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December 14, 2018

Glyphosate resistance and EPSPS gene duplication: Convergent evolution in multiple plant species.

One of the increasingly widespread mechanisms of resistance to the herbicide glyphosate is copy number variation (CNV) of the 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) gene. EPSPS gene duplication has been reported in eight weed species, ranging from 3-5 extra copies to more than 150 extra copies. In the case of Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri), a section of >300 kb containing EPSPS and many other genes has been replicated and inserted at new loci throughout the genome, resulting in significant increase in total genome size. The replicated sequence contains several classes of mobile genetic elements including helitrons, raising the intriguing possibility of extra-chromosomal…

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December 1, 2018

Reference genome sequences of two cultivated allotetraploid cottons, Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium barbadense.

Allotetraploid cotton species (Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium barbadense) have long been cultivated worldwide for natural renewable textile fibers. The draft genome sequences of both species are available but they are highly fragmented and incomplete1-4. Here we report reference-grade genome assemblies and annotations for G. hirsutum accession Texas Marker-1 (TM-1) and G. barbadense accession 3-79 by integrating single-molecule real-time sequencing, BioNano optical mapping and high-throughput chromosome conformation capture techniques. Compared with previous assembled draft genomes1,3, these genome sequences show considerable improvements in contiguity and completeness for regions with high content of repeats such as centromeres. Comparative genomics analyses identify extensive structural…

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December 1, 2018

Genome-wide characterization and phylogenetic analysis of GSK gene family in three species of cotton: evidence for a role of some GSKs in fiber development and responses to stress

Background: The glycogen synthase kinase 3/shaggy kinase (GSK3) is a serine/threonine kinase with important roles in animals. Although GSK3 genes have been studied for more than 30years, plant GSK genes have been studied only since the last decade. Previous research has confirmed that plant GSK genes are involved in diverse processes, including floral development, brassinosteroid signaling, and responses to abiotic stresses. Result: In this study, 20, 15 (including 5 different transcripts) and 10 GSK genes were identified in G. hirsutum, G. raimondii and G. arboreum, respectively. A total of 65 genes from Arabidopsis, rice, and cotton were classified into 4…

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November 2, 2018

Genome sequences of two diploid wild relatives of cultivated sweetpotato reveal targets for genetic improvement

Sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] is a globally important staple food crop, especially for sub-Saharan Africa. Agronomic improvement of sweetpotato has lagged behind other major food crops due to a lack of genomic and genetic resources and inherent challenges in breeding a heterozygous, clonally propagated polyploid. Here, we report the genome sequences of its two diploid relatives, I. trifida and I. triloba, and show that these high-quality genome assemblies are robust references for hexaploid sweetpotato. Comparative and phylogenetic analyses reveal insights into the ancient whole-genome triplication history of Ipomoea and evolutionary relationships within the Batatas complex. Using resequencing data from…

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November 1, 2018

Genome and evolution of the shade-requiring medicinal herb Panax ginseng.

Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer, reputed as the king of medicinal herbs, has slow growth, long generation time, low seed production and complicated genome structure that hamper its study. Here, we unveil the genomic architecture of tetraploid P. ginseng by de novo genome assembly, representing 2.98 Gbp with 59 352 annotated genes. Resequencing data indicated that diploid Panax species diverged in association with global warming in Southern Asia, and two North American species evolved via two intercontinental migrations. Two whole genome duplications (WGD) occurred in the family Araliaceae (including Panax) after divergence with the Apiaceae, the more recent one contributing to the ability…

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November 1, 2018

Computational tools to unmask transposable elements.

A substantial proportion of the genome of many species is derived from transposable elements (TEs). Moreover, through various self-copying mechanisms, TEs continue to proliferate in the genomes of most species. TEs have contributed numerous regulatory, transcript and protein innovations and have also been linked to disease. However, notwithstanding their demonstrated impact, many genomic studies still exclude them because their repetitive nature results in various analytical complexities. Fortunately, a growing array of methods and software tools are being developed to cater for them. This Review presents a summary of computational resources for TEs and highlights some of the challenges and remaining…

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November 1, 2018

Whole-genome landscape of Medicago truncatula symbiotic genes.

Advances in deciphering the functional architecture of eukaryotic genomes have been facilitated by recent breakthroughs in sequencing technologies, enabling a more comprehensive representation of genes and repeat elements in genome sequence assemblies, as well as more sensitive and tissue-specific analyses of gene expression. Here we show that PacBio sequencing has led to a substantially improved genome assembly of Medicago truncatula A17, a legume model species notable for endosymbiosis studies1, and has enabled the identification of genome rearrangements between genotypes at a near-base-pair resolution. Annotation of the new M. truncatula genome sequence has allowed for a thorough analysis of transposable elements…

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November 1, 2018

TriPoly: haplotype estimation for polyploids using sequencing data of related individuals.

Knowledge of haplotypes, i.e. phased and ordered marker alleles on a chromosome, is essential to answer many questions in genetics and genomics. By generating short pieces of DNA sequence, high-throughput modern sequencing technologies make estimation of haplotypes possible for single individuals. In polyploids, however, haplotype estimation methods usually require deep coverage to achieve sufficient accuracy. This often renders sequencing-based approaches too costly to be applied to large populations needed in studies of Quantitative Trait Loci.We propose a novel haplotype estimation method for polyploids, TriPoly, that combines sequencing data with Mendelian inheritance rules to infer haplotypes in parent-offspring trios. Using realistic…

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November 1, 2018

Assessing genome assembly quality using the LTR Assembly Index (LAI).

Assembling a plant genome is challenging due to the abundance of repetitive sequences, yet no standard is available to evaluate the assembly of repeat space. LTR retrotransposons (LTR-RTs) are the predominant interspersed repeat that is poorly assembled in draft genomes. Here, we propose a reference-free genome metric called LTR Assembly Index (LAI) that evaluates assembly continuity using LTR-RTs. After correcting for LTR-RT amplification dynamics, we show that LAI is independent of genome size, genomic LTR-RT content, and gene space evaluation metrics (i.e., BUSCO and CEGMA). By comparing genomic sequences produced by various sequencing techniques, we reveal the significant gain of…

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November 1, 2018

Analysis of transcripts and splice isoforms in red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) by single-molecule long-read sequencing.

Red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) is an important cool-season legume plant, which is the most widely planted forage legume after alfalfa. Although a draft genome sequence was published already, the sequences and completed structure of mRNA transcripts remain unclear, which limit further explore on red clover.In this study, the red clover transcriptome was sequenced using single-molecule long-read sequencing to identify full-length splice isoforms, and 29,730 novel isoforms from known genes and 2194 novel isoforms from novel genes were identified. A total of 5492 alternative splicing events was identified and the majority of alter spliced events in red clover was corrected…

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November 1, 2018

The chromosome-level quality genome provides insights into the evolution of the biosynthesis genes for aroma compounds of Osmanthus fragrans.

Sweet osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans) is a very popular ornamental tree species throughout Southeast Asia and USA particularly for its extremely fragrant aroma. We constructed a chromosome-level reference genome of O. fragrans to assist in studies of the evolution, genetic diversity, and molecular mechanism of aroma development. A total of over 118?Gb of polished reads was produced from HiSeq (45.1?Gb) and PacBio Sequel (73.35?Gb), giving 100× depth coverage for long reads. The combination of Illumina-short reads, PacBio-long reads, and Hi-C data produced the final chromosome quality genome of O. fragrans with a genome size of 727?Mb and a heterozygosity of 1.45…

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November 1, 2018

Global dissection of alternative splicing uncovers transcriptional diversity in tissues and associates with the flavonoid pathway in tea plant (Camellia sinensis).

Alternative splicing (AS) regulates mRNA at the post-transcriptional level to change gene function in organisms. However, little is known about the AS and its roles in tea plant (Camellia sinensis), widely cultivated for making a popular beverage tea.In our study, the AS landscape and dynamics were characterized in eight tissues (bud, young leaf, summer mature leaf, winter old leaf, stem, root, flower, fruit) of tea plant by Illumina RNA-Seq and confirmed by Iso-Seq. The most abundant AS (~?20%) was intron retention and involved in RNA processes. The some alternative splicings were found to be tissue specific in stem and root etc.…

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November 1, 2018

Population sequencing reveals clonal diversity and ancestral inbreeding in the grapevine cultivar Chardonnay.

Chardonnay is the basis of some of the world's most iconic wines and its success is underpinned by a historic program of clonal selection. There are numerous clones of Chardonnay available that exhibit differences in key viticultural and oenological traits that have arisen from the accumulation of somatic mutations during centuries of asexual propagation. However, the genetic variation that underlies these differences remains largely unknown. To address this knowledge gap, a high-quality, diploid-phased Chardonnay genome assembly was produced from single-molecule real time sequencing, and combined with re-sequencing data from 15 different Chardonnay clones. There were 1620 markers identified that distinguish…

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November 1, 2018

A physical and genetic map of Cannabis sativa identifies extensive rearrangement at the THC/CBD acid synthase locus.

Cannabis sativa is widely cultivated for medicinal, food, industrial, and recreational use, but much remains unknown regarding its genetics, including the molecular determinants of cannabinoid content. Here, we describe a combined physical and genetic map derived from a cross between the drug-type strain 'Purple Kush' and the hemp variety 'Finola'. The map reveals that cannabinoid biosynthesis genes are generally unlinked, but that aromatic prenyltransferase (AP), which produces the substrate for THCA and CBDA synthases (THCAS and CBDAS), is tightly linked to a known marker for total cannabinoid content. We further identify the gene encoding CBCA synthase (CBCAS) and characterize its…

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October 22, 2018

De novo assembly of haplotype-resolved genomes with trio binning.

Complex allelic variation hampers the assembly of haplotype-resolved sequences from diploid genomes. We developed trio binning, an approach that simplifies haplotype assembly by resolving allelic variation before assembly. In contrast with prior approaches, the effectiveness of our method improved with increasing heterozygosity. Trio binning uses short reads from two parental genomes to first partition long reads from an offspring into haplotype-specific sets. Each haplotype is then assembled independently, resulting in a complete diploid reconstruction. We used trio binning to recover both haplotypes of a diploid human genome and identified complex structural variants missed by alternative approaches. We sequenced an F1…

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