.
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Automatic Prediction of Polysaccharide Utilization Loci in Bacteroidetes Species.
Bioinformatics
PUBLISHED: 10-31-2014
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A bacterial polysaccharide utilization locus (PUL) is a set of physically-linked genes that orchestrate the breakdown of a specific glycan. PULs are prevalent in the Bacteroidetes phylum and are key to the digestion of complex carbohydrates, notably by the human gut microbiota. A given Bacteroidetes genome can encode dozens of different PULs whose boundaries and precise gene content are difficult to predict. Results: Here, we present a fully-automated approach for PUL prediction using genomic-context and domain annotation alone. By combining the detection of a pair of marker genes with operon prediction using intergenic distances, and queries to the carbohydrate-active enzymes database (www.cazy.org), our predictor achieved above 86% accuracy in two Bacteroides species with extensive experimental PUL characterization. Availability: PUL predictions in 67 Bacteroidetes genomes from the human gut microbiota and two additional species, from the canine oral sphere and from the environment, are presented in our database accessible at www.cazy.org/PULDB/index.php.
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Dissection of hexosyl-and sialyl-transferase domains in the bi-functional capsule polymerases from Neisseria meningitidis W and Y defines a new sialyltransferase family.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 10-25-2014
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Crucial virulence determinants of disease causing Neisseria meningitidis (Nm) species are their extracellular polysaccharide capsules (CPSs). In the serogroups W and Y these are heteropolymers of the repeating units [?6)-?-D-Gal-(1?4)-?-Neu5Ac-(2?]n in NmW and [?6)-?-D-Glc-(1?4)-?-Neu5Ac-(2?]n in NmY. The capsule polymerases, SiaDW and SiaDY, which synthesise these highly unusual polymers, are composed of two predicted GT-B fold domains separated by a large stretch of amino acids (aa399-762). We recently showed that residues critical to the hexosyl- and sialyltransferase activity are found in the predicted N-terminal (aa1-398) and C-terminal (aa763-1037) GT-B fold domains, respectively. Here we use a mutational approach and synthetic fluorescent substrates to define the boundaries of the hexosyl- and sialyltransferase domains. Our results reveal that the active sialyltransferase domain extends well beyond the predicted C-terminal GT-B domain and defines a new glycosyltransferase family, GT97, in the Carbohydrate Active Enzyme database (CAZy).
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Draft Genome Sequences of Two Ulvan-Degrading Isolates, Strains LTR and LOR, That Belong to the Alteromonas Genus.
Genome Announc
PUBLISHED: 10-25-2014
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Here, we report the draft genome sequence of two ulvan-degrading Alteromonas spp. isolated from the feces of the sea slug, Aplysia. These sequenced genomes display a unique ulvan degradation machinery compared with ulvanolytic enzymes previously identified in Nonlabens ulvanivorans.
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A glycogene mutation map for discovery of diseases of glycosylation.
Glycobiology
PUBLISHED: 09-28-2014
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Glycosylation of proteins and lipids involves over 200 known glycosyltransferases (GTs), and deleterious defects in many of the genes encoding these enzymes cause disorders collectively classified as congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDGs). Most known CDGs are caused by defects in glycogenes that affect glycosylation globally. Many GTs are members of homologous isoenzyme families and deficiencies in individual isoenzymes may not affect glycosylation globally. In line with this, there appears to be an underrepresentation of disease-causing glycogenes among these larger isoenzyme homologous families. However, genome-wide association studies have identified such isoenzyme genes as candidates for different diseases, but validation is not straightforward without biomarkers. Large-scale whole-exome sequencing (WES) provides access to mutations in, for example, GT genes in populations, which can be used to predict and/or analyze functional deleterious mutations. Here, we constructed a draft of a functional mutational map of glycogenes, GlyMAP, from WES of a rather homogenous population of 2000 Danes. We cataloged all missense mutations and used prediction algorithms, manual inspection and in case of carbohydrate-active enzymes family GT27 experimental analysis of mutations to map deleterious mutations. GlyMAP (http://glymap.glycomics.ku.dk) provides a first global view of the genetic stability of the glycogenome and should serve as a tool for discovery of novel CDGs.
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Carbohydrate-related enzymes of important Phytophthora plant pathogens.
Fungal Genet. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 09-03-2014
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Carbohydrate-Active enZymes (CAZymes) form particularly interesting targets to study in plant pathogens. Despite the fact that many CAZymes are pathogenicity factors, oomycete CAZymes have received significantly less attention than effectors in the literature. Here we present an analysis of the CAZymes present in the Phytophthora infestans, Ph. ramorum, Ph. sojae and Pythium ultimum genomes compared to growth of these species on a range of different carbon sources. Growth on these carbon sources indicates that the size of enzyme families involved in degradation of cell-wall related substrates like cellulose, xylan and pectin is not always a good predictor of growth on these substrates. While a capacity to degrade xylan and cellulose exists the products are not fully saccharified and used as a carbon source. The Phytophthora genomes encode larger CAZyme sets when compared to Py. ultimum, and encode putative cutinases, GH12 xyloglucanases and GH10 xylanases that are missing in the Py. ultimum genome. Phytophthora spp. also encode a larger number of enzyme families and genes involved in pectin degradation. No loss or gain of complete enzyme families was found between the Phytophthora genomes, but there are some marked differences in the size of some enzyme families.
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Genomic and transcriptomic analysis of Laccaria bicolor CAZome reveals insights into polysaccharides remodelling during symbiosis establishment.
Fungal Genet. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 08-28-2014
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Ectomycorrhizal fungi, living in soil forests, are required microorganisms to sustain tree growth and productivity. The establishment of mutualistic interaction with roots to form ectomycorrhiza (ECM) is not well known at the molecular level. In particular, how fungal and plant cell walls are rearranged to establish a fully functional ectomycorrhiza is poorly understood. Nevertheless, it is likely that Carbohydrate Active enZymes (CAZyme) produced by the fungus participate in this process. Genome-wide transcriptome profiling during ECM development was used to examine how the CAZome of Laccaria bicolor is regulated during symbiosis establishment. CAZymes active on fungal cell wall were upregulated during ECM development in particular after 4weeks of contact when the hyphae are surrounding the root cells and start to colonize the apoplast. We demonstrated that one expansin-like protein, whose expression is specific to symbiotic tissues, localizes within fungal cell wall. Whereas L. bicolor genome contained a constricted repertoire of CAZymes active on cellulose and hemicellulose, these CAZymes were expressed during the first steps of root cells colonization. L. bicolor retained the ability to use homogalacturonan, a pectin-derived substrate, as carbon source. CAZymes likely involved in pectin hydrolysis were mainly expressed at the stage of a fully mature ECM. All together, our data suggest an active remodelling of fungal cell wall with a possible involvement of expansin during ECM development. By contrast, a soft remodelling of the plant cell wall likely occurs through the loosening of the cellulose microfibrils by AA9 or GH12 CAZymes and middle lamella smooth remodelling through pectin (homogalacturonan) hydrolysis likely by GH28, GH12 CAZymes.
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Draft Genome Sequence of Nonlabens ulvanivorans, an Ulvan-Degrading Bacterium.
Genome Announc
PUBLISHED: 08-14-2014
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Here we report the draft genome sequence of the bacterium Nonlabens ulvanivorans, which was recently isolated. To our knowledge, this is the first published genome of a characterized ulvan-degrading bacterium. Revealing the ulvan utilization pathways may provide access to a vast marine biomass source that has yet to be exploited.
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Enhanced whole genome sequence and annotation of Clostridium stercorarium DSM8532T using RNA-seq transcriptomics and high-throughput proteomics.
BMC Genomics
PUBLISHED: 06-26-2014
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Growing interest in cellulolytic clostridia with potential for consolidated biofuels production is mitigated by low conversion of raw substrates to desired end products. Strategies to improve conversion are likely to benefit from emerging techniques to define molecular systems biology of these organisms. Clostridium stercorarium DSM8532T is an anaerobic thermophile with demonstrated high ethanol production on cellulose and hemicellulose. Although several lignocellulolytic enzymes in this organism have been well-characterized, details concerning carbohydrate transporters and central metabolism have not been described. Therefore, the goal of this study is to define an improved whole genome sequence (WGS) for this organism using in-depth molecular profiling by RNA-seq transcriptomics and tandem mass spectrometry-based proteomics.
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Extensive sampling of basidiomycete genomes demonstrates inadequacy of the white-rot/brown-rot paradigm for wood decay fungi.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 06-23-2014
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Basidiomycota (basidiomycetes) make up 32% of the described fungi and include most wood-decaying species, as well as pathogens and mutualistic symbionts. Wood-decaying basidiomycetes have typically been classified as either white rot or brown rot, based on the ability (in white rot only) to degrade lignin along with cellulose and hemicellulose. Prior genomic comparisons suggested that the two decay modes can be distinguished based on the presence or absence of ligninolytic class II peroxidases (PODs), as well as the abundance of enzymes acting directly on crystalline cellulose (reduced in brown rot). To assess the generality of the white-rot/brown-rot classification paradigm, we compared the genomes of 33 basidiomycetes, including four newly sequenced wood decayers, and performed phylogenetically informed principal-components analysis (PCA) of a broad range of gene families encoding plant biomass-degrading enzymes. The newly sequenced Botryobasidium botryosum and Jaapia argillacea genomes lack PODs but possess diverse enzymes acting on crystalline cellulose, and they group close to the model white-rot species Phanerochaete chrysosporium in the PCA. Furthermore, laboratory assays showed that both B. botryosum and J. argillacea can degrade all polymeric components of woody plant cell walls, a characteristic of white rot. We also found expansions in reducing polyketide synthase genes specific to the brown-rot fungi. Our results suggest a continuum rather than a dichotomy between the white-rot and brown-rot modes of wood decay. A more nuanced categorization of rot types is needed, based on an improved understanding of the genomics and biochemistry of wood decay.
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Draft Genome Sequence of a Rare Smut Relative, Tilletiaria anomala UBC 951.
Genome Announc
PUBLISHED: 06-14-2014
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The draft genome sequence of the smut fungus Tilletiaria anomala UBC 951 (Basidiomycota, Ustilaginomycotina) is presented. The sequenced genome size is 18.7 Mb, consisting of 289 scaffolds and a total of 6,810 predicted genes. This is the first genome sequence published for a fungus in the order Georgefisheriales (Exobasidiomycetes).
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Genome sequence and transcriptome analyses of the thermophilic zygomycete fungus Rhizomucor miehei.
BMC Genomics
PUBLISHED: 04-09-2014
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The zygomycete fungi like Rhizomucor miehei have been extensively exploited for the production of various enzymes. As a thermophilic fungus, R. miehei is capable of growing at temperatures that approach the upper limits for all eukaryotes. To date, over hundreds of fungal genomes are publicly available. However, Zygomycetes have been rarely investigated both genetically and genomically.
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[Gut microbiota and digestion of polysaccharides].
Med Sci (Paris)
PUBLISHED: 03-31-2014
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The distal gut microbiota corresponds to all the microorganisms, essentially bacteria, that reside commonly in the colon. The microbial population is characterized by a large taxonomical diversity, counting approximately a thousand distinct bacterial species for a single individual. The pace of investigations of this microbial system has greatly accelerated these last few years, fuelled by the advent of metagenomics techniques, which do not rely on bacterial cultivation, but utilize high throughput DNA sequencing. In just a few years studies of the intestinal microbiota have become fashionable, albeit with often contradictory results when attempting to correlate changes in microbial composition to diverse pathologies. The article focuses on one of the essential functions of the distal gut microbiota: the digestion of the immense variety of polysaccharides from our diet that enzymes of the host cannot breakdown.
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Bacteria from diverse habitats colonize and compete in the mouse gut.
Cell
PUBLISHED: 02-21-2014
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To study how microbes establish themselves in a mammalian gut environment, we colonized germ-free mice with microbial communities from human, zebrafish, and termite guts, human skin and tongue, soil, and estuarine microbial mats. Bacteria from these foreign environments colonized and persisted in the mouse gut; their capacity to metabolize dietary and host carbohydrates and bile acids correlated with colonization success. Cohousing mice harboring these xenomicrobiota or a mouse cecal microbiota, along with germ-free "bystanders," revealed the success of particular bacterial taxa in invading guts with established communities and empty gut habitats. Unanticipated patterns of ecological succession were observed; for example, a soil-derived bacterium dominated even in the presence of bacteria from other gut communities (zebrafish and termite), and human-derived bacteria colonized germ-free bystander mice before mouse-derived organisms. This approach can be generalized to address a variety of mechanistic questions about succession, including succession in the context of microbiota-directed therapeutics.
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Comparative genomics of the major fungal agents of human and animal Sporotrichosis: Sporothrix schenckii and Sporothrix brasiliensis.
BMC Genomics
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2014
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The fungal genus Sporothrix includes at least four human pathogenic species. One of these species, S. brasiliensis, is the causal agent of a major ongoing zoonotic outbreak of sporotrichosis in Brazil. Elsewhere, sapronoses are caused by S. schenckii and S. globosa. The major aims on this comparative genomic study are: 1) to explore the presence of virulence factors in S. schenckii and S. brasiliensis; 2) to compare S. brasiliensis, which is cat-transmitted and infects both humans and cats with S. schenckii, mainly a human pathogen; 3) to compare these two species to other human pathogens (Onygenales) with similar thermo-dimorphic behavior and to other plant-associated Sordariomycetes.
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How do gut microbes break down dietary fiber?
Trends Biochem. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2014
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Trillions of commensal bacteria in our colon thrive on what we do not digest in our small intestine. Many have evolved multiple sophisticated machineries, termed polysaccharide utilization loci or PULs, for carbohydrate breakdown; each PUL may target a particular complex carbohydrate. Until now, studies have focused on the structural and functional characterization of individual PUL constituents. A recent work by Larsbrink et al. moves the scope from single-gene analysis to the entire PUL dissection.
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Comparative analyses of Podospora anserina secretomes reveal a large array of lignocellulose-active enzymes.
Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 01-20-2014
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The genome of the coprophilous fungus Podospora anserina harbors a large and highly diverse set of putative lignocellulose-acting enzymes. In this study, we investigated the enzymatic diversity of a broad range of P. anserina secretomes induced by various carbon sources (dextrin, glucose, xylose, arabinose, lactose, cellobiose, saccharose, Avicel, Solka-floc, birchwood xylan, wheat straw, maize bran, and sugar beet pulp (SBP)). Compared with the Trichoderma reesei enzymatic cocktail, P. anserina secretomes displayed similar cellulase, xylanase, and pectinase activities and greater arabinofuranosidase, arabinanase, and galactanase activities. The secretomes were further tested for their capacity to supplement a T. reesei cocktail. Four of them improved significantly the saccharification yield of steam-exploded wheat straw up to 48 %. Fine analysis of the P. anserina secretomes produced with Avicel and SBP using proteomics revealed a large array of CAZymes with a high number of GH6 and GH7 cellulases, CE1 esterases, GH43 arabinofuranosidases, and AA1 laccase-like multicopper oxidases. Moreover, a preponderance of AA9 (formerly GH61) was exclusively produced in the SBP condition. This study brings additional insights into the P. anserina enzymatic machinery and will facilitate the selection of promising targets for the development of future biorefineries.
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Bacteria, phages and pigs: the effects of in-feed antibiotics on the microbiome at different gut locations.
ISME J
PUBLISHED: 01-10-2014
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Disturbance of the beneficial gut microbial community is a potential collateral effect of antibiotics, which have many uses in animal agriculture (disease treatment or prevention and feed efficiency improvement). Understanding antibiotic effects on bacterial communities at different intestinal locations is essential to realize the full benefits and consequences of in-feed antibiotics. In this study, we defined the lumenal and mucosal bacterial communities from the small intestine (ileum) and large intestine (cecum and colon) plus feces, and characterized the effects of in-feed antibiotics (chlortetracycline, sulfamethazine and penicillin (ASP250)) on these communities. 16S rRNA gene sequence and metagenomic analyses of bacterial membership and functions revealed dramatic differences between small and large intestinal locations, including enrichment of Firmicutes and phage-encoding genes in the ileum. The large intestinal microbiota encoded numerous genes to degrade plant cell wall components, and these genes were lacking in the ileum. The mucosa-associated ileal microbiota harbored greater bacterial diversity than the lumen but similar membership to the mucosa of the large intestine, suggesting that most gut microbes can associate with the mucosa and might serve as an inoculum for the lumen. The collateral effects on the microbiota of antibiotic-fed animals caused divergence from that of control animals, with notable changes being increases in Escherichia coli populations in the ileum, Lachnobacterium spp. in all gut locations, and resistance genes to antibiotics not administered. Characterizing the differential metabolic capacities and response to perturbation at distinct intestinal locations will inform strategies to improve gut health and food safety.
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First structural insights into ?-L-arabinofuranosidases from the two GH62 glycoside hydrolase subfamilies.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 01-06-2014
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?-L-arabinofuranosidases are glycoside hydrolases that specifically hydrolyze non-reducing residues from arabinose-containing polysaccharides. In the case of arabinoxylans, which are the main components of hemicellulose, they are part of microbial xylanolytic systems and are necessary for complete breakdown of arabinoxylans. Glycoside hydrolase family 62 (GH62) is currently a small family of ?-L-arabinofuranosidases that contains only bacterial and fungal members. Little is known about the GH62 mechanism of action, because only a few members have been biochemically characterized and no three-dimensional structure is available. Here, we present the first crystal structures of two fungal GH62 ?-L-arabinofuranosidases from the basidiomycete Ustilago maydis (UmAbf62A) and ascomycete Podospora anserina (PaAbf62A). Both enzymes are able to efficiently remove the ?-L-arabinosyl substituents from arabinoxylan. The overall three-dimensional structure of UmAbf62A and PaAbf62A reveals a five-bladed ?-propeller fold that confirms their predicted classification into clan GH-F together with GH43 ?-L-arabinofuranosidases. Crystallographic structures of the complexes with arabinose and cellotriose reveal the important role of subsites +1 and +2 for sugar binding. Intriguingly, we observed that PaAbf62A was inhibited by cello-oligosaccharides and displayed binding affinity to cellulose although no activity was observed on a range of cellulosic substrates. Bioinformatic analyses showed that UmAbf62A and PaAbf62A belong to two distinct subfamilies within the GH62 family. The results presented here provide a framework to better investigate the structure-function relationships within the GH62 family.
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Fast solubilization of recalcitrant cellulosic biomass by the basidiomycete fungus Laetisaria arvalis involves successive secretion of oxidative and hydrolytic enzymes.
Biotechnol Biofuels
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Enzymatic breakdown of lignocellulosic biomass is a known bottleneck for the production of high-value molecules and biofuels from renewable sources. Filamentous fungi are the predominant natural source of enzymes acting on lignocellulose. We describe the extraordinary cellulose-deconstructing capacity of the basidiomycete Laetisaria arvalis, a soil-inhabiting fungus.
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Comparative analysis of carbohydrate active enzymes in Clostridium termitidis CT1112 reveals complex carbohydrate degradation ability.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Clostridium termitidis strain CT1112 is an anaerobic, gram positive, mesophilic, cellulolytic bacillus isolated from the gut of the wood-feeding termite, Nasutitermes lujae. It produces biofuels such as hydrogen and ethanol from cellulose, cellobiose, xylan, xylose, glucose, and other sugars, and therefore could be used for biofuel production from biomass through consolidated bioprocessing. The first step in the production of biofuel from biomass by microorganisms is the hydrolysis of complex carbohydrates present in biomass. This is achieved through the presence of a repertoire of secreted or complexed carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes), sometimes organized in an extracellular organelle called cellulosome. To assess the ability and understand the mechanism of polysaccharide hydrolysis in C. termitidis, the recently sequenced strain CT1112 of C. termitidis was analyzed for both CAZymes and cellulosomal components, and compared to other cellulolytic bacteria. A total of 355 CAZyme sequences were identified in C. termitidis, significantly higher than other Clostridial species. Of these, high numbers of glycoside hydrolases (199) and carbohydrate binding modules (95) were identified. The presence of a variety of CAZymes involved with polysaccharide utilization/degradation ability suggests hydrolysis potential for a wide range of polysaccharides. In addition, dockerin-bearing enzymes, cohesion domains and a cellulosomal gene cluster were identified, indicating the presence of potential cellulosome assembly.
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Rumen cellulosomics: divergent fiber-degrading strategies revealed by comparative genome-wide analysis of six ruminococcal strains.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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A complex community of microorganisms is responsible for efficient plant cell wall digestion by many herbivores, notably the ruminants. Understanding the different fibrolytic mechanisms utilized by these bacteria has been of great interest in agricultural and technological fields, reinforced more recently by current efforts to convert cellulosic biomass to biofuels.
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Genome of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus provides insight into the oldest plant symbiosis.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 11-25-2013
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The mutualistic symbiosis involving Glomeromycota, a distinctive phylum of early diverging Fungi, is widely hypothesized to have promoted the evolution of land plants during the middle Paleozoic. These arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) perform vital functions in the phosphorus cycle that are fundamental to sustainable crop plant productivity. The unusual biological features of AMF have long fascinated evolutionary biologists. The coenocytic hyphae host a community of hundreds of nuclei and reproduce clonally through large multinucleated spores. It has been suggested that the AMF maintain a stable assemblage of several different genomes during the life cycle, but this genomic organization has been questioned. Here we introduce the 153-Mb haploid genome of Rhizophagus irregularis and its repertoire of 28,232 genes. The observed low level of genome polymorphism (0.43 SNP per kb) is not consistent with the occurrence of multiple, highly diverged genomes. The expansion of mating-related genes suggests the existence of cryptic sex-related processes. A comparison of gene categories confirms that R. irregularis is close to the Mucoromycotina. The AMF obligate biotrophy is not explained by genome erosion or any related loss of metabolic complexity in central metabolism, but is marked by a lack of genes encoding plant cell wall-degrading enzymes and of genes involved in toxin and thiamine synthesis. A battery of mycorrhiza-induced secreted proteins is expressed in symbiotic tissues. The present comprehensive repertoire of R. irregularis genes provides a basis for future research on symbiosis-related mechanisms in Glomeromycota.
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The carbohydrate-active enzymes database (CAZy) in 2013.
Nucleic Acids Res.
PUBLISHED: 11-21-2013
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The Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes database (CAZy; http://www.cazy.org) provides online and continuously updated access to a sequence-based family classification linking the sequence to the specificity and 3D structure of the enzymes that assemble, modify and breakdown oligo- and polysaccharides. Functional and 3D structural information is added and curated on a regular basis based on the available literature. In addition to the use of the database by enzymologists seeking curated information on CAZymes, the dissemination of a stable nomenclature for these enzymes is probably a major contribution of CAZy. The past few years have seen the expansion of the CAZy classification scheme to new families, the development of subfamilies in several families and the power of CAZy for the analysis of genomes and metagenomes. This article outlines the changes that have occurred in CAZy during the past 5 years and presents our novel effort to display the resolution and the carbohydrate ligands in crystallographic complexes of CAZymes.
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Role of glycoside phosphorylases in mannose foraging by human gut bacteria.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 09-16-2013
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To metabolize both dietary fiber constituent carbohydrates and host glycans lining the intestinal epithelium, gut bacteria produce a wide range of carbohydrate-active enzymes, of which glycoside hydrolases are the main components. In this study, we describe the ability of phosphorylases to participate in the breakdown of human N-glycans, from an analysis of the substrate specificity of UhgbMP, a mannoside phosphorylase of the GH130 protein family discovered by functional metagenomics. UhgbMP is found to phosphorolyze ?-D-Manp-1,4-?-D-GlcpNAc-1,4-D-GlcpNAc and is also a highly efficient enzyme to catalyze the synthesis of this precious N-glycan core oligosaccharide by reverse phosphorolysis. Analysis of sequence conservation within family GH130, mapped on a three-dimensional model of UhgbMP and supported by site-directed mutagenesis results, revealed two GH130 subfamilies and allowed the identification of key residues responsible for catalysis and substrate specificity. The analysis of the genomic context of 65 known GH130 sequences belonging to human gut bacteria indicates that the enzymes of the GH130_1 subfamily would be involved in mannan catabolism, whereas the enzymes belonging to the GH130_2 subfamily would rather work in synergy with glycoside hydrolases of the GH92 and GH18 families in the breakdown of N-glycans. The use of GH130 inhibitors as therapeutic agents or functional foods could thus be considered as an innovative strategy to inhibit N-glycan degradation, with the ultimate goal of protecting, or restoring, the epithelial barrier.
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Gut microbiota from twins discordant for obesity modulate metabolism in mice.
Science
PUBLISHED: 09-07-2013
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The role of specific gut microbes in shaping body composition remains unclear. We transplanted fecal microbiota from adult female twin pairs discordant for obesity into germ-free mice fed low-fat mouse chow, as well as diets representing different levels of saturated fat and fruit and vegetable consumption typical of the U.S. diet. Increased total body and fat mass, as well as obesity-associated metabolic phenotypes, were transmissible with uncultured fecal communities and with their corresponding fecal bacterial culture collections. Cohousing mice harboring an obese twins microbiota (Ob) with mice containing the lean co-twins microbiota (Ln) prevented the development of increased body mass and obesity-associated metabolic phenotypes in Ob cage mates. Rescue correlated with invasion of specific members of Bacteroidetes from the Ln microbiota into Ob microbiota and was diet-dependent. These findings reveal transmissible, rapid, and modifiable effects of diet-by-microbiota interactions.
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Discovery and characterization of a new family of lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases.
Nat. Chem. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 08-19-2013
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Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) are a recently discovered class of enzymes capable of oxidizing recalcitrant polysaccharides. They are attracting considerable attention owing to their potential use in biomass conversion, notably in the production of biofuels. Previous studies have identified two discrete sequence-based families of these enzymes termed AA9 (formerly GH61) and AA10 (formerly CBM33). Here, we report the discovery of a third family of LPMOs. Using a chitin-degrading exemplar from Aspergillus oryzae, we show that the three-dimensional structure of the enzyme shares some features of the previous two classes of LPMOs, including a copper active center featuring the histidine brace active site, but is distinct in terms of its active site details and its EPR spectroscopy. The newly characterized AA11 family expands the LPMO clan, potentially broadening both the range of potential substrates and the types of reactive copper-oxygen species formed at the active site of LPMOs.
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Genomewide analysis of polysaccharides degrading enzymes in 11 white- and brown-rot Polyporales provides insight into mechanisms of wood decay.
Mycologia
PUBLISHED: 08-09-2013
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To degrade the polysaccharides, wood-decay fungi secrete a variety of glycoside hydrolases (GHs) and carbohydrate esterases (CEs) classified into various sequence-based families of carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZys) and their appended carbohydrate-binding modules (CBM). Oxidative enzymes, such as cellobiose dehydrogenase (CDH) and lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase (LPMO, formerly GH61), also have been implicated in cellulose degradation. To examine polysaccharide-degrading potential between white- and brown-rot fungi, we performed genomewide analysis of CAZys and these oxidative enzymes in 11 Polyporales, including recently sequenced monokaryotic strains of Bjerkandera adusta, Ganoderma sp. and Phlebia brevispora. Furthermore, we conducted comparative secretome analysis of seven Polyporales grown on wood culture. As a result, it was found that genes encoding cellulases belonging to families GH6, GH7, GH9 and carbohydrate-binding module family CBM1 are lacking in genomes of brown-rot polyporales. In addition, the presence of CDH and the expansion of LPMO were observed only in white-rot genomes. Indeed, GH6, GH7, CDH and LPMO peptides were identified only in white-rot polypores. Genes encoding aldose 1-epimerase (ALE), previously detected with CDH and cellulases in the culture filtrates, also were identified in white-rot genomes, suggesting a physiological connection between ALE, CDH, cellulase and possibly LPMO. For hemicellulose degradation, genes and peptides corresponding to GH74 xyloglucanase, GH10 endo-xylanase, GH79 ?-glucuronidase, CE1 acetyl xylan esterase and CE15 glucuronoyl methylesterase were significantly increased in white-rot genomes compared to brown-rot genomes. Overall, relative to brown-rot Polyporales, white-rot Polyporales maintain greater enzymatic diversity supporting lignocellulose attack.
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Identification of the galactosyltransferase of Cryptococcus neoformans involved in the biosynthesis of basidiomycete-type glycosylinositolphosphoceramide.
Glycobiology
PUBLISHED: 08-06-2013
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The pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans synthesizes a complex family of glycosylinositolphosphoceramide (GIPC) structures. These glycosphingolipids (GSLs) consist of mannosylinositolphosphoceramide (MIPC) extended by ?1-6-linked galactose, a unique structure that has to date only been identified in basidiomycetes. Further extension by up to five mannose residues and a branching xylose has been described. In this study, we identified and determined the gene structure of the enzyme Ggt1, which catalyzes the transfer of a galactose residue to MIPC. Deletion of the gene in C. neoformans resulted in complete loss of GIPCs containing galactose, a phenotype that could be restored by the episomal expression of Ggt1 in the deletion mutant. The entire annotated open reading frame, encoding a C-terminal GT31 galactosyltransferase domain and a large N-terminal domain of unknown function, was required for complementation. Notably, this gene does not encode a predicted signal sequence or transmembrane domain. The demonstration that Ggt1 is responsible for the transfer of a galactose residue to a GSL thus raises questions regarding the topology of this biosynthetic pathway and the function of the N-terminal domain. Phylogenetic analysis of the GGT1 gene shows conservation in hetero- and homobasidiomycetes but no homologs in ascomycetes or outside of the fungal kingdom.
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Effects of diet on resource utilization by a model human gut microbiota containing Bacteroides cellulosilyticus WH2, a symbiont with an extensive glycobiome.
PLoS Biol.
PUBLISHED: 08-01-2013
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The human gut microbiota is an important metabolic organ, yet little is known about how its individual species interact, establish dominant positions, and respond to changes in environmental factors such as diet. In this study, gnotobiotic mice were colonized with an artificial microbiota comprising 12 sequenced human gut bacterial species and fed oscillating diets of disparate composition. Rapid, reproducible, and reversible changes in the structure of this assemblage were observed. Time-series microbial RNA-Seq analyses revealed staggered functional responses to diet shifts throughout the assemblage that were heavily focused on carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. High-resolution shotgun metaproteomics confirmed many of these responses at a protein level. One member, Bacteroides cellulosilyticus WH2, proved exceptionally fit regardless of diet. Its genome encoded more carbohydrate active enzymes than any previously sequenced member of the Bacteroidetes. Transcriptional profiling indicated that B. cellulosilyticus WH2 is an adaptive forager that tailors its versatile carbohydrate utilization strategy to available dietary polysaccharides, with a strong emphasis on plant-derived xylans abundant in dietary staples like cereal grains. Two highly expressed, diet-specific polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs) in B. cellulosilyticus WH2 were identified, one with characteristics of xylan utilization systems. Introduction of a B. cellulosilyticus WH2 library comprising >90,000 isogenic transposon mutants into gnotobiotic mice, along with the other artificial community members, confirmed that these loci represent critical diet-specific fitness determinants. Carbohydrates that trigger dramatic increases in expression of these two loci and many of the organisms 111 other predicted PULs were identified by RNA-Seq during in vitro growth on 31 distinct carbohydrate substrates, allowing us to better interpret in vivo RNA-Seq and proteomics data. These results offer insight into how gut microbes adapt to dietary perturbations at both a community level and from the perspective of a well-adapted symbiont with exceptional saccharolytic capabilities, and illustrate the value of artificial communities.
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The identification and molecular characterization of the first archaeal bifunctional exo-?-glucosidase/N-acetyl-?-glucosaminidase demonstrate that family GH116 is made of three functionally distinct subfamilies.
Biochim. Biophys. Acta
PUBLISHED: 07-03-2013
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?-N-acetylhexosaminidases, which are involved in a variety of biological processes including energy metabolism, cell proliferation, signal transduction and in pathogen-related inflammation and autoimmune diseases, are widely distributed in Bacteria and Eukaryotes, but only few examples have been found in Archaea so far. However, N-acetylgluco- and galactosamine are commonly found in the extracellular storage polymers and in the glycans decorating abundantly expressed glycoproteins from different Crenarchaeota Sulfolobus sp., suggesting that ?-N-acetylglucosaminidase activities could be involved in the modification/recycling of these cellular components.
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Complete genome of a new Firmicutes species belonging to the dominant human colonic microbiota (Ruminococcus bicirculans) reveals two chromosomes and a selective capacity to utilize plant glucans.
Environ. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 06-28-2013
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The recently isolated bacterial strain 80/3 represents one of the most abundant 16S rRNA phylotypes detected in the healthy human large intestine and belongs to the Ruminococcaceae family of Firmicutes. The completed genome sequence reported here is the first for a member of this important family of bacteria from the human colon. The genome comprises two large chromosomes of 2.24 and 0.73 Mbp, leading us to propose the name Ruminococcus bicirculans for this new species. Analysis of the carbohydrate active enzyme complement suggests an ability to utilize certain hemicelluloses, especially ?-glucans and xyloglucan, for growth that was confirmed experimentally. The enzymatic machinery enabling the degradation of cellulose and xylan by related cellulolytic ruminococci is however lacking in this species. While the genome indicated the capacity to synthesize purines, pyrimidines and all 20 amino acids, only genes for the synthesis of nicotinate, NAD+, NADP+ and coenzyme A were detected among the essential vitamins and co-factors, resulting in multiple growth requirements. In vivo, these growth factors must be supplied from the diet, host or other gut microorganisms. Other features of ecological interest include two type IV pilins, multiple extracytoplasmic function-sigma factors, a urease and a bile salt hydrolase.
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Genome sequencing provides insight into the reproductive biology, nutritional mode and ploidy of the fern pathogen Mixia osmundae.
New Phytol.
PUBLISHED: 06-13-2013
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Mixia osmundae (Basidiomycota, Pucciniomycotina) represents a monotypic class containing an unusual fern pathogen with incompletely understood biology. We sequenced and analyzed the genome of M. osmundae, focusing on genes that may provide some insight into its mode of pathogenicity and reproductive biology. Mixia osmundae has the smallest plant pathogenic basidiomycete genome sequenced to date, at 13.6 Mb, with very few repeats, high gene density, and relatively few significant gene family gains. The genome shows that the yeast state of M. osmundae is haploid and the lack of segregation of mating genes suggests that the spores produced on Osmunda spp. fronds are probably asexual. However, our finding of a complete complement of mating and meiosis genes suggests the capacity to undergo sexual reproduction. Analyses of carbohydrate active enzymes suggest that this fungus is a biotroph with the ability to break down several plant cell wall components. Analyses of publicly available sequence data show that other Mixia members may exist on other plant hosts and with a broader distribution than previously known.
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The abundance and variety of carbohydrate-active enzymes in the human gut microbiota.
Nat. Rev. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 06-10-2013
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Descriptions of the microbial communities that live on and in the human body have progressed at a spectacular rate over the past 5 years, fuelled primarily by highly parallel DNA-sequencing technologies and associated advances in bioinformatics, and by the expectation that understanding how to manipulate the structure and functions of our microbiota will allow us to affect health and prevent or treat diseases. Among the myriad of genes that have been identified in the human gut microbiome, those that encode carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) are of particular interest, as these enzymes are required to digest most of our complex repertoire of dietary polysaccharides. In this Analysis article, we examine the carbohydrate-digestive capacity of a simplified but representative mini-microbiome in order to highlight the abundance and variety of bacterial CAZymes that are represented in the human gut microbiota.
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Gene-targeted metagenomic analysis of glucan-branching enzyme gene profiles among human and animal fecal microbiota.
ISME J
PUBLISHED: 06-03-2013
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Glycoside hydrolases (GHs), the enzymes that breakdown complex carbohydrates, are a highly diversified class of key enzymes associated with the gut microbiota and its metabolic functions. To learn more about the diversity of GHs and their potential role in a variety of gut microbiomes, we used a combination of 16S, metagenomic and targeted amplicon sequencing data to study one of these enzyme families in detail. Specifically, we employed a functional gene-targeted metagenomic approach to the 1-4-?-glucan-branching enzyme (gBE) gene in the gut microbiomes of four host species (human, chicken, cow and pig). The characteristics of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) and operational glucan-branching units (OGBUs) were distinctive in each of hosts. Human and pig were most similar in OTUs profiles while maintaining distinct OGBU profiles. Interestingly, the phylogenetic profiles identified from 16S and gBE gene sequences differed, suggesting the presence of different gBE genes in the same OTU across different vertebrate hosts. Our data suggest that gene-targeted metagenomic analysis is useful for an in-depth understanding of the diversity of a particular gene of interest. Specific carbohydrate metabolic genes appear to be carried by distinct OTUs in different individual hosts and among different vertebrate species microbiomes, the characteristics of which differ according to host genetic background and/or diet.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 10 October 2013; doi:10.1038/ismej.2013.167.
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Genomic evidence for ameiotic evolution in the bdelloid rotifer Adineta vaga.
Nature
PUBLISHED: 05-30-2013
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Loss of sexual reproduction is considered an evolutionary dead end for metazoans, but bdelloid rotifers challenge this view as they appear to have persisted asexually for millions of years. Neither male sex organs nor meiosis have ever been observed in these microscopic animals: oocytes are formed through mitotic divisions, with no reduction of chromosome number and no indication of chromosome pairing. However, current evidence does not exclude that they may engage in sex on rare, cryptic occasions. Here we report the genome of a bdelloid rotifer, Adineta vaga (Davis, 1873), and show that its structure is incompatible with conventional meiosis. At gene scale, the genome of A. vaga is tetraploid and comprises both anciently duplicated segments and less divergent allelic regions. However, in contrast to sexual species, the allelic regions are rearranged and sometimes even found on the same chromosome. Such structure does not allow meiotic pairing; instead, we find abundant evidence of gene conversion, which may limit the accumulation of deleterious mutations in the absence of meiosis. Gene families involved in resistance to oxidation, carbohydrate metabolism and defence against transposons are significantly expanded, which may explain why transposable elements cover only 3% of the assembled sequence. Furthermore, 8% of the genes are likely to be of non-metazoan origin and were probably acquired horizontally. This apparent convergence between bdelloids and prokaryotes sheds new light on the evolutionary significance of sex.
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Insights into exo- and endoglucanase activities of family 6 glycoside hydrolases from Podospora anserina.
Appl. Environ. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 05-03-2013
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The ascomycete Podospora anserina is a coprophilous fungus that grows at late stages on droppings of herbivores. Its genome encodes a large diversity of carbohydrate-active enzymes. Among them, four genes encode glycoside hydrolases from family 6 (GH6), the members of which comprise putative endoglucanases and exoglucanases, some of them exerting important functions for biomass degradation in fungi. Therefore, this family was selected for functional analysis. Three of the enzymes, P. anserina Cel6A (PaCel6A), PaCel6B, and PaCel6C, were functionally expressed in the yeast Pichia pastoris. All three GH6 enzymes hydrolyzed crystalline and amorphous cellulose but were inactive on hydroxyethyl cellulose, mannan, galactomannan, xyloglucan, arabinoxylan, arabinan, xylan, and pectin. PaCel6A had a catalytic efficiency on cellotetraose comparable to that of Trichoderma reesei Cel6A (TrCel6A), but PaCel6B and PaCel6C were clearly less efficient. PaCel6A was the enzyme with the highest stability at 45°C, while PaCel6C was the least stable enzyme, losing more than 50% of its activity after incubation at temperatures above 30°C for 24 h. In contrast to TrCel6A, all three studied P. anserina GH6 cellulases were stable over a wide range of pHs and conserved high activity at pH values of up to 9. Each enzyme displayed a distinct substrate and product profile, highlighting different modes of action, with PaCel6A being the enzyme most similar to TrCel6A. PaCel6B was the only enzyme with higher specific activity on carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) than on Avicel and showed lower processivity than the others. Structural modeling predicts an open catalytic cleft, suggesting that PaCel6B is an endoglucanase.
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Carbohydrate utilization and metabolism is highly differentiated in Agaricus bisporus.
BMC Genomics
PUBLISHED: 04-29-2013
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Agaricus bisporus is commercially grown on compost, in which the available carbon sources consist mainly of plant-derived polysaccharides that are built out of various different constituent monosaccharides. The major constituent monosaccharides of these polysaccharides are glucose, xylose, and arabinose, while smaller amounts of galactose, glucuronic acid, rhamnose and mannose are also present.
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Genome of the red alga Porphyridium purpureum.
Nat Commun
PUBLISHED: 04-26-2013
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The limited knowledge we have about red algal genomes comes from the highly specialized extremophiles, Cyanidiophyceae. Here, we describe the first genome sequence from a mesophilic, unicellular red alga, Porphyridium purpureum. The 8,355 predicted genes in P. purpureum, hundreds of which are likely to be implicated in a history of horizontal gene transfer, reside in a genome of 19.7 Mbp with 235 spliceosomal introns. Analysis of light-harvesting complex proteins reveals a nuclear-encoded phycobiliprotein in the alga. We uncover a complex set of carbohydrate-active enzymes, identify the genes required for the methylerythritol phosphate pathway of isoprenoid biosynthesis, and find evidence of sexual reproduction. Analysis of the compact, function-rich genome of P. purpureum suggests that ancestral lineages of red algae acted as mediators of horizontal gene transfer between prokaryotes and photosynthetic eukaryotes, thereby significantly enriching genomes across the tree of photosynthetic life.
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Mining for hemicellulases in the fungus-growing termite Pseudacanthotermes militaris using functional metagenomics.
Biotechnol Biofuels
PUBLISHED: 04-24-2013
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The metagenomic analysis of gut microbiomes has emerged as a powerful strategy for the identification of biomass-degrading enzymes, which will be no doubt useful for the development of advanced biorefining processes. In the present study, we have performed a functional metagenomic analysis on comb and gut microbiomes associated with the fungus-growing termite, Pseudacanthotermes militaris.
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Characterization of salt-adapted secreted lignocellulolytic enzymes from the mangrove fungus Pestalotiopsis sp.
Nat Commun
PUBLISHED: 04-08-2013
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Fungi are important for biomass degradation processes in mangrove forests. Given the presence of sea water in these ecosystems, mangrove fungi are adapted to high salinity. Here we isolate Pestalotiopsis sp. NCi6, a halotolerant and lignocellulolytic mangrove fungus of the order Xylariales. We study its lignocellulolytic enzymes and analyse the effects of salinity on its secretomes. De novo transcriptome sequencing and assembly indicate that this fungus possesses of over 400 putative lignocellulolytic enzymes, including a large fraction involved in lignin degradation. Proteomic analyses of the secretomes suggest that the presence of salt modifies lignocellulolytic enzyme composition, with an increase in the secretion of xylanases and cellulases and a decrease in the production of oxidases. As a result, cellulose and hemicellulose hydrolysis is enhanced but lignin breakdown is reduced. This study highlights the adaptation to salt of mangrove fungi and their potential for biotechnological applications.
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The structure of a Streptomyces avermitilis ?-L-rhamnosidase reveals a novel carbohydrate-binding module CBM67 within the six-domain arrangement.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 03-13-2013
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?-L-rhamnosidases hydrolyze ?-linked L-rhamnosides from oligosaccharides or polysaccharides. We determined the crystal structure of the glycoside hydrolase family 78 Streptomyces avermitilis ?-L-rhamnosidase (SaRha78A) in its free and L-rhamnose complexed forms, which revealed the presence of six domains N, D, E, F, A, and C. In the ligand complex, L-rhamnose was bound in the proposed active site of the catalytic module, revealing the likely catalytic mechanism of SaRha78A. Glu(636) is predicted to donate protons to the glycosidic oxygen, and Glu(895) is the likely catalytic general base, activating the nucleophilic water, indicating that the enzyme operates through an inverting mechanism. Replacement of Glu(636) and Glu(895) resulted in significant loss of ?-rhamnosidase activity. Domain D also bound L-rhamnose in a calcium-dependent manner, with a KD of 135 ?m. Domain D is thus a non-catalytic carbohydrate binding module (designated SaCBM67). Mutagenesis and structural data identified the amino acids in SaCBM67 that target the features of L-rhamnose that distinguishes it from the other major sugars present in plant cell walls. Inactivation of SaCBM67 caused a substantial reduction in the activity of SaRha78A against the polysaccharide composite gum arabic, but not against aryl rhamnosides, indicating that SaCBM67 contributes to enzyme function against insoluble substrates.
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Comparative genomic analysis provides insights into the evolution and niche adaptation of marine Magnetospira sp. QH-2 strain.
Environ. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 03-11-2013
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Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) are capable of synthesizing intracellular organelles, the magnetosomes, that are membrane-bounded magnetite or greigite crystals arranged in chains. Although MTB are widely spread in various ecosystems, few axenic cultures are available, and only freshwater Magnetospirillum spp. have been genetically analysed. Here, we present the complete genome sequence of a marine magnetotactic spirillum, Magnetospira sp. QH-2. The high number of repeats and transposable elements account for the differences in QH-2 genome structure compared with other relatives. Gene cluster synteny and gene correlation analyses indicate that the insertion of the magnetosome island in the QH-2 genome occurred after divergence between freshwater and marine magnetospirilla. The presence of a sodium-quinone reductase, sodium transporters and other functional genes are evidence of the adaptive evolution of Magnetospira sp. QH-2 to the marine ecosystem. Genes well conserved among freshwater magnetospirilla for nitrogen fixation and assimilatory nitrate respiration are absent from the QH-2 genome. Unlike freshwater Magnetospirillum spp., marine Magnetospira sp. QH-2 neither has TonB and TonB-dependent receptors nor does it grow on trace amounts of iron. Taken together, our results show a distinct, adaptive evolution of Magnetospira sp. QH-2 to marine sediments in comparison with its closely related freshwater counterparts.
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Genomic evaluation of Thermoanaerobacter spp. for the construction of designer co-cultures to improve lignocellulosic biofuel production.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 02-13-2013
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The microbial production of ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass is a multi-component process that involves biomass hydrolysis, carbohydrate transport and utilization, and finally, the production of ethanol. Strains of the genus Thermoanaerobacter have been studied for decades due to their innate abilities to produce comparatively high ethanol yields from hemicellulose constituent sugars. However, their inability to hydrolyze cellulose, limits their usefulness in lignocellulosic biofuel production. As such, co-culturing Thermoanaerobacter spp. with cellulolytic organisms is a plausible approach to improving lignocellulose conversion efficiencies and yields of biofuels. To evaluate native lignocellulosic ethanol production capacities relative to competing fermentative end-products, comparative genomic analysis of 11 sequenced Thermoanaerobacter strains, including a de novo genome, Thermoanaerobacter thermohydrosulfuricus WC1, was conducted. Analysis was specifically focused on the genomic potential for each strain to address all aspects of ethanol production mentioned through a consolidated bioprocessing approach. Whole genome functional annotation analysis identified three distinct clades within the genus. The genomes of Clade 1 strains encode the fewest extracellular carbohydrate active enzymes and also show the least diversity in terms of lignocellulose relevant carbohydrate utilization pathways. However, these same strains reportedly are capable of directing a higher proportion of their total carbon flux towards ethanol, rather than non-biofuel end-products, than other Thermoanaerobacter strains. Strains in Clade 2 show the greatest diversity in terms of lignocellulose hydrolysis and utilization, but proportionately produce more non-ethanol end-products than Clade 1 strains. Strains in Clade 3, in which T. thermohydrosulfuricus WC1 is included, show mid-range potential for lignocellulose hydrolysis and utilization, but also exhibit extensive divergence from both Clade 1 and Clade 2 strains in terms of cellular energetics. The potential implications regarding strain selection and suitability for industrial ethanol production through a consolidated bioprocessing co-culturing approach are examined throughout the manuscript.
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Expansion of the enzymatic repertoire of the CAZy database to integrate auxiliary redox enzymes.
Biotechnol Biofuels
PUBLISHED: 01-24-2013
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Since its inception, the carbohydrate-active enzymes database (CAZy; http://www.cazy.org) has described the families of enzymes that cleave or build complex carbohydrates, namely the glycoside hydrolases (GH), the polysaccharide lyases (PL), the carbohydrate esterases (CE), the glycosyltransferases (GT) and their appended non-catalytic carbohydrate-binding modules (CBM). The recent discovery that members of families CBM33 and family GH61 are in fact lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMO), demands a reclassification of these families into a suitable category.
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Utilisation of Mucin Glycans by the Human Gut Symbiont Ruminococcus gnavus Is Strain-Dependent.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Commensal bacteria often have an especially rich source of glycan-degrading enzymes which allow them to utilize undigested carbohydrates from the food or the host. The species Ruminococcus gnavus is present in the digestive tract of ?90% of humans and has been implicated in gut-related diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Here we analysed the ability of two R. gnavus human strains, E1 and ATCC 29149, to utilize host glycans. We showed that although both strains could assimilate mucin monosaccharides, only R. gnavus ATCC 29149 was able to grow on mucin as a sole carbon source. Comparative genomic analysis of the two R. gnavus strains highlighted potential clusters and glycoside hydrolases (GHs) responsible for the breakdown and utilization of mucin-derived glycans. Transcriptomic and functional activity assays confirmed the importance of specific GH33 sialidase, and GH29 and GH95 fucosidases in the mucin utilisation pathway. Notably, we uncovered a novel pathway by which R. gnavus ATCC 29149 utilises sialic acid from sialylated substrates. Our results also demonstrated the ability of R. gnavus ATCC 29149 to produce propanol and propionate as the end products of metabolism when grown on mucin and fucosylated glycans. These new findings provide molecular insights into the strain-specificity of R. gnavus adaptation to the gut environment advancing our understanding of the role of gut commensals in health and disease.
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Functional metagenomics reveals novel pathways of prebiotic breakdown by human gut bacteria.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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The human intestine hosts a complex bacterial community that plays a major role in nutrition and in maintaining human health. A functional metagenomic approach was used to explore the prebiotic breakdown potential of human gut bacteria, including non-cultivated ones. Two metagenomic libraries, constructed from ileum mucosa and fecal microbiota, were screened for hydrolytic activities on the prebiotic carbohydrates inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides, xylo-oligosaccharides, galacto-oligosaccharides and lactulose. The DNA inserts of 17 clones, selected from the 167 hits that were identified, were pyrosequenced in-depth, yielding in total 407, 420 bp of metagenomic DNA. From these sequences, we discovered novel prebiotic degradation pathways containing carbohydrate transporters and hydrolysing enzymes, for which we provided the first experimental proof of function. Twenty of these proteins are encoded by genes that are also present in the gut metagenome of at least 100 subjects, whatever are their ages or their geographical origin. The sequence taxonomic assignment indicated that still unknown bacteria, for which neither culture conditions nor genome sequence are available, possess the enzymatic machinery to hydrolyse the prebiotic carbohydrates tested. The results expand the vision on how prebiotics are metabolized along the intestine, and open new perspectives for the design of functional foods.
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Comparative genomics of a plant-pathogenic fungus, Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, reveals transduplication and the impact of repeat elements on pathogenicity and population divergence.
G3 (Bethesda)
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Pyrenophora tritici-repentis is a necrotrophic fungus causal to the disease tan spot of wheat, whose contribution to crop loss has increased significantly during the last few decades. Pathogenicity by this fungus is attributed to the production of host-selective toxins (HST), which are recognized by their host in a genotype-specific manner. To better understand the mechanisms that have led to the increase in disease incidence related to this pathogen, we sequenced the genomes of three P. tritici-repentis isolates. A pathogenic isolate that produces two known HSTs was used to assemble a reference nuclear genome of approximately 40 Mb composed of 11 chromosomes that encode 12,141 predicted genes. Comparison of the reference genome with those of a pathogenic isolate that produces a third HST, and a nonpathogenic isolate, showed the nonpathogen genome to be more diverged than those of the two pathogens. Examination of gene-coding regions has provided candidate pathogen-specific proteins and revealed gene families that may play a role in a necrotrophic lifestyle. Analysis of transposable elements suggests that their presence in the genome of pathogenic isolates contributes to the creation of novel genes, effector diversification, possible horizontal gene transfer events, identified copy number variation, and the first example of transduplication by DNA transposable elements in fungi. Overall, comparative analysis of these genomes provides evidence that pathogenicity in this species arose through an influx of transposable elements, which created a genetically flexible landscape that can easily respond to environmental changes.
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Transcriptome analysis of Stagonospora nodorum: gene models, effectors, metabolism and pantothenate dispensability.
Mol. Plant Pathol.
PUBLISHED: 12-06-2011
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The wheat pathogen Stagonospora nodorum, causal organism of the wheat disease Stagonospora nodorum blotch, has emerged as a model for the Dothideomycetes, a large fungal taxon that includes many important plant pathogens. The initial annotation of the genome assembly included 16,586 nuclear gene models. These gene models were used to design a microarray that has been interrogated with labelled transcripts from six cDNA samples: four from infected wheat plants at time points spanning early infection to sporulation, and two time points taken from growth in artificial media. Positive signals of expression were obtained for 12,281 genes. This represents strong corroborative evidence of the validity of these gene models. Significantly differential expression between the various time points was observed. When infected samples were compared with axenic cultures, 2882 genes were expressed at a higher level in planta and 3630 were expressed more highly in vitro. Similar numbers were differentially expressed between different developmental stages. The earliest time points in planta were particularly enriched in differentially expressed genes. A disproportionate number of the early expressed gene products were predicted to be secreted, but otherwise had no obvious sequence homology to functionally characterized genes. These genes are candidate necrotrophic effectors. We have focused attention on genes for carbohydrate metabolism and the specific biosynthetic pathways active during growth in planta. The analysis points to a very dynamic adjustment of metabolism during infection. Functional analysis of a gene in the coenzyme A biosynthetic pathway showed that the enzyme was dispensable for growth, indicating that a precursor is supplied by the plant.
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The impact of a consortium of fermented milk strains on the gut microbiome of gnotobiotic mice and monozygotic twins.
Sci Transl Med
PUBLISHED: 10-28-2011
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Understanding how the human gut microbiota and host are affected by probiotic bacterial strains requires carefully controlled studies in humans and in mouse models of the gut ecosystem where potentially confounding variables that are difficult to control in humans can be constrained. Therefore, we characterized the fecal microbiomes and metatranscriptomes of adult female monozygotic twin pairs through repeated sampling 4 weeks before, 7 weeks during, and 4 weeks after consumption of a commercially available fermented milk product (FMP) containing a consortium of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis, two strains of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris, and Streptococcus thermophilus. In addition, gnotobiotic mice harboring a 15-species model human gut microbiota whose genomes contain 58,399 known or predicted protein-coding genes were studied before and after gavage with all five sequenced FMP strains. No significant changes in bacterial species composition or in the proportional representation of genes encoding known enzymes were observed in the feces of humans consuming the FMP. Only minimal changes in microbiota configuration were noted in mice after single or repeated gavage with the FMP consortium. However, RNA-Seq analysis of fecal samples and follow-up mass spectrometry of urinary metabolites disclosed that introducing the FMP strains into mice results in significant changes in expression of microbiome-encoded enzymes involved in numerous metabolic pathways, most prominently those related to carbohydrate metabolism. B. animalis subsp. lactis, the dominant persistent member of the FMP consortium in gnotobiotic mice, up-regulates a locus in vivo that is involved in the catabolism of xylooligosaccharides, a class of glycans widely distributed in fruits, vegetables, and other foods, underscoring the importance of these sugars to this bacterial species. The human fecal metatranscriptome exhibited significant changes, confined to the period of FMP consumption, that mirror changes in gnotobiotic mice, including those related to plant polysaccharide metabolism. These experiments illustrate a translational research pipeline for characterizing the effects of FMPs on the human gut microbiome.
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The plant cell wall-decomposing machinery underlies the functional diversity of forest fungi.
Science
PUBLISHED: 07-14-2011
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Brown rot decay removes cellulose and hemicellulose from wood--residual lignin contributing up to 30% of forest soil carbon--and is derived from an ancestral white rot saprotrophy in which both lignin and cellulose are decomposed. Comparative and functional genomics of the "dry rot" fungus Serpula lacrymans, derived from forest ancestors, demonstrated that the evolution of both ectomycorrhizal biotrophy and brown rot saprotrophy were accompanied by reductions and losses in specific protein families, suggesting adaptation to an intercellular interaction with plant tissue. Transcriptome and proteome analysis also identified differences in wood decomposition in S. lacrymans relative to the brown rot Postia placenta. Furthermore, fungal nutritional mode diversification suggests that the boreal forest biome originated via genetic coevolution of above- and below-ground biota.
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A family GH51 ?-L-arabinofuranosidase from Pleurotus ostreatus: identification, recombinant expression and characterization.
Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 07-13-2011
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An ?-L-arabinofuranosidase produced by Pleurotus ostreatus (PoAbf) during solid state fermentation on tomato pomace was identified and the corresponding gene and cDNA were cloned and sequenced. Molecular analysis showed that the poabf gene carries 26 exons interrupted by 25 introns and has an open reading frame encoding a protein of 646 amino acid residues, including a signal peptide of 20 amino acid residues. The amino acid sequence similar to the other ?-L-arabinofuranosidases indicated that the enzyme encoded by poabf can be classified as a family 51 glycoside hydrolase. Heterologous recombinant expression of PoAbf was carried out in the yeasts Pichia pastoris and Kluyveromyces lactis achieving the highest production level of the secreted enzyme (180 mg L(-1)) in the former host. rPoAbf produced in P. pastoris was purified and characterized. It is a glycosylated monomer with a molecular weight of 81,500 Da in denaturing conditions. Mass spectral analyses led to the localization of a single O-glycosylation site at the level of Ser160. The enzyme is highly specific for ?-L-arabinofuranosyl linkages and when assayed with p-nitrophenyl ?-L-arabinofuranoside it follows Michaelis-Menten kinetics with a K (M) of 0.64 mM and a k (cat) of 3,010 min(-1). The optimum pH is 5 and the optimal temperature 40°C. It is worth noting that the enzyme shows a very high stability in a broad range of pH. The more durable activity showed by rPoAbf in comparison to the other ?-L-arabinofuranosidases enhances its potential for biotechnological applications and increases interest in elucidating the molecular bases of its peculiar properties.
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Carbohydrate-active enzymes from pigmented Bacilli: a genomic approach to assess carbohydrate utilization and degradation.
BMC Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 07-04-2011
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Spore-forming Bacilli are gram-positive bacteria commonly found in a variety of natural habitats, including soil, water and the gastro-intestinal (GI)-tract of animals. Isolates of various Bacillus species produce pigments, mostly carotenoids, with a putative protective role against UV irradiation and oxygen-reactive forms.
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Mimivirus shows dramatic genome reduction after intraamoebal culture.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 06-06-2011
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Most phagocytic protist viruses have large particles and genomes as well as many laterally acquired genes that may be associated with a sympatric intracellular life (a community-associated lifestyle with viruses, bacteria, and eukaryotes) and the presence of virophages. By subculturing Mimivirus 150 times in a germ-free amoebal host, we observed the emergence of a bald form of the virus that lacked surface fibers and replicated in a morphologically different type of viral factory. When studying a 0.40-?m filtered cloned particle, we found that its genome size shifted from 1.2 (M1) to 0.993 Mb (M4), mainly due to large deletions occurring at both ends of the genome. Some of the lost genes are encoding enzymes required for posttranslational modification of the structural viral proteins, such as glycosyltransferases and ankyrin repeat proteins. Proteomic analysis allowed identification of three proteins, probably required for the assembly of virus fibers. The genes for two of these were found to be deleted from the M4 virus genome. The proteins associated with fibers are highly antigenic and can be recognized by mouse and human antimimivirus antibodies. In addition, the bald strain (M4) was not able to propagate the sputnik virophage. Overall, the Mimivirus transition from a sympatric to an allopatric lifestyle was associated with a stepwise genome reduction and the production of a predominantly bald virophage resistant strain. The new axenic ecosystem allowed the allopatric Mimivirus to lose unnecessary genes that might be involved in the control of competitors.
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Recognition and degradation of plant cell wall polysaccharides by two human gut symbionts.
PLoS Biol.
PUBLISHED: 06-03-2011
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Symbiotic bacteria inhabiting the human gut have evolved under intense pressure to utilize complex carbohydrates, primarily plant cell wall glycans in our diets. These polysaccharides are not digested by human enzymes, but are processed to absorbable short chain fatty acids by gut bacteria. The Bacteroidetes, one of two dominant bacterial phyla in the adult gut, possess broad glycan-degrading abilities. These species use a series of membrane protein complexes, termed Sus-like systems, for catabolism of many complex carbohydrates. However, the role of these systems in degrading the chemically diverse repertoire of plant cell wall glycans remains unknown. Here we show that two closely related human gut Bacteroides, B. thetaiotaomicron and B. ovatus, are capable of utilizing nearly all of the major plant and host glycans, including rhamnogalacturonan II, a highly complex polymer thought to be recalcitrant to microbial degradation. Transcriptional profiling and gene inactivation experiments revealed the identity and specificity of the polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs) that encode individual Sus-like systems that target various plant polysaccharides. Comparative genomic analysis indicated that B. ovatus possesses several unique PULs that enable degradation of hemicellulosic polysaccharides, a phenotype absent from B. thetaiotaomicron. In contrast, the B. thetaiotaomicron genome has been shaped by increased numbers of PULs involved in metabolism of host mucin O-glycans, a phenotype that is undetectable in B. ovatus. Binding studies of the purified sensor domains of PUL-associated hybrid two-component systems in conjunction with transcriptional analyses demonstrate that complex oligosaccharides provide the regulatory cues that induce PUL activation and that each PUL is highly specific for a defined cell wall polymer. These results provide a view of how these species have diverged into different carbohydrate niches by evolving genes that target unique suites of available polysaccharides, a theme that likely applies to disparate bacteria from the gut and other habitats.
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The cyst-dividing bacterium Ramlibacter tataouinensis TTB310 genome reveals a well-stocked toolbox for adaptation to a desert environment.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 06-03-2011
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Ramlibacter tataouinensis TTB310(T) (strain TTB310), a betaproteobacterium isolated from a semi-arid region of South Tunisia (Tataouine), is characterized by the presence of both spherical and rod-shaped cells in pure culture. Cell division of strain TTB310 occurs by the binary fission of spherical "cyst-like" cells ("cyst-cyst" division). The rod-shaped cells formed at the periphery of a colony (consisting mainly of cysts) are highly motile and colonize a new environment, where they form a new colony by reversion to cyst-like cells. This unique cell cycle of strain TTB310, with desiccation tolerant cyst-like cells capable of division and desiccation sensitive motile rods capable of dissemination, appears to be a novel adaptation for life in a hot and dry desert environment. In order to gain insights into strain TTB310s underlying genetic repertoire and possible mechanisms responsible for its unusual lifestyle, the genome of strain TTB310 was completely sequenced and subsequently annotated. The complete genome consists of a single circular chromosome of 4,070,194 bp with an average G+C content of 70.0%, the highest among the Betaproteobacteria sequenced to date, with total of 3,899 predicted coding sequences covering 92% of the genome. We found that strain TTB310 has developed a highly complex network of two-component systems, which may utilize responses to light and perhaps a rudimentary circadian hourglass to anticipate water availability at the dew time in the middle/end of the desert winter nights and thus direct the growth window to cyclic water availability times. Other interesting features of the strain TTB310 genome that appear to be important for desiccation tolerance, including intermediary metabolism compounds such as trehalose or polyhydroxyalkanoate, and signal transduction pathways, are presented and discussed.
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Diet drives convergence in gut microbiome functions across mammalian phylogeny and within humans.
Science
PUBLISHED: 05-21-2011
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Coevolution of mammals and their gut microbiota has profoundly affected their radiation into myriad habitats. We used shotgun sequencing of microbial community DNA and targeted sequencing of bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA genes to gain an understanding of how microbial communities adapt to extremes of diet. We sampled fecal DNA from 33 mammalian species and 18 humans who kept detailed diet records, and we found that the adaptation of the microbiota to diet is similar across different mammalian lineages. Functional repertoires of microbiome genes, such as those encoding carbohydrate-active enzymes and proteases, can be predicted from bacterial species assemblages. These results illustrate the value of characterizing vertebrate gut microbiomes to understand host evolutionary histories at a supraorganismal level.
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Comparative genomic analysis of the thermophilic biomass-degrading fungi Myceliophthora thermophila and Thielavia terrestris.
Nat. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 05-16-2011
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Thermostable enzymes and thermophilic cell factories may afford economic advantages in the production of many chemicals and biomass-based fuels. Here we describe and compare the genomes of two thermophilic fungi, Myceliophthora thermophila and Thielavia terrestris. To our knowledge, these genomes are the first described for thermophilic eukaryotes and the first complete telomere-to-telomere genomes for filamentous fungi. Genome analyses and experimental data suggest that both thermophiles are capable of hydrolyzing all major polysaccharides found in biomass. Examination of transcriptome data and secreted proteins suggests that the two fungi use shared approaches in the hydrolysis of cellulose and xylan but distinct mechanisms in pectin degradation. Characterization of the biomass-hydrolyzing activity of recombinant enzymes suggests that these organisms are highly efficient in biomass decomposition at both moderate and high temperatures. Furthermore, we present evidence suggesting that aside from representing a potential reservoir of thermostable enzymes, thermophilic fungi are amenable to manipulation using classical and molecular genetics.
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Comparative genomics yields insights into niche adaptation of plant vascular wilt pathogens.
PLoS Pathog.
PUBLISHED: 05-13-2011
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The vascular wilt fungi Verticillium dahliae and V. albo-atrum infect over 200 plant species, causing billions of dollars in annual crop losses. The characteristic wilt symptoms are a result of colonization and proliferation of the pathogens in the xylem vessels, which undergo fluctuations in osmolarity. To gain insights into the mechanisms that confer the organisms pathogenicity and enable them to proliferate in the unique ecological niche of the plant vascular system, we sequenced the genomes of V. dahliae and V. albo-atrum and compared them to each other, and to the genome of Fusarium oxysporum, another fungal wilt pathogen. Our analyses identified a set of proteins that are shared among all three wilt pathogens, and present in few other fungal species. One of these is a homolog of a bacterial glucosyltransferase that synthesizes virulence-related osmoregulated periplasmic glucans in bacteria. Pathogenicity tests of the corresponding V. dahliae glucosyltransferase gene deletion mutants indicate that the gene is required for full virulence in the Australian tobacco species Nicotiana benthamiana. Compared to other fungi, the two sequenced Verticillium genomes encode more pectin-degrading enzymes and other carbohydrate-active enzymes, suggesting an extraordinary capacity to degrade plant pectin barricades. The high level of synteny between the two Verticillium assemblies highlighted four flexible genomic islands in V. dahliae that are enriched for transposable elements, and contain duplicated genes and genes that are important in signaling/transcriptional regulation and iron/lipid metabolism. Coupled with an enhanced capacity to degrade plant materials, these genomic islands may contribute to the expanded genetic diversity and virulence of V. dahliae, the primary causal agent of Verticillium wilts. Significantly, our study reveals insights into the genetic mechanisms of niche adaptation of fungal wilt pathogens, advances our understanding of the evolution and development of their pathogenesis, and sheds light on potential avenues for the development of novel disease management strategies to combat destructive wilt diseases.
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Obligate biotrophy features unraveled by the genomic analysis of rust fungi.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 05-02-2011
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Rust fungi are some of the most devastating pathogens of crop plants. They are obligate biotrophs, which extract nutrients only from living plant tissues and cannot grow apart from their hosts. Their lifestyle has slowed the dissection of molecular mechanisms underlying host invasion and avoidance or suppression of plant innate immunity. We sequenced the 101-Mb genome of Melampsora larici-populina, the causal agent of poplar leaf rust, and the 89-Mb genome of Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici, the causal agent of wheat and barley stem rust. We then compared the 16,399 predicted proteins of M. larici-populina with the 17,773 predicted proteins of P. graminis f. sp tritici. Genomic features related to their obligate biotrophic lifestyle include expanded lineage-specific gene families, a large repertoire of effector-like small secreted proteins, impaired nitrogen and sulfur assimilation pathways, and expanded families of amino acid and oligopeptide membrane transporters. The dramatic up-regulation of transcripts coding for small secreted proteins, secreted hydrolytic enzymes, and transporters in planta suggests that they play a role in host infection and nutrient acquisition. Some of these genomic hallmarks are mirrored in the genomes of other microbial eukaryotes that have independently evolved to infect plants, indicating convergent adaptation to a biotrophic existence inside plant cells.
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Comparative genome sequence analysis underscores mycoparasitism as the ancestral life style of Trichoderma.
Genome Biol.
PUBLISHED: 03-28-2011
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Mycoparasitism, a lifestyle where one fungus is parasitic on another fungus, has special relevance when the prey is a plant pathogen, providing a strategy for biological control of pests for plant protection. Probably, the most studied biocontrol agents are species of the genus Hypocrea/Trichoderma.
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Finished genome of the fungal wheat pathogen Mycosphaerella graminicola reveals dispensome structure, chromosome plasticity, and stealth pathogenesis.
PLoS Genet.
PUBLISHED: 03-24-2011
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The plant-pathogenic fungus Mycosphaerella graminicola (asexual stage: Septoria tritici) causes septoria tritici blotch, a disease that greatly reduces the yield and quality of wheat. This disease is economically important in most wheat-growing areas worldwide and threatens global food production. Control of the disease has been hampered by a limited understanding of the genetic and biochemical bases of pathogenicity, including mechanisms of infection and of resistance in the host. Unlike most other plant pathogens, M. graminicola has a long latent period during which it evades host defenses. Although this type of stealth pathogenicity occurs commonly in Mycosphaerella and other Dothideomycetes, the largest class of plant-pathogenic fungi, its genetic basis is not known. To address this problem, the genome of M. graminicola was sequenced completely. The finished genome contains 21 chromosomes, eight of which could be lost with no visible effect on the fungus and thus are dispensable. This eight-chromosome dispensome is dynamic in field and progeny isolates, is different from the core genome in gene and repeat content, and appears to have originated by ancient horizontal transfer from an unknown donor. Synteny plots of the M. graminicola chromosomes versus those of the only other sequenced Dothideomycete, Stagonospora nodorum, revealed conservation of gene content but not order or orientation, suggesting a high rate of intra-chromosomal rearrangement in one or both species. This observed "mesosynteny" is very different from synteny seen between other organisms. A surprising feature of the M. graminicola genome compared to other sequenced plant pathogens was that it contained very few genes for enzymes that break down plant cell walls, which was more similar to endophytes than to pathogens. The stealth pathogenesis of M. graminicola probably involves degradation of proteins rather than carbohydrates to evade host defenses during the biotrophic stage of infection and may have evolved from endophytic ancestors.
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A novel, noncatalytic carbohydrate-binding module displays specificity for galactose-containing polysaccharides through calcium-mediated oligomerization.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 03-21-2011
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The enzymic degradation of plant cell walls plays a central role in the carbon cycle and is of increasing environmental and industrial significance. The catalytic modules of enzymes that catalyze this process are generally appended to noncatalytic carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs). CBMs potentiate the rate of catalysis by bringing their cognate enzymes into intimate contact with the target substrate. A powerful plant cell wall-degrading system is the Clostridium thermocellum multienzyme complex, termed the "cellulosome." Here, we identify a novel CBM (CtCBM62) within the large C. thermocellum cellulosomal protein Cthe_2193 (defined as CtXyl5A), which establishes a new CBM family. Phylogenetic analysis of CBM62 members indicates that a circular permutation occurred within the family. CtCBM62 binds to d-galactose and l-arabinopyranose in either anomeric configuration. The crystal structures of CtCBM62, in complex with oligosaccharides containing ?- and ?-galactose residues, show that the ligand-binding site in the ?-sandwich protein is located in the loops that connect the two ?-sheets. Specificity is conferred through numerous interactions with the axial O4 of the target sugars, a feature that distinguishes galactose and arabinose from the other major sugars located in plant cell walls. CtCBM62 displays tighter affinity for multivalent ligands compared with molecules containing single galactose residues, which is associated with precipitation of these complex carbohydrates. These avidity effects, which confer the targeting of polysaccharides, are mediated by calcium-dependent oligomerization of the CBM.
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Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex mycobacteria as amoeba-resistant organisms.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 03-15-2011
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Most environmental non-tuberculous mycobacteria have been demonstrated to invade amoebal trophozoites and cysts, but such relationships are largely unknown for members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. An environmental source has been proposed for the animal Mycobacterium bovis and the human Mycobacterium canettii.
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Genomic analysis of the necrotrophic fungal pathogens Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Botrytis cinerea.
PLoS Genet.
PUBLISHED: 03-14-2011
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Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Botrytis cinerea are closely related necrotrophic plant pathogenic fungi notable for their wide host ranges and environmental persistence. These attributes have made these species models for understanding the complexity of necrotrophic, broad host-range pathogenicity. Despite their similarities, the two species differ in mating behaviour and the ability to produce asexual spores. We have sequenced the genomes of one strain of S. sclerotiorum and two strains of B. cinerea. The comparative analysis of these genomes relative to one another and to other sequenced fungal genomes is provided here. Their 38-39 Mb genomes include 11,860-14,270 predicted genes, which share 83% amino acid identity on average between the two species. We have mapped the S. sclerotiorum assembly to 16 chromosomes and found large-scale co-linearity with the B. cinerea genomes. Seven percent of the S. sclerotiorum genome comprises transposable elements compared to <1% of B. cinerea. The arsenal of genes associated with necrotrophic processes is similar between the species, including genes involved in plant cell wall degradation and oxalic acid production. Analysis of secondary metabolism gene clusters revealed an expansion in number and diversity of B. cinerea-specific secondary metabolites relative to S. sclerotiorum. The potential diversity in secondary metabolism might be involved in adaptation to specific ecological niches. Comparative genome analysis revealed the basis of differing sexual mating compatibility systems between S. sclerotiorum and B. cinerea. The organization of the mating-type loci differs, and their structures provide evidence for the evolution of heterothallism from homothallism. These data shed light on the evolutionary and mechanistic bases of the genetically complex traits of necrotrophic pathogenicity and sexual mating. This resource should facilitate the functional studies designed to better understand what makes these fungi such successful and persistent pathogens of agronomic crops.
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Comparative genomics of the social amoebae Dictyostelium discoideum and Dictyostelium purpureum.
Genome Biol.
PUBLISHED: 02-28-2011
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The social amoebae (Dictyostelia) are a diverse group of Amoebozoa that achieve multicellularity by aggregation and undergo morphogenesis into fruiting bodies with terminally differentiated spores and stalk cells. There are four groups of dictyostelids, with the most derived being a group that contains the model species Dictyostelium discoideum.
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The ?-glucuronidase Agu1 from Schizophyllum commune is a member of a novel glycoside hydrolase family (GH115).
Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 01-29-2011
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Schizophyllum commune produces an ?-glucuronidase that is active on polymeric xylan, while the ascomycete ?-glucuronidases are only active on xylan oligomers. In this study, we have identified the gene (agu1) encoding this enzyme and confirmed the functionality by overexpression of the gene in S. commune and degradation of aldopentauronic acids, (MeGlcA)(3)-Xyl(4), in the cultivation medium of the transformants. Expression analysis demonstrated that agu1 is not co-regulated with the predominant xylanase-encoding gene (xynA) of S. commune. The detailed sequence analysis of Agu1 demonstrated that this gene belongs to a novel glycoside hydrolase family (GH115) that also contains candidate genes from ascomycete fungi and bacteria. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the fungal GH115 ?-glucuronidases are distinctly separate from the prokaryotic clade and distributed over three branches. The identification of putative genes encoding this enzyme in industrial fungi, such as Aspergillus oryzae and Hypocrea jecorina, will provide a starting point for further analysis of the importance of this enzyme for the hydrolysis of plant biomass.
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Genome and transcriptome analyses of the mountain pine beetle-fungal symbiont Grosmannia clavigera, a lodgepole pine pathogen.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 01-24-2011
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In western North America, the current outbreak of the mountain pine beetle (MPB) and its microbial associates has destroyed wide areas of lodgepole pine forest, including more than 16 million hectares in British Columbia. Grosmannia clavigera (Gc), a critical component of the outbreak, is a symbiont of the MPB and a pathogen of pine trees. To better understand the interactions between Gc, MPB, and lodgepole pine hosts, we sequenced the ?30-Mb Gc genome and assembled it into 18 supercontigs. We predict 8,314 protein-coding genes, and support the gene models with proteome, expressed sequence tag, and RNA-seq data. We establish that Gc is heterothallic, and report evidence for repeat-induced point mutation. We report insights, from genome and transcriptome analyses, into how Gc tolerates conifer-defense chemicals, including oleoresin terpenoids, as they colonize a host tree. RNA-seq data indicate that terpenoids induce a substantial antimicrobial stress in Gc, and suggest that the fungus may detoxify these chemicals by using them as a carbon source. Terpenoid treatment strongly activated a ?100-kb region of the Gc genome that contains a set of genes that may be important for detoxification of these host-defense chemicals. This work is a major step toward understanding the biological interactions between the tripartite MPB/fungus/forest system.
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