September 22, 2019  |  

Complex rearrangements and oncogene amplifications revealed by long-read DNA and RNA sequencing of a breast cancer cell line.

The SK-BR-3 cell line is one of the most important models for HER2+ breast cancers, which affect one in five breast cancer patients. SK-BR-3 is known to be highly rearranged, although much of the variation is in complex and repetitive regions that may be underreported. Addressing this, we sequenced SK-BR-3 using long-read single molecule sequencing from Pacific Biosciences and develop one of the most detailed maps of structural variations (SVs) in a cancer genome available, with nearly 20,000 variants present, most of which were missed by short-read sequencing. Surrounding the important ERBB2 oncogene (also known as HER2), we discover a complex sequence of nested duplications and translocations, suggesting a punctuated progression. Full-length transcriptome sequencing further revealed several novel gene fusions within the nested genomic variants. Combining long-read genome and transcriptome sequencing enables an in-depth analysis of how SVs disrupt the genome and sheds new light on the complex mechanisms involved in cancer genome evolution.© 2018 Nattestad et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


September 22, 2019  |  

Reproducible integration of multiple sequencing datasets to form high-confidence SNP, indel, and reference calls for five human genome reference materials

Benchmark small variant calls from the Genome in a Bottle Consortium (GIAB) for the CEPH/HapMap genome NA12878 (HG001) have been used extensively for developing, optimizing, and demonstrating performance of sequencing and bioinformatics methods. Here, we develop a reproducible, cloud-based pipeline to integrate multiple sequencing datasets and form benchmark calls, enabling application to arbitrary human genomes. We use these reproducible methods to form high-confidence calls with respect to GRCh37 and GRCh38 for HG001 and 4 additional broadly-consented genomes from the Personal Genome Project that are available as NIST Reference Materials. These new genomes’ broad, open consent with few restrictions on availability of samples and data is enabling a uniquely diverse array of applications. Our new methods produce 17% more high-confidence SNPs, 176% more indels, and 12% larger regions than our previously published calls. To demonstrate that these calls can be used for accurate benchmarking, we compare other high-quality callsets to ours (e.g., Illumina Platinum Genomes), and we demonstrate that the majority of discordant calls are errors in the other callsets, We also highlight challenges in interpreting performance metrics when benchmarking against imperfect high-confidence calls. We show that benchmarking tools from the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health can be used with our calls to stratify performance metrics by variant type and genome context and elucidate strengths and weaknesses of a method.


September 22, 2019  |  

NextSV: a meta-caller for structural variants from low-coverage long-read sequencing data.

Structural variants (SVs) in human genomes are implicated in a variety of human diseases. Long-read sequencing delivers much longer read lengths than short-read sequencing and may greatly improve SV detection. However, due to the relatively high cost of long-read sequencing, it is unclear what coverage is needed and how to optimally use the aligners and SV callers.In this study, we developed NextSV, a meta-caller to perform SV calling from low coverage long-read sequencing data. NextSV integrates three aligners and three SV callers and generates two integrated call sets (sensitive/stringent) for different analysis purposes. We evaluated SV calling performance of NextSV under different PacBio coverages on two personal genomes, NA12878 and HX1. Our results showed that, compared with running any single SV caller, NextSV stringent call set had higher precision and balanced accuracy (F1 score) while NextSV sensitive call set had a higher recall. At 10X coverage, the recall of NextSV sensitive call set was 93.5 to 94.1% for deletions and 87.9 to 93.2% for insertions, indicating that ~10X coverage might be an optimal coverage to use in practice, considering the balance between the sequencing costs and the recall rates. We further evaluated the Mendelian errors on an Ashkenazi Jewish trio dataset.Our results provide useful guidelines for SV detection from low coverage whole-genome PacBio data and we expect that NextSV will facilitate the analysis of SVs on long-read sequencing data.


September 22, 2019  |  

npInv: accurate detection and genotyping of inversions using long read sub-alignment.

Detection of genomic inversions remains challenging. Many existing methods primarily target inzversions with a non repetitive breakpoint, leaving inverted repeat (IR) mediated non-allelic homologous recombination (NAHR) inversions largely unexplored.We present npInv, a novel tool specifically for detecting and genotyping NAHR inversion using long read sub-alignment of long read sequencing data. We benchmark npInv with other tools in both simulation and real data. We use npInv to generate a whole-genome inversion map for NA12878 consisting of 30 NAHR inversions (of which 15 are novel), including all previously known NAHR mediated inversions in NA12878 with flanking IR less than 7kb. Our genotyping accuracy on this dataset was 94%. We used PCR to confirm the presence of two of these novel inversions. We show that there is a near linear relationship between the length of flanking IR and the minimum inversion size, without inverted repeats.The application of npInv shows high accuracy in both simulation and real data. The results give deeper insight into understanding inversion.


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 gaps to perform comprehensive genomic analyses that do not simply ‘mask’ repeats.


September 22, 2019  |  

Approaches for surveying cosmic radiation damage in large populations of Arabidopsis thaliana seeds-Antarctic balloons and particle beams.

The Cosmic Ray Exposure Sequencing Science (CRESS) payload system is a proof of concept experiment to assess the genomic impact of space radiation on seeds. CRESS was designed as a secondary payload for the December 2016 high-altitude, high-latitude, and long-duration balloon flight carrying the Boron And Carbon Cosmic Rays in the Upper Stratosphere (BACCUS) experimental hardware. Investigation of the biological effects of Galactic Cosmic Radiation (GCR), particularly those of ions with High-Z and Energy (HZE), is of interest due to the genomic damage this type of radiation inflicts. The biological effects of upper-stratospheric mixed radiation above Antarctica (ANT) were sampled using Arabidopsis thaliana seeds and were compared to those resulting from a controlled simulation of GCR at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and to laboratory control seed. The payload developed for Antarctica exposure was broadly designed to 1U CubeSat specifications (10cmx10cmx10cm, =1.33kg), maintained 1 atm internal pressure, and carried an internal cargo of four seed trays (about 580,000 seeds) and twelve CR-39 Solid-State Nuclear Track Detectors (SSNTDs). The irradiated seeds were recovered, sterilized and grown on Petri plates for phenotypic screening. BNL and ANT M0 seeds showed significantly reduced germination rates and elevated somatic mutation rates when compared to non-irradiated controls, with the BNL mutation rate also being significantly higher than that of ANT. Genomic DNA from mutants of interest was evaluated with whole-genome sequencing using PacBio SMRT technology. Sequence data revealed the presence of an array of genome structural variants in the genomes of M0 and M1 mutant plants.


September 22, 2019  |  

CompStor Novos: a low cost yet fast assembly-based variant calling for personal genomes

Application of assembly methods for personal genome analysis from next generation sequencing data has been limited by the requirement for an expensive supercomputer hardware or long computation times when using ordinary resources. We describe CompStor Novos, achieving supercomputer-class performance in de novo assembly computation time on standard server hardware, based on a tiered-memory algorithm. Run on commercial off-the-shelf servers, Novos assembly is more precise and 10-20 times faster than that of existing assembly algorithms. Furthermore, we integrated Novos into a variant calling pipeline and demonstrate that both compute times and precision of calling point variants and indels compare well with standard alignment-based pipelines. Additionally, assembly eliminates bias in the estimation of allele frequency for indels and naturally enables discovery of breakpoints for structural variants with base pair resolution. Thus, Novos bridges the gap between alignment-based and assembly-based genome analyses. Extension and adaption of its underlying algorithm will help quickly and fully harvest information in sequencing reads for personal genome reconstruction.


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