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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparison of phasing strategies for whole human genomes.

Humans are a diploid species that inherit one set of chromosomes paternally and one homologous set of chromosomes maternally. Unfortunately, most human sequencing initiatives ignore this fact in that they do not directly delineate the nucleotide content of the maternal and paternal copies of the 23 chromosomes individuals possess (i.e., they do not ‘phase’ the genome) often because of the costs and complexities of doing so. We compared 11 different widely-used approaches to phasing human genomes using the publicly available ‘Genome-In-A-Bottle’ (GIAB) phased version of the NA12878 genome as a gold standard. The phasing strategies we compared included laboratory-based assays…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Discovery of gorilla MHC-C expressing C1 ligand for KIR.

In comparison to humans and chimpanzees, gorillas show low diversity at MHC class I genes (Gogo), as reflected by an overall reduced level of allelic variation as well as the absence of a functionally important sequence motif that interacts with killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR). Here, we use recently generated large-scale genomic sequence data for a reassessment of allelic diversity at Gogo-C, the gorilla orthologue of HLA-C. Through the combination of long-range amplifications and long-read sequencing technology, we obtained, among the 35 gorillas reanalyzed, three novel full-length genomic sequences including a coding region sequence that has not been previously described.…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Investigating the central metabolism of Clostridium thermosuccinogenes.

Clostridium thermosuccinogenes is a thermophilic anaerobic bacterium able to convert various carbohydrates to succinate and acetate as main fermentation products. Genomes of the four publicly available strains have been sequenced, and the genome of the type strain has been closed. The annotated genomes were used to reconstruct the central metabolism, and enzyme assays were used to validate annotations and to determine cofactor specificity. The genes were identified for the pathways to all fermentation products, as well as for the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway and the pentose phosphate pathway. Notably, a candidate transaldolase was lacking, and transcriptomics during growth on glucose versus that…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A graph-based approach to diploid genome assembly.

Constructing high-quality haplotype-resolved de novo assemblies of diploid genomes is important for revealing the full extent of structural variation and its role in health and disease. Current assembly approaches often collapse the two sequences into one haploid consensus sequence and, therefore, fail to capture the diploid nature of the organism under study. Thus, building an assembler capable of producing accurate and complete diploid assemblies, while being resource-efficient with respect to sequencing costs, is a key challenge to be addressed by the bioinformatics community.We present a novel graph-based approach to diploid assembly, which combines accurate Illumina data and long-read Pacific Biosciences…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Identification of the DNA methyltransferases establishing the methylome of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.

DNA methylation in bacteria is important for defense against foreign DNA, but is also involved in DNA repair, replication, chromosome partitioning, and regulatory processes. Thus, characterization of the underlying DNA methyltransferases in genetically tractable bacteria is of paramount importance. Here, we characterized the methylome and orphan methyltransferases in the model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing revealed four DNA methylation recognition sequences in addition to the previously known motif m5CGATCG, which is recognized by M.Ssp6803I. For three of the new recognition sequences, we identified the responsible methyltransferases. M.Ssp6803II, encoded by the sll0729 gene, modifies GGm4CC, M.Ssp6803III,…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Alpha- and beta-mannan utilization by marine Bacteroidetes.

Marine microscopic algae carry out about half of the global carbon dioxide fixation into organic matter. They provide organic substrates for marine microbes such as members of the Bacteroidetes that degrade algal polysaccharides using carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes). In Bacteroidetes genomes CAZyme encoding genes are mostly grouped in distinct regions termed polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs). While some studies have shown involvement of PULs in the degradation of algal polysaccharides, the specific substrates are for the most part still unknown. We investigated four marine Bacteroidetes isolated from the southern North Sea that harbour putative mannan-specific PULs. These PULs are similarly organized as…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Phenotypic and genomic comparison of Photorhabdus luminescens subsp. laumondii TT01 and a widely used rifampicin-resistant Photorhabdus luminescens laboratory strain.

Photorhabdus luminescens is an enteric bacterium, which lives in mutualistic association with soil nematodes and is highly pathogenic for a broad spectrum of insects. A complete genome sequence for the type strain P. luminescens subsp. laumondii TT01, which was originally isolated in Trinidad and Tobago, has been described earlier. Subsequently, a rifampicin resistant P. luminescens strain has been generated with superior possibilities for experimental characterization. This strain, which is widely used in research, was described as a spontaneous rifampicin resistant mutant of TT01 and is known as TT01-RifR.Unexpectedly, upon phenotypic comparison between the rifampicin resistant strain and its presumed parent…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Meiotic drive of female-inherited supernumerary chromosomes in a pathogenic fungus.

Meiosis is a key cellular process of sexual reproduction that includes pairing of homologous sequences. In many species however, meiosis can also involve the segregation of supernumerary chromosomes, which can lack a homolog. How these unpaired chromosomes undergo meiosis is largely unknown. In this study we investigated chromosome segregation during meiosis in the haploid fungus Zymoseptoria tritici that possesses a large complement of supernumerary chromosomes. We used isogenic whole chromosome deletion strains to compare meiotic transmission of chromosomes when paired and unpaired. Unpaired chromosomes inherited from the male parent as well as paired supernumerary chromosomes in general showed Mendelian inheritance.…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The genome of the tegu lizard Salvator merianae: combining Illumina, PacBio, and optical mapping data to generate a highly contiguous assembly.

Reptiles are a species-rich group with great phenotypic and life history diversity but are highly underrepresented among the vertebrate species with sequenced genomes.Here, we report a high-quality genome assembly of the tegu lizard, Salvator merianae, the first lacertoid with a sequenced genome. We combined 74X Illumina short-read, 29.8X Pacific Biosciences long-read, and optical mapping data to generate a high-quality assembly with a scaffold N50 value of 55.4 Mb. The contig N50 value of this assembly is 521 Kb, making it the most contiguous reptile assembly so far. We show that the tegu assembly has the highest completeness of coding genes…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

The axolotl genome and the evolution of key tissue formation regulators.

Salamanders serve as important tetrapod models for developmental, regeneration and evolutionary studies. An extensive molecular toolkit makes the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) a key representative salamander for molecular investigations. Here we report the sequencing and assembly of the 32-gigabase-pair axolotl genome using an approach that combined long-read sequencing, optical mapping and development of a new genome assembler (MARVEL). We observed a size expansion of introns and intergenic regions, largely attributable to multiplication of long terminal repeat retroelements. We provide evidence that intron size in developmental genes is under constraint and that species-restricted genes may contribute to limb regeneration. The axolotl…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

The utility of PacBio circular consensus sequencing for characterizing complex gene families in non-model organisms.

Molecular characterization of highly diverse gene families can be time consuming, expensive, and difficult, especially when considering the potential for relatively large numbers of paralogs and/or pseudogenes. Here we investigate the utility of Pacific Biosciences single molecule real-time (SMRT) circular consensus sequencing (CCS) as an alternative to traditional cloning and Sanger sequencing PCR amplicons for gene family characterization. We target vomeronasal gene receptors, one of the most diverse gene families in mammals, with the goal of better understanding intra-specific V1R diversity of the gray mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus). Our study compares intragenomic variation for two V1R subfamilies found in the…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Chromosomal-level assembly of the Asian seabass genome using long sequence reads and multi-layered scaffolding.

We report here the ~670 Mb genome assembly of the Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer), a tropical marine teleost. We used long-read sequencing augmented by transcriptomics, optical and genetic mapping along with shared synteny from closely related fish species to derive a chromosome-level assembly with a contig N50 size over 1 Mb and scaffold N50 size over 25 Mb that span ~90% of the genome. The population structure of L. calcarifer species complex was analyzed by re-sequencing 61 individuals representing various regions across the species’ native range. SNP analyses identified high levels of genetic diversity and confirmed earlier indications of a…

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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

Comparative DNA methylation and gene expression analysis identifies novel genes for structural congenital heart diseases.

For the majority of congenital heart diseases (CHDs), the full complexity of the causative molecular network, which is driven by genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors, is yet to be elucidated. Epigenetic alterations are suggested to play a pivotal role in modulating the phenotypic expression of CHDs and their clinical course during life. Candidate approaches implied that DNA methylation might have a developmental role in CHD and contributes to the long-term progress of non-structural cardiac diseases. The aim of the present study is to define the postnatal epigenome of two common cardiac malformations, representing epigenetic memory, and adaption to hemodynamic alterations,…

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