July 19, 2019  |  

Amplification and thrifty single-molecule sequencing of recurrent somatic structural variations.

Deletion of tumor-suppressor genes as well as other genomic rearrangements pervade cancer genomes across numerous types of solid tumor and hematologic malignancies. However, even for a specific rearrangement, the breakpoints may vary between individuals, such as the recurrent CDKN2A deletion. Characterizing the exact breakpoints for structural variants (SVs) is useful for designating patient-specific tumor biomarkers. We propose AmBre (Amplification of Breakpoints), a method to target SV breakpoints occurring in samples composed of heterogeneous tumor and germline DNA. Additionally, AmBre validates SVs called by whole-exome/genome sequencing and hybridization arrays. AmBre involves a PCR-based approach to amplify the DNA segment containing an SV’s breakpoint and then confirms breakpoints using sequencing by Pacific Biosciences RS. To amplify breakpoints with PCR, primers tiling specified target regions are carefully selected with a simulated annealing algorithm to minimize off-target amplification and maximize efficiency at capturing all possible breakpoints within the target regions. To confirm correct amplification and obtain breakpoints, PCR amplicons are combined without barcoding and simultaneously long-read sequenced using a single SMRT cell. Our algorithm efficiently separates reads based on breakpoints. Each read group supporting the same breakpoint corresponds with an amplicon and a consensus amplicon sequence is called. AmBre was used to discover CDKN2A deletion breakpoints in cancer cell lines: A549, CEM, Detroit562, MOLT4, MCF7, and T98G. Also, we successfully assayed RUNX1-RUNX1T1 reciprocal translocations by finding both breakpoints in the Kasumi-1 cell line. AmBre successfully targets SVs where DNA harboring the breakpoints are present in 1:1000 mixtures.


July 19, 2019  |  

Hamburger polyomaviruses.

Epidemiological studies have suggested that consumption of beef may correlate with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. One hypothesis to explain this proposed link might be the presence of a carcinogenic infectious agent capable of withstanding cooking. Polyomaviruses are a ubiquitous family of thermostable non-enveloped DNA viruses that are known to be carcinogenic. Using virion enrichment, rolling circle amplification (RCA) and next-generation sequencing, we searched for polyomaviruses in meat samples purchased from several supermarkets. Ground beef samples were found to contain three polyomavirus species. One species, bovine polyomavirus 1 (BoPyV1), was originally discovered as a contaminant in laboratory FCS. A previously unknown species, BoPyV2, occupies the same clade as human Merkel cell polyomavirus and raccoon polyomavirus, both of which are carcinogenic in their native hosts. A third species, BoPyV3, is related to human polyomaviruses 6 and 7. Examples of additional DNA virus families, including herpesviruses, adenoviruses, circoviruses and gyroviruses were also detected either in ground beef samples or in comparison samples of ground pork and ground chicken. The results suggest that the virion enrichment/RCA approach is suitable for random detection of essentially any DNA virus with a detergent-stable capsid. It will be important for future studies to address the possibility that animal viruses commonly found in food might be associated with disease.


July 19, 2019  |  

ALF: a strategy for identification of unauthorized GMOs in complex mixtures by a GW-NGS method and dedicated bioinformatics analysis.

The majority of feed products in industrialised countries contains materials derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). In parallel, the number of reports of unauthorised GMOs (UGMOs) is gradually increasing. There is a lack of specific detection methods for UGMOs, due to the absence of detailed sequence information and reference materials. In this research, an adapted genome walking approach was developed, called ALF: Amplification of Linearly-enriched Fragments. Coupling of ALF to NGS aims for simultaneous detection and identification of all GMOs, including UGMOs, in one sample, in a single analysis. The ALF approach was assessed on a mixture made of DNA extracts from four reference materials, in an uneven distribution, mimicking a real life situation. The complete insert and genomic flanking regions were known for three of the included GMO events, while for MON15985 only partial sequence information was available. Combined with a known organisation of elements, this GMO served as a model for a UGMO. We successfully identified sequences matching with this organisation of elements serving as proof of principle for ALF as new UGMO detection strategy. Additionally, this study provides a first outline of an automated, web-based analysis pipeline for identification of UGMOs containing known GM elements.


July 7, 2019  |  

A unique chromatin complex occupies young a-satellite arrays of human centromeres.

The intractability of homogeneous a-satellite arrays has impeded understanding of human centromeres. Artificial centromeres are produced from higher-order repeats (HORs) present at centromere edges, although the exact sequences and chromatin conformations of centromere cores remain unknown. We use high-resolution chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) of centromere components followed by clustering of sequence data as an unbiased approach to identify functional centromere sequences. We find that specific dimeric a-satellite units shared by multiple individuals dominate functional human centromeres. We identify two recently homogenized a-satellite dimers that are occupied by precisely positioned CENP-A (cenH3) nucleosomes with two ~100-base pair (bp) DNA wraps in tandem separated by a CENP-B/CENP-C-containing linker, whereas pericentromeric HORs show diffuse positioning. Precise positioning is largely maintained, whereas abundance decreases exponentially with divergence, which suggests that young a-satellite dimers with paired ~100-bp particles mediate evolution of functional human centromeres. Our unbiased strategy for identifying functional centromeric sequences should be generally applicable to tandem repeat arrays that dominate the centromeres of most eukaryotes.


July 7, 2019  |  

Advances in DNA sequencing technologies for high resolution HLA typing.

This communication describes our experience in large-scale G group-level high resolution HLA typing using three different DNA sequencing platforms – ABI 3730 xl, Illumina MiSeq and PacBio RS II. Recent advances in DNA sequencing technologies, so-called next generation sequencing (NGS), have brought breakthroughs in deciphering the genetic information in all living species at a large scale and at an affordable level. The NGS DNA indexing system allows sequencing multiple genes for large number of individuals in a single run. Our laboratory has adopted and used these technologies for HLA molecular testing services. We found that each sequencing technology has its own strengths and weaknesses, and their sequencing performances complement each other. HLA genes are highly complex and genotyping them is quite challenging. Using these three sequencing platforms, we were able to meet all requirements for G group-level high resolution and high volume HLA typing. Copyright © 2015 American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


July 7, 2019  |  

Potential mechanisms of attenuation for rifampicin-passaged strains of Flavobacterium psychrophilum.

Flavobacterium psychrophilum is the etiologic agent of bacterial coldwater disease in salmonids. Earlier research showed that a rifampicin-passaged strain of F. psychrophilum (CSF 259-93B.17) caused no disease in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss, Walbaum) while inducing a protective immune response against challenge with the virulent CSF 259-93 strain. We hypothesized that rifampicin passage leads to an accumulation of genomic mutations that, by chance, reduce virulence. To assess the pattern of phenotypic and genotypic changes associated with passage, we examined proteomic, LPS and single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) differences for two F. psychrophilum strains (CSF 259-93 and THC 02-90) that were passaged with and without rifampicin selection.Rifampicin resistance was conveyed by expected mutations in rpoB, although affecting different DNA bases depending on the strain. One rifampicin-passaged CSF 259-93 strain (CR) was attenuated (4 % mortality) in challenged fish, but only accumulated eight nonsynonymous SNPs compared to the parent strain. A CSF 259-93 strain passaged without rifampicin (CN) accumulated five nonsynonymous SNPs and was partially attenuated (28 % mortality) compared to the parent strain (54.5 % mortality). In contrast, there were no significant change in fish mortalities among THC 02-90 wild-type and passaged strains, despite numerous SNPs accumulated during passage with (n?=?174) and without rifampicin (n?=?126). While only three missense SNPs were associated with attenuation, a Ser492Phe rpoB mutation in the CR strain may contribute to further attenuation. All strains except CR retained a gliding motility phenotype. Few proteomic differences were observed by 2D SDS-PAGE and there were no apparent changes in LPS between strains. Comparative methylome analysis of two strains (CR and TR) identified no shared methylation motifs for these two strains.Multiple genomic changes arose during passage experiments with rifampicin selection pressure. Consistent with our hypothesis, unique strain-specific mutations were detected for the fully attenuated (CR), partially attenuated (CN) and another fully attenuated strain (B17).


July 7, 2019  |  

Jitterbug: somatic and germline transposon insertion detection at single-nucleotide resolution.

Transposable elements are major players in genome evolution. Transposon insertion polymorphisms can translate into phenotypic differences in plants and animals and are linked to different diseases including human cancer, making their characterization highly relevant to the study of genome evolution and genetic diseases. Here we present Jitterbug, a novel tool that identifies transposable element insertion sites at single-nucleotide resolution based on the pairedend mapping and clipped-read signatures produced by NGS alignments. Jitterbug can be easily integrated into existing NGS analysis pipelines, using the standard BAM format produced by frequently applied alignment tools (e.g. bwa, bowtie2), with no need to realign reads to a set of consensus transposon sequences. Jitterbug is highly sensitive and able to recall transposon insertions with a very high specificity, as demonstrated by benchmarks in the human and Arabidopsis genomes, and validation using long PacBio reads. In addition, Jitterbug estimates the zygosity of transposon insertions with high accuracy and can also identify somatic insertions. We demonstrate that Jitterbug can identify mosaic somatic transposon movement using sequenced tumor-normal sample pairs and allows for estimating the cancer cell fraction of clones containing a somatic TE insertion. We suggest that the independent methods we use to evaluate performance are a step towards creating a gold standard dataset for benchmarking structural variant prediction tools.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of the cellulose-producing strain Komagataeibacter nataicola RZS01.

Komagataeibacter nataicola is an acetic acid bacterium (AAB) that can produce abundant bacterial cellulose and tolerate high concentrations of acetic acid. To globally understand its fermentation characteristics, we present a high-quality complete genome sequence of K. nataicola RZS01. The genome consists of a 3,485,191-bp chromosome and 6 plasmids, which encode 3,514 proteins and bear three cellulose synthase operons. Phylogenetic analysis at the genome level provides convincing evidence of the evolutionary position of K. nataicola with respect to related taxa. Genomic comparisons with other AAB revealed that RZS01 shares 36.1%~75.1% of sequence similarity with other AAB. The sequence data was also used for metabolic analysis of biotechnological substrates. Analysis of the resistance to acetic acid at the genomic level indicated a synergistic mechanism responsible for acetic acid tolerance. The genomic data provide a viable platform that can be used to understand and manipulate the phenotype of K. nataicola RZS01 to further improve bacterial cellulose production.


July 7, 2019  |  

Timing, rates and spectra of human germline mutation.

Germline mutations are a driving force behind genome evolution and genetic disease. We investigated genome-wide mutation rates and spectra in multi-sibling families. The mutation rate increased with paternal age in all families, but the number of additional mutations per year differed by more than twofold between families. Meta-analysis of 6,570 mutations showed that germline methylation influences mutation rates. In contrast to somatic mutations, we found remarkable consistency in germline mutation spectra between the sexes and at different paternal ages. In parental germ line, 3.8% of mutations were mosaic, resulting in 1.3% of mutations being shared by siblings. The number of these shared mutations varied significantly between families. Our data suggest that the mutation rate per cell division is higher during both early embryogenesis and differentiation of primordial germ cells but is reduced substantially during post-pubertal spermatogenesis. These findings have important consequences for the recurrence risks of disorders caused by de novo mutations.


Talk with an expert

If you have a question, need to check the status of an order, or are interested in purchasing an instrument, we're here to help.