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1.  Draft Genome Sequence of the Lignin-Degrading Burkholderia sp. Strain LIG30, Isolated from Wet Tropical Forest Soil 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(3):e00637-14.
Burkholderia species are common soil Betaproteobacteria capable of degrading recalcitrant aromatic compounds and xenobiotics. Burkholderia sp. strain LIG30 was isolated from wet tropical forest soil and is capable of utilizing lignin as a sole carbon source. Here we report the draft genome sequence of Burkholderia sp. strain LIG30.
PMCID: PMC4064042  PMID: 24948777
2.  Elucidation of Zymomonas mobilis physiology and stress responses by quantitative proteomics and transcriptomics 
Zymomonas mobilis is an excellent ethanologenic bacterium. Biomass pretreatment and saccharification provides access to simple sugars, but also produces inhibitors such as acetate and furfural. Our previous work has identified and confirmed the genetic change of a 1.5-kb deletion in the sodium acetate tolerant Z. mobilis mutant (AcR) leading to constitutively elevated expression of a sodium proton antiporter encoding gene nhaA, which contributes to the sodium acetate tolerance of AcR mutant. In this study, we further investigated the responses of AcR and wild-type ZM4 to sodium acetate stress in minimum media using both transcriptomics and a metabolic labeling approach for quantitative proteomics the first time. Proteomic measurements at two time points identified about eight hundreds proteins, or about half of the predicted proteome. Extracellular metabolite analysis indicated AcR overcame the acetate stress quicker than ZM4 with a concomitant earlier ethanol production in AcR mutant, although the final ethanol yields and cell densities were similar between two strains. Transcriptomic samples were analyzed for four time points and revealed that the response of Z. mobilis to sodium acetate stress is dynamic, complex, and involved about one-fifth of the total predicted genes from all different functional categories. The modest correlations between proteomic and transcriptomic data may suggest the involvement of posttranscriptional control. In addition, the transcriptomic data of forty-four microarrays from four experiments for ZM4 and AcR under different conditions were combined to identify strain-specific, media-responsive, growth phase-dependent, and treatment-responsive gene expression profiles. Together this study indicates that minimal medium has the most dramatic effect on gene expression compared to rich medium followed by growth phase, inhibitor, and strain background. Genes involved in protein biosynthesis, glycolysis and fermentation as well as ATP synthesis and stress response play key roles in Z. mobilis metabolism with consistently strong expression levels under different conditions.
PMCID: PMC4033097  PMID: 24904559
Zymomonas mobilis; microarray; proteomics and metabolomics; acetate; pretreatment inhibitor; stress responses; quantitative proteomics; systems biology
3.  Comparison of single-molecule sequencing and hybrid approaches for finishing the genome of Clostridium autoethanogenum and analysis of CRISPR systems in industrial relevant Clostridia 
Clostridium autoethanogenum strain JA1-1 (DSM 10061) is an acetogen capable of fermenting CO, CO2 and H2 (e.g. from syngas or waste gases) into biofuel ethanol and commodity chemicals such as 2,3-butanediol. A draft genome sequence consisting of 100 contigs has been published.
A closed, high-quality genome sequence for C. autoethanogenum DSM10061 was generated using only the latest single-molecule DNA sequencing technology and without the need for manual finishing. It is assigned to the most complex genome classification based upon genome features such as repeats, prophage, nine copies of the rRNA gene operons. It has a low G + C content of 31.1%. Illumina, 454, Illumina/454 hybrid assemblies were generated and then compared to the draft and PacBio assemblies using summary statistics, CGAL, QUAST and REAPR bioinformatics tools and comparative genomic approaches. Assemblies based upon shorter read DNA technologies were confounded by the large number repeats and their size, which in the case of the rRNA gene operons were ~5 kb. CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Paloindromic Repeats) systems among biotechnologically relevant Clostridia were classified and related to plasmid content and prophages. Potential associations between plasmid content and CRISPR systems may have implications for historical industrial scale Acetone-Butanol-Ethanol (ABE) fermentation failures and future large scale bacterial fermentations. While C. autoethanogenum contains an active CRISPR system, no such system is present in the closely related Clostridium ljungdahlii DSM 13528. A common prophage inserted into the Arg-tRNA shared between the strains suggests a common ancestor. However, C. ljungdahlii contains several additional putative prophages and it has more than double the amount of prophage DNA compared to C. autoethanogenum. Other differences include important metabolic genes for central metabolism (as an additional hydrogenase and the absence of a phophoenolpyruvate synthase) and substrate utilization pathway (mannose and aromatics utilization) that might explain phenotypic differences between C. autoethanogenum and C. ljungdahlii.
Single molecule sequencing will be increasingly used to produce finished microbial genomes. The complete genome will facilitate comparative genomics and functional genomics and support future comparisons between Clostridia and studies that examine the evolution of plasmids, bacteriophage and CRISPR systems.
PMCID: PMC4022347  PMID: 24655715
4.  Draft Genome Sequence of Rhodococcus rhodochrous Strain ATCC 21198 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(1):e00054-14.
Rhodococcus rhodochrous is a Gram-positive red-pigmented bacterium commonly found in the soil. The draft genome sequence for R. rhodochrous strain ATCC 21198 is presented here to provide genetic data for a better understanding of its lipid-accumulating capabilities.
PMCID: PMC3924371  PMID: 24526639
5.  Hexavalent Chromium Reduction under Fermentative Conditions with Lactate Stimulated Native Microbial Communities 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e83909.
Microbial reduction of toxic hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) in-situ is a plausible bioremediation strategy in electron-acceptor limited environments. However, higher [Cr(VI)] may impose stress on syntrophic communities and impact community structure and function. The study objectives were to understand the impacts of Cr(VI) concentrations on community structure and on the Cr(VI)-reduction potential of groundwater communities at Hanford, WA. Steady state continuous flow bioreactors were used to grow native communities enriched with lactate (30 mM) and continuously amended with Cr(VI) at 0.0 (No-Cr), 0.1 (Low-Cr) and 3.0 (High-Cr) mg/L. Microbial growth, metabolites, Cr(VI), 16S rRNA gene sequences and GeoChip based functional gene composition were monitored for 15 weeks. Temporal trends and differences in growth, metabolite profiles, and community composition were observed, largely between Low-Cr and High-Cr bioreactors. In both High-Cr and Low-Cr bioreactors, Cr(VI) levels were below detection from week 1 until week 15. With lactate enrichment, native bacterial diversity substantially decreased as Pelosinus spp., and Sporotalea spp., became the dominant groups, but did not significantly differ between Cr concentrations. The Archaea diversity also substantially decreased after lactate enrichment from Methanosaeta (35%), Methanosarcina (17%) and others, to mostly Methanosarcina spp. (95%). Methane production was lower in High-Cr reactors suggesting some inhibition of methanogens. Several key functional genes were distinct in Low-Cr bioreactors compared to High-Cr. Among the Cr resistant microbes, Burkholderia vietnamiensis, Comamonas testosterone and Ralstonia pickettii proliferated in Cr amended bioreactors. In-situ fermentative conditions facilitated Cr(VI) reduction, and as a result 3.0 mg/L Cr(VI) did not impact the overall bacterial community structure.
PMCID: PMC3871698  PMID: 24376771
6.  Draft Genome Sequence of Serratia sp. Strain ATCC 39006, a Model Bacterium for Analysis of the Biosynthesis and Regulation of Prodigiosin, a Carbapenem, and Gas Vesicles 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(6):e01039-13.
Serratia sp. strain ATCC 39006 is a Gram-negative bacterium and a member of the Enterobacteriaceae that produces various bioactive secondary metabolites, including the tripyrrole red pigment prodigiosin and the β-lactam antibiotic 1-carbapenen-2-em-3-carboxylic acid (a carbapenem). This strain is the only member of the Enterobacteriaceae known to naturally produce gas vesicles, as flotation organelles. Here we present the genome sequence of this strain, which has served as a model for analysis of the biosynthesis and regulation of antibiotic production.
PMCID: PMC3861430  PMID: 24336377
7.  Draft Genome Sequence for Ralstonia sp. Strain OR214, a Bacterium with Potential for Bioremediation 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(3):e00321-13.
Ralstonia sp. strain OR214 belongs to the class Betaproteobacteria and was isolated from subsurface sediments in Oak Ridge, TN. A member of this genus has been described as a potential bioremediation agent. Strain OR214 is tolerant to various heavy metals, such as uranium, nickel, cobalt, and cadmium. We present its draft genome sequence here.
PMCID: PMC3675513  PMID: 23792748
8.  Draft Genome Sequence for Caulobacter sp. Strain OR37, a Bacterium Tolerant to Heavy Metals 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(3):e00322-13.
Caulobacter sp. strain OR37 belongs to the class Alphaproteobacteria and was isolated from subsurface sediments in Oak Ridge, TN. Strain OR37 is noteworthy due to its tolerance to high concentrations of heavy metals, such as uranium, nickel, cobalt, and cadmium, and we present its draft genome sequence here.
PMCID: PMC3675514  PMID: 23792749
9.  Draft Genome Sequences for Three Mercury-Methylating, Sulfate-Reducing Bacteria 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(4):e00618-13.
The genetic basis for bacterial mercury methylation has been described recently. For insights into the physiology of mercury-methylating bacteria, we present genome sequences for Desulfococcus multivorans strain DSM 2059, Desulfovibrio alkalitolerans strain DSM 16529, and Desulfovibrio species strain X2.
PMCID: PMC3744682  PMID: 23950126
10.  Genome Sequences of Industrially Relevant Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strain M3707, Isolated from a Sample of Distillers Yeast and Four Haploid Derivatives 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(3):e00323-13.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain M3707 was isolated from a sample of commercial distillers yeast, and its genome sequence together with the genome sequences for the four derived haploid strains M3836, M3837, M3838, and M3839 has been determined. Yeasts have potential for consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) for biofuel production, and access to these genome sequences will facilitate their development.
PMCID: PMC3675515  PMID: 23792743
11.  Twenty-One Genome Sequences from Pseudomonas Species and 19 Genome Sequences from Diverse Bacteria Isolated from the Rhizosphere and Endosphere of Populus deltoides 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(21):5991-5993.
To aid in the investigation of the Populus deltoides microbiome, we generated draft genome sequences for 21 Pseudomonas strains and 19 other diverse bacteria isolated from Populus deltoides roots. Genome sequences for isolates similar to Acidovorax, Bradyrhizobium, Brevibacillus, Caulobacter, Chryseobacterium, Flavobacterium, Herbaspirillum, Novosphingobium, Pantoea, Phyllobacterium, Polaromonas, Rhizobium, Sphingobium, and Variovorax were generated.
PMCID: PMC3486089  PMID: 23045501
12.  Standardized Methods and Quality Control Limits for Agar and Broth Microdilution Susceptibility Testing of Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Mycoplasma hominis, and Ureaplasma urealyticum 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(11):3542-3547.
An international multilaboratory collaborative study was conducted to develop standard media and consensus methods for the performance and quality control of antimicrobial susceptibility testing of Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Mycoplasma hominis, and Ureaplasma urealyticum using broth microdilution and agar dilution techniques. A reference strain from the American Type Culture Collection was designated for each species, which was to be used for quality control purposes. Repeat testing of replicate samples of each reference strain by participating laboratories utilizing both methods and different lots of media enabled a 3- to 4-dilution MIC range to be established for drugs in several different classes, including tetracyclines, macrolides, ketolides, lincosamides, and fluoroquinolones. This represents the first multilaboratory collaboration to standardize susceptibility testing methods and to designate quality control parameters to ensure accurate and reliable assay results for mycoplasmas and ureaplasmas that infect humans.
PMCID: PMC3486213  PMID: 22915608
13.  Draft Genome Sequence for Desulfovibrio africanus Strain PCS 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(2):e00144-13.
Desulfovibrio africanus strain PCS is an anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacterium (SRB) isolated from sediment from Paleta Creek, San Diego, CA. Strain PCS is capable of reducing metals such as Fe(III) and Cr(VI), has a cell cycle, and is predicted to produce methylmercury. We present the D. africanus PCS genome sequence.
PMCID: PMC3624683  PMID: 23580709
14.  Draft Genome Sequence of Pelosinus fermentans JBW45, Isolated during In Situ Stimulation for Cr(VI) Reduction 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(19):5456-5457.
Pelosinus fermentans JBW45 is an anaerobic, lactate-fermenting bacterium isolated from Cr(VI)-contaminated groundwater at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation 100-H site (Washington) that was collected after stimulation with a polylactate compound. The genome sequence of this organism will provide insight into the metabolic potential of a predominant population during stimulation for metal-reducing conditions.
PMCID: PMC3457247  PMID: 22965085
15.  Draft Genome Sequences for Two Metal-Reducing Pelosinus fermentans Strains Isolated from a Cr(VI)-Contaminated Site and for Type Strain R7 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(18):5147-5148.
Pelosinus fermentans 16S rRNA gene sequences have been reported from diverse geographical sites since the recent isolation of the type strain. We present the genome sequence of the P. fermentans type strain R7 (DSM 17108) and genome sequences for two new strains with different abilities to reduce iron, chromate, and uranium.
PMCID: PMC3430306  PMID: 22933770
16.  Genome Sequences for Six Rhodanobacter Strains, Isolated from Soils and the Terrestrial Subsurface, with Variable Denitrification Capabilities 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(16):4461-4462.
We report the first genome sequences for six strains of Rhodanobacter species isolated from a variety of soil and subsurface environments. Three of these strains are capable of complete denitrification and three others are not. However, all six strains contain most of the genes required for the respiration of nitrate to gaseous nitrogen. The nondenitrifying members of the genus lack only the gene for nitrate reduction, the first step in the full denitrification pathway. The data suggest that the environmental role of bacteria from the genus Rhodanobacter should be reevaluated.
PMCID: PMC3416251  PMID: 22843592
17.  The NifA-RpoN Regulon of Mesorhizobium loti Strain R7A and Its Symbiotic Activation by a Novel LacI/GalR-Family Regulator 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e53762.
Mesorhizobium loti is the microsymbiont of Lotus species, including the model legume L. japonicus. M. loti differs from other rhizobia in that it contains two copies of the key nitrogen fixation regulatory gene nifA, nifA1 and nifA2, both of which are located on the symbiosis island ICEMlSymR7A. M. loti R7A also contains two rpoN genes, rpoN1 located on the chromosome outside of ICEMlSymR7A and rpoN2 that is located on ICEMlSymR7A. The aims of the current work were to establish how nifA expression was activated in M. loti and to characterise the NifA-RpoN regulon. The nifA2 and rpoN2 genes were essential for nitrogen fixation whereas nifA1 and rpoN1 were dispensable. Expression of nifA2 was activated, possibly in response to an inositol derivative, by a novel regulator of the LacI/GalR family encoded by the fixV gene located upstream of nifA2. Other than the well-characterized nif/fix genes, most NifA2-regulated genes were not required for nitrogen fixation although they were strongly expressed in nodules. The NifA-regulated nifZ and fixU genes, along with nifQ which was not NifA-regulated, were required in M. loti for a fully effective symbiosis although they are not present in some other rhizobia. The NifA-regulated gene msi158 that encodes a porin was also required for a fully effective symbiosis. Several metabolic genes that lacked NifA-regulated promoters were strongly expressed in nodules in a NifA2-dependent manner but again mutants did not have an overt symbiotic phenotype. In summary, many genes encoded on ICEMlSymR7A were strongly expressed in nodules but not free-living rhizobia, but were not essential for symbiotic nitrogen fixation. It seems likely that some of these genes have functional homologues elsewhere in the genome and that bacteroid metabolism may be sufficiently plastic to adapt to loss of certain enzymatic functions.
PMCID: PMC3538637  PMID: 23308282
18.  Draft Genome Sequences for Clostridium thermocellum Wild-Type Strain YS and Derived Cellulose Adhesion-Defective Mutant Strain AD2 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(12):3290-3291.
Clostridium thermocellum wild-type strain YS is an anaerobic, thermophilic, cellulolytic bacterium capable of directly converting cellulosic substrates into ethanol. Strain YS and a derived cellulose adhesion-defective mutant strain, AD2, played pivotal roles in describing the original cellulosome concept. We present their draft genome sequences.
PMCID: PMC3370843  PMID: 22628515
19.  Draft Genome Sequence for Microbacterium laevaniformans Strain OR221, a Bacterium Tolerant to Metals, Nitrate, and Low pH 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(12):3279-3280.
Microbacterium laevaniformans strain OR221 was isolated from subsurface sediments obtained from the Field Research Center (FRC) in Oak Ridge, TN. It was characterized as a bacterium tolerant to heavy metals, such as uranium, nickel, cobalt, and cadmium, as well as nitrate and low pH. We present its draft genome sequence.
PMCID: PMC3370866  PMID: 22628508
20.  Colorful Virus-Like Particles: Fluorescent Protein Packaging by the Qβ Capsid 
Biomacromolecules  2011;12(11):3977-3981.
Qβ virus-like particles encapsulating multiple copies of fluorescent proteins were generated in high yields using a modular system enhanced by specific engineered RNA-protein interactions. The resulting particles were structurally indistinguishable from recombinant Qβ alone. The encapsidated proteins were nearly identical in photochemical properties to monomeric analogues, were more stable toward thermal degradation, and were protected from proteolytic cleavage. Residues on the outer capsid surface were chemically derivatized by acylation and azide-alkyne cycloaddition without affecting the fluorescence properties of the packaged proteins. A high affinity carbohydrate-based ligand of the CD22 receptor was thereby attached, and specific cell labeling by the particles was successfully detected by flow cytometry and confocal laser microscopy.
PMCID: PMC3246388  PMID: 21995513
Virus-like particles; fluorescent proteins; cell targeting
21.  Draft Genome Sequence of Rhizobium sp. Strain PDO1-076, a Bacterium Isolated from Populus deltoides 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(9):2383-2384.
Rhizobium sp. strain PDO1-076 is a plant-associated bacterium isolated from Populus deltoides, and its draft genome sequence is reported.
PMCID: PMC3347069  PMID: 22493196
22.  Evolution and Protein Packaging of Small Molecule RNA Aptamers 
ACS nano  2011;5(10):7722-7729.
A high-affinity RNA aptamer (Kd = 50 nM) was efficiently identified by SELEX against a heteroaryl dihydropyrimidine structure, chosen as a representative drug-like molecule with no cross reactivity with mammalian or bacterial cells. This aptamer, its weaker-binding variants, and a known aptamer against theophylline were each embedded in a longer RNA sequence that was encapsidated inside a virus-like particle by a convenient expression technique. These nucleoprotein particles were shown by backscattering interferometry to bind to the small-molecule ligands with affinities similar to those of the free (non-encapsidated) aptamers. The system therefore comprises a general approach to the production and sequestration of functional RNA molecules, characterized by a convenient label-free analytical technique.
PMCID: PMC3209476  PMID: 21899290
RNA packaging; virus-like particles; aptamers; backscattering interferometry
23.  Engineered virus-like nanoparticles reverse heparin anticoagulation more consistently than protamine in plasma from heparin-treated patients 
Thrombosis research  2011;128(4):e9-e13.
Heparin is widely used for anticoagulation, often requiring the subsequent administration of a reversal agent. The only approved reversal agent for heparin is protamine sulfate, which induces well described adverse reactions in patients. Previously we reported a novel class of heparin antagonists based on the bacteriophage Qβ platform, displaying polyvalent cationic motifs which bind with high affinity to heparin. Here we report heparin reversal by the most effective of these virus-like particles (VLP) in samples from patients who were administered heparin during cardiac procedures or therapeutically for treatment of various thrombotic conditions. The VLP consistently reversed heparin in these samples, including those from patients that received high doses of heparin, with greater efficiency than a negative control VLP and with significantly less variability than protamine sulfate. These results provide the first step towards validation of heparin antagonist VLPs as viable alternatives to protamine.
PMCID: PMC3153569  PMID: 21496885
heparin; anticoagulation; bacteriophage Qβ; protamine; coronary intervention; venous thrombosis
24.  Microbial Community Succession during Lactate Amendment and Electron Acceptor Limitation Reveals a Predominance of Metal-Reducing Pelosinus spp. 
The determination of the success of in situ bioremediation strategies is complex. By using controlled laboratory conditions, the influence of individual variables, such as U(VI), Cr(VI), and electron donors and acceptors on community structure, dynamics, and the metal-reducing potential can be studied. Triplicate anaerobic, continuous-flow reactors were inoculated with Cr(VI)-contaminated groundwater from the Hanford, WA, 100-H area, amended with lactate, and incubated for 95 days to obtain stable, enriched communities. The reactors were kept anaerobic with N2 gas (9 ml/min) flushing the headspace and were fed a defined medium amended with 30 mM lactate and 0.05 mM sulfate with a 48-h generation time. The resultant diversity decreased from 63 genera within 12 phyla to 11 bacterial genera (from 3 phyla) and 2 archaeal genera (from 1 phylum). Final communities were dominated by Pelosinus spp. and to a lesser degree, Acetobacterium spp., with low levels of other organisms, including methanogens. Four new strains of Pelosinus were isolated, with 3 strains being capable of Cr(VI) reduction while one also reduced U(VI). Under limited sulfate, it appeared that the sulfate reducers, including Desulfovibrio spp., were outcompeted. These results suggest that during times of electron acceptor limitation in situ, organisms such as Pelosinus spp. may outcompete the more-well-studied organisms while maintaining overall metal reduction rates and extents. Finally, lab-scale simulations can test new strategies on a smaller scale while facilitating community member isolation, so that a deeper understanding of community metabolism can be revealed.
PMCID: PMC3302606  PMID: 22267668
25.  Sequencing Intractable DNA to Close Microbial Genomes 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e41295.
Advancement in high throughput DNA sequencing technologies has supported a rapid proliferation of microbial genome sequencing projects, providing the genetic blueprint for in-depth studies. Oftentimes, difficult to sequence regions in microbial genomes are ruled “intractable” resulting in a growing number of genomes with sequence gaps deposited in databases. A procedure was developed to sequence such problematic regions in the “non-contiguous finished” Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ND132 genome (6 intractable gaps) and the Desulfovibrio africanus genome (1 intractable gap). The polynucleotides surrounding each gap formed GC rich secondary structures making the regions refractory to amplification and sequencing. Strand-displacing DNA polymerases used in concert with a novel ramped PCR extension cycle supported amplification and closure of all gap regions in both genomes. The developed procedures support accurate gene annotation, and provide a step-wise method that reduces the effort required for genome finishing.
PMCID: PMC3409199  PMID: 22859974

Results 1-25 (86)