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      Efficient generation of complete sequences of MDR-encoding plasmids by rapid assembly of MinION barcoding sequencing data


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          Multidrug resistance (MDR)–encoding plasmids are considered major molecular vehicles responsible for transmission of antibiotic resistance genes among bacteria of the same or different species. Delineating the complete sequences of such plasmids could provide valuable insight into the evolution and transmission mechanisms underlying bacterial antibiotic resistance development. However, due to the presence of multiple repeats of mobile elements, complete sequencing of MDR plasmids remains technically complicated, expensive, and time-consuming.


          Here, we demonstrate a rapid and efficient approach to obtaining multiple MDR plasmid sequences through the use of the MinION nanopore sequencing platform, which is incorporated in a portable device. By assembling the long sequencing reads generated by a single MinION run according to a rapid barcoding sequencing protocol, we obtained the complete sequences of 20 plasmids harbored by multiple bacterial strains. Importantly, single long reads covering a plasmid end-to-end were recorded, indicating that de novo assembly may be unnecessary if the single reads exhibit high accuracy.


          This workflow represents a convenient and cost-effective approach for systematic assessment of MDR plasmids responsible for treatment failure of bacterial infections, offering the opportunity to perform detailed molecular epidemiological studies to probe the evolutionary and transmission mechanisms of MDR-encoding elements.

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          Most cited references26

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          Unicycler: Resolving bacterial genome assemblies from short and long sequencing reads

          The Illumina DNA sequencing platform generates accurate but short reads, which can be used to produce accurate but fragmented genome assemblies. Pacific Biosciences and Oxford Nanopore Technologies DNA sequencing platforms generate long reads that can produce complete genome assemblies, but the sequencing is more expensive and error-prone. There is significant interest in combining data from these complementary sequencing technologies to generate more accurate “hybrid” assemblies. However, few tools exist that truly leverage the benefits of both types of data, namely the accuracy of short reads and the structural resolving power of long reads. Here we present Unicycler, a new tool for assembling bacterial genomes from a combination of short and long reads, which produces assemblies that are accurate, complete and cost-effective. Unicycler builds an initial assembly graph from short reads using the de novo assembler SPAdes and then simplifies the graph using information from short and long reads. Unicycler uses a novel semi-global aligner to align long reads to the assembly graph. Tests on both synthetic and real reads show Unicycler can assemble larger contigs with fewer misassemblies than other hybrid assemblers, even when long-read depth and accuracy are low. Unicycler is open source (GPLv3) and available at github.com/rrwick/Unicycler.
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            Canu: scalable and accurate long-read assembly via adaptive k-mer weighting and repeat separation

            Long-read single-molecule sequencing has revolutionized de novo genome assembly and enabled the automated reconstruction of reference-quality genomes. However, given the relatively high error rates of such technologies, efficient and accurate assembly of large repeats and closely related haplotypes remains challenging. We address these issues with Canu, a successor of Celera Assembler that is specifically designed for noisy single-molecule sequences. Canu introduces support for nanopore sequencing, halves depth-of-coverage requirements, and improves assembly continuity while simultaneously reducing runtime by an order of magnitude on large genomes versus Celera Assembler 8.2. These advances result from new overlapping and assembly algorithms, including an adaptive overlapping strategy based on tf-idf weighted MinHash and a sparse assembly graph construction that avoids collapsing diverged repeats and haplotypes. We demonstrate that Canu can reliably assemble complete microbial genomes and near-complete eukaryotic chromosomes using either Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) or Oxford Nanopore technologies and achieves a contig NG50 of >21 Mbp on both human and Drosophila melanogaster PacBio data sets. For assembly structures that cannot be linearly represented, Canu provides graph-based assembly outputs in graphical fragment assembly (GFA) format for analysis or integration with complementary phasing and scaffolding techniques. The combination of such highly resolved assembly graphs with long-range scaffolding information promises the complete and automated assembly of complex genomes.
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              ISfinder: the reference centre for bacterial insertion sequences

              ISfinder () is a dedicated database for bacterial insertion sequences (ISs). It has superseded the Stanford reference center. One of its functions is to assign IS names and to provide a focal point for a coherent nomenclature. It is also the repository for ISs. Each new IS is indexed together with information such as its DNA sequence and open reading frames or potential coding sequences, the sequence of the ends of the element and target sites, its origin and distribution together with a bibliography where available. Another objective is to continuously monitor ISs to provide updated comprehensive groupings or families and to provide some insight into their phylogenies. The site also contains extensive background information on ISs and transposons in general. Online tools are gradually being added. At present an online Blast facility against the entire bank is available. But additional features will include alignment capability, PsiBLAST and HMM profiles. ISfinder also includes a section on bacterial genomes and is involved in annotating the IS content of these genomes. Finally, this database is currently recommended by several microbiology journals for registration of new IS elements before their publication.

                Author and article information

                Oxford University Press
                March 2018
                09 January 2018
                09 January 2018
                : 7
                : 3
                : 1-9
                [1 ]Shenzhen Key Lab for Food Biological Safety Control, Food Safety and Technology Research Center, Hong Kong PolyU Shen Zhen Research Institute, Shenzhen, P. R. China
                [2 ]The State Key Lab of Chirosciences, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR
                Author notes
                Corresponding address. Sheng Chen, Shenzhen Key Lab for Food Biological Safety Control, Food Safety and Technology Research Center, Hong Kong PolyU Shen Zhen Research Institute, Shenzhen, P. R. China. Tel: 852-3400-8795; Fax: 852-3400-9932; E-mail: sheng.chen@ 123456polyu.edu.hk
                © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Pages: 9
                Funded by: Chinese National Key Basic Research and Development
                Award ID: 2013CB127200
                Funded by: Hong Kong Research Grant Council
                Award ID: C7038-15G
                Award ID: C5026-16G

                multidrug resistance (mdr) plasmids,de novo assembly,nanopore sequencing,long reads


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