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June 1, 2017

Improved maize reference genome with single-molecule technologies.

Complete and accurate reference genomes and annotations provide fundamental tools for characterization of genetic and functional variation. These resources facilitate the determination of biological processes and support translation of research findings into improved and sustainable agricultural technologies. Many reference genomes for crop plants have been generated over the past decade, but these genomes are often fragmented and missing complex repeat regions. Here we report the assembly and annotation of a reference genome of maize, a genetic and agricultural model species, using single-molecule real-time sequencing and high-resolution optical mapping. Relative to the previous reference genome, our assembly features a 52-fold increase…

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May 1, 2017

Combination of short-read, long-read and optical mapping assemblies reveals large-scale tandem repeat arrays with population genetic implications.

Accurate and contiguous genome assembly is key to a comprehensive understanding of the processes shaping genomic diversity and evolution. Yet, it is frequently constrained by constitutive heterochromatin, usually characterized by highly repetitive DNA. As a key feature of genome architecture associated with centromeric and telomeric regions it influences meiotic recombination. In this study, we assess the impact of large tandem repeat arrays on the recombination rate landscape in an avian speciation model, the Eurasian crow. We assembled two high-quality genome references using single-molecule real-time sequencing (long-read assembly, LR) and single-molecule restriction maps (optical map assembly, OM). A three-way comparison including…

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February 3, 2017

Improving and correcting the contiguity of long-read genome assemblies of three plant species using optical mapping and chromosome conformation capture data.

Long-read sequencing can overcome the weaknesses of short reads in the assembly of eukaryotic genomes, however, at present additional scaffolding is needed to achieve chromosome-level assemblies. We generated PacBio long-read data of the genomes of three relatives of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and assembled all three genomes into only a few hundred contigs. To improve the contiguities of these assemblies, we generated BioNano Genomics optical mapping and Dovetail Genomics chromosome conformation capture data for genome scaffolding. Despite their technical differences, optical mapping and chromosome conformation capture performed similarly and doubled N50 values. After improving both integration methods, assembly contiguity…

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November 26, 2015

De novo assembly of Dekkera bruxellensis: a multi technology approach using short and long-read sequencing and optical mapping.

It remains a challenge to perform de novo assembly using next-generation sequencing (NGS). Despite the availability of multiple sequencing technologies and tools (e.g., assemblers) it is still difficult to assemble new genomes at chromosome resolution (i.e., one sequence per chromosome). Obtaining high quality draft assemblies is extremely important in the case of yeast genomes to better characterise major events in their evolutionary history. The aim of this work is two-fold: on the one hand we want to show how combining different and somewhat complementary technologies is key to improving assembly quality and correctness, and on the other hand we present…

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September 24, 2015

Case Study: Assembling high-quality human genomes – Beyond the ‘$1,000 genome’

Scientists from WashU, Macrogen, and Mount Sinai are using long-read sequencing with single-molecule, next-generation genome mapping to create gold-quality de novo assemblies of human genomes. Unbiased de novo assembled genomes also highlight the substantial amount of structural variation unique to individuals and populations, which cannot be accessed by short-read technologies that use a reference-based re-sequencing approach.

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August 1, 2015

Single-Molecule Real-Time Sequencing combined with optical mapping yields completely finished fungal genome.

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have increased the scalability, speed, and resolution of genomic sequencing and, thus, have revolutionized genomic studies. However, eukaryotic genome sequencing initiatives typically yield considerably fragmented genome assemblies. Here, we assessed various state-of-the-art sequencing and assembly strategies in order to produce a contiguous and complete eukaryotic genome assembly, focusing on the filamentous fungus Verticillium dahliae. Compared with Illumina-based assemblies of the V. dahliae genome, hybrid assemblies that also include PacBio-generated long reads establish superior contiguity. Intriguingly, provided that sufficient sequence depth is reached, assemblies solely based on PacBio reads outperform hybrid assemblies and even result in fully assembled…

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March 31, 2015

Genome sequence of the Drosophila melanogaster male-killing Spiroplasma strain MSRO endosymbiont.

Spiroplasmas are helical and motile members of a cell wall-less eubacterial group called Mollicutes. Although all spiroplasmas are associated with arthropods, they exhibit great diversity with respect to both their modes of transmission and their effects on their hosts; ranging from horizontally transmitted pathogens and commensals to endosymbionts that are transmitted transovarially (i.e., from mother to offspring). Here we provide the first genome sequence, along with proteomic validation, of an endosymbiotic inherited Spiroplasma bacterium, the Spiroplasma poulsonii MSRO strain harbored by Drosophila melanogaster. Comparison of the genome content of S. poulsonii with that of horizontally transmitted spiroplasmas indicates that S. poulsonii has…

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January 1, 2015

Comparative genome analysis of Pseudomonas knackmussii B13, the first bacterium known to degrade chloroaromatic compounds.

Pseudomonas knackmussii B13 was the first strain to be isolated in 1974 that could degrade chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons. This discovery was the prologue for subsequent characterization of numerous bacterial metabolic pathways, for genetic and biochemical studies, and which spurred ideas for pollutant bioremediation. In this study, we determined the complete genome sequence of B13 using next generation sequencing technologies and optical mapping. Genome annotation indicated that B13 has a variety of metabolic pathways for degrading monoaromatic hydrocarbons including chlorobenzoate, aminophenol, anthranilate and hydroxyquinol, but not polyaromatic compounds. Comparative genome analysis revealed that B13 is closest to Pseudomonas denitrificans and Pseudomonas…

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November 1, 2014

Potential impact on kidney infection: a whole-genome analysis of Leptospira santarosai serovar Shermani.

Leptospira santarosai serovar Shermani is the most frequently encountered serovar, and it causes leptospirosis and tubulointerstitial nephritis in Taiwan. This study aims to complete the genome sequence of L. santarosai serovar Shermani and analyze the transcriptional responses of L. santarosai serovar Shermani to renal tubular cells. To assemble this highly repetitive genome, we combined reads that were generated from four next-generation sequencing platforms by using hybrid assembly approaches to finish two-chromosome contiguous sequences without gaps by validating the data with optical restriction maps and Sanger sequencing. Whole-genome comparison studies revealed a 28-kb region containing genes that encode transposases and hypothetical…

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July 30, 2014

Enterobacter asburiae strain L1: complete genome and whole genome optical mapping analysis of a quorum sensing bacterium.

Enterobacter asburiae L1 is a quorum sensing bacterium isolated from lettuce leaves. In this study, for the first time, the complete genome of E. asburiae L1 was sequenced using the single molecule real time sequencer (PacBio RSII) and the whole genome sequence was verified by using optical genome mapping (OpGen) technology. In our previous study, E. asburiae L1 has been reported to produce AHLs, suggesting the possibility of virulence factor regulation which is quorum sensing dependent. This evoked our interest to study the genome of this bacterium and here we present the complete genome of E. asburiae L1, which carries…

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July 1, 2014

High-coverage sequencing and annotated assemblies of the budgerigar genome.

Parrots belong to a group of behaviorally advanced vertebrates and have an advanced ability of vocal learning relative to other vocal-learning birds. They can imitate human speech, synchronize their body movements to a rhythmic beat, and understand complex concepts of referential meaning to sounds. However, little is known about the genetics of these traits. Elucidating the genetic bases would require whole genome sequencing and a robust assembly of a parrot genome.We present a genomic resource for the budgerigar, an Australian Parakeet (Melopsittacus undulatus) -- the most widely studied parrot species in neuroscience and behavior. We present genomic sequence data that…

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January 1, 2013

Single-molecule fluorescence imaging of processive myosin with enhanced background suppression using linear zero-mode waveguides (ZMWs) and convex lens induced confinement (CLIC).

Resolving single fluorescent molecules in the presence of high fluorophore concentrations remains a challenge in single-molecule biophysics that limits our understanding of weak molecular interactions. Total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) imaging, the workhorse of single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, enables experiments at concentrations up to about 100 nM, but many biological interactions have considerably weaker affinities, and thus require at least one species to be at micromolar or higher concentration. Current alternatives to TIRF often require three-dimensional confinement, and thus can be problematic for extended substrates, such as cytoskeletal filaments. To address this challenge, we have demonstrated and applied two new single-molecule…

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November 1, 2012

Structure of the type IV secretion system in different strains of Anaplasma phagocytophilum.

Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an intracellular organism in the Order Rickettsiales that infects diverse animal species and is causing an emerging disease in humans, dogs and horses. Different strains have very different cell tropisms and virulence. For example, in the U.S., strains have been described that infect ruminants but not dogs or rodents. An intriguing question is how the strains of A. phagocytophilum differ and what different genome loci are involved in cell tropisms and/or virulence. Type IV secretion systems (T4SS) are responsible for translocation of substrates across the cell membrane by mechanisms that require contact with the recipient cell. They…

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