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November 1, 2018

Genomic characterization reveals significant divergence within Chlorella sorokiniana (Chlorellales, Trebouxiophyceae)

Selection of highly productive algal strains is crucial for establishing economically viable biomass and biopro- duct cultivation systems. Characterization of algal genomes, including understanding strain-specific differences in genome content and architecture is a critical step in this process. Using genomic analyses, we demonstrate significant differences between three strains of Chlorella sorokiniana (strain 1228, UTEX 1230, and DOE1412). We found that unique, strain-specific genes comprise a substantial proportion of each genome, and genomic regions with> 80% local nucleotide identity constitute

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November 1, 2018

Genomic analysis of Picochlorum species reveals how microalgae may adapt to variable environments.

Understanding how microalgae adapt to rapidly changing environments is not only important to science but can help clarify the potential impact of climate change on the biology of primary producers. We sequenced and analyzed the nuclear genome of multiple Picochlorum isolates (Chlorophyta) to elucidate strategies of environmental adaptation. It was previously found that coordinated gene regulation is involved in adaptation to salinity stress, and here we show that gene gain and loss also play key roles in adaptation. We determined the extent of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from prokaryotes and their role in the origin of novel functions in the…

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August 1, 2018

Analysis of the draft genome of the red seaweed Gracilariopsis chorda provides insights into genome size evolution in Rhodophyta.

Red algae (Rhodophyta) underwent two phases of large-scale genome reduction during their early evolution. The red seaweeds did not attain genome sizes or gene inventories typical of other multicellular eukaryotes. We generated a high-quality 92.1 Mb draft genome assembly from the red seaweed Gracilariopsis chorda, including methylation and small (s)RNA data. We analyzed these and other Archaeplastida genomes to address three questions: 1) What is the role of repeats and transposable elements (TEs) in explaining Rhodophyta genome size variation, 2) what is the history of genome duplication and gene family expansion/reduction in these taxa, and 3) is there evidence for…

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July 1, 2018

Mapping and characterizing N6-methyladenine in eukaryotic genomes using single-molecule real-time sequencing.

N6-Methyladenine (m6dA) has been discovered as a novel form of DNA methylation prevalent in eukaryotes; however, methods for high-resolution mapping of m6dA events are still lacking. Single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing has enabled the detection of m6dA events at single-nucleotide resolution in prokaryotic genomes, but its application to detecting m6dA in eukaryotic genomes has not been rigorously examined. Herein, we identified unique characteristics of eukaryotic m6dA methylomes that fundamentally differ from those of prokaryotes. Based on these differences, we describe the first approach for mapping m6dA events using SMRT sequencing specifically designed for the study of eukaryotic genomes and provide appropriate…

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July 1, 2018

Unrestrained markerless trait stacking in Nannochloropsis gaditana through combined genome editing and marker recycling technologies.

Robust molecular tool kits in model and industrial microalgae are key to efficient targeted manipulation of endogenous and foreign genes in the nuclear genome for basic research and, as importantly, for the development of algal strains to produce renewable products such as biofuels. While Cas9-mediated gene knockout has been demonstrated in a small number of algal species with varying efficiency, the ability to stack traits or generate knockout mutations in two or more loci are often severely limited by selectable agent availability. This poses a critical hurdle in developing production strains, which require stacking of multiple traits, or in probing…

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May 1, 2018

A transposable element annotation pipeline and expression analysis reveal potentially active elements in the microalga Tisochrysis lutea.

Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile DNA sequences known as drivers of genome evolution. Their impacts have been widely studied in animals, plants and insects, but little is known about them in microalgae. In a previous study, we compared the genetic polymorphisms between strains of the haptophyte microalga Tisochrysis lutea and suggested the involvement of active autonomous TEs in their genome evolution.To identify potentially autonomous TEs, we designed a pipeline named PiRATE (Pipeline to Retrieve and Annotate Transposable Elements, download: https://doi.org/10.17882/51795 ), and conducted an accurate TE annotation on a new genome assembly of T. lutea. PiRATE is composed of detection,…

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May 1, 2018

Genomic analyses of unique carbohydrate and phytohormone metabolism in the macroalga Gracilariopsis lemaneiformis (Rhodophyta).

Red algae are economically valuable for food and in industry. However, their genomic information is limited, and the genomic data of only a few species of red algae have been sequenced and deposited recently. In this study, we annotated a draft genome of the macroalga Gracilariopsis lemaneiformis (Gracilariales, Rhodophyta).The entire 88.98 Mb genome of Gp. lemaneiformis 981 was generated from 13,825 scaffolds (=500 bp) with an N50 length of 30,590 bp, accounting for approximately 91% of this algal genome. A total of 38.73 Mb of scaffold sequences were repetitive, and 9281 protein-coding genes were predicted. A phylogenomic analysis of 20 genomes revealed the…

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April 15, 2018

The genome of Ectocarpus subulatus highlights unique mechanisms for stress tolerance in brown algae

Brown algae are multicellular photosynthetic organisms belonging to the stramenopile lineage. They are successful colonizers of marine rocky shores world-wide. The genus Ectocarpus, and especially strain Ec32, has been established as a genetic and genomic model for brown algae. A related species, Ectocarpus subulatus Kuetzing, is characterized by its high tolerance of abiotic stress. Here we present the genome and metabolic network of a haploid male strain of E. subulatus, establishing it as a comparative model to study the genomic bases of stress tolerance in Ectocarpus. Our analyses indicate that E. subulatus has separated from Ectocarpus sp. Ec32 via allopatric…

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March 1, 2018

Next-generation sequencing of Haematococcus lacustris reveals an extremely large 1.35-megabase chloroplast genome.

Haematococcus lacustris is an industrially relevant microalga that is used for the production of the carotenoid astaxanthin. Here, we report the use of PacBio long-read sequencing to assemble the chloroplast genome of H. lacustris strain UTEX:2505. At 1.35?Mb, this is the largest assembled chloroplast of any plant or alga known to date. Copyright © 2018 Bauman et al.

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March 1, 2018

Anisogamy evolved with a reduced sex-determining region in volvocine green algae

Male and female gametes differing in size—anisogamy—emerged independently from isogamous ancestors in various eukaryotic lineages, although genetic bases of this emergence are still unknown. Volvocine green algae are a model lineage for investigating the transition from isogamy to anisogamy. Here we focus on two closely related volvocine genera that bracket this transition—isogamous Yamagishiella and anisogamous Eudorina. We generated de novo nuclear genome assemblies of both sexes of Yamagishiella and Eudorina to identify the dimorphic sex-determining chromosomal region or mating-type locus (MT) from each. In contrast to the large (>1?Mb) and complex MT of oogamous Volvox, Yamagishiella and Eudorina MT are…

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February 1, 2018

Genome sequences of Chlorella sorokiniana UTEX 1602 and Micractinium conductrix SAG 241.80: implications to maltose excretion by a green alga.

Green algae represent a key segment of the global species capable of photoautotrophic-driven biological carbon fixation. Algae partition fixed-carbon into chemical compounds required for biomass, while diverting excess carbon into internal storage compounds such as starch and lipids or, in certain cases, into targeted extracellular compounds. Two green algae were selected to probe for critical components associated with sugar production and release in a model alga. Chlorella sorokiniana UTEX 1602 - which does not release significant quantities of sugars to the extracellular space - was selected as a control to compare with the maltose-releasing Micractinium conductrix SAG 241.80 - which…

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December 1, 2017

The plastid genome in Cladophorales green algae is encoded by hairpin chromosomes.

Virtually all plastid (chloroplast) genomes are circular double-stranded DNA molecules, typically between 100 and 200 kb in size and encoding circa 80-250 genes. Exceptions to this universal plastid genome architecture are very few and include the dinoflagellates, where genes are located on DNA minicircles. Here we report on the highly deviant chloroplast genome of Cladophorales green algae, which is entirely fragmented into hairpin chromosomes. Short- and long-read high-throughput sequencing of DNA and RNA demonstrated that the chloroplast genes of Boodlea composita are encoded on 1- to 7-kb DNA contigs with an exceptionally high GC content, each containing a long inverted…

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October 26, 2017

Draft nuclear genome sequence of the halophilic and beta-carotene-accumulating green alga Dunaliella salina strain CCAP19/18.

The halotolerant alga Dunaliella salina is a model for stress tolerance and is used commercially for production of beta-carotene (=pro-vitamin A). The presented draft genome of the genuine strain CCAP19/18 will allow investigations into metabolic processes involved in regulation of stress responses, including carotenogenesis and adaptations to life in high-salinity environments. Copyright © 2017 Polle et al.

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October 10, 2017

Building a locally diploid genome and transcriptome of the diatom Fragilariopsis cylindrus.

The genome of the cold-adapted diatom Fragilariopsis cylindrus is characterized by highly diverged haplotypes that intersperse its homozygous genome. Here, we describe how a combination of PacBio DNA and Illumina RNA sequencing can be used to resolve this complex genomic landscape locally into the highly diverged haplotypes, and how to map various environmentally controlled transcripts onto individual haplotypes. We assembled PacBio sequence data with the FALCON assembler and created a haplotype resolved annotation of the assembly using annotations of a Sanger sequenced F. cylindrus genome. RNA-seq datasets from six different growth conditions were used to resolve allele-specifc gene expression in…

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