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April 1, 2019

The role of genomic structural variation in the genetic improvement of polyploid crops

Many of our major crop species are polyploids, containing more than one genome or set of chromosomes. Polyploid crops present unique challenges, including difficulties in genome assembly, in discriminating between multiple gene and sequence copies, and in genetic mapping, hindering use of genomic data for genetics and breeding. Polyploid genomes may also be more prone to containing structural variation, such as loss of gene copies or sequences (presence–absence variation) and the presence of genes or sequences in multiple copies (copy-number variation). Although the two main types of genomic structural variation commonly identified are presence–absence variation and copy-number variation, we propose…

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April 1, 2019

Discovery of tandem and interspersed segmental duplications using high throughput sequencing.

Several algorithms have been developed that use high throughput sequencing technology to characterize structural variations. Most of the existing approaches focus on detecting relatively simple types of SVs such as insertions, deletions, and short inversions. In fact, complex SVs are of crucial importance and several have been associated with genomic disorders. To better understand the contribution of complex SVs to human disease, we need new algorithms to accurately discover and genotype such variants. Additionally, due to similar sequencing signatures, inverted duplications or gene conversion events that include inverted segmental duplications are often characterized as simple inversions, likewise, duplications and gene…

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April 1, 2019

Long-read sequencing identified intronic repeat expansions in SAMD12 from Chinese pedigrees affected with familial cortical myoclonic tremor with epilepsy.

The locus for familial cortical myoclonic tremor with epilepsy (FCMTE) has long been mapped to 8q24 in linkage studies, but the causative mutations remain unclear. Recently, expansions of intronic TTTCA and TTTTA repeat motifs within SAMD12 were found to be involved in the pathogenesis of FCMTE in Japanese pedigrees. We aim to identify the causative mutations of FCMTE in Chinese pedigrees.We performed genetic linkage analysis by microsatellite markers in a five-generation Chinese pedigree with 55 members. We also used array-comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH) and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies (whole-exome sequencing, capture region deep sequencing and whole-genome sequencing) to identify the…

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April 1, 2019

Uncovering Missing Heritability in Rare Diseases.

The problem of 'missing heritability' affects both common and rare diseases hindering: discovery, diagnosis, and patient care. The 'missing heritability' concept has been mainly associated with common and complex diseases where promising modern technological advances, like genome-wide association studies (GWAS), were unable to uncover the complete genetic mechanism of the disease/trait. Although rare diseases (RDs) have low prevalence individually, collectively they are common. Furthermore, multi-level genetic and phenotypic complexity when combined with the individual rarity of these conditions poses an important challenge in the quest to identify causative genetic changes in RD patients. In recent years, high throughput sequencing has…

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April 1, 2019

Precise therapeutic gene correction by a simple nuclease-induced double-stranded break.

Current programmable nuclease-based methods (for example, CRISPR-Cas9) for the precise correction of a disease-causing genetic mutation harness the homology-directed repair pathway. However, this repair process requires the co-delivery of an exogenous DNA donor to recode the sequence and can be inefficient in many cell types. Here we show that disease-causing frameshift mutations that result from microduplications can be efficiently reverted to the wild-type sequence simply by generating a DNA double-stranded break near the centre of the duplication. We demonstrate this in patient-derived cell lines for two diseases: limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2G (LGMD2G)1 and Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome type 1 (HPS1)2. Clonal…

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April 1, 2019

A high-quality apple genome assembly reveals the association of a retrotransposon and red fruit colour.

A complete and accurate genome sequence provides a fundamental tool for functional genomics and DNA-informed breeding. Here, we assemble a high-quality genome (contig N50 of 6.99?Mb) of the apple anther-derived homozygous line HFTH1, including 22 telomere sequences, using a combination of PacBio single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing, chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) sequencing, and optical mapping. In comparison to the Golden Delicious reference genome, we identify 18,047 deletions, 12,101 insertions and 14 large inversions. We reveal that these extensive genomic variations are largely attributable to activity of transposable elements. Interestingly, we find that a long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposon insertion upstream of…

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April 1, 2019

Accurate high throughput alignment via line sweep-based seed processing.

Accurate and fast aligners are required to handle the steadily increasing volume of sequencing data. Here we present an approach allowing performant alignments of short reads (Illumina) as well as long reads (Pacific Bioscience, Ultralong Oxford Nanopore), while achieving high accuracy, based on a universal three-stage scheme. It is also suitable for the discovery of insertions and deletions that originate from structural variants. We comprehensively compare our approach to other state-of-the-art aligners in order to confirm its performance with respect to accuracy and runtime. As part of our algorithmic scheme, we introduce two line sweep-based techniques called "strip of consideration"…

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March 29, 2019

Structural variant detection with long read sequencing reveals driver and passenger mutations in a melanoma cell line

Past large scale cancer genome sequencing efforts, including The Cancer Genome Atlas and the International Cancer Genome Consortium, have utilized short-read sequencing, which is well-suited for detecting single nucleotide variants (SNVs) but far less reliable for detecting variants larger than 20 base pairs, including insertions, deletions, duplications, inversions and translocations. Recent same-sample comparisons of short- and long-read human reference genome data have revealed that short-read resequencing typically uncovers only ~4,000 structural variants (SVs, =50 bp) per genome and is biased towards deletions, whereas sequencing with PacBio long-reads consistently finds ~20,000 SVs, evenly balanced between insertions and deletions. This discovery has…

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March 1, 2019

a-Difluoromethylornithine reduces gastric carcinogenesis by causing mutations in Helicobacter pylori cagY.

Infection by Helicobacter pylori is the primary cause of gastric adenocarcinoma. The most potent H. pylori virulence factor is cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA), which is translocated by a type 4 secretion system (T4SS) into gastric epithelial cells and activates oncogenic signaling pathways. The gene cagY encodes for a key component of the T4SS and can undergo gene rearrangements. We have shown that the cancer chemopreventive agent a-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), known to inhibit the enzyme ornithine decarboxylase, reduces H. pylori-mediated gastric cancer incidence in Mongolian gerbils. In the present study, we questioned whether DFMO might directly affect H. pylori pathogenicity. We show…

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March 1, 2019

Detecting a long insertion variant in SAMD12 by SMRT sequencing: implications of long-read whole-genome sequencing for repeat expansion diseases.

Long-read sequencing technology is now capable of reading single-molecule DNA with an average read length of more than 10?kb, fully enabling the coverage of large structural variations (SVs). This advantage may pave the way for the detection of unprecedented SVs as well as repeat expansions. Pathogenic SVs of only known genes used to be selectively analyzed based on prior knowledge of target DNA sequence. The unbiased application of long-read whole-genome sequencing (WGS) for the detection of pathogenic SVs has just begun. Here, we apply PacBio SMRT sequencing in a Japanese family with benign adult familial myoclonus epilepsy (BAFME). Our SV…

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March 1, 2019

AGBT Presentation: The Sequel II System – The next evolution of SMRT Sequencing

In this AGBT presentation, Marty Badgett shares a look at the latest results from circular consensus sequencing (CCS) mode for highly accurate reads and data from our soon-to-be-released Sequel II System. As he demonstrates, CCS reads cover the same molecule many times, delivering high consensus accuracy despite noisy raw reads; on average, reaching 10 passes achieves Q30 accuracy. Badgett offers several examples where this is useful, such as pharmacogenomic gene analysis and resolving metagenomic communities. He also provides an update on the Iso-Seq method, which can now segregate transcripts into haplotype-specific alleles using a new tool called Iso-Phase.

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March 1, 2019

Tandem-genotypes: robust detection of tandem repeat expansions from long DNA reads.

Tandemly repeated DNA is highly mutable and causes at least 31 diseases, but it is hard to detect pathogenic repeat expansions genome-wide. Here, we report robust detection of human repeat expansions from careful alignments of long but error-prone (PacBio and nanopore) reads to a reference genome. Our method is robust to systematic sequencing errors, inexact repeats with fuzzy boundaries, and low sequencing coverage. By comparing to healthy controls, we prioritize pathogenic expansions within the top 10 out of 700,000 tandem repeats in whole genome sequencing data. This may help to elucidate the many genetic diseases whose causes remain unknown.

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March 1, 2019

Megabase Length Hypermutation Accompanies Human Structural Variation at 17p11.2.

DNA rearrangements resulting in human genome structural variants (SVs) are caused by diverse mutational mechanisms. We used long- and short-read sequencing technologies to investigate end products of de novo chromosome 17p11.2 rearrangements and query the molecular mechanisms underlying both recurrent and non-recurrent events. Evidence for an increased rate of clustered single-nucleotide variant (SNV) mutation in cis with non-recurrent rearrangements was found. Indel and SNV formation are associated with both copy-number gains and losses of 17p11.2, occur up to ~1 Mb away from the breakpoint junctions, and favor C > G transversion substitutions; results suggest that single-stranded DNA is formed during…

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March 1, 2019

The alternative reality of plant mitochondrial DNA: one ring does not rule them all

Plant mitochondrial genomes are usually assembled and displayed as circular maps based on the widely-held view across the broad community of life scientists that circular genome-sized molecules are the primary form of plant mitochondrial DNA, despite the understanding by plant mitochondrial researchers that this is an inaccurate and outdated concept. Many plant mitochondrial genomes have one or more pairs of large repeats that can act as sites for inter- or intramolecular recombination, leading to multiple alternative genomic arrangements (isoforms). Most mitochondrial genomes have been assembled using methods that were unable to capture the complete spectrum of isoforms within a species,…

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