September 22, 2019  |  

Long-read sequencing of nascent RNA reveals coupling among RNA processing events.

Pre-mRNA splicing is accomplished by the spliceosome, a megadalton complex that assembles de novo on each intron. Because spliceosome assembly and catalysis occur cotranscriptionally, we hypothesized that introns are removed in the order of their transcription in genomes dominated by constitutive splicing. Remarkably little is known about splicing order and the regulatory potential of nascent transcript remodeling by splicing, due to the limitations of existing methods that focus on analysis of mature splicing products (mRNAs) rather than substrates and intermediates. Here, we overcome this obstacle through long-read RNA sequencing of nascent, multi-intron transcripts in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe Most multi-intron transcripts were fully spliced, consistent with rapid cotranscriptional splicing. However, an unexpectedly high proportion of transcripts were either fully spliced or fully unspliced, suggesting that splicing of any given intron is dependent on the splicing status of other introns in the transcript. Supporting this, mild inhibition of splicing by a temperature-sensitive mutation in prp2, the homolog of vertebrate U2AF65, increased the frequency of fully unspliced transcripts. Importantly, fully unspliced transcripts displayed transcriptional read-through at the polyA site and were degraded cotranscriptionally by the nuclear exosome. Finally, we show that cellular mRNA levels were reduced in genes with a high number of unspliced nascent transcripts during caffeine treatment, showing regulatory significance of cotranscriptional splicing. Therefore, overall splicing of individual nascent transcripts, 3′ end formation, and mRNA half-life depend on the splicing status of neighboring introns, suggesting crosstalk among spliceosomes and the polyA cleavage machinery during transcription elongation.© 2018 Herzel et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


September 22, 2019  |  

Effect of Chinese rice wine sludge on the production of Chinese steamed buns

Chinese rice wine sludge (CRWS), analogous to beer yeast sludge, is the filter cake remaining after squeezing the fermentation mash of Chinese rice wine. CRWS contains high levels of protein (44.74%), nonstructural carbohydrates (37.33%), crude fiber (13.5%), and essential amino acids, which could enhance the trophic value of Chinese steamed buns. In our research, the microbiota of CRWS (mainly Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Lactobacillus sp.) was analyzed at the species level by single-molecule real-time DNA sequencing technology. Interestingly, the microbiota of CRWS was similar to that of the starter dough typically used to prepare Chinese steamed buns. Incorporation of CRWS significantly influenced the pasting properties and farinograph characteristics of the dough, which control the texture of the Chinese steamed buns, and supplementation with 5~30% CRWS caused the properties of the resulting buns to be more similar to those of northern-style steamed buns. CRWS addition also significantly enhanced the content of aroma compounds in the Chinese steamed buns.


September 22, 2019  |  

The dynamic landscape of fission yeast meiosis alternative-splice isoforms.

Alternative splicing increases the diversity of transcriptomes and proteomes in metazoans. The extent to which alternative splicing is active and functional in unicellular organisms is less understood. Here, we exploit a single-molecule long-read sequencing technique and develop an open-source software program called SpliceHunter to characterize the transcriptome in the meiosis of fission yeast. We reveal 14,353 alternative splicing events in 17,669 novel isoforms at different stages of meiosis, including antisense and read-through transcripts. Intron retention is the major type of alternative splicing, followed by alternate “intron in exon.” Seven hundred seventy novel transcription units are detected; 53 of the predicted proteins show homology in other species and form theoretical stable structures. We report the complexity of alternative splicing along isoforms, including 683 intra-molecularly co-associated intron pairs. We compare the dynamics of novel isoforms based on the number of supporting full-length reads with those of annotated isoforms and explore the translational capacity and quality of novel isoforms. The evaluation of these factors indicates that the majority of novel isoforms are unlikely to be both condition-specific and translatable but consistent with the possibility of biologically functional novel isoforms. Moreover, the co-option of these unusual transcripts into newly born genes seems likely. Together, the results of this study highlight the diversity and dynamics at the isoform level in the sexual development of fission yeast. © 2017 Kuang et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


September 22, 2019  |  

Splicing of nascent RNA coincides with intron exit from RNA Polymerase II.

Protein-coding genes in eukaryotes are transcribed by RNA polymerase II (Pol II) and introns are removed from pre-mRNA by the spliceosome. Understanding the time lag between Pol II progression and splicing could provide mechanistic insights into the regulation of gene expression. Here, we present two single-molecule nascent RNA sequencing methods that directly determine the progress of splicing catalysis as a function of Pol II position. Endogenous genes were analyzed on a global scale in budding yeast. We show that splicing is 50% complete when Pol II is only 45 nt downstream of introns, with the first spliced products observed as introns emerge from Pol II. Perturbations that slow the rate of spliceosome assembly or speed up the rate of transcription caused splicing delays, showing that regulation of both processes determines in vivo splicing profiles. We propose that matched rates streamline the gene expression pathway, while allowing regulation through kinetic competition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence and analysis of the industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain N85 used in Chinese rice wine production.

Chinese rice wine is a popular traditional alcoholic beverage in China, while its brewing processes have rarely been explored. We herein report the first gapless, near-finished genome sequence of the yeast strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae N85 for Chinese rice wine production. Several assembly methods were used to integrate Pacific Bioscience (PacBio) and Illumina sequencing data to achieve high-quality genome sequencing of the strain. The genome encodes more than 6,000 predicted proteins, and 238 long non-coding RNAs, which are validated by RNA-sequencing data. Moreover, our annotation predicts 171 novel genes that are not present in the reference S288c genome. We also identified 65,902 single nucleotide polymorphisms and small indels, many of which are located within genic regions. Dozens of larger copy-number variations and translocations were detected, mainly enriched in the subtelomeres, suggesting these regions may be related to genomic evolution. This study will serve as a milestone in studying of Chinese rice wine and related beverages in China and in other countries. It will help to develop more scientific and modern fermentation processes of Chinese rice wine, and explore metabolism pathways of desired and harmful components in Chinese rice wine to improve its taste and nutritional value.© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute.


September 22, 2019  |  

Functional genomics of lipid metabolism in the oleaginous yeast Rhodosporidium toruloides.

The basidiomycete yeast Rhodosporidium toruloides (also known as Rhodotorula toruloides) accumulates high concentrations of lipids and carotenoids from diverse carbon sources. It has great potential as a model for the cellular biology of lipid droplets and for sustainable chemical production. We developed a method for high-throughput genetics (RB-TDNAseq), using sequence-barcoded Agrobacterium tumefaciens T-DNA insertions. We identified 1,337 putative essential genes with low T-DNA insertion rates. We functionally profiled genes required for fatty acid catabolism and lipid accumulation, validating results with 35 targeted deletion strains. We identified a high-confidence set of 150 genes affecting lipid accumulation, including genes with predicted function in signaling cascades, gene expression, protein modification and vesicular trafficking, autophagy, amino acid synthesis and tRNA modification, and genes of unknown function. These results greatly advance our understanding of lipid metabolism in this oleaginous species and demonstrate a general approach for barcoded mutagenesis that should enable functional genomics in diverse fungi.


September 22, 2019  |  

A combinatorial approach to synthetic transcription factor-promoter combinations for yeast strain engineering.

Despite the need for inducible promoters in strain development efforts, the majority of engineering in Saccharomyces cerevisiae continues to rely on a few constitutively active or inducible promoters. Building on advances that use the modular nature of both transcription factors and promoter regions, we have built a library of hybrid promoters that are regulated by a synthetic transcription factor. The hybrid promoters consist of native S. cerevisiae promoters, in which the operator regions have been replaced with sequences that are recognized by the bacterial LexA DNA binding protein. Correspondingly, the synthetic transcription factor (TF) consists of the DNA binding domain of the LexA protein, fused with the human estrogen binding domain and the viral activator domain, VP16. The resulting system with a bacterial DNA binding domain avoids the transcription of native S. cerevisiae genes, and the hybrid promoters can be induced using estradiol, a compound with no detectable impact on S. cerevisiae physiology. Using combinations of one, two or three operator sequence repeats and a set of native S. cerevisiae promoters, we obtained a series of hybrid promoters that can be induced to different levels, using the same synthetic TF and a given estradiol. This set of promoters, in combination with our synthetic TF, has the potential to regulate numerous genes or pathways simultaneously, to multiple desired levels, in a single strain.© 2017 The Authors. Yeast published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


September 22, 2019  |  

Ploidy variation in Kluyveromyces marxianus separates dairy and non-dairy isolates.

Kluyveromyces marxianus is traditionally associated with fermented dairy products, but can also be isolated from diverse non-dairy environments. Because of thermotolerance, rapid growth and other traits, many different strains are being developed for food and industrial applications but there is, as yet, little understanding of the genetic diversity or population genetics of this species. K. marxianus shows a high level of phenotypic variation but the only phenotype that has been clearly linked to a genetic polymorphism is lactose utilisation, which is controlled by variation in the LAC12 gene. The genomes of several strains have been sequenced in recent years and, in this study, we sequenced a further nine strains from different origins. Analysis of the Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in 14 strains was carried out to examine genome structure and genetic diversity. SNP diversity in K. marxianus is relatively high, with up to 3% DNA sequence divergence between alleles. It was found that the isolates include haploid, diploid, and triploid strains, as shown by both SNP analysis and flow cytometry. Diploids and triploids contain long genomic tracts showing loss of heterozygosity (LOH). All six isolates from dairy environments were diploid or triploid, whereas 6 out 7 isolates from non-dairy environment were haploid. This also correlated with the presence of functional LAC12 alleles only in dairy haplotypes. The diploids were hybrids between a non-dairy and a dairy haplotype, whereas triploids included three copies of a dairy haplotype.


September 22, 2019  |  

Repeated evolution of self-compatibility for reproductive assurance.

Sexual reproduction in eukaryotes requires the fusion of two compatible gametes of opposite sexes or mating types. To meet the challenge of finding a mating partner with compatible gametes, evolutionary mechanisms such as hermaphroditism and self-fertilization have repeatedly evolved. Here, by combining the insights from comparative genomics, computer simulations and experimental evolution in fission yeast, we shed light on the conditions promoting separate mating types or self-compatibility by mating-type switching. Analogous to multiple independent transitions between switchers and non-switchers in natural populations mediated by structural genomic changes, novel switching genotypes readily evolved under selection in the experimental populations. Detailed fitness measurements accompanied by computer simulations show the benefits and costs of switching during sexual and asexual reproduction, governing the occurrence of both strategies in nature. Our findings illuminate the trade-off between the benefits of reproductive assurance and its fitness costs under benign conditions facilitating the evolution of self-compatibility.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genome evolution across 1,011 Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates.

Large-scale population genomic surveys are essential to explore the phenotypic diversity of natural populations. Here we report the whole-genome sequencing and phenotyping of 1,011 Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates, which together provide an accurate evolutionary picture of the genomic variants that shape the species-wide phenotypic landscape of this yeast. Genomic analyses support a single ‘out-of-China’ origin for this species, followed by several independent domestication events. Although domesticated isolates exhibit high variation in ploidy, aneuploidy and genome content, genome evolution in wild isolates is mainly driven by the accumulation of single nucleotide polymorphisms. A common feature is the extensive loss of heterozygosity, which represents an essential source of inter-individual variation in this mainly asexual species. Most of the single nucleotide polymorphisms, including experimentally identified functional polymorphisms, are present at very low frequencies. The largest numbers of variants identified by genome-wide association are copy-number changes, which have a greater phenotypic effect than do single nucleotide polymorphisms. This resource will guide future population genomics and genotype-phenotype studies in this classic model system.


September 22, 2019  |  

The N6-adenine methylation in yeast genome profiled by single-molecule technology.

The most common and abundant DNA modification is 5-meth- ylcytosine (5mC), which has been well-established as an epigenetic mark regulating gene expression in eukaryotes (Jones, 2012). Another DNA modification N6-methyldeoxyadenosine (6mA), pre- viously reported as a widespread DNA methylation in prokaryotes, plays an important role in gene expression, DNA replication, DNA repair, cell cycle progression and host-pathogen interaction (Messer and Noyer-Weidner, 1988; Lu et al., 1994; Collier et al., 2007). The knowledge of 6mA in eukaryotes has been very limited until the recent development of high-throughput sequencing and high-sensitive mass spectrometry technologies, which have greatly contributed to the investigation of 6mA in fungi, animals and plants (Fu et al., 2015; Greer et al., 2015; Zhang et al., 2015; Koziol et al., 2016; Liu et al., 2016; Wu et al., 2016; Liang et al., 2017; Mondo et al., 2017). Recent studies revealed that 6mA abundance is vari- able, and it is relative higher in Chlamydomonas and early- diverging fungi species than other eukaryotes. The distribution pat- terns of 6mA and their functions are not quite conserved among or- ganisms. 6mA was found enriched near the transcription start sites (TSS) in Chlamydomonas (Fu et al., 2015) and at the repeats in Drosophila, Mus musculus and Danio rerio (Zhang et al., 2015; Liu et al., 2016; Wu et al., 2016), and commonly depleted from gene exons in Xenopus laevis and M. musculus (Koziol et al., 2016). In several species, 6mA was associated with transcriptionally active genes (Fu et al., 2015; Mondo et al., 2017), and it was also found correlated with gene silencing in mammalian embryonic stem cells (Wu et al., 2016).


September 22, 2019  |  

High-oleate yeast oil without polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Oleate-enriched triacylglycerides are well-suited for lubricant applications that require high oxidative stability. Fatty acid carbon chain length and degree of desaturation are key determinants of triacylglyceride properties and the ability to manipulate fatty acid composition in living organisms is critical to developing a source of bio-based oil tailored to meet specific application requirements.We sought to engineer the oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica for production of high-oleate triacylglyceride oil. We studied the effect of deletions and overexpressions in the fatty acid and triacylglyceride synthesis pathways to identify modifications that increase oleate levels. Oleic acid accumulation in triacylglycerides was promoted by exchanging the native ?9 fatty acid desaturase and glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase with heterologous enzymes, as well as deletion of the ?12 fatty acid desaturase and expression of a fatty acid elongase. By combining these engineering steps, we eliminated polyunsaturated fatty acids and created a Y. lipolytica strain that accumulates triglycerides with >?90% oleate content.High-oleate content and lack of polyunsaturates distinguish this triacylglyceride oil from plant and algal derived oils. Its composition renders the oil suitable for applications that require high oxidative stability and further demonstrates the potential of Y. lipolytica as a producer of tailored lipid profiles.


September 22, 2019  |  

In vitro DNA SCRaMbLE.

The power of synthetic biology has enabled the expression of heterologous pathways in cells, as well as genome-scale synthesis projects. The complexity of biological networks makes rational de novo design a grand challenge. Introducing features that confer genetic flexibility is a powerful strategy for downstream engineering. Here we develop an in vitro method of DNA library construction based on structural variation to accomplish this goal. The “in vitro SCRaMbLE system” uses Cre recombinase mixed in a test tube with purified DNA encoding multiple loxPsym sites. Using a ß-carotene pathway designed for expression in yeast as an example, we demonstrate top-down and bottom-up in vitro SCRaMbLE, enabling optimization of biosynthetic pathway flux via the rearrangement of relevant transcription units. We show that our system provides a straightforward way to correlate phenotype and genotype and is potentially amenable to biochemical optimization in ways that the in vivo system cannot achieve.


September 22, 2019  |  

Precise control of SCRaMbLE in synthetic haploid and diploid yeast.

Compatibility between host cells and heterologous pathways is a challenge for constructing organisms with high productivity or gain of function. Designer yeast cells incorporating the Synthetic Chromosome Rearrangement and Modification by LoxP-mediated Evolution (SCRaMbLE) system provide a platform for generating genotype diversity. Here we construct a genetic AND gate to enable precise control of the SCRaMbLE method to generate synthetic haploid and diploid yeast with desired phenotypes. The yield of carotenoids is increased to 1.5-fold by SCRaMbLEing haploid strains and we determine that the deletion of YEL013W is responsible for the increase. Based on the SCRaMbLEing in diploid strains, we develop a strategy called Multiplex SCRaMbLE Iterative Cycling (MuSIC) to increase the production of carotenoids up to 38.8-fold through 5 iterative cycles of SCRaMbLE. This strategy is potentially a powerful tool for increasing the production of bio-based chemicals and for mining deep knowledge.


September 22, 2019  |  

Whole-genome analysis of three yeast strains used for production of sherry-like wines revealed genetic traits specific to Flor yeasts.

Flor yeast strains represent a specialized group of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeasts used for biological wine aging. We have sequenced the genomes of three flor strains originated from different geographic regions and used for production of sherry-like wines in Russia. According to the obtained phylogeny of 118 yeast strains, flor strains form very tight cluster adjacent to the main wine clade. SNP analysis versus available genomes of wine and flor strains revealed 2,270 genetic variants in 1,337 loci specific to flor strains. Gene ontology analysis in combination with gene content evaluation revealed a complex landscape of possibly adaptive genetic changes in flor yeast, related to genes associated with cell morphology, mitotic cell cycle, ion homeostasis, DNA repair, carbohydrate metabolism, lipid metabolism, and cell wall biogenesis. Pangenomic analysis discovered the presence of several well-known “non-reference” loci of potential industrial importance. Events of gene loss included deletions of asparaginase genes, maltose utilization locus, and FRE-FIT locus involved in iron transport. The latter in combination with a flor-yeast-specific mutation in the Aft1 transcription factor gene is likely to be responsible for the discovered phenotype of increased iron sensitivity and improved iron uptake of analyzed strains. Expansion of the coding region of the FLO11 flocullin gene and alteration of the balance between members of the FLO gene family are likely to positively affect the well-known propensity of flor strains for velum formation. Our study provides new insights in the nature of genetic variation in flor yeast strains and demonstrates that different adaptive properties of flor yeast strains could have evolved through different mechanisms of genetic variation.


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