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February 3, 2017

Improving and correcting the contiguity of long-read genome assemblies of three plant species using optical mapping and chromosome conformation capture data.

Long-read sequencing can overcome the weaknesses of short reads in the assembly of eukaryotic genomes, however, at present additional scaffolding is needed to achieve chromosome-level assemblies. We generated PacBio long-read data of the genomes of three relatives of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and assembled all three genomes into only a few hundred contigs. To improve the contiguities of these assemblies, we generated BioNano Genomics optical mapping and Dovetail Genomics chromosome conformation capture data for genome scaffolding. Despite their technical differences, optical mapping and chromosome conformation capture performed similarly and doubled N50 values. After improving both integration methods, assembly contiguity…

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February 2, 2017

De novo hybrid assembly of the rubber tree genome reveals evidence of paleotetraploidy in Hevea species.

Para rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is an important economic species as it is the sole commercial producer of high-quality natural rubber. Here, we report a de novo hybrid assembly of BPM24 accession, which exhibits resistance to major fungal pathogens in Southeast Asia. Deep-coverage 454/Illumina short-read and Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) long-read sequence data were acquired to generate a preliminary draft, which was subsequently scaffolded using a long-range "Chicago" technique to obtain a final assembly of 1.26?Gb (N50?=?96.8?kb). The assembled genome contains 69.2% repetitive sequences and has a GC content of 34.31%. Using a high-density SNP-based genetic map, we were able to…

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February 1, 2017

What distinguishes cyanobacteria able to revive after desiccation from those that cannot: the genome aspect.

Filamentous cyanobacteria are the main founders and primary producers in biological desert soil crusts (BSCs) and are likely equipped to cope with one of the harshest environmental conditions on earth including daily hydration/dehydration cycles, high irradiance and extreme temperatures. Here, we resolved and report on the genome sequence of Leptolyngbya ohadii, an important constituent of the BSC. Comparative genomics identified a set of genes present in desiccation-tolerant but not in dehydration-sensitive cyanobacteria. RT qPCR analyses showed that the transcript abundance of many of them is upregulated during desiccation in L. ohadii. In addition, we identified genes where the orthologs detected…

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January 31, 2017

The complete genome sequence of the yogurt isolate Streptococcus thermophilus ACA-DC 2.

Streptococcus thermophilus ACA-DC 2 is a newly sequenced strain isolated from traditional Greek yogurt. Among the 14 fully sequenced strains of S. thermophilus currently deposited in the NCBI database, the ACA-DC 2 strain has the smallest chromosome, containing 1,731,838 bp. The annotation of its genome revealed the presence of 1,850 genes, including 1,556 protein-coding genes, 70 RNA genes and 224 potential pseudogenes. A large number of pseudogenes were identified. This was also accompanied by the absence of pathogenic features suggesting evolution of strain ACA-DC 2 through genome decay processes, most probably due to adaptation to the milk ecosystem. Analysis revealed the…

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January 22, 2017

Whole genome sequence of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines.

Aphids are emerging as model organisms for both basic and applied research. Of the 5,000 estimated species, only three aphids have published whole genome sequences: the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum, the Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia, and the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae. We present the whole genome sequence of a fourth aphid, the soybean aphid (Aphis glycines), which is an extreme specialist and an important invasive pest of soybean (Glycine max). The availability of genomic resources is important to establish effective and sustainable pest control, as well as to expand our understanding of aphid evolution. We generated a 302.9 Mbp…

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January 18, 2017

An improved genome assembly uncovers prolific tandem repeats in Atlantic cod.

The first Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) genome assembly published in 2011 was one of the early genome assemblies exclusively based on high-throughput 454 pyrosequencing. Since then, rapid advances in sequencing technologies have led to a multitude of assemblies generated for complex genomes, although many of these are of a fragmented nature with a significant fraction of bases in gaps. The development of long-read sequencing and improved software now enable the generation of more contiguous genome assemblies.By combining data from Illumina, 454 and the longer PacBio sequencing technologies, as well as integrating the results of multiple assembly programs, we have created…

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January 17, 2017

The genome sequence of Barbarea vulgaris facilitates the study of ecological biochemistry.

The genus Barbarea has emerged as a model for evolution and ecology of plant defense compounds, due to its unusual glucosinolate profile and production of saponins, unique to the Brassicaceae. One species, B. vulgaris, includes two 'types', G-type and P-type that differ in trichome density, and their glucosinolate and saponin profiles. A key difference is the stereochemistry of hydroxylation of their common phenethylglucosinolate backbone, leading to epimeric glucobarbarins. Here we report a draft genome sequence of the G-type, and re-sequencing of the P-type for comparison. This enables us to identify candidate genes underlying glucosinolate diversity, trichome density, and study the…

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January 16, 2017

PAG PacBio Workshop: Comparative analyses of next generation technologies for generating chromosome-level reference genome assemblies

At PAG 2017, Rockefeller University’s Erich Jarvis offered an in-depth comparison of methods for generating highly contiguous genome assemblies, using hummingbird as the basis to evaluate a number of sequencing and scaffolding technologies. Analyses include gene content, error rate, chromosome metrics, and more. Plus: a long-read look at four genes associated with vocal learning.

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January 1, 2017

MYB transcription factor gene involved in sex determination in Asparagus officinalis.

Dioecy is a plant mating system in which individuals of a species are either male or female. Although many flowering plants evolved independently from hermaphroditism to dioecy, the molecular mechanism underlying this transition remains largely unknown. Sex determination in the dioecious plant Asparagus officinalis is controlled by X and Y chromosomes; the male and female karyotypes are XY and XX, respectively. Transcriptome analysis of A. officinalis buds showed that a MYB-like gene, Male Specific Expression 1 (MSE1), is specifically expressed in males. MSE1 exhibits tight linkage with the Y chromosome, specific expression in early anther development and loss of function on…

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January 1, 2017

Improved annotation of the insect vector of citrus greening disease: biocuration by a diverse genomics community.

The Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama) is the insect vector of the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), the pathogen associated with citrus Huanglongbing (HLB, citrus greening). HLB threatens citrus production worldwide. Suppression or reduction of the insect vector using chemical insecticides has been the primary method to inhibit the spread of citrus greening disease. Accurate structural and functional annotation of the Asian citrus psyllid genome, as well as a clear understanding of the interactions between the insect and CLas, are required for development of new molecular-based HLB control methods. A draft assembly of the D. citri genome has been…

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December 15, 2016

High-quality draft genome sequence of the actinobacterium Nocardia terpenica IFM 0406, producer of the immunosuppressant brasilicardins, using Illumina and PacBio technologies.

The bacterium Nocardia terpenica IFM 0406 is known as the producer of the immunosuppressant brasilicardin A. Here, we report the completely sequenced genome of strain IFM 0406, which facilitates the heterologous expression of the brasilicardin biosynthetic gene cluster but also unveils the intriguing biosynthetic capacity of the strain to produce secondary metabolites. Copyright © 2016 Buchmann et al.

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December 8, 2016

Genome sequence of Pseudomonas citronellolis SJTE-3, an estrogen- and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading bacterium.

Pseudomonas citronellolis SJTE-3, isolated from the active sludge of a wastewater treatment plant in China, can utilize a series of environmental estrogens and estrogen-like toxicants. Here, we report its whole-genome sequence, containing one circular chromosome and one circular plasmid. Genes involved in estrogen biodegradation in this bacterium were predicted. Copyright © 2016 Zheng et al.

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December 1, 2016

Draft genome sequence of an inbred line of Chenopodium quinoa, an allotetraploid crop with great environmental adaptability and outstanding nutritional properties.

Chenopodium quinoa Willd. (quinoa) originated from the Andean region of South America, and is a pseudocereal crop of the Amaranthaceae family. Quinoa is emerging as an important crop with the potential to contribute to food security worldwide and is considered to be an optimal food source for astronauts, due to its outstanding nutritional profile and ability to tolerate stressful environments. Furthermore, plant pathologists use quinoa as a representative diagnostic host to identify virus species. However, molecular analysis of quinoa is limited by its genetic heterogeneity due to outcrossing and its genome complexity derived from allotetraploidy. To overcome these obstacles, we…

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December 1, 2016

Sequence of the sugar pine megagenome.

Until very recently, complete characterization of the megagenomes of conifers has remained elusive. The diploid genome of sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana Dougl.) has a highly repetitive, 31 billion bp genome. It is the largest genome sequenced and assembled to date, and the first from the subgenus Strobus, or white pines, a group that is notable for having the largest genomes among the pines. The genome represents a unique opportunity to investigate genome "obesity" in conifers and white pines. Comparative analysis of P. lambertiana and P. taeda L. reveals new insights on the conservation, age, and diversity of the highly abundant transposable elements,…

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November 24, 2016

An ethnically relevant consensus Korean reference genome is a step towards personal reference genomes.

Human genomes are routinely compared against a universal reference. However, this strategy could miss population-specific and personal genomic variations, which may be detected more efficiently using an ethnically relevant or personal reference. Here we report a hybrid assembly of a Korean reference genome (KOREF) for constructing personal and ethnic references by combining sequencing and mapping methods. We also build its consensus variome reference, providing information on millions of variants from 40 additional ethnically homogeneous genomes from the Korean Personal Genome Project. We find that the ethnically relevant consensus reference can be beneficial for efficient variant detection. Systematic comparison of human…

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