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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Nucleotide-binding resistance gene signatures in sugar beet, insights from a new reference genome.

Nucleotide-binding (NB-ARC), leucine-rich-repeat genes (NLRs) account for 60.8% of resistance (R) genes molecularly characterized from plants. NLRs exist as large gene families prone to tandem duplication and transposition, with high sequence diversity among crops and their wild relatives. This diversity can be a source of new disease resistance, but difficulty in distinguishing specific sequences from homologous gene family members hinders characterization of resistance for improving crop varieties. Current genome sequencing and assembly technologies, especially those using long-read sequencing, are improving resolution of repeat-rich genomic regions and clarifying locations of duplicated genes, such as NLRs. Using the conserved NB-ARC domain as…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Gene duplication and evolution dynamics in the homeologous regions harboring multiple prolamin and resistance gene families in hexaploid wheat.

Improving end-use quality and disease resistance are important goals in wheat breeding. The genetic loci controlling these traits are highly complex, consisting of large families of prolamin and resistance genes with members present in all three homeologous A, B, and D genomes in hexaploid bread wheat. Here, orthologous regions harboring both prolamin and resistance gene loci were reconstructed and compared to understand gene duplication and evolution in different wheat genomes. Comparison of the two orthologous D regions from the hexaploid wheat Chinese Spring and the diploid progenitor Aegilops tauschii revealed their considerable difference due to the presence of five large…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Horizontal transfer and proliferation of Tsu4 in Saccharomyces paradoxus.

Recent evidence suggests that horizontal transfer plays a significant role in the evolution of of transposable elements (TEs) in eukaryotes. Many cases of horizontal TE transfer (HTT) been reported in animals and plants, however surprisingly few examples of HTT have been reported in fungi.Here I report evidence for a novel HTT event in fungi involving Tsu4 in Saccharomyces paradoxus based on (i) unexpectedly high similarity between Tsu4 elements in S. paradoxus and S. uvarum, (ii) a patchy distribution of Tsu4 in S. paradoxus and general absence from its sister species S. cerevisiae, and (iii) discordance between the phylogenetic history of…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A molecular window into the biology and epidemiology of Pneumocystis spp.

Pneumocystis, a unique atypical fungus with an elusive lifestyle, has had an important medical history. It came to prominence as an opportunistic pathogen that not only can cause life-threatening pneumonia in patients with HIV infection and other immunodeficiencies but also can colonize the lungs of healthy individuals from a very early age. The genus Pneumocystis includes a group of closely related but heterogeneous organisms that have a worldwide distribution, have been detected in multiple mammalian species, are highly host species specific, inhabit the lungs almost exclusively, and have never convincingly been cultured in vitro, making Pneumocystis a fascinating but difficult-to-study…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Analysis of the Gli-D2 locus identifies a genetic target for simultaneously improving the breadmaking and health-related traits of common wheat.

Gliadins are a major component of wheat seed proteins. However, the complex homoeologous Gli-2 loci (Gli-A2, -B2 and -D2) that encode the a-gliadins in commercial wheat are still poorly understood. Here we analyzed the Gli-D2 locus of Xiaoyan 81 (Xy81), a winter wheat cultivar. A total of 421.091 kb of the Gli-D2 sequence was assembled from sequencing multiple bacterial artificial clones, and 10 a-gliadin genes were annotated. Comparative genomic analysis showed that Xy81 carried only eight of the a-gliadin genes of the D genome donor Aegilops tauschii, with two of them each experiencing a tandem duplication. A mutant line lacking Gli-D2…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genome analyses of the microalga Picochlorum provide insights into the evolution of thermotolerance in the green lineage.

While the molecular events involved in cell responses to heat stress have been extensively studied, our understanding of the genetic basis of basal thermotolerance, and particularly its evolution within the green lineage, remains limited. Here, we present the 13.3-Mb haploid genome and transcriptomes of a halotolerant and thermotolerant unicellular green alga, Picochlorum costavermella (Trebouxiophyceae) to investigate the evolution of the genomic basis of thermotolerance. Differential gene expression at high and standard temperatures revealed that more of the gene families containing up-regulated genes at high temperature were recently evolved, and less originated at the ancestor of green plants. Inversely, there was…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Ring synthetic chromosome V SCRaMbLE.

Structural variations (SVs) exert important functional impacts on biological phenotypic diversity. Here we show a ring synthetic yeast chromosome V (ring_synV) can be used to continuously generate complex genomic variations and improve the production of prodeoxyviolacein (PDV) by applying Synthetic Chromosome Recombination and Modification by LoxP-mediated Evolution (SCRaMbLE) in haploid yeast cells. The SCRaMbLE of ring_synV generates aneuploid yeast strains with increased PDV productivity, and we identify aneuploid chromosome I, III, VI, XII, XIII, and ring_synV. The neochromosome of SCRaMbLEd ring_synV generated more unbalanced forms of variations, including duplication, insertions, and balanced forms of translocations and inversions than its linear…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Insights into the evolution of multicellularity from the sea lettuce genome.

We report here the 98.5 Mbp haploid genome (12,924 protein coding genes) of Ulva mutabilis, a ubiquitous and iconic representative of the Ulvophyceae or green seaweeds. Ulva’s rapid and abundant growth makes it a key contributor to coastal biogeochemical cycles; its role in marine sulfur cycles is particularly important because it produces high levels of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), the main precursor of volatile dimethyl sulfide (DMS). Rapid growth makes Ulva attractive biomass feedstock but also increasingly a driver of nuisance “green tides.” Ulvophytes are key to understanding the evolution of multicellularity in the green lineage, and Ulva morphogenesis is dependent on bacterial…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Characterisation of pathogen-specific regions and novel effector candidates in Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cepae.

A reference-quality assembly of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cepae (Foc), the causative agent of onion basal rot has been generated along with genomes of additional pathogenic and non-pathogenic isolates of onion. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed a single origin of the Foc pathogenic lineage. Genome alignments with other F. oxysporum ff. spp. and non pathogens revealed high levels of syntenic conservation of core chromosomes but little synteny between lineage specific (LS) chromosomes. Four LS contigs in Foc totaling 3.9?Mb were designated as pathogen-specific (PS). A two-fold increase in segmental duplication events was observed between LS regions of the genome compared to within…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Ma orthologous genes in Prunus spp. shed light on a noteworthy NBS-LRR cluster conferring differential resistance to root-knot nematodes.

Root-knot nematodes (RKNs) are considerable polyphagous pests that severely challenge plants worldwide and especially perennials. The specific genetic resistance of plants mainly relies on the NBS-LRR genes that are pivotal factors for pathogens control. In Prunus spp., the Ma plum and RMja almond genes possess different spectra for resistance to RKNs. While previous works based on the Ma gene allowed to clone it and to decipher its peculiar TIR-NBS-LRR (TNL) structure, we only knew that the RMja gene mapped on the same chromosome as Ma. We carried out a high-resolution mapping using an almond segregating F2 progeny of 1448 seedlings…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Structural variants exhibit allelic heterogeneity and shape variation in complex traits

Despite extensive effort to reveal the genetic basis of complex phenotypic variation, studies typically explain only a fraction of trait heritability. It has been hypothesized that individually rare hidden structural variants (SVs) could account for a significant fraction of variation in complex traits. To investigate this hypothesis, we assembled 14 Drosophila melanogaster genomes and systematically identified more than 20,000 euchromatic SVs, of which ~40% are invisible to high specificity short read genotyping approaches. SVs are common in Drosophila genes, with almost one third of diploid individuals harboring an SV in genes larger than 5kb, and nearly a quarter harboring multiple…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Development and validation of 58K SNP-array and high-density linkage map in Nile tilapia (O. niloticus).

Despite being the second most important aquaculture species in the world accounting for 7.4% of global production in 2015, tilapia aquaculture has lacked genomic tools like SNP-arrays and high-density linkage maps to improve selection accuracy and accelerate genetic progress. In this paper, we describe the development of a genotyping array containing more than 58,000 SNPs for Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). SNPs were identified from whole genome resequencing of 32 individuals from the commercial population of the Genomar strain, and were selected for the SNP-array based on polymorphic information content and physical distribution across the genome using the Orenil1.1 genome assembly…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Cloning of the wheat Yr15 resistance gene sheds light on the plant tandem kinase-pseudokinase family.

Yellow rust, caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), is a devastating fungal disease threatening much of global wheat production. Race-specific resistance (R)-genes are used to control rust diseases, but the rapid emergence of virulent Pst races has prompted the search for a more durable resistance. Here, we report the cloning of Yr15, a broad-spectrum R-gene derived from wild emmer wheat, which encodes a putative kinase-pseudokinase protein, designated as wheat tandem kinase 1, comprising a unique R-gene structure in wheat. The existence of a similar gene architecture in 92 putative proteins across the plant kingdom, including the barley RPG1…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Loss of bacitracin resistance due to a large genomic deletion among Bacillus anthracis strains.

Bacillus anthracis is a Gram-positive endospore-forming bacterial species that causes anthrax in both humans and animals. In Zambia, anthrax cases are frequently reported in both livestock and wildlife, with occasional transmission to humans, causing serious public health problems in the country. To understand the genetic diversity of B. anthracis strains in Zambia, we sequenced and compared the genomic DNA of B. anthracis strains isolated across the country. Single nucleotide polymorphisms clustered these strains into three groups. Genome sequence comparisons revealed a large deletion in strains belonging to one of the groups, possibly due to unequal crossing over between a pair…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The genomic architecture and molecular evolution of ant odorant receptors.

The massive expansions of odorant receptor (OR) genes in ant genomes are notable examples of rapid genome evolution and adaptive gene duplication. However, the molecular mechanisms leading to gene family expansion remain poorly understood, partly because available ant genomes are fragmentary. Here, we present a highly contiguous, chromosome-level assembly of the clonal raider ant genome, revealing the largest known OR repertoire in an insect. While most ant ORs originate via local tandem duplication, we also observe several cases of dispersed duplication followed by tandem duplication in the most rapidly evolving OR clades. We found that areas of unusually high transposable…

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