August 19, 2021  |  

Case Study — Diving Deep – Revealing the mysteries of marine life with SMRT Sequencing

Many scientists are using PacBio Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing to explore the genomes and transcriptomes of a wide variety of marine species and ecosystems. These studies are already adding to our understanding of how marine species adapt and evolve, contributing to conservation efforts, and informing how we can optimize food production through efficient aquaculture.

April 21, 2020  |  

Genome-Wide Association Study of Growth and Body-Shape-Related Traits in Large Yellow Croaker (Larimichthys crocea) Using ddRAD Sequencing.

Large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea) is an economically important marine fish species of China. Due to overfishing and marine pollution, the wild stocks of this croaker have collapsed in the past decades. Meanwhile, the cultured croaker is facing the difficulties of reduced genetic diversity and low growth rate. To explore the molecular markers related to the growth traits of croaker and providing the related SNPs for the marker-assisted selection, we used double-digest restriction-site associated DNA (ddRAD) sequencing to dissect the genetic bases of growth traits in a cultured population and identify the SNPs that associated with important growth traits by GWAS. A total of 220 individuals were genotyped by ddRAD sequencing. After quality control, 27,227 SNPs were identified in 220 samples and used for GWAS analysis. We identified 13 genome-wide significant associated SNPs of growth traits on 8 chromosomes, and the beta P of these SNPs ranged from 0.01 to 0.86. Through the definition of candidate regions and gene annotation, candidate genes related to growth were identified, including important regulators such as fgf18, fgf1, nr3c1, cyp8b1, fabp2, cyp2r1, ppara, and ccm2l. We also identified SNPs and candidate genes that significantly associated with body shape, including bmp7, col1a1, col11a2, and col18a1, which are also economically important traits for large yellow croaker aquaculture. The results provided insights into the genetic basis of growth and body shape in large yellow croaker population and would provide reliable genetic markers for molecular marker-assisted selection in the future. Meanwhile, the result established a basis for our subsequent fine mapping and related gene study.

April 21, 2020  |  

Complete genome sequence and characterization of virulence genes in Lancefield group C Streptococcus dysgalactiae isolated from farmed amberjack (Seriola dumerili).

Lancefield group C Streptococcus dysgalactiae causes infections in farmed fish. Here, the genome of S. dysgalactiae strain kdys0611, isolated from farmed amberjack (Seriola dumerili) was sequenced. The complete genome sequence of kdys0611 consists of a single chromosome and five plasmids. The chromosome is 2,142,780?bp long and has a GC content of 40%. It possesses 2061 coding sequences and 67 tRNA and 6 rRNA operons. One clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat, 125 insertion sequences, and four predicted prophage elements were identified. Phylogenetic analysis based on 126 core genes suggested that the kdys0611 strain is more closely related to S. dysgalactiae subsp. dysgalactiae than to S. dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis. The genome of kdys0611 harbors 87 genes with sequence similarity to putative virulence-associated genes identified in other bacteria, of which 57 exhibit amino acid identity (>52%) to genes of the S. dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis GGS124 human clinical isolate. Four putative virulence genes, emm5 (FGCSD_0256), spg_2 (FGCSD_1961), skc (FGCSD_1012), and cna (FGCSD_0159), in kdys0611 did not show significant homology with any deposited S. dysgalactiae genes. The chromosomal sequence of kdys0611 has been deposited in GenBank under Accession No. AP018726. This is the first report of the complete genome sequence of S. dysgalactiae isolated from fish. © 2019 The Societies and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

April 21, 2020  |  

Comparative genomic analysis unravels the transmission pattern and intra-species divergence of acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND)-causing Vibrio parahaemolyticus strains.

Acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease (AHPND) is a recently discovered shrimp disease that has become a severe threat to global shrimp-farming industry. The causing agents of AHPND were identified as Vibrio parahaemolyticus and other vibrios harboring a plasmid encoding binary toxins PirAvp/PirBvp. However, the epidemiological involvement of environmental vibrios in AHPND is poorly understood. In this study, with an aim to reveal the possible transmission route of AHPND-causing V. parahaemolyticus, we sequenced and analyzed the genomes of four pairs of V. parahaemolyticus strains from four representative regions of shrimp farming in China, each including one strain isolated from diseased shrimp during an AHPND outbreak and one strain isolated from sediment before AHPND outbreaks. Our results showed that all the four shrimp-isolated and three of the sediment-isolated strains encode and secret PirAvp/PirBvp toxins and, therefore, are AHPND-causing strains. In silico multilocus sequence typing and high-resolution phylogenomic analysis based on single-nucleotide polymorphisms, as well as comparison of genomic loci in association with prophages and capsular polysaccharides (CPSs) consistently pointed to a close genetic relationship between the shrimp- and sediment-isolated strains obtained from the same region. In addition, our analyses revealed that the sequences associated with prophages, CPSs, and type VI secretion system-1 are highly divergent among strains from different regions, implying that these genes may play vital roles in environmental adaptation for AHPND-causing V. parahaemolyticus and thereby be potential targets for AHPND control. Summing up, this study provides the first direct evidence regarding the transmission route of AHPND-causing V. parahaemolyticus and underscores that V. parahaemolyticus in shrimp are most likely originated from local environment. The importance of environmental disinfection measures in shrimp farming was highlighted.

April 21, 2020  |  

Draft Genome Sequences of Flavobacterium columnare Strains ARS1 and BGFS27, Isolated from Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus).

Flavobacterium columnare strain BGFS27 was isolated from an apparently healthy wild channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) collected from the Mobile River in 2005. F. columnare strain ARS1 was isolated from a channel catfish suffering from columnaris disease in a commercial farm in 1996. BGFS27 belongs to genomovar II (genetic group 2), while ARS1 belongs to genomovar III (genetic group 3). Here, we report the draft genome sequences of F. columnare BGFS27 and ARS1, obtained by PacBio sequencing.Copyright © 2019 Cai and Arias.

April 21, 2020  |  

Whole Genome Sequencing of the Giant Grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus) and High-Throughput Screening of Putative Antimicrobial Peptide Genes.

Giant groupers, the largest grouper type in the world, are of economic importance in marine aquaculture for their rapid growth. At the same time, bacterial and viral diseases have become the main threats to the grouper industry. Here, we report a high-quality genome of a giant grouper sequenced by an Illumina HiSeq X-Ten and PacBio Bioscience Sequel platform. A total of 254 putative antimicrobial peptide (AMP) genes were identified, which can be divided into 34 classes according to the annotation of the Antimicrobial Peptides Database (APD3). Their locations in pseudochromosomes were also determined. Thrombin-, lectin-, and scolopendin-derived putative AMPs were the three largest parts. In addition, expressions of putative AMPs were measured by our transcriptome data. Two putative AMP genes (gapdh1 and gapdh2) were involved in glycolysis, which had extremely high expression levels in giant grouper muscle. As it has been reported that AMPs inhibit the growth of a broad spectrum of microbes and participate in regulating innate and adaptive immune responses, genome sequencing of this study provides a comprehensive cataloging of putative AMPs of groupers, supporting antimicrobial research and aquaculture therapy. These genomic resources will be beneficial to further molecular breeding of this economically important fish.

April 21, 2020  |  

Crustacean Genome Exploration Reveals the Evolutionary Origin of White Spot Syndrome Virus.

White spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is a crustacean-infecting, double-stranded DNA virus and is the most serious viral pathogen in the global shrimp industry. WSSV is the sole recognized member of the family Nimaviridae, and the lack of genomic data on other nimaviruses has obscured the evolutionary history of WSSV. Here, we investigated the evolutionary history of WSSV by characterizing WSSV relatives hidden in host genomic data. We surveyed 14 host crustacean genomes and identified five novel nimaviral genomes. Comparative genomic analysis of Nimaviridae identified 28 “core genes” that are ubiquitously conserved in Nimaviridae; unexpected conservation of 13 uncharacterized proteins highlighted yet-unknown essential functions underlying the nimavirus replication cycle. The ancestral Nimaviridae gene set contained five baculoviral per os infectivity factor homologs and a sulfhydryl oxidase homolog, suggesting a shared phylogenetic origin of Nimaviridae and insect-associated double-stranded DNA viruses. Moreover, we show that novel gene acquisition and subsequent amplification reinforced the unique accessory gene repertoire of WSSV. Expansion of unique envelope protein and nonstructural virulence-associated genes may have been the key genomic event that made WSSV such a deadly pathogen.IMPORTANCE WSSV is the deadliest viral pathogen threatening global shrimp aquaculture. The evolutionary history of WSSV has remained a mystery, because few WSSV relatives, or nimaviruses, had been reported. Our aim was to trace the history of WSSV using the genomes of novel nimaviruses hidden in host genome data. We demonstrate that WSSV emerged from a diverse family of crustacean-infecting large DNA viruses. By comparing the genomes of WSSV and its relatives, we show that WSSV possesses an expanded set of unique host-virus interaction-related genes. This extensive gene gain may have been the key genomic event that made WSSV such a deadly pathogen. Moreover, conservation of insect-infecting virus protein homologs suggests a common phylogenetic origin of crustacean-infecting Nimaviridae and other insect-infecting DNA viruses. Our work redefines the previously poorly characterized crustacean virus family and reveals the ancient genomic events that preordained the emergence of a devastating shrimp pathogen.Copyright © 2019 American Society for Microbiology.

April 21, 2020  |  

LR_Gapcloser: a tiling path-based gap closer that uses long reads to complete genome assembly.

Completing a genome is an important goal of genome assembly. However, many assemblies, including reference assemblies, are unfinished and have a number of gaps. Long reads obtained from third-generation sequencing (TGS) platforms can help close these gaps and improve assembly contiguity. However, current gap-closure approaches using long reads require extensive runtime and high memory usage. Thus, a fast and memory-efficient approach using long reads is needed to obtain complete genomes.We developed LR_Gapcloser to rapidly and efficiently close the gaps in genome assembly. This tool utilizes long reads generated from TGS sequencing platforms. Tested on de novo assembled gaps, repeat-derived gaps, and real gaps, LR_Gapcloser closed a higher number of gaps faster and with a lower error rate and a much lower memory usage than two existing, state-of-the art tools. This tool utilized raw reads to fill more gaps than when using error-corrected reads. It is applicable to gaps in the assemblies by different approaches and from large and complex genomes. After performing gap-closure using this tool, the contig N50 size of the human CHM1 genome was improved from 143 kb to 19 Mb, a 132-fold increase. We also closed the gaps in the Triticum urartu genome, a large genome rich in repeats; the contig N50 size was increased by 40%. Further, we evaluated the contiguity and correctness of six hybrid assembly strategies by combining the optimal TGS-based and next-generation sequencing-based assemblers with LR_Gapcloser. A proposed and optimal hybrid strategy generated a new human CHM1 genome assembly with marked contiguity. The contig N50 value was greater than 28 Mb, which is larger than previous non-reference assemblies of the diploid human genome.LR_Gapcloser is a fast and efficient tool that can be used to close gaps and improve the contiguity of genome assemblies. A proposed hybrid assembly including this tool promises reference-grade assemblies. The software is available at

April 21, 2020  |  

Full-length 16S rRNA gene classification of Atlantic salmon bacteria and effects of using different 16S variable regions on community structure analysis.

Understanding fish-microbial relationships may be of great value for fish producers as fish growth, development and welfare are influenced by the microbial community associated with the rearing systems and fish surfaces. Accurate methods to generate and analyze these microbial communities would be an important tool to help improve understanding of microbial effects in the industry. In this study, we performed taxonomic classification and determination of operational taxonomic units on Atlantic salmon microbiota by taking advantage of full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences. Skin mucus was dominated by the genera Flavobacterium and Psychrobacter. Intestinal samples were dominated by the genera Carnobacterium, Aeromonas, Mycoplasma and by sequences assigned to the order Clostridiales. Applying Sanger sequencing on the full-length bacterial 16S rRNA gene from the pool of 46 isolates obtained in this study showed a clear assignment of the PacBio full-length bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences down to the genus level. One of the bottlenecks in comparing microbial profiles is that different studies use different 16S rRNA gene regions. Comparisons of sequence assignments between full-length and in silico derived variable 16S rRNA gene regions showed different microbial profiles with variable effects between phylogenetic groups and taxonomic ranks. © 2019 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

April 21, 2020  |  

Tissue specific alpha-2-Macroglobulin (A2M) splice isoform diversity in Hilsa shad, Tenualosa ilisha (Hamilton, 1822).

The present study, for the first time, reported twelve A2M isoforms in Tenualosa ilisha, through SMRT sequencing. Hilsa shad, T. ilisha, an anadromous fish, faces environmental stresses and is thus prone to diseases. Here, expression profiles of different A2M isoforms in four tissues were studied in T. ilisha, for the tissue specific diversity of A2M. Large scale high quality full length transcripts (>0.99% accuracy) were obtained from liver, ovary, testes and gill transcriptomes, through Iso-sequencing on PacBio RSII. A total of 12 isoforms, with complete putatative proteins, were detected in three tissues (7 isoforms in liver, 4 in ovary and 1 in testes). Complete structure of A2M mRNA was predicted from these isoforms, containing 4680 bp sequence, 35 exons and 1508 amino acids. With Homo sapiens A2M as reference, six functional domains (A2M_N,A2M_N2, A2M, Thiol-ester_cl, Complement and Receptor domain), along with a bait region, were predicted in A2M consensus protein. A total of 35 splice sites were identified in T. ilisha A2M consensus transcript, with highest frequency (55.7%) of GT-AG splice sites, as compared to that of Homo sapiens. Liver showed longest isoform (X1) consisting of all domains, while smallest (X10) was found in ovary with one Receptor domain. Present study predicted five putative markers (I-212, I-269, A-472, S-567 and Y-906) for EUS disease resistance in A2M protein, which were present in MG2 domains (A2M_N and A2M_N2), by comparing with that of resistant and susceptible/unknown response species. These markers classified fishes into two groups, resistant and susceptible response. Potential markers, predicted in T. ilisha, placed it to be EUS susceptible category. Putative markers reported in A2M protein may serve as molecular markers in diagnosis of EUS disease resistance/susceptibility in fishes and may have a potential for inclusion in the marker panel for pilot studies. Further, challenging studies are required to confirm the role of particular A2M isoforms and markers identified in immune protection against EUS disease.

April 21, 2020  |  

Characterization of the whole transcriptome of whelk Rapana venosa by single-molecule mRNA sequencing

The veined rapa whelk (Rapana venosa) is an important commercial gastropod in China but is also an important invasive pest worldwide. Lack of genome information restricts investigation of this species. Here we report the first full-length transcriptome database derived from six different developmental stages of the whelk obtained using the PacBio Iso-Seq. As a result, 88,162 high-quality and full-length unigenes were obtained with average length of 2895?bp, among which 70,496 unigenes were successfully annotated, and 192,951 CDS regions, 1182 transcription factors, 284,387 microsatellite loci, and 27,222 lncRNAs were indentified. This study provides a valuable resource for characterizing the R. venosa transcriptome and for future analyses of gene expression profiles.

April 21, 2020  |  

First report of isolation and complete genome of Vibrio rotiferianus strain SSVR1601 from cage-cultured black rockfish (Sebastes schlegelii) associated with skin ulcer.

Vibrio rotiferianus is an important marine pathogen of various aquatic organisms and can be found widely distributed in the marine environment. To further characterize this pathogen, the pathogenic properties and genome of V. rotiferianus SSVR1601 isolated from Sebastes schlegelii with skin ulcer were analysed. SSVR1601 was shown to be short rod-shaped cell with a single polar flagellum. Different degrees of pathological changes in fish kidney, intestine, gills and liver were observed after SSVR1601 challenge. The SSVR1601 genome consists of two chromosomes and two plasmids with a total of 5,717,113 bp, 42.04%-44.93% GC content, 5,269 predicted CDSs, 134 tRNAs and 40 rRNAs. The common virulence factors including OMPs, haemolysin, flagellin, DNase, entF, algU, tcpI, acfB and rfaD were found in strain SSVR1601. Furthermore, factors responsible for iron uptake (fur, fepC and ccmC) and types II, IV and VI secretion systems were detected, which are likely responsible for the pathogenicity of SSVR1601. The antimicrobial resistance genes, bacA, tet34 and norM, were detected based on Antibiotic Resistance Genes Database. The phylogenetic analysis revealed SSVR1601 to be most closely related to V. rotiferianus strains CAIM577 and B64D1. © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

April 21, 2020  |  

Do the toll-like receptors and complement systems play equally important roles in freshwater adapted Dolly Varden char (Salvelinus malma)?

Unlike the normal anadromous lifestyle, Chinese native Dolly Varden char (Salvelinus malma) is locked in land and lives in fresh water lifetime. To explore the effect of freshwater adaption on its immune system, we constructed a pooled cDNA library of hepatopancreas and spleen of Chinese freshwater Dolly Varden char (S. malma). A total of 27,829 unigenes were generated from 31,233 high-quality transcripts and 17,670 complete open reading frames (ORF) were identified. Totally 25,809 unigenes were successfully annotated and it classified more native than adaptive immunity-associated genes, and more genes involved in toll-like receptor signal pathway than those in complement and coagulation cascades (51 vs 3), implying the relative more important role of toll-like receptors than the complement system under bacterial injection for the freshwater Dolly Varden char. These huge different numbers of TLR and complement system identified in freshwater Dolly Varden char probably caused by distinct evolution pressure patterns between fish TLR and complement system, representative by TLR3 and TLR5 as well as C4 and C6, respectively, which were under purifying and positively selecting pressure, respectively. Further seawater adaptation experiment and the comparison study with our library will no doubt be helpful to elucidate the effect of freshwater adaption of Chinese native Dolly Varden char on its immune system.Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

April 21, 2020  |  

A full-length transcriptome of Sepia esculenta using a combination of single-molecule long-read (SMRT) and Illumina sequencing

As an economically important cephalopods species, wild-caught Sepia esculenta fishery has suffered a server decline due to over-fishing and ocean environmental damage. To restore this seriously declining fishery resource, we should understand the genetic foundation and molecular mechanism of spawning, reproduction and mortal of golden cuttlefish. In this study, we generated the full-length transcriptome of S. esculenta based on the total RNA of tissue samples (brain, optic gland, nidamental gland, ovary and muscle at different developmental stages) using a combination of single-molecule real-time (SMRT) and Illumina RNA-seq technology. A total of 14.16 Gb SMRT sequencing data were assembled into 94,635 transcripts. Meanwhile, 35.15 Gb Illumina HiSeq data were assembled into 177,226 non-redundant transcripts. Then, we merged SMRT and Illumina assembled data to generate a more complete/full-length S. esculenta transcriptome with 177,951 high-quality transcripts. Based on the obtained transcriptome data, total 81,459 transcripts were annotated in at least one of seven functional databases and 49,189 nucleotide sequences of coding regions were identified. Additionally, 161,327 SSRs distributed in 64,933 transcripts were identified based on SSR analysis. This full-length and high-quality transcriptome of S. esculenta can provide an important foundation for future genomic research on growth and development, reproduction and mortal of cephalopod and further recovery of this recessionary fisheries resources.

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