September 22, 2019  |  

A global survey of alternative splicing in allopolyploid cotton: landscape, complexity and regulation.

Alternative splicing (AS) is a crucial regulatory mechanism in eukaryotes, which acts by greatly increasing transcriptome diversity. The extent and complexity of AS has been revealed in model plants using high-throughput next-generation sequencing. However, this technique is less effective in accurately identifying transcript isoforms in polyploid species because of the high sequence similarity between coexisting subgenomes. Here we characterize AS in the polyploid species cotton. Using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule long-read isoform sequencing (Iso-Seq), we developed an integrated pipeline for Iso-Seq transcriptome data analysis ( We identified 176 849 full-length transcript isoforms from 44 968 gene models and updated gene annotation. These data led us to identify 15 102 fibre-specific AS events and estimate that c. 51.4% of homoeologous genes produce divergent isoforms in each subgenome. We reveal that AS allows differential regulation of the same gene by miRNAs at the isoform level. We also show that nucleosome occupancy and DNA methylation play a role in defining exons at the chromatin level. This study provides new insights into the complexity and regulation of AS, and will enhance our understanding of AS in polyploid species. Our methodology for Iso-Seq data analysis will be a useful reference for the study of AS in other species.© 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

September 22, 2019  |  

The genome of an underwater architect, the caddisfly Stenopsyche tienmushanensis Hwang (Insecta: Trichoptera).

Caddisflies (Insecta: Trichoptera) are a highly adapted freshwater group of insects split from a common ancestor with Lepidoptera. They are the most diverse (>16,000 species) of the strictly aquatic insect orders and are widely employed as bio-indicators in water quality assessment and monitoring. Among the numerous adaptations to aquatic habitats, caddisfly larvae use silk and materials from the environment (e.g., stones, sticks, leaf matter) to build composite structures such as fixed retreats and portable cases. Understanding how caddisflies have adapted to aquatic habitats will help explain the evolution and subsequent diversification of the group.We sequenced a retreat-builder caddisfly Stenopsyche tienmushanensis Hwang and assembled a high-quality genome from both Illumina and Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) sequencing. In total, 601.2 M Illumina reads (90.2 Gb) and 16.9 M PacBio subreads (89.0 Gb) were generated. The 451.5 Mb assembled genome has a contig N50 of 1.29 M, has a longest contig of 4.76 Mb, and covers 97.65% of the 1,658 insect single-copy genes as assessed by Benchmarking Universal Single-Copy Orthologs. The genome comprises 36.76% repetitive elements. A total of 14,672 predicted protein-coding genes were identified. The genome revealed gene expansions in specific groups of the cytochrome P450 family and olfactory binding proteins, suggesting potential genomic features associated with pollutant tolerance and mate finding. In addition, the complete gene complex of the highly repetitive H-fibroin, the major protein component of caddisfly larval silk, was assembled.We report the draft genome of Stenopsyche tienmushanensis, the highest-quality caddisfly genome so far. The genome information will be an important resource for the study of caddisflies and may shed light on the evolution of aquatic insects.

September 22, 2019  |  

Long-read sequencing and de novo assembly of a Chinese genome.

Short-read sequencing has enabled the de novo assembly of several individual human genomes, but with inherent limitations in characterizing repeat elements. Here we sequence a Chinese individual HX1 by single-molecule real-time (SMRT) long-read sequencing, construct a physical map by NanoChannel arrays and generate a de novo assembly of 2.93?Gb (contig N50: 8.3?Mb, scaffold N50: 22.0?Mb, including 39.3?Mb N-bases), together with 206?Mb of alternative haplotypes. The assembly fully or partially fills 274 (28.4%) N-gaps in the reference genome GRCh38. Comparison to GRCh38 reveals 12.8?Mb of HX1-specific sequences, including 4.1?Mb that are not present in previously reported Asian genomes. Furthermore, long-read sequencing of the transcriptome reveals novel spliced genes that are not annotated in GENCODE and are missed by short-read RNA-Seq. Our results imply that improved characterization of genome functional variation may require the use of a range of genomic technologies on diverse human populations.

September 22, 2019  |  

Full-length RNA sequencing reveals unique transcriptome composition in bermudagrass.

Bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] is an important perennial warm-season turfgrass species with great economic value. However, the reference genome and transcriptome information are still deficient in bermudagrass, which severely impedes functional and molecular breeding studies. In this study, through analyzing a mixture sample of leaves, stolons, shoots, roots and flowers with single-molecule long-read sequencing technology from Pacific Biosciences (PacBio), we reported the first full-length transcriptome dataset of bermudagrass (C. dactylon cultivar Yangjiang) comprising 78,192 unigenes. Among the unigenes, 66,409 were functionally annotated, whereas 27,946 were found to have two or more isoforms. The annotated full-length unigenes provided many new insights into gene sequence characteristics and systematic phylogeny of bermudagrass. By comparison with transcriptome dataset in nine grass species, KEGG pathway analyses further revealed that C4 photosynthesis-related genes, notably the phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase and pyruvate, phosphate dikinase genes, are specifically enriched in bermudagrass. These results not only explained the possible reason why bermudagrass flourishes in warm areas but also provided a solid basis for future studies in this important turfgrass species. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

September 22, 2019  |  

Improved high-quality genome assembly and annotation of Tibetan hulless barley

Background The Tibetan hulless barley (Hordeum vulgare L. var. nudum), also called textquotedblleftQingketextquotedblright in Chinese and textquotedblleftNetextquotedblright in Tibetan, is the staple food for Tibetans and an important livestock feed in the Tibetan Plateau. The Tibetan hulless barley in China has about 3500 years of cultivation history, mainly produced in Tibet, Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and other areas. In addition, Tibetan hulless barley has rich nutritional value and outstanding health effects, including the beta glucan, dietary fiber, amylopectin, the contents of trace elements, which are higher than any other cereal crops.Findings Here, we reported an improved high-quality assembly of Tibetan hulless barley genome with 4.0 Gb in size. We employed the falcon assembly package, scaffolding and error correction tools to finish improvement using PacBio long reads sequencing technology, with contig and scaffold N50 lengths of 1.563Mb and 4.006Mb, respectively, representing more continuous than the original Tibetan hulless barley genome nearly two orders of magnitude. We also re-annotated the new assembly, and reported 61,303 stringent confident putative protein-coding genes, of which 40,457 is HC genes. We have developed a new Tibetan hulless barley genome database (THBGD) to download and use friendly, as well as to better manage the information of the Tibetan hulless barley genetic resources.Conclusions The availability of new Tibetan hulless barley genome and annotations will take the genetics of Tibetan hulless barley to a new level and will greatly simplify the breeders effort. It will also enrich the granary of the Tibetan people.AbbreviationsBLASTBasic Local Alignment Search ToolBUSCOBenchmarking Universal Single-Copy OrthologsQVquality valuePacBioPacifc BiosciencesRNA-seqRNA sequencingNGSNext generation sequencingTGSThird generation sequencingTHBGDTibetan hulless barley Genome Database

September 22, 2019  |  

Genomic microdiversity of Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum underlying differential strain-level responses to dietary carbohydrate intervention.

The genomic basis of the response to dietary intervention of human gut beneficial bacteria remains elusive, which hinders precise manipulation of the microbiota for human health. After receiving a dietary intervention enriched with nondigestible carbohydrates for 105 days, a genetically obese child with Prader-Willi syndrome lost 18.4% of his body weight and showed significant improvement in his bioclinical parameters. We obtained five isolates (C1, C15, C55, C62, and C95) of one of the most abundantly promoted beneficial species, Bifidobacterium pseudocatenulatum, from a postintervention fecal sample. Intriguingly, these five B. pseudocatenulatum strains showed differential responses during the dietary intervention. Two strains were largely unaffected, while the other three were promoted to different extents by the changes in dietary carbohydrate resources. The differential responses of these strains were consistent with their functional clustering based on the COGs (Clusters of Orthologous Groups), including those involved with the ABC-type sugar transport systems, suggesting that the strain-specific genomic variations may have contributed to the niche adaption. Particularly, B. pseudocatenulatum C15, which had the most diverse types and highest gene copy numbers of carbohydrate-active enzymes targeting plant polysaccharides, had the highest abundance after the dietary intervention. These studies show the importance of understanding genomic diversity of specific members of the gut microbiota if precise nutrition approaches are to be realized.IMPORTANCE The manipulation of the gut microbiota via dietary approaches is a promising option for improving human health. Our findings showed differential responses of multiple B. pseudocatenulatum strains isolated from the same habitat to the dietary intervention, as well as strain-specific correlations with bioclinical parameters of the host. The comparative genomics revealed a genome-level microdiversity of related functional genes, which may have contributed to these differences. These results highlight the necessity of understanding strain-level differences if precise manipulation of gut microbiota through dietary approaches is to be realized. Copyright © 2017 Wu et al.

September 22, 2019  |  

Predominant gut Lactobacillus murinus strain mediates anti-inflammaging effects in calorie-restricted mice.

Calorie restriction (CR), which has a potent anti-inflammaging effect, has been demonstrated to induce dramatic changes in the gut microbiota. Whether the modulated gut microbiota contributes to the attenuation of inflammation during CR is unknown, as are the members of the microbial community that may be key mediators of this process.Here, we report that a unique Lactobacillus-predominated microbial community was rapidly attained in mice within 2 weeks of CR, which decreased the levels of circulating microbial antigens and systemic inflammatory markers such as tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a). Lactobacillus murinus CR147, an isolate in the most abundant operational taxonomic unit (OTU) enriched by CR, downregulated interleukin-8 production in TNF-a-stimulated Caco-2 cells and significantly increased the lifespan and the brood size of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In gnotobiotic mice colonized with the gut microbiota from old mice, this strain decreased their intestinal permeability and serum endotoxin load, consequently attenuating the inflammation induced by the old microbiota.Our study demonstrated that a strain of Lactobacillus murinus was promoted in CR mice and causatively contributed to the attenuation of ageing-associated inflammation.

September 22, 2019  |  

De novo genome assembly of the red silk cotton tree (Bombax ceiba).

Bombax ceiba L. (the red silk cotton tree) is a large deciduous tree that is distributed in tropical and sub-tropical Asia as well as northern Australia. It has great economic and ecological importance, with several applications in industry and traditional medicine in many Asian countries. To facilitate further utilization of this plant resource, we present here the draft genome sequence for B. ceiba.We assembled a relatively intact genome of B. ceiba by using PacBio single-molecule sequencing and BioNano optical mapping technologies. The final draft genome is approximately 895 Mb long, with contig and scaffold N50 sizes of 1.0 Mb and 2.06 Mb, respectively.The high-quality draft genome assembly of B. ceiba will be a valuable resource enabling further genetic improvement and more effective use of this tree species.

September 22, 2019  |  

Complete sequence of kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) mitochondrial genome and comparative analysis with the mitochondrial genomes of other plants.

Plant mitochondrial (mt) genomes are species specific due to the vast of foreign DNA migration and frequent recombination of repeated sequences. Sequencing of the mt genome of kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) is essential for elucidating its evolutionary characteristics. In the present study, single-molecule real-time sequencing technology (SMRT) was used to sequence the complete mt genome of kenaf. Results showed that the complete kenaf mt genome was 569,915?bp long and consisted of 62 genes, including 36 protein-coding, 3 rRNA and 23 tRNA genes. Twenty-five introns were found among nine of the 36 protein-coding genes, and five introns were trans-spliced. A comparative analysis with other plant mt genomes showed that four syntenic gene clusters were conserved in all plant mtDNAs. Fifteen chloroplast-derived fragments were strongly associated with mt genes, including the intact sequences of the chloroplast genes psaA, ndhB and rps7. According to the plant mt genome evolution analysis, some ribosomal protein genes and succinate dehydrogenase genes were frequently lost during the evolution of angiosperms. Our data suggest that the kenaf mt genome retained evolutionarily conserved characteristics. Overall, the complete sequencing of the kenaf mt genome provides additional information and enhances our better understanding of mt genomic evolution across angiosperms.

September 22, 2019  |  

A PECTIN METHYLESTERASE gene at the maize Ga1 locus confers male function in unilateral cross-incompatibility.

Unilateral cross-incompatibility (UCI) is a unidirectional inter/intra-population reproductive barrier when both parents are self-compatible. Maize Gametophyte factor1 (Ga1) is an intraspecific UCI system and has been utilized in breeding. However, the mechanism underlying maize UCI specificity has remained mysterious for decades. Here, we report the cloning of ZmGa1P, a pollen-expressed PECTIN METHYLESTERASE (PME) gene at the Ga1 locus that can confer the male function in the maize UCI system. Homozygous transgenic plants expressing ZmGa1P in a ga1 background can fertilize Ga1-S plants and can be fertilized by pollen of ga1 plants. ZmGa1P protein is predominantly localized to the apex of growing pollen tubes and may interact with another pollen-specific PME protein, ZmPME10-1, to maintain the state of pectin methylesterification required for pollen tube growth in Ga1-S silks. Our study discloses a PME-mediated UCI mechanism and provides a tool to manipulate hybrid breeding.

September 21, 2019  |  

Complete chloroplast genome sequence of the red silk cotton tree (Bombax ceiba)

Bombax ceiba L. is a beautiful and deciduous tree with great ecological and economic importance. The third generation sequencing of chloroplast genome of B. ceiba was conducted on the PacBio sequencing platform (Pacific Biosciences). The complete chloroplast genome was 158,997?bp, which contains a large single-copy (LSC) region (89,021?bp), a small single-copy (SSC) region (21,110?bp), and two inverted repeats (IRs) (24,433?bp). In total, 116 genes were annotated, including 81 protein-coding genes, eight rRNA genes, and 27 tRNA genes. The phylogenetic tree showed that B. ceiba was closely clustered with one clade of Malvaceae.

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