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1.  Bulk segregant RNA-seq reveals expression and positional candidate genes and allele-specific expression for disease resistance against enteric septicemia of catfish 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:929.
Background
The application of RNA-seq has accelerated gene expression profiling and identification of gene-associated SNPs in many species. However, the integrated studies of gene expression along with SNP mapping have been lacking. Coupling of RNA-seq with bulked segregant analysis (BSA) should allow correlation of expression patterns and associated SNPs with the phenotypes.
Results
In this study, we demonstrated the use of bulked segregant RNA-seq (BSR-Seq) for the analysis of differentially expressed genes and associated SNPs with disease resistance against enteric septicemia of catfish (ESC). A total of 1,255 differentially expressed genes were found between resistant and susceptible fish. In addition, 56,419 SNPs residing on 4,304 unique genes were identified as significant SNPs between susceptible and resistant fish. Detailed analysis of these significant SNPs allowed differentiation of significant SNPs caused by genetic segregation and those caused by allele-specific expression. Mapping of the significant SNPs, along with analysis of differentially expressed genes, allowed identification of candidate genes underlining disease resistance against ESC disease.
Conclusions
This study demonstrated the use of BSR-Seq for the identification of genes involved in disease resistance against ESC through expression profiling and mapping of significantly associated SNPs. BSR-Seq is applicable to analysis of genes underlining various performance and production traits without significant investment in the development of large genotyping platforms such as SNP arrays.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-929
PMCID: PMC3890627  PMID: 24373586
Bulk segregant analysis; RNA-seq; Disease resistance; Catfish; Allele-specific expression
2.  Whole genome comparative analysis of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) with four model fish species 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:780.
Background
Comparative mapping is a powerful tool to study evolution of genomes. It allows transfer of genome information from the well-studied model species to non-model species. Catfish is an economically important aquaculture species in United States. A large amount of genome resources have been developed from catfish including genetic linkage maps, physical maps, BAC end sequences (BES), integrated linkage and physical maps using BES-derived markers, physical map contig-specific sequences, and draft genome sequences. Application of such genome resources should allow comparative analysis at the genome scale with several other model fish species.
Results
In this study, we conducted whole genome comparative analysis between channel catfish and four model fish species with fully sequenced genomes, zebrafish, medaka, stickleback and Tetraodon. A total of 517 Mb draft genome sequences of catfish were anchored to its genetic linkage map, which accounted for 62% of the total draft genome sequences. Based on the location of homologous genes, homologous chromosomes were determined among catfish and the four model fish species. A large number of conserved syntenic blocks were identified. Analysis of the syntenic relationships between catfish and the four model fishes supported that the catfish genome is most similar to the genome of zebrafish.
Conclusion
The organization of the catfish genome is similar to that of the four teleost species, zebrafish, medaka, stickleback, and Tetraodon such that homologous chromosomes can be identified. Within each chromosome, extended syntenic blocks were evident, but the conserved syntenies at the chromosome level involve extensive inter-chromosomal and intra-chromosomal rearrangements. This whole genome comparative map should facilitate the whole genome assembly and annotation in catfish, and will be useful for genomic studies of various other fish species.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-780
PMCID: PMC3840565  PMID: 24215161
Catfish; Genome; Comparative mapping; Linkage mapping; Conserved synteny
3.  Comparative genomic analysis of catfish linkage group 8 reveals two homologous chromosomes in zebrafish and other teleosts with extensive inter-chromosomal rearrangements 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:387.
Background
Comparative genomics is a powerful tool to transfer genomic information from model species to related non-model species. Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) is the primary aquaculture species in the United States. Its existing genome resources such as genomic sequences generated from next generation sequencing, BAC end sequences (BES), physical maps, linkage maps, and integrated linkage and physical maps using BES-associated markers provide a platform for comparative genomic analysis between catfish and other model teleost fish species. This study aimed to gain understanding of genome organizations and similarities among catfish and several sequenced teleost genomes using linkage group 8 (LG8) as a pilot study.
Results
With existing genome resources, 287 unique genes were identified in LG8. Comparative genome analysis indicated that most of these 287 genes on catfish LG8 are located on two homologous chromosomes of zebrafish, medaka, stickleback, and three chromosomes of green-spotted pufferfish. Large numbers of conserved syntenies were identified. Detailed analysis of the conserved syntenies in relation to chromosome level similarities revealed extensive inter-chromosomal and intra-chromosomal rearrangements during evolution. Of the 287 genes, 35 genes were found to be duplicated in the catfish genome, with the vast majority of the duplications being interchromosomal.
Conclusions
Comparative genome analysis is a powerful tool even in the absence of a well-assembled whole genome sequence. In spite of sequence stacking due to low resolution of the linkage and physical maps, conserved syntenies can be identified although the exact gene order and orientation are unknown at present. Through chromosome-level comparative analysis, homologous chromosomes among teleosts can be identified. Syntenic analysis should facilitate annotation of the catfish genome, which in turn, should facilitate functional inference of genes based on their orthology.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-387
PMCID: PMC3691659  PMID: 23758806
Comparative mapping; Synteny; Genome; Chromosome; Linkage map; Physical map; Catfish; Fish
4.  Efficient assembly and annotation of the transcriptome of catfish by RNA-Seq analysis of a doubled haploid homozygote 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:595.
Background
Upon the completion of whole genome sequencing, thorough genome annotation that associates genome sequences with biological meanings is essential. Genome annotation depends on the availability of transcript information as well as orthology information. In teleost fish, genome annotation is seriously hindered by genome duplication. Because of gene duplications, one cannot establish orthologies simply by homology comparisons. Rather intense phylogenetic analysis or structural analysis of orthologies is required for the identification of genes. To conduct phylogenetic analysis and orthology analysis, full-length transcripts are essential. Generation of large numbers of full-length transcripts using traditional transcript sequencing is very difficult and extremely costly.
Results
In this work, we took advantage of a doubled haploid catfish, which has two sets of identical chromosomes and in theory there should be no allelic variations. As such, transcript sequences generated from next-generation sequencing can be favorably assembled into full-length transcripts. Deep sequencing of the doubled haploid channel catfish transcriptome was performed using Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform, yielding over 300 million high-quality trimmed reads totaling 27 Gbp. Assembly of these reads generated 370,798 non-redundant transcript-derived contigs. Functional annotation of the assembly allowed identification of 25,144 unique protein-encoding genes. A total of 2,659 unique genes were identified as putative duplicated genes in the catfish genome because the assembly of the corresponding transcripts harbored PSVs or MSVs (in the form of pseudo-SNPs in the assembly). Of the 25,144 contigs with unique protein hits, around 20,000 contigs matched 50% length of reference proteins, and over 14,000 transcripts were identified as full-length with complete open reading frames. The characterization of consensus sequences surrounding start codon and the stop codon confirmed the correct assembly of the full-length transcripts.
Conclusions
The large set of transcripts assembled in this study is the most comprehensive set of genome resources ever developed from catfish, which will provide the much needed resources for functional genome research in catfish, serving as a reference transcriptome for genome annotation, analysis of gene duplication, gene family structures, and digital gene expression analysis. The putative set of duplicated genes provide a starting point for genome scale analysis of gene duplication in the catfish genome, and should be a valuable resource for comparative genome analysis, genome evolution, and genome function studies.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-595
PMCID: PMC3582483  PMID: 23127152
5.  Profiling of gene duplication patterns of sequenced teleost genomes: evidence for rapid lineage-specific genome expansion mediated by recent tandem duplications 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:246.
Background
Gene duplication has had a major impact on genome evolution. Localized (or tandem) duplication resulting from unequal crossing over and whole genome duplication are believed to be the two dominant mechanisms contributing to vertebrate genome evolution. While much scrutiny has been directed toward discerning patterns indicative of whole-genome duplication events in teleost species, less attention has been paid to the continuous nature of gene duplications and their impact on the size, gene content, functional diversity, and overall architecture of teleost genomes.
Results
Here, using a Markov clustering algorithm directed approach we catalogue and analyze patterns of gene duplication in the four model teleost species with chromosomal coordinates: zebrafish, medaka, stickleback, and Tetraodon. Our analyses based on set size, duplication type, synonymous substitution rate (Ks), and gene ontology emphasize shared and lineage-specific patterns of genome evolution via gene duplication. Most strikingly, our analyses highlight the extraordinary duplication and retention rate of recent duplicates in zebrafish and their likely role in the structural and functional expansion of the zebrafish genome. We find that the zebrafish genome is remarkable in its large number of duplicated genes, small duplicate set size, biased Ks distribution toward minimal mutational divergence, and proportion of tandem and intra-chromosomal duplicates when compared with the other teleost model genomes. The observed gene duplication patterns have played significant roles in shaping the architecture of teleost genomes and appear to have contributed to the recent functional diversification and divergence of important physiological processes in zebrafish.
Conclusions
We have analyzed gene duplication patterns and duplication types among the available teleost genomes and found that a large number of genes were tandemly and intrachromosomally duplicated, suggesting their origin of independent and continuous duplication. This is particularly true for the zebrafish genome. Further analysis of the duplicated gene sets indicated that a significant portion of duplicated genes in the zebrafish genome were of recent, lineage-specific duplication events. Most strikingly, a subset of duplicated genes is enriched among the recently duplicated genes involved in immune or sensory response pathways. Such findings demonstrated the significance of continuous gene duplication as well as that of whole genome duplication in the course of genome evolution.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-246
PMCID: PMC3464592  PMID: 22702965
Gene duplication; Whole genome duplication; Teleost species; Tandem duplication
6.  A pilot study for channel catfish whole genome sequencing and de novo assembly 
BMC Genomics  2011;12:629.
Background
Recent advances in next-generation sequencing technologies have drastically increased throughput and significantly reduced sequencing costs. However, the average read lengths in next-generation sequencing technologies are short as compared with that of traditional Sanger sequencing. The short sequence reads pose great challenges for de novo sequence assembly. As a pilot project for whole genome sequencing of the catfish genome, here we attempt to determine the proper sequence coverage, the proper software for assembly, and various parameters used for the assembly of a BAC physical map contig spanning approximately a million of base pairs.
Results
A combination of low sequence coverage of 454 and Illumina sequencing appeared to provide effective assembly as reflected by a high N50 value. Using 454 sequencing alone, a sequencing depth of 18 X was sufficient to obtain the good quality assembly, whereas a 70 X Illumina appeared to be sufficient for a good quality assembly. Additional sequencing coverage after 18 X of 454 or after 70 X of Illumina sequencing does not provide significant improvement of the assembly. Considering the cost of sequencing, a 2 X 454 sequencing, when coupled to 70 X Illumina sequencing, provided an assembly of reasonably good quality. With several software tested, Newbler with a seed length of 16 and ABySS with a K-value of 60 appear to be appropriate for the assembly of 454 reads alone and Illumina paired-end reads alone, respectively. Using both 454 and Illumina paired-end reads, a hybrid assembly strategy using Newbler for initial 454 sequence assembly, Velvet for initial Illumina sequence assembly, followed by a second step assembly using MIRA provided the best assembly of the physical map contig, resulting in 193 contigs with a N50 value of 13,123 bp.
Conclusions
A hybrid sequencing strategy using low sequencing depth of 454 and high sequencing depth of Illumina provided the good quality assembly with high N50 value and relatively low cost. A combination of Newbler, Velvet, and MIRA can be used to assemble the 454 sequence reads and the Illumina reads effectively. The assembled sequence can serve as a resource for comparative genome analysis. Additional long reads using the third generation sequencing platforms are needed to sequence through repetitive genome regions that should further enhance the sequence assembly.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-629
PMCID: PMC3266365  PMID: 22192763
7.  Generation of genome-scale gene-associated SNPs in catfish for the construction of a high-density SNP array 
BMC Genomics  2011;12:53.
Background
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have become the marker of choice for genome-wide association studies. In order to provide the best genome coverage for the analysis of performance and production traits, a large number of relatively evenly distributed SNPs are needed. Gene-associated SNPs may fulfill these requirements of large numbers and genome wide distribution. In addition, gene-associated SNPs could themselves be causative SNPs for traits. The objective of this project was to identify large numbers of gene-associated SNPs using high-throughput next generation sequencing.
Results
Transcriptome sequencing was conducted for channel catfish and blue catfish using Illumina next generation sequencing technology. Approximately 220 million reads (15.6 Gb) for channel catfish and 280 million reads (19.6 Gb) for blue catfish were obtained by sequencing gene transcripts derived from various tissues of multiple individuals from a diverse genetic background. A total of over 35 billion base pairs of expressed short read sequences were generated. Over two million putative SNPs were identified from channel catfish and almost 2.5 million putative SNPs were identified from blue catfish. Of these putative SNPs, a set of filtered SNPs were identified including 342,104 intra-specific SNPs for channel catfish, 366,269 intra-specific SNPs for blue catfish, and 420,727 inter-specific SNPs between channel catfish and blue catfish. These filtered SNPs are distributed within 16,562 unique genes in channel catfish and 17,423 unique genes in blue catfish.
Conclusions
For aquaculture species, transcriptome analysis of pooled RNA samples from multiple individuals using Illumina sequencing technology is both technically efficient and cost-effective for generating expressed sequences. Such an approach is most effective when coupled to existing EST resources generated using traditional sequencing approaches because the reference ESTs facilitate effective assembly of the expressed short reads. When multiple individuals with different genetic backgrounds are used, RNA-Seq is very effective for the identification of SNPs. The SNPs identified in this report will provide a much needed resource for genetic studies in catfish and will contribute to the development of a high-density SNP array. Validation and testing of these SNPs using SNP arrays will form the material basis for genome association studies and whole genome-based selection in catfish.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-53
PMCID: PMC3033819  PMID: 21255432
8.  Comparative analysis of catfish BAC end sequences with the zebrafish genome 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:592.
Background
Comparative mapping is a powerful tool to transfer genomic information from sequenced genomes to closely related species for which whole genome sequence data are not yet available. However, such an approach is still very limited in catfish, the most important aquaculture species in the United States. This project was initiated to generate additional BAC end sequences and demonstrate their applications in comparative mapping in catfish.
Results
We reported the generation of 43,000 BAC end sequences and their applications for comparative genome analysis in catfish. Using these and the additional 20,000 existing BAC end sequences as a resource along with linkage mapping and existing physical map, conserved syntenic regions were identified between the catfish and zebrafish genomes. A total of 10,943 catfish BAC end sequences (17.3%) had significant BLAST hits to the zebrafish genome (cutoff value ≤ e-5), of which 3,221 were unique gene hits, providing a platform for comparative mapping based on locations of these genes in catfish and zebrafish. Genetic linkage mapping of microsatellites associated with contigs allowed identification of large conserved genomic segments and construction of super scaffolds.
Conclusion
BAC end sequences and their associated polymorphic markers are great resources for comparative genome analysis in catfish. Highly conserved chromosomal regions were identified to exist between catfish and zebrafish. However, it appears that the level of conservation at local genomic regions are high while a high level of chromosomal shuffling and rearrangements exist between catfish and zebrafish genomes. Orthologous regions established through comparative analysis should facilitate both structural and functional genome analysis in catfish.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-10-592
PMCID: PMC2796685  PMID: 20003258
9.  Quality assessment parameters for EST-derived SNPs from catfish 
BMC Genomics  2008;9:450.
Background
SNPs are abundant, codominantly inherited, and sequence-tagged markers. They are highly adaptable to large-scale automated genotyping, and therefore, are most suitable for association studies and applicable to comparative genome analysis. However, discovery of SNPs requires genome sequencing efforts through whole genome sequencing or deep sequencing of reduced representation libraries. Such genome resources are not yet available for many species including catfish. A large resource of ESTs is to become available in catfish allowing identification of large number of SNPs, but reliability of EST-derived SNPs are relatively low because of sequencing errors. This project was designed to answer some of the questions relevant to quality assessment of EST-derived SNPs.
Results
wo factors were found to be most significant for validation of EST-derived SNPs: the contig size (number of sequences in the contig) and the minor allele sequence frequency. The larger the contigs were, the greater the validation rate although the validation rate was reasonably high when the contigs contain four or more EST sequences with the minor allele sequence being represented at least twice in the contigs. Sequence quality surrounding the SNP under test is also crucially important. PCR extension appeared to be limited to a very short distance, prohibiting successful genotyping when an intron was present, a surprising finding.
Conclusion
Stringent quality assessment measures should be used when working with EST-derived SNPs. In particular, contigs containing four or more ESTs should be used and the minor allele sequence should be represented at least twice. Genotyping primers should be designed from a single exon, completely avoiding introns. Application of such quality assessment measures, along with large resources of ESTs, should provide effective means for SNP identification in species where genome sequence resources are lacking.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-450
PMCID: PMC2570692  PMID: 18826589
10.  Towards the ictalurid catfish transcriptome: generation and analysis of 31,215 catfish ESTs 
BMC Genomics  2007;8:177.
Background
EST sequencing is one of the most efficient means for gene discovery and molecular marker development, and can be additionally utilized in both comparative genome analysis and evaluation of gene duplications. While much progress has been made in catfish genomics, large-scale EST resources have been lacking. The objectives of this project were to construct primary cDNA libraries, to conduct initial EST sequencing to generate catfish EST resources, and to obtain baseline information about highly expressed genes in various catfish organs to provide a guide for the production of normalized and subtracted cDNA libraries for large-scale transcriptome analysis in catfish.
Results
A total of 17 cDNA libraries were constructed including 12 from channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and 5 from blue catfish (I. furcatus). A total of 31,215 ESTs, with average length of 778 bp, were generated including 20,451 from the channel catfish and 10,764 from blue catfish. Cluster analysis indicated that 73% of channel catfish and 67% of blue catfish ESTs were unique within the project. Over 53% and 50% of the channel catfish and blue catfish ESTs, respectively, had significant similarities to known genes. All ESTs have been deposited in GenBank. Evaluation of the catfish EST resources demonstrated their potential for molecular marker development, comparative genome analysis, and evaluation of ancient and recent gene duplications. Subtraction of abundantly expressed genes in a variety of catfish tissues, identified here, will allow the production of low-redundancy libraries for in-depth sequencing.
Conclusion
The sequencing of 31,215 ESTs from channel catfish and blue catfish has significantly increased the EST resources in catfish. The EST resources should provide the potential for microarray development, polymorphic marker identification, mapping, and comparative genome analysis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-8-177
PMCID: PMC1906771  PMID: 17577415
11.  Generation and analysis of expressed sequence tags from the ciliate protozoan parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis 
BMC Genomics  2007;8:176.
Background
The ciliate protozoan Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ich) is an important parasite of freshwater fish that causes 'white spot disease' leading to significant losses. A genomic resource for large-scale studies of this parasite has been lacking. To study gene expression involved in Ich pathogenesis and virulence, our goal was to generate expressed sequence tags (ESTs) for the development of a powerful microarray platform for the analysis of global gene expression in this species. Here, we initiated a project to sequence and analyze over 10,000 ESTs.
Results
We sequenced 10,368 EST clones using a normalized cDNA library made from pooled samples of the trophont, tomont, and theront life-cycle stages, and generated 9,769 sequences (94.2% success rate). Post-sequencing processing led to 8,432 high quality sequences. Clustering analysis of these ESTs allowed identification of 4,706 unique sequences containing 976 contigs and 3,730 singletons. These unique sequences represent over two million base pairs (~10% of Plasmodium falciparum genome, a phylogenetically related protozoan). BLASTX searches produced 2,518 significant (E-value < 10-5) hits and further Gene Ontology (GO) analysis annotated 1,008 of these genes. The ESTs were analyzed comparatively against the genomes of the related protozoa Tetrahymena thermophila and P. falciparum, allowing putative identification of additional genes. All the EST sequences were deposited by dbEST in GenBank (GenBank: EG957858–EG966289). Gene discovery and annotations are presented and discussed.
Conclusion
This set of ESTs represents a significant proportion of the Ich transcriptome, and provides a material basis for the development of microarrays useful for gene expression studies concerning Ich development, pathogenesis, and virulence.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-8-176
PMCID: PMC1906770  PMID: 17577414
12.  Generation and analysis of ESTs from the eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica Gmelin and identification of microsatellite and SNP markers 
BMC Genomics  2007;8:157.
Background
The eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin 1791), is an economically important species cultured in many areas in North America. It is also ecologically important because of the impact of its filter feeding behaviour on water quality. Populations of C. virginica have been threatened by overfishing, habitat degradation, and diseases. Through genome research, strategies are being developed to reverse its population decline. However, large-scale expressed sequence tag (EST) resources have been lacking for this species. Efficient generation of EST resources from this species has been hindered by a high redundancy of transcripts. The objectives of this study were to construct a normalized cDNA library for efficient EST analysis, to generate thousands of ESTs, and to analyze the ESTs for microsatellites and potential single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).
Results
A normalized and subtracted C. virginica cDNA library was constructed from pooled RNA isolated from hemocytes, mantle, gill, gonad and digestive tract, muscle, and a whole juvenile oyster. A total of 6,528 clones were sequenced from this library generating 5,542 high-quality EST sequences. Cluster analysis indicated the presence of 635 contigs and 4,053 singletons, generating a total of 4,688 unique sequences. About 46% (2,174) of the unique ESTs had significant hits (E-value ≤ 1e-05) to the non-redundant protein database; 1,104 of which were annotated using Gene Ontology (GO) terms. A total of 35 microsatellites were identified from the ESTs, with 18 having sufficient flanking sequences for primer design. A total of 6,533 putative SNPs were also identified using all existing and the newly generated EST resources of the eastern oysters.
Conclusion
A high quality normalized cDNA library was constructed. A total of 5,542 ESTs were generated representing 4,688 unique sequences. Putative microsatellite and SNP markers were identified. These genome resources provide the material basis for future microarray development, marker validation, and genetic linkage and QTL analysis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-8-157
PMCID: PMC1919373  PMID: 17559679

Results 1-12 (12)