July 19, 2019  |  

Single-molecule sequencing reveals the chromosome-scale genomic architecture of the nematode model organism Pristionchus pacificus.

The nematode Pristionchus pacificus is an established model for integrative evolutionary biology and comparative studies with Caenorhabditis elegans. While an existing genome draft facilitated the identification of several genes controlling various developmental processes, its high degree of fragmentation complicated virtually all genomic analyses. Here, we present a de novo genome assembly from single-molecule, long-read sequencing data consisting of 135 P. pacificus contigs. When combined with a genetic linkage map, 99% of the assembly could be ordered and oriented into six chromosomes. This allowed us to robustly characterize chromosomal patterns of gene density, repeat content, nucleotide diversity, linkage disequilibrium, and macrosynteny in P. pacificus. Despite widespread conservation of synteny between P. pacificus and C. elegans, we identified one major translocation from an autosome to the sex chromosome in the lineage leading to C. elegans. This highlights the potential of the chromosome-scale assembly for future genomic studies of P. pacificus. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


July 19, 2019  |  

Long-read sequencing and de novo genome assembly of Ammopiptanthus nanus, a desert shrub.

Ammopiptanthus nanus is a rare broad-leaved shrub that is found in the desert and arid regions of Central Asia. This plant species exhibits extremely high tolerance to drought and freezing and has been used in abiotic tolerance research in plants. As a relic of the tertiary period, A. nanus is of great significance to plant biogeographic research in the ancient Mediterranean region. Here, we report a draft genome assembly using the Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) platform and gene annotation for A. nanus.A total of 64.72 Gb of raw PacBio sequel reads were generated from four 20-kb libraries. After filtering, 64.53 Gb of clean reads were obtained, giving 72.59× coverage depth. Assembly using Canu gave an assembly length of 823.74 Mb, with a contig N50 of 2.76 Mb. The final size of the assembled A. nanus genome was close to the 889 Mb estimated by k-mer analysis. The gene annotation completeness was evaluated using Benchmarking Universal Single-Copy Orthologs; 1,327 of the 1,440 conserved genes (92.15%) could be found in the A. nanus assembly. Genome annotation revealed that 74.08% of the A. nanus genome is composed of repetitive elements and 53.44% is composed of long terminal repeat elements. We predicted ?37,188 protein-coding genes, of which 96.53% were functionally annotated.The genomic sequences of A. nanus could be a valuable source for comparative genomic analysis in the legume family and will be useful for understanding the phylogenetic relationships of the Thermopsideae and the evolutionary response of plant species to the Qinghai Tibetan Plateau uplift.


July 19, 2019  |  

De novo assembly of haplotype-resolved genomes with trio binning.

Complex allelic variation hampers the assembly of haplotype-resolved sequences from diploid genomes. We developed trio binning, an approach that simplifies haplotype assembly by resolving allelic variation before assembly. In contrast with prior approaches, the effectiveness of our method improved with increasing heterozygosity. Trio binning uses short reads from two parental genomes to first partition long reads from an offspring into haplotype-specific sets. Each haplotype is then assembled independently, resulting in a complete diploid reconstruction. We used trio binning to recover both haplotypes of a diploid human genome and identified complex structural variants missed by alternative approaches. We sequenced an F1 cross between the cattle subspecies Bos taurus taurus and Bos taurus indicus and completely assembled both parental haplotypes with NG50 haplotig sizes of >20 Mb and 99.998% accuracy, surpassing the quality of current cattle reference genomes. We suggest that trio binning improves diploid genome assembly and will facilitate new studies of haplotype variation and inheritance.


July 7, 2019  |  

Third-generation sequencing and the future of genomics

Third-generation long-range DNA sequencing and mapping technologies are creating a renaissance in high-quality genome sequencing. Unlike second-generation sequencing, which produces short reads a few hundred base-pairs long, third-generation single-molecule technologies generate over 10,000 bp reads or map over 100,000 bp molecules. We analyze how increased read lengths can be used to address long-standing problems in de novo genome assembly, structural variation analysis and haplotype phasing.


July 7, 2019  |  

The report of my death was an exaggeration: A review for researchers using microsatellites in the 21st century.

Microsatellites, or simple sequence repeats (SSRs), have long played a major role in genetic studies due to their typically high polymorphism. They have diverse applications, including genome mapping, forensics, ascertaining parentage, population and conservation genetics, identification of the parentage of polyploids, and phylogeography. We compare SSRs and newer methods, such as genotyping by sequencing (GBS) and restriction site associated DNA sequencing (RAD-Seq), and offer recommendations for researchers considering which genetic markers to use. We also review the variety of techniques currently used for identifying microsatellite loci and developing primers, with a particular focus on those that make use of next-generation sequencing (NGS). Additionally, we review software for microsatellite development and report on an experiment to assess the utility of currently available software for SSR development. Finally, we discuss the future of microsatellites and make recommendations for researchers preparing to use microsatellites. We argue that microsatellites still have an important place in the genomic age as they remain effective and cost-efficient markers.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete genomic and transcriptional landscape analysis using third-generation sequencing: a case study of Saccharomyces cerevisiae CEN.PK113-7D.

Completion of eukaryal genomes can be difficult task with the highly repetitive sequences along the chromosomes and short read lengths of second-generation sequencing. Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain CEN.PK113-7D, widely used as a model organism and a cell factory, was selected for this study to demonstrate the superior capability of very long sequence reads for de novo genome assembly. We generated long reads using two common third-generation sequencing technologies (Oxford Nanopore Technology (ONT) and Pacific Biosciences (PacBio)) and used short reads obtained using Illumina sequencing for error correction. Assembly of the reads derived from all three technologies resulted in complete sequences for all 16 yeast chromosomes, as well as the mitochondrial chromosome, in one step. Further, we identified three types of DNA methylation (5mC, 4mC and 6mA). Comparison between the reference strain S288C and strain CEN.PK113-7D identified chromosomal rearrangements against a background of similar gene content between the two strains. We identified full-length transcripts through ONT direct RNA sequencing technology. This allows for the identification of transcriptional landscapes, including untranslated regions (UTRs) (5′ UTR and 3′ UTR) as well as differential gene expression quantification. About 91% of the predicted transcripts could be consistently detected across biological replicates grown either on glucose or ethanol. Direct RNA sequencing identified many polyadenylated non-coding RNAs, rRNAs, telomere-RNA, long non-coding RNA and antisense RNA. This work demonstrates a strategy to obtain complete genome sequences and transcriptional landscapes that can be applied to other eukaryal organisms.


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