April 21, 2020  |  

RNA-seq of HaHV-1-infected abalones reveals a common transcriptional signature of Malacoherpesviruses.

Haliotid herpesvirus-1 (HaHV-1) is the viral agent causative of abalone viral ganglioneuritis, a disease that has severely affected gastropod aquaculture. Although limited, the sequence similarity between HaHV-1 and Ostreid herpesvirus-1 supported the assignment of both viruses to Malacoherpesviridae, a Herpesvirales family distantly related with other viruses. In this study, we reported the first transcriptional data of HaHV-1, obtained from an experimental infection of Haliotis diversicolor supertexta. We also sequenced the genome draft of the Chinese HaHV-1 variant isolated in 2003 (HaHV-1-CN2003) by PacBio technology. Analysis of 13 million reads obtained from 3 RNA samples at 60?hours post injection (hpi) allowed the prediction of 51 new ORFs for a total of 117 viral genes and the identification of 207 variations from the reference genome, consisting in 135 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) and 72 Insertions or Deletions (InDels). The pairing of genomic and transcriptomic data supported the identification of 60 additional SNPs, representing viral transcriptional variability and preferentially grouped in hotspots. The expression analysis of HaHV-1 ORFs revealed one putative secreted protein, two putative capsid proteins and a possible viral capsid protease as the most expressed genes and demonstrated highly synchronized viral expression patterns of the 3 infected animals at 60?hpi. Quantitative reverse transcription data of 37 viral genes supported the burst of viral transcription at 30 and 60?hpi during the 72?hours of the infection experiment, and allowed the distinction between early and late viral genes.


April 21, 2020  |  

The First Highly Contiguous Genome Assembly of Pikeperch (Sander lucioperca), an Emerging Aquaculture Species in Europe

The pikeperch (Sander lucioperca) is a fresh and brackish water Percid fish natively inhabiting the northern hemisphere. This species is emerging as a promising candidate for intensive aquaculture production in Europe. Specific traits like cannibalism, growth rate and meat quality require genomics based understanding, for an optimal husbandry and domestication process. Still, the aquaculture community is lacking an annotated genome sequence to facilitate genome-wide studies on pikeperch. Here, we report the first highly contiguous draft genome assembly of Sander lucioperca. In total, 413 and 66 giga base pairs of DNA sequencing raw data were generated with the Illumina platform and PacBio Sequel System, respectively. The PacBio data were assembled into a final assembly size of ~900 Mb covering 89% of the 1,014 Mb estimated genome size. The draft genome consisted of 1966 contigs ordered into 1,313 scaffolds. The contig and scaffold N50 lengths are 3.0 Mb and 4.9 Mb, respectively. The identified repetitive structures accounted for 39% of the genome. We utilized homologies to other ray-finned fishes, and ab initio gene prediction methods to predict 21,249 protein-coding genes in the Sander lucioperca genome, of which 88% were functionally annotated by either sequence homology or protein domains and signatures search. The assembled genome spans 97.6% and 96.3% of Vertebrate and Actinopterygii single-copy orthologs, respectively. The outstanding mapping rate (99.9%) of genomic PE-reads on the assembly suggests an accurate and nearly complete genome reconstruction. This draft genome sequence is the first genomic resource for this promising aquaculture species. It will provide an impetus for genomic-based breeding studies targeting phenotypic and performance traits of captive pikeperch.


April 21, 2020  |  

Penaeid shrimp genome provides insights into benthic adaptation and frequent molting.

Crustacea, the subphylum of Arthropoda which dominates the aquatic environment, is of major importance in ecology and fisheries. Here we report the genome sequence of the Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei, covering ~1.66?Gb (scaffold N50 605.56?Kb) with 25,596 protein-coding genes and a high proportion of simple sequence repeats (>23.93%). The expansion of genes related to vision and locomotion is probably central to its benthic adaptation. Frequent molting of the shrimp may be explained by an intensified ecdysone signal pathway through gene expansion and positive selection. As an important aquaculture organism, L. vannamei has been subjected to high selection pressure during the past 30 years of breeding, and this has had a considerable impact on its genome. Decoding the L. vannamei genome not only provides an insight into the genetic underpinnings of specific biological processes, but also provides valuable information for enhancing crustacean aquaculture.


April 21, 2020  |  

The sequencing and de novo assembly of the Larimichthys crocea genome using PacBio and Hi-C technologies.

Larimichthys crocea is an endemic marine fish in East Asia that belongs to Sciaenidae in Perciformes. L. crocea has now been recognized as an “iconic” marine fish species in China because not only is it a popular food fish in China, it is a representative victim of overfishing and still provides high value fish products supported by the modern large-scale mariculture industry. Here, we report a chromosome-level reference genome of L. crocea generated by employing the PacBio single molecule sequencing technique (SMRT) and high-throughput chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) technologies. The genome sequences were assembled into 1,591 contigs with a total length of 723.86?Mb and a contig N50 length of 2.83?Mb. After chromosome-level scaffolding, 24 scaffolds were constructed with a total length of 668.67?Mb (92.48% of the total length). Genome annotation identified 23,657 protein-coding genes and 7262 ncRNAs. This highly accurate, chromosome-level reference genome of L. crocea provides an essential genome resource to support the development of genome-scale selective breeding and restocking strategies of L. crocea.


April 21, 2020  |  

The sequence and de novo assembly of Takifugu bimaculatus genome using PacBio and Hi-C technologies.

Takifugu bimaculatus is a native teleost species of the southeast coast of China where it has been cultivated as an important edible fish in the last decade. Genetic breeding programs, which have been recently initiated for improving the aquaculture performance of T. bimaculatus, urgently require a high-quality reference genome to facilitate genome selection and related genetic studies. To address this need, we produced a chromosome-level reference genome of T. bimaculatus using the PacBio single molecule sequencing technique (SMRT) and High-through chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) technologies. The genome was assembled into 2,193 contigs with a total length of 404.21?Mb and a contig N50 length of 1.31?Mb. After chromosome-level scaffolding, 22 chromosomes with a total length of 371.68?Mb were constructed. Moreover, a total of 21,117 protein-coding genes and 3,471 ncRNAs were annotated in the reference genome. The highly accurate, chromosome-level reference genome of T. bimaculatus provides an essential genome resource for not only the genome-scale selective breeding of T. bimaculatus but also the exploration of the evolutionary basis of the speciation and local adaptation of the Takifugu genus.


April 21, 2020  |  

Identification of Candidate Genes for the Plateau Adaptation of a Tibetan Amphipod, Gammarus lacustris, Through Integration of Genome and Transcriptome Sequencing.

The amphipod Gammarus lacustris has been distributing in the Tibetan region with well-known uplifts of the Tibetan plateau. It is hence considered as a good model for investigating stress adaptations of the plateau. Here, we sequenced the whole-genome and full-length transcriptome of G. lacustris, and compared the transcriptome results with its counterpart Gammarus pisinnus from a nearby plain. Our main goal was to provide a genomic resource for investigation of genetic mechanisms, by which G. lacustris adapted to living on the plateau. The final draft genome assembly of G. lacustris was 5.07 gigabases (Gb), and it contained 443,304 scaffolds (>2 kb) with an N50 of 2,578 bp. A total of 8,858 unigenes were predicted in the full-length transcriptome of G. lacustris, with an average gene length of 1,811 bp. Compared with the G. pisinnus transcriptome, 2,672 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were up-regulated and 2,881 DEGs were down-regulated in the G. lacustris transcriptome. Along with these critical DEGs, several enriched metabolic pathways, such as oxidative phosphorylation, ribosome, cell energy homeostasis, glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, were predicted to play essential roles in the plateau adaptation. In summary, the present study provides a genomic basis for understanding the plateau adaption of G. lacustris, which lays a fundamental basis for further biological and ecological studies on other resident aquatic species in the Tibetan plateau.


April 21, 2020  |  

The Y chromosome sequence of the channel catfish suggests novel sex determination mechanisms in teleost fish.

Sex determination mechanisms in teleost fish broadly differ from mammals and birds, with sex chromosomes that are far less differentiated and recombination often occurring along the length of the X and Y chromosomes, posing major challenges for the identification of specific sex determination genes. Here, we take an innovative approach of comparative genome analysis of the genomic sequences of the X chromosome and newly sequenced Y chromosome in the channel catfish.Using a YY channel catfish as the sequencing template, we generated, assembled, and annotated the Y genome sequence of channel catfish. The genome sequence assembly had a contig N50 size of 2.7 Mb and a scaffold N50 size of 26.7 Mb. Genetic linkage and GWAS analyses placed the sex determination locus within a genetic distance less than 0.5?cM and physical distance of 8.9?Mb. However, comparison of the channel catfish X and Y chromosome sequences showed no sex-specific genes. Instead, comparative RNA-Seq analysis between females and males revealed exclusive sex-specific expression of an isoform of the breast cancer anti-resistance 1 (BCAR1) gene in the male during early sex differentiation. Experimental knockout of BCAR1 gene converted genetic males (XY) to phenotypic females, suggesting BCAR1 as a putative sex determination gene.We present the first Y chromosome sequence among teleost fish, and one of the few whole Y chromosome sequences among vertebrate species. Comparative analyses suggest that sex-specific isoform expression through alternative splicing may underlie sex determination processes in the channel catfish, and we identify BCAR1 as a potential sex determination gene.


October 23, 2019  |  

A high quality assembly of the Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) genome reveals the structure of two sex determination regions.

Tilapias are the second most farmed fishes in the world and a sustainable source of food. Like many other fish, tilapias are sexually dimorphic and sex is a commercially important trait in these fish. In this study, we developed a significantly improved assembly of the tilapia genome using the latest genome sequencing methods and show how it improves the characterization of two sex determination regions in two tilapia species.A homozygous clonal XX female Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) was sequenced to 44X coverage using Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) SMRT sequencing. Dozens of candidate de novo assemblies were generated and an optimal assembly (contig NG50 of 3.3Mbp) was selected using principal component analysis of likelihood scores calculated from several paired-end sequencing libraries. Comparison of the new assembly to the previous O. niloticus genome assembly reveals that recently duplicated portions of the genome are now well represented. The overall number of genes in the new assembly increased by 27.3%, including a 67% increase in pseudogenes. The new tilapia genome assembly correctly represents two recent vasa gene duplication events that have been verified with BAC sequencing. At total of 146Mbp of additional transposable element sequence are now assembled, a large proportion of which are recent insertions. Large centromeric satellite repeats are assembled and annotated in cichlid fish for the first time. Finally, the new assembly identifies the long-range structure of both a ~9Mbp XY sex determination region on LG1 in O. niloticus, and a ~50Mbp WZ sex determination region on LG3 in the related species O. aureus.This study highlights the use of long read sequencing to correctly assemble recent duplications and to characterize repeat-filled regions of the genome. The study serves as an example of the need for high quality genome assemblies and provides a framework for identifying sex determining genes in tilapia and related fish species.


October 23, 2019  |  

Alternative splicing profile and sex-preferential gene expression in the female and male Pacific abalone Haliotis discus hannai.

In order to characterize the female or male transcriptome of the Pacific abalone and further increase genomic resources, we sequenced the mRNA of full-length complementary DNA (cDNA) libraries derived from pooled tissues of female and male Haliotis discus hannai by employing the Iso-Seq protocol of the PacBio RSII platform. We successfully assembled whole full-length cDNA sequences and constructed a transcriptome database that included isoform information. After clustering, a total of 15,110 and 12,145 genes that coded for proteins were identified in female and male abalones, respectively. A total of 13,057 putative orthologs were retained from each transcriptome in abalones. Overall Gene Ontology terms and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways analyzed in each database showed a similar composition between sexes. In addition, a total of 519 and 391 isoforms were genome-widely identified with at least two isoforms from female and male transcriptome databases. We found that the number of isoforms and their alternatively spliced patterns are variable and sex-dependent. This information represents the first significant contribution to sex-preferential genomic resources of the Pacific abalone. The availability of whole female and male transcriptome database and their isoform information will be useful to improve our understanding of molecular responses and also for the analysis of population dynamics in the Pacific abalone.


October 23, 2019  |  

Chromosomal-level assembly of yellow catfish genome using third-generation DNA sequencing and Hi-C analysis.

The yellow catfish, Pelteobagrus fulvidraco, belonging to the Siluriformes order, is an economically important freshwater aquaculture fish species in Asia, especially in Southern China. The aquaculture industry has recently been facing tremendous challenges in germplasm degeneration and poor disease resistance. As the yellow catfish exhibits notable sex dimorphism in growth, with adult males about two- to three-fold bigger than females, the way in which the aquaculture industry takes advantage of such sex dimorphism is another challenge. To address these issues, a high-quality reference genome of the yellow catfish would be a very useful resource.To construct a high-quality reference genome for the yellow catfish, we generated 51.2 Gb short reads and 38.9 Gb long reads using Illumina and Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) sequencing platforms, respectively. The sequencing data were assembled into a 732.8 Mb genome assembly with a contig N50 length of 1.1 Mb. Additionally, we applied Hi-C technology to identify contacts among contigs, which were then used to assemble contigs into scaffolds, resulting in a genome assembly with 26 chromosomes and a scaffold N50 length of 25.8 Mb. Using 24,552 protein-coding genes annotated in the yellow catfish genome, the phylogenetic relationships of the yellow catfish with other teleosts showed that yellow catfish separated from the common ancestor of channel catfish ~81.9 million years ago. We identified 1,717 gene families to be expanded in the yellow catfish, and those gene families are mainly enriched in the immune system, signal transduction, glycosphingolipid biosynthesis, and fatty acid biosynthesis.Taking advantage of Illumina, PacBio, and Hi-C technologies, we constructed the first high-quality chromosome-level genome assembly for the yellow catfish P. fulvidraco. The genomic resources generated in this work not only offer a valuable reference genome for functional genomics studies of yellow catfish to decipher the economic traits and sex determination but also provide important chromosome information for genome comparisons in the wider evolutionary research community.


September 22, 2019  |  

Membrane attack complex-associated molecules from redlip mullet (Liza haematocheila): Molecular characterization and transcriptional evidence of C6, C7, C8ß, and C9 in innate immunity.

The redlip mullet (Liza haematocheila) is one of the most economically important fish in Korea and other East Asian countries; it is susceptible to infections by pathogens such as Lactococcus garvieae, Argulus spp., Trichodina spp., and Vibrio spp. Learning about the mechanisms of the complement system of the innate immunity of redlip mullet is important for efforts towards eradicating pathogens. Here, we report a comprehensive study of the terminal complement complex (TCC) components that form the membrane attack complex (MAC) through in-silico characterization and comparative spatial and temporal expression profiling. Five conserved domains (TSP1, LDLa, MACPF, CCP, and FIMAC) were detected in the TCC components, but the CCP and FIMAC domains were absent in MuC8ß and MuC9. Expression analysis of four TCC genes from healthy redlip mullets showed the highest expression levels in the liver, whereas limited expression was observed in other tissues; immune-induced expression in the head kidney and spleen revealed significant responses against Lactococcus garvieae and poly I:C injection, suggesting their involvement in MAC formation in response to harmful pathogenic infections. Furthermore, the response to poly I:C may suggest the role of TCC components in the breakdown of the membrane of enveloped viruses. These findings may help to elucidate the mechanisms behind the complement system of the teleosts innate immunity. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Two phospholipid scramblase 1-related proteins (PLSCR1like-a & -b) from Liza haematocheila: Molecular and transcriptional features and expression analysis after immune stimulation.

Phospholipid scramblases (PLSCRs) are a family of transmembrane proteins known to be responsible for Ca2+-mediated bidirectional phospholipid translocation in the plasma membrane. Apart from the scrambling activity of PLSCRs, recent studies revealed their diverse other roles, including antiviral defense, tumorigenesis, protein-DNA interactions, apoptosis regulation, and cell activation. Nonetheless, the biological and transcriptional functions of PLSCRs in fish have not been discovered to date. Therefore, in this study, two new members related to the PLSCR1 family were identified in the red lip mullet (Liza haematocheila) as MuPLSCR1like-a and MuPLSCR1like-b, and their characteristics were studied at molecular and transcriptional levels. Sequence analysis revealed that MuPLSCR1like-a and MuPLSCR1like-b are composed of 245 and 228 amino acid residues (aa) with the predicted molecular weights of 27.82 and 25.74?kDa, respectively. A constructed phylogenetic tree showed that MuPLSCR1like-a and MuPLSCR1like-b are clustered together with other known PLSCR1 and -2 orthologues, thus pointing to the relatedness to both PLSCR1 and PLSCR2 families. Two-dimensional (2D) and 3D graphical representations illustrated the well-known 12-stranded ß-barrel structure of MuPLSCR1like-a and MuPLSCR1like-b with transmembrane orientation toward the phospholipid bilayer. In analysis of tissue-specific expression, the highest expression of MuPLSCR1like-a was observed in the intestine, whereas MuPLSCR1like-b was highly expressed in the brain, indicating isoform specificity. Of note, we found that the transcription of MuPLSCR1like-a and MuPLSCR1like-b was significantly upregulated when the fish were stimulated with poly(I:C), suggesting that such immune responses target viral infections. Overall, this study provides the first experimental insight into the characteristics and immune-system relevance of PLSCR1-related genes in red lip mullets. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Characterization of four C1q/TNF-related proteins (CTRPs) from red-lip mullet (Liza haematocheila) and their transcriptional modulation in response to bacterial and pathogen-associated molecular pattern stimuli.

The structural and evolutionary linkage between tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and the globular C1q (gC1q) domain defines the C1q and TNF-related proteins (CTRPs), which are involved in diverse functions such as immune defense, inflammation, apoptosis, autoimmunity, and cell differentiation. In this study, red-lip mullet (Liza haematocheila) CTRP4-like (MuCTRP4-like), CTRP5 (MuCTRP5), CTRP6 (MuCTRP6), and CTRP7 (MuCTRP7) were identified from the red-lip mullet transcriptome database and molecularly characterized. According to in silico analysis, coding sequences of MuCTRP4-like, MuCTRP5, MuCTRP6, and MuCTRP7 consisted of 1128, 753, 729, and 888 bp open reading frames (ORF), respectively and encoded 375, 250, 242, and 295 amino acids, respectively. All CTRPs possessed a putative C1q domain. Additionally, MuCTRP5, MuCTRP6, and MuCTRP7 consisted of a collagen region. Phylogenetic analysis exemplified that MuCTRPs were distinctly clustered with the respective CTRP orthologs. Tissue-specific expression analysis demonstrated that MuCTRP4-like was mostly expressed in the blood and intestine. Moreover, MuCTRP6 was highly expressed in the blood, whereas MuCTRP5 and MuCTRP7 were predominantly expressed in the muscle and stomach, respectively. According to the temporal expression in blood, all MuCTRPs exhibited significant modulations in response to polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C) and Lactococcus garvieae (L. garvieae). MuCTRP4-like, MuCTRP5, and MuCTRP6 showed significant upregulation in response to lipopolysaccharides (LPS). The results of this study suggest the potential involvement of Mullet CTRPs in post-immune responses. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.


September 22, 2019  |  

Molecular genetic diversity and characterization of conjugation genes in the fish parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis.

Ichthyophthirius multifiliis is the etiologic agent of “white spot”, a commercially important disease of freshwater fish. As a parasitic ciliate, I. multifiliis infects numerous host species across a broad geographic range. Although Ichthyophthirius outbreaks are difficult to control, recent sequencing of the I. multifiliis genome has revealed a number of potential metabolic pathways for therapeutic intervention, along with likely vaccine targets for disease prevention. Nonetheless, major gaps exist in our understanding of both the life cycle and population structure of I. multifiliis in the wild. For example, conjugation has never been described in this species, and it is unclear whether I. multifiliis undergoes sexual reproduction, despite the presence of a germline micronucleus. In addition, no good methods exist to distinguish strains, leaving phylogenetic relationships between geographic isolates completely unresolved. Here, we compared nucleotide sequences of SSUrDNA, mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit I and cox-1 genes, and 14 somatic SNP sites from nine I. multifiliis isolates obtained from four different states in the US since 1995. The mitochondrial sequences effectively distinguished the isolates from one another and divided them into at least two genetically distinct groups. Furthermore, none of the nine isolates shared the same composition of the 14 somatic SNP sites, suggesting that I. multifiliis undergoes sexual reproduction at some point in its life cycle. Finally, compared to the well-studied free-living ciliates Tetrahymena thermophila and Paramecium tetraurelia, I. multifiliis has lost 38% and 29%, respectively, of 16 experimentally confirmed conjugation-related genes, indicating that mechanistic differences in sexual reproduction are likely to exist between I. multifiliis and other ciliate species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Full-length transcriptome of Misgurnus anguillicaudatus provides insights into evolution of genus Misgurnus.

Reconstruction and annotation of transcripts, particularly for a species without reference genome, plays a critical role in gene discovery, investigation of genomic signatures, and genome annotation in the pre-genomic era. This study generated 33,330 full-length transcripts of diploid M. anguillicaudatus using PacBio SMRT Sequencing. A total of 6,918 gene families were identified with two or more isoforms, and 26,683 complete ORFs with an average length of 1,497?bp were detected. Totally, 1,208 high-confidence lncRNAs were identified, and most of these appeared to be precursor transcripts of miRNAs or snoRNAs. Phylogenetic tree of the Misgurnus species was inferred based on the 1,905 single copy orthologous genes. The tetraploid and diploid M. anguillicaudatus grouped into a clade, and M. bipartitus showed a closer relationship with the M. anguillicaudatus. The overall evolutionary rates of tetraploid M. anguillicaudatus were significantly higher than those of other Misgurnus species. Meanwhile, 28 positively selected genes were identified in M. anguillicaudatus clade. These positively selected genes may play critical roles in the adaptation to various habitat environments for M. anguillicaudatus. This study could facilitate further exploration of the genomic signatures of M. anguillicaudatus and provide potential insights into unveiling the evolutionary history of tetraploid loach.


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