Translational Genomics Research Institute North

Flagstaff, AZ, United States

Translational Genomics Research Institute North

Flagstaff, AZ, United States
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Vogler A.J.,Northern Arizona University | Bollig M.C.,Northern Arizona University | Nottingham R.,Northern Arizona University | Keim P.,Northern Arizona University | And 2 more authors.
Letters in Applied Microbiology | Year: 2016

Since its identification as the causative agent of plague in 1894, thousands of Yersinia pestis strains have been isolated and stored. Here, we report the ability of Y. pestis to survive up to 47 years in agar stabs, in rubber-stoppered tubes, under refrigeration (+4 to +10°C), although overall subculture recovery rates were poor and inversely related to the length of time stored. Genetic characterization of virulence gene presence among these subcultures was suggestive of significant variation in the genomic stability of Y. pestis subcultures stored under these conditions. Specifically, we found variation in the presence of plasmid and chromosomal virulence markers (genes pla, lcrV, caf1 and irp2) among multiple subcultures of Y. pestis strains in the 'Collection of Yersinia pestis' (Fiocruz-CYP) maintained by the SRP of FIOCRUZ-PE in Brazil. This variation, together with all of the inherent temporal, geographic and other genetic variation represented by all of the recoverable strains in this historical collection was preserved in new frozen culture stocks stored at -70°C as a result of this study. These frozen culture stocks represent a valuable resource for future comparative studies of Y. pestis. © 2015 The Society for Applied Microbiology.


Teixeira M.D.M.,Translational Genomics Research Institute North | Teixeira M.D.M.,University of Brasilia | Patane J.S.L.,University of Sao Paulo | Taylor M.L.,Autonomous University of Mexico City | And 7 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2016

Histoplasma capsulatum comprises a worldwide complex of saprobiotic fungi mainly found in nitrogen/phosphate (often bird guano) enriched soils. The microconidia of Histoplasma species may be inhaled by mammalian hosts, and is followed by a rapid conversion to yeast that can persist in host tissues causing histoplasmosis, a deep pulmonary/systemic mycosis. Histoplasma capsulatum sensu lato is a complex of at least eight clades geographically distributed as follows: Australia, Netherlands, Eurasia, North American classes 1 and 2 (NAm 1 and NAm 2), Latin American groups A and B (LAm A and LAm B) and Africa. With the exception of the Eurasian cluster, those clades are considered phylogenetic species. Methodology/Principal Findings: Increased Histoplasma sampling (n = 234) resulted in the revision of the phylogenetic distribution and population structure using 1,563 aligned nucleotides from four protein-coding regions. The LAm B clade appears to be divided into at least two highly supported clades, which are geographically restricted to either Colombia/Argentina or Brazil respectively. Moreover, a complex population genetic structure was identified within LAm A clade supporting multiple monophylogenetic species, which could be driven by rapid host or environmental adaptation (~0.5 MYA). We found two divergent clades, which include Latin American isolates (newly named as LAm A1 and LAm A2), harboring a cryptic cluster in association with bats. Conclusions/Significance: At least six new phylogenetic species are proposed in the Histoplasma species complex supported by different phylogenetic and population genetics methods, comprising LAm A1, LAm A2, LAm B1, LAm B2, RJ and BAC-1 phylogenetic species. The genetic isolation of Histoplasma could be a result of differential dispersion potential of naturally infected bats and other mammals. In addition, the present study guides isolate selection for future population genomics and genome wide association studies in this important pathogen complex. © 2016 Teixeira et al.


PubMed | Fungal Biodiversity Center, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Corporacion para Investigaciones Biologicas CIB and 4 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PLoS neglected tropical diseases | Year: 2016

Histoplasma capsulatum comprises a worldwide complex of saprobiotic fungi mainly found in nitrogen/phosphate (often bird guano) enriched soils. The microconidia of Histoplasma species may be inhaled by mammalian hosts, and is followed by a rapid conversion to yeast that can persist in host tissues causing histoplasmosis, a deep pulmonary/systemic mycosis. Histoplasma capsulatum sensu lato is a complex of at least eight clades geographically distributed as follows: Australia, Netherlands, Eurasia, North American classes 1 and 2 (NAm 1 and NAm 2), Latin American groups A and B (LAm A and LAm B) and Africa. With the exception of the Eurasian cluster, those clades are considered phylogenetic species.Increased Histoplasma sampling (n = 234) resulted in the revision of the phylogenetic distribution and population structure using 1,563 aligned nucleotides from four protein-coding regions. The LAm B clade appears to be divided into at least two highly supported clades, which are geographically restricted to either Colombia/Argentina or Brazil respectively. Moreover, a complex population genetic structure was identified within LAm A clade supporting multiple monophylogenetic species, which could be driven by rapid host or environmental adaptation (~0.5 MYA). We found two divergent clades, which include Latin American isolates (newly named as LAm A1 and LAm A2), harboring a cryptic cluster in association with bats.At least six new phylogenetic species are proposed in the Histoplasma species complex supported by different phylogenetic and population genetics methods, comprising LAm A1, LAm A2, LAm B1, LAm B2, RJ and BAC-1 phylogenetic species. The genetic isolation of Histoplasma could be a result of differential dispersion potential of naturally infected bats and other mammals. In addition, the present study guides isolate selection for future population genomics and genome wide association studies in this important pathogen complex.


Rawat A.,Translational Genomics Research Institute North | Rawat A.,University of Southern Mississippi | Elasri M.O.,University of Southern Mississippi | Gust K.A.,U.S. Army | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Our goal is to introduce and describe the utility of a new pipeline "Contigs Assembly Pipeline using Reference Genome" (CAPRG), which has been developed to assemble "long sequence reads" for non-model organisms by leveraging a reference genome of a closely related phylogenetic relative. To facilitate this effort, we utilized two avian transcriptomic datasets generated using ROCHE/454 technology as test cases for CAPRG assembly. We compared the results of CAPRG assembly using a reference genome with the results of existing methods that utilize de novo strategies such as VELVET, PAVE, and MIRA by employing parameter space comparisons (intra-assembling comparison). CAPRG performed as well or better than the existing assembly methods based on various benchmarks for "gene-hunting." Further, CAPRG completed the assemblies in a fraction of the time required by the existing assembly algorithms. Additional advantages of CAPRG included reduced contig inflation resulting in lower computational resources for annotation, and functional identification for contigs that may be categorized as "unknowns" by de novo methods. In addition to providing evaluation of CAPRG performance, we observed that the different assembly (inter-assembly) results could be integrated to enhance the putative gene coverage for any transcriptomics study. © 2012 Rawat et al.


Vogler A.J.,Northern Arizona University | Nottingham R.,Northern Arizona University | Busch J.D.,Northern Arizona University | Sahl J.W.,Northern Arizona University | And 10 more authors.
Infection, Genetics and Evolution | Year: 2016

Underlying mutation rates and other evolutionary forces shape the population structure of bacteria in nature. Although easily overlooked, similar forces are at work in the laboratory and may influence observed mutations. Here, we investigated tissue samples and Yersinia pestis isolates from a rodent laboratory challenge with strain CO92 using whole genome sequencing and multi-locus variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA). We identified six VNTR mutations that were found to have occurred in vitro during laboratory cultivation rather than in vivo during the rodent challenge. In contrast, no single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mutations were observed, either in vivo or in vitro. These results were consistent with previously published mutation rates and the calculated number of Y. pestis generations that occurred during the in vitro versus the in vivo portions of the experiment. When genotyping disease outbreaks, the potential for in vitro mutations should be considered, particularly when highly variable genetic markers such as VNTRs are used. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Vogler A.J.,Northern Arizona University | Keim P.,Northern Arizona University | Keim P.,Translational Genomics Research Institute North | Wagner D.M.,Northern Arizona University
Infection, Genetics and Evolution | Year: 2016

Numerous subtyping methods have been applied to Yersinia pestis with varying success. Here, we review the various subtyping methods that have been applied to Y. pestis and their capacity for answering questions regarding the population genetics, phylogeography, and molecular epidemiology of this important human pathogen. Methods are evaluated in terms of expense, difficulty, transferability among laboratories, discriminatory power, usefulness for different study questions, and current applicability in light of the advent of whole genome sequencing. © 2015 The Authors.


Riehm J.M.,University of Federal Defense Munich | Projahn M.,University of Federal Defense Munich | Vogler A.J.,Northern Arizona University | Rajerison M.,Institute Pasteur Of Madagascar | And 11 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2015

Background Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of human plague and is endemic in various African, Asian and American countries. In Madagascar, the disease represents a significant public health problem with hundreds of human cases a year. Unfortunately, poor infrastructure makes outbreak investigations challenging. Methodology/Principal Findings DNA was extracted directly from 93 clinical samples from patients with a clinical diagnosis of plague in Madagascar in 2007. The extracted DNAs were then genotyped using three molecular genotyping methods, including, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) typing, multi-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA), and Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) analysis. These methods provided increasing resolution, respectively. The results of these analyses revealed that, in 2007, ten molecular groups, two newly described here and eight previously identified, were responsible for causing human plague in geographically distinct areas of Madagascar. Conclusions/Significance Plague in Madagascar is caused by numerous distinct types of Y. pestis. Genotyping method choice should be based upon the discriminatory power needed, expense, and available data for any desired comparisons. We conclude that genotyping should be a standard tool used in epidemiological investigations of plague outbreaks. © 2015 Riehm et al.


Lewis E.R.G.,Translational Genomics Research Institute North | Lewis E.R.G.,Northern Arizona University | Lewis E.R.G.,University of Arizona | David V.R.,Translational Genomics Research Institute | And 8 more authors.
Eukaryotic Cell | Year: 2015

Coccidioides immitis and Coccidioides posadasii are soil-dwelling fungi and the causative agents of coccidioidomycosis, a mycosis endemic to certain semiarid regions in the Americas. The most common route of infection is by inhalation of airborne Coccidioides arthroconidia. Once a susceptible host inhales the conidia, a transition to mature endosporulated spherules can occur within the first 5 days of infection. For this study, we examined the host response in a murine model of coccidioidomycosis during a time period of infection that has not been well characterized. We collected lung tissue and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from BALB/c mice that were infected with a C. immitis pure strain, a C. immitis hybrid strain, or a C. posadasii strain as well as uninfected mice. We compared the host responses to the Coccidioides strains used in this study by assessing the level of transcription of selected cytokine genes in lung tissues and characterized host and fungal proteins present in BALF. Host response varied depending on the Coccidioides strain that was used and did not appear to be overly robust. This study provides a foundation to begin to dissect the host immune response early in infection, to detect abundant Coccidioides proteins, and to develop diagnostics that target these early time points of infection. © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


PubMed | U.S. Geological Survey, Northern Arizona University and Translational Genomics Research Institute North
Type: | Journal: Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases | Year: 2016

Underlying mutation rates and other evolutionary forces shape the population structure of bacteria in nature. Although easily overlooked, similar forces are at work in the laboratory and may influence observed mutations. Here, we investigated tissue samples and Yersinia pestis isolates from a rodent laboratory challenge with strain CO92 using whole genome sequencing and multi-locus variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) analysis (MLVA). We identified six VNTR mutations that were found to have occurred in vitro during laboratory cultivation rather than in vivo during the rodent challenge. In contrast, no single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mutations were observed, either in vivo or in vitro. These results were consistent with previously published mutation rates and the calculated number of Y. pestis generations that occurred during the in vitro versus the in vivo portions of the experiment. When genotyping disease outbreaks, the potential for in vitro mutations should be considered, particularly when highly variable genetic markers such as VNTRs are used.


PubMed | Translational Genomics Research Institute North
Type: Evaluation Studies | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2012

Our goal is to introduce and describe the utility of a new pipeline Contigs Assembly Pipeline using Reference Genome (CAPRG), which has been developed to assemble long sequence reads for non-model organisms by leveraging a reference genome of a closely related phylogenetic relative. To facilitate this effort, we utilized two avian transcriptomic datasets generated using ROCHE/454 technology as test cases for CAPRG assembly. We compared the results of CAPRG assembly using a reference genome with the results of existing methods that utilize de novo strategies such as VELVET, PAVE, and MIRA by employing parameter space comparisons (intra-assembling comparison). CAPRG performed as well or better than the existing assembly methods based on various benchmarks for gene-hunting. Further, CAPRG completed the assemblies in a fraction of the time required by the existing assembly algorithms. Additional advantages of CAPRG included reduced contig inflation resulting in lower computational resources for annotation, and functional identification for contigs that may be categorized as unknowns by de novo methods. In addition to providing evaluation of CAPRG performance, we observed that the different assembly (inter-assembly) results could be integrated to enhance the putative gene coverage for any transcriptomics study.

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