The UCSC Cancer Genomics Browser (https://genome-cancer.ucsc.edu/) is a web-based application that integrates relevant data, analysis and visualization, allowing users to easily discover and share their research observations. Users can explore the relationship between genomic alterations and phenotypes by visualizing various -omic data alongside clinical and phenotypic features, such as age, subtype classifications and genomic biomarkers. The Cancer Genomics Browser currently hosts 575 public datasets from genome-wide analyses of over 227 000 samples, including datasets from TCGA, CCLE, Connectivity Map and TARGET. Users can download and upload clinical data, generate Kaplan-Meier plots dynamically, export data directly to Galaxy for analysis, plus generate URL bookmarks of specific views of the data to share with others.
Genome Browser in a Box (GBiB) is a small virtual machine version of the popular University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) Genome Browser that can be run on a researcher's own computer. Once GBiB is installed, a standard web browser is used to access the virtual server and add personal data files from the local hard disk. Annotation data are loaded on demand through the Internet from UCSC or can be downloaded to the local computer for faster access. Availability and Implementation: Software downloads and installation instructions are freely available for non-commercial use at https://genome-store.ucsc.edu/. GBiB requires the installation of open-source software VirtualBox, available for all major operating systems, and the UCSC Genome Browser, which is open source and free for non-commercial use. Commercial use of GBiB and the Genome Browser requires a license (http://genome.ucsc.edu/license/).
Multiple sequence alignments (MSAs) are a prerequisite for a wide variety of evolutionary analyses. Published assessments and benchmark data sets for protein and, to a lesser extent, global nucleotide MSAs are available, but less effort has been made to establish benchmarks in the more general problem of whole-genome alignment (WGA). Using the same model as the successful Assemblathon competitions, we organized a competitive evaluation in which teams submitted their alignments and then assessments were performed collectively after all the submissions were received. Three data sets were used: Two were simulated and based on primate and mammalian phylogenies, and one was comprised of 20 real fly genomes. In total, 35 submissions were assessed, submitted by 10 teams using 12 different alignment pipelines. We found agreement between independent simulation-based and statistical assessments, indicating that there are substantial accuracy differences between contemporary alignment tools. We saw considerable differences in the alignment quality of differently annotated regions and found that few tools aligned the duplications analyzed. We found that many tools worked well at shorter evolutionary distances, but fewer performed competitively at longer distances. We provide all data sets, submissions, and assessment programs for further study and provide, as a resource for future benchmarking, a convenient repository of code and data for reproducing the simulation assessments.
Researchers now have access to large volumes of genome sequences for comparative analysis, some generated by the plethora of public sequencing projects and, increasingly, from individual efforts. It is not possible, or necessarily desirable, that the public genome browsers attempt to curate all these data. Instead, a wealth of powerful tools is emerging to empower users to create their own visualizations and browsers.
Throughout evolution primate genomes have been modified by waves of retrotransposon insertions. For each wave, the host eventually finds a way to repress retrotransposon transcription and prevent further insertions. In mouse embryonic stem cells, transcriptional silencing of retrotransposons requires KAP1 (also known as TRIM28) and its repressive complex, which can be recruited to target sites by KRAB zinc-finger (KZNF) proteins such as murine-specific ZFP809 which binds to integrated murine leukaemia virus DNA elements and recruits KAP1 to repress them. KZNF genes are one of the fastest growing gene families in primates and this expansion is hypothesized to enable primates to respond to newly emerged retrotransposons. However, the identity of KZNF genes battling retrotransposons currently active in the human genome, such as SINE-VNTR-Alu (SVA) and long interspersed nuclear element 1 (L1), is unknown. Here we show that two primate-specific KZNF genes rapidly evolved to repress these two distinct retrotransposon families shortly after they began to spread in our ancestral genome. ZNF91 underwent a series of structural changes 8-12 million years ago that enabled it to repress SVA elements. ZNF93 evolved earlier to repress the primate L1 lineage until ?12.5 million years ago when the L1PA3-subfamily of retrotransposons escaped ZNF93's restriction through the removal of the ZNF93-binding site. Our data support a model where KZNF gene expansion limits the activity of newly emerged retrotransposon classes, and this is followed by mutations in these retrotransposons to evade repression, a cycle of events that could explain the rapid expansion of lineage-specific KZNF genes.
Parsimony and maximum likelihood methods of phylogenetic tree estimation and parsimony methods for genome rearrangements are central to the study of genome evolution yet to date they have largely been pursued in isolation.
The detection of somatic single nucleotide variants is a crucial component to the characterization of the cancer genome. Mutation calling algorithms thus far have focused on comparing the normal and tumor genomes from the same individual. In recent years, it has become routine for projects like The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to also sequence the tumor RNA. Here we present RADIA (RNA and DNA Integrated Analysis), a novel computational method combining the patient-matched normal and tumor DNA with the tumor RNA to detect somatic mutations. The inclusion of the RNA increases the power to detect somatic mutations, especially at low DNA allelic frequencies. By integrating an individual's DNA and RNA, we are able to detect mutations that would otherwise be missed by traditional algorithms that examine only the DNA. We demonstrate high sensitivity (84%) and very high precision (98% and 99%) for RADIA in patient data from endometrial carcinoma and lung adenocarcinoma from TCGA. Mutations with both high DNA and RNA read support have the highest validation rate of over 99%. We also introduce a simulation package that spikes in artificial mutations to patient data, rather than simulating sequencing data from a reference genome. We evaluate sensitivity on the simulation data and demonstrate our ability to rescue back mutations at low DNA allelic frequencies by including the RNA. Finally, we highlight mutations in important cancer genes that were rescued due to the incorporation of the RNA.
The Cancer Genomics Hub (CGHub) is the online repository of the sequencing programs of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), including The Cancer Genomics Atlas (TCGA), the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE) and the Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments (TARGET) projects, with data from 25 different types of cancer. The CGHub currently contains >1.4?PB of data, has grown at an average rate of 50?TB a month and serves >100?TB per week. The architecture of CGHub is designed to support bulk searching and downloading through a Web-accessible application programming interface, enforce patient genome confidentiality in data storage and transmission and optimize for efficiency in access and transfer. In this article, we describe the design of these three components, present performance results for our transfer protocol, GeneTorrent, and finally report on the growth of the system in terms of data stored and transferred, including estimated limits on the current architecture. Our experienced-based estimates suggest that centralizing storage and computational resources is more efficient than wide distribution across many satellite labs. Database URL: https://cghub.ucsc.edu.
The University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu) offers online public access to a growing database of genomic sequence and annotations for a large collection of organisms, primarily vertebrates, with an emphasis on the human and mouse genomes. The Browsers web-based tools provide an integrated environment for visualizing, comparing, analysing and sharing both publicly available and user-generated genomic data sets. As of September 2013, the database contained genomic sequence and a basic set of annotation tracks for ?90 organisms. Significant new annotations include a 60-species multiple alignment conservation track on the mouse, updated UCSC Genes tracks for human and mouse, and several new sets of variation and ENCODE data. New software tools include a Variant Annotation Integrator that returns predicted functional effects of a set of variants uploaded as a custom track, an extension to UCSC Genes that displays haplotype alleles for protein-coding genes and an expansion of data hubs that includes the capability to display remotely hosted user-provided assembly sequence in addition to annotation data. To improve European access, we have added a Genome Browser mirror (http://genome-euro.ucsc.edu) hosted at Bielefeld University in Germany.
The Consensus Coding Sequence (CCDS) project (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/CCDS/) is a collaborative effort to maintain a dataset of protein-coding regions that are identically annotated on the human and mouse reference genome assemblies by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and Ensembl genome annotation pipelines. Identical annotations that pass quality assurance tests are tracked with a stable identifier (CCDS ID). Members of the collaboration, who are from NCBI, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the University of California Santa Cruz, provide coordinated and continuous review of the dataset to ensure high-quality CCDS representations. We describe here the current status and recent growth in the CCDS dataset, as well as recent changes to the CCDS web and FTP sites. These changes include more explicit reporting about the NCBI and Ensembl annotation releases being compared, new search and display options, the addition of biologically descriptive information and our approach to representing genes for which support evidence is incomplete. We also present a summary of recent and future curation targets.
Identifying the cellular wiring that connects genomic perturbations to transcriptional changes in cancer is essential to gain a mechanistic understanding of disease initiation, progression and ultimately to predict drug response. We have developed a method called Tied Diffusion Through Interacting Events (TieDIE) that uses a network diffusion approach to connect genomic perturbations to gene expression changes characteristic of cancer subtypes. The method computes a subnetwork of protein-protein interactions, predicted transcription factor-to-target connections and curated interactions from literature that connects genomic and transcriptomic perturbations.
DNA sequencing offers a powerful tool in oncology based on the precise definition of structural rearrangements and copy number in tumor genomes. Here, we describe the development of methods to compute copy number and detect structural variants to locally reconstruct highly rearranged regions of the tumor genome with high precision from standard, short-read, paired-end sequencing datasets. We find that circular assemblies are the most parsimonious explanation for a set of highly amplified tumor regions in a subset of glioblastoma multiforme samples sequenced by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) consortium, revealing evidence for double minute chromosomes in these tumors. Further, we find that some samples harbor multiple circular amplicons and, in some cases, further rearrangements occurred after the initial amplicon-generating event. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis offered an initial confirmation of the presence of double minute chromosomes. Gene content in these assemblies helps identify likely driver oncogenes for these amplicons. RNA-seq data available for one double minute chromosome offered additional support for our local tumor genome assemblies, and identified the birth of a novel exon made possible through rearranged sequences present in the double minute chromosomes. Our method was also useful for analysis of a larger set of glioblastoma multiforme tumors for which exome sequencing data are available, finding evidence for oncogenic double minute chromosomes in more than 20% of clinical specimens examined, a frequency consistent with previous estimates.
The UCSC Cancer Genomics Browser (https://genome-cancer.ucsc.edu) offers interactive visualization and exploration of TCGA genomic, phenotypic, and clinical data, as produced by the Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network. Researchers can explore the impact of genomic alterations on phenotypes by visualizing gene and protein expression, copy number, DNA methylation, somatic mutation and pathway inference data alongside clinical features, Pan-Cancer subtype classifications and genomic biomarkers. Integrated Kaplan-Meier survival analysis helps investigators to assess survival stratification by any of the information.
High-throughput data sets such as genome-wide protein-protein interactions, protein-DNA interactions and gene expression data have been published for several model systems, especially for human cancer samples. The University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Interaction Browser (http://sysbio.soe.ucsc.edu/nets) is an online tool for biologists to view high-throughput data sets simultaneously for the analysis of functional relationships between biological entities. Users can access several public interaction networks and functional genomics data sets through the portal as well as upload their own networks and data sets for analysis. Users can navigate through correlative relationships for focused sets of genes belonging to biological pathways using a standard web browser. Using a new visual modality called the CircleMap, multiple omics data sets can be viewed simultaneously within the context of curated, predicted, directed and undirected regulatory interactions. The Interaction Browser provides an integrative viewing of biological networks based on the consensus of many observations about genes and their products, which may provide new insights about normal and disease processes not obvious from any isolated data set.
Large multiple genome alignments and inferred ancestral genomes are ideal resources for comparative studies of molecular evolution, and advances in sequencing and computing technology are making them increasingly obtainable. These structures can provide a rich understanding of the genetic relationships between all subsets of species they contain. Current formats for storing genomic alignments, such as XMFA and MAF, are all indexed or ordered using a single reference genome, however, which limits the information that can be queried with respect to other species and clades. This loss of information grows with the number of species under comparison, as well as their phylogenetic distance.
BACKGROUND: Retroposed processed gene transcripts are an important source of material for new gene formation on evolutionary timescales. Most prior work on gene retrocopy discovery compared copies in reference genome assemblies to their source genes. Here, we explore gene retrocopy insertion polymorphisms (GRIPs) that are present in the germlines of individual humans, mice, and chimpanzees, and we identify novel gene retrocopy insertions in cancerous somatic tissues that are absent from patient-matched non-cancer genomes. RESULTS: Through analysis of whole-genome sequence data, we found evidence for 48 GRIPs in the genomes of one or more humans sequenced as part of the 1,000 Genomes Project and The Cancer Genome Atlas, but which were not in the human reference assembly. Similarly, we found evidence for 755 GRIPs at distinct locations in one or more of 17 inbred mouse strains but which were not in the mouse reference assembly, and 19 GRIPs across a cohort of 10 chimpanzee genomes, which were not in the chimpanzee reference genome assembly. Many of these insertions are new members of existing gene families whose source genes are highly and widely expressed, and the majority have detectable hallmarks of processed gene retrocopy formation. We estimate the rate of novel gene retrocopy insertions in humans and chimps at roughly one new gene retrocopy insertion for every 6,000 individuals. CONCLUSIONS: We find that gene retrocopy polymorphisms are a widespread phenomenon, present a multi-species analysis of these events, and provide a method for their ascertainment.
The process of generating raw genome sequence data continues to become cheaper, faster, and more accurate. However, assembly of such data into high-quality, finished genome sequences remains challenging. Many genome assembly tools are available, but they differ greatly in terms of their performance (speed, scalability, hardware requirements, acceptance of newer read technologies) and in their final output (composition of assembled sequence). More importantly, it remains largely unclear how to best assess the quality of assembled genome sequences. The Assemblathon competitions are intended to assess current state-of-the-art methods in genome assembly.
We describe the landscape of somatic genomic alterations based on multidimensional and comprehensive characterization of more than 500 glioblastoma tumors (GBMs). We identify several novel mutated genes as well as complex rearrangements of signature receptors, including EGFR and PDGFRA. TERT promoter mutations are shown to correlate with elevated mRNA expression, supporting a role in telomerase reactivation. Correlative analyses confirm that the survival advantage of the proneural subtype is conferred by the G-CIMP phenotype, and MGMT DNA methylation may be a predictive biomarker for treatment response only in classical subtype GBM. Integrative analysis of genomic and proteomic profiles challenges the notion of therapeutic inhibition of a pathway as an alternative to inhibition of the target itself. These data will facilitate the discovery of therapeutic and diagnostic target candidates, the validation of research and clinical observations and the generation of unanticipated hypotheses that can advance our molecular understanding of this lethal cancer.
The University of California Santa Cruz Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu) offers online public access to a growing database of genomic sequence and annotations for a wide variety of organisms. The Browser is an integrated tool set for visualizing, comparing, analyzing and sharing both publicly available and user-generated genomic data sets. In the past year, the local database has been updated with four new species assemblies, and we anticipate another four will be released by the end of 2011. Further, a large number of annotation tracks have been either added, updated by contributors, or remapped to the latest human reference genome. Among these are new phenotype and disease annotations, UCSC genes, and a major dbSNP update, which required new visualization methods. Growing beyond the local database, this year we have introduced track data hubs, which allow the Genome Browser to provide access to remotely located sets of annotations. This feature is designed to significantly extend the number and variety of annotation tracks that are publicly available for visualization and analysis from within our site. We have also introduced several usability features including track search and a context-sensitive menu of options available with a right-click anywhere on the Browsers image.
The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Consortium is entering its 5th year of production-level effort generating high-quality whole-genome functional annotations of the human genome. The past year has brought the ENCODE compendium of functional elements to critical mass, with a diverse set of 27 biochemical assays now covering 200 distinct human cell types. Within the mouse genome, which has been under study by ENCODE groups for the past 2 years, 37 cell types have been assayed. Over 2000 individual experiments have been completed and submitted to the Data Coordination Center for public use. UCSC makes this data available on the quality-reviewed public Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu) and on an early-access Preview Browser (http://genome-preview.ucsc.edu). Visual browsing, data mining and download of raw and processed data files are all supported. An ENCODE portal (http://encodeproject.org) provides specialized tools and information about the ENCODE data sets.
Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are one of the most frequent forms of human malignancy, but, other than TP53 mutations, few causative somatic aberrations have been identified. We identified NOTCH1 or NOTCH2 mutations in ~75% of cutaneous SCCs and in a lesser fraction of lung SCCs, defining a spectrum for the most prevalent tumor suppressor specific to these epithelial malignancies. Notch receptors normally transduce signals in response to ligands on neighboring cells, regulating metazoan lineage selection and developmental patterning. Our findings therefore illustrate a central role for disruption of microenvironmental communication in cancer progression. NOTCH aberrations include frameshift and nonsense mutations leading to receptor truncations as well as point substitutions in key functional domains that abrogate signaling in cell-based assays. Oncogenic gain-of-function mutations in NOTCH1 commonly occur in human T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma and B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The bifunctional role of Notch in human cancer thus emphasizes the context dependency of signaling outcomes and suggests that targeted inhibition of the Notch pathway may induce squamous epithelial malignancies.
Breast cancers are comprised of molecularly distinct subtypes that may respond differently to pathway-targeted therapies now under development. Collections of breast cancer cell lines mirror many of the molecular subtypes and pathways found in tumors, suggesting that treatment of cell lines with candidate therapeutic compounds can guide identification of associations between molecular subtypes, pathways, and drug response. In a test of 77 therapeutic compounds, nearly all drugs showed differential responses across these cell lines, and approximately one third showed subtype-, pathway-, and/or genomic aberration-specific responses. These observations suggest mechanisms of response and resistance and may inform efforts to develop molecular assays that predict clinical response.
Low-cost short read sequencing technology has revolutionized genomics, though it is only just becoming practical for the high-quality de novo assembly of a novel large genome. We describe the Assemblathon 1 competition, which aimed to comprehensively assess the state of the art in de novo assembly methods when applied to current sequencing technologies. In a collaborative effort, teams were asked to assemble a simulated Illumina HiSeq data set of an unknown, simulated diploid genome. A total of 41 assemblies from 17 different groups were received. Novel haplotype aware assessments of coverage, contiguity, structure, base calling, and copy number were made. We establish that within this benchmark: (1) It is possible to assemble the genome to a high level of coverage and accuracy, and that (2) large differences exist between the assemblies, suggesting room for further improvements in current methods. The simulated benchmark, including the correct answer, the assemblies, and the code that was used to evaluate the assemblies is now public and freely available from http://www.assemblathon.org/.
We use an integrated approach to understand breast cancer heterogeneity by modeling mRNA, copy number alterations, microRNAs, and methylation in a pathway context utilizing the pathway recognition algorithm using data integration on genomic models (PARADIGM). We demonstrate that combining mRNA expression and DNA copy number classified the patients in groups that provide the best predictive value with respect to prognosis and identified key molecular and stromal signatures. A chronic inflammatory signature, which promotes the development and/or progression of various epithelial tumors, is uniformly present in all breast cancers. We further demonstrate that within the adaptive immune lineage, the strongest predictor of good outcome is the acquisition of a gene signature that favors a high T-helper 1 (Th1)/cytotoxic T-lymphocyte response at the expense of Th2-driven humoral immunity. Patients who have breast cancer with a basal HER2-negative molecular profile (PDGM2) are characterized by high expression of protumorigenic Th2/humoral-related genes (24-38%) and a low Th1/Th2 ratio. The luminal molecular subtypes are again differentiated by low or high FOXM1 and ERBB4 signaling. We show that the interleukin signaling profiles observed in invasive cancers are absent or weakly expressed in healthy tissue but already prominent in ductal carcinoma in situ, together with ECM and cell-cell adhesion regulating pathways. The most prominent difference between low and high mammographic density in healthy breast tissue by PARADIGM was that of STAT4 signaling. In conclusion, by means of a pathway-based modeling methodology (PARADIGM) integrating different layers of molecular data from whole-tumor samples, we demonstrate that we can stratify immune signatures that predict patient survival.
The gain, loss, and modification of gene regulatory elements may underlie a substantial proportion of phenotypic changes on animal lineages. To investigate the gain of regulatory elements throughout vertebrate evolution, we identified genome-wide sets of putative regulatory regions for five vertebrates, including humans. These putative regulatory regions are conserved nonexonic elements (CNEEs), which are evolutionarily conserved yet do not overlap any coding or noncoding mature transcript. We then inferred the branch on which each CNEE came under selective constraint. Our analysis identified three extended periods in the evolution of gene regulatory elements. Early vertebrate evolution was characterized by regulatory gains near transcription factors and developmental genes, but this trend was replaced by innovations near extracellular signaling genes, and then innovations near posttranslational protein modifiers.
Fast evolving regions of many metazoan genomes show a bias toward substitutions that change weak (A,T) into strong (G,C) base pairs. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) do not share this pattern, suggesting that it results from biased fixation rather than biased mutation. Supporting this hypothesis, analyses of polymorphism in specific regions of the human genome have identified a positive correlation between weak to strong (W?S) SNPs and derived allele frequency (DAF), suggesting that SNPs become increasingly GC biased over time, especially in regions of high recombination. Using polymorphism data generated by the 1000 Genomes Project from 179 individuals from 4 human populations, we evaluated the extent and distribution of ongoing GC-biased evolution in the human genome. We quantified GC fixation bias by comparing the DAFs of W?S mutations and S?W mutations using a Mann-Whitney U test. Genome-wide, W?S SNPs have significantly higher DAFs than S?W SNPs. This pattern is widespread across the human genome but varies in magnitude along the chromosomes. We found extreme GC-biased evolution in neighborhoods of recombination hot spots, a significant correlation between GC bias and recombination rate, and an inverse correlation between GC bias and chromosome arm length. These findings demonstrate the presence of ongoing fixation bias favoring G and C alleles throughout the human genome and suggest that the bias is caused by a recombination-associated process, such as GC-biased gene conversion.
Much attention has been given to the problem of creating reliable multiple sequence alignments in a model incorporating substitutions, insertions, and deletions. Far less attention has been paid to the problem of optimizing alignments in the presence of more general rearrangement and copy number variation. Using Cactus graphs, recently introduced for representing sequence alignments, we describe two complementary algorithms for creating genomic alignments. We have implemented these algorithms in the new "Cactus" alignment program. We test Cactus using the Evolver genome evolution simulator, a comprehensive new tool for simulation, and show using these and existing simulations that Cactus significantly outperforms all of its peers. Finally, we make an empirical assessment of Cactuss ability to properly align genes and find interesting cases of intra-gene duplication within the primates.
Continuing research into the global multiple sequence alignment problem has resulted in more sophisticated and principled alignment methods. Unfortunately these new algorithms often require large amounts of time and memory to run, making it nearly impossible to run these algorithms on large datasets. As a solution, we present two general methods, Crumble and Prune, for breaking a phylogenetic alignment problem into smaller, more tractable sub-problems. We call Crumble and Prune meta-alignment methods because they use existing alignment algorithms and can be used with many current alignment programs. Crumble breaks long alignment problems into shorter sub-problems. Prune divides the phylogenetic tree into a collection of smaller trees to reduce the number of sequences in each alignment problem. These methods are orthogonal: they can be applied together to provide better scaling in terms of sequence length and in sequence depth. Both methods partition the problem such that many of the sub-problems can be solved independently. The results are then combined to form a solution to the full alignment problem.
The evolution of the amniotic egg was one of the great evolutionary innovations in the history of life, freeing vertebrates from an obligatory connection to water and thus permitting the conquest of terrestrial environments. Among amniotes, genome sequences are available for mammals and birds, but not for non-avian reptiles. Here we report the genome sequence of the North American green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis. We find that A. carolinensis microchromosomes are highly syntenic with chicken microchromosomes, yet do not exhibit the high GC and low repeat content that are characteristic of avian microchromosomes. Also, A. carolinensis mobile elements are very young and diverse-more so than in any other sequenced amniote genome. The GC content of this lizard genome is also unusual in its homogeneity, unlike the regionally variable GC content found in mammals and birds. We describe and assign sequence to the previously unknown A. carolinensis X chromosome. Comparative gene analysis shows that amniote egg proteins have evolved significantly more rapidly than other proteins. An anole phylogeny resolves basal branches to illuminate the history of their repeated adaptive radiations.
Insulators help separate active chromatin domains from silenced ones. In yeast, gene promoters act as insulators to block the spread of Sir and HP1 mediated silencing while in metazoans most insulators are multipartite autonomous entities. tDNAs are repetitive sequences dispersed throughout the human genome and we now show that some of these tDNAs can function as insulators in human cells. Using computational methods, we identified putative human tDNA insulators. Using silencer blocking, transgene protection and repressor blocking assays we show that some of these tDNA-containing fragments can function as barrier insulators in human cells. We find that these elements also have the ability to block enhancers from activating RNA pol II transcribed promoters. Characterization of a putative tDNA insulator in human cells reveals that the site possesses chromatin signatures similar to those observed at other better-characterized eukaryotic insulators. Enhanced 4C analysis demonstrates that the tDNA insulator makes long-range chromatin contacts with other tDNAs and ETC sites but not with intervening or flanking RNA pol II transcribed genes.
We introduce a data structure, analysis, and visualization scheme called a cactus graph for comparing sets of related genomes. In common with multi-break point graphs and A-Bruijn graphs, cactus graphs can represent duplications and general genomic rearrangements, but additionally, they naturally decompose the common substructures in a set of related genomes into a hierarchy of chains that can be visualized as two-dimensional multiple alignments and nets that can be visualized in circular genome plots. Supplementary Material is available at www.liebertonline.com/cmb .
Orang-utan is derived from a Malay term meaning man of the forest and aptly describes the southeast Asian great apes native to Sumatra and Borneo. The orang-utan species, Pongo abelii (Sumatran) and Pongo pygmaeus (Bornean), are the most phylogenetically distant great apes from humans, thereby providing an informative perspective on hominid evolution. Here we present a Sumatran orang-utan draft genome assembly and short read sequence data from five Sumatran and five Bornean orang-utan genomes. Our analyses reveal that, compared to other primates, the orang-utan genome has many unique features. Structural evolution of the orang-utan genome has proceeded much more slowly than other great apes, evidenced by fewer rearrangements, less segmental duplication, a lower rate of gene family turnover and surprisingly quiescent Alu repeats, which have played a major role in restructuring other primate genomes. We also describe a primate polymorphic neocentromere, found in both Pongo species, emphasizing the gradual evolution of orang-utan genome structure. Orang-utans have extremely low energy usage for a eutherian mammal, far lower than their hominid relatives. Adding their genome to the repertoire of sequenced primates illuminates new signals of positive selection in several pathways including glycolipid metabolism. From the population perspective, both Pongo species are deeply diverse; however, Sumatran individuals possess greater diversity than their Bornean counterparts, and more species-specific variation. Our estimate of Bornean/Sumatran speciation time, 400,000?years ago, is more recent than most previous studies and underscores the complexity of the orang-utan speciation process. Despite a smaller modern census population size, the Sumatran effective population size (N(e)) expanded exponentially relative to the ancestral N(e) after the split, while Bornean N(e) declined over the same period. Overall, the resources and analyses presented here offer new opportunities in evolutionary genomics, insights into hominid biology, and an extensive database of variation for conservation efforts.
The comparison of related genomes has emerged as a powerful lens for genome interpretation. Here we report the sequencing and comparative analysis of 29 eutherian genomes. We confirm that at least 5.5% of the human genome has undergone purifying selection, and locate constrained elements covering ?4.2% of the genome. We use evolutionary signatures and comparisons with experimental data sets to suggest candidate functions for ?60% of constrained bases. These elements reveal a small number of new coding exons, candidate stop codon readthrough events and over 10,000 regions of overlapping synonymous constraint within protein-coding exons. We find 220 candidate RNA structural families, and nearly a million elements overlapping potential promoter, enhancer and insulator regions. We report specific amino acid residues that have undergone positive selection, 280,000 non-coding elements exapted from mobile elements and more than 1,000 primate- and human-accelerated elements. Overlap with disease-associated variants indicates that our findings will be relevant for studies of human biology, health and disease.
The UCSC Cancer Genomics Browser (https://genome-cancer.ucsc.edu) comprises a suite of web-based tools to integrate, visualize and analyze cancer genomics and clinical data. The browser displays whole-genome views of genome-wide experimental measurements for multiple samples alongside their associated clinical information. Multiple data sets can be viewed simultaneously as coordinated heatmap tracks to compare across studies or different data modalities. Users can order, filter, aggregate, classify and display data interactively based on any given feature set including clinical features, annotated biological pathways and user-contributed collections of genes. Integrated standard statistical tools provide dynamic quantitative analysis within all available data sets. The browser hosts a growing body of publicly available cancer genomics data from a variety of cancer types, including data generated from the Cancer Genome Atlas project. Multiple consortiums use the browser on confidential prepublication data enabled by private installations. Many new features have been added, including the hgMicroscope tumor image viewer, hgSignature for real-time genomic signature evaluation on any browser track, and PARADIGM pathway tracks to display integrative pathway activities. The browser is integrated with the UCSC Genome Browser; thus inheriting and integrating the Genome Browsers rich set of human biology and genetics data that enhances the interpretability of the cancer genomics data.
The ENCODE project is an international consortium with a goal of cataloguing all the functional elements in the human genome. The ENCODE Data Coordination Center (DCC) at the University of California, Santa Cruz serves as the central repository for ENCODE data. In this role, the DCC offers a collection of high-throughput, genome-wide data generated with technologies such as ChIP-Seq, RNA-Seq, DNA digestion and others. This data helps illuminate transcription factor-binding sites, histone marks, chromatin accessibility, DNA methylation, RNA expression, RNA binding and other cell-state indicators. It includes sequences with quality scores, alignments, signals calculated from the alignments, and in most cases, element or peak calls calculated from the signal data. Each data set is available for visualization and download via the UCSC Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu/). ENCODE data can also be retrieved using a metadata system that captures the experimental parameters of each assay. The ENCODE web portal at UCSC (http://encodeproject.org/) provides information about the ENCODE data and links for access.
The University of California, Santa Cruz Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu) offers online access to a database of genomic sequence and annotation data for a wide variety of organisms. The Browser also has many tools for visualizing, comparing and analyzing both publicly available and user-generated genomic data sets, aligning sequences and uploading user data. Among the features released this year are a gene search tool and annotation track drag-reorder functionality as well as support for BAM and BigWig/BigBed file formats. New display enhancements include overlay of multiple wiggle tracks through use of transparent coloring, options for displaying transformed wiggle data, a mean+whiskers windowing function for display of wiggle data at high zoom levels, and more color schemes for microarray data. New data highlights include seven new genome assemblies, a Neandertal genome data portal, phenotype and disease association data, a human RNA editing track, and a zebrafish Conservation track. We also describe updates to existing tracks.
Analysis of DNA methylation patterns relies increasingly on sequencing-based profiling methods. The four most frequently used sequencing-based technologies are the bisulfite-based methods MethylC-seq and reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS), and the enrichment-based techniques methylated DNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeDIP-seq) and methylated DNA binding domain sequencing (MBD-seq). We applied all four methods to biological replicates of human embryonic stem cells to assess their genome-wide CpG coverage, resolution, cost, concordance and the influence of CpG density and genomic context. The methylation levels assessed by the two bisulfite methods were concordant (their difference did not exceed a given threshold) for 82% for CpGs and 99% of the non-CpG cytosines. Using binary methylation calls, the two enrichment methods were 99% concordant and regions assessed by all four methods were 97% concordant. We combined MeDIP-seq with methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme (MRE-seq) sequencing for comprehensive methylome coverage at lower cost. This, along with RNA-seq and ChIP-seq of the ES cells enabled us to detect regions with allele-specific epigenetic states, identifying most known imprinted regions and new loci with monoallelic epigenetic marks and monoallelic expression.
Classical approaches to determine structures of noncoding RNA (ncRNA) probed only one RNA at a time with enzymes and chemicals, using gel electrophoresis to identify reactive positions. To accelerate RNA structure inference, we developed fragmentation sequencing (FragSeq), a high-throughput RNA structure probing method that uses high-throughput RNA sequencing of fragments generated by digestion with nuclease P1, which specifically cleaves single-stranded nucleic acids. In experiments probing the entire mouse nuclear transcriptome, we accurately and simultaneously mapped single-stranded RNA regions in multiple ncRNAs with known structure. We probed in two cell types to verify reproducibility. We also identified and experimentally validated structured regions in ncRNAs with, to our knowledge, no previously reported probing data.
High-throughput data is providing a comprehensive view of the molecular changes in cancer tissues. New technologies allow for the simultaneous genome-wide assay of the state of genome copy number variation, gene expression, DNA methylation and epigenetics of tumor samples and cancer cell lines. Analyses of current data sets find that genetic alterations between patients can differ but often involve common pathways. It is therefore critical to identify relevant pathways involved in cancer progression and detect how they are altered in different patients.
Although it is known that the methylation of DNA in 5 promoters suppresses gene expression, the role of DNA methylation in gene bodies is unclear. In mammals, tissue- and cell type-specific methylation is present in a small percentage of 5 CpG island (CGI) promoters, whereas a far greater proportion occurs across gene bodies, coinciding with highly conserved sequences. Tissue-specific intragenic methylation might reduce, or, paradoxically, enhance transcription elongation efficiency. Capped analysis of gene expression (CAGE) experiments also indicate that transcription commonly initiates within and between genes. To investigate the role of intragenic methylation, we generated a map of DNA methylation from the human brain encompassing 24.7 million of the 28 million CpG sites. From the dense, high-resolution coverage of CpG islands, the majority of methylated CpG islands were shown to be in intragenic and intergenic regions, whereas less than 3% of CpG islands in 5 promoters were methylated. The CpG islands in all three locations overlapped with RNA markers of transcription initiation, and unmethylated CpG islands also overlapped significantly with trimethylation of H3K4, a histone modification enriched at promoters. The general and CpG-island-specific patterns of methylation are conserved in mouse tissues. An in-depth investigation of the human SHANK3 locus and its mouse homologue demonstrated that this tissue-specific DNA methylation regulates intragenic promoter activity in vitro and in vivo. These methylation-regulated, alternative transcripts are expressed in a tissue- and cell type-specific manner, and are expressed differentially within a single cell type from distinct brain regions. These results support a major role for intragenic methylation in regulating cell context-specific alternative promoters in gene bodies.
Regions of the genome that have been the target of positive selection specifically along the human lineage are of special importance in human biology. We used high throughput sequencing combined with methods to enrich human genomic samples for particular targets to obtain the sequence of 22 chromosomal samples at high depth in 40 kb neighborhoods of 49 previously identified 100-400 bp elements that show evidence for human accelerated evolution. In addition to selection, the pattern of nucleotide substitutions in several of these elements suggested an historical bias favoring the conversion of weak (A or T) alleles into strong (G or C) alleles. Here we found strong evidence in the derived allele frequency spectra of many of these 40 kb regions for ongoing weak-to-strong fixation bias. Comparison of the nucleotide composition at polymorphic loci to the composition at sites of fixed substitutions additionally reveals the signature of historical weak-to-strong fixation bias in a subset of these regions. Most of the regions with evidence for historical bias do not also have signatures of ongoing bias, suggesting that the evolutionary forces generating weak-to-strong bias are not constant over time. To investigate the role of selection in shaping these regions, we analyzed the spatial pattern of polymorphism in our samples. We found no significant evidence for selective sweeps, possibly because the signal of such sweeps has decayed beyond the power of our tests to detect them. Together, these results do not rule out functional roles for the observed changes in these regions-indeed there is good evidence that the first two are functional elements in humans-but they suggest that a fixation process (such as biased gene conversion) that is biased at the nucleotide level, but is otherwise selectively neutral, could be an important evolutionary force at play in them, both historically and at present.
The International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) was launched to coordinate large-scale cancer genome studies in tumours from 50 different cancer types and/or subtypes that are of clinical and societal importance across the globe. Systematic studies of more than 25,000 cancer genomes at the genomic, epigenomic and transcriptomic levels will reveal the repertoire of oncogenic mutations, uncover traces of the mutagenic influences, define clinically relevant subtypes for prognosis and therapeutic management, and enable the development of new cancer therapies.
We report that 18 conserved, and by extension functional, elements in the human genome are the result of retroposon insertions that are evolving under purifying selection in mammals. We show evidence that 1 of the 18 elements regulates the expression of ASXL3 during development by encoding an alternatively spliced exon that causes nonsense-mediated decay of the transcript. The retroposon that gave rise to these functional elements was quickly inactivated in the mammalian ancestor, and all traces of it have been lost due to neutral decay. However, the tuatara has maintained a near-ancestral version of this retroposon in its extant genome, which allows us to connect the 18 human elements to the evolutionary events that created them. We propose that conservation efforts over more than 100 years may not have only prevented the tuatara from going extinct but could have preserved our ability to understand the evolutionary history of functional elements in the human genome. Through simulations, we argue that species with historically low population sizes are more likely to harbor ancient mobile elements for long periods of time and in near-ancestral states, making these species indispensable in understanding the evolutionary origin of functional elements in the human genome.
Recently, hidden Markov models have been applied to numerous problems in genomics. Here, we introduce an explicit population genetics hidden Markov model (popGenHMM) that uses single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) frequency data to identify genomic regions that have experienced recent selection. Our popGenHMM assumes that SNP frequencies are emitted independently following diffusion approximation expectations but that neighboring SNP frequencies are partially correlated by selective state. We give results from the training and application of our popGenHMM to a set of early release data from the Drosophila Population Genomics Project (dpgp.org) that consists of approximately 7.8 Mb of resequencing from 32 North American Drosophila melanogaster lines. These results demonstrate the potential utility of our model, making predictions based on the site frequency spectrum (SFS) for regions of the genome that represent selected elements.
The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project is an international consortium of investigators funded to analyze the human genome with the goal of producing a comprehensive catalog of functional elements. The ENCODE Data Coordination Center at The University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) is the primary repository for experimental results generated by ENCODE investigators. These results are captured in the UCSC Genome Bioinformatics database and download server for visualization and data mining via the UCSC Genome Browser and companion tools (Rhead et al. The UCSC Genome Browser Database: update 2010, in this issue). The ENCODE web portal at UCSC (http://encodeproject.org or http://genome.ucsc.edu/ENCODE) provides information about the ENCODE data and convenient links for access.
The University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) Genome Browser website (http://genome.ucsc.edu/) provides a large database of publicly available sequence and annotation data along with an integrated tool set for examining and comparing the genomes of organisms, aligning sequence to genomes, and displaying and sharing users own annotation data. As of September 2009, genomic sequence and a basic set of annotation tracks are provided for 47 organisms, including 14 mammals, 10 non-mammal vertebrates, 3 invertebrate deuterostomes, 13 insects, 6 worms and a yeast. New data highlights this year include an updated human genome browser, a 44-species multiple sequence alignment track, improved variation and phenotype tracks and 16 new genome-wide ENCODE tracks. New features include drag-and-zoom navigation, a Wiki track for user-added annotations, new custom track formats for large datasets (bigBed and bigWig), a new multiple alignment output tool, links to variation and protein structure tools, in silico PCR utility enhancements, and improved track configuration tools.
Since its start, the Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC) has sought to provide at least one full-protein-coding sequence cDNA clone for every human and mouse gene with a RefSeq transcript, and at least 6200 rat genes. The MGC cloning effort initially relied on random expressed sequence tag screening of cDNA libraries. Here, we summarize our recent progress using directed RT-PCR cloning and DNA synthesis. The MGC now contains clones with the entire protein-coding sequence for 92% of human and 89% of mouse genes with curated RefSeq (NM-accession) transcripts, and for 97% of human and 96% of mouse genes with curated RefSeq transcripts that have one or more PubMed publications, in addition to clones for more than 6300 rat genes. These high-quality MGC clones and their sequences are accessible without restriction to researchers worldwide.
Effective use of the human and mouse genomes requires reliable identification of genes and their products. Although multiple public resources provide annotation, different methods are used that can result in similar but not identical representation of genes, transcripts, and proteins. The collaborative consensus coding sequence (CCDS) project tracks identical protein annotations on the reference mouse and human genomes with a stable identifier (CCDS ID), and ensures that they are consistently represented on the NCBI, Ensembl, and UCSC Genome Browsers. Importantly, the project coordinates on manually reviewing inconsistent protein annotations between sites, as well as annotations for which new evidence suggests a revision is needed, to progressively converge on a complete protein-coding set for the human and mouse reference genomes, while maintaining a high standard of reliability and biological accuracy. To date, the project has identified 20,159 human and 17,707 mouse consensus coding regions from 17,052 human and 16,893 mouse genes. Three evaluation methods indicate that the entries in the CCDS set are highly likely to represent real proteins, more so than annotations from contributing groups not included in CCDS. The CCDS database thus centralizes the function of identifying well-supported, identically-annotated, protein-coding regions.
The Drosha-DGCR8 complex, also known as Microprocessor, is essential for microRNA (miRNA) maturation. Drosha functions as the catalytic subunit, while DGCR8 (also known as Pasha) recognizes the RNA substrate. Although the action mechanism of this complex has been intensively studied, it remains unclear how Drosha and DGCR8 are regulated and if these proteins have any additional role(s) apart from miRNA processing. Here, we report that Drosha and DGCR8 regulate each other posttranscriptionally. The Drosha-DGCR8 complex cleaves the hairpin structures embedded in the DGCR8 mRNA and thereby destabilizes the mRNA. We further find that DGCR8 stabilizes the Drosha protein via protein-protein interaction. This crossregulation between Drosha and DGCR8 may contribute to the homeostatic control of miRNA biogenesis. Furthermore, microarray analyses suggest that a number of mRNAs may be downregulated in a Microprocessor-dependent, miRNA-independent manner. Our study reveals a previously unsuspected function of Microprocessor in mRNA stability control.
The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE), http://encodeproject.org, has completed its fifth year of scientific collaboration to create a comprehensive catalog of functional elements in the human genome, and its third year of investigations in the mouse genome. Since the last report in this journal, the ENCODE human data repertoire has grown by 898 new experiments (totaling 2886), accompanied by a major integrative analysis. In the mouse genome, results from 404 new experiments became available this year, increasing the total to 583, collected during the course of the project. The University of California, Santa Cruz, makes this data available on the public Genome Browser http://genome.ucsc.edu for visual browsing and data mining. Download of raw and processed data files are all supported. The ENCODE portal provides specialized tools and information about the ENCODE data sets.
The University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu) offers online public access to a growing database of genomic sequence and annotations for a wide variety of organisms. The Browser is an integrated tool set for visualizing, comparing, analysing and sharing both publicly available and user-generated genomic datasets. As of September 2012, genomic sequence and a basic set of annotation tracks are provided for 63 organisms, including 26 mammals, 13 non-mammal vertebrates, 3 invertebrate deuterostomes, 13 insects, 6 worms, yeast and sea hare. In the past year 19 new genome assemblies have been added, and we anticipate releasing another 28 in early 2013. Further, a large number of annotation tracks have been either added, updated by contributors or remapped to the latest human reference genome. Among these are an updated UCSC Genes track for human and mouse assemblies. We have also introduced several features to improve usability, including new navigation menus. This article provides an update to the UCSC Genome Browser database, which has been previously featured in the Database issue of this journal.
The UCSC Cancer Genomics Browser (https://genome-cancer.ucsc.edu/) is a set of web-based tools to display, investigate and analyse cancer genomics data and its associated clinical information. The browser provides whole-genome to base-pair level views of several different types of genomics data, including some next-generation sequencing platforms. The ability to view multiple datasets together allows users to make comparisons across different data and cancer types. Biological pathways, collections of genes, genomic or clinical information can be used to sort, aggregate and zoom into a group of samples. We currently display an expanding set of data from various sources, including 201 datasets from 22 TCGA (The Cancer Genome Atlas) cancers as well as data from Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia and Stand Up To Cancer. New features include a completely redesigned user interface with an interactive tutorial and updated documentation. We have also added data downloads, additional clinical heatmap features, and an updated Tumor Image Browser based on Google Maps. New security features allow authenticated users access to private datasets hosted by several different consortia through the public website.
A current challenge in understanding cancer processes is to pinpoint which mutations influence the onset and progression of disease. Toward this goal, we describe a method called PARADIGM-SHIFT that can predict whether a mutational event is neutral, gain-or loss-of-function in a tumor sample. The method uses a belief-propagation algorithm to infer gene activity from gene expression and copy number data in the context of a set of pathway interactions.
The GENCODE Consortium aims to identify all gene features in the human genome using a combination of computational analysis, manual annotation, and experimental validation. Since the first public release of this annotation data set, few new protein-coding loci have been added, yet the number of alternative splicing transcripts annotated has steadily increased. The GENCODE 7 release contains 20,687 protein-coding and 9640 long noncoding RNA loci and has 33,977 coding transcripts not represented in UCSC genes and RefSeq. It also has the most comprehensive annotation of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) loci publicly available with the predominant transcript form consisting of two exons. We have examined the completeness of the transcript annotation and found that 35% of transcriptional start sites are supported by CAGE clusters and 62% of protein-coding genes have annotated polyA sites. Over one-third of GENCODE protein-coding genes are supported by peptide hits derived from mass spectrometry spectra submitted to Peptide Atlas. New models derived from the Illumina Body Map 2.0 RNA-seq data identify 3689 new loci not currently in GENCODE, of which 3127 consist of two exon models indicating that they are possibly unannotated long noncoding loci. GENCODE 7 is publicly available from gencodegenes.org and via the Ensembl and UCSC Genome Browsers.
Recent research supports the view that changes in gene regulation, as opposed to changes in the genes themselves, play a significant role in morphological evolution. Gene regulation is largely dependent on transcription factor binding sites. Researchers are now able to use the available 29 mammalian genomes to measure selective constraint at the level of binding sites. This detailed map of constraint suggests that mammalian genomes co-opt fragments of mobile elements to act as gene regulatory sequence on a large scale. In the human genome we detect over 280,000 putative regulatory elements, totaling approximately 7 Mb of sequence, that originated as mobile element insertions. These putative regulatory regions are conserved non-exonic elements (CNEEs), which show considerable cross-species constraint and signatures of continued negative selection in humans, yet do not appear in a known mature transcript. These putative regulatory elements were co-opted from SINE, LINE, LTR and DNA transposon insertions. We demonstrate that at least 11%, and an estimated 20%, of gene regulatory sequence in the human genome showing cross-species conservation was co-opted from mobile elements. The location in the genome of CNEEs co-opted from mobile elements closely resembles that of CNEEs in general, except in the centers of the largest gene deserts where recognizable co-option events are relatively rare. We find that regions of certain mobile element insertions are more likely to be held under purifying selection than others. In particular, we show 6 examples where paralogous instances of an often co-opted mobile element region define a sequence motif that closely matches a transcription factors binding profile.
Enhancers and antisense RNAs play key roles in transcriptional regulation through differing mechanisms. Recent studies have demonstrated that enhancers are often associated with non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), yet the functional role of these enhancer:ncRNA associations is unclear. Using RNA-Sequencing to interrogate the transcriptomes of undifferentiated mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) and their derived neural precursor cells (NPs), we identified two novel enhancer-associated antisense transcripts that appear to control isoform-specific expression of their overlapping protein-coding genes. In each case, an enhancer internal to a protein-coding gene drives an antisense RNA in mESCs but not in NPs. Expression of the antisense RNA is correlated with expression of a shorter isoform of the associated sense gene that is not present when the antisense RNA is not expressed. We demonstrate that expression of the antisense transcripts as well as expression of the short sense isoforms correlates with enhancer activity at these two loci. Further, overexpression and knockdown experiments suggest the antisense transcripts regulate expression of their associated sense genes via cis-acting mechanisms. Interestingly, the protein-coding genes involved in these two examples, Zmynd8 and Brd1, share many functional domains, yet their antisense ncRNAs show no homology to each other and are not present in non-murine mammalian lineages, such as the primate lineage. The lack of homology in the antisense ncRNAs indicates they have evolved independently of each other and suggests that this mode of lineage-specific transcriptional regulation may be more widespread in other cell types and organisms. Our findings present a new view of enhancer action wherein enhancers may direct isoform-specific expression of genes through ncRNA intermediates.
The UCSC Genome Browser (http://genome.ucsc.edu) is a graphical viewer for genomic data now in its 13th year. Since the early days of the Human Genome Project, it has presented an integrated view of genomic data of many kinds. Now home to assemblies for 58 organisms, the Browser presents visualization of annotations mapped to genomic coordinates. The ability to juxtapose annotations of many types facilitates inquiry-driven data mining. Gene predictions, mRNA alignments, epigenomic data from the ENCODE project, conservation scores from vertebrate whole-genome alignments and variation data may be viewed at any scale from a single base to an entire chromosome. The Browser also includes many other widely used tools, including BLAT, which is useful for alignments from high-throughput sequencing experiments. Private data uploaded as Custom Tracks and Data Hubs in many formats may be displayed alongside the rich compendium of precomputed data in the UCSC database. The Table Browser is a full-featured graphical interface, which allows querying, filtering and intersection of data tables. The Saved Session feature allows users to store and share customized views, enhancing the utility of the system for organizing multiple trains of thought. Binary Alignment/Map (BAM), Variant Call Format and the Personal Genome Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) data formats are useful for visualizing a large sequencing experiment (whole-genome or whole-exome), where the differences between the data set and the reference assembly may be displayed graphically. Support for high-throughput sequencing extends to compact, indexed data formats, such as BAM, bigBed and bigWig, allowing rapid visualization of large datasets from RNA-seq and ChIP-seq experiments via local hosting.
The Genome 10K project aims to sequence the genomes of 10,000 vertebrates, representing approximately one genome for each vertebrate genus. Since fishes (cartilaginous fishes, ray-finned fishes and lobe-finned fishes) represent more than 50% of extant vertebrates, it is planned to target 4,000 fish genomes. At present, nearly 60 fish genomes are being sequenced at various public funded labs, and under a Genome 10K and BGI pilot project. An additional 100 fishes have been identified for sequencing in the next phase of Genome 10K project.
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