April 21, 2020  |  

Long-Read Annotation: Automated Eukaryotic Genome Annotation Based on Long-Read cDNA Sequencing.

Single-molecule full-length complementary DNA (cDNA) sequencing can aid genome annotation by revealing transcript structure and alternative splice forms, yet current annotation pipelines do not incorporate such information. Here we present long-read annotation (LoReAn) software, an automated annotation pipeline utilizing short- and long-read cDNA sequencing, protein evidence, and ab initio prediction to generate accurate genome annotations. Based on annotations of two fungal genomes (Verticillium dahliae and Plicaturopsis crispa) and two plant genomes (Arabidopsis [Arabidopsis thaliana] and Oryza sativa), we show that LoReAn outperforms popular annotation pipelines by integrating single-molecule cDNA-sequencing data generated from either the Pacific Biosciences or MinION sequencing platforms, correctly predicting gene structure, and capturing genes missed by other annotation pipelines. © 2019 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.


April 21, 2020  |  

Dynamic virulence-related regions of the plant pathogenic fungus Verticillium dahliae display enhanced sequence conservation.

Plant pathogens continuously evolve to evade host immune responses. During host colonization, many fungal pathogens secrete effectors to perturb such responses, but these in turn may become recognized by host immune receptors. To facilitate the evolution of effector repertoires, such as the elimination of recognized effectors, effector genes often reside in genomic regions that display increased plasticity, a phenomenon that is captured in the two-speed genome hypothesis. The genome of the vascular wilt fungus Verticillium dahliae displays regions with extensive presence/absence polymorphisms, so-called lineage-specific regions, that are enriched in in planta-induced putative effector genes. As expected, comparative genomics reveals differential degrees of sequence divergence between lineage-specific regions and the core genome. Unanticipated, lineage-specific regions display markedly higher sequence conservation in coding as well as noncoding regions than the core genome. We provide evidence that disqualifies horizontal transfer to explain the observed sequence conservation and conclude that sequence divergence occurs at a slower pace in lineage-specific regions of the V. dahliae genome. We hypothesize that differences in chromatin organisation may explain lower nucleotide substitution rates in the plastic, lineage-specific regions of V. dahliae. © 2019 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genomic Plasticity Mediated by Transposable Elements in the Plant Pathogenic Fungus Colletotrichum higginsianum.

Phytopathogen genomes are under constant pressure to change, as pathogens are locked in an evolutionary arms race with their hosts, where pathogens evolve effector genes to manipulate their hosts, whereas the hosts evolve immune components to recognize the products of these genes. Colletotrichum higginsianum (Ch), a fungal pathogen with no known sexual morph, infects Brassicaceae plants including Arabidopsis thaliana. Previous studies revealed that Ch differs in its virulence toward various Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes, indicating the existence of coevolutionary selective pressures. However, between-strain genomic variations in Ch have not been studied. Here, we sequenced and assembled the genome of a Ch strain, resulting in a highly contiguous genome assembly, which was compared with the chromosome-level genome assembly of another strain to identify genomic variations between strains. We found that the two closely related strains vary in terms of large-scale rearrangements, the existence of strain-specific regions, and effector candidate gene sets and that these variations are frequently associated with transposable elements (TEs). Ch has a compartmentalized genome consisting of gene-sparse, TE-dense regions with more effector candidate genes and gene-dense, TE-sparse regions harboring conserved genes. Additionally, analysis of the conservation patterns and syntenic regions of effector candidate genes indicated that the two strains vary in their effector candidate gene sets because of de novo evolution, horizontal gene transfer, or gene loss after divergence. Our results reveal mechanisms for generating genomic diversity in this asexual pathogen, which are important for understanding its adaption to hosts. © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.


April 21, 2020  |  

Transcriptome analysis reveals multiple signal network contributing to the Verticillium wilt resistance in eggplant

Verticillium wilt is a devastating disease in eggplants. In order to understand the molecular mechanism of disease resistance in eggplants, transcriptomes of Verticillium wilt infected eggplants were detected. A total of 480, 518, 887 and 1 046 Verticillium wilt related differentially expressed genes were identified at 6 (V6), 12 (V12), 24 (V24) and 48?h (V48), respectively. COG function classification revealed that most of DEGs functioned in “Amino acid transport and metabolism”, “Cytoskeleton” and “Cell motility”. In addition, compared the control plants (V0) to infected eggplants (V6-V48), a total of 111 common DEGs were identified. Except for “General function prediction only”, most of the DEGs enriched in “Signal transduction”. DEGs associated to different hormone signals, including GID1B, ROPGAP1, OPT3 and CDPK, were identified throughout the whole infection process. Cross-talk among defense signal pathways plays major roles in the Verticillium wilt disease resistance in eggplants.


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