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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Comparison of mitochondrial DNA variants detection using short- and long-read sequencing.

The recent advent of long-read sequencing technologies is expected to provide reasonable answers to genetic challenges unresolvable by short-read sequencing, primarily the inability to accurately study structural variations, copy number variations, and homologous repeats in complex parts of the genome. However, long-read sequencing comes along with higher rates of random short deletions and insertions, and single nucleotide errors. The relatively higher sequencing accuracy of short-read sequencing has kept it as the first choice of screening for single nucleotide variants and short deletions and insertions. Albeit, short-read sequencing still suffers from systematic errors that tend to occur at specific positions where…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Whole-genome sequence of the oriental lung fluke Paragonimus westermani.

Foodborne infections caused by lung flukes of the genus Paragonimus are a significant and widespread public health problem in tropical areas. Approximately 50 Paragonimus species have been reported to infect animals and humans, but Paragonimus westermani is responsible for the bulk of human disease. Despite their medical and economic importance, no genome sequence for any Paragonimus species is available.We sequenced and assembled the genome of P. westermani, which is among the largest of the known pathogen genomes with an estimated size of 1.1 Gb. A 922.8 Mb genome assembly was generated from Illumina and Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) sequence data, covering 84% of…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The alternative reality of plant mitochondrial DNA: One ring does not rule them all.

Plant mitochondrial genomes are usually assembled and displayed as circular maps based on the widely-held view across the broad community of life scientists that circular genome-sized molecules are the primary form of plant mitochondrial DNA, despite the understanding by plant mitochondrial researchers that this is an inaccurate and outdated concept. Many plant mitochondrial genomes have one or more pairs of large repeats that can act as sites for inter- or intramolecular recombination, leading to multiple alternative arrangements (isoforms). Most mitochondrial genomes have been assembled using methods unable to capture the complete spectrum of isoforms within a species, leading to an…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Mitochondrial DNA and their nuclear copies in the parasitic wasp Pteromalus puparum: A comparative analysis in Chalcidoidea.

Chalcidoidea (chalcidoid wasps) are an abundant and megadiverse insect group with both ecological and economical importance. Here we report a complete mitochondrial genome in Chalcidoidea from Pteromalus puparum (Pteromalidae). Eight tandem repeats followed by 6 reversed repeats were detected in its 3308?bp control region. This long and complex control region may explain failures of amplifying and sequencing of complete mitochondrial genomes in some chalcidoids. In addition to 37 typical mitochondrial genes, an extra identical isoleucine tRNA (trnI) was detected at the opposite end of the control region. This recent mitochondrial gene duplication indicates that gene arrangements in chalcidoids are ongoing.…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The complete mitochondrial genome of the New Zealand parasitic roundworm Haemonchus contortus (Trichostrongyloidea: Haemonchidae) field strain NZ_Hco_NP

The complete mitochondrial genome of the New Zealand parasitic nematode Haemonchus contortus field strain NZ_Hco_NP was sequenced and annotated. The 14,001bp-long mitogenome contains 12 protein-coding genes (atp8 gene missing), two ribosomal RNAs, 22 transfer RNAs, and a 583bp non- coding region. Phylogenetic analysis showed that H. contortus NZ_Hco_NP forms a monophyletic clus- ter with the remaining three Haemonchidae species, and further illustrates the high levels of diversity and gene flow among Trichostrongylidae.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Mitochondrial genome of the entomophthoroid fungus Conidiobolus heterosporus provides insights into evolution of basal fungi.

Entomophthoroid fungi represent an ecologically important group of fungal pathogens on insects. Here, the whole mitogenome of Conidiobolus heterosporus, one of the entomophthoroid fungi, was described and compared to those early branching fungi with available mitogenomes. The 53,364-bp circular mitogenome of C. heterosporus contained two rRNA genes, 14 standard protein-coding genes, 26 tRNA genes, and three free-standing ORFs. Thirty introns interrupted nine mitochondrial genes. Phylogenetic analysis based on mitochondrion-encoded proteins revealed that C. heterosporus was most close to Zancudomyces culisetae in the Zoopagomycota of basal fungi. Comparison on mitogenomes of 23 basal fungi revealed great variabilities in terms of mitogenome…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Evolution and Diversification of Kiwifruit Mitogenomes through Extensive Whole-Genome Rearrangement and Mosaic Loss of Intergenic Sequences in a Highly Variable Region.

Angiosperm mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) are notable for their extreme diversity in both size and structure. However, our current understanding of this diversity is limited, and the underlying mechanism contributing to this diversity remains unclear. Here, we completely assembled and compared the mitogenomes of three kiwifruit (Actinidia) species, which represent an early divergent lineage in asterids. We found conserved gene content and fewer genomic repeats, particularly large repeats (>1?kb), in the three mitogenomes. However, sequence transfers such as intracellular events are variable and dynamic, in which both ancestral shared and recently species-specific events as well as complicated transfers of two plastid-derived…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Mitochondrial and chloroplast genomes provide insights into the evolutionary origins of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.).

Quinoa has recently gained international attention because of its nutritious seeds, prompting the expansion of its cultivation into new areas in which it was not originally selected as a crop. Improving quinoa production in these areas will benefit from the introduction of advantageous traits from free-living relatives that are native to these, or similar, environments. As part of an ongoing effort to characterize the primary and secondary germplasm pools for quinoa, we report the complete mitochondrial and chloroplast genome sequences of quinoa accession PI 614886 and the identification of sequence variants in additional accessions from quinoa and related species. This…

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Monday, March 30, 2020

AGBT Virtual Poster: SMRT Sequencing of whole mitochondrial genomes to study metabolic disease

Penelope Bonnen, an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine, discusses her use of PacBio SMRT sequencing to look at whole mitochondrial genomes as she reviews her AGBT 2012 poster. Dr. Bonnen is studying a Micronesian population with unusually high rates of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease to figure out how mitochondrial genetics contributes to adult-onset metabolic syndrome. She describes two approaches in a pilot project for full-length mitochondrial sequencing: one using a 500-base pair insert library and another directly sequencing the single 17 kb amplicon.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

SMRT Sequencing of whole mitochondrial genomes and its utility in association studies of metabolic disease.

In this study we demonstrate the utility of Single-Molecule Real Time SMRT sequencing to detect variants and to recapitulate whole mitochondrial genomes in an association study of Metabolic syndrome using samples from a well-studied cohort from Micronesia. The Micronesian island of Kosrae is a rare genetic isolate that offers significant advantages for genetic studies of human disease. Kosrae suffers from one of the highest rates of MetS (41%), obesity (52%), and diabetes (17%) globally and has a homogeneous environment making this an excellent population in which to study these significant health problems. We are conducting family-based association analyses aimed at…

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Harnessing kinetic information in Single-Molecule, Real-Time Sequencing.

Single-Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) DNA sequencing is unique in that nucleotide incorporation events are monitored in real time, leading to a wealth of kinetic information in addition to the extraction of the primary DNA sequence. The dynamics of the DNA polymerase that is observed adds an additional dimension of sequence-dependent information, and can be used to learn more about the molecule under study. First, the primary sequence itself can be determined more accurately. The kinetic data can be used to corroborate or overturn consensus calls and even enable calling bases in problematic sequence contexts. Second, using the kinetic information, we can…

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Mitochondrial DNA sequencing using PacBio SMRT technology

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a compact, double-stranded circular genome of 16,569 bp with a cytosine-rich light (L) chain and a guanine-rich heavy (H) chain. mtDNA mutations have been increasingly recognized as important contributors to an array of human diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, colorectal cancer and Kearns–Sayre syndrome. mtDNA mutations can affect all of the 1000-10,000 copies of the mitochondrial genome present in a cell (homoplasmic mutation) or only a subset of copies (heteroplasmic mutation). The ratio of normal to mutant mtDNAs within cells is a significant factor in whether mutations will result in disease, as well as…

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

High-quality de novo genome assembly and intra-individual mitochondrial instability in the critically endangered kakapo

The kakapo (Strigops habroptila) is a large, flightless parrot endemic to New Zealand. It is highly endangered with only ~150 individuals remaining, and intensive conservation efforts are underway to save this iconic species from extinction. These include genetic studies to understand critical genes relevant to fertility, adaptation and disease resistance, and genetic diversity across the remaining population for future breeding program decisions. To aid with these efforts, we have generated a high-quality de novo genome assembly using PacBio long-read sequencing. Using the new diploid-aware FALCON-Unzip assembler, the resulting genome of 1.06 Gb has a contig N50 of 5.6 Mb (largest…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparison of the mitochondrial genomes and steady state transcriptomes of two strains of the trypanosomatid parasite, Leishmania tarentolae.

U-insertion/deletion RNA editing is a post-transcriptional mitochondrial RNA modification phenomenon required for viability of trypanosomatid parasites. Small guide RNAs encoded mainly by the thousands of catenated minicircles contain the information for this editing. We analyzed by NGS technology the mitochondrial genomes and transcriptomes of two strains, the old lab UC strain and the recently isolated LEM125 strain. PacBio sequencing provided complete minicircle sequences which avoided the assembly problem of short reads caused by the conserved regions. Minicircles were identified by a characteristic size, the presence of three short conserved sequences, a region of inherently bent DNA and the presence of…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Molecular genetic diversity and characterization of conjugation genes in the fish parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis.

Ichthyophthirius multifiliis is the etiologic agent of “white spot”, a commercially important disease of freshwater fish. As a parasitic ciliate, I. multifiliis infects numerous host species across a broad geographic range. Although Ichthyophthirius outbreaks are difficult to control, recent sequencing of the I. multifiliis genome has revealed a number of potential metabolic pathways for therapeutic intervention, along with likely vaccine targets for disease prevention. Nonetheless, major gaps exist in our understanding of both the life cycle and population structure of I. multifiliis in the wild. For example, conjugation has never been described in this species, and it is unclear whether…

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