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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparative genomics reveals cotton-specific virulence factors in flexible genomic regions in Verticillium dahliae and evidence of horizontal gene transfer from Fusarium.

Verticillium dahliae isolates are most virulent on the host from which they were originally isolated. Mechanisms underlying these dominant host adaptations are currently unknown. We sequenced the genome of V. dahliae Vd991, which is highly virulent on its original host, cotton, and performed comparisons with the reference genomes of JR2 (from tomato) and VdLs.17 (from lettuce). Pathogenicity-related factor prediction, orthology and multigene family classification, transcriptome analyses, phylogenetic analyses, and pathogenicity experiments were performed. The Vd991 genome harbored several exclusive, lineage-specific (LS) genes within LS regions (LSRs). Deletion mutants of the seven genes within one LSR (G-LSR2) in Vd991 were less virulent…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sooty mangabey genome sequence provides insight into AIDS resistance in a natural SIV host.

In contrast to infections with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in humans and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in macaques, SIV infection of a natural host, sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus atys), is non-pathogenic despite high viraemia. Here we sequenced and assembled the genome of a captive sooty mangabey. We conducted genome-wide comparative analyses of transcript assemblies from C. atys and AIDS-susceptible species, such as humans and macaques, to identify candidates for host genetic factors that influence susceptibility. We identified several immune-related genes in the genome of C. atys that show substantial sequence divergence from macaques or humans. One of these sequence divergences, a…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Bat biology, genomes, and the Bat1K project: To generate chromosome-level genomes for all living bat species.

Bats are unique among mammals, possessing some of the rarest mammalian adaptations, including true self-powered flight, laryngeal echolocation, exceptional longevity, unique immunity, contracted genomes, and vocal learning. They provide key ecosystem services, pollinating tropical plants, dispersing seeds, and controlling insect pest populations, thus driving healthy ecosystems. They account for more than 20% of all living mammalian diversity, and their crown-group evolutionary history dates back to the Eocene. Despite their great numbers and diversity, many species are threatened and endangered. Here we announce Bat1K, an initiative to sequence the genomes of all living bat species (n~1,300) to chromosome-level assembly. The Bat1K…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

De novo assembly and phasing of dikaryotic genomes from two isolates of Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae, the causal agent of oat crown rust.

Oat crown rust, caused by the fungus Pucinnia coronata f. sp. avenae, is a devastating disease that impacts worldwide oat production. For much of its life cycle, P. coronata f. sp. avenae is dikaryotic, with two separate haploid nuclei that may vary in virulence genotype, highlighting the importance of understanding haplotype diversity in this species. We generated highly contiguous de novo genome assemblies of two P. coronata f. sp. avenae isolates, 12SD80 and 12NC29, from long-read sequences. In total, we assembled 603 primary contigs for 12SD80, for a total assembly length of 99.16 Mbp, and 777 primary contigs for 12NC29, for…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Effect of plasmid design and type of integration event on recombinant protein expression in Pichia pastoris.

Pichia pastoris (syn. Komagataella phaffii) is one of the most common eukaryotic expression systems for heterologous protein production. Expression cassettes are typically integrated in the genome to obtain stable expression strains. In contrast to Saccharomyces cerevisiae, where short overhangs are sufficient to target highly specific integration, long overhangs are more efficient in P. pastoris and ectopic integration of foreign DNA can occur. Here, we aimed to elucidate the influence of ectopic integration by high-throughput screening of >700 transformants and whole-genome sequencing of 27 transformants. Different vector designs and linearization approaches were used to mimic the most common integration events targeted…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparative genomics of the wheat fungal pathogen Pyrenophora tritici-repentis reveals chromosomal variations and genome plasticity.

Pyrenophora tritici-repentis (Ptr) is a necrotrophic fungal pathogen that causes the major wheat disease, tan spot. We set out to provide essential genomics-based resources in order to better understand the pathogenicity mechanisms of this important pathogen.Here, we present eight new Ptr isolate genomes, assembled and annotated; representing races 1, 2 and 5, and a new race. We report a high quality Ptr reference genome, sequenced by PacBio technology with Illumina paired-end data support and optical mapping. An estimated 98% of the genome coverage was mapped to 10 chromosomal groups, using a two-enzyme hybrid approach. The final reference genome was 40.9 Mb…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Massive lateral transfer of genes encoding plant cell wall-degrading enzymes to the mycoparasitic fungus Trichoderma from its plant-associated hosts.

Unlike most other fungi, molds of the genus Trichoderma (Hypocreales, Ascomycota) are aggressive parasites of other fungi and efficient decomposers of plant biomass. Although nutritional shifts are common among hypocrealean fungi, there are no examples of such broad substrate versatility as that observed in Trichoderma. A phylogenomic analysis of 23 hypocrealean fungi (including nine Trichoderma spp. and the related Escovopsis weberi) revealed that the genus Trichoderma has evolved from an ancestor with limited cellulolytic capability that fed on either fungi or arthropods. The evolutionary analysis of Trichoderma genes encoding plant cell wall-degrading carbohydrate-active enzymes and auxiliary proteins (pcwdCAZome, 122 gene…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

SvABA: genome-wide detection of structural variants and indels by local assembly.

Structural variants (SVs), including small insertion and deletion variants (indels), are challenging to detect through standard alignment-based variant calling methods. Sequence assembly offers a powerful approach to identifying SVs, but is difficult to apply at scale genome-wide for SV detection due to its computational complexity and the difficulty of extracting SVs from assembly contigs. We describe SvABA, an efficient and accurate method for detecting SVs from short-read sequencing data using genome-wide local assembly with low memory and computing requirements. We evaluated SvABA’s performance on the NA12878 human genome and in simulated and real cancer genomes. SvABA demonstrates superior sensitivity and…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Egyptian rousette genome reveals unexpected features of bat antiviral immunity.

Bats harbor many viruses asymptomatically, including several notorious for causing extreme virulence in humans. To identify differences between antiviral mechanisms in humans and bats, we sequenced, assembled, and analyzed the genome of Rousettus aegyptiacus, a natural reservoir of Marburg virus and the only known reservoir for any filovirus. We found an expanded and diversified KLRC/KLRD family of natural killer cell receptors, MHC class I genes, and type I interferons, which dramatically differ from their functional counterparts in other mammals. Such concerted evolution of key components of bat immunity is strongly suggestive of novel modes of antiviral defense. An evaluation of…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genome Assembly.

Genome assembly uses sequence similarity to go from sequencing reads to longer contiguous sequences (contigs). Scaffolds are contigs linked together by gaps where the order and orientation of the contigs is known but the exact sequence connecting two contigs is unknown, represented by Ns which estimate the gap length. Here we describe recommendations for genome assembly for different sequencing technologies, describe organelle assembly, and review how to perform assembly quality control.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparative genomics of Spiraeoideae-infecting Erwinia amylovora strains provides novel insight to genetic diversity and identifies the genetic basis of a low-virulence strain.

Erwinia amylovora is the causal agent of fire blight, one of the most devastating diseases of apple and pear. Erwinia amylovora is thought to have originated in North America and has now spread to at least 50 countries worldwide. An understanding of the diversity of the pathogen population and the transmission to different geographical regions is important for the future mitigation of this disease. In this research, we performed an expanded comparative genomic study of the Spiraeoideae-infecting (SI) E. amylovora population in North America and Europe. We discovered that, although still highly homogeneous, the genetic diversity of 30 E. amylovora genomes examined…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Tumor-specific mitochondrial DNA variants are rarely detected in cell-free DNA.

The use of blood-circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) as a “liquid biopsy” in oncology is being explored for its potential as a cancer biomarker. Mitochondria contain their own circular genomic entity (mitochondrial DNA, mtDNA), up to even thousands of copies per cell. The mutation rate of mtDNA is several orders of magnitude higher than that of the nuclear DNA. Tumor-specific variants have been identified in tumors along the entire mtDNA, and their number varies among and within tumors. The high mtDNA copy number per cell and the high mtDNA mutation rate make it worthwhile to explore the potential of tumor-specific cf-mtDNA…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A molecular window into the biology and epidemiology of Pneumocystis spp.

Pneumocystis, a unique atypical fungus with an elusive lifestyle, has had an important medical history. It came to prominence as an opportunistic pathogen that not only can cause life-threatening pneumonia in patients with HIV infection and other immunodeficiencies but also can colonize the lungs of healthy individuals from a very early age. The genus Pneumocystis includes a group of closely related but heterogeneous organisms that have a worldwide distribution, have been detected in multiple mammalian species, are highly host species specific, inhabit the lungs almost exclusively, and have never convincingly been cultured in vitro, making Pneumocystis a fascinating but difficult-to-study…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Chara genome: Secondary complexity and implications for plant terrestrialization.

Land plants evolved from charophytic algae, among which Charophyceae possess the most complex body plans. We present the genome of Chara braunii; comparison of the genome to those of land plants identified evolutionary novelties for plant terrestrialization and land plant heritage genes. C. braunii employs unique xylan synthases for cell wall biosynthesis, a phragmoplast (cell separation) mechanism similar to that of land plants, and many phytohormones. C. braunii plastids are controlled via land-plant-like retrograde signaling, and transcriptional regulation is more elaborate than in other algae. The morphological complexity of this organism may result from expanded gene families, with three cases of particular…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Characterization of LE3 and LE4, the only lytic phages known to infect the spirochete Leptospira.

Leptospira is a phylogenetically unique group of bacteria, and includes the causative agents of leptospirosis, the most globally prevalent zoonosis. Bacteriophages in Leptospira are largely unexplored. To date, a genomic sequence is available for only one temperate leptophage called LE1. Here, we sequenced and analysed the first genomes of the lytic phages LE3 and LE4 that can infect the saprophyte Leptospira biflexa using the lipopolysaccharide O-antigen as receptor. Bioinformatics analysis showed that the 48-kb LE3 and LE4 genomes are similar and contain 62% genes whose function cannot be predicted. Mass spectrometry led to the identification of 21 and 23 phage…

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