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Thursday, January 7, 2021

Application Brief: Single-cell RNA sequencing with HiFi reads – Best Practices

With PacBio single-cell RNA sequencing using the Iso-Seq method, you can now distinguish between alternative transcript isoforms at the single-cell level. The highly accurate long reads (HiFi reads) can span the entire 5′ to 3′ end of a transcript, allowing a high-resolution view of isoform diversity and revealing cell-to-cell heterogeneity without the need for assembly.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

AGBT Virtual Poster: Genome variation in chronic viral infection – SMRT Sequencing for HCV

Ellen Paxinos, a scientist at PacBio, shares her AGBT poster on work done in collaboration with reference lab Monogram Biosciences using Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing to detect minor species and variants in HCV. Using two genotypes mixed together, the team was able to detect variants down to 1% and to identify both viral haplotypes from the data. Paxinos says the study is a model for looking at genomic variation in chronic viral infection.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Podcast: Major sequencing projects should be done with long reads

Dan Geraghty explains that while there have been decades’ worth of studies associating the genetics of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), and the highly polymorphic HLA class 1 and 2 genes, we still haven’t found the key mutations for a variety of different autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and others. Enormous amounts of linkage disequilibrium in these regions are one factor, as is getting information in phase, so larger stretches of sequence are needed. Recently Geraghty has begun using SMRT Technology with hopes of drilling down to the causal genetics. 

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

PAG PacBio Workshop: Genome assembly and molecular genetics of the dengue, yellow fever, and zika vector Aedes aegypti

In this PAG 2017 presentation, Ben Matthews describes a new genome assembly for Aedes aegypti, the mosquito responsible for spreading Zika virus, yellow fever, and other infectious diseases. By using PacBio long-read sequencing, scientists produced an assembly that is much more complete and contiguous than a previous assembly; 7,500 transcripts map to the new contigs but not to the old assembly. The genome is important for designing guide RNAs for CRISPR, understanding resistance to mosquito repellants, and much more.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

AGBT Conference: A community effort using multiple technologies to produce a dramatically improved genome assembly of the Zika virus mosquito vector

At AGBT 2017, the Broad Institute’s Daniel Neafsey reported a large collaborative effort to sequence the mosquito that carries Zika virus. The team is using long-read PacBio sequencing to produce a high-quality genome assembly, which Neafsey expects will replace the 10-year-old Sanger assembly for Aedes aegypti. The new assembly reduces the number of contigs by at least 10-fold, boosts the contig N50 to nearly 2 Mb, and features more complete gene content.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

AGBT Virtual Poster: Single-molecule sequencing reveals the presence of distinct JC polyomavirus populations in patients with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy

At AGBT 2017, Lars Paulin from the University of Helsinki presented this poster on whole genome sequencing of the virus responsible for progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a rare and dangerous brain infection. His team used long amplicon analysis to resolve the whole virus genome from three patient samples, pooled them for SMRT Sequencing, and identified variants and rearrangements. This work represents the first time the viral genome was sequenced from patients.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

PAG Conference: The Bat1K project: bat genome, biology and implications

In this presentation, Sonja Vernes of the Max Plank Institute shares her work with the Bat1K project which aims to catalog the genetic diversity of all living bat species. She highlights the unique biology of bats, from their widely varying sizes to their capacity for healthy aging and disease resistance and provides recent findings from ongoing efforts to sequence and annotate the genomes of 21 phylogenetic families of bats.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

User Group Meeting: Sequencing chemistry & application updates

To start Day 1 of the PacBio User Group Meeting, Jonas Korlach, PacBio CSO, provides an update on the latest releases and performance metrics for the Sequel II System. The longest reads generated on this system with the SMRT Cell 8M now go beyond 175,000 bases, while maintaining extremely high accuracy. HiFi mode, for example, uses circular consensus sequencing to achieve accuracy of Q40 or even Q50.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2021

User Group Meeting: No Assembly Required – Making the most of Iso-Seq data

In this PacBio User Group Meeting presentation, PacBio scientist Kristin Mars speaks about recent updates, such as the single-day library prep that’s now possible with the Iso-Seq Express workflow. She also notes that one SMRT Cell 8M is sufficient for most Iso-Seq experiments for whole transcriptome sequencing at an affordable price.

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Wednesday, January 6, 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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