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Intraspecies plasmid and genomic variation of Mycobacterium kubicae revealed by the complete genome sequences of two clinical isolates

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Date: 23rd December 2020 | Source: Microbial Genomics

Authors: Jo Hendrix, L. Elaine Epperson, David Durbin, Jennifer R. Honda, Michael Strong, .

Mycobacterium kubicae is 1 of nearly 200 species of nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), environmental micro-organisms that in some situations can infect humans and cause severe lung, skin and soft tissue infections. Although numerous studies have investigated the genetic variation among prevalent clinical NTM species, including Mycobacterium abscessus and Mycobacterium avium, many of the less common but clinically relevant NTM species, including M. kubicae, still lack complete genomes to serve as a comparative reference.

Well-characterized representative genomes for each NTM species are important both for investigating the pathogenic potential of NTM, as well as for use in diagnostic methods, even for species that less frequently cause human disease. Here, we report the complete genomes of two M. kubicae strains, isolated from two unrelated patients. Hybrid short-read and long-read sequencing and assembly, using sequence reads from Illumina and Oxford Nanopore Technologies platforms, were utilized to resolve the chromosome and plasmid sequences of each isolate. The genome of NJH_MKUB1 had 5135 coding sequences (CDSs), a circular chromosome of length 5.3 Mb and two plasmids. The genome of NJH_MKUB2 had 5957 CDSs, a circular chromosome of 6.0 Mb and five plasmids.

We compared our completed genomic assemblies to four recently released draft genomes of M. kubicae in order to better understand intraspecies genomic conservation and variability. We also identified genes implicated in drug resistance, virulence and persistence in the M. kubicae chromosome and plasmids. Virulence factors encoded in the genome and in the plasmids of M. kubicae provide a foundation for investigating how opportunistic environmental NTM may cause disease

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