July 7, 2019  |  

Genomics of parallel adaptation at two timescales in Drosophila.

Two interesting unanswered questions are the extent to which both the broad patterns and genetic details of adaptive divergence are repeatable across species, and the timescales over which parallel adaptation may be observed. Drosophila melanogaster is a key model system for population and evolutionary genomics. Findings from genetics and genomics suggest that recent adaptation to latitudinal environmental variation (on the timescale of hundreds or thousands of years) associated with Out-of-Africa colonization plays an important role in maintaining biological variation in the species. Additionally, studies of interspecific differences between D. melanogaster and its sister species D. simulans have revealed that a substantial proportion of proteins and amino acid residues exhibit adaptive divergence on a roughly few million years long timescale. Here we use population genomic approaches to attack the problem of parallelism between D. melanogaster and a highly diverged conger, D. hydei, on two timescales. D. hydei, a member of the repleta group of Drosophila, is similar to D. melanogaster, in that it too appears to be a recently cosmopolitan species and recent colonizer of high latitude environments. We observed parallelism both for genes exhibiting latitudinal allele frequency differentiation within species and for genes exhibiting recurrent adaptive protein divergence between species. Greater parallelism was observed for long-term adaptive protein evolution and this parallelism includes not only the specific genes/proteins that exhibit adaptive evolution, but extends even to the magnitudes of the selective effects on interspecific protein differences. Thus, despite the roughly 50 million years of time separating D. melanogaster and D. hydei, and despite their considerably divergent biology, they exhibit substantial parallelism, suggesting the existence of a fundamental predictability of adaptive evolution in the genus.


July 7, 2019  |  

OPERA-LG: efficient and exact scaffolding of large, repeat-rich eukaryotic genomes with performance guarantees.

The assembly of large, repeat-rich eukaryotic genomes represents a significant challenge in genomics. While long-read technologies have made the high-quality assembly of small, microbial genomes increasingly feasible, data generation can be expensive for larger genomes. OPERA-LG is a scalable, exact algorithm for the scaffold assembly of large, repeat-rich genomes, out-performing state-of-the-art programs for scaffold correctness and contiguity. It provides a rigorous framework for scaffolding of repetitive sequences and a systematic approach for combining data from different second-generation and third-generation sequencing technologies. OPERA-LG provides an avenue for systematic augmentation and improvement of thousands of existing draft eukaryotic genome assemblies.


July 7, 2019  |  

Selfish drive can trump function when animal mitochondrial genomes compete.

Mitochondrial genomes compete for transmission from mother to progeny. We explored this competition by introducing a second genome into Drosophila melanogaster to follow transmission. Competitions between closely related genomes favored those functional in electron transport, resulting in a host-beneficial purifying selection. In contrast, matchups between distantly related genomes often favored those with negligible, negative or lethal consequences, indicating selfish selection. Exhibiting powerful selfish selection, a genome carrying a detrimental mutation displaced a complementing genome, leading to population death after several generations. In a different pairing, opposing selfish and purifying selection counterbalanced to give stable transmission of two genomes. Sequencing of recombinant mitochondrial genomes showed that the noncoding region, containing origins of replication, governs selfish transmission. Uniparental inheritance prevents encounters between distantly related genomes. Nonetheless, in each maternal lineage, constant competition among sibling genomes selects for super-replicators. We suggest that this relentless competition drives positive selection, promoting change in the sequences influencing transmission.


July 7, 2019  |  

Comparative evaluation of the genomes of three common Drosophila-associated bacteria.

Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent model to explore the molecular exchanges that occur between an animal intestine and associated microbes. Previous studies in Drosophila uncovered a sophisticated web of host responses to intestinal bacteria. The outcomes of these responses define critical events in the host, such as the establishment of immune responses, access to nutrients, and the rate of larval development. Despite our steady march towards illuminating the host machinery that responds to bacterial presence in the gut, there are significant gaps in our understanding of the microbial products that influence bacterial association with a fly host. We sequenced and characterized the genomes of three common Drosophila-associated microbes: Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis and Acetobacter pasteurianus For each species, we compared the genomes of Drosophila-associated strains to the genomes of strains isolated from alternative sources. We found that environmental Lactobacillus strains readily associated with adult Drosophila and were similar to fly isolates in terms of genome organization. In contrast, we identified a strain of A. pasteurianus that apparently fails to associate with adult Drosophila due to an inability to grow on fly nutrient food. Comparisons between association competent and incompetent A. pasteurianus strains identified a short list of candidate genes that may contribute to survival on fly medium. Many of the gene products unique to fly-associated strains have established roles in the stabilization of host-microbe interactions. These data add to a growing body of literature that examines the microbial perspective of host-microbe relationships. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.


July 7, 2019  |  

Contiguous and accurate de novo assembly of metazoan genomes with modest long read coverage.

Genome assemblies that are accurate, complete and contiguous are essential for identifying important structural and functional elements of genomes and for identifying genetic variation. Nevertheless, most recent genome assemblies remain incomplete and fragmented. While long molecule sequencing promises to deliver more complete genome assemblies with fewer gaps, concerns about error rates, low yields, stringent DNA requirements and uncertainty about best practices may discourage many investigators from adopting this technology. Here, in conjunction with the platinum standard Drosophila melanogaster reference genome, we analyze recently published long molecule sequencing data to identify what governs completeness and contiguity of genome assemblies. We also present a hybrid meta-assembly approach that achieves remarkable assembly contiguity for both Drosophila and human assemblies with only modest long molecule sequencing coverage. Our results motivate a set of preliminary best practices for obtaining accurate and contiguous assemblies, a ‘missing manual’ that guides key decisions in building high quality de novo genome assemblies, from DNA isolation to polishing the assembly.© The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.


July 7, 2019  |  

Jabba: hybrid error correction for long sequencing reads.

Third generation sequencing platforms produce longer reads with higher error rates than second generation technologies. While the improved read length can provide useful information for downstream analysis, underlying algorithms are challenged by the high error rate. Error correction methods in which accurate short reads are used to correct noisy long reads appear to be attractive to generate high-quality long reads. Methods that align short reads to long reads do not optimally use the information contained in the second generation data, and suffer from large runtimes. Recently, a new hybrid error correcting method has been proposed, where the second generation data is first assembled into a de Bruijn graph, on which the long reads are then aligned.In this context we present Jabba, a hybrid method to correct long third generation reads by mapping them on a corrected de Bruijn graph that was constructed from second generation data. Unique to our method is the use of a pseudo alignment approach with a seed-and-extend methodology, using maximal exact matches (MEMs) as seeds. In addition to benchmark results, certain theoretical results concerning the possibilities and limitations of the use of MEMs in the context of third generation reads are presented.Jabba produces highly reliable corrected reads: almost all corrected reads align to the reference, and these alignments have a very high identity. Many of the aligned reads are error-free. Additionally, Jabba corrects reads using a very low amount of CPU time. From this we conclude that pseudo alignment with MEMs is a fast and reliable method to map long highly erroneous sequences on a de Bruijn graph.


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