Publications

Abstract (Expand)

The advent of novel sequencing techniques has unraveled a tremendous diversity on Earth. Genomic data allow us to understand ecology and function of organisms that we would not otherwise know existed. However, major methodological challenges remain, in particular for multicellular organisms with large genomes. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are important plant symbionts with cryptic and complex multicellular life cycles, thus representing a suitable model system for method development. Here, we report a novel method for large scale, unbiased nuclear sorting, sequencing, and de novo assembling of AM fungal genomes. After comparative analyses of three assembly workflows we discuss how sequence data from single nuclei can best be used for different downstream analyses such as phylogenomics and comparative genomics of single nuclei. Based on analysis of completeness, we conclude that comprehensive de novo genome assemblies can be produced from six to seven nuclei. The method is highly applicable for a broad range of taxa, and will greatly improve our ability to study multicellular eukaryotes with complex life cycles.

Authors: M. Montoliu-Nerin, M. Sanchez-Garcia, C. Bergin, M. Grabherr, B. Ellis, V. E. Kutschera, M. Kierczak, H. Johannesson, A. Rosling

Date Published: 28th Jan 2020

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Polyploidization entailing the merger of two distinct genomes in a single hybrid organism, is an important process in plant evolution and a valuable tool in breeding programs. Newly established hybrids often experience massive genomic perturbations, including karyotype reshuffling and gene expression modifications. These phenomena may be asymmetric with respect to the two progenitors, with one of the parental genomes being “dominant.” Such “genome dominance” can manifest in several ways, including biased homoeolog gene expression and expression level dominance. Here we employed a k‐mer–based approach to study gene expression in reciprocal Festuca pratensis Huds. × Lolium multiflorum Lam. allopolyploid grasses. Our study revealed significantly more genes where expression mimicked that of the Lolium parent compared with the Festuca parent. This genome dominance was heritable to successive generation and its direction was only slightly modified by environmental conditions and plant age. Our results suggest that Lolium genome dominance was at least partially caused by its more efficient trans‐acting gene expression regulatory factors. Unraveling the mechanisms responsible for propagation of parent‐specific traits in hybrid crops contributes to our understanding of allopolyploid genome evolution and opens a way to targeted breeding strategies.

Authors: Marek Glombik, Dario Copetti, Jan Bartos, Stepan Stoces, Zbigniew Zwierzykowski, Tom Ruttink, Jonathan F. Wendel, Martin Duchoslav, Jaroslav Dolezel, Bruno Studer, David Kopecky

Date Published: 4th Aug 2021

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

A major source of pseudomonad-specialized metabolites is the nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) assembling siderophores and lipopeptides. Cyclic lipopeptides (CLPs) of the Mycin and Peptin families are frequently associated with, but not restricted to, phytopathogenic species. We conducted an in silico analysis of the NRPSs encoded by lipopeptide biosynthetic gene clusters in nonpathogenic Pseudomonas genomes, covering 13 chemically diversified families. This global assessment of lipopeptide production capacity revealed it to be confined to the Pseudomonas fluorescens lineage, with most strains synthesizing a single type of CLP. Whereas certain lipopeptide families are specific for a taxonomic subgroup, others are found in distant groups. NRPS activation domain-guided peptide predictions enabled reliable family assignments, including identification of novel members. Focusing on the two most abundant lipopeptide families (Viscosin and Amphisin), a portion of their uncharted diversity was mapped, including characterization of two novel Amphisin family members (nepenthesin and oakridgin). Using NMR fingerprint matching, known Viscosin-family lipopeptides were identified in 15 (type) species spread across different taxonomic groups. A bifurcate genomic organization predominates among Viscosin-family producers and typifies Xantholysin-, Entolysin-, and Poaeamide-family producers but most families feature a single NRPS gene cluster embedded between cognate regulator and transporter genes. The strong correlation observed between NRPS system phylogeny and rpoD-based taxonomic affiliation indicates that much of the structural diversity is linked to speciation, providing few indications of horizontal gene transfer. The grouping of most NRPS systems in four superfamilies based on activation domain homology suggests extensive module dynamics driven by domain deletions, duplications, and exchanges. IMPORTANCE Pseudomonas species are prominent producers of lipopeptides that support proliferation in a multitude of environments and foster varied lifestyles. By genome mining of biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) with lipopeptide-specific organization, we mapped the global Pseudomonas lipopeptidome and linked its staggering diversity to taxonomy of the producers, belonging to different groups within the major Pseudomonas fluorescens lineage. Activation domain phylogeny of newly mined lipopeptide synthetases combined with previously characterized enzymes enabled assignment of predicted BGC products to specific lipopeptide families. In addition, novel peptide sequences were detected, showing the value of substrate specificity analysis for prioritization of BGCs for further characterization. NMR fingerprint matching proved an excellent tool to unequivocally identify multiple lipopeptides bioinformatically assigned to the Viscosin family, by far the most abundant one in Pseudomonas and with stereochemistry of all its current members elucidated. In-depth analysis of activation domains provided insight into mechanisms driving lipopeptide structural diversification.

Authors: C. Cesa-Luna, N. Geudens, L. Girard, V. De Roo, H. R. Maklad, J. C. Martins, M. Hofte, R. De Mot

Date Published: 23rd Feb 2023

Publication Type: Journal

Abstract (Expand)

Pseudomonas lipopeptides (LPs) are involved in diverse ecological functions and have biotechnological application potential associated with their antimicrobial and/or antiproliferative activities. They are synthesized by multimodular nonribosomal peptide synthetases which, together with transport and regulatory proteins, are encoded by large biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs). These secondary metabolites are classified in distinct families based on the sequence and length of the oligopeptide and size of the macrocycle, if present. The phylogeny of PleB, the MacB-like transporter that is part of a dedicated ATP-dependent tripartite efflux system driving export of Pseudomonas LPs, revealed a strong correlation with LP chemical diversity. As each LP BGC carries its cognate pleB, PleB is suitable as a diagnostic sequence for genome mining, allowing assignment of the putative metabolite to a particular LP family. In addition, pleB proved to be a suitable target gene for an alternative PCR method for detecting LP-producing Pseudomonas sp. and did not rely on amplification of catalytic domains of the biosynthetic enzymes. Combined with amplicon sequencing, this approach enabled typing of Pseudomonas strains as potential producers of a LP belonging to one of the known LP families, underscoring its value for strain prioritization. This finding was validated by chemical characterization of known LPs from three different families secreted by novel producers isolated from the rice or maize rhizosphere, namely, the type strains of Pseudomonas fulva (putisolvin), Pseudomonas zeae (tensin), and Pseudomonas xantholysinigenes (xantholysin). In addition, a new member of the Bananamide family, prosekin, was discovered in the type strain of Pseudomonas prosekii, which is an Antarctic isolate. IMPORTANCE Pseudomonas spp. are ubiquitous bacteria able to thrive in a wide range of ecological niches, and lipopeptides often support their lifestyle but also their interaction with other micro- and macro-organisms. Therefore, the production of lipopeptides is widespread among Pseudomonas strains. Consequently, Pseudomonas lipopeptide research not only affects chemists and microbiologists but also touches a much broader audience, including biochemists, ecologists, and plant biologists. In this study, we present a reliable transporter gene-guided approach for the detection and/or typing of Pseudomonas lipopeptide producers. Indeed, it allows us to readily assess the lipopeptide diversity among sets of Pseudomonas isolates and differentiate strains likely to produce known lipopeptides from producers of potentially novel lipopeptides. This work provides a valuable tool that can also be integrated in a genome mining strategy and adapted for the typing of other specialized metabolites.

Authors: L. Girard, N. Geudens, B. Pauwels, M. Hofte, J. C. Martins, R. De Mot

Date Published: 25th Jan 2022

Publication Type: Journal

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