Project description:With its capacity for anaerobic methane oxidation and denitrification, the bacterium Methylomirabilis oxyfera plays an important role in natural ecosystems. Its unique physiology can be exploited for more sustainable wastewater treatment technologies. However, operational stability of full-scale bioreactors can experience setbacks due to, for example, bacteriophage blooms. By shaping microbial communities through mortality, horizontal gene transfer, and metabolic reprogramming, bacteriophages are important players in most ecosystems. Here, we analyzed an infected Methylomirabilis sp. bioreactor enrichment culture using (advanced) electron microscopy, viral metagenomics and bioinformatics. Electron micrographs revealed four different viral morphotypes, one of which was observed to infect Methylomirabilis cells. The infected cells contained densely packed ~55 nm icosahedral bacteriophage particles with a putative internal membrane. Various stages of virion assembly were observed. Moreover, during the bacteriophage replication, the host cytoplasmic membrane appeared extremely patchy, which suggests that the bacteriophages may use host bacterial lipids to build their own putative internal membrane. The viral metagenome contained 1.87 million base pairs of assembled viral sequences, from which five putative complete viral genomes were assembled and manually annotated. Using bioinformatics analyses, we could not identify which viral genome belonged to the Methylomirabilis- infecting bacteriophage, in part because the obtained viral genome sequences were novel and unique to this reactor system. Taken together these results show that new bacteriophages can be detected in anaerobic cultivation systems and that the effect of bacteriophages on the microbial community in these systems is a topic for further study.
Project description:Anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bacteria are a group of strictly anaerobic chemolithoautotrophic microorganisms. They are capable of oxidizing ammonium to nitrogen gas using nitrite as a terminal electron acceptor, thereby facilitating the release of fixed nitrogen into the atmosphere. The anammox process is thought to exert a profound impact on the global nitrogen cycle and has been harnessed as an environment-friendly method for nitrogen removal from wastewater. In this study, we present the first closed genome sequence of an anammox bacterium, Kuenenia stuttgartiensis MBR1. It was obtained through Single-Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing of an enrichment culture constituting a mixture of at least two highly similar Kuenenia strains. The genome of the novel MBR1 strain is different from the previously reported Kuenenia KUST reference genome as it contains numerous structural variations and unique genomic regions. We find new proteins, such as a type 3b (sulf)hydrogenase and an additional copy of the hydrazine synthase gene cluster. Moreover, multiple copies of ammonium transporters and proteins regulating nitrogen uptake were identified, suggesting functional differences in metabolism. This assembly, including the genome-wide methylation profile, provides a new foundation for comparative and functional studies aiming to elucidate the biochemical and metabolic processes of these organisms.
Project description:Virophages replicate within viral factories inside the Acanthamoeba cytoplasm, and decrease the infectivity and replication of their associated giant viruses. Culture isolation and metagenome analyses have suggested that they are common in our environment. By screening metagenomic databases in search of amoebal viruses, we detected virophage-related sequences among sequences generated from the same non-aerated bioreactor metagenome as recently screened by another team for virophage capsid-encoding genes. We describe here the assembled partial genome of a virophage closely related to Zamilon, which infects Acanthamoeba with mimiviruses of lineages B and C but not A. Searches for sequences related to amoebal giant viruses, other Megavirales representatives and virophages were conducted using BLAST against this bioreactor metagenome (PRJNA73603). Comparative genomic and phylogenetic analyses were performed using sequences from previously identified virophages. A total of 72 metagenome contigs generated from the bioreactor were identified as best matching with sequences from Megavirales representatives, mostly Pithovirus sibericum, pandoraviruses and amoebal mimiviruses from three lineages A-C, as well as from virophages. In addition, a partial genome from a Zamilon-like virophage, we named Zamilon 2, was assembled. This genome has a size of 6716 base pairs, corresponding to 39% of the Zamilon genome, and comprises partial or full-length homologs for 15 Zamilon predicted open reading frames (ORFs). Mean nucleotide and amino acid identities for these 15 Zamilon 2 ORFs with their Zamilon counterparts were 89% (range, 81-96%) and 91% (range, 78-99%), respectively. Notably, these ORFs included two encoding a capsid protein and a packaging ATPase. Comparative genomics and phylogenetic analyses indicated that the partial genome was that of a new Zamilon-like virophage. Further studies are needed to gain better knowledge of the tropism and prevalence of virophages in our biosphere and in humans.
Project description:MOTIVATION: Most microbial species can not be cultured in the laboratory. Metagenomic sequencing may still yield a complete genome if the sequenced community is enriched and the sequencing coverage is high. However, the complexity in a natural population may cause the enrichment culture to contain multiple related strains. This diversity can confound existing strict assembly programs and lead to a fragmented assembly, which is unnecessary if we have a related reference genome available that can function as a scaffold. RESULTS: Here, we map short metagenomic sequencing reads from a population of strains to a related reference genome, and compose a genome that captures the consensus of the population's sequences. We show that by iteration of the mapping and assembly procedure, the coverage increases while the similarity with the reference genome decreases. This indicates that the assembly becomes less dependent on the reference genome and approaches the consensus genome of the multi-strain population. CONTACT: email@example.com SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Project description:Anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bacteria are responsible for a significant portion of the loss of fixed nitrogen from the oceans, making them important players in the global nitrogen cycle. To date, marine anammox bacteria found in marine water columns and sediments worldwide belong almost exclusively to the 'Candidatus Scalindua' species, but the molecular basis of their metabolism and competitive fitness is presently unknown. We applied community sequencing of a marine anammox enrichment culture dominated by 'Candidatus Scalindua profunda' to construct a genome assembly, which was subsequently used to analyse the most abundant gene transcripts and proteins. In the S. profunda assembly, 4756 genes were annotated, and only about half of them showed the highest identity to the only other anammox bacterium of which a metagenome assembly had been constructed so far, the freshwater 'Candidatus Kuenenia stuttgartiensis'. In total, 2016 genes of S. profunda could not be matched to the K. stuttgartiensis metagenome assembly at all, and a similar number of genes in K.stuttgartiensis could not be found in S. profunda. Most of these genes did not have a known function but 98 expressed genes could be attributed to oligopeptide transport, amino acid metabolism, use of organic acids and electron transport. On the basis of the S. profunda metagenome, and environmental metagenome data, we observed pronounced differences in the gene organization and expression of important anammox enzymes, such as hydrazine synthase (HzsAB), nitrite reductase (NirS) and inorganic nitrogen transport proteins. Adaptations of Scalindua to the substrate limitation of the ocean may include highly expressed ammonium, nitrite and oligopeptide transport systems and pathways for the transport, oxidation, and assimilation of small organic compounds that may allow a more versatile lifestyle contributing to the competitive fitness of Scalindua in the marine realm.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The human microbiota are complex systems with important roles in our physiological activities and diseases. Sequencing the microbial genomes in the microbiota can help in our interpretation of their activities. The vast majority of the microbes in the microbiota cannot be isolated for individual sequencing. Current metagenomics practices use short-read sequencing to simultaneously sequence a mixture of microbial genomes. However, these results are in ambiguity during genome assembly, leading to unsatisfactory microbial genome completeness and contig continuity. Linked-read sequencing is able to remove some of these ambiguities by attaching the same barcode to the reads from a long DNA fragment (10-100?kb), thus improving metagenome assembly. However, it is not clear how the choices for several parameters in the use of linked-read sequencing affect the assembly quality.<h4>Results</h4>We first examined the effects of read depth (C) on metagenome assembly from linked-reads in simulated data and a mock community. The results showed that C positively correlated with the length of assembled sequences but had little effect on their qualities. The latter observation was corroborated by tests using real data from the human gut microbiome, where C demonstrated minor impact on the sequence quality as well as on the proportion of bins annotated as draft genomes. On the other hand, metagenome assembly quality was susceptible to read depth per fragment (C<sub>R</sub>) and DNA fragment physical depth (C<sub>F</sub>). For the same C, deeper C<sub>R</sub> resulted in more draft genomes while deeper C<sub>F</sub> improved the quality of the draft genomes. We also found that average fragment length (?<sub>FL</sub>) had marginal effect on assemblies, while fragments per partition (N<sub>F/P</sub>) impacted the off-target reads involved in local assembly, namely, lower N<sub>F/P</sub> values would lead to better assemblies by reducing the ambiguities of the off-target reads. In general, the use of linked-reads improved the assembly for contig N50 when compared to Illumina short-reads, but not when compared to PacBio CCS (circular consensus sequencing) long-reads.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We investigated the influence of linked-read sequencing parameters on metagenome assembly comprehensively. While the quality of genome assembly from linked-reads cannot rival that from PacBio CCS long-reads, the case for using linked-read sequencing remains persuasive due to its low cost and high base-quality. Our study revealed that the probable best practice in using linked-reads for metagenome assembly was to merge the linked-reads from multiple libraries, where each had sufficient C<sub>R</sub> but a smaller amount of input DNA. Video Abstract.