A mutation in the mucA gene, which encodes a negative regulator of alginate production in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, is the main mechanism underlying the conversion to mucoidy in clinical isolates from patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). Here, we announce the draft genome sequence of the stable alginate-overproducing mucoid strain P. aeruginosa PAO581 with a mucA25 mutation, a derivative from the nonmucoid strains P. aeruginosa PAO381 and PAO1.
Alginate overproduction by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, or mucoidy, plays an important role in the pathogenesis of chronic lung infections in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Here we report the draft genome sequence of a clinical isolate of mucoid P. aeruginosa strain C7447m from a CF patient with chronic lung infection.
We describe the complete genome sequence of Burkholderia pseudomallei MSHR305, a clinical isolate taken from a fatal encephalomyelitis case, a rare form of melioidosis. This sequence will be used for comparisons to identify the genes that are involved in neurological cases.
Previous studies of global–local processing in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) have indicated mixed findings, with some evidence of a local processing bias, or preference for detail-level information, and other results suggesting typical global advantage, or preference for the whole or gestalt. Findings resulting from this paradigm have been used to argue for or against a detail focused processing bias in ASDs, and thus have important theoretical implications. We applied Systems Factorial Technology, and the associated Double Factorial Paradigm (both defined in the text), to examine information processing characteristics during a divided attention global–local task in high-functioning individuals with an ASD and typically developing controls. Group data revealed global advantage for both groups, contrary to some current theories of ASDs. Information processing models applied to each participant revealed that task performance, although showing no differences at the group level, was supported by different cognitive mechanisms in ASD participants compared to controls. All control participants demonstrated inhibitory parallel processing and the majority demonstrated a minimum-time stopping rule. In contrast, ASD participants showed exhaustive parallel processing with mild facilitatory interactions between global and local information. Thus our results indicate fundamental differences in the stopping rules and channel dependencies in individuals with an ASD.
Autism spectrum disorders; Information processing; Mathematical modeling; Serial; Parallel; Double factorial; Parallel interactive processing; Global and local perception; Divided attention; Weak Central Coherence
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that establishes a chronic lung infection in individuals afflicted with cystic fibrosis. Here, we announce the draft genome of P. aeruginosa strain PAO579, an alginate-overproducing derivative of strain PAO381.
The purpose of this study is to explore narcissistic and prosocial behaviors as reported by adolescents with and without substance dependency disorder (SDD). This study employs a quasi-experimental design using SDD adolescents compared with two normative samples of adolescents. In comparison to normative adolescents, adolescents with SDD were strongly distinguished by overt narcissistic behaviors and less monetary giving. Levels of narcissistic and prosocial behaviors among adolescents with SDD suggest a connection between self-centeredness and addiction. Results also suggest volunteerism as a potential option to counter narcissism in substance dependent adolescents.
narcissism; altruism; generation me; adolescents; addiction; substance dependence disorder
The impact of 10 years of annual foot trampling on soil biocrusts was examined in replicated field experiments at three cold desert sites of the Colorado Plateau, USA. Trampling detrimentally impacted lichens and mosses, and the keystone cyanobacterium, Microcoleus vaginatus, resulting in increased soil erosion and reduced C and N concentrations in surface soils. Trampled biocrusts contained approximately half as much extractable DNA and 20–52% less chlorophyll a when compared with intact biocrusts at each site. Two of the three sites also showed a decline in scytonemin-containing, diazotrophic cyanobacteria in trampled biocrusts. 16S rRNA gene sequence and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) analyses of soil bacteria from untrampled and trampled biocrusts demonstrated a reduced proportion (23–65% reduction) of M. vaginatus and other Cyanobacteria in trampled plots. In parallel, other soil bacterial species that are natural residents of biocrusts, specifically members of the Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi and Bacteroidetes, became more readily detected in trampled than in untrampled biocrusts. Replicate 16S rRNA T-RFLP profiles from trampled biocrusts at all three sites contained significantly more fragments (n=17) than those of untrampled biocrusts (n⩽6) and exhibited much higher variability among field replicates, indicating transition to an unstable disturbed state. Despite the dramatic negative impacts of trampling on biocrust physical structure and composition, M. vaginatus could still be detected in surface soils after 10 years of annual trampling, suggesting the potential for biocrust re-formation over time. Physical damage of biocrusts, in concert with changing temperature and precipitation patterns, has potential to alter performance of dryland ecosystems for decades.
chlorophyll a; cyanobacteria; Microcoleus vaginatus; soil biocrust; scytonemin; 16S rRNA
The helper therapy principle (HTP) observes the helper’s health benefits derived from helping another with a shared malady. The HTP is embodied by the program of Alcoholics Anonymous as a method to diminish egocentrism as a root cause of addiction. This article reviews recent evidence of the HTP in alcohol populations, extends to populations with chronic conditions beyond addiction, and concludes with new directions of empirical inquiry.
Service; AA-related helping; substance use disorders; 12-Step programs
An adult dog that lived in central British Columbia was examined because of a history of lethargy and vomiting. Histology, immunohistochemistry, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) examination of a hepatic mass confirmed the presence of an alveolar hydatid cyst, the first description of Echinococcus multilocularis in British Columbia. We provide recommendations for case management and remind practitioners in endemic areas of western Canada that dogs can serve as definitive and, rarely, intermediate hosts for E. multilocularis.
The inhabitants of deep-sea hydrothermal vents occupy ephemeral island-like habitats distributed sporadically along tectonic spreading-centers, back-arc basins, and volcanically active seamounts. The majority of vent taxa undergo a pelagic larval phase, and thus varying degrees of geographical subdivision, ranging from no impedance of dispersal to complete isolation, often exist among taxa that span common geomorphological boundaries. Two lineages of Bathymodiolus mussels segregate on either side of the Easter Microplate, a boundary that separates the East Pacific Rise from spreading centers connected to the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge.
A recent sample from the northwest flank of the Easter Microplate contained an admixture of northern and southern mitochondrial haplotypes and corresponding alleles at five nuclear gene loci. Genotypic frequencies in this sample did not fit random mating expectation. Significant heterozygote deficiencies at nuclear loci and gametic disequilibria between loci suggested that this transitional region might be a ‘Tension Zone’ maintained by immigration of parental types and possibly hybrid unfitness. An analysis of recombination history in the nuclear genes suggests a prolonged history of parapatric contact between the two mussel lineages. We hereby elevate the southern lineage to species status as Bathymodiolus antarcticus n. sp. and restrict the use of Bathymodiolus thermophilus to the northern lineage.
Because B. thermophilus s.s. exhibits no evidence for subdivision or isolation-by-distance across its 4000 km range along the EPR axis and Galápagos Rift, partial isolation of B. antarcticus n. sp. requires explanation. The time needed to produce the observed degree of mitochondrial differentiation is consistent with the age of the Easter Microplate (2.5 to 5.3 million years). The complex geomorphology of the Easter Microplate region forces strong cross-axis currents that might disrupt self-recruitment of mussels by removing planktotrophic larvae from the ridge axis. Furthermore, frequent local extinction events in this tectonically dynamic region might produce a demographic sink rather than a source for dispersing mussel larvae. Historical changes in tectonic rates and current patterns appear to permit intermittent contact and introgression between the two species.
Bathymodiolus antarcticus n. sp; Hybridization; Recombination; Linkage disequilibrium; Deep-sea; Hydrothermal vent; Bathymodiolus thermophilus
Burkholderia pseudomallei and B. mallei are closely related Category B Select Agents of bioterrorism and the causative agents of the diseases melioidosis and glanders, respectively. Rapid phage-based diagnostic tools would greatly benefit early recognition and treatment of these diseases. There is extensive strain-to-strain variation in B. pseudomallei genome content due in part to the presence or absence of integrated prophages. Several phages have previously been isolated from B. pseudomallei lysogens, for example φK96243, φ1026b and φ52237.
We have isolated a P2-like bacteriophage, φX216, which infects 78% of all B. pseudomallei strains tested. φX216 also infects B. mallei, but not other Burkholderia species, including the closely related B. thailandensis and B. oklahomensis. The nature of the φX216 host receptor remains unclear but evidence indicates that in B. mallei φX216 uses lipopolysaccharide O-antigen but a different receptor in B. pseudomallei. The 37,637 bp genome of φX216 encodes 47 predicted open reading frames and shares 99.8% pairwise identity and an identical strain host range with bacteriophage φ52237. Closely related P2-like prophages appear to be widely distributed among B. pseudomallei strains but both φX216 and φ52237 readily infect prophage carrying strains.
The broad strain infectivity and high specificity for B. pseudomallei and B. mallei indicate that φX216 will provide a good platform for the development of phage-based diagnostics for these bacteria.
Bacteriophage; Burkholderia pseudomallei; B. mallei; P2; Prophage distribution; Phage-based diagnostics
Kingella kingae is a human oral bacterium that can cause infections of the skeletal system in children. The bacterium is also a cardiovascular pathogen causing infective endocarditis in children and adults. We report herein the draft genome sequence of septic arthritis K. kingae strain PYKK081.
In May of 2011, an enteroaggregative Escherichia coli O104:H4 strain that had acquired a Shiga toxin 2-converting phage caused a large outbreak of bloody diarrhea in Europe which was notable for its high prevalence of hemolytic uremic syndrome cases. Several studies have described the genomic inventory and phylogenies of strains associated with the outbreak and a collection of historical E. coli O104:H4 isolates using draft genome assemblies. We present the complete, closed genome sequences of an isolate from the 2011 outbreak (2011C–3493) and two isolates from cases of bloody diarrhea that occurred in the Republic of Georgia in 2009 (2009EL–2050 and 2009EL–2071). Comparative genome analysis indicates that, while the Georgian strains are the nearest neighbors to the 2011 outbreak isolates sequenced to date, structural and nucleotide-level differences are evident in the Stx2 phage genomes, the mer/tet antibiotic resistance island, and in the prophage and plasmid profiles of the strains, including a previously undescribed plasmid with homology to the pMT virulence plasmid of Yersinia pestis. In addition, multiphenotype analysis showed that 2009EL–2071 possessed higher resistance to polymyxin and membrane-disrupting agents. Finally, we show evidence by electron microscopy of the presence of a common phage morphotype among the European and Georgian strains and a second phage morphotype among the Georgian strains. The presence of at least two stx2 phage genotypes in host genetic backgrounds that may derive from a recent common ancestor of the 2011 outbreak isolates indicates that the emergence of stx2 phage-containing E. coli O104:H4 strains probably occurred more than once, or that the current outbreak isolates may be the result of a recent transfer of a new stx2 phage element into a pre-existing stx2-positive genetic background.
Marine annelid worms of the genus Osedax exploit sunken vertebrate bones for food. To date, the named species occur on whale or other mammalian bones, and it is argued that Osedax is a whale-fall specialist. To assess whether extant Osedax species could obtain nutrition from non-mammalian resources, we deployed teleost bones and calcified shark cartilage at approximately 1000 m depth for five months. Although the evidence from shark cartilage was inconclusive, the teleost bones hosted three species of Osedax, each of which also lives off whalebones. This suggests that rather than being a whale-fall specialist, Osedax has exploited and continues to exploit a variety of food sources. The ability of Osedax to colonize and to grow on fishbone lends credibility to a hypothesis that it might have split from its siboglinid relatives to assume the bone-eating lifestyle during the Cretaceous, well before the origin of marine mammals.
Annelida; Siboglinidae; teleost bones
Biological soil crusts (biocrusts), which supply significant amounts of fixed nitrogen into terrestrial ecosystems worldwide (∼33 Tg y−1), are likely to respond to changes in temperature and precipitation associated with climate change. Using nifH gene-based surveys, we explored variation in the diazotrophic community of biocrusts of the Colorado Plateau, USA in response to season (autumn vs. spring), as well as field manipulations that increased the frequency of small volume precipitation events and year-round soil temperature. Abundance of nifH genes in biocrusts ranged from 3 × 106 to 1 × 108 g−1 soil, and nifH from heterocystous cyanobacteria closely related to Scytonema hyalinum, Spirirestis rafaelensis, and Nostoc commune comprised >98% of the total. Although there was no apparent seasonal effect on total nifH gene abundance in the biocrusts, T-RFLP analysis revealed a strong seasonal pattern in nifH composition. Spirirestis
nifH abundance was estimated to oscillate 1 to >2 orders of magnitude between autumn (low) and spring (high). A year-round increase of soil temperature (2–3°C) had little effect on the diazotroph community structure over 2 years. Altered summer precipitation had little impact on diazotroph community structure over the first 1.5 years of the study, when natural background patterns across years and seasons superseded any treatment effects. However, after the second summer of treatments, nifH abundance was 2.6-fold lower in biocrusts receiving altered precipitation. Heterocystous cyanobacteria were apparently more resilient to altered precipitation than other cyanobacteria. The results demonstrate that diazotrophic community composition of biocrusts in this semi-arid grassland undergoes strong seasonal shifts and that the abundance of its dominant members decreased in response to more frequent, small volume precipitation events.
biological soil crust; nifH; cyanobacteria; climate change; semi-arid; altered precipitation; nitrogen fixation; Scytonema
This study compares 41 Black and 124 White adolescents at intake and discharge from a residential treatment program for substance-use disorders. Study data were obtained as part of a larger study (N = 195) that sought to assess the relationship of helping behavior and addiction recovery. This post-hoc analysis aims to identify cultural strengths that may be associated with recovery from substance-use disorders among Black adolescents. Using regression analyses and controlling for the severity of substance use and background variables that distinguish racial groups, religious practices and behaviors at intake were examined. Specifically, Black youth and White youth were compared on treatment outcomes, including alcohol or drug use during treatment, drug craving, 12-Step work, and 12-Step helping. The burden of health and socioeconomic disparities at intake did not disproportionately disfavor Black adolescents. Outcomes related to 12-Step measures were similar between Black and White youth. White adolescents reported higher craving scores at discharge, and Black adolescents were more likely to use drugs during treatment. High levels of religiousness at treatment intake were linked to greater 12-Step work and greater 12-Step helping at discharge. High levels of religiousness at intake were not related to drug use during treatment or to craving scores at discharge. The relationship between intake levels of religiousness and treatment-related outcomes did not differ by race.
spirituality; substance-related disorders; African Americans; adolescent; treatment outcomes
The filamentous cyanobacterium Microcoleus vaginatusis found in arid land soils worldwide. The genome of M. vaginatusstrain FGP-2 allows exploration of genes involved in photosynthesis, desiccation tolerance, alkane production, and other features contributing to this organism's ability to function as a major component of biological soil crusts in arid lands.
PREDICT-HD is a large-scale international study of people with the Huntington Disease CAG-repeat expansion who are not yet diagnosed with HD. The objective of this study was to determine at what stage in the HD prodrome cognitive differences from CAG-normal controls can be reliably detected.
For each of 738 HD CAG-expanded participants, we computed estimated years to clinical diagnosis and probability of diagnosis in five years, based on age and CAG repeat expansion number (Langbehn, Brinkman, Falush, Paulsen, & Hayden, 2004). We then stratified the sample into groups: “NEAR,” estimated to be ≤ 9 years, “MID,” between 9 and 15 years, and “FAR,” ≥ 15 years. The control sample included 168 CAG-normal participants. Nineteen cognitive tasks were used to assess attention, working memory, psychomotor functions, episodic memory, language, recognition of facial emotion, sensory-perceptual functions, and executive functions.
Compared to the controls, the NEAR group showed significantly poorer performance on nearly all, and the MID group on about half of the cognitive tests (p = 0.05, Cohen’s d Near as large as −1.17, Mid as large as −0.61). One test even revealed significantly poorer performance in the FAR group (Cohen’s d = −0.26). Individual tasks accounted for 0.2% to 9.7% of the variance in estimated proximity to diagnosis. Overall, the cognitive battery accounted for 34% of the variance; in comparison, the UHDRS Motor Score accounted for 11.7%.
Neurocognitive tests are robust clinical indicators of the disease process prior to reaching criteria for motor diagnosis of HD.
cognitive assessment; presymptomatic; neuropsychology; psychomotor; prediagnosis
Estimates of premorbid intellect are often used in neuropsychological assessment to make inferences about cognitive decline. To optimize the method of controlling for premorbid intellect in assessments of prodromal neurodegenerative disease, we examined performance on the American National Adult Reading Test (ANART; administered during Years 1 and 3) and the two-subtest version of the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI; administered in Years 2 and 4) in an ongoing prospective longitudinal study of 371 participants with prodromal Huntington disease and 51 participants with normal CAG repeats. Although both measures performed similarly, the ANART demonstrated slightly lower variability in performance over a two-year period and had slightly higher test-retest reliability than the WASI.
premorbid IQ; intelligence; neuropsychological assessment; assessment; Huntington disease; prodromal neurodegenerative disease
Deep-sea hydrothermal vent animals occupy patchy and ephemeral habitats supported by chemosynthetic primary production. Volcanic and tectonic activities controlling the turnover of these habitats contribute to demographic instability that erodes genetic variation within and among colonies of these animals. We examined DNA sequences from one mitochondrial and three nuclear gene loci to assess genetic diversity in the siboglinid tubeworm, Riftia pachyptila, a widely distributed constituent of vents along the East Pacific Rise and Galápagos Rift.
Genetic differentiation (FST) among populations increased with geographical distances, as expected under a linear stepping-stone model of dispersal. Low levels of DNA sequence diversity occurred at all four loci, allowing us to exclude the hypothesis that an idiosyncratic selective sweep eliminated mitochondrial diversity alone. Total gene diversity declined with tectonic spreading rates. The southernmost populations, which are subjected to superfast spreading rates and high probabilities of extinction, are relatively homogenous genetically.
Compared to other vent species, DNA sequence diversity is extremely low in R. pachyptila. Though its dispersal abilities appear to be effective, the low diversity, particularly in southern hemisphere populations, is consistent with frequent local extinction and (re)colonization events.
Annelida; Polychaeta; Siboglinidae; vent; metapopulations
Despite the decades-long use of Bacillus atrophaeus var. globigii (BG) as a simulant for biological warfare (BW) agents, knowledge of its genome composition is limited. Furthermore, the ability to differentiate signatures of deliberate adaptation and selection from natural variation is lacking for most bacterial agents. We characterized a lineage of BGwith a long history of use as a simulant for BW operations, focusing on classical bacteriological markers, metabolic profiling and whole-genome shotgun sequencing (WGS).
Archival strains and two “present day” type strains were compared to simulant strains on different laboratory media. Several of the samples produced multiple colony morphotypes that differed from that of an archival isolate. To trace the microevolutionary history of these isolates, we obtained WGS data for several archival and present-day strains and morphotypes. Bacillus-wide phylogenetic analysis identified B. subtilis as the nearest neighbor to B. atrophaeus. The genome of B. atrophaeus is, on average, 86% identical to B. subtilis on the nucleotide level. WGS of variants revealed that several strains were mixed but highly related populations and uncovered a progressive accumulation of mutations among the “military” isolates. Metabolic profiling and microscopic examination of bacterial cultures revealed enhanced growth of “military” isolates on lactate-containing media, and showed that the “military” strains exhibited a hypersporulating phenotype.
Our analysis revealed the genomic and phenotypic signatures of strain adaptation and deliberate selection for traits that were desirable in a simulant organism. Together, these results demonstrate the power of whole-genome and modern systems-level approaches to characterize microbial lineages to develop and validate forensic markers for strain discrimination and reveal signatures of deliberate adaptation.
Bone-eating Osedax worms have proved to be surprisingly diverse and widespread. Including the initial description of this genus in 2004, five species that live at depths between 25 and 3,000 m in the eastern and western Pacific and in the north Atlantic have been named to date. Here, we provide molecular and morphological evidence for 12 additional evolutionary lineages from Monterey Bay, California. To assess their phylogenetic relationships and possible status as new undescribed species, we examined DNA sequences from two mitochondrial (COI and 16S rRNA) and three nuclear genes (H3, 18S and 28S rRNA).
Phylogenetic analyses identified 17 distinct evolutionary lineages. Levels of sequence divergence among the undescribed lineages were similar to those found among the named species. The 17 lineages clustered into five well-supported clades that also differed for a number of key morphological traits. Attempts to determine the evolutionary age of Osedax depended on prior assumptions about nucleotide substitution rates. According to one scenario involving a molecular clock calibrated for shallow marine invertebrates, Osedax split from its siboglinid relatives about 45 million years ago when archeocete cetaceans first appeared and then diversified during the late Oligocene and early Miocene when toothed and baleen whales appeared. Alternatively, the use of a slower clock calibrated for deep-sea annelids suggested that Osedax split from its siboglinid relatives during the Cretaceous and began to diversify during the Early Paleocene, at least 20 million years before the origin of large marine mammals.
To help resolve uncertainties about the evolutionary age of Osedax, we suggest that the fossilized bones from Cretaceous marine reptiles and late Oligocene cetaceans be examined for possible trace fossils left by Osedax roots. Regardless of the outcome, the present molecular evidence for strong phylogenetic concordance across five separate genes suggests that the undescribed Osedax lineages comprise evolutionarily significant units that have been separate from one another for many millions of years. These data coupled with ongoing morphological analyses provide a solid foundation for their future descriptions as new species.
Bone-eating worms of the genus Osedax colonized and grew on cow bones deployed at depths ranging from 385 to 2893 m in Monterey Bay, California. Colonization occurred as rapidly as two months following deployment of the cow bones, similar to the time it takes to colonize exposed whalebones. Some Osedax females found on the cow bones were producing eggs and some hosted dwarf males in their tubes. Morphological and molecular examinations of these worms confirmed the presence of six Osedax species, out of the eight species presently known from Monterey Bay. The ability of Osedax species to colonize, grow and reproduce on cow bones challenges previous notions that these worms are ‘whale-fall specialists.’
Annelida; Polychaeta; Siboglinidae; whale-fall; cytochrome-c-oxidase subunit I
We investigated the genetic diversity of symbiotic bacteria associated with two newly discovered species of Osedax from Monterey Canyon, CA, at 1,017-m (Osedax Monterey Bay sp. 3 “rosy” [Osedax sp. MB3]) and 381-m (Osedax Monterey Bay sp. 4 “yellow collar”) depths. Quantitative PCR and clone libraries of 16S rRNA gene sequences identified differences in the compositions and abundances of bacterial phylotypes associated with the newly discovered host species and permitted comparisons between adult Osedax frankpressi and juveniles that had recently colonized whalebones implanted at 2,891 m. The newly discovered Osedax species hosted Oceanospirillales symbionts that are related to Gammaproteobacteria associated with the previously described O. frankpressi and Osedax rubiplumus (S. K. Goffredi, V. J. Orphan, G. W. Rouse, L. Jahnke, T. Embaye, K. Turk, R. Lee, and R. C. Vrijenhoek, Environ. Microbiol. 7:1369-1378, 2005). In addition, Osedax sp. MB3 hosts a diverse and abundant population of additional bacteria dominated by Epsilonproteobacteria. Ultrastructural analysis of symbiont-bearing root tissues verified the enhanced microbial diversity of Osedax sp. MB3. Root tissues from the newly described host species and O. frankpressi all exhibited collagenolytic enzyme activity, which covaried positively with the abundance of symbiont DNA and negatively with mean adult size of the host species. Members of this unusual genus of bone-eating worms may form variable associations with symbiotic bacteria that allow for the observed differences in colonization and success in whale fall environments throughout the world's oceans.