April 21, 2020  |  

Long-read assembly of the Chinese rhesus macaque genome and identification of ape-specific structural variants.

We present a high-quality de novo genome assembly (rheMacS) of the Chinese rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) using long-read sequencing and multiplatform scaffolding approaches. Compared to the current Indian rhesus macaque reference genome (rheMac8), rheMacS increases sequence contiguity 75-fold, closing 21,940 of the remaining assembly gaps (60.8 Mbp). We improve gene annotation by generating more than two million full-length transcripts from ten different tissues by long-read RNA sequencing. We sequence resolve 53,916 structural variants (96% novel) and identify 17,000 ape-specific structural variants (ASSVs) based on comparison to ape genomes. Many ASSVs map within ChIP-seq predicted enhancer regions where apes and macaque show diverged enhancer activity and gene expression. We further characterize a subset that may contribute to ape- or great-ape-specific phenotypic traits, including taillessness, brain volume expansion, improved manual dexterity, and large body size. The rheMacS genome assembly serves as an ideal reference for future biomedical and evolutionary studies.

April 21, 2020  |  

Genome of lethal Lepiota venenata and insights into the evolution of toxin-biosynthetic genes.

Genomes of lethal Amanita and Galerina mushrooms have gradually become available in the past ten years; in contrast the other known amanitin-producing genus, Lepiota, is still vacant in this aspect. A fatal mushroom poisoning case in China has led to acquisition of fresh L. venenata fruiting bodies, based on which a draft genome was obtained through PacBio and Illumina sequencing platforms. Toxin-biosynthetic MSDIN family and Porlyl oligopeptidase B (POPB) genes were mined from the genome and used for phylogenetic and statistical studies to gain insights into the evolution of the biosynthetic pathway.The analysis of the genome data illustrated that only one MSDIN, named LvAMA1, exits in the genome, along with a POPB gene. No POPA homolog was identified by direct homology searching, however, one additional POP gene, named LvPOPC, was cloned and the gene structure determined. Similar to ApAMA1 in A. phalloides and GmAMA1 in G. marginata, LvAMA1 directly encodes a-amanitin. The two toxin genes were mapped to the draft genome, and the structures analyzed. Furthermore, phylogenetic and statistical analyses were conducted to study the evolution history of the POPB genes. Compared to our previous report, the phylogenetic trees unambiguously showed that a monophyletic POPB lineage clearly conflicted with the species phylogeny. In contrast, phylogeny of POPA genes resembled the species phylogeny. Topology and divergence tests showed that the POPB lineage was robust and these genes exhibited significantly shorter genetic distances than those of the house-keeping rbp2, a characteristic feature of genes with horizontal gene transfer (HGT) background. Consistently, same scenario applied to the only MSDIN, LvAMA1, in the genome.To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported genome of Lepiota. The analyses of the toxin genes indicate that the cyclic peptides are synthesized through a ribosomal mechanism. The toxin genes, LvAMA1 and LvPOPB, are not in the vicinity of each other. Phylogenetic and evolutionary studies suggest that HGT is the underlining cause for the occurrence of POPB and MSDIN in Amanita, Galerina and Lepiota, which are allocated in three distantly-related families.

September 22, 2019  |  

Genomic microdiversity of Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum underlying differential strain-level responses to dietary carbohydrate intervention.

The genomic basis of the response to dietary intervention of human gut beneficial bacteria remains elusive, which hinders precise manipulation of the microbiota for human health. After receiving a dietary intervention enriched with nondigestible carbohydrates for 105 days, a genetically obese child with Prader-Willi syndrome lost 18.4% of his body weight and showed significant improvement in his bioclinical parameters. We obtained five isolates (C1, C15, C55, C62, and C95) of one of the most abundantly promoted beneficial species, Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum, from a postintervention fecal sample. Intriguingly, these five B. pseudocatenulatum strains showed differential responses during the dietary intervention. Two strains were largely unaffected, while the other three were promoted to different extents by the changes in dietary carbohydrate resources. The differential responses of these strains were consistent with their functional clustering based on the COGs (Clusters of Orthologous Groups), including those involved with the ABC-type sugar transport systems, suggesting that the strain-specific genomic variations may have contributed to the niche adaption. Particularly, B. pseudocatenulatum C15, which had the most diverse types and highest gene copy numbers of carbohydrate-active enzymes targeting plant polysaccharides, had the highest abundance after the dietary intervention. These studies show the importance of understanding genomic diversity of specific members of the gut microbiota if precise nutrition approaches are to be realized.IMPORTANCE The manipulation of the gut microbiota via dietary approaches is a promising option for improving human health. Our findings showed differential responses of multiple B. pseudocatenulatum strains isolated from the same habitat to the dietary intervention, as well as strain-specific correlations with bioclinical parameters of the host. The comparative genomics revealed a genome-level microdiversity of related functional genes, which may have contributed to these differences. These results highlight the necessity of understanding strain-level differences if precise manipulation of gut microbiota through dietary approaches is to be realized. Copyright © 2017 Wu et al.

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