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Friday, July 19, 2019

Host genome integration and giant virus-induced reactivation of the virophage mavirus.

Endogenous viral elements are increasingly found in eukaryotic genomes, yet little is known about their origins, dynamics, or function. Here we provide a compelling example of a DNA virus that readily integrates into a eukaryotic genome where it acts as an inducible antiviral defence system. We found that the virophage mavirus, a parasite of the giant Cafeteria roenbergensis virus (CroV), integrates at multiple sites within the nuclear genome of the marine protozoan Cafeteria roenbergensis. The endogenous mavirus is structurally and genetically similar to eukaryotic DNA transposons and endogenous viruses of the Maverick/Polinton family. Provirophage genes are not constitutively expressed, but…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Antibody 10-1074 suppresses viremia in HIV-1-infected individuals.

Monoclonal antibody 10-1074 targets the V3 glycan supersite on the HIV-1 envelope (Env) protein. It is among the most potent anti-HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies isolated so far. Here we report on its safety and activity in 33 individuals who received a single intravenous infusion of the antibody. 10-1074 was well tolerated and had a half-life of 24.0 d in participants without HIV-1 infection and 12.8 d in individuals with HIV-1 infection. Thirteen individuals with viremia received the highest dose of 30 mg/kg 10-1074. Eleven of these participants were 10-1074-sensitive and showed a rapid decline in viremia by a mean of 1.52…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

The impact of third generation genomic technologies on plant genome assembly.

Since the introduction of next generation sequencing, plant genome assembly projects do not need to rely on dedicated research facilities or community-wide consortia anymore, even individual research groups can sequence and assemble the genomes they are interested in. However, such assemblies are typically not based on the entire breadth of genomic technologies including genetic and physical maps and their contiguities tend to be low compared to the full-length gold standard reference sequences. Recently emerging third generation genomic technologies like long-read sequencing or optical mapping promise to bridge this quality gap and enable simple and cost-effective solutions for chromosomal-level assemblies.

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Gorilla MHC class I gene and sequence variation in a comparative context.

Comparisons of MHC gene content and diversity among closely related species can provide insights into the evolutionary mechanisms shaping immune system variation. After chimpanzees and bonobos, gorillas are humans’ closest living relatives; but in contrast, relatively little is known about the structure and variation of gorilla MHC class I genes (Gogo). Here, we combined long-range amplifications and long-read sequencing technology to analyze full-length MHC class I genes in 35 gorillas. We obtained 50 full-length genomic sequences corresponding to 15 Gogo-A alleles, 4 Gogo-Oko alleles, 21 Gogo-B alleles, and 10 Gogo-C alleles including 19 novel coding region sequences. We identified two…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Dual redundant sequencing strategy: Full-length gene characterisation of 1056 novel and confirmatory HLA alleles.

The high-throughput department of DKMS Life Science Lab encounters novel human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles on a daily basis. To characterise these alleles, we have developed a system to sequence the whole gene from 5′- to 3′-UTR for the HLA loci A, B, C, DQB1 and DPB1 for submission to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory – European Nucleotide Archive (EMBL-ENA) and the IPD-IMGT/HLA Database. Our workflow is based on a dual redundant sequencing strategy. Using shotgun sequencing on an Illumina MiSeq instrument and single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing on a PacBio RS II instrument, we are able to achieve highly…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

TAL effector driven induction of a SWEET gene confers susceptibility to bacterial blight of cotton.

Transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors from Xanthomonas citri subsp. malvacearum (Xcm) are essential for bacterial blight of cotton (BBC). Here, by combining transcriptome profiling with TAL effector-binding element (EBE) prediction, we show that GhSWEET10, encoding a functional sucrose transporter, is induced by Avrb6, a TAL effector determining Xcm pathogenicity. Activation of GhSWEET10 by designer TAL effectors (dTALEs) restores virulence of Xcm avrb6 deletion strains, whereas silencing of GhSWEET10 compromises cotton susceptibility to infections. A BBC-resistant line carrying an unknown recessive b6 gene bears the same EBE as the susceptible line, but Avrb6-mediated induction of GhSWEET10 is reduced, suggesting a unique mechanism…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Omics approaches to study gene regulatory networks for development in echinoderms.

Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) describe the interactions for a developmental process at a given time and space. Historically, perturbation experiments represent one of the key methods for analyzing and reconstructing a GRN, and the GRN governing early development in the sea urchin embryo stands as one of the more deeply dissected so far. As technology progresses, so do the methods used to address different biological questions. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has become a standard experimental technique for genome and transcriptome sequencing and studies of protein-DNA interactions and DNA accessibility. While several efforts have been made toward the integration of different omics…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Single-molecule sequencing reveals the chromosome-scale genomic architecture of the nematode model organism Pristionchus pacificus.

The nematode Pristionchus pacificus is an established model for integrative evolutionary biology and comparative studies with Caenorhabditis elegans. While an existing genome draft facilitated the identification of several genes controlling various developmental processes, its high degree of fragmentation complicated virtually all genomic analyses. Here, we present a de novo genome assembly from single-molecule, long-read sequencing data consisting of 135 P. pacificus contigs. When combined with a genetic linkage map, 99% of the assembly could be ordered and oriented into six chromosomes. This allowed us to robustly characterize chromosomal patterns of gene density, repeat content, nucleotide diversity, linkage disequilibrium, and macrosynteny in…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Single molecule real time sequencing in ADTKD-MUC1 allows complete assembly of the VNTR and exact positioning of causative mutations.

Recently, the Mucin-1 (MUC1) gene has been identified as a causal gene of autosomal dominant tubulointerstitial kidney disease (ADTKD). Most causative mutations are buried within a GC-rich 60 basepair variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR), which escapes identification by massive parallel sequencing methods due to the complexity of the VNTR. We established long read single molecule real time sequencing (SMRT) targeted to the MUC1-VNTR as an alternative strategy to the snapshot assay. Our approach allows complete VNTR assembly, thereby enabling the detection of all variants residing within the VNTR and simultaneous determination of VNTR length. We present high resolution data…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

The genome of Schmidtea mediterranea and the evolution of core cellular mechanisms.

The planarian Schmidtea mediterranea is an important model for stem cell research and regeneration, but adequate genome resources for this species have been lacking. Here we report a highly contiguous genome assembly of S. mediterranea, using long-read sequencing and a de novo assembler (MARVEL) enhanced for low-complexity reads. The S. mediterranea genome is highly polymorphic and repetitive, and harbours a novel class of giant retroelements. Furthermore, the genome assembly lacks a number of highly conserved genes, including critical components of the mitotic spindle assembly checkpoint, but planarians maintain checkpoint function. Our genome assembly provides a key model system resource that…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

The complete and fully assembled genome sequence of Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. pectinolytica and its comparative analysis with other Aeromonas species: investigation of the mobilome in environmental and pathogenic strains.

Due to the predominant usage of short-read sequencing to date, most bacterial genome sequences reported in the last years remain at the draft level. This precludes certain types of analyses, such as the in-depth analysis of genome plasticity.Here we report the finalized genome sequence of the environmental strain Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. pectinolytica 34mel, for which only a draft genome with 253 contigs is currently available. Successful completion of the transposon-rich genome critically depended on the PacBio long read sequencing technology. Using finalized genome sequences of A. salmonicida subsp. pectinolytica and other Aeromonads, we report the detailed analysis of the transposon…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Fern genomes elucidate land plant evolution and cyanobacterial symbioses.

Ferns are the closest sister group to all seed plants, yet little is known about their genomes other than that they are generally colossal. Here, we report on the genomes of Azolla filiculoides and Salvinia cucullata (Salviniales) and present evidence for episodic whole-genome duplication in ferns-one at the base of ‘core leptosporangiates’ and one specific to Azolla. One fern-specific gene that we identified, recently shown to confer high insect resistance, seems to have been derived from bacteria through horizontal gene transfer. Azolla coexists in a unique symbiosis with N2-fixing cyanobacteria, and we demonstrate a clear pattern of cospeciation between the…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Convergent losses of decay mechanisms and rapid turnover of symbiosis genes in mycorrhizal mutualists.

To elucidate the genetic bases of mycorrhizal lifestyle evolution, we sequenced new fungal genomes, including 13 ectomycorrhizal (ECM), orchid (ORM) and ericoid (ERM) species, and five saprotrophs, which we analyzed along with other fungal genomes. Ectomycorrhizal fungi have a reduced complement of genes encoding plant cell wall-degrading enzymes (PCWDEs), as compared to their ancestral wood decayers. Nevertheless, they have retained a unique array of PCWDEs, thus suggesting that they possess diverse abilities to decompose lignocellulose. Similar functional categories of nonorthologous genes are induced in symbiosis. Of induced genes, 7-38% are orphan genes, including genes that encode secreted effector-like proteins. Convergent…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Comprehensive molecular, genomic and phenotypic analysis of a major clone of Enterococcus faecalis MLST ST40.

Enterococcus faecalis is a multifaceted microorganism known to act as a beneficial intestinal commensal bacterium. It is also a dreaded nosocomial pathogen causing life-threatening infections in hospitalised patients. Isolates of a distinct MLST type ST40 represent the most frequent strain type of this species, distributed worldwide and originating from various sources (animal, human, environmental) and different conditions (colonisation/infection). Since enterococci are known to be highly recombinogenic we determined to analyse the microevolution and niche adaptation of this highly distributed clonal type.We compared a set of 42 ST40 isolates by assessing key molecular determinants, performing whole genome sequencing (WGS) and a…

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