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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genus-wide sequencing supports a two-locus model for sex-determination in Phoenix.

The date palm tree is a commercially important member of the genus Phoenix whose 14 species are dioecious with separate male and female individuals. To identify sex determining genes we sequenced the genomes of 15 female and 13 male Phoenix trees representing all 14 species. We identified male-specific sequences and extended them using phased single-molecule sequencing or BAC clones. We observed that only four genes contained sequences conserved in all analyzed Phoenix males. Most of these sequences showed similarity to a single genomic locus in the closely related monoecious oil palm. CYP703 and GPAT3, two single copy genes present in…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A PECTIN METHYLESTERASE gene at the maize Ga1 locus confers male function in unilateral cross-incompatibility.

Unilateral cross-incompatibility (UCI) is a unidirectional inter/intra-population reproductive barrier when both parents are self-compatible. Maize Gametophyte factor1 (Ga1) is an intraspecific UCI system and has been utilized in breeding. However, the mechanism underlying maize UCI specificity has remained mysterious for decades. Here, we report the cloning of ZmGa1P, a pollen-expressed PECTIN METHYLESTERASE (PME) gene at the Ga1 locus that can confer the male function in the maize UCI system. Homozygous transgenic plants expressing ZmGa1P in a ga1 background can fertilize Ga1-S plants and can be fertilized by pollen of ga1 plants. ZmGa1P protein is predominantly localized to the apex of…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Ma orthologous genes in Prunus spp. shed light on a noteworthy NBS-LRR cluster conferring differential resistance to root-knot nematodes.

Root-knot nematodes (RKNs) are considerable polyphagous pests that severely challenge plants worldwide and especially perennials. The specific genetic resistance of plants mainly relies on the NBS-LRR genes that are pivotal factors for pathogens control. In Prunus spp., the Ma plum and RMja almond genes possess different spectra for resistance to RKNs. While previous works based on the Ma gene allowed to clone it and to decipher its peculiar TIR-NBS-LRR (TNL) structure, we only knew that the RMja gene mapped on the same chromosome as Ma. We carried out a high-resolution mapping using an almond segregating F2 progeny of 1448 seedlings…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Cloning of the wheat Yr15 resistance gene sheds light on the plant tandem kinase-pseudokinase family.

Yellow rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), is a devastating fungal disease threatening much of global wheat production. Race-specific resistance (R)-genes are used to control rust diseases, but the rapid emergence of virulent Pst races has prompted the search for a more durable resistance. Here, we report the cloning of Yr15, a broad-spectrum R-gene derived from wild emmer wheat, which encodes a putative kinase-pseudokinase protein, designated as wheat tandem kinase 1, comprising a unique R-gene structure in wheat. The existence of a similar gene architecture in 92 putative proteins across the plant kingdom, including the barley RPG1…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The sequence of a male-specific genome region containing the sex determination switch in Aedes aegypti.

Aedes aegypti is the principal vector of several important arboviruses. Among the methods of vector control to limit transmission of disease are genetic strategies that involve the release of sterile or genetically modified non-biting males, which has generated interest in manipulating mosquito sex ratios. Sex determination in Ae. aegypti is controlled by a non-recombining Y chromosome-like region called the M locus, yet characterisation of this locus has been thwarted by the repetitive nature of the genome. In 2015, an M locus gene named Nix was identified that displays the qualities of a sex determination switch.With the use of a whole-genome…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Deletions linked to PROG1 gene participate in plant architecture domestication in Asian and African rice.

Improving the yield by modifying plant architecture was a key step during crop domestication. Here, we show that a 110-kb deletion on the short arm of chromosome 7 in Asian cultivated rice (Oryza sativa), which is closely linked to the previously identified PROSTRATE GROWTH 1 (PROG1) gene, harbors a tandem repeat of seven zinc-finger genes. Three of these genes regulate the plant architecture, suggesting that the deletion also promoted the critical transition from the prostrate growth and low yield of wild rice (O. rufipogon) to the erect growth and high yield of Asian cultivated rice. We refer to this locus…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The genomic basis of color pattern polymorphism in the Harlequin ladybird.

Many animal species comprise discrete phenotypic forms. A common example in natural populations of insects is the occurrence of different color patterns, which has motivated a rich body of ecological and genetic research [1-6]. The occurrence of dark, i.e., melanic, forms displaying discrete color patterns is found across multiple taxa, but the underlying genomic basis remains poorly characterized. In numerous ladybird species (Coccinellidae), the spatial arrangement of black and red patches on adult elytra varies wildly within species, forming strikingly different complex color patterns [7, 8]. In the harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis, more than 200 distinct color forms have been described,…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The central exons of the human MUC2 and MUC6 mucins are highly repetitive and variable in sequence between individuals

The DNA sequence of the two human mucin genes MUC2 and MUC6 have not been completely resolved due to the repetitive nature of their central exon coding for Proline, Threonine and Serine rich sequences. The exact nucleotide sequence of these exons has remained unknown for a long time due to limitations in traditional sequencing techniques. These are still very poorly covered in new whole genome sequencing projects with the corresponding protein sequences partly missing. We used a BAC clone containing both these genes and third generation sequencing technology, SMRT sequencing, to obtain the full-length contiguous MUC2 and MUC6 tandem repeat…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Evolutionary conservation of Y Chromosome ampliconic gene families despite extensive structural variation.

Despite claims that the mammalian Y Chromosome is on a path to extinction, comparative sequence analysis of primate Y Chromosomes has shown the decay of the ancestral single-copy genes has all but ceased in this eutherian lineage. The suite of single-copy Y-linked genes is highly conserved among the majority of eutherian Y Chromosomes due to strong purifying selection to retain dosage-sensitive genes. In contrast, the ampliconic regions of the Y Chromosome, which contain testis-specific genes that encode the majority of the transcripts on eutherian Y Chromosomes, are rapidly evolving and are thought to undergo species-specific turnover. However, ampliconic genes are…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Glyphosate resistance and EPSPS gene duplication: Convergent evolution in multiple plant species.

One of the increasingly widespread mechanisms of resistance to the herbicide glyphosate is copy number variation (CNV) of the 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) gene. EPSPS gene duplication has been reported in eight weed species, ranging from 3-5 extra copies to more than 150 extra copies. In the case of Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri), a section of >300 kb containing EPSPS and many other genes has been replicated and inserted at new loci throughout the genome, resulting in significant increase in total genome size. The replicated sequence contains several classes of mobile genetic elements including helitrons, raising the intriguing possibility of extra-chromosomal…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Potato late blight field resistance from QTL dPI09c is conferred by the NB-LRR gene R8.

Following the often short-lived protection that major nucleotide binding, leucine-rich-repeat (NB-LRR) resistance genes offer against the potato pathogen Phytophthora infestans, field resistance was thought to provide a more durable alternative to prevent late blight disease. We previously identified the QTL dPI09c on potato chromosome 9 as a more durable field resistance source against late blight. Here, the resistance QTL was fine-mapped to a 186 kb region. The interval corresponds to a larger, 389 kb, genomic region in the potato reference genome of Solanum tuberosum Group Phureja doubled monoploid clone DM1-3 (DM) and from which functional NB-LRRs R8, R9a, Rpi-moc1, and…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Nonhybrid, finished microbial genome assemblies from long-read SMRT sequencing data.

We present a hierarchical genome-assembly process (HGAP) for high-quality de novo microbial genome assemblies using only a single, long-insert shotgun DNA library in conjunction with Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) DNA sequencing. Our method uses the longest reads as seeds to recruit all other reads for construction of highly accurate preassembled reads through a directed acyclic graph-based consensus procedure, which we follow with assembly using off-the-shelf long-read assemblers. In contrast to hybrid approaches, HGAP does not require highly accurate raw reads for error correction. We demonstrate efficient genome assembly for several microorganisms using as few as three SMRT Cell zero-mode waveguide…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Do echinoderm genomes measure up?

Echinoderm genome sequences are a corpus of useful information about a clade of animals that serve as research models in fields ranging from marine ecology to cell and developmental biology. Genomic information from echinoids has contributed to insights into the gene interactions that drive the developmental process at the molecular level. Such insights often rely heavily on genomic information and the kinds of questions that can be asked thus depend on the quality of the sequence information. Here we describe the history of echinoderm genomic sequence assembly and present details about the quality of the data obtained. All of the…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Comparative Analysis of the Shared Sex-Determination Region (SDR) among Salmonid Fishes.

Salmonids present an excellent model for studying evolution of young sex-chromosomes. Within the genus, Oncorhynchus, at least six independent sex-chromosome pairs have evolved, many unique to individual species. This variation results from the movement of the sex-determining gene, sdY, throughout the salmonid genome. While sdY is known to define sexual differentiation in salmonids, the mechanism of its movement throughout the genome has remained elusive due to high frequencies of repetitive elements, rDNA sequences, and transposons surrounding the sex-determining regions (SDR). Despite these difficulties, bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library clones from both rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon containing the sdY region…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The assembly and characterisation of two structurally distinct cattle MHC class I haplotypes point to the mechanisms driving diversity.

In cattle, there are six classical MHC class I genes that are variably present between different haplotypes. Almost all known haplotypes contain between one and three genes, with an allele of Gene 2 present on the vast majority. However, very little is known about the sequence and therefore structure and evolutionary history of this genomic region. To address this, we have refined the MHC class I region in the Hereford cattle genome assembly and sequenced a complete A14 haplotype from a homozygous Holstein. Comparison of the two haplotypes revealed extensive variation within the MHC class Ia region, but not within…

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