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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Video Poster: Long-read sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 genome and the human immune repertoire

COVID-19 is caused by the infection of SARS-CoV-2, a member of the coronavirus family. Complete and accurate sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 genome enables discovery and epidemiological tracing of mutations that may be important for antiviral and vaccine research. A complementary approach, sequencing the patients’ immune repertoire, allows for detection of neutralizing antibodies and understanding variation in the adaptive immune response. PacBio’s SMRT Sequencing uses circular consensus sequencing that can generate long, highly accurate (HiFi) reads. We find that a tiled multiplex PCR amplicon approach of ~1-2 kb fragments achieves a balanced tradeoff between ease of library preparation and robustness to…

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Sunday, October 25, 2020

ASHG Virtual Poster: The MHC Diversity in Africa Project (MDAP) pilot – 125 African high resolution HLA types from 5 populations

In this ASHG 2016 poster video, Martin Pollard from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of Cambridge describes an ambitious project to better represent natural variation in the complex MHC region by sequencing the locus in thousands of people from various populations in Africa. A pilot project in five populations has already revealed a lot of diversity in the region, which is important for human disease, vaccine response, and organ transplantation. Pollard says SMRT Sequencing is the only technology that can deliver the full-length haplotypes necessary to identify complete variation in this highly polymorphic complex. Plus: plans to…

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Sunday, October 25, 2020

AGBT PacBio Workshop: High-throughput HLA class I whole gene and HLA class II long range typing on PacBio RSII and Sequel Platforms

In a talk at AGBT 2017, Histogenetics CEO Nezih Cereb reported on how SMRT Sequencing is allowing his team to produce full-length, phased sequences for HLA alleles, which are important for matching organ transplants to recipients. The company is typing thousands of samples per day on their PacBio RS II systems and their new Sequel System. Cereb noted that SMRT Sequencing is unique in its ability to reliably phase mutations in the HLA alleles without imputation. Cereb concluded with his plans to use this approach for other complex regions, such as KIR, and announced their continued increasing HLA typing capacity…

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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Webinar: Opportunities for using PacBio Long-read sequencing for COVID-19 research

In this Labroots webinar, Meredith Ashby, Director of Microbial Genomics at PacBio, describes the utility of highly accurate long-read sequencing, known as HiFi sequencing, to understand the SARs-CoV-2 viral genome. HiFi sequencing enables mutation phasing and rare variant detection to understand viral stability and mutation rates, as well as providing insights into viral population structure for monitoring viral evolution. Ashby also shares how HiFi sequencing can be used to explore the host immune response to COVID-19, specifically by providing full-length sequencing of the B cell repertoire, IGH locus and HLA genes. Access additional COVID-19 Sequencing Tools and Resources.

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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Webinar: Understanding SARS-CoV-2 and host immune response to COVID-19 with PacBio sequencing

Studying microbial genomics and infectious disease? Learn how the PacBio Sequel II System can help advance your research, with first-hand perspectives from scientists who are investigating SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. In this webinar, Melissa Laird-Smith (Mt. Sinai School of Medicine) discusses her work evaluating the impact of host immune restriction in health and disease with high resolution HLA typing. She is joined by Corey Watson (University of Louisville School of Medicine) who talks about overcoming complexity to elucidate the role of IGH haplotype diversity in antibody-mediated immunity. Hosted by Meredith Ashby, Director of Microbial Genomics at PacBio. Access additional PacBio resources…

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Sunday, October 25, 2020

PacBio Workshop: Understanding the biology of genomes with HiFi sequencing

The utility of new highly accurate long reads, or HiFi reads, was first demonstrated for calling all variant types in human genomes. It has since been shown that HiFi reads can be used to generate contiguous, complete, and accurate human genomes, even in repeat structures such as centromeres and telomeres. In this virtual workshop scientists from PacBio as well as Tina Graves-Lindsay from the McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University share the many improvements we’ve made to HiFi sequencing in the past year, tools that take advantage of HiFi data for variant detection and assembly, and examples in numerous genomics…

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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Case Study: Diving Deep – Revealing the mysteries of marine life with SMRT Sequencing

Many scientists are using PacBio Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing to explore the genomes and transcriptomes of a wide variety of marine species and ecosystems. These studies are already adding to our understanding of how marine species adapt and evolve, contributing to conservation efforts, and informing how we can optimize food production through efficient aquaculture.

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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

Transcriptional initiation of a small RNA, not R-loop stability, dictates the frequency of pilin antigenic variation in Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the sole causative agent of gonorrhea, constitutively undergoes diversification of the Type IV pilus. Gene conversion occurs between one of the several donor silent copies located in distinct loci and the recipient pilE gene, encoding the major pilin subunit of the pilus. A guanine quadruplex (G4) DNA structure and a cis-acting sRNA (G4-sRNA) are located upstream of the pilE gene and both are required for pilin antigenic variation (Av). We show that the reduced sRNA transcription lowers pilin Av frequencies. Extended transcriptional elongation is not required for Av, since limiting the transcript to 32 nt allows for normal…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Chinese chestnut genome: a reference for species restoration

Forest tree species are increasingly subject to severe mortalities from exotic pests, diseases, and invasive organisms, accelerated by climate change. Forest health issues are threatening multiple species and ecosystem sustainability globally. While sources of resistance may be available in related species, or among surviving trees, introgression of resistance genes into threatened tree species in reasonable time frames requires genome-wide breeding tools. Asian species of chestnut (Castanea spp.) are being employed as donors of disease resistance genes to restore native chestnut species in North America and Europe. To aid in the restoration of threatened chestnut species, we present the assembly of…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

deSALT: fast and accurate long transcriptomic read alignment with de Bruijn graph-based index

Long-read RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) is promising to transcriptomics studies, however, the alignment of the reads is still a fundamental but non-trivial task due to the sequencing errors and complicated gene structures. We propose deSALT, a tailored two-pass long RNA-seq read alignment approach, which constructs graph-based alignment skeletons to sensitively infer exons, and use them to generate spliced reference sequence to produce refined alignments. deSALT addresses several difficult issues, such as small exons, serious sequencing errors and consensus spliced alignment. Benchmarks demonstrate that this approach has a better ability to produce high-quality full-length alignments, which has enormous potentials to transcriptomics studies.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Mce3R Stress-Resistance Pathway Is Vulnerable to Small-Molecule Targeting That Improves Tuberculosis Drug Activities.

One-third of the world’s population carries Mycobacterium tuberculosis ( Mtb), the infectious agent that causes tuberculosis (TB), and every 17 s someone dies of TB. After infection, Mtb can live dormant for decades in a granuloma structure arising from the host immune response, and cholesterol is important for this persistence of Mtb. Current treatments require long-duration drug regimens with many associated toxicities, which are compounded by the high doses required. We phenotypically screened 35 6-azasteroid analogues against Mtb and found that, at low micromolar concentrations, a subset of the analogues sensitized Mtb to multiple TB drugs. Two analogues were selected…

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