With the advent of high-throughput DNA sequencing platforms, there has been a reduction in the cost and time of sequencing. With these advantages, new challenges have emerged, such as the handling of large amounts of data, quality assessment, and the assembly of short reads. Currently, benchtop high-throughput sequencers enable the genomes of prokaryotic organisms to be sequenced within two hours with a reduction in coverage compared with the SOLiD, Illumina and 454 FLX Titanium platforms, making it necessary to evaluate the efficiency of less expensive benchtop instruments for prokaryotic genomics. In the present work, we evaluate and propose a methodology for the use of the Ion Torrent PGM platform for decoding the gram-positive bacterium Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis, for which 15 complete genome sequences have already been deposited based on fragment and mate-paired libraries with a 3-kb insert size. Despite the low coverage, a single sequencing run using a mate-paired library generated 39 scaffolds after de novo assembly without data curation. This result is superior to that obtained by sequencing using libraries generated from fragments marketed by the equipments manufacturer, as well as that observed for mate-pairs sequenced by SOLiD. The generated sequence added an extra 91kb to the genome available at NCBI.
Coordination of fetal maturation with birth timing is essential for mammalian reproduction. In humans, preterm birth is a disorder of profound global health significance. The signals initiating parturition in humans have remained elusive, due to divergence in physiological mechanisms between humans and model organisms typically studied. Because of relatively large human head size and narrow birth canal cross-sectional area compared to other primates, we hypothesized that genes involved in parturition would display accelerated evolution along the human and/or higher primate phylogenetic lineages to decrease the length of gestation and promote delivery of a smaller fetus that transits the birth canal more readily. Further, we tested whether current variation in such accelerated genes contributes to preterm birth risk. Evidence from allometric scaling of gestational age suggests human gestation has been shortened relative to other primates. Consistent with our hypothesis, many genes involved in reproduction show human acceleration in their coding or adjacent noncoding regions. We screened >8,400 SNPs in 150 human accelerated genes in 165 Finnish preterm and 163 control mothers for association with preterm birth. In this cohort, the most significant association was in FSHR, and 8 of the 10 most significant SNPs were in this gene. Further evidence for association of a linkage disequilibrium block of SNPs in FSHR, rs11686474, rs11680730, rs12473870, and rs1247381 was found in African Americans. By considering human acceleration, we identified a novel gene that may be associated with preterm birth, FSHR. We anticipate other human accelerated genes will similarly be associated with preterm birth risk and elucidate essential pathways for human parturition.
Parental consanguinity is a risk factor for congenital heart disease (CHD) worldwide, suggesting that a recessive inheritance model may contribute substantially to CHD. In Bangalore, India, uncle-niece and first cousin marriages are common, presenting the opportunity for an international study involving consanguinity mapping of structural CHD. We sought to explore the recessive model of CHD by conducting a genome-wide linkage analysis utilizing high-density oligonucleotide microarrays and enrolling 83 CHD probands born to unaffected consanguineous parents.
Here, we describe a female patient with autism spectrum disorder and dysmorphic features that harbors a complex genetic alteration, involving a de novo balanced translocation t(2;X)(q11;q24), a 5q11 segmental trisomy and a maternally inherited isodisomy on chromosome 5. All the possibly damaging genetic effects of such alterations are discussed. In light of recent findings on ASD genetic causes, the hypothesis that all these alterations might be acting in orchestration and contributing to the phenotype is also considered.
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