July 19, 2019  |  

Comparison of single-molecule sequencing and hybrid approaches for finishing the genome of Clostridium autoethanogenum and analysis of CRISPR systems in industrial relevant Clostridia.

Clostridium autoethanogenum strain JA1-1 (DSM 10061) is an acetogen capable of fermenting CO, CO2 and H2 (e.g. from syngas or waste gases) into biofuel ethanol and commodity chemicals such as 2,3-butanediol. A draft genome sequence consisting of 100 contigs has been published.A closed, high-quality genome sequence for C. autoethanogenum DSM10061 was generated using only the latest single-molecule DNA sequencing technology and without the need for manual finishing. It is assigned to the most complex genome classification based upon genome features such as repeats, prophage, nine copies of the rRNA gene operons. It has a low G + C content of 31.1%. Illumina, 454, Illumina/454 hybrid assemblies were generated and then compared to the draft and PacBio assemblies using summary statistics, CGAL, QUAST and REAPR bioinformatics tools and comparative genomic approaches. Assemblies based upon shorter read DNA technologies were confounded by the large number repeats and their size, which in the case of the rRNA gene operons were ~5 kb. CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Paloindromic Repeats) systems among biotechnologically relevant Clostridia were classified and related to plasmid content and prophages. Potential associations between plasmid content and CRISPR systems may have implications for historical industrial scale Acetone-Butanol-Ethanol (ABE) fermentation failures and future large scale bacterial fermentations. While C. autoethanogenum contains an active CRISPR system, no such system is present in the closely related Clostridium ljungdahlii DSM 13528. A common prophage inserted into the Arg-tRNA shared between the strains suggests a common ancestor. However, C. ljungdahlii contains several additional putative prophages and it has more than double the amount of prophage DNA compared to C. autoethanogenum. Other differences include important metabolic genes for central metabolism (as an additional hydrogenase and the absence of a phophoenolpyruvate synthase) and substrate utilization pathway (mannose and aromatics utilization) that might explain phenotypic differences between C. autoethanogenum and C. ljungdahlii.Single molecule sequencing will be increasingly used to produce finished microbial genomes. The complete genome will facilitate comparative genomics and functional genomics and support future comparisons between Clostridia and studies that examine the evolution of plasmids, bacteriophage and CRISPR systems.


July 19, 2019  |  

Efficient and accurate whole genome assembly and methylome profiling of E. coli.

With the price of next generation sequencing steadily decreasing, bacterial genome assembly is now accessible to a wide range of researchers. It is therefore necessary to understand the best methods for generating a genome assembly, specifically, which combination of sequencing and bioinformatics strategies result in the most accurate assemblies. Here, we sequence three E. coli strains on the Illumina MiSeq, Life Technologies Ion Torrent PGM, and Pacific Biosciences RS. We then perform genome assemblies on all three datasets alone or in combination to determine the best methods for the assembly of bacterial genomes.Three E. coli strains – BL21(DE3), Bal225, and DH5a – were sequenced to a depth of 100× on the MiSeq and Ion Torrent machines and to at least 125× on the PacBio RS. Four assembly methods were examined and compared. The previously published BL21(DE3) genome [GenBank:AM946981.2], allowed us to evaluate the accuracy of each of the BL21(DE3) assemblies. BL21(DE3) PacBio-only assemblies resulted in a 90% reduction in contigs versus short read only assemblies, while N50 numbers increased by over 7-fold. Strikingly, the number of SNPs in PacBio-only assemblies were less than half that seen with short read assemblies (~20 SNPs vs. ~50 SNPs) and indels also saw dramatic reductions (~2 indel >5 bp in PacBio-only assemblies vs. ~12 for short-read only assemblies). Assemblies that used a mixture of PacBio and short read data generally fell in between these two extremes. Use of PacBio sequencing reads also allowed us to call covalent base modifications for the three strains. Each of the strains used here had a known covalent base modification genotype, which was confirmed by PacBio sequencing.Using data generated solely from the Pacific Biosciences RS, we were able to generate the most complete and accurate de novo assemblies of E. coli strains. We found that the addition of other sequencing technology data offered no improvements over use of PacBio data alone. In addition, the sequencing data from the PacBio RS allowed for sensitive and specific calling of covalent base modifications.


July 19, 2019  |  

Performance comparison of second- and third-generation sequencers using a bacterial genome with two chromosomes.

The availability of diverse second- and third-generation sequencing technologies enables the rapid determination of the sequences of bacterial genomes. However, identifying the sequencing technology most suitable for producing a finished genome with multiple chromosomes remains a challenge. We evaluated the abilities of the following three second-generation sequencers: Roche 454 GS Junior (GS Jr), Life Technologies Ion PGM (Ion PGM), and Illumina MiSeq (MiSeq) and a third-generation sequencer, the Pacific Biosciences RS sequencer (PacBio), by sequencing and assembling the genome of Vibrio parahaemolyticus, which consists of a 5-Mb genome comprising two circular chromosomes. We sequenced the genome of V. parahaemolyticus with GS Jr, Ion PGM, MiSeq, and PacBio and performed de novo assembly with several genome assemblers. Although GS Jr generated the longest mean read length of 418 bp among the second-generation sequencers, the maximum contig length of the best assembly from GS Jr was 165 kbp, and the number of contigs was 309. Single runs of Ion PGM and MiSeq produced data of considerably greater sequencing coverage, 279× and 1,927×, respectively. The optimized result for Ion PGM contained 61 contigs assembled from reads of 77× coverage, and the longest contig was 895 kbp in size. Those for MiSeq were 34 contigs, 58×?coverage, and 733 kbp, respectively. These results suggest that higher coverage depth is unnecessary for a better assembly result. We observed that multiple rRNA coding regions were fragmented in the assemblies from the second-generation sequencers, whereas PacBio generated two exceptionally long contigs of 3,288,561 and 1,875,537 bps, each of which was from a single chromosome, with 73× coverage and mean read length 3,119 bp, allowing us to determine the absolute positions of all rRNA operons. PacBio outperformed the other sequencers in terms of the length of contigs and reconstructed the greatest portion of the genome, achieving a genome assembly of “finished grade” because of its long reads. It showed the potential to assemble more complex genomes with multiple chromosomes containing more repetitive sequences.


July 19, 2019  |  

An evaluation of the PacBio RS platform for sequencing and de novo assembly of a chloroplast genome.

Second generation sequencing has permitted detailed sequence characterisation at the whole genome level of a growing number of non-model organisms, but the data produced have short read-lengths and biased genome coverage leading to fragmented genome assemblies. The PacBio RS long-read sequencing platform offers the promise of increased read length and unbiased genome coverage and thus the potential to produce genome sequence data of a finished quality containing fewer gaps and longer contigs. However, these advantages come at a much greater cost per nucleotide and with a perceived increase in error-rate. In this investigation, we evaluated the performance of the PacBio RS sequencing platform through the sequencing and de novo assembly of the Potentilla micrantha chloroplast genome.Following error-correction, a total of 28,638 PacBio RS reads were recovered with a mean read length of 1,902 bp totalling 54,492,250 nucleotides and representing an average depth of coverage of 320× the chloroplast genome. The dataset covered the entire 154,959 bp of the chloroplast genome in a single contig (100% coverage) compared to seven contigs (90.59% coverage) recovered from an Illumina data, and revealed no bias in coverage of GC rich regions. Post-assembly the data were largely concordant with the Illumina data generated and allowed 187 ambiguities in the Illumina data to be resolved. The additional read length also permitted small differences in the two inverted repeat regions to be assigned unambiguously.This is the first report to our knowledge of a chloroplast genome assembled de novo using PacBio sequence data. The PacBio RS data generated here were assembled into a single large contig spanning the P. micrantha chloroplast genome, with a higher degree of accuracy than an Illumina dataset generated at a much greater depth of coverage, due to longer read lengths and lower GC bias in the data. The results we present suggest PacBio data will be of immense utility for the development of genome sequence assemblies containing fewer unresolved gaps and ambiguities and a significantly smaller number of contigs than could be produced using short-read sequence data alone.


July 19, 2019  |  

Characterizing and measuring bias in sequence data.

DNA sequencing technologies deviate from the ideal uniform distribution of reads. These biases impair scientific and medical applications. Accordingly, we have developed computational methods for discovering, describing and measuring bias.We applied these methods to the Illumina, Ion Torrent, Pacific Biosciences and Complete Genomics sequencing platforms, using data from human and from a set of microbes with diverse base compositions. As in previous work, library construction conditions significantly influence sequencing bias. Pacific Biosciences coverage levels are the least biased, followed by Illumina, although all technologies exhibit error-rate biases in high- and low-GC regions and at long homopolymer runs. The GC-rich regions prone to low coverage include a number of human promoters, so we therefore catalog 1,000 that were exceptionally resistant to sequencing. Our results indicate that combining data from two technologies can reduce coverage bias if the biases in the component technologies are complementary and of similar magnitude. Analysis of Illumina data representing 120-fold coverage of a well-studied human sample reveals that 0.20% of the autosomal genome was covered at less than 10% of the genome-wide average. Excluding locations that were similar to known bias motifs or likely due to sample-reference variations left only 0.045% of the autosomal genome with unexplained poor coverage.The assays presented in this paper provide a comprehensive view of sequencing bias, which can be used to drive laboratory improvements and to monitor production processes. Development guided by these assays should result in improved genome assemblies and better coverage of biologically important loci.


July 19, 2019  |  

Pacific Biosciences sequencing technology for genotyping and variation discovery in human data.

Pacific Biosciences technology provides a fundamentally new data type that provides the potential to overcome some limitations of current next generation sequencing platforms by providing significantly longer reads, single molecule sequencing, low composition bias and an error profile that is orthogonal to other platforms. With these potential advantages in mind, we here evaluate the utility of the Pacific Biosciences RS platform for human medical amplicon resequencing projects.We evaluated the Pacific Biosciences technology for SNP discovery in medical resequencing projects using the Genome Analysis Toolkit, observing high sensitivity and specificity for calling differences in amplicons containing known true or false SNPs. We assessed data quality: most errors were indels (~14%) with few apparent miscalls (~1%). In this work, we define a custom data processing pipeline for Pacific Biosciences data for human data analysis.Critically, the error properties were largely free of the context-specific effects that affect other sequencing technologies. These data show excellent utility for follow-up validation and extension studies in human data and medical genetics projects, but can be extended to other organisms with a reference genome.


July 19, 2019  |  

Full-length haplotype reconstruction to infer the structure of heterogeneous virus populations.

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies enable new insights into the diversity of virus populations within their hosts. Diversity estimation is currently restricted to single-nucleotide variants or to local fragments of no more than a few hundred nucleotides defined by the length of sequence reads. To study complex heterogeneous virus populations comprehensively, novel methods are required that allow for complete reconstruction of the individual viral haplotypes. Here, we show that assembly of whole viral genomes of ~8600 nucleotides length is feasible from mixtures of heterogeneous HIV-1 strains derived from defined combinations of cloned virus strains and from clinical samples of an HIV-1 superinfected individual. Haplotype reconstruction was achieved using optimized experimental protocols and computational methods for amplification, sequencing and assembly. We comparatively assessed the performance of the three NGS platforms 454 Life Sciences/Roche, Illumina and Pacific Biosciences for this task. Our results prove and delineate the feasibility of NGS-based full-length viral haplotype reconstruction and provide new tools for studying evolution and pathogenesis of viruses.© The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.


July 19, 2019  |  

Comparison of genome sequencing technology and assembly methods for the analysis of a GC-rich bacterial genome.

Improvements in technology and decreases in price have made de novo bacterial genomic sequencing a reality for many researchers, but it has created a need to evaluate the methods for generating a complete and accurate genome assembly. We sequenced the GC-rich Caulobacter henricii genome using the Illumina MiSeq, Roche 454, and Pacific Biosciences RS II sequencing systems. To generate a complete genome sequence, we performed assemblies using eight readily available programs and found that builds using the Illumina MiSeq and the Roche 454 data produced accurate yet numerous contigs. SPAdes performed the best followed by PANDAseq. In contrast, the Celera assembler produced a single genomic contig using the Pacific Biosciences data after error correction with the Illumina MiSeq data. In addition, we duplicated this build using the Pacific Biosciences data with HGAP2.0. The accuracy of these builds was verified by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of genomic DNA cut with restriction enzymes.


July 19, 2019  |  

Completing bacterial genome assemblies: strategy and performance comparisons.

Determining the genomic sequences of microorganisms is the basis and prerequisite for understanding their biology and functional characterization. While the advent of low-cost, extremely high-throughput second-generation sequencing technologies and the parallel development of assembly algorithms have generated rapid and cost-effective genome assemblies, such assemblies are often unfinished, fragmented draft genomes as a result of short read lengths and long repeats present in multiple copies. Third-generation, PacBio sequencing technologies circumvented this problem by greatly increasing read length. Hybrid approaches including ALLPATHS-LG, PacBio corrected reads pipeline, SPAdes, and SSPACE-LongRead, and non-hybrid approaches-hierarchical genome-assembly process (HGAP) and PacBio corrected reads pipeline via self-correction-have therefore been proposed to utilize the PacBio long reads that can span many thousands of bases to facilitate the assembly of complete microbial genomes. However, standardized procedures that aim at evaluating and comparing these approaches are currently insufficient. To address the issue, we herein provide a comprehensive comparison by collecting datasets for the comparative assessment on the above-mentioned five assemblers. In addition to offering explicit and beneficial recommendations to practitioners, this study aims to aid in the design of a paradigm positioned to complete bacterial genome assembly.


July 19, 2019  |  

Sequence data for Clostridium autoethanogenum using three generations of sequencing technologies.

During the past decade, DNA sequencing output has been mostly dominated by the second generation sequencing platforms which are characterized by low cost, high throughput and shorter read lengths for example, Illumina. The emergence and development of so called third generation sequencing platforms such as PacBio has permitted exceptionally long reads (over 20?kb) to be generated. Due to read length increases, algorithm improvements and hybrid assembly approaches, the concept of one chromosome, one contig and automated finishing of microbial genomes is now a realistic and achievable task for many microbial laboratories. In this paper, we describe high quality sequence datasets which span three generations of sequencing technologies, containing six types of data from four NGS platforms and originating from a single microorganism, Clostridium autoethanogenum. The dataset reported here will be useful for the scientific community to evaluate upcoming NGS platforms, enabling comparison of existing and novel bioinformatics approaches and will encourage interest in the development of innovative experimental and computational methods for NGS data.


July 19, 2019  |  

Long-read single molecule sequencing to resolve tandem gene copies: The Mst77Y region on the Drosophila melanogaster Y chromosome.

The autosomal gene Mst77F of Drosophila melanogaster is essential for male fertility. In 2010, Krsticevic et al. (Genetics 184: 295-307) found 18 Y-linked copies of Mst77F (“Mst77Y”), which collectively account for 20% of the functional Mst77F-like mRNA. The Mst77Y genes were severely misassembled in the then-available genome assembly and were identified by cloning and sequencing polymerase chain reaction products. The genomic structure of the Mst77Y region and the possible existence of additional copies remained unknown. The recent publication of two long-read assemblies of D. melanogaster prompted us to reinvestigate this challenging region of the Y chromosome. We found that the Illumina Synthetic Long Reads assembly failed in the Mst77Y region, most likely because of its tandem duplication structure. The PacBio MHAP assembly of the Mst77Y region seems to be very accurate, as revealed by comparisons with the previously found Mst77Y genes, a bacterial artificial chromosome sequence, and Illumina reads of the same strain. We found that the Mst77Y region spans 96 kb and originated from a 3.4-kb transposition from chromosome 3L to the Y chromosome, followed by tandem duplications inside the Y chromosome and invasion of transposable elements, which account for 48% of its length. Twelve of the 18 Mst77Y genes found in 2010 were confirmed in the PacBio assembly, the remaining six being polymerase chain reaction-induced artifacts. There are several identical copies of some Mst77Y genes, coincidentally bringing the total copy number to 18. Besides providing a detailed picture of the Mst77Y region, our results highlight the utility of PacBio technology in assembling difficult genomic regions such as tandemly repeated genes. Copyright © 2015 Krsticevic et al.


July 19, 2019  |  

A case study into microbial genome assembly gap sequences and finishing strategies.

This study characterized regions of DNA which remained unassembled by either PacBio and Illumina sequencing technologies for seven bacterial genomes. Two genomes were manually finished using bioinformatics and PCR/Sanger sequencing approaches and regions not assembled by automated software were analyzed. Gaps present within Illumina assemblies mostly correspond to repetitive DNA regions such as multiple rRNA operon sequences. PacBio gap sequences were evaluated for several properties such as GC content, read coverage, gap length, ability to form strong secondary structures, and corresponding annotations. Our hypothesis that strong secondary DNA structures blocked DNA polymerases and contributed to gap sequences was not accepted. PacBio assemblies had few limitations overall and gaps were explained as cumulative effect of lower than average sequence coverage and repetitive sequences at contig termini. An important aspect of the present study is the compilation of biological features that interfered with assembly and included active transposons, multiple plasmid sequences, phage DNA integration, and large sequence duplication. Our targeted genome finishing approach and systematic evaluation of the unassembled DNA will be useful for others looking to close, finish, and polish microbial genome sequences.


July 7, 2019  |  

The genomic landscape of the verrucomicrobial methanotroph Methylacidiphilum fumariolicum SolV.

Aerobic methanotrophs can grow in hostile volcanic environments and use methane as their sole source of energy. The discovery of three verrucomicrobial Methylacidiphilum strains has revealed diverse metabolic pathways used by these methanotrophs, including mechanisms through which methane is oxidized. The basis of a complete understanding of these processes and of how these bacteria evolved and are able to thrive in such extreme environments partially resides in the complete characterization of their genome and its architecture.In this study, we present the complete genome sequence of Methylacidiphilum fumariolicum SolV, obtained using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology. The genome assembles to a single 2.5 Mbp chromosome with an average GC content of 41.5%. The genome contains 2,741 annotated genes and 314 functional subsystems including all key metabolic pathways that are associated with Methylacidiphilum strains, including the CBB pathway for CO2 fixation. However, it does not encode the serine cycle and ribulose monophosphate pathways for carbon fixation. Phylogenetic analysis of the particulate methane mono-oxygenase operon separates the Methylacidiphilum strains from other verrucomicrobial methanotrophs. RNA-Seq analysis of cell cultures growing in three different conditions revealed the deregulation of two out of three pmoCAB operons. In addition, genes involved in nitrogen fixation were upregulated in cell cultures growing in nitrogen fixing conditions, indicating the presence of active nitrogenase. Characterization of the global methylation state of M. fumariolicum SolV revealed methylation of adenines and cytosines mainly in the coding regions of the genome. Methylation of adenines was predominantly associated with 5′-m6ACN4GT-3′ and 5′-CCm6AN5CTC-3′ methyltransferase recognition motifs whereas methylated cytosines were not associated with any specific motif.Our findings provide novel insights into the global methylation state of verrucomicrobial methanotroph M. fumariolicum SolV. However, partial conservation of methyltransferases between M. fumariolicum SolV and M. infernorum V4 indicates potential differences in the global methylation state of Methylacidiphilum strains. Unravelling the M. fumariolicum SolV genome and its epigenetic regulation allow for robust characterization of biological processes that are involved in oxidizing methane. In turn, they offer a better understanding of the evolution, the underlying physiological and ecological properties of SolV and other Methylacidiphilum strains.


July 7, 2019  |  

A precise chloroplast genome of Nelumbo nucifera (Nelumbonaceae) evaluated with Sanger, Illumina MiSeq, and PacBio RS II sequencing platforms: insight into the plastid evolution of basal eudicots.

BackgroundThe chloroplast genome is important for plant development and plant evolution. Nelumbo nucifera is one member of relict plants surviving from the late Cretaceous. Recently, a new sequencing platform PacBio RS II, known as `SMRT (Single Molecule, Real-Time) sequencing¿, has been developed. Using the SMRT sequencing to investigate the chloroplast genome of N. nucifera will help to elucidate the plastid evolution of basal eudicots.ResultsThe sizes of the de novo assembled complete chloroplast genome of N. nucifera were 163,307 bp, 163,747 bp and 163,600 bp with average depths of coverage of 7×, 712× and 105× sequenced by Sanger, Illumina MiSeq and PacBio RS II, respectively. The precise chloroplast genome of N. nucifera was obtained from PacBio RS II data proofread by Illumina MiSeq reads, with a quadripartite structure containing a large single copy region (91,846 bp) and a small single copy region (19,626 bp) separated by two inverted repeat regions (26,064 bp). The genome contains 113 different genes, including four distinct rRNAs, 30 distinct tRNAs and 79 distinct peptide-coding genes. A phylogenetic analysis of 133 taxa from 56 orders indicated that Nelumbo with an age of 177 million years is a sister clade to Platanus, which belongs to the basal eudicots. Basal eudicots began to emerge during the early Jurassic with estimated divergence times at 197 million years using MCMCTree. IR expansions/contractions within the basal eudicots seem to have occurred independently.ConclusionsBecause of long reads and lack of bias in coverage of AT-rich regions, PacBio RS II showed a great promise for highly accurate `finished¿ genomes, especially for a de novo assembly of genomes. N. nucifera is one member of basal eudicots, however, evolutionary analyses of IR structural variations of N. nucifera and other basal eudicots suggested that IR expansions/contractions occurred independently in these basal eudicots or were caused by independent insertions and deletions. The precise chloroplast genome of N. nucifera will present new information for structural variation of chloroplast genomes and provide new insight into the evolution of basal eudicots at the primary sequence and structural level.


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