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Friday, July 19, 2019

De novo PacBio long-read and phased avian genome assemblies correct and add to reference genes generated with intermediate and short reads.

Reference-quality genomes are expected to provide a resource for studying gene structure, function, and evolution. However, often genes of interest are not completely or accurately assembled, leading to unknown errors in analyses or additional cloning efforts for the correct sequences. A promising solution is long-read sequencing. Here we tested PacBio-based long-read sequencing and diploid assembly for potential improvements to the Sanger-based intermediate-read zebra finch reference and Illumina-based short-read Anna’s hummingbird reference, 2 vocal learning avian species widely studied in neuroscience and genomics. With DNA of the same individuals used to generate the reference genomes, we generated diploid assemblies with the…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

How well can we create phased, diploid, human genomes?: An assessment of FALCON-Unzip phasing using a human trio

Long read sequencing technology has allowed researchers to create de novo assemblies with impressive continuity[1,2]. This advancement has dramatically increased the number of reference genomes available and hints at the possibility of a future where personal genomes are assembled rather than resequenced. In 2016 Pacific Biosciences released the FALCON-Unzip framework, which can provide long, phased haplotype contigs from de novo assemblies. This phased genome algorithm enhances the accuracy of highly heterozygous organisms and allows researchers to explore questions that require haplotype information such as allele-specific expression and regulation. However, validation of this technique has been limited to small genomes or…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Completing the human genome: the progress and challenge of satellite DNA assembly.

Genomic studies rely on accurate chromosome assemblies to explore sequence-based models of cell biology, evolution and biomedical disease. However, even the extensively studied human genome has not yet reached a complete, ‘telomere-to-telomere’, chromosome assembly. The largest assembly gaps remain in centromeric regions and acrocentric short arms, sites known to contain megabase-sized arrays of tandem repeats, or satellite DNAs. This review aims to briefly address the progress and challenges of generating correct assemblies of satellite DNA arrays. Although the focus is placed on the human genome, many concepts presented here are applicable to other genomes.

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Sunday, 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…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genomic innovation for crop improvement.

Crop production needs to increase to secure future food supplies, while reducing its impact on ecosystems. Detailed characterization of plant genomes and genetic diversity is crucial for meeting these challenges. Advances in genome sequencing and assembly are being used to access the large and complex genomes of crops and their wild relatives. These have helped to identify a wide spectrum of genetic variation and permitted the association of genetic diversity with diverse agronomic phenotypes. In combination with improved and automated phenotyping assays and functional genomic studies, genomics is providing new foundations for crop-breeding systems.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genome graphs

There is increasing recognition that a single, monoploid reference genome is a poor universal reference structure for human genetics, because it represents only a tiny fraction of human variation. Adding this missing variation results in a structure that can be described as a mathematical graph: a genome graph. We demonstrate that, in comparison to the existing reference genome (GRCh38), genome graphs can substantially improve the fractions of reads that map uniquely and perfectly. Furthermore, we show that this fundamental simplification of read mapping transforms the variant calling problem from one in which many non-reference variants must be discovered de-novo to…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Resolving multicopy duplications de novo using polyploid phasing

While the rise of single-molecule sequencing systems has enabled an unprecedented rise in the ability to assemble complex regions of the genome, long segmental duplications in the genome still remain a challenging frontier in assembly. Segmental duplications are at the same time both gene rich and prone to large structural rearrangements, making the resolution of their sequences important in medical and evolutionary studies. Duplicated sequences that are collapsed in mammalian de novo assemblies are rarely identical; after a sequence is duplicated, it begins to acquire paralog-specific variants. In this paper, we study the problem of resolving the variations in multicopy,…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Building a locally diploid genome and transcriptome of the diatom Fragilariopsis cylindrus.

The genome of the cold-adapted diatom Fragilariopsis cylindrus is characterized by highly diverged haplotypes that intersperse its homozygous genome. Here, we describe how a combination of PacBio DNA and Illumina RNA sequencing can be used to resolve this complex genomic landscape locally into the highly diverged haplotypes, and how to map various environmentally controlled transcripts onto individual haplotypes. We assembled PacBio sequence data with the FALCON assembler and created a haplotype resolved annotation of the assembly using annotations of a Sanger sequenced F. cylindrus genome. RNA-seq datasets from six different growth conditions were used to resolve allele-specifc gene expression in…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

HapCol: accurate and memory-efficient haplotype assembly from long reads.

Haplotype assembly is the computational problem of reconstructing haplotypes in diploid organisms and is of fundamental importance for characterizing the effects of single-nucleotide polymorphisms on the expression of phenotypic traits. Haplotype assembly highly benefits from the advent of ‘future-generation’ sequencing technologies and their capability to produce long reads at increasing coverage. Existing methods are not able to deal with such data in a fully satisfactory way, either because accuracy or performances degrade as read length and sequencing coverage increase or because they are based on restrictive assumptions.By exploiting a feature of future-generation technologies-the uniform distribution of sequencing errors-we designed an…

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