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1.  Direct Sequencing from the Minimal Number of DNA Molecules Needed to Fill a 454 Picotiterplate 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e97379.
The large amount of DNA needed to prepare a library in next generation sequencing protocols hinders direct sequencing of small DNA samples. This limitation is usually overcome by the enrichment of such samples with whole genome amplification (WGA), mostly by multiple displacement amplification (MDA) based on φ29 polymerase. However, this technique can be biased by the GC content of the sample and is prone to the development of chimeras as well as contamination during enrichment, which contributes to undesired noise during sequence data analysis, and also hampers the proper functional and/or taxonomic assignments. An alternative to MDA is direct DNA sequencing (DS), which represents the theoretical gold standard in genome sequencing. In this work, we explore the possibility of sequencing the genome of Escherichia coli from the minimum number of DNA molecules required for pyrosequencing, according to the notion of one-bead-one-molecule. Using an optimized protocol for DS, we constructed a shotgun library containing the minimum number of DNA molecules needed to fill a selected region of a picotiterplate. We gathered most of the reference genome extension with uniform coverage. We compared the DS method with MDA applied to the same amount of starting DNA. As expected, MDA yielded a sparse and biased read distribution, with a very high amount of unassigned and unspecific DNA amplifications. The optimized DS protocol allows unbiased sequencing to be performed from samples with a very small amount of DNA.
PMCID: PMC4041646  PMID: 24887077
2.  Genome Sequence of Lactobacillus plantarum 19L3, a Strain Proposed as a Starter Culture for Slovenská Bryndza Ovine Cheese 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(2):e00292-14.
The genome sequence of Lactobacillus plantarum isolated from ovine cheese is presented here. This bacterium is proposed as a starter strain, named 19L3, for Slovenská bryndza cheese, a traditional Slovak cheese fulfilling European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) requirements.
PMCID: PMC3999490  PMID: 24762933
3.  Active and secreted IgA-coated bacterial fractions from the human gut reveal an under-represented microbiota core 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:3515.
Host-associated microbiota varies in distribution depending on the body area inhabited. Gut microbes are known to interact with the human immune system, maintaining gut homoeostasis. Thus, we studied whether secreted-IgA (S-IgA) coat specific microbial taxa without inducing strong immune responses. To do so, we fractionated gut microbiota by flow cytometry. We found that active and S-IgA-coated bacterial fractions were characterized by a higher diversity than those observed in raw faecal suspensions. A long-tail effect was observed in family distribution, revealing that rare bacteria represent up to 20% of total diversity. While Firmicutes was the most abundant phylum, the majority of its sequences were not assigned at the genus level. Finally, the single-cell-based approach enabled us to focus on active and S-IgA-coated bacteria. Thus, we revealed a microbiota core common to the healthy volunteers participating in the study. Interestingly, this core was composed mainly of low frequency taxa (e.g. Sphingomonadaceae).
PMCID: PMC3865468  PMID: 24343271
4.  Hybrid Sequencing Approach Applied to Human Fecal Metagenomic Clone Libraries Revealed Clones with Potential Biotechnological Applications 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47654.
Natural environments represent an incredible source of microbial genetic diversity. Discovery of novel biomolecules involves biotechnological methods that often require the design and implementation of biochemical assays to screen clone libraries. However, when an assay is applied to thousands of clones, one may eventually end up with very few positive clones which, in most of the cases, have to be “domesticated” for downstream characterization and application, and this makes screening both laborious and expensive. The negative clones, which are not considered by the selected assay, may also have biotechnological potential; however, unfortunately they would remain unexplored. Knowledge of the clone sequences provides important clues about potential biotechnological application of the clones in the library; however, the sequencing of clones one-by-one would be very time-consuming and expensive. In this study, we characterized the first metagenomic clone library from the feces of a healthy human volunteer, using a method based on 454 pyrosequencing coupled with a clone-by-clone Sanger end-sequencing. Instead of whole individual clone sequencing, we sequenced 358 clones in a pool. The medium-large insert (7–15 kb) cloning strategy allowed us to assemble these clones correctly, and to assign the clone ends to maintain the link between the position of a living clone in the library and the annotated contig from the 454 assembly. Finally, we found several open reading frames (ORFs) with previously described potential medical application. The proposed approach allows planning ad-hoc biochemical assays for the clones of interest, and the appropriate sub-cloning strategy for gene expression in suitable vectors/hosts.
PMCID: PMC3474745  PMID: 23082187
5.  Intraspecific sequence comparisons reveal similar rates of non-collinear gene insertion in the B and D genomes of bread wheat 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:155.
Polyploidization is considered one of the main mechanisms of plant genome evolution. The presence of multiple copies of the same gene reduces selection pressure and permits sub-functionalization and neo-functionalization leading to plant diversification, adaptation and speciation. In bread wheat, polyploidization and the prevalence of transposable elements resulted in massive gene duplication and movement. As a result, the number of genes which are non-collinear to genomes of related species seems markedly increased in wheat.
We used new-generation sequencing (NGS) to generate sequence of a Mb-sized region from wheat chromosome arm 3DS. Sequence assembly of 24 BAC clones resulted in two scaffolds of 1,264,820 and 333,768 bases. The sequence was annotated and compared to the homoeologous region on wheat chromosome 3B and orthologous loci of Brachypodium distachyon and rice. Among 39 coding sequences in the 3DS scaffolds, 32 have a homoeolog on chromosome 3B. In contrast, only fifteen and fourteen orthologs were identified in the corresponding regions in rice and Brachypodium, respectively. Interestingly, five pseudogenes were identified among the non-collinear coding sequences at the 3B locus, while none was found at the 3DS locus.
Direct comparison of two Mb-sized regions of the B and D genomes of bread wheat revealed similar rates of non-collinear gene insertion in both genomes with a majority of gene duplications occurring before their divergence. Relatively low proportion of pseudogenes was identified among non-collinear coding sequences. Our data suggest that the pseudogenes did not originate from insertion of non-functional copies, but were formed later during the evolution of hexaploid wheat. Some evidence was found for gene erosion along the B genome locus.
PMCID: PMC3445842  PMID: 22935214
Wheat; BAC sequencing; Homoeologous genomes; Gene duplication; Non-collinear genes; Allopolyploidy

Results 1-5 (5)