Hunter, M.E.; Auil-Gomez, N. E.; Tucker, K.P.; Bonde, R.K.; Powell, J.; McGuire, P.M.
The Antillean subspecies of the West Indian manatee Trichechus manatus is found throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean. Because of severe hunting pressure during the 17th through 19th centuries, only small populations of the once widespread aquatic mammal remain. Fortunately, protections in Belize reduced hunting in the 1930s and allowed the country's manatee population to become the largest breeding population in the Wider Caribbean. However, increasing and emerging anthropogenic threats such as coastal development, pollution, watercraft collision and net entanglement represent challenges to this ecologically important population. To inform conservation and management decisions, a comprehensive molecular investigation of the genetic diversity, relatedness and population structure of the Belize manatee population was conducted using mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA. Compared with other mammal populations, a low degree of genetic diversity was detected (HE=0.455; NA=3.4), corresponding to the small population size and long-term exploitation. Manatees from the Belize City Cayes and Southern Lagoon system were genetically different, with microsatellite and mitochondrial FST values of 0.029 and 0.078, respectively (P≤0.05). This, along with the distinct habitats and threats, indicates that separate protection of these two groups would best preserve the region's diversity. The Belize population and Florida subspecies appear to be unrelated with microsatellite and mitochondrial FST values of 0.141 and 0.63, respectively (P≤0.001), supporting the subspecies designations and suggesting low vagility throughout the northern Caribbean habitat. Further monitoring and protection may allow an increase in the Belize manatee genetic diversity and population size. A large and expanding Belize population could potentially assist in the recovery of other threatened or functionally extinct Central American Antillean manatee populations.
Cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) is native to the South American rainforest but it was domesticated in Mesoamerica. The relic Criollo cocoa in Belize has been well known in the premium chocolate market for its high-quality. Knowledge of genetic diversity in this variety is essential for efficient conserva...
The prospects for petroleum exploration and environmental awareness in Belize are discussed. It is important that Belize seek and encourage foreign investment for its ongoing projects, including all upstream activities of the petroleum sector. Any investor willing to put capital into Belize`s economic and social development has a right to expect well-defined and reliable terms and conditions. Traditionally, the Government of Belize has encouraged foreign investment and has maintained a high level of hospitality to both foregin and local investors.
OF STATE frOreej r1 Hon. V. H. Courtenay Belmopan 08-2167 MINISTER OF NATURAL 0 RESOURCS Hon. Florencio Marin Belmopan 08-2333 Permanent Secretary...0"C-unity Development 4. ZI’ER, Frederick Hopkins, Minister Belize Rural North Belize City Peoples United Party ’’-. of Works 5 . MARIN , Florencio...P/Health Fl)res, Sylvia Estella 5366 18th St. General & Midwifery Kings Park Lovell, Belle Claire 36 Iguana St. General & Midwifery Belize City Pike
Parham, Leda; de Rivera, Ivette Lorenzana; Murillo, Wendy; Naver, Lars; Largaespada, Natalia; Albert, Jan; Karlsson, Annika C
Antiretroviral therapy has had a great impact on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV-1. However, development of drug resistance, which could be subsequently transmitted to the child, is a major concern. In Honduras and Belize the prevalence of drug resistance among HIV-1-infected children remains unknown. A total of 95 dried blood spot samples was obtained from HIV-1-infected, untreated children in Honduras and Belize born during 2001 to 2004, when preventive antiretroviral therapy was often suboptimal and consisted of monotherapy with nevirapine or zidovudine. Partial HIV-1 pol gene sequences were successfully obtained from 66 children (Honduras n=55; Belize n=11). Mutations associated with drug resistance were detected in 13% of the Honduran and 27% of the Belizean children. Most of the mutations detected in Honduras (43%) and all mutations detected in Belize were associated with resistance to nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, which was expected from the wide use of nevirapine to prevent MTCT during the study period. In addition, although several mothers reported that they had not received antiretroviral therapy, mutations associated with resistance to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibitors were found in Honduras. This suggests prior and unreported use of these drugs, or that these women had been infected with resistant virus. The present study demonstrates, for the first time, the presence of drug resistance-associated mutations in HIV-1-infected Honduran and Belizean children.
Irwin, Adele; Greer, Lisa; Humston, Robert; Devlin-Durante, Meghann; Cabe, Paul; Lescinsky, Halard; Wirth, Karl; Allen Curran, H.; Baums, Iliana B.
The corals Acropora palmata and A. cervicornis are important Caribbean reef-builders that have faced significant mortality in recent decades. While many studies have focused on the recent demise of these species, data from areas where Acropora spp. have continued to thrive are limited. Understanding the genetic diversity, recruitment, and temporal continuity of healthy populations of these threatened Acropora spp. and the hybrid they form (" Acropora prolifera") may provide insights into the demographic processes governing them. We studied three reef sites with abundant A. cervicornis, A. palmata, and hybrid Acropora populations offshore of Ambergris Caye, Belize at Coral Gardens, Manatee Channel, and Rocky Point. Samples were collected from all three Acropora taxa. We used microsatellite markers to determine: (1) genotypic diversity; (2) dominant reproductive mode supporting local recruitment; (3) minimum and maximum genet age estimates for all three acroporids; and (4) the history of hybrid colonization at these sites. We found that Acropora populations were highly clonal with local recruitment primarily occurring through asexual fragmentation. We also estimated the ages of 10 Acropora genets using recent methodology based on somatic mutation rates from genetic data. Results indicate minimum ages of 62-409 yr for A. cervicornis, 187-561 yr for A. palmata, and 156-281 yr for the Acropora hybrids at these sites. Our data indicate that existing A. cervicornis, A. palmata, and Acropora hybrid genets persisted during the 1980s Caribbean-wide Acropora spp. collapse, suggesting that these sites have been a refuge for Caribbean Acropora corals. Additionally, our data suggest that formation of extant hybrid Acropora genets pre-dates the widespread collapse of the parent taxa.
Nash, W A
Outside of abstinence, correct and consistent condom use is the single most effective tool to prevent the transmission human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This is particularly true in countries such as Belize where incidence rates remain high. Women are physiologically at higher risk for HIV, and many feel powerless to insist on condom use. Although nurses are in a position to promote condom use, variables that influence this decision are not clearly understood. In this study, we examined variables that influence a nurses' self-efficacy to promote and teach condom use to women specifically to reduce their HIV risk. Data related to self-efficacy, vicarious experience related to condom use promotion and a nurse's sexual relationship power were collected from nurses practising in Belize (n = 60). These data were cross-sectional and collected at the annual nurses' conference. Both years of nursing education and positive vicarious experience promoting and teaching condom use to women were positively correlated to their self-efficacy to do so. Vicarious experience was significantly correlated to self-efficacy in a subgroup of nurses with lower sexual relationship power but not in those with higher sexual relationship power. When designing HIV continuing education programmes for nurses in Belize, it is important to consider level of nursing education and access to vicarious experience such as mentoring and role modelling. An additional factor to consider is the influence that a nurse's power in her own primary sexual relationship may play in the formation of her self-efficacy. © 2011 The Author. International Nursing Review © 2011 International Council of Nurses.
Mazzullo, S.J.; Anderson-Underwood, K.E.; Burke, C.D.; Bischoff, W.D. (Wichita State Univ., KS (United States))
Coral patch reefs are major components of Holocene platform carbonate facies systems in tropical and subtropical areas. The biotic composition, growth and relationship to sea level history, and diagenetic attributes of a representative Holocene patch reef ([open quotes]Elmer Reef[close quotes]) in the Mexico Rocks complex in northern Belize are described and compared to those of Holocene patch reefs in southern Belize. Elmer Reef has accumulated in shallow (2.5 m) water over the last 420 yr, under static sea level conditions. Rate of vertical construction is 0.3-0.5 m/100 yr, comparable to that of patch reefs in southern Belize. A pronounced coral zonation exists across Elmer Reef, with Monastrea annularis dominating on its crest and Acropora cervicornis occurring on its windward and leeward flanks. The dominance of Montastrea on Elmer Reef is unlike that of patch reefs in southern Belize, in which this coral assumes only a subordinate role in reef growth relative to that of Acropora palmata. Elmer Reef locally is extensively biodegraded and marine, fibrous aragonite and some bladed high-magnesium calcite cements occur throughout the reef section, partially occluding corallites and interparticle pores in associated sands. Patch reefs in southern Belize have developed as catch-up and keep-up reefs in a transgressive setting. In contrast, the dominant mode of growth of Elmer Reef, and perhaps other patch reefs in Mexico Rocks, appears to be one of lateral rather than vertical accretion. This style of growth occurs in a static sea level setting where there is only limited accommodation space because of the shallowness of the water, and such reefs are referred to as [open quotes]expansion reefs[close quotes]. 39 refs., 8 figs., 2 tabs.
Roessingh, C.H.; Boersma, F.K.
This article addresses the entrepreneurial and organisational activities of a specific Mennonite group in Belize called the Kleine Gemeinde community of Spanish Lookout. Building upon Christian beliefs, agricultural skills and a strong working ethos, this group was able to build up a stable, local
call structure of this species for each size class. We compared call parameters among size classes and determined that call structure remained similar among size classes but call parameters differed. We found that hatchling and juvenile distress calls were highly modulated and higher in frequency, whereas sub-adult and adult calls were longer in duration, lower in frequency, and had less modulation. We determined that call parameters could be used to successfully classify 82.4% of individuals into the correct size class. We also recorded call production by captured individuals as not every capture resulted in successful acoustic recording. Proportion of calls produced by individuals differed by size class and site. We found that American Crocodiles at sites with high anthropogenic impact produced distress calls at a higher proportion. Our results indicate that anthropogenic activity in crocodile habitat may be impacting the acoustic ecology of American Crocodiles in Belize. The study of crocodylians, in this case American Crocodiles, benefits from the ability to effectively discern individuals in the field. Conventional identification techniques are to physically alter captured crocodiles by clipping the upright caudal scutes. However, this technique is difficult to observe accurately in the field and has no passive marking alternative. In compliment to the behavioral and acoustical study of American Crocodiles in Belize, we implemented novel marking techniques through tail spot pattern coding and visual tagging. We used existing tail spot pattern coding methodology developed for Nile Crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus), and adapted this technique to create a second method. The original coding protocol, numeric code, was 84% successful in differentiating tail spot patterns from American Crocodiles and sympatric Morelet's Crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii ). The second method, the additive code, integrated irregular scale groups and vertical caudal scutes into the original
Kangas, Patrick; Shave, Mary; Shave, Paul
The economic inputs and outputs for the Possum Point Biological Station in Belize during 1990 1992 are described to illustrate some aspects of an ecotourism operation. Eight hundred fifty-four people in 59 groups visited Possum Point during the study period to tour rain forests, estuaries, and coral reefs. The economic input to Possum Point from these groups increased from 74,552 in 1990 to 166,268 in 1992. Outputs were for license fees, capital improvements, goods and services, labor, fossil fuels, and development of a historic sugar mill site. An annual donation was also made to a scholarship fund for local Belizean students. The net cash balance of income and outputs changed from negative (-6678) in 1990 to positive (+4811) in 1992, suggesting development of the economic operation. Possum Point meets the economic criteria for ecotourism by feeding back some tourist monies for community and environmental support, particularly donations for the sugar mill site and the scholarship fund. Most of the outputs from Possum Point (about 80%) were retained in the local economy through employment and purchases, which have a positive influence on the local community. We conclude that ecotourism operations, such as Possum Point, offer important sustainable development opportunities for Belize.
Full Text Available This article looks to analyze the preparation process the Belizean police force goes through with the objective of training the officers for duty. It also has the purpose of detailing the entrails the officers have to confront in their way up the corporate ladder as they develop into a professional police officer. Seen from a regional objectivity, Belize has been singled out to be in the center of numerous regional and hemispherical security problems; it is facing several of the same security challenges as its neighbors and explains the use of armed forces at the service of the public safety and the necessity to upgrade their law enforcement tactics and practices. The country also participates in many several mutual support instruments designed to assist and receive preparation and instruction from other nation’s police bodies. An example of that international aid came in a report from 2008 entitled "Review of the Belize Department" written by a Jamaican consultant in which the Police Plan elaborated in 2006 was analyzed and critiqued pointed out the strong and weak points of that project.
Vajda, Vivi; Ocampo, Adriana; Ferrow, Embaie
in high-latitude Gondwanan successions combined with evidence of catastrophic changes to the biota in this region implies that the long-term sunlight suppression in the Southern Hemisphere was mainly governed by the large quantities of hydrous aerosols nucleated around sulphuric acid droplets or nano...
Mazzotti, Frank J.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Brandt, Laura A.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Hart, Kristen; Jeffery, Brian; McMurry, Scott T.; Platt, Steven G.; Rainwater, Thomas R.; Vinci, Joy
Body condition factors have been used as an indicator of health and well-being of crocodilians. We evaluated body condition of Morelet's Crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) in northern Belize in relation to biotic (size, sex, and habitat) and abiotic (location, water level, and air temperature) factors. We also tested the hypothesis that high water levels and warm temperatures combine or interact to result in a decrease in body condition. Size class, temperature, and water level explained 20% of the variability in condition of Morelet's Crocodiles in this study. We found that adult crocodiles had higher condition scores than juveniles/subadults but that sex, habitat, and site had no effect. We confirmed our hypothesis that warm temperatures and high water levels interact to decrease body condition. We related body condition of Morelet's Crocodiles to natural fluctuations in air temperatures and water levels in northern Belize, providing baseline conditions for population and ecosystem monitoring.
Possible reasons for the high population genetic differentiation and the low levels of genetic variation within populations are inbreeding and genetic drift. Of a total of 26 known populations, 14 are now extinct, five during the course of this study. Action to prevent complete extinction of the species is therefore urgent.
T.J. Baroni; N. Bocsusis; D.J. Lodge; D.L. Lindner
A new species, Pleurocollybia imbricata, is described from the Maya Mountains of Belize and a new combination in Pleurocollybia is proposed. A key to the known species of Pleurocollybia is also provided.
A biomedical survey of stool specimens from 82% of the population (n=672) of S villages in Toledo District, Belize were examined by the formalin-ethyl acetate concentration technique for the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections...
alkaloid, quinine , was responsible for curing malaria . During the First World War, the Germans fearing the loss of quinine supply for their troops...The Epidemiology of Malaria in Belize, 1989 -1999 by Shilpa Hakre A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Department of Preventive Medicine...copyrighted material in the dissertation manuscript entitled: "The Epidemiology of Malaria in Belize, 1989-1999" is appropriately acknowledged and
Belize is a well-forested area of 22,960 square kilometers. Its capital is Belmopan. The country is generally flat north of the capital city. The flat, swampy Caribbean Coast of Belize gradually ascends to the low peaks of the Maya and Cockscomb Mountains (elevation to 1,120 meters). The area south of the Maya Mountains is much more rugged than the area to the north. The country is drained by seventeen rivers, the chief ones being the Belize, Hondo, New, Sibun, Monkey and Moho. There is 'hurricane danger in the July-October period. Belize has reportedly been surveyed by Gamma Ray Spectrometer for phosphates which probably would have contained sufficient uranium to be detectable. The survey traversed about 1,000 line kms along major north-south and east-west roads as well as many secondary roads and trails. The uranium readings ranged from 0. to 9.9 ppm with a uranium content of 1-2 ppm in the limestone areas and 2-7 ppm in the alluvium-covered areas. The U/Th ratio varied from 0.11 to 1.65. A recent traverse across the Mountain Pine Ridge batholith gave one reading as high as 36 ppm but the average was about 9-10 ppm. The upper 1000-3000 feet of core and cuttings from nine deep oil wells were checked for phosphates and uranium. Most of the core and cuttings were almost pure limestones. The P 2 0 3 content was less than 0.05 percent and no uranium was detected. It is very doubtful that any significant uranium occurrences will be found in the sediments surrounding the Maya Mountain uplift. However, there is a slight chance that uranium might occur in the granites and pegmatites in the Maya Mountains. The potential of Belize is estimated to be in the less than 1.000 tonnes uranium range, considering the restricted range, of geologic environments encountered there
Caserta, Salvatore; Madsen, Mikael Rask
This article is a commentary on two of the latest decisions of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Tomlinson v. Belize, and Tomlinson v. Trinidad and Tobago. In these two cases, the CCJ was called to rule over the legality under the Treaty of Chaguaramas of the Immigration Acts of Belize and Tr......, such as freedom of movement in the CARICOM and indirect and direct effect of Community Law. We argue that these two rulings are important new steps for the CCJ with regard to consolidating its position as an authoritative supranational court....
Sachs, Paige; Diaz Rodriguez, Gloria Alicia; Briceno, Ireneo; King, Russell; Achee, Nicole L; Grieco, John P
Anopheles darlingi is a major vector for malaria in Central and South America. Behavioral, ecological, genetic, and morphologic variability has been observed across its wide distribution. Recent studies have documented that 2 distinct genotypes exist for An. darlingi: a northern lineage (Belize, Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela, and Panama) and a southern lineage (Amazonia and southern Brazil). In order to determine if these genotypes exhibited different behavioral traits, entrance and exit movement patterns between 2 field populations of An. darlingi that represented each genotype were evaluated using experimental huts. The Belize population exhibited bimodal entrance, with peak entry occurring between 7:00-8:00 p.m. and 5:00-6:00 a.m. and peak exiting occurring between 7:00-8:00 p.m. The Peru population exhibited unimodal entrance, with peak entry occurring between 10:00-11:00 p.m. and peak exiting occurring between 11:00-12:00 a.m. with a secondary smaller peak at 2:30 a.m. Entrance and exit behavioral patterns were significantly different between the Belize and Peru populations of An. darlingi (log-rank [Mantel-Cox] P < 0.001). Information from the present study will be used in the future to determine if there is a correlation between genotype and host-seeking behavior and can be used in the present for regional vector risk assessment.
Michael A. Castellano; James M. Trappe; D. Jean Lodge
A new semi-hypogeous, sequestrate genus and species in the Basidiomycota is described from the Maya Mountains of Belize, where it was fruiting in association with Coccoloba belizensis. Mayamontana coccolobae is characterized by small, bright orange basidiomata with a friable, loculate, red-orange to red gleba and bilaterally...
Roberts, D R; Paris, J F; Manguin, S; Harbach, R E; Woodruff, R; Rejmankova, E; Polanco, J; Wullschleger, B; Legters, L J
Use of multispectral satellite data to predict arthropod-borne disease trouble spots is dependent on clear understandings of environmental factors that determine the presence of disease vectors. A blind test of remote sensing-based predictions for the spatial distribution of a malaria vector, Anopheles pseudopunctipennis, was conducted as a follow-up to two years of studies on vector-environmental relationships in Belize. Four of eight sites that were predicted to be high probability locations for presence of An. pseudopunctipennis were positive and all low probability sites (0 of 12) were negative. The absence of An. pseudopunctipennis at four high probability locations probably reflects the low densities that seem to characterize field populations of this species, i.e., the population densities were below the threshold of our sampling effort. Another important malaria vector, An. darlingi, was also present at all high probability sites and absent at all low probability sites. Anopheles darlingi, like An. pseudopunctipennis, is a riverine species. Prior to these collections at ecologically defined locations, this species was last detected in Belize in 1946.
Shakeshaft, Nicholas G; Trzaskowski, Maciej; McMillan, Andrew; Krapohl, Eva; Simpson, Michael A; Reichenberg, Avi; Cederlöf, Martin; Larsson, Henrik; Lichtenstein, Paul; Plomin, Robert
High intelligence (general cognitive ability) is fundamental to the human capital that drives societies in the information age. Understanding the origins of this intellectual capital is important for government policy, for neuroscience, and for genetics. For genetics, a key question is whether the genetic causes of high intelligence are qualitatively or quantitatively different from the normal distribution of intelligence. We report results from a sibling and twin study of high intelligence and its links with the normal distribution. We identified 360,000 sibling pairs and 9000 twin pairs from 3 million 18-year-old males with cognitive assessments administered as part of conscription to military service in Sweden between 1968 and 2010. We found that high intelligence is familial, heritable, and caused by the same genetic and environmental factors responsible for the normal distribution of intelligence. High intelligence is a good candidate for "positive genetics" - going beyond the negative effects of DNA sequence variation on disease and disorders to consider the positive end of the distribution of genetic effects.
Shakeshaft, Nicholas G.; Trzaskowski, Maciej; McMillan, Andrew; Krapohl, Eva; Simpson, Michael A.; Reichenberg, Avi; Cederlöf, Martin; Larsson, Henrik; Lichtenstein, Paul; Plomin, Robert
High intelligence (general cognitive ability) is fundamental to the human capital that drives societies in the information age. Understanding the origins of this intellectual capital is important for government policy, for neuroscience, and for genetics. For genetics, a key question is whether the genetic causes of high intelligence are qualitatively or quantitatively different from the normal distribution of intelligence. We report results from a sibling and twin study of high intelligence and its links with the normal distribution. We identified 360,000 sibling pairs and 9000 twin pairs from 3 million 18-year-old males with cognitive assessments administered as part of conscription to military service in Sweden between 1968 and 2010. We found that high intelligence is familial, heritable, and caused by the same genetic and environmental factors responsible for the normal distribution of intelligence. High intelligence is a good candidate for “positive genetics” — going beyond the negative effects of DNA sequence variation on disease and disorders to consider the positive end of the distribution of genetic effects. PMID:25593376
Full Text Available The Maya civilization of Central America prompts visions of mysterious stone temples now buried in tropical forest. It is commonly supposed to have collapsed suddenly in the ninth century AD, but some Maya settlements, such as Lamanai, survived into the colonial period. Here a new member of the Institute's academic staff gives a personal account of how working in Belize transformed her understanding of Maya civilization and its aftermath.
High genetic diversity of Mycospaherella graminicola (Zymoseptoria tritici) from a single wheat field in Tunisia as revealed by SSR markers. Samia Berraies, Mohamed Salah Gharbi, François Belzile, Amor Yahyaoui, Mohamed Rebah Hajlaoui, Mokhtar Trifi, Martine Jean, Salah Rezgui ...
Raúl Arístides Pérez Aguilar
Full Text Available A series of words that arrived in the Mexican border with Belize during the first half of the XVIII century with Canarian colonizers whom were brought by the governor of Yucatán to populate the village of Salamanca de Bacalar in order to built a fortress to stop the English advance in the region. It is about verbs, nouns and adjectives that became embedded within certain blocks of the material life of the society from Bacalar made of indios, mestizos and Spanish whom their percentages allowed the ingrainment and diffusion of these voices which until today still have a peculiar vitality on both sides of the river.
A Comparative Analysis of Genetic Diversity and Structure in Jaguars (Panthera onca, Pumas (Puma concolor, and Ocelots (Leopardus pardalis in Fragmented Landscapes of a Critical Mesoamerican Linkage Zone.
Full Text Available With increasing anthropogenic impact and landscape change, terrestrial carnivore populations are becoming more fragmented. Thus, it is crucial to genetically monitor wild carnivores and quantify changes in genetic diversity and gene flow in response to these threats. This study combined the use of scat detector dogs and molecular scatology to conduct the first genetic study on wild populations of multiple Neotropical felids coexisting across a fragmented landscape in Belize, Central America. We analyzed data from 14 polymorphic microsatellite loci in 1053 scat samples collected from wild jaguars (Panthera onca, pumas (Puma concolor, and ocelots (Leopardus pardalis. We assessed levels of genetic diversity, defined potential genetic clusters, and examined gene flow for the three target species on a countrywide scale using a combination of individual- and population-based analyses. Wild felids in Belize showed moderate levels of genetic variation, with jaguars having the lowest diversity estimates (HE = 0.57 ± 0.02; AR = 3.36 ± 0.09, followed by pumas (HE = 0.57 ± 0.08; AR = 4.20 ± 0.16, and ocelots (HE = 0.63 ± 0.03; AR = 4.16 ± 0.08. We observed low to moderate levels of genetic differentiation for all three target species, with jaguars showing the lowest degree of genetic subdivision across the country, followed by ocelots and pumas. Although levels of genetic diversity and gene flow were still fairly high, we detected evidence of fine-scale genetic subdivision, indicating that levels of genetic connectivity for wild felids in Belize are likely to decrease if habitat loss and fragmentation continue at the current rate. Our study demonstrates the value of understanding fine-scale patterns of gene flow in multiple co-occurring felid species of conservation concern, which is vital for wildlife movement corridor planning and prioritizing future conservation and management efforts within human-impacted landscapes.
A Comparative Analysis of Genetic Diversity and Structure in Jaguars (Panthera onca), Pumas (Puma concolor), and Ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) in Fragmented Landscapes of a Critical Mesoamerican Linkage Zone.
Wultsch, Claudia; Waits, Lisette P; Kelly, Marcella J
With increasing anthropogenic impact and landscape change, terrestrial carnivore populations are becoming more fragmented. Thus, it is crucial to genetically monitor wild carnivores and quantify changes in genetic diversity and gene flow in response to these threats. This study combined the use of scat detector dogs and molecular scatology to conduct the first genetic study on wild populations of multiple Neotropical felids coexisting across a fragmented landscape in Belize, Central America. We analyzed data from 14 polymorphic microsatellite loci in 1053 scat samples collected from wild jaguars (Panthera onca), pumas (Puma concolor), and ocelots (Leopardus pardalis). We assessed levels of genetic diversity, defined potential genetic clusters, and examined gene flow for the three target species on a countrywide scale using a combination of individual- and population-based analyses. Wild felids in Belize showed moderate levels of genetic variation, with jaguars having the lowest diversity estimates (HE = 0.57 ± 0.02; AR = 3.36 ± 0.09), followed by pumas (HE = 0.57 ± 0.08; AR = 4.20 ± 0.16), and ocelots (HE = 0.63 ± 0.03; AR = 4.16 ± 0.08). We observed low to moderate levels of genetic differentiation for all three target species, with jaguars showing the lowest degree of genetic subdivision across the country, followed by ocelots and pumas. Although levels of genetic diversity and gene flow were still fairly high, we detected evidence of fine-scale genetic subdivision, indicating that levels of genetic connectivity for wild felids in Belize are likely to decrease if habitat loss and fragmentation continue at the current rate. Our study demonstrates the value of understanding fine-scale patterns of gene flow in multiple co-occurring felid species of conservation concern, which is vital for wildlife movement corridor planning and prioritizing future conservation and management efforts within human-impacted landscapes.
Michael K Steinberg
Full Text Available Belize has emerged as an international leader in jaguar conservation through the creation of numerous protected areas that contain prime cat habitat and by strengthening conservation laws. For example, in 1984, Belize created the Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve, the first special jaguar protection area in the Americas. In 1995, the government expanded Cockscomb by creating the adjacent Chiquibul National Park. In 2010, the government continued this commitment to jaguar conservation by creating the Labouring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary in central Belize. As a result of these protected areas, Belize has been rightfully lauded as a leader in nature-based tourism and protected areas creation in Central America. However, outside national parks and communities that directly benefit from ecotourism, it is less clear how supportive rural residents are of cat conservation. It is also not clear if jaguars persist outside protected areas in locations such as southern Belize, where the environment has been significantly altered by human activities. Through interviews with Mayan hunters, this paper investigates the attitudes towards jaguars, human-jaguar conflicts, and potential community-based jaguar conservation in two Mayan villages in the Toledo District in southern Belize. Also, using indirect methods, the paper documents the presence/absence and other temporal/spatial aspects of jaguars in a heavily altered landscape in southern Belize.
Monacci, Natalie M.; Meier-Grünhagen, Ursula; Finney, Bruce P.; Behling, Hermann; Wooller, Matthew J.
This study examines a sediment core (SR-63) from a mangrove ecosystem along the Sibun River in Belize, which is subject to both changes in sea-level and in the characteristics of the river's drainage basin. Radiocarbon dates from the core show a decreased sedimentation rate from ~ 6 ka to 1 cal ka BP and a marked change in lithology from primarily mangrove peat to fluvial-derived material at ~ 2.5 cal ka BP. Changes in the sedimentation rates observed in mangrove ecosystems offshore have previously been attributed to changes in relative sea-level and the rate of sea-level rise. Pollen analyses show a decreased abundance of Rhizophora (red mangrove) pollen and an increased abundance of Avicennia (black mangrove) pollen and non-mangrove pollen coeval with the decreased sedimentation rates. Elemental ratios ([N:C] a) and stable isotope analyses (δ 15N and δ 13C) show that changes in the composition of the organic material are also coeval with the change in lithology. The decrease in sedimentation rate at the site of core SR-63 and at offshore sites supports the idea that regional changes in hydrology occurred during the Holocene in Belize, influencing both mainland and offshore mangrove ecosystems.
Rainwater, Thomas R.; Wu, Ted H.; Finger, Adam G.; Canas, Jaclyn E.; Yu Lu; Reynolds, Kevin D.; Coimbatore, Gopal; Barr, Brady; Platt, Steven G.; Cobb, George P.; Anderson, Todd A.; McMurry, Scott T.
Despite high animal diversity in the Neotropics and the largely unregulated use and disposal of pesticides and industrial chemicals in Central America, few data exist regarding accumulation of environmental contaminants in Central American wildlife. In this study we examined accumulation of metals and organochlorine (OC) pesticides in caudal scutes of crocodiles from Belize and Costa Rica. Scutes from Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from two sites in northern Belize were analyzed for metals, and scutes from American crocodiles (C. acutus) from one site in Costa Rica were analyzed for metals and OC pesticides. All scutes (n = 25; one scute from each of 25 individuals) contained multiple contaminants. Mercury was the predominant metal detected, occurring in all scutes examined from both species. Other metals detected include cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc. American crocodile scutes from Costa Rica contained multiple OC pesticides, including endrin, methoxychlor, p,p'-DDE, and p,p'-DDT, all of which occurred in 100% of scutes analyzed (n = 6). Mean metal and OC concentrations varied in relation to those previously reported in crocodilian scutes from other localities in North, Central, and South America. OC concentrations in American crocodile scutes were generally higher than those previously reported for other Costa Rican wildlife. Currently, caudal scutes may serve as general, non-lethal indicators of contaminant accumulation in crocodilians and their areas of occurrence. However, a better understanding of the relationships between pollutant concentrations in scutes, internal tissues, and environmental matrices at sample collection sites are needed to improve the utility of scutes in future ecotoxicological investigations
Full Text Available Data on disparities in mortality within low and middle income countries are limited, with little published data from the Caribbean or Central America. Our aim was to investigate disparities in overall and cause specific premature adult mortality in the multi-ethnic middle income country of Belize.Mortality data from Belize 2008-2010 classified using the International Classification of Diseases 10 and the 2010 census stratified by age and ethnicity were used to calculate age, sex, and ethnic specific mortality rates for those 15-59 years, and life table analysis was used to estimate the probability of death between the ages of 15 and 59 (45q15.The probability of death among those aged 15 to 59 years was 18.1% (women 13.5%, men 22.7%. Creole and Garifuna ethnic groups have three times the 45q15 probability of death compared to Mayan and Mestizo groups (Creole 31.2%, Garifuna 31.1%, Mayan 10.2%, Mestizo 12.0%. This pattern of ethnic disparity existed in both sexes but was greater in men. The probability of death from injuries was 14.8% among Creole men, more than twice the rate of other ethnicities and peaks among young Creole men. These deaths are dominated by homicides and unspecified deaths involving firearms.Marked disparities in mortality between ethnic groups exist in this Central American/Caribbean country, from rates that are typical of high-income countries to those of low-income countries. The pattern of these extreme differences likely suggests that they reflect underlying social determinants rooted in the country's colonial past.
Rainwater, Thomas R. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States)]. E-mail: email@example.com; Wu, Ted H. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Finger, Adam G. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Canas, Jaclyn E. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Yu Lu [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Reynolds, Kevin D. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Coimbatore, Gopal [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Barr, Brady [National Geographic Channel, 1145 17th St. NW Washington, DC 20036 (United States); Platt, Steven G. [Department of Biology, Box C-64, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, TX 79832 (United States); Cobb, George P. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Anderson, Todd A. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); McMurry, Scott T. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States)
Despite high animal diversity in the Neotropics and the largely unregulated use and disposal of pesticides and industrial chemicals in Central America, few data exist regarding accumulation of environmental contaminants in Central American wildlife. In this study we examined accumulation of metals and organochlorine (OC) pesticides in caudal scutes of crocodiles from Belize and Costa Rica. Scutes from Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from two sites in northern Belize were analyzed for metals, and scutes from American crocodiles (C. acutus) from one site in Costa Rica were analyzed for metals and OC pesticides. All scutes (n = 25; one scute from each of 25 individuals) contained multiple contaminants. Mercury was the predominant metal detected, occurring in all scutes examined from both species. Other metals detected include cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc. American crocodile scutes from Costa Rica contained multiple OC pesticides, including endrin, methoxychlor, p,p'-DDE, and p,p'-DDT, all of which occurred in 100% of scutes analyzed (n = 6). Mean metal and OC concentrations varied in relation to those previously reported in crocodilian scutes from other localities in North, Central, and South America. OC concentrations in American crocodile scutes were generally higher than those previously reported for other Costa Rican wildlife. Currently, caudal scutes may serve as general, non-lethal indicators of contaminant accumulation in crocodilians and their areas of occurrence. However, a better understanding of the relationships between pollutant concentrations in scutes, internal tissues, and environmental matrices at sample collection sites are needed to improve the utility of scutes in future ecotoxicological investigations.
Schenk, Christopher J.; Brownfield, Michael E.; Charpentier, Ronald R.; Cook, Troy A.; Klett, Timothy R.; Pitman, Janet K.; Pollastro, Richard M.; Weaver, Jean N.
Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated means of 19 billion barrels of oil and 83 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered natural gas resources in 10 geologic provinces of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize.
Richard A. Belisle
The University of Mississippi and the American Universities International Program (AUIP) enjoy vast educational opportunities in Belize. Bounded by Mexico on the north, Guatemala on the west and south, and the Caribbean Sea on the east, Belizeâs 22,960 km2 of topography range from sea level to 3,688 ft. This variation in altitude and the tropical...
Lighty, R.G.; Russell, K.L.
Transect mapping and petrologic studies reveal a new depositional model and limited diagenesis of a well-exposed Pleistocene reef outcrop at Ambergris Cay, northern Belize. This emergent shelf-edge reef forms a rocky wave-washed headland at the northern terminus of the present-day 250 km long flourishing Belize Barrier Reef. Previously, the Belize reef outcrop was thought to extend southward in the subsurface beneath the modern barrier reef as a Pleistocene equivalent. The authors study indicate that this outcrop is a large, coral patch reef and not part of a barrier reef trend. Sixteen transects 12.5 m apart described in continuous cm increments from fore reef to back reef identified: extensive deposits of broken Acropora cervicornis; small thickets of A. palmata with small, oriented branches; and muddy skeletal sediments with few corals or reef rubble. Thin section and SEM studies show three phases of early submarine cementation: syntaxial and rosette aragonite; Mg-calcite rim cement and peloids; and colloidal Mg-calcite geopetal fill. Subaerial exposure in semi-arid northern Belize caused only minor skeletal dissolution, some precipitation of vadose whisker calcite, and no meteoric phreatic diagenesis. Facies geometry, coral assemblages, lack of rubble deposits, coralline algal encrustations and Millepora framework, and recognition of common but discrete submarine cements, all indicate that this Pleistocene reef was an isolated, coral-fringed sediment buildup similar to may large patch reefs existing today in moderate-energy shelf environments behind the modern barrier reef in central and southern Belize.
Dawson, D.K.; Robbins, C.S.; Sauer, J.R.
We used mist nets and point counts to sample bird populations in 61 sites in Belize during January-March of 1987-1991. Sites were classified as forest, second growth, woody agricultural crops (citrus, mango, cacao, and cashew), or non-woody agricultural crops (rice and sugar cane). We evaluated patterns of occurence of wintering temperate migrant bird species in these habitats. Mist net captures of 22 of 31 migrant species differed significantly among habitats. Of these, 13 species were captured more frequently in the agricultural habitats. American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla), Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia), and Magnolia Warbler (Dendroica magnolia) were among the species captured most frequently in woody agricultural habitats; captures of Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), and Northern (lcterus galbula) and Orchard orioles (I. spur/anus) were highest in the non-woody agricultural sites. We relate these occurrence patterns to trends in breeding populations in North America. While count data provide a wide picture of winter habitat distribution of migrants, more intensive work is necessary to assess temporal and geographic variation of migrant bird use of agricultural habitats.
Weller, Errin Teresa
This dissertation presents the results of the remote sensing and artifact re-analysis of the archaeological site of Barton Ramie, Belize. The site was the focus of Dr. Gordon R. Willey's innovative archaeological program in the Belize River Valley to study ancient Maya settlement, environment, and population in 1954-1956. Through the use of artifact analysis combined with the examination of high-resolution Worldview-1 imagery and a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based spatial analysis, I consider how the inhabitants of Barton Ramie forged community functioning and identity. I focus on the range of intra-site diversity including differential access to labor, goods, land, and the activities evidenced in households and non-domestic structures. Using a community theory framework, emphasizing the many practices that tied the community together, I underscore the variability expressed in architectural elaboration, sumptuary goods, ritual, and specialization. That variability has profound implications for understanding community diversity and economic, social, and ritual functioning. High-resolution panchromatic Worldview-1 satellite imagery successfully detected the remains of Barton Ramie settlement. Surface archaeology has been largely destroyed due to extensive agricultural activities in recent decades. GIS analysis and ground-truthing determined that mound size is the primary factor enabling detection of ancient features. The confirmation of features in an intensively plowed environment has implications including settlement, survey, and population for other disturbed environments. I argue that the Barton Ramie community developed from a complex interaction of networks and practices. These include activities at the household level, articulation between households to form sub-communities (or neighborhoods), and a larger imagined community of the Barton Ramie polity. Individual households articulated to form seven discrete sub-communities, bounded by landscape
Canché-Estrada, Idalia Arely; Ortiz-Díaz, Juan Javier; Tun-Garrido, Juan
Environmental heterogeneity of Belize and southern Mexico savannahs as well as their geographical location suggest that these plant communities share floristic elements, making them conducive to a phytogeographical analysis. The aim of this study was to analyse the floristic affinities of nine savannahs of Belize and southern Mexico and to explain the similarities and differences amongst them. A binary data matrix containing 915 species was built based on the authors' own collections and on nine floristic lists already published. A second data matrix, consisting of 113 species representing trees, was also used since most literature on neotropical savannahs has focused on this life form. In addition, the ten most species-rich families as well as the characteristic species present in more than five savannahs were analysed. Floristic similarities were calculated using the Jaccard index. Dendrograms obtained in both types of analysis showed clusters with low similarity values, corresponding to geographic locations formed by the savannahs of Belize-Tabasco and the Yucatan Peninsula. The floristic affinities of the savannahs may be explained in terms of heterogeneity in climate and physiography. The Yucatan Peninsula and Belize-Tabasco groups have differences in climate type and the amount of rainfall. In addition, the Yucatan Peninsula savannahs are established at the bottom of karstic valleys, while the Belize and Tabasco savannahs develop on extensive flatlands. The savannahs of Oaxaca have the same climate type and amount of rainfall as those of the Yucatan Peninsula but they are distributed along peaks and the slopes of shale hills. Fabaceae and Poaceae mainly dominated the local floras with 121 and 116 species each; remarkably, Melastomataceae was absent in the Yucatan Peninsula and Oaxaca. Nine species occurred in five to seven savannahs, confirming that they are widespread in both Belize and southern Mexico, and the Neotropics. Geographic location and floristic
Rützler, Klaus; Piantoni, Carla; Van Soest, Rob W M; Díaz, M Cristina
The Caribbean barrier reef near Carrie Bow Cay, Belize, has been a focus of Smithsonian Institution (Washington) reef and mangrove investigations since the early 1970s. Systematics and biology of sponges (Porifera) were addressed by several researchers but none of the studies dealt with cryptic habitats, such as the shaded undersides of coral rubble, reef crevices, and caves, although a high species diversity was recognized and samples were taken for future reference and study. This paper is the result of processing samples taken between 1972 and 2012. In all, 122 species were identified, 14 of them new (including one new genus). The new species are Tetralophophora (new genus) mesoamericana, Geodia cribrata, Placospongia caribica, Prosuberites carriebowensis, Timea diplasterina, Timea oxyasterina, Rhaphidhistia belizensis, Wigginsia curlewensis, Phorbas aurantiacus, Myrmekioderma laminatum, Niphates arenata, Siphonodictyon occultum, Xestospongia purpurea, and Aplysina sciophila. We determined that about 75 of the 122 cryptic sponge species studied (61%) are exclusive members of the sciophilic community, 47 (39 %) occur in both, light-exposed and shaded or dark habitats. Since we estimate the previously known sponge population of Carrie Bow reefs and mangroves at about 200 species, the cryptic fauna makes up 38 % of total diversity.
Grahn, D.; Garriott, M.L.; Farrington, B.H.; Lee, C.H.; Russell, J.J.
The objectives of this project are: (1) to assess genetic hazards from testicular burdens of 239 Pu and determine its retention and microdistribution in the testis; (2) to compare effects of 239 Pu with single, weekly, and continuous 60 Co gamma irradiation and single and weekly fission neutron irradiation to develop a basis for estimating relative biological effectiveness (RBE); and (3) to develop detailed dose-response data for genetic end points of concern at low doses of neutrons and gamma rays. Comparatively short-term genetic end points are used, namely: (1) the dominant lethal mutation rate in premeiotic and postmeiotic cell stages; (2) the frequency of abnormal sperm head morphology measured at various times after irradiation; and (3) the frequency of reciprocal chromosome translocations induced in spermatogonia and measured at first meiotic metaphase. Male hybrid B6CF 1 mice, 120 days old, are used for all studies. Measures of the retention, microdistributionand pollutant related changes. Assessment of human risk associated with nuclearing collective dose commitment will result in more attention being paid to potential releases of radionuclides at relatively short times after disposal
... Public Lectures · Lecture Workshops · Refresher Courses · Symposia. Home; Journals; Journal of Genetics; Volume 88; Issue 1. Genetic differentiation of populations residing in areas of high malaria endemicity in India. Swapnil Sinha Vandana Arya Sarita Agarwal Indian Genome Variation Consortium Saman Habib.
) for high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) inactivation of Bacillus cereus spores, Bacillus subtilis spores and cells, Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes, all in milk buffer, were used to demonstrate the utility of genetic algorithms ...
van Thiel, P. P. A. M.; Zeegelaar, J. E.; van Gool, T.; Faber, W. R.; Kager, P. A.
Skin lesions occur frequently in travelers to tropical countries. Military personnel acquire skin lesions regularly during jungle training as did Dutch troops who trained in the jungle of Belize in 1998, 2004 and 2009, in an area endemic for cutaneous leishmaniasis. Demographic and clinical data
Allen, Aarin Conrad; Beck, Cathy A.; Bonde, Robert K.; Powell, James A.; Gomez, Nicole Auil
Belize contains important habitat for Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) and provides refuge for the highest known population density of this subspecies. As these animals face impending threats, knowledge of their dietary habits can be used to interpret resource utilization. The contents of 13 mouth, 6 digestive tract (stomach, duodenum and colon), and 124 fecal samples were microscopically examined using a modified point technique detection protocol to identify key plant species consumed by manatees at two important aggregation sites in Belize: Southern Lagoon and the Drowned Cayes. Overall, 15 different items were identified in samples from manatees in Belize. Five species of seagrasses (Halodule wrightii, Thalassia testudinum, Ruppia maritima, Syringodium filiforme, and Halophila sp.) made up the highest percentage of items. The red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), was also identified as an important food item. Algae (Ulva sp., Chara sp., Lyngbya sp.) and invertebrates (sponges and diatoms) were also consumed. Variation in the percentage of seagrasses, other vascular plants, and algae consumption was analyzed as a 4-factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) with main effects and interactions for locality, sex, size classification, and season. While sex and season did not influence diet composition, differences for locality and size classification were observed. These results suggest that analysis of diet composition of Antillean manatees may help to determine critical habitat and use of associated food resources which, in turn can be used to aid conservation efforts in Belize.
Craig, P G; Bryan, J P; Miller, R E; Reyes, L; Hakre, S; Jaramillo, R; Krieg, R E
Little is known about the prevalence of infection with hepatitis viruses in Belize, Central America. We conducted a serologic survey among members of the Belize Defence Force (BDF), which is composed of the five major ethnic groups in Belize, to estimate prevalence rates of hepatitis A, B, and C among military-aged men and women in Belize. Of approximately 600 men and women in the BDF, 492 (82%) completed a questionnaire and blood collection. Antibody to hepatitis A was found in 94%, with similar rates by age, sex, rank, and ethnicity. Antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) was found in 31%. Rates of anti-HBc varied significantly among the ethnic groups with the lowest rates in Mestizo (5%) and Mayan Indians (9%), and significantly higher rates among Creoles (30%) and Garifuna (56%). Rates increased with increasing age from 28% in those 18-24 years old to 35% in those > or = 35 years old (P = 0.07, by chi-square test for trend). Hepatitis B surface antigen was found in 21 (4%) overall. Antibody to hepatitis C was found in two (0.4%). In this young healthy population, exposure to hepatitis A before the age of 18 is almost universal, while exposure to hepatitis B is related to age and ethnic origin.
Bennett-Martin, P. A.; Longobardi, P.
The accumulation of non-organic debris from humans is a growing environmental concern in coastal Belize. This study used a variety of methods to inventory and categorize debris types, to assess the spatial distribution of debris and used GIS to catalog and analyze data. Marine debris included glass, metal, styrofoam, fishing debris, and plastics. Plastics were the most abundant marine debris observed, and are a common pollutant in the marine ecosystem throughout Belize. The study also used ethnographic techniques engaging members of three coastal communities to assess practices for managing the debris. In 2015, we worked with over 146 individuals in different capacities in the communities of Belize City, Blackbird Caye, and Caye Caulker to determine their involvement and activities with marine debris. The participatory observation process discovered a network of individuals who are committed to managing and reducing waste, especially plastic pollution. This research establishes a baseline framework for participatory monitoring and adaptive governance for addressing coastal marine debris issues at varying scales: individuals, communities, NGOs, and government. These data allow for use of critical cartographic representations that will be beneficial to coastal communities of Belize for awareness and governance purposes related to future management of marine debris issues.
Marine recreational tourism is one of a number of threats to the Belize Barrier Reef but, conversely, represents both a motivation and source of resources for its conservation. The growth of tourism in Belize has resulted in the fact that many coastal communities are in varying stages of a socio-economic shift from dependence on fishing to dependence on tourism. In a nation becoming increasingly dependent on the health of its coral reef ecosystems for economic prosperity, a shift from extractive uses to their preservation is both necessary and logical. Through examining local perception data in five coastal communities in Belize, each attracting different levels of coral reef related tourism, this analysis is intended to explore the relationship between tourism development and local coral reef conservation awareness and support. The results of the analysis show a positive correlation between tourism development and coral reef conservation awareness and support in the study communities. The results also show a positive correlation between tourism development and local perceptions of quality of life, a trend that is most likely the source of the observed relationship between tourism and conservation. The study concludes that, because the observed relationship may be dependent on continued benefits from tourism as opposed to a perceived crisis in coral reef health, Belize must pay close attention to tourism impacts in the future. Failure to do this could result in a destructive feedback loop that would contribute to the degradation of the reef and, ultimately, Belize’s diminished competitiveness in the ecotourism market.
García-Morales, Alma Estrella; Elías-Gutiérrez, Manuel
Rotifer samples were obtained from 29 localities in northern Guatemala and central-southern Belize during March 2000 and June 2001. A total of 119 species were identified. Ten selected taxa are illustrated and commented: Euchlanis semicarinata, Lepadella apsicora, L. cryphaea, Lecane curvicornis f. lofuana, L. whitfordi, Monommata maculata, Scaridium bostjani, Trichocerca elongata f. braziliensis, and Z. hollaerti. The species Lepadella rhomboidula is a first record for the American Continent. The species are 71% cosmopolitan, 6 % tropicopolitan, and 4.2 % restricted to the subtropics. The Guatemala species number range was Petén-Itza lake (53 taxa), and Raxruja pool (three). La Democracia pool (49 taxa), and the Blue Hole sink-hole (six species) were the extremes in Belize. In total, 68 of the recorded taxa are new for Guatemala and 91 for Belize. Additionally, 47 species are registered by the first time in Central America. A comparison between these two countries and Mexico revealed that the south part of the latter conform a cluster with them, emphasizing the transitional character of this region between the Nearctics and the Neotropics. Furthermore, Guatemala and Belize have differences in species assemblages, as a response to the nature of their particular environments and topographical accidents.
Kenrick W. Williams
Full Text Available Co-management of protected areas has been recognized as a viable option to sustainably manage ecosystems. This collaborative approach actively engages civil society in the protected areas governance processes. Attempts at co-management, however, have not been uniformly successful; whereas the governance of some initiatives succeed and become strong and sustainable, others become weak or fail over time. In this paper, we provide a nuanced application of Ostrom’s multi-tier SES framework to carry out a systematic analysis of representative cases of co-management in Belize. This novel approach allows us to avoid the common problem of overstating the explanatory power of individual variables, while enabling us to tease out the interrelationships among critical process and contextual variables that may influence co-management outcomes. Our findings show that strong co-management is associated with a multiplicity of variables, including information sharing, conflict resolution, investments, self-organization, and networking. Contextual conditions inclusive of strong leadership, social capital, and high levels of dependence on resources for daily livelihoods seem to have influenced these processes over time. The presence of cross-scale and cross-level networks also seems to be important in influencing co-management outcomes. Our study contributes to the further development of Ostrom’s multi-tier SES framework by proposing the addition of five new third-tier variables. We advance some key lessons in the analysis of co-management outcomes and offer some policy recommendations to improve protected areas co-management policy and practice in Belize.
Brurberg, May Bente; Elameen, Abdelhameed; Le, Ving Hong
Late blight, caused by the oomycete Phytophthora infestans, is the most important disease of potato (Solanum tuberosum). The pathogen is highly adaptable and to get an overview of the genetic variation in the Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden we have analyzed 200 isolates from...... types (60 % A1) support the hypothesis that sexual reproduction is contributing notably to the genetic variation of P. infestans in the Nordic countries....
This profile provides a snapshot of the energy landscape of Belize, a Central American country bordering Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the west and south, and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Although not an island nation, Belize is included in this energy snapshot series because it is a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), an alliance of 15 Caribbean nations in the region.
Lee, R.Y.; Porubsky, W.P.; Feller, Ilka C.; McKee, K.L.; Joye, S.B.
Seasonal variability in biogeochemical signatures was used to elucidate the dominant pathways of soil microbial metabolism and elemental cycling in an oligotrophic mangrove system. Three interior dwarf mangrove habitats (Twin Cays, Belize) where surface soils were overlain by microbial mats were sampled during wet and dry periods of the year. Porewater equilibration meters and standard biogeochemical methods provided steady-state porewater profiles of pH, chloride, sulfate, sulfide, ammonium, nitrate/nitrite, phosphate, dissolved organic carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus, reduced iron and manganese, dissolved inorganic carbon, methane and nitrous oxide. During the wet season, the salinity of overlying pond water and shallow porewaters decreased. Increased rainwater infiltration through soils combined with higher tidal heights appeared to result in increased organic carbon inventories and more reducing soil porewaters. During the dry season, evaporation increased both surface water and porewater salinities, while lower tidal heights resulted in less reduced soil porewaters. Rainfall strongly influenced inventories of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen, possibly due to more rapid decay of mangrove litter during the wet season. During both times of year, high concentrations of reduced metabolites accumulated at depth, indicating substantial rates of organic matter mineralization coupled primarily to sulfate reduction. Nitrous oxide and methane concentrations were supersaturated indicating considerable rates of nitrification and/or incomplete denitrification and methanogenesis, respectively. More reducing soil conditions during the wet season promoted the production of reduced manganese. Contemporaneous activity of sulfate reduction and methanogenesis was likely fueled by the presence of noncompetitive substrates. The findings indicate that these interior dwarf areas are unique sites of nutrient and energy regeneration and may be critical to the overall persistence
In Marks and Spencer v BNP Paribas, the Supreme Court restated the law on the implication of terms in fact, rejecting the previously authoritative approach taken by Lord Hoffmann in Attorney General of Belize v Belize Telecom Ltd. This article examines two major departures from Belize in Lord Neuberger’s leading judgment: the treatment of implication as a process separate from interpretation, and a return to the ‘traditional tests’ for the implication of terms. It argues that these are retrog...
Rasmussen, Jane Lind Nybo; Vesth, Tammi Camilla; Frisvad, Jens Christian
In the era of high-throughput sequencing, comparative genomics is vastly used in the discovery of genetic diversity between species, but also in defining the core and pan genome of single species to whole genera. Current comparative approaches are implementing ortholog identification to establish...... genome annotations, gene or protein evolutions or defining functional features in individual species and groups.......In the era of high-throughput sequencing, comparative genomics is vastly used in the discovery of genetic diversity between species, but also in defining the core and pan genome of single species to whole genera. Current comparative approaches are implementing ortholog identification to establish...
Jiandong YANG, Zhihe ZHANG, Fujun SHEN, Xuyu YANG, Liang ZHANG, Limin CHEN, Wenping ZHANG, Qing ZHU, Rong HOU
Full Text Available Understanding present patterns of genetic diversity is critical in order to design effective conservation and management strategies for endangered species. Tangjiahe Nature Reserve (NR is one of the most important national reserves for giant pandas Ailuropoda melanoleuca in China. Previous studies have shown that giant pandas in Tangjiahe NR may be threatened by population decline and fragmentation. Here we used 10 microsatellite DNA markers to assess the genetic variability in the Tangjiahe population. The results indicate a low level of genetic differentiation between the Hongshihe and Motianling subpopulations in the reserve. Assignment tests using the Bayesian clustering method in STRUCTURE identified one genetic cluster from 42 individuals of the two subpopulations. All individuals from the same subpopulation were assigned to one cluster. This indicates high gene flow between subpopulations. F statistic analyses revealed a low FIS-value of 0.024 in the total population and implies a randomly mating population in Tangjiahe NR. Additionally, our data show a high level of genetic diversity for the Tangjiahe population. Mean allele number (A, Allelic richness (AR and mean expected heterozygosity (HE for the Tangjiahe population was 5.9, 5.173 and 0.703, respectively. This wild giant panda population can be restored through concerted effort [Current Zoology 57 (6: 717–724, 2011].
Full Text Available The growth and production of yeast in the industrial fermentation are seriously restrained by heat stress and exacerbated by heat induced oxidative stress. In this study, a novel synthetic biology approach was developed to globally boost the viability and production ability of S. cerevisiae at high temperature through rationally designing and combing heat shock protein (HSP and superoxide dismutase (SOD genetic devices to ultimately synergistically alleviate both heat stress and oxidative stress. HSP and SOD from extremophiles were constructed to be different genetic devices and they were preliminary screened by heat resistant experiments and anti-oxidative experiments, respectively. Then in order to customize and further improve thermotolerance of S. cerevisiae, the HSP genetic device and SOD genetic device were rationally combined. The results show the simply assemble of the same function genetic devices to solve heat stress or oxidative stress could not enhance the thermotolerance considerably. Only S. cerevisiae with the combination genetic device (FBA1p-sod-MB4-FBA1p-shsp-HB8 solving both stress showed 250% better thermotolerance than the control and displayed further 55% enhanced cell density compared with the strains with single FBA1p-sod-MB4 or FBA1p-shsp-HB8 at 42 °C. Then the most excellent combination genetic device was introduced into lab S. cerevisiae and industrial S. cerevisiae for ethanol fermentation. The ethanol yields of the two strains were increased by 20.6% and 26.3% compared with the control under high temperature, respectively. These results indicate synergistically defensing both heat stress and oxidative stress is absolutely necessary to enhance the thermotolerance and production of S. cerevisiae.
Justin H Baumann
Full Text Available Coral reefs are increasingly threatened by global and local anthropogenic stressors such as rising seawater temperature, nutrient enrichment, sedimentation, and overfishing. Although many studies have investigated the impacts of local and global stressors on coral reefs, we still do not fully understand how these stressors influence coral community structure, particularly across environmental gradients on a reef system. Here, we investigate coral community composition across three different temperature and productivity regimes along a nearshore-offshore gradient on lagoonal reefs of the Belize Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS. A novel metric was developed using ultra-high-resolution satellite-derived estimates of sea surface temperatures (SST to classify reefs as exposed to low (lowTP, moderate (modTP, or high (highTP temperature parameters over 10 years (2003 to 2012. Coral species richness, abundance, diversity, density, and percent cover were lower at highTP sites relative to lowTP and modTP sites, but these coral community traits did not differ significantly between lowTP and modTP sites. Analysis of coral life history strategies revealed that highTP sites were dominated by hardy stress-tolerant and fast-growing weedy coral species, while lowTP and modTP sites consisted of competitive, generalist, weedy, and stress-tolerant coral species. Satellite-derived estimates of Chlorophyll-a (chl-a were obtained for 13-years (2003-2015 as a proxy for primary production. Chl-a concentrations were highest at highTP sites, medial at modTP sites, and lowest at lowTP sites. Notably, thermal parameters correlated better with coral community traits between site types than productivity, suggesting that temperature (specifically number of days above the thermal bleaching threshold played a greater role in defining coral community structure than productivity on the MBRS. Dominance of weedy and stress-tolerant genera at highTP sites suggests that corals
Uzwiak, Beth A; Curran, Siobhan
Belizean health policy supports a primary health care (PHC) strategy of universal access, community participation, and multisectoral collaboration. The principals of PHC were a key part of Belize's emergent national identity and built on existing community-based health strategies. Ethnographic research in western Belize, however, reveals that ongoing health reform is removing providers from participatory arenas. In this article, we foreground a particular moment in Belizean health history--the rise and demise of multisectoral collaboration--to question what can constitute meaningful community participation in the midst of health reform. Many allied health providers continue to believe in the potential of PHC to alleviate the structural causations of poor health and to invest in PHC despite a lack of state support. This means that providers, the majority women, are palliating the consequences of neoliberal reform; it also means that they provide spaces of contestation to the consumer "logic" of this reform. © 2015 by the American Anthropological Association.
Full Text Available Climate-smart agriculture (CSA is proposed as a necessity, as the agricultural sector will need to adapt to resist future climatic change, to which high emissions from the sector contribute significantly. This study, which is an exploratory case study based on qualitative interviews and field observations, investigates the barriers to making a CSA-adjustment in maize production among Maya communities in southern Belize. The adjustment is alley cropping, which is a low-input adjustment that has the potential to result in both adaptation and mitigation benefits, and furthermore, to enhance food security. The findings show that a CSA-adjustment in small-scale maize production in Maya villages in southern Belize is possible in principle, though several barriers can make the overall climate-smart objective difficult to implement in practice. The barriers are of a proximate and indirect nature, exist at different spatial scales, and involve various levels of governance. The barriers are shown to be land tenure, market access, and changes in the traditional culture, however, these barriers are not homogenous across the villages in the region. To break down the barriers an overall district-level strategy is possible, but the toolbox should contain a wide variety of approaches. These could happen, for instance, through alterations to land tenure and the land taxation system nationally, enhancement of the agricultural extension system to ease access to knowledge and input at the district level, and support to a less complex governance structure at the village level.
Healy, Paul F.; Helmke, Christophe G.B.; Awe, Jaime J.
Survey and excavations of mounds on the outskirts of the site of Pacbitun in western Belize provide insights to the ancient Maya settlement pattern at this medium-sized regional center. This research employed two methods: analysis of structural remains from four separate 1000 m transect surveys...... to have been about 5000-6000 persons. This population estimate is compared with several coeval lowland Maya centers, and found to be reasonable for a medium-sized, Late Classic Maya center....
Genetic differentiation of populations residing in areas of high malaria endemicity in India. SWAPNIL SINHA1, VANDANA ARYA2, SARITA AGARWAL2, INDIAN GENOME VARIATION CONSORTIUM3 and SAMAN HABIB1∗. 1Division of Molecular and Structural Biology, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow 226 001, ...
Vahidi, S.M.F.; Faruque, M.O.; Falahati Anbaran, M.; Afraz, F.; Mousavi, S.M.; Boettcher, P.; Joost, S.; Han, J.L.; Colli, L.; Periasamy, K.; Negrini, R.; Ajmone-Marsan, P.
Full text: Iranian livestock diversity is still largely unexplored, in spite of the interest in the populations historically reared in this country located near the Fertile Crescent, a major livestock domestication centre. In this investigation, the genetic diversity and differentiation of 10 Iranian indigenous fat-tailed sheep breeds were investigated using 18 microsatellite markers. Iranian breeds were found to host a high level of diversity. This conclusion is substantiated by the large number of alleles observed across loci (average 13.83, range 7–22) and by the high within-breed expected heterozygosity (average 0.75, range 0.72–0.76). Iranian sheep have a low level of genetic differentiation, as indicated by the analysis of molecular variance, which allocated a very small proportion (1.67%) of total variation to the between-population component, and by the small fixation index (FST = 0.02). Both Bayesian clustering and principal coordinates analysis revealed the absence of a detectable genetic structure. Also, no isolation by distance was observed through comparison of genetic and geographical distances. In spite of high within-breed variation, signatures of inbreeding were detected by the FIS indices, which were positive in all and statistically significant in three breeds. Possible factors explaining the patterns observed, such as considerable gene flow and inbreeding probably due to anthropogenic activities in the light of population management and conservation programmes are discussed. (author)
Spruce, J.P.; Dowell, B.A.; Robbins, C.S.; Sader, S.A.; Doyle, Jamie K.; Schelhas, John
Central America offers a suite of neotropical habitats vital to overwintering migrant land birds. The recent decline of many forest dwelling avian migrants is believed to be related in part to neotropical deforestation and land use change. However, spatio-temporal trends in neotropical habitat availability and avian migrant habitat use are largely unknown. Such information is needed to assess the impact of agriculture conversion on migrant land birds. In response, the USDI Fish and Wildlife Service and the University of Maine began a cooperative study in 1988 which applies remote sensing and field surveys to determine current habitat availability and avian migrant habitat use. Study sites include areas in Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala and southern Mexico. Visual assessment of Landsat TM imagery indicates southern Belize forests are fragmented by various agricultural systems. Shifting agriculture is predominant in some areas, while permanent agriculture (citrus and mixed animal crops) is the primary system in others. This poster focuses on efforts to monitor forest to agriculture conversion in southern Belize using remote sensing, field surveys and GIS techniques. Procedures and avian migrant use of habitat are summarized.
Christensen, Kaare; McGue, Matt
The sequenced genomes of individuals aged ≥80 years, who were highly educated, self-referred volunteers and with no self-reported chronic diseases were compared to young controls. In these data, healthy ageing is a distinct phenotype from exceptional longevity and genetic factors that protect...
Progress is reported on the following research projects: genetic effects of high LET radiations; genetic regulation, alteration, and repair; chromosome replication and the division cycle of Escherichia coli; effects of radioisotope decay in the DNA of microorganisms; initiation and termination of DNA replication in Bacillus subtilis; mutagenesis in mouse myeloma cells; lethal and mutagenic effects of near-uv radiation; effect of 8-methoxypsoralen on photodynamic lethality and mutagenicity in Escherichia coli; DNA repair of the lethal effects of far-uv; and near uv irradiation of bacterial cells
Yap, Maurice K. H.; Leung, Kim Hung; Kao, Patrick Y. P.; Liu, Long Qian
Identification of genetic variations related to high myopia may advance our knowledge of the etiopathogenesis of refractive error. This study investigated the role of potassium channel gene (KCNQ5) polymorphisms in high myopia. We performed a case-control study of 1563 unrelated Han Chinese subjects (809 cases of high myopia and 754 emmetropic controls). Five tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of KCNQ5 were genotyped, and association testing with high myopia was conducted using logistic regression analysis adjusted for sex and age to give Pasym values, and multiple comparisons were corrected by permutation test to give Pemp values. All five noncoding SNPs were associated with high myopia. The SNP rs7744813, previously shown to be associated with refractive error and myopia in two GWAS, showed an odds ratio of 0.75 (95% CI 0.63–0.90; Pemp = 0.0058) for the minor allele. The top SNP rs9342979 showed an odds ratio of 0.75 (95% CI 0.64–0.89; Pemp = 0.0045) for the minor allele. Both SNPs are located within enhancer histone marks and DNase-hypersensitive sites. Our data support the involvement of KCNQ5 gene polymorphisms in the genetic susceptibility to high myopia and further exploration of KCNQ5 as a risk factor for high myopia. PMID:28884119
Full Text Available Identification of genetic variations related to high myopia may advance our knowledge of the etiopathogenesis of refractive error. This study investigated the role of potassium channel gene (KCNQ5 polymorphisms in high myopia. We performed a case-control study of 1563 unrelated Han Chinese subjects (809 cases of high myopia and 754 emmetropic controls. Five tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs of KCNQ5 were genotyped, and association testing with high myopia was conducted using logistic regression analysis adjusted for sex and age to give Pasym values, and multiple comparisons were corrected by permutation test to give Pemp values. All five noncoding SNPs were associated with high myopia. The SNP rs7744813, previously shown to be associated with refractive error and myopia in two GWAS, showed an odds ratio of 0.75 (95% CI 0.63–0.90; Pemp = 0.0058 for the minor allele. The top SNP rs9342979 showed an odds ratio of 0.75 (95% CI 0.64–0.89; Pemp = 0.0045 for the minor allele. Both SNPs are located within enhancer histone marks and DNase-hypersensitive sites. Our data support the involvement of KCNQ5 gene polymorphisms in the genetic susceptibility to high myopia and further exploration of KCNQ5 as a risk factor for high myopia.
Kareem M. Usher
Full Text Available La petite nation de Belize est nichée au cœur de l’Amérique Centrale, bordée au nord par le Mexique, à l'ouest et au sud par le Guatemala ; la mer Caraïbe constituant sa frontière orientale. Situé sur la trajectoire des cyclones tropicaux atlantiques, le pays est exposé aux catastrophes atmosphériques. Parmi les plus notables dans l’histoire de Bélize : l'ouragan de 1931 et l'ouragan Hattie qui ont fait 275 victimes et causé des dommages évalués à plus de 1 milliard de dollars. En réponse, le pays a mis en place diverses politiques responsables et inédites visant la réduction des risques afin de sauvegarder sa population et de protéger l’essor du tourisme. Malgré ces efforts, la majorité des populations côtières demeure vulnérable aux ouragans et aux inondationsThe small nation of Belize is nestled on the Central American Continent bounded on its north by Mexico, the west and south by Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea on its eastern border. Located in the path of Atlantic Tropical Cyclones, the country is susceptible to atmospheric disasters. Most notably are the Hurricane of 1931 and Hurricane Hattie which claimed 275 lives and caused damages in excess of US$1 Billion. Consequently, Belize has implemented several responsible and original mitigation policies to safeguard its population and protect the bourgeoning tourism industry. In spite of those efforts, most of its coastal populations remain vulnerable to hurricanes and floods.
Forbes, Simon A; Beare, David; Boutselakis, Harry; Bamford, Sally; Bindal, Nidhi; Tate, John; Cole, Charlotte G; Ward, Sari; Dawson, Elisabeth; Ponting, Laura; Stefancsik, Raymund; Harsha, Bhavana; Kok, Chai Yin; Jia, Mingming; Jubb, Harry; Sondka, Zbyslaw; Thompson, Sam; De, Tisham; Campbell, Peter J
COSMIC, the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (http://cancer.sanger.ac.uk) is a high-resolution resource for exploring targets and trends in the genetics of human cancer. Currently the broadest database of mutations in cancer, the information in COSMIC is curated by expert scientists, primarily by scrutinizing large numbers of scientific publications. Over 4 million coding mutations are described in v78 (September 2016), combining genome-wide sequencing results from 28 366 tumours with complete manual curation of 23 489 individual publications focused on 186 key genes and 286 key fusion pairs across all cancers. Molecular profiling of large tumour numbers has also allowed the annotation of more than 13 million non-coding mutations, 18 029 gene fusions, 187 429 genome rearrangements, 1 271 436 abnormal copy number segments, 9 175 462 abnormal expression variants and 7 879 142 differentially methylated CpG dinucleotides. COSMIC now details the genetics of drug resistance, novel somatic gene mutations which allow a tumour to evade therapeutic cancer drugs. Focusing initially on highly characterized drugs and genes, COSMIC v78 contains wide resistance mutation profiles across 20 drugs, detailing the recurrence of 301 unique resistance alleles across 1934 drug-resistant tumours. All information from the COSMIC database is available freely on the COSMIC website. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.
Jesse Guite Hastings
Full Text Available Motivated by biogeography and a desire for alignment with the funding priorities of donors, the twenty-first century has seen big international NGOs shifting towards a large-scale conservation approach. This shift has meant that even before stakeholders at the national and local scale are involved, conservation programmes often have their objectives defined and funding allocated. This paper uses the experiences of Conservation International′s Marine Management Area Science (MMAS programme in Belize and Panama to explore how to build participation at the national and local scale while working within the bounds of the current conservation paradigm. Qualitative data about MMAS was gathered through a multi-sited ethnographic research process, utilising document review, direct observation, and semi-structured interviews with 82 informants in Belize, Panama, and the United States of America. Results indicate that while a large-scale approach to conservation disadvantages early national and local stakeholder participation, this effect can be mediated through focusing engagement efforts, paying attention to context, building horizontal and vertical partnerships, and using deliberative processes that promote learning. While explicit consideration of geopolitics and local complexity alongside biogeography in the planning phase of a large-scale conservation programme is ideal, actions taken by programme managers during implementation can still have a substantial impact on conservation outcomes.
How did people in preIndustrial ancient civilizations produce and distribute bulk items, such as salt, needed for everyday use by their large urban populations? This report focuses on the ancient Maya who obtained quantities of salt at cities in the interior of the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala in an area where salt is scarce. I report the discovery of 41 Late Classic Maya saltworks (anno Domini 600-900) in Punta Ycacos Lagoon on the south coast of Belize, including one with the first-known ancient Maya canoe paddle. The discoveries add important empirical information for evaluating the extent of surplus salt production and river transport during the height of Late Classic civilization in the southern Maya lowlands. The discovery of the saltworks indicates that there was extensive production and distribution of goods and resources outside the cities in the interior of the Yucatan. The discovery of a wooden canoe paddle from one of the Punta Ycacos saltworks, Ka'k' Naab', ties the production of salt to its inland transport by rivers and documents the importance of canoe trade between the coast and the interior during the Late Classic. Archaeological discovery of multiple saltworks on the Belizean coast represents surplus production of salt destined largely for the inland Peten Maya during their Late Classic peak, underscoring the importance of non-state-controlled workshop production in preIndustrial societies.
Roessingh, C.H.; Nuijten, M.
This study explores the underexposed possibilities of starting and running a business by Mennonite women in the Kleine Gemeinde community of Blue Creek, Belize. The paper is the result of ethnographic fieldwork research combined with a literature study. We address the changing role of Kleine
Graven, Michael; Allen, Peter; Smith, Ian; MacDonald, Noni E
Belize deployed a country-wide fully integrated patient centred health information system with eight embedded disease management algorithms and simple analytics in 2007 for $4 (Cad)/citizen. This study evaluated BHIS uptake by health care workers, and pre and post BHIS deployment mortality in selected areas and public health care expenditures. BHIS encounter data were compared to encounter data from required Ministry of Health reports from licensed health care entities. De-identified vital statistics death data for the eight BHIS protocol disease domains and three non-protocol domains were compared from 2005 to 2011. Belize population data came from the Statistical Institute of Belize (2005-2009) and from Belize census (2010) and estimate (2011). Public health system expenditures were compared by fiscal years (2000-2012). BHIS captured over 90% healthcare encounters by year one, 95% by year two. Mortality rates decreased in the eight BHIS protocol domains (each 2005 vs. 2011, all p<0.02) vs. an increase or little change in the three domains without protocols. Hypertension related deaths dropped from 1st cause of death in 2003 to 9th by 2010. Public expenditures on healthcare steadily rose until 2009 but then declined slightly for the next 3 years. For modest investment, BHIS was well accepted nationwide and following deployment, mortality in the eight BHIS disease management algorithm domains declined significantly and expenditures on public healthcare stabilized. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Roessingh, C.H.; Darwish, K.
Belize iss a relative small country in Central America, which is enclosed by Mexico in the north and by Guatemala in the west and south. The country has a multi-ethnic population consisting of, amongst others, Mestizos, Creoles, Garinagu, Maya's, Mennonites, Chinese and East Indian. One of the
Alkorta-Aranburu, Gorka; Beall, Cynthia M; Witonsky, David B; Gebremedhin, Amha; Pritchard, Jonathan K; Di Rienzo, Anna
Although hypoxia is a major stress on physiological processes, several human populations have survived for millennia at high altitudes, suggesting that they have adapted to hypoxic conditions. This hypothesis was recently corroborated by studies of Tibetan highlanders, which showed that polymorphisms in candidate genes show signatures of natural selection as well as well-replicated association signals for variation in hemoglobin levels. We extended genomic analysis to two Ethiopian ethnic groups: Amhara and Oromo. For each ethnic group, we sampled low and high altitude residents, thus allowing genetic and phenotypic comparisons across altitudes and across ethnic groups. Genome-wide SNP genotype data were collected in these samples by using Illumina arrays. We find that variants associated with hemoglobin variation among Tibetans or other variants at the same loci do not influence the trait in Ethiopians. However, in the Amhara, SNP rs10803083 is associated with hemoglobin levels at genome-wide levels of significance. No significant genotype association was observed for oxygen saturation levels in either ethnic group. Approaches based on allele frequency divergence did not detect outliers in candidate hypoxia genes, but the most differentiated variants between high- and lowlanders have a clear role in pathogen defense. Interestingly, a significant excess of allele frequency divergence was consistently detected for genes involved in cell cycle control and DNA damage and repair, thus pointing to new pathways for high altitude adaptations. Finally, a comparison of CpG methylation levels between high- and lowlanders found several significant signals at individual genes in the Oromo.
Constance Valentin; Olga Boyko; Gilles Rey; Brigitte Mercier; Evaggelos Papalazarou; Laure Antonucci; Philippe Balcou
Complete test of publication follows. High Harmonic Generation (HHG) is very sensitive to pulse shape of the fundamental laser. We have first used an Acousto-Optic Programmable Dispersive Filter (AOPDF) in order to modify the spectral phase and second, a deformable mirror in order to modify the wavefront. We have optimized harmonic signal using a genetic algorithm coupled with both setups. We show the influence of macroscopic parameters for optimization process. Genetic algorithms have been already used to modify pulse shapes of the fundamental laser in order to optimize high harmonic signals, in order to change the emission wavelength of one harmonic or to modify the fundamental wavefront to optimize harmonic signals. For the first time, we present a systematic study of the optimization of harmonic signals using the AOPDF. Signal optimizations by a factor 2 to 10 have been measured depending of parameters of generation. For instance, one of the interesting result concerns the effect of macroscopic parameters as position of the entrance of the cell with respect to the focus of the IR laser when we change the pulse shapes. For instance, the optimization is higher when the cell entrance is above the focus where the intensity gradients are higher. Although the spectral phase of the IR laser is important for the response of one atom, the optimization depends also of phase-matching and especially of the effect intensity gradients. Other systematic studies have been performed as well as measurements of temporal profiles and wavefronts of the IR beam. These studies allow bringing out the behaviour of high harmonic generation with respect to the optimization process.
revealed different levels of gene flows occurred between Mongolians and other different human populations. In further study, we collected a total of 175 samples from six typical Mongolian tribes or regions and carried out the whole genome sequencing with average coverage of 20X. We identified more than 16......,000 years ago). Harsh environmental conditions and characteristic lifestyle result in extremely high prevalence of several genetic diseases in Mongolians, such as alcohol dependency, obesity, Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) and lipid metabolism related diseases. As invention and wide application of new generation...... the pigmentation gene OCA2 play an important role in the convergent skin lightening of East Asians during recent human evolution. However, the genomics research on Mongolians, which attract strong research interests, still remains the levels of using the data of Y chromosome or Mitochondrial genome to explore...
Full Text Available Data mining in computer science is the process of discovering interesting and useful patterns and relationships in large volumes of data. Most methods for mining problems is based on artificial intelligence algorithms. Neural network optimization based on three basic parameters topology, weights and the learning rate is a powerful method. We introduce optimal method for solving this problem. In this paper genetic algorithm with mutation and crossover operators change the network structure and optimized that. Dataset used for our work is stroke disease with twenty features that optimized number of that achieved by new hybrid algorithm. Result of this work is very well incomparison with other similar method. Low present of error show that our method is our new approach to efficient, high-performance data mining problems is introduced.
F. Thomas Ledig; J.L. Whitmore
Caribbean pine is an important exotic being bred throughout the tropics, but published estimates are lacking for heritability of economically important traits and the genetic correlations between them. Based on a Puerto Rican trial of 16 open-pollinated parents of var. hondurensis selected in Belize, heritabilities for a number of characteristics...
Locally grown foods that are high in carbohydrates, such as cassava , plantains, and breadfruit, are widely consumed, but are available only in... multiple ancestries felt comfortable iden- tifying with a parttoüar ethnic group; in the words of one Bdizean youth, many Bdizeans were "all mix up...indelible ink to help prevent multiple voting. No provision is made for absentee vot- ing, although certain people (for example, members of the BDF
Hernández-Ortiz, Vicente; Dzul-Cauich, José F
Neotraginops mexicanus n. sp. is described and illustrated based on specimens from Mexico and Belize, representing the second known species for the genus. Additional records for Odinia coronata Sabrosky from Mexico and Nicaragua are provided.
Bangs, Michael J
During a 9-month study (1995-1996) in Caledonia Village, northern Belize, anopheline mosquitoes collected off human-bait and from experimental huts were evaluated for their susceptibility and behavioral responses to DDT and deltamethrin...
Erika Sendra Tavares
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Towards lower latitudes the number of recognized species is not only higher, but also phylogeographic subdivision within species is more pronounced. Moreover, new genetically isolated populations are often described in recent phylogenies of Neotropical birds suggesting that the number of species in the region is underestimated. Previous COI barcoding of Argentinean bird species showed more complex patterns of regional divergence in the Neotropical than in the North American avifauna. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Here we analyzed 1,431 samples from 561 different species to extend the Neotropical bird barcode survey to lower latitudes, and detected even higher geographic structure within species than reported previously. About 93% (520 of the species were identified correctly from their DNA barcodes. The remaining 41 species were not monophyletic in their COI sequences because they shared barcode sequences with closely related species (N = 21 or contained very divergent clusters suggestive of putative new species embedded within the gene tree (N = 20. Deep intraspecific divergences overlapping with among-species differences were detected in 48 species, often with samples from large geographic areas and several including multiple subspecies. This strong population genetic structure often coincided with breaks between different ecoregions or areas of endemism. CONCLUSIONS: The taxonomic uncertainty associated with the high incidence of non-monophyletic species and discovery of putative species obscures studies of historical patterns of species diversification in the Neotropical region. We showed that COI barcodes are a valuable tool to indicate which taxa would benefit from more extensive taxonomic revisions with multilocus approaches. Moreover, our results support hypotheses that the megadiversity of birds in the region is associated with multiple geographic processes starting well before the Quaternary and extending to more recent
Camporese, A; Balick, M J; Arvigo, R; Esposito, R G; Morsellino, N; De Simone, F; Tubaro, A
Twenty-one extracts from seven herbal drugs, Aristolochia trilobata (Aristolochiaceae) leaves and bark, Bursera simaruba (Burseraceae) bark, Guazuma ulmifolia (Sterculiaceae) bark, Hamelia patens (Rubiaceae) leaves and Syngonium podophyllum (Araceae) leaves and bark, used in traditional medicine of Belize (Central America) as deep and superficial wound healers, were evaluated for their anti-bacterial properties. Activity was tested against standard strains of Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 and Enterococcus faecalis ATCC 29212. Almost all the extracts were able to inhibit the growth of one or more of the bacterial strains, except that of Enterococcus faecalis. For the first time an anti-microbial activity is reported for Aristolochia trilobata as well as for Syngonium podophyllum. The hexane extracts of Aristolochia trilobata leaves and bark were the most active extracts against Staphylococcus aureus (MIC=0.31 and 0.625mg/ml, respectively).
Alma Estrella García-Morales
Full Text Available Rotifer samples were obtained from 29 localities in northern Guatemala and central-southern Belize during March 2000 and June 2001. A total of 119 species were identified. Ten selected taxa are illustrated and commented: Euchlanis semicarinata, Lepadella apsicora, L. cryphaea, Lecane curvicornis f. lofuana, L. whitfordi, Monommata maculata, Scaridium bostjani, Trichocerca elongata f. braziliensis, and T. hollaerti. The species Lepadella rhomboidula is a first record for the American Continent. The species are 71 % cosmopolitan, 6 % tropicopolitan, and 4.2 % restricted to the subtropics. The Guatemala species number range was Petén-itza lake (53 taxa, and Raxruja pool (three. La Democracia pool (49 taxa, and the Blue Hole sink-hole (six species were the extremes in Belize. in total, 68 of the recorded taxa are new for Guatemala and 91 for Belize. Additionally, 47 species are registered by the first time in Central America. A comparison between these two countries and Mexico revealed that the south part of the latter conform a cluster with them, emphasizing the transitional character of this region between the Nearctics and the Neotropics. Furthermore, Guatemala and Belize have differences in species assemblages, as a response to the nature of their particular environments and topographical accidents. Rev. Biol. Trop. 55 (2: 569-584. Epub 2007 June, 29.El análisis de muestras procedentes del norte de Guatemala y centro-sur de Belice, recolectadas en marzo de 2000 y junio de 2001, dio como resultado la presencia de 119 especies. Se presenta una breve descripción de diez taxones seleccionados con base en sus distribuciones restringidas en ciertos ámbitos de América y el viejo continente: Euchlanis semicarinata, Lepadella apsicora, L. cryphaea, Lecane curvicornis f. lofuana, L. whitfordi, Monommata maculata, Scaridium bostjani, Trichocerca elongata f. braziliensis,y T. hollaerti. Por primera vez se informa Lepadella rhomboidula en el continente
Healy, Paul F.; Helmke, Christophe G.B.; Awe, Jaime J.
Survey and excavations of mounds on the outskirts of the site of Pacbitun in western Belize provide insights to the ancient Maya settlement pattern at this medium-sized regional center. This research employed two methods: analysis of structural remains from four separate 1000 m transect surveys....... An estimate of 200 persons for the resident elite population of the Epicenter of Pacbitun is offered. Initial settlement occurred in the Epicenter of the site during the Middle Preclassic period (900-300 B.C.), with a population rise through time until the final phase of the Late Classic period (A.D. 700......-900), when density reached 550 persons (Periphery Zone). The impact on settlement size and distribution of topography, soils, water resources, and intensive agriculture (hillside terracing) is addressed and found to be significant. At the time of florescence, the population of the 9 sq km site is estimated...
Esselman, P.C.; Freeman, Mary C.; Pringle, C.M.
Linkages between geology and fish assemblages have been inferred in many regions throughout the world, but no studies have yet investigated whether fish assemblages differ across geologies in Mesoamerica. The goals of our study were to: 1) compare physicochemical conditions and fish-assemblage structure across 2 geologic types in headwaters of the Monkey River Basin, Belize, and 2) describe basin-scale patterns in fish community composition and structure for the benefit of conservation efforts. We censused headwater-pool fishes by direct observation, and assessed habitat size, structure, and water chemistry to compare habitat and fish richness, diversity, evenness, and density between streams in the variably metamorphosed sedimentary geologic type typical of 80% of Belize's Maya Mountains (the Santa Rosa Group), and an anomalous extrusive geologic formation in the same area (the Bladen Volcanic Member). We also collected species-presence data from 20 sites throughout the basin for analyses of compositional patterns from the headwaters to the top of the estuary. Thirty-nine fish species in 21 families were observed. Poeciliids were numerically dominant, making up 39% of individuals captured, followed by characins (25%), and cichlids (20%). Cichlidae was the most species-rich family (7 spp.), followed by Poeciliidae (6 spp.). Habitat size and water chemistry differed strongly between geologic types, but habitat diversity did not. Major fish-assemblage differences also were not obvious between geologies, despite a marked difference in the presence of the aquatic macrophyte, Marathrum oxycarpum (Podostemaceae), which covered 37% of the stream bottom in high-nutrient streams draining the Santa Rosa Group, and did not occur in the low-P streams draining the Bladen Volcanic Member. Correlation analyses suggested that distance from the sea and amount of cover within pools are important to fish-assemblage structure, but that differing abiotic factors may influence
Lazarowitz, Reuven; Bloch, Ilit
The purpose of this study was to investigate how aware high school biology teachers are of societal issues (values, moral, ethic, and legal issues) while teaching genetics, genetics engineering, molecular genetics, human heredity, and evolution. The study includes a short historical review of World War II atrocities during the Holocaust when…
Musters, A.M.; Twisk, M.; Leschot, N.J.; Oosterwijk, C.; Korevaar, J.C.; Repping, S.; Veen, F. van der; Goddijn, M.
Objective: To investigate the preference for preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) as an alternative to prenatal diagnosis (PND) in a large group of couples representing a wide array of genetic disorders. We also investigated the couple's familiarity with PGD and presented time trade-off scenarios
Farrell, T.A.; Marion, J.L.
Protected area visitation is an important component of ecotourism, and as such, must be sustainable. However, protected area visitation may degrade natural resources, particularly in areas of concentrated visitor activities like trails and recreation sites. This is an important concern in ecotourism destinations such as Belize and Costa Rica, because they actively promote ecotourism and emphasize the pristine qualities of their natural resources. Research on visitor impacts to protected areas has many potential applications in protected area management, though it has not been widely applied in Central and South America. This study targeted this deficiency through manager interviews and evaluations of alternative impact assessment procedures at eight protected areas in Belize and Costa Rica. Impact assessment procedures included qualitative condition class systems, ratings systems, and measurement-based systems applied to trails and recreation sites. The resulting data characterize manager perceptions of impact problems, document trail and recreation site impacts, and provide examples of inexpensive, efficient and effective rapid impact assessment procedures. Interview subjects reported a variety of impacts affecting trails, recreation sites, wildlife, water, attraction features and other resources. Standardized assessment procedures were developed and applied to record trail and recreation site impacts. Impacts affecting the study areas included trail proliferation, erosion and widening, muddiness on trails, vegetation cover loss, soil and root exposure, and tree damage on recreation sites. The findings also illustrate the types of assessment data yielded by several alternative methods and demonstrate their utility to protected area managers. The need for additional rapid assessment procedures for wildlife, water, attraction feature and other resource impacts was also identified.
Noninvasive individual and species identification of jaguars (Panthera onca), pumas (Puma concolor) and ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) in Belize, Central America using cross-species microsatellites and faecal DNA.
Wultsch, Claudia; Waits, Lisette P; Kelly, Marcella J
There is a great need to develop efficient, noninvasive genetic sampling methods to study wild populations of multiple, co-occurring, threatened felids. This is especially important for molecular scatology studies occurring in challenging tropical environments where DNA degrades quickly and the quality of faecal samples varies greatly. We optimized 14 polymorphic microsatellite loci for jaguars (Panthera onca), pumas (Puma concolor) and ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) and assessed their utility for cross-species amplification. Additionally, we tested their reliability for species and individual identification using DNA from faeces of wild felids detected by a scat detector dog across Belize in Central America. All microsatellite loci were successfully amplified in the three target species, were polymorphic with average expected heterozygosities of HE = 0.60 ± 0.18 (SD) for jaguars, HE = 0.65 ± 0.21 (SD) for pumas and HE = 0.70 ± 0.13 (SD) for ocelots and had an overall PCR amplification success of 61%. We used this nuclear DNA primer set to successfully identify species and individuals from 49% of 1053 field-collected scat samples. This set of optimized microsatellite multiplexes represents a powerful tool for future efforts to conduct noninvasive studies on multiple, wild Neotropical felids. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
, powerful, general purpose, and derivative free stochastic global search algorithms inspired by the laws of natural selection and genetics. They follow Darwin's theory of evolution, where studied individuals are likely to survive ...
Dekker, Annette M.; Amick, Ashley E.; Scholcoff, Cecilia; Doobay-Persaud, Ashti
Background Non-communicable diseases, including diabetes mellitus and hypertension, continue to disproportionately burden low- and middle-income countries. However, little research has been done to establish current practices and management of chronic disease in these settings. The objective of this study was to examine current clinical management and identify potential gaps in care of patients with diabetes mellitus and hypertension in the district of Toledo, Belize. Methods The study used a...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Genome-wide screening in human and mouse cells using RNA interference and open reading frame over-expression libraries is rapidly becoming a viable experimental approach for many research labs. There are a variety of gene expression modulation libraries commercially available, however, detailed and validated protocols as well as the reagents necessary for deconvolving genome-scale gene screens using these libraries are lacking. As a solution, we designed a comprehensive platform for highly multiplexed functional genetic screens in human, mouse and yeast cells using popular, commercially available gene modulation libraries. The Gene Modulation Array Platform (GMAP is a single microarray-based detection solution for deconvolution of loss and gain-of-function pooled screens. Results Experiments with specially constructed lentiviral-based plasmid pools containing ~78,000 shRNAs demonstrated that the GMAP is capable of deconvolving genome-wide shRNA "dropout" screens. Further experiments with a larger, ~90,000 shRNA pool demonstrate that equivalent results are obtained from plasmid pools and from genomic DNA derived from lentivirus infected cells. Parallel testing of large shRNA pools using GMAP and next-generation sequencing methods revealed that the two methods provide valid and complementary approaches to deconvolution of genome-wide shRNA screens. Additional experiments demonstrated that GMAP is equivalent to similar microarray-based products when used for deconvolution of open reading frame over-expression screens. Conclusion Herein, we demonstrate four major applications for the GMAP resource, including deconvolution of pooled RNAi screens in cells with at least 90,000 distinct shRNAs. We also provide detailed methodologies for pooled shRNA screen readout using GMAP and compare next-generation sequencing to GMAP (i.e. microarray based deconvolution methods.
Soderberg, Patti D.
This study is an investigation of student understanding of population genetics and how students developed, used and revised conceptual models to solve problems. The students in this study participated in three rounds of problem solving. The first round involved the use of a population genetics model to predict the number of carriers in a population. The second round required them to revise their model of simple dominance population genetics to make inferences about populations containing three phenotype variations. The third round of problem solving required the students to revise their model of population genetics to explain anomalous data where the proportions of males and females with a trait varied significantly. As the students solved problems, they were involved in basic scientific processes as they observed population phenomena, constructed explanatory models to explain the data they observed, and attempted to persuade their peers as to the adequacy of their models. In this study, the students produced new knowledge about the genetics of a trait in a population through the revision and use of explanatory population genetics models using reasoning that was similar to what scientists do. The students learned, used and revised a model of Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium to generate and test hypotheses about the genetics of phenotypes given only population data. Students were also interviewed prior to and following instruction. This study suggests that a commonly held intuitive belief about the predominance of a dominant variation in populations is resistant to change, despite instruction and interferes with a student's ability to understand Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and microevolution.
Bowser, Diana M; Figueroa, Ramon; Natiq, Laila; Okunogbe, Adeyemi
Over the last 10 years, Belize has implemented a National Health Insurance (NHI) program that uses performance-based contracts with both public and private facilities to improve financial sustainability, efficiency and service provision. Data were collected at the facility, district and national levels in order to assess trends in financial sustainability, efficiency payments, year-end bonuses and health system and health outcomes. A difference-in-difference approach was used to assess the difference in technical efficiency between private and public facilities. The results show that per capita spending on services provided by the NHI program has decreased over the period 2006-2009 from BZ$177 to BZ$136. The private sector has achieved higher levels of technical efficiency, but lower percentages of efficiency and year-end bonus payments. Districts with contracts through the NHI program showed greater improvements in facility births, nurse density, reducing maternal mortality, diabetes deaths and morbidity from bronchitis, emphysema and asthma than districts without contracts over the period 2006-2010. This preliminary assessment of Belize's pay-for-performance system provides some positive results, however further research is needed to use the lessons learned from Belize to implement similar reforms in other systems.
Pedro M. Madeira
Full Text Available The Iberian Peninsula has an extensive record of species displaying strong genetic structure as a result of their survival in isolated pockets throughout the Pleistocene ice ages. We used mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data to analyze phylogeographic patterns in endemic land snails from a valley of central Portugal (Vale da Couda, putatively assigned to Candidula coudensis, that show an exceptionally narrow distributional range. The genetic survey presented here shows the existence of five main mitochondrial lineages in Vale da Couda that do not cluster together suggesting independent evolutionary histories. Our results also indicate a departure from the expectation that species with restricted distributions have low genetic variability. The putative past and contemporary models of geographic distribution of Vale da Couda lineages are compatible with a scenario of species co-existence in more southern locations during the last glacial maximum (LGM followed by a post-LGM northern dispersal tracking the species optimal thermal, humidity and soil physical conditions.
The load of mutations disclosed by inbreeding, according to the ethnic group of the parents, has been analyzed in our data. Besides the total of the population, a sample with no alien ancestrals has also been analyzed. Genetic load has been studied for absortions, still births, pos-natal mortality, total mortality, anomalies, total mortality + anomalies, and abnormalities in general [pt
... Likelihood of getting certain diseases Mental abilities Natural talents An abnormal trait (anomaly) that is passed down ... one of them has a genetic disorder. Information Human beings have cells with 46 chromosomes . These consist ...
Kung, Johnny T; Gelbart, Marnie E
With advances in sequencing technology, widespread and affordable genome sequencing will soon be a reality. However, studies suggest that "genetic literacy" of the general public is inadequate to prepare our society for this unprecedented access to our genetic information. As the current generation of high school students will come of age in an era when personal genetic information is increasingly utilized in health care, it is of vital importance to ensure these students understand the genetic concepts necessary to make informed medical decisions. These concepts include not only basic scientific knowledge, but also considerations of the ethical, legal, and social issues that will arise in the age of personal genomics. In this article, we review the current state of genetics education, highlight issues that we believe need to be addressed in a comprehensive genetics education curriculum, and describe our education efforts at the Harvard Medical School-based Personal Genetics Education Project.
The moon jelly Aurelia aurita is one of the most common and widespread species of scyphomedusa in the Mediterranean Sea. In all, 18 allozyme loci were studied to investigate the genetic variation and population structure of 11 A. aurita populations from the Tunisian coast. Polymorphism was detected at 14 loci across the ...
Mar 16, 2016 ... Cluster analyses separated Zaraibi and Shami, which were identified with independent gene ..... means ranging from 5.32 ± 2.29 (Barki) to 5.99 ± 2.60 .... We therefore took K. = 6 to represent the optimal number of gene pools that define the genetic backgrounds of the five populations; green and blue ...
Sep 15, 2009 ... genetic control of period to flowering and maturity as well as good agronomic and end-use characters. Using morphological markers ... such as corn (Zea mays), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and millets (Pennisetum ... The grain of each of the parental genotypes was white since it is the preferred color by end ...
Full Text Available Southern Mexico and Central America have many water bodies of different morphology and water chemistry with an interesting zooplankton fauna, originating from North or South America. A set of 63 samples, taken in 2005 and 2008, from water bodies of the Yucatan Peninsula karst, Belize and Guatemala, were studied for the content of calanoid copepods. Old and recent literature was used to determine animals to species level. Drawings were prepared with a microscope and a camera lucida. A total of 32 samples with totally six species contained calanoid copepods: one estuarine pseudodiaptomid and five freshwater diaptomids. Pseudodiaptomus marshi was found at different salinities. It is confirmed that the commonest diaptomids in the Yucatan Peninsula are Arctodiaptomus dorsalis and Mastigodiaptomus nesus. The former was also recorded from Lake Amatitlan. Mastigodiaptomus nesus is as widespread as A. dorsalis but it is absent from the Lake Peten area in Guatemala. Mastigodiaptomus reidae was found in two shallow habitats, these specimens differ from those from the type locality by having a set of peculiar large spine-like processes on the last thoracic and the urosome segments of the females. Leptodiaptomus siciloides was found only in Lake Ayarza with high salinity. Prionodiaptomus colombiensis occurred in the highlands of Guatemala in Lago de Güija and in the Peten area in Laguna Sacpuy. We contributed with our occurrence records to a better knowledge of the geographic distribution of some calanoid copepods. Morphological findings in some species are of value for taxonomic differentiation between species.El sur de México y América Central tienen varios cuerpos de agua con diferente morfología, composición química y una interesante fauna de zooplancton procedente de América del Norte o del Sur. Un grupo de 63 muestras, fueron tomadas en 2005 y 2008 para conocer la cantidad de copépodos calanoides en los cuerpos de agua del karst Península de
Kingsley, C.; Bhattacharya, A.; Hangsterfer, A.; Carilli, J.; Field, D. B.
Caribbean coral reefs are some of the most threatened marine ecosystems in the world. Research appears to suggest that environmental stressors of local origin, such as sediment run off, can reduce the resilience of these reefs to global threats such as ocean warming. Sedimentation can stunt coral growth, reduce its resilience, and it is possible that trapped material could render coral skeletons brittle (personal discussions). Material trapped in coral skeletons can provide information on the sources of particulate matter in the ocean ecosystem. Despite the importance of quantifying sources and types of materials trapped in corals, the research community is yet to fully develop techniques that allow accurate representation of trapped matter, which is potentially a major source of metal content in reef building coral skeletons. The dataset presented here explores the usefulness of X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), a widely used tool in environmental studies (but generally not in corals), to estimate metal content in coral cores collected from four locations near Belize, with varying degrees of impact from coastal processes. The coral cores together cover a period of 1862-2006. Trace, major, and minor metal content from these cores have been well-studied using solution-based ICP-MS, providing us with the unique opportunity to test the efficacy of XRF technique in characterizing metal content in these coral cores. We have measured more than 50 metals using XRF every two millimeters along slabs removed from the middle of a coral core to characterize materials present in coral skeletons. We compared the results from XRF to solution-based ICP-MS - that involves dissolving subsamples of coral skeleton to measure metal content. Overall, it appears that the non-destructive XRF technique is a viable supplement in determining sediment and metal content in coral cores, and may be particularly helpful for assessing resistant phases such as grains of sediment that are not fully
Sapiro, Anne L.; Ihry, Robert J.; Buhr, Derek L.; Konieczko, Kevin M.; Ives, Sarah M.; Engstrom, Anna K.; Wleklinski, Nicholas P.; Kopish, Kristin J.; Bashirullah, Arash
Mutagenesis screens are a staple of classical genetics. Chemical-induced mutations, however, are often difficult and time-consuming to identify. Here, we report that recombination analysis with pairs of dominant visible markers provides a rapid and reliable strategy to map mutations in Drosophila melanogaster. This method requires only two generations and a total of six crosses in vials to estimate the genetic map position of the responsible lesion with high accuracy. This genetic map positio...
Two methods to estimate the inbreeding load, employed in our analysis, are reviewed. Besides the total population, a sample constituted of individuals with no alien ancestral is also analysed. The measurements by genetic load models show any clear effect of natural radioactivity (especially for abortions, pre-natal mortality, anomalies, and abnormalities in general). The results on stillbirths and post-natal and total mortalities are discussed and it is concluded that uncontrolled concomitant variables (if not chance alone) cause the differences [pt
Morinha, Francisco; Dávila, José A; Bastos, Estela; Cabral, João A; Frías, Óscar; González, José L; Travassos, Paulo; Carvalho, Diogo; Milá, Borja; Blanco, Guillermo
Social barriers have been shown to reduce gene flow and contribute to genetic structure among populations in species with high cognitive capacity and complex societies, such as cetaceans, apes and humans. In birds, high dispersal capacity is thought to prevent population divergence unless major geographical or habitat barriers induce isolation patterns by dispersal, colonization or adaptation limitation. We report that Iberian populations of the red-billed chough, a social, gregarious corvid with high dispersal capacity, show a striking degree of genetic structure composed of at least 15 distinct genetic units. Monitoring of marked individuals over 30 years revealed that long-distance movements over hundreds of kilometres are common, yet recruitment into breeding populations is infrequent and highly philopatric. Genetic differentiation is weakly related to geographical distance, and habitat types used are overall qualitatively similar among regions and regularly shared by individuals of different populations, so that genetic structure is unlikely to be due solely to isolation by distance or isolation by adaptation. Moreover, most population nuclei showed relatively high levels of genetic diversity, suggesting a limited role for genetic drift in significantly differentiating populations. We propose that social mechanisms may underlie this unprecedented level of genetic structure in birds through a pattern of isolation by social barriers not yet described, which may have driven this remarkable population divergence in the absence of geographical and environmental barriers. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Hoseini Alinodehi, Seyed Pourya; Moshfe, Sajjad; Saber Zaeimian, Masoumeh; Khoei, Abdollah; Hadidi, Khairollah
In this paper, an ultrafast steady-state genetic algorithm processor (GAP) is presented. Due to the heavy computational load of genetic algorithms (GAs), they usually take a long time to find optimum solutions. Hardware implementation is a significant approach to overcome the problem by speeding up the GAs procedure. Hence, we designed a digital CMOS implementation of GA in [Formula: see text] process. The proposed processor is not bounded to a specific application. Indeed, it is a general-purpose processor, which is capable of performing optimization in any possible application. Utilizing speed-boosting techniques, such as pipeline scheme, parallel coarse-grained processing, parallel fitness computation, parallel selection of parents, dual-population scheme, and support for pipelined fitness computation, the proposed processor significantly reduces the processing time. Furthermore, by relying on a built-in discard operator the proposed hardware may be used in constrained problems that are very common in control applications. In the proposed design, a large search space is achievable through the bit string length extension of individuals in the genetic population by connecting the 32-bit GAPs. In addition, the proposed processor supports parallel processing, in which the GAs procedure can be run on several connected processors simultaneously.
Rainwater, Thomas R.; Selcer, Kyle W.; Nespoli, Lisa M.; Finger, Adam G.; Ray, David A.; Platt, Steven G.; Smith, Philip N.; Densmore, Llewellyn D.; Anderson, Todd A.; McMurry, Scott T.
Vitellogenin induction has been widely used as a biomarker of endocrine disruption in wildlife, but few studies have investigated its use in wild reptiles living in contaminated habitats. This study examined vitellogenin induction in Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from wetlands in northern Belize contaminated with organochlorine (OC) pesticides. Vitellogenin was measured in 381 crocodile plasma samples using a vitellogenin ELISA previously developed for this species. Vitellogenin was detected in nine samples, all from adult females sampled during the breeding season. Males and juvenile females did not contain detectable levels of vitellogenin; however, many of these animals contained OC pesticides in their caudal scutes, confirming contaminant exposure. The lack of a vitellogenic response in these animals may be attributable to several factors related to the timing and magnitude of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and should not be interpreted as an absence of other contaminant-induced biological responses. - Wild crocodiles living in habitats polluted with organochlorine pesticides did not exhibit contaminant-induced vitellogenin induction in blood plasma
van Thiel, P P A M; Zeegelaar, J E; van Gool, T; Faber, W R; Kager, P A
Skin lesions occur frequently in travelers to tropical countries. Military personnel acquire skin lesions regularly during jungle training as did Dutch troops who trained in the jungle of Belize in 1998, 2004 and 2009, in an area endemic for cutaneous leishmaniasis. Demographic and clinical data were collected retrospectively. Diagnostic investigations for cutaneous leishmaniasis included Giemsa stain, culture, PCR and NASBA and histopathology of biopsies. Treatment of leishmaniasis was with sodium stibogluconate, given intravenously or intralesionally, the latter with cryotherapy. In 1998 and 2004 cutaneous leishmaniasis due to Leishmania braziliensis and Leishmania mexicana infection was diagnosed in 25 persons out of 99 (attack rate 25.2%) and 14 persons out of 80 (attack rate 17.5%) respectively. In 2009 cutaneous leishmaniasis was not acquired. Skin problems were common during and after jungle training. Cutaneous leishmaniasis was important in the first two cohorts but not observed in the third cohort. Factors that could have played a role in the absence of cutaneous leishmaniasis in the third cohort include variability in transmission and availability of better preventive measures and adherence to these. Sodium stibogluconate treatment, intralesional or intravenous, was effective. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
McKee, K.L.; Faulkner, P.L.
The substrate beneath mangrove forests in the Pelican Cays complex is predominately peat composed mainly of mangrove roots. Leaves and wood account for less than 20% of the peat mass. At Cat Cay, the depth of the peat ranges from 0.2 m along the shoreline to 1.65 m in the island center, indicating that the island has expanded horizontally as well as vertically through below-ground, biogenic processes. Mangrove roots thus play a critical role in the soil formation, vertical accretion, and stability of these mangrove cays. The species composition of fossil roots changes markedly with depth: Rhizophora mangle (red mangrove) was the initial colonizer on a coral base, followed by Avicennia germinans (black mangrove), which increased in abundance and expanded radially from the center of the island. The center of the Avicennia stand ultimately died, leaving an unvegetated, shallow pond. The peat thus retains a record of mangrove development, succession, and deterioration in response to sea-level change and concomitant hydroedaphic conditions controlling dispersal, establishment, growth, and mortality of mangroves on oceanic islands in Belize.
Rainwater, Thomas R. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health and Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409-1163 (United States)], E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Selcer, Kyle W. [Department of Biological Sciences, Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA 15282 (United States)], E-mail: email@example.com; Nespoli, Lisa M. [Department of Biological Sciences, Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA 15282 (United States)], E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Finger, Adam G. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health and Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409-1163 (United States)], E-mail: email@example.com; Ray, David A. [Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States)], E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Platt, Steven G. [Department of Biology, P.O. Box C-64, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, TX 79832 (United States)], E-mail: email@example.com; Smith, Philip N. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health and Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409-1163 (United States)], E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Densmore, Llewellyn D. [Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States)], E-mail: email@example.com; Anderson, Todd A. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health and Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409-1163 (United States)], E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; McMurry, Scott T. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health and Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409-1163 (United States)], E-mail: email@example.com
Vitellogenin induction has been widely used as a biomarker of endocrine disruption in wildlife, but few studies have investigated its use in wild reptiles living in contaminated habitats. This study examined vitellogenin induction in Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletii) from wetlands in northern Belize contaminated with organochlorine (OC) pesticides. Vitellogenin was measured in 381 crocodile plasma samples using a vitellogenin ELISA previously developed for this species. Vitellogenin was detected in nine samples, all from adult females sampled during the breeding season. Males and juvenile females did not contain detectable levels of vitellogenin; however, many of these animals contained OC pesticides in their caudal scutes, confirming contaminant exposure. The lack of a vitellogenic response in these animals may be attributable to several factors related to the timing and magnitude of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and should not be interpreted as an absence of other contaminant-induced biological responses. - Wild crocodiles living in habitats polluted with organochlorine pesticides did not exhibit contaminant-induced vitellogenin induction in blood plasma.
Wu, Ted H. [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6160 (United States); Canas, Jaclyn E. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Rainwater, Thomas R. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, PO Box 764, Jefferson, TX 75657 (United States); Platt, Steven G. [Department of Math and Science, Oglala Lakota College, 490 Piya Wiconi Road, Kyle, SD, 57752 (United States); McMurry, Scott T. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States); Anderson, Todd A. [Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Texas Tech University, Box 41163, Lubbock, TX 79409 (United States)]. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Seven complete clutches of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) eggs were collected in northern Belize and examined for organochlorine (OC) pesticide residues. The primary OC detected, p,p-DDE, was found in every egg analyzed (n = 175). Other OCs detected included p,p-DDT, p,p-DDD, methoxychlor, aldrin, and endosulfan I. Concentrations of individual OCs ranged from 4 ppb (ng chemical/g egg wet weight) to greater than 500 ppb. A statistical evaluation of p,p-DDE levels in three complete clutches was used to derive the minimum number of eggs needed from a clutch to precisely determine the mean p,p-DDE concentration representative of that clutch. Sample sizes of 8 (80% confidence level) and 11 (90% confidence level) were determined to yield an accurate estimate of contaminant levels in a full clutch of eggs. The statistically recommended sample size of 11 eggs (at 90% confidence level) was successfully tested on the four additional clutches. -- Sampling the non-viable eggs of a clutch can provide a statistically reasonable estimation of both the organochlorine contaminant distribution and concentrations in that clutch.
References to obeah pregnancy are widespread in southern Belize, where the belief in supernatural forces combines with Catholic teaching to create a conservative reproductive climate in which illegitimate pregnancy, reproductive misfortunes and maternal death are located in a discourse of shame. Obeah pregnancy is said to result when spiritual forces are unleashed through malicious human intent, causing bodily changes that resemble pregnancy. Death of the woman, however, usually occurs before prenatal confirmation; thus it is often unclear if an obeah pregnancy is a viable pregnancy or some other biomedical - or metaphysical - condition. This paper provides a case study of Petrona, whose story is unique in that she does not die from her purported obeah pregnancy; rather, she lives to bear the consequences of her reproductive behaviours that resulted in the stillbirth of a full-term foetus. Petrona was a traditional birth attendant who is trained to uphold biomedical antenatal protocols. Arguing that Petrona was not adequately educated to fulfill her own prenatal obligations, health care personnel sanctioned Petrona's midwifery practice and left her to process her 'shameful' situation. Ultimately, Petrona's story complicates the culturally disengaged narratives of maternal health and highlights the schism between medical knowledge and socioculturally influenced embodied experience.
Full Text Available Ground penetrating radar (GPR surveys provide distinct advantages for archaeological prospection in ancient, complex, urban Maya sites, particularly where dense foliage or modern debris may preclude other remote sensing or geophysical techniques. Unidirectional GPR surveys using a 500 MHz shielded antenna were performed at the Middle Preclassic Maya site of Pacbitun, Belize. The survey in 2012 identified numerous linear and circular anomalies between 1 m and 2 m deep. Based on these anomalies, one 1 m × 4 m unit and three smaller units were excavated in 2013. These test units revealed a curved plaster surface not previously found at Pacbitun. Post-excavation, GPR data were reprocessed to best match the true nature of excavated features. Additional GPR surveys oriented perpendicular to the original survey confirmed previously detected anomalies and identified new anomalies. The excavations provided information on the sediment layers in the survey area, which allowed better identification of weak radar reflections of the surfaces of a burnt, Middle Preclassic temple in the northern end of the survey area. Additional excavations of the area in 2014 and 2015 revealed it to be a large square structure, which was named El Quemado.
Iwai, J; Friedman, R; Tassinari, L
Rats genetically sensitive to salt-induced hypertension evinced higher levels of plasma norepinephrine and epinephrine than rats genetically resistant to hypertension. The hypertension-sensitive rats showed higher hypothalamic norepinephrine and lower epinephrine than resistant rats. In response to a high salt diet, brain stem norepinephrine increased in sensitive rats while resistant rats exhibited a decrease on the same diet.
Iwai, J.; Friedman, R.; Tassinari, L.
Rats genetically sensitive to salt-induced hypertension showed higher levels of plasma noradrenaline and adrenaline than rats genetically resistant to hypertension. The hypertension-sensitive rats had higher hypothalamic noradrenaline and lower adrenaline than resistant rats. In response to a high salt diet brain-stem noradrenaline increased in sensitive rats and resistant rats exhibited a decrease on the same diet.
Peeters, Ben; Reemers, Sylvia; Dortmans, Jos; Vries, de Erik; Jong, de Mart; Zande, van de Saskia; Rottier, Peter J.M.; Haan, de Cornelis A.M.
Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza A viruses display a remarkable genetic and antigenic diversity. We examined to what extent genetic distances between several H5N1 viruses from different clades correlate with antigenic differences and vaccine performance. H5-specific antisera were generated,
French, Barbara A. Schmidt; Sanford, Julie P.
The relationship between classroom work and student understanding of genetics content is examined in this descriptive study of an introductory high school biology class. Classroom observations and examnations of student assignments related to a genetics unit were made. Factors affecting the teacher's management of the work system and the apparent…
Partitioning is one of the biggest challenges in computer-aided design for VLSI circuits (very large-scale integrated circuits). This work address the min-cut balanced circuit partitioning problem- dividing the graph that models the circuit into almost equal sized k sub-graphs while minimizing the number of edges cut i.e. minimizing the number of edges connecting the sub-graphs. The problem may be formulated as a combinatorial optimization problem. Experimental studies in the literature have shown the problem to be NP-hard and thus it is important to design an efficient heuristic algorithm to solve it. The approach proposed in this study is a parallel implementation of a genetic algorithm, namely an island model. The information exchange between the evolving subpopulations is modeled using a fuzzy controller, which determines an optimal balance between exploration and exploitation of the solution space. The results of simulations show that the proposed algorithm outperforms the standard sequential genetic algorithm both in terms of solution quality and convergence speed. As a direction for future study, this research can be further extended to incorporate local search operators which should include problem-specific knowledge. In addition, the adaptive configuration of mutation and crossover rates is another guidance for future research.
Treur, Jorien L; Boomsma, Dorret I; Ligthart, Lannie; Willemsen, Gonneke; Vink, Jacqueline M
High sugar consumption contributes to the rising prevalence of obesity. Sugar can have rewarding effects that are similar to, but less strong than, the effects of addictive substances. People who consume large amounts of sugar also tend to use more addictive substances, but it is unclear whether this is due to shared genetic or environmental risk factors. We examined whether there are genetic influences on the consumption of sugar-containing drinks and whether genetic factors can explain the association with substance use. The frequency of consumption of sugar-containing drinks (e.g., cola, soft drinks, and energy drinks) and addictive substances (nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, cannabis, and illicit drugs) was obtained for 8586 twins who were registered at the Netherlands Twin Register (women: 68.7%; mean ± SD age: 33.5 ± 15.3 y). Participants were categorized as high or low sugar consumers (>1 compared with ≤1 SD above daily consumption in grams) and as high or low substance users (≥2 compared with substances). Through bivariate genetic modeling, genetic and environmental influences on sugar consumption, substance use, and their association were estimated. Genetic factors explained 48% of the variation in high sugar consumption, whereas unique environmental factors explained 52%. For high substance use, these values were 62% and 38%, respectively. There was a moderate phenotypic association between high sugar consumption and high substance use (r = 0.2), which was explained by genetic factors (59%) and unique environmental factors (41%). The positive association between high sugar consumption and high substance use was partly due to unique environmental factors (e.g., social situations). Genetic factors were also of influence, suggesting that neuronal circuits underlying the development of addiction and obesity are related. Further research is needed to identify genes that influence sugar consumption and those that overlap with substance use. © 2016 American
Saptarini, N. G. A. P. H.; Suasnawa, I. W.; Ciptayani, P. I.
Manual course scheduling can be very complex and take a long time, even sometimes violate hard and soft constraints. Soft constraints usually relate to teacher and student preferences as part of the schedule. The purpose of this study was to apply genetic algorithms (GA) to prevent the violation of hard constraints and minimize the violation of soft constraints. The GA in this study distributing population in some gruoups. The distributed GA generate groups of population and then after each iteration, the migration between groups will be conducted based on given probability of migration. The distributed GA applied to avoid the the premature convergence that could occur in original GA. The probability of migration observed in this study was 0, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, and 0.5. The study shown that the the distributed GA succeed to prevent violation of hard constraints, minimize the soft constraints violation and avoid the premature convergence.
Miranda, Gustavo Silva De; Giupponi, Alessandro Ponce De Leão; Wizen, Gil
Central America is rich in whip spider species, mainly of the genera Phrynus and Paraphrynus (Phrynidae), but also includes few registers of Charinus (Charinidae) with no description of taxa. In this paper two new species of Charinus from Belize are described and illustrated (Charinus belizensis sp. nov. and Charinus reddelli sp. nov.) being the first species named from Central America. New records of Charinus victori Armas, 2010 from Puerto Rico, a comparative table listing the differential characters of the Caribbean and Central American species, and a distributional map of those species are also provided.
M. James C. Crabbe
Full Text Available Sustainability science can, through capacity building, allow for integrated stakeholder management of the vital Caribbean marine ecosystems. We did a capacity building exercise in two major coral reef areas in Southern Belize. The key outcome was a six-month personal/professional action plan developed by each participant about tactics for leading, educating and supporting issues regarding sustainable development and tactics for collaboration to influence policy decisions. Our results can be applied across the Caribbean. Rev. Biol. Trop. 62 (Suppl. 3: 287-291. Epub 2014 September 01.
Freire-Maia, A.; Krieger, H. (Faculdade de Ciencias Medicas e Biologicas, Botucatu, Sao Paulo (Brazil))
The genetic load disclosed by inbreeding has been analyzed in a multiple regression model for a population involving several localities in the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil. The inbreeding load has been estimated for number of pregnancies, abortions, stillbirths, children born alive, anomalies in general, sex ratio, infant mortality, post-infant mortality, and sterility and infertility of the couple. There was no evidence of either maternal or paternal inbreeding effects on the variables analyzed. The effect of inbreeding of the zygote was significant only for anomalies in general (B = 2.29 +/- 0.45) and infant mortality (B = 3.19 +/- 1.39). The latter result must be accepted with caution because of the many environmental causes affecting infant mortality. The B/A ratio suggested a predominantly mutational load for anomalies in general (B/A = 25), but with respect to infant mortality (B/A = 6), the ratio is regarded as an underestimate because of the environmental contribution to A and therefore not supportive of the segregational interpretation.
Sunday, J M; Popovic, I; Palen, W J; Foreman, M G G; Hart, M W
Understanding the movement of genes and individuals across marine seascapes is a long-standing challenge in marine ecology and can inform our understanding of local adaptation, the persistence and movement of populations, and the spatial scale of effective management. Patterns of gene flow in the ocean are often inferred based on population genetic analyses coupled with knowledge of species' dispersive life histories. However, genetic structure is the result of time-integrated processes and may not capture present-day connectivity between populations. Here, we use a high-resolution oceanographic circulation model to predict larval dispersal along the complex coastline of western Canada that includes the transition between two well-studied zoogeographic provinces. We simulate dispersal in a benthic sea star with a 6-10 week pelagic larval phase and test predictions of this model against previously observed genetic structure including a strong phylogeographic break within the zoogeographical transition zone. We also test predictions with new genetic sampling in a site within the phylogeographic break. We find that the coupled genetic and circulation model predicts the high degree of genetic structure observed in this species, despite its long pelagic duration. High genetic structure on this complex coastline can thus be explained through ocean circulation patterns, which tend to retain passive larvae within 20-50 km of their parents, suggesting a necessity for close-knit design of Marine Protected Area networks. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Full Text Available Habitat loss and fragmentation represent the most serious extinction threats for many species and have been demonstrated to be especially detrimental for mammals. Particularly, highly specialized species with low dispersal abilities will encounter a high risk of extinction in fragmented landscapes. Here we studied the edible dormouse (Glis glis, a small arboreal mammal that is distributed throughout Central Europe, where forests are mostly fragmented at different spatial scales. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of habitat fragmentation on genetic population structures using the example of edible dormouse populations inhabiting forest fragments in south western Germany. We genotyped 380 adult individuals captured between 2001 and 2009 in four different forest fragments and one large continuous forest using 14 species-specific microsatellites. We hypothesised, that populations in small forest patches have a lower genetic diversity and are more isolated compared to populations living in continuous forests. In accordance with our expectations we found that dormice inhabiting forest fragments were isolated from each other. Furthermore, their genetic population structure was more unstable over the study period than in the large continuous forest. Even though we could not detect lower genetic variability within individuals inhabiting forest fragments, strong genetic isolation and an overall high risk to mate with close relatives might be precursors to a reduced genetic variability and the onset of inbreeding depression. Results of this study highlight that connectivity among habitat fragments can already be strongly hampered before genetic erosion within small and isolated populations becomes evident.
Full Text Available This article presents a historical review of the lobster and conch fisheries in Belize, Central America. In terms of yield and value, these are the main wild-caught targets of the national fisheries, a small-scale commercial fishery of around 3000 fishermen. Data were collected during interviews with key informants involved with the fisheries and through literature and archive research. The goal was to study how the fishing industry has responded to environmental signals from these resources and from their ecosystems and ecosystem dynamics. National yields for both lobster and conch have been relatively stable, however, individuals' yields have been declining despite increased effort since the 1980s. This study concludes that the use of fossil fuel-based technology and organizational change, with the establishment of fishermen's cooperatives, have masked environmental signals. This masking, together with economic incentives, has led to the "pathology of resource use." As a symptom of this pathology, four forms of sequential exploitation in these fisheries were identified. A major conclusion is that social resilience may not confer ecological resilience. The development of the cooperatives was needed in order to improve equity in the industry. Before their impacts could be assessed, this organizational change, together with new technology, led to very important and rapid changes in the industry. Together with existing regulations that allow de facto open access to lobster and conch, these changes resulted in a short-term boom that has resulted in the pathology of resource use, with over-capitalization and dependence on maintained yields, regardless of environmental feedback.
Wanek, Wolfgang; Hofmann, Julia; Feller, Ilka C.
SummaryBulk precipitation, throughfall and stemflow were collected to study anthropogenic effects on above-ground nutrient cycling in an off-shore mangrove forest ( Rhizophora mangle L.) on Twin Cays, Belize. Samples were collected in a nitrogen limited fringe and phosphorus limited dwarf zone, and from an adjacent nitrogen fertilized fringe and a phosphorus fertilized dwarf zone. Inorganic cations and anions, dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and nitrogen (DON) were analysed. Throughfall represented 84% of precipitation volume. Sea salt ions (Cl -, Na +, SO42- and Mg 2+) and DOC accounted for the highest proportion of solutes in rainwater, throughfall and stemflow in R. mangle stands. Non-marine sources dominated the flux of DON, DOC, NO3-, NH4+, and inorganic P (P i) in bulk precipitation and throughfall and partially contributed to Ca 2+ and K +. Deposition ratios (throughfall deposition:bulk deposition) showed that inorganic NH4+, and less so P i were retained in the canopy of R. mangle from throughfall while all other solutes increased. Canopy leaching contributed in increasing order to net throughfall of Ca 2+, Cl -, SO42-/K, Mg 2+ and Na + but dry deposition dominated the net throughfall flux during the investigated period. Fertilizer treatment and zone did only slightly affect solute concentrations of hot-water extracts of leaves, of throughfall and stemflow in stands of similar stature. While litterfall and primary production have previously been shown to increase substantially upon nutrient enrichment of mangroves we therefore conclude that fertilization, as a surrogate of anthropogenic eutrophication, may not increase nutrient leaching from mangrove canopies, and thus may only have a minor effect on soluble organic matter cycling and inputs into mangrove food webs.
Regina, Ahmed; Berbezy, Pierre; Kosar-Hashemi, Behjat; Li, Suzhi; Cmiel, Mark; Larroque, Oscar; Bird, Anthony R; Swain, Steve M; Cavanagh, Colin; Jobling, Stephen A; Li, Zhongyi; Morell, Matthew
Resistant starch (RS), a type of dietary fibre, plays an important role in human health; however, the content of RS in most modern processed starchy foods is low. Cereal starch, when structurally manipulated through a modified starch biosynthetic pathway to greatly increase the amylose content, could be an important food source of RS. Transgenic studies have previously revealed the requirement of simultaneous down-regulation of two starch branching enzyme (SBE) II isoforms both located on the long arm of chromosome 2, namely SBEIIa and SBEIIb, to elevate the amylose content in wheat from ~25% to ~75%. The current study revealed close proximity of genes encoding SBEIIa and SBEIIb isoforms in wheat with a genetic distance of 0.5 cM on chromosome 2B. A series of deletion and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loss of function alleles in SBEIIa, SBEIIb or both was isolated from two different wheat populations. A breeding strategy to combine deletions and SNPs generated wheat genotypes with altered expression levels of SBEIIa and SBEIIb, elevating the amylose content to an unprecedented ~85%, with a marked concomitant increase in RS content. Biochemical assays were used to confirm the complete absence in the grain of expression of SBEIIa from all three genomes in combination with the absence of SBEIIb from one of the genomes. © 2015 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Freire-Maia, A.; Krieger, H.
Data have been obtained by a genetic-epidemiological survey of a population living in the State of Espirito Santo (Brazil), and subjected to mean levels of natural radiation, per locality, ranging from 7 to 133 μrad/hr. Multiple regression models have been applied to the data, and the results showed no detectable effect of natural radiation on the sex ratio at birth, on the occurrence of congenital anomalies, and on the numbers of pregnancy terminations, stillbirths, livebirths, and post-infant mortality in the children, as well as fecundity and fertility of the couples (these observations contradict some data from the literature, based on official records and without analyses of the concomitant effects of other variables). However, nonsignificant results cannot be considered as disproving harmful effects of natural radiation on mortality and morbidity. These results may simply mean that other causes of mortality and morbidity are so important, under the conditions of the study, that the contribution of low-level, chronic natural radiation is made negligible. (author)
Qi, Qibin; Forman, John P.; Jensen, Majken K.; Flint, Alan; Curhan, Gary C.; Rimm, Eric B.; Hu, Frank B.; Qi, Lu
Hypertension and type 2 diabetes (T2D) commonly coexist, and both conditions are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). We aimed to examine the association between genetic predisposition to high blood pressure and risk of CVD in individuals with T2D. The current study included 1,005 men and 1,299 women with T2D from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and Nurses’ Health Study, of whom 732 developed CVD. A genetic predisposition score was calculated on the basis of 29 established blood pressure–associated variants. The genetic predisposition score showed consistent associations with risk of CVD in men and women. In the combined results, each additional blood pressure–increasing allele was associated with a 6% increased risk of CVD (odds ratio [OR] 1.06 [95% CI 1.03–1.10]). The OR was 1.62 (1.22–2.14) for risk of CVD comparing the extreme quartiles of the genetic predisposition score. The genetic association for CVD risk was significantly stronger in patients with T2D than that estimated in the general populations by a meta-analysis (OR per SD of genetic score 1.22 [95% CI 1.10–1.35] vs. 1.10 [1.08–1.12]; I2 = 71%). Our data indicate that genetic predisposition to high blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of CVD in individuals with T2D. PMID:22829449
Eremeev Anton V.
Full Text Available The paper is devoted to upper bounds on the expected first hitting times of the sets of local or global optima for non-elitist genetic algorithms with very high selection pressure. The results of this paper extend the range of situations where the upper bounds on the expected runtime are known for genetic algorithms and apply, in particular, to the Canonical Genetic Algorithm. The obtained bounds do not require the probability of fitness-decreasing mutation to be bounded by a constant which is less than one.
Forbes, Kirstie E; Foster, P
Belize, hosting one of the British Army's overseas training areas, provides access to challenging terrain and austere environments, which allows the delivery of training to soldiers on survival and combat within the jungle environment. A 26-year-old infanteer on exercise in Belize presented with progressive bilateral dry, painful, oedematous hands, secondary to the harsh environmental conditions of the jungle and inadequate drying of his hands resulting in his inability to perform his combat duties. The symptoms completely resolved with drying, emollient application and analgesia. While there are no reported cases of immersion hand, comparisons can be made with the well-reported warm weather immersion foot. This case highlights the importance of force preparation and soldier education for units deploying to the jungle. Simple preventive measures, including adequate 'wet-dry' drills and use of emollients can reduce the prevalence of immersion hand, a preventable condition, which can have a significant impact on the overall combat effectiveness of the unit. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2017. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly granted.
Reid, S.M.; Wilson, C.C.; Mandrak, N.E.; Carl, L.M.
Dams have the potential to affect population size and connectivity, reduce genetic diversity, and increase genetic differences among isolated riverine fish populations. Previous research has reported adverse effects on the distribution and demographics of black redhorse (Moxostoma duquesnei), a threatened fish species in Canada. However, effects on genetic diversity and population structure are unknown. We used microsatellite DNA markers to assess the number of genetic populations in the Grand River (Ontario) and to test whether dams have resulted in a loss of genetic diversity and increased genetic differentiation among populations. Three hundred and seventy-seven individuals from eight Grand River sites were genotyped at eight microsatellite loci. Measures of genetic diversity were moderately high and not significantly different among populations; strong evidence of recent population bottlenecks was not detected. Pairwise FST and exact tests identified weak (global FST = 0.011) but statistically significant population structure, although little population structuring was detected using either genetic distances or an individual-based clustering method. Neither geographic distance nor the number of intervening dams were correlated with pairwise differences among populations. Tests for regional equilibrium indicate that Grand River populations were either in equilibrium between gene flow and genetic drift or that gene flow is more influential than drift. While studies on other species have identified strong dam-related effects on genetic diversity and population structure, this study suggests that barrier permeability, river fragment length and the ecological characteristics of affected species can counterbalance dam-related effects. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Sep 7, 2011 ... G. bicolor contains relatively high levels of vitamin C, crude protein and ... Effects of different combinations and concentrations of plant growth regulators on callus and adventitious shoot formation in G. bicolor. Growth regulator. (mg/l) ..... induction and plantlet formation from mature embryos of Aleppo pine.
The glutenin and waxy loci of wheat are important determinants of dough quality. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of high-molecular-weight glutenin (HMW-GS) and waxy alleles on dough-mixing properties. Molecular mapping was used to investigate these effects on Mixograph properties in a population of ...
Falavigna da Rocha, Carlos Eduardo
Neocyclops (Protoneocyclops) ferrarii sp. n. is described from Candy’s Pond, Twin Cays, Belize. It is morphologically closest to N. (P.) wellsi Petkovski, 1986 from Mozambique and N. (P.) herbsti Petkovski, 1986 from the Red Sea. Pediger 1 in Neocyclops is distinct although reduced and often
Kohler, Christian G; Richard, Jan A; Brensinger, Colleen M; Borgmann-Winter, Karin E; Conroy, Catherine G; Moberg, Paul J; Gur, Ruben C; Gur, Raquel E; Calkins, Monica E
A large body of literature has documented facial emotion perception impairments in schizophrenia. More recently, emotion perception has been investigated in persons at genetic and clinical high-risk for psychosis. This study compared emotion perception abilities in groups of young persons with schizophrenia, clinical high-risk, genetic risk and healthy controls. Groups, ages 13-25, included 24 persons at clinical high-risk, 52 first-degree relatives at genetic risk, 91 persons with schizophrenia and 90 low risk persons who completed computerized testing of emotion recognition and differentiation. Groups differed by overall emotion recognition abilities and recognition of happy, sad, anger and fear expressions. Pairwise comparisons revealed comparable impairments in recognition of happy, angry, and fearful expressions for persons at clinical high-risk and schizophrenia, while genetic risk participants were less impaired, showing reduced recognition of fearful expressions. Groups also differed for differentiation of happy and sad expressions, but differences were mainly between schizophrenia and control groups. Emotion perception impairments are observable in young persons at-risk for psychosis. Preliminary results with clinical high-risk participants, when considered along findings in genetic risk relatives, suggest social cognition abilities to reflect pathophysiological processes involved in risk of schizophrenia. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fazzi-Gomes, Paola; Guerreiro, Sávio; Palheta, Glauber David Almeida; de Melo, Nuno Filipe Alves Correa; Santos, Sidney; Hamoy, Igor
Abstract Colossoma macropomum is the second largest scaled fish of the Amazon. It is economically important for commercial fisheries and for aquaculture, but few studies have examined the diversity and genetic structure of natural populations of this species. The aim of this study was to investigate the levels of genetic variability and connectivity that exist between three natural populations of C. macropomum from the Amazon basin. In total, 247 samples were collected from the municipalities of Tefé, Manaus, and Santarém. The populations were genotyped using a panel of 12 multiplex microsatellite markers. The genetic diversity found in these populations was high and similar to other populations described in the literature. These populations showed a pattern of high gene flow associated with the lack of a genetic structure pattern, indicating that the number of migrants per generation and recent migration rates are high. The values of the FST, RST, and exact test of differentiation were not significant for pairwise comparisons between populations. The Bayesian population clustering analysis indicated a single population. Thus, the data provide evidence for high genetic diversity and high gene flow among C. macropomum populations in the investigated region of the Amazon basin. This information is important for programs aiming at the conservation of natural populations. PMID:28170026
Fazzi-Gomes, Paola; Guerreiro, Sávio; Palheta, Glauber David Almeida; Melo, Nuno Filipe Alves Correa de; Santos, Sidney; Hamoy, Igor
Colossoma macropomum is the second largest scaled fish of the Amazon. It is economically important for commercial fisheries and for aquaculture, but few studies have examined the diversity and genetic structure of natural populations of this species. The aim of this study was to investigate the levels of genetic variability and connectivity that exist between three natural populations of C. macropomum from the Amazon basin. In total, 247 samples were collected from the municipalities of Tefé, Manaus, and Santarém. The populations were genotyped using a panel of 12 multiplex microsatellite markers. The genetic diversity found in these populations was high and similar to other populations described in the literature. These populations showed a pattern of high gene flow associated with the lack of a genetic structure pattern, indicating that the number of migrants per generation and recent migration rates are high. The values of the FST, RST, and exact test of differentiation were not significant for pairwise comparisons between populations. The Bayesian population clustering analysis indicated a single population. Thus, the data provide evidence for high genetic diversity and high gene flow among C. macropomum populations in the investigated region of the Amazon basin. This information is important for programs aiming at the conservation of natural populations.
Full Text Available How genetic diversity is maintained in philopatric colonial systems remains unclear, and understanding the dynamic balance of philopatry and dispersal at all spatial scales is essential to the study of the evolution of coloniality. In the King penguin, Aptenodytes patagonicus, return rates of post-fledging chicks to their natal sub-colony are remarkably high. Empirical studies have shown that adults return year after year to their previous breeding territories within a radius of a few meters. Yet, little reliable data are available on intra- and inter-colonial dispersal in this species. Here, we present the first fine-scale study of the genetic structure in a king penguin colony in the Crozet Archipelago. Samples were collected from individual chicks and analysed at 8 microsatellite loci. Precise geolocation data of hatching sites and selective pressures associated with habitat features were recorded for all sampling locations. We found that despite strong natal and breeding site fidelity, king penguins retain a high degree of panmixia and genetic diversity. Yet, genetic structure appears markedly heterogeneous across the colony, with higher-than-expected inbreeding levels, and local inbreeding and relatedness hotspots that overlap predicted higher-quality nesting locations. This points towards heterogeneous population structure at the sub-colony level, in which fine-scale environmental features drive local philopatric behaviour, while lower-quality patches may act as genetic mixing mechanisms at the colony level. These findings show how a lack of global genetic structuring can emerge from small-scale heterogeneity in ecological parameters, as opposed to the classical model of homogeneous dispersal. Our results also emphasize the importance of sampling design for estimation of population parameters in colonial seabirds, as at high spatial resolution, basic genetic features are shown to be location-dependent. Finally, this study stresses the
Wang, Panpan; Rahman, Mohammad; Jin, Li; Xiong, Momiao
The widely used genetic pleiotropic analyses of multiple phenotypes are often designed for examining the relationship between common variants and a few phenotypes. They are not suited for both high dimensional phenotypes and high dimensional genotype (next-generation sequencing) data. To overcome limitations of the traditional genetic pleiotropic analysis of multiple phenotypes, we develop sparse structural equation models (SEMs) as a general framework for a new paradigm of genetic analysis of multiple phenotypes. To incorporate both common and rare variants into the analysis, we extend the traditional multivariate SEMs to sparse functional SEMs. To deal with high dimensional phenotype and genotype data, we employ functional data analysis and the alternative direction methods of multiplier (ADMM) techniques to reduce data dimension and improve computational efficiency. Using large scale simulations we showed that the proposed methods have higher power to detect true causal genetic pleiotropic structure than other existing methods. Simulations also demonstrate that the gene-based pleiotropic analysis has higher power than the single variant-based pleiotropic analysis. The proposed method is applied to exome sequence data from the NHLBI's Exome Sequencing Project (ESP) with 11 phenotypes, which identifies a network with 137 genes connected to 11 phenotypes and 341 edges. Among them, 114 genes showed pleiotropic genetic effects and 45 genes were reported to be associated with phenotypes in the analysis or other cardiovascular disease (CVD) related phenotypes in the literature. Our proposed sparse functional SEMs can incorporate both common and rare variants into the analysis and the ADMM algorithm can efficiently solve the penalized SEMs. Using this model we can jointly infer genetic architecture and casual phenotype network structure, and decompose the genetic effect into direct, indirect and total effect. Using large scale simulations we showed that the proposed
Delgado, P; Piñero, D; Chaos, A; Pérez-Nasser, N; Alvarez-Buylla, E R
Pinus rzedowskii is an endangered pine species from Michoacán (central México), which has been previously reported from only three localities. Classified within the subgenus Strobus, it exhibits intermediate morphological characters between subgenera Strobus and Pinus. We analyzed genetic aspects that could shed light on the evolution and conservation of this species. The genetic structure of nine populations was examined using 14 isozyme loci. Pinus rzedowskii has a relatively high level of genetic variation with 46.8% of the loci assayed being polymorphic, a total of 35 alleles, and a mean heterozygosity per population of 0.219. We calculated Wright's F(ST) statistic to estimate gene flow indirectly and to evaluate whether or not there was genetic structuring among populations. We found a marked differentiation among populations (F(ST) = 0.175) and significant inbreeding (F(IS) = 0.247). No pattern of isolation by distance was found. We also constructed a dendrogram based on a genetic distance matrix to obtain an overview of the possible historical relationships among populations. Finally, we found a convex relationship between the genetic distance among populations and the number of ancestral lineages, suggesting that demographically this species has not been at risk recently. Although endangered, with small and fragmented populations, P. rzedowskii shows higher levels of genetic variation than other conifer species with larger populations or similar conservation status.
Full Text Available To understand the function of genetic regulatory networks in the development of cellular systems, we must not only realise the individual network entities, but also the manner by which they interact. Multi-valued networks are a promising qualitative approach for modelling such genetic regulatory networks, however, at present they have limited formal analysis techniques and tools. We present a flexible formal framework for modelling and analysing multi-valued genetic regulatory networks using high-level Petri nets and logic minimization techniques. We demonstrate our approach with a detailed case study in which part of the genetic regulatory network responsible for the carbon starvation stress response in Escherichia coli is modelled and analysed. We then compare and contrast this multivalued model to a corresponding Boolean model and consider their formal relationship.
Bennett-Martin, Paulita; Visaggi, Christy C; Hawthorne, Timothy L
Monitoring of marine debris (also known as marine litter) is an essential step in the process to eradicate ecological dangers in marine ecosystems caused by humans. This study examines marine debris in the Caribbean country of Belize using geographic information systems (GIS) to develop (1) a detailed data library for use on handheld Global Positioning System (GPS) units and tablets with mobile mapping applications for deployment in the field and (2) a freely available, online mapping portal to share data with Belizeans to encourage future citizen science efforts. Four diverse communities were targeted ranging from larger more populated towns, to smaller villages across central and southern Belize: San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Punta Gorda, and Monkey River. Fieldwork was conducted over 1 month, during which data points were collected in 50-m surveys followed by debris cleanup and removal. Features in our database included material, quantity, item, brand, and condition. Over 6000 pieces of debris were recorded in GIS for further analysis, and 299 gal of debris were removed from the shores of Belize. The most abundant form of debris observed was plastic (commonly bottles) across all locations; plastic comprised 77.6 % of all debris items observed. Through GIS, a detailed snapshot understanding of debris patterns across multiple settings in Belize was documented. Ongoing collaborations with local organizations in Belize have demonstrated significant interest and utility for such GIS approaches in analyzing and managing marine debris. The data, methodology, visual representations, and online mapping platform resulting from this research are a first step in directly supporting local Belizean community advocacy and policy, while contributing to larger institutional strategies for addressing marine debris issues in the Caribbean.
Full Text Available Introduction: Tuberculosis (TB still remains an important public health problem in Iran. The genotyping of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates is expected to lead to a better understanding of M. tuberculosis transmission in Tehran, the most populated city of Iran. Materials and Methods: A total of 2300 clinical specimens were obtained from TB suspected patients who were referred to a TB center in Tehran from Jan 2014 to Dec 2016. Identification was performed using both conventional and molecular methods. The presence of resistance to rifampicin was examined by the GeneXpert MTB/RIF. The standard 15-locus mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units-variable number of tandem repeats (MIRU-VNTR typing method was applied to genotype of clinical isolates. Results: Of 2300 specimens, 80 isolates were identified as M. tuberculosis by using biochemical and molecular tests. Of 80 M. tuberculosis isolates, 76 (95% had unique genotypic profiles and 4 (5% shared a profile with one or more other strains. Based on single loci variation (SLV 4 clonal complexes were observed. NEW-1 was found to be the most predominant lineage (22.5% followed by West African (1.25%, Central Asian (CAS/Delhi (1.25%, Bovis (1.25%, H37Rv (1.25% and multiple matches (1.25%. Loci MIRU10, MIRU26, MTUB21 and QUB26 were found as highly discriminative. No mutation was detected in the hotspot region of rifampicin by using GeneXpert MTB/RIF. Conclusions: Our study findings show that there was considerable genotypic diversity among M. tuberculosis isolates in Tehran. The 15-locus MIRU-VNTR showed high HGDI and could be used as a first-line genotyping method for epidemiological studies. Keywords: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Genotyping, MIRU-VNTR, Tehran, Iran
Runcie, Daniel E; Mukherjee, Sayan
Quantitative genetic studies that model complex, multivariate phenotypes are important for both evolutionary prediction and artificial selection. For example, changes in gene expression can provide insight into developmental and physiological mechanisms that link genotype and phenotype. However, classical analytical techniques are poorly suited to quantitative genetic studies of gene expression where the number of traits assayed per individual can reach many thousand. Here, we derive a Bayesian genetic sparse factor model for estimating the genetic covariance matrix (G-matrix) of high-dimensional traits, such as gene expression, in a mixed-effects model. The key idea of our model is that we need consider only G-matrices that are biologically plausible. An organism's entire phenotype is the result of processes that are modular and have limited complexity. This implies that the G-matrix will be highly structured. In particular, we assume that a limited number of intermediate traits (or factors, e.g., variations in development or physiology) control the variation in the high-dimensional phenotype, and that each of these intermediate traits is sparse - affecting only a few observed traits. The advantages of this approach are twofold. First, sparse factors are interpretable and provide biological insight into mechanisms underlying the genetic architecture. Second, enforcing sparsity helps prevent sampling errors from swamping out the true signal in high-dimensional data. We demonstrate the advantages of our model on simulated data and in an analysis of a published Drosophila melanogaster gene expression data set.
Full Text Available Squalus blainville is one of the least studied Mediterranean shark species. Despite being intensively fished in several locations, biological knowledge is limited and no genetic structure information is available. This is the first study to examine the genetic structure of S. blainville in the Mediterranean Sea. Considering the high dispersal potential inferred for other squalid sharks, the hypothesis of panmixia was tested based on a 585 bp fragment of the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene from 107 individuals and six nuclear microsatellite loci from 577 individuals. Samples were collected across the Ionian, Aegean and Libyan Seas and off the Balearic Islands. Twenty three additional sequences of Mediterranean and South African origin were retrieved from GenBank and included in the mitochondrial DNA analysis. The overall haplotype diversity was high, in contrast to the low nucleotide diversity. Low and non-significant pairwise ΦST and FST values along with a Bayesian cluster analysis suggested high connectivity with subsequent genetic homogeneity among the populations studied, and thus a high dispersal potential for S. blainville similar to other squalids. The historical demography of the species was also assessed, revealing a pattern of population expansion since the middle Pleistocene. These findings could be considered in species-specific conservation plans, although sampling over a larger spatial scale and more genetic markers are required to fully elucidate the genetic structure and dispersal potential of S. blainville.
Lawrence, Ryan E; Friesen, Phoebe; Brucato, Gary; Girgis, Ragy R; Dixon, Lisa
Genetic tests for schizophrenia may introduce risks and benefits. Among young adults at clinical high-risk for psychosis, little is known about their concerns and how they assess potential risks. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 15 young adults at clinical high-risk for psychosis to ask about their concerns. Participants expressed concerns about test reliability, data interpretation, stigma, psychological harm, family planning, and privacy. Participants' responses showed some departure from the ethics literature insofar as participants were primarily interested in reporting their results to people to whom they felt emotionally close, and expressed little consideration of biological closeness. Additionally, if tests showed an increased genetic risk for schizophrenia, four clinical high-risk persons felt obligated to tell an employer and another three would "maybe" tell an employer, even in the absence of clinical symptoms. These findings suggest opportunities for clinicians and genetic counselors to intervene with education and support.
Pugh, Trevor J; Morozova, Olena; Attiyeh, Edward F; Asgharzadeh, Shahab; Wei, Jun S; Auclair, Daniel; Carter, Scott L; Cibulskis, Kristian; Hanna, Megan; Kiezun, Adam; Kim, Jaegil; Lawrence, Michael S; Lichenstein, Lee; McKenna, Aaron; Pedamallu, Chandra Sekhar; Ramos, Alex H; Shefler, Erica; Sivachenko, Andrey; Sougnez, Carrie; Stewart, Chip; Ally, Adrian; Birol, Inanc; Chiu, Readman; Corbett, Richard D; Hirst, Martin; Jackman, Shaun D; Kamoh, Baljit; Khodabakshi, Alireza Hadj; Krzywinski, Martin; Lo, Allan; Moore, Richard A; Mungall, Karen L; Qian, Jenny; Tam, Angela; Thiessen, Nina; Zhao, Yongjun; Cole, Kristina A; Diamond, Maura; Diskin, Sharon J; Mosse, Yael P; Wood, Andrew C; Ji, Lingyun; Sposto, Richard; Badgett, Thomas; London, Wendy B; Moyer, Yvonne; Gastier-Foster, Julie M; Smith, Malcolm A; Guidry Auvil, Jaime M; Gerhard, Daniela S; Hogarty, Michael D; Jones, Steven J M; Lander, Eric S; Gabriel, Stacey B; Getz, Gad; Seeger, Robert C; Khan, Javed; Marra, Marco A; Meyerson, Matthew; Maris, John M
Neuroblastoma is a malignancy of the developing sympathetic nervous system that often presents with widespread metastatic disease, resulting in survival rates of less than 50%. To determine the spectrum of somatic mutation in high-risk neuroblastoma, we studied 240 affected individuals (cases) using a combination of whole-exome, genome and transcriptome sequencing as part of the Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments (TARGET) initiative. Here we report a low median exonic mutation frequency of 0.60 per Mb (0.48 nonsilent) and notably few recurrently mutated genes in these tumors. Genes with significant somatic mutation frequencies included ALK (9.2% of cases), PTPN11 (2.9%), ATRX (2.5%, and an additional 7.1% had focal deletions), MYCN (1.7%, causing a recurrent p.Pro44Leu alteration) and NRAS (0.83%). Rare, potentially pathogenic germline variants were significantly enriched in ALK, CHEK2, PINK1 and BARD1. The relative paucity of recurrent somatic mutations in neuroblastoma challenges current therapeutic strategies that rely on frequently altered oncogenic drivers.
Pugh, Trevor J.; Morozova, Olena; Attiyeh, Edward F.; Asgharzadeh, Shahab; Wei, Jun S.; Auclair, Daniel; Carter, Scott L.; Cibulskis, Kristian; Hanna, Megan; Kiezun, Adam; Kim, Jaegil; Lawrence, Michael S.; Lichenstein, Lee; McKenna, Aaron; Pedamallu, Chandra Sekhar; Ramos, Alex H.; Shefler, Erica; Sivachenko, Andrey; Sougnez, Carrie; Stewart, Chip; Ally, Adrian; Birol, Inanc; Chiu, Readman; Corbett, Richard D.; Hirst, Martin; Jackman, Shaun D.; Kamoh, Baljit; Khodabakshi, Alireza Hadj; Krzywinski, Martin; Lo, Allan; Moore, Richard A.; Mungall, Karen L.; Qian, Jenny; Tam, Angela; Thiessen, Nina; Zhao, Yongjun; Cole, Kristina A.; Diamond, Maura; Diskin, Sharon J.; Mosse, Yael P.; Wood, Andrew C.; Ji, Lingyun; Sposto, Richard; Badgett, Thomas; London, Wendy B.; Moyer, Yvonne; Gastier-Foster, Julie M.; Smith, Malcolm A.; Auvil, Jaime M. Guidry; Gerhard, Daniela S.; Hogarty, Michael D.; Jones, Steven J. M.; Lander, Eric S.; Gabriel, Stacey B.; Getz, Gad; Seeger, Robert C.; Khan, Javed; Marra, Marco A.; Meyerson, Matthew; Maris, John M.
Neuroblastoma is a malignancy of the developing sympathetic nervous system that often presents with widespread metastatic disease, resulting in survival rates of less than 50%1. To determine the spectrum of somatic mutation in high-risk neuroblastoma, we studied 240 cases using a combination of whole exome, genome and transcriptome sequencing as part of the Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments (TARGET) initiative. Here we report a low median exonic mutation frequency of 0.60 per megabase (0.48 non-silent), and remarkably few recurrently mutated genes in these tumors. Genes with significant somatic mutation frequencies included ALK (9.2% of cases), PTPN11 (2.9%), ATRX (2.5%, an additional 7.1% had focal deletions), MYCN (1.7%, a recurrent p.Pro44Leu alteration), and NRAS (0.83%). Rare, potentially pathogenic germline variants were significantly enriched in ALK, CHEK2, PINK1, and BARD1. The relative paucity of recurrent somatic mutations in neuroblastoma challenges current therapeutic strategies reliant upon frequently altered oncogenic drivers. PMID:23334666
Among high-altitude natives there is evidence of a general hypoxia tolerance leading to enhanced performance and/or increased capacity in several important domains. These domains likely include an enhanced physical work capacity, an enhanced reproductive capacity, and an ability to resist several common pathologies of chronic high-altitude exposure. The "strength" of the high-altitude native in this regard may have both a developmental and a genetic basis, although there is better evidence for the former (developmental effects) than for the latter. For example, early-life hypoxia exposure clearly results in lung growth and remodeling leading to an increased O2 diffusing capacity in adulthood. Genetic research has yet to reveal a population genetic basis for enhanced capacity in high-altitude natives, but several traits are clearly under genetic control in Andean and Tibetan populations e.g., resting and exercise arterial O2 saturation (SaO2). This chapter reviews the effects of nature and nurture on traits that are relevant to the process of gas exchange, including pulmonary volumes and diffusion capacity, the maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), the SaO2, and the alveolar-arterial oxygen partial pressure difference (A-aDO2) during exercise.
Full Text Available Native duck populations have lower productivity, and have not been developed as much as commercials duck breeds. However, native ducks have more importance in terms of genetic diversity and potentially valuable economic traits. For this reason, population discriminable genetic markers are needed for conservation and development of native ducks. In this study, 24 highly polymorphic microsatellite (MS markers were investigated using commercial ducks and native East and South Asian ducks. The average polymorphic information content (PIC value for all MS markers was 0.584, indicating high discrimination power. All populations were discriminated using 14 highly polymorphic MS markers by genetic distance and phylogenetic analysis. The results indicated that there were close genetic relationships among populations. In the structure analysis, East Asian ducks shared more haplotypes with commercial ducks than South Asian ducks, and they had more independent haplotypes than others did. These results will provide useful information for genetic diversity studies in ducks and for the development of duck traceability systems in the market.
Gevaert, Scott D; Mandel, Jennifer R; Burke, John M; Donovan, Lisa A
Granite outcrops in the southeastern United States are rare and isolated habitats that support edaphically controlled communities dominated by herbaceous plants. They harbor rare and endemic species that are expected to have low genetic variability and high population structure due to small population sizes and their disjunct habitat. We test this expectation for an annual outcrop endemic, Helianthus porteri (Porter's sunflower). Contrary to expectation, H. porteri has relatively high genetic diversity (H e = 0.681) and relatively low genetic structure among the native populations (F ST = 0.077) when compared to 5 other Helianthus species (N = 288; 18 expressed sequence tag-SSR markers). These findings suggest greater gene flow than expected. The potential for gene flow is supported by the analysis of transplant populations established with propagules from a common source in 1959. One population established close to a native population (1.5 km) at the edge of the natural range is genetically similar to and shares rare alleles with the adjacent native population and is distinct from the central source population. In contrast, a transplant population established north of the native range has remained similar to the source population. The relatively high genetic diversity and low population structure of this species, combined with the long-term success of transplanted populations, bode well for its persistence as long as the habitat persists.
Lu, Cai-rui; Zou, Chang-song; Song, Guo-li
Traditional gene mapping using forward genetic approaches is conducted primarily through construction of a genetic linkage map, the process of which is tedious and time-consuming, and often results in low accuracy of mapping and large mapping intervals. With the rapid development of high-throughput sequencing technology and decreasing cost of sequencing, a variety of simple and quick methods of gene mapping through sequencing have been developed, including direct sequencing of the mutant genome, sequencing of selective mutant DNA pooling, genetic map construction through sequencing of individuals in population, as well as sequencing of transcriptome and partial genome. These methods can be used to identify mutations at the nucleotide level and has been applied in complex genetic background. Recent reports have shown that sequencing mapping could be even done without the reference of genome sequence, hybridization, and genetic linkage information, which made it possible to perform forward genetic study in many non-model species. In this review, we summarized these new technologies and their application in gene mapping.
Fernández-González, Sofía; Pérez-Rodríguez, Antón; Proctor, Heather C; De la Hera, Iván; Pérez-Tris, Javier
Obligate symbionts may be genetically structured among host individuals and among phenotypically distinct host populations. Such processes may in turn determine within-host genetic diversity of symbionts, which is relevant for understanding symbiont population dynamics. We analysed the population genetic structure of two species of feather mites (Proctophyllodes sylviae and Trouessartia bifurcata) in migratory and resident blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla that winter sympatrically. Resident and migratory hosts may provide mites with habitats of different qualities, what might promote specialization of mite populations. We found high genetic diversity of within-host populations for both mite species, but no sign of genetic structure of mites between migratory and resident hosts. Our results suggest that, although dispersal mechanisms between hosts during the non-breeding season are unclear, mite populations are not limited by transmission bottlenecks that would reduce genetic diversity among individuals that share a host. Additionally, there is no evidence that host phenotypic divergence (associated with the evolution of migration and residency) has promoted the evolution of host-specialist mite populations. Unrestricted dispersal among host types may allow symbiotic organisms to avoid inbreeding and to persist in the face of habitat heterogeneity in phenotypically diverse host populations.
Full Text Available The genetic consequences of living on the edge of distributional ranges have been the subject of a largely unresolved debate. Populations occurring along persistent low latitude ranges (rear-edge are expected to retain high and unique genetic diversity. In contrast, currently less favourable environmental conditions limiting population size at such range-edges may have caused genetic erosion that prevails over past historical effects, with potential consequences on reducing future adaptive capacity. The present study provides an empirical test of whether population declines towards a peripheral range might be reflected on decreasing diversity and increasing population isolation and differentiation. We compare population genetic differentiation and diversity with trends in abundance along a latitudinal gradient towards the peripheral distribution range of Saccorhiza polyschides, a large brown seaweed that is the main structural species of kelp forests in SW Europe. Signatures of recent bottleneck events were also evaluated to determine whether the recently recorded distributional shifts had a negative influence on effective population size. Our findings show decreasing population density and increasing spatial fragmentation and local extinctions towards the southern edge. Genetic data revealed two well supported groups with a central contact zone. As predicted, higher differentiation and signs of bottlenecks were found at the southern edge region. However, a decrease in genetic diversity associated with this pattern was not verified. Surprisingly, genetic diversity increased towards the edge despite bottlenecks and much lower densities, suggesting that extinctions and recolonizations have not strongly reduced diversity or that diversity might have been even higher there in the past, a process of shifting genetic baselines.
Sunny, Armando; Monroy-Vilchis, Octavio; Zarco-González, Martha M; Mendoza-Martínez, Germán David; Martínez-Gómez, Daniel
It is necessary to determine genetic diversity of fragmented populations in highly modified landscapes to understand how populations respond to land-use change. This information will help guide future conservation and management strategies. We conducted a population genetic study on an endemic Mexican Dusky Rattlesnake (Crotalus triseriatus) in a highly modified landscape near the Toluca metropolitan area, in order to provide crucial information for the conservation of this species. There was medium levels of genetic diversity, with a few alleles and genotypes. We identified three genetically differentiated clusters, likely as a result of different habitat cover type. We also found evidence of an ancestral genetic bottleneck and medium values of effective population size. Inbreeding coefficients were low and there was a moderate gene flow. Our results can be used as a basis for future research and C. triseriatus conservation efforts, particularly considering that the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt is heavily impacted by destructive land-use practices.
Galiano, Daniel; Bernardo-Silva, Jorge; de Freitas, Thales R. O.
Conservation of small mammals requires knowledge of the genetically and ecologically meaningful spatial scales at which species respond to habitat modifications. Conservation strategies can be improved through the use of ecological niche models and genetic data to classify areas of high environmental suitability. In this study, we applied a Maxent model integrated with genetic information (nucleotide diversity, haplotype diversity and Fu's Fs neutrality tests) to evaluate potential genetic po...
Mao, Yingying; Yan, Caiwang; Lu, Qun; Zhu, Meng; Yu, Fei; Wang, Cheng; Dai, Juncheng; Ma, Hongxia; Hu, Zhibin; Shen, Hongbing; Jin, Guangfu
Epidemiological studies have linked body mass index (BMI) with risk of gastrointestinal cancers. However, for gastric cancer, the relationship is more controversial. In particular, it is unclear whether the observed association is due to confounding or bias inherent in conventional observational studies. To investigate whether BMI is causally associated with gastric cancer risk, we applied Mendelian randomization using individual-level data from 2631 gastric cancer cases and 4373 cancer-free controls. We derived a weighted genetic risk score (wGRS) using 37 BMI-associated genetic variants as an instrumental variable. We used logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations between genetically predicted BMI and gastric cancer risk. We observed that higher genetically determined BMI was associated with increased gastric cancer risk (per standard deviation (SD) increase in the wGRS: OR=1.07, 95% CI: 1.02-1.13, P=4.94 × 10 -3 ). Compared with individuals in the bottom tertile of the BMI wGRS, those in the top tertile had 1.14-fold (95% CI: 1.01-1.29) increased risk of developing gastric cancer. Sensitivity analyses using alternative causal inference measures demonstrated consistent association. Our study indicated that genetically high BMI was associated with increased gastric cancer risk, suggesting that high BMI may have a causal role in the etiology of gastric cancer.
Full Text Available Animals use honest signals to assess the quality of competitors during aggressive interactions. Current theory predicts that honest signals should be costly to produce and thus reveal some aspects of the phenotypic or genetic quality of the sender. In songbirds, research indicates that biomechanical constraints make the production of some acoustic features costly. Furthermore, recent studies have found that vocal features are related to genetic diversity. We linked these two lines of research by evaluating if constrained acoustic features reveal male genetic diversity during aggressive interactions in ocellated antbirds (Phaenostictus mcleannani. We recorded the aggressive vocalizations of radiotagged males at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica, and found significant variation in the highest frequency produced among individuals. Moreover, we detected a negative relationship between the frequency of the highest pitched note and vocalization duration, suggesting that high pitched notes might constrain the duration of vocalizations through biomechanical and/or energetic limitations. When we experimentally exposed wild radiotagged males to simulated acoustic challenges, the birds increased the pitch of their vocalization. We also found that individuals with higher genetic diversity (as measured by zygosity across 9 microsatellite loci produced notes of higher pitch during aggressive interactions. Overall, our results suggest that the ability to produce high pitched notes is an honest indicator of male genetic diversity in male-male aggressive interactions.
Winer, Rachel A; Bennett, Eleanor; Murillo, Illouise; Schuetz-Mueller, Jan; Katz, Craig L
Belize trained psychiatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) in the early 1990s to provide mental health services throughout the country. Despite overwhelming success, the program is limited by lack of monitoring, evaluation, and surveillance. To promote quality assurance, we developed a chart audit tool to monitor mental healthcare delivery compliance for initial psychiatric assessment notes completed by PNPs. After reviewing the Belize Health Information System electronic medical record system, we developed a clinical audit tool to capture 20 essential components for initial assessment clinical notes. The audit tool was then piloted for initial assessment notes completed during July through September of 2013. One hundred and thirty-four initial psychiatric interviews were audited. The average chart score among all PNPs was 9.57, ranging from 3 to 15. Twenty-three charts-or 17.2%-had a score of 14 or higher and met a 70% compliance benchmark goal. Among indicators most frequently omitted included labs ordered and named (15.7%) and psychiatric diagnosis (21.6%). Explicit statement of medications initiated with dose and frequency occurred in 47.0% of charts. Our findings provide direction for training and improvement, such as emphasizing the importance of naming labs ordered, medications and doses prescribed, and psychiatric diagnoses in initial assessment clinical notes. We hope this initial assessment helps enhance mental health delivery compliance by prompting creation of BHIS templates, development of audits tools for revisit follow-up visits, and establishment of corrective actions for low-scoring practitioners. These efforts may serve as a model for implementing quality assurance programming in other low resource settings.
Dekker, Annette M; Amick, Ashley E; Scholcoff, Cecilia; Doobay-Persaud, Ashti
Non-communicable diseases, including diabetes mellitus and hypertension, continue to disproportionately burden low- and middle-income countries. However, little research has been done to establish current practices and management of chronic disease in these settings. The objective of this study was to examine current clinical management and identify potential gaps in care of patients with diabetes mellitus and hypertension in the district of Toledo, Belize. The study used a mixed methodology to assess current practices and identify gaps in diabetes mellitus and hypertension care. One hundred and twenty charts of the general clinic population were reviewed to establish disease epidemiology. One hundred and seventy-eight diabetic and hypertensive charts were reviewed to assess current practices. Twenty providers completed questionnaires regarding diabetes mellitus and hypertension management. Twenty-five individuals with diabetes mellitus and/or hypertension answered a questionnaire and in-depth interview. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus and hypertension was 12%. Approximately 51% (n = 43) of patients with hypertension were at blood pressure goal and 26% (n = 21) diabetic patients were at glycemic goal based on current guidelines. Of the patients with uncontrolled diabetes, 49% (n = 29) were on two oral agents and only 10% (n = 6) were on insulin. Providers stated that barriers to appropriate management include concerns prescribing insulin and patient health literacy. Patients demonstrated a general understanding of the concept of chronic illness, however lacked specific knowledge regarding disease processes and self-management strategies. This study provides an initial overview of diabetes mellitus and hypertension management in a diverse patient population in rural Belize. Results indicate areas for future investigation and possible intervention, including barriers to insulin use and opportunities for lifestyle-specific disease education for
Full Text Available Campylobacteriosis is the leading zoonosis in the European Union with the majority of cases attributed to Campylobacter jejuni. Although the disease is usually self-limiting, some severe cases need to be treated with antibiotics, primarily macrolides and quinolones. However, the resistance to the latter is reaching alarming levels in most of the EU countries. To shed light on the expansion of antibiotic resistance in central Europe, we have investigated genetic similarity across 178 ciprofloxacin-resistant Campylobacter jejuni mostly isolates in Slovenia, Austria and Germany. We performed comparative genetic similarity analyses using allelic types of seven MLST housekeeping genes, and the single nucleotide polymorphisms of quinolone resistance determining region located within the DNA gyrase subunit A gene. This analysis revealed high genetic similarity of isolates from clonal complex ST-21 that carry gyrA allelic type 1 in all three of these central-European countries, suggesting these ciprofloxacin resistant isolates arise from a recent common ancestor.
In malaria parasites, the systematic experimental validation of drug and vaccine targets by reverse genetics is constrained by the inefficiency of homologous recombination and by the difficulty of manipulating adenine and thymine (A+T)-rich DNA of most Plasmodium species in Escherichia coli. We overcame these roadblocks by creating a high-integrity library of Plasmodium berghei genomic DNA (>77% A+T content) in a bacteriophage N15-based vector that can be modified efficiently using the lambda Red method of recombineering. We built a pipeline for generating P. berghei genetic modification vectors at genome scale in serial liquid cultures on 96-well plates. Vectors have long homology arms, which increase recombination frequency up to tenfold over conventional designs. The feasibility of efficient genetic modification at scale will stimulate collaborative, genome-wide knockout and tagging programs for P. berghei. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
Logue, M W; Li, Y
The posterior probability of linkage, or PPL, directly measures the probability that a disease gene is linked to a marker. By placing a Bayesian prior on the elements of the genetic model, it allows for an unknown genetic model without the inflationary effects of maximization. The standard technique uses essentially uniform priors over the elements of the penetrance vector. However, much of the parameter space corresponds to models that seem unlikely to yield substantial evidence for linkage: for example, models with very high phenocopy rates. A new class of priors on the elements of the genetic model is examined both theoretically and in simulations. These priors place 0% probability over models with low sibling relative risk, lambda(s). Focusing the prior probability on high lambda(s) models does tend to increase the mean PPL for linked markers, and to decrease the mean PPL for unlinked markers. However, the power to detect linkage remains virtually unchanged. Moreover, under these priors, the PPL occasionally yields unacceptably high values under no linkage. It appears important to retain prior probability over apparently 'uninformative' genetic models to accurately characterize the amount of evidence for linkage represented by the data. Copyright (c) 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs can be used as genetic markers for applications such as genetic diversity studies or genetic mapping. New technologies now allow genotyping hundreds to thousands of SNPs in a single reaction. In order to evaluate the potential of these technologies in pea, we selected a custom 384-SNP set using SNPs discovered in Pisum through the resequencing of gene fragments in different genotypes and by compiling genomic sequence data present in databases. We then designed an Illumina GoldenGate assay to genotype both a Pisum germplasm collection and a genetic mapping population with the SNP set. Results We obtained clear allelic data for more than 92% of the SNPs (356 out of 384. Interestingly, the technique was successful for all the genotypes present in the germplasm collection, including those from species or subspecies different from the P. sativum ssp sativum used to generate sequences. By genotyping the mapping population with the SNP set, we obtained a genetic map and map positions for 37 new gene markers. Conclusion Our results show that the Illumina GoldenGate assay can be used successfully for high-throughput SNP genotyping of diverse germplasm in pea. This genotyping approach will simplify genotyping procedures for association mapping or diversity studies purposes and open new perspectives in legume genomics.
Petersen, Vivian; Devicari, Mariana; Suesdek, Lincoln
Ochlerotatus scapularis is a potential vector of filarias and arboviruses in the Neotropics. This species was once typically associated with sylvatic environments; however, cases of synanthropy and urbanization of this species have been increasingly reported in southeast Brazil. Despite the medical relevance of Oc. scapularis, its populational variability is not yet known. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing the morphological and genetic variabilities of this species. Population samples were characterized using the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) mitochondrial gene and wing geometrics. Adult mosquitoes were collected from five sampling sites from remnants of the Atlantic forest embedded in the urban or rural areas of southeast Brazil. In the 130 individuals analyzed, 46 COI haplotypes were detected. Haplotype diversity was high and ranged from 0.66 to 0.97. Six haplotypes were present in 61% of the individuals, whereas the remaining haplotypes were less frequent (39%). Wing shape was also highly polymorphic. Differentiation of populations across sampling sites according to genetic distances (Fst = -0.009 to 0.060) and morphological distances (Qst = 0.47) indicated that populations were not identical. No correlations were noted for phenetic and genetic diversities (p = 0.19) or for genetic or phenetic distances with geographical distances (p = 0.2 and p = 0.18, respectively). Our study results suggest that Oc. scapularis has a rich genetic patrimony, even though its habitat is fragmented. Implications of such genetic richness with respect to vectorial competence, plasticity, and ability to exploit urbanized areas need to be further investigated.
Full Text Available Sheep in Ethiopia are adapted to a wide range of environments, including extreme habitats. Elucidating their genetic diversity is critical for improving breeding strategies and mapping quantitative trait loci associated with productivity. To this end, the present study investigated the genetic diversity and population structure of five Ethiopian sheep populations exhibiting distinct phenotypes and sampled from distinct production environments, including arid lowlands and highlands. To investigate the genetic relationships in greater detail and infer population structure of Ethiopian sheep breeds at the continental and global levels, we analyzed genotypic data of selected sheep breeds from the Ovine SNP50K HapMap dataset. All Ethiopian sheep samples were genotyped with Ovine Infinium HD SNP BeadChip (600K. Mean genetic diversity ranged from 0.29 in Arsi-Bale to 0.32 in Menz sheep, while estimates of genetic differentiation among populations ranged from 0.02 to 0.07, indicating low to moderate differentiation. An analysis of molecular variance revealed that 94.62 and 5.38% of the genetic variation was attributable to differences within and among populations, respectively. Our population structure analysis revealed clustering of five Ethiopian sheep populations according to tail phenotype and geographic origin—i.e., short fat-tailed (very cool high-altitude, long fat-tailed (mid to high-altitude, and fat-rumped (arid low-altitude, with clear evidence of admixture between long fat-tailed populations. North African sheep breeds showed higher levels of within-breed diversity, but were less differentiated than breeds from Eastern and Southern Africa. When African breeds were grouped according to geographic origin (North, South, and East, statistically significant differences were detected among groups (regions. A comparison of population structure between Ethiopian and global sheep breeds showed that fat-tailed breeds from Eastern and Southern Africa
Kjaergaard, Alisa D; Johansen, Julia S; Bojesen, Stig E
OBJECTIVE: High baseline YKL-40 is associated with later development of ischemic stroke, but not with myocardial infarction. Whether high YKL-40 levels are associated with increased risk of venous thromboembolism is presently unknown. We tested the hypothesis that observationally and genetically...... high YKL-40 is associated with increased risk of venous thromboembolism in the general population. APPROACH AND RESULTS: Cohort and Mendelian randomization studies in 96 110 individuals from the Danish general population, with measured plasma levels of YKL-40 (N=21 647) and CHI3L1 rs4950928 genotype (N...... levels, but not with risk of venous thromboembolism. A doubling in YKL-40 was associated with a multifactorially adjusted observational hazard ratio for pulmonary embolism of 1.17 (1.00-1.38) and a genetic odds ratio of 0.97 (0.76-1.23). Corresponding risk estimates were 1.28 (1.12-1.47) observationally...
Fesahat, Farzaneh; Montazeri, Fatemeh; Sheikhha, Mohammad Hasan; Saeedi, Hojjatollah; Dehghani Firouzabadi, Razieh; Kalantar, Seyed Mehdi
Selection of the best embryo for transfer is very important in assisted reproductive technology (ART). Using morphological assessment for this selection demonstrated that the correlation between embryo morphology and implantation potential is relatively weak. On the other hand, aneuploidy is a key genetic factor that can influence human reproductive success in ART. The aim of this lab trial study was to evaluate the incidence of aneuploidies in five chromosomes in the morphologically high-quality embryos from young patients undergoing ART for sex selection. A total of 97 high quality embryos from 23 women at the age of 37or younger years that had previously undergone preimplantation genetic screening for sex selection were included in this study. After washing, the slides of blastomeres from embryos of patients were reanalyzed by fluorescence in-situ hybridization for chromosomes 13, 18 and 21. There was a significant rate of aneuploidy determination in the embryos using preimplantation genetic screening for both sex and three evaluated autosomal chromosomes compared to preimplantation genetic screening for only sex chromosomes (62.9% vs. 24.7%, p=0.000). The most frequent detected chromosomal aneuploidy was trisomy or monosomy of chromosome 13. There is considerable numbers of chromosomal abnormalities in embryos generated in vitro which cause in vitro fertilization failure and it seems that morphological characterization of embryos is not a suitable method for choosing the embryos without these abnormalities.
Full Text Available Background: Selection of the best embryo for transfer is very important in assisted reproductive technology (ART. Using morphological assessment for this selection demonstrated that the correlation between embryo morphology and implantation potential is relatively weak. On the other hand, aneuploidy is a key genetic factor that can influence human reproductive success in ART. Objective: The aim of this lab trial study was to evaluate the incidence of aneuploidies in five chromosomes in the morphologically high-quality embryos from young patients undergoing ART for sex selection. Materials and Methods: A total of 97 high quality embryos from 23 women at the age of 37or younger years that had previously undergone preimplantation genetic screening for sex selection were included in this study. After washing, the slides of blastomeres from embryos of patients were reanalyzed by fluorescence in-situ hybridization for chromosomes 13, 18 and 21. Results: There was a significant rate of aneuploidy determination in the embryos using preimplantation genetic screening for both sex and three evaluated autosomal chromosomes compared to preimplantation genetic screening for only sex chromosomes (62.9% vs. 24.7%, p=0.000. The most frequent detected chromosomal aneuploidy was trisomy or monosomy of chromosome 13. Conclusion: There is considerable numbers of chromosomal abnormalities in embryos generated in vitro which cause in vitro fertilization failure and it seems that morphological characterization of embryos is not a suitable method for choosing the embryos without these abnormalities
Kou, Qinghe; Jiang, Jiao; Guo, Shaogui; Zhang, Haiying; Hou, Wenju; Zou, Xiaohua; Sun, Honghe; Gong, Guoyi; Levi, Amnon; Xu, Yong
As part of our ongoing efforts to sequence and map the watermelon (Citrullus spp.) genome, we have constructed a high density genetic linkage map. The map positioned 234 watermelon genome sequence scaffolds (an average size of 1.41 Mb) that cover about 330 Mb and account for 93.5% of the 353 Mb of the assembled genomic sequences of the elite Chinese watermelon line 97103 (Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus). The genetic map was constructed using an F8 population of 103 recombinant inbred lines (RILs). The RILs are derived from a cross between the line 97103 and the United States Plant Introduction (PI) 296341-FR (C. lanatus var. citroides) that contains resistance to fusarium wilt (races 0, 1, and 2). The genetic map consists of eleven linkage groups that include 698 simple sequence repeat (SSR), 219 insertion-deletion (InDel) and 36 structure variation (SV) markers and spans ∼800 cM with a mean marker interval of 0.8 cM. Using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with 11 BACs that produced chromosome-specifc signals, we have depicted watermelon chromosomes that correspond to the eleven linkage groups constructed in this study. The high resolution genetic map developed here should be a useful platform for the assembly of the watermelon genome, for the development of sequence-based markers used in breeding programs, and for the identification of genes associated with important agricultural traits. PMID:22247776
Devra, Amit; Prabhu, Prithviraj; Singh, Harpreet; Arvind; Dorai, Kavita
We have designed efficient quantum circuits for the three-qubit Toffoli (controlled-controlled-NOT) and the Fredkin (controlled-SWAP) gate, optimized via genetic programming methods. The gates thus obtained were experimentally implemented on a three-qubit NMR quantum information processor, with a high fidelity. Toffoli and Fredkin gates in conjunction with the single-qubit Hadamard gates form a universal gate set for quantum computing and are an essential component of several quantum algorithms. Genetic algorithms are stochastic search algorithms based on the logic of natural selection and biological genetics and have been widely used for quantum information processing applications. We devised a new selection mechanism within the genetic algorithm framework to select individuals from a population. We call this mechanism the "Luck-Choose" mechanism and were able to achieve faster convergence to a solution using this mechanism, as compared to existing selection mechanisms. The optimization was performed under the constraint that the experimentally implemented pulses are of short duration and can be implemented with high fidelity. We demonstrate the advantage of our pulse sequences by comparing our results with existing experimental schemes and other numerical optimization methods.
Macedo Selma E
Full Text Available Abstract Background Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L. is a crop of economic and social importance, mainly in tropical areas, and developing countries. Its molecular breeding has been hindered by a shortage of polymorphic genetic markers due to a very narrow genetic base. Microsatellites (SSRs are markers of choice in peanut because they are co-dominant, highly transferrable between species and easily applicable in the allotetraploid genome. In spite of substantial effort over the last few years by a number of research groups, the number of SSRs that are polymorphic for A. hypogaea is still limiting for routine application, creating the demand for the discovery of more markers polymorphic within cultivated germplasm. Findings A plasmid genomic library enriched for TC/AG repeats was constructed and 1401 clones sequenced. From the sequences obtained 146 primer pairs flanking mostly TC microsatellites were developed. The average number of repeat motifs amplified was 23. These 146 markers were characterized on 22 genotypes of cultivated peanut. In total 78 of the markers were polymorphic within cultivated germplasm. Most of those 78 markers were highly informative with an average of 5.4 alleles per locus being amplified. Average gene diversity index (GD was 0.6, and 66 markers showed a GD of more than 0.5. Genetic relationship analysis was performed and corroborated the current taxonomical classification of A. hypogaea subspecies and varieties. Conclusions The microsatellite markers described here are a useful resource for genetics and genomics in Arachis. In particular, the 66 markers that are highly polymorphic in cultivated peanut are a significant step towards routine genetic mapping and marker-assisted selection for the crop.
The proliferation of genetic screening and testing is requiring increasing numbers of Americans to integrate genetic knowledge and interventions into their family life and personal experience. This study examines the social processes that occur as families at risk for two of the most common autosomal recessive diseases, sickle cell disease (SC) and cystic fibrosis (CF), encounter genetic testing. Each of these diseases is found primarily in a different ethnic/racial group (CF in Americans of North European descent and SC in Americans of West African descent). This has permitted them to have a certain additional lens on the role of culture in integrating genetic testing into family life and reproductive planning. A third type of genetic disorder, the thalassemias was added to the sample in order to extent the comparative frame and to include other ethnic and racial groups.
Full Text Available Long-distance gene flow is thought to be one prerequisite for the persistence of plant species in fragmented environments. Human influences have led to severe fragmentation of native habitats in the Seychelles islands, with many species surviving only in small and isolated populations. The endangered Seychelles endemic tree Glionnetia sericea is restricted to altitudes between 450 m and 900 m where the native forest vegetation has been largely lost and replaced with exotic invasives over the last 200 years. This study explores the genetic and ecological consequences of population fragmentation in this species by analysing patterns of genetic diversity in a sample of adults, juveniles and seeds, and by using controlled pollination experiments. Our results show no decrease in genetic diversity and no increase in genetic structuring from adult to juvenile cohorts. Despite significant inbreeding in some populations, there is no evidence of higher inbreeding in juvenile cohorts relative to adults. A Bayesian structure analysis and a tentative paternity analysis indicate extensive historical and contemporary gene flow among remnant populations. Pollination experiments and a paternity analysis show that Glionnetia sericea is self-compatible. Nevertheless, outcrossing is present with 7% of mating events resulting from pollen transfer between populations. Artificial pollination provided no evidence for pollen limitation in isolated populations. The highly mobile and specialized hawkmoth pollinators (Agrius convolvuli and Cenophodes tamsi; Sphingidae appear to promote extensive gene flow, thus mitigating the potential negative ecological and genetic effects of habitat fragmentation in this species. We conclude that contemporary gene flow is sufficient to maintain genetic connectivity in this rare and restricted Seychelles endemic, in contrast to other island endemic tree species with limited contemporary gene flow.
Sharma, Sandeep; Dutta, Trishna; Maldonado, Jesús E; Wood, Thomas C; Panwar, Hemendra Singh; Seidensticker, John
We investigated the spatial genetic structure of the tiger meta-population in the Satpura–Maikal landscape of central India using population- and individual-based genetic clustering methods on multilocus genotypic data from 273 individuals. The Satpura–Maikal landscape is classified as a global-priority Tiger Conservation Landscape (TCL) due to its potential for providing sufficient habitat that will allow the long-term persistence of tigers. We found that the tiger meta-population in the Satpura–Maikal landscape has high genetic variation and very low genetic subdivision. Individual-based Bayesian clustering algorithms reveal two highly admixed genetic populations. We attribute this to forest connectivity and high gene flow in this landscape. However, deforestation, road widening, and mining may sever this connectivity, impede gene exchange, and further exacerbate the genetic division of tigers in central India. PMID:23403813
Sharma, Sandeep; Dutta, Trishna; Maldonado, Jesús E; Wood, Thomas C; Panwar, Hemendra Singh; Seidensticker, John
We investigated the spatial genetic structure of the tiger meta-population in the Satpura-Maikal landscape of central India using population- and individual-based genetic clustering methods on multilocus genotypic data from 273 individuals. The Satpura-Maikal landscape is classified as a global-priority Tiger Conservation Landscape (TCL) due to its potential for providing sufficient habitat that will allow the long-term persistence of tigers. We found that the tiger meta-population in the Satpura-Maikal landscape has high genetic variation and very low genetic subdivision. Individual-based Bayesian clustering algorithms reveal two highly admixed genetic populations. We attribute this to forest connectivity and high gene flow in this landscape. However, deforestation, road widening, and mining may sever this connectivity, impede gene exchange, and further exacerbate the genetic division of tigers in central India.
Wittrup, Hans H; Andersen, Rolf V; Tybjaerg-Hansen, Anne
Genetic variants in lipoprotein lipase may affect triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD).......Genetic variants in lipoprotein lipase may affect triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and risk of ischemic heart disease (IHD)....
Takeuchi, Noel Y.; Walsh, Michael T; Bonde, Robert K.; Powell, James A.; Bass, Dean A.; Gaspard, Joseph C.; Barber, David S.
The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) is exposed to a number of anthropogenic influences, including metals, as they inhabit shallow waters with close proximity to shore. While maintaining homeostasis of many metals is crucial for health, there is currently no baseline reference range that can be used to make clinical and environmental decisions for this endangered species. In this study, whole blood samples from 151 manatees were collected during health assessments performed in Florida and Belize from 2008 through 2011. Whole blood samples (n = 37) from managed care facilities in Florida and Belize from 2009 through 2011 were also used in this study. The concentrations of 17 metals in whole blood were determined, and the data were used to derive a baseline reference range. Impacts of capture location, age, and sex on whole blood metal concentrations were examined. Location and age were related to copper concentrations as values were significantly higher in habitats near urban areas and in calves. Copper may also be a husbandry concern as concentrations were significantly higher in managed manatees (1.17 ± 0.04 ppm) than wild manatees (0.73 ± 0.02 ppm). Zinc (11.20 ± 0.30 ppm) was of special interest as normal concentrations were two to five times higher than other marine mammal species. Arsenic concentrations were higher in Belize (0.43 ± 0.07 ppm), with Placencia Lagoon having twice the concentration of Belize City and Southern Lagoon. Selenium concentrations were lower (0.18 ± 0.09 ppm) than in other marine mammal species. The lowest selenium concentrations were observed in rehabilitating and managed manatees which may warrant additional monitoring in managed care facilities. The established preliminary baseline reference range can be used by clinicians, biologists, and managers to monitor the health of West Indian manatees.
Chicas, S D; Omine, K; Ford, J B; Sugimura, K; Yoshida, K
Understanding the trans-boundary deforestation history and patterns in protected areas along the Belize-Guatemala border is of regional and global importance. To assess deforestation history and patterns in our study area along a section of the Belize-Guatemala border, we incorporated multi-temporal deforestation rate analysis and spatial metrics with survey results. This multi-faceted approach provides spatial analysis with relevant insights from local stakeholders to better understand historic deforestation dynamics, spatial characteristics and human perspectives regarding the underlying causes thereof. During the study period 1991-2014, forest cover declined in Belize's protected areas: Vaca Forest Reserve 97.88%-87.62%, Chiquibul National Park 99.36%-92.12%, Caracol Archeological Reserve 99.47%-78.10% and Colombia River Forest Reserve 89.22%-78.38% respectively. A comparison of deforestation rates and spatial metrics indices indicated that between time periods 1991-1995 and 2012-2014 deforestation and fragmentation increased in protected areas. The major underlying causes, drivers, impacts, and barriers to bi-national collaboration and solutions of deforestation along the Belize-Guatemala border were identified by community leaders and stakeholders. The Mann-Whitney U test identified significant differences between leaders and stakeholders regarding the ranking of challenges faced by management organizations in the Maya Mountain Massif, except for the lack of assessment and quantification of deforestation (LD, SH: 18.67, 23.25, U = 148, p > 0.05). The survey results indicated that failure to integrate buffer communities, coordinate among managing organizations and establish strong bi-national collaboration has resulted in continued ecological and environmental degradation. The information provided by this research should aid managing organizations in their continued aim to implement effective deforestation mitigation strategies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier
Full Text Available Since their arrival in the Tibetan Plateau during the Neolithic Age, Tibetans have been well-adapted to extreme environmental conditions and possess genetic variation that reflect their living environment and migratory history. To investigate the origin of Tibetans and the genetic basis of adaptation in a rigorous environment, we genotyped 30 Tibetan individuals with more than one million SNP markers. Our findings suggested that Tibetans, together with the Yi people, were descendants of Tibeto-Burmans who diverged from ancient settlers of East Asia. The valleys of the Hengduan Mountain range may be a major migration route. We also identified a set of positively-selected genes that belong to functional classes of the embryonic, female gonad, and blood vessel developments, as well as response to hypoxia. Most of these genes were highly correlated with population-specific and beneficial phenotypes, such as high infant survival rate and the absence of chronic mountain sickness.
Triadó-Margarit, Xavier; Casamayor, Emilio O
The genetic diversity of planktonic eukaryotic microorganisms (size range 3-40 µm) inhabiting 11 alpine lakes of the Central Pyrenees (Spain) was analysed by cloning and sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene. The selected lakes covered a wide range of environmental conditions representative of the regional landscape heterogeneity. Overall, we obtained 953 sequences (averaged length 750 bp) that were grouped in 343 representative OTUs (98% identity). The genetic richness was high, and the 18S rRNA gene sequences spread within nine high-rank taxonomic groups and grouped in 26 eukaryal classes. Most of the sequences affiliated with Stramenopiles (> 55% of total sequences, mostly Chrysophyceae), Cryptophyta and Alveolata (15% each). Three groups had relative abundance biodiversity. © 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Heinzelmann, Renate; Croll, Daniel; Zoller, Stefan; Sipos, György; Münsterkötter, Martin; Güldener, Ulrich; Rigling, Daniel
Filamentous fungi exhibit a broad spectrum of heritable growth patterns and morphological variations reflecting the adaptation of the different species to distinct ecological niches. But also within species, isolates show considerable variation in growth rates and other morphological characteristics. The genetic basis of this intraspecific variation in mycelial growth and morphology is currently poorly understood. By chance, a growth mutant in the root rot pathogen Armillaria ostoyae was discovered. The mutant phenotype was characterized by extremely compact and slow growth, as well as shorter aerial hyphae and hyphal compartments in comparison to the wildtype phenotype. Genetic analysis revealed that the abnormal phenotype is caused by a recessive mutation, which segregates asa single locus in sexual crosses. In order to identify the genetic basis of the mutant phenotype, we performed a quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis. A mapping population of 198 haploid progeny was genotyped at 11,700 genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) making use of double digest restriction site associated DNA sequencing (ddRADseq). In accordance with the genetic analysis, a single significant QTL was identified for the abnormal growth phenotype. The QTL confidence interval spans a narrow, gene dense region of 87kb in the A. ostoyae genome which contains 37 genes. Overall, our study reports the first high-density genetic map for an Armillaria species and shows its successful application in forward genetics by resolving the genetic basis of a mutant phenotype with a severe defect in hyphal growth. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Emanuel, George; Moffitt, Jeffrey R; Zhuang, Xiaowei
We report a high-throughput screening method that allows diverse genotypes and corresponding phenotypes to be imaged in individual cells. We achieve genotyping by introducing barcoded genetic variants into cells as pooled libraries and reading the barcodes out using massively multiplexed fluorescence in situ hybridization. To demonstrate the power of image-based pooled screening, we identified brighter and more photostable variants of the fluorescent protein YFAST among 60,000 variants.
Zhang, T; Zhang, XX; Ye, L
The overuse or misuse of antibiotics has accelerated antibiotic resistance, creating a major challenge for the public health in the world. Sewage treatment plants (STPs) are considered as important reservoirs for antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and activated sludge characterized with high microbial density and diversity facilitates ARG horizontal gene transfer (HGT) via mobile genetic elements (MGEs). However, little is known regarding the pool of ARGs and MGEs in sludge microbiome. In thi...
Ziv, Naomi; Siegal, Mark L.; Gresham, David
In microbial populations, growth initiation and proliferation rates are major components of fitness and therefore likely targets of selection. We used a high-throughput microscopy assay, which enables simultaneous analysis of tens of thousands of microcolonies, to determine the sources and extent of growth rate variation in the budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) in different glucose environments. We find that cell growth rates are regulated by the extracellular concentration of glucose as proposed by Monod (1949), but that significant heterogeneity in growth rates is observed among genetically identical individuals within an environment. Yeast strains isolated from different geographic locations and habitats differ in their growth rate responses to different glucose concentrations. Inheritance patterns suggest that the genetic determinants of growth rates in different glucose concentrations are distinct. In addition, we identified genotypes that differ in the extent of variation in growth rate within an environment despite nearly identical mean growth rates, providing evidence that alleles controlling phenotypic variability segregate in yeast populations. We find that the time to reinitiation of growth (lag) is negatively correlated with growth rate, yet this relationship is strain-dependent. Between environments, the respirative activity of individual cells negatively correlates with glucose abundance and growth rate, but within an environment respirative activity and growth rate show a positive correlation, which we propose reflects differences in protein expression capacity. Our study quantifies the sources of genetic and nongenetic variation in cell growth rates in different glucose environments with unprecedented precision, facilitating their molecular genetic dissection. PMID:23938868
Bartholomé, Jérôme; Mandrou, Eric; Mabiala, André; Jenkins, Jerry; Nabihoudine, Ibouniyamine; Klopp, Christophe; Schmutz, Jeremy; Plomion, Christophe; Gion, Jean-Marc
Genetic maps are key tools in genetic research as they constitute the framework for many applications, such as quantitative trait locus analysis, and support the assembly of genome sequences. The resequencing of the two parents of a cross between Eucalyptus urophylla and Eucalyptus grandis was used to design a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array of 6000 markers evenly distributed along the E. grandis genome. The genotyping of 1025 offspring enabled the construction of two high-resolution genetic maps containing 1832 and 1773 markers with an average marker interval of 0.45 and 0.5 cM for E. grandis and E. urophylla, respectively. The comparison between genetic maps and the reference genome highlighted 85% of collinear regions. A total of 43 noncollinear regions and 13 nonsynthetic regions were detected and corrected in the new genome assembly. This improved version contains 4943 scaffolds totalling 691.3 Mb of which 88.6% were captured by the 11 chromosomes. The mapping data were also used to investigate the effect of population size and number of markers on linkage mapping accuracy. This study provides the most reliable linkage maps for Eucalyptus and version 2.0 of the E. grandis genome. © 2014 CIRAD. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.
Full Text Available Belize, país anglófono da América Central, é descrito,normalmente, em termos da sua diversidade cultural e da multiplicidade dos grupos étnicos que o compõem. Contudo, essa diversidade não é uma característica estável, não é gerida nem interpretada de uma única forma. Suas populações suscetíveis de serem reconhecidas como afrodescendentes têm origens múltiplas, populações essas que foram conformadas ou que chegaram a Belize em circunstâncias históricas muito diversas: alguns escravizados, outros livres, urbanos ou rurais, agricultores ou assalariados, anglófonos ou não, etc. Diante dessa complexidade de articulações, o artigo busca interpretar as práticas políticas observadas em matéria de “gestão da diversidade” (a colonial de “divide and rule”, a neoliberal, a multicultural... em dois aspectos que determinam o campo da autonomia – ideológica ou territorial – do país e que elaboram as condiciones de existência da Nação e dos grupos que a compõem: políticas culturais e regulamentação das terras. A análise mostra que as variações nas políticas implementadas referem-se menos a composição étnica da população que ao posicionamento dos grupos sociais e governos frente às forças exógenas (o império colonial, as arenas transnacionais, a globalização dos direitos autóctones e endógenas (o paradigma desenvolvimentista, a construção da Nação. Essas forças desenham em cada período o campo de opções políticas possíveis. Palavras-Chaves: Etnicidade, América Central, políticas públicas. --- Belice: políticas públicas y la gestión del pluralismo étnico Belice, país anglófono de América central, es descrito a menudo en términos de la diversidad cultural y de multiplicidad de los grupos étnicos que lo componen. Sin embargo, esta diversidad no es una « característica » estabilizada, ella no es gestionada ni interpretada de una sola manera. Sus poblaciones susceptibles de
М. О. Корнєєва
Full Text Available Purpose. Creation of experimental sugar beet hybrid combinations of high sugar yield values and defining genetic determination of their heterotic effect. Methods. Diallel crossing and topcrossing, genetic analysis of quantitative traits. Results. The authors have studied the frequency of occurrence of sugar beet heterotic hybrid combinations for «sugar yield» trait created on the basis of two pollinator lines to be genetically valuable for productivity elements, CMS lines and single-cross sterile hybrids with the use of diallel and topcrossing system of controlled hybridization. The share of parental components’ effect and their interaction in CMS hybrids variability for productivity was determined. Expediency of heterotic forecasting based on high combining ability lines was substabtiated. Promising high-yielding sugar beet combinations were selected that exceeded the group standard by 4.1–16.3%. Conclusions. The theory of genetic balance by M. V. Turbin was confirmed. Such hybrids as [CMS 5OT 4]MGP 1 (116.3%, [CMS 1OT 2]MGP 1 (112.5% and [CMS 3OT 5]MGP 1 (113.2% were recognized as the best for their productivity, MGP 1 and MGP 2 lines – as the best for their combining ability.
Dias, A C C; Serra, A C; Sampaio, D S; Borba, E L; Bonetti, A M; Oliveira, P E
Since tropical trees often have long generation times and relatively small reproductive populations, breeding systems and genetic variation are important for population viability and have consequences for conservation. Miconia albicans is an obligate, diplosporous, apomictic species widespread in the Brazilian Cerrado, the savanna areas in central Brazil and elsewhere in the Neotropics. The genetic variability would be, theoretically, low within these male-sterile and possibly clonal populations, although some variation would be expected due to recombination during restitutional meiosis. We used ISSR markers to assess genetic diversity of M. albicans and to compare with other tropical trees, including invasive species of Melastomataceae. A total of 120 individuals from six populations were analysed using ten ISSR primers, which produced 153 fully reproducible fragments. The populations of M. albicans presented mean Shannon's information index (I) of 0.244 and expected heterozygosity (H e ) of 0.168. Only two pairs of apparently clonal trees were identified, and genetic diversity was relatively high. A hierarchical amova for all ISSR datasets showed that 74% of the variance was found among populations, while only 26% of the variance was found within populations of this species. Multivariate and Bayesian analyses indicated marked separation between the studied populations. The genetic diversity generated by restitutional meiosis, polyploidy and possibly other genome changes may explain the morpho-physiological plasticity and the ability of these plants to differentiate and occupy such a wide territory and different environmental conditions. Producing enormous amounts of bird-dispersed fruits, M. albicans possess weedy potential that may rival other Melastomataceae alien invaders. © 2017 German Society for Plant Sciences and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.
Keever, Carson C; Sunday, Jennifer; Puritz, Jonathan B; Addison, Jason A; Toonen, Robert J; Grosberg, Richard K; Hart, Michael W
Patiria miniata, a broadcast-spawning sea star species with high dispersal potential, has a geographic range in the intertidal zone of the northeast Pacific Ocean from Alaska to California that is characterized by a large range gap in Washington and Oregon. We analyzed spatial genetic variation across the P. miniata range using multilocus sequence data (mtDNA, nuclear introns) and multilocus genotype data (microsatellites). We found a strong phylogeographic break at Queen Charlotte Sound in British Columbia that was not in the location predicted by the geographical distribution of the populations. However, this population genetic discontinuity does correspond to previously described phylogeographic breaks in other species. Northern populations from Alaska and Haida Gwaii were strongly differentiated from all southern populations from Vancouver Island and California. Populations from Vancouver Island and California were undifferentiated with evidence of high gene flow or very recent separation across the range disjunction between them. The surprising and discordant spatial distribution of populations and alleles suggests that historical vicariance (possibly caused by glaciations) and contemporary dispersal barriers (possibly caused by oceanographic conditions) both shape population genetic structure in this species.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM is a complex myocardial disorder with a recognized genetic heterogeneity. The elevated number of genes and mutations involved in HCM limits a gene-based diagnosis that should be considered of most importance for basic research and clinical medicine. Methodology In this report, we evaluated High Resolution Melting (HRM robustness, regarding HCM genetic testing, by means of analyzing 28 HCM-associated genes, including the most frequent 4 HCM-associated sarcomere genes, as well as 24 genes with lower reported HCM-phenotype association. We analyzed 80 Portuguese individuals with clinical phenotype of HCM allowing simultaneously a better characterization of this disease in the Portuguese population. Results HRM technology allowed us to identify 60 mutated alleles in 72 HCM patients: 49 missense mutations, 3 nonsense mutations, one 1-bp deletion, one 5-bp deletion, one in frame 3-bp deletion, one insertion/deletion, 3 splice mutations, one 5'UTR mutation in MYH7, MYBPC3, TNNT2, TNNI3, CSRP3, MYH6 and MYL2 genes. Significantly 22 are novel gene mutations. Conclusions HRM was proven to be a technique with high sensitivity and a low false positive ratio allowing a rapid, innovative and low cost genotyping of HCM. In a short return, HRM as a gene scanning technique could be a cost-effective gene-based diagnosis for an accurate HCM genetic diagnosis and hopefully providing new insights into genotype/phenotype correlations.
Mette, Lindsey A; Saldívar, Anna Maria Pulido; Poullard, Natalie E; Torres, Ivette C; Seth, Sarah G; Pollock, Brad H; Tomlinson, Gail E
Breast and colorectal cancers are common cancers for which genetic risk assessment and counseling are available. However, these services are often limited to metropolitan areas and are not readily accessible to underserved populations. Moreover, ethnic and racial disparities present additional obstacles to identifying and screening high-risk individuals and have a bearing on treatment outcomes. To provide cancer genetic risk assessment and counseling through telemedicine to the remote, underserved primarily Hispanic population of the Texas-Mexico border region. Program participants were mailed a questionnaire to assess their satisfaction with the program so that we could determine the acceptability of video-teleconferencing for cancer risk assessment. The overall level of satisfaction with the program was very high, demonstrating the acceptability of a cancer genetic risk assessment program that relied on telemedicine to reach and underserved minority community. Delivery model requires the availability of and access to communication technologies; trained staff are needed at remote sites for sample collection and patient handling. Video-teleconferencing is an acceptable method of providing cancer risk assessment in a remote, underserved population. ©2016 Frontline Medical Communications.
Slack, Susie Johnston; Stewart, Jim
Problem solving is recognized as a valuable educational experience in science. Thus genetics, essentially a problem-solving science included in almost all high school biology courses, offers a fruitful area for studying student problem-solving performance. The research reported in this article describes the performance of 30 high school students solving 119 problems generated by the computer program GENETICS CONSTRUCTION KIT (Jungck & Calley, 1985). Solving GCK problems requires students to plan experiments, generate and interpret data, and reason from effects (phenotypic data) to causes (genotypic data). Research data consisted of transcribed audiotapes of students thinking aloud as they solved problems and computer printouts of initial data and sequence of crosses. Transcripts were analyzed for common actions and comments made during the problem-solving process in terms of initial data redescription and interpretation, hypothesis generation, cross data redescription and interpretation, solution synthesis, and solution confirmation. This study was done in an effort to add to the understanding of student problem-solving strategies and to develop a model of student performance - a model that when combined with a model of expert performance may serve as a basis for improving genetics instruction.
Goldfarb, L. A.; Kingsley, C.; Urbalejo, A. A.; Hangsterfer, A.; Gee, J. S.; Carilli, J.; Feinberg, J. M.; Mitra, R.; Bhattacharya, A.; Field, D.
Caribbean coral reefs are some of the most threatened marine ecosystems in the world. Research suggest that environmental stressors of local origin, such as sediment run off, can reduce the resilience of these reefs to global threats such as ocean warming. Material trapped in coral skeletons can provide information on the sources of particulate matter in the ocean ecosystem. Despite the importance of quantifying sources and types of materials trapped in corals, the research community is yet to fully develop techniques that allow accurate representation of trapped matter, which is potentially a major source of metal content in reef building coral skeletons. The dataset presented here is a progress and combination of two works presented at American Geophysical Union 2016 Fall Meeting; In this research, we explore the efficacy of X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), a widely used tool in environmental studies (but generally not in corals), to estimate detrital metal content in coral cores collected from four locations near Belize, with varying degrees of impact from coastal processes. Four coral cores together cover a period of 1862-2006. Trace, major and minor metal content from these cores have been well-studied using solution-based ICP-MS, providing us with the unique opportunity to test the efficacy of XRF technique in characterizing metal content in these coral cores. We have measured more than 50 metals using XRF every two millimeters along slabs removed from the middle of a coral core spanning to characterize materials present in coral skeletons. We compare the results from XRF to elemental concentrations reported from solution-based ICP-MS. Furthermore, we also compare our XRF data to magnetic measurements we have made in these same coral cores. Overall, it appears that the non-destructive XRF technique is a viable supplement to the ICP-MS in determining sediment and metal content in coral cores, and may be particularly helpful for assessing resistant phases such as
Resman, Katarina; Korva, Miša; Fajs, Luka; Zidarič, Tanja; Trilar, Tomi; Zupanc, Tatjana Avšič
Seewis virus, the shrew-borne hantavirus from Sorex araneus, has been molecularly detected in reservoir hosts in many different central European countries and Russia. Slovenia is a known endemic country for rodent-borne hantaviruses, therefore the aim of the study was to investigate the presence of shrew-borne hantaviruses in insectivores. Viral L, S and M segment have been recovered only from tissue samples of 7 S. araneus, despite several shrew species were tested. Phylogenetic analysis showed high genetic diversity of SWSV in Slovenia, ranging from 3 to 19.4% for different viral segments. The most divergent were M segment sequences, with 19.4% nucleotide divergence among Slovenian strains. Above that, different SWSV strains from Slovenia do not group into separate geographic clusters. While three separate genetic clades were determined, two of them were simultaneously present in one location at the same time. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Saenz, Virna L; Booth, Warren; Schal, Coby; Vargo, Edward L
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius L.) are a resurgent pest worldwide and infestations within the United States are increasing at a rapid rate. Because of the physical and psychological discomfort inflicted by their blood feeding habits, and allergies and secondary infections associated with bites, bed bugs are recognized as a significant public health problem. Although bed bug infestations are spreading and becoming more prevalent, we have a poor understanding of their dispersal patterns and sources of infestation. To help fill this gap, we conducted a genetic study of 21 bed bug infestations from the eastern United States, nearly all of which came from single rooms within residences. We genotyped samples comprised of 8-10 individuals per infestation at nine polymorphic microsatellite loci. Despite high genetic diversity across all infestations, with 5-17 alleles per locus (mean = 10.3 alleles per locus), we found low genetic diversity (1-4 alleles per locus) within all but one of the infestations. These results suggest that nearly all the studied infestations were started by a small propagule possibly consisting of a singly mated female and/or her progeny, or a female mated with multiple males that were highly related to her. All infestations were strongly genetically differentiated from each other (mean pairwise F(ST) between populations = 0.68) and we did not find strong evidence of a geographic pattern of genetic structure, indicating infestations located in closer proximity to each other were nearly as genetically differentiated as those located hundreds of kilometers away. The high level of genetic diversity across infestations from the eastern United States together with the lack of geographically organized structure is consistent with multiple introductions into the United States from foreign sources.
Howells, E. J.; van Oppen, M. J. H.; Willis, B. L.
The resilience of Symbiodinium harboured by corals is dependent on the genetic diversity and extent of connectivity among reef populations. This study presents genetic analyses of Great Barrier Reef (GBR) populations of clade C Symbiodinium hosted by the alcyonacean coral, Sinularia flexibilis. Allelic variation at four newly developed microsatellite loci demonstrated that Symbiodinium populations are genetically differentiated at all spatial scales from 16 to 1,360 km (pairwise ΦST = 0.01-0.47, mean = 0.22); the only exception being two neighbouring populations in the Cairns region separated by 17 km. This indicates that gene flow is restricted for Symbiodinium C hosted by S. flexibilis on the GBR. Patterns of population structure reflect longshore circulation patterns and limited cross-shelf mixing, suggesting that passive transport by currents is the primary mechanism of dispersal in Symbiodinium types that are acquired horizontally. There was no correlation between the genetic structure of Symbiodinium populations and their host S. flexibilis, most likely because different factors affect the dispersal and recruitment of each partner in the symbiosis. The genetic diversity of these Symbiodinium reef populations is on average 1.5 times lower on inshore reefs than on offshore reefs. Lower inshore diversity may reflect the impact of recent bleaching events on Sinularia assemblages, which have been more widespread and severe on inshore reefs, but may also have been shaped by historical sea level fluctuations or recent migration patterns.
Zheng, Yan; Peng, Xiong; Liu, Gaoming; Pan, Hongyan; Dorn, Silvia; Chen, Maohua
The oriental fruit moth Grapholita ( = Cydia) molesta is a key fruit pest globally. Despite its economic importance, little is known about its population genetics in its putative native range that includes China. We used five polymorphic microsatellite loci and two mitochondrial gene sequences to characterize the population genetic diversity and genetic structure of G. molesta from nine sublocations in three regions of a major fruit growing area of China. Larval samples were collected throughout the season from peach, and in late season, after host switch by the moth to pome fruit, also from apple and pear. We found high numbers of microsatellite alleles and mitochondrial DNA haplotypes in all regions, together with a high number of private alleles and of haplotypes at all sublocations, providing strong evidence that the sampled area belongs to the origin of this species. Samples collected from peach at all sublocations were geographically structured, and a significant albeit weak pattern of isolation-by-distance was found among populations, likely reflecting the low flight capacity of this moth. Interestingly, populations sampled from apple and pear in the late season showed a structure differing from that of populations sampled from peach throughout the season, indicating a selective host switch of a certain part of the population only. The recently detected various olfactory genotypes in G. molesta may underly this selective host switch. These genetic data yield, for the first time, an understanding of population dynamics of G. molesta in its native range, and of a selective host switch from peach to pome fruit, which may have a broad applicability to other global fruit production areas for designing suitable pest management strategies.
Full Text Available The oriental fruit moth Grapholita ( = Cydia molesta is a key fruit pest globally. Despite its economic importance, little is known about its population genetics in its putative native range that includes China. We used five polymorphic microsatellite loci and two mitochondrial gene sequences to characterize the population genetic diversity and genetic structure of G. molesta from nine sublocations in three regions of a major fruit growing area of China. Larval samples were collected throughout the season from peach, and in late season, after host switch by the moth to pome fruit, also from apple and pear. We found high numbers of microsatellite alleles and mitochondrial DNA haplotypes in all regions, together with a high number of private alleles and of haplotypes at all sublocations, providing strong evidence that the sampled area belongs to the origin of this species. Samples collected from peach at all sublocations were geographically structured, and a significant albeit weak pattern of isolation-by-distance was found among populations, likely reflecting the low flight capacity of this moth. Interestingly, populations sampled from apple and pear in the late season showed a structure differing from that of populations sampled from peach throughout the season, indicating a selective host switch of a certain part of the population only. The recently detected various olfactory genotypes in G. molesta may underly this selective host switch. These genetic data yield, for the first time, an understanding of population dynamics of G. molesta in its native range, and of a selective host switch from peach to pome fruit, which may have a broad applicability to other global fruit production areas for designing suitable pest management strategies.
Teixeira, Sara; Assis, Jorge; Serrão, Ester A.; Gonçalves, Emanuel J.; Borges, Rita
Adults of most marine benthic and demersal fish are site-attached, with the dispersal of their larval stages ensuring connectivity among populations. In this study we aimed to infer spatial and temporal variation in population connectivity and dispersal of a marine fish species, using genetic tools and comparing these with oceanographic transport. We focused on an intertidal rocky reef fish species, the shore clingfish Lepadogaster lepadogaster, along the southwest Iberian Peninsula, in 2011 and 2012. We predicted high levels of self-recruitment and distinct populations, due to short pelagic larval duration and because all its developmental stages have previously been found near adult habitats. Genetic analyses based on microsatellites countered our prediction and a biophysical dispersal model showed that oceanographic transport was a good explanation for the patterns observed. Adult sub-populations separated by up to 300 km of coastline displayed no genetic differentiation, revealing a single connected population with larvae potentially dispersing long distances over hundreds of km. Despite this, parentage analysis performed on recruits from one focal site within the Marine Park of Arrábida (Portugal), revealed self-recruitment levels of 2.5% and 7.7% in 2011 and 2012, respectively, suggesting that both long- and short-distance dispersal play an important role in the replenishment of these populations. Population differentiation and patterns of dispersal, which were highly variable between years, could be linked to the variability inherent in local oceanographic processes. Overall, our measures of connectivity based on genetic and oceanographic data highlight the relevance of long-distance dispersal in determining the degree of connectivity, even in species with short pelagic larval durations. PMID:27911952
Saïda, F; Uzan, M; Odaert, B; Bontems, F
Escherichia coli (E. coli) remains the most efficient widely-used host for recombinant protein production. Well-known genetics, high transformation efficiency, cultivation simplicity, rapidity and inexpensiveness are the main factors that contribute to the selection of this host. With the advent of the post-genomic era has come the need to express in this bacterium a growing number of genes originating from different organisms. Unfortunately, many of these genes severely interfere with the survival of E. coli cells. They lead to bacteria death or cause significant defects in bacteria growth that dramatically decrease expression capabilities. In this paper, we review special strategies and genetics tools successfully used to express, in E. coli, highly toxic genes. Suppression of basal expression from leaky inducible promoters, suppression of read-through transcription from cryptic promoters, tight control of plasmids copy numbers and proteins production as inactive (but reversible) forms are among the solutions presented and discussed. Special expression vectors and modified E. coli strains are listed and their effectiveness illustrated with key examples, some of which are related to our study of the highly toxic phage T4 restriction endoribonuclease RegB. We mainly selected those strategies and tools that permit E. coli normal growth until the very moment of highly toxic gene induction. Expression then occurs efficiently before cells die. Because they do not target a particular toxic effect, these strategies and tools can be used to express a wide variety of highly toxic genes.
Bernard, Andrea M; Feldheim, Kevin A; Heithaus, Michael R; Wintner, Sabine P; Wetherbee, Bradley M; Shivji, Mahmood S
Knowledge of genetic connectivity dynamics in the world's large-bodied, highly migratory, apex predator sharks across their global ranges is limited. One such species, the tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier), occurs worldwide in warm temperate and tropical waters, uses remarkably diverse habitats (nearshore to pelagic) and possesses a generalist diet that can structure marine ecosystems through top-down processes. We investigated the phylogeography and the global population structure of this exploited, phylogenetically enigmatic shark by using 10 nuclear microsatellites (n = 380) and sequences from the mitochondrial control region (CR, n = 340) and cytochrome oxidase I gene (n = 100). All three marker classes showed the genetic differentiation between tiger sharks from the western Atlantic and Indo-Pacific ocean basins (microsatellite F ST > 0.129; CR Φ ST > 0.497), the presence of North vs. southwestern Atlantic differentiation and the isolation of tiger sharks sampled from Hawaii from other surveyed locations. Furthermore, mitochondrial DNA revealed high levels of intraocean basin matrilineal population structure, suggesting female philopatry and sex-biased gene flow. Coalescent- and genetic distance-based estimates of divergence from CR sequences were largely congruent (d corr = 0.0015-0.0050), indicating a separation of Indo-Pacific and western Atlantic tiger sharks <1 million years ago. Mitochondrial haplotype relationships suggested that the western South Atlantic Ocean was likely a historical connection for interocean basin linkages via the dispersal around South Africa. Together, the results reveal unexpectedly high levels of population structure in a highly migratory, behaviourally generalist, cosmopolitan ocean predator, calling for management and conservation on smaller-than-anticipated spatial scales. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Salamone, Isabella; Govindarajulu, Rajanikanth; Falk, Stacey; Parks, Matthew; Liston, Aaron; Ashman, Tia-Lynn
Hybrid zones provide "natural laboratories" for understanding the processes of selection, reinforcement, and speciation. We sought to gain insight into the degree of introgression and the extent of ecological-phenotypic intermediacy in the natural hybrid strawberry, Fragaria × ananassa subsp. cuneifolia. • We used whole-plastome sequencing to identify parental species-specific (Fragaria chiloensis and F. virginiana) chloroplast single-nucleotide polymorphisms and combined the use of these with nuclear microsatellite markers to genetically characterize the hybrid zone. We assessed the potential role of selection in the observed geographic patterns by bioclimatically characterizing the niche of the hybrid populations and phenotypically characterizing hybrid individuals of known genomic constitution. • Significant admixture and little overall maternal bias in chloroplast or nuclear genomes suggest a high degree of interfertility among the parental and hybrid species and point to a long history of backcrossing and genetic mixing in the hybrid zone. Even though hybrids were phenotypically intermediate to the parental species, there was a discernible fingerprint of the parental genotype within hybrid individuals. Thus, although the pattern of introgression observed suggests geographic limitations to gene flow, it may be reinforced by selection for specific parental traits in the bioclimatically intermediate habitat occupied by the hybrid. • This work uncovered the genetic complexity underlying the hybrid zone of the wild relatives of the cultivated strawberry. It lays the foundation for experimental dissection of the causes of genomic introgression and nuclear-cytoplasmic disassociation, and for understanding other parts of Fragaria evolutionary history.
Duarte, Andreia; Santos, Andrea; Manageiro, Vera; Martins, Ana; Fraqueza, Maria J; Caniça, Manuela; Domingues, Fernanda C; Oleastro, Mónica
Infections by Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli are considered the major cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in humans, with food being the main source of infection. In this study, a total of 196 Campylobacter strains (125 isolates from humans, 39 from retail food and 32 from food animal sources) isolated in Portugal between 2009 and 2012 were characterised by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and flaA short variable region (SVR) typing. Susceptibility to six antibiotics as well as the mechanisms underlying antibiotic resistance phenotypes was also studied. Based on MLST typing, C. coli strains were genetically more conserved, with a predominant clonal complex (CC828), than C. jejuni strains. In contrast, C. coli isolates were genetically more variable than C. jejuni with regard to flaA-SVR typing. A high rate of resistance was observed for quinolones (100% to nalidixic acid, >90% to ciprofloxacin) and, in general, resistance was more common among C. coli, especially for erythromycin (40.2% vs. 6.7%). In addition, most isolates (86%) were resistant to multiple antimicrobial families. Besides the expected point mutations associated with antibiotic resistance, detected polymorphisms in the cmeABC locus likely play a role in the multiresistant phenotype. This study provides for the first time an overview of the genetic diversity of Campylobacter strains from Portugal. It also shows a worrying antibiotic multiresistance rate and the emergence of Campylobacter strains resistant to antibiotics of human use. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. and the International Society of Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.
Sapiro, Anne L; Ihry, Robert J; Buhr, Derek L; Konieczko, Kevin M; Ives, Sarah M; Engstrom, Anna K; Wleklinski, Nicholas P; Kopish, Kristin J; Bashirullah, Arash
Mutagenesis screens are a staple of classical genetics. Chemical-induced mutations, however, are often difficult and time-consuming to identify. Here, we report that recombination analysis with pairs of dominant visible markers provides a rapid and reliable strategy to map mutations in Drosophila melanogaster. This method requires only two generations and a total of six crosses in vials to estimate the genetic map position of the responsible lesion with high accuracy. This genetic map position can then be reliably used to identify the mutated gene through complementation testing with an average of nine deficiencies and Sanger sequencing. We have used this approach to successfully map a collection of mutations from an ethyl methanesulfonate-based mutagenesis screen on the third chromosome. We propose that this method also may be used in conjunction with whole-genome sequencing, particularly when multiple independent alleles of the mutated locus are not available. By facilitating the rapid identification of mutated genes, our mapping strategy removes a primary obstacle to the widespread use of powerful chemical mutagenesis screens to understand fundamental biological phenomena.
Wiley, Anne E.; Welch, Andreanna J.; Ostrom, P.H.; James, Helen F.; Stricker, C.A.; Fleischer, R.C.; Gandhi, H.; Adams, J.; Ainley, D.G.; Duvall, F.; Holmes, N.; Hu, D.; Judge, S.; Penniman, J.; Swindle, K.A.
Foraging segregation may play an important role in the maintenance of animal diversity, and is a proposed mechanism for promoting genetic divergence within seabird species. However, little information exists regarding its presence among seabird populations. We investigated genetic and foraging divergence between two colonies of endangered Hawaiian petrels (Pterodroma sandwichensis) nesting on the islands of Hawaii and Kauai using the mitochondrial Cytochrome b gene and carbon, nitrogen and hydrogen isotope values (?? 13C, ?? 15N and ??D, respectively) of feathers. Genetic analyses revealed strong differentiation between colonies on Hawaii and Kauai, with ?? ST = 0. 50 (p of birds from Kauai had significantly lower ?? 13C and ?? 15N values than those from Hawaii. This is consistent with Kauai birds provisioning chicks with prey derived from near or north of the Hawaiian Islands, and Hawaii birds provisioning young with prey from regions of the equatorial Pacific characterized by elevated ?? 15N values at the food web base. ?? 15N values of Kauai and Hawaii adults differed significantly, indicating additional foraging segregation during molt. Feather ??D varied from -69 to 53???. This variation cannot be related solely to an isotopically homogeneous ocean water source or evaporative water loss. Instead, we propose the involvement of salt gland excretion. Our data demonstrate the presence of foraging segregation between proximately nesting seabird populations, despite high species mobility. This ecological diversity may facilitate population coexistence, and its preservation should be a focus of conservation strategies. ?? 2011 Springer-Verlag (outside the USA).
Full Text Available High myopia is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. However, the exact etiology of high myopia remains unraveled despite numerous attempts of elucidation. Previous genome-wide association study (GWAS has revealed that four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, including rs2969180, rs1652333, rs9307551, and rs7837791, were associated with high myopia in Caucasians. The present study was conducted to investigate whether these genetic variants were associated with high myopia in Han Chinese. These four SNPs were genotyped by SNaPshot method in a Han Chinese cohort composed of 827 patients with high myopia and 988 healthy controls. Among the SNPs genotyped, only rs9307551 was found to be significantly associated with high myopia in this study. Carriers of rs9307551A allele, AA, and AC genotypes had an increased risk of high myopia (OR = 1.33, 95% CI 1.14–1.54; OR = 1.75, 95% CI 1.28–2.38; OR = 1.59, 95% CI 1.24–2.01, resp.. Interestingly, when split by gender, the association between rs9307551 and high myopia proved to be gender-specific with significance observed only in females but not males. These findings suggested that the SNP of rs9307551 showed a gender-specific association with high myopia in the Han Chinese population. In addition, LOC100506035, a lincRNA gene, might play a crucial role in the susceptibility to high myopia.
Taylor, D.S.; Reyier, E.A.; Davis, W.P.; McIvor, C.C.
We investigated the effects of mangrove cutting on fish assemblages in Twin Cays, Belize, in two habitat types. We conducted visual censuses at two sites in adjoining undisturbed/disturbed (30%–70% of shoreline fringe removed) sub-tidal fringing Rhizophora mangle Linnaeus, 1753. Observers recorded significantly more species and individuals in undisturbed sites, especially among smaller, schooling species (e.g., atherinids, clupeids), where densities were up to 200 times greater in undisturbed habitat. Multivariate analyses showed distinct species assemblages between habitats at both sites. In addition, extensive trapping with wire minnow traps within the intertidal zone in both undisturbed and disturbed fringing and transition (landward) mangrove forests was conducted. Catch rates were low: 638 individuals from 24 species over 563 trap-nights. Trap data, however, indicated that mangrove disturbance had minimal effect on species composition in either forest type (fringe/transition). Different results from the two methods (and habitat types) may be explained by two factors: (1) a larger and more detectable species pool in the subtidal habitat, with visual "access" to all species, and (2) the selective nature of trapping. Our data indicate that even partial clearing of shoreline and more landward mangroves can have a significant impact on local fish assemblages.
Anderson-Fye, Eileen P
Eating disorders have been associated with developing nations undergoing rapid social transition, including participation in a global market economy and heavy media exposure. San Andrés, Belize, a community with many risk factors associated with the cross-cultural development of eating disorders, has shown remarkable resistance to previously documented patterns, despite a local focus on female beauty. Drawing on longitudinal person-centered ethnography with adolescent girls, this article examines why this community appears exceptional in light of the literature. First, community beauty and body image ideals and practices are explicated. Then, a protective ethnopsychology is proposed as a key mediating factor of the rapid socio-cultural change among young women. Finally, possible nascent cases of eating disordered behavior are discussed in light of their unique phenomenology: that is, having to do more with economic opportunity in the tourism industry and less with personal distress or desire for thinness. Close, meaning-centered examination of eating and body image practices may aid understanding and prevention of eating disorders among adolescents undergoing rapid social change in situations of globalization and immigration.
Wenefrida, Ida; Utomo, Herry S; Linscombe, Steve D
Cereals are the most important crops in the world for both human consumption and animal feed. Improving their nutritional values, such as high protein content, will have significant implications, from establishing healthy lifestyles to helping remediate malnutrition problems worldwide. Besides providing a source of carbohydrate, grain is also a natural source of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, specific oils, and other disease-fighting phytocompounds. Even though cereal grains contain relatively little protein compared to legume seeds, they provide protein for the nutrition of humans and livestock that is about 3 times that of legumes. Most cereal seeds lack a few essential amino acids; therefore, they have imbalanced amino acid profiles. Lysine (Lys), threonine (Thr), methionine (Met), and tryptophan (Trp) are among the most critical and are a limiting factor in many grain crops for human nutrition. Tremendous research has been put into the efforts to improve these essential amino acids. Development of high protein content can be outlined in four different approaches through manipulating seed protein bodies, modulating certain biosynthetic pathways to overproduce essential and limiting amino acids, increasing nitrogen relocation to the grain through the introduction of transgenes, and exploiting new genetic variance. Various technologies have been employed to improve protein content including conventional and mutational breeding, genetic engineering, marker-assisted selection, and genomic analysis. Each approach involves a combination of these technologies. Advancements in nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics continue to improve public knowledge at a rapid pace on the importance of specific aspects of food nutrition for optimum fitness and health. An understanding of the molecular basis for human health and genetic predisposition to certain diseases through human genomes enables individuals to personalize their nutritional requirements. It is critically important
Full Text Available This paper introduces the Fast Iterative Rule-based Linguistic Classifier (FaIRLiC, a Genetic Fuzzy Rule-Based Classification System (GFRBCS which targets at reducing the structural complexity of the resulting rule base, as well as its learning algorithm's computational requirements, especially when dealing with high-dimensional feature spaces. The proposed methodology follows the principles of the iterative rule learning (IRL approach, whereby a rule extraction algorithm (REA is invoked in an iterative fashion, producing one fuzzy rule at a time. The REA is performed in two successive steps: the first one selects the relevant features of the currently extracted rule, whereas the second one decides the antecedent part of the fuzzy rule, using the previously selected subset of features. The performance of the classifier is finally optimized through a genetic tuning post-processing stage. Comparative results in a hyperspectral remote sensing classification as well as in 12 real-world classification datasets indicate the effectiveness of the proposed methodology in generating high-performing and compact fuzzy rule-based classifiers, even for very high-dimensional feature spaces.
Rowe, Kevin C; Singhal, Sonal; Macmanes, Matthew D; Ayroles, Julien F; Morelli, Toni Lyn; Rubidge, Emily M; Bi, Ke; Moritz, Craig C
Natural history collections are unparalleled repositories of geographical and temporal variation in faunal conditions. Molecular studies offer an opportunity to uncover much of this variation; however, genetic studies of historical museum specimens typically rely on extracting highly degraded and chemically modified DNA samples from skins, skulls or other dried samples. Despite this limitation, obtaining short fragments of DNA sequences using traditional PCR amplification of DNA has been the primary method for genetic study of historical specimens. Few laboratories have succeeded in obtaining genome-scale sequences from historical specimens and then only with considerable effort and cost. Here, we describe a low-cost approach using high-throughput next-generation sequencing to obtain reliable genome-scale sequence data from a traditionally preserved mammal skin and skull using a simple extraction protocol. We show that single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the genome sequences obtained independently from the skin and from the skull are highly repeatable compared to a reference genome. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Sekine, Daisuke; Murata, Kazumasa; Kimura, Toshiyuki; Nakagawa, Kiyotaka; Miyazawa, Teruo
The γ-isoforms of tocopherols (Tc) and tocotrienols (T3) possess high biological activities in comparison to the α-isoforms. The concentrations of Tc and T3 isoforms in rice (Oriza sativa) was cultivar-dependent. Using chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) and near isogenic lines (NILs) of indica cultivar "Kasalath" in a japonica cultivar "Koshihikari" genetic background, the Kasalath genomic segment on chromosome 2 was determined to be responsible for the high γ-isoform concentration: γ-tocopherol methyltransferase (γ-TMT) was identified as a candidate gene. An amino acid substitution in the coding region and several nucleotide polymorphisms, including an insertion of 10 base pairs in the promoter region, were identified. Gene expression analysis revealed that low expression levels of the γ-TMT gene in Kasalath were not associated with the γ-isoform concentration. Genetic variations in the coding region of the γ-TMT gene may play a major role in determining the γ-isoform concentration. This information could be used to breed rice with a high γ-isoform content.
Twisk, Moniek; Mastenbroek, Sebastiaan; Hoek, Annemieke; Heineman, Maas-Jan; van der Veen, Fulco; Bossuyt, Patrick M.; Repping, Sjoerd; Korevaar, Johanna C.
Human preimplantation embryos generated through in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatments show a variable rate of numerical chromosome abnormalities or aneuploidies. Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) has been designed to screen for aneuploidies in high
Hu, Binjie; Zhao, Fuju; Wang, Shiwen; Olszewski, Michal A; Bian, Haipeng; Wu, Yong; Kong, Mimi; Xu, Lingli; Miao, Yingxin; Fang, Yi; Yang, Changqing; Zhao, Hu; Zhang, Yanmei
We established a high-throughput multiplex genetic detection system (HMGS) for identification of Helicobacter pylori with concomitant analysis of virulence and drug resistance. Confirmed 132 H. pylori cultures from gastric biopsies were screened by 20-gene site-HMGS, sequencing and E-test. HMGS was highly sensitive and specific for H. pylori identification. Concordance rate between HMGS and sequencing averaged 94.5% (virulence genes) and 97.3% (resistance genes). Observed resistance rates to four mainstream antibiotics were high, except for amoxicillin. Significant association between virulence genotype and risks for specific gastrointestinal diseases was found for five genes. Metronidazole resistance in peptic ulcer patients was significantly higher. HMGS is an effective method for H. pylori identification and analysis of virulence and drug resistance.
Huang, Jun; Huang, Xiaohong; Ma, Yan; Liu, Yanbing
The revival of multi-objective optimization is mainly resulted from the recent development of multi-objective evolutionary optimization that allows the generation of the overall Pareto front. This paper presents an algorithm called HOGA (High-dimensional Objective Genetic Algorithm) for high-dimensional objective optimization on the basis of evolutionary computing. It adopts the principle of Shannon entropy to calculate the weight for each object since the well-known multi-objective evolutionary algorithms work poorly on the high-dimensional optimization problem. To further discuss the nonlinear dynamic property of HOGA, a martingale analysis approach is then employed; some mathematical derivations of the convergent theorems are obtained. The obtained results indicate that this new algorithm is indeed capable of achieving convergence and the suggested martingale analysis approach provides a new methodology for nonlinear dynamic analysis of evolutionary algorithms.
Full Text Available Conservation of small mammals requires knowledge of the genetically and ecologically meaningful spatial scales at which species respond to habitat modifications. Conservation strategies can be improved through the use of ecological niche models and genetic data to classify areas of high environmental suitability. In this study, we applied a Maxent model integrated with genetic information (nucleotide diversity, haplotype diversity and Fu's Fs neutrality tests to evaluate potential genetic pool populations with highly suitable areas for two parapatric endangered species of tuco-tucos (Ctenomys minutus and C. lami. Our results demonstrated that both species were largely influenced by vegetation and soil variables at a landscape scale and inhabit a highly specific niche. Ctenomys minutus was also influenced by the variable altitude; the species was associated with low altitudes (sea level. Our model of genetic data associated with environmental suitability indicate that the genetic pool data were associated with highly suitable areas for C. minutus. This pattern was not evident for C. lami, but this outcome could be a consequence of the restricted range of the species. The preservation of species requires not only detailed knowledge of their natural history and genetic structure but also information on the availability of suitable areas where species can survive, and such knowledge can aid significantly in conservation planning. This finding reinforces the use of these two techniques for planning conservation actions.
Fristrup Schou, Mads; Loeschke, Volker; Bechsgaard, Jesper Smærup
The effective population size (Ne) is a central factor in determining maintenance of genetic variation. The neutral theory predicts that loss of variation depends on Ne, with less genetic drift in larger populations. We monitored genetic drift in 42 Drosophila melanogaster populations of different...... fragmented populations. More genetic diversity was retained in areas of low recombination, suggesting that associative overdominance, driven by disfavoured homozygosity of recessive deleterious alleles, is responsible for the maintenance of genetic diversity in smaller populations. Consistent...
Knight, Christopher Harold; Alamer, Mohammed A; Sorensen, Annette
Three galactopoietic stimuli, frequent milking (4X), bovine somatotrophin (bST) and thyroxine (T4) were used in an additive stair-step design to achieve maximum output (metabolic capacity) in six peak-lactation cows of high genetic merit (HT) and six of low genetic merit (LT). A further six of ea...... the commonly held belief that selective breeding of dairy cows for high milk production has rendered them markedly more susceptible to metabolic disturbances....
Krapohl, Eva; Rimfeld, Kaili; Shakeshaft, Nicholas G; Trzaskowski, Maciej; McMillan, Andrew; Pingault, Jean-Baptiste; Asbury, Kathryn; Harlaar, Nicole; Kovas, Yulia; Dale, Philip S; Plomin, Robert
Because educational achievement at the end of compulsory schooling represents a major tipping point in life, understanding its causes and correlates is important for individual children, their families, and society. Here we identify the general ingredients of educational achievement using a multivariate design that goes beyond intelligence to consider a wide range of predictors, such as self-efficacy, personality, and behavior problems, to assess their independent and joint contributions to educational achievement. We use a genetically sensitive design to address the question of why educational achievement is so highly heritable. We focus on the results of a United Kingdom-wide examination, the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), which is administered at the end of compulsory education at age 16. GCSE scores were obtained for 13,306 twins at age 16, whom we also assessed contemporaneously on 83 scales that were condensed to nine broad psychological domains, including intelligence, self-efficacy, personality, well-being, and behavior problems. The mean of GCSE core subjects (English, mathematics, science) is more heritable (62%) than the nine predictor domains (35-58%). Each of the domains correlates significantly with GCSE results, and these correlations are largely mediated genetically. The main finding is that, although intelligence accounts for more of the heritability of GCSE than any other single domain, the other domains collectively account for about as much GCSE heritability as intelligence. Together with intelligence, these domains account for 75% of the heritability of GCSE. We conclude that the high heritability of educational achievement reflects many genetically influenced traits, not just intelligence.
McIlwrick, Silja; Rechenberg, Alexandra; Matthes, Mariana; Burgstaller, Jessica; Schwarzbauer, Thomas; Chen, Alon; Touma, Chadi
A dysregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis and the experience of early-life adversity are both well-established risk factors for the development of affective disorders, such as major depression. However, little is known about the interaction of these two factors in shaping endophenotypes of the disease. Here, we studied the gene-environment interaction of a genetic predisposition for HPA axis dysregulation with early-life stress (ELS), assessing the short-, as well as the long-lasting consequences on emotional behavior, neuroendocrine functions and gene expression profiles. Three mouse lines, selectively bred for either high (HR), intermediate (IR), or low (LR) HPA axis reactivity, were exposed to one week of ELS using the limited nesting and bedding material paradigm. Measurements collected during or shortly after the ELS period showed that, regardless of genetic background, ELS exposure led to impaired weight gain and altered the animals' coping behavior under stressful conditions. However, only HR mice additionally showed significant changes in neuroendocrine stress responsiveness at a young age. Accordingly, adult HR mice also showed lasting consequences of ELS, including hyperactive stress-coping, HPA axis hyperreactivity, and gene expression changes in the Crh system, as well as downregulation of Fkbp5 in relevant brain regions. We suggest that the genetic predisposition for high stress reactivity interacts with ELS exposure by disturbing the suppression of corticosterone release during a critical period of brain development, thus exerting lasting programming effects on the HPA axis, presumably via epigenetic mechanisms. In concert, these changes lead to the emergence of important endophenotypes associated with affective disorders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Xu, Xuewen; Xu, Ruixue; Zhu, Biyun; Yu, Ting; Qu, Wenqin; Lu, Lu; Xu, Qiang; Qi, Xiaohua; Chen, Xuehao
High-density genetic map provides an essential framework for accurate and efficient genome assembly and QTL fine mapping. Construction of high-density genetic maps appears more feasible since the advent of next-generation sequencing (NGS), which eases SNP discovery and high-throughput genotyping of large population. In this research, a high-density genetic map of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) was successfully constructed across an F2 population by a recently developed Specific Length Amplified Fragment sequencing (SLAF-seq) method. In total, 18.69 GB of data containing 93,460,000 paired-end reads were obtained after preprocessing. The average sequencing depth was 44.92 in the D8 (female parent), 42.16 in the Jin5-508 (male parent), and 5.01 in each progeny. 79,092 high-quality SLAFs were detected, of which 6784 SLAFs were polymorphic, and 1892 of the polymorphic markers met the requirements for constructing genetic map. The genetic map spanned 845.87 cm with an average genetic distance of 0.45 cm. It is a reliable linkage map for fine mapping and molecular breeding of cucumber for its high marker density and well-ordered markers.
Nunkesser, Robin; Bernholt, Thorsten; Schwender, Holger; Ickstadt, Katja; Wegener, Ingo
Not individual single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), but high-order interactions of SNPs are assumed to be responsible for complex diseases such as cancer. Therefore, one of the major goals of genetic association studies concerned with such genotype data is the identification of these high-order interactions. This search is additionally impeded by the fact that these interactions often are only explanatory for a relatively small subgroup of patients. Most of the feature selection methods proposed in the literature, unfortunately, fail at this task, since they can either only identify individual variables or interactions of a low order, or try to find rules that are explanatory for a high percentage of the observations. In this article, we present a procedure based on genetic programming and multi-valued logic that enables the identification of high-order interactions of categorical variables such as SNPs. This method called GPAS cannot only be used for feature selection, but can also be employed for discrimination. In an application to the genotype data from the GENICA study, an association study concerned with sporadic breast cancer, GPAS is able to identify high-order interactions of SNPs leading to a considerably increased breast cancer risk for different subsets of patients that are not found by other feature selection methods. As an application to a subset of the HapMap data shows, GPAS is not restricted to association studies comprising several 10 SNPs, but can also be employed to analyze whole-genome data. Software can be downloaded from http://ls2-www.cs.uni-dortmund.de/~nunkesser/#Software
Deng, J Q; Liu, B Q; Wang, Y; Liu, W; Cai, J F; Long, R; Li, W H
Currently, the widely used automated capillary electrophoresis-based short tandem repeat (STR) genotyping method for genetic screening in forensic practice is laborious, time-consuming, expensive, and technically challenging in some cases. Thus, new molecular-based strategies for conclusively identifying forensically relevant biological evidence are required. Here, we used high-resolution melting analysis (HRM) for Y-chromosome STR genotyping for forensic genetic screening. The reproducibility of the melting profile over dilution, sensitivity, discrimination power, and other factors was preliminarily studied in 10 Y-STR loci. The results showed that HRM-based approaches revealed more genotypes (compared to capillary electrophoresis), showed higher uniformity in replicate tests and diluted samples, and enabled successful detection of DNA at concentrations as low as 0.25 ng. For mixed samples, the melting curve profiles discriminated between mixed samples based on reference samples with high efficiency. The triplex Y-chromosome STR HRM assay was performed and provided a foundation for further studies such as a multiplex HRM assay. The HRM approach is a one-step application and the entire procedure can be completed within 2 h at a low cost. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that the HRM-based Y-STR assay is a useful screening tool that can be used in forensic practice.
Jha, Aashish R.; Zhou, Dan; Brown, Christopher D.; Kreitman, Martin; Haddad, Gabriel G.; White, Kevin P.
The ability to withstand low oxygen (hypoxia tolerance) is a polygenic and mechanistically conserved trait that has important implications for both human health and evolution. However, little is known about the diversity of genetic mechanisms involved in hypoxia adaptation in evolving populations. We used experimental evolution and whole-genome sequencing in Drosophila melanogaster to investigate the role of natural variation in adaptation to hypoxia. Using a generalized linear mixed model we identified significant allele frequency differences between three independently evolved hypoxia-tolerant populations and normoxic control populations for approximately 3,800 single nucleotide polymorphisms. Around 50% of these variants are clustered in 66 distinct genomic regions. These regions contain genes that are differentially expressed between hypoxia-tolerant and normoxic populations and several of the differentially expressed genes are associated with metabolic processes. Additional genes associated with respiratory and open tracheal system development also show evidence of directional selection. RNAi-mediated knockdown of several candidate genes’ expression significantly enhanced survival in severe hypoxia. Using genomewide single nucleotide polymorphism data from four high-altitude human populations—Sherpas, Tibetans, Ethiopians, and Andeans, we found that several human orthologs of the genes under selection in flies are also likely under positive selection in all four high-altitude human populations. Thus, our results indicate that selection for hypoxia tolerance can act on standing genetic variation in similar genes and pathways present in organisms diverged by hundreds of millions of years. PMID:26576852
Wan, Ying-Wooi; Allen, Genevera I; Baker, Yulia; Yang, Eunho; Ravikumar, Pradeep; Anderson, Matthew; Liu, Zhandong
Technological advances in medicine have led to a rapid proliferation of high-throughput "omics" data. Tools to mine this data and discover disrupted disease networks are needed as they hold the key to understanding complicated interactions between genes, mutations and aberrations, and epi-genetic markers. We developed an R software package, XMRF, that can be used to fit Markov Networks to various types of high-throughput genomics data. Encoding the models and estimation techniques of the recently proposed exponential family Markov Random Fields (Yang et al., 2012), our software can be used to learn genetic networks from RNA-sequencing data (counts via Poisson graphical models), mutation and copy number variation data (categorical via Ising models), and methylation data (continuous via Gaussian graphical models). XMRF is the only tool that allows network structure learning using the native distribution of the data instead of the standard Gaussian. Moreover, the parallelization feature of the implemented algorithms computes the large-scale biological networks efficiently. XMRF is available from CRAN and Github ( https://github.com/zhandong/XMRF ).
Tao, Chenyang; Nichols, Thomas E; Hua, Xue; Ching, Christopher R K; Rolls, Edmund T; Thompson, Paul M; Feng, Jianfeng
We propose a generalized reduced rank latent factor regression model (GRRLF) for the analysis of tensor field responses and high dimensional covariates. The model is motivated by the need from imaging-genetic studies to identify genetic variants that are associated with brain imaging phenotypes, often in the form of high dimensional tensor fields. GRRLF identifies from the structure in the data the effective dimensionality of the data, and then jointly performs dimension reduction of the covariates, dynamic identification of latent factors, and nonparametric estimation of both covariate and latent response fields. After accounting for the latent and covariate effects, GRLLF performs a nonparametric test on the remaining factor of interest. GRRLF provides a better factorization of the signals compared with common solutions, and is less susceptible to overfitting because it exploits the effective dimensionality. The generality and the flexibility of GRRLF also allow various statistical models to be handled in a unified framework and solutions can be efficiently computed. Within the field of neuroimaging, it improves the sensitivity for weak signals and is a promising alternative to existing approaches. The operation of the framework is demonstrated with both synthetic datasets and a real-world neuroimaging example in which the effects of a set of genes on the structure of the brain at the voxel level were measured, and the results compared favorably with those from existing approaches. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Cox, Lisa Sanderson; Bronars, Carrie A; Thomas, Janet L; Okuyemi, Kolawole S; King, Gary; Mayo, Matthew S; Ahluwalia, Jasjit S
Genetic factors play an important role in smoking behavior. Although African Americans are at disproportionately increased risk for tobacco-related morbidity and mortality, limited attention has been given to genetic investigation of tobacco use in this population. The present study examined consent for genetic testing among African American smokers enrolled in a smoking cessation clinical trial. African American light smokers (genetic analysis related to smoking. Participants completed assessment of demographic, psychosocial, and tobacco-related variables. Of 755 clinical trial participants, 745 (99%) responded to the genetic consent form. Of participants who responded, 620 (83%) provided consent for blood collection for genetic analysis. No significant differences were identified between individuals who consented to genetic analysis and those who denied consent. This study demonstrated the feasibility of obtaining consent for genetic analysis for smoking-related investigation among African American smokers. Findings support the inclusion of African Americans within genetic investigation of tobacco use and treatment.
... have a high risk of having babies with Tay-Sachs or Canavan's disease. African-Americans, who may risk ... yours to make. Images Genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis References Simpson JL, Holzgreve W, Driscoll DA. Genetic ...
Aristizábal, Arturo; Tuberquia, Dino J; Sanín, María José
Genetic diversity is key in providing the variation needed to face stochastic change. Increased habitat loss alters population size and dynamics posing serious threats to the conservation of wild species. Colombia has undergone massive deforestation over the last century, but harbours extraordinary high species diversity of genus Zamia (Cycadales), however most of the species are under threat. In this study we targeted the largest accessible remaining populations of two closely related species growing as endemics in the Magdalena Valley region of Colombia. We successfully transfered the SSR loci used in previous Zamia studies to these species. In total, we amplified 13 microsatellite loci in three wild populations, aiming at: 1) assessing genetic diversity and 2) understanding if the structure found between the three populations reflected species and population boundaries due to ecological and historical genetic isolation. We found that actual population size does not reflect population genetic diversity with a small population (Perales) harboring the highest genetic diversity. Also, all populations are highly structured regardless of species containment, all showing signs of genetic isolation. Given the high degree of ecological threat, and the inherent biological traits of Cycads, we provide information regarding the priorization of populations for ex situ management. © The American Genetic Association 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
The Bonner sphere spectrometers (BSS) are commonly used to determine the neutron spectra within various nuclear facilities. Sophisticated mathematical tools are used to unfold the neutron energy distribution from the output data of the BSS. This paper highlights a novel high-resolution neutron spectra-unfolding method using the Genetic Algorithm (GA) technique. The GA imitates the biological evolution process prevailing in the nature to solve complex optimisation problems. The GA method was utilised to evaluate the neutron energy distribution, average energy, fluence and equivalent dose rates at important work places of a DIDO class research reactor and a high-energy superconducting heavy ion cyclotron. The spectrometer was calibrated with a 241 Am/Be (α,n) neutron standard source. The results of the GA method agreed satisfactorily with the results obtained by using the well-known BUNKI neutron spectra unfolding code
Zhang, M Z; Zhang, X F; Chen, X M; Chen, X; Wu, S; Xu, L L
The enzyme-linked probe hybridization chip utilizes a method based on ligase-hybridizing probe chip technology, with the principle of using thio-primers for protection against enzyme digestion, and using lambda DNA exonuclease to cut multiple PCR products obtained from the sample being tested into single-strand chains for hybridization. The 5'-end amino-labeled probe was fixed onto the aldehyde chip, and hybridized with the single-stranded PCR product, followed by addition of a fluorescent-modified probe that was then enzymatically linked with the adjacent, substrate-bound probe in order to achieve highly specific, parallel, and high-throughput detection. Specificity and sensitivity testing demonstrated that enzyme-linked probe hybridization technology could be applied to the specific detection of eight genetic modification events at the same time, with a sensitivity reaching 0.1% and the achievement of accurate, efficient, and stable results.
Horne, Justine; Madill, Janet; O'Connor, Colleen; Shelley, Jacob; Gilliland, Jason
behaviour change theories, these theories were generally mentioned briefly, and were not thoroughly incorporated into the study design or analyses. The genetic interventions provided to participants were overall of "poor" quality. However, a separate analysis of studies using controlled intervention research methods demonstrated the use of higher-quality genetic interventions (overall rated to be "fair"). The provision of actionable recommendations informed by genetic testing was more likely to facilitate behaviour change than the provision of genetic information without actionable lifestyle recommendations. Several studies of good quality demonstrated changes in lifestyle habits arising from the provision of genetic interventions. The most promising lifestyle changes were changes in nutrition. It is possible to facilitate behaviour change using genetic testing as the catalyst. Future research should ensure that high-quality genetic interventions are provided to participants, and should consider validated theories such as the TPB in their study design and analyses. Further recommendations for future research are provided. © 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Kumar, Arvind; Dixit, Shalabh; Ram, T; Yadaw, R B; Mishra, K K; Mandal, N P
The increased occurrence and severity of drought stress have led to a high yield decline in rice in recent years in drought-affected areas. Drought research at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) over the past decade has concentrated on direct selection for grain yield under drought. This approach has led to the successful development and release of 17 high-yielding drought-tolerant rice varieties in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa. In addition to this, 14 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) showing a large effect against high-yielding drought-susceptible popular varieties were identified using grain yield as a selection criterion. Six of these (qDTY 1.1 , qDTY 2.2 , qDTY 3.1 , qDTY 3.2 , qDTY 6.1 , and qDTY 12.1 ) showed an effect against two or more high-yielding genetic backgrounds in both the lowland and upland ecosystem, indicating their usefulness in increasing the grain yield of rice under drought. The yield of popular rice varieties IR64 and Vandana has been successfully improved through a well-planned marker-assisted backcross breeding approach, and QTL introgression in several other popular varieties is in progress. The identification of large-effect QTLs for grain yield under drought and the higher yield increase under drought obtained through the use of these QTLs (which has not been reported in other cereals) indicate that rice, because of its continuous cultivation in two diverse ecosystems (upland, drought tolerant, and lowland, drought susceptible), has benefited from the existence of larger genetic variability than in other cereals. This can be successfully exploited using marker-assisted breeding. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.
Full Text Available Sherpas comprise a population of Tibetan ancestry in the Himalayan region that is renowned for its mountaineering prowess. The very small amount of available genetic information for Sherpas is insufficient to explain their physiological ability to adapt to high-altitude hypoxia. Recent genetic evidence has indicated that natural selection on the endothelial PAS domain protein 1 (EPAS1 gene was occurred in the Tibetan population during their occupation in the Tibetan Plateau for millennia. Tibetan-specific variations in EPAS1 may regulate the physiological responses to high-altitude hypoxia via a hypoxia-inducible transcription factor pathway. We examined three significant tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, rs13419896, rs4953354, and rs4953388 in the EPAS1 gene in Sherpas, and compared these variants with Tibetan highlanders on the Tibetan Plateau as well as with non-Sherpa lowlanders. We found that Sherpas and Tibetans on the Tibetan Plateau exhibit similar patterns in three EPAS1 significant tag SNPs, but these patterns are the reverse of those in non-Sherpa lowlanders. The three SNPs were in strong linkage in Sherpas, but in weak linkage in non-Sherpas. Importantly, the haplotype structured by the Sherpa-dominant alleles was present in Sherpas but rarely present in non-Sherpas. Surprisingly, the average level of serum erythropoietin in Sherpas at 3440 m was equal to that in non-Sherpas at 1300 m, indicating a resistant response of erythropoietin to high-altitude hypoxia in Sherpas. These observations strongly suggest that EPAS1 is under selection for adaptation to the high-altitude life of Tibetan populations, including Sherpas. Understanding of the mechanism of hypoxia tolerance in Tibetans is expected to provide lights to the therapeutic solutions of some hypoxia-related human diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Wang, Erjia; Van Wijk, Rien E; Braun, Markus Santhosh; Wink, Michael
The Hoopoe (Upupa epops epops) breeds widely in Eurasia and most populations migrate to Africa during the boreal winter. To date, data regarding its phylogeography in Europe are missing. In this study, we investigated the phylogeography and population genetics of Hoopoes by means of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequencing as well as microsatellite genotyping. Our analyses revealed 32 haplotypes in the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) (269 individuals) and 50 haplotypes in cytochrome b (cyt b) (233 individuals). Analyses of mtDNA clearly demonstrated that the bulk of variance (98.23%) could be attributed to inner-population variance. Thus, the low frequency single nucleotide substitutions resulted in "star-like" haplotype networks without define geographical structure. Hoopoes clearly experienced a bottleneck followed by sudden expansion, as was also apparent from tests on the unimodal mismatch, Bayesian skyline plot, significant negative neutrality tests as well as bottleneck signals. These tests pointed to strong demographic fluctuations in the hoopoe populations. GENELAND, DAPC and STRUCTURE analyses of microsatellites along with their corresponding Fst values suggested that current genetic restriction separates birds from Armenia from the remaining populations. Except for hoopoes from Armenia, all the European populations exhibited an admixed phylogeographic pattern. We conclude that this genetic panmixia might be a consequence of a combination of historical events (e.g. repeated colonizations and retreatments from northern habitats during the Pleistocene and a sudden postglacial expansion) and current processes (e.g. long-distance migration, immigration or population recruitments). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Chambliss, Allison B; Resnick, Molly; Petrides, Athena K; Clarke, William A; Marzinke, Mark A
Current methods for the detection of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with aberrant drug-metabolizing enzyme function are hindered by long turnaround times and specialized techniques and instrumentation. In this study, we describe the development and validation of a high-resolution melting (HRM) curve assay for the rapid screening of variant genotypes for targeted genetic polymorphisms in the cytochrome P450 enzymes CYP2C9, CYP2C19, and CYP3A5. Sequence-specific primers were custom-designed to flank nine SNPs within the genetic regions of aforementioned drug metabolizing enzymes. PCR amplification was performed followed by amplicon denaturation by precise temperature ramping in order to distinguish genotypes by melting temperature (Tm). A standardized software algorithm was used to assign amplicons as 'reference' or 'variant' as compared to duplicate reference sequence DNA controls for each SNP. Intra-assay (n=5) precision of Tms for all SNPs was ≤0.19%, while inter-assay (n=20) precision ranged from 0.04% to 0.21%. When compared to a reference method of Sanger sequencing, the HRM assay produced no false negative results, and overcall frequency ranged from 0% to 26%, depending on the SNP. Furthermore, HRM genotyping displayed accuracy over input DNA concentrations ranging from 10 to 200 ng/μL. The presented assay provides a rapid method for the screening for genetic variants in targeted CYP450 regions with a result of 'reference' or 'variant' available within 2 h from receipt of extracted DNA. The method can serve as a screening approach to rapidly identify individuals with variant sequences who should be further investigated by reflexed confirmatory testing for aberrant cytochrome P450 enzymatic activity. Rapid knowledge of variant status may aid in the avoidance of adverse clinical events by allowing for dosing of normal metabolizer patients immediately while identifying the need to wait for confirmatory testing in those patients who are
Lazarowitz, Reuven; Bloch, Ilit
The purpose of this study was to investigate how aware high school biology teachers are of societal issues (values, moral, ethic, and legal issues) while teaching genetics, genetics engineering, molecular genetics, human heredity, and evolution. The study includes a short historical review of World War II atrocities during the Holocaust when scientists from all the above-mentioned disciplines had been involved in trying to support and develop the eugenics theories. It investigates pre- and postwar theories of the eugenics movement in the United States which were implemented successfully in Germany and a literature survey of the studies of societal issues related to these subjects. The sample consisted of 30 male and female biology teachers. Enclosed are teachers' answers in favor or against including debates about societal issues in their classrooms while teaching the disciplines mentioned above. Teachers' answers were analyzed in relation to three variables: years of teaching experience, gender, and religion faith. Data were collected from questionnaires and personal interviews and analyzed according to qualitative and quantitative methods. The results show that amongst the teachers there is a medium to low level of awareness of societal issues, while mainly emphasizing scientific subjects in preparation of matriculation examinations. The majority of the teachers do not include societal issues in their teaching, but if students raise these issues, teachers claimed to address them. No differences in teachers' opinions to societal issues were found in relation to gender or religious faith. Teachers with more years of teaching experience tend to teach with a more Science, Technology, and Society (STS) approach than novice teachers. The results are discussed in relation to teachers' professional development and teaching strategies are suggested to be used in their classrooms based on a STS approach, which includes the societal issues as a main goal.
into genetic variation in bovine and swine genomes and relevant methodologies; valuable resources such as novel genome sequences of pathogens, genome annotations and genetic variations were produced for research communities regard to animal health and welfare in animal breeding industriy...
Full Text Available Abstract Although manioc is well adapted to nutrient-poor Oxisols of Amazonia, ethnobotanical observations show that bitter manioc is also frequently cultivated in the highly fertile soils of the floodplains and Amazonian dark earths (ADE along the middle Madeira River. Because different sets of varieties are grown in each soil type, and there are agronomic similarities between ADE and floodplain varieties, it was hypothesized that varieties grown in ADE and floodplain were more closely related to each other than either is to varieties grown in Oxisols. We tested this hypothesis evaluating the intra-varietal genetic diversity and the genetic relationships among manioc varieties commonly cultivated in Oxisols, ADE and floodplain soils. Genetic results did not agree with ethnobotanical expectation, since the relationships between varieties were variable and most individuals of varieties with the same vernacular name, but grown in ADE and floodplain, were distinct. Although the same vernacular name could not always be associated with genetic similarities, there is still a great amount of variation among the varieties. Many ecological and genetic processes may explain the high genetic diversity and differentiation found for bitter manioc varieties, but all contribute to the maintenance and amplification of genetic diversity within the manioc in Central Amazonia.
Bilton, Timothy P; Schofield, Matthew R; Black, Michael A; Chagné, David; Wilcox, Phillip L; Dodds, Ken G
Next generation sequencing is an efficient method that allows for substantially more markers than previous technologies, providing opportunities for building high density genetic linkage maps, which facilitate the development of non-model species' genomic assemblies and the investigation of their genes. However, constructing genetic maps using data generated via high-throughput sequencing technology (e.g., genotyping-by-sequencing) is complicated by the presence of sequencing errors and genotyping errors resulting from missing parental alleles due to low sequencing depth. If unaccounted for, these errors lead to inflated genetic maps. In addition, map construction in many species is performed using full-sib family populations derived from the outcrossing of two individuals, where unknown parental phase and varying segregation types further complicate construction. We present a new methodology for modeling low coverage sequencing data in the construction of genetic linkage maps using full-sib populations of diploid species, implemented in a package called GUSMap. Our model is based on an extension of the Lander-Green hidden Markov model that accounts for errors present in sequencing data. Results show that GUSMap was able to give accurate estimates of the recombination fractions and overall map distance, while most existing mapping packages produced inflated genetic maps in the presence of errors. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of using low coverage sequencing data to produce genetic maps without requiring extensive filtering of potentially erroneous genotypes, provided that the associated errors are correctly accounted for in the model. Copyright © 2018, Genetics.
Alves-Pereira, Alessandro; Peroni, Nivaldo; Cavallari, Marcelo Mattos; Lemes, Maristerra R; Zucchi, Maria Imaculada; Clement, Charles R
Although manioc is well adapted to nutrient-poor Oxisols of Amazonia, ethnobotanical observations show that bitter manioc is also frequently cultivated in the highly fertile soils of the floodplains and Amazonian dark earths (ADE) along the middle Madeira River. Because different sets of varieties are grown in each soil type, and there are agronomic similarities between ADE and floodplain varieties, it was hypothesized that varieties grown in ADE and floodplain were more closely related to each other than either is to varieties grown in Oxisols. We tested this hypothesis evaluating the intra-varietal genetic diversity and the genetic relationships among manioc varieties commonly cultivated in Oxisols, ADE and floodplain soils. Genetic results did not agree with ethnobotanical expectation, since the relationships between varieties were variable and most individuals of varieties with the same vernacular name, but grown in ADE and floodplain, were distinct. Although the same vernacular name could not always be associated with genetic similarities, there is still a great amount of variation among the varieties. Many ecological and genetic processes may explain the high genetic diversity and differentiation found for bitter manioc varieties, but all contribute to the maintenance and amplification of genetic diversity within the manioc in Central Amazonia.
Mora, Matías Sebastián; Mapelli, Fernando J; López, Aldana; Gómez Fernández, María Jimena; Mirol, Patricia M; Kittlein, Marcelo J
Studies of genetic differentiation in fragmented environments help us to identify those landscape features that most affect gene flow and dispersal patterns. Particularly, the assessment of the relative significance of intrinsic biological and environmental factors affecting the genetic structure of populations becomes crucial. In this work, we assess the current dispersal patterns and population structure of Ctenomys "chasiquensis", a vulnerable and endemic subterranean rodent distributed on a small area in Central Argentina, using 9 polymorphic microsatellite loci. We use landscape genetics approaches to assess the relationship between genetic connectivity among populations and environmental attributes. Our analyses show that populations of C. "chasiquensis" are moderately to highly structured at a regional level. This pattern is most likely the outcome of substantial gene flow on the more homogeneous sand dune habitat of the Northwest of its distributional range, in conjunction with an important degree of isolation of eastern and southwestern populations, where the optimal habitat is surrounded by a highly fragmented landscape. Landscape genetics analysis suggests that habitat quality and longitude were the environmental factors most strongly associated with genetic differentiation/uniqueness of populations. In conclusion, our results indicate an important genetic structure in this species, even at a small spatial scale, suggesting that contemporary habitat fragmentation increases population differentiation.
Qi, Qibin; Forman, John P; Jensen, Majken K; Flint, Alan; Curhan, Gary C; Rimm, Eric B; Hu, Frank B; Qi, Lu
Hypertension and type 2 diabetes (T2D) commonly coexist, and both conditions are major risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). We aimed to examine the association between genetic predisposition to high blood pressure and risk of CVD in individuals with T2D. The current study included 1,005 men and 1,299 women with T2D from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and Nurses' Health Study, of whom 732 developed CVD. A genetic predisposition score was calculated on the basis of 29 established blood pressure-associated variants. The genetic predisposition score showed consistent associations with risk of CVD in men and women. In the combined results, each additional blood pressure-increasing allele was associated with a 6% increased risk of CVD (odds ratio [OR] 1.06 [95% CI 1.03-1.10]). The OR was 1.62 (1.22-2.14) for risk of CVD comparing the extreme quartiles of the genetic predisposition score. The genetic association for CVD risk was significantly stronger in patients with T2D than that estimated in the general populations by a meta-analysis (OR per SD of genetic score 1.22 [95% CI 1.10-1.35] vs. 1.10 [1.08-1.12]; I² = 71%). Our data indicate that genetic predisposition to high blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of CVD in individuals with T2D.
Yokum, Sonja; Marti, C Nathan; Smolen, Andrew; Stice, Eric
Because food intake exerts its rewarding effect by increasing dopamine (DA) signaling in reward circuitry, it theoretically follows that individuals with a greater number of genotypes putatively associated with high DA signaling capacity are at increased risk for overeating and subsequent weight gain. We tested the association between the multilocus genetic composite risk score, defined by the total number of genotypes putatively associated with greater DA signaling capacity (i.e. TaqIA A2 allele, DRD2-141C Ins/Del and Del/Del genotypes, DRD4-S allele, DAT1-S allele, and COMT Val/Val genotype), and future increases in Body Mass Index (BMI) in three prospective studies. Participants in Study 1 (N = 30; M age = 15.2; M baseline BMI = 26.9), Study 2 (N = 34; M age = 20.9; M baseline BMI = 28.2), and Study 3 (N = 162; M age = 15.3, M baseline BMI = 20.8) provided saliva samples from which epithelial cells were collected, permitting DNA extraction. The multilocus genetic composite risk score was associated with future increases in BMI in all three studies (Study 1, r = 0.37; Study 2, r = 0.22; Study 3, r = 0.14) and the overall sample (r = 0.19). DRD4-S was associated with increases in BMI in Study 1 (r = 0.42), Study 2 (r = 0.27), and in the overall sample (r = 0.17). DAT1-S was associated with increases in BMI in Study 3 (r = 0.17) and in the overall sample (r = 0.12). There were no associations between the other genotypes (TaqIA, COMT, and DRD2-141C) and change in BMI over 2-year follow-up. Data suggest that individuals with a genetic propensity for greater DA signaling capacity are at risk for future weight gain and that combining alleles that theoretically have a similar function may provide a more reliable method of modeling genetic risk associated with future weight gain than individual genotypes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Yokum, Sonja; Marti, C. Nathan; Smolen, Andrew; Stice, Eric
Because food intake exerts its rewarding effect by increasing dopamine (DA) signaling in reward circuitry, it theoretically follows that individuals with a greater number of genotypes putatively associated with high DA signaling capacity are at increased risk for overeating and subsequent weight gain. We tested the association between the multilocus genetic composite risk score, defined by the total number of genotypes putatively associated with greater DA signaling capacity (i.e. TaqIA A2 allele, DRD2-141C Ins/Del and Del/Del genotypes, DRD4-S allele, DAT1-S allele, and COMT Val/Val genotype), and future increases in Body Mass Index (BMI) in three prospective studies. Participants in Study 1 (N = 30; M age = 15.2; M baseline BMI = 26.9), Study 2 (N = 34; M age = 20.9; M baseline BMI = 28.2), and Study 3 (N = 162; M age = 15.3, M baseline BMI = 20.8) provided saliva samples from which epithelial cells were collected, permitting DNA extraction. The multilocus genetic composite risk score was associated with future increases in BMI in all three studies (Study 1, r = 0.37; Study 2, r = 0.22; Study 3, r = 0.14) and the overall sample (r = 0.19). DRD4-S was associated with increases in BMI in Study 1 (r = 0.42), Study 2 (r = 0.27), and in the overall sample (r = 0.17). DAT1-S was associated with increases in BMI in Study 3 (r = 0.17) and in the overall sample (r = 0.12). There were no associations between the other genotypes (TaqIA, COMT, and DRD2-141C) and change in BMI over 2-year follow-up. Data suggest that individuals with a genetic propensity for greater DA signaling capacity are at risk for future weight gain and that combining alleles that theoretically have a similar function may provide a more reliable method of modeling genetic risk associated with future weight gain than individual genotypes. PMID:25523644
Full Text Available Urbanization causes widespread endangerment of biodiversity worldwide. However, some species successfully colonize cities reaching higher densities than in their rural habitats. In these cases, although urban city dwellers may apparently be taking advantage of these new environments, they also face new ecological conditions that may induce behavioural changes. For example, the frequency of alternative reproductive behaviours such as extra-pair paternity and intraspecific brood parasitism might increase with breeding densities. Here, using a panel of 17 microsatellites, we tested whether increments in breeding densities such as those associated with urban invasion processes alter genetic monogamy in the burrowing owl Athene cunicularia. Our results show low rates of extra-pair paternity (1.47%, but relatively high levels of intraspecific brood parasitism (8.82%. However, we were not able to detect differences in the frequency at which either alternative reproductive behaviour occurs along a strong breeding density gradient. Further research is needed to properly ascertain the role of other social and ecological factors in the frequency at which this species presents alternative reproductive strategies. Meanwhile, our results suggest that genetic monogamy is maintained despite the increment in conspecific density associated with a recent urban invasion process.
Zannella, Carmela; Carucci, Francesca; Aversano, Riccardo; Prohaska, Thomas; Vingiani, Simona; Carputo, Domenico; Adamo, Paola
A fingerprinting strategy based on genetic (simple sequence repeat) and geochemical (multielement and 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratio) analysis was tested to prove the geographical origin of high-quality Italian products "White Asparagus from Bassano del Grappa" and "Green Pistachio from Bronte". Genetic analysis generated many polymorphic alleles and different specific amplified fragments in both agriproducts. In addition, a core set of markers was defined. According to variability within production soils and products, potential candidate elements linking asparagus (Zn, P, Cr, Mg, B, K) and pistachio (Mn, P, Cr, Mg, Ti, B, K, Sc, S) to the production areas were identified. The Sr isotopic signature was an excellent marker when Italian asparagus was compared with literature data for Hungarian and Peruvian asparagus. This work reinforces the use of Sr isotope composition in the soil bioavailable fraction, as assessed by 1mol/L NH 4 NO 3 , to distinguish white asparagus and pistachio originating from different geographical areas. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available The co-evolutionary arms race between host immune genes and parasite virulence genes is known as Red Queen dynamics. Temporal fluctuations in allele frequencies, or the 'turnover' of alleles at immune genes, are concordant with predictions of the Red Queen hypothesis. Such observations are often taken as evidence of host-parasite co-evolution. Here, we use computer simulations of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC of guppies (Poecilia reticulata to study the turnover rate of alleles (temporal genetic differentiation, G'(ST. Temporal fluctuations in MHC allele frequencies can be ≥≤order of magnitude larger than changes observed at neutral loci. Although such large fluctuations in the MHC are consistent with Red Queen dynamics, simulations show that other demographic and population genetic processes can account for this observation, these include: (1 overdominant selection, (2 fluctuating population size within a metapopulation, and (3 the number of novel MHC alleles introduced by immigrants when there are multiple duplicated genes. Synergy between these forces combined with migration rate and the effective population size can drive the rapid turnover in MHC alleles. We posit that rapid allelic turnover is an inherent property of highly polymorphic multigene families and that it cannot be taken as evidence of Red Queen dynamics. Furthermore, combining temporal samples in spatial F(ST outlier analysis may obscure the signal of selection.
Peacock, E.; Titus, K.; Garshelis, D.L.; Peacock, M.M.; Kuc, M.
We used tetracycline biomarking, augmented with genetic methods to estimate the size of an American black bear (Ursus americanus) population on an island in Southeast Alaska. We marked 132 and 189 bears that consumed remote, tetracycline-laced baits in 2 different years, respectively, and observed 39 marks in 692 bone samples subsequently collected from hunters. We genetically analyzed hair samples from bait sites to determine the sex of marked bears, facilitating derivation of sex-specific population estimates. We obtained harvest samples from beyond the study area to correct for emigration. We estimated a density of 155 independent bears/100 km2, which is equivalent to the highest recorded for this species. This high density appears to be maintained by abundant, accessible natural food. Our population estimate (approx. 1,000 bears) could be used as a baseline and to set hunting quotas. The refined biomarking method for abundance estimation is a useful alternative where physical captures or DNA-based estimates are precluded by cost or logistics. Copyright ?? 2011 The Wildlife Society.
Cañon Jones, Hernán; Cortes, Hernan; Gaggero, Aldo; Levican, Jorge; Castillo-Ruiz, Mario; Schlotterbeck, Trinidad; San Martín, Ricardo
Rotavirus A is one of the main causative agents of diarrhoea in lactating and weaned pigs worldwide. Its impact in the swine industry is well documented. However, in Chile, the current epidemiological status of rotavirus on porcine farms is unknown. This study evaluated the current epidemiologic status of rotavirus A infection in Chile using on-farm detection techniques, electrophoretic confirmation, genotyping and phylogenetic clustering by analysis of partial sequences of VP4 and VP7 genes. Rotavirus A was detected in four out of five farms with an overall prevalence of 17.7 % in diarrhoeic pigs. The average age of diarrhoea onset was at 32±6.2 days, corresponding to weaning pigs, and rotavirus was not detected in lactating piglets. Molecular characterization indicated that genotypes G5, G3, P and P are currently the most widely represented on these pigs farms. The phylogenetic analysis showed that farms shared similar G types (VP7), which might denote a common origin. Meanwhile, [P] types (VP4) showed considerable genetic diversity, and this might represent a high rate of reassortment of this genetic segment in rotavirus circulating in the researched area. These findings demonstrate the importance of considering both the geographical and production factors to accurately determine rotavirus prevalence status at the national level, and have relevant implications in determining effective strategies for rotavirus infection control on porcine farms.
Fan, Qiao; Barathi, Veluchamy A.; Cheng, Ching-Yu; Zhou, Xin; Meguro, Akira; Nakata, Isao; Khor, Chiea-Chuen; Goh, Liang-Kee; Li, Yi-Ju; Lim, Wan'e; Ho, Candice E. H.; Hawthorne, Felicia; Zheng, Yingfeng; Chua, Daniel; Inoko, Hidetoshi; Yamashiro, Kenji; Ohno-Matsui, Kyoko; Matsuo, Keitaro; Matsuda, Fumihiko; Vithana, Eranga; Seielstad, Mark; Mizuki, Nobuhisa; Beuerman, Roger W.; Tai, E.-Shyong; Yoshimura, Nagahisa; Aung, Tin; Young, Terri L.; Wong, Tien-Yin
As one of the leading causes of visual impairment and blindness, myopia poses a significant public health burden in Asia. The primary determinant of myopia is an elongated ocular axial length (AL). Here we report a meta-analysis of three genome-wide association studies on AL conducted in 1,860 Chinese adults, 929 Chinese children, and 2,155 Malay adults. We identified a genetic locus on chromosome 1q41 harboring the zinc-finger 11B pseudogene ZC3H11B showing genome-wide significant association with AL variation (rs4373767, β = −0.16 mm per minor allele, Pmeta = 2.69×10−10). The minor C allele of rs4373767 was also observed to significantly associate with decreased susceptibility to high myopia (per-allele odds ratio (OR) = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.68–0.84, Pmeta = 4.38×10−7) in 1,118 highly myopic cases and 5,433 controls. ZC3H11B and two neighboring genes SLC30A10 and LYPLAL1 were expressed in the human neural retina, retinal pigment epithelium, and sclera. In an experimental myopia mouse model, we observed significant alterations to gene and protein expression in the retina and sclera of the unilateral induced myopic eyes for the murine genes ZC3H11A, SLC30A10, and LYPLAL1. This supports the likely role of genetic variants at chromosome 1q41 in influencing AL variation and high myopia. PMID:22685421
Full Text Available As one of the leading causes of visual impairment and blindness, myopia poses a significant public health burden in Asia. The primary determinant of myopia is an elongated ocular axial length (AL. Here we report a meta-analysis of three genome-wide association studies on AL conducted in 1,860 Chinese adults, 929 Chinese children, and 2,155 Malay adults. We identified a genetic locus on chromosome 1q41 harboring the zinc-finger 11B pseudogene ZC3H11B showing genome-wide significant association with AL variation (rs4373767, β = -0.16 mm per minor allele, P(meta =2.69 × 10(-10. The minor C allele of rs4373767 was also observed to significantly associate with decreased susceptibility to high myopia (per-allele odds ratio (OR =0.75, 95% CI: 0.68-0.84, P(meta =4.38 × 10(-7 in 1,118 highly myopic cases and 5,433 controls. ZC3H11B and two neighboring genes SLC30A10 and LYPLAL1 were expressed in the human neural retina, retinal pigment epithelium, and sclera. In an experimental myopia mouse model, we observed significant alterations to gene and protein expression in the retina and sclera of the unilateral induced myopic eyes for the murine genes ZC3H11A, SLC30A10, and LYPLAL1. This supports the likely role of genetic variants at chromosome 1q41 in influencing AL variation and high myopia.
Full Text Available The overuse or misuse of antibiotics has accelerated antibiotic resistance, creating a major challenge for the public health in the world. Sewage treatment plants (STPs are considered as important reservoirs for antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs and activated sludge characterized with high microbial density and diversity facilitates ARG horizontal gene transfer (HGT via mobile genetic elements (MGEs. However, little is known regarding the pool of ARGs and MGEs in sludge microbiome. In this study, the transposon aided capture (TRACA system was employed to isolate novel plasmids from activated sludge of one STP in Hong Kong, China. We also used Illumina Hiseq 2000 high-throughput sequencing and metagenomics analysis to investigate the plasmid metagenome. Two novel plasmids were acquired from the sludge microbiome by using TRACA system and one novel plasmid was identified through metagenomics analysis. Our results revealed high levels of various ARGs as well as MGEs for HGT, including integrons, transposons and plasmids. The application of the TRACA system to isolate novel plasmids from the environmental metagenome, coupled with subsequent high-throughput sequencing and metagenomic analysis, highlighted the prevalence of ARGs and MGEs in microbial community of STPs.
Zhang, Tong; Zhang, Xu-Xiang; Ye, Lin
The overuse or misuse of antibiotics has accelerated antibiotic resistance, creating a major challenge for the public health in the world. Sewage treatment plants (STPs) are considered as important reservoirs for antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and activated sludge characterized with high microbial density and diversity facilitates ARG horizontal gene transfer (HGT) via mobile genetic elements (MGEs). However, little is known regarding the pool of ARGs and MGEs in sludge microbiome. In this study, the transposon aided capture (TRACA) system was employed to isolate novel plasmids from activated sludge of one STP in Hong Kong, China. We also used Illumina Hiseq 2000 high-throughput sequencing and metagenomics analysis to investigate the plasmid metagenome. Two novel plasmids were acquired from the sludge microbiome by using TRACA system and one novel plasmid was identified through metagenomics analysis. Our results revealed high levels of various ARGs as well as MGEs for HGT, including integrons, transposons and plasmids. The application of the TRACA system to isolate novel plasmids from the environmental metagenome, coupled with subsequent high-throughput sequencing and metagenomic analysis, highlighted the prevalence of ARGs and MGEs in microbial community of STPs.
Full Text Available This paper presents a simple but efficient algorithm for reducing the computation time of genetic algorithm (GA and its variants. The proposed algorithm is motivated by the observation that genes common to all the individuals of a GA have a high probability of surviving the evolution and ending up being part of the final solution; as such, they can be saved away to eliminate the redundant computations at the later generations of a GA. To evaluate the performance of the proposed algorithm, we use it not only to solve the traveling salesman problem but also to provide an extensive analysis on the impact it may have on the quality of the end result. Our experimental results indicate that the proposed algorithm can significantly reduce the computation time of GA and GA-based algorithms while limiting the degradation of the quality of the end result to a very small percentage compared to traditional GA.
Ypma, Rolf J F; Jonges, Marcel; Bataille, Arnaud; Stegeman, Arjan; Koch, Guus; van Boven, Michiel; Koopmans, Marion; van Ballegooijen, W Marijn; Wallinga, Jacco
Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry can cause severe economic damage and represent a public health threat. Development of efficient containment measures requires an understanding of how these influenza viruses are transmitted between farms. However, the actual mechanisms of interfarm transmission are largely unknown. Dispersal of infectious material by wind has been suggested, but never demonstrated, as a possible cause of transmission between farms. Here we provide statistical evidence that the direction of spread of avian influenza A(H7N7) is correlated with the direction of wind at date of infection. Using detailed genetic and epidemiological data, we found the direction of spread by reconstructing the transmission tree for a large outbreak in the Netherlands in 2003. We conservatively estimate the contribution of a possible wind-mediated mechanism to the total amount of spread during this outbreak to be around 18%.
Zheng, Xin; Zhou, Tian-Qi; Wan, Tao; Perdices, Anabel; Yang, Jin-Quan; Tang, Xin-Sheng; Wang, Zheng-Ping; Huang, Li-Qun; Huang, Song; He, Shun-Ping
Six main mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages have been described in minnow (Zacco platypus) samples obtained from northern, western and southern China. Perdices et al. (2004) predicted that further sampling of other tributaries might discover more lineages of this species. In this study, we collected 26 Zacco platypus individuals in the Huangshan area of eastern China and determined the cytochrome b (cytb) sequence variations. Combined with reported data in GenBank, we identified ten matrilines (Zacco A-J) in a total of 169 samples, with relatively high molecular divergence found among them. The Huangshan population had the greatest genetic variation among all sampled regions and hosted six of the ten matrilines. Our results highlight the significance of the Huangshan area for the conservation of Zacco platypus.
Behringer, F. J.; Lomax, T. L.
Mutation of the Lazy-2 (Lz-2) gene in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum mill.) produces a phytochrome-dependent reversal of shoot gravitropism, providing a unique genetic resource for investigating how signals from light modulate gravitropism. We mapped the Lz-2 gene using RFLPs and a PCR-based technique to assess the feasibility of positional cloning. Analysis of a 1338 plant backcross population between L. esculentum and L. pennellii placed Lz-2 within a 1.2 cM interval on chromosome 5, 0.4 cM from TG504-CT201A interval. The inabililty to resolve these markers indicates that Lz-2 resides in a centromeric region in which recombination is highly suppressed. Lazy-2 is tightly linked to but does not encode the gene for ACC4, an enzyme involved in ethylene biosynthesis. We also observed that Lz-2 is partially dominant under certain conditions and stages of development.
Risgaard, B; Jabbari, R; Refsgaard, L
to a surprisingly high genotype prevalence of 1:23 (274:6258). Genotyping the four common ESP-derived variants CACNA2D1 S709N, SCN5A F2004L, CACNB2 S143F, and CACNB2 T450I in the Danish controls, we found a genotype prevalence comparable with that found in ESP. We suggest that exome data are used in research......More than 300 variants in 12 genes have been associated with Brugada syndrome (BrS) which has a prevalence ranging between 1:2000 and 1:100,000. Until recently, there has been little knowledge regarding the distribution of genetic variations in the general population. This problem was partly solved...
Bienvenu, O Joseph; Hettema, John M; Neale, Michael C; Prescott, Carol A; Kendler, Kenneth S
The authors examined the extent to which two major personality dimensions (extraversion and neuroticism) index the genetic and environmental risk for three phobias (social phobia, agoraphobia, and animal phobia) in twins ascertained from a large, population-based registry. Lifetime phobias and personality traits were assessed through diagnostic interview and self-report questionnaire, respectively, in 7,800 twins from female-female, male-male, and opposite-sex pairs. Sex-limited trivariate Cholesky structural equation models were used to decompose the correlations among extraversion, neuroticism, and each phobia. In the best-fitting models, genetic correlations were moderate and negative between extraversion and both social phobia and agoraphobia, and that between extraversion and animal phobia was effectively zero. Genetic correlations were high and positive between neuroticism and both social phobia and agoraphobia, and that between neuroticism and animal phobia was moderate. All of the genetic risk factors for social phobia and agoraphobia were shared with those that influence extraversion and neuroticism; in contrast, only a small proportion of the genetic risk factors for animal phobia (16%) was shared with those that influence personality. Shared environmental experiences were not a source of correlations between personality traits and phobias, and unique environmental correlations were relatively modest. Genetic factors that influence individual variation in extraversion and neuroticism appear to account entirely for the genetic liability to social phobia and agoraphobia, but not animal phobia. These findings underline the importance of both introversion (low extraversion) and neuroticism in some psychiatric disorders.
Mueller, Ashley L.; Knobloch, Neil A.; Orvis, Kathryn S.
Active learning can engage high school students to learn science, yet there is limited understanding if active learning can help students learn challenging science concepts such as genetics and biotechnology. This quasi-experimental study explored the effects of active learning compared to passive learning regarding high school students'…
McDaniel, Jonathan R; Weitzhandler, Isaac; Prevost, Sylvain; Vargo, Kevin B; Appavou, Marie-Sousai; Hammer, Daniel A; Gradzielski, Michael; Chilkoti, Ashutosh
Elastin-like polypeptides (ELPs) are a class of biopolymers consisting of the pentameric repeat (VPGαG)n based on the sequence of mammalian tropoelastin that display a thermally induced soluble-to-insoluble phase transition in aqueous solution. We have discovered a remarkably simple approach to driving the spontaneous self-assembly of high molecular weight ELPs into nanostructures by genetically fusing a short 1.5 kDa (XGy)z assembly domain to one end of the ELP. Classical theories of self-assembly based on the geometric mass balance of hydrophilic and hydrophobic block copolymers suggest that these highly asymmetric polypeptides should form spherical micelles. Surprisingly, when sufficiently hydrophobic amino acids (X) are presented in a periodic sequence such as (FGG)8 or (YG)8, these highly asymmetric polypeptides self-assemble into cylindrical micelles whose length can be tuned by the sequence of the morphogenic tag. These nanostructures were characterized by light scattering, tunable resistive pulse sensing, fluorescence spectrophotometry, and thermal turbidimetry, as well as by cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM) and small-angle neutron scattering (SANS). These short assembly domains provide a facile strategy to control the size, shape, and stability of stimuli responsive polypeptide nanostructures.
Huerta-Sánchez, Emilia; Degiorgio, Michael; Pagani, Luca; Tarekegn, Ayele; Ekong, Rosemary; Antao, Tiago; Cardona, Alexia; Montgomery, Hugh E; Cavalleri, Gianpiero L; Robbins, Peter A; Weale, Michael E; Bradman, Neil; Bekele, Endashaw; Kivisild, Toomas; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Nielsen, Rasmus
The Tibetan and Andean Plateaus and Ethiopian highlands are the largest regions to have long-term high-altitude residents. Such populations are exposed to lower barometric pressures and hence atmospheric partial pressures of oxygen. Such "hypobaric hypoxia" may limit physical functional capacity, reproductive health, and even survival. As such, selection of genetic variants advantageous to hypoxic adaptation is likely to have occurred. Identifying signatures of such selection is likely to help understanding of hypoxic adaptive processes. Here, we seek evidence of such positive selection using five Ethiopian populations, three of which are from high-altitude areas in Ethiopia. As these populations may have been recipients of Eurasian gene flow, we correct for this admixture. Using single-nucleotide polymorphism genotype data from multiple populations, we find the strongest signal of selection in BHLHE41 (also known as DEC2 or SHARP1). Remarkably, a major role of this gene is regulation of the same hypoxia response pathway on which selection has most strikingly been observed in both Tibetan and Andean populations. Because it is also an important player in the circadian rhythm pathway, BHLHE41 might also provide insights into the mechanisms underlying the recognized impacts of hypoxia on the circadian clock. These results support the view that Ethiopian, Andean, and Tibetan populations living at high altitude have adapted to hypoxia differently, with convergent evolution affecting different genes from the same pathway.
Full Text Available This paper proposes a Response Surface Methodology (RSM based Genetic Algorithm (GA using MATLAB® to assess and optimize the thermal and fluidity of high strength concrete (HSC. The overall heat transfer coefficient, slump-spread flow and T50 time was defined as thermal and fluidity properties of high strength concrete. In addition to above mentioned properties, a 28-day compressive strength of HSC was also determined. Water to binder ratio, fine aggregate to total aggregate ratio and the percentage of super-plasticizer content was determined as effective factors on thermal and fluidity properties of HSC. GA based multi-objective optimization method was carried out by obtaining quadratic models using RSM. Having excessive or low ratio of water to binder provides lower overall heat transfer coefficient. Moreover, T50 time of high strength concrete decreased with the increasing of water to binder ratio and the percentage of superplasticizer content. Results show that RSM based GA is effective in determining optimal mixture ratios of HSC.
Ruiz Salas, Amalio; Peña Hernández, José; Medina Palomo, Carmen; Barrera Cordero, Alberto; Cabrera Bueno, Fernando; García Pinilla, José Manuel; Guijarro, Ana; Morcillo-Hidalgo, Luis; Jiménez Navarro, Manuel; Gómez Doblas, Juan José; de Teresa, Eduardo; Alzueta, Javier
Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is an inherited cardiomyopathy characterized by progressive fibrofatty replacement of predominantly right ventricular myocardium. This cardiomyopathy is a frequent cause of sudden cardiac death in young people and athletes. The aim of our study was to determine the incidence of pathological or likely pathological desmosomal mutations in patients with high-risk definite ARVC. This was an observational, retrospective cohort study, which included 36 patients diagnosed with high-risk ARVC in our hospital between January 1998 and January 2015. Genetic analysis was performed using next-generation sequencing. Most patients were male (28 patients, 78%) with a mean age at diagnosis of 45 ± 18 years. A pathogenic or probably pathogenic desmosomal mutation was detected in 26 of the 35 index cases (74%): 5 nonsense, 14 frameshift, 1 splice, and 6 missense. Novel mutations were found in 15 patients (71%). The presence or absence of desmosomal mutations causing the disease and the type of mutation were not associated with specific electrocardiographic, clinical, arrhythmic, anatomic, or prognostic characteristics. The incidence of pathological or likely pathological desmosomal mutations in ARVC is very high, with most mutations causing truncation. The presence of desmosomal mutations was not associated with prognosis. Copyright © 2017 Sociedad Española de Cardiología. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.
David W G Stanton
Full Text Available The okapi is an endangered, evolutionarily distinctive even-toed ungulate classified within the giraffidae family that is endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo. The okapi is currently under major anthropogenic threat, yet to date nothing is known about its genetic structure and evolutionary history, information important for conservation management given the species' current plight. The distribution of the okapi, being confined to the Congo Basin and yet spanning the Congo River, also makes it an important species for testing general biogeographic hypotheses for Congo Basin fauna, a currently understudied area of research. Here we describe the evolutionary history and genetic structure of okapi, in the context of other African ungulates including the giraffe, and use this information to shed light on the biogeographic history of Congo Basin fauna in general. Using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequence analysis of mainly non-invasively collected samples, we show that the okapi is both highly genetically distinct and highly genetically diverse, an unusual combination of genetic traits for an endangered species, and feature a complex evolutionary history. Genetic data are consistent with repeated climatic cycles leading to multiple Plio-Pleistocene refugia in isolated forests in the Congo catchment but also imply historic gene flow across the Congo River.
Dipteryx alata is a native fruit tree species of the cerrado (Brazilian savanna) that has great economic potential because of its multiple uses. Knowledge of how the genetic variability of this species is organized within and among populations would be useful for genetic conservation and breeding programs. We used nine simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers developed for Dipteryx odorata to evaluate the genetic structure of three populations of D. alata located in central Brazil based on a leaf sample analysis from 101 adults. The outcrossing rate was evaluated using 300 open-pollinated offspring from 25 seed-trees. Pollen dispersal was measured by parentage analysis. We used spatial genetic structure (SGS) to test the minimal distance for harvesting seeds in conservation and breeding programs. Our data indicate that the populations studied had a high degree of genetic diversity and population structure, as suggested by the high level of divergence among populations . The estimated outcrossing rate suggested a mixed mating system, and the intrapopulation fixation index was influenced by SGS. We conclude that seed harvesting for genetic conservation and breeding programs requires a minimum distance between trees of 196 m to avoid collecting seeds from related seed-trees. PMID:21637609
Poulsen, Tim S; Espersen, Maiken Lise Marcker; Kofoed, Vibeke
cancer patients with HER2 immunohistochemistry (IHC) results scored as 0/1+, 2+, and 3+. HER2 genetic status was analysed using chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Scoring results were documented through digital image analysis. The cancer region...... of interest was identified from a serial H&E stained slide following tissue cores were transferred to a tissue microarrays (TMA). When using TMA in a routine flow, all patients will be tested for HER2 status with IHC followed by CISH or FISH, thereby providing individual HER2 results. In conclusion, our...... results show that the differences between the HER2 genetic assays do not have an effect on the analytic performance and the CISH technology is superior to high throughput HER2 genetic testing due to scanning speed, while the IQ-FISH may still be a choice for fast low throughput HER2 genetic testing....
Seed, S.; Barozai, M.Y.K.; Ahmed, A.; Tareen, R.B.
Juniperusexcelsa (Cupressaceae) is an evergreen tree and the second most diverse group of the conifers distributed abundantly in high elevation zones of Balochistan. Genetic and phytochemical variations in three naturally occurring populations of J.excelsa were analysed. Genetic variability was assessed by different molecular markers (RAPD, ISSR and URP) with an objective to use genetic diversity as a key to conserve the taxon which is also known as living fossil as dominated in Mesozoic era. Genetic diversity was assessed by polymorphic bands to generate a dendrogram based on UPGMA. Using tested markers, 116 bands were amplified out of which 67 bands were polymorphic with an average value of 8.37 (57%) bands per primer. Based on data, a cluster dendrogram was prepared that exhibited the mean genetic similarity matrix as 0.57 and two major clusters diverge at 0.49. The genetic similarity coefficient among all accessions ranged from 0.35 to 0.90. In phytochemical analysis, total phenolic and flavonoid contents were estimated and compared among all accessions. Ecological characteristics of the study sites were measured to check their impact on genetic and chemical variation. Soil properties were analyzed for Principal Component Analysis. Chemical variation of J. excelsa of three sites revealed by dissimilarity matrix exhibiting genetic distance based on TPC and Flavonoids. Cluster analysis represent two major groups. Mean concentration of TPC and flavonoids were 56+-9.15 and 150+-27.9 mg/g respectively. PCA of soil considered three factors had Eigen values >1 and explain cumulatively 4.60 %, 26.02% and 10.36 % of the variance. First factor was positively correlated with second and fifth, but negatively correlated with other factors. In conclusion, molecular marker profiling together with phytochemical variation of total phenolic and flavonoid content in all accessions of Juniperusexcelsa and impact of ecological diversity on Genetic and chemical variation can be used
Katapodi, Maria C; Northouse, Laurel L; Milliron, Kara J; Liu, Guipeng; Merajver, Sofia D
Little is known about family members' interrelated decisions to seek genetic testing for breast cancer susceptibility. The specific aims of this cross-sectional, descriptive, cohort study were (i) to examine whether individual and family characteristics have a direct effect on women's decisions to use genetic testing for hereditary susceptibility to breast cancer and (ii) to explore whether family characteristics moderate the relationships between individual characteristics and the decision to use genetic testing. Participants were women (>18 years old) who (i) received genetic testing for hereditary breast cancer and who agreed to invite one of their female relatives into the study and (ii) female relatives who had NOT obtained genetic testing and were identified by pedigree analysis as having >10% chances of hereditary susceptibility to breast cancer. The final sample consisted of 168 English-speaking, family dyads who completed self-administered, mailed surveys with validated instruments. Multivariate conditional logistic regression analyses showed that the proposed model explained 62% of the variance in genetic testing. The factors most significantly associated with genetic testing were having a personal history of cancer; perceiving genetic testing to have more benefits than barriers; having greater family hardiness; and perceiving fewer negative consequences associated with a breast cancer diagnosis. No significant interaction effects were observed. Findings suggest that both individual and family characteristics are associated with the decision to obtain genetic testing for hereditary breast cancer; hence, there is a need for interventions that foster a supportive family environment for patients and their high-risk relatives. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Guerrero-Jiménez, Claudia Jimena; Peña, Fabiola; Morales, Pamela; Méndez, Marco; Sallaberry, Michel; Vila, Irma; Poulin, Elie
During the Pleistocene and Holocene, the southwest Andean Altiplano (17°-22°S) was affected by repeated fluctuations in water levels, high volcanic activity and major tectonic movements. In the early Holocene the humid Tauca phase shifted to the arid conditions that have lasted until the present, producing endorheic rivers, lakes, lagoons and wetlands. The endemic fish Orestias (Cyprinodontidae) represents a good model to observe the genetic differentiation that characterizes an incipient speciation process in allopatry since the morphospecies described inhabit a restricted geographic area, with present habitat fragmentation. The genetic diversity and population structure of four endemic morphospecies of Orestias (Cyprinodontidae) found in the Lauca National Park (LNP) analyzed with mitochondrial markers (Control Region) and eight microsatellites, revealed the existence of genetic groups that matches the fragmentation of these systems. High values of genetic and phylogeographic differentiation indices were observed between Chungará Lake and Piacota lagoon. The group composed of the Lauca River, Copapujo and Chuviri wetlands sampling sites showed a clear signal of expansion, with a star-like haplotype network. Levels of genetic differentiation were lower than in Chungará and Piacota, suggesting that these localities would have differentiated after the bottlenecks linked to the collapse of Parinacota volcano. The Parinacota sample showed a population signal that differed from the other localities revealing greater genetic diversity and a disperse network, presenting haplotypes shared with other LNP localities. A mixing pattern of the different genetic groups was evident using the microsatellite markers. The chronology of the vicariance events in LNP may indicate that the partition process of the Orestias populations was gradual. Considering this, and in view of the genetic results, we may conclude that the morphospecies from LNP are populations in ongoing
Guerrero-Jiménez, Claudia Jimena; Peña, Fabiola; Morales, Pamela; Méndez, Marco; Sallaberry, Michel; Vila, Irma; Poulin, Elie
During the Pleistocene and Holocene, the southwest Andean Altiplano (17°-22°S) was affected by repeated fluctuations in water levels, high volcanic activity and major tectonic movements. In the early Holocene the humid Tauca phase shifted to the arid conditions that have lasted until the present, producing endorheic rivers, lakes, lagoons and wetlands. The endemic fish Orestias (Cyprinodontidae) represents a good model to observe the genetic differentiation that characterizes an incipient speciation process in allopatry since the morphospecies described inhabit a restricted geographic area, with present habitat fragmentation. The genetic diversity and population structure of four endemic morphospecies of Orestias (Cyprinodontidae) found in the Lauca National Park (LNP) analyzed with mitochondrial markers (Control Region) and eight microsatellites, revealed the existence of genetic groups that matches the fragmentation of these systems. High values of genetic and phylogeographic differentiation indices were observed between Chungará Lake and Piacota lagoon. The group composed of the Lauca River, Copapujo and Chuviri wetlands sampling sites showed a clear signal of expansion, with a star-like haplotype network. Levels of genetic differentiation were lower than in Chungará and Piacota, suggesting that these localities would have differentiated after the bottlenecks linked to the collapse of Parinacota volcano. The Parinacota sample showed a population signal that differed from the other localities revealing greater genetic diversity and a disperse network, presenting haplotypes shared with other LNP localities. A mixing pattern of the different genetic groups was evident using the microsatellite markers. The chronology of the vicariance events in LNP may indicate that the partition process of the Orestias populations was gradual. Considering this, and in view of the genetic results, we may conclude that the morphospecies from LNP are populations in ongoing
The document reproduces the text of an agreement by exchange of letters with Belize in connection with the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean. The agreement was approved by the Board of Governors on 18 March 1997 and entered into force on that date
Ottewell, Kym; Browne, Luke; Cabrera, Domingo; Olivo, Jorge; Karubian, Jordan
Frugivorous animals frequently generate clumped distributions of seeds away from source trees, but genetic consequences of this phenomenon remain poorly resolved. Seed dispersal of the palm Oenocarpus bataua by long-wattled umbrellabirds Cephalopterus penduliger generates high seed densities in leks (i.e., multi-male display sites), providing a suitable venue to investigate how dispersal by this frugivore may influence seed source diversity and genetic structure at local and landscape levels. We found moderate levels of maternal seed source diversity in primary seed rain across five leks in northwest Ecuador (unweighted mean alpha diversity α = 9.52, weighted mean αr = 3.52), with considerable variation among leks (αr range: 1.81-24.55). Qualitatively similar findings were obtained for allelic diversity and heterozygosity. Higher densities of O. bataua adults around leks were associated with higher values of αr and heterozygosity (non-significant trends) and allelic diversity (significant correlation). Seed source overlap between different leks was not common but did occur at low frequency, providing evidence for long-distance seed dispersal by umbrellabirds into leks. Our findings are consistent with the idea that seed pool diversity within leks may be shaped by the interaction between density of local trees, which can vary considerably between leks, and umbrellabird foraging ecology, particularly a lack of territorial defense of fruiting trees. Taken as a whole, this work adds to our growing appreciation of the ways resource distribution and associated frugivore foraging behaviors mechanistically shape seed dispersal outcomes and the distribution of plant genotypes across the landscape.
Stobdan, Tsering; Akbari, Ali; Azad, Priti; Zhou, Dan; Poulsen, Orit; Appenzeller, Otto; Gonzales, Gustavo F; Telenti, Amalio; Wong, Emily H M; Saini, Shubham; Kirkness, Ewen F; Venter, J Craig; Bafna, Vineet; Haddad, Gabriel G
Human high-altitude (HA) adaptation or mal-adaptation is explored to understand the physiology, pathophysiology, and molecular mechanisms that underlie long-term exposure to hypoxia. Here, we report the results of an analysis of the largest whole-genome-sequencing of Chronic Mountain Sickness (CMS) and nonCMS individuals, identified candidate genes and functionally validated these candidates in a genetic model system (Drosophila). We used PreCIOSS algorithm that uses Haplotype Allele Frequency score to separate haplotypes carrying the favored allele from the noncarriers and accordingly, prioritize genes associated with the CMS or nonCMS phenotype. Haplotypes in eleven candidate regions, with SNPs mostly in nonexonic regions, were significantly different between CMS and nonCMS subjects. Closer examination of individual genes in these regions revealed the involvement of previously identified candidates (e.g., SENP1) and also unreported ones SGK3, COPS5, PRDM1, and IFT122 in CMS. Remarkably, in addition to genes like SENP1, SGK3, and COPS5 which are HIF-dependent, our study reveals for the first time HIF-independent gene PRDM1, indicating an involvement of wider, nonHIF pathways in HA adaptation. Finally, we observed that down-regulating orthologs of these genes in Drosophila significantly enhanced their hypoxia tolerance. Taken together, the PreCIOSS algorithm, applied on a large number of genomes, identifies the involvement of both new and previously reported genes in selection sweeps, highlighting the involvement of multiple hypoxia response systems. Since the overwhelming majority of SNPs are in nonexonic (and possibly regulatory) regions, we speculate that adaptation to HA necessitates greater genetic flexibility allowing for transcript variability in response to graded levels of hypoxia. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e
Zheng, Yan; Peng, Xiong; Liu, Gaoming; Pan, Hongyan; Dorn, Silvia; Chen, Maohua
The oriental fruit moth Grapholita ( = Cydia) molesta is a key fruit pest globally. Despite its economic importance, little is known about its population genetics in its putative native range that includes China. We used five polymorphic microsatellite loci and two mitochondrial gene sequences to characterize the population genetic diversity and genetic structure of G. molesta from nine sublocations in three regions of a major fruit growing area of China. Larval samples were collected through...
Dukić, Marinela; Berner, Daniel; Roesti, Marius; Haag, Christoph R; Ebert, Dieter
Recombination rate is an essential parameter for many genetic analyses. Recombination rates are highly variable across species, populations, individuals and different genomic regions. Due to the profound influence that recombination can have on intraspecific diversity and interspecific divergence, characterization of recombination rate variation emerges as a key resource for population genomic studies and emphasises the importance of high-density genetic maps as tools for studying genome biology. Here we present such a high-density genetic map for Daphnia magna, and analyse patterns of recombination rate across the genome. A F2 intercross panel was genotyped by Restriction-site Associated DNA sequencing to construct the third-generation linkage map of D. magna. The resulting high-density map included 4037 markers covering 813 scaffolds and contigs that sum up to 77 % of the currently available genome draft sequence (v2.4) and 55 % of the estimated genome size (238 Mb). Total genetic length of the map presented here is 1614.5 cM and the genome-wide recombination rate is estimated to 6.78 cM/Mb. Merging genetic and physical information we consistently found that recombination rate estimates are high towards the peripheral parts of the chromosomes, while chromosome centres, harbouring centromeres in D. magna, show very low recombination rate estimates. Due to its high-density, the third-generation linkage map for D. magna can be coupled with the draft genome assembly, providing an essential tool for genome investigation in this model organism. Thus, our linkage map can be used for the on-going improvements of the genome assembly, but more importantly, it has enabled us to characterize variation in recombination rate across the genome of D. magna for the first time. These new insights can provide a valuable assistance in future studies of the genome evolution, mapping of quantitative traits and population genetic studies.
Full Text Available Despite its gradual increase in the past several decades, the prevalence of atherosclerotic vascular disease is low in Japan. This is largely attributed to difference in lifestyle, especially food and dietary habits, and it may be reflected in certain clinical parameters. Plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL levels, a strong counter risk for atherosclerosis, are indeed high among the Japanese. Accordingly, lower HDL seems to contribute more to the development of coronary heart disease (CHD than an increase in non-HDL lipoproteins at a population level in Japan. Interestingly, average HDL levels in Japan have increased further in the past two decades, and are markedly higher than in Western populations. The reasons and consequences for public health of this increase are still unknown. Simulation for the efficacy of raising HDL cholesterol predicts a decrease in CHD of 70% in Japan, greater than the extent by reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol predicted by simulation or achieved in a statin trial. On the other hand, a substantial portion of hyperalphalipoproteinemic population in Japan is accounted for by genetic deficiency of cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP, which is also commonly unique in East Asian populations. It is still controversial whether CETP mutations are antiatherogenic. Hepatic Schistosomiasis is proposed as a potential screening factor for historic accumulation of CETP deficiency in East Asia.
Franik, Sebastian; Huidekoper, Hidde H; Visser, Gepke; de Vries, Maaike; de Boer, Lonneke; Hermans-Peters, Marion; Rodenburg, Richard; Verhaak, Chris; Vlieger, Arine M; Smeitink, Jan A M; Janssen, Mirian C H; Wortmann, Saskia B
Despite major advances in understanding the pathophysiology of mitochondrial diseases, clinical management of these conditions remains largely supportive, and no effective treatment is available. We therefore assumed that the burden of disease combined with the lack of adequate treatment leaves open a big market for complementary and alternative medicine use. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use and perceived effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicine in children and adults with genetically proven mitochondrial disease. The reported use was surprisingly high, with 88% of children and 91% of adults having used some kind of complementary and alternative medicine in the last 2 years. Also, the mean cost of these treatments was impressive, being 489/year for children and 359/year for adult patients. Over-the-counter remedies (e.g., food supplements, homeopathy) and self-help techniques (e.g., Reiki, yoga) were the most frequently used complementary and alternative therapies in our cohort: 54% of children and 60% of adults reported the various complementary and alternative medicine therapies to be effective. Given the fact that currently no effective treatment exists, further research toward the different therapies is needed, as our study clearly demonstrates that such therapies are highly sought after by affected patients.
Rohde, Christopher B.; Gilleland, Cody; Samara, Chrysanthi; Yanik, M. Fatih
Therapeutic treatment of spinal cord injuries, brain trauma, stroke, and neurodegenerative diseases will greatly benefit from the discovery of compounds that enhance neuronal regeneration following injury. We previously demonstrated the use of femtosecond laser microsurgery to induce precise and reproducible neural injury in C. elegans, and have developed microfluidic on-chip technologies that allow automated and rapid manipulation, orientation, and non-invasive immobilization of animals for sub-cellular resolution two-photon imaging and femtosecond-laser nanosurgery. These technologies include microfluidic whole-animal sorters, as well as integrated chips containing multiple addressable incubation chambers for exposure of individual animals to compounds and sub-cellular time-lapse imaging of hundreds of animals on a single chip. Our technologies can be used for a variety of highly sophisticated in vivo high-throughput compound and genetic screens, and we performed the first in vivo screen in C. elegans for compounds enhancing neuronal regrowth following femtosecond microsurgery. The compounds identified interact with a wide variety of cellular targets, such as cytoskeletal components, vesicle trafficking, and protein kinases that enhance neuronal regeneration.
Beal, Jacob; Lu, Ting; Weiss, Ron
The field of synthetic biology promises to revolutionize our ability to engineer biological systems, providing important benefits for a variety of applications. Recent advances in DNA synthesis and automated DNA assembly technologies suggest that it is now possible to construct synthetic systems of significant complexity. However, while a variety of novel genetic devices and small engineered gene networks have been successfully demonstrated, the regulatory complexity of synthetic systems that have been reported recently has somewhat plateaued due to a variety of factors, including the complexity of biology itself and the lag in our ability to design and optimize sophisticated biological circuitry. To address the gap between DNA synthesis and circuit design capabilities, we present a platform that enables synthetic biologists to express desired behavior using a convenient high-level biologically-oriented programming language, Proto. The high level specification is compiled, using a regulatory motif based mechanism, to a gene network, optimized, and then converted to a computational simulation for numerical verification. Through several example programs we illustrate the automated process of biological system design with our platform, and show that our compiler optimizations can yield significant reductions in the number of genes (~ 50%) and latency of the optimized engineered gene networks. Our platform provides a convenient and accessible tool for the automated design of sophisticated synthetic biological systems, bridging an important gap between DNA synthesis and circuit design capabilities. Our platform is user-friendly and features biologically relevant compiler optimizations, providing an important foundation for the development of sophisticated biological systems.
Wang, Jiali; Wang, Fang; Chu, Limin; Wang, Hao; Zhong, Zhiping; Liu, Zhipei; Gao, Jianyong; Duan, Hairong
Saline lakes are intriguing ecosystems harboring extremely productive microbial communities in spite of their extreme environmental conditions. We performed a comprehensive analysis of the genetic diversity (18S rRNA gene) of the planktonic microbial eukaryotes (nano- and picoeukaryotes) in six different inland saline lakes located in the Qaidam Basin. The novelty level are high, with about 11.23% of the whole dataset showing Basin are also dominated by Holozoa group, accounting for 26.65% of the total number of sequence reads. Notably, Chlorophyta group are only found in high abundance in Lake Gasikule (28.00%), whereas less represented in other hypersaline lakes such as Gahai (0.50%) and Xiaochaidan (1.15%). Further analysis show that the compositions of planktonic eukaryotic assemblages are also most variable between different sampling sites in the same lake. Out of the parameters, four show significant correlation to this CCA: altitude, calcium, sodium and potassium concentrations. Overall, this study shows important gaps in the current knowledge about planktonic microbial eukaryotes inhabiting Qaidam Basin (hyper) saline water bodies. The identified diversity and novelty patterns among eukaryotic plankton assemblages in saline lake are of great importance for understanding and interpreting their ecology and evolution. PMID:25401703
Alvares, R C; Silva, F C; Melo, L C; Melo, P G S; Pereira, H S
Slow seed coat darkening is desirable in common bean cultivars and genetic parameters are important to define breeding strategies. The aims of this study were to estimate genetic parameters for plant architecture, grain yield, grain size, and seed-coat darkening in common bean; identify any genetic association among these traits; and select lines that associate desirable phenotypes for these traits. Three experiments were set up in the winter 2012 growing season, in Santo Antônio de Goiás and Brasília, Brazil, including 220 lines obtained from four segregating populations and five parents. A triple lattice 15 x 15 experimental design was used. The traits evaluated were plant architecture, grain yield, grain size, and seed-coat darkening. Analyses of variance were carried out and genetic parameters such as heritability, gain expected from selection, and correlations, were estimated. For selection of superior lines, a "weight-free and parameter-free" index was used. The estimates of genetic variance, heritability, and gain expected from selection were high, indicating good possibility for success in selection of the four traits. The genotype x environment interaction was proportionally more important for yield than for the other traits. There was no strong genetic correlation observed among the four traits, which indicates the possibility of selection of superior lines with many traits. Considering simultaneous selection, it was not possible to join high genetic gains for the four traits. Forty-four lines that combined high yield, more upright plant architecture, slow darkening grains, and commercial grade size were selected.
Amauri de Jesús Miranda Guerra
Full Text Available Se realizó un estudio analítico, comparativo de casos y controles en la aldea Hattieville, en Belice, Centro América, desde septiembre de 2003 hasta abril de 2004. El universo de estudio quedó constituido por 82 pacientes cardiópatas, y los controles fueron 246 de la misma comunidad sin cardiopatía. Los métodos utilizados fueron la entrevista y la observación documental, y las variables estudiadas fueron: la edad, el sexo, los factores de riesgo y la cantidad de factores de riesgo. El análisis y procesamiento de la información se realizó utilizando una base de datos y el paquete estadístico SPSS, el promedio y el porcentaje fueron las frecuencias relativas utilizadas como medidas de resumen, y el análisis estadístico se realizó con la prueba de independencia X2 y odds ratio. Los factores de riesgo identificados en el grupo estudio fueron: los antecedentes patológicos familiares, la hipertensión arterial y la obesidad, con el 74,39 %, el 64,63 % y el 57,31 % respectivamente; y en el grupo control, la diabetes mellitus, los antecedentes patológicos familiares y la obesidad con el 44,71 %, el 33,33 % y el 31,70 %. En el grupo estudio se identificó también la presencia de 3 factores de riesgo en 42 pacientes para un 51,21 %, y 4 o más en el 34,15 %. Se concluyó que la hipertensión arterial, el hábito de fumar, el sedentarismo, la obesidad, la hipercolesterolemia y los antecedentes patológicos familiares constituyen factores de riesgo importantes para el desarrollo de enfermedades cardiovasculares en la población de Hattieville, y el tiempo y la intensidad de exposición al factor de riesgo favorecieron el desarrollo de la enfermedad.A comparative and analytical case-control study was conducted in Hattieville village in Belize , Central America , from September 2003 to April 2004. The study included 82 patients suffering from heart disease and 246 controls from the same community but without heart disease. The methods used
Batista, Michel; Marchini, Fabricio K; Celedon, Paola A F; Fragoso, Stenio P; Probst, Christian M; Preti, Henrique; Ozaki, Luiz S; Buck, Gregory A; Goldenberg, Samuel; Krieger, Marco A
The three trypanosomatids pathogenic to men, Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania major, are etiological agents of Chagas disease, African sleeping sickness and cutaneous leishmaniasis, respectively. The complete sequencing of these trypanosomatid genomes represented a breakthrough in the understanding of these organisms. Genome sequencing is a step towards solving the parasite biology puzzle, as there are a high percentage of genes encoding proteins without functional annotation. Also, technical limitations in protein expression in heterologous systems reinforce the evident need for the development of a high-throughput reverse genetics platform. Ideally, such platform would lead to efficient cloning and compatibility with various approaches. Thus, we aimed to construct a highly efficient cloning platform compatible with plasmid vectors that are suitable for various approaches. We constructed a platform with a flexible structure allowing the exchange of various elements, such as promoters, fusion tags, intergenic regions or resistance markers. This platform is based on Gateway® technology, to ensure a fast and efficient cloning system. We obtained plasmid vectors carrying genes for fluorescent proteins (green, cyan or yellow), and sequences for the c-myc epitope, and tandem affinity purification or polyhistidine tags. The vectors were verified by successful subcellular localization of two previously characterized proteins (TcRab7 and PAR 2) and a putative centrin. For the tandem affinity purification tag, the purification of two protein complexes (ribosome and proteasome) was performed. We constructed plasmids with an efficient cloning system and suitable for use across various applications, such as protein localization and co-localization, protein partner identification and protein expression. This platform also allows vector customization, as the vectors were constructed to enable easy exchange of its elements. The development of this high
Ozaki Luiz S
Full Text Available Abstract Background The three trypanosomatids pathogenic to men, Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania major, are etiological agents of Chagas disease, African sleeping sickness and cutaneous leishmaniasis, respectively. The complete sequencing of these trypanosomatid genomes represented a breakthrough in the understanding of these organisms. Genome sequencing is a step towards solving the parasite biology puzzle, as there are a high percentage of genes encoding proteins without functional annotation. Also, technical limitations in protein expression in heterologous systems reinforce the evident need for the development of a high-throughput reverse genetics platform. Ideally, such platform would lead to efficient cloning and compatibility with various approaches. Thus, we aimed to construct a highly efficient cloning platform compatible with plasmid vectors that are suitable for various approaches. Results We constructed a platform with a flexible structure allowing the exchange of various elements, such as promoters, fusion tags, intergenic regions or resistance markers. This platform is based on Gateway® technology, to ensure a fast and efficient cloning system. We obtained plasmid vectors carrying genes for fluorescent proteins (green, cyan or yellow, and sequences for the c-myc epitope, and tandem affinity purification or polyhistidine tags. The vectors were verified by successful subcellular localization of two previously characterized proteins (TcRab7 and PAR 2 and a putative centrin. For the tandem affinity purification tag, the purification of two protein complexes (ribosome and proteasome was performed. Conclusions We constructed plasmids with an efficient cloning system and suitable for use across various applications, such as protein localization and co-localization, protein partner identification and protein expression. This platform also allows vector customization, as the vectors were constructed to enable easy
Cohen, Joshua L; Glover, Matthew E; Pugh, Phyllis C; Fant, Andrew D; Simmons, Rebecca K; Akil, Huda; Kerman, Ilan A; Clinton, Sarah M
The early-life environment critically influences neurodevelopment and later psychological health. To elucidate neural and environmental elements that shape emotional behavior, we developed a rat model of individual differences in temperament and environmental reactivity. We selectively bred rats for high versus low behavioral response to novelty and found that high-reactive (bred high-responder, bHR) rats displayed greater risk-taking, impulsivity and aggression relative to low-reactive (bred low-responder, bLR) rats, which showed high levels of anxiety/depression-like behavior and certain stress vulnerability. The bHR/bLR traits are heritable, but prior work revealed bHR/bLR maternal style differences, with bLR dams showing more maternal attention than bHRs. The present study implemented a cross-fostering paradigm to examine the contribution of maternal behavior to the brain development and emotional behavior of bLR offspring. bLR offspring were reared by biological bLR mothers or fostered to a bLR or bHR mother and then evaluated to determine the effects on the following: (1) developmental gene expression in the hippocampus and amygdala and (2) adult anxiety/depression-like behavior. Genome-wide expression profiling showed that cross-fostering bLR rats to bHR mothers shifted developmental gene expression in the amygdala (but not hippocampus), reduced adult anxiety and enhanced social interaction. Our findings illustrate how an early-life manipulation such as cross-fostering changes the brain's developmental trajectory and ultimately impacts adult behavior. Moreover, while earlier studies highlighted hippocampal differences contributing to the bHR/bLR phenotypes, our results point to a role of the amygdala as well. Future work will pursue genetic and cellular mechanisms within the amygdala that contribute to bHR/bLR behavior either at baseline or following environmental manipulations. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Genetic mapping and QTL detection are powerful methodologies in plant improvement and breeding. Construction of a high-density and high-quality genetic map would be of great benefit in the production of superior grapes to meet human demand. High throughput and low cost of the recently developed next generation sequencing (NGS technology have resulted in its wide application in genome research. Sequencing restriction-site associated DNA (RAD might be an efficient strategy to simplify genotyping. Combining NGS with RAD has proven to be powerful for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP marker development. Results An F1 population of 100 individual plants was developed. In-silico digestion-site prediction was used to select an appropriate restriction enzyme for construction of a RAD sequencing library. Next generation RAD sequencing was applied to genotype the F1 population and its parents. Applying a cluster strategy for SNP modulation, a total of 1,814 high-quality SNP markers were developed: 1,121 of these were mapped to the female genetic map, 759 to the male map, and 1,646 to the integrated map. A comparison of the genetic maps to the published Vitis vinifera genome revealed both conservation and variations. Conclusions The applicability of next generation RAD sequencing for genotyping a grape F1 population was demonstrated, leading to the successful development of a genetic map with high density and quality using our designed SNP markers. Detailed analysis revealed that this newly developed genetic map can be used for a variety of genome investigations, such as QTL detection, sequence assembly and genome comparison.
Wang, Nian; Fang, Linchuan; Xin, Haiping; Wang, Lijun; Li, Shaohua
Genetic mapping and QTL detection are powerful methodologies in plant improvement and breeding. Construction of a high-density and high-quality genetic map would be of great benefit in the production of superior grapes to meet human demand. High throughput and low cost of the recently developed next generation sequencing (NGS) technology have resulted in its wide application in genome research. Sequencing restriction-site associated DNA (RAD) might be an efficient strategy to simplify genotyping. Combining NGS with RAD has proven to be powerful for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) marker development. An F1 population of 100 individual plants was developed. In-silico digestion-site prediction was used to select an appropriate restriction enzyme for construction of a RAD sequencing library. Next generation RAD sequencing was applied to genotype the F1 population and its parents. Applying a cluster strategy for SNP modulation, a total of 1,814 high-quality SNP markers were developed: 1,121 of these were mapped to the female genetic map, 759 to the male map, and 1,646 to the integrated map. A comparison of the genetic maps to the published Vitis vinifera genome revealed both conservation and variations. The applicability of next generation RAD sequencing for genotyping a grape F1 population was demonstrated, leading to the successful development of a genetic map with high density and quality using our designed SNP markers. Detailed analysis revealed that this newly developed genetic map can be used for a variety of genome investigations, such as QTL detection, sequence assembly and genome comparison.
McGee, Jacob; Panabaker, Karen; Leonard, Sean; Ainsworth, Peter; Elit, Laurie; Shariff, Salimah Z
In 2001, the province of Ontario expanded cancer genetic testing eligibility to include all women with high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSC) of the ovary, fallopian tube, and peritoneum. The aim of this study was to determine the proportion of women who attended genetics counseling for consideration of BRCA1/2 gene analysis. We also sought to examine if regional differences in consultation rate exist across administrative health regions in the province of Ontario. We identified all women with a pathological diagnosis of HGSC in the province of Ontario between 1997 until 2011. Our primary outcome was the 2-year rate of genetics consultation following a diagnosis of HGSC. We compared consultation rates over time and geographical regions and applied multiple logistic regression to identify predictors of genetics consultation. Of the 5412 women with a diagnosis of HGSC over the study period, 6.6% were seen for genetics consultation within 2 years of diagnosis. Factors predictive of genetics consultation included history of breast cancer (odds ratio [OR], 3.56; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.87-6.78), era of diagnosis (2009-2011 vs 1997-2000; OR, 10.59; 95% CI, 5.02-22.33), and younger age at diagnosis (OR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.94-0.97 for each additional year). No regional differences in consultation rate were seen. Despite an increasing rate across eras, a small proportion of women with HGSC undergo genetics consultation. Efforts are required to increase cancer genetics consultation in patients with HGSC in the province of Ontario.
Nagy Ervin D
Full Text Available Abstract Background Cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea is an allotetraploid species whose ancestral genomes are most likely derived from the A-genome species, A. duranensis, and the B-genome species, A. ipaensis. The very recent (several millennia evolutionary origin of A. hypogaea has imposed a bottleneck for allelic and phenotypic diversity within the cultigen. However, wild diploid relatives are a rich source of alleles that could be used for crop improvement and their simpler genomes can be more easily analyzed while providing insight into the structure of the allotetraploid peanut genome. The objective of this research was to establish a high-density genetic map of the diploid species A. duranensis based on de novo generated EST databases. Arachis duranensis was chosen for mapping because it is the A-genome progenitor of cultivated peanut and also in order to circumvent the confounding effects of gene duplication associated with allopolyploidy in A. hypogaea. Results More than one million expressed sequence tag (EST sequences generated from normalized cDNA libraries of A. duranensis were assembled into 81,116 unique transcripts. Mining this dataset, 1236 EST-SNP markers were developed between two A. duranensis accessions, PI 475887 and Grif 15036. An additional 300 SNP markers also were developed from genomic sequences representing conserved legume orthologs. Of the 1536 SNP markers, 1054 were placed on a genetic map. In addition, 598 EST-SSR markers identified in A. hypogaea assemblies were included in the map along with 37 disease resistance gene candidate (RGC and 35 other previously published markers. In total, 1724 markers spanning 1081.3 cM over 10 linkage groups were mapped. Gene sequences that provided mapped markers were annotated using similarity searches in three different databases, and gene ontology descriptions were determined using the Medicago Gene Atlas and TAIR databases. Synteny analysis between A. duranensis, Medicago
Wood, Sarah G.; Hart, Sara A.; Little, Callie W.; Phillips, Beth M.
Past research suggests that reading comprehension test performance does not rely solely on targeted cognitive processes such as word reading, but also on other nontarget aspects such as test anxiety. Using a genetically sensitive design, we sought to understand the genetic and environmental etiology of the association between test anxiety and…
Johannsen, Trine Holm; Kamstrup, Pia R; Andersen, Rolf V
.76-1.88), 1.04 (0.96-1.13), and 1.08 (0.89-1.30), respectively. Hazard/odds ratios for ICD in carriers vs. noncarriers of the four remaining hepatic lipase genetic variants did not differ consistently from 1.0. CONCLUSION: Hepatic lipase genetic variants with elevated levels of HDL cholesterol did...
Sánchez-Vilas, Julia; Philipp, Marianne; Retuerto, Rubén
Honckenya peploides is a subdioecious dune plant that reproduces both sexually and by clonal growth. In northwest Spain this species was found to exhibit an extreme spatial segregation of the sexes, and our objective was to investigate genetic variation in unisexual clumps. Genetic variation was ...
Schmidt, Anna M; d'Ettorre, Patrizia; Pedersen, Jes Søe
-called supercolonies that have been described for some invasive ant species, but general conclusions about the role of these cues are hampered by only few species being studied. Here we use data on cuticular hydrocarbons, aggression and microsatellite genetic markers to investigate the interdependence of chemical...... recognition cues, genetic distance and nestmate discrimination in the pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis), a widespread pest species, and ask whether introduced populations of this species are genetically differentiated and exhibit intraspecific aggression. Results Microsatellite analyses of a total of 35...... colonies. There was a positive correlation between geographical and genetic distance, but no other significant relationships were detected between aggression, chemical profile, genetic distance and geographical distance. Conclusions The pharaoh ant has a global invasion history of numerous independent...
Stiassny Melanie LJ
Full Text Available Abstract Background It is hypothesized that one of the mechanisms promoting diversification in cichlid fishes in the African Great Lakes has been the well-documented pattern of philopatry along shoreline habitats leading to high levels of genetic isolation among populations. However lake habitats are not the only centers of cichlid biodiversity - certain African rivers also contain large numbers of narrowly endemic species. Patterns of isolation and divergence in these systems have tended to be overlooked and are not well understood. Results We examined genetic and morphological divergence among populations of two narrowly endemic cichlid species, Teleogramma depressum and Lamprologus tigripictilis, from a 100 km stretch of the lower Congo River using both nDNA microsatellites and mtDNA markers along with coordinate-based morphological techniques. In L. tigripictilis, the strongest genetic break was concordant with measurable phenotypic divergence but no morphological disjunction was detected for T. depressum despite significant differentiation at mtDNA and nDNA microsatellite markers. Conclusions The genetic markers revealed patterns of philopatry and estimates of genetic isolation that are among the highest reported for any African cichlid species over a comparable geographic scale. We hypothesize that the high levels of philopatry observed are generated and maintained by the extreme hydrology of the lower Congo River.
Poulsen, Tim S.; Espersen, Maiken L. M.; Kofoed, Vibeke; Dabetic, Tanja; Høgdall, Estrid; Balslev, Eva
The purpose was to evaluate and compare 5 different HER2 genetic assays with different characteristics that could affect the performance to analyze the human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2) gene copy number under low and high throughput conditions. The study included 108 tissue samples from breast cancer patients with HER2 immunohistochemistry (IHC) results scored as 0/1+, 2+, and 3+. HER2 genetic status was analysed using chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Scoring results were documented through digital image analysis. The cancer region of interest was identified from a serial H&E stained slide following tissue cores were transferred to a tissue microarrays (TMA). When using TMA in a routine flow, all patients will be tested for HER2 status with IHC followed by CISH or FISH, thereby providing individual HER2 results. In conclusion, our results show that the differences between the HER2 genetic assays do not have an effect on the analytic performance and the CISH technology is superior to high throughput HER2 genetic testing due to scanning speed, while the IQ-FISH may still be a choice for fast low throughput HER2 genetic testing. PMID:24383005
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Anopheles gambiae, a major vector of malaria, is widely distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa. In an attempt to eliminate infective mosquitoes, researchers are trying to develop transgenic strains that are refractory to the Plasmodium parasite. Before any release of transgenic mosquitoes can be envisaged, we need an accurate picture of the differentiation between the two molecular forms of An. gambiae, termed M and S, which are of uncertain taxonomic status. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Insertion patterns of three transposable elements (TEs were determined in populations from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, and Tanzania, using Transposon Display, a TE-anchored strategy based on Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism. The results reveal a clear differentiation between the M and S forms, whatever their geographical origin, suggesting an incipient speciation process. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Any attempt to control the transmission of malaria by An. gambiae using either conventional or novel technologies must take the M/S genetic differentiation into account. In addition, we localized three TE insertion sites that were present either in every individual or at a high frequency in the M molecular form. These sites were found to be located outside the chromosomal regions that are suspected of involvement in the speciation event between the two forms. This suggests that these chromosomal regions are either larger than previously thought, or there are additional differentiated genomic regions interspersed with undifferentiated regions.
Cao, Hong-Xing; Zhang, Zheng-Bin; Xu, Ping; Chu, Li-Ye; Shao, Hong-Bo; Lu, Zhao-Hua; Liu, Jun-Hong
Water deficiency and lower fertilizer utilization efficiency are major constraints of productivity and yield stability. Improvements of crop water use efficiency (WUE) and nutrient use efficiency (NUE) is becoming an important objective in crop breeding. With the introduction of new physiological and biological approaches, we can better understand the mutual genetics mechanism of high use efficiency of water and nutrient. Much work has been done in past decades mainly including the interactions between different fertilizers and water influences on root characteristics and crop growth. Fertilizer quantity and form were regulated in order to improve crop WUE. The crop WUE and NUE shared the same increment tendency during evolution process; some genes associated with WUE and NUE have been precisely located and marked on the same chromosomes, some genes related to WUE and NUE have been cloned and transferred into wheat and rice and other plants, they can enhance water and nutrient use efficiency. The proteins transporting nutrient and water were identified such as some water channel proteins. The advance on the mechanism of higher water and nutrient use efficiency in crop was reviewed in this article, and it could provide some useful information for further research on WUE and NUE in crop.
Corcoran, Martin M.; Phad, Ganesh E.; Bernat, Néstor Vázquez; Stahl-Hennig, Christiane; Sumida, Noriyuki; Persson, Mats A. A.; Martin, Marcel; Hedestam, Gunilla B. Karlsson
Comprehensive knowledge of immunoglobulin genetics is required to advance our understanding of B cell biology. Validated immunoglobulin variable (V) gene databases are close to completion only for human and mouse. We present a novel computational approach, IgDiscover, that identifies germline V genes from expressed repertoires to a specificity of 100%. IgDiscover uses a cluster identification process to produce candidate sequences that, once filtered, results in individualized germline V gene databases. IgDiscover was tested in multiple species, validated by genomic cloning and cross library comparisons and produces comprehensive gene databases even where limited genomic sequence is available. IgDiscover analysis of the allelic content of the Indian and Chinese-origin rhesus macaques reveals high levels of immunoglobulin gene diversity in this species. Further, we describe a novel human IGHV3-21 allele and confirm significant gene differences between Balb/c and C57BL6 mouse strains, demonstrating the power of IgDiscover as a germline V gene discovery tool.
Al-Rajab, Murad; Lu, Joan; Xu, Qiang
This paper examines the accuracy and efficiency (time complexity) of high performance genetic data feature selection and classification algorithms for colon cancer diagnosis. The need for this research derives from the urgent and increasing need for accurate and efficient algorithms. Colon cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, hence it is vitally important for the cancer tissues to be expertly identified and classified in a rapid and timely manner, to assure both a fast detection of the disease and to expedite the drug discovery process. In this research, a three-phase approach was proposed and implemented: Phases One and Two examined the feature selection algorithms and classification algorithms employed separately, and Phase Three examined the performance of the combination of these. It was found from Phase One that the Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) algorithm performed best with the colon dataset as a feature selection (29 genes selected) and from Phase Two that the Support Vector Machine (SVM) algorithm outperformed other classifications, with an accuracy of almost 86%. It was also found from Phase Three that the combined use of PSO and SVM surpassed other algorithms in accuracy and performance, and was faster in terms of time analysis (94%). It is concluded that applying feature selection algorithms prior to classification algorithms results in better accuracy than when the latter are applied alone. This conclusion is important and significant to industry and society. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Morgan N Price
Full Text Available For many bacteria with sequenced genomes, we do not understand how they synthesize some amino acids. This makes it challenging to reconstruct their metabolism, and has led to speculation that bacteria might be cross-feeding amino acids. We studied heterotrophic bacteria from 10 different genera that grow without added amino acids even though an automated tool predicts that the bacteria have gaps in their amino acid synthesis pathways. Across these bacteria, there were 11 gaps in their amino acid biosynthesis pathways that we could not fill using current knowledge. Using genome-wide mutant fitness data, we identified novel enzymes that fill 9 of the 11 gaps and hence explain the biosynthesis of methionine, threonine, serine, or histidine by bacteria from six genera. We also found that the sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio vulgaris synthesizes homocysteine (which is a precursor to methionine by using DUF39, NIL/ferredoxin, and COG2122 proteins, and that homoserine is not an intermediate in this pathway. Our results suggest that most free-living bacteria can likely make all 20 amino acids and illustrate how high-throughput genetics can uncover previously-unknown amino acid biosynthesis genes.
Ibrahim B. Salisu
Full Text Available As long as the genetically modified crops are gaining attention globally, their proper approval and commercialization need accurate and reliable diagnostic methods for the transgenic content. These diagnostic techniques are mainly divided into two major groups, i.e., identification of transgenic (1 DNA and (2 proteins from GMOs and their products. Conventional methods such as PCR (polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA were routinely employed for DNA and protein based quantification respectively. Although, these Techniques (PCR and ELISA are considered as significantly convenient and productive, but there is need for more advance technologies that allow for high throughput detection and the quantification of GM event as the production of more complex GMO is increasing day by day. Therefore, recent approaches like microarray, capillary gel electrophoresis, digital PCR and next generation sequencing are more promising due to their accuracy and precise detection of transgenic contents. The present article is a brief comparative study of all such detection techniques on the basis of their advent, feasibility, accuracy, and cost effectiveness. However, these emerging technologies have a lot to do with detection of a specific event, contamination of different events and determination of fusion as well as stacked gene protein are the critical issues to be addressed in future.
Full Text Available Highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses with H5 and H7 hemagglutinin (HA subtypes evolve from low-pathogenic precursors through the acquisition of multiple basic amino acid residues at the HA cleavage site. Although this mechanism has been observed to occur naturally only in these HA subtypes, little is known about the genetic basis for the acquisition of the polybasic HA cleavage site. Here we show that consecutive adenine residues and a stem-loop structure, which are frequently found in the viral RNA region encoding amino acids around the cleavage site of low-pathogenic H5 and H7 viruses isolated from waterfowl reservoirs, are important for nucleotide insertions into this RNA region. A reporter assay to detect nontemplated nucleotide insertions and deep-sequencing analysis of viral RNAs revealed that an increased number of adenine residues and enlarged stem-loop structure in the RNA region accelerated the multiple adenine and/or guanine insertions required to create codons for basic amino acids. Interestingly, nucleotide insertions associated with the HA cleavage site motif were not observed principally in the viral RNA of other subtypes tested (H1, H2, H3, and H4. Our findings suggest that the RNA editing-like activity is the key mechanism for nucleotide insertions, providing a clue as to why the acquisition of the polybasic HA cleavage site is restricted to the particular HA subtypes.
Delacour, Hervé; Leduc, Amandine; Louçano-Perdriat, Andréa; Plantamura, Julie; Ceppa, Franck
Lactose, the principle sugar in milk, is a disaccharide hydrolyzed by intestinal lactase into glucose and galactose, which are absorbed directly by diffusion in the intestine. The decline of lactase expression (or hypolactasia) in intestinal microvilli after weaning is a normal phenomenon in mammals known as lactase deficiency. It is observed in nearly 75% of the world population and is an inherited autosomal recessive trait with incomplete penetrance. It is caused by SNPs in a regulatory element for lactase gene. In Indo-European, lactase deficiency is associated with rs4982235 SNP (or -13910C>T). The aim of this study is to describe a method based on high resolution melting for rapidly detecting genetic predisposition to lactose intolerance. Analytical performance of the assay was assessed by evaluating within and betwwen-run precision and by comparing the results (n = 50 patients) obtained with the HRM assay to those obtained with the gold standard (Sanger sequencing of the region of interest). In silico prediction of HRM curves was performed to evaluate the potential impact of the other SNPs described within the PCR product on the HRM analytical performances. The assay has good performance (CV lactose intolerance.
Dell'Acqua, Matteo; Gatti, Daniel M; Pea, Giorgio; Cattonaro, Federica; Coppens, Frederik; Magris, Gabriele; Hlaing, Aye L; Aung, Htay H; Nelissen, Hilde; Baute, Joke; Frascaroli, Elisabetta; Churchill, Gary A; Inzé, Dirk; Morgante, Michele; Pè, Mario Enrico
Maize (Zea mays) is a globally produced crop with broad genetic and phenotypic variation. New tools that improve our understanding of the genetic basis of quantitative traits are needed to guide predictive crop breeding. We have produced the first balanced multi-parental population in maize, a tool that provides high diversity and dense recombination events to allow routine quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping in maize. We produced 1,636 MAGIC maize recombinant inbred lines derived from eight genetically diverse founder lines. The characterization of 529 MAGIC maize lines shows that the population is a balanced, evenly differentiated mosaic of the eight founders, with mapping power and resolution strengthened by high minor allele frequencies and a fast decay of linkage disequilibrium. We show how MAGIC maize may find strong candidate genes by incorporating genome sequencing and transcriptomics data. We discuss three QTL for grain yield and three for flowering time, reporting candidate genes. Power simulations show that subsets of MAGIC maize might achieve high-power and high-definition QTL mapping. We demonstrate MAGIC maize's value in identifying the genetic bases of complex traits of agronomic relevance. The design of MAGIC maize allows the accumulation of sequencing and transcriptomics layers to guide the identification of candidate genes for a number of maize traits at different developmental stages. The characterization of the full MAGIC maize population will lead to higher power and definition in QTL mapping, and lay the basis for improved understanding of maize phenotypes, heterosis included. MAGIC maize is available to researchers.
Bohlken, Marc M; Brouwer, Rachel M; Mandl, René C W; Hedman, Anna M; van den Heuvel, Martijn P; van Haren, Neeltje E M; Kahn, René S; Hulshoff Pol, Hilleke E
Intelligence is associated with a network of distributed gray matter areas including the frontal and parietal higher association cortices and primary processing areas of the temporal and occipital lobes. Efficient information transfer between gray matter regions implicated in intelligence is thought to be critical for this trait to emerge. Genetic factors implicated in intelligence and gray matter may promote a high capacity for information transfer. Whether these genetic factors act globally or on local gray matter areas separately is not known. Brain maps of phenotypic and genetic associations between gray matter volume and intelligence were made using structural equation modeling of 3T MRI T1-weighted scans acquired in 167 adult twins of the newly acquired U-TWIN cohort. Subsequently, structural connectivity analyses (DTI) were performed to test the hypothesis that gray matter regions associated with intellectual ability form a densely connected core. Gray matter regions associated with intellectual ability were situated in the right prefrontal, bilateral temporal, bilateral parietal, right occipital and subcortical regions. Regions implicated in intelligence had high structural connectivity density compared to 10,000 reference networks (p=0.031). The genetic association with intelligence was for 39% explained by a genetic source unique to these regions (independent of total brain volume), this source specifically implicated the right supramarginal gyrus. Using a twin design, we show that intelligence is genetically represented in a spatially distributed and densely connected network of gray matter regions providing a high capacity infrastructure. Although genes for intelligence have overlap with those for total brain volume, we present evidence that there are genes for intelligence that act specifically on the subset of brain areas that form an efficient brain network. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
De Luca, Daniele; Cennamo, Paola; Del Guacchio, Emanuele; Di Novella, Riccardo; Caputo, Paolo
Since its introduction from Central-South America to Italy almost 500 years ago, the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) was largely cultivated across the peninsula in hundreds of different landraces. However, globalisation and technological modernisation of agricultural practices in the last decades promoted the cultivation of few varieties at the expense of traditional and local agro-ecotypes, which have been confined to local markets or have completely disappeared. The aim of this study was to evaluate the genetic diversity and differentiation in 12 common bean landraces once largely cultivated in the Cilento region (Campania region, southern Italy), and now the object of a recovery program to save them from extinction. The analysis conducted using 13 nuclear microsatellite loci in 140 individuals revealed a high degree of homozygosity within each landrace and a strong genetic differentiation that was reflected in the success in assigning individuals to the source landrace. On the contrary, internal transcribed spacers 1 and 2, analysed in one individual per landrace, were highly similar among common bean landraces but allowed the identification of a cowpea variety (Vigna unguiculata Walp.), a crop largely cultivated in the Old World before the arrival of common bean from Americas. In conclusion, our study highlighted that conservation of landraces is important not only for the cultural and socio-economic value that they have for local communities, but also because the time and conditions in which they have been selected have led to that genetic distinctiveness that is at the basis of many potential agronomical applications and dietary benefits.
Full Text Available The field of synthetic biology promises to revolutionize our ability to engineer biological systems, providing important benefits for a variety of applications. Recent advances in DNA synthesis and automated DNA assembly technologies suggest that it is now possible to construct synthetic systems of significant complexity. However, while a variety of novel genetic devices and small engineered gene networks have been successfully demonstrated, the regulatory complexity of synthetic systems that have been reported recently has somewhat plateaued due to a variety of factors, including the complexity of biology itself and the lag in our ability to design and optimize sophisticated biological circuitry.To address the gap between DNA synthesis and circuit design capabilities, we present a platform that enables synthetic biologists to express desired behavior using a convenient high-level biologically-oriented programming language, Proto. The high level specification is compiled, using a regulatory motif based mechanism, to a gene network, optimized, and then converted to a computational simulation for numerical verification. Through several example programs we illustrate the automated process of biological system design with our platform, and show that our compiler optimizations can yield significant reductions in the number of genes (~ 50% and latency of the optimized engineered gene networks.Our platform provides a convenient and accessible tool for the automated design of sophisticated synthetic biological systems, bridging an important gap between DNA synthesis and circuit design capabilities. Our platform is user-friendly and features biologically relevant compiler optimizations, providing an important foundation for the development of sophisticated biological systems.
Full Text Available Investigations on the influence of nature vs. nurture on Alcoholism (Alcohol Use Disorder in human have yet to provide a clear view on potential genomic etiologies. To address this issue, we sequenced a replicated animal model system bidirectionally-selected for alcohol preference (AP. This model is uniquely suited to map genetic effects with high reproducibility, and resolution. The origin of the rat lines (an 8-way cross resulted in small haplotype blocks (HB with a corresponding high level of resolution. We sequenced DNAs from 40 samples (10 per line of each replicate to determine allele frequencies and HB. We achieved ~46X coverage per line and replicate. Excessive differentiation in the genomic architecture between lines, across replicates, termed signatures of selection (SS, were classified according to gene and region. We identified SS in 930 genes associated with AP. The majority (50% of the SS were confined to single gene regions, the greatest numbers of which were in promoters (284 and intronic regions (169 with the least in exon's (4, suggesting that differences in AP were primarily due to alterations in regulatory regions. We confirmed previously identified genes and found many new genes associated with AP. Of those newly identified genes, several demonstrated neuronal function involved in synaptic memory and reward behavior, e.g. ion channels (Kcnf1, Kcnn3, Scn5a, excitatory receptors (Grin2a, Gria3, Grip1, neurotransmitters (Pomc, and synapses (Snap29. This study not only reveals the polygenic architecture of AP, but also emphasizes the importance of regulatory elements, consistent with other complex traits.
Lo, Chiao-Ling; Lossie, Amy C; Liang, Tiebing; Liu, Yunlong; Xuei, Xiaoling; Lumeng, Lawrence; Zhou, Feng C; Muir, William M
Investigations on the influence of nature vs. nurture on Alcoholism (Alcohol Use Disorder) in human have yet to provide a clear view on potential genomic etiologies. To address this issue, we sequenced a replicated animal model system bidirectionally-selected for alcohol preference (AP). This model is uniquely suited to map genetic effects with high reproducibility, and resolution. The origin of the rat lines (an 8-way cross) resulted in small haplotype blocks (HB) with a corresponding high level of resolution. We sequenced DNAs from 40 samples (10 per line of each replicate) to determine allele frequencies and HB. We achieved ~46X coverage per line and replicate. Excessive differentiation in the genomic architecture between lines, across replicates, termed signatures of selection (SS), were classified according to gene and region. We identified SS in 930 genes associated with AP. The majority (50%) of the SS were confined to single gene regions, the greatest numbers of which were in promoters (284) and intronic regions (169) with the least in exon's (4), suggesting that differences in AP were primarily due to alterations in regulatory regions. We confirmed previously identified genes and found many new genes associated with AP. Of those newly identified genes, several demonstrated neuronal function involved in synaptic memory and reward behavior, e.g. ion channels (Kcnf1, Kcnn3, Scn5a), excitatory receptors (Grin2a, Gria3, Grip1), neurotransmitters (Pomc), and synapses (Snap29). This study not only reveals the polygenic architecture of AP, but also emphasizes the importance of regulatory elements, consistent with other complex traits.
Mavropoulou, Anastasia K; Koraki, Theodora; Ioannou, Penelope C; Christopoulos, Theodore K
Quantitative competitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR), especially the double competitive PCR methods (DC-PCR), have evolved as reliable approaches to quantification of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in food. However, DC-PCR is a low-throughput method because it requires titration of each sample with various amounts of a competitive internal standard, a protocol that involves several PCRs per sample followed by electrophoresis and densitometry. To address this drawback, we have developed a new method for GMO quantification, namely, a high-throughput double quantitative competitive PCR (HT-DCPCR). In HT-DCPCR, electrophoresis and densitometry are replaced by a rapid, microtiter well-based bioluminometric hybridization assay and there is no need for titration of each sample. The determination of GM soya was chosen as a model. We have constructed internal standards (DNA competitors) both for the 35S promoter sequence and for a plant-specific reference gene (lectin). The competitors have identical size and share the same primer binding sites with the target sequences but differ in a 24-bp internal segment. Each target sequence (35S and lectin) is coamplified with a constant amount (1000 copies) of the respective competitor. The four amplified fragments are hybridized with specific probes and captured on a universal solid phase to achieve simplicity and high throughput. The hybrids are determined by using streptavidin conjugated to the photoprotein aequorin. The ratio of the luminescence values obtained for the target and the competitor is linearly related to the starting amount of target DNA. The limit of quantification for the 35S promoter is 24 copies. The proposed method was evaluated by determining the GMO content of soybean powder certified reference materials. Also HT-DCPCR was compared to real-time PCR in a variety of real samples.
McClanahan, T.; Karnauskas, M.
Benthic cover, current strengths, and fish abundance and diversity were examined on 150 lagoonal patch reefs and mapped to determine their distribution, inter-relationships, and relationship to the fisheries closure in Glovers Reef Atoll. Current strength was highest at both the northern and southern ends of the atoll and largely controlled by local wind and weakly by tidal forcing. Benthic functional group distributions varied throughout the atoll and had distinct areas of dominance. In contrast, dominance of coral species was weaker, reflecting the lost cover and zonation of Acropora, Porites, and Montastraea that were reported in the 1970s. Hard and soft corals dominated the windward rim, while the central and leeward lagoon had lower current strengths and sea grass and fleshy green algae were relatively more abundant. Brown erect algae were relatively more common in the north and calcifying green and red algae the southern ends of the atoll. Only Montastraea- Agaricia agaricites distributions were similar to reports from the 1970s with high relative dominance in the southern and northeast atoll. The central-northern zone, which was described as an Acropora zone in the 1970s, was not recognizable, and Porites porites, P. astreoides, Millepora alcicornis, and Favia fragum were the most abundant species during this survey . Hard and soft coral cover abundance declined away from the reef rim and tidal channels and was associated with fast seawater turnover and high surgeonfish abundance. Consequently, the windward rim area has retained the most original and persistent hard-soft coral and surgeonfish community and is considered a priority for future management, if the goal is to protect coral from fishing impacts.
Costa, D.; Bouchon, D.; van Straalen, N.M.; Sousa, J.P.; Ribeiro, R.
Organisms inhabiting metal-contaminated areas may develop metal tolerance, with either phenotypic adjustments or genetic changes (adaptation) or with both. In the present study, three populations of the terrestrial isopod Porcellionides sexfasciatus, collected at an abandoned mine area, were
Shi Xueming; Wu Hongchun; Sun Shouhua; Liu Shuiqing
The in-core fuel management optimization model based on the genetic algorithm has been established. An encode/decode technique based on the assemblies position is presented according to the characteristics of HFETR. Different reproduction strategies have been studied. The expert knowledge and the adaptive genetic algorithms are incorporated into the code to get the optimized loading patterns that can be used in HFETR
Peng, Y.; Macek, P.; Macková, Jana; Romoleroux, K.; Hensen, I.
Roč. 47, č. 1 (2015), s. 59-65 ISSN 0006-3606 Grant - others:GA AV ČR(CZ) IAA601110702; GA MŠk(CZ) LM2010009 Program:IA Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : AFLP * clonal diversity * clonal propagation * fine-scale genetic structure * Polylepis reticulata * treeline Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 1.944, year: 2015
Bhattacharya, T.; Beach, T.; Wahl, D.
In the lowland Maya area, pollen records provide important insights into the impact of past human populations and climate change on tropical ecosystems. Despite a long history of regional paleoecological research, few studies have characterized the palynological signatures of lowland ecosystems, a fact which lowers confidence in ecological inferences made from palynological data. We sought to verify whether we could use pollen spectra to reliably distinguish modern ecosystem types in the Maya lowlands of Central America. We collected 23 soil and sediment samples from eight ecosystem types, including upland, riparian, secondary, and swamp (bajo) forests; pine savanna; and three distinct wetland communities. We analyzed pollen spectra with non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS), and found significant compositional differences in ecosystem types' pollen spectra. Forested sites had spectra dominated by Moraceae/Urticaceae pollen, while non-forested sites had significant portions of Poaceae, Asteraceae, and Amaranthaceae pollen. Upland, bajo, and riparian forest differed in representation of Cyperaceae, Bactris-type, and Combretaceae/Melastomataceae pollen. High percentages of pine (Pinus), oak (Quercus), and the presence of Byrsonima characterized pine savanna. Despite its limited sample size, this study provides one of the first statistical analyses of modern pollen rain in the Maya lowlands. Our results show that pollen assemblages can accurately reflect differences between ecosystem types, which may help refine interpretations of pollen records from the Maya area. ?? 2010 Elsevier B.V.
Jalasvuori, Matti; Palmu, Saara; Gillis, Annika; Kokko, Hanna; Mahillon, Jacques; Bamford, Jaana K H; Fornelos, Nadine
Our biosphere is abundant with unique and small genes for which no homologs are known. These genes, often referred to as orphans or ORFans, are commonly found in bacteriophage genomes but their origins remain unclear. We discovered five novel tectivirus-like genetic elements by screening more than five-hundred Bacillus strains. A highly variable region (HVR) of these viruses was shown to harbor ORFans in most of these otherwise well-conserved bacteriophages. Previous studies demonstrated that mutations close to this region dramatically alter bacteriophage gene regulation, suggesting that the acquisition of those ORFans may provide a source of genetic diversity that is then subject to genetic selection during bacteriophage evolution. Copyright © 2012 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.
Keever, Carson C.; Puritz, Jonathan B.; Addison, Jason A.; Byrne, Maria; Grosberg, Richard K.; Toonen, Robert J.; Hart, Michael W.
We document an extreme example of reproductive trait evolution that affects population genetic structure in sister species of Parvulastra cushion stars from Australia. Self-fertilization by hermaphroditic adults and brood protection of benthic larvae causes strong inbreeding and range-wide genetic poverty. Most samples were fixed for a single allele at nearly all nuclear loci; heterozygotes were extremely rare (0.18%); mitochondrial DNA sequences were more variable, but few populations shared haplotypes in common. Isolation-with-migration models suggest that these patterns are caused by population bottlenecks (relative to ancestral population size) and low gene flow. Loss of genetic diversity and low potential for dispersal between high-intertidal habitats may have dire consequences for extinction risk and potential for future adaptive evolution in response to climate and other selective agents. PMID:23925835
Bartholomei-Santos, M L; Roratto, P A; Santos, S
Species with a broad distribution rarely have the same genetic make-up throughout their entire range. In some cases, they may constitute a cryptic complex consisting of a few species, each with a narrow distribution, instead of a single-, widely distributed species. These differences can have profound impacts for biodiversity conservation planning. The genetic differentiation of four populations of Aegla longirostri, a freshwater crab found in two geographically isolated basins in Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil, was investigated by analyzing pentanucleotide multi-loci microsatellites in a heteroduplex assay. Although no morphological differences were evident, we found significant genetic differentiation among the four populations, based on F(ST) values and clustering analysis. This high level of differentiation may be indicative of cryptic species in these populations. If this hypothesis is correct, then the species occurring in the Ibicuí-Mirim River, at the southern limit of the Atlantic Rain Forest, would be under threat, considering its very restricted distribution.
Silvia Sayuri Mandai
Full Text Available Abstract Apart from traditional characters, other data have been used for taxonomy, like color patterns. Based on the different colors (green and orange observed for some Calcinus tibicen (Herbst, 1761 specimens, we evaluated the genetic distance for cytochrome oxidase subunit I mitochondrial gene of individuals collected in Pernambuco (northern Brazil and in São Paulo (southeast Brazil. We found low genetic variation (0.2-1.1%, and no evidence of isolation on our molecular tree based on genetic distance. We suggest high levels of gene flow between specimens with different color patterns, which are polymorphisms and might be related to the kind of nutrition as well different ecological and evolutionary predation characteristics.
Barry, Alyssa E.; Schultz, Lee; Senn, Nicholas; Nale, Joe; Kiniboro, Benson; Siba, Peter M.; Mueller, Ivo; Reeder, John C.
High levels of genetic diversity in Plasmodium falciparum populations are an obstacle to malaria control. Here, we investigate the relationship between local variation in malaria epidemiology and parasite genetic diversity in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Cross-sectional malaria surveys were performed in 14 villages spanning four distinct malaria-endemic areas on the north coast, including one area that was sampled during the dry season. High-resolution msp2 genotyping of 2,147 blood samples identified 761 P. falciparum infections containing a total of 1,392 clones whose genotypes were used to measure genetic diversity. Considerable variability in infection prevalence and mean multiplicity of infection was observed at all of the study sites, with the area sampled during the dry season showing particularly striking local variability. Genetic diversity was strongly associated with multiplicity of infection but not with infection prevalence. In highly endemic areas, differences in infection prevalence may not translate into a decrease in parasite population diversity. PMID:23400571
Full Text Available High-density genetic maps are essential for genome assembly, comparative genomic analysis and fine mapping of complex traits. In this study, 31,191 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs evenly distributed across the large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea genome were identified using restriction-site associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq. Among them, 10,150 high-confidence SNPs were assigned to 24 consensus linkage groups (LGs. The total length of the genetic linkage map was 5451.3 cM with an average distance of 0.54 cM between loci. This represents the densest genetic map currently reported for large yellow croaker. Using 2889 SNPs to target specific scaffolds, we assigned 533 scaffolds, comprising 421.44 Mb (62.04% of the large yellow croaker assembled sequence, to the 24 linkage groups. The mapped assembly scaffolds in large yellow croaker were used for genome synteny analyses against the stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus and medaka (Oryzias latipes. Greater synteny was observed between large yellow croaker and stickleback. This supports the hypothesis that large yellow croaker is more closely related to stickleback than to medaka. Moreover, 1274 immunity-related genes and 195 hypoxia-related genes were mapped to the 24 chromosomes of large yellow croaker. The integration of the high-resolution genetic map and the assembled sequence provides a valuable resource for fine mapping and positional cloning of quantitative trait loci associated with economically important traits in large yellow croaker.
Pazoki, Raha; Dehghan, Abbas; Evangelou, Evangelos; Warren, Helen; Gao, He; Caulfield, Mark; Elliott, Paul; Tzoulaki, Ioanna
High blood pressure (BP) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Both heritable and lifestyle risk factors contribute to elevated BP levels. We aimed to investigate the extent to which lifestyle factors could offset the effect of an adverse BP genetic profile and its effect on CVD risk. We constructed a genetic risk score for high BP by using 314 published BP loci in 277 005 individuals without previous CVD from the UK Biobank study, a prospective cohort of individuals aged 40 to 69 years, with a median of 6.11 years of follow-up. We scored participants according to their lifestyle factors including body mass index, healthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol consumption, smoking, and urinary sodium excretion levels measured at recruitment. We examined the association between tertiles of genetic risk and tertiles of lifestyle score with BP levels and incident CVD by using linear regression and Cox regression models, respectively. Healthy lifestyle score was strongly associated with BP ( P genetic predisposition to high BP for risk stratification needs careful evaluation. © 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.
Wang, Ian J; Summers, Kyle
Phenotypic and genetic divergence can be influenced by a variety of factors, including sexual and natural selection, genetic drift and geographic isolation. Investigating the roles of these factors in natural systems can provide insight into the relative influences of allopatric and ecological modes of biological diversification in nature. The strawberry poison frog, Dendrobates pumilio, presents an excellent opportunity for this kind of research, displaying a diverse array of colour morphs and inhabiting a heterogeneous landscape that includes oceanic islands, fragmented rainforest patches and wide expanses of suitable habitat. In this study, we use 15 highly polymorphic microsatellite loci to estimate population structure and gene flow among populations from across the range of D. pumilio and a causal modelling framework to statistically test 12 hypotheses regarding the geographic and phenotypic variables that explain genetic differentiation within this system. Our results demonstrate that the genetic distance between populations is most strongly associated with differences in dorsal coloration. Previous experimental studies have shown that phenotypic differences can result in sexual and natural selection against non-native phenotypes, and our results now show that these forces lead to genetic isolation between different colour morphs in the wild, presenting a potential case of incipient speciation through selection.
Milot, Emmanuel; Weimerskirch, Henri; Bernatchez, Louis
The philopatric behaviour of albatrosses has intrigued biologists due to the high mobility of these seabirds. It is unknown how albatrosses maintain a system of fragmented populations without frequent dispersal movements, in spite of the long-term temporal heterogeneity in resource distribution at sea. We used both genetic (amplified fragment length polymorphism) and capture-mark-recapture (CMR) data to identify explicitly which among several models of population dynamics best applies to the wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans) and to test for migration-drift equilibrium. We previously documented an extremely low genetic diversity in this species. Here, we show that populations exhibit little genetic differentiation across the species' range (Theta(B) albatross. Yet, our data suggest that several other factors including ongoing gene flow, recurrent long-distance dispersal and source-sink dynamics have contributed to different extent in shaping the genetic signature observed in this species. Our results show that an absence of genetic structuring may in itself reveal little about the true population dynamics in seabirds, but can provide insights into important processes when a comparison with other information, such as demographic data, is possible.
Peeters, Ben; Reemers, Sylvia; Dortmans, Jos; de Vries, Erik; de Jong, Mart; van de Zande, Saskia; Rottier, Peter J M; de Haan, Cornelis A M
Highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza A viruses display a remarkable genetic and antigenic diversity. We examined to what extent genetic distances between several H5N1 viruses from different clades correlate with antigenic differences and vaccine performance. H5-specific antisera were generated, and cross-reactivity and antigenic distances between 12 different viruses were determined. In general, antigenic distances increased proportional to genetic distances although notable exceptions were observed. Antigenic distances correlated better with genetic variation in 27 selected, antigenically-relevant H5 residues, than in the complete HA1 domain. Variation in these selected residues could accurately predict the antigenic distances for a novel H5N8 virus. Protection provided by vaccines against heterologous H5N1 challenge viruses indicated that cross-protection also correlates better with genetic variation in the selected antigenically-relevant residues than in complete HA1. When time is limited, variation at these selected residues may be used to accurately predict antigenic distance and vaccine performance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Recently, studies of adaptive color variation have become popular as models for examining the genetics of natural selection. We examined color pattern polymorphism and genetic variation in a population of side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana that is found in habitats with both dark (lava and light colored (granite substrates. We conducted a limited experiment for adult phenotypic plasticity in laboratory conditions. We recorded both substrate and lizard color patterns in the field to determine whether lizards tended to match their substrate. Finally we examined genetic variation in a gene (melanocortin 1 receptor that has been shown to affect lizard color in other species and in a presumably neutral gene (mitochondrial cytochrome b. Populations were sampled in the immediate area of the lava flows as well as from a more distant site to examine the role of population structure. Our captive Uta did not change color to match their background. We show that side-blotched lizards tend to match the substrate on which it was caught in the field and that variation in the melanocortin 1 receptor gene does not correlate well with color pattern in this population. Perhaps the most remarkable result is that this population of side-blotched lizards shows extremely high levels of variation at both genetic markers, in the sense of allele numbers, with relatively low levels of between-allele sequence variation. Genetic variation across this small region was as great or greater than that seen in samples of pelagic fish species collected worldwide. Statistical analysis of genetic variation suggests rapid population expansion may be responsible for the high levels of variation.
Micheletti, Steven; Parra, Eliseo; Routman, Eric J
Recently, studies of adaptive color variation have become popular as models for examining the genetics of natural selection. We examined color pattern polymorphism and genetic variation in a population of side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) that is found in habitats with both dark (lava) and light colored (granite) substrates. We conducted a limited experiment for adult phenotypic plasticity in laboratory conditions. We recorded both substrate and lizard color patterns in the field to determine whether lizards tended to match their substrate. Finally we examined genetic variation in a gene (melanocortin 1 receptor) that has been shown to affect lizard color in other species and in a presumably neutral gene (mitochondrial cytochrome b). Populations were sampled in the immediate area of the lava flows as well as from a more distant site to examine the role of population structure. Our captive Uta did not change color to match their background. We show that side-blotched lizards tend to match the substrate on which it was caught in the field and that variation in the melanocortin 1 receptor gene does not correlate well with color pattern in this population. Perhaps the most remarkable result is that this population of side-blotched lizards shows extremely high levels of variation at both genetic markers, in the sense of allele numbers, with relatively low levels of between-allele sequence variation. Genetic variation across this small region was as great or greater than that seen in samples of pelagic fish species collected worldwide. Statistical analysis of genetic variation suggests rapid population expansion may be responsible for the high levels of variation.
Muller, Etienne; Brault, Baptiste; Holmes, Allyson; Legros, Angelina; Jeannot, Emmanuelle; Campitelli, Maura; Rousselin, Antoine; Goardon, Nicolas; Frébourg, Thierry; Krieger, Sophie; Crouet, Hubert; Nicolas, Alain; Sastre, Xavier; Vaur, Dominique; Castéra, Laurent
Cancer treatment is facing major evolution since the advent of targeted therapies. Building genetic profiles could predict sensitivity or resistance to these therapies and highlight disease-specific abnormalities, supporting personalized patient care. In the context of biomedical research and clinical diagnosis, our laboratory has developed an oncogenic panel comprised of 226 genes and a dedicated bioinformatic pipeline to explore somatic mutations in cervical carcinomas, using high-throughput sequencing. Twenty-nine tumors were sequenced for exons within 226 genes. The automated pipeline used includes a database and a filtration system dedicated to identifying mutations of interest and excluding false positive and germline mutations. One-hundred and seventy-six total mutational events were found among the 29 tumors. Our cervical tumor mutational landscape shows that most mutations are found in PIK3CA (E545K, E542K) and KRAS (G12D, G13D) and others in FBXW7 (R465C, R505G, R479Q). Mutations have also been found in ALK (V1149L, A1266T) and EGFR (T259M). These results showed that 48% of patients display at least one deleterious mutation in genes that have been already targeted by the Food and Drug Administration approved therapies. Considering deleterious mutations, 59% of patients could be eligible for clinical trials. Sequencing hundreds of genes in a clinical context has become feasible, in terms of time and cost. In the near future, such an analysis could be a part of a battery of examinations along the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, helping to detect sensitivity or resistance to targeted therapies and allow advancements towards personalized oncology
Vázquez-Ovando, J A; Molina-Freaner, F; Nuñez-Farfán, J; Ovando-Medina, I; Salvador-Figueroa, M
Criollo-type cacao trees are an important pool of genes with potential to be used in cacao breeding and selection programs. For that reason, we assessed the diversity and population structure of Criollo-type trees (108 cultivars with Criollo phenotypic characteristics and 10 Criollo references) using 12 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. Cultivars were selected from 7 demes in the Soconusco region of southern Mexico. SSRs amplified 74 alleles with an average of 3.6 alleles per population. The overall populations showed an average observed heterozygosity of 0.28, indicating heterozygote deficiency (average fixation index F = 0.50). However, moderate allelic diversity was found within populations (Shannon index for all populations I = 0.97). Bayesian method analysis determined 2 genetic clusters (K = 2) within individuals. In concordance, an assignment test grouped 37 multilocus genotypes (including 10 references) into a first cluster (Criollo), 54 into a second (presumably Amelonado), and 27 admixed individuals unassigned at the 90% threshold likely corresponding to the Trinitario genotype. This classification was supported by the principal coordinate analysis and analysis of molecular variance, which showed 12% of variation among populations (FST = 0.123, P < 0.0001). Sampled demes sites (1- 7) in the Soconusco region did not show any evidence of clustering by geographic location, and this was supported by the Mantel test (Rxy = 0.54, P = 0.120). Individuals with high Criollo lineage planted in Soconusco farms could be an important reservoir of genes for future breeding programs searching for fine, taste, flavor, and aroma cocoa.
Nunney, Leonard; Yuan, Xiaoli; Bromley, Robin E; Stouthamer, Richard
Documenting the role of novel mutation versus homologous recombination in bacterial evolution, and especially in the invasion of new hosts, is central to understanding the long-term dynamics of pathogenic bacteria. We used multilocus sequence typing (MLST) to study this issue in Xylella fastidiosa subsp. pauca from Brazil, a bacterium causing citrus variegated chlorosis (CVC) and coffee leaf scorch (CLS). All 55 citrus isolates typed (plus one coffee isolate) defined three similar sequence types (STs) dominated by ST11 (85%), while the remaining 22 coffee isolates defined two STs, mainly ST16 (74%). This low level of variation masked unusually large allelic differences (>1% divergence with no intermediates) at five loci (leuA, petC, malF, cysG, and holC). We developed an introgression test to detect whether these large differences were due to introgression via homologous recombination from another X. fastidiosa subspecies. Using additional sequencing around these loci, we established that the seven randomly chosen MLST targets contained seven regions of introgression totaling 2,172 bp of 4,161 bp (52%), only 409 bp (10%) of which were detected by other recombination tests. This high level of introgression suggests the hypothesis that X. fastidiosa subsp. pauca became pathogenic on citrus and coffee (crops cultivated in Brazil for several hundred years) only recently after it gained genetic variation via intersubspecific recombination, facilitating a switch from native hosts. A candidate donor is the subspecies infecting plum in the region since 1935 (possibly X. fastidiosa subsp. multiplex). This hypothesis predicts that nonrecombinant native X. fastidiosa subsp. pauca (not yet isolated) does not cause disease in citrus or coffee.
Peterson, James A.
sequence that overlies the Mesozoic carbonate complex on the Yucatan platform. During the past 10 years, about 50 large oil fields were discovered in the Reforma and offshore Campeche areas. Oil is produced from intensely microfractured Cretaceous, Paleocene, and Upper Jurassic dolomite reservoirs on blockfaulted salt swells or domes. Most fields are located in the Mesozoic carbonate-bank margin and forebank talus (Tamabra) facies, which passes through the offshore Campeche and onshore Reforma areas. Oil source rocks are believed to be organic-rich shales and shaly carbonate rocks of latest Jurassic and possibly Early Cretaceous age. At least six of the Mesozoic discoveries are giant or supergiant fields. The largest is the Cantarell complex (about 8 billion to 10 billion barrels (BB)) in the offshore Campeche area and the Bermudez complex (about 8 BB) in the Reforma onshore area. Oil columns are unusually large (from 50 m to as much as 1,000 m, or 160 ft to 3,300 ft). Production rates are extremely high, averaging at least 3,000 to 5,000 barrels of oil per day (bo/d); some wells produce more than 20,000 bo/d, particularly in the offshore Campeche area, where 30,000- to 60,000-bo/d wells are reported. Tertiary basin fields produce primarily from Miocene sandstone reservoirs. About 50 of these are oil fields ranging from 1 million barrels (MMB) to 200 MMB in size, located on faulted salt structures in the Isthmus Saline basin. Another 30 are gas or gas-condensate fields of a few billion cubic feet to 3 trillion to 4 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) located on salt structures or probable salt structures in the Macuspana, Comalcalco, Isthmus Saline, and Veracruz basins. Source rocks for the gas are believed to be carbonaceous shales interbedded with the sandstone reservoir bodies. Identified reserves in the southeastern Mexico-Guatemala area, almost all in the Mesozoic fields, are about 53 BB of oil, 3 BB of natural gas liquids, and 65 Tcf of gas. The estimat
Full Text Available Prostate-specific antigen (PSA testing is a widely accepted screening method for prostate cancer, but with low specificity at thresholds giving good sensitivity. Previous research identified four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs principally associated with circulating PSA levels rather than with prostate cancer risk (TERT rs2736098, FGFR2 rs10788160, TBX3 rs11067228, KLK3 rs17632542. Removing the genetic contribution to PSA levels may improve the ability of the remaining biologically-determined variation in PSA to discriminate between high and low risk of progression within men with identified prostate cancer. We investigate whether incorporating information on the PSA-SNPs improves the discrimination achieved by a single PSA threshold in men with raised PSA levels.Men with PSA between 3-10 ng/mL and histologically-confirmed prostate cancer were categorised as high or low risk of progression (Low risk: Gleason score≤6 and stage T1-T2a; High risk: Gleason score 7-10 or stage T2C. We used the combined genetic effect of the four PSA-SNPs to calculate a genetically corrected PSA risk score. We calculated the Area under the Curve (AUC to determine how well genetically corrected PSA risk scores distinguished men at high risk of progression from low risk men.The analysis includes 868 men with prostate cancer (Low risk: 684 (78.8%; High risk: 184 (21.2%. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC curves indicate that including the 4 PSA-SNPs does not improve the performance of measured PSA as a screening tool for high/low risk prostate cancer (measured PSA level AUC = 59.5% (95% CI: 54.7,64.2 vs additionally including information from the 4 PSA-SNPs AUC = 59.8% (95% CI: 55.2,64.5 (p-value = 0.40.We demonstrate that genetically correcting PSA for the combined genetic effect of four PSA-SNPs, did not improve discrimination between high and low risk prostate cancer in men with raised PSA levels (3-10 ng/mL. Replication and gaining more accurate
Gilbert, Rebecca; Martin, Richard M.; Evans, David M.; Tilling, Kate; Davey Smith, George; Kemp, John P.; Lane, J. Athene; Hamdy, Freddie C.; Neal, David E.; Donovan, Jenny L.; Metcalfe, Chris
Introduction Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing is a widely accepted screening method for prostate cancer, but with low specificity at thresholds giving good sensitivity. Previous research identified four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) principally associated with circulating PSA levels rather than with prostate cancer risk (TERT rs2736098, FGFR2 rs10788160, TBX3 rs11067228, KLK3 rs17632542). Removing the genetic contribution to PSA levels may improve the ability of the remaining biologically-determined variation in PSA to discriminate between high and low risk of progression within men with identified prostate cancer. We investigate whether incorporating information on the PSA-SNPs improves the discrimination achieved by a single PSA threshold in men with raised PSA levels. Materials and Methods Men with PSA between 3-10ng/mL and histologically-confirmed prostate cancer were categorised as high or low risk of progression (Low risk: Gleason score≤6 and stage T1-T2a; High risk: Gleason score 7–10 or stage T2C). We used the combined genetic effect of the four PSA-SNPs to calculate a genetically corrected PSA risk score. We calculated the Area under the Curve (AUC) to determine how well genetically corrected PSA risk scores distinguished men at high risk of progression from low risk men. Results The analysis includes 868 men with prostate cancer (Low risk: 684 (78.8%); High risk: 184 (21.2%)). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves indicate that including the 4 PSA-SNPs does not improve the performance of measured PSA as a screening tool for high/low risk prostate cancer (measured PSA level AU C = 59.5% (95% CI: 54.7,64.2) vs additionally including information from the 4 PSA-SNPs AUC = 59.8% (95% CI: 55.2,64.5) (p-value = 0.40)). Conclusion We demonstrate that genetically correcting PSA for the combined genetic effect of four PSA-SNPs, did not improve discrimination between high and low risk prostate cancer in men with raised PSA levels (3-10ng
Full Text Available Foraging habitats of juveniles of the Mayan cichlid, Cichlasoma urophthalmus (Günther, 1862, were investigated in two mangrove ponds located in Twin Cays offshore islet in Belize: Sink Hole pond (SH and Hidden Lake pond (HL. Sink Hole pond is a semiclosed body of water, whereas Hidden Lake pond is connected by a channel to adjacent seagrass beds that surround the islet. Gut contents of 21 juvenile C. urophthalmus (9.8-13.2 cm total length were analyzed, and five prey taxa were identified. In both mangrove ponds, C. urophthalmus were opportunistic carnivores and consumed primarily crustaceans. Plant material and detritus present in gut contents were most likely ingested incidentally when the fish foraged on small invertebrates. Carbon isotopic values of fish specimens from the two ponds were similar (mean ± SD of -19.2 ± 0.4‰ in SH and -19.4 ± 0.4‰ in HL, and were close to those of mangrove prey (mean ± SD = -20.2 ± 1.5‰, suggesting that this fish species forages in this habitat. Mixing models showed a higher contribution of mangrove food sources to the fish diet than seagrass food sources. This study reveals that young Mayan cichlids, inhabiting two Belize mangrove ponds, are generalists and opportunistic carnivores that forage on mangrove food sources and do not appear to move to adjacent seagrass beds to complement their diets. Understanding trophic linkages between aquatic consumers and food resources may contribute to better management of threatened coastal ecosystems.
Full Text Available Studying closely related species and divergent populations provides insight into the process of speciation. Previous studies showed that the Sibiraea complex's evolutionary history on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP was confusing and could not be distinguishable on the molecular level. In this study, the genetic structure and gene flow of S. laevigata and S. angustata on the QTP was examined across 45 populations using 8 microsatellite loci. Microsatellites revealed high genetic diversity in Sibiraea populations. Most of the variance was detected within populations (87.45% rather than between species (4.39%. We found no significant correlations between genetic and geographical distances among populations. Bayesian cluster analysis grouped all individuals in the sympatric area of Sibiraea into one cluster and other individuals of S. angustata into another. Divergence history analysis based on the approximate Bayesian computation method indicated that the populations of S. angustata at the sympatric area derived from the admixture of 2 species. The assignment test assigned all individuals to populations of their own species rather than its congeneric species. Consistently, intraspecies were detected rather than interspecies ﬁrst-generation migrants. The bidirectional gene flow in long-term patterns between the 2 species was asymmetric, with more from S. angustata to S. laevigata. In conclusion, the Sibiraea complex was distinguishable on the molecular level using microsatellite loci. We found that the high genetic similarity of these 2 species resulted from huge bidirectional gene flow, especially on the sympatric area where population admixtures between the species occurred.
So, N; Maes, G E; Volckaert, F A M
The detection and conservation of spawning units is of crucial importance in highly migratory species. The sutchi catfish Pangasianodon hypophthalmus (Pangasiidae; Teleostei) is a common large-sized tropical fish, which migrates annually to several upstream spawning sites on the Lower Mekong River and feeds on the huge floodplain of the Lower Mekong and Tonle Sap for the other half of the year. We hypothesised that because of the relative size of the feeding and spawning habitat, genetic variability would be high and homogeneous in foraging populations, but that spawning stocks would be distinct in space and time. To test these predictions, 567 individuals from 10 geographic locations separated by up to 1230 km along the Lower Mekong River were genotyped at seven microsatellite loci. The level of genetic diversity was much higher than other freshwater fish and reached values comparable to marine species (mean H(e)=0.757). All samples collected at the potential spawning sites deviated from Hardy-Weinberg expectations, suggesting admixture. Individual-based clustering methods revealed genetic heterogeneity and enabled the detection of three genetically distinct sympatric populations. There was no evidence of recent reduction in effective population size in any population. Contrasting with the vast extent of the feeding grounds, the shortage of spawning grounds seems to have moved sutchi catfish towards diachronous spawning. Hence the sustainable exploitation of this natural resource hinges on the conservation of the limited spawning grounds and open migration routes between the spawning and feeding grounds.
Full Text Available Mapping major quantitative trait loci (QTL responsible for rice seed germinability under low temperature (GULT can provide valuable genetic source for improving cold tolerance in rice breeding. In this study, 124 rice backcross recombinant inbred lines (BRILs derived from a cross indica cv. Changhui 891 and japonica cv. 02428 were genotyped through re-sequencing technology. A bin map was generated which includes 3057 bins covering distance of 1266.5 cM with an average of 0.41 cM between markers. On the basis of newly constructed high-density genetic map, six QTL were detected ranging from 40 to 140 kb on Nipponbare genome. Among these, two QTL qCGR8 and qGRR11 alleles shared by 02428 could increase GULT and seed germination recovery rate after cold stress, respectively. However, qNGR1 and qNGR4 may be two major QTL affecting indica Changhui 891germination under normal condition. QTL qGRR1 and qGRR8 affected the seed germination recovery rate after cold stress and the alleles with increasing effects were shared by the Changhui 891 could improve seed germination rate after cold stress dramatically. These QTL could be a highly valuable genetic factors for cold tolerance improvement in rice lines. Moreover, the BRILs developed in this study will serve as an appropriate choice for mapping and studying genetic basis of rice complex traits.
For marine meta-populations with source-sink dynamics knowledge about genetic connectivity is important to conserve biodiversity and design marine protected areas (MPAs). We evaluate connectivity of a Mediterranean sessile species, Pinna nobilis. To address a large geographical scale, partial sequences of cytochrome oxidase I (COI, 590 bp) were used to evaluate phylogeographical patterns in the Western Mediterranean, and in the whole basin using overlapping sequences from the literature (243 bp). Additionally, we combined (1) larval trajectories based on oceanographic currents and early life-history traits and (2) 10 highly polymorphic microsatellite loci collected in the Western Mediterranean. COI results provided evidence for high diversity and low inter-population differentiation. Microsatellite genotypes showed increasing genetic differentiation with oceanographic transport time (isolation by oceanographic distance (IBD) set by marine currents). Genetic differentiation was detected between Banyuls and Murcia and between Murcia and Mallorca. However, no genetic break was detected between the Balearic populations and the mainland. Migration rates together with numerical Lagrangian simulations showed that (i) the Ebro Delta is a larval source for the Balearic populations (ii) Alicante is a sink population, accumulating allelic diversity from nearby populations. The inferred connectivity can be applied in the development of MPA networks in the Western Mediterranean.
Full Text Available Abstract Background The National Bio Resource Project for the Rat in Japan (NBRP-Rat is focusing on collecting, preserving and distributing various rat strains, including spontaneous mutant, transgenic, congenic, and recombinant inbred (RI strains. To evaluate their value as models of human diseases, we are characterizing them using 109 phenotypic parameters, such as clinical measurements, internal anatomy, metabolic parameters, and behavioral tests, as part of the Rat Phenome Project. Here, we report on a set of 357 simple sequence length polymorphism (SSLP markers and 122 rat strains, which were genotyped by the marker set. Results The SSLP markers were selected according to their distribution patterns throughout the whole rat genome with an average spacing of 7.59 Mb. The average number of informative markers between all possible pairs of strains was 259 (72.5% of 357 markers, showing their high degree of polymorphism. From the genetic profile of these rat inbred strains, we constructed a rat family tree to clarify their genetic background. Conclusion These highly informative SSLP markers as well as genetically and phenotypically defined rat strains are useful for designing experiments for quantitative trait loci (QTL analysis and to choose strategies for developing new genetic resources. The data and resources are freely available at the NBRP-Rat web site 1.
Olschwang, S.; Laurent-Puig, P.; Melot, T. [Institut Curie, Paris (France)
Familial adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) is a dominantly inherited colorectal cancer susceptibility disease caused by mutation in a gene called APC located on chromosome 5q21. Presymptomatic diagnosis of this condition is recommended because it enables restriction of the efficient but demanding prevention program to those relatives that are genetically affected. The large size of the APC gene makes the direct search for the casual alteration difficult to implement in routine diagnostic laboratories. Because APC appears to be genetically homogeneous with alteration in a single locus causing the disease, cosegregation analysis may represent an alternative efficient method for presymptomatic diagnosis. However, the reliability of the risk estimation by linkage analysis in APC families is hampered by the lack of a short range genetic map of the APC locus. A combined approach including genotyping of 65 APC families, analysis of the CEPH database, and complementary typing of both APC and CEPH families has made it possible to derive the following genetic map: Centromere-[D5S82-D5S49]-0.02-D5S122-0.01-D5S136-0.01-D5S135-0.02-[APC-D5S346-MCC]-0.04-[D5S81-D5S64]-Telomere. This order, which differs from previously proposed genetic maps, is fully compatible with recent physical mapping data. These data should contribute to increase the reliability of the presymptomatic test for APC. 42 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs.
Congpuong, Kanungnit; Ubalee, Ratawan
Recent trends of malaria in Thailand illustrate an increasing proportion of Plasmodium vivax, indicating the importance of P. vivax as a major causative agent of malaria. P. vivax malaria is usually considered a benign disease so the knowledge of this parasite has been limited, especially the genetic diversity and genetic structure of isolates from different endemic areas. The aim of this study was to examine the population genetics and structure of P. vivax isolates from 4 provinces with different malaria endemic settings in Thailand using 6 microsatellite markers. Total 234 blood samples from P. vivax mono-infected patients were collected. Strong genetic diversity was observed across all study sites; the expected heterozygosity values ranged from 0.5871 to 0.9033. Genetic variability in this study divided P. vivax population into 3 clusters; first was P. vivax isolates from Mae Hong Son and Kanchanaburi Provinces located on the western part of Thailand; second, Yala isolates from the south; and third, Chanthaburi isolates from the east. P. vivax isolates from patients having parasite clearance time (PCT) longer than 24 hr after the first dose of chloroquine treatment had higher diversity when compared with those having PCT within 24 hr. This study revealed a clear evidence of different population structure of P. vivax from different malaria endemic areas of Thailand. The findings provide beneficial information to malaria control programme as it is a useful tool to track the source of infections and current malaria control efforts.
Full Text Available In a nuclear industry area, high temperature treatment of materials is a factor which requires special attention. Assessment needs to be conducted on the properties of the materials used, including the strength of the materials. The measurement of material properties under thermal processes may reflect residual stresses. The use of Genetic Algorithm (GA to determine the optimal residual stress is one way to determine the strength of a material. In residual stress modeling with several parameters, it is sometimes difficult to solve for the optimal value through analytical or numerical calculations. Here, GA is an efficient algorithm which can generate the optimal values, both minima and maxima. The purposes of this research are to obtain the optimization of variable in residual stress models using GA and to predict the center of residual stress distribution, using fuzzy neural network (FNN while the artificial neural network (ANN used for modeling. In this work a single-material 316/316L stainless steel bar is modeled. The minimal residual stresses of the material at high temperatures were obtained with GA and analytical calculations. At a temperature of 6500C, the GA optimal residual stress estimation converged at –711.3689 MPa at adistance of 0.002934 mm from center point, whereas the analytical calculation result at that temperature and position is -975.556 MPa . At a temperature of 8500C, the GA result was -969.868 MPa at 0.002757 mm from the center point, while with analytical result was -1061.13 MPa. The difference in residual stress between GA and analytical results at a temperatureof6500C is about 27 %, while at 8500C it is 8.67 %. The distribution of residual stress showed a grouping concentrated around a coordinate of (-76; 76 MPa. The residuals stress model is a degree-two polynomial with coefficients of 50.33, -76.54, and -55.2, respectively, with a standard deviation of 7.874.
McCoy, Roger Wesley
Statement of the problem. Few studies in biology education have examined the underlying presuppositions which guide thinking and concept learning in adolescents. The purpose of this study was to describe and understand the biological world views of a variety of high school students before they take biology courses. Specifically, the study examined student world views in the domains of Classification, Relationship and Causation related to the concepts of heredity, evolution and biotechnology. The following served as guiding questions: (1) What are the personal world views of high school students entering biology classes, related to the domain of Classification, Relationship and Causality? (2) How do these student world views confound or enhance the learning of basic concepts in genetics and evolution? Methods. An interpretive method was chosen for this study. The six student participants were ninth graders and represented a wide range of world view backgrounds. A series of three interviews was conducted with each participant, with a focus group used for triangulation of data. The constant comparative method was used to categorize the data and facilitate the search for meaningful patterns. The analysis included a thick description of each student's personal views of classification, evolution and the appropriate use of biotechnology. Results. The study demonstrates that world view is the basis upon which students build knowledge in biology. The logic of their everyday thinking may not match that of scientists. The words they use are sometimes inconsistent with scientific terminology. This study provides evidence that students voice different opinions depending on the social situation, since they are strongly influenced by peers. Students classify animals based on behaviors. They largely believe that the natural world is unpredictable, and that humans are not really part of that world. Half are unlikely to accept the evolution of humans, but may accept it in other
Marina S Ascunce
Full Text Available Understanding the evolution of parasites is important to both basic and applied evolutionary biology. Knowledge of the genetic structure of parasite populations is critical for our ability to predict how an infection can spread through a host population and for the design of effective control methods. However, very little is known about the genetic structure of most human parasites, including the human louse (Pediculus humanus. This species is composed of two ecotypes: the head louse (Pediculus humanus capitis De Geer, and the clothing (body louse (Pediculus humanus humanus Linnaeus. Hundreds of millions of head louse infestations affect children every year, and this number is on the rise, in part because of increased resistance to insecticides. Clothing lice affect mostly homeless and refugee-camp populations and although they are less prevalent than head lice, the medical consequences are more severe because they vector deadly bacterial pathogens. In this study we present the first assessment of the genetic structure of human louse populations by analyzing the nuclear genetic variation at 15 newly developed microsatellite loci in 93 human lice from 11 sites in four world regions. Both ecotypes showed heterozygote deficits relative to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and high inbreeding values, an expected pattern given their parasitic life history. Bayesian clustering analyses assigned lice to four distinct genetic clusters that were geographically structured. The low levels of gene flow among louse populations suggested that the evolution of insecticide resistance in lice would most likely be affected by local selection pressures, underscoring the importance of tailoring control strategies to population-specific genetic makeup and evolutionary history. Our panel of microsatellite markers provides powerful data to investigate not only ecological and evolutionary processes in lice, but also those in their human hosts because of the long
Full Text Available Optimal sensor placement (OSP technique plays a key role in the structural health monitoring (SHM of large-scale structures. Based on the criterion of the OSP for the modal test, an improved genetic algorithm, called “generalized genetic algorithm (GGA”, is adopted to find the optimal placement of sensors. The dual-structure coding method instead of binary coding method is proposed to code the solution. Accordingly, the dual-structure coding-based selection scheme, crossover strategy and mutation mechanism are given in detail. The tallest building in the north of China is implemented to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the GGA. The sensor placements obtained by the GGA are compared with those by exiting genetic algorithm, which shows that the GGA can improve the convergence of the algorithm and get the better placement scheme.
do Rego Borges, Andrea; Sá, Jamile; Hoshi, Ryuichi; Viena, Camila Sane; Mariano, Lorena C; de Castro Veiga, Patricia; Medrado, Alena Peixoto; Machado, Renato Assis; de Aquino, Sibele Nascimento; Messetti, Ana Camila; Spritz, Richard A; Coletta, Ricardo D; Reis, Silvia R A
Nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate (NSCL ± P) is the most common orofacial birth defect, exhibiting variable prevalence around the world, often attributed to ethnic and environmental differences. Linkage analyses and genome-wide association studies have identified several genomic susceptibility regions for NSCL ± P, mostly in European-derived or Asian populations. Genetic predisposition to NSCL ± P is ethnicity-dependent, and the genetic basis of susceptibility to NSCL ± P likely varies among populations. The population of Brazil is highly admixed, with highly variable ancestry; thus, the genetic determinants of NSCL ± P susceptibility may be quite different. This study tested association of 8 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), previously identified by genome-wide studies in other populations, with NSCL ± P in a Brazilian population with high African ancestry. SNPs rs560426, rs642961, rs1530300, rs987525, rs3758249, rs7078160, rs17085106, and rs13041247 were genotyped in 293 Brazilian patients with NSCL ± P and 352 unaffected Brazilian controls. Each sample was also genotyped for 40 biallelic short insertion/deletion polymorphic markers to characterize genetic ancestry. The average African ancestry background was 31.1% for the NSCL ± P group and 36.7% for the control group. After adjustment for ancestry and multiple testing, the minor alleles of rs3758249 (OR: 1.58, 95% CI: 1.25-2.01, P = 0.0001) and rs7078160 (OR: 1.59, 95% CI: 1.21-2.07, P = 0.0002) were significantly associated with risk of NSCL ± P. Polymorphisms located in IRF6 (rs642961) and 8q24 (rs1530300 and rs987525) showed marginal associations in this Brazilian population with high African ancestry. These results indicate that rs3758249 at 9q22 and rs7078160 at 10q25.3 represent risk loci for NSCL ± P in the Brazilian population with high African ancestry. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Bo, Tao; Shao, Shanshan; Wu, Dongming; Niu, Shaona; Zhao, Jiajun; Gao, Ling
Recent studies performed provide mechanistic insight into effects of the microbiota on cholesterol metabolism, but less focus was given to how cholesterol impacts the gut microbiota. In this study, ApoE -/- Sprague Dawley (SD) rats and their wild-type counterparts (n = 12) were, respectively, allocated for two dietary condition groups (normal chow and high-cholesterol diet). Total 16S rDNA of fecal samples were extracted and sequenced by high-throughput sequencing to determine differences in microbiome composition. Data were collected and performed diversity analysis and phylogenetic analysis. The influence of cholesterol on gut microbiota was discussed by using cholesterol dietary treatment as exogenous cholesterol disorder factor and genetic modification as endogenous metabolic disorder factor. Relative microbial variations were compared to illustrate the causality and correlation of cholesterol and gut microbiota. It turned out comparing to genetically modified rats, exogenous cholesterol intake may play more effective role in changing gut microbiota profile, although the serum cholesterol level of genetically modified rats was even higher. Relative abundance of some representative species showed that the discrepancies due to dietary variation were more obvious, whereas some low abundance species changed because of genetic disorders. Our results partially demonstrated that gut microbiota are relatively more sensitive to dietary variation. Nevertheless, considering the important effect of bacteria in cholesterol metabolism, the influence to gut flora by "genetically caused cholesterol disorder" cannot be overlooked. Manipulation of gut microbiota might be an effective target for preventing cholesterol-related metabolic disorders. © 2017 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Walder, Deborah J; Faraone, Stephen V; Glatt, Stephen J; Tsuang, Ming T; Seidman, Larry J
The familial ("genetic") high-risk (FHR) paradigm enables assessment of individuals at risk for schizophrenia based on a positive family history of schizophrenia in first-degree, biological relatives. This strategy presumes genetic transmission of abnormal traits given high heritability of the illness. It is plausible, however, that adverse environmental factors are also transmitted in these families. Few studies have evaluated both biological and environmental factors within a FHR study of adolescents. We conceptualize four precursors to psychosis pathogenesis: two biological (genetic predisposition, prenatal health issues (PHIs)) and two environmental (family environment, stressful life events (SLEs)). Participants assessed between 1998 and 2007 (ages 13-25) included 40 (20F/20M) adolescents at FHR for schizophrenia (FHRs) and 55 (31F/24M) community controls. 'Genetic load' indexed number of affected family members relative to pedigree size. PHI was significantly greater among FHRs, and family cohesion and expressiveness were less (and family conflict was higher) among FHRs; however, groups did not significantly differ in SLE indices. Among FHRs, genetic liability was significantly associated with PHI and family expressiveness. Prenatal and family environmental disruptions are elevated in families with a first-degree relative with schizophrenia. Findings support our proposed 'polygenic neurodevelopmental diathesis-stress model' whereby psychosis susceptibility (and resilience) involves the independent and synergistic confluence of (temporally-sensitive) biological and environmental factors across development. Recognition of biological and social environmental influences across critical developmental periods points to key issues relevant for enhanced identification of psychosis susceptibility, facilitation of more precise models of illness risk, and development of novel prevention strategies. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Rozman, Jan; Rathkolb, Birgit; Oestereicher, Manuela A.
Metabolic diseases are a worldwide problem but the underlying genetic factors and their relevance to metabolic disease remain incompletely understood. Genome-wide research is needed to characterize so-far unannotated mammalian metabolic genes. Here, we generate and analyze metabolic phenotypic da...
Masneuf-Pomarede, Isabelle; Juquin, Elodie; Miot-Sertier, Cécile; Renault, Philippe; Laizet, Yec'han; Salin, Franck; Alexandre, Hervé; Capozzi, Vittorio; Cocolin, Luca; Colonna-Ceccaldi, Benoit; Englezos, Vasileios; Girard, Patrick; Gonzalez, Beatriz; Lucas, Patrick; Mas, Albert; Nisiotou, Aspasia; Sipiczki, Matthias; Spano, Giuseppe; Tassou, Chrysoula; Bely, Marina; Albertin, Warren
The yeast Candida zemplinina (Starmerella bacillaris) is frequently isolated from grape and wine environments. Its enological use in mixed fermentation with Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been extensively investigated these last few years, and several interesting features including low ethanol production, fructophily, glycerol and other metabolites production, have been described. In addition, molecular tools allowing the characterization of yeast populations have been developed, both at the inter- and intraspecific levels. However, most of these fingerprinting methods are not compatible with population genetics or ecological studies. In this work, we developed 10 microsatellite markers for the C. zemplinina species that were used for the genotyping of 163 strains from nature or various enological regions (28 vineyards/wineries from seven countries). We show that the genetic diversity of C. zemplinina is shaped by geographical localization. Populations isolated from winemaking environments are quite diverse at the genetic level: neither clonal-like behaviour nor specific genetic signature were associated with the different vineyards/wineries. Altogether, these results suggest that C. zemplinina is not under selective pressure in winemaking environments. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Butenko Melinka A
Full Text Available Abstract Background When generating a genetically modified organism (GMO, the primary goal is to give a target organism one or several novel traits by using biotechnology techniques. A GMO will differ from its parental strain in that its pool of transcripts will be altered. Currently, there are no methods that are reliably able to determine if an organism has been genetically altered if the nature of the modification is unknown. Results We show that the concept of computational subtraction can be used to identify transgenic cDNA sequences from genetically modified plants. Our datasets include 454-type sequences from a transgenic line of Arabidopsis thaliana and published EST datasets from commercially relevant species (rice and papaya. Conclusion We believe that computational subtraction represents a powerful new strategy for determining if an organism has been genetically modified as well as to define the nature of the modification. Fewer assumptions have to be made compared to methods currently in use and this is an advantage particularly when working with unknown GMOs.
Tengs, Torstein; Zhang, Haibo; Holst-Jensen, Arne; Bohlin, Jon; Butenko, Melinka A; Kristoffersen, Anja Bråthen; Sorteberg, Hilde-Gunn Opsahl; Berdal, Knut G
Background When generating a genetically modified organism (GMO), the primary goal is to give a target organism one or several novel traits by using biotechnology techniques. A GMO will differ from its parental strain in that its pool of transcripts will be altered. Currently, there are no methods that are reliably able to determine if an organism has been genetically altered if the nature of the modification is unknown. Results We show that the concept of computational subtraction can be used to identify transgenic cDNA sequences from genetically modified plants. Our datasets include 454-type sequences from a transgenic line of Arabidopsis thaliana and published EST datasets from commercially relevant species (rice and papaya). Conclusion We believe that computational subtraction represents a powerful new strategy for determining if an organism has been genetically modified as well as to define the nature of the modification. Fewer assumptions have to be made compared to methods currently in use and this is an advantage particularly when working with unknown GMOs. PMID:19814792
Lu, Y.; Dollé, M.E.T.; Imholz, S.; Slot, van 't R.; Verschuren, W.M.M.; Wijmenga, C.; Feskens, E.J.M.; Boer, J.M.A.
The known genetic variants determining plasma HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) levels explain only part of its variation. Three hundred eighty-four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across 251 genes based on pathways potentially relevant to HDL-C metabolism were selected and genotyped in 3,575 subjects
Full Text Available Mycobacterium tuberculosis infects one third of the human world population and kills someone every 15 seconds. For more than a century, scientists and clinicians have been distinguishing between the human- and animal-adapted members of the M. tuberculosis complex (MTBC. However, all human-adapted strains of MTBC have traditionally been considered to be essentially identical. We surveyed sequence diversity within a global collection of strains belonging to MTBC using seven megabase pairs of DNA sequence data. We show that the members of MTBC affecting humans are more genetically diverse than generally assumed, and that this diversity can be linked to human demographic and migratory events. We further demonstrate that these organisms are under extremely reduced purifying selection and that, as a result of increased genetic drift, much of this genetic diversity is likely to have functional consequences. Our findings suggest that the current increases in human population, urbanization, and global travel, combined with the population genetic characteristics of M. tuberculosis described here, could contribute to the emergence and spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Stewart, James H.
Reports the findings of a study which examined the knowledge and problem-solving strategies used by 14 ninth grade biology students to solve three types of basic genetics problems. Concludes that although most students could solve problems correctly, they sometimes lacked meaningful understanding or could not interrelate concepts. (DC)
Roč. 9, zima (2018), č. článku 288. ISSN 2041-1723 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 Keywords : Insulin-resistance * Diabetes-mellitus * Glycemic traits * Variants * Architecture * Association * Consortiuj * Pathways * Disease * Biology Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Other biological topics Impact factor: 12.124, year: 2016
The Agreement between the Government of Belize and the IAEA for the application of safeguards in connection with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was approved by the Agency's Board of Governors on 19 February 1986 and signed in Vienna on 8 July 1991 and in New York on 13 August 1992; the Protocol hereto was signed in New York on 13 August 1992 and in Vienna on 2 September 1992. The Agreement entered into, force on 21 January 1997. The present documents contains two parts: Part I stipulates the agreement of Belize to accept safeguards on all source or special fissionable material in all peaceful nuclear activities within its territory, under its jurisdiction or carried out under its control anywhere, for the exclusive purpose of verifying that such material is not diverted to nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices. Part II specifies the procedures to be applied in the implementation of the safeguards provisions of part one
Mosquito vector abundance immediately before and after tropical storms Alma and Arthur, northern Belize, 2008 Abundancia de mosquitos vectores inmediatamente antes y después de las tormentas tropicales Alma y Arthur, norte de Belice, 2008
Meredith G Morrow; Richard N Johnson; Jorge Polanco; David M Claborn
OBJECTIVE: To monitor adult mosquito abundance in northern Belize before/after the first tropical storm of the wet season to estimate the time required for development/recovery of potential vector populations; determine which species predominate post-storm; and compare the effectiveness of two types of mosquito traps-octenol-baited Mosquito Magnets® and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) light traps (with/without octenol). METHODS: Field experiments were conducted in Orange...
Full Text Available Introduction: The physiological changes in pregnancy lead to the psychological pressures. Therefore, there is a need for applying cognitive behavioral and emotional confronting to encounter these problems. The present research investigated the effect of coping therapy on general health of pregnant women with high risk of genetic abnormalities in their fetus. Methods: The present study was a semi experimental research. Pre and post tests were used to investigate coping therapy between 30 pregnant women who were referred to Khatomolanbia Genetic Clinic, Yazd, Iran. All the women had pregnancy screening test with high risk of genetics abnormalities in their fetus. They were divided randomly into two groups of case and controls. The test of GHQ was performed in both groups, then the case groups went under 8 sessions of teaching coping therapy each lasting 120 min. After finishing the sessions, post test was performed and analyzing the data using descriptive statistical index and covariance analysis test. Results: Teaching coping therapy to case group caused improvement in their GHQ mark, and this change was significantly different from the change in the GHQ mark of control group. In addition, there was a significant decrease in anxiety, depression and physical signs and an improvement of social function in case group compare to the control group. Discussion: Teaching coping therapy can improve the general health of pregnant women with high risk of genetic abnormalities in their fetus. Therefore, presenting educational courses to the women can improve their general health indices in addition to preventing the probable effects of stress on fetus.
Traller, Jesse C; Cokus, Shawn J; Lopez, David A; Gaidarenko, Olga; Smith, Sarah R; McCrow, John P; Gallaher, Sean D; Podell, Sheila; Thompson, Michael; Cook, Orna; Morselli, Marco; Jaroszewicz, Artur; Allen, Eric E; Allen, Andrew E; Merchant, Sabeeha S; Pellegrini, Matteo; Hildebrand, Mark
Improvement in the performance of eukaryotic microalgae for biofuel and bioproduct production is largely dependent on characterization of metabolic mechanisms within the cell. The marine diatom Cyclotella cryptica, which was originally identified in the Aquatic Species Program, is a promising strain of microalgae for large-scale production of biofuel and bioproducts, such as omega-3 fatty acids. We sequenced the nuclear genome and methylome of this oleaginous diatom to identify the genetic traits that enable substantial accumulation of triacylglycerol. The genome is comprised of highly methylated repetitive sequence, which does not significantly change under silicon starved lipid induction, and data further suggests the primary role of DNA methylation is to suppress DNA transposition. Annotation of pivotal glycolytic, lipid metabolism, and carbohydrate degradation processes reveal an expanded enzyme repertoire in C. cryptica that would allow for an increased metabolic capacity toward triacylglycerol production. Identification of previously unidentified genes, including those involved in carbon transport and chitin metabolism, provide potential targets for genetic manipulation of carbon flux to further increase its lipid phenotype. New genetic tools were developed, bringing this organism on a par with other microalgae in terms of genetic manipulation and characterization approaches. Functional annotation and detailed cross-species comparison of key carbon rich processes in C. cryptica highlights the importance of enzymatic subcellular compartmentation for regulation of carbon flux, which is often overlooked in photosynthetic microeukaryotes. The availability of the genome sequence, as well as advanced genetic manipulation tools enable further development of this organism for deployment in large-scale production systems.
Ling, Shaoping; Hu, Zheng; Yang, Zuyu; Yang, Fang; Li, Yawei; Lin, Pei; Chen, Ke; Dong, Lili; Cao, Lihua; Tao, Yong; Hao, Lingtong; Chen, Qingjian; Gong, Qiang; Wu, Dafei; Li, Wenjie; Zhao, Wenming; Tian, Xiuyun; Hao, Chunyi; Hungate, Eric A; Catenacci, Daniel V T; Hudson, Richard R; Li, Wen-Hsiung; Lu, Xuemei; Wu, Chung-I
The prevailing view that the evolution of cells in a tumor is driven by Darwinian selection has never been rigorously tested. Because selection greatly affects the level of intratumor genetic diversity, it is important to assess whether intratumor evolution follows the Darwinian or the non-Darwinian mode of evolution. To provide the statistical power, many regions in a single tumor need to be sampled and analyzed much more extensively than has been attempted in previous intratumor studies. Here, from a hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tumor, we evaluated multiregional samples from the tumor, using either whole-exome sequencing (WES) (n = 23 samples) or genotyping (n = 286) under both the infinite-site and infinite-allele models of population genetics. In addition to the many single-nucleotide variations (SNVs) present in all samples, there were 35 "polymorphic" SNVs among samples. High genetic diversity was evident as the 23 WES samples defined 20 unique cell clones. With all 286 samples genotyped, clonal diversity agreed well with the non-Darwinian model with no evidence of positive Darwinian selection. Under the non-Darwinian model, MALL (the number of coding region mutations in the entire tumor) was estimated to be greater than 100 million in this tumor. DNA sequences reveal local diversities in small patches of cells and validate the estimation. In contrast, the genetic diversity under a Darwinian model would generally be orders of magnitude smaller. Because the level of genetic diversity will have implications on therapeutic resistance, non-Darwinian evolution should be heeded in cancer treatments even for microscopic tumors.
Zhou, Zhiqiang; Zhang, Chaoshu; Zhou, Yu; Hao, Zhuanfang; Wang, Zhenhua; Zeng, Xing; Di, Hong; Li, Mingshun; Zhang, Degui; Yong, Hongjun; Zhang, Shihuang; Weng, Jianfeng; Li, Xinhai
Plant architecture attributes, such as plant height, ear height, and internode number, have played an important role in the historical increases in grain yield, lodging resistance, and biomass in maize (Zea mays L.). Analyzing the genetic basis of variation in plant architecture using high density QTL mapping will be of benefit for the breeding of maize for many traits. However, the low density of molecular markers in existing genetic maps has limited the efficiency and accuracy of QTL mapping. Genotyping by sequencing (GBS) is an improved strategy for addressing a complex genome via next-generation sequencing technology. GBS has been a powerful tool for SNP discovery and high-density genetic map construction. The creation of ultra-high density genetic maps using large populations of advanced recombinant inbred lines (RILs) is an efficient way to identify QTL for complex agronomic traits. A set of 314 RILs derived from inbreds Ye478 and Qi319 were generated and subjected to GBS. A total of 137,699,000 reads with an average of 357,376 reads per individual RIL were generated, which is equivalent to approximately 0.07-fold coverage of the maize B73 RefGen_V3 genome for each individual RIL. A high-density genetic map was constructed using 4183 bin markers (100-Kb intervals with no recombination events). The total genetic distance covered by the linkage map was 1545.65 cM and the average distance between adjacent markers was 0.37 cM with a physical distance of about 0.51 Mb. Our results demonstrated a relatively high degree of collinearity between the genetic map and the B73 reference genome. The quality and accuracy of the bin map for QTL detection was verified by the mapping of a known gene, pericarp color 1 (P1), which controls the color of the cob, with a high LOD value of 80.78 on chromosome 1. Using this high-density bin map, 35 QTL affecting plant architecture, including 14 for plant height, 14 for ear height, and seven for internode number were detected
Michael M. Shavlovsky, PhD, ScD¹; Irina V. Morozova¹; Dmitry S. Polyakov, PhD¹; Tatyana D. Aleynikova, PhD¹; Anna M. Kern²; Natalya A. Grudinina, PhD¹; Kirill V. Solovyov, PhD¹
We investigated the possibility of obtaining native recombinant amyloidogenic proteins by creating genetic constructs encoding fusion proteins of target proteins with Super Folder Green Fluorescent Protein (sfGFP). In this study, we show that the structures, containing the sfGFP gene, provide a synthesis, within a bacterial system, of fusion proteins with minimal formation of inclusion bodies. Constructs containing genes of the target proteins in the 3'-terminal region of the sfGFP gene follo...
Damer P Blake
Full Text Available Apicomplexan parasites are responsible for a myriad of diseases in humans and livestock; yet despite intensive effort, development of effective sub-unit vaccines remains a long-term goal. Antigenic complexity and our inability to identify protective antigens from the pool that induce response are serious challenges in the development of new vaccines. Using a combination of parasite genetics and selective barriers with population-based genetic fingerprinting, we have identified that immunity against the most important apicomplexan parasite of livestock (Eimeria spp. was targeted against a few discrete regions of the genome. Herein we report the identification of six genomic regions and, within two of those loci, the identification of true protective antigens that confer immunity as sub-unit vaccines. The first of these is an Eimeria maxima homologue of apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1 and the second is a previously uncharacterised gene that we have termed 'immune mapped protein-1' (IMP-1. Significantly, homologues of the AMA-1 antigen are protective with a range of apicomplexan parasites including Plasmodium spp., which suggest that there may be some characteristic(s of protective antigens shared across this diverse group of parasites. Interestingly, homologues of the IMP-1 antigen, which is protective against E. maxima infection, can be identified in Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum. Overall, this study documents the discovery of novel protective antigens using a population-based genetic mapping approach allied with a protection-based screen of candidate genes. The identification of AMA-1 and IMP-1 represents a substantial step towards development of an effective anti-eimerian sub-unit vaccine and raises the possibility of identification of novel antigens for other apicomplexan parasites. Moreover, validation of the parasite genetics approach to identify effective antigens supports its adoption in other parasite systems where legitimate
Bergström, Anders; Simpson, Jared T; Salinas, Francisco; Barré, Benjamin; Parts, Leopold; Zia, Amin; Nguyen Ba, Alex N; Moses, Alan M; Louis, Edward J; Mustonen, Ville; Warringer, Jonas; Durbin, Richard; Liti, Gianni
The question of how genetic variation in a population influences phenotypic variation and evolution is of major importance in modern biology. Yet much is still unknown about the relative functional importance of different forms of genome variation and how they are shaped by evolutionary processes. Here we address these questions by population level sequencing of 42 strains from the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its closest relative S. paradoxus. We find that genome content variation, in the form of presence or absence as well as copy number of genetic material, is higher within S. cerevisiae than within S. paradoxus, despite genetic distances as measured in single-nucleotide polymorphisms being vastly smaller within the former species. This genome content variation, as well as loss-of-function variation in the form of premature stop codons and frameshifting indels, is heavily enriched in the subtelomeres, strongly reinforcing the relevance of these regions to functional evolution. Genes affected by these likely functional forms of variation are enriched for functions mediating interaction with the external environment (sugar transport and metabolism, flocculation, metal transport, and metabolism). Our results and analyses provide a comprehensive view of genomic diversity in budding yeast and expose surprising and pronounced differences between the variation within S. cerevisiae and that within S. paradoxus. We also believe that the sequence data and de novo assemblies will constitute a useful resource for further evolutionary and population genomics studies.
Carr Jean K
Full Text Available Abstract Background A cross-sectional study on 625 Female Sex Workers (FSWs was conducted between 2000 and 2002 in 6 cities in Argentina. This study describes the genetic diversity and the resistance profile of the HIV-infected subjects. Results Seventeen samples from HIV positive FSWs were genotyped by env HMA, showing the presence of 9 subtype F, 6 subtype B and 2 subtype C. Sequence analysis of the protease/RT region on 16 of these showed that 10 were BF recombinants, three were subtype B, two were subtype C, and one sample presented a dual infection with subtype B and a BF recombinant. Full-length genomes of five of the protease/RT BF recombinants were also sequenced, showing that three of them were CRF12_BF. One FSW had a dual HIV-1 infection with subtype B and a BF recombinant. The B sections of the BF recombinant clustered closely with the pure B sequence isolated from the same patient. Major resistance mutations to antiretroviral drugs were found in 3 of 16 (18.8% strains. Conclusion The genetic diversity of HIV strains among FSWs in Argentina was extensive; about three-quarters of the samples were infected with diverse BF recombinants, near twenty percent had primary ART resistance and one sample presented a dual infection. Heterosexual transmission of genetically diverse, drug resistant strains among FSWs and their clients represents an important and underestimated threat, in Argentina.
Droxler, A. W.; Agar Cetin, A.; Bentley, S. J.
This study focuses on the last 1500 yr precipitation record archived in the mixed carbonate/siliciclastic sediments accumulated in the Belize Central Shelf Lagoon, part of the Yucatan Peninsula eastern continental margin, proximal to the land areas where the Mayan Civilization thrived and then abruptly collapsed. This study is mainly based upon the detailed analyses of cores, BZE-RH-SVC-58 and 68, retrieved in 30 and 19 m of water depth from Elbow Caye Lagoon and English Caye Channel, respectively. The core timeframe is well-constrained by AMS radiocarbon dating of benthic foraminifera, Quinqueloculina. Carbonate content was determined by carbonate bomb, particle size fractions with a Malvern Master Sizer 2000 particle size analyzer, and element (Ti, Si, K, Fe, Al, Ca, and Sr) counts via X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF). The variations of elements such as Ti and K counts, and Ti/Al in these two cores have recorded, in the past past 1500 years, the weathering rate variations of the adjacent Maya Mountain, defining alternating periods of high precipitation and droughts, linked to large climate fluctuations and extreme events, highly influenced by the ITCZ latitudinal migration. The CE 800-900 century just preceding the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), characterized by unusually low Ti counts and Ti/Al, is interpreted to represent a time of low precipitation and resulting severe droughts in the Yucatan Peninsula, contemporaneous with the Mayan Terminal Classic Collapse. High Ti counts and Ti/Al, although highly variable, during the MCA (CE 900-1350) are interpreted as an unusually warm period characterized by two 100-to-250 years-long intervals of higher precipitation when the number of tropical cyclones peaked. These two intervals of high precipitation during the MCA are separated by a century (CE 1000 -1100) of severe droughts and low tropical storm frequency coinciding with the collapse of Chichen Itza (CE 1040-1100). The Little Ice Age (CE 1350-1850), several centuries
Shirasawa, Kenta; Tanaka, Masaru; Takahata, Yasuhiro; Ma, Daifu; Cao, Qinghe; Liu, Qingchang; Zhai, Hong; Kwak, Sang-Soo; Cheol Jeong, Jae; Yoon, Ung-Han; Lee, Hyeong-Un; Hirakawa, Hideki; Isobe, Sachiko
Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) is an autohexaploid species with 90 chromosomes (2n = 6x = 90) and a basic chromosome number of 15, and is therefore regarded as one of the most challenging species for high-density genetic map construction. Here, we used single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified by double-digest restriction site-associated DNA sequencing based on next-generation sequencing technology to construct a map for sweetpotato. We then aligned the sequence reads onto the reference genome sequence of I. trifida, a likely diploid ancestor of sweetpotato, to detect SNPs. In addition, to simplify analysis of the complex genetic mode of autohexaploidy, we used an S1 mapping population derived from self-pollination of a single parent. As a result, 28,087 double-simplex SNPs showing a Mendelian segregation ratio in the S1 progeny could be mapped onto 96 linkage groups (LGs), covering a total distance of 33,020.4 cM. Based on the positions of the SNPs on the I. trifida genome, the LGs were classified into 15 groups, each with roughly six LGs and six small extra groups. The molecular genetic techniques used in this study are applicable to high-density mapping of other polyploid plant species, including important crops.
Postema, Floor A M; Hopman, Saskia M J; Aalfs, Cora M; Berger, Lieke P V; Bleeker, Fonnet E; Dommering, Charlotte J; Jongmans, Marjolijn C J; Letteboer, Tom G W; Olderode-Berends, Maran J W; Wagner, Anja; Hennekam, Raoul C; Merks, Johannes H M
Recognising a tumour predisposition syndrome (TPS) in childhood cancer patients is of major clinical relevance. The presence of a TPS may be suggested by the type of tumour in the child. We present an overview of 23 childhood tumours that in themselves should be a reason to refer a child for genetic consultation. We performed a PubMed search to review the incidence of TPSs in children for 85 tumour types listed in the International Classification of Childhood Cancer third edition (ICCC-3). The results were discussed during a national consensus meeting with representative clinical geneticists from all six academic paediatric oncology centres in The Netherlands. A TPS incidence of 5% or more was considered a high probability and therefore in itself a reason for referral to a clinical geneticist. The literature search resulted in data on the incidence of a TPS in 26 tumours. For 23/26 tumour types, a TPS incidence of 5% or higher was reported. In addition, during the consensus meeting the experts agreed that children with any carcinoma should always be referred for clinical genetic consultation as well, as it may point to a TPS. We present an overview of 23 paediatric tumours with a high probability of a TPS; this will facilitate paediatric oncologists to decide which patients should be referred for genetic consultation merely based on type of tumour. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Shirasawa, Kenta; Tanaka, Masaru; Takahata, Yasuhiro; Ma, Daifu; Cao, Qinghe; Liu, Qingchang; Zhai, Hong; Kwak, Sang-Soo; Cheol Jeong, Jae; Yoon, Ung-Han; Lee, Hyeong-Un; Hirakawa, Hideki; Isobe, Sachiko
Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas) is an autohexaploid species with 90 chromosomes (2n = 6x = 90) and a basic chromosome number of 15, and is therefore regarded as one of the most challenging species for high-density genetic map construction. Here, we used single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) identified by double-digest restriction site-associated DNA sequencing based on next-generation sequencing technology to construct a map for sweetpotato. We then aligned the sequence reads onto the reference genome sequence of I. trifida, a likely diploid ancestor of sweetpotato, to detect SNPs. In addition, to simplify analysis of the complex genetic mode of autohexaploidy, we used an S1 mapping population derived from self-pollination of a single parent. As a result, 28,087 double-simplex SNPs showing a Mendelian segregation ratio in the S1 progeny could be mapped onto 96 linkage groups (LGs), covering a total distance of 33,020.4 cM. Based on the positions of the SNPs on the I. trifida genome, the LGs were classified into 15 groups, each with roughly six LGs and six small extra groups. The molecular genetic techniques used in this study are applicable to high-density mapping of other polyploid plant species, including important crops. PMID:28281636
Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this pilot study were to determine the blood lead levels in children in Belize and to try to relate these findings to demographic variables. METHODS: With permission from parents, capillary blood was collected from the fingers of 164 children with an age range of 2 to 8 years, living and attending school in the spring of 2002 in four towns: Belize City, San Pedro, Orange Walk, and Benque Viejo. The sample represents 0.4% of all children in Belize in that age range. Lead levels were analyzed by the method of anodic stripping voltammetry using the ESA LeadCare analyzer. RESULTS: The mean blood lead level for the children in the sample was 4.94 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL with a standard deviation of 2.46. However, 11 children (7% had blood lead in the range of 10.1-13.8 µg/dL, which is the level of concern according to guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children living in the large urban centers of Belize City and Orange Walk town had higher lead levels (mean 5.80 and 5.74 µg/dL than children living in the smaller towns of Benque Viejo and San Pedro (mean 4.17 and 4.63 µg/dL. There were no statistically significant differences between male and female children. CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that children in Belize are being exposed to lead and suggest that this pilot study be followed up with a comprehensive study with a larger sample and correlation of the findings to socioeconomic characteristics, to children's behavior, and to the home and school environment.OBJETIVOS: Estudio piloto para determinar los niveles de plomo en la sangre en niños de Belice y relacionar estos valores con algunas variables demográficas. MÉTODOS: Con el consentimiento de los padres, se tomaron muestras de sangre capilar del dedo a 164 niños de 2 a 8 años que en la primavera de 2002 vivían y asistían a la escuela en cuatro localidades: Belice, San Pedro, Orange Walk y Benque Viejo. La muestra
Torres-Florez, Juan P; Hucke-Gaete, Rodrigo; Rosenbaum, Howard; Figueroa, Christian C
It is generally assumed that species with low population sizes have lower genetic diversities than larger populations and vice versa. However, this would not be the case for long-lived species with long generation times, and which populations have declined due to anthropogenic effects, such as the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus). This species was intensively decimated globally to near extinction during the 20th century. Along the Chilean coast, it is estimated that at least 4288 blue whales were hunted from an apparently pre-exploitation population size (k) of a maximum of 6200 individuals (Southeastern Pacific). Thus, here, we describe the mtDNA (control region) and nDNA (microsatellites) diversities of the Chilean blue whale aggregation site in order to verify the expectation of low genetic diversity in small populations. We then compare our findings with other blue whale aggregations in the Southern Hemisphere. Interestingly, although the estimated population size is small compared with the pre-whaling era, there is still considerable genetic diversity, even after the population crash, both in mitochondrial (N = 46) and nuclear (N = 52) markers (Hd = 0.890 and Ho = 0.692, respectively). Our results suggest that this diversity could be a consequence of the long generation times and the relatively short period of time elapsed since the end of whaling, which has been observed in other heavily-exploited whale populations. The genetic variability of blue whales on their southern Chile feeding grounds was similar to that found in other Southern Hemisphere blue whale feeding grounds. Our phylogenetic analysis of mtDNA haplotypes does not show extensive differentiation of populations among Southern Hemisphere blue whale feeding grounds. The present study suggests that although levels of genetic diversity are frequently used as estimators of population health, these parameters depend on the biology of the species and should be taken into account in a
Song, Shen; Yao, Na; Yang, Min; Liu, Xuexue; Dong, Kunzhe; Zhao, Qianjun; Pu, Yabin; He, Xiaohong; Guan, Weijun; Yang, Ning; Ma, Yuehui; Jiang, Lin
The Tibetan cashmere goat (Capra hircus), one of the most ancient breeds in China, has historically been a critical source of meat and cashmere production for local farmers. To adapt to the high-altitude area, extremely harsh climate, and hypoxic environment that the Tibetan cashmere goat lives in, this goat has developed distinct phenotypic traits compared to lowland breeds. However, the genetic components underlying this phenotypic adaptation remain largely unknown. We obtained 118,700 autosomal SNPs through exome sequencing of 330 cashmere goats located at a wide geographic range, including the Tibetan Plateau and low-altitude regions in China. The great majority of SNPs showed low genetic differentiation among populations; however, approximately 2-3% of the loci showed more genetic differentiation than expected under a selectively neutral model. Together with a combined analysis of high- and low-altitude breeds, we revealed 339 genes potentially under high-altitude selection. Genes associated with cardiovascular system development were significantly enriched in our study. Among these genes, the most evident one was endothelial PAS domain protein 1 (EPAS1), which has been previously reported to be involved in complex oxygen sensing and significantly associated with high-altitude adaptation of human, dog, and grey wolf. The missense mutation Q579L that we identified in EPAS1, which occurs next to the Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 (HIF-1) domain, was exclusively enriched in the high-altitude populations. Our study provides insights concerning the population variation in six different cashmere goat populations in China. The variants in cardiovascular system-related genes may explain the observed phenotypic adaptation of the Tibetan cashmere goat.
The triglyceride (TG) response to a high-fat meal (postprandial lipemia, PPL) affects cardiovascular disease risk and is influenced by genes and environment. Genes involved in lipid metabolism have dominated genetic studies of PPL TG response. We sought to elucidate common genetic variants through a...
Asp, Torben; Studer, Bruno; Lübberstedt, Thomas
to establish the VrnA F2 mapping population. The sequences were assembled and used for in-silico SNP discovery. SNPs supported by a minimum number of eight reads, within candidate genes for important agronomic traits, were selected for Illumina GoldenGate genotyping and used to map 768 expressed genes...... in the VrnA mapping population. Here we report on large-scale SNP discovery, and the construction of a genetic map enabling QTL fine mapping, map-based cloning, and comparative genomics in perennial ryegrass....
Li, Xiaofei; Wu, Yuhua; Li, Jun; Li, Yunjing; Long, Likun; Li, Feiwu; Wu, Gang
The rapid increase in the number of genetically modified (GM) varieties has led to a demand for high-throughput methods to detect genetically modified organisms (GMOs). We describe a new dynamic array-based high throughput method to simultaneously detect 48 targets in 48 samples on a Fludigm system. The test targets included species-specific genes, common screening elements, most of the Chinese-approved GM events, and several unapproved events. The 48 TaqMan assays successfully amplified products from both single-event samples and complex samples with a GMO DNA amount of 0.05 ng, and displayed high specificity. To improve the sensitivity of detection, a preamplification step for 48 pooled targets was added to enrich the amount of template before performing dynamic chip assays. This dynamic chip-based method allowed the synchronous high-throughput detection of multiple targets in multiple samples. Thus, it represents an efficient, qualitative method for GMO multi-detection.
Li, Xiaofei; Wu, Yuhua; Li, Jun; Li, Yunjing; Long, Likun; Li, Feiwu; Wu, Gang
The rapid increase in the number of genetically modified (GM) varieties has led to a demand for high-throughput methods to detect genetically modified organisms (GMOs). We describe a new dynamic array-based high throughput method to simultaneously detect 48 targets in 48 samples on a Fludigm system. The test targets included species-specific genes, common screening elements, most of the Chinese-approved GM events, and several unapproved events. The 48 TaqMan assays successfully amplified products from both single-event samples and complex samples with a GMO DNA amount of 0.05 ng, and displayed high specificity. To improve the sensitivity of detection, a preamplification step for 48 pooled targets was added to enrich the amount of template before performing dynamic chip assays. This dynamic chip-based method allowed the synchronous high-throughput detection of multiple targets in multiple samples. Thus, it represents an efficient, qualitative method for GMO multi-detection. PMID:25556930
Gonzaga, L L; Costa, L E O; Santos, T T; Araújo, E F; Queiroz, M V
To evaluate the diversity of endophytic fungi from the leaves of the common bean and the genetic diversity of endophytic fungi from the genus Colletotrichum using IRAP (inter-retrotransposon amplified polymorphism) and REMAP (retrotransposon-microsatellite amplified polymorphism) analyses. The fungi were isolated by tissue fragmentation and identified by analysing the morphological features and sequencing the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions and the rDNA large subunit (LSU). Twenty-seven different taxa were identified. Colletotrichum was the most commonly isolated genera from the common bean (32.69% and 24.29% of the total isolates from the Ouro Negro and Talismã varieties, respectively). The IRAP and REMAP analyses revealed a high genetic diversity in the Colletotrichum endophytic isolates and were able to discriminate these isolates from the phytopathogen Colletotrichum lindemuthianum. Fungi from the genus Colletotrichum are abundant in the Phaseolus vulgaris endophytic community, and the IRAP and REMAP markers can be used to rapidly distinguish between C. lindemuthianum and other Colletotrichum members that are frequently found as endophytes. This is the first report of the diversity of endophytic fungi present in the common bean and the use of IRAP and REMAP markers to assess the genetic diversity of endophytic fungi from the genus Colletotrichum. © 2014 The Society for Applied Microbiology.
Therriault, T W; Orlova, M I; Docker, M F; Macisaac, H J; Heath, D D
In recent years, the quagga mussel, Dreissena rostriformis bugensis, native to the Dnieper and Bug Limans of the northern Black Sea, has been dispersed by human activities across the basin, throughout much of the Volga River system, and to the Laurentian Great Lakes. We used six published microsatellite markers to survey populations throughout its native and introduced range to identify relationships among potential source populations and introduced ones. Mussels from 12 sites in Eurasia, including the central Caspian Sea and one in North America (Lake Erie), were sampled. Field surveys in the Volga River basin suggested that the species first colonized the middle reach of the river near Kubyshev Reservoir, and thereafter spread both upstream and downstream. Evidence of considerable gene flow among populations was observed and genetic diversity was consistent with a larger, metapopulation that has not experienced bottlenecks or founder effects. We propose that high gene flow, possibly due to multiple invasions, has facilitated establishment of quagga mussel populations in the Volga River system. The Caspian Sea population (D. rostriformis rostriformis (=distincta)) was genetically more distinct than other populations, a finding that may be related to habitat differences. The geographical pattern of genetic divergence is not characteristic of isolation-by-distance but, rather, of long-distance dispersal, most likely mediated by commercial ships' ballast water transfer.
Young, Jessica E; Vilariño-Güell, Carles; Lin, Siong-Chi; Wszolek, Zbigniew K; Farrer, Matthew J
To conduct clinical and molecular genetic analyses of the members of an extended family in Central Indiana with a high prevalence of restless legs syndrome (RLS). From February 1, 2006, through August 31, 2008, we collected data from members of this family, which is of English descent. Genealogical methods were used to expand the family tree, and family members were screened with an RLS questionnaire. Telephone interviews and personal examinations were performed at Mayo Clinic and during a field trip to Central Indiana. Blood samples were collected for molecular genetic analysis. A follow-up telephone interview was conducted 1 year later. The family tree spans 7 generations with 88 living members, 30 of whom meet the criteria for diagnosis of RLS established by the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group. Three affected family members also have Parkinson disease or essential tremor. The mode of RLS inheritance is compatible with an autosomal dominant pattern. The affected family members do not exhibit linkage to the 5 known RLS loci or mutations in the RLS susceptibility genes MEIS1 and BTBD9. Of 88 members of this single extended family in Central Indiana, 30 were diagnosed as having RLS. Because our analysis shows that the disease is not linked to any of the known RLS loci or risk-associated genes, we postulate that members of this family may carry a gene mutation in a novel genetic locus.
Gomes, Cidália; Sousa, Ronaldo; Mendes, Tito; Borges, Rui; Vilares, Pedro; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Guilhermino, Lúcia; Antunes, Agostinho
The Asian clam, Corbicula fluminea, is an invasive alien species (IAS) originally from Asia that has spread worldwide causing major ecological and economic impacts in aquatic ecosystems. Here, we evaluated C. fluminea genetic (using COI mtDNA, CYTb mtDNA and 18S rDNA gene markers), morphometric and sperm morphology variation in Portuguese freshwater ecosystems. The COI marker revealed a single haplotype, which belongs to the Asian FW5 invasive lineage, suggesting a common origin for all the 13 Portuguese C. fluminea populations analysed. Morphometric analyses showed differences between the populations colonizing the North (with the exception of the Lima River) and the Centre/South ecosystems. The sperm morphology examination revealed the presence of biflagellate sperm, a distinctive character of the invasive androgenetic lineages. The low genetic variability of the Portuguese C. fluminea populations and the pattern of sperm morphology have been illuminating for understanding the demographic history of this invasive species. We hypothesize that these populations were derived from a unique introductory event of a Corbicula fluminea FW5 invasive androgenic lineage in the Tejo River, which subsequently dispersed to other Portuguese freshwater ecosystems. The C. fluminea asexual reproductive mode may have assisted these populations to become highly invasive despite the low genetic diversity.
Full Text Available The Asian clam, Corbicula fluminea, is an invasive alien species (IAS originally from Asia that has spread worldwide causing major ecological and economic impacts in aquatic ecosystems. Here, we evaluated C. fluminea genetic (using COI mtDNA, CYTb mtDNA and 18S rDNA gene markers, morphometric and sperm morphology variation in Portuguese freshwater ecosystems. The COI marker revealed a single haplotype, which belongs to the Asian FW5 invasive lineage, suggesting a common origin for all the 13 Portuguese C. fluminea populations analysed. Morphometric analyses showed differences between the populations colonizing the North (with the exception of the Lima River and the Centre/South ecosystems. The sperm morphology examination revealed the presence of biflagellate sperm, a distinctive character of the invasive androgenetic lineages. The low genetic variability of the Portuguese C. fluminea populations and the pattern of sperm morphology have been illuminating for understanding the demographic history of this invasive species. We hypothesize that these populations were derived from a unique introductory event of a Corbicula fluminea FW5 invasive androgenic lineage in the Tejo River, which subsequently dispersed to other Portuguese freshwater ecosystems. The C. fluminea asexual reproductive mode may have assisted these populations to become highly invasive despite the low genetic diversity.
Full Text Available Comparative linkage mapping can rapidly facilitate the transfer of genetic information from model species to orphan species. This macrosynteny analysis approach has been extensively used in plant species, but few example are available in fungi, and even fewer in mushroom crop species. Among the latter, the Agaricus genus comprises the most cultivable or potentially cultivable species. Agaricus bisporus, the button mushroom, is the model for edible and cultivable mushrooms. We have developed the first genetic linkage map for the basidiomycete A. subrufescens, an emerging mushroom crop known for its therapeutic properties and potential medicinal applications. The map includes 202 markers distributed over 16 linkage groups (LG, and covers a total length of 1701 cM, with an average marker spacing of 8.2 cM. Using 96 homologous loci, we also demonstrated the high level of macrosynteny with the genome of A. bisporus. The 13 main LG of A. subrufescens were syntenic to the 13 A. bisporus chromosomes. A disrupted synteny was observed for the three remaining A. subrufescens LG. Electronic mapping of a collection of A. subrufescens expressed sequence tags on A. bisporus genome showed that the homologous loci were evenly spread, with the exception of a few local hot or cold spots of homology. Our results were discussed in the light of Agaricus species evolution process. The map provides a framework for future genetic or genomic studies of the medicinal mushroom A. subrufescens.
Froehlich, Janice C; Fischer, Stephen M; Nicholson, Emily R; Dilley, Julian E; Filosa, Nicholas J; Smith, Teal N; Rademacher, Logan C
This study examined whether naltrexone (NTX) or varenicline (VAR), alone or in combination, can retard the phenotypic expression of a genetic predisposition toward high alcohol drinking in rats selectively bred for high alcohol intake when drug treatment is initiated prior to, or concomitantly with, the onset of alcohol drinking. Alcohol-naïve P rats were treated daily with NTX (15.0 mg/kg BW), VAR (1.0 mg/kg BW), a combination of NTX (15.0 mg/kg BW) + VAR (1.0 mg/kg BW), or vehicle (VEH) for 2 weeks prior to, or concomitantly with, their first opportunity to drink alcohol and throughout 21 days of daily 2-hour alcohol access. Drug treatment was then discontinued for 3 weeks followed by reinstatement of drug treatment for an additional 3 weeks. When P rats were pretreated with drug for 2 weeks prior to onset of alcohol access, only NTX + VAR in combination blocked the acquisition of alcohol drinking in alcohol-naïve P rats. When drug treatment was initiated concomitantly with the first opportunity to drink alcohol, NTX alone, VAR alone, and NTX + VAR blocked the acquisition of alcohol drinking. Following termination of drug treatment, NTX + VAR and VAR alone continued to reduce alcohol drinking but by the end of 3 weeks without drug treatment, alcohol intake in all groups was comparable to that seen in the vehicle-treated group as the expression of a genetic predisposition toward high alcohol drinking emerged in the drug-free P rats. After 3 weeks without drug treatment, reinstatement of NTX + VAR treatment again reduced alcohol intake. A combination of NTX + VAR, when administered prior to, or concomitantly with, the first opportunity to drink alcohol, blocks the acquisition of alcohol drinking during both initial access to alcohol and during a later period of alcohol access in P rats with a genetic predisposition toward high alcohol intake. The results suggest that NTX + VAR may be effective in curtailing alcohol drinking in individuals
Felício, V; Ramalho, A S; Igreja, S; Amaral, M D
Even with advent of next generation sequencing complete sequencing of large disease-associated genes and intronic regions is economically not feasible. This is the case of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), the gene responsible for cystic fibrosis (CF). Yet, to confirm a CF diagnosis, proof of CFTR dysfunction needs to be obtained, namely by the identification of two disease-causing mutations. Moreover, with the advent of mutation-based therapies, genotyping is an essential tool for CF disease management. There is, however, still an unmet need to genotype CF patients by fast, comprehensive and cost-effective approaches, especially in populations with high genetic heterogeneity (and low p.F508del incidence), where CF is now emerging with new diagnosis dilemmas (Brazil, Asia, etc). Herein, we report an innovative mRNA-based approach to identify CFTR mutations in the complete coding and intronic regions. We applied this protocol to genotype individuals with a suspicion of CF and only one or no CFTR mutations identified by routine methods. It successfully detected multiple intronic mutations unlikely to be detected by CFTR exon sequencing. We conclude that this is a rapid, robust and inexpensive method to detect any CFTR coding/intronic mutation (including rare ones) that can be easily used either as primary approach or after routine DNA analysis. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Full Text Available Wilson's disease is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by more than 500 mutations in ATP7B gene presenting considerably clinical manifestations heterogeneity even in patients with a particular mutation. Previous findings suggested a potential role of additional genetic modifiers and environment factors on phenotypic expression among the affected patients. We conducted clinical and genetic investigations to perform genotype-phenotype correlation in two large families living in a socio-culturally isolated community with the highest prevalence of Wilson's disease ever reported of 1 ∶ 1130. Sequencing of ATP7B gene in seven affected individuals and 43 family members identified a common compound heterozygous genotype, H1069Q/M769H-fs, in five symptomatic and two asymptomatic patients and detected the presence of two out of seven identified single nucleotide polymorphisms in all affected patients. Symptomatic patients had similar clinical phenotype and age at onset (18 ± 1 years showing dysarthria and dysphagia as common clinical features at the time of diagnosis. Moreover, all symptomatic patients presented Kayser-Fleischer rings and lack of dystonia accompanied by unfavourable clinical outcomes. Our findings add value for understanding of genotype-phenotype correlations in Wilson's disease based on a multifamily study in an isolated population with high extent of genetic and environmental homogeneity as opposed to majority of reports. We observed an equal influence of presumed other genetic modifiers and environmental factors on clinical presentation and age at onset of Wilson's disease in patients with a particular genotype. These data provide valuable inferences that could be applied for predicting clinical management in asymptomatic patients in such communities.
In a survey of the proteins from human hair, a genetic electrophoretic variant has been observed in the high-sulfur protein region. S-carboxymethylated proteins were examined by 15% polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis at pH 8.9. Out of 150 unrelated samples of Japanese head hairs analyzed, 107 showed 6 major high-sulfur protein bands (normal) and the remaining 43 samples showed an additional high-sulfur protein band (variant). Of 21 Caucasian samples analyzed only one variant sample was found. Characterization of the proteins by two-dimensional electrophoresis evidenced a variant protein spot which showed an apparent molecular weight of 30 k Da. Isoelectric points of the high-sulfur proteins ranged from 3.25-3.55 and that of variant protein band from 3.3-3.4. Family studies of 21 matings resulting in 49 children indicated that this variant was inherited in an autosomal fashion.
Full Text Available The wheat powdery mildew resistance gene Pm40, which is located on chromosomal arm 7BS, is effective against nearly all prevalent races of Blumeria graminis f. sp tritici (Bgt in China and is carried by the common wheat germplasm PI 672538. A set of the F1, F2 and F2:3 populations from the cross of the resistant PI 672538 with the susceptible line L1034 were used to conduct genetic analysis of powdery mildew resistance and construct a high-density linkage map of the Pm40 gene. We constructed a high-density linkage genetic map with a total length of 6.18 cM and average spacing between markers of 0.48 cM.Pm40 is flanked by Xwmc335 and BF291338 at genetic distances of 0.58 cM and 0.26 cM, respectively, in deletion bin C-7BS-1-0.27. Comparative genomic analysis based on EST-STS markers established a high level of collinearity of the Pm40 genomic region with a 1.09-Mbp genomic region on Brachypodium chromosome 3, a 1.16-Mbp genomic region on rice chromosome 8, and a 1.62-Mbp genomic region on sorghum chromosome 7. We further anchored the Pm40 target intervals to the wheat genome sequence. A putative linear index of 85 wheat contigs containing 97 genes on 7BS was constructed. In total, 9 genes could be considered as candidates for the resistances to powdery mildew in the target genomic regions, which encoded proteins that were involved in the plant defense and response to pathogen attack. These results will facilitate the development of new markers for map-based cloning and marker-assisted selection of Pm40 in wheat breeding programs.
Qiu Ghengjian; Gao Shan
In 1983, two different varieties were treated with five doses of fast neutrons and two concentrations of ethyl methane-sulphonate (EMS) in order to study the effects of different mutagens on the production of mutations with high protein and oil content. The experiment seems to show that EMS had a better effect in inducing such mutations. It showed not only a large variation in extent, but also a higher frequency of mutations. Fast neutrons could also induce mutations with high protein and oil content, but the rate was lower than for EMS. For high protein and oil content mutations induced by fast neutrons, the correlation between the M 2 and M 3 generations was unstable; it is difficult to forecast the protein and oil content of subsequent generations from seeds of the M 2 generation. The high protein and oil content mutations induced by EMS showed a high hereditary value in the M 2 and M 3 lines. The values of such parameters as hereditary variation, the hereditary variance coefficient, the hereditary capacity and the genetic advance of high protein content mutations were higher than those for high oil content mutations. Thus, it seems easier to induce mutations with high protein rather than high oil content. (author). 8 refs, 2 figs, 4 tabs
Podsiadlowski, L.; Carapelli, A.; Nardi, F.; Dallai, R.; Koch,M.; Boore, J.L.; Frati, F.
Mitochondrial genomes from two dipluran hexapods of the genus Campodea have been sequenced. Gene order is the same as in most other hexapods and crustaceans. Secondary structures of tRNAs reveal specific structural changes in tRNA-C, tRNA-R, tRNA-S1 and tRNA-S2. Comparative analyses of nucleotide and amino acid composition, as well as structural features of both ribosomal RNA subunits, reveal substantial differences among the analyzed taxa. Although the two Campodea species are morphologically highly uniform, genetic divergence is larger than expected, suggesting a long evolutionary history under stable ecological conditions.
Full Text Available The concurrent development of high-throughput genotyping platforms and next generation sequencing (NGS has increased the number and density of genetic markers, the efficiency of constructing detailed linkage maps, and our ability to overlay recombination and physical maps of the genome. We developed an array for tomato with 8,784 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs mainly discovered based on NGS-derived transcriptome sequences. Of the SNPs, 7,720 (88% passed manufacturing quality control and could be scored in tomato germplasm. The array was used to generate high-density linkage maps for three interspecific F(2 populations: EXPEN 2000 (Solanum lycopersicum LA0925 x S. pennellii LA0716, 79 individuals, EXPEN 2012 (S. lycopersicum Moneymaker x S. pennellii LA0716, 160 individuals, and EXPIM 2012 (S. lycopersicum Moneymaker x S. pimpinellifolium LA0121, 183 individuals. The EXPEN 2000-SNP and EXPEN 2012 maps consisted of 3,503 and 3,687 markers representing 1,076 and 1,229 unique map positions (genetic bins, respectively. The EXPEN 2000-SNP map had an average marker bin interval of 1.6 cM, while the EXPEN 2012 map had an average bin interval of 0.9 cM. The EXPIM 2012 map was constructed with 4,491 markers (1,358 bins and an average bin interval of 0.8 cM. All three linkage maps revealed an uneven distribution of markers across the genome. The dense EXPEN 2012 and EXPIM 2012 maps showed high levels of colinearity across all 12 chromosomes, and also revealed evidence of small inversions between LA0716 and LA0121. Physical positions of 7,666 SNPs were identified relative to the tomato genome sequence. The genetic and physical positions were mostly consistent. Exceptions were observed for chromosomes 3, 10 and 12. Comparing genetic positions relative to physical positions revealed that genomic regions with high recombination rates were consistent with the known distribution of euchromatin across the 12 chromosomes, while very low recombination rates
Adam L Bailey
Full Text Available Key biological properties such as high genetic diversity and high evolutionary rate enhance the potential of certain RNA viruses to adapt and emerge. Identifying viruses with these properties in their natural hosts could dramatically improve disease forecasting and surveillance. Recently, we discovered two novel members of the viral family Arteriviridae: simian hemorrhagic fever virus (SHFV-krc1 and SHFV-krc2, infecting a single wild red colobus (Procolobus rufomitratus tephrosceles in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Nearly nothing is known about the biological properties of SHFVs in nature, although the SHFV type strain, SHFV-LVR, has caused devastating outbreaks of viral hemorrhagic fever in captive macaques. Here we detected SHFV-krc1 and SHFV-krc2 in 40% and 47% of 60 wild red colobus tested, respectively. We found viral loads in excess of 10(6-10(7 RNA copies per milliliter of blood plasma for each of these viruses. SHFV-krc1 and SHFV-krc2 also showed high genetic diversity at both the inter- and intra-host levels. Analyses of synonymous and non-synonymous nucleotide diversity across viral genomes revealed patterns suggestive of positive selection in SHFV open reading frames (ORF 5 (SHFV-krc2 only and 7 (SHFV-krc1 and SHFV-krc2. Thus, these viruses share several important properties with some of the most rapidly evolving, emergent RNA viruses.
Meyer-Baese, Uwe; Botella, Guillermo; Romero, David E. T.; Kumm, Martin
This paper compares FPGA-based full pipelined multiplierless FIR filter design options. Comparison of Distributed Arithmetic (DA), Common Sub-Expression (CSE) sharing and n-dimensional Reduced Adder Graph (RAG-n) multiplierless filter design methods in term of size, speed, and A*T product are provided. Since DA designs are table-based and CSE/RAG-n designs are adder-based, FPGA synthesis design data are used for a realistic comparison. Superior results of a genetic algorithm based optimization of pipeline registers and non-output fundamental coefficients are shown. FIR filters (posted as open source by Kastner et al.) for filters in the length from 6 to 151 coefficients are used.
Michael M. Shavlovsky, PhD, ScD¹
Full Text Available We investigated the possibility of obtaining native recombinant amyloidogenic proteins by creating genetic constructs encoding fusion proteins of target proteins with Super Folder Green Fluorescent Protein (sfGFP. In this study, we show that the structures, containing the sfGFP gene, provide a synthesis, within a bacterial system, of fusion proteins with minimal formation of inclusion bodies. Constructs containing genes of the target proteins in the 3'-terminal region of the sfGFP gene followed by a polynucleotide sequence, which allows for affinity purification fusion proteins, are optimal. Heating bacterial cultures before the induction of the expression of recombinant genes in 42°С for 30 min (heat shock was found to increase the output of the desired products, thus practically avoiding the formation of insoluble aggregates
Jaindra Nath Tripathi
Full Text Available Banana (Musa spp. is an important staple food as well as cash crop in tropical and subtropical countries. Various bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases and pests such as nematodes are major constraints in its production and are currently destabilizing the banana production in sub-Saharan Africa. Genetic engineering is a complementary option used for incorporating useful traits in banana to bypass the long generation time, polyploidy, and sterility of most of the cultivated varieties. A robust transformation protocol for farmer preferred varieties is crucial for banana genomics and improvement. A robust and reproducible system for genetic transformation of banana using embryogenic cell suspensions (ECS has been developed in this study. Two different types of explants (immature male flowers and multiple buds were tested for their ability to develop ECS in several varieties of banana locally grown in Africa. ECS of banana varieties ‘Cavendish Williams’ and ‘Gros Michel’ were developed using multiple buds, whereas ECS of ‘Sukali Ndiizi’ was developed using immature male flowers. Regeneration efficiency of ECS was about 20,000-50,000 plantlets per ml of settled cell volume (SCV depending on variety. ECS of three different varieties were transformed through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation using gusA reporter gene and 20-70 independent transgenic events per ml SCV of ECS were regenerated on selective medium. The presence and integration of gusA gene in transgenic plants was confirmed by PCR, dot blot, and Southern blot analysis and expression by histochemical GUS assays. The robust transformation platform was successfully used to generate hundreds of transgenic lines with disease resistance. Such a platform will facilitate the transfer of technologies to national agricultural research systems (NARS in Africa.
Tripathi, Jaindra N.; Oduor, Richard O.; Tripathi, Leena
Banana (Musa spp.) is an important staple food as well as cash crop in tropical and subtropical countries. Various bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases and pests such as nematodes are major constraints in its production and are currently destabilizing the banana production in sub-Saharan Africa. Genetic engineering is a complementary option used for incorporating useful traits in banana to bypass the long generation time, polyploidy, and sterility of most of the cultivated varieties. A robust transformation protocol for farmer preferred varieties is crucial for banana genomics and improvement. A robust and reproducible system for genetic transformation of banana using embryogenic cell suspensions (ECS) has been developed in this study. Two different types of explants (immature male flowers and multiple buds) were tested for their ability to develop ECS in several varieties of banana locally grown in Africa. ECS of banana varieties “Cavendish Williams” and “Gros Michel” were developed using multiple buds, whereas ECS of “Sukali Ndiizi” was developed using immature male flowers. Regeneration efficiency of ECS was about 20,000–50,000 plantlets per ml of settled cell volume (SCV) depending on variety. ECS of three different varieties were transformed through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation using gusA reporter gene and 20–70 independent transgenic events per ml SCV of ECS were regenerated on selective medium. The presence and integration of gusA gene in transgenic plants was confirmed by PCR, dot blot, and Southern blot analysis and expression by histochemical GUS assays. The robust transformation platform was successfully used to generate hundreds of transgenic lines with disease resistance. Such a platform will facilitate the transfer of technologies to national agricultural research systems (NARS) in Africa. PMID:26635849
Marchina, Eleonora; Fontana, Maria Grazia; Speziani, Michela; Salvi, Alessandro; Ricca, Giuseppe; Di Lorenzo, Diego; Gervasi, Maria; Caimi, Luigi; Barlati, Sergio
Hereditary breast cancer accounts for 5-10% of all cases of breast cancer and 10-15% of ovarian cancer and is characterised by dominant inheritance, early onset, the severity of the disease and bilaterality. About 30% of cases with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer have mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Women with a mutation in the BRCA1 gene have a 80-90% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer, and 40-65% chance of developing ovarian cancer. Most studies carried out throughout the world indicate that the prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation is lower than originally suggested by early studies on large families with several affected members. Studies performed in Italy have reported different prevalence of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations, probably due to different selection criteria and to the variability of the techniques used. In this study, we performed a screening of BRCA1 and BRCA2 in families from northern Italy with familial recurrence of breast cancer or ovarian cancer in which the individual risk of patients of being carriers of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation was evaluated using BRCAPRO (CAGene) software. We enrolled 27 patients of 101 unrelated families selected when they fulfilled the inclusion criteria of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Specific risk evaluation, genetic test administration if needed, and discussion of the results were offered during multi-disciplinary genetic, surgical and psychological counselling. Seven probands (35%) found BRCA1/2 sequence variation carriers; no BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations were detected in the remaining 13 probands. Two (15%) patients had BRCA1 mutations and 5 (25%) patients had BRCA2 mutations. In the latter case, BRCA2 delA 9158fs+29stop mutation in exon 22, never previously described and a new sequence variation (T703N) in exon 11 were identified.
Seidman, Larry J.; Giuliano, Anthony J.; Smith, Christopher W.; Stone, William S.; Glatt, Stephen J.; Meyer, Eric; Faraone, Stephen V.; Tsuang, Ming T.; Cornblatt, Barbara
Siblings and offspring of persons with schizophrenia carry elevated genetic risk for the illness and manifest attentional and memory impairments. Because less is known about other neuropsychological functions and their specificity in adolescents, we conducted a genetic high-risk (HR) study of schizophrenia (HR-SCZ) and affective psychosis (HR-AFF). Participants (ages 12–25) were from the Harvard Adolescent High-Risk and Hillside Family studies, including 73 HR-SCZ, 18 HR-AFF, and 84 community...
and malaria transmission in the Upper Orinoco River , Southern Venezuela. Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 102:303-11 112. Maheu-Giroux M, Casapia M...transmission in remote areas of human occupation. Sites along the Mazan River , utilized by many laborers to fish, extract wood, and harvest palm leaves...include lagoons, lakes, swamps, and slow flowing rivers or streams (83; 171). Often larvae are associated with floating debris or detritus patches
Full Text Available Although genetic and non-genetic studies in mouse and human implicate the CD40 pathway in rheumatoid arthritis (RA, there are no approved drugs that inhibit CD40 signaling for clinical care in RA or any other disease. Here, we sought to understand the biological consequences of a CD40 risk variant in RA discovered by a previous genome-wide association study (GWAS and to perform a high-throughput drug screen for modulators of CD40 signaling based on human genetic findings. First, we fine-map the CD40 risk locus in 7,222 seropositive RA patients and 15,870 controls, together with deep sequencing of CD40 coding exons in 500 RA cases and 650 controls, to identify a single SNP that explains the entire signal of association (rs4810485, P = 1.4×10(-9. Second, we demonstrate that subjects homozygous for the RA risk allele have ∼33% more CD40 on the surface of primary human CD19+ B lymphocytes than subjects homozygous for the non-risk allele (P = 10(-9, a finding corroborated by expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL analysis in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 1,469 healthy control individuals. Third, we use retroviral shRNA infection to perturb the amount of CD40 on the surface of a human B lymphocyte cell line (BL2 and observe a direct correlation between amount of CD40 protein and phosphorylation of RelA (p65, a subunit of the NF-κB transcription factor. Finally, we develop a high-throughput NF-κB luciferase reporter assay in BL2 cells activated with trimerized CD40 ligand (tCD40L and conduct an HTS of 1,982 chemical compounds and FDA-approved drugs. After a series of counter-screens and testing in primary human CD19+ B cells, we identify 2 novel chemical inhibitors not previously implicated in inflammation or CD40-mediated NF-κB signaling. Our study demonstrates proof-of-concept that human genetics can be used to guide the development of phenotype-based, high-throughput small-molecule screens to identify potential novel
Hartmann Léo A.
Full Text Available The integrated investigation of metamorphism and zircon U-Pb SHRIMP geochronology of the Belizário ultramafic amphibolite from southernmost Brazil leads to a better understanding of the processes involved in the generation of the Encantadas Complex. Magmatic evidence of the magnesian basalt or pyroxenite protolith is only preserved in cores of zircon crystals, which are dated at 2257 ± 12 Ma. Amphibolite facies metamorphism M1 formed voluminous hornblende in the investigated rock possibly at 1989 ± 21 Ma. This ultramafic rock was re-metamorphosed at 702±21 Ma during a greenschist facies eventM2; the assemblage actinolite + oligoclase + microcline + epidote + titanite + monazite formed by alteration of hornblende. The metamorphic events are probably related to the Encantadas Orogeny (2257±12 Ma and Camboriú Orogeny (~ 1989 Ma of the Trans-Amazonian Cycle, followed by an orogenic event (702±21 Ma of the Brasiliano Cycle. The intervening cratonic period (2000-700 Ma corresponds to the existence of the Supercontinent Atlantica, known regionally as the Rio de la Plata Craton.
Full Text Available Three new species of the genus Carychium O.F. Müller, 1773, Carychium hardiei Jochum & Weigand, sp. n., Carychium belizeense Jochum & Weigand, sp. n. and Carychium zarzaae Jochum & Weigand, sp. n. are described from the Southeastern United States, Belize and Panama, respectively. In two consecutive molecular phylogenetic studies of worldwide members of Carychiidae, the North and Central American morphospecies Carychium mexicanum Pilsbry, 1891 and Carychium costaricanum E. von Martens, 1898 were found to consist of several evolutionary lineages. Although the related lineages were found to be molecularly distinct from the two nominal species, the consequential morphological and taxonomic assessment of these lineages is still lacking. In the present paper, the shells of these uncovered Carychium lineages are assessed by comparing them with those of related species, using computer tomography for the first time for this genus. The interior diagnostic characters are emphasized, such as columellar configuration in conjunction with the columellar lamella and their relationship in context of the entire shell. These taxa are morphologically described and formally assigned their own names.
Arriaga-Varela, Emmanuel; Zaragiza-Caballero, Santiago; Tomaszewska, Wioletta; Navarrete-Heredia, Jose Luis
A preliminary review of the species of Stenotarsus Perty from México, Guatemala and Belize is presented. Twenty-seven species are recorded from the region including 12 new species described here: Stenotarsus cortesi sp. nov. (Jalisco), S. incisus sp. nov. (Quetzaltenango, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz), S. kafkai sp. nov. (Veracruz), S. mesoamericanus sp. nov. (Chiapas, Puebla), S. mexicanus sp. nov. (Veracruz), S. molgorae sp. nov. (Jalisco), S. monterrosoi sp. nov. (Izabal), S. parallelicornis sp. nov. (Veracruz), S. raramuri sp. nov. (Durango, Jalisco), S. rulfoi sp. nov. (Jalisco), S. shockleyi sp. nov. (Veracruz), S. spiropenis sp. nov. (Jalisco). Stenotarsus circumdatus Gerstaecker, S. discipennis Gorham and S. tarsalis Gorham are synonymized with S. globosus Guérin-Méneville. Stenotarsus distinguendus Arrow is synonymized with S. sallaei Gorham. Stenotarsus pilatei Gorham is synonymized with S. militaris Gerstaecker. Lectotypes are designated for: Stenotarsus circumdatus Gerstaecker, Stenotarsus distinguendus Arrow, Stenotarsus exiguus Gorham, Stenotarsus globosus Guérin-Méneville, Stenotarsus guatemalae Arrow, Stenotarsus discipennis Gorham, Stenotarsus lemniscatus Gorham, Stenotarsus militaris Gerstaecker, Stenotarsus rubrocinctus Gerstaecker, Stenotarsus sallaei Gorham, Stenotarsus tarsalis Gorham, Stenotarsus thoracicus Gorham. A key to the species in this region is provided. Species are described in detail and illustrated, and habits and habitats are given when available.
Graf, Nadja; Altenbuchner, Josef
Vanillin is one of the most important flavoring agents used today. That is why many efforts have been made on biotechnological production from natural abundant substrates. In this work, the nonpathogenic Pseudomonas putida strain KT2440 was genetically optimized to convert ferulic acid to vanillin. Deletion of the vanillin dehydrogenase gene (vdh) was not sufficient to prevent vanillin degradation. Additional inactivation of a molybdate transporter, identified by transposon mutagenesis, led to a strain incapable to grow on vanillin as sole carbon source. The bioconversion was optimized by enhanced chromosomal expression of the structural genes for feruloyl-CoA synthetase (fcs) and enoyl-CoA hydratase/aldolase (ech) by introduction of the strong tac promoter system. Further genetic engineering led to high initial conversion rates and molar vanillin yields up to 86% within just 3 h accompanied with very low by-product levels. To our knowledge, this represents the highest productivity and molar vanillin yield gained with a Pseudomonas strain so far. Together with its high tolerance for ferulic acid, the developed, plasmid-free P. putida strain represents a promising candidate for the biotechnological production of vanillin.
Guidelines in the Huntington disease genetic counseling community have set a standard for the process of at-risk counseling, recommending the involvement of a multidisciplinary team, which includes a psychiatrist or psychologist. Though most studies have been largely reassuring regarding the psychologic consequences of predictive testing, there are individuals presenting to testing who really want something else other than the test results, who are being pressured by others to obtain results, or who remain deeply ambivalent about testing. Particularly concerning are those testing candidates who are highly anxious or depressed at the time of presentation. Balancing the ethical principles of autonomy with beneficence and nonmaleficence requires careful exploration of the motivations behind testing to ensure that all are fully informed of alternatives, and opportunities for further support are offered when needed. This chapter illustrates 13 areas of focus and inquiry in the psychiatric interview and gives some case examples to illustrate an approach to the psychiatric assessment and counseling of highly anxious individuals seeking genetic testing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Zhu, Jinning; Xu, Xuan; Tao, Qing; Yi, Panpan; Yu, Dan; Xu, Xinwei
Ecological niche modeling is an effective tool to characterize the spatial distribution of suitable areas for species, and it is especially useful for predicting the potential distribution of invasive species. The widespread submerged plant Hydrilla verticillata (hydrilla) has an obvious phylogeographical pattern: Four genetic lineages occupy distinct regions in native range, and only one lineage invades the Americas. Here, we aimed to evaluate climatic niche conservatism of hydrilla in North America at the intraspecific level and explore its invasion potential in the Americas by comparing climatic niches in a phylogenetic context. Niche shift was found in the invasion process of hydrilla in North America, which is probably mainly attributed to high levels of somatic mutation. Dramatic changes in range expansion in the Americas were predicted in the situation of all four genetic lineages invading the Americas or future climatic changes, especially in South America; this suggests that there is a high invasion potential of hydrilla in the Americas. Our findings provide useful information for the management of hydrilla in the Americas and give an example of exploring intraspecific climatic niche to better understand species invasion.
Tseng, Yang-Ming; Tsai, Shih-Meng; Chen, Sheng-Yi; Lin, Chun-Chin; Jin, Yi-Ru; Yeh, Wei-Hao; Wu, Yi-Ru; Chen, Ing-Jun; Lee, Jang-Hwa; Tsai, Li-Yu
Alcohol metabolism involves several enzymes and the individual genetic variations in the alcohol metabolism are related to the absorption, distribution, and elimination of alcohol and metabolites such as acetaldehyde. Therefore, the genetic variations of alcohol-metabolizing enzymes are responsible for the different toxicity of alcohol in several organs like liver and immunological systems. The purpose of this study was to evaluate if the life styles such as drinking and smoking and the genetic variations of alcohol-metabolizing enzymes (ADH2, ALDH2, CYP2E1, and CAT) were associated with the immunological biomarkers. In this study, 105 high-risk drinkers and 102 low-risk drinkers who were excluded from the immune-related diseases and other critical diseases were enrolled to evaluate the immunological functions. Counts of white blood cells, mononuclear cells, and lymphocyte subpopulations, and liver and immunological function tests were measured. Genotypes of alcohol-metabolizing enzymes were assayed by a real-time PCR and PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Generally, the activity of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) was higher than that of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in alcoholics; however, the activities of AST and ALT were simultaneously elevated in general hepatitis except for alcohol-induced hepatitis. Thus, the higher ratio of AST/ALT was used to be a marker for the alcohol-induced abnormal liver function. Glutamyltransferase (GGT) is produced by the liver cell microsomes and is a useful laboratory marker as an indicator of early liver cell damage. An increase in GGT concentration has been regarded as a marker of alcohol consumption or liver disease. In addition, the synergistic effects of smoking and drinking on the count of white blood cell (WBC) and mononuclear cells were found to be significant. Furthermore, there were higher OR to become high-risk drinkers in subjects with the combination of ALDH2 (*1/*1) genotype and either genotype of ADH2
Turnidge, John D.; Munckhof, Wendy J.; Robinson, J. Owen; Korman, Tony M.; O'Sullivan, Matthew V. N.; Anderson, Tara L.; Roberts, Sally A.; Warren, Sanchia J. C.; Coombs, Geoffrey W.; Tan, Hui-Leen; Gao, Wei; Johnson, Paul D. R.; Howden, Benjamin P.
An elevated vancomycin MIC is associated with poor outcomes in Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia (SAB) and is reported in patients with methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) bacteremia in the absence of vancomycin treatment. Here, using DNA microarray and phenotype analysis, we investigated the genetic predictors and accessory gene regulator (agr) function and their relationship with elevated vancomycin MIC using blood culture isolates from a multicenter binational cohort of patients with SAB. Specific clonal complexes were associated with elevated (clonal complex 8 [CC8] [P < 0.001]) or low (CC22 [P < 0.001], CC88 [P < 0.001], and CC188 [P = 0.002]) vancomycin MIC. agr dysfunction (P = 0.014) or agr genotype II (P = 0.043) were also associated with an elevated vancomycin MIC. Specific resistance and virulence genes were also linked to an elevated vancomycin MIC, including blaZ (P = 0.002), sea (P < 0.001), clfA (P < 0.001), splA (P = 0.001), and the arginine catabolic mobile element (ACME) locus (P = 0.02). These data suggest that inherent organism characteristics may explain the link between elevated vancomycin MICs and poor outcomes in patients with SAB, regardless of the antibiotic treatment received. A consideration of clonal specificity should be included in future research when attempting to ascertain treatment effects or clinical outcomes. PMID:25031442
Poikselkä, Katja; Leinonen, Mikko; Palosaari, Jaakko; Vallivaara, Ilari; Röning, Juha; Juuti, Jari
This paper introduces a new type of piezoelectric actuator, Mikbal. The Mikbal was developed from a Cymbal by adding steel structures around the steel cap to increase displacement and reduce the amount of piezoelectric material used. Here the parameters of the steel cap of Mikbal and Cymbal actuators were optimised by using genetic algorithms in combination with Comsol Multiphysics FEM modelling software. The blocking force of the actuator was maximised for different values of displacement by optimising the height and the top diameter of the end cap profile so that their effect on displacement, blocking force and stresses could be analysed. The optimisation process was done for five Mikbal- and two Cymbal-type actuators with different diameters varying between 15 and 40 mm. A Mikbal with a Ø 25 mm piezoceramic disc and a Ø 40 mm steel end cap was produced and the performances of unclamped measured and modelled cases were found to correspond within 2.8% accuracy. With a piezoelectric disc of Ø 25 mm, the Mikbal created 72% greater displacement while blocking force was decreased 57% compared with a Cymbal with the same size disc. Even with a Ø 20 mm piezoelectric disc, the Mikbal was able to generate ∼10% higher displacement than a Ø 25 mm Cymbal. Thus, the introduced Mikbal structure presents a way to extend the displacement capabilities of a conventional Cymbal actuator for low-to-moderate force applications.
Full Text Available The increased incidence of cancer in children and adolescents registered in Italy in the last few decades is one of the highest amongst Western countries. The causes are difficult to identify, but recent daily news and some epidemiological surveys, such as the ‘Sentieri’ study, suggest that environmental pollution has an important role. In the past 20 years, epigenetic studies have described how the changes induced by the cell microenvironment on the non-coding parts of the genome can heavily influence gene function, contributing to the carcinogenesis process. Connecting links amongst the external environment, cellular microenvironment and functional epigenetic and genetic mutations promote carcinogenesis. Today, the whole genome sequencing techniques for human cancers can help to formulate a map of mutational signatures in individual tumours, and a list of mutational fingerprints showing exposure to specific environmental mutagens is being developed. Determining the ethical, legal and economic consequences of known cancer causative agents in young people will be a crucial step for a serious reconsideration of primary prevention.
Matsui, Masafumi; Kuraishi, Norihiro; Eto, Koshiro; Hamidy, Amir; Nishikawa, Kanto; Shimada, Tomohiko; Yambun, Paul; Vairappan, Charles Santhanaraju; Hossman, Mohamad Yazid Bin
A fanged frog Limnonectes kuhlii was once thought to be wide-ranging in Southeast Asia, but is now confined to its type locality Java through recent phylogenetic studies, which clarified heterospecific status of non-Javanese populations, and monophyly of Bornean populations. However, large genetic differences among Bornean populations suggest occurrence of cryptic species, which we test using dense geographic sampling. We estimated the phylogenetic relationships among samples of Bornean populations together with their putative relatives from the continental Southeast Asia, using 2517bp sequences of the 12S rRNA, tRNA(val), and 16S rRNA of mitochondrial DNA, and 2367bp sequences of the NCX1, POMC, and RAG1 of nuclear genes. In the mtDNA trees, Bornean L. kuhlii-like frogs formed a monophyletic group split into 18 species lineages including L. hikidai, with the deepest phylogenetic split separating L. cintalubang from the remaining species. Almost all of these lineages co-occur geographically, and two to three lineages were found syntopically in each locality. Co-occurrence of more than one lineage may be maintained by differential morphology and microhabitat selection. These syntopic lineages should be regarded as distinct species. Our results clearly indicate that taxonomic revision is urgent to clarify many evolutionary problems of Bornean L. kuhlii-like frogs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Alvarez-Pérez, Sergio; de Vega, Clara; Herrera, Carlos M
The genetic and evolutionary relationships among floral nectar-dwelling Pseudomonas 'sensu stricto' isolates associated to South African and Mediterranean plants were investigated by multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) of four core housekeeping genes (rrs, gyrB, rpoB and rpoD). A total of 35 different sequence types were found for the 38 nectar bacterial isolates characterised. Phylogenetic analyses resulted in the identification of three main clades [nectar groups (NGs) 1, 2 and 3] of nectar pseudomonads, which were closely related to five intrageneric groups: Pseudomonas oryzihabitans (NG 1); P. fluorescens, P. lutea and P. syringae (NG 2); and P. rhizosphaerae (NG 3). Linkage disequilibrium analysis pointed to a mostly clonal population structure, even when the analysis was restricted to isolates from the same floristic region or belonging to the same NG. Nevertheless, signatures of recombination were observed for NG 3, which exclusively included isolates retrieved from the floral nectar of insect-pollinated Mediterranean plants. In contrast, the other two NGs comprised both South African and Mediterranean isolates. Analyses relating diversification to floristic region and pollinator type revealed that there has been more unique evolution of the nectar pseudomonads within the Mediterranean region than would be expected by chance. This is the first work analysing the sequence of multiple loci to reveal geno- and ecotypes of nectar bacteria.
Maldarelli, Frank; Kearney, Mary; Palmer, Sarah; Stephens, Robert; Mican, JoAnn; Polis, Michael A; Davey, Richard T; Kovacs, Joseph; Shao, Wei; Rock-Kress, Diane; Metcalf, Julia A; Rehm, Catherine; Greer, Sarah E; Lucey, Daniel L; Danley, Kristen; Alter, Harvey; Mellors, John W; Coffin, John M
HIV infection is characterized by rapid and error-prone viral replication resulting in genetically diverse virus populations. The rate of accumulation of diversity and the mechanisms involved are under intense study to provide useful information to understand immune evasion and the development of drug resistance. To characterize the development of viral diversity after infection, we carried out an in-depth analysis of single genome sequences of HIV pro-pol to assess diversity and divergence and to estimate replicating population sizes in a group of treatment-naive HIV-infected individuals sampled at single (n = 22) or multiple, longitudinal (n = 11) time points. Analysis of single genome sequences revealed nonlinear accumulation of sequence diversity during the course of infection. Diversity accumulated in recently infected individuals at rates 30-fold higher than in patients with chronic infection. Accumulation of synonymous changes accounted for most of the diversity during chronic infection. Accumulation of diversity resulted in population shifts, but the rates of change were low relative to estimated replication cycle times, consistent with relatively large population sizes. Analysis of changes in allele frequencies revealed effective population sizes that are substantially higher than previous estimates of approximately 1,000 infectious particles/infected individual. Taken together, these observations indicate that HIV populations are large, diverse, and slow to change in chronic infection and that the emergence of new mutations, including drug resistance mutations, is governed by both selection forces and drift.
Guo, Longhua; Yang, Huanghao; Qiu, Bin; Xiao, Xueyang; Xue, Linlin; Kim, Donghwan; Chen, Guonan
A capillary electrophoresis coupled with electrochemiluminescent detection system (CE-ECL) was developed for the detection of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplicons. The ECL luminophore, tris(1,10-phenanthroline) ruthenium(II) (Ru(phen)(3)(2+)), was labeled to the PCR primers before amplification. Ru(phen)(3)(2+) was then introduced to PCR amplicons by PCR amplification. Eventually, the PCR amplicons were separated and detected by the homemade CE-ECL system. The detection of a typical genetically modified organism (GMO), Roundup Ready Soy (RRS), was shown as an example to demonstrate the reliability of the proposed approach. Four pairs of primers were amplified by multiple PCR (MPCR) simultaneously, three of which were targeted on the specific sequence of exogenous genes of RRS, and another was targeted on the endogenous reference gene of soybean. Both the conditions for PCR amplification and CE-ECL separation and detection were investigated in detail. Results showed that, under the optimal conditions, the proposed method can accurately identifying RRS. The corresponding limit of detection (LOD) was below 0.01% with 35 PCR cycles.
Sameith, Katrin; Amini, Saman; Groot Koerkamp, Marian J A; van Leenen, Dik; Brok, Mariel; Brabers, Nathalie; Lijnzaad, Philip; van Hooff, Sander R; Benschop, Joris J; Lenstra, Tineke L; Apweiler, Eva; van Wageningen, Sake; Snel, Berend; Holstege, Frank C P; Kemmeren, Patrick
Genetic interactions, or non-additive effects between genes, play a crucial role in many cellular processes and disease. Which mechanisms underlie these genetic interactions has hardly been characterized. Understanding the molecular basis of genetic interactions is crucial in deciphering pathway organization and understanding the relationship between genotype, phenotype and disease. To investigate the nature of genetic interactions between gene-specific transcription factors (GSTFs) in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we systematically analyzed 72 GSTF pairs by gene expression profiling double and single deletion mutants. These pairs were selected through previously published growth-based genetic interactions as well as through similarity in DNA binding properties. The result is a high-resolution atlas of gene expression-based genetic interactions that provides systems-level insight into GSTF epistasis. The atlas confirms known genetic interactions and exposes new ones. Importantly, the data can be used to investigate mechanisms that underlie individual genetic interactions. Two molecular mechanisms are proposed, "buffering by induced dependency" and "alleviation by derepression". These mechanisms indicate how negative genetic interactions can occur between seemingly unrelated parallel pathways and how positive genetic interactions can indirectly expose parallel rather than same-pathway relationships. The focus on GSTFs is important for understanding the transcription regulatory network of yeast as it uncovers details behind many redundancy relationships, some of which are completely new. In addition, the study provides general insight into the complex nature of epistasis and proposes mechanistic models for genetic interactions, the majority of which do not fall into easily recognizable within- or between-pathway relationships.
Guarnizo, Carlos E; Amézquita, Adolfo; Bermingham, Eldredge
There are two main competing hypotheses (vicariance and vertical ecotones) that attempt to explain the tremendous diversity of the tropical Andes. We test these hypotheses at the intraspecific level by analyzing mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences from 24 populations of the high Andean frog, Dendropsophus labialis (Anura: Hylidae). This species displays geographic variation in a number of phenotypic traits. Most of these traits covary with elevation, while few vary along the horizontal (latitudinal) axis. We found that, both, vicariance and elevation had important effects on the genetic differentiation in this species. We detected two highly divergent clades along the south-north axis using independent information from mitochondrial and nuclear genes, suggesting that this differentiation was the result of long-term barriers to gene flow rather than stochastic processes. We hypothesize mechanisms for D. labialis strong differentiation in light of geological and paleoenvironmental models of evolution in the northern Andean highlands.
Téllez-Sosa, Juan; Rodríguez, Mario Henry; Gómez-Barreto, Rosa E; Valdovinos-Torres, Humberto; Hidalgo, Ana Cecilia; Cruz-Hervert, Pablo; Luna, René Santos; Carrillo-Valenzo, Erik; Ramos, Celso; García-García, Lourdes; Martínez-Barnetche, Jesús
Influenza viruses display a high mutation rate and complex evolutionary patterns. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has been widely used for qualitative and semi-quantitative assessment of genetic diversity in complex biological samples. The "deep sequencing" approach, enabled by the enormous throughput of current NGS platforms, allows the identification of rare genetic viral variants in targeted genetic regions, but is usually limited to a small number of samples. We designed a proof-of-principle study to test whether redistributing sequencing throughput from a high depth-small sample number towards a low depth-large sample number approach is feasible and contributes to influenza epidemiological surveillance. Using 454-Roche sequencing, we sequenced at a rather low depth, a 307 bp amplicon of the neuraminidase gene of the Influenza A(H1N1) pandemic (A(H1N1)pdm) virus from cDNA amplicons pooled in 48 barcoded libraries obtained from nasal swab samples of infected patients (n = 299) taken from May to November, 2009 pandemic period in Mexico. This approach revealed that during the transition from the first (May-July) to second wave (September-November) of the pandemic, the initial genetic variants were replaced by the N248D mutation in the NA gene, and enabled the establishment of temporal and geographic associations with genetic diversity and the identification of mutations associated with oseltamivir resistance. NGS sequencing of a short amplicon from the NA gene at low sequencing depth allowed genetic screening of a large number of samples, providing insights to viral genetic diversity dynamics and the identification of genetic variants associated with oseltamivir resistance. Further research is needed to explain the observed replacement of the genetic variants seen during the second wave. As sequencing throughput rises and library multiplexing and automation improves, we foresee that the approach presented here can be scaled up for global genetic
Roberts, G; Perry, A; Lord, A; Frankland, A; Leung, V; Holmes-Preston, E; Levy, F; Lenroot, R K; Mitchell, P B; Breakspear, M
Emerging evidence suggests that psychiatric disorders are associated with disturbances in structural brain networks. Little is known, however, about brain networks in those at high risk (HR) of bipolar disorder (BD), with such disturbances carrying substantial predictive and etiological value. Whole-brain tractography was performed on diffusion-weighted images acquired from 84 unaffected HR individuals with at least one first-degree relative with BD, 38 young patients with BD and 96 matched controls (CNs) with no family history of mental illness. We studied structural connectivity differences between these groups, with a focus on highly connected hubs and networks involving emotional centres. HR participants showed lower structural connectivity in two lateralised sub-networks centred on bilateral inferior frontal gyri and left insular cortex, as well as increased connectivity in a right lateralised limbic sub-network compared with CN subjects. BD was associated with weaker connectivity in a small right-sided sub-network involving connections between fronto-temporal and temporal areas. Although these sub-networks preferentially involved structural hubs, the integrity of the highly connected structural backbone was preserved in both groups. Weaker structural brain networks involving key emotional centres occur in young people at genetic risk of BD and those with established BD. In contrast to other psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, the structural core of the brain remains intact, despite the local involvement of network hubs. These results add to our understanding of the neurobiological correlates of BD and provide predictions for outcomes in young people at high genetic risk for BD.
Background Prostate cancer screening among the general population is highly debatable. Nevertheless, screening among high-risk groups is appealing. Prior data suggests that men carrying mutations in the BRCA1& 2 genes may be at increased risk of developing prostate cancer. Additionally, they appear to develop prostate cancer at a younger age and with a more aggressive course. However, prior studies did not systematically perform prostate biopsies and thus cannot determine the true prevalence of prostate cancer in this population. Methods This will be a prospective diagnostic trial of screening for prostate cancer among men with genetic predisposition. The target population is males (40–70 year old) carrying a BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 germ line mutation. They will be identified via our Genetic counseling unit. All men after signing an informed consent will undergo the following tests: PSA, free to total PSA, MRI of prostate and prostate biopsy. The primary endpoint will be to estimate the prevalence, stage and grade of prostate cancer in this population. Additionally, the study aims to estimate the impact of these germ line mutations on benign prostatic hyperplasia. Furthermore, this study aims to create a bio-bank of tissue, urine and serum of this unique cohort for future investigations. Finally, this study will identify an inception cohort for future interventional studies of primary and secondary prevention. Discussion The proposed research is highly translational and focuses not only on the clinical results, but on the future specimens that will be used to advance our understanding of prostate cancer patho-physiology. Most importantly, these high-risk germ-line mutation carriers are ideal candidates for primary and secondary prevention initiatives. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02053805. PMID:25047061
Vignaud, Thomas M; Mourier, Johann; Maynard, Jeffrey A; Leblois, Raphael; Spaet, Julia; Clua, Eric; Neglia, Valentina; Planes, Serge
For free-swimming marine species like sharks, only population genetics and demographic history analyses can be used to assess population health/status as baseline population numbers are usually unknown. We investigated the population genetics of blacktip reef sharks, Carcharhinus melanopterus; one of the most abundant reef-associated sharks and the apex predator of many shallow water reefs of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Our sampling includes 4 widely separated locations in the Indo-Pacific and 11 islands in French Polynesia with different levels of coastal development. Four-teen microsatellite loci were analysed for samples from all locations and two mitochondrial DNA fragments, the control region and cytochrome b, were examined for 10 locations. For microsatellites, genetic diversity is higher for the locations in the large open systems of the Red Sea and Australia than for the fragmented habitat of the smaller islands of French Polynesia. Strong significant structure was found for distant locations with FST values as high as ~0.3, and a smaller but still significant structure is found within French Polynesia. Both mitochondrial genes show only a few mutations across the sequences with a dominant shared haplotype in French Polynesia and New Caledonia suggesting a common lineage different to that of East Australia. Demographic history analyses indicate population expansions in the Red Sea and Australia that may coincide with sea level changes after climatic events. Expansions and flat signals are indicated for French Polynesia as well as a significant recent bottleneck for Moorea, the most human-impacted lagoon of the locations in French Polynesia. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Puig, Susana; Potrony, Miriam; Cuellar, Francisco; Puig-Butille, Joan Anton; Carrera, Cristina; Aguilera, Paula; Nagore, Eduardo; Garcia-Casado, Zaida; Requena, Celia; Kumar, Rajiv; Landman, Gilles; Costa Soares de Sá, Bianca; Gargantini Rezze, Gisele; Facure, Luciana; de Avila, Alexandre Leon Ribeiro; Achatz, Maria Isabel; Carraro, Dirce Maria; Duprat Neto, João Pedreira; Grazziotin, Thais C; Bonamigo, Renan R; Rey, Maria Carolina W; Balestrini, Claudia; Morales, Enrique; Molgo, Montserrat; Bakos, Renato Marchiori; Ashton-Prolla, Patricia; Giugliani, Roberto; Larre Borges, Alejandra; Barquet, Virginia; Pérez, Javiera; Martínez, Miguel; Cabo, Horacio; Cohen Sabban, Emilia; Latorre, Clara; Carlos-Ortega, Blanca; Salas-Alanis, Julio C; Gonzalez, Roger; Olazaran, Zulema; Malvehy, Josep; Badenas, Celia
CDKN2A is the main high-risk melanoma-susceptibility gene, but it has been poorly assessed in Latin America. We sought to analyze CDKN2A and MC1R in patients from Latin America with familial and sporadic multiple primary melanoma (SMP) and compare the data with those for patients from Spain to establish bases for melanoma genetic counseling in Latin America. CDKN2A and MC1R were sequenced in 186 Latin American patients from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay, and in 904 Spanish patients. Clinical and phenotypic data were obtained. Overall, 24 and 14% of melanoma-prone families in Latin America and Spain, respectively, had mutations in CDKN2A. Latin American families had CDKN2A mutations more frequently (P = 0.014) than Spanish ones. Of patients with SMP, 10% of those from Latin America and 8.5% of those from Spain had mutations in CDKN2A (P = 0.623). The most recurrent CDKN2A mutations were c.-34G>T and p.G101W. Latin American patients had fairer hair (P = 0.016) and skin (P < 0.001) and a higher prevalence of MC1R variants (P = 0.003) compared with Spanish patients. The inclusion criteria for genetic counseling of melanoma in Latin America may be the same criteria used in Spain, as suggested in areas with low to medium incidence, SMP with at least two melanomas, or families with at least two cases among first- or second-degree relatives.Genet Med 18 7, 727-736.
Full Text Available MGMT downregulation in high-grade gliomas (HGG has been mostly attributed to aberrant promoter methylation and is associated with increased sensitivity to alkylating agent-based chemotherapy. However, HGG harboring 10q deletions also benefit from treatment with alkylating agents. Because the MGMT gene is mapped at 10q26, we hypothesized that both epigenetic and genetic alterations might affect its expression and predict response to chemotherapy. To test this hypothesis, promoter methylation and mRNA levels of MGMT were determined by quantitative methylation-specific PCR (qMSP or methylation-specific multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification (MS-MLPA and quantitative RT-PCR, respectively, in a retrospective series of 61 HGG. MGMT/chromosome 10 copy number variations were determined by FISH or MS-MLPA analysis. Molecular findings were correlated with clinical parameters to assess their predictive value. Overall, MGMT methylation ratios assessed by qMSP and MS-MLPA were inversely correlated with mRNA expression levels (best coefficient value obtained with MS-MLPA. By FISH analysis in 68.3% of the cases there was loss of 10q26.1 and in 15% of the cases polysomy was demonstrated; the latter displayed the highest levels of transcript. When genetic and epigenetic data were combined, cases with MGMT promoter methylation and MGMT loss depicted the lowest transcript levels, although an impact in response to alkylating agent chemotherapy was not apparent. Cooperation between epigenetic (promoter methylation and genetic (monosomy, locus deletion changes affecting MGMT in HGG is required for effective MGMT silencing. Hence, evaluation of copy number alterations might add relevant prognostic and predictive information concerning response to alkylating agent-based chemotherapy.
Vignaud, Thomas M.
For free-swimming marine species like sharks, only population genetics and demographic history analyses can be used to assess population health/status as baseline population numbers are usually unknown. We investigated the population genetics of blacktip reef sharks, Carcharhinus melanopterus; one of the most abundant reef-associated sharks and the apex predator of many shallow water reefs of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Our sampling includes 4 widely separated locations in the Indo-Pacific and 11 islands in French Polynesia with different levels of coastal development. Four-teen microsatellite loci were analysed for samples from all locations and two mitochondrial DNA fragments, the control region and cytochrome b, were examined for 10 locations. For microsatellites, genetic diversity is higher for the locations in the large open systems of the Red Sea and Australia than for the fragmented habitat of the smaller islands of French Polynesia. Strong significant structure was found for distant locations with FST values as high as ∼0.3, and a smaller but still significant structure is found within French Polynesia. Both mitochondrial genes show only a few mutations across the sequences with a dominant shared haplotype in French Polynesia and New Caledonia suggesting a common lineage different to that of East Australia. Demographic history analyses indicate population expansions in the Red Sea and Australia that may coincide with sea level changes after climatic events. Expansions and flat signals are indicated for French Polynesia as well as a significant recent bottleneck for Moorea, the most human-impacted lagoon of the locations in French Polynesia.
Ramalho-Carvalho, João; Pires, Malini; Lisboa, Susana; Graça, Inês; Rocha, Patrícia; Barros-Silva, João Diogo; Savva-Bordalo, Joana; Maurício, Joaquina; Resende, Mário; Teixeira, Manuel R.; Honavar, Mrinalini; Henrique, Rui; Jerónimo, Carmen
MGMT downregulation in high-grade gliomas (HGG) has been mostly attributed to aberrant promoter methylation and is associated with increased sensitivity to alkylating agent-based chemotherapy. However, HGG harboring 10q deletions also benefit from treatment with alkylating agents. Because the MGMT gene is mapped at 10q26, we hypothesized that both epigenetic and genetic alterations might affect its expression and predict response to chemotherapy. To test this hypothesis, promoter methylation and mRNA levels of MGMT were determined by quantitative methylation-specific PCR (qMSP) or methylation-specific multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification (MS-MLPA) and quantitative RT-PCR, respectively, in a retrospective series of 61 HGG. MGMT/chromosome 10 copy number variations were determined by FISH or MS-MLPA analysis. Molecular findings were correlated with clinical parameters to assess their predictive value. Overall, MGMT methylation ratios assessed by qMSP and MS-MLPA were inversely correlated with mRNA expression levels (best coefficient value obtained with MS-MLPA). By FISH analysis in 68.3% of the cases there was loss of 10q26.1 and in 15% of the cases polysomy was demonstrated; the latter displayed the highest levels of transcript. When genetic and epigenetic data were combined, cases with MGMT promoter methylation and MGMT loss depicted the lowest transcript levels, although an impact in response to alkylating agent chemotherapy was not apparent. Cooperation between epigenetic (promoter methylation) and genetic (monosomy, locus deletion) changes affecting MGMT in HGG is required for effective MGMT silencing. Hence, evaluation of copy number alterations might add relevant prognostic and predictive information concerning response to alkylating agent-based chemotherapy. PMID:23505468
Chen, Jie; Wang, Nian; Fang, Lin-Chuan; Liang, Zhen-Chang; Li, Shao-Hua; Wu, Ben-Hong
QTLs controlling individual sugars and acids (fructose, glucose, malic acid and tartaric acid) in grape berries have not yet been identified. The present study aimed to construct a high-density, high-quality genetic map of a winemaking grape cross with a complex parentage (V. vinifera × V. amurensis) × ((V. labrusca × V. riparia) × V. vinifera), using next-generation restriction site-associated DNA sequencing, and then to identify loci related to phenotypic variability over three years. In total, 1 826 SNP-based markers were developed. Of these, 621 markers were assembled into 19 linkage groups (LGs) for the maternal map, 696 for the paternal map, and 1 254 for the integrated map. Markers showed good linear agreement on most chromosomes between our genetic maps and the previously published V. vinifera reference sequence. However marker order was different in some chromosome regions, indicating both conservation and variation within the genome. Despite the identification of a range of QTLs controlling the traits of interest, these QTLs explained a relatively small percentage of the observed phenotypic variance. Although they exhibited a large degree of instability from year to year, QTLs were identified for all traits but tartaric acid and titratable acidity in the three years of the study; however only the QTLs for malic acid and β ratio (tartaric acid-to-malic acid ratio) were stable in two years. QTLs related to sugars were located within ten LGs (01, 02, 03, 04, 07, 09, 11, 14, 17, 18), and those related to acids within three LGs (06, 13, 18). Overlapping QTLs in LG14 were observed for fructose, glucose and total sugar. Malic acid, total acid and β ratio each had several QTLs in LG18, and malic acid also had a QTL in LG06. A set of 10 genes underlying these QTLs may be involved in determining the malic acid content of berries. The genetic map constructed in this study is potentially a high-density, high-quality map, which could be used for QTL detection
Galeano, Mariarosaria; Polito, Francesca; Bitto, Alessandra; Irrera, Natasha; Campo, Giuseppe M; Avenoso, Angela; Calò, Margherita; Lo Cascio, Patrizia; Minutoli, Letteria; Barone, Mauro; Squadrito, Francesco; Altavilla, Domenica
Hyaluronic acid (HA), an essential component of the extracellular matrix, is an efficient space filler that maintains hydration, serves as a substrate for assembly of proteoglycans and is involved in wound healing. Although numerous pieces of evidence demonstrate beneficial effects in promoting wound healing in diabetes, a systemic approach has never been tested. We used an incisional wound healing model in genetically diabetic mice to test the effects of systemic injection of HA. Diabetic (n=56) and normoglycemic (n=56) mice were subjected to incision and randomized (8 groups of 7 animals each) to receive HA at different doses, 7.5, 15 and 30mg/kg/i.p., or vehicle (0.9% NaCl solution) for 12days. At the end of the experiment animals were sacrificed and skin wounds were excised for histological, biochemical and molecular analysis. Histology revealed that the most effective dose to improve wound repair and angiogenesis in diabetic mice was 30mg/kg. Furthermore HA injection (30mg/kg) improved the altered healing pattern in diabetic animals, increased skin remodeling proteins TGF-β and transglutaminase-II and restored the altered expression of cyclin B1/Cdc2 complex. Evaluation of skin from diabetic animals injected with HA revealed also an increase in HA content, suggesting that systemic injection may be able to restore the reduced intracellular HA pool of diabetic mice. Finally HA markedly improved skin mechanical properties. These promising results, if confirmed in a clinical setting, may improve the care and management of diabetic patients. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Mast, Alan E; Foster, Tisha M; Pinder, Holly L; Beczkiewicz, Craig A; Bellissimo, Daniel B; Murphy, Anthony T; Kovacevic, Steve; Wroblewski, Victor J; Witcher, Derrick R
Individuals donating whole blood 13 times in a 2-year period without development of iron deficiency anemia (superdonors) are a self-selected population that is deferred for low hematocrit (Hct) level less frequently than other donors. Iron metabolism was assessed in 138 superdonors through a questionnaire and measurement of Hct, serum ferritin, serum hepcidin, and serum growth differentiation factor 15 (GDF15). Genetic testing for HFE and JAK-2 mutations was also performed. Iron deficiency (ferritin level, <30 microg/L) is present in more than 60 percent of superdonors. Behaviors altering iron status included casual use of iron supplements in males, but not in females, and cigarette smoking that produced increased Hct associated with decreased ferritin. The striking biochemical characteristic of superdonors is greatly decreased serum hepcidin, consistent with their need to absorb maximal amounts of dietary iron to replace that lost from blood donation. GDF15 is normal in most superdonors, indicating that GDF15 overexpression arising from the expanded erythroid pool necessary to replace donated red cells is not the biochemical mechanism for the decreased serum hepcidin. Mutations in JAK-2 were not found, indicating that undiagnosed polycythemia vera is not a common cause for successful repeated blood donation by superdonors. Mutations in HFE associated with hemochromatosis were present in superdonors at the same frequency as the normal population. However, superdonors heterozygous for the H63D mutation in HFE had significantly decreased hepcidin : ferritin ratios demonstrating for the first time that the heterozygous state for HFE mutations is associated with alterations in hepcidin expression.
Sobek Jr., A.; Zbořilová, B.; Procházka, M.; Šilhánová, E.; Koutná, O.; Klásková, E.; Tkadlec, Emil; Sobek, A.
Roč. 103, č. 3 (2015), s. 756-760 ISSN 0015-0282 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : monozygotic twins * genetics * assisted reproduction techniques * infertility Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.426, year: 2015
Species can respond to environmental pressures through genetic and epigenetic changes and through phenotypic plasticity, but few studies have evaluated the relationships between genetic differentiation and phenotypic plasticity of plant species along changing environmental conditions such as through...
Whitlow, Kenneth S.
We appreciate the letter to the editor and are pleased to respond regarding our recent case study regarding high altitude pulmonary edema in an experienced mountaineer. The letter raises some valid questions regarding our treatment decisions.
Full Text Available Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV is a common (0.5–2.0% of general population congenital heart defect with increased prevalence of aortic dilatation and dissection. BAV has an autosomal dominant inheritance with reduced penetrance and variable expressivity. BAV has been described as an isolated trait or associated with syndromic conditions [e.g., Marfan Marfan syndrome or Loeys-Dietz syndrome (MFS, LDS]. Identification of a syndromic condition in a BAV patient is clinically relevant to personalize aortic surgery indication. A 4-fold increase in BAV prevalence in a large cohort of unrelated MFS patients with respect to general population was reported, as well as in LDS patients (8-fold. It is also known that BAV is more frequent in patients with thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA related to mutations in ACTA2, FBN1, and TGFBR2 genes. Moreover, in 8 patients with BAV and thoracic aortic dilation, not fulfilling the clinical criteria for MFS, FBN1 mutations in 2/8 patients were identified suggesting that FBN1 or other genes involved in syndromic conditions correlated to aortopathy could be involved in BAV. Beyond loci associated to syndromic disorders, studies in humans and animal models evidenced/suggested the role of further genes in non-syndromic BAV. The transcriptional regulator NOTCH1 has been associated with the development and acceleration of calcium deposition. Genome wide marker-based linkage analysis demonstrated a linkage of BAV to loci on chromosomes 18, 5, and 13q. Recently, a role for GATA4/5 in aortic valve morphogenesis and endocardial cell differentiation has been reported. BAV has also been associated with a reduced UFD1L gene expression or involvement of a locus containing AXIN1/PDIA2. Much remains to be understood about the genetics of BAV. In the last years, high-throughput sequencing technologies, allowing the analysis of large number of genes or entire exomes or genomes, progressively became available. The latter issue together with
Giusti, Betti; Sticchi, Elena; De Cario, Rosina; Magi, Alberto; Nistri, Stefano; Pepe, Guglielmina
Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is a common (0.5-2.0% of general population) congenital heart defect with increased prevalence of aortic dilatation and dissection. BAV has an autosomal dominant inheritance with reduced penetrance and variable expressivity. BAV has been described as an isolated trait or associated with syndromic conditions [e.g., Marfan Marfan syndrome or Loeys-Dietz syndrome (MFS, LDS)]. Identification of a syndromic condition in a BAV patient is clinically relevant to personalize aortic surgery indication. A 4-fold increase in BAV prevalence in a large cohort of unrelated MFS patients with respect to general population was reported, as well as in LDS patients (8-fold). It is also known that BAV is more frequent in patients with thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) related to mutations in ACTA2, FBN1 , and TGFBR2 genes. Moreover, in 8 patients with BAV and thoracic aortic dilation, not fulfilling the clinical criteria for MFS, FBN1 mutations in 2/8 patients were identified suggesting that FBN1 or other genes involved in syndromic conditions correlated to aortopathy could be involved in BAV. Beyond loci associated to syndromic disorders, studies in humans and animal models evidenced/suggested the role of further genes in non-syndromic BAV. The transcriptional regulator NOTCH1 has been associated with the development and acceleration of calcium deposition. Genome wide marker-based linkage analysis demonstrated a linkage of BAV to loci on chromosomes 18, 5, and 13q. Recently, a role for GATA4 / 5 in aortic valve morphogenesis and endocardial cell differentiation has been reported. BAV has also been associated with a reduced UFD1L gene expression or involvement of a locus containing AXIN1 / PDIA2 . Much remains to be understood about the genetics of BAV. In the last years, high-throughput sequencing technologies, allowing the analysis of large number of genes or entire exomes or genomes, progressively became available. The latter issue together with the
Honig, Jessica E.; Osborne, Jane C.; Nichol, Stuart T.
The genus Nairovirus (family Bunyaviridae) contains seven serogroups consisting of 34 predominantly tick-borne viruses, including several associated with severe human and livestock diseases [e.g., Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) and Nairobi sheep disease (NSD), respectively]. Before this report, no comparative genetic studies or molecular detection assays had been developed for this virus genus. To characterize at least one representative from each of the seven serogroups, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) primers targeting the L polymerase-encoding region of the RNA genome of these viruses were successfully designed based on conserved amino acid motifs present in the predicted catalytic core region. Sequence analysis showed the nairoviruses to be a highly diverse group, exhibiting up to 39.4% and 46.0% nucleotide and amino acid identity differences, respectively. Virus genetic relationships correlated well with serologic groupings and with tick host associations. Hosts of these viruses include both the hard (family Ixodidae) and soft (family Argasidae) ticks. Virus phylogenetic analysis reveals two major monophyletic groups: hard tick and soft tick-vectored viruses. In addition, viruses vectored by Ornithodoros, Carios, and Argas genera ticks also form three separate monophyletic lineages. The striking similarities between tick and nairovirus phylogenies are consistent with possible coevolution of the viruses and their tick hosts. Fossil and phylogenetic data placing the hard tick-soft tick divergence between 120 and 92 million years ago suggest an ancient origin for viruses of the genus Nairovirus
Palma, Margarida; Münsterkötter, Martin; Peça, João; Güldener, Ulrich; Sá-Correia, Isabel
Zygosaccharomyces bailii is one of the most problematic spoilage yeast species found in the food and beverage industry particularly in acidic products, due to its exceptional resistance to weak acid stress. This article describes the annotation of the genome sequence of Z. bailii IST302, a strain recently proven to be amenable to genetic manipulations and physiological studies. The work was based on the annotated genomes of strain ISA1307, an interspecies hybrid between Z. bailii and a closely related species, and the Z. bailii reference strain CLIB 213T. The resulting genome sequence of Z. bailii IST302 is distributed through 105 scaffolds, comprising a total of 5142 genes and a size of 10.8 Mb. Contrasting with CLIB 213T, strain IST302 does not form cell aggregates, allowing its manipulation in the laboratory for genetic and physiological studies. Comparative cell cycle analysis with the haploid and diploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains BY4741 and BY4743, respectively, suggests that Z. bailii IST302 is haploid. This is an additional trait that makes this strain attractive for the functional analysis of non-essential genes envisaging the elucidation of mechanisms underlying its high tolerance to weak acid food preservatives, or the investigation and exploitation of the potential of this resilient yeast species as cell factory. © FEMS 2017.
Chen, Hao; Guan, Weipeng; Li, Simin; Wu, Yuxiang
To improve the precision of indoor positioning and actualize three-dimensional positioning, a reversed indoor positioning system based on visible light communication (VLC) using genetic algorithm (GA) is proposed. In order to solve the problem of interference between signal sources, CDMA modulation is used. Each light-emitting diode (LED) in the system broadcasts a unique identity (ID) code using CDMA modulation. Receiver receives mixed signal from every LED reference point, by the orthogonality of spreading code in CDMA modulation, ID information and intensity attenuation information from every LED can be obtained. According to positioning principle of received signal strength (RSS), the coordinate of the receiver can be determined. Due to system noise and imperfection of device utilized in the system, distance between receiver and transmitters will deviate from the real value resulting in positioning error. By introducing error correction factors to global parallel search of genetic algorithm, coordinates of the receiver in three-dimensional space can be determined precisely. Both simulation results and experimental results show that in practical application scenarios, the proposed positioning system can realize high precision positioning service.
Lepais, Olivier; Muller, Serge D.; Ben Saad-Limam, Samia; Benslama, Mohamed; Rhazi, Laila; Belouahem-Abed, Djamila; Daoud-Bouattour, Amina; Gammar, Amor Mokhtar; Ghrabi-Gammar, Zeineb; Bacles, Cécile Fanny Emilie
Populations located at the rear-edge of a species’ distribution may have disproportionate ecological and evolutionary importance for biodiversity conservation in a changing global environment. Yet genetic studies of such populations remain rare. This study investigates the evolutionary history of North-African low latitude marginal populations of Alnus glutinosa Gaertn., a European tree species that plays a significant ecological role as a keystone of riparian ecosystems. We genotyped 551 adults from 19 populations located across North Africa at 12 microsatellite loci and applied a coalescent-based simulation approach to reconstruct the demographic and evolutionary history of these populations. Surprisingly, Moroccan trees were tetraploids demonstrating a strong distinctiveness of these populations within a species otherwise known as diploid. Best-fitting models of demographic reconstruction revealed the relict nature of Moroccan populations that were found to have withstood past climate change events and to be much older than Algerian and Tunisian populations. This study highlights the complex demographic history that can be encountered in rear-edge distribution margins that here consist of both old stable climate relict and more recent populations, distinctively diverse genetically both quantitatively and qualitatively. We emphasize the high evolutionary and conservation value of marginal rear-edge populations of a keystone riparian species in the context of on-going climate change in the Mediterranean region. PMID:24098677
Kandeil, Ahmed; Kayed, Ahmed; Moatasim, Yassmin; Webby, Richard J; McKenzie, Pamela P; Kayali, Ghazi; Ali, Mohamed A
A newly emerged H5N8 influenza virus was isolated from green-winged teal in Egypt during December 2016. In this study, we provide a detailed characterization of full genomes of Egyptian H5N8 viruses and some virological features. Genetic analysis demonstrated that the Egyptian H5N8 viruses are highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the genome of the Egyptian H5N8 viruses was related to recently characterized reassortant H5N8 viruses of clade 22.214.171.124 isolated from different Eurasian countries. Multiple peculiar mutations were characterized in the Egyptian H5N8 viruses, which probably permits transmission and virulence of these viruses in mammals. The Egyptian H5N8 viruses preferentially bound to avian-like receptors rather than human-like receptors. Also, the Egyptian H5N8 viruses were fully sensitive to amantadine and neuraminidase inhibitors. Chicken sera raised against commercial inactivated avian influenza-H5 vaccines showed no or very low reactivity with the currently characterized H5N8 viruses in agreement with the genetic dissimilarity. Surveillance of avian influenza in waterfowl provides early warning of specific threats to poultry and human health and hence should be continued.
Armstrong, E; Leizagoyen, C; Martínez, A M; González, S; Delgado, J V; Postiglioni, A
The African antelope Addax nasomaculatus is a rare mammal at high risk of extinction, with no more than 300 individuals in the wild and 1,700 captive animals distributed in zoos around the world. In this work, we combine genetic data and genealogical information to assess the structure and genetic diversity of a captive population located at Parque Lecocq Zoo (N=27), originated from only two founders. We amplified 39 microsatellites previously described in other Artiodactyls but new to this species. Seventeen markers were polymorphic, with 2-4 alleles per locus (mean=2.71). Mean expected heterozygosity (He) per locus was between 0.050 (marker ETH3) and 0.650 (marker D5S2), with a global He of 0.43. The mean inbreeding coefficient of the population computed from pedigree records of all registered individuals (N=53) was 0.222. The mean coancestry of the population was 0.298 and F(IS) index was -0.108. These results reflect the importance of an adequate breeding management on a severely bottlenecked captive population, which would benefit by the incorporation of unrelated individuals. Thanks to the successful amplification of a large number of microsatellites commonly used in domestic bovids, this study will provide useful information for the management of this population and serve as future reference for similar studies in other captive populations of this species. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Steane, Dorothy A; Nicolle, Dean; Sansaloni, Carolina P; Petroli, César D; Carling, Jason; Kilian, Andrzej; Myburg, Alexander A; Grattapaglia, Dario; Vaillancourt, René E
A set of over 8000 Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) markers was tested for its utility in high-resolution population and phylogenetic studies across a range of Eucalyptus taxa. Small-scale population studies of Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Eucalyptus cladocalyx, Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus grandis, Eucalyptus nitens, Eucalyptus pilularis and Eucalyptus urophylla demonstrated the potential of genome-wide genotyping with DArT markers to differentiate species, to identify interspecific hybrids and to resolve biogeographic disjunctions within species. The population genetic studies resolved geographically partitioned clusters in E. camaldulensis, E. cladocalyx, E. globulus and E. urophylla that were congruent with previous molecular studies. A phylogenetic study of 94 eucalypt species provided results that were largely congruent with traditional taxonomy and ITS-based phylogenies, but provided more resolution within major clades than had been obtained previously. Ascertainment bias (the bias introduced in a phylogeny from using markers developed in a small sample of the taxa that are being studied) was not detected. DArT offers an unprecedented level of resolution for population genetic, phylogenetic and evolutionary studies across the full range of Eucalyptus species. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Background Cotton is the world’s most important natural textile fiber and a significant oilseed crop. Decoding cotton genomes will provide the ultimate reference and resource for research and utilization of the species. Integration of high-density genetic maps with genomic sequence information will largely accelerate the process of whole-genome assembly in cotton. Results In this paper, we update a high-density interspecific genetic linkage map of allotetraploid cultivated cotton. An additional 1,167 marker loci have been added to our previously published map of 2,247 loci. Three new marker types, InDel (insertion-deletion) and SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) developed from gene information, and REMAP (retrotransposon-microsatellite amplified polymorphism), were used to increase map density. The updated map consists of 3,414 loci in 26 linkage groups covering 3,667.62 cM with an average inter-locus distance of 1.08 cM. Furthermore, genome-wide sequence analysis was finished using 3,324 informative sequence-based markers and publicly-available Gossypium DNA sequence information. A total of 413,113 EST and 195 BAC sequences were physically anchored and clustered by 3,324 sequence-based markers. Of these, 14,243 ESTs and 188 BACs from different species of Gossypium were clustered and specifically anchored to the high-density genetic map. A total of 2,748 candidate unigenes from 2,111 ESTs clusters and 63 BACs were mined for functional annotation and classification. The 337 ESTs/genes related to fiber quality traits were integrated with 132 previously reported cotton fiber quality quantitative trait loci, which demonstrated the important roles in fiber quality of these genes. Higher-level sequence conservation between different cotton species and between the A- and D-subgenomes in tetraploid cotton was found, indicating a common evolutionary origin for orthologous and paralogous loci in Gossypium. Conclusion This study will serve as a valuable genomic resource
Kornienko, A V; Podvigina, O A; Zhuzhzhalova, T P; Fedulova, T P; Bogomolov, M A; Oshevnev, V P; Butorina, A K
High-priority research directions for the genetics and breeding of the sugar beet in the 21st century were developed with consideration of the available scientific achievements of domestic and foreign scholars. These directions unite the classical and molecular approaches to solving the problems of increasing the effectiveness of sugar beet breeding carried out on a genetic basis, and they correspond to the contemporary level of scientific research. Seven such directions are proposed.
Carlos M Restrepo
Full Text Available American Tegumentary Leishmaniasis is caused by parasites of the genus Leishmania, and causes significant health problems throughout the Americas. In Panama, Leishmania parasites are endemic, causing thousands of new cases every year, mostly of the cutaneous form. In the last years, the burden of the disease has increased, coincident with increasing disturbances in its natural sylvatic environments. The study of genetic variation in parasites is important for a better understanding of the biology, population genetics, and ultimately the evolution and epidemiology of these organisms. Very few attempts have been made to characterize genetic polymorphisms of parasites isolated from Panamanian patients of cutaneous leishmaniasis. Here we present data on the genetic variability of local isolates of Leishmania, as well as specimens from several other species, by means of Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms (AFLP, a technique seldom used to study genetic makeup of parasites. We demonstrate that this technique allows detection of very high levels of genetic variability in local isolates of Leishmania panamensis in a highly reproducible manner. The analysis of AFLP fingerprints generated by unique selective primer combinations in L. panamensis suggests a predominant clonal mode of reproduction. Using fluorescently labeled primers, many taxon-specific fragments were identified which may show potential as species diagnostic fragments. The AFLP permitted a high resolution genetic analysis of the Leishmania genus, clearly separating certain groups among L. panamensis specimens and highly related species such as L. panamensis and L. guyanensis. The phylogenetic networks reconstructed from our AFLP data are congruent with established taxonomy for the genus Leishmania, even when using single selective primer combinations. Results of this study demonstrate that AFLP polymorphisms can be informative for genetic characterization in Leishmania parasites, at
Costa, A.F.; Altemani, A.; Vékony, H.; Bloemena, E.; Fresno, F.; Suárez, C.; Llorente, J.L.; Hermsen, M.
Background: ACC can occasionally undergo dedifferentiation also referred to as high-grade transformation (ACCHGT). However, ACC-HGT can also undergo transformation to adenocarcinomas which are not poorly differentiated. ACC-HGTis generally considered to be an aggressive variant of ACC, even more
Treur, J.L.; Boomsma, D.I.; Ligthart, R.S.L.; Willemsen, G.; Vink, J.M.
Background: High sugar consumption contributes to the rising prevalence of obesity. Sugar can have rewarding effects that are similar to, but less strong than, the effects of addictive substances. People who consume large amounts of sugar also tend to use more addictive substances, but it is unclear
Ypma, R.J.F.; Jonges, M.; Bataille, A.M.A.; Stegeman, J.A.; Koch, G.; van Boven, R.M.; Koopmans, M.; van Ballegooijen, W.M.; Wallinga, J.
Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry can cause severe economic damage and represent a public health threat. Development of efficient containment measures requires an understanding of how these influenza viruses are transmitted between farms. However, the actual mechanisms of
Costa, A.F.; Altemani, A.; Vékony, H.; Bloemena, E.; Fresno, F.; Suárez, C.; Llorente, J.L.; Hermsen, M.
Background: ACC can occasionally undergo dedifferentiation also referred to as high-grade transformation (ACC-HGT). However, ACC-HGT can also undergo transformation to adenocarcinomas which are not poorly differentiated. ACC-HGT is generally considered to be an aggressive variant of ACC, even more
The Killer Immunoglobulin-like Receptors (KIRs) are a family of highly variable receptors which regulate cytotoxicity of Natural Killer (NK) cells and a subset of T-cells. The KIR genes, clustered on the genome in the KIR locus, are distributed unequally across the population due to variation in
Anderson, Kermyt G.; Kaplan, Hillard; Lam, David; Lancaster, Jane
Presents a biosocial model of human paternal care allowing relationship (mating) effort to influence male parental allocations. Results from a test of the model with 340 high school students in Xhosa, South Africa provide support for the roles of both parental and relationship effort in influencing parental care: men invested significantly more in…
Feitosa, Mary F; Wojczynski, Mary K; Straka, Robert
The plasma levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) have an inverse relationship to the risks of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD), and have also been associated with longevity. We sought to identify novel loci for HDL that could potentially provide new insights...
Kampmann, Marie-Louise; Buchard, Anders; Børsting, Claus
Here, we demonstrate that punches from buccal swab samples preserved on FTA cards can be used for high-throughput DNA sequencing, also known as massively parallel sequencing (MPS). We typed 44 reference samples with the HID-Ion AmpliSeq Identity Panel using washed 1.2 mm punches from FTA cards wi...
We appreciate the letter to the editor and are pleased to respond regarding our recent case study regarding high altitude pulmonary edema in an experienced mountaineer. The letter raises some valid questions regarding our treatment decisions. With this, as with most emergency department (ED) patients, it must be understood that the initial treatment reflected the breadth of our differential diagnosis.
Winham, Stacey J; Colby, Colin L; Freimuth, Robert R; Wang, Xin; de Andrade, Mariza; Huebner, Marianne; Biernacka, Joanna M
Identifying variants associated with complex human traits in high-dimensional data is a central goal of genome-wide association studies. However, complicated etiologies such as gene-gene interactions are ignored by the univariate analysis usually applied in these studies. Random Forests (RF) are a popular data-mining technique that can accommodate a large number of predictor variables and allow for complex models with interactions. RF analysis produces measures of variable importance that can be used to rank the predictor variables. Thus, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis using RFs is gaining popularity as a potential filter approach that considers interactions in high-dimensional data. However, the impact of data dimensionality on the power of RF to identify interactions has not been thoroughly explored. We investigate the ability of rankings from variable importance measures to detect gene-gene interaction effects and their potential effectiveness as filters compared to p-values from univariate logistic regression, particularly as the data becomes increasingly high-dimensional. RF effectively identifies interactions in low dimensional data. As the total number of predictor variables increases, probability of detection declines more rapidly for interacting SNPs than for non-interacting SNPs, indicating that in high-dimensional data the RF variable importance measures are capturing marginal effects rather than capturing the effects of interactions. While RF remains a promising data-mining technique that extends univariate methods to condition on multiple variables simultaneously, RF variable importance measures fail to detect interaction effects in high-dimensional data in the absence of a strong marginal component, and therefore may not be useful as a filter technique that allows for interaction effects in genome-wide data.
Palko, S. [Machines Division, ABB industry Oy, Helsinki (Finland)
The aim in this work is to design a 250 kW high speed asynchronous generator using a genetic algorithm and a finite element method for Organic Rankine Cycle. The characteristics of the induction motors are evaluated using two-dimensional finite element method (FEM) The movement of the rotor and the non-linearity of the iron is included. In numerical field problems it is possible to find several local extreme for an optimisation problem, and therefore the algorithm has to be capable of determining relevant changes, and to avoid trapping to a local minimum. In this work the electromagnetic (EM) losses at the rated point are minimised. The optimisation includes the air gap region. Parallel computing is applied to speed up optimisation. (orig.) 2 refs.
Wagner, Sandrine C; Lindenau, Juliana D; Castro, Simone M de; Santin, Ana Paula; Zaleski, Carina F; Azevedo, Laura A; Ribeiro Dos Santos, Ândrea K C; Dos Santos, Sidney E B; Hutz, Mara H
Hb E-Saskatoon [β22(B4)Glu→Lys, HBB: c.67G > A] is a rare, nonpathological β-globin variant that was first described in a Canadian woman of Scottish and Dutch ancestry and has since then been detected in several populations. The aim of the present study was to identify the origin of Hb E-Saskatoon in Brazil using β-globin haplotypes and genetic ancestry in carriers of this hemoglobin (Hb) variant. Blood samples were investigated by isoelectric focusing (IEF) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) using commercial kits. Hb E-Saskatoon was confirmed by amplification of the HBB gene, followed by sequence analysis. Haplotypes of the β-globin gene were determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), followed by digestion with specific restriction enzymes. Individual ancestry was estimated with 48 biallelic insertion/deletions using three 16-plex PCR amplifications. The IEF pattern was similar to Hbs C (HBB: c.19G > A) and Hb E (HBB: c.79G > A) [isoelectric point (pI): 7.59-7.65], and HPLC results showed an elution in the Hb S (HBB: c.20A > T) window [retention time (RT): 4.26-4.38]. DNA sequencing of the amplified β-globin gene showed a mutation at codon 22 (GAA>AAA) corresponding to Hb E-Saskatoon. A total of 11 cases of this variant were identified. In nine unrelated individuals, Hb E-Saskatoon was in linkage disequilibrium with haplotype 2 [+ - - - -]. All subjects showed a high degree of European contribution (mean = 0.85). Hb E-Saskatoon occurred on the β-globin gene of haplotype 2 in all Brazilian carriers. These findings suggest a different genetic origin for this Hb variant from that previously described.
Wang, Fangfang; Singh, Ratnesh; Genovesi, Anthony D; Wai, Ching Man; Huang, Xiaoen; Chandra, Ambika; Yu, Qingyi
Zoysiagrass (Zoysia spp.), belonging to the genus Zoysia in the subfamily Chloridoideae, is widely used in domestic lawns, sports fields and as forage. We constructed high-density genetic maps of Zoysia japonica using a restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-Seq) approach and an F1 mapping population derived from a cross between 'Carrizo' and 'El Toro'. Two linkage maps were constructed, one for each of the parents. A map consisting of 2408 RAD markers distributed on 21 linkage groups was constructed for 'Carrizo'. Another map with 1230 RAD markers mapped on 20 linkage groups was constructed for 'El Toro'. The average distance between adjacent markers of the two maps was at 0.56 and 1.4 cM, respectively. Comparative genomics analysis was carried out among zoysiagrass, rice and sorghum genomes and a highly conserved collinearity in the gene order was observed among the three genomes. Chromosome collinearity was disrupted at centromeric regions for each chromosome pair between zoysiagrass and sorghum genomes. However, no obvious synteny gaps were observed across the centromeric regions between zoysiagrass and rice genomes. Two homologous chromosomes for each of the 10 sorghum chromosomes were found in the zoysiagrass genome, indicating an allotetraploid origin for zoysiagrass. The reduction of the basic chromosome number from 12 to 10 in chloridoids and panicoids took place via independent single-step nested chromosome fusion events after the two subfamilies diverged from a common ancestor. The genetic maps will assist in genome sequence assembly, targeted gene isolation and comparative genomic analyses among grasses. © 2015 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
A review is made on researches performed in areas with high levels of natural radioactivity. Some considerations are made on the importance and difficulties involved in projects of this kind. Although there is no doubt that natural radioactivity is one of the causes of the so-called spontaneous mutations, the practical demonstration of this assertion is extremely complex. Projects trying to correlate high levels of natural radioactivity with the occurrence of cancer (in general, or specific), leukemia, congenital malformations (in general or specific), neuro-vegetative disturbs, sex ratio, mortality, and physical development, as well as other characteristics. Some researches with animals are also mentioned, and references are given for plant studies. A critical analysis is made of some works relating to human populations [pt
The region with high level of background radiation studied in our project is described. In the total, 8.572 couples and 43.930 pregnancy terminations were analyzed. The populational distribution of the 'relaive time of exposure to radiation' (coefficient R) is presented. The distributions of ethnic groups, alien ancestrals, mortality, morbidity, sex ratio, conditions of the household, instruction of the mother, and mean coefficients of inbreeding are also given, all the distributions are given comparatively for control and irradiated groups [pt
Sant?Anna Gomes, B M; Estalote, A C; Palatnik, M; Pimenta, G; Pereira, B de B; do Nascimento, E M
Objective/Aim: The aim of this study is to describe the distribution of the platelet blood group A antigenicity in Euro-Brazilians (EUBs) and Afro-Brazilians (AFBs). Background: A small but significant proportion of individuals express high levels of A or B antigen on their platelets corresponding to the erythrocyte ABO group. The mechanism of increased antigen expression has not been elucidated. Material/Methods: A cohort of 241 blood group A donors was analysed by flow cytometry. Although m...
Liu, Kai; Pesce, Diego; Ma, Chao; Tuchband, Michael; Shuai, Min; Chen, Dong; Su, Juanjuan; Liu, Qing; Gerasimov, Jennifer Y; Kolbe, Anke; Zajaczkowski, Wojciech; Pisula, Wojciech; Müllen, Klaus; Clark, Noel A; Herrmann, Andreas
A series of solvent-free elastin-like polypeptide liquid crystals and liquids are developed by electrostatic complexation of supercharged elastin-like polypeptides with surfactants. The smectic mesophases exhibit a high elasticity and the values can be easily tuned by varying the alkyl chain lengths of the surfactants or the lengths of the elastin-like polypeptides. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Abstract: Neuroblastoma is a malignancy of the developing sympathetic nervous system that often presents with widespread metastatic disease, resulting in survival rates of less than 50%. To determine the spectrum of somatic mutation in high-risk neuroblastoma, we studied 240 affected individuals (cases) using a combination of whole-exome, genome and transcriptome sequencing as part of the Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments (TARGET) initiative.
Full Text Available Cholesterol deposition plays a central role in atherogenesis. The accumulation of lipid material is the result of an imbalance between the influx and efflux of cholesterol within the arterial wall. High levels of plasma low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol are considered the major mechanism responsible for the influx and accumulation of cholesterol in the arterial wall, while high-density lipoprotein (HDL- cholesterol seems responsible for its efflux. The mechanism by which cholesterol is removed from extra-hepatic organs and delivered to the liver for its catabolism and excretion is called reverse cholesterol transport (RCT. Epidemiological evidence has associated high levels of HDL-cholesterol/ApoA-I with protection against atherosclerotic disease, but the ultimate mechanism(s responsible for the beneficial effect is not well established. HDLs are synthesized by the liver and small intestine and released to the circulation as a lipid-poor HDL (nascent HDL, mostly formed by ApoA-I and phospholipids. Through their metabolic maturation, HDLs interact with the ABCA1 receptor in the macrophage surface increasing their lipid content by taking phospholipids and cholesterol from macrophages becoming mature HDL. The cholesterol of the HDLs is transported to the liver, via the scavenger receptor class B, type I, for further metabolization and excretion to the intestines in the form of bile acids and cholesterol, completing the process of RCT. It is clear that an inherited mutation or acquired abnormality in any of the key players in RCT mat affect the atherosclerotic process.
Full Text Available Triatoma dimidiata, currently the major Central American vector of Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease, inhabits caves throughout the region. This research investigates the possibility that cave dwelling T. dimidiata might transmit the parasite to humans and links the blood meal sources of cave vectors to cultural practices that differ among locations.We determined the blood meal sources of twenty-four T. dimidiata collected from two locations in Guatemala and one in Belize where human interactions with the caves differ. Blood meal sources were determined by cloning and sequencing PCR products amplified from DNA extracted from the vector abdomen using primers specific for the vertebrate 12S mitochondrial gene. The blood meal sources were inferred by ≥ 99% identity with published sequences. We found 70% of cave-collected T. dimidiata positive for human DNA. The vectors had fed on 10 additional vertebrates with a variety of relationships to humans, including companion animal (dog, food animals (pig, sheep/goat, wild animals (duck, two bat, two opossum species and commensal animals (mouse, rat. Vectors from all locations fed on humans and commensal animals. The blood meal sources differ among locations, as well as the likelihood of feeding on dog and food animals. Vectors from one location were tested for T. cruzi infection, and 30% (3/10 tested positive, including two positive for human blood meals.Cave dwelling Chagas disease vectors feed on humans and commensal animals as well as dog, food animals and wild animals. B