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Branford, CT, United States

Archer J.,University of Manchester | Rambaut A.,University of Edinburgh | Taillon B.E.,454 Life science | Richard Harrigan P.,British Columbia Center for Excellence in | And 3 more authors.
PLoS Computational Biology

Large-scale parallel pyrosequencing produces unprecedented quantities of sequence data. However, when generated from viral populations current mapping software is inadequate for dealing with the high levels of variation present, resulting in the potential for biased data loss. In order to apply the 454 Life Sciences' pyrosequencing system to the study of viral populations, we have developed software for the processing of highly variable sequence data. Here we demonstrate our software by analyzing two temporally sampled HIV-1 intra-patient datasets from a clinical study of maraviroc. This drug binds the CCR5 coreceptor, thus preventing HIV-1 infection of the cell. The objective is to determine viral tropism (CCR5 versus CXCR4 usage) and track the evolution of minority CXCR4-using variants that may limit the response to a maraviroccontaining treatment regimen. Five time points (two prior to treatment) were available from each patient. We first quantify the effects of divergence on initial read k-mer mapping and demonstrate the importance of utilizing population-specific template sequences in relation to the analysis of next-generation sequence data. Then, in conjunction with coreceptor prediction algorithms that infer HIV tropism, our software was used to quantify the viral population structure pre- and posttreatment. In both cases, low frequency CXCR4-using variants (2.5-15%) were detected prior to treatment. Following phylogenetic inference, these variants were observed to exist as distinct lineages that were maintained through time. Our analysis, thus confirms the role of pre-existing CXCR4-using virus in the emergence of maraviroc-insensitive HIV. The software will have utility for the study of intra-host viral diversity and evolution of other fast evolving viruses, and is available from http://www.bioinf.manchester.ac.uk/segminator/. © 2010 Archer et al. Source

Cavagnaro P.F.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Cavagnaro P.F.,CONICET | Senalik D.A.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Yang L.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | And 5 more authors.
BMC Genomics

Background: Cucumber, Cucumis sativus L. is an important vegetable crop worldwide. Until very recently, cucumber genetic and genomic resources, especially molecular markers, have been very limited, impeding progress of cucumber breeding efforts. Microsatellites are short tandemly repeated DNA sequences, which are frequently favored as genetic markers due to their high level of polymorphism and codominant inheritance. Data from previously characterized genomes has shown that these repeats vary in frequency, motif sequence, and genomic location across taxa. During the last year, the genomes of two cucumber genotypes were sequenced including the Chinese fresh market type inbred line '9930' and the North American pickling type inbred line 'Gy14'. These sequences provide a powerful tool for developing markers in a large scale. In this study, we surveyed and characterized the distribution and frequency of perfect microsatellites in 203 Mbp assembled Gy14 DNA sequences, representing 55% of its nuclear genome, and in cucumber EST sequences. Similar analyses were performed in genomic and EST data from seven other plant species, and the results were compared with those of cucumber.Results: A total of 112,073 perfect repeats were detected in the Gy14 cucumber genome sequence, accounting for 0.9% of the assembled Gy14 genome, with an overall density of 551.9 SSRs/Mbp. While tetranucleotides were the most frequent microsatellites in genomic DNA sequence, dinucleotide repeats, which had more repeat units than any other SSR type, had the highest cumulative sequence length. Coding regions (ESTs) of the cucumber genome had fewer microsatellites compared to its genomic sequence, with trinucleotides predominating in EST sequences. AAG was the most frequent repeat in cucumber ESTs. Overall, AT-rich motifs prevailed in both genomic and EST data. Compared to the other species examined, cucumber genomic sequence had the highest density of SSRs (although comparable to the density of poplar, grapevine and rice), and was richest in AT dinucleotides. Using an electronic PCR strategy, we investigated the polymorphism between 9930 and Gy14 at 1,006 SSR loci, and found unexpectedly high degree of polymorphism (48.3%) between the two genotypes. The level of polymorphism seems to be positively associated with the number of repeat units in the microsatellite. The in silico PCR results were validated empirically in 660 of the 1,006 SSR loci. In addition, primer sequences for more than 83,000 newly-discovered cucumber microsatellites, and their exact positions in the Gy14 genome assembly were made publicly available.Conclusions: The cucumber genome is rich in microsatellites; AT and AAG are the most abundant repeat motifs in genomic and EST sequences of cucumber, respectively. Considering all the species investigated, some commonalities were noted, especially within the monocot and dicot groups, although the distribution of motifs and the frequency of certain repeats were characteristic of the species examined. The large number of SSR markers developed from this study should be a significant contribution to the cucurbit research community. © 2010 Cavagnaro et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Honkavuori K.S.,Columbia University | Shivaprasad H.L.,California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System | Briese T.,Columbia University | Street C.,Columbia University | And 3 more authors.
Emerging Infectious Diseases

To identify a candidate etiologic agent for turkey viral hepatitis, we analyzed samples from diseased turkey poults from 8 commercial fl ocks in California, USA, that were collected during 2008-2010. High-throughput pyrosequencing of RNA from livers of poults with turkey viral hepatitis (TVH) revealed picornavirus sequences. Subsequent cloning of the ≈9-kb genome showed an organization similar to that of picornaviruses with conservation of motifs within the P1, P2, and P3 genome regions, but also unique features, including a 1.2-kb sequence of unknown function at the junction of P1 and P2 regions. Real-time PCR confi rmed viral RNA in liver, bile, intestine, serum, and cloacal swab specimens from diseased poults. Analysis of liver by in situ hybridization with viral probes and immunohistochemical testing of serum demonstrated viral nucleic acid and protein in livers of diseased poults. Molecular, anatomic, and immunologic evidence suggests that TVH is caused by a novel picornavirus, tentatively named turkey hepatitis virus. Source

Palacios G.,Columbia University | Lowenstine L.J.,University of California at Davis | Cranfield M.R.,University of California at Davis | Gilardi K.V.K.,University of California at Davis | And 10 more authors.
Emerging Infectious Diseases

The genetic relatedness of mountain gorillas and humans has led to concerns about interspecies transmission of infectious agents. Human-to-gorilla transmission may explain human metapneumovirus in 2 wild mountain gorillas that died during a respiratory disease outbreak in Rwanda in 2009. Surveillance is needed to ensure survival of these critically endangered animals. Source

Quan P.-L.,Columbia University | Wagner T.A.,University of Washington | Briese T.,Columbia University | Torgerson T.R.,University of Washington | And 12 more authors.
Emerging Infectious Diseases

Encephalitis is a major cause of death worldwide. Although >100 pathogens have been identified as causative agents, the pathogen is not determined for up to 75% of cases. This diagnostic failure impedes effective treatment and underscores the need for better tools and new approaches for detecting novel pathogens or determining new manifestations of known pathogens. Although astroviruses are commonly associated with gastroenteritis, they have not been associated with central nervous system disease. Using unbiased pyrosequencing, we detected an astrovirus as the causative agent for encephalitis in a 15-year-old boy with agammaglobulinemia; several laboratories had failed to identify the agent. Our findings expand the spectrum of causative agents associated with encephalitis and highlight unbiased molecular technology as a valuable tool for differential diagnosis of unexplained disease. Source

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