September 22, 2019  |  

Transcriptome profiling in the spathe of Anthurium andraeanum ‘Albama’ and its anthocyanin-loss mutant ‘Xueyu’.

Anthurium andraeanum is a popular tropical ornamental plant. Its spathes are brilliantly coloured due to variable anthocyanin contents. To examine the mechanisms that control anthocyanin biosynthesis, we sequenced the spathe transcriptomes of ‘Albama’, a red-spathed cultivar of A. andraeanum, and ‘Xueyu’, its anthocyanin-loss mutant. Both long reads and short reads were sequenced. Long read sequencing produced 805,869 raw reads, resulting in 83,073 high-quality transcripts. Short read sequencing produced 347.79?M reads, and the subsequent assembly resulted in 111,674 unigenes. High-quality transcripts and unigenes were quantified using the short reads, and differential expression analysis was performed between ‘Albama’ and ‘Xueyu’. Obtaining high-quality, full-length transcripts enabled the detection of long transcript structures and transcript variants. These data provide a foundation to elucidate the mechanisms regulating the biosynthesis of anthocyanin in A. andraeanum.


September 22, 2019  |  

Leveraging multiple transcriptome assembly methods for improved gene structure annotation.

The performance of RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) aligners and assemblers varies greatly across different organisms and experiments, and often the optimal approach is not known beforehand.Here, we show that the accuracy of transcript reconstruction can be boosted by combining multiple methods, and we present a novel algorithm to integrate multiple RNA-seq assemblies into a coherent transcript annotation. Our algorithm can remove redundancies and select the best transcript models according to user-specified metrics, while solving common artifacts such as erroneous transcript chimerisms.We have implemented this method in an open-source Python3 and Cython program, Mikado, available on GitHub.


September 22, 2019  |  

A global survey of alternative splicing in allopolyploid cotton: landscape, complexity and regulation.

Alternative splicing (AS) is a crucial regulatory mechanism in eukaryotes, which acts by greatly increasing transcriptome diversity. The extent and complexity of AS has been revealed in model plants using high-throughput next-generation sequencing. However, this technique is less effective in accurately identifying transcript isoforms in polyploid species because of the high sequence similarity between coexisting subgenomes. Here we characterize AS in the polyploid species cotton. Using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule long-read isoform sequencing (Iso-Seq), we developed an integrated pipeline for Iso-Seq transcriptome data analysis (https://github.com/Nextomics/pipeline-for-isoseq). We identified 176 849 full-length transcript isoforms from 44 968 gene models and updated gene annotation. These data led us to identify 15 102 fibre-specific AS events and estimate that c. 51.4% of homoeologous genes produce divergent isoforms in each subgenome. We reveal that AS allows differential regulation of the same gene by miRNAs at the isoform level. We also show that nucleosome occupancy and DNA methylation play a role in defining exons at the chromatin level. This study provides new insights into the complexity and regulation of AS, and will enhance our understanding of AS in polyploid species. Our methodology for Iso-Seq data analysis will be a useful reference for the study of AS in other species.© 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.


September 22, 2019  |  

Global transcript structure resolution of high gene density genomes through multi-platform data integration.

Annotation of herpesvirus genomes has traditionally been undertaken through the detection of open reading frames and other genomic motifs, supplemented with sequencing of individual cDNAs. Second generation sequencing and high-density microarray studies have revealed vastly greater herpesvirus transcriptome complexity than is captured by existing annotation. The pervasive nature of overlapping transcription throughout herpesvirus genomes, however, poses substantial problems in resolving transcript structures using these methods alone. We present an approach that combines the unique attributes of Pacific Biosciences Iso-Seq long-read, Illumina short-read and deepCAGE (Cap Analysis of Gene Expression) sequencing to globally resolve polyadenylated isoform structures in replicating Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Our method, Transcriptome Resolution through Integration of Multi-platform Data (TRIMD), identifies nearly 300 novel EBV transcripts, quadrupling the size of the annotated viral transcriptome. These findings illustrate an array of mechanisms through which EBV achieves functional diversity in its relatively small, compact genome including programmed alternative splicing (e.g. across the IR1 repeats), alternative promoter usage by LMP2 and other latency-associated transcripts, intergenic splicing at the BZLF2 locus, and antisense transcription and pervasive readthrough transcription throughout the genome.© The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.


September 22, 2019  |  

Uncovering full-length transcript isoforms of sugarcane cultivar Khon Kaen 3 using single-molecule long-read sequencing.

Sugarcane is an important global food crop and energy resource. To facilitate the sugarcane improvement program, genome and gene information are important for studying traits at the molecular level. Most currently available transcriptome data for sugarcane were generated using second-generation sequencing platforms, which provide short reads. The de novo assembled transcripts from these data are limited in length, and hence may be incomplete and inaccurate, especially for long RNAs.We generated a transcriptome dataset of leaf tissue from a commercial Thai sugarcane cultivar Khon Kaen 3 (KK3) using PacBio RS II single-molecule long-read sequencing by the Iso-Seq method. Short-read RNA-Seq data were generated from the same RNA sample using the Ion Proton platform for reducing base calling errors.A total of 119,339 error-corrected transcripts were generated with the N50 length of 3,611 bp, which is on average longer than any previously reported sugarcane transcriptome dataset. 110,253 sequences (92.4%) contain an open reading frame (ORF) of at least 300 bp long with ORF N50 of 1,416 bp. The mean lengths of 5′ and 3′ untranslated regions in 73,795 sequences with complete ORFs are 1,249 and 1,187 bp, respectively. 4,774 transcripts are putatively novel full-length transcripts which do not match with a previous Iso-Seq study of sugarcane. We annotated the functions of 68,962 putative full-length transcripts with at least 90% coverage when compared with homologous protein coding sequences in other plants.The new catalog of transcripts will be useful for genome annotation, identification of splicing variants, SNP identification, and other research pertaining to the sugarcane improvement program. The putatively novel transcripts suggest unique features of KK3, although more data from different tissues and stages of development are needed to establish a reference transcriptome of this cultivar.


September 22, 2019  |  

Gaining comprehensive biological insight into the transcriptome by performing a broad-spectrum RNA-seq analysis.

RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) is an essential technique for transcriptome studies, hundreds of analysis tools have been developed since it was debuted. Although recent efforts have attempted to assess the latest available tools, they have not evaluated the analysis workflows comprehensively to unleash the power within RNA-seq. Here we conduct an extensive study analysing a broad spectrum of RNA-seq workflows. Surpassing the expression analysis scope, our work also includes assessment of RNA variant-calling, RNA editing and RNA fusion detection techniques. Specifically, we examine both short- and long-read RNA-seq technologies, 39 analysis tools resulting in ~120 combinations, and ~490 analyses involving 15 samples with a variety of germline, cancer and stem cell data sets. We report the performance and propose a comprehensive RNA-seq analysis protocol, named RNACocktail, along with a computational pipeline achieving high accuracy. Validation on different samples reveals that our proposed protocol could help researchers extract more biologically relevant predictions by broad analysis of the transcriptome.RNA-seq is widely used for transcriptome analysis. Here, the authors analyse a wide spectrum of RNA-seq workflows and present a comprehensive analysis protocol named RNACocktail as well as a computational pipeline leveraging the widely used tools for accurate RNA-seq analysis.


September 22, 2019  |  

A novel enrichment strategy reveals unprecedented number of novel transcription start sites at single base resolution in a model prokaryote and the gut microbiome.

The initiating nucleotide found at the 5′ end of primary transcripts has a distinctive triphosphorylated end that distinguishes these transcripts from all other RNA species. Recognizing this distinction is key to deconvoluting the primary transcriptome from the plethora of processed transcripts that confound analysis of the transcriptome. The currently available methods do not use targeted enrichment for the 5’end of primary transcripts, but rather attempt to deplete non-targeted RNA.We developed a method, Cappable-seq, for directly enriching for the 5′ end of primary transcripts and enabling determination of transcription start sites at single base resolution. This is achieved by enzymatically modifying the 5′ triphosphorylated end of RNA with a selectable tag. We first applied Cappable-seq to E. coli, achieving up to 50 fold enrichment of primary transcripts and identifying an unprecedented 16539 transcription start sites (TSS) genome-wide at single base resolution. We also applied Cappable-seq to a mouse cecum sample and identified TSS in a microbiome.Cappable-seq allows for the first time the capture of the 5′ end of primary transcripts. This enables a unique robust TSS determination in bacteria and microbiomes.  In addition to and beyond TSS determination, Cappable-seq depletes ribosomal RNA and reduces the complexity of the transcriptome to a single quantifiable tag per transcript enabling digital profiling of gene expression in any microbiome.


September 22, 2019  |  

Full-length mRNA sequencing uncovers a widespread coupling between transcription initiation and mRNA processing.

The multifaceted control of gene expression requires tight coordination of regulatory mechanisms at transcriptional and post-transcriptional level. Here, we studied the interdependence of transcription initiation, splicing and polyadenylation events on single mRNA molecules by full-length mRNA sequencing.In MCF-7 breast cancer cells, we find 2700 genes with interdependent alternative transcription initiation, splicing and polyadenylation events, both in proximal and distant parts of mRNA molecules, including examples of coupling between transcription start sites and polyadenylation sites. The analysis of three human primary tissues (brain, heart and liver) reveals similar patterns of interdependency between transcription initiation and mRNA processing events. We predict thousands of novel open reading frames from full-length mRNA sequences and obtained evidence for their translation by shotgun proteomics. The mapping database rescues 358 previously unassigned peptides and improves the assignment of others. By recognizing sample-specific amino-acid changes and novel splicing patterns, full-length mRNA sequencing improves proteogenomics analysis of MCF-7 cells.Our findings demonstrate that our understanding of transcriptome complexity is far from complete and provides a basis to reveal largely unresolved mechanisms that coordinate transcription initiation and mRNA processing.


September 22, 2019  |  

High-resolution comparative analysis of great ape genomes.

Genetic studies of human evolution require high-quality contiguous ape genome assemblies that are not guided by the human reference. We coupled long-read sequence assembly and full-length complementary DNA sequencing with a multiplatform scaffolding approach to produce ab initio chimpanzee and orangutan genome assemblies. By comparing these with two long-read de novo human genome assemblies and a gorilla genome assembly, we characterized lineage-specific and shared great ape genetic variation ranging from single- to mega-base pair-sized variants. We identified ~17,000 fixed human-specific structural variants identifying genic and putative regulatory changes that have emerged in humans since divergence from nonhuman apes. Interestingly, these variants are enriched near genes that are down-regulated in human compared to chimpanzee cerebral organoids, particularly in cells analogous to radial glial neural progenitors. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genome-wide characterization of human L1 antisense promoter-driven transcripts.

Long INterspersed Element-1 (LINE-1 or L1) is the only autonomously active, transposable element in the human genome. L1 sequences comprise approximately 17 % of the human genome, but only the evolutionarily recent, human-specific subfamily is retrotransposition competent. The L1 promoter has a bidirectional orientation containing a sense promoter that drives the transcription of two proteins required for retrotransposition and an antisense promoter. The L1 antisense promoter can drive transcription of chimeric transcripts: 5′ L1 antisense sequences spliced to the exons of neighboring genes.The impact of L1 antisense promoter activity on cellular transcriptomes is poorly understood. To investigate this, we analyzed GenBank ESTs for messenger RNAs that initiate in the L1 antisense promoter. We identified 988 putative L1 antisense chimeric transcripts, 911 of which have not been previously reported. These appear to be alternative genic transcripts, sense-oriented with respect to gene and initiating near, but typically downstream of, the gene transcriptional start site. In multiple cell lines, L1 antisense promoters display enrichment for YY1 transcription factor and histone modifications associated with active promoters. Global run-on sequencing data support the activity of the L1 antisense promoter. We independently detected 124 L1 antisense chimeric transcripts using long read Pacific Biosciences RNA-seq data. Furthermore, we validated four chimeric transcripts by quantitative RT-PCR and Sanger sequencing and demonstrated that they are readily detectable in many normal human tissues.We present a comprehensive characterization of human L1 antisense promoter-driven transcripts and provide substantial evidence that they are transcribed in a variety of human cell-types. Our findings reveal a new wide-reaching aspect of L1 biology by identifying antisense transcripts affecting as many as 4 % of all human genes.


September 22, 2019  |  

Comprehensive transcriptome analysis of Sarcophaga peregrina, a forensically important fly species.

Sarcophaga peregrina (flesh fly) is a frequently found fly species in Palaearctic, Oriental, and Australasian regions that can be used to estimate minimal postmortem intervals important for forensic investigations. Despite its forensic importance, the genome information of S. peregrina has not been fully described. Therefore, we generated a comprehensive gene expression dataset using RNA sequencing and carried out de novo assembly to characterize the S. peregrina transcriptome. We obtained precise sequence information for RNA transcripts using two different methods. Based on primary sequence information, we identified sets of assembled unigenes and predicted coding sequences. Functional annotation of the aligned unigenes was performed using the UniProt, Gene Ontology, and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes databases. As a result, 26,580,352 and 83,221 raw reads were obtained using the Illumina MiSeq and Pacbio RS II Iso-Seq sequencing applications, respectively. From these reads, 55,730 contigs were successfully annotated. The present study provides the resulting genome information of S. peregrina, which is valuable for forensic applications.


September 22, 2019  |  

A survey of the complex transcriptome from the highly polyploid sugarcane genome using full-length isoform sequencing and de novo assembly from short read sequencing.

Despite the economic importance of sugarcane in sugar and bioenergy production, there is not yet a reference genome available. Most of the sugarcane transcriptomic studies have been based on Saccharum officinarum gene indices (SoGI), expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and de novo assembled transcript contigs from short-reads; hence knowledge of the sugarcane transcriptome is limited in relation to transcript length and number of transcript isoforms.The sugarcane transcriptome was sequenced using PacBio isoform sequencing (Iso-Seq) of a pooled RNA sample derived from leaf, internode and root tissues, of different developmental stages, from 22 varieties, to explore the potential for capturing full-length transcript isoforms. A total of 107,598 unique transcript isoforms were obtained, representing about 71% of the total number of predicted sugarcane genes. The majority of this dataset (92%) matched the plant protein database, while just over 2% was novel transcripts, and over 2% was putative long non-coding RNAs. About 56% and 23% of total sequences were annotated against the gene ontology and KEGG pathway databases, respectively. Comparison with de novo contigs from Illumina RNA-Sequencing (RNA-Seq) of the internode samples from the same experiment and public databases showed that the Iso-Seq method recovered more full-length transcript isoforms, had a higher N50 and average length of largest 1,000 proteins; whereas a greater representation of the gene content and RNA diversity was captured in RNA-Seq. Only 62% of PacBio transcript isoforms matched 67% of de novo contigs, while the non-matched proportions were attributed to the inclusion of leaf/root tissues and the normalization in PacBio, and the representation of more gene content and RNA classes in the de novo assembly, respectively. About 69% of PacBio transcript isoforms and 41% of de novo contigs aligned with the sorghum genome, indicating the high conservation of orthologs in the genic regions of the two genomes.The transcriptome dataset should contribute to improved sugarcane gene models and sugarcane protein predictions; and will serve as a reference database for analysis of transcript expression in sugarcane.


September 22, 2019  |  

Multi-platform sequencing approach reveals a novel transcriptome profile in pseudorabies virus.

Third-generation sequencing is an emerging technology that is capable of solving several problems that earlier approaches were not able to, including the identification of transcripts isoforms and overlapping transcripts. In this study, we used long-read sequencing for the analysis of pseudorabies virus (PRV) transcriptome, including Oxford Nanopore Technologies MinION, PacBio RS-II, and Illumina HiScanSQ platforms. We also used data from our previous short-read and long-read sequencing studies for the comparison of the results and in order to confirm the obtained data. Our investigations identified 19 formerly unknown putative protein-coding genes, all of which are 5′ truncated forms of earlier annotated longer PRV genes. Additionally, we detected 19 non-coding RNAs, including 5′ and 3′ truncated transcripts without in-frame ORFs, antisense RNAs, as well as RNA molecules encoded by those parts of the viral genome where no transcription had been detected before. This study has also led to the identification of three complex transcripts and 50 distinct length isoforms, including transcription start and end variants. We also detected 121 novel transcript overlaps, and two transcripts that overlap the replication origins of PRV. Furthermore,in silicoanalysis revealed 145 upstream ORFs, many of which are located on the longer 5′ isoforms of the transcripts.


September 22, 2019  |  

Alternative isoform analysis of Ttc8 expression in the rat pineal gland using a multi-platform sequencing approach reveals neural regulation.

Alternative isoform regulation (AIR) vastly increases transcriptome diversity and plays an important role in numerous biological processes and pathologies. However, the detection and analysis of isoform-level differential regulation is difficult, particularly in the face of complex and incompletely-annotated transcriptomes. Here we have used Illumina short-read/high-throughput RNA-Seq to identify 55 genes that exhibit neurally-regulated AIR in the pineal gland, and then used two other complementary experimental platforms to further study and characterize the Ttc8 gene, which is involved in Bardet-Biedl syndrome and non-syndromic retinitis pigmentosa. Use of the JunctionSeq analysis tool led to the detection of several novel exons and splice junctions in this gene, including two novel alternative transcription start sites which were found to display disproportionately strong neurally-regulated differential expression in several independent experiments. These high-throughput sequencing results were validated and augmented via targeted qPCR and long-read Pacific Biosciences SMRT sequencing. We confirmed the existence of numerous novel splice junctions and the selective upregulation of the two novel start sites. In addition, we identified more than 20 novel isoforms of the Ttc8 gene that are co-expressed in this tissue. By using information from multiple independent platforms we not only greatly reduce the risk of errors, biases, and artifacts influencing our results, we also are able to characterize the regulation and splicing of the Ttc8 gene more deeply and more precisely than would be possible via any single platform. The hybrid method outlined here represents a powerful strategy in the study of the transcriptome.


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