Publications by authors named "Thomas Bekel"

31 Publications

MetaSAMS--a novel software platform for taxonomic classification, functional annotation and comparative analysis of metagenome datasets.

J Biotechnol 2013 Aug 29;167(2):156-65. Epub 2012 Sep 29.

Institute for Bioinformatics-IfB, Center for Biotechnology-CeBiTec, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.

Metagenomics aims at exploring microbial communities concerning their composition and functioning. Application of high-throughput sequencing technologies for the analysis of environmental DNA-preparations can generate large sets of metagenome sequence data which have to be analyzed by means of bioinformatics tools to unveil the taxonomic composition of the analyzed community as well as the repertoire of genes and gene functions. A bioinformatics software platform is required that allows the automated taxonomic and functional analysis and interpretation of metagenome datasets without manual effort. To address current demands in metagenome data analyses, the novel platform MetaSAMS was developed. MetaSAMS automatically accomplishes the tasks necessary for analyzing the composition and functional repertoire of a given microbial community from metagenome sequence data by implementing two software pipelines: (i) the first pipeline consists of three different classifiers performing the taxonomic profiling of metagenome sequences and (ii) the second functional pipeline accomplishes region predictions on assembled contigs and assigns functional information to predicted coding sequences. Moreover, MetaSAMS provides tools for statistical and comparative analyses based on the taxonomic and functional annotations. The capabilities of MetaSAMS are demonstrated for two metagenome datasets obtained from a biogas-producing microbial community of a production-scale biogas plant. The MetaSAMS web interface is available at https://metasams.cebitec.uni-bielefeld.de.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2012.09.013DOI Listing
August 2013

ESTs library from embryonic stages reveals tubulin and reflectin diversity in Sepia officinalis (Mollusca — Cephalopoda).

Gene 2012 May;498(2):203-11

Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (MNHN), Département Milieux et Peuplements Aquatiques (DMPA), UMR Biologie des ORganismes et Ecosystèmes Aquatiques (BOREA), MNHN, CNRS 7208, IRD 207, UPMC. Paris, France.

New molecular resources regarding the so-called “non-standard models” in biology extend the present knowledge and are essential for molecular evolution and diversity studies (especially during the development) and evolutionary inferences about these zoological groups, or more practically for their fruitful management. Sepia officinalis, an economically important cephalopod species, is emerging as a new lophotrochozoan developmental model. We developed a large set of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from embryonic stages of S. officinalis, yielding 19,780 non-redundant sequences (NRS). Around 75% of these sequences have no homologs in existing available databases. This set is the first developmental ESTs library in cephalopods. By exploring these NRS for tubulin, a generic protein family, and reflectin, a cephalopod specific protein family,we point out for both families a striking molecular diversity in S. officinalis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2012.01.100DOI Listing
May 2012

Unraveling the Chinese hamster ovary cell line transcriptome by next-generation sequencing.

J Biotechnol 2011 Dec 17;156(3):227-35. Epub 2011 Sep 17.

Centrum für Biotechnologie, Universität Bielefeld, 33594 Bielefeld, Germany.

The pyrosequencing technology from 454 Life Sciences and a novel assembly approach for cDNA sequences with the Newbler Assembler were used to achieve a major step forward to unravel the transcriptome of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Normalized cDNA libraries originating from several cell lines and diverse culture conditions were sequenced and the resulting 1.84 million reads were assembled into 32,801 contiguous sequences, 29,184 isotigs, and 24,576 isogroups. A taxonomic classification of the isotigs showed that more than 70% of the assembled data is most similar to the transcriptome of Mus musculus, with most of the remaining isotigs being homologous to DNA sequences from Rattus norvegicus. Mapping of the CHO cell line contigs to the mouse transcriptome demonstrated that 9124 mouse transcripts, representing 6701 genes, are covered by more than 95% of their sequence length. Metabolic pathways of the central carbohydrate metabolism and biosynthesis routes of sugars used for protein N-glycosylation were reconstructed from the transcriptome data. All relevant genes representing major steps in the N-glycosylation pathway of CHO cells were detected. The present manuscript represents a data set of assembled and annotated genes for CHO cells that can now be used for a detailed analysis of the molecular functioning of CHO cell lines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2011.09.014DOI Listing
December 2011

Deep sequencing of naupliar-, cyprid- and adult-specific normalised Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) libraries of the acorn barnacle Balanus amphitrite.

Biofouling 2011 Apr;27(4):367-74

School of Marine Science and Technology, Ridley Building, Newcastle University, UK.

In order to improve the genetic characterisation of the barnacle Balanus amphitrite, normalised EST libraries for the developmental stages, viz. nauplius (a mix of instars I and II), cyprid and adult, were generated. The libraries were sequenced independently using 454 technologies and 575,666 reads were generated. For adults, 4843 unique isotigs were estimated and 6754 and 7506 in the cyprid and naupliar stage, respectively. It was found that some of the previously proposed cyprid-specific bcs genes were also expressed during the naupliar and adult stage. Furthermore, as lectins have been hypothesised to influence settlement cue recognition in barnacles, the database was searched for lectin-like isotigs. Two proteins, uniquely expressed in either the cyprid or the adult stage, matched a mannose receptor, and their nucleotide sequences were 33% and 31% identical to a lectin (BRA-3) isolated from Megabalanus rosa. Further characterisation of these genes may suggest their involvement in settlement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08927014.2011.577211DOI Listing
April 2011

The complete genome sequence of the dominant Sinorhizobium meliloti field isolate SM11 extends the S. meliloti pan-genome.

J Biotechnol 2011 Aug 17;155(1):20-33. Epub 2011 Mar 17.

Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec), Bielefeld University, Institute for Genome Research and Systems Biology, Universitätsstr. 27, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany.

Isolates of the symbiotic nitrogen-fixing species Sinorhizobium meliloti usually contain a chromosome and two large megaplasmids encoding functions that are absolutely required for the specific interaction of the microsymbiont with corresponding host plants leading to an effective symbiosis. The complete genome sequence, including the megaplasmids pSmeSM11c (related to pSymA) and pSmeSM11d (related to pSymB), was established for the dominant, indigenous S. meliloti strain SM11 that had been isolated during a long-term field release experiment with genetically modified S. meliloti strains. The chromosome, the largest replicon of S. meliloti SM11, is 3,908,022bp in size and codes for 3785 predicted protein coding sequences. The size of megaplasmid pSmeSM11c is 1,633,319bp and it contains 1760 predicted protein coding sequences whereas megaplasmid pSmeSM11d is 1,632,395bp in size and comprises 1548 predicted coding sequences. The gene content of the SM11 chromosome is quite similar to that of the reference strain S. meliloti Rm1021. Comparison of pSmeSM11c to pSymA of the reference strain revealed that many gene regions of these replicons are variable, supporting the assessment that pSymA is a major hot-spot for intra-specific differentiation. Plasmids pSymA and pSmeSM11c both encode unique genes. Large gene regions of pSmeSM11c are closely related to corresponding parts of Sinorhizobium medicae WSM419 plasmids. Moreover, pSmeSM11c encodes further novel gene regions, e.g. additional plasmid survival genes (partition, mobilisation and conjugative transfer genes), acdS encoding 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate deaminase involved in modulation of the phytohormone ethylene level and genes having predicted functions in degradative capabilities, stress response, amino acid metabolism and associated pathways. In contrast to Rm1021 pSymA and pSmeSM11c, megaplasmid pSymB of strain Rm1021 and pSmeSM11d are highly conserved showing extensive synteny with only few rearrangements. Most remarkably, pSmeSM11b contains a new gene cluster predicted to be involved in polysaccharide biosynthesis. Compilation of the S. meliloti SM11 genome sequence contributes to an extension of the S. meliloti pan-genome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2010.12.018DOI Listing
August 2011

Comparative and joint analysis of two metagenomic datasets from a biogas fermenter obtained by 454-pyrosequencing.

PLoS One 2011 Jan 26;6(1):e14519. Epub 2011 Jan 26.

Computational Genomics, Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec), Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.

Biogas production from renewable resources is attracting increased attention as an alternative energy source due to the limited availability of traditional fossil fuels. Many countries are promoting the use of alternative energy sources for sustainable energy production. In this study, a metagenome from a production-scale biogas fermenter was analysed employing Roche's GS FLX Titanium technology and compared to a previous dataset obtained from the same community DNA sample that was sequenced on the GS FLX platform. Taxonomic profiling based on 16S rRNA-specific sequences and an Environmental Gene Tag (EGT) analysis employing CARMA demonstrated that both approaches benefit from the longer read lengths obtained on the Titanium platform. Results confirmed Clostridia as the most prevalent taxonomic class, whereas species of the order Methanomicrobiales are dominant among methanogenic Archaea. However, the analyses also identified additional taxa that were missed by the previous study, including members of the genera Streptococcus, Acetivibrio, Garciella, Tissierella, and Gelria, which might also play a role in the fermentation process leading to the formation of methane. Taking advantage of the CARMA feature to correlate taxonomic information of sequences with their assigned functions, it appeared that Firmicutes, followed by Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria, dominate within the functional context of polysaccharide degradation whereas Methanomicrobiales represent the most abundant taxonomic group responsible for methane production. Clostridia is the most important class involved in the reductive CoA pathway (Wood-Ljungdahl pathway) that is characteristic for acetogenesis. Based on binning of 16S rRNA-specific sequences allocated to the dominant genus Methanoculleus, it could be shown that this genus is represented by several different species. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences placed them in close proximity to the hydrogenotrophic methanogen Methanoculleus bourgensis. While rarefaction analyses still indicate incomplete coverage, examination of the GS FLX Titanium dataset resulted in the identification of additional genera and functional elements, providing a far more complete coverage of the community involved in anaerobic fermentative pathways leading to methane formation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0014519PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3027613PMC
January 2011

Transcriptome sequencing and comparative transcriptome analysis of the scleroglucan producer Sclerotium rolfsii.

BMC Genomics 2010 May 26;11:329. Epub 2010 May 26.

Chair of Chemistry of Biogenic Resources, Straubing Centre of Science, Technische Universität München, Schulgasse 16, 94315 Straubing, Germany.

Background: The plant pathogenic basidiomycete Sclerotium rolfsii produces the industrially exploited exopolysaccharide scleroglucan, a polymer that consists of (1 --> 3)-beta-linked glucose with a (1 --> 6)-beta-glycosyl branch on every third unit. Although the physicochemical properties of scleroglucan are well understood, almost nothing is known about the genetics of scleroglucan biosynthesis. Similarly, the biosynthetic pathway of oxalate, the main by-product during scleroglucan production, has not been elucidated yet. In order to provide a basis for genetic and metabolic engineering approaches, we studied scleroglucan and oxalate biosynthesis in S. rolfsii using different transcriptomic approaches.

Results: Two S. rolfsii transcriptomes obtained from scleroglucan-producing and scleroglucan-nonproducing conditions were pooled and sequenced using the 454 pyrosequencing technique yielding approximately 350,000 reads. These could be assembled into 21,937 contigs and 171,833 singletons, for which 6,951 had significant matches in public protein data bases. Sequence data were used to obtain first insights into the genomics of scleroglucan and oxalate production and to predict putative proteins involved in the synthesis of both metabolites. Using comparative transcriptomics, namely Agilent microarray hybridization and suppression subtractive hybridization, we identified approximately 800 unigenes which are differently expressed under scleroglucan-producing and non-producing conditions. From these, candidate genes were identified which could represent potential leads for targeted modification of the S. rolfsii metabolism for increased scleroglucan yields.

Conclusions: The results presented in this paper provide for the first time genomic and transcriptomic data about S. rolfsii and demonstrate the power and usefulness of combined transcriptome sequencing and comparative microarray analysis. The data obtained allowed us to predict the biosynthetic pathways of scleroglucan and oxalate synthesis and to identify important genes putatively involved in determining scleroglucan yields. Moreover, our data establish the first sequence database for S. rolfsii, which allows research into other biological processes of S. rolfsii, such as host-pathogen interaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-11-329DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2887420PMC
May 2010

Complete genome sequence and lifestyle of black-pigmented Corynebacterium aurimucosum ATCC 700975 (formerly C. nigricans CN-1) isolated from a vaginal swab of a woman with spontaneous abortion.

BMC Genomics 2010 Feb 5;11:91. Epub 2010 Feb 5.

Institut für Genomforschung und Systembiologie, Centrum für Biotechnologie, Universität Bielefeld, Universitätsstrasse 27, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany.

Background: Corynebacterium aurimucosum is a slightly yellowish, non-lipophilic, facultative anaerobic member of the genus Corynebacterium and predominantly isolated from human clinical specimens. Unusual black-pigmented variants of C. aurimucosum (originally named as C. nigricans) continue to be recovered from the female urogenital tract and they are associated with complications during pregnancy. C. aurimucosum ATCC 700975 (C. nigricans CN-1) was originally isolated from a vaginal swab of a 34-year-old woman who experienced a spontaneous abortion during month six of pregnancy. For a better understanding of the physiology and lifestyle of this potential urogenital pathogen, the complete genome sequence of C. aurimucosum ATCC 700975 was determined.

Results: Sequencing and assembly of the C. aurimucosum ATCC 700975 genome yielded a circular chromosome of 2,790,189 bp in size and the 29,037-bp plasmid pET44827. Specific gene sets associated with the central metabolism of C. aurimucosum apparently provide enhanced metabolic flexibility and adaptability in aerobic, anaerobic and low-pH environments, including gene clusters for the uptake and degradation of aromatic amines, L-histidine and L-tartrate as well as a gene region for the formation of selenocysteine and its incorporation into formate dehydrogenase. Plasmid pET44827 codes for a non-ribosomal peptide synthetase that plays the pivotal role in the synthesis of the characteristic black pigment of C. aurimucosum ATCC 700975.

Conclusions: The data obtained by the genome project suggest that C. aurimucosum could be both a resident of the human gut and possibly a pathogen in the female genital tract causing complications during pregnancy. Since hitherto all black-pigmented C. aurimucosum strains have been recovered from female genital source, biosynthesis of the pigment is apparently required for colonization by protecting the bacterial cells against the high hydrogen peroxide concentration in the vaginal environment. The location of the corresponding genes on plasmid pET44827 explains why black-pigmented (formerly C. nigricans) and non-pigmented C. aurimucosum strains were isolated from clinical specimens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-11-91DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2830990PMC
February 2010

Visualizing post genomics data-sets on customized pathway maps by ProMeTra-aeration-dependent gene expression and metabolism of Corynebacterium glutamicum as an example.

BMC Syst Biol 2009 Aug 23;3:82. Epub 2009 Aug 23.

Computational Genomics, Center for Biotechnology, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.

Background: The rapid progress of post-genomic analyses, such as transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics has resulted in the generation of large amounts of quantitative data covering and connecting the complete cascade from genotype to phenotype for individual organisms. Various benefits can be achieved when these "Omics" data are integrated, such as the identification of unknown gene functions or the elucidation of regulatory networks of whole organisms. In order to be able to obtain deeper insights in the generated datasets, it is of utmost importance to present the data to the researcher in an intuitive, integrated, and knowledge-based environment. Therefore, various visualization paradigms have been established during the last years. The visualization of "Omics" data using metabolic pathway maps is intuitive and has been applied in various software tools. It has become obvious that the application of web-based and user driven software tools has great potential and benefits from the use of open and standardized formats for the description of pathways.

Results: In order to combine datasets from heterogeneous "Omics" sources, we present the web-based ProMeTra system that visualizes and combines datasets from transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics on user defined metabolic pathway maps. Therefore, structured exchange of data with our "Omics" applications Emma 2, Qupe and MeltDB is employed. Enriched SVG images or animations are generated and can be obtained via the user friendly web interface. To demonstrate the functionality of ProMeTra, we use quantitative data obtained during a fermentation experiment of the L-lysine producing strain Corynebacterium glutamicum DM1730. During fermentation, oxygen supply was switched off in order to perturb the system and observe its reaction. At six different time points, transcript abundances, intracellular metabolite pools, as well as extracellular glucose, lactate, and L-lysine levels were determined.

Conclusion: The interpretation and visualization of the results of this complex experiment was facilitated by the ProMeTra software. Both transcriptome and metabolome data were visualized on a metabolic pathway map. Visual inspection of the combined data confirmed existing knowledge but also delivered novel correlations that are of potential biotechnological importance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1752-0509-3-82DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2744654PMC
August 2009

Construction of an adult barnacle (Balanus amphitrite) cDNA library and selection of reference genes for quantitative RT-PCR studies.

BMC Mol Biol 2009 Jun 24;10:62. Epub 2009 Jun 24.

School of Marine Science and Technology, Ridley Building, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, UK.

Background: Balanus amphitrite is a barnacle commonly used in biofouling research. Although many aspects of its biology have been elucidated, the lack of genetic information is impeding a molecular understanding of its life cycle. As part of a wider multidisciplinary approach to reveal the biogenic cues influencing barnacle settlement and metamorphosis, we have sequenced and annotated the first cDNA library for B. amphitrite. We also present a systematic validation of potential reference genes for normalization of quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) data obtained from different developmental stages of this animal.

Results: We generated a cDNA library containing expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from adult B. amphitrite. A total of 609 unique sequences (comprising 79 assembled clusters and 530 singlets) were derived from 905 reliable unidirectionally sequenced ESTs. Bioinformatics tools such as BLAST, HMMer and InterPro were employed to allow functional annotation of the ESTs. Based on these analyses, we selected 11 genes to study their ability to normalize qRT-PCR data. Total RNA extracted from 7 developmental stages was reverse transcribed and the expression stability of the selected genes was compared using geNorm, BestKeeper and NormFinder. These software programs produced highly comparable results, with the most stable gene being mt-cyb, while tuba, tubb and cp1 were clearly unsuitable for data normalization.

Conclusion: The collection of B. amphitrite ESTs and their annotation has been made publically available representing an important resource for both basic and applied research on this species. We developed a qRT-PCR assay to determine the most reliable reference genes. Transcripts encoding cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 were expressed most stably, although other genes also performed well and could prove useful to normalize gene expression studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2199-10-62DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2713238PMC
June 2009

Phylogenetic characterization of a biogas plant microbial community integrating clone library 16S-rDNA sequences and metagenome sequence data obtained by 454-pyrosequencing.

J Biotechnol 2009 Jun 27;142(1):38-49. Epub 2009 Feb 27.

Institut für Genomforschung und Systembiologie, Centrum für Biotechnology (CeBiTec), Universität Bielefeld, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany.

The phylogenetic structure of the microbial community residing in a fermentation sample from a production-scale biogas plant fed with maize silage, green rye and liquid manure was analysed by an integrated approach using clone library sequences and metagenome sequence data obtained by 454-pyrosequencing. Sequencing of 109 clones from a bacterial and an archaeal 16S-rDNA amplicon library revealed that the obtained nucleotide sequences are similar but not identical to 16S-rDNA database sequences derived from different anaerobic environments including digestors and bioreactors. Most of the bacterial 16S-rDNA sequences could be assigned to the phylum Firmicutes with the most abundant class Clostridia and to the class Bacteroidetes, whereas most archaeal 16S-rDNA sequences cluster close to the methanogen Methanoculleus bourgensis. Further sequences of the archaeal library most probably represent so far non-characterised species within the genus Methanoculleus. A similar result derived from phylogenetic analysis of mcrA clone sequences. The mcrA gene product encodes the alpha-subunit of methyl-coenzyme-M reductase involved in the final step of methanogenesis. BLASTn analysis applying stringent settings resulted in assignment of 16S-rDNA metagenome sequence reads to 62 16S-rDNA amplicon sequences thus enabling frequency of abundance estimations for 16S-rDNA clone library sequences. Ribosomal Database Project (RDP) Classifier processing of metagenome 16S-rDNA reads revealed abundance of the phyla Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Euryarchaeota and the orders Clostridiales, Bacteroidales and Methanomicrobiales. Moreover, a large fraction of 16S-rDNA metagenome reads could not be assigned to lower taxonomic ranks, demonstrating that numerous microorganisms in the analysed fermentation sample of the biogas plant are still unclassified or unknown.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2009.02.010DOI Listing
June 2009

The Sequence Analysis and Management System -- SAMS-2.0: data management and sequence analysis adapted to changing requirements from traditional sanger sequencing to ultrafast sequencing technologies.

J Biotechnol 2009 Mar;140(1-2):3-12

Computational Genomics, Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec), Universität Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany.

DNA sequencing plays a more and more important role in various fields of genetics. This includes sequencing of whole genomes, libraries of cDNA clones and probes of metagenome communities. The applied sequencing technologies evolve permanently. With the emergence of ultrafast sequencing technologies, a new era of DNA sequencing has recently started. Concurrently, the needs for adapted bioinformatics tools arise. Since the ability to process current datasets efficiently is essential for modern genetics, a modular bioinformatics platform providing extensive sequence analysis methods, is designated to achieve well the constantly growing requirements. The Sequence Analysis and Management System (SAMS) is a bioinformatics software platform with a database backend designed to support the computational analysis of (1) whole genome shotgun (WGS) bacterial genome sequencing, (2) cDNA sequencing by reading expressed sequence tags (ESTs) as well as (3) sequence data obtained by ultrafast sequencing. It provides extensive bioinformatics analysis of sequenced single reads, sequencing libraries and fragments of arbitrary DNA sequences such as assembled contigs of metagenome reads for instance. The system has been implemented to cope with several thousands of sequences, efficiently processing them and storing the results for further analysis. With the project setup, SAMS automatically recognizes the data type.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2009.01.006DOI Listing
March 2009

TRUNCATULIX--a data warehouse for the legume community.

BMC Plant Biol 2009 Feb 11;9:19. Epub 2009 Feb 11.

Bioinformatics Resource Facility, Center for Biotechnology, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.

Background: Databases for either sequence, annotation, or microarray experiments data are extremely beneficial to the research community, as they centrally gather information from experiments performed by different scientists. However, data from different sources develop their full capacities only when combined. The idea of a data warehouse directly adresses this problem and solves it by integrating all required data into one single database - hence there are already many data warehouses available to genetics. For the model legume Medicago truncatula, there is currently no such single data warehouse that integrates all freely available gene sequences, the corresponding gene expression data, and annotation information. Thus, we created the data warehouse TRUNCATULIX, an integrative database of Medicago truncatula sequence and expression data.

Results: The TRUNCATULIX data warehouse integrates five public databases for gene sequences, and gene annotations, as well as a database for microarray expression data covering raw data, normalized datasets, and complete expression profiling experiments. It can be accessed via an AJAX-based web interface using a standard web browser. For the first time, users can now quickly search for specific genes and gene expression data in a huge database based on high-quality annotations. The results can be exported as Excel, HTML, or as csv files for further usage.

Conclusion: The integration of sequence, annotation, and gene expression data from several Medicago truncatula databases in TRUNCATULIX provides the legume community with access to data and data mining capability not previously available. TRUNCATULIX is freely available at http://www.cebitec.uni-bielefeld.de/truncatulix/.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2229-9-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2654896PMC
February 2009

The metagenome of a biogas-producing microbial community of a production-scale biogas plant fermenter analysed by the 454-pyrosequencing technology.

J Biotechnol 2008 Aug 27;136(1-2):77-90. Epub 2008 May 27.

Lehrstuhl für Genetik, Universität Bielefeld, D-33594 Bielefeld, Germany.

Composition and gene content of a biogas-producing microbial community from a production-scale biogas plant fed with renewable primary products was analysed by means of a metagenomic approach applying the ultrafast 454-pyrosequencing technology. Sequencing of isolated total community DNA on a Genome Sequencer FLX System resulted in 616,072 reads with an average read length of 230 bases accounting for 141,664,289 bases sequence information. Assignment of obtained single reads to COG (Clusters of Orthologous Groups of proteins) categories revealed a genetic profile characteristic for an anaerobic microbial consortium conducting fermentative metabolic pathways. Assembly of single reads resulted in the formation of 8752 contigs larger than 500 bases in size. Contigs longer than 10kb mainly encode house-keeping proteins, e.g. DNA polymerase, recombinase, DNA ligase, sigma factor RpoD and genes involved in sugar and amino acid metabolism. A significant portion of contigs was allocated to the genome sequence of the archaeal methanogen Methanoculleus marisnigri JR1. Mapping of single reads to the M. marisnigri JR1 genome revealed that approximately 64% of the reference genome including methanogenesis gene regions are deeply covered. These results suggest that species related to those of the genus Methanoculleus play a dominant role in methanogenesis in the analysed fermentation sample. Moreover, assignment of numerous contig sequences to clostridial genomes including gene regions for cellulolytic functions indicates that clostridia are important for hydrolysis of cellulosic plant biomass in the biogas fermenter under study. Metagenome sequence data from a biogas-producing microbial community residing in a fermenter of a biogas plant provide the basis for a rational approach to improve the biotechnological process of biogas production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2008.05.008DOI Listing
August 2008

Insight into the plasmid metagenome of wastewater treatment plant bacteria showing reduced susceptibility to antimicrobial drugs analysed by the 454-pyrosequencing technology.

J Biotechnol 2008 Aug 10;136(1-2):54-64. Epub 2008 Jun 10.

Department of Genetics, Bielefeld University, Postfach 100131, D-33501 Bielefeld, Germany.

Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are a reservoir for bacteria harbouring antibiotic resistance plasmids. To get a comprehensive overview on the plasmid metagenome of WWTP bacteria showing reduced susceptibility to certain antimicrobial drugs an ultrafast sequencing approach applying the 454-technology was carried out. One run on the GS 20 System yielded 346,427 reads with an average read length of 104 bases resulting in a total of 36,071,493 bases sequence data. The obtained plasmid metagenome was analysed and functionally annotated by means of the Sequence Analysis and Management System (SAMS) software package. Known plasmid genes could be identified within the WWTP plasmid metagenome data set by BLAST searches using the NCBI Plasmid Database. Most abundant hits represent genes involved in plasmid replication, stability, mobility and transposition. Mapping of plasmid metagenome reads to completely sequenced plasmids revealed that many sequences could be assigned to the cryptic pAsa plasmids previously identified in Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida and to the accessory modules of the conjugative IncU resistance plasmid pFBAOT6 of Aeromonas punctata. Matches of sequence reads to antibiotic resistance genes indicate that plasmids from WWTP bacteria encode resistances to all major classes of antimicrobial drugs. Plasmid metagenome sequence reads could be assembled into 605 contigs with a minimum length of 500 bases. Contigs predominantly encode plasmid survival functions and transposition enzymes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2008.03.020DOI Listing
August 2008

Comparative genomic hybridisation and ultrafast pyrosequencing revealed remarkable differences between the Sinorhizobium meliloti genomes of the model strain Rm1021 and the field isolate SM11.

J Biotechnol 2008 Aug 9;136(1-2):31-7. Epub 2008 May 9.

Fakultät für Biologie, Lehrstuhl für Genetik, Universität Bielefeld, Postfach 100131, D-33501 Bielefeld, Germany.

Genomic variation between the Sinorhizobium meliloti model strain Rm1021 and the field isolate SM11 was assessed by using the genome-wide S. meliloti Rm1021 Sm6k-oligonucleotide microarray in a comparative genomic hybridisation experiment. Several gene clusters present in the Rm1021 genome are missing in the SM11 genome. In detail, three missing gene clusters were identified for the chromosome, five for megaplasmid pSymA and two for megaplasmid pSymB. To confirm these hybridisation results, the draft genome sequence of the S. meliloti field isolate SM11 was established by 454-pyrosequencing. Three sequencing runs on the ultrafast Genome Sequencer 20 System yielded 112.5 million bases. These could be assembled into 905 larger contigs resulting in a nearly 15-fold coverage of the 7.1Mb SM11 genome. The missing gene regions identified by comparative genomic hybridisation could be confirmed by the results of the 454-sequencing project. An in-depth analysis of these gene regions resulted in the following findings: (i) a complete type I restriction/modification system encoded by a composite transposon is absent in the chromosome of strain SM11. (ii) Most of the Rm1021 denitrification genes and the complete siderophore biosynthesis operon were found to be missing on SM11 megaplasmid pSymA. (iii) S. meliloti SM11 megaplasmid pSymB lacks a complete cell surface carbohydrate synthesis gene cluster. (iv) Several genes that are absent in the SM11 genome could be assigned to insertion sequences and transposons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2008.04.014DOI Listing
August 2008

The lifestyle of Corynebacterium urealyticum derived from its complete genome sequence established by pyrosequencing.

J Biotechnol 2008 Aug 10;136(1-2):11-21. Epub 2008 Mar 10.

Institut für Genomforschung und Systembiologie, Centrum für Biotechnologie, Universität Bielefeld, Universitätsstrasse 25, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany.

Corynebacterium urealyticum is a lipid-requiring, urealytic bacterium of the human skin flora that has been recognized as causative agent of urinary tract infections. We report the analysis of the complete genome sequence of C. urealyticum DSM7109, which was initially recovered from a patient with alkaline-encrusted cystitis. The genome sequence was determined by a combination of pyrosequencing and Sanger technology. The chromosome of C. urealyticum DSM7109 has a size of 2,369,219bp and contains 2024 predicted coding sequences, of which 78% were considered as orthologous with genes in the Corynebacterium jeikeium K411 genome. Metabolic analysis of the lipid-requiring phenotype revealed the absence of a fatty acid synthase gene and the presence of a beta-oxidation pathway along with a large repertoire of auxillary genes for the degradation of exogenous fatty acids. A urease locus with the gene order ureABCEFGD may play a pivotal role in virulence of C. urealyticum by the alkalinization of human urine and the formation of struvite stones. Multidrug resistance of C. urealyticum DSM7109 is mediated by transposable elements, conferring resistances to macrolides, lincosamides, ketolides, aminoglycosides, chloramphenicol, and tetracycline. The complete genome sequence of C. urealyticum revealed a detailed picture of the lifestyle of this opportunistic human pathogen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2008.02.009DOI Listing
August 2008

The genome of Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris B100 and its use for the reconstruction of metabolic pathways involved in xanthan biosynthesis.

J Biotechnol 2008 Mar 20;134(1-2):33-45. Epub 2008 Jan 20.

Universität Bielefeld, Biologie VI (Genetik), Universitätsstr. 25, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany.

The complete genome sequence of the Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris strain B100 was established. It consisted of a chromosome of 5,079,003bp, with 4471 protein-coding genes and 62 RNA genes. Comparative genomics showed that the genes required for the synthesis of xanthan and xanthan precursors were highly conserved among three sequenced X. campestris pv. campestris genomes, but differed noticeably when compared to the remaining four Xanthomonas genomes available. For the xanthan biosynthesis genes gumB and gumK earlier translational starts were proposed, while gumI and gumL turned out to be unique with no homologues beyond the Xanthomonas genomes sequenced. From the genomic data the biosynthesis pathways for the production of the exopolysaccharide xanthan could be elucidated. The first step of this process is the uptake of sugars serving as carbon and energy sources wherefore genes for 15 carbohydrate import systems could be identified. Metabolic pathways playing a role for xanthan biosynthesis could be deduced from the annotated genome. These reconstructed pathways concerned the storage and metabolization of the imported sugars. The recognized sugar utilization pathways included the Entner-Doudoroff and the pentose phosphate pathway as well as the Embden-Meyerhof pathway (glycolysis). The reconstruction indicated that the nucleotide sugar precursors for xanthan can be converted from intermediates of the pentose phosphate pathway, some of which are also intermediates of glycolysis or the Entner-Doudoroff pathway. Xanthan biosynthesis requires in particular the nucleotide sugars UDP-glucose, UDP-glucuronate, and GDP-mannose, from which xanthan repeat units are built under the control of the gum genes. The updated genome annotation data allowed reconsidering and refining the mechanistic model for xanthan biosynthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2007.12.013DOI Listing
March 2008

The genome sequence of the tomato-pathogenic actinomycete Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis NCPPB382 reveals a large island involved in pathogenicity.

J Bacteriol 2008 Mar 11;190(6):2138-49. Epub 2008 Jan 11.

Lehrstuhl für Gentechnologie/Mikrobiologie, Universität Bielefeld, D-33501 Bielefeld, Germany.

Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis is a plant-pathogenic actinomycete that causes bacterial wilt and canker of tomato. The nucleotide sequence of the genome of strain NCPPB382 was determined. The chromosome is circular, consists of 3.298 Mb, and has a high G+C content (72.6%). Annotation revealed 3,080 putative protein-encoding sequences; only 26 pseudogenes were detected. Two rrn operons, 45 tRNAs, and three small stable RNA genes were found. The two circular plasmids, pCM1 (27.4 kbp) and pCM2 (70.0 kbp), which carry pathogenicity genes and thus are essential for virulence, have lower G+C contents (66.5 and 67.6%, respectively). In contrast to the genome of the closely related organism Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus, the genome of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis lacks complete insertion elements and transposons. The 129-kb chp/tomA region with a low G+C content near the chromosomal origin of replication was shown to be necessary for pathogenicity. This region contains numerous genes encoding proteins involved in uptake and metabolism of sugars and several serine proteases. There is evidence that single genes located in this region, especially genes encoding serine proteases, are required for efficient colonization of the host. Although C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis grows mainly in the xylem of tomato plants, no evidence for pronounced genome reduction was found. C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis seems to have as many transporters and regulators as typical soil-inhabiting bacteria. However, the apparent lack of a sulfate reduction pathway, which makes C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis dependent on reduced sulfur compounds for growth, is probably the reason for the poor survival of C. michiganensis subsp. michiganensis in soil.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JB.01595-07DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2258877PMC
March 2008

CoryneCenter - an online resource for the integrated analysis of corynebacterial genome and transcriptome data.

BMC Syst Biol 2007 Nov 22;1:55. Epub 2007 Nov 22.

Computational Methods for Emerging Technologies group, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.

Background: The introduction of high-throughput genome sequencing and post-genome analysis technologies, e.g. DNA microarray approaches, has created the potential to unravel and scrutinize complex gene-regulatory networks on a large scale. The discovery of transcriptional regulatory interactions has become a major topic in modern functional genomics.

Results: To facilitate the analysis of gene-regulatory networks, we have developed CoryneCenter, a web-based resource for the systematic integration and analysis of genome, transcriptome, and gene regulatory information for prokaryotes, especially corynebacteria. For this purpose, we extended and combined the following systems into a common platform: (1) GenDB, an open source genome annotation system, (2) EMMA, a MAGE compliant application for high-throughput transcriptome data storage and analysis, and (3) CoryneRegNet, an ontology-based data warehouse designed to facilitate the reconstruction and analysis of gene regulatory interactions. We demonstrate the potential of CoryneCenter by means of an application example. Using microarray hybridization data, we compare the gene expression of Corynebacterium glutamicum under acetate and glucose feeding conditions: Known regulatory networks are confirmed, but moreover CoryneCenter points out additional regulatory interactions.

Conclusion: CoryneCenter provides more than the sum of its parts. Its novel analysis and visualization features significantly simplify the process of obtaining new biological insights into complex regulatory systems. Although the platform currently focusses on corynebacteria, the integrated tools are by no means restricted to these species, and the presented approach offers a general strategy for the analysis and verification of gene regulatory networks. CoryneCenter provides freely accessible projects with the underlying genome annotation, gene expression, and gene regulation data. The system is publicly available at http://www.CoryneCenter.de.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1752-0509-1-55DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2212648PMC
November 2007

Complete genome sequence of the myxobacterium Sorangium cellulosum.

Nat Biotechnol 2007 Nov 28;25(11):1281-9. Epub 2007 Oct 28.

Department of Genetics, Bielefeld University, PO Box 100131, D-33501 Bielefeld, Germany.

The genus Sorangium synthesizes approximately half of the secondary metabolites isolated from myxobacteria, including the anti-cancer metabolite epothilone. We report the complete genome sequence of the model Sorangium strain S. cellulosum So ce56, which produces several natural products and has morphological and physiological properties typical of the genus. The circular genome, comprising 13,033,779 base pairs, is the largest bacterial genome sequenced to date. No global synteny with the genome of Myxococcus xanthus is apparent, revealing an unanticipated level of divergence between these myxobacteria. A large percentage of the genome is devoted to regulation, particularly post-translational phosphorylation, which probably supports the strain's complex, social lifestyle. This regulatory network includes the highest number of eukaryotic protein kinase-like kinases discovered in any organism. Seventeen secondary metabolite loci are encoded in the genome, as well as many enzymes with potential utility in industry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nbt1354DOI Listing
November 2007

Development of bioinformatic tools to support EST-sequencing, in silico- and microarray-based transcriptome profiling in mycorrhizal symbioses.

Phytochemistry 2007 Jan 1;68(1):19-32. Epub 2006 Nov 1.

Institute for Genome Research, Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec), Universität Bielefeld, Universitätsstrasse 25, 33594 Bielefeld, Germany.

The great majority of terrestrial plants enters a beneficial arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) or ectomycorrhiza (ECM) symbiosis with soil fungi. In the SPP 1084 "MolMyk: Molecular Basics of Mycorrhizal Symbioses", high-throughput EST-sequencing was performed to obtain snapshots of the plant and fungal transcriptome in mycorrhizal roots and in extraradical hyphae. To focus activities, the interactions between Medicago truncatula and Glomus intraradices as well as Populus tremula and Amanita muscaria were selected as models for AM and ECM symbioses, respectively. Together, almost, 20.000 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated from different random and suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH) cDNA libraries, providing a comprehensive overview of the mycorrhizal transcriptome. To automatically cluster and annotate EST-sequences, the BioMake and SAMS software tools were developed. In connection with the eNorthern software SteN, plant genes with a predicted mycorrhiza-induced expression were identified. To support experimental transcriptome profiling, macro- and microarray tools have been constructed for the two model mycorrhizae, based either on PCR-amplified cDNAs or 70mer oligonucleotides. These arrays were used to profile the transcriptome of AM and ECM roots under different conditions, and the data obtained were uploaded to the ArrayLIMS and EMMA databases that are designed to store and evaluate expression profiles from DNA arrays. Together, the EST- and transcriptome databases can be mined to identify candidate genes for targeted functional studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phytochem.2006.09.026DOI Listing
January 2007

Complete genome of the mutualistic, N2-fixing grass endophyte Azoarcus sp. strain BH72.

Nat Biotechnol 2006 Nov 22;24(11):1385-91. Epub 2006 Oct 22.

Laboratory of General Microbiology, University of Bremen, PO Box 330440, D-28334 Bremen, Germany.

Azoarcus sp. strain BH72, a mutualistic endophyte of rice and other grasses, is of agrobiotechnological interest because it supplies biologically fixed nitrogen to its host and colonizes plants in remarkably high numbers without eliciting disease symptoms. The complete genome sequence is 4,376,040-bp long and contains 3,992 predicted protein-coding sequences. Genome comparison with the Azoarcus-related soil bacterium strain EbN1 revealed a surprisingly low degree of synteny. Coding sequences involved in the synthesis of surface components potentially important for plant-microbe interactions were more closely related to those of plant-associated bacteria. Strain BH72 appears to be 'disarmed' compared to plant pathogens, having only a few enzymes that degrade plant cell walls; it lacks type III and IV secretion systems, related toxins and an N-acyl homoserine lactones-based communication system. The genome contains remarkably few mobile elements, indicating a low rate of recent gene transfer that is presumably due to adaptation to a stable, low-stress microenvironment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nbt1243DOI Listing
November 2006

Whole-genome sequence of Listeria welshimeri reveals common steps in genome reduction with Listeria innocua as compared to Listeria monocytogenes.

J Bacteriol 2006 Nov 25;188(21):7405-15. Epub 2006 Aug 25.

Institute for Medical Microbiology, Justus-Liebig-University, Frankfurter Strasse 107, D-35392 Giessen, Germany.

We present the complete genome sequence of Listeria welshimeri, a nonpathogenic member of the genus Listeria. Listeria welshimeri harbors a circular chromosome of 2,814,130 bp with 2,780 open reading frames. Comparative genomic analysis of chromosomal regions between L. welshimeri, Listeria innocua, and Listeria monocytogenes shows strong overall conservation of synteny, with the exception of the translocation of an F(o)F(1) ATP synthase. The smaller size of the L. welshimeri genome is the result of deletions in all of the genes involved in virulence and of "fitness" genes required for intracellular survival, transcription factors, and LPXTG- and LRR-containing proteins as well as 55 genes involved in carbohydrate transport and metabolism. In total, 482 genes are absent from L. welshimeri relative to L. monocytogenes. Of these, 249 deletions are commonly absent in both L. welshimeri and L. innocua, suggesting similar genome evolutionary paths from an ancestor. We also identified 311 genes specific to L. welshimeri that are absent in the other two species, indicating gene expansion in L. welshimeri, including horizontal gene transfer. The species L. welshimeri appears to have been derived from early evolutionary events and an ancestor more compact than L. monocytogenes that led to the emergence of nonpathogenic Listeria spp.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JB.00758-06DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1636279PMC
November 2006

Genome sequence of the ubiquitous hydrocarbon-degrading marine bacterium Alcanivorax borkumensis.

Nat Biotechnol 2006 Aug 30;24(8):997-1004. Epub 2006 Jul 30.

Lehrstuhl für Genetik, Fakultät für Biologie, Universität Bielefeld, D-33594 Bielefeld, Germany.

Alcanivorax borkumensis is a cosmopolitan marine bacterium that uses oil hydrocarbons as its exclusive source of carbon and energy. Although barely detectable in unpolluted environments, A. borkumensis becomes the dominant microbe in oil-polluted waters. A. borkumensis SK2 has a streamlined genome with a paucity of mobile genetic elements and energy generation-related genes, but with a plethora of genes accounting for its wide hydrocarbon substrate range and efficient oil-degradation capabilities. The genome further specifies systems for scavenging of nutrients, particularly organic and inorganic nitrogen and oligo-elements, biofilm formation at the oil-water interface, biosurfactant production and niche-specific stress responses. The unique combination of these features provides A. borkumensis SK2 with a competitive edge in oil-polluted environments. This genome sequence provides the basis for the future design of strategies to mitigate the ecological damage caused by oil spills.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nbt1232DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7416663PMC
August 2006

Transcriptional snapshots provide insights into the molecular basis of arbuscular mycorrhiza in the model legume Medicago truncatula.

Funct Plant Biol 2006 Aug;33(8):737-748

Institute for Genome Research, Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec), Bielefeld University, D-33594 Bielefeld, Germany.

The arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) association between terrestrial plants and soil fungi of the phylum Glomeromycota is the most widespread beneficial plant-microbe interaction on earth. In the course of the symbiosis, fungal hyphae colonise plant roots and supply limiting nutrients, in particular phosphorus, in exchange for carbon compounds. Owing to the obligate biotrophy of mycorrhizal fungi and the lack of genetic systems to study them, targeted molecular studies on AM symbioses proved to be difficult. With the emergence of plant genomics and the selection of suitable models, an application of untargeted expression profiling experiments became possible. In the model legume Medicago truncatula, high-throughput expressed sequence tag (EST)-sequencing in conjunction with in silico and experimental transcriptome profiling provided transcriptional snapshots that together defined the global genetic program activated during AM. Owing to an asynchronous development of the symbiosis, several hundred genes found to be activated during the symbiosis cannot be easily correlated with symbiotic structures, but the expression of selected genes has been extended to the cellular level to correlate gene expression with specific stages of AM development. These approaches identified marker genes for the AM symbiosis and provided the first insights into the molecular basis of gene expression regulation during AM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/FP06079DOI Listing
August 2006

Insights into genome plasticity and pathogenicity of the plant pathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria revealed by the complete genome sequence.

J Bacteriol 2005 Nov;187(21):7254-66

Martin-Luther-Universität, Institut für Genetik, Weinbergweg 10, D-06120 Halle (Saale), Germany.

The gram-negative plant-pathogenic bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria is the causative agent of bacterial spot disease in pepper and tomato plants, which leads to economically important yield losses. This pathosystem has become a well-established model for studying bacterial infection strategies. Here, we present the whole-genome sequence of the pepper-pathogenic Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria strain 85-10, which comprises a 5.17-Mb circular chromosome and four plasmids. The genome has a high G+C content (64.75%) and signatures of extensive genome plasticity. Whole-genome comparisons revealed a gene order similar to both Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri and Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris and a structure completely different from Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. A total of 548 coding sequences (12.2%) are unique to X. campestris pv. vesicatoria. In addition to a type III secretion system, which is essential for pathogenicity, the genome of strain 85-10 encodes all other types of protein secretion systems described so far in gram-negative bacteria. Remarkably, one of the putative type IV secretion systems encoded on the largest plasmid is similar to the Icm/Dot systems of the human pathogens Legionella pneumophila and Coxiella burnetii. Comparisons with other completely sequenced plant pathogens predicted six novel type III effector proteins and several other virulence factors, including adhesins, cell wall-degrading enzymes, and extracellular polysaccharides.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JB.187.21.7254-7266.2005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1272972PMC
November 2005

Complete genome sequence and analysis of the multiresistant nosocomial pathogen Corynebacterium jeikeium K411, a lipid-requiring bacterium of the human skin flora.

J Bacteriol 2005 Jul;187(13):4671-82

Institut für Genomforschung, Centrum für Biotechnologie, Universität Bielefeld, Universitätsstrasse 25, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany.

Corynebacterium jeikeium is a "lipophilic" and multidrug-resistant bacterial species of the human skin flora that has been recognized with increasing frequency as a serious nosocomial pathogen. Here we report the genome sequence of the clinical isolate C. jeikeium K411, which was initially recovered from the axilla of a bone marrow transplant patient. The genome of C. jeikeium K411 consists of a circular chromosome of 2,462,499 bp and the 14,323-bp bacteriocin-producing plasmid pKW4. The chromosome of C. jeikeium K411 contains 2,104 predicted coding sequences, 52% of which were considered to be orthologous with genes in the Corynebacterium glutamicum, Corynebacterium efficiens, and Corynebacterium diphtheriae genomes. These genes apparently represent the chromosomal backbone that is conserved between the four corynebacteria. Among the genes that lack an ortholog in the known corynebacterial genomes, many are located close to transposable elements or revealed an atypical G+C content, indicating that horizontal gene transfer played an important role in the acquisition of genes involved in iron and manganese homeostasis, in multidrug resistance, in bacterium-host interaction, and in virulence. Metabolic analyses of the genome sequence indicated that the "lipophilic" phenotype of C. jeikeium most likely originates from the absence of fatty acid synthase and thus represents a fatty acid auxotrophy. Accordingly, both the complete gene repertoire and the deduced lifestyle of C. jeikeium K411 largely reflect the strict dependence of growth on the presence of exogenous fatty acids. The predicted virulence factors of C. jeikeium K411 are apparently involved in ensuring the availability of exogenous fatty acids by damaging the host tissue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JB.187.13.4671-4682.2005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1151758PMC
July 2005

Whole genome shotgun sequencing guided by bioinformatics pipelines--an optimized approach for an established technique.

J Biotechnol 2003 Dec;106(2-3):121-33

Lehrstuhl für Genetik, Universität Bielefeld, D-33594 Bielefeld, Germany.

While the sequencing of bacterial genomes has become a routine procedure at major sequencing centers, there are still a number of genome projects at small- or medium-size facilities. For these facilities a maximum of control over sequencing, assembling and finishing is essential. At the same time, facilities have to be able to co-operate at minimum costs for the overall project. We have established a pipeline for the distributed sequencing of Alcanivorax borkumensis SK2, Azoarcus sp. BH72, Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis NCPPB382, Sorangium cellulosum So ce56 and Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria 85-10. Our pipeline relies on standard tools (e.g. PHRED/PHRAP, CAP3 and Consed/Autofinish) wherever possible, supplementing them with new tools (BioMake and BACCardI) to achieve the aims described above.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2003.08.008DOI Listing
December 2003

Transcriptional changes in response to arbuscular mycorrhiza development in the model plant Medicago truncatula.

Mol Plant Microbe Interact 2003 Apr;16(4):306-14

Department of Molecular Genetics, University Hannover, Herrenhaeuser Str. 2, 30419 Hannover, Germany.

Significant changes in root morphology and physiology during arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) development are likely to be controlled by specific gene expression pattern in the host plant. Until now, little was known about transcriptional changes which occur AM-exclusively; that is, they do not occur during other root-microbe associations, nor are they induced by improved phosphate nutrition. In order to identify such AM-exclusive gene inductions of Medicago truncatula, we used a pool of different RNA samples as subtractor population in a suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH) experiment. This approach resulted in the identification of a number of new AM-regulated genes. None of these genes were expressed in nonmycorrhiza roots or leaves. Electronic data obtained by comparison of the cDNA sequences to expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences from a wide range of cDNA libraries in the M. truncatula EST database (Gene Index, MtGI) support the mycorrhiza specificity of the corresponding genes, because sequences in the MtGI that were found to match the identified SSH-cDNA sequences originated exclusively from AM cDNA libraries. The promoter of one of those genes, MtGst1, showing similarities to plant glutathione-S-transferase (GST) encoding genes, was cloned and used in reporter gene studies. In contrast to studies with the potato GST gene PRP, MtGst 1 promoter activity was detected in all zones of the root cortex colonized by Glomus intraradices, but nowhere else.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/MPMI.2003.16.4.306DOI Listing
April 2003