Extensive intraspecific gene order and gene structural variations between Mo17 and other maize genomes

Nature Genetics        Published:30 July 2018

Abstract:Maize is an important crop with a high level of genome diversity and heterosis. The genome sequence of a typical female line, B73,was previously released. Here, we report a de novo genome assembly of a corresponding male representative line, Mo17. More than 96.4% of the 2,183 Mb assembled genome can be accounted for by 362 scaffolds in ten pseudochromosomes with 38,620 annotated protein-coding genes. Comparative analysis revealed large gene-order and gene structural variations: approximately 10% of the annotated genes were mutually nonsyntenic, and more than 20% of the predicted genes had either large-effect mutations or large structural variations, which might ca considerable protein divergence between the two inbred lines. Our study provides a high-quality reference-genome sequence of an important maize germplasm, and the intraspecific gene order and gene structural variations identified should have implications for heterosis and genome evolution.

Read the original articlehttps://www.nature.com/articles/s41588-018-0182-0

Fern genomes elucidate land plant evolution and cyanobacterial symbioses

Nature Plants                             Published:02 July 2018

Abstract: Ferns are the closest sister group to all seed plants, yet little is known about their genomes other than that they are generally colossal. Here, we report on the genomes of Azolla filiculoides and Salvinia cucullata (Salviniales) and present evidence for episodic whole-genome duplication in ferns—one at the base of ‘core leptosporangiates’ and one specific to Azolla. One fernspecific gene that we identified, recently shown to confer high insect resistance, seems to have been derived from bacteria through horizontal gene transfer. Azolla coexists in a unique symbiosis with N2-fixing cyanobacteria, and we demonstrate a clear pattern of cospeciation between the two partners. Furthermore, the Azolla genome lacks genes that are common to arbuscular mycorrhizal and root nodule symbioses, and we identify several putative transporter genes specific to Azolla–cyanobacterial symbiosis. These genomic resources will help in exploring the biotechnological potential of Azolla and address fundamental questions in the evolution of plant life.

Read the original articlehttps://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-018-0188-8

Adaptation and conservation insights from the koala genome

Nature Genetics    Published: 02 July 2018

Abstract:The koala, the only extant species of the marsupial family Phascolarctidae, is classified as ‘vulnerable’ due to habitat loss and widespread disease. We sequenced the koala genome, producing a complete and contiguous marsupial reference genome, including centromeres. We reveal that the koala’s ability to detoxify eucalypt foliage may be due to expansions within a cytochrome P450 gene family, and its ability to smell, taste and moderate ingestion of plant secondary metabolites may be due to expansions in the vomeronasal and taste receptors. We characterized novel lactation proteins that protect young in the pouch and annotated immune genes important for response to chlamydial disease. Historical demography showed a substantial population crash coincident with the decline of Australian megafauna, while contemporary populations had biogeographic boundaries and increased inbreeding in populations affected by historic translocations. We identified genetically diverse populations that require habitat corridors and instituting of translocation programs to aid the koala’s survival in the wild.

Read the original article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41588-018-0153-5

Oak genome reveals facets of long lifespan

Nature Plant       Published: 18 June 2018

Abstract:Oaks are an important part of our natural and cultural heritage. Not only are they ubiquitous in our most common landscapes but they have also supplied human societies with invaluable services, including food and shelter, since prehistoric times. With 450 species spread throughout Asia, Europe and America, oaks constitute a critical global renewable resource. The longevity of oaks (several hundred years) probably underlies their emblematic cultural and historical importance. Such long-lived sessile organisms must persist in the face of a wide range of abiotic and biotic threats over their lifespans. We investigated the genomic features associated with such a long lifespan by sequencing, assembling and annotating the oak genome. We then used the growing number of whole-genome sequences for plants (including tree and herbaceous species) to investigate the parallel evolution of genomic characteristics potentially underpinning tree longevity. A further consequence of the long lifespan of trees is their accumulation of somatic mutations during mitotic divisions of stem cells present in the shoot apical meristems. Empirical and modelling approaches have shown that intra-organismal genetic heterogeneity can be selected for and provides direct fitness benefits in the arms race with short-lived pests and pathogens through a patchwork of intra-organismal phenotypes. However, there is no clear proof that large-statured trees consist of a genetic mosaic of clonally distinct cell lineages within and between branches. Through this case study of oak, we demonstrate the accumulation and transmission of somatic mutations and the expansion of disease-resistance gene families in trees.

Read the original article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-018-0172-3

High-resolution comparative analysis of great ape genomes

Science           08 June 2018

Abstract:Genetic studies of human evolution require high-quality contiguous ape genome assemblies that are not guided by the human reference. We coupled long-read sequence assembly and full-length complementary DNA sequencing with a multiplatform scaffolding approach to produce ab initio chimpanzee and orangutan genome assemblies. By comparing these with two long-read de novo human genome assemblies and a gorilla genome assembly, we characterized lineage-specific and shared great ape genetic variation ranging from single– to mega–base pair–sized variants. We identified ~17,000 fixed human-specific structural variants identifying genic and putative regulatory changes that have emerged in humans since divergence from nonhuman apes. Interestingly, these variants are enriched near genes that are down-regulated in human compared to chimpanzee cerebral organoids, particularly in cells analogous to radial glial neural progenitors.

Read the original article: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6393/eaar6343

Genomic variation in 3,010 diverse accessions of Asian cultivated rice

Nature          Published: 25 April 2018

AbstractHere we analyse genetic variation, population structure and diversity among 3,010 diverse Asian cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.) genomes from the 3,000 Rice Genomes Project. Our results are consistent with the five major groups previously recognized, but also suggest several unreported subpopulations that correlate with geographic location. We identified 29 million single nucleotide polymorphisms, 2.4 million small indels and over 90,000 structural variations that contribute to within- and between-population variation. Using pan-genome analyses, we identified more than 10,000 novel full-length protein-coding genes and a high number of presence–absence variations. The complex patterns of introgression observed in domestication genes are consistent with multiple independent rice domestication events. The public availability of data from the 3,000 Rice Genomes Project provides a resource for rice genomics research and breeding.

Read the original article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0063-9

Genome sequence of the progenitor of wheat A subgenome Triticum urartu

Nature                 Published: 09 May 2018

Abstract:Triticum urartu (diploid, AA) is the progenitor of the A subgenome of tetraploid (Triticum turgidum, AABB) and hexaploid (Triticum aestivum, AABBDD) wheat1,2. Genomic studies of T. urartu have been useful for investigating the structure, function and evolution of polyploid wheat genomes. Here we report the generation of a high-quality genome sequence of T. urartu by combining bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-by-BAC sequencing, single molecule real-time whole-genome shotgun sequencing3, linked reads and optical mapping4,5. We assembled seven chromosomescale pseudomolecules and identified protein-coding genes, and we suggest a model for the evolution of T. urartu chromosomes. Comparative analyses with genomes of other grasses showed gene loss and amplification in the numbers of transposable elements in the T. urartu genome. Population genomics analysis of 147 T. urartu accessions from across the Fertile Crescent showed clustering of three groups, with differences in altitude and biostress, such as powdery mildew disease. The T. urartu genome assembly provides a valuable resource for studying genetic variation in wheat and related grasses, and promises to facilitate the discovery of genes that could be useful for wheat improvement.

Read the original article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0108-0

Piercing the dark matter: bioinformatics of long- range sequencing and mapping

Nature Reviews                 29 March 2018

AbstractSeveral new genomics technologies have become available that offer long- read sequencing or long- range mapping with higher throughput and higher resolution analysis than ever before. These long- range technologies are rapidly advancing the field with improved reference genomes, more comprehensive variant identification and more complete views of transcriptomes and epigenomes. However, they also require new bioinformatics approaches to take full advantage of their unique characteristics while overcoming their complex errors and modalities. Here, we discuss several of the most important applications of the new technologies, focusing on both the currently available bioinformatics tools and opportunities for future research.

Read the original article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41576-018-0003-4

Linear assembly of a human centromere on the Y chromosome

Nature Biotechnology     Published: 19 March 2018

Abstract:The human genome reference sequence remains incomplete owing to the challenge of assembling long tracts of nearidentical tandem repeats in centromeres. We implemented a nanopore sequencing strategy to generate high-quality reads that span hundreds of kilobases of highly repetitive DNA in a human Y chromosome centromere. Combining these data with short-read variant validation, we assembled and characterized the centromeric region of a human Y chromosome.

Read the original article: https://www.nature.com/articles/nbt.4109

High contiguity Arabidopsis thaliana genome assembly with a single nanopore flow cell

Nature Communications      Published: 07 February 2018

AbstractThe handheld Oxford Nanopore MinION sequencer generates ultra-long reads with minimal cost and time requirements, which makes sequencing genomes at the bench feasible. Here, we sequence the gold standard Arabidopsis thaliana genome (KBS-Mac-74 accession) on the bench with the MinION sequencer, and assemble the genome using typical consumer computing hardware (4 Cores, 16 Gb RAM) into chromosome arms (62 contigs with an N50 length of 12.3 Mb). We validate the contiguity and quality of the assembly with two independent single-molecule technologies, Bionano optical genome maps and Pacific Biosciences Sequel sequencing. The new A. thaliana KBS-Mac-74 genome enables resolution of a quantitative trait locus that had previously been recalcitrant to a Sanger-based BAC sequencing approach. In summary, we demonstrate that even when the purpose is to understand complex structural variation at a single region of the genome, complete genome assembly is becoming the simplest way to achieve this goal.

Read the original article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-03016-2