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Strand-specific Single-stranded DNA Sequencing (4S-seq) of E. coli genomes

Most bacterial genomes have biased nucleotide composition, and the asymmetry is considered to be caused by a single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) deamination arising from the bacterial replication machinery. In order to evaluate the relationship experimentally, the position and frequency of ssDNA formed during replication must be verified clearly. Although many ssDNA detection technologies exist, almost all methods have been developed for eukaryotic genomes. To apply these to bacterial genomes, which harbor a smaller amount of DNA than those of eukaryotes, more efficient, new methods are required. Therefore, we developed a novel strand-specific ssDNA sequencing method, called 4S-seq, for the bacterial genome. The 4S-seq method enriches ssDNA in the extracted genomic DNA by a dsDNA-specific nuclease and implements a strand-specific library using a biotin label with a customized tag. As a result, the 4S-seq is able to calculate the ssDNA content in each strand (Watson/Crick) at each position of the genome efficiently.


Nanopore sequencing: review of potential applications in functional genomics

Molecular biology has been led by various measurement technologies, and increased throughput has developed omics analysis. The development of massively parallel sequencing technology has enabled access to fundamental molecular data and revealed genomic and transcriptomic signatures. Nanopore sequencers have driven such evolution to the next stage. Oxford Nanopore Technologies Inc. provides a new type of single molecule sequencer using protein nanopore that realizes direct sequencing without DNA synthesizing or amplification. This nanopore sequencer can sequence an ultra-long read limited by the input nucleotide length, or can determine DNA/RNA modifications. Recently, many fields such as medicine, epidemiology, ecology, and education have benefited from this technology. In this review, we explain the features and functions of the nanopore sequencer, introduce various situations where it has been used as a critical technology, and expected future applications.


eRP arrangement: a strategy for assembled genomic contig rearrangement based on replication profiling in bacteria

Background: The reduced cost of sequencing has made de novo sequencing and the assembly of draft microbial genomes feasible in any ordinary biology lab. However, the process of finishing and completing the genome remains labor-intensive and computationally challenging in some cases, such as in the study of complete genome sequences, genomic rearrangements, long-range syntenic relationships, and structural variations.

Methods: Here, we show a contig reordering strategy based on experimental replication profiling (eRP) to recapitulate the bacterial genome structure within draft genomes. During the exponential growth phase, the majority of bacteria show a global genomic copy number gradient that is enriched near the replication origin and gradually declines toward the terminus. Therefore, if genome sequencing is performed with appropriate timing, the short-read coverage reflects this copy number gradient, providing information about the contig positions relative to the replication origin and terminus.

Conclusions: Our strategy was successful for contig rearrangement with intracellular DNA replication behavior mechanisms and can be applied to almost all bacteria because the DNA replication system is highly conserved. Therefore, eRP makes it possible to understand genomic structural information and long-range syntenic relationships using a draft genome that is based on short reads.


Evaluation of the impact of RNA preservation methods of spiders for de novo transcriptome assembly

With advances in high-throughput sequencing technologies, de novo transcriptome sequencing and assembly has become a cost-effective method to obtain comprehensive genetic information of a species of interest, especially in nonmodel species with large genomes such as spiders. However, high-quality RNA is essential for successful sequencing, and sample preservation conditions require careful consideration for the effective storage of field-collected samples. To this end, we report a streamlined feasibility study of various storage conditions and their effects on de novo transcriptome assembly results. The storage parameters considered include temperatures ranging from room temperature to −80°C; preservatives, including ethanol, RNAlater, TRIzol and RNAlater-ICE; and sample submersion states. As a result, intact RNA was extracted and assembly was successful when samples were preserved at low temperatures regardless of the type of preservative used. The assemblies as well as the gene expression profiles were shown to be robust to RNA degradation, when 30 million 150-bp paired-end reads are obtained. The parameters for sample storage, RNA extraction, library preparation, sequencing and in silico assembly considered in this work provide a guideline for the study of field-collected samples of spiders.


Pathway Projector: Web-Based Zoomable Pathway Browser Using KEGG Atlas and Google Maps API

Pathway Projector provides integrated pathway maps that are based upon the KEGG Atlas, with the addition of nodes for genes and enzymes, and is implemented as a scalable, zoomable map utilizing the Google Maps API. Users can search pathway-related data using keywords, molecular weights, nucleotide sequences, and amino acid sequences, or as possible routes between compounds. In addition, experimental data from transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic analyses can be readily mapped. 

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