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January 15, 2018

PAG Conference: Long-read sequencing reveals complex genomic architecture in independent carnivorous plant lineages

In this PAG 2018 presentation, Tanya Renner of Pennsylvania State University shares research using PacBio SMRT Sequencing to understand the genomes and transcriptomes of carnivorous plants. She describes the humped bladderwort, Utricularia gibba, as having an extreme genome due to its small size (100 Mbp) despite containing numerous tandem gene duplications and having undergone two whole genome duplications. Renner shares ongoing research into two Drosera species, commonly known as sundews, which through whole genome sequencing are illuminating carnivorous plant genome structural evolution including the transition from monocentric to holocentric chromosomes.

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January 1, 2018

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…

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June 1, 2017

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.

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January 1, 2017

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…

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August 1, 2016

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…

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June 13, 2016

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…

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June 2, 2016

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…

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April 29, 2016

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…

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April 1, 2016

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…

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March 23, 2016

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…

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June 1, 2015

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…

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June 1, 2015

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…

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July 1, 2014

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…

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April 1, 2013

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…

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