September 22, 2019  |  

Genome analysis of the ancient tracheophyte Selaginella tamariscina reveals evolutionary features relevant to the acquisition of desiccation tolerance.

Resurrection plants, which are the “gifts” of natural evolution, are ideal models for studying the genetic basis of plant desiccation tolerance. Here, we report a high-quality genome assembly of 301 Mb for the diploid spike moss Selaginella tamariscina, a primitive vascular resurrection plant. We predicated 27 761 protein-coding genes from the assembled S. tamariscina genome, 11.38% (2363) of which showed significant expression changes in response to desiccation. Approximately 60.58% of the S. tamariscina genome was annotated as repetitive DNA, which is an almost 2-fold increase of that in the genome of desiccation-sensitive Selaginella moellendorffii. Genomic and transcriptomic analyses highlight the unique evolution and complex regulations of the desiccation response in S. tamariscina, including species-specific expansion of the oleosin and pentatricopeptide repeat gene families, unique genes and pathways for reactive oxygen species generation and scavenging, and enhanced abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis and potentially distinct regulation of ABA signaling and response. Comparative analysis of chloroplast genomes of several Selaginella species revealed a unique structural rearrangement and the complete loss of chloroplast NAD(P)H dehydrogenase (NDH) genes in S. tamariscina, suggesting a link between the absence of the NDH complex and desiccation tolerance. Taken together, our comparative genomic and transcriptomic analyses reveal common and species-specific desiccation tolerance strategies in S. tamariscina, providing significant insights into the desiccation tolerance mechanism and the evolution of resurrection plants. Copyright © 2018 The Author. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Haematococcus lacustris: the makings of a giant-sized chloroplast genome.

Recent work on the chlamydomonadalean green alga Haematococcus lacustris uncovered the largest plastid genome on record: a whopping 1.35 Mb with >90 % non-coding DNA. A 500-word description of this genome was published in the journal Genome Announcements. But such a short report for such a large genome leaves many unanswered questions. For instance, the H. lacustris plastome was found to encode only 12 tRNAs, less than half that of a typical plastome, it appears to have a non-standard genetic code, and is one of only a few known plastid DNAs (ptDNAs), out of thousands of available sequences, not biased in adenine and thymine. Here, I take a closer look at the H. lacustris plastome, comparing its size, content and architecture to other large organelle DNAs, including those from close relatives in the Chlamydomonadales. I show that the H. lacustris plastid coding repertoire is not as unusual as initially thought, representing a standard set of rRNAs, tRNAs and protein-coding genes, where the canonical stop codon UGA appears to sometimes signify tryptophan. The intergenic spacers are dense with repeats, and it is within these regions where potential answers to the source of such extreme genomic expansion lie. By comparing ptDNA sequences of two closely related strains of H. lacustris, I argue that the mutation rate of the non-coding DNA is high and contributing to plastome inflation. Finally, by exploring publicly available RNA-sequencing data, I find that most of the intergenic ptDNA is transcriptionally active.


September 22, 2019  |  

The complete chloroplast genome sequence of Coix lacryma-jobi L.(Poaceae), a cereal and medicinal crop

Coix lacryma-jobi is a cereal and medicinal crop belonging to the Poaceae family. This study characterized complete chloroplast genome sequence of a Korean cultivar Johyun of C. lacryma-jobi var. ma-yuen through the de novo hybrid assembly with Illumina and PacBio genomic reads. The chloroplast genome is 140,863?bp long and composed of large single copy (82,827?bp), small single copy (12,522?bp), and a pair of inverted repeats (each 22,757?bp). A total of 123 genes including 87 protein-coding genes, 32 tRNA genes, and four rRNA genes were predicted in the genome. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed a close relationship of C. lacryma-jobi with species in the Panicoideae subfamily of the Poaceae family.


September 21, 2019  |  

Complete chloroplast genome sequence of the red silk cotton tree (Bombax ceiba)

Bombax ceiba L. is a beautiful and deciduous tree with great ecological and economic importance. The third generation sequencing of chloroplast genome of B. ceiba was conducted on the PacBio sequencing platform (Pacific Biosciences). The complete chloroplast genome was 158,997?bp, which contains a large single-copy (LSC) region (89,021?bp), a small single-copy (SSC) region (21,110?bp), and two inverted repeats (IRs) (24,433?bp). In total, 116 genes were annotated, including 81 protein-coding genes, eight rRNA genes, and 27 tRNA genes. The phylogenetic tree showed that B. ceiba was closely clustered with one clade of Malvaceae.


July 19, 2019  |  

An evaluation of the PacBio RS platform for sequencing and de novo assembly of a chloroplast genome.

Second generation sequencing has permitted detailed sequence characterisation at the whole genome level of a growing number of non-model organisms, but the data produced have short read-lengths and biased genome coverage leading to fragmented genome assemblies. The PacBio RS long-read sequencing platform offers the promise of increased read length and unbiased genome coverage and thus the potential to produce genome sequence data of a finished quality containing fewer gaps and longer contigs. However, these advantages come at a much greater cost per nucleotide and with a perceived increase in error-rate. In this investigation, we evaluated the performance of the PacBio RS sequencing platform through the sequencing and de novo assembly of the Potentilla micrantha chloroplast genome.Following error-correction, a total of 28,638 PacBio RS reads were recovered with a mean read length of 1,902 bp totalling 54,492,250 nucleotides and representing an average depth of coverage of 320× the chloroplast genome. The dataset covered the entire 154,959 bp of the chloroplast genome in a single contig (100% coverage) compared to seven contigs (90.59% coverage) recovered from an Illumina data, and revealed no bias in coverage of GC rich regions. Post-assembly the data were largely concordant with the Illumina data generated and allowed 187 ambiguities in the Illumina data to be resolved. The additional read length also permitted small differences in the two inverted repeat regions to be assigned unambiguously.This is the first report to our knowledge of a chloroplast genome assembled de novo using PacBio sequence data. The PacBio RS data generated here were assembled into a single large contig spanning the P. micrantha chloroplast genome, with a higher degree of accuracy than an Illumina dataset generated at a much greater depth of coverage, due to longer read lengths and lower GC bias in the data. The results we present suggest PacBio data will be of immense utility for the development of genome sequence assemblies containing fewer unresolved gaps and ambiguities and a significantly smaller number of contigs than could be produced using short-read sequence data alone.


July 19, 2019  |  

SMRT sequencing only de novo assembly of the sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) chloroplast genome.

Third generation sequencing methods, like SMRT (Single Molecule, Real-Time) sequencing developed by Pacific Biosciences, offer much longer read length in comparison to Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) methods. Hence, they are well suited for de novo- or re-sequencing projects. Sequences generated for these purposes will not only contain reads originating from the nuclear genome, but also a significant amount of reads originating from the organelles of the target organism. These reads are usually discarded but they can also be used for an assembly of organellar replicons. The long read length supports resolution of repetitive regions and repeats within the organelles genome which might be problematic when just using short read data. Additionally, SMRT sequencing is less influenced by GC rich areas and by long stretches of the same base.We describe a workflow for a de novo assembly of the sugar beet (Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris) chloroplast genome sequence only based on data originating from a SMRT sequencing dataset targeted on its nuclear genome. We show that the data obtained from such an experiment are sufficient to create a high quality assembly with a higher reliability than assemblies derived from e.g. Illumina reads only. The chloroplast genome is especially challenging for de novo assembling as it contains two large inverted repeat (IR) regions. We also describe some limitations that still apply even though long reads are used for the assembly.SMRT sequencing reads extracted from a dataset created for nuclear genome (re)sequencing can be used to obtain a high quality de novo assembly of the chloroplast of the sequenced organism. Even with a relatively small overall coverage for the nuclear genome it is possible to collect more than enough reads to generate a high quality assembly that outperforms short read based assemblies. However, even with long reads it is not always possible to clarify the order of elements of a chloroplast genome sequence reliantly which we could demonstrate with Fosmid End Sequences (FES) generated with Sanger technology. Nevertheless, this limitation also applies to short read sequencing data but is reached in this case at a much earlier stage during finishing.


July 7, 2019  |  

Chloroplast genome of Aconitum barbatum var. puberulum (Ranunculaceae) derived from CCS reads using the PacBio RS platform.

The chloroplast genome (cp genome) of Aconitum barbatum var. puberulum was sequenced using the third-generation sequencing platform based on the single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing approach. To our knowledge, this is the first reported complete cp genome of Aconitum, and we anticipate that it will have great value for phylogenetic studies of the Ranunculaceae family. In total, 23,498 CCS reads and 20,685,462 base pairs were generated, the mean read length was 880 bp, and the longest read was 2,261 bp. Genome coverage of 100% was achieved with a mean coverage of 132× and no gaps. The accuracy of the assembled genome is 99.973%; the assembly was validated using Sanger sequencing of six selected genes from the cp genome. The complete cp genome of A. barbatum var. puberulum is 156,749 bp in length, including a large single-copy region of 87,630 bp and a small single-copy region of 16,941 bp separated by two inverted repeats of 26,089 bp. The cp genome contains 130 genes, including 84 protein-coding genes, 34 tRNA genes and eight rRNA genes. Four forward, five inverted and eight tandem repeats were identified. According to the SSR analysis, the longest poly structure is a 20-T repeat. Our results presented in this paper will facilitate the phylogenetic studies and molecular authentication on Aconitum.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete chloroplast genome sequence of MD-2 pineapple and its comparative analysis among nine other plants from the subclass Commelinidae.

Pineapple (Ananas comosus var. comosus) is known as the king of fruits for its crown and is the third most important tropical fruit after banana and citrus. The plant, which is indigenous to South America, is the most important species in the Bromeliaceae family and is largely traded for fresh fruit consumption. Here, we report the complete chloroplast sequence of the MD-2 pineapple that was sequenced using the PacBio sequencing technology.In this study, the high error rate of PacBio long sequence reads of A. comosus’s total genomic DNA were improved by leveraging on the high accuracy but short Illumina reads for error-correction via the latest error correction module from Novocraft. Error corrected long PacBio reads were assembled by using a single tool to produce a contig representing the pineapple chloroplast genome. The genome of 159,636 bp in length is featured with the conserved quadripartite structure of chloroplast containing a large single copy region (LSC) with a size of 87,482 bp, a small single copy region (SSC) with a size of 18,622 bp and two inverted repeat regions (IRA and IRB) each with the size of 26,766 bp. Overall, the genome contained 117 unique coding regions and 30 were repeated in the IR region with its genes contents, structure and arrangement similar to its sister taxon, Typha latifolia. A total of 35 repeats structure were detected in both the coding and non-coding regions with a majority being tandem repeats. In addition, 205 SSRs were detected in the genome with six protein-coding genes contained more than two SSRs. Comparative chloroplast genomes from the subclass Commelinidae revealed a conservative protein coding gene albeit located in a highly divergence region. Analysis of selection pressure on protein-coding genes using Ka/Ks ratio showed significant positive selection exerted on the rps7 gene of the pineapple chloroplast with P less than 0.05. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed the recent taxonomical relation among the member of commelinids which support the monophyly relationship between Arecales and Dasypogonaceae and between Zingiberales to the Poales, which includes the A. comosus.The complete sequence of the chloroplast of pineapple provides insights to the divergence of genic chloroplast sequences from the members of the subclass Commelinidae. The complete pineapple chloroplast will serve as a reference for in-depth taxonomical studies in the Bromeliaceae family when more species under the family are sequenced in the future. The genetic sequence information will also make feasible other molecular applications of the pineapple chloroplast for plant genetic improvement.


July 7, 2019  |  

PAFFT: A new homology search algorithm for third-generation sequencers.

DNA sequencers that can conduct real-time sequencing from a single polymerase molecule are known as third-generation sequencers. Third-generation sequencers enable sequencing of reads that are several kilobases long. However, the raw data generated from third-generation sequencers are known to be error-prone. Because of sequencing errors, it is difficult to identify which genes are homologous to the reads obtained using third-generation sequencers. In this study, a new method for homology search algorithm, PAFFT, is developed. This method is the extension of the MAFFT algorithm which was used for multiple alignments. PAFFT detects global homology rather than local homology so that homologous regions can be detected even when the error rate of sequencing is high. PAFFT will boost application of third-generation sequencers. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Organellar genomes of white spruce (Picea glauca): assembly and annotation.

The genome sequences of the plastid and mitochondrion of white spruce (Picea glauca) were assembled from whole-genome shotgun sequencing data using ABySS. The sequencing data contained reads from both the nuclear and organellar genomes, and reads of the organellar genomes were abundant in the data as each cell harbors hundreds of mitochondria and plastids. Hence, assembly of the 123-kb plastid and 5.9-Mb mitochondrial genomes were accomplished by analyzing data sets primarily representing low coverage of the nuclear genome. The assembled organellar genomes were annotated for their coding genes, ribosomal RNA, and transfer RNA. Transcript abundances of the mitochondrial genes were quantified in three developmental tissues and five mature tissues using data from RNA-seq experiments. C-to-U RNA editing was observed in the majority of mitochondrial genes, and in four genes, editing events were noted to modify ACG codons to create cryptic AUG start codons. The informatics methodology presented in this study should prove useful to assemble organellar genomes of other plant species using whole-genome shotgun sequencing data. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete sequences of organelle genomes from the medicinal plant Rhazya stricta (Apocynaceae) and contrasting patterns of mitochondrial genome evolution across asterids.

Rhazya stricta is native to arid regions in South Asia and the Middle East and is used extensively in folk medicine to treat a wide range of diseases. In addition to generating genomic resources for this medicinally important plant, analyses of the complete plastid and mitochondrial genomes and a nuclear transcriptome from Rhazya provide insights into inter-compartmental transfers between genomes and the patterns of evolution among eight asterid mitochondrial genomes.The 154,841 bp plastid genome is highly conserved with gene content and order identical to the ancestral organization of angiosperms. The 548,608 bp mitochondrial genome exhibits a number of phenomena including the presence of recombinogenic repeats that generate a multipartite organization, transferred DNA from the plastid and nuclear genomes, and bidirectional DNA transfers between the mitochondrion and the nucleus. The mitochondrial genes sdh3 and rps14 have been transferred to the nucleus and have acquired targeting presequences. In the case of rps14, two copies are present in the nucleus; only one has a mitochondrial targeting presequence and may be functional. Phylogenetic analyses of both nuclear and mitochondrial copies of rps14 across angiosperms suggests Rhazya has experienced a single transfer of this gene to the nucleus, followed by a duplication event. Furthermore, the phylogenetic distribution of gene losses and the high level of sequence divergence in targeting presequences suggest multiple, independent transfers of both sdh3 and rps14 across asterids. Comparative analyses of mitochondrial genomes of eight sequenced asterids indicates a complicated evolutionary history in this large angiosperm clade with considerable diversity in genome organization and size, repeat, gene and intron content, and amount of foreign DNA from the plastid and nuclear genomes.Organelle genomes of Rhazya stricta provide valuable information for improving the understanding of mitochondrial genome evolution among angiosperms. The genomic data have enabled a rigorous examination of the gene transfer events. Rhazya is unique among the eight sequenced asterids in the types of events that have shaped the evolution of its mitochondrial genome. Furthermore, the organelle genomes of R. stricta provide valuable genomic resources for utilizing this important medicinal plant in biotechnology applications.


July 7, 2019  |  

Organellar genomes of the four-toothed moss, Tetraphis pellucida.

Mosses are the largest of the three extant clades of gametophyte-dominant land plants and remain poorly studied using comparative genomic methods. Major monophyletic moss lineages are characterised by different types of a spore dehiscence apparatus called the peristome, and the most important unsolved problem in higher-level moss systematics is the branching order of these peristomate clades. Organellar genome sequencing offers the potential to resolve this issue through the provision of both genomic structural characters and a greatly increased quantity of nucleotide substitution characters, as well as to elucidate organellar evolution in mosses. We publish and describe the chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes of Tetraphis pellucida, representative of the most phylogenetically intractable and morphologically isolated peristomate lineage.Assembly of reads from Illumina SBS and Pacific Biosciences RS sequencing reveals that the Tetraphis chloroplast genome comprises 127,489 bp and the mitochondrial genome 107,730 bp. Although genomic structures are similar to those of the small number of other known moss organellar genomes, the chloroplast lacks the petN gene (in common with Tortula ruralis) and the mitochondrion has only a non-functional pseudogenised remnant of nad7 (uniquely amongst known moss chondromes).Structural genomic features exist with the potential to be informative for phylogenetic relationships amongst the peristomate moss lineages, and thus organellar genome sequences are urgently required for exemplars from other clades. The unique genomic and morphological features of Tetraphis confirm its importance for resolving one of the major questions in land plant phylogeny and for understanding the evolution of the peristome, a likely key innovation underlying the diversity of mosses. The functional loss of nad7 from the chondrome is now shown to have occurred independently in all three bryophyte clades as well as in the early-diverging tracheophyte Huperzia squarrosa.


July 7, 2019  |  

De novo genome assembly of the economically important weed horseweed using integrated data from multiple sequencing platforms.

Horseweed (Conyza canadensis), a member of the Compositae (Asteraceae) family, was the first broadleaf weed to evolve resistance to glyphosate. Horseweed, one of the most problematic weeds in the world, is a true diploid (2n = 2x = 18), with the smallest genome of any known agricultural weed (335 Mb). Thus, it is an appropriate candidate to help us understand the genetic and genomic bases of weediness. We undertook a draft de novo genome assembly of horseweed by combining data from multiple sequencing platforms (454 GS-FLX, Illumina HiSeq 2000, and PacBio RS) using various libraries with different insertion sizes (approximately 350 bp, 600 bp, 3 kb, and 10 kb) of a Tennessee-accessed, glyphosate-resistant horseweed biotype. From 116.3 Gb (approximately 350× coverage) of data, the genome was assembled into 13,966 scaffolds with 50% of the assembly = 33,561 bp. The assembly covered 92.3% of the genome, including the complete chloroplast genome (approximately 153 kb) and a nearly complete mitochondrial genome (approximately 450 kb in 120 scaffolds). The nuclear genome is composed of 44,592 protein-coding genes. Genome resequencing of seven additional horseweed biotypes was performed. These sequence data were assembled and used to analyze genome variation. Simple sequence repeat and single-nucleotide polymorphisms were surveyed. Genomic patterns were detected that associated with glyphosate-resistant or -susceptible biotypes. The draft genome will be useful to better understand weediness and the evolution of herbicide resistance and to devise new management strategies. The genome will also be useful as another reference genome in the Compositae. To our knowledge, this article represents the first published draft genome of an agricultural weed.© 2014 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

De novo assembly and characterization of the complete chloroplast genome of radish (Raphanus sativus L.).

Radish (Raphanus sativus L.) is an edible root vegetable crop that is cultivated worldwide and whose genome has been sequenced. Here we report the complete nucleotide sequence of the radish cultivar WK10039 chloroplast (cp) genome, along with a de novo assembly strategy using whole genome shotgun sequence reads obtained by next generation sequencing. The radish cp genome is 153,368 bp in length and has a typical quadripartite structure, composed of a pair of inverted repeat regions (26,217 bp each), a large single copy region (83,170 bp), and a small single copy region (17,764 bp). The radish cp genome contains 87 predicted protein-coding genes, 37 tRNA genes, and 8 rRNA genes. Sequence analysis revealed the presence of 91 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) in the radish cp genome. Phylogenetic analysis of 62 protein-coding gene sequences from the 17 cp genomes of the Brassicaceae family suggested that the radish cp genome is most closely related to the cp genomes of Brassica rapa and Brassicanapus. Comparisons with the B. rapa and B. napus cp genomes revealed highly divergent intergenic sequences and introns that can potentially be developed as diagnostic cp markers. Synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions of cp genes suggested that nucleotide substitutions have occurred at similar rates in most genes. The complete sequence of the radish cp genome would serve as a valuable resource for the development of new molecular markers and the study of the phylogenetic relationships of Raphanus species in the Brassicaceae family. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

A precise chloroplast genome of Nelumbo nucifera (Nelumbonaceae) evaluated with Sanger, Illumina MiSeq, and PacBio RS II sequencing platforms: insight into the plastid evolution of basal eudicots.

BackgroundThe chloroplast genome is important for plant development and plant evolution. Nelumbo nucifera is one member of relict plants surviving from the late Cretaceous. Recently, a new sequencing platform PacBio RS II, known as `SMRT (Single Molecule, Real-Time) sequencing¿, has been developed. Using the SMRT sequencing to investigate the chloroplast genome of N. nucifera will help to elucidate the plastid evolution of basal eudicots.ResultsThe sizes of the de novo assembled complete chloroplast genome of N. nucifera were 163,307 bp, 163,747 bp and 163,600 bp with average depths of coverage of 7×, 712× and 105× sequenced by Sanger, Illumina MiSeq and PacBio RS II, respectively. The precise chloroplast genome of N. nucifera was obtained from PacBio RS II data proofread by Illumina MiSeq reads, with a quadripartite structure containing a large single copy region (91,846 bp) and a small single copy region (19,626 bp) separated by two inverted repeat regions (26,064 bp). The genome contains 113 different genes, including four distinct rRNAs, 30 distinct tRNAs and 79 distinct peptide-coding genes. A phylogenetic analysis of 133 taxa from 56 orders indicated that Nelumbo with an age of 177 million years is a sister clade to Platanus, which belongs to the basal eudicots. Basal eudicots began to emerge during the early Jurassic with estimated divergence times at 197 million years using MCMCTree. IR expansions/contractions within the basal eudicots seem to have occurred independently.ConclusionsBecause of long reads and lack of bias in coverage of AT-rich regions, PacBio RS II showed a great promise for highly accurate `finished¿ genomes, especially for a de novo assembly of genomes. N. nucifera is one member of basal eudicots, however, evolutionary analyses of IR structural variations of N. nucifera and other basal eudicots suggested that IR expansions/contractions occurred independently in these basal eudicots or were caused by independent insertions and deletions. The precise chloroplast genome of N. nucifera will present new information for structural variation of chloroplast genomes and provide new insight into the evolution of basal eudicots at the primary sequence and structural level.


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