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Friday, February 26, 2021

Sequencing of expanded CGG repeats in the FMR1 gene.

Alleles of the FMR1 gene with more than 200 CGG repeats generally undergo methylation-coupled gene silencing, resulting in fragile X syndrome, the leading heritable form of cognitive impairment. Smaller expansions (55-200 CGG repeats) result in elevated levels of FMR1 mRNA, which is directly responsible for the late-onset neurodegenerative disorder, fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). For mechanistic studies and genetic counseling, it is important to know with precision the number of CGG repeats; however, no existing DNA sequencing method is capable of sequencing through more than ~100 CGG repeats, thus limiting the ability to precisely characterize the disease-causing alleles. The recent…

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Podcast: A home run on the first hit – PacBio’s Jonas Korlach

From Mendelspod: Jonas Korlach is a natural storyteller—a rare trait in a scientist who is more comfortable presenting data than talking of himself. Jonas is the co-inventor of PacBio’s SMRT (single molecule, real time) sequencing, and we wanted to hear from him directly how it all got started, and also when the team realized that they had something big with long reads and close to 100X coverage. How many of us can boast of hitting it out of the park on our first try?

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Friday, February 5, 2021

ASHG PacBio Workshop: Towards precision medicine

Euan Ashley from Stanford University started with the premise that while current efforts in the field of genomics medicine address 30% of patient cases, there’s a need for new approaches to make sense of the remaining 70%. Toward that end, he said that accurately calling structural variants is a major need. In one translational research example, Ashley said that SMRT Sequencing with the Sequel System allowed his team to identify six potentially causative genes in an individual with complex and varied symptoms; one gene was associated with Carney syndrome, which was a match for the person’s physiology and was later…

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Friday, February 5, 2021

AGBT Virtual Poster: Analysis method for amplification-free SMRT sequencing and assessment on repeat expansions in Huntington’s disease

Adam Ameur from the National Genomics Infrastructure at SciLifeLab presented this poster at AGBT 2017. In it, he details a validation study for the use of CRISPR/Cas9 to capture genomic targets without the use of amplification. Results from 12 Huntington’s patients indicate that this approach paired with SMRT Sequencing generates accurate repeat counts in the HTT gene.

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Webinar: An introduction to PacBio’s long-read sequencing & how it has been used to make important scientific discoveries

In this Webinar, we will give an introduction to Pacific Biosciences’ single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing. After showing how the system works, we will discuss the main features of the technology with an emphasis on the difference between systematic error and random error and how SMRT sequencing produces better consensus accuracy than other systems. Following this, we will discuss several ground-breaking discoveries in medical science that were made possible by the longs reads and high accuracy of SMRT Sequencing.

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Webinar: Addressing “NGS Dead Zones” with third generation PacBio sequencing

SMRT Sequencing is a DNA sequencing technology characterized by long read lengths and high consensus accuracy, regardless of the sequence complexity or GC content of the DNA sample. These characteristics can be harnessed to address medically relevant genes, mRNA transcripts, and other genomic features that are otherwise difficult or impossible to resolve. I will describe examples for such new clinical research in diverse areas, including full-length gene sequencing with allelic haplotype phasing, gene/pseudogene discrimination, sequencing extreme DNA contexts, high-resolution pharmacogenomics, biomarker discovery, structural variant resolution, full-length mRNA isoform cataloging, and direct methylation detection.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

High resolution profiling of coral-associated bacterial communities using full-length 16S rRNA sequence data from PacBio SMRT sequencing system.

Coral reefs are a complex ecosystem consisting of coral animals and a vast array of associated symbionts including the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium, fungi, viruses and bacteria. Several studies have highlighted the importance of coral-associated bacteria and their fundamental roles in fitness and survival of the host animal. The scleractinian coral Porites lutea is one of the dominant reef-builders in the Indo-West Pacific. Currently, very little is known about the composition and structure of bacterial communities across P. lutea reefs. The purpose of this study is twofold: to demonstrate the advantages of using PacBio circular consensus sequencing technology in microbial community studies…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Nonhybrid, finished microbial genome assemblies from long-read SMRT sequencing data.

We present a hierarchical genome-assembly process (HGAP) for high-quality de novo microbial genome assemblies using only a single, long-insert shotgun DNA library in conjunction with Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) DNA sequencing. Our method uses the longest reads as seeds to recruit all other reads for construction of highly accurate preassembled reads through a directed acyclic graph-based consensus procedure, which we follow with assembly using off-the-shelf long-read assemblers. In contrast to hybrid approaches, HGAP does not require highly accurate raw reads for error correction. We demonstrate efficient genome assembly for several microorganisms using as few as three SMRT Cell zero-mode waveguide…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Characterizing and measuring bias in sequence data.

DNA sequencing technologies deviate from the ideal uniform distribution of reads. These biases impair scientific and medical applications. Accordingly, we have developed computational methods for discovering, describing and measuring bias.We applied these methods to the Illumina, Ion Torrent, Pacific Biosciences and Complete Genomics sequencing platforms, using data from human and from a set of microbes with diverse base compositions. As in previous work, library construction conditions significantly influence sequencing bias. Pacific Biosciences coverage levels are the least biased, followed by Illumina, although all technologies exhibit error-rate biases in high- and low-GC regions and at long homopolymer runs. The GC-rich regions…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Returning to more finished genomes

Abstract Genomic data have become commonplace in most branches of the biological sciences and have fundamentally altered the way research is conducted. However, the predominance of short-read sequence data from second-generation sequencing technologies has commonly resulted in fragmented and partial genomic data characteristics. In this opinion, I will highlight how long, unbiased reads from single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing now allow for a return to more contiguous and comprehensive views of genomes.

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Whole genome complete resequencing of Bacillus subtilis natto by combining long reads with high-quality short reads.

De novo microbial genome sequencing reached a turning point with third-generation sequencing (TGS) platforms, and several microbial genomes have been improved by TGS long reads. Bacillus subtilis natto is closely related to the laboratory standard strain B. subtilis Marburg 168, and it has a function in the production of the traditional Japanese fermented food “natto.” The B. subtilis natto BEST195 genome was previously sequenced with short reads, but it included some incomplete regions. We resequenced the BEST195 genome using a PacBio RS sequencer, and we successfully obtained a complete genome sequence from one scaffold without any gaps, and we also…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Resolving the complexity of the human genome using single-molecule sequencing.

The human genome is arguably the most complete mammalian reference assembly, yet more than 160 euchromatic gaps remain and aspects of its structural variation remain poorly understood ten years after its completion. To identify missing sequence and genetic variation, here we sequence and analyse a haploid human genome (CHM1) using single-molecule, real-time DNA sequencing. We close or extend 55% of the remaining interstitial gaps in the human GRCh37 reference genome–78% of which carried long runs of degenerate short tandem repeats, often several kilobases in length, embedded within (G+C)-rich genomic regions. We resolve the complete sequence of 26,079 euchromatic structural variants…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

One chromosome, one contig: complete microbial genomes from long-read sequencing and assembly.

Like a jigsaw puzzle with large pieces, a genome sequenced with long reads is easier to assemble. However, recent sequencing technologies have favored lowering per-base cost at the expense of read length. This has dramatically reduced sequencing cost, but resulted in fragmented assemblies, which negatively affect downstream analyses and hinder the creation of finished (gapless, high-quality) genomes. In contrast, emerging long-read sequencing technologies can now produce reads tens of kilobases in length, enabling the automated finishing of microbial genomes for under $1000. This promises to improve the quality of reference databases and facilitate new studies of chromosomal structure and variation.…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Genetic variation and the de novo assembly of human genomes.

The discovery of genetic variation and the assembly of genome sequences are both inextricably linked to advances in DNA-sequencing technology. Short-read massively parallel sequencing has revolutionized our ability to discover genetic variation but is insufficient to generate high-quality genome assemblies or resolve most structural variation. Full resolution of variation is only guaranteed by complete de novo assembly of a genome. Here, we review approaches to genome assembly, the nature of gaps or missing sequences, and biases in the assembly process. We describe the challenges of generating a complete de novo genome assembly using current technologies and the impact that being…

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