September 22, 2019  |  

Comprehensive transcriptome analysis of Sarcophaga peregrina, a forensically important fly species.

Sarcophaga peregrina (flesh fly) is a frequently found fly species in Palaearctic, Oriental, and Australasian regions that can be used to estimate minimal postmortem intervals important for forensic investigations. Despite its forensic importance, the genome information of S. peregrina has not been fully described. Therefore, we generated a comprehensive gene expression dataset using RNA sequencing and carried out de novo assembly to characterize the S. peregrina transcriptome. We obtained precise sequence information for RNA transcripts using two different methods. Based on primary sequence information, we identified sets of assembled unigenes and predicted coding sequences. Functional annotation of the aligned unigenes was performed using the UniProt, Gene Ontology, and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes databases. As a result, 26,580,352 and 83,221 raw reads were obtained using the Illumina MiSeq and Pacbio RS II Iso-Seq sequencing applications, respectively. From these reads, 55,730 contigs were successfully annotated. The present study provides the resulting genome information of S. peregrina, which is valuable for forensic applications.


September 22, 2019  |  

A survey of the complex transcriptome from the highly polyploid sugarcane genome using full-length isoform sequencing and de novo assembly from short read sequencing.

Despite the economic importance of sugarcane in sugar and bioenergy production, there is not yet a reference genome available. Most of the sugarcane transcriptomic studies have been based on Saccharum officinarum gene indices (SoGI), expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and de novo assembled transcript contigs from short-reads; hence knowledge of the sugarcane transcriptome is limited in relation to transcript length and number of transcript isoforms.The sugarcane transcriptome was sequenced using PacBio isoform sequencing (Iso-Seq) of a pooled RNA sample derived from leaf, internode and root tissues, of different developmental stages, from 22 varieties, to explore the potential for capturing full-length transcript isoforms. A total of 107,598 unique transcript isoforms were obtained, representing about 71% of the total number of predicted sugarcane genes. The majority of this dataset (92%) matched the plant protein database, while just over 2% was novel transcripts, and over 2% was putative long non-coding RNAs. About 56% and 23% of total sequences were annotated against the gene ontology and KEGG pathway databases, respectively. Comparison with de novo contigs from Illumina RNA-Sequencing (RNA-Seq) of the internode samples from the same experiment and public databases showed that the Iso-Seq method recovered more full-length transcript isoforms, had a higher N50 and average length of largest 1,000 proteins; whereas a greater representation of the gene content and RNA diversity was captured in RNA-Seq. Only 62% of PacBio transcript isoforms matched 67% of de novo contigs, while the non-matched proportions were attributed to the inclusion of leaf/root tissues and the normalization in PacBio, and the representation of more gene content and RNA classes in the de novo assembly, respectively. About 69% of PacBio transcript isoforms and 41% of de novo contigs aligned with the sorghum genome, indicating the high conservation of orthologs in the genic regions of the two genomes.The transcriptome dataset should contribute to improved sugarcane gene models and sugarcane protein predictions; and will serve as a reference database for analysis of transcript expression in sugarcane.


September 22, 2019  |  

Atmospheric N deposition increases bacterial laccase-like multicopper oxidases: implications for organic matter decay.

Anthropogenic release of biologically available nitrogen (N) has increased dramatically over the last 150 years, which can alter the processes controlling carbon (C) storage in terrestrial ecosystems. In a northern hardwood forest ecosystem located in Michigan in the United States, nearly 20 years of experimentally increased atmospheric N deposition has reduced forest floor decay and increased soil C storage. This change occurred concomitantly with compositional changes in Basidiomycete fungi and in Actinobacteria, as well as the downregulation of fungal lignocelluloytic genes. Recently, laccase-like multicopper oxidases (LMCOs) have been discovered among bacteria which can oxidize ß-O-4 linkages in phenolic compounds (e.g., lignin and humic compounds), resulting in the production of dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Here, we examined how nearly 2 decades of experimental N deposition has affected the abundance and composition of saprotrophic bacteria possessing LMCO genes. In our experiment, LMCO genes were more abundant in the forest floor under experimental N deposition whereas the abundances of bacteria and fungi were unchanged. Experimental N deposition also led to less-diverse, significantly altered bacterial and LMCO gene assemblages, with taxa implicated in organic matter decay (i.e., Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria) accounting for the majority of compositional changes. These results suggest that experimental N deposition favors bacteria in the forest floor that harbor the LMCO gene and represents a plausible mechanism by which anthropogenic N deposition has reduced decomposition, increased soil C storage, and accelerated phenolic DOC production in our field experiment. Our observations suggest that future rates of atmospheric N deposition could fundamentally alter the physiological potential of soil microbial communities. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Assessing the gene content of the megagenome: sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana).

Sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana Douglas) is within the subgenus Strobus with an estimated genome size of 31 Gbp. Transcriptomic resources are of particular interest in conifers due to the challenges presented in their megagenomes for gene identification. In this study, we present the first comprehensive survey of the P. lambertiana transcriptome through deep sequencing of a variety of tissue types to generate more than 2.5 billion short reads. Third generation, long reads generated through PacBio Iso-Seq has been included for the first time in conifers to combat the challenges associated with de novo transcriptome assembly. A technology comparison is provided here contribute to the otherwise scarce comparisons of 2nd and 3rd generation transcriptome sequencing approaches in plant species. In addition, the transcriptome reference was essential for gene model identification and quality assessment in the parallel project responsible for sequencing and assembly of the entire genome. In this study, the transcriptomic data was also used to address some of the questions surrounding lineage-specific Dicer-like proteins in conifers. These proteins play a role in the control of transposable element proliferation and the related genome expansion in conifers. Copyright © 2016 Author et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

Comparative Annotation Toolkit (CAT)-simultaneous clade and personal genome annotation.

The recent introductions of low-cost, long-read, and read-cloud sequencing technologies coupled with intense efforts to develop efficient algorithms have made affordable, high-quality de novo sequence assembly a realistic proposition. The result is an explosion of new, ultracontiguous genome assemblies. To compare these genomes, we need robust methods for genome annotation. We describe the fully open source Comparative Annotation Toolkit (CAT), which provides a flexible way to simultaneously annotate entire clades and identify orthology relationships. We show that CAT can be used to improve annotations on the rat genome, annotate the great apes, annotate a diverse set of mammals, and annotate personal, diploid human genomes. We demonstrate the resulting discovery of novel genes, isoforms, and structural variants-even in genomes as well studied as rat and the great apes-and how these annotations improve cross-species RNA expression experiments.© 2018 Fiddes et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


September 22, 2019  |  

Use of a draft genome of coffee (Coffea arabica) to identify SNPs associated with caffeine content.

Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) has a small gene pool limiting genetic improvement. Selection for caffeine content within this gene pool would be assisted by identification of the genes controlling this important trait. Sequencing of DNA bulks from 18 genotypes with extreme high- or low-caffeine content from a population of 232 genotypes was used to identify linked polymorphisms. To obtain a reference genome, a whole genome assembly of arabica coffee (variety K7) was achieved by sequencing using short read (Illumina) and long-read (PacBio) technology. Assembly was performed using a range of assembly tools resulting in 76 409 scaffolds with a scaffold N50 of 54 544 bp and a total scaffold length of 1448 Mb. Validation of the genome assembly using different tools showed high completeness of the genome. More than 99% of transcriptome sequences mapped to the C. arabica draft genome, and 89% of BUSCOs were present. The assembled genome annotated using AUGUSTUS yielded 99 829 gene models. Using the draft arabica genome as reference in mapping and variant calling allowed the detection of 1444 nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with caffeine content. Based on Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes pathway-based analysis, 65 caffeine-associated SNPs were discovered, among which 11 SNPs were associated with genes encoding enzymes involved in the conversion of substrates, which participate in the caffeine biosynthesis pathways. This analysis demonstrated the complex genetic control of this key trait in coffee.© 2018 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


September 22, 2019  |  

Avian transcriptomics: opportunities and challenges

Recent developments in next-generation sequencing technologies have greatly facilitated the study of whole transcriptomes in model and non-model species. Studying the transcriptome and how it changes across a variety of biological conditions has had major implications for our understanding of how the genome is regulated in different contexts, and how to interpret adaptations and the phenotype of an organism. The aim of this review is to highlight the potential of these new technologies for the study of avian transcriptomics, and to summarise how transcriptomics has been applied in ornithology. A total of 81 peer-reviewed scientific articles that used transcriptomics to answer questions within a broad range of study areas in birds are used as examples throughout the review. We further provide a quick guide to highlight the most important points which need to be take into account when planning a transcriptomic study in birds, and discuss how researchers with little background in molecular biology can avoid potential pitfalls. Suggestions for further reading are supplied throughout. We also discuss possible future developments in the technology platforms used for ribonucleic acid sequencing. By summarising how these novel technologies can be used to answer questions that have long been asked by ornithologists, we hope to bridge the gap between traditional ornithology and genomics, and to stimulate more interdisciplinary research.


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 single copy orthologous genes. The tetraploid and diploid M. anguillicaudatus grouped into a clade, and M. bipartitus showed a closer relationship with the M. anguillicaudatus. The overall evolutionary rates of tetraploid M. anguillicaudatus were significantly higher than those of other Misgurnus species. Meanwhile, 28 positively selected genes were identified in M. anguillicaudatus clade. These positively selected genes may play critical roles in the adaptation to various habitat environments for M. anguillicaudatus. This study could facilitate further exploration of the genomic signatures of M. anguillicaudatus and provide potential insights into unveiling the evolutionary history of tetraploid loach.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genome re-annotation of the wild strawberry Fragaria vesca using extensive Illumina-and SMRT-based RNA-seq datasets

The genome of the wild diploid strawberry species Fragaria vesca, an ideal model system of cultivated strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa, octoploid) and other Rosaceae family crops, was first published in 2011 and followed by a new assembly (Fvb). However, the annotation for Fvb mainly relied on ab initio predictions and included only predicted coding sequences, therefore an improved annotation is highly desirable. Here, a new annotation version named v2.0.a2 was created for the Fvb genome by a pipeline utilizing one PacBio library, 90 Illumina RNA-seq libraries, and 9 small RNA-seq libraries. Altogether, 18,641 genes (55.6% out of 33,538 genes) were augmented with information on the 5′ and/or 3′ UTRs, 13,168 (39.3%) protein-coding genes were modified or newly identified, and 7,370 genes were found to possess alternative isoforms. In addition, 1,938 long non-coding RNAs, 171 miRNAs, and 51,714 small RNA clusters were integrated into the annotation. This new annotation of F. vesca is substantially improved in both accuracy and integrity of gene predictions, beneficial to the gene functional studies in strawberry and to the comparative genomic analysis of other horticultural crops in Rosaceae family.


September 22, 2019  |  

Transcriptome profiling of two ornamental and medicinal papaver herbs.

The Papaver spp. (Papaver rhoeas (Corn poppy) and Papaver nudicaule (Iceland poppy)) genera are ornamental and medicinal plants that are used for the isolation of alkaloid drugs. In this study, we generated 700 Mb of transcriptome sequences with the PacBio platform. They were assembled into 120,926 contigs, and 1185 (82.2%) of the benchmarking universal single-copy orthologs (BUSCO) core genes were completely present in our assembled transcriptome. Furthermore, using 128 Gb of Illumina sequences, the transcript expression was assessed at three stages of Papaver plant development (30, 60, and 90 days), from which we identified 137 differentially expressed transcripts. Furthermore, three co-occurrence heat maps are generated from 51 different plant genomes along with the Papaver transcriptome, i.e., secondary metabolite biosynthesis, isoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis (BIA) pathway, and cytochrome. Sixty-nine transcripts in the BIA pathway along with 22 different alkaloids (quantified with LC-QTOF-MS/MS) were mapped into the BIA KEGG map (map00950). Finally, we identified 39 full-length cytochrome transcripts and compared them with other genomes. Collectively, this transcriptome data, along with the expression and quantitative metabolite profiles, provides an initial recording of secondary metabolites and their expression related to Papaver plant development. Moreover, these profiles could help to further detail the functional characterization of the various secondary metabolite biosynthesis and Papaver plant development associated problems.


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, the primary factor determining genome size. Like most North American white pines, the principal pathogen of P. lambertiana is white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola J.C. Fischer ex Raben.). Identification of candidate genes for resistance to this pathogen is of great ecological importance. The genome sequence afforded us the opportunity to make substantial progress on locating the major dominant gene for simple resistance hypersensitive response, Cr1 We describe new markers and gene annotation that are both tightly linked to Cr1 in a mapping population, and associated with Cr1 in unrelated sugar pine individuals sampled throughout the species’ range, creating a solid foundation for future mapping. This genomic variation and annotated candidate genes characterized in our study of the Cr1 region are resources for future marker-assisted breeding efforts as well as for investigations of fundamental mechanisms of invasive disease and evolutionary response. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.


September 22, 2019  |  

De novo assembly and characterizing of the culm-derived meta-transcriptome from the polyploid sugarcane genome based on coding transcripts

Sugarcane biomass has been used for sugar, bioenergy and biomaterial production. The majority of the sugarcane biomass comes from the culm, which makes it important to understand the genetic control of biomass production in this part of the plant. A meta-transcriptome of the culm was obtained in an earlier study by using about one billion paired-end (150 bp) reads of deep RNA sequencing of samples from 20 diverse sugarcane genotypes and combining de novo assemblies from different assemblers and different settings. Although many genes could be recovered, this resulted in a large combined assembly which created the need for clustering to reduce transcript redundancy while maintaining gene content. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of the effect of different assembly settings and clustering methods on de novo assembly, annotation and transcript profiling focusing especially on the coding transcripts from the highly polyploid sugarcane genome. The new coding sequence-based transcript clustering resulted in a better representation of transcripts compared to the earlier approach, having 121,987 contigs, which included 78,052 main and 43,935 alternative transcripts. About 73%, 67%, 61% and 10% of the transcriptome was annotated against the NCBI NR protein database, GO terms, orthologous groups and KEGG orthologies, respectively. Using this set for a differential gene expression analysis between the young and mature sugarcane culm tissues, a total of 822 transcripts were found to be differentially expressed, including key transcripts involved in sugar/fiber accumulation in sugarcane. In the context of the lack of a whole genome sequence for sugarcane, the availability of a well annotated culm-derived meta-transcriptome through deep sequencing provides useful information on coding genes specific to the sugarcane culm and will certainly contribute to understanding the process of carbon partitioning, and biomass accumulation in the sugarcane culm.


September 22, 2019  |  

Draft genome assembly of the poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae.

The poultry red mite, Dermanyssus gallinae, is a major worldwide concern in the egg-laying industry. Here, we report the first draft genome assembly and gene prediction of Dermanyssus gallinae, based on combined PacBio and MinION long-read de novo sequencing. The ~959-Mb genome is predicted to encode 14,608 protein-coding genes.


September 22, 2019  |  

De novo assembly of a Chinese soybean genome.

Soybean was domesticated in China and has become one of the most important oilseed crops. Due to bottlenecks in their introduction and dissemination, soybeans from different geographic areas exhibit extensive genetic diversity. Asia is the largest soybean market; therefore, a high-quality soybean reference genome from this area is critical for soybean research and breeding. Here, we report the de novo assembly and sequence analysis of a Chinese soybean genome for “Zhonghuang 13” by a combination of SMRT, Hi-C and optical mapping data. The assembled genome size is 1.025 Gb with a contig N50 of 3.46 Mb and a scaffold N50 of 51.87 Mb. Comparisons between this genome and the previously reported reference genome (cv. Williams 82) uncovered more than 250,000 structure variations. A total of 52,051 protein coding genes and 36,429 transposable elements were annotated for this genome, and a gene co-expression network including 39,967 genes was also established. This high quality Chinese soybean genome and its sequence analysis will provide valuable information for soybean improvement in the future.


September 22, 2019  |  

The genomic and functional landscapes of developmental plasticity in the American cockroach.

Many cockroach species have adapted to urban environments, and some have been serious pests of public health in the tropics and subtropics. Here, we present the 3.38-Gb genome and a consensus gene set of the American cockroach, Periplaneta americana. We report insights from both genomic and functional investigations into the underlying basis of its adaptation to urban environments and developmental plasticity. In comparison with other insects, expansions of gene families in P. americana exist for most core gene families likely associated with environmental adaptation, such as chemoreception and detoxification. Multiple pathways regulating metamorphic development are well conserved, and RNAi experiments inform on key roles of 20-hydroxyecdysone, juvenile hormone, insulin, and decapentaplegic signals in regulating plasticity. Our analyses reveal a high level of sequence identity in genes between the American cockroach and two termite species, advancing it as a valuable model to study the evolutionary relationships between cockroaches and termites.


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