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This Week in Genome Research: May 25, 2016

German and Saudi Arabian researchers report on findings from a transcriptomic analysis of the Venus flytrap Dionaea muscipula, a carnivorous plant from a North and South Carolina swamp that feeds on insects using hair-lined sticky trap. Based on RNA sequence and proteome data from multiple Venus flytrap tissues, the team found evidence for overlap between genes that D. muscipula uses for predation and those involved in stress response and defense in other, non-carnivorous plant species. GenomeWeb has more on the study, here.

A team from the UK and US describes a high-throughput sequencing strategy for quickly phenotyping eukaryotic organisms being screened by transposon mutagenesis. The method — called quantitative insertion site sequencing, or QIseq — searches for insertion sites starting from both ends of piggyBac transposon sequence with the help of custom sequencing libraries and Illumina sequencing. The researchers used the QIseq approach to characterize insertion sites in more than 100 Plasmodium falciparum mutants after piggyBac-mediated mutagenesis, before following the fitness effects of such insertions in competitive growth assays.

Researchers from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory introduce a sequencing-based copy number analysis method called short multiply aggregated sequence homologies, or SMASH. After fragmenting genomic DNA into short, random fragments, the method joins these fragments into chimeric stretches of DNA that are subsequently sequenced and analyzed by a fragment-mapping algorithm. "Because fewer reads are necessary relative to [whole-genome sequencing] to give accurate CNV data," the study's authors write, "SMASH libraries can be highly multiplexed, allowing large numbers of individuals to be analyzed at low cost."

The Scan

Cancer Survival Linked to Mutational Burden in Pan-Cancer Analysis

A pan-cancer paper appearing in JCO Precision Oncology suggests tumor mutation patterns provide clues for predicting cancer survival that are independent of other prognostic factors.

Australian Survey Points to Public Support for Genetic Risk Disclosure in Relatives of At-Risk Individuals

A survey in the European Journal of Human Genetics suggests most adult Australians are in favor of finding out if a relative tests positive for a medically actionable genetic variant.

Study Links Evolution of Stony Coral Skeleton to Bicarbonate Transporter Gene

A PNAS paper focuses on a skeleton-related bicarbonate transporter gene introduced to stony coral ancestors by tandem duplication.

Hormone-Based Gene Therapy to Sterilize Domestic Cat

A new paper in Nature Communication suggests that gene therapy could be a safer alternative to spaying domestic cats.