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1.  Rapid evaluation and quality control of next generation sequencing data with FaQCs 
BMC Bioinformatics  2014;15(1):366.
Background
Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies that parallelize the sequencing process and produce thousands to millions, or even hundreds of millions of sequences in a single sequencing run, have revolutionized genomic and genetic research. Because of the vagaries of any platform’s sequencing chemistry, the experimental processing, machine failure, and so on, the quality of sequencing reads is never perfect, and often declines as the read is extended. These errors invariably affect downstream analysis/application and should therefore be identified early on to mitigate any unforeseen effects.
Results
Here we present a novel FastQ Quality Control Software (FaQCs) that can rapidly process large volumes of data, and which improves upon previous solutions to monitor the quality and remove poor quality data from sequencing runs. Both the speed of processing and the memory footprint of storing all required information have been optimized via algorithmic and parallel processing solutions. The trimmed output compared side-by-side with the original data is part of the automated PDF output. We show how this tool can help data analysis by providing a few examples, including an increased percentage of reads recruited to references, improved single nucleotide polymorphism identification as well as de novo sequence assembly metrics.
Conclusion
FaQCs combines several features of currently available applications into a single, user-friendly process, and includes additional unique capabilities such as filtering the PhiX control sequences, conversion of FASTQ formats, and multi-threading. The original data and trimmed summaries are reported within a variety of graphics and reports, providing a simple way to do data quality control and assurance.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12859-014-0366-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12859-014-0366-2
PMCID: PMC4246454  PMID: 25408143
Quality control; Trimming; Next generation sequencing analysis; Data preprocessing
2.  Improved Assemblies Using a Source-Agnostic Pipeline for MetaGenomic Assembly by Merging (MeGAMerge) of Contigs 
Scientific Reports  2014;4:6480.
Assembly of metagenomic samples is a very complex process, with algorithms designed to address sequencing platform-specific issues, (read length, data volume, and/or community complexity), while also faced with genomes that differ greatly in nucleotide compositional biases and in abundance. To address these issues, we have developed a post-assembly process: MetaGenomic Assembly by Merging (MeGAMerge). We compare this process to the performance of several assemblers, using both real, and in-silico generated samples of different community composition and complexity. MeGAMerge consistently outperforms individual assembly methods, producing larger contigs with an increased number of predicted genes, without replication of data. MeGAMerge contigs are supported by read mapping and contig alignment data, when using synthetically-derived and real metagenomic data, as well as by gene prediction analyses and similarity searches. MeGAMerge is a flexible method that generates improved metagenome assemblies, with the ability to accommodate upcoming sequencing platforms, as well as present and future assembly algorithms.
doi:10.1038/srep06480
PMCID: PMC4180827  PMID: 25270300
3.  Recruiting Human Microbiome Shotgun Data to Site-Specific Reference Genomes 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e84963.
The human body consists of innumerable multifaceted environments that predispose colonization by a number of distinct microbial communities, which play fundamental roles in human health and disease. In addition to community surveys and shotgun metagenomes that seek to explore the composition and diversity of these microbiomes, there are significant efforts to sequence reference microbial genomes from many body sites of healthy adults. To illustrate the utility of reference genomes when studying more complex metagenomes, we present a reference-based analysis of sequence reads generated from 55 shotgun metagenomes, selected from 5 major body sites, including 16 sub-sites. Interestingly, between 13% and 92% (62.3% average) of these shotgun reads were aligned to a then-complete list of 2780 reference genomes, including 1583 references for the human microbiome. However, no reference genome was universally found in all body sites. For any given metagenome, the body site-specific reference genomes, derived from the same body site as the sample, accounted for an average of 58.8% of the mapped reads. While different body sites did differ in abundant genera, proximal or symmetrical body sites were found to be most similar to one another. The extent of variation observed, both between individuals sampled within the same microenvironment, or at the same site within the same individual over time, calls into question comparative studies across individuals even if sampled at the same body site. This study illustrates the high utility of reference genomes and the need for further site-specific reference microbial genome sequencing, even within the already well-sampled human microbiome.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0084963
PMCID: PMC3893169  PMID: 24454771
4.  Single-cell and metagenomic analyses indicate a fermentative and saccharolytic lifestyle for members of the OP9 lineage 
Nature communications  2013;4:10.1038/ncomms2884.
OP9 is a yet-uncultivated bacterial lineage found in geothermal systems, petroleum reservoirs, anaerobic digesters, and wastewater treatment facilities. Here we use single-cell and metagenome sequencing to obtain two distinct, nearly-complete OP9 genomes, one constructed from single cells sorted from hot spring sediments and the other derived from binned metagenomic contigs from an in situ-enriched cellulolytic, thermophilic community. Phylogenomic analyses support the designation of OP9 as a candidate phylum for which we propose the name ‘Atribacteria’. Although a plurality of predicted proteins is most similar to those from Firmicutes, the presence of key genes suggests a diderm cell envelope. Metabolic reconstruction from the core genome suggests an anaerobic lifestyle based on sugar fermentation by Embden-Meyerhof glycolysis with production of hydrogen, acetate, and ethanol. Putative glycohydrolases and an endoglucanase may enable catabolism of (hemi)cellulose in thermal environments. This study lays a foundation for understanding the physiology and ecological role of the ‘Atribacteria’.
doi:10.1038/ncomms2884
PMCID: PMC3878185  PMID: 23673639
5.  Draft Genome Sequence of Methylomicrobium buryatense Strain 5G, a Haloalkaline-Tolerant Methanotrophic Bacterium 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(4):e00053-13.
Robust growth of the gammaproteobacterium Methylomicrobium buryatense strain 5G on methane makes it an attractive system for CH4-based biocatalysis. Here we present a draft genome sequence of the strain that will provide a valuable framework for metabolic engineering of the core pathways for the production of valuable chemicals from methane.
doi:10.1128/genomeA.00053-13
PMCID: PMC3695433  PMID: 23814105
6.  The AlternativeTranslational Profile That Underlies the Immune-Evasive State of Persistence in Chlamydiaceae Exploits Differential Tryptophan Contents of the Protein Repertoire 
Summary: One form of immune evasion is a developmental state called “persistence” whereby chlamydial pathogens respond to the host-mediated withdrawal of l-tryptophan (Trp). A sophisticated survival mode of reversible quiescence is implemented. A mechanism has evolved which suppresses gene products necessary for rapid pathogen proliferation but allows expression of gene products that underlie the morphological and developmental characteristics of persistence. This switch from one translational profile to an alternative translational profile of newly synthesized proteins is proposed to be accomplished by maximizing the Trp content of some proteins needed for rapid proliferation (e.g., ADP/ATP translocase, hexose-phosphate transporter, phosphoenolpyruvate [PEP] carboxykinase, the Trp transporter, the Pmp protein superfamily for cell adhesion and antigenic variation, and components of the cell division pathway) while minimizing the Trp content of other proteins supporting the state of persistence. The Trp starvation mechanism is best understood in the human-Chlamydia trachomatis relationship, but the similarity of up-Trp and down-Trp proteomic profiles in all of the pathogenic Chlamydiaceae suggests that Trp availability is an underlying cue relied upon by this family of pathogens to trigger developmental transitions. The biochemically expensive pathogen strategy of selectively increased Trp usage to guide the translational profile can be leveraged significantly with minimal overall Trp usage by (i) regional concentration of Trp residue placements, (ii) amplified Trp content of a single protein that is required for expression or maturation of multiple proteins with low Trp content, and (iii) Achilles'-heel vulnerabilities of complex pathways to high Trp content of one or a few enzymes.
doi:10.1128/MMBR.05013-11
PMCID: PMC3372251  PMID: 22688818
7.  Saliva microbiomes distinguish caries-active from healthy human populations 
The ISME Journal  2011;6(1):1-10.
The etiology of dental caries remains elusive because of our limited understanding of the complex oral microbiomes. The current methodologies have been limited by insufficient depth and breadth of microbial sampling, paucity of data for diseased hosts particularly at the population level, inconsistency of sampled sites and the inability to distinguish the underlying microbial factors. By cross-validating 16S rRNA gene amplicon-based and whole-genome-based deep-sequencing technologies, we report the most in-depth, comprehensive and collaborated view to date of the adult saliva microbiomes in pilot populations of 19 caries-active and 26 healthy human hosts. We found that: first, saliva microbiomes in human population were featured by a vast phylogenetic diversity yet a minimal organismal core; second, caries microbiomes were significantly more variable in community structure whereas the healthy ones were relatively conserved; third, abundance changes of certain taxa such as overabundance of Prevotella Genus distinguished caries microbiota from healthy ones, and furthermore, caries-active and normal individuals carried different arrays of Prevotella species; and finally, no ‘caries-specific' operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were detected, yet 147 OTUs were ‘caries associated', that is, differentially distributed yet present in both healthy and caries-active populations. These findings underscored the necessity of species- and strain-level resolution for caries prognosis, and were consistent with the ecological hypothesis where the shifts in community structure, instead of the presence or absence of particular groups of microbes, underlie the cariogenesis.
doi:10.1038/ismej.2011.71
PMCID: PMC3246229  PMID: 21716312
caries; metagenomics; oral-microbiome; Prevotella; saliva
8.  A framework for human microbiome research 
Methé, Barbara A. | Nelson, Karen E. | Pop, Mihai | Creasy, Heather H. | Giglio, Michelle G. | Huttenhower, Curtis | Gevers, Dirk | Petrosino, Joseph F. | Abubucker, Sahar | Badger, Jonathan H. | Chinwalla, Asif T. | Earl, Ashlee M. | FitzGerald, Michael G. | Fulton, Robert S. | Hallsworth-Pepin, Kymberlie | Lobos, Elizabeth A. | Madupu, Ramana | Magrini, Vincent | Martin, John C. | Mitreva, Makedonka | Muzny, Donna M. | Sodergren, Erica J. | Versalovic, James | Wollam, Aye M. | Worley, Kim C. | Wortman, Jennifer R. | Young, Sarah K. | Zeng, Qiandong | Aagaard, Kjersti M. | Abolude, Olukemi O. | Allen-Vercoe, Emma | Alm, Eric J. | Alvarado, Lucia | Andersen, Gary L. | Anderson, Scott | Appelbaum, Elizabeth | Arachchi, Harindra M. | Armitage, Gary | Arze, Cesar A. | Ayvaz, Tulin | Baker, Carl C. | Begg, Lisa | Belachew, Tsegahiwot | Bhonagiri, Veena | Bihan, Monika | Blaser, Martin J. | Bloom, Toby | Vivien Bonazzi, J. | Brooks, Paul | Buck, Gregory A. | Buhay, Christian J. | Busam, Dana A. | Campbell, Joseph L. | Canon, Shane R. | Cantarel, Brandi L. | Chain, Patrick S. | Chen, I-Min A. | Chen, Lei | Chhibba, Shaila | Chu, Ken | Ciulla, Dawn M. | Clemente, Jose C. | Clifton, Sandra W. | Conlan, Sean | Crabtree, Jonathan | Cutting, Mary A. | Davidovics, Noam J. | Davis, Catherine C. | DeSantis, Todd Z. | Deal, Carolyn | Delehaunty, Kimberley D. | Dewhirst, Floyd E. | Deych, Elena | Ding, Yan | Dooling, David J. | Dugan, Shannon P. | Dunne, Wm. Michael | Durkin, A. Scott | Edgar, Robert C. | Erlich, Rachel L. | Farmer, Candace N. | Farrell, Ruth M. | Faust, Karoline | Feldgarden, Michael | Felix, Victor M. | Fisher, Sheila | Fodor, Anthony A. | Forney, Larry | Foster, Leslie | Di Francesco, Valentina | Friedman, Jonathan | Friedrich, Dennis C. | Fronick, Catrina C. | Fulton, Lucinda L. | Gao, Hongyu | Garcia, Nathalia | Giannoukos, Georgia | Giblin, Christina | Giovanni, Maria Y. | Goldberg, Jonathan M. | Goll, Johannes | Gonzalez, Antonio | Griggs, Allison | Gujja, Sharvari | Haas, Brian J. | Hamilton, Holli A. | Harris, Emily L. | Hepburn, Theresa A. | Herter, Brandi | Hoffmann, Diane E. | Holder, Michael E. | Howarth, Clinton | Huang, Katherine H. | Huse, Susan M. | Izard, Jacques | Jansson, Janet K. | Jiang, Huaiyang | Jordan, Catherine | Joshi, Vandita | Katancik, James A. | Keitel, Wendy A. | Kelley, Scott T. | Kells, Cristyn | Kinder-Haake, Susan | King, Nicholas B. | Knight, Rob | Knights, Dan | Kong, Heidi H. | Koren, Omry | Koren, Sergey | Kota, Karthik C. | Kovar, Christie L. | Kyrpides, Nikos C. | La Rosa, Patricio S. | Lee, Sandra L. | Lemon, Katherine P. | Lennon, Niall | Lewis, Cecil M. | Lewis, Lora | Ley, Ruth E. | Li, Kelvin | Liolios, Konstantinos | Liu, Bo | Liu, Yue | Lo, Chien-Chi | Lozupone, Catherine A. | Lunsford, R. Dwayne | Madden, Tessa | Mahurkar, Anup A. | Mannon, Peter J. | Mardis, Elaine R. | Markowitz, Victor M. | Mavrommatis, Konstantinos | McCorrison, Jamison M. | McDonald, Daniel | McEwen, Jean | McGuire, Amy L. | McInnes, Pamela | Mehta, Teena | Mihindukulasuriya, Kathie A. | Miller, Jason R. | Minx, Patrick J. | Newsham, Irene | Nusbaum, Chad | O’Laughlin, Michelle | Orvis, Joshua | Pagani, Ioanna | Palaniappan, Krishna | Patel, Shital M. | Pearson, Matthew | Peterson, Jane | Podar, Mircea | Pohl, Craig | Pollard, Katherine S. | Priest, Margaret E. | Proctor, Lita M. | Qin, Xiang | Raes, Jeroen | Ravel, Jacques | Reid, Jeffrey G. | Rho, Mina | Rhodes, Rosamond | Riehle, Kevin P. | Rivera, Maria C. | Rodriguez-Mueller, Beltran | Rogers, Yu-Hui | Ross, Matthew C. | Russ, Carsten | Sanka, Ravi K. | Pamela Sankar, J. | Sathirapongsasuti, Fah | Schloss, Jeffery A. | Schloss, Patrick D. | Schmidt, Thomas M. | Scholz, Matthew | Schriml, Lynn | Schubert, Alyxandria M. | Segata, Nicola | Segre, Julia A. | Shannon, William D. | Sharp, Richard R. | Sharpton, Thomas J. | Shenoy, Narmada | Sheth, Nihar U. | Simone, Gina A. | Singh, Indresh | Smillie, Chris S. | Sobel, Jack D. | Sommer, Daniel D. | Spicer, Paul | Sutton, Granger G. | Sykes, Sean M. | Tabbaa, Diana G. | Thiagarajan, Mathangi | Tomlinson, Chad M. | Torralba, Manolito | Treangen, Todd J. | Truty, Rebecca M. | Vishnivetskaya, Tatiana A. | Walker, Jason | Wang, Lu | Wang, Zhengyuan | Ward, Doyle V. | Warren, Wesley | Watson, Mark A. | Wellington, Christopher | Wetterstrand, Kris A. | White, James R. | Wilczek-Boney, Katarzyna | Wu, Yuan Qing | Wylie, Kristine M. | Wylie, Todd | Yandava, Chandri | Ye, Liang | Ye, Yuzhen | Yooseph, Shibu | Youmans, Bonnie P. | Zhang, Lan | Zhou, Yanjiao | Zhu, Yiming | Zoloth, Laurie | Zucker, Jeremy D. | Birren, Bruce W. | Gibbs, Richard A. | Highlander, Sarah K. | Weinstock, George M. | Wilson, Richard K. | White, Owen
Nature  2012;486(7402):215-221.
A variety of microbial communities and their genes (microbiome) exist throughout the human body, playing fundamental roles in human health and disease. The NIH funded Human Microbiome Project (HMP) Consortium has established a population-scale framework which catalyzed significant development of metagenomic protocols resulting in a broad range of quality-controlled resources and data including standardized methods for creating, processing and interpreting distinct types of high-throughput metagenomic data available to the scientific community. Here we present resources from a population of 242 healthy adults sampled at 15 to 18 body sites up to three times, which to date, have generated 5,177 microbial taxonomic profiles from 16S rRNA genes and over 3.5 Tb of metagenomic sequence. In parallel, approximately 800 human-associated reference genomes have been sequenced. Collectively, these data represent the largest resource to date describing the abundance and variety of the human microbiome, while providing a platform for current and future studies.
doi:10.1038/nature11209
PMCID: PMC3377744  PMID: 22699610
9.  Genomic Comparison of Escherichia coli O104:H4 Isolates from 2009 and 2011 Reveals Plasmid, and Prophage Heterogeneity, Including Shiga Toxin Encoding Phage stx2 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e48228.
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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048228
PMCID: PMC3486847  PMID: 23133618
10.  Artificial Polyploidy Improves Bacterial Single Cell Genome Recovery 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e37387.
Background
Single cell genomics (SCG) is a combination of methods whose goal is to decipher the complete genomic sequence from a single cell and has been applied mostly to organisms with smaller genomes, such as bacteria and archaea. Prior single cell studies showed that a significant portion of a genome could be obtained. However, breakages of genomic DNA and amplification bias have made it very challenging to acquire a complete genome with single cells. We investigated an artificial method to induce polyploidy in Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633 by blocking cell division and have shown that we can significantly improve the performance of genomic sequencing from a single cell.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We inhibited the bacterial cytoskeleton protein FtsZ in B. subtilis with an FtsZ-inhibiting compound, PC190723, resulting in larger undivided single cells with multiple copies of its genome. qPCR assays of these larger, sorted cells showed higher DNA content, have less amplification bias, and greater genomic recovery than untreated cells.
Significance
The method presented here shows the potential to obtain a nearly complete genome sequence from a single bacterial cell. With millions of uncultured bacterial species in nature, this method holds tremendous promise to provide insight into the genomic novelty of yet-to-be discovered species, and given the temporary effects of artificial polyploidy coupled with the ability to sort and distinguish differences in cell size and genomic DNA content, may allow recovery of specific organisms in addition to their genomes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037387
PMCID: PMC3359284  PMID: 22666352
11.  Capturing Single Cell Genomes of Active Polysaccharide Degraders: An Unexpected Contribution of Verrucomicrobia 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35314.
Microbial hydrolysis of polysaccharides is critical to ecosystem functioning and is of great interest in diverse biotechnological applications, such as biofuel production and bioremediation. Here we demonstrate the use of a new, efficient approach to recover genomes of active polysaccharide degraders from natural, complex microbial assemblages, using a combination of fluorescently labeled substrates, fluorescence-activated cell sorting, and single cell genomics. We employed this approach to analyze freshwater and coastal bacterioplankton for degraders of laminarin and xylan, two of the most abundant storage and structural polysaccharides in nature. Our results suggest that a few phylotypes of Verrucomicrobia make a considerable contribution to polysaccharide degradation, although they constituted only a minor fraction of the total microbial community. Genomic sequencing of five cells, representing the most predominant, polysaccharide-active Verrucomicrobia phylotype, revealed significant enrichment in genes encoding a wide spectrum of glycoside hydrolases, sulfatases, peptidases, carbohydrate lyases and esterases, confirming that these organisms were well equipped for the hydrolysis of diverse polysaccharides. Remarkably, this enrichment was on average higher than in the sequenced representatives of Bacteroidetes, which are frequently regarded as highly efficient biopolymer degraders. These findings shed light on the ecological roles of uncultured Verrucomicrobia and suggest specific taxa as promising bioprospecting targets. The employed method offers a powerful tool to rapidly identify and recover discrete genomes of active players in polysaccharide degradation, without the need for cultivation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035314
PMCID: PMC3335022  PMID: 22536372
12.  Cohesion Group Approach for Evolutionary Analysis of Aspartokinase, an Enzyme That Feeds a Branched Network of Many Biochemical Pathways 
Summary: Aspartokinase (Ask) exists within a variable network that supports the synthesis of 9 amino acids and a number of other important metabolites. Lysine, isoleucine, aromatic amino acids, and dipicolinate may arise from the ASK network or from alternative pathways. Ask proteins were subjected to cohesion group analysis, a methodology that sorts a given protein assemblage into groups in which evolutionary continuity is assured. Two subhomology divisions, ASKα and ASKβ, have been recognized. The ASKα subhomology division is the most ancient, being widely distributed throughout the Archaea and Eukarya and in some Bacteria. Within an indel region of about 75 amino acids near the N terminus, ASKβ sequences differ from ASKα sequences by the possession of a proposed ancient deletion. ASKβ sequences are present in most Bacteria and usually exhibit an in-frame internal translational start site that can generate a small Ask subunit that is identical to the C-terminal portion of the larger subunit of a heterodimeric unit. Particularly novel are ask genes embedded in gene contexts that imply specialization for ectoine (osmotic agent) or aromatic amino acids. The cohesion group approach is well suited for the easy recognition of relatively recent lateral gene transfer (LGT) events, and many examples of these are described. Given the current density of genome representation for Proteobacteria, it is possible to reconstruct more ancient landmark LGT events. Thus, a plausible scenario in which the three well-studied and iconic Ask homologs of Escherichia coli are not within the vertical genealogy of Gammaproteobacteria, but rather originated via LGT from a Bacteroidetes donor, is supported.
doi:10.1128/MMBR.00024-09
PMCID: PMC2786584  PMID: 19946135
13.  Transmission of Single HIV-1 Genomes and Dynamics of Early Immune Escape Revealed by Ultra-Deep Sequencing 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(8):e12303.
We used ultra-deep sequencing to obtain tens of thousands of HIV-1 sequences from regions targeted by CD8+ T lymphocytes from longitudinal samples from three acutely infected subjects, and modeled viral evolution during the critical first weeks of infection. Previous studies suggested that a single virus established productive infection, but these conclusions were tempered because of limited sampling; now, we have greatly increased our confidence in this observation through modeling the observed earliest sample diversity based on vastly more extensive sampling. Conventional sequencing of HIV-1 from acute/early infection has shown different patterns of escape at different epitopes; we investigated the earliest escapes in exquisite detail. Over 3–6 weeks, ultradeep sequencing revealed that the virus explored an extraordinary array of potential escape routes in the process of evading the earliest CD8 T-lymphocyte responses – using 454 sequencing, we identified over 50 variant forms of each targeted epitope during early immune escape, while only 2–7 variants were detected in the same samples via conventional sequencing. In contrast to the diversity seen within epitopes, non-epitope regions, including the Envelope V3 region, which was sequenced as a control in each subject, displayed very low levels of variation. In early infection, in the regions sequenced, the consensus forms did not have a fitness advantage large enough to trigger reversion to consensus amino acids in the absence of immune pressure. In one subject, a genetic bottleneck was observed, with extensive diversity at the second time point narrowing to two dominant escape forms by the third time point, all within two months of infection. Traces of immune escape were observed in the earliest samples, suggesting that immune pressure is present and effective earlier than previously reported; quantifying the loss rate of the founder virus suggests a direct role for CD8 T-lymphocyte responses in viral containment after peak viremia. Dramatic shifts in the frequencies of epitope variants during the first weeks of infection revealed a complex interplay between viral fitness and immune escape.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012303
PMCID: PMC2924888  PMID: 20808830
14.  Quantitative Deep Sequencing Reveals Dynamic HIV-1 Escape and Large Population Shifts during CCR5 Antagonist Therapy In Vivo 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(5):e5683.
High-throughput sequencing platforms provide an approach for detecting rare HIV-1 variants and documenting more fully quasispecies diversity. We applied this technology to the V3 loop-coding region of env in samples collected from 4 chronically HIV-infected subjects in whom CCR5 antagonist (vicriviroc [VVC]) therapy failed. Between 25,000–140,000 amplified sequences were obtained per sample. Profound baseline V3 loop sequence heterogeneity existed; predicted CXCR4-using populations were identified in a largely CCR5-using population. The V3 loop forms associated with subsequent virologic failure, either through CXCR4 use or the emergence of high-level VVC resistance, were present as minor variants at 0.8–2.8% of baseline samples. Extreme, rapid shifts in population frequencies toward these forms occurred, and deep sequencing provided a detailed view of the rapid evolutionary impact of VVC selection. Greater V3 diversity was observed post-selection. This previously unreported degree of V3 loop sequence diversity has implications for viral pathogenesis, vaccine design, and the optimal use of HIV-1 CCR5 antagonists.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005683
PMCID: PMC2682648  PMID: 19479085

Results 1-14 (14)