AbstractFour pathogenic bacterial species of the genus ‘Candidatus Liberibacter’, transmitted by psyllid vectors, have been associated with serious diseases affecting economically important crops of Rutaceae, Apiaceae and Solanaceae families. The most severe disease of citrus plants, huanglongbing (HLB), is associated with ‘Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CaLas), ‘Ca. Liberibacter americanus’ (CaLam) and ‘Ca. Liberibacter africanus’ (CaLaf), while ‘Ca. Liberibacter solanacearum’ (CaLsol) is associated with zebra chip disease in potatoes and vegetative disorders in apiaceous plants. Since these bacteria remain non-culturable and their symptoms are non-specific, their detection and identification are done by molecular methods, mainly based on PCR protocols. In this study, a new quantitative real-time PCR protocol based on TaqMan probe, which can also be performed in a conventional PCR version, has been developed to detect the four known phytopathogenic species of the genus Liberibacter. The new protocol has been validated according to European Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) guidelines and is able to detect CaLas, CaLam, CaLaf and CaLsol in both plants and vectors, not only using purified DNA but also using crude extracts of potato and citrus or psyllids. A comparative analysis with other previously described qPCR protocols revealed that this new one developed in this study is more specific and equally or more sensitive. Thus, other genus-specific qPCR protocols have important drawbacks regarding the lack of specificity, while with the new protocol there was no cross-reactions in 250 samples from 24 different plant and insect species from eight different geographical origins. Therefore, it can be used as a rapid and time-saving screening test, as it allows simultaneous detection of all plant pathogenic species of ‘Ca. Liberibacter’ in a one-step assay.
AbstractCandidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis (CNM) and Hepatozoon spp. are important vector-borne parasites of humans and animals. CNM is a relatively recently discovered pathogen of humans. Hepatozoon are parasites of reptiles, amphibians and mammals, commonly found in rodents and carnivores worldwide. The present study aimed to determine the prevalence of CNM and Hepatozoon spp. in three species of Microtus and to assess the occurrence of vertical transmission in naturally-infected voles. Molecular techniques were used to detect pathogen DNA in blood and tissue samples of captured voles and their offspring. The prevalence of CNM in the vole community ranged 24–47% depending on Microtus species. The DNA of CNM was detected in 21% of pups from three litters of six infected Microtus dams (two Microtus arvalis and one M. oeconomus) and in 3/45 embryos (6.6%) from two litters of eight CNM-infected pregnant females. We detected Hepatozoon infection in 14% of M. arvalis and 9% of M. oeconomus voles. Hepatozoon sp. DNA was detected in 48.7% of pups from seven litters (6 M. arvalis and 1 M. oeconomus) and in two embryos (14.3%) obtained from one M. arvalis litter. The high prevalence of CNM infections in the Microtus spp. community may be a result of a relatively high rate of vertical transmission among naturally infected voles. Vertical transmission was also demonstrated for Hepatozoon sp. in M. arvalis and M. oeconomus. Our study underlines the significance of alternative routes of transmission of important vector-borne pathogens.
“Candidatus Berkiella cookevillensis” (strain CC99) and “Candidatus Berkiella aquae” (strain HT99), belonging to the Coxiellaceae family, are gram-negative bacteria isolated from amoebae in biofilms present in human-constructed water systems. Both bacteria are obligately intracellular, requiring host cells for growth and replication. The intracellular bacteria-containing vacuoles of both bacteria closely associate with or enter the nuclei of their host cells. In this study, we analyzed the genome sequences of CC99 and HT99 to better understand their biology and intracellular lifestyles. The CC99 genome has a size of 2.9Mb (37.9% GC) and contains 2,651 protein-encoding genes (PEGs) while the HT99 genome has a size of 3.6Mb (39.4% GC) and contains 3,238 PEGs. Both bacteria encode high proportions of hypothetical proteins (CC99: 46.5%; HT99: 51.3%). The central metabolic pathways of both bacteria appear largely intact. Genes for enzymes involved in the glycolytic pathway, the non-oxidative branch of the phosphate pathway, the tricarboxylic acid pathway, and the respiratory chain were present. Both bacteria, however, are missing genes for the synthesis of several amino acids, suggesting reliance on their host for amino acids and intermediates. Genes for type I and type IV (dot/icm) secretion systems as well as type IV pili were identified in both bacteria. Moreover, both bacteria contain genes encoding large numbers of putative effector proteins, including several with eukaryotic-like domains such as, ankyrin repeats, tetratricopeptide repeats, and leucine-rich repeats, characteristic of other intracellular bacteria.
AbstractAkkermansiamuciniphila is a human intestinal tract bacterium that plays an important role in the mucus layer renewal. Several studies have demonstrated that it is a modulator for gut homeostasis and a probiotic for human health. The Akkermansia genus contains two species with standing in nomenclature but their genomic diversity remains unclear. In this study, eight new Akkermansia sp. strains were isolated from the human gut. Using the digital DNA-DNA hybridization (dDDH), average nucleotide identity (ANI) and core genome-based phylogenetic analysis applied to 104 A.muciniphila whole genomes sequences, strains were reclassified into three clusters. Cluster I groups A.muciniphila strains (including strain ATCC BAA-835T as type strain), whereas clusters II and III represent two new species. A member of cluster II, strain Marseille-P6666 differed from A.muciniphila strain ATCC BAA-835T and from A.glycaniphila strain PytT in its ability to grow in microaerophilic atmosphere up to 42 °C, to assimilate various carbon sources and to produce acids from a several compounds. The major fatty acids of strain Marseille-P6666 were 12-methyl-tetradecanoic and pentadecanoic acids. The DNA G + C content of strain Marseille-P6666 was 57.8%. On the basis of these properties, we propose the name A.massiliensis sp. nov. for members of cluster II, with strain Marseille-P6666T (= CSUR P6666 = CECT 30548) as type strain. We also propose the name “Candidatus Akkermansia timonensis” sp. nov. for the members of cluster III, which contains only uncultivated strains, strain Akk0196 being the type strain.
’Candidatus Phytoplasma mali’, is a bacterial pathogen associated with the so-called apple proliferation disease in Malus × domestica. The pathogen manipulates its host with a set of effector proteins, among them SAP11CaPm, which shares similarity to SAP11AYWB from ’Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’. SAP11AYWB interacts and destabilizes the class II CIN transcription factors of Arabidopsis thaliana, namely AtTCP4 and AtTCP13 as well as the class II CYC/TB1 transcription factor AtTCP18, also known as BRANCHED1 being an important factor for shoot branching. It has been shown that SAP11CaPm interacts with the Malus × domestica orthologues of AtTCP4 (MdTCP25) and AtTCP13 (MdTCP24), but an interaction with MdTCP16, the orthologue of AtTCP18, has never been proven. The aim of this study was to investigate this potential interaction and close a knowledge gap regarding the function of SAP11CaPm. A Yeast two-hybrid test and Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation in planta revealed that SAP11CaPm interacts with MdTCP16. MdTCP16 is known to play a role in the control of the seasonal growth of perennial plants and an increase of MdTCP16 gene expression has been detected in apple leaves in autumn. In addition to this, MdTCP16 is highly expressed during phytoplasma infection. Binding of MdTCP16 by SAP11CaPm might lead to the induction of shoot proliferation and early bud break, both of which are characteristic symptoms of apple proliferation disease.
AbstractMicrobes in marine sediments play crucial roles in global carbon and nutrient cycling. However, our understanding of microbial diversity and physiology on the ocean floor is limited. Here, we use phylogenomic analyses of thousands of metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) from coastal and deep-sea sediments to identify 55 MAGs that are phylogenetically distinct from previously described bacterial phyla. We propose that these MAGs belong to 4 novel bacterial phyla (Blakebacterota, Orphanbacterota, Arandabacterota, and Joyebacterota) and a previously proposed phylum (AABM5-125-24), all of them within the FCB superphylum. Comparison of their rRNA genes with public databases reveals that these phyla are globally distributed in different habitats, including marine, freshwater, and terrestrial environments. Genomic analyses suggest these organisms are capable of mediating key steps in sedimentary biogeochemistry, including anaerobic degradation of polysaccharides and proteins, and respiration of sulfur and nitrogen. Interestingly, these genomes code for an unusually high proportion (~9% on average, up to 20% per genome) of protein families lacking representatives in public databases. Genes encoding hundreds of these protein families colocalize with genes predicted to be involved in sulfur reduction, nitrogen cycling, energy conservation, and degradation of organic compounds. Our findings advance our understanding of bacterial diversity, the ecological roles of these bacteria, and potential links between novel gene families and metabolic processes in the oceans.
AbstractTrace metals have been an important ingredient for life throughout Earth’s history. Here, we describe the genome-guided cultivation of a member of the elusive archaeal lineage Caldarchaeales (syn. Aigarchaeota), Wolframiiraptor gerlachensis, and its growth dependence on tungsten. A metagenome-assembled genome (MAG) of W. gerlachensis encodes putative tungsten membrane transport systems, as well as pathways for anaerobic oxidation of sugars probably mediated by tungsten-dependent ferredoxin oxidoreductases that are expressed during growth. Catalyzed reporter deposition-fluorescence in-situ hybridization (CARD-FISH) and nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (nanoSIMS) show that W. gerlachensis preferentially assimilates xylose. Phylogenetic analyses of 78 high-quality Wolframiiraptoraceae MAGs from terrestrial and marine hydrothermal systems suggest that tungsten-associated enzymes were present in the last common ancestor of extant Wolframiiraptoraceae. Our observations imply a crucial role for tungsten-dependent metabolism in the origin and evolution of this lineage, and hint at a relic metabolic dependence on this trace metal in early anaerobic thermophiles.
AbstractThe Terrestrial Miscellaneous Euryarchaeota Group has been identified in various environments, and the single genome investigated thus far suggests that these archaea are anaerobic sulfite reducers. We assemble 35 new genomes from this group that, based on genome analysis, appear to possess aerobic and facultative anaerobic lifestyles and may oxidise rather than reduce sulfite. We propose naming this order (representing 16 genera) “Lutacidiplasmatales” due to their occurrence in various acidic environments and placement within the phylum Thermoplasmatota. Phylum-level analysis reveals that Thermoplasmatota evolution had been punctuated by several periods of high levels of novel gene family acquisition. Several essential metabolisms, such as aerobic respiration and acid tolerance, were likely acquired independently by divergent lineages through convergent evolution rather than inherited from a common ancestor. Ultimately, this study describes the terrestrially prevalent Lutacidiciplasmatales and highlights convergent evolution as an important driving force in the evolution of archaeal lineages.
AbstractEleven haplotypes of the bacterium, ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’, have been identified worldwide, several of which infect important agricultural crops. In the United States, haplotypes A and B are associated with yield and quality losses in potato, tomato, and other crops of the Solanaceae. Both haplotypes are vectored by potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli. Recently, a third haplotype, designated F, was identified in southern Oregon potato fields. To identify the vector of this haplotype, psyllids of multiple species were collected from yellow sticky cards placed near potato fields during two growing seasons. Over 2700 specimens were tested for ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ by polymerase chain reaction. Forty-seven psyllids harbored the bacterium. The infected specimens comprised four psyllid species in two families, Aphalaridae and Triozidae (Hemiptera: Psylloidea). Nucleic acid and/or amino acid sequence analysis of the ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ 16S ribosomal RNA, 50S ribosomal proteins L10/L12, and outer membrane protein identified three new haplotypes of the bacterium, designated as Aph1, Aph2 and Aph3, including two variants of Aph2 (Aph2a and Aph2b). The impact of these new haplotypes on solanaceous or other crops is not known. The vector of ‘Ca. L. solanacearum’ haplotype F was not detected in this study.