Morphology heterogeneity within a Campylobacter jejuni helical population: the use of calcofluor white to generate rod-shaped C. jejuni 81-176 clones and the genetic determinants responsible for differences in morphology within 11168 strains.
ABSTRACT: Campylobacter jejuni helical shape is important for colonization and host interactions with straight mutants having altered biological properties. Passage on calcofluor white (CFW) resulted in C. jejuni 81-176 isolates with morphology changes: either a straight morphology from frameshift mutations and single nucleotide polymorphisms in peptidoglycan hydrolase genes pgp1 or pgp2 or a reduction in curvature due a frameshift mutation in cjj81176_1105, a putative peptidoglycan endopeptidase. Shape defects were restored by complementation. Whole genome sequencing of CFW-passaged strains showed no specific changes correlating to CFW exposure. The cjj81176_1279 (recR; recombinational DNA repair) and cjj81176_1449 (unknown function) genes were highly variable in all 81-176 strains sequenced. A frameshift mutation in pgp1 of our laboratory isolate of the straight genome sequenced variant of 11168 (11168-GS) was also identified. The PG muropeptide profile of 11168-GS was identical to that of ?pgp1 in the original minimally passaged 11168 strain (11168-O). Introduction of wild type pgp1 into 11168-GS did not restore helical morphology. The recR gene was also highly variable in 11168 strains. Microbial cell-to-cell heterogeneity is proposed as a mechanism of ensuring bacterial survival in sub-optimal conditions. In certain environments, changes in C. jejuni morphology due to genetic heterogeneity may promote C. jejuni survival.
Project description:The impact of bacterial morphology on virulence and transmission attributes of pathogens is poorly understood. The prevalent enteric pathogen Campylobacter jejuni displays a helical shape postulated as important for colonization and host interactions. However, this had not previously been demonstrated experimentally. C. jejuni is thus a good organism for exploring the role of factors modulating helical morphology on pathogenesis. We identified an uncharacterized gene, designated pgp1 (peptidoglycan peptidase 1), in a calcofluor white-based screen to explore cell envelope properties important for C. jejuni virulence and stress survival. Bioinformatics showed that Pgp1 is conserved primarily in curved and helical bacteria. Deletion of pgp1 resulted in a striking, rod-shaped morphology, making pgp1 the first C. jejuni gene shown to be involved in maintenance of C. jejuni cell shape. Pgp1 contributes to key pathogenic and cell envelope phenotypes. In comparison to wild type, the rod-shaped pgp1 mutant was deficient in chick colonization by over three orders of magnitude and elicited enhanced secretion of the chemokine IL-8 in epithelial cell infections. Both the pgp1 mutant and a pgp1 overexpressing strain - which similarly produced straight or kinked cells - exhibited biofilm and motility defects. Detailed peptidoglycan analyses via HPLC and mass spectrometry, as well as Pgp1 enzyme assays, confirmed Pgp1 as a novel peptidoglycan DL-carboxypeptidase cleaving monomeric tripeptides to dipeptides. Peptidoglycan from the pgp1 mutant activated the host cell receptor Nod1 to a greater extent than did that of wild type. This work provides the first link between a C. jejuni gene and morphology, peptidoglycan biosynthesis, and key host- and transmission-related characteristics.
Project description:Despite the importance of Campylobacter jejuni as a pathogen, little is known about the fundamental aspects of its peptidoglycan (PG) structure and factors modulating its helical morphology. A PG dl-carboxypeptidase Pgp1 essential for maintenance of C. jejuni helical shape was recently identified. Bioinformatic analysis revealed the CJJ81176_0915 gene product as co-occurring with Pgp1 in several organisms. Deletion of cjj81176_0915 (renamed pgp2) resulted in straight morphology, representing the second C. jejuni gene affecting cell shape. The PG structure of a ?pgp2 mutant showed an increase in tetrapeptide-containing muropeptides and a complete absence of tripeptides, consistent with ld-carboxypeptidase activity, which was confirmed biochemically. PG analysis of a ?pgp1?pgp2 double mutant demonstrated that Pgp2 activity is required to generate the tripeptide substrate for Pgp1. Loss of pgp2 affected several pathogenic properties; the deletion strain was defective for motility in semisolid agar, biofilm formation, and fluorescence on calcofluor white. ?pgp2 PG also caused decreased stimulation of the human nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 1 (Nod1) proinflammatory mediator in comparison with wild type, as expected from the reduction in muropeptide tripeptides (the primary Nod1 agonist) in the mutant; however, these changes did not alter the ability of the ?pgp2 mutant strain to survive within human epithelial cells or to elicit secretion of IL-8 from epithelial cells after infection. The pgp2 mutant also showed significantly reduced fitness in a chick colonization model. Collectively, these analyses enhance our understanding of C. jejuni PG maturation and help to clarify how PG structure and cell shape impact pathogenic attributes.
Project description:The pathogenic clinical strain NCTC11168 was the first Campylobacter jejuni strain to be sequenced and has been a widely used laboratory model for studying C. jejuni pathogenesis. However, continuous passaging of C. jejuni NCTC11168 has been shown to dramatically affect its colonisation potential. Glycan array analysis was performed on C. jejuni NCTC11168 using the frequently passaged, non-colonising, genome sequenced (11168-GS) and the infrequently passaged, original, virulent (11168-O) isolates grown or maintained under various conditions. Glycan structures recognised and bound by C. jejuni included terminal mannose, N-acetylneuraminic acid, galactose and fucose. Significantly, it was found that only when challenged with normal oxygen at room temperature did 11168-O consistently bind to sialic acid or terminal mannose structures, while 11168-GS bound these structures regardless of growth/maintenance conditions. Further, binding of un-capped galactose and fucosylated structures was significantly reduced when C. jejuni was maintained at 25 degrees C under atmospheric oxygen conditions. These binding differences identified through glycan array analysis were confirmed by the ability of specific lectins to competitively inhibit the adherence of C. jejuni to a Caco-2 intestinal cell line. Our data suggests that the binding of mannose and/or N-acetylneuraminic acid may provide the initial interactions important for colonisation following environmental exposure.
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni is a helix-shaped enteric bacterial pathogen and a common cause of gastroenteritis. We recently developed a mouse model for this human pathogen utilizing the SIGIRR-deficient mouse strain, which exhibits significant intestinal inflammation in response to intestinal C. jejuni infection. In the current study, this mouse model was used to define whether C. jejuni's characteristic helical shape plays a role in its ability to colonize and elicit inflammation in the mouse intestine. Mice were infected with the previously characterized straight-rod ?pgp1 and ?pgp2 mutant strains, along with a newly characterized curved-rod ?1228 mutant strain. We also compared the resultant infections and pathology to those elicited by the helix-shaped wild-type C. jejuni and complemented strains. Despite displaying wild-type colonization of the intestinal lumen, the straight-rod ?pgp1 and ?pgp2 mutants were essentially nonpathogenic, while all strains with a curved or helical shape retained their expected virulence. Furthermore, analysis of C. jejuni localization within the ceca of infected mice determined that the primary difference between the rod-shaped, nonpathogenic mutants and the helix-shaped, pathogenic strains was the ability to colonize intestinal crypts. Rod-shaped mutants appeared unable to colonize intestinal crypts due to an inability to pass through the intestinal mucus layer to directly contact the epithelium. Together, these results support a critical role for C. jejuni's helical morphology in enabling it to traverse and colonize the mucus-filled intestinal crypts of their host, a necessary step required to trigger intestinal inflammation in response to C. jejuni.
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni is a prevalent enteric pathogen that changes morphology from helical to coccoid under unfavorable conditions. Bacterial peptidoglycan maintains cell shape. As C. jejuni transformed from helical to coccoid, peptidoglycan dipeptides increased and tri- and tetrapeptides decreased. The DL-carboxypeptidase Pgp1 important for C. jejuni helical morphology and putative N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanyl amidase AmiA were both involved in the coccoid transition. Mutants in pgp1 and amiA showed reduced coccoid formation, with ∆pgp1∆amiA producing minimal coccoids. Both ∆amiA and ∆amiA∆pgp1 lacked flagella and formed unseparated chains of cells consistent with a role for AmiA in cell separation. All strains accumulated peptidoglycan dipeptides over time, but only strains capable of becoming coccoid displayed tripeptide changes. C. jejuni helical shape and corresponding peptidoglycan structure are important for pathogenesis-related attributes. Concomitantly, changing to a coccoid morphology resulted in differences in pathogenic properties; coccoid C. jejuni were non-motile and non-infectious, with minimal adherence and invasion of epithelial cells and an inability to stimulate IL-8. Coccoid peptidoglycan exhibited reduced activation of innate immune receptors Nod1 and Nod2 versus helical peptidoglycan. C. jejuni also transitioned to coccoid within epithelial cells, so the inability of the immune system to detect coccoid C. jejuni may be significant in its pathogenesis.
Project description:This SuperSeries is composed of the following subset Series: GSE3953: Comparison of NCTC 11168 isolate vs. genome-sequenced variant, microaerobic and anaerobic conditions GSE3954: Genomotyping of 11168-GS vs. 11168-O Abstract: The genome sequence of the enteric bacterial pathogen Campylobacter jejuni NCTC 11168 (11168-GS) was published in 2000, providing a valuable resource for the identification of C. jejuni-specific colonization and virulence factors. Surprisingly, the 11168-GS clone was subsequently found to colonize 1-day-old chicks following oral challenge very poorly compared to other strains. In contrast, we have found that the original clinical isolate from which 11168-GS was derived, 11168-O, is an excellent colonizer of chicks. Other marked phenotypic differences were also identified: 11168-O invaded and translocated through tissue culture cells far more efficiently and rapidly than 11168-GS, was significantly more motile, and displayed a different morphology. Serotyping, multiple high-resolution molecular genotyping procedures, and subtractive hybridization did not yield observable genetic differences between the variants, suggesting that they are clonal. However, microarray transcriptional profiling of these strains under microaerobic and severely oxygen-limited conditions revealed dramatic expression differences for several gene families. Many of the differences were in respiration and metabolism genes and operons, suggesting that adaptation to different oxygen tensions may influence colonization potential. This correlates biologically with our observation that anaerobically priming 11168-GS or aerobically passaging 11168-O caused an increase or decrease, respectively, in colonization compared to the parent strain. Expression differences were also observed for several flagellar genes and other less well-characterized genes that may participate in motility. Targeted sequencing of the sigma factors revealed specific DNA differences undetected by the other genomic methods Refer to individual Series
Project description:Campylobacter jejuni, the most common cause of bacterial diarrhoeal disease, is normally helical. However, it can also adopt straight rod, elongated helical and coccoid forms. Studying how helical morphology is generated, and how it switches between its different forms, is an important objective for understanding this pathogen. Here, we aimed to determine the genetic factors involved in generating the helical shape of Campylobacter. A C. jejuni transposon (Tn) mutant library was screened for non-helical mutants with inconsistent results. Whole genome sequence variation and morphological trends within this Tn library, and in various C. jejuni wild type strains, were compared and correlated to detect genomic elements associated with helical and rod morphologies. All rod-shaped C. jejuni Tn mutants and all rod-shaped laboratory, clinical and environmental C. jejuni and Campylobacter coli contained genetic changes within the pgp1 or pgp2 genes, which encode peptidoglycan modifying enzymes. We therefore confirm the importance of Pgp1 and Pgp2 in the maintenance of helical shape and extended this to a wide range of C. jejuni and C. coli isolates. Genome sequence analysis revealed variation in the sequence and length of homopolymeric tracts found within these genes, providing a potential mechanism of phase variation of cell shape.
Project description:Reference and type strains of well-known bacteria have been a cornerstone of microbiology research for decades. The sharing of well-characterized isolates among laboratories has run in parallel with research efforts and enhanced the reproducibility of experiments, leading to a wealth of knowledge about trait variation in different species and the underlying genetics. Campylobacter jejuni strain NCTC 11168, deposited at the National Collection of Type Cultures in 1977, has been adopted widely as a reference strain by researchers worldwide and was the first Campylobacter for which the complete genome was published (in 2000). In this study, we collected 23 C. jejuni NCTC 11168 reference isolates from laboratories across the UK and compared variation in simple laboratory phenotypes with genetic variation in sequenced genomes. Putatively identical isolates, identified previously to have aberrant phenotypes, varied by up to 281 SNPs (in 15 genes) compared to the most recent reference strain. Isolates also display considerable phenotype variation in motility, morphology, growth at 37?°C, invasion of chicken and human cell lines, and susceptibility to ampicillin. This study provides evidence of ongoing evolutionary change among C. jejuni isolates as they are cultured in different laboratories and highlights the need for careful consideration of genetic variation within laboratory reference strains. This article contains data hosted by Microreact.
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: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.