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May 1, 2019

Long-Read Sequencing Emerging in Medical Genetics

The wide implementation of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies has revolutionized the field of medical genetics. However, the short read lengths of currently used sequencing approaches pose a limitation for identification of structural variants, sequencing repetitive regions, phasing alleles and distinguishing highly homologous genomic regions. These limitations may significantly contribute to the diagnostic gap in patients with genetic disorders who have undergone standard NGS, like whole exome or even genome sequencing. Now, the emerging long-read sequencing (LRS) technologies may offer improvements in the characterization of genetic variation and regions that are difficult to assess with the currently prevailing NGS approaches. LRS…

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April 1, 2019

Extended haplotype phasing of de novo genome assemblies with FALCON-Phase

Haplotype-resolved genome assemblies are important for understanding how combinations of variants impact phenotypes. These assemblies can be created in various ways, such as use of tissues that contain single-haplotype (haploid) genomes, or by co-sequencing of parental genomes, but these approaches can be impractical in many situations. We present FALCON-Phase, which integrates long-read sequencing data and ultra-long-range Hi-C chromatin interaction data of a diploid individual to create high-quality, phased diploid genome assemblies. The method was evaluated by application to three datasets, including human, cattle, and zebra finch, for which high-quality, fully haplotype resolved assemblies were available for benchmarking. Phasing algorithm accuracy…

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January 16, 2019

PAG Conference: Iso-Seq analysis for plant & animal genomes – annotation evaluation & phasing

In this presentation, Elizabeth Tseng explains how PacBio's full-length RNA Sequencing using the Iso-Seq method can characterize full-length transcripts without the need for computational transcript assembly. The Iso-Seq method is fully supported bioinformatically through PacBio's SMRT Analysis software that outputs high-quality, full-length transcript sequences that can be used for genome annotation and novel gene discovery. Elizabeth shows that the highly accurate reads can be used to discover allelic-specific isoform expressions in transcriptome data.

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January 16, 2019

Chromosome-level assembly of the water buffalo genome surpasses human and goat genomes in sequence contiguity.

Rapid innovation in sequencing technologies and improvement in assembly algorithms have enabled the creation of highly contiguous mammalian genomes. Here we report a chromosome-level assembly of the water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) genome using single-molecule sequencing and chromatin conformation capture data. PacBio Sequel reads, with a mean length of 11.5?kb, helped to resolve repetitive elements and generate sequence contiguity. All five B. bubalis sub-metacentric chromosomes were correctly scaffolded with centromeres spanned. Although the index animal was partly inbred, 58% of the genome was haplotype-phased by FALCON-Unzip. This new reference genome improves the contig N50 of the previous short-read based buffalo assembly…

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November 1, 2018

TriPoly: haplotype estimation for polyploids using sequencing data of related individuals.

Knowledge of haplotypes, i.e. phased and ordered marker alleles on a chromosome, is essential to answer many questions in genetics and genomics. By generating short pieces of DNA sequence, high-throughput modern sequencing technologies make estimation of haplotypes possible for single individuals. In polyploids, however, haplotype estimation methods usually require deep coverage to achieve sufficient accuracy. This often renders sequencing-based approaches too costly to be applied to large populations needed in studies of Quantitative Trait Loci.We propose a novel haplotype estimation method for polyploids, TriPoly, that combines sequencing data with Mendelian inheritance rules to infer haplotypes in parent-offspring trios. Using realistic…

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November 1, 2018

Population sequencing reveals clonal diversity and ancestral inbreeding in the grapevine cultivar Chardonnay.

Chardonnay is the basis of some of the world's most iconic wines and its success is underpinned by a historic program of clonal selection. There are numerous clones of Chardonnay available that exhibit differences in key viticultural and oenological traits that have arisen from the accumulation of somatic mutations during centuries of asexual propagation. However, the genetic variation that underlies these differences remains largely unknown. To address this knowledge gap, a high-quality, diploid-phased Chardonnay genome assembly was produced from single-molecule real time sequencing, and combined with re-sequencing data from 15 different Chardonnay clones. There were 1620 markers identified that distinguish…

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November 1, 2018

Biparental inheritance of mitochondrial DNA in humans.

Although there has been considerable debate about whether paternal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) transmission may coexist with maternal transmission of mtDNA, it is generally believed that mitochondria and mtDNA are exclusively maternally inherited in humans. Here, we identified three unrelated multigeneration families with a high level of mtDNA heteroplasmy (ranging from 24 to 76%) in a total of 17 individuals. Heteroplasmy of mtDNA was independently examined by high-depth whole mtDNA sequencing analysis in our research laboratory and in two Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments and College of American Pathologists-accredited laboratories using multiple approaches. A comprehensive exploration of mtDNA segregation in these families…

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November 1, 2018

Diagnostic and Therapeutic Strategies for Fluoropyrimidine Treatment of Patients Carrying Multiple DPYD Variants.

DPYD genotyping prior to fluoropyrimidine treatment is increasingly implemented in clinical care. Without phasing information (i.e., allelic location of variants), current genotype-based dosing guidelines cannot be applied to patients carrying multiple DPYD variants. The primary aim of this study is to examine diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for fluoropyrimidine treatment of patients carrying multiple DPYD variants. A case series of patients carrying multiple DPYD variants is presented. Different genotyping techniques were used to determine phasing information. Phenotyping was performed by dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) enzyme activity measurements. Publicly available databases were queried to explore the frequency and phasing of variants of patients…

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October 16, 2018

FALCON-Phase integrates PacBio and HiC data for de novo assembly, scaffolding and phasing of a diploid Puerto Rican genome (HG00733)

Haplotype-resolved genomes are important for understanding how combinations of variants impact phenotypes. The study of disease, quantitative traits, forensics, and organ donor matching are aided by phased genomes. Phase is commonly resolved using familial data, population-based imputation, or by isolating and sequencing single haplotypes using fosmids, BACs, or haploid tissues. Because these methods can be prohibitively expensive, or samples may not be available, alternative approaches are required. de novo genome assembly with PacBio Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) data produces highly contiguous, accurate assemblies. For non-inbred samples, including humans, the separate resolution of haplotypes results in higher base accuracy and more…

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October 16, 2018

ASHG PacBio Workshop: PacBio product updates and roadmap – announcing the release of new chemistry and software

In this ASHG workshop presentation , Jonas Korlach, CSO of PacBio, walked attendees through recent product updates and the coming technology roadmap. The Sequel System 6.0 release offered major improvements to accuracy, throughput, structural variant calling, and large-insert libraries, he said, showing examples of 35 kb libraries. Looking ahead, Korlach said that the V2 express library preparation product should be available early in 2019, with the new 8M SMRT Cell being introduced sometime later.

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October 4, 2018

Application Brief: Targeted sequencing for amplicons – Best Practices

With Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing and the Sequel System, you can easily and cost effectively generate high-fidelity, long reads (>99% single-molecule read accuracy) from genes or regions of interest ranging in size from several hundred base pairs to 20 kb. Target all types of variation across relevant genomic regions, including low complexity regions like repeat expansions, promoters, and flanking regions of transposable elements.

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October 1, 2018

Multisite de novo mutations in human offspring after paternal exposure to ionizing radiation.

A genome-wide evaluation of the effects of ionizing radiation on mutation induction in the mouse germline has identified multisite de novo mutations (MSDNs) as marker for previous exposure. Here we present the results of a small pilot study of whole genome sequencing in offspring of soldiers who served in radar units on weapon systems that were emitting high-frequency radiation. We found cases of exceptionally high MSDN rates as well as an increased mean in our cohort: While a MSDN mutation is detected in average in 1 out of 5 offspring of unexposed controls, we observed 12 MSDNs in altogether 18…

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