Whole genome comparisons of serotype 4b and 1/2a strains of the food-borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes reveal new insights into the core genome components of this species.
ABSTRACT: The genomes of three strains of Listeria monocytogenes that have been associated with food-borne illness in the USA were subjected to whole genome comparative analysis. A total of 51, 97 and 69 strain-specific genes were identified in L.monocytogenes strains F2365 (serotype 4b, cheese isolate), F6854 (serotype 1/2a, frankfurter isolate) and H7858 (serotype 4b, meat isolate), respectively. Eighty-three genes were restricted to serotype 1/2a and 51 to serotype 4b strains. These strain- and serotype-specific genes probably contribute to observed differences in pathogenicity, and the ability of the organisms to survive and grow in their respective environmental niches. The serotype 1/2a-specific genes include an operon that encodes the rhamnose biosynthetic pathway that is associated with teichoic acid biosynthesis, as well as operons for five glycosyl transferases and an adenine-specific DNA methyltransferase. A total of 8603 and 105 050 high quality single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were found on the draft genome sequences of strain H7858 and strain F6854, respectively, when compared with strain F2365. Whole genome comparative analyses revealed that the L.monocytogenes genomes are essentially syntenic, with the majority of genomic differences consisting of phage insertions, transposable elements and SNPs.
Project description:Listeria monocytogenes is an opportunistic invasive foodborne pathogen. Here, we performed whole-genome sequencing of L. monocytogenes strain F4244 (serotype 4b) using Illumina sequencing. The sequence showed 94.5% identity with strain F2365, serotype 4b, and 90.6% with EGD-e, serotype 1/2a.
Project description:Listeria monocytogenes is a gram-positive, food-borne pathogen that causes disease in both humans and animals. There are three major genetic lineages of L. monocytogenes and 13 serovars. To further our understanding of the differences that exist between different genetic lineages/serovars of L. monocytogenes, we analyzed the global protein expression of the serotype 1/2a strain EGD and the serotype 4b strain F2365 during early-stationary-phase growth at 37 degrees C. Using multidimensional protein identification technology with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry, we identified 1,754 proteins from EGD and 1,427 proteins from F2365, of which 1,077 were common to both. Analysis of proteins that had significantly altered expression between strains revealed potential biological differences between these two L. monocytogenes strains. In particular, the strains differed in expression of proteins involved in cell wall physiology and flagellar biosynthesis, as well as DNA repair proteins and stress response proteins.
Project description:Listeria monocytogenes is a food-borne pathogen with a clonal population structure and apparently limited gene flow between strains of different lineages. Strains of epidemic clone I (ECI) have been responsible for numerous outbreaks and invariably have DNA that is resistant to digestion by Sau3AI, suggesting methylation of cytosine at GATC sites. A putative restriction-modification (RM) gene cassette has been identified in the genome of the ECI strain F2365 and all other tested ECI strains but is absent from other strains of the same serotype (4b). Homologous RM cassettes have not been reported among L. monocytogenes isolates of other serotypes. Furthermore, conclusive evidence for the involvement of this RM cassette in the Sau3AI resistance phenotype of ECI strains has been lacking. In this study, we describe a highly conserved RM cassette in certain strains of serotypes 1/2a and 4a that have Sau3AI-resistant DNA. In these strains the RM cassette was in the same genomic location as in the ECI reference strain F2365. The cassette included a gene encoding a putative recombinase, suggesting insertion via site-specific recombination. Deletion of the RM cassette in the ECI strain F2365 and the serotype 1/2a strain A7 rendered the DNA of both strains susceptible to Sau3AI digestion, providing conclusive evidence that the cassette includes a gene required for methylation of cytosine at GATC sites in both strains. The findings suggest that, in addition to its presence in ECI strains, this RM cassette and the accompanying genomic DNA methylation is also encountered among selected strains of other lineages.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Listeria monocytogenes is a food-borne pathogen that causes infections with a high-mortality rate and has served as an invaluable model for intracellular parasitism. Here, we report complete genome sequences for two L. monocytogenes strains belonging to serotype 4a (L99) and 4b (CLIP80459), and transcriptomes of representative strains from lineages I, II, and III, thereby permitting in-depth comparison of genome- and transcriptome -based data from three lineages of L. monocytogenes. Lineage III, represented by the 4a L99 genome is known to contain strains less virulent for humans. RESULTS: The genome analysis of the weakly pathogenic L99 serotype 4a provides extensive evidence of virulence gene decay, including loss of several important surface proteins. The 4b CLIP80459 genome, unlike the previously sequenced 4b F2365 genome harbours an intact inlB invasion gene. These lineage I strains are characterized by the lack of prophage genes, as they share only a single prophage locus with other L. monocytogenes genomes 1/2a EGD-e and 4a L99. Comparative transcriptome analysis during intracellular growth uncovered adaptive expression level differences in lineages I, II and III of Listeria, notable amongst which was a strong intracellular induction of flagellar genes in strain 4a L99 compared to the other lineages. Furthermore, extensive differences between strains are manifest at levels of metabolic flux control and phosphorylated sugar uptake. Intriguingly, prophage gene expression was found to be a hallmark of intracellular gene expression. Deletion mutants in the single shared prophage locus of lineage II strain EGD-e 1/2a, the lma operon, revealed severe attenuation of virulence in a murine infection model. CONCLUSION: Comparative genomics and transcriptome analysis of L. monocytogenes strains from three lineages implicate prophage genes in intracellular adaptation and indicate that gene loss and decay may have led to the emergence of attenuated lineages.
Project description:The organic acids lactate and diacetate are commonly used in combination in ready-to-eat foods because they show synergistic ability to inhibit the growth of Listeria monocytogenes. Full-genome microarrays were used to investigate the synergistic transcriptomic responses of two L. monocytogenes strains, H7858 (serotype 4b) and F6854 (serotype 1/2a), to these two organic acids under conditions representing osmotic and cold stress encountered in foods. Strains were exposed to brain heart infusion (BHI) broth at 7°C with 4.65% water-phase (w.p.) NaCl at pH 6.1 with (i) 2% w.p. potassium lactate, (ii) 0.14% w.p. sodium diacetate, (iii) the combination of both at the same levels, or (iv) no organic acids as a control. RNA was extracted 8 h after exposure, during lag phase, to capture gene transcription changes during adaptation to the organic acid stress. Significant differential transcription of 1,041 genes in H7858 and 640 genes in F6854 was observed in at least one pair of the 4 different treatments. The effects of combined treatment with lactate and diacetate included (i) synergistic transcription differences for 474 and 209 genes in H7858 and F6854, respectively, (ii) differential transcription of genes encoding cation transporters and ABC transporters of metals, and (iii) altered metabolism, including induction of a nutrient-limiting stress response, reduction of menaquinone biosynthesis, and a shift from fermentative production of acetate and lactate to energetically less favorable, neutral acetoin. These data suggest that additional treatments that interfere with cellular energy generation processes could more efficiently inhibit the growth of L. monocytogenes.
Project description:Listeria monocytogenes strain F2365 was the first strain representative of serotype 4b (lineage I) to be sequenced in 2004, suggesting it could become the model organism for this serotype, which is associated with most human outbreaks of listeriosis worldwide to date. F2365 itself is an outbreak strain involved in the Mexican-style soft cheese outbreak in California in 1985. In this study we show through phenotypic and transcriptomic analysis that L. monocytogenes strain F2365 has reduced ability to respond to stress due to the absence of a functional σB-dependent stress response system. F2365 shows no B-dependent ability to survive acid or oxidative stress nor B-dependent ability to infect Caco-2 epithelial cell in vitro or guinea pigs in vivo. Therefore, there is substantial evidence that F2365 is an atypical strain and is not a suitable representative of outbreak-associated serotype 4b strains. Independent RNA isolations were performed for F2365 and ΔsigB strains from cells grown to early stationary phase. Three biological replicates were used in competitive whole-genome microarray experiments. For each set of hybridizations, RNA from a L. monocytogenes wildtype strain was hybridized with RNA from its isogenic ΔsigB null mutant.
Project description:Over 90% of the human listeriosis cases are caused by Listeria monocytogenes serotypes 1/2a, 1/2b and 4b strains. As an alternative to antigen-antibody based serotyping, a PCR-based method for serogrouping has been developed and validated. In this communication, we report an in-depth analysis of five 4b variant strains, four clinical isolates from Australia and one environmental isolate from USA. Although these five strains were serotype 4b by classical serotyping method, the serogrouping PCR profiles of these strains show the presence of a 1/2a-3a specific amplicon in addition to the standard 4b-4d-4e specific amplicons. These strains were further analyzed by pulsed field gel electrophoresis, binary gene typing, multi-locus variable-number-tandem-repeat analysis and a high density pan-genomic Listeria microarray. Using these sub-typing results, the clinical isolates were grouped into two distinct genomic groups- one of which could be part of an unidentified outbreak. The microarray results when compared with our database of other 4b outbreak isolates indicated that the serotype 4b variant strains represent very different genotypic profiles than the known reported 4b outbreak strains representing major epidemic clones. The acquisition of serotype 1/2a gene clusters by the 4b variant strains appears to be independent in origin, spanning large areas of geographical and temporal space and may indicate predisposition of some 4b strains towards accepting DNA from related organisms.
Project description:The Gram-positive bacterium Listeria monocytogenes causes a significant percentage of the fatalities among foodborne illnesses in humans. Surface proteins specifically expressed in a wide range of L. monocytogenes serotypes under selective enrichment culture conditions could serve as potential biomarkers for detection and isolation of this pathogen via antibody-based methods. Our study aimed to identify such biomarkers. Interrogation of the L. monocytogenes serotype 4b strain F2365 genome identified 130 putative or known surface proteins. The homologues of four surface proteins, LMOf2365_0578, LMOf2365_0581, LMOf2365_0639, and LMOf2365_2117, were assessed as biomarkers due to the presence of conserved regions among strains of L. monocytogenes which are variable among other Listeria species. Rabbit polyclonal antibodies against the four recombinant proteins revealed the expression of only LMOf2365_0639 on the surface of serotype 4b strain LI0521 cells despite PCR detection of mRNA transcripts for all four proteins in the organism. Three of 35 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to LMOf2365_0639, MAbs M3643, M3644, and M3651, specifically recognized 42 (91.3%) of 46 L. monocytogenes lineage I and II isolates grown in nonselective brain heart infusion medium. While M3644 and M3651 reacted with 14 to 15 (82.4 to 88.2%) of 17 L. monocytogenes lineage I and II isolates, M3643 reacted with 22 (91.7%) of 24 lineage I, II, and III isolates grown in selective enrichment media (UVM1, modified Fraser, Palcam, and UVM2 media). The three MAbs exhibited only weak reactivities (the optical densities at 414 nm were close to the cutoff value) to some other Listeria species grown in selective enrichment media. Collectively, the data indicate the potential of LMOf2365_0639 as a surface biomarker of L. monocytogenes, with the aid of specific MAbs, for pathogen detection, identification, and isolation in clinical, environmental, and food samples.L. monocytogenes is traditionally divided into at least 12 serotypes. Currently, there are no monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) available that are capable of binding to the surface of L. monocytogenes strains representing all 12 serotypes. Such antibodies would be useful and are needed for the development of methods to detect and isolate L. monocytogenes from food samples. In our study, we aimed to identify surface proteins that possess regions of well-conserved amino acid sequences among various serotypes and then to employ them as antigen targets (biomarkers) for the development of MAbs. Through bioinformatics and protein expression analysis, we identified one of the four putative surface protein candidates, LMOf2365_0639, encoded by the genome of the L. monocytogenes serotype 4b strain F2365, as a useful surface biomarker. Extensive assessment of 35 MAbs raised against LMOf2365_0639 in our study revealed three MAbs (M3643, M3644, and M3651) that recognized a wide range of L. monocytogenes isolates.
Project description:A study to determine the attachment of L. monocytogenes serotype 4b strain F2365 on vegetables and fruits was conducted. In an initial study, we screened 32 genes encoding surface proteins and lipases of the strain to find highly expressed genes on lettuce leaves. The results showed that transcription levels of LMOf2365_0413, LMOf2365_0498, LMOf2365_0859, LMOf2365_2052, and LMOf2365_2812 were significantly upregulated on lettuce leaves. In silico analysis showed that LMOf2365_0859 contains a putative cellulose binding domain. Thus, we hypothesized that this gene may be involved in an attachment to vegetables, and named it lcp (gene encoding Listeria cellulose binding protein [LCP]). lcp mutant (?lcp) and lcp complement (F2365::pMAD::cat::lcp) strains were generated by homologous recombination. The abilities of a wild-type (WT) strain, the ?lcp strain, and the complemented strain to attach to lettuce leaves were evaluated, which indicated that the attachment of the ?lcp strain to lettuce was significantly less than that of the WT and the complemented strains. Similar results were observed for baby spinach and cantaloupe. Fluorescence microscopy and field emission scanning microscopy analysis further supported these findings. The binding of L. monocytogenes to cellulose was determined using cellulose acetate-coated plates. The results showed that a binding ability of the ?lcp strain was significantly lower than that of the wild type. Combined, these results strongly suggest that LCP plays an important role in an attachment to vegetables and fruits.
Project description:The prfA-virulence gene cluster (pVGC) is the main pathogenicity island in Listeria monocytogenes, comprising the prfA, plcA, hly, mpl, actA, and plcB genes. In this study, the pVGC of 36 L. monocytogenes isolates with respect to different serotypes (1/2a or 4b), geographical origin (Australia, Greece or Ireland) and isolation source (food-associated or clinical) was characterized. The most conserved genes were prfA and hly, with the lowest nucleotide diversity (?) among all genes (P < 0.05), and the lowest number of alleles, substitutions and non-synonymous substitutions for prfA. Conversely, the most diverse gene was actA, which presented the highest number of alleles (n = 20) and showed the highest nucleotide diversity. Grouping by serotype had a significantly lower ? value (P < 0.0001) compared to isolation source or geographical origin, suggesting a distinct and well-defined unit compared to other groupings. Among all tested genes, only hly and mpl were those with lower nucleotide diversity in 1/2a serotype than 4b serotype, reflecting a high within-1/2a serotype divergence compared to 4b serotype. Geographical divergence was noted with respect to the hly gene, where serotype 4b Irish strains were distinct from Greek and Australian strains. Australian strains showed less diversity in plcB and mpl relative to Irish or Greek strains. Notable differences regarding sequence mutations were identified between food-associated and clinical isolates in prfA, actA, and plcB sequences. Overall, these results indicate that virulence genes follow different evolutionary pathways, which are affected by a strain's origin and serotype and may influence virulence and/or epidemiological dominance of certain subgroups.