April 21, 2020  |  

Microsatellite marker set for genetic diversity assessment of primitive Chitala chitala (Hamilton, 1822) derived through SMRT sequencing technology.

In present study, single molecule-real time sequencing technology was used to obtain a validated set of microsatellite markers for application in population genetics of the primitive fish, Chitala chitala. Assembly of circular consensus sequencing reads resulted into 1164 sequences which contained 2005 repetitive motifs. A total of 100 sequences were used for primer designing and amplification yielded a set of 28 validated polymorphic markers. These loci were used to genotype n?=?72 samples from three distant riverine populations of India, namely Son, Satluj and Brahmaputra, for determining intraspecific genetic variation. The microsatellite loci exhibited high level of polymorphism with PIC values ranging from 0.281 to 0.901. The genetic parameters revealed that mean heterozygosity ranged from 0.6802 to 0.6826 and the populations were found to be genetically diverse (Fst 0.03-0.06). This indicated the potential application of these microsatellite marker set that can used for stock characterization of C. chitala, in the wild. These newly developed loci were assayed for cross transferability in another notopterid fish, Notopterus notopterus.


September 22, 2019  |  

Microsatellites from Fosterella christophii (Bromeliaceae) by de novo transcriptome sequencing on the Pacific Biosciences RS platform.

Microsatellite markers were developed in Fosterella christophii (Bromeliaceae) to investigate the genetic diversity and population structure within the F. micrantha group, comprising F. christophii, F. micrantha, and F. villosula.Full-length cDNAs were isolated from F. christophii and sequenced on a Pacific Biosciences RS platform. A total of 1590 high-quality consensus isoforms were assembled into 971 unigenes containing 421 perfect microsatellites. Thirty primer sets were designed, of which 13 revealed a high level of polymorphism in three populations of F. christophii, with four to nine alleles per locus. Each of these 13 loci cross-amplified in the closely related species F. micrantha and F. villosula, with one to six and one to 11 alleles per locus, respectively.The new markers are promising tools to study the population genetics of F. christophii and to discover species boundaries within the F. micrantha group.


September 22, 2019  |  

Microsatellite polymorphism in the endangered snail kite reveals a panmictic, low diversity population

Genetic structure and genetic diversity are key population characteristics that can inform conservation decisions, such as delineating management units or assessing potential risks for inbreeding depression. Evidence of genetic structuring or low genetic diversity in the critically endangered snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) would have implications for monitoring and planning decisions. Recent work on understanding connectivity across the snail kite range indicated that there is less dispersal between northern and southern parts of the current range, and that dispersal is shaped by individual habitat preference. We examine whether there is neutral genetic structure and the amount of genetic variation in the population by non-lethally sampling 235 nestlings from unique nests across the entire breeding range between 2013 and 2014. Data on 15 microsatellite revealed low diversity (e.g., Na?=?2.54, He?=?0.37) and range-wide panmixia based on AMOVA, Bayesian clustering, spatial autocorrelation, isolation by distance, and spatially explicit ordination analyses. Our results emphasize that long-term recovery goals and management strategies should be based on viewing snail kites as a single genetic population, despite evidence for non-random dispersal between wetlands over ecological time scales. These results also highlight the need to understand potential effects of low genetic diversity on population dynamics and viability of snail kites. More broadly, these results add to the growing evidence for potential discrepancies between dispersal and genetic patterns, emphasizing that care should be taken if using one to interpret the other, particularly for widely-ranging species.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genomic architecture of haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) shows expansions of innate immune genes and short tandem repeats.

Increased availability of genome assemblies for non-model organisms has resulted in invaluable biological and genomic insight into numerous vertebrates, including teleosts. Sequencing of the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) genome and the genomes of many of its relatives (Gadiformes) demonstrated a shared loss of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) II genes 100 million years ago. An improved version of the Atlantic cod genome assembly shows an extreme density of tandem repeats compared to other vertebrate genome assemblies. Highly contiguous assemblies are therefore needed to further investigate the unusual immune system of the Gadiformes, and whether the high density of tandem repeats found in Atlantic cod is a shared trait in this group.Here, we have sequenced and assembled the genome of haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) – a relative of Atlantic cod – using a combination of PacBio and Illumina reads. Comparative analyses reveal that the haddock genome contains an even higher density of tandem repeats outside and within protein coding sequences than Atlantic cod. Further, both species show an elevated number of tandem repeats in genes mainly involved in signal transduction compared to other teleosts. A characterization of the immune gene repertoire demonstrates a substantial expansion of MCHI in Atlantic cod compared to haddock. In contrast, the Toll-like receptors show a similar pattern of gene losses and expansions. For the NOD-like receptors (NLRs), another gene family associated with the innate immune system, we find a large expansion common to all teleosts, with possible lineage-specific expansions in zebrafish, stickleback and the codfishes.The generation of a highly contiguous genome assembly of haddock revealed that the high density of short tandem repeats as well as expanded immune gene families is not unique to Atlantic cod – but possibly a feature common to all, or most, codfishes. A shared expansion of NLR genes in teleosts suggests that the NLRs have a more substantial role in the innate immunity of teleosts than other vertebrates. Moreover, we find that high copy number genes combined with variable genome assembly qualities may impede complete characterization of these genes, i.e. the number of NLRs in different teleost species might be underestimates.


July 19, 2019  |  

Rapid detection of expanded short tandem repeats in personal genomics using hybrid sequencing.

Long expansions of short tandem repeats (STRs), i.e. DNA repeats of 2-6 nt, are associated with some genetic diseases. Cost-efficient high-throughput sequencing can quickly produce billions of short reads that would be useful for uncovering disease-associated STRs. However, enumerating STRs in short reads remains largely unexplored because of the difficulty in elucidating STRs much longer than 100 bp, the typical length of short reads.We propose ab initio procedures for sensing and locating long STRs promptly by using the frequency distribution of all STRs and paired-end read information. We validated the reproducibility of this method using biological replicates and used it to locate an STR associated with a brain disease (SCA31). Subsequently, we sequenced this STR site in 11 SCA31 samples using SMRT(TM) sequencing (Pacific Biosciences), determined 2.3-3.1 kb sequences at nucleotide resolution and revealed that (TGGAA)- and (TAAAATAGAA)-repeat expansions determined the instability of the repeat expansions associated with SCA31. Our method could also identify common STRs, (AAAG)- and (AAAAG)-repeat expansions, which are remarkably expanded at four positions in an SCA31 sample. This is the first proposed method for rapidly finding disease-associated long STRs in personal genomes using hybrid sequencing of short and long reads.Our TRhist software is available at http://trhist.gi.k.u-tokyo.ac.jp/.moris@cb.k.u-tokyo.ac.jpSupplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.


July 19, 2019  |  

Microsatellite marker discovery using single molecule real-time circular consensus sequencing on the Pacific Biosciences RS.

Microsatellite sequences are important markers for population genetics studies. In the past, the development of adequate microsatellite primers has been cumbersome. However with the advent of next-generation sequencing technologies, marker identification in genomes of non-model species has been greatly simplified. Here we describe microsatellite discovery on a Pacific Biosciences single molecule real-time sequencer. For the Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons), we identified 316 microsatellite loci in a single genome shotgun sequencing experiment. We found that the capability of handling large insert sizes and high quality circular consensus sequences provides an advantage over short read technologies for primer design. Combined with a straightforward amplification-free library preparation, PacBio sequencing is an economically viable alternative for microsatellite discovery and subsequent PCR primer design.


July 19, 2019  |  

Polymorphic microsatellite markers for a wind-dispersed tropical tree species, Triplaris cumingiana (Polygonaceae).

Novel microsatellite markers were characterized in the wind-dispersed and dioecious neotropical tree Triplaris cumingiana (Polygonaceae) for use in understanding the ecological processes and genetic impacts of pollen- and seed-mediated gene flow in tropical forests. •Sixty-two microsatellite primer pairs were screened, from which 12 markers showing five or more alleles per locus (range 5-17) were tested on 47 individuals. Observed and expected heterozygosities averaged 0.692 and 0.731, respectively. Polymorphism information content was between 0.417 and 0.874. Linkage disequilibrium was observed in one of the 66 pairwise comparisons between loci. Two loci showed deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. An additional 14 markers exhibiting lower polymorphism were characterized on a smaller number of individuals. •These microsatellite markers have high levels of polymorphism and reproducibility and will be useful in studying gene flow and population structure in T. cumingiana.


July 19, 2019  |  

Resolving complex tandem repeats with long reads.

Resolving tandemly repeated genomic sequences is a necessary step in improving our understanding of the human genome. Short tandem repeats (TRs), or microsatellites, are often used as molecular markers in genetics, and clinically, variation in microsatellites can lead to genetic disorders like Huntington’s diseases. Accurately resolving repeats, and in particular TRs, remains a challenging task in genome alignment, assembly and variation calling. Though tools have been developed for detecting microsatellites in short-read sequencing data, these are limited in the size and types of events they can resolve. Single-molecule sequencing technologies may potentially resolve a broader spectrum of TRs given their increased length, but require new approaches given their significantly higher raw error profiles. However, due to inherent error profiles of the single-molecule technologies, these reads presents a unique challenge in terms of accurately identifying and estimating the TRs.Here we present PacmonSTR, a reference-based probabilistic approach, to identify the TR region and estimate the number of these TR elements in long DNA reads. We present a multistep approach that requires as input, a reference region and the reference TR element. Initially, the TR region is identified from the long DNA reads via a 3-stage modified Smith-Waterman approach and then, expected number of TR elements is calculated using a pair-Hidden Markov Models-based method. Finally, TR-based genotype selection (or clustering: homozygous/heterozygous) is performed with Gaussian mixture models, using the Akaike information criteria, and coverage expectations. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.


July 7, 2019  |  

The effects of read length, quality and quantity on microsatellite discovery and primer development: from Illumina to PacBio.

The advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has transformed the way microsatellites are isolated for ecological and evolutionary investigations. Recent attempts to employ NGS for microsatellite discovery have used the 454, Illumina, and Ion Torrent platforms, but other methods including single-molecule real-time DNA sequencing (Pacific Biosciences or PacBio) remain viable alternatives. We outline a workflow from sequence quality control to microsatellite marker validation in three plant species using PacBio circular consensus sequencing (CCS). We then evaluate the performance of PacBio CCS in comparison with other NGS platforms for microsatellite isolation, through simulations that focus on variations in read length, read quantity and sequencing error rate. Although quality control of CCS reads reduced microsatellite yield by around 50%, hundreds of microsatellite loci that are expected to have improved conversion efficiency to functional markers were retrieved for each species. The simulations quantitatively validate the advantages of long reads and emphasize the detrimental effects of sequencing errors on NGS-enabled microsatellite development. In view of the continuing improvement in read length on NGS platforms, sequence quality and the corresponding strategies of quality control will become the primary factors to consider for effective microsatellite isolation. Among current options, PacBio CCS may be optimal for rapid, small-scale microsatellite development due to its flexibility in scaling sequencing effort, while platforms such as Illumina MiSeq will provide cost-efficient solutions for multispecies microsatellite projects. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


July 7, 2019  |  

Twenty-one novel microsatellite loci for the endangered Florida salt marsh vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus dukecampbelli)

We present 21 microsatellite loci developed for Florida salt marsh voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus dukecampbelli). Microsatellites were identified from single molecule real time sequencing (Pacific Biosciences). We screened 30 loci and identified 21 loci as suitable for genotyping. We screened 17 individuals from Long Cabbage Key, and 3 individuals from an unnamed island. There was no significant departure from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium or linkage equilibrium. Fifteen of the 21 loci were variable, with overall observed heterozygosity averaging 0.39, and a mean number of alleles of 3.14. Linkage disequilibrium estimate of Ne was 10.7 (95 % CI 6.1–20.1). These markers will be useful for conservation genetics studies of this endangered species.


July 7, 2019  |  

A genomic view of short tandem repeats.

Short tandem repeats (STRs) are some of the fastest mutating loci in the genome. Tools for accurately profiling STRs from high-throughput sequencing data have enabled genome-wide interrogation of more than a million STRs across hundreds of individuals. These catalogs have revealed that STRs are highly multiallelic and may contribute more de novo mutations than any other variant class. Recent studies have leveraged these catalogs to show that STRs play a widespread role in regulating gene expression and other molecular phenotypes. These analyses suggest that STRs are an underappreciated but rich reservoir of variation that likely make significant contributions to Mendelian diseases, complex traits, and cancer. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

An improved genome assembly uncovers prolific tandem repeats in Atlantic cod.

The first Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) genome assembly published in 2011 was one of the early genome assemblies exclusively based on high-throughput 454 pyrosequencing. Since then, rapid advances in sequencing technologies have led to a multitude of assemblies generated for complex genomes, although many of these are of a fragmented nature with a significant fraction of bases in gaps. The development of long-read sequencing and improved software now enable the generation of more contiguous genome assemblies.By combining data from Illumina, 454 and the longer PacBio sequencing technologies, as well as integrating the results of multiple assembly programs, we have created a substantially improved version of the Atlantic cod genome assembly. The sequence contiguity of this assembly is increased fifty-fold and the proportion of gap-bases has been reduced fifteen-fold. Compared to other vertebrates, the assembly contains an unusual high density of tandem repeats (TRs). Indeed, retrospective analyses reveal that gaps in the first genome assembly were largely associated with these TRs. We show that 21% of the TRs across the assembly, 19% in the promoter regions and 12% in the coding sequences are heterozygous in the sequenced individual.The inclusion of PacBio reads combined with the use of multiple assembly programs drastically improved the Atlantic cod genome assembly by successfully resolving long TRs. The high frequency of heterozygous TRs within or in the vicinity of genes in the genome indicate a considerable standing genomic variation in Atlantic cod populations, which is likely of evolutionary importance.


July 7, 2019  |  

Interrogating the “unsequenceable” genomic trinucleotide repeat disorders by long-read sequencing.

Microsatellite expansion, such as trinucleotide repeat expansion (TRE), is known to cause a number of genetic diseases. Sanger sequencing and next-generation short-read sequencing are unable to interrogate TRE reliably. We developed a novel algorithm called RepeatHMM to estimate repeat counts from long-read sequencing data. Evaluation on simulation data, real amplicon sequencing data on two repeat expansion disorders, and whole-genome sequencing data generated by PacBio and Oxford Nanopore technologies showed superior performance over competing approaches. We concluded that long-read sequencing coupled with RepeatHMM can estimate repeat counts on microsatellites and can interrogate the “unsequenceable” genomic trinucleotide repeat disorders.


July 7, 2019  |  

Microsatellite length scoring by Single Molecule Real Time Sequencing – Effects of sequence structure and PCR regime.

Microsatellites are DNA sequences consisting of repeated, short (1-6 bp) sequence motifs that are highly mutable by enzymatic slippage during replication. Due to their high intrinsic variability, microsatellites have important applications in population genetics, forensics, genome mapping, as well as cancer diagnostics and prognosis. The current analytical standard for microsatellites is based on length scoring by high precision electrophoresis, but due to increasing efficiency next-generation sequencing techniques may provide a viable alternative. Here, we evaluated single molecule real time (SMRT) sequencing, implemented in the PacBio series of sequencing apparatuses, as a means of microsatellite length scoring. To this end we carried out multiplexed SMRT sequencing of plasmid-carried artificial microsatellites of varying structure under different pre-sequencing PCR regimes. For each repeat structure, reads corresponding to the target length dominated. We found that pre-sequencing amplification had large effects on scoring accuracy and error distribution relative to controls, but that the effects of the number of amplification cycles were generally weak. In line with expectations enzymatic slippage decreased proportionally with microsatellite repeat unit length and increased with repetition number. Finally, we determined directional mutation trends, showing that PCR and SMRT sequencing introduced consistent but opposing error patterns in contraction and expansion of the microsatellites on the repeat motif and single nucleotide level.


July 7, 2019  |  

The report of my death was an exaggeration: A review for researchers using microsatellites in the 21st century.

Microsatellites, or simple sequence repeats (SSRs), have long played a major role in genetic studies due to their typically high polymorphism. They have diverse applications, including genome mapping, forensics, ascertaining parentage, population and conservation genetics, identification of the parentage of polyploids, and phylogeography. We compare SSRs and newer methods, such as genotyping by sequencing (GBS) and restriction site associated DNA sequencing (RAD-Seq), and offer recommendations for researchers considering which genetic markers to use. We also review the variety of techniques currently used for identifying microsatellite loci and developing primers, with a particular focus on those that make use of next-generation sequencing (NGS). Additionally, we review software for microsatellite development and report on an experiment to assess the utility of currently available software for SSR development. Finally, we discuss the future of microsatellites and make recommendations for researchers preparing to use microsatellites. We argue that microsatellites still have an important place in the genomic age as they remain effective and cost-efficient markers.


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