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February 25, 2015

SMRT Sequencing of DNA and RNA samples extracted from formalin-fixed and paraffin embedded tissues using adaptive focused acoustics by Covaris.

Recent advances in next-generation sequencing have led to an increased use of formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues for medical samples in disease and scientific research. Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing offers a unique advantage for direct analysis of FFPE samples without amplification. However, obtaining ample long-read information from FFPE samples has been a challenge due to the quality and quantity of the extracted DNA. FFPE samples often contain damaged sites, including breaks in the backbone and missing or altered nucleotide bases, which directly impact sequencing and target enrichment. Additionally, the quality and quantity of the recovered DNA vary depending on…

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January 13, 2015

The resurgence of reference quality genome sequence.

Since the advent of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), the cost of de novo genome sequencing and assembly have dropped precipitately, which has spurred interest in genome sequencing overall. Unfortunately the contiguity of the NGS assembled sequences, as well as the accuracy of these assemblies have suffered. Additionally, most NGS de novo assemblies leave large portions of genomes unresolved, and repetitive regions are often collapsed. When compared to the reference quality genome sequences produced before the NGS era, the new sequences are highly fragmented and often prove to be difficult to properly annotate. In some cases the contiguous portions are smaller than…

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January 13, 2015

PAG PacBio Workshop: De novo assembly of a complex panicoid grass genome using ultra-long PacBio reads with P6-C4 chemistry

Robert VanBuren of the Danforth Plant Science Center and winner of the 2014 SMRT Grant Program presents a de novo assembly of the Oro grass genome (Oropetium thomaeum). The reference genome will aid scientist studying drought tolerance in common crop species, especially cereals, though comparative genomics to understand potential key genetic underpinnings for this “resurrection” trait. Initial comparative results to Brachypodium and maize are presented, as well as secondary analysis to identify key metabolic traits.

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January 9, 2015

Impact of DNA quality on PacBio RS II read lengths.

Maximizing the read length of next generation sequencing (NGS) facilitates de novo genome assembly. Currently, the PacBio RS II system leads the industry with respect to maximum possible NGS read lengths. Amplicon Express specializes in preparation of high molecular weight, NGS-grade genomic DNA for a variety of applications, including next generation sequencing. This study was performed to evaluate the effects of gDNA quality on PacBio RS II read length.

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January 1, 2015

Complete annotated genome sequence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Zopf) Lehmann and Neumann (ATCC35812) (Kurono).

We report the completely annotated genome sequence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Zopf) Lehmann and Neumann (ATCC35812) (Kurono), which is a used for virulence and/or immunization studies. The complete genome sequence of M. tuberculosis Kurono was determined with a length of 4,415,078 bp and a G+C content of 65.60%. The chromosome was shown to contain a total of 4,340 protein-coding genes, 53 tRNA genes, one transfer messenger RNA for all amino acids, and 1 rrn operon. Lineage analysis based on large sequence polymorphisms indicated that M. tuberculosis Kurono belongs to the Euro-American lineage (lineage 4). Phylogenetic analysis using whole genome sequences of…

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November 1, 2014

Diversification of bacterial genome content through distinct mechanisms over different timescales.

Bacterial populations often consist of multiple co-circulating lineages. Determining how such population structures arise requires understanding what drives bacterial diversification. Using 616 systematically sampled genomes, we show that Streptococcus pneumoniae lineages are typically characterized by combinations of infrequently transferred stable genomic islands: those moving primarily through transformation, along with integrative and conjugative elements and phage-related chromosomal islands. The only lineage containing extensive unique sequence corresponds to a set of atypical unencapsulated isolates that may represent a distinct species. However, prophage content is highly variable even within lineages, suggesting frequent horizontal transmission that would necessitate rapidly diversifying anti-phage mechanisms to prevent…

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November 1, 2014

Pseudoautosomal region 1 length polymorphism in the human population.

The human sex chromosomes differ in sequence, except for the pseudoautosomal regions (PAR) at the terminus of the short and the long arms, denoted as PAR1 and PAR2. The boundary between PAR1 and the unique X and Y sequences was established during the divergence of the great apes. During a copy number variation screen, we noted a paternally inherited chromosome X duplication in 15 independent families. Subsequent genomic analysis demonstrated that an insertional translocation of X chromosomal sequence into theMa Y chromosome generates an extended PAR. The insertion is generated by non-allelic homologous recombination between a 548 bp LTR6B repeat…

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October 20, 2014

ASHG PacBio Workshop: Resolving complexity of the human genome

Evan Eichler, Howard Hughes Medical Investigator from the University of Washington discusses his use of the PacBio system to study difficult-to-sequence regions of the human and chimp genomes. Eichler has identified a number of rapidly evolving hot spots in the human genome that are associated with disease. These regions are quite long and have extremely repetitive DNA sequence, making them difficult to elucidate with short-read sequencing and very expensive to interrogate with Sanger sequencing. Eichler's goal is to fill in the missing regions of the human genome reference, many of which contain segmental duplications.

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August 1, 2014

The Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis specific mptD gene is required for maintenance of the metabolic homeostasis necessary for full virulence in mouse infections.

Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) causes Johne's disease, a chronic granulomatous enteritis in ruminants. Furthermore, infections of humans with MAP have been reported and a possible association with Crohn's disease and diabetes type I is currently discussed. MAP owns large sequence polymorphisms (LSPs) that were exclusively found in this mycobacteria species. The relevance of these LSPs in the pathobiology of MAP is still unclear. The mptD gene (MAP3733c) of MAP belongs to a small group of functionally uncharacterized genes, which are not present in any other sequenced mycobacteria species. mptD is part of a predicted operon (mptABCDEF), encoding a putative…

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March 1, 2014

Preparation of next-generation DNA sequencing libraries from ultra-low amounts of input DNA: Application to single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing on the Pacific Biosciences RS II.

We have developed and validated an amplification-free method for generating DNA sequencing libraries from very low amounts of input DNA (500 picograms – 20 nanograms) for single- molecule sequencing on the Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) RS II sequencer. The common challenge of high input requirements for single-molecule sequencing is overcome by using a carrier DNA in conjunction with optimized sequencing preparation conditions and re-use of the MagBead-bound complex. Here we describe how this method can be used to produce sequencing yields comparable to those generated from standard input amounts, but by using 1000-fold less starting material.

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