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1.  Survey of Surface Proteins from the Pathogenic Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae Strain 7448 Using a Biotin Cell Surface Labeling Approach 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112596.
The characterization of the repertoire of proteins exposed on the cell surface by Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyopneumoniae), the etiological agent of enzootic pneumonia in pigs, is critical to understand physiological processes associated with bacterial infection capacity, survival and pathogenesis. Previous in silico studies predicted that about a third of the genes in the M. hyopneumoniae genome code for surface proteins, but so far, just a few of them have experimental confirmation of their expression and surface localization. In this work, M. hyopneumoniae surface proteins were labeled in intact cells with biotin, and affinity-captured biotin-labeled proteins were identified by a gel-based liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry approach. A total of 20 gel slices were separately analyzed by mass spectrometry, resulting in 165 protein identifications corresponding to 59 different protein species. The identified surface exposed proteins better defined the set of M. hyopneumoniae proteins exposed to the host and added confidence to in silico predictions. Several proteins potentially related to pathogenesis, were identified, including known adhesins and also hypothetical proteins with adhesin-like topologies, consisting of a transmembrane helix and a large tail exposed at the cell surface. The results provided a better picture of the M. hyopneumoniae cell surface that will help in the understanding of processes important for bacterial pathogenesis. Considering the experimental demonstration of surface exposure, adhesion-like topology predictions and absence of orthologs in the closely related, non-pathogenic species Mycoplasma flocculare, several proteins could be proposed as potential targets for the development of drugs, vaccines and/or immunodiagnostic tests for enzootic pneumonia.
PMCID: PMC4227723  PMID: 25386928
2.  Unravelling the Transcriptome Profile of the Swine Respiratory Tract Mycoplasmas 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e110327.
The swine respiratory ciliary epithelium is mainly colonized by Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, Mycoplasma flocculare and Mycoplasma hyorhinis. While colonization by M. flocculare is virtually asymptomatic, M. hyopneumoniae and M. hyorhinis infections may cause respiratory disease. Information regarding transcript structure and gene abundance provides valuable insight into gene function and regulation, which has not yet been analyzed on a genome-wide scale in these Mycoplasma species. In this study, we report the construction of transcriptome maps for M. hyopneumoniae, M. flocculare and M. hyorhinis, which represent data for conducting comparative studies on the transcriptional repertory. For each species, three cDNA libraries were generated, yielding averages of 415,265, 695,313 and 93,578 reads for M. hyopneumoniae, M. flocculare and M. hyorhinis, respectively, with an average read length of 274 bp. The reads mapping showed that 92%, 98% and 96% of the predicted genes were transcribed in the M. hyopneumoniae, M. flocculare and M. hyorhinis genomes, respectively. Moreover, we showed that the majority of the genes are co-expressed, confirming the previously predicted transcription units. Finally, our data defined the RNA populations in detail, with the map transcript boundaries and transcription unit structures on a genome-wide scale.
PMCID: PMC4198240  PMID: 25333523
4.  New insights on the biology of swine respiratory tract mycoplasmas from a comparative genome analysis 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:175.
Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, Mycoplasma flocculare and Mycoplasma hyorhinis live in swine respiratory tracts. M. flocculare, a commensal bacterium, is genetically closely related to M. hyopneumoniae, the causative agent of enzootic porcine pneumonia. M. hyorhinis is also pathogenic, causing polyserositis and arthritis. In this work, we present the genome sequences of M. flocculare and M. hyopneumoniae strain 7422, and we compare these genomes with the genomes of other M. hyoponeumoniae strain and to the a M. hyorhinis genome. These analyses were performed to identify possible characteristics that may help to explain the different behaviors of these species in swine respiratory tracts.
The overall genome organization of three species was analyzed, revealing that the ORF clusters (OCs) differ considerably and that inversions and rearrangements are common. Although M. flocculare and M. hyopneumoniae display a high degree of similarity with respect to the gene content, only some genomic regions display considerable synteny. Genes encoding proteins that may be involved in host-cell adhesion in M. hyopneumoniae and M. flocculare display differences in genomic structure and organization. Some genes encoding adhesins of the P97 family are absent in M. flocculare and some contain sequence differences or lack of domains that are considered to be important for adhesion to host cells. The phylogenetic relationship of the three species was confirmed by a phylogenomic approach. The set of genes involved in metabolism, especially in the uptake of precursors for nucleic acids synthesis and nucleotide metabolism, display some differences in copy number and the presence/absence in the three species.
The comparative analyses of three mycoplasma species that inhabit the swine respiratory tract facilitated the identification of some characteristics that may be related to their different behaviors. M. hyopneumoniae and M. flocculare display many differences that may help to explain why one species is pathogenic and the other is considered to be commensal. However, it was not possible to identify specific virulence determinant factors that could explain the differences in the pathogenicity of the analyzed species. The M. hyorhinis genome contains differences in some components involved in metabolism and evasion of the host’s immune system that may contribute to its growth aggressiveness. Several horizontal gene transfer events were identified. The phylogenomic analysis places M. hyopneumoniae, M. flocculare and M. hyorhinis in the hyopneumoniae clade.
PMCID: PMC3610235  PMID: 23497205
Mycoplasma; Comparative genomics; Adhesins; Swine respiratory tract
5.  Unveiling Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae Promoters: Sequence Definition and Genomic Distribution 
Several Mycoplasma species have had their genome completely sequenced, including four strains of the swine pathogen Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae. Nevertheless, little is known about the nucleotide sequences that control transcriptional initiation in these microorganisms. Therefore, with the objective of investigating the promoter sequences of M. hyopneumoniae, 23 transcriptional start sites (TSSs) of distinct genes were mapped. A pattern that resembles the σ70 promoter −10 element was found upstream of the TSSs. However, no −35 element was distinguished. Instead, an AT-rich periodic signal was identified. About half of the experimentally defined promoters contained the motif 5′-TRTGn-3′, which was identical to the −16 element usually found in Gram-positive bacteria. The defined promoters were utilized to build position-specific scoring matrices in order to scan putative promoters upstream of all coding sequences (CDSs) in the M. hyopneumoniae genome. Two hundred and one signals were found associated with 169 CDSs. Most of these sequences were located within 100 nucleotides of the start codons. This study has shown that the number of promoter-like sequences in the M. hyopneumoniae genome is more frequent than expected by chance, indicating that most of the sequences detected are probably biologically functional.
PMCID: PMC3325076  PMID: 22334569
Mycoplasma; promoter; transcription; sigma; matrix
6.  Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae Transcription Unit Organization: Genome Survey and Prediction 
Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is associated with swine respiratory diseases. Although gene organization and regulation are well known in many prokaryotic organisms, knowledge on mycoplasma is limited. This study performed a comparative analysis of three strains of M. hyopneumoniae (7448, J and 232), with a focus on genome organization and gene comparison for open read frame (ORF) cluster (OC) identification. An in silico analysis of gene organization demonstrated 117 OCs and 34 single ORFs in M. hyopneumoniae 7448 and J, while 116 OCs and 36 single ORFs were identified in M. hyopneumoniae 232. Genomic comparison revealed high synteny and conservation of gene order between the OCs defined for 7448 and J strains as well as for 7448 and 232 strains. Twenty-one OCs were chosen and experimentally confirmed by reverse transcription–PCR from M. hyopneumoniae 7448 genome, validating our prediction. A subset of the ORFs within an OC could be independently transcribed due to the presence of internal promoters. Our results suggest that transcription occurs in ‘run-on’ from an upstream promoter in M. hyopneumoniae, thus forming large ORF clusters (from 2 to 29 ORFs in the same orientation) and indicating a complex transcriptional organization.
PMCID: PMC3223074  PMID: 22086999
ORF cluster; intergenic regions; cotranscription; transcriptional units
7.  Genomic insights into the versatility of the plant growth-promoting bacterium Azospirillum amazonense 
BMC Genomics  2011;12:409.
The species Azospirillum amazonense belongs to a well-known genus of plant growth-promoting bacteria. This bacterium is found in association with several crops of economic importance; however, there is a lack of information on its physiology. In this work, we present a comprehensive analysis of the genomic features of this species.
Genes of A. amazonense related to nitrogen/carbon metabolism, energy production, phytohormone production, transport, quorum sensing, antibiotic resistance, chemotaxis/motility and bacteriophytochrome biosynthesis were identified. Noteworthy genes were the nitrogen fixation genes and the nitrilase gene, which could be directly implicated in plant growth promotion, and the carbon fixation genes, which had previously been poorly investigated in this genus. One important finding was that some A. amazonense genes, like the nitrogenase genes and RubisCO genes, were closer phylogenetically to Rhizobiales members than to species of its own order.
The species A. amazonense presents a versatile repertoire of genes crucial for its plant-associated lifestyle.
PMCID: PMC3169532  PMID: 21838888
8.  Tools for genetic manipulation of the plant growth-promoting bacterium Azospirillum amazonense 
BMC Microbiology  2011;11:107.
Azospirillum amazonense has potential to be used as agricultural inoculant since it promotes plant growth without causing pollution, unlike industrial fertilizers. Owing to this fact, the study of this species has gained interest. However, a detailed understanding of its genetics and physiology is limited by the absence of appropriate genetic tools for the study of this species.
Conjugation and electrotransformation methods were established utilizing vectors with broad host-replication origins (pVS1 and pBBR1). Two genes of interest - glnK and glnB, encoding PII regulatory proteins - were isolated. Furthermore, glnK-specific A. amazonense mutants were generated utilizing the pK19MOBSACB vector system. Finally, a promoter analysis protocol based on fluorescent protein expression was optimized to aid genetic regulation studies on this bacterium.
In this work, genetic tools that can support the study of A. amazonense were described. These methods could provide a better understanding of the genetic mechanisms of this species that underlie its plant growth promotion.
PMCID: PMC3111374  PMID: 21575234
9.  Virulence factors and antimicrobial resistance of escherichia coli isolated from urinary tract of swine in southern of Brazil 
Brazilian Journal of Microbiology  2008;39(4):741-743.
The present study determined the molecular and resistance patterns of E. coli isolates from urinary tract of swine in Southern of Brazil. Molecular characterization of urinary vesicle samples was performed by PCR detection of virulence factors from ETEC, STEC and UPEC. From a total of 82 E. coli isolates, 34 (38.63%) harbored one or more virulence factors. The frequency of virulence factors genes detected by PCR were: pap (10.97%), hlyA (10.97%), iha (9.75%), lt (8.53%), sta (7.31%) sfa (6.09%), f4 (4.87%), f5 (4.87%), stb (4.87%), f6 (1.21%) and f41 (1.21%). Isolates were resistant to penicillin (95.12%), lincomycin (93.9%), erythromycin (92.68%), tetracycline (90.24%), amoxicillin (82.92%), ampicillin (74.39%), josamycin (79.26%), norfloxacin (58.53%), enrofloxacin (57.31%), gentamicin (39.02%), neomycin (37.8%), apramycin (30.48%), colistine (30.48%) and cefalexin (6.09%). A number of 32 (39.02%) E. coli isolates harbored plasmids.
PMCID: PMC3768478  PMID: 24031300
E. coli; plasmids; virulence factors; antimicrobial resistance; swine
10.  Molecular characterization of Rhodococcus equi Isolates of horse breeding farms from an endemic region in South of Brazil by multiplex PCR 
Brazilian Journal of Microbiology  2008;39(1):188-193.
Rhodococcus equi is a gram-positive coco-bacillus and an intracellular opportunistic pathogen which causes pneumonia in foals. It is widely detected in environment and has been isolated from several sources, as soil, feces and gut from health and sick foals. The goal of this study was to characterize the epidemiological status (endemic, sporadic or no infection) of horse breeding farms from Bage County in South of Brazil, using a multiplex PCR. One hundred and eighteen R. equi isolates were identified by biochemical tests and submitted to a specie-specific and vapA multiplex PCR. These isolates were obtained from: three farms where the R. equi infection has been noticed, two farms where the disease has been not reported and one farm where the disease is frequent. All clinical isolates from horse breeding farms where the disease is endemic and/or sporadic were vapA-positive. None environmental isolates were vapA-positive. In three horse breeding farms with sporadic R. equi infection, 11.54% of the isolates from adult horse feces were vapA-positive. The multiplex PCR technique has proven to be effective for the molecular and epidemiological characterization of the R. equi isolates in horse breeding farms. An important finding in this study was the isolation of vapApositive R. equi from adult horse feces, which is an evidence for other routes of dissemination of this pathogen in the farms.
PMCID: PMC3768343  PMID: 24031201
Rhodococcus equi; Multiplex PCR; bronchopneumonia; epidemiology
11.  Swine and Poultry Pathogens: the Complete Genome Sequences of Two Strains of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and a Strain of Mycoplasma synoviae†  
Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R. | Ferreira, Henrique B. | Bizarro, Cristiano V. | Bonatto, Sandro L. | Carvalho, Marcos O. | Pinto, Paulo M. | Almeida, Darcy F. | Almeida, Luiz G. P. | Almeida, Rosana | Alves-Filho, Leonardo | Assunção, Enedina N. | Azevedo, Vasco A. C. | Bogo, Maurício R. | Brigido, Marcelo M. | Brocchi, Marcelo | Burity, Helio A. | Camargo, Anamaria A. | Camargo, Sandro S. | Carepo, Marta S. | Carraro, Dirce M. | de Mattos Cascardo, Júlio C. | Castro, Luiza A. | Cavalcanti, Gisele | Chemale, Gustavo | Collevatti, Rosane G. | Cunha, Cristina W. | Dallagiovanna, Bruno | Dambrós, Bibiana P. | Dellagostin, Odir A. | Falcão, Clarissa | Fantinatti-Garboggini, Fabiana | Felipe, Maria S. S. | Fiorentin, Laurimar | Franco, Gloria R. | Freitas, Nara S. A. | Frías, Diego | Grangeiro, Thalles B. | Grisard, Edmundo C. | Guimarães, Claudia T. | Hungria, Mariangela | Jardim, Sílvia N. | Krieger, Marco A. | Laurino, Jomar P. | Lima, Lucymara F. A. | Lopes, Maryellen I. | Loreto, Élgion L. S. | Madeira, Humberto M. F. | Manfio, Gilson P. | Maranhão, Andrea Q. | Martinkovics, Christyanne T. | Medeiros, Sílvia R. B. | Moreira, Miguel A. M. | Neiva, Márcia | Ramalho-Neto, Cicero E. | Nicolás, Marisa F. | Oliveira, Sergio C. | Paixão, Roger F. C. | Pedrosa, Fábio O. | Pena, Sérgio D. J. | Pereira, Maristela | Pereira-Ferrari, Lilian | Piffer, Itamar | Pinto, Luciano S. | Potrich, Deise P. | Salim, Anna C. M. | Santos, Fabrício R. | Schmitt, Renata | Schneider, Maria P. C. | Schrank, Augusto | Schrank, Irene S. | Schuck, Adriana F. | Seuanez, Hector N. | Silva, Denise W. | Silva, Rosane | Silva, Sérgio C. | Soares, Célia M. A. | Souza, Kelly R. L. | Souza, Rangel C. | Staats, Charley C. | Steffens, Maria B. R. | Teixeira, Santuza M. R. | Urmenyi, Turan P. | Vainstein, Marilene H. | Zuccherato, Luciana W. | Simpson, Andrew J. G. | Zaha, Arnaldo
Journal of Bacteriology  2005;187(16):5568-5577.
This work reports the results of analyses of three complete mycoplasma genomes, a pathogenic (7448) and a nonpathogenic (J) strain of the swine pathogen Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and a strain of the avian pathogen Mycoplasma synoviae; the genome sizes of the three strains were 920,079 bp, 897,405 bp, and 799,476 bp, respectively. These genomes were compared with other sequenced mycoplasma genomes reported in the literature to examine several aspects of mycoplasma evolution. Strain-specific regions, including integrative and conjugal elements, and genome rearrangements and alterations in adhesin sequences were observed in the M. hyopneumoniae strains, and all of these were potentially related to pathogenicity. Genomic comparisons revealed that reduction in genome size implied loss of redundant metabolic pathways, with maintenance of alternative routes in different species. Horizontal gene transfer was consistently observed between M. synoviae and Mycoplasma gallisepticum. Our analyses indicated a likely transfer event of hemagglutinin-coding DNA sequences from M. gallisepticum to M. synoviae.
PMCID: PMC1196056  PMID: 16077101

Results 1-11 (11)