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1.  Genome Sequence of Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis NCDO 2118, a GABA-Producing Strain 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(5):e00980-14.
Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis NCDO 2118 is a nondairy lactic acid bacterium, a xylose fermenter, and a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) producer isolated from frozen peas. Here, we report the complete genome sequence of L. lactis NCDO 2118, a strain with probiotic potential activity.
doi:10.1128/genomeA.00980-14
PMCID: PMC4183873  PMID: 25278529
2.  Mature Epitope Density - A strategy for target selection based on immunoinformatics and exported prokaryotic proteins 
BMC Genomics  2013;14(Suppl 6):S4.
Background
Current immunological bioinformatic approaches focus on the prediction of allele-specific epitopes capable of triggering immunogenic activity. The prediction of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I epitopes is well studied, and various software solutions exist for this purpose. However, currently available tools do not account for the concentration of epitope products in the mature protein product and its relation to the reliability of target selection.
Results
We developed a computational strategy based on measuring the epitope's concentration in the mature protein, called Mature Epitope Density (MED). Our method, though simple, is capable of identifying promising vaccine targets. Our online software implementation provides a computationally light and reliable analysis of bacterial exoproteins and their potential for vaccines or diagnosis projects against pathogenic organisms. We evaluated our computational approach by using the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) H37Rv exoproteome as a gold standard model. A literature search was carried out on 60 out of 553 Mtb's predicted exoproteins, looking for previous experimental evidence concerning their possible antigenicity. Half of the 60 proteins were classified as highest scored by the MED statistic, while the other half were classified as lowest scored. Among the lowest scored proteins, ~13% were confirmed as not related to antigenicity or not contributing to the bacterial pathogenicity, and 70% of the highest scored proteins were confirmed as related. There was no experimental evidence of antigenic or pathogenic contributions for three of the highest MED-scored Mtb proteins. Hence, these three proteins could represent novel putative vaccine and drug targets for Mtb. A web version of MED is publicly available online at http://med.mmci.uni-saarland.de/.
Conclusions
The software presented here offers a practical and accurate method to identify potential vaccine and diagnosis candidates against pathogenic bacteria by "reading" results from well-established reverse vaccinology software in a novel way, considering the epitope's concentration in the mature portion of the protein.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-S6-S4
PMCID: PMC3908659  PMID: 24564223
3.  Complete Genome Sequences of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis Strains 3/99-5 and 42/02-A, Isolated from Sheep in Scotland and Australia, Respectively 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(17):4736-4737.
Here, we report the whole-genome sequences of two ovine-pathogenic Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis isolates: strain 3/99-5, which represents the first C. pseudotuberculosis genome originating from the United Kingdom, and 42/02-A, the second from Australia. These genome sequences will contribute to the objective of determining the global pan-genome of this bacterium.
doi:10.1128/JB.00918-12
PMCID: PMC3415504  PMID: 22887652
4.  Complete Genome Sequence of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis Strain 1/06-A, Isolated from a Horse in North America 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(16):4476.
Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis causes disease in several animal species, although distinct biovars exist that appear to be restricted to specific hosts. In order to facilitate a better understanding of the differences between biovars, we report here the complete genome sequence of the equine pathogen Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis strain 1/06-A.
doi:10.1128/JB.00922-12
PMCID: PMC3416248  PMID: 22843601
5.  The Pan-Genome of the Animal Pathogen Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis Reveals Differences in Genome Plasticity between the Biovar ovis and equi Strains 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e53818.
Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis is a facultative intracellular pathogen and the causative agent of several infectious and contagious chronic diseases, including caseous lymphadenitis, ulcerative lymphangitis, mastitis, and edematous skin disease, in a broad spectrum of hosts. In addition, Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis infections pose a rising worldwide economic problem in ruminants. The complete genome sequences of 15 C. pseudotuberculosis strains isolated from different hosts and countries were comparatively analyzed using a pan-genomic strategy. Phylogenomic, pan-genomic, core genomic, and singleton analyses revealed close relationships among pathogenic corynebacteria, the clonal-like behavior of C. pseudotuberculosis and slow increases in the sizes of pan-genomes. According to extrapolations based on the pan-genomes, core genomes and singletons, the C. pseudotuberculosis biovar ovis shows a more clonal-like behavior than the C. pseudotuberculosis biovar equi. Most of the variable genes of the biovar ovis strains were acquired in a block through horizontal gene transfer and are highly conserved, whereas the biovar equi strains contain great variability, both intra- and inter-biovar, in the 16 detected pathogenicity islands (PAIs). With respect to the gene content of the PAIs, the most interesting finding is the high similarity of the pilus genes in the biovar ovis strains compared with the great variability of these genes in the biovar equi strains. Concluding, the polymerization of complete pilus structures in biovar ovis could be responsible for a remarkable ability of these strains to spread throughout host tissues and penetrate cells to live intracellularly, in contrast with the biovar equi, which rarely attacks visceral organs. Intracellularly, the biovar ovis strains are expected to have less contact with other organisms than the biovar equi strains, thereby explaining the significant clonal-like behavior of the biovar ovis strains.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053818
PMCID: PMC3544762  PMID: 23342011
6.  The Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis in silico predicted pan-exoproteome 
BMC Genomics  2012;13(Suppl 5):S6.
Background
Pan-genomic studies aim, for instance, at defining the core, dispensable and unique genes within a species. A pan-genomics study for vaccine design tries to assess the best candidates for a vaccine against a specific pathogen. In this context, rather than studying genes predicted to be exported in a single genome, with pan-genomics it is possible to study genes present in different strains within the same species, such as virulence factors. The target organism of this pan-genomic work here presented is Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, the etiologic agent of caseous lymphadenitis (CLA) in goat and sheep, which causes significant economic losses in those herds around the world. Currently, only a few antigens against CLA are known as being the basis of commercial and still ineffective vaccines. In this regard, the here presented work analyses, in silico, five C. pseudotuberculosis genomes and gathers data to predict common exported proteins in all five genomes. These candidates were also compared to two recent C. pseudotuberculosis in vitro exoproteome results.
Results
The complete genome of five C. pseudotuberculosis strains (1002, C231, I19, FRC41 and PAT10) were submitted to pan-genomics analysis, yielding 306, 59 and 12 gene sets, respectively, representing the core, dispensable and unique in silico predicted exported pan-genomes. These sets bear 150 genes classified as secreted (SEC) and 227 as potentially surface exposed (PSE). Our findings suggest that the main C. pseudotuberculosis in vitro exoproteome could be greater, appended by a fraction of the 35 proteins formerly predicted as making part of the variant in vitro exoproteome. These genomes were manually curated for correct methionine initiation and redeposited with a total of 1885 homogenized genes.
Conclusions
The in silico prediction of exported proteins has allowed to define a list of putative vaccine candidate genes present in all five complete C. pseudotuberculosis genomes. Moreover, it has also been possible to define the in silico predicted dispensable and unique C. pseudotuberculosis exported proteins. These results provide in silico evidence to further guide experiments in the areas of vaccines, diagnosis and drugs. The work here presented is the first whole C. pseudotuberculosis in silico predicted pan-exoproteome completed till today.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-S5-S6
PMCID: PMC3476999  PMID: 23095951
7.  A singular value decomposition approach for improved taxonomic classification of biological sequences 
BMC Genomics  2011;12(Suppl 4):S11.
Background
Singular value decomposition (SVD) is a powerful technique for information retrieval; it helps uncover relationships between elements that are not prima facie related. SVD was initially developed to reduce the time needed for information retrieval and analysis of very large data sets in the complex internet environment. Since information retrieval from large-scale genome and proteome data sets has a similar level of complexity, SVD-based methods could also facilitate data analysis in this research area.
Results
We found that SVD applied to amino acid sequences demonstrates relationships and provides a basis for producing clusters and cladograms, demonstrating evolutionary relatedness of species that correlates well with Linnaean taxonomy. The choice of a reasonable number of singular values is crucial for SVD-based studies. We found that fewer singular values are needed to produce biologically significant clusters when SVD is employed. Subsequently, we developed a method to determine the lowest number of singular values and fewest clusters needed to guarantee biological significance; this system was developed and validated by comparison with Linnaean taxonomic classification.
Conclusions
By using SVD, we can reduce uncertainty concerning the appropriate rank value necessary to perform accurate information retrieval analyses. In tests, clusters that we developed with SVD perfectly matched what was expected based on Linnaean taxonomy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-S4-S11
PMCID: PMC3287580  PMID: 22369633
8.  Complete Genome Sequence of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis I19, a Strain Isolated from a Cow in Israel with Bovine Mastitis ▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2010;193(1):323-324.
This work reports the completion and annotation of the genome sequence of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis I19, isolated from an Israeli dairy cow with severe clinical mastitis. To present the whole-genome sequence, a de novo assembly approach using 33 million short (25-bp) mate-paired SOLiD reads only was applied. Furthermore, the automatic, functional, and manual annotations were attained with the use of several algorithms in a multistep process.
doi:10.1128/JB.01211-10
PMCID: PMC3019927  PMID: 21037006
9.  Evidence for Reductive Genome Evolution and Lateral Acquisition of Virulence Functions in Two Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis Strains 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(4):e18551.
Background
Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, a Gram-positive, facultative intracellular pathogen, is the etiologic agent of the disease known as caseous lymphadenitis (CL). CL mainly affects small ruminants, such as goats and sheep; it also causes infections in humans, though rarely. This species is distributed worldwide, but it has the most serious economic impact in Oceania, Africa and South America. Although C. pseudotuberculosis causes major health and productivity problems for livestock, little is known about the molecular basis of its pathogenicity.
Methodology and Findings
We characterized two C. pseudotuberculosis genomes (Cp1002, isolated from goats; and CpC231, isolated from sheep). Analysis of the predicted genomes showed high similarity in genomic architecture, gene content and genetic order. When C. pseudotuberculosis was compared with other Corynebacterium species, it became evident that this pathogenic species has lost numerous genes, resulting in one of the smallest genomes in the genus. Other differences that could be part of the adaptation to pathogenicity include a lower GC content, of about 52%, and a reduced gene repertoire. The C. pseudotuberculosis genome also includes seven putative pathogenicity islands, which contain several classical virulence factors, including genes for fimbrial subunits, adhesion factors, iron uptake and secreted toxins. Additionally, all of the virulence factors in the islands have characteristics that indicate horizontal transfer.
Conclusions
These particular genome characteristics of C. pseudotuberculosis, as well as its acquired virulence factors in pathogenicity islands, provide evidence of its lifestyle and of the pathogenicity pathways used by this pathogen in the infection process. All genomes cited in this study are available in the NCBI Genbank database (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genbank/) under accession numbers CP001809 and CP001829.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018551
PMCID: PMC3078919  PMID: 21533164
10.  A combined approach for comparative exoproteome analysis of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis 
BMC Microbiology  2011;11:12.
Background
Bacterial exported proteins represent key components of the host-pathogen interplay. Hence, we sought to implement a combined approach for characterizing the entire exoproteome of the pathogenic bacterium Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, the etiological agent of caseous lymphadenitis (CLA) in sheep and goats.
Results
An optimized protocol of three-phase partitioning (TPP) was used to obtain the C. pseudotuberculosis exoproteins, and a newly introduced method of data-independent MS acquisition (LC-MSE) was employed for protein identification and label-free quantification. Additionally, the recently developed tool SurfG+ was used for in silico prediction of sub-cellular localization of the identified proteins. In total, 93 different extracellular proteins of C. pseudotuberculosis were identified with high confidence by this strategy; 44 proteins were commonly identified in two different strains, isolated from distinct hosts, then composing a core C. pseudotuberculosis exoproteome. Analysis with the SurfG+ tool showed that more than 75% (70/93) of the identified proteins could be predicted as containing signals for active exportation. Moreover, evidence could be found for probable non-classical export of most of the remaining proteins.
Conclusions
Comparative analyses of the exoproteomes of two C. pseudotuberculosis strains, in addition to comparison with other experimentally determined corynebacterial exoproteomes, were helpful to gain novel insights into the contribution of the exported proteins in the virulence of this bacterium. The results presented here compose the most comprehensive coverage of the exoproteome of a corynebacterial species so far.
doi:10.1186/1471-2180-11-12
PMCID: PMC3025830  PMID: 21241507

Results 1-10 (10)