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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Human copy number variants are enriched in regions of low mappability.

Copy number variants (CNVs) are known to affect a large portion of the human genome and have been implicated in many diseases. Although whole-genome sequencing (WGS) can help identify CNVs, most analytical methods suffer from limited sensitivity and specificity, especially in regions of low mappability. To address this, we use PopSV, a CNV caller that relies on multiple samples to control for technical variation. We demonstrate that our calls are stable across different types of repeat-rich regions and validate the accuracy of our predictions using orthogonal approaches. Applying PopSV to 640 human genomes, we find that low-mappability regions are approximately…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

De novo assembly, delivery and expression of a 101 kb human gene in mouse cells

Design and large-scale synthesis of DNA has been applied to the functional study of viral and microbial genomes. New and expanded technology development is required to unlock the transformative potential of such bottom-up approaches to the study of larger, mammalian genomes. Two major challenges include assembling and delivering long DNA sequences. Here we describe a pipeline for de novo DNA assembly and delivery that enables functional evaluation of mammalian genes on the length scale of 100 kb. The DNA assembly step is supported by an integrated robotic workcell. We assemble the 101 kb human HPRT1 gene in yeast, deliver it…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The genome of tapeworm Taenia multiceps sheds light on understanding parasitic mechanism and control of coenurosis disease.

Coenurosis, caused by the larval coenurus of the tapeworm Taenia multiceps, is a fatal central nervous system disease in both sheep and humans. Though treatment and prevention options are available, the control of coenurosis still faces presents great challenges. Here, we present a high-quality genome sequence of T. multiceps in which 240 Mb (96%) of the genome has been successfully assembled using Pacbio single-molecule real-time (SMRT) and Hi-C data with a N50 length of 44.8 Mb. In total, 49.5 Mb (20.6%) repeat sequences and 13, 013 gene models were identified. We found that Taenia spp. have an expansion of transposable…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Phosphagen kinase function in flagellated spores of the oomycete Phytophthora infestans integrates transcriptional regulation, metabolic dynamics and protein retargeting.

Flagellated spores play important roles in the infection of plants and animals by many eukaryotic microbes. The oomycete Phytophthora infestans, which causes potato blight, expresses two phosphagen kinases (PKs). These enzymes store energy in taurocyamine, and are hypothesized to resolve spatial and temporal imbalances between rates of ATP creation and use in zoospores. A dimeric PK is found at low levels in vegetative mycelia, but high levels in ungerminated sporangia and zoospores. In contrast, a monomeric PK protein is at similar levels in all tissues, although is transcribed primarily in mycelia. Subcellular localization studies indicate that the monomeric PK is…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Nondestructive, base-resolution sequencing of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine using a DNA deaminase.

Here we present APOBEC-coupled epigenetic sequencing (ACE-seq), a bisulfite-free method for localizing 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) at single-base resolution with low DNA input. The method builds on the observation that AID/APOBEC family DNA deaminase enzymes can potently discriminate between cytosine modification states and exploits the non-destructive nature of enzymatic, rather than chemical, deamination. ACE-seq yielded high-confidence 5hmC profiles with at least 1,000-fold less DNA input than conventional methods. Applying ACE-seq to generate a base-resolution map of 5hmC in tissue-derived cortical excitatory neurons, we found that 5hmC was almost entirely confined to CG dinucleotides. The whole-genome map permitted cytosine, 5-methylcytosine (5mC) and 5hmC…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Whole-genome sequencing of Chinese yellow catfish provides a valuable genetic resource for high-throughput identification of toxin genes.

Naturally derived toxins from animals are good raw materials for drug development. As a representative venomous teleost, Chinese yellow catfish (Pelteobagrus fulvidraco) can provide valuable resources for studies on toxin genes. Its venom glands are located in the pectoral and dorsal fins. Although with such interesting biologic traits and great value in economy, Chinese yellow catfish is still lacking a sequenced genome. Here, we report a high-quality genome assembly of Chinese yellow catfish using a combination of next-generation Illumina and third-generation PacBio sequencing platforms. The final assembly reached 714 Mb, with a contig N50 of 970 kb and a scaffold…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

N6-methyladenine DNA modification in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola genome.

DNA N6-methyladenine (6mA) modifications expand the information capacity of DNA and have long been known to exist in bacterial genomes. Xanthomonas oryzae pv. Oryzicola (Xoc) is the causative agent of bacterial leaf streak, an emerging and destructive disease in rice worldwide. However, the genome-wide distribution patterns and potential functions of 6mA in Xoc are largely unknown. In this study, we analyzed the levels and global distribution patterns of 6mA modification in genomic DNA of seven Xoc strains (BLS256, BLS279, CFBP2286, CFBP7331, CFBP7341, L8 and RS105). The 6mA modification was found to be widely distributed across the seven Xoc genomes, accounting…

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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

Mosaicism diminishes the value of pre-implantation embryo biopsies for detecting CRISPR/Cas9 induced mutations in sheep.

The production of knock-out (KO) livestock models is both expensive and time consuming due to their long gestational interval and low number of offspring. One alternative to increase efficiency is performing a genetic screening to select pre-implantation embryos that have incorporated the desired mutation. Here we report the use of sheep embryo biopsies for detecting CRISPR/Cas9-induced mutations targeting the gene PDX1 prior to embryo transfer. PDX1 is a critical gene for pancreas development and the target gene required for the creation of pancreatogenesis-disabled sheep. We evaluated the viability of biopsied embryos in vitro and in vivo, and we determined the…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

N6-methyladenine DNA methylation in Japonica and Indica rice genomes and its association with gene expression, plant development, and stress responses.

N6-Methyladenine (6mA) DNA methylation has recently been implicated as a potential new epigenetic marker in eukaryotes, including the dicot model Arabidopsis thaliana. However, the conservation and divergence of 6mA distribution patterns and functions in plants remain elusive. Here we report high-quality 6mA methylomes at single-nucleotide resolution in rice based on substantially improved genome sequences of two rice cultivars, Nipponbare (Nip; Japonica) and 93-11 (Indica). Analysis of 6mA genomic distribution and its association with transcription suggest that 6mA distribution and function is rather conserved between rice and Arabidopsis. We found that 6mA levels are positively correlated with the expression of key…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

MadID, a versatile approach to map protein-DNA interactions, highlights telomere-nuclear envelope contact sites in human cells.

Mapping the binding sites of DNA- or chromatin-interacting proteins is essential to understanding biological processes. DNA adenine methyltransferase identification (DamID) has emerged as a comprehensive method to map genome-wide occupancy of proteins of interest. A caveat of DamID is the specificity of Dam methyltransferase for GATC motifs that are not homogenously distributed in the genome. Here, we developed an optimized method named MadID, using proximity labeling of DNA by the methyltransferase M.EcoGII. M.EcoGII mediates N6-adenosine methylation in any DNA sequence context, resulting in deeper and unbiased coverage of the genome. We demonstrate, using m6A-specific immunoprecipitation and deep sequencing, that MadID…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Trophoblast organoids as a model for maternal-fetal interactions during human placentation.

The placenta is the extraembryonic organ that supports the fetus during intrauterine life. Although placental dysfunction results in major disorders of pregnancy with immediate and lifelong consequences for the mother and child, our knowledge of the human placenta is limited owing to a lack of functional experimental models1. After implantation, the trophectoderm of the blastocyst rapidly proliferates and generates the trophoblast, the unique cell type of the placenta. In vivo, proliferative villous cytotrophoblast cells differentiate into two main sub-populations: syncytiotrophoblast, the multinucleated epithelium of the villi responsible for nutrient exchange and hormone production, and extravillous trophoblast cells, which anchor the…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Development of New Tools to Detect Colistin-Resistance among Enterobacteriaceae Strains.

The recent discovery of the plasmid-mediated mcr-1 gene conferring resistance to colistin is of clinical concern. The worldwide screening of this resistance mechanism among samples of different origins has highlighted the urgent need to improve the detection of colistin-resistant isolates in clinical microbiology laboratories. Currently, phenotypic methods used to detect colistin resistance are not necessarily suitable as the main characteristic of the mcr genes is the low level of resistance that they confer, close to the clinical breakpoint recommended jointly by the CLSI and EUCAST expert systems (S?=?2?mg/L and R?>?2?mg/L). In this context, susceptibility testing recommendations for polymyxins have evolved…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Direct detection of DNA methylation during single-molecule, real-time sequencing.

We describe the direct detection of DNA methylation, without bisulfite conversion, through single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing. In SMRT sequencing, DNA polymerases catalyze the incorporation of fluorescently labeled nucleotides into complementary nucleic acid strands. The arrival times and durations of the resulting fluorescence pulses yield information about polymerase kinetics and allow direct detection of modified nucleotides in the DNA template, including N6-methyladenine, 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. Measurement of polymerase kinetics is an intrinsic part of SMRT sequencing and does not adversely affect determination of primary DNA sequence. The various modifications affect polymerase kinetics differently, allowing discrimination between them. We used these kinetic…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Repair of double-strand breaks induced by CRISPR-Cas9 leads to large deletions and complex rearrangements.

CRISPR-Cas9 is poised to become the gene editing tool of choice in clinical contexts. Thus far, exploration of Cas9-induced genetic alterations has been limited to the immediate vicinity of the target site and distal off-target sequences, leading to the conclusion that CRISPR-Cas9 was reasonably specific. Here we report significant on-target mutagenesis, such as large deletions and more complex genomic rearrangements at the targeted sites in mouse embryonic stem cells, mouse hematopoietic progenitors and a human differentiated cell line. Using long-read sequencing and long-range PCR genotyping, we show that DNA breaks introduced by single-guide RNA/Cas9 frequently resolved into deletions extending over…

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