To better determine the history of modern birds, we performed a genome-scale phylogenetic analysis of 48 species representing all orders of Neoaves using phylogenomic methods created to handle genome-scale data. We recovered a highly resolved tree that confirms previously controversial sister or close relationships. We identified the first divergence in Neoaves, two groups we named Passerea and Columbea, representing independent lineages of diverse and convergently evolved land and water bird species. Among Passerea, we infer the common ancestor of core landbirds to have been an apex predator and confirm independent gains of vocal learning. Among Columbea, we identify pigeons and flamingoes as belonging to sister clades. Even with whole genomes, some of the earliest branches in Neoaves proved challenging to resolve, which was best explained by massive protein-coding sequence convergence and high levels of incomplete lineage sorting that occurred during a rapid radiation after the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction event about 66 million years ago.
The genome of the mesopolyploid crop species Brassica rapaThe Brassica rapa Genome Sequencing Project Consortium 1 Abstract:The Brassicaceae family which includes Arabidopsis thaliana, is a natural priority for reaching beyond botanical models to more deeply sample angiosperm genomic and functional diversity. Here we report the draft genome sequence and its annoation of Brassica rapa, one of the two ancestral species of oilseed rape. We modeled 41,174 protein-coding genes in the B. rapa genome. B. rapa has experienced only the second genome triplication reported to date, with its close relationship to A. thaliana providing a useful outgroup for investigating many consequences of triplication for its structural and functional evolution. The extent of gene loss (fractionation) among triplicated genome segments varies, with one copy containing a greater proportion of genes expected to have been present in its ancestor (70%) than the remaining two (46% and 36%). Both a generally rapid evolutionary rate, and specific copy number amplifications of particular gene families, may contribute to the remarkable propensity of Brassica species for the development of new morphological variants. The B. rapa genome provides a new resource for comparative and evolutionary analysis of the Brassicaceae genomes and also a platform for genetic improvement of Brassica oil and vegetable crops.2
Cucumber is an economically important crop as well as a model system for sex determination studies and plant vascular biology. Here we report the draft genome sequence of Cucumis sativus var. sativus L., assembled using a novel combination of traditional Sanger and next-generation Illumina GA sequencing technologies to obtain 72.2-fold genome coverage. The absence of recent whole-genome duplication, along with the presence of few tandem duplications, explains the small number of genes in the cucumber. Our study establishes that five of the cucumber's seven chromosomes arose from fusions of ten ancestral chromosomes after divergence from Cucumis melo. The sequenced cucumber genome affords insight into traits such as its sex expression, disease resistance, biosynthesis of cucurbitacin and 'fresh green' odor. We also identify 686 gene clusters related to phloem function. The cucumber genome provides a valuable resource for developing elite cultivars and for studying the evolution and function of the plant vascular system.
Using next-generation sequencing technology alone, we have successfully generated and assembled a draft sequence of the giant panda genome. The assembled contigs (2.25 gigabases (Gb)) cover approximately 94% of the whole genome, and the remaining gaps (0.05 Gb) seem to contain carnivore-specific repeats and tandem repeats. Comparisons with the dog and human showed that the panda genome has a lower divergence rate. The assessment of panda genes potentially underlying some of its unique traits indicated that its bamboo diet might be more dependent on its gut microbiome than its own genetic composition. We also identified more than 2.7 million heterozygous single nucleotide polymorphisms in the diploid genome. Our data and analyses provide a foundation for promoting mammalian genetic research, and demonstrate the feasibility for using next-generation sequencing technologies for accurate, cost-effective and rapid de novo assembly of large eukaryotic genomes.
About 8,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, a spontaneous hybridization of the wild diploid grass Aegilops tauschii (2n 5 14; DD) with the cultivated tetraploid wheat Triticum turgidum (2n 5 4x 5 28; AABB) resulted in hexaploid wheat (T. aestivum; 2n 5 6x 5 42; AABBDD) 1,2 . Wheat has since become a primary staple crop worldwide as a result of its enhanced adaptability to a wide range of climates and improved grain quality for the production of baker's flour 2 . Here we describe sequencing the Ae. tauschii genome and obtaining a roughly 90-fold depth of short reads from libraries with various insert sizes, to gain a better understanding of this genetically complex plant. The assembled scaffolds represented 83.4% of the genome, of which 65.9% comprised transposable elements. We generated comprehensive RNA-Seq data and used it to identify 43,150 protein-coding genes, of which 30,697 (71.1%) were uniquely anchored to chromosomes with an integrated high-density genetic map. Whole-genome analysis revealed gene family expansion in Ae. tauschii of agronomically relevant gene families that were associated with disease resistance, abiotic stress tolerance and grain quality. This draft genome sequence provides insight into the environmental adaptation of bread wheat and can aid in defining the large and complicated genomes of wheat species.We selected Ae. tauschii accession AL8/78 for genome sequencing because it has been extensively characterized genetically (Supplementary Information). Using a whole genome shotgun strategy, we generated 398 Gb of high-quality reads from 45 libraries with insert sizes ranging from 200 bp to 20 kb (Supplementary Information). A hierarchical, iterative assembly of short reads employing the parallelized sequence assembler SOAPdenovo 3 achieved contigs with an N50 length (minimum length of contigs representing 50% of the assembly) of 4,512 bp (Table 1). Paired-end information combined with an additional 18.4 Gb of Roche/454 long-read sequences was used sequentially to generate 4.23-Gb scaffolds (83.4% were non-gapped contiguous sequences) with an N50 length of 57.6 kb (Supplementary Information). The assembly represented 97% of the 4.36-Gb genome as estimated by K-mer analysis (Supplementary Information). We also obtained 13,185 Ae. tauschii expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences using Sanger sequencing, of which 11,998 (91%) could be mapped to the scaffolds with more than 90% coverage (Supplementary Information).To aid in gene identification, we performed RNA-Seq (53.2 Gb for a 117-Mb transcriptome assembly) on 23 libraries representing eight tissues including pistil, root, seed, spike, stamen, stem, leaf and sheath (Supplementary Information). Using both evidence-based and de novo gene predictions, we identified 34,498 high-confidence protein-coding loci. FGENESH 4 and GeneID models were supported by a 60% overlap with either our ESTs and RNA-Seq reads, or with homologous proteins. More than 76% of the gene models had a significant match (E value # 10 25; alignment length $ 60%) in the ...
SUMMARY Polar bears are uniquely adapted to life in the High Arctic and have undergone drastic physiological changes in response to Arctic climates and a hyperlipid diet of primarily marine mammal prey. We analyzed 89 complete genomes of polar bear and brown bear using population genomic modeling and show that the species diverged only 479–343 thousand years BP. We find that genes on the polar bear lineage have been under stronger positive selection than in brown bears; nine of the top 16 genes under strong positive selection are associated with cardiomyopathy and vascular disease, implying important reorganization of the cardio-vascular system. One of the genes showing the strongest evidence of selection, APOB, encodes the primary lipoprotein component of low-density lipoprotein (LDL); functional mutations in APOB may explain how polar bears are able to cope with life-long elevated LDL levels that are associated with high risk of heart disease in humans.
The duck (Anas platyrhynchos) is one of the principal natural hosts of influenza A viruses. We present the duck genome sequence and perform deep transcriptome analyses to investigate immune-related genes. Our data indicate that the duck possesses a contractive immune gene repertoire, as in chicken and zebra finch, and this repertoire has been shaped through lineage-specific duplications. We identify genes that are responsive to influenza A viruses using the lung transcriptomes of control ducks and ones that were infected with either a highly pathogenic (A/duck/Hubei/49/05) or a weakly pathogenic (A/goose/Hubei/65/05) H5N1 virus. Further, we show how the duck’s defense mechanisms against influenza infection have been optimized through the diversification of its β-defensin and butyrophilin-like repertoires. These analyses, in combination with the genomic and transcriptomic data, provide a resource for characterizing the interaction between host and influenza viruses.
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