Project description:Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of most human tuberculosis, infects one third of the world's population and kills an estimated 1.7 million people a year. With the world-wide emergence of drug resistance, and the finding of more functional genetic diversity than previously expected, there is a renewed interest in understanding the forces driving genome evolution of this important pathogen. Genetic diversity in M. tuberculosis is dominated by single nucleotide polymorphisms and small scale gene deletion, with little or no evidence for large scale genome rearrangements seen in other bacteria. Recently, a single report described a large scale genome duplication that was suggested to be specific to the Beijing lineage. We report here multiple independent large-scale duplications of the same genomic region of M. tuberculosis detected through whole-genome sequencing. The duplications occur in strains belonging to both M. tuberculosis lineage 2 and 4, and are thus not limited to Beijing strains. The duplications occur in both drug-resistant and drug susceptible strains. The duplicated regions also have substantially different boundaries in different strains, indicating different originating duplication events. We further identify a smaller segmental duplication of a different genomic region of a lab strain of H37Rv. The presence of multiple independent duplications of the same genomic region suggests either instability in this region, a selective advantage conferred by the duplication, or both. The identified duplications suggest that large-scale gene duplication may be more common in M. tuberculosis than previously considered.
Project description:Tuberculosis remains one of the deadliest infectious diseases of humanity. To better understand the evolutionary history of host-adaptation of tubercle bacilli (MTB), we sought for mycobacterial species that were more closely related to MTB than the previously used comparator species Mycobacterium marinum and Mycobacterium kansasii. Our phylogenomic approach revealed some recently sequenced opportunistic mycobacterial pathogens, Mycobacterium decipiens, Mycobacterium lacus, Mycobacterium riyadhense, and Mycobacterium shinjukuense, to constitute a common clade with MTB, hereafter called MTB-associated phylotype (MTBAP), from which MTB have emerged. Multivariate and clustering analyses of genomic functional content revealed that the MTBAP lineage forms a clearly distinct cluster of species that share common genomic characteristics, such as loss of core genes, shift in dN/dS ratios, and massive expansion of toxin-antitoxin systems. Consistently, analysis of predicted horizontal gene transfer regions suggests that putative functions acquired by MTBAP members were markedly associated with changes in microbial ecology, for example adaption to intracellular stress resistance. Our study thus considerably deepens our view on MTB evolutionary history, unveiling a decisive shift that promoted conversion to host-adaptation among ancestral founders of the MTBAP lineage long before Mycobacterium tuberculosis has adapted to the human host.
Project description:A deeply rooted phylogenetic lineage of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) termed lineage 7 was discovered in Ethiopia. Whole genome sequencing of 30 lineage 7 strains from patients in Ethiopia was performed. Intra-lineage genome variation was defined and unique characteristics identified with a focus on genes involved in DNA repair, recombination and replication (3R genes).More than 800 mutations specific to M. tuberculosis lineage 7 strains were identified. The proportion of non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) in 3R genes was higher after the recent expansion of M. tuberculosis lineage 7 strain started. The proportion of nsSNPs in genes involved in inorganic ion transport and metabolism was significantly higher before the expansion began. A total of 22346 bp deletions were observed. Lineage 7 strains also exhibited a high number of mutations in genes involved in carbohydrate transport and metabolism, transcription, energy production and conversion.We have identified unique genomic signatures of the lineage 7 strains. The high frequency of nsSNP in 3R genes after the phylogenetic expansion may have contributed to recent variability and adaptation. The abundance of mutations in genes involved in inorganic ion transport and metabolism before the expansion period may indicate an adaptive response of lineage 7 strains to enable survival, potentially under environmental stress exposure. As lineage 7 strains originally were phylogenetically deeply rooted, this may indicate fundamental adaptive genomic pathways affecting the fitness of M. tuberculosis as a species.
Project description:Molecular typing of 964 specimens from patients in Ethiopia with lymph node or pulmonary tuberculosis showed a similar distribution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains between the 2 disease manifestations and a minimal role for M. bovis. We report a novel phylogenetic lineage of M. tuberculosis strongly associated with the Horn of Africa.
Project description:Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the most common infectious diseases caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC). To panoramically analyze MTBC's genomic methylation, we completed the genomes of 12 MTBC strains (Mycobacterium bovis; M. bovis BCG; M. microti; M. africanum; M. tuberculosis H37Rv; H37Ra; and 6 M. tuberculosis clinical isolates) belonging to different lineages and characterized their methylomes using single-molecule real-time (SMRT) technology. We identified three (m6)A sequence motifs and their corresponding methyltransferase (MTase) genes, including the reported mamA, hsdM and a newly discovered mamB. We also experimentally verified the methylated motifs and functions of HsdM and MamB. Our analysis indicated the MTase activities varied between 12 strains due to mutations/deletions. Furthermore, through measuring 'the methylated-motif-site ratio' and 'the methylated-read ratio', we explored the methylation status of each modified site and sequence-read to obtain the 'precision methylome' of the MTBC strains, which enabled intricate analysis of MTase activity at whole-genome scale. Most unmodified sites overlapped with transcription-factor binding-regions, which might protect these sites from methylation. Overall, our findings show enormous potential for the SMRT platform to investigate the precise character of methylome, and significantly enhance our understanding of the function of DNA MTase.
Project description:Molecular epidemiological assessments, drug treatment optimization, and development of immunological interventions all depend on understanding pathogen adaptation and genetic variation, which differ for specific pathogens. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an exceptionally successful human pathogen, yet beyond knowledge that this bacterium has low overall genomic variation but acquires drug resistance mutations, little is known of the factors that drive its population genomic characteristics. Here, we compared the genetic diversity of the bacteria that established infection to the bacterial populations obtained from infected tissues during murine M. tuberculosis pulmonary infection and human disseminated M. bovis BCG infection. We found that new mutations accumulate during in vitro culture, but that in vivo, purifying selection against new mutations dominates, indicating that M. tuberculosis follows a dominant lineage model of evolution. Comparing bacterial populations passaged in T cell-deficient and immunocompetent mice, we found that the presence of T cells is associated with an increase in the diversity of the M. tuberculosis genome. Together, our findings put M. tuberculosis genetic evolution in a new perspective and clarify the impact of T cells on sequence diversity of M. tuberculosis.
Project description:The insertion Sequence IS6110, only present in the pathogens of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex (MTBC), has been the gold-standard epidemiological marker for TB for more than 25 years, but biological implications of IS6110 transposition during MTBC adaptation to humans remain elusive. By studying 2,236 clinical isolates typed by IS6110-RFLP and covering the MTBC, we remarked a lineage-specific content of IS6110 being higher in modern globally distributed strains. Once observed the IS6110 distribution in the MTBC, we selected representative isolates and found a correlation between the normalized expression of IS6110 and its abundance in MTBC chromosomes. We also studied the molecular regulation of IS6110 transposition and we found a synergistic action of two post-transcriptional mechanisms: a -1 ribosomal frameshift and a RNA pseudoknot which interferes translation. The construction of a transcriptionally active transposase resulted in 20-fold increase of the transposition frequency. Finally, we examined transposition in M. bovis and M. tuberculosis during laboratory starvation and in a mouse infection model of TB. Our results shown a higher transposition in M. tuberculosis, that preferably happens during TB infection in mice and after one year of laboratory culture, suggesting that IS6110 transposition is dynamically adapted to the host and to adverse growth conditions.
Project description:Tuberculosis (TB) has surpassed HIV as the leading infectious disease killer worldwide since 2014. The main pathogen, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), contains ~4,000 genes that account for ~90% of the genome. However, it is still unclear which of these genes are primary/secondary, which are responsible for generality/individuality, and which interconvert during evolution. Here we utilized a pan-genomic analysis of 36 Mtb genomes to address these questions. We identified 3,679 Mtb core (i.e., primary) genes, determining their phenotypic generality (e.g., virulence, slow growth, dormancy). We also observed 1,122 dispensable and 964 strain-specific secondary genes, reflecting partially shared and lineage-/strain-specific individualities. Among which, five L2 lineage-specific genes might be related to the increased virulence of the L2 lineage. Notably, we discovered 28 Mtb "Super Core Genes" (SCGs: more than a copy in at least 90% strains), which might be of increased importance, and reflected the "super phenotype generality." Most SCGs encode PE/PPE, virulence factors, antigens, and transposases, and have been verified as playing crucial roles in Mtb pathogenicity. Further investigation of the 28 SCGs demonstrated the interconversion among SCGs, single-copy core, dispensable, and strain-specific genes through copy number variations (CNVs) during evolution; different mutations on different copies highlight the delicate adaptive-evolution regulation amongst Mtb lineages. This reflects that the importance of genes varied through CNVs, which might be driven by selective pressure from environment/host-adaptation. In addition, compared with Mycobacterium bovis (Mbo), Mtb possesses 48 specific single core genes that partially reflect the differences between Mtb and Mbo individuality.
Project description:Using 894 phylogenetically diverse genomes of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC), we simulated in silico the ability of the Hain Lifescience GenoType MTBC assay to differentiate the causative agents of tuberculosis. Here, we propose a revised interpretation of this assay to reflect its strengths (e.g., it can distinguish some strains of Mycobacterium canettii and variants of Mycobacterium bovis that are not intrinsically resistant to pyrazinamide) and limitations (e.g., Mycobacterium orygis cannot be differentiated from Mycobacterium africanum).
Project description:Tuberculosis now exceeds HIV as the top infectious disease cause of mortality, and is caused by the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC). MTBC strains have highly conserved genome sequences (similarity >99%) but dramatically different phenotypes. To analyze the relationship between genotype and phenotype, we conducted the comparative genomic analysis on 12 MTBC strains representing different lineages (i.e., Mycobacterium bovis; M. bovis BCG; M. microti; M. africanum; M. tuberculosis H37Rv; M. tuberculosis H37Ra, and six M. tuberculosis clinical isolates). The analysis focused on the three aspects of pathogenicity: host association, virulence, and epitope variations. Host association analysis indicated that eight mce3 genes, two enoyl-CoA hydratases, and five PE/PPE family genes were present only in human isolates; these may have roles in host-pathogen interactions. There were 15 SNPs found on virulence factors (including five SNPs in three ESX secretion proteins) only in the Beijing strains, which might be related to their more virulent phenotype. A comparison between the virulent H37Rv and non-virulent H37Ra strains revealed three SNPs that were likely associated with the virulence attenuation of H37Ra: S219L (PhoP), A219E (MazG) and a newly identified I228M (EspK). Additionally, a comparison of animal-associated MTBC strains showed that the deletion of the first four genes (i.e., pe35, ppe68, esxB, esxA), rather than all eight genes of RD1, might play a central role in the virulence attenuation of animal isolates. Finally, by comparing epitopes among MTBC strains, we found that four epitopes were lost only in the Beijing strains; this may render them better capable of evading the human immune system, leading to enhanced virulence. Overall, our comparative genomic analysis of MTBC strains reveals the relationship between the highly conserved genotypes and the diverse phenotypes of MTBC, provides insight into pathogenic mechanisms, and facilitates the development of potential molecular targets for the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis.