We provide here a comparative genome analysis of ten strains within the Pseudomonas fluorescens group including seven new genomic sequences. These strains exhibit a diverse spectrum of traits involved in biological control and other multitrophic interactions with plants, microbes, and insects. Multilocus sequence analysis placed the strains in three sub-clades, which was reinforced by high levels of synteny, size of core genomes, and relatedness of orthologous genes between strains within a sub-clade. The heterogeneity of the P. fluorescens group was reflected in the large size of its pan-genome, which makes up approximately 54% of the pan-genome of the genus as a whole, and a core genome representing only 45–52% of the genome of any individual strain. We discovered genes for traits that were not known previously in the strains, including genes for the biosynthesis of the siderophores achromobactin and pseudomonine and the antibiotic 2-hexyl-5-propyl-alkylresorcinol; novel bacteriocins; type II, III, and VI secretion systems; and insect toxins. Certain gene clusters, such as those for two type III secretion systems, are present only in specific sub-clades, suggesting vertical inheritance. Almost all of the genes associated with multitrophic interactions map to genomic regions present in only a subset of the strains or unique to a specific strain. To explore the evolutionary origin of these genes, we mapped their distributions relative to the locations of mobile genetic elements and repetitive extragenic palindromic (REP) elements in each genome. The mobile genetic elements and many strain-specific genes fall into regions devoid of REP elements (i.e., REP deserts) and regions displaying atypical tri-nucleotide composition, possibly indicating relatively recent acquisition of these loci. Collectively, the results of this study highlight the enormous heterogeneity of the P. fluorescens group and the importance of the variable genome in tailoring individual strains to their specific lifestyles and functional repertoire.
BackgroundIron acquisition systems are important virulence factors in pathogenic bacteria. To identify these systems in Acinetobacter baumannii, the transcriptomic response of the completely sequenced strain ATCC 17978 under iron limiting conditions was investigated using a genomic microarray that contained probes for all annotated open reading frames.ResultsUnder low iron conditions, transcription levels were more than 2-fold up-regulated for 463 genes, including 95 genes that were up-regulated more than 4-fold. Of particular significance, three siderophore biosynthesis gene clusters, including one novel cluster, were highly up-regulated. Binding sites for the ferric uptake regulator were identified in the promoter regions of many up-regulated genes, suggesting a prominent role for this regulator in the Acinetobacter iron acquisition response. Down-regulation under iron limitation was less dramatic as the transcription of only 202 genes varied more than 2-fold. Various genes involved in motility featured prominently amongst the genes down-regulated when iron was less readily available. Motility assays confirmed that these transcriptional changes are manifested at the phenotypic level. The siderophore biosynthesis gene clusters were further investigated by means of comparative genomic analysis of 10 sequenced Acinetobacter isolates. These analyses revealed important roles for mobile genetic elements in shaping the siderophore meditated iron acquisition mechanisms between different Acinetobacter strains.ConclusionsA. baumannii grown under iron limited conditions resulted in major transcriptional changes of not only many iron acquisition related genes, but also genes involved in other processes such as motility. Overall, this study showed that A. baumannii is well adaptable to growth in an environment which has limiting iron availability.
The GacS/GacA signal transduction system is a central regulator in Pseudomonas spp., including the biological control strain P. fluorescens Pf-5, in which GacS/GacA controls the production of secondary metabolites and exoenzymes that suppress plant pathogens. A whole genome oligonucleotide microarray was developed for Pf-5 and used to assess the global transcriptomic consequences of a gacA mutation in P. fluorescens Pf-5. In cultures at the transition from exponential to stationary growth phase, GacA significantly influenced transcript levels of 635 genes, representing more than 10% of the 6147 annotated genes in the Pf-5 genome. Transcripts of genes involved in the production of hydrogen cyanide, the antibiotic pyoluteorin and the extracellular protease AprA were at a low level in the gacA mutant, whereas those functioning in siderophore production and other aspects of iron homeostasis were significantly higher in the gacA mutant than in wild-type Pf-5. Notable effects of gacA inactivation were also observed in the transcription of genes encoding components of a type VI secretion system and cytochrome c oxidase subunits. Two novel gene clusters expressed under the control of gacA were identified from transcriptome analysis, and we propose global-regulator-based genome mining as an approach to decipher the secondary metabolome of Pseudomonas spp.
Pseudomonas is a large and diverse genus of Gammaproteobacteria. To provide a framework for discovery of evolutionary and taxonomic relationships of these bacteria, we compared the genomes of type strains of 163 species and 3 additional subspecies of Pseudomonas, including 118 genomes sequenced herein. A maximum likelihood phylogeny of the 166 type strains based on protein sequences of 100 single-copy orthologous genes revealed thirteen groups of Pseudomonas, composed of two to sixty three species each. Pairwise average nucleotide identities and alignment fractions were calculated for the data set of the 166 type strains and 1224 genomes of Pseudomonas available in public databases. Results revealed that 394 of the 1224 genomes were distinct from any type strain, suggesting that the type strains represent only a fraction of the genomic diversity of the genus. The core genome of Pseudomonas was determined to contain 794 genes conferring primarily housekeeping functions. The results of this study provide a phylogenetic framework for future studies aiming to resolve the classification and phylogenetic relationships, identify new gene functions and phenotypes, and explore the ecological and metabolic potential of the Pseudomonas spp.
Significance Drug resistance is an increasing problem in clinical settings with some bacterial pathogens now resistant to virtually all available drugs. Chlorhexidine is a commonly used antiseptic and disinfectant in hospital environments, and there is increasing resistance to chlorhexidine seen in some pathogenic bacteria, such as Acinetobacter baumannii . This paper examines the global gene expression of A. baumannii in response to chlorhexidine exposure and identifies a gene that we demonstrate to mediate chlorhexidine resistance. Biochemical investigation reveals that this gene encodes a previously uncharacterized type of drug efflux pump that actively transports chlorhexidine out of the cell.
Acinetobacter baumannii continues to be a major health problem especially in hospital settings. Herein, features that may play a role in persistence and disease potential were investigated in a collection of clinical A. baumannii strains from Australia. Twitching motility was found to be a common trait in A. baumannii international clone I strains and in abundant biofilm formers, whereas swarming motility was only observed in isolates not classified within the international clone lineages. Bioinformatic analysis of the type IV fimbriae revealed a correlation between PilA sequence homology and motility. A high level of variability in adherence to both abiotic surfaces and epithelial cells was found. We report for the first time the motility characteristics of a large number of A. baumannii isolates and present a direct comparison of A. baumannii binding to nasopharyngeal and lung epithelial cells.
Multidrug efflux systems are a major cause of resistance to antimicrobials in bacteria, including those pathogenic to humans, animals, and plants. These proteins are ubiquitous in these pathogens, and five families of bacterial multidrug efflux systems have been identified to date. By using transcriptomic and biochemical analyses, we recently identified the novel AceI (Acinetobacter chlorhexidine efflux) protein from Acinetobacter baumannii that conferred resistance to the biocide chlorhexidine, via an active efflux mechanism. Proteins homologous to AceI are encoded in the genomes of many other bacterial species and are particularly prominent within proteobacterial lineages. In this study, we expressed 23 homologs of AceI and examined their resistance and/or transport profiles. MIC analyses demonstrated that, like AceI, many of the homologs conferred resistance to chlorhexidine. Many of the AceI homologs conferred resistance to additional biocides, including benzalkonium, dequalinium, proflavine, and acriflavine. We conducted fluorimetric transport assays using the AceI homolog from Vibrio parahaemolyticus and confirmed that resistance to both proflavine and acriflavine was mediated by an active efflux mechanism. These results show that this group of AceI homologs represent a new family of bacterial multidrug efflux pumps, which we have designated the proteobacterial antimicrobial compound efflux (PACE) family of transport proteins.
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