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May 1, 2019

Centromeric Satellite DNAs: Hidden Sequence Variation in the Human Population.

The central goal of medical genomics is to understand the inherited basis of sequence variation that underlies human physiology, evolution, and disease. Functional association studies currently ignore millions of bases that span each centromeric region and acrocentric short arm. These regions are enriched in long arrays of tandem repeats, or satellite DNAs, that are known to vary extensively in copy number and repeat structure in the human population. Satellite sequence variation in the human genome is often so large that it is detected cytogenetically, yet due to the lack of a reference assembly and informatics tools to measure this variability,…

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December 1, 2018

Pilot satellitome analysis of the model plant, Physcomitrellapatens, revealed a transcribed and high-copy IGS related tandem repeat.

Satellite DNA (satDNA) constitutes a substantial part of eukaryotic genomes. In the last decade, it has been shown that satDNA is not an inert part of the genome and its function extends beyond the nuclear membrane. However, the number of model plant species suitable for studying the novel horizons of satDNA functionality is low. Here, we explored the satellitome of the model "basal" plant, Physcomitrellapatens (Hedwig, 1801) Bruch & Schimper, 1849 (moss), which has a number of advantages for deep functional and evolutionary research. Using a newly developed pyTanFinder pipeline (https://github.com/Kirovez/pyTanFinder) coupled with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), we identified…

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November 1, 2018

Mitochondrial genomes of two diplectanids (Platyhelminthes: Monogenea) expose paraphyly of the order Dactylogyridea and extensive tRNA gene rearrangements.

Recent mitochondrial phylogenomics studies have reported a sister-group relationship of the orders Capsalidea and Dactylogyridea, which is inconsistent with previous morphology- and molecular-based phylogenies. As Dactylogyridea mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) are currently represented by only one family, to improve the phylogenetic resolution, we sequenced and characterized two dactylogyridean parasites, Lamellodiscus spari and Lepidotrema longipenis, belonging to a non-represented family Diplectanidae.The L. longipenis mitogenome (15,433 bp) contains the standard 36 flatworm mitochondrial genes (atp8 is absent), whereas we failed to detect trnS1, trnC and trnG in L. spari (14,614 bp). Both mitogenomes exhibit unique gene orders (among the Monogenea), with a number…

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May 1, 2018

Double insertion of transposable elements provides a substrate for the evolution of satellite DNA.

Eukaryotic genomes are replete with repeated sequences in the form of transposable elements (TEs) dispersed across the genome or as satellite arrays, large stretches of tandemly repeated sequences. Many satellites clearly originated as TEs, but it is unclear how mobile genetic parasites can transform into megabase-sized tandem arrays. Comprehensive population genomic sampling is needed to determine the frequency and generative mechanisms of tandem TEs, at all stages from their initial formation to their subsequent expansion and maintenance as satellites. The best available population resources, short-read DNA sequences, are often considered to be of limited utility for analyzing repetitive DNA due…

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March 1, 2018

New high copy tandem repeat in the content of the chicken W chromosome.

The content of repetitive DNA in avian genomes is considerably less than in other investigated vertebrates. The first descriptions of tandem repeats were based on the results of routine biochemical and molecular biological experiments. Both satellite DNA and interspersed repetitive elements were annotated using library-based approach and de novo repeat identification in assembled genome. The development of deep-sequencing methods provides datasets of high quality without preassembly allowing one to annotate repetitive elements from unassembled part of genomes. In this work, we search the chicken assembly and annotate high copy number tandem repeats from unassembled short raw reads. Tandem repeat (GGAAA)n…

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March 1, 2018

Satellite DNA evolution: old ideas, new approaches.

A substantial portion of the genomes of most multicellular eukaryotes consists of large arrays of tandemly repeated sequence, collectively called satellite DNA. The processes generating and maintaining different satellite DNA abundances across lineages are important to understand as satellites have been linked to chromosome mis-segregation, disease phenotypes, and reproductive isolation between species. While much theory has been developed to describe satellite evolution, empirical tests of these models have fallen short because of the challenges in assessing satellite repeat regions of the genome. Advances in computational tools and sequencing technologies now enable identification and quantification of satellite sequences genome-wide. Here, we…

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May 1, 2017

Single-molecule sequencing resolves the detailed structure of complex satellite DNA loci in Drosophila melanogaster.

Highly repetitive satellite DNA (satDNA) repeats are found in most eukaryotic genomes. SatDNAs are rapidly evolving and have roles in genome stability and chromosome segregation. Their repetitive nature poses a challenge for genome assembly and makes progress on the detailed study of satDNA structure difficult. Here, we use single-molecule sequencing long reads from Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) to determine the detailed structure of all major autosomal complex satDNA loci in Drosophila melanogaster, with a particular focus on the 260-bp and Responder satellites. We determine the optimal de novo assembly methods and parameter combinations required to produce a high-quality assembly of these…

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July 1, 2016

Alpha-CENTAURI: assessing novel centromeric repeat sequence variation with long read sequencing.

Long arrays of near-identical tandem repeats are a common feature of centromeric and subtelomeric regions in complex genomes. These sequences present a source of repeat structure diversity that is commonly ignored by standard genomic tools. Unlike reads shorter than the underlying repeat structure that rely on indirect inference methods, e.g. assembly, long reads allow direct inference of satellite higher order repeat structure. To automate characterization of local centromeric tandem repeat sequence variation we have designed Alpha-CENTAURI (ALPHA satellite CENTromeric AUtomated Repeat Identification), that takes advantage of Pacific Bioscience long-reads from whole-genome sequencing datasets. By operating on reads prior to assembly,…

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April 12, 2016

Radical remodeling of the Y chromosome in a recent radiation of malaria mosquitoes.

Y chromosomes control essential male functions in many species, including sex determination and fertility. However, because of obstacles posed by repeat-rich heterochromatin, knowledge of Y chromosome sequences is limited to a handful of model organisms, constraining our understanding of Y biology across the tree of life. Here, we leverage long single-molecule sequencing to determine the content and structure of the nonrecombining Y chromosome of the primary African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. We find that the An. gambiae Y consists almost entirely of a few massively amplified, tandemly arrayed repeats, some of which can recombine with similar repeats on the X…

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September 1, 2015

Completing the human genome: the progress and challenge of satellite DNA assembly.

Genomic studies rely on accurate chromosome assemblies to explore sequence-based models of cell biology, evolution and biomedical disease. However, even the extensively studied human genome has not yet reached a complete, 'telomere-to-telomere', chromosome assembly. The largest assembly gaps remain in centromeric regions and acrocentric short arms, sites known to contain megabase-sized arrays of tandem repeats, or satellite DNAs. This review aims to briefly address the progress and challenges of generating correct assemblies of satellite DNA arrays. Although the focus is placed on the human genome, many concepts presented here are applicable to other genomes.

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July 1, 2015

Tandem repeats in rodents genome and their mapping.

Tandemly-repeated sequences represent a unique class of eukaryotic DNA. Their content in the genome of higher eukaryotes mounts to tens of percents. However, the evolution of this class of sequences is poorly-studied. In our paper, 62 families of Mus musculus tandem repeats are analyzed by bioinformatic methods, and 7 of them are analyzed by fluorescence in situ hybridization. It is shown that the same tandem repeat sets co-occure only in closely related species of mice. But even in such species we observe differences in localization on the chromosomes and the number of individual tandem repeats. With increasing evolutionary distance only…

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