TRANSIT--A Software Tool for Himar1 TnSeq Analysis.
ABSTRACT: TnSeq has become a popular technique for determining the essentiality of genomic regions in bacterial organisms. Several methods have been developed to analyze the wealth of data that has been obtained through TnSeq experiments. We developed a tool for analyzing Himar1 TnSeq data called TRANSIT. TRANSIT provides a graphical interface to three different statistical methods for analyzing TnSeq data. These methods cover a variety of approaches capable of identifying essential genes in individual datasets as well as comparative analysis between conditions. We demonstrate the utility of this software by analyzing TnSeq datasets of M. tuberculosis grown on glycerol and cholesterol. We show that TRANSIT can be used to discover genes which have been previously implicated for growth on these carbon sources. TRANSIT is written in Python, and thus can be run on Windows, OSX and Linux platforms. The source code is distributed under the GNU GPL v3 license and can be obtained from the following GitHub repository: https://github.com/mad-lab/transit.
Project description:Coxiella burnetii is a gram-negative obligate intracellular bacterium and the causative agent of human Q fever. The lack of methods to genetically manipulate C. burnetii significantly impedes the study of this organism. We describe here the cloning and characterization of a C. burnetii ftsZ mutant generated by mariner-based Himar1 transposon (Tn) mutagenesis. C. burnetii was coelectroporated with a plasmid encoding the Himar1 C9 transposase variant and a plasmid containing a Himar1 transposon encoding chloramphenicol acetyltransferase, mCherry fluorescent protein, and a ColE1 origin of replication. Vero cells were infected with electroporated C. burnetii and transformants scored as organisms replicating in the presence of chloramphenicol and expressing mCherry. Southern blot analysis revealed multiple transpositions in the C. burnetii genome and rescue cloning identified 30 and 5 insertions in coding and noncoding regions, respectively. Using micromanipulation, a C. burnetii clone was isolated containing a Tn insertion within the C terminus of the cell division gene ftsZ. The ftsZ mutant had a significantly lower growth rate than wild-type bacteria and frequently appeared as filamentous forms displaying incomplete cell division septa. The latter phenotype correlated with a deficiency in generating infectious foci on a per-genome basis compared to wild-type organisms. The mutant FtsZ protein was also unable to bind the essential cell division protein FtsA. This is the first description of C. burnetii harboring a defined gene mutation generated by genetic transformation.
Project description:Mariner family transposable elements are widespread in animals, but their regulation is poorly understood, partly because only two are known to be functional. These are particular copies of the Dmmar1 element from Drosophila mauritiana, for example, Mos1, and the consensus sequence of the Himar1 element from the horn fly, Haematobia irritans. An in vitro transposition system was refined to investigate several parameters that influence the transposition of Himar1. Transposition products accumulated linearly over a period of 6 hr. Transposition frequency increased with temperature and was dependent on Mg2+ concentration. Transposition frequency peaked over a narrow range of transposase concentration. The decline at higher concentrations, a phenomenon observed in vivo with Mos1, supports the suggestion that mariners may be regulated in part by "overproduction inhibition." Transposition frequency decreased exponentially with increasing transposon size and was affected by the sequence of the flanking DNA of the donor site. A noticeable bias in target site usage suggests a preference for insertion into bent or bendable DNA sequences rather than any specific nucleotide sequences beyond the TA target site.
Project description:For decades, identifying the regions of a bacterial chromosome that are necessary for viability has relied on mapping integration sites in libraries of random transposon mutants to find loci that are unable to sustain insertion. To date, these studies have analyzed subsaturated libraries, necessitating the application of statistical methods to estimate the likelihood that a gap in transposon coverage is the result of biological selection and not the stochasticity of insertion. As a result, the essentiality of many genomic features, particularly small ones, could not be reliably assessed. We sought to overcome this limitation by creating a completely saturated transposon library in Mycobacterium tuberculosis In assessing the composition of this highly saturated library by deep sequencing, we discovered that a previously unknown sequence bias of the Himar1 element rendered approximately 9% of potential TA dinucleotide insertion sites less permissible for insertion. We used a hidden Markov model of essentiality that accounted for this unanticipated bias, allowing us to confidently evaluate the essentiality of features that contained as few as 2 TA sites, including open reading frames (ORF), experimentally identified noncoding RNAs, methylation sites, and promoters. In addition, several essential regions that did not correspond to known features were identified, suggesting uncharacterized functions that are necessary for growth. This work provides an authoritative catalog of essential regions of the M. tuberculosis genome and a statistical framework for applying saturating mutagenesis to other bacteria. IMPORTANCE:Sequencing of transposon-insertion mutant libraries has become a widely used tool for probing the functions of genes under various conditions. The Himar1 transposon is generally believed to insert with equal probabilities at all TA dinucleotides, and therefore its absence in a mutant library is taken to indicate biological selection against the corresponding mutant. Through sequencing of a saturated Himar1 library, we found evidence that TA dinucleotides are not equally permissive for insertion. The insertion bias was observed in multiple prokaryotes and influences the statistical interpretation of transposon insertion (TnSeq) data and characterization of essential genomic regions. Using these insights, we analyzed a fully saturated TnSeq library for M. tuberculosis, enabling us to generate a comprehensive catalog of in vitro essentiality, including ORFs smaller than those found in any previous study, small (noncoding) RNAs (sRNAs), promoters, and other genomic features.
Project description:We present here a method for in vivo transposon mutagenesis of a methanogenic archaeon, Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A, which because of its independence from host-specific factors may have broad application among many microorganisms. Because there are no known Methanosarcina transposons we modified the mariner transposable element Himar1, originally found in the insect Hematobia irritans, to allow its use in this organism. This element was chosen because, like other mariner elements, its transposition is independent of host factors, requiring only its cognate transposase. Modified mini-Himar1 elements were constructed that carry selectable markers that are functional in Methanosarcina species and that express the Himar1 transposase from known Methanosarcina promoters. These mini-mariner elements transpose at high frequency in M. acetivorans to random sites in the genome. The presence of an Escherichia coli selectable marker and plasmid origin of replication within the mini-mariner elements allows facile cloning of these transposon insertions to identify the mutated gene. In preliminary experiments, we have isolated numerous mini-mariner-induced M. acetivorans mutants, including ones with insertions that confer resistance to toxic analogs and in genes that encode proteins involved in heat shock, nitrogen fixation, and cell-wall structures.
Project description:Runs of homozygosity (ROH) are important genomic features that manifest when identical-by-descent haplotypes are inherited from parents. Their length distributions and genomic locations are informative about population history and they are useful for mapping recessive loci contributing to both Mendelian and complex disease risk. Here, we present software implementing a model-based method ( Pemberton et al., 2012 ) for inferring ROH in genome-wide SNP datasets that incorporates population-specific parameters and a genotyping error rate as well as provides a length-based classification module to identify biologically interesting classes of ROH. Using simulations, we evaluate the performance of this method.GARLIC is written in C?++. Source code and pre-compiled binaries (Windows, OSX and Linux) are hosted on GitHub ( https://github.com/szpiech/garlic ) under the GNU General Public License version firstname.lastname@example.org.Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Project description:Public transportation agencies are one of the industries that generate a large volume of data on a high frequency and velocity basis. The General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) is one of the datasets these agencies generate and share openly with the public. GTFS feeds contain data for scheduled transit service including stop and route locations, and schedules information. This paper aims to demonstrate the potential of GTFS data, specifically, the paper describes the development of a GTFS data visualization tool that displays spatial and temporal patterns of transit services from which qualitative information and insights can be gained. In this paper, GTFS data from Calgary Transit was used as a case study. Previous studies focused on the development of visualization tools that display transit movement, or static graphical representation of transit operation. However, there is still a need for a dynamic interactive visualization tool that can also measures and displays transit system operation geographically and statistically. This study builds on the previous investigations and further develops a new public transit system operation visualization tool (called PubtraVis) with six visualization modules that reflect on different transit system operational characteristics; mobility, speed, flow, density, headway, and analysis. The user can evaluate two modules side by side for comparative analysis. The analysis module provides an insightful statistical summary and similarity measure and clustering results based on the transit operation characteristics. PubtraVis was tested with real-world users through a user experience study from which it was found to be useful and easy to start using. PubtraVis can be a useful tool to demonstrate the dynamism of transit vehicles from the entire transit network at a glance, and can be used to facilitate communication between transit operators, city authorities, and the general public regarding the public transit planning and operation.
Project description:Burkholderia psedudomallei is the etiologic agent of melioidosis, and the bacterium is listed as a potential agent of bioterrorism because of its low infectious dose, multiple infectious routes, and intrinsic antibiotic resistance. To further accelerate research with this understudied bacterium, we developed a Himar1-based random mutagenesis system for B. pseudomallei (HimarBP). The transposons contain a Flp recombinase-excisable, approved kanamycin resistance selection marker and an R6K origin of replication for transposon rescue. In vivo mutagenesis of virulent B. pseudomallei strain 1026b was highly efficient, with up to 44% of cells transformed with the delivery plasmid harboring chromosomal HimarBP insertions. Southern analyses revealed single insertions with no evidence of delivery plasmid maintenance. Sequence analysis of rescued HimarBP insertions revealed random insertions on both chromosomes within open reading frames and intergenic regions and that the orientation of insertions was largely unbiased. Auxotrophic mutants were obtained at a frequency of 0.72%, and nutritional supplementation experiments supported the functional assignment of genes within the respective biosynthetic pathways. HimarBP insertions were stable in the absence of selection and could be readily transferred between naturally transformable strains. Experiments with B. thailandensis suggest that the newly developed HimarBP transposons can also be used for random mutagenesis of other Burkholderia spp., especially the closely related species B. mallei. Our results demonstrate that comprehensive transposon libraries of B. pseudomallei can be generated, providing additional tools for the study of the biology, pathogenesis, and antibiotic resistance of this pathogen.
Project description:MOTIVATION:Phylogenies are important for fundamental biological research, but also have numerous applications in biotechnology, agriculture and medicine. Finding the optimal tree under the popular maximum likelihood (ML) criterion is known to be NP-hard. Thus, highly optimized and scalable codes are needed to analyze constantly growing empirical datasets. RESULTS:We present RAxML-NG, a from-scratch re-implementation of the established greedy tree search algorithm of RAxML/ExaML. RAxML-NG offers improved accuracy, flexibility, speed, scalability, and usability compared with RAxML/ExaML. On taxon-rich datasets, RAxML-NG typically finds higher-scoring trees than IQTree, an increasingly popular recent tool for ML-based phylogenetic inference (although IQ-Tree shows better stability). Finally, RAxML-NG introduces several new features, such as the detection of terraces in tree space and the recently introduced transfer bootstrap support metric. AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION:The code is available under GNU GPL at https://github.com/amkozlov/raxml-ng. RAxML-NG web service (maintained by Vital-IT) is available at https://raxml-ng.vital-it.ch/. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Project description:The gut microbiome may modulate intestinal immunity by luminal conversion of dietary amino acids to biologically active signals. The model probiotic organism Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC PTA 6475 is indigenous to the human microbiome, and converts the amino acid L-histidine to the biogenic amine, histamine. Histamine suppresses tumor necrosis factor (TNF) production by human myeloid cells and is a product of L-histidine decarboxylation, which is a proton-facilitated reaction. A transposon mutagenesis strategy was developed based on a single-plasmid nisin-inducible Himar1 transposase/transposon delivery system for L. reuteri. A highly conserved proton-chloride antiporter gene (eriC), a gene widely present in the gut microbiome was discovered by Himar1 transposon (Tn)-mutagenesis presented in this study. Genetic inactivation of eriC by transposon insertion and genetic recombineering resulted in reduced ability of L. reuteri to inhibit TNF production by activated human myeloid cells, diminished histamine production by the bacteria and downregulated expression of histidine decarboxylase cluster genes compared to those of WT 6475. EriC belongs to a large family of ion transporters that includes chloride channels and proton-chloride antiporters and may facilitate the availability of protons for the decarboxylation reaction, resulting in histamine production by L. reuteri. This report leverages the tools of bacterial genetics for probiotic gene discovery. The findings highlight the widely conserved nature of ion transporters in bacteria and how ion transporters are coupled with amino acid decarboxylation and contribute to microbiome-mediated immunomodulation.
Project description:Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative, environmental bacterium with versatile metabolic capabilities. P. aeruginosa is an opportunistic bacterial pathogen which establishes chronic pulmonary infections in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The overproduction of a capsular polysaccharide called alginate, also known as mucoidy, promotes the formation of mucoid biofilms which are more resistant than planktonic cells to antibiotic chemotherapy and host defenses. Additionally, the conversion from the nonmucoid to mucoid phenotype is a clinical marker for the onset of chronic infection in CF. Alginate overproduction by P. aeruginosa is an endergonic process which heavily taxes cellular energy. Therefore, alginate production is highly regulated in P. aeruginosa. To better understand alginate regulation, we describe a protocol using the mini-himar1 transposon mutagenesis for the identification of novel alginate regulators in a prototypic strain PAO1. The procedure consists of two basic steps. First, we transferred the mini-himar1 transposon (pFAC) from host E. coli SM10/λpir into recipient P. aeruginosa PAO1 via biparental conjugation to create a high-density insertion mutant library, which were selected on Pseudomonas isolation agar plates supplemented with gentamycin. Secondly, we screened and isolated the mucoid colonies to map the insertion site through inverse PCR using DNA primers pointing outward from the gentamycin cassette and DNA sequencing. Using this protocol, we have identified two novel alginate regulators, mucE (PA4033) and kinB (PA5484), in strain PAO1 with a wild-type mucA encoding the anti-sigma factor MucA for the master alginate regulator AlgU (AlgT, σ(22)). This high-throughput mutagenesis protocol can be modified for the identification of other virulence-related genes causing change in colony morphology.