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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Comparative Phylogenomics, a Stepping Stone for Bird Biodiversity Studies

Birds are a group with immense availability of genomic resources, and hundreds of forthcoming genomes at the doorstep. We review recent developments in whole genome sequencing, phylogenomics, and comparative genomics of birds. Short read based genome assemblies are common, largely due to efforts of the Bird 10K genome project (B10K). Chromosome-level assemblies are expected to increase due to improved long-read sequencing. The available genomic data has enabled the reconstruction of the bird tree of life with increasing confidence and resolution, but challenges remain in the early splits of Neoaves due to their explosive diversification after the Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) event. Continued…

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Structural determination of the broadly reactive anti-IGHV1-69 anti-idiotypic antibody G6 and its idiotope.

The heavy chain IGHV1-69 germline gene exhibits a high level of polymorphism and shows biased use in protective antibody (Ab) responses to infections and vaccines. It is also highly expressed in several B cell malignancies and autoimmune diseases. G6 is an anti-idiotypic monoclonal Ab that selectively binds to IGHV1-69 heavy chain germline gene 51p1 alleles that have been implicated in these Ab responses and disease processes. Here, we determine the co-crystal structure of humanized G6 (hG6.3) in complex with anti-influenza hemagglutinin stem-directed broadly neutralizing Ab D80. The core of the hG6.3 idiotope is a continuous string of CDR-H2 residues starting with…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The industrial melanism mutation in British peppered moths is a transposable element.

Discovering the mutational events that fuel adaptation to environmental change remains an important challenge for evolutionary biology. The classroom example of a visible evolutionary response is industrial melanism in the peppered moth (Biston betularia): the replacement, during the Industrial Revolution, of the common pale typica form by a previously unknown black (carbonaria) form, driven by the interaction between bird predation and coal pollution. The carbonaria locus has been coarsely localized to a 200-kilobase region, but the specific identity and nature of the sequence difference controlling the carbonaria-typica polymorphism, and the gene it influences, are unknown. Here we show that the…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Hybrid sequencing of full-length cDNA transcripts of stems and leaves in Dendrobium officinale.

Dendrobium officinale is an extremely valuable orchid used in traditional Chinese medicine, so sought after that it has a higher market value than gold. Although the expression profiles of some genes involved in the polysaccharide synthesis have previously been investigated, little research has been carried out on their alternatively spliced isoforms in D. officinale. In addition, information regarding the translocation of sugars from leaves to stems in D. officinale also remains limited. We analyzed the polysaccharide content of D. officinale leaves and stems, and completed in-depth transcriptome sequencing of these two diverse tissue types using second-generation sequencing (SGS) and single-molecule…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Young genes have distinct gene structure, epigenetic profiles, and transcriptional regulation.

Species-specific, new, or “orphan” genes account for 10%-30% of eukaryotic genomes. Although initially considered to have limited function, an increasing number of orphan genes have been shown to provide important phenotypic innovation. How new genes acquire regulatory sequences for proper temporal and spatial expression is unknown. Orphan gene regulation may rely in part on origination in open chromatin adjacent to preexisting promoters, although this has not yet been assessed by genome-wide analysis of chromatin states. Here, we combine taxon-rich nematode phylogenies with Iso-Seq, RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, and ATAC-seq to identify the gene structure and epigenetic signature of orphan genes in the…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Full-length transcriptome of Misgurnus anguillicaudatus provides insights into evolution of genus Misgurnus.

Reconstruction and annotation of transcripts, particularly for a species without reference genome, plays a critical role in gene discovery, investigation of genomic signatures, and genome annotation in the pre-genomic era. This study generated 33,330 full-length transcripts of diploid M. anguillicaudatus using PacBio SMRT Sequencing. A total of 6,918 gene families were identified with two or more isoforms, and 26,683 complete ORFs with an average length of 1,497?bp were detected. Totally, 1,208 high-confidence lncRNAs were identified, and most of these appeared to be precursor transcripts of miRNAs or snoRNAs. Phylogenetic tree of the Misgurnus species was inferred based on the 1,905…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Ecological genomics of tropical trees: how local population size and allelic diversity of resistance genes relate to immune responses, cosusceptibility to pathogens, and negative density dependence

In tropical forests, rarer species show increased sensitivity to species-specific soil pathogens and more negative effects of conspecific density on seedling survival (NDD). These patterns suggest a connection between ecology and immunity, perhaps because small population size disproportionately reduces genetic diversity of hyperdiverse loci such as immunity genes. In an experiment examining seedling roots from six species in one tropical tree community, we found that smaller populations have reduced amino acid diversity in pathogen resistance (R) genes but not the transcriptome in general. Normalized R gene amino acid diversity varied with local abundance and prior measures of differences in sensitivity…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Periodic pattern of genetic and fitness diversity during evolution of an artificial cell-like system.

Genetic and phenotypic diversity are the basis of evolution. Despite their importance, however, little is known about how they change over the course of evolution. In this study, we analyzed the dynamics of the adaptive evolution of a simple evolvable artificial cell-like system using single-molecule real-time sequencing technology that reads an entire single artificial genome. We found that the genomic RNA population increases in fitness intermittently, correlating with a periodic pattern of genetic and fitness diversity produced by repeated diversification and domination. In the diversification phase, a genomic RNA population spreads within a genetic space by accumulating mutations until mutants…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sequence of the sugar pine megagenome.

Until very recently, complete characterization of the megagenomes of conifers has remained elusive. The diploid genome of sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana Dougl.) has a highly repetitive, 31 billion bp genome. It is the largest genome sequenced and assembled to date, and the first from the subgenus Strobus, or white pines, a group that is notable for having the largest genomes among the pines. The genome represents a unique opportunity to investigate genome “obesity” in conifers and white pines. Comparative analysis of P. lambertiana and P. taeda L. reveals new insights on the conservation, age, and diversity of the highly abundant transposable elements,…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Emergence, retention and selection: A trilogy of origination for functional de novo proteins from ancestral lncRNAs in primates.

While some human-specific protein-coding genes have been proposed to originate from ancestral lncRNAs, the transition process remains poorly understood. Here we identified 64 hominoid-specific de novo genes and report a mechanism for the origination of functional de novo proteins from ancestral lncRNAs with precise splicing structures and specific tissue expression profiles. Whole-genome sequencing of dozens of rhesus macaque animals revealed that these lncRNAs are generally not more selectively constrained than other lncRNA loci. The existence of these newly-originated de novo proteins is also not beyond anticipation under neutral expectation, as they generally have longer theoretical lifespan than their current age,…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The discovered chimeric protein plays the cohesive role to maintain scallop byssal root structural integrity.

Adhesion is essential for many marine sessile organisms. Unraveling the compositions and assembly of marine bioadheisves is the fundamental to understand their physiological roles. Despite the remarkable diversity of animal bioadhesion, our understanding of this biological process remains limited to only a few animal lineages, leaving the majority of lineages remain enigmatic. Our previous study demonstrated that scallop byssus had distinct protein composition and unusual assembly mechanism apart from mussels. Here a novel protein (Sbp9) was discovered from the key part of the byssus (byssal root), which contains two Calcium Binding Domain (CBD) and 49 tandem Epidermal Growth Factor-Like (EGFL)…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Metasecretome phage display.

Metasecretome is a collection of cell-surface and secreted proteins that mediate interactions between microbial communities and their environment. These include adhesins, enzymes, surface structures such as pili or flagella, vaccine targets or proteins responsible for immune evasion. Traditional approaches to exploring matasecretome of complex microbial communities via cultivation of microorganisms and screening of individual strains fail to sample extraordinary diversity in these communities, since only a limited fraction of microorganisms are represented by cultures. Advances in culture-independent sequence analysis methods, collectively referred to as metagenomics, offer an alternative approach that enables the direct analysis of collective microbial genomes (metagenome) recovered…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A high-resolution genetic map of the cereal crown rot pathogen Fusarium pseudograminearum provides a near-complete genome assembly.

Fusarium pseudograminearum is an important pathogen of wheat and barley, particularly in semi-arid environments. Previous genome assemblies for this organism were based entirely on short read data and are highly fragmented. In this work, a genetic map of F. pseudograminearum has been constructed for the first time based on a mapping population of 178 individuals. The genetic map, together with long read scaffolding of a short read-based genome assembly, was used to give a near-complete assembly of the four F. pseudograminearum chromosomes. Large regions of synteny between F. pseudograminearum and F. graminearum, the related pathogen that is the primary causal…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Avian genomics lends insights into endocrine function in birds.

The genomics era has brought along the completed sequencing of a large number of bird genomes that cover a broad range of the avian phylogenetic tree (>30 orders), leading to major novel insights into avian biology and evolution. Among recent findings, the discovery that birds lack a large number of protein coding genes that are organized in highly conserved syntenic clusters in other vertebrates is very intriguing, given the physiological importance of many of these genes. A considerable number of them play prominent endocrine roles, suggesting that birds evolved compensatory genetic or physiological mechanisms that allowed them to survive and…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genome characterization of oleaginous Aspergillus oryzae BCC7051: A potential fungal-based platform for lipid production.

The selected robust fungus, Aspergillus oryzae strain BCC7051 is of interest for biotechnological production of lipid-derived products due to its capability to accumulate high amount of intracellular lipids using various sugars and agro-industrial substrates. Here, we report the genome sequence of the oleaginous A. oryzae BCC7051. The obtained reads were de novo assembled into 25 scaffolds spanning of 38,550,958 bps with predicted 11,456 protein-coding genes. By synteny mapping, a large rearrangement was found in two scaffolds of A. oryzae BCC7051 as compared to the reference RIB40 strain. The genetic relationship between BCC7051 and other strains of A. oryzae in terms of…

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