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Friday, February 5, 2021

AGBT Virtual Poster: Targeted SMRT Sequencing of difficult regions of the genome using a Cas9, non-amplification based method

Targeted sequencing has proven to be an economical means of obtaining sequence information for one or more defined regions of a larger genome. However, most target enrichment methods are reliant upon some form of amplification. Amplification removes the epigenetic marks present in native DNA, and some genomic regions, such as those with extreme GC content and repetitive sequences, are recalcitrant to faithful amplification. Yet, a large number of genetic disorders are caused by expansions of repeat sequences. Furthermore, for some disorders, methylation status has been shown to be a key factor in the mechanism of disease. We have developed a…

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Webinar: An introduction to PacBio’s long-read sequencing & how it has been used to make important scientific discoveries

In this Webinar, we will give an introduction to Pacific Biosciences’ single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing. After showing how the system works, we will discuss the main features of the technology with an emphasis on the difference between systematic error and random error and how SMRT sequencing produces better consensus accuracy than other systems. Following this, we will discuss several ground-breaking discoveries in medical science that were made possible by the longs reads and high accuracy of SMRT Sequencing.

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Webinar: PacBio targeted sequencing of long amplicons using PCR or hybrid capture

Targeted sequencing experiments commonly rely on either PCR or hybrid capture to enrich for targets of interest. When using short read sequencing platforms, these amplicons or fragments are frequently targeted to a few hundred base pairs to accommodate the read lengths of the platform. Given PacBio’s long readlength, it is straightforward to sequence amplicons or captured fragments that are multiple kilobases in length. These long sequences are useful for easily visualizing variants that include SNPs, CNVs and other structural variants, often without assembly. We will review methods for the sequencing of long amplicons and provide examples using amplicons that range…

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Webinar: Chasing alternative splicing in cancer: Simplified full-length isoform sequencing

Tremendous flexibility is maintained in the human proteome via alternative splicing, and cancer genomes often subvert this flexibility to promote survival. Identification and annotation of cancer-specific mRNA isoforms is critical to understanding how mutations in the genome affect the biology of cancer cells. While microarrays and other NGS-based methods have become useful for studying transcriptomes, these technologies yield short, fragmented transcripts that remain a challenge for accurate, complete reconstruction of splice variants. The Iso-Seq method developed at PacBio offers the only solution for direct sequencing of full-length, single-molecule cDNA sequences needed to discover biomarkers for early detection and cancer stratification,…

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Friday, February 5, 2021

ASHG PacBio Workshop: Expansion sequence variations underlie distinct disease phenotypes in SCA10

In this ASHG 2017 presentation, Karen McFarland of the University of Florida presented research on spinocerebellar ataxia type 10 (SCA10), a progressive neurodegenerative disease caused by repeat expansions. She outlined efforts to sequence these repeat expansions including using CRISPR-Cas9 system coupled with SMRT Sequencing. McFarland shared findings from a study of a Parkinson’s disease patient and family that showed variations in expansion sequence can underlie distinct disease phenotypes.

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Friday, February 5, 2021

Webinar: A paradigm shift in HLA sequencing: from exons to high-resolution allele-level HLA yyping

Human MHC class I genes HLA-A, -B, -C, and class II genes HLA -DR, -DQ, and -DP play a critical role in the immune system as primary factors responsible for organ transplant rejection. Additionally, the HLA genes are important targets for clinical and drug sensitivity research because of their direct or linkage-based association with several diseases, including cancer, and autoimmune diseases. HLA genes are highly polymorphic, and their diversity originates from exonic combinations as well as recombination events. With full-length gene sequencing, a significant increase of new alleles in the HLA database is expected, stressing the need for high-resolution sequencing.…

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Friday, February 5, 2021

User Group Meeting: Long-read RNA Sequencing in neglected human parasites

In this PacBio User Group Meeting presentation, Nic Wheeler of University of Wisconsin-Madison, speaks about RNA sequencing for filarial nematodes associated with understudied tropical diseases. His team used Iso-Seq analysis to improve gene models and achieve better transcriptome coverage for these worms, which typically have poorly annotated and fragmented genome assemblies. While getting enough RNA to study is a technical challenge, the group still managed to generate full-length isoforms, many of which were novel or contained novel junctions.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Defining transgene insertion sites and off-target effects of homology-based gene silencing informs the use of functional genomics tools in Phytophthora infestans.

DNA transformation and homology-based transcriptional silencing are frequently used to assess gene function in Phytophthora. Since unplanned side-effects of these tools are not well-characterized, we used P. infestans to study plasmid integration sites and whether knockdowns caused by homology-dependent silencing spreads to other genes. Insertions occurred both in gene-dense and gene-sparse regions but disproportionately near the 5′ ends of genes, which disrupted native coding sequences. Microhomology at the recombination site between plasmid and chromosome was common. Studies of transformants silenced for twelve different gene targets indicated that neighbors within 500-nt were often co-silenced, regardless of whether hairpin or sense constructs…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Amplification-free long-read sequencing of TCF4 expanded trinucleotide repeats in Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy.

Amplification of a CAG trinucleotide motif (CTG18.1) within the TCF4 gene has been strongly associated with Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy (FECD). Nevertheless, a small minority of clinically unaffected elderly patients who have expanded CTG18.1 sequences have been identified. To test the hypothesis that the CAG expansions in these patients are protected from FECD because they have interruptions within the CAG repeats, we utilized a combination of an amplification-free, long-read sequencing method and a new target-enrichment sequence analysis tool developed by Pacific Biosciences to interrogate the sequence structure of expanded repeats. The sequencing was successful in identifying a previously described interruption…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Targeted Long-Read RNA Sequencing Demonstrates Transcriptional Diversity Driven by Splice-Site Variation in MYBPC3.

To date, clinical sequencing has focused on genomic DNA using targeted panels and exome sequencing. Sequencing of a large hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) cohort revealed that positive identification of a disease-associated variant was returned in only 32% of patients, with an additional 15% receiving inconclusive results. When genome sequencing fails to reveal causative variants, the transcriptome may provide additional diagnostic clarity. A recent study examining patients with genetically undiagnosed muscle disorders found that RNA sequencing, when used as a complement to exome and whole genome sequencing, had an overall diagnosis rate of 35%.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

µLAS technology for DNA isolation coupled to Cas9-assisted targeting for sequencing and assembly of a 30 kb region in plant genome.

Cas9-assisted targeting of DNA fragments in complex genomes is viewed as an essential strategy to obtain high-quality and continuous sequence data. However, the purity of target loci selected by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) has so far been insufficient to assemble the sequence in one contig. Here, we describe the µLAS technology to capture and purify high molecular weight DNA. First, the technology is optimized to perform high sensitivity DNA profiling with a limit of detection of 20 fg/µl for 50 kb fragments and an analytical time of 50 min. Then, µLAS is operated to isolate a 31.5 kb locus cleaved…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Long-read sequence capture of the haemoglobin gene clusters across codfish species.

Combining high-throughput sequencing with targeted sequence capture has become an attractive tool to study specific genomic regions of interest. Most studies have so far focused on the exome using short-read technology. These approaches are not designed to capture intergenic regions needed to reconstruct genomic organization, including regulatory regions and gene synteny. Here, we demonstrate the power of combining targeted sequence capture with long-read sequencing technology for comparative genomic analyses of the haemoglobin (Hb) gene clusters across eight species separated by up to 70 million years. Guided by the reference genome assembly of the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) together with genome…

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Megabase Length Hypermutation Accompanies Human Structural Variation at 17p11.2.

DNA rearrangements resulting in human genome structural variants (SVs) are caused by diverse mutational mechanisms. We used long- and short-read sequencing technologies to investigate end products of de novo chromosome 17p11.2 rearrangements and query the molecular mechanisms underlying both recurrent and non-recurrent events. Evidence for an increased rate of clustered single-nucleotide variant (SNV) mutation in cis with non-recurrent rearrangements was found. Indel and SNV formation are associated with both copy-number gains and losses of 17p11.2, occur up to ~1 Mb away from the breakpoint junctions, and favor C > G transversion substitutions; results suggest that single-stranded DNA is formed during…

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