Long-read sequencing reveals intra-species tolerance of substantial structural variations and new subtelomere formation in C. elegans

Chuna Kim, Jun Kim, Sunghyun Kim, Daniel E. Cook, Kathryn S. Evans, Erik C. Andersen, Junho Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Long-read sequencing technologies have contributed greatly to comparative genomics among species and can also be applied to study genomics within a species. In this study, to determine how substantial genomic changes are generated and tolerated within a species, we sequenced a C. elegans strain, CB4856, which is one of the most genetically divergent strains compared to the N2 reference strain. For this comparison, we used the Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) RSII platform (80×, N50 read length 11.8 kb) and generated de novo genome assembly to the level of pseudochromosomes containing 76 contigs (N50 contig = 2.8 Mb). We identified structural variations that affected as many as 2694 genes, most of which are at chromosome arms. Subtelomeric regions contained the most extensive genomic rearrangements, which even created new subtelomeres in some cases. The subtelomere structure of Chromosome VR implies that ancestral telomere damage was repaired by alternative lengthening of telomeres even in the presence of a functional telomerase gene and that a new subtelomere was formed by break-induced replication. Our study demonstrates that substantial genomic changes including structural variations and new subtelomeres can be tolerated within a species, and that these changes may accumulate genetic diversity within a species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1023-1035
Number of pages13
JournalGenome research
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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