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1.  Gramene 2013: comparative plant genomics resources 
Nucleic Acids Research  2013;42(Database issue):D1193-D1199.
Gramene (http://www.gramene.org) is a curated online resource for comparative functional genomics in crops and model plant species, currently hosting 27 fully and 10 partially sequenced reference genomes in its build number 38. Its strength derives from the application of a phylogenetic framework for genome comparison and the use of ontologies to integrate structural and functional annotation data. Whole-genome alignments complemented by phylogenetic gene family trees help infer syntenic and orthologous relationships. Genetic variation data, sequences and genome mappings available for 10 species, including Arabidopsis, rice and maize, help infer putative variant effects on genes and transcripts. The pathways section also hosts 10 species-specific metabolic pathways databases developed in-house or by our collaborators using Pathway Tools software, which facilitates searches for pathway, reaction and metabolite annotations, and allows analyses of user-defined expression datasets. Recently, we released a Plant Reactome portal featuring 133 curated rice pathways. This portal will be expanded for Arabidopsis, maize and other plant species. We continue to provide genetic and QTL maps and marker datasets developed by crop researchers. The project provides a unique community platform to support scientific research in plant genomics including studies in evolution, genetics, plant breeding, molecular biology, biochemistry and systems biology.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkt1110
PMCID: PMC3964986  PMID: 24217918
2.  A genetic map of Xenopus tropicalis 
Developmental Biology  2011;354(1-2):1-8.
We present a genetic map for Xenopus tropicalis, consisting of 2886 Simple Sequence Length Polymorphism (SSLP) markers. Using a bioinformatics-based strategy, we identified unique SSLPs within the X. tropicalis genome. Scaffolds from X. tropicalis genome assembly 2.0 (JGI) were scanned for Simple Sequence Repeats (SSRs); unique SSRs were then tested for amplification and polymorphisms using DNA from inbred Nigerian and Ivory Coast individuals. Thus identified, the SSLPs were genotyped against a mapping cross panel of DNA samples from 190 F2 individuals. Nearly 4000 SSLPs were genotyped, yielding a 2886-marker genetic map consisting of 10 major linkage groups between 73 and 132 cM in length, and 4 smaller linkage groups between 7 and 40 cM. The total effective size of the map is 1658 cM, and the average intermarker distance for each linkage group ranged from 0.27 to 0.75 cM. Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) was carried out using probes for genes located on mapped scaffolds to assign linkage groups to chromosomes. Comparisons of this map with the X. tropicalis genome Assembly 4.1 (JGI) indicate that the map provides representation of a minimum of 66% of the X. tropicalis genome, incorporating 758 of the approximately 1300 scaffolds over 100,000 bp. The genetic map and SSLP marker database constitute an essential resource for genetic and genomic analyses in X. tropicalis.
Research highlights
► A genetic map of 2886 Simple Sequence Length Polymorphisms for Xenopus tropicalis. ► 10 major linkage groups corresponding to the 10 chromosomes, plus 4 minor linkage groups. ► Linkage groups are cytogenetically mapped to chromosomes by Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization.
doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2011.03.022
PMCID: PMC3098391  PMID: 21458440
Xenopus; X. tropicalis; Genetic map; Genome; Simple sequence length polymorphism
3.  The iPlant Collaborative: Cyberinfrastructure for Plant Biology 
The iPlant Collaborative (iPlant) is a United States National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project that aims to create an innovative, comprehensive, and foundational cyberinfrastructure in support of plant biology research (PSCIC, 2006). iPlant is developing cyberinfrastructure that uniquely enables scientists throughout the diverse fields that comprise plant biology to address Grand Challenges in new ways, to stimulate and facilitate cross-disciplinary research, to promote biology and computer science research interactions, and to train the next generation of scientists on the use of cyberinfrastructure in research and education. Meeting humanity's projected demands for agricultural and forest products and the expectation that natural ecosystems be managed sustainably will require synergies from the application of information technologies. The iPlant cyberinfrastructure design is based on an unprecedented period of research community input, and leverages developments in high-performance computing, data storage, and cyberinfrastructure for the physical sciences. iPlant is an open-source project with application programming interfaces that allow the community to extend the infrastructure to meet its needs. iPlant is sponsoring community-driven workshops addressing specific scientific questions via analysis tool integration and hypothesis testing. These workshops teach researchers how to add bioinformatics tools and/or datasets into the iPlant cyberinfrastructure enabling plant scientists to perform complex analyses on large datasets without the need to master the command-line or high-performance computational services.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2011.00034
PMCID: PMC3355756  PMID: 22645531
cyberinfrastructure; bioinformatics; plant biology; computational biology
4.  A Single Molecule Scaffold for the Maize Genome 
PLoS Genetics  2009;5(11):e1000711.
About 85% of the maize genome consists of highly repetitive sequences that are interspersed by low-copy, gene-coding sequences. The maize community has dealt with this genomic complexity by the construction of an integrated genetic and physical map (iMap), but this resource alone was not sufficient for ensuring the quality of the current sequence build. For this purpose, we constructed a genome-wide, high-resolution optical map of the maize inbred line B73 genome containing >91,000 restriction sites (averaging 1 site/∼23 kb) accrued from mapping genomic DNA molecules. Our optical map comprises 66 contigs, averaging 31.88 Mb in size and spanning 91.5% (2,103.93 Mb/∼2,300 Mb) of the maize genome. A new algorithm was created that considered both optical map and unfinished BAC sequence data for placing 60/66 (2,032.42 Mb) optical map contigs onto the maize iMap. The alignment of optical maps against numerous data sources yielded comprehensive results that proved revealing and productive. For example, gaps were uncovered and characterized within the iMap, the FPC (fingerprinted contigs) map, and the chromosome-wide pseudomolecules. Such alignments also suggested amended placements of FPC contigs on the maize genetic map and proactively guided the assembly of chromosome-wide pseudomolecules, especially within complex genomic regions. Lastly, we think that the full integration of B73 optical maps with the maize iMap would greatly facilitate maize sequence finishing efforts that would make it a valuable reference for comparative studies among cereals, or other maize inbred lines and cultivars.
Author Summary
The maize genome contains abundant repeats interspersed by low-copy, gene-coding sequences that make it a challenge to sequence; consequently, current BAC sequence assemblies average 11 contigs per clone. The iMap deals with such complexity by the judicious integration of IBM genetic and B73 physical maps, but the B73 genome structure could differ from the IBM population because of genetic recombination and subsequent rearrangements. Accordingly, we report a genome-wide, high-resolution optical map of maize B73 genome that was constructed from the direct analysis of genomic DNA molecules without using genetic markers. The integration of optical and iMap resources with comparisons to FPC maps enabled a uniquely comprehensive and scalable assessment of a given BAC's sequence assembly, its placement within a FPC contig, and the location of this FPC contig within a chromosome-wide pseudomolecule. As such, the overall utility of the maize optical map for the validation of sequence assemblies has been significant and demonstrates the inherent advantages of single molecule platforms. Construction of the maize optical map represents the first physical map of a eukaryotic genome larger than 400 Mb that was created de novo from individual genomic DNA molecules.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000711
PMCID: PMC2774507  PMID: 19936062
5.  Detailed Analysis of a Contiguous 22-Mb Region of the Maize Genome 
PLoS Genetics  2009;5(11):e1000728.
Most of our understanding of plant genome structure and evolution has come from the careful annotation of small (e.g., 100 kb) sequenced genomic regions or from automated annotation of complete genome sequences. Here, we sequenced and carefully annotated a contiguous 22 Mb region of maize chromosome 4 using an improved pseudomolecule for annotation. The sequence segment was comprehensively ordered, oriented, and confirmed using the maize optical map. Nearly 84% of the sequence is composed of transposable elements (TEs) that are mostly nested within each other, of which most families are low-copy. We identified 544 gene models using multiple levels of evidence, as well as five miRNA genes. Gene fragments, many captured by TEs, are prevalent within this region. Elimination of gene redundancy from a tetraploid maize ancestor that originated a few million years ago is responsible in this region for most disruptions of synteny with sorghum and rice. Consistent with other sub-genomic analyses in maize, small RNA mapping showed that many small RNAs match TEs and that most TEs match small RNAs. These results, performed on ∼1% of the maize genome, demonstrate the feasibility of refining the B73 RefGen_v1 genome assembly by incorporating optical map, high-resolution genetic map, and comparative genomic data sets. Such improvements, along with those of gene and repeat annotation, will serve to promote future functional genomic and phylogenomic research in maize and other grasses.
Author Summary
Maize is a major cereal crop and key experimental system for eukaryotic biology. Previous investigations of the maize genome at the sequence level have primarily focused on analyses of genome survey sequences and BAC contigs. Here we used a comprehensive set of resources to construct an ordered and oriented 22-Mb sequence from chromosome 4 that represents 1% of the maize genome. Genome annotation revealed the presence of 544 genes that are interspersed with transposable elements (TEs), which occupy 83.8% of the sequence. Fifty-one genes were involved in 14 tandem gene clusters and most appear to have arisen after lineage divergence. TEs, especially helitrons, were found to contain gene fragments and were widely distributed in gene-rich regions. Large inversions and unequal gene deletion between the two homoeologous maize regions were the main contributors to synteny disruption among maize, sorghum, and rice. We also show that small RNAs are primarily associated with TEs across the region. Comparison of this ordered and oriented sequence with the corresponding uncurated region in the whole genome sequence of maize resulted in improvements in TE annotation that will ultimately enhance detection sensitivity and characterization of TEs. Doing so is likely to improve the specificity of gene annotations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1000728
PMCID: PMC2773423  PMID: 19936048
6.  The DNA sequence of the human X chromosome 
Ross, Mark T. | Grafham, Darren V. | Coffey, Alison J. | Scherer, Steven | McLay, Kirsten | Muzny, Donna | Platzer, Matthias | Howell, Gareth R. | Burrows, Christine | Bird, Christine P. | Frankish, Adam | Lovell, Frances L. | Howe, Kevin L. | Ashurst, Jennifer L. | Fulton, Robert S. | Sudbrak, Ralf | Wen, Gaiping | Jones, Matthew C. | Hurles, Matthew E. | Andrews, T. Daniel | Scott, Carol E. | Searle, Stephen | Ramser, Juliane | Whittaker, Adam | Deadman, Rebecca | Carter, Nigel P. | Hunt, Sarah E. | Chen, Rui | Cree, Andrew | Gunaratne, Preethi | Havlak, Paul | Hodgson, Anne | Metzker, Michael L. | Richards, Stephen | Scott, Graham | Steffen, David | Sodergren, Erica | Wheeler, David A. | Worley, Kim C. | Ainscough, Rachael | Ambrose, Kerrie D. | Ansari-Lari, M. Ali | Aradhya, Swaroop | Ashwell, Robert I. S. | Babbage, Anne K. | Bagguley, Claire L. | Ballabio, Andrea | Banerjee, Ruby | Barker, Gary E. | Barlow, Karen F. | Barrett, Ian P. | Bates, Karen N. | Beare, David M. | Beasley, Helen | Beasley, Oliver | Beck, Alfred | Bethel, Graeme | Blechschmidt, Karin | Brady, Nicola | Bray-Allen, Sarah | Bridgeman, Anne M. | Brown, Andrew J. | Brown, Mary J. | Bonnin, David | Bruford, Elspeth A. | Buhay, Christian | Burch, Paula | Burford, Deborah | Burgess, Joanne | Burrill, Wayne | Burton, John | Bye, Jackie M. | Carder, Carol | Carrel, Laura | Chako, Joseph | Chapman, Joanne C. | Chavez, Dean | Chen, Ellson | Chen, Guan | Chen, Yuan | Chen, Zhijian | Chinault, Craig | Ciccodicola, Alfredo | Clark, Sue Y. | Clarke, Graham | Clee, Chris M. | Clegg, Sheila | Clerc-Blankenburg, Kerstin | Clifford, Karen | Cobley, Vicky | Cole, Charlotte G. | Conquer, Jen S. | Corby, Nicole | Connor, Richard E. | David, Robert | Davies, Joy | Davis, Clay | Davis, John | Delgado, Oliver | DeShazo, Denise | Dhami, Pawandeep | Ding, Yan | Dinh, Huyen | Dodsworth, Steve | Draper, Heather | Dugan-Rocha, Shannon | Dunham, Andrew | Dunn, Matthew | Durbin, K. James | Dutta, Ireena | Eades, Tamsin | Ellwood, Matthew | Emery-Cohen, Alexandra | Errington, Helen | Evans, Kathryn L. | Faulkner, Louisa | Francis, Fiona | Frankland, John | Fraser, Audrey E. | Galgoczy, Petra | Gilbert, James | Gill, Rachel | Glöckner, Gernot | Gregory, Simon G. | Gribble, Susan | Griffiths, Coline | Grocock, Russell | Gu, Yanghong | Gwilliam, Rhian | Hamilton, Cerissa | Hart, Elizabeth A. | Hawes, Alicia | Heath, Paul D. | Heitmann, Katja | Hennig, Steffen | Hernandez, Judith | Hinzmann, Bernd | Ho, Sarah | Hoffs, Michael | Howden, Phillip J. | Huckle, Elizabeth J. | Hume, Jennifer | Hunt, Paul J. | Hunt, Adrienne R. | Isherwood, Judith | Jacob, Leni | Johnson, David | Jones, Sally | de Jong, Pieter J. | Joseph, Shirin S. | Keenan, Stephen | Kelly, Susan | Kershaw, Joanne K. | Khan, Ziad | Kioschis, Petra | Klages, Sven | Knights, Andrew J. | Kosiura, Anna | Kovar-Smith, Christie | Laird, Gavin K. | Langford, Cordelia | Lawlor, Stephanie | Leversha, Margaret | Lewis, Lora | Liu, Wen | Lloyd, Christine | Lloyd, David M. | Loulseged, Hermela | Loveland, Jane E. | Lovell, Jamieson D. | Lozado, Ryan | Lu, Jing | Lyne, Rachael | Ma, Jie | Maheshwari, Manjula | Matthews, Lucy H. | McDowall, Jennifer | McLaren, Stuart | McMurray, Amanda | Meidl, Patrick | Meitinger, Thomas | Milne, Sarah | Miner, George | Mistry, Shailesh L. | Morgan, Margaret | Morris, Sidney | Müller, Ines | Mullikin, James C. | Nguyen, Ngoc | Nordsiek, Gabriele | Nyakatura, Gerald | O’Dell, Christopher N. | Okwuonu, Geoffery | Palmer, Sophie | Pandian, Richard | Parker, David | Parrish, Julia | Pasternak, Shiran | Patel, Dina | Pearce, Alex V. | Pearson, Danita M. | Pelan, Sarah E. | Perez, Lesette | Porter, Keith M. | Ramsey, Yvonne | Reichwald, Kathrin | Rhodes, Susan | Ridler, Kerry A. | Schlessinger, David | Schueler, Mary G. | Sehra, Harminder K. | Shaw-Smith, Charles | Shen, Hua | Sheridan, Elizabeth M. | Shownkeen, Ratna | Skuce, Carl D. | Smith, Michelle L. | Sotheran, Elizabeth C. | Steingruber, Helen E. | Steward, Charles A. | Storey, Roy | Swann, R. Mark | Swarbreck, David | Tabor, Paul E. | Taudien, Stefan | Taylor, Tineace | Teague, Brian | Thomas, Karen | Thorpe, Andrea | Timms, Kirsten | Tracey, Alan | Trevanion, Steve | Tromans, Anthony C. | d’Urso, Michele | Verduzco, Daniel | Villasana, Donna | Waldron, Lenee | Wall, Melanie | Wang, Qiaoyan | Warren, James | Warry, Georgina L. | Wei, Xuehong | West, Anthony | Whitehead, Siobhan L. | Whiteley, Mathew N. | Wilkinson, Jane E. | Willey, David L. | Williams, Gabrielle | Williams, Leanne | Williamson, Angela | Williamson, Helen | Wilming, Laurens | Woodmansey, Rebecca L. | Wray, Paul W. | Yen, Jennifer | Zhang, Jingkun | Zhou, Jianling | Zoghbi, Huda | Zorilla, Sara | Buck, David | Reinhardt, Richard | Poustka, Annemarie | Rosenthal, André | Lehrach, Hans | Meindl, Alfons | Minx, Patrick J. | Hillier, LaDeana W. | Willard, Huntington F. | Wilson, Richard K. | Waterston, Robert H. | Rice, Catherine M. | Vaudin, Mark | Coulson, Alan | Nelson, David L. | Weinstock, George | Sulston, John E. | Durbin, Richard | Hubbard, Tim | Gibbs, Richard A. | Beck, Stephan | Rogers, Jane | Bentley, David R.
Nature  2005;434(7031):325-337.
The human X chromosome has a unique biology that was shaped by its evolution as the sex chromosome shared by males and females. We have determined 99.3% of the euchromatic sequence of the X chromosome. Our analysis illustrates the autosomal origin of the mammalian sex chromosomes, the stepwise process that led to the progressive loss of recombination between X and Y, and the extent of subsequent degradation of the Y chromosome. LINE1 repeat elements cover one-third of the X chromosome, with a distribution that is consistent with their proposed role as way stations in the process of X-chromosome inactivation. We found 1,098 genes in the sequence, of which 99 encode proteins expressed in testis and in various tumour types. A disproportionately high number of mendelian diseases are documented for the X chromosome. Of this number, 168 have been explained by mutations in 113 X-linked genes, which in many cases were characterized with the aid of the DNA sequence.
doi:10.1038/nature03440
PMCID: PMC2665286  PMID: 15772651
7.  Positive Selection of a Pre-Expansion CAG Repeat of the Human SCA2 Gene 
PLoS Genetics  2005;1(3):e41.
A region of approximately one megabase of human Chromosome 12 shows extensive linkage disequilibrium in Utah residents with ancestry from northern and western Europe. This strikingly large linkage disequilibrium block was analyzed with statistical and experimental methods to determine whether natural selection could be implicated in shaping the current genome structure. Extended Haplotype Homozygosity and Relative Extended Haplotype Homozygosity analyses on this region mapped a core region of the strongest conserved haplotype to the exon 1 of the Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 gene (SCA2). Direct DNA sequencing of this region of the SCA2 gene revealed a significant association between a pre-expanded allele [(CAG)8CAA(CAG)4CAA(CAG)8] of CAG repeats within exon 1 and the selected haplotype of the SCA2 gene. A significantly negative Tajima's D value (−2.20, p < 0.01) on this site consistently suggested selection on the CAG repeat. This region was also investigated in the three other populations, none of which showed signs of selection. These results suggest that a recent positive selection of the pre-expansion SCA2 CAG repeat has occurred in Utah residents with European ancestry.
Synopsis
Natural selection ultimately acts on the genetic variants existing among human populations. Therefore, there are “footprints” that the selective force has left behind in the human genome. In this study, Yu et al. identified an extremely large region on Chromosome 12 that is under positive selection in Utah residents with European ancestry by characterizing the correlation patterns of genomic variants. Further analyses on this interval suggested that selection centered on one of the many forms of Spinocerebellar ataxia type-2 (SCA2) gene. The selected form was next demonstrated to associate with one short version of the disease-causing CAG repeat in the SCA2 gene. These results suggest that the CAG repeat was positively selected. An abnormally long version of CAGs can cause SCA2, a neurodegenerative disease that severely impairs the abilities of body movement. The authors showed how they unraveled natural selection acting on the SCA2 gene. Their findings might lead to the discovery of the biological functions of this gene and its CAG repeat. This kind of study holds potential to facilitate the finding of common disease genes.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0010041
PMCID: PMC1239938  PMID: 16205789

Results 1-7 (7)