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  1. Abstract

    Single-cell ATAC-seq has emerged as a powerful approach for revealing candidate cis-regulatory elements genome-wide at cell-type resolution. However, current single-cell methods suffer from limited throughput and high costs. Here, we present a novel technique called scifi-ATAC-seq, single-cell combinatorial fluidic indexing ATAC-sequencing, which combines a barcoded Tn5 pre-indexing step with droplet-based single-cell ATAC-seq using the 10X Genomics platform. With scifi-ATAC-seq, up to 200,000 nuclei across multiple samples can be indexed in a single emulsion reaction, representing an approximately 20-fold increase in throughput compared to the standard 10X Genomics workflow.

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  2. The ease and throughput of single-cell genomics have steadily improved, and its current trajectory suggests that surveying single-cell populations will become routine. We discuss the merger of quantitative genetics with single-cell genomics and emphasize how this synergizes with advantages intrinsic to plants. Single-cell population genomics provides increased detection resolution when mapping variants that control molecular traits, including gene expression or chromatin accessibility. Additionally, single-cell population genomics reveals the cell types in which variants act and, when combined with organism-level phenotype measurements, unveils which cellular contexts impact higher-order traits. Emerging technologies, notably multiomics, can facilitate the measurement of both genetic changes and genomic traits in single cells, enabling single-cell genetic experiments. The implementation of single-cell genetics will advance the investigation of the genetic architecture of complex molecular traits and provide new experimental paradigms to study eukaryotic genetics.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 27, 2024
  3. cis-Regulatory elements encode the genomic blueprints that ensure the proper spatiotemporal patterning of gene expression necessary for appropriate development and responses to the environment. Accumulating evidence implicates changes to gene expression as a major source of phenotypic novelty in eukaryotes, including acute phenotypes such as disease and cancer in mammals. Moreover, genetic and epigenetic variation affecting cis-regulatory sequences over longer evolutionary timescales has become a recurring theme in studies of morphological divergence and local adaptation. Here, we discuss the functions of and methods used to identify various classes of cis-regulatory elements, as well as their role in plant development and response to the environment. We highlight opportunities to exploit cis-regulatory variants underlying plant development and environmental responses for crop improvement efforts. Although a comprehensive understanding of cis-regulatory mechanisms in plants has lagged behind that in animals, we showcase several breakthrough findings that have profoundly influenced plant biology and shaped the overall understanding of transcriptional regulation in eukaryotes. 
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  4. Core Ideas Cross‐species models of chromatin state from sequence are comparable or superior to within‐species models. Model performance is highest on accessible regions open in many tissues. Transcription factor motifs can be ranked by importance to each species and chromatin state. 
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  5. 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 histone modification data can be leveraged to rapidly improve current genome annotations across diverse plant lineages. 
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