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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-12-11
    Description: The Eurasian perch ( Perca fluviatilis ) is the most common fish of the Percidae family and is widely distributed across Eurasia. Perch is a popular target for professional and recreational fisheries, and a promising freshwater aquaculture species in Europe. However, despite its high ecological, economical and societal importance, the available genomic resources for P. fluviatilis are rather limited. In this work, we report de novo assembly and annotation of the whole genome sequence of perch. The linked-read based technology with 10X Genomics Chromium chemistry and Supernova assembler produced a draft perch genome ~1.0 Gbp assembly (scaffold N 50 = 6.3 Mb; the longest individual scaffold of 29.3 Mb; BUSCO completeness of 88.0%), which included 281.6 Mb of putative repeated sequences. The perch genome assembly presented here, generated from small amount of starting material (0.75 ng) and a single linked-read library, is highly continuous and considerably more complete than the currently available draft of P. fluviatilis genome. A total of 23,397 protein-coding genes were predicted, 23,171 (99%) of which were annotated functionally from either sequence homology or protein signature searches. Linked-read technology enables fast, accurate and cost-effective de novo assembly of large non-model eukaryote genomes. The highly continuous assembly of the Eurasian perch genome presented in this study will be an invaluable resource for a range of genetic, ecological, physiological, ecotoxicological, functional and comparative genomic studies in perch and other fish species of the Percidae family.
    Electronic ISSN: 2160-1836
    Topics: Biology
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  • 2
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    Genetics Society of America (GSA)
    Publication Date: 2018-12-11
    Description: We present vqtl, an R package for mean-variance QTL mapping. This QTL mapping approach tests for genetic loci that influence the mean of the phenotype, termed mean QTL, the variance of the phenotype, termed variance QTL, or some combination of the two, termed mean-variance QTL. It is unique in its ability to correct for variance heterogeneity arising not only from the QTL itself but also from nuisance factors, such as sex, batch, or housing. This package provides functions to conduct genome scans, run permutations to assess the statistical significance, and make informative plots to communicate results. Because it is inter-operable with the popular qtl package and uses many of the same data structures and input patterns, it will be straightforward for geneticists to analyze future experiments with vqtl as well as re-analyze past experiments, possibly discovering new QTL.
    Electronic ISSN: 2160-1836
    Topics: Biology
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-12-11
    Description: We illustrate, through two case studies, that "mean-variance QTL mapping"—QTL mapping that models effects on the mean and the variance simultaneously—can discover QTL that traditional interval mapping cannot. Mean-variance QTL mapping is based on the double generalized linear model, which extends the standard linear model used in interval mapping by incorporating not only a set of genetic and covariate effects for mean but also set of such effects for the residual variance. Its potential for use in QTL mapping has been described previously, but it remains underutilized, with certain key advantages undemonstrated until now. In the first case study, a reduced complexity intercross of C57BL/6J and C57BL/6N mice examining circadian behavior, our reanalysis detected a mean-controlling QTL for circadian wheel running activity that interval mapping did not; mean-variance QTL mapping was more powerful than interval mapping at the QTL because it accounted for the fact that mice homozygous for the C57BL/6N allele had less residual variance than other mice. In the second case study, an intercross between C57BL/6J and C58/J mice examining anxiety-like behaviors, our reanalysis detected a variance-controlling QTL for rearing behavior; interval mapping did not identify this QTL because it does not target variance QTL. We believe that the results of these reanalyses, which in other respects largely replicated the original findings, support the use of mean-variance QTL mapping as standard practice.
    Electronic ISSN: 2160-1836
    Topics: Biology
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2018-12-11
    Description: Regulation of plant root angle is critical for obtaining nutrients and water and is an important trait for plant breeding. A plant’s final, long-term root angle is the net result of a complex series of decisions made by a root tip in response to changes in nutrient availability, impediments, the gravity vector and other stimuli. When a root tip is displaced from the gravity vector, the short-term process of gravitropism results in rapid reorientation of the root toward the vertical. Here, we explore both short- and long-term regulation of root growth angle, using natural variation in tomato to identify shared and separate genetic features of the two responses. Mapping of expression quantitative trait loci mapping and leveraging natural variation between and within species including Arabidopsis suggest a role for PURPLE ACID PHOSPHATASE 27 and CELL DIVISION CYCLE 73 in determining root angle.
    Electronic ISSN: 2160-1836
    Topics: Biology
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018-12-11
    Description: Cassava production in the central, southern and eastern parts of Africa is under threat by cassava brown streak virus (CBSV). Yield losses of up to 100% occur in cases of severe infections of edible roots. Easy illegal movement of planting materials across African countries, and long-range movement of the virus vector ( Bemisia tabaci ) may facilitate spread of CBSV to West Africa. Thus, effort to pre-emptively breed for CBSD resistance in W. Africa is critical. Genomic selection (GS) has become the main approach for cassava breeding, as costs of genotyping per sample have declined. Using phenotypic and genotypic data (genotyping-by-sequencing), followed by imputation to whole genome sequence (WGS) for 922 clones from National Crops Resources Research Institute, Namulonge, Uganda as a training population (TP), we predicted CBSD symptoms for 35 genotyped W. African clones, evaluated in Uganda. The highest prediction accuracy (r = 0.44) was observed for cassava brown streak disease severity scored at three months (CBSD3s) in the W. African clones using WGS-imputed markers. Optimized TPs gave higher prediction accuracies for CBSD3s and CBSD6s than random TPs of the same size. Inclusion of CBSD QTL chromosome markers as kernels, increased prediction accuracies for CBSD3s and CBSD6s. Similarly, WGS imputation of markers increased prediction accuracies for CBSD3s and for cassava brown streak disease root severity (CBSDRs), but not for CBSD6s. Based on these results we recommend TP optimization, inclusion of CBSD QTL markers in genomic prediction models, and the use of high-density (WGS-imputed) markers for CBSD predictions across population.
    Electronic ISSN: 2160-1836
    Topics: Biology
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2018-12-11
    Description: Aspergillus flavus , the primary causal agent for aflatoxin contamination on crops, consists of isolates with two distinct morphologies: isolates of the S morphotype produce numerous s mall sclerotia and lower numbers of conidia while isolates of the L morphotype produce fewer l arge sclerotia and abundant conidia. The morphotypes also differ in aflatoxin production with S isolates consistently producing high concentrations of aflatoxin, whereas L isolates range from atoxigenic to highly toxigenic. The production of abundant sclerotia by the S morphotype suggests adaptation for long-term survival in the soil, whereas the production of abundant conidia by the L morphotype suggests adaptation for aerial dispersal to the phyllosphere. To identify genomic changes that support differential niche adaption, the sequences of three S and three L morphotype isolates were compared. Differences in genome structure and gene content were identified between the morphotypes. A 〉530 kb inversion between the morphotypes affect a secondary metabolite gene cluster and a cutinase gene. The morphotypes also differed in proteins predicted to be involved in carbon/nitrogen metabolism, iron acquisition, antimicrobial defense, and evasion of host immunity. The S morphotype genomes contained more intact secondary metabolite clusters indicating there is higher selection pressure to maintain secondary metabolism in the soil and that it is not limited to aflatoxin production. The L morphotype genomes were enriched in amino acid transporters, suggesting efficient nitrogen transport may be critical in the nutrient limited phyllosphere. These findings indicate the genomes of the two morphotypes differ beyond developmental genes and have diverged as they adapted to their respective niches.
    Electronic ISSN: 2160-1836
    Topics: Biology
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2018-12-11
    Description: Genomic selection - the prediction of breeding values using DNA polymorphisms - is a disruptive method that has widely been adopted by animal and plant breeders to increase productivity. It was recently shown that other sources of molecular variations such as those resulting from transcripts or metabolites could be used to accurately predict complex traits. These endophenotypes have the advantage of capturing the expressed genotypes and consequently the complex regulatory networks that occur in the different layers between the genome and the phenotype. However, obtaining such omics data at very large scales, such as those typically experienced in breeding, remains challenging. As an alternative, we proposed using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) as a high-throughput, low cost and non-destructive tool to indirectly capture endophenotypic variants and compute relationship matrices for predicting complex traits, and coined this new approach "phenomic selection" (PS). We tested PS on two species of economic interest ( Triticum aestivum L. and Populus nigra L.) using NIRS on various tissues (grains, leaves, wood). We showed that one could reach predictions as accurate as with molecular markers, for developmental, tolerance and productivity traits, even in environments radically different from the one in which NIRS were collected. Our work constitutes a proof of concept and provides new perspectives for the breeding community, as PS is theoretically applicable to any organism at low cost and does not require any molecular information.
    Electronic ISSN: 2160-1836
    Topics: Biology
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2018-12-11
    Description: We present an RNA-Seq based approach to map 3' end sequences of mature 16S rRNA (3' TAIL) in bacteria with single-base specificity. Our results show that 3' TAILs are heterogeneous among species; they contain the core CCUCC anti-Shine-Dalgarno motif, but vary in downstream lengths. Importantly, our findings rectify the mis-annotated 16S rRNAs in 11 out of 13 bacterial species studied herein (covering Cyanobacteria, Deinococcus-Thermus, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, Tenericutes, and Spirochaetes). Furthermore, our results show that species-specific 3' TAIL boundaries are retained due to their high complementarity with preferred Shine-Dalgarno sequences, suggesting that 3' TAIL bases downstream of the canonical CCUCC motif play a more important role in translation initiation than previously reported.
    Electronic ISSN: 2160-1836
    Topics: Biology
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  • 9
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    Genetics Society of America (GSA)
    Publication Date: 2018-12-11
    Description: Standard QTL mapping procedures seek to identify genetic loci affecting the phenotypic mean while assuming that all individuals have the same residual variance. But when the residual variance differs systematically between groups, perhaps due to a genetic or environmental factor, such standard procedures can falter: in testing for QTL associations, they attribute too much weight to observations that are noisy and too little to those that are precise, resulting in reduced power and and increased susceptibility to false positives. The negative effects of such "background variance heterogeneity" (BVH) on standard QTL mapping have received little attention until now, although the subject is closely related to work on the detection of variance-controlling genes. Here we use simulation to examine how BVH affects power and false positive rate for detecting QTL affecting the mean (mQTL), the variance (vQTL), or both (mvQTL). We compare linear regression for mQTL and Levene’s test for vQTL, with tests more recently developed, including tests based on the double generalized linear model (DGLM), which can model BVH explicitly. We show that, when used in conjunction with a suitable permutation procedure, the DGLM-based tests accurately control false positive rate and are more powerful than the other tests. We also find that some adverse effects of BVH can be mitigated by applying a rank inverse normal transform. We apply our novel approach, which we term "mean-variance QTL mapping", to publicly available data on a mouse backcross and, after accommodating BVH driven by sire, detect a new mQTL for bodyweight.
    Electronic ISSN: 2160-1836
    Topics: Biology
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2018-12-11
    Description: Short linear motifs (SLiMs) can play pivotal functional roles in proteins, such as targeting proteins to specific subcellular localizations, modulating the efficiency of translation and tagging proteins for degradation. Until recently we had little knowledge about SLiM evolution. Only a few amino acids in these motifs are functionally important, making them likely to evolve ex nihilo and suggesting that they can play key roles in protein evolution. Several reports now suggest that these motifs can appear and disappear while their function in the protein is preserved, a process sometimes referred to as "turnover". However, there has been a lack of specific experiments to determine whether independently evolved motifs do indeed have the same function, which would conclusively determine whether the process of turnover actually occurs. In this study, we experimentally detected evidence for such a mutational turnover process for nuclear localization signals (NLS) during the post-duplication divergence of the Complementary sex determiner (Csd) and Feminizer (Fem) proteins in the honeybee ( Apis mellifera ) lineage. Experiments on the nuclear transport activity of protein segments and those of the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) sequences revealed that three new NLS motifs evolved in the Csd protein during the post-duplication divergence while other NLS motifs were lost that existed before duplication. A screen for essential and newly evolved amino acids revealed that new motifs in the Csd protein evolved by one or two missense mutations coding for lysine. Amino acids that were predating the duplication were also essential in the acquisition of the C1 motif suggesting that the ex nihilo origin was constrained by preexisting amino acids in the physical proximity. Our data support a model in which stabilizing selection maintains the constancy of nuclear transport function but allowed mutational turnover of the encoding NLS motifs.
    Electronic ISSN: 2160-1836
    Topics: Biology
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