July 7, 2019  |  

Resolving multicopy duplications de novo using polyploid phasing

While the rise of single-molecule sequencing systems has enabled an unprecedented rise in the ability to assemble complex regions of the genome, long segmental duplications in the genome still remain a challenging frontier in assembly. Segmental duplications are at the same time both gene rich and prone to large structural rearrangements, making the resolution of their sequences important in medical and evolutionary studies. Duplicated sequences that are collapsed in mammalian de novo assemblies are rarely identical; after a sequence is duplicated, it begins to acquire paralog-specific variants. In this paper, we study the problem of resolving the variations in multicopy, long segmental duplications by developing and utilizing algorithms for polyploid phasing. We develop two algorithms: the first one is targeted at maximizing the likelihood of observing the reads given the underlying haplotypes using discrete matrix completion. The second algorithm is based on correlation clustering and exploits an assumption, which is often satisfied in these duplications, that each paralog has a sizable number of paralog-specific variants. We develop a detailed simulation methodology and demonstrate the superior performance of the proposed algorithms on an array of simulated datasets. We measure the likelihood score as well as reconstruction accuracy, i.e., what fraction of the reads are clustered correctly. In both the performance metrics, we find that our algorithms dominate existing algorithms on more than 93% of the datasets. While the discrete matrix completion performs better on likelihood score, the correlation-clustering algorithm performs better on reconstruction accuracy due to the stronger regularization inherent in the algorithm. We also show that our correlation-clustering algorithm can reconstruct on average 7.0 haplotypes in 10-copy duplication datasets whereas existing algorithms reconstruct less than one copy on average.

July 7, 2019  |  

High quality maize centromere 10 sequence reveals evidence of frequent recombination events.

The ancestral centromeres of maize contain long stretches of the tandemly arranged CentC repeat. The abundance of tandem DNA repeats and centromeric retrotransposons (CR) has presented a significant challenge to completely assembling centromeres using traditional sequencing methods. Here, we report a nearly complete assembly of the 1.85 Mb maize centromere 10 from inbred B73 using PacBio technology and BACs from the reference genome project. The error rates estimated from overlapping BAC sequences are 7 × 10(-6) and 5 × 10(-5) for mismatches and indels, respectively. The number of gaps in the region covered by the reassembly was reduced from 140 in the reference genome to three. Three expressed genes are located between 92 and 477 kb from the inferred ancestral CentC cluster, which lies within the region of highest centromeric repeat density. The improved assembly increased the count of full-length CR from 5 to 55 and revealed a 22.7 kb segmental duplication that occurred approximately 121,000 years ago. Our analysis provides evidence of frequent recombination events in the form of partial retrotransposons, deletions within retrotransposons, chimeric retrotransposons, segmental duplications including higher order CentC repeats, a deleted CentC monomer, centromere-proximal inversions, and insertion of mitochondrial sequences. Double-strand DNA break (DSB) repair is the most plausible mechanism for these events and may be the major driver of centromere repeat evolution and diversity. In many cases examined here, DSB repair appears to be mediated by microhomology, suggesting that tandem repeats may have evolved to efficiently repair frequent DSBs in centromeres.

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