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September 15, 2017

The cacao Criollo genome v2.0: an improved version of the genome for genetic and functional genomic studies.

Theobroma cacao L., native to the Amazonian basin of South America, is an economically important fruit tree crop for tropical countries as a source of chocolate. The first draft genome of the species, from a Criollo cultivar, was published in 2011. Although a useful resource, some improvements are possible, including identifying misassemblies, reducing the number of scaffolds and gaps, and anchoring un-anchored sequences to the 10 chromosomes.We used a NGS-based approach to significantly improve the assembly of the Belizian Criollo B97-61/B2 genome. We combined four Illumina large insert size mate paired libraries with 52x of Pacific Biosciences long reads to…

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September 13, 2017

The Apostasia genome and the evolution of orchids.

Constituting approximately 10% of flowering plant species, orchids (Orchidaceae) display unique flower morphologies, possess an extraordinary diversity in lifestyle, and have successfully colonized almost every habitat on Earth. Here we report the draft genome sequence of Apostasia shenzhenica, a representative of one of two genera that form a sister lineage to the rest of the Orchidaceae, providing a reference for inferring the genome content and structure of the most recent common ancestor of all extant orchids and improving our understanding of their origins and evolution. In addition, we present transcriptome data for representatives of Vanilloideae, Cypripedioideae and Orchidoideae, and novel…

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August 4, 2017

Strategies for optimizing BioNano and Dovetail explored through a second reference quality assembly for the legume model, Medicago truncatula.

Third generation sequencing technologies, with sequencing reads in the tens- of kilo-bases, facilitate genome assembly by spanning ambiguous regions and improving continuity. This has been critical for plant genomes, which are difficult to assemble due to high repeat content, gene family expansions, segmental and tandem duplications, and polyploidy. Recently, high-throughput mapping and scaffolding strategies have further improved continuity. Together, these long-range technologies enable quality draft assemblies of complex genomes in a cost-effective and timely manner.Here, we present high quality genome assemblies of the model legume plant, Medicago truncatula (R108) using PacBio, Dovetail Chicago (hereafter, Dovetail) and BioNano technologies. To test…

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August 1, 2017

No evidence for maintenance of a sympatric Heliconius species barrier by chromosomal inversions.

Mechanisms that suppress recombination are known to help maintain species barriers by preventing the breakup of coadapted gene combinations. The sympatric butterfly species Heliconius melpomene and Heliconius cydno are separated by many strong barriers, but the species still hybridize infrequently in the wild, and around 40% of the genome is influenced by introgression. We tested the hypothesis that genetic barriers between the species are maintained by inversions or other mechanisms that reduce between-species recombination rate. We constructed fine-scale recombination maps for Panamanian populations of both species and their hybrids to directly measure recombination rate within and between species, and generated…

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July 12, 2017

Scaffolding of long read assemblies using long range contact information.

Long read technologies have revolutionized de novo genome assembly by generating contigs orders of magnitude longer than that of short read assemblies. Although assembly contiguity has increased, it usually does not reconstruct a full chromosome or an arm of the chromosome, resulting in an unfinished chromosome level assembly. To increase the contiguity of the assembly to the chromosome level, different strategies are used which exploit long range contact information between chromosomes in the genome.We develop a scalable and computationally efficient scaffolding method that can boost the assembly contiguity to a large extent using genome-wide chromatin interaction data such as Hi-C.we…

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June 1, 2017

Improved maize reference genome with single-molecule technologies.

Complete and accurate reference genomes and annotations provide fundamental tools for characterization of genetic and functional variation. These resources facilitate the determination of biological processes and support translation of research findings into improved and sustainable agricultural technologies. Many reference genomes for crop plants have been generated over the past decade, but these genomes are often fragmented and missing complex repeat regions. Here we report the assembly and annotation of a reference genome of maize, a genetic and agricultural model species, using single-molecule real-time sequencing and high-resolution optical mapping. Relative to the previous reference genome, our assembly features a 52-fold increase…

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June 1, 2017

The Nephila clavipes genome highlights the diversity of spider silk genes and their complex expression.

Spider silks are the toughest known biological materials, yet are lightweight and virtually invisible to the human immune system, and they thus have revolutionary potential for medicine and industry. Spider silks are largely composed of spidroins, a unique family of structural proteins. To investigate spidroin genes systematically, we constructed the first genome of an orb-weaving spider: the golden orb-weaver (Nephila clavipes), which builds large webs using an extensive repertoire of silks with diverse physical properties. We cataloged 28 Nephila spidroins, representing all known orb-weaver spidroin types, and identified 394 repeated coding motif variants and higher-order repetitive cassette structures unique to…

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June 1, 2017

Genome sequencing and population genomic analyses provide insights into the adaptive landscape of silver birch.

Silver birch (Betula pendula) is a pioneer boreal tree that can be induced to flower within 1 year. Its rapid life cycle, small (440-Mb) genome, and advanced germplasm resources make birch an attractive model for forest biotechnology. We assembled and chromosomally anchored the nuclear genome of an inbred B. pendula individual. Gene duplicates from the paleohexaploid event were enriched for transcriptional regulation, whereas tandem duplicates were overrepresented by environmental responses. Population resequencing of 80 individuals showed effective population size crashes at major points of climatic upheaval. Selective sweeps were enriched among polyploid duplicates encoding key developmental and physiological triggering functions,…

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June 1, 2017

Wild tobacco genomes reveal the evolution of nicotine biosynthesis.

Nicotine, the signature alkaloid of Nicotiana species responsible for the addictive properties of human tobacco smoking, functions as a defensive neurotoxin against attacking herbivores. However, the evolution of the genetic features that contributed to the assembly of the nicotine biosynthetic pathway remains unknown. We sequenced and assembled genomes of two wild tobaccos, Nicotiana attenuata (2.5 Gb) and Nicotiana obtusifolia (1.5 Gb), two ecological models for investigating adaptive traits in nature. We show that after the Solanaceae whole-genome triplication event, a repertoire of rapidly expanding transposable elements (TEs) bloated these Nicotiana genomes, promoted expression divergences among duplicated genes, and contributed to…

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May 15, 2017

Lentinula edodes genome survey and postharvest transcriptome analysis.

Lentinula edodes is a popular, cultivated edible and medicinal mushroom. Lentinula edodes is susceptible to postharvest problems, such as gill browning, fruiting body softening, and lentinan degradation. We constructed a de novo assembly draft genome sequence and performed gene prediction for Lentinula edodesDe novo assembly was carried out using short reads from paired-end and mate-paired libraries and by using long reads by PacBio, resulting in a contig number of 1,951 and an N50 of 1 Mb. Furthermore, we predicted genes by Augustus using transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) data from the whole life cycle of Lentinula edodes, resulting in 12,959 predicted genes.…

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April 18, 2017

Genome sequence of Plasmopara viticola and insight into the pathogenic mechanism.

Plasmopara viticola causes downy mildew disease of grapevine which is one of the most devastating diseases of viticulture worldwide. Here we report a 101.3?Mb whole genome sequence of P. viticola isolate 'JL-7-2' obtained by a combination of Illumina and PacBio sequencing technologies. The P. viticola genome contains 17,014 putative protein-coding genes and has ~26% repetitive sequences. A total of 1,301 putative secreted proteins, including 100 putative RXLR effectors and 90 CRN effectors were identified in this genome. In the secretome, 261 potential pathogenicity genes and 95 carbohydrate-active enzymes were predicted. Transcriptional analysis revealed that most of the RXLR effectors, pathogenicity…

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February 15, 2017

An improved assembly of the loblolly pine mega-genome using long-read single-molecule sequencing.

The 22-gigabase genome of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) is one of the largest ever sequenced. The draft assembly published in 2014 was built entirely from short Illumina reads, with lengths ranging from 100 to 250 base pairs (bp). The assembly was quite fragmented, containing over 11 million contigs whose weighted average (N50) size was 8206 bp. To improve this result, we generated approximately 12-fold coverage in long reads using the Single Molecule Real Time sequencing technology developed at Pacific Biosciences. We assembled the long and short reads together using the MaSuRCA mega-reads assembly algorithm, which produced a substantially better assembly,…

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February 13, 2017

Draft genome sequence of Mentha longifolia (L.) and development of resources for mint cultivar improvement.

The genus Mentha encompasses mint species cultivated for their essential oils, which are formulated into a vast array of consumer products. Desirable oil characteristics and resistance to the fungal disease Verticillium wilt are top priorities for the mint industry. However, cultivated mints have complex polyploid genomes and are sterile. Breeding efforts, therefore, require the development of genomic resources for fertile mint species. Here, we present draft de novo genome and plastome assemblies for a wilt-resistant South African accession of Mentha longifolia (L.) Huds., a diploid species ancestral to cultivated peppermint and spearmint. The 353 Mb genome contains 35 597 predicted protein-coding…

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February 8, 2017

Genome scaffolding and annotation for the pathogen vector Ixodes ricinus by ultra-long single molecule sequencing.

Global warming and other ecological changes have facilitated the expansion of Ixodes ricinus tick populations. Ixodes ricinus is the most important carrier of vector-borne pathogens in Europe, transmitting viruses, protozoa and bacteria, in particular Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato), the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis, the most prevalent vector-borne disease in humans in the Northern hemisphere. To faster control this disease vector, a better understanding of the I. ricinus tick is necessary. To facilitate such studies, we recently published the first reference genome of this highly prevalent pathogen vector. Here, we further extend these studies by scaffolding and annotating the first…

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February 3, 2017

Genomic sequence of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ haplotype C and its comparison with haplotype A and B genomes.

Haplotypes A and B of 'Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum' (CLso) are associated with diseases of solanaceous plants, especially Zebra chip disease of potato, and haplotypes C, D and E are associated with symptoms on apiaceous plants. To date, one complete genome of haplotype B and two high quality draft genomes of haplotype A have been obtained for these unculturable bacteria using metagenomics from the psyllid vector Bactericera cockerelli. Here, we present the first genomic sequences obtained for the carrot-associated CLso. These two genomic sequences of haplotype C, FIN114 (1.24 Mbp) and FIN111 (1.20 Mbp), were obtained from carrot psyllids (Trioza apicalis)…

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