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March 1, 2019

Inter-chromosomal coupling between vision and pigmentation genes during genomic divergence.

Recombination between loci underlying mate choice and ecological traits is a major evolutionary force acting against speciation with gene flow. The evolution of linkage disequilibrium between such loci is therefore a fundamental step in the origin of species. Here, we show that this process can take place in the absence of physical linkage in hamlets-a group of closely related reef fishes from the wider Caribbean that differ essentially in colour pattern and are reproductively isolated through strong visually-based assortative mating. Using full-genome analysis, we identify four narrow genomic intervals that are consistently differentiated among sympatric species in a backdrop of…

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March 1, 2019

Sequencing of Cultivated Peanut, Arachis hypogaea, Yields Insights into Genome Evolution and Oil Improvement.

Cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is an allotetraploid crop planted in Asia, Africa, and America for edible oil and protein. To explore the origins and consequences of tetraploidy, we sequenced the allotetraploid A. hypogaea genome and compared it with the related diploid Arachis duranensis and Arachis ipaensis genomes. We annotated 39 888 A-subgenome genes and 41 526 B-subgenome genes in allotetraploid peanut. The A. hypogaea subgenomes have evolved asymmetrically, with the B subgenome resembling the ancestral state and the A subgenome undergoing more gene disruption, loss, conversion, and transposable element proliferation, and having reduced gene expression during seed development despite lacking genome-wide expression dominance.…

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August 1, 2018

Genomic signatures of mitonuclear coevolution across populations of Tigriopus californicus.

The copepod Tigriopus californicus shows extensive population divergence and is becoming a model for understanding allopatric differentiation and the early stages of speciation. Here, we report a high-quality reference genome for one population (~190?megabases across 12 scaffolds, and ~15,500 protein-coding genes). Comparison with other arthropods reveals 2,526 genes presumed to be specific to T. californicus, with an apparent proliferation of genes involved in ion transport and receptor activity. Beyond the reference population, we report re-sequenced genomes of seven additional populations, spanning the continuum of reproductive isolation. Populations show extreme mitochondrial DNA divergence, with higher levels of amino acid differentiation than…

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July 1, 2018

Genome survey of the freshwater mussel Venustaconcha ellipsiformis (Bivalvia: Unionida) using a hybrid de novo assembly approach.

Freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionida) serve an important role as aquatic ecosystem engineers but are one of the most critically imperilled groups of animals. Here, we used a combination of sequencing strategies to assemble and annotate a draft genome of Venustaconcha ellipsiformis, which will serve as a valuable genomic resource given the ecological value and unique "doubly uniparental inheritance" mode of mitochondrial DNA transmission of freshwater mussels. The genome described here was obtained by combining high-coverage short reads (65× genome coverage of Illumina paired-end and 11× genome coverage of mate-pairs sequences) with low-coverage Pacific Biosciences long reads (0.3× genome coverage). Briefly,…

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June 1, 2018

Footprints of parasitism in the genome of the parasitic flowering plant Cuscuta campestris.

A parasitic lifestyle, where plants procure some or all of their nutrients from other living plants, has evolved independently in many dicotyledonous plant families and is a major threat for agriculture globally. Nevertheless, no genome sequence of a parasitic plant has been reported to date. Here we describe the genome sequence of the parasitic field dodder, Cuscuta campestris. The genome contains signatures of a fairly recent whole-genome duplication and lacks genes for pathways superfluous to a parasitic lifestyle. Specifically, genes needed for high photosynthetic activity are lost, explaining the low photosynthesis rates displayed by the parasite. Moreover, several genes involved…

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April 25, 2018

EquCab3, an updated reference genome for the domestic horse

EquCab2, a high-quality reference genome for the domestic horse, was released in 2007. Since then, it has served as the foundation for nearly all genomic work done in equids. Recent advances in genomic sequencing technology and computational assembly methods have allowed scientists to improve reference assemblies of large animal and plant genomes in terms of contiguity and composition. In 2014, the equine genomics research community began a project to improve the reference sequence for the horse, building upon the solid foundation of EquCab2 and incorporating new short-read data, long-read data, and proximity ligation data. The result, EquCab3, is presented here.…

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March 1, 2018

Assembly and analysis of a qingke reference genome demonstrate its close genetic relation to modern cultivated barley.

Qingke, the local name of hulless barley in the Tibetan Plateau, is a staple food for Tibetans. The availability of its reference genome sequences could be useful for studies on breeding and molecular evolution. Taking advantage of the third-generation sequencer (PacBio), we de novo assembled a 4.84-Gb genome sequence of qingke, cv. Zangqing320 and anchored a 4.59-Gb sequence to seven chromosomes. Of the 46,787 annotated 'high-confidence' genes, 31 564 were validated by RNA-sequencing data of 39 wild and cultivated barley genotypes with wide genetic diversity, and the results were also confirmed by nonredundant protein database from NCBI. As some gaps in…

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January 15, 2018

Best practices for diploid assembly of complex genomes using PacBio: A case study of Cascade Hops

A high quality reference genome is an essential resource for plant and animal breeding and functional and evolutionary studies. The common hop (Humulus lupulus, Cannabaceae) is an economically important crop plant used to flavor and preserve beer. Its genome is large (flow cytometrybased estimates of diploid length >5.4Gb1), highly repetitive, and individual plants display high levels of heterozygosity, which make assembly of an accurate and contiguous reference genome challenging with conventional short-read methods. We present a contig assembly of Cascade Hops using PacBio long reads and the diploid genome assembler, FALCON-Unzip2. The assembly has dramatically improved contiguity and completeness over…

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January 1, 2018

A high-resolution genetic map of the cereal crown rot pathogen Fusarium pseudograminearum provides a near-complete genome assembly.

Fusarium pseudograminearum is an important pathogen of wheat and barley, particularly in semi-arid environments. Previous genome assemblies for this organism were based entirely on short read data and are highly fragmented. In this work, a genetic map of F. pseudograminearum has been constructed for the first time based on a mapping population of 178 individuals. The genetic map, together with long read scaffolding of a short read-based genome assembly, was used to give a near-complete assembly of the four F. pseudograminearum chromosomes. Large regions of synteny between F. pseudograminearum and F. graminearum, the related pathogen that is the primary causal…

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January 1, 2018

Contemporary evolution of a Lepidopteran species, Heliothis virescens, in response to modern agricultural practices.

Adaptation to human-induced environmental change has the potential to profoundly influence the genomic architecture of affected species. This is particularly true in agricultural ecosystems, where anthropogenic selection pressure is strong. Heliothis virescens primarily feeds on cotton in its larval stages, and US populations have been declining since the widespread planting of transgenic cotton, which endogenously expresses proteins derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). No physiological adaptation to Bt toxin has been found in the field, so adaptation in this altered environment could involve (i) shifts in host plant selection mechanisms to avoid cotton, (ii) changes in detoxification mechanisms required for cotton-feeding…

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December 6, 2017

Single molecule sequencing-guided scaffolding and correction of draft assemblies.

Although single molecule sequencing is still improving, the lengths of the generated sequences are inevitably an advantage in genome assembly. Prior work that utilizes long reads to conduct genome assembly has mostly focused on correcting sequencing errors and improving contiguity of de novo assemblies.We propose a disassembling-reassembling approach for both correcting structural errors in the draft assembly and scaffolding a target assembly based on error-corrected single molecule sequences. To achieve this goal, we formulate a maximum alternating path cover problem. We prove that this problem is NP-hard, and solve it by a 2-approximation algorithm.Our experimental results show that our approach…

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December 1, 2017

Genome sequence of the small brown planthopper, Laodelphax striatellus.

Laodelphax striatellus Fallén (Hemiptera: Delphacidae) is one of the most destructive rice pests. L. striatellus is different from 2 other rice planthoppers with a released genome sequence, Sogatella furcifera and Nilaparvata lugens, in many biological characteristics, such as host range, dispersal capacity, and vectoring plant viruses. Deciphering the genome of L. striatellus will further the understanding of the genetic basis of the biological differences among the 3 rice planthoppers.A total of 190 Gb of Illumina data and 32.4 Gb of Pacbio data were generated and used to assemble a high-quality L. striatellus genome sequence, which is 541 Mb in length…

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December 1, 2017

Comparative genome analysis of programmed DNA elimination in nematodes.

Programmed DNA elimination is a developmentally regulated process leading to the reproducible loss of specific genomic sequences. DNA elimination occurs in unicellular ciliates and a variety of metazoans, including invertebrates and vertebrates. In metazoa, DNA elimination typically occurs in somatic cells during early development, leaving the germline genome intact. Reference genomes for metazoa that undergo DNA elimination are not available. Here, we generated germline and somatic reference genome sequences of the DNA eliminating pig parasitic nematode Ascaris suum and the horse parasite Parascaris univalens. In addition, we carried out in-depth analyses of DNA elimination in the parasitic nematode of humans,…

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November 1, 2017

New insights into structural organization and gene duplication in a 1.75-Mb genomic region harboring the a-gliadin gene family in Aegilops tauschii, the source of wheat D genome.

Among the wheat prolamins important for its end-use traits, a-gliadins are the most abundant, and are also a major cause of food-related allergies and intolerances. Previous studies of various wheat species estimated that between 25 and 150 a-gliadin genes reside in the Gli-2 locus regions. To better understand the evolution of this complex gene family, the DNA sequence of a 1.75-Mb genomic region spanning the Gli-2 locus was analyzed in the diploid grass, Aegilops tauschii, the ancestral source of D genome in hexaploid bread wheat. Comparison with orthologous regions from rice, sorghum, and Brachypodium revealed rapid and dynamic changes only…

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October 1, 2017

Genome architecture and evolution of a unichromosomal asexual nematode.

Asexual reproduction in animals, though rare, is the main or exclusive mode of reproduction in some long-lived lineages. The longevity of asexual clades may be correlated with the maintenance of heterozygosity by mechanisms that rearrange genomes and reduce recombination. Asexual species thus provide an opportunity to gain insight into the relationship between molecular changes, genome architecture, and cellular processes. Here we report the genome sequence of the parthenogenetic nematode Diploscapter pachys with only one chromosome pair. We show that this unichromosomal architecture is shared by a long-lived clade of asexual nematodes closely related to the genetic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans.…

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