September 22, 2019  |  

Sixteen diverse laboratory mouse reference genomes define strain-specific haplotypes and novel functional loci.

We report full-length draft de novo genome assemblies for 16 widely used inbred mouse strains and find extensive strain-specific haplotype variation. We identify and characterize 2,567 regions on the current mouse reference genome exhibiting the greatest sequence diversity. These regions are enriched for genes involved in pathogen defence and immunity and exhibit enrichment of transposable elements and signatures of recent retrotransposition events. Combinations of alleles and genes unique to an individual strain are commonly observed at these loci, reflecting distinct strain phenotypes. We used these genomes to improve the mouse reference genome, resulting in the completion of 10 new gene structures. Also, 62 new coding loci were added to the reference genome annotation. These genomes identified a large, previously unannotated, gene (Efcab3-like) encoding 5,874 amino acids. Mutant Efcab3-like mice display anomalies in multiple brain regions, suggesting a possible role for this gene in the regulation of brain development.


September 22, 2019  |  

The African Bullfrog (Pyxicephalus adspersus) genome unites the two ancestral ingredients for making vertebrate sex chromosomes

Heteromorphic sex chromosomes have evolved repeatedly among vertebrate lineages despite largely deleterious reductions in gene dose. Understanding how this gene dose problem is overcome is hampered by the lack of genomic information at the base of tetrapods and comparisons across the evolutionary history of vertebrates. To address this problem, we produced a chromosome-level genome assembly for the African Bullfrog (Pyxicephalus adspersus)–an amphibian with heteromorphic ZW sex chromosomes–and discovered that the Bullfrog Z is surprisingly homologous to substantial portions of the human X. Using this new reference genome, we identified ancestral synteny among the sex chromosomes of major vertebrate lineages, showing that non-mammalian sex chromosomes are strongly associated with a single vertebrate ancestral chromosome, while mammals are associated with another that displays increased haploinsufficiency. The sex chromosomes of the African Bullfrog however, share genomic blocks with both humans and non-mammalian vertebrates, connecting the two ancestral chromosome sequences that repeatedly characterize vertebrate sex chromosomes. Our results highlight the consistency of sex-linked sequences despite sex determination system lability and reveal the repeated use of two major genomic sequence blocks during vertebrate sex chromosome evolution.


September 22, 2019  |  

Pm21 from Haynaldia villosa encodes a CC-NBS-LRR protein conferring powdery mildew resistance in wheat.

Wheat powdery mildew, caused by Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici (Bgt), is a destructive disease of wheat throughout the world. One of the most important environmental-friendly and economical methods to reduce wheat loss caused by Bgt is to develop highly resistant varieties (Kuraparthy et al., 2007). Pm21 from the wild species Haynaldia villosa (also known as Dasypyrum villosum) confers high resistance to Bgt in wheat throughout all growth stages. It has now become one of the most highly effective genetic loci introgressed into wheat from wild species, and the commercial varieties harboring Pm21 have been widely used in wheat production with more than 4 million hectares in China.


September 22, 2019  |  

A pathogenesis-related 10 protein catalyzes the final step in thebaine biosynthesis.

The ultimate step in the formation of thebaine, a pentacyclic opiate alkaloid readily converted to the narcotic analgesics codeine and morphine in the opium poppy, has long been presumed to be a spontaneous reaction. We have detected and purified a novel enzyme from opium poppy latex that is capable of the efficient formation of thebaine from (7S)-salutaridinol 7-O-acetate at the expense of labile hydroxylated byproducts, which are preferentially produced by spontaneous allylic elimination. Remarkably, thebaine synthase (THS), a member of the pathogenesis-related 10 protein (PR10) superfamily, is encoded within a novel gene cluster in the opium poppy genome that also includes genes encoding the four biosynthetic enzymes immediately upstream. THS is a missing component that is crucial to the development of fermentation-based opiate production and dramatically improves thebaine yield in engineered yeast.


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 observed in other taxa. Across the nuclear genome, we find elevated protein evolutionary rates and positive selection in genes predicted to interact with mitochondrial DNA and the proteins and RNA it encodes in multiple pathways. Together, these results support the hypothesis that rapid mitochondrial evolution drives compensatory nuclear evolution within isolated populations, thereby providing a potentially important mechanism for causing intrinsic reproductive isolation.


September 22, 2019  |  

Improved reference genome for the domestic horse increases assembly contiguity and composition.

Recent advances in genomic sequencing technology and computational assembly methods have allowed scientists to improve reference genome assemblies in terms of contiguity and composition. EquCab2, a reference genome for the domestic horse, was released in 2007. Although of equal or better quality compared to other first-generation Sanger assemblies, it had many of the shortcomings common to them. In 2014, the equine genomics research community began a project to improve the reference sequence for the horse, building upon the solid foundation of EquCab2 and incorporating new short-read data, long-read data, and proximity ligation data. Here, we present EquCab3. The count of non-N bases in the incorporated chromosomes is improved from 2.33?Gb in EquCab2 to 2.41?Gb in EquCab3. Contiguity has also been improved nearly 40-fold with a contig N50 of 4.5?Mb and scaffold contiguity enhanced to where all but one of the 32 chromosomes is comprised of a single scaffold.


September 22, 2019  |  

Cryptocurrencies and Zero Mode Wave guides: An unclouded path to a more contiguous Cannabis sativa L. genome assembly

We describe the use ofa Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) to crypto- fund the single molecule sequencing and publication ofa Type ll Cannabis plant. This resulted in the construction of the most contiguous Cannabis genome assembly to date. The combined use of the Dash cryptocurrency, DAOs, and Pacific Biosciences sequencing delivered a 1.03 Gb genome with a N50 of 665Kb in 77 days from funding to public upload. This represents a 230 fold improvement in the contiguity of the first cannabis assemblies in 2011 and a 4 fold improvement over all cannabis assemblies to date. 34Gb ofadditional sequencing pushed the assembly to a N50 of 3.8Mb. Hi-C data from Phase Genomics further scaffolded the assembly to 35 contigs at an N50 of 74Mb but requires additional curation. The genome is partially phased and larger than previously reported (2N : 1.33Gb). The CBCA, THCA and CBDA synthase gene clusters have been phased onto respective contigs demonstrating tandem repeat expansions.


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