New Publication!

Our latest manuscript is now published in BMC Genomics!

In the article, we report the assembly and finishing of the avirulent reference genome H37Ra genome from single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing. Our assembly reveals that the number of H37Ra-specific variants is less than half of what the Sanger-based H37Ra reference sequence indicates, undermining and, in some cases, invalidating the conclusions of several studies. PE_PPE family genes, which are intractable to commonly-used sequencing platforms because of their repetitive and GC-rich nature, are overrepresented in the set of genes in which all reported H37Ra-specific variants are contradicted. We discuss how our results change the picture of virulence attenuation and the power of SMRT sequencing for producing high-quality reference genomes.

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ASM TB: Past, Present, and Future 2017

Last week, seven of us had the privilege of representing our lab and SDSU at the American Society for Microbiology Conference on Tuberculosis 2017 in the Big Apple, where we presented research, fostered new connections, and strengthened old ones with the international TB community. We learned a tremendous amount about the physiology and genetics of Mtb, as well as several novel and exciting methodologies for future studies on this deadly pathogen. Many in attendance took interest in the seven posters we presented, particularly our exposition of the areas of the genome frequently unresolved by Illumina “Hole” genome sequencing, which we term “blind spots”, presented by Tal Shmaya. We look forward to continuing with each of these projects as they develop into publications, and presenting our future findings at more conferences in the coming months and years!