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December 19, 2017

HISEA: HIerarchical SEed Aligner for PacBio data.

The next generation sequencing (NGS) techniques have been around for over a decade. Many of their fundamental applications rely on the ability to compute good genome assemblies. As the technology evolves, the assembly algorithms and tools have to continuously adjust and improve. The currently dominant technology of Illumina produces reads that are too short to bridge many repeats, setting limits on what can be successfully assembled. The emerging SMRT (Single Molecule, Real-Time) sequencing technique from Pacific Biosciences produces uniform coverage and long reads of length up to sixty thousand base pairs, enabling significantly better genome assemblies. However, SMRT reads are…

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December 6, 2017

Single molecule sequencing-guided scaffolding and correction of draft assemblies.

Although single molecule sequencing is still improving, the lengths of the generated sequences are inevitably an advantage in genome assembly. Prior work that utilizes long reads to conduct genome assembly has mostly focused on correcting sequencing errors and improving contiguity of de novo assemblies.We propose a disassembling-reassembling approach for both correcting structural errors in the draft assembly and scaffolding a target assembly based on error-corrected single molecule sequences. To achieve this goal, we formulate a maximum alternating path cover problem. We prove that this problem is NP-hard, and solve it by a 2-approximation algorithm.Our experimental results show that our approach…

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November 1, 2017

Systems biotechnology for protein production in Pichia pastoris.

The methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris (syn. Komagataella spp.) is one of the most important production systems for heterologous proteins. After the first genome sequences were published in 2009, tremendous effort was made to establish systems-level analytical methods. Methylotrophic lifestyle was one of the most thoroughly investigated topics, studied at the levels of transcriptome, proteome and metabolic flux. Also the responses of P. pastoris to environmental stress conditions experienced during high cell density production processes were studied. Metabolomics and flux analysis revealed the plasticity of the cellular metabolism in its adaption to the production of foreign proteins and served as blueprints…

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November 1, 2017

Towards systems metabolic engineering in Pichia pastoris.

The methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris is firmly established as a host for the production of recombinant proteins, frequently outperforming other heterologous hosts. Already, a sizeable amount of systems biology knowledge has been acquired for this non-conventional yeast. By applying various omics-technologies, productivity features have been thoroughly analyzed and optimized via genetic engineering. However, challenging clonal variability, limited vector repertoire and insufficient genome annotation have hampered further developments. Yet, in the last few years a reinvigorated effort to establish P. pastoris as a host for both protein and metabolite production is visible. A variety of compounds from terpenoids to polyketides have…

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November 1, 2017

Glycolytic functions are conserved in the genome of the wine yeast Hanseniaspora uvarum, and pyruvate kinase limits its capacity for alcoholic fermentation.

Hanseniaspora uvarum (anamorph Kloeckera apiculata) is a predominant yeast on wine grapes and other fruits and has a strong influence on wine quality, even when Saccharomyces cerevisiae starter cultures are employed. In this work, we sequenced and annotated approximately 93% of the H. uvarum genome. Southern and synteny analyses were employed to construct a map of the seven chromosomes present in a type strain. Comparative determinations of specific enzyme activities within the fermentative pathway in H. uvarum and S. cerevisiae indicated that the reduced capacity of the former yeast for ethanol production is caused primarily by an ~10-fold-lower activity of…

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October 26, 2017

Genome sequence of the lager-brewing yeast Saccharomyces sp. strain M14, used in the high-gravity brewing industry in China.

Lager-brewing yeasts are mainly used for the production of lager beers. Illumina and PacBio-based sequence analyses revealed an approximate genome size of 22.8 Mb, with a GC content of 38.98%, for the Chinese lager-brewing yeast Saccharomyces sp. strain M14. Based on ab initio prediction, 9,970 coding genes were annotated. Copyright © 2017 Liu et al.

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October 24, 2017

FKBP12-dependent inhibition of calcineurin mediates immunosuppressive antifungal drug action in Malassezia.

The genus Malassezia includes yeasts that are commonly found on the skin or hair of animals and humans as commensals and are associated with a number of skin disorders. We have previously developed an Agrobacterium tumefaciens transformation system effective for both targeted gene deletion and insertional mutagenesis in Malassezia furfur and M. sympodialis In the present study, these molecular resources were applied to characterize the immunophilin FKBP12 as the target of tacrolimus (FK506), ascomycin, and pimecrolimus, which are calcineurin inhibitors that are used as alternatives to corticosteroids in the treatment of inflammatory skin disorders such as those associated with Malassezia species.…

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October 12, 2017

Genome sequence of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain Kagoshima No. 2, used for Brewing the Japanese distilled spirit Shochu.

Here, we report a draft genome sequence of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain Kagoshima no. 2, which is used for brewing shochu, a traditional distilled spirit in Japan. The genome data will facilitate an understanding of the evolutional traits and genetic background related to the characteristic features of strain Kagoshima no. 2. Copyright © 2017 Mori et al.

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September 7, 2017

Whole genome sequence of the heterozygous clinical isolate Candida krusei 81-B-5.

Candida krusei is a diploid, heterozygous yeast that is an opportunistic fungal pathogen in immunocompromised patients. This species also is utilized for fermenting cocoa beans during chocolate production. One major concern in the clinical setting is the innate resistance of this species to the most commonly used antifungal drug fluconazole. Here we report a high-quality genome sequence and assembly for the first clinical isolate of C. krusei, strain 81-B-5, into 11 scaffolds generated with PacBio sequencing technology. Gene annotation and comparative analysis revealed a unique profile of transporters that could play a role in drug resistance or adaptation to different…

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August 17, 2017

Regulation of hetDNA length during mitotic double-strand break repair in yeast.

Heteroduplex DNA (hetDNA) is a key molecular intermediate during the repair of mitotic double-strand breaks by homologous recombination, but its relationship to 5' end resection and/or 3' end extension is poorly understood. In the current study, we examined how perturbations in these processes affect the hetDNA profile associated with repair of a defined double-strand break (DSB) by the synthesis-dependent strand-annealing (SDSA) pathway. Loss of either the Exo1 or Sgs1 long-range resection pathway significantly shortened hetDNA, suggesting that these pathways normally collaborate during DSB repair. In addition, altering the processivity or proofreading activity of DNA polymerase d shortened hetDNA length or reduced…

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August 1, 2017

Meeting report on experimental approaches to evolution and ecology using yeast and other model systems.

The fourth EMBO-sponsored conference on Experimental Approaches to Evolution and Ecology Using Yeast and Other Model Systems (https://www.embl.de/training/events/2016/EAE16-01/), was held at the EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany, October 19-23, 2016. The conference was organized by Judith Berman (Tel Aviv University), Maitreya Dunham (University of Washington), Jun-Yi Leu (Academia Sinica), and Lars Steinmetz (EMBL Heidelberg and Stanford University). The meeting attracted ~120 researchers from 28 countries and covered a wide range of topics in the fields of genetics, evolutionary biology, and ecology with a unifying focus on yeast as a model system. Attendees enjoyed the Keith Haring inspired yeast florescence microscopy artwork…

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July 1, 2017

Insight into the recent genome duplication of the halophilic yeast Hortaea werneckii: combining an improved genome with gene expression and chromatin structure.

Extremophilic organisms demonstrate the flexibility and adaptability of basic biological processes by highlighting how cell physiology adapts to environmental extremes. Few eukaryotic extremophiles have been well studied and only a small number are amenable to laboratory cultivation and manipulation. A detailed characterization of the genome architecture of such organisms is important to illuminate how they adapt to environmental stresses. One excellent example of a fungal extremophile is the halophile Hortaea werneckii (Pezizomycotina, Dothideomycetes, Capnodiales), a yeast-like fungus able to thrive at near-saturating concentrations of sodium chloride and which is also tolerant to both UV irradiation and desiccation. Given its unique…

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July 1, 2017

Whole-genome sequence and variant analysis of W303, a widely-used strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has emerged as a superior model organism. Selection of distinct laboratory strains of S. cerevisiae with unique phenotypic properties, such as superior mating or sporulation efficiencies, has facilitated advancements in research. W303 is one such laboratory strain that is closely related to the first completely sequenced yeast strain, S288C. In this work, we provide a high-quality, annotated genome sequence for W303 for utilization in comparative analyses and genome-wide studies. Approximately 9500 variations exist between S288C and W303, affecting the protein sequences of ~700 genes. A listing of the polymorphisms and divergent genes is provided for researchers…

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July 1, 2017

Genome diversity and evolution in the budding yeasts (Saccharomycotina).

Considerable progress in our understanding of yeast genomes and their evolution has been made over the last decade with the sequencing, analysis, and comparisons of numerous species, strains, or isolates of diverse origins. The role played by yeasts in natural environments as well as in artificial manufactures, combined with the importance of some species as model experimental systems sustained this effort. At the same time, their enormous evolutionary diversity (there are yeast species in every subphylum of Dikarya) sparked curiosity but necessitated further efforts to obtain appropriate reference genomes. Today, yeast genomes have been very informative about basic mechanisms of…

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