July 19, 2019  |  

Differing patterns of selection and geospatial genetic diversity within two leading Plasmodium vivax candidate vaccine antigens.

Although Plasmodium vivax is a leading cause of malaria around the world, only a handful of vivax antigens are being studied for vaccine development. Here, we investigated genetic signatures of selection and geospatial genetic diversity of two leading vivax vaccine antigens–Plasmodium vivax merozoite surface protein 1 (pvmsp-1) and Plasmodium vivax circumsporozoite protein (pvcsp). Using scalable next-generation sequencing, we deep-sequenced amplicons of the 42 kDa region of pvmsp-1 (n?=?44) and the complete gene of pvcsp (n?=?47) from Cambodian isolates. These sequences were then compared with global parasite populations obtained from GenBank. Using a combination of statistical and phylogenetic methods to assess for selection and population structure, we found strong evidence of balancing selection in the 42 kDa region of pvmsp-1, which varied significantly over the length of the gene, consistent with immune-mediated selection. In pvcsp, the highly variable central repeat region also showed patterns consistent with immune selection, which were lacking outside the repeat. The patterns of selection seen in both genes differed from their P. falciparum orthologs. In addition, we found that, similar to merozoite antigens from P. falciparum malaria, genetic diversity of pvmsp-1 sequences showed no geographic clustering, while the non-merozoite antigen, pvcsp, showed strong geographic clustering. These findings suggest that while immune selection may act on both vivax vaccine candidate antigens, the geographic distribution of genetic variability differs greatly between these two genes. The selective forces driving this diversification could lead to antigen escape and vaccine failure. Better understanding the geographic distribution of genetic variability in vaccine candidate antigens will be key to designing and implementing efficacious vaccines.


July 19, 2019  |  

A golden goat genome

The newly described de novo goat genome sequence is the most contiguous diploid vertebrate assembly generated thus far using whole-genome assembly and scaffolding methods. The contiguity of this assembly is approaching that of the finished human and mouse genomes and suggests an affordable roadmap to high-quality references for thousands of species.


July 7, 2019  |  

It’s more than stamp collecting: how genome sequencing can unify biological research.

The availability of reference genome sequences, especially the human reference, has revolutionized the study of biology. However, while the genomes of some species have been fully sequenced, a wide range of biological problems still cannot be effectively studied for lack of genome sequence information. Here, I identify neglected areas of biology and describe how both targeted species sequencing and more broad taxonomic surveys of the tree of life can address important biological questions. I enumerate the significant benefits that would accrue from sequencing a broader range of taxa, as well as discuss the technical advances in sequencing and assembly methods that would allow for wide-ranging application of whole-genome analysis. Finally, I suggest that in addition to ‘big science’ survey initiatives to sequence the tree of life, a modified infrastructure-funding paradigm would better support reference genome sequence generation for research communities most in need. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Bordetella pertussis evolution in the (functional) genomics era.

The incidence of whooping cough caused by Bordetella pertussis in many developed countries has risen dramatically in recent years. This has been linked to the use of an acellular pertussis vaccine. In addition, it is thought that B. pertussis is adapting under acellular vaccine mediated immune selection pressure, towards vaccine escape. Genomics-based approaches have revolutionized the ability to resolve the fine structure of the global B. pertussis population and its evolution during the era of vaccination. Here, we discuss the current picture of B. pertussis evolution and diversity in the light of the current resurgence, highlight import questions raised by recent studies in this area and discuss the role that functional genomics can play in addressing current knowledge gaps.© FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.


July 7, 2019  |  

The characterization of goat genetic diversity: Towards a genomic approach

The investigation of genetic diversity at molecular level has been proposed as a valuable complement and sometimes proxy to phenotypic diversity of local breeds and is presently considered as one of the FAO priorities for breed characterization. By recommending a set of selected molecular markers for each of the main livestock species, FAO has promoted the meta-analysis of local datasets, to achieve a global view of molecular genetic diversity. Analysis within the EU Globaldiv project of two large goat microsatellite datasets produced by the Econogene Consortium and the IAEA CRP–Asia Consortium, respectively, has generated a picture of goat diversity across continents. This indicates a gradient of decreasing diversity from the domestication centre towards Europe and Asia, a clear phylogeographic structure at the continental and regional levels, and in Asia a limited genetic differentiation among local breeds. The development of SNP panels that assay thousands of markers and the whole genome sequencing of livestock permit an affordable use of genomic technologies in all livestock species, goats included. Preliminary data from the Italian Goat Consortium indicate that the SNP panel developed for this species is highly informative. The existing panel can be improved by integrating additional SNPs identified from the whole genome sequence alignment of goats adapted to extreme climates. Part of this effort is being achieved by international projects (e.g. EU FP7 NextGen and 3SR projects), but a fair representation of the global diversity in goats requires a large panel of samples (i.e. as in the recently launched 1000 cattle genomes initiative). Genomic technologies offer new strategies to investigate complex traits difficult to measure. For example, the comparison of patterns of diversity among the genomes in selected groups of animals (e.g. adapted to different environments) and the integration of genome-wide diversity with new GIScience-based methods are able to identify molecular markers associated with genomic regions of putative importance in adaptation and thus pave the way for the identification of causative genes. Goat breeds adapted to different production systems in extreme and harsh environments will play an important role in this process. The new sequencing technologies also permit the analysis of the entire mitochondrial genome at maximum resolution. The complete mtDNA sequence is now the common standard format for the investigation of human maternal lineages. A preliminary analysis of the complete goat mtDNA genome supports a single Neolithic origin of domestic goats rather than multiple domestication events in different geographic areas.


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 single nucleotide variation across the hominid phylogeny. We find that CNV diversity partially correlates with single nucleotide diversity (r(2) = 0.5) and recapitulates the phylogeny of apes with few exceptions. Duplications significantly outpace deletions (2.8-fold). The load of segregating duplications remains significantly higher in bonobos, Western chimpanzees, and Sumatran orangutans-populations that have experienced recent genetic bottlenecks (P = 0.0014, 0.02, and 0.0088, respectively). The rate of fixed deletion has been more clocklike with the exception of the chimpanzee lineage, where we observe a twofold increase in the chimpanzee-bonobo ancestor (P = 4.79 × 10(-9)) and increased deletion load among Western chimpanzees (P = 0.002). The latter includes the first genomic disorder in a chimpanzee with features resembling Smith-Magenis syndrome mediated by a chimpanzee-specific increase in segmental duplication complexity. We hypothesize that demographic effects, such as bottlenecks, have contributed to larger and more gene-rich segments being deleted in the chimpanzee lineage and that this effect, more generally, may account for episodic bursts in CNV during hominid evolution.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome sequence of Phaeobacter caeruleus type strain (DSM 24564(T)), a surface-associated member of the marine Roseobacter clade.

In 2009 Phaeobacter caeruleus was described as a novel species affiliated with the marine Roseobacter clade, which, in turn, belongs to the class Alphaproteobacteria. The genus Phaeobacter is well known for members that produce various secondary metabolites. Here we report of putative quorum sensing systems, based on the finding of six N-acyl-homoserine lactone synthetases, and show that the blue color of P. caeruleus is probably due to the production of the secondary metabolite indigoidine. Therefore, P. caeruleus might have inhibitory effects on other bacteria. In this study the genome of the type strain DSM 24564(T) was sequenced, annotated and characterized. The 5,344,419 bp long genome with its seven plasmids contains 5,227 protein-coding genes (3,904 with a predicted function) and 108 RNA genes.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genomic analyses reveal that partial sequence of an earlier pseudorabies virus in China is originated from a Bartha-vaccine-like strain.

Pseudorabies virus (PRV), the causative agent of Aujeszky?s disease, has gained increased attention in China in recent years as a result of the outbreak of emergent pseudorabies. Several genomic and partial sequences are available for Chinese emergent and European-American strains of PRV, but limited sequence data exist for the earlier Chinese strains. In this study, we determined the complete genomic sequence of one earlier Chinese strain SC and one emergent strain HLJ8. Compared with other known sequences, we demonstrated that PRV strains from distinct geographical regions displayed divergent evolution. Additionally, we report for the first time, a recombination event between PRV strains, and show that strain SC is a recombinant of an endemic Chinese strain and a Bartha-vaccine-like strain. These results contribute to our understanding of PRV evolution. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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