De novo assembly of the Aedes aegypti genome using Hi-C yields chromosome-length scaffolds

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Science  07 Apr 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6333, pp. 92-95
DOI: 10.1126/science.aal3327

Hi-C for mosquito genomes

Most genomes sequenced today are determined through the generation of short sequenced bits of DNA that are computationally pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle. This has resulted in the need for funds and additional data to fill in gaps in order to fully assemble the many chromosomes that make up a eukaryotic genome. Dudchenko et al. used the Hi-C method, which measures the distance between contact points within and between chromosomes for scaffold validation, together with correction and ordering to more completely determine the arrangement of short sequencing reads for genome mapping. They validated their approach through the de novo generation of a complete human genome. A comparative analysis of mosquito genomes was made possible by improving the Culex quinquefasciatus genome assembly and generating the genome of Aedes aegypti, the vector of Zika virus.

Science, this issue p. 92


The Zika outbreak, spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, highlights the need to create high-quality assemblies of large genomes in a rapid and cost-effective way. Here we combine Hi-C data with existing draft assemblies to generate chromosome-length scaffolds. We validate this method by assembling a human genome, de novo, from short reads alone (67× coverage). We then combine our method with draft sequences to create genome assemblies of the mosquito disease vectors Ae. aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus, each consisting of three scaffolds corresponding to the three chromosomes in each species. These assemblies indicate that almost all genomic rearrangements among these species occur within, rather than between, chromosome arms. The genome assembly procedure we describe is fast, inexpensive, and accurate, and can be applied to many species.

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