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This Week in Genome Research: Oct 12, 2016

Researchers from China and the US describe genetic variants they identified in the genome of the pig, Sus scrofa, using new genomes assembled de novo for nine female pigs from European and Chinese breeds. When the team analyzed the assemblies alongside the pig reference genome, it picked up more than 137 million bases of new sequence, coding for 1,737 protein-coding genes not annotate in the original assembly. The comparative analysis also uncovered more than 33.6 million new and known SNPs, along with previously undetected structural variants.

A duo from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center takes a look at the role that translational plasticity plays in abating the effects of otherwise deleterious gene mutations. Using RNA sequencing, mass spectrometry-base protein measurements, biochemical experiments, and other approaches, the researchers analyzed the transcriptional and translational patterns in lymphoblastoid cell lines containing common nonsense mutations. The results pointed to "diverse mechanisms of gene rescue, including alternative splicing, stop codon readthrough, alternative translation initiation, and C-terminal truncation," they write, suggesting that "translational plasticity plays a prominent role in shaping human genetic diversity."

University of Michigan and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke researchers describe a dozen types of differences that they detected between gene-coding DNA and messenger RNA transcripts in the budding yeast model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae — an organism that was not believed to do mRNA editing. The team did DNA and RNA sequencing on 18 wild type or mutant S. cerevisiae strains, uncovering 12 forms of RNA-DNA sequence differences, including those persisting in the proteins produced by the yeast strains.