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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparative genomics of bdelloid rotifers: Insights from desiccating and nondesiccating species.

Bdelloid rotifers are a class of microscopic invertebrates that have existed for millions of years apparently without sex or meiosis. They inhabit a variety of temporary and permanent freshwater habitats globally, and many species are remarkably tolerant of desiccation. Bdelloids offer an opportunity to better understand the evolution of sex and recombination, but previous work has emphasised desiccation as the cause of several unusual genomic features in this group. Here, we present high-quality whole-genome sequences of 3 bdelloid species: Rotaria macrura and R. magnacalcarata, which are both desiccation intolerant, and Adineta ricciae, which is desiccation tolerant. In combination with the…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genetic and molecular basis of the immune system in the brachiopod Lingula anatina.

The extension of comparative immunology to non-model systems, such as mollusks and annelids, has revealed an unexpected diversity in the complement of immune receptors and effectors among evolutionary lineages. However, several lophotrochozoan phyla remain unexplored mainly due to the lack of genomic resources. The increasing accessibility of high-throughput sequencing technologies offers unique opportunities for extending genome-wide studies to non-model systems. As a result, the genome-based study of the immune system in brachiopods allows a better understanding of the alternative survival strategies developed by these immunologically neglected phyla. Here we present a detailed overview of the molecular components of the immune…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

DNA N6-adenine methylation in Arabidopsis thaliana.

DNA methylation on N6-adenine (6mA) has recently been found to be a potentially epigenetic mark in several unicellular and multicellular eukaryotes. However, its distribution patterns and potential functions in land plants, which are primary producers for most ecosystems, remain largely unknown. Here we report global profiling of 6mA sites at single-nucleotide resolution in the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana at different developmental stages using single-molecule real-time sequencing. 6mA sites are widely distributed across the Arabidopsis genome and enriched over the pericentromeric heterochromatin regions. 6mA occurs more frequently in gene bodies than intergenic regions. Analysis of 6mA methylomes and RNA sequencing data…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Double insertion of transposable elements provides a substrate for the evolution of satellite DNA.

Eukaryotic genomes are replete with repeated sequences in the form of transposable elements (TEs) dispersed across the genome or as satellite arrays, large stretches of tandemly repeated sequences. Many satellites clearly originated as TEs, but it is unclear how mobile genetic parasites can transform into megabase-sized tandem arrays. Comprehensive population genomic sampling is needed to determine the frequency and generative mechanisms of tandem TEs, at all stages from their initial formation to their subsequent expansion and maintenance as satellites. The best available population resources, short-read DNA sequences, are often considered to be of limited utility for analyzing repetitive DNA due…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

New genomic data and analyses challenge the traditional vision of animal epithelium evolution.

The emergence of epithelia was the foundation of metazoan expansion. Epithelial tissues are a hallmark of metazoans deeply rooted in the evolution of their complex developmental morphogenesis processes. However, studies on the epithelial features of non-bilaterians are still sparse and it remains unclear whether the last common metazoan ancestor possessed a fully functional epithelial toolkit or if it was acquired later during metazoan evolution.To investigate the early evolution of animal epithelia, we sequenced the genome and transcriptomes of two new sponge species to characterize epithelial markers such as the E-cadherin complex and the polarity complexes for all classes (Calcarea, Demospongiae,…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

NPBSS: a new PacBio sequencing simulator for generating the continuous long reads with an empirical model.

PacBio sequencing platform offers longer read lengths than the second-generation sequencing technologies. It has revolutionized de novo genome assembly and enabled the automated reconstruction of reference-quality genomes. Due to its extremely wide range of application areas, fast sequencing simulation systems with high fidelity are in great demand to facilitate the development and comparison of subsequent analysis tools. Although there are several available simulators (e.g., PBSIM, SimLoRD and FASTQSim) that target the specific generation of PacBio libraries, the error rate of simulated sequences is not well matched to the quality value of raw PacBio datasets, especially for PacBio’s continuous long reads…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A whole genome assembly of the horn fly, Haematobia irritans, and prediction of genes with roles in metabolism and sex determination.

Haematobia irritans, commonly known as the horn fly, is a globally distributed blood-feeding pest of cattle that is responsible for significant economic losses to cattle producers. Chemical insecticides are the primary means for controlling this pest but problems with insecticide resistance have become common in the horn fly. To provide a foundation for identification of genomic loci for insecticide resistance and for discovery of new control technology, we report the sequencing, assembly, and annotation of the horn fly genome. The assembled genome is 1.14 Gb, comprising 76,616 scaffolds with N50 scaffold length of 23 Kb. Using RNA-Seq data, we have…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Multiple large inversions and breakpoint rewiring of gene expression in the evolution of the fire ant social supergene.

Supergenes consist of co-adapted loci that segregate together and are associated with adaptive traits. In the fire ant Solenopsis invicta, two ‘social’ supergene variants regulate differences in colony queen number and other traits. Suppressed recombination in this system is maintained, in part, by a greater than 9 Mb inversion, but the supergene is larger. Has the supergene in S. invicta undergone multiple large inversions? The initial gene content of the inverted allele of a supergene would be the same as that of the wild-type allele. So, how did the inversion increase in frequency? To address these questions, we cloned one…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Extensive exchange of transposable elements in the Drosophila pseudoobscura group.

As species diverge, so does their transposable element (TE) content. Within a genome, TE families may eventually become dormant due to host-silencing mechanisms, natural selection and the accumulation of inactive copies. The transmission of active copies from a TE families, both vertically and horizontally between species, can allow TEs to escape inactivation if it occurs often enough, as it may allow TEs to temporarily escape silencing in a new host. Thus, the contribution of horizontal exchange to TE persistence has been of increasing interest.Here, we annotated TEs in five species with sequenced genomes from the D. pseudoobscura species group, and…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Horizontal transfer and proliferation of Tsu4 in Saccharomyces paradoxus.

Recent evidence suggests that horizontal transfer plays a significant role in the evolution of of transposable elements (TEs) in eukaryotes. Many cases of horizontal TE transfer (HTT) been reported in animals and plants, however surprisingly few examples of HTT have been reported in fungi.Here I report evidence for a novel HTT event in fungi involving Tsu4 in Saccharomyces paradoxus based on (i) unexpectedly high similarity between Tsu4 elements in S. paradoxus and S. uvarum, (ii) a patchy distribution of Tsu4 in S. paradoxus and general absence from its sister species S. cerevisiae, and (iii) discordance between the phylogenetic history of…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sea cucumber genome provides insights into saponin biosynthesis and aestivation regulation.

Echinoderms exhibit several fascinating evolutionary innovations that are rarely seen in the animal kingdom, but how these animals attained such features is not well understood. Here we report the sequencing and analysis of the genome and extensive transcriptomes of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus, a species from a special echinoderm group with extraordinary potential for saponin synthesis, aestivation and organ regeneration. The sea cucumber does not possess a reorganized Hox cluster as previously assumed for all echinoderms, and the spatial expression of Hox7 and Hox11/13b potentially guides the embryo-to-larva axial transformation. Contrary to the typical production of lanosterol in animal…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

N6-methyladenine DNA modification in the human genome.

DNA N6-methyladenine (6mA) modification is the most prevalent DNA modification in prokaryotes, but whether it exists in human cells and whether it plays a role in human diseases remain enigmatic. Here, we showed that 6mA is extensively present in the human genome, and we cataloged 881,240 6mA sites accounting for ~0.051% of the total adenines. [G/C]AGG[C/T] was the most significantly associated motif with 6mA modification. 6mA sites were enriched in the coding regions and mark actively transcribed genes in human cells. DNA 6mA and N6-demethyladenine modification in the human genome were mediated by methyltransferase N6AMT1 and demethylase ALKBH1, respectively. The…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genomic signatures of mitonuclear coevolution across populations of Tigriopus californicus.

The copepod Tigriopus californicus shows extensive population divergence and is becoming a model for understanding allopatric differentiation and the early stages of speciation. Here, we report a high-quality reference genome for one population (~190?megabases across 12 scaffolds, and ~15,500 protein-coding genes). Comparison with other arthropods reveals 2,526 genes presumed to be specific to T. californicus, with an apparent proliferation of genes involved in ion transport and receptor activity. Beyond the reference population, we report re-sequenced genomes of seven additional populations, spanning the continuum of reproductive isolation. Populations show extreme mitochondrial DNA divergence, with higher levels of amino acid differentiation than…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Conservation genomics of the declining North American bumblebee Bombus terricola reveals inbreeding and selection on immune genes.

The yellow-banded bumblebee Bombus terricola was common in North America but has recently declined and is now on the IUCN Red List of threatened species. The causes of B. terricola’s decline are not well understood. Our objectives were to create a partial genome and then use this to estimate population data of conservation interest, and to determine whether genes showing signs of recent selection suggest a specific cause of decline. First, we generated a draft partial genome (contig set) for B. terricola, sequenced using Pacific Biosciences RS II at an average depth of 35×. Second, we sequenced the individual genomes…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The hpRNA/RNAi pathway is essential to resolve intragenomic conflict in the Drosophila male germline.

Intragenomic conflicts are fueled by rapidly evolving selfish genetic elements, which induce selective pressures to innovate opposing repressive mechanisms. This is patently manifest in sex-ratio (SR) meiotic drive systems, in which distorter and suppressor factors bias and restore equal transmission of X and Y sperm. Here, we reveal that multiple SR suppressors in Drosophila simulans (Nmy and Tmy) encode related hairpin RNAs (hpRNAs), which generate endo-siRNAs that repress the paralogous distorters Dox and MDox. All components in this drive network are recently evolved and largely testis restricted. To connect SR hpRNA function to the RNAi pathway, we generated D. simulans null…

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