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Friday, July 19, 2019

Neofunctionalization of duplicated P450 genes drives the evolution of insecticide resistance in the brown planthopper.

Gene duplication is a major source of genetic variation that has been shown to underpin the evolution of a wide range of adaptive traits [1, 2]. For example, duplication or amplification of genes encoding detoxification enzymes has been shown to play an important role in the evolution of insecticide resistance [3-5]. In this context, gene duplication performs an adaptive function as a result of its effects on gene dosage and not as a source of functional novelty [3, 6-8]. Here, we show that duplication and neofunctionalization of a cytochrome P450, CYP6ER1, led to the evolution of insecticide resistance in the…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Editing out five Serpina1 paralogs to create a mouse model of genetic emphysema.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease affects 10% of the worldwide population, and the leading genetic cause is a-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency. Due to the complexity of the murine locus, which includes up to six Serpina1 paralogs, no genetic animal model of the disease has been successfully generated until now. Here we create a quintuple Serpina1a-e knockout using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing. The phenotype recapitulates the human disease phenotype, i.e., absence of hepatic and circulating AAT translates functionally to a reduced capacity to inhibit neutrophil elastase. With age, Serpina1 null mice develop emphysema spontaneously, which can be induced in younger mice by a…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Detailed analysis of HTT repeat elements in human blood using targeted amplification-free long-read sequencing.

Amplification of DNA is required as a mandatory step during library preparation in most targeted sequencing protocols. This can be a critical limitation when targeting regions that are highly repetitive or with extreme guanine-cytosine (GC) content, including repeat expansions associated with human disease. Here, we used an amplification-free protocol for targeted enrichment utilizing the CRISPR/Cas9 system (No-Amp Targeted sequencing) in combination with single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing for studying repeat elements in the huntingtin (HTT) gene, where an expanded CAG repeat is causative for Huntington disease. We also developed a robust data analysis pipeline for repeat element analysis that is…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Mapping the landscape of tandem repeat variability by targeted long read single molecule sequencing in familial X-linked intellectual disability.

The etiology of more than half of all patients with X-linked intellectual disability remains elusive, despite array-based comparative genomic hybridization, whole exome or genome sequencing. Since short read massive parallel sequencing approaches do not allow the detection of larger tandem repeat expansions, we hypothesized that such expansions could be a hidden cause of X-linked intellectual disability.We selectively captured over 1800 tandem repeats on the X chromosome and characterized them by long read single molecule sequencing in 3 families with idiopathic X-linked intellectual disability. In male DNA samples, full tandem repeat length sequences were obtained for 88-93% of the targets and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Detecting authorized and unauthorized genetically modified organisms containing vip3A by real-time PCR and next-generation sequencing.

The growing number of biotech crops with novel genetic elements increasingly complicates the detection of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food and feed samples using conventional screening methods. Unauthorized GMOs (UGMOs) in food and feed are currently identified through combining GMO element screening with sequencing the DNA flanking these elements. In this study, a specific and sensitive qPCR assay was developed for vip3A element detection based on the vip3Aa20 coding sequences of the recently marketed MIR162 maize and COT102 cotton. Furthermore, SiteFinding-PCR in combination with Sanger, Illumina or Pacific BioSciences (PacBio) sequencing was performed targeting the flanking DNA of the…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Whole-exome targeted sequencing of the uncharacterized pine genome.

The large genome size of many species hinders the development and application of genomic tools to study them. For instance, loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.), an ecologically and economically important conifer, has a large and yet uncharacterized genome of 21.7 Gbp. To characterize the pine genome, we performed exome capture and sequencing of 14 729 genes derived from an assembly of expressed sequence tags. Efficiency of sequence capture was evaluated and shown to be similar across samples with increasing levels of complexity, including haploid cDNA, haploid genomic DNA and diploid genomic DNA. However, this efficiency was severely reduced for probes that overlapped…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Structure of the type IV secretion system in different strains of Anaplasma phagocytophilum.

Anaplasma phagocytophilum is an intracellular organism in the Order Rickettsiales that infects diverse animal species and is causing an emerging disease in humans, dogs and horses. Different strains have very different cell tropisms and virulence. For example, in the U.S., strains have been described that infect ruminants but not dogs or rodents. An intriguing question is how the strains of A. phagocytophilum differ and what different genome loci are involved in cell tropisms and/or virulence. Type IV secretion systems (T4SS) are responsible for translocation of substrates across the cell membrane by mechanisms that require contact with the recipient cell. They…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Cancer genomics: technology, discovery, and translation.

In recent years, the increasing awareness that somatic mutations and other genetic aberrations drive human malignancies has led us within reach of personalized cancer medicine (PCM). The implementation of PCM is based on the following premises: genetic aberrations exist in human malignancies; a subset of these aberrations drive oncogenesis and tumor biology; these aberrations are actionable (defined as having the potential to affect management recommendations based on diagnostic, prognostic, and/or predictive implications); and there are highly specific anticancer agents available that effectively modulate these targets. This article highlights the technology underlying cancer genomics and examines the early results of genome…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

An Inv(16)(p13.3q24.3)-encoded CBFA2T3-GLIS2 fusion protein defines an aggressive subtype of pediatric acute megakaryoblastic leukemia.

To define the mutation spectrum in non-Down syndrome acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (non-DS-AMKL), we performed transcriptome sequencing on diagnostic blasts from 14 pediatric patients and validated our findings in a recurrency/validation cohort consisting of 34 pediatric and 28 adult AMKL samples. Our analysis identified a cryptic chromosome 16 inversion (inv(16)(p13.3q24.3)) in 27% of pediatric cases, which encodes a CBFA2T3-GLIS2 fusion protein. Expression of CBFA2T3-GLIS2 in Drosophila and murine hematopoietic cells induced bone morphogenic protein (BMP) signaling and resulted in a marked increase in the self-renewal capacity of hematopoietic progenitors. These data suggest that expression of CBFA2T3-GLIS2 directly contributes to leukemogenesis. Copyright…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

ConcatSeq: A method for increasing throughput of single molecule sequencing by concatenating short DNA fragments.

Single molecule sequencing (SMS) platforms enable base sequences to be read directly from individual strands of DNA in real-time. Though capable of long read lengths, SMS platforms currently suffer from low throughput compared to competing short-read sequencing technologies. Here, we present a novel strategy for sequencing library preparation, dubbed ConcatSeq, which increases the throughput of SMS platforms by generating long concatenated templates from pools of short DNA molecules. We demonstrate adaptation of this technique to two target enrichment workflows, commonly used for oncology applications, and feasibility using PacBio single molecule real-time (SMRT) technology. Our approach is capable of increasing the…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Single-locus enrichment without amplification for sequencing and direct detection of epigenetic modifications.

A gene-level targeted enrichment method for direct detection of epigenetic modifications is described. The approach is demonstrated on the CGG-repeat region of the FMR1 gene, for which large repeat expansions, hitherto refractory to sequencing, are known to cause fragile X syndrome. In addition to achieving a single-locus enrichment of nearly 700,000-fold, the elimination of all amplification steps removes PCR-induced bias in the repeat count and preserves the native epigenetic modifications of the DNA. In conjunction with the single-molecule real-time sequencing approach, this enrichment method enables direct readout of the methylation status and the CGG repeat number of the FMR1 allele(s)…

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