High-quality genome assembly enables prediction of allele-specific gene expression in hybrid poplar. Shi, T., Jia, K., Bao, Y., Nie, S., Tian, X., Yan, X., Chen, Z., Li, Z., Zhao, S., Ma, H., Zhao, Y., Li, X., Zhang, R., Guo, J., Zhao, W., El-Kassaby, Y. A., Müller, N., Van de Peer, Y., Wang, X., Street, N. R., Porth, I., An, X., & Mao, J. Plant Physiology, February, 2024.
High-quality genome assembly enables prediction of allele-specific gene expression in hybrid poplar [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
Poplar (Populus) is a well-established model system for tree genomics and molecular breeding, and hybrid poplar is widely used in forest plantations. However, distinguishing its diploid homologous chromosomes is difficult, complicating advanced functional studies on specific alleles. In this study, we applied a trio-binning design and PacBio High-Fidelity long-read sequencing to obtain haplotype-phased telomere-to-telomere genome assemblies for the two parents of the well-studied F1 hybrid “84K” (Populus alba × P. tremula var. glandulosa). Almost all chromosomes, including the telomeres and centromeres, were completely assembled for each haplotype subgenome apart from two small gaps on one chromosome. By incorporating information from these haplotype assemblies and extensive RNA-seq data, we analyzed gene expression patterns between the two subgenomes and alleles. Transcription bias at the subgenome level was not uncovered, but extensive expression differences were detected between alleles. We developed machine-learning (ML) models to predict allele-specific expression (ASE) with high accuracy and identified underlying genome features most highly influencing ASE. One of our models with 15 predictor variables achieved 77% accuracy on the training set and 74% accuracy on the testing set. ML models identified gene body CHG methylation, sequence divergence, and transposon occupancy both upstream and downstream of alleles as important factors for ASE. Our haplotype-phased genome assemblies and ML strategy highlight an avenue for functional studies in Populus and provide additional tools for studying ASE and heterosis in hybrids.
@article{shi_high-quality_2024,
	title = {High-quality genome assembly enables prediction of allele-specific gene expression in hybrid poplar},
	issn = {0032-0889},
	url = {https://doi.org/10.1093/plphys/kiae078},
	doi = {10.1093/plphys/kiae078},
	abstract = {Poplar (Populus) is a well-established model system for tree genomics and molecular breeding, and hybrid poplar is widely used in forest plantations. However, distinguishing its diploid homologous chromosomes is difficult, complicating advanced functional studies on specific alleles. In this study, we applied a trio-binning design and PacBio High-Fidelity long-read sequencing to obtain haplotype-phased telomere-to-telomere genome assemblies for the two parents of the well-studied F1 hybrid “84K” (Populus alba × P. tremula var. glandulosa). Almost all chromosomes, including the telomeres and centromeres, were completely assembled for each haplotype subgenome apart from two small gaps on one chromosome. By incorporating information from these haplotype assemblies and extensive RNA-seq data, we analyzed gene expression patterns between the two subgenomes and alleles. Transcription bias at the subgenome level was not uncovered, but extensive expression differences were detected between alleles. We developed machine-learning (ML) models to predict allele-specific expression (ASE) with high accuracy and identified underlying genome features most highly influencing ASE. One of our models with 15 predictor variables achieved 77\% accuracy on the training set and 74\% accuracy on the testing set. ML models identified gene body CHG methylation, sequence divergence, and transposon occupancy both upstream and downstream of alleles as important factors for ASE. Our haplotype-phased genome assemblies and ML strategy highlight an avenue for functional studies in Populus and provide additional tools for studying ASE and heterosis in hybrids.},
	urldate = {2024-03-01},
	journal = {Plant Physiology},
	author = {Shi, Tian-Le and Jia, Kai-Hua and Bao, Yu-Tao and Nie, Shuai and Tian, Xue-Chan and Yan, Xue-Mei and Chen, Zhao-Yang and Li, Zhi-Chao and Zhao, Shi-Wei and Ma, Hai-Yao and Zhao, Ye and Li, Xiang and Zhang, Ren-Gang and Guo, Jing and Zhao, Wei and El-Kassaby, Yousry Aly and Müller, Niels and Van de Peer, Yves and Wang, Xiao-Ru and Street, Nathaniel Robert and Porth, Ilga and An, Xinmin and Mao, Jian-Feng},
	month = feb,
	year = {2024},
	pages = {kiae078},
}

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