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Combined Nanopore and Single-Molecule Real-Time Sequencing Survey of Human Betaherpesvirus 5 Transcriptome

By Balazs Kakuk, Dora Tombacz, Zsolt Balazs, Norbert Moldovan, Zsolt Csabai, Gabor Torma, Klara Megyeri, Michael Snyder, Zsolt Boldogkoi

Posted 30 Mar 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.03.30.437686

Long-read sequencing (LRS), a powerful novel approach, is able to read full-length transcripts and confers a major advantage over the earlier gold standard short-read sequencing in the efficiency of identifying for example polycistronic transcripts and transcript isoforms, including transcript length- and splice variants. In this work, we profile the human cytomegalovirus transcriptome using two third-generation LRS platforms: the Sequel from Pacific BioSciences, and MinION from Oxford Nanopore Technologies. We carried out both cDNA and direct RNA sequencing, and applied the LoRTIA software, developed in our laboratory, for the transcript annotations. This study identified a large number of novel transcript variants, including splice isoforms and transcript start and end site isoforms, as well as putative mRNAs with truncated in-frame ORFs (located within the larger ORFs of the canonical mRNAs), which potentially encode N-terminally truncated polypeptides. Our work also disclosed a highly complex meshwork of transcriptional read-throughs and overlaps.

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