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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Resurgence of less-studied smut fungi as models of phytopathogenesis in the -omics era.

The smut fungi form a large, diverse, and non-monophyletic group of plant pathogens that have long served as both important pests of human agriculture but also as fertile organisms of scientific investigation. As modern techniques of molecular genetic analysis became available, many previously-studied species that proved refractive to these techniques fell by the wayside to become neglected. Now, as the advent of rapid and affordable next-generation sequencing provides genomic and transcriptomic resources for even these “forgotten” fungi, several species are making a come-back and retaking prominent places in phytopathogenic research. In this review, we highlight several of these smut fungi,…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genomic dark matter illuminated: Anopheles Y chromosomes.

Hall et al. have strategically used long-read sequencing technology to characterize the structure and highly repetitive content of the Y chromosome in Anopheles malaria mosquitoes. Their work confirms that this important but elusive heterochromatic sex chromosome is evolving extremely rapidly and harbors a remarkably small number of genes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genomic characterization of the Atlantic cod sex-locus.

A variety of sex determination mechanisms can be observed in evolutionary divergent teleosts. Sex determination is genetic in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), however the genomic location or size of its sex-locus is unknown. Here, we characterize the sex-locus of Atlantic cod using whole genome sequence (WGS) data of 227 wild-caught specimens. Analyzing more than 55 million polymorphic loci, we identify 166 loci that are associated with sex. These loci are located in six distinct regions on five different linkage groups (LG) in the genome. The largest of these regions, an approximately 55?Kb region on LG11, contains the majority of genotypes…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Ditylenchus destructor genome provides new insights into the evolution of plant parasitic nematodes.

Plant-parasitic nematodes were found in 4 of the 12 clades of phylum Nematoda. These nematodes in different clades may have originated independently from their free-living fungivorous ancestors. However, the exact evolutionary process of these parasites is unclear. Here, we sequenced the genome sequence of a migratory plant nematode, Ditylenchus destructor We performed comparative genomics among the free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans and all the plant nematodes with genome sequences available. We found that, compared with C. elegans, the core developmental control processes underwent heavy reduction, though most signal transduction pathways were conserved. We also found D. destructor contained more homologies of…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

BAC-pool sequencing and analysis confirms growth-associated QTLs in the Asian seabass genome.

The Asian seabass is an important marine food fish that has been cultured for several decades in Asia Pacific. However, the lack of a high quality reference genome has hampered efforts to improve its selective breeding. A 3D BAC pool set generated in this study was screened using 22 SSR markers located on linkage group 2 which contains a growth-related QTL region. Seventy-two clones corresponding to 22 FPC contigs were sequenced by Illumina MiSeq technology. We co-assembled the MiSeq-derived scaffolds from each FPC contig with error-corrected PacBio reads, resulting in 187 sequences covering 9.7?Mb. Eleven genes annotated within this region…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Comparative genomics of biotechnologically important yeasts.

Ascomycete yeasts are metabolically diverse, with great potential for biotechnology. Here, we report the comparative genome analysis of 29 taxonomically and biotechnologically important yeasts, including 16 newly sequenced. We identify a genetic code change, CUG-Ala, in Pachysolen tannophilus in the clade sister to the known CUG-Ser clade. Our well-resolved yeast phylogeny shows that some traits, such as methylotrophy, are restricted to single clades, whereas others, such as l-rhamnose utilization, have patchy phylogenetic distributions. Gene clusters, with variable organization and distribution, encode many pathways of interest. Genomics can predict some biochemical traits precisely, but the genomic basis of others, such as…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genome sequence of Phormia regina Meigen (Diptera: Calliphoridae): implications for medical, veterinary and forensic research.

Blow flies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) are important medical, veterinary and forensic insects encompassing 8 % of the species diversity observed in the calyptrate insects. Few genomic resources exist to understand the diversity and evolution of this group.We present the hybrid (short and long reads) draft assemblies of the male and female genomes of the common North American blow fly, Phormia regina (Diptera: Calliphoridae). The 550 and 534 Mb draft assemblies contained 8312 and 9490 predicted genes in the female and male genomes, respectively; including?>?93 % conserved eukaryotic genes. Putative X and Y chromosomes (21 and 14 Mb, respectively) were assembled and annotated. The P. regina…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genomic insights into date palm origins.

With the development of next-generation sequencing technology, the amount of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) genomic data has grown rapidly and yielded new insights into this species and its origins. Here, we review advances in understanding of the evolutionary history of the date palm, with a particular emphasis on what has been learned from the analysis of genomic data. We first record current genomic resources available for date palm including genome assemblies and resequencing data. We discuss new insights into its domestication and diversification history based on these improved genomic resources. We further report recent discoveries such as the existence…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

An investigation of Y chromosome incorporations in 400 species of Drosophila and related genera.

Y chromosomes are widely believed to evolve from a normal autosome through a process of massive gene loss (with preservation of some male genes), shaped by sex-antagonistic selection and complemented by occasional gains of male-related genes. The net result of these processes is a male-specialized chromosome. This might be expected to be an irreversible process, but it was found in 2005 that the Drosophila pseudoobscura Y chromosome was incorporated into an autosome. Y chromosome incorporations have important consequences: a formerly male-restricted chromosome reverts to autosomal inheritance, and the species may shift from an XY/XX to X0/XX sex-chromosome system. In order…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Hardwood tree genomics: Unlocking woody plant biology.

Woody perennial angiosperms (i.e., hardwood trees) are polyphyletic in origin and occur in most angiosperm orders. Despite their independent origins, hardwoods have shared physiological, anatomical, and life history traits distinct from their herbaceous relatives. New high-throughput DNA sequencing platforms have provided access to numerous woody plant genomes beyond the early reference genomes of Populus and Eucalyptus, references that now include willow and oak, with pecan and chestnut soon to follow. Genomic studies within these diverse and undomesticated species have successfully linked genes to ecological, physiological, and developmental traits directly. Moreover, comparative genomic approaches are providing insights into speciation events while…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

De novo genome assembly of the olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae) developed through a combination of linked-reads and long-read technologies

Long-read sequencing has greatly contributed to the generation of high quality assemblies, albeit at a high cost. It is also not always clear how to combine sequencing platforms. We sequenced the genome of the olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae), the most important pest in the olive fruits agribusiness industry, using Illumina short-reads, mate-pairs, 10x Genomics linked-reads, Pacific Biosciences (PacBio), and Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT). The 10x linked-reads assembly gave the most contiguous assembly with an N50 of 2.16 Mb. Scaffolding the linked-reads assembly using long-reads from ONT gave a more contiguous assembly with scaffold N50 of 4.59 Mb. We also…

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