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  1. Abstract

    Hybridization capture approaches allow targeted high-throughput sequencing analysis at reduced costs compared to shotgun sequencing. Hybridization capture is particularly useful in analyses of genomic data from ancient, environmental, and forensic samples, where target content is low, DNA is fragmented and multiplex PCR or other targeted approaches often fail. Here, we describe a DNA bait synthesis approach for hybridization capture that we call Circular Nucleic acid Enrichment Reagent, or CNER (pronounced ‘snare’). The CNER method uses rolling-circle amplification followed by restriction digestion to discretize microgram quantities of hybridization probes. We demonstrate the utility of the CNER method by generating probes for a panel of 23 771 known sites of single nucleotide polymorphism in the horse genome. Using these probes, we capture and sequence from a panel of ten ancient horse DNA libraries, comparing CNER capture efficiency to a commercially available approach. With about one million read pairs per sample, CNERs captured more targets (90.5% versus 66.5%) at greater mean depth than an alternative commercial approach.

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  2. Abstract Organ-on-a-chip systems combine microfluidics, cell biology, and tissue engineering to culture 3D organ-specific in vitro models that recapitulate the biology and physiology of their in vivo counterparts. Here, we have developed a multiplex platform that automates the culture of individual organoids in isolated microenvironments at user-defined media flow rates. Programmable workflows allow the use of multiple reagent reservoirs that may be applied to direct differentiation, study temporal variables, and grow cultures long term. Novel techniques in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) chip fabrication are described here that enable features on the upper and lower planes of a single PDMS substrate. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis of automated cerebral cortex organoid cultures shows benefits in reducing glycolytic and endoplasmic reticulum stress compared to conventional in vitro cell cultures. 
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  3. Abstract

    The Javan gibbon, Hylobates moloch, is an endangered gibbon species restricted to the forest remnants of western and central Java, Indonesia, and one of the rarest of the Hylobatidae family. Hylobatids consist of 4 genera (Holoock, Hylobates, Symphalangus, and Nomascus) that are characterized by different numbers of chromosomes, ranging from 38 to 52. The underlying cause of this karyotype plasticity is not entirely understood, at least in part, due to the limited availability of genomic data. Here we present the first scaffold-level assembly for H. moloch using a combination of whole-genome Illumina short reads, 10X Chromium linked reads, PacBio, and Oxford Nanopore long reads and proximity-ligation data. This Hylobates genome represents a valuable new resource for comparative genomics studies in primates.

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  4. Many humans carry genes from Neanderthals, a legacy of past admixture. Existing methods detect this archaic hominin ancestry within human genomes using patterns of linkage disequilibrium or direct comparison to Neanderthal genomes. Each of these methods is limited in sensitivity and scalability. We describe a new ancestral recombination graph inference algorithm that scales to large genome-wide datasets and demonstrate its accuracy on real and simulated data. We then generate a genome-wide ancestral recombination graph including human and archaic hominin genomes. From this, we generate a map within human genomes of archaic ancestry and of genomic regions not shared with archaic hominins either by admixture or incomplete lineage sorting. We find that only 1.5 to 7% of the modern human genome is uniquely human. We also find evidence of multiple bursts of adaptive changes specific to modern humans within the past 600,000 years involving genes related to brain development and function. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    Abstract The Andean bear is the only extant member of the Tremarctine subfamily and the only extant ursid species to inhabit South America. Here, we present an annotated de novo assembly of a nuclear genome from a captive-born female Andean bear, Mischief, generated using a combination of short and long DNA and RNA reads. Our final assembly has a length of 2.23 Gb, and a scaffold N50 of 21.12 Mb, contig N50 of 23.5 kb, and BUSCO score of 88%. The Andean bear genome will be a useful resource for exploring the complex phylogenetic history of extinct and extant bear species and for future population genetics studies of Andean bears. 
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  6. Koepfli, Klaus-Peter (Ed.)
    Abstract Bison are an icon of the American West and an ecologically, commercially, and culturally important species. Despite numbering in the hundreds of thousands today, conservation concerns remain for the species, including the impact on genetic diversity of a severe bottleneck around the turn of the 20th century and genetic introgression from domestic cattle. Genetic diversity and admixture are best evaluated at genome-wide scale, for which a high-quality reference is necessary. Here, we use trio binning of long reads from a bison–Simmental cattle (Bos taurus taurus) male F1 hybrid to sequence and assemble the genome of the American plains bison (Bison bison bison). The male haplotype genome is chromosome-scale, with a total length of 2.65 Gb across 775 scaffolds (839 contigs) and a scaffold N50 of 87.8 Mb. Our bison genome is ~13× more contiguous overall and ~3400× more contiguous at the contig level than the current bison reference genome. The bison genome sequence presented here (ARS-UCSC_bison1.0) will enable new research into the evolutionary history of this iconic megafauna species and provide a new tool for the management of bison populations in federal and commercial herds. 
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  7. Koepfli, Klaus-Peter (Ed.)
    Abstract Genomics research has relied principally on the establishment and curation of a reference genome for the species. However, it is increasingly recognized that a single reference genome cannot fully describe the extent of genetic variation within many widely distributed species. Pangenome representations are based on high-quality genome assemblies of multiple individuals and intended to represent the broadest possible diversity within a species. A Bovine Pangenome Consortium (BPC) has recently been established to begin assembling genomes from more than 600 recognized breeds of cattle, together with other related species to provide information on ancestral alleles and haplotypes. Previously reported de novo genome assemblies for Angus, Brahman, Hereford, and Highland breeds of cattle are part of the initial BPC effort. The present report describes a complete single haplotype assembly at chromosome-scale for a fullblood Simmental cow from an F1 bison–cattle hybrid fetus by trio binning. Simmental cattle, also known as Fleckvieh due to their red and white spots, originated in central Europe in the 1830s as a triple-purpose breed selected for draught, meat, and dairy production. There are over 50 million Simmental cattle in the world, known today for their fast growth and beef yields. This assembly (ARS_Simm1.0) is similar in length to the other bovine assemblies at 2.86 Gb, with a scaffold N50 of 102 Mb (max scaffold 156.8 Mb) and meets or exceeds the continuity of the best Bos taurus reference assemblies to date. 
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  8. Cordaux, Richard (Ed.)
    Abstract Crocodilians are an economically, culturally, and biologically important group. To improve researchers’ ability to study genome structure, evolution, and gene regulation in the clade, we generated a high-quality de novo genome assembly of the saltwater crocodile, Crocodylus porosus, from Illumina short read data from genomic libraries and in vitro proximity-ligation libraries. The assembled genome is 2,123.5 Mb, with N50 scaffold size of 17.7 Mb and N90 scaffold size of 3.8 Mb. We then annotated this new assembly, increasing the number of annotated genes by 74%. In total, 96% of 23,242 annotated genes were associated with a functional protein domain. Furthermore, multiple noncoding functional regions and mappable genetic markers were identified. Upon analysis and overlapping the results of branch length estimation and site selection tests for detecting potential selection, we found 16 putative genes under positive selection in crocodilians, 10 in C. porosus and 6 in Alligator mississippiensis. The annotated C. porosus genome will serve as an important platform for osmoregulatory, physiological, and sex determination studies, as well as an important reference in investigating the phylogenetic relationships of crocodilians, birds, and other tetrapods. 
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  9. Abstract The current human reference genome, GRCh38, represents over 20 years of effort to generate a high-quality assembly, which has benefitted society 1,2 . However, it still has many gaps and errors, and does not represent a biological genome as it is a blend of multiple individuals 3,4 . Recently, a high-quality telomere-to-telomere reference, CHM13, was generated with the latest long-read technologies, but it was derived from a hydatidiform mole cell line with a nearly homozygous genome 5 . To address these limitations, the Human Pangenome Reference Consortium formed with the goal of creating high-quality, cost-effective, diploid genome assemblies for a pangenome reference that represents human genetic diversity 6 . Here, in our first scientific report, we determined which combination of current genome sequencing and assembly approaches yield the most complete and accurate diploid genome assembly with minimal manual curation. Approaches that used highly accurate long reads and parent–child data with graph-based haplotype phasing during assembly outperformed those that did not. Developing a combination of the top-performing methods, we generated our first high-quality diploid reference assembly, containing only approximately four gaps per chromosome on average, with most chromosomes within ±1% of the length of CHM13. Nearly 48% of protein-coding genes have non-synonymous amino acid changes between haplotypes, and centromeric regions showed the highest diversity. Our findings serve as a foundation for assembling near-complete diploid human genomes at scale for a pangenome reference to capture global genetic variation from single nucleotides to structural rearrangements. 
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