September 22, 2019  |  

Long-read sequencing of chicken transcripts and identification of new transcript isoforms.

The chicken has long served as an important model organism in many fields, and continues to aid our understanding of animal development. Functional genomics studies aimed at probing the mechanisms that regulate development require high-quality genomes and transcript annotations. The quality of these resources has improved dramatically over the last several years, but many isoforms and genes have yet to be identified. We hope to contribute to the process of improving these resources with the data presented here: a set of long cDNA sequencing reads, and a curated set of new genes and transcript isoforms not currently represented in the most up-to-date genome annotation currently available to the community of researchers who rely on the chicken genome.


July 19, 2019  |  

Targeted single molecule sequencing methodology for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

One of the most significant issues surrounding next generation sequencing is the cost and the difficulty assembling short read lengths. Targeted capture enrichment of longer fragments using single molecule sequencing (SMS) is expected to improve both sequence assembly and base-call accuracy but, at present, there are very few examples of successful application of these technologic advances in translational research and clinical testing. We developed a targeted single molecule sequencing (T-SMS) panel for genes implicated in ovarian response to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) for infertility.Target enrichment was carried out using droplet-base multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology (RainDance®) designed to yield amplicons averaging 1 kb fragment size from candidate 44 loci (99.8% unique base-pair coverage). The total targeted sequence was 3.18 Mb per sample. SMS was carried out using single molecule, real-time DNA sequencing (SMRT® Pacific Biosciences®), average raw read length?=?1178 nucleotides, 5% of the amplicons >6000 nucleotides). After filtering with circular consensus (CCS) reads, the mean read length was 3200 nucleotides (97% CCS accuracy). Primary data analyses, alignment and filtering utilized the Pacific Biosciences® SMRT portal. Secondary analysis was conducted using the Genome Analysis Toolkit for SNP discovery l and wANNOVAR for functional analysis of variants. Filtered functional variants 18 of 19 (94.7%) were further confirmed using conventional Sanger sequencing. CCS reads were able to accurately detect zygosity. Coverage within GC rich regions (i.e.VEGFR; 72% GC rich) was achieved by capturing long genomic DNA (gDNA) fragments and reading into regions that flank the capture regions. As proof of concept, a non-synonymous LHCGR variant captured in two severe OHSS cases, and verified by conventional sequencing.Combining emulsion PCR-generated 1 kb amplicons and SMRT DNA sequencing permitted greater depth of coverage for T-SMS and facilitated easier sequence assembly. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report combining emulsion PCR and T-SMS for long reads using human DNA samples, and NGS panel designed for biomarker discovery in OHSS.


July 19, 2019  |  

Standardization and quality management in next-generation sequencing

DNA sequencing continues to evolve quickly even after > 30 years. Many new platforms suddenly appeared and former established systems have vanished in almost the same manner. Since establishment of next-generation sequencing devices, this progress gains momentum due to the continually growing demand for higher throughput, lower costs and better quality of data. In consequence of this rapid development, standardized procedures and data formats as well as comprehensive quality management considerations are still scarce. Here, we listed and summarized current standardization efforts and quality management initiatives from companies, organizations and societies in form of published studies and ongoing projects. These comprise on the one hand quality documentation issues like technical notes, accreditation checklists and guidelines for validation of sequencing workflows. On the other hand, general standard proposals and quality metrics are developed and applied to the sequencing workflow steps with the main focus on upstream processes. Finally, certain standard developments for downstream pipeline data handling, processing and storage are discussed in brief. These standardization approaches represent a first basis for continuing work in order to prospectively implement next-generation sequencing in important areas such as clinical diagnostics, where reliable results and fast processing is crucial. Additionally, these efforts will exert a decisive influence on traceability and reproducibility of sequence data.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome analysis of a major urban malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles stephensi.

Background Anopheles stephensi is the key vector of malaria throughout the Indian subcontinent and Middle East and an emerging model for molecular and genetic studies of mosquito-parasite interactions. The type form of the species is responsible for the majority of urban malaria transmission across its range.ResultsHere, we report the genome sequence and annotation of the Indian strain of the type form of An. stephensi. The 221 Mb genome assembly represents more than 92% of the entire genome and was produced using a combination of 454, Illumina, and PacBio sequencing. Physical mapping assigned 62% of the genome onto chromosomes, enabling chromosome-based analysis. Comparisons between An. stephensi and An. gambiae reveal that the rate of gene order reshuffling on the X chromosome was three times higher than that on the autosomes. An. stephensi has more heterochromatin in pericentric regions but less repetitive DNA in chromosome arms than An. gambiae. We also identify a number of Y-chromosome contigs and BACs. Interspersed repeats constitute 7.1% of the assembled genome while LTR retrotransposons alone comprise more than 49% of the Y contigs. RNA-seq analyses provide new insights into mosquito innate immunity, development, and sexual dimorphism.ConclusionsThe genome analysis described in this manuscript provides a resource and platform for fundamental and translational research into a major urban malaria vector. Chromosome-based investigations provide unique perspectives on Anopheles chromosome evolution. RNA-seq analysis and studies of immunity genes offer new insights into mosquito biology and mosquito-parasite interactions.


July 7, 2019  |  

Heterogeneous pathways and timing of factor departure during translation initiation.

The initiation of translation establishes the reading frame for protein synthesis and is a key point of regulation. Initiation involves factor-driven assembly at a start codon of a messenger RNA of an elongation-competent 70S ribosomal particle (in bacteria) from separated 30S and 50S subunits and initiator transfer RNA. Here we establish in Escherichia coli, using direct single-molecule tracking, the timing of initiator tRNA, initiation factor 2 (IF2; encoded by infB) and 50S subunit joining during initiation. Our results show multiple pathways to initiation, with orders of arrival of tRNA and IF2 dependent on factor concentration and composition. IF2 accelerates 50S subunit joining and stabilizes the assembled 70S complex. Transition to elongation is gated by the departure of IF2 after GTP hydrolysis, allowing efficient arrival of elongator tRNAs to the second codon presented in the aminoacyl-tRNA binding site (A site). These experiments highlight the power of single-molecule approaches to delineate mechanisms in complex multicomponent systems.


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 sequencing and the challenges met in the discovery of new genetic aberrations. Finally, drawing from experiences gained in a feasibility study of somatic mutation genotyping and targeted exome sequencing led by Princess Margaret Hospital-University Health Network and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, the processes, challenges, and issues involved in the translation of cancer genomics to the clinic are discussed.


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