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This Week in Nature: Apr 28, 2016

In this week's Nature Biotechnology, a team of British and US researchers report a new sequencing technique to accelerate the isolation of plant disease-resistance genes and its use to study potato late blight. By combining resistance gene sequence capture, or RenSeq, with single-molecule real-time sequencing, or SMRT, the team was able to isolate a new broad-spectrum resistance gene from a family of known resistance genes in a wild potato relative. They speculate that the method could be used to investigate genetic variation for other plant traits involving multigene families such as metabolic pathways or transcription factors.

Meanwhile, in Nature Genetics, a multi-institute team of scientists including investigators from the 1000 Genomes Project Consortium publishes the sequences of 1,244 human Y chromosomes taken randomly from 26 worldwide populations, providing new insights into the genetic diversity of human males. They discovered more than 65,000 variants, with copy number variants contributing the greatest predicted functional impact. They also constructed a calibrated phylogenetic tree that revealed bursts of extreme expansion in male numbers that occurred "independently among each of the five continental superpopulations examined, at times of known migrations and technological innovations." GenomeWeb has more on this study here.