• Accurate and scalable variant calling from single cell DNA sequencing data with ProSolo.

      Lähnemann, David; Köster, Johannes; Fischer, Ute; Borkhardt, Arndt; McHardy, Alice C; Schönhuth, Alexander; BRICS, Braunschweiger Zentrum für Systembiologie, Rebenring 56,38106 Braunschweig, Germany. (NPG, 2021-11-18)
      Accurate single cell mutational profiles can reveal genomic cell-to-cell heterogeneity. However, sequencing libraries suitable for genotyping require whole genome amplification, which introduces allelic bias and copy errors. The resulting data violates assumptions of variant callers developed for bulk sequencing. Thus, only dedicated models accounting for amplification bias and errors can provide accurate calls. We present ProSolo for calling single nucleotide variants from multiple displacement amplified (MDA) single cell DNA sequencing data. ProSolo probabilistically models a single cell jointly with a bulk sequencing sample and integrates all relevant MDA biases in a site-specific and scalable-because computationally efficient-manner. This achieves a higher accuracy in calling and genotyping single nucleotide variants in single cells in comparison to state-of-the-art tools and supports imputation of insufficiently covered genotypes, when downstream tools cannot handle missing data. Moreover, ProSolo implements the first approach to control the false discovery rate reliably and flexibly. ProSolo is implemented in an extendable framework, with code and usage at: https://github.com/prosolo/prosolo.
    • Offspring born to influenza A virus infected pregnant mice have increased susceptibility to viral and bacterial infections in early life.

      Jacobsen, Henning; Walendy-Gnirß, Kerstin; Tekin-Bubenheim, Nilgün; Kouassi, Nancy Mounogou; Ben-Batalla, Isabel; Berenbrok, Nikolaus; Wolff, Martin; Dos Reis, Vinicius Pinho; Zickler, Martin; Scholl, Lucas; et al. (Springer Nature, 2021-08-16)
      Influenza during pregnancy can affect the health of offspring in later life, among which neurocognitive disorders are among the best described. Here, we investigate whether maternal influenza infection has adverse effects on immune responses in offspring. We establish a two-hit mouse model to study the effect of maternal influenza A virus infection (first hit) on vulnerability of offspring to heterologous infections (second hit) in later life. Offspring born to influenza A virus infected mothers are stunted in growth and more vulnerable to heterologous infections (influenza B virus and MRSA) than those born to PBS- or poly(I:C)-treated mothers. Enhanced vulnerability to infection in neonates is associated with reduced haematopoetic development and immune responses. In particular, alveolar macrophages of offspring exposed to maternal influenza have reduced capacity to clear second hit pathogens. This impaired pathogen clearance is partially reversed by adoptive transfer of alveolar macrophages from healthy offspring born to uninfected dams. These findings suggest that maternal influenza infection may impair immune ontogeny and increase susceptibility to early life infections of offspring.
    • Survival trade-offs in plant roots during colonization by closely related beneficial and pathogenic fungi.

      Hacquard, Stéphane; Kracher, Barbara; Hiruma, Kei; Münch, Philipp C; Garrido-Oter, Ruben; Thon, Michael R; Weimann, Aaron; Damm, Ulrike; Dallery, Jean-Félix; Hainaut, Matthieu; et al. (2016-05-06)
      The sessile nature of plants forced them to evolve mechanisms to prioritize their responses to simultaneous stresses, including colonization by microbes or nutrient starvation. Here, we compare the genomes of a beneficial root endophyte, Colletotrichum tofieldiae and its pathogenic relative C. incanum, and examine the transcriptomes of both fungi and their plant host Arabidopsis during phosphate starvation. Although the two species diverged only 8.8 million years ago and have similar gene arsenals, we identify genomic signatures indicative of an evolutionary transition from pathogenic to beneficial lifestyles, including a narrowed repertoire of secreted effector proteins, expanded families of chitin-binding and secondary metabolism-related proteins, and limited activation of pathogenicity-related genes in planta. We show that beneficial responses are prioritized in C. tofieldiae-colonized roots under phosphate-deficient conditions, whereas defense responses are activated under phosphate-sufficient conditions. These immune responses are retained in phosphate-starved roots colonized by pathogenic C. incanum, illustrating the ability of plants to maximize survival in response to conflicting stresses.