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January 16, 2019

PAG Conference: Dawn of the crop pangenome era

To make improvements to crops like corn, soybeans, and canola, scientists at Corteva are building a compendium of crop genomics resources to provide actionable sequence info for genetic discovery, gene-editing, and seed product development. Hear how Kevin Fengler, Comparative Genomics Lead of Data Science and Bioinformatics at Corteva, is using PacBio sequences to build visualization tools and genome assembly pipelines as a contribution to this effort.

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January 10, 2018

Case Study: Pioneering a pan-genome reference collection

At DuPont Pioneer, DNA sequencing is paramount for R&D to reveal the genetic basis for traits of interest in commercial crops such as maize, soybean, sorghum, sunflower, alfalfa, canola, wheat, rice, and others. They cannot afford to wait the years it has historically taken for high-quality reference genomes to be produced. Nor can they rely on a single reference to represent the genetic diversity in its germplasm.

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March 29, 2017

Comparative and functional genomics of the Lactococcus lactis taxon; insights into evolution and niche adaptation.

Lactococcus lactis is among the most widely studied lactic acid bacterial species due to its long history of safe use and economic importance to the dairy industry, where it is exploited as a starter culture in cheese production.In the current study, we report on the complete sequencing of 16 L. lactis subsp. lactis and L. lactis subsp. cremoris genomes. The chromosomal features of these 16 L. lactis strains in conjunction with 14 completely sequenced, publicly available lactococcal chromosomes were assessed with particular emphasis on discerning the L. lactis subspecies division, evolution and niche adaptation. The deduced pan-genome of L. lactis…

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December 13, 2016

Comprehensive genome analysis of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacter spp.: new insights into phylogeny, population structure and resistance mechanisms.

Knowledge regarding the genomic structure of Enterobacter spp., the second most prevalent carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae, remains limited. Here we sequenced 97 clinical Enterobacter species isolates that were both carbapenem susceptible and resistant from various geographic regions to decipher the molecular origins of carbapenem resistance and to understand the changing phylogeny of these emerging and drug-resistant pathogens. Of the carbapenem-resistant isolates, 30 possessed blaKPC-2, 40 had blaKPC-3, 2 had blaKPC-4, and 2 had blaNDM-1 Twenty-three isolates were carbapenem susceptible. Six genomes were sequenced to completion, and their sizes ranged from 4.6 to 5.1 Mbp. Phylogenomic analysis placed 96 of these genomes, 351 additional…

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April 6, 2016

Comparative genomic analyses of the Moraxella catarrhalis serosensitive and seroresistant lineages demonstrate their independent evolution.

The bacterial species Moraxella catarrhalishas been hypothesized as being composed of two distinct lineages (referred to as the seroresistant [SR] and serosensitive [SS]) with separate evolutionary histories based on several molecular typing methods, whereas 16S ribotyping has suggested an additional split within the SS lineage. Previously, we characterized whole-genome sequences of 12 SR-lineage isolates, which revealed a relatively small supragenome when compared with other opportunistic nasopharyngeal pathogens, suggestive of a relatively short evolutionary history. Here, we performed whole-genome sequencing on 18 strains from both ribotypes of the SS lineage, an additional SR strain, as well as four previously identified highly…

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February 5, 2016

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…

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October 21, 2015

Pangenome analysis of Bifidobacterium longum and site-directed mutagenesis through by-pass of restriction-modification systems.

Bifidobacterial genome analysis has provided insights as to how these gut commensals adapt to and persist in the human GIT, while also revealing genetic diversity among members of a given bifidobacterial (sub)species. Bifidobacteria are notoriously recalcitrant to genetic modification, which prevents exploration of their genomic functions, including those that convey (human) health benefits.PacBio SMRT sequencing was used to determine the whole genome seqeunces of two B. longum subsp. longum strains. The B. longum pan-genome was computed using PGAP v1.2 and the core B. longum phylogenetic tree was constructed using a maximum-likelihood based approach in PhyML v3.0. M.blmNCII was cloned in…

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March 1, 2015

micropan: an R-package for microbial pan-genomics.

A pan-genome is defined as the set of all unique gene families found in one or more strains of a prokaryotic species. Due to the extensive within-species diversity in the microbial world, the pan-genome is often many times larger than a single genome. Studies of pan-genomes have become popular due to the easy access to whole-genome sequence data for prokaryotes. A pan-genome study reveals species diversity and gene families that may be of special interest, e.g because of their role in bacterial survival or their ability to discriminate strains.We present an R package for the study of prokaryotic pan-genomes. The…

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