April 21, 2020  |  

A reference genome for pea provides insight into legume genome evolution.

We report the first annotated chromosome-level reference genome assembly for pea, Gregor Mendel’s original genetic model. Phylogenetics and paleogenomics show genomic rearrangements across legumes and suggest a major role for repetitive elements in pea genome evolution. Compared to other sequenced Leguminosae genomes, the pea genome shows intense gene dynamics, most likely associated with genome size expansion when the Fabeae diverged from its sister tribes. During Pisum evolution, translocation and transposition differentially occurred across lineages. This reference sequence will accelerate our understanding of the molecular basis of agronomically important traits and support crop improvement.


September 22, 2019  |  

Exploiting single-molecule transcript sequencing for eukaryotic gene prediction.

We develop a method to predict and validate gene models using PacBio single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) cDNA reads. Ninety-eight percent of full-insert SMRT reads span complete open reading frames. Gene model validation using SMRT reads is developed as automated process. Optimized training and prediction settings and mRNA-seq noise reduction of assisting Illumina reads results in increased gene prediction sensitivity and precision. Additionally, we present an improved gene set for sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) and the first genome-wide gene set for spinach (Spinacia oleracea). The workflow and guidelines are a valuable resource to obtain comprehensive gene sets for newly sequenced genomes of non-model eukaryotes.


September 22, 2019  |  

A mosaic monoploid reference sequence for the highly complex genome of sugarcane.

Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) is a major crop for sugar and bioenergy production. Its highly polyploid, aneuploid, heterozygous, and interspecific genome poses major challenges for producing a reference sequence. We exploited colinearity with sorghum to produce a BAC-based monoploid genome sequence of sugarcane. A minimum tiling path of 4660 sugarcane BAC that best covers the gene-rich part of the sorghum genome was selected based on whole-genome profiling, sequenced, and assembled in a 382-Mb single tiling path of a high-quality sequence. A total of 25,316 protein-coding gene models are predicted, 17% of which display no colinearity with their sorghum orthologs. We show that the two species, S. officinarum and S. spontaneum, involved in modern cultivars differ by their transposable elements and by a few large chromosomal rearrangements, explaining their distinct genome size and distinct basic chromosome numbers while also suggesting that polyploidization arose in both lineages after their divergence.


September 22, 2019  |  

The genome assembly of the fungal pathogen Pyrenochaeta lycopersici from Single-Molecule Real-Time sequencing sheds new light on its biological complexity.

The first draft genome sequencing of the non-model fungal pathogen Pyrenochaeta lycopersici showed an expansion of gene families associated with heterokaryon incompatibility and lacking of mating-type genes, providing insights into the genetic basis of this “imperfect” fungus which lost the ability to produce the sexual stage. However, due to the Illumina short-read technology, the draft genome was too fragmented to allow a comprehensive characterization of the genome, especially of the repetitive sequence fraction. In this work, the sequencing of another P. lycopersici isolate using long-read Single Molecule Real-Time sequencing technology was performed with the aim of obtaining a gapless genome. Indeed, a gapless genome assembly of 62.7 Mb was obtained, with a fraction of repetitive sequences representing 30% of the total bases. The gene content of the two P. lycopersici isolates was very similar, and the large difference in genome size (about 8 Mb) might be attributable to the high fraction of repetitive sequences detected for the new sequenced isolate. The role of repetitive elements, including transposable elements, in modulating virulence effectors is well established in fungal plant pathogens. Moreover, transposable elements are of fundamental importance in creating and re-modelling genes, especially in imperfect fungi. Their abundance in P. lycopersici, together with the large expansion of heterokaryon incompatibility genes in both sequenced isolates, suggest the presence of possible mechanisms alternative to gene re-assorting mediated by sexual recombination. A quite large fraction (~9%) of repetitive elements in P. lycopersici, has no homology with known classes, strengthening this hypothesis. The availability of a gapless genome of P. lycopersici allowed the in-depth analysis of its genome content, by annotating functional genes and TEs. This goal will be an important resource for shedding light on the evolution of the reproductive and pathogenic behaviour of this soilborne pathogen and the onset of a possible speciation within this species.


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 of finished genome regions is demonstrated for two approximately 2.5 Mb regions associated with yield and the grain quality phenotype of fructan carbohydrate grain levels. In addition, the 50 Mb centromere region analysis incorporates cytological data highlighting the importance of non-sequence data in the assembly of this complex genome region.Sufficient genome sequence information is shown to now be available for the wheat community to produce sequence-finished releases of each chromosome of the reference genome. The high-level completion identified that an array of seven fructosyl transferase genes underpins grain quality and that yield attributes are affected by five F-box-only-protein-ubiquitin ligase domain and four root-specific lipid transfer domain genes. The completed sequence also includes the centromere.


September 21, 2019  |  

A distinct and genetically diverse lineage of the hybrid fungal pathogen Verticillium longisporum population causes stem striping in British oilseed rape.

Population genetic structures illustrate evolutionary trajectories of organisms adapting to differential environmental conditions. Verticillium stem striping disease on oilseed rape was mainly observed in continental Europe, but has recently emerged in the United Kingdom. The disease is caused by the hybrid fungal species Verticillium longisporum that originates from at least three separate hybridization events, yet hybrids between Verticillium progenitor species A1 and D1 are mainly responsible for Verticillium stem striping. We reveal a hitherto un-described dichotomy within V. longisporum lineage A1/D1 that correlates with the geographic distribution of the isolates with an ‘A1/D1 West’ and an ‘A1/D1 East’ cluster. Genome comparison between representatives of the A1/D1 West and East clusters excluded population distinctiveness through separate hybridization events. Remarkably, the A1/D1 West population that is genetically more diverse than the entire A1/D1 East cluster caused the sudden emergence of Verticillium stem striping in the UK, whereas in continental Europe Verticillium stem striping is predominantly caused by the more genetically uniform A1/D1 East population. The observed genetic diversity of the A1/D1 West population argues against a recent introduction of the pathogen into the UK, but rather suggests that the pathogen previously established in the UK and remained latent or unnoticed as oilseed rape pathogen until recently.© 2017 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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