- Heitman, Joseph
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- National Science Foundation
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INTRODUCTION Transposable elements (TEs), repeat expansions, and repeat-mediated structural rearrangements play key roles in chromosome structure and species evolution, contribute to human genetic variation, and substantially influence human health through copy number variants, structural variants, insertions, deletions, and alterations to gene transcription and splicing. Despite their formative role in genome stability, repetitive regions have been relegated to gaps and collapsed regions in human genome reference GRCh38 owing to the technological limitations during its development. The lack of linear sequence in these regions, particularly in centromeres, resulted in the inability to fully explore the repeat content of the human genome in the context of both local and regional chromosomal environments. RATIONALE Long-read sequencing supported the complete, telomere-to-telomere (T2T) assembly of the pseudo-haploid human cell line CHM13. This resource affords a genome-scale assessment of all human repetitive sequences, including TEs and previously unknown repeats and satellites, both within and outside of gaps and collapsed regions. Additionally, a complete genome enables the opportunity to explore the epigenetic and transcriptional profiles of these elements that are fundamental to our understanding of chromosome structure, function, and evolution. Comparative analyses reveal modes of repeat divergence, evolution, and expansion or contraction with locus-level resolution. RESULTS We implementedmore »
INTRODUCTION To faithfully distribute genetic material to daughter cells during cell division, spindle fibers must couple to DNA by means of a structure called the kinetochore, which assembles at each chromosome’s centromere. Human centromeres are located within large arrays of tandemly repeated DNA sequences known as alpha satellite (αSat), which often span millions of base pairs on each chromosome. Arrays of αSat are frequently surrounded by other types of tandem satellite repeats, which have poorly understood functions, along with nonrepetitive sequences, including transcribed genes. Previous genome sequencing efforts have been unable to generate complete assemblies of satellite-rich regions because of their scale and repetitive nature, limiting the ability to study their organization, variation, and function. RATIONALE Pericentromeric and centromeric (peri/centromeric) satellite DNA sequences have remained almost entirely missing from the assembled human reference genome for the past 20 years. Using a complete, telomere-to-telomere (T2T) assembly of a human genome, we developed and deployed tailored computational approaches to reveal the organization and evolutionary patterns of these satellite arrays at both large and small length scales. We also performed experiments to map precisely which αSat repeats interact with kinetochore proteins. Last, we compared peri/centromeric regions among multiple individuals to understand how thesemore »
Helicase LSH/Hells regulates kinetochore function, histone H3/Thr3 phosphorylation and centromere transcription during oocyte meiosisAbstract Centromeres are epigenetically determined nuclear domains strictly required for chromosome segregation and genome stability. However, the mechanisms regulating centromere and kinetochore chromatin modifications are not known. Here, we demonstrate that LSH is enriched at meiotic kinetochores and its targeted deletion induces centromere instability and abnormal chromosome segregation. Superresolution chromatin analysis resolves LSH at the inner centromere and kinetochores during oocyte meiosis. LSH knockout pachytene oocytes exhibit reduced HDAC2 and DNMT-1. Notably, mutant oocytes show a striking increase in histone H3 phosphorylation at threonine 3 (H3T3ph) and accumulation of major satellite transcripts in both prophase-I and metaphase-I chromosomes. Moreover, knockout oocytes exhibit centromere fusions, ectopic kinetochore formation and abnormal exchange of chromatin fibers between paired bivalents and asynapsed chromosomes. Our results indicate that loss of LSH affects the levels and chromosomal localization of H3T3ph and provide evidence that, by maintaining transcriptionally repressive heterochromatin, LSH may be essential to prevent deleterious meiotic recombination events at repetitive centromeric sequences.
A chromosome-level genome assembly and annotation of the desert horned lizard, Phrynosoma platyrhinos , provides insight into chromosomal rearrangements among reptiles
The increasing number of chromosome-level genome assemblies has advanced our knowledge and understanding of macroevolutionary processes. Here, we introduce the genome of the desert horned lizard, Phrynosoma platyrhinos, an iguanid lizard occupying extreme desert conditions of the American southwest. We conduct analysis of the chromosomal structure and composition of this species and compare these features across genomes of 12 other reptiles (5 species of lizards, 3 snakes, 3 turtles, and 1 bird).
The desert horned lizard genome was sequenced using Illumina paired-end reads and assembled and scaffolded using Dovetail Genomics Hi-C and Chicago long-range contact data. The resulting genome assembly has a total length of 1,901.85 Mb, scaffold N50 length of 273.213 Mb, and includes 5,294 scaffolds. The chromosome-level assembly is composed of 6 macrochromosomes and 11 microchromosomes. A total of 20,764 genes were annotated in the assembly. GC content and gene density are higher for microchromosomes than macrochromosomes, while repeat element distributions show the opposite trend. Pathway analyses provide preliminary evidence that microchromosome and macrochromosome gene content are functionally distinct. Synteny analysis indicates that large microchromosome blocks are conserved among closely related species, whereas macrochromosomes show evidence of frequent fusion and fission events among reptiles, even between closelymore »
Our results demonstrate dynamic karyotypic evolution across Reptilia, with frequent inferred splits, fusions, and rearrangements that have resulted in shuffling of chromosomal blocks between macrochromosomes and microchromosomes. Our analyses also provide new evidence for distinct gene content and chromosomal structure between microchromosomes and macrochromosomes within reptiles.
Recent loss of the Dim2 DNA methyltransferase decreases mutation rate in repeats and changes evolutionary trajectory in a fungal pathogenKrasileva, Ksenia (Ed.)DNA methylation is found throughout all domains of life, yet the extent and function of DNA methylation differ among eukaryotes. Strains of the plant pathogenic fungus Zymoseptoria tritici appeared to lack cytosine DNA methylation (5mC) because gene amplification followed by Repeat-Induced Point mutation (RIP) resulted in the inactivation of the dim2 DNA methyltransferase gene. 5mC is, however, present in closely related sister species. We demonstrate that inactivation of dim2 occurred recently as some Z . tritici isolates carry a functional dim2 gene. Moreover, we show that dim2 inactivation occurred by a different path than previously hypothesized. We mapped the genome-wide distribution of 5mC in strains with or without functional dim2 alleles. Presence of functional dim2 correlates with high levels of 5mC in transposable elements (TEs), suggesting a role in genome defense. We identified low levels of 5mC in strains carrying non-functional dim2 alleles, suggesting that 5mC is maintained over time, presumably by an active Dnmt5 DNA methyltransferase. Integration of a functional dim2 allele in strains with mutated dim2 restored normal 5mC levels, demonstrating de novo cytosine methylation activity of Dim2. To assess the importance of 5mC for genome evolution, we performed an evolution experiment, comparing genomes of strains with highmore »