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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  2. 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.
  3. Abstract Multiple lines of genetic and archaeological evidence suggest that there were major demographic changes in the terminal Late Pleistocene epoch and early Holocene epoch of sub-Saharan Africa 1–4 . Inferences about this period are challenging to make because demographic shifts in the past 5,000 years have obscured the structures of more ancient populations 3,5 . Here we present genome-wide ancient DNA data for six individuals from eastern and south-central Africa spanning the past approximately 18,000 years (doubling the time depth of sub-Saharan African ancient DNA), increase the data quality for 15 previously published ancient individuals and analyse these alongside data from 13 other published ancient individuals. The ancestry of the individuals in our study area can be modelled as a geographically structured mixture of three highly divergent source populations, probably reflecting Pleistocene interactions around 80–20 thousand years ago, including deeply diverged eastern and southern African lineages, plus a previously unappreciated ubiquitous distribution of ancestry that occurs in highest proportion today in central African rainforest hunter-gatherers. Once established, this structure remained highly stable, with limited long-range gene flow. These results provide a new line of genetic evidence in support of hypotheses that have emerged from archaeological analyses but remain contested, suggesting increasing regionalizationmore »at the end of the Pleistocene epoch.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 10, 2023
  4. 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.
  5. 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 inmore »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.« less