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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Gene targeting by the TAL effector PthXo2 reveals cryptic resistance gene for bacterial blight of rice.

Bacterial blight of rice is caused by the ?-proteobacterium Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, which utilizes a group of type III TAL (transcription activator-like) effectors to induce host gene expression and condition host susceptibility. Five SWEET genes are functionally redundant to support bacterial disease, but only two were experimentally proven targets of natural TAL effectors. Here, we report the identification of the sucrose transporter gene OsSWEET13 as the disease-susceptibility gene for PthXo2 and the existence of cryptic recessive resistance to PthXo2-dependent X. oryzae pv. oryzae due to promoter variations of OsSWEET13 in japonica rice. PthXo2-containing strains induce OsSWEET13 in indica rice IR24 due…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Survey of Ixodes pacificus ticks in California reveals a diversity of microorganisms and a novel and widespread Anaplasmataceae species.

Ixodes pacificus ticks can harbor a wide range of human and animal pathogens. To survey the prevalence of tick-borne known and putative pathogens, we tested 982 individual adult and nymphal I. pacificus ticks collected throughout California between 2007 and 2009 using a broad-range PCR and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS) assay designed to detect a wide range of tick-borne microorganisms. Overall, 1.4% of the ticks were found to be infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, 2.0% were infected with Borrelia miyamotoi and 0.3% were infected with Anaplasma phagocytophilum. In addition, 3.0% were infected with Babesia odocoilei. About 1.2% of the ticks were…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A comprehensive analysis of alternative splicing in paleopolyploid maize.

Identifying and characterizing alternative splicing (AS) enables our understanding of the biological role of transcript isoform diversity. This study describes the use of publicly available RNA-Seq data to identify and characterize the global diversity of AS isoforms in maize using the inbred lines B73 and Mo17, and a related species, sorghum. Identification and characterization of AS within maize tissues revealed that genes expressed in seed exhibit the largest differential AS relative to other tissues examined. Additionally, differences in AS between the two genotypes B73 and Mo17 are greatest within genes expressed in seed. We demonstrate that changes in the level…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Optical and physical mapping with local finishing enables megabase-scale resolution of agronomically important regions in the wheat genome.

Numerous scaffold-level sequences for wheat are now being released and, in this context, we report on a strategy for improving the overall assembly to a level comparable to that of the human genome.Using chromosome 7A of wheat as a model, sequence-finished megabase-scale sections of this chromosome were established by combining a new independent assembly using a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-based physical map, BAC pool paired-end sequencing, chromosome-arm-specific mate-pair sequencing and Bionano optical mapping with the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium RefSeq v1.0 sequence and its underlying raw data. The combined assembly results in 18 super-scaffolds across the chromosome. The value…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Distribution of the pco gene cluster and associated genetic determinants among swine Escherichia coli from a controlled feeding trial.

Copper is used as an alternative to antibiotics for growth promotion and disease prevention. However, bacteria developed tolerance mechanisms for elevated copper concentrations, including those encoded by the pco operon in Gram-negative bacteria. Using cohorts of weaned piglets, this study showed that the supplementation of feed with copper concentrations as used in the field did not result in a significant short-term increase in the proportion of pco-positive fecal Escherichia coli. The pco and sil (silver resistance) operons were found concurrently in all screened isolates, and whole-genome sequencing showed that they were distributed among a diversity of unrelated E. coli strains.…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Reassessment of the evolution of wheat chromosomes 4A, 5A, and 7B.

Comparison of genome sequences of wild emmer wheat and Aegilops tauschii suggests a novel scenario of the evolution of rearranged wheat chromosomes 4A, 5A, and 7B. Past research suggested that wheat chromosome 4A was subjected to a reciprocal translocation T(4AL;5AL)1 that occurred in the diploid progenitor of the wheat A subgenome and to three major rearrangements that occurred in polyploid wheat: pericentric inversion Inv(4AS;4AL)1, paracentric inversion Inv(4AL;4AL)1, and reciprocal translocation T(4AL;7BS)1. Gene collinearity along the pseudomolecules of tetraploid wild emmer wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. dicoccoides, subgenomes AABB) and diploid Aegilops tauschii (genomes DD) was employed to confirm these rearrangements and…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Comparative genomic analysis revealed rapid differentiation in the pathogenicity-related gene repertoires between Pyricularia oryzae and Pyricularia penniseti isolated from a Pennisetum grass.

A number of Pyricularia species are known to infect different grass species. In the case of Pyricularia oryzae (syn. Magnaporthe oryzae), distinct populations are known to be adapted to a wide variety of grass hosts, including rice, wheat and many other grasses. The genome sizes of Pyricularia species are typical for filamentous ascomycete fungi [~?40 Mbp for P. oryzae, and ~?45 Mbp for P. grisea]. Genome plasticity, mediated in part by deletions promoted by recombination between repetitive elements [Genome Res 26:1091-1100, 2016, Nat Rev Microbiol 10:417-430,2012] and transposable elements [Annu Rev Phytopathol 55:483-503,2017] contributes to host adaptation. Therefore, comparisons of…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Aluminum tolerance in maize is associated with higher MATE1 gene copy number.

Genome structure variation, including copy number variation and presence/absence variation, comprises a large extent of maize genetic diversity; however, its effect on phenotypes remains largely unexplored. Here, we describe how copy number variation underlies a rare allele that contributes to maize aluminum (Al) tolerance. Al toxicity is the primary limitation for crop production on acid soils, which make up 50% of the world’s potentially arable lands. In a recombinant inbred line mapping population, copy number variation of the Al tolerance gene multidrug and toxic compound extrusion 1 (MATE1) is the basis for the quantitative trait locus of largest effect on…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Large genomic differences between Moraxella bovoculi isolates acquired from the eyes of cattle with infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis versus the deep nasopharynx of asymptomatic cattle.

Moraxella bovoculi is a recently described bacterium that is associated with infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK) or “pinkeye” in cattle. In this study, closed circularized genomes were generated for seven M. bovoculi isolates: three that originated from the eyes of clinical IBK bovine cases and four from the deep nasopharynx of asymptomatic cattle. Isolates that originated from the eyes of IBK cases profoundly differed from those that originated from the nasopharynx of asymptomatic cattle in genome structure, gene content and polymorphism diversity and consequently placed into two distinct phylogenetic groups. These results suggest that there are genetically distinct strains of M.…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The genome and methylome of a beetle with complex social behavior, Nicrophorus vespilloides (Coleoptera: Silphidae).

Testing for conserved and novel mechanisms underlying phenotypic evolution requires a diversity of genomes available for comparison spanning multiple independent lineages. For example, complex social behavior in insects has been investigated primarily with eusocial lineages, nearly all of which are Hymenoptera. If conserved genomic influences on sociality do exist, we need data from a wider range of taxa that also vary in their levels of sociality. Here, we present the assembled and annotated genome of the subsocial beetle Nicrophorus vespilloides, a species long used to investigate evolutionary questions of complex social behavior. We used this genome to address two questions.…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genome analysis of a major urban malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles stephensi.

Background Anopheles stephensi is the key vector of malaria throughout the Indian subcontinent and Middle East and an emerging model for molecular and genetic studies of mosquito-parasite interactions. The type form of the species is responsible for the majority of urban malaria transmission across its range.ResultsHere, we report the genome sequence and annotation of the Indian strain of the type form of An. stephensi. The 221 Mb genome assembly represents more than 92% of the entire genome and was produced using a combination of 454, Illumina, and PacBio sequencing. Physical mapping assigned 62% of the genome onto chromosomes, enabling chromosome-based…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Divergent and convergent modes of interaction between wheat and Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici isolates revealed by the comparative gene co-expression network and genome analyses.

Two opposing evolutionary constraints exert pressure on plant pathogens: one to diversify virulence factors in order to evade plant defenses, and the other to retain virulence factors critical for maintaining a compatible interaction with the plant host. To better understand how the diversified arsenals of fungal genes promote interaction with the same compatible wheat line, we performed a comparative genomic analysis of two North American isolates of Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt).The patterns of inter-isolate divergence in the secreted candidate effector genes were compared with the levels of conservation and divergence of plant-pathogen gene co-expression networks (GCN) developed for…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Evolution of the wheat blast fungus through functional losses in a host specificity determinant.

Wheat blast first emerged in Brazil in the mid-1980s and has recently caused heavy crop losses in Asia. Here we show how this devastating pathogen evolved in Brazil. Genetic analysis of host species determinants in the blast fungus resulted in the cloning of avirulence genes PWT3 and PWT4, whose gene products elicit defense in wheat cultivars containing the corresponding resistance genes Rwt3 and Rwt4 Studies on avirulence and resistance gene distributions, together with historical data on wheat cultivation in Brazil, suggest that wheat blast emerged due to widespread deployment of rwt3 wheat (susceptible to Lolium isolates), followed by the loss…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Strategies for optimizing BioNano and Dovetail explored through a second reference quality assembly for the legume model, Medicago truncatula.

Third generation sequencing technologies, with sequencing reads in the tens- of kilo-bases, facilitate genome assembly by spanning ambiguous regions and improving continuity. This has been critical for plant genomes, which are difficult to assemble due to high repeat content, gene family expansions, segmental and tandem duplications, and polyploidy. Recently, high-throughput mapping and scaffolding strategies have further improved continuity. Together, these long-range technologies enable quality draft assemblies of complex genomes in a cost-effective and timely manner.Here, we present high quality genome assemblies of the model legume plant, Medicago truncatula (R108) using PacBio, Dovetail Chicago (hereafter, Dovetail) and BioNano technologies. To test…

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