June 1, 2021  |  

From Sequencing to Chromosomes: New de novo assembly and scaffolding methods improve the goat reference genome

Single-molecule sequencing is now routinely used to assemble complete, high-quality microbial genomes, but these assembly methods have not scaled well to large genomes. To address this problem, we previously introduced the MinHash Alignment Process (MHAP) for overlapping single-molecule reads using probabilistic, locality-sensitive hashing. Integrating MHAP with Celera Assembler (CA) has enabled reference-grade assemblies of model organisms, revealing novel heterochromatic sequences and filling low-complexity gap sequences in the GRCh38 human reference genome. We have applied our methods to assemble the San Clemente goat genome. Combining single-molecule sequencing from Pacific Biosciences and BioNano Genomics generates and assembly that is over 150-fold more contiguous than the latest Capra hircus reference. In combination with Hi-C sequencing, the assembly surpasses reference assemblies, de novo, with minimal manual intervention. The autosomes are each assembled into a single scaffold. Our assembly provides a more complete gene reconstruction, better alignments with Goat 52k chip, and improved allosome reconstruction. In addition to providing increased continuity of sequence, our assembly achieves a higher BUSCO completion score (84%) than the existing goat reference assembly suggesting better quality annotation of gene models. Our results demonstrate that single-molecule sequencing can produce near-complete eukaryotic genomes at modest cost and minimal manual effort.

April 21, 2020  |  

From markers to genome-based breeding in wheat.

Recent technological advances in wheat genomics provide new opportunities to uncover genetic variation in traits of breeding interest and enable genome-based breeding to deliver wheat cultivars for the projected food requirements for 2050. There has been tremendous progress in development of whole-genome sequencing resources in wheat and its progenitor species during the last 5 years. High-throughput genotyping is now possible in wheat not only for routine gene introgression but also for high-density genome-wide genotyping. This is a major transition phase to enable genome-based breeding to achieve progressive genetic gains to parallel to projected wheat production demands. These advances have intrigued wheat researchers to practice less pursued analytical approaches which were not practiced due to the short history of genome sequence availability. Such approaches have been successful in gene discovery and breeding applications in other crops and animals for which genome sequences have been available for much longer. These strategies include, (i) environmental genome-wide association studies in wheat genetic resources stored in genbanks to identify genes for local adaptation by using agroclimatic traits as phenotypes, (ii) haplotype-based analyses to improve the statistical power and resolution of genomic selection and gene mapping experiments, (iii) new breeding strategies for genome-based prediction of heterosis patterns in wheat, and (iv) ultimate use of genomics information to develop more efficient and robust genome-wide genotyping platforms to precisely predict higher yield potential and stability with greater precision. Genome-based breeding has potential to achieve the ultimate objective of ensuring sustainable wheat production through developing high yielding, climate-resilient wheat cultivars with high nutritional quality.

April 21, 2020  |  

Long-read sequencing identifies GGC repeat expansions in NOTCH2NLC associated with neuronal intranuclear inclusion disease.

Neuronal intranuclear inclusion disease (NIID) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by eosinophilic hyaline intranuclear inclusions in neuronal and somatic cells. The wide range of clinical manifestations in NIID makes ante-mortem diagnosis difficult1-8, but skin biopsy enables its ante-mortem diagnosis9-12. The average onset age is 59.7 years among approximately 140 NIID cases consisting of mostly sporadic and several familial cases. By linkage mapping of a large NIID family with several affected members (Family 1), we identified a 58.1 Mb linked region at 1p22.1-q21.3 with a maximum logarithm of the odds score of 4.21. By long-read sequencing, we identified a GGC repeat expansion in the 5′ region of NOTCH2NLC (Notch 2 N-terminal like C) in all affected family members. Furthermore, we found similar expansions in 8 unrelated families with NIID and 40 sporadic NIID cases. We observed abnormal anti-sense transcripts in fibroblasts specifically from patients but not unaffected individuals. This work shows that repeat expansion in human-specific NOTCH2NLC, a gene that evolved by segmental duplication, causes a human disease.

April 21, 2020  |  

Recompleting the Caenorhabditis elegans genome.

Caenorhabditis elegans was the first multicellular eukaryotic genome sequenced to apparent completion. Although this assembly employed a standard C. elegans strain (N2), it used sequence data from several laboratories, with DNA propagated in bacteria and yeast. Thus, the N2 assembly has many differences from any C. elegans available today. To provide a more accurate C. elegans genome, we performed long-read assembly of VC2010, a modern strain derived from N2. Our VC2010 assembly has 99.98% identity to N2 but with an additional 1.8 Mb including tandem repeat expansions and genome duplications. For 116 structural discrepancies between N2 and VC2010, 97 structures matching VC2010 (84%) were also found in two outgroup strains, implying deficiencies in N2. Over 98% of N2 genes encoded unchanged products in VC2010; moreover, we predicted =53 new genes in VC2010. The recompleted genome of C. elegans should be a valuable resource for genetics, genomics, and systems biology. © 2019 Yoshimura et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

April 21, 2020  |  

Chromosome assembly of Collichthys lucidus, a fish of Sciaenidae with a multiple sex chromosome system.

Collichthys lucidus (C. lucidus) is a commercially important marine fish species distributed in coastal regions of East Asia with the X1X1X2X2/X1X2Y multiple sex chromosome system. The karyotype for female C. lucidus is 2n?=?48, while 2n?=?47 for male ones. Therefore, C. lucidus is also an excellent model to investigate teleost sex-determination and sex chromosome evolution. We reported the first chromosome genome assembly of C. lucidus using Illumina short-read, PacBio long-read sequencing and Hi-C technology. An 877?Mb genome was obtained with a contig and scaffold N50 of 1.1?Mb and 35.9?Mb, respectively. More than 97% BUSCOs genes were identified in the C. lucidus genome and 28,602 genes were annotated. We identified potential sex-determination genes along chromosomes and found that the chromosome 1 might be involved in the formation of Y specific metacentric chromosome. The first C. lucidus chromosome-level reference genome lays a solid foundation for the following population genetics study, functional gene mapping of important economic traits, sex-determination and sex chromosome evolution studies for Sciaenidae and teleosts.

April 21, 2020  |  

A draft genome for Spatholobus suberectus.

Spatholobus suberectus Dunn (S. suberectus), which belongs to the Leguminosae, is an important medicinal plant in China. Owing to its long growth cycle and increased use in human medicine, wild resources of S. suberectus have decreased rapidly and may be on the verge of extinction. De novo assembly of the whole S. suberectus genome provides us a critical potential resource towards biosynthesis of the main bioactive components and seed development regulation mechanism of this plant. Utilizing several sequencing technologies such as Illumina HiSeq X Ten, single-molecule real-time sequencing, 10x Genomics, as well as new assembly techniques such as FALCON and chromatin interaction mapping (Hi-C), we assembled a chromosome-scale genome about 798?Mb in size. In total, 748?Mb (93.73%) of the contig sequences were anchored onto nine chromosomes with the longest scaffold being 103.57?Mb. Further annotation analyses predicted 31,634 protein-coding genes, of which 93.9% have been functionally annotated. All data generated in this study is available in public databases.

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