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Friday, July 19, 2019

Piercing the dark matter: bioinformatics of long-range sequencing and mapping.

Several new genomics technologies have become available that offer long-read sequencing or long-range mapping with higher throughput and higher resolution analysis than ever before. These long-range technologies are rapidly advancing the field with improved reference genomes, more comprehensive variant identification and more complete views of transcriptomes and epigenomes. However, they also require new bioinformatics approaches to take full advantage of their unique characteristics while overcoming their complex errors and modalities. Here, we discuss several of the most important applications of the new technologies, focusing on both the currently available bioinformatics tools and opportunities for future research.

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Extreme sensitivity to ultraviolet light in the fungal pathogen causing white-nose syndrome of bats.

Bat white-nose syndrome (WNS), caused by the fungal pathogen Pseudogymnoascus destructans, has decimated North American hibernating bats since its emergence in 2006. Here, we utilize comparative genomics to examine the evolutionary history of this pathogen in comparison to six closely related nonpathogenic species. P. destructans displays a large reduction in carbohydrate-utilizing enzymes (CAZymes) and in the predicted secretome (~50%), and an increase in lineage-specific genes. The pathogen has lost a key enzyme, UVE1, in the alternate excision repair (AER) pathway, which is known to contribute to repair of DNA lesions induced by ultraviolet (UV) light. Consistent with a nonfunctional AER…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Accurate detection of complex structural variations using single-molecule sequencing.

Structural variations are the greatest source of genetic variation, but they remain poorly understood because of technological limitations. Single-molecule long-read sequencing has the potential to dramatically advance the field, although high error rates are a challenge with existing methods. Addressing this need, we introduce open-source methods for long-read alignment (NGMLR; https://github.com/philres/ngmlr ) and structural variant identification (Sniffles; https://github.com/fritzsedlazeck/Sniffles ) that provide unprecedented sensitivity and precision for variant detection, even in repeat-rich regions and for complex nested events that can have substantial effects on human health. In several long-read datasets, including healthy and cancerous human genomes, we discovered thousands of novel…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

RNAi is a critical determinant of centromere evolution in closely related fungi.

The centromere DNA locus on a eukaryotic chromosome facilitates faithful chromosome segregation. Despite performing such a conserved function, centromere DNA sequence as well as the organization of sequence elements is rapidly evolving in all forms of eukaryotes. The driving force that facilitates centromere evolution remains an enigma. Here, we studied the evolution of centromeres in closely related species in the fungal phylum of Basidiomycota. Using ChIP-seq analysis of conserved inner kinetochore proteins, we identified centromeres in three closely related Cryptococcus species: two of which are RNAi-proficient, while the other lost functional RNAi. We find that the centromeres in the RNAi-deficient…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Population genomics shows no distinction between pathogenic Candida krusei and environmental Pichia kudriavzevii: One species, four names.

We investigated genomic diversity of a yeast species that is both an opportunistic pathogen and an important industrial yeast. Under the name Candida krusei, it is responsible for about 2% of yeast infections caused by Candida species in humans. Bloodstream infections with C. krusei are problematic because most isolates are fluconazole-resistant. Under the names Pichia kudriavzevii, Issatchenkia orientalis and Candida glycerinogenes, the same yeast, including genetically modified strains, is used for industrial-scale production of glycerol and succinate. It is also used to make some fermented foods. Here, we sequenced the type strains of C. krusei (CBS573T) and P. kudriavzevii (CBS5147T),…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

It’s more than stamp collecting: how genome sequencing can unify biological research.

The availability of reference genome sequences, especially the human reference, has revolutionized the study of biology. However, while the genomes of some species have been fully sequenced, a wide range of biological problems still cannot be effectively studied for lack of genome sequence information. Here, I identify neglected areas of biology and describe how both targeted species sequencing and more broad taxonomic surveys of the tree of life can address important biological questions. I enumerate the significant benefits that would accrue from sequencing a broader range of taxa, as well as discuss the technical advances in sequencing and assembly methods…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Complete mitochondrial genome of the medicinal fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis.

As part of a genome sequencing project for Ophiocordyceps sinensis, strain 1229, a complete mitochondrial (mt) genome was assembled as a single circular dsDNA of 157,510?bp, one of the largest reported for fungi. Conserved genes including the large and small rRNA subunits, 27 tRNA and 15 protein-coding genes, were identified. In addition, 58 non-conserved open reading frames (ncORFs) in the intergenic and intronic regions were also identified. Transcription analyses using RNA-Seq validated the expression of most conserved genes and ncORFs. Fifty-two introns (groups I and II) were found within conserved genes, accounting for 68.5% of the genome. Thirty-two homing endonucleases…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

MAR-Mediated transgene integration into permissive chromatin and increased expression by recombination pathway engineering.

Untargeted plasmid integration into mammalian cell genomes remains a poorly understood and inefficient process. The formation of plasmid concatemers and their genomic integration has been ascribed either to non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) or homologous recombination (HR) DNA repair pathways. However, a direct involvement of these pathways has remained unclear. Here, we show that the silencing of many HR factors enhanced plasmid concatemer formation and stable expression of the gene of interest in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, while the inhibition of NHEJ had no effect. However, genomic integration was decreased by the silencing of specific HR components, such as Rad51, and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Combination of short-read, long-read and optical mapping assemblies reveals large-scale tandem repeat arrays with population genetic implications.

Accurate and contiguous genome assembly is key to a comprehensive understanding of the processes shaping genomic diversity and evolution. Yet, it is frequently constrained by constitutive heterochromatin, usually characterized by highly repetitive DNA. As a key feature of genome architecture associated with centromeric and telomeric regions it influences meiotic recombination. In this study, we assess the impact of large tandem repeat arrays on the recombination rate landscape in an avian speciation model, the Eurasian crow. We assembled two high-quality genome references using single-molecule real-time sequencing (long-read assembly, LR) and single-molecule restriction maps (optical map assembly, OM). A three-way comparison including…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Higher-order organisation of extremely amplified, potentially functional and massively methylated 5S rDNA in European pikes (Esox sp.).

Pikes represent an important genus (Esox) harbouring a pre-duplication karyotype (2n?=?2x?=?50) of economically important salmonid pseudopolyploids. Here, we have characterized the 5S ribosomal RNA genes (rDNA) in Esox lucius and its closely related E. cisalpinus using cytogenetic, molecular and genomic approaches. Intragenomic homogeneity and copy number estimation was carried out using Illumina reads. The higher-order structure of rDNA arrays was investigated by the analysis of long PacBio reads. Position of loci on chromosomes was determined by FISH. DNA methylation was analysed by methylation-sensitive restriction enzymes.The 5S rDNA loci occupy exclusively (peri)centromeric regions on 30-38 acrocentric chromosomes in both E. lucius…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Trichoderma reesei complete genome sequence, repeat-induced point mutation, and partitioning of CAZyme gene clusters.

Trichoderma reesei (Ascomycota, Pezizomycotina) QM6a is a model fungus for a broad spectrum of physiological phenomena, including plant cell wall degradation, industrial production of enzymes, light responses, conidiation, sexual development, polyketide biosynthesis, and plant-fungal interactions. The genomes of QM6a and its high enzyme-producing mutants have been sequenced by second-generation-sequencing methods and are publicly available from the Joint Genome Institute. While these genome sequences have offered useful information for genomic and transcriptomic studies, their limitations and especially their short read lengths make them poorly suited for some particular biological problems, including assembly, genome-wide determination of chromosome architecture, and genetic modification or…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

A large gene family in fission yeast encodes spore killers that subvert Mendel’s law.

Spore killers in fungi are selfish genetic elements that distort Mendelian segregation in their favor. It remains unclear how many species harbor them and how diverse their mechanisms are. Here, we discover two spore killers from a natural isolate of the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Both killers belong to the previously uncharacterized wtf gene family with 25 members in the reference genome. These two killers act in strain-background-independent and genome-location-independent manners to perturb the maturation of spores not inheriting them. Spores carrying one killer are protected from its killing effect but not that of the other killer. The killing and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

SMRT Sequencing revealed mitogenome characteristics and mitogenome-wide DNA modification pattern in Ophiocordyceps sinensis.

Single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing was used to characterize mitochondrial (mt) genome of Ophiocordyceps sinensis and to analyze the mt genome-wide pattern of epigenetic DNA modification. The complete mt genome of O. sinensis, with a size of 157,539 bp, is the fourth largest Ascomycota mt genome sequenced to date. It contained 14 conserved protein-coding genes (PCGs), 1 intronic protein rps3, 27 tRNAs and 2 rRNA subunits, which are common characteristics of the known mt genomes in Hypocreales. A phylogenetic tree inferred from 14 PCGs in Pezizomycotina fungi supports O. sinensis as most closely related to Hirsutella rhossiliensis in Ophiocordycipitaceae. A…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genome diversity and evolution in the budding yeasts (Saccharomycotina).

Considerable progress in our understanding of yeast genomes and their evolution has been made over the last decade with the sequencing, analysis, and comparisons of numerous species, strains, or isolates of diverse origins. The role played by yeasts in natural environments as well as in artificial manufactures, combined with the importance of some species as model experimental systems sustained this effort. At the same time, their enormous evolutionary diversity (there are yeast species in every subphylum of Dikarya) sparked curiosity but necessitated further efforts to obtain appropriate reference genomes. Today, yeast genomes have been very informative about basic mechanisms of…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Fungal genome and mating system transitions facilitated by chromosomal translocations involving intercentromeric recombination.

Species within the human pathogenic Cryptococcus species complex are major threats to public health, causing approximately 1 million annual infections globally. Cryptococcus amylolentus is the most closely known related species of the pathogenic Cryptococcus species complex, and it is non-pathogenic. Additionally, while pathogenic Cryptococcus species have bipolar mating systems with a single large mating type (MAT) locus that represents a derived state in Basidiomycetes, C. amylolentus has a tetrapolar mating system with 2 MAT loci (P/R and HD) located on different chromosomes. Thus, studying C. amylolentus will shed light on the transition from tetrapolar to bipolar mating systems in the…

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