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Saturday, 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…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

The kinetoplastid-infecting Bodo saltans virus (BsV), a window into the most abundant giant viruses in the sea.

Giant viruses are ecologically important players in aquatic ecosystems that have challenged concepts of what constitutes a virus. Herein, we present the giant Bodo saltans virus (BsV), the first characterized representative of the most abundant group of giant viruses in ocean metagenomes, and the first isolate of a klosneuvirus, a subgroup of the Mimiviridae proposed from metagenomic data. BsV infects an ecologically important microzooplankton, the kinetoplastid Bodo saltans. Its 1.39 Mb genome encodes 1227 predicted ORFs, including a complex replication machinery. Yet, much of its translational apparatus has been lost, including all tRNAs. Essential genes are invaded by homing endonuclease-encoding…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Chromulinavorax destructans, a pathogenic TM6 bacterium with an unusual replication strategy targeting protist mitochondrion

Most of the diversity of microbial life is not available in culture, and as such we lack even a fundamental understanding of the biological diversity of several branches on the tree of life. One branch that is highly underrepresented is the candidate phylum TM6, also known as the Dependentiae. Their biology is known only from reduced genomes recovered from metagenomes around the world and two isolates infecting amoebae, all suggest that they live highly host-associated lifestyles as parasites or symbionts. Chromulinavorax destructans is an isolate from the TM6/Dependentiae that infects and lyses the abundant heterotrophic flagellate, Spumella elongata. Chromulinavorax destructans…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Multi-Locus Variable number of tandem repeat Analysis (MLVA) of Yersinia ruckeri confirms the existence of host-specificity, geographic endemism and anthropogenic dissemination of virulent clones.

A Multi-Locus Variable number of tandem repeat Analysis (MLVA) assay was developed for epizootiological study of the internationally significant fish pathogen Yersinia ruckeri, which causes yersiniosis in salmonids. The assay involves amplification of ten Variable Number of Tandem Repeat (VNTR) loci in two five-plex PCR reactions, followed by capillary electrophoresis. A collection of 484 Y. ruckeri isolates, originating from various biological sources and collected from four continents over seven decades, was analysed. Minimum spanning tree cluster analysis of MLVA profiles separated the studied population into nine major clonal complexes, and a number of minor clusters and singletons. The major clonal…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Towards Personalized Medicine: An Improved De Novo Assembly Procedure for Early Detection of Drug Resistant HIV Minor Quasispecies in Patient Samples.

The third-generation sequencing technology, PacBio, has shown an ability to sequence the HIV virus amplicons in their full length. The long read of PaBio offers a distinct advantage to comprehensively understand the virus evolution complexity at quasispecies level (i.e. maintaining linkage information of variants) comparing to the short reads from Illumina shotgun sequencing. However, due to the highnoise nature of the PacBio reads, it is still a challenge to build accurate contigs at high sensitivity. Most of previously developed NGS assembly tools work with the assumption that the input reads are fairly accurate, which is largely true for the data…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Divergent selection causes whole genome differentiation without physical linkage among the targets in Spodoptera frugiperda (Noctuidae)

The process of speciation involves whole genome differentiation by overcoming gene flow between diverging populations. We have ample knowledge which evolutionary forces may cause genomic differentiation, and several speciation models have been proposed to explain the transition from genetic to genomic differentiation. However, it is still unclear what are critical conditions enabling genomic differentiation in nature. The Fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, is observed as two sympatric strains that have different host-plant ranges, suggesting the possibility of ecological divergent selection. In our previous study, we observed that these two strains show genetic differentiation across the whole genome with an unprecedentedly low…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

From the inside out: An epibiotic Bdellovibrio predator with an expanded genomic complement

Bdellovibrio and like organisms are abundant environmental predators of prokaryotes that show a diversity of predation strategies, ranging from intra-periplasmic to epibiotic predation. The novel epibiotic predator Bdellovibrio qaytius was isolated from a eutrophic freshwater pond in British Columbia, where it was a continual part of the microbial community. Bdellovibrio qaytius was found to preferentially prey on the beta-proteobacterium Paraburkholderia fungorum. Despite its epibiotic replication strategy, B. qaytius encodes a complex genomic complement more similar to periplasmic predators as well as several biosynthesis pathways not previously found in epibiotic predators. Bdellovibrio qaytius is representative of a widely distributed basal cluster…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

The axolotl genome and the evolution of key tissue formation regulators.

Salamanders serve as important tetrapod models for developmental, regeneration and evolutionary studies. An extensive molecular toolkit makes the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) a key representative salamander for molecular investigations. Here we report the sequencing and assembly of the 32-gigabase-pair axolotl genome using an approach that combined long-read sequencing, optical mapping and development of a new genome assembler (MARVEL). We observed a size expansion of introns and intergenic regions, largely attributable to multiplication of long terminal repeat retroelements. We provide evidence that intron size in developmental genes is under constraint and that species-restricted genes may contribute to limb regeneration. The axolotl…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

A Sequel to Sanger: amplicon sequencing that scales.

Although high-throughput sequencers (HTS) have largely displaced their Sanger counterparts, the short read lengths and high error rates of most platforms constrain their utility for amplicon sequencing. The present study tests the capacity of single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing implemented on the SEQUEL platform to overcome these limitations, employing 658 bp amplicons of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene as a model system.By examining templates from more than 5000 species and 20,000 specimens, the performance of SMRT sequencing was tested with amplicons showing wide variation in GC composition and varied sequence attributes. SMRT and Sanger sequences were very similar, but…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Population sequencing reveals clonal diversity and ancestral inbreeding in the grapevine cultivar Chardonnay.

Chardonnay is the basis of some of the world’s most iconic wines and its success is underpinned by a historic program of clonal selection. There are numerous clones of Chardonnay available that exhibit differences in key viticultural and oenological traits that have arisen from the accumulation of somatic mutations during centuries of asexual propagation. However, the genetic variation that underlies these differences remains largely unknown. To address this knowledge gap, a high-quality, diploid-phased Chardonnay genome assembly was produced from single-molecule real time sequencing, and combined with re-sequencing data from 15 different Chardonnay clones. There were 1620 markers identified that distinguish…

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