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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Case Study: Sequencing an historic bacterial collection for the future

The UK’s National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC) is a unique collection of more than 5,000 expertly preserved and authenticated bacterial cultures, many of historical significance. Founded in 1920, NCTC is the longest established collection of its type anywhere in the world, with a history of its own that has reflected — and contributed to — the evolution of microbiology for more than 100 years.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Infographic: A brief history of microbiology

Our understanding of microbiology has evolved enormously over the last 150 years. Few institutions have witnessed our collective progress more closely than the National Collection of Type Cultures (NCTC). In fact, the collection itself is a record of the many milestones microbiologists have crossed, building on the discoveries of those who came before. To date, 60% of NCTC’s historic collection now has a closed, finished reference genome, thanks to PacBio Single Molecule, Real- Time (SMRT) Sequencing. We are excited to be their partner in crossing this latest milestone on their quest to improve human and animal health by understanding the…

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Highly sensitive, non-invasive detection of colorectal cancer mutations using single molecule, third generation sequencing.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) represents one of the most prevalent and lethal malignant neoplasms and every individual of age 50 and above should undergo regular CRC screening. Currently, the most effective procedure to detect adenomas, the precursors to CRC, is colonoscopy, which reduces CRC incidence by 80%. However, it is an invasive approach that is unpleasant for the patient, expensive, and poses some risk of complications such as colon perforation. A non-invasive screening approach with detection rates comparable to those of colonoscopy has not yet been established. The current study applies Pacific Biosciences third generation, single molecule sequencing to the inspection…

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Complete telomere-to-telomere de novo assembly of the Plasmodium falciparum genome using long-read sequencing

Sequence-based estimation of genetic diversity of Plasmodium falciparum, the most lethal malarial parasite, has proved challenging due to a lack of a complete genomic assembly. The skewed AT-richness (~80.6% (A+T)) of its genome and the lack of technology to assemble highly polymorphic sub-telomeric regions that contain clonally variant, multigene virulence families (i.e. var and rifin) have confounded attempts using short-read NGS technologies. Using single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing, we successfully compiled all 14 nuclear chromosomes of the P. falciparum genome from telomere-to-telomere in single contigs. Specifically, amplification-free sequencing generated reads of average length 12 kb, with =50% of the reads…

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Comparative metagenome-assembled genome analysis of “Candidatus Lachnocurva vaginae”, formerly known as Bacterial Vaginosis Associated bacterium – 1 (BVAB1)

Bacterial Vaginosis Associated bacterium 1 (BVAB1) is an as-yet uncultured bacterial species found in the human vagina that belongs to the family Lachnospiraceae within the order Clostridiales. As its name suggests, this bacterium is often associated with bacterial vaginosis (BV), a common vaginal disorder that has been shown to increase a woman’s risk for HIV, Chlamydia trachomatis, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae infections as well as preterm birth. Further, BVAB1 is associated with the persistence of BV following metronidazole treatment, increased vaginal inflammation, and adverse obstetrics outcomes. There is no available complete genome sequence of BVAB1, which has made it di?cult to…

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Friday, February 5, 2021

PAG Conference: Update on sequencing of the Cabernet sauvignon genome

Grant Cramer from the University of Nevada, Reno, and Dario Cantu from the Univeristy of Callifornia, Davis, discuss past challenges with sequencing Clone 8 of Cabernet Sauvignon (Vitis vinifera). An assembly of the genome was attempted with approximately 110x Illumina reads and 5x PacBio reads. The PacBio SMRT Sequencing read made major improvements in the assembly compared with the results of Illumina reads only. However, the assembly results were still unsatisfactory, so an additional 100-fold SMRT Sequencing coverage had been generated. An update on the current sequencing results and status of the assembly are presented.

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Podcast: We’re over halfway there: Baylor’s Richard Gibbs on clinical genetics

In this podcast, Gibbs shares his perspective on the complementary roles genomics and genetics plays in driving our understanding of human biology. Richard says that the Human genome project was actually a departure from had been typical in the field of human genetics. He notes, “there really was this departure between human genetics and genomics for a decade and a half or more, really because of the demands of doing the genome project there was too much to do to stop and think about some of these more fundamental problems in genetics.” Gibbs observes that we have now entered a…

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Podcast: Reference genome making major strides in ethnic diversity, says Valerie Schneider, NCBI

Valerie Schneider of the National Center for Biotechnology Information discuss how the Genome Reference Consortium (GRC) is bringing more ethnic diversity to the latest human reference assembly (GRCh38) by adding patches and alternate loci scaffolds. Scientists working with population graphs are among the early adopters of these new alternate loci scaffolds. She also discusses work underway at the McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University to generate a set of high-quality, de novo whole genomes from a wide variety of populations. The new ethnic genomes “are also intended to stand on their own as complements to the reference so users can…

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Friday, February 5, 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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Friday, February 5, 2021

Webinar: A HiFi View – Sequencing the gut microbiome with highly accurate long reads

In this webinar, Dr. Ashby gives attendees a brief update on PacBio’s metagenomics solutions on the Sequel II System. Then, Dr. Ma, University of Maryland School of Medicine, discusses her work using long read sequencing to identify high-resolution microbial biomarkers associated with leaky gut syndrome in premature infants. Finally, Dr. Weinstock, The Jackson Laboratory, talks about the potential of highly accurate long reads to enable strain-level resolution of the human gut microbiome by resolving intraspecies variation in multiple copies of the 16S gene.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Tandem repeats lead to sequence assembly errors and impose multi-level challenges for genome and protein databases.

The widespread occurrence of repetitive stretches of DNA in genomes of organisms across the tree of life imposes fundamental challenges for sequencing, genome assembly, and automated annotation of genes and proteins. This multi-level problem can lead to errors in genome and protein databases that are often not recognized or acknowledged. As a consequence, end users working with sequences with repetitive regions are faced with ‘ready-to-use’ deposited data whose trustworthiness is difficult to determine, let alone to quantify. Here, we provide a review of the problems associated with tandem repeat sequences that originate from different stages during the sequencing-assembly-annotation-deposition workflow, and…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The bracteatus pineapple genome and domestication of clonally propagated crops.

Domestication of clonally propagated crops such as pineapple from South America was hypothesized to be a ‘one-step operation’. We sequenced the genome of Ananas comosus var. bracteatus CB5 and assembled 513?Mb into 25 chromosomes with 29,412 genes. Comparison of the genomes of CB5, F153 and MD2 elucidated the genomic basis of fiber production, color formation, sugar accumulation and fruit maturation. We also resequenced 89 Ananas genomes. Cultivars ‘Smooth Cayenne’ and ‘Queen’ exhibited ancient and recent admixture, while ‘Singapore Spanish’ supported a one-step operation of domestication. We identified 25 selective sweeps, including a strong sweep containing a pair of tandemly duplicated…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Chlorella vulgaris genome assembly and annotation reveals the molecular basis for metabolic acclimation to high light conditions.

Chlorella vulgaris is a fast-growing fresh-water microalga cultivated at the industrial scale for applications ranging from food to biofuel production. To advance our understanding of its biology and to establish genetics tools for biotechnological manipulation, we sequenced the nuclear and organelle genomes of Chlorella vulgaris 211/11P by combining next generation sequencing and optical mapping of isolated DNA molecules. This hybrid approach allowed to assemble the nuclear genome in 14 pseudo-molecules with an N50 of 2.8 Mb and 98.9% of scaffolded genome. The integration of RNA-seq data obtained at two different irradiances of growth (high light-HL versus low light -LL) enabled…

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