July 19, 2019  |  

Sequencing of Australian wild rice genomes reveals ancestral relationships with domesticated rice.

The related A genome species of the Oryza genus are the effective gene pool for rice. Here, we report draft genomes for two Australian wild A genome taxa: O. rufipogon-like population, referred to as Taxon A, and O. meridionalis-like population, referred to as Taxon B. These two taxa were sequenced and assembled by integration of short- and long-read next-generation sequencing (NGS) data to create a genomic platform for a wider rice gene pool. Here, we report that, despite the distinct chloroplast genome, the nuclear genome of the Australian Taxon A has a sequence that is much closer to that of domesticated rice (O. sativa) than to the other Australian wild populations. Analysis of 4643 genes in the A genome clade showed that the Australian annual, O. meridionalis, and related perennial taxa have the most divergent (around 3 million years) genome sequences relative to domesticated rice. A test for admixture showed possible introgression into the Australian Taxon A (diverged around 1.6 million years ago) especially from the wild indica/O. nivara clade in Asia. These results demonstrate that northern Australia may be the centre of diversity of the A genome Oryza and suggest the possibility that this might also be the centre of origin of this group and represent an important resource for rice improvement.© 2016 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

July 7, 2019  |  

Assembly of an early-matured japonica (Geng) rice genome, Suijing18, based on PacBio and Illumina sequencing.

The early-matured japonica (Geng) rice variety, Suijing18 (SJ18), carries multiple elite traits including durable blast resistance, good grain quality, and high yield. Using PacBio SMRT technology, we produced over 25?Gb of long-read sequencing raw data from SJ18 with a coverage of 62×. Using Illumina paired-end whole-genome shotgun sequencing technology, we generated 59?Gb of short-read sequencing data from SJ18 (23.6?Gb from a 200?bp library with a coverage of 59× and 35.4?Gb from an 800?bp library with a coverage of 88×). With these data, we assembled a single SJ18 genome and then generated a set of annotation data. These data sets can be used to test new programs for variation deep mining, and will provide new insights into the genome structure, function, and evolution of SJ18, and will provide essential support for biological research in general.

July 7, 2019  |  

Exploring structural variants in environmentally sensitive gene families.

Environmentally sensitive plant gene families like NBS-LRRs, receptor kinases, defensins and others, are known to be highly variable. However, most existing strategies for discovering and describing structural variation in complex gene families provide incomplete and imperfect results. The move to de novo genome assemblies for multiple accessions or individuals within a species is enabling more comprehensive and accurate insights about gene family variation. Earlier array-based genome hybridization and sequence-based read mapping methods were limited by their reliance on a reference genome and by misplacement of paralogous sequences. Variant discovery based on de novo genome assemblies overcome the problems arising from a reference genome and reduce sequence misplacement. As de novo genome sequencing moves to the use of longer reads, artifacts will be minimized, intact tandem gene clusters will be constructed accurately, and insights into rapid evolution will become feasible. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

July 7, 2019  |  

Single-molecule sequencing assists genome assembly improvement and structural variation inference.

Dear editor, The single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing platform presented by Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) is regarded as a third-generation sequencing technology (Eid et al., 2009, Roberts et al., 2013). PacBio delivers long reads from several to tens of kilobases (kbs), which are ideal for filling unsequenced gaps due to unusual sequence contexts, such as high-GC content or repeat-rich regions (Bashir et al., 2012, Berlin et al., 2015, Chaisson et al., 2015). PacBio long reads are also favorable for detecting large DNA fragments harboring structural variations (SVs), such as inversions, translocations, duplications, and large insertions/deletions (indels) (Ritz et al., 2010, English et al., 2014). However, one drawback of PacBio is the high error rate of base calling for single pass coverage of the genome (Au et al., 2012, Koren et al., 2012). This drawback can be mitigated by increasing sequencing coverage to achieve high consensus accuracy, but the requirements may be prohibitive for the de novo assembly of large- or medium-size genomes using only PacBio when considering both budgetary and computational costs. Alternatively, PacBio may be used for assembly improvement of near-finished reference genomes, especially for filling gaps in which unsequenced bases are represented by the letter N (English et al., 2012). Here, we combined PacBio (~15x) with Illumina reads (~40x) to improve the genome assemblies of African wild (Oryza barthii) and cultivated rice (O. glaberrima), and to infer large SVs between O. barthii and O. glaberrima.

July 7, 2019  |  

Oryza glaberrima Steud.

Oryza glaberrima is the African cultivated rice species, domesticated from its wild ancestor by farmers living in Inland Delta of Niger River. Several studies indicated that it has extremely narrow genetic diversity compared to both its wild progenitor, Oryza barthii and the Asian rice, Oryza sativa which can mainly be attributed to a severe domestication bottleneck. Despite its scarcity in farmer’s field due to its low yield potential, high shattering and lodging susceptibility, O. glaberrima is of great value not only to Africa but also globally. Perhaps its greatest contribution to regional and global food security is as a source of genes, as it possesses resistance/tolerance to various biotic and abiotic stresses. It also has unique starch-related traits which give it good cooking and eating properties. Advances in DNA sequencing have provided useful genomic resources for African rice, key among them being whole genome sequences. Genomic tools are enabling greater understanding of the useful functional diversity found in this species. These advances have potential of addressing some of the undesirable attributes found in this species which have led to its continued replacement by Asian rice. Development of new generation of rice varieties for African farmers will therefore require the adoption of advanced molecular breeding tools as these will allow efficient utilization of the wealth and resilience found in African rice in rice improvement.

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