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Host-associated genomic features of the novel uncultured intracellular pathogen ca. ichthyocystis revealed by direct sequencing of epitheliocysts


Qi, Weihong; Vaughan, Lloyd; Katharios, Pantelis; Schlapbach, Ralph; Seth-Smith, Helena M B (2016). Host-associated genomic features of the novel uncultured intracellular pathogen ca. ichthyocystis revealed by direct sequencing of epitheliocysts. Genome Biology and Evolution, 8(6):1672-1689.

Abstract

Advances in single-cell and mini-metagenome sequencing have enabled important investigations into uncultured bacteria. In this study, we applied the mini-metagenome sequencing method to assemble genome drafts of the uncultured causative agents of epitheliocystis, an emerging infectious disease in the Mediterranean aquaculture species gilthead seabream. We sequenced multiple cyst samples and constructed 11 genome drafts from a novel beta-proteobacterial lineage, Candidatus Ichthyocystis. The draft genomes demonstrate features typical of pathogenic bacteria with an obligate intracellular lifestyle: a reduced genome of up to 2.6 Mb, reduced G + C content, and reduced metabolic capacity. Reconstruction of metabolic pathways reveals that Ca Ichthyocystis genomes lack all amino acid synthesis pathways, compelling them to scavenge from the fish host. All genomes encode type II, III, and IV secretion systems, a large repertoire of predicted effectors, and a type IV pilus. These are all considered to be virulence factors, required for adherence, invasion, and host manipulation. However, no evidence of lipopolysaccharide synthesis could be found. Beyond the core functions shared within the genus, alignments showed distinction into different species, characterized by alternative large gene families. These comprise up to a third of each genome, appear to have arisen through duplication and diversification, encode many effector proteins, and are seemingly critical for virulence. Thus, Ca Ichthyocystis represents a novel obligatory intracellular pathogenic beta-proteobacterial lineage. The methods used: mini-metagenome analysis and manual annotation, have generated important insights into the lifestyle and evolution of the novel, uncultured pathogens, elucidating many putative virulence factors including an unprecedented array of novel gene families.

Abstract

Advances in single-cell and mini-metagenome sequencing have enabled important investigations into uncultured bacteria. In this study, we applied the mini-metagenome sequencing method to assemble genome drafts of the uncultured causative agents of epitheliocystis, an emerging infectious disease in the Mediterranean aquaculture species gilthead seabream. We sequenced multiple cyst samples and constructed 11 genome drafts from a novel beta-proteobacterial lineage, Candidatus Ichthyocystis. The draft genomes demonstrate features typical of pathogenic bacteria with an obligate intracellular lifestyle: a reduced genome of up to 2.6 Mb, reduced G + C content, and reduced metabolic capacity. Reconstruction of metabolic pathways reveals that Ca Ichthyocystis genomes lack all amino acid synthesis pathways, compelling them to scavenge from the fish host. All genomes encode type II, III, and IV secretion systems, a large repertoire of predicted effectors, and a type IV pilus. These are all considered to be virulence factors, required for adherence, invasion, and host manipulation. However, no evidence of lipopolysaccharide synthesis could be found. Beyond the core functions shared within the genus, alignments showed distinction into different species, characterized by alternative large gene families. These comprise up to a third of each genome, appear to have arisen through duplication and diversification, encode many effector proteins, and are seemingly critical for virulence. Thus, Ca Ichthyocystis represents a novel obligatory intracellular pathogenic beta-proteobacterial lineage. The methods used: mini-metagenome analysis and manual annotation, have generated important insights into the lifestyle and evolution of the novel, uncultured pathogens, elucidating many putative virulence factors including an unprecedented array of novel gene families.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Functional Genomics Center Zurich
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Pathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:13 June 2016
Deposited On:17 Jan 2017 13:23
Last Modified:16 Aug 2017 02:28
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1759-6653
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evw111
PubMed ID:27190004

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