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Friday, February 5, 2021

Labroots Webinar: More comprehensive views of human genetic variation

In this BioConference Live webinar, PacBio CSO Jonas Korlach highlights how multi-kilobase reads from SMRT Sequencing can resolve many of the previously considered ‘difficult-to-sequence’ genomic regions. The long reads also allow phasing of the sequence information along the maternal and paternal alleles, demonstrated by full-length, fully phased HLA class I & II gene sequencing. In addition, characterizing the complex landscape of alternative gene products is currently very difficult with short-read sequencing technologies, and he describes how long-read, full-length mRNA sequencing can be used to describe the diversity of transcript isoforms, with no assembly required. Lastly, in the exciting area of…

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Friday, February 5, 2021

SMRT Leiden: Cas9 off-target sequencing and analysis

In this SMRT Leiden 2020 Online Virtual Event presentation, Ida Hoijer of Uppsala University shares her research on developing a long-read sequencing-based method for detection of CRISPR-Cas9 off-target effects, along with a customized analysis pipeline. By applying an off-target sequencing (OTS) method on a human embryonic cell line, they detected 55 on- and off-target sites for three different gRNAs, including allele-specific off-targets. As the OTS approach finds off-targets that are difficult to predict using in silico or short-read based methods, it may become an important tool for genome editing.

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Friday, February 5, 2021

AGBT Presentation: Studying CRISPR guide RNA specificity by amplification-free long-read sequencing

At AGBT 2020, Adam Ameur from Uppsala University discussed the use of long-read PacBio sequencing to detect off-target results from CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing studies. His team uses HiFi reads from the Sequel II System to perform whole genome sequencing and figure out exactly where guide RNAs bind. In one example using a human embryonic kidney cell line, they found 55 off-target sites for three guide RNAs. Ameur’s group has already generated preliminary data on results from editing living cells.

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Webinar: SMRT Sequencing applications for human genomics and medicine

In this webinar, Adam Ameur of SciLifeLab at Uppsala University shares how he uses Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing applications for medical diagnostics and human genetics research, including sequencing of single genes and de novo assembly of human genomes as well as a new method for detection of CRISPR-Cas9 off-targets.

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Friday, February 5, 2021

SMRT Leiden: Epigenomics in the ERA of third-generation sequencing: A large-scale study of the human pathogen Clostridioides difficile

In this SMRT Leiden 2020 Online Virtual Event presentation Pedro Oliveira of Mount Sinai shares his research on Clostridioides – a leading cause of nosocomial-acquired diarrhea and colitis across the developed world. In this study, Oliveira and coworkers performed the first comprehensive DNA methylome analysis of 36 human C. difficile isolates from a hospital setting using SMRT Sequencing and comparative epigenomics.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Draft genome of horseweed illuminates expansion of gene families that might endow herbicide resistance.

Conyza canadensis (horseweed), a member of the Compositae (Asteraceae) family, was the first broadleaf weed to evolve resistance to glyphosate. Horseweed, one of the most problematic weeds in the world, is a true diploid (2n=2X=18) with the smallest genome of any known agricultural weed (335 Mb). Thus, it is an appropriate candidate to help us understand the genetic and genomic basis of weediness. We undertook a draft de novo genome assembly of horseweed by combining data from multiple sequencing platforms (454 GS-FLX, Illumina HiSeq 2000 and PacBio RS) using various libraries with different insertion sizes (~350 bp, ~600 bp, ~3…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Precise temporal regulation of Dux is important for embryo development.

Zygotic genome activation (ZGA) following fertilization is accomplished through a process termed the maternal-to-zygotic transition, during which the maternal RNAs and proteins are degraded and zygotic genome is transcriptionally activated.1 In mice, minor ZGA occurs from S phase of the zygote to G1 phase of the two-cell (2C) embryo, while major ZGA takes place during the middle-to-late 2C stage with a burst of transcription of totipotent cleavage stage-specific genes and retrotransposons.2Dux has been recently identified and considered as a master inducer that regulates the ZGA process.3–5Dux can directly bind and robustly activate 2C stage-specific ZGA transcripts and convert mouse embryonic…

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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

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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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Large Fragment Deletions Induced by Cas9 Cleavage While Not in BEs System in Rabbit

CRISPR-Cas9 and BEs system are poised to become the gene editing tool of choice in clinical contexts, however large fragment deletion was found in Cas9-mediated mutation cells without animal level validation. By analyzing 16 gene-edited rabbit lines (including 112 rabbits) generated using SpCas9, BEs, xCas9 and xCas9-BEs with long-range PCR genotyping and long-read sequencing by PacBio platform, we show that extending thousands of bases fragment deletions in single-guide RNA/Cas9 and xCas9 system mutation rabbit, but few large deletions were found in BEs-induced mutation rabbits. We firstly validated that no large fragment deletion induced by BEs system at animal level, suggesting…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Insect genomes: progress and challenges.

In the wake of constant improvements in sequencing technologies, numerous insect genomes have been sequenced. Currently, 1219 insect genome-sequencing projects have been registered with the National Center for Biotechnology Information, including 401 that have genome assemblies and 155 with an official gene set of annotated protein-coding genes. Comparative genomics analysis showed that the expansion or contraction of gene families was associated with well-studied physiological traits such as immune system, metabolic detoxification, parasitism and polyphagy in insects. Here, we summarize the progress of insect genome sequencing, with an emphasis on how this impacts research on pest control. We begin with a…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Defining transgene insertion sites and off-target effects of homology-based gene silencing informs the use of functional genomics tools in Phytophthora infestans.

DNA transformation and homology-based transcriptional silencing are frequently used to assess gene function in Phytophthora. Since unplanned side-effects of these tools are not well-characterized, we used P. infestans to study plasmid integration sites and whether knockdowns caused by homology-dependent silencing spreads to other genes. Insertions occurred both in gene-dense and gene-sparse regions but disproportionately near the 5′ ends of genes, which disrupted native coding sequences. Microhomology at the recombination site between plasmid and chromosome was common. Studies of transformants silenced for twelve different gene targets indicated that neighbors within 500-nt were often co-silenced, regardless of whether hairpin or sense constructs…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Optimized Cas9 expression systems for highly efficient Arabidopsis genome editing facilitate isolation of complex alleles in a single generation.

Genetic resources for the model plant Arabidopsis comprise mutant lines defective in almost any single gene in reference accession Columbia. However, gene redundancy and/or close linkage often render it extremely laborious or even impossible to isolate a desired line lacking a specific function or set of genes from segregating populations. Therefore, we here evaluated strategies and efficiencies for the inactivation of multiple genes by Cas9-based nucleases and multiplexing. In first attempts, we succeeded in isolating a mutant line carrying a 70 kb deletion, which occurred at a frequency of ~?1.6% in the T2 generation, through PCR-based screening of numerous individuals. However,…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A Novel Bacteriophage Exclusion (BREX) System Encoded by the pglX Gene in Lactobacillus casei Zhang.

The bacteriophage exclusion (BREX) system is a novel prokaryotic defense system against bacteriophages. To our knowledge, no study has systematically characterized the function of the BREX system in lactic acid bacteria. Lactobacillus casei Zhang is a probiotic bacterium originating from koumiss. By using single-molecule real-time sequencing, we previously identified N6-methyladenine (m6A) signatures in the genome of L. casei Zhang and a putative methyltransferase (MTase), namely, pglX This work further analyzed the genomic locus near the pglX gene and identified it as a component of the BREX system. To decipher the biological role of pglX, an L. casei Zhang pglX mutant…

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