We provide here a comparative genome analysis of 31 strains within the genus Paenibacillusincluding 11 new genomic sequences of N2-fixing strains. The heterogeneity of the 31 genomes (15 N2-fixing and 16 non-N2-fixing Paenibacillus strains) was reflected in the large size of the shell genome, which makes up approximately 65.2% of the genes in pan genome. Large numbers of transposable elements might be related to the heterogeneity. We discovered that a minimal and compact nif cluster comprising nine genes nifB, nifH, nifD, nifK, nifE, nifN, nifX,hesA and nifV encoding Mo-nitrogenase is conserved in the 15 N2-fixing strains. The nif cluster is under control of a σ70-depedent promoter and possesses a GlnR/TnrA-binding site in the promoter. Suf system encoding [Fe–S] cluster is highly conserved in N2-fixing and non-N2-fixing strains. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the nif cluster enabled Escherichia coli JM109 to fix nitrogen. Phylogeny of the concatenated NifHDK sequences indicates that Paenibacillusand Frankia are sister groups. Phylogeny of the concatenated 275 single-copy core genes suggests that the ancestral Paenibacillus did not fix nitrogen. The N2-fixing Paenibacillusstrains were generated by acquiring the nif cluster via horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from a source related to Frankia. During the history of evolution, the nif cluster was lost, producing some non-N2-fixing strains, and vnf encoding V-nitrogenase or anf encoding Fe-nitrogenase was acquired, causing further diversification of some strains. In addition, some N2-fixing strains have additional nif and nif-like genes which may result from gene duplications. The evolution of nitrogen fixation in Paenibacillus involves a mix of gain, loss, HGT and duplication of nif/anf/vnfgenes. This study not only reveals the organization and distribution of nitrogen fixation genes inPaenibacillus, but also provides insight into the complex evolutionary history of nitrogen fixation.
Genome architecture often reflects an organism’s lifestyle and can therefore provide insights into gene function, regulation, and adaptation. In several lineages of plant pathogenic fungi and oomycetes, characteristic repeat-rich and gene-sparse regions harbor pathogenicity-related genes such as effectors. In these pathogens, analysis of genome architecture has assisted the mining for novel candidate effector genes and investigations into patterns of gene regulation and evolution at the whole genome level. Here we describe a two-dimensional data binning method in R with a heatmap-style graphical output to facilitate analysis and visualization of whole genome architecture. The method is flexible, combining whole genome architecture heatmaps with scatter plots of the genomic environment of selected gene sets. This enables analysis of specific values associated with genes such as gene expression and sequence polymorphisms, according to genome architecture. This method enables the investigation of whole genome architecture and reveals local properties of genomic neighborhoods in a clear and concise manner.
Most fruits in our daily diet are the products of domestication and breeding. Here we report a map of genome variation for a major fruit that encompasses ~3.6 million variants, generated by deep resequencing of 115 cucumber lines sampled from 3,342 accessions worldwide. Comparative analysis suggests that fruit crops underwent narrower bottlenecks during domestication than grain crops. We identified 112 putative domestication sweeps; 1 of these regions contains a gene involved in the loss of bitterness in fruits, an essential domestication trait of cucumber. We also investigated the genomic basis of divergence among the cultivated populations and discovered a natural genetic variant in a β-carotene hydroxylase gene that could be used to breed cucumbers with enhanced nutritional value. The genomic history of cucumber evolution uncovered here provides the basis for future genomics-enabled breeding.
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