Identification of Campylobacter jejuni ATCC 43431-specific genes by whole microbial genome comparisons.
ABSTRACT: This study describes a novel approach to identify unique genomic DNA sequences from the unsequenced strain C. jejuni ATCC 43431 by comparison with the sequenced strain C. jejuni NCTC 11168. A shotgun DNA microarray was constructed by arraying 9,600 individual DNA fragments from a C. jejuni ATCC 43431 genomic library onto a glass slide. DNA fragments unique to C. jejuni ATCC 43431 were identified by competitive hybridization to the array with genomic DNA of C. jejuni NCTC 11168. The plasmids containing unique DNA fragments were sequenced, allowing the identification of up to 130 complete and incomplete genes. Potential biological roles were assigned to 66% of the unique open reading frames. The mean G+C content of these unique genes (26%) differs significantly from the G+C content of the entire C. jejuni genome (30.6%). This suggests that they may have been acquired through horizontal gene transfer from an organism with a G+C content lower than that of C. jejuni. Because the two C. jejuni strains differ by Penner serotype, a large proportion of the unique ATCC 43431 genes encode proteins involved in lipooligosaccharide and capsular biosynthesis, as expected. Several unique open reading frames encode enzymes which may contribute to genetic variability, i.e., restriction-modification systems and integrases. Interestingly, many of the unique C. jejuni ATCC 43431 genes show identity with a possible pathogenicity island from Helicobacter hepaticus and components of a potential type IV secretion system. In conclusion, this study provides a valuable resource to further investigate Campylobacter diversity and pathogenesis.
Project description:Since the publication of the complete genomic sequence of Campylobacter jejuni NCTC 11168 in February 2000, evidence has been compiling that suggests C. jejuni strains exhibit high genomic diversity. In order to investigate this diversity, the unique genomic DNA sequences from a nonsequenced Campylobacter strain, C. jejuni 81-176, were identified by comparison with C. jejuni NCTC 11168 by using a shotgun DNA microarray approach. Up to 63 kb of new chromosomal DNA sequences unique to this pathogen were obtained. Eighty-six open reading frames were identified by the presence of uninterrupted coding regions encoding a minimum of 40 amino acids. In addition, this study shows that the whole-plasmid shotgun microarray approach is effective and provides a comprehensive coverage of DNA regions that differ between two closely related genomes. The two plasmids harbored by this Campylobacter strain, pTet and pVir, were also sequenced, with coverages of 2.5- and 2.9-fold, respectively, representing 72 and 92% of their complete nucleotide sequences. The unique chromosomal genes encode proteins involved in capsule and lipooligosaccharide biosynthesis, restriction and modification systems, and respiratory metabolism. Several of these unique genes are likely associated with C. jejuni 81-176 fitness and virulence. Interestingly, the comparison of C. jejuni 81-176 unique genes with those of C. jejuni ATCC 43431 revealed a single gene which encodes a probable TraG-like protein. The product of this gene might be associated with the mechanism of C. jejuni invasion into epithelial cells. In conclusion, this study extends the repertoire of C. jejuni genes and thus will permit the construction of a composite and more comprehensive microarray of C. jejuni.
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni GB11, a strain isolated from a patient with Guillain-Barré syndrome, has been shown to be genetically closely related to the completely sequenced strain C. jejuni NCTC 11168 by various molecular typing and serotyping methods. However, we observed that the lipooligosaccharide (LOS) biosynthesis genes strongly diverged between GB11 and NCTC 11168. We sequenced the LOS biosynthesis locus of GB11 and found that it was nearly identical to the class A LOS locus from the C. jejuni HS:19 Penner serotype strain (ATCC 43446). Analysis of the DNA sequencing data showed that a horizontal exchange event involving at least 14.26 kb had occurred in the LOS biosynthesis locus of GB11 between galE (Cj1131c in NCTC 11168) and gmhA (Cj1149 in NCTC 11168). Mass spectrometry of the GB11 LOS showed that GB11 expressed an LOS outer core that mimicked the carbohydrate portion of the gangliosides GM1a and GD1a, similar to C. jejuni ATCC 43446. The serum from the GB11-infected patient was shown to react with the LOS from both GB11 and ATCC 43446 but not with that from NCTC 11168. These data indicate that the antiganglioside response in the GB11-infected patient was raised against the structures synthesized by the acquired class A LOS locus.
Project description:The fastidious nature of the foodborne bacterial pathogen Campylobacter jejuni contrasts with its ability to survive in the food chain. The formation of biofilms, or the integration into existing biofilms by C. jejuni, is thought to contribute to food chain survival. As extracellular DNA (eDNA) has previously been proposed to play a role in C. jejuni biofilms, we have investigated the role of extracellular DNases (eDNases) produced by C. jejuni in biofilm formation. A search of 2791 C. jejuni genomes highlighted that almost half of C. jejuni genomes contains at least one eDNase gene, but only a minority of isolates contains two or three of these eDNase genes, such as C. jejuni strain RM1221 which contains the cje0256, cje0566 and cje1441 eDNase genes. Strain RM1221 did not form biofilms, whereas the eDNase-negative strains NCTC 11168 and 81116 did. Incubation of pre-formed biofilms of NCTC 11168 with live C. jejuni RM1221 or with spent medium from a RM1221 culture resulted in removal of the biofilm. Inactivation of the cje1441 eDNase gene in strain RM1221 restored biofilm formation, and made the mutant unable to degrade biofilms of strain NCTC 11168. Finally, C. jejuni strain RM1221 was able to degrade genomic DNA from C. jejuni NCTC 11168, 81116 and RM1221, whereas strain NCTC 11168 and the RM1221 cje1441 mutant were unable to do so. This was mirrored by an absence of eDNA in overnight cultures of C. jejuni RM1221. This suggests that the activity of eDNases in C. jejuni affects biofilm formation and is not conducive to a biofilm lifestyle. These eDNases do however have a potential role in controlling biofilm formation by C. jejuni strains in food chain relevant environments.
Project description:Campylobacter species are a leading cause of bacterial foodborne illness worldwide. Despite the global efforts to curb them, Campylobacter infections have increased continuously in both developed and developing countries. The development of effective strategies to control the infection by this pathogen is warranted. The essential genes of bacteria are the most prominent targets for this purpose. In this study, we used transposon sequencing (Tn-seq) of a genome-saturating library of Tn5 insertion mutants to define the essential genome of C. jejuni at a high resolution.We constructed a Tn5 mutant library of unprecedented complexity in C. jejuni NCTC 11168 with 95,929 unique insertions throughout the genome and used the genomic DNA of the library for the reconstruction of Tn5 libraries in the same (C. jejuni NCTC 11168) and different strain background (C. jejuni 81-176) through natural transformation. We identified 166 essential protein-coding genes and 20 essential transfer RNAs (tRNA) in C. jejuni NCTC 11168 which were intolerant to Tn5 insertions during in vitro growth. The reconstructed C. jejuni 81-176 library had 384 protein coding genes with no Tn5 insertions. Essential genes in both strain backgrounds were highly enriched in the cluster of orthologous group (COG) categories of 'Translation, ribosomal structure and biogenesis (J)', 'Energy production and conversion (C)', and 'Coenzyme transport and metabolism (H)'.Comparative analysis among this and previous studies identified 50 core essential genes of C. jejuni, which can be further investigated for the development of novel strategies to control the spread of this notorious foodborne bacterial pathogen.
Project description:Campylobacteriosis incited by C. jejuni is a significant enteric disease of human beings. A person working with two reference strains of C. jejuni National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) 11168 developed symptoms of severe enteritis including bloody diarrhea. The worker was determined to be infected by C. jejuni. In excess of 50 isolates were recovered from the worker's stool. All of the recovered isolates and the two reference strains were indistinguishable from each other based on comparative genomic fingerprint subtyping. Whole genome sequence analysis indicated that the worker was infected with a C. jejuni NCTC 11168 obtained from the American Type Culture Collection; this strain (NCTC 11168-GSv) is the genome sequence reference. After passage through the human host, major genetic changes including indel mutations within twelve contingency loci conferring phase variations were detected in the genome of C. jejuni. Specific and robust single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) changes in the human host were also observed in two loci (Cj0144c, Cj1564). In mice inoculated with an isolate of C. jejuni NCTC 11168-GSv from the infected person, the isolate underwent further genetic variation. At nine loci, mutations specific to inoculated mice including five SNP changes were observed. The two predominant SNPs observed in the human host reverted in mice. Genetic variations occurring in the genome of C. jejuni in mice corresponded to increased densities of C. jejuni cells associated with cecal mucosa. In conclusion, C. jejuni NCTC 11168-GSv was found to be highly virulent in a human being inciting severe enteritis. Host-specific mutations in the person with enteritis occurred/were selected for in the genome of C. jejuni, and many were not maintained in mice. Information obtained in the current study provides new information on host-specific genetic adaptation by C. jejuni.
Project description:Conjugation is an important mechanism for horizontal gene transfer in Campylobacter jejuni, the leading cause of human bacterial gastroenteritis in developed countries. However, to date, the factors that significantly influence conjugation efficiency in Campylobacter spp. are still largely unknown. Given that multiple recombinant loci could independently occur within one recipient cell during natural transformation, the genetic materials from a high-frequency conjugation (HFC) C. jejuni strain may be cotransformed with a selection marker into a low-frequency conjugation (LFC) recipient strain, creating new HFC transformants suitable for the identification of conjugation factors using a comparative genomics approach. To test this, an erythromycin resistance selection marker was created in an HFC C. jejuni strain; subsequently, the DNA of this strain was naturally transformed into NCTC 11168, an LFC C. jejuni strain, leading to the isolation of NCTC 11168-derived HFC transformants. Whole-genome sequencing analysis and subsequent site-directed mutagenesis identified Cj1051c, a putative restriction-modification enzyme (aka CjeI) that could drastically reduce the conjugation efficiency of NCTC 11168 (>5,000-fold). Chromosomal complementation of three diverse HFC C. jejuni strains with CjeI also led to a dramatic reduction in conjugation efficiency (?1,000-fold). The purified recombinant CjeI could effectively digest the Escherichia coli-derived shuttle vector pRY107. The endonuclease activity of CjeI was abolished upon short heat shock treatment at 50°C, which is consistent with our previous observation that heat shock enhanced conjugation efficiency in C. jejuni Together, in this study, we successfully developed and utilized a unique cotransformation strategy to identify a restriction-modification enzyme that significantly influences conjugation efficiency in C. jejuni IMPORTANCE Conjugation is an important horizontal gene transfer mechanism contributing to the evolution of bacterial pathogenesis and antimicrobial resistance. Campylobacter jejuni, the leading foodborne bacterial organism, displays significant strain diversity due to horizontal gene transfer; however, the molecular components influencing conjugation efficiency in C. jejuni are still largely unknown. In this study, we developed a cotransformation strategy for comparative genomics analysis and successfully identified a restriction-modification enzyme that significantly influences conjugation efficiency in C. jejuni The new cotransformation strategy developed in this study is also expected to be broadly applied in other naturally competent bacteria for functional comparative genomics research.
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni has been divided into two subspecies: C. jejuni subsp. jejuni (Cjj) and C. jejuni subsp. doylei (Cjd). Nearly all of the C. jejuni strains isolated are Cjj; nevertheless, although Cjd strains are isolated infrequently, they differ from Cjj in two key aspects: they are obtained primarily from human clinical samples and are associated often with bacteremia, in addition to gastroenteritis. In this study, we utilized multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and a DNA microarray-based comparative genomic indexing (CGI) approach to examine the genomic diversity and gene content of Cjd strains.A geographically diverse collection of eight Cjd strains was examined by MLST and determined to be phylogenetically distinct from Cjj strains. Microarray-based CGI approach also supported this. We were able to demonstrate that Cjd strains exhibited divergence from Cjj strains NCTC 11168 and RM1221 in many of the intraspecies hypervariable regions. Moreover, multiple metabolic, transport and virulence functions (e.g. cytolethal distending toxin) were shown to be absent in the Cjd strains examined.Our data demonstrate that Cjd are phylogenetically distinct from Cjj strains. Using the CGI approach, we identified subsets of absent genes from amongst the C. jejuni genes that provide clues as to the potential evolutionary origin and unusual pathogenicity of Cjd.
Project description:Human Campylobacter jejuni infection can result in an asymptomatic carrier state, watery or bloody diarrhea, bacteremia, meningitis, or autoimmune neurological sequelae. Infection outcomes of C57BL/6 IL-10(-/-) mice orally infected with twenty-two phylogenetically diverse C. jejuni strains were evaluated to correlate colonization and disease phenotypes with genetic composition of the strains. Variation between strains was observed in colonization, timing of development of clinical signs, and occurrence of enteric lesions. Five pathotypes of C. jejuni in C57BL/6 IL-10(-/-) mice were delineated: little or no colonization, colonization without disease, colonization with enteritis, colonization with hemorrhagic enteritis, and colonization with neurological signs with or without enteritis. Virulence gene content of ten sequenced strains was compared in silico; virulence gene content of twelve additional strains was compared using a C. jejuni pan-genome microarray. Neither total nor virulence gene content predicted pathotype; nor was pathotype correlated with multilocus sequence type. Each strain was unique with regard to absences of known virulence-related loci and/or possession of point mutations and indels, including phase variation, in virulence-related genes. An experiment in C. jejuni 11168-infected germ-free mice showed that expression levels of ninety open reading frames (ORFs) were significantly up- or down-regulated in the mouse cecum at least two-fold compared to in vitro growth. Genomic content of these ninety C. jejuni 11168 ORFs was significantly correlated with the capacity to colonize and cause enteritis in C57BL/6 IL-10(-/-) mice. Differences in gene expression levels and patterns are thus an important determinant of pathotype in C. jejuni strains in this mouse model.
Project description:The species Campylobacter jejuni is naturally competent for DNA uptake; nevertheless, nonnaturally transformable strains do exist. For a subset of strains we previously showed that a periplasmic DNase, encoded by dns, inhibits natural transformation in C. jejuni. In the present study, genetic factors coding for DNase activity in absence of dns were identified. DNA arrays indicated that nonnaturally transformable dns-negative strains contain putative DNA/RNA non-specific endonucleases encoded by CJE0566 and CJE1441 of strain RM1221. These genes are located on C. jejuni integrated element 2 and 4. Expression of CJE0566 and CJE1441 from strain RM1221 and a homologous gene from strain 07479 in DNase-negative Escherichia coli and C. jejuni strains indicated that these genes code for DNases. Genetic transfer of the genes to a naturally transformable C. jejuni strain resulted in a decreased efficiency of natural transformation. Modelling suggests that the C. jejuni DNases belong to the Serratia nuclease family. Overall, the data indicate that the acquisition of prophage encoded DNA/RNA non-specific endonucleases inhibits the natural transformability of C. jejuni through hydrolysis of DNA. Overall design: The genomic diversity of 15 naturally competent or nonnaturally transformable Campylobacter jejuni strains were examined by microarray-based comparative genomic indexing (CGI) analysis. The CGI analysis allowed the assessment of CDS content for each C. jejuni strain relative to the C. jejuni DNA microarray, which comprises ORFs from strains NCTC 11168, RM1221. ORFs were spotted in duplicate. Genomic DNA from strains NCTC 11168/RM1221 were used as a reference DNA and competitively hybridized with genomic DNA from each of the other C. jejuni strains. Two replicates for each strain were performed. Data normalization was performed as in Parker et al. J Clin Microbiol 2006, 44(11):4125-4135.
Project description:The circular pVir plasmid of Campylobacter jejuni strain 81-176 was determined to be 37,468 nucleotides in length with a G+C content of 26%. A total of 83% of the plasmid represented coding information, and all but 2 of the 54 predicted open reading frames were encoded on the same DNA strand. There were seven genes on the plasmid in a continguous region of 8.9 kb that encoded orthologs of type IV secretion proteins found in Helicobacter pylori, including four that have been described previously (D. J. Bacon, R. A. Alm, D. H. Burr, L. Hu, D. J. Kopecko, C. P. Ewing, T. J. Trust, and P. Guerry, Infect. Immun. 68:4384-4390, 2000). There were seven other pVir-encoded proteins that showed significant similarities to proteins encoded by the plasticity zones of either H. pylori J99 or 26695. Mutational analyses of 19 plasmid genes identified 5 additional genes that affect in vitro invasion of intestinal epithelial cells. These included one additional gene encoding a component of a type IV secretion system, an ortholog of Cj0041 from the chromosome of C. jejuni NCTC 11168, two Campylobacter plasmid-specific genes, and an ortholog of HP0996 from the plasticity zone of H. pylori 26695.