April 21, 2020  |  

A chromosome-level sequence assembly reveals the structure of the Arabidopsis thaliana Nd-1 genome and its gene set.

In addition to the BAC-based reference sequence of the accession Columbia-0 from the year 2000, several short read assemblies of THE plant model organism Arabidopsis thaliana were published during the last years. Also, a SMRT-based assembly of Landsberg erecta has been generated that identified translocation and inversion polymorphisms between two genotypes of the species. Here we provide a chromosome-arm level assembly of the A. thaliana accession Niederzenz-1 (AthNd-1_v2c) based on SMRT sequencing data. The best assembly comprises 69 nucleome sequences and displays a contig length of up to 16 Mbp. Compared to an earlier Illumina short read-based NGS assembly (AthNd-1_v1), a 75 fold increase in contiguity was observed for AthNd-1_v2c. To assign contig locations independent from the Col-0 gold standard reference sequence, we used genetic anchoring to generate a de novo assembly. In addition, we assembled the chondrome and plastome sequences. Detailed analyses of AthNd-1_v2c allowed reliable identification of large genomic rearrangements between A. thaliana accessions contributing to differences in the gene sets that distinguish the genotypes. One of the differences detected identified a gene that is lacking from the Col-0 gold standard sequence. This de novo assembly extends the known proportion of the A. thaliana pan-genome.


April 21, 2020  |  

Microsatellite marker set for genetic diversity assessment of primitive Chitala chitala (Hamilton, 1822) derived through SMRT sequencing technology.

In present study, single molecule-real time sequencing technology was used to obtain a validated set of microsatellite markers for application in population genetics of the primitive fish, Chitala chitala. Assembly of circular consensus sequencing reads resulted into 1164 sequences which contained 2005 repetitive motifs. A total of 100 sequences were used for primer designing and amplification yielded a set of 28 validated polymorphic markers. These loci were used to genotype n?=?72 samples from three distant riverine populations of India, namely Son, Satluj and Brahmaputra, for determining intraspecific genetic variation. The microsatellite loci exhibited high level of polymorphism with PIC values ranging from 0.281 to 0.901. The genetic parameters revealed that mean heterozygosity ranged from 0.6802 to 0.6826 and the populations were found to be genetically diverse (Fst 0.03-0.06). This indicated the potential application of these microsatellite marker set that can used for stock characterization of C. chitala, in the wild. These newly developed loci were assayed for cross transferability in another notopterid fish, Notopterus notopterus.


April 21, 2020  |  

Meiotic sex in Chagas disease parasite Trypanosoma cruzi.

Genetic exchange enables parasites to rapidly transform disease phenotypes and exploit new host populations. Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasitic agent of Chagas disease and a public health concern throughout Latin America, has for decades been presumed to exchange genetic material rarely and without classic meiotic sex. We present compelling evidence from 45 genomes sequenced from southern Ecuador that T. cruzi in fact maintains truly sexual, panmictic groups that can occur alongside others that remain highly clonal after past hybridization events. These groups with divergent reproductive strategies appear genetically isolated despite possible co-occurrence in vectors and hosts. We propose biological explanations for the fine-scale disconnectivity we observe and discuss the epidemiological consequences of flexible reproductive modes. Our study reinvigorates the hunt for the site of genetic exchange in the T. cruzi life cycle, provides tools to define the genetic determinants of parasite virulence, and reforms longstanding theory on clonality in trypanosomatid parasites.


April 21, 2020  |  

Analysis of genetic diversity of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae populations in Taiwan.

Rice bacterial blight caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) is a major rice disease. In Taiwan, the tropical indica type of Oryza sativa originally grown in this area is mix-cultivated with the temperate japonica type of O. sativa, and this might have led to adaptive changes of both rice host and Xoo isolates. In order to better understand how Xoo adapts to this unique environment, we collected and analyzed fifty-one Xoo isolates in Taiwan. Three different genetic marker systems consistently identified five groups. Among these groups, two of them had unique sequences in the last acquired ten spacers in the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) region, and the other two had sequences that were similar to the Japanese isolate MAFF311018 and the Philippines isolate PXO563, respectively. The genomes of two Taiwanese isolates with unique CRISPR sequence features, XF89b and XM9, were further completely sequenced. Comparison of the genome sequences suggested that XF89b is phylogenetically close to MAFF311018, and XM9 is close to PXO563. Here, documentation of the diversity of groups of Xoo in Taiwan provides evidence of the populations from different sources and hitherto missing information regarding distribution of Xoo populations in East Asia.


April 21, 2020  |  

Long-read based assembly and synteny analysis of a reference Drosophila subobscura genome reveals signatures of structural evolution driven by inversions recombination-suppression effects.

Drosophila subobscura has long been a central model in evolutionary genetics. Presently, its use is hindered by the lack of a reference genome. To bridge this gap, here we used PacBio long-read technology, together with the available wealth of genetic marker information, to assemble and annotate a high-quality nuclear and complete mitochondrial genome for the species. With the obtained assembly, we performed the first synteny analysis of genome structure evolution in the subobscura subgroup.We generated a highly-contiguous ~?129?Mb-long nuclear genome, consisting of six pseudochromosomes corresponding to the six chromosomes of a female haploid set, and a complete 15,764?bp-long mitogenome, and provide an account of their numbers and distributions of codifying and repetitive content. All 12 identified paracentric inversion differences in the subobscura subgroup would have originated by chromosomal breakage and repair, with some associated duplications, but no evidence of direct gene disruptions by the breakpoints. Between lineages, inversion fixation rates were 10 times higher in continental D. subobscura than in the two small oceanic-island endemics D. guanche and D. madeirensis. Within D. subobscura, we found contrasting ratios of chromosomal divergence to polymorphism between the A sex chromosome and the autosomes.We present the first high-quality, long-read sequencing of a D. subobscura genome. Our findings generally support genome structure evolution in this species being driven indirectly, through the inversions’ recombination-suppression effects in maintaining sets of adaptive alleles together in the face of gene flow. The resources developed will serve to further establish the subobscura subgroup as model for comparative genomics and evolutionary indicator of global change.


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