July 27, 2017  |  General

At SMBE 2017, SMRT Sequencing Fuels Genome Assemblies for Evolution Studies

We enjoyed attending the annual meeting of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution in Austin earlier this month. Some 1,500 people attend SMBE, which this year offered cutting-edge sessions on evolutionary genomics, microbiome dynamics, epigenetics, and much more.
There were several posters and presentations featuring SMRT Sequencing data, most focused on using highly accurate, long-read data to generate or improve reference genomes. The high-quality assemblies we saw are enabling evolutionary biologists to investigate genomic structure and function in a variety of organisms as well as characterize structural variants and other complex polymorphisms that are difficult to detect with conventional technologies.
If you couldn’t attend SMBE, we encourage you to check out these resources for a glimpse of how this community is making using of SMRT Sequencing:
Extensive hidden genetic variation shapes the structure of functional elements in Drosophila
This preprint from Mahul Chakraborty et al. reports a new, reference-grade assembly of an African D. melanogaster strain.
The draft genome of Ruditapes philippinarum (the Manila clam), a promising model system for mitochondrial biology
This poster from Fabrizio Ghiselli et al. describes a study of a unique bivalve with two mitochondrial genomes.
Inversions and nucleotide diversity in Drosophila yakuba
This poster from Patrick Reilly et al. shows results from several high-quality de novo assemblies produced with SMRT Sequencing.
Recombination-dependent replication and gene conversion homogenize repeat sequences and diversify plastid genome structure
This paper from Tracey Ruhlman et al. was the basis for an SMBE poster about characterizing repeat structures in the plastid genome of the flowering plant, Monsonia emarginata.
Structural variant detection with low-coverage PacBio sequencing
This poster from Sarah Kingan and Aaron Wenger from PacBio presents structural variation data generated with SMRT Sequencing.

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