July 19, 2019  |  

Comparative analyses of low, medium and high-resolution HLA typing technologies for human populations

Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) encoding genes are part of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) on human chromosome 6. This region is one of the most polymorphic regions in the human genome. Prior knowledge of HLA allelic polymorphisms is clinically important for matching donor and recipient during organ/tissue transplantation. HLA allelic information is also useful in predicting immune responses to various infectious diseases, genetic disorders and autoimmune conditions. India harbors over a billion people and its population is untapped for HLA allelic diversity. In this study, we explored and compared three HLA typing methods for South Indian population, using Sequence-Specific Primers (SSP), NGS (Roche/454) and single- molecule sequencing (PacBio RS II) platforms. Over 1020 DNA samples were typed at low resolution using SSP method to determine the major HLA alleles within the South Indian population. These studies were followed up with medium resolution HLA typing of 80 samples based on exonic sequences on the Roche/454 sequencing system and high-resolution (6-8 digit) typing of 8 samples for HLA alleles of class I genes (HLA-A, B and C) and class II genes (HLA-DRB1 and DQB1) using PacBio RS II platform. The long reads delivered by SMRT technology, covered the full-length class I and class II genes/alleles in contiguous reads including untranslated regions, exons and introns, which provided phased SNP information. We have identified three novel alleles from PacBio data that were verified by Roche 454 sequencing. This is the first case study of HLA typing using second and third generation NGS technologies for an Indian population. The PacBio platform is a promising platform for large-scale HLA typing for establishing an HLA database for the untapped ethnic populations of India.


July 19, 2019  |  

Quality control of the traditional patent medicine Yimu Wan based on SMRT Sequencing and DNA barcoding.

Substandard traditional patent medicines may lead to global safety-related issues. Protecting consumers from the health risks associated with the integrity and authenticity of herbal preparations is of great concern. Of particular concern is quality control for traditional patent medicines. Here, we establish an effective approach for verifying the biological composition of traditional patent medicines based on single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing and DNA barcoding. Yimu Wan (YMW), a classical herbal prescription recorded in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia, was chosen to test the method. Two reference YMW samples were used to establish a standard method for analysis, which was then applied to three different batches of commercial YMW samples. A total of 3703 and 4810 circular-consensus sequencing (CCS) reads from two reference and three commercial YMW samples were mapped to the ITS2 and psbA-trnH regions, respectively. Moreover, comparison of intraspecific genetic distances based on SMRT sequencing data with reference data from Sanger sequencing revealed an ITS2 and psbA-trnH intergenic spacer that exhibited high intraspecific divergence, with the sites of variation showing significant differences within species. Using the CCS strategy for SMRT sequencing analysis was adequate to guarantee the accuracy of identification. This study demonstrates the application of SMRT sequencing to detect the biological ingredients of herbal preparations. SMRT sequencing provides an affordable way to monitor the legality and safety of traditional patent medicines.


July 19, 2019  |  

Reduction in chromosome mobility accompanies nuclear organization during early embryogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

In differentiated cells, chromosomes are packed inside the cell nucleus in an organised fashion. In contrast, little is known about how chromosomes are packed in undifferentiated cells and how nuclear organization changes during development. To assess changes in nuclear organization during the earliest stages of development, we quantified the mobility of a pair of homologous chromosomal loci in the interphase nuclei of Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. The distribution of distances between homologous loci was consistent with a random distribution up to the 8-cell stage but not at later stages. The mobility of the loci was significantly reduced from the 2-cell to the 48-cell stage. Nuclear foci corresponding to epigenetic marks as well as heterochromatin and the nucleolus also appeared around the 8-cell stage. We propose that the earliest global transformation in nuclear organization occurs at the 8-cell stage during C. elegans embryogenesis.


July 19, 2019  |  

Detecting AGG interruptions in male and female FMR1 premutation carriers by single-molecule sequencing.

The FMR1 gene contains an unstable CGG repeat in its 5′ untranslated region. Premutation alleles range between 55 and 200 repeat units and confer a risk for developing fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome or fragile X-associated primary ovarian insufficiency. Furthermore, the premutation allele often expands to a full mutation during female germline transmission giving rise to the fragile X syndrome. The risk for a premutation to expand depends mainly on the number of CGG units and the presence of AGG interruptions in the CGG repeat. Unfortunately, the detection of AGG interruptions is hampered by technical difficulties. Here, we demonstrate that single-molecule sequencing enables the determination of not only the repeat size, but also the complete repeat sequence including AGG interruptions in male and female alleles with repeats ranging from 45 to 100 CGG units. We envision this method will facilitate research and diagnostic analysis of the FMR1 repeat expansion. © 2016 WILEY PERIODICALS, INC.


July 19, 2019  |  

SMRT Gate: A method for validation of synthetic constructs on Pacific Biosciences sequencing platforms.

Current DNA assembly methods are prone to sequence errors, requiring rigorous quality control (QC) to identify incorrect assemblies or synthesized constructs. Such errors can lead to misinterpretation of phenotypes. Because of this intrinsic problem, routine QC analysis is generally performed on three or more clones using a combination of restriction endonuclease assays, colony PCR, and Sanger sequencing. However, as new automation methods emerge that enable high-throughput assembly, QC using these techniques has become a major bottleneck. Here, we describe a quick and affordable methodology for the QC of synthetic constructs. Our method involves a one-pot digestion-ligation DNA assembly reaction, based on the Golden Gate assembly methodology, that is coupled with Pacific Biosciences’ Single Molecule, Real-Time (PacBio SMRT) sequencing technology.


July 19, 2019  |  

Polylox barcoding reveals haematopoietic stem cell fates realized in vivo.

Developmental deconvolution of complex organs and tissues at the level of individual cells remains challenging. Non-invasive genetic fate mapping has been widely used, but the low number of distinct fluorescent marker proteins limits its resolution. Much higher numbers of cell markers have been generated using viral integration sites, viral barcodes, and strategies based on transposons and CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing; however, temporal and tissue-specific induction of barcodes in situ has not been achieved. Here we report the development of an artificial DNA recombination locus (termed Polylox) that enables broadly applicable endogenous barcoding based on the Cre-loxP recombination system. Polylox recombination in situ reaches a practical diversity of several hundred thousand barcodes, allowing tagging of single cells. We have used this experimental system, combined with fate mapping, to assess haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) fates in vivo. Classical models of haematopoietic lineage specification assume a tree with few major branches. More recently, driven in part by the development of more efficient single-cell assays and improved transplantation efficiencies, different models have been proposed, in which unilineage priming may occur in mice and humans at the level of HSCs. We have introduced barcodes into HSC progenitors in embryonic mice, and found that the adult HSC compartment is a mosaic of embryo-derived HSC clones, some of which are unexpectedly large. Most HSC clones gave rise to multilineage or oligolineage fates, arguing against unilineage priming, and suggesting coherent usage of the potential of cells in a clone. The spreading of barcodes, both after induction in embryos and in adult mice, revealed a basic split between common myeloid-erythroid development and common lymphocyte development, supporting the long-held but contested view of a tree-like haematopoietic structure.


July 19, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of bacteriocin-producing Lactobacillus plantarum KLDS1.0391, a probiotic strain with gastrointestinal tract resistance and adhesion to the intestinal epithelial cells.

Lactobacillus plantarum KLDS1.0391 is a probiotic strain isolated from the traditional fermented dairy products and identified to produce bacteriocin against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Previous studies showed that the strain has a high resistance to gastrointestinal stress and has a high adhesion ability to the intestinal epithelial cells (Caco-2). We reported the entire genome sequence of this strain, which contains a circular 2,886,607-bp chromosome and three circular plasmids. Genes, which are related to the biosynthesis of bacteriocins, the stress resistance to gastrointestinal tract environment and adhesive performance, were identified. Whole genome sequence of Lactobacillus plantarum KLDS1.0391 will be helpful for its applications in food industry. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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  |  

The evolution of dark matter in the mitogenome of seed beetles.

Animal mitogenomes are generally thought of as being economic and optimized for rapid replication and transcription. We use long-read sequencing technology to assemble the remarkable mitogenomes of four species of seed beetles. These are the largest circular mitogenomes ever assembled in insects, ranging from 24,496 to 26,613?bp in total length, and are exceptional in that some 40% consists of non-coding DNA. The size expansion is due to two very long intergenic spacers (LIGSs), rich in tandem repeats. The two LIGSs are present in all species but vary greatly in length (114-10,408?bp), show very low sequence similarity, divergent tandem repeat motifs, a very high AT content and concerted length evolution. The LIGSs have been retained for at least some 45 my but must have undergone repeated reductions and expansions, despite strong purifying selection on protein coding mtDNA genes. The LIGSs are located in two intergenic sites where a few recent studies of insects have also reported shorter LIGSs (>200?bp). These sites may represent spaces that tolerate neutral repeat array expansions or, alternatively, the LIGSs may function to allow a more economic translational machinery. Mitochondrial respiration in adult seed beetles is based almost exclusively on fatty acids, which reduces the need for building complex I of the oxidative phosphorylation pathway (NADH dehydrogenase). One possibility is thus that the LIGSs may allow depressed transcription of NAD genes. RNA sequencing showed that LIGSs are partly transcribed and transcriptional profiling suggested that all seven mtDNA NAD genes indeed show low levels of transcription and co-regulation of transcription across sexes and tissues.© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.


July 19, 2019  |  

Sensitive detection of mitochondrial DNA variants for analysis of mitochondrial DNA-enriched extracts from frozen tumor tissue.

Large variation exists in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) not only between but also within individuals. Also in human cancer, tumor-specific mtDNA variation exists. In this work, we describe the comparison of four methods to extract mtDNA as pure as possible from frozen tumor tissue. Also, three state-of-the-art methods for sensitive detection of mtDNA variants were evaluated. The main aim was to develop a procedure to detect low-frequent single-nucleotide mtDNA-specific variants in frozen tumor tissue. We show that of the methods evaluated, DNA extracted from cytosol fractions following exonuclease treatment results in highest mtDNA yield and purity from frozen tumor tissue (270-fold mtDNA enrichment). Next, we demonstrate the sensitivity of detection of low-frequent single-nucleotide mtDNA variants (=1% allele frequency) in breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 by single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing, UltraSEEK chemistry based mass spectrometry, and digital PCR. We also show de novo detection and allelic phasing of variants by SMRT sequencing. We conclude that our sensitive procedure to detect low-frequent single-nucleotide mtDNA variants from frozen tumor tissue is based on extraction of DNA from cytosol fractions followed by exonuclease treatment to obtain high mtDNA purity, and subsequent SMRT sequencing for (de novo) detection and allelic phasing of variants.


July 19, 2019  |  

Coupling of single molecule, long read sequencing with IMGT/HighV-QUEST analysis expedites identification of SIV gp140-specific antibodies from scFv phage display libraries.

The simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)/macaque model of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome pathogenesis is critical for furthering our understanding of the role of antibody responses in the prevention of HIV infection, and will only increase in importance as macaque immunoglobulin (IG) gene databases are expanded. We have previously reported the construction of a phage display library from a SIV-infected rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) using oligonucleotide primers based on human IG gene sequences. Our previous screening relied on Sanger sequencing, which was inefficient and generated only a few dozen sequences. Here, we re-analyzed this library using single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing on the Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) platform to generate thousands of highly accurate circular consensus sequencing (CCS) reads corresponding to full length single chain fragment variable. CCS data were then analyzed through the international ImMunoGeneTics information system®(IMGT®)/HighV-QUEST (www.imgt.org) to identify variable genes and perform statistical analyses. Overall the library was very diverse, with 2,569 different IMGT clonotypes called for the 5,238 IGHV sequences assigned to an IMGT clonotype. Within the library, SIV-specific antibodies represented a relatively limited number of clones, with only 135 different IMGT clonotypes called from 4,594 IGHV-assigned sequences. Our data did confirm that the IGHV4 and IGHV3 gene usage was the most abundant within the rhesus antibodies screened, and that these genes were even more enriched among SIV gp140-specific antibodies. Although a broad range of VH CDR3 amino acid (AA) lengths was observed in the unpanned library, the vast majority of SIV gp140-specific antibodies demonstrated a more uniform VH CDR3 length (20 AA). This uniformity was far less apparent when VH CDR3 were classified according to their clonotype (range: 9-25 AA), which we believe is more relevant for specific antibody identification. Only 174 IGKV and 588 IGLV clonotypes were identified within the VL sequences associated with SIV gp140-specific VH. Together, these data strongly suggest that the combination of SMRT sequencing with the IMGT/HighV-QUEST querying tool will facilitate and expedite our understanding of polyclonal antibody responses during SIV infection and may serve to rapidly expand the known scope of macaque V genes utilized during these responses.


July 19, 2019  |  

Long-read sequence assembly of the firefly Pyrocoelia pectoralis genome.

Fireflies are a family of insects within the beetle order Coleoptera, or winged beetles, and they are one of the most well-known and loved insect species because of their bioluminescence. However, the firefly is in danger of extinction because of the massive destruction of its living environment. In order to improve the understanding of fireflies and protect them effectively, we sequenced the whole genome of the terrestrial firefly Pyrocoelia pectoralis.Here, we developed a highly reliable genome resource for the terrestrial firefly Pyrocoelia pectoralis (E. Oliv., 1883; Coleoptera: Lampyridae) using single molecule real time (SMRT) sequencing on the PacBio Sequel platform. In total, 57.8 Gb of long reads were generated and assembled into a 760.4-Mb genome, which is close to the estimated genome size and covered 98.7% complete and 0.7% partial insect Benchmarking Universal Single-Copy Orthologs. The k-mer analysis showed that this genome is highly heterozygous. However, our long-read assembly demonstrates continuousness with a contig N50 length of 3.04 Mb and the longest contig length of 13.69 Mb. Furthermore, 135 589 SSRs and 341 Mb of repeat sequences were detected. A total of 23 092 genes were predicted; 88.44% of genes were annotated with one or more related functions.We assembled a high-quality firefly genome, which will not only provide insights into the conservation and biodiversity of fireflies, but also provide a wealth of information to study the mechanisms of their sexual communication, bio-luminescence, and evolution.© The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.


July 19, 2019  |  

Full-Length Envelope Analyzer (FLEA): A tool for longitudinal analysis of viral amplicons.

Next generation sequencing of viral populations has advanced our understanding of viral population dynamics, the development of drug resistance, and escape from host immune responses. Many applications require complete gene sequences, which can be impossible to reconstruct from short reads. HIV env, the protein of interest for HIV vaccine studies, is exceptionally challenging for long-read sequencing and analysis due to its length, high substitution rate, and extensive indel variation. While long-read sequencing is attractive in this setting, the analysis of such data is not well handled by existing methods. To address this, we introduce FLEA (Full-Length Envelope Analyzer), which performs end-to-end analysis and visualization of long-read sequencing data. FLEA consists of both a pipeline (optionally run on a high-performance cluster), and a client-side web application that provides interactive results. The pipeline transforms FASTQ reads into high-quality consensus sequences (HQCSs) and uses them to build a codon-aware multiple sequence alignment. The resulting alignment is then used to infer phylogenies, selection pressure, and evolutionary dynamics. The web application provides publication-quality plots and interactive visualizations, including an annotated viral alignment browser, time series plots of evolutionary dynamics, visualizations of gene-wide selective pressures (such as dN/dS) across time and across protein structure, and a phylogenetic tree browser. We demonstrate how FLEA may be used to process Pacific Biosciences HIV env data and describe recent examples of its use. Simulations show how FLEA dramatically reduces the error rate of this sequencing platform, providing an accurate portrait of complex and variable HIV env populations. A public instance of FLEA is hosted at http://flea.datamonkey.org. The Python source code for the FLEA pipeline can be found at https://github.com/veg/flea-pipeline. The client-side application is available at https://github.com/veg/flea-web-app. A live demo of the P018 results can be found at http://flea.murrell.group/view/P018.


July 19, 2019  |  

Advances in Sequencing and Resequencing in Crop Plants.

DNA sequencing technologies have changed the face of biological research over the last 20 years. From reference genomes to population level resequencing studies, these technologies have made significant contributions to our understanding of plant biology and evolution. As the technologies have increased in power, the breadth and complexity of the questions that can be asked has increased. Along with this, the challenges of managing unprecedented quantities of sequence data are mounting. This chapter describes a few aspects of the journey so far and looks forward to what may lie ahead.


July 19, 2019  |  

Detailed analysis of HTT repeat elements in human blood using targeted amplification-free long-read sequencing.

Amplification of DNA is required as a mandatory step during library preparation in most targeted sequencing protocols. This can be a critical limitation when targeting regions that are highly repetitive or with extreme guanine-cytosine (GC) content, including repeat expansions associated with human disease. Here, we used an amplification-free protocol for targeted enrichment utilizing the CRISPR/Cas9 system (No-Amp Targeted sequencing) in combination with single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing for studying repeat elements in the huntingtin (HTT) gene, where an expanded CAG repeat is causative for Huntington disease. We also developed a robust data analysis pipeline for repeat element analysis that is independent of alignment of reads to a reference genome. The method was applied to 11 diagnostic blood samples, and for all 22 alleles the resulting CAG repeat count agreed with previous results based on fragment analysis. The amplification-free protocol also allowed for studying somatic variability of repeat elements in our samples, without the interference of PCR stutter. In summary, with No-Amp Targeted sequencing in combination with our analysis pipeline, we could accurately study repeat elements that are difficult to investigate using PCR-based methods.© 2018 The Authors. Human Mutation published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


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