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This Week in Genome Research: Sep 14, 2016

Researchers from Finland, Sweden, and Canada tally up genome-wide targets for the ETV6-RUNX1 gene fusion in acute lymphoblastic leukemia. With the help of global run-on sequencing, the team searched for genes and enhancer RNAs influenced by the gene fusion in precursor B acute leukemia cells containing an inducible version of ETV6-RUNX1. "The results provide a comprehensive genome-wide mapping between [ETV6-RUNX1-regulated] key regulatory elements and genes in precursor B cell leukemia that disrupt normal B lymphopoiesis," the study's authors note.

An Australian team describes genetic variation underlying DNA methylation patterns in the model plant Brachypodium distachyon. The researchers used bisulfite sequencing to assess seven B. distachyon lines, looking at relationships between differentially methylated regions, variants in gene-coding sequences, and small insertions and deletions in transposable elements. Their results suggest that SNP diversity tends to correspond with between-strain differences in DNA methylation, though transposable element polymorphisms were less clearly linked to these methylation differences.

Finally, researchers in the UK, US, and Kenya report on SNPs, small insertions and deletions, more complex genetic variants, and meiotic recombination in the malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Through deep sequencing on parental and offspring clones from three P. falciparum crosses, the team uncovered a slew of indels in the parasite. In combination with SNPs, these variants provided a peek at meiotic crossover and non-crossover events, revealing examples of meiotic recombination that may affect drug resistance.