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October 1, 2018

Firefly genomes illuminate parallel origins of bioluminescence in beetles.

Fireflies and their luminous courtships have inspired centuries of scientific study. Today firefly luciferase is widely used in biotechnology, but the evolutionary origin of bioluminescence within beetles remains unclear. To shed light on this long-standing question, we sequenced the genomes of two firefly species that diverged over 100 million-years-ago: the North American Photinus pyralis and Japanese Aquatica lateralis. To compare bioluminescent origins, we also sequenced the genome of a related click beetle, the Caribbean Ignelater luminosus, with bioluminescent biochemistry near-identical to fireflies, but anatomically unique light organs, suggesting the intriguing hypothesis of parallel gains of bioluminescence. Our analyses support independent…

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January 15, 2018

PAG Conference: Domestication: through the canines of a dingo

In this PAG 2018 presentation, Bill Ballard of University of New South Wales, presents research into the origins and potential domestication of the Australian dingo, winner of the 2017 SMRT Grant Program. Ballard used PacBio long-read whole genome sequencing to sequence and assemble the dingo genome. Ongoing work focuses on identifying common and unique genomic regions with a domestic dog genome to better understand shared ancestry and ultimately to aid in dingo conservation efforts.

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July 26, 2017

Identification of differentially expressed splice variants by the proteogenomic pipeline Splicify.

Proteogenomics, i.e. comprehensive integration of genomics and proteomics data, is a powerful approach identifying novel protein biomarkers. This is especially the case for proteins that differ structurally between disease and control conditions. As tumor development is associated with aberrant splicing, we focus on this rich source of cancer specific biomarkers. To this end, we developed a proteogenomic pipeline, Splicify, which is able to detect differentially expressed protein isoforms. Splicify is based on integrating RNA massive parallel sequencing data and tandem mass spectrometry proteomics data to identify protein isoforms resulting from differential splicing between two conditions. Proof of concept was obtained…

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April 6, 2017

Whole-genome sequences of Burkholderia pseudomallei isolates exhibiting decreased meropenem susceptibility.

We report here paired isogenic Burkholderia pseudomallei genomes obtained from three patients receiving intravenous meropenem for melioidosis treatment, with post-meropenem isolates developing decreased susceptibility. Two genomes were finished, and four were drafted to improved high-quality standard. These genomes will be used to identify meropenem resistance mechanisms in B. pseudomallei. Copyright © 2017 Price et al.

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February 28, 2017

Diversity and activity of alternative nitrogenases in sequenced genomes and coastal environments.

The nitrogenase enzyme, which catalyzes the reduction of N2 gas to NH4(+), occurs as three separate isozyme that use Mo, Fe-only, or V. The majority of global nitrogen fixation is attributed to the more efficient 'canonical' Mo-nitrogenase, whereas Fe-only and V-('alternative') nitrogenases are often considered 'backup' enzymes, used when Mo is limiting. Yet, the environmental distribution and diversity of alternative nitrogenases remains largely unknown. We searched for alternative nitrogenase genes in sequenced genomes and used PacBio sequencing to explore the diversity of canonical (nifD) and alternative (anfD and vnfD) nitrogenase amplicons in two coastal environments: the Florida Everglades and Sippewissett…

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February 14, 2017

Using the PacBio IsoSeq method to search for novel colorectal cancer biomarkers

Early detection of colorectal cancer (CRC) and its precursor lesions (adenomas) is crucial to reduce mortality rates. The fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is a non-invasive CRC screening test that detects the blood-derived protein hemoglobin. However, FIT sensitivity is suboptimal especially in detection of CRC precursor lesions. As adenoma-to-carcinoma progression is accompanied by alternative splicing, tumor-specific proteins derived from alternatively spliced RNA transcripts might serve as candidate biomarkers for CRC detection.

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February 14, 2017

AGBT Virtual Poster: Using the PacBio Iso-Seq method to search for novel colorectal cancer biomarkers

Early detection of colorectal cancer (CRC) and its precursor lesions (adenomas) is crucial to reduce mortality rates. The fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is a non-invasive CRC screening test that detects the blood-derived protein hemoglobin. However, FIT sensitivity is suboptimal especially in detection of CRC precursor lesions. As adenoma-to-carcinoma progression is accompanied by alternative splicing, tumor-specific proteins derived from alternatively spliced RNA transcripts might serve as candidate biomarkers for CRC detection.

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January 12, 2016

PAG PacBio Workshop: Crowdfunding for science – introducing the Genome Galaxy Initiative

PacBio’s Jenny Gu and Christina Tran from Experiment talk about the use of alternative funding sources to support SMRT Sequencing projects. The Genome Galaxy Initiative is a new program from PacBio that helps scientists launch their long-read sequencing projects on Experiment’s crowdfunding platform. Experiment has raised more than $5 million to fund hundreds of scientific projects since it kicked off in 2012.

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March 1, 2015

Mucinivorans hirudinis gen. nov., sp. nov., an anaerobic, mucin-degrading bacterium isolated from the digestive tract of the medicinal leech Hirudo verbana.

Three anaerobic bacterial strains were isolated from the digestive tract of the medicinal leech Hirudo verbana, using mucin as the primary carbon and energy source. These strains, designated M3(T), M4 and M6, were Gram-stain-negative, non-spore-forming and non-motile. Cells were elongated bacilli approximately 2.4 µm long and 0.6 µm wide. Growth only occurred anaerobically under mesophilic and neutral pH conditions. All three strains could utilize multiple simple and complex sugars as carbon sources, with glucose fermented to acid by-products. The DNA G+C contents of strains M3(T), M4 and M6 were 44.9, 44.8 and 44.8 mol%, respectively. The major cellular fatty acid…

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January 13, 2015

PAG PacBio Workshop: De novo assembly of a complex panicoid grass genome using ultra-long PacBio reads with P6-C4 chemistry

Robert VanBuren of the Danforth Plant Science Center and winner of the 2014 SMRT Grant Program presents a de novo assembly of the Oro grass genome (Oropetium thomaeum). The reference genome will aid scientist studying drought tolerance in common crop species, especially cereals, though comparative genomics to understand potential key genetic underpinnings for this “resurrection” trait. Initial comparative results to Brachypodium and maize are presented, as well as secondary analysis to identify key metabolic traits.

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