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Friday, July 19, 2019

The epigenomic landscape of prokaryotes.

DNA methylation acts in concert with restriction enzymes to protect the integrity of prokaryotic genomes. Studies in a limited number of organisms suggest that methylation also contributes to prokaryotic genome regulation, but the prevalence and properties of such non-restriction-associated methylation systems remain poorly understood. Here, we used single molecule, real-time sequencing to map DNA modifications including m6A, m4C, and m5C across the genomes of 230 diverse bacterial and archaeal species. We observed DNA methylation in nearly all (93%) organisms examined, and identified a total of 834 distinct reproducibly methylated motifs. This data enabled annotation of the DNA binding specificities of…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Polymerase specific error rates and profiles identified by single molecule sequencing.

DNA polymerases have an innate error rate which is polymerase and DNA context specific. Historically the mutational rate and profiles have been measured using a variety of methods, each with their own technical limitations. Here we used the unique properties of single molecule sequencing to evaluate the mutational rate and profiles of six DNA polymerases at the sequence level. In addition to accurately determining mutations in double strands, single molecule sequencing also captures direction specific transversions and transitions through the analysis of heteroduplexes. Not only did the error rates vary, but also the direction specific transitions differed among polymerases. Copyright…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Large deletions at the SHOX locus in the pseudoautosomal region are associated with skeletal atavism in Shetland ponies.

Skeletal atavism in Shetland ponies is a heritable disorder characterized by abnormal growth of the ulna and fibula that extend the carpal and tarsal joints, respectively. This causes abnormal skeletal structure, impaired movements, and affected foals are usually euthanized. In order to identify the causal mutation we subjected six confirmed Swedish cases and a DNA pool consisting of 21 control individuals to whole genome resequencing. We screened for polymorphisms where the cases and the control pool were fixed for opposite alleles and observed this signature for only 25 SNPs, most of which were scattered on genome assembly unassigned scaffolds. Read…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Single-molecule sequencing reveals complex genomic variation of hepatitis B virus during 15 years of chronic infection following liver transplantation.

Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) is prevalent worldwide. The infectious agent, hepatitis B virus (HBV) replicates via an RNA intermediate and is error-prone, leading to rapid generation of closely related but not identical viral variants, including those that can escape host immune responses and antiviral treatments. The complexity of CHB can be further enhanced by the presence of HBV variants with large deletions in the genome, generated via splicing (spHBV). Although spHBV variants are incapable of autonomous replication, their replication is rescued by wild-type HBV. SpHBV variants have been shown to enhance wild-type virus replication, and their prevalence increases with liver…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Analysis of tandem gene copies in maize chromosomal regions reconstructed from long sequence reads.

Haplotype variation not only involves SNPs but also insertions and deletions, in particular gene copy number variations. However, comparisons of individual genomes have been difficult because traditional sequencing methods give too short reads to unambiguously reconstruct chromosomal regions containing repetitive DNA sequences. An example of such a case is the protein gene family in maize that acts as a sink for reduced nitrogen in the seed. Previously, 41-48 gene copies of the alpha zein gene family that spread over six loci spanning between 30- and 500-kb chromosomal regions have been described in two Iowa Stiff Stalk (SS) inbreds. Analyses of…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

A distinct class of chromoanagenesis events characterized by focal copy number gains.

Chromoanagenesis is the process by which a single catastrophic event creates complex rearrangements confined to a single or a few chromosomes. It is usually characterized by the presence of multiple deletions and/or duplications, as well as by copy neutral rearrangements. In contrast, an array CGH screen of patients with developmental anomalies revealed three patients in which a single chromosome carries from 8 to 11 large copy number gains confined to a single chromosome or chromosomal arm, but the absence of deletions. Subsequent fluorescence in situ hybiridization and massive parallel sequencing revealed the duplicons to be clustered together in distinct locations…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Examining sources of error in PCR by single-molecule sequencing.

Next-generation sequencing technology has enabled the detection of rare genetic or somatic mutations and contributed to our understanding of disease progression and evolution. However, many next-generation sequencing technologies first rely on DNA amplification, via the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), as part of sample preparation workflows. Mistakes made during PCR appear in sequencing data and contribute to false mutations that can ultimately confound genetic analysis. In this report, a single-molecule sequencing assay was used to comprehensively catalog the different types of errors introduced during PCR, including polymerase misincorporation, structure-induced template-switching, PCR-mediated recombination and DNA damage. In addition to well-characterized polymerase base…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Deletion-bias in DNA double-strand break repair differentially contributes to plant genome shrinkage.

In order to prevent genome instability, cells need to be protected by a number of repair mechanisms, including DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair. The extent to which DSB repair, biased towards deletions or insertions, contributes to evolutionary diversification of genome size is still under debate. We analyzed mutation spectra in Arabidopsis thaliana and in barley (Hordeum vulgare) by PacBio sequencing of three DSB-targeted loci each, uncovering repair via gene conversion, single strand annealing (SSA) or nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ). Furthermore, phylogenomic comparisons between A. thaliana and two related species were used to detect naturally occurring deletions during Arabidopsis evolution. Arabidopsis thaliana revealed…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Characterization of hepatitis C virus (HCV) envelope diversification from acute to chronic infection within a sexually transmitted HCV cluster by using single-molecule, real-time sequencing.

In contrast to other available next-generation sequencing platforms, PacBio single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing has the advantage of generating long reads albeit with a relatively higher error rate in unprocessed data. Using this platform, we longitudinally sampled and sequenced the hepatitis C virus (HCV) envelope genome region (1,680 nucleotides [nt]) from individuals belonging to a cluster of sexually transmitted cases. All five subjects were coinfected with HIV-1 and a closely related strain of HCV genotype 4d. In total, 50 samples were analyzed by using SMRT sequencing. By using 7 passes of circular consensus sequencing, the error rate was reduced to 0.37%,…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Detecting PKD1 variants in polycystic kidney disease patients by single-molecule long-read sequencing.

A genetic diagnosis of autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is challenging due to allelic heterogeneity, high GC content, and homology of the PKD1 gene with six pseudogenes. Short-read next-generation sequencing approaches, such as whole-genome sequencing and whole-exome sequencing, often fail at reliably characterizing complex regions such as PKD1. However, long-read single-molecule sequencing has been shown to be an alternative strategy that could overcome PKD1 complexities and discriminate between homologous regions of PKD1 and its pseudogenes. In this study, we present the increased power of resolution for complex regions using long-read sequencing to characterize a cohort of 19 patients with ADPKD.…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Genomic analyses of primitive, wild and cultivated citrus provide insights into asexual reproduction.

The emergence of apomixis-the transition from sexual to asexual reproduction-is a prominent feature of modern citrus. Here we de novo sequenced and comprehensively studied the genomes of four representative citrus species. Additionally, we sequenced 100 accessions of primitive, wild and cultivated citrus. Comparative population analysis suggested that genomic regions harboring energy- and reproduction-associated genes are probably under selection in cultivated citrus. We also narrowed the genetic locus responsible for citrus polyembryony, a form of apomixis, to an 80-kb region containing 11 candidate genes. One of these, CitRWP, is expressed at higher levels in ovules of polyembryonic cultivars. We found a…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Quasispecies composition and evolution of a typical Zika virus clinical isolate from Suriname.

The arthropod-borne Zika virus (ZIKV) is currently causing a major international public health threat in the Americas. This study describes the isolation of ZIKV from the plasma of a 29-year-old female traveler that developed typical symptoms, like rash, fever and headache upon return from Suriname. The complete genome sequence including the 5′ and 3′ untranslated regions was determined and phylogenetic analysis showed the isolate clustering within the Asian lineage, close to other viruses that have recently been isolated in the Americas. In addition, the viral quasispecies composition was analyzed by single molecule real time sequencing, which suggested a mutation frequency…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Improved maize reference genome with single-molecule technologies.

Complete and accurate reference genomes and annotations provide fundamental tools for characterization of genetic and functional variation. These resources facilitate the determination of biological processes and support translation of research findings into improved and sustainable agricultural technologies. Many reference genomes for crop plants have been generated over the past decade, but these genomes are often fragmented and missing complex repeat regions. Here we report the assembly and annotation of a reference genome of maize, a genetic and agricultural model species, using single-molecule real-time sequencing and high-resolution optical mapping. Relative to the previous reference genome, our assembly features a 52-fold increase…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Detecting AGG interruptions in male and female FMR1 premutation carriers by single-molecule sequencing.

The FMR1 gene contains an unstable CGG repeat in its 5′ untranslated region. Premutation alleles range between 55 and 200 repeat units and confer a risk for developing fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome or fragile X-associated primary ovarian insufficiency. Furthermore, the premutation allele often expands to a full mutation during female germline transmission giving rise to the fragile X syndrome. The risk for a premutation to expand depends mainly on the number of CGG units and the presence of AGG interruptions in the CGG repeat. Unfortunately, the detection of AGG interruptions is hampered by technical difficulties. Here, we demonstrate that single-molecule…

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