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Publications in peer reviewed journals

16 Publications found
  • Minimum Information about an Uncultivated Virus Genome (MIUViG).

    Roux S, Adriaenssens EM, Dutilh BE, Koonin EV, Kropinski AM, Krupovic M, Kuhn JH, Lavigne R, Brister JR, Varsani A, Amid C, Aziz RK, Bordenstein SR, Bork P, Breitbart M, Cochrane GR, Daly RA, Desnues C, Duhaime MB, Emerson JB, Enault F, Fuhrman JA, Hingamp P, Hugenholtz P, Hurwitz BL, Ivanova NN, Labonté JM, Lee KB, Malmstrom RR, Martinez-Garcia M, Mizrachi IK, Ogata H, Páez-Espino D, Petit MA, Putonti C, Rattei T, Reyes A, Rodriguez-Valera F, Rosario K, Schriml L, Schulz F, Steward GF, Sullivan MB, Sunagawa S, Suttle CA, Temperton B, Tringe SG, Thurber RV, Webster NS, Whiteson KL, Wilhelm SW, Wommack KE, Woyke T, Wrighton KC, Yilmaz P, Yoshida T, Young MJ, Yutin N, Allen LZ, Kyrpides NC, Eloe-Fadrosh EA
    2018 - Nat. Biotechnol., in press


    We present an extension of the Minimum Information about any (x) Sequence (MIxS) standard for reporting sequences of uncultivated virus genomes. Minimum Information about an Uncultivated Virus Genome (MIUViG) standards were developed within the Genomic Standards Consortium framework and include virus origin, genome quality, genome annotation, taxonomic classification, biogeographic distribution and in silico host prediction. Community-wide adoption of MIUViG standards, which complement the Minimum Information about a Single Amplified Genome (MISAG) and Metagenome-Assembled Genome (MIMAG) standards for uncultivated bacteria and archaea, will improve the reporting of uncultivated virus genomes in public databases. In turn, this should enable more robust comparative studies and a systematic exploration of the global virosphere.

  • Insecticidal Toxicity of Involves the Novel Enterotoxin YacT.

    Springer K, Sänger PA, Moritz C, Felsl A, Rattei T, Fuchs TM
    2018 - Front Cell Infect Microbiol, 392


    The genus comprises 19 species of which three are known as human and animal pathogens. Some species display toxicity toward invertebrates using the so-called toxin complex (TC) and/or determinants that are not yet known. Recent studies showed a remarkable variability of insecticidal activities when representatives of different species (spp.) were subcutaneously injected into the greater wax moth, . Here, we demonstrate that and are highly toxic to this insect. A member of phylogroup 1B killed larvae with injection doses of approximately 38 cells only, thus resembling the insecticidal activity of . The pathogenicity spp. displays toward the larvae was higher at 15°C than at 30°C and independent of the TC. However, upon subtraction of all genes of the low-pathogenic strain W22703 from the genomes of and , we identified a set of genes that may be responsible for the toxicity of these two species. Indeed, a mutant of lacking , a gene that encodes a protein similar to the heat-stable cytotonic enterotoxin (Ast) of , exhibited a reduced pathogenicity toward larvae and altered the morphology of hemocytes. The data suggests that the repertoire of virulence determinants present in environmental species remains to be elucidated.

  • eggNOG 5.0: a hierarchical, functionally and phylogenetically annotated orthology resource based on 5090 organisms and 2502 viruses.

    Huerta-Cepas J, Szklarczyk D, Heller D, Hernández-Plaza A, Forslund SK, Cook H, Mende DR, Letunic I, Rattei T, Jensen LJ, von Mering C, Bork P
    2018 - Nucleic Acids Res., in press


    eggNOG is a public database of orthology relationships, gene evolutionary histories and functional annotations. Here, we present version 5.0, featuring a major update of the underlying genome sets, which have been expanded to 4445 representative bacteria and 168 archaea derived from 25 038 genomes, as well as 477 eukaryotic organisms and 2502 viral proteomes that were selected for diversity and filtered by genome quality. In total, 4.4M orthologous groups (OGs) distributed across 379 taxonomic levels were computed together with their associated sequence alignments, phylogenies, HMM models and functional descriptors. Precomputed evolutionary analysis provides fine-grained resolution of duplication/speciation events within each OG. Our benchmarks show that, despite doubling the amount of genomes, the quality of orthology assignments and functional annotations (80% coverage) has persisted without significant changes across this update. Finally, we improved eggNOG online services for fast functional annotation and orthology prediction of custom genomics or metagenomics datasets. All precomputed data are publicly available for downloading or via API queries at

  • A promiscuous beta-glucosidase is involved in benzoxazinoid deglycosylation in Lamium galeobdolon.

    Hannemann L, Lucaciu CR, Sharma S, Rattei T, Mayer KFX, Gierl A, Frey M
    2018 - Phytochemistry, 224-233


    In the plant kingdom beta-glucosidases (BGLUs) of the glycosidase hydrolase family 1 have essential function in primary metabolism and are particularly employed in secondary metabolism. They are essential for activation in two-component defence systems based on stabilisation of reactive compounds by glycosylation. Based on de novo assembly we isolated and functionally characterised BGLUs expressed in leaves of Lamium galeobdolon (LgGLUs). LgGLU1 could be assigned to hydrolysis of the benzoxazinoid GDIBOA (2,4-dihydroxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one glucoside). Within the Lamiaceae L. galeobdolon is distinguished by the presence GDIBOA in addition to the more common iridoid harpagide. Although LgGLU1 proved to be promiscuous with respect to accepted substrates, harpagide hydrolysis was not detected. Benzoxazinoids are characteristic defence compounds of the Poales but are also found in some unrelated dicots. The benzoxazinoid specific BGLUs have recently been identified for the grasses maize, wheat, rye and the Ranunculaceae Consolida orientalis. All enzymes share a general substrate ambiguity but differ in detailed substrate pattern. The isolation of the second dicot GDIBOA glucosidase LgGLU1 allowed it to analyse the phylogenetic relation of the distinct BGLUs also within dicots. The data revealed long periods of independent sequence evolution before speciation.

  • The Genetic Transformation of Chlamydia pneumoniae.

    Shima K, Wanker M, Skilton RJ, Cutcliffe LT, Schnee C, Kohl TA, Niemann S, Geijo J, Klinger M, Timms P, Rattei T, Sachse K, Clarke IN, Rupp J
    2018 - mSphere, 5: in press


    We demonstrate the genetic transformation of using a plasmid shuttle vector system which generates stable transformants. The equine N16 isolate harbors the 7.5-kb plasmid pCpnE1. We constructed the plasmid vector pRSGFPCAT-Cpn containing a pCpnE1 backbone, plus the red-shifted green fluorescent protein (RSGFP), as well as the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) gene used for the selection of plasmid shuttle vector-bearing transformants. Using the pRSGFPCAT-Cpn plasmid construct, expression of RSGFP in koala isolate LPCoLN was demonstrated. Furthermore, we discovered that the human cardiovascular isolate CV-6 and the human community-acquired pneumonia-associated IOL-207 could also be transformed with pRSGFPCAT-Cpn. In previous studies, it was shown that spp. cannot be transformed when the plasmid shuttle vector is constructed from a different plasmid backbone to the homologous species. Accordingly, we confirmed that pRSGFPCAT-Cpn could not cross the species barrier in plasmid-bearing and plasmid-free , , , , and However, contrary to our expectation, pRSGFPCAT-Cpn did transform Furthermore, pRSGFPCAT-Cpn did not recombine with the wild-type plasmid of Taken together, we provide for the first time an easy-to-handle transformation protocol for that results in stable transformants. In addition, the vector can cross the species barrier to , indicating the potential of horizontal pathogenic gene transfer via a plasmid. The absence of tools for the genetic manipulation of has hampered research into all aspects of its biology. In this study, we established a novel reproducible method for transformation based on a plasmid shuttle vector system. We constructed a plasmid backbone shuttle vector, pRSGFPCAT-Cpn. The construct expresses the red-shifted green fluorescent protein (RSGFP) fused to chloramphenicol acetyltransferase in transformants stably retained pRSGFPCAT-Cpn and expressed RSGFP in epithelial cells, even in the absence of chloramphenicol. The successful transformation in using pRSGFPCAT-Cpn will advance the field of chlamydial genetics and is a promising new approach to investigate gene functions in biology. In addition, we demonstrated that pRSGFPCAT-Cpn overcame the plasmid species barrier without the need for recombination with an endogenous plasmid, indicating the potential probability of horizontal chlamydial pathogenic gene transfer by plasmids between chlamydial species.

  • The Iceman's Last Meal Consisted of Fat, Wild Meat, and Cereals.

    Maixner F, Turaev D, Cazenave-Gassiot A, Janko M, Krause-Kyora B, Hoopmann MR, Kusebauch U, Sartain M, Guerriero G, O'Sullivan N, Teasdale M, Cipollini G, Paladin A, Mattiangeli V, Samadelli M, Tecchiati U, Putzer A, Palazoglu M, Meissen J, Lösch S, Rausch P, Baines JF, Kim BJ, An HJ, Gostner P, Egarter-Vigl E, Malfertheiner P, Keller A, Stark RW, Wenk M, Bishop D, Bradley DG, Fiehn O, Engstrand L, Moritz RL, Doble P, Franke A, Nebel A, Oeggl K, Rattei T, Grimm R, Zink A
    2018 - Curr. Biol., 14: 2348-2355.e9


    The history of humankind is marked by the constant adoption of new dietary habits affecting human physiology, metabolism, and even the development of nutrition-related disorders. Despite clear archaeological evidence for the shift from hunter-gatherer lifestyle to agriculture in Neolithic Europe [1], very little information exists on the daily dietary habits of our ancestors. By undertaking a complementary -omics approach combined with microscopy, we analyzed the stomach content of the Iceman, a 5,300-year-old European glacier mummy [2, 3]. He seems to have had a remarkably high proportion of fat in his diet, supplemented with fresh or dried wild meat, cereals, and traces of toxic bracken. Our multipronged approach provides unprecedented analytical depth, deciphering the nutritional habit, meal composition, and food-processing methods of this Copper Age individual.

  • Corrigendum: Minimum information about a single amplified genome (MISAG) and a metagenome-assembled genome (MIMAG) of bacteria and archaea.

    Bowers RM, Kyrpides NC, Stepanauskas R, Harmon-Smith M, Doud D, Reddy TBK, Schulz F, Jarett J, Rivers AR, Eloe-Fadrosh EA, Tringe SG, Ivanova NN, Copeland A, Clum A, Becraft ED, Malmstrom RR, Birren B, Podar M, Bork P, Weinstock GM, Garrity GM, Dodsworth JA, Yooseph S, Sutton G, Glöckner FO, Gilbert JA, Nelson WC, Hallam SJ, Jungbluth SP, Ettema TJG, Tighe S, Konstantinidis KT, Liu WT, Baker BJ, Rattei T, Eisen JA, Hedlund B, McMahon KD, Fierer N, Knight R, Finn R, Cochrane G, Karsch-Mizrachi I, Tyson GW, Rinke C, Lapidus A, Meyer F, Yilmaz P, Parks DH, Eren AM, Schriml L, Banfield JF, Hugenholtz P, Woyke T
    2018 - Nat. Biotechnol., 7: 660
  • Oxytocin-like signaling in ants influences metabolic gene expression and locomotor activity.

    Liutkeviciute Z, Gil-Mansilla E, Eder T, Casillas-Pérez B, Di Giglio MG, Muratspahić E, Grebien F, Rattei T, Muttenthaler M, Cremer S, Gruber CW
    2018 - FASEB J., fj201800443


    Ants are emerging model systems to study cellular signaling because distinct castes possess different physiologic phenotypes within the same colony. Here we studied the functionality of inotocin signaling, an insect ortholog of mammalian oxytocin (OT), which was recently discovered in ants. In Lasius ants, we determined that specialization within the colony, seasonal factors, and physiologic conditions down-regulated the expression of the OT-like signaling system. Given this natural variation, we interrogated its function using RNAi knockdowns. Next-generation RNA sequencing of OT-like precursor knock-down ants highlighted its role in the regulation of genes involved in metabolism. Knock-down ants exhibited higher walking activity and increased self-grooming in the brood chamber. We propose that OT-like signaling in ants is important for regulating metabolic processes and locomotion.-Liutkevičiūtė, Z., Gil-Mansilla, E., Eder, T., Casillas-Pérez, B., Di Giglio, M. G., Muratspahić, E., Grebien, F., Rattei, T., Muttenthaler, M., Cremer, S., Gruber, C. W. Oxytocin-like signaling in ants influences metabolic gene expression and locomotor activity.

  • Characterization of a community-acquired-MRSA USA300 isolate from a river sample in Austria and whole genome sequence based comparison to a diverse collection of USA300 isolates.

    Lepuschitz S, Huhulescu S, Hyden P, Springer B, Rattei T, Allerberger F, Mach RL, Ruppitsch W
    2018 - Sci Rep, 1: 9467


    The increasing emergence of multi-resistant bacteria in healthcare settings, in the community and in the environment represents a major health threat worldwide. In 2016, we started a pilot project to investigate antimicrobial resistance in surface water. Bacteria were enriched, cultivated on selective chromogenic media and species identification was carried out by MALDI-TOF analysis. From a river in southern Austria a methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was isolated. Whole genome sequence analysis identified the isolate as ST8, spa type t008, SCCmecIV, PVL and ACME positive, which are main features of CA-MRSA USA300. Whole genome based cgMLST of the water isolate and comparison to 18 clinical MRSA USA300 isolates from the Austrian national reference laboratory for coagulase positive staphylococci originating from 2004, 2005 and 2016 and sequences of 146 USA300 isolates arbitrarily retrieved from the Sequence Read Archive revealed a close relatedness to a clinical isolate from Austria. The presence of a CA-MRSA USA300 isolate in an aquatic environment might pose a public health risk by serving as a potential source of infection or a source for emergence of new pathogenic MRSA clones.

  • Interplay between gut microbiota metabolism and inflammation in HIV infection.

    Vázquez-Castellanos JF, Serrano-Villar S, Jiménez-Hernández N, Soto Del Rio MD, Gayo S, Rojo D, Ferrer M, Barbas C, Moreno S, Estrada V, Rattei T, Latorre A, Moya A, Gosalbes MJ
    2018 - ISME J, 8: 1964-1976


    HIV infection causes a disruption of gut-associated lymphoid tissue, driving a shift in the composition of gut microbiota. A deeper understanding of the metabolic changes and how they affect the interplay with the host is needed. Here, we assessed functional modifications of HIV-associated microbiota by combining metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses. The transcriptionally active microbiota was well-adapted to the inflamed environment, overexpressing pathways related to resistance to oxidative stress. Furthermore, gut inflammation was maintained by the Gram-negative nature of the HIV-associated microbiota and underexpression of anti-inflammatory processes, such as short chain fatty acid biosynthesis or indole production. We performed co-occurrence and metabolic network analyses that showed relevance in the microbiota structure of both taxonomic and metabolic HIV-associated biomarkers. The Bayesian network revealed the most determinant pathways for maintaining the structure stability of the bacterial community. In addition, we identified the taxa's contribution to metabolic activities and their interactions with host health.

  • Reef Invertebrate Viromics: Diversity, Host-Specificity & Functional Capacity.

    Laffy PW, Wood-Charlson EM, Turaev D, Jutz S, Pascelli C, Botté ES, Bell SC, Peirce T, Weynberg KD, van Oppen MJH, Rattei T, Webster NS
    2018 - Environ. Microbiol., in press


    Recent metagenomic analyses have revealed a high diversity of viruses in the pelagic ocean and uncovered clear habitat-specific viral distribution patterns. Conversely, similar insights into the composition, host-specificity and function of viruses associated with marine organisms have been limited by challenges associated with sampling and computational analysis. Here we performed targeted viromic analysis of six coral reef invertebrate species and their surrounding seawater to deliver taxonomic and functional profiles of viruses associated with reef organisms. Sponges and corals host species-specific viral assemblages with low sequence identity to known viral genomes. While core viral genes involved in capsid formation, tail structure and infection mechanisms were observed across all reef samples, auxiliary genes including those involved in herbicide resistance and viral pathogenesis pathways such as host immune suppression were differentially enriched in reef hosts. Utilising a novel OTU based assessment, we also show a prevalence of dsDNA viruses belonging to the Mimiviridae, Caudovirales and Phycodnaviridae in reef environments and further highlight the abundance of ssDNA viruses belonging to the Circoviridae, Parvoviridae, Bidnaviridae and Microviridae in reef invertebrates. These insights into coral reef viruses provide an important framework for future research into how viruses contribute to the health and evolution of reef organisms. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  • Great Cause-Small Effect: Undeclared Genetically Engineered Orange Petunias Harbor an Inefficient Dihydroflavonol 4-Reductase.

    Haselmair-Gosch C, Miosic S, Nitarska D, Roth BL, Walliser B, Paltram R, Lucaciu RC, Eidenberger L, Rattei T, Olbricht K, Stich K, Halbwirth H
    2018 - Front Plant Sci, 149


    A recall campaign for commercial, orange flowering petunia varieties in spring 2017 caused economic losses worldwide. The orange varieties were identified as undeclared genetically engineered (GE)-plants, harboring a maize dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (), which was used in former scientific transgenic breeding attempts to enable formation of orange pelargonidin derivatives from the precursor dihydrokaempferol (DHK) in petunia. How and when the cDNA entered the commercial breeding process is unclear. We provide an in-depth analysis of three orange petunia varieties, released by breeders from three countries, with respect to their transgenic construct, transcriptomes, anthocyanin composition, and flavonoid metabolism at the level of selected enzymes and genes. The two possible sources of the cDNA in the undeclared GE-petunia can be discriminated by PCR. A special version of the gene, the type 2 allele, is present, which includes, at the 3'-end, an additional 144 bp segment from the non-viral transposable sequence, which does not add any functional advantage with respect to DFR activity. This unequivocally points at the first scientific GE-petunia from the 1980s as the source, which is further underpinned e.g., by the presence of specific restriction sites, parts of the untranslated sequences, and the same arrangement of the building blocks of the transformation plasmid used. Surprisingly, however, the GE-petunia cannot be distinguished from native red and blue varieties by their ability to convert DHK in common enzyme assays, as DHK is an inadequate substrate for both the petunia and maize DFR. Recombinant maize DFR underpins the low DHK acceptance, and, thus, the strikingly limited suitability of the protein for a transgenic approach for breeding pelargonidin-based flower color. The effect of single amino acid mutations on the substrate specificity of DFRs is demonstrated. Expression of the gene is generally lower than the petunia expression despite being under the control of the strong, constitutive p promoter. We show that a rare constellation in flavonoid metabolism-absence or strongly reduced activity of both flavonol synthase and B-ring hydroxylating enzymes-allows pelargonidin formation in the presence of DFRs with poor DHK acceptance.

  • Peatland Acidobacteria with a dissimilatory sulfur metabolism.

    Hausmann B, Pelikan C, Herbold CW, Köstlbacher S, Albertsen M, Eichorst SA, Glavina Del Rio T, Huemer M, Nielsen PH, Rattei T, Stingl U, Tringe SG, Trojan D, Wentrup C, Woebken D, Pester M, Loy A
    2018 - ISME J, in press


    Sulfur-cycling microorganisms impact organic matter decomposition in wetlands and consequently greenhouse gas emissions from these globally relevant environments. However, their identities and physiological properties are largely unknown. By applying a functional metagenomics approach to an acidic peatland, we recovered draft genomes of seven novel Acidobacteria species with the potential for dissimilatory sulfite (dsrAB, dsrC, dsrD, dsrN, dsrT, dsrMKJOP) or sulfate respiration (sat, aprBA, qmoABC plus dsr genes). Surprisingly, the genomes also encoded DsrL, which so far was only found in sulfur-oxidizing microorganisms. Metatranscriptome analysis demonstrated expression of acidobacterial sulfur-metabolism genes in native peat soil and their upregulation in diverse anoxic microcosms. This indicated an active sulfate respiration pathway, which, however, might also operate in reverse for dissimilatory sulfur oxidation or disproportionation as proposed for the sulfur-oxidizing Desulfurivibrio alkaliphilus. Acidobacteria that only harbored genes for sulfite reduction additionally encoded enzymes that liberate sulfite from organosulfonates, which suggested organic sulfur compounds as complementary energy sources. Further metabolic potentials included polysaccharide hydrolysis and sugar utilization, aerobic respiration, several fermentative capabilities, and hydrogen oxidation. Our findings extend both, the known physiological and genetic properties of Acidobacteria and the known taxonomic diversity of microorganisms with a DsrAB-based sulfur metabolism, and highlight new fundamental niches for facultative anaerobic Acidobacteria in wetlands based on exploitation of inorganic and organic sulfur molecules for energy conservation.

  • Corrigendum: Minimum information about a single amplified genome (MISAG) and a metagenome-assembled genome (MIMAG) of bacteria and archaea.

    Bowers RM, Kyrpides NC, Stepanauskas R, Harmon-Smith M, Doud D, Reddy TBK, Schulz F, Jarett J, Rivers AR, Eloe-Fadrosh EA, Tringe SG, Ivanova NN, Copeland A, Clum A, Becraft ED, Malmstrom RR, Birren B, Podar M, Bork P, Weinstock GM, Garrity GM, Dodsworth JA, Yooseph S, Sutton G, Glöckner FO, Gilbert JA, Nelson WC, Hallam SJ, Jungbluth SP, Ettema TJG, Tighe S, Konstantinidis KT, Liu WT, Baker BJ, Rattei T, Eisen JA, Hedlund B, McMahon KD, Fierer N, Knight R, Finn R, Cochrane G, Karsch-Mizrachi I, Tyson GW, Rinke C, Lapidus A, Meyer F, Yilmaz P, Parks DH, Eren AM, Schriml L, Banfield JF, Hugenholtz P, Woyke T
    2018 - Nat. Biotechnol., 2: 196
  • Asian horses deepen the MSY phylogeny.

    Felkel S, Vogl C, Rigler D, Jagannathan V, Leeb T, Fries R, Neuditschko M, Rieder S, Velie B, Lindgren G, Rubin CJ, Schlötterer C, Rattei T, Brem G, Wallner B
    2018 - Anim. Genet., 1: 90-93


    Humans have shaped the population history of the horse ever since domestication about 5500 years ago. Comparative analyses of the Y chromosome can illuminate the paternal origin of modern horse breeds. This may also reveal different breeding strategies that led to the formation of extant breeds. Recently, a horse Y-chromosomal phylogeny of modern horses based on 1.46 Mb of the male-specific Y (MSY) was generated. We extended this dataset with 52 samples from five European, two American and seven Asian breeds. As in the previous study, almost all modern European horses fall into a crown group, connected via a few autochthonous Northern European lineages to the outgroup, the Przewalski's Horse. In total, we now distinguish 42 MSY haplotypes determined by 158 variants within domestic horses. Asian horses show much higher diversity than previously found in European breeds. The Asian breeds also introduce a deep split to the phylogeny, preliminarily dated to 5527 ± 872 years. We conclude that the deep splitting Asian Y haplotypes are remnants of a far more diverse ancient horse population, whose haplotypes were lost in other lineages.

  • Genomic insights into the Acidobacteria reveal strategies for their success in terrestrial environments.

    Eichorst SA, Trojan D, Roux S, Herbold C, Rattei T, Woebken D
    2018 - Environ. Microbiol., 3: 1041-1063


    Members of the phylum Acidobacteria are abundant and ubiquitous across soils. We performed a large-scale comparative genome analysis spanning subdivisions 1, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 23 (n = 24) with the goal to identify features to help explain their prevalence in soils and understand their ecophysiology. Our analysis revealed that bacteriophage integration events along with transposable and mobile elements influenced the structure and plasticity of these genomes. Low- and high-affinity respiratory oxygen reductases were detected in multiple genomes, suggesting the capacity for growing across different oxygen gradients. Among many genomes, the capacity to use a diverse collection of carbohydrates, as well as inorganic and organic nitrogen sources (such as via extracellular peptidases), was detected - both advantageous traits in environments with fluctuating nutrient environments. We also identified multiple soil acidobacteria with the potential to scavenge atmospheric concentrations of H , now encompassing mesophilic soil strains within the subdivision 1 and 3, in addition to a previously identified thermophilic strain in subdivision 4. This large-scale acidobacteria genome analysis reveal traits that provide genomic, physiological and metabolic versatility, presumably allowing flexibility and versatility in the challenging and fluctuating soil environment.

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