Utilizing nanopore sequencing to investigate sugar flux in Ruby-throated hummingbirds

52% of the US is affected by metabolic diseases, e.g. diabetes. Hummingbirds are an ‘extremely interesting study system’ here, as they maintain high blood glucose without negative health consequences. But hummingbird genome resources are scarce... With a BUSCO completeness score of 96.6%, Ariel said that ‘not only is our [hummingbird genome] assembly highly continuous and highly accurate, but it’s also very complete’. Long cDNA sequencing reads from PromethION captured entire transcripts, allowing Ariel to ‘much more easily construct complex isoforms’ of the hummingbird transcriptome. Including nanopore cDNA sequencing data increased the transcript count to 73,270, from 47,443 with short-read RNA-seq data alone. BUSCO completeness increased from 90.1% to 92.2%.

Authors: Ariel Gershman