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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Centrochromatin of fungi.

The centromere is an essential chromosomal locus that dictates the nucleation point for assembly of the kinetochore and subsequent attachment of spindle microtubules during chromosome segregation. Research over the last decades demonstrated that centromeres are defined by a combination of genetic and epigenetic factors. Recent work showed that centromeres are quite diverse and flexible and that many types of centromere sequences and centromeric chromatin (“centrochromatin”) have evolved. The kingdom of the fungi serves as an outstanding example of centromere plasticity, including organisms with centromeres as diverse as 0.15-300 kb in length, and with different types of chromatin states for most species…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Comparative genomics of maize ear rot pathogens reveals expansion of carbohydrate-active enzymes and secondary metabolism backbone genes in Stenocarpella maydis.

Stenocarpella maydis is a plant pathogenic fungus that causes Diplodia ear rot, one of the most destructive diseases of maize. To date, little information is available regarding the molecular basis of pathogenesis in this organism, in part due to limited genomic resources. In this study, a 54.8 Mb draft genome assembly of S. maydis was obtained with Illumina and PacBio sequencing technologies, and analyzed. Comparative genomic analyses with the predominant maize ear rot pathogens Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium verticillioides, and Fusarium graminearum revealed an expanded set of carbohydrate-active enzymes for cellulose and hemicellulose degradation in S. maydis. Analyses of predicted genes…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Tools for annotation and comparison of structural variation.

The impact of structural variants (SVs) on a variety of organisms and diseases like cancer has become increasingly evident. Methods for SV detection when studying genomic differences across cells, individuals or populations are being actively developed. Currently, just a few methods are available to compare different SVs callsets, and no specialized methods are available to annotate SVs that account for the unique characteristics of these variant types. Here, we introduce SURVIVOR_ant, a tool that compares types and breakpoints for candidate SVs from different callsets and enables fast comparison of SVs to genomic features such as genes and repetitive regions, as…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Unlocking the biological potential of Euglena gracilis: evolution, cell biology and significance to parasitism

Photosynthetic euglenids are major components of aquatic ecosystems and relatives of trypanosomes. Euglena gracilis has considerable biotechnological potential and great adaptability, but exploitation remains hampered by the absence of a comprehensive gene catalogue. We address this by genome, RNA and protein sequencing: the E. gracilis genome is >2Gb, with 36,526 predicted proteins. Large lineage-specific paralog families are present, with evidence for flexibility in environmental monitoring, divergent mechanisms for metabolic control, and novel solutions for adaptation to extreme environments. Contributions from photosynthetic eukaryotes to the nuclear genome, consistent with the shopping bag model are found, together with transitions between kinetoplastid and…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Refined Pichia pastoris reference genome sequence.

Strains of the species Komagataella phaffii are the most frequently used “Pichia pastoris” strains employed for recombinant protein production as well as studies on peroxisome biogenesis, autophagy and secretory pathway analyses. Genome sequencing of several different P. pastoris strains has provided the foundation for understanding these cellular functions in recent genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics experiments. This experimentation has identified mistakes, gaps and incorrectly annotated open reading frames in the previously published draft genome sequences. Here, a refined reference genome is presented, generated with genome and transcriptome sequencing data from multiple P. pastoris strains. Twelve major sequence gaps from 20 to…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the pezizomycete Pyronema confluens.

The complete mitochondrial genome of the ascomycete Pyronema confluens has been sequenced. The circular genome has a size of 191 kb and contains 48 protein-coding genes, 26 tRNA genes, and two rRNA genes. Of the protein-coding genes, 14 encode conserved mitochondrial proteins, and 31 encode predicted homing endonuclease genes. Copyright © 2016 Nowrousian.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

TERRA promotes telomerase-mediated telomere elongation in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

Telomerase-mediated telomere elongation provides cell populations with the ability to proliferate indefinitely. Telomerase is capable of recognizing and extending the shortest telomeres in cells; nevertheless, how this mechanism is executed remains unclear. Here, we show that, in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, shortened telomeres are highly transcribed into the evolutionarily conserved long noncoding RNA TERRA A fraction of TERRA produced upon telomere shortening is polyadenylated and largely devoid of telomeric repeats, and furthermore, telomerase physically interacts with this polyadenylated TERRA in vivo We also show that experimentally enhanced transcription of a manipulated telomere promotes its association with telomerase and concomitant…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Mobile genetic elements: in silico, in vitro, in vivo.

Mobile genetic elements (MGEs), also called transposable elements (TEs), represent universal components of most genomes and are intimately involved in nearly all aspects of genome organization, function and evolution. However, there is currently a gap between the fast pace of TE discovery in silico, driven by the exponential growth of comparative genomic studies, and a limited number of experimental models amenable to more traditional in vitro and in vivo studies of structural, mechanistic and regulatory properties of diverse MGEs. Experimental and computational scientists came together to bridge this gap at a recent conference, ‘Mobile Genetic Elements: in silico, in vitro, in vivo’, held at…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Comparative genomics of biotechnologically important yeasts.

Ascomycete yeasts are metabolically diverse, with great potential for biotechnology. Here, we report the comparative genome analysis of 29 taxonomically and biotechnologically important yeasts, including 16 newly sequenced. We identify a genetic code change, CUG-Ala, in Pachysolen tannophilus in the clade sister to the known CUG-Ser clade. Our well-resolved yeast phylogeny shows that some traits, such as methylotrophy, are restricted to single clades, whereas others, such as l-rhamnose utilization, have patchy phylogenetic distributions. Gene clusters, with variable organization and distribution, encode many pathways of interest. Genomics can predict some biochemical traits precisely, but the genomic basis of others, such as…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

TeloPCR-seq: a high-throughput sequencing approach for telomeres.

We have developed a high-throughput sequencing approach that enables us to determine terminal telomere sequences from tens of thousands of individual Schizosaccharomyces pombe telomeres. This method provides unprecedented coverage of telomeric sequence complexity in fission yeast. S. pombe telomeres are composed of modular degenerate repeats that can be explained by variation in usage of the TER1 RNA template during reverse transcription. Taking advantage of this deep sequencing approach, we find that ‘like’ repeat modules are highly correlated within individual telomeres. Moreover, repeat module preference varies with telomere length, suggesting that existing repeats promote the incorporation of like repeats and/or that…

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