Complete representation of a tapeworm genome reveals chromosomes capped by centromeres, necessitating a dual role in segregation and protection

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Peter D OlsonM. Berriman


Background: Chromosome-level assemblies are indispensable for accurate gene prediction, synteny assessment and understanding higher-order genome architecture. Reference and draft genomes of key helminth species have been published but little is yet known about the biology of their chromosomes. Here we present the complete genome of the tapeworm Hymenolepis microstoma, providing a reference-quality, end-to-end assembly that represents the first fully assembled genome of a spiralian/lophotrochozoan, revealing new insights into chromosome evolution. Results: Long-read sequencing and optical mapping data were added to previous short-read data enabling complete re-assembly into six chromosomes, consistent with karyology. Small genome size (169 Mb) and lack of haploid variation (1 SNP/3.2 Mb) contributed to exceptionally high contiguity with only 85 gaps remaining in regions of low complexity sequence. Resolution of repeat regions reveals novel gene expansions, micro-exon genes, and spliced leader trans-splicing, and illuminates the landscape of transposable elements, explaining observed length differences in sister chromatids. Syntenic comparison with other parasitic flatworms shows conserved ancestral linkage groups indicating that...Continue Reading

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