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Pacific Biosciences
December 29, 2017

Improved Aedes aegypti mosquito reference genome assembly enables biological discovery and vector control

Female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infect hundreds of millions of people each year with dangerous viral pathogens including dengue, yellow fever, Zika, and chikungunya. Progress in understanding the biology of this insect, and developing tools to fight it, has been slowed by the lack of a high-quality genome assembly. Here we combine diverse genome technologies to produce AaegL5, a dramatically improved and annotated assembly, and demonstrate how it accelerates mosquito science and control. We anchored the physical and cytogenetic maps, resolved the size and composition of the elusive sex-determining M locus, significantly increased the known members of the glutathione-S-transferase genes important…

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April 24, 2017

Prevalence and molecular characterization of mcr-1-positive Salmonella strains recovered from clinical specimens in China.

The recently discovered colistin resistance element, mcr-1, adds to the list of antimicrobial resistance genes that rapidly erode the antimicrobial efficacy of not only the commonly used antibiotics but also the last-line agents of carbapenems and colistin. This study investigated the prevalence of the mobile colistin resistance determinant mcr-1 in Salmonella strains recovered from clinical settings in China and the transmission potential of mcr-1-bearing mobile elements harbored by such isolates. The mcr-1 gene was recoverable in 1.4% of clinical isolates tested, with the majority of them belonging to Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium. These isolates exhibited diverse pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE)…

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April 1, 2017

Complete genome sequence of Amycolatopsis orientalis CPCC200066, the producer of norvancomycin.

Amycolatopsis orientalis CPCC200066 is an actinomycete exploited commercially in China for the production of norvancomycin, an important glycopeptide antibiotic structurally close to the well-known vancomycin. The availability of the complete genome sequence of CPCC200066 would greatly strengthen our understanding of the regulation pattern of norvancomycin biosynthesis and ultimately improve its production, as well as potentiate discoveries of novel bioactive compounds. Here we report the complete genome sequence of A. orientalis CPCC200066, a circular chromosome consisting of 9,490,992bp. Forty putative secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters, including norvancomycin, were predicted, covering 20.3% of the whole genome. To facilitate genetic manipulation of this…

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March 13, 2017

CRISPR/Cas9-generated p47(phox)-deficient cell line for Chronic Granulomatous Disease gene therapy vector development.

Development of gene therapy vectors requires cellular models reflecting the genetic background of a disease thus allowing for robust preclinical vector testing. For human p47(phox)-deficient chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) vector testing we generated a cellular model using clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 to introduce a GT-dinucleotide deletion (?GT) mutation in p47(phox) encoding NCF1 gene in the human acute myeloid leukemia PLB-985 cell line. CGD is a group of hereditary immunodeficiencies characterized by impaired respiratory burst activity in phagocytes due to a defective phagocytic nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase. In Western countries autosomal-recessive p47(phox)-subunit deficiency represents the second…

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February 15, 2017

AGBT Conference: A community effort using multiple technologies to produce a dramatically improved genome assembly of the Zika virus mosquito vector

At AGBT 2017, the Broad Institute’s Daniel Neafsey reported a large collaborative effort to sequence the mosquito that carries Zika virus. The team is using long-read PacBio sequencing to produce a high-quality genome assembly, which Neafsey expects will replace the 10-year-old Sanger assembly for Aedes aegypti. The new assembly reduces the number of contigs by at least 10-fold, boosts the contig N50 to nearly 2 Mb, and features more complete gene content.

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February 8, 2017

Genome scaffolding and annotation for the pathogen vector Ixodes ricinus by ultra-long single molecule sequencing.

Global warming and other ecological changes have facilitated the expansion of Ixodes ricinus tick populations. Ixodes ricinus is the most important carrier of vector-borne pathogens in Europe, transmitting viruses, protozoa and bacteria, in particular Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato), the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis, the most prevalent vector-borne disease in humans in the Northern hemisphere. To faster control this disease vector, a better understanding of the I. ricinus tick is necessary. To facilitate such studies, we recently published the first reference genome of this highly prevalent pathogen vector. Here, we further extend these studies by scaffolding and annotating the first…

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January 16, 2017

PAG PacBio Workshop: Genome assembly and molecular genetics of the dengue, yellow fever, and zika vector Aedes aegypti

In this PAG 2017 presentation, Ben Matthews describes a new genome assembly for Aedes aegypti, the mosquito responsible for spreading Zika virus, yellow fever, and other infectious diseases. By using PacBio long-read sequencing, scientists produced an assembly that is much more complete and contiguous than a previous assembly; 7,500 transcripts map to the new contigs but not to the old assembly. The genome is important for designing guide RNAs for CRISPR, understanding resistance to mosquito repellants, and much more.

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January 1, 2017

Improved annotation of the insect vector of citrus greening disease: biocuration by a diverse genomics community.

The Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri Kuwayama) is the insect vector of the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas), the pathogen associated with citrus Huanglongbing (HLB, citrus greening). HLB threatens citrus production worldwide. Suppression or reduction of the insect vector using chemical insecticides has been the primary method to inhibit the spread of citrus greening disease. Accurate structural and functional annotation of the Asian citrus psyllid genome, as well as a clear understanding of the interactions between the insect and CLas, are required for development of new molecular-based HLB control methods. A draft assembly of the D. citri genome has been…

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August 1, 2016

The bacterial microbiome of Dermacentor andersoni ticks influences pathogen susceptibility.

Ticks are of medical importance owing to their ability to transmit pathogens to humans and animals. The Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni, is a vector of a number of pathogens, including Anaplasma marginale, which is the most widespread tick-borne pathogen of livestock. Although ticks host pathogenic bacteria, they also harbor bacterial endosymbionts that have a role in tick physiology, survival, as well as pathogen acquisition and transmission. The goal of this study was to characterize the bacterial microbiome and examine the impact of microbiome disruption on pathogen susceptibility. The bacterial microbiome of two populations of D. andersoni with historically…

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June 9, 2016

Complete genome sequence of Lysinibacillus sphaericus WHO reference strain 2362.

Lysinibacillus sphaericus is a species that contains strains widely used in the biological control of mosquitoes. Here, we present the complete 4.67-Mb genome of the WHO entomopathogenic reference strain L. sphaericus 2362, which is probably one of the most commercialized and studied strains. Genes coding for mosquitocidal toxin proteins were detected. Copyright © 2016 Hernández-Santana et al.

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June 6, 2016

Industrial Biotechnology Brochure: Fuel biotech discovery with confident characterization of microbes and their communities

Industrial microbiologists rely on comprehensive genomic information to identify and develop complex biological products. Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing delivers a more complete view of individual organisms and microbial communities, fueling research for modern pharmaceutical discovery, environmental remediation, chemical commodity production, and agriculture products.

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May 5, 2016

Complete genome sequence of the larvicidal bacterium Lysinibacillus sphaericus strain OT4b.25.

Lysinibacillus sphaericus OT4b.25 is a native Colombian strain isolated from coleopteran larvae in an oak forest near Bogotá D.C.; this strain has shown high levels of pathogenic activity against Culex quinquefasciatus larvae in laboratory assays compared to that of other members of the same species. Using Pacific Biosciences sequencing technology, we propose a chromosomal contig of 4,665,775 bp that, according to comparative analysis, is highly similar to that of reference strain L. sphaericus C3-41. Copyright © 2016 Rey et al.

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April 12, 2016

Radical remodeling of the Y chromosome in a recent radiation of malaria mosquitoes.

Y chromosomes control essential male functions in many species, including sex determination and fertility. However, because of obstacles posed by repeat-rich heterochromatin, knowledge of Y chromosome sequences is limited to a handful of model organisms, constraining our understanding of Y biology across the tree of life. Here, we leverage long single-molecule sequencing to determine the content and structure of the nonrecombining Y chromosome of the primary African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. We find that the An. gambiae Y consists almost entirely of a few massively amplified, tandemly arrayed repeats, some of which can recombine with similar repeats on the X…

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March 18, 2016

Horizontal gene acquisitions, mobile element proliferation, and genome decay in the host-restricted plant pathogen Erwinia tracheiphila.

Modern industrial agriculture depends on high-density cultivation of genetically similar crop plants, creating favorable conditions for the emergence of novel pathogens with increased fitness in managed compared with ecologically intact settings. Here, we present the genome sequence of six strains of the cucurbit bacterial wilt pathogen Erwinia tracheiphila (Enterobacteriaceae) isolated from infected squash plants in New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Michigan. These genomes exhibit a high proportion of recent horizontal gene acquisitions, invasion and remarkable amplification of mobile genetic elements, and pseudogenization of approximately 20% of the coding sequences. These genome attributes indicate that E. tracheiphila recently emerged as a…

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February 25, 2016

Large-scale mitogenomics enables insights into Schizophora (Diptera) radiation and population diversity.

True flies are insects of the order Diptera and encompass one of the most diverse groups of animals on Earth. Within dipterans, Schizophora represents a recent radiation of insects that was used as a model to develop a pipeline for generating complete mitogenomes using various sequencing platforms and strategies. 91 mitogenomes from 32 different species were sequenced and assembled with high fidelity, using amplicon, whole genome shotgun or single molecule sequencing approaches. Based on the novel mitogenomes, we estimate the origin of Schizophora within the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) boundary, about 68.3?Ma. Detailed analyses of the blowfly family (Calliphoridae) place its origin…

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