September 22, 2019  |  

Genomic Tandem Quadruplication is Associated with Ketoconazole Resistance in Malassezia pachydermatis.

Malassezia pachydermatis is a commensal yeast found on the skin of dogs. However, M. pachydermatis is also considered an opportunistic pathogen and is associated with various canine skin diseases including otitis externa and atopic dermatitis, which usually require treatment using an azole antifungal drug, such as ketoconazole. In this study, we isolated a ketoconazole-resistant strain of M. pachydermatis, designated “KCTC 27587,” from the external ear canal of a dog with otitis externa and analyzed its resistance mechanism. To understand the mechanism underlying ketoconazole resistance of the clinical isolate M. pachydermatis KCTC 27587, the whole genome of the yeast was sequenced using the PacBio platform and was compared with M. pachydermatis type strain CBS 1879. We found that a ~84-kb region in chromosome 4 of M. pachydermatis KCTC 27587 was tandemly quadruplicated. The quadruplicated region contains 52 protein coding genes, including the homologs of ERG4 and ERG11, whose overexpression is known to be associated with azole resistance. Our data suggest that the quadruplication of the ~84-kb region may be the cause of the ketoconazole resistance in M. pachydermatis KCTC 27587.


September 22, 2019  |  

The genomic landscape of molecular responses to natural drought stress in Panicum hallii

Environmental stress is a major driver of ecological community dynamics and agricultural productivity. This is especially true for soil water availability, because drought is the greatest abiotic inhibitor of worldwide crop yields. Here, we test the genetic basis of drought responses in the genetic model for C4perennial grasses, Panicum hallii, through population genomics, field-scale gene-expression (eQTL) analysis, and comparison of two complete genomes. While gene expression networks are dominated by local cis-regulatory elements, we observe three genomic hotspots of unlinked trans-regulatory loci. These regulatory hubs are four times more drought responsive than the genome-wide average. Additionally, cis- and trans-regulatory networks are more likely to have opposing effects than expected under neutral evolution, supporting a strong influence of compensatory evolution and stabilizing selection. These results implicate trans-regulatory evolution as a driver of drought responses and demonstrate the potential for crop improvement in drought-prone regions through modification of gene regulatory networks.


September 22, 2019  |  

Regulation of yeast-to-hyphae transition in Yarrowia lipolytica.

The yeast Yarrowia lipolytica undergoes a morphological transition from yeast-to-hyphal growth in response to environmental conditions. A forward genetic screen was used to identify mutants that reliably remain in the yeast phase, which were then assessed by whole-genome sequencing. All the smooth mutants identified, so named because of their colony morphology, exhibit independent loss of DNA at a repetitive locus made up of interspersed ribosomal DNA and short 10- to 40-mer telomere-like repeats. The loss of repetitive DNA is associated with downregulation of genes with stress response elements (5′-CCCCT-3′) and upregulation of genes with cell cycle box (5′-ACGCG-3′) motifs in their promoter region. The stress response element is bound by the transcription factor Msn2p in Saccharomyces cerevisiae We confirmed that the Y. lipolyticamsn2 (Ylmsn2) ortholog is required for hyphal growth and found that overexpression of Ylmsn2 enables hyphal growth in smooth strains. The cell cycle box is bound by the Mbp1p/Swi6p complex in S. cerevisiae to regulate G1-to-S phase progression. We found that overexpression of either the Ylmbp1 or Ylswi6 homologs decreased hyphal growth and that deletion of either Ylmbp1 or Ylswi6 promotes hyphal growth in smooth strains. A second forward genetic screen for reversion to hyphal growth was performed with the smooth-33 mutant to identify additional genetic factors regulating hyphal growth in Y. lipolytica Thirteen of the mutants sequenced from this screen had coding mutations in five kinases, including the histidine kinases Ylchk1 and Ylnik1 and kinases of the high-osmolarity glycerol response (HOG) mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase cascade Ylssk2, Ylpbs2, and Ylhog1 Together, these results demonstrate that Y. lipolytica transitions to hyphal growth in response to stress through multiple signaling pathways.IMPORTANCE Many yeasts undergo a morphological transition from yeast-to-hyphal growth in response to environmental conditions. We used forward and reverse genetic techniques to identify genes regulating this transition in Yarrowia lipolytica We confirmed that the transcription factor Ylmsn2 is required for the transition to hyphal growth and found that signaling by the histidine kinases Ylchk1 and Ylnik1 as well as the MAP kinases of the HOG pathway (Ylssk2, Ylpbs2, and Ylhog1) regulates the transition to hyphal growth. These results suggest that Y. lipolytica transitions to hyphal growth in response to stress through multiple kinase pathways. Intriguingly, we found that a repetitive portion of the genome containing telomere-like and rDNA repeats may be involved in the transition to hyphal growth, suggesting a link between this region and the general stress response. Copyright © 2018 Pomraning et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

N6-methyladenine DNA methylation in Japonica and Indica rice genomes and its association with gene expression, plant development, and stress responses.

N6-Methyladenine (6mA) DNA methylation has recently been implicated as a potential new epigenetic marker in eukaryotes, including the dicot model Arabidopsis thaliana. However, the conservation and divergence of 6mA distribution patterns and functions in plants remain elusive. Here we report high-quality 6mA methylomes at single-nucleotide resolution in rice based on substantially improved genome sequences of two rice cultivars, Nipponbare (Nip; Japonica) and 93-11 (Indica). Analysis of 6mA genomic distribution and its association with transcription suggest that 6mA distribution and function is rather conserved between rice and Arabidopsis. We found that 6mA levels are positively correlated with the expression of key stress-related genes, which may be responsible for the difference in stress tolerance between Nip and 93-11. Moreover, we showed that mutations in DDM1 cause defects in plant growth and decreased 6mA level. Our results reveal that 6mA is a conserved DNA modification that is positively associated with gene expression and contributes to key agronomic traits in plants. Copyright © 2018 The Author. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


September 21, 2019  |  

in silico Whole Genome Sequencer & Analyzer (iWGS): a computational pipeline to guide the design and analysis of de novo genome sequencing studies.

The availability of genomes across the tree of life is highly biased toward vertebrates, pathogens, human disease models, and organisms with relatively small and simple genomes. Recent progress in genomics has enabled the de novo decoding of the genome of virtually any organism, greatly expanding its potential for understanding the biology and evolution of the full spectrum of biodiversity. The increasing diversity of sequencing technologies, assays, and de novo assembly algorithms have augmented the complexity of de novo genome sequencing projects in non-model organisms. To reduce the costs and challenges in de novo genome sequencing projects and streamline their experimental design and analysis, we developed iWGS (in silico Whole Genome Sequencer and Analyzer), an automated pipeline for guiding the choice of appropriate sequencing strategy and assembly protocols. iWGS seamlessly integrates the four key steps of a de novo genome sequencing project: data generation (through simulation), data quality control, de novo assembly, and assembly evaluation and validation. The last three steps can also be applied to the analysis of real data. iWGS is designed to enable the user to have great flexibility in testing the range of experimental designs available for genome sequencing projects, and supports all major sequencing technologies and popular assembly tools. Three case studies illustrate how iWGS can guide the design of de novo genome sequencing projects and evaluate the performance of a wide variety of user-specified sequencing strategies and assembly protocols on genomes of differing architectures. iWGS, along with a detailed documentation, is freely available at https://github.com/zhouxiaofan1983/iWGS. Copyright © 2016 Author et al.


September 21, 2019  |  

PacBio assembly of a Plasmodium knowlesi genome sequence with Hi-C correction and manual annotation of the SICAvar gene family.

Plasmodium knowlesi has risen in importance as a zoonotic parasite that has been causing regular episodes of malaria throughout South East Asia. The P. knowlesi genome sequence generated in 2008 highlighted and confirmed many similarities and differences in Plasmodium species, including a global view of several multigene families, such as the large SICAvar multigene family encoding the variant antigens known as the schizont-infected cell agglutination proteins. However, repetitive DNA sequences are the bane of any genome project, and this and other Plasmodium genome projects have not been immune to the gaps, rearrangements and other pitfalls created by these genomic features. Today, long-read PacBio and chromatin conformation technologies are overcoming such obstacles. Here, based on the use of these technologies, we present a highly refined de novo P. knowlesi genome sequence of the Pk1(A+) clone. This sequence and annotation, referred to as the ‘MaHPIC Pk genome sequence’, includes manual annotation of the SICAvar gene family with 136 full-length members categorized as type I or II. This sequence provides a framework that will permit a better understanding of the SICAvar repertoire, selective pressures acting on this gene family and mechanisms of antigenic variation in this species and other pathogens.


September 21, 2019  |  

Assembling large genomes with single-molecule sequencing and locality-sensitive hashing.

Long-read, single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing is routinely used to finish microbial genomes, but available assembly methods have not scaled well to larger genomes. We introduce the MinHash Alignment Process (MHAP) for overlapping noisy, long reads using probabilistic, locality-sensitive hashing. Integrating MHAP with the Celera Assembler enabled reference-grade de novo assemblies of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Arabidopsis thaliana, Drosophila melanogaster and a human hydatidiform mole cell line (CHM1) from SMRT sequencing. The resulting assemblies are highly continuous, include fully resolved chromosome arms and close persistent gaps in these reference genomes. Our assembly of D. melanogaster revealed previously unknown heterochromatic and telomeric transition sequences, and we assembled low-complexity sequences from CHM1 that fill gaps in the human GRCh38 reference. Using MHAP and the Celera Assembler, single-molecule sequencing can produce de novo near-complete eukaryotic assemblies that are 99.99% accurate when compared with available reference genomes.


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