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Tuesday, 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.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Low-copy nuclear sequence data confirm complex patterns of farina evolution in notholaenid ferns (Pteridaceae).

Notholaenids are an unusual group of ferns that have adapted to, and diversified within, the deserts of Mexico and the southwestern United States. With approximately 40 species, this group is noted for being desiccation-tolerant and having “farina”-powdery exudates of lipophilic flavonoid aglycones-that occur on both the gametophytic and sporophytic phases of their life cycle. The most recent circumscription of notholaenids based on plastid markers surprisingly suggests that several morphological characters, including the expression of farina, are homoplasious. In a striking case of convergence, Notholaena standleyi appears to be distantly related to core Notholaena, with several taxa not before associated with…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Evolution and Diversification of Kiwifruit Mitogenomes through Extensive Whole-Genome Rearrangement and Mosaic Loss of Intergenic Sequences in a Highly Variable Region.

Angiosperm mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) are notable for their extreme diversity in both size and structure. However, our current understanding of this diversity is limited, and the underlying mechanism contributing to this diversity remains unclear. Here, we completely assembled and compared the mitogenomes of three kiwifruit (Actinidia) species, which represent an early divergent lineage in asterids. We found conserved gene content and fewer genomic repeats, particularly large repeats (>1?kb), in the three mitogenomes. However, sequence transfers such as intracellular events are variable and dynamic, in which both ancestral shared and recently species-specific events as well as complicated transfers of two plastid-derived…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Lycophyte plastid genomics: extreme variation in GC, gene and intron content and multiple inversions between a direct and inverted orientation of the rRNA repeat.

Lycophytes are a key group for understanding vascular plant evolution. Lycophyte plastomes are highly distinct, indicating a dynamic evolutionary history, but detailed evaluation is hindered by the limited availability of sequences. Eight diverse plastomes were sequenced to assess variation in structure and functional content across lycophytes. Lycopodiaceae plastomes have remained largely unchanged compared with the common ancestor of land plants, whereas plastome evolution in Isoetes and especially Selaginella is highly dynamic. Selaginella plastomes have the highest GC content and fewest genes and introns of any photosynthetic land plant. Uniquely, the canonical inverted repeat was converted into a direct repeat (DR)…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Insights into the evolution and drug susceptibility of Babesia duncani from the sequence of its mitochondrial and apicoplast genomes.

Babesia microti and Babesia duncani are the main causative agents of human babesiosis in the United States. While significant knowledge about B. microti has been gained over the past few years, nothing is known about B. duncani biology, pathogenesis, mode of transmission or sensitivity to currently recommended therapies. Studies in immunocompetent wild type mice and hamsters have shown that unlike B. microti, infection with B. duncani results in severe pathology and ultimately death. The parasite factors involved in B. duncani virulence remain unknown. Here we report the first known completed sequence and annotation of the apicoplast and mitochondrial genomes of…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Directed Repeats Co-occur with Few Short-Dispersed Repeats in Plastid Genome of a Spikemoss, Selaginella vardei (Selaginellaceae, Lycopodiopsida).

It is hypothesized that the highly conserved inverted repeats (IR) structure of land plant plastid genomes (plastomes) is beneficial for stabilizing plastome organization, whereas the mechanism of the occurrence and stability maintenance of the recently reported direct repeats (DR) structure is yet awaiting further exploration. Here we describe the DR structure of the Selaginella vardei (Selaginellaceae) plastome, to elucidate the mechanism of DR occurrence and stability maintenance.The plastome of S. vardei is 121,254 bp in length and encodes 76 genes, of which 62 encode proteins, 10 encode tRNAs, and four encode rRNAs. Unexpectedly, the two identical rRNA gene regions (13,893…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Genome assembly of Nannochloropsis oceanica provides evidence of host nucleus overthrow by the symbiont nucleus during speciation.

The species of the genus Nannochloropsis are unique in their maintenance of a nucleus-plastid continuum throughout their cell cycle, non-motility and asexual reproduction. These characteristics should have been endorsed in their gene assemblages (genomes). Here we show that N. oceanica has a genome of 29.3?Mb consisting of 32 pseudochromosomes and containing 7,330 protein-coding genes; and the host nucleus may have been overthrown by an ancient red alga symbiont nucleus during speciation through secondary endosymbiosis. In addition, N. oceanica has lost its flagella and abilities to undergo meiosis and sexual reproduction, and adopted a genome reduction strategy during speciation. We propose…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Comparative genomic and phylogenetic analyses of Populus section Leuce using complete chloroplast genome sequences

Species of Populus section Leuce are distributed throughout most parts of the Northern Hemisphere and have important economic and ecological significance. However, due to frequent hybridization within Leuce, the phylogenetic relationship between species has not been clarified. The chloroplast (cp) genome is characterized by maternal inheritance and relatively conservative mutation rates; thus, it is a powerful tool for building phylogenetic trees. In this study, we used the PacBio SEQUEL software to determine that the cp genome of Populus tomentosa has a length of 156,558 bp including a long single-copy region (84,717 bp), a small single-copy region (16,555 bp), and a…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Transcriptome, proteome and draft genome of Euglena gracilis.

Photosynthetic euglenids are major contributors to fresh water ecosystems. Euglena gracilis in particular has noted metabolic flexibility, reflected by an ability to thrive in a range of harsh environments. E. gracilis has been a popular model organism and of considerable biotechnological interest, but the absence of a gene catalogue has hampered both basic research and translational efforts.We report a detailed transcriptome and partial genome for E. gracilis Z1. The nuclear genome is estimated to be around 500?Mb in size, and the transcriptome encodes over 36,000 proteins and the genome possesses less than 1% coding sequence. Annotation of coding sequences indicates…

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Monday, March 30, 2020

PAG Conference: Dawn of the crop pangenome era

To make improvements to crops like corn, soybeans, and canola, scientists at Corteva are building a compendium of crop genomics resources to provide actionable sequence info for genetic discovery, gene-editing, and seed product development. Hear how Kevin Fengler, Comparative Genomics Lead of Data Science and Bioinformatics at Corteva, is using PacBio sequences to build visualization tools and genome assembly pipelines as a contribution to this effort.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Overview of the wheat genetic transformation and breeding status in China.

In the past two decades, Chinese scientists have achieved significant progress on three aspects of wheat genetic transformation. First, the wheat transformation platform has been established and optimized to improve the transformation efficiency, shorten the time required from starting of transformation procedure to the fertile transgenic wheat plants obtained as well as to overcome the problem of genotype-dependent for wheat genetic transformation in wide range of wheat elite varieties. Second, with the help of many emerging techniques such as CRISPR/cas9 function of over 100 wheat genes has been investigated. Finally, modern technology has been combined with the traditional breeding technique…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Subaerial biofilms on granitic historic buildings: microbial diversity and development of phototrophic multi-species cultures.

Microbial communities of natural subaerial biofilms developed on granitic historic buildings of a World Heritage Site (Santiago de Compostela, NW Spain) were characterized and cultured in liquid BG11 medium. Environmental barcoding through next-generation sequencing (Pacific Biosciences) revealed that the biofilms were mainly composed of species of Chlorophyta (green algae) and Ascomycota (fungi) commonly associated with rock substrata. Richness and diversity were higher for the fungal than for the algal assemblages and fungi showed higher heterogeneity among samples. Cultures derived from natural biofilms showed the establishment of stable microbial communities mainly composed of Chlorophyta and Cyanobacteria. Although most taxa found in…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A comprehensive quality evaluation system for complex herbal medicine using PacBio sequencing, PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, and several chemical approaches.

Herbal medicine is a major component of complementary and alternative medicine, contributing significantly to the health of many people and communities. Quality control of herbal medicine is crucial to ensure that it is safe and sound for use. Here, we investigated a comprehensive quality evaluation system for a classic herbal medicine, Danggui Buxue Formula, by applying genetic-based and analytical chemistry approaches to authenticate and evaluate the quality of its samples. For authenticity, we successfully applied two novel technologies, third-generation sequencing and PCR-DGGE (denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis), to analyze the ingredient composition of the tested samples. For quality evaluation, we used…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Full-length transcriptome sequences and splice variants obtained by a combination of sequencing platforms applied to different root tissues of Salvia miltiorrhiza and tanshinone biosynthesis.

Danshen, Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge, is one of the most widely used herbs in traditional Chinese medicine, wherein its rhizome/roots are particularly valued. The corresponding bioactive components include the tanshinone diterpenoids, the biosynthesis of which is a subject of considerable interest. Previous investigations of the S. miltiorrhiza transcriptome have relied on short-read next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, and the vast majority of the resulting isotigs do not represent full-length cDNA sequences. Moreover, these efforts have been targeted at either whole plants or hairy root cultures. Here, we demonstrate that the tanshinone pigments are produced and accumulate in the root periderm, and apply a…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genome-wide identification and analysis of the ALTERNATIVE OXIDASE gene family in diploid and hexaploid wheat.

A comprehensive understanding of wheat responses to environmental stress will contribute to the long-term goal of feeding the planet. ALERNATIVE OXIDASE (AOX) genes encode proteins involved in a bypass of the electron transport chain and are also known to be involved in stress tolerance in multiple species. Here, we report the identification and characterization of the AOX gene family in diploid and hexaploid wheat. Four genes each were found in the diploid ancestors Triticum urartu, and Aegilops tauschii, and three in Aegilops speltoides. In hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum), 20 genes were identified, some with multiple splice variants, corresponding to a…

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