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  1. Shao, Mingfu (Ed.)
    Third-generation sequencing technologies can generate very long reads with relatively high error rates. The lengths of the reads, which sometimes exceed one million bases, make them invaluable for resolving complex repeats that cannot be assembled using shorter reads. Many high-quality genome assemblies have already been produced, curated, and annotated using the previous generation of sequencing data, and full re-assembly of these genomes with long reads is not always practical or cost-effective. One strategy to upgrade existing assemblies is to generate additional coverage using long-read data, and add that to the previously assembled contigs. SAMBA is a tool that is designed to scaffold and gap-fill existing genome assemblies with additional long-read data, resulting in substantially greater contiguity. SAMBA is the only tool of its kind that also computes and fills in the sequence for all spanned gaps in the scaffolds, yielding much longer contigs. Here we compare SAMBA to several similar tools capable of re-scaffolding assemblies using long-read data, and we show that SAMBA yields better contiguity and introduces fewer errors than competing methods. SAMBA is open-source software that is distributed at https://github.com/alekseyzimin/masurca .
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 4, 2023
  2. Abstract Summary

    PhyloCSF++ is an efficient and parallelized C++ implementation of the popular PhyloCSF method to distinguish protein-coding and non-coding regions in a genome based on multiple sequence alignments (MSAs). It can score alignments or produce browser tracks for entire genomes in the wig file format. Additionally, PhyloCSF++ annotates coding sequences in GFF/GTF files using precomputed tracks or computes and scores MSAs on the fly with MMseqs2.

    Availability and implementation

    PhyloCSF++ is released under the AGPLv3 license. Binaries and source code are available at https://github.com/cpockrandt/PhyloCSFpp. The software can be installed through bioconda. A variety of tracks can be accessed through ftp://ftp.ccb.jhu.edu/pub/software/phylocsfpp/.

  3. Abstract

    The genusQuercus, which emerged ∼55 million years ago during globally warm temperatures, diversified into ∼450 extant species. We present a high-quality de novo genome assembly of a California endemic oak,Quercus lobata, revealing features consistent with oak evolutionary success. Effective population size remained large throughout history despite declining since early Miocene. Analysis of 39,373 mapped protein-coding genes outlined copious duplications consistent with genetic and phenotypic diversity, both by retention of genes created during the ancient γ whole genome hexaploid duplication event and by tandem duplication within families, including numerous resistance genes and a very large block of duplicated DUF247 genes, which have been found to be associated with self-incompatibility in grasses. An additional surprising finding is that subcontext-specific patterns of DNA methylation associated with transposable elements reveal broadly-distributed heterochromatin in intergenic regions, similar to grasses. Collectively, these features promote genetic and phenotypic variation that would facilitate adaptability to changing environments.

  4. Rzhetsky, Andrey (Ed.)
    GC skew is a phenomenon observed in many bacterial genomes, wherein the two replication strands of the same chromosome contain different proportions of guanine and cytosine nucleotides. Here we demonstrate that this phenomenon, which was first discovered in the mid-1990s, can be used today as an analysis tool for the 15,000+ complete bacterial genomes in NCBI’s Refseq library. In order to analyze all 15,000+ genomes, we introduce a new method, SkewIT (Skew Index Test), that calculates a single metric representing the degree of GC skew for a genome. Using this metric, we demonstrate how GC skew patterns are conserved within certain bacterial phyla, e.g. Firmicutes, but show different patterns in other phylogenetic groups such as Actinobacteria. We also discovered that outlier values of SkewIT highlight potential bacterial mis-assemblies. Using our newly defined metric, we identify multiple mis-assembled chromosomal sequences in previously published complete bacterial genomes. We provide a SkewIT web app https://jenniferlu717.shinyapps.io/SkewIT/ that calculates SkewI for any user-provided bacterial sequence. The web app also provides an interactive interface for the data generated in this paper, allowing users to further investigate the SkewI values and thresholds of the Refseq-97 complete bacterial genomes. Individual scripts for analysis of bacterial genomes are providedmore »in the following repository: https://github.com/jenniferlu717/SkewIT .« less
  5. Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) is a major food crop and an important plant system for agricultural genetics research. However, due to the complexity and size of its allohexaploid genome, genomic resources are limited compared to other major crops. The IWGSC recently published a reference genome and associated annotation (IWGSC CS v1.0, Chinese Spring) that has been widely adopted and utilized by the wheat community. Although this reference assembly represents all three wheat subgenomes at chromosome-scale, it was derived from short reads, and thus is missing a substantial portion of the expected 16 Gbp of genomic sequence. We earlier published an independent wheat assembly (Triticum_aestivum_3.1, Chinese Spring) that came much closer in length to the expected genome size, although it was only a contig-level assembly lacking gene annotations. Here, we describe a reference-guided effort to scaffold those contigs into chromosome-length pseudomolecules, add in any missing sequence that was unique to the IWGSC CS v1.0 assembly, and annotate the resulting pseudomolecules with genes. Our updated assembly, Triticum_aestivum_4.0, contains 15.07 Gbp of non-gap sequence anchored to chromosomes, which is 1.2 Gbps more than the previous reference assembly. It includes 108,639 genes unambiguously localized to chromosomes, including over 2,000 genes that were previously unplaced.more »We also discovered more than 5,700 additional gene copies, facilitating the accurate annotation of functional gene duplications including at the Ppd-B1 photoperiod response locus.« less