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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genomic organization of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) T cell receptor alpha/delta locus and analysis of expressed products.

In testing the hypothesis that all jawed vertebrate classes employ immunoglobulin heavy chain V (IgHV) gene segments in their T cell receptor (TCR)d encoding loci, we found that some basic characterization was required of zebrafish TCRd. We began by annotating and characterizing the TCRa/d locus of Danio rerio based on the most recent genome assembly, GRCz10. We identified a total of 141 theoretically functional V segments which we grouped into 41 families based upon 70 % nucleotide identity. This number represents the second greatest count of apparently functional V genes thus far described in an antigen receptor locus with the exception…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Antibiotic failure mediated by a resistant subpopulation in Enterobacter cloacae.

Antibiotic resistance is a major public health threat, further complicated by unexplained treatment failures caused by bacteria that appear antibiotic susceptible. We describe an Enterobacter cloacae isolate harbouring a minor subpopulation that is highly resistant to the last-line antibiotic colistin. This subpopulation was distinct from persisters, became predominant in colistin, returned to baseline after colistin removal and was dependent on the histidine kinase PhoQ. During murine infection, but in the absence of colistin, innate immune defences led to an increased frequency of the resistant subpopulation, leading to inefficacy of subsequent colistin therapy. An isolate with a lower-frequency colistin-resistant subpopulation similarly…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

A hot L1 retrotransposon evades somatic repression and initiates human colorectal cancer.

Although human LINE-1 (L1) elements are actively mobilized in many cancers, a role for somatic L1 retrotransposition in tumor initiation has not been conclusively demonstrated. Here, we identify a novel somatic L1 insertion in the APC tumor suppressor gene that provided us with a unique opportunity to determine whether such insertions can actually initiate colorectal cancer (CRC), and if so, how this might occur. Our data support a model whereby a hot L1 source element on Chromosome 17 of the patient’s genome evaded somatic repression in normal colon tissues and thereby initiated CRC by mutating the APC gene. This insertion…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Reply to Bemm et al. and Arakawa: Identifying foreign genes in independent Hypsibius dujardini genome assemblies.

Our report (1) describing the discovery of extensive horizontal gene transfer in a tardigrade genome has raised questions from other groups who were sequencing the Hypsibius dujardini genome in parallel or who have done new experiments and analyses since our report (2??–5). Bemm et al. (2) now report filtering our data for likely contaminants, resulting in a new, prefiltered genome assembly. Arakawa (3) has sequenced genomes of starved, washed, individual animals that had been treated with antibiotics for 48 h, and used this genomic sequence and RNA-Seq data to identify likely bona fide tardigrade contigs. Two other reports have contributed…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Long single-molecule reads can resolve the complexity of the influenza virus composed of rare, closely related mutant variants

As a result of a high rate of mutations and recombination events, an RNA-virus exists as a heterogeneous “swarm” of mutant variants. The long read length offered by single-molecule sequencing technologies allows each mutant variant to be sequenced in a single pass. However, high error rate limits the ability to reconstruct heterogeneous viral population composed of rare, related mutant variants. In this paper, we present 2SNV, a method able to tolerate the high error-rate of the single-molecule protocol and reconstruct mutant variants. 2SNV uses linkage between single nucleotide variations to efficiently distinguish them from read errors. To benchmark the sensitivity…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Representing genetic variation with synthetic DNA standards.

The identification of genetic variation with next-generation sequencing is confounded by the complexity of the human genome sequence and by biases that arise during library preparation, sequencing and analysis. We have developed a set of synthetic DNA standards, termed ‘sequins’, that emulate human genetic features and constitute qualitative and quantitative spike-in controls for genome sequencing. Sequencing reads derived from sequins align exclusively to an artificial in silico reference chromosome, rather than the human reference genome, which allows them them to be partitioned for parallel analysis. Here we use this approach to represent common and clinically relevant genetic variation, ranging from…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The report of my death was an exaggeration: A review for researchers using microsatellites in the 21st century.

Microsatellites, or simple sequence repeats (SSRs), have long played a major role in genetic studies due to their typically high polymorphism. They have diverse applications, including genome mapping, forensics, ascertaining parentage, population and conservation genetics, identification of the parentage of polyploids, and phylogeography. We compare SSRs and newer methods, such as genotyping by sequencing (GBS) and restriction site associated DNA sequencing (RAD-Seq), and offer recommendations for researchers considering which genetic markers to use. We also review the variety of techniques currently used for identifying microsatellite loci and developing primers, with a particular focus on those that make use of next-generation…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Privacy-preserving read mapping using locality sensitive hashing and secure kmer voting

The recent explosion in the amount of available genome sequencing data imposes high computational demands on the tools designed to analyze it. Low-cost cloud computing has the potential to alleviate this burden. However, moving personal genome data analysis to the cloud raises serious privacy concerns. Read alignment is a critical and computationally intensive first step of most genomic data analysis pipelines. While significant effort has been dedicated to optimize the sensitivity and runtime efficiency of this step, few approaches have addressed outsourcing this computation securely to an untrusted party. The few secure solutions that have been proposed either do not…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Next-generation sequencing: a diagnostic one-stop shop for Hepatitis C?

Before starting chronic hepatitis C treatment, the viral genotype/subtype has to be accurately determined and potentially coupled with drug resistance testing. Due to the high genetic variability of the hepatitis C virus, this can be a demanding task that can potentially be streamlined by viral whole-genome sequencing using next-generation sequencing as demonstrated by an article in this issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology by E. Thomson, C. L. C. Ip, A. Badhan, M. T. Christiansen, W. Adamson, et al. (J Clin Microbiol. 54:2455-2469, 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.00330-16). Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Silicon content of individual cells of Synechococcus from the North Atlantic Ocean

The widely distributed marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus is thought to exert an influence on the marine silicon (Si) cycle through its high cellular Si relative to organic content. There are few measurements of Si in natural populations of Synechococcus, however, and the degree to which Synechococcus from various oligotrophic field sites and depths accumulate the element is unknown. We used synchrotron x-ray fluorescence to measure Si quotas in individual Synechococcus cells collected during three cruises in the western North Atlantic Ocean in the summer and fall, focusing on cells from the surface mixed layer (SML;

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Probabilistic viral quasispecies assembly

Viruses are pathogens that cause infectious diseases. The swarm of virions is subject to the host’s immune pressure and possibly antiviral therapy. It may escape this selective pressure and gain selective advantage by acquiring one or more of the genomic alterations: single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), loss or gain of one or more amino acids, large deletions, for example, due to alternative splicing, or recombination of different strains. Genotypic antiretroviral drug resistance testing is performed via sequencing. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies revolutionized assessing viral genetic diversity experimentally. In viral quasispecies analysis, there are two main goals: the identification of low-frequency variants and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

MICADo – Looking for mutations in targeted PacBio cancer data: an alignment-free method.

Targeted sequencing is commonly used in clinical application of NGS technology since it enables generation of sufficient sequencing depth in the targeted genes of interest and thus ensures the best possible downstream analysis. This notwithstanding, the accurate discovery and annotation of disease causing mutations remains a challenging problem even in such favorable context. The difficulty is particularly salient in the case of third generation sequencing technology, such as PacBio. We present MICADo, a de Bruijn graph based method, implemented in python, that makes possible to distinguish between patient specific mutations and other alterations for targeted sequencing of a cohort of…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Improve homology search sensitivity of PacBio data by correcting frameshifts.

Single-molecule, real-time sequencing (SMRT) developed by Pacific BioSciences produces longer reads than secondary generation sequencing technologies such as Illumina. The long read length enables PacBio sequencing to close gaps in genome assembly, reveal structural variations, and identify gene isoforms with higher accuracy in transcriptomic sequencing. However, PacBio data has high sequencing error rate and most of the errors are insertion or deletion errors. During alignment-based homology search, insertion or deletion errors in genes will cause frameshifts and may only lead to marginal alignment scores and short alignments. As a result, it is hard to distinguish true alignments from random alignments…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Epigenetic mechanisms in microbial members of the human microbiota: current knowledge and perspectives.

The human microbiota and epigenetic processes have both been shown to play a crucial role in health and disease. However, there is extremely scarce information on epigenetic modulation of microbiota members except for a few pathogens. Mainly DNA adenine methylation has been described extensively in modulating the virulence of pathogenic bacteria in particular. It would thus appear likely that such mechanisms are widespread for most bacterial members of the microbiota. This review will present briefly the current knowledge on epigenetic processes in bacteria, give examples of known methylation processes in microbial members of the human microbiota and summarize the knowledge…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Microbial metagenomics mock scenario-based sample simulation (M3S3).

Shotgun sequencing in increasingly applied in clinical microbiology for unbiased culture-independent diagnosis. While software solutions for metagenomics proliferate, integration of metagenomics in clinical care, requires method standardisation and validation. Virtual metagenomics samples could underpin validation by substituting real samples and thus we sought to develop a novel solution for simulation of metagenomics samples based on user-defined clinical scenarios.We designed the Microbial Metagenomics Mock Scenario-based Sample Simulation (M3S3) workflow, which allows users to generate virtual samples from raw reads or assemblies. The M3S3 output is a mock sample in FASTQ or FASTA format. M3S3 was tested by generating virtual samples for…

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