June 1, 2021  |  

Integrative biology of a fungus: Using PacBio SMRT Sequencing to interrogate the genome, epigenome, and transcriptome of Neurospora crassa.

PacBio SMRT Sequencing has the unique ability to directly detect base modifications in addition to the nucleotide sequence of DNA. Because eukaryotes use base modifications to regulate gene expression, the absence or presence of epigenetic events relative to the location of genes is critical to elucidate the function of the modification. Therefore an integrated approach that combines multiple omic-scale assays is necessary to study complex organisms. Here, we present an integrated analysis of three sequencing experiments: 1) DNA sequencing, 2) base-modification detection, and 3) Iso-seq analysis, in Neurospora crassa, a filamentous fungus that has been used to make many landmark discoveries in biochemistry and genetics. We show that de novo assembly of a new strain yields complete assemblies of entire chromosomes, and additionally contains entire centromeric sequences. Base-modification analyses reveal candidate sites of increased interpulse duration (IPD) ratio, that may signify regions of 5mC, 5hmC, or 6mA base modifications. Iso-seq method provides full-length transcript evidence for comprehensive gene annotation, as well as context to the base-modifications in the newly assembled genome. Projects that integrate multiple genome-wide assays could become common practice for identifying genomic elements and understanding their function in new strains and organisms.

June 1, 2021  |  

Applying Sequel to Genomic Datasets

De novo assembly is a large part of JGI’s analysis portfolio. Repetitive DNA sequences are abundant in a wide range of organisms we sequence and pose a significant technical challenge for assembly. We are interested in long read technologies capable of spanning genomic repeats to produce better assemblies. We currently have three RS II and two Sequel PacBio machines. RS II machines are primarily used for fungal and microbial genome assembly as well as synthetic biology validation. Between microbes and fungi we produce hundreds of PacBio libraries a year and for throughput reasons the vast majority of these are >10 kb AMPure libraries. Throughput for RS II is about 1 Gb per SMRT Cell. This is ideal for microbial sized genomes but can be costly and labor intensive for larger projects which require multiple cells. JGI was an early access site for Sequel and began testing with real samples in January 2016. During that time we’ve had the opportunity to sequence microbes, fungi, metagenomes, and plants. Here we present our experience over the last 18 months using the Sequel platform and provide comparisons with RS II results.

September 22, 2019  |  

Characterization of the Rosellinia necatrix transcriptome and genes related to pathogenesis by single-molecule mRNA sequencing.

White root rot disease, caused by the pathogen Rosellinia necatrix, is one of the world’s most devastating plant fungal diseases and affects several commercially important species of fruit trees and crops. Recent global outbreaks of R. necatrix and advances in molecular techniques have both increased interest in this pathogen. However, the lack of information regarding the genomic structure and transcriptome of R. necatrix has been a barrier to the progress of functional genomic research and the control of this harmful pathogen. Here, we identified 10,616 novel full-length transcripts from the filamentous hyphal tissue of R. necatrix (KACC 40445 strain) using PacBio single-molecule sequencing technology. After annotation of the unigene sets, we selected 14 cell cycle-related genes, which are likely either positively or negatively involved in hyphal growth by cell cycle control. The expression of the selected genes was further compared between two strains that displayed different growth rates on nutritional media. Furthermore, we predicted pathogen-related effector genes and cell wall-degrading enzymes from the annotated gene sets. These results provide the most comprehensive transcriptomal resources for R. necatrix, and could facilitate functional genomics and further analyses of this important phytopathogen.

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