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July 19, 2019

Application Brief: Targeted sequencing for amplicons – Best Practices

With Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing and the Sequel System, you can easily and cost effectively generate highly accurate long reads (HiFi reads, >99% single-molecule accuracy) from genes or regions of interest ranging in size from several hundred base pairs to 20 kb. Target all types of variation across relevant genomic regions, including low complexity regions like repeat expansions, promoters, and flanking regions of transposable elements.

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July 1, 2019

Amplification-free long-read sequencing of TCF4 expanded trinucleotide repeats in Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy.

Amplification of a CAG trinucleotide motif (CTG18.1) within the TCF4 gene has been strongly associated with Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy (FECD). Nevertheless, a small minority of clinically unaffected elderly patients who have expanded CTG18.1 sequences have been identified. To test the hypothesis that the CAG expansions in these patients are protected from FECD because they have interruptions within the CAG repeats, we utilized a combination of an amplification-free, long-read sequencing method and a new target-enrichment sequence analysis tool developed by Pacific Biosciences to interrogate the sequence structure of expanded repeats. The sequencing was successful in identifying a previously described interruption…

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July 1, 2019

Next-generation HLA typing of 382 International Histocompatibility Working Group reference B-lymphoblastoid cell lines: Report from the 17th International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop.

Extended molecular characterization of HLA genes in the IHWG reference B-lymphoblastoid cell lines (B-LCLs) was one of the major goals for the 17th International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshop (IHIW). Although reference B-LCLs have been examined extensively in previous workshops complete high-resolution typing was not completed for all the classical class I and class II HLA genes. To address this, we conducted a single-blind study where select panels of B-LCL genomic DNA samples were distributed to multiple laboratories for HLA genotyping by next-generation sequencing methods. Identical cell panels comprised of 24 and 346 samples were distributed and typed by at least…

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June 15, 2019

Sequencing the previously unsequenceable using amplification-free targeted enrichment powered by CRISPR/Cas9

Genomic regions with extreme base composition bias and repetitive sequences have long proven challenging for targeted enrichment methods, as they rely upon some form of amplification. Similarly, most DNA sequencing technologies struggle to faithfully sequence regions of low complexity. This has especially been trying for repeat expansion disorders such as Fragile X disease, Huntington disease and various Ataxias, where the repetitive elements range from several hundreds of bases to tens of kilobases.

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June 1, 2019

Using Cre-recombinase-driven Polylox barcoding for in vivo fate mapping in mice.

Fate mapping is a powerful genetic tool for linking stem or progenitor cells with their progeny, and hence for defining cell lineages in vivo. The resolution of fate mapping depends on the numbers of distinct markers that are introduced in the beginning into stem or progenitor cells; ideally, numbers should be sufficiently large to allow the tracing of output from individual cells. Highly diverse genetic barcodes can serve this purpose. We recently developed an endogenous genetic barcoding system, termed Polylox. In Polylox, random DNA recombination can be induced by transient activity of Cre recombinase in a 2.1-kb-long artificial recombination substrate…

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June 1, 2019

Current advances in HIV vaccine preclinical studies using Macaque models.

The macaque simian or simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SIV/SHIV) challenge model has been widely used to inform and guide human vaccine trials. Substantial advances have been made recently in the application of repeated-low-dose challenge (RLD) approach to assess SIV/SHIV vaccine efficacies (VE). Some candidate HIV vaccines have shown protective effects in preclinical studies using the macaque SIV/SHIV model but the model's true predictive value for screening potential HIV vaccine candidates needs to be evaluated further. Here, we review key parameters used in the RLD approach and discuss their relevance for evaluating VE to improve preclinical studies of candidate HIV vaccines.Crown Copyright…

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June 1, 2019

Single-molecule real-time sequencing reveals diverse allelic variations in carotenoid biosynthetic genes in pepper (Capsicum spp.).

The diverse colours of mature pepper (Capsicum spp.) fruit result from the accumulation of different carotenoids. The carotenoid biosynthetic pathway has been well elucidated in Solanaceous plants, and analysis of candidate genes involved in this process has revealed variations in carotenoid biosynthetic genes in Capsicum spp. However, the allelic variations revealed by previous studies could not fully explain the variation in fruit colour in Capsicum spp. due to technical difficulties in detecting allelic variation in multiple candidate genes in numerous samples. In this study, we uncovered allelic variations in six carotenoid biosynthetic genes, including phytoene synthase (PSY1, PSY2), lycopene ß-cyclase,…

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June 1, 2019

Intragenomic heterogeneity of intergenic ribosomal DNA spacers in Cucurbita moschata is determined by DNA minisatellites with variable potential to form non-canonical DNA conformations.

The intergenic spacer (IGS) of rDNA is frequently built of long blocks of tandem repeats. To estimate the intragenomic variability of such knotty regions, we employed PacBio sequencing of the Cucurbita moschata genome, in which thousands of rDNA copies are distributed across a number of loci. The rRNA coding regions are highly conserved, indicating intensive interlocus homogenization and/or high selection pressure. However, the IGS exhibits high intragenomic structural diversity. Two repeated blocks, R1 (300-1250 bp) and R2 (290-643 bp), account for most of the IGS variation. They exhibit minisatellite-like features built of multiple periodically spaced short GC-rich sequence motifs with…

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