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Current Genomes News and Events, Genomes News Articles.
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New wheat and barley genomes will help feed the world
An international research collaboration, including scientists from the University of Adelaide's Waite Research Institute, has unlocked new genetic variation in wheat and barley - a major boost for the global effort in breeding higher-yielding wheat and barley varieties. (2020-11-25)

Wheat diversity due to cross-hybridization with wild grasses
Bread wheat can grow in highly diverse regional environments. An important reason for its great genetic variety is the cross-hybridization with many chromosome fragments from wild grasses. This is shown by the genome sequences of 10 wheat varieties from four continents, which an international consortium including researchers from the University of Zurich has now decoded. (2020-11-25)

Barley pan-genome: IPK scientists reach milestone on the way to 'transparent' barley
An international research team led by the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) has reached a milestone on the way to the 'transparent' barley plant. With the complete sequencing of 20 different genotypes, the scientists completed the first step in decoding the genetic information of the entire species 'barley' -- the barley pan-genome. Breeders will greatly benefit from these new findings, which have today been published in the renowned magazine Nature. (2020-11-25)

Giant aquatic bacterium is a master of adaptation
The largest freshwater bacterium, Achromatium oxaliferum, is highly flexible in its requirements, as researchers led by the IGB have now discovered: It lives in places that differ extremely in environmental conditions such as hot springs and ice water. The adaptation is probably achieved by a process which is unique to these bacteria: only relevant genes are enriched in the genomes and transcribed, while others are archived in cell compartments. (2020-11-19)

Cichlid fishes from African Lake Tanganyika shed light on how organismal diversity arises
Lake Tanganyika in Africa is a true hotspot of organismal diversity. Approximately 240 species of cichlid fishes have evolved in this lake in less than 10 million years. A research team from the University of Basel has investigated this phenomenon of ''explosive speciation'' and provides new insights into the origins of biological diversity, as they report in the journal Nature. (2020-11-18)

Lurking in genomic shadows: How giant viruses fuel the evolution of algae
Together, Aylward and Moniruzzaman have recently discovered that endogenous viral elements that originate from giant viruses are much more common in chlorophyte green algae than previously thought. (2020-11-18)

Birds of a feather do flock together
Researchers explain how different species of the finch-like capuchino seedeaters quickly acquired distinct patterns of coloration over an evolutionary time scale. New gene patterns emerged from selective sweeps, a genetic process during which a naturally occurring variation becomes advantageous. (2020-11-17)

New bird genomes give insight into evolution of genomic diversity
The Bird 10,000 Genome Project (B10K), an initiative to sequence the genomes of all living bird species, announces the completion of its second milestone--the release of genomes representing 92% of all bird families. (2020-11-12)

Scientists release genomes of birds representing nearly all avian families
In the Nov. 11, 2020 issue of the journal Nature, scientists report on the genomes of 363 species of birds, including 267 that have been sequenced for the first time. The studied species--from widespread, economically important birds such as the chicken to the lesser known birds--represent more than 92% of the world's avian families. The data from the study will advance research on the evolution of birds and the conservation of threatened bird species. (2020-11-11)

New genome alignment tool empowers large-scale studies of vertebrate evolution
Three papers published November 11 in Nature present major advances in understanding the evolution of birds and mammals, made possible by new methods for comparing the genomes of hundreds of species. Researchers at the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute developed a powerful new genome alignment method that has made the new studies possible, including the largest genome alignment ever achieved of more than 600 vertebrate genomes. (2020-11-11)

240 mammals help us understand the human genome
A large international consortium led by scientists at Uppsala University and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has sequenced the genome of 130 mammals and analysed the data together with 110 existing genomes to allow scientist to identify which are the important positions in the DNA. This new information can help both research on disease mutations in humans and how best to preserve endangered species. The study is published in Nature. (2020-11-11)

Largest set of mammalian genomes reveals species at risk of extinction
An international team of researchers with the Zoonomia Project has released the whole genomes of more than 80 percent of all mammalian families, spanning almost 110 million years of evolution. The dataset, published in Nature, includes genomes from more than 120 species that were not previously sequenced, capturing mammalian diversity at an unprecedented scale. Zoonomia data have already helped researchers in another recent study to assess the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 across many species. (2020-11-11)

Uncovering novel genomes from earth's microbiomes
As reported in Nature Biotechnology, the known diversity of bacteria and archaea has been expanded by 44% through a publicly available collection of more than 52,000 microbial genomes from environmental samples, resulting from a JGI-led collaboration involving more than 200 scientists (the IMG Data Consortium) around the world. Enabled by the repositories of data and computational tools established and maintained by JGI, KBase, and NERSC, with the contributions of a growing research community. (2020-11-09)

Paleogenomics -- the prehistory of modern dogs
An international team of scientists has used ancient DNA samples to elucidate the population history of dogs. The results show that dogs had already diverged into at least five distinct lineages by about 11,000 years ago and that their early population history only partially reflects that of human groups. (2020-11-06)

SARS-CoV-2 uses 'genome origami' to infect and replicate inside host cells
Scientists at the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with Justus-Liebig University, Germany, have uncovered how the genome of SARS-CoV-2 - the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 - uses genome origami to infect and replicate successfully inside host cells. (2020-11-05)

Silk road contains genomic resources for improving apples
The fabled Silk Road is responsible for one of our favorite and most valuable fruits: the domesticated apple. Researchers have now assembled complete reference genomes and pan-genomes for apple and its two main wild progenitors, providing detailed genetic insights into apple domestication and important fruit traits that could help plant breeders improve the crop's flavor, texture, and resistance to stress and disease. (2020-11-02)

Denisovan DNA in the genome of early East Asians
Researchers analyzed the genome of the oldest human fossil found in Mongolia to date and show that the 34,000-year-old woman inherited around 25 percent of her DNA from western Eurasians, demonstrating that people moved across the Eurasian continent shortly after it had first been settled by the ancestors of present-day populations. This individual and a 40,000-year-old individual from China also carried DNA from Denisovans, an extinct form of hominins that inhabited Asia before modern humans arrived. (2020-10-29)

New ancient genomes reveal a complex common history of dogs and humans
Newly sequenced whole genomes of ancient dogs reveal a complicated genetic legacy that reflects a long, shared history with humans spanning more than 11,000 years into the past. (2020-10-29)

Can scientists take the STING out of common respiratory viruses?
University of North Carolina School of Medicine scientists have made a curious discovery about a well-known human protein that helps the immune system fight viral infections. The lab of Stan Lemon MD, and colleagues found that one class of viruses actually requires this protein to infect cells and replicate. (2020-10-26)

Advancing wildlife genomics through the development of molecular methods
A team of scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW), the Australian Museum and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) report a new method for identifying any genome sequence located next to a known sequence. Sonication Inverse PCR (SIP) can be used to characterise any DNA sequence (near a known sequence) and can be applied across genomics applications within a clinical setting as well as molecular evolutionary analyses. (2020-10-19)

Genomes offer new insights into fig-wasp symbiotic system
In a recent study, researchers from Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (FAFU) and the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) provided insights into fig-wasp coevolution through comparative analyses of two Ficus genomes - one with aerial roots and one without, one monecious and one dioecious, as well as the genome of a coevolving wasp pollinator. They also sequenced more samples of figs and pollinators. (2020-10-09)

Genomic study reveals evolutionary secrets of banyan tree
The banyan fig tree Ficus microcarpa is famous for its aerial roots, which sprout from branches and eventually reach the soil. The tree also has a unique relationship with a wasp that has coevolved with it and is the only insect that can pollinate it. In a new study, researchers identify regions in the banyan fig's genome that promote the development of its unusual aerial roots and enhance its ability to signal its wasp pollinator. (2020-10-08)

A new assembler for decoding genomes of microbial communities developed
The metaFlye assembler is designed to assemble DNA samples from microbial communities. With its help, it is possible to solve a wide range of fundamental and applied problems, among which is the control of the process of treating patients and even the creation of new drugs. (2020-10-08)

Genetic gains for better grains
A nutritious millet crop grown mainly in West Africa could be genetically improved for large-scale agriculture in Saudi Arabia. (2020-09-29)

Looking at evolution's genealogy from home
Evolution leaves its traces in particular in genomes. A team headed by Dr. Jürgen Schmitz from the Institute of Experimental Pathology at Münster University uses its '2-n-way' software to determine the relationships between species or individuals and compare any genome of and for anyone. The results are published in the journal 'Genome Research'. (2020-09-28)

Choanozoan and picozoan marine protists are probably virus eaters - study
Scientists used single-cell genomics to show that two groups of poorly known marine protists routinely ingest viruses. They hypothesize that this serves to absorb phosphorus and nitrogen - that is, using viruses as food. This discovery has important implications for our understanding of oceanic food webs and carbon cycles. (2020-09-24)

Wels catfish genome assembled
By deciphering the genetic code of the barbelled giant, scientists expect to better understand the secrets of the wels catfish's exceptionally rapid growth, enormous appetite and longevity. (2020-09-22)

Unlocking the secrets of plant genomes in high resolution
Resolving genomes, particularly plant genomes, is a very complex and error-prone task. This is because there are several copies of all of the chromosomes and they are very alike. A team of bioinformatics researchers from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) has now developed a software tool that allows for precise assignment to the correct copies - a process known as 'phasing'. They present their development in the latest online edition of the journal Genome Biology. (2020-09-21)

New genetic analysis method could advance personal genomics
Geneticists could identify the causes of disorders that currently go undiagnosed if standard practices for collecting individual genetic information were expanded to capture more variants that researchers can now decipher, concludes new Johns Hopkins University research. (2020-09-10)

Genome analyses track SARS-CoV-2's early introduction to the US and Europe
SARS-CoV-2 arrived in Washington State somewhere between late January and early February 2020, sparking rapid community transmission of the virus that went undetected for several weeks before this community spread became evident, prompting a change in testing criteria to emphasize individuals with no travel history. (2020-09-10)

Oxford University researchers discover 'genetic vulnerability' in breast cancer cells
The study, published in the scientific journal Nature, has uncovered a genetic vulnerability present in nearly 10% percent of all breast cancers tumours, and found a way to target this vulnerability and selectively kill cancer cells. (2020-09-09)

Viruses on glaciers highlight evolutionary mechanism to overcome host defenses
An international team of scientists led by Christopher Bellas from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, studying life on the surface of glaciers in the Arctic and Alps challenge assumptions on virus evolution. Their study, now published in the journal Nature Communications shows that, contrary to expectations, the viruses on glaciers in the Alps, Greenland and Spitsbergen are remarkably stable in the environment. (2020-09-02)

Genomes published for major agricultural weeds
Representing some of the most troublesome agricultural weeds, waterhemp, smooth pigweed, and Palmer amaranth impact crop production systems across the US and elsewhere with ripple effects felt by economies worldwide. In a landmark study, scientists have published the most comprehensive genome information to date for all three species, marking a new era of scientific discovery toward potential solutions. (2020-08-27)

Expanding researchers' knowledge of the microbial defense toolkit
A new study identifies a wide array of previously unknown molecular functions and enzymatic activities microbes use to protect against viral threats. (2020-08-27)

Unique HIV reservoirs in elite controllers
Unlike ART-treated individuals, elite controllers' viral reservoirs appear to be incapable of being reactivated. This likely helps the elite controllers maintain spontaneous, drug-free control of HIV. (2020-08-26)

The secret life of melons revealed: "Jumping sequences" may alter gene expression
Researchers from the University of Tsukuba have found in a comparison of melon genomes that retrotransposons (a.k.a. ''jumping sequences'') may affect gene expression. Fruit ripening physiology varies widely in melons, and retrotransposons may have contributed to changes in gene expression as melon genomes diversified. Some retrotransposon sequences were transcriptionally induced under heat stress, suggesting that retrotransposons were responsive to this kind of stress, and may affect the expression of genes that induces fruit ripening. (2020-08-25)

Remains of 17th century bishop support neolithic emergence of tuberculosis
In a recent study published in Genome Biology, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Lund University and the Swedish Natural Historical Museum present analysis of the highest quality ancient Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome to date, suggesting the pathogen is much younger than previously believed. (2020-08-14)

Syphilis may have spread through Europe before Columbus
Columbus brought syphilis to Europe -- or did he? A recent study conducted at the University of Zurich now indicates that Europeans could already have been infected with this sexually transmitted disease before the 15th century. In addition, researchers have discovered a hitherto unknown pathogen causing a related disease. The predecessor of syphilis and its related diseases could be over 2,500 years old. (2020-08-13)

For bacteria, a small genome means some serious decluttering -- even in the ribosome
Researchers have studied the genomes of some 200 strains of bacteria to determine which proteins in the ribosome, part of the key cell machinery, can be safely lost and why. Research showed that frequently lost ribosomal proteins tend to be placed on the ribosome surface, where they usually have fewer contacts to other ribosome components. Yet since ribosomal proteins are in the cell's essential toolkit, they are generally among the last to leave a 'downsizing' bacterial genome. (2020-08-11)

Faster rates of evolution are linked to tiny genomes, study finds
Inside every cell lies a genome - a full set of DNA that contains the instructions for building an organism. Across the biological world, genomes show a staggering diversity in size but scientists still don't fully understand why. Now, scientists have found a link between mutation rate - how quickly the DNA sequence changes - and genome size. Writing in Current Biology, the researchers reported that prokaryotes with higher mutation rates lose genes at a faster pace, and therefore have smaller genomes. (2020-08-06)

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