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Explore scientific publications featuring PacBio long-read sequencing data

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Exploring the genome and transcriptome of the cave nectar bat Eonycteris spelaea with PacBio long-read sequencing.

GigaScience
7

2018

Abstract +

In the past two decades, bats have emerged as an important model system to study host-pathogen interactions. More recently, it has been shown that bats may also serve as a new and excellent model to study aging, inflammation, and cancer, among other important biological processes. The cave nectar bat or lesser dawn bat (Eonycteris spelaea) is known to be a reservoir for several viruses and intracellular bacteria. It is widely distributed throughout the tropics and subtropics from India to Southeast Asia and pollinates several plant species, including the culturally and economically important durian in the region. Here, we report the whole-genome and transcriptome sequencing, followed by subsequent de novo assembly, of the E. spelaea genome solely using the Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) long-read sequencing platform.The newly assembled E. spelaea genome is 1.97 Gb in length and consists of 4,470 sequences with a contig N50 of 8.0 Mb. Identified repeat elements covered 34.65% of the genome, and 20,640 unique protein-coding genes with 39,526 transcripts were annotated.We demonstrated that the PacBio long-read sequencing platform alone is sufficient to generate a comprehensive de novo assembled genome and transcriptome of an important bat species. These results will provide useful insights and act as a resource to expand our understanding of bat evolution, ecology, physiology, immunology, viral infection, and transmission dynamics.

Firefly genomes illuminate parallel origins of bioluminescence in beetles.

eLife
7

2018

Abstract +

Fireflies and their luminous courtships have inspired centuries of scientific study. Today firefly luciferase is widely used in biotechnology, but the evolutionary origin of bioluminescence within beetles remains unclear. To shed light on this long-standing question, we sequenced the genomes of two firefly species that diverged over 100 million-years-ago: the North American Photinus pyralis and Japanese Aquatica lateralis. To compare bioluminescent origins, we also sequenced the genome of a related click beetle, the Caribbean Ignelater luminosus, with bioluminescent biochemistry near-identical to fireflies, but anatomically unique light organs, suggesting the intriguing hypothesis of parallel gains of bioluminescence. Our analyses support independent gains of bioluminescence in fireflies and click beetles, and provide new insights into the genes, chemical defenses, and symbionts that evolved alongside their luminous lifestyle.© 2018, Fallon et al.

Genome organization and DNA accessibility control antigenic variation in trypanosomes.

Nature
ePub ahead of print

2018

Abstract +

Many evolutionarily distant pathogenic organisms have evolved similar survival strategies to evade the immune responses of their hosts. These include antigenic variation, through which an infecting organism prevents clearance by periodically altering the identity of proteins that are visible to the immune system of the host1. Antigenic variation requires large reservoirs of immunologically diverse antigen genes, which are often generated through homologous recombination, as well as mechanisms to ensure the expression of one or very few antigens at any given time. Both homologous recombination and gene expression are affected by three-dimensional genome architecture and local DNA accessibility2,3. Factors that link three-dimensional genome architecture, local chromatin conformation and antigenic variation have, to our knowledge, not yet been identified in any organism. One of the major obstacles to studying the role of genome architecture in antigenic variation has been the highly repetitive nature and heterozygosity of antigen-gene arrays, which has precluded complete genome assembly in many pathogens. Here we report the de novo haplotype-specific assembly and scaffolding of the long antigen-gene arrays of the model protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei, using long-read sequencing technology and conserved features of chromosome folding4. Genome-wide chromosome conformation capture (Hi-C) reveals a distinct partitioning of the genome, with antigen-encoding subtelomeric regions that are folded into distinct, highly compact compartments. In addition, we performed a range of analyses-Hi-C, fluorescence in situ hybridization, assays for transposase-accessible chromatin using sequencing and single-cell RNA sequencing-that showed that deletion of the histone variants H3.V and H4.V increases antigen-gene clustering, DNA accessibility across sites of antigen expression and switching of the expressed antigen isoform, via homologous recombination. Our analyses identify histone variants as a molecular link between global genome architecture, local chromatin conformation and antigenic variation.

Genome sequence of the corn leaf aphid (Rhopalosiphum maidis Fitch)

BioRxiv
Preprint, 438499

2018

Abstract +

Background: The corn leaf aphid (Rhopalosiphum maidis Fitch) is the most economically damaging aphid pest on maize (Zea mays), one of the world's most important grain crops. In addition to causing direct damage due to the removal of photoassimilates, R. maidis transmits several destructive maize viruses, including Maize yellow dwarf virus, Barley yellow dwarf virus, Sugarcane mosaic virus, and Cucumber mosaic virus. Findings: A 326-Mb genome assembly of BTI-1, a parthenogenetically reproducing R. maidis clone, was generated with a combination of PacBio (208-fold coverage) and Illumina sequencing (80-fold coverage), which contains a total of 689 contigs with an N50 size of 9.0 Mb. The contigs were further clustered into four scaffolds using the Hi-C interaction maps, consistent with the commonly observed 2n = 8 karyotype of R. maidis. Most of the assembled contigs (473 spanning 321 Mb) were successfully orientated in the four scaffolds. The R. maidis genome assembly captured the full length of 95.8% of the core eukaryotic genes, suggesting that it is highly complete. Repetitive sequences accounted for 21.2% of the assembly, and a total of 17,647 protein-coding genes were predicted in the R. maidis genome with integrated evidence from ab initio and homology-based gene predictions and transcriptome sequences generated with both PacBio and Illumina. An analysis of likely horizontally transferred genes identified two from bacteria, seven from fungi, two from protozoa, and nine from algae. Conclusions: A high-quality R. maidis genome was assembled at the chromosome level. This genome sequence will enable further research related to ecological interactions, virus transmission, pesticide resistance, and other aspects of R. maidis biology. It also serves as a valuable resource for comparative investigation of other aphid species.

Global genetic diversity of var2csa in Plasmodium falciparum with implications for malaria in pregnancy and vaccine development.

Scientific reports
8, 15429

2018

Abstract +

Malaria infection during pregnancy, caused by the sequestering of Plasmodium falciparum parasites in the placenta, leads to high infant mortality and maternal morbidity. The parasite-placenta adherence mechanism is mediated by the VAR2CSA protein, a target for natural occurring immunity. Currently, vaccine development is based on its ID1-DBL2Xb domain however little is known about the global genetic diversity of the encoding var2csa gene, which could influence vaccine efficacy. In a comprehensive analysis of the var2csa gene in >2,000?P. falciparum field isolates across 23 countries, we found that var2csa is duplicated in high prevalence (>25%), African and Oceanian populations harbour a much higher diversity than other regions, and that insertions/deletions are abundant leading to an underestimation of the diversity of the locus. Further, ID1-DBL2Xb haplotypes associated with adverse birth outcomes are present globally, and African-specific haplotypes exist, which should be incorporated into vaccine design.

Long-read sequence capture of the hemoglobin gene clusters across gadid species.

Molecular ecology resources
ePub ahead of print

2018

Abstract +

Combining high-throughput sequencing with targeted sequence capture has become an attractive tool to study specific genomic regions of interest. Most studies have so far focused on the exome using short-read technology. These approaches are not designed to capture intergenic regions needed to reconstruct genomic organization, including regulatory regions and gene synteny. Here, we demonstrate the power of combining targeted sequence capture with long-read sequencing technology for comparative genomic analyses of the hemoglobin (Hb) gene clusters across eight species separated by up to 70 million years. Guided by the reference genome assembly of the Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) together with genome information from draft assemblies of selected codfishes, we designed probes covering the two Hb gene clusters. Use of custom-made barcodes combined with PacBio RSII sequencing led to highly continuous assemblies of the LA (~100kb) and MN (~200kb) clusters, which include syntenic regions of coding and intergenic sequences. Our results revealed an overall conserved genomic organization of the Hb genes within this lineage, yet with several, lineage-specific gene duplications. Moreover, for some of the species examined, we identified amino acid substitutions at two sites in the Hbb1 gene as well as length polymorphisms in its regulatory region, which has previously been linked to temperature adaptation in Atlantic cod populations. This study highlights the use of targeted long-read capture as a versatile approach for comparative genomic studies by generation of a cross-species genomic resource elucidating the evolutionary history of the Hb gene family across the highly divergent group of codfishes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Prediction of smoking by multiplex bisulfite PCR with long amplicons considering allele-specific effects on DNA methylation.

Clinical epigenetics
10, 130

2018

Abstract +

Methylation of DNA is associated with a variety of biological processes. With whole-genome studies of DNA methylation, it became possible to determine a set of genomic sites where DNA methylation is associated with a specific phenotype. A method is needed that allows detailed follow-up studies of the sites, including taking into account genetic information. Bisulfite PCR is a natural choice for this kind of task, but multiplexing is one of the most important problems impeding its implementation. To address this task, we took advantage of a recently published method based on Pacbio sequencing of long bisulfite PCR products (single-molecule real-time bisulfite sequencing, SMRT-BS) and tested the validity of the improved methodology with a smoking phenotype.Herein, we describe the "panhandle" modification of the method, which permits a more robust PCR with multiple targets. We applied this technique to determine smoking by DNA methylation in 71 healthy people and 83 schizophrenia patients (n?=?50 smokers and n?=?104 non-smokers, Russians of the Moscow region). We used five targets known to be influenced by smoking (regions of genes AHRR, ALPPL2, IER3, GNG12, and GFI1). We discovered significant allele-specific methylation effects in the AHRR and IER3 regions and assessed how this information could be exploited to improve the prediction of smoking based on the collected DNA methylation data. We found no significant difference in the methylation profiles of selected targets in relation to schizophrenia suggesting that smoking affects methylation at the studied genomic sites in healthy people and schizophrenia patients in a similar way.We determined that SMRT-BS with "panhandle" modification performs well in the described setting. Additional information regarding methylation and allele-specific effects could improve the predictive accuracy of DNA methylation-based models, which could be valuable for both basic research and clinical applications.

Single-cell isoform RNA sequencing characterizes isoforms in thousands of cerebellar cells.

Nature biotechnology
ePub ahead of print

2018

Abstract +

Full-length RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) has been applied to bulk tissue, cell lines and sorted cells to characterize transcriptomes, but applying this technology to single cells has proven to be difficult, with less than ten single-cell transcriptomes having been analyzed thus far. Although single splicing events have been described for =200 single cells with statistical confidence, full-length mRNA analyses for hundreds of cells have not been reported. Single-cell short-read 3' sequencing enables the identification of cellular subtypes, but full-length mRNA isoforms for these cell types cannot be profiled. We developed a method that starts with bulk tissue and identifies single-cell types and their full-length RNA isoforms without fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Using single-cell isoform RNA-Seq (ScISOr-Seq), we identified RNA isoforms in neurons, astrocytes, microglia, and cell subtypes such as Purkinje and Granule cells, and cell-type-specific combination patterns of distant splice sites. We used ScISOr-Seq to improve genome annotation in mouse Gencode version 10 by determining the cell-type-specific expression of 18,173 known and 16,872 novel isoforms.

Transcriptional fates of human-specific segmental duplications in brain.

Genome research
28, 1566-1576

2018

Abstract +

Despite the importance of duplicate genes for evolutionary adaptation, accurate gene annotation is often incomplete, incorrect, or lacking in regions of segmental duplication. We developed an approach combining long-read sequencing and hybridization capture to yield full-length transcript information and confidently distinguish between nearly identical genes/paralogs. We used biotinylated probes to enrich for full-length cDNA from duplicated regions, which were then amplified, size-fractionated, and sequenced using single-molecule, long-read sequencing technology, permitting us to distinguish between highly identical genes by virtue of multiple paralogous sequence variants. We examined 19 gene families as expressed in developing and adult human brain, selected for their high sequence identity (average >99%) and overlap with human-specific segmental duplications (SDs). We characterized the transcriptional differences between related paralogs to better understand the birth-death process of duplicate genes and particularly how the process leads to gene innovation. In 48% of the cases, we find that the expressed duplicates have changed substantially from their ancestral models due to novel sites of transcription initiation, splicing, and polyadenylation, as well as fusion transcripts that connect duplication-derived exons with neighboring genes. We detect unannotated open reading frames in genes currently annotated as pseudogenes, while relegating other duplicates to nonfunctional status. Our method significantly improves gene annotation, specifically defining full-length transcripts, isoforms, and open reading frames for new genes in highly identical SDs. The approach will be more broadly applicable to genes in structurally complex regions of other genomes where the duplication process creates novel genes important for adaptive traits.© 2018 Dougherty et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Use of a draft genome of coffee (Coffea arabica) to identify SNPs associated with caffeine content.

Plant biotechnology journal
16, 1756-1766

2018

Abstract +

Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica) has a small gene pool limiting genetic improvement. Selection for caffeine content within this gene pool would be assisted by identification of the genes controlling this important trait. Sequencing of DNA bulks from 18 genotypes with extreme high- or low-caffeine content from a population of 232 genotypes was used to identify linked polymorphisms. To obtain a reference genome, a whole genome assembly of arabica coffee (variety K7) was achieved by sequencing using short read (Illumina) and long-read (PacBio) technology. Assembly was performed using a range of assembly tools resulting in 76 409 scaffolds with a scaffold N50 of 54 544 bp and a total scaffold length of 1448 Mb. Validation of the genome assembly using different tools showed high completeness of the genome. More than 99% of transcriptome sequences mapped to the C. arabica draft genome, and 89% of BUSCOs were present. The assembled genome annotated using AUGUSTUS yielded 99 829 gene models. Using the draft arabica genome as reference in mapping and variant calling allowed the detection of 1444 nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with caffeine content. Based on Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes pathway-based analysis, 65 caffeine-associated SNPs were discovered, among which 11 SNPs were associated with genes encoding enzymes involved in the conversion of substrates, which participate in the caffeine biosynthesis pathways. This analysis demonstrated the complex genetic control of this key trait in coffee.© 2018 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

A Borrelia burgdorferi mini-vls system that undergoes antigenic switching in mice: investigation of the role of plasmid topology and the long inverted repeat.

Molecular microbiology
109, 710-721

2018

Abstract +

Borrelia burgdorferi evades the host immune system by switching the surface antigen. VlsE, in a process known as antigenic variation. The DNA mechanisms and genetic elements present on the vls locus that participate in the switching process remain to be elucidated. Manipulating the vls locus has been difficult due to its instability on Escherichia coli plasmids. In this study, we generated for the first time a mini-vls system composed of a single silent vlsE variable region (silent cassette 2) through the vlsE gene by performing some cloning steps directly in a highly transformable B. burgdorferi strain. Variants of the mini system were constructed with or without the long inverted repeat (IR) located upstream of vlsE and on both circular and linear plasmids to investigate the importance of the IR and plasmid topology on recombinational switching at vlsE. Amplicon sequencing using PacBio long read technology and analysis of the data with our recently reported pipeline and VAST software showed that the system undergoes switching in mice in both linear and circular versions and that the presence of the hairpin does not seem to be crucial in the linear version, however it is required when the topology is circular.© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Accelerated ex situ breeding of GBSS- and PTST1-edited cassava for modified starch.

Science advances
4, eaat6086

2018

Abstract +

Crop diversification required to meet demands for food security and industrial use is often challenged by breeding time and amenability of varieties to genome modification. Cassava is one such crop. Grown for its large starch-rich storage roots, it serves as a staple food and a commodity in the multibillion-dollar starch industry. Starch is composed of the glucose polymers amylopectin and amylose, with the latter strongly influencing the physicochemical properties of starch during cooking and processing. We demonstrate that CRISPR-Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9)-mediated targeted mutagenesis of two genes involved in amylose biosynthesis, PROTEIN TARGETING TO STARCH (PTST1) or GRANULE BOUND STARCH SYNTHASE (GBSS), can reduce or eliminate amylose content in root starch. Integration of the Arabidopsis FLOWERING LOCUS T gene in the genome-editing cassette allowed us to accelerate flowering-an event seldom seen under glasshouse conditions. Germinated seeds yielded S1, a transgene-free progeny that inherited edited genes. This attractive new plant breeding technique for modified cassava could be extended to other crops to provide a suite of novel varieties with useful traits for food and industrial applications.

An improved high-quality genome assembly and annotation of Qingke, Tibetan hulless barley

BioRxiv
Preprint

2018

Abstract +

Background: The Tibetan hulless barley (Hordeum vulgare L. var. nudum), also called Qingke in Chinese and Ne in Tibetan, is the staple food for Tibetans and an important livestock feed in the Tibetan Plateau. The Qingke in China has about 3500 years of cultivation history, mainly produced in Tibet, Qinghai, Sichuan, Yunnan and other areas. In addition, Qingke has rich nutritional value and outstanding health effects, including the beta glucan, dietary fiber, amylopectin, the contents of trace elements , which are higher than any other cereal crops. Findings: Here, we reported an improved high-quality assembly of Qingke genome with 4.0 Gb in size. We employed the falcon assembly package ,scaffolding and error correction tools to finish improvement using PacBio long reads sequencing technology, with contig and scaffold N50 lengths of 1.563Mb and 4.006Mb, respectively, representing more continuous than the original Qingke genome nearly two orders of magnitude. We also re-annotated the new assembly, and reported 61,303 stringent confident putative protein-coding genes, of which 40,457 is HC genes. We have developed a new Qingke genome database (QGD) to download and use friendly, as well as to better manage the information of the Qingke genetic resources. Conclusions: The availability of new Qingke genome and annotations will take the genetics of Qingke to a new level and will greatly simplify the breeders effort. It will also enrich the granary of the Tibetan people.

Characterization of a human-specific tandem repeat associated with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

American journal of human genetics
103, 421-430

2018

Abstract +

Bipolar disorder (BD) and schizophrenia (SCZ) are highly heritable diseases that affect more than 3% of individuals worldwide. Genome-wide association studies have strongly and repeatedly linked risk for both of these neuropsychiatric diseases to a 100 kb interval in the third intron of the human calcium channel gene CACNA1C. However, the causative mutation is not yet known. We have identified a human-specific tandem repeat in this region that is composed of 30 bp units, often repeated hundreds of times. This large tandem repeat is unstable using standard polymerase chain reaction and bacterial cloning techniques, which may have resulted in its incorrect size in the human reference genome. The large 30-mer repeat region is polymorphic in both size and sequence in human populations. Particular sequence variants of the 30-mer are associated with risk status at several flanking single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the third intron of CACNA1C that have previously been linked to BD and SCZ. The tandem repeat arrays function as enhancers that increase reporter gene expression in a human neural progenitor cell line. Different human arrays vary in the magnitude of enhancer activity, and the 30-mer arrays associated with increased psychiatric disease risk status have decreased enhancer activity. Changes in the structure and sequence of these arrays likely contribute to changes in CACNA1C function during human evolution and may modulate neuropsychiatric disease risk in modern human populations. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

Detailed analysis of HTT repeat elements in human blood using targeted amplification-free long-read sequencing.

Human mutation
39, 1262-1272

2018

Abstract +

Amplification of DNA is required as a mandatory step during library preparation in most targeted sequencing protocols. This can be a critical limitation when targeting regions that are highly repetitive or with extreme guanine-cytosine (GC) content, including repeat expansions associated with human disease. Here, we used an amplification-free protocol for targeted enrichment utilizing the CRISPR/Cas9 system (No-Amp Targeted sequencing) in combination with single molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing for studying repeat elements in the huntingtin (HTT) gene, where an expanded CAG repeat is causative for Huntington disease. We also developed a robust data analysis pipeline for repeat element analysis that is independent of alignment of reads to a reference genome. The method was applied to 11 diagnostic blood samples, and for all 22 alleles the resulting CAG repeat count agreed with previous results based on fragment analysis. The amplification-free protocol also allowed for studying somatic variability of repeat elements in our samples, without the interference of PCR stutter. In summary, with No-Amp Targeted sequencing in combination with our analysis pipeline, we could accurately study repeat elements that are difficult to investigate using PCR-based methods.© 2018 The Authors. Human Mutation published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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