Yantian District Shenzhen, China
Yantian District Shenzhen, China

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Tang M.,China National GeneBank | Tan M.,China National GeneBank | Tan M.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Meng G.,China National GeneBank | And 10 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2014

The advent in high-throughput-sequencing (HTS) technologies has revolutionized conventional biodiversity research by enabling parallel capture of DNA sequences possessing species-level diagnosis. However, polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based implementation is biased by the efficiency of primer binding across lineages of organisms. A PCR-free HTS approach will alleviate this artefact and significantly improve upon the multi-locus method utilizing full mitogenomes. Here we developed a novel multiplex sequencing and assembly pipeline allowing for simultaneous acquisition of full mitogenomes from pooled animals without DNA enrichment or amplification. By concatenating assemblies from three de novo assemblers, we obtained high-quality mitogenomes for all 49 pooled taxa, with 36 species >15 kb and the remaining >10 kb, including 20 complete mitogenomes and nearly all protein coding genes (99.6%). The assembly quality was carefully validated with Sanger sequences, reference genomes and conservativeness of protein coding genes across taxa. The new method was effective even for closely related taxa, e.g. three Drosophila spp., demonstrating its broad utility for biodiversity research and mito-phylogenomics. Finally, the in silicosimulation showed that by recruiting multiple mito-loci, taxon detection was improved at a fixed sequencing depth. Combined, these results demonstrate the plausibility of a multi-locus mito-metagenomics approach as the next phase of the current single-locus metabarcoding method. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.


Shao C.,Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences | Li Q.,China National Genebank | Li Q.,South China University of Technology | Li Q.,Copenhagen University | And 20 more authors.
Genome Research | Year: 2014

Environmental sex determination (ESD) occurs in divergent, phylogenetically unrelated taxa, and in some species, cooccurs with genetic sex determination (GSD) mechanisms. Although epigenetic regulation in response to environmental effects has long been proposed to be associated with ESD, a systemic analysis on epigenetic regulation of ESD is still lacking. Using half-smooth tongue sole (Cynoglossus semilaevis) as a model-a marine fish that has both ZW chromosomal GSD and temperature-dependent ESD-we investigated the role of DNA methylation in transition from GSD to ESD. Comparativeanalysis of the gonadal DNA methylomes of pseudomale, female, and normal male fish revealed that genes in the sex determination pathways are the major targets of substantial methylation modification during sexual reversal. Methylation modification in pseudomales is globally inherited in their ZW offspring, which can naturally develop into pseudomales without temperature incubation. Transcriptome analysis revealed that dosage compensation occurs in a restricted, methylated cytosine enriched Z chromosomal region in pseudomale testes, achieving equal expression level in normal male testes. In contrast, female-specific W chromosomal genes are suppressed in pseudomales by methylation regulation. We conclude that epigenetic regulation plays multiple crucial roles in sexual reversal of tongue sole fish. We also offer the first clues on the mechanisms behind gene dosage balancing in an organism that undergoes sexual reversal. Finally, we suggest a causal link between the bias sex chromosome assortment in the offspring of a pseudomale family and the transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of sexual reversal in tongue sole fish. ©2014 Shao et al.


Pfenning A.R.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Hara E.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Whitney O.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Rivas M.V.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | And 23 more authors.
Science | Year: 2014

Song-learning birds and humans share independently evolved similarities in brain pathways for vocal learning that are essential for song and speech and are not found in most other species. Comparisons of brain transcriptomes of song-learning birds and humans relative to vocal nonlearners identified convergent gene expression specializations in specific song and speech brain regions of avian vocal learners and humans. The strongest shared profiles relate bird motor and striatal song-learning nuclei, respectively, with human laryngeal motor cortex and parts of the striatum that control speech production and learning. Most of the associated genes function in motor control and brain connectivity. Thus, convergent behavior and neural connectivity for a complex trait are associated with convergent specialized expression of multiple genes.


Eory L.,Roslin Institute | Gilbert M.T.P.,Copenhagen University | Gilbert M.T.P.,Curtin University Australia | Li C.,Copenhagen University | And 11 more authors.
Genome Biology | Year: 2015

Giving access to sequence and annotation data for genome assemblies is important because, while facilitating research, it places both assembly and annotation quality under scrutiny, resulting in improvements to both. Therefore we announce Avianbase, a resource for bird genomics, which provides access to data released by the Avian Phylogenomics Consortium. © 2015 Eöry et al.; licensee BioMed Central.


PubMed | Center for Molecular Biodiversity Research, China National GeneBank, University of Bonn, Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig and China Agricultural University
Type: | Journal: Genome biology and evolution | Year: 2017

RNA interference (RNAi) refers to the set of molecular processes found in eukaryotic organisms in which small RNA molecules mediate the silencing or down-regulation of target genes. In insects, RNAi serves a number of functions, including regulation of endogenous genes, anti-viral defense, and defense against transposable elements. Despite being well studied in model organisms, such as Drosophila, the distribution of core RNAi pathway genes and their evolution in insects is not well understood. Here we present the most comprehensive overview of the distribution and diversity of core RNAi pathway genes across 100 insect species, encompassing all currently recognized insect orders. We inferred the phylogenetic origin of insect-specific RNAi pathway genes and also identified several hitherto unrecorded gene expansions using whole-body transcriptome data from the international 1KITE (1000 Insect Transcriptome Evolution) project as well as other resources such as i5K (5000 Insect Genome Project). Specifically, we traced the origin of the double stranded RNA binding protein R2D2 to the last common ancestor of winged insects (Pterygota), the loss of Sid-1/Tag-130 orthologs in Antliophora (fleas, flies and relatives, and scorpionflies in a broad sense), and confirm previous evidence for the splitting of the Argonaute proteins Aubergine and Piwi in Brachyceran flies (Diptera, Brachycera). Our study offers new reference points for future experimental research on RNAi-related pathway genes in insects.


Kocher S.D.,Harvard University | Kocher S.D.,CAS Kunming Institute of Zoology | Li C.,China National GeneBank | Li C.,Copenhagen University | And 11 more authors.
Genome Biology | Year: 2013

Background: Taxa that harbor natural phenotypic variation are ideal for ecological genomic approaches aimed at understanding how the interplay between genetic and environmental factors can lead to the evolution of complex traits. Lasioglossum albipes is a polymorphic halictid bee that expresses variation in social behavior among populations, and common-garden experiments have suggested that this variation is likely to have a genetic component.Results: We present the L. albipes genome assembly to characterize the genetic and ecological factors associated with the evolution of social behavior. The de novo assembly is comparable to other published social insect genomes, with an N50 scaffold length of 602 kb. Gene families unique to L. albipes are associated with integrin-mediated signaling and DNA-binding domains, and several appear to be expanded in this species, including the glutathione-s-transferases and the inositol monophosphatases. L. albipes has an intact DNA methylation system, and in silico analyses suggest that methylation occurs primarily in exons. Comparisons to other insect genomes indicate that genes associated with metabolism and nucleotide binding undergo accelerated evolution in the halictid lineage. Whole-genome resequencing data from one solitary and one social L. albipes female identify six genes that appear to be rapidly diverging between social forms, including a putative odorant receptor and a cuticular protein.Conclusions: L. albipes represents a novel genetic model system for understanding the evolution of social behavior. It represents the first published genome sequence of a primitively social insect, thereby facilitating comparative genomic studies across the Hymenoptera as a whole. © 2013 Kocher et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Oxley P.R.,Rockefeller University | Ji L.,China National Genebank | Fetter-Pruneda I.,Rockefeller University | McKenzie S.K.,Rockefeller University | And 5 more authors.
Current Biology | Year: 2014

Social insects are important models for social evolution and behavior. However, in many species, experimental control over important factors that regulate division of labor, such as genotype and age, is limited [1, 2]. Furthermore, most species have fixed queen and worker castes, making it difficult to establish causality between the molecular mechanisms that underlie reproductive division of labor, the hallmark of insect societies [3]. Here we present the genome of the queenless clonal raider ant Cerapachys biroi, a powerful new study system that does not suffer from these constraints. Using cytology and RAD-seq, we show that C. biroi reproduces via automixis with central fusion and that heterozygosity is lost extremely slowly. As a consequence, nestmates are almost clonally related (r = 0.996). Workers in C. biroi colonies synchronously alternate between reproduction and brood care, and young workers eclose in synchronized cohorts. We show that genes associated with division of labor in other social insects are conserved in C. biroi and dynamically regulated during the colony cycle. With unparalleled experimental control over an individual's genotype and age, and the ability to induce reproduction and brood care [4, 5], C. biroi has great potential to illuminate the molecular regulation of division of labor. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Qin J.,Capital Normal University | Zhang Y.,CAS Institute of Zoology | Zhou X.,China National GeneBank | Kong X.,Chinese Academy of Forestry | And 3 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2015

Background: Pine moths (Lepidoptera; Bombycoidea; Lasiocampidae: Dendrolimus spp.) are among the most serious insect pests of forests, especially in southern China. Although COI barcodes (a standardized portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene) can distinguish some members of this genus, the evolutionary relationships of the three morphospecies Dendrolimus punctatus, D. tabulaeformis and D. spectabilis have remained largely unresolved. We sequenced whole mitochondrial genomes of eight specimens, including D. punctatus wenshanensis. This is an unambiguous subspecies of D. punctatus, and was used as a reference for inferring the relationships of the other two morphospecies of the D. punctatus complex. We constructed phylogenetic trees from this data, including twelve published mitochondrial genomes of other Bombycoidea species, and examined the relationships of the Dendrolimus taxa using these trees and the genomic features of the mitochondrial genome. Results: The eight fully sequenced mitochondrial genomes from the three morphospecies displayed similar genome structures as other Bombycoidea species in terms of gene content, base composition, level of overall AT-bias and codon usage. However, the Dendrolimus genomes possess a unique feature in the large ribosomal 16S RNA subunits (rrnL), which are more than 60 bp longer than other members of the superfamily and have a higher AC proportion. The eight mitochondrial genomes of Dendrolimus were highly conservative in many aspects, for example with identical stop codons and overlapping regions. But there were many differences in start codons, intergenic spacers, and numbers of mismatched base pairs of tRNA (transfer RNA genes). Conclusions: Whole mitochondrial genomes possess relatively rich genetic information compared with the traditional use of single or multiple genes for phylogenetic purposes. They can be used to better infer phylogenetic relationships and degrees of relatedness of taxonomic groups, at least from the aspect of maternal lineage: caution should be taken due to the maternal-only inheritance of this genome. Our results indicate that D. spectabilis is an independent lineage, while D. tabulaeformis shows an extremely close relationship to D. punctatus. © 2015 Qin et al.; licensee BioMed Central.


Nadachowska-Brzyska K.,Uppsala University | Li C.,China National GeneBank | Li C.,Copenhagen University | Smeds L.,Uppsala University | And 3 more authors.
Current Biology | Year: 2015

Global climate fluctuations have significantly influenced the distribution and abundance of biodiversity [1]. During unfavorable glacial periods, many species experienced range contraction and fragmentation, expanding again during interglacials [2-4]. An understanding of the evolutionary consequences of both historical and ongoing climate changes requires knowledge of the temporal dynamics of population numbers during such climate cycles. Variation in abundance should have left clear signatures in the patterns of intraspecific genetic variation in extant species, from which historical effective population sizes (Ne) can be estimated [3]. We analyzed whole-genome sequences of 38 avian species in a pairwise sequentially Markovian coalescent (PSMC, [5]) framework to quantitatively reveal changes in Ne from approximately 10 million to 10 thousand years ago. Significant fluctuations in Ne over time were evident for most species. The most pronounced pattern observed in many species was a severe reduction in Ne coinciding with the beginning of the last glacial period (LGP). Among species, Ne varied by at least three orders of magnitude, exceeding 1 million in the most abundant species. Several species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species showed long-term reduction in population size, predating recent declines. We conclude that cycles of population expansions and contractions have been a common feature of many bird species during the Quaternary period, likely coinciding with climate cycles. Population size reduction should have increased the risk of extinction but may also have promoted speciation. Species that have experienced long-term declines may be especially vulnerable to recent anthropogenic threats. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Zhou Q.,University of California at Berkeley | Zhang J.,China National Genebank | Bachtrog D.,University of California at Berkeley | An N.,China National Genebank | And 6 more authors.
Science | Year: 2014

Sex-specific chromosomes, like the W of most female birds and the Y of male mammals, usually have lost most genes owing to a lack of recombination.We analyze newly available genomes of 17 bird species representing the avian phylogenetic range, and find that more than half of them do not have as fully degenerated W chromosomes as that of chicken. We show that avian sex chromosomes harbor tremendous diversity among species in their composition of pseudoautosomal regions and degree of Z/W differentiation. Punctuated events of shared or lineage-specific recombination suppression have produced a gradient of "evolutionary strata" along the Z chromosome, which initiates from the putative avian sex-determining gene DMRT1 and ends at the pseudoautosomal region.W-linked genes are subject to ongoing functional decay after recombination was suppressed, and the tempo of degeneration slows down in older strata. Overall, we unveil a complex history of avian sex chromosome evolution.

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