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January 15, 2018

PAG Conference: Long-read sequencing reveals complex genomic architecture in independent carnivorous plant lineages

In this PAG 2018 presentation, Tanya Renner of Pennsylvania State University shares research using PacBio SMRT Sequencing to understand the genomes and transcriptomes of carnivorous plants. She describes the humped bladderwort, Utricularia gibba, as having an extreme genome due to its small size (100 Mbp) despite containing numerous tandem gene duplications and having undergone two whole genome duplications. Renner shares ongoing research into two Drosera species, commonly known as sundews, which through whole genome sequencing are illuminating carnivorous plant genome structural evolution including the transition from monocentric to holocentric chromosomes.

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January 1, 2018

A global survey of alternative splicing in allopolyploid cotton: landscape, complexity and regulation.

Alternative splicing (AS) is a crucial regulatory mechanism in eukaryotes, which acts by greatly increasing transcriptome diversity. The extent and complexity of AS has been revealed in model plants using high-throughput next-generation sequencing. However, this technique is less effective in accurately identifying transcript isoforms in polyploid species because of the high sequence similarity between coexisting subgenomes. Here we characterize AS in the polyploid species cotton. Using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule long-read isoform sequencing (Iso-Seq), we developed an integrated pipeline for Iso-Seq transcriptome data analysis (https://github.com/Nextomics/pipeline-for-isoseq). We identified 176 849 full-length transcript isoforms from 44 968 gene models and updated gene annotation. These data…

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October 23, 2017

The first near-complete assembly of the hexaploid bread wheat genome, Triticum aestivum.

Common bread wheat, Triticum aestivum, has one of the most complex genomes known to science, with 6 copies of each chromosome, enormous numbers of near-identical sequences scattered throughout, and an overall haploid size of more than 15 billion bases. Multiple past attempts to assemble the genome have produced assemblies that were well short of the estimated genome size. Here we report the first near-complete assembly of T. aestivum, using deep sequencing coverage from a combination of short Illumina reads and very long Pacific Biosciences reads. The final assembly contains 15 344 693 583 bases and has a weighted average (N50)…

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September 5, 2017

Multiple hybrid de novo genome assembly of finger millet, an orphan allotetraploid crop.

Finger millet (Eleusine coracana (L.) Gaertn) is an important crop for food security because of its tolerance to drought, which is expected to be exacerbated by global climate changes. Nevertheless, it is often classified as an orphan/underutilized crop because of the paucity of scientific attention. Among several small millets, finger millet is considered as an excellent source of essential nutrient elements, such as iron and zinc; hence, it has potential as an alternate coarse cereal. However, high-quality genome sequence data of finger millet are currently not available. One of the major problems encountered in the genome assembly of this species…

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June 22, 2017

Plant and Animal Sciences Brochure: A comprehensive view of genetic diversity

Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing combines long reads with uniform coverage to provide uniquely comprehensive views of plant and animal genomes and transcriptomes. High-quality genome assemblies and evidence-based annotations promote improved genetic marker development, discovery of novel genes, and structural variation characterization.

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May 22, 2017

A survey of the complex transcriptome from the highly polyploid sugarcane genome using full-length isoform sequencing and de novo assembly from short read sequencing.

Despite the economic importance of sugarcane in sugar and bioenergy production, there is not yet a reference genome available. Most of the sugarcane transcriptomic studies have been based on Saccharum officinarum gene indices (SoGI), expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and de novo assembled transcript contigs from short-reads; hence knowledge of the sugarcane transcriptome is limited in relation to transcript length and number of transcript isoforms.The sugarcane transcriptome was sequenced using PacBio isoform sequencing (Iso-Seq) of a pooled RNA sample derived from leaf, internode and root tissues, of different developmental stages, from 22 varieties, to explore the potential for capturing full-length transcript…

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March 1, 2017

Genomic innovation for crop improvement.

Crop production needs to increase to secure future food supplies, while reducing its impact on ecosystems. Detailed characterization of plant genomes and genetic diversity is crucial for meeting these challenges. Advances in genome sequencing and assembly are being used to access the large and complex genomes of crops and their wild relatives. These have helped to identify a wide spectrum of genetic variation and permitted the association of genetic diversity with diverse agronomic phenotypes. In combination with improved and automated phenotyping assays and functional genomic studies, genomics is providing new foundations for crop-breeding systems.

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January 1, 2017

Next-generation polyploid phylogenetics: rapid resolution of hybrid polyploid complexes using PacBio single-molecule sequencing.

Difficulties in generating nuclear data for polyploids have impeded phylogenetic study of these groups. We describe a high-throughput protocol and an associated bioinformatics pipeline (Pipeline for Untangling Reticulate Complexes (Purc)) that is able to generate these data quickly and conveniently, and demonstrate its efficacy on accessions from the fern family Cystopteridaceae. We conclude with a demonstration of the downstream utility of these data by inferring a multi-labeled species tree for a subset of our accessions. We amplified four c. 1-kb-long nuclear loci and sequenced them in a parallel-tagged amplicon sequencing approach using the PacBio platform. Purc infers the final sequences…

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February 12, 2016

Un-zipping diploid genomes – revealing all kinds of heterozygous variants from comprehensive hapltotig assemblies

Outside of the simplest cases (haploid, bacteria, or inbreds), genomic information is not carried in a single reference per individual, but rather has higher ploidy (n=>2) for almost all organisms. The existence of two or more highly related sequences within an individual makes it extremely difficult to build high quality, highly contiguous genome assemblies from short DNA fragments. Based on the earlier work on a polyploidy aware assembler, FALCON (https://github.com/PacificBiosciences/FALCON), we developed new algorithms and software (FALCON-unzip) for de novo haplotype reconstructions from SMRT Sequencing data. We apply the algorithms and the prototype software for (1) a highly repetitive diploid…

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February 12, 2016

AGBT Virtual Poster: Unzipping diploid genomes – revealing all kinds of heterozygous variants from comprehensive haplotig assemblies

In this AGBT virtual poster video, Jason Chin, a bioinformatician at PacBio, describes a polyploidy-aware de novo assembly approach called FALCON and a new algorithm, dubbed FALCON-unzip, that involves “unzipping” diploid genomes for de novo haplotype reconstructions from SMRT Sequencing data. These methods are illustrated in a studies of fungal, Arabidopsis and human datasets for the resolution of structural variation and characterization of haplotypes.

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January 1, 2016

Effects of genome structure variation, homeologous genes and repetitive DNA on polyploid crop research in the age of genomics.

Compared to diploid species, allopolyploid crop species possess more complex genomes, higher productivity, and greater adaptability to changing environments. Next generation sequencing techniques have produced high-density genetic maps, whole genome sequences, transcriptomes and epigenomes for important polyploid crops. However, several problems interfere with the full application of next generation sequencing techniques to these crops. Firstly, different types of genomic variation affect sequence assembly and QTL mapping. Secondly, duplicated or homoeologous genes can diverge in function and then lead to emergence of many minor QTL, which increases difficulties in fine mapping, cloning and marker assisted selection. Thirdly, repetitive DNA sequences arising…

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December 18, 2015

Case Study: With SMRT Sequencing for genomes, transcriptomes, and epigenomes, scientists are overcoming barriers in plant and animal research

Scientists are utilizing long-read PacBio sequencing to provide uniquely comprehensive views of complex plant and animal genomes. These efforts are uncovering novel biological mechanisms, enabling progress in crop development, and much more. To date, scientists have published over 1000 papers with Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing, many covering breakthroughs in the plant and animal sciences. In this case study, we look at examples in model organisms Drosophila and C. elegans and non-model organisms coffee, Oropeitum, danshen, and sugarbeet, where SMRT Sequencing has contributed to a more accurate understanding of biology. These efforts underscore the broad applicability of long-read sequencing in…

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December 9, 2015

Single-molecule real-time transcript sequencing facilitates common wheat genome annotation and grain transcriptome research.

The large and complex hexaploid genome has greatly hindered genomics studies of common wheat (Triticum aestivum, AABBDD). Here, we investigated transcripts in common wheat developing caryopses using the emerging single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology PacBio RSII, and assessed the resultant data for improving common wheat genome annotation and grain transcriptome research.We obtained 197,709 full-length non-chimeric (FLNC) reads, 74.6 % of which were estimated to carry complete open reading frame. A total of 91,881 high-quality FLNC reads were identified and mapped to 16,188 chromosomal loci, corresponding to 13,162 known genes and 3026 new genes not annotated previously. Although some FLNC reads could…

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