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Creators/Authors contains: "Cheng, Hans H."

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  1. Abstract Gene regulatory elements are central drivers of phenotypic variation and thus of critical importance towards understanding the genetics of complex traits. The Functional Annotation of Animal Genomes consortium was formed to collaboratively annotate the functional elements in animal genomes, starting with domesticated animals. Here we present an expansive collection of datasets from eight diverse tissues in three important agricultural species: chicken ( Gallus gallus ), pig ( Sus scrofa ), and cattle ( Bos taurus ). Comparative analysis of these datasets and those from the human and mouse Encyclopedia of DNA Elements projects reveal that a core set of regulatory elements are functionally conserved independent of divergence between species, and that tissue-specific transcription factor occupancy at regulatory elements and their predicted target genes are also conserved. These datasets represent a unique opportunity for the emerging field of comparative epigenomics, as well as the agricultural research community, including species that are globally important food resources.
  2. We investigated genome folding across the eukaryotic tree of life. We find two types of three-dimensional (3D) genome architectures at the chromosome scale. Each type appears and disappears repeatedly during eukaryotic evolution. The type of genome architecture that an organism exhibits correlates with the absence of condensin II subunits. Moreover, condensin II depletion converts the architecture of the human genome to a state resembling that seen in organisms such as fungi or mosquitoes. In this state, centromeres cluster together at nucleoli, and heterochromatin domains merge. We propose a physical model in which lengthwise compaction of chromosomes by condensin II during mitosis determines chromosome-scale genome architecture, with effects that are retained during the subsequent interphase. This mechanism likely has been conserved since the last common ancestor of all eukaryotes.