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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

SMRT Sequencing solutions for plant genomes and transcriptomes

Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing provides efficient, streamlined solutions to address new frontiers in plant genomes and transcriptomes. Inherent challenges presented by highly repetitive, low-complexity regions and duplication events are directly addressed with multi- kilobase read lengths exceeding 8.5 kb on average, with many exceeding 20 kb. Differentiating between transcript isoforms that are difficult to resolve with short-read technologies is also now possible. We present solutions available for both reference genome and transcriptome research that best leverage long reads in several plant projects including algae, Arabidopsis, rice, and spinach using only the PacBio platform. Benefits for these applications are further…

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

The resurgence of reference quality genome sequence.

Since the advent of Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), the cost of de novo genome sequencing and assembly have dropped precipitately, which has spurred interest in genome sequencing overall. Unfortunately the contiguity of the NGS assembled sequences, as well as the accuracy of these assemblies have suffered. Additionally, most NGS de novo assemblies leave large portions of genomes unresolved, and repetitive regions are often collapsed. When compared to the reference quality genome sequences produced before the NGS era, the new sequences are highly fragmented and often prove to be difficult to properly annotate. In some cases the contiguous portions are smaller than…

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Friday, February 5, 2021

PAG PacBio Workshop: De novo sequencing of the koala genome

Rebecca Johnson, director of the Australian Museum Research Institute presents finding from de novo sequencing of the koala genome. Using PacBio sequencing the Koala Genome Consortium obtained an assembly with an N50 of 11.5 Mbp and have undertaken functional genomic analysis highlighting the unique genes associated with lactation and immune function of koalas. Johnson goes on to describe efforts to obtain a chromosome level assembly and current work using ‘super scaffolding’ to compare shared synteny across diverse lineages to generate chromosome scaffold maps.

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Friday, February 5, 2021

PAG Conference: Long-read sequencing reveals complex genomic architecture in independent carnivorous plant lineages

In this PAG 2018 presentation, Tanya Renner of Pennsylvania State University shares research using PacBio SMRT Sequencing to understand the genomes and transcriptomes of carnivorous plants. She describes the humped bladderwort, Utricularia gibba, as having an extreme genome due to its small size (100 Mbp) despite containing numerous tandem gene duplications and having undergone two whole genome duplications. Renner shares ongoing research into two Drosera species, commonly known as sundews, which through whole genome sequencing are illuminating carnivorous plant genome structural evolution including the transition from monocentric to holocentric chromosomes.

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Friday, February 5, 2021

User Group Meeting: New genotype to phenotype associations in viral metagenomes enabled by SMRT Sequencing

In this PacBio User Group Meeting lightning talk, Shawn Polson of the University of Delaware speaks about viral metagenomes, which are more challenging to distinguish than their bacterial counterparts because viruses have no 16S equivalent. By using SMRT Sequencing, his team generated higher-resolution data about viral genomes and aims to use this information as a guide to how these genomes function.

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Webinar: Unbiased, efficient characterization of metagenome functions with PacBio HiFi sequencing

Understanding interactions among plants and the complex communities of organisms living on, in and around them requires more than one experimental approach. A new method for de novo metagenome assembly, PacBio HiFi sequencing, has unique strengths for determining the functional capacity of metagenomes. With HiFi sequencing, the accuracy and median read length of unassembled data outperforms the quality metrics for many existing assemblies generated with other technologies, enabling cost-competitive recovery of full-length genes and operons even from rare species. When paired with the ability to close the genomes of even challenging isolates like Xanthomonas, the PacBio Sequel II System is…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Chinese chestnut genome: a reference for species restoration

Forest tree species are increasingly subject to severe mortalities from exotic pests, diseases, and invasive organisms, accelerated by climate change. Forest health issues are threatening multiple species and ecosystem sustainability globally. While sources of resistance may be available in related species, or among surviving trees, introgression of resistance genes into threatened tree species in reasonable time frames requires genome-wide breeding tools. Asian species of chestnut (Castanea spp.) are being employed as donors of disease resistance genes to restore native chestnut species in North America and Europe. To aid in the restoration of threatened chestnut species, we present the assembly of…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Insect genomes: progress and challenges.

In the wake of constant improvements in sequencing technologies, numerous insect genomes have been sequenced. Currently, 1219 insect genome-sequencing projects have been registered with the National Center for Biotechnology Information, including 401 that have genome assemblies and 155 with an official gene set of annotated protein-coding genes. Comparative genomics analysis showed that the expansion or contraction of gene families was associated with well-studied physiological traits such as immune system, metabolic detoxification, parasitism and polyphagy in insects. Here, we summarize the progress of insect genome sequencing, with an emphasis on how this impacts research on pest control. We begin with a…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Extended haplotype phasing of de novo genome assemblies with FALCON-Phase

Haplotype-resolved genome assemblies are important for understanding how combinations of variants impact phenotypes. These assemblies can be created in various ways, such as use of tissues that contain single-haplotype (haploid) genomes, or by co-sequencing of parental genomes, but these approaches can be impractical in many situations. We present FALCON-Phase, which integrates long-read sequencing data and ultra-long-range Hi-C chromatin interaction data of a diploid individual to create high-quality, phased diploid genome assemblies. The method was evaluated by application to three datasets, including human, cattle, and zebra finch, for which high-quality, fully haplotype resolved assemblies were available for benchmarking. Phasing algorithm accuracy…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Centromere-mediated chromosome break drives karyotype evolution in closely related Malassezia species

Intra-chromosomal or inter-chromosomal genomic rearrangements often lead to speciation. Loss or gain of a centromere leads to alterations in chromosome number in closely related species. Thus, centromeres can enable tracing the path of evolution from the ancestral to a derived state. The Malassezia species complex of the phylum Basiodiomycota shows remarkable diversity in chromosome number ranging between six and nine chromosomes. To understand these transitions, we experimentally identified all eight centromeres as binding sites of an evolutionarily conserved outer kinetochore protein Mis12/Mtw1 in M. sympodialis. The 3 to 5 kb centromere regions share an AT-rich, poorly transcribed core region enriched…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Lateral transfers of large DNA fragments spread functional genes among grasses.

A fundamental tenet of multicellular eukaryotic evolution is that vertical inheritance is paramount, with natural selection acting on genetic variants transferred from parents to offspring. This lineal process means that an organism’s adaptive potential can be restricted by its evolutionary history, the amount of standing genetic variation, and its mutation rate. Lateral gene transfer (LGT) theoretically provides a mechanism to bypass many of these limitations, but the evolutionary importance and frequency of this process in multicellular eukaryotes, such as plants, remains debated. We address this issue by assembling a chromosome-level genome for the grass Alloteropsis semialata, a species surmised to…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Strengths and potential pitfalls of hay-transfer for ecological restoration revealed by RAD-seq analysis in floodplain Arabis species

Achieving high intraspecific genetic diversity is a critical goal in ecological restoration as it increases the adaptive potential and long-term resilience of populations. Thus, we investigated genetic diversity within and between pristine sites in a fossil floodplain and compared it to sites restored by hay-transfer between 1997 and 2014. RAD-seq genotyping revealed that the stenoecious flood-plain species Arabis nemorensis is co-occurring with individuals that, based on ploidy, ITS-sequencing and morphology, probably belong to the close relative Arabis sagittata, which has a documented preference for dry calcareous grasslands but has not been reported in floodplain meadows. We show that hay-transfer maintains…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Evolutionary superscaffolding and chromosome anchoring to improve Anopheles genome assemblies

Background New sequencing technologies have lowered financial barriers to whole genome sequencing, but resulting assemblies are often fragmented and far from textquoteleftfinishedtextquoteright. Updating multi-scaffold drafts to chromosome-level status can be achieved through experimental mapping or re-sequencing efforts. Avoiding the costs associated with such approaches, comparative genomic analysis of gene order conservation (synteny) to predict scaffold neighbours (adjacencies) offers a potentially useful complementary method for improving draft assemblies.Results We employed three gene synteny-based methods applied to 21 Anopheles mosquito assemblies to produce consensus sets of scaffold adjacencies. For subsets of the assemblies we integrated these with additional supporting data to confirm…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Genome-wide selection footprints and deleterious variations in young Asian allotetraploid rapeseed.

Brassica napus (AACC, 2n = 38) is an important oilseed crop grown worldwide. However, little is known about the population evolution of this species, the genomic difference between its major genetic groups, such as European and Asian rapeseed, and the impacts of historical large-scale introgression events on this young tetraploid. In this study, we reported the de novo assembly of the genome sequences of an Asian rapeseed (B. napus), Ningyou 7, and its four progenitors and compared these genomes with other available genomic data from diverse European and Asian cultivars. Our results showed that Asian rapeseed originally derived from European rapeseed but subsequently…

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