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  • Genome sequence of pacific abalone (Haliotis discus hannai): the first draft genome in family Haliotidae.

    Gigascience | 07 March 2017

    Background Abalones are large marine snails in the family Haliotidae and the genus Haliotis belonging to the class Gastropoda of the phylum Mollusca. The family Haliotidae contains only one genus, Haliotis, and this single genus is known to contain several species of abalone. With 18 additional subspecies, the most comprehensive treatment of Haliotidae considers 56 species valid [1]. Abalone is an economically important fishery and aquaculture animal which is considered a highly-prized seafood delicacy. The total global supply of abalone has increased fivefold since 1970’s and farm productions increased explosively from 50 mt to 103,464 mt in the past forty years. Additionally, researchers have recently focused on Abalone given their reported tumor suppression effect. However, despite the valuable features of this marine animal, no genomic information is available for Haliotidae family and related research is still limited.
    Findings In order to construct the H.discus hannai genome, a total of 580G base pairs using Illumina and Pacbio platforms were generated with 322-fold coverage based on the 1.8Gb estimated genome size of H.discus hannai using flow cytometry. The final genome assembly consisted of 1.86Gb with 35,450 scaffolds (>2kb). GC content level was 40.51%, and the N50 length of assembled scaffolds was 211kb. We identified 29,449 genes using Evidence Modeler based on the gene information from ab initio prediction, protein homology with known genes and transcriptome evidence of RNA-seq.
    Conclusions Here we present the first Haliotidae genome, Haliotis discus hannai, with sequencing data, assembly, and gene annotation information. This will be helpful for resolving the lack of genomic information in the Haliotidae family as well as providing more opportunities for understanding gastropod evolution.

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  • Genomic Insights and Its Comparative Analysis with Yersinia enterocolitica Reveals the Potential Virulence Determinants and Further Pathogenicity for Foodborne Outbreaks

    J. Microbiol. Biotechnol | 28 February 2017

    Yersinia enterocolitica is a well-known foodborne pathogen causing gastrointestinal infections worldwide. The strain Y. enterocolitica FORC_002 was isolated from the gill of flatfish (plaice) and its genome was sequenced. The genomic DNA consists of 4,837,317 bp with a GC content of 47.1%, and is predicted to contain 4,221 open reading frames, 81 tRNA genes, and 26 rRNA genes. Interestingly, genomic analysis revealed pathogenesis and host immune evasionassociated genes encoding guanylate cyclase (Yst), invasin (Ail and Inv), outer membrane protein (Yops), autotransporter adhesin A (YadA), RTX-like toxins, and a type III secretion system. In particular, guanylate cyclase is a heat-stable enterotoxin causing Yersinia-associated diarrhea, and RTX-like toxins are responsible for attachment to integrin on the target cell for cytotoxic action. This genome can be used to identify virulence factors that can be applied for the development of novel biomarkers for the rapid detection of this pathogen in foods.

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  • The genome landscape of indigenous African cattle

    Genome Biology | 20 February 2017

    Background
    The history of African indigenous cattle and their adaptation to environmental and human selection pressure is at the root of their remarkable diversity. Characterization of this diversity is an essential step towards understanding the genomic basis of productivity and adaptation to survival under African farming systems.

    Results
    We analyze patterns of African cattle genetic variation by sequencing 48 genomes from five indigenous populations and comparing them to the genomes of 53 commercial taurine breeds. We find the highest genetic diversity among African zebu and sanga cattle. Our search for genomic regions under selection reveals signatures of selection for environmental adaptive traits. In particular, we identify signatures of selection including genes and/or pathways controlling anemia and feeding behavior in the trypanotolerant N’Dama, coat color and horn development in Ankole, and heat tolerance and tick resistance across African cattle especially in zebu breeds.

    Conclusions
    Our findings unravel at the genome-wide level, the unique adaptive diversity of African cattle while emphasizing the opportunities for sustainable improvement of livestock productivity on the continent.

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  • Whole genome scan reveals the genetic signature of African Ankole cattle breed and potential for higher quality beef

    BMC Genetics | 9 February 2017

    Background
    Africa is home to numerous cattle breeds whose diversity has been shaped by subtle combinations of human and natural selection. African Sanga cattle are an intermediate type of cattle resulting from interbreeding between Bos taurus and Bos indicus subspecies. Recently, research has asserted the potential of Sanga breeds for commercial beef production with better meat quality as compared to Bos indicus breeds. Here, we identified meat quality related gene regions that are positively selected in Ankole (Sanga) cattle breeds as compared to indicus (Boran, Ogaden, and Kenana) breeds using cross-population (XP-EHH and XP-CLR) statistical methods.

    Results
    We identified 238 (XP-EHH) and 213 (XP-CLR) positively selected genes, of which 97 were detected from both statistics. Among the genes obtained, we primarily reported those involved in different biological process and pathways associated with meat quality traits. Genes (CAPZB, COL9A2, PDGFRA, MAP3K5, ZNF410, and PKM2) involved in muscle structure and metabolism affect meat tenderness. Genes (PLA2G2A, PARK2, ZNF410, MAP2K3, PLCD3, PLCD1, and ROCK1) related to intramuscular fat (IMF) are involved in adipose metabolism and adipogenesis. MB and SLC48A1 affect meat color. In addition, we identified genes (TIMP2, PKM2, PRKG1, MAP3K5, and ATP8A1) related to feeding efficiency. Among the enriched Gene Ontology Biological Process (GO BP) terms, actin cytoskeleton organization, actin filament-based process, and protein ubiquitination are associated with meat tenderness whereas cellular component organization, negative regulation of actin filament depolymerization and negative regulation of protein complex disassembly are involved in adipocyte regulation. The MAPK pathway is responsible for cell proliferation and plays an important role in hyperplastic growth, which has a positive effect on meat tenderness.

    Conclusion
    Results revealed several candidate genes positively selected in Ankole cattle in relation to meat quality characteristics. The genes identified are involved in muscle structure and metabolism, and adipose metabolism and adipogenesis. These genes help in the understanding of the biological mechanisms controlling beef quality characteristics in African Ankole cattle. These results provide a basis for further research on the genomic characteristics of Ankole and other Sanga cattle breeds for quality beef.

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