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Creators/Authors contains: "Marand, Alexandre P"

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  3. Hufford, M (Ed.)
    Abstract Accurate genome annotations are essential to modern biology; however, they remain challenging to produce. Variation in gene structure and expression across species, as well as within an organism, make correctly annotating genes arduous; an issue exacerbated by pitfalls in current in silico methods. These issues necessitate complementary approaches to add additional confidence and rectify potential misannotations. Integration of epigenomic data into genome annotation is one such approach. In this study, we utilized sets of histone modification data, which are precisely distributed at either gene bodies or promoters to evaluate the annotation of the Zea mays genome. We leveraged these data genome wide, allowing for identification of annotations discordant with empirical data. In total, 13,159 annotation discrepancies were found in Z. mays upon integrating data across three different tissues, which were corroborated using RNA-based approaches. Upon correction, genes were extended by an average of 2128 base pairs, and we identified 2529 novel genes. Application of this method to five additional plant genomes identified a series of misannotations, as well as identified novel genes, including 13,836 in Asparagus officinalis, 2724 in Setaria viridis, 2446 in Sorghum bicolor, 8631 in Glycine max, and 2585 in Phaseolous vulgaris. This study demonstrates that histonemore »modification data can be leveraged to rapidly improve current genome annotations across diverse plant lineages.« less
  4. null (Ed.)
  5. Abstract Epigenomics is the study of molecular signatures associated with discrete regions within genomes, many of which are important for a wide range of nuclear processes. The ability to profile the epigenomic landscape associated with genes, repetitive regions, transposons, transcription, differential expression, cis-regulatory elements, and 3D chromatin interactions has vastly improved our understanding of plant genomes. However, many epigenomic and single-cell genomic assays are challenging to perform in plants, leading to a wide range of data quality issues; thus, the data require rigorous evaluation prior to downstream analyses and interpretation. In this commentary, we provide considerations for the evaluation of plant epigenomics and single-cell genomics data quality with the aim of improving the quality and utility of studies using those data across diverse plant species.
  6. Abstract Accessible chromatin and unmethylated DNA are associated with many genes and cis-regulatory elements. Attempts to understand natural variation for accessible chromatin regions (ACRs) and unmethylated regions (UMRs) often rely upon alignments to a single reference genome. This limits the ability to assess regions that are absent in the reference genome assembly and monitor how nearby structural variants influence variation in chromatin state. In this study, de novo genome assemblies for four maize inbreds (B73, Mo17, Oh43, and W22) are utilized to assess chromatin accessibility and DNA methylation patterns in a pan-genome context. A more complete set of UMRs and ACRs can be identified when chromatin data are aligned to the matched genome rather than a single reference genome. While there are UMRs and ACRs present within genomic regions that are not shared between genotypes, these features are 6- to 12-fold enriched within regions between genomes. Characterization of UMRs present within shared genomic regions reveals that most UMRs maintain the unmethylated state in other genotypes with only ∼5% being polymorphic between genotypes. However, the majority (71%) of UMRs that are shared between genotypes only exhibit partial overlaps suggesting that the boundaries between methylated and unmethylated DNA are dynamic. This instabilitymore »is not solely due to sequence variation as these partially overlapping UMRs are frequently found within genomic regions that lack sequence variation. The ability to compare chromatin properties among individuals with structural variation enables pan-epigenome analyses to study the sources of variation for accessible chromatin and unmethylated DNA.« less
  7. Bomblies, K (Ed.)
    Abstract Transposable elements (TEs) have the potential to create regulatory variation both through the disruption of existing DNA regulatory elements and through the creation of novel DNA regulatory elements. In a species with a large genome, such as maize, many TEs interspersed with genes create opportunities for significant allelic variation due to TE presence/absence polymorphisms among individuals. We used information on putative regulatory elements in combination with knowledge about TE polymorphisms in maize to identify TE insertions that interrupt existing accessible chromatin regions (ACRs) in B73 as well as examples of polymorphic TEs that contain ACRs among four inbred lines of maize including B73, Mo17, W22, and PH207. The TE insertions in three other assembled maize genomes (Mo17, W22, or PH207) that interrupt ACRs that are present in the B73 genome can trigger changes to the chromatin, suggesting the potential for both genetic and epigenetic influences of these insertions. Nearly 20% of the ACRs located over 2 kb from the nearest gene are located within an annotated TE. These are regions of unmethylated DNA that show evidence for functional importance similar to ACRs that are not present within TEs. Using a large panel of maize genotypes, we tested if theremore »is an association between the presence of TE insertions that interrupt, or carry, an ACR and the expression of nearby genes. While most TE polymorphisms are not associated with expression for nearby genes, the TEs that carry ACRs exhibit enrichment for being associated with higher expression of nearby genes, suggesting that these TEs may contribute novel regulatory elements. These analyses highlight the potential for a subset of TEs to rewire transcriptional responses in eukaryotic genomes.« less
  8. The genomic sequences of crops continue to be produced at a frenetic pace. It remains challenging to develop complete annotations of functional genes and regulatory elements in these genomes. Chromatin accessibility assays enable discovery of functional elements; however, to uncover the full portfolio of cis-elements would require profiling of many combinations of cell types, tissues, developmental stages, and environments. Here, we explore the potential to use DNA methylation profiles to develop more complete annotations. Using leaf tissue in maize, we define ∼100,000 unmethylated regions (UMRs) that account for 5.8% of the genome; 33,375 UMRs are found greater than 2 kb from genes. UMRs are highly stable in multiple vegetative tissues, and they capture the vast majority of accessible chromatin regions from leaf tissue. However, many UMRs are not accessible in leaf, and these represent regions with potential to become accessible in specific cell types or developmental stages. These UMRs often occur near genes that are expressed in other tissues and are enriched for binding sites of transcription factors. The leaf-inaccessible UMRs exhibit unique chromatin modification patterns and are enriched for chromatin interactions with nearby genes. The total UMR space in four additional monocots ranges from 80 to 120 megabases, whichmore »is remarkably similar considering the range in genome size of 271 megabases to 4.8 gigabases. In summary, based on the profile from a single tissue, DNA methylation signatures provide powerful filters to distill large genomes down to the small fraction of putative functional genes and regulatory elements.

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