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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Single molecule sequencing of THCA synthase reveals copy number variation in modern drug-type Cannabis sativa L.

Cannabinoid expression is an important genetically determined feature of cannabis that presents clinical and legal implications for patients seeking cannabinoid specific therapies like Cannabidiol (CBD). Cannabinoid, terpenoid, and flavonoid marker assisted selection can accelerate breeding efforts by offering genetic tools to select for desired traits at an early stage in growth. To this end, multiple models for chemotype inheritance have been described suggesting a complex picture for chemical phenotype determination. Here we explore the potential role of copy number variation of THCA Synthase using phased single molecule sequencing and demonstrate that copy number and sequence variation of this gene is…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The challenges and importance of structural variation detection in livestock.

Recent studies in humans and other model organisms have demonstrated that structural variants (SVs) comprise a substantial proportion of variation among individuals of each species. Many of these variants have been linked to debilitating diseases in humans, thereby cementing the importance of refining methods for their detection. Despite progress in the field, reliable detection of SVs still remains a problem even for human subjects. Many of the underlying problems that make SVs difficult to detect in humans are amplified in livestock species, whose lower quality genome assemblies and incomplete gene annotation can often give rise to false positive SV discoveries.…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The haplotype-resolved genome and epigenome of the aneuploid HeLa cancer cell line.

The HeLa cell line was established in 1951 from cervical cancer cells taken from a patient, Henrietta Lacks. This was the first successful attempt to immortalize human-derived cells in vitro. The robust growth and unrestricted distribution of HeLa cells resulted in its broad adoption–both intentionally and through widespread cross-contamination–and for the past 60?years it has served a role analogous to that of a model organism. The cumulative impact of the HeLa cell line on research is demonstrated by its occurrence in more than 74,000 PubMed abstracts (approximately 0.3%). The genomic architecture of HeLa remains largely unexplored beyond its karyotype, partly…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Evolution and diversity of copy number variation in the great ape lineage.

Copy number variation (CNV) contributes to disease and has restructured the genomes of great apes. The diversity and rate of this process, however, have not been extensively explored among great ape lineages. We analyzed 97 deeply sequenced great ape and human genomes and estimate 16% (469 Mb) of the hominid genome has been affected by recent CNV. We identify a comprehensive set of fixed gene deletions (n = 340) and duplications (n = 405) as well as >13.5 Mb of sequence that has been specifically lost on the human lineage. We compared the diversity and rates of copy number and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Structure and evolution of the filaggrin gene repeated region in primates

The evolutionary dynamics of repeat sequences is quite complex, with some duplicates never having differentiated from each other. Two models can explain the complex evolutionary process for repeated genes—concerted and birth-and-death, of which the latter is driven by duplications maintained by selection. Copy number variations caused by random duplications and losses in repeat regions may modulate molecular pathways and therefore affect phenotypic characteristics in a population, resulting in individuals that are able to adapt to new environments. In this study, we investigated the filaggrin gene (FLG), which codes for filaggrin—an important component of the outer layers of mammalian skin—and contains…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Efficient CNV breakpoint analysis reveals unexpected structural complexity and correlation of dosage-sensitive genes with clinical severity in genomic disorders.

Genomic disorders are the clinical conditions manifested by submicroscopic genomic rearrangements including copy number variants (CNVs). The CNVs can be identified by array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH), the most commonly used technology for molecular diagnostics of genomic disorders. However, clinical aCGH only informs CNVs in the probe-interrogated regions. Neither orientational information nor the resulting genomic rearrangement structure is provided, which is a key to uncovering mutational and pathogenic mechanisms underlying genomic disorders. Long-range polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a traditional approach to obtain CNV breakpoint junction, but this method is inefficient when challenged by structural complexity such as often found…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Detection and assessment of copy number variation using PacBio long-read and Illumina sequencing in New Zealand dairy cattle.

Single nucleotide polymorphisms have been the DNA variant of choice for genomic prediction, largely because of the ease of single nucleotide polymorphism genotype collection. In contrast, structural variants (SV), which include copy number variants (CNV), translocations, insertions, and inversions, have eluded easy detection and characterization, particularly in nonhuman species. However, evidence increasingly shows that SV not only contribute a substantial proportion of genetic variation but also have significant influence on phenotypes. Here we present the discovery of CNV in a prominent New Zealand dairy bull using long-read PacBio (Pacific Biosciences, Menlo Park, CA) sequencing technology and the Sniffles SV discovery…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

XCAVATOR: accurate detection and genotyping of copy number variants from second and third generation whole-genome sequencing experiments.

We developed a novel software package, XCAVATOR, for the identification of genomic regions involved in copy number variants/alterations (CNVs/CNAs) from short and long reads whole-genome sequencing experiments.By using simulated and real datasets we showed that our tool, based on read count approach, is capable to predict the boundaries and the absolute number of DNA copies CNVs/CNAs with high resolutions. To demonstrate the power of our software we applied it to the analysis Illumina and Pacific Bioscencies data and we compared its performance to other ten state of the art tools.All the analyses we performed demonstrate that XCAVATOR is capable to…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Structural variation offers new home for disease associations and gene discovery

Following completion of the Human Genome Project, most studies of human genetic variation have centered on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). SNPs are numerous in individual genomes and serve as useful genetic markers in association studies across a population. These markers have been leveraged to identify genetic loci for disease risk and draw associations with numerous traits of interest. Despite their usefulness, SNPs do not tell the whole story. For example, most SNPs are associated with only a small increased risk of disease, and they usually cannot identify on their own which genes are causal. This has resulted in what many…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Hunting structural variants: Population by population

Until recently, most population-scale genome sequencing studies have focused on identifying single nucleotide variants (SNVs) to explore genetic differences between individuals. Like so many SNV-based genome-wide association studies, however, these efforts have had difficulty identifying causative genetic mechanisms underlying most complex functions. More and more, the genomics community has realised that structural variation is likely responsible for many of the traits and phenotypes that scientists have not been able to attribute to SNVs. This class of variants, defined as genetic differences of 50 bp or larger, accounts for most of the DNA sequence differences between any two people. Structural variants…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Copy number variation probes inform diverse applications

A major contributor to inter-individual genomic variability is copy number variation (CNV). CNVs change the diploid status of the DNA, involve one or multiple genes, and may disrupt coding regions, affect regulatory elements, or change gene dosage. While some of these changes may have no phenotypic consequences, others underlie disease, explain evolutionary processes, or impact the response to medication.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Hidden genetic variation shapes the structure of functional elements in Drosophila.

Mutations that add, subtract, rearrange, or otherwise refashion genome structure often affect phenotypes, although the fragmented nature of most contemporary assemblies obscures them. To discover such mutations, we assembled the first new reference-quality genome of Drosophila melanogaster since its initial sequencing. By comparing this new genome to the existing D. melanogaster assembly, we created a structural variant map of unprecedented resolution and identified extensive genetic variation that has remained hidden until now. Many of these variants constitute candidates underlying phenotypic variation, including tandem duplications and a transposable element insertion that amplifies the expression of detoxification-related genes associated with nicotine resistance.…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Copy number variation and expression analysis reveals a nonorthologous pinta gene family member involved in butterfly vision.

Vertebrate (cellular retinaldehyde-binding protein) and Drosophila (prolonged depolarization afterpotential is not apparent [PINTA]) proteins with a CRAL-TRIO domain transport retinal-based chromophores that bind to opsin proteins and are necessary for phototransduction. The CRAL-TRIO domain gene family is composed of genes that encode proteins with a common N-terminal structural domain. Although there is an expansion of this gene family in Lepidoptera, there is no lepidopteran ortholog of pinta. Further, the function of these genes in lepidopterans has not yet been established. Here, we explored the molecular evolution and expression of CRAL-TRIO domain genes in the butterfly Heliconius melpomene in order to…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Species- and strain-specific adaptation of the HSP70 super family in pathogenic trypanosomatids.

All eukaryotic genomes encode multiple members of the heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) family, which evolved distinctive structural and functional features in response to specific environmental constraints. Phylogenetic analysis of this protein family thus can inform on genetic and molecular mechanisms that drive species-specific environmental adaptation. Here we use the eukaryotic pathogen Leishmania spp. as a model system to investigate the evolution of the HSP70 protein family in an early-branching eukaryote that is prone to gene amplification and adapts to cytotoxic host environments by stress-induced and chaperone-dependent stage differentiation. Combining phylogenetic and comparative analyses of trypanosomatid genomes, draft genome of…

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