July 19, 2019  |  

The architecture of a scrambled genome reveals massive levels of genomic rearrangement during development.

Programmed DNA rearrangements in the single-celled eukaryote Oxytricha trifallax completely rewire its germline into a somatic nucleus during development. This elaborate, RNA-mediated pathway eliminates noncoding DNA sequences that interrupt gene loci and reorganizes the remaining fragments by inversions and permutations to produce functional genes. Here, we report the Oxytricha germline genome and compare it to the somatic genome to present a global view of its massive scale of genome rearrangements. The remarkably encrypted genome architecture contains >3,500 scrambled genes, as well as >800 predicted germline-limited genes expressed, and some posttranslationally modified, during genome rearrangements. Gene segments for different somatic loci often interweave with each other. Single gene segments can contribute to multiple, distinct somatic loci. Terminal precursor segments from neighboring somatic loci map extremely close to each other, often overlapping. This genome assembly provides a draft of a scrambled genome and a powerful model for studies of genome rearrangement. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


July 19, 2019  |  

Genome structural diversity among 31 Bordetella pertussis isolates from two recent U.S. whooping cough statewide epidemics

During 2010 and 2012, California and Vermont, respectively, experienced statewide epidemics of pertussis with differences seen in the demographic affected, case clinical presentation, and molecular epidemiology of the circulating strains. To overcome limitations of the current molecular typing methods for pertussis, we utilized whole-genome sequencing to gain a broader understanding of how current circulating strains are causing large epidemics. Through the use of combined next-generation sequencing technologies, this study compared de novo, single-contig genome assemblies from 31 out of 33 Bordetella pertussis isolates collected during two separate pertussis statewide epidemics and 2 resequenced vaccine strains. Final genome architecture assemblies were verified with whole-genome optical mapping. Sixteen distinct genome rearrangement profiles were observed in epidemic isolate genomes, all of which were distinct from the genome structures of the two resequenced vaccine strains. These rearrangements appear to be mediated by repetitive sequence elements, such as high-copy-number mobile genetic elements and rRNA operons. Additionally, novel and previously identified single nucleotide polymorphisms were detected in 10 virulence-related genes in the epidemic isolates. Whole-genome variation analysis identified state-specific variants, and coding regions bearing nonsynonymous mutations were classified into functional annotated orthologous groups. Comprehensive studies on whole genomes are needed to understand the resurgence of pertussis and develop novel tools to better characterize the molecular epidemiology of evolving B.~pertussis populations.IMPORTANCE Pertussis, or whooping cough, is the most poorly controlled vaccine-preventable bacterial disease in the United States, which has experienced a resurgence for more than a decade. Once viewed as a monomorphic pathogen, B.~pertussis strains circulating during epidemics exhibit diversity visible on a genome structural level, previously undetectable by traditional sequence analysis using short-read technologies. For the first time, we combine short- and long-read sequencing platforms with restriction optical mapping for single-contig, de novo assembly of 31 isolates to investigate two geographically and temporally independent U.S. pertussis epidemics. These complete genomes reshape our understanding of B.~pertussis evolution and strengthen molecular epidemiology toward one day understanding the resurgence of pertussis.


July 19, 2019  |  

SplitThreader: Exploration and analysis of rearrangements in cancer genomes

Genomic rearrangements and associated copy number changes are important drivers in cancer as they can alter the expression of oncogenes and tumor suppressors, create gene fusions, and misregulate gene expression. Here we present SplitThreader (http://splitthreader.com), an open- source interactive web application for analysis and visualization of genomic rearrangements and copy number variation in cancer genomes. SplitThreader constructs a sequence graph of genomic rearrangements in the sample and uses a priority queue breadth-first search algorithm on the graph to search for novel interactions. This is applied to detect gene fusions and other novel sequences, as well as to evaluate distances in the rearranged genome between any genomic regions of interest, especially the repositioning of regulatory elements and their target genes. SplitThreader also analyzes each variant to categorize it by its relation to other variants and by its copy number concordance. This identifies balanced translocations, identifies simple and complex variants, and suggests likely false positives when copy number is not concordant across a candidate breakpoint. It also provides explanations when multiple variants affect the copy number state and obscure the contribution of a single variant, such as a deletion within a region that is overall amplified. Together, these categories triage the variants into groups and provide a starting point for further systematic analysis and manual curation. To demonstrate its utility, we apply SplitThreader to three cancer cell lines, MCF-7 and A549 with Illumina paired- end sequencing, and SK-BR-3, with long-read PacBio sequencing. Using SplitThreader, we examine the genomic rearrangements responsible for previously observed gene fusions in SK-BR-3 and MCF-7, and discover many of the fusions involved a complex series of multiple genomic rearrangements. We also find notable differences in the types of variants between the three cell lines, in particular a much higher proportion of reciprocal variants in SK-BR-3 and a distinct clustering of interchromosomal variants in SK-BR-3 and MCF-7 that is absent in A549.


July 7, 2019  |  

CLOVE: classification of genomic fusions into structural variation events.

A precise understanding of structural variants (SVs) in DNA is important in the study of cancer and population diversity. Many methods have been designed to identify SVs from DNA sequencing data. However, the problem remains challenging because existing approaches suffer from low sensitivity, precision, and positional accuracy. Furthermore, many existing tools only identify breakpoints, and so not collect related breakpoints and classify them as a particular type of SV. Due to the rapidly increasing usage of high throughput sequencing technologies in this area, there is an urgent need for algorithms that can accurately classify complex genomic rearrangements (involving more than one breakpoint or fusion).We present CLOVE, an algorithm for integrating the results of multiple breakpoint or SV callers and classifying the results as a particular SV. CLOVE is based on a graph data structure that is created from the breakpoint information. The algorithm looks for patterns in the graph that are characteristic of more complex rearrangement types. CLOVE is able to integrate the results of multiple callers, producing a consensus call.We demonstrate using simulated and real data that re-classified SV calls produced by CLOVE improve on the raw call set of existing SV algorithms, particularly in terms of accuracy. CLOVE is freely available from http://www.github.com/PapenfussLab .


July 7, 2019  |  

Phylogenomic analysis reveals genome-wide purifying selection on TBE transposons in the ciliate Oxytricha.

Transposable elements are a major player contributing to genetic variation and shaping genome evolution. Multiple independent transposon domestication events have occurred in ciliates, recruiting transposases to key roles in cellular processes. In the ciliate Oxytricha trifallax, the telomere-bearing elements (TBE), a Tc1/mariner transposon, occupy a significant portion of the germline genome and are involved in programmed genome rearrangements that produce a transcriptionally active somatic nucleus from a copy of the germline nucleus during development.Here we provide a thorough characterization of the distribution and sequences of TBE transposons in the Oxytricha germline genome. We annotate more than 10,000 complete and 24,000 partial TBE sequences. TBEs cluster into four major families and display a preference for either insertion into DNA segments that are retained in the somatic genome or their maintenance at such sites. The three TBE-encoded genes in all four families display dN/dS ratios much lower than 1, suggesting genome-wide purifying selection. We also identify TBE homologs in other ciliate species for phylogenomic analysis.This paper provides genome-wide characterization of a major class of ciliate transposons. Phylogenomic analysis reveals selective constraints on transposon-encoded genes, shedding light on the evolution and domesticated functions of these transposons.


July 7, 2019  |  

Coevolution between Nuclear-encoded DNA replication, recombination, and repair genes and plastid genome complexity.

Disruption of DNA replication, recombination, and repair (DNA-RRR) systems has been hypothesized to cause highly elevated nucleotide substitution rates and genome rearrangements in the plastids of angiosperms, but this theory remains untested. To investigate nuclear-plastid genome (plastome) coevolution in Geraniaceae, four different measures of plastome complexity (rearrangements, repeats, nucleotide insertions/deletions, and substitution rates) were evaluated along with substitution rates of 12 nuclear-encoded, plastid-targeted DNA-RRR genes from 27 Geraniales species. Significant correlations were detected for nonsynonymous (dN) but not synonymous (dS) substitution rates for three DNA-RRR genes (uvrB/C, why1, and gyrA) supporting a role for these genes in accelerated plastid genome evolution in Geraniaceae. Furthermore, correlation between dN of uvrB/C and plastome complexity suggests the presence of nucleotide excision repair system in plastids. Significant correlations were also detected between plastome complexity and 13 of the 90 nuclear-encoded organelle-targeted genes investigated. Comparisons revealed significant acceleration of dN in plastid-targeted genes of Geraniales relative to Brassicales suggesting this correlation may be an artifact of elevated rates in this gene set in Geraniaceae. Correlation between dN of plastid-targeted DNA-RRR genes and plastome complexity supports the hypothesis that the aberrant patterns in angiosperm plastome evolution could be caused by dysfunction in DNA-RRR systems.© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.


July 7, 2019  |  

Transposons passively and actively contribute to evolution of the two-speed genome of a fungal pathogen.

Genomic plasticity enables adaptation to changing environments, which is especially relevant for pathogens that engage in “arms races” with their hosts. In many pathogens, genes mediating virulence cluster in highly variable, transposon-rich, physically distinct genomic compartments. However, understanding of the evolution of these compartments, and the role of transposons therein, remains limited. Here, we show that transposons are the major driving force for adaptive genome evolution in the fungal plant pathogen Verticillium dahliae We show that highly variable lineage-specific (LS) regions evolved by genomic rearrangements that are mediated by erroneous double-strand repair, often utilizing transposons. We furthermore show that recent genetic duplications are enhanced in LS regions, against an older episode of duplication events. Finally, LS regions are enriched in active transposons, which contribute to local genome plasticity. Thus, we provide evidence for genome shaping by transposons, both in an active and passive manner, which impacts the evolution of pathogen virulence. © 2016 Faino et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


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