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Thursday, January 7, 2021

Case Study: Pioneering a pan-genome reference collection

At DuPont Pioneer, DNA sequencing is paramount for R&D to reveal the genetic basis for traits of interest in commercial crops such as maize, soybean, sorghum, sunflower, alfalfa, canola, wheat, rice, and others. They cannot afford to wait the years it has historically taken for high-quality reference genomes to be produced. Nor can they rely on a single reference to represent the genetic diversity in its germplasm.

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Thursday, January 7, 2021

Case Study: Diving Deep – Revealing the mysteries of marine life with SMRT Sequencing

Many scientists are using PacBio Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing to explore the genomes and transcriptomes of a wide variety of marine species and ecosystems. These studies are already adding to our understanding of how marine species adapt and evolve, contributing to conservation efforts, and informing how we can optimize food production through efficient aquaculture.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

PAG Conference: Dawn of the crop pangenome era

To make improvements to crops like corn, soybeans, and canola, scientists at Corteva are building a compendium of crop genomics resources to provide actionable sequence info for genetic discovery, gene-editing, and seed product development. Hear how Kevin Fengler, Comparative Genomics Lead of Data Science and Bioinformatics at Corteva, is using PacBio sequences to build visualization tools and genome assembly pipelines as a contribution to this effort.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

PAG Conference: The Bat1K project: bat genome, biology and implications

In this presentation, Sonja Vernes of the Max Plank Institute shares her work with the Bat1K project which aims to catalog the genetic diversity of all living bat species. She highlights the unique biology of bats, from their widely varying sizes to their capacity for healthy aging and disease resistance and provides recent findings from ongoing efforts to sequence and annotate the genomes of 21 phylogenetic families of bats.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

PAG Conference: Endless forms: Genomes from the Darwin Tree of Life Project

Mark Blaxter, project lead of the Sanger Institute’s Darwin Tree of Life, shared an update of the ambitious effort to sequence all 60,000 species believed to be on the British Isles over the next 12 years in this presentation at the PAG 2020 Conference. The Sanger team has already generated data for 94 species, including 44 new moth and butterfly (Lepidoptera) PacBio assemblies, which Blaxter describes in this presentation.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Webinar: Beyond a single reference genome – The advantages of sequencing multiple individuals

Hear how scientists have used PacBio sequencing to develop pangenome collections and to study population genetics of plant and animal species to power their research. Learn about the advantages of sequencing multiple individuals to gain comprehensive views of genetic variation, and understand the speed, cost, and accuracy benefits of using highly accurate long reads (HiFi reads) to sequence your species of interest.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Allele-level sequencing and phasing of full-length HLA class I and II genes using SMRT Sequencing technology

The three classes of genes that comprise the MHC gene family are actively involved in determining donor-recipient compatibility for organ transplant, as well as susceptibility to autoimmune diseases via cross-reacting immunization. Specifically, Class I genes HLA-A, -B, -C, and class II genes HLA-DR, -DQ and -DP are considered medically important for genetic analysis to determine histocompatibility. They are highly polymorphic and have thousands of alleles implicated in disease resistance and susceptibility. The importance of full-length HLA gene sequencing for genotyping, detection of null alleles, and phasing is now widely acknowledged. While DNA-sequencing-based HLA genotyping has become routine, only 7% of…

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The resurgence of reference quality genome sequence.

Since the advent of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), the cost of de novo genome sequencing and assembly have dropped precipitately, which has spurred interest in genome sequencing overall. Unfortunately the contiguity of the NGS assembled sequences, as well as the accuracy of these assemblies have suffered. Additionally, most NGS de novo assemblies leave large portions of genomes unresolved, and repetitive regions are often collapsed. When compared to the reference quality genome sequences produced before the NGS era, the new sequences are highly fragmented and often prove to be difficult to properly annotate. In some cases the contiguous portions are smaller than…

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Targeted sequencing of genes from soybean using NimbleGen SeqCap EZ and PacBio SMRT Sequencing

Full-length gene capture solutions offer opportunities to screen and characterize structural variations and genetic diversity to understand key traits in plants and animals. Through a combined Roche NimbleGen probe capture and SMRT Sequencing strategy, we demonstrate the capability to resolve complex gene structures often observed in plant defense and developmental genes spanning multiple kilobases. The custom panel includes members of the WRKY plant-defense-signaling family, members of the NB-LRR disease-resistance family, and developmental genes important for flowering. The presence of repetitive structures and low-complexity regions makes short-read sequencing of these genes difficult, yet this approach allows researchers to obtain complete sequences…

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Immune regions are no longer incomprehensible with SMRT Sequencing

The complex immune regions of the genome, including MHC and KIR, contain large copy number variants (CNVs), a high density of genes, hyper-polymorphic gene alleles, and conserved extended haplotypes (CEH) with enormous linkage disequilibrium (LDs). This level of complexity and inherent biases of short-read sequencing make it challenging for extracting immune region haplotype information from reference-reliant, shotgun sequencing and GWAS methods. As NGS based genome and exome sequencing and SNP arrays have become a routine for population studies, numerous efforts are being made for developing software to extract and or impute the immune gene information from these datasets. Despite these…

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

A comprehensive study of the sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana) transcriptome implemented through diverse next-generation sequencing approaches

The assembly, annotation, and characterization of the sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana Dougl.) transcriptome represents an opportunity to study the genetic mechanisms underlying resistance to the invasive white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola) as well as responses to other abiotic stresses. The assembled transcripts also provide a resource to improve the genome assembly. We selected a diverse set of tissues allowing the first comprehensive evaluation of the sugar pine gene space. We have combined short read sequencing technologies (Illumina MiSeq and HiSeq) with the relatively new Pacific Biosciences Iso-Seq approach. From the 2.5 billion and 1.6 million Illumina and PacBio (46…

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

High-quality de novo genome assembly and intra-individual mitochondrial instability in the critically endangered kakapo

The kakapo (Strigops habroptila) is a large, flightless parrot endemic to New Zealand. It is highly endangered with only ~150 individuals remaining, and intensive conservation efforts are underway to save this iconic species from extinction. These include genetic studies to understand critical genes relevant to fertility, adaptation and disease resistance, and genetic diversity across the remaining population for future breeding program decisions. To aid with these efforts, we have generated a high-quality de novo genome assembly using PacBio long-read sequencing. Using the new diploid-aware FALCON-Unzip assembler, the resulting genome of 1.06 Gb has a contig N50 of 5.6 Mb (largest…

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Characterizing the pan-genome of maize with PacBio SMRT Sequencing

Maize is an amazingly diverse crop. A study in 20051 demonstrated that half of the genome sequence and one-third of the gene content between two inbred lines of maize were not shared. This diversity, which is more than two orders of magnitude larger than the diversity found between humans and chimpanzees, highlights the inability of a single reference genome to represent the full pan-genome of maize and all its variants. Here we present and review several efforts to characterize the complete diversity within maize using the highly accurate long reads of PacBio Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing. These methods provide…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

De novo assembly of a wild pear (Pyrus betuleafolia) genome.

China is the origin and evolutionary centre of Oriental pears. Pyrus betuleafolia is a wild species native to China and distributed in the northern region, and it is widely used as rootstock. Here, we report the de novo assembly of the genome of P. betuleafolia-Shanxi Duli using an integrated strategy that combines PacBio sequencing, BioNano mapping and chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) sequencing. The genome assembly size was 532.7 Mb, with a contig N50 of 1.57 Mb. A total of 59 552 protein-coding genes and 247.4 Mb of repetitive sequences were annotated for this genome. The expansion genes in P. betuleafolia were significantly enriched in secondary metabolism,…

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