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Teff is an indigenous cereal critical to food security in the Horn of Africa. Here, the authors report an improved genome assembly and observe the surprisingly low levels of large-scale structural rearrangement, homoeologous exchanges, or bias gene loss after the formation of this tetraploid species.
Dingoes evolved in isolation from both their domesticated and wild ancestors. Here, the authors investigate the genomic basis of the feralization of dingoes and trace their origin to domestic dogs that migrated to Australia approximately 8300 years ago.
Mikania micrantha is an extremely fast-growing invasive plant species that can cause serious damage to natural ecosystems. Here, the authors assemble its chromosome-scale reference genome and explore possible mechanisms that contribute to its rapid growth.
Cucurbits fruits have diverse shapes and sizes, but their genomes evolution and genetic basis of diversity are unclear. Here, the authors show that the wax gourd genome has the most ancestral karyotype among cucurbits and identify candidate genes which contribute to large fruit size by comparative and population genomics analyses.
Widely distributed red algae have experienced massive genome reduction during evolution. Here, using an improved genome assembly of Porphyridium purpureum, Lee et al. show the role of endosymbiotic gene transfer in plastid evolution and the correlation between phycobilisome linker diversification and the red algal radiation.
Comparative genomic analysis of human and primate relatives can reveal important biological and evolutionary insights. Here, the authors present a long-read assembly of the Chinese rhesus macaque genome and identify ape-specific structural variants.
Hyphae are a major innovation in fungi associated with transitions to multicellularity. Here, Kiss and colleagues use comparative genomic analyses to reconstruct the evolutionary origins of hyphae and the molecular evolution of hypha morphogenesis genes.
The Chloropicophyceae represent an important group of green algae in tropical oceans, but there is only limited genomic resource available. Here, the authors present the genome sequence of Chloropicon primus, revealing a diploid structure and the presence of a propionate detoxification pathway.
Recurrent urinary tract infections occur in ~ 25% of women. Here, Beatson and colleagues use whole genome sequencing to track the dynamics of an E. coli ST131 clone in a single patient over a 5-year period. This study provides unique insights into pathogen evolution during recurrent urinary infection.
While multiple cotton genomes are available, genome wide variation comparison between allotetraploid upland cotton cultivars remain unexplored. Here, the authors assemble two upland cotton cultivars and reveal large scale structural variations on chromosome A08.
Chromatin is folded into Topologically Associating domains (TADs), with the organization and folding hierarchy of the TADs being highly dynamic. Here the authors develop a parsimonious randomly cross-linked (RCL) polymer model that maps high frequency encounters present in Hi-C data within and between TADs and reconstruct TADs across cell differentiation, revealing local chromatin re-organization.
Existing apple genome assemblies all derive from Golden Delicious. Here, the authors combine different sequencing technologies to assemble a high quality genome of an anther-derived homozygous genotype HFTH1 and find the association of a retrotransposon and red fruit colour.
Broomcorn millet is one of the earliest domesticated plants and has the highest water use efficiency among cereals. Here, the authors report its genome assembly and annotation, which provides a valuable resource for breeders and paves the way for studying plant drought tolerance and C4 photosynthesis.
Broomcorn millet is one of the oldest crops cultivated by human that has strong abiotic stress tolerance. To facilitate genome assisted breeding of this and related species, the authors report its genome assembly and conduct comparative genome structure and evolution analyses with foxtail millet.
Despite technological advances, chromosome-level assemblies of mammalian genomes are still rare. Here, the authors use PacBio, Chicago and Hi-C approaches to generate a highly contiguous and partially-phased genome assembly for the water buffalo, Bubalus bubalis
Due to various structural and sequence complexities, the human Y chromosome is challenging to sequence and characterize. Here, the authors develop a strategy to sequence native, unamplified flow sorted Y chromosomes with a nanopore sequencing platform, and report the first assembly of a human Y chromosome of African origin.
Candida auris is an emergent fungal pathogen that is resistant to multiple antifungals. Here, Muñoz et al. analyse genomic sequences for isolates from each of the four major C. auris clades and for three related species, and identify genetic features associated with virulence, antifungal resistance and mating.
During early embryogenesis, critical cardiac specification events occur. Here the authors isolate cardiac progenitor cells from early zebrafish embryos and characterize accessible chromatin regions specific to this cell population, finding that many of these regions overlap with conserved non-coding elements that are ortholgous to accessible chromatin regions in human.
Cis-regulatory elements are important factors for morphological changes. Here, the authors show widespread divergence of limb and eye regulatory elements in limb loss in snakes and eye degeneration in subterranean mammals respectively.
Sweetpotato is an important food security crop providing rich source of macro- and micronutrients including carbohydrates and vitamins. Here, the authors assemble of the two diploid relatives of cultivated sweetpotato and identify genes and alleles associated with carotenoid biosynthesis from breeding lines.
The evolutionary forces that favour transitions in sex chromosomes are not well understood. Here, Jeffries and colleagues show a very high rate of sex chromosome turnover in true frogs, which may be driven by rapid mutation-load accumulation due to the low recombination rate in males.
The origin and evolution of separate sexes in plants are long-standing questions. Here, the authors use genus-wide sequencing to identify sex determining candidate genes in the genus Phoenix and demonstrate the consistence with the previously proposed two-mutation model.
The rapidly evolving Y chromosome accumulates male-benefit genes but is often poorly characterized in many mammals. Here, the authors assemble the male specific region of the horse Y chromosome and investigate its evolution and function.
Large-scale patterns of genomic repeat element evolution have been studied mainly in birds and mammals. Here, the authors analyze the genomes of over 60 squamate reptiles and show high variation in repeat elements compared to mammals and birds, and particularly high microsatellite seeding in snakes.
Dodders (Cuscuta spp., Convolvulaceae) are root- and leafless parasitic plants. Here, the authors sequence the genome of Cuscuta australis and find remarkable gene loss associated with parasitic lifestyle and large changes in body plan.
It is unclear if experimental evolution is a good model for natural processes. Here, Clerissi et al. find parallels between the evolution of symbiosis in rhizobia after horizontal transfer of a plasmid over 10 million years ago and experimentally evolved symbionts.
Ancient diapsids diverged into the lineages leading to turtles and birds over 250 million years ago. Here, the authors use genomic and molecular cytogenetic analyses of modern species to infer the genome structure of the diapsid common ancestor (DCA) and the changes occurring along the lineage to birds through theropod dinosaurs.
Animals, the Metazoa, co-opted numerous unicellular genes in their transition to multicellularity. Here, the authors use phylogenomic analyses to infer the genome composition of the ancestor of extant animals and show there was also a burst of novel gene groups associated with this transition.
Selaginella lepidophylla is a clubmoss with extreme desiccation tolerance. Here, the authors assemble its highly heterozygotic haplotypes and examine gene expression changes during desiccation, which shed light on the mechanisms for maintaining a small genome size and adaptation to extreme drying.
Horticultural lettuce varieties vary considerably in phenotype. Here, via RNA-seq of 240 different lettuce accessions, the authors identify loci and expression patterns associated with flavonoid and anthocyanin content and show that cultivated lettuce likely arose via a single domestication event.
The role of differential gene content in the evolution and function of eukaryotic genomes remains poorly explored. Here the authors assemble and annotate the Brachypodium distachyon pan-genome consisting of 54 diverse lines and reveal the differential present genes as a major driver of phenotypic variation.
The canonical scenario of sex chromosome evolution is through the differentiation of ancestral pairs of autosomes. Here, Fraïsse and colleagues use a comparative genomic analysis that shows the deep conservation of the Z chromosome in Lepidoptera and supports a non-canonical origin of the W chromosome.
Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is an important mechanism for genome evolution and adaptation in bacteria. Here, Oliveira and colleagues find HGT hotspots comprising ~ 1% of the chromosomal regions in 80 bacterial species.
High-quality reference genomes facilitate analysis of genome structure and variation. Here Duet al. create a near-complete assembly of the indicarice genome by combining single molecule sequencing with mapping data and fosmid sequences and identify genetic variants by comparison with other rice genomes.
Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivoransare both important pathogens of amphibians, but they differ in their host ranges, infection strategies, and host immune responses. Here, Farrer and colleagues compare their genomes and transcriptomes to identify the genetic basis of these differences.
The fungal Ascomycota provide a model phylum to investigate the evolution of complex multicellularity. Here, the authors combine genome sequencing with comparative and functional genomics to identify diverse endomembrane related machineries associated with the gain and loss of fungal complexity.
Shotgun DNA sequencing experiments for microbial genomic analysis are often impractical due to minimum sample input requirements. Here the authors develop a microfluidic sample preparation platform that reduces sample input requirements 100-fold and enables high throughput sequencing from low numbers of cells.
Brassica oleracea is a single species that includes diverse crops such as cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Here, the authors identify genes not captured in existing B. oleraceareference genomes by the assembly of a pangenome and show variations in gene content that may be related to important agronomic traits
Snakes have many characteristics that distinguish them from their relatives. Here, Yin et al. sequence the genome of the five-pacer viper, Deinagkistrodon acutus, and use comparative genomic analyses to elucidate the evolution of transposable elements, developmental genes and sex chromosomes in snakes.
The ascomycete Cenococcum geophilum is a beneficial mycorrhizal symbiont found frequently on tree roots. Here the authors use comparative genomics and transcriptomics to define genomic signatures that differentiate the beneficial C. geophilumfrom its saprotrophic and pathogenic relatives.
Mutualisms in which ants protect plants in exchange for food and shelter have arisen independently multiple times. Here, Rubin and Moreau sequence the genomes of three mutualistic ant species and four of their non-mutualistic relatives and show that the transition to mutualism is associated with elevated evolutionary rates across the genome
Nitrogen fixation in oceans is facilitated by associations between marine phytoplankton and cyanobacteria such as UCYN-A. Here, Cornejo-Castillo et al. show that UCYN-A diversified in the late Cretaceous under strong purifying selection to become lineage-specific symbiont partners with different prymnesiophytes.
Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that causes zoonotic infections in humans. Here, the authors identify tandem amplification and diversification of secretory pathogenesis determinants in the T. gondiigenome and show that clade-specific inheritance of conserved haploblocks enriched for these determinants shapes population structure.
Insect gustatory and olfactory receptor genes encode transmembrane proteins that detect diverse chemicals, but their evolutionary origins are unclear. This study identifies homologues of these genes in non-Bilateria and reveals an unexpected role for one in sea anemone embryonic development.
Comparative genomics can provide valuable insights on adaptations to hostile environments. Here, the authors sequence the genomes and transcriptomes of the Bactrian camel, dromedary and alpaca, to reveal the demographic history of the group as well as metabolic adaptations to the desert environment.
The African chironomid midge, Polypedilum vanderplanki, is able to withstand extreme desiccation. Here the authors sequence the genomes of a desiccation-tolerant and desiccation-sensitive species of chironomid midge and pinpoint genes that may have a role in conferring resistance to desiccation.
Rice false smut, caused by the pathogenic ascomycete fungus Ustilaginoidea virens (Cooke) Takah, has a significant economic impact on crop production. Here, Zhang et al. report the draft genome sequence of U. virensand provide insight into the evolution of genes involved in pathogenicity and adaptation to a biotrophic and floret-infecting lifestyle.
Common tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) is a widely cultivated and economically important non-food crop. Here, the authors report the draft genome sequences for three of the most common tobacco varieties and provide insights into the evolution of tobacco through a comparative analysis with closely related species.
Despite major conservation efforts, the Yangtze river dolphin, or baiji, is now recognised as functionally extinct. Here, Zhou et al. report a high quality draft baiji genome, as well as three re-sequenced genomes, and highlight evolutionary adaptations to aquatic life.