September 22, 2019  |  

The first whole transcriptomic exploration of pre-oviposited early chicken embryos using single and bulked embryonic RNA-sequencing.

The chicken is a valuable model organism, especially in evolutionary and embryology research because its embryonic development occurs in the egg. However, despite its scientific importance, no transcriptome data have been generated for deciphering the early developmental stages of the chicken because of practical and technical constraints in accessing pre-oviposited embryos.Here, we determine the entire transcriptome of pre-oviposited avian embryos, including oocyte, zygote, and intrauterine embryos from Eyal-giladi and Kochav stage I (EGK.I) to EGK.X collected using a noninvasive approach for the first time. We also compare RNA-sequencing data obtained using a bulked embryo sequencing and single embryo/cell sequencing technique. The raw sequencing data were preprocessed with two genome builds, Galgal4 and Galgal5, and the expression of 17,108 and 26,102 genes was quantified in the respective builds. There were some differences between the two techniques, as well as between the two genome builds, and these were affected by the emergence of long intergenic noncoding RNA annotations.The first transcriptome datasets of pre-oviposited early chicken embryos based on bulked and single embryo sequencing techniques will serve as a valuable resource for investigating early avian embryogenesis, for comparative studies among vertebrates, and for novel gene annotation in the chicken genome.


September 22, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequences of two genotype A2 small ruminant lentiviruses isolated from infected U.S. sheep.

Two distinct subgroups of genotype A2 small ruminant lentiviruses (SRLVs) have been identified in the United States that infect sheep with specific host transmembrane protein 154 (TMEM154) diplotypes. Here, we report the first two complete genome sequences of SRLV strains infecting U.S. sheep belonging to genotype A2, subgroups 1 and 2. Copyright © 2017 Workman et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

Metagenomic and near full-length 16S rRNA sequence data in support of the phylogenetic analysis of the rumen bacterial community in steers.

Amplicon sequencing utilizing next-generation platforms has significantly transformed how research is conducted, specifically microbial ecology. However, primer and sequencing platform biases can confound or change the way scientists interpret these data. The Pacific Biosciences RSII instrument may also preferentially load smaller fragments, which may also be a function of PCR product exhaustion during sequencing. To further examine theses biases, data is provided from 16S rRNA rumen community analyses. Specifically, data from the relative phylum-level abundances for the ruminal bacterial community are provided to determine between-sample variability. Direct sequencing of metagenomic DNA was conducted to circumvent primer-associated biases in 16S rRNA reads and rarefaction curves were generated to demonstrate adequate coverage of each amplicon. PCR products were also subjected to reduced amplification and pooling to reduce the likelihood of PCR product exhaustion during sequencing on the Pacific Biosciences platform. The taxonomic profiles for the relative phylum-level and genus-level abundance of rumen microbiota as a function of PCR pooling for sequencing on the Pacific Biosciences RSII platform were provided. For more information, see “Evaluation of 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing using two next-generation sequencing technologies for phylogenetic analysis of the rumen bacterial community in steers” P.R. Myer, M. Kim, H.C. Freetly, T.P.L. Smith (2016) [1].


September 22, 2019  |  

Accurate characterization of the IFITM locus using MiSeq and PacBio sequencing shows genetic variation in Galliformes.

Interferon inducible transmembrane (IFITM) proteins are effectors of the immune system widely characterized for their role in restricting infection by diverse enveloped and non-enveloped viruses. The chicken IFITM (chIFITM) genes are clustered on chromosome 5 and to date four genes have been annotated, namely chIFITM1, chIFITM3, chIFITM5 and chIFITM10. However, due to poor assembly of this locus in the Gallus Gallus v4 genome, accurate characterization has so far proven problematic. Recently, a new chicken reference genome assembly Gallus Gallus v5 was generated using Sanger, 454, Illumina and PacBio sequencing technologies identifying considerable differences in the chIFITM locus over the previous genome releases.We re-sequenced the locus using both Illumina MiSeq and PacBio RS II sequencing technologies and we mapped RNA-seq data from the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA) to this finalized chIFITM locus. Using SureSelect probes capture probes designed to the finalized chIFITM locus, we sequenced the locus of a different chicken breed, namely a White Leghorn, and a turkey.We confirmed the Gallus Gallus v5 consensus except for two insertions of 5 and 1 base pair within the chIFITM3 and B4GALNT4 genes, respectively, and a single base pair deletion within the B4GALNT4 gene. The pull down revealed a single amino acid substitution of A63V in the CIL domain of IFITM2 compared to Red Jungle fowl and 13, 13 and 11 differences between IFITM1, 2 and 3 of chickens and turkeys, respectively. RNA-seq shows chIFITM2 and chIFITM3 expression in numerous tissue types of different chicken breeds and avian cell lines, while the expression of the putative chIFITM1 is limited to the testis, caecum and ileum tissues.Locus resequencing using these capture probes and RNA-seq based expression analysis will allow the further characterization of genetic diversity within Galliformes.


September 22, 2019  |  

Analysis of the gut microbial diversity of dairy cows during peak lactation by PacBio Single-Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing.

The gut microbes of dairy cows are strongly associated with their health, but the relationship between milk production and the intestinal microbiota has seldom been studied. Thus, we explored the diversity of the intestinal microbiota during peak lactation of dairy cows.The intestinal microbiota of nine dairy cows at peak lactation was evaluated using the Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time (PacBio SMRT) sequencing approach.A total of 32,670 high-quality 16S rRNA gene sequences were obtained, belonging to 12 phyla, 59 families, 107 genera, and 162 species. Firmicutes (83%) were the dominant phylum, while Bacteroides (6.16%) was the dominant genus. All samples showed a high microbial diversity, with numerous genera of short chain fatty acid (SCFA)-producers. The proportion of SCFA producers was relatively high in relation to the identified core intestinal microbiota. Moreover, the predicted functional metagenome was heavily involved in energy metabolism.This study provided novel insights into the link between the dairy cow gut microbiota and milk production.


September 22, 2019  |  

Ensembl 2018

The Ensembl project has been aggregating, processing, integrating and redistributing genomic datasets since the initial releases of the draft human genome, with the aim of accelerating genomics research through rapid open distribution of public data. Large amounts of raw data are thus transformed into knowledge, which is made available via a multitude of channels, in particular our browser (http://www.ensembl.org). Over time, we have expanded in multiple directions. First, our resources describe multiple fields of genomics, in particular gene annotation, comparative genomics, genetics and epigenomics. Second, we cover a growing number of genome assemblies; Ensembl Release 90 contains exactly 100. Third, our databases feed simultaneously into an array of services designed around different use cases, ranging from quick browsing to genome-wide bioinformatic analysis. We present here the latest developments of the Ensembl project, with a focus on managing an increasing number of assemblies, supporting efforts in genome interpretation and improving our browser.


September 22, 2019  |  

Evaluation of 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing using two next-generation sequencing technologies for phylogenetic analysis of the rumen bacterial community in steers.

Next generation sequencing technologies have vastly changed the approach of sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene for studies in microbial ecology. Three distinct technologies are available for large-scale 16S sequencing. All three are subject to biases introduced by sequencing error rates, amplification primer selection, and read length, which can affect the apparent microbial community. In this study, we compared short read 16S rRNA variable regions, V1-V3, with that of near-full length 16S regions, V1-V8, using highly diverse steer rumen microbial communities, in order to examine the impact of technology selection on phylogenetic profiles. Short paired-end reads from the Illumina MiSeq platform were used to generate V1-V3 sequence, while long “circular consensus” reads from the Pacific Biosciences RSII instrument were used to generate V1-V8 data. The two platforms revealed similar microbial operational taxonomic units (OTUs), as well as similar species richness, Good’s coverage, and Shannon diversity metrics. However, the V1-V8 amplified ruminal community resulted in significant increases in several orders of taxa, such as phyla Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia (P < 0.05). Taxonomic classification accuracy was also greater in the near full-length read. UniFrac distance matrices using jackknifed UPGMA clustering also noted differences between the communities. These data support the consensus that longer reads result in a finer phylogenetic resolution that may not be achieved by shorter 16S rRNA gene fragments. Our work on the cattle rumen bacterial community demonstrates that utilizing near full-length 16S reads may be useful in conducting a more thorough study, or for developing a niche-specific database to use in analyzing data from shorter read technologies when budgetary constraints preclude use of near-full length 16S sequencing. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Diverse antibiotic resistance genes in dairy cow manure.

Application of manure from antibiotic-treated animals to crops facilitates the dissemination of antibiotic resistance determinants into the environment. However, our knowledge of the identity, diversity, and patterns of distribution of these antibiotic resistance determinants remains limited. We used a new combination of methods to examine the resistome of dairy cow manure, a common soil amendment. Metagenomic libraries constructed with DNA extracted from manure were screened for resistance to beta-lactams, phenicols, aminoglycosides, and tetracyclines. Functional screening of fosmid and small-insert libraries identified 80 different antibiotic resistance genes whose deduced protein sequences were on average 50 to 60% identical to sequences deposited in GenBank. The resistance genes were frequently found in clusters and originated from a taxonomically diverse set of species, suggesting that some microorganisms in manure harbor multiple resistance genes. Furthermore, amid the great genetic diversity in manure, we discovered a novel clade of chloramphenicol acetyltransferases. Our study combined functional metagenomics with third-generation PacBio sequencing to significantly extend the roster of functional antibiotic resistance genes found in animal gut bacteria, providing a particularly broad resource for understanding the origins and dispersal of antibiotic resistance genes in agriculture and clinical settings. IMPORTANCE The increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance among bacteria is one of the most intractable challenges in 21st-century public health. The origins of resistance are complex, and a better understanding of the impacts of antibiotics used on farms would produce a more robust platform for public policy. Microbiomes of farm animals are reservoirs of antibiotic resistance genes, which may affect distribution of antibiotic resistance genes in human pathogens. Previous studies have focused on antibiotic resistance genes in manures of animals subjected to intensive antibiotic use, such as pigs and chickens. Cow manure has received less attention, although it is commonly used in crop production. Here, we report the discovery of novel and diverse antibiotic resistance genes in the cow microbiome, demonstrating that it is a significant reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes. The genomic resource presented here lays the groundwork for understanding the dispersal of antibiotic resistance from the agroecosystem to other settings.


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  |  

The antibody loci of the domestic goat (Capra hircus).

The domestic goat (Capra hircus) is an important ruminant species both as a source of antibody-based reagents for research and biomedical applications and as an economically important animal for agriculture, particularly for developing nations that maintain most of the global goat population. Characterization of the loci encoding the goat immune repertoire would be highly beneficial for both vaccine and immune reagent development. However, in goat and other species whose reference genomes were generated using short-read sequencing technologies, the immune loci are poorly assembled as a result of their repetitive nature. Our recent construction of a long-read goat genome assembly (ARS1) has facilitated characterization of all three antibody loci with high confidence and comparative analysis to cattle. We observed broad similarity of goat and cattle antibody-encoding loci but with notable differences that likely influence formation of the functional antibody repertoire. The goat heavy-chain locus is restricted to only four functional and nearly identical IGHV genes, in contrast to the ten observed in cattle. Repertoire analysis indicates that light-chain usage is more balanced in goats, with greater representation of kappa light chains (~ 20-30%) compared to that in cattle (~ 5%). The present study represents the first characterization of the goat antibody loci and will help inform future investigations of their antibody responses to disease and vaccination.


September 22, 2019  |  

Dissemination and persistence of extended-spectrum cephalosporin-resistance encoding IncI1-blaCTXM-1 plasmid among Escherichia coli in pigs.

This study investigated the ecology, epidemiology and plasmid characteristics of extended-spectrum cephalosporin (ESC)-resistant E. coli in healthy pigs over a period of 4 years (2013-2016) following the withdrawal of ESCs. High carriage rates of ESC-resistant E. coli were demonstrated in 2013 (86.6%) and 2014 (83.3%), compared to 2015 (22%) and 2016 (8.5%). ESC resistance identified among E. coli isolates was attributed to the carriage of an IncI1 ST-3 plasmid (pCTXM1-MU2) encoding blaCTXM-1. Genomic characterisation of selected E. coli isolates (n?=?61) identified plasmid movement into multiple commensal E. coli (n?=?22 STs). Major STs included ST10, ST5440, ST453, ST2514 and ST23. A subset of the isolates belong to the atypical enteropathogenic E. coli (aEPEC) pathotype that harboured multiple LEE pathogenic islands. pCTXM1-MU2 was similar (99% nt identity) to IncI1-ST3 plasmids reported from Europe, encoded resistance to aminoglycosides, sulphonamides and trimethoprim, and carried colicin Ib. pCTXM1-MU2 appears to be highly stable and readily transferable. This study demonstrates that ESC resistance may persist for a protracted period following removal of direct selection pressure, resulting in the emergence of ESC-resistance in both commensal E. coli and aEPEC isolates of potential significance to human and animal health.


September 22, 2019  |  

The unique evolution of the pig LRC, a single KIR but expansion of LILR and a novel Ig receptor family.

The leukocyte receptor complex (LRC) encodes numerous immunoglobulin (Ig)-like receptors involved in innate immunity. These include the killer-cell Ig-like receptors (KIR) and the leukocyte Ig-like receptors (LILR) which can be polymorphic and vary greatly in number between species. Using the recent long-read genome assembly, Sscrofa11.1, we have characterized the porcine LRC on chromosome 6. We identified a ~?197-kb region containing numerous LILR genes that were missing in previous assemblies. Out of 17 such LILR genes and fragments, six encode functional proteins, of which three are inhibitory and three are activating, while the majority of pseudogenes had the potential to encode activating receptors. Elsewhere in the LRC, between FCAR and GP6, we identified a novel gene that encodes two Ig-like domains and a long inhibitory intracellular tail. Comparison with two other porcine assemblies revealed a second, nearly identical, non-functional gene encoding a short intracellular tail with ambiguous function. These novel genes were found in a diverse range of mammalian species, including a pseudogene in humans, and typically consist of a single long-tailed receptor and a variable number of short-tailed receptors. Using porcine transcriptome data, both the novel inhibitory gene and the LILR were highly expressed in peripheral blood, while the single KIR gene, KIR2DL1, was either very poorly expressed or not at all. These observations are a prerequisite for improved understanding of immune cell functions in the pig and other species.


September 22, 2019  |  

Improved reference genome for the domestic horse increases assembly contiguity and composition.

Recent advances in genomic sequencing technology and computational assembly methods have allowed scientists to improve reference genome assemblies in terms of contiguity and composition. EquCab2, a reference genome for the domestic horse, was released in 2007. Although of equal or better quality compared to other first-generation Sanger assemblies, it had many of the shortcomings common to them. In 2014, the equine genomics research community began a project to improve the reference sequence for the horse, building upon the solid foundation of EquCab2 and incorporating new short-read data, long-read data, and proximity ligation data. Here, we present EquCab3. The count of non-N bases in the incorporated chromosomes is improved from 2.33?Gb in EquCab2 to 2.41?Gb in EquCab3. Contiguity has also been improved nearly 40-fold with a contig N50 of 4.5?Mb and scaffold contiguity enhanced to where all but one of the 32 chromosomes is comprised of a single scaffold.


September 22, 2019  |  

Emergence of pathogenic and multiple-antibiotic-resistant Macrococcus caseolyticus in commercial broiler chickens.

Macrococcus caseolyticus is generally considered to be a non-pathogenic bacterium that does not cause human or animal diseases. However, recently, a strain of M. caseolyticus (SDLY strain) that causes high mortality rates was isolated from commercial broiler chickens in China. The main pathological changes caused by SDLY included caseous exudation in cranial cavities, inflammatory infiltration, haemorrhages and multifocal necrosis in various organs. The whole genome of the SDLY strain was sequenced and was compared with that of the non-pathogenic JCSC5402 strain of M. caseolyticus. The results showed that the SDLY strain harboured a large quantity of mutations, antibiotic resistance genes and numerous insertions and deletions of virulence genes. In particular, among the inserted genes, there is a cluster of eight connected genes associated with the synthesis of capsular polysaccharide. This cluster encodes a transferase and capsular polysaccharide synthase, promotes the formation of capsules and causes changes in pathogenicity. Electron microscopy revealed a distinct capsule surrounding the SDLY strain. The pathogenicity test showed that the SDLY strain could cause significant clinical symptoms and pathological changes in both SPF chickens and mice. In addition, these clinical symptoms and pathological changes were the same as those observed in field cases. Furthermore, the anti-microbial susceptibility test demonstrated that the SDLY strain exhibits multiple-antibiotic resistance. The emergence of pathogenic M. caseolyticus indicates that more attention should be paid to the effects of this micro-organism on both poultry and public health.© 2018 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


July 19, 2019  |  

Vertical transmission of highly similar bla CTX-M-1-harboring IncI1 plasmids in Escherichia coli with different MLST types in the poultry production pyramid.

The purpose of this study was to characterize sets of extended-spectrum ß-lactamases (ESBL)-producing Enterobacteriaceae collected longitudinally from different flocks of broiler breeders, meconium of 1-day-old broilers from theses breeder flocks, as well as from these broiler flocks before slaughter.Five sets of ESBL-producing Escherichia coli were studied by multi-locus sequence typing (MLST), phylogenetic grouping, PCR-based replicon typing and resistance profiling. The bla CTX-M-1-harboring plasmids of one set (pHV295.1, pHV114.1, and pHV292.1) were fully sequenced and subjected to comparative analysis.Eleven different MLST sequence types (ST) were identified with ST1056 the predominant one, isolated in all five sets either on the broiler breeder or meconium level. Plasmid sequencing revealed that bla CTX-M-1 was carried by highly similar IncI1/ST3 plasmids that were 105 076 bp, 110 997 bp, and 117 269 bp in size, respectively.The fact that genetically similar IncI1/ST3 plasmids were found in ESBL-producing E. coli of different MLST types isolated at the different levels in the broiler production pyramid provides strong evidence for a vertical transmission of these plasmids from a common source (nucleus poultry flocks).


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