3 years ago

Assessing intragenomic variation of the internal transcribed spacer two: Adapting the Illumina metagenomics protocol

Caitlin Pegg, Lo’ai Alanagreh, Mark Buchheim, Amritha Harikumar

by Lo’ai Alanagreh, Caitlin Pegg, Amritha Harikumar, Mark Buchheim

Primary and secondary structural data from the internal transcribed spacer two (ITS2) have been used extensively for diversity studies of many different eukaryotic organisms, including the green algae. Ease of amplification is due, at least in part, to the fact that ITS2 is part of the tandemly-repeated rRNA array. The potential confounding influence of intragenomic variability has yet to be addressed except in a few organisms. Moreover, few of the assessments of intragenomic variation have taken advantage of the deep sequencing capacity of sequence-by-synthesis protocols. We present results from our adaptation of the 16S Metagenomics Sequencing Library Preparation/Illumina protocol for deep sequencing of the ITS2 genes in selected isolates of the green algal genus, Haematococcus. Deep sequencing yielded from just under 20,000 to more than 500,000 merged reads, outpacing results from recent pyrosequencing efforts. Furthermore, a conservative evaluation of these data revealed a range of three to six ITS2 sequence haplotypes (defined as unique sets of nucleotide polymorphisms) across the taxon sampling. The frequency of the dominant haplotype ranged from 0.35 to 0.98. In all but two cases, the haplotype with the greatest frequency corresponded to a sequence obtained by the Sanger method using PCR templates. Our data also show that results from the sequencing-by-synthesis approach are reproducible. In addition to advancing our understanding of ribosomal RNA variation, the results of this investigation will allow us to begin testing hypotheses regarding the maintenance of homogeneity across multi-copy genes.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181491

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