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August 1, 2018

Patterns of polymorphism at the self-incompatibility locus in 1,083 Arabidopsis thaliana genomes.

Although the transition to selfing in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana involved the loss of the self-incompatibility (SI) system, it clearly did not occur due to the fixation of a single inactivating mutation at the locus determining the specificities of SI (the S-locus). At least three groups of divergent haplotypes (haplogroups), corresponding to ancient functional S-alleles, have been maintained at this locus, and extensive functional studies have shown that all three carry distinct inactivating mutations. However, the historical process of loss of SI is not well understood, in particular its relation with the last glaciation. Here, we took advantage of…

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May 1, 2018

DNA N6-adenine methylation in Arabidopsis thaliana.

DNA methylation on N6-adenine (6mA) has recently been found to be a potentially epigenetic mark in several unicellular and multicellular eukaryotes. However, its distribution patterns and potential functions in land plants, which are primary producers for most ecosystems, remain largely unknown. Here we report global profiling of 6mA sites at single-nucleotide resolution in the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana at different developmental stages using single-molecule real-time sequencing. 6mA sites are widely distributed across the Arabidopsis genome and enriched over the pericentromeric heterochromatin regions. 6mA occurs more frequently in gene bodies than intergenic regions. Analysis of 6mA methylomes and RNA sequencing data…

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December 19, 2017

HISEA: HIerarchical SEed Aligner for PacBio data.

The next generation sequencing (NGS) techniques have been around for over a decade. Many of their fundamental applications rely on the ability to compute good genome assemblies. As the technology evolves, the assembly algorithms and tools have to continuously adjust and improve. The currently dominant technology of Illumina produces reads that are too short to bridge many repeats, setting limits on what can be successfully assembled. The emerging SMRT (Single Molecule, Real-Time) sequencing technique from Pacific Biosciences produces uniform coverage and long reads of length up to sixty thousand base pairs, enabling significantly better genome assemblies. However, SMRT reads are…

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October 1, 2017

Endogenous sequence patterns predispose the repair modes of CRISPR/Cas9-induced DNA double-stranded breaks in Arabidopsis thaliana.

The possibility to predict the outcome of targeted DNA double-stranded break (DSB) repair would be desirable for genome editing. Furthermore the consequences of mis-repair of potentially cell-lethal DSBs and the underlying pathways are not yet fully understood. Here we study the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9-induced mutation spectra at three selected endogenous loci in Arabidopsis thaliana by deep sequencing of long amplicon libraries. Notably, we found sequence-dependent genomic features that affected the DNA repair outcome. Deletions of 1-bp to 1 kbp (all due to NHEJ) and deletions combined with insertions between 5-bp to >100 bp [caused by a synthesis-dependent strand…

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August 1, 2017

Proteogenomic analysis reveals alternative splicing and translation as part of the abscisic acid response in Arabidopsis seedlings.

In eukaryotes, mechanisms such as alternative splicing (AS) and alternative translation initiation (ATI) contribute to organismal protein diversity. Specifically, splicing factors play crucial roles in responses to environment and development cues; however, the underlying mechanisms are not well investigated in plants. Here, we report the parallel employment of short-read RNA sequencing, single molecule long-read sequencing and proteomic identification to unravel AS isoforms and previously unannotated proteins in response to abscisic acid (ABA) treatment. Combining the data from the two sequencing methods, approximately 83.4% of intron-containing genes were alternatively spliced. Two AS types, which are referred to as alternative first exon…

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July 1, 2017

Whole-genome restriction mapping by “subhaploid”-based RAD sequencing: An efficient and flexible approach for physical mapping and genome scaffolding.

Assembly of complex genomes using short reads remains a major challenge, which usually yields highly fragmented assemblies. Generation of ultradense linkage maps is promising for anchoring such assemblies, but traditional linkage mapping methods are hindered by the infrequency and unevenness of meiotic recombination that limit attainable map resolution. Here we develop a sequencing-based "in vitro" linkage mapping approach (called RadMap), where chromosome breakage and segregation are realized by generating hundreds of "subhaploid" fosmid/bacterial-artificial-chromosome clone pools, and by restriction site-associated DNA sequencing of these clone pools to produce an ultradense whole-genome restriction map to facilitate genome scaffolding. A bootstrap-based minimum spanning…

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June 21, 2017

Deletion-bias in DNA double-strand break repair differentially contributes to plant genome shrinkage.

In order to prevent genome instability, cells need to be protected by a number of repair mechanisms, including DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair. The extent to which DSB repair, biased towards deletions or insertions, contributes to evolutionary diversification of genome size is still under debate. We analyzed mutation spectra in Arabidopsis thaliana and in barley (Hordeum vulgare) by PacBio sequencing of three DSB-targeted loci each, uncovering repair via gene conversion, single strand annealing (SSA) or nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ). Furthermore, phylogenomic comparisons between A. thaliana and two related species were used to detect naturally occurring deletions during Arabidopsis evolution. Arabidopsis thaliana revealed…

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May 1, 2017

Canu: scalable and accurate long-read assembly via adaptive k-mer weighting and repeat separation.

Long-read single-molecule sequencing has revolutionized de novo genome assembly and enabled the automated reconstruction of reference-quality genomes. However, given the relatively high error rates of such technologies, efficient and accurate assembly of large repeats and closely related haplotypes remains challenging. We address these issues with Canu, a successor of Celera Assembler that is specifically designed for noisy single-molecule sequences. Canu introduces support for nanopore sequencing, halves depth-of-coverage requirements, and improves assembly continuity while simultaneously reducing runtime by an order of magnitude on large genomes versus Celera Assembler 8.2. These advances result from new overlapping and assembly algorithms, including an adaptive…

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April 20, 2017

Cytosine methylation at CpCpG sites triggers accumulation of non-CpG methylation in gene bodies.

Methylation of cytosine is an epigenetic mark involved in the regulation of transcription, usually associated with transcriptional repression. In mammals, methylated cytosines are found predominantly in CpGs but in plants non-CpG methylation (in the CpHpG or CpHpH contexts, where H is A, C or T) is also present and is associated with the transcriptional silencing of transposable elements. In addition, CpG methylation is found in coding regions of active genes. In the absence of the demethylase of lysine 9 of histone 3 (IBM1), a subset of body-methylated genes acquires non-CpG methylation. This was shown to alter their expression and affect…

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March 1, 2017

Re-sequencing transgenic plants revealed rearrangements at T-DNA inserts, and integration of a short T-DNA fragment, but no increase of small mutations elsewhere.

Transformation resulted in deletions and translocations at T-DNA inserts, but not in genome-wide small mutations. A tiny T-DNA splinter was detected that probably would remain undetected by conventional techniques. We investigated to which extent Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation is mutagenic, on top of inserting T-DNA. To prevent mutations due to in vitro propagation, we applied floral dip transformation of Arabidopsis thaliana. We re-sequenced the genomes of five primary transformants, and compared these to genomic sequences derived from a pool of four wild-type plants. By genome-wide comparisons, we identified ten small mutations in the genomes of the five transgenic plants, not correlated…

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March 1, 2017

Centromere location in Arabidopsis is unaltered by extreme divergence in CENH3 protein sequence.

During cell division, spindle fibers attach to chromosomes at centromeres. The DNA sequence at regional centromeres is fast evolving with no conserved genetic signature for centromere identity. Instead CENH3, a centromere-specific histone H3 variant, is the epigenetic signature that specifies centromere location across both plant and animal kingdoms. Paradoxically, CENH3 is also adaptively evolving. An ongoing question is whether CENH3 evolution is driven by a functional relationship with the underlying DNA sequence. Here, we demonstrate that despite extensive protein sequence divergence, CENH3 histones from distant species assemble centromeres on the same underlying DNA sequence. We first characterized the organization and…

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February 3, 2017

Improving and correcting the contiguity of long-read genome assemblies of three plant species using optical mapping and chromosome conformation capture data.

Long-read sequencing can overcome the weaknesses of short reads in the assembly of eukaryotic genomes, however, at present additional scaffolding is needed to achieve chromosome-level assemblies. We generated PacBio long-read data of the genomes of three relatives of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and assembled all three genomes into only a few hundred contigs. To improve the contiguities of these assemblies, we generated BioNano Genomics optical mapping and Dovetail Genomics chromosome conformation capture data for genome scaffolding. Despite their technical differences, optical mapping and chromosome conformation capture performed similarly and doubled N50 values. After improving both integration methods, assembly contiguity…

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February 1, 2017

NOVOPlasty: de novo assembly of organelle genomes from whole genome data.

The evolution in next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology has led to the development of many different assembly algorithms, but few of them focus on assembling the organelle genomes. These genomes are used in phylogenetic studies, food identification and are the most deposited eukaryotic genomes in GenBank. Producing organelle genome assembly from whole genome sequencing (WGS) data would be the most accurate and least laborious approach, but a tool specifically designed for this task is lacking. We developed a seed-and-extend algorithm that assembles organelle genomes from whole genome sequencing (WGS) data, starting from a related or distant single seed sequence. The algorithm…

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January 15, 2017

Phased diploid genome assembly with single-molecule real-time sequencing

While genome assembly projects have been successful in many haploid and inbred species, the assembly of non-inbred or rearranged heterozygous genomes remains a major challenge. To address this challenge, we introduce the open-source FALCON and FALCON-Unzip algorithms (https://github.com/PacificBiosciences/FALCON/) to assemble long-read sequencing data into highly accurate, contiguous, and correctly phased diploid genomes. We generate new reference sequences for heterozygous samples including an F1 hybrid of Arabidopsis thaliana, the widely cultivated Vitis vinifera cv. Cabernet Sauvignon, and the coral fungus Clavicorona pyxidata, samples that have challenged short-read assembly approaches. The FALCON-based assemblies are substantially more contiguous and complete than alternate short-…

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January 7, 2017

Organelle_PBA, a pipeline for assembling chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes from PacBio DNA sequencing data.

The development of long-read sequencing technologies, such as single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing by PacBio, has produced a revolution in the sequencing of small genomes. Sequencing organelle genomes using PacBio long-read data is a cost effective, straightforward approach. Nevertheless, the availability of simple-to-use software to perform the assembly from raw reads is limited at present.We present Organelle-PBA, a Perl program designed specifically for the assembly of chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes. For chloroplast genomes, the program selects the chloroplast reads from a whole genome sequencing pool, maps the reads to a reference sequence from a closely related species, and then performs read…

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