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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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