Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

Comparative Genomics Related Abstracts

5 Genomics of Aquatic Adaptation

Authors: Agostinho Antunes


The completion of the human genome sequencing in 2003 opened a new perspective into the importance of whole genome sequencing projects, and currently multiple species are having their genomes completed sequenced, from simple organisms, such as bacteria, to more complex taxa, such as mammals. This voluminous sequencing data generated across multiple organisms provides also the framework to better understand the genetic makeup of such species and related ones, allowing to explore the genetic changes underlining the evolution of diverse phenotypic traits. Here, recent results from our group retrieved from comparative evolutionary genomic analyses of selected marine animal species will be considered to exemplify how gene novelty and gene enhancement by positive selection might have been determinant in the success of adaptive radiations into diverse habitats and lifestyles.

Keywords: Bioinformatics, Phylogenetics, Comparative Genomics, Genome Mining, adaptive evolution

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4 Isolate-Specific Variations among Clinical Isolates of Brucella Identified by Whole-Genome Sequencing, Bioinformatics and Comparative Genomics

Authors: Abu S. Mustafa, Mohammad W. Khan, Faraz Shaheed Khan, Nazima Habibi


Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease of worldwide prevalence. There are at least four species and several strains of Brucella that cause human disease. Brucella genomes have very limited variation across strains, which hinder strain identification using classical molecular techniques, including PCR and 16 S rDNA sequencing. The aim of this study was to perform whole genome sequencing of clinical isolates of Brucella and perform bioinformatics and comparative genomics analyses to determine the existence of genetic differences across the isolates of a single Brucella species and strain. The draft sequence data were generated from 15 clinical isolates of Brucella melitensis (biovar 2 strain 63/9) using MiSeq next generation sequencing platform. The generated reads were used for further assembly and analysis. All the analysis was performed using Bioinformatics work station (8 core i7 processor, 8GB RAM with Bio-Linux operating system). FastQC was used to determine the quality of reads and low quality reads were trimmed or eliminated using Fastx_trimmer. Assembly was done by using Velvet and ABySS softwares. The ordering of assembled contigs was performed by Mauve. An online server RAST was employed to annotate the contigs assembly. Annotated genomes were compared using Mauve and ACT tools. The QC score for DNA sequence data, generated by MiSeq, was higher than 30 for 80% of reads with more than 100x coverage, which suggested that data could be utilized for further analysis. However when analyzed by FastQC, quality of four reads was not good enough for creating a complete genome draft so remaining 11 samples were used for further analysis. The comparative genome analyses showed that despite sharing same gene sets, single nucleotide polymorphisms and insertions/deletions existed across different genomes, which provided a variable extent of diversity to these bacteria. In conclusion, the next generation sequencing, bioinformatics, and comparative genome analysis can be utilized to find variations (point mutations, insertions and deletions) across different genomes of Brucella within a single strain. This information could be useful in surveillance and epidemiological studies supported by Kuwait University Research Sector grants MI04/15 and SRUL02/13.

Keywords: Bioinformatics, Comparative Genomics, brucella, whole genome sequencing

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3 Changing the Landscape of Fungal Genomics: New Trends

Authors: Igor V. Grigoriev


Understanding of biological processes encoded in fungi is instrumental in addressing future food, feed, and energy demands of the growing human population. Genomics is a powerful and quickly evolving tool to understand these processes. The Fungal Genomics Program of the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI) partners with researchers around the world to explore fungi in several large scale genomics projects, changing the fungal genomics landscape. The key trends of these changes include: (i) rapidly increasing scale of sequencing and analysis, (ii) developing approaches to go beyond culturable fungi and explore fungal ‘dark matter,’ or unculturables, and (iii) functional genomics and multi-omics data integration. Power of comparative genomics has been recently demonstrated in several JGI projects targeting mycorrhizae, plant pathogens, wood decay fungi, and sugar fermenting yeasts. The largest JGI project ‘1000 Fungal Genomes’ aims at exploring the diversity across the Fungal Tree of Life in order to better understand fungal evolution and to build a catalogue of genes, enzymes, and pathways for biotechnological applications. At this point, at least 65% of over 700 known families have one or more reference genomes sequenced, enabling metagenomics studies of microbial communities and their interactions with plants. For many of the remaining families no representative species are available from culture collections. To sequence genomes of unculturable fungi two approaches have been developed: (a) sequencing DNA from fruiting bodies of ‘macro’ and (b) single cell genomics using fungal spores. The latter has been tested using zoospores from the early diverging fungi and resulted in several near-complete genomes from underexplored branches of the Fungal Tree, including the first genomes of Zoopagomycotina. Genome sequence serves as a reference for transcriptomics studies, the first step towards functional genomics. In the JGI fungal mini-ENCODE project transcriptomes of the model fungus Neurospora crassa grown on a spectrum of carbon sources have been collected to build regulatory gene networks. Epigenomics is another tool to understand gene regulation and recently introduced single molecule sequencing platforms not only provide better genome assemblies but can also detect DNA modifications. For example, 6mC methylome was surveyed across many diverse fungi and the highest among Eukaryota levels of 6mC methylation has been reported. Finally, data production at such scale requires data integration to enable efficient data analysis. Over 700 fungal genomes and other -omes have been integrated in JGI MycoCosm portal and equipped with comparative genomics tools to enable researchers addressing a broad spectrum of biological questions and applications for bioenergy and biotechnology.

Keywords: Comparative Genomics, Fungal genomics, DNA Methylation, single cell genomics

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2 Complete Genome Sequence Analysis of Pasteurella multocida Subspecies multocida Serotype A Strain PMTB2.1

Authors: Shagufta Jabeen, Faez J. Firdaus Abdullah, Zunita Zakaria, Nurulfiza M. Isa, Yung C. Tan, Wai Y. Yee, Abdul R. Omar


Pasteurella multocida (PM) is an important veterinary opportunistic pathogen particularly associated with septicemic pasteurellosis, pneumonic pasteurellosis and hemorrhagic septicemia in cattle and buffaloes. P. multocida serotype A has been reported to cause fatal pneumonia and septicemia. Pasteurella multocida subspecies multocida of serotype A Malaysian isolate PMTB2.1 was first isolated from buffaloes died of septicemia. In this study, the genome of P. multocida strain PMTB2.1 was sequenced using third-generation sequencing technology, PacBio RS2 system and analyzed bioinformatically via de novo analysis followed by in-depth analysis based on comparative genomics. Bioinformatics analysis based on de novo assembly of PacBio raw reads generated 3 contigs followed by gap filling of aligned contigs with PCR sequencing, generated a single contiguous circular chromosome with a genomic size of 2,315,138 bp and a GC content of approximately 40.32% (Accession number CP007205). The PMTB2.1 genome comprised of 2,176 protein-coding sequences, 6 rRNA operons and 56 tRNA and 4 ncRNAs sequences. The comparative genome sequence analysis of PMTB2.1 with nine complete genomes which include Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, Haemophilus parasuis, Escherichia coli and five P. multocida complete genome sequences including, PM70, PM36950, PMHN06, PM3480, PMHB01 and PMTB2.1 was carried out based on OrthoMCL analysis and Venn diagram. The analysis showed that 282 CDs (13%) are unique to PMTB2.1and 1,125 CDs with orthologs in all. This reflects overall close relationship of these bacteria and supports the classification in the Gamma subdivision of the Proteobacteria. In addition, genomic distance analysis among all nine genomes indicated that PMTB2.1 is closely related with other five Pasteurella species with genomic distance less than 0.13. Synteny analysis shows subtle differences in genetic structures among different P.multocida indicating the dynamics of frequent gene transfer events among different P. multocida strains. However, PM3480 and PM70 exhibited exceptionally large structural variation since they were swine and chicken isolates. Furthermore, genomic structure of PMTB2.1 is more resembling that of PM36950 with a genomic size difference of approximately 34,380 kb (smaller than PM36950) and strain-specific Integrative and Conjugative Elements (ICE) which was found only in PM36950 is absent in PMTB2.1. Meanwhile, two intact prophages sequences of approximately 62 kb were found to be present only in PMTB2.1. One of phage is similar to transposable phage SfMu. The phylogenomic tree was constructed and rooted with E. coli, A. pleuropneumoniae and H. parasuis based on OrthoMCL analysis. The genomes of P. multocida strain PMTB2.1 were clustered with bovine isolates of P. multocida strain PM36950 and PMHB01 and were separated from avian isolate PM70 and swine isolates PM3480 and PMHN06 and are distant from Actinobacillus and Haemophilus. Previous studies based on Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNPs) and Multilocus Sequence Typing (MLST) unable to show a clear phylogenetic relatedness between Pasteurella multocida and the different host. In conclusion, this study has provided insight on the genomic structure of PMTB2.1 in terms of potential genes that can function as virulence factors for future study in elucidating the mechanisms behind the ability of the bacteria in causing diseases in susceptible animals.

Keywords: Comparative Genomics, Phylogenomics, DNA Sequencing, phage

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1 Genome-Wide Assessment of Putative Superoxide Dismutases in Unicellular and Filamentous Cyanobacteria

Authors: Shivam Yadav, Neelam Atri


Cyanobacteria are photoautotrophic prokaryotes able to grow in diverse ecological habitats, originated 2.5 - 3.5 billion years ago and brought oxygenic photosynthesis. Since then superoxide dismutases (SODs) acquired great significance due to their ability to catalyze detoxification of byproducts of oxygenic photosynthesis, i.e. superoxide radicals. Sequence information from several cyanobacterial genomes offers a unique opportunity to conduct a comprehensive comparative analysis of the superoxide dismutases family. In the present study, we extracted information regarding SODs from species of sequenced cyanobacteria and investigated their diversity, conservation, domain structure, and evolution. 144 putative SOD homologues were identified. SODs are present in all cyanobacterial species reflecting their significant role in survival. However, their distribution varies, fewer in unicellular marine strains whereas abundant in filamentous nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria. Motifs and invariant amino acids typical in eukaryotic SODs were conserved well in these proteins. These SODs were classified into three major families according to their domain structures. Interestingly, they lack additional domains as found in proteins of other family. Phylogenetic relationships correspond well with phylogenies based on 16S rRNA and clustering occurs on the basis of structural characteristics such as domain organization. Similar conserved motifs and amino acids indicate that cyanobacterial SODs make use of a similar catalytic mechanism as eukaryotic SODs. Gene gain-and-loss is insignificant during SOD evolution as evidenced by absence of additional domain. This study has not only examined an overall background of sequence-structure-function interactions for the SOD gene family but also revealed variation among SOD distribution based on ecophysiological and morphological characters.

Keywords: Comparative Genomics, phylogeny, Cyanobacteria, superoxide dismutases

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