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August 1, 2019

Dynamic virulence-related regions of the plant pathogenic fungus Verticillium dahliae display enhanced sequence conservation.

Plant pathogens continuously evolve to evade host immune responses. During host colonization, many fungal pathogens secrete effectors to perturb such responses, but these in turn may become recognized by host immune receptors. To facilitate the evolution of effector repertoires, such as the elimination of recognized effectors, effector genes often reside in genomic regions that display increased plasticity, a phenomenon that is captured in the two-speed genome hypothesis. The genome of the vascular wilt fungus Verticillium dahliae displays regions with extensive presence/absence polymorphisms, so-called lineage-specific regions, that are enriched in in planta-induced putative effector genes. As expected, comparative genomics reveals differential…

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August 1, 2019

Musa balbisiana genome reveals subgenome evolution and functional divergence.

Banana cultivars (Musa ssp.) are diploid, triploid and tetraploid hybrids derived from Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. We presented a high-quality draft genome assembly of M. balbisiana with 430?Mb (87%) assembled into 11?chromosomes. We identified that the recent divergence of M. acuminata (A-genome) and M. balbisiana (B-genome) occurred after lineage-specific whole-genome duplication, and that the B-genome may be more sensitive to the fractionation process compared to the A-genome. Homoeologous exchanges occurred frequently between A- and B-subgenomes in allopolyploids. Genomic variation within progenitors resulted in functional divergence of subgenomes. Global homoeologue expression dominance occurred between subgenomes of the allotriploid. Gene families…

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August 1, 2019

Large Fragment Deletions Induced by Cas9 Cleavage While Not in BEs System in Rabbit

CRISPR-Cas9 and BEs system are poised to become the gene editing tool of choice in clinical contexts, however large fragment deletion was found in Cas9-mediated mutation cells without animal level validation. By analyzing 16 gene-edited rabbit lines (including 112 rabbits) generated using SpCas9, BEs, xCas9 and xCas9-BEs with long-range PCR genotyping and long-read sequencing by PacBio platform, we show that extending thousands of bases fragment deletions in single-guide RNA/Cas9 and xCas9 system mutation rabbit, but few large deletions were found in BEs-induced mutation rabbits. We firstly validated that no large fragment deletion induced by BEs system at animal level, suggesting…

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August 1, 2019

Decoding dragon DNA.

Monitor lizards (genus Varanus) have a number of characteristics that differentiate them from other squamates (snakes and lizards), including their unique cardiovascular systems and metabolism. Now, a paper in Nature Ecology and Evolution reports the genome sequence of the largest extant varanid — the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) — and describes genomic features that may underlie its distinct physiology.

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August 1, 2019

Assembly of allele-aware, chromosomal-scale autopolyploid genomes based on Hi-C data.

Construction of chromosome-level assembly is a vital step in achieving the goal of a 'Platinum' genome, but it remains a major challenge to assemble and anchor sequences to chromosomes in autopolyploid or highly heterozygous genomes. High-throughput chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) technology serves as a robust tool to dramatically advance chromosome scaffolding; however, existing approaches are mostly designed for diploid genomes and often with the aim of reconstructing a haploid representation, thereby having limited power to reconstruct chromosomes for autopolyploid genomes. We developed a novel algorithm (ALLHiC) that is capable of building allele-aware, chromosomal-scale assembly for autopolyploid genomes using Hi-C paired-end…

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August 1, 2019

Genome of the Komodo dragon reveals adaptations in the cardiovascular and chemosensory systems of monitor lizards.

Monitor lizards are unique among ectothermic reptiles in that they have high aerobic capacity and distinctive cardiovascular physiology resembling that of endothermic mammals. Here, we sequence the genome of the Komodo dragon Varanus komodoensis, the largest extant monitor lizard, and generate a high-resolution de novo chromosome-assigned genome assembly for V. komodoensis using a hybrid approach of long-range sequencing and single-molecule optical mapping. Comparing the genome of V. komodoensis with those of related species, we find evidence of positive selection in pathways related to energy metabolism, cardiovascular homoeostasis, and haemostasis. We also show species-specific expansions of a chemoreceptor gene family related…

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August 1, 2019

The complexity of alternative splicing and landscape of tissue-specific expression in lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) unveiled by Illumina- and single-molecule real-time-based RNA-sequencing.

Alternative splicing (AS) plays a critical role in regulating different physiological and developmental processes in eukaryotes, by dramatically increasing the diversity of the transcriptome and the proteome. However, the saturation and complexity of AS remain unclear in lotus due to its limitation of rare obtainment of full-length multiple-splice isoforms. In this study, we apply a hybrid assembly strategy by combining single-molecule real-time sequencing and Illumina RNA-seq to get a comprehensive insight into the lotus transcriptomic landscape. We identified 211,802 high-quality full-length non-chimeric reads, with 192,690 non-redundant isoforms, and updated the lotus reference gene model. Moreover, our analysis identified a total…

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August 1, 2019

Sequence and Evolutionary Features for the Alternatively Spliced Exons of Eukaryotic Genes.

Alternative splicing of pre-mRNAs is a crucial mechanism for maintaining protein diversity in eukaryotes without requiring a considerable increase of genes in the number. Due to rapid advances in high-throughput sequencing technologies and computational algorithms, it is anticipated that alternative splicing events will be more intensively studied to address different kinds of biological questions. The occurrences of alternative splicing mean that all exons could be classified to be either constitutively or alternatively spliced depending on whether they are virtually included into all mature mRNAs. From an evolutionary point of view, therefore, the alternatively spliced exons would have been associated with…

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August 1, 2019

Effective approaches to study the plant-root knot nematode interaction.

Plant-parasitic nematodes cause major agricultural losses worldwide. Examining the molecular mechanisms underlying plant-nematode interactions and how plants respond to different invading pathogens is attracting major attention to reduce the expanding gap between agricultural production and the needs of the growing world population. This review summarizes the most recent developments in plant-nematode interactions and the diverse approaches used to improve plant resistance against root knot nematode (RKN). We will emphasize the recent rapid advances in genome sequencing technologies, small interfering RNA techniques (RNAi) and targeted genome editing which are contributing to the significant progress in understanding the plant-nematode interaction mechanisms. Also,…

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August 1, 2019

Interspecies association mapping links reduced CG to TG substitution rates to the loss of gene-body methylation.

Comparative genomics can unravel the genetic basis of species differences; however, successful reports on quantitative traits are still scarce. Here we present genome assemblies of 31 so-far unassembled Brassicaceae plant species and combine them with 16 previously published assemblies to establish the Brassicaceae Diversity Panel. Using a new interspecies association strategy for quantitative traits, we found a so-far unknown association between the unexpectedly high variation in CG to TG substitution rates in genes and the absence of CHROMOMETHYLASE3 (CMT3) orthologues. Low substitution rates were associated with the loss of CMT3, while species with conserved CMT3 orthologues showed high substitution rates.…

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August 1, 2019

Whole-Genome Sequences of Four Indian Isolates of Azospirillum brasilense.

Azospirillum brasilense is used worldwide as a plant growth-promoting inoculant for agricultural crops. To understand how the genomes of Indian strains of A. brasilense compare with their South American counterparts, we determined the whole-genome sequences of four strains of A. brasilense isolated from the rhizosphere of grasses from India.Copyright © 2019 Singh et al.

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August 1, 2019

Report from the Eleventh Killer Immunoglobulin-like Receptor (KIR) Workshop: Novel insights on KIR polymorphism, ligand recognition, expression and function.

The Eleventh Killer Immunoglobulin-like Receptor (KIR) Workshop was held in Camogli (Genoa, Italy) in October 2018. This congress brought together 113 participants working on KIR field. Fifty-eight studies have been presented, the majority of which included unpublished data. Thus, KIR workshop, allowing the meeting of people sharing their knowledge and experience in a friendly atmosphere, still represents a special event of fruitful discussion and exchange of novel breakthrough, results, and ideas. In this report, we summarize all the scientific contributions highlighting the most recent advances in KIR field. Forty abstracts presented at the KIR Workshop are published in this issue.©…

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