Target enrichment of conserved genomic regions facilitates collecting sequences of many orthologous loci from non-model organisms to address phylogenetic, phylogeographic, population genetic, and molecular evolution questions. Bait sets for sequence capture can simultaneously target thousands of loci, which opens new avenues of research on speciose groups. Current phylogenetic hypotheses on the >103,000 species of Hemiptera have failed to unambiguously resolve major nodes, suggesting that alternative datasets and more thorough taxon sampling may be required to resolve relationships. We here use a recently designed ultraconserved element (UCE) bait set for Hemiptera, with a focus on the suborder Heteroptera, or the true bugs, to test previously proposed relationships. We present newly generated UCE data for 36 samples representing three suborders, all seven heteropteran infraorders, 23 families, and 34 genera of Hemiptera and one thysanopteran outgroup. To improve taxon sampling, we also mined additional UCE loci in silico from published hemipteran genomic and transcriptomic data. We obtained 2,271 UCE loci for newly sequenced hemipteran taxa, ranging from 265 to 1,696 (average 904) per sample. These were similar in number to the data mined from transcriptomes and genomes, but with fewer loci overall. The amount of missing data correlates with greater phylogenetic divergence from taxa used to design the baits. This bait set hybridizes to a wide range of hemipteran taxa and specimens of varying quality, including dried specimens as old as 1973. Our estimated phylogeny yielded topologies consistent with other studies for most nodes and was strongly-supported. We also demonstrate that UCE loci are almost exclusively from the transcribed portion of the genome, thus data can be successfully integrated with existing genomic and transcriptomic resources for more comprehensive phylogenetic sampling, an important feature in the era of phylogenomics. UCE approaches can be used by other researchers for additional studies on hemipteran evolution and other research that requires well resolved phylogenies.

The fast growing bacterium Vibrio natriegens is an emerging microbial host for biotechnology. Harnessing its productive cellular components may offer a compelling platform for rapid protein production and prototyping of metabolic pathways or genetic circuits. Here, we report the development of a V. natriegens cell-free expression system. We devised a simplified crude extract preparation protocol and achieved >260 μg/mL of superfolder GFP in a small-scale batch reaction after 3 h. Culturing conditions, including growth media and cell density, significantly affect translation kinetics and protein yield of extracts. We observed maximal protein yield at incubation temperatures of 26 or 30 °C, and show improved yield by tuning ions crucial for ribosomal stability. This work establishes an initial V. natriegens cell-free expression system, enables probing of V. natriegens biology, and will serve as a platform to accelerate metabolic engineering and synthetic biology applications.

BackgroundArachis contains 80 species that carry many beneficial genes that can be utilized in the genetic improvement of peanut (Arachis hypogaea L. 2n = 4x = 40, genome AABB). Chromosome engineering is a powerful technique by which these genes can be transferred and utilized in cultivated peanut. However, their small chromosomes and insufficient cytological markers have made chromosome identification and studies relating to genome evolution quite difficult. The development of efficient cytological markers or probes is very necessary for both chromosome engineering and genome discrimination in cultivated peanut.ResultsA simple and efficient oligonucleotide multiplex probe to distinguish genomes, chromosomes, and chromosomal aberrations of peanut was developed based on eight single-stranded oligonucleotides (SSONs) derived from repetitive sequences. High-resolution karyotypes of 16 Arachis species, two interspecific F1 hybrids, and one radiation-induced M1 plant were then developed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using oligonucleotide multiplex, 45S and 5S rDNAs, and genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) using total genomic DNA of A. duranensis (2n = 2x = 20, AA) and A. ipaënsis (2n = 2x = 20, BB) as probes. Genomes, chromosomes, and aberrations were clearly identifiable in the established karyotypes. All eight cultivars had similar karyotypes, whereas the eight wild species exhibited various chromosomal variations. In addition, a chromosome-specific SSON library was developed based on the single-copy sequence of chromosome 6A of A. duranensis. In combination with repetitive SSONs and rDNA FISH, the single-copy SSON library was applied to identify the corresponding A3 chromosome in the A. duranensis karyotype.ConclusionsThe development of repetitive and single-copy SSON probes for FISH and GISH provides useful tools for the differentiation of chromosomes and identification of structural chromosomal rearrangement. It facilitates the development of high-resolution karyotypes and detection of chromosomal variations in Arachis species. To our knowledge, the methodology presented in this study demonstrates for the first time the correlation between a sequenced chromosome region and a cytologically identified chromosome in peanut.

The columbine genus Aquilegia is a classic example of an adaptive radiation, involving a wide variety of pollinators and habitats. Here we present the genome assembly of A. coerulea ‘Goldsmith’, complemented by high-coverage sequencing data from 10 wild species covering the world-wide distribution. Our analyses reveal extensive allele sharing among species and demonstrate that introgression and selection played a role in the Aquilegia radiation. We also present the remarkable discovery that the evolutionary history of an entire chromosome differs from that of the rest of the genome – a phenomenon that we do not fully understand, but which highlights the need to consider chromosomes in an evolutionary context.

The oomycete pathogens Phytophthora infestans and P. capsici cause significant crop losses world-wide, threatening food security. In each case, pathogenicity factors, called RXLR effectors, contribute to virulence. Some RXLRs are perceived by resistance proteins to trigger host immunity, but our understanding of the demographic processes and adaptive evolution of pathogen virulence remains poor.

For millennia, the Pontic-Caspian steppe was a connector between the Eurasian steppe and Europe. In this scene, multidirectional and sequential movements of different populations may have occurred, including those of the Eurasian steppe nomads. We sequenced 35 genomes (low to medium coverage) of Bronze Age individuals (Srubnaya-Alakulskaya) and Iron Age nomads (Cimmerians, Scythians, and Sarmatians) that represent four distinct cultural entities corresponding to the chronological sequence of cultural complexes in the region. Our results suggest that, despite genetic links among these peoples, no group can be considered a direct ancestor of the subsequent group. The nomadic populations were heterogeneous and carried genetic affinities with populations from several other regions including the Far East and the southern Urals. We found evidence of a stable shared genetic signature, making the eastern Pontic-Caspian steppe a likely source of western nomadic groups. Bronze and Iron Age genomes from the West Eurasian steppe reveal genetic heterogeneity and origins in the southern Urals. Bronze and Iron Age genomes from the West Eurasian steppe reveal genetic heterogeneity and origins in the southern Urals.

Reconstructing phylogenetic relationships at the micro- and macroevoutionary levels within the same tree is problematic because of the need to use different data types and analytical frameworks. We test the power of target enrichment to provide phylogenetic resolution based on DNA sequences from above species to within populations, using a large herbarium sampling and Euphorbia balsamifera (Euphorbiaceae) as a case study.

Two increasingly popular approaches to reconstruct the Tree of Life involve whole transcriptome sequencing and the target capture of ultraconserved elements (UCEs). Both methods can be used to generate large, multigene datasets for analysis of phylogenetic relationships in non-model organisms. While targeted exon sequencing across divergent lineages is now a standard method, it is still not clear if UCE data can be readily combined with published transcriptomes. In this study, we evaluate the combination of UCEs and transcriptomes in a single analysis using genome-, transcriptome-, and UCE data for 79 bees in the largest and most biologically diverse bee family, Apidae. Using existing tools, we first developed a workflow to assemble phylogenomic data from different sources and produced two large nucleotide matrices of combined data. We then reconstructed the phylogeny of the Apidae using concatenation- and coalescent-based methods, and critically evaluated the resulting phylogenies in the context of previously published genetic, genomic, and morphological data sets. Our estimated phylogenetic trees are robustly supported and largely congruent with previous molecular hypotheses, from deep nodes to shallow species-level phylogenies. Moreover, the combined approach allows us to resolve controversial nodes of the apid Tree of Life, by clarifying the relationships among the genera of orchid bees (Euglossini) and the monophyly of the Centridini. Additionally, we present novel phylogenetic evidence supporting the monophyly of the diverse clade of cleptoparasitic Apidae and the placement of two enigmatic, oil-collecting genera (Ctenoplectra and Tetrapedia). Lastly, we propose a revised classification of the family Apidae that reflects our improved understanding of apid higher-level relationships.