Wednesday, 31 October 2018 16:34

Microbiology Resource of the Month: Freshwater Vibrio cholerae Genome

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Published in mBiosphere

The scope of the ASM Journal Genome Announcements has been expanded in a big way to create Microbiology Resource Announcements. The new journal publishes all resources that may be valuable to researchers in the microbial sciences.


Each month, we’ll highlight a new Microbiology Resource and how it will help researchers with their scientific endeavors.


Month: October 2018.


AnnouncementGenome sequence of Vibrio cholerae isolated from the Maumee River in Toledo, Ohio


Resource: A Vibrio cholerae genome sequence.


Transmission electron micrograph of Vibrio choleraeTransmission electron micrograph of Vibrio cholerae. Source.

What is unique about this V. cholerae genome?


Vibrio cholerae causes the diarrheal disease cholera, which is transmitted in contaminated waters. V. cholerae is best known for causing cholera outbreaks in tropical locations like Haiti or India, but V. cholerae can be found along the coasts of North America as well. In the US, the bacteria are often located subtropically, such as on the coast of the Carolinas. 


This isolate is unique among V. cholerae genomes because of its location: it was found in a river near Toledo, Ohio. Most V. cholerae reside in tropical or subtropical climates and in salt or brackish water (though freshwater isolates have been found before). The temperate climate and freshwater location distinguish this isolate.


Who will benefit from this new sequence availability?


The unique location of this isolate will make its genome valuable to environmental and infectious disease microbiologists. Does the isolate have genes that confer cold tolerance? If so, where did they come from? Though this isolate didn’t contain the ctxAB cholera toxin genes, are there other virulence-related traits in this genome? This may influence surveillance of local waterways. 


How will this new genome be used in research?


The senior author, Jyl Matson, describes finding a number of V. cholerae isolates in the same region near Ohio. Unique features within this genome may inform studies on the remaining area isolates.


Why Microbiology Resource Announcements? 


“Scientific research has benefited from the resources developed and shared between scientists—from software published on Github to plasmids made available on Addgene. These resources facilitate our work and allow researchers to build on and extend the work of others. Indeed, some of the most impactful papers have been those describing resources—the E. coli Keio Knockout Collection manuscript, for example, has been cited nearly 5,000 times.”


“Many resources are worth sharing,” says Microbiology Resource Announcements Editor-in-Chief Irene Newton. “We hope your next submission will spur someone else’s work or, potentially, inspire collaboration in our community.” 

Last modified on Wednesday, 31 October 2018 16:49
Julie Wolf

Julie Wolf is the ASM Science Communications Specialist. She contributes to the ASM social media and blog network and hosts the Meet the Microbiologist podcast. She also runs workshops at ASM conferences to help scientists improve their own communication skills. Follow Julie on Twitter for more ASM and microbiology highlights at @JulieMarieWolf.

Julie earned her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, focusing on medical mycology and infectious disease. Outside of her work at ASM, she maintains a strong commitment to scientific education and teaches molecular biology at the community biolab, Genspace. She lives in beautiful New York City.