September 22, 2019  |  

High-throughput annotation of full-length long noncoding RNAs with capture long-read sequencing.

Accurate annotation of genes and their transcripts is a foundation of genomics, but currently no annotation technique combines throughput and accuracy. As a result, reference gene collections remain incomplete-many gene models are fragmentary, and thousands more remain uncataloged, particularly for long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). To accelerate lncRNA annotation, the GENCODE consortium has developed RNA Capture Long Seq (CLS), which combines targeted RNA capture with third-generation long-read sequencing. Here we present an experimental reannotation of the GENCODE intergenic lncRNA populations in matched human and mouse tissues that resulted in novel transcript models for 3,574 and 561 gene loci, respectively. CLS approximately doubled the annotated complexity of targeted loci, outperforming existing short-read techniques. Full-length transcript models produced by CLS enabled us to definitively characterize the genomic features of lncRNAs, including promoter and gene structure, and protein-coding potential. Thus, CLS removes a long-standing bottleneck in transcriptome annotation and generates manual-quality full-length transcript models at high-throughput scales.


September 22, 2019  |  

Single molecule, full-length transcript sequencing provides insight into the extreme metabolism of ruby-throated hummingbird Archilochus colubris

Hummingbirds oxidize ingested nectar sugars directly to fuel foraging but cannot sustain this fuel use during fasting periods, such as during the night or during long-distance migratory flights. Instead, fasting hummingbirds switch to oxidizing stored lipids, derived from ingested sugars. The hummingbird liver plays a key role in moderating energy homeostasis and this remarkable capacity for fuel switching. Additionally, liver is the principle location of de novo lipogenesis, which can occur at exceptionally high rates, such as during premigratory fattening. Yet understanding how this tissue and whole organism moderates energy turnover is hampered by a lack of information regarding how relevant enzymes differ in sequence, expression, and regulation. We generated a de novo transcriptome of the hummingbird liver using PacBio full-length cDNA sequencing (Iso-Seq), yielding a total of 8.6Gb of sequencing data, or 2.6M reads from 4 different size fractions. We analyzed data using the SMRTAnalysis v3.1 Iso-Seq pipeline, then clustered isoforms into gene families to generate de novo gene contigs using Cogent. We performed orthology analysis to identify closely related sequences between our transcriptome and other avian and human gene sets. Finally, we closely examined homology of critical lipid metabolism genes between our transcriptome data and avian and human genomes. We confirmed high levels of sequence divergence within hummingbird lipogenic enzymes, suggesting a high probability of adaptive divergent function in the hepatic lipogenic pathways. Our results leverage cutting-edge technology and a novel bioinformatics pipeline to provide a first direct look at the transcriptome of this incredible organism.


September 22, 2019  |  

High resolution annotation of zebrafish transcriptome using long-read sequencing.

With the emergence of zebrafish as an important model organism, a concerted effort has been made to study its transcriptome. This effort is limited, however, by gaps in zebrafish annotation, which are especially pronounced concerning transcripts dynamically expressed during zygotic genome activation (ZGA). To date, short-read sequencing has been the principal technology for zebrafish transcriptome annotation. In part because these sequence reads are too short for assembly methods to resolve the full complexity of the transcriptome, the current annotation is rudimentary. By providing direct observation of full-length transcripts, recently refined long-read sequencing platforms can dramatically improve annotation coverage and accuracy. Here, we leveraged the SMRT platform to study the transcriptome of zebrafish embryos before and after ZGA. Our analysis revealed additional novelty and complexity in thehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/nfidence novel transcripts that originated from previously unannotated loci and 1835 high-confidence new isoforms in previously annotated genes. We validated these findings using a suite of computational approaches including structural prediction, sequence homology, and functional conservation analyses, as well as by confirmatory transcript quantification with short-read sequencing data. Our analyses provided insight into new homologs and paralogs of functionally important proteins and noncoding RNAs, isoform switching occurrences, and different classes of novel splicing events. Several novel isoforms representing distinct splicing events were validated through PCR experiments, including the discovery and validation of a novel 8-kb transcript spanning multiple mir-430 elements, an important driver of early development. Our study provides a significantly improved zebrafish transcriptome annotation resource.© 2018 Nudelman et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


September 22, 2019  |  

Improved high-quality genome assembly and annotation of Tibetan hulless barley

Background The Tibetan hulless barley (Hordeum vulgare L. var. nudum), also called textquotedblleftQingketextquotedblright in Chinese and textquotedblleftNetextquotedblright in Tibetan, is the staple food for Tibetans and an important livestock feed in the Tibetan Plateau. The Tibetan hulless barley in China has about 3500 years of cultivation history, mainly produced in Tibet, Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and other areas. In addition, Tibetan hulless barley has rich nutritional value and outstanding health effects, including the beta glucan, dietary fiber, amylopectin, the contents of trace elements, which are higher than any other cereal crops.Findings Here, we reported an improved high-quality assembly of Tibetan hulless barley genome with 4.0 Gb in size. We employed the falcon assembly package, scaffolding and error correction tools to finish improvement using PacBio long reads sequencing technology, with contig and scaffold N50 lengths of 1.563Mb and 4.006Mb, respectively, representing more continuous than the original Tibetan hulless barley genome nearly two orders of magnitude. We also re-annotated the new assembly, and reported 61,303 stringent confident putative protein-coding genes, of which 40,457 is HC genes. We have developed a new Tibetan hulless barley genome database (THBGD) to download and use friendly, as well as to better manage the information of the Tibetan hulless barley genetic resources.Conclusions The availability of new Tibetan hulless barley genome and annotations will take the genetics of Tibetan hulless barley to a new level and will greatly simplify the breeders effort. It will also enrich the granary of the Tibetan people.AbbreviationsBLASTBasic Local Alignment Search ToolBUSCOBenchmarking Universal Single-Copy OrthologsQVquality valuePacBioPacifc BiosciencesRNA-seqRNA sequencingNGSNext generation sequencingTGSThird generation sequencingTHBGDTibetan hulless barley Genome Database


September 22, 2019  |  

Generation and comparative analysis of full-length transcriptomes in sweetpotato and its putative wild ancestor I. trifida.

Sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] is one of the most important crops in many developing countries and provides a candidate source of bioenergy. However, neither high-quality reference genome nor large-scale full-length cDNA sequences for this outcrossing hexaploid are still lacking, which in turn impedes progress in research studies in sweetpotato functional genomics and molecular breeding. In this study, we apply a combination of second- and third-generation sequencing technologies to sequence full-length transcriptomes in sweetpotato and its putative ancestor I. trifida. In total, we obtained 53,861/51,184 high-quality transcripts, which includes 34,963/33,637 putative full-length cDNA sequences, from sweetpotato/I. trifida. Amongst, we identified 104,540/94,174 open reading frames, 1476/1475 transcription factors, 25,315/27,090 simple sequence repeats, 417/531 long non-coding RNAs out of the sweetpotato/I. trifida dataset. By utilizing public available genomic contigs, we analyzed the gene features (including exon number, exon size, intron number, intron size, exon-intron structure) of 33,119 and 32,793 full-length transcripts in sweetpotato and I. trifida, respectively. Furthermore, comparative analysis between our transcript datasets and other large-scale cDNA datasets from different plant species enables us assessing the quality of public datasets, estimating the genetic similarity across relative species, and surveyed the evolutionary pattern of genes. Overall, our study provided fundamental resources of large-scale full-length transcripts in sweetpotato and its putative ancestor, for the first time, and would facilitate structural, functional and comparative genomics studies in this important crop.


September 22, 2019  |  

Evidence of the red-queen hypothesis from accelerated rates of evolution of genes involved in biotic interactions in Pneumocystis.

Pneumocystis species are ascomycete fungi adapted to live inside the lungs of mammals. These ascomycetes show extensive stenoxenism, meaning that each species of Pneumocystis infects a single species of host. Here, we study the effect exerted by natural selection on gene evolution in the genomes of three Pneumocystis species. We show that genes involved in host interaction evolve under positive selection. In the first place, we found strong evidence of episodic diversifying selection in Major surface glycoproteins (Msg). These proteins are located on the surface of Pneumocystis and are used for host attachment and probably for immune system evasion. Consistent with their function as antigens, most sites under diversifying selection in Msg code for residues with large relative surface accessibility areas. We also found evidence of positive selection in part of the cell machinery used to export Msg to the cell surface. Specifically, we found that genes participating in glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) biosynthesis show an increased rate of nonsynonymous substitutions (dN) versus synonymous substitutions (dS). GPI is a molecule synthesized in the endoplasmic reticulum that is used to anchor proteins to membranes. We interpret the aforementioned findings as evidence of selective pressure exerted by the host immune system on Pneumocystis species, shaping the evolution of Msg and several proteins involved in GPI biosynthesis. We suggest that genome evolution in Pneumocystis is well described by the Red-Queen hypothesis whereby genes relevant for biotic interactions show accelerated rates of evolution.


September 22, 2019  |  

Combination of novel and public RNA-seq datasets to generate an mRNA expression atlas for the domestic chicken.

The domestic chicken (Gallus gallus) is widely used as a model in developmental biology and is also an important livestock species. We describe a novel approach to data integration to generate an mRNA expression atlas for the chicken spanning major tissue types and developmental stages, using a diverse range of publicly-archived RNA-seq datasets and new data derived from immune cells and tissues.Randomly down-sampling RNA-seq datasets to a common depth and quantifying expression against a reference transcriptome using the mRNA quantitation tool Kallisto ensured that disparate datasets explored comparable transcriptomic space. The network analysis tool Graphia was used to extract clusters of co-expressed genes from the resulting expression atlas, many of which were tissue or cell-type restricted, contained transcription factors that have previously been implicated in their regulation, or were otherwise associated with biological processes, such as the cell cycle. The atlas provides a resource for the functional annotation of genes that currently have only a locus ID. We cross-referenced the RNA-seq atlas to a publicly available embryonic Cap Analysis of Gene Expression (CAGE) dataset to infer the developmental time course of organ systems, and to identify a signature of the expansion of tissue macrophage populations during development.Expression profiles obtained from public RNA-seq datasets – despite being generated by different laboratories using different methodologies – can be made comparable to each other. This meta-analytic approach to RNA-seq can be extended with new datasets from novel tissues, and is applicable to any species.


September 22, 2019  |  

Transcription-associated mutation promotes RNA complexity in highly expressed genes – A major new source of selectable variation.

Alternatively spliced transcript isoforms are thought to play a critical role for functional diversity. However, the mechanism generating the enormous diversity of spliced transcript isoforms remains unknown, and its biological significance remains unclear. We analyzed transcriptomes in saker falcons, chickens, and mice to show that alternative splicing occurs more frequently, yielding more isoforms, in highly expressed genes. We focused on hemoglobin in the falcon, the most abundantly expressed genes in blood, finding that alternative splicing produces 10-fold more isoforms than expected from the number of splice junctions in the genome. These isoforms were produced mainly by alternative use of de novo splice sites generated by transcription-associated mutation (TAM), not by the RNA editing mechanism normally invoked. We found that high expression of globin genes increases mutation frequencies during transcription, especially on nontranscribed DNA strands. After DNA replication, transcribed strands inherit these somatic mutations, creating de novo splice sites, and generating multiple distinct isoforms in the cell clone. Bisulfate sequencing revealed that DNA methylation may counteract this process by suppressing TAM, suggesting DNA methylation can spatially regulate RNA complexity. RNA profiling showed that falcons living on the high Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau possess greater global gene expression levels and higher diversity of mean to high abundance isoforms (reads per kilobases per million mapped reads?=18) than their low-altitude counterparts, and we speculate that this may enhance their oxygen transport capacity under low-oxygen environments. Thus, TAM-induced RNA diversity may be physiologically significant, providing an alternative strategy in lifestyle evolution.


September 22, 2019  |  

Novel molecules lncRNAs, tRFs and circRNAs deciphered from next-generation sequencing/RNA sequencing: computational databases and tools.

Powerful next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, more specifically RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), have been pivotal toward the detection and analysis and hypotheses generation of novel biomolecules, long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), tRNA-derived fragments (tRFs) and circular RNAs (circRNAs). Experimental validation of the occurrence of these biomolecules inside the cell has been reported. Their differential expression and functionally important role in several cancers types as well as other diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular diseases have garnered interest toward further studies in this research arena. In this review, starting from a brief relevant introduction to NGS and RNA-seq and the expression and role of lncRNAs, tRFs and circRNAs in cancer, we have comprehensively analyzed the current landscape of databases developed and computational software used for analyses and visualization for this emerging and highly interesting field of these novel biomolecules. Our review will help the end users and research investigators gain information on the existing databases and tools as well as an understanding of the specific features which these offer. This will be useful for the researchers in their proper usage thereby guiding them toward novel hypotheses generation and saving time and costs involved in extensive experimental processes in these three different novel functional RNAs.© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.


September 22, 2019  |  

Single-molecule long-read sequencing facilitates shrimp transcriptome research.

Although shrimp are of great economic importance, few full-length shrimp transcriptomes are available. Here, we used Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time (SMRT) long-read sequencing technology to generate transcripts from the Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei). We obtained 322,600 full-length non-chimeric reads, from which we generated 51,367 high-quality unique full-length transcripts. We corrected errors in the SMRT sequences by comparison with Illumina-produced short reads. We successfully annotated 81.72% of all unique SMRT transcripts against the NCBI non-redundant database, 58.63% against Swiss-Prot, 45.38% against Gene Ontology, 32.57% against Clusters of Orthologous Groups of proteins (COG), and 47.83% against Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) databases. Across all transcripts, we identified 3,958 long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and 80,650 simple sequence repeats (SSRs). Our study provides a rich set of full-length cDNA sequences for L. vannamei, which will greatly facilitate shrimp transcriptome research.


September 22, 2019  |  

Long-read transcriptome data for improved gene prediction in Lentinula edodes

Lentinula edodes is one of the most popular edible mushrooms in the world and contains useful medicinal components such as lentinan. The whole-genome sequence of L. edodes has been determined with the objective of discovering candidate genes associated with agronomic traits, but experimental verification of gene models with correction of gene prediction errors is lacking. To improve the accuracy of gene prediction, we produced 12.6 Gb of long-read transcriptome data of variable lengths using PacBio single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing and generated 36,946 transcript clusters with an average length of 2.2 kb. Evidence-driven gene prediction on the basis of long- and short-read RNA sequencing data was performed; a total of 16,610 protein-coding genes were predicted with error correction. Of the predicted genes, 42.2% were verified to be covered by full-length transcript clusters. The raw reads have been deposited in the NCBI SRA database under accession number PRJNA396788.


September 22, 2019  |  

Multiplatform next-generation sequencing identifies novel RNA molecules and transcript isoforms of the endogenous retrovirus isolated from cultured cells.

In this study, we applied short- and long-read RNA sequencing techniques, as well as PCR analysis to investigate the transcriptome of the porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) expressed from cultured porcine kidney cell line PK-15. This analysis has revealed six novel transcripts and eight transcript isoforms, including five length and three splice variants. We were able to establish whether a deletion in a transcript is the result of the splicing of mRNAs or of genomic deletion in one of the PERV clones. Additionally, we re-annotated the formerly identified RNA molecules. Our analysis revealed a higher complexity of PERV transcriptome than it was earlier believed.© FEMS 2018. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.


September 22, 2019  |  

PHACTR1 splicing isoforms and eQTLs in atherosclerosis-relevant human cells.

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified a variant (rs9349379) at the phosphatase and actin regulator 1 (PHACTR1) locus that is associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). The same variant is also an expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) for PHACTR1 in human coronary arteries (hCA). Here, we sought to characterize PHACTR1 splicing pattern in atherosclerosis-relevant human cells. We also explored how rs9349379 modulates the expression of the different PHACTR1 splicing isoforms.We combined rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) with next-generation long-read DNA sequencing to discover all PHACTR1 transcripts in many human tissues and cell types. We measured PHACTR1 transcripts by qPCR to identify transcript-specific eQTLs.We confirmed a brain-specific long transcript, a short transcript expressed in monocytes and four intermediate transcripts that are different due to alternative splicing of two in-frame exons. In contrast to a previous report, we confirmed that the PHACTR1 protein is present in vascular smooth muscle cells. In 158 hCA from our collection and the GTEx dataset, rs9349379 was only associated with the expression levels of the intermediate PHACTR1 transcripts.Our comprehensive transcriptomic profiling of PHACTR1 indicates that this gene encodes six main transcripts. Five of them are expressed in hCA, where atherosclerotic plaques develop. In this tissue, genotypes at rs9349379 are associated with the expression of the intermediate transcripts, but not the immune-specific short transcript. This result suggests that rs9349379 may in part influence CAD by modulating the expression of intermediate PHACTR1 transcripts in endothelial or vascular smooth muscle cells found in hCA.


September 22, 2019  |  

A survey of the sorghum transcriptome using single-molecule long reads.

Alternative splicing and alternative polyadenylation (APA) of pre-mRNAs greatly contribute to transcriptome diversity, coding capacity of a genome and gene regulatory mechanisms in eukaryotes. Second-generation sequencing technologies have been extensively used to analyse transcriptomes. However, a major limitation of short-read data is that it is difficult to accurately predict full-length splice isoforms. Here we sequenced the sorghum transcriptome using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time long-read isoform sequencing and developed a pipeline called TAPIS (Transcriptome Analysis Pipeline for Isoform Sequencing) to identify full-length splice isoforms and APA sites. Our analysis reveals transcriptome-wide full-length isoforms at an unprecedented scale with over 11,000 novel splice isoforms. Additionally, we uncover APA of ~11,000 expressed genes and more than 2,100 novel genes. These results greatly enhance sorghum gene annotations and aid in studying gene regulation in this important bioenergy crop. The TAPIS pipeline will serve as a useful tool to analyse Iso-Seq data from any organism.


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