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Friday, July 19, 2019

Radical remodeling of the Y chromosome in a recent radiation of malaria mosquitoes.

Y chromosomes control essential male functions in many species, including sex determination and fertility. However, because of obstacles posed by repeat-rich heterochromatin, knowledge of Y chromosome sequences is limited to a handful of model organisms, constraining our understanding of Y biology across the tree of life. Here, we leverage long single-molecule sequencing to determine the content and structure of the nonrecombining Y chromosome of the primary African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. We find that the An. gambiae Y consists almost entirely of a few massively amplified, tandemly arrayed repeats, some of which can recombine with similar repeats on the X…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Large deletions at the SHOX locus in the pseudoautosomal region are associated with skeletal atavism in Shetland ponies.

Skeletal atavism in Shetland ponies is a heritable disorder characterized by abnormal growth of the ulna and fibula that extend the carpal and tarsal joints, respectively. This causes abnormal skeletal structure, impaired movements, and affected foals are usually euthanized. In order to identify the causal mutation we subjected six confirmed Swedish cases and a DNA pool consisting of 21 control individuals to whole genome resequencing. We screened for polymorphisms where the cases and the control pool were fixed for opposite alleles and observed this signature for only 25 SNPs, most of which were scattered on genome assembly unassigned scaffolds. Read…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

High-quality assembly of an individual of Yoruban descent

De novo assembly of human genomes is now a tractable effort due in part to advances in sequencing and mapping technologies. We use PacBio single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing and BioNano genomic maps to construct the first de novo assembly of NA19240, a Yoruban individual from Africa. This chromosome-scaffolded assembly of 3.08 Gb with a contig N50 of 7.25 Mb and a scaffold N50 of 78.6 Mb represents one of the most contiguous high-quality human genomes. We utilize a BAC library derived from NA19240 DNA and novel haplotype-resolving sequencing technologies and algorithms to characterize regions of complex genomic architecture that are…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Emergence of a Homo sapiens-specific gene family and chromosome 16p11.2 CNV susceptibility.

Genetic differences that specify unique aspects of human evolution have typically been identified by comparative analyses between the genomes of humans and closely related primates, including more recently the genomes of archaic hominins. Not all regions of the genome, however, are equally amenable to such study. Recurrent copy number variation (CNV) at chromosome 16p11.2 accounts for approximately 1% of cases of autism and is mediated by a complex set of segmental duplications, many of which arose recently during human evolution. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of the locus and identify bolA family member 2 (BOLA2) as a gene duplicated…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Extensive sequence divergence between the reference genomes of two elite indica rice varieties Zhenshan 97 and Minghui 63.

Asian cultivated rice consists of two subspecies: Oryza sativa subsp. indica and O. sativa subsp. japonica Despite the fact that indica rice accounts for over 70% of total rice production worldwide and is genetically much more diverse, a high-quality reference genome for indica rice has yet to be published. We conducted map-based sequencing of two indica rice lines, Zhenshan 97 (ZS97) and Minghui 63 (MH63), which represent the two major varietal groups of the indica subspecies and are the parents of an elite Chinese hybrid. The genome sequences were assembled into 237 (ZS97) and 181 (MH63) contigs, with an accuracy…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Long read sequencing technology to solve complex genomic regions assembly in plants

Background: Numerous completed or on-going whole genome sequencing projects have highlighted the fact that obtaining a high quality genome sequence is necessary to address comparative genomics questions such as structural variations among genotypes and gain or loss of specific function. Despite the spectacular progress that has been made in sequencing technologies, obtaining accurate and reliable data is still a challenge, both at the whole genome scale and when targeting specific genomic regions. These problems are even more noticeable for complex plant genomes. Most plant genomes are known to be particularly challenging due to their size, high density of repetitive elements…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Short tandem repeats, segmental duplications, gene deletion, and genomic instability in a rapidly diversified immune gene family.

Genomic regions with repetitive sequences are considered unstable and prone to swift DNA diversification processes. A highly diverse immune gene family of the sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus), called Sp185/333, is composed of clustered genes with similar sequence as well as several types of repeats ranging in size from short tandem repeats (STRs) to large segmental duplications. This repetitive structure may have been the basis for the incorrect assembly of this gene family in the sea urchin genome sequence. Consequently, we have resolved the structure of the family and profiled the members by sequencing selected BAC clones using Illumina and PacBio…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

The deep origin and recent loss of venom toxin genes in rattlesnakes.

The genetic origin of novel traits is a central but challenging puzzle in evolutionary biology. Among snakes, phospholipase A2 (PLA2)-related toxins have evolved in different lineages to function as potent neurotoxins, myotoxins, or hemotoxins. Here, we traced the genomic origin and evolution of PLA2 toxins by examining PLA2 gene number, organization, and expression in both neurotoxic and non-neurotoxic rattlesnakes. We found that even though most North American rattlesnakes do not produce neurotoxins, the genes of a specialized heterodimeric neurotoxin predate the origin of rattlesnakes and were present in their last common ancestor (~22 mya). The neurotoxin genes were then deleted independently…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Genomic structure of the horse major histocompatibility complex class II region resolved using PacBio long-read sequencing technology.

The mammalian Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) region contains several gene families characterized by highly polymorphic loci with extensive nucleotide diversity, copy number variation of paralogous genes, and long repetitive sequences. This structural complexity has made it difficult to construct a reliable reference sequence of the horse MHC region. In this study, we used long-read single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology from Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) to sequence eight Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) clones spanning the horse MHC class II region. The final assembly resulted in a 1,165,328?bp continuous gap free sequence with 35 manually curated genomic loci of which 23 were…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Improved maize reference genome with single-molecule technologies.

Complete and accurate reference genomes and annotations provide fundamental tools for characterization of genetic and functional variation. These resources facilitate the determination of biological processes and support translation of research findings into improved and sustainable agricultural technologies. Many reference genomes for crop plants have been generated over the past decade, but these genomes are often fragmented and missing complex repeat regions. Here we report the assembly and annotation of a reference genome of maize, a genetic and agricultural model species, using single-molecule real-time sequencing and high-resolution optical mapping. Relative to the previous reference genome, our assembly features a 52-fold increase…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Dissecting the causal mechanism of X-linked Dystonia-Parkinsonism by integrating genome and transcriptome assembly.

X-linked Dystonia-Parkinsonism (XDP) is a Mendelian neurodegenerative disease that is endemic to the Philippines and is associated with a founder haplotype. We integrated multiple genome and transcriptome assembly technologies to narrow the causal mutation to the TAF1 locus, which included a SINE-VNTR-Alu (SVA) retrotransposition into intron 32 of the gene. Transcriptome analyses identified decreased expression of the canonical cTAF1 transcript among XDP probands, and de novo assembly across multiple pluripotent stem-cell-derived neuronal lineages discovered aberrant TAF1 transcription that involved alternative splicing and intron retention (IR) in proximity to the SVA that was anti-correlated with overall TAF1 expression. CRISPR/Cas9 excision of the SVA…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Comparative Analysis of the Shared Sex-Determination Region (SDR) among Salmonid Fishes.

Salmonids present an excellent model for studying evolution of young sex-chromosomes. Within the genus, Oncorhynchus, at least six independent sex-chromosome pairs have evolved, many unique to individual species. This variation results from the movement of the sex-determining gene, sdY, throughout the salmonid genome. While sdY is known to define sexual differentiation in salmonids, the mechanism of its movement throughout the genome has remained elusive due to high frequencies of repetitive elements, rDNA sequences, and transposons surrounding the sex-determining regions (SDR). Despite these difficulties, bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library clones from both rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon containing the sdY region…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The assembly and characterisation of two structurally distinct cattle MHC class I haplotypes point to the mechanisms driving diversity.

In cattle, there are six classical MHC class I genes that are variably present between different haplotypes. Almost all known haplotypes contain between one and three genes, with an allele of Gene 2 present on the vast majority. However, very little is known about the sequence and therefore structure and evolutionary history of this genomic region. To address this, we have refined the MHC class I region in the Hereford cattle genome assembly and sequenced a complete A14 haplotype from a homozygous Holstein. Comparison of the two haplotypes revealed extensive variation within the MHC class Ia region, but not within…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Acetylcholinesterase 1 in populations of organophosphate-resistant North American strains of the cattle tick, Rhipicephalus microplus (Acari: Ixodidae).

Rhipicephalus microplus, the cattle fever tick, is a global economic problem to the cattle industry due to direct infestation of cattle and pathogens transmitted during feeding. Cattle fever tick outbreaks continue to occur along the Mexico-US border even though the tick has been eradicated from the USA. The organophosphate (OP) coumaphos targets acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and is the approved acaricide for eradicating cattle fever tick outbreaks. There is evidence for coumaphos resistance developing in cattle ticks in Mexico, and OP-resistant R. microplus ticks were discovered in outbreak populations of Texas in 2005. The molecular basis of coumaphos resistance is not known,…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Insights into sex chromosome evolution and aging from the genome of a short-lived fish.

The killifish Nothobranchius furzeri is the shortest-lived vertebrate that can be bred in the laboratory. Its rapid growth, early sexual maturation, fast aging, and arrested embryonic development (diapause) make it an attractive model organism in biomedical research. Here, we report a draft sequence of its genome that allowed us to uncover an intra-species Y chromosome polymorphism representing-in real time-different stages of sex chromosome formation that display features of early mammalian XY evolution “in action.” Our data suggest that gdf6Y, encoding a TGF-ß family growth factor, is the master sex-determining gene in N. furzeri. Moreover, we observed genomic clustering of aging-related genes,…

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