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Friday, February 5, 2021

Webinar: Sequencing structural variants for disease gene discovery and population genetics

Structural variants (SVs, differences >50 base pairs) account for most of the base pairs that differ between two human genomes, and are known to cause over 1,000 genetic disorders including ALS, schizophrenia, and hereditary cancer. Yet, SVs remain overlooked in human genetic research studies due to the limited power of short-read sequencing methods (exome and whole genome sequencing) to resolve large variants, which often involve repetitive DNA. Recent advances in long-read sequencing have made it possible to detect the over 20,000 SVs that are now known to exist in a human genome. Corresponding advances in long-read SV calling algorithms have…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Genome rearrangements and pervasive meiotic drive cause hybrid infertility in fission yeast.

Hybrid sterility is one of the earliest postzygotic isolating mechanisms to evolve between two recently diverged species. Here we identify causes underlying hybrid infertility of two recently diverged fission yeast species Schizosaccharomyces pombe and S. kambucha, which mate to form viable hybrid diploids that efficiently complete meiosis, but generate few viable gametes. We find that chromosomal rearrangements and related recombination defects are major but not sole causes of hybrid infertility. At least three distinct meiotic drive alleles, one on each S. kambucha chromosome, independently contribute to hybrid infertility by causing nonrandom spore death. Two of these driving loci are linked…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

PBHoney: identifying genomic variants via long-read discordance and interrupted mapping.

As resequencing projects become more prevalent across a larger number of species, accurate variant identification will further elucidate the nature of genetic diversity and become increasingly relevant in genomic studies. However, the identification of larger genomic variants via DNA sequencing is limited by both the incomplete information provided by sequencing reads and the nature of the genome itself. Long-read sequencing technologies provide high-resolution access to structural variants often inaccessible to shorter reads.We present PBHoney, software that considers both intra-read discordance and soft-clipped tails of long reads (>10,000 bp) to identify structural variants. As a proof of concept, we identify four…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Palindromic GOLGA8 core duplicons promote chromosome 15q13.3 microdeletion and evolutionary instability.

Recurrent deletions of chromosome 15q13.3 associate with intellectual disability, schizophrenia, autism and epilepsy. To gain insight into the instability of this region, we sequenced it in affected individuals, normal individuals and nonhuman primates. We discovered five structural configurations of the human chromosome 15q13.3 region ranging in size from 2 to 3 Mb. These configurations arose recently (~0.5-0.9 million years ago) as a result of human-specific expansions of segmental duplications and two independent inversion events. All inversion breakpoints map near GOLGA8 core duplicons-a ~14-kb primate-specific chromosome 15 repeat that became organized into larger palindromic structures. GOLGA8-flanked palindromes also demarcate the breakpoints…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Genomic changes following the reversal of a Y chromosome to an autosome in Drosophila pseudoobscura

Robertsonian translocations resulting in fusions between sex chromosomes and autosomes shape karyotype evolution by creating new sex chromosomes from autosomes. These translocations can also reverse sex chromosomes back into autosomes, which is especially intriguing given the dramatic differences between autosomes and sex chromosomes. To study the genomic events following a Y chromosome reversal, we investigated an autosome-Y translocation in Drosophila pseudoobscura. The ancestral Y chromosome fused to a small autosome (the dot chromosome) approximately 10–15 Mya. We used single molecule real-time sequencing reads to assemble the D. pseudoobscura dot chromosome, including this Y-to-dot translocation. We find that the intervening sequence…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Chromosome-level assembly of Arabidopsis thaliana Ler reveals the extent of translocation and inversion polymorphisms.

Resequencing or reference-based assemblies reveal large parts of the small-scale sequence variation. However, they typically fail to separate such local variation into colinear and rearranged variation, because they usually do not recover the complement of large-scale rearrangements, including transpositions and inversions. Besides the availability of hundreds of genomes of diverse Arabidopsis thaliana accessions, there is so far only one full-length assembled genome: the reference sequence. We have assembled 117 Mb of the A. thaliana Landsberg erecta (Ler) genome into five chromosome-equivalent sequences using a combination of short Illumina reads, long PacBio reads, and linkage information. Whole-genome comparison against the reference…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Extensive sequence divergence between the reference genomes of two elite indica rice varieties Zhenshan 97 and Minghui 63.

Asian cultivated rice consists of two subspecies: Oryza sativa subsp. indica and O. sativa subsp. japonica Despite the fact that indica rice accounts for over 70% of total rice production worldwide and is genetically much more diverse, a high-quality reference genome for indica rice has yet to be published. We conducted map-based sequencing of two indica rice lines, Zhenshan 97 (ZS97) and Minghui 63 (MH63), which represent the two major varietal groups of the indica subspecies and are the parents of an elite Chinese hybrid. The genome sequences were assembled into 237 (ZS97) and 181 (MH63) contigs, with an accuracy…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

An Inv(16)(p13.3q24.3)-encoded CBFA2T3-GLIS2 fusion protein defines an aggressive subtype of pediatric acute megakaryoblastic leukemia.

To define the mutation spectrum in non-Down syndrome acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (non-DS-AMKL), we performed transcriptome sequencing on diagnostic blasts from 14 pediatric patients and validated our findings in a recurrency/validation cohort consisting of 34 pediatric and 28 adult AMKL samples. Our analysis identified a cryptic chromosome 16 inversion (inv(16)(p13.3q24.3)) in 27% of pediatric cases, which encodes a CBFA2T3-GLIS2 fusion protein. Expression of CBFA2T3-GLIS2 in Drosophila and murine hematopoietic cells induced bone morphogenic protein (BMP) signaling and resulted in a marked increase in the self-renewal capacity of hematopoietic progenitors. These data suggest that expression of CBFA2T3-GLIS2 directly contributes to leukemogenesis. Copyright…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Structural variation offers new home for disease associations and gene discovery

Following completion of the Human Genome Project, most studies of human genetic variation have centered on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). SNPs are numerous in individual genomes and serve as useful genetic markers in association studies across a population. These markers have been leveraged to identify genetic loci for disease risk and draw associations with numerous traits of interest. Despite their usefulness, SNPs do not tell the whole story. For example, most SNPs are associated with only a small increased risk of disease, and they usually cannot identify on their own which genes are causal. This has resulted in what many…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Hunting structural variants: Population by population

Until recently, most population-scale genome sequencing studies have focused on identifying single nucleotide variants (SNVs) to explore genetic differences between individuals. Like so many SNV-based genome-wide association studies, however, these efforts have had difficulty identifying causative genetic mechanisms underlying most complex functions. More and more, the genomics community has realised that structural variation is likely responsible for many of the traits and phenotypes that scientists have not been able to attribute to SNVs. This class of variants, defined as genetic differences of 50 bp or larger, accounts for most of the DNA sequence differences between any two people. Structural variants…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Variable presence of the inverted repeat and plastome stability in Erodium.

Several unrelated lineages such as plastids, viruses and plasmids, have converged on quadripartite genomes of similar size with large and small single copy regions and a large inverted repeat (IR). Except for Erodium (Geraniaceae), saguaro cactus and some legumes, the plastomes of all photosynthetic angiosperms display this structure. The functional significance of the IR is not understood and Erodium provides a system to examine the role of the IR in the long-term stability of these genomes. We compared the degree of genomic rearrangement in plastomes of Erodium that differ in the presence and absence of the IR.We sequenced 17 new…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Structural variation detection using next-generation sequencing data: A comparative technical review.

Structural variations (SVs) are mutations in the genome of size at least fifty nucleotides. They contribute to the phenotypic differences among healthy individuals, cause severe diseases and even cancers by breaking or linking genes. Thus, it is crucial to systematically profile SVs in the genome. In the past decade, many next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based SV detection methods have been proposed due to the significant cost reduction of NGS experiments and their ability to unbiasedly detect SVs to the base-pair resolution. These SV detection methods vary in both sensitivity and specificity, since they use different SV-property-dependent and library-property-dependent features. As a result,…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Complete circular genome sequence of successful ST8/SCCmecIV community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (OC8) in Russia: one-megabase genomic inversion, IS256’s spread, and evolution of Russia ST8-IV.

ST8/SCCmecIV community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) has been a common threat, with large USA300 epidemics in the United States. The global geographical structure of ST8/SCCmecIV has not yet been fully elucidated. We herein determined the complete circular genome sequence of ST8/SCCmecIVc strain OC8 from Siberian Russia. We found that 36.0% of the genome was inverted relative to USA300. Two IS256, oppositely oriented, at IS256-enriched hot spots were implicated with the one-megabase genomic inversion (MbIN) and vSaß split. The behavior of IS256 was flexible: its insertion site (att) sequences on the genome and junction sequences of extrachromosomal circular DNA were all…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

SRinversion: a tool for detecting short inversions by splitting and re-aligning poorly mapped and unmapped sequencing reads.

Rapid development in sequencing technologies has dramatically improved our ability to detect genetic variants in human genome. However, current methods have variable sensitivities in detecting different types of genetic variants. One type of such genetic variants that is especially hard to detect is inversions. Analysis of public databases showed that few short inversions have been reported so far. Unlike reads that contain small insertions or deletions, which will be considered through gap alignment, reads carrying short inversions often have poor mapping quality or are unmapped, thus are often not further considered. As a result, the majority of short inversions might…

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