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Title: The genome polishing tool POLCA makes fast and accurate corrections in genome assemblies
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PLOS Computational Biology
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National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract Background Calcareous outcrops, rocky areas composed of calcium carbonate (CaCO 3 ), often host a diverse, specialized, and threatened biomineralizing fauna. Despite the repeated evolution of physiological and morphological adaptations to colonize these mineral rich substrates, there is a lack of genomic resources for calcareous rock endemic species. This has hampered our ability to understand the genomic mechanisms underlying calcareous rock specialization and manage these threatened species. Results Here, we present a new draft genome assembly of the threatened limestone endemic land snail Oreohelix idahoensis and genome skim data for two other Oreohelix species. The O. idahoensis genome assembly (scaffold N50: 404.19 kb; 86.6% BUSCO genes) is the largest (~ 5.4 Gb) and most repetitive mollusc genome assembled to date (85.74% assembly size). The repetitive landscape was unusually dominated by an expansion of long terminal repeat (LTR) transposable elements (57.73% assembly size) which have shaped the evolution genome size, gene composition through retrotransposition of host genes, and ectopic recombination. Genome skims revealed repeat content is more than 2–3 fold higher in limestone endemic O. idahoensis compared to non-calcareous Oreohelix species. Gene family size analysis revealed stress and biomineralization genes have expanded significantly in the O. idahoensis genome . Conclusions Hundreds of threatened land snail species are endemic to calcareous rock regions but there are very few genomic resources available to guide their conservation or determine the genomic architecture underlying CaCO 3 resource specialization. Our study provides one of the first high quality draft genomes of a calcareous rock endemic land snail which will serve as a foundation for the conservation genomics of this threatened species and for other groups. The high proportion and activity of LTRs in the O. idahoensis genome is unprecedented in molluscan genomics and sheds new light how transposable element content can vary across molluscs. The genomic resources reported here will enable further studies of the genomic mechanisms underlying calcareous rock specialization and the evolution of transposable element content across molluscs. 
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    Ferns are notorious for possessing large genomes and numerous chromosomes. Despite decades of speculation, the processes underlying the expansive genomes of ferns are unclear, largely due to the absence of a sequenced homosporous fern genome. The lack of this crucial resource has not only hindered investigations of evolutionary processes responsible for the unusual genome characteristics of homosporous ferns, but also impeded synthesis of genome evolution across land plants. Here, we used the model fern speciesCeratopteris richardiito address the processes (e.g., polyploidy, spread of repeat elements) by which the large genomes and high chromosome numbers typical of homosporous ferns may have evolved and have been maintained. We directly compared repeat compositions in species spanning the green plant tree of life and a diversity of genome sizes, as well as both short- and long-read-based assemblies ofCeratopteris. We found evidence consistent with a single ancient polyploidy event in the evolutionary history ofCeratopterisbased on both genomic and cytogenetic data, and on repeat proportions similar to those found in large flowering plant genomes. This study provides a major stepping-stone in the understanding of land plant evolutionary genomics by providing the first homosporous fern reference genome, as well as insights into the processes underlying the formation of these massive genomes.

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