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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

User Group Meeting: Low-input workflow for PacBio de novo genome assemblies

Jonas Korlach kicks off Day 2 of the 2018 User Group Meeting by discussing a recent collaboration and technique for low-input starting material and high quality de novo assembly projects. While new and not yet fully supported, many researchers have interest in starting with lower amounts of DNA for whole genome sequencing. This protocol requires Express Kit v2, which will be available in early 2019.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Webinar: Bioinformatics lunch & learn – HiFi assembly

The release of the PacBio Sequel II System in 2019 brought dramatic throughput improvements and protocols for producing a new data type, highly accurate long reads or HiFi reads. PacBio is the only sequencing technology to offer highly accurate long reads (HiFi reads) that provide Sanger-quality accuracy (>99%) with the read lengths needed for assembly of complex genomes. The long length and high accuracy of HiFi reads makes them the ideal starting point for many applications, and one area of major interest is genome assembly. HiFi assembly is faster, cheaper, more accurate, and easier to phase than standard long-read assembly.…

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

AGBT Presentation: Feed the World – Developing genomic resources for insects as food

In a push to develop insect-based food sources for people, Brenda Oppert from the USDA has been sequencing bug genomes with PacBio technology. Long reads are essential because of the highly repetitive sequences and large genomes. On the Sequel II System, a single SMRT Cell is sufficient to generate 350-fold coverage and produce a high-quality assembly for some of the insects she’s studying.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Webinar: Sequence with Confidence – Introducing the Sequel II System

In this webinar, Jonas Korlach, Chief Scientific Officer, PacBio provides an overview of the features and the advantages of the new Sequel II System. Kiran Garimella, Senior Computational Scientist, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard University, describes his work sequencing humans with HiFi reads enabling discovery of structural variants undetectable in short reads. Luke Tallon, Scientific Director, Genomics Resource Center, Institute for Genome Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine, covers the GRC’s work on bacterial multiplexing, 16S microbiome profiling, and shotgun metagenomics. Finally, Shane McCarthy, Senior Research Associate, University of Cambridge, focuses on the scaling and affordability of high-quality…

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

i5K Webinar: High-quality de novo insect genome assemblies using PacBio sequencing

PacBio Sequencing is characterized by very long sequence reads (averaging > 10,000 bases), lack of GC-bias, and high consensus accuracy. These features have allowed the method to provide a new gold standard in de novo genome assemblies, producing highly contiguous (contig N50 > 1 Mb) and accurate (> QV 50) genome assemblies. We will briefly describe the technology and then highlight the full workflow, from sample preparation through sequencing to data analysis, on examples of insect genome assemblies, and illustrate the difference these high-quality genomes represent with regard to biological insights, compared to fragmented draft assemblies generated by short-read sequencing.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

PAG PacBio Workshop: Genome assembly and molecular genetics of the dengue, yellow fever, and zika vector Aedes aegypti

In this PAG 2017 presentation, Ben Matthews describes a new genome assembly for Aedes aegypti, the mosquito responsible for spreading Zika virus, yellow fever, and other infectious diseases. By using PacBio long-read sequencing, scientists produced an assembly that is much more complete and contiguous than a previous assembly; 7,500 transcripts map to the new contigs but not to the old assembly. The genome is important for designing guide RNAs for CRISPR, understanding resistance to mosquito repellants, and much more.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

AGBT Conference: A community effort using multiple technologies to produce a dramatically improved genome assembly of the Zika virus mosquito vector

At AGBT 2017, the Broad Institute’s Daniel Neafsey reported a large collaborative effort to sequence the mosquito that carries Zika virus. The team is using long-read PacBio sequencing to produce a high-quality genome assembly, which Neafsey expects will replace the 10-year-old Sanger assembly for Aedes aegypti. The new assembly reduces the number of contigs by at least 10-fold, boosts the contig N50 to nearly 2 Mb, and features more complete gene content.

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Thursday, November 12, 2020

Application Note: Considerations for using the low and ultra-low DNA input workflows for whole genome sequencing

As the foundation for scientific discoveries in genetic diversity, sequencing data must be accurate and complete. With highly accurate long-read sequencing, or HiFi sequencing, there is no longer a compromise between read length and accuracy. HiFi sequencing enables some of the highest quality de novo genome assemblies available today as well as comprehensive variant detection in human samples. PacBio HiFi libraries constructed using our standard library workflows require at least 3 µg of DNA input per 1 Gb of genome length, or ~10 µg for a human sample. For some samples it is not possible to extract this amount of…

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Thursday, November 12, 2020

Technical Note: Preparing samples for PacBio whole genome sequencing for de novo assembly – Collection and storage

Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing uses the natural process of DNA replication to sequence long fragments of native DNA. As such, starting with high-quality, high molecular weight (HMW) genomic DNA (gDNA) will result in better sequencing performance across difficult to sequence regions of the genome. To obtain the highest quality, long DNA it is important to start with sample types compatible with HMW DNA extraction methods. This technical note is intended to give general guidance on sample collection, preparation, and storage across a range of commonly encountered sample types used for SMRT Sequencing whole genome projects. It is important to…

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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 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

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

Evolutionary superscaffolding and chromosome anchoring to improve Anopheles genome assemblies

Background New sequencing technologies have lowered financial barriers to whole genome sequencing, but resulting assemblies are often fragmented and far from textquoteleftfinishedtextquoteright. Updating multi-scaffold drafts to chromosome-level status can be achieved through experimental mapping or re-sequencing efforts. Avoiding the costs associated with such approaches, comparative genomic analysis of gene order conservation (synteny) to predict scaffold neighbours (adjacencies) offers a potentially useful complementary method for improving draft assemblies.Results We employed three gene synteny-based methods applied to 21 Anopheles mosquito assemblies to produce consensus sets of scaffold adjacencies. For subsets of the assemblies we integrated these with additional supporting data to confirm…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Large-scale ruminant genome sequencing provides insights into their evolution and distinct traits.

The ruminants are one of the most successful mammalian lineages, exhibiting morphological and habitat diversity and containing several key livestock species. To better understand their evolution, we generated and analyzed de novo assembled genomes of 44 ruminant species, representing all six Ruminantia families. We used these genomes to create a time-calibrated phylogeny to resolve topological controversies, overcoming the challenges of incomplete lineage sorting. Population dynamic analyses show that population declines commenced between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago, which is concomitant with expansion in human populations. We also reveal genes and regulatory elements that possibly contribute to the evolution of the…

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