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October 20, 2016

Phased human genome assemblies with Single Molecule, Real-Time Sequencing

In recent years, human genomic research has focused on comparing short-read data sets to a single human reference genome. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that significant structural variations present in individual human genomes are missed or ignored by this approach. Additionally, remapping short-read data limits the phasing of variation among individual chromosomes. This reduces the newly sequenced genome to a table of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with little to no information as to the co-linearity (phasing) of these variants, resulting in a “mosaic” reference representing neither of the parental chromosomes. The variation between the homologous chromosomes is lost in…

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October 5, 2016

De novo assembly and phasing of a Korean human genome.

Advances in genome assembly and phasing provide an opportunity to investigate the diploid architecture of the human genome and reveal the full range of structural variation across population groups. Here we report the de novo assembly and haplotype phasing of the Korean individual AK1 (ref. 1) using single-molecule real-time sequencing, next-generation mapping, microfluidics-based linked reads, and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) sequencing approaches. Single-molecule sequencing coupled with next-generation mapping generated a highly contiguous assembly, with a contig N50 size of 17.9?Mb and a scaffold N50 size of 44.8?Mb, resolving 8 chromosomal arms into single scaffolds. The de novo assembly, along with…

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August 2, 2016

High-quality assembly of an individual of Yoruban descent

De novo assembly of human genomes is now a tractable effort due in part to advances in sequencing and mapping technologies. We use PacBio single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing and BioNano genomic maps to construct the first de novo assembly of NA19240, a Yoruban individual from Africa. This chromosome-scaffolded assembly of 3.08 Gb with a contig N50 of 7.25 Mb and a scaffold N50 of 78.6 Mb represents one of the most contiguous high-quality human genomes. We utilize a BAC library derived from NA19240 DNA and novel haplotype-resolving sequencing technologies and algorithms to characterize regions of complex genomic architecture that are…

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July 12, 2016

Chromosome-level assembly of Arabidopsis thaliana Ler reveals the extent of translocation and inversion polymorphisms.

Resequencing or reference-based assemblies reveal large parts of the small-scale sequence variation. However, they typically fail to separate such local variation into colinear and rearranged variation, because they usually do not recover the complement of large-scale rearrangements, including transpositions and inversions. Besides the availability of hundreds of genomes of diverse Arabidopsis thaliana accessions, there is so far only one full-length assembled genome: the reference sequence. We have assembled 117 Mb of the A. thaliana Landsberg erecta (Ler) genome into five chromosome-equivalent sequences using a combination of short Illumina reads, long PacBio reads, and linkage information. Whole-genome comparison against the reference…

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June 30, 2016

Long-read sequencing and de novo assembly of a Chinese genome.

Short-read sequencing has enabled the de novo assembly of several individual human genomes, but with inherent limitations in characterizing repeat elements. Here we sequence a Chinese individual HX1 by single-molecule real-time (SMRT) long-read sequencing, construct a physical map by NanoChannel arrays and generate a de novo assembly of 2.93?Gb (contig N50: 8.3?Mb, scaffold N50: 22.0?Mb, including 39.3?Mb N-bases), together with 206?Mb of alternative haplotypes. The assembly fully or partially fills 274 (28.4%) N-gaps in the reference genome GRCh38. Comparison to GRCh38 reveals 12.8?Mb of HX1-specific sequences, including 4.1?Mb that are not present in previously reported Asian genomes. Furthermore, long-read sequencing…

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June 20, 2016

Complete telomere-to-telomere de novo assembly of the Plasmodium falciparum genome using long-read sequencing

Sequence-based estimation of genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum, the most lethal malarial parasite, has proved challenging due to a lack of a complete genomic assembly. The skewed AT-richness (~80.6% (A+T)) of its genome and the lack of technology to assemble highly polymorphic sub-telomeric regions that contain clonally variant, multigene virulence families (i.e. var and rifin) have confounded attempts using short-read NGS technologies. Using single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing, we successfully compiled all 14 nuclear chromosomes of the P. falciparum genome from telomere-to-telomere in single contigs. Specifically, amplification-free sequencing generated reads of average length 12 kb, with =50% of the reads…

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April 15, 2016

Chromosomal-level assembly of the Asian seabass genome using long sequence reads and multi-layered scaffolding.

We report here the ~670 Mb genome assembly of the Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer), a tropical marine teleost. We used long-read sequencing augmented by transcriptomics, optical and genetic mapping along with shared synteny from closely related fish species to derive a chromosome-level assembly with a contig N50 size over 1 Mb and scaffold N50 size over 25 Mb that span ~90% of the genome. The population structure of L. calcarifer species complex was analyzed by re-sequencing 61 individuals representing various regions across the species' native range. SNP analyses identified high levels of genetic diversity and confirmed earlier indications of a…

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February 12, 2016

Un-zipping diploid genomes – revealing all kinds of heterozygous variants from comprehensive hapltotig assemblies

Outside of the simplest cases (haploid, bacteria, or inbreds), genomic information is not carried in a single reference per individual, but rather has higher ploidy (n=>2) for almost all organisms. The existence of two or more highly related sequences within an individual makes it extremely difficult to build high quality, highly contiguous genome assemblies from short DNA fragments. Based on the earlier work on a polyploidy aware assembler, FALCON (https://github.com/PacificBiosciences/FALCON), we developed new algorithms and software (FALCON-unzip) for de novo haplotype reconstructions from SMRT Sequencing data. We apply the algorithms and the prototype software for (1) a highly repetitive diploid…

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February 12, 2016

Long-read assembly of the Aedes aegypti Aag2 cell line genome resolves ancient endogenous viral elements

Transmission of arboviruses such as Dengue and Zika viruses by Aedes aegypti causes widespread and debilitating disease across the globe. Disease in humans can include severe acute symptoms such as hemorrhagic fever, organ failure, and encephalitis; and yet, mosquitoes tolerate high titers of virus in a persistent infection. The mechanisms responsible for tolerance to viral infection in mosquitoes are still unclear. Recent publications have highlighted the integration of genetic material from non-retroviral RNA viruses into the genome of the host during infection that relies upon endogenous retro-transcriptase activity from transposons. These endogenous viral elements (EVEs) found in the genome are…

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February 12, 2016

AGBT Virtual Poster: Unzipping diploid genomes – revealing all kinds of heterozygous variants from comprehensive haplotig assemblies

In this AGBT virtual poster video, Jason Chin, a bioinformatician at PacBio, describes a polyploidy-aware de novo assembly approach called FALCON and a new algorithm, dubbed FALCON-unzip, that involves “unzipping” diploid genomes for de novo haplotype reconstructions from SMRT Sequencing data. These methods are illustrated in a studies of fungal, Arabidopsis and human datasets for the resolution of structural variation and characterization of haplotypes.

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February 12, 2016

AGBT Virtual Poster: Long-read assembly of the Aedes aegypti Aag2 cell line genome resolves ancient endogenous viral elements

In this AGBT poster, PacBio bioinformatician Matthew Seetin presents a new assembly for Aedes aegypti cell line, the mosquito responsible for spreading viruses like Dengue and Zika. SMRT Sequencing generated a gapless assembly with a contig N50 of 1.4 Mb, compared to 82 kb in the previous assembly. The genome features a number of transposable elements and long tandem repeats.

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January 12, 2016

Diploid genome assembly and comprehensive haplotype sequence reconstruction

Outside of the simplest cases (haploid, bacteria, or inbreds), genomic information is not carried in a single reference per individual, but rather has higher ploidy (n=>2) for almost all organisms. The existence of two or more highly related sequences within an individual makes it extremely difficult to build high quality, highly contiguous genome assemblies from short DNA fragments. Based on the earlier work on a polyploidy aware assembler, FALCON ( https://github.com/PacificBiosciences/FALCON) , we developed new algorithms and software (“FALCON-unzip”) for de novo haplotype reconstructions from SMRT Sequencing data. We generate two datasets for developing the algorithms and the prototype software:…

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January 12, 2016

PAG PacBio Workshop: Conservation genomics of a critically endangered Hawaiian bird: A high quality genome assembly of the ‘alala will assist in population management and reintroduction

Oliver Ryder speaks about efforts to rescue the Hawaiian crow, a bird that has been extinct in the wild since 2002, and reintroduce it to its native habitat. Critical to this work is a new SMRT Sequencing reference genome assembly, which Ryder says is already one of the best avian assemblies out there. The resource may help deal with challenges like inbreeding and disease susceptibility.

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