July 19, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Sporisorium scitamineum and biotrophic interaction transcriptome with sugarcane.

Sporisorium scitamineum is a biotrophic fungus responsible for the sugarcane smut, a worldwide spread disease. This study provides the complete sequence of individual chromosomes of S. scitamineum from telomere to telomere achieved by a combination of PacBio long reads and Illumina short reads sequence data, as well as a draft sequence of a second fungal strain. Comparative analysis to previous available sequences of another strain detected few polymorphisms among the three genomes. The novel complete sequence described herein allowed us to identify and annotate extended subtelomeric regions, repetitive elements and the mitochondrial DNA sequence. The genome comprises 19,979,571 bases, 6,677 genes encoding proteins, 111 tRNAs and 3 assembled copies of rDNA, out of our estimated number of copies as 130. Chromosomal reorganizations were detected when comparing to sequences of S. reilianum, the closest smut relative, potentially influenced by repeats of transposable elements. Repetitive elements may have also directed the linkage of the two mating-type loci. The fungal transcriptome profiling from in vitro and from interaction with sugarcane at two time points (early infection and whip emergence) revealed that 13.5% of the genes were differentially expressed in planta and particular to each developmental stage. Among them are plant cell wall degrading enzymes, proteases, lipases, chitin modification and lignin degradation enzymes, sugar transporters and transcriptional factors. The fungus also modulates transcription of genes related to surviving against reactive oxygen species and other toxic metabolites produced by the plant. Previously described effectors in smut/plant interactions were detected but some new candidates are proposed. Ten genomic islands harboring some of the candidate genes unique to S. scitamineum were expressed only in planta. RNAseq data was also used to reassure gene predictions.


July 7, 2019  |  

Azotobacter genomes: The genome of Azotobacter chroococcum NCIMB 8003 (ATCC 4412).

The genome of the soil-dwelling heterotrophic N2-fixing Gram-negative bacterium Azotobacter chroococcum NCIMB 8003 (ATCC 4412) (Ac-8003) has been determined. It consists of 7 circular replicons totalling 5,192,291 bp comprising a circular chromosome of 4,591,803 bp and six plasmids pAcX50a, b, c, d, e, f of 10,435 bp, 13,852, 62,783, 69,713, 132,724, and 311,724 bp respectively. The chromosome has a G+C content of 66.27% and the six plasmids have G+C contents of 58.1, 55.3, 56.7, 59.2, 61.9, and 62.6% respectively. The methylome has also been determined and 5 methylation motifs have been identified. The genome also contains a very high number of transposase/inactivated transposase genes from at least 12 of the 17 recognised insertion sequence families. The Ac-8003 genome has been compared with that of Azotobacter vinelandii ATCC BAA-1303 (Av-DJ), a derivative of strain O, the only other member of the Azotobacteraceae determined so far which has a single chromosome of 5,365,318 bp and no plasmids. The chromosomes show significant stretches of synteny throughout but also reveal a history of many deletion/insertion events. The Ac-8003 genome encodes 4628 predicted protein-encoding genes of which 568 (12.2%) are plasmid borne. 3048 (65%) of these show > 85% identity to the 5050 protein-encoding genes identified in Av-DJ, and of these 99 are plasmid-borne. The core biosynthetic and metabolic pathways and macromolecular architectures and machineries of these organisms appear largely conserved including genes for CO-dehydrogenase, formate dehydrogenase and a soluble NiFe-hydrogenase. The genetic bases for many of the detailed phenotypic differences reported for these organisms have also been identified. Also many other potential phenotypic differences have been uncovered. Properties endowed by the plasmids are described including the presence of an entire aerobic corrin synthesis pathway in pAcX50f and the presence of genes for retro-conjugation in pAcX50c. All these findings are related to the potentially different environmental niches from which these organisms were isolated and to emerging theories about how microbes contribute to their communities.


July 7, 2019  |  

High-coverage sequencing and annotated assemblies of the budgerigar genome.

Parrots belong to a group of behaviorally advanced vertebrates and have an advanced ability of vocal learning relative to other vocal-learning birds. They can imitate human speech, synchronize their body movements to a rhythmic beat, and understand complex concepts of referential meaning to sounds. However, little is known about the genetics of these traits. Elucidating the genetic bases would require whole genome sequencing and a robust assembly of a parrot genome.We present a genomic resource for the budgerigar, an Australian Parakeet (Melopsittacus undulatus) — the most widely studied parrot species in neuroscience and behavior. We present genomic sequence data that includes over 300× raw read coverage from multiple sequencing technologies and chromosome optical maps from a single male animal. The reads and optical maps were used to create three hybrid assemblies representing some of the largest genomic scaffolds to date for a bird; two of which were annotated based on similarities to reference sets of non-redundant human, zebra finch and chicken proteins, and budgerigar transcriptome sequence assemblies. The sequence reads for this project were in part generated and used for both the Assemblathon 2 competition and the first de novo assembly of a giga-scale vertebrate genome utilizing PacBio single-molecule sequencing.Across several quality metrics, these budgerigar assemblies are comparable to or better than the chicken and zebra finch genome assemblies built from traditional Sanger sequencing reads, and are sufficient to analyze regions that are difficult to sequence and assemble, including those not yet assembled in prior bird genomes, and promoter regions of genes differentially regulated in vocal learning brain regions. This work provides valuable data and material for genome technology development and for investigating the genomics of complex behavioral traits.


July 7, 2019  |  

Hammondia hammondi, an avirulent relative of Toxoplasma gondii, has functional orthologs of known T. gondii virulence genes.

Toxoplasma gondii is a ubiquitous protozoan parasite capable of infecting all warm-blooded animals, including humans. Its closest extant relative, Hammondia hammondi, has never been found to infect humans and, in contrast to T. gondii, is highly attenuated in mice. To better understand the genetic bases for these phenotypic differences, we sequenced the genome of a H. hammondi isolate (HhCatGer041) and found the genomic synteny between H. hammondi and T. gondii to be >95%. We used this genome to determine the H. hammondi primary sequence of two major T. gondii mouse virulence genes, TgROP5 and TgROP18. When we expressed these genes in T. gondii, we found that H. hammondi orthologs of TgROP5 and TgROP18 were functional. Similar to T. gondii, the HhROP5 locus is expanded, and two distinct HhROP5 paralogs increased the virulence of a T. gondii TgROP5 knockout strain. We also identified a 107 base pair promoter region, absent only in type III TgROP18, which is necessary for TgROP18 expression. This result indicates that the ROP18 promoter was active in the most recent common ancestor of these two species and that it was subsequently inactivated in progenitors of the type III lineage. Overall, these data suggest that the virulence differences between these species are not solely due to the functionality of these key virulence factors. This study provides evidence that other mechanisms, such as differences in gene expression or the lack of currently uncharacterized virulence factors, may underlie the phenotypic differences between these species.


July 7, 2019  |  

Draft genome assembly and annotation of Glycyrrhiza uralensis, a medicinal legume.

Chinese liquorice/licorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis) is a leguminous plant species whose roots and rhizomes have been widely used as a herbal medicine and natural sweetener. Whole-genome sequencing is essential for gene discovery studies and molecular breeding in liquorice. Here, we report a draft assembly of the approximately 379-Mb whole-genome sequence of strain 308-19 of G. uralensis; this assembly contains 34 445 predicted protein-coding genes. Comparative analyses suggested well-conserved genomic components and collinearity of gene loci (synteny) between the genome of liquorice and those of other legumes such as Medicago and chickpea. We observed that three genes involved in isoflavonoid biosynthesis, namely, 2-hydroxyisoflavanone synthase (CYP93C), 2,7,4′-trihydroxyisoflavanone 4′-O-methyltransferase/isoflavone 4′-O-methyltransferase (HI4OMT) and isoflavone-7-O-methyltransferase (7-IOMT) formed a cluster on the scaffold of the liquorice genome and showed conserved microsynteny with Medicago and chickpea. Based on the liquorice genome annotation, we predicted genes in the P450 and UDP-dependent glycosyltransferase (UGT) superfamilies, some of which are involved in triterpenoid saponin biosynthesis, and characterised their gene expression with the reference genome sequence. The genome sequencing and its annotations provide an essential resource for liquorice improvement through molecular breeding and the discovery of useful genes for engineering bioactive components through synthetic biology approaches.© 2016 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequences of two geographically distinct Legionella micdadei clinical isolates.

Legionella is a highly diverse genus of intracellular bacterial pathogens that cause Legionnaire’s disease (LD), an often severe form of pneumonia. Two L. micdadei sp. clinical isolates, obtained from patients hospitalized with LD from geographically distinct areas, were sequenced using PacBio SMRT cell technology, identifying incomplete phage regions, which may impact virulence. Copyright © 2017 Osborne et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

BAC-pool sequencing and assembly of 19 Mb of the complex sugarcane genome.

Sequencing plant genomes are often challenging because of their complex architecture and high content of repetitive sequences. Sugarcane has one of the most complex genomes. It is highly polyploid, preserves intact homeologous chromosomes from its parental species and contains >55% repetitive sequences. Although bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries have emerged as an alternative for accessing the sugarcane genome, sequencing individual clones is laborious and expensive. Here, we present a strategy for sequencing and assembly reads produced from the DNA of pooled BAC clones. A set of 178 BAC clones, randomly sampled from the SP80-3280 sugarcane BAC library, was pooled and sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq2000 and PacBio platforms. A hybrid assembly strategy was used to generate 2,451 scaffolds comprising 19.2 MB of assembled genome sequence. Scaffolds of =20 Kb corresponded to 80% of the assembled sequences, and the full sequences of forty BACs were recovered in one or two contigs. Alignment of the BAC scaffolds with the chromosome sequences of sorghum showed a high degree of collinearity and gene order. The alignment of the BAC scaffolds to the 10 sorghum chromosomes suggests that the genome of the SP80-3280 sugarcane variety is ~19% contracted in relation to the sorghum genome. In conclusion, our data show that sequencing pools composed of high numbers of BAC clones may help to construct a reference scaffold map of the sugarcane genome.


July 7, 2019  |  

Evolutionary redesign of the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.) Toll-like receptor repertoire by gene losses and expansions.

Genome sequencing of the teleost Atlantic cod demonstrated loss of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class II, an extreme gene expansion of MHC class I and gene expansions and losses in the innate pattern recognition receptor (PRR) family of Toll-like receptors (TLR). In a comparative genomic setting, using an improved version of the genome, we characterize PRRs in Atlantic cod with emphasis on TLRs demonstrating the loss of TLR1/6, TLR2 and TLR5 and expansion of TLR7, TLR8, TLR9, TLR22 and TLR25. We find that Atlantic cod TLR expansions are strongly influenced by diversifying selection likely to increase the detectable ligand repertoire through neo- and subfunctionalization. Using RNAseq we find that Atlantic cod TLRs display likely tissue or developmental stage-specific expression patterns. In a broader perspective, a comprehensive vertebrate TLR phylogeny reveals that the Atlantic cod TLR repertoire is extreme with regards to losses and expansions compared to other teleosts. In addition we identify a substantial shift in TLR repertoires following the evolutionary transition from an aquatic vertebrate (fish) to a terrestrial (tetrapod) life style. Collectively, our findings provide new insight into the function and evolution of TLRs in Atlantic cod as well as the evolutionary history of vertebrate innate immunity.


July 7, 2019  |  

Haemonchus contortus: genome structure, organization and comparative genomics

One of the first genome sequencing projects for a parasitic nematode was that for Haemonchus contortus. The open access data from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute provided a valuable early resource for the research community, particularly for the identification of specific genes and genetic markers. Later, a second sequencing project was initiated by the University of Melbourne, and the two draft genome sequences for H. contortus were published back-to-back in 2013. There is a pressing need for long-range genomic information for genetic mapping, population genetics and functional genomic studies, so we are continuing to improve the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute assembly to provide a finished reference genome for H. contortus. This review describes this process, compares the H. contortus genome assemblies with draft genomes from other members of the strongylid group and discusses future directions for parasite genomics using the H. contortus model. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Structural and functional analysis of the finished genome of the recently isolated toxic Anabaena sp. WA102.

Very few closed genomes of the cyanobacteria that commonly produce toxic blooms in lakes and reservoirs are available, limiting our understanding of the properties of these organisms. A new anatoxin-a-producing member of the Nostocaceae, Anabaena sp. WA102, was isolated from a freshwater lake in Washington State, USA, in 2013 and maintained in non-axenic culture.The Anabaena sp. WA102 5.7 Mbp genome assembly has been closed with long-read, single-molecule sequencing and separately a draft genome assembly has been produced with short-read sequencing technology. The closed and draft genome assemblies are compared, showing a correlation between long repeats in the genome and the many gaps in the short-read assembly. Anabaena sp. WA102 encodes anatoxin-a biosynthetic genes, as does its close relative Anabaena sp. AL93 (also introduced in this study). These strains are distinguished by differences in the genes for light-harvesting phycobilins, with Anabaena sp. AL93 possessing a phycoerythrocyanin operon. Biologically relevant structural variants in the Anabaena sp. WA102 genome were detected only by long-read sequencing: a tandem triplication of the anaBCD promoter region in the anatoxin-a synthase gene cluster (not triplicated in Anabaena sp. AL93) and a 5-kbp deletion variant present in two-thirds of the population. The genome has a large number of mobile elements (160). Strikingly, there was no synteny with the genome of its nearest fully assembled relative, Anabaena sp. 90.Structural and functional genome analyses indicate that Anabaena sp. WA102 has a flexible genome. Genome closure, which can be readily achieved with long-read sequencing, reveals large scale (e.g., gene order) and local structural features that should be considered in understanding genome evolution and function.


July 7, 2019  |  

Species- and strain-specific adaptation of the HSP70 super family in pathogenic trypanosomatids.

All eukaryotic genomes encode multiple members of the heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) family, which evolved distinctive structural and functional features in response to specific environmental constraints. Phylogenetic analysis of this protein family thus can inform on genetic and molecular mechanisms that drive species-specific environmental adaptation. Here we use the eukaryotic pathogen Leishmania spp. as a model system to investigate the evolution of the HSP70 protein family in an early-branching eukaryote that is prone to gene amplification and adapts to cytotoxic host environments by stress-induced and chaperone-dependent stage differentiation. Combining phylogenetic and comparative analyses of trypanosomatid genomes, draft genome of Paratrypanosoma and recently published genome sequences of 204 L. donovani field isolates, we gained unique insight into the evolutionary dynamics of the Leishmania HSP70 protein family. We provide evidence for (i) significant evolutionary expansion of this protein family in Leishmania through gene amplification and functional specialization of highly conserved canonical HSP70 members, (ii) evolution of trypanosomatid-specific, non-canonical family members that likely gained ATPase-independent functions, and (iii) loss of one atypical HSP70 member in the Trypanosoma genus. Finally, we reveal considerable copy number variation of canonical cytoplasmic HSP70 in highly related L. donovani field isolates, thus identifying this locus as a potential hot spot of environment-genotype interaction. Our data draw a complex picture of the genetic history of HSP70 in trypanosomatids that is driven by the remarkable plasticity of the Leishmania genome to undergo massive intra-chromosomal gene amplification to compensate for the absence of regulated transcriptional control in these parasites. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.


July 7, 2019  |  

Transposons passively and actively contribute to evolution of the two-speed genome of a fungal pathogen.

Genomic plasticity enables adaptation to changing environments, which is especially relevant for pathogens that engage in “arms races” with their hosts. In many pathogens, genes mediating virulence cluster in highly variable, transposon-rich, physically distinct genomic compartments. However, understanding of the evolution of these compartments, and the role of transposons therein, remains limited. Here, we show that transposons are the major driving force for adaptive genome evolution in the fungal plant pathogen Verticillium dahliae We show that highly variable lineage-specific (LS) regions evolved by genomic rearrangements that are mediated by erroneous double-strand repair, often utilizing transposons. We furthermore show that recent genetic duplications are enhanced in LS regions, against an older episode of duplication events. Finally, LS regions are enriched in active transposons, which contribute to local genome plasticity. Thus, we provide evidence for genome shaping by transposons, both in an active and passive manner, which impacts the evolution of pathogen virulence. © 2016 Faino et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


July 7, 2019  |  

Inferring synteny between genome assemblies: a systematic evaluation.

Genome assemblies across all domains of life are being produced routinely. Initial analysis of a new genome usually includes annotation and comparative genomics. Synteny provides a framework in which conservation of homologous genes and gene order is identified between genomes of different species. The availability of human and mouse genomes paved the way for algorithm development in large-scale synteny mapping, which eventually became an integral part of comparative genomics. Synteny analysis is regularly performed on assembled sequences that are fragmented, neglecting the fact that most methods were developed using complete genomes. It is unknown to what extent draft assemblies lead to errors in such analysis.We fragmented genome assemblies of model nematodes to various extents and conducted synteny identification and downstream analysis. We first show that synteny between species can be underestimated up to 40% and find disagreements between popular tools that infer synteny blocks. This inconsistency and further demonstration of erroneous gene ontology enrichment tests raise questions about the robustness of previous synteny analysis when gold standard genome sequences remain limited. In addition, assembly scaffolding using a reference guided approach with a closely related species may result in chimeric scaffolds with inflated assembly metrics if a true evolutionary relationship was overlooked. Annotation quality, however, has minimal effect on synteny if the assembled genome is highly contiguous.Our results show that a minimum N50 of 1 Mb is required for robust downstream synteny analysis, which emphasizes the importance of gold standard genomes to the science community, and should be achieved given the current progress in sequencing technology.


Talk with an expert

If you have a question, need to check the status of an order, or are interested in purchasing an instrument, we're here to help.