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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The report of my death was an exaggeration: A review for researchers using microsatellites in the 21st century.

Microsatellites, or simple sequence repeats (SSRs), have long played a major role in genetic studies due to their typically high polymorphism. They have diverse applications, including genome mapping, forensics, ascertaining parentage, population and conservation genetics, identification of the parentage of polyploids, and phylogeography. We compare SSRs and newer methods, such as genotyping by sequencing (GBS) and restriction site associated DNA sequencing (RAD-Seq), and offer recommendations for researchers considering which genetic markers to use. We also review the variety of techniques currently used for identifying microsatellite loci and developing primers, with a particular focus on those that make use of next-generation…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Whole-genome sequencing recommendations

Recent technological developments have revolutionized the way we perform genetic analyses. In particular whole-genome sequencing provides access to the entire genetic makeup of an individual, and it is now an affordable approach for many research groups. As a consequence genome sequencing is pervading many fields of biological research. Sequencing technologies are evolving rapidly and so do their applications. Here we provide a first primer on whole-genome sequencing, focusing on two of the most popular applications: (1) de novo genome sequencing, in which the objective is obtaining a high-quality genome assembly that can serve as a reference for a species or…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Use of genomic approaches in understanding the role of Actinomycetes as PGP in grain legumes

The advancement in molecular technologies has given a breakthrough to explore the untapped and novel microbial isolates for characterization in every aspect as we can consider microbes as an important primary natural store house for key secondary metabolites and enzymes. Actinomycetes are the most fruitful source of microorganisms for all types of bioactive secondary metabolites, including agroactive-antibiotic molecules that are best recognized and most valuable for their role in agriculture and industries. In agriculture, actinomycetes are used as biocontrol agents against some pests and pathogenic organisms as well as plant growth-promoting (PGP) agents for crops. Use of different molecular methods,…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Strategies for sequence assembly of plant genomes

The field of plant genome assembly has greatly benefited from the development and widespread adoption of next-generation DNA sequencing platforms. Very high sequencing throughputs and low costs per nucleotide have considerably reduced the technical and budgetary constraints associated with early assembly projects done primarily with a traditional Sanger-based approach. Those improvements led to a sharp increase in the number of plant genomes being sequenced, including large and complex genomes of economically important crops. Although next-generation DNA sequencing has considerably improved our understanding of the overall structure and dynamics of many plant genomes, severe limitations still remain because next-generation DNA sequencing…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Next-generation sequencing: a diagnostic one-stop shop for Hepatitis C?

Before starting chronic hepatitis C treatment, the viral genotype/subtype has to be accurately determined and potentially coupled with drug resistance testing. Due to the high genetic variability of the hepatitis C virus, this can be a demanding task that can potentially be streamlined by viral whole-genome sequencing using next-generation sequencing as demonstrated by an article in this issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology by E. Thomson, C. L. C. Ip, A. Badhan, M. T. Christiansen, W. Adamson, et al. (J Clin Microbiol. 54:2455-2469, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.00330-16). Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Mobile genetic elements: in silico, in vitro, in vivo.

Mobile genetic elements (MGEs), also called transposable elements (TEs), represent universal components of most genomes and are intimately involved in nearly all aspects of genome organization, function and evolution. However, there is currently a gap between the fast pace of TE discovery in silico, driven by the exponential growth of comparative genomic studies, and a limited number of experimental models amenable to more traditional in vitro and in vivo studies of structural, mechanistic and regulatory properties of diverse MGEs. Experimental and computational scientists came together to bridge this gap at a recent conference, ‘Mobile Genetic Elements: in silico, in vitro, in vivo’, held at…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Towards integration of population and comparative genomics in forest trees.

The past decade saw the initiation of an ongoing revolution in sequencing technologies that is transforming all fields of biology. This has been driven by the advent and widespread availability of high-throughput, massively parallel short-read sequencing (MPS) platforms. These technologies have enabled previously unimaginable studies, including draft assemblies of the massive genomes of coniferous species and population-scale resequencing. Transcriptomics studies have likewise been transformed, with RNA-sequencing enabling studies in nonmodel organisms, the discovery of previously unannotated genes (novel transcripts), entirely new classes of RNAs and previously unknown regulatory mechanisms. Here we touch upon current developments in the areas of genome…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Probabilistic viral quasispecies assembly

Viruses are pathogens that cause infectious diseases. The swarm of virions is subject to the host’s immune pressure and possibly antiviral therapy. It may escape this selective pressure and gain selective advantage by acquiring one or more of the genomic alterations: single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), loss or gain of one or more amino acids, large deletions, for example, due to alternative splicing, or recombination of different strains. Genotypic antiretroviral drug resistance testing is performed via sequencing. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies revolutionized assessing viral genetic diversity experimentally. In viral quasispecies analysis, there are two main goals: the identification of low-frequency variants and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Recent “omics” advances in Helicobacter pylori.

The development of high-throughput whole genome sequencing (WGS) technologies is changing the face of microbiology, facilitating the comparison of large numbers of genomes from different lineages of a same organism. Our aim was to review the main advances on Helicobacter pylori “omics” and to understand how this is improving our knowledge of the biology, diversity and pathogenesis of H. pylori. Since the first H. pylori isolate was sequenced in 1997, 510 genomes have been deposited in the NCBI archive, providing a basis for improved understanding of the epidemiology and evolution of this important pathogen. This review focuses on works published between April…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Highlights of the 11th International Bordetella Symposium: from basic biology to vaccine development.

Pertussis is a severe respiratory disease caused by infection with the bacterial pathogen Bordetella pertussis The disease affects individuals of all ages but is particularly severe and sometimes fatal in unvaccinated young infants. Other Bordetella species cause diseases in humans, animals, and birds. Scientific, clinical, public health, vaccine company, and regulatory agency experts on these pathogens and diseases gathered in Buenos Aires, Argentina from 5 to 8 April 2016 for the 11th International Bordetella Symposium to discuss recent advances in our understanding of the biology of these organisms, the diseases they cause, and the development of new vaccines and other…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genomic insights into Campylobacter jejuni virulence and population genetics

Campylobacter jejuni has long been recognized as a main food-borne pathogen in many parts of the world. Natural reservoirs include a wide variety of domestic and wild birds and mammals, whose intestines offer a suitable biological niche for the survival and dissemination of the organism. Understanding the genetic basis of the biology and pathogenicity of C. jejuni is vital to prevent and control Campylobacter-associated infections. The recent progress in sequencing techniques has allowed for a rapid increase in our knowledge of the molecular biology and the genetic structures of Campylobacter. Single-molecule realtime (SMRT) sequencing, which goes beyond four-base sequencing, revealed…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Epigenetic mechanisms in microbial members of the human microbiota: current knowledge and perspectives.

The human microbiota and epigenetic processes have both been shown to play a crucial role in health and disease. However, there is extremely scarce information on epigenetic modulation of microbiota members except for a few pathogens. Mainly DNA adenine methylation has been described extensively in modulating the virulence of pathogenic bacteria in particular. It would thus appear likely that such mechanisms are widespread for most bacterial members of the microbiota. This review will present briefly the current knowledge on epigenetic processes in bacteria, give examples of known methylation processes in microbial members of the human microbiota and summarize the knowledge…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Serinibacter

The genus Serinibacter belongs, based on the phylogenetic analysis of the nearly full-length 16S rRNA gene, to the Beutenbergiaceae together with the genera Beutenbergia, Salana, and Miniimonas. The two species of the genus Serinibacter shared 99.6% 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity but low DNA DNA relatedness. Cells are irregular rods, Gram-stain positive, not acid-fast. Endospores are not formed. Nonmotile. Aerobic to anaerobic. Oxidase-negative, catalase-positive. The peptidoglycan type is A4a with an l-Ser residue at position 1 of the peptide subunit. The acyl type is acetyl. The major cell-wall sugar is galactose. The predominant menaquinone is MK-8(H4). The major polar lipids…

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