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  1. Abstract Background

    The barnacles are a group of >2,000 species that have fascinated biologists, including Darwin, for centuries. Their lifestyles are extremely diverse, from free-swimming larvae to sessile adults, and even root-like endoparasites. Barnacles also cause hundreds of millions of dollars of losses annually due to biofouling. However, genomic resources for crustaceans, and barnacles in particular, are lacking.


    Using 62× Pacific Biosciences coverage, 189× Illumina whole-genome sequencing coverage, 203× HiC coverage, and 69× CHi-C coverage, we produced a chromosome-level genome assembly of the gooseneck barnacle Pollicipes pollicipes. The P. pollicipes genome is 770 Mb long and its assembly is one of the most contiguous and complete crustacean genomes available, with a scaffold N50 of 47 Mb and 90.5% of the BUSCO Arthropoda gene set. Using the genome annotation produced here along with transcriptomes of 13 other barnacle species, we completed phylogenomic analyses on a nearly 2 million amino acid alignment. Contrary to previous studies, our phylogenies suggest that the Pollicipedomorpha is monophyletic and sister to the Balanomorpha, which alters our understanding of barnacle larval evolution and suggests homoplasy in a number of naupliar characters. We also compared transcriptomes of P. pollicipes nauplius larvae and adults and found that nearly one-half of the genes in the genome are differentially expressed, highlighting the vastly different transcriptomes of larvae and adult gooseneck barnacles. Annotation of the genes with KEGG and GO terms reveals that these stages exhibit many differences including cuticle binding, chitin binding, microtubule motor activity, and membrane adhesion.


    This study provides high-quality genomic resources for a key group of crustaceans. This is especially valuable given the roles P. pollicipes plays in European fisheries, as a sentinel species for coastal ecosystems, and as a model for studying barnacle adhesion as well as its key position in the barnacle tree of life. A combination of genomic, phylogenetic, and transcriptomic analyses here provides valuable insights into the evolution and development of barnacles.

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  2. INTRODUCTION One of the central applications of the human reference genome has been to serve as a baseline for comparison in nearly all human genomic studies. Unfortunately, many difficult regions of the reference genome have remained unresolved for decades and are affected by collapsed duplications, missing sequences, and other issues. Relative to the current human reference genome, GRCh38, the Telomere-to-Telomere CHM13 (T2T-CHM13) genome closes all remaining gaps, adds nearly 200 million base pairs (Mbp) of sequence, corrects thousands of structural errors, and unlocks the most complex regions of the human genome for scientific inquiry. RATIONALE We demonstrate how the T2T-CHM13 reference genome universally improves read mapping and variant identification in a globally diverse cohort. This cohort includes all 3202 samples from the expanded 1000 Genomes Project (1KGP), sequenced with short reads, as well as 17 globally diverse samples sequenced with long reads. By applying state-of-the-art methods for calling single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) and structural variants (SVs), we document the strengths and limitations of T2T-CHM13 relative to its predecessors and highlight its promise for revealing new biological insights within technically challenging regions of the genome. RESULTS Across the 1KGP samples, we found more than 1 million additional high-quality variants genome-wide using T2T-CHM13 than with GRCh38. Within previously unresolved regions of the genome, we identified hundreds of thousands of variants per sample—a promising opportunity for evolutionary and biomedical discovery. T2T-CHM13 improves the Mendelian concordance rate among trios and eliminates tens of thousands of spurious SNVs per sample, including a reduction of false positives in 269 challenging, medically relevant genes by up to a factor of 12. These corrections are in large part due to improvements to 70 protein-coding genes in >9 Mbp of inaccurate sequence caused by falsely collapsed or duplicated regions in GRCh38. Using the T2T-CHM13 genome also yields a more comprehensive view of SVs genome-wide, with a greatly improved balance of insertions and deletions. Finally, by providing numerous resources for T2T-CHM13 (including 1KGP genotypes, accessibility masks, and prominent annotation databases), our work will facilitate the transition to T2T-CHM13 from the current reference genome. CONCLUSION The vast improvements in variant discovery across samples of diverse ancestries position T2T-CHM13 to succeed as the next prevailing reference for human genetics. T2T-CHM13 thus offers a model for the construction and study of high-quality reference genomes from globally diverse individuals, such as is now being pursued through collaboration with the Human Pangenome Reference Consortium. As a foundation, our work underscores the benefits of an accurate and complete reference genome for revealing diversity across human populations. Genomic features and resources available for T2T-CHM13. Comparisons to GRCh38 reveal broad improvements in SNVs, indels, and SVs discovered across diverse human populations by means of short-read (1KGP) and long-read sequencing (LRS). These improvements are due to resolution of complex genomic loci (nonsyntenic and previously unresolved), duplication errors, and discordant haplotypes, including those in medically relevant genes. 
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  3. In October 2021, 59 scientists from 14 countries and 13 U.S. states collaborated virtually in the Third Annual Baylor College of Medicine & DNANexus Structural Variation hackathon. The goal of the hackathon was to advance research on structural variants (SVs) by prototyping and iterating on open-source software. This led to nine hackathon projects focused on diverse genomics research interests, including various SV discovery and genotyping methods, SV sequence reconstruction, and clinically relevant structural variation, including SARS-CoV-2 variants. Repositories for the projects that participated in the hackathon are available at 
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