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This Week in Genome Biology: Apr 27, 2011

In a paper published online in advance in Genome Biology, a team led by investigators at Austria's Vienna University of Technology analyzes genome sequences for two biocontrol species — those which provide "a strategy for biological control of pests for plant protection" — Trichoderma atroviride and T. virens, which it compares with a T. reesei genome. The team found that the three species show a 78 percent to 96 percent conservation of gene order and a lack of active mobile elements, which it says adds to researchers' "understanding of mycoparasitism" and the "development of improved biocontrol strains."

A trio of investigators at the University of California, Santa Cruz, reports its "discovery of permuted and recently split transfer RNAs in Archaea" using a modified version of the gene-finding program tRNAscan-SE. The team "identified four novel trans-spliced tRNA genes, each in a different species of the Desulfurococcales branch of the Archaea: tRNAAsp(GUC) in Aeropyrum pernix and Thermosphaera aggregans, and tRNALys(CUU) in Staphylothermus hellenicus and Staphylothermus marinus," it reports in Genome Biology. Overall, the UC Santa Cruz trio says its findings show that "split tRNAs are sporadically spread across a major branch of the Archaea, and that permuted tRNAs are a new shared characteristic between archaeal and eukaryotic species."

In the current issue of Genome Biology, Florida State University's Christine McLaughlin and Brian Chadwick discuss their characterization of the microsatellite DXZ4, through which they found that its "sequence conservation beyond New World monkeys is limited to the promoter and CTCF binding site." In investigating chromatin organization in macaques, the team found that "DXZ4 in males and on the active X chromosome is packaged into heterochromatin, whereas on the inactive X, DXZ4 was euchromatic and bound by CTCF." Overall, McLaughlin and Chadwick say that their data suggest that DXZ4 plays conserved roles in expression on the X chromosome, CTCF binding, and tandem organization.

Researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and Genentech report a "genome-wide survey of post-meiotic segregation during yeast recombination" in a recent Genome Biology paper. In genotyping "tens of thousands of genetic markers in yeast segregants and their clonal progeny," the EMBL-Genentech team found that "post-meiotic segregation occurs in close to 10 percent of recombination events," and that this event takes place "with equal relative frequency in crossovers and non-crossovers, and usually at the edges of gene conversion tracts." The team suggests its yeast analysis opens the door to further investigations into post-meiotic segregation and whether it could play a role in allelic inheritance and allele frequencies at the population level.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.