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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Constant conflict between Gypsy LTR retrotransposons and CHH methylation within a stress-adapted mangrove genome.

The evolutionary dynamics of the conflict between transposable elements (TEs) and their host genome remain elusive. This conflict will be intense in stress-adapted plants as stress can often reactivate TEs. Mangroves reduce TE load convergently in their adaptation to intertidal environments and thus provide a unique opportunity to address the host-TE conflict and its interaction with stress adaptation. Using the mangrove Rhizophora apiculata as a model, we investigated methylation and short interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting patterns in relation to the abundance and age of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons. We also examined the distance of LTR retrotransposons to genes, the…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

How complete are “complete” genome assemblies?-An avian perspective.

The genomics revolution has led to the sequencing of a large variety of nonmodel organisms often referred to as “whole” or “complete” genome assemblies. But how complete are these, really? Here, we use birds as an example for nonmodel vertebrates and find that, although suitable in principle for genomic studies, the current standard of short-read assemblies misses a significant proportion of the expected genome size (7% to 42%; mean 20 ± 9%). In particular, regions with strongly deviating nucleotide composition (e.g., guanine-cytosine-[GC]-rich) and regions highly enriched in repetitive DNA (e.g., transposable elements and satellite DNA) are usually underrepresented in assemblies. However, long-read…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Computational tools to unmask transposable elements.

A substantial proportion of the genome of many species is derived from transposable elements (TEs). Moreover, through various self-copying mechanisms, TEs continue to proliferate in the genomes of most species. TEs have contributed numerous regulatory, transcript and protein innovations and have also been linked to disease. However, notwithstanding their demonstrated impact, many genomic studies still exclude them because their repetitive nature results in various analytical complexities. Fortunately, a growing array of methods and software tools are being developed to cater for them. This Review presents a summary of computational resources for TEs and highlights some of the challenges and remaining…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genomic characterization reveals significant divergence within Chlorella sorokiniana (Chlorellales, Trebouxiophyceae)

Selection of highly productive algal strains is crucial for establishing economically viable biomass and biopro- duct cultivation systems. Characterization of algal genomes, including understanding strain-specific differences in genome content and architecture is a critical step in this process. Using genomic analyses, we demonstrate significant differences between three strains of Chlorella sorokiniana (strain 1228, UTEX 1230, and DOE1412). We found that unique, strain-specific genes comprise a substantial proportion of each genome, and genomic regions with> 80% local nucleotide identity constitute

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genome sequence of the potato pathogenic fungus Alternaria solani HWC-168 reveals clues for its conidiation and virulence.

Alternaria solani is a known air-born deuteromycete fungus with a polycyclic life cycle and is the causal agent of early blight that causes significant yield losses of potato worldwide. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the conidiation and pathogenicity remain largely unknown.We produced a high-quality genome assembly of A. solani HWC-168 that was isolated from a major potato-producing region of Northern China, which facilitated a comprehensive gene annotation, the accurate prediction of genes encoding secreted proteins and identification of conidiation-related genes. The assembled genome of A. solani HWC-168 has a genome size 32.8 Mb and encodes 10,358 predicted genes that are highly…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Reconstitution of eukaryotic chromosomes and manipulation of DNA N6-methyladenine alters chromatin and gene expression

DNA N6-adenine methylation (6mA) has recently been reported in diverse eukaryotes, spanning unicellular organisms to metazoans. Yet the functional significance of 6mA remains elusive due to its low abundance, difficulty of manipulation within native DNA, and lack of understanding of eukaryotic 6mA writers. Here, we report a novel DNA 6mA methyltransferase in ciliates, termed MTA1. The enzyme contains an MT-A70 domain but is phylogenetically distinct from all known RNA and DNA methyltransferases. Disruption of MTA1 in vivo leads to the genome-wide loss of 6mA in asexually growing cells and abolishment of the consensus ApT dimethylated motif. Genes exhibit subtle changes…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Complete genome sequence of Leuconostoc citreum EFEL2700, a host strain for transformation of pCB vectors.

Leuconostoc citreum is an important lactic acid bacterium used as a starter culture for producing kimchi, the traditional Korean fermented vegetables. An efficient host strain for plasmid transformation, L. citreum EFEL2700, was isolated from kimchi, and it has been frequently used for genetic engineering of L. citreum. In this study, we report the whole genome sequence of the strain and its genetic characteristics. Genome assembly yielded 5 contigs (1 chromosome and 4 plasmids), and the complete genome contained 1,923,830 base pairs (bp) with a G?+?C content of 39.0%. Average nucleotide identity analysis showed high homology (= 99%) to the reference…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Desiccation Tolerance Evolved through Gene Duplication and Network Rewiring in Lindernia.

Although several resurrection plant genomes have been sequenced, the lack of suitable dehydration-sensitive outgroups has limited genomic insights into the origin of desiccation tolerance. Here, we utilized a comparative system of closely related desiccation-tolerant (Lindernia brevidens) and -sensitive (Lindernia subracemosa) species to identify gene- and pathway-level changes associated with the evolution of desiccation tolerance. The two high-quality Lindernia genomes we assembled are largely collinear, and over 90% of genes are conserved. L. brevidens and L. subracemosa have evidence of an ancient, shared whole-genome duplication event, and retained genes have neofunctionalized, with desiccation-specific expression in L. brevidens Tandem gene duplicates also…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genomic and genetic insights into a cosmopolitan fungus, Paecilomyces variotii (Eurotiales).

Species in the genus Paecilomyces, a member of the fungal order Eurotiales, are ubiquitous in nature and impact a variety of human endeavors. Here, the biology of one common species, Paecilomyces variotii, was explored using genomics and functional genetics. Sequencing the genome of two isolates revealed key genome and gene features in this species. A striking feature of the genome was the two-part nature, featuring large stretches of DNA with normal GC content separated by AT-rich regions, a hallmark of many plant-pathogenic fungal genomes. These AT-rich regions appeared to have been mutated by repeat-induced point (RIP) mutations. We developed methods…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sex chromosome evolution via two genes

The origin of sex chromosomes has been hypothesized to involve the linkage of factors with antagonistic effects on male and female function. Garden asparagus (Asparagus officinalis L.) is an ideal species to test this hypothesis, as the X and Y chromosomes are cytologically homomorphic and recently evolved from an ancestral autosome pair in association with a shift from hermaphroditism to dioecy. Mutagenesis screens paired with single-molecule fluorescence in situ hybridization (smFISH) directly implicate Y-specific genes that respectively suppress female organ development and are necessary for male gametophyte development. Comparison of contiguous X and Y chromosome shows that loss of recombination…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Whole genome sequence of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines.

Aphids are emerging as model organisms for both basic and applied research. Of the 5,000 estimated species, only three aphids have published whole genome sequences: the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum, the Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia, and the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae. We present the whole genome sequence of a fourth aphid, the soybean aphid (Aphis glycines), which is an extreme specialist and an important invasive pest of soybean (Glycine max). The availability of genomic resources is important to establish effective and sustainable pest control, as well as to expand our understanding of aphid evolution. We generated a 302.9 Mbp…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Retrotransposons are the major contributors to the expansion of the Drosophila ananassae Muller F element.

The discordance between genome size and the complexity of eukaryotes can partly be attributed to differences in repeat density. The Muller F element (~5.2 Mb) is the smallest chromosome in Drosophila melanogaster, but it is substantially larger (>18.7 Mb) in D. ananassae To identify the major contributors to the expansion of the F element and to assess their impact, we improved the genome sequence and annotated the genes in a 1.4-Mb region of the D. ananassae F element, and a 1.7-Mb region from the D element for comparison. We find that transposons (particularly LTR and LINE retrotransposons) are major contributors…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Assessing genome assembly quality using the LTR Assembly Index (LAI).

Assembling a plant genome is challenging due to the abundance of repetitive sequences, yet no standard is available to evaluate the assembly of repeat space. LTR retrotransposons (LTR-RTs) are the predominant interspersed repeat that is poorly assembled in draft genomes. Here, we propose a reference-free genome metric called LTR Assembly Index (LAI) that evaluates assembly continuity using LTR-RTs. After correcting for LTR-RT amplification dynamics, we show that LAI is independent of genome size, genomic LTR-RT content, and gene space evaluation metrics (i.e., BUSCO and CEGMA). By comparing genomic sequences produced by various sequencing techniques, we reveal the significant gain of…

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