Circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) is emerging as a powerful monitoring tool in cancer, pregnancy and organ transplantation. Nucleosomal DNA, the predominant form of plasma cfDNA, can be adapted for sequencing via ligation of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) adapters. dsDNA library preparations, however, are insensitive to ultrashort, degraded cfDNA. Drawing inspiration from advances in paleogenomics, we have applied a single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) library preparation method to sequencing of cfDNA in the plasma of lung transplant recipients (40 samples, six patients). We found that ssDNA library preparation yields a greater portion of sub-100?bp nuclear genomic cfDNA (p 10(-5), Mann-Whitney U Test), and an increased relative abundance of mitochondrial (10.7x, p 10(-5)) and microbial cfDNA (71.3x, p 10(-5)). The higher yield of microbial sequences from this method increases the sensitivity of cfDNA-based monitoring for infections following transplantation. We detail the fragmentation pattern of mitochondrial, nuclear genomic and microbial cfDNA over a broad fragment length range. We report the observation of donor-specific mitochondrial cfDNA in the circulation of lung transplant recipients. A ssDNA library preparation method provides a more informative window into understudied forms of cfDNA, including mitochondrial and microbial derived cfDNA and short nuclear genomic cfDNA, while retaining information provided by standard dsDNA library preparation methods.
View details for DOI 10.1038/srep27859
View details for Web of Science ID 000377827700001
View details for PubMedID 27297799
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4906518