April 21, 2020  |  

Benchmarking Transposable Element Annotation Methods for Creation of a Streamlined, Comprehensive Pipeline

Sequencing technology and assembly algorithms have matured to the point that high-quality de novo assembly is possible for large, repetitive genomes. Current assemblies traverse transposable elements (TEs) and allow for annotation of TEs. There are numerous methods for each class of elements with unknown relative performance metrics. We benchmarked existing programs based on a curated library of rice TEs. Using the most robust programs, we created a comprehensive pipeline called Extensive de-novo TE Annotator (EDTA) that produces a condensed TE library for annotations of structurally intact and fragmented elements. EDTA is open-source and freely available: https://github.com/oushujun/EDTA.List of abbreviationsTETransposable ElementsLTRLong Terminal RepeatLINELong Interspersed Nuclear ElementSINEShort Interspersed Nuclear ElementMITEMiniature Inverted Transposable ElementTIRTerminal Inverted RepeatTSDTarget Site DuplicationTPTrue PositivesFPFalse PositivesTNTrue NegativeFNFalse NegativesGRFGeneric Repeat FinderEDTAExtensive de-novo TE Annotator


April 21, 2020  |  

Genome of the Komodo dragon reveals adaptations in the cardiovascular and chemosensory systems of monitor lizards.

Monitor lizards are unique among ectothermic reptiles in that they have high aerobic capacity and distinctive cardiovascular physiology resembling that of endothermic mammals. Here, we sequence the genome of the Komodo dragon Varanus komodoensis, the largest extant monitor lizard, and generate a high-resolution de novo chromosome-assigned genome assembly for V. komodoensis using a hybrid approach of long-range sequencing and single-molecule optical mapping. Comparing the genome of V. komodoensis with those of related species, we find evidence of positive selection in pathways related to energy metabolism, cardiovascular homoeostasis, and haemostasis. We also show species-specific expansions of a chemoreceptor gene family related to pheromone and kairomone sensing in V. komodoensis and other lizard lineages. Together, these evolutionary signatures of adaptation reveal the genetic underpinnings of the unique Komodo dragon sensory and cardiovascular systems, and suggest that selective pressure altered haemostasis genes to help Komodo dragons evade the anticoagulant effects of their own saliva. The Komodo dragon genome is an important resource for understanding the biology of monitor lizards and reptiles worldwide.


September 22, 2019  |  

SQANTI: extensive characterization of long-read transcript sequences for quality control in full-length transcriptome identification and quantification.

High-throughput sequencing of full-length transcripts using long reads has paved the way for the discovery of thousands of novel transcripts, even in well-annotated mammalian species. The advances in sequencing technology have created a need for studies and tools that can characterize these novel variants. Here, we present SQANTI, an automated pipeline for the classification of long-read transcripts that can assess the quality of data and the preprocessing pipeline using 47 unique descriptors. We apply SQANTI to a neuronal mouse transcriptome using Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) long reads and illustrate how the tool is effective in characterizing and describing the composition of the full-length transcriptome. We perform extensive evaluation of ToFU PacBio transcripts by PCR to reveal that an important number of the novel transcripts are technical artifacts of the sequencing approach and that SQANTI quality descriptors can be used to engineer a filtering strategy to remove them. Most novel transcripts in this curated transcriptome are novel combinations of existing splice sites, resulting more frequently in novel ORFs than novel UTRs, and are enriched in both general metabolic and neural-specific functions. We show that these new transcripts have a major impact in the correct quantification of transcript levels by state-of-the-art short-read-based quantification algorithms. By comparing our iso-transcriptome with public proteomics databases, we find that alternative isoforms are elusive to proteogenomics detection. SQANTI allows the user to maximize the analytical outcome of long-read technologies by providing the tools to deliver quality-evaluated and curated full-length transcriptomes.© 2018 Tardaguila et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


September 22, 2019  |  

Somatic APP gene recombination in Alzheimer’s disease and normal neurons.

The diversity and complexity of the human brain are widely assumed to be encoded within a constant genome. Somatic gene recombination, which changes germline DNA sequences to increase molecular diversity, could theoretically alter this code but has not been documented in the brain, to our knowledge. Here we describe recombination of the Alzheimer’s disease-related gene APP, which encodes amyloid precursor protein, in human neurons, occurring mosaically as thousands of variant ‘genomic cDNAs’ (gencDNAs). gencDNAs lacked introns and ranged from full-length cDNA copies of expressed, brain-specific RNA splice variants to myriad smaller forms that contained intra-exonic junctions, insertions, deletions, and/or single nucleotide variations. DNA in situ hybridization identified gencDNAs within single neurons that were distinct from wild-type loci and absent from non-neuronal cells. Mechanistic studies supported neuronal ‘retro-insertion’ of RNA to produce gencDNAs; this process involved transcription, DNA breaks, reverse transcriptase activity, and age. Neurons from individuals with sporadic Alzheimer’s disease showed increased gencDNA diversity, including eleven mutations known to be associated with familial Alzheimer’s disease that were absent from healthy neurons. Neuronal gene recombination may allow ‘recording’ of neural activity for selective ‘playback’ of preferred gene variants whose expression bypasses splicing; this has implications for cellular diversity, learning and memory, plasticity, and diseases of the human brain.


September 22, 2019  |  

A new standard for crustacean genomes: The highly contiguous, annotated genome assembly of the clam shrimp Eulimnadia texana reveals HOX gene order and identifies the sex chromosome.

Vernal pool clam shrimp (Eulimnadia texana) are a promising model system due to their ease of lab culture, short generation time, modest sized genome, a somewhat rare stable androdioecious sex determination system, and a requirement to reproduce via desiccated diapaused eggs. We generated a highly contiguous genome assembly using 46× of PacBio long read data and 216× of Illumina short reads, and annotated using Illumina RNAseq obtained from adult males or hermaphrodites. Of the 120?Mb genome 85% is contained in the largest eight contigs, the smallest of which is 4.6?Mb. The assembly contains 98% of transcripts predicted via RNAseq. This assembly is qualitatively different from scaffolded Illumina assemblies: It is produced from long reads that contain sequence data along their entire length, and is thus gap free. The contiguity of the assembly allows us to order the HOX genes within the genome, identifying two loci that contain HOX gene orthologs, and which approximately maintain the order observed in other arthropods. We identified a partial duplication of the Antennapedia complex adjacent to the few genes homologous to the Bithorax locus. Because the sex chromosome of an androdioecious species is of special interest, we used existing allozyme and microsatellite markers to identify the E. texana sex chromosome, and find that it comprises nearly half of the genome of this species. Linkage patterns indicate that recombination is extremely rare and perhaps absent in hermaphrodites, and as a result the location of the sex determining locus will be difficult to refine using recombination mapping.© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.


September 22, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics of cocci-shaped Sporosarcina strains with diverse spatial isolation.

Cocci-shaped Sporosarcina strains are currently one of the few known cocci-shaped spore-forming bacteria, yet we know very little about the genomics. The goal of this study is to utilize comparative genomics to investigate the diversity of cocci-shaped Sporosarcina strains that differ in their geographical isolation and show different nutritional requirements.For this study, we sequenced 28 genomes of cocci-shaped Sporosarcina strains isolated from 13 different locations around the world. We generated the first six complete genomes and methylomes utilizing PacBio sequencing, and an additional 22 draft genomes using Illumina sequencing. Genomic analysis revealed that cocci-shaped Sporosarcina strains contained an average genome of 3.3 Mb comprised of 3222 CDS, 54 tRNAs and 6 rRNAs, while only two strains contained plasmids. The cocci-shaped Sporosarcina genome on average contained 2.3 prophages and 15.6 IS elements, while methylome analysis supported the diversity of these strains as only one of 31 methylation motifs were shared under identical growth conditions. Analysis with a 90% identity cut-off revealed 221 core genes or ~?7% of the genome, while a 30% identity cut-off generated a pan-genome of 8610 genes. The phylogenetic relationship of the cocci-shaped Sporosarcina strains based on either core genes, accessory genes or spore-related genes consistently resulted in the 29 strains being divided into eight clades.This study begins to unravel the phylogenetic relationship of cocci-shaped Sporosarcina strains, and the comparative genomics of these strains supports identification of several new species.


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 SVs in genes larger than 10kb. We show that SV alleles are rarer than amino acid polymorphisms, implying that they are more strongly deleterious. A number of functionally important genes harbor previously hidden structural variants that likely affect complex phenotypes (e.g., Cyp6g1, Drsl5, Cyp28d1&2, InR, and Gss1&2). Furthermore, SVs are overrepresented in quantitative trait locus candidate genes from eight Drosophila Synthetic Population Resource (DSPR) mapping experiments. We conclude that SVs are pervasive in genomes, are frequently present as heterogeneous allelic series, and can act as rare alleles of large effect.


September 22, 2019  |  

Physiological genomics of dietary adaptation in a marine herbivorous fish

Adopting a new diet is a significant evolutionary change and can profoundly affect an animaltextquoterights physiology, biochemistry, ecology, and its genome. To study this evolutionary transition, we investigated the physiology and genomics of digestion of a derived herbivorous fish, the monkeyface prickleback (Cebidichthys violaceus). We sequenced and assembled its genome and digestive transcriptome and revealed the molecular changes related to important dietary enzymes, finding abundant evidence for adaptation at the molecular level. In this species, two gene families experienced expansion in copy number and adaptive amino acid substitutions. These families, amylase, and bile salt activated lipase, are involved digestion of carbohydrates and lipids, respectively. Both show elevated levels of gene expression and increased enzyme activity. Because carbohydrates are abundant in the pricklebacktextquoterights diet and lipids are rare, these findings suggest that such dietary specialization involves both exploiting abundant resources and scavenging rare ones, especially essential nutrients, like essential fatty acids.


July 19, 2019  |  

Landscape of standing variation for tandem duplications in Drosophila yakuba and Drosophila simulans.

We have used whole genome paired-end Illumina sequence data to identify tandem duplications in 20 isofemale lines of Drosophila yakuba and 20 isofemale lines of D. simulans and performed genome wide validation with PacBio long molecule sequencing. We identify 1,415 tandem duplications that are segregating in D. yakuba as well as 975 duplications in D. simulans, indicating greater variation in D. yakuba. Additionally, we observe high rates of secondary deletions at duplicated sites, with 8% of duplicated sites in D. simulans and 17% of sites in D. yakuba modified with deletions. These secondary deletions are consistent with the action of the large loop mismatch repair system acting to remove polymorphic tandem duplication, resulting in rapid dynamics of gain and loss in duplicated alleles and a richer substrate of genetic novelty than has been previously reported. Most duplications are present in only single strains, suggesting that deleterious impacts are common. Drosophila simulans shows larger numbers of whole gene duplications in comparison to larger proportions of gene fragments in D. yakuba. Drosophila simulans displays an excess of high-frequency variants on the X chromosome, consistent with adaptive evolution through duplications on the D. simulans X or demographic forces driving duplicates to high frequency. We identify 78 chimeric genes in D. yakuba and 38 chimeric genes in D. simulans, as well as 143 cases of recruited noncoding sequence in D. yakuba and 96 in D. simulans, in agreement with rates of chimeric gene origination in D. melanogaster. Together, these results suggest that tandem duplications often result in complex variation beyond whole gene duplications that offers a rich substrate of standing variation that is likely to contribute both to detrimental phenotypes and disease, as well as to adaptive evolutionary change. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.


July 19, 2019  |  

Rapid functional and sequence differentiation of a tandemly repeated species-specific multigene family in Drosophila.

Gene clusters of recently duplicated genes are hotbeds for evolutionary change. However, our understanding of how mutational mechanisms and evolutionary forces shape the structural and functional evolution of these clusters is hindered by the high sequence identity among the copies, which typically results in their inaccurate representation in genome assemblies. The presumed testis-specific, chimeric gene Sdic originated, and tandemly expanded in Drosophila melanogaster, contributing to increased male-male competition. Using various types of massively parallel sequencing data, we studied the organization, sequence evolution, and functional attributes of the different Sdic copies. By leveraging long-read sequencing data, we uncovered both copy number and order differences from the currently accepted annotation for the Sdic region. Despite evidence for pervasive gene conversion affecting the Sdic copies, we also detected signatures of two episodes of diversifying selection, which have contributed to the evolution of a variety of C-termini and miRNA binding site compositions. Expression analyses involving RNA-seq datasets from 59 different biological conditions revealed distinctive expression breadths among the copies, with three copies being transcribed in females, opening the possibility to a sexually antagonistic effect. Phenotypic assays using Sdic knock-out strains indicated that should this antagonistic effect exist, it does not compromise female fertility. Our results strongly suggest that the genome consolidation of the Sdic gene cluster is more the result of a quick exploration of different paths of molecular tinkering by different copies than a mere dosage increase, which could be a recurrent evolutionary outcome in the presence of persistent sexual selection. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.


July 19, 2019  |  

How Single Molecule Real-Time Sequencing and haplotype phasing have enabled reference-grade diploid genome assembly of wine grapes.

Domesticated grapevines (Vitis vinifera) have relatively small genomes of about 500 Mb (Lodhi and Reisch, 1995; Jaillon et al., 2007; Velasco et al., 2007), which is similar to other small-genomes species like rice (430 Mb; Goff et al., 2002), medicago (500 Mb; Tang et al., 2014), and poplar (465 Mb; Tuskan et al., 2006). Despite their small genome size, the sequencing and assembling of grapevine genomes is difficult because of high levels of heterozygosity. The high heterozygosity in domesticated grapes may be due, in part, to their domestication from an obligately outcrossing, dioecious wild progenitor. Domesticated grapes can be selfed, in theory, because their mating system transitioned to hermaphroditic, self-fertile flowers during domestication. In practice, however, selfed progeny tend to be non-viable, presumably due to a high deleterious recessive load and resulting inbreeding depression. As a consequence of these fitness effects, most grape cultivars are crosses between distantly related parents (Strefeler et al., 1992; Ohmi et al., 1993; Bowers and Meredith, 1997; Sefc et al., 1998; Lopes et al., 1999; Di Gaspero et al., 2005; Tapia et al., 2007; Ibáñez et al., 2009; Cipriani et al., 2010; Myles et al., 2011; Lacombe et al., 2013).


July 7, 2019  |  

Draft genome of Janthinobacterium sp. RA13 isolated from Lake Washington sediment.

Sequencing the genome of Janthinobacterium sp. RA13 from Lake Washington sediment is announced. From the genome content, a versatile life-style is predicted, but not bona fide methylotrophy. With the availability of its genomic sequence, Janthinobacterium sp. RA13 presents a prospective model for studying microbial communities in lake sediments. Copyright © 2015 McTaggart et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Draft genome of Pseudomonas sp. strain 11/12A, isolated from Lake Washington sediment.

We announce here the genome sequencing of Pseudomonas sp. strain 11/12A from Lake Washington sediment. From the genome content, a versatile lifestyle is predicted but not one of bona fide methylotrophy. With the availability of its genomic sequence, Pseudomonas sp. 11/12A presents a prospective model for studying microbial communities in lake sediments. Copyright © 2015 McTaggart et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Draft genomes of two strains of flavobacterium isolated from Lake Washington sediment.

We report sequencing the genomes of two new Flavobacterium strains isolated from Lake Washington sediment. From genomic contents, versatile lifestyles were predicted but not bona fide methylotrophy. With the availability of their genomic sequences, the new Flavobacterium strains present prospective models for studying microbial communities in lake sediments. Copyright © 2015 McTaggart et al.


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