WorldWideScience

Sample records for models provide insight

  1. A logical model provides insights into T cell receptor signaling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Saez-Rodriguez

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Cellular decisions are determined by complex molecular interaction networks. Large-scale signaling networks are currently being reconstructed, but the kinetic parameters and quantitative data that would allow for dynamic modeling are still scarce. Therefore, computational studies based upon the structure of these networks are of great interest. Here, a methodology relying on a logical formalism is applied to the functional analysis of the complex signaling network governing the activation of T cells via the T cell receptor, the CD4/CD8 co-receptors, and the accessory signaling receptor CD28. Our large-scale Boolean model, which comprises 94 nodes and 123 interactions and is based upon well-established qualitative knowledge from primary T cells, reveals important structural features (e.g., feedback loops and network-wide dependencies and recapitulates the global behavior of this network for an array of published data on T cell activation in wild-type and knock-out conditions. More importantly, the model predicted unexpected signaling events after antibody-mediated perturbation of CD28 and after genetic knockout of the kinase Fyn that were subsequently experimentally validated. Finally, we show that the logical model reveals key elements and potential failure modes in network functioning and provides candidates for missing links. In summary, our large-scale logical model for T cell activation proved to be a promising in silico tool, and it inspires immunologists to ask new questions. We think that it holds valuable potential in foreseeing the effects of drugs and network modifications.

  2. Modeling fMRI signals can provide insights into neural processing in the cerebral cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanni, Simo; Sharifian, Fariba; Heikkinen, Hanna; Vigário, Ricardo

    2015-08-01

    Every stimulus or task activates multiple areas in the mammalian cortex. These distributed activations can be measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which has the best spatial resolution among the noninvasive brain imaging methods. Unfortunately, the relationship between the fMRI activations and distributed cortical processing has remained unclear, both because the coupling between neural and fMRI activations has remained poorly understood and because fMRI voxels are too large to directly sense the local neural events. To get an idea of the local processing given the macroscopic data, we need models to simulate the neural activity and to provide output that can be compared with fMRI data. Such models can describe neural mechanisms as mathematical functions between input and output in a specific system, with little correspondence to physiological mechanisms. Alternatively, models can be biomimetic, including biological details with straightforward correspondence to experimental data. After careful balancing between complexity, computational efficiency, and realism, a biomimetic simulation should be able to provide insight into how biological structures or functions contribute to actual data processing as well as to promote theory-driven neuroscience experiments. This review analyzes the requirements for validating system-level computational models with fMRI. In particular, we study mesoscopic biomimetic models, which include a limited set of details from real-life networks and enable system-level simulations of neural mass action. In addition, we discuss how recent developments in neurophysiology and biophysics may significantly advance the modelling of fMRI signals. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  3. Analytical modeling provides new insight into complex mutual coupling between surface loops at ultrahigh fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avdievich, N I; Pfrommer, A; Giapitzakis, I A; Henning, A

    2017-10-01

    Ultrahigh-field (UHF) (≥7 T) transmit (Tx) human head surface loop phased arrays improve both the Tx efficiency (B 1 + /√P) and homogeneity in comparison with single-channel quadrature Tx volume coils. For multi-channel arrays, decoupling becomes one of the major problems during the design process. Further insight into the coupling between array elements and its dependence on various factors can facilitate array development. The evaluation of the entire impedance matrix Z for an array loaded with a realistic voxel model or phantom is a time-consuming procedure when performed using electromagnetic (EM) solvers. This motivates the development of an analytical model, which could provide a quick assessment of the Z-matrix. In this work, an analytical model based on dyadic Green's functions was developed and validated using an EM solver and bench measurements. The model evaluates the complex coupling, including both the electric (mutual resistance) and magnetic (mutual inductance) coupling. Validation demonstrated that the model does well to describe the coupling at lower fields (≤3 T). At UHFs, the model also performs well for a practical case of low magnetic coupling. Based on the modeling, the geometry of a 400-MHz, two-loop transceiver array was optimized, such that, by simply overlapping the loops, both the mutual inductance and the mutual resistance were compensated at the same time. As a result, excellent decoupling (below -40 dB) was obtained without any additional decoupling circuits. An overlapped array prototype was compared (signal-to-noise ratio, Tx efficiency) favorably to a gapped array, a geometry which has been utilized previously in designs of UHF Tx arrays. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  4. Quantitative Hydraulic Models Of Early Land Plants Provide Insight Into Middle Paleozoic Terrestrial Paleoenvironmental Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, J. P.; Fischer, W. W.

    2010-12-01

    Fossil plants provide useful proxies of Earth’s climate because plants are closely connected, through physiology and morphology, to the environments in which they lived. Recent advances in quantitative hydraulic models of plant water transport provide new insight into the history of climate by allowing fossils to speak directly to environmental conditions based on preserved internal anatomy. We report results of a quantitative hydraulic model applied to one of the earliest terrestrial plants preserved in three dimensions, the ~396 million-year-old vascular plant Asteroxylon mackei. This model combines equations describing the rate of fluid flow through plant tissues with detailed observations of plant anatomy; this allows quantitative estimates of two critical aspects of plant function. First and foremost, results from these models quantify the supply of water to evaporative surfaces; second, results describe the ability of plant vascular systems to resist tensile damage from extreme environmental events, such as drought or frost. This approach permits quantitative comparisons of functional aspects of Asteroxylon with other extinct and extant plants, informs the quality of plant-based environmental proxies, and provides concrete data that can be input into climate models. Results indicate that despite their small size, water transport cells in Asteroxylon could supply a large volume of water to the plant's leaves--even greater than cells from some later-evolved seed plants. The smallest Asteroxylon tracheids have conductivities exceeding 0.015 m^2 / MPa * s, whereas Paleozoic conifer tracheids do not reach this threshold until they are three times wider. However, this increase in conductivity came at the cost of little to no adaptations for transport safety, placing the plant’s vegetative organs in jeopardy during drought events. Analysis of the thickness-to-span ratio of Asteroxylon’s tracheids suggests that environmental conditions of reduced relative

  5. An integrated Biophysical CGE model to provide Sustainable Development Goal insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez, Marko; Cicowiez, Martin; Howells, Mark; Zepeda, Eduardo

    2016-04-01

    Future projected changes in the energy system will inevitably result in changes to the level of appropriation of environmental resources, particularly land and water, and this will have wider implications for environmental sustainability, and may affect other sectors of the economy. An integrated climate, land, energy and water (CLEW) system will provide useful insights, particularly with regard to the environmental sustainability. However, it will require adequate integration with other tools to detect economic impacts and broaden the scope for policy analysis. A computable general equilibrium (CGE) model is a well suited tool to channel impacts, as detected in a CLEW analysis, onto all sectors of the economy, and evaluate trade-offs and synergies, including those of possible policy responses. This paper will show an application of such integration in a single-country CGE model with the following key characteristics. Climate is partly exogenous (as proxied by temperature and rainfall) and partly endogenous (as proxied by emissions generated by different sectors) and has an impact on endogenous variables such as land productivity and labor productivity. Land is a factor of production used in agricultural and forestry activities which can be of various types if land use alternatives (e.g., deforestation) are to be considered. Energy is an input to the production process of all economic sectors and a consumption good for households. Because it is possible to allow for substitution among different energy sources (e.g. renewable vs non-renewable) in the generation of electricity, the production process of energy products can consider the use of natural resources such as oil and water. Water, data permitting, can be considered as an input into the production process of agricultural sectors, which is particularly relevant in case of irrigation. It can also be considered as a determinant of total factor productivity in hydro-power generation. The integration of a CLEW

  6. Retrieving Backbone String Neighbors Provides Insights Into Structural Modeling of Membrane Proteins*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jiang-Ming; Li, Tong-Hua; Cong, Pei-Sheng; Tang, Sheng-Nan; Xiong, Wen-Wei

    2012-01-01

    Identification of protein structural neighbors to a query is fundamental in structure and function prediction. Here we present BS-align, a systematic method to retrieve backbone string neighbors from primary sequences as templates for protein modeling. The backbone conformation of a protein is represented by the backbone string, as defined in Ramachandran space. The backbone string of a query can be accurately predicted by two innovative technologies: a knowledge-driven sequence alignment and encoding of a backbone string element profile. Then, the predicted backbone string is employed to align against a backbone string database and retrieve a set of backbone string neighbors. The backbone string neighbors were shown to be close to native structures of query proteins. BS-align was successfully employed to predict models of 10 membrane proteins with lengths ranging between 229 and 595 residues, and whose high-resolution structural determinations were difficult to elucidate both by experiment and prediction. The obtained TM-scores and root mean square deviations of the models confirmed that the models based on the backbone string neighbors retrieved by the BS-align were very close to the native membrane structures although the query and the neighbor shared a very low sequence identity. The backbone string system represents a new road for the prediction of protein structure from sequence, and suggests that the similarity of the backbone string would be more informative than describing a protein as belonging to a fold. PMID:22415040

  7. Retrieving backbone string neighbors provides insights into structural modeling of membrane proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jiang-Ming; Li, Tong-Hua; Cong, Pei-Sheng; Tang, Sheng-Nan; Xiong, Wen-Wei

    2012-07-01

    Identification of protein structural neighbors to a query is fundamental in structure and function prediction. Here we present BS-align, a systematic method to retrieve backbone string neighbors from primary sequences as templates for protein modeling. The backbone conformation of a protein is represented by the backbone string, as defined in Ramachandran space. The backbone string of a query can be accurately predicted by two innovative technologies: a knowledge-driven sequence alignment and encoding of a backbone string element profile. Then, the predicted backbone string is employed to align against a backbone string database and retrieve a set of backbone string neighbors. The backbone string neighbors were shown to be close to native structures of query proteins. BS-align was successfully employed to predict models of 10 membrane proteins with lengths ranging between 229 and 595 residues, and whose high-resolution structural determinations were difficult to elucidate both by experiment and prediction. The obtained TM-scores and root mean square deviations of the models confirmed that the models based on the backbone string neighbors retrieved by the BS-align were very close to the native membrane structures although the query and the neighbor shared a very low sequence identity. The backbone string system represents a new road for the prediction of protein structure from sequence, and suggests that the similarity of the backbone string would be more informative than describing a protein as belonging to a fold.

  8. A Structural Model for a Self-Assembled Nanotube Provides Insight into Its Exciton Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    The design and synthesis of functional self-assembled nanostructures is frequently an empirical process fraught with critical knowledge gaps about atomic-level structure in these noncovalent systems. Here, we report a structural model for a semiconductor nanotube formed via the self-assembly of naphthalenediimide-lysine (NDI-Lys) building blocks determined using experimental 13C–13C and 13C–15N distance restraints from solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance supplemented by electron microscopy and X-ray powder diffraction data. The structural model reveals a two-dimensional-crystal-like architecture of stacked monolayer rings each containing ∼50 NDI-Lys molecules, with significant π-stacking interactions occurring both within the confines of the ring and along the long axis of the tube. Excited-state delocalization and energy transfer are simulated for the nanotube based on time-dependent density functional theory and an incoherent hopping model. Remarkably, these calculations reveal efficient energy migration from the excitonic bright state, which is in agreement with the rapid energy transfer within NDI-Lys nanotubes observed previously using fluorescence spectroscopy. PMID:26120375

  9. Directed evolution of a model primordial enzyme provides insights into the development of the genetic code.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel M Müller

    Full Text Available The contemporary proteinogenic repertoire contains 20 amino acids with diverse functional groups and side chain geometries. Primordial proteins, in contrast, were presumably constructed from a subset of these building blocks. Subsequent expansion of the proteinogenic alphabet would have enhanced their capabilities, fostering the metabolic prowess and organismal fitness of early living systems. While the addition of amino acids bearing innovative functional groups directly enhances the chemical repertoire of proteomes, the inclusion of chemically redundant monomers is difficult to rationalize. Here, we studied how a simplified chorismate mutase evolves upon expanding its amino acid alphabet from nine to potentially 20 letters. Continuous evolution provided an enhanced enzyme variant that has only two point mutations, both of which extend the alphabet and jointly improve protein stability by >4 kcal/mol and catalytic activity tenfold. The same, seemingly innocuous substitutions (Ile→Thr, Leu→Val occurred in several independent evolutionary trajectories. The increase in fitness they confer indicates that building blocks with very similar side chain structures are highly beneficial for fine-tuning protein structure and function.

  10. Supplementary Material for: Mycobacterium tuberculosis whole genome sequencing and protein structure modelling provides insights into anti-tuberculosis drug resistance

    KAUST Repository

    Phelan, Jody

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background Combating the spread of drug resistant tuberculosis is a global health priority. Whole genome association studies are being applied to identify genetic determinants of resistance to anti-tuberculosis drugs. Protein structure and interaction modelling are used to understand the functional effects of putative mutations and provide insight into the molecular mechanisms leading to resistance. Methods To investigate the potential utility of these approaches, we analysed the genomes of 144 Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates from The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) collection sourced from 20 countries in four continents. A genome-wide approach was applied to 127 isolates to identify polymorphisms associated with minimum inhibitory concentrations for first-line anti-tuberculosis drugs. In addition, the effect of identified candidate mutations on protein stability and interactions was assessed quantitatively with well-established computational methods. Results The analysis revealed that mutations in the genes rpoB (rifampicin), katG (isoniazid), inhA-promoter (isoniazid), rpsL (streptomycin) and embB (ethambutol) were responsible for the majority of resistance observed. A subset of the mutations identified in rpoB and katG were predicted to affect protein stability. Further, a strong direct correlation was observed between the minimum inhibitory concentration values and the distance of the mutated residues in the three-dimensional structures of rpoB and katG to their respective drugs binding sites. Conclusions Using the TDR resource, we demonstrate the usefulness of whole genome association and convergent evolution approaches to detect known and potentially novel mutations associated with drug resistance. Further, protein structural modelling could provide a means of predicting the impact of polymorphisms on drug efficacy in the absence of phenotypic data. These approaches could ultimately lead to novel

  11. Mycobacterium tuberculosis whole genome sequencing and protein structure modelling provides insights into anti-tuberculosis drug resistance

    KAUST Repository

    Phelan, Jody

    2016-03-23

    Background Combating the spread of drug resistant tuberculosis is a global health priority. Whole genome association studies are being applied to identify genetic determinants of resistance to anti-tuberculosis drugs. Protein structure and interaction modelling are used to understand the functional effects of putative mutations and provide insight into the molecular mechanisms leading to resistance. Methods To investigate the potential utility of these approaches, we analysed the genomes of 144 Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates from The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) collection sourced from 20 countries in four continents. A genome-wide approach was applied to 127 isolates to identify polymorphisms associated with minimum inhibitory concentrations for first-line anti-tuberculosis drugs. In addition, the effect of identified candidate mutations on protein stability and interactions was assessed quantitatively with well-established computational methods. Results The analysis revealed that mutations in the genes rpoB (rifampicin), katG (isoniazid), inhA-promoter (isoniazid), rpsL (streptomycin) and embB (ethambutol) were responsible for the majority of resistance observed. A subset of the mutations identified in rpoB and katG were predicted to affect protein stability. Further, a strong direct correlation was observed between the minimum inhibitory concentration values and the distance of the mutated residues in the three-dimensional structures of rpoB and katG to their respective drugs binding sites. Conclusions Using the TDR resource, we demonstrate the usefulness of whole genome association and convergent evolution approaches to detect known and potentially novel mutations associated with drug resistance. Further, protein structural modelling could provide a means of predicting the impact of polymorphisms on drug efficacy in the absence of phenotypic data. These approaches could ultimately lead to novel resistance

  12. The Development of Mouse APECED Models Provides New Insight into the Role of AIRE in Immune Regulation

    OpenAIRE

    Pereira, Lara E.; Bostik, Pavel; Ansari, Aftab A.

    2005-01-01

    Autoimmune polyendocrinopathy candidiasis ectodermal dystrophy is a rare recessive autoimmune disorder caused by a defect in a single gene called AIRE (autoimmune regulator). Characteristics of this disease include a variable combination of autoimmune endocrine tissue destruction, mucocutaneous candidiasis and ectodermal dystrophies. The development of Aire-knockout mice has provided an invaluable model for the st...

  13. Modeling the growth and decline of pathogen effective population size provides insight into epidemic dynamics and drivers of antimicrobial resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volz, Erik M; Didelot, Xavier

    2018-02-07

    Non-parametric population genetic modeling provides a simple and flexible approach for studying demographic history and epidemic dynamics using pathogen sequence data. Existing Bayesian approaches are premised on stochastic processes with stationary increments which may provide an unrealistic prior for epidemic histories which feature extended period of exponential growth or decline. We show that non-parametric models defined in terms of the growth rate of the effective population size can provide a more realistic prior for epidemic history. We propose a non-parametric autoregressive model on the growth rate as a prior for effective population size, which corresponds to the dynamics expected under many epidemic situations. We demonstrate the use of this model within a Bayesian phylodynamic inference framework. Our method correctly reconstructs trends of epidemic growth and decline from pathogen genealogies even when genealogical data is sparse and conventional skyline estimators erroneously predict stable population size. We also propose a regression approach for relating growth rates of pathogen effective population size and time-varying variables that may impact the replicative fitness of a pathogen. The model is applied to real data from rabies virus and Staphylococcus aureus epidemics. We find a close correspondence between the estimated growth rates of a lineage of methicillin-resistant S. aureus and population-level prescription rates of β-lactam antibiotics. The new models are implemented in an open source R package called skygrowth which is available at https://github.com/mrc-ide/skygrowth. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists.

  14. The Development of Mouse APECED Models Provides New Insight into the Role of AIRE in Immune Regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Lara E.; Bostik, Pavel; Ansari, Aftab A.

    2005-01-01

    Autoimmune polyendocrinopathy candidiasis ectodermal dystrophy is a rare recessive autoimmune disorder caused by a defect in a single gene called AIRE (autoimmune regulator). Characteristics of this disease include a variable combination of autoimmune endocrine tissue destruction, mucocutaneous candidiasis and ectodermal dystrophies. The development of Aire-knockout mice has provided an invaluable model for the study of this disease. The aim of this review is to briefly highlight the strides made in APECED research using these transgenic murine models, with a focus on known roles of Aire in autoimmunity. The findings thus far are compelling and prompt additional areas of study which are discussed. PMID:16295527

  15. The Development of Mouse APECED Models Provides New Insight into the Role of AIRE in Immune Regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lara E. Pereira

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Autoimmune polyendocrinopathy candidiasis ectodermal dystrophy is a rare recessive autoimmune disorder caused by a defect in a single gene called AIRE (autoimmune regulator. Characteristics of this disease include a variable combination of autoimmune endocrine tissue destruction, mucocutaneous candidiasis and ectodermal dystrophies. The development of Aire-knockout mice has provided an invaluable model for the study of this disease. The aim of this review is to briefly highlight the strides made in APECED research using these transgenic murine models, with a focus on known roles of Aire in autoimmunity. The findings thus far are compelling and prompt additional areas of study which are discussed.

  16. Magnetotelluric 2D Modelling Provides Insight on the Structural Characteristics of the Guadalajara (Mexico) Triple Junction Domains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arboleda Zapata, M. D. J., Sr.; Arzate-Flores, J.; Guevara Betancourt, R. E., Sr.

    2017-12-01

    The Jalisco Block is a continental microplate produced by the extension along three large structures: the Tepic-Zacoalco rift (TZR), the Colima rift (CR) and the Chapala rift that converge in a triple junction 50 km southwest of Guadalajara, Mexico, with orientation NW-SE, N-S, and E-W respectively. The present study focuses on investigating the deep structure of the north Colima and eastern Zacoalco grabens close to the Guadalajara triple junction (GTJ). This is a first study of its type that provide insight on the grabens structures and crustal characteristics underneath. We measured along two magnetotellurics (MT) profiles that cut perpendicularly the TZR (profile ZAC), and the northern CR (profile SAY) comprising a total of 24 broad band MT soundings. The ZAC profile has 11 stations and has a NE orientation, and the SAY profile has 14 station aligned E-W. Standard processing and editing procedures were completed, and distortion analysis was applied to the data set in order to define the dimensionality and electric strike of the separated profiles. Static shift was corrected using geology information to distinguish the different types of soundings and later averaging for those soundings located over the same lithology. The Bahr dimensionality parameters showed that the medium is mainly 3D for the SAY profile and 2D for the ZAC profile; furthermore, the regional geoelectric strike azimuth calculated with Bahr methodology were -4° and -48° respectively, with good concordance with the main surface structures. The tipper analysis permitted validated these results, as the real induction vectors were nearly perpendicular to main fault structures. All soundings were rotated to the respective regional strike and a 2D simultaneous inversion of the transverse electric (TE) mode, the transvers magnetic (TM) mode and the Tipper was completed. The RMS fitting error yield 3.2% for ZAC profile and 3.7% for SAY profile. Both profiles show a shallow conductive zone at north of

  17. A Novel Zebrafish Model to Provide Mechanistic Insights into the Inflammatory Events in Carrageenan-Induced Abdominal Edema

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Shi-Ying; Feng, Chien-Wei; Hung, Han-Chun; Chakraborty, Chiranjib; Chen, Chun-Hong; Chen, Wu-Fu; Jean, Yen-Hsuan; Wang, Hui-Min David; Sung, Chun-Sung; Sun, Yu-Min; Wu, Chang-Yi; Liu, Wangta; Hsiao, Chung-Der; Wen, Zhi-Hong

    2014-01-01

    A suitable small animal model may help in the screening and evaluation of new drugs, especially those from natural products, which can be administered at lower dosages, fulfilling an urgent worldwide need. In this study, we explore whether zebrafish could be a model organism for carrageenan-induced abdominal edema. The research results showed that intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of 1.5% λ-carrageenan in a volume of 20 µL significantly increased abdominal edema in adult zebrafish. Levels of the proinflammatory proteins tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were increased in carrageenan-injected adult zebrafish during the development of abdominal edema. An associated enhancement was also observed in the leukocyte marker, myeloperoxidase (MPO). To support these results, we further observed that i.p. methylprednisolone (MP; 1 µg), a positive control, significantly inhibited carrageenan-induced inflammation 24 h after carrageenan administration. Furthermore, i.p. pretreatment with either an anti-TNF-α antibody (1∶5 dilution in a volume of 20 µL) or the iNOS-selective inhibitor aminoguanidine (AG; 1 µg) inhibited carrageenan-induced abdominal edema in adult zebrafish. This new animal model is uncomplicated, easy to develop, and involves a straightforward inducement of inflammatory edema for the evaluation of small volumes of drugs or test compounds. PMID:25141004

  18. Oxidative transformation of a tunichrome model compound provides new insight into the crosslinking and defense reaction of tunichromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abebe, Adal; Kuang, Qun F; Evans, Jason; Robinson, William E; Sugumaran, Manickam

    2017-04-01

    Tunichromes, small oligopeptides with dehydrodopa units isolated from the blood cells of ascidians, have been implicated in the defense reactions, metal binding, wound repair, or tunic formation. Their instability and high reactivity has severely hampered the assessment of their biological role. Experiments conducted with the model compound, 1,2-dehydro-N-acetyldopamine, indicated that the instability of tunichromes is due to this basic structure. Exposure of this catecholamine derivative to even mild alkaline condition such as pH 7.5 causes rapid nonenzymatic oxidation. High performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry studies confirmed the production of dimeric and other oligomeric products in the reaction mixture. The nonenzymatic reaction seemed to proceed through the intermediary formation of semiquinone free radical and superoxide anion. Ultraviolet and visible spectral studies associated with the oxidation of tunichromes isolated from Ascidia nigra by tyrosinase indicated the probable formation of oligomeric tunichrome products. Attempts to monitor the polymerization reaction by mass spectrometry ended in vain. Tunichrome also exhibited instability in mild alkaline conditions generating superoxide anions. Based on these studies, a possible role for oxidative transformation of tunichrome in defense reaction, tunic formation and wound healing is proposed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Modeling for Insights

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacob J. Jacobson; Gretchen Matthern

    2007-04-01

    System Dynamics is a computer-aided approach to evaluating the interrelationships of different components and activities within complex systems. Recently, System Dynamics models have been developed in areas such as policy design, biological and medical modeling, energy and the environmental analysis, and in various other areas in the natural and social sciences. The real power of System Dynamic modeling is gaining insights into total system behavior as time, and system parameters are adjusted and the effects are visualized in real time. System Dynamic models allow decision makers and stakeholders to explore long-term behavior and performance of complex systems, especially in the context of dynamic processes and changing scenarios without having to wait decades to obtain field data or risk failure if a poor management or design approach is used. The Idaho National Laboratory recently has been developing a System Dynamic model of the US Nuclear Fuel Cycle. The model is intended to be used to identify and understand interactions throughout the entire nuclear fuel cycle and suggest sustainable development strategies. This paper describes the basic framework of the current model and presents examples of useful insights gained from the model thus far with respect to sustainable development of nuclear power.

  20. Novel murine infection models provide deep insights into the "ménage à trois" of Campylobacter jejuni, microbiota and host innate immunity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Bereswill

    gnotobiotic and "humanized" mice represent excellent novel C. jejuni-infection and -inflammation models and provide deep insights into the immunological and molecular interplays between C. jejuni, microbiota and innate immunity in human campylobacteriosis.

  1. Computer modelling integrated with micro-CT and material testing provides additional insight to evaluate bone treatments: Application to a beta-glycan derived whey protein mice model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sreenivasan, D; Tu, P T; Dickinson, M; Watson, M; Blais, A; Das, R; Cornish, J; Fernandez, J

    2016-01-01

    The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of a whey protein diet on computationally predicted mechanical strength of murine bones in both trabecular and cortical regions of the femur. There was no significant influence on mechanical strength in cortical bone observed with increasing whey protein treatment, consistent with cortical tissue mineral density (TMD) and bone volume changes observed. Trabecular bone showed a significant decline in strength with increasing whey protein treatment when nanoindentation derived Young׳s moduli were used in the model. When microindentation, micro-CT phantom density or normalised Young׳s moduli were included in the model a non-significant decline in strength was exhibited. These results for trabecular bone were consistent with both trabecular bone mineral density (BMD) and micro-CT indices obtained independently. The secondary aim of this study was to characterise the influence of different sources of Young׳s moduli on computational prediction. This study aimed to quantify the predicted mechanical strength in 3D from these sources and evaluate if trends and conclusions remained consistent. For cortical bone, predicted mechanical strength behaviour was consistent across all sources of Young׳s moduli. There was no difference in treatment trend observed when Young׳s moduli were normalised. In contrast, trabecular strength due to whey protein treatment significantly reduced when material properties from nanoindentation were introduced. Other material property sources were not significant but emphasised the strength trend over normalised material properties. This shows strength at the trabecular level was attributed to both changes in bone architecture and material properties. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Small teleost fish provide new insights into human skeletal diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witten, P E; Harris, M P; Huysseune, A; Winkler, C

    2017-01-01

    Small teleost fish such as zebrafish and medaka are increasingly studied as models for human skeletal diseases. Efficient new genome editing tools combined with advances in the analysis of skeletal phenotypes provide new insights into fundamental processes of skeletal development. The skeleton among vertebrates is a highly conserved organ system, but teleost fish and mammals have evolved unique traits or have lost particular skeletal elements in each lineage. Several unique features of the skeleton relate to the extremely small size of early fish embryos and the small size of adult fish used as models. A detailed analysis of the plethora of interesting skeletal phenotypes in zebrafish and medaka pushes available skeletal imaging techniques to their respective limits and promotes the development of new imaging techniques. Impressive numbers of zebrafish and medaka mutants with interesting skeletal phenotypes have been characterized, complemented by transgenic zebrafish and medaka lines. The advent of efficient genome editing tools, such as TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9, allows to introduce targeted deficiencies in genes of model teleosts to generate skeletal phenotypes that resemble human skeletal diseases. This review will also discuss other attractive aspects of the teleost skeleton. This includes the capacity for lifelong tooth replacement and for the regeneration of dermal skeletal elements, such as scales and fin rays, which further increases the value of zebrafish and medaka models for skeletal research. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Franchise Business Model: Theoretical Insights

    OpenAIRE

    Levickaitė, Rasa; Reimeris, Ramojus

    2010-01-01

    The article is based on literature review, theoretical insights, and deals with the topic of franchise business model. The objective of the paper is to analyse peculiarities of franchise business model and its developing conditions in Lithuania. The aim of the paper is to make an overview on franchise business model and its environment in Lithuanian business context. The overview is based on international and local theoretical insights. In terms of practical meaning, this article should be re...

  4. High Resolution Insights into Snow Distribution Provided by Drone Photogrammetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redpath, T.; Sirguey, P. J.; Cullen, N. J.; Fitzsimons, S.

    2017-12-01

    accumulation and ablation, snow depth maps provide geostatistically robust insights into seasonal snow processes, with unprecedented detail. Such data may enhance understanding of physical processes controlling spatial and temporal distribution of seasonal snow, and their relative importance at varying spatial and temporal scales.

  5. Induced seismicity provides insight into why earthquake ruptures stop

    KAUST Repository

    Galis, Martin

    2017-12-21

    Injection-induced earthquakes pose a serious seismic hazard but also offer an opportunity to gain insight into earthquake physics. Currently used models relating the maximum magnitude of injection-induced earthquakes to injection parameters do not incorporate rupture physics. We develop theoretical estimates, validated by simulations, of the size of ruptures induced by localized pore-pressure perturbations and propagating on prestressed faults. Our model accounts for ruptures growing beyond the perturbed area and distinguishes self-arrested from runaway ruptures. We develop a theoretical scaling relation between the largest magnitude of self-arrested earthquakes and the injected volume and find it consistent with observed maximum magnitudes of injection-induced earthquakes over a broad range of injected volumes, suggesting that, although runaway ruptures are possible, most injection-induced events so far have been self-arrested ruptures.

  6. Bio-physical model provides insight into dispersal of plaice (Pleuronectes platessa L.) from putative spawning grounds to nursery areas on the west coast of Ireland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zölck, Melanie; Brophy, Deirdre; Mohn, Christian; Minto, Cóilín; McGrath, David

    2015-05-01

    In this study we use an individual-based coupled physical biological model (ICPBM) to reconstruct the dispersal pathways of 0-group juveniles (young of the year) collected from nursery grounds in Galway Bay and to identify probable spawning ground locations for plaice on the west coast of Ireland. The relative importance of passive transport, behaviour and individual growth rates on successful larval delivery, from three putative spawning grounds to suitable nursery areas, was also investigated. Using a hydrodynamic Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS), combined with a particle tracking model, three model scenarios were tested: a passive tracer scenario (PTS), a linear growth scenario (LGS) and a temperature-dependent growth scenario (TDS). Hydrodynamic conditions were modelled and biological information (pelagic larval durations and size at settlement) incorporated. The LGS and TDS included vertical migration and tidally synchronised behaviour. Generalized Linear Model (GLM) comparisons showed that incorporation of behaviour and temperature-dependent growth, resulted in approximately two to three times more particles being delivered to sites of suitable depth for settlement (≤ 10 m), compared to passive transport alone (p histories between particles that were delivered to shallow inshore areas and those that failed to reach depths suitable for settlement indicated that dispersal to coastal nursery areas is facilitated by entrainment into a cool coastal current system. This study identifies a probable plaice spawning area in western Ireland and reconfirms the importance of including behaviour and growth in dispersal simulations. The model results suggest that differences in growth can influence larval delivery to potentially suitable nursery areas.

  7. Network models provide insights into how oriens–lacunosum-moleculare and bistratified cell interactions influence the power of local hippocampal CA1 theta oscillations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katie A Ferguson

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Hippocampal theta is a 4-12 Hz rhythm associated with episodic memory, and although it has been studied extensively, the cellular mechanisms underlying its generation are unclear. The complex interactions between different interneuron types, such as those between oriens--lacunosum-moleculare (OLM interneurons and bistratified cells (BiCs, make their contribution to network rhythms difficult to determine experimentally. We created network models that are tied to experimental work at both cellular and network levels to explore how these interneuron interactions affect the power of local oscillations. Our cellular models were constrained with properties from patch clamp recordings in the CA1 region of an intact hippocampus preparation in vitro. Our network models are composed of three different types of interneurons: parvalbumin-positive (PV+ basket and axo-axonic cells (BC/AACs, PV+ BiCs, and somatostatin-positive OLM cells. Also included is a spatially extended pyramidal cell model to allow for a simplified local field potential representation, as well as experimentally-constrained, theta frequency synaptic inputs to the interneurons. The network size, connectivity, and synaptic properties were constrained with experimental data. To determine how the interactions between OLM cells and BiCs could affect local theta power, we explored a number of OLM-BiC connections and connection strengths.We found that our models operate in regimes in which OLM cells minimally or strongly affected the power of network theta oscillations due to balances that, respectively, allow compensatory effects or not. Inactivation of OLM cells could result in no change or even an increase in theta power. We predict that the dis-inhibitory effect of OLM cells to BiCs to pyramidal cell interactions plays a critical role in the power of network theta oscillations. Our network models reveal a dynamic interplay between different classes of interneurons in influencing local theta

  8. Using pore-scale imaging and modeling to provide new insights in multi-phase flow, transport and reaction phenomena in porous media (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bijeljic, B.; Andrew, M. G.; Menke, H. P.; Blunt, M. J.

    2013-12-01

    Advances in X ray imaging techniques made it possible not only to accurately describe solid and fluid(s) distributions in the pore space but also to study dynamics of multi-phase flow and reactive transport in-situ. This has opened up a range of new opportunities to better understand fundamental physics at the pore scale by experiment, and test and validate theoretical models in order to develop predictive tools at the pore scale and use it for upscaling. Firstly, we illustrate this concept by describing a new methodology for predicting non-Fickian transport in millimeter-sized three-dimensional micro-CT images of a beadpack, a sandstone, and a carbonate, representing porous media with an increasing degree of pore-scale complexity. The key strategy is to retain the full information on flow and transport signature of a porous medium by using probability distribution functions (PDFs) of voxel velocities for flow, and both PDFs of particle displacements and PDFs of particle transit times between voxels for transport. For this purpose, direct-simulation flow and transport model is used to analyse the relationship between pore structure, velocity, and the dynamics of the evolving plume. The model predictions for PDFs of particle displacements obtained by the model are in excellent agreement with those measured on similar cores in nuclear magnetic resonance experiments. A key determinant for non-Fickian transport is the spread in velocity distribution in the pore space. Further, we present micro-CT imaging of capillary trapping of scCO2 at reservoir conditions in a range of carbonates and sandstones having different pore structure and demonstrate that substantial quantities of scCO2 can be trapped in the pore space. Higher residual scCO2 saturations are found in sandstones compared to carbonates. The trapped ganglia exhibit different distribution of size, related to the inherent structure of pore space. Pore structures with large, open pores that are well connected lead

  9. Genetic Determinants of Epigenetic Patterns: Providing Insight into Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazaly, Emma; Charlesworth, Jac; Dickinson, Joanne L; Holloway, Adele F

    2015-03-26

    The field of epigenetics and our understanding of the mechanisms that regulate the establishment, maintenance and heritability of epigenetic patterns continue to grow at a remarkable rate. This information is providing increased understanding of the role of epigenetic changes in disease, insight into the underlying causes of these epigenetic changes and revealing new avenues for therapeutic intervention. Epigenetic modifiers are increasingly being pursued as therapeutic targets in a range of diseases, with a number of agents targeting epigenetic modifications already proving effective in diseases such as cancer. Although it is well established that DNA mutations and aberrant expression of epigenetic modifiers play a key role in disease, attention is now turning to the interplay between genetic and epigenetic factors in complex disease etiology. The role of genetic variability in determining epigenetic profiles, which can then be modified by environmental and stochastic factors, is becoming more apparent. Understanding the interplay between genetic and epigenetic factors is likely to aid in identifying individuals most likely to benefit from epigenetic therapies. This goal is coming closer to realization because of continual advances in laboratory and statistical tools enabling improvements in the integration of genomic, epigenomic and phenotypic data.

  10. Can tobacco dependence provide insights into other drug addictions?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph R. DiFranza

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Within the field of addiction research, individuals tend to operate within silos of knowledge focused on specific drug classes. The discovery that tobacco dependence develops in a progression of stages and that the latency to the onset of withdrawal symptoms after the last use of tobacco changes over time have provided insights into how tobacco dependence develops that might be applied to the study of other drugs. As physical dependence on tobacco develops, it progresses through previously unrecognized clinical stages of wanting, craving and needing. The latency to withdrawal is a measure of the asymptomatic phase of withdrawal, extending from the last use of tobacco to the emergence of withdrawal symptoms. Symptomatic withdrawal is characterized by a wanting phase, a craving phase, and a needing phase. The intensity of the desire to smoke that is triggered by withdrawal correlates with brain activity in addiction circuits. With repeated tobacco use, the latency to withdrawal shrinks from as long as several weeks to as short as several minutes. The shortening of the asymptomatic phase of withdrawal drives an escalation of smoking, first in terms of the number of smoking days/month until daily smoking commences, then in terms of cigarettes smoked/day. The discoveries of the stages of physical dependence and the latency to withdrawal raises the question, does physical dependence develop in stages with other drugs? Is the latency to withdrawal for other substances measured in weeks at the onset of dependence? Does it shorten over time? The research methods that uncovered how tobacco dependence emerges might be fruitfully applied to the investigation of other addictions.

  11. Eggshell Porosity Provides Insight on Evolution of Nesting in Dinosaurs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Kohei; Zelenitsky, Darla K; Therrien, François

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the types of nests built by dinosaurs can provide insight into the evolution of nesting and reproductive behaviors among archosaurs. However, the low preservation potential of their nesting materials and nesting structures means that most information can only be gleaned indirectly through comparison with extant archosaurs. Two general nest types are recognized among living archosaurs: 1) covered nests, in which eggs are incubated while fully covered by nesting material (as in crocodylians and megapodes), and 2) open nests, in which eggs are exposed in the nest and brooded (as in most birds). Previously, dinosaur nest types had been inferred by estimating the water vapor conductance (i.e., diffusive capacity) of their eggs, based on the premise that high conductance corresponds to covered nests and low conductance to open nests. However, a lack of statistical rigor and inconsistencies in this method render its application problematic and its validity questionable. As an alternative we propose a statistically rigorous approach to infer nest type based on large datasets of eggshell porosity and egg mass compiled for over 120 extant archosaur species and 29 archosaur extinct taxa/ootaxa. The presence of a strong correlation between eggshell porosity and nest type among extant archosaurs indicates that eggshell porosity can be used as a proxy for nest type, and thus discriminant analyses can help predict nest type in extinct taxa. Our results suggest that: 1) covered nests are likely the primitive condition for dinosaurs (and probably archosaurs), and 2) open nests first evolved among non-avian theropods more derived than Lourinhanosaurus and were likely widespread in non-avian maniraptorans, well before the appearance of birds. Although taphonomic evidence suggests that basal open nesters (i.e., oviraptorosaurs and troodontids) were potentially the first dinosaurs to brood their clutches, they still partially buried their eggs in sediment. Open nests

  12. Eggshell Porosity Provides Insight on Evolution of Nesting in Dinosaurs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohei Tanaka

    Full Text Available Knowledge about the types of nests built by dinosaurs can provide insight into the evolution of nesting and reproductive behaviors among archosaurs. However, the low preservation potential of their nesting materials and nesting structures means that most information can only be gleaned indirectly through comparison with extant archosaurs. Two general nest types are recognized among living archosaurs: 1 covered nests, in which eggs are incubated while fully covered by nesting material (as in crocodylians and megapodes, and 2 open nests, in which eggs are exposed in the nest and brooded (as in most birds. Previously, dinosaur nest types had been inferred by estimating the water vapor conductance (i.e., diffusive capacity of their eggs, based on the premise that high conductance corresponds to covered nests and low conductance to open nests. However, a lack of statistical rigor and inconsistencies in this method render its application problematic and its validity questionable. As an alternative we propose a statistically rigorous approach to infer nest type based on large datasets of eggshell porosity and egg mass compiled for over 120 extant archosaur species and 29 archosaur extinct taxa/ootaxa. The presence of a strong correlation between eggshell porosity and nest type among extant archosaurs indicates that eggshell porosity can be used as a proxy for nest type, and thus discriminant analyses can help predict nest type in extinct taxa. Our results suggest that: 1 covered nests are likely the primitive condition for dinosaurs (and probably archosaurs, and 2 open nests first evolved among non-avian theropods more derived than Lourinhanosaurus and were likely widespread in non-avian maniraptorans, well before the appearance of birds. Although taphonomic evidence suggests that basal open nesters (i.e., oviraptorosaurs and troodontids were potentially the first dinosaurs to brood their clutches, they still partially buried their eggs in sediment

  13. Social network analysis provides insights into African swine fever epidemiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lichoti, Jacqueline Kasiiti; Davies, Jocelyn; Kitala, Philip M; Githigia, Samuel M; Okoth, Edward; Maru, Yiheyis; Bukachi, Salome A; Bishop, Richard P

    2016-04-01

    Pig movements play a significant role in the spread of economically important infectious diseases such as the African swine fever. Characterization of movement networks between pig farms and through other types of farm and household enterprises that are involved in pig value chains can provide useful information on the role that different participants in the networks play in pathogen transmission. Analysis of social networks that underpin these pig movements can reveal pathways that are important in the transmission of disease, trade in commodities, the dissemination of information and the influence of behavioural norms. We assessed pig movements among pig keeping households within West Kenya and East Uganda and across the shared Kenya-Uganda border in the study region, to gain insight into within-country and trans-boundary pig movements. Villages were sampled using a randomized cluster design. Data were collected through interviews in 2012 and 2013 from 683 smallholder pig-keeping households in 34 villages. NodeXL software was used to describe pig movement networks at village level. The pig movement and trade networks were localized and based on close social networks involving family ties, friendships and relationships with neighbours. Pig movement network modularity ranged from 0.2 to 0.5 and exhibited good community structure within the network implying an easy flow of knowledge and adoption of new attitudes and beliefs, but also promoting an enhanced rate of disease transmission. The average path length of 5 defined using NodeXL, indicated that disease could easily reach every node in a cluster. Cross-border boar service between Uganda and Kenya was also recorded. Unmonitored trade in both directions was prevalent. While most pig transactions in the absence of disease, were at a small scale (10km. The close social relationships between actors in pig movement networks indicate the potential for possible interventions to develop shared norms and mutually accepted

  14. The relationship between consumer insight and provider-consumer agreement regarding consumer's quality of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasson-Ohayon, Ilanit; Roe, David; Kravetz, Shlomo; Levy-Frank, Itamar; Meir, Taly

    2011-10-01

    This study examined the relationship between insight and mental health consumers and providers agreement regarding consumers rated quality of life (QoL). Seventy mental health consumers and their 23 care providers filled-out parallel questionnaires designed to measure consumer QoL. Consumers' insight was also assessed. For most QoL domains, agreement between consumers and providers was higher for persons with high insight. For the Psychological well being dimension a negative correlation was uncovered for persons with low insight indicating disagreement between consumer and provider. These findings are discussed within the context of the literature on insight and agreement between consumer and provider as related to the therapeutic alliance.

  15. iTRAQ-based comparative proteomic analysis provides insights into somatic embryogenesis in Gossypium hirsutum L.

    OpenAIRE

    Zhu, Hua-Guo; Cheng, Wen-Han; Tian, Wen-Gang; Li, Yang-Jun; Liu, Feng; Xue, Fei; Zhu, Qian-Hao; Sun, Yu-Qiang; Sun, Jie

    2017-01-01

    Key message iTRAQ based proteomic identified key proteins and provided new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying somatic embryogenesis in cotton. Abstract Somatic embryogenesis, which involves cell dedifferentiation and redifferentiation, has been used as a model system for understanding molecular events of plant embryo development in vitro. In this study, we performed comparative proteomics analysis using samples of non-embryogenic callus (NEC), embryogenic callus (EC) and somati...

  16. Athena: Providing Insight into the History of the Universe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Gloria A.

    2010-01-01

    The American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics has provided a Request for Proposal which calls for a manned mission to a Near-Earth Object. It is the goal of Team COLBERT to respond to their request by providing a reusable system that can be implemented as a solid stepping stone for future manned trips to Mars and beyond. Despite Team COLBERT consisting of only students in Aerospace Engineering, in order to achieve this feat, the team must employ the use of Systems Engineering. Tools and processes from Systems Engineering will provide quantitative and semi-quantitative tools for making design decisions and evaluating items such as budgets and schedules. This paper will provide an in-depth look at some of the Systems Engineering processes employed and will step through the design process of a Human Asteroid Exploration System.

  17. Multilayer optics provides laser--plasma-coupling insight

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Godwin, R.P.

    1995-01-01

    The Herpin theorem permits the reflectance of an arbitrary medium to be reproduced with a substrate of one complex refractive index overlaid with a coating film of a second complex refractive index and an appropriate thickness. The reflectances of a variety of laser--plasma-coupling experiments can be matched with a simple and physically meaningful procedure for choosing the fitting parameters. For short-pulse experiments, s-light coupling is dominated by substrate interactions at electron densities above critical and p-light coupling is dominated by resonance at the critical density. The weak dependence of resonance absorption on damping is the result of the harmonic-oscillator resonance form. As the plasma scale length becomes vanishingly small, the reflectance is that of the Fresnel equations, but surprisingly small plasma scale lengths have dramatic effects on the p-light reflectance. Film--substrate and WKB models predict similar resonance absorption, where both models are valid approximations and both should agree with multilayer and Helmholtz wave-optics calculations. For plasma scale lengths well below a wavelength, the film--substrate and the vacuum-heating models are closely related

  18. Habitat characteristics provide insights of carbon storage in seagrass meadows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazarrasa, Inés; Samper-Villarreal, Jimena; Serrano, Oscar; Lavery, Paul S; Lovelock, Catherine E; Marbà, Núria; Duarte, Carlos M; Cortés, Jorge

    2018-02-16

    Seagrass meadows provide multiple ecosystem services, yet they are among the most threatened ecosystems on earth. Because of their role as carbon sinks, protection and restoration of seagrass meadows contribute to climate change mitigation. Blue Carbon strategies aim to enhance CO 2 sequestration and avoid greenhouse gasses emissions through the management of coastal vegetated ecosystems, including seagrass meadows. The implementation of Blue Carbon strategies requires a good understanding of the habitat characteristics that influence C org sequestration. Here, we review the existing knowledge on Blue Carbon research in seagrass meadows to identify the key habitat characteristics that influence C org sequestration in seagrass meadows, those factors that threaten this function and those with unclear effects. We demonstrate that not all seagrass habitats have the same potential, identify research priorities and describe the implications of the results found for the implementation and development of efficient Blue Carbon strategies based on seagrass meadows. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Habitat characteristics provide insights of carbon storage in seagrass meadows

    KAUST Repository

    Mazarrasa, Inés

    2018-02-17

    Seagrass meadows provide multiple ecosystem services, yet they are among the most threatened ecosystems on earth. Because of their role as carbon sinks, protection and restoration of seagrass meadows contribute to climate change mitigation. Blue Carbon strategies aim to enhance CO2 sequestration and avoid greenhouse gasses emissions through the management of coastal vegetated ecosystems, including seagrass meadows. The implementation of Blue Carbon strategies requires a good understanding of the habitat characteristics that influence Corg sequestration. Here, we review the existing knowledge on Blue Carbon research in seagrass meadows to identify the key habitat characteristics that influence Corg sequestration in seagrass meadows, those factors that threaten this function and those with unclear effects. We demonstrate that not all seagrass habitats have the same potential, identify research priorities and describe the implications of the results found for the implementation and development of efficient Blue Carbon strategies based on seagrass meadows.

  20. The genome of Laccaria bicolor provides insights into mycorrhizal symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, F; Aerts, A; Ahrén, D; Brun, A; Danchin, E G J; Duchaussoy, F; Gibon, J; Kohler, A; Lindquist, E; Pereda, V; Salamov, A; Shapiro, H J; Wuyts, J; Blaudez, D; Buée, M; Brokstein, P; Canbäck, B; Cohen, D; Courty, P E; Coutinho, P M; Delaruelle, C; Detter, J C; Deveau, A; DiFazio, S; Duplessis, S; Fraissinet-Tachet, L; Lucic, E; Frey-Klett, P; Fourrey, C; Feussner, I; Gay, G; Grimwood, J; Hoegger, P J; Jain, P; Kilaru, S; Labbé, J; Lin, Y C; Legué, V; Le Tacon, F; Marmeisse, R; Melayah, D; Montanini, B; Muratet, M; Nehls, U; Niculita-Hirzel, H; Oudot-Le Secq, M P; Peter, M; Quesneville, H; Rajashekar, B; Reich, M; Rouhier, N; Schmutz, J; Yin, T; Chalot, M; Henrissat, B; Kües, U; Lucas, S; Van de Peer, Y; Podila, G K; Polle, A; Pukkila, P J; Richardson, P M; Rouzé, P; Sanders, I R; Stajich, J E; Tunlid, A; Tuskan, G; Grigoriev, I V

    2008-03-06

    Mycorrhizal symbioses--the union of roots and soil fungi--are universal in terrestrial ecosystems and may have been fundamental to land colonization by plants. Boreal, temperate and montane forests all depend on ectomycorrhizae. Identification of the primary factors that regulate symbiotic development and metabolic activity will therefore open the door to understanding the role of ectomycorrhizae in plant development and physiology, allowing the full ecological significance of this symbiosis to be explored. Here we report the genome sequence of the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Laccaria bicolor (Fig. 1) and highlight gene sets involved in rhizosphere colonization and symbiosis. This 65-megabase genome assembly contains approximately 20,000 predicted protein-encoding genes and a very large number of transposons and repeated sequences. We detected unexpected genomic features, most notably a battery of effector-type small secreted proteins (SSPs) with unknown function, several of which are only expressed in symbiotic tissues. The most highly expressed SSP accumulates in the proliferating hyphae colonizing the host root. The ectomycorrhizae-specific SSPs probably have a decisive role in the establishment of the symbiosis. The unexpected observation that the genome of L. bicolor lacks carbohydrate-active enzymes involved in degradation of plant cell walls, but maintains the ability to degrade non-plant cell wall polysaccharides, reveals the dual saprotrophic and biotrophic lifestyle of the mycorrhizal fungus that enables it to grow within both soil and living plant roots. The predicted gene inventory of the L. bicolor genome, therefore, points to previously unknown mechanisms of symbiosis operating in biotrophic mycorrhizal fungi. The availability of this genome provides an unparalleled opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the processes by which symbionts interact with plants within their ecosystem to perform vital functions in the carbon and nitrogen cycles

  1. The genome of Laccaria bicolor provides insights into mycorrhizal symbiosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, F.; Aerts, A.; Ahren, D.; Brun, A.; Danchin, E. G. J.; Duchaussoy, F.; Gibon, J.; Kohler, A.; Lindquist, E.; Peresa, V.; Salamov, A.; Shapiro, H. J.; Wuyts, J.; Blaudez, D.; Buee, M.; Brokstein, P.; Canback, B.; Cohen, D.; Courty, P. E.; Coutinho, P. M.; Delaruelle, C.; Detter, J. C.; Deveau, A.; DiFazio, S.; Duplessis, S.; Fraissinet-Tachet, L.; Lucic, E.; Frey-Klett, P.; Fourrey, C.; Feussner, I.; Gay, G.; Grimwood, J.; Hoegger, P. J.; Jain, P.; Kilaru, S.; Labbe, J.; Lin, Y. C.; Legue, V.; Le Tacon, F.; Marmeisse, R.; Melayah, D.; Montanini, B.; Muratet, M.; Nehls, U.; Niculita-Hirzel, H.; Secq, M. P. Oudot-Le; Peter, M.; Quesneville, H.; Rajashekar, B.; Reich, M.; Rouhier, N.; Schmutz, J.; Yin, T.; Chalot, M.; Henrissat, B.; Kues, U.; Lucas, S.; Van de Peer, Y.; Podila, G. K.; Polle, A.; Pukkila, P. J.; Richardson, P. M.; Rouze, P.; Sanders, I. R.; Stajich, J. E.; Tunlid, A.; Tuskan, G.; Grigoriev, I. V.

    2007-08-10

    Mycorrhizal symbioses the union of roots and soil fungi are universal in terrestrial ecosystems and may have been fundamental to land colonization by plants 1, 2. Boreal, temperate and montane forests all depend on ectomycorrhizae1. Identification of the primary factors that regulate symbiotic development and metabolic activity will therefore open the door to understanding the role of ectomycorrhizae in plant development and physiology, allowing the full ecological significance of this symbiosis to be explored. Here we report the genome sequence of the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Laccaria bicolor (Fig. 1) and highlight gene sets involved in rhizosphere colonization and symbiosis. This 65-megabase genome assembly contains 20,000 predicted protein-encoding genes and a very large number of transposons and repeated sequences. We detected unexpected genomic features, most notably a battery of effector-type small secreted proteins (SSPs) with unknown function, several of which are only expressed in symbiotic tissues. The most highly expressed SSP accumulates in the proliferating hyphae colonizing the host root. The ectomycorrhizae-specific SSPs probably have a decisive role in the establishment of the symbiosis. The unexpected observation that the genome of L. bicolor lacks carbohydrate-active enzymes involved in degradation of plant cell walls, but maintains the ability to degrade non-plant cell wall polysaccharides, reveals the dual saprotrophic and biotrophic lifestyle of the mycorrhizal fungus that enables it to grow within both soil and living plant roots. The predicted gene inventory of the L. bicolor genome, therefore, points to previously unknown mechanisms of symbiosis operating in biotrophic mycorrhizal fungi. The availability of this genome provides an unparalleled opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the processes by which symbionts interact with plants within their ecosystem to perform vital functions in the carbon and nitrogen cycles that are

  2. Modelling marine protected areas: insights and hurdles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulton, Elizabeth A.; Bax, Nicholas J.; Bustamante, Rodrigo H.; Dambacher, Jeffrey M.; Dichmont, Catherine; Dunstan, Piers K.; Hayes, Keith R.; Hobday, Alistair J.; Pitcher, Roland; Plagányi, Éva E.; Punt, André E.; Savina-Rolland, Marie; Smith, Anthony D. M.; Smith, David C.

    2015-01-01

    Models provide useful insights into conservation and resource management issues and solutions. Their use to date has highlighted conditions under which no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) may help us to achieve the goals of ecosystem-based management by reducing pressures, and where they might fail to achieve desired goals. For example, static reserve designs are unlikely to achieve desired objectives when applied to mobile species or when compromised by climate-related ecosystem restructuring and range shifts. Modelling tools allow planners to explore a range of options, such as basing MPAs on the presence of dynamic oceanic features, and to evaluate the potential future impacts of alternative interventions compared with ‘no-action’ counterfactuals, under a range of environmental and development scenarios. The modelling environment allows the analyst to test if indicators and management strategies are robust to uncertainties in how the ecosystem (and the broader human–ecosystem combination) operates, including the direct and indirect ecological effects of protection. Moreover, modelling results can be presented at multiple spatial and temporal scales, and relative to ecological, economic and social objectives. This helps to reveal potential ‘surprises', such as regime shifts, trophic cascades and bottlenecks in human responses. Using illustrative examples, this paper briefly covers the history of the use of simulation models for evaluating MPA options, and discusses their utility and limitations for informing protected area management in the marine realm. PMID:26460131

  3. Mechanisms of bacterial morphogenesis: evolutionary cell biology approaches provide new insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Chao; Caccamo, Paul D; Brun, Yves V

    2015-04-01

    How Darwin's "endless forms most beautiful" have evolved remains one of the most exciting questions in biology. The significant variety of bacterial shapes is most likely due to the specific advantages they confer with respect to the diverse environments they occupy. While our understanding of the mechanisms generating relatively simple shapes has improved tremendously in the last few years, the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of complex shapes and the evolution of shape diversity are largely unknown. The emerging field of bacterial evolutionary cell biology provides a novel strategy to answer this question in a comparative phylogenetic framework. This relatively novel approach provides hypotheses and insights into cell biological mechanisms, such as morphogenesis, and their evolution that would have been difficult to obtain by studying only model organisms. We discuss the necessary steps, challenges, and impact of integrating "evolutionary thinking" into bacterial cell biology in the genomic era. © 2015 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Structure of the Hantavirus Nucleoprotein Provides Insights into the Mechanism of RNA Encapsidation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Olal

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Hantaviruses are etiological agents of life-threatening hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome. The nucleoprotein (N of hantavirus is essential for viral transcription and replication, thus representing an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. We have determined the crystal structure of hantavirus N to 3.2 Å resolution. The structure reveals a two-lobed, mostly α-helical structure that is distantly related to that of orthobunyavirus Ns. A basic RNA binding pocket is located at the intersection between the two lobes. We provide evidence that oligomerization is mediated by amino- and C-terminal arms that bind to the adjacent monomers. Based on these findings, we suggest a model for the oligomeric ribonucleoprotein (RNP complex. Our structure provides mechanistic insights into RNA encapsidation in the genus Hantavirus and constitutes a template for drug discovery efforts aimed at combating hantavirus infections.

  5. New insights in permafrost modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tubini, Niccolò; Serafin, Francesco; Gruber, Stephan; Casulli, Vincenzo; Rigon, Riccardo

    2017-04-01

    Simulating freezing soil has ignored for long time in mainstream surface hydrology. However, it has indubitably a large influence on soil infiltrability and an even larger influence on the soil energy budget, and, over large spatial scales, a considerable feedback on climate. The topic is difficult because it involves concepts of disequilibrium Thermodynamics and also because, once solved the theoretical problem, integration of the resulting partial differential equations in a robust manner, is not trivial at all. In this abstract, we are presenting a new algorithm to estimate the water and energy budget in freezing soils. The first step is a derivation of a new equation for freezing soil mass budget (called generalized Richards equation) based on the freezing equals drying hypothesis (Miller 1965). The second step is the re-derivation of the energy budget. Finally there is the application of new techniques based on the double nested Newton algorithm (Casulli and Zanolli, 2010) to integrate the coupled equations. Some examples of the freezing dynamics and comparison with the Dall'Amico et al. (2011) algorithm are also shown. References Casulli, V., & Zanolli,P. (2010). A nested newton-type algorithm for finite colume methods solving Richards' equation in mixed form. SIAM J. SCI. Comput., 32(4), 2225-2273. Dall'Amico, M., Endrizzi, S., Gruber, S., & Rigon, R. (2011). A robust and energy-conserving model of freezing variably-saturated soil. The Cryosphere, 5(2), 469-484. http://doi.org/10.5194/tc-5-469-2011 Miller, R.: Phase equilibria and soil freezing, in: Permafrost: Proceedings of the Second International Conference. Washington DC: National Academy of Science-National Research Council, 287, 193-197, 1965.

  6. A Mathematical Model of Tryptophan Metabolism via the Kynurenine Pathway Provides Insights into the Effects of Vitamin B-6 Deficiency, Tryptophan Loading, and Induction of Tryptophan 2,3-Dioxygenase on Tryptophan Metabolites123

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rios-Avila, Luisa; Nijhout, H. Frederik; Reed, Michael C.; Sitren, Harry S.; Gregory, Jesse F.

    2013-01-01

    Vitamin B-6 deficiency is associated with impaired tryptophan metabolism because of the coenzyme role of pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP) for kynureninase and kynurenine aminotransferase. To investigate the underlying mechanism, we developed a mathematical model of tryptophan metabolism via the kynurenine pathway. The model includes mammalian data on enzyme kinetics and tryptophan transport from the intestinal lumen to liver, muscle, and brain. Regulatory mechanisms and inhibition of relevant enzymes were included. We simulated the effects of graded reduction in cellular PLP concentration, tryptophan loads and induction of tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) on metabolite profiles and urinary excretion. The model predictions matched experimental data and provided clarification of the response of metabolites in various extents of vitamin B-6 deficiency. We found that moderate deficiency yielded increased 3-hydroxykynurenine and a decrease in kynurenic acid and anthranilic acid. More severe deficiency also yielded an increase in kynurenine and xanthurenic acid and more pronounced effects on the other metabolites. Tryptophan load simulations with and without vitamin B-6 deficiency showed altered metabolite concentrations consistent with published data. Induction of TDO caused an increase in all metabolites, and TDO induction together with a simulated vitamin B-6 deficiency, as has been reported in oral contraceptive users, yielded increases in kynurenine, 3-hydroxykynurenine, and xanthurenic acid and decreases in kynurenic acid and anthranilic acid. These results show that the model successfully simulated tryptophan metabolism via the kynurenine pathway and can be used to complement experimental investigations. PMID:23902960

  7. Human acid sphingomyelinase structures provide insight to molecular basis of Niemann–Pick disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, Yan-Feng; Metcalf, Matthew C.; Garman, Scott C.; Edmunds, Tim; Qiu, Huawei; Wei, Ronnie R. (Sanofi Aventis); (UMASS, Amherst)

    2016-10-26

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) hydrolyzes sphingomyelin to ceramide and phosphocholine, essential components of myelin in neurons. Genetic alterations in ASM lead to ASM deficiency (ASMD) and have been linked to Niemann–Pick disease types A and B. Olipudase alfa, a recombinant form of human ASM, is being developed as enzyme replacement therapy to treat the non-neurological manifestations of ASMD. Here we present the human ASM holoenzyme and product bound structures encompassing all of the functional domains. The catalytic domain has a metallophosphatase fold, and two zinc ions and one reaction product phosphocholine are identified in a histidine-rich active site. The structures reveal the underlying catalytic mechanism, in which two zinc ions activate a water molecule for nucleophilic attack of the phosphodiester bond. Docking of sphingomyelin provides a model that allows insight into the selectivity of the enzyme and how the ASM domains collaborate to complete hydrolysis. Mapping of known mutations provides a basic understanding on correlations between enzyme dysfunction and phenotypes observed in ASMD patients.

  8. The Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center (CEMAC): Providing Analysis and Insights on Clean Technology Manufacturing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, Nicholi S [National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)

    2017-09-28

    The U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center (CEMAC) provides objective analysis and up-to-date data on global supply chains and manufacturing of clean energy technologies. Policymakers and industry leaders seek CEMAC insights to inform choices to promote economic growth and the transition to a clean energy economy.

  9. Hybrid discrete choice models: Gained insights versus increasing effort

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mariel, Petr; Meyerhoff, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    Hybrid choice models expand the standard models in discrete choice modelling by incorporating psychological factors as latent variables. They could therefore provide further insights into choice processes and underlying taste heterogeneity but the costs of estimating these models often significantly increase. This paper aims at comparing the results from a hybrid choice model and a classical random parameter logit. Point of departure for this analysis is whether researchers and practitioners should add hybrid choice models to their suite of models routinely estimated. Our comparison reveals, in line with the few prior studies, that hybrid models gain in efficiency by the inclusion of additional information. The use of one of the two proposed approaches, however, depends on the objective of the analysis. If disentangling preference heterogeneity is most important, hybrid model seems to be preferable. If the focus is on predictive power, a standard random parameter logit model might be the better choice. Finally, we give recommendations for an adequate use of hybrid choice models based on known principles of elementary scientific inference. - Highlights: • The paper compares performance of a Hybrid Choice Model (HCM) and a classical Random Parameter Logit (RPL) model. • The HCM indeed provides insights regarding preference heterogeneity not gained from the RPL. • The RPL has similar predictive power as the HCM in our data. • The costs of estimating HCM seem to be justified when learning more on taste heterogeneity is a major study objective.

  10. Hybrid discrete choice models: Gained insights versus increasing effort

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mariel, Petr, E-mail: petr.mariel@ehu.es [UPV/EHU, Economía Aplicada III, Avda. Lehendakari Aguire, 83, 48015 Bilbao (Spain); Meyerhoff, Jürgen [Institute for Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, Technical University of Berlin, D-10623 Berlin, Germany and The Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Duesternbrooker Weg 120, 24105 Kiel (Germany)

    2016-10-15

    Hybrid choice models expand the standard models in discrete choice modelling by incorporating psychological factors as latent variables. They could therefore provide further insights into choice processes and underlying taste heterogeneity but the costs of estimating these models often significantly increase. This paper aims at comparing the results from a hybrid choice model and a classical random parameter logit. Point of departure for this analysis is whether researchers and practitioners should add hybrid choice models to their suite of models routinely estimated. Our comparison reveals, in line with the few prior studies, that hybrid models gain in efficiency by the inclusion of additional information. The use of one of the two proposed approaches, however, depends on the objective of the analysis. If disentangling preference heterogeneity is most important, hybrid model seems to be preferable. If the focus is on predictive power, a standard random parameter logit model might be the better choice. Finally, we give recommendations for an adequate use of hybrid choice models based on known principles of elementary scientific inference. - Highlights: • The paper compares performance of a Hybrid Choice Model (HCM) and a classical Random Parameter Logit (RPL) model. • The HCM indeed provides insights regarding preference heterogeneity not gained from the RPL. • The RPL has similar predictive power as the HCM in our data. • The costs of estimating HCM seem to be justified when learning more on taste heterogeneity is a major study objective.

  11. Canine CNGA3 Gene Mutations Provide Novel Insights into Human Achromatopsia-Associated Channelopathies and Treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Naoto; Dutrow, Emily V; Miyadera, Keiko; Delemotte, Lucie; MacDermaid, Christopher M; Reinstein, Shelby L; Crumley, William R; Dixon, Christopher J; Casal, Margret L; Klein, Michael L; Aguirre, Gustavo D; Tanaka, Jacqueline C; Guziewicz, Karina E

    2015-01-01

    Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) ion channels are key mediators underlying signal transduction in retinal and olfactory receptors. Genetic defects in CNGA3 and CNGB3, encoding two structurally related subunits of cone CNG channels, lead to achromatopsia (ACHM). ACHM is a congenital, autosomal recessive retinal disorder that manifests by cone photoreceptor dysfunction, severely reduced visual acuity, impaired or complete color blindness and photophobia. Here, we report the first canine models for CNGA3-associated channelopathy caused by R424W or V644del mutations in the canine CNGA3 ortholog that accurately mimic the clinical and molecular features of human CNGA3-associated ACHM. These two spontaneous mutations exposed CNGA3 residues essential for the preservation of channel function and biogenesis. The CNGA3-R424W results in complete loss of cone function in vivo and channel activity confirmed by in vitro electrophysiology. Structural modeling and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations revealed R424-E306 salt bridge formation and its disruption with the R424W mutant. Reversal of charges in a CNGA3-R424E-E306R double mutant channel rescued cGMP-activated currents uncovering new insights into channel gating. The CNGA3-V644del affects the C-terminal leucine zipper (CLZ) domain destabilizing intersubunit interactions of the coiled-coil complex in the MD simulations; the in vitro experiments showed incompetent trimeric CNGA3 subunit assembly consistent with abnormal biogenesis of in vivo channels. These newly characterized large animal models not only provide a valuable system for studying cone-specific CNG channel function in health and disease, but also represent prime candidates for proof-of-concept studies of CNGA3 gene replacement therapy for ACHM patients.

  12. Canine CNGA3 Gene Mutations Provide Novel Insights into Human Achromatopsia-Associated Channelopathies and Treatment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naoto Tanaka

    Full Text Available Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG ion channels are key mediators underlying signal transduction in retinal and olfactory receptors. Genetic defects in CNGA3 and CNGB3, encoding two structurally related subunits of cone CNG channels, lead to achromatopsia (ACHM. ACHM is a congenital, autosomal recessive retinal disorder that manifests by cone photoreceptor dysfunction, severely reduced visual acuity, impaired or complete color blindness and photophobia. Here, we report the first canine models for CNGA3-associated channelopathy caused by R424W or V644del mutations in the canine CNGA3 ortholog that accurately mimic the clinical and molecular features of human CNGA3-associated ACHM. These two spontaneous mutations exposed CNGA3 residues essential for the preservation of channel function and biogenesis. The CNGA3-R424W results in complete loss of cone function in vivo and channel activity confirmed by in vitro electrophysiology. Structural modeling and molecular dynamics (MD simulations revealed R424-E306 salt bridge formation and its disruption with the R424W mutant. Reversal of charges in a CNGA3-R424E-E306R double mutant channel rescued cGMP-activated currents uncovering new insights into channel gating. The CNGA3-V644del affects the C-terminal leucine zipper (CLZ domain destabilizing intersubunit interactions of the coiled-coil complex in the MD simulations; the in vitro experiments showed incompetent trimeric CNGA3 subunit assembly consistent with abnormal biogenesis of in vivo channels. These newly characterized large animal models not only provide a valuable system for studying cone-specific CNG channel function in health and disease, but also represent prime candidates for proof-of-concept studies of CNGA3 gene replacement therapy for ACHM patients.

  13. Dynamic statistical models of biological cognition: insights from communications theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Rodrick

    2014-10-01

    Maturana's cognitive perspective on the living state, Dretske's insight on how information theory constrains cognition, the Atlan/Cohen cognitive paradigm, and models of intelligence without representation, permit construction of a spectrum of dynamic necessary conditions statistical models of signal transduction, regulation, and metabolism at and across the many scales and levels of organisation of an organism and its context. Nonequilibrium critical phenomena analogous to physical phase transitions, driven by crosstalk, will be ubiquitous, representing not only signal switching, but the recruitment of underlying cognitive modules into tunable dynamic coalitions that address changing patterns of need and opportunity at all scales and levels of organisation. The models proposed here, while certainly providing much conceptual insight, should be most useful in the analysis of empirical data, much as are fitted regression equations.

  14. Transcriptional Profiling of a Yeast Colony Provides New Insight into the Heterogeneity of Multicellular Fungal Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traven, Ana; Jänicke, Amrei; Harrison, Paul; Swaminathan, Angavai; Seemann, Torsten; Beilharz, Traude H.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding multicellular fungal structures is important for designing better strategies against human fungal pathogens. For example, the ability to form multicellular biofilms is a key virulence property of the yeast Candida albicans. C. albicans biofilms form on indwelling medical devices and are drug resistant, causing serious infections in hospital settings. Multicellular fungal communities are heterogeneous, consisting of cells experiencing different environments. Heterogeneity is likely important for the phenotypic characteristics of communities, yet it is poorly understood. Here we used colonies of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model fungal multicellular structure. We fractionated the outside colony layers from the cells in the center by FACS, using a Cit1-GFP marker expressed exclusively on the outside. Transcriptomics analysis of the two subpopulations revealed that the outside colony layers are actively growing by fermentative metabolism, while the cells residing on the inside are in a resting state and experience changes to mitochondrial activity. Our data shows several parallels with C. albicans biofilms providing insight into the contributions of heterogeneity to biofilm phenotypes. Hallmarks of C. albicans biofilms – the expression of ribosome and translation functions and activation of glycolysis and ergosterol biosynthesis occur on the outside of colonies, while expression of genes associates with sulfur assimilation is observed in the colony center. Cell wall restructuring occurs in biofilms, and cell wall functions are enriched in both fractions: the outside cells display enrichment of cell wall biosynthesis enzymes and cell wall proteins, while the inside cells express cell wall degrading enzymes. Our study also suggests that noncoding transcription and posttranscriptional mRNA regulation play important roles during growth of yeast in colonies, setting the scene for investigating these pathways in the development of multicellular

  15. Transcriptional profiling of a yeast colony provides new insight into the heterogeneity of multicellular fungal communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Traven

    Full Text Available Understanding multicellular fungal structures is important for designing better strategies against human fungal pathogens. For example, the ability to form multicellular biofilms is a key virulence property of the yeast Candida albicans. C. albicans biofilms form on indwelling medical devices and are drug resistant, causing serious infections in hospital settings. Multicellular fungal communities are heterogeneous, consisting of cells experiencing different environments. Heterogeneity is likely important for the phenotypic characteristics of communities, yet it is poorly understood. Here we used colonies of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model fungal multicellular structure. We fractionated the outside colony layers from the cells in the center by FACS, using a Cit1-GFP marker expressed exclusively on the outside. Transcriptomics analysis of the two subpopulations revealed that the outside colony layers are actively growing by fermentative metabolism, while the cells residing on the inside are in a resting state and experience changes to mitochondrial activity. Our data shows several parallels with C. albicans biofilms providing insight into the contributions of heterogeneity to biofilm phenotypes. Hallmarks of C. albicans biofilms - the expression of ribosome and translation functions and activation of glycolysis and ergosterol biosynthesis occur on the outside of colonies, while expression of genes associates with sulfur assimilation is observed in the colony center. Cell wall restructuring occurs in biofilms, and cell wall functions are enriched in both fractions: the outside cells display enrichment of cell wall biosynthesis enzymes and cell wall proteins, while the inside cells express cell wall degrading enzymes. Our study also suggests that noncoding transcription and posttranscriptional mRNA regulation play important roles during growth of yeast in colonies, setting the scene for investigating these pathways in the development

  16. Insights into the mechanisms of absence seizure generation provided by EEG with Functional MRI.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick William Carney

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Absence seizures are brief epileptic events characterized by loss of awareness with subtle motor features. They may be very frequent, and impact on attention, learning and memory. A number of pathophysiological models have been developed to explain the mechanism of absence seizure generation which rely heavily on observations from animal studies. Studying the structural and functional relationships between large-scale brain networks in humans is only practical with non-invasive whole brain techniques. EEG with functional MRI (EEG-fMRI is one such technique that provides an opportunity to explore the interactions between brain structures involved in AS generation. A number of fMRI techniques including event-related analysis, time course analysis and functional connectivity have identified a common network of structures involved in AS seizures. This network comprises the thalamus, midline and lateral parietal cortex (the default mode network [DMN], caudate nuclei and the reticular structures of the pons. The main component displaying an increase in BOLD signal relative to the resting state, in group studies, is the thalamus while the most consistent cortical change is reduced BOLD signal in the DMN. Time course analysis shows that, rather than some structures being activated or inactivated during AS, there appears to be increase in activity across components of the network preceding or following the electro-clinical onset of the seizure. The earliest change in BOLD signal occurs in the DMN, prior to the onset of epileptiform events. This region also shows altered functional connectivity in patients with absence seizures. Hence it appears that engagement of this network is central to absence seizures. In this review we will explore the insights EEG-fMRI studies into the mechanisms of AS and considers how the DMN is likely to be the major large scale brain network central to both seizure generation and the seizure manifestations.

  17. Complexes of Thermotoga maritima S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase provide insights into substrate specificity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bale, Shridhar; Baba, Kavita; McCloskey, Diane E.; Pegg, Anthony E.; Ealick, Steven E.

    2010-06-25

    The polyamines putrescine, spermidine and spermine are ubiquitous aliphatic cations and are essential for cellular growth and differentiation. S-Adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (AdoMetDC) is a critical pyruvoyl-dependent enzyme in the polyamine-biosynthetic pathway. The crystal structures of AdoMetDC from humans and plants and of the AdoMetDC proenzyme from Thermotoga maritima have been obtained previously. Here, the crystal structures of activated T. maritima AdoMetDC (TmAdoMetDC) and of its complexes with S-adenosylmethionine methyl ester and 5{prime}-deoxy-5{prime}-dimethylthioadenosine are reported. The results demonstrate for the first time that TmAdoMetDC autoprocesses without the need for additional factors and that the enzyme contains two complete active sites, both of which use residues from both chains of the homodimer. The complexes provide insights into the substrate specificity and ligand binding of AdoMetDC in prokaryotes. The conservation of the ligand-binding mode and the active-site residues between human and T. maritima AdoMetDC provides insight into the evolution of AdoMetDC.

  18. Quantitative proteomics and bioinformatic analysis provide new insight into protein function during avian eggshell biomineralization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marie, Pauline; Labas, Valérie; Brionne, Aurélien; Harichaux, Grégoire; Hennequet-Antier, Christelle; Nys, Yves; Gautron, Joël

    2015-01-15

    are associated with distinct populations of matrix proteins that are secreted into the acellular uterine fluid as modulators of the process. The recent development of high-throughput methods has led to the identification of many proteins in the shell, but little is known concerning their role in shell formation. In order to determine precisely the importance of particular proteins relative to eggshell mineralization, this project used qualitative and quantitative proteomics of the uterine fluid constituents, coupled with bioinformatic analysis, to predict the functional role of proteins secreted at each of the three main stages of shell calcification. Besides its relevance to food production and to hen reproduction, eggshell calcification is furthermore a relevant model for studying calcium carbonate biomineralization on a two-dimensional membrane support. Better understanding of this process will provide insight into the fabrication of ceramics at ambient pressure and temperature. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Comparative Genome Analysis Provides Insights into the Pathogenicity of Flavobacterium psychrophilum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Castillo, Daniel; Christiansen, Rói Hammershaimb; Dalsgaard, Inger

    2016-01-01

    Flavobacterium psychrophilum is a fish pathogen in salmonid aquaculture worldwide that causes cold water disease (CWD) and rainbow trout fry syndrome (RTFS). Comparative genome analyses of 11 F. psychrophilum isolates representing temporally and geographically distant populations were used...... the strains with respect to biofilm formation and secretion of extracellular enzymes. Global scale dispersion of virulence factors in the genomes and the abilities for biofilm formation, hemolytic activity and secretion of extracellular enzymes among the strains suggested that F. psychrophilum isolates have...... a similar mode of action on adhesion, colonization and destruction of fish tissues across large spatial and temporal scales of occurrence. Overall, the genomic characterization and phenotypic properties may provide new insights to the mechanisms of pathogenicity in F. psychrophilum....

  20. Crystal structures of Dronpa complexed with quenchable metal ions provide insight into metal biosensor development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, In Jung; Kim, Sangsoo; Park, Jeahyun; Eom, Intae; Kim, Sunam; Kim, Jin-Hong; Ha, Sung Chul; Kim, Yeon Gil; Hwang, Kwang Yeon; Nam, Ki Hyun

    2016-09-01

    Many fluorescent proteins (FPs) show fluorescence quenching by specific metal ions, which can be applied towards metal biosensor development. In this study, we investigated the significant fluorescence quenching of Dronpa by Co(2+) and Cu(2+) ions. Crystal structures of Co(2+) -, Ni(2+) - and Cu(2+) -bound Dronpa revealed previously unseen, unique, metal-binding sites for fluorescence quenching. These metal ions commonly interact with surface-exposed histidine residues (His194-His210 and His210-His212), and interact indirectly with chromophores. Structural analysis of the Co(2+) - and Cu(2+) - binding sites of Dronpa provides insight into FP-based metal biosensor engineering. © 2016 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  1. Characterization of Giant Modular PKSs Provides Insight into Genetic Mechanism for Structural Diversification of Aminopolyol Polyketides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lihan; Hashimoto, Takuya; Qin, Bin; Hashimoto, Junko; Kozone, Ikuko; Kawahara, Teppei; Okada, Masahiro; Awakawa, Takayoshi; Ito, Takuya; Asakawa, Yoshinori; Ueki, Masashi; Takahashi, Shunji; Osada, Hiroyuki; Wakimoto, Toshiyuki; Ikeda, Haruo; Shin-Ya, Kazuo; Abe, Ikuro

    2017-02-06

    Polyketides form many clinically valuable compounds. However, manipulation of their biosynthesis remains highly challenging. An understanding of gene cluster evolution provides a rationale for reprogramming of the biosynthetic machinery. Herein, we report characterization of giant modular polyketide synthases (PKSs) responsible for the production of aminopolyol polyketides. Heterologous expression of over 150 kbp polyketide gene clusters successfully afforded their products, whose stereochemistry was established by taking advantage of bioinformatic analysis. Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis of highly homologous but functionally diverse domains from the giant PKSs demonstrated the evolutionary mechanism for structural diversification of polyketides. The gene clusters characterized herein, together with their evolutionary insights, are promising genetic building blocks for de novo production of unnatural polyketides. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Crystal structure of a claudin provides insight into the architecture of tight junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Hiroshi; Nishizawa, Tomohiro; Tani, Kazutoshi; Yamazaki, Yuji; Tamura, Atsushi; Ishitani, Ryuichiro; Dohmae, Naoshi; Tsukita, Sachiko; Nureki, Osamu; Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2014-04-18

    Tight junctions are cell-cell adhesion structures in epithelial cell sheets that surround organ compartments in multicellular organisms and regulate the permeation of ions through the intercellular space. Claudins are the major constituents of tight junctions and form strands that mediate cell adhesion and function as paracellular barriers. We report the structure of mammalian claudin-15 at a resolution of 2.4 angstroms. The structure reveals a characteristic β-sheet fold comprising two extracellular segments, which is anchored to a transmembrane four-helix bundle by a consensus motif. Our analyses suggest potential paracellular pathways with distinctive charges on the extracellular surface, providing insight into the molecular basis of ion homeostasis across tight junctions.

  3. Feathered non-avian dinosaurs from North America provide insight into wing origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zelenitsky, Darla K; Therrien, François; Erickson, Gregory M; DeBuhr, Christopher L; Kobayashi, Yoshitsugu; Eberth, David A; Hadfield, Frank

    2012-10-26

    Previously described feathered dinosaurs reveal a fascinating record of feather evolution, although substantial phylogenetic gaps remain. Here we report the occurrence of feathers in ornithomimosaurs, a clade of non-maniraptoran theropods for which fossilized feathers were previously unknown. The Ornithomimus specimens, recovered from Upper Cretaceous deposits of Alberta, Canada, provide new insights into dinosaur plumage and the origin of the avian wing. Individuals from different growth stages reveal the presence of a filamentous feather covering throughout life and winglike structures on the forelimbs of adults. The appearance of winglike structures in older animals indicates that they may have evolved in association with reproductive behaviors. These specimens show that primordial wings originated earlier than previously thought, among non-maniraptoran theropods.

  4. Comparative Analysis of Bat Genomes Provides Insight into the Evolution of Flight and Immunity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Guojie; Cowled, Christopher; Shi, Zhengli

    2013-01-01

    Bats are the only mammals capable of sustained flight and are notorious reservoir hosts for some of the world's most highly pathogenic viruses, including Nipah, Hendra, Ebola, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). To identify genetic changes associated with the development of bat......-specific traits, we performed whole-genome sequencing and comparative analyses of two distantly related bat species, fruit bat Pteropus alecto and insectivorous Myotis davidii. We discovered an unexpected concentration of positively selected genes in the DNA damage checkpoint and nuclear factor-¿B pathways...... that may be related to the origin of flight, as well as expansion and contraction of important gene families. Comparison of bat genomes with other mammalian species has provided new insights into bat biology and evolution....

  5. A Renaissance in Nepovirus Research Provides New Insights Into Their Molecular Interface With Hosts and Vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchs, M; Schmitt-Keichinger, C; Sanfaçon, H

    2017-01-01

    Nepoviruses supplied seminal landmarks to the historical trail of plant virology. Among the first agriculturally relevant viruses recognized in the late 1920s and among the first plant viruses officially classified in the early 1970s, nepoviruses also comprise the first species for which a soil-borne ectoparasitic nematode vector was identified. Early research on nepoviruses shed light on the genome structure and expression, biological properties of the two genomic RNAs, and mode of transmission. In recent years, research on nepoviruses enjoyed an extraordinary renaissance. This resurgence provided new insights into the molecular interface between viruses and their plant hosts, and between viruses and dagger nematode vectors to advance our understanding of some of the major steps of the infectious cycle. Here we examine these recent findings, highlight ongoing work, and offer some perspectives for future research. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Trunk anomalies in the centipede Stigmatogaster subterranea provide insight into late-embryonic segmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leśniewska, Małgorzata; Bonato, Lucio; Minelli, Alessandro; Fusco, Giuseppe

    2009-09-01

    We describe and analyze naturally occurring anomalies in the segmental structures of the trunk in an isolated population of the geophilomorph centipede Stigmatogaster subterranea. Recorded anomalies include mispaired tergites, shrunk segments, variously deformed sclerites, bifurcated trunk, and defects of spiracles and sternal pore areas. One specimen has a perfect segmentally patterned trunk, but with an even number of leg-bearing segments, representing the first record of such a phenotype in adult centipedes. We interpret these anomalies as the effects of perturbation of specific morphogenetic processes in trunk segmentation, occurring at different embryonic stages. The variety of segmental anomalies found in this population provides insights into the developmental process of segmentation and its evolution in geophilomorph centipedes. Variation in dorsal mispairing anomalies demonstrates that segments, as traditionally defined in arthropod morphology, are not the effective developmental units throughout embryogenesis.

  7. Complementation studies with the novel "Bungowannah" virus provide new insights in the compatibility of pestivirus proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Maria; Reimann, Ilona; Wegelt, Anne; Kirkland, Peter D; Beer, Martin

    2011-09-30

    In recent years several atypical pestiviruses have been described. Bungowannah virus is the most divergent virus in this group. Therefore, heterologous complementation was used to clarify the phylogenetic relationship and to analyze the exchangeability of genome regions encoding structural proteins. Using a BVDV type 1 backbone, chimeric constructs with substituted envelope proteins E(rns), E1 and E2, were investigated. While all constructs replicated autonomously, infectious high titer chimeric virus could only be observed after exchanging the complete E1-E2 encoding region. The complementation of E1 and E2 alone resulted only in replicons. Complementation of BVDV-E(rns) was only efficient if Bungowannah virus-E(rns) was expressed from a bicistronic construct. Our data provide new insights in the compatibility of pestivirus proteins and demonstrate that heterologous complementation could be useful to characterize new pestiviruses. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Whole genome analysis of Leptospira licerasiae provides insight into leptospiral evolution and pathogenicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica N Ricaldi

    Full Text Available The whole genome analysis of two strains of the first intermediately pathogenic leptospiral species to be sequenced (Leptospira licerasiae strains VAR010 and MMD0835 provides insight into their pathogenic potential and deepens our understanding of leptospiral evolution. Comparative analysis of eight leptospiral genomes shows the existence of a core leptospiral genome comprising 1547 genes and 452 conserved genes restricted to infectious species (including L. licerasiae that are likely to be pathogenicity-related. Comparisons of the functional content of the genomes suggests that L. licerasiae retains several proteins related to nitrogen, amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism which might help to explain why these Leptospira grow well in artificial media compared with pathogenic species. L. licerasiae strains VAR010(T and MMD0835 possess two prophage elements. While one element is circular and shares homology with LE1 of L. biflexa, the second is cryptic and homologous to a previously identified but unnamed region in L. interrogans serovars Copenhageni and Lai. We also report a unique O-antigen locus in L. licerasiae comprised of a 6-gene cluster that is unexpectedly short compared with L. interrogans in which analogous regions may include >90 such genes. Sequence homology searches suggest that these genes were acquired by lateral gene transfer (LGT. Furthermore, seven putative genomic islands ranging in size from 5 to 36 kb are present also suggestive of antecedent LGT. How Leptospira become naturally competent remains to be determined, but considering the phylogenetic origins of the genes comprising the O-antigen cluster and other putative laterally transferred genes, L. licerasiae must be able to exchange genetic material with non-invasive environmental bacteria. The data presented here demonstrate that L. licerasiae is genetically more closely related to pathogenic than to saprophytic Leptospira and provide insight into the genomic bases for

  9. Structure of sulfamidase provides insight into the molecular pathology of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sidhu, Navdeep S. [University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Göttingen (Germany); University of Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 4, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Schreiber, Kathrin [University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Göttingen (Germany); Pröpper, Kevin [University of Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 4, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Becker, Stefan [Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Am Fassberg 11, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Usón, Isabel [Instituto de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona (IBMB–CSIC), Barcelona Science Park, Baldiri Reixach 15, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Institucio Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avancats (ICREA), (Spain); Sheldrick, George M. [University of Göttingen, Tammannstrasse 4, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Gärtner, Jutta; Krätzner, Ralph, E-mail: rkraetz@gwdg.de; Steinfeld, Robert, E-mail: rkraetz@gwdg.de [University of Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Strasse 40, 37075 Göttingen (Germany)

    2014-05-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that typically manifests itself in childhood and is caused by mutations in the gene for the lysosomal enzyme sulfamidase. The first structure of this enzyme is presented, which provides insight into the molecular basis of disease-causing mutations, and the enzymatic mechanism is proposed. Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (Sanfilippo A syndrome), a fatal childhood-onset neurodegenerative disease with mild facial, visceral and skeletal abnormalities, is caused by an inherited deficiency of the enzyme N-sulfoglucosamine sulfohydrolase (SGSH; sulfamidase). More than 100 mutations in the SGSH gene have been found to reduce or eliminate its enzymatic activity. However, the molecular understanding of the effect of these mutations has been confined by a lack of structural data for this enzyme. Here, the crystal structure of glycosylated SGSH is presented at 2 Å resolution. Despite the low sequence identity between this unique N-sulfatase and the group of O-sulfatases, they share a similar overall fold and active-site architecture, including a catalytic formylglycine, a divalent metal-binding site and a sulfate-binding site. However, a highly conserved lysine in O-sulfatases is replaced in SGSH by an arginine (Arg282) that is positioned to bind the N-linked sulfate substrate. The structure also provides insight into the diverse effects of pathogenic mutations on SGSH function in mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA and convincing evidence for the molecular consequences of many missense mutations. Further, the molecular characterization of SGSH mutations will lay the groundwork for the development of structure-based drug design for this devastating neurodegenerative disorder.

  10. Cost Calculation Model for Logistics Service Providers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoltán Bokor

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The exact calculation of logistics costs has become a real challenge in logistics and supply chain management. It is essential to gain reliable and accurate costing information to attain efficient resource allocation within the logistics service provider companies. Traditional costing approaches, however, may not be sufficient to reach this aim in case of complex and heterogeneous logistics service structures. So this paper intends to explore the ways of improving the cost calculation regimes of logistics service providers and show how to adopt the multi-level full cost allocation technique in logistics practice. After determining the methodological framework, a sample cost calculation scheme is developed and tested by using estimated input data. Based on the theoretical findings and the experiences of the pilot project it can be concluded that the improved costing model contributes to making logistics costing more accurate and transparent. Moreover, the relations between costs and performances also become more visible, which enhances the effectiveness of logistics planning and controlling significantly

  11. Circulating Tumor Cells and Circulating Tumor DNA Provide New Insights into Pancreatic Cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yang; Zhu, Yayun; Yuan, Zhou

    2016-01-01

    Pancreatic cancer has a rather dismal prognosis mainly due to high malignance of tumor biology. Up to now, the relevant researches on pancreatic cancer lag behind seriously partly due to the obstacles for tissue biopsy, which handicaps the understanding of molecular and genetic features of pancreatic cancer. In the last two decades, liquid biopsy, including circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), is promising to provide new insights into the biological and clinical characteristics of malignant tumors. Both CTCs and ctDNA provide an opportunity for studying tumor heterogeneity, drug resistance, and metastatic mechanism for pancreatic cancer. Furthermore, they can also play important roles in detecting early-stage tumors, providing prognostic information, monitoring tumor progression and guiding treatment regimens. In this review, we will introduce the latest findings on biological features and clinical applications of both CTCs and ctDNA in pancreatic cancer. In a word, CTCs and ctDNA are promising to promote precision medicine in pancreatic cancer.

  12. Hyper-dry conditions provide new insights into the cause of extreme floods after wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moody, John A.; Ebel, Brian A.

    2012-01-01

    A catastrophic wildfire in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Boulder, Colorado provided a unique opportunity to investigate soil conditions immediately after a wildfire and before alteration by rainfall. Measurements of near-surface (θ; and matric suction, ψ), rainfall, and wind velocity were started 8 days after the wildfire began. These measurements established that hyper-dryconditions (θ 3 cm-3; ψ > ~ 3 x 105 cm) existed and provided an in-situ retention curve for these conditions. These conditions exacerbate the effects of water repellency (natural and fire-induced) and limit the effectiveness of capillarity and gravity driven infiltration into fire-affected soils. The important consequence is that given hyper-dryconditions, the critical rewetting process before the first rain is restricted to the diffusion–adsorption of water-vapor. This process typically has a time scale of days to weeks (especially when the hydrologic effects of the ash layer are included) that is longer than the typical time scale (minutes to hours) of some rainstorms, such that under hyper-dryconditions essentially no rain infiltrates. The existence of hyper-dryconditions provides insight into why, frequently during the first rain storm after a wildfire, nearly all rainfall becomes runoff causing extremefloods and debris flows.

  13. The Microbial Signature Provides Insight into the Mechanistic Basis of Coral Success across Reef Habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandra Hernandez-Agreda

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available For ecosystems vulnerable to environmental change, understanding the spatiotemporal stability of functionally crucial symbioses is fundamental to determining the mechanisms by which these ecosystems may persist. The coral Pachyseris speciosa is a successful environmental generalist that succeeds in diverse reef habitats. The generalist nature of this coral suggests it may have the capacity to form functionally significant microbial partnerships to facilitate access to a range of nutritional sources within different habitats. Here, we propose that coral is a metaorganism hosting three functionally distinct microbial interactions: a ubiquitous core microbiome of very few symbiotic host-selected bacteria, a microbiome of spatially and/or regionally explicit core microbes filling functional niches (100,000 phylotypes. We find that this coral hosts upwards of 170,000 distinct phylotypes and provide evidence for the persistence of a select group of bacteria in corals across environmental habitats of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. We further show that a higher number of bacteria are consistently associated with corals on mesophotic reefs than on shallow reefs. An increase in microbial diversity with depth suggests reliance by this coral on bacteria for nutrient acquisition on reefs exposed to nutrient upwelling. Understanding the complex microbial communities of host organisms across broad biotic and abiotic environments as functionally distinct microbiomes can provide insight into those interactions that are ubiquitous niche symbioses and those that provide competitive advantage within the hosts’ environment.

  14. Hybrid discrete choice models: Gained insights versus increasing effort.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariel, Petr; Meyerhoff, Jürgen

    2016-10-15

    Hybrid choice models expand the standard models in discrete choice modelling by incorporating psychological factors as latent variables. They could therefore provide further insights into choice processes and underlying taste heterogeneity but the costs of estimating these models often significantly increase. This paper aims at comparing the results from a hybrid choice model and a classical random parameter logit. Point of departure for this analysis is whether researchers and practitioners should add hybrid choice models to their suite of models routinely estimated. Our comparison reveals, in line with the few prior studies, that hybrid models gain in efficiency by the inclusion of additional information. The use of one of the two proposed approaches, however, depends on the objective of the analysis. If disentangling preference heterogeneity is most important, hybrid model seems to be preferable. If the focus is on predictive power, a standard random parameter logit model might be the better choice. Finally, we give recommendations for an adequate use of hybrid choice models based on known principles of elementary scientific inference. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Tackling wicked problems: how theories of agency can provide new insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varpio, Lara; Aschenbrener, Carol; Bates, Joanna

    2017-04-01

    This paper reviews why and how theories of agency can be used as analytical lenses to help health professions education (HPE) scholars address our community's wicked problems. Wicked problems are those that resist clear problem statements, defy traditional analysis approaches, and refuse definitive resolution (e.g. student remediation, assessments of professionalism, etc.). We illustrate how theories of agency can provide new insights into such challenges by examining the application of these theories to one particular wicked problem in HPE: interprofessional education (IPE). After searching the HPE literature and finding that theories of agency had received little attention, we borrowed techniques from narrative literature reviews to search databases indexing a broad scope of disciplines (i.e. ERIC, Web of Science, Scopus, MEDLINE and PubMed) for publications (1994-2014) that: (i) examined agency, or (ii) incorporated an agency-informed analytical perspective. The lead author identified the theories of agency used in these articles, and reviewed the texts on agency cited therein and the original sources of each theory. We identified 10 theories of agency that we considered to be applicable to HPE's wicked problems. To select a subset of theories for presentation in this paper, we discussed each theory in relation to some of HPE's wicked problems. Through debate and reflection, we unanimously agreed on the applicability of a subset of theories for illuminating HPE's wicked problems. This subset is described in this paper. We present four theories of agency: Butler's post-structural formulation; Giddens' sociological formulation; cultural historical activity theory's formulation, and Bandura's social cognitive psychology formulation. We introduce each theory and apply each to the challenges of engaging in IPE. Theories of agency can inform HPE scholarship in novel and generative ways. Each theory offers new insights into the roots of wicked problems and means for

  16. Molecular fossils in modern genomes provide physiological and geochemical insights to the ancient earth (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupont, C.; Caetano-Anolles, G.

    2010-12-01

    The genomes of extant organisms are ultimately derived from ancient life, thus theoretically contain insight to ancient physiology, ecology, and environments. In particular, metalloenzymes may be particularly insightful. The fundamental chemistry of trace elements dictates the molecular speciation and reactivity both within cells and the environment at large. Using protein structure and comparative genomics, we elucidate several major influences this chemistry has had upon biology. All of life exhibits the same proteome size-dependent scaling for the number of metal-binding proteins within a proteome. This fundamental evolutionary constant shows that the selection of one element occurs at the exclusion of another, with the eschewal of Fe for Zn and Ca being a defining feature of eukaryotic pro- teomes. Early life lacked both the structures required to control intracellular metal concentrations and the metal-binding proteins that catalyze electron transport and redox transformations. The development of protein structures for metal homeostasis coincided with the emergence of metal-specific structures, which predomi- nantly bound metals abundant in the Archean ocean. Potentially, this promoted the diversification of emerging lineages of Archaea and Bacteria through the establishment of biogeochemical cycles. In contrast, structures binding Cu and Zn evolved much later, pro- viding further evidence that environmental availability influenced the selection of the elements. The late evolving Zn-binding proteins are fundamental to eukaryotic cellular biology, and Zn bioavailabil- ity may have been a limiting factor in eukaryotic evolution. The results presented here provide an evolutionary timeline based on genomic characteristics, and key hypotheses can be tested by alternative geochemical methods.

  17. Transcriptome Analysis of Manganese-deficient Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Provides Insight on the Chlorophyll Biosynthesis Pathway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lockhart, Ainsley; Zvenigorodsky, Natasha; Pedraza, Mary Ann; Lindquist, Erika

    2011-08-11

    The biosynthesis of chlorophyll and other tetrapyrroles is a vital but poorly understood process. Recent genomic advances with the unicellular green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii have created opportunity to more closely examine the mechanisms of the chlorophyll biosynthesis pathway via transcriptome analysis. Manganese is a nutrient of interest for complex reactions because of its multiple stable oxidation states and role in molecular oxygen coordination. C. reinhardtii was cultured in Manganese-deplete Tris-acetate-phosphate (TAP) media for 24 hours and used to create cDNA libraries for sequencing using Illumina TruSeq technology. Transcriptome analysis provided intriguing insight on possible regulatory mechanisms in the pathway. Evidence supports similarities of GTR (Glutamyl-tRNA synthase) to its Chlorella vulgaris homolog in terms of Mn requirements. Data was also suggestive of Mn-related compensatory up-regulation for pathway proteins CHLH1 (Manganese Chelatase), GUN4 (Magnesium chelatase activating protein), and POR1 (Light-dependent protochlorophyllide reductase). Intriguingly, data suggests possible reciprocal expression of oxygen dependent CPX1 (coproporphyrinogen III oxidase) and oxygen independent CPX2. Further analysis using RT-PCR could provide compelling evidence for several novel regulatory mechanisms in the chlorophyll biosynthesis pathway.

  18. Dynamic transcriptional profiling provides insights into tuberous root development in Rehmannia glutinosa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peng eSun

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Rehmannia glutinosa, a herb of the Scrophulariaceae family, is widely cultivated in the Northern part of China. The tuberous root has well known medicinal properties; however, yield and quality are threatened by abiotic and biotic stresses. Understanding the molecular process of tuberous root development may help identify novel targets for its control. In the present study, we used Illumina sequencing and de novo assembly strategies to obtain a reference transcriptome that is relevant to tuberous root development. We then conducted RNA-seq quantification analysis to determine gene expression profiles of the adventitious root (AR, thickening adventitious root (TAR, and the developing tuberous root (DTR. Expression profiling identified a total of 6,974 differentially expressed unigenes during root developmental. Bioinformatics analysis and gene expression profiling revealed changes in phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, starch and sucrose metabolism, and plant hormone biosynthesis during root development. Moreover, we identified and allocated putative functions to the genes involved in tuberous root development, including genes related to major carbohydrate metabolism, hormone metabolism, and transcription regulation. The present study provides the initial description of gene expression profiles of AR, TAR, and DTR, which facilitates identification of genes of interest. Moreover, our work provides insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying tuberous root development and may assist in the design and development of improved breeding schemes for different R. glutinosa varieties through genetic manipulation.

  19. Vertebral development of modern salamanders provides insights into a unique event of their evolutionary history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boisvert, Catherine Anne

    2009-01-15

    The origin of salamanders and their interrelationships to the two other modern amphibian orders (frogs and caecilians) are problematic owing to an 80-100 million year gap in the fossil record between the Carboniferous to the Lower Jurassic. This is compounded by a scarcity of adult skeletal characters linking the early representatives of the modern orders to their stem-group in the Paleozoic. The use of ontogenetic characters can be of great use in the resolution of these questions. Growth series of all ten modern salamander families (a 120 cleared and stained larvae) were examined for pattern and timing of vertebral elements chondrification and ossification. The primitive pattern is that of the neural arches developing before the centra, while the reverse represents the derived condition. Both the primitive and derived conditions are observed within the family Hynobiidae, whereas only the derived condition is observed in all other salamanders. This provides support to the claims that Hynobiidae is both the most basal of modern families and potentially polyphyletic (with Ranodon and Hybobius forming the most basal clade and Salamandrella being a part of the most derived clade). This provides insight into a unique event in salamander evolutionary history and suggests that the developmental pattern switch occurred between the Triassic and the mid-Jurassic before the last major radiation. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  20. The pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) genome provides insights into fruit quality and ovule developmental biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Zhaohe; Fang, Yanming; Zhang, Taikui; Fei, Zhangjun; Han, Fengming; Liu, Cuiyu; Liu, Min; Xiao, Wei; Zhang, Wenjing; Wu, Shan; Zhang, Mengwei; Ju, Youhui; Xu, Huili; Dai, He; Liu, Yujun; Chen, Yanhui; Wang, Lili; Zhou, Jianqing; Guan, Dian; Yan, Ming; Xia, Yanhua; Huang, Xianbin; Liu, Dongyuan; Wei, Hongmin; Zheng, Hongkun

    2017-12-22

    Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) has an ancient cultivation history and has become an emerging profitable fruit crop due to its attractive features such as the bright red appearance and the high abundance of medicinally valuable ellagitannin-based compounds in its peel and aril. However, the limited genomic resources have restricted further elucidation of genetics and evolution of these interesting traits. Here, we report a 274-Mb high-quality draft pomegranate genome sequence, which covers approximately 81.5% of the estimated 336-Mb genome, consists of 2177 scaffolds with an N50 size of 1.7 Mb and contains 30 903 genes. Phylogenomic analysis supported that pomegranate belongs to the Lythraceae family rather than the monogeneric Punicaceae family, and comparative analyses showed that pomegranate and Eucalyptus grandis share the paleotetraploidy event. Integrated genomic and transcriptomic analyses provided insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the biosynthesis of ellagitannin-based compounds, the colour formation in both peels and arils during pomegranate fruit development, and the unique ovule development processes that are characteristic of pomegranate. This genome sequence provides an important resource to expand our understanding of some unique biological processes and to facilitate both comparative biology studies and crop breeding. © 2017 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Structures of parasite calreticulins provide insights into their flexibility and dual carbohydrate/peptide-binding properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christophe Moreau

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Calreticulin (CRT is a multifaceted protein, initially discovered as an endoplasmic reticulum (ER chaperone protein, that is essential in calcium metabolism. Various implications in cancer, early development and immunology have been discovered more recently for CRT, as well as its role as a dominant `eat-me' prophagocytic signal. Intriguingly, cell-surface exposure/secretion of CRT is among the infective strategies used by parasites such as Trypanosoma cruzi, Entamoeba histolytica, Taenia solium, Leishmania donovani and Schistosoma mansoni. Because of the inherent flexibility of CRTs, their analysis by X-ray crystallography requires the design of recombinant constructs suitable for crystallization, and thus only the structures of two very similar mammalian CRT lectin domains are known. With the X-ray structures of two distant parasite CRTs, insights into species structural determinants that might be harnessed to fight against the parasites without affecting the functions of the host CRT are now provided. Moreover, although the hypothesis that CRT can exhibit both open and closed conformations has been proposed in relation to its chaperone function, only the open conformation has so far been observed in crystal structures. The first evidence is now provided of a complex conformational transition with the junction reoriented towards P-domain closure. SAXS experiments also provided additional information about the flexibility of T. cruzi CRT in solution, thus complementing crystallographic data on the open conformation. Finally, regarding the conserved lectin-domain structure and chaperone function, evidence is provided of its dual carbohydrate/protein specificity and a new scheme is proposed to interpret such unusual substrate-binding properties. These fascinating features are fully consistent with previous experimental observations, as discussed considering the broad spectrum of CRT sequence conservations and differences.

  2. Comparison of the Internal Dynamics of Metalloproteases Provides New Insights on Their Function and Evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henrique F Carvalho

    Full Text Available Metalloproteases have evolved in a vast number of biological systems, being one of the most diverse types of proteases and presenting a wide range of folds and catalytic metal ions. Given the increasing understanding of protein internal dynamics and its role in enzyme function, we are interested in assessing how the structural heterogeneity of metalloproteases translates into their dynamics. Therefore, the dynamical profile of the clan MA type protein thermolysin, derived from an Elastic Network Model of protein structure, was evaluated against those obtained from a set of experimental structures and molecular dynamics simulation trajectories. A close correspondence was obtained between modes derived from the coarse-grained model and the subspace of functionally-relevant motions observed experimentally, the later being shown to be encoded in the internal dynamics of the protein. This prompted the use of dynamics-based comparison methods that employ such coarse-grained models in a representative set of clan members, allowing for its quantitative description in terms of structural and dynamical variability. Although members show structural similarity, they nonetheless present distinct dynamical profiles, with no apparent correlation between structural and dynamical relatedness. However, previously unnoticed dynamical similarity was found between the relevant members Carboxypeptidase Pfu, Leishmanolysin, and Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A, despite sharing no structural similarity. Inspection of the respective alignments shows that dynamical similarity has a functional basis, namely the need for maintaining proper intermolecular interactions with the respective substrates. These results suggest that distinct selective pressure mechanisms act on metalloproteases at structural and dynamical levels through the course of their evolution. This work shows how new insights on metalloprotease function and evolution can be assessed with comparison schemes that

  3. Mineral and Matrix Changes in Brtl/+ Teeth Provide Insights into Mineralization Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adele L. Boskey

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The Brtl/+ mouse is a knock-in model for osteogenesis imperfecta type IV in which a Gly349Cys substitution was introduced into one COL1A1 allele. To gain insight into the changes in dentin structure and mineral composition in these transgenic mice, the objective of this study was to use microcomputed tomography (micro-CT, scanning electron microscopy (SEM, and Fourier transform infrared imaging (FTIRI to analyze these structures at 2 and 6 months of age. Results, consistent with the dental phenotype in humans with type IV OI, showed decreased molar volume and reduced mineralized tissue volume in the teeth without changes in enamel properties. Increased acid phosphate content was noted at 2 and 6 months by FTIRI, and a trend towards altered collagen structure was noted at 2 but not 6 months in the Brtl/+ teeth. The increase in acid phosphate content suggests a delay in the mineralization process, most likely associated with the defect in the collagen structure. It appears that in the Brtl/+ teeth slow maturation of the mineralized structures allows correction of altered mineral content and acid phosphate distribution.

  4. Metatranscriptome Analysis of Fig Flowers Provides Insights into Potential Mechanisms for Mutualism Stability and Gall Induction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellen O Martinson

    Full Text Available A striking property of the mutualism between figs and their pollinating wasps is that wasps consistently oviposit in the inner flowers of the fig syconium, which develop into galls that house developing larvae. Wasps typically do not use the outer ring of flowers, which develop into seeds. To better understand differences between gall and seed flowers, we used a metatranscriptomic approach to analyze eukaryotic gene expression within fig flowers at the time of oviposition choice and early gall development. Consistent with the unbeatable seed hypothesis, we found significant differences in gene expression between gall- and seed flowers in receptive syconia prior to oviposition. In particular, transcripts assigned to flavonoids and carbohydrate metabolism were significantly up-regulated in gall flowers relative to seed flowers. In response to oviposition, gall flowers significantly up-regulated the expression of chalcone synthase, which previously has been connected to gall formation in other plants. We propose several genes encoding proteins with signal peptides or associations with venom of other Hymenoptera as candidate genes for gall initiation or growth. This study simultaneously evaluates the gene expression profile of both mutualistic partners in a plant-insect mutualism and provides insight into a possible stability mechanism in the ancient fig-fig wasp association.

  5. Whole-Genome Sequencing of Native Sheep Provides Insights into Rapid Adaptations to Extreme Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ji; Li, Wen-Rong; Lv, Feng-Hua; He, San-Gang; Tian, Shi-Lin; Peng, Wei-Feng; Sun, Ya-Wei; Zhao, Yong-Xin; Tu, Xiao-Long; Zhang, Min; Xie, Xing-Long; Wang, Yu-Tao; Li, Jin-Quan; Liu, Yong-Gang; Shen, Zhi-Qiang; Wang, Feng; Liu, Guang-Jian; Lu, Hong-Feng; Kantanen, Juha; Han, Jian-Lin; Li, Meng-Hua; Liu, Ming-Jun

    2016-10-01

    Global climate change has a significant effect on extreme environments and a profound influence on species survival. However, little is known of the genome-wide pattern of livestock adaptations to extreme environments over a short time frame following domestication. Sheep (Ovis aries) have become well adapted to a diverse range of agroecological zones, including certain extreme environments (e.g., plateaus and deserts), during their post-domestication (approximately 8-9 kya) migration and differentiation. Here, we generated whole-genome sequences from 77 native sheep, with an average effective sequencing depth of ∼5× for 75 samples and ∼42× for 2 samples. Comparative genomic analyses among sheep in contrasting environments, that is, plateau (>4,000 m above sea level) versus lowland (1500 m) versus low-altitude region (600 mm), and arid zone (400 mm), detected a novel set of candidate genes as well as pathways and GO categories that are putatively associated with hypoxia responses at high altitudes and water reabsorption in arid environments. In addition, candidate genes and GO terms functionally related to energy metabolism and body size variations were identified. This study offers novel insights into rapid genomic adaptations to extreme environments in sheep and other animals, and provides a valuable resource for future research on livestock breeding in response to climate change. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  6. Metatranscriptome Analysis of Fig Flowers Provides Insights into Potential Mechanisms for Mutualism Stability and Gall Induction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinson, Ellen O; Hackett, Jeremiah D; Machado, Carlos A; Arnold, A Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    A striking property of the mutualism between figs and their pollinating wasps is that wasps consistently oviposit in the inner flowers of the fig syconium, which develop into galls that house developing larvae. Wasps typically do not use the outer ring of flowers, which develop into seeds. To better understand differences between gall and seed flowers, we used a metatranscriptomic approach to analyze eukaryotic gene expression within fig flowers at the time of oviposition choice and early gall development. Consistent with the unbeatable seed hypothesis, we found significant differences in gene expression between gall- and seed flowers in receptive syconia prior to oviposition. In particular, transcripts assigned to flavonoids and carbohydrate metabolism were significantly up-regulated in gall flowers relative to seed flowers. In response to oviposition, gall flowers significantly up-regulated the expression of chalcone synthase, which previously has been connected to gall formation in other plants. We propose several genes encoding proteins with signal peptides or associations with venom of other Hymenoptera as candidate genes for gall initiation or growth. This study simultaneously evaluates the gene expression profile of both mutualistic partners in a plant-insect mutualism and provides insight into a possible stability mechanism in the ancient fig-fig wasp association.

  7. Obsessive compulsive disorder networks: positron emission tomography and neuropsychology provide new insights.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno Millet

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Deep brain stimulation has shed new light on the central role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD. We explored this structure from a functional perspective, synchronizing neuroimaging and cognitive measures. METHODS AND FINDINGS: This case-control cross-sectional study compared 15 OCD patients without comorbidities and not currently on serotonin reuptake inhibitors or cognitive behavioural therapy with 15 healthy controls (matched for age, sex and education level on resting-state (18FDG-PET scans and a neuropsychological battery assessing executive functions. We looked for correlations between metabolic modifications and impaired neuropsychological scores. Modifications in glucose metabolism were found in frontal regions (orbitofrontal cortex and dorsolateral cortices, the cingulate gyrus, insula and parietal gyrus. Neuropsychological differences between patients and controls, which were subtle, were correlated with the metabolism of the prefrontal, parietal, and temporal cortices. CONCLUSION: As expected, we confirmed previous reports of a PFC dysfunction in OCD patients, and established a correlation with cognitive deficits. Other regions outside the prefrontal cortex, including the dorsoparietal cortex and the insula, also appeared to be implicated in the pathophysiology of OCD, providing fresh insights on the complexity of OCD syndromes.

  8. The Genome of Ganderma lucidum Provide Insights into Triterpense Biosynthesis and Wood Degradation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Zhuo; Zhang, Hong-Mei; Liu, Wei; Liu, Le; Ma, Junping; Xia, Zhilan; Chen, Yuxin; Chen, Yuewen; Wang, Depeng; Ni, Peixiang; Guo, An-Yuan; Xiong, Xingyao

    2012-01-01

    Background Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi or Ling Zhi) is one of the most famous Traditional Chinese Medicines and has been widely used in the treatment of various human diseases in Asia countries. It is also a fungus with strong wood degradation ability with potential in bioenergy production. However, genes, pathways and mechanisms of these functions are still unknown. Methodology/Principal Findings The genome of G. lucidum was sequenced and assembled into a 39.9 megabases (Mb) draft genome, which encoded 12,080 protein-coding genes and ∼83% of them were similar to public sequences. We performed comprehensive annotation for G. lucidum genes and made comparisons with genes in other fungi genomes. Genes in the biosynthesis of the main G. lucidum active ingredients, ganoderic acids (GAs), were characterized. Among the GAs synthases, we identified a fusion gene, the N and C terminal of which are homologous to two different enzymes. Moreover, the fusion gene was only found in basidiomycetes. As a white rot fungus with wood degradation ability, abundant carbohydrate-active enzymes and ligninolytic enzymes were identified in the G. lucidum genome and were compared with other fungi. Conclusions/Significance The genome sequence and well annotation of G. lucidum will provide new insights in function analyses including its medicinal mechanism. The characterization of genes in the triterpene biosynthesis and wood degradation will facilitate bio-engineering research in the production of its active ingredients and bioenergy. PMID:22567134

  9. Song hybridization events during revolutionary song change provide insights into cultural transmission in humpback whales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garland, Ellen C; Rendell, Luke; Lamoni, Luca; Poole, M Michael; Noad, Michael J

    2017-07-24

    Cultural processes occur in a wide variety of animal taxa, from insects to cetaceans. The songs of humpback whales are one of the most striking examples of the transmission of a cultural trait and social learning in any nonhuman animal. To understand how songs are learned, we investigate rare cases of song hybridization, where parts of an existing song are spliced with a new one, likely before an individual totally adopts the new song. Song unit sequences were extracted from over 9,300 phrases recorded during two song revolutions across the South Pacific Ocean, allowing fine-scale analysis of composition and sequencing. In hybrid songs the current and new songs were spliced together in two specific ways: ( i ) singers placed a single hybrid phrase, in which content from both songs were combined, between the two song types when transitioning from one to the other, and/or ( ii ) singers spliced complete themes from the revolutionary song into the current song. Sequence analysis indicated that both processes were governed by structural similarity rules. Hybrid phrases or theme substitutions occurred at points in the songs where both songs contained "similar sounds arranged in a similar pattern." Songs appear to be learned as segments (themes/phrase types), akin to birdsong and human language acquisition, and these can be combined in predictable ways if the underlying structural pattern is similar. These snapshots of song change provide insights into the mechanisms underlying song learning in humpback whales, and comparative perspectives on the evolution of human language and culture.

  10. Simulatedin vivoElectrophysiology Experiments Provide Previously Inaccessible Insights into Visual Physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quiroga, Maria; Price, Nicholas SC

    2016-01-01

    Lecture content and practical laboratory classes are ideally complementary. However, the types of experiments that have led to our detailed understanding of sensory neuroscience are often not amenable to classroom experimentation as they require expensive equipment, time-consuming surgeries, specialized experimental techniques, and the use of animals. While sometimes feasible in small group teaching, these experiments are not suitable for large cohorts of students. Previous attempts to expose students to sensory neuroscience experiments include: the use of electrophysiology preparations in invertebrates, data-driven simulations that do not replicate the experience of conducting an experiment, or simply observing an experiment in a research laboratory. We developed an online simulation of a visual neuroscience experiment in which extracellular recordings are made from a motion sensitive neuron. Students have control over stimulation parameters (direction and contrast) and can see and hear the action potential responses to stimuli as they are presented. The simulation provides an intuitive way for students to gain insight into neurophysiology, including experimental design, data collection and data analysis. Our simulation allows large cohorts of students to cost-effectively "experience" the results of animal research without ethical concerns, to be exposed to realistic data variability, and to develop their understanding of how sensory neuroscience experiments are conducted.

  11. Crystal structure of the Epithiospecifier Protein, ESP from Arabidopsis thaliana provides insights into its product specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Weiwei; Wang, Wenhe; Liu, Zihe; Xie, Yongchao; Wang, Hao; Mu, Yajuan; Huang, Yao; Feng, Yue

    2016-09-16

    Specifier proteins are important components of the glucosinolate-myrosinase system, which mediate plant defense against herbivory and pathogen attacks. Upon tissue disruption, glucosinolates are hydrolyzed to instable aglucones by myrosinases, and then aglucones will rearrange to form defensive isothiocyanates. Specifier proteins can redirect this reaction to form other products, such as simple nitriles, epithionitriles and organic thiocyanates instead of isothiocyanates based on the side chain structure of glucosinolate and the type of the specifier proteins. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanism underlying the different product spectrums of various specifier proteins was not fully understood. Here in this study, we solved the crystal structure of the Epithiospecifier Protein, ESP from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtESP) at 2.3 Å resolution. Structural comparisons with the previously solved structure of thiocyanate forming protein, TFP from Thlaspi arvense (TaTFP) reveal that AtESP shows a dimerization pattern different from TaTFP. Moreover, AtESP harbors a slightly larger active site pocket than TaTFP and several residues around the active site are different between the two proteins, which might account for the different product spectrums of the two proteins. Together, our structural study provides important insights into the molecular mechanisms of specifier proteins and shed light on the basis of their different product spectrums. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Whole-Genome Sequencing of Native Sheep Provides Insights into Rapid Adaptations to Extreme Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ji; Li, Wen-Rong; Lv, Feng-Hua; He, San-Gang; Tian, Shi-Lin; Peng, Wei-Feng; Sun, Ya-Wei; Zhao, Yong-Xin; Tu, Xiao-Long; Zhang, Min; Xie, Xing-Long; Wang, Yu-Tao; Li, Jin-Quan; Liu, Yong-Gang; Shen, Zhi-Qiang; Wang, Feng; Liu, Guang-Jian; Lu, Hong-Feng; Kantanen, Juha; Han, Jian-Lin; Li, Meng-Hua; Liu, Ming-Jun

    2016-01-01

    Global climate change has a significant effect on extreme environments and a profound influence on species survival. However, little is known of the genome-wide pattern of livestock adaptations to extreme environments over a short time frame following domestication. Sheep (Ovis aries) have become well adapted to a diverse range of agroecological zones, including certain extreme environments (e.g., plateaus and deserts), during their post-domestication (approximately 8–9 kya) migration and differentiation. Here, we generated whole-genome sequences from 77 native sheep, with an average effective sequencing depth of ∼5× for 75 samples and ∼42× for 2 samples. Comparative genomic analyses among sheep in contrasting environments, that is, plateau (>4,000 m above sea level) versus lowland (1500 m) versus low-altitude region (600 mm), and arid zone (400 mm), detected a novel set of candidate genes as well as pathways and GO categories that are putatively associated with hypoxia responses at high altitudes and water reabsorption in arid environments. In addition, candidate genes and GO terms functionally related to energy metabolism and body size variations were identified. This study offers novel insights into rapid genomic adaptations to extreme environments in sheep and other animals, and provides a valuable resource for future research on livestock breeding in response to climate change. PMID:27401233

  13. Transcriptome and Metabolic Profiling Provides Insights into Betalain Biosynthesis and Evolution in Mirabilis jalapa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polturak, Guy; Heinig, Uwe; Grossman, Noam; Battat, Maor; Leshkowitz, Dena; Malitsky, Sergey; Rogachev, Ilana; Aharoni, Asaph

    2018-01-08

    Betalains are tyrosine-derived pigments that occur solely in one plant order, the Caryophyllales, where they largely replace the anthocyanins in a mutually exclusive manner. In this study, we conducted multi-species transcriptome and metabolic profiling in Mirabilis jalapa and additional betalain-producing species to identify candidate genes possibly involved in betalain biosynthesis. Among the candidates identified, betalain-related cytochrome P450 and glucosyltransferase-type genes, which catalyze tyrosine hydroxylation or (hydroxy)cinnamoyl-glucose formation, respectively, were further functionally characterized. We detected the expression of genes in the flavonoid/anthocyanin biosynthetic pathways as well as their metabolite intermediates in betalain-accumulating M. jalapa flowers, and found that the anthocyanin-related gene ANTHOCYANIDIN SYNTHASE (MjANS) is highly expressed in the betalain-accumulating petals. However, it appears that MjANS contains a significant deletion in a region spanning the corresponding enzyme active site. These findings provide novel insights into betalain biosynthesis and a possible explanation for how anthocyanins have been lost in this plant species. Our study also implies a complex, non-uniform history for the loss of anthocyanin production across betalain producers, previously assumed to be strictly due to diminished expression of anthocyanin-related genes. Copyright © 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Tissue-specific transcriptome analyses provide new insights into GPCR signalling in adult Schistosoma mansoni.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahnel, Steffen; Wheeler, Nic; Lu, Zhigang; Wangwiwatsin, Arporn; McVeigh, Paul; Maule, Aaron; Berriman, Matthew; Day, Timothy; Ribeiro, Paula; Grevelding, Christoph G

    2018-01-01

    Schistosomes are blood-dwelling trematodes with global impact on human and animal health. Because medical treatment is currently based on a single drug, praziquantel, there is urgent need for the development of alternative control strategies. The Schistosoma mansoni genome project provides a platform to study and connect the genetic repertoire of schistosomes to specific biological functions essential for successful parasitism. G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) form the largest superfamily of transmembrane receptors throughout the Eumetazoan phyla, including platyhelminths. Due to their involvement in diverse biological processes, their pharmacological importance, and proven druggability, GPCRs are promising targets for new anthelmintics. However, to identify candidate receptors, a more detailed understanding of the roles of GPCR signalling in schistosome biology is essential. An updated phylogenetic analysis of the S. mansoni GPCR genome (GPCRome) is presented, facilitated by updated genome data that allowed a more precise annotation of GPCRs. Additionally, we review the current knowledge on GPCR signalling in this parasite and provide new insights into the potential roles of GPCRs in schistosome reproduction based on the findings of a recent tissue-specific transcriptomic study in paired and unpaired S. mansoni. According to the current analysis, GPCRs contribute to gonad-specific functions but also to nongonad, pairing-dependent processes. The latter may regulate gonad-unrelated functions during the multifaceted male-female interaction. Finally, we compare the schistosome GPCRome to that of another parasitic trematode, Fasciola, and discuss the importance of GPCRs to basic and applied research. Phylogenetic analyses display GPCR diversity in free-living and parasitic platyhelminths and suggest diverse functions in schistosomes. Although their roles need to be substantiated by functional studies in the future, the data support the selection of GPCR candidates

  15. The Microbial Signature Provides Insight into the Mechanistic Basis of Coral Success across Reef Habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Agreda, Alejandra; Leggat, William; Bongaerts, Pim; Ainsworth, Tracy D

    2016-07-26

    For ecosystems vulnerable to environmental change, understanding the spatiotemporal stability of functionally crucial symbioses is fundamental to determining the mechanisms by which these ecosystems may persist. The coral Pachyseris speciosa is a successful environmental generalist that succeeds in diverse reef habitats. The generalist nature of this coral suggests it may have the capacity to form functionally significant microbial partnerships to facilitate access to a range of nutritional sources within different habitats. Here, we propose that coral is a metaorganism hosting three functionally distinct microbial interactions: a ubiquitous core microbiome of very few symbiotic host-selected bacteria, a microbiome of spatially and/or regionally explicit core microbes filling functional niches (100,000 phylotypes). We find that this coral hosts upwards of 170,000 distinct phylotypes and provide evidence for the persistence of a select group of bacteria in corals across environmental habitats of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. We further show that a higher number of bacteria are consistently associated with corals on mesophotic reefs than on shallow reefs. An increase in microbial diversity with depth suggests reliance by this coral on bacteria for nutrient acquisition on reefs exposed to nutrient upwelling. Understanding the complex microbial communities of host organisms across broad biotic and abiotic environments as functionally distinct microbiomes can provide insight into those interactions that are ubiquitous niche symbioses and those that provide competitive advantage within the hosts' environment. Corals have been proposed as the most diverse microbial biosphere. The high variability of microbial communities has hampered the identification of bacteria playing key functional roles that contribute to coral survival. Exploring the bacterial community in a coral with a broad environmental distribution, we found a group of bacteria present across all

  16. Proteomic analysis of FUS interacting proteins provides insights into FUS function and its role in ALS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamelgarn, Marisa; Chen, Jing; Kuang, Lisha; Arenas, Alexandra; Zhai, Jianjun; Zhu, Haining; Gal, Jozsef

    2016-10-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Mutations in the Fused in Sarcoma/Translocated in Liposarcoma (FUS/TLS) gene cause a subset of familial ALS cases and are also implicated in sporadic ALS. FUS is typically localized to the nucleus. The ALS-related FUS mutations cause cytoplasmic mis-localization and the formation of stress granule-like structures. Abnormal cytoplasmic FUS localization was also found in a subset of frontotemporal dementia (FTLD) cases without FUS mutations. To better understand the function of FUS, we performed wild-type and mutant FUS pull-downs followed by proteomic identification of the interacting proteins. The FUS interacting partners we identified are involved in multiple pathways, including chromosomal organization, transcription, RNA splicing, RNA transport, localized translation, and stress response. FUS interacted with hnRNPA1 and Matrin-3, RNA binding proteins whose mutations were also reported to cause familial ALS, suggesting that hnRNPA1 and Matrin-3 may play common pathogenic roles with FUS. The FUS interactions displayed varied RNA dependence. Numerous FUS interacting partners that we identified are components of exosomes. We found that FUS itself was present in exosomes, suggesting that the secretion of FUS might contribute to the cell-to-cell spreading of FUS pathology. FUS interacting proteins were sequestered into the cytoplasmic mutant FUS inclusions that could lead to their mis-regulation or loss of function, contributing to ALS pathogenesis. Our results provide insights into the physiological functions of FUS as well as important pathways where mutant FUS can interfere with cellular processes and potentially contribute to the pathogenesis of ALS. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Genome-wide analysis of Pax8 binding provides new insights into thyroid functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruiz-Llorente Sergio

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The transcription factor Pax8 is essential for the differentiation of thyroid cells. However, there are few data on genes transcriptionally regulated by Pax8 other than thyroid-related genes. To better understand the role of Pax8 in the biology of thyroid cells, we obtained transcriptional profiles of Pax8-silenced PCCl3 thyroid cells using whole genome expression arrays and integrated these signals with global cis-regulatory sequencing studies performed by ChIP-Seq analysis Results Exhaustive analysis of Pax8 immunoprecipitated peaks demonstrated preferential binding to intragenic regions and CpG-enriched islands, which suggests a role of Pax8 in transcriptional regulation of orphan CpG regions. In addition, ChIP-Seq allowed us to identify Pax8 partners, including proteins involved in tertiary DNA structure (CTCF and chromatin remodeling (Sp1, and these direct transcriptional interactions were confirmed in vivo. Moreover, both factors modulate Pax8-dependent transcriptional activation of the sodium iodide symporter (Nis gene promoter. We ultimately combined putative and novel Pax8 binding sites with actual target gene expression regulation to define Pax8-dependent genes. Functional classification suggests that Pax8-regulated genes may be directly involved in important processes of thyroid cell function such as cell proliferation and differentiation, apoptosis, cell polarity, motion and adhesion, and a plethora of DNA/protein-related processes. Conclusion Our study provides novel insights into the role of Pax8 in thyroid biology, exerted through transcriptional regulation of important genes involved in critical thyrocyte processes. In addition, we found new transcriptional partners of Pax8, which functionally cooperate with Pax8 in the regulation of thyroid gene transcription. Besides, our data demonstrate preferential location of Pax8 in non-promoter CpG regions. These data point to an orphan CpG island-mediated mechanism

  18. 3D-structured illumination microscopy provides novel insight into architecture of human centrosomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharina F. Sonnen

    2012-08-01

    Centrioles are essential for the formation of cilia and flagella. They also form the core of the centrosome, which organizes microtubule arrays important for cell shape, polarity, motility and division. Here, we have used super-resolution 3D-structured illumination microscopy to analyse the spatial relationship of 18 centriole and pericentriolar matrix (PCM components of human centrosomes at different cell cycle stages. During mitosis, PCM proteins formed extended networks with interspersed γ-Tubulin. During interphase, most proteins were arranged at specific distances from the walls of centrioles, resulting in ring staining, often with discernible density masses. Through use of site-specific antibodies, we found the C-terminus of Cep152 to be closer to centrioles than the N-terminus, illustrating the power of 3D-SIM to study protein disposition. Appendage proteins showed rings with multiple density masses, and the number of these masses was strongly reduced during mitosis. At the proximal end of centrioles, Sas-6 formed a dot at the site of daughter centriole assembly, consistent with its role in cartwheel formation. Plk4 and STIL co-localized with Sas-6, but Cep135 was associated mostly with mother centrioles. Remarkably, Plk4 formed a dot on the surface of the mother centriole before Sas-6 staining became detectable, indicating that Plk4 constitutes an early marker for the site of nascent centriole formation. Our study provides novel insights into the architecture of human centrosomes and illustrates the power of super-resolution microscopy in revealing the relative localization of centriole and PCM proteins in unprecedented detail.

  19. Potential Biomarkers Found by Protein Profiling May Provide Insight for the Macrovascular Pathogenesis of Diabetes Mellitus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William C. S. Cho

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Diabetes mellitus (DM is an alarming threat to health of mankind, yet its pathogenesis is unclear. The purpose of this study was to find potential biomarkers to serve as indicators for the pathogenesis of DM in a time course manner. Based on our previous findings that oxidative stress occurred at week 8, aorta lysate and sera of 102 streptozotocin (STZ-induced diabetic and 85 control male Sprague-Dawley rats were obtained at the 4th, 8th and 12th week after STZ injection. The protein profiles were studied employing surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry technology in attomole sensitivity range. In the aorta, a multiple biomarker panel was discovered at the 4th week. At the 8th week, 4 biomarkers were found, while at the 12th week, 3 biomarkers were identified. In the sera, a triplet of 3 peaks and 2 biomarkers were all discovered to have 100% classification accuracy rate to differentiate the DM and control groups at all time intervals. Besides, 2 biomarkers were also found to have high classification value at week 12. Comparing the aorta and sera from DM and non-DM rats, a bundle of potential biomarkers with significant changes in peak intensities and high classification values were found. Two of the serum biomarkers matched with islet amyloid polypeptide and resistin in the SWISS-PROT knowledgebase. Validation has been conducted using immunoassay kits. These potential biomarkers may provide valuable insight on the pathogenesis of DM and macrovascular complications.

  20. X-ray structure reveals a new class and provides insight into evolution of alkaline phosphatases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subhash C Bihani

    Full Text Available The alkaline phosphatase (AP is a bi-metalloenzyme of potential applications in biotechnology and bioremediation, in which phosphate monoesters are nonspecifically hydrolysed under alkaline conditions to yield inorganic phosphate. The hydrolysis occurs through an enzyme intermediate in which the catalytic residue is phosphorylated. The reaction, which also requires a third metal ion, is proposed to proceed through a mechanism of in-line displacement involving a trigonal bipyramidal transition state. Stabilizing the transition state by bidentate hydrogen bonding has been suggested to be the reason for conservation of an arginine residue in the active site. We report here the first crystal structure of alkaline phosphatase purified from the bacterium Sphingomonas. sp. Strain BSAR-1 (SPAP. The crystal structure reveals many differences from other APs: 1 the catalytic residue is a threonine instead of serine, 2 there is no third metal ion binding pocket, and 3 the arginine residue forming bidentate hydrogen bonding is deleted in SPAP. A lysine and an aspargine residue, recruited together for the first time into the active site, bind the substrate phosphoryl group in a manner not observed before in any other AP. These and other structural features suggest that SPAP represents a new class of APs. Because of its direct contact with the substrate phosphoryl group, the lysine residue is proposed to play a significant role in catalysis. The structure is consistent with a mechanism of in-line displacement via a trigonal bipyramidal transition state. The structure provides important insights into evolutionary relationships between members of AP superfamily.

  1. Macroscale patterns in body size of intertidal crustaceans provide insights on climate change effects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Jaramillo

    Full Text Available Predicting responses of coastal ecosystems to altered sea surface temperatures (SST associated with global climate change, requires knowledge of demographic responses of individual species. Body size is an excellent metric because it scales strongly with growth and fecundity for many ectotherms. These attributes can underpin demographic as well as community and ecosystem level processes, providing valuable insights for responses of vulnerable coastal ecosystems to changing climate. We investigated contemporary macroscale patterns in body size among widely distributed crustaceans that comprise the majority of intertidal abundance and biomass of sandy beach ecosystems of the eastern Pacific coasts of Chile and California, USA. We focused on ecologically important species representing different tidal zones, trophic guilds and developmental modes, including a high-shore macroalga-consuming talitrid amphipod (Orchestoidea tuberculata, two mid-shore scavenging cirolanid isopods (Excirolana braziliensis and E. hirsuticauda, and a low-shore suspension-feeding hippid crab (Emerita analoga with an amphitropical distribution. Significant latitudinal patterns in body sizes were observed for all species in Chile (21° - 42°S, with similar but steeper patterns in Emerita analoga, in California (32°- 41°N. Sea surface temperature was a strong predictor of body size (-4% to -35% °C-1 in all species. Beach characteristics were subsidiary predictors of body size. Alterations in ocean temperatures of even a few degrees associated with global climate change are likely to affect body sizes of important intertidal ectotherms, with consequences for population demography, life history, community structure, trophic interactions, food-webs, and indirect effects such as ecosystem function. The consistency of results for body size and temperature across species with different life histories, feeding modes, ecological roles, and microhabitats inhabiting a single

  2. Quantitative proteomic analysis provides novel insights into cold stress responses in petunia seedlings

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei eZhang

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Low temperature is a major adverse environmental factor that impairs petunia growth and development. To better understand the molecular mechanisms of cold stress adaptation of petunia plants, a quantitative proteomic analysis using iTRAQ technology was performed to detect the effects of cold stress on protein expression profiles in petunia seedlings which had been subjected to 2°C for 5d. Of the 2,430 proteins whose levels were quantitated, a total of 117 proteins were discovered to be differentially expressed under low temperature stress in comparison to unstressed controls. As an initial study, 44 proteins including well known and novel cold-responsive proteins were successfully annotated. By integrating the results of two independent Gene Ontology (GO enrichment analyses, seven common GO terms were found of which oxidation-reduction process was the most notable for the cold-responsive proteins. By using the subcellular localization tool Plant-mPLoc predictor, as much as 40.2% of the cold-responsive protein group was found to be located within chloroplasts, suggesting that the chloroplast proteome is particularly affected by cold stress. Gene expression analyses of 11 cold-responsive proteins by real time PCR demonstrated that the mRNA levels were not strongly correlated with the respective protein levels. Further activity assay of anti-oxidative enzymes showed different alterations in cold treated petunia seedlings. Our investigation has highlighted the role of antioxidation mechanisms and also epigenetic factors in the regulation of cold stress responses. Our work has provided novel insights into the plant response to cold stress and should facilitate further studies regarding the molecular mechanisms which determine how plant cells cope with environmental perturbation.

  3. Comparative proteomic analysis provides new insights into cadmium accumulation in rice grain under cadmium stress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xue, Dawei, E-mail: dwxue@hznu.edu.cn [College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310036 (China); State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology, China National Rice Research Institute, Hangzhou 310006 (China); Jiang, Hua [State Key Laboratory Breeding Base for Zhejiang Sustainable Pest and Disease Control, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Science, Hangzhou 310021 (China); Deng, Xiangxiong; Zhang, Xiaoqin [College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310036 (China); Wang, Hua [State Key Laboratory Breeding Base for Zhejiang Sustainable Pest and Disease Control, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Science, Hangzhou 310021 (China); Xu, Xiangbin [College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310036 (China); Hu, Jiang; Zeng, Dali [State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology, China National Rice Research Institute, Hangzhou 310006 (China); Guo, Longbiao, E-mail: guolongbiao@caas.cn [State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology, China National Rice Research Institute, Hangzhou 310006 (China); Qian, Qian, E-mail: qianqian188@hotmail.com [College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 310036 (China); State Key Laboratory of Rice Biology, China National Rice Research Institute, Hangzhou 310006 (China)

    2014-09-15

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • Cd is the most toxic heavy metal and is a major pollutant in rice grains. • The mechanism of Cd accumulation in rice grains has not been well demonstrated. • Proteomics analysis is carried out and the verification is implemented by QPCR. • Proteins associated with ROS and photosynthesis showed large variation in expression. - Abstract: Rice is one of the most important staple crops. During the growth season, rice plants are inevitably subjected to numerous stresses, among which heavy metal stress represented by cadmium contamination not only hindering the yield of rice but also affecting the food safety by Cd accumulating in rice grains. The mechanism of Cd accumulation in rice grains has not been well elucidated. In this study, we compare the proteomic difference between two genotypes with different Cd accumulation ability in grains. Verification of differentially expressed protein-encoding genes was analyzing by quantitative PCR (QPCR) and reanalysis of microarray expression data. Forty-seven proteins in total were successfully identified through proteomic screening. GO and KEGG enrichment analysis showed Cd accumulation triggered stress-related pathways in the cells, and strongly affecting metabolic pathways. Many proteins associated with nutrient reservoir and starch-related enzyme were identified in this study suggesting that a considerably damage on grain quality was caused. The results also implied stress response was initiated by the abnormal cells and the transmission of signals may mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Our research will provide new insights into Cd accumulation in rice grain under Cd stress.

  4. Providing guidance for genomics-based cancer treatment decisions: insights from stakeholder engagement for post-prostatectomy radiation therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, James; Lobo, Jennifer M; Trifiletti, Daniel M; Showalter, Timothy N

    2017-08-24

    Despite the emergence of genomics-based risk prediction tools in oncology, there is not yet an established framework for communication of test results to cancer patients to support shared decision-making. We report findings from a stakeholder engagement program that aimed to develop a framework for using Markov models with individualized model inputs, including genomics-based estimates of cancer recurrence probability, to generate personalized decision aids for prostate cancer patients faced with radiation therapy treatment decisions after prostatectomy. We engaged a total of 22 stakeholders, including: prostate cancer patients, urological surgeons, radiation oncologists, genomic testing industry representatives, and biomedical informatics faculty. Slides were at each meeting to provide background information regarding the analytical framework. Participants were invited to provide feedback during the meeting, including revising the overall project aims. Stakeholder meeting content was reviewed and summarized by stakeholder group and by theme. The majority of stakeholder suggestions focused on aspects of decision aid design and formatting. Stakeholders were enthusiastic about the potential value of using decision analysis modeling with personalized model inputs for cancer recurrence risk, as well as competing risks from age and comorbidities, to generate a patient-centered tool to assist decision-making. Stakeholders did not view privacy considerations as a major barrier to the proposed decision aid program. A common theme was that decision aids should be portable across multiple platforms (electronic and paper), should allow for interaction by the user to adjust model inputs iteratively, and available to patients both before and during consult appointments. Emphasis was placed on the challenge of explaining the model's composite result of quality-adjusted life years. A range of stakeholders provided valuable insights regarding the design of a personalized decision

  5. Cholinergic modulation of cognitive processing: insights drawn from computational models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ehren L Newman

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Acetylcholine plays an important role in cognitive function, as shown by pharmacological manipulations that impact working memory, attention, episodic memory and spatial memory function. Acetylcholine also shows striking modulatory influences on the cellular physiology of hippocampal and cortical neurons. Modeling of neural circuits provides a framework for understanding how the cognitive functions may arise from the influence of acetylcholine on neural and network dynamics. We review the influences of cholinergic manipulations on behavioral performance in working memory, attention, episodic memory and spatial memory tasks, the physiological effects of acetylcholine on neural and circuit dynamics, and the computational models that provide insight into the functional relationships between the physiology and behavior. Specifically, we discuss the important role of acetylcholine in governing mechanisms of active maintenance in working memory tasks and in regulating network dynamics important for effective processing of stimuli in attention and episodic memory tasks. We also propose that theta rhythm play a crucial role as an intermediary between the physiological influences of acetylcholine and behavior in episodic and spatial memory tasks. We conclude with a synthesis of the existing modeling work and highlight future directions that are likely to be rewarding given the existing state of the literature for both empiricists and modelers.

  6. Vitiligo blood transcriptomics provides new insights into disease mechanisms and identifies potential novel therapeutic targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey-Rao, Rama; Sinha, Animesh A

    2017-01-28

    Significant gaps remain regarding the pathomechanisms underlying the autoimmune response in vitiligo (VL), where the loss of self-tolerance leads to the targeted killing of melanocytes. Specifically, there is incomplete information regarding alterations in the systemic environment that are relevant to the disease state. We undertook a genome-wide profiling approach to examine gene expression in the peripheral blood of VL patients and healthy controls in the context of our previously published VL-skin gene expression profile. We used several in silico bioinformatics-based analyses to provide new insights into disease mechanisms and suggest novel targets for future therapy. Unsupervised clustering methods of the VL-blood dataset demonstrate a "disease-state"-specific set of co-expressed genes. Ontology enrichment analysis of 99 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) uncovers a down-regulated immune/inflammatory response, B-Cell antigen receptor (BCR) pathways, apoptosis and catabolic processes in VL-blood. There is evidence for both type I and II interferon (IFN) playing a role in VL pathogenesis. We used interactome analysis to identify several key blood associated transcriptional factors (TFs) from within (STAT1, STAT6 and NF-kB), as well as "hidden" (CREB1, MYC, IRF4, IRF1, and TP53) from the dataset that potentially affect disease pathogenesis. The TFs overlap with our reported lesional-skin transcriptional circuitry, underscoring their potential importance to the disease. We also identify a shared VL-blood and -skin transcriptional "hot spot" that maps to chromosome 6, and includes three VL-blood dysregulated genes (PSMB8, PSMB9 and TAP1) described as potential VL-associated genetic susceptibility loci. Finally, we provide bioinformatics-based support for prioritizing dysregulated genes in VL-blood or skin as potential therapeutic targets. We examined the VL-blood transcriptome in context with our (previously published) VL-skin transcriptional profile to address

  7. User experiences with clinical social franchising: qualitative insights from providers and clients in Ghana and Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sieverding, Maia; Briegleb, Christina; Montagu, Dominic

    2015-02-01

    Clinical social franchising is a rapidly growing delivery model in private healthcare markets in low- and middle-income countries. Despite this growth, little is known about providers' perceptions of the benefits and challenges of social franchising or clients' reasons for choosing franchised facilities over other healthcare options. We examine these questions in the context of three social franchise networks in Ghana and Kenya. We conducted in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of providers from the BlueStar Ghana, and Amua and Tunza networks in Kenya. We also conducted qualitative exit interviews with female clients who were leaving franchised facilities after a visit for a reproductive or child health reason. The total sample consists of 47 providers and 47 clients across the three networks. Providers perceived the main benefits of participation in a social franchise network to be training opportunities and access to a consistent supply of low-cost family planning commodities; few providers mentioned branding as a benefit of participation. Although most providers said that client flows for franchised services increased after joining the network, they did not associate this with improved finances for their facility. Clients overwhelmingly cited the quality of the client-provider relationship as their main motivation for attending the franchise facility. Recognition of the franchise brand was low among clients who were exiting a franchised facility. The most important benefit of social franchise programs to both providers and their clients may have more to do with training on business practices, patient counseling and customer service, than with subsidies, technical input, branding or clinical support. This finding may lead to a reconsideration of how franchise programs interact with both their member clinics and the larger health-seeking communities they serve.

  8. Modeling Defibrillation of the Heart: Approaches and Insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trayanova, Natalia; Constantino, Jason; Ashihara, Takashi; Plank, Gernot

    2012-01-01

    Cardiac defibrillation, as accomplished nowadays by automatic, implantable devices (ICDs), constitutes the most important means of combating sudden cardiac death. While ICD therapy has proved to be efficient and reliable, defibrillation is a traumatic experience. Thus, research on defibrillation mechanisms, particularly aimed at lowering defibrillation voltage, remains an important topic. Advancing our understanding towards a full appreciation of the mechanisms by which a shock interacts with the heart is the most promising approach to achieve this goal. The aim of this paper is to assess the current state-of-the-art in ventricular defibrillation modeling, focusing on both numerical modeling approaches and major insights that have been obtained using defibrillation models, primarily those of realistic ventricular geometry. The paper showcases the contributions that modeling and simulation have made to our understanding of the defibrillation process. The review thus provides an example of biophysically based computational modeling of the heart (i.e., cardiac defibrillation) that has advanced the understanding of cardiac electrophysiological interaction at the organ level and has the potential to contribute to the betterment of the clinical practice of defibrillation. PMID:22273793

  9. Corvid caching : insights from a cognitive model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Vaart, Elske; Verbrugge, Rineke; Hemelrijk, Charlotte K.

    Caching and recovery of food by corvids is well-studied, but some ambiguous results remain. To help clarify these, we built a computational cognitive model. It is inspired by similar models built for humans, and it assumes that memory strength depends on frequency and recency of use. We compared our

  10. New Insights from Rodent Models of Fatty Liver Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Rodent models of fatty liver disease are essential research tools that provide a window into disease pathogenesis and a testing ground for prevention and treatment. Models come in many varieties involving dietary and genetic manipulations, and sometimes both. High-energy diets that induce obesity do not uniformly cause fatty liver disease; this has prompted close scrutiny of specific macronutrients and nutrient combinations to determine which have the greatest potential for hepatotoxicity. At the same time, diets that do not cause obesity or the metabolic syndrome but do cause severe steatohepatitis have been exploited to study factors important to progressive liver injury, including cell death, oxidative stress, and immune activation. Rodents with a genetic predisposition to overeating offer yet another model in which to explore the evolution of fatty liver disease. In some animals that overeat, steatohepatitis can develop even without resorting to a high-energy diet. Importantly, these models and others have been used to document that aerobic exercise can prevent or reduce fatty liver disease. This review focuses primarily on lessons learned about steatohepatitis from manipulations of diet and eating behavior. Numerous additional insights about hepatic lipid metabolism, which have been gained from genetically engineered mice, are also mentioned. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 15, 535–550. PMID:21126212

  11. Melatonin receptors: latest insights from mouse models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tosini, Gianluca; Owino, Sharon; Guillame, Jean-Luc; Jockers, Ralf

    2014-01-01

    Summary Melatonin, the neuro-hormone synthesized during the night, has recently seen an unexpected extension of its functional implications towards type 2 diabetes development, visual functions, sleep disturbances and depression. Transgenic mouse models were instrumental for the establishment of the link between melatonin and these major human diseases. Most of the actions of melatonin are mediated by two types of G protein-coupled receptors, named MT1 and MT2, which are expressed in many different organs and tissues. Understanding the pharmacology and function of mouse MT1 and MT2 receptors, including MT1/MT2 heteromers, will be of crucial importance to evaluate the relevance of these mouse models for future therapeutic developments. This review will critically discuss these aspects, and give some perspectives including the generation of new mouse models. PMID:24903552

  12. Modeling Insights into the Lunar Exosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurley, D.; Feldman, P. D.; Retherford, K. D.; Cook, J.; Stern, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    In addition to Apollo data from the 1970s and ground-based observations, recent data from the Lyman Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) are revealing the structure and variability of the lunar exosphere. LAMP has detected helium in the lunar exosphere having many sources of variability. We use a Monte Carlo model to interpret variability in the observations of helium in the lunar exosphere from LAMP. Some of the variability stems from a time-varying source rate. Because the helium in the lunar exosphere predominately derives from the solar wind, we investigate the timescale of transport from release on the dayside to the nightside where it is observed. The model computes transport times for various assumptions about the energy distribution during the initial release and the effects of subsequent surface interactions on the ballistic transport. Owing to the changing geometry of the LRO orbit, spatial gradients also factor into the variability of the observations. We study the expected column density of helium as a function of latitude and longitude using surface temperatures measured by Diviner. The spatial distribution resulting from model runs is strongly influenced by the surface temperature and the assumed thermalization parameter. These dependencies can be used to extract information about the surface interactions. We compare model latitude and longitude dependences to LAMP and Apollo data. Finally, using upstream solar wind measurements and the position of LRO, we calculate the model time-varying helium exosphere of the Moon for comparison with LAMP data obtained in January, June, and July of 2012, including three passages of the Moon through Earth's magnetotail.

  13. Genomic and proteomic analyses of the fungus Arthrobotrys oligospora provide insights into nematode-trap formation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinkui Yang

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Nematode-trapping fungi are "carnivorous" and attack their hosts using specialized trapping devices. The morphological development of these traps is the key indicator of their switch from saprophytic to predacious lifestyles. Here, the genome of the nematode-trapping fungus Arthrobotrys oligospora Fres. (ATCC24927 was reported. The genome contains 40.07 Mb assembled sequence with 11,479 predicted genes. Comparative analysis showed that A. oligospora shared many more genes with pathogenic fungi than with non-pathogenic fungi. Specifically, compared to several sequenced ascomycete fungi, the A. oligospora genome has a larger number of pathogenicity-related genes in the subtilisin, cellulase, cellobiohydrolase, and pectinesterase gene families. Searching against the pathogen-host interaction gene database identified 398 homologous genes involved in pathogenicity in other fungi. The analysis of repetitive sequences provided evidence for repeat-induced point mutations in A. oligospora. Proteomic and quantitative PCR (qPCR analyses revealed that 90 genes were significantly up-regulated at the early stage of trap-formation by nematode extracts and most of these genes were involved in translation, amino acid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, cell wall and membrane biogenesis. Based on the combined genomic, proteomic and qPCR data, a model for the formation of nematode trapping device in this fungus was proposed. In this model, multiple fungal signal transduction pathways are activated by its nematode prey to further regulate downstream genes associated with diverse cellular processes such as energy metabolism, biosynthesis of the cell wall and adhesive proteins, cell division, glycerol accumulation and peroxisome biogenesis. This study will facilitate the identification of pathogenicity-related genes and provide a broad foundation for understanding the molecular and evolutionary mechanisms underlying fungi-nematodes interactions.

  14. Insight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramesh, Priya; Wei, Annan; Welter, Elisabeth; Bamps, Yvan; Stoll, Shelley; Bukach, Ashley; Sajatovic, Martha; Sahoo, Satya S

    2015-11-01

    Insight is a Semantic Web technology-based platform to support large-scale secondary analysis of healthcare data for neurology clinical research. Insight features the novel use of: (1) provenance metadata, which describes the history or origin of patient data, in clinical research analysis, and (2) support for patient cohort queries across multiple institutions conducting research in epilepsy, which is the one of the most common neurological disorders affecting 50 million persons worldwide. Insight is being developed as a healthcare informatics infrastructure to support a national network of eight epilepsy research centers across the U.S. funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This paper describes the use of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) PROV recommendation for provenance metadata that allows researchers to create patient cohorts based on the provenance of the research studies. In addition, the paper describes the use of descriptive logic-based OWL2 epilepsy ontology for cohort queries with "expansion of query expression" using ontology reasoning. Finally, the evaluation results for the data integration and query performance are described using data from three research studies with 180 epilepsy patients. The experiment results demonstrate that Insight is a scalable approach to use Semantic provenance metadata for context-based data analysis in healthcare informatics.

  15. Inferences from the historical distribution of wild and domesticated maize provide ecological and evolutionary insight.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew B Hufford

    Full Text Available The species Zea mays includes both domesticated maize (ssp. mays and its closest wild relatives known as the teosintes. While genetic and archaeological studies have provided a well-established history of Z. mays evolution, there is currently minimal description of its current and past distribution. Here, we implemented species distribution modeling using paleoclimatic models of the last interglacial (LI; ∼135,000 BP and the last glacial maximum (LGM; ∼21,000 BP to hindcast the distribution of Zea mays subspecies over time and to revisit current knowledge of its phylogeography and evolutionary history.Using a large occurrence data set and the distribution modeling MaxEnt algorithm, we obtained robust present and past species distributions of the two widely distributed teosinte subspecies (ssps. parviglumis and mexicana revealing almost perfect complementarity, stable through time, of their occupied distributions. We also investigated the present distributions of primitive maize landraces, which overlapped but were broader than those of the teosintes. Our data reinforced the idea that little historical gene flow has occurred between teosinte subspecies, but maize has served as a genetic bridge between them. We observed an expansion of teosinte habitat from the LI, consistent with population genetic data. Finally, we identified locations potentially serving as refugia for the teosintes throughout epochs of climate change and sites that should be targeted in future collections.The restricted and highly contrasting ecological niches of the wild teosintes differ substantially from domesticated maize. Variables determining the distributions of these taxa can inform future considerations of local adaptation and the impacts of climate change. Our assessment of the changing distributions of Zea mays taxa over time offers a unique glimpse into the history of maize, highlighting a strategy for the study of domestication that may prove useful for other

  16. Large-scale GWAS identifies multiple loci for hand grip strength providing biological insights into muscular fitness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willems, Sara M; Wright, Daniel J.; Day, Felix R

    2017-01-01

    with involvement of psychomotor impairment (PEX14, LRPPRC and KANSL1). Mendelian randomization analyses are consistent with a causal effect of higher genetically predicted grip strength on lower fracture risk. In conclusion, our findings provide new biological insight into the mechanistic underpinnings of grip...

  17. Multiple kisspeptin receptors in early Osteichthyans provide new insights into the evolution of this receptor family

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pasquier, J.; Lafont, A._G.; Jeng, S.-R.

    2012-01-01

    a variable number of Kissr genes, from none in birds, one or two in teleosts, to three in an amphibian, xenopus. In order to get more insight into the evolution of Kissr gene family, we investigated the presence of Kissr in osteichthyans of key-phylogenetical positions: the coelacanth, a representative...... of early sarcopterygians, the spotted gar, a non-teleost actinopterygian, and the European eel, a member of an early group of teleosts (elopomorphs). We report the occurrence of three Kissr for the first time in a teleost, the eel. As measured by quantitative RT-PCR, the three eel Kissr were differentially...

  18. Lessons from a gene regulatory network: echinoderm skeletogenesis provides insights into evolution, plasticity and morphogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ettensohn, Charles A

    2009-01-01

    Significant new insights have emerged from the analysis of a gene regulatory network (GRN) that underlies the development of the endoskeleton of the sea urchin embryo. Comparative studies have revealed ways in which this GRN has been modified (and conserved) during echinoderm evolution, and point to mechanisms associated with the evolution of a new cell lineage. The skeletogenic GRN has also recently been used to study the long-standing problem of developmental plasticity. Other recent findings have linked this transcriptional GRN to morphoregulatory proteins that control skeletal anatomy. These new studies highlight powerful new ways in which GRNs can be used to dissect development and the evolution of morphogenesis.

  19. Pathway analysis of GWAS provides new insights into genetic susceptibility to 3 inflammatory diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hariklia Eleftherohorinou

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Although the introduction of genome-wide association studies (GWAS have greatly increased the number of genes associated with common diseases, only a small proportion of the predicted genetic contribution has so far been elucidated. Studying the cumulative variation of polymorphisms in multiple genes acting in functional pathways may provide a complementary approach to the more common single SNP association approach in understanding genetic determinants of common disease. We developed a novel pathway-based method to assess the combined contribution of multiple genetic variants acting within canonical biological pathways and applied it to data from 14,000 UK individuals with 7 common diseases. We tested inflammatory pathways for association with Crohn's disease (CD, rheumatoid arthritis (RA and type 1 diabetes (T1D with 4 non-inflammatory diseases as controls. Using a variable selection algorithm, we identified variants responsible for the pathway association and evaluated their use for disease prediction using a 10 fold cross-validation framework in order to calculate out-of-sample area under the Receiver Operating Curve (AUC. The generalisability of these predictive models was tested on an independent birth cohort from Northern Finland. Multiple canonical inflammatory pathways showed highly significant associations (p 10(-3-10(-20 with CD, T1D and RA. Variable selection identified on average a set of 205 SNPs (149 genes for T1D, 350 SNPs (189 genes for RA and 493 SNPs (277 genes for CD. The pattern of polymorphisms at these SNPS were found to be highly predictive of T1D (91% AUC and RA (85% AUC, and weakly predictive of CD (60% AUC. The predictive ability of the T1D model (without any parameter refitting had good predictive ability (79% AUC in the Finnish cohort. Our analysis suggests that genetic contribution to common inflammatory diseases operates through multiple genes interacting in functional pathways.

  20. Activity Clamp Provides Insights into Paradoxical Effects of the Anti-Seizure Drug Carbamazepine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Gareth; Leite, Marco; Kullmann, Dimitri M; Pavlov, Ivan; Schorge, Stephanie; Lignani, Gabriele

    2017-05-31

    A major challenge in experimental epilepsy research is to reconcile the effects of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) on individual neurons with their network-level actions. Highlighting this difficulty, it is unclear why carbamazepine (CBZ), a frontline AED with a known molecular mechanism, has been reported to increase epileptiform activity in several clinical and experimental studies. We confirmed in an in vitro mouse model (in both sexes) that the frequency of interictal bursts increased after CBZ perfusion. To address the underlying mechanisms, we developed a method, activity clamp, to distinguish the response of individual neurons from network-level actions of CBZ. We first recorded barrages of synaptic conductances from neurons during epileptiform activity and then replayed them in pharmacologically isolated neurons under control conditions and in the presence of CBZ. CBZ consistently decreased the reliability of the second action potential in each burst of activity. Conventional current-clamp recordings using excitatory ramp or square-step current injections failed to reveal this effect. Network modeling showed that a CBZ-induced decrease of neuron recruitment during epileptic bursts can lead to an increase in burst frequency at the network level by reducing the refractoriness of excitatory transmission. By combining activity clamp with computer simulations, the present study provides a potential explanation for the paradoxical effects of CBZ on epileptiform activity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The effects of anti-epileptic drugs on individual neurons are difficult to separate from their network-level actions. Although carbamazepine (CBZ) has a known anti-epileptic mechanism, paradoxically, it has also been reported to increase epileptiform activity in clinical and experimental studies. To investigate this paradox during realistic neuronal epileptiform activity, we developed a method, activity clamp, to distinguish the effects of CBZ on individual neurons from network

  1. The Medicago Genome Provides Insight into the Evolution of Rhizobial Symbioses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Nevin D.; Debellé, Frédéric; Oldroyd, Giles E. D.; Geurts, Rene; Cannon, Steven B.; Udvardi, Michael K.; Benedito, Vagner A.; Mayer, Klaus F. X.; Gouzy, Jérôme; Schoof, Heiko; Van de Peer, Yves; Proost, Sebastian; Cook, Douglas R.; Meyers, Blake C.; Spannagl, Manuel; Cheung, Foo; De Mita, Stéphane; Krishnakumar, Vivek; Gundlach, Heidrun; Zhou, Shiguo; Mudge, Joann; Bharti, Arvind K.; Murray, Jeremy D.; Naoumkina, Marina A.; Rosen, Benjamin; Silverstein, Kevin A. T.; Tang, Haibao; Rombauts, Stephane; Zhao, Patrick X.; Zhou, Peng; Barbe, Valérie; Bardou, Philippe; Bechner, Michael; Bellec, Arnaud; Berger, Anne; Bergès, Hélène; Bidwell, Shelby; Bisseling, Ton; Choisne, Nathalie; Couloux, Arnaud; Denny, Roxanne; Deshpande, Shweta; Dai, Xinbin; Doyle, Jeff; Dudez, Anne-Marie; Farmer, Andrew D.; Fouteau, Stéphanie; Franken, Carolien; Gibelin, Chrystel; Gish, John; Goldstein, Steven; González, Alvaro J.; Green, Pamela J.; Hallab, Asis; Hartog, Marijke; Hua, Axin; Humphray, Sean; Jeong, Dong-Hoon; Jing, Yi; Jöcker, Anika; Kenton, Steve M.; Kim, Dong-Jin; Klee, Kathrin; Lai, Hongshing; Lang, Chunting; Lin, Shaoping; Macmil, Simone L; Magdelenat, Ghislaine; Matthews, Lucy; McCorrison, Jamison; Monaghan, Erin L.; Mun, Jeong-Hwan; Najar, Fares Z.; Nicholson, Christine; Noirot, Céline; O’Bleness, Majesta; Paule, Charles R.; Poulain, Julie; Prion, Florent; Qin, Baifang; Qu, Chunmei; Retzel, Ernest F.; Riddle, Claire; Sallet, Erika; Samain, Sylvie; Samson, Nicolas; Sanders, Iryna; Saurat, Olivier; Scarpelli, Claude; Schiex, Thomas; Segurens, Béatrice; Severin, Andrew J.; Sherrier, D. Janine; Shi, Ruihua; Sims, Sarah; Singer, Susan R.; Sinharoy, Senjuti; Sterck, Lieven; Viollet, Agnès; Wang, Bing-Bing; Wang, Keqin; Wang, Mingyi; Wang, Xiaohong; Warfsmann, Jens; Weissenbach, Jean; White, Doug D.; White, Jim D.; Wiley, Graham B.; Wincker, Patrick; Xing, Yanbo; Yang, Limei; Yao, Ziyun; Ying, Fu; Zhai, Jixian; Zhou, Liping; Zuber, Antoine; Dénarié, Jean; Dixon, Richard A.; May, Gregory D.; Schwartz, David C.; Rogers, Jane; Quétier, Francis; Town, Christopher D.; Roe, Bruce A.

    2011-01-01

    Legumes (Fabaceae or Leguminosae) are unique among cultivated plants for their ability to carry out endosymbiotic nitrogen fixation with rhizobial bacteria, a process that takes place in a specialized structure known as the nodule. Legumes belong to one of the two main groups of eurosids, the Fabidae, which includes most species capable of endosymbiotic nitrogen fixation 1. Legumes comprise several evolutionary lineages derived from a common ancestor 60 million years ago (Mya). Papilionoids are the largest clade, dating nearly to the origin of legumes and containing most cultivated species 2. Medicago truncatula (Mt) is a long-established model for the study of legume biology. Here we describe the draft sequence of the Mt euchromatin based on a recently completed BAC-assembly supplemented with Illumina-shotgun sequence, together capturing ~94% of all Mt genes. A whole-genome duplication (WGD) approximately 58 Mya played a major role in shaping the Mt genome and thereby contributed to the evolution of endosymbiotic nitrogen fixation. Subsequent to the WGD, the Mt genome experienced higher levels of rearrangement than two other sequenced legumes, Glycine max (Gm) and Lotus japonicus (Lj). Mt is a close relative of alfalfa (M. sativa), a widely cultivated crop with limited genomics tools and complex autotetraploid genetics. As such, the Mt genome sequence provides significant opportunities to expand alfalfa’s genomic toolbox. PMID:22089132

  2. Genetic Aspects of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Insights from Animal Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swati eBanerjee

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Autism spectrum disorders (ASD are a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that display a triad of core behavioral deficits including restricted interests, often accompanied by repetitive behavior, deficits in language and communication, and an inability to engage in reciprocal social interactions. ASD is among the most heritable disorders but is not a simple disorder with a singular pathology and has a rather complex etiology. It is interesting to note that perturbations in synaptic growth, development and stability underlie a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders, including ASD, schizophrenia, epilepsy and intellectual disability. Biological characterization of an increasing repertoire of synaptic mutants in various model organisms indicates synaptic dysfunction as causal in the pathophysiology of ASD. Our understanding of the genes and genetic pathways that contribute towards the formation, stabilization and maintenance of functional synapses coupled with an in-depth phenotypic analysis of the cellular and behavioral characteristics is therefore essential to unraveling the pathogenesis of these disorders. In this review, we discuss the genetic aspects of ASD emphasizing on the well conserved set of genes and genetic pathways implicated in this disorder, many of which contribute to synapse assembly and maintenance across species. We also review how fundamental research using animal models is providing key insights into the various facets of human ASD.

  3. A holistic evolutionary and structural study of flaviviridae provides insights into the function and inhibition of HCV helicase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitrios Vlachakis

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Viral RNA helicases are involved in duplex unwinding during the RNA replication of the virus. It is suggested that these helicases represent very promising antiviral targets. Viruses of the flaviviridae family are the causative agents of many common and devastating diseases, including hepatitis, yellow fever and dengue fever. As there is currently no available anti-Flaviviridae therapy, there is urgent need for the development of efficient anti-viral pharmaceutical strategies. Herein, we report the complete phylogenetic analysis across flaviviridae alongside a more in-depth evolutionary study that revealed a series of conserved and invariant amino acids that are predicted to be key to the function of the helicase. Structural molecular modelling analysis revealed the strategic significance of these residues based on their relative positioning on the 3D structures of the helicase enzymes, which may be used as pharmacological targets. We previously reported a novel series of highly potent HCV helicase inhibitors, and we now re-assess their antiviral potential using the 3D structural model of the invariant helicase residues. It was found that the most active compound of the series, compound C4, exhibited an IC50 in the submicromolar range, whereas its stereoisomer (compound C12 was completely inactive. Useful insights were obtained from molecular modelling and conformational search studies via molecular dynamics simulations. C12 tends to bend and lock in an almost “U” shape conformation, failing to establish vital interactions with the active site of HCV. On the contrary, C4 spends most of its conformational time in a straight, more rigid formation that allows it to successfully block the passage of the oligonucleotide in the ssRNA channel of the HCV helicase. This study paves the way and provides the necessary framework for the in-depth analysis required to enable the future design of new and potent anti-viral agents.

  4. Comparative transcriptional profiling provides insights into the evolution and development of the zygomorphic flower of Vicia sativa (Papilionoideae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhipeng Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Vicia sativa (the common vetch possesses a predominant zygomorphic flower and belongs to the subfamily Papilionoideae, which is related to Arabidopsis thaliana in the eurosid II clade of the core eudicots. Each vetch flower consists of 21 concentrically arranged organs: the outermost five sepals, then five petals and ten stamens, and a single carpel in the center. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We explored the floral transcriptome to examine a genome-scale genetic model of the zygomorphic flower of vetch. mRNA was obtained from an equal mixture of six floral organs, leaves and roots. De novo assembly of the vetch transcriptome using Illumina paired-end technology produced 71,553 unigenes with an average length of 511 bp. We then compared the expression changes in the 71,553 unigenes in the eight independent organs through RNA-Seq Quantification analysis. We predominantly analyzed gene expression patterns specific to each floral organ and combinations of floral organs that corresponded to the traditional ABC model domains. Comparative analyses were performed in the floral transcriptomes of vetch and Arabidopsis, and genomes of vetch and Medicago truncatula. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our comparative analysis of vetch and Arabidopsis showed that the vetch flowers conform to a strict ABC model. We analyzed the evolution and expression of the TCP gene family in vetch at a whole-genome level, and several unigenes specific to three different vetch petals, which might offer some clues toward elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying floral zygomorphy. Our results provide the first insights into the genome-scale molecular regulatory network that controls the evolution and development of the zygomorphic flower in Papilionoideae.

  5. De novo Sequencing and Analysis of Lemongrass Transcriptome Provides First Insights into the Essential Oil Biosynthesis of Aromatic Grasses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seema Meena

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Aromatic grasses of the genus Cymbopogon (Poaceae family represent unique group of plants that produce diverse composition of monoterpene rich essential oils, which have great value in flavour, fragrance, cosmetic and aromatherapy industries. Despite the commercial importance of these natural aromatic oils, their biosynthesis at the molecular level remains unexplored. As the first step towards understanding the essential oil biosynthesis, we performed de novo transcriptome assembly and analysis of C. flexuosus (lemongrass by employing Illumina sequencing. Mining of transcriptome data and subsequent phylogenetic analysis led to identification of terpene synthases (TPS, pyrophosphatases (PPase, alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH, aldo-keto reductases (AKR, carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases (CCD, alcohol acetyltransferases (AAT and aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDH, which are potentially involved in essential oil biosynthesis. Comparative essential oil profiling and mRNA expression analysis in three Cymbopogon species (C. flexuosus, aldehyde type; C. martinii, alcohol type; and C. winterianus, intermediate type with varying essential oil composition indicated the involvement of identified candidate genes in the formation of alcohols, aldehydes and acetates. Molecular modeling and docking further supported the role of identified enzymes in aroma formation in Cymbopogon. Also, simple sequence repeats (SSRs were found in the transcriptome with many linked to terpene pathway genes including the genes potentially involved in aroma biosynthesis. This work provides the first insights into the essential oil biosynthesis of aromatic grasses, and the identified candidate genes and markers can be a great resource for biotechnological and molecular breeding approaches to modulate the essential oil composition.

  6. De Novo Sequencing and Analysis of Lemongrass Transcriptome Provide First Insights into the Essential Oil Biosynthesis of Aromatic Grasses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meena, Seema; Kumar, Sarma R; Venkata Rao, D K; Dwivedi, Varun; Shilpashree, H B; Rastogi, Shubhra; Shasany, Ajit K; Nagegowda, Dinesh A

    2016-01-01

    Aromatic grasses of the genus Cymbopogon (Poaceae family) represent unique group of plants that produce diverse composition of monoterpene rich essential oils, which have great value in flavor, fragrance, cosmetic, and aromatherapy industries. Despite the commercial importance of these natural aromatic oils, their biosynthesis at the molecular level remains unexplored. As the first step toward understanding the essential oil biosynthesis, we performed de novo transcriptome assembly and analysis of C. flexuosus (lemongrass) by employing Illumina sequencing. Mining of transcriptome data and subsequent phylogenetic analysis led to identification of terpene synthases, pyrophosphatases, alcohol dehydrogenases, aldo-keto reductases, carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases, alcohol acetyltransferases, and aldehyde dehydrogenases, which are potentially involved in essential oil biosynthesis. Comparative essential oil profiling and mRNA expression analysis in three Cymbopogon species (C. flexuosus, aldehyde type; C. martinii, alcohol type; and C. winterianus, intermediate type) with varying essential oil composition indicated the involvement of identified candidate genes in the formation of alcohols, aldehydes, and acetates. Molecular modeling and docking further supported the role of identified protein sequences in aroma formation in Cymbopogon. Also, simple sequence repeats were found in the transcriptome with many linked to terpene pathway genes including the genes potentially involved in aroma biosynthesis. This work provides the first insights into the essential oil biosynthesis of aromatic grasses, and the identified candidate genes and markers can be a great resource for biotechnological and molecular breeding approaches to modulate the essential oil composition.

  7. Communicating Insights from Complex Simulation Models: A Gaming Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vennix, Jac A. M.; Geurts, Jac L. A.

    1987-01-01

    Describes design principles followed in developing an interactive microcomputer-based simulation to study financial and economic aspects of the Dutch social security system. The main goals are to improve participants' insights into the formal simulation model, and to improve policy development skills. Plans for future research are also discussed.…

  8. The elite cross-country skier provides unique insights into human exercise physiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmberg, H-C

    2015-12-01

    Successful cross-country skiing, one of the most demanding of endurance sports, involves considerable physiological challenges posed by the combined upper- and lower-body effort of varying intensity and duration, on hilly terrain, often at moderate altitude and in a cold environment. Over the years, this unique sport has helped physiologists gain novel insights into the limits of human performance and regulatory capacity. There is a long-standing tradition of researchers in this field working together with coaches and athletes to improve training routines, monitor progress, and refine skiing techniques. This review summarizes research on elite cross-country skiers, with special emphasis on the studies initiated by Professor Bengt Saltin. He often employed exercise as a means to learn more about the human body, successfully engaging elite endurance athletes to improve our understanding of the demands, characteristics, and specific effects associated with different types of exercise. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Comparative Analysis of Proteomes and Functionomes Provides Insights into Origins of Cellular Diversification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arshan Nasir

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Reconstructing the evolutionary history of modern species is a difficult problem complicated by the conceptual and technical limitations of phylogenetic tree building methods. Here, we propose a comparative proteomic and functionomic inferential framework for genome evolution that allows resolving the tripartite division of cells and sketching their history. Evolutionary inferences were derived from the spread of conserved molecular features, such as molecular structures and functions, in the proteomes and functionomes of contemporary organisms. Patterns of use and reuse of these traits yielded significant insights into the origins of cellular diversification. Results uncovered an unprecedented strong evolutionary association between Bacteria and Eukarya while revealing marked evolutionary reductive tendencies in the archaeal genomic repertoires. The effects of nonvertical evolutionary processes (e.g., HGT, convergent evolution were found to be limited while reductive evolution and molecular innovation appeared to be prevalent during the evolution of cells. Our study revealed a strong vertical trace in the history of proteins and associated molecular functions, which was reliably recovered using the comparative genomics approach. The trace supported the existence of a stem line of descent and the very early appearance of Archaea as a diversified superkingdom, but failed to uncover a hidden canonical pattern in which Bacteria was the first superkingdom to deploy superkingdom-specific structures and functions.

  10. OCT layered tomography of the cornea provides new insights on remodeling after photorefractive keratectomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandapura, Rachana S; Shetty, Rohit; Shroff, Rushad; Shilpy, Neha; Francis, Mathew; Sinha Roy, Abhijit

    2018-02-01

    OCT (optical coherence tomography) of corneal layers was generated to analyze the remodeling of the epithelium and stroma after photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). Myopic PRK was performed in 15 patients. One eye underwent manual scraping of epithelium while the other was treated with Epi clear. Epi clear allowed a gentler removal of the epithelium compared to manual scraping. Scheimpflug (Pentacam, OCULUS Optikgerate Gmbh, Wetzlar, Germany) and OCT (RTVue, Optovue Inc., Fremont, California, USA) scans of the cornea were performed before and after PRK (3 months). The OCT scanner and Pentacam acquired 8 and 25 radial 2-D scans of the cornea, respectively. The results showed similar topographic changes on the anterior corneal surface between Scheimpflug and OCT imaging. The curvature of the underlying anterior surface of the stroma after PRK was similar to the anterior corneal surface (air-epithelium interface), when measured with OCT. Aberrometric changes were mostly similar between Scheimpflug and OCT. However, Scheimpflug imaging reported greater changes in spherical aberration and corneal higher order aberrations than OCT after PRK. This is the first study to quantify the curvatures of the stromal layers with OCT after PRK. New insights were gained, which could be useful for refinement of surgical ablation algorithms, refractive procedures and detection of ectasia. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. The Turbulent Interstellar Medium: Insights and Questions from Numerical Models

    OpenAIRE

    Mac Low, Mordecai-Mark; de Avillez, Miguel A.; Korpi, Maarit J.

    2003-01-01

    "The purpose of numerical models is not numbers but insight." (Hamming) In the spirit of this adage, and of Don Cox's approach to scientific speaking, we discuss the questions that the latest generation of numerical models of the interstellar medium raise, at least for us. The energy source for the interstellar turbulence is still under discussion. We review the argument for supernovae dominating in star forming regions. Magnetorotational instability has been suggested as a way of coupling di...

  12. Economic Insights into Providing Access to Improved Groundwater Sources in Remote, Low-Resource Areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abramson, A.; Lazarovitch, N.; Adar, E.

    2013-12-01

    Groundwater is often the most or only feasible drinking water source in remote, low-resource areas. Yet the economics of its development have not been systematically outlined. We applied CBARWI (Cost-Benefit Analysis for Remote Water Improvements), a recently developed Decision Support System, to investigate the economic, physical and management factors related to the costs and benefits of non-networked groundwater supply in remote areas. Synthetic profiles of community water services (n = 17,962), defined across 14 parameters' values and ranges relevant to remote areas, were imputed into the decision framework, and the parameter effects on economic outcomes were investigated through regression analysis (Table 1). Several approaches were included for financing the improvements, after Abramson et al, 2011: willingness-to -pay (WTP), -borrow (WTB) and -work (WTW) in community irrigation (';water-for-work'). We found that low-cost groundwater development approaches are almost 7 times more cost-effective than conventional boreholes fitted with handpumps. The costs of electric, submersible borehole pumps are comparable only when providing expanded water supplies, and off-grid communities pay significantly more for such expansions. In our model, new source construction is less cost-effective than improvement of existing wells, but necessary for expanding access to isolated households. The financing approach significantly impacts the feasibility of demand-driven cost recovery; in our investigation, benefit exceeds cost in 16, 32 and 48% of water service configurations financed by WTP, WTB and WTW, respectively. Regressions of total cost (R2 = 0.723) and net benefit under WTW (R2 = 0.829) along with analysis of output distributions indicate that parameters determining the profitability of irrigation are different from those determining costs and other measures of net benefit. These findings suggest that the cost-benefit outcomes associated with groundwater-based water

  13. Analysis of the Proteome of the Marine Diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum Exposed to Aluminum Providing Insights into Aluminum Toxicity Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Jun; Bai, Xiaocui; Lavoie, Michel; Lu, Haiping; Fan, Xiaoji; Pan, Xiangliang; Fu, Zhengwei; Qian, Haifeng

    2015-09-15

    Trace aluminum (Al) concentrations can be toxic to marine phytoplankton, the basis of the marine food web, but the fundamental Al toxicity and detoxification mechanisms at the molecular levels are poorly understood. Using an array of proteomic, transcriptomic, and biochemical techniques, we describe in detail the cellular response of the model marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum to a short-term sublethal Al stress (4 h of exposure to 200 μM total initial Al). A total of 2204 proteins were identified and quantified by isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) in response to the Al stress. Among them, 87 and 78 proteins performing various cell functions were up- and down-regulated after Al treatment, respectively. We found that photosynthesis was a key Al toxicity target. The Al-induced decrease in electron transport rates in thylakoid membranes lead to an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, which cause increased lipid peroxidation. Several ROS-detoxifying proteins were induced to help decrease Al-induced oxidative stress. In parallel, glycolysis and pentose phosphate pathway were up-regulated in order to produce cell energy (NADPH, ATP) and carbon skeleton for cell growth, partially circumventing the Al-induced toxicity effects on photosynthesis. These cellular responses to Al stress were coordinated by the activation of various signal transduction pathways. The identification of Al-responsive proteins in the model marine phytoplankton P. tricornutum provides new insights on Al stress responses as well as a good start for further exploring Al detoxification mechanisms.

  14. Fracture development around deep underground excavations: Insights from FDEM modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Lisjak

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Over the past twenty years, there has been a growing interest in the development of numerical models that can realistically capture the progressive failure of rock masses. In particular, the investigation of damage development around underground excavations represents a key issue in several rock engineering applications, including tunnelling, mining, drilling, hydroelectric power generation, and the deep geological disposal of nuclear waste. The goal of this paper is to show the effectiveness of a hybrid finite-discrete element method (FDEM code to simulate the fracturing mechanisms associated with the excavation of underground openings in brittle rock formations. A brief review of the current state-of-the-art modelling approaches is initially provided, including the description of selecting continuum- and discontinuum-based techniques. Then, the influence of a number of factors, including mechanical and in situ stress anisotropy, as well as excavation geometry, on the simulated damage is analysed for three different geomechanical scenarios. Firstly, the fracture nucleation and growth process under isotropic rock mass conditions is simulated for a circular shaft. Secondly, the influence of mechanical anisotropy on the development of an excavation damaged zone (EDZ around a tunnel excavated in a layered rock formation is considered. Finally, the interaction mechanisms between two large caverns of an underground hydroelectric power station are investigated, with particular emphasis on the rock mass response sensitivity to the pillar width and excavation sequence. Overall, the numerical results indicate that FDEM simulations can provide unique geomechanical insights in cases where an explicit consideration of fracture and fragmentation processes is of paramount importance.

  15. Large-scale GWAS identifies multiple loci for hand grip strength providing biological insights into muscular fitness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Willems, Sara M; Wright, Daniel J; Day, Felix R

    2017-01-01

    ,180 individuals and identify 16 loci associated with grip strength (Pmaintenance and signal transduction (PEX14, TGFA, SYT1), or monogenic syndromes...... with involvement of psychomotor impairment (PEX14, LRPPRC and KANSL1). Mendelian randomization analyses are consistent with a causal effect of higher genetically predicted grip strength on lower fracture risk. In conclusion, our findings provide new biological insight into the mechanistic underpinnings of grip...

  16. Patient-reported measures provide unique insights into motor function after stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Jill Campbell; Cramer, Steven C

    2013-04-01

    Patient-reported outcome measures have been found useful in many disciplines but have received limited evaluation after stroke. The current study investigated the relationship that patient-reported measures have with standard impairment and disability scales after stroke. Patients with motor deficits after stroke were scored on standard assessments including the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, modified Rankin Scale, and Fugl-Meyer motor scale, and on 2 patient-reported measures, the hand function domain of the Stroke Impact Scale, which documents difficulty of hand motor usage, and the amount of use portion of the Motor Activity Log, which records amount of arm motor usage. The 43 participants had mild disability (median modified Rankin Scale=2), moderate motor deficits (Fugl-Meyer motor scale=46 ± 22), and mild cognitive/language deficits. The 2 patient-reported outcome measures, Stroke Impact Scale and Motor Activity Log, were sensitive to the presence of arm motor deficits. Of 21 patients classified as having minimal or no impairment or disability by the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale or modified Rankin Scale (score of 0-1), 15 (71%) reported difficulty with hand movements by the Stroke Impact Scale score or reduced arm use by the Motor Activity Log score. Furthermore, of 14 patients with a normal examination, 10 (71%) reported difficulty with hand movements or reduction in arm use. Patient-reported measures were a unique source of insight into clinical status in the current population. Motor deficits were revealed in a majority of patients classified by standard scales as having minimal or no disability, and in a majority of patients classified as having no deficits.

  17. The Tarenaya hassleriana Genome Provides Insight into Reproductive Trait and Genome Evolution of Crucifers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cheng, S.; Bergh, van den E.; Zeng, P.; Zong, X.; Hofberger, J.; Bruijn, de S.A.; Bhide, A.S.; Kuelahoglu, C.; Bian, C.; Chen, J.; Fan, G.; Kaufmann, K.; Hall, J.C.; Becker, A.; Brautigam, A.; Weber, A.P.M.; Shi, C.; Zheng, Z.; Li, W.; Lv, M.; Tao, Y.; Wang, M.; Zou, H.; Quan, Z.; Hibberd, J.M.; Zhang, G.; Zhu, X.; Schranz, M.E.

    2013-01-01

    The Brassicaceae, including Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica crops, is unmatched among plants in its wealth of genomic and functional molecular data and has long served as a model for understanding gene, genome, and trait evolution. However, genome information from a phylogenetic outgroup that is

  18. The impact of the business cycle on service providers : Insights from international tourism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dekimpe, Marnik; Peers, Yuri; van Heerde, H.J.

    For service providers, it is essential to understand how their business is affected by the macroeconomy. This is especially pressing for the tourism sector, the world’s largest export service, because the number of incoming visitors is likely to be strongly determined by the business cycles in the

  19. Reconstructing SALMFamide Neuropeptide Precursor Evolution in the Phylum Echinodermata: Ophiuroid and Crinoid Sequence Data Provide New Insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elphick, Maurice R.; Semmens, Dean C.; Blowes, Liisa M.; Levine, Judith; Lowe, Christopher J.; Arnone, Maria I.; Clark, Melody S.

    2015-01-01

    The SALMFamides are a family of neuropeptides that act as muscle relaxants in echinoderms. Analysis of genome/transcriptome sequence data from the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Echinoidea), the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Holothuroidea), and the starfish Patiria miniata (Asteroidea) reveals that in each species there are two types of SALMFamide precursor: an L-type precursor comprising peptides with a C-terminal LxFamide-type motif and an F-type precursor solely or largely comprising peptides with a C-terminal FxFamide-type motif. Here, we have identified transcripts encoding SALMFamide precursors in the brittle star Ophionotus victoriae (Ophiuroidea) and the feather star Antedon mediterranea (Crinoidea). We have also identified SALMFamide precursors in other species belonging to each of the five echinoderm classes. As in S. purpuratus, A. japonicus, and P. miniata, in O. victoriae there is one L-type precursor and one F-type precursor. However, in A. mediterranea only a single SALMFamide precursor was found, comprising two peptides with a LxFamide-type motif, one with a FxFamide-type motif, five with a FxLamide-type motif, and four with a LxLamide-type motif. As crinoids are basal to the Echinozoa (Holothuroidea + Echinoidea) and Asterozoa (Asteroidea + Ophiuroidea) in echinoderm phylogeny, one model of SALMFamide precursor evolution would be that ancestrally there was a single SALMFamide gene encoding a variety of SALMFamides (as in crinoids), which duplicated in a common ancestor of the Echinozoa and Asterozoa and then specialized to encode L-type SALMFamides or F-type SALMFamides. Alternatively, a second SALMFamide precursor may remain to be discovered or may have been lost in crinoids. Further insights will be obtained if SALMFamide receptors are identified, which would provide a molecular basis for experimental analysis of the functional significance of the “cocktails” of SALMFamides that exist in echinoderms. PMID:25699014

  20. Reconstructing SALMFamide neuropeptide precursor evolution in the phylum Echinodermata: ophiuroid and crinoid sequence data provide new insights

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurice R Elphick

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The SALMFamides are a family of neuropeptides that act as muscle relaxants in echinoderms. Analysis of genome/transcriptome sequence data from the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Echinoidea, the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Holothuroidea and the starfish Patiria miniata (Asteroidea reveals that in each species there are two types of SALMFamide precursor: an L-type precursor comprising peptides with a C-terminal LxFamide-type motif and an F-type precursor solely or largely comprising peptides with a C-terminal FxFamide-type motif. Here we have identified transcripts encoding SALMFamide precursors in the brittle star Ophionotus victoriae (Ophiuroidea and the feather star Antedon mediterranea (Crinoidea. We have also identified SALMFamide precursors in other species belonging to each of the five echinoderm classes. As in S. purpuratus, A. japonicus and P. miniata, in O. victoriae there is one L-type precursor and one F-type precursor. However, in A. mediterranea only a single SALMFamide precursor was found, comprising two peptides with a LxFamide-type motif, one with a FxFamide-type motif, five with a FxLamide-type motif and four with a LxLamide-type motif. As crinoids are basal to the Echinozoa (Holothuroidea + Echinoidea and Asterozoa (Asteroidea + Ophiuroidea in echinoderm phylogeny, one model of SALMFamide precursor evolution would be that ancestrally there was a single SALMFamide gene encoding a variety of SALMFamides (as in crinoids, which duplicated in a common ancestor of the Echinozoa and Asterozoa and then specialised to encode L-type SALMFamides or F-type SALMFamides. Alternatively, a second SALMFamide precursor may remain to be discovered or may have been lost in crinoids. Further insights will be obtained if SALMFamide receptors are identified, which would provide a molecular basis for experimental analysis of the functional significance of the cocktails of SALMFamides that exist in echinoderms.

  1. Genome sequence of an Australian kangaroo, Macropus eugenii, provides insight into the evolution of mammalian reproduction and development

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background We present the genome sequence of the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, which is a member of the kangaroo family and the first representative of the iconic hopping mammals that symbolize Australia to be sequenced. The tammar has many unusual biological characteristics, including the longest period of embryonic diapause of any mammal, extremely synchronized seasonal breeding and prolonged and sophisticated lactation within a well-defined pouch. Like other marsupials, it gives birth to highly altricial young, and has a small number of very large chromosomes, making it a valuable model for genomics, reproduction and development. Results The genome has been sequenced to 2 × coverage using Sanger sequencing, enhanced with additional next generation sequencing and the integration of extensive physical and linkage maps to build the genome assembly. We also sequenced the tammar transcriptome across many tissues and developmental time points. Our analyses of these data shed light on mammalian reproduction, development and genome evolution: there is innovation in reproductive and lactational genes, rapid evolution of germ cell genes, and incomplete, locus-specific X inactivation. We also observe novel retrotransposons and a highly rearranged major histocompatibility complex, with many class I genes located outside the complex. Novel microRNAs in the tammar HOX clusters uncover new potential mammalian HOX regulatory elements. Conclusions Analyses of these resources enhance our understanding of marsupial gene evolution, identify marsupial-specific conserved non-coding elements and critical genes across a range of biological systems, including reproduction, development and immunity, and provide new insight into marsupial and mammalian biology and genome evolution. PMID:21854559

  2. Precision Neutron Time-of-Flight Detectors Provide Insight into NIF Implosion Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlossberg, David; Eckart, M. J.; Grim, G. P.; Hartouni, E. P.; Hatarik, R.; Moore, A. S.; Waltz, C. S.

    2017-10-01

    During inertial confinement fusion, higher-order moments of neutron time-of-flight (nToF) spectra can provide essential information for optimizing implosions. The nToF diagnostic suite at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) was recently upgraded to include novel, quartz Cherenkov detectors. These detectors exploit the rapid Cherenkov radiation process, in contrast with conventional scintillator decay times, to provide high temporal-precision measurements that support higher-order moment analyses. Preliminary measurements have been made on the NIF during several implosions and initial results are presented here. Measured line-of-sight asymmetries, for example in ion temperatures, will be discussed. Finally, advanced detector optimization is shown to advance accessible physics, with possibilities for energy discrimination, gamma source identification, and further reduction in quartz response times. Work performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

  3. Genome-wide analyses of Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strains provide insights into their beneficial role on plants

    OpenAIRE

    Niazi, Adnan

    2014-01-01

    The innate immunity system of plants provides a basal defence barrier to most microorganisms. However, many plant pathogens have evolved to overcome this defence. Certain bacteria in the PGPB (plant growth promoting bacteria) category that improve plant growth have also been found to improve plant defence against insect pests and pathogens. Some bacteria of the genus Bacillus are known to be associated with plant roots, and have potential as possible biocontrol agents and biofertilizers in ag...

  4. Mouse models of altered gonadotrophin action: insight into male reproductive disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonas, Kim C; Oduwole, Olayiwola O; Peltoketo, Hellevi; Rulli, Susana B; Huhtaniemi, Ilpo T

    2014-10-01

    The advent of technologies to genetically manipulate the mouse genome has revolutionised research approaches, providing a unique platform to study the causality of reproductive disorders in vivo. With the relative ease of generating genetically modified (GM) mouse models, the last two decades have yielded multiple loss-of-function and gain-of-function mutation mouse models to explore the role of gonadotrophins and their receptors in reproductive pathologies. This work has provided key insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying reproductive disorders with altered gonadotrophin action, revealing the fundamental roles of these pituitary hormones and their receptors in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. This review will describe GM mouse models of gonadotrophins and their receptors with enhanced or diminished actions, specifically focusing on the male. We will discuss the mechanistic insights gained from these models into male reproductive disorders, and the relationship and understanding provided into male human reproductive disorders originating from altered gonadotrophin action. © 2014 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.

  5. Mudskipper genomes provide insights into the terrestrial adaptation of amphibious fishes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    You, Xinxin; Bian, Chao; Zan, Qijie

    2014-01-01

    Mudskippers are amphibious fishes that have developed morphological and physiological adaptations to match their unique lifestyles. Here we perform whole-genome sequencing of four representative mudskippers to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying these adaptations. We discover an expansion...... of innate immune system genes in the mudskippers that may provide defence against terrestrial pathogens. Several genes of the ammonia excretion pathway in the gills have experienced positive selection, suggesting their important roles in mudskippers' tolerance to environmental ammonia. Some vision...... for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying water-to-land transition of vertebrates....

  6. Atomic Force Microscopy Provides New Mechanistic Insights into the Pathogenesis of Pemphigus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franziska Vielmuth

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Autoantibodies binding to the extracellular domains of desmoglein (Dsg 3 and 1 are critical in the pathogenesis of pemphigus by mechanisms leading to impaired function of desmosomes and blister formation in the epidermis and mucous membranes. Desmosomes are highly organized protein complexes which provide strong intercellular adhesion. Desmosomal cadherins such as Dsgs, proteins of the cadherin superfamily which interact via their extracellular domains in Ca2+-dependent manner, are the transmembrane adhesion molecules clustered within desmosomes. Investigations on pemphigus cover a wide range of experimental approaches including biophysical methods. Especially atomic force microscopy (AFM has recently been applied increasingly because it allows the analysis of native materials such as cultured cells and tissues under near-physiological conditions. AFM provides information about the mechanical properties of the sample together with detailed interaction analyses of adhesion molecules. With AFM, it was recently demonstrated that autoantibodies directly inhibit Dsg interactions on the surface of living keratinocytes, a phenomenon which has long been considered the main mechanism causing loss of cell cohesion in pemphigus. In addition, AFM allows to study how signaling pathways altered in pemphigus control binding properties of Dsgs. More general, AFM and other biophysical studies recently revealed the importance of keratin filaments for regulation of Dsg binding and keratinocyte mechanical properties. In this mini-review, we reevaluate AFM studies in pemphigus and keratinocyte research, recapitulate what is known about the interaction mechanisms of desmosomal cadherins and discuss the advantages and limitations of AFM in these regards.

  7. Geophysical insights on the GIA process provided by high-quality constraints from peripheral regions: An outlook on perspectives from North America and from the Mediterranean basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, K.; Peltier, W. R.

    2017-12-01

    Our understanding of the Earth-Ice-Ocean interactions that have accompanied the large glaciation-deglaciation process characteristic of the last half of the Pleistocene has benefited significantly from the development of high-quality models of the Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (GIA) process. These models provide fundamental insight on the large changes in sea level and land ice cover over this time period, as well as key constraints on the viscosity structure of the Earth's interior. Their development has benefited from the recent availability of high-quality constraints from regions of forebulge collapse. In particular, over North America, the joint use of high-quality sea level data from the U.S. East coast, together with the vast network of precise space-geodetic observations of crustal motion existing over most of the interior of the continent, has led to the latest ICE-7G_NA (VM7) model (Roy & Peltier, GJI, 2017). In this paper, exciting opportunities provided by such high-quality observations related to the GIA process will be discussed, not only in the context of the continuing effort to refine global models of this phenomenon, but also in terms of the fundamental insight they may provide on outstanding issues in high-pressure geophysics, paleoclimatology or hydrogeology. Specific examples where such high-quality observations can be used (either separately, or using a combination of independent sources) will be presented, focusing particularly on constraints from the North American continent and from the Mediterranean basin. This work will demonstrate that, given the high-quality of currently available constraints on the GIA process, considerable further geophysical insight can be obtained based upon the use of spherically-symmetric models of the viscosity structure of the planet.

  8. New technological developments provide deep-sea sediment density flow insights: the Monterey Coordinated Canyon Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Reilly, T. C.; Kieft, B.; Chaffey, M. R.; Wolfson-Schwehr, M.; Herlien, R.; Bird, L.; Klimov, D.; Paull, C. K.; Gwiazda, R.; Lundsten, E. M.; Anderson, K.; Caress, D. W.; Sumner, E. J.; Simmons, S.; Parsons, D. R.; Talling, P.; Rosenberger, K. J.; Xu, J.; Maier, K. L.; Gales, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    The Monterey Coordinated Canyon Experiment (CCE) deployed an array of instruments along the Monterey Canyon floor to characterize the structure, velocity and frequency of sediment flows. CCE utilized novel technologies developed at MBARI to capture sediment flow data in unprecedented detail. 1. The Seafloor Instrument Node (SIN) at 1850 meters depth housed 3 ADCPs at 3 different frequencies, CTD, current meter, oxygen optode, fluorometer/backscatter sensor, and logged data at 10 second intervals or faster. The SIN included an acoustic modem for communication with shore through a Wave Glider relay, and provided high-resolution measurements of three flow events during three successive deployments over 1.5 years. 2. Beachball-sized Benthic Event Detectors (BEDs) were deployed on or under the seafloor to measure the characteristics of sediment density flows. Each BED recorded data from a pressure sensor and a 3-axis accelerometer and gyro to characterize motions during transport events (e.g. tumble vs rotation). An acoustic modem capable of operating through more than a meter of sediment enabled communications with a ship or autonomous surface vehicle. Multiple BEDs were deployed at various depths in the canyon during CCE, detecting and measuring many transport events; one BED moved 9 km down canyon in 50 minutes during one event. 3. Wave Glider Hot Spot (HS), equipped with acoustic and RF modems, acted as data relay between SIN, BEDs and shore, and acoustically located BEDs after sediment density flows.. In some cases HS relayed BED motion data to shore within a few hours of the event. HS provided an acoustic console to the SIN, allowing shore-based users to check SIN health and status, perform maintenance, etc. 4. Mapping operations were conducted 4 times at the SIN site to quantify depositional and erosional patterns, utilizing a prototype ultra-high-resolution mapping system on the ROV Doc Ricketts. The system consists of a 400-kHz Reson 7125 multibeam sonar, a 3

  9. Environmental Metabolomics of the Tomato Plant Surface Provides Insights on Salmonella enterica Colonization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Sanghyun; Micallef, Shirley A

    2016-05-15

    Foodborne illness-causing enteric bacteria are able to colonize plant surfaces without causing infection. We lack an understanding of how epiphytic persistence of enteric bacteria occurs on plants, possibly as an adaptive transit strategy to maximize chances of reentering herbivorous hosts. We used tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) cultivars that have exhibited differential susceptibilities to Salmonella enterica colonization to investigate the influence of plant surface compounds and exudates on enteric bacterial populations. Tomato fruit, shoot, and root exudates collected at different developmental stages supported growth of S. enterica to various degrees in a cultivar- and plant organ-dependent manner. S. enterica growth in fruit exudates of various cultivars correlated with epiphytic growth data (R(2) = 0.504; P = 0.006), providing evidence that plant surface compounds drive bacterial colonization success. Chemical profiling of tomato surface compounds with gas chromatography-time of flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF-MS) provided valuable information about the metabolic environment on fruit, shoot, and root surfaces. Hierarchical cluster analysis of the data revealed quantitative differences in phytocompounds among cultivars and changes over a developmental course and by plant organ (P enterica growth, while fatty acids, including palmitic and oleic acids, were negatively correlated. We demonstrate that the plant surface metabolite landscape has a significant impact on S. enterica growth and colonization efficiency. This environmental metabolomics approach provides an avenue to understand interactions between human pathogens and plants that could lead to strategies to identify or breed crop cultivars for microbiologically safer produce. In recent years, fresh produce has emerged as a leading food vehicle for enteric pathogens. Salmonella-contaminated tomatoes represent a recurrent human pathogen-plant commodity pair. We demonstrate that Salmonella can utilize

  10. Metabolomics provide new insights on lung cancer staging and discrimination from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deja, Stanislaw; Porebska, Irena; Kowal, Aneta; Zabek, Adam; Barg, Wojciech; Pawelczyk, Konrad; Stanimirova, Ivana; Daszykowski, Michal; Korzeniewska, Anna; Jankowska, Renata; Mlynarz, Piotr

    2014-11-01

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are widespread lung diseases. Cigarette smoking is a high risk factor for both the diseases. COPD may increase the risk of developing lung cancer. Thus, it is crucial to be able to distinguish between these two pathological states, especially considering the early stages of lung cancer. Novel diagnostic and monitoring tools are required to properly determine lung cancer progression because this information directly impacts the type of the treatment prescribed. In this study, serum samples collected from 22 COPD and 77 lung cancer (TNM stages I, II, III, and IV) patients were analyzed. Then, a collection of NMR metabolic fingerprints was modeled using discriminant orthogonal partial least squares regression (OPLS-DA) and further interpreted by univariate statistics. The constructed discriminant models helped to successfully distinguish between the metabolic fingerprints of COPD and lung cancer patients (AUC training=0.972, AUC test=0.993), COPD and early lung cancer patients (AUC training=1.000, AUC test=1.000), and COPD and advanced lung cancer patients (AUC training=0.983, AUC test=1.000). Decreased acetate, citrate, and methanol levels together with the increased N-acetylated glycoproteins, leucine, lysine, mannose, choline, and lipid (CH3-(CH2)n-) levels were observed in all lung cancer patients compared with the COPD group. The evaluation of lung cancer progression was also successful using OPLS-DA (AUC training=0.811, AUC test=0.904). Based on the results, the following metabolite biomarkers may prove useful in distinguishing lung cancer states: isoleucine, acetoacetate, and creatine as well as the two NMR signals of N-acetylated glycoproteins and glycerol. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Ghana's National Health Insurance Scheme: insights from members, administrators and health care providers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barimah, Kofi Bobi; Mensah, Joseph

    2013-08-01

    The Ghana National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was established as part of a poverty reduction strategy to make health care more affordable to Ghanaians. It is envisaged that it will eventually replace the existing cash-and-carry system. This paper examines the views of NHIS administrators, members/enrollees, and health care providers on how the Scheme operates in practice. It is part of a larger evaluation project on Ghana's NHIS, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Development Network as part of a two-year global research. We rely primarily on qualitative data from focus group discussion in the Brong Ahafo and the Upper East regions respectively. Our findings suggest that the NHIS has improved access to affordable health care services and prescription drugs to many people in Ghana. However, there are concerns about fraud and corruption that must be addressed if the Scheme is to be financially viable.

  12. Barriers to Providing Health Education During Primary Care Visits at Community Health Centers: Clinical Staff Insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alicea-Planas, Jessica; Pose, Alix; Smith, Linda

    2016-04-01

    The rapid increase of diverse patients living in the US has created a different set of needs in healthcare, with the persistence of health disparities continuing to challenge the current system. Chronic disease management has been discussed as a way to improve health outcomes, with quality patient education being a key component. Using a community based participatory research framework, this study utilized a web-based survey and explored clinical staff perceptions of barriers to providing patient education during primary care visits. With a response rate of nearly 42 %, appointment time allotment seemed to be one of the most critical factors related to the delivery of health education and should be considered key. The importance of team-based care and staff training were also significant. Various suggestions were made in order to improve the delivery of quality patient education at community health centers located in underserved areas.

  13. Establishing a leaf proteome reference map for Ginkgo biloba provides insight into potential ethnobotanical uses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uvackova, Lubica; Ondruskova, Emilia; Danchenko, Maksym; Skultety, Ludovit; Miernyk, Ján A; Hrubík, Pavel; Hajduch, Martin

    2014-11-26

    Although ginkgo (Maidenhair tree, Ginkgo biloba L.) is an ancient medicinal and ornamental tree, there has not previously been any systematic proteomic study of the leaves. Herein we describe results from the initial study identifying abundant ginkgo leaf proteins and present a gel reference map. Proteins were isolated from fully developed mature leaves in biological triplicate and analyzed by two-dimensional electrophoresis plus tandem mass spectrometry. Using this approach, we were able to reproducibly quantify 190 abundant protein spots, from which 157 proteins were identified. Most of identified proteins are associated with the energy and protein destination/storage categories. The reference map provides a basis for understanding the accumulation of flavonoids and other phenolic compounds in mature leaves (e.g., identification of chalcone synthase, the first committed enzyme in flavonoid biosynthesis). We additionally detected several proteins of as yet unknown function. These proteins comprise a pool of potential targets that might be useful in nontraditional medical applications.

  14. Molecular taxonomy provides new insights into anopheles species of the neotropical arribalzagia series.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovan F Gómez

    Full Text Available Phylogenetic analysis of partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI and nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2 sequences were used to evaluate initial identification and to investigate phylogenetic relationships of seven Anopheles morphospecies of the Arribalzagia Series from Colombia. Phylogenetic trees recovered highly supported clades for An. punctimaculas.s., An. calderoni, An. malefactor s.l., An. neomaculipalpus, An. apicimacula s.l., An. mattogrossensis and An. peryassui. This study provides the first molecular confirmation of An. malefactorfrom Colombia and discovered conflicting patterns of divergence for the molecular markers among specimens from northeast and northern Colombia suggesting the presence of two previously unrecognized Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTUs. Furthermore, two highly differentiated An. apicimacula MOTUs previously found in Panama were detected. Overall, the combined molecular dataset facilitated the detection of known and new Colombian evolutionary lineages, and constitutes the baseline for future research on their bionomics, ecology and potential role as malaria vectors.

  15. Ancient DNA provides new insight into the maternal lineages and domestication of Chinese donkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Lu; Zhu, Songbiao; Ning, Chao; Cai, Dawei; Wang, Kai; Chen, Quanjia; Hu, Songmei; Yang, Junkai; Shao, Jing; Zhu, Hong; Zhou, Hui

    2014-11-30

    The donkey (Equus asinus) is an important domestic animal that provides a reliable source of protein and method of transportation for many human populations. However, the process of domestication and the dispersal routes of the Chinese donkey are still unclear, as donkey remains are sparse in the archaeological record and often confused with horse remains. To explore the maternal origins and dispersal route of Chinese donkeys, both mitochondrial DNA D-loop and cytochrome b gene fragments of 21 suspected donkey remains from four archaeological sites in China were amplified and sequenced. Molecular methods of species identification show that 17 specimens were donkeys and three samples had the maternal genetic signature of horses. One sample that dates to about 20,000 years before present failed to amplify. In this study, the phylogenetic analysis reveals that ancient Chinese donkeys have high mitochondrial DNA diversity and two distinct mitochondrial maternal lineages, known as the Somali and Nubian lineages. These results indicate that the maternal origin of Chinese domestic donkeys was probably related to the African wild ass, which includes the Nubian wild ass (Equus africanus africanus) and the Somali wild ass (Equus africanus somaliensis). Combined with historical records, the results of this study implied that domestic donkeys spread into west and north China before the emergence of the Han dynasty. The number of Chinese domestic donkeys had increased primarily to meet demand for the expansion of trade, and they were likely used as commodities or for shipping goods along the Silk Road during the Tang Dynasty, when the Silk Road reached its golden age. This study is the first to provide valuable ancient animal DNA evidence for early trade between African and Asian populations. The ancient DNA analysis of Chinese donkeys also sheds light on the dynamic process of the maternal origin, domestication, and dispersal route of ancient Chinese donkeys.

  16. The ASCO Oncology Composite Provider Utilization File: New Data, New Insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, Thomas R; Towle, Elaine L; Barr, Thomas R; Towle, Elaine L

    2016-01-01

    As we seek to understand the changing practice environment in oncology, the need for accurate information about demand for services, distribution of the delivery system in this sector of the health economy, and other practice trends is apparent. In this article, we present analysis of the sector using one of the public use files from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in combination with other publicly available data. Medicare data are particularly useful for this analysis because cancer is associated with aging and Medicare is the primary payer in the United States for patients older than age 65. As a result, nearly all oncologists who serve adult populations are represented in these data. By combining publicly available datasets into what we call the ASCO Provider Utilization File,we can investigate a wide range of supply, demand, and practice issues. We calculate the average work performed per physician, observe regional differences in work production,and quantify the downside risk and upside potential associated with the provision of chemotherapy drugs. Comparing the supply of oncologists by state with physician work relative value units and with estimates of cancer incidence by state reveals intriguing differences in the distribution of physicians and the demand for oncology services. In addition, our analysis demonstrates significant downside practice risk associated with the provision of drug therapy to Medicare beneficiaries. The economic risk associated with the purchase and delivery of chemotherapy is of particular concern as pressure for value increases. This article provides a description of a new dataset and interesting observations from these data.

  17. Whole-Genome Enrichment Provides Deep Insights into Vibrio cholerae Metagenome from an African River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vezzulli, L; Grande, C; Tassistro, G; Brettar, I; Höfle, M G; Pereira, R P A; Mushi, D; Pallavicini, A; Vassallo, P; Pruzzo, C

    2017-04-01

    The detection and typing of Vibrio cholerae in natural aquatic environments encounter major methodological challenges related to the fact that the bacterium is often present in environmental matrices at very low abundance in nonculturable state. This study applied, for the first time to our knowledge, a whole-genome enrichment (WGE) and next-generation sequencing (NGS) approach for direct genotyping and metagenomic analysis of low abundant V. cholerae DNA (<50 genome unit/L) from natural water collected in the Morogoro river (Tanzania). The protocol is based on the use of biotinylated RNA baits for target enrichment of V. cholerae metagenomic DNA via hybridization. An enriched V. cholerae metagenome library was generated and sequenced on an Illumina MiSeq platform. Up to 1.8 × 10 7  bp (4.5× mean read depth) were found to map against V. cholerae reference genome sequences representing an increase of about 2500 times in target DNA coverage compared to theoretical calculations of performance for shotgun metagenomics. Analysis of metagenomic data revealed the presence of several V. cholerae virulence and virulence associated genes in river water including major virulence regions (e.g. CTX prophage and Vibrio pathogenicity island-1) and genetic markers of epidemic strains (e.g. O1-antigen biosynthesis gene cluster) that were not detectable by standard culture and molecular techniques. Overall, besides providing a powerful tool for direct genotyping of V. cholerae in complex environmental matrices, this study provides a 'proof of concept' on the methodological gap that might currently preclude a more comprehensive understanding of toxigenic V. cholerae emergence from natural aquatic environments.

  18. Rheo-NMR - how nuclear magnetic resonance is providing new insight regarding complex fluid rheology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Callaghan, P.T.

    2000-01-01

    Over the past five decades, NMR has revolutionised chemistry, and has found widespread application in condensed matter physics, in molecular biology, in medicine and in food technology. Most recently NMR has made a significant impact in chemical engineering, where it is being extensively used for the non-invasive study of dispersion and flow in porous media. One of the most recent applications of NMR in materials science concerns its use in the study of the mechanical properties of complex fluids. This particular aspect of NMR has been extensively developed in research carried out at Massey University in New Zealand. In this short article, some of the ideas behind this work and the applications which have resulted, will be described. These examples provide a glimpse of possible applications of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance to the study of complex fluid rheology. While this is a very new field of research in which only a handful of groups presently participate, the potential exists for a substantial increase in Rheo-NMR research activity. Systems studied to date include polymer melts and semi-dilute solutions, thermotropic and lyotropic liquid crystals and liquid crystalline polymers, micellar solutions, food materials and colloidal suspensions. Rheo-NMR suffers in a number of respects by comparison with optical methods. It is expensive, it is difficult to use, it suffers from poor signal-to-noise ratios and the effective interpretation of spectra often depends on familiarity with the nuclear spin Hamiltonian and the associated effects of spin dynamics. Nonetheless NMR offers some unique advantages, including the ability to work with opaque materials, the ability to combine velocimetry with localised spectroscopy, and the ability to access a wide range of molecular properties relating to organisation, orientation and dynamics. Rheo-NMR has been able to provide a direct window on a variety of behaviours, including slip, shear-thinning, shear banding, yield stress

  19. Whole genome sequencing of 35 individuals provides insights into the genetic architecture of Korean population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenqian; Meehan, Joe; Su, Zhenqiang; Ng, Hui Wen; Shu, Mao; Luo, Heng; Ge, Weigong; Perkins, Roger; Tong, Weida; Hong, Huixiao

    2014-01-01

    Due to a significant decline in the costs associated with next-generation sequencing, it has become possible to decipher the genetic architecture of a population by sequencing a large number of individuals to a deep coverage. The Korean Personal Genomes Project (KPGP) recently sequenced 35 Korean genomes at high coverage using the Illumina Hiseq platform and made the deep sequencing data publicly available, providing the scientific community opportunities to decipher the genetic architecture of the Korean population. In this study, we used two single nucleotide variant (SNV) calling pipelines: mapping the raw reads obtained from whole genome sequencing of 35 Korean individuals in KPGP using BWA and SOAP2 followed by SNV calling using SAMtools and SOAPsnp, respectively. The consensus SNVs obtained from the two SNV pipelines were used to represent the SNVs of the Korean population. We compared these SNVs to those from 17 other populations provided by the HapMap consortium and the 1000 Genomes Project (1KGP) and identified SNVs that were only present in the Korean population. We studied the mutation spectrum and analyzed the genes of non-synonymous SNVs only detected in the Korean population. We detected a total of 8,555,726 SNVs in the 35 Korean individuals and identified 1,213,613 SNVs detected in at least one Korean individual (SNV-1) and 12,640 in all of 35 Korean individuals (SNV-35) but not in 17 other populations. In contrast with the SNVs common to other populations in HapMap and 1KGP, the Korean only SNVs had high percentages of non-silent variants, emphasizing the unique roles of these Korean only SNVs in the Korean population. Specifically, we identified 8,361 non-synonymous Korean only SNVs, of which 58 SNVs existed in all 35 Korean individuals. The 5,754 genes of non-synonymous Korean only SNVs were highly enriched in some metabolic pathways. We found adhesion is the top disease term associated with SNV-1 and Nelson syndrome is the only disease term

  20. Genome analysis of Hibiscus syriacus provides insights of polyploidization and indeterminate flowering in woody plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yong-Min; Kim, Seungill; Koo, Namjin; Shin, Ah-Young; Yeom, Seon-In; Seo, Eunyoung; Park, Seong-Jin; Kang, Won-Hee; Kim, Myung-Shin; Park, Jieun; Jang, Insu; Kim, Pan-Gyu; Byeon, Iksu; Kim, Min-Seo; Choi, JinHyuk; Ko, Gunhwan; Hwang, JiHye; Yang, Tae-Jin; Choi, Sang-Bong; Lee, Je Min; Lim, Ki-Byung; Lee, Jungho; Choi, Ik-Young; Park, Beom-Seok; Kwon, Suk-Yoon; Choi, Doil; Kim, Ryan W

    2017-02-01

    Hibiscus syriacus (L.) (rose of Sharon) is one of the most widespread garden shrubs in the world. We report a draft of the H. syriacus genome comprised of a 1.75 Gb assembly that covers 92% of the genome with only 1.7% (33 Mb) gap sequences. Predicted gene modeling detected 87,603 genes, mostly supported by deep RNA sequencing data. To define gene family distribution among relatives of H. syriacus, orthologous gene sets containing 164,660 genes in 21,472 clusters were identified by OrthoMCL analysis of five plant species, including H. syriacus, Arabidopsis thaliana, Gossypium raimondii, Theobroma cacao and Amborella trichopoda. We inferred their evolutionary relationships based on divergence times among Malvaceae plant genes and found that gene families involved in flowering regulation and disease resistance were more highly divergent and expanded in H. syriacus than in its close relatives, G. raimondii (DD) and T. cacao. Clustered gene families and gene collinearity analysis revealed that two recent rounds of whole-genome duplication were followed by diploidization of the H. syriacus genome after speciation. Copy number variation and phylogenetic divergence indicates that WGDs and subsequent diploidization led to unequal duplication and deletion of flowering-related genes in H. syriacus and may affect its unique floral morphology. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute.

  1. Construction patterns of birds’ nests provide insight into nest-building behaviours

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Adrian M.

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that birds and mammals select materials needed for nest building based on their thermal or structural properties, although the amounts or properties of the materials used have been recorded for only a very small number of species. Some of the behaviours underlying the construction of nests can be indirectly determined by careful deconstruction of the structure and measurement of the biomechanical properties of the materials used. Here we examined this idea in an investigation of Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) nests as a model for open-nesting songbird species that construct a “twig” nest, and tested the hypothesis that materials in different parts of nests serve different functions. The quantities of materials present in the nest base, sides and cup were recorded before structural analysis. Structural analysis showed that the base of the outer nests were composed of significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid materials compared to the side walls, which in turn were significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid than materials used in the cup. These results suggest that the placement of particular materials in nests may not be random, but further work is required to determine if the final structure of a nest accurately reflects the construction process. PMID:28265501

  2. Construction patterns of birds' nests provide insight into nest-building behaviours.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biddle, Lucia; Goodman, Adrian M; Deeming, D Charles

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have suggested that birds and mammals select materials needed for nest building based on their thermal or structural properties, although the amounts or properties of the materials used have been recorded for only a very small number of species. Some of the behaviours underlying the construction of nests can be indirectly determined by careful deconstruction of the structure and measurement of the biomechanical properties of the materials used. Here we examined this idea in an investigation of Bullfinch ( Pyrrhula pyrrhula ) nests as a model for open-nesting songbird species that construct a "twig" nest, and tested the hypothesis that materials in different parts of nests serve different functions. The quantities of materials present in the nest base, sides and cup were recorded before structural analysis. Structural analysis showed that the base of the outer nests were composed of significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid materials compared to the side walls, which in turn were significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid than materials used in the cup. These results suggest that the placement of particular materials in nests may not be random, but further work is required to determine if the final structure of a nest accurately reflects the construction process.

  3. Construction patterns of birds’ nests provide insight into nest-building behaviours

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Biddle

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have suggested that birds and mammals select materials needed for nest building based on their thermal or structural properties, although the amounts or properties of the materials used have been recorded for only a very small number of species. Some of the behaviours underlying the construction of nests can be indirectly determined by careful deconstruction of the structure and measurement of the biomechanical properties of the materials used. Here we examined this idea in an investigation of Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula nests as a model for open-nesting songbird species that construct a “twig” nest, and tested the hypothesis that materials in different parts of nests serve different functions. The quantities of materials present in the nest base, sides and cup were recorded before structural analysis. Structural analysis showed that the base of the outer nests were composed of significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid materials compared to the side walls, which in turn were significantly thicker, stronger and more rigid than materials used in the cup. These results suggest that the placement of particular materials in nests may not be random, but further work is required to determine if the final structure of a nest accurately reflects the construction process.

  4. Characterization of the opossum immune genome provides insights into the evolution of the mammalian immune system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belov, Katherine; Sanderson, Claire E; Deakin, Janine E; Wong, Emily S W; Assange, Daniel; McColl, Kaighin A; Gout, Alex; de Bono, Bernard; Barrow, Alexander D; Speed, Terence P; Trowsdale, John; Papenfuss, Anthony T

    2007-07-01

    The availability of the first marsupial genome sequence has allowed us to characterize the immunome of the gray short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis domestica). Here we report the identification of key immune genes, including the highly divergent chemokines, defensins, cathelicidins, and Natural Killer cell receptors. It appears that the increase in complexity of the mammalian immune system occurred prior to the divergence of the marsupial and eutherian lineages approximately 180 million years ago. Genomes of ancestral mammals most likely contained all of the key mammalian immune gene families, with evolution on different continents, in the presence of different pathogens leading to lineage specific expansions and contractions, resulting in some minor differences in gene number and composition between different mammalian lineages. Gene expansion and extensive heterogeneity in opossum antimicrobial peptide genes may have evolved as a consequence of the newborn young needing to survive without an adaptive immune system in a pathogen laden environment. Given the similarities in the genomic architecture of the marsupial and eutherian immune systems, we propose that marsupials are ideal model organisms for the study of developmental immunology.

  5. Molecular imaging provides novel insights on estrogen receptor activity in mouse brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stell, Alessia; Belcredito, Silvia; Ciana, Paolo; Maggi, Adriana

    2008-01-01

    Estrogen receptors have long been known to be expressed in several brain areas in addition to those directly involved in the control of reproductive functions. Investigations in humans and in animal models suggest a strong influence of estrogens on limbic and motor functions, yet the complexity and heterogeneity of neural tissue have limited our approaches to the full understanding of estrogen activity in the central nervous system. The aim of this study was to examine the transcriptional activity of estrogen receptors in the brain of male and female mice. Exploiting the ERE-Luc reporter mouse, we set up a novel, bioluminescence-based technique to study brain estrogen receptor transcriptional activity. Here we show, for the first time, that estrogen receptors are similarly active in male and female brains and that the estrous cycle affects estrogen receptor activity in regions of the central nervous system not known to be associated with reproductive functions. Because of its reproducibility and sensitivity, this novel bioluminescence application stands as a candidate as an innovative methodology for the study and development of drugs targeting brain estrogen receptors.

  6. Molecular Imaging Provides Novel Insights on Estrogen Receptor Activity in Mouse Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessia Stell

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Estrogen receptors have long been known to be expressed in several brain areas in addition to those directly involved in the control of reproductive functions. Investigations in humans and in animal models suggest a strong influence of estrogens on limbic and motor functions, yet the complexity and heterogeneity of neural tissue have limited our approaches to the full understanding of estrogen activity in the central nervous system. The aim of this study was to examine the transcriptional activity of estrogen receptors in the brain of male and female mice. Exploiting the ERE-Luc reporter mouse, we set up a novel, bioluminescence-based technique to study brain estrogen receptor transcriptional activity. Here we show, for the first time, that estrogen receptors are similarly active in male and female brains and that the estrous cycle affects estrogen receptor activity in regions of the central nervous system not known to be associated with reproductive functions. Because of its reproducibility and sensitivity, this novel bioluminescence application stands as a candidate as an innovative methodology for the study and development of drugs targeting brain estrogen receptors.

  7. The Ditylenchus destructor genome provides new insights into the evolution of plant parasitic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Jinshui; Peng, Donghai; Chen, Ling; Liu, Hualin; Chen, Feng; Xu, Mengci; Ju, Shouyong; Ruan, Lifang; Sun, Ming

    2016-07-27

    Plant-parasitic nematodes were found in 4 of the 12 clades of phylum Nematoda. These nematodes in different clades may have originated independently from their free-living fungivorous ancestors. However, the exact evolutionary process of these parasites is unclear. Here, we sequenced the genome sequence of a migratory plant nematode, Ditylenchus destructor We performed comparative genomics among the free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans and all the plant nematodes with genome sequences available. We found that, compared with C. elegans, the core developmental control processes underwent heavy reduction, though most signal transduction pathways were conserved. We also found D. destructor contained more homologies of the key genes in the above processes than the other plant nematodes. We suggest that Ditylenchus spp. may be an intermediate evolutionary history stage from free-living nematodes that feed on fungi to obligate plant-parasitic nematodes. Based on the facts that D. destructor can feed on fungi and has a relatively short life cycle, and that it has similar features to both C. elegans and sedentary plant-parasitic nematodes from clade 12, we propose it as a new model to study the biology, biocontrol of plant nematodes and the interaction between nematodes and plants. © 2016 The Author(s).

  8. Single-filament kinetic studies provide novel insights into regulation of actin-based motility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shekhar, Shashank; Carlier, Marie-France

    2016-01-01

    Polarized assembly of actin filaments forms the basis of actin-based motility and is regulated both spatially and temporally. Cells use a variety of mechanisms by which intrinsically slower processes are accelerated, and faster ones decelerated, to match rates observed in vivo. Here we discuss how kinetic studies of individual reactions and cycles that drive actin remodeling have provided a mechanistic and quantitative understanding of such processes. We specifically consider key barbed-end regulators such as capping protein and formins as illustrative examples. We compare and contrast different kinetic approaches, such as the traditional pyrene-polymerization bulk assays, as well as more recently developed single-filament and single-molecule imaging approaches. Recent development of novel biophysical methods for sensing and applying forces will in future allow us to address the very important relationship between mechanical stimulus and kinetics of actin-based motility. © 2016 Shekhar and Carlier. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  9. In vitro analysis of RQC activities provides insights into the mechanism and function of CAT tailing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osuna, Beatriz A; Howard, Conor J; KC, Subheksha; Frost, Adam; Weinberg, David E

    2017-01-01

    Ribosomes can stall during translation due to defects in the mRNA template or translation machinery, leading to the production of incomplete proteins. The Ribosome-associated Quality control Complex (RQC) engages stalled ribosomes and targets nascent polypeptides for proteasomal degradation. However, how each RQC component contributes to this process remains unclear. Here we demonstrate that key RQC activities—Ltn1p-dependent ubiquitination and Rqc2p-mediated Carboxy-terminal Alanine and Threonine (CAT) tail elongation—can be recapitulated in vitro with a yeast cell-free system. Using this approach, we determined that CAT tailing is mechanistically distinct from canonical translation, that Ltn1p-mediated ubiquitination depends on the poorly characterized RQC component Rqc1p, and that the process of CAT tailing enables robust ubiquitination of the nascent polypeptide. These findings establish a novel system to study the RQC and provide a framework for understanding how RQC factors coordinate their activities to facilitate clearance of incompletely synthesized proteins. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.27949.001 PMID:28718767

  10. Molecular underpinnings of prefrontal cortex development in rodents provide insights into the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schubert, D; Martens, G J M; Kolk, S M

    2015-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC), seat of the highest-order cognitive functions, constitutes a conglomerate of highly specialized brain areas and has been implicated to have a role in the onset and installation of various neurodevelopmental disorders. The development of a properly functioning PFC is directed by transcription factors, guidance cues and other regulatory molecules and requires the intricate and temporal orchestration of a number of developmental processes. Disturbance or failure of any of these processes causing neurodevelopmental abnormalities within the PFC may contribute to several of the cognitive deficits seen in patients with neurodevelopmental disorders. In this review, we elaborate on the specific processes underlying prefrontal development, such as induction and patterning of the prefrontal area, proliferation, migration and axonal guidance of medial prefrontal progenitors, and their eventual efferent and afferent connections. We furthermore integrate for the first time the available knowledge from genome-wide studies that have revealed genes linked to neurodevelopmental disorders with experimental molecular evidence in rodents. The integrated data suggest that the pathogenic variants in the neurodevelopmental disorder-associated genes induce prefrontal cytoarchitectonical impairments. This enhances our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of prefrontal (mis)development underlying the four major neurodevelopmental disorders in humans, that is, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia, and may thus provide clues for the development of novel therapies. PMID:25450230

  11. Aquatic proteins with repetitive motifs provide insights to bioengineering of novel biomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yun Jung; Jung, Dooyup; Yang, Byeongseon; Hwang, Byeong Hee; Cha, Hyung Joon

    2014-12-01

    Proteins with repetitive motifs play vital structural and adhesive functions in nature. Some repeat proteins in particular have adapted to harsh aquatic surroundings to support the survival and reproduction of organisms. Significant effort has been made to identify aquatic repeat proteins with attractive properties and functions to be used as novel biomaterials. Examples of such proteins include matrix proteins from pearl oysters, minicollagens from sea anemones, cement proteins from sandcastle worms, and byssal proteins from marine mussels. Here, several repetitive motifs from aquatic proteins are reviewed, and their characteristic properties are linked to practical uses in three aspects of aquatic life: defense, shelter, and attachment. Some repetitive motifs interact with minerals and consequently generate strong outer cover of shells, and some motifs relate with sticky nature, which contribute to organisms' habitation by adhering themselves in harsh aquatic environments. Other motifs, such as silk- or collagen-like motifs, are also involved in structural rigidity as shown in mussel's byssus and egg membrane. Thus, understanding aquatic repetitive motifs will provide clues about biomedical and biotechnological applications of engineered biomaterials in wet environments. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  12. A 4000-species dataset provides new insight into the evolution of ferns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Testo, Weston; Sundue, Michael

    2016-12-01

    Ferns are the second-most diverse lineage of vascular plants on Earth, yet the best-sampled time-calibrated phylogeny of the group to date includes fewer than 5% of global diversity and was published seven years ago. We present a time-calibrated phylogeny that includes nearly half of extant fern diversity. Our results are evaluated in the context of previous studies and the fossil record, and we develop new hypotheses about the radiation of leptosporangiate ferns. We used sequence data from six chloroplast regions for nearly 4000 species of ferns to generate the most comprehensive phylogeny of the group ever published. We calibrate the phylogeny with twenty-six fossils and use an array of phylogenetic methods to resolve phylogenetic relationships, estimate divergence times, and infer speciation, extinction, and net diversification rates. We infer a mid-late Silurian origin for ferns (including horsetails) and an early Carboniferous origin for leptosporangiate ferns. Most derived fern families appeared in the Cretaceous and persisted for millions of years before rapidly diversifying in the Cenozoic. We find no evidence of differential rates of diversification among terrestrial and epiphytic species. Our findings challenge previous hypotheses on the evolutionary history of ferns and present a new paradigm for their Cenozoic radiation. We estimate earlier divergences for most fern lineages than were reported in previous studies and provide evidence of extended persistence of major fern lineages prior to rapid diversification in the last fifty million years. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Heterochronic truncation of odontogenesis in theropod dinosaurs provides insight into the macroevolution of avian beaks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiegler, Josef; Wu, Ping; Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Hu, Dongyu; Balanoff, Amy; Zhou, Yachun; Xu, Xing

    2017-01-01

    Beaks are innovative structures characterizing numerous tetrapod lineages, including birds, but little is known about how developmental processes influenced the macroevolution of these important structures. Here we provide evidence of ontogenetic vestigialization of alveoli in two lineages of theropod dinosaurs and show that these are transitional phenotypes in the evolution of beaks. One of the smallest known caenagnathid oviraptorosaurs and a small specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird Sapeornis both possess shallow, empty vestiges of dentary alveoli. In both individuals, the system of vestiges connects via foramina with a dorsally closed canal homologous to alveoli. Similar morphologies are present in Limusaurus, a beaked theropod that becomes edentulous during ontogeny; and an analysis of neontological and paleontological evidence shows that ontogenetic reduction of the dentition is a relatively common phenomenon in vertebrate evolution. Based on these lines of evidence, we propose that progressively earlier postnatal and embryonic truncation of odontogenesis corresponds with expansion of rostral keratin associated with the caruncle, and these progenesis and peramorphosis heterochronies combine to drive the evolution of edentulous beaks in nonavian theropods and birds. Following initial apomorphic expansion of rostral keratinized epithelia in perinatal toothed theropods, beaks appear to inhibit odontogenesis as they grow postnatally, resulting in a sequence of common morphologies. This sequence is shifted earlier in development through phylogeny until dentition is absent at hatching, and odontogenesis is inhibited by beak formation in ovo. PMID:28973883

  14. Heterochronic truncation of odontogenesis in theropod dinosaurs provides insight into the macroevolution of avian beaks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuo; Stiegler, Josef; Wu, Ping; Chuong, Cheng-Ming; Hu, Dongyu; Balanoff, Amy; Zhou, Yachun; Xu, Xing

    2017-10-10

    Beaks are innovative structures characterizing numerous tetrapod lineages, including birds, but little is known about how developmental processes influenced the macroevolution of these important structures. Here we provide evidence of ontogenetic vestigialization of alveoli in two lineages of theropod dinosaurs and show that these are transitional phenotypes in the evolution of beaks. One of the smallest known caenagnathid oviraptorosaurs and a small specimen of the Early Cretaceous bird Sapeornis both possess shallow, empty vestiges of dentary alveoli. In both individuals, the system of vestiges connects via foramina with a dorsally closed canal homologous to alveoli. Similar morphologies are present in Limusaurus , a beaked theropod that becomes edentulous during ontogeny; and an analysis of neontological and paleontological evidence shows that ontogenetic reduction of the dentition is a relatively common phenomenon in vertebrate evolution. Based on these lines of evidence, we propose that progressively earlier postnatal and embryonic truncation of odontogenesis corresponds with expansion of rostral keratin associated with the caruncle, and these progenesis and peramorphosis heterochronies combine to drive the evolution of edentulous beaks in nonavian theropods and birds. Following initial apomorphic expansion of rostral keratinized epithelia in perinatal toothed theropods, beaks appear to inhibit odontogenesis as they grow postnatally, resulting in a sequence of common morphologies. This sequence is shifted earlier in development through phylogeny until dentition is absent at hatching, and odontogenesis is inhibited by beak formation in ovo .

  15. Ancient DNA from Nubian and Somali wild ass provides insights into donkey ancestry and domestication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Birgitta; Marshall, Fiona B.; Chen, Shanyuan; Rosenbom, Sónia; Moehlman, Patricia D.; Tuross, Noreen; Sabin, Richard C.; Peters, Joris; Barich, Barbara; Yohannes, Hagos; Kebede, Fanuel; Teclai, Redae; Beja-Pereira, Albano; Mulligan, Connie J.

    2011-01-01

    Genetic data from extant donkeys (Equus asinus) have revealed two distinct mitochondrial DNA haplogroups, suggestive of two separate domestication events in northeast Africa about 5000 years ago. Without distinct phylogeographic structure in domestic donkey haplogroups and with little information on the genetic makeup of the ancestral African wild ass, however, it has been difficult to identify wild ancestors and geographical origins for the domestic mitochondrial clades. Our analysis of ancient archaeological and historic museum samples provides the first genetic information on the historic Nubian wild ass (Equus africanus africanus), Somali wild ass (Equus africanus somaliensis) and ancient donkey. The results demonstrate that the Nubian wild ass was an ancestor of the first donkey haplogroup. In contrast, the Somali wild ass has considerable mitochondrial divergence from the Nubian wild ass and domestic donkeys. These findings resolve the long-standing issue of the role of the Nubian wild ass in the domestication of the donkey, but raise new questions regarding the second ancestor for the donkey. Our results illustrate the complexity of animal domestication, and have conservation implications for critically endangered Nubian and Somali wild ass. PMID:20667880

  16. Transcriptome analysis of differentially expressed genes provides insight into stolon formation in Tulipa edulis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanyuan eMiao

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Tulipa edulis (Miq. Baker is an important medicinal plant with a variety of anti-cancer properties. The stolon is one of the main asexual reproductive organs of T. edulis and possesses a unique morphology. To explore the molecular mechanism of stolon formation, we performed an RNA-seq analysis of the transcriptomes of stolons at three developmental stages. In the present study, 15.49 Gb of raw data were generated and assembled into 74,006 unigenes, and a total of 2,811 simple sequence repeats (SSRs were detected in T. edulis. Among the three libraries of stolons at different developmental stages, there were 5,119 differentially expressed genes (DEGs. A functional annotation analysis based on sequence similarity queries of the GO, COG, KEGG databases showed that these DEGs were mainly involved in many physiological and biochemical processes, such as material and energy metabolism, hormone signaling, cell growth, and transcription regulation. In addition, qRT-PCR (quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed that the expression patterns of the DEGs were consistent with the transcriptome data, which further supported a role for the DEGs in stolon formation. This study provides novel resources for future genetic and molecular studies in T. edulis.

  17. Single nucleotide polymorphism discovery in albacore and Atlantic bluefin tuna provides insights into worldwide population structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albaina, A; Iriondo, M; Velado, I; Laconcha, U; Zarraonaindia, I; Arrizabalaga, H; Pardo, M A; Lutcavage, M; Grant, W S; Estonba, A

    2013-12-01

    The optimal management of the commercially important, but mostly over-exploited, pelagic tunas, albacore (Thunnus alalunga Bonn., 1788) and Atlantic bluefin tuna (BFT; Thunnus thynnus L., 1758), requires a better understanding of population structure than has been provided by previous molecular methods. Despite numerous studies of both species, their population structures remain controversial. This study reports the development of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in albacore and BFT and the application of these SNPs to survey genetic variability across the geographic ranges of these tunas. A total of 616 SNPs were discovered in 35 albacore tuna by comparing sequences of 54 nuclear DNA fragments. A panel of 53 SNPs yielded FST values ranging from 0.0 to 0.050 between samples after genotyping 460 albacore collected throughout the distribution of this species. No significant heterogeneity was detected within oceans, but between-ocean comparisons (Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans along with Mediterranean Sea) were significant. Additionally, a 17-SNP panel was developed in Atlantic BFT by cross-species amplification in 107 fish. This limited number of SNPs discriminated between samples from the two major spawning areas of Atlantic BFT (FST  = 0.116). The SNP markers developed in this study can be used to genotype large numbers of fish without the need for standardizing alleles among laboratories. © 2013 The Authors, Animal Genetics © 2013 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

  18. The genome sequence of the wild tomato Solanum pimpinellifolium provides insights into salinity tolerance

    KAUST Repository

    Razali, Rozaimi

    2017-11-14

    Solanum pimpinellifolium, a wild relative of cultivated tomato, offers a wealth of breeding potential for several desirable traits such as tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses. Here, we report the genome and annotation of S. pimpinellifolium LA0480. The LA0480 genome size (811 Mb) and the number of annotated genes (25,970) are within the range observed for other sequenced tomato species. We developed and utilized the Dragon Eukaryotic Analyses Platform (DEAP) to functionally annotate the LA0480 protein-coding genes. Additionally, we used DEAP to compare protein function between S. pimpinellifolium and cultivated tomato. Our data suggest enrichment in genes involved in biotic and abiotic stress responses. Moreover, we present phenotypic data from one field experiment that demonstrate a greater salinity tolerance for fruit- and yield-related traits in S. pimpinellifolium compared with cultivated tomato. To understand the genomic basis for these differences in S. pimpinellifolium and S. lycopersicum, we analyzed 15 genes that have previously been shown to mediate salinity tolerance in plants. We show that S. pimpinellifolium has a higher copy number of the inositol-3-phosphate synthase and phosphatase genes, which are both key enzymes in the production of inositol and its derivatives. Moreover, our analysis indicates that changes occurring in the inositol phosphate pathway may contribute to the observed higher salinity tolerance in LA0480. Altogether, our work provides essential resources to understand and unlock the genetic and breeding potential of S. pimpinellifolium, and to discover the genomic basis underlying its environmental robustness.

  19. Crystal Structure of the Herpesvirus Nuclear Egress Complex Provides Insights into Inner Nuclear Membrane Remodeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tzviya Zeev-Ben-Mordehai

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Although nucleo-cytoplasmic transport is typically mediated through nuclear pore complexes, herpesvirus capsids exit the nucleus via a unique vesicular pathway. Together, the conserved herpesvirus proteins pUL31 and pUL34 form the heterodimeric nuclear egress complex (NEC, which, in turn, mediates the formation of tight-fitting membrane vesicles around capsids at the inner nuclear membrane. Here, we present the crystal structure of the pseudorabies virus NEC. The structure revealed that a zinc finger motif in pUL31 and an extensive interaction network between the two proteins stabilize the complex. Comprehensive mutational analyses, characterized both in situ and in vitro, indicated that the interaction network is not redundant but rather complementary. Fitting of the NEC crystal structure into the recently determined cryoEM-derived hexagonal lattice, formed in situ by pUL31 and pUL34, provided details on the molecular basis of NEC coat formation and inner nuclear membrane remodeling.

  20. De Novo Assembly and Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Provide Insight into Lysine Biosynthesis in Toona sinensis Roem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia Zhang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Toona sinensis Roem is a popular leafy vegetable in Chinese cuisine and is also used as a traditional Chinese medicine. In this study, leaf samples were collected from the same plant on two development stages and then used for high-throughput Illumina RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq. 125,884 transcripts and 54,628 unigenes were obtained through de novo assembly. A total of 25,570 could be annotated with known biological functions, which indicated that the T. sinensis leaves and shoots were undergoing multiple developmental processes especially for active metabolic processes. Analysis of differentially expressed unigenes between the two libraries showed that the lysine biosynthesis was an enriched KEGG pathway, and candidate genes involved in the lysine biosynthesis pathway in T. sinensis leaves and shoots were identified. Our results provide a primary analysis of the gene expression files of T. sinensis leaf and shoot on different development stages and afford a valuable resource for genetic and genomic research on plant lysine biosynthesis.

  1. Visualizing the Immune System: Providing Key Insights into HIV/SIV Infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob D. Estes

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Immunological inductive tissues, such as secondary lymphoid organs, are composed of distinct anatomical microenvironments for the generation of immune responses to pathogens and immunogens. These microenvironments are characterized by the compartmentalization of highly specialized immune and stromal cell populations, as well as the presence of a complex network of soluble factors and chemokines that direct the intra-tissue trafficking of naïve and effector cell populations. Imaging platforms have provided critical contextual information regarding the molecular and cellular interactions that orchestrate the spatial microanatomy of relevant cells and the development of immune responses against pathogens. Particularly in HIV/SIV disease, imaging technologies are of great importance in the investigation of the local interplay between the virus and host cells, with respect to understanding viral dynamics and persistence, immune responses (i.e., adaptive and innate inflammatory responses, tissue structure and pathologies, and changes to the surrounding milieu and function of immune cells. Merging imaging platforms with other cutting-edge technologies could lead to novel findings regarding the phenotype, function, and molecular signatures of particular immune cell targets, further promoting the development of new antiviral treatments and vaccination strategies.

  2. Systems Factorial Technology provides new insights on the other-race effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Cheng-Ta; Fifić, Mario; Chang, Ting-Yun; Little, Daniel R

    2017-05-24

    The other-race effect refers to the difficulty of discriminating between faces from ethnic and racial groups other than one's own. This effect may be caused by a slow, feature-by-feature, analytic process, whereas the discrimination of own-race faces occurs faster and more holistically. However, this distinction has received inconsistent support. To provide a critical test, we employed Systems Factorial Technology (Townsend & Nozawa in Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 39, 321-359, 1995), which is a powerful tool for analyzing the organization of mental networks underlying perceptual processes. We compared Taiwanese participants' face discriminations of both own-race (Taiwanese woman) and other-race (Caucasian woman) faces according to the faces' nose-to-mouth separation and eye-to-eye separation. We found evidence for weak holistic processing (parallel processing) coupled with the strong analytic property of a self-terminating stopping rule for own-race faces, in contrast to strong analytic processing (serial self-terminating processing) for other-race faces, supporting the holistic/analytic hypothesis.

  3. Comprehensive Care For Joint Replacement Model - Provider Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model - provider data. This data set includes provider data for two quality measures tracked during an episode of care:...

  4. Radiocarbon dating of American pika fecal pellets provides insights into population extirpations and climate refugia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millar, Constance I; Heckman, Katherine; Swanston, Christopher; Schmidt, Karena; Westfall, Robert D; Delany, Diane L

    The American pika (Ochotona princeps) has become a species of concern for its sensitivity to warm temperatures and potential vulnerability to global warming. We explored the value of radiocarbon dating of fecal pellets to address questions of population persistence and timing of site extirpation. Carbon was extracted from pellets collected at 43 locations in the western Great Basin, USA, including three known occupied sites and 40 sites of uncertain status at range margins or where previous studies indicated the species is vulnerable. We resolved calibrated dates with high precision (within several years), most of which fell in the period of the mid-late 20th century bomb curve. The two-sided nature of the bomb curve renders far- and near-side dates of equal probability, which are separated by one to four decades. We document methods for narrowing resolution to one age range, including stratigraphic analysis of vegetation collected from pika haypiles. No evidence was found for biases in atmospheric 14C levels due to fossil-derived or industrial CO2 contamination. Radiocarbon dating indicated that pellets can persist for >59 years; known occupied sites resolved contemporary dates. Using combined evidence from field observations and radiocarbon dating, and the Bodie Mountains as an example, we propose a historical biogeographic scenario for pikas in minor Great Basin mountain ranges adjacent to major cordillera, wherein historical climate variability led to cycles of extirpation and recolonization during alternating cool and warm centuries. Using this model to inform future dynamics for small ranges in biogeographic settings similar to the Bodie Mountains in California, extirpation of pikas appears highly likely under directional warming trends projected for the next century, even while populations in extensive cordillera (e.g., Sierra Nevada, Rocky Mountains, Cascade Range) are likely to remain viable due to extensive, diverse habitat and high connectivity.

  5. Variation revealed by SNP genotyping and morphology provides insight into the origin of the tomato.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanca, Jose; Cañizares, Joaquín; Cordero, Laura; Pascual, Laura; Diez, María José; Nuez, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    Tomato, Solanum lycopersicum, is divided into two widely distributed varieties: the cultivated S. lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, and the weedy S. lycopersicum var. cerasiforme. Solanum pimpinellifolium is the most closely related wild species of tomato.The roles of S. pimpinellifolium and S. l. cerasiforme during the domestication of tomato are still under debate. Some authors consider S. l. cerasiforme to be the ancestor, whereas others think that S. l. cerasiforme is an admixture of S. pimpinellifolium and the cultivated S. l. lycopersicum. It is also not clear whether the domestication occurred in the Andean region or in Mesoamerica. We characterized 272 accessions (63 S. pimpinellifolium, 106 S. l. cerasiforme, 95 S. l. lycopersicum and 8 derived from hybridization processes) were morphologically and genetically using the SolCap platform (7,414 SNPs). The two species were distinguished in a PCA analysis and displayed a rich geographic structure. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme and S. l. lycopersicum were also differentiated in the PCA and Structure analyses, which supports maintaining them as different varieties. Solanum pimpinellifolium and the Andean S. l. cerasiforme were more diverse than the non-Andean S. lycopersicum. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme was morphologically and molecularly intermediate between S. pimpinellifolium and tomato. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme, with the exception of several Ecuadorian and Mexican accessions, is composed of the products of admixture processes according to the Structure analysis. The non-admixtured S. l. cerasiforme might be similar to the ancestral cultivars from which the cultivated tomato originated, and presents remarkable morphological diversity, including fruits of up to 6 cm in diameter. The data obtained would fit a model in which a pre-domestication took place in the Andean region, with the domestication being completed in Mesoamerica. Subsequently, the Spaniards took plants from

  6. Variation revealed by SNP genotyping and morphology provides insight into the origin of the tomato.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Blanca

    Full Text Available Tomato, Solanum lycopersicum, is divided into two widely distributed varieties: the cultivated S. lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, and the weedy S. lycopersicum var. cerasiforme. Solanum pimpinellifolium is the most closely related wild species of tomato.The roles of S. pimpinellifolium and S. l. cerasiforme during the domestication of tomato are still under debate. Some authors consider S. l. cerasiforme to be the ancestor, whereas others think that S. l. cerasiforme is an admixture of S. pimpinellifolium and the cultivated S. l. lycopersicum. It is also not clear whether the domestication occurred in the Andean region or in Mesoamerica. We characterized 272 accessions (63 S. pimpinellifolium, 106 S. l. cerasiforme, 95 S. l. lycopersicum and 8 derived from hybridization processes were morphologically and genetically using the SolCap platform (7,414 SNPs. The two species were distinguished in a PCA analysis and displayed a rich geographic structure. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme and S. l. lycopersicum were also differentiated in the PCA and Structure analyses, which supports maintaining them as different varieties. Solanum pimpinellifolium and the Andean S. l. cerasiforme were more diverse than the non-Andean S. lycopersicum. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme was morphologically and molecularly intermediate between S. pimpinellifolium and tomato. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme, with the exception of several Ecuadorian and Mexican accessions, is composed of the products of admixture processes according to the Structure analysis. The non-admixtured S. l. cerasiforme might be similar to the ancestral cultivars from which the cultivated tomato originated, and presents remarkable morphological diversity, including fruits of up to 6 cm in diameter. The data obtained would fit a model in which a pre-domestication took place in the Andean region, with the domestication being completed in Mesoamerica. Subsequently, the Spaniards took

  7. SSR marker variations in Brassica species provide insight into the origin and evolution of Brassica amphidiploids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, Ajay Kumar; Singh, Kunwar Harendra; Singh, Lal; Nanjundan, Joghee; Khan, Yasin Jeshima; Singh, Dhiraj

    2018-01-01

    Oilseed Brassica represents an important group of oilseed crops with a long history of evolution and cultivation. To understand the origin and evolution of Brassica amphidiploids, simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were used to unravel genetic variations in three diploids and three amphidiploid Brassica species of U's triangle along with Eruca sativa as an outlier. Of 124 Brassica-derived SSR loci assayed, 100% cross-transferability was obtained for B. juncea and three subspecies of B. rapa , while lowest cross-transferability (91.93%) was obtained for Eruca sativa . The average % age of cross-transferability across all the seven species was 98.15%. The number of alleles detected at each locus ranged from one to six with an average of 3.41 alleles per primer pair. Neighbor-Joining-based dendrogram divided all the 40 accessions into two main groups composed of B. juncea / B. nigra/B. rapa and B. carinata/B. napus/B. oleracea . C-genome of oilseed Brassica species remained relatively more conserved than A- and B-genome. A- genome present in B. juncea and B. napus seems distinct from each other and hence provides great opportunity for generating diversity through synthesizing amphidiploids from different sources of A- genome. B. juncea had least intra-specific distance indicating narrow genetic base. B. rapa appears to be more primitive species from which other two diploid species might have evolved. The SSR marker set developed in this study will assist in DNA fingerprinting of various Brassica species cultivars, evaluating the genetic diversity in Brassica germplasm, genome mapping and construction of linkage maps, gene tagging and various other genomics-related studies in Brassica species. Further, the evolutionary relationship established among various Brassica species would assist in formulating suitable breeding strategies for widening the genetic base of Brassica amphidiploids by exploiting the genetic diversity present in diploid progenitor gene pools.

  8. Multidimensional proteomics analysis of amniotic fluid to provide insight into the mechanisms of idiopathic preterm birth.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina A Buhimschi

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Though recent advancement in proteomics has provided a novel perspective on several distinct pathogenetic mechanisms leading to preterm birth (inflammation, bleeding, the etiology of most preterm births still remains elusive. We conducted a multidimensional proteomic analysis of the amniotic fluid to identify pathways related to preterm birth in the absence of inflammation or bleeding.A proteomic fingerprint was generated from fresh amniotic fluid using surface-enhanced laser desorbtion ionization time of flight (SELDI-TOF mass spectrometry in a total of 286 consecutive samples retrieved from women who presented with signs or symptoms of preterm labor or preterm premature rupture of the membranes. Inflammation and/or bleeding proteomic patterns were detected in 32% (92/286 of the SELDI tracings. In the remaining tracings, a hierarchical algorithm was applied based on descriptors quantifying similarity/dissimilarity among proteomic fingerprints. This allowed identification of a novel profile (Q-profile based on the presence of 5 SELDI peaks in the 10-12.5 kDa mass area. Women displaying the Q-profile (mean+/-SD, gestational age: 25+/-4 weeks, n = 40 were more likely to deliver preterm despite expectant management in the context of intact membranes and normal amniotic fluid clinical results. Utilizing identification-centered proteomics techniques (fluorescence two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis, robotic tryptic digestion and mass spectrometry coupled with Protein ANalysis THrough Evolutionary Relationships (PANTHER ontological classifications, we determined that in amniotic fluids with Q-profile the differentially expressed proteins are primarily involved in non-inflammatory biological processes such as protein metabolism, signal transduction and transport.Proteomic profiling of amniotic fluid coupled with non-hierarchical bioinformatics algorithms identified a subgroup of patients at risk for preterm birth in the absence of intra

  9. Hierarchical partitioning of metazoan protein conservation profiles provides new functional insights.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Witztum

    Full Text Available The availability of many complete, annotated proteomes enables the systematic study of the relationships between protein conservation and functionality. We explore this question based solely on the presence or absence of protein homologues (a.k.a. conservation profiles. We study 18 metazoans, from two distinct points of view: the human's and the fly's. Using the GOrilla gene ontology (GO analysis tool, we explore functional enrichment of the "universal proteins", those with homologues in all 17 other species, and of the "non-universal proteins". A large number of GO terms are strongly enriched in both human and fly universal proteins. Most of these functions are known to be essential. A smaller number of GO terms, exhibiting markedly different properties, are enriched in both human and fly non-universal proteins. We further explore the non-universal proteins, whose conservation profiles are consistent with the "tree of life" (TOL consistent, as well as the TOL inconsistent proteins. Finally, we applied Quantum Clustering to the conservation profiles of the TOL consistent proteins. Each cluster is strongly associated with one or a small number of specific monophyletic clades in the tree of life. The proteins in many of these clusters exhibit strong functional enrichment associated with the "life style" of the related clades. Most previous approaches for studying function and conservation are "bottom up", studying protein families one by one, and separately assessing the conservation of each. By way of contrast, our approach is "top down". We globally partition the set of all proteins hierarchically, as described above, and then identify protein families enriched within different subdivisions. While supporting previous findings, our approach also provides a tool for discovering novel relations between protein conservation profiles, functionality, and evolutionary history as represented by the tree of life.

  10. Hierarchical Partitioning of Metazoan Protein Conservation Profiles Provides New Functional Insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witztum, Jonathan; Persi, Erez; Horn, David; Pasmanik-Chor, Metsada; Chor, Benny

    2014-01-01

    The availability of many complete, annotated proteomes enables the systematic study of the relationships between protein conservation and functionality. We explore this question based solely on the presence or absence of protein homologues (a.k.a. conservation profiles). We study 18 metazoans, from two distinct points of view: the human's and the fly's. Using the GOrilla gene ontology (GO) analysis tool, we explore functional enrichment of the “universal proteins”, those with homologues in all 17 other species, and of the “non-universal proteins”. A large number of GO terms are strongly enriched in both human and fly universal proteins. Most of these functions are known to be essential. A smaller number of GO terms, exhibiting markedly different properties, are enriched in both human and fly non-universal proteins. We further explore the non-universal proteins, whose conservation profiles are consistent with the “tree of life” (TOL consistent), as well as the TOL inconsistent proteins. Finally, we applied Quantum Clustering to the conservation profiles of the TOL consistent proteins. Each cluster is strongly associated with one or a small number of specific monophyletic clades in the tree of life. The proteins in many of these clusters exhibit strong functional enrichment associated with the “life style” of the related clades. Most previous approaches for studying function and conservation are “bottom up”, studying protein families one by one, and separately assessing the conservation of each. By way of contrast, our approach is “top down”. We globally partition the set of all proteins hierarchically, as described above, and then identify protein families enriched within different subdivisions. While supporting previous findings, our approach also provides a tool for discovering novel relations between protein conservation profiles, functionality, and evolutionary history as represented by the tree of life. PMID:24594619

  11. Wing shape of four new bee fossils (Hymenoptera: Anthophila provides insights to bee evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Dehon

    Full Text Available Bees (Anthophila are one of the major groups of angiosperm-pollinating insects and accordingly are widely studied in both basic and applied research, for which it is essential to have a clear understanding of their phylogeny, and evolutionary history. Direct evidence of bee evolutionary history has been hindered by a dearth of available fossils needed to determine the timing and tempo of their diversification, as well as episodes of extinction. Here we describe four new compression fossils of bees from three different deposits (Miocene of la Cerdanya, Spain; Oligocene of Céreste, France; and Eocene of the Green River Formation, U.S.A.. We assess the similarity of the forewing shape of the new fossils with extant and fossil taxa using geometric morphometrics analyses. Predictive discriminant analyses show that three fossils share similar forewing shapes with the Apidae [one of uncertain tribal placement and perhaps near Euglossini, one definitive bumble bee (Bombini, and one digger bee (Anthophorini], while one fossil is more similar to the Andrenidae. The corbiculate fossils are described as Euglossopteryx biesmeijeri De Meulemeester, Michez, & Engel, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Euglossopteryx Dehon & Engel, n. gen. and Bombus cerdanyensis Dehon, De Meulemeester, & Engel, sp. nov. They provide new information on the distribution and timing of particular corbiculate groups, most notably the extension into North America of possible Eocene-Oligocene cooling-induced extinctions. Protohabropoda pauli De Meulemeester & Michez, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Protohabropoda Dehon & Engel, n. gen. reinforces previous hypotheses of anthophorine evolution in terms of ecological shifts by the Oligocene from tropical to mesic or xeric habitats. Lastly, a new fossil of the Andreninae, Andrena antoinei Michez & De Meulemeester, sp. nov., further documents the presence of the today widespread genus Andrena Fabricius in the Late Oligocene of France.

  12. Echidna venom gland transcriptome provides insights into the evolution of monotreme venom.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily S W Wong

    Full Text Available Monotremes (echidna and platypus are egg-laying mammals. One of their most unique characteristic is that males have venom/crural glands that are seasonally active. Male platypuses produce venom during the breeding season, delivered via spurs, to aid in competition against other males. Echidnas are not able to erect their spurs, but a milky secretion is produced by the gland during the breeding season. The function and molecular composition of echidna venom is as yet unknown. Hence, we compared the deeply sequenced transcriptome of an in-season echidna crural gland to that of a platypus and searched for putative venom genes to provide clues into the function of echidna venom and the evolutionary history of monotreme venom. We found that the echidna venom gland transcriptome was markedly different from the platypus with no correlation between the top 50 most highly expressed genes. Four peptides found in the venom of the platypus were detected in the echidna transcriptome. However, these genes were not highly expressed in echidna, suggesting that they are the remnants of the evolutionary history of the ancestral venom gland. Gene ontology terms associated with the top 100 most highly expressed genes in echidna, showed functional terms associated with steroidal and fatty acid production, suggesting that echidna "venom" may play a role in scent communication during the breeding season. The loss of the ability to erect the spur and other unknown evolutionary forces acting in the echidna lineage resulted in the gradual decay of venom components and the evolution of a new role for the crural gland.

  13. Wing shape of four new bee fossils (Hymenoptera: Anthophila) provides insights to bee evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehon, Manuel; Michez, Denis; Nel, André; Engel, Michael S; De Meulemeester, Thibaut

    2014-01-01

    Bees (Anthophila) are one of the major groups of angiosperm-pollinating insects and accordingly are widely studied in both basic and applied research, for which it is essential to have a clear understanding of their phylogeny, and evolutionary history. Direct evidence of bee evolutionary history has been hindered by a dearth of available fossils needed to determine the timing and tempo of their diversification, as well as episodes of extinction. Here we describe four new compression fossils of bees from three different deposits (Miocene of la Cerdanya, Spain; Oligocene of Céreste, France; and Eocene of the Green River Formation, U.S.A.). We assess the similarity of the forewing shape of the new fossils with extant and fossil taxa using geometric morphometrics analyses. Predictive discriminant analyses show that three fossils share similar forewing shapes with the Apidae [one of uncertain tribal placement and perhaps near Euglossini, one definitive bumble bee (Bombini), and one digger bee (Anthophorini)], while one fossil is more similar to the Andrenidae. The corbiculate fossils are described as Euglossopteryx biesmeijeri De Meulemeester, Michez, & Engel, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Euglossopteryx Dehon & Engel, n. gen.) and Bombus cerdanyensis Dehon, De Meulemeester, & Engel, sp. nov. They provide new information on the distribution and timing of particular corbiculate groups, most notably the extension into North America of possible Eocene-Oligocene cooling-induced extinctions. Protohabropoda pauli De Meulemeester & Michez, gen. nov. sp. nov. (type species of Protohabropoda Dehon & Engel, n. gen.) reinforces previous hypotheses of anthophorine evolution in terms of ecological shifts by the Oligocene from tropical to mesic or xeric habitats. Lastly, a new fossil of the Andreninae, Andrena antoinei Michez & De Meulemeester, sp. nov., further documents the presence of the today widespread genus Andrena Fabricius in the Late Oligocene of France.

  14. Comparative proteomics analysis of teleost intermuscular bones and ribs provides insight into their development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Chun-Hong; Wan, Shi-Ming; Tomljanovic, Tea; Treer, Tomislav; Hsiao, Chung-Der; Wang, Wei-Min; Gao, Ze-Xia

    2017-02-10

    Intermuscular bones (IBs) and ribs both are a part of skeletal system in teleosts, but with different developing process. The chemical composition of fish IBs and ribs as well as the underlying mechanism about their development have not been investigated. In the present study, histological structures showed that one bone cavity containing osteoclasts were existed in ribs, but not in IBs of Megalobrama amblycephala. We constructed the first proteomics map for fish bones including IBs and ribs, and identified the differentially expressed proteins between IBs and ribs through iTRAQ LC-MS/MS proteomic analysis. The proteins extracted from IBs and ribs at 1- to 2-year old M. amblycephala were quantified 2,342 proteins, with 1,451 proteins annotated with GO annotation in biological processes, molecular function and cellular component. A number of bone related proteins as well as pathways were identified in the study. A total of 93 and 154 differently expressed proteins were identified in comparison groups of 1-IB-vs-1-Rib and 2-IB-vs-2-Rib, which indicated the obvious differences of chemical composition between these two bone tissues. The two proteins (vitronectin b precursor and matrix metalloproteinase-2) related to osteoclasts differentiation were significantly up-regulated in ribs compared with IBs (P development and differentiation. Subsequently, 11 and 13 candidate proteins in comparison group of 1-IB-vs-1-Rib and 1-IB-vs-2-IB related to bone development were validated by MRM assays. Our present study suggested the different key proteins involved in the composition of fish ribs and IBs as well as their growth development. These findings could provide important clues towards further understanding of fish skeletal system and the roles of proteins playing in regulating diverse biological processes in fish.

  15. Transcriptome analysis of Crossostephium chinensis provides insight into the molecular basis of salinity stress responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haiyan Yang

    Full Text Available Soil salinization is becoming a limitation to the utilization of ornamental plants worldwide. Crossostephium chinensis (Linnaeus Makino is often cultivated along the southeast coast of China for its desirable ornamental qualities and high salt tolerance. However, little is known about the genomic background of the salt tolerance mechanism in C. chinensis. In the present study, we used Illumina paired-end sequencing to systematically investigate leaf transcriptomes derived from C. chinensis seedlings grown under normal conditions and under salt stress. A total of 105,473,004 bp of reads were assembled into 163,046 unigenes, of which 65,839 (40.38% of the total and 54,342 (33.32% of the total were aligned in Swiss-Prot and Nr protein, respectively. A total of 11,331 (6.95% differentially expressed genes (DEGs were identified among three comparisons, including 2,239 in 'ST3 vs ST0', 5,880 in 'ST9 vs ST3' and 9,718 in 'ST9 vs ST0', and they were generally classified into 26 Gene Ontology terms and 58 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG pathway terms. Many genes encoding important transcription factors (e.g., WRKY, MYB, and AP2/EREBP and proteins involved in starch and sucrose metabolism, arginine and proline metabolism, plant hormone signal transduction, amino acid biosynthesis, plant-pathogen interactions and carbohydrate metabolism, among others, were substantially up-regulated under salt stress. These genes represent important candidates for studying the salt-response mechanism and molecular biology of C. chinensis and its relatives. Our findings provide a genomic sequence resource for functional genetic assignments in C. chinensis. These transcriptome datasets will help elucidate the molecular mechanisms responsible for salt-stress tolerance in C. chinensis and facilitate the breeding of new stress-tolerant cultivars for high-saline areas using this valuable genetic resource.

  16. Fish genomes provide novel insights into the evolution of vertebrate secretin receptors and their ligand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, João C R; Félix, Rute C; Trindade, Marlene; Power, Deborah M

    2014-12-01

    The secretin receptor (SCTR) is a member of Class 2 subfamily B1 GPCRs and part of the PAC1/VPAC receptor subfamily. This receptor has long been known in mammals but has only recently been identified in other vertebrates including teleosts, from which it was previously considered to be absent. The ligand for SCTR in mammals is secretin (SCT), an important gastrointestinal peptide, which in teleosts has not yet been isolated, or the gene identified. This study revises the evolutionary model previously proposed for the secretin-GPCRs in metazoan by analysing in detail the fishes, the most successful of the extant vertebrates. All the Actinopterygii genomes analysed and the Chondrichthyes and Sarcopterygii fish possess a SCTR gene that shares conserved sequence, structure and synteny with the tetrapod homologue. Phylogenetic clustering and gene environment comparisons revealed that fish and tetrapod SCTR shared a common origin and diverged early from the PAC1/VPAC subfamily group. In teleosts SCTR duplicated as a result of the fish specific whole genome duplication but in all the teleost genomes analysed, with the exception of tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), one of the duplicates was lost. The function of SCTR in teleosts is unknown but quantitative PCR revealed that in both sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) and tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus) transcript abundance is high in the gastrointestinal tract suggesting it may intervene in similar processes to those in mammals. In contrast, no gene encoding the ligand SCT was identified in the ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) although it was present in the coelacanth (lobe finned fish, Sarcopterygii) and in the elephant shark (holocephalian). The genes in linkage with SCT in tetrapods and coelacanth were also identified in ray-finned fishes supporting the idea that it was lost from their genome. At present SCTR remains an orphan receptor in ray-finned fishes and it will be of interest in the future to establish why SCT was

  17. The Epigenome of Schistosoma mansoni Provides Insight about How Cercariae Poise Transcription until Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freitag, Michael; Parrinello, Hugues; Groth, Marco; Emans, Rémi; Cosseau, Céline; Grunau, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Background Chromatin structure can control gene expression and can define specific transcription states. For example, bivalent methylation of histone H3K4 and H3K27 is linked to poised transcription in vertebrate embryonic stem cells (ESC). It allows them to rapidly engage specific developmental pathways. We reasoned that non-vertebrate metazoans that encounter a similar developmental constraint (i.e. to quickly start development into a new phenotype) might use a similar system. Schistosomes are parasitic platyhelminthes that are characterized by passage through two hosts: a mollusk as intermediate host and humans or rodents as definitive host. During its development, the parasite undergoes drastic changes, most notable immediately after infection of the definitive host, i.e. during the transition from the free-swimming cercariae into adult worms. Methodology/Principal Findings We used Chromatin Immunoprecipitation followed by massive parallel sequencing (ChIP-Seq) to analyze genome-wide chromatin structure of S. mansoni on the level of histone modifications (H3K4me3, H3K27me3, H3K9me3, and H3K9ac) in cercariae, schistosomula and adults (available at http://genome.univ-perp.fr). We saw striking differences in chromatin structure between the developmental stages, but most importantly we found that cercariae possess a specific combination of marks at the transcription start sites (TSS) that has similarities to a structure found in ESC. We demonstrate that in cercariae no transcription occurs, and we provide evidences that cercariae do not possess large numbers of canonical stem cells. Conclusions/Significance We describe here a broad view on the epigenome of a metazoan parasite. Most notably, we find bivalent histone H3 methylation in cercariae. Methylation of H3K27 is removed during transformation into schistosomula (and stays absent in adults) and transcription is activated. In addition, shifts of H3K9 methylation and acetylation occur towards upstream and

  18. The Epigenome of Schistosoma mansoni Provides Insight about How Cercariae Poise Transcription until Infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Roquis

    Full Text Available Chromatin structure can control gene expression and can define specific transcription states. For example, bivalent methylation of histone H3K4 and H3K27 is linked to poised transcription in vertebrate embryonic stem cells (ESC. It allows them to rapidly engage specific developmental pathways. We reasoned that non-vertebrate metazoans that encounter a similar developmental constraint (i.e. to quickly start development into a new phenotype might use a similar system. Schistosomes are parasitic platyhelminthes that are characterized by passage through two hosts: a mollusk as intermediate host and humans or rodents as definitive host. During its development, the parasite undergoes drastic changes, most notable immediately after infection of the definitive host, i.e. during the transition from the free-swimming cercariae into adult worms.We used Chromatin Immunoprecipitation followed by massive parallel sequencing (ChIP-Seq to analyze genome-wide chromatin structure of S. mansoni on the level of histone modifications (H3K4me3, H3K27me3, H3K9me3, and H3K9ac in cercariae, schistosomula and adults (available at http://genome.univ-perp.fr. We saw striking differences in chromatin structure between the developmental stages, but most importantly we found that cercariae possess a specific combination of marks at the transcription start sites (TSS that has similarities to a structure found in ESC. We demonstrate that in cercariae no transcription occurs, and we provide evidences that cercariae do not possess large numbers of canonical stem cells.We describe here a broad view on the epigenome of a metazoan parasite. Most notably, we find bivalent histone H3 methylation in cercariae. Methylation of H3K27 is removed during transformation into schistosomula (and stays absent in adults and transcription is activated. In addition, shifts of H3K9 methylation and acetylation occur towards upstream and downstream of the transcriptional start site (TSS. We conclude

  19. Andrographis paniculata transcriptome provides molecular insights into tissue-specific accumulation of medicinal diterpenes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Anchal; Agrawal, Lalit; Misra, Rajesh Chandra; Sharma, Shubha; Ghosh, Sumit

    2015-09-02

    Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata) has been widely exploited in traditional medicine for the treatment of infectious diseases and health disorders. Ent-labdane-related diterpene (ent-LRD) specialized (i.e., secondary) metabolites of kalmegh such as andrographolide, neoandrographolide and 14-deoxy-11,12-didehydroandrographolide, are known for variety of pharmacological activities. However, due to the lack of genomic and transcriptomic information, underlying molecular basis of ent-LRDs biosynthesis has remained largely unknown. To identify candidate genes of the ent-LRD biosynthetic pathway, we performed comparative transcriptome analysis using leaf and root tissues that differentially accumulate ent-LRDs. De novo assembly of Illumina HiSeq2000 platform-generated paired-end sequencing reads resulted into 69,011 leaf and 64,244 root transcripts which were assembled into a total of 84,628 unique transcripts. Annotation of these transcripts to the Uniprot, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) and Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes (CAZy) databases identified candidate transcripts of the ent-LRD biosynthetic pathway. These included transcripts that encode enzymes of the plastidial 2C-methyl-D-erythritol-4-phosphate pathway which provides C5 isoprenoid precursors for the ent-LRDs biosynthesis, geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase, class II diterpene synthase (diTPS), cytochrome P450 monooxygenase and glycosyltransferase. Three class II diTPSs (ApCPS1, ApCPS2 and ApCPS3) that showed distinct tissue-specific expression profiles and are phylogenetically related to the dicotyledon ent-copalyl diphosphate synthases, are identified. ApCPS1, ApCPS2 and ApCPS3 encode for 832-, 817- and 797- amino acids proteins of 55-63 % identity, respectively. Spatio-temporal patterns of transcripts and ent-LRDs accumulation are consistent with the involvement of ApCPS1 in general (i.e., primary) metabolism for the biosynthesis of phytohormone gibberellin, ApCPS2 in leaf specialized ent

  20. Patient perceptions of the Raynaud's Condition Score diary provide insight into its performance in clinical trials of Raynaud's phenomenon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauling, John D; Saketkoo, Lesley A; Domsic, Robyn T

    2018-03-07

    The recent report by Denton et al. [1] adds to previous well-designed negative placebo-controlled clinical trials of Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) in systemic sclerosis (SSc). The primary endpoint was the weekly average number of RP attacks, with secondary endpoints including daily RP attack duration and RP severity (the single-item Raynaud's Condition Score [RCS]), that together comprise the RCS diary. The accompanying editorial, provides insightful suppositions of factors contributing to the disappointing performance of the RCS diary in clinical trials [2]. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  1. Insights to Meteorites and Impact Processes provided by Advanced EBSD Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palasse, Laurie; Berlin, Jana; Goran, Daniel; Tagle, Roald; Hamers, Maartje; Assis Fernandes, Vera; Deutsch, Alexander; Schulte, Peter; Salge, Tobias

    2013-04-01

    . For Chicxulub, the brecciated impact melt rock from borehole Yaxcopoil-1 (Unit 5, 861.72 m) [3] reveals that the ballen microstructure is only semi-amorphous and cross cuts a fine grained recrystallised microstructure. (C) CB chondrite Gujba: EDS and EBSD data were acquired simultaneously to study chemical and physical interactions between preexisting metal particles and the invading silicate-rich impact melt matrix. Metal particles appear to have different thermal histories. Some of them consist of many small grains (average diameter ~10 µm), which have a similar orientation when they are surrounded by arcuate Fe,Cr-sulfides. [4]. Acknowledgements: P. Claeys, R.H. Jones, ICDP and the Museum of Natural History Berlin for providing samples. References: [1] T. Salge (2007) PhD thesis, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, 130p. [2] A. P. Jones et al. (2000) Lect. Notes in Earth Sciences 91: 343-361. [3] M. J. Nelson et al. (2012) GCA 86: 1-20. [4]. J. Berlin et al. (2013) 44th LPSC # 2439

  2. Conceptual Models of the Individual Public Service Provider

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Lotte Bøgh; Bhatti, Yosef; Petersen, Ole Helby

    Individual public service providers’ motivation can be conceptualized as either extrinsic, autonomous or prosocial, and the question is how we can best theoretically understand this complexity without losing too much coherence and parsimony. Drawing on Allison’s approach (1969), three perspectives...... are used to gain insight on the motivation of public service providers; namely principal-agent theory, self-determination theory and public service motivation theory. We situate the theoretical discussions in the context of public service providers being transferred to private organizations...... as a consequence of outsourcing by the public sector. Although this empirical setting is interesting in itself, here it serves primarily as grist for a wider discussion on strategies for applying multiple theoretical approaches and crafting a theoretical synthesis. The key contribution of the paper is thus...

  3. Customer-Provider Strategic Alignment: A Maturity Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luftman, Jerry; Brown, Carol V.; Balaji, S.

    This chapter presents a new model for assessing the maturity of a ­customer-provider relationship from a collaborative service delivery perspective: the Customer-Provider Strategic Alignment Maturity (CPSAM) Model. This model builds on recent research for effectively managing the customer-provider relationship in IT service outsourcing contexts and a validated model for assessing alignment across internal IT service units and their business customers within the same organization. After reviewing relevant literature by service science and information systems researchers, the six overarching components of the maturity model are presented: value measurements, governance, partnership, communications, human resources and skills, and scope and architecture. A key assumption of the model is that all of the components need be addressed to assess and improve customer-provider alignment. Examples of specific metrics for measuring the maturity level of each component over the five levels of maturity are also presented.

  4. A risk assessment model for selecting cloud service providers

    OpenAIRE

    Cayirci, Erdal; Garaga, Alexandr; Santana de Oliveira, Anderson; Roudier, Yves

    2016-01-01

    The Cloud Adoption Risk Assessment Model is designed to help cloud customers in assessing the risks that they face by selecting a specific cloud service provider. It evaluates background information obtained from cloud customers and cloud service providers to analyze various risk scenarios. This facilitates decision making an selecting the cloud service provider with the most preferable risk profile based on aggregated risks to security, privacy, and service delivery. Based on this model we ...

  5. Excellence in role modelling: insight and perspectives from the pros.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Scott M; Carrese, Joseph A

    2002-09-17

    Role modelling is an effective teaching method in medical education. We sought to better understand role modelling by examining the insights of respected physician role models. We conducted 30-minute in-depth interviews with 29 highly regarded role models at 2 large teaching hospitals. We coded the transcripts independently, and compared our coding for agreement. Content analysis identified several major categories of themes. The informants identified specific characteristics related to role modelling. Subcategories under the domain of personal qualities included interpersonal skills, a positive outlook, a commitment to excellence and growth, integrity and leadership. Under the domain of teaching, the subcategories were establishing rapport with learners, developing specific teaching philosophies and methods, and being committed to the growth of learners. Subjects thought there was some overlap between teaching and role modelling, but felt that the latter was more implicit and more encompassing. Being a strong clinician was regarded as necessary but not sufficient for being an exemplary physician role model. Perceived barriers to effective role modelling included being impatient and overly opinionated, being quiet, being overextended, and having difficulty remembering names and faces. Physician role models described role modeling consciousness, in that they specifically think about being role models when interacting with learners. Subjects believed that medical learners should emulate multiple role models. Highly regarded physician role models possess personal qualities, teaching abilities and exceptional clinical skills that outweigh their own barriers to serving as effective role models. Many of these positive attributes of role models represent behaviours that can be modified or skills that can be acquired.

  6. Physically-insightful equivalent circuit models for electromagnetic periodic structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesa, F.; Rodríguez-Berral, R.; Medina, F.

    2018-02-01

    In this presentation it will be discussed how to obtain analytical or quasi-analytical equivalent circuits to deal with periodic structures such as frequency selective surfaces and/or metasurfaces. Both the topology and the values of the involved elements of these circuits are obtained from a basic rationale to solve the corresponding integral equation. This procedure, besides providing a very efficient analysis/design tool, allows for a good physical insight into the operating mechanisms of the structure in contrast with the almost blind numerical scheme of commercial simulators.

  7. Insights Into Care Providers' Understandings of Life Story Work With Persons With Dementia: Findings From a Qualitative Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berendonk, Charlotte; Caine, Vera

    2017-08-01

    In Germany, life story work, an approach which acknowledges humans as narrative beings and honors biographies, is required by health authorities to be integrated in care provided in nursing homes. Insufficient attention to life story work could place residents at risk of dehumanization, particularly residents with dementia, who depend on support of others to tell and make meaning of their life experiences. We conducted a qualitative study to gain insights into care providers' perceptions and practices of life story work with persons with dementia. Thirty-six care providers in 7 nursing homes participated in semistructured interviews or group discussions. We derived subjective theories (individual understandings) of care providers and higher-order concept patterns following the principles and processes of grounded theory. We found a great variation in participants' understandings of life story work. Some participants were unsure if and how life story work impacts persons with dementia. Starting points for improving the integration of life story work into practice are discussed. We conclude that care providers need a better understanding of life story work as a nursing intervention. The importance of the notion of humans as narrative beings and the multiple ways in which we story our lives as well as embody life stories needs to be further developed. Knowledge is required about the practical and systemic challenges of integrating life story work in the care of persons with dementia.

  8. Optogenetic versus Electrical Stimulation of Human Cardiomyocytes: Modeling Insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, John C.; Entcheva, Emilia

    2015-01-01

    Optogenetics provides an alternative to electrical stimulation to manipulate membrane voltage, and trigger or modify action potentials (APs) in excitable cells. We compare biophysically and energetically the cellular responses to direct electrical current injection versus optical stimulation mediated by genetically expressed light-sensitive ion channels, e.g., Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2). Using a computational model of ChR2(H134R mutant), we show that both stimulation modalities produce similar-in-morphology APs in human cardiomyocytes, and that electrical and optical excitability vary with cell type in a similar fashion. However, whereas the strength-duration curves for electrical excitation in ventricular and atrial cardiomyocytes closely follow the theoretical exponential relationship for an equivalent RC circuit, the respective optical strength-duration curves significantly deviate, exhibiting higher nonlinearity. We trace the origin of this deviation to the waveform of the excitatory current—a nonrectangular self-terminating inward current produced in optical stimulation due to ChR2 kinetics and voltage-dependent rectification. Using a unifying charge measure to compare energy needed for electrical and optical stimulation, we reveal that direct electrical current injection (rectangular pulse) is more efficient at short pulses, whereas voltage-mediated negative feedback leads to self-termination of ChR2 current and renders optical stimulation more efficient for long low-intensity pulses. This applies to cardiomyocytes but not to neuronal cells (with much shorter APs). Furthermore, we demonstrate the cell-specific use of ChR2 current as a unique modulator of intrinsic activity, allowing for optical control of AP duration in atrial and, to a lesser degree, in ventricular myocytes. For self-oscillatory cells, such as Purkinje, constant light at extremely low irradiance can be used for fine control of oscillatory frequency, whereas constant electrical stimulation

  9. A proteomic approach provides new insights into the control of soil-borne plant pathogens by Bacillus species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omür Baysal

    Full Text Available Beneficial microorganisms (also known as biopesticides are considered to be one of the most promising methods for more rational and safe crop management practices. We used Bacillus strains EU07, QST713 and FZB24, and investigated their inhibitory effect on Fusarium. Bacterial cell cultures, cell-free supernatants and volatiles displayed varying degrees of suppressive effect. Proteomic analysis of secreted proteins from EU07 and FZB24 revealed the presence of lytic enzymes, cellulases, proteases, 1,4-β-glucanase and hydrolases, all of which contribute to degradation of the pathogen cell wall. Further proteomic investigations showed that proteins involved in metabolism, protein folding, protein degradation, translation, recognition and signal transduction cascade play an important role in the control of Fusarium oxysporum. Our findings provide new knowledge on the mechanism of action of Bacillus species and insight into biocontrol mechanisms.

  10. Toward structured peer support interventions in oncology: a qualitative insight into the experiences of gynaecological cancer survivors providing peer support.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntingdon, Ben; Schofield, Penelope; Wolfowicz, Zahava; Bergin, Rebecca; Kabel, Donna; Edmunds, Jennifer; Penberthy, Sylvia; Juraskova, Ilona

    2016-02-01

    Research into dyadic (one-to-one) peer support has predominantly focused on the recipients of peer support whilst neglecting the impact on the peer support providers (PSPs). Increasingly, structured/protocolised peer support interventions are employed. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the experience of providing peer support within a protocolised intervention and how common key characteristics of such interventions (guidelines and checklists, rigorous training and partnerships with health professionals) may influence PSPs' experiences. This research was conducted within the context of an ongoing randomised controlled trial investigating a protocolised peer support intervention (the Peer and Nurse support Trial to Assist women in Gynaecological Oncology (PeNTAGOn) study). Eleven women (gynaecological cancer survivors) providing peer support within the PeNTAGOn study participated in semi-structured telephone interviews. Transcribed interviews were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Five key themes were identified which described the overall experience of providing protocolised peer support: (i) fitting oneself to the protocolised PSP role, (ii) the impact of personal beliefs about the value of research, (iii) protocolisation as both blessing and curse, (iv) discussing taboo or sensitive topics and (v) the impact of interactions with study personnel. These insights into the advantages and disadvantages of protocolised peer support can be used to inform future research and social support programs and maximise the effectiveness of such programs for patients, PSPs and the health-care system.

  11. Bring Your Own Device - Providing Reliable Model of Data Access

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stąpór Paweł

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The article presents a model of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD as a model network, which provides the user reliable access to network resources. BYOD is a model dynamically developing, which can be applied in many areas. Research network has been launched in order to carry out the test, in which as a service of BYOD model Work Folders service was used. This service allows the user to synchronize files between the device and the server. An access to the network is completed through the wireless communication by the 802.11n standard. Obtained results are shown and analyzed in this article.

  12. The Structure of Allophanate Hydrolase from Granulibacter bethesdensis Provides Insights into Substrate Specificity in the Amidase Signature Family

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lin, Yi [Marquette Univ., Milwaukee, WI (United States); Maurice, Martin [Marquette Univ., Milwaukee, WI (United States)

    2013-01-02

    Allophanate hydrolase (AH) catalyzes the hydrolysis of allophanate, an intermediate in atrazine degradation and urea catabolism pathways, to NH3 and CO2. AH belongs to the amidase signature family, which is characterized by a conserved block of 130 amino acids rich in Gly and Ser and a Ser-cis-Ser-Lys catalytic triad. In this study, the first structures of AH fromGranulibacter bethesdensis were determined, with and without the substrate analogue malonate, to 2.2 and 2.8 Å, respectively. The structures confirm the identity of the catalytic triad residues and reveal an altered dimerization interface that is not conserved in the amidase signature family. The structures also provide insights into previously unrecognized substrate specificity determinants in AH. Two residues, Tyr299 and Arg307, are within hydrogen bonding distance of a carboxylate moiety of malonate. Both Tyr299 and Arg307 were mutated, and the resulting modified enzymes revealed >3 order of magnitude reductions in both catalytic efficiency and substrate stringency. It is proposed that Tyr299 and Arg307 serve to anchor and orient the substrate for attack by the catalytic nucleophile, Ser172. The structure further suggests the presence of a unique C-terminal domain in AH. While this domain is conserved, it does not contribute to catalysis or to the structural integrity of the core domain, suggesting that it may play a role in mediating transient and specific interactions with the urea carboxylase component of urea amidolyase. Analysis of the AH active site architecture offers new insights into common determinants of catalysis and specificity among divergent members of the amidase signature family.

  13. Silver vanadium diphosphate Ag2VP2O8: Electrochemistry and characterization of reduced material providing mechanistic insights

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takeuchi, Esther S.; Lee, Chia-Ying; Cheng, Po-Jen; Menard, Melissa C.; Marschilok, Amy C.; Takeuchi, Kenneth J.

    2013-01-01

    Silver vanadium phosphorous oxides (Ag w V x P y O z ) are notable battery cathode materials due to their high energy density and demonstrated ability to form in-situ Ag metal nanostructured electrically conductive networks within the cathode. While analogous silver vanadium diphosphate materials have been prepared, electrochemical evaluations of these diphosphate based materials have been limited. We report here the first electrochemical study of a silver vanadium diphosphate, Ag 2 VP 2 O 8 , where the structural differences associated with phosphorous oxides versus diphosphates profoundly affect the associated electrochemistry. Reminiscent of Ag 2 VO 2 PO 4 reduction, in-situ formation of silver metal nanoparticles was observed with reduction of Ag 2 VP 2 O 8 . However, counter to Ag 2 VO 2 PO 4 reduction, Ag 2 VP 2 O 8 demonstrates a significant decrease in conductivity upon continued electrochemical reduction. Structural analysis contrasting the crystallography of the parent Ag 2 VP 2 O 8 with that of the proposed Li 2 VP 2 O 8 reduction product is employed to gain insight into the observed electrochemical reduction behavior, where the structural rigidity associated with the diphosphate anion may be associated with the observed particle fracturing upon deep electrochemical reduction. Further, the diphosphate anion structure may be associated with the high thermal stability of the partially reduced Ag 2 VP 2 O 8 materials, which bodes well for enhanced safety of batteries incorporating this material. - Graphical abstract: Structure and galvanostatic intermittent titration-type test data for silver vanadium diphosphate, Ag 2 VP 2 O 8 . Highlights: ► First electrochemical study of a silver vanadium diphosphate, Ag 2 VP 2 O 8 . ► In-situ formation of Ag 0 nanoparticles was observed upon electrochemical reduction. ► Structural analysis used to provide insight of the electrochemical behavior

  14. The Jujube Genome Provides Insights into Genome Evolution and the Domestication of Sweetness/Acidity Taste in Fruit Trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jian; Zhang, Chunmei; Zhao, Xing; Fei, Zhangjun; Wan, KangKang; Zhang, Zhong; Pang, Xiaoming; Yin, Xiao; Bai, Yang; Sun, Xiaoqing; Gao, Lizhi; Li, Ruiqiang; Zhang, Jinbo; Li, Xingang

    2016-12-01

    Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.) belongs to the Rhamnaceae family and is a popular fruit tree species with immense economic and nutritional value. Here, we report a draft genome of the dry jujube cultivar 'Junzao' and the genome resequencing of 31 geographically diverse accessions of cultivated and wild jujubes (Ziziphus jujuba var. spinosa). Comparative analysis revealed that the genome of 'Dongzao', a fresh jujube, was ~86.5 Mb larger than that of the 'Junzao', partially due to the recent insertions of transposable elements in the 'Dongzao' genome. We constructed eight proto-chromosomes of the common ancestor of Rhamnaceae and Rosaceae, two sister families in the order Rosales, and elucidated the evolutionary processes that have shaped the genome structures of modern jujubes. Population structure analysis revealed the complex genetic background of jujubes resulting from extensive hybridizations between jujube and its wild relatives. Notably, several key genes that control fruit organic acid metabolism and sugar content were identified in the selective sweep regions. We also identified S-locus genes controlling gametophytic self-incompatibility and investigated haplotype patterns of the S locus in the jujube genomes, which would provide a guideline for parent selection for jujube crossbreeding. This study provides valuable genomic resources for jujube improvement, and offers insights into jujube genome evolution and its population structure and domestication.

  15. The biological and structural characterization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis UvrA provides novel insights into its mechanism of action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Franca; Khanduja, Jasbeer Singh; Bortoluzzi, Alessio; Houghton, Joanna; Sander, Peter; Güthlein, Carolin; Davis, Elaine O; Springer, Burkhard; Böttger, Erik C; Relini, Annalisa; Penco, Amanda; Muniyappa, K; Rizzi, Menico

    2011-09-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an extremely well adapted intracellular human pathogen that is exposed to multiple DNA damaging chemical assaults originating from the host defence mechanisms. As a consequence, this bacterium is thought to possess highly efficient DNA repair machineries, the nucleotide excision repair (NER) system amongst these. Although NER is of central importance to DNA repair in M. tuberculosis, our understanding of the processes in this species is limited. The conserved UvrABC endonuclease represents the multi-enzymatic core in bacterial NER, where the UvrA ATPase provides the DNA lesion-sensing function. The herein reported genetic analysis demonstrates that M. tuberculosis UvrA is important for the repair of nitrosative and oxidative DNA damage. Moreover, our biochemical and structural characterization of recombinant M. tuberculosis UvrA contributes new insights into its mechanism of action. In particular, the structural investigation reveals an unprecedented conformation of the UvrB-binding domain that we propose to be of functional relevance. Taken together, our data suggest UvrA as a potential target for the development of novel anti-tubercular agents and provide a biochemical framework for the identification of small-molecule inhibitors interfering with the NER activity in M. tuberculosis.

  16. Taxonomic and functional diversity provides insight into microbial pathways and stress responses in the saline Qinghai Lake, China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiuyuan Huang

    Full Text Available Microbe-mediated biogeochemical cycles contribute to the global climate system and have sensitive responses and feedbacks to environmental stress caused by climate change. Yet, little is known about the effects of microbial biodiversity (i.e., taxonmic and functional diversity on biogeochemical cycles in ecosytems that are highly sensitive to climate change. One such sensitive ecosystem is Qinghai Lake, a high-elevation (3196 m saline (1.4% lake located on the Tibetan Plateau, China. This study provides baseline information on the microbial taxonomic and functional diversity as well as the associated stress response genes. Illumina metagenomic and metatranscriptomic datasets were generated from lake water samples collected at two sites (B and E. Autotrophic Cyanobacteria dominated the DNA samples, while heterotrophic Proteobacteria dominated the RNA samples at both sites. Photoheterotrophic Loktanella was also present at both sites. Photosystem II was the most active pathway at site B; while, oxidative phosphorylation was most active at site E. Organisms that expressed photosystem II or oxidative phosphorylation also expressed genes involved in photoprotection and oxidative stress, respectively. Assimilatory pathways associated with the nitrogen cycle were dominant at both sites. Results also indicate a positive relationship between functional diversity and the number of stress response genes. This study provides insight into the stress resilience of microbial metabolic pathways supported by greater taxonomic diversity, which may affect the microbial community response to climate change.

  17. Transcriptome response to embolism formation in stems of Populus trichocarpa provides insight into signaling and the biology of refilling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Secchi, Francesca; Gilbert, Matthew E; Zwieniecki, Maciej A

    2011-11-01

    The mechanism of embolism repair in transpiring plants is still not understood, despite significant scientific effort. The refilling process is crucial to maintaining stem transport capacity and ensuring survival for plants experiencing dynamic changes in water stress. Refilling air-filled xylem vessels requires an energy and water source that can only be provided by adjacent living parenchyma cells. Here, we report an analysis of the transcriptome response of xylem parenchyma cells after embolism formation in Populus trichocarpa trees. Genes encoding aquaporins, ion transporters, and carbohydrate metabolic pathways were up-regulated, and there was a significant reduction in the expression of genes responding to oxidative stress. Thus, a novel view of the plant response to embolism emerges that suggests a role for oxygen in embolized vessels as a signal triggering xylem refilling and for the activity of cation transport as having a significant role in the generation of the energy gradient necessary to heal embolized vessels. These findings redefine current hypotheses surrounding the refilling phenomenon and provide insight into the complexity of the biological response to the seemingly simple physical event of xylem embolism formation.

  18. Insights Into the Morphology of the East Asia PM2.5Annual Cycle Provided by Machine Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Daji; Zewdie, Gebreab K; Liu, Xun; Kneen, Melanie Anne; Lary, David John

    2017-01-01

    The abundance of airborne particulate matter with an aerodynamic equivalent diameter of 2.5 µm or less (PM 2.5 ) is a significant environmental and health issue. Many tools have been used to examine the relationship between PM 2.5 abundance and meteorological variables, but some of the relationships are nonlinear, non-Gaussian, and even unknown. Machine learning provides a broad range of practical algorithms to help examine this issue. In this study, we use machine learning to classify the morphology of PM 2.5 seasonal cycles in East Asia. Machine learning is able to objectively classify the seasonal cycles and, without a priori assumption, is able to clearly distinguish between urban and rural areas. We show an example of this in the Sichuan Basin of China. Furthermore, machine learning is also able to provide physical insights by identifying the key factors associated with each distinct shape of the seasonal cycle, such as highlighting the key role played by the topography and the built environment.

  19. Levels of Interaction Provided by Online Distance Education Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alhih, Mohammed; Ossiannilsson, Ebba; Berigel, Muhammet

    2017-01-01

    Interaction plays a significant role to foster usability and quality in online education. It is one of the quality standard to reveal the evidence of practice in online distance education models. This research study aims to evaluate levels of interaction in the practices of distance education centres. It is aimed to provide online distance…

  20. New insights into mammalian signaling pathways using microfluidic pulsatile inputs and mathematical modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumit, M.; Takayama, S.; Linderman, J. J.

    2016-01-01

    Temporally modulated input mimics physiology. This chemical communication strategy filters the biochemical noise through entrainment and phase-locking. Under laboratory conditions, it also expands the observability space for downstream responses. A combined approach involving microfluidic pulsatile stimulation and mathematical modeling has led to deciphering of hidden/unknown temporal motifs in several mammalian signaling pathways and has provided mechanistic insights, including how these motifs combine to form distinct band-pass filters and govern fate regulation under dynamic microenvironment. This approach can be utilized to understand signaling circuit architectures and to gain mechanistic insights for several other signaling systems. Potential applications include synthetic biology and biotechnology, in developing pharmaceutical interventions, and in developing lab-on-chip models. PMID:27868126

  1. New insights into mammalian signaling pathways using microfluidic pulsatile inputs and mathematical modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumit, M; Takayama, S; Linderman, J J

    2017-01-23

    Temporally modulated input mimics physiology. This chemical communication strategy filters the biochemical noise through entrainment and phase-locking. Under laboratory conditions, it also expands the observability space for downstream responses. A combined approach involving microfluidic pulsatile stimulation and mathematical modeling has led to deciphering of hidden/unknown temporal motifs in several mammalian signaling pathways and has provided mechanistic insights, including how these motifs combine to form distinct band-pass filters and govern fate regulation under dynamic microenvironment. This approach can be utilized to understand signaling circuit architectures and to gain mechanistic insights for several other signaling systems. Potential applications include synthetic biology and biotechnology, in developing pharmaceutical interventions, and in developing lab-on-chip models.

  2. A novel approach for multi-domain and multi-gene family identification provides insights into evolutionary dynamics of disease resistance genes in core eudicot plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofberger, Johannes A; Zhou, Beifei; Tang, Haibao; Jones, Jonathan D G; Schranz, M Eric

    2014-11-08

    Recent advances in DNA sequencing techniques resulted in more than forty sequenced plant genomes representing a diverse set of taxa of agricultural, energy, medicinal and ecological importance. However, gene family curation is often only inferred from DNA sequence homology and lacks insights into evolutionary processes contributing to gene family dynamics. In a comparative genomics framework, we integrated multiple lines of evidence provided by gene synteny, sequence homology and protein-based Hidden Markov Modelling to extract homologous super-clusters composed of multi-domain resistance (R)-proteins of the NB-LRR type (for NUCLEOTIDE BINDING/LEUCINE-RICH REPEATS), that are involved in plant innate immunity. To assess the diversity of R-proteins within and between species, we screened twelve eudicot plant genomes including six major crops and found a total of 2,363 NB-LRR genes. Our curated R-proteins set shows a 50% average for tandem duplicates and a 22% fraction of gene copies retained from ancient polyploidy events (ohnologs). We provide evidence for strong positive selection and show significant differences in molecular evolution rates (Ka/Ks-ratio) among tandem- (mean = 1.59), ohnolog (mean = 1.36) and singleton (mean = 1.22) R-gene duplicates. To foster the process of gene-edited plant breeding, we report species-specific presence/absence of all 140 NB-LRR genes present in the model plant Arabidopsis and describe four distinct clusters of NB-LRR "gatekeeper" loci sharing syntenic orthologs across all analyzed genomes. By curating a near-complete set of multi-domain R-protein clusters in an eudicot-wide scale, our analysis offers significant insight into evolutionary dynamics underlying diversification of the plant innate immune system. Furthermore, our methods provide a blueprint for future efforts to identify and more rapidly clone functional NB-LRR genes from any plant species.

  3. Independent Analysis of the Flagellum Surface and Matrix Proteomes Provides Insight into Flagellum Signaling in Mammalian-infectious Trypanosoma brucei*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberholzer, Michael; Langousis, Gerasimos; Nguyen, HoangKim T.; Saada, Edwin A.; Shimogawa, Michelle M.; Jonsson, Zophonias O.; Nguyen, Steven M.; Wohlschlegel, James A.; Hill, Kent L.

    2011-01-01

    The flagellum of African trypanosomes is an essential and multifunctional organelle that functions in motility, cell morphogenesis, and host-parasite interaction. Previous studies of the trypanosome flagellum have been limited by the inability to purify flagella without first removing the flagellar membrane. This limitation is particularly relevant in the context of studying flagellum signaling, as signaling requires surface-exposed proteins in the flagellar membrane and soluble signaling proteins in the flagellar matrix. Here we employ a combination of genetic and mechanical approaches to purify intact flagella from the African trypanosome, Trypanosoma brucei, in its mammalian-infectious stage. We combined flagellum purification with affinity-purification of surface-exposed proteins to conduct independent proteomic analyses of the flagellum surface and matrix fractions. The proteins identified encompass a broad range of molecular functionalities, including many predicted to function in signaling. Immunofluorescence and RNA interference studies demonstrate flagellum localization and function for proteins identified and provide insight into mechanisms of flagellum attachment and motility. The flagellum surface proteome includes many T. brucei-specific proteins and is enriched for proteins up-regulated in the mammalian-infectious stage of the parasite life-cycle. The combined results indicate that the flagellum surface presents a diverse and dynamic host-parasite interface that is well-suited for host-parasite signaling. PMID:21685506

  4. A multidisciplinary approach providing new insight into fruit flesh browning physiology in apple (Malus x domestica Borkh.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Guardo, Mario; Tadiello, Alice; Farneti, Brian; Lorenz, Giorgia; Masuero, Domenico; Vrhovsek, Urska; Costa, Guglielmo; Velasco, Riccardo; Costa, Fabrizio

    2013-01-01

    In terms of the quality of minimally processed fruit, flesh browning is fundamentally important in the development of an aesthetically unpleasant appearance, with consequent off-flavours. The development of browning depends on the enzymatic action of the polyphenol oxidase (PPO). In the 'Golden Delicious' apple genome ten PPO genes were initially identified and located on three main chromosomes (2, 5 and 10). Of these genes, one element in particular, here called Md-PPO, located on chromosome 10, was further investigated and genetically mapped in two apple progenies ('Fuji x Pink Lady' and 'Golden Delicious x Braeburn'). Both linkage maps, made up of 481 and 608 markers respectively, were then employed to find QTL regions associated with fruit flesh browning, allowing the detection of 25 QTLs related to several browning parameters. These were distributed over six linkage groups with LOD values spanning from 3.08 to 4.99 and showed a rate of phenotypic variance from 26.1 to 38.6%. Anchoring of these intervals to the apple genome led to the identification of several genes involved in polyphenol synthesis and cell wall metabolism. Finally, the expression profile of two specific candidate genes, up and downstream of the polyphenolic pathway, namely phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO), provided insight into flesh browning physiology. Md-PPO was further analyzed and two haplotypes were characterised and associated with fruit flesh browning in apple.

  5. Analysis of the Phlebiopsis gigantea Genome, Transcriptome and Secretome Provides Insight into Its Pioneer Colonization Strategies of Wood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hori, Chiaki; Ishida, Takuya; Igarashi, Kiyohiko; Samejima, Masahiro; Suzuki, Hitoshi; Master, Emma; Ferreira, Patricia; Ruiz-Dueñas, Francisco J.; Held, Benjamin; Canessa, Paulo; Larrondo, Luis F.; Schmoll, Monika; Druzhinina, Irina S.; Kubicek, Christian P.; Gaskell, Jill A.; Kersten, Phil; St. John, Franz; Glasner, Jeremy; Sabat, Grzegorz; Splinter BonDurant, Sandra; Syed, Khajamohiddin; Yadav, Jagjit; Mgbeahuruike, Anthony C.; Kovalchuk, Andriy; Asiegbu, Fred O.; Lackner, Gerald; Hoffmeister, Dirk; Rencoret, Jorge; Gutiérrez, Ana; Sun, Hui; Lindquist, Erika; Barry, Kerrie; Riley, Robert; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Henrissat, Bernard; Kües, Ursula; Berka, Randy M.; Martínez, Angel T.; Covert, Sarah F.; Blanchette, Robert A.; Cullen, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Collectively classified as white-rot fungi, certain basidiomycetes efficiently degrade the major structural polymers of wood cell walls. A small subset of these Agaricomycetes, exemplified by Phlebiopsis gigantea, is capable of colonizing freshly exposed conifer sapwood despite its high content of extractives, which retards the establishment of other fungal species. The mechanism(s) by which P. gigantea tolerates and metabolizes resinous compounds have not been explored. Here, we report the annotated P. gigantea genome and compare profiles of its transcriptome and secretome when cultured on fresh-cut versus solvent-extracted loblolly pine wood. The P. gigantea genome contains a conventional repertoire of hydrolase genes involved in cellulose/hemicellulose degradation, whose patterns of expression were relatively unperturbed by the absence of extractives. The expression of genes typically ascribed to lignin degradation was also largely unaffected. In contrast, genes likely involved in the transformation and detoxification of wood extractives were highly induced in its presence. Their products included an ABC transporter, lipases, cytochrome P450s, glutathione S-transferase and aldehyde dehydrogenase. Other regulated genes of unknown function and several constitutively expressed genes are also likely involved in P. gigantea's extractives metabolism. These results contribute to our fundamental understanding of pioneer colonization of conifer wood and provide insight into the diverse chemistries employed by fungi in carbon cycling processes. PMID:25474575

  6. The characterization of sponge NLRs provides insight into the origin and evolution of this innate immune gene family in animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuen, Benedict; Bayes, Joanne M; Degnan, Sandie M

    2014-01-01

    The "Nucleotide-binding domain and Leucine-rich Repeat" (NLR) genes are a family of intracellular pattern recognition receptors (PRR) that are a critical component of the metazoan innate immune system, involved in both defense against pathogenic microorganisms and in beneficial interactions with symbionts. To investigate the origin and evolution of the NLR gene family, we characterized the full NACHT domain-containing gene complement in the genome of the sponge, Amphimedon queenslandica. As sister group to all animals, sponges are ideally placed to inform our understanding of the early evolution of this ancient PRR family. Amphimedon queenslandica has a large NACHT domain-containing gene complement that is dominated by bona fide NLRs (n = 135) with varied phylogenetic histories. Approximately half of these have a tripartite architecture that includes an N-terminal CARD or DEATH domain. The multiplicity of the A. queenslandica NLR genes and the high variability across the N- and C-terminal domains are consistent with involvement in immunity. We also provide new insight into the evolution of NLRs in invertebrates through comparative genomic analysis of multiple metazoan and nonmetazoan taxa. Specifically, we demonstrate that the NLR gene family appears to be a metazoan innovation, characterized by two major gene lineages that may have originated with the last common eumetazoan ancestor. Subsequent lineage-specific gene duplication, gene loss and domain shuffling all have played an important role in the highly dynamic evolutionary history of invertebrate NLRs.

  7. An integrative analysis of transcriptome and proteome provides new insights into carotenoid biosynthesis and regulation in sweet orange fruits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Zhiyong; Zeng, Yunliu; An, Jianyong; Ye, Junli; Xu, Qiang; Deng, Xiuxin

    2012-05-17

    An integrative analysis of transcriptome and proteome was performed to identify differential genes/proteins of a red-flesh sweet orange Cara Cara in comparison with a common cultivar Newhall at ripening stages. At the transcript level, gene expression was measured with Massively Parallel Signature Sequencing (MPSS), and 629 genes of these two sweet orange cultivars differed by two fold or more (FDR<0.001). At the protein level, a combination of 2DE and MALDI-TOF-TOF MS identified 48 protein spots differed in relative abundance (P<0.05). The data obtained from comparing transcriptome with proteome showed a poor correlation, suggesting the necessity to integrate both transcriptomic and proteomic approaches in order to get a comprehensive molecular characterization. Function analysis of the differential genes/proteins revealed that a set of candidates was associated with carotenoid biosynthesis and the regulation. Overall, some intriguing genes/proteins were previously unrecognized related with the formation of red-flesh trait, which provided new insights into molecular processes regulating lycopene accumulation in a red-flesh sweet orange. In addition, some genes/proteins were found to be different in expression patterns between the Cara Cara and another red-flesh sweet orange Hong Anliu, and their potential roles were further discussed in the present study. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Genome of Diaporthe sp. provides insights into the potential inter-phylum transfer of a fungal sesquiterpenoid biosynthetic pathway

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Sena Filho, Jose Guedes; Quin, Maureen B.; Spakowicz, Daniel J; Shaw, Jeffrey J.; Kucera, Kaury; Dunican, Brian; Strobel, Scott A.; Schmidt-Dannert, Claudia

    2016-01-01

    Fungi have highly active secondary metabolic pathways which enable them to produce a wealth of sesquiterpenoids that are bioactive. One example is Δ6-protoilludene, the precursor to the cytotoxic illudins, which are pharmaceutically relevant as anticancer therapeutics. To date, this valuable sesquiterpene has only been identified in members of the fungal division Basidiomycota. To explore the untapped potential of fungi belonging to the division Ascomycota in producing Δ6-protoilludene, we isolated the a fungal endophyte Diaporthe sp. BR109 and show that it produces a diversity of terpenoids including Δ6-protoilludene. Using a genome sequencing and mining approach 17 putative novel sesquiterpene synthases were identified in Diaporthe sp. BR109. A phylogenetic approach was used to predict which gene encodes Δ6-protoilludene synthase, which was then confirmed experimentally. These analyses reveal that the sesquiterpene synthase and its putative sesquiterpene scaffold modifying cytochrome P450(s) may have been acquired by inter-phylum horizontal gene transfer from Basidiomycota to Ascomycota. Bioinformatic analyses indicate that inter-phylum transfer of these minimal sequiterpenoid secondary metabolic pathways may have occurred in other fungi. This work provides insights into the evolution of fungal sesquiterpenoid secondary metabolic pathways in the production of pharmaceutically relevant bioactive natural products. PMID:27521636

  9. The gene expression data of Mycobacterium tuberculosis based on Affymetrix gene chips provide insight into regulatory and hypothetical genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fu-Liu Casey S

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tuberculosis remains a leading infectious disease with global public health threat. Its control and management have been complicated by multi-drug resistance and latent infection, which prompts scientists to find new and more effective drugs. With the completion of the genome sequence of the etiologic bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, it is now feasible to search for new drug targets by sieving through a large number of gene products and conduct genome-scale experiments based on microarray technology. However, the full potential of genome-wide microarray analysis in configuring interrelationships among all genes in M. tuberculosis has yet to be realized. To date, it is only possible to assign a function to 52% of proteins predicted in the genome. Results We conducted a functional-genomics study using the high-resolution Affymetrix oligonucleotide GeneChip. Approximately one-half of the genes were found to be always expressed, including more than 100 predicted conserved hypotheticals, in the genome of M. tuberculosis during the log phase of in vitro growth. The gene expression profiles were analyzed and visualized through cluster analysis to epitomize the full details of genomic behavior. Broad patterns derived from genome-wide expression experiments in this study have provided insight into the interrelationships among genes in the basic cellular processes of M. tuberculosis. Conclusion Our results have confirmed several known gene clusters in energy production, information pathways, and lipid metabolism, and also hinted at potential roles of hypothetical and regulatory proteins.

  10. Neuroanatomy of the vestimentiferan tubeworm Lamellibrachia satsuma provides insights into the evolution of the polychaete nervous system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norio Miyamoto

    Full Text Available Vestimentiferan tubeworms are marine invertebrates that inhabit chemosynthetic environments, and although recent molecular phylogenetic analyses have suggested that vestimentiferan tubeworms are derived from polychaete annelids, they show some morphological features that are different from other polychaetes. For example, vestimentiferans lack a digestive tract and have less body segments and comparative neuroanatomy can provide essential insight into the vestimentiferan body plan and its evolution. In the present study, we investigated the adult nervous system in the vestimentiferan Lamellibrachia satsuma using antibodies against synapsin, serotonin, FMRMamide and acetylated α-tubulin. We also examined the expressions of neural marker genes, elav and synaptotagmin to reveal the distribution of neuronal cell bodies. Brain anatomy shows simple organization in Lamellibrachia compared to other polychaetes. This simplification is probably due to the loss of the digestive tract, passing through the body between the brain and the subesophageal ganglion. In contrast, the ventral nerve cord shows a repeated organizational structure as in the other polychaetes, despite the absence of the multiple segmentation of the trunk. These results suggest that the brain anatomy is variable depending on the function and the condition of surrounding tissues, and that the formation of the rope ladder-like nervous system of the ventral nerve cord is independent from segmentation in polychaetes.

  11. Proteomic Analyses Provide Novel Insights into Plant Growth and Ginsenoside Biosynthesis in Forest Cultivated Panax ginseng (F. Ginseng)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Rui; Sun, Liwei; Chen, Xuenan; Mei, Bing; Chang, Guijuan; Wang, Manying; Zhao, Daqing

    2016-01-01

    F. Ginseng (Panax ginseng) is planted in the forest to enhance the natural ginseng resources, which have an immense medicinal and economic value. The morphology of the cultivated plants becomes similar to that of wild growing ginseng (W. Ginseng) over the years. So far, there have been no studies highlighting the physiological or functional changes in F. Ginseng and its wild counterparts. In the present study, we used proteomic technologies (2DE and iTRAQ) coupled to mass spectrometry to compare W. Ginseng and F. Ginseng at various growth stages. Hierarchical cluster analysis based on protein abundance revealed that the protein expression profile of 25-year-old F. Ginseng was more like W. Ginseng than less 20-year-old F. Ginseng. We identified 192 differentially expressed protein spots in F. Ginseng. These protein spots increased with increase in growth years of F. Ginseng and were associated with proteins involved in energy metabolism, ginsenosides biosynthesis, and stress response. The mRNA, physiological, and metabolic analysis showed that the external morphology, protein expression profile, and ginsenoside synthesis ability of the F. Ginseng increased just like that of W. Ginseng with the increase in age. Our study represents the first characterization of the proteome of F. Ginseng during development and provides new insights into the metabolism and accumulation of ginsenosides. PMID:26858731

  12. Genome analysis of smooth tubercle bacilli provides insights into ancestry and pathoadaptation of the etiologic agent of tuberculosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Supply, Philip; Marceau, Michael; Mangenot, Sophie; Roche, David; Rouanet, Carine; Khanna, Varun; Majlessi, Laleh; Criscuolo, Alexis; Tap, Julien; Pawlik, Alexandre; Fiette, Laurence; Orgeur, Mickael; Fabre, Michel; Parmentier, Cécile; Frigui, Wafa; Simeone, Roxane; Boritsch, Eva C.; Debrie, Anne-Sophie; Willery, Eve; Walker, Danielle; Quail, Michael A.; Ma, Laurence; Bouchier, Christiane; Salvignol, Grégory; Sayes, Fadel; Cascioferro, Alessandro; Seemann, Torsten; Barbe, Valérie; Locht, Camille; Gutierrez, Maria-Cristina; Leclerc, Claude; Bentley, Stephen; Stinear, Timothy P.; Brisse, Sylvain; Médigue, Claudine; Parkhill, Julian; Cruveiller, Stéphane; Brosch, Roland

    2013-01-01

    Global spread and genetic monomorphism are hallmarks of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the agent of human tuberculosis. In contrast, Mycobacterium canettii, and related tubercle bacilli that also cause human tuberculosis and exhibit unusual smooth colony morphology, are restricted to East-Africa. Here, we sequenced and analyzed the genomes of five representative strains of smooth tubercle bacilli (STB) using Sanger (4-5x coverage), 454/Roche (13-18x coverage) and/or Illumina DNA sequencing (45-105x coverage). We show that STB are highly recombinogenic and evolutionary early-branching, with larger genome sizes, 25-fold more SNPs, fewer molecular scars and distinct CRISPR-Cas systems relative to M. tuberculosis. Despite the differences, all tuberculosis-causing mycobacteria share a highly conserved core genome. Mouse-infection experiments revealed that STB are less persistent and virulent than M. tuberculosis. We conclude that M. tuberculosis emerged from an ancestral, STB-like pool of mycobacteria by gain of persistence and virulence mechanisms and we provide genome-wide insights into the molecular events involved. PMID:23291586

  13. A Genomic Survey of SCPP Family Genes in Fishes Provides Novel Insights into the Evolution of Fish Scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lv, Yunyun; Kawasaki, Kazuhiko; Li, Jia; Li, Yanping; Bian, Chao; Huang, Yu; You, Xinxin; Shi, Qiong

    2017-11-16

    The family of secretory calcium-binding phosphoproteins (SCPPs) have been considered vital to skeletal tissue mineralization. However, most previous SCPP studies focused on phylogenetically distant animals but not on those closely related species. Here we provide novel insights into the coevolution of SCPP genes and fish scales in 10 species from Otophysi . According to their scale phenotypes, these fishes can be divided into three groups, i.e., scaled, sparsely scaled, and scaleless. We identified homologous SCPP genes in the genomes of these species and revealed an absence of some SCPP members in some genomes, suggesting an uneven evolutionary history of SCPP genes in fishes. In addition, most of these SCPP genes, with the exception of SPP1 , individually form one or two gene cluster(s) on each corresponding genome. Furthermore, we constructed phylogenetic trees using maximum likelihood method to estimate their evolution. The phylogenetic topology mostly supports two subclasses in some species, such as Cyprinus carpio , Sinocyclocheilus anshuiensis , S. grahamin , and S. rhinocerous , but not in the other examined fishes. By comparing the gene structures of recently reported candidate genes, SCPP1 and SCPP5 , for determining scale phenotypes, we found that the hypothesis is suitable for Astyanax mexicanus , but denied by S. anshuiensis , even though they are both sparsely scaled for cave adaptation. Thus, we conclude that, although different fish species display similar scale phenotypes, the underlying genetic changes however might be diverse. In summary, this paper accelerates the recognition of the SCPP family in teleosts for potential scale evolution.

  14. Crystal structure of RNA-DNA duplex provides insight into conformational changes induced by RNase H binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Ryan R; Shaban, Nadine M; Perrino, Fred W; Hollis, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    RNA-DNA hybrids play essential roles in a variety of biological processes, including DNA replication, transcription, and viral integration. Ribonucleotides incorporated within DNA are hydrolyzed by RNase H enzymes in a removal process that is necessary for maintaining genomic stability. In order to understand the structural determinants involved in recognition of a hybrid substrate by RNase H we have determined the crystal structure of a dodecameric non-polypurine/polypyrimidine tract RNA-DNA duplex. A comparison to the same sequence bound to RNase H, reveals structural changes to the duplex that include widening of the major groove to 12.5 Å from 4.2 Å and decreasing the degree of bending along the axis which may play a crucial role in the ribonucleotide recognition and cleavage mechanism within RNase H. This structure allows a direct comparison to be made about the conformational changes induced in RNA-DNA hybrids upon binding to RNase H and may provide insight into how dysfunction in the endonuclease causes disease.

  15. High content analysis provides mechanistic insights on the pathways of toxicity induced by amine-modified polystyrene nanoparticles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Anguissola

    Full Text Available The fast-paced development of nanotechnology needs the support of effective safety testing. We have developed a screening platform measuring simultaneously several cellular parameters for exposure to various concentrations of nanoparticles (NPs. Cell lines representative of different organ cell types, including lung, endothelium, liver, kidney, macrophages, glia, and neuronal cells were exposed to 50 nm amine-modified polystyrene (PS-NH2 NPs previously reported to induce apoptosis and to 50 nm sulphonated and carboxyl-modified polystyrene NPs that were reported to be silent. All cell lines apart from Raw 264.7 executed apoptosis in response to PS-NH2 NPs, showing specific sequences of EC50 thresholds; lysosomal acidification was the most sensitive parameter. Loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and plasma membrane integrity measured by High Content Analysis resulted comparably sensitive to the equivalent OECD-recommended assays, allowing increased output. Analysis of the acidic compartments revealed good cerrelation between size/fluorescence intensity and dose of PS-NH2 NPs applied; moreover steatosis and phospholipidosis were observed, consistent with the lysosomal alterations revealed by Lysotracker green; similar responses were observed when comparing astrocytoma cells with primary astrocytes. We have established a platform providing mechanistic insights on the response to exposure to nanoparticles. Such platform holds great potential for in vitro screening of nanomaterials in highthroughput format.

  16. Whole Genome Sequencing of Mycobacterium africanum Strains from Mali Provides Insights into the Mechanisms of Geographic Restriction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winglee, Kathryn; Manson McGuire, Abigail; Maiga, Mamoudou; Abeel, Thomas; Shea, Terrance; Desjardins, Christopher A; Diarra, Bassirou; Baya, Bocar; Sanogo, Moumine; Diallo, Souleymane; Earl, Ashlee M; Bishai, William R

    2016-01-01

    Mycobacterium africanum, made up of lineages 5 and 6 within the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC), causes up to half of all tuberculosis cases in West Africa, but is rarely found outside of this region. The reasons for this geographical restriction remain unknown. Possible reasons include a geographically restricted animal reservoir, a unique preference for hosts of West African ethnicity, and an inability to compete with other lineages outside of West Africa. These latter two hypotheses could be caused by loss of fitness or altered interactions with the host immune system. We sequenced 92 MTC clinical isolates from Mali, including two lineage 5 and 24 lineage 6 strains. Our genome sequencing assembly, alignment, phylogeny and average nucleotide identity analyses enabled us to identify features that typify lineages 5 and 6 and made clear that these lineages do not constitute a distinct species within the MTC. We found that in Mali, lineage 6 and lineage 4 strains have similar levels of diversity and evolve drug resistance through similar mechanisms. In the process, we identified a putative novel streptomycin resistance mutation. In addition, we found evidence of person-to-person transmission of lineage 6 isolates and showed that lineage 6 is not enriched for mutations in virulence-associated genes. This is the largest collection of lineage 5 and 6 whole genome sequences to date, and our assembly and alignment data provide valuable insights into what distinguishes these lineages from other MTC lineages. Lineages 5 and 6 do not appear to be geographically restricted due to an inability to transmit between West African hosts or to an elevated number of mutations in virulence-associated genes. However, lineage-specific mutations, such as mutations in cell wall structure, secretion systems and cofactor biosynthesis, provide alternative mechanisms that may lead to host specificity.

  17. Analysis of BAC end sequences in oak, a keystone forest tree species, providing insight into the composition of its genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Le Provost Grégoire

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background One of the key goals of oak genomics research is to identify genes of adaptive significance. This information may help to improve the conservation of adaptive genetic variation and the management of forests to increase their health and productivity. Deep-coverage large-insert genomic libraries are a crucial tool for attaining this objective. We report herein the construction of a BAC library for Quercus robur, its characterization and an analysis of BAC end sequences. Results The EcoRI library generated consisted of 92,160 clones, 7% of which had no insert. Levels of chloroplast and mitochondrial contamination were below 3% and 1%, respectively. Mean clone insert size was estimated at 135 kb. The library represents 12 haploid genome equivalents and, the likelihood of finding a particular oak sequence of interest is greater than 99%. Genome coverage was confirmed by PCR screening of the library with 60 unique genetic loci sampled from the genetic linkage map. In total, about 20,000 high-quality BAC end sequences (BESs were generated by sequencing 15,000 clones. Roughly 5.88% of the combined BAC end sequence length corresponded to known retroelements while ab initio repeat detection methods identified 41 additional repeats. Collectively, characterized and novel repeats account for roughly 8.94% of the genome. Further analysis of the BESs revealed 1,823 putative genes suggesting at least 29,340 genes in the oak genome. BESs were aligned with the genome sequences of Arabidopsis thaliana, Vitis vinifera and Populus trichocarpa. One putative collinear microsyntenic region encoding an alcohol acyl transferase protein was observed between oak and chromosome 2 of V. vinifera. Conclusions This BAC library provides a new resource for genomic studies, including SSR marker development, physical mapping, comparative genomics and genome sequencing. BES analysis provided insight into the structure of the oak genome. These sequences will be

  18. Compression tests of Fusarium graminearum ascocarps provide insights into the strength of the perithecial wall and the quantity of ascospores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Ray F; Reinisch, Michael; Trail, Frances; Marr, Linsey C; Schmale, David G

    2016-11-01

    The plant pathogenic ascomycete Fusarium graminearum produces perithecia on corn and small grain residues. These perithecia forcibly discharge ascospores into the atmosphere. Little is known about the relationship among the strength of the perithecial wall, the age of the perithecium, and the quantity of ascospores produced. We used a mechanical compression testing instrument to examine the structural failure rate of perithecial walls from three different strains of F. graminearum (two wild type strains, and a mutant strain unable to produce asci). The force required to compress a perithecium by one micrometer (the mean perithecium compression constant, MPCC) was used to determine the strength of the perithecial wall. Over the course of perithecial maturation (5-12days after the initiation of perithecial development), the MPCC was compared to the number of ascospores contained inside the perithecia. The MPCC increased as perithecia matured, from 0.06Nμm -1 at 5d to 0.12Nμm -1 at 12d. The highest number of ascospores was found in older perithecia (12d). The results indicated that for every additional day of perithecial aging, the perithecia become more resilient to compression forces. Every additional day of perithecial aging resulted in ∼900 more ascospores. Knowledge of how perithecia respond to external forces may provide insight into the development of ascospores and the accumulation of turgor pressure. In the future, compression testing may provide a unique method of determining perithecial age in the field, which could extend to management practices that are informed by knowledge of ascospore release and dispersal. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Modeling Double Subjectivity for Gaining Programmable Insights: Framing the Case of Uber

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loretta Henderson Cheeks

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The Internet is the premier platform that enable the emergence of new technologies. Online news is unstructured narrative text that embeds facts, frames, and amplification that can influence society attitudes about technology adoption. Online news sources are carriers of voluminous amounts of news for reaching significantly large audience and have no geographical or time boundaries. The interplay of complex and dynamical forces among authors and readers allow for progressive emergent and latent properties to exhibit. Our concept of “Double subjectivity” provides a new paradigm for exploring complementary programmable insights of deeply buried meanings in a system. The ability to understand internal embeddedness in a large collection of related articles are beyond the reach of existing computational tools, and are hence left to human readers with unscalable results. This paper uncovers the potential to utilize advanced machine learning in a new way to automate the understanding of implicit structures and their associated latent meanings to give an early human-level insight into emergent technologies, with a concrete example of “Uber”. This paper establishes the new concept of double subjectivity as an instrument for large-scale machining of unstructured text and introduces a social influence model for the discovery of distinct pathways into emerging technology, and hence an insight. The programmable insight reveals early spatial and temporal opinion shift monitoring in complex networks in a structured way for computational treatment and visualization.

  20. Model of Providing Assistive Technologies in Special Education Schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lersilp, Suchitporn; Putthinoi, Supawadee; Chakpitak, Nopasit

    2015-05-14

    Most students diagnosed with disabilities in Thai special education schools received assistive technologies, but this did not guarantee the greatest benefits. The purpose of this study was to survey the provision, use and needs of assistive technologies, as well as the perspectives of key informants regarding a model of providing them in special education schools. The participants were selected by the purposive sampling method, and they comprised 120 students with visual, physical, hearing or intellectual disabilities from four special education schools in Chiang Mai, Thailand; and 24 key informants such as parents or caregivers, teachers, school principals and school therapists. The instruments consisted of an assistive technology checklist and a semi-structured interview. Results showed that a category of assistive technologies was provided for students with disabilities, with the highest being "services", followed by "media" and then "facilities". Furthermore, mostly students with physical disabilities were provided with assistive technologies, but those with visual disabilities needed it more. Finally, the model of providing assistive technologies was composed of 5 components: Collaboration; Holistic perspective; Independent management of schools; Learning systems and a production manual for users; and Development of an assistive technology center, driven by 3 major sources such as Government and Private organizations, and Schools.

  1. Taurus II Stage Test Simulations: Using Large-Scale CFD Simulations to Provide Critical Insight into Plume Induced Environments During Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Struzenberg, L. L.; West, J. S.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes the use of targeted Loci/CHEM CFD simulations to evaluate the effects of a dual-engine first-stage hot-fire test on an evolving integrated launch pad/test article design. This effort was undertaken as a part of the NESC Independent Assessment of the Taurus II Stage Test Series. The underlying conceptual model included development of a series of computational models and simulations to analyze the plume induced environments on the pad, facility structures and test article. A pathfinder simulation was first developed, capable of providing quick-turn around evaluation of plume impingement pressures on the flame deflector. Results from this simulation were available in time to provide data for an ongoing structural assessment of the deflector. The resulting recommendation was available in a timely manner and was incorporated into construction schedule for the new launch stand under construction at Wallops Flight Facility. A series of Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) quasi-steady simulations representative of various key elements of the test profile was performed to identify potential concerns with the test configuration and test profile. As required, unsteady Hybrid-RANS/LES simulations were performed, to provide additional insight into critical aspects of the test sequence. Modifications to the test-specific hardware and facility structures thermal protection as well as modifications to the planned hot-fire test profile were implemented based on these simulation results.

  2. Structural and mutational analysis of Escherichia coli AlkB provides insight into substrate specificity and DNA damage searching.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul J Holland

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In Escherichia coli, cytotoxic DNA methyl lesions on the N1 position of purines and N3 position of pyrimidines are primarily repaired by the 2-oxoglutarate (2-OG iron(II dependent dioxygenase, AlkB. AlkB repairs 1-methyladenine (1-meA and 3-methylcytosine (3-meC lesions, but it also repairs 1-methylguanine (1-meG and 3-methylthymine (3-meT at a much less efficient rate. How the AlkB enzyme is able to locate and identify methylated bases in ssDNA has remained an open question. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We determined the crystal structures of the E. coli AlkB protein holoenzyme and the AlkB-ssDNA complex containing a 1-meG lesion. We coupled this to site-directed mutagenesis of amino acids in and around the active site, and tested the effects of these mutations on the ability of the protein to bind both damaged and undamaged DNA, as well as catalyze repair of a methylated substrate. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: A comparison of our substrate-bound AlkB-ssDNA complex with our unliganded holoenzyme reveals conformational changes of residues within the active site that are important for binding damaged bases. Site-directed mutagenesis of these residues reveals novel insight into their roles in DNA damage recognition and repair. Our data support a model that the AlkB protein utilizes at least two distinct conformations in searching and binding methylated bases within DNA: a "searching" mode and "repair" mode. Moreover, we are able to functionally separate these modes through mutagenesis of residues that affect one or the other binding state. Finally, our mutagenesis experiments show that amino acid D135 of AlkB participates in both substrate specificity and catalysis.

  3. A Burmese amber fossil of Radula (Porellales, Jungermanniopsida provides insights into the Cretaceous evolution of epiphytic lineages of leafy liverworts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Bechteler

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available DNA-based divergence time estimates suggested major changes in the composition of epiphyte lineages of liverworts during the Cretaceous; however, evidence from the fossil record is scarce. We present the first Cretaceous fossil of the predominantly epiphytic leafy liverwort genus Radula in ca. 100 Myr old Burmese amber. The fossil's exquisite preservation allows first insights into the morphology of early crown group representatives of Radula occurring in gymnosperm-dominated forests. Ancestral character state reconstruction aligns the fossil with the crown group of Radula subg. Odontoradula; however, corresponding divergence time estimates using the software BEAST lead to unrealistically old age estimates. Alternatively, assignment of the fossil to the stem of subg. Odontoradula results in a stem age estimate of Radula of 227.8 Ma (95 % highest posterior density (HPD: 165.7–306.7 and a crown group estimate of 176.3 Ma (135.1–227.4, in agreement with analyses employing standard substitution rates (stem age 235.6 Ma (142.9–368.5, crown group age 183.8 Ma (109.9–289.1. The fossil likely belongs to the stem lineage of Radula subg. Odontoradula. The fossil's modern morphology suggests that switches from gymnosperm to angiosperm phorophytes occurred without changes in plant body plans in epiphytic liverworts. The fossil provides evidence for striking morphological homoplasy in time. Even conservative node assignments of the fossil support older rather than younger age estimates of the Radula crown group, involving origins for most extant subgenera by the end of the Cretaceous and diversification of their crown groups in the Cenozoic.

  4. Meta-coexpression conservation analysis of microarray data: a "subset" approach provides insight into brain-derived neurotrophic factor regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timmusk Tõnis

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alterations in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF gene expression contribute to serious pathologies such as depression, epilepsy, cancer, Alzheimer's, Huntington and Parkinson's disease. Therefore, exploring the mechanisms of BDNF regulation represents a great clinical importance. Studying BDNF expression remains difficult due to its multiple neural activity-dependent and tissue-specific promoters. Thus, microarray data could provide insight into the regulation of this complex gene. Conventional microarray co-expression analysis is usually carried out by merging the datasets or by confirming the re-occurrence of significant correlations across datasets. However, co-expression patterns can be different under various conditions that are represented by subsets in a dataset. Therefore, assessing co-expression by measuring correlation coefficient across merged samples of a dataset or by merging datasets might not capture all correlation patterns. Results In our study, we performed meta-coexpression analysis of publicly available microarray data using BDNF as a "guide-gene" introducing a "subset" approach. The key steps of the analysis included: dividing datasets into subsets with biologically meaningful sample content (e.g. tissue, gender or disease state subsets; analyzing co-expression with the BDNF gene in each subset separately; and confirming co- expression links across subsets. Finally, we analyzed conservation in co-expression with BDNF between human, mouse and rat, and sought for conserved over-represented TFBSs in BDNF and BDNF-correlated genes. Correlated genes discovered in this study regulate nervous system development, and are associated with various types of cancer and neurological disorders. Also, several transcription factor identified here have been reported to regulate BDNF expression in vitro and in vivo. Conclusion The study demonstrates the potential of the "subset" approach in co-expression conservation

  5. A Genomic Island in Salmonella enterica ssp. salamae provides new insights on the genealogy of the locus of enterocyte effacement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P Scott Chandry

    Full Text Available The genomic island encoding the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE is an important virulence factor of the human pathogenic Escherichia coli. LEE typically encodes a type III secretion system (T3SS and secreted effectors capable of forming attaching and effacing lesions. Although prominent in the pathogenic E. coli such as serotype O157:H7, LEE has also been detected in Citrobacter rodentium, E. albertii, and although not confirmed, it is likely to also be in Shigella boydii. Previous phylogenetic analysis of LEE indicated the genomic island was evolving through stepwise acquisition of various components. This study describes a new LEE region from two strains of Salmonella enterica subspecies salamae serovar Sofia along with a phylogenetic analysis of LEE that provides new insights into the likely evolution of this genomic island. The Salmonella LEE contains 36 of the 41 genes typically observed in LEE within a genomic island of 49, 371 bp that encodes a total of 54 genes. A phylogenetic analysis was performed on the entire T3SS and four T3SS genes (escF, escJ, escN, and escV to elucidate the genealogy of LEE. Phylogenetic analysis inferred that the previously known LEE islands are members of a single lineage distinct from the new Salmonella LEE lineage. The previously known lineage of LEE diverged between islands found in Citrobacter and those in Escherichia and Shigella. Although recombination and horizontal gene transfer are important factors in the genealogy of most genomic islands, the phylogeny of the T3SS of LEE can be interpreted with a bifurcating tree. It seems likely that the LEE island entered the Enterobacteriaceae through horizontal gene transfer as a single unit, rather than as separate subsections, which was then subjected to the forces of both mutational change and recombination.

  6. Community proteomics provides functional insight into polyhydroxyalkanoate production by a mixed microbial culture cultivated on fermented dairy manure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Andrea J; Guho, Nicholas M; Paszczynski, Andrzej J; Coats, Erik R

    2016-09-01

    Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are bio-based, biodegradable polyesters that can be produced from organic-rich waste streams using mixed microbial cultures (MMCs). To maximize PHA production, MMCs are enriched for bacteria with a high polymer storage capacity through the application of aerobic dynamic feeding (ADF) in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR), which consequently induces a feast-famine metabolic response. Though the feast-famine response is generally understood empirically at a macro-level, the molecular level is less refined. The objective of this study was to investigate the microbial community composition and proteome profile of an enriched MMC cultivated on fermented dairy manure. The enriched MMC exhibited a feast-famine response and was capable of producing up to 40 % (wt. basis) PHA in a fed-batch reactor. High-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed a microbial community dominated by Meganema, a known PHA-producing genus not often observed in high abundance in enrichment SBRs. The application of the proteomic methods two-dimensional electrophoresis and LC-MS/MS revealed PHA synthesis, energy generation, and protein synthesis prominently occurring during the feast phase, corroborating bulk solution variable observations and theoretical expectations. During the famine phase, nutrient transport, acyl-CoA metabolism, additional energy generation, and housekeeping functions were more pronounced, informing previously under-determined MMC functionality under famine conditions. During fed-batch PHA production, acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase and PHA granule-bound phasin proteins were in increased abundance relative to the SBR, supporting the higher PHA content observed. Collectively, the results provide unique microbial community structural and functional insight into feast-famine PHA production from waste feedstocks using MMCs.

  7. Integrated application of transcriptomics and metabolomics provides insights into glycogen content regulation in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Busu; Song, Kai; Meng, Jie; Li, Li; Zhang, Guofan

    2017-09-11

    stress. These findings will not only provide insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying oyster quality, but also promote research into the molecular breeding of oysters.

  8. BAC-end sequences analysis provides first insights into coffee (Coffea canephora P.) genome composition and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dereeper, Alexis; Guyot, Romain; Tranchant-Dubreuil, Christine; Anthony, François; Argout, Xavier; de Bellis, Fabien; Combes, Marie-Christine; Gavory, Frederick; de Kochko, Alexandre; Kudrna, Dave; Leroy, Thierry; Poulain, Julie; Rondeau, Myriam; Song, Xiang; Wing, Rod; Lashermes, Philippe

    2013-10-01

    Coffee is one of the world's most important agricultural commodities. Coffee belongs to the Rubiaceae family in the euasterid I clade of dicotyledonous plants, to which the Solanaceae family also belongs. Two bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries of a homozygous doubled haploid plant of Coffea canephora were constructed using two enzymes, HindIII and BstYI. A total of 134,827 high quality BAC-end sequences (BESs) were generated from the 73,728 clones of the two libraries, and 131,412 BESs were conserved for further analysis after elimination of chloroplast and mitochondrial sequences. This corresponded to almost 13 % of the estimated size of the C. canephora genome. 6.7 % of BESs contained simple sequence repeats, the most abundant (47.8 %) being mononucleotide motifs. These sequences allow the development of numerous useful marker sites. Potential transposable elements (TEs) represented 11.9 % of the full length BESs. A difference was observed between the BstYI and HindIII libraries (14.9 vs. 8.8 %). Analysis of BESs against known coding sequences of TEs indicated that 11.9 % of the genome corresponded to known repeat sequences, like for other flowering plants. The number of genes in the coffee genome was estimated at 41,973 which is probably overestimated. Comparative genome mapping revealed that microsynteny was higher between coffee and grapevine than between coffee and tomato or Arabidopsis. BESs constitute valuable resources for the first genome wide survey of coffee and provide new insights into the composition and evolution of the coffee genome.

  9. Comparative proteomic study on Brassica hexaploid and its parents provides new insights into the effects of polyploidization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Yanyue; Zhang, Yu; Zou, Jun; Meng, Jinling; Wang, Jianbo

    2015-01-01

    Polyploidy has played an important role in promoting plant evolution through genomic merging and doubling. Although genomic and transcriptomic changes have been observed in polyploids, the effects of polyploidization on proteomic divergence are poorly understood. In this study, we reported quantitative analysis of proteomic changes in leaves of Brassica hexaploid and its parents using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) coupled with mass spectrometry. A total of 2044 reproducible proteins were quantified by at least two unique peptides. We detected 452 proteins differentially expressed between Brassica hexaploid and its parents, and 100 proteins were non-additively expressed in Brassica hexaploid, which suggested a trend of non-additive protein regulation following genomic merger and doubling. Functional categories of cellular component biogenesis, immune system process, and response to stimulus, were significantly enriched in non-additive proteins, probably providing a driving force for variation and adaptation in allopolyploids. In particular, majority of the total 452 differentially expressed proteins showed expression level dominance of one parental expression, and there was an expression level dominance bias toward the tetraploid progenitor. In addition, the percentage of differentially expressed proteins that matched previously reported differentially genes were relatively low. This study aimed to get new insights into the effects of polyploidization on proteomic divergence. Using iTRAQ LC-MS/MS technology, we identified 452 differentially expressed proteins between allopolyploid and its parents which involved in response to stimulus, multi-organism process, and immune system process, much more than previous studies using 2-DE coupled with mass spectrometry technology. Therefore, our manuscript represents the most comprehensive analysis of protein profiles in allopolyploid and its parents, which will lead to a better understanding of

  10. Comparative genomics reveals two novel RNAi factors in Trypanosoma brucei and provides insight into the core machinery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca L Barnes

    Full Text Available The introduction ten years ago of RNA interference (RNAi as a tool for molecular exploration in Trypanosoma brucei has led to a surge in our understanding of the pathogenesis and biology of this human parasite. In particular, a genome-wide RNAi screen has recently been combined with next-generation Illumina sequencing to expose catalogues of genes associated with loss of fitness in distinct developmental stages. At present, this technology is restricted to RNAi-positive protozoan parasites, which excludes T. cruzi, Leishmania major, and Plasmodium falciparum. Therefore, elucidating the mechanism of RNAi and identifying the essential components of the pathway is fundamental for improving RNAi efficiency in T. brucei and for transferring the RNAi tool to RNAi-deficient pathogens. Here we used comparative genomics of RNAi-positive and -negative trypanosomatid protozoans to identify the repertoire of factors in T. brucei. In addition to the previously characterized Argonaute 1 (AGO1 protein and the cytoplasmic and nuclear Dicers, TbDCL1 and TbDCL2, respectively, we identified the RNA Interference Factors 4 and 5 (TbRIF4 and TbRIF5. TbRIF4 is a 3'-5' exonuclease of the DnaQ superfamily and plays a critical role in the conversion of duplex siRNAs to the single-stranded form, thus generating a TbAGO1-siRNA complex required for target-specific cleavage. TbRIF5 is essential for cytoplasmic RNAi and appears to act as a TbDCL1 cofactor. The availability of the core RNAi machinery in T. brucei provides a platform to gain mechanistic insights in this ancient eukaryote and to identify the minimal set of components required to reconstitute RNAi in RNAi-deficient parasites.

  11. Molecular characterization of Babesia peircei and Babesia ugwidiensis provides insight into the evolution and host specificity of avian piroplasmids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J. Yabsley

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available There are 16 recognized species of avian-infecting Babesia spp. (Piroplasmida: Babesiidae. While the classification of piroplasmids has been historically based on morphological differences, geographic isolation and presumed host and/or vector specificities, recent studies employing gene sequence analysis have provided insight into their phylogenetic relationships and host distribution and specificity. In this study, we analyzed the sequences of the 18S rRNA gene and ITS-1 and ITS-2 regions of two Babesia species from South African seabirds: Babesia peircei from African penguins (Spheniscus demersus and Babesia ugwidiensis from Bank and Cape cormorants (Phalacrocorax neglectus and P. capensis, respectively. Our results show that avian Babesia spp. are not monophyletic, with at least three distinct phylogenetic groups. B. peircei and B. ugwidiensis are closely related, and fall within the same phylogenetic group as B. ardeae (from herons Ardea cinerea, B. poelea (from boobies Sula spp. and B. uriae (from murres Uria aalge. The validity of B. peircei and B. ugwidiensis as separate species is corroborated by both morphological and genetic evidence. On the other hand, our results indicate that B. poelea might be a synonym of B. peircei, which in turn would be a host generalist that infects seabirds from multiple orders. Further studies combining morphological and molecular methods are warranted to clarify the taxonomy, phylogeny and host distribution of avian piroplasmids. Keywords: Africa, Babesia, Piroplasmida, Phalacrocoracidae, Spheniscidae, Tick-borne pathogen

  12. Novel UDP-GalNAc Derivative Structures Provide Insight into the Donor Specificity of Human Blood Group Glycosyltransferase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Gerd K; Pesnot, Thomas; Palcic, Monica M; Jørgensen, Rene

    2015-12-25

    Two closely related glycosyltransferases are responsible for the final step of the biosynthesis of ABO(H) human blood group A and B antigens. The two enzymes differ by only four amino acid residues, which determine whether the enzymes transfer GalNAc from UDP-GalNAc or Gal from UDP-Gal to the H-antigen acceptor. The enzymes belong to the class of GT-A folded enzymes, grouped as GT6 in the CAZy database, and are characterized by a single domain with a metal dependent retaining reaction mechanism. However, the exact role of the four amino acid residues in the specificity of the enzymes is still unresolved. In this study, we report the first structural information of a dual specificity cis-AB blood group glycosyltransferase in complex with a synthetic UDP-GalNAc derivative. Interestingly, the GalNAc moiety adopts an unusual yet catalytically productive conformation in the binding pocket, which is different from the "tucked under" conformation previously observed for the UDP-Gal donor. In addition, we show that this UDP-GalNAc derivative in complex with the H-antigen acceptor provokes the same unusual binding pocket closure as seen for the corresponding UDP-Gal derivative. Despite this, the two derivatives show vastly different kinetic properties. Our results provide a important structural insight into the donor substrate specificity and utilization in blood group biosynthesis, which can very likely be exploited for the development of new glycosyltransferase inhibitors and probes. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  13. Profiling and Quantifying Differential Gene Transcription Provide Insights into Ganoderic Acid Biosynthesis in Ganoderma lucidum in Response to Methyl Jasmonate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Liang; Mu, Da-Shuai; Jiang, Ai-Liang; Han, Qin; Zhao, Ming-Wen

    2013-01-01

    Ganoderma lucidum is a mushroom with traditional medicinal properties that has been widely used in China and other countries in Eastern Asia. Ganoderic acids (GA) produced by G. lucidum exhibit important pharmacological activities. Previous studies have demonstrated that methyl jasmonate (MeJA) is a potent inducer of GA biosynthesis and the expression of genes involved in the GA biosynthesis pathway in G. lucidum. To further explore the mechanism of GA biosynthesis, cDNA-Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (cDNA-AFLP) was used to identify genes that are differentially expressed in response to MeJA. Using 64 primer combinations, over 3910 transcriptionally derived fragments (TDFs) were obtained. Reliable sequence data were obtained for 390 of 458 selected TDFs. Ninety of these TDFs were annotated with known functions through BLASTX searching the GenBank database, and 12 annotated TDFs were assigned into secondary metabolic pathways by searching the KEGGPATHWAY database. Twenty-five TDFs were selected for qRT-PCR analysis to confirm the expression patterns observed with cDNA-AFLP. The qRT-PCR results were consistent with the altered patterns of gene expression revealed by the cDNA-AFLP technique. Additionally, the transcript levels of 10 genes were measured at the mycelium, primordia, and fruiting body developmental stages of G. lucidum. The greatest expression levels were reached during primordia for all of the genes except cytochrome b2 reached its highest expression level in the mycelium stage. This study not only identifies new candidate genes involved in the regulation of GA biosynthesis but also provides further insight into MeJA-induced gene expression and secondary metabolic response in G. lucidum. PMID:23762280

  14. Mathematical modeling of microtubule dynamics: insights into physiology and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buxton, Gavin A; Siedlak, Sandra L; Perry, George; Smith, Mark A

    2010-12-01

    Computer models of microtubule dynamics have provided the basis for many of the theories on the cellular mechanics of the microtubules, their polymerization kinetics, and the diffusion of tubulin and tau. In the three-dimensional model presented here, we include the effects of tau concentration and the hydrolysis of GTP-tubulin to GDP-tubulin and observe the emergence of microtubule dynamic instability. This integrated approach simulates the essential physics of microtubule dynamics in a cellular environment. The model captures the structure of the microtubules as they undergo steady state dynamic instabilities in this simplified geometry, and also yields the average number, length, and cap size of the microtubules. The model achieves realistic geometries and simulates cellular structures found in degenerating neurons in disease states such as Alzheimer disease. Further, this model can be used to simulate microtubule changes following the addition of antimitotic drugs which have recently attracted attention as chemotherapeutic agents. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. What are healthcare providers' understandings and experiences of compassion? The healthcare compassion model: a grounded theory study of healthcare providers in Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinclair, Shane; Hack, Thomas F; Raffin-Bouchal, Shelley; McClement, Susan; Stajduhar, Kelli; Singh, Pavneet; Hagen, Neil A; Sinnarajah, Aynharan; Chochinov, Harvey Max

    2018-03-14

    Healthcare providers are considered the primary conduit of compassion in healthcare. Although most healthcare providers desire to provide compassion, and patients and families expect to receive it, an evidence-based understanding of the construct and its associated dimensions from the perspective of healthcare providers is needed. The aim of this study was to investigate healthcare providers' perspectives and experiences of compassion in order to generate an empirically derived, clinically informed model. Data were collected via focus groups with frontline healthcare providers and interviews with peer-nominated exemplary compassionate healthcare providers. Data were independently and collectively analysed by the research team in accordance with Straussian grounded theory. 57 healthcare providers were recruited from urban and rural palliative care services spanning hospice, home care, hospital-based consult teams, and a dedicated inpatient unit within Alberta, Canada. Five categories and 13 associated themes were identified, illustrated in the Healthcare Provider Compassion Model depicting the dimensions of compassion and their relationship to one another. Compassion was conceptualised as-a virtuous and intentional response to know a person, to discern their needs and ameliorate their suffering through relational understanding and action. An empirical foundation of healthcare providers' perspectives on providing compassionate care was generated. While the dimensions of the Healthcare Provider Compassion Model were congruent with the previously developed Patient Model, further insight into compassion is now evident. The Healthcare Provider Compassion Model provides a model to guide clinical practice and research focused on developing interventions, measures and resources to improve it. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise stated in the text of the article) 2018. All rights reserved. No commercial use is permitted unless otherwise expressly

  16. Prediction, scenarios and insight: The uses of an end-to-end model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, John H.

    2012-09-01

    A major function of ecosystem models is to provide extrapolations from observed data in terms of predictions or scenarios or insight. These models can be at various levels of taxonomic resolution such as total community production, abundance of functional groups, or species composition, depending on the data input as drivers. A 40-year dynamic simulation of end-to-end processes in the Georges Bank food web is used to illustrate the input/output relations and the insights gained at the three levels of food web aggregation. The focus is on the intermediate level and the longer term changes in three functional fish guilds - planktivores, benthivores and piscivores - in terms of three ecosystem-based metrics - nutrient input, relative productivity of plankton and benthos, and food intake by juvenile fish. These simulations can describe the long term constraints imposed on guild structure and productivity by energy fluxes over the 40 years but cannot explain concurrent switches in abundance of individual species within guilds. Comparing time series data for individual species with model output provides insights; but including the data in the model would confer only limited extra information. The advantages and limitations of the three levels of resolution of models in relation to ecosystem-based management are: The correlations between primary production and total yield of fish imply a “bottom-up” constraint on end-to-end energy flow through the food web that can provide predictions of such yields. Functionally defined metrics such as nutrient input, relative productivity of plankton and benthos and food intake by juvenile fish, represent bottom-up, mid-level and top-down forcing of the food web. Model scenarios using these metrics can demonstrate constraints on the productivity of these functionally defined guilds within the limits set by (1). Comparisons of guild simulations with time series of fish species provide insight into the switches in species dominance

  17. A genome-wide BAC-end sequence survey provides first insights into sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.) genome composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Zengzhi; Du, Bing; Huo, Jinxi; He, Shaozhen; Liu, Qingchang; Zhai, Hong

    2016-11-21

    Sweetpotato, Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam., is an important food crop widely grown in the world. However, little is known about the genome of this species because it is a highly heterozygous hexaploid. Gaining a more in-depth knowledge of sweetpotato genome is therefore necessary and imperative. In this study, the first bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library of sweetpotato was constructed. Clones from the BAC library were end-sequenced and analyzed to provide genome-wide information about this species. The BAC library contained 240,384 clones with an average insert size of 101 kb and had a 7.93-10.82 × coverage of the genome, and the probability of isolating any single-copy DNA sequence from the library was more than 99%. Both ends of 8310 BAC clones randomly selected from the library were sequenced to generate 11,542 high-quality BAC-end sequences (BESs), with an accumulative length of 7,595,261 bp and an average length of 658 bp. Analysis of the BESs revealed that 12.17% of the sweetpotato genome were known repetitive DNA, including 7.37% long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons, 1.15% Non-LTR retrotransposons and 1.42% Class II DNA transposons etc., 18.31% of the genome were identified as sweetpotato-unique repetitive DNA and 10.00% of the genome were predicted to be coding regions. In total, 3,846 simple sequences repeats (SSRs) were identified, with a density of one SSR per 1.93 kb, from which 288 SSRs primers were designed and tested for length polymorphism using 20 sweetpotato accessions, 173 (60.07%) of them produced polymorphic bands. Sweetpotato BESs had significant hits to the genome sequences of I. trifida and more matches to the whole-genome sequences of Solanum lycopersicum than those of Vitis vinifera, Theobroma cacao and Arabidopsis thaliana. The first BAC library for sweetpotato has been successfully constructed. The high quality BESs provide first insights into sweetpotato genome composition, and have significant hits to the genome

  18. Comparative transcriptome analysis provides insights into molecular mechanisms for parthenocarpic fruit development in eggplant (Solanum melongena L..

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xia Chen

    Full Text Available Genetic control of parthenocarpy, a desirable trait in edible fruit with hard seeds, has been extensively studied. However, the molecular mechanism of parthenocarpic fruit development in eggplant (Solanum melongena L. is still unclear. To provide insights into eggplant parthenocarpy, the transcriptomic profiles of a natural parthenocarpic (PP05 and two non-parthenocarpic (PnP05 and GnP05 eggplant lines were analyzed using RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq technology. These sequences were assembled into 38925 unigenes, of which 22683 had an annotated function and 3419 were predicted as novel genes or from alternative splicing. 4864 and 1592 unigenes that were identified as DEGs between comparison groups PP05 vs PnP05 and PP05 vs GnP05, respectively. 506 common DEGs were found contained in both comparison groups, including 258 up-regulated and 248 down-regulated genes. Functional enrichment analyses identified many common or specific biological processes and gene set potentially associated with plant development. The most pronounced findings are that differentially regulated genes potentially-related with auxin signaling between parthenocarpic and non-parthenocarpic eggplants, e.g. calcium-binding protein PBP1 and transcription factor E2FB, which mediate the auxin distribution and auxin-dependent cell division, respectively, are up-regulated in the PP05; whereas homologs of GH3.1 and AUX/IAA, which are involved in inactivation of IAA and interference of auxin signaling, respectively, are down-regulated in PP05. Furthermore, gibberellin and cytokinin signaling genes and genes related to flower development were found differentially regulated between these eggplant lines. The present study provides comprehensive transcriptomic profiles of eggplants with or without parthenocarpic capacity. The information will deepen our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of eggplant parthenocarpy. The DEGs, especially these filtered from PP05 vs PnP05 + GnP05, will be

  19. Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Insights from animal models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szechtman, Henry; Ahmari, Susanne E; Beninger, Richard J; Eilam, David; Harvey, Brian H; Edemann-Callesen, Henriette; Winter, Christine

    2017-05-01

    Research with animal models of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) shows the following: (1) Optogenetic studies in mice provide evidence for a plausible cause-effect relation between increased activity in cortico-basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical (CBGTC) circuits and OCD by demonstrating the induction of compulsive behavior with the experimental manipulation of the CBGTC circuit. (2) Parallel use of several animal models is a fruitful paradigm to examine the mechanisms of treatment effects of deep brain stimulation in distinct OCD endophenotypes. (3) Features of spontaneous behavior in deer mice constitute a rich platform to investigate the neurobiology of OCD, social ramifications of a compulsive phenotype, and test novel drugs. (4) Studies in animal models for psychiatric disorders comorbid with OCD suggest comorbidity may involve shared neural circuits controlling expression of compulsive behavior. (5) Analysis of compulsive behavior into its constitutive components provides evidence from an animal model for a motivational perspective on OCD. (6) Methods of behavioral analysis in an animal model translate to dissection of compulsive rituals in OCD patients, leading to diagnostic tests. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Unique genome organization of non-mammalian papillomaviruses provides insights into the evolution of viral early proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Doorslaer, Koenraad; Ruoppolo, Valeria; Schmidt, Annie; Lescroël, Amelie; Jongsomjit, Dennis; Elrod, Megan; Kraberger, Simona; Stainton, Daisy; Dugger, Katie M.; Ballard, Grant; Ainley, David G.; Varsani, Arvind

    2017-01-01

    divergence time between Northern fulmar-associated papillomavirus and the other Sauropsid papillomaviruses be to around 250 million years ago, during the Paleozoic-Mesozoic transition and our analysis dates the root of the papillomavirus tree between 400 and 600 million years ago. Our analysis shows evidence for niche adaptation and that these non-mammalian viruses have highly divergent E6 and E7 proteins, providing insights into the evolution of the early viral (onco-)proteins.

  1. National Water Model: Providing the Nation with Actionable Water Intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aggett, G. R.; Bates, B.

    2017-12-01

    The National Water Model (NWM) provides national, street-level detail of water movement through time and space. Operating hourly, this flood of information offers enormous benefits in the form of water resource management, natural disaster preparedness, and the protection of life and property. The Geo-Intelligence Division at the NOAA National Water Center supplies forecasters and decision-makers with timely, actionable water intelligence through the processing of billions of NWM data points every hour. These datasets include current streamflow estimates, short and medium range streamflow forecasts, and many other ancillary datasets. The sheer amount of NWM data produced yields a dataset too large to allow for direct human comprehension. As such, it is necessary to undergo model data post-processing, filtering, and data ingestion by visualization web apps that make use of cartographic techniques to bring attention to the areas of highest urgency. This poster illustrates NWM output post-processing and cartographic visualization techniques being developed and employed by the Geo-Intelligence Division at the NOAA National Water Center to provide national actionable water intelligence.

  2. Reactor pressure vessel embrittlement: Insights from neural network modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathew, J.; Parfitt, D.; Wilford, K.; Riddle, N.; Alamaniotis, M.; Chroneos, A.; Fitzpatrick, M. E.

    2018-04-01

    Irradiation embrittlement of steel pressure vessels is an important consideration for the operation of current and future light water nuclear reactors. In this study we employ an ensemble of artificial neural networks in order to provide predictions of the embrittlement using two literature datasets, one based on US surveillance data and the second from the IVAR experiment. We use these networks to examine trends with input variables and to assess various literature models including compositional effects and the role of flux and temperature. Overall, the networks agree with the existing literature models and we comment on their more general use in predicting irradiation embrittlement.

  3. Modeling Key Drivers of Cholera Transmission Dynamics Provides New Perspectives for Parasitology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinaldo, Andrea; Bertuzzo, Enrico; Blokesch, Melanie; Mari, Lorenzo; Gatto, Marino

    2017-08-01

    Hydroclimatological and anthropogenic factors are key drivers of waterborne disease transmission. Information on human settlements and host mobility on waterways along which pathogens and hosts disperse, and relevant hydroclimatological processes, can be acquired remotely and included in spatially explicit mathematical models of disease transmission. In the case of epidemic cholera, such models allowed the description of complex disease patterns and provided insight into the course of ongoing epidemics. The inclusion of spatial information in models of disease transmission can aid in emergency management and the assessment of alternative interventions. Here, we review the study of drivers of transmission via spatially explicit approaches and argue that, because many parasitic waterborne diseases share the same drivers as cholera, similar principles may apply. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Geochemistry and travertine dating provide new insights into the hydrogeology of the Great Artesian Basin, South Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Love, A.J.; Rousseau-Gueutin, P.; Priestley, S.; Keppel, M.; Shand, P.; Karlstrom, K.; Crossey, L.; Wholing, D.; Fulton, S.

    2013-01-01

    While of great national and societal significance, and importance in its own right, the Great Artesian Basin of Australia is an iconic example of a continental scale artesian groundwater system. New geochemical, hydrological, and neo-tectonic data suggests that existing models that involve recharge in eastern Australia, relatively simple flow paths and discharge in springs in the western margin require modification. New geochemical data indicate a small volume flux of deeply derived (endogenic) fluids mixing into the aquifer system at a continental scale. Neotectonic data indicates active tectonism today that provides a fluid pathway through faults for the deeply sourced endogenic fluids to discharge in GAB travertine depositing springs. (authors)

  5. Governance, Government, and the Search for New Provider Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard B. Saltman

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available A central problem in designing effective models of provider governance in health systems has been to ensure an appropriate balance between the concerns of public sector and/or government decision-makers, on the one hand, and of non-governmental health services actors in civil society and private life, on the other. In tax-funded European health systems up to the 1980s, the state and other public sector decision-makers played a dominant role over health service provision, typically operating hospitals through national or regional governments on a command-and-control basis. In a number of countries, however, this state role has started to change, with governments first stepping out of direct service provision and now de facto pushed to focus more on steering provider organizations rather than on direct public management. In this new approach to provider governance, the state has pulled back into a regulatory role that introduces market-like incentives and management structures, which then apply to both public and private sector providers alike. This article examines some of the main operational complexities in implementing this new governance reality/strategy, specifically from a service provision (as opposed to mostly a financing or even regulatory perspective. After briefly reviewing some of the key theoretical dilemmas, the paper presents two case studies where this new approach was put into practice: primary care in Sweden and hospitals in Spain. The article concludes that good governance today needs to reflect practical operational realities if it is to have the desired effect on health sector reform outcome.

  6. Characterization ofTrichuris murissecreted proteins and extracellular vesicles provides new insights into host-parasite communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichenberger, Ramon M; Talukder, Md Hasanuzzaman; Field, Matthew A; Wangchuk, Phurpa; Giacomin, Paul; Loukas, Alex; Sotillo, Javier

    2018-01-01

    Whipworms are parasitic nematodes that live in the gut of more than 500 million people worldwide. Owing to the difficulty in obtaining parasite material, the mouse whipworm Trichuris muris has been extensively used as a model to study human whipworm infections. These nematodes secrete a multitude of compounds that interact with host tissues where they orchestrate a parasitic existence. Herein we provide the first comprehensive characterization of the excretory/secretory products of T. muris . We identify 148 proteins secreted by T. muris and show for the first time that the mouse whipworm secretes exosome-like extracellular vesicles (EVs) that can interact with host cells. We use an Optiprep® gradient to purify the EVs, highlighting the suitability of this method for purifying EVs secreted by a parasitic nematode. We also characterize the proteomic and genomic content of the EVs, identifying >350 proteins, 56 miRNAs (22 novel) and 475 full-length mRNA transcripts mapping to T. muris gene models. Many of the miRNAs putatively mapped to mouse genes are involved in regulation of inflammation, implying a role in parasite-driven immunomodulation. In addition, for the first time to our knowledge, colonic organoids have been used to demonstrate the internalization of parasite EVs by host cells. Understanding how parasites interact with their host is crucial to develop new control measures. This first characterization of the proteins and EVs secreted by T. muris provides important information on whipworm-host communication and forms the basis for future studies.

  7. Alaskan crustal thickness variations from P receiver functions provide insight into both inherited and active plate boundary structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, M. S.; O'Driscoll, L.; Porritt, R.; Roeske, S.

    2017-12-01

    The geologic mosaic of terranes, adjacent multi-phase plate boundary in the south, rapid lateral topographic variations, and heterogeneous distribution of strain throughout Alaska all suggest strong heterogeneity of crustal architecture. We present the first wide-scale model of crustal thickness based on broadband seismic data across the region that is primarily constrained where seismic instrumentation has been deployed - dense coverage in the south-central region and more sparse coverage in the northern, western, and arctic regions from EarthScope Transportable Array (TA) stations. P receiver functions (PRF) were calculated for 2070 events at 465 stations, which yielded a final 22,886 total RFs. The resulting 3D CCP stacked model and individual receiver functions at remote stations reproduce many of the Moho depth variations previously modeled by both more concentrated studies using receiver functions and tomographic imaging. However, these new results provide more detailed images of the entire state that illustrate the active and inherited crustal structures that have persisted throughout the tectonic history in the region. The continental growth by accretion and strike-slip displacement of oceanic and pericratonic terranes is documented in discrete changes in crustal thicknesses that are observed across the terranes of the northern Cordillera in Alaska and there are distinct changes across major, active and inactive faults. Analysis of P receiver functions provides the first detailed look at the crust and upper mantle structures across Alaska. These images show variability that reflects inherited thickness from Mesozoic convergent and extension events, which in some regions is being extensively modified by ongoing convergence and collision, particularly along the active southern margin. The 4D interpretation of the Alaskan crust and Moho structure will continue to evolve as the full USArray Transportable Array is deployed and geologic studies are combined with

  8. Mathematical modeling provides kinetic details of the human immune response to vaccination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dustin eLe

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available With major advances in experimental techniques to track antigen-specific immune responses many basic questions on the kinetics of virus-specific immunity in humans remain unanswered. To gain insights into kinetics of T and B cell responses in human volunteers we combine mathematical models and experimental data from recent studies employing vaccines against yellow fever and smallpox. Yellow fever virus-specific CD8 T cell population expanded slowly with the average doubling time of 2 days peaking 2.5 weeks post immunization. Interestingly, we found that the peak of the yellow fever-specific CD8 T cell response is determined by the rate of T cell proliferation and not by the precursor frequency of antigen-specific cells as has been suggested in several studies in mice. We also found that while the frequency of virus-specific T cells increases slowly, the slow increase can still accurately explain clearance of yellow fever virus in the blood. Our additional mathematical model describes well the kinetics of virus-specific antibody-secreting cell and antibody response to vaccinia virus in vaccinated individuals suggesting that most of antibodies in 3 months post immunization are derived from the population of circulating antibody-secreting cells. Taken together, our analysis provides novel insights into mechanisms by which live vaccines induce immunity to viral infections and highlight challenges of applying methods of mathematical modeling to the current, state-of-the-art yet limited immunological data.

  9. Mathematical modeling provides kinetic details of the human immune response to vaccination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Dustin; Miller, Joseph D; Ganusov, Vitaly V

    2014-01-01

    With major advances in experimental techniques to track antigen-specific immune responses many basic questions on the kinetics of virus-specific immunity in humans remain unanswered. To gain insights into kinetics of T and B cell responses in human volunteers we combined mathematical models and experimental data from recent studies employing vaccines against yellow fever and smallpox. Yellow fever virus-specific CD8 T cell population expanded slowly with the average doubling time of 2 days peaking 2.5 weeks post immunization. Interestingly, we found that the peak of the yellow fever-specific CD8 T cell response was determined by the rate of T cell proliferation and not by the precursor frequency of antigen-specific cells as has been suggested in several studies in mice. We also found that while the frequency of virus-specific T cells increased slowly, the slow increase could still accurately explain clearance of yellow fever virus in the blood. Our additional mathematical model described well the kinetics of virus-specific antibody-secreting cell and antibody response to vaccinia virus in vaccinated individuals suggesting that most of antibodies in 3 months post immunization were derived from the population of circulating antibody-secreting cells. Taken together, our analysis provided novel insights into mechanisms by which live vaccines induce immunity to viral infections and highlighted challenges of applying methods of mathematical modeling to the current, state-of-the-art yet limited immunological data.

  10. Building-block architecture of botulinum toxin complex: Conformational changes provide insights into the hemagglutination ability of the complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomonori Suzuki

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Clostridium botulinum produces the botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT. Previously, we provided evidence for the “building-block” model of botulinum toxin complex (TC. In this model, a single BoNT is associated with a single nontoxic nonhemagglutinin (NTNHA, yielding M-TC; three HA-70 molecules are attached and form M-TC/HA-70, and one to three “arms” of the HA-33/HA-17 trimer (two HA-33 and one HA-17 further bind to M-TC/HA-70 via HA-17 and HA-70 binding, yielding one-, two-, and three-arm L-TC. Of all TCs, only the three-arm L-TC caused hemagglutination. In this study, we determined the solution structures for the botulinum TCs using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS. The mature three-arm L-TC exhibited the shape of a “bird spreading its wings”, in contrast to the model having three “arms”, as revealed by transmission electron microscopy. SAXS images indicated that one of the three arms of the HA-33/HA-17 trimer bound to both HA-70 and BoNT. Taken together, these findings regarding the conformational changes in the building-block architecture of TC may explain why only three-arm L-TC exhibited hemagglutination.

  11. Proposition of a multicriteria model to select logistics services providers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam Catarina Soares Aharonovitz

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to propose a multicriteria model to select logistics service providers by the development of a decision tree. The methodology consists of a survey, which resulted in a sample of 181 responses. The sample was analyzed using statistic methods, descriptive statistics among them, multivariate analysis, variance analysis, and parametric tests to compare means. Based on these results, it was possible to obtain the decision tree and information to support the multicriteria analysis. The AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process was applied to determine the data influence and thus ensure better consistency in the analysis. The decision tree categorizes the criteria according to the decision levels (strategic, tactical and operational. Furthermore, it allows to generically evaluate the importance of each criterion in the supplier selection process from the point of view of logistics services contractors.

  12. Quantitative modeling of chronic myeloid leukemia: insights from radiobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radivoyevitch, Tomas; Hlatky, Lynn; Landaw, Julian

    2012-01-01

    Mathematical models of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) cell population dynamics are being developed to improve CML understanding and treatment. We review such models in light of relevant findings from radiobiology, emphasizing 3 points. First, the CML models almost all assert that the latency time, from CML initiation to diagnosis, is at most ∼ 10 years. Meanwhile, current radiobiologic estimates, based on Japanese atomic bomb survivor data, indicate a substantially higher maximum, suggesting longer-term relapses and extra resistance mutations. Second, different CML models assume different numbers, between 400 and 106, of normal HSCs. Radiobiologic estimates favor values > 106 for the number of normal cells (often assumed to be the HSCs) that are at risk for a CML-initiating BCR-ABL translocation. Moreover, there is some evidence for an HSC dead-band hypothesis, consistent with HSC numbers being very different across different healthy adults. Third, radiobiologists have found that sporadic (background, age-driven) chromosome translocation incidence increases with age during adulthood. BCR-ABL translocation incidence increasing with age would provide a hitherto underanalyzed contribution to observed background adult-onset CML incidence acceleration with age, and would cast some doubt on stage-number inferences from multistage carcinogenesis models in general. PMID:22353999

  13. Treacher Collins syndrome: New insights from animal models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tse, William Ka Fai

    2016-12-01

    Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS, OMIM: 154500), an autosomal-dominant craniofacial developmental syndrome that occurs in 1 out of every 50,000 live births, is characterized by craniofacial malformation. Mutations in TCOF1, POLR1C, or POLR1D have been identified in affected individuals. In addition to established mouse models, zebrafish models have recently emerged as an valuable method to study facial disease. In this report, we summarized the two updated articles working on the pathogenesis of the newly identified polr1c and polr1d TCS mutations (Lau et al., 2016; Noack Watt et al., 2016) and discussed the possibility of using the anti-oxidants to prevent or rescue the TCS facial phenotype (Sakai et al., 2016). Taken together, this article provides an update on the disease from basic information to pathogenesis, and further summarizes the suggested therapies from recent laboratory research. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Chromosome-level genome map provides insights into diverse defense mechanisms in the medicinal fungus Ganoderma sinense

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yingjie; Xu, Jiang; Sun, Chao; Zhou, Shiguo; Xu, Haibin; Nelson, David R.; Qian, Jun; Song, Jingyuan; Luo, Hongmei; Xiang, Li; Li, Ying; Xu, Zhichao; Ji, Aijia; Wang, Lizhi; Lu, Shanfa; Hayward, Alice; Sun, Wei; Li, Xiwen; Schwartz, David C.; Wang, Yitao; Chen, Shilin

    2015-01-01

    Fungi have evolved powerful genomic and chemical defense systems to protect themselves against genetic destabilization and other organisms. However, the precise molecular basis involved in fungal defense remain largely unknown in Basidiomycetes. Here the complete genome sequence, as well as DNA methylation patterns and small RNA transcriptomes, was analyzed to provide a holistic overview of secondary metabolism and defense processes in the model medicinal fungus, Ganoderma sinense. We reported the 48.96 Mb genome sequence of G. sinense, consisting of 12 chromosomes and encoding 15,688 genes. More than thirty gene clusters involved in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, as well as a large array of genes responsible for their transport and regulation were highlighted. In addition, components of genome defense mechanisms, namely repeat-induced point mutation (RIP), DNA methylation and small RNA-mediated gene silencing, were revealed in G. sinense. Systematic bioinformatic investigation of the genome and methylome suggested that RIP and DNA methylation combinatorially maintain G. sinense genome stability by inactivating invasive genetic material and transposable elements. The elucidation of the G. sinense genome and epigenome provides an unparalleled opportunity to advance our understanding of secondary metabolism and fungal defense mechanisms. PMID:26046933

  15. Chromosome-level genome map provides insights into diverse defense mechanisms in the medicinal fungus Ganoderma sinense.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yingjie; Xu, Jiang; Sun, Chao; Zhou, Shiguo; Xu, Haibin; Nelson, David R; Qian, Jun; Song, Jingyuan; Luo, Hongmei; Xiang, Li; Li, Ying; Xu, Zhichao; Ji, Aijia; Wang, Lizhi; Lu, Shanfa; Hayward, Alice; Sun, Wei; Li, Xiwen; Schwartz, David C; Wang, Yitao; Chen, Shilin

    2015-06-05

    Fungi have evolved powerful genomic and chemical defense systems to protect themselves against genetic destabilization and other organisms. However, the precise molecular basis involved in fungal defense remain largely unknown in Basidiomycetes. Here the complete genome sequence, as well as DNA methylation patterns and small RNA transcriptomes, was analyzed to provide a holistic overview of secondary metabolism and defense processes in the model medicinal fungus, Ganoderma sinense. We reported the 48.96 Mb genome sequence of G. sinense, consisting of 12 chromosomes and encoding 15,688 genes. More than thirty gene clusters involved in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, as well as a large array of genes responsible for their transport and regulation were highlighted. In addition, components of genome defense mechanisms, namely repeat-induced point mutation (RIP), DNA methylation and small RNA-mediated gene silencing, were revealed in G. sinense. Systematic bioinformatic investigation of the genome and methylome suggested that RIP and DNA methylation combinatorially maintain G. sinense genome stability by inactivating invasive genetic material and transposable elements. The elucidation of the G. sinense genome and epigenome provides an unparalleled opportunity to advance our understanding of secondary metabolism and fungal defense mechanisms.

  16. Targeted gene panels and microbiota analysis provide insight into the effects of effects of alternative production diet formulations on channel catfish nutritional physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    The present research evaluated targeted gene panels and microbiota analysis to provide greater insight into the effects of alternatively-sourced dietary ingredients on production indices, gut health, changes in the gut microbiota and genes involved in the regulation of appetite, growth, metabolism, ...

  17. Genome-wide association identifies nine common variants associated with fasting proinsulin levels and provides new insights into the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Strawbridge, Rona J.; Dupuis, Josée; Prokopenko, Inga; Barker, Adam; Ahlqvist, Emma; Rybin, Denis; Petrie, John R.; Travers, Mary E.; Bouatia-Naji, Nabila; Dimas, Antigone S.; Nica, Alexandra; Wheeler, Eleanor; Chen, Han; Voight, Benjamin F.; Taneera, Jalal; Kanoni, Stavroula; Peden, John F.; Turrini, Fabiola; Gustafsson, Stefan; Zabena, Carina; Almgren, Peter; Barker, David J. P.; Barnes, Daniel; Dennison, Elaine M.; Eriksson, Johan G.; Eriksson, Per; Eury, Elodie; Folkersen, Lasse; Fox, Caroline S.; Frayling, Timothy M.; Goel, Anuj; Gu, Harvest F.; Horikoshi, Momoko; Isomaa, Bo; Jackson, Anne U.; Jameson, Karen A.; Kajantie, Eero; Kerr-Conte, Julie; Kuulasmaa, Teemu; Kuusisto, Johanna; Loos, Ruth J. F.; Luan, Jian'an; Makrilakis, Konstantinos; Manning, Alisa K.; Martínez-Larrad, María Teresa; Narisu, Narisu; Nastase Mannila, Maria; Ohrvik, John; Osmond, Clive; Pascoe, Laura; Payne, Felicity; Sayer, Avan A.; Sennblad, Bengt; Silveira, Angela; Stancáková, Alena; Stirrups, Kathy; Swift, Amy J.; Syvänen, Ann-Christine; Tuomi, Tiinamaija; van 't Hooft, Ferdinand M.; Walker, Mark; Weedon, Michael N.; Xie, Weijia; Zethelius, Björn; Ongen, Halit; Mälarstig, Anders; Hopewell, Jemma C.; Saleheen, Danish; Chambers, John; Parish, Sarah; Danesh, John; Kooner, Jaspal; Ostenson, Claes-Göran; Lind, Lars; Cooper, Cyrus C.; Serrano-Ríos, Manuel; Ferrannini, Ele; Forsen, Tom J.; Clarke, Robert; Franzosi, Maria Grazia; Seedorf, Udo; Watkins, Hugh; Froguel, Philippe; Johnson, Paul; Deloukas, Panos; Collins, Francis S.; Laakso, Markku; Dermitzakis, Emmanouil T.; Boehnke, Michael; McCarthy, Mark I.; Wareham, Nicholas J.; Groop, Leif; Pattou, François; Gloyn, Anna L.; Dedoussis, George V.; Lyssenko, Valeriya; Meigs, James B.; Barroso, Inês; Watanabe, Richard M.; Ingelsson, Erik; Langenberg, Claudia; Hamsten, Anders; Florez, Jose C.; Scott, Laura J.; Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur; Morris, Andrew P.; Dina, Christian; Welch, Ryan P.; Zeggini, Eleftheria; Huth, Cornelia; Aulchenko, Yurii S.; Thorleifsson, Gudmar; Mcculloch, Laura J.; Ferreira, Teresa; Grallert, Harald; Amin, Najaf; Wu, Guanming; Willer, Cristen J.; Raychaudhuri, Soumya; Mccarroll, Steve A.; Hofmann, Oliver M.; Qi, Lu; Segrè, Ayellet V.; van Hoek, Mandy; Navarro, Pau; Ardlie, Kristin; Balkau, Beverley; Benediktsson, Rafn; Bennett, Amanda J.; Blagieva, Roza; Boerwinkle, Eric; Bonnycastle, Lori L.; Bengtsson Boström, Kristina; Bravenboer, Bert; Bumpstead, Suzannah; Burtt, P.; Charpentier, Guillaume; Chines, Peter S.; Cornelis, Marilyn; Couper, David J.; Crawford, Gabe; Doney, Alex S. F.; Elliott, Katherine S.; Elliott, Amanda L.; Erdos, Michael R.; Franklin, Christopher S.; Gieger, Christian; Grarup, Niels; Green, Todd; Griffin, Simon; Groves, Christopher J.; Guiducci, Candace; Hadjadj, Samy; Hassanali, Neelam; Herder, Christian; Johnson, Paul R. V.; Jørgensen, Torben; Kao, Wen H. L.; Klopp, Norman; Kong, Augustine; Kraft, Peter; Lauritzen, Torsten; Li, Man; Lieverse, Aloysius; Lindgren, Cecilia M.; Marre, Michel; Meitinger, Thomas; Midthjell, Kristian; Morken, Mario A.; Nilsson, Peter; Owen, Katharine R.; Perry, John R. B.; Petersen, Kristin; Platou, Carl; Proença, Christine; Rathmann, Wolfgang; William Rayner, N.; Robertson, Neil R.; Rocheleau, Ghislain; Roden, Michael; Sampson, Michael J.; Saxena, Richa; Shields, Beverley M.; Shrader, Peter; Sigurdsson, Gunnar; Sparsø, Thomas; Strassburger, Klaus; Stringham, Heather M.; Sun, Qi; Thorand, Barbara; Tichet, Jean; van Dam, Rob M.; van Haeften, Timon W.; van Herpt, Thijs; van Vliet, Jana V.; Bragi Walters, G.; Wijmenga, Cisca; Witteman, Jacqueline; Bergman, Richard N.; Cauchi, Stephane; Gyllensten, Ulf; Hansen, Torben; Hide, Winston A.; Hitman, Graham A.; Hofman, Albert; Hunter, David J.; Hveem, Kristian; Mohlke, Karen L.; Morris, Andrew D.; Palmer, Colin N. A.; Pramstaller, Peter P.; Rudan, Igor; Sijbrands, Eric; Stein, Lincoln D.; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Uitterlinden, Andre; Abecasis, Gonçalo R.; Boehm, Bernhard O.; Campbell, Harry; Daly, Mark J.; Hattersley, Andrew T.; Hu, Frank B.; Pankow, James S.; Pedersen, Oluf; Wichmann, Erich; Sladek, Rob; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur; Wilson, James F.; Illig, Thomas; Stefansson, Kari; Altshuler, David; Speliotes, Elizabeth K.; Berndt, Sonja I.; Monda, Keri L.; Allen, Hana Lango; Mägi, Reedik; Randall, Joshua C.; Vedantam, Sailaja; Winkler, Thomas W.; Workalemahu, Tsegaselassie; Heid, Iris M.; Wood, Andrew R.; Weyant, Robert J.; Estrada, Karol; Liang, Liming; Nemesh, James; Park, Ju-Hyun; Kilpeläinen, Tuomas O.; Yang, Jian; Esko, Tõnu; Feitosa, Mary F.; Kutalik, Zoltán; Mangino, Massimo; Scherag, Andre; Smith, Albert Vernon; Welch, Ryan; Zhao, Jing Hua; Aben, Katja K.; Absher, Devin M.; Dixon, Anna L.; Fisher, Eva; Glazer, Nicole L.; Goddard, Michael E.; Heard-Costa, Nancy L.; Hoesel, Volker; Hottenga, Jouke-Jan; Johansson, Åsa; Johnson, Toby; Ketkar, Shamika; Lamina, Claudia; Li, Shengxu; Moffatt, Miriam F.; Myers, Richard H.; Peters, Marjolein J.; Preuss, Michael; Ripatti, Samuli; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Sandholt, Camilla; Timpson, Nicholas J.; Tyrer, Jonathan P.; van Wingerden, Sophie; White, Charles C.; Wiklund, Fredrik; Barlassina, Christina; Chasman, Daniel I.; Cooper, Matthew N.; Jansson, John-Olov; Lawrence, Robert W.; Pellikka, Niina; Shi, Jianxin; Thiering, Elisabeth; Alavere, Helene; Alibrandi, Maria T. S.; Arnold, Alice M.; Aspelund, Thor; Atwood, Larry D.; Balmforth, Anthony J.; Ben-Shlomo, Yoav; Bergmann, Sven; Biebermann, Heike; Blakemore, Alexandra I. F.; Boes, Tanja; Bornstein, Stefan R.; Brown, Morris J.; Buchanan, Thomas A.; Busonero, Fabio; Cappuccio, Francesco P.; Cavalcanti-Proença, Christine; Ida Chen, Yii-Der; Chen, Chih-Mei; Coin, Lachlan; Connell, John; Day, Ian N. M.; den Heijer, Martin; Duan, Jubao; Ebrahim, Shah; Elliott, Paul; Elosua, Roberto; Eiriksdottir, Gudny; Facheris, Maurizio F.; Felix, Stephan B.; Fischer-Posovszky, Pamela; Folsom, Aaron R.; Friedrich, Nele; Freimer, Nelson B.; Fu, Mao; Gaget, Stefan; Gejman, Pablo V.; Geus, Eco J. C.; Gjesing, Anette P.; Goyette, Philippe; Grässler, Jürgen; Greenawalt, Danielle M.; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa; Hall, Alistair S.; Havulinna, Aki S.; Hayward, Caroline; Heath, Andrew C.; Hengstenberg, Christian; Hicks, Andrew A.; Hinney, Anke; Homuth, Georg; Hui, Jennie; Igl, Wilmar; Iribarren, Carlos; Jacobs, Kevin B.; Jarick, Ivonne; Jewell, Elizabeth; John, Ulrich; Jousilahti, Pekka; Jula, Antti; Kaakinen, Marika; Kaplan, Lee M.; Kathiresan, Sekar; Kettunen, Johannes; Kinnunen, Leena; Knowles, Joshua W.; Kolcic, Ivana; König, Inke R.; Koskinen, Seppo; Kovacs, Peter; Kvaløy, Kirsti; Laitinen, Jaana; Lantieri, Olivier; Lanzani, Chiara; Launer, Lenore J.; Lecoeur, Cecile; Terho, Lehtimäki; Lettre, Guillaume; Liu, Jianjun; Lokki, Marja-Liisa; Lorentzon, Mattias; Luben, Robert N.; Ludwig, Barbara; Manunta, Paolo; Marek, Diana; Martin, Nicholas G.; McArdle, Wendy L.; McCarthy, Anne; McKnight, Barbara; Melander, Olle; Meyre, David; Montgomery, Grant W.; Mulic, Rosanda; Ngwa, Julius S.; Nelis, Mari; Neville, Matt J.; Nyholt, Dale R.; O'Donnell, Christopher J.; O'Rahilly, Stephen; Ong, Ken K.; Oostra, Ben; Paré, Guillaume; Parker, Alex N.; Perola, Markus; Pichler, Irene; Pietiläinen, Kirsi H.; Platou, Carl G. P.; Polasek, Ozren; Pouta, Anneli; Rafelt, Suzanne; Raitakari, Olli; Rayner, Nigel W.; Ridderstråle, Martin; Rief, Winfried; Ruokonen, Aimo; Rzehak, Peter; Salomaa, Veikko; Sanders, Alan R.; Sandhu, Manjinder S.; Sanna, Serena; Saramies, Jouko; Savolainen, Markku J.; Scherag, Susann; Schipf, Sabine; Schreiber, Stefan; Schunkert, Heribert; Silander, Kaisa; Sinisalo, Juha; Siscovick, David S.; Smit, Jan H.; Soranzo, Nicole; Sovio, Ulla; Stephens, Jonathan; Surakka, Ida; Tammesoo, Mari-Liis; Tardif, Jean-Claude; Teder-Laving, Maris; Teslovich, Tanya M.; Thompson, John R.; Thomson, Brian; Tönjes, Anke; van Meurs, Joyce B. J.; van Ommen, Gert-Jan; Vatin, Vincent; Viikari, Jorma; Visvikis-Siest, Sophie; Vitart, Veronique; Vogel, Carla I. G.; Waite, Lindsay L.; Wallaschofski, Henri; Walters, G. Bragi; Widen, Elisabeth; Wiegand, Susanna; Wild, Sarah H.; Willemsen, Gonneke; Witte, Daniel R.; Witteman, Jacqueline C.; Xu, Jianfeng; Zhang, Qunyuan; Zgaga, Lina; Ziegler, Andreas; Zitting, Paavo; Beilby, John P.; Farooqi, I. Sadaf; Hebebrand, Johannes; Huikuri, Heikki V.; James, Alan L.; Kähönen, Mika; Levinson, Douglas F.; Macciardi, Fabio; Nieminen, Markku S.; Ohlsson, Claes; Palmer, Lyle J.; Ridker, Paul M.; Stumvoll, Michael; Beckmann, Jacques S.; Boeing, Heiner; Dorret I, Boomsma; Caulfield, Mark J.; Chanock, Stephen J.; Cupples, L. Adrienne; Smith, George Davey; Erdmann, Jeanette; Grönberg, Henrik; Hall, Per; Harris, Tamara B.; Hayes, Richard B.; Heinrich, Joachim; Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta; Kaprio, Jaakko; Karpe, Fredrik; Khaw, Kay Tee; Kiemeney, Lambertus A.; Krude, Heiko; Lawlor, Debbie A.; Metspalu, Andres; Munroe, Patricia B.; Ouwehand, Willem H.; Penninx, Brenda W.; Peters, Annette; Quertermous, Thomas; Reinehr, Thomas; Rissanen, Aila; Samani, Nilesh J.; Schwarz, Peter E. H.; Shuldiner, Alan R.; Spector, Timothy D.; Uda, Manuela; Uitterlinden, André; Valle, Timo T.; Wabitsch, Martin; Waeber, Gérard; McCarroll, Steven A.; Shaun, Purcell; Eric E, Schadt; Peter M, Visscher; Assimes, Themistocles L.; Borecki, Ingrid B.; Groop, Leif C.; Haritunians, Talin; Kaplan, Robert C.; O'Connell, Jeffrey R.; Peltonen, Leena; Schlessinger, David; Strachan, David P.; van Duijn, Cornelia M.; Barroso, H.; North, Kari E.; Hirschhorn, Joel N.; Nica, Alexandra C.; Parts, Leopold; Glass, Daniel; Nisbet, James; Barrett, Amy; Sekowska, Magdalena; Travers, Mary; Potter, Simon; Grundberg, Elin; Small, Kerrin; Hedman, Åsa K.; Bataille, Veronique; Bell, Jordana Tzenova; Surdulescu, Gabriela; Ingle, Catherine; Nestle, Frank O.; di Meglio, Paola; Min, Josine L.; Wilk, Alicja; Hammond, Christopher J.; Yang, Tsun-Po; Montgomery, Stephen B.; O'Rahilly, Steve; Zondervan, Krina T.; Durbin, Richard; Ahmadi, Kourosh; Reilly, Muredach P.; Holm, Hilma; Stewart, Alexandre F. R.; Barbalic, Maja; Absher, Devin; Aherrahrou, Zouhair; Allayee, Hooman; Anand, Sonia S.; Andersen, Karl; Anderson, Jeffrey L.; Ardissino, Diego; Ball, Stephen G.; Barnes, Timothy A.; Becker, Diane M.; Becker, Lewis C.; Berger, Klaus; Bis, Joshua C.; Boekholdt, S. Matthijs; Braund, Peter S.; Burnett, Mary Susan; Buysschaert, Ian; Carlquist, John F.; Chen, Li; Cichon, Sven; Codd, Veryan; Davies, Robert W.; Dedoussis, George; Dehghan, Abbas; Demissie, Serkalem; Devaney, Joseph M.; Diemert, Patrick; Do, Ron; Doering, Angela; Eifert, Sandra; El Mokhtari, Nour Eddine; Ellis, Stephen G.; Engert, James C.; Epstein, Stephen E.; de Faire, Ulf; Fischer, Marcus; Freyer, Jennifer; Gigante, Bruna; Girelli, Domenico; Gretarsdottir, Solveig; Gulcher, Jeffrey R.; Halperin, Eran; Hammond, Naomi; Hazen, Stanley L.; Horne, Benjamin D.; Jones, Gregory T.; Jukema, J. Wouter; Kaiser, Michael A.; Kastelein, John J. P.; Khaw, Kay-Tee; Kolovou, Genovefa; Laaksonen, Reijo; Lambrechts, Diether; Leander, Karin; Li, Mingyao; Lieb, Wolfgang; Loley, Christina; Lotery, Andrew J.; Mannucci, Pier M.; Maouche, Seraya; Martinelli, Nicola; McKeown, Pascal P.; Meisinger, Christa; Merlini, Pier Angelica; Mooser, Vincent; Morgan, Thomas; Mühleisen, Thomas W.; Muhlestein, Joseph B.; Münzel, Thomas; Musunuru, Kiran; Nahrstaedt, Janja; Nelson, Christopher P.; Nöthen, Markus M.; Olivieri, Oliviero; Patel, Riyaz S.; Patterson, Chris C.; Peyvandi, Flora; Qu, Liming; Quyyumi, Arshed A.; Rader, Daniel J.; Rallidis, Loukianos S.; Rice, Catherine; Rosendaal, Frits R.; Rubin, Diana; Sampietro, M. Lourdes; Sandhu, Manj S.; Schadt, Eric; Schäfer, Arne; Schillert, Arne; Schrezenmeir, Jürgen; Schwartz, Stephen M.; Sivananthan, Mohan; Sivapalaratnam, Suthesh; Smith, Albert; Smith, Tamara B.; Snoep, Jaapjan D.; Spertus, John A.; Stark, Klaus; Stoll, Monika; Tang, W. H. Wilson; Tennstedt, Stephanie; Thorgeirsson, Gudmundur; Tomaszewski, Maciej; Uitterlinden, Andre G.; van Rij, Andre M.; Wareham, Nick J.; Wells, George A.; Wichmann, H.-Erich; Wild, Philipp S.; Willenborg, Christina; Witteman, Jaqueline C. M.; Wright, Benjamin J.; Ye, Shu; Zeller, Tanja; Cambien, Francois; Goodall, Alison H.; März, Winfried; Blankenberg, Stefan; Roberts, Robert; McPherson, Ruth; Nilesh J, Samani

    2011-01-01

    Proinsulin is a precursor of mature insulin and C-peptide. Higher circulating proinsulin levels are associated with impaired β-cell function, raised glucose levels, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Studies of the insulin processing pathway could provide new insights about T2D

  18. Insight, psychopathology, explanatory models and outcome of schizophrenia in India: a prospective 5-year cohort study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johnson Shanthi

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The sole focus of models of insight on bio-medical perspectives to the complete exclusion of local, non-medical and cultural constructs mandates review. This study attempted to investigate the impact of insight, psychopathology, explanatory models of illness on outcome of first episode schizophrenia. Method Patients diagnosed to have DSM IV schizophrenia (n = 131 were assessed prospectively for insight, psychopathology, explanatory models of illness at baseline, 6, 12 and 60 months using standard instruments. Multiple linear and logistic regression and generalized estimating equations (GEE were employed to assess predictors of outcome. Results We could follow up 95 (72.5% patients. Sixty-five of these patients (68.4% achieved remission. There was a negative relationship between psychosis rating and insight scores. Urban residence, fluctuating course of the initial illness, and improvement in global functioning at 6 months and lower psychosis rating at 12 months were significantly related to remission at 5 years. Insight scores, number of non-medical explanatory models and individual explanatory models held during the later course of the illness were significantly associated with outcome. Analysis of longitudinal data using GEE showed that women, rural residence, insight scores and number of non-medical explanatory models of illness held were significantly associated with BPRS scores during the study period. Conclusions Insight, the disease model and the number of non-medical model positively correlated with improvement in psychosis arguing for a complex interaction between the culture, context and illness variables. These finding argue that insight and explanatory models are secondary to psychopathology, course and outcome of the illness. The awareness of mental illness is a narrative act in which people make personal sense of the many challenges they face. The course and outcome of the illness, cultural context

  19. Population mitogenomics provides insights into evolutionary history, source of invasions and diversifying selection in the House Crow (Corvus splendens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krzemińska, Urszula; Morales, Hernán E; Greening, Chris; Nyári, Árpád S; Wilson, Robyn; Song, Beng Kah; Austin, Christopher M; Sunnucks, Paul; Pavlova, Alexandra; Rahman, Sadequr

    2018-04-01

    The House Crow (Corvus splendens) is a useful study system for investigating the genetic basis of adaptations underpinning successful range expansion. The species originates from the Indian subcontinent, but has successfully spread through a variety of thermal environments across Asia, Africa and Europe. Here, population mitogenomics was used to investigate the colonisation history and to test for signals of molecular selection on the mitochondrial genome. We sequenced the mitogenomes of 89 House Crows spanning four native and five invasive populations. A Bayesian dated phylogeny, based on the 13 mitochondrial protein-coding genes, supports a mid-Pleistocene (~630,000 years ago) divergence between the most distant genetic lineages. Phylogeographic patterns suggest that northern South Asia is the likely centre of origin for the species. Codon-based analyses of selection and assessments of changes in amino acid properties provide evidence of positive selection on the ND2 and ND5 genes against a background of purifying selection across the mitogenome. Protein homology modelling suggests that four amino acid substitutions inferred to be under positive selection may modulate coupling efficiency and proton translocation mediated by OXPHOS complex I. The identified substitutions are found within native House Crow lineages and ecological niche modelling predicts suitable climatic areas for the establishment of crow populations within the invasive range. Mitogenomic patterns in the invasive range of the species are more strongly associated with introduction history than climate. We speculate that invasions of the House Crow have been facilitated by standing genetic variation that accumulated due to diversifying selection within the native range.

  20. Applications of the SWAT Model Special Section: Overview and Insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gassman, Philip W; Sadeghi, Ali M; Srinivasan, Raghavan

    2014-01-01

    The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model has emerged as one of the most widely used water quality watershed- and river basin-scale models worldwide, applied extensively for a broad range of hydrologic and/or environmental problems. The international use of SWAT can be attributed to its flexibility in addressing water resource problems, extensive networking via dozens of training workshops and the several international conferences that have been held during the past decade, comprehensive online documentation and supporting software, and an open source code that can be adapted by model users for specific application needs. The catalyst for this special collection of papers was the 2011 International SWAT Conference & Workshops held in Toledo, Spain, which featured over 160 scientific presentations representing SWAT applications in 37 countries. This special collection presents 22 specific SWAT-related studies, most of which were presented at the 2011 SWAT Conference; it represents SWAT applications on five different continents, with the majority of studies being conducted in Europe and North America. The papers cover a variety of topics, including hydrologic testing at a wide range of watershed scales, transport of pollutants in northern European lowland watersheds, data input and routing method effects on sediment transport, development and testing of potential new model algorithms, and description and testing of supporting software. In this introduction to the special section, we provide a synthesis of these studies within four main categories: (i) hydrologic foundations, (ii) sediment transport and routing analyses, (iii) nutrient and pesticide transport, and (iv) scenario analyses. We conclude with a brief summary of key SWAT research and development needs. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  1. Quantitative Phosphoproteomic Analysis Provides Insight into the Response to Short-Term Drought Stress in Ammopiptanthus mongolicus Roots

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huigai Sun

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Drought is one of the major abiotic stresses that negatively affects plant growth and development. Ammopiptanthus mongolicus is an ecologically important shrub in the mid-Asia desert region and used as a model for abiotic tolerance research in trees. Protein phosphorylation participates in the regulation of various biological processes, however, phosphorylation events associated with drought stress signaling and response in plants is still limited. Here, we conducted a quantitative phosphoproteomic analysis of the response of A. mongolicus roots to short-term drought stress. Data are available via the iProx database with project ID IPX0000971000. In total, 7841 phosphorylation sites were found from the 2019 identified phosphopeptides, corresponding to 1060 phosphoproteins. Drought stress results in significant changes in the abundance of 103 phosphopeptides, corresponding to 90 differentially-phosphorylated phosphoproteins (DPPs. Motif-x analysis identified two motifs, including [pSP] and [RXXpS], from these DPPs. Functional enrichment and protein-protein interaction analysis showed that the DPPs were mainly involved in signal transduction and transcriptional regulation, osmotic adjustment, stress response and defense, RNA splicing and transport, protein synthesis, folding and degradation, and epigenetic regulation. These drought-corresponsive phosphoproteins, and the related signaling and metabolic pathways probably play important roles in drought stress signaling and response in A. mongolicus roots. Our results provide new information for understanding the molecular mechanism of the abiotic stress response in plants at the posttranslational level.

  2. Do Lumped-Parameter Models Provide the Correct Geometrical Damping?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Lars

    This paper concerns the formulation of lumped-parameter models for rigid footings on homogenous or stratified soil. Such models only contain a few degrees of freedom, which makes them ideal for inclusion in aero-elastic codes for wind turbines and other models applied to fast evaluation of struct......This paper concerns the formulation of lumped-parameter models for rigid footings on homogenous or stratified soil. Such models only contain a few degrees of freedom, which makes them ideal for inclusion in aero-elastic codes for wind turbines and other models applied to fast evaluation...... response during excitation and the geometrical damping related to free vibrations of a hexagonal footing. The optimal order of a lumped-parameter model is determined for each degree of freedom, i.e. horizontal and vertical translation as well as torsion and rocking. In particular, the necessity of coupling...

  3. Agent-based organizational modelling for analysis of safety culture at an air navigation service provider

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stroeve, Sybert H.; Sharpanskykh, Alexei; Kirwan, Barry

    2011-01-01

    Assessment of safety culture is done predominantly by questionnaire-based studies, which tend to reveal attitudes on immaterial characteristics (values, beliefs, norms). There is a need for a better understanding of the implications of the material aspects of an organization (structures, processes, etc.) for safety culture and their interactions with the immaterial characteristics. This paper presents a new agent-based organizational modelling approach for integrated and systematic evaluation of material and immaterial characteristics of socio-technical organizations in safety culture analysis. It uniquely considers both the formal organization and the value- and belief-driven behaviour of individuals in the organization. Results are presented of a model for safety occurrence reporting at an air navigation service provider. Model predictions consistent with questionnaire-based results are achieved. A sensitivity analysis provides insight in organizational factors that strongly influence safety culture indicators. The modelling approach can be used in combination with attitude-focused safety culture research, towards an integrated evaluation of material and immaterial characteristics of socio-technical organizations. By using this approach an organization is able to gain a deeper understanding of causes of diverse problems and inefficiencies both in the formal organization and in the behaviour of organizational agents, and to systematically identify and evaluate improvement options.

  4. A genome-wide meta-analysis of rice blast resistance genes and quantitative trait loci provides new insights into partial and complete resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballini, Elsa; Morel, Jean-Benoît; Droc, Gaétan; Price, Adam; Courtois, Brigitte; Notteghem, Jean-Loup; Tharreau, Didier

    2008-07-01

    The completion of the genome sequences of both rice and Magnaporthe oryzae has strengthened the position of rice blast disease as a model to study plant-pathogen interactions in monocotyledons. Genetic studies of blast resistance in rice were established in Japan as early as 1917. Despite such long-term study, examples of cultivars with durable resistance are rare, partly due to our limited knowledge of resistance mechanisms. A rising number of blast resistance genes and quantitative trait loci (QTL) have been genetically described, and some have been characterized during the last 20 years. Using the rice genome sequence, can we now go a step further toward a better understanding of the genetics of blast resistance by combining all these results? Is such knowledge appropriate and sufficient to improve breeding for durable resistance? A review of bibliographic references identified 85 blast resistance genes and approximately 350 QTL, which we mapped on the rice genome. These data provide a useful update on blast resistance genes as well as new insights to help formulate hypotheses about the molecular function of blast QTL, with special emphasis on QTL for partial resistance. All these data are available from the OrygenesDB database.

  5. Genome Sequencing of the Perciform Fish Larimichthys crocea Provides Insights into Molecular and Genetic Mechanisms of Stress Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Qiong; Zhu, Lv-Yun; Li, Ting; Ding, Yang; Nie, Li; Li, Qiuhua; Dong, Wei-ren; Jiang, Liang; Sun, Bing; Zhang, XinHui; Li, Mingyu; Zhang, Hai-Qi; Xie, ShangBo; Zhu, YaBing; Jiang, XuanTing; Wang, Xianhui; Mu, Pengfei; Chen, Wei; Yue, Zhen; Wang, Zhuo; Wang, Jun; Shao, Jian-Zhong; Chen, Xinhua

    2015-01-01

    The large yellow croaker Larimichthys crocea (L. crocea) is one of the most economically important marine fish in China and East Asian countries. It also exhibits peculiar behavioral and physiological characteristics, especially sensitive to various environmental stresses, such as hypoxia and air exposure. These traits may render L. crocea a good model for investigating the response mechanisms to environmental stress. To understand the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying the adaptation and response of L. crocea to environmental stress, we sequenced and assembled the genome of L. crocea using a bacterial artificial chromosome and whole-genome shotgun hierarchical strategy. The final genome assembly was 679 Mb, with a contig N50 of 63.11 kb and a scaffold N50 of 1.03 Mb, containing 25,401 protein-coding genes. Gene families underlying adaptive behaviours, such as vision-related crystallins, olfactory receptors, and auditory sense-related genes, were significantly expanded in the genome of L. crocea relative to those of other vertebrates. Transcriptome analyses of the hypoxia-exposed L. crocea brain revealed new aspects of neuro-endocrine-immune/metabolism regulatory networks that may help the fish to avoid cerebral inflammatory injury and maintain energy balance under hypoxia. Proteomics data demonstrate that skin mucus of the air-exposed L. crocea had a complex composition, with an unexpectedly high number of proteins (3,209), suggesting its multiple protective mechanisms involved in antioxidant functions, oxygen transport, immune defence, and osmotic and ionic regulation. Our results reveal the molecular and genetic basis of fish adaptation and response to hypoxia and air exposure. The data generated by this study will provide valuable resources for the genetic improvement of stress resistance and yield potential in L. crocea. PMID:25835551

  6. Structural and mutational analyses of the Leptospira interrogans virulence-related heme oxygenase provide insights into its catalytic mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anabel Soldano

    Full Text Available Heme oxygenase from Leptospira interrogans is an important virulence factor. During catalysis, redox equivalents are provided to this enzyme by the plastidic-type ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase also found in L. interrogans. This process may have evolved to aid this bacterial pathogen to obtain heme-iron from their host and enable successful colonization. Herein we report the crystal structure of the heme oxygenase-heme complex at 1.73 Å resolution. The structure reveals several distinctive features related to its function. A hydrogen bonded network of structural water molecules that extends from the catalytic site to the protein surface was cleared observed. A depression on the surface appears to be the H+ network entrance from the aqueous environment to the catalytic site for O2 activation, a key step in the heme oxygenase reaction. We have performed a mutational analysis of the F157, located at the above-mentioned depression. The mutant enzymes were unable to carry out the complete degradation of heme to biliverdin since the reaction was arrested at the verdoheme stage. We also observed that the stability of the oxyferrous complex, the efficiency of heme hydroxylation and the subsequent conversion to verdoheme was adversely affected. These findings underscore a long-range communication between the outer fringes of the hydrogen-bonded network of structural waters and the heme active site during catalysis. Finally, by analyzing the crystal structures of ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase and heme oxygenase, we propose a model for the productive association of these proteins.

  7. Closed-flow column experiments—Insights into solute transport provided by a damped oscillating breakthrough behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritschel, Thomas; Totsche, Kai Uwe

    2016-03-01

    Transport studies that employ column experiments in closed-flow mode complement classical approaches by providing new characteristic features observed in the solute breakthrough and equilibrium between liquid and solid phase. Specific to the closed-flow mode is the recirculation of the effluent to the inflow via a mixing vessel. Depending on the ratio of volumes of mixing vessel and water-filled pore space, a damped oscillating solute concentration emerges in the effluent and mixing vessel. The oscillation characteristics, e.g., frequency, amplitude, and damping, allow for the investigation of solute transport in a similar fashion as known for classical open-flow column experiments. However, the closed loop conserves substances released during transport within the system. In this way, solute and porous medium can equilibrate with respect to physicochemical conditions. With this paper, the features emerging in the breakthrough curves of saturated column experiments run in closed-flow mode and methods of evaluation are illustrated under experimental boundary conditions forcing the appearance of oscillations. We demonstrate that the effective pore water volume and the pumping rate can be determined from a conservative tracer breakthrough curve uniquely. In this way, external preconditioning of the material, e.g., drying, can be avoided. A reactive breakthrough experiment revealed a significant increase in the pore water pH value as a consequence of the closed loop. These results highlight the specific impact of the closed mass balance. Furthermore, the basis for the modeling of closed-flow experiments is given by the derivation of constitutive equations and numerical implementation, validated with the presented experiments.

  8. Do Lumped-Parameter Models Provide the Correct Geometrical Damping?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Lars

    2007-01-01

    This paper concerns the formulation of lumped-parameter models for rigid footings on homogenous or stratified soil with focus on the horizontal sliding and rocking. Such models only contain a few degrees of freedom, which makes them ideal for inclusion in aero-elastic codes for wind turbines......-parameter models with respect to the prediction of the maximum response during excitation and the geometrical damping related to free vibrations of a footing....

  9. Insights: Simple Models for Teaching Equilibrium and Le Chatelier's Principle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Joan M.

    1988-01-01

    Presents three models that have been effective for teaching chemical equilibrium and Le Chatelier's principle: (1) the liquid transfer model, (2) the fish model, and (3) the teeter-totter model. Explains each model and its relation to Le Chatelier's principle. (MVL)

  10. Suppressive subtractive hybridisation transcriptomics provides a novel insight into the functional role of the hypobranchial gland in a marine mollusc.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laffy, Patrick W; Benkendorff, Kirsten; Abbott, Catherine A

    2013-06-01

    The hypobranchial gland present in gastropods is an organ whose function is not clearly understood. Involved in mucus production, within members of the family Muricidae it is also the source of the ancient dye Tyrian purple and its bioactive precursors. To gain further insights into hypobranchial gland biology, suppressive subtractive hybridisation was performed on hypobranchial gland and mantle tissue from the marine snail Dicathais orbita creating a differentially expressed cDNA library. 437 clones were randomly sequenced, analysed and annotated and 110 sequences had their functions putatively identified. Importantly this approach identified a putative gene involved in Tyrian purple biosynthesis, an arylsulphatase gene. Confirmation of the upregulation of arylsulphatase in the hypobranchial gland compared to the mantle was demonstrated using quantitative real-time PCR. Other genes identified as playing an important role in the hypobranchial gland were those involved in mucus protein synthesis, choline ester regulation, protein and energy production. This study confirms that the hypobranchial gland is involved in the production of mucus secretion and also identifies it as a site of chemical interaction and biosynthesis. This study lays the foundation for a better understanding of the enzymatic production of Tyrian purple precursors within the gland. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Genomic and secondary metabolite analyses of Streptomyces sp. 2AW provide insight into the evolution of the cycloheximide pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth eStulberg

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The dearth of new antibiotics in the face of widespread antimicrobial resistance makes developing innovative strategies for discovering new antibiotics critical for the future management of infectious disease. Understanding the genetics and evolution of antibiotic producers will help guide the discovery and bioengineering of novel antibiotics. We discovered an isolate in Alaskan boreal forest soil that had broad antimicrobial activity. We elucidated the corresponding antimicrobial natural products and sequenced the genome of this isolate, designated Streptomyces sp. 2AW. This strain illustrates the chemical virtuosity typical of the Streptomyces genus, producing cycloheximide as well as two other biosynthetically unrelated antibiotics, neutramycin and hygromycin A. Combining bioinformatic and chemical analyses, we identified the gene clusters responsible for antibiotic production. Interestingly, 2AW appears dissimilar from other cycloheximide producers in that the gene encoding the polyketide synthase resides on a separate part of the chromosome from the genes responsible for tailoring cycloheximide-specific modifications. This gene arrangement and our phylogenetic analyses of the gene products suggest that 2AW holds an evolutionarily ancestral lineage of the cycloheximide pathway. Our analyses support the hypothesis that the 2AW glutaramide gene cluster is basal to the lineage wherein cycloheximide production diverged from other glutarimide antibiotics. This study illustrates the power of combining modern biochemical and genomic analyses to gain insight into the evolution of antibiotic-producing microorganisms.

  12. Vertical microbial community variability of carbonate-based cones may provide insight into ancient conical stromatolite formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, James; Daille, Leslie; Trivedi, Christopher; Bojanowski, Caitlin; Nunn, Heather; Stamps, Blake; Johnson, Hope; Stevenson, Bradley; Berelson, Will; Corsetti, Frank; Spear, John

    2016-04-01

    Stromatolite morphogenesis is poorly understood, and the process by which microbial mats become mineralized is a primary question in microbialite formation. Ancient conical stromatolites are primarily carbonate-based whereas the few modern analogues in hot springs are either non-mineralized or mineralized by silica. A team from the 2015 International GeoBiology Course investigated carbonate-rich microbial cones from near Little Hot Creek (LHC), Long Valley Caldera, California, to investigate how conical stromatolites might form in a hot spring carbonate system. The cones rise up from a layered microbial mat on the east side of a 45° C pool with very low flow that is super-saturated with respect to CaCO3. Cone structures are 8-30 mm in height, are rigid and do not deform when removed from the pool. Morphological characterization through environmental scanning electronic microscopy revealed that the cone structure is maintained by a matrix of intertwining microbial filaments around carbonate grains. This matrix gives rise to cone-filaments that are arranged vertically or horizontally, and provides further stability to the cone. Preliminary 16S rRNA gene analysis indicated variability of community composition between different vertical levels of the cone. The cone tip had comparatively greater abundance of filamentous cyanobacteria including Leptolingbya, Phormidium and Isosphaera and fewer heterotrophs (e.g. Chloroflexi) compared to the cone bottom. This supports the hypothesis that cone formation may depend on the differential abundance of the microbial community and their potential functional roles. Metagenomic analyses of the cones revealed potential genes related to chemotaxis and motility. Specifically, a genomic bin identified as a member of the genus Isosphaera contained an hmp chemotaxis operon implicated in gliding motility in the cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiforme. Isosphaera is a Planctomycete shown to have phototactic capabilities, and may play a role in

  13. Model organoids provide new research opportunities for ductal pancreatic cancer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boj, Sylvia F|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304074799; Hwang, Chang-Il; Baker, Lindsey A; Engle, Dannielle D; Tuveson, David A; Clevers, Hans|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/07164282X

    We recently established organoid models from normal and neoplastic murine and human pancreas tissues. These organoids exhibit ductal- and disease stage-specific characteristics and, after orthotopic transplantation, recapitulate the full spectrum of tumor progression. Pancreatic organoid technology

  14. Statistical and RBF NN models : providing forecasts and risk assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Marček, Milan

    2009-01-01

    Forecast accuracy of economic and financial processes is a popular measure for quantifying the risk in decision making. In this paper, we develop forecasting models based on statistical (stochastic) methods, sometimes called hard computing, and on a soft method using granular computing. We consider the accuracy of forecasting models as a measure for risk evaluation. It is found that the risk estimation process based on soft methods is simplified and less critical to the question w...

  15. Transcriptomic profiling of two Pak Choi varieties with contrasting anthocyanin contents provides an insight into structural and regulatory genes in anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lu; Xu, Bin; Wu, Tao; Yang, Yanfang; Fan, Lianxue; Wen, Muxuan; Sui, Jiaxin

    2017-04-11

    The accumulation of anthocyanin in horticultural crops not only improves their stress tolerances but also their nutritional values. Many key regulatory and structural genes in anthocyanin biosynthesis have been identified in model plants, but limited information is available for non-model plant species featured with colored leaves. In this study, two Pak Choi varieties with green or purple leaves were selected to analyze the anthocyanin biosynthesis through RNA-Seq. A total of 2475 unigenes were differentially expressed between these tested varieties, including 1303 down-regulated and 1172 up-regulated genes in the purple-leafed one. The reliability of the RNA-Seq was further confirmed by using real-time quantitative PCR. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes enrichment analysis of the differentially expressed genes revealed 'flavonoid biosynthesis' was the only enriched pathway in the purple-leafed variety: In the pathway of phenylpropanoid metabolism, Bra017210, Bra039777, and Bra021637 were expressed at higher levels in the purple-leafed variety; among the early anthocyanin biosynthetic genes, Bra037747 transcripts were only detected in the purple-leafed variety but not in the green-leafed one; among the late anthocyanin biosynthetic genes, Bra027457, Bra013652, Bra019350, Bra003021, Bra035004, and Bra038445 were all up-regulated in purple-leafed variety; and genes encoding anthocyanin-related transcription factors, such as Bra016164, and genes encoding anthocyanin transportation, such as GST F12, were also identified as up-regulated ones in the purple-leafed variety. The current result provided a valuable insight into the anthocyanin accumulation in the purple-leafed variety of Pak Choi and a bioinformatic resource for further functional identification of key allelic genes determining the difference of anthocyanin content between Pak Choi varieties.

  16. The transcript catalogue of the short-lived fish Nothobranchius furzeri provides insights into age-dependent changes of mRNA levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petzold, Andreas; Reichwald, Kathrin; Groth, Marco; Taudien, Stefan; Hartmann, Nils; Priebe, Steffen; Shagin, Dmitry; Englert, Christoph; Platzer, Matthias

    2013-03-16

    The African annual fish Nothobranchius furzeri has over recent years been established as a model species for ageing-related studies. This is mainly based on its exceptionally short lifespan and the presence of typical characteristics of vertebrate ageing. To substantiate its role as an alternative vertebrate ageing model, a transcript catalogue is needed, which can serve e.g. as basis for identifying ageing-related genes. To build the N. furzeri transcript catalogue, thirteen cDNA libraries were sequenced using Sanger, 454/Roche and Solexa/Illumina technologies yielding about 39 Gb. In total, 19,875 protein-coding genes were identified and annotated. Of these, 71% are represented by at least one transcript contig with a complete coding sequence. Further, transcript levels of young and old fish of the strains GRZ and MZM-0403, which differ in lifespan by twofold, were studied by RNA-seq. In skin and brain, 85 differentially expressed genes were detected; these have a role in cell cycle control and proliferation, inflammation and tissue maintenance. An RNA-seq experiment for zebrafish skin confirmed the ageing-related relevance of the findings in N. furzeri. Notably, analyses of transcript levels between zebrafish and N. furzeri but also between N. furzeri strains differed largely, suggesting that ageing is accelerated in the short-lived N. furzeri strain GRZ compared to the longer-lived strain MZM-0403. We provide a comprehensive, annotated N. furzeri transcript catalogue and a first transcriptome-wide insight into N. furzeri ageing. This data will serve as a basis for future functional studies of ageing-related genes.

  17. Insertion sequence element single nucleotide polymorphism typing provides insights into the population structure and evolution of Mycobacterium ulcerans across Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandelannoote, Koen; Jordaens, Kurt; Bomans, Pieter; Leirs, Herwig; Durnez, Lies; Affolabi, Dissou; Sopoh, Ghislain; Aguiar, Julia; Phanzu, Delphin Mavinga; Kibadi, Kapay; Eyangoh, Sara; Manou, Louis Bayonne; Phillips, Richard Odame; Adjei, Ohene; Ablordey, Anthony; Rigouts, Leen; Portaels, Françoise; Eddyani, Miriam; de Jong, Bouke C

    2014-02-01

    Buruli ulcer is an indolent, slowly progressing necrotizing disease of the skin caused by infection with Mycobacterium ulcerans. In the present study, we applied a redesigned technique to a vast panel of M. ulcerans disease isolates and clinical samples originating from multiple African disease foci in order to (i) gain fundamental insights into the population structure and evolutionary history of the pathogen and (ii) disentangle the phylogeographic relationships within the genetically conserved cluster of African M. ulcerans. Our analyses identified 23 different African insertion sequence element single nucleotide polymorphism (ISE-SNP) types that dominate in different areas where Buruli ulcer is endemic. These ISE-SNP types appear to be the initial stages of clonal diversification from a common, possibly ancestral ISE-SNP type. ISE-SNP types were found unevenly distributed over the greater West African hydrological drainage basins. Our findings suggest that geographical barriers bordering the basins to some extent prevented bacterial gene flow between basins and that this resulted in independent focal transmission clusters associated with the hydrological drainage areas. Different phylogenetic methods yielded two well-supported sister clades within the African ISE-SNP types. The ISE-SNP types from the "pan-African clade" were found to be widespread throughout Africa, while the ISE-SNP types of the "Gabonese/Cameroonian clade" were much rarer and found in a more restricted area, which suggested that the latter clade evolved more recently. Additionally, the Gabonese/Cameroonian clade was found to form a strongly supported monophyletic group with Papua New Guinean ISE-SNP type 8, which is unrelated to other Southeast Asian ISE-SNP types.

  18. Whole-genome sequencing of spermatocytic tumors provides insights into the mutational processes operating in the male germline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleni Giannoulatou

    Full Text Available Adult male germline stem cells (spermatogonia proliferate by mitosis and, after puberty, generate spermatocytes that undertake meiosis to produce haploid spermatozoa. Germ cells are under evolutionary constraint to curtail mutations and maintain genome integrity. Despite constant turnover, spermatogonia very rarely form tumors, so-called spermatocytic tumors (SpT. In line with the previous identification of FGFR3 and HRAS selfish mutations in a subset of cases, candidate gene screening of 29 SpTs identified an oncogenic NRAS mutation in two cases. To gain insights in the etiology of SpT and into properties of the male germline, we performed whole-genome sequencing of five tumors (4/5 with matched normal tissue. The acquired single nucleotide variant load was extremely low (~0.2 per Mb, with an average of 6 (2-9 non-synonymous variants per tumor, none of which is likely to be oncogenic. The observed mutational signature of SpTs is strikingly similar to that of germline de novo mutations, mostly involving C>T transitions with a significant enrichment in the ACG trinucleotide context. The tumors exhibited extensive aneuploidy (50-99 autosomes/tumor involving whole-chromosomes, with recurrent gains of chr9 and chr20 and loss of chr7, suggesting that aneuploidy itself represents the initiating oncogenic event. We propose that SpT etiology recapitulates the unique properties of male germ cells; because of evolutionary constraints to maintain low point mutation rate, rare tumorigenic driver events are caused by a combination of gene imbalance mediated via whole-chromosome aneuploidy. Finally, we propose a general framework of male germ cell tumor pathology that accounts for their mutational landscape, timing and cellular origin.

  19. Using Multiple Outcomes of Sexual Behavior to Provide Insights Into Chlamydia Transmission and the Effectiveness of Prevention Interventions in Adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enns, Eva Andrea; Kao, Szu-Yu; Kozhimannil, Katy Backes; Kahn, Judith; Farris, Jill; Kulasingam, Shalini L

    2017-10-01

    Mathematical models are important tools for assessing prevention and management strategies for sexually transmitted infections. These models are usually developed for a single infection and require calibration to observed epidemiological trends in the infection of interest. Incorporating other outcomes of sexual behavior into the model, such as pregnancy, may better inform the calibration process. We developed a mathematical model of chlamydia transmission and pregnancy in Minnesota adolescents aged 15 to 19 years. We calibrated the model to statewide rates of reported chlamydia cases alone (chlamydia calibration) and in combination with pregnancy rates (dual calibration). We evaluated the impact of calibrating to different outcomes of sexual behavior on estimated input parameter values, predicted epidemiological outcomes, and predicted impact of chlamydia prevention interventions. The two calibration scenarios produced different estimates of the probability of condom use, the probability of chlamydia transmission per sex act, the proportion of asymptomatic infections, and the screening rate among men. These differences resulted in the dual calibration scenario predicting lower prevalence and incidence of chlamydia compared with calibrating to chlamydia cases alone. When evaluating the impact of a 10% increase in condom use, the dual calibration scenario predicted fewer infections averted over 5 years compared with chlamydia calibration alone [111 (6.8%) vs 158 (8.5%)]. While pregnancy and chlamydia in adolescents are often considered separately, both are outcomes of unprotected sexual activity. Incorporating both as calibration targets in a model of chlamydia transmission resulted in different parameter estimates, potentially impacting the intervention effectiveness predicted by the model.

  20. Synchrotron imaging of dentition provides insights into the biology of Hesperornis and Ichthyornis, the "last" toothed birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dumont, Maïtena; Tafforeau, Paul; Bertin, Thomas; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan; Field, Daniel; Schulp, Anne; Strilisky, Brandon; Thivichon-Prince, Béatrice; Viriot, Laurent; Louchart, Antoine

    2016-01-01

    Background: The dentitions of extinct organisms can provide pivotal information regarding their phylogenetic position, as well as paleobiology, diet, development, and growth. Extant birds are edentulous (toothless), but their closest relatives among stem birds, the Cretaceous Hesperornithiformes and

  1. Insight, self-stigma and psychosocial outcomes in Schizophrenia: a structural equation modelling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lien, Y-J; Chang, H-A; Kao, Y-C; Tzeng, N-S; Lu, C-W; Loh, C-H

    2018-04-01

    Poor insight is prevalent in patients with schizophrenia and has been associated with acute illness severity, medication non-adherence and poor treatment outcomes. Paradoxically, high insight has been associated with various undesirable outcomes, including low self-esteem, depression and low subjective quality of life (QoL) in patients with schizophrenia. Despite the growing body of studies conducted in Western countries supporting the pernicious effects of improved insight in psychosis, which bases on the level of self-stigma, the effects are unclear in non-Western societies. The current study examined the role of self-stigma in the relationship between insight and psychosocial outcomes in a Chinese population. A total of 170 outpatients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders were recruited from two general university hospitals. Sociodemographic data and clinical variables were recorded and self-report scales were employed to measure self-stigma, depression, insight, self-esteem and subjective QoL. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to analyse the cross-sectional data. High levels of self-stigma were reported by 39% of the participants (n = 67). The influences of insight, self-stigma, self-esteem and depression on subjective QoL were confirmed by the SEM results. Our model with the closest fit to the data (χ 2 = 33.28; df = 20; p = 0.03; χ 2/df = 1.66; CFI = 0.98; TLI = 0.97; RMSEA = 0.06) demonstrated that self-stigma might fully mediate the association of insight with low self-esteem, depression and poor subjective QoL. High insight into illness contributed to self-stigma, which caused low self-esteem and depression and, consequently, low QoL. Notably, insight did not directly affect self-esteem, depression or QoL. Furthermore, the association of insight with poor psychosocial outcomes was not moderated by self-stigma. Our findings support the mediating model of insight relevant to the poor psychosocial outcomes of individuals diagnosed with

  2. The Asian arowana (Scleropages formosus) genome provides new insights into the evolution of an early lineage of teleosts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bian, Chao; Hu, Yinchang; Ravi, Vydianathan

    2016-01-01

    The Asian arowana (Scleropages formosus), one of the world's most expensive cultivated ornamental fishes, is an endangered species. It represents an ancient lineage of teleosts: the Osteoglossomorpha. Here, we provide a high-quality chromosome-level reference genome of a female golden-variety aro......The Asian arowana (Scleropages formosus), one of the world's most expensive cultivated ornamental fishes, is an endangered species. It represents an ancient lineage of teleosts: the Osteoglossomorpha. Here, we provide a high-quality chromosome-level reference genome of a female golden...

  3. Child Poverty in Vietnam: Providing Insights Using a Country-Specific and Multidimensional Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roelen, Keetie; Gassmann, Franziska; de Neubourg, Chris

    2010-01-01

    Despite a wide under-prioritization, the issue of child poverty has received increasing attention worldwide over the last decade. The acknowledgement in Vietnam that child-specific poverty measurement is crucial for poverty efforts directed towards children, and the current lack thereof, instigated the development of a Vietnam child poverty…

  4. Neotenic Phenotype and Sex Ratios Provide Insight into Developmental Pathways in Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian T. Forschler

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Several thousand Reticulitermes flavipes (Kollar including worker, nymph, soldier, neotenic and alate castes were collected from three pine logs brought into the laboratory on dates five years apart. The neotenics, all nymphoid, were divided into three groups based on the extent of cuticle pigmentation and termed regular neotenics (RN, black-headed neotenics (BHN or black neotenics (BN. All castes, from Log A, in 2008, provided a neutral sex ratio except BHN (N = 378 and BN (N = 51 which were exclusively male while the soldiers (N = 466 were female-biased. This information suggests that there is a sex-linked bifurcation along the path for termite development with a male-biased neotenic or female-biased soldier as the choice. In contrast, termites collected in 2004 from Log B provided sex ratios that included a female biased RN (N = 1017, a neutral soldier (N = 258 and male biased BHN (N = 99 and workers (N = 54. Log C, collected in 2009, provided female biased soldiers (N = 32, RNs (N = 18 and BHNs (N = 4 and only male BN (N = 5. Eight laboratory cultures, ranging in age from five to 14 years old, also were sampled and all castes sexed. The census included a 14-year old queen-right colony, an 8-year old polyandrous colony and six colonies provided nymphs and male-biased worker populations. Together these data indicate a flexible caste determination system providing a unique opportunity for a better understanding of the flexible developmental options available in R. flavipes that we discuss relative to the literature on Reticulitermes ontogeny.

  5. Experimental studies on power transformer model winding provided with MOVs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.H. Kusumadevi

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Surge voltage distribution across a HV transformer winding due to appearance of very fast rise time (rise time of order 1 μs transient voltages is highly non-uniform along the length of the winding for initial time instant of occurrence of surge. In order to achieve nearly uniform initial time instant voltage distribution along the length of the HV winding, investigations have been carried out on transformer model winding. By connecting similar type of metal oxide varistors across sections of HV transformer model winding, it is possible to improve initial time instant surge voltage distribution across length of the HV transformer winding. Transformer windings with α values 5.3, 9.5 and 19 have been analyzed. The experimental studies have been carried out using high speed oscilloscope of good accuracy. The initial time instant voltage distribution across sections of winding with MOV remains nearly uniform along length of the winding. Also results of fault diagnostics carried out with and without connection of MOVs across sections of winding are reported.

  6. RNA-Seq-based transcriptome profiling of early nitrogen deficiency response in cucumber seedlings provides new insight into the putative nitrogen regulatory network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Wenchao; Yang, Xueyong; Yu, Hongjun; Jiang, Weijie; Sun, Na; Liu, Xiaoran; Liu, Xiaolin; Zhang, Xiaomeng; Wang, Yan; Gu, Xingfang

    2015-03-01

    Nitrogen (N) is both an important macronutrient and a signal for plant growth and development. However, the early regulatory mechanism of plants in response to N starvation is not well understood, especially in cucumber, an economically important crop that normally consumes excessive N during production. In this study, the early time-course transcriptome response of cucumber leaves under N deficiency was monitored using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq). More than 23,000 transcripts were examined in cucumber leaves, of which 364 genes were differentially expressed in response to N deficiency. Based on the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway database, gene ontology (GO) and protein-protein interaction analysis, 64 signaling-related N-deficiency-responsive genes were identified. Furthermore, the potential regulatory mechanisms of anthocyanin accumulation, Chl decline and cell wall remodeling were assessed at the transcription level. Increased ascorbic acid synthesis was identified in cucumber seedlings and fruit under N-deficient conditions, and a new corresponding regulatory hypothesis has been proposed. A data cross-comparison between model plants and cucumber was made, and some common and specific N-deficient response mechanisms were found in the present study. Our study provides novel insights into the responses of cucumber to nitrogen starvation at the global transcriptome level, which are expected to be highly useful for dissecting the N response pathways in this major vegetable and for improving N fertilization practices. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Appearance traits in fish farming: progress from classical genetics to genomics, providing insight into current and potential genetic improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nelson eColihueque

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Appearance traits in fish, those external body characteristics that influence consumer acceptance at point of sale, have come to the forefront of commercial fish farming, as culture profitability is closely linked to management of these traits. Appearance traits comprise mainly body shape and skin pigmentation. Analysis of the genetic basis of these traits in different fish reveals significant genetic variation within populations, indicating potential for their genetic improvement. Work into ascertaining the minor or major genes underlying appearance traits for commercial fish is emerging, with substantial progress in model fish in terms of identifying genes that control body shape and skin colors. In this review, we describe research progress to date, especially with regard to commercial fish, and discuss genomic findings in model fish in order to better address the genetic basis of the traits. Given that appearance traits are important in commercial fish, the genomic information related to this issue promises to accelerate the selection process in coming years.

  8. What are the Facilitators and Barriers to Integrated Health and Social Care in the Community? Insights from Care Providers

    OpenAIRE

    Kuluski, Kerry; Ho, Julia W; Hans, Parminder Kaur; Nelson, Michelle LA

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: Growing numbers of people are living longer with co-existing health and social care needs and require access to integrated care in the community. Models of integrated care often focus on bridging the gap between various health care services (such as primary care and home care support), and less often between healthcare and services that address the determinants of health (such as housing, finances, food security, etc). Determining required elements of such health and social care...

  9. Clinical Pharmacist-Provided Services In Iron-Overloaded Beta-Thalassaemia Major Children: A New Insight Into Patient Care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bahnasawy, Salma M; El Wakeel, Lamia M; Beblawy, Nagham El; El-Hamamsy, Manal

    2017-04-01

    Iron-overloaded β-thalassaemia major (BTM) children have high risk of delayed sexual/physical maturation, liver/heart diseases and reduced life expectancy. The lifelong need to use iron chelators, their unpleasant administration, side effects and lack of awareness regarding iron overload risks all hamper BTM patient compliance to iron chelators. This study evaluated the impact of clinical pharmacist-provided services on the outcome of iron-overloaded BTM children. Forty-eight BTM children were randomly assigned to either control group, who received standard medical care, or intervention group, who received standard medical care plus clinical pharmacist-provided services. Services included detection of drug-related problems (DRPs) and their management, patient education regarding disease nature and iron chelators, as well as providing patient-tailored medication charts. After six months of study implementation, there was a highly significant difference between the control and intervention groups in serum ferritin (SF) (mean: 3871 versus 2362, μg/l, p = 0.0042), patient healthcare satisfaction (median: 24.47 versus 90.29, p < 0.0001) and quality of life (QoL) (median: 49.84 versus 63.51, p = 0.0049). The intervention group showed a decline from baseline to the end of study in DRPs (64-4), the number of non-compliant patients (24-3) and mean SF levels (3949-2362 μg/l, p < 0.0001). Clinical pharmacist-provided services can positively impact the outcome of BTM children. © 2016 Nordic Association for the Publication of BCPT (former Nordic Pharmacological Society).

  10. Comparative transcriptome analysis of two oysters, Crassostrea gigas and Crassostrea hongkongensis provides insights into adaptation to hypo-osmotic conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xuelin Zhao

    Full Text Available Environmental salinity creates a key barrier to limit the distribution of most aquatic organisms. Adaptation to osmotic fluctuation is believed to be a factor facilitating species diversification. Adaptive evolution often involves beneficial mutations at more than one locus. Bivalves hold great interest, with numerous species living in waters, as osmoconformers, who maintain the osmotic pressure balance mostly by free amino acids. In this study, 107,076,589 reads from two groups of Crassostrea hongkongensis were produced and the assembled into 130,629 contigs. Transcripts putatively involved in stress-response, innate immunity and cell processes were identified according to Gene ontology and KEGG pathway analyses. Comparing with the transcriptome of C. gigas to characterize the diversity of transcripts between species with osmotic divergence, we identified 182,806 high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs for C. hongkongensis, and 196,779 SNPs for C. gigas. Comparison of 11,602 pairs of putative orthologs allowed for identification of 14 protein-coding genes that experienced strong positive selection (Ka/Ks>1. In addition, 45 genes that may show signs of moderate positive selection (1 ≥ Ka/Ks>0.5 were also identified. Based on Ks ratios and divergence time between the two species published previously, we estimated a neutral transcriptome-wide substitution mutation rate of 1.39 × 10(-9 per site per year. Several genes were differentially expressed across the control and treated groups of each species. This is the first time to sequence the transcriptome of C. hongkongensis and provide the most comprehensive transcriptomic resource available for it. The increasing amount of transcriptome data on Crassostrea provides an excellent resource for phylogenetic analysis. A large number of SNPs identified in this work are expected to provide valuable resources for future marker and genotyping assay development. The analysis of natural

  11. Biology and therapy of inherited retinal degenerative disease: insights from mouse models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veleri, Shobi; Lazar, Csilla H.; Chang, Bo; Sieving, Paul A.; Banin, Eyal; Swaroop, Anand

    2015-01-01

    Retinal neurodegeneration associated with the dysfunction or death of photoreceptors is a major cause of incurable vision loss. Tremendous progress has been made over the last two decades in discovering genes and genetic defects that lead to retinal diseases. The primary focus has now shifted to uncovering disease mechanisms and designing treatment strategies, especially inspired by the successful application of gene therapy in some forms of congenital blindness in humans. Both spontaneous and laboratory-generated mouse mutants have been valuable for providing fundamental insights into normal retinal development and for deciphering disease pathology. Here, we provide a review of mouse models of human retinal degeneration, with a primary focus on diseases affecting photoreceptor function. We also describe models associated with retinal pigment epithelium dysfunction or synaptic abnormalities. Furthermore, we highlight the crucial role of mouse models in elucidating retinal and photoreceptor biology in health and disease, and in the assessment of novel therapeutic modalities, including gene- and stem-cell-based therapies, for retinal degenerative diseases. PMID:25650393

  12. Biology and therapy of inherited retinal degenerative disease: insights from mouse models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shobi Veleri

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Retinal neurodegeneration associated with the dysfunction or death of photoreceptors is a major cause of incurable vision loss. Tremendous progress has been made over the last two decades in discovering genes and genetic defects that lead to retinal diseases. The primary focus has now shifted to uncovering disease mechanisms and designing treatment strategies, especially inspired by the successful application of gene therapy in some forms of congenital blindness in humans. Both spontaneous and laboratory-generated mouse mutants have been valuable for providing fundamental insights into normal retinal development and for deciphering disease pathology. Here, we provide a review of mouse models of human retinal degeneration, with a primary focus on diseases affecting photoreceptor function. We also describe models associated with retinal pigment epithelium dysfunction or synaptic abnormalities. Furthermore, we highlight the crucial role of mouse models in elucidating retinal and photoreceptor biology in health and disease, and in the assessment of novel therapeutic modalities, including gene- and stem-cell-based therapies, for retinal degenerative diseases.

  13. Molecular Signatures for the PVC Clade (Planctomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, Chlamydiae, and Lentisphaerae) of Bacteria Provide Insights into Their Evolutionary Relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Radhey S; Bhandari, Vaibhav; Naushad, Hafiz Sohail

    2012-01-01

    The PVC superphylum is an amalgamation of species from the phyla Planctomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Chlamydiae, along with the Lentisphaerae, Poribacteria, and two other candidate divisions. The diverse species of this superphylum lack any significant marker that differentiates them from other bacteria. Recently, genome sequences for 37 species covering all of the main PVC groups of bacteria have become available. We have used these sequences to construct a phylogenetic tree based upon concatenated sequences for 16 proteins and identify molecular signatures in protein sequences that are specific for the species from these phyla or those providing molecular links among them. Of the useful molecular markers identified in the present work, six conserved signature indels (CSIs) in the proteins Cyt c oxidase, UvrD helicase, urease, and a helicase-domain containing protein are specific for the species from the Verrucomicrobia phylum; three other CSIs in an ABC transporter protein, cobyrinic acid ac-diamide synthase, and SpoVG protein are specific for the Planctomycetes species. Additionally, a 3 aa insert in the RpoB protein is uniquely present in all sequenced Chlamydiae, Verrucomicrobia, and Lentisphaerae species, providing evidence for the shared ancestry of the species from these three phyla. Lastly, we have also identified a conserved protein of unknown function that is exclusively found in all sequenced species from the phyla Chlamydiae, Verrucomicrobia, Lentisphaerae, and Planctomycetes suggesting a specific linkage among them. The absence of this protein in Poribacteria, which branches separately from other members of the PVC clade, indicates that it is not specifically related to the PVC clade of bacteria. The molecular markers described here in addition to clarifying the evolutionary relationships among the PVC clade of bacteria also provide novel tools for their identification and for genetic and biochemical studies on these organisms.

  14. Molecular Signatures for the PVC Clade (Planctomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, Chlamydiae, and Lentisphaerae) of Bacteria Provide Insights into Their Evolutionary Relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Radhey S.; Bhandari, Vaibhav; Naushad, Hafiz Sohail

    2012-01-01

    The PVC superphylum is an amalgamation of species from the phyla Planctomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Chlamydiae, along with the Lentisphaerae, Poribacteria, and two other candidate divisions. The diverse species of this superphylum lack any significant marker that differentiates them from other bacteria. Recently, genome sequences for 37 species covering all of the main PVC groups of bacteria have become available. We have used these sequences to construct a phylogenetic tree based upon concatenated sequences for 16 proteins and identify molecular signatures in protein sequences that are specific for the species from these phyla or those providing molecular links among them. Of the useful molecular markers identified in the present work, six conserved signature indels (CSIs) in the proteins Cyt c oxidase, UvrD helicase, urease, and a helicase-domain containing protein are specific for the species from the Verrucomicrobia phylum; three other CSIs in an ABC transporter protein, cobyrinic acid ac-diamide synthase, and SpoVG protein are specific for the Planctomycetes species. Additionally, a 3 aa insert in the RpoB protein is uniquely present in all sequenced Chlamydiae, Verrucomicrobia, and Lentisphaerae species, providing evidence for the shared ancestry of the species from these three phyla. Lastly, we have also identified a conserved protein of unknown function that is exclusively found in all sequenced species from the phyla Chlamydiae, Verrucomicrobia, Lentisphaerae, and Planctomycetes suggesting a specific linkage among them. The absence of this protein in Poribacteria, which branches separately from other members of the PVC clade, indicates that it is not specifically related to the PVC clade of bacteria. The molecular markers described here in addition to clarifying the evolutionary relationships among the PVC clade of bacteria also provide novel tools for their identification and for genetic and biochemical studies on these organisms. PMID:23060863

  15. A forced damped oscillation framework for undulatory swimming provides new insights into how propulsion arises in active and passive swimming.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amneet Pal Singh Bhalla

    Full Text Available A fundamental issue in locomotion is to understand how muscle forcing produces apparently complex deformation kinematics leading to movement of animals like undulatory swimmers. The question of whether complicated muscle forcing is required to create the observed deformation kinematics is central to the understanding of how animals control movement. In this work, a forced damped oscillation framework is applied to a chain-link model for undulatory swimming to understand how forcing leads to deformation and movement. A unified understanding of swimming, caused by muscle contractions ("active" swimming or by forces imparted by the surrounding fluid ("passive" swimming, is obtained. We show that the forcing triggers the first few deformation modes of the body, which in turn cause the translational motion. We show that relatively simple forcing patterns can trigger seemingly complex deformation kinematics that lead to movement. For given muscle activation, the forcing frequency relative to the natural frequency of the damped oscillator is important for the emergent deformation characteristics of the body. The proposed approach also leads to a qualitative understanding of optimal deformation kinematics for fast swimming. These results, based on a chain-link model of swimming, are confirmed by fully resolved computational fluid dynamics (CFD simulations. Prior results from the literature on the optimal value of stiffness for maximum speed are explained.

  16. A Forced Damped Oscillation Framework for Undulatory Swimming Provides New Insights into How Propulsion Arises in Active and Passive Swimming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhalla, Amneet Pal Singh; Griffith, Boyce E.; Patankar, Neelesh A.

    2013-01-01

    A fundamental issue in locomotion is to understand how muscle forcing produces apparently complex deformation kinematics leading to movement of animals like undulatory swimmers. The question of whether complicated muscle forcing is required to create the observed deformation kinematics is central to the understanding of how animals control movement. In this work, a forced damped oscillation framework is applied to a chain-link model for undulatory swimming to understand how forcing leads to deformation and movement. A unified understanding of swimming, caused by muscle contractions (“active” swimming) or by forces imparted by the surrounding fluid (“passive” swimming), is obtained. We show that the forcing triggers the first few deformation modes of the body, which in turn cause the translational motion. We show that relatively simple forcing patterns can trigger seemingly complex deformation kinematics that lead to movement. For given muscle activation, the forcing frequency relative to the natural frequency of the damped oscillator is important for the emergent deformation characteristics of the body. The proposed approach also leads to a qualitative understanding of optimal deformation kinematics for fast swimming. These results, based on a chain-link model of swimming, are confirmed by fully resolved computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Prior results from the literature on the optimal value of stiffness for maximum speed are explained. PMID:23785272

  17. Testing local-scale panmixia provides insights into the cryptic ecology, evolution, and epidemiology of metazoan animal parasites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorton, Mary J; Kasl, Emily L; Detwiler, Jillian T; Criscione, Charles D

    2012-07-01

    When every individual has an equal chance of mating with other individuals, the population is classified as panmictic. Amongst metazoan parasites of animals, local-scale panmixia can be disrupted due to not only non-random mating, but also non-random transmission among individual hosts of a single host population or non-random transmission among sympatric host species. Population genetics theory and analyses can be used to test the null hypothesis of panmixia and thus, allow one to draw inferences about parasite population dynamics that are difficult to observe directly. We provide an outline that addresses 3 tiered questions when testing parasite panmixia on local scales: is there greater than 1 parasite population/species, is there genetic subdivision amongst infrapopulations within a host population, and is there asexual reproduction or a non-random mating system? In this review, we highlight the evolutionary significance of non-panmixia on local scales and the genetic patterns that have been used to identify the different factors that may cause or explain deviations from panmixia on a local scale. We also discuss how tests of local-scale panmixia can provide a means to infer parasite population dynamics and epidemiology of medically relevant parasites.

  18. Genome-level comparisons provide insight into the phylogeny and metabolic diversity of species within the genus Lactococcus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jie; Song, Yuqin; Ren, Yan; Qing, Yanting; Liu, Wenjun; Sun, Zhihong

    2017-11-03

    The genomic diversity of different species within the genus Lactococcus and the relationships between genomic differentiation and environmental factors remain unclear. In this study, type isolates of ten Lactococcus species/subspecies were sequenced to assess their genomic characteristics, metabolic diversity, and phylogenetic relationships. The total genome sizes varied between 1.99 (Lactococcus plantarum) and 2.46 megabases (Mb; L. lactis subsp. lactis), and the G + C content ranged from 34.81 (L. lactis subsp. hordniae) to 39.67% (L. raffinolactis) with an average value of 37.02%. Analysis of genome dynamics indicated that the genus Lactococcus has an open pan-genome, while the core genome size decreased with sequential addition at the genus and species group levels. A phylogenetic dendrogram based on the concatenated amino acid sequences of 643 core genes was largely consistent with the phylogenetic tree obtained by 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes, but it provided a more robust phylogenetic resolution than the 16S rRNA gene-based analysis. Comparative genomics indicated that species in the genus Lactococcus had high degrees of diversity in genome size, gene content, and carbohydrate metabolism. This may be important for the specific adaptations that allow different Lactococcus species to survive in different environments. These results provide a quantitative basis for understanding the genomic and metabolic diversity within the genus Lactococcus, laying the foundation for future studies on taxonomy and functional genomics.

  19. Herbarium records are reliable sources of phenological change driven by climate and provide novel insights into species' phenological cueing mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Charles C; Willis, Charles G; Connolly, Bryan; Kelly, Courtland; Ellison, Aaron M

    2015-10-01

    Climate change has resulted in major changes in the phenology of some species but not others. Long-term field observational records provide the best assessment of these changes, but geographic and taxonomic biases limit their utility. Plant specimens in herbaria have been hypothesized to provide a wealth of additional data for studying phenological responses to climatic change. However, no study to our knowledge has comprehensively addressed whether herbarium data are accurate measures of phenological response and thus applicable to addressing such questions. We compared flowering phenology determined from field observations (years 1852-1858, 1875, 1878-1908, 2003-2006, 2011-2013) and herbarium records (1852-2013) of 20 species from New England, United States. Earliest flowering date estimated from herbarium records faithfully reflected field observations of first flowering date and substantially increased the sampling range across climatic conditions. Additionally, although most species demonstrated a response to interannual temperature variation, long-term temporal changes in phenological response were not detectable. Our findings support the use of herbarium records for understanding plant phenological responses to changes in temperature, and also importantly establish a new use of herbarium collections: inferring primary phenological cueing mechanisms of individual species (e.g., temperature, winter chilling, photoperiod). These latter data are lacking from most investigations of phenological change, but are vital for understanding differential responses of individual species to ongoing climate change. © 2015 Botanical Society of America.

  20. Quantitative insight into models of Hedgehog signal transduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farzan, Shohreh F; Ogden, Stacey K; Robbins, David J

    2010-01-01

    The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway is an essential regulator of embryonic development and a key factor in carcinogenesis.(1,2) Hh, a secreted morphogen, activates intracellular signaling events via downstream effector proteins, which translate the signal to regulate target gene transcription.(3,4) In a recent publication, we quantitatively compared two commonly accepted models of Hh signal transduction.(5) Each model requires a different ratio of signaling components to be feasible. Thus, we hypothesized that knowing the steady-state ratio of core signaling components might allow us to distinguish between models. We reported vast differences in the molar concentrations of endogenous effectors of Hh signaling, with Smo present in limiting concentrations.(5) This extra view summarizes the implications of this endogenous ratio in relation to current models of Hh signaling and places our results in the context of recent work describing the involvement of guanine nucleotide binding protein Galphai and Cos2 motility.

  1. Uterine disorders and pregnancy complications: insights from mouse models

    OpenAIRE

    Lim, Hyunjung Jade; Wang, Haibin

    2010-01-01

    Much of our knowledge of human uterine physiology and pathology has been extrapolated from the study of diverse animal models, as there is no ideal system for studying human uterine biology in vitro. Although it remains debatable whether mouse models are the most suitable system for investigating human uterine function(s), gene-manipulated mice are considered by many the most useful tool for mechanistic analysis, and numerous studies have identified many similarities in female reproduction be...

  2. OBESITY AND CRITICAL ILLNESS: INSIGHTS FROM ANIMAL MODELS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittwede, Peter N; Clemmer, John S; Bergin, Patrick F; Xiang, Lusha

    2016-04-01

    Critical illness is a major cause of morbidity and mortality around the world. While obesity is often detrimental in the context of trauma, it is paradoxically associated with improved outcomes in some septic patients. The reasons for these disparate outcomes are not well understood. A number of animal models have been used to study the obese response to various forms of critical illness. Just as there have been many animal models that have attempted to mimic clinical conditions, there are many clinical scenarios that can occur in the highly heterogeneous critically ill patient population that occupies hospitals and intensive care units. This poses a formidable challenge for clinicians and researchers attempting to understand the mechanisms of disease and develop appropriate therapies and treatment algorithms for specific subsets of patients, including the obese. The development of new, and the modification of existing animal models, is important in order to bring effective treatments to a wide range of patients. Not only do experimental variables need to be matched as closely as possible to clinical scenarios, but animal models with pre-existing comorbid conditions need to be studied. This review briefly summarizes animal models of hemorrhage, blunt trauma, traumatic brain injury, and sepsis. It also discusses what has been learned through the use of obese models to study the pathophysiology of critical illness in light of what has been demonstrated in the clinical literature.

  3. Comprehensive proteomic analysis of developing protein bodies in maize (Zea mays) endosperm provides novel insights into its biogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guifeng; Wang, Gang; Wang, Jiajia; Du, Yulong; Yao, Dongsheng; Shuai, Bilian; Han, Liang; Tang, Yuanping; Song, Rentao

    2016-12-01

    Prolamins, the major cereal seed storage proteins, are sequestered and accumulated in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and are directly assembled into protein bodies (PBs). The content and composition of prolamins are the key determinants for protein quality and texture-related traits of the grain. Concomitantly, the PB-inducing fusion system provides an efficient target to produce therapeutic and industrial products in plants. However, the proteome of the native PB and the detailed mechanisms underlying its formation still need to be determined. We developed a method to isolate highly purified and intact PBs from developing maize endosperm and conducted proteomic analysis of intact PBs of zein, a class of prolamine protein found in maize. We thus identified 1756 proteins, which fall into five major categories: metabolic pathways, response to stimulus, transport, development, and growth, as well as regulation. By comparing the proteomes of crude and enriched extractions of PBs, we found substantial evidence for the following conclusions: (i) ribosomes, ER membranes, and the cytoskeleton are tightly associated with zein PBs, which form the peripheral border; (ii) zein RNAs are probably transported and localized to the PB-ER subdomain; and (iii) ER chaperones are essential for zein folding, quality control, and assembly into PBs. We futher confirmed that OPAQUE1 (O1) cannot directly interact with FLOURY1 (FL1) in yeast, suggesting that the interaction between myosins XI and DUF593-containing proteins is isoform-specific. This study provides a proteomic roadmap for dissecting zein PB biogenesis and reveals an unexpected diversity and complexity of proteins in PBs. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  4. Type-specific HPV and Pap test results among low-income, underserved women: providing insights into management strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saraiya, Mona; Benard, Vicki B; Greek, April A; Steinau, Martin; Patel, Sonya; Massad, L Stewart; Sawaya, George F; Unger, Elizabeth R

    2014-10-01

    The primary cervical cancer screening strategy for women over age 30 is high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) testing combined with Papanicolaou (Pap) testing (cotesting) every 5 years. This combination strategy is a preventive service that is required by the Affordable Care Act to be covered with no cost-sharing by most health insurance plans. The cotesting recommendation was made based entirely on prospective data from an insured population that may have a lower proportion of women with HPV positive and Pap negative results (ie, discordant results). The discordant group represents a very difficult group to manage. If the frequency of discordant results among underserved women is higher, health care providers may perceive the cotesting strategy to be a less favorable screening strategy than traditional Pap testing every 3 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Cervical Cancer Study was conducted at 15 clinics in 6 federally qualified health centers across Illinois. Providers at these clinics were given the option of cotesting for routine cervical cancer screening. Type-specific HPV detection was performed on residual extracts using linear array. Pap test results were abnormal in 6.0% and HPV was positive in 7.2% of the underserved women screened in this study (mean age, 45.1 years). HPV prevalence decreased with age, from 10.3% among 30- to 39-year-olds to 4.5% among 50- to 60-year-olds. About 5% of the women had a combination of a positive HPV test and normal Pap test results; HPV 16/18 was identified in 14% of discordant women. The rate of discordant results among underserved women was similar to those reported throughout the US in a variety of populations. Typing for HPV 16/18 appears to assist in the management in a small proportion of women with discordant results. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  5. Large scale genotype comparison of human papillomavirus E2-host interaction networks provides new insights for e2 molecular functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Mandy; Jacob, Yves; Jones, Louis; Weiss, Amélie; Brino, Laurent; Chantier, Thibault; Lotteau, Vincent; Favre, Michel; Demeret, Caroline

    2012-01-01

    Human Papillomaviruses (HPV) cause widespread infections in humans, resulting in latent infections or diseases ranging from benign hyperplasia to cancers. HPV-induced pathologies result from complex interplays between viral proteins and the host proteome. Given the major public health concern due to HPV-associated cancers, most studies have focused on the early proteins expressed by HPV genotypes with high oncogenic potential (designated high-risk HPV or HR-HPV). To advance the global understanding of HPV pathogenesis, we mapped the virus/host interaction networks of the E2 regulatory protein from 12 genotypes representative of the range of HPV pathogenicity. Large-scale identification of E2-interaction partners was performed by yeast two-hybrid screenings of a HaCaT cDNA library. Based on a high-confidence scoring scheme, a subset of these partners was then validated for pair-wise interaction in mammalian cells with the whole range of the 12 E2 proteins, allowing a comparative interaction analysis. Hierarchical clustering of E2-host interaction profiles mostly recapitulated HPV phylogeny and provides clues to the involvement of E2 in HPV infection. A set of cellular proteins could thus be identified discriminating, among the mucosal HPV, E2 proteins of HR-HPV 16 or 18 from the non-oncogenic genital HPV. The study of the interaction networks revealed a preferential hijacking of highly connected cellular proteins and the targeting of several functional families. These include transcription regulation, regulation of apoptosis, RNA processing, ubiquitination and intracellular trafficking. The present work provides an overview of E2 biological functions across multiple HPV genotypes.

  6. Large scale genotype comparison of human papillomavirus E2-host interaction networks provides new insights for e2 molecular functions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mandy Muller

    Full Text Available Human Papillomaviruses (HPV cause widespread infections in humans, resulting in latent infections or diseases ranging from benign hyperplasia to cancers. HPV-induced pathologies result from complex interplays between viral proteins and the host proteome. Given the major public health concern due to HPV-associated cancers, most studies have focused on the early proteins expressed by HPV genotypes with high oncogenic potential (designated high-risk HPV or HR-HPV. To advance the global understanding of HPV pathogenesis, we mapped the virus/host interaction networks of the E2 regulatory protein from 12 genotypes representative of the range of HPV pathogenicity. Large-scale identification of E2-interaction partners was performed by yeast two-hybrid screenings of a HaCaT cDNA library. Based on a high-confidence scoring scheme, a subset of these partners was then validated for pair-wise interaction in mammalian cells with the whole range of the 12 E2 proteins, allowing a comparative interaction analysis. Hierarchical clustering of E2-host interaction profiles mostly recapitulated HPV phylogeny and provides clues to the involvement of E2 in HPV infection. A set of cellular proteins could thus be identified discriminating, among the mucosal HPV, E2 proteins of HR-HPV 16 or 18 from the non-oncogenic genital HPV. The study of the interaction networks revealed a preferential hijacking of highly connected cellular proteins and the targeting of several functional families. These include transcription regulation, regulation of apoptosis, RNA processing, ubiquitination and intracellular trafficking. The present work provides an overview of E2 biological functions across multiple HPV genotypes.

  7. Hydraulic root water uptake models: old concerns and new insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couvreur, V.; Carminati, A.; Rothfuss, Y.; Meunier, F.; Vanderborght, J.; Javaux, M.

    2014-12-01

    Root water uptake (RWU) affects underground water dynamics, with consequences on plant water availability and groundwater recharge. Even though hydrological and climate models are sensitive to RWU parameters, no consensus exists on the modelling of this process. Back in the 1940ies, Van Den Honert's catenary approach was the first to investigate the use of connected hydraulic resistances to describe water flow in whole plants. However concerns such as the necessary computing when architectures get complex made this approach premature. Now that computing power increased dramatically, hydraulic RWU models are gaining popularity, notably because they naturally produce observed processes like compensatory RWU and hydraulic redistribution. Yet major concerns remain. Some are more fundamental: according to hydraulic principles, plant water potential should equilibrate with soil water potential when the plant does not transpire, which is not a general observation when using current definitions of bulk or average soil water potential. Other concerns regard the validation process: water uptake distribution is not directly measurable, which makes it hard to demonstrate whether or not hydraulic models are more accurate than other models. Eventually parameterization concerns exist: root hydraulic properties are not easily measurable, and would even fluctuate on an hourly basis due to processes like aquaporin gating. While offering opportunities to validate hydraulic RWU models, newly developed observation techniques also make us realize the increasing complexity of processes involved in soil-plant hydrodynamics, such as the change of rhizosphere hydraulic properties with soil drying. Surprisingly, once implemented into hydraulic models, these processes do not necessarily translate into more complex emerging behavior at plant scale, and might justify the use of simplified representations of the soil-plant hydraulic system.

  8. The physiology of blood loss and shock: New insights from a human laboratory model of hemorrhage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiller, Alicia M; Howard, Jeffrey T; Convertino, Victor A

    2017-04-01

    The ability to quickly diagnose hemorrhagic shock is critical for favorable patient outcomes. Therefore, it is important to understand the time course and involvement of the various physiological mechanisms that are active during volume loss and that have the ability to stave off hemodynamic collapse. This review provides new insights about the physiology that underlies blood loss and shock in humans through the development of a simulated model of hemorrhage using lower body negative pressure. In this review, we present controlled experimental results through utilization of the lower body negative pressure human hemorrhage model that provide novel insights on the integration of physiological mechanisms critical to the compensation for volume loss. We provide data obtained from more than 250 human experiments to classify human subjects into two distinct groups: those who have a high tolerance and can compensate well for reduced central blood volume (e.g. hemorrhage) and those with low tolerance with poor capacity to compensate.We include the conceptual introduction of arterial pressure and cerebral blood flow oscillations, reflex-mediated autonomic and neuroendocrine responses, and respiration that function to protect adequate tissue oxygenation through adjustments in cardiac output and peripheral vascular resistance. Finally, unique time course data are presented that describe mechanistic events associated with the rapid onset of hemodynamic failure (i.e. decompensatory shock). Impact Statement Hemorrhage is the leading cause of death in both civilian and military trauma. The work submitted in this review is important because it advances the understanding of mechanisms that contribute to the total integrated physiological compensations for inadequate tissue oxygenation (i.e. shock) that arise from hemorrhage. Unlike an animal model, we introduce the utilization of lower body negative pressure as a noninvasive model that allows for the study of progressive

  9. Transcriptional profiling provides insights into metronomic cyclophosphamide-activated, innate immune-dependent regression of brain tumor xenografts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doloff, Joshua C; Waxman, David J

    2015-01-01

    Cyclophosphamide treatment on a six-day repeating metronomic schedule induces a dramatic, innate immune cell-dependent regression of implanted gliomas. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms whereby metronomic cyclophosphamide induces innate immune cell mobilization and recruitment, or about the role of DNA damage and cell stress response pathways in eliciting the immune responses linked to tumor regression. Untreated and metronomic cyclophosphamide-treated human U251 glioblastoma xenografts were analyzed on human microarrays at two treatment time points to identify responsive tumor cell-specific factors and their upstream regulators. Mouse microarray analysis across two glioma models (human U251, rat 9L) was used to identify host factors and gene networks that contribute to the observed immune and tumor regression responses. Metronomic cyclophosphamide increased expression of tumor cell-derived DNA damage, cell stress, and cell death genes, which may facilitate innate immune activation. Increased expression of many host (mouse) immune networks was also seen in both tumor models, including complement components, toll-like receptors, interferons, and cytolysis pathways. Key upstream regulators activated by metronomic cyclophosphamide include members of the interferon, toll-like receptor, inflammatory response, and PPAR signaling pathways, whose activation may contribute to anti-tumor immunity. Many upstream regulators inhibited by metronomic cyclophosphamide, including hypoxia-inducible factors and MAP kinases, have glioma-promoting activity; their inhibition may contribute to the therapeutic effectiveness of the six-day repeating metronomic cyclophosphamide schedule. Large numbers of responsive cytokines, chemokines and immune regulatory genes linked to innate immune cell recruitment and tumor regression were identified, as were several immunosuppressive factors that may contribute to the observed escape of some tumors from metronomic CPA

  10. Dissecting the chloroplast proteome of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) provides new insights into classical and non-classical functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lande, Nilesh Vikram; Subba, Pratigya; Barua, Pragya; Gayen, Dipak; Keshava Prasad, T S; Chakraborty, Subhra; Chakraborty, Niranjan

    2017-08-08

    Chloroplast, the energy organelle unique to plant cells, is a dynamic entity which integrates an array of metabolic pathways and serves as first level for energy conversion for the entire ecological hierarchy. Increasing amount of sequence data and evolution of mass spectrometric approaches has opened up new avenues for opportune exploration of the global proteome of this organelle. In our study, we aimed at generation of a comprehensive catalogue of chloroplast proteins in a grain legume, chickpea and provided a reference proteome map. To accurately assign the identified proteins, purity of chloroplast-enriched fraction was stringently monitored by multiple chemical and immunological indexes, besides pigment and enzyme analyses. The proteome analysis led to the identification of 2451 proteins, including 27 isoforms, which include predicted and novel chloroplast constituents. The identified proteins were validated through their sequence analysis. Extensive sequence based localization prediction revealed more than 50% proteins to be chloroplast resident by at least two different algorithms. Chromosomal distribution of identified proteins across nuclear and chloroplast genome unveiled the presence of 55 chloroplast encoded gene. In depth comparison of our dataset with the non-redundant set of chloroplast proteins identified so far across other species revealed novel as well as overlapping candidates. Pulses add large amount of nitrogen to the soil and has very low water footprint and therefore, contributes to fortification of sustainable agriculture. Chickpea is one of the earliest cultivated legumes and serves as an energy and protein source for humans and animals. Chloroplasts are the unique organelles which conduct photosynthesis. Investigation on chloroplast proteome is of particular significance, especially to plant biologists, as it would allow a better understanding of chloroplast function in plants. Generation of a saturated proteome map would not only

  11. A genomic survey of positive selection in Burkholderia pseudomallei provides insights into the evolution of accidental virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tannistha Nandi

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Certain environmental microorganisms can cause severe human infections, even in the absence of an obvious requirement for transition through an animal host for replication ("accidental virulence". To understand this process, we compared eleven isolate genomes of Burkholderia pseudomallei (Bp, a tropical soil microbe and causative agent of the human and animal disease melioidosis. We found evidence for the existence of several new genes in the Bp reference genome, identifying 282 novel genes supported by at least two independent lines of supporting evidence (mRNA transcripts, database homologs, and presence of ribosomal binding sites and 81 novel genes supported by all three lines. Within the Bp core genome, 211 genes exhibited significant levels of positive selection (4.5%, distributed across many cellular pathways including carbohydrate and secondary metabolism. Functional experiments revealed that certain positively selected genes might enhance mammalian virulence by interacting with host cellular pathways or utilizing host nutrients. Evolutionary modifications improving Bp environmental fitness may thus have indirectly facilitated the ability of Bp to colonize and survive in mammalian hosts. These findings improve our understanding of the pathogenesis of melioidosis, and establish Bp as a model system for studying the genetics of accidental virulence.

  12. Genome of the Tasmanian tiger provides insights into the evolution and demography of an extinct marsupial carnivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feigin, Charles Y; Newton, Axel H; Doronina, Liliya; Schmitz, Jürgen; Hipsley, Christy A; Mitchell, Kieren J; Gower, Graham; Llamas, Bastien; Soubrier, Julien; Heider, Thomas N; Menzies, Brandon R; Cooper, Alan; O'Neill, Rachel J; Pask, Andrew J

    2018-01-01

    The Tasmanian tiger or thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) was the largest carnivorous Australian marsupial to survive into the modern era. Despite last sharing a common ancestor with the eutherian canids ~160 million years ago, their phenotypic resemblance is considered the most striking example of convergent evolution in mammals. The last known thylacine died in captivity in 1936 and many aspects of the evolutionary history of this unique marsupial apex predator remain unknown. Here we have sequenced the genome of a preserved thylacine pouch young specimen to clarify the phylogenetic position of the thylacine within the carnivorous marsupials, reconstruct its historical demography and examine the genetic basis of its convergence with canids. Retroposon insertion patterns placed the thylacine as the basal lineage in Dasyuromorphia and suggest incomplete lineage sorting in early dasyuromorphs. Demographic analysis indicated a long-term decline in genetic diversity starting well before the arrival of humans in Australia. In spite of their extraordinary phenotypic convergence, comparative genomic analyses demonstrated that amino acid homoplasies between the thylacine and canids are largely consistent with neutral evolution. Furthermore, the genes and pathways targeted by positive selection differ markedly between these species. Together, these findings support models of adaptive convergence driven primarily by cis-regulatory evolution.

  13. Seasonal patterns in δ2 H values of multiple tissues from Andean birds provide insights into elevational migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villegas, Mariana; Newsome, Seth D; Blake, John G

    2016-12-01

    Elevational migration is a widespread phenomenon in tropical avifauna but it is difficult to identify using traditional approaches. Hydrogen isotope (δ 2 H) values of precipitation decrease with elevation so δ 2 H analysis of multiple bird tissues with different isotopic incorporation rates may be a reliable method for characterizing seasonal elevational migration. Here we compare δ 2 H values in metabolically inert (feathers and claws) and metabolically active (whole blood) tissues to examine whether an upslope migration occurs prior to the breeding season in the Yungas Manakin (Chiroxiphia boliviana). We compare results from C. boliviana with data from a known elevational migrant, the Streak-necked Flycatcher (Mionectes striaticollis). Opposite to our expectations, tissue δ 2 H values increased over time, largely reflecting seasonal patterns in precipitation δ 2 H rather than elevational effects; linear mixed-effects models with strongest support included ordinal date, tissue type, and elevation. This seasonal increase in precipitation δ 2 H is a general phenomenon in both tropical and temperate mountain ranges. We use these data to propose a hypothetical framework that predicts different patterns in tissue δ 2 H values collected in different seasons from residents and elevational migrants. This framework can serve as a reference for future studies that assess elevational migration in birds and other animals. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  14. A new fossil dolphin Dilophodelphis fordycei provides insight into the evolution of supraorbital crests in Platanistoidea (Mammalia, Cetacea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boersma, Alexandra T.; McCurry, Matthew R.; Pyenson, Nicholas D.

    2017-05-01

    Many odontocete groups have developed enlarged facial crests, although these crests differ in topography, composition and function. The most elaborate crests occur in the South Asian river dolphin (Platanista gangetica), in which they rise dorsally as delicate, pneumatized wings anterior of the facial bones. Their position wrapping around the melon suggests their involvement in sound propagation for echolocation. To better understand the origin of crests in this lineage, we examined facial crests among fossil and living Platanistoidea, including a new taxon, Dilophodelphis fordycei, nov. gen. and sp., described herein, from the Early Miocene Astoria Formation of Oregon, USA. We measured the physical extent and thickness of platanistoid crests, categorized their relative position and used computed tomography scans to examine their internal morphology and relative bone density. Integrating these traits in a phylogenetic context, we determined that the onset of crest elaboration or enlargement and the evolution of crest pneumatization among the platanistoids were separate events, with crest enlargement beginning in the Oligocene. However, we find no evidence for pneumatization until possibly the Early Miocene, although certainly by the Middle Miocene. Such an evolutionary context, including data from the fossil record, should inform modelling efforts that seek to understand the diversity of sound generation morphology in Odontoceti.

  15. comparative transcriptomics between Synechococcus PCC 7942 and Synechocystis PCC 6803 provide insights into mechanisms of adaptation to stress.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Konstantinos, Billis [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States); European Bioinformatics Inst., Hinxton, Cambridge (United Kingdom). European Molecular Biology Lab.; Aristotle Univ., Thessaloniki (Greece). Dept. of Genetics; Billini, Maria [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Max Planck Inst. for Terrestrial Microbiology, Marburg (Germany); Tripp, Harry J. [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Kyrpides, Nikos C. [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Mavrommatis, Konstantinos [USDOE Joint Genome Institute (JGI), Walnut Creek, CA (United States); Celgene Corp, San Francisco, CA (United States)

    2014-03-21

    Background: Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942 and Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 are model cyanobacteria from which the metabolism and adaptive responses of other cyanobacteria are inferred. Here we report the gene expression response of these two strains to a variety of nutrient and environmental stresses of varying duration, using transcriptomics. Our data comprise both stranded and 5? enriched libraries in order to elucidate many aspects of the transcriptome. Results: Both organisms were exposed to stress conditions due to nutrient deficiency (inorganic carbon) or change of environmental conditions (salinity, temperature, pH, light) sampled at 1 and 24 hours after the application of stress. The transcriptome profile of each strain revealed similarities and differences in gene expression for photosynthetic and respiratory electron transport chains and carbon fixation. Transcriptome profiles also helped us improve the structural annotation of the genome and identify possible missed genes (including anti-sense) and determine transcriptional units (operons). Finally, we predicted association of proteins of unknown function biochemical pathways by associating them to well-characterized ones based on their transcript levels correlation. Conclusions: Overall, this study results an informative annotation of those species and the comparative analysis of the response of the two organisms revealed similarities but also significant changes in the way they respond to external stress and the duration of the response

  16. Comparative Proteomic Analysis of the Graft Unions in Hickory (Carya cathayensis Provides Insights into Response Mechanisms to Grafting Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daoliang Yan

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Hickory (Carya cathayensis, a tree with high nutritional and economic value, is widely cultivated in China. Grafting greatly reduces the juvenile phase length and makes the large scale cultivation of hickory possible. To reveal the response mechanisms of this species to grafting, we employed a proteomics-based approach to identify differentially expressed proteins in the graft unions during the grafting process. Our study identified 3723 proteins, of which 2518 were quantified. A total of 710 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs were quantified and these were involved in various molecular functional and biological processes. Among these DEPs, 341 were up-regulated and 369 were down-regulated at 7 days after grafting compared with the control. Four auxin-related proteins were down-regulated, which was in agreement with the transcription levels of their encoding genes. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG analysis showed that the ‘Flavonoid biosynthesis’ pathway and ‘starch and sucrose metabolism’ were both significantly up-regulated. Interestingly, five flavonoid biosynthesis-related proteins, a flavanone 3-hyfroxylase, a cinnamate 4-hydroxylase, a dihydroflavonol-4-reductase, a chalcone synthase, and a chalcone isomerase, were significantly up-regulated. Further experiments verified a significant increase in the total flavonoid contents in scions, which suggests that graft union formation may activate flavonoid biosynthesis to increase the content of a series of downstream secondary metabolites. This comprehensive analysis provides fundamental information on the candidate proteins and secondary metabolism pathways involved in the grafting process for hickory.

  17. NUP98-HOXA9-transgenic zebrafish develop a myeloproliferative neoplasm and provide new insight into mechanisms of myeloid leukaemogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrester, A Michael; Grabher, Clemens; McBride, Eileen R; Boyd, Ellen R; Vigerstad, Märta H; Edgar, Alexander; Kai, Fui-Boon; Da'as, Sahar I; Payne, Elspeth; Look, A Thomas; Berman, Jason N

    2011-10-01

    NUP98-HOXA9 [t(7;11) (p15;p15)] is associated with inferior prognosis in de novo and treatment-related acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and contributes to blast crisis in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). We have engineered an inducible transgenic zebrafish harbouring human NUP98-HOXA9 under the zebrafish spi1(pu.1) promoter. NUP98-HOXA9 perturbed zebrafish embryonic haematopoiesis, with upregulated spi1 expression at the expense of gata1a. Markers associated with more differentiated myeloid cells, lcp1, lyz, and mpx were also elevated, but to a lesser extent than spi1, suggesting differentiation of early myeloid progenitors may be impaired by NUP98-HOXA9. Following irradiation, NUP98-HOXA9-expressing embryos showed increased numbers of cells in G2-M transition compared to controls and absence of a normal apoptotic response, which may result from an upregulation of bcl2. These data suggest NUP98-HOXA9-induced oncogenesis may result from a combination of defects in haematopoiesis and an aberrant response to DNA damage. Importantly, 23% of adult NUP98-HOXA9-transgenic fish developed a myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) at 19-23 months of age. In summary, we have identified an embryonic haematopoietic phenotype in a transgenic zebrafish line that subsequently develops MPN. This tool provides a unique opportunity for high-throughput in vivo chemical modifier screens to identify novel therapeutic agents in high risk AML. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  18. Whole Genome Sequencing of the Asian Arowana (Scleropages formosus) Provides Insights into the Evolution of Ray-Finned Fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, Christopher M; Tan, Mun Hua; Croft, Larry J; Hammer, Michael P; Gan, Han Ming

    2015-10-06

    The Asian arowana (Scleropages formosus) is of commercial importance, conservation concern, and is a representative of one of the oldest lineages of ray-finned fish, the Osteoglossomorpha. To add to genomic knowledge of this species and the evolution of teleosts, the genome of a Malaysian specimen of arowana was sequenced. A draft genome is presented consisting of 42,110 scaffolds with a total size of 708 Mb (2.85% gaps) representing 93.95% of core eukaryotic genes. Using a k-mer-based method, a genome size of 900 Mb was also estimated. We present an update on the phylogenomics of fishes based on a total of 27 species (23 fish species and 4 tetrapods) using 177 orthologous proteins (71,360 amino acid sites), which supports established relationships except that arowana is placed as the sister lineage to all teleost clades (Bayesian posterior probability 1.00, bootstrap replicate 93%), that evolved after the teleost genome duplication event rather than the eels (Elopomorpha). Evolutionary rates are highly heterogeneous across the tree with fishes represented by both slowly and rapidly evolving lineages. A total of 94 putative pigment genes were identified, providing the impetus for development of molecular markers associated with the spectacular colored phenotypes found within this species. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  19. Structure of putrescine aminotransferase from Escherichia coli provides insights into the substrate specificity among class III aminotransferases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Hyung Jin; Jeong, Jae-Hee; Rojviriya, Catleya; Kim, Yeon-Gil

    2014-01-01

    YgjG is a putrescine aminotransferase enzyme that transfers amino groups from compounds with terminal primary amines to compounds with an aldehyde group using pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP) as a cofactor. Previous biochemical data show that the enzyme prefers primary diamines, such as putrescine, over ornithine as a substrate. To better understand the enzyme's substrate specificity, crystal structures of YgjG from Escherichia coli were determined at 2.3 and 2.1 Å resolutions for the free and putrescine-bound enzymes, respectively. Sequence and structural analyses revealed that YgjG forms a dimer that adopts a class III PLP-dependent aminotransferase fold. A structural comparison between YgjG and other class III aminotransferases revealed that their structures are similar. However, YgjG has an additional N-terminal helical structure that partially contributes to a dimeric interaction with the other subunit via a helix-helix interaction. Interestingly, the YgjG substrate-binding site entrance size and charge distribution are smaller and more hydrophobic than other class III aminotransferases, which suggest that YgjG has a unique substrate binding site that could accommodate primary aliphatic diamine substrates, including putrescine. The YgjG crystal structures provide structural clues to putrescine aminotransferase substrate specificity and binding.

  20. Crystal structure of the bacterial luciferase/flavin complex provides insight into the function of the beta subunit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Zachary T; Weichsel, Andrzej; Montfort, William R; Baldwin, Thomas O

    2009-07-07

    Bacterial luciferase from Vibrio harveyi is a heterodimer composed of a catalytic alpha subunit and a homologous but noncatalytic beta subunit. Despite decades of enzymological investigation, structural evidence defining the active center has been elusive. We report here the crystal structure of V. harveyi luciferase bound to flavin mononucleotide (FMN) at 2.3 A. The isoalloxazine ring is coordinated by an unusual cis-Ala-Ala peptide bond. The reactive sulfhydryl group of Cys106 projects toward position C-4a, the site of flavin oxygenation. This structure also provides the first data specifying the conformations of a mobile loop that is crystallographically disordered in both prior crystal structures [(1995) Biochemistry 34, 6581-6586; (1996) J. Biol. Chem. 271, 21956 21968]. This loop appears to be a boundary between solvent and the active center. Within this portion of the protein, a single contact was observed between Phe272 of the alpha subunit, not seen in the previous structures, and Tyr151 of the beta subunit. Substitutions at position 151 on the beta subunit caused reductions in activity and total quantum yield. Several of these mutants were found to have decreased affinity for reduced flavin mononucleotide (FMNH(2)). These findings partially address the long-standing question of how the beta subunit stabilizes the active conformation of the alpha subunit, thereby participating in the catalytic mechanism.

  1. Proteomic Analysis Provides New Insights in Phosphorus Homeostasis Subjected to Pi (Inorganic Phosphate Starvation in Tomato Plants (Solanum lycopersicum L..

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sowbiya Muneer

    Full Text Available Phosphorus is a major nutrient acquired by plants via high-affinity inorganic phosphate (Pi transporters. To determine the adaptation and homeostasis strategy to Pi starvation, we compared the proteome analysis of tomato leaves that were treated with and without Pi (as KH2PO4 for 10 days. Among 600 reproducible proteins on 2-DE gels 46 of them were differentially expressed. These proteins were involved in major metabolic pathways, including photosynthesis, transcriptional/translational regulations, carbohydrate/energy metabolism, protein synthesis, defense response, and other secondary metabolism. The results also showed that the reduction in photosynthetic pigments lowered P content under -Pi treatments. Furthermore, high-affinity Pi transporters (lePT1 and lePT2 expressed in higher amounts under -Pi treatments. Also, the accumulation of Pi transporters was observed highly in the epidermis and palisade parenchyma under +Pi treatments compared to -Pi treatments. Our data suggested that tomato plants developed reactive oxygen species (ROS scavenging mechanisms to cope with low Pi content, including the up-regulation of proteins mostly involved in important metabolic pathways. Moreover, Pi-starved tomato plants increased their internal Pi utilization efficiency by increasing the Pi transporter genes and their rational localization. These results thus provide imperative information about how tomato plants respond to Pi starvation and its homeostasis.

  2. The structure of arabidopsis thaliana OST1 provides insights into the kinase regulation mechanism in response to osmotic stress

    KAUST Repository

    Yunta, Cristina

    2011-11-01

    SnRK [SNF1 (sucrose non-fermenting-1)-related protein kinase] 2.6 [open stomata 1 (OST1)] is well characterized at molecular and physiological levels to control stomata closure in response to water-deficit stress. OST1 is a member of a family of 10 protein kinases from Arabidopsis thaliana (SnRK2) that integrates abscisic acid (ABA)-dependent and ABA-independent signals to coordinate the cell response to osmotic stress. A subgroup of protein phosphatases type 2C binds OST1 and keeps the kinase dephosphorylated and inactive. Activation of OST1 relies on the ABA-dependent inhibition of the protein phosphatases type 2C and the subsequent self-phosphorylation of the kinase. The OST1 ABA-independent activation depends on a short sequence motif that is conserved among all the members of the SnRK2 family. However, little is known about the molecular mechanism underlying this regulation. The crystallographic structure of OST1 shows that ABA-independent regulation motif stabilizes the conformation of the kinase catalytically essential α C helix, and it provides the basis of the ABA-independent regulation mechanism for the SnRK2 family of protein kinases. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Time-resolved studies define the nature of toxic IAPP intermediates, providing insight for anti-amyloidosis therapeutics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abedini, Andisheh; Plesner, Annette; Cao, Ping; Ridgway, Zachary; Zhang, Jinghua; Tu, Ling-Hsien; Middleton, Chris T; Chao, Brian; Sartori, Daniel J; Meng, Fanling; Wang, Hui; Wong, Amy G; Zanni, Martin T; Verchere, C Bruce; Raleigh, Daniel P; Schmidt, Ann Marie

    2016-01-01

    Islet amyloidosis by IAPP contributes to pancreatic β-cell death in diabetes, but the nature of toxic IAPP species remains elusive. Using concurrent time-resolved biophysical and biological measurements, we define the toxic species produced during IAPP amyloid formation and link their properties to induction of rat INS-1 β-cell and murine islet toxicity. These globally flexible, low order oligomers upregulate pro-inflammatory markers and induce reactive oxygen species. They do not bind 1-anilnonaphthalene-8-sulphonic acid and lack extensive β-sheet structure. Aromatic interactions modulate, but are not required for toxicity. Not all IAPP oligomers are toxic; toxicity depends on their partially structured conformational states. Some anti-amyloid agents paradoxically prolong cytotoxicity by prolonging the lifetime of the toxic species. The data highlight the distinguishing properties of toxic IAPP oligomers and the common features that they share with toxic species reported for other amyloidogenic polypeptides, providing information for rational drug design to treat IAPP induced β-cell death. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12977.001 PMID:27213520

  4. Novel Parvoviruses from Wild and Domestic Animals in Brazil Provide New Insights into Parvovirus Distribution and Diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William Marciel de Souza

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Parvoviruses (family Parvoviridae are small, single-stranded DNA viruses. Many parvoviral pathogens of medical, veterinary and ecological importance have been identified. In this study, we used high-throughput sequencing (HTS to investigate the diversity of parvoviruses infecting wild and domestic animals in Brazil. We identified 21 parvovirus sequences (including twelve nearly complete genomes and nine partial genomes in samples derived from rodents, bats, opossums, birds and cattle in Pernambuco, São Paulo, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul states. These sequences were investigated using phylogenetic and distance-based approaches and were thereby classified into eight parvovirus species (six of which have not been described previously, representing six distinct genera in the subfamily Parvovirinae. Our findings extend the known biogeographic range of previously characterized parvovirus species and the known host range of three parvovirus genera (Dependovirus, Aveparvovirus and Tetraparvovirus. Moreover, our investigation provides a window into the ecological dynamics of parvovirus infections in vertebrates, revealing that many parvovirus genera contain well-defined sub-lineages that circulate widely throughout the world within particular taxonomic groups of hosts.

  5. Transcriptome analysis provides insights into hepatic responses to moderate heat stress in the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yongjuan; Huang, Jinqiang; Liu, Zhe; Zhou, Yanjing; Xia, Binpeng; Wang, Yongjie; Kang, Yujun; Wang, Jianfu

    2017-07-01

    The rainbow trout is an economically important fish in the world. The limited stress tolerance of this species to high summer-like temperatures usually leads to mass mortality and great economic loss. However, there is limited information on the mechanisms underlying moderate heat responses in the liver of the rainbow trout. Here, we performed transcriptome profiling of rainbow trout liver under moderate heat stress by using the Hiseq™ 4000 sequencing platform. More than 277 million clean reads were obtained from 6 libraries and aligned against the rainbow trout genome. A total of 128 unique transcripts were differentially expressed in the liver under heat-stress and control conditions, many heat shock protein genes for thermoregulation and some novel genes involved in heat stress were identified. Nine of the differently expressed genes were further validated by qRT-PCR. Gene ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analyses revealed that several pathways, including those for protein metabolism, energy metabolism, and immune system, were influenced by heat stress. Moreover, an important protein-processing pathway in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) was identified, and the key role of ER-associated degradation and function of calpain as an upstream regulator of apoptosis were confirmed under heat stress. The results of this study provide a comprehensive overview of heat stress-induced transcriptional patterns in rainbow trout liver and would be particularly useful for further studies on the molecular mechanisms underlying responses to heat stress in this species. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. Mitochondrial Genome Sequence of the Scabies Mite Provides Insight into the Genetic Diversity of Individual Scabies Infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mofiz, Ehtesham; Seemann, Torsten; Bahlo, Melanie; Holt, Deborah; Currie, Bart J; Fischer, Katja; Papenfuss, Anthony T

    2016-02-01

    The scabies mite, Sarcoptes scabiei, is an obligate parasite of the skin that infects humans and other animal species, causing scabies, a contagious disease characterized by extreme itching. Scabies infections are a major health problem, particularly in remote Indigenous communities in Australia, where co-infection of epidermal scabies lesions by Group A Streptococci or Staphylococcus aureus is thought to be responsible for the high rate of rheumatic heart disease and chronic kidney disease. We collected and separately sequenced mite DNA from several pools of thousands of whole mites from a porcine model of scabies (S. scabiei var. suis) and two human patients (S. scabiei var. hominis) living in different regions of northern Australia. Our sequencing samples the mite and its metagenome, including the mite gut flora and the wound micro-environment. Here, we describe the mitochondrial genome of the scabies mite. We developed a new de novo assembly pipeline based on a bait-and-reassemble strategy, which produced a 14 kilobase mitochondrial genome sequence assembly. We also annotated 35 genes and have compared these to other Acari mites. We identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and used these to infer the presence of six haplogroups in our samples, Remarkably, these fall into two closely-related clades with one clade including both human and pig varieties. This supports earlier findings that only limited genetic differences may separate some human and animal varieties, and raises the possibility of cross-host infections. Finally, we used these mitochondrial haplotypes to show that the genetic diversity of individual infections is typically small with 1-3 distinct haplotypes per infestation.

  7. Little White Lies: Pericarp Color Provides Insights into the Origins and Evolution of Southeast Asian Weedy Rice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Yongxia; Song, Beng Kah; Li, Lin-Feng; Li, Ya-Ling; Huang, Zhongyun; Caicedo, Ana L.; Jia, Yulin; Olsen, Kenneth M.

    2016-01-01

    Weedy rice is a conspecific form of cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.) that infests rice fields and results in severe crop losses. Weed strains in different world regions appear to have originated multiple times from different domesticated and/or wild rice progenitors. In the case of Malaysian weedy rice, a multiple-origin model has been proposed based on neutral markers and analyses of domestication genes for hull color and seed shattering. Here, we examined variation in pericarp (bran) color and its molecular basis to address how this trait evolved in Malaysian weeds and its possible role in weed adaptation. Functional alleles of the Rc gene confer proanthocyanidin pigmentation of the pericarp, a trait found in most wild and weedy Oryzas and associated with seed dormancy; nonfunctional rc alleles were strongly favored during rice domestication, and most cultivated varieties have nonpigmented pericarps. Phenotypic characterizations of 52 Malaysian weeds revealed that most strains are characterized by the pigmented pericarp; however, some weeds have white pericarps, suggesting close relationships to cultivated rice. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that the Rc haplotypes present in Malaysian weeds likely have at least three distinct origins: wild O. rufipogon, white-pericarp cultivated rice, and red-pericarp cultivated rice. These diverse origins contribute to high Rc nucleotide diversity in the Malaysian weeds. Comparison of Rc allelic distributions with other rice domestication genes suggests that functional Rc alleles may confer particular fitness benefits in weedy rice populations, for example, by conferring seed dormancy. This may promote functional Rc introgression from local wild Oryza populations. PMID:27729434

  8. A Chromosome-Scale Assembly of theBactrocera cucurbitaeGenome Provides Insight to the Genetic Basis ofwhite pupae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sim, Sheina B; Geib, Scott M

    2017-06-07

    Genetic sexing strains (GSS) used in sterile insect technique (SIT) programs are textbook examples of how classical Mendelian genetics can be directly implemented in the management of agricultural insect pests. Although the foundation of traditionally developed GSS are single locus, autosomal recessive traits, their genetic basis are largely unknown. With the advent of modern genomic techniques, the genetic basis of sexing traits in GSS can now be further investigated. This study is the first of its kind to integrate traditional genetic techniques with emerging genomics to characterize a GSS using the tephritid fruit fly pest Bactrocera cucurbitae as a model. These techniques include whole-genome sequencing, the development of a mapping population and linkage map, and quantitative trait analysis. The experiment designed to map the genetic sexing trait in B. cucurbitae , white pupae ( wp ), also enabled the generation of a chromosome-scale genome assembly by integrating the linkage map with the assembly. Quantitative trait loci analysis revealed SNP loci near position 42 MB on chromosome 3 to be tightly linked to wp Gene annotation and synteny analysis show a near perfect relationship between chromosomes in B. cucurbitae and Muller elements A-E in Drosophila melanogaster This chromosome-scale genome assembly is complete, has high contiguity, was generated using a minimal input DNA, and will be used to further characterize the genetic mechanisms underlying wp Knowledge of the genetic basis of genetic sexing traits can be used to improve SIT in this species and expand it to other economically important Diptera. Copyright © 2017 Sim and Geib.

  9. Vaccination of Sheep with a Methanogen Protein Provides Insight into Levels of Antibody in Saliva Needed to Target Ruminal Methanogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subharat, Supatsak; Shu, Dairu; Zheng, Tao; Buddle, Bryce M; Kaneko, Kan; Hook, Sarah; Janssen, Peter H; Wedlock, D Neil

    2016-01-01

    Methane is produced in the rumen of ruminant livestock by methanogens and is a major contributor to agricultural greenhouse gases. Vaccination against ruminal methanogens could reduce methane emissions by inducing antibodies in saliva which enter the rumen and impair ability of methanogens to produce methane. Presently, it is not known if vaccination can induce sufficient amounts of antibody in the saliva to target methanogen populations in the rumen and little is known about how long antibody in the rumen remains active. In the current study, sheep were vaccinated twice at a 3-week interval with a model methanogen antigen, recombinant glycosyl transferase protein (rGT2) formulated with one of four adjuvants: saponin, Montanide ISA61, a chitosan thermogel, or a lipid nanoparticle/cationic liposome adjuvant (n = 6/formulation). A control group of sheep (n = 6) was not vaccinated. The highest antigen-specific IgA and IgG responses in both saliva and serum were observed with Montanide ISA61, which promoted levels of salivary antibodies that were five-fold higher than the second most potent adjuvant, saponin. A rGT2-specific IgG standard was used to determine the level of rGT2-specific IgG in serum and saliva. Vaccination with GT2/Montanide ISA61 produced a peak antibody concentration of 7 × 1016 molecules of antigen-specific IgG per litre of saliva, and it was estimated that in the rumen there would be more than 104 molecules of antigen-specific IgG for each methanogen cell. Both IgG and IgA in saliva were shown to be relatively stable in the rumen. Salivary antibody exposed for 1-2 hours to an in vitro simulated rumen environment retained approximately 50% of antigen-binding activity. Collectively, the results from measuring antibody levels and stablility suggest a vaccination-based mitigation strategy for livestock generated methane is in theory feasible.

  10. Integrative Analyses of Nontargeted Volatile Profiling and Transcriptome Data Provide Molecular Insight into VOC Diversity in Cucumber Plants (Cucumis sativus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Guo; Tian, Peng; Zhang, Fengxia; Qin, Hao; Miao, Han; Chen, Qingwen; Hu, Zhongyi; Cao, Li; Wang, Meijiao; Gu, Xingfang; Huang, Sanwen; Chen, Mingsheng; Wang, Guodong

    2016-09-01

    Plant volatile organic compounds, which are generated in a tissue-specific manner, play important ecological roles in the interactions between plants and their environments, including the well-known functions of attracting pollinators and protecting plants from herbivores/fungi attacks. However, to date, there have not been reports of holistic volatile profiling of the various tissues of a single plant species, even for the model plant species. In this study, we qualitatively and quantitatively analyzed 85 volatile chemicals, including 36 volatile terpenes, in 23 different tissues of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) plants using solid-phase microextraction combined with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Most volatile chemicals were found to occur in a highly tissue-specific manner. The consensus transcriptomes for each of the 23 cucumber tissues were generated with RNA sequencing data and used in volatile organic compound-gene correlation analysis to screen for candidate genes likely to be involved in cucumber volatile biosynthetic pathways. In vitro biochemical characterization of the candidate enzymes demonstrated that TERPENE SYNTHASE11 (TPS11)/TPS14, TPS01, and TPS15 were responsible for volatile terpenoid production in the roots, flowers, and fruit tissues of cucumber plants, respectively. A functional heteromeric geranyl(geranyl) pyrophosphate synthase, composed of an inactive small subunit (type I) and an active large subunit, was demonstrated to play a key role in monoterpene production in cucumber. In addition to establishing a standard workflow for the elucidation of plant volatile biosynthetic pathways, the knowledge generated from this study lays a solid foundation for future investigations of both the physiological functions of cucumber volatiles and aspects of cucumber flavor improvement. © 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

  11. A Chromosome-Scale Assembly of the Bactrocera cucurbitae Genome Provides Insight to the Genetic Basis of white pupae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheina B. Sim

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Genetic sexing strains (GSS used in sterile insect technique (SIT programs are textbook examples of how classical Mendelian genetics can be directly implemented in the management of agricultural insect pests. Although the foundation of traditionally developed GSS are single locus, autosomal recessive traits, their genetic basis are largely unknown. With the advent of modern genomic techniques, the genetic basis of sexing traits in GSS can now be further investigated. This study is the first of its kind to integrate traditional genetic techniques with emerging genomics to characterize a GSS using the tephritid fruit fly pest Bactrocera cucurbitae as a model. These techniques include whole-genome sequencing, the development of a mapping population and linkage map, and quantitative trait analysis. The experiment designed to map the genetic sexing trait in B. cucurbitae, white pupae (wp, also enabled the generation of a chromosome-scale genome assembly by integrating the linkage map with the assembly. Quantitative trait loci analysis revealed SNP loci near position 42 MB on chromosome 3 to be tightly linked to wp. Gene annotation and synteny analysis show a near perfect relationship between chromosomes in B. cucurbitae and Muller elements A–E in Drosophila melanogaster. This chromosome-scale genome assembly is complete, has high contiguity, was generated using a minimal input DNA, and will be used to further characterize the genetic mechanisms underlying wp. Knowledge of the genetic basis of genetic sexing traits can be used to improve SIT in this species and expand it to other economically important Diptera.

  12. Sentinel California sea lions provide insight into legacy organochlorine exposure trends and their association with cancer and infectious disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randhawa, Nistara; Gulland, Frances; Ylitalo, Gina M; DeLong, Robert; Mazet, Jonna A K

    2015-12-01

    Organochlorine contaminants (OCs), like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs), are widespread marine pollutants resulting from massive historical use and environmental persistence. Exposure to and health effects of these OCs in the marine environment may be examined by studying California sea lions (Zalophus californianus ), which are long lived, apex predators capable of accumulating OCs. We evaluated PCB and DDT levels in 310 sea lions sampled between 1992 and 2007: 204 individuals stranded along the coast of central California, 60 healthy males from Washington State, and 46 healthy females from southern California. Lipid-normalized contaminant concentrations were analyzed using general linear models and logistic regression to ascertain temporal trends; differences between stranded and healthy sea lions; and association of organochlorines with sex, age, and presence of cancer or fatal infectious disease. Concentrations of the contaminants in stranded adults decreased over time in the study period (adjusted for sex, as adult males had higher mean blubber concentrations than adult females and juveniles). Cancer was almost eight and six times more likely in animals with higher summed PCBs and DDTs, compared to those with lower levels (95% CI 5.55-10.51 and 4.54-7.99, respectively). Fatal infectious diseases were similarly seven and five times more likely in animals with higher contaminant burdens (95% CI 4.20-10.89 and 3.27-7.86, respectively). Mean contaminant loads were significantly higher in stranded sea lions than in healthy live captured animals ( p  lions, raising concerns for humans and other animals eating tainted seafood. While environmental exposure to these organochlorines appears to be decreasing over time based on levels in sea lion tissues, their persistence in the environment and food web for all predators, including humans, and the associated serious health risks, warrant monitoring, possibly through sentinel

  13. Mitochondrial Genome Sequence of the Scabies Mite Provides Insight into the Genetic Diversity of Individual Scabies Infections.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ehtesham Mofiz

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The scabies mite, Sarcoptes scabiei, is an obligate parasite of the skin that infects humans and other animal species, causing scabies, a contagious disease characterized by extreme itching. Scabies infections are a major health problem, particularly in remote Indigenous communities in Australia, where co-infection of epidermal scabies lesions by Group A Streptococci or Staphylococcus aureus is thought to be responsible for the high rate of rheumatic heart disease and chronic kidney disease. We collected and separately sequenced mite DNA from several pools of thousands of whole mites from a porcine model of scabies (S. scabiei var. suis and two human patients (S. scabiei var. hominis living in different regions of northern Australia. Our sequencing samples the mite and its metagenome, including the mite gut flora and the wound micro-environment. Here, we describe the mitochondrial genome of the scabies mite. We developed a new de novo assembly pipeline based on a bait-and-reassemble strategy, which produced a 14 kilobase mitochondrial genome sequence assembly. We also annotated 35 genes and have compared these to other Acari mites. We identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs and used these to infer the presence of six haplogroups in our samples, Remarkably, these fall into two closely-related clades with one clade including both human and pig varieties. This supports earlier findings that only limited genetic differences may separate some human and animal varieties, and raises the possibility of cross-host infections. Finally, we used these mitochondrial haplotypes to show that the genetic diversity of individual infections is typically small with 1-3 distinct haplotypes per infestation.

  14. The Tartary Buckwheat Genome Provides Insights into Rutin Biosynthesis and Abiotic Stress Tolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lijun; Li, Xiuxiu; Ma, Bin; Gao, Qiang; Du, Huilong; Han, Yuanhuai; Li, Yan; Cao, Yinghao; Qi, Ming; Zhu, Yaxin; Lu, Hongwei; Ma, Mingchuan; Liu, Longlong; Zhou, Jianping; Nan, Chenghu; Qin, Yongjun; Wang, Jun; Cui, Lin; Liu, Huimin; Liang, Chengzhi; Qiao, Zhijun

    2017-09-12

    Tartary buckwheat (Fagopyrum tataricum) is an important pseudocereal crop that is strongly adapted to growth in adverse environments. Its gluten-free grain contains complete proteins with a well-balanced composition of essential amino acids and is a rich source of beneficial phytochemicals that provide significant health benefits. Here, we report a high-quality, chromosome-scale Tartary buckwheat genome sequence of 489.3 Mb that is assembled by combining whole-genome shotgun sequencing of both Illumina short reads and single-molecule real-time long reads, sequence tags of a large DNA insert fosmid library, Hi-C sequencing data, and BioNano genome maps. We annotated 33 366 high-confidence protein-coding genes based on expression evidence. Comparisons of the intra-genome with the sugar beet genome revealed an independent whole-genome duplication that occurred in the buckwheat lineage after they diverged from the common ancestor, which was not shared with rosids or asterids. The reference genome facilitated the identification of many new genes predicted to be involved in rutin biosynthesis and regulation, aluminum stress resistance, and in drought and cold stress responses. Our data suggest that Tartary buckwheat's ability to tolerate high levels of abiotic stress is attributed to the expansion of several gene families involved in signal transduction, gene regulation, and membrane transport. The availability of these genomic resources will facilitate the discovery of agronomically and nutritionally important genes and genetic improvement of Tartary buckwheat. Copyright © 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Germ warfare in a microbial mat community: CRISPRs provide insights into the co-evolution of host and viral genomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John F Heidelberg

    Full Text Available CRISPR arrays and associated cas genes are widespread in bacteria and archaea and confer acquired resistance to viruses. To examine viral immunity in the context of naturally evolving microbial populations we analyzed genomic data from two thermophilic Synechococcus isolates (Syn OS-A and Syn OS-B' as well as a prokaryotic metagenome and viral metagenome derived from microbial mats in hotsprings at Yellowstone National Park. Two distinct CRISPR types, distinguished by the repeat sequence, are found in both the Syn OS-A and Syn OS-B' genomes. The genome of Syn OS-A contains a third CRISPR type with a distinct repeat sequence, which is not found in Syn OS-B', but appears to be shared with other microorganisms that inhabit the mat. The CRISPR repeats identified in the microbial metagenome are highly conserved, while the spacer sequences (hereafter referred to as "viritopes" to emphasize their critical role in viral immunity were mostly unique and had no high identity matches when searched against GenBank. Searching the viritopes against the viral metagenome, however, yielded several matches with high similarity some of which were within a gene identified as a likely viral lysozyme/lysin protein. Analysis of viral metagenome sequences corresponding to this lysozyme/lysin protein revealed several mutations all of which translate into silent or conservative mutations which are unlikely to affect protein function, but may help the virus evade the host CRISPR resistance mechanism. These results demonstrate the varied challenges presented by a natural virus population, and support the notion that the CRISPR/viritope system must be able to adapt quickly to provide host immunity. The ability of metagenomics to track population-level variation in viritope sequences allows for a culture-independent method for evaluating the fast co-evolution of host and viral genomes and its consequence on the structuring of complex microbial communities.

  16. Large-scale gene expression study in the ophiuroid Amphiura filiformis provides insights into evolution of gene regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Viktor Dylus

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The evolutionary mechanisms involved in shaping complex gene regulatory networks (GRN that encode for morphologically similar structures in distantly related animals remain elusive. In this context, echinoderm larval skeletons found in brittle stars and sea urchins provide an ideal system. Here, we characterize for the first time the development of the larval skeleton in the ophiuroid Amphiura filiformis and compare it systematically with its counterpart in sea urchin. Results We show that ophiuroids and euechinoids, that split at least 480 Million years ago (Mya, have remarkable similarities in tempo and mode of skeletal development. Despite morphological and ontological similarities, our high-resolution study of the dynamics of genetic regulatory states in A. filiformis highlights numerous differences in the architecture of their underlying GRNs. Importantly, the A.filiformis pplx, the closest gene to the sea urchin double negative gate (DNG repressor pmar1, fails to drive the skeletogenic program in sea urchin, showing important evolutionary differences in protein function. hesC, the second repressor of the DNG, is co-expressed with most of the genes that are repressed in sea urchin, indicating the absence of direct repression of tbr, ets1/2, and delta in A. filiformis. Furthermore, the absence of expression in later stages of brittle star skeleton development of key regulatory genes, such as foxb and dri, shows significantly different regulatory states. Conclusion Our data fill up an important gap in the picture of larval mesoderm in echinoderms and allows us to explore the evolutionary implications relative to the recently established phylogeny of echinoderm classes. In light of recent studies on other echinoderms, our data highlight a high evolutionary plasticity of the same nodes throughout evolution of echinoderm skeletogenesis. Finally, gene duplication, protein function diversification, and cis-regulatory element

  17. A mollusk VDR/PXR/CAR-like (NR1J) nuclear receptor provides insight into ancient detoxification mechanisms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cruzeiro, Catarina; Lopes-Marques, Mónica; Ruivo, Raquel; Rodrigues-Oliveira, Nádia; Santos, Miguel M.; Rocha, Maria João; Rocha, Eduardo; Castro, L. Filipe C.

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • A nuclear receptor orthologue of the NR1J group is isolated from a mollusc. • The molluscan NR1J transactivates gene expression upon exposure to okadaic acid but not a pesticide, esfenvarelate and triclosan. • Lineage specific gene duplications and gene loss have occurred in the NR1J of protostomes with likely impacts on detoxification mechanisms. - Abstract: The origin and diversification of the metazoan endocrine systems represents a fundamental research issue in biology. Nuclear receptors are critical components of these systems. A particular group named VDR/PXR/CAR (NR1I/J) is central in the mediation of detoxification responses. While orthologues have been thoroughly characterized in vertebrates, a sparse representation is currently available for invertebrates. Here, we provide the first isolation and characterization of a lophotrochozoan protostome VDR/PXR/CAR nuclear receptor (NR1J), in the estuarine bivalve the peppery furrow shell (Scrobicularia plana). Using a reporter gene assay, we evaluated the xenobiotic receptor plasticity comparing the human PXR with the S. plana NR1Jβ. Our results show that the molluscan receptor responds to a natural toxin (okadaic acid) in a similar fashion to that reported for other invertebrates. In contrast, the pesticide esfenvalerate displayed a unique response, since it down regulated transactivation at higher concentrations, while for triclosan no response was observed. Additionally, we uncovered lineage specific gene duplications and gene loss in the gene group encoding NRs in protostomes with likely impacts on the complexity of detoxification mechanisms across different phyla. Our findings pave the way for the development of multi-specific sensor tools to screen xenobiotic compounds acting via the NR1I/J group.

  18. Comprehensive analysis of human small RNA sequencing data provides insights into expression profiles and miRNA editing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Jing; Wu, Yuliang; Zhang, Xiantong; Liao, Yifang; Sibanda, Vusumuzi Leroy; Liu, Wei; Guo, An-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play key regulatory roles in various biological processes and diseases. A comprehensive analysis of large scale small RNA sequencing data (smRNA-seq) will be very helpful to explore tissue or disease specific miRNA markers and uncover miRNA variants. Here, we systematically analyzed 410 human smRNA-seq datasets, which samples are from 24 tissue/disease/cell lines. We tested the mapping strategies and found that it was necessary to make multiple-round mappings with different mismatch parameters. miRNA expression profiles revealed that on average ∼70% of known miRNAs were expressed at low level or not expressed (RPM 100). About 30% known miRNAs were not expressed in all of our used samples. The miRNA expression profiles were compiled into an online database (HMED, http://bioinfo.life.hust.edu.cn/smallRNA/). Dozens of tissue/disease specific miRNAs, disease/control dysregulated miRNAs and miRNAs with arm switching events were discovered. Further, we identified some highly confident editing sites including 24 A-to-I sites and 23 C-to-U sites. About half of them were widespread miRNA editing sites in different tissues. We characterized that the 2 types of editing sites have different features with regard to location, editing level and frequency. Our analyses for expression profiles, specific miRNA markers, arm switching, and editing sites, may provide valuable information for further studies of miRNA function and biomarker finding.

  19. Proteomic analysis provides insights into changes in the central metabolism of the cambium during dormancy release in poplar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Feng; Li, Jing; Ding, Qi; Wang, Qing-Song; He, Xin-Qiang

    2017-01-01

    Seasonal cycling of growth and dormancy is an important feature for the woody plants growing in temperate zone, and dormancy is an effective strategy for surviving the winter stress. But the mechanisms of dormancy maintenance and its release are still not clear, especially little information is available with regard to the changes of proteome during the process. A better understanding in the function of proteins and their related metabolic pathways would expand our knowledge of the mechanisms of dormancy maintenance and its release in trees. In this study, we employed the isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) approach with LC-MS/MS analysis to investigate the protein profile changes during dormancy release in poplar. In addition, the change of lipid, total insoluble carbohydrates and starch granules in the cambium was investigated by histochemical methods. A total of 3789 proteins were identified in poplar cambial tissues, 1996 of them were significantly altered during the dormancy release. Most of the altered proteins involved in signaling, phytohormone, energy metabolism, stress and secondary metabolism by functional analysis. Our data shows that the lipid metabolism proteins changed significantly both in the release stage of eco- and endodormancy, while the changes of carbohydrate metabolism proteins were mainly in endo-dormancy release stage. Moreover, histochemical results were consistent with the proteomic data. Our results reveal diverse stage-specific metabolism changes during the dormancy-release process induced by chilling in poplar, which provided new information regarding the regulation mechanisms of dormancy maintenance and its release in trees. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  20. Sixteen kiwi (Apteryx spp) transcriptomes provide a wealth of genetic markers and insight into sex chromosome evolution in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramstad, Kristina M; Miller, Hilary C; Kolle, Gabriel

    2016-05-26

    here will provide a rich resource for polymorphic marker development and studies of adaptation of these highly unusual and endangered birds.

  1. Venom-related transcripts from Bothrops jararaca tissues provide novel molecular insights into the production and evolution of snake venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junqueira-de-Azevedo, Inácio L M; Bastos, Carolina Mancini Val; Ho, Paulo Lee; Luna, Milene Schmidt; Yamanouye, Norma; Casewell, Nicholas R

    2015-03-01

    Attempts to reconstruct the evolutionary history of snake toxins in the context of their co-option to the venom gland rarely account for nonvenom snake genes that are paralogous to toxins, and which therefore represent important connectors to ancestral genes. In order to reevaluate this process, we conducted a comparative transcriptomic survey on body tissues from a venomous snake. A nonredundant set of 33,000 unigenes (assembled transcripts of reference genes) was independently assembled from six organs of the medically important viperid snake Bothrops jararaca, providing a reference list of 82 full-length toxins from the venom gland and specific products from other tissues, such as pancreatic digestive enzymes. Unigenes were then screened for nontoxin transcripts paralogous to toxins revealing 1) low level coexpression of approximately 20% of toxin genes (e.g., bradykinin-potentiating peptide, C-type lectin, snake venom metalloproteinase, snake venom nerve growth factor) in body tissues, 2) the identity of the closest paralogs to toxin genes in eight classes of toxins, 3) the location and level of paralog expression, indicating that, in general, co-expression occurs in a higher number of tissues and at lower levels than observed for toxin genes, and 4) strong evidence of a toxin gene reverting back to selective expression in a body tissue. In addition, our differential gene expression analyses identify specific cellular processes that make the venom gland a highly specialized secretory tissue. Our results demonstrate that the evolution and production of venom in snakes is a complex process that can only be understood in the context of comparative data from other snake tissues, including the identification of genes paralogous to venom toxins. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  2. Transcriptome Changes in Eriocheir sinensis Megalopae after Desalination Provide Insights into Osmoregulation and Stress Adaption in Larvae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hui, Min; Liu, Yuan; Song, Chengwen; Li, Yingdong; Shi, Guohui; Cui, Zhaoxia

    2014-01-01

    Eriocheir sinensis, an extremely invasive alien crab species, has important economic value in China. It encounters different salinities during its life cycle, and at the megalopal stage it faces a turning point regarding the salinity in its environment. We applied RNA sequencing to E. sinensis megalopae before (MB) and after (MA) desalination, resulting in the discovery of 21,042 unigenes and 908 differentially expressed genes (DEGs, 4.32% of the unigenes). The DEGs primarily belonged to the Gene Ontology groups “Energy metabolism,” “Oxidoreductase activity,” “Translation,” “Transport,” “Metabolism,” and “Stress response.” In total, 33 DEGs related to transport processes were found, including 12 proton pump genes, three ATP-binding cassettes (ABCs), 13 solute carrier (SLC) family members, two sweet sugar transporter (ST) family members and three other substance transporters. Mitochondrial genes as well as genes involved in the tricarboxylic acid cycle, glycolytic pathway, or β-oxidation pathway, which can generate energy in the form of ATP, were typically up-regulated in MA. 11 unigenes related to amino acid metabolism and a large number of genes related to protein synthesis were differentially expressed in MB and MA, indicating that E. sinensis possibly adjusts its concentration of free amino acid osmolytes for hyper-osmoregulation. Additionally, 33 salinity and oxidative stress induced genes were found to be differentially expressed, such as the LEA2, HSPs, GST and coagulation factor genes. Notably, LEA2 is an extremely hydrophilic protein that responds to desiccation and reported for the first time in crabs. Therefore, we suppose that when the environment is hypo-osmotic, the megalopae might compensate for ion loss via hyper-osmoregulation by consuming more energy, accompanied by a series of stress induced adaptions. This study provides the first genome-wide transcriptome analysis of E. sinensis megalopae for studying its osmoregulation

  3. Transcriptome changes in Eriocheir sinensis megalopae after desalination provide insights into osmoregulation and stress adaption in larvae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min Hui

    Full Text Available Eriocheir sinensis, an extremely invasive alien crab species, has important economic value in China. It encounters different salinities during its life cycle, and at the megalopal stage it faces a turning point regarding the salinity in its environment. We applied RNA sequencing to E. sinensis megalopae before (MB and after (MA desalination, resulting in the discovery of 21,042 unigenes and 908 differentially expressed genes (DEGs, 4.32% of the unigenes. The DEGs primarily belonged to the Gene Ontology groups "Energy metabolism," "Oxidoreductase activity," "Translation," "Transport," "Metabolism," and "Stress response." In total, 33 DEGs related to transport processes were found, including 12 proton pump genes, three ATP-binding cassettes (ABCs, 13 solute carrier (SLC family members, two sweet sugar transporter (ST family members and three other substance transporters. Mitochondrial genes as well as genes involved in the tricarboxylic acid cycle, glycolytic pathway, or β-oxidation pathway, which can generate energy in the form of ATP, were typically up-regulated in MA. 11 unigenes related to amino acid metabolism and a large number of genes related to protein synthesis were differentially expressed in MB and MA, indicating that E. sinensis possibly adjusts its concentration of free amino acid osmolytes for hyper-osmoregulation. Additionally, 33 salinity and oxidative stress induced genes were found to be differentially expressed, such as the LEA2, HSPs, GST and coagulation factor genes. Notably, LEA2 is an extremely hydrophilic protein that responds to desiccation and reported for the first time in crabs. Therefore, we suppose that when the environment is hypo-osmotic, the megalopae might compensate for ion loss via hyper-osmoregulation by consuming more energy, accompanied by a series of stress induced adaptions. This study provides the first genome-wide transcriptome analysis of E. sinensis megalopae for studying its osmoregulation and stress

  4. A mollusk VDR/PXR/CAR-like (NR1J) nuclear receptor provides insight into ancient detoxification mechanisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cruzeiro, Catarina, E-mail: catarinarcruzeiro@hotmail.com [ICBAS - Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, U. Porto - University of Porto (Portugal); CIIMAR/CIMAR - Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research, U. Porto (Portugal); Lopes-Marques, Mónica, E-mail: monicaslm@hotmail.com [ICBAS - Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, U. Porto - University of Porto (Portugal); CIIMAR/CIMAR - Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research, U. Porto (Portugal); Ruivo, Raquel, E-mail: ruivo.raquel@gmail.com [CIIMAR/CIMAR - Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research, U. Porto (Portugal); Rodrigues-Oliveira, Nádia, E-mail: nadia.oliveira@ciimar.up.pt [CIIMAR/CIMAR - Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research, U. Porto (Portugal); Santos, Miguel M., E-mail: santos@ciimar.up.pt [CIIMAR/CIMAR - Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research, U. Porto (Portugal); FCUP - Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology, U. Porto (Portugal); Rocha, Maria João, E-mail: mjsrocha@netcabo.pt [ICBAS - Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, U. Porto - University of Porto (Portugal); CIIMAR/CIMAR - Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research, U. Porto (Portugal); Rocha, Eduardo, E-mail: erocha@icbas.up.pt [ICBAS - Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, U. Porto - University of Porto (Portugal); CIIMAR/CIMAR - Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research, U. Porto (Portugal); Castro, L. Filipe C., E-mail: filipe.castro@ciimar.up.pt [CIIMAR/CIMAR - Interdisciplinary Center of Marine and Environmental Research, U. Porto (Portugal); FCUP - Faculty of Sciences, Department of Biology, U. Porto (Portugal)

    2016-05-15

    Highlights: • A nuclear receptor orthologue of the NR1J group is isolated from a mollusc. • The molluscan NR1J transactivates gene expression upon exposure to okadaic acid but not a pesticide, esfenvarelate and triclosan. • Lineage specific gene duplications and gene loss have occurred in the NR1J of protostomes with likely impacts on detoxification mechanisms. - Abstract: The origin and diversification of the metazoan endocrine systems represents a fundamental research issue in biology. Nuclear receptors are critical components of these systems. A particular group named VDR/PXR/CAR (NR1I/J) is central in the mediation of detoxification responses. While orthologues have been thoroughly characterized in vertebrates, a sparse representation is currently available for invertebrates. Here, we provide the first isolation and characterization of a lophotrochozoan protostome VDR/PXR/CAR nuclear receptor (NR1J), in the estuarine bivalve the peppery furrow shell (Scrobicularia plana). Using a reporter gene assay, we evaluated the xenobiotic receptor plasticity comparing the human PXR with the S. plana NR1Jβ. Our results show that the molluscan receptor responds to a natural toxin (okadaic acid) in a similar fashion to that reported for other invertebrates. In contrast, the pesticide esfenvalerate displayed a unique response, since it down regulated transactivation at higher concentrations, while for triclosan no response was observed. Additionally, we uncovered lineage specific gene duplications and gene loss in the gene group encoding NRs in protostomes with likely impacts on the complexity of detoxification mechanisms across different phyla. Our findings pave the way for the development of multi-specific sensor tools to screen xenobiotic compounds acting via the NR1I/J group.

  5. Disentangling ancient interactions: a new extinct passerine provides insights on character displacement among extinct and extant island finches.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Carlos Rando

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary studies of insular biotas are based mainly on extant taxa, although such biotas represent artificial subsets of original faunas because of human-caused extinctions of indigenous species augmented by introduced exotic taxa. This makes it difficult to obtain a full understanding of the history of ecological interactions between extant sympatric species. Morphological bill variation of Fringilla coelebs and F. teydea (common and blue chaffinches has been previously studied in the North Atlantic Macaronesian archipelagos. Character displacement between both species has been argued to explain bill sizes in sympatry. However, this explanation is incomplete, as similar patterns of bill size have been recorded in F. coelebs populations from islands with and without F. teydea.The discovery of a new extinct species in Tenerife (Canary Islands, here named Carduelis aurelioi n. sp. (slender-billed greenfinch, provides the opportunity to study ancient ecological interactions among Macaronesian finches. To help understand the evolutionary histories of forest granivores in space and time, we have performed a multidisciplinary study combining: (1 morphological analyses and radiocarbon dating (11,460±60 yr BP of the new taxon and, (2 molecular divergence among the extant finch species and populations in order to infer colonization times (1.99 and 1.09 My for F. teydea and F. coelebs respectively.C. aurelioi, F. coelebs and F. teydea co-habited in Tenerife for at least one million years. The unique anatomical trends of the new species, namely chaffinch-like beak and modified hind and forelimbs, reveal that there was a process of divergence of resource competition traits among the three sympatric finches. The results of our study, combined with the presence of more extinct greenfinches in other Macaronesian islands with significant variation in their beak sizes, suggests that the character displacement has influenced patterns of divergence in bill

  6. Disentangling ancient interactions: a new extinct passerine provides insights on character displacement among extinct and extant island finches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rando, Juan Carlos; Alcover, Josep Antoni; Illera, Juan Carlos

    2010-09-23

    Evolutionary studies of insular biotas are based mainly on extant taxa, although such biotas represent artificial subsets of original faunas because of human-caused extinctions of indigenous species augmented by introduced exotic taxa. This makes it difficult to obtain a full understanding of the history of ecological interactions between extant sympatric species. Morphological bill variation of Fringilla coelebs and F. teydea (common and blue chaffinches) has been previously studied in the North Atlantic Macaronesian archipelagos. Character displacement between both species has been argued to explain bill sizes in sympatry. However, this explanation is incomplete, as similar patterns of bill size have been recorded in F. coelebs populations from islands with and without F. teydea. The discovery of a new extinct species in Tenerife (Canary Islands), here named Carduelis aurelioi n. sp. (slender-billed greenfinch), provides the opportunity to study ancient ecological interactions among Macaronesian finches. To help understand the evolutionary histories of forest granivores in space and time, we have performed a multidisciplinary study combining: (1) morphological analyses and radiocarbon dating (11,460±60 yr BP) of the new taxon and, (2) molecular divergence among the extant finch species and populations in order to infer colonization times (1.99 and 1.09 My for F. teydea and F. coelebs respectively). C. aurelioi, F. coelebs and F. teydea co-habited in Tenerife for at least one million years. The unique anatomical trends of the new species, namely chaffinch-like beak and modified hind and forelimbs, reveal that there was a process of divergence of resource competition traits among the three sympatric finches. The results of our study, combined with the presence of more extinct greenfinches in other Macaronesian islands with significant variation in their beak sizes, suggests that the character displacement has influenced patterns of divergence in bill size and

  7. Genomic analysis of the Kiwifruit pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae provides insight into the origins of an emergent plant disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Honour C McCann

    Full Text Available The origins of crop diseases are linked to domestication of plants. Most crops were domesticated centuries--even millennia--ago, thus limiting opportunity to understand the concomitant emergence of disease. Kiwifruit (Actinidia spp. is an exception: domestication began in the 1930s with outbreaks of canker disease caused by P. syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa first recorded in the 1980s. Based on SNP analyses of two circularized and 34 draft genomes, we show that Psa is comprised of distinct clades exhibiting negligible within-clade diversity, consistent with disease arising by independent samplings from a source population. Three clades correspond to their geographical source of isolation; a fourth, encompassing the Psa-V lineage responsible for the 2008 outbreak, is now globally distributed. Psa has an overall clonal population structure, however, genomes carry a marked signature of within-pathovar recombination. SNP analysis of Psa-V reveals hundreds of polymorphisms; however, most reside within PPHGI-1-like conjugative elements whose evolution is unlinked to the core genome. Removal of SNPs due to recombination yields an uninformative (star-like phylogeny consistent with diversification of Psa-V from a single clone within the last ten years. Growth assays provide evidence of cultivar specificity, with rapid systemic movement of Psa-V in Actinidia chinensis. Genomic comparisons show a dynamic genome with evidence of positive selection on type III effectors and other candidate virulence genes. Each clade has highly varied complements of accessory genes encoding effectors and toxins with evidence of gain and loss via multiple genetic routes. Genes with orthologs in vascular pathogens were found exclusively within Psa-V. Our analyses capture a pathogen in the early stages of emergence from a predicted source population associated with wild Actinidia species. In addition to candidate genes as targets for resistance breeding programs, our findings

  8. Analysis of the human monocyte-derived macrophage transcriptome and response to lipopolysaccharide provides new insights into genetic aetiology of inflammatory bowel disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Kenneth Baillie

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The FANTOM5 consortium utilised cap analysis of gene expression (CAGE to provide an unprecedented insight into transcriptional regulation in human cells and tissues. In the current study, we have used CAGE-based transcriptional profiling on an extended dense time course of the response of human monocyte-derived macrophages grown in macrophage colony-stimulating factor (CSF1 to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS. We propose that this system provides a model for the differentiation and adaptation of monocytes entering the intestinal lamina propria. The response to LPS is shown to be a cascade of successive waves of transient gene expression extending over at least 48 hours, with hundreds of positive and negative regulatory loops. Promoter analysis using motif activity response analysis (MARA identified some of the transcription factors likely to be responsible for the temporal profile of transcriptional activation. Each LPS-inducible locus was associated with multiple inducible enhancers, and in each case, transient eRNA transcription at multiple sites detected by CAGE preceded the appearance of promoter-associated transcripts. LPS-inducible long non-coding RNAs were commonly associated with clusters of inducible enhancers. We used these data to re-examine the hundreds of loci associated with susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD in genome-wide association studies. Loci associated with IBD were strongly and specifically (relative to rheumatoid arthritis and unrelated traits enriched for promoters that were regulated in monocyte differentiation or activation. Amongst previously-identified IBD susceptibility loci, the vast majority contained at least one promoter that was regulated in CSF1-dependent monocyte-macrophage transitions and/or in response to LPS. On this basis, we concluded that IBD loci are strongly-enriched for monocyte-specific genes, and identified at least 134 additional candidate genes associated with IBD susceptibility

  9. Analysis of the human monocyte-derived macrophage transcriptome and response to lipopolysaccharide provides new insights into genetic aetiology of inflammatory bowel disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arner, Erik; De Hoon, Michiel; Carninci, Piero; Hayashizaki, Yoshihide; Pavli, Paul; Summers, Kim M.; Hume, David A.

    2017-01-01

    The FANTOM5 consortium utilised cap analysis of gene expression (CAGE) to provide an unprecedented insight into transcriptional regulation in human cells and tissues. In the current study, we have used CAGE-based transcriptional profiling on an extended dense time course of the response of human monocyte-derived macrophages grown in macrophage colony-stimulating factor (CSF1) to bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We propose that this system provides a model for the differentiation and adaptation of monocytes entering the intestinal lamina propria. The response to LPS is shown to be a cascade of successive waves of transient gene expression extending over at least 48 hours, with hundreds of positive and negative regulatory loops. Promoter analysis using motif activity response analysis (MARA) identified some of the transcription factors likely to be responsible for the temporal profile of transcriptional activation. Each LPS-inducible locus was associated with multiple inducible enhancers, and in each case, transient eRNA transcription at multiple sites detected by CAGE preceded the appearance of promoter-associated transcripts. LPS-inducible long non-coding RNAs were commonly associated with clusters of inducible enhancers. We used these data to re-examine the hundreds of loci associated with susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in genome-wide association studies. Loci associated with IBD were strongly and specifically (relative to rheumatoid arthritis and unrelated traits) enriched for promoters that were regulated in monocyte differentiation or activation. Amongst previously-identified IBD susceptibility loci, the vast majority contained at least one promoter that was regulated in CSF1-dependent monocyte-macrophage transitions and/or in response to LPS. On this basis, we concluded that IBD loci are strongly-enriched for monocyte-specific genes, and identified at least 134 additional candidate genes associated with IBD susceptibility from reanalysis

  10. Managing Dog Waste: Campaign Insights from the Health Belief Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Typhina, Eli; Yan, Changmin

    2014-01-01

    Aiming to help municipalities develop effective education and outreach campaigns to reduce stormwater pollutants, such as pet waste, this study applied the Health Belief Model (HBM) to identify perceptions of dog waste and corresponding collection behaviors from dog owners living in a small U.S. city. Results of 455 online survey responses…

  11. Insights on non-perturbative aspects of TMDs from models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    H. Avakian, A. Efremov, P. Schweitzer, O. Teryaev, F. Yuan, P. Zavada

    2009-12-01

    Transverse momentum dependent parton distribution functions are a key ingredient in the description of spin and azimuthal asymmetries in deep-inelastic scattering processes. Recent results from non-perturbative calculations in effective approaches are reviewed, with focus on relations among different parton distribution functions in QCD and models.

  12. Application of hydropedological insights in hydrological modelling of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this paper the output of a digital soil mapping exercise was used as the soil input into a distributed hydrological model (ACRU) for a test site within the Stevenson-Hamilton Research Supersite, Kruger National Park (South ... The outputs evaluated included both streamflow and soil water content at selected soil profiles.

  13. Improving Perovskite Solar Cells: Insights From a Validated Device Model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sherkar, Tejas S.; Momblona, Cristina; Gil-Escrig, Lidon; Bolink, Henk J.; Koster, L. Jan Anton

    2017-01-01

    To improve the efficiency of existing perovskite solar cells (PSCs), a detailed understanding of the underlying device physics during their operation is essential. Here, a device model has been developed and validated that describes the operation of PSCs and quantitatively explains the role of

  14. Modelling Inclusive Special Needs Education: Insights from Dutch Secondary Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Bij, T.; Geijsel, F. P.; Garst, G. J. A.; Ten Dam, G. T. M.

    2016-01-01

    Inclusive special needs education is prominent on the international education agenda. Research on the characteristics of inclusive education for students with special needs and schools providing this is scarce, however. Our aim in the present study was therefore to further theory-building with regard to inclusive special needs education. On the…

  15. Just-About-Right and ideal scaling provide similar insights into the influence of sensory attributes on liking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bangde; Hayes, John E; Ziegler, Gregory R

    2014-10-01

    Just-about-right (JAR) scaling is criticized for measuring attribute intensity and acceptability simultaneously. Using JAR scaling, an attribute is evaluated for its appropriateness relative to one's hypothetical ideal level that is pre-defined at the middle of a continuum. Alternatively, ideal scaling measures these two constructs separately. Ideal scaling allows participants to rate their ideal freely on the scale (i.e., without assuming the "Too Little" and "Too Much" regions are equal in size). We hypothesized that constraining participants' ideal to the center point, as is done in the JAR scale, may cause a scaling bias and, thereby, influence the magnitude of "Too Little" and "Too Much". Furthermore, we hypothesized that the magnitude of "Too Little" and "Too Much" would influence liking to different extents. Coffee-flavored dairy beverages (n=20) were formulated using a fractional, constrained-mixture design that varied the ratio of water, milk, coffee extract, and sucrose. Participants tasted 4 of 20 prototypes that were served in a monadic sequential order using a balanced incomplete block design. Data reported here are for participants randomly assigned to one of two research conditions: ideal scaling (n=129) or JAR scaling (n=132). For both conditions, participants rated overall liking using a 9-point hedonic scale. Four attributes ( sweetness, milk flavor, coffee flavor and thickness ) were evaluated. The reliability of an individual participant's ideal rating for an attribute was evaluated using the standard deviation of their ideal ratings (n=4). All data from a participant were eliminated from further analyses when his/her standard deviation of the ideal ratings for any of the four rated attributes was identified as a statistical outlier. This resulted in the elimination of 15 of 129 (12 %) of participants in the ideal scaling group. Multiple linear regression was employed to model liking as a function of "Too Little" or "Too Much" attribute

  16. Vaccination of Sheep with a Methanogen Protein Provides Insight into Levels of Antibody in Saliva Needed to Target Ruminal Methanogens.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Supatsak Subharat

    Full Text Available Methane is produced in the rumen of ruminant livestock by methanogens and is a major contributor to agricultural greenhouse gases. Vaccination against ruminal methanogens could reduce methane emissions by inducing antibodies in saliva which enter the rumen and impair ability of methanogens to produce methane. Presently, it is not known if vaccination can induce sufficient amounts of antibody in the saliva to target methanogen populations in the rumen and little is known about how long antibody in the rumen remains active. In the current study, sheep were vaccinated twice at a 3-week interval with a model methanogen antigen, recombinant glycosyl transferase protein (rGT2 formulated with one of four adjuvants: saponin, Montanide ISA61, a chitosan thermogel, or a lipid nanoparticle/cationic liposome adjuvant (n = 6/formulation. A control group of sheep (n = 6 was not vaccinated. The highest antigen-specific IgA and IgG responses in both saliva and serum were observed with Montanide ISA61, which promoted levels of salivary antibodies that were five-fold higher than the second most potent adjuvant, saponin. A rGT2-specific IgG standard was used to determine the level of rGT2-specific IgG in serum and saliva. Vaccination with GT2/Montanide ISA61 produced a peak antibody concentration of 7 × 1016 molecules of antigen-specific IgG per litre of saliva, and it was estimated that in the rumen there would be more than 104 molecules of antigen-specific IgG for each methanogen cell. Both IgG and IgA in saliva were shown to be relatively stable in the rumen. Salivary antibody exposed for 1-2 hours to an in vitro simulated rumen environment retained approximately 50% of antigen-binding activity. Collectively, the results from measuring antibody levels and stablility suggest a vaccination-based mitigation strategy for livestock generated methane is in theory feasible.

  17. NMR Studies of Ligand Binding to P450eryF Provides Insight into the Mechanism of Cooperativity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arthur G.,Roberts; M. Dolores,Díaz; Jed N.,Lampe; Laura M.,Shireman; Jeffrey S.,Grinstead; Michael J.,Dabrowski; Josh T.,Pearson; Michael K.,Bowman; William M.,Atkins; A. Patricia,Campbell

    2006-02-01

    Cytochrome P450's (P450's) catalyze the oxidative metabolism of most drugs and toxins. Although extensive studies have proven that some P450's demonstrate both homotropic and heterotropic cooperativity toward a number of substrates, the mechanistic and molecular details of P450 allostery are still not well-established. Here, we use UV/vis and heteronuclear nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopic techniques to study the mechanism and thermodynamics of the binding of two 9-aminophenanthrene (9-AP) and testosterone (TST) molecules to the erythromycin-metabolizing bacterial P450eryF. UV/vis absorbance spectra of P450eryF demonstrated that binding occurs with apparent negative homotropic cooperativity for TST and positive homotropic cooperativity for 9-AP with Hill-equation-derived dissociation constants of KS = 4 and 200 μM, respectively. The broadening and shifting observed in the 2D-{1H,15N}-HSQC-monitored titrations of 15N-Phe-labeled P450eryF with 9-AP and TST indicated binding on intermediate and fast chemical exhange time scales, respectively, which was consistent with the Hill-equation-derived KS values for these two ligands. Regardless of the type of spectral perturbation observed (broadening for 9-AP and shifting for TST), the 15N-Phe NMR resonances most affected were the same in each titration, suggesting that the two ligands ''contact'' the same phenylalanines within the active site of P450eryF. This finding is in agreement with X-ray crystal structures of bound P450eryF showing different ligands occupying similar active-site niches. Complex spectral behavior was additionally observed for a small collection of resonances in the TST titration, interpreted as multiple binding modes for the low-affinity TST molecule or multiple TST-bound P450eryF conformational substates. A structural and energetic model is

  18. Vertical Microbial Community Variability of Carbonate-based Cones may Provide Insight into Formation in the Rock Record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trivedi, C.; Bojanowski, C.; Daille, L. K.; Bradley, J.; Johnson, H.; Stamps, B. W.; Stevenson, B. S.; Berelson, W.; Corsetti, F. A.; Spear, J. R.

    2015-12-01

    Stromatolite morphogenesis is poorly understood, and the process by which microbial mats become mineralized is a primary question in microbialite formation. Ancient conical stromatolites are primarily carbonate-based whereas the few modern analogues in hot springs are either non-mineralized or mineralized by silica. A team from the 2015 International GeoBiology Course investigated carbonate-rich microbial cones from near Little Hot Creek (LHC), Long Valley Caldera, California, to investigate how conical stromatolites might form in a hot spring carbonate system. The cones are up to 3 cm tall and are found in a calm, ~45° C pool near LHC that is 4 times super-saturated with respect to CaCO3. The cones rise from a flat, layered microbial mat at the edge of the pool. Scanning electron microscopy revealed filamentous bacteria associated with calcite crystals within the cone tips. Preliminary 16S rRNA gene analysis indicated variability of community composition between different vertical levels of the cone. The cone tip had comparatively greater abundance of filamentous cyanobacteria (Leptolyngbya and Phormidium) and fewer heterotrophs (e.g. Chloroflexi) compared to the cone bottom. This supports the hypothesis that cone formation may depend on the differential abundance of the microbial community and their potential functional roles. Metagenomic analyses of the cones revealed potential genes related to chemotaxis and motility. Specifically, a genomic bin identified as a member of the genus Isosphaera contained an hmp chemotaxis operon implicated in gliding motility in the cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiforme [1]. Isosphaera is a Planctomycete shown to have phototactic capabilities [2], and may play a role in conjunction with cyanobacteria in the vertical formation of the cones. This analysis of actively growing cones indicates a complex interplay of geochemistry and microbiology that form structures which can serve as models for processes that occurred in the past and are

  19. The reconstruction of condition-specific transcriptional modules provides new insights in the evolution of yeast AP-1 proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christel Goudot

    Full Text Available AP-1 proteins are transcription factors (TFs that belong to the basic leucine zipper family, one of the largest families of TFs in eukaryotic cells. Despite high homology between their DNA binding domains, these proteins are able to recognize diverse DNA motifs. In yeasts, these motifs are referred as YRE (Yap Response Element and are either seven (YRE-Overlap or eight (YRE-Adjacent base pair long. It has been proposed that the AP-1 DNA binding motif preference relies on a single change in the amino acid sequence of the yeast AP-1 TFs (an arginine in the YRE-O binding factors being replaced by a lysine in the YRE-A binding Yaps. We developed a computational approach to infer condition-specific transcriptional modules associated to the orthologous AP-1 protein Yap1p, Cgap1p and Cap1p, in three yeast species: the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and two pathogenic species Candida glabrata and Candida albicans. Exploitation of these modules in terms of predictions of the protein/DNA regulatory interactions changed our vision of AP-1 protein evolution. Cis-regulatory motif analyses revealed the presence of a conserved adenine in 5' position of the canonical YRE sites. While Yap1p, Cgap1p and Cap1p shared a remarkably low number of target genes, an impressive conservation was observed in the YRE sequences identified by Yap1p and Cap1p. In Candida glabrata, we found that Cgap1p, unlike Yap1p and Cap1p, recognizes YRE-O and YRE-A motifs. These findings were supported by structural data available for the transcription factor Pap1p (Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Thus, whereas arginine and lysine substitutions in Cgap1p and Yap1p proteins were reported as responsible for a specific YRE-O or YRE-A preference, our analyses rather suggest that the ancestral yeast AP-1 protein could recognize both YRE-O and YRE-A motifs and that the arginine/lysine exchange is not the only determinant of the specialization of modern Yaps for one motif or another.

  20. NMR Studies of Ligand Binding to P450eryF Provides Insight into the Mechanism of Cooperativity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roberts, Arthur G.; Diaz, Maria D.; Lampe, Jed N.; Shireman, Laura; Grinstead, Jeffrey S.; Dabrowski, Michael J.; Pearson, Josh T.; Bowman, Michael K.; Atkins, William M.; Campbell, Ann P.

    2006-02-14

    Cytochrome P450’s (P450’s) catalyze the oxidative metabolism of most drugs and toxins. Although extensive studies have proven that some P450’s demonstrate both homotropic and heterotropic cooperativity toward a number of substrates, the mechanistic and molecular details of P450 allostery are still not well-established. Here, we use UV/vis and heteronuclear nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopic techniques to study the mechanism and thermodynamics of the binding of two 9-aminophenanthrene (9-AP) and testosterone (TST) molecules to the erythromycin-metabolizing bacterial P450eryF. UV/vis absorbance spectra of P450eryF demonstrated that binding occurs with apparent negative homotropic cooperativity for TST and positive homotropic cooperativity for 9-AP with Hill-equation-derived dissociation constants of KS ) 4 and 200 íM, respectively. The broadening and shifting observed in the 2D-{1H,15N}-HSQC-monitored titrations of 15N-Phe-labeled P450eryF with 9-AP and TST indicated binding on intermediate and fast chemical exhange time scales, respectively, which was consistent with the Hillequation- derived KS values for these two ligands. Regardless of the type of spectral perturbation observed (broadening for 9-AP and shifting for TST), the 15N-Phe NMR resonances most affected were the same in each titration, suggesting that the two ligands “contact” the same phenylalanines within the active site of P450eryF. This finding is in agreement with X-ray crystal structures of bound P450eryF showing different ligands occupying similar active-site niches. Complex spectral behavior was additionally observed for a small collection of resonances in the TST titration, interpreted as multiple binding modes for the lowaffinity TST molecule or multiple TST-bound P450eryF conformational substates. A structural and energetic model is presented that combines the energetics and structural aspects of 9-AP and TST binding derived from these observations.

  1. Alternating gender incongruity: a new neuropsychiatric syndrome providing insight into the dynamic plasticity of brain-sex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Case, Laura K; Ramachandran, Vilayanur S

    2012-05-01

    , which we are currently exploring. Second, we base our hypotheses on ancient and modern associations between the left and right hemispheres and the male and female genders. By providing a case of sharp brain-sex shifts within individuals, we believe that the study of AGI could prove illuminating to scientific understanding of gender, body representation, and the nature of self. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Optimization of Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation: Insights Gained from Clinically-Derived Computer Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jichao Zhao

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Atrial fibrillation (AF is the most common heart rhythm disturbance, and its treatment is an increasing economic burden on the health care system. Despite recent intense clinical, experimental and basic research activity, the treatment of AF with current antiarrhythmic drugs and catheter/surgical therapies remains limited. Radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA is widely used to treat patients with AF. Current clinical ablation strategies are largely based on atrial anatomy and/or substrate detected using different approaches, and they vary from one clinical center to another. The nature of clinical ablation leads to ambiguity regarding the optimal patient personalization of the therapy partly due to the fact that each empirical configuration of ablation lines made in a patient is irreversible during one ablation procedure. To investigate optimized ablation lesion line sets, in silico experimentation is an ideal solution. 3D computer models give us a unique advantage to plan and assess the effectiveness of different ablation strategies before and during RFCA. Reliability of in silico assessment is ensured by inclusion of accurate 3D atrial geometry, realistic fiber orientation, accurate fibrosis distribution and cellular kinetics; however, most of this detailed information in the current computer models is extrapolated from animal models and not from the human heart. The predictive power of computer models will increase as they are validated with human experimental and clinical data. To make the most from a computer model, one needs to develop 3D computer models based on the same functionally and structurally mapped intact human atria with high spatial resolution. The purpose of this review paper is to summarize recent developments in clinically-derived computer models and the clinical insights they provide for catheter ablation.

  3. Rock Burst Mechanics: Insight from Physical and Mathematical Modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Vacek

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Rock burst processes in mines are studied by many groups active in the field of geomechanics. Physical and mathematical modelling can be used to better understand the phenomena and mechanisms involved in the bursts. In the present paper we describe both physical and mathematical models of a rock burst occurring in a gallery of a coal mine.For rock bursts (also called bumps to occur, the rock has to possess certain particular rock burst properties leading to accumulation of energy and the potential to release this energy. Such materials may be brittle, or the rock burst may arise at the interfacial zones of two parts of the rock, which have principally different material properties (e.g. in the Poíbram uranium mines.The solution is based on experimental and mathematical modelling. These two methods have to allow the problem to be studied on the basis of three presumptions:· the solution must be time dependent,· the solution must allow the creation of cracks in the rock mass,· the solution must allow an extrusion of rock into an open space (bump effect. 

  4. Cardiac disease and arrhythmogenesis: Mechanistic insights from mouse models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lois Choy

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The mouse is the second mammalian species, after the human, in which substantial amount of the genomic information has been analyzed. With advances in transgenic technology, mutagenesis is now much easier to carry out in mice. Consequently, an increasing number of transgenic mouse systems have been generated for the study of cardiac arrhythmias in ion channelopathies and cardiomyopathies. Mouse hearts are also amenable to physical manipulation such as coronary artery ligation and transverse aortic constriction to induce heart failure, radiofrequency ablation of the AV node to model complete AV block and even implantation of a miniature pacemaker to induce cardiac dyssynchrony. Last but not least, pharmacological models, despite being simplistic, have enabled us to understand the physiological mechanisms of arrhythmias and evaluate the anti-arrhythmic properties of experimental agents, such as gap junction modulators, that may be exert therapeutic effects in other cardiac diseases. In this article, we examine these in turn, demonstrating that primary inherited arrhythmic syndromes are now recognized to be more complex than abnormality in a particular ion channel, involving alterations in gene expression and structural remodelling. Conversely, in cardiomyopathies and heart failure, mutations in ion channels and proteins have been identified as underlying causes, and electrophysiological remodelling are recognized pathological features. Transgenic techniques causing mutagenesis in mice are extremely powerful in dissecting the relative contributions of different genes play in producing disease phenotypes. Mouse models can serve as useful systems in which to explore how protein defects contribute to arrhythmias and direct future therapy.

  5. Contemporary Phage Biology: From Classic Models to New Insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ofir, Gal; Sorek, Rotem

    2018-03-08

    Bacteriophages, discovered about a century ago, have been pivotal as models for understanding the fundamental principles of molecular biology. While interest in phage biology declined after the phage "golden era," key recent developments, including advances in phage genomics, microscopy, and the discovery of the CRISPR-Cas anti-phage defense system, have sparked a renaissance in phage research in the past decade. This review highlights recently discovered unexpected complexities in phage biology, describes a new arsenal of phage genes that help them overcome bacterial defenses, and discusses advances toward documentation of the phage biodiversity on a global scale. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Subduction initiation and Obduction: insights from analog models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agard, P.; Zuo, X.; Funiciello, F.; Bellahsen, N.; Faccenna, C.; Savva, D.

    2013-12-01

    Subduction initiation and obduction are two poorly constrained geodynamic processes which are interrelated in a number of natural settings. Subduction initiation can be viewed as the result of a regional-scale change in plate convergence partitioning between the set of existing subduction (and collision or obduction) zones worldwide. Intraoceanic subduction initiation may also ultimately lead to obduction of dense oceanic "ophiolites" atop light continental plates. A classic example is the short-lived Peri-Arabic obduction, which took place along thousands of km almost synchronously (within ~5-10 myr), from Turkey to Oman, while the subduction zone beneath Eurasia became temporarily jammed. We herein present analog models designed to study both processes and more specifically (1) subduction initiation through the partitioning of deformation between two convergent zones (a preexisting and a potential one) and, as a consequence, (2) the possible development of obduction, which has so far never been modeled. These models explore the mechanisms of subduction initiation and obduction and test various triggering hypotheses (i.e., plate acceleration, slab crossing the 660 km discontinuity, ridge subduction; Agard et al., 2007). The experimental setup comprises an upper mantle modelled as a low-viscosity transparent Newtonian glucose syrup filling a rigid Plexiglas tank and high-viscosity silicone plates. Convergence is simulated by pushing on a piston at one end of the model with plate tectonics like velocities (1-10 cm/yr) onto (i) a continental margin, (ii) a weakness zone with variable resistance and dip (W), (iii) an oceanic plate - with or without a spreading ridge, (iv) a subduction zone (S) dipping away from the piston and (v) an upper active continental margin, below which the oceanic plate is being subducted at the start of the experiment (as for the Oman case). Several configurations were tested over thirty-five parametric experiments. Special emphasis was

  7. Genomic insights from the oleaginous model alga Nannochloropsis gaditana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jinkerson, Robert E; Radakovits, Randor; Posewitz, Matthew C

    2013-01-01

    Nannochloropsis species have emerged as leading phototrophic microorganisms for the production of biofuels. Several isolates produce large quantities of triacylglycerols, grow rapidly, and can be cultivated at industrial scales. Recently, the mitochondrial, plastid and nuclear genomes of Nannochloropsis gaditana were sequenced. Genomic interrogation revealed several key features that likely facilitate the oleaginous phenotype observed in Nannochloropsis, including an over-representation of genes involved in lipid biosynthesis. Here we present additional analyses on gene orientation, vitamin B12 requiring enzymes, the acetyl-CoA metabolic node, and codon usage in N. gaditana. Nuclear genome transformation methods are established with exogenous DNA integration occurring via either random incorporation or by homologous recombination, making Nannochloropsis amenable to both forward and reverse genetic engineering. Completion of a draft genomic sequence, establishment of transformation techniques, and robust outdoor growth properties have positioned Nannochloropsis as a new model alga with significant potential for further development into an integrated photons-to-fuel production platform.

  8. Strabismus and the Oculomotor System: Insights from Macaque Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Vallabh E.

    2017-01-01

    Disrupting binocular vision in infancy leads to strabismus and oftentimes to a variety of associated visual sensory deficits and oculomotor abnormalities. Investigation of this disorder has been aided by the development of various animal models, each of which has advantages and disadvantages. In comparison to studies of binocular visual responses in cortical structures, investigations of neural oculomotor structures that mediate the misalignment and abnormalities of eye movements have been more recent, and these studies have shown that different brain areas are intimately involved in driving several aspects of the strabismic condition, including horizontal misalignment, dissociated deviations, A and V patterns of strabismus, disconjugate eye movements, nystagmus, and fixation switch. The responses of cells in visual and oculomotor areas that potentially drive the sensory deficits and also eye alignment and eye movement abnormalities follow a general theme of disrupted calibration, lower sensitivity, and poorer specificity compared with the normally developed visual oculomotor system. PMID:28532347

  9. New insights on geomagnetic storms from observations and modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jordanova, Vania K [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2009-01-01

    Understanding the response at Earth of the Sun's varying energy output and forecasting geomagnetic activity is of central interest to space science, since intense geomagnetic storms may cause severe damages on technological systems and affect communications. Episodes of southward (Bzmodel (RAM), and investigate the mechanisms responsible for trapping particles and for causing their loss. We find that periods of increased magnetospheric convection coinciding with enhancements of plasma sheet density are needed for strong ring current buildup. During the HSS-driven storm the convection potential is highly variable and causes small sporadic injections into the ring current. The long period of enhanced convection during the CME-driven storm causes a continuous ring current injection penetrating to lower L shells and stronger ring current buildup.

  10. Defective membrane remodeling in neuromuscular diseases: insights from animal models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belinda S Cowling

    Full Text Available Proteins involved in membrane remodeling play an essential role in a plethora of cell functions including endocytosis and intracellular transport. Defects in several of them lead to human diseases. Myotubularins, amphiphysins, and dynamins are all proteins implicated in membrane trafficking and/or remodeling. Mutations in myotubularin, amphiphysin 2 (BIN1, and dynamin 2 lead to different forms of centronuclear myopathy, while mutations in myotubularin-related proteins cause Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathies. In addition to centronuclear myopathy, dynamin 2 is also mutated in a dominant form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy. While several proteins from these different families are implicated in similar diseases, mutations in close homologues or in the same protein in the case of dynamin 2 lead to diseases affecting different tissues. This suggests (1 a common molecular pathway underlying these different neuromuscular diseases, and (2 tissue-specific regulation of these proteins. This review discusses the pathophysiology of the related neuromuscular diseases on the basis of animal models developed for proteins of the myotubularin, amphiphysin, and dynamin families. A better understanding of the common mechanisms between these neuromuscular disorders will lead to more specific health care and therapeutic approaches.

  11. IR sensor design insight from missile-plume prediction models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapanotti, John L.; Gilbert, Bruno; Richer, Guy; Stowe, Robert

    2002-08-01

    Modern anti-tank missiles and the requirement of rapid deployment have significantly reduced the use of passive armour in protecting land vehicles. Vehicle survivability is becoming more dependent on sensors, computers and countermeasures to detect and avoid threats. An analysis of missile propellants suggests that missile detection based on plume characteristics alone may be more difficult than anticipated. Currently, the passive detection of missiles depends on signatures with a significant ultraviolet component. This approach is effective in detecting anti-aircraft missiles that rely on powerful motors to pursue high-speed aircraft. The high temperature exhaust from these missiles contains significant levels of carbon dioxide, water and, often, metal oxides such as alumina. The plumes emits strongest in the infrared, 1 to 5micrometers , regions with a significant component of the signature extending into the ultraviolet domain. Many anti-tank missiles do not need the same level of propulsion and radiate significantly less. These low velocity missiles, relying on the destructive force of shaped-charge warhead, are more difficult to detect. There is virtually no ultraviolet component and detection based on UV sensors is impractical. The transition in missile detection from UV to IR is reasonable, based on trends in imaging technology, but from the analysis presented in this paper even IR imagers may have difficulty in detecting missile plumes. This suggests that the emphasis should be placed in the detection of the missile hard body in the longer wavelengths of 8 to 12micrometers . The analysis described in this paper is based on solution of the governing equations of plume physics and chemistry. These models will be used to develop better sensors and threat detection algorithms.

  12. Comparative Study of Lectin Domains in Model Species: New Insights into Evolutionary Dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofie Van Holle

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Lectins are present throughout the plant kingdom and are reported to be involved in diverse biological processes. In this study, we provide a comparative analysis of the lectin families from model species in a phylogenetic framework. The analysis focuses on the different plant lectin domains identified in five representative core angiosperm genomes (Arabidopsis thaliana, Glycine max, Cucumis sativus, Oryza sativa ssp. japonica and Oryza sativa ssp. indica. The genomes were screened for genes encoding lectin domains using a combination of Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST, hidden Markov models, and InterProScan analysis. Additionally, phylogenetic relationships were investigated by constructing maximum likelihood phylogenetic trees. The results demonstrate that the majority of the lectin families are present in each of the species under study. Domain organization analysis showed that most identified proteins are multi-domain proteins, owing to the modular rearrangement of protein domains during evolution. Most of these multi-domain proteins are widespread, while others display a lineage-specific distribution. Furthermore, the phylogenetic analyses reveal that some lectin families evolved to be similar to the phylogeny of the plant species, while others share a closer evolutionary history based on the corresponding protein domain architecture. Our results yield insights into the evolutionary relationships and functional divergence of plant lectins.

  13. Policy insights from the nutritional food market transformation model: the case of obesity prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Struben, Jeroen; Chan, Derek; Dubé, Laurette

    2014-12-01

    This paper presents a system dynamics policy model of nutritional food market transformation, tracing over-time interactions between the nutritional quality of supply, consumer food choice, population health, and governmental policy. Applied to the Canadian context and with body mass index as the primary outcome, we examine policy portfolios for obesity prevention, including (1) industry self-regulation efforts, (2) health- and nutrition-sensitive governmental policy, and (3) efforts to foster health- and nutrition-sensitive innovation. This work provides novel theoretical and practical insights on drivers of nutritional market transformations, highlighting the importance of integrative policy portfolios to simultaneously shift food demand and supply for successful and self-sustaining nutrition and health sensitivity. We discuss model extensions for deeper and more comprehensive linkages of nutritional food market transformation with supply, demand, and policy in agrifood and health/health care. These aim toward system design and policy that can proactively, and with greater impact, scale, and resilience, address single as well as double malnutrition in varying country settings. © 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.

  14. Transcriptomes and expression profiling of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea provide insight into the biology of azooxanthellate corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yum, Lauren K; Baumgarten, Sebastian; Röthig, Till; Roder, Cornelia; Roik, Anna; Michell, Craig; Voolstra, Christian R

    2017-07-25

    Despite the importance of deep-sea corals, our current understanding of their ecology and evolution is limited due to difficulties in sampling and studying deep-sea environments. Moreover, a recent re-evaluation of habitat limitations has been suggested after characterization of deep-sea corals in the Red Sea, where they live at temperatures of above 20 °C at low oxygen concentrations. To gain further insight into the biology of deep-sea corals, we produced reference transcriptomes and studied gene expression of three deep-sea coral species from the Red Sea, i.e. Dendrophyllia sp., Eguchipsammia fistula, and Rhizotrochus typus. Our analyses suggest that deep-sea coral employ mitochondrial hypometabolism and anaerobic glycolysis to manage low oxygen conditions present in the Red Sea. Notably, we found expression of genes related to surface cilia motion that presumably enhance small particle transport rates in the oligotrophic deep-sea environment. This is the first study to characterize transcriptomes and in situ gene expression for deep-sea corals. Our work offers several mechanisms by which deep-sea corals might cope with the distinct environmental conditions present in the Red Sea As such, our data provide direction for future research and further insight to organismal response of deep-sea coral to environmental change and ocean warming.

  15. Transcriptomes and expression profiling of deep-sea corals from the Red Sea provide insight into the biology of azooxanthellate corals

    KAUST Repository

    Yum, Lauren

    2017-07-19

    Despite the importance of deep-sea corals, our current understanding of their ecology and evolution is limited due to difficulties in sampling and studying deep-sea environments. Moreover, a recent re-evaluation of habitat limitations has been suggested after characterization of deep-sea corals in the Red Sea, where they live at temperatures of above 20 °C at low oxygen concentrations. To gain further insight into the biology of deep-sea corals, we produced reference transcriptomes and studied gene expression of three deep-sea coral species from the Red Sea, i.e. Dendrophyllia sp., Eguchipsammia fistula, and Rhizotrochus typus. Our analyses suggest that deep-sea coral employ mitochondrial hypometabolism and anaerobic glycolysis to manage low oxygen conditions present in the Red Sea. Notably, we found expression of genes related to surface cilia motion that presumably enhance small particle transport rates in the oligotrophic deep-sea environment. This is the first study to characterize transcriptomes and in situ gene expression for deep-sea corals. Our work offers several mechanisms by which deep-sea corals might cope with the distinct environmental conditions present in the Red Sea As such, our data provide direction for future research and further insight to organismal response of deep-sea coral to environmental change and ocean warming.

  16. On the Modelling of Biological Patterns with Mechanochemical Models: Insights from Analysis and Computation

    KAUST Repository

    Moreo, P.

    2009-11-14

    The diversity of biological form is generated by a relatively small number of underlying mechanisms. Consequently, mathematical and computational modelling can, and does, provide insight into how cellular level interactions ultimately give rise to higher level structure. Given cells respond to mechanical stimuli, it is therefore important to consider the effects of these responses within biological self-organisation models. Here, we consider the self-organisation properties of a mechanochemical model previously developed by three of the authors in Acta Biomater. 4, 613-621 (2008), which is capable of reproducing the behaviour of a population of cells cultured on an elastic substrate in response to a variety of stimuli. In particular, we examine the conditions under which stable spatial patterns can emerge with this model, focusing on the influence of mechanical stimuli and the interplay of non-local phenomena. To this end, we have performed a linear stability analysis and numerical simulations based on a mixed finite element formulation, which have allowed us to study the dynamical behaviour of the system in terms of the qualitative shape of the dispersion relation. We show that the consideration of mechanotaxis, namely changes in migration speeds and directions in response to mechanical stimuli alters the conditions for pattern formation in a singular manner. Furthermore without non-local effects, responses to mechanical stimuli are observed to result in dispersion relations with positive growth rates at arbitrarily large wavenumbers, in turn yielding heterogeneity at the cellular level in model predictions. This highlights the sensitivity and necessity of non-local effects in mechanically influenced biological pattern formation models and the ultimate failure of the continuum approximation in their absence. © 2009 Society for Mathematical Biology.

  17. Social deprivation and burden of influenza: Testing hypotheses and gaining insights from a simulation model for the spread of influenza

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayaz Hyder

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Factors associated with the burden of influenza among vulnerable populations have mainly been identified using statistical methodologies. Complex simulation models provide mechanistic explanations, in terms of spatial heterogeneity and contact rates, while controlling other factors and may be used to better understand statistical patterns and, ultimately, design optimal population-level interventions. We extended a sophisticated simulation model, which was applied to forecast epidemics and validated for predictive ability, to identify mechanisms for the empirical relationship between social deprivation and the burden of influenza. Our modeled scenarios and associated epidemic metrics systematically assessed whether neighborhood composition and/or spatial arrangement could qualitatively replicate this empirical relationship. We further used the model to determine consequences of local-scale heterogeneities on larger scale disease spread. Our findings indicated that both neighborhood composition and spatial arrangement were critical to qualitatively match the empirical relationship of interest. Also, when social deprivation was fully included in the model, we observed lower age-based attack rates and greater delay in epidemic peak week in the most socially deprived neighborhoods. Insights from simulation models complement current understandings from statistical-based association studies. Additional insights from our study are: (1 heterogeneous spatial arrangement of neighborhoods is a necessary condition for simulating observed disparities in the burden of influenza and (2 unmeasured factors may lead to a better quantitative match between simulated and observed rate ratio in the burden of influenza between the most and least socially deprived populations.

  18. Sources of Sahelian-Sudan moisture: Insights from a moisture-tracing atmospheric model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salih, Abubakr A. M.; Zhang, Qiong; Pausata, Francesco S. R.; Tjernström, Michael

    2016-07-01

    The summer rainfall across Sahelian-Sudan is one of the main sources of water for agriculture, human, and animal needs. However, the rainfall is characterized by large interannual variability, which has attracted extensive scientific efforts to understand it. This study attempts to identify the source regions that contribute to the Sahelian-Sudan moisture budget during July through September. We have used an atmospheric general circulation model with an embedded moisture-tracing module (Community Atmosphere Model version 3), forced by observed (1979-2013) sea-surface temperatures. The result suggests that about 40% of the moisture comes with the moisture flow associated with the seasonal migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and originates from Guinea Coast, central Africa, and the Western Sahel. The Mediterranean Sea, Arabian Peninsula, and South Indian Ocean regions account for 10.2%, 8.1%, and 6.4%, respectively. Local evaporation and the rest of the globe supply the region with 20.3% and 13.2%, respectively. We also compared the result from this study to a previous analysis that used the Lagrangian model FLEXPART forced by ERA-Interim. The two approaches differ when comparing individual regions, but are in better agreement when neighboring regions of similar atmospheric flow features are grouped together. Interannual variability with the rainfall over the region is highly correlated with contributions from regions that are associated with the ITCZ movement, which is in turn linked to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. Our result is expected to provide insights for the effort on seasonal forecasting of the rainy season over Sahelian Sudan.

  19. Structural insights into high density lipoprotein: Old models and new facts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentin eGogonea

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The physiological link between circulating high density lipoprotein (HDL levels and cardiovascular disease is well documented, albeit its intricacies are not well understood. An improved appreciation of HDL function and overall role in vascular health and disease requires at its foundation a better understanding of the lipoprotein's molecular structure, its formation, and its process of maturation through interactions with various plasma enzymes and cell receptors that intervene along the pathway of reverse cholesterol transport. This review focuses on summarizing recent developments in the field of lipid free apoA-I and HDL structure, with emphasis on new insights revealed by newly published nascent and spherical HDL models constructed by combining low resolution structures obtained from small angle neutron scattering (SANS with contrast variation and geometrical constraints derived from hydrogen-deuterium exchange (HDX, crosslinking mass spectrometry, electron microscopy, Förster resonance energy transfer, and electron spin resonance. Recently published low resolution structures of nascent and spherical HDL obtained from SANS with contrast variation and isotopic labeling of apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I will be critically reviewed and discussed in terms of how they accommodate existing biophysical structural data from alternative approaches. The new low resolution structures revealed and also provided some answers to long standing questions concerning lipid organization and particle maturation of lipoproteins. The review will discuss the merits of newly proposed SANS based all atom models for nascent and spherical HDL, and compare them with accepted models. Finally, naturally occurring and bioengineered mutations in apoA-I, and their impact on HDL phenotype, are reviewed and discuss together with new therapeutics employed for restoring HDL function.

  20. An optimisation approach for capacity planning: modelling insights and empirical findings from a tactical perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andréa Nunes Carvalho

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The academic literature presents a research-practice gap on the application of decision support tools to address tactical planning problems in real-world organisations. This paper addresses this gap and extends a previous action research relative to an optimisation model applied for tactical capacity planning in an engineer-to-order industrial setting. The issues discussed herein raise new insights to better understand the practical results that can be achieved through the proposed model. The topics presented include the modelling of objectives, the representation of the production process and the costing approach, as well as findings regarding managerial decisions and the scope of action considered. These insights may inspire ideas to academics and practitioners when developing tools for capacity planning problems in similar contexts.

  1. Insights about data assimilation frameworks for integrating GRACE with hydrological models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumacher, Maike; Kusche, Jürgen; Van Dijk, Albert I. J. M.; Döll, Petra; Schuh, Wolf-Dieter

    2016-04-01

    Improving the understanding of changes in the water cycle represents a challenging objective that requires merging information from various disciplines. Debates exist on selecting an appropriate assimilation technique to integrate GRACE-derived terrestrial water storage changes (TWSC) into hydrological models in order to downscale and disaggregate GRACE TWSC, overcome model limitations, and improve monitoring and forecast skills. Yet, the effect of the specific data assimilation technique in conjunction with ill-conditioning, colored noise, resolution mismatch between GRACE and model, and other complications is still unclear. Due to its simplicity, ensemble Kalman filters or smoothers (EnKF/S) are often applied. In this study, we show that modification of the filter approach might open new avenues to improve the integration process. Particularly, we discuss an improved calibration and data assimilation (C/DA) framework (Schumacher et al., 2016), which is based on the EnKF and was extended by the square root analysis scheme (SQRA) and the singular evolutive interpolated Kalman (SEIK) filter. In addition, we discuss an off-line data blending approach (Van Dijk et al., 2014) that offers the chance to merge multi-model ensembles with GRACE observations. The investigations include: (i) a theoretical comparison, focusing on similarities and differences of the conceptual formulation of the filter algorithms, (ii) a practical comparison, for which the approaches were applied to an ensemble of runs of the WaterGAP Global Hydrology Model (WGHM), as well as (iii) an impact assessment of the GRACE error structure on C/DA results. First, a synthetic experiment over the Mississippi River Basin (USA) was used to gain insights about the C/DA set-up before applying it to real data. The results indicated promising performances when considering alternative methods, e.g. applying the SEIK algorithm improved the correlation coefficient and root mean square error (RMSE) of TWSC by 0

  2. Dilatant normal faulting in jointed cohesive rocks: insights from physical modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kettermann, Michael; von Hagke, Christoph; Urai, Janos

    2016-04-01

    Dilatant faults often form in rocks containing pre-existing joints, but the effects of joints on fault segment linkage and fracture connectivity is not well understood. Studying evolution of dilatancy and influence of fractures on fault development provides insights on geometry of fault zones in brittle rocks and eventually allows for predicting their subsurface appearance. We assess the evolution of dilatant faults in fractured rocks using analogue models with cohesive powder. The upper layer contains pre-formed joint sets, and we vary the angle between joints and a rigid basement fault in our experiments. Analogue models were carried out in a manually driven deformation box (30x28x20 cm) with a 60° dipping pre-defined basement fault and 4.5 cm of displacement. To produce open joints prior to faulting, sheets of paper were mounted in the box to a depth of 5 cm at a spacing of 2.5 cm. Powder was then sieved into the box, embedding the paper almost entirely (column height of 19 cm), and the paper was removed. We tested the influence of different angles between the strike of the basement fault and the joint set (joint fault (JF) angles of 0°, 4°, 8°, 12°, 16°, 20°, and 25°). During deformation we captured structural information by time-lapse photography that allows particle imaging velocimetry analyses (PIV) to detect localized deformation at every increment of displacement. Post-mortem photogrammetry preserves the final 3-dimensional structure of the fault zone. Results show robust structural features in models: damage zone width increases by about 50 % and the number of secondary fractures within this zone by more than 100 % with increasing JF-angle. Interestingly, the map-view area fraction of open gaps increases by only 3%. Secondary joints and fault step-overs are oriented at a high angle to the primary joint orientation. Due to the length of the pre-existing open joints, areas far beyond the fractured regions are connected to the system. In contrast

  3. New Paradigms for the Study of Ocular Alphaherpesvirus Infections: Insights into the Use of Non-Traditional Host Model Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew R. Pennington

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Ocular herpesviruses, most notably human alphaherpesvirus 1 (HSV-1, canid alphaherpesvirus 1 (CHV-1 and felid alphaherpesvirus 1 (FHV-1, infect and cause severe disease that may lead to blindness. CHV-1 and FHV-1 have a pathogenesis and induce clinical disease in their hosts that is similar to HSV-1 ocular infections in humans, suggesting that infection of dogs and cats with CHV-1 and FHV-1, respectively, can be used as a comparative natural host model of herpesvirus-induced ocular disease. In this review, we discuss both strengths and limitations of the various available model systems to study ocular herpesvirus infection, with a focus on the use of these non-traditional virus-natural host models. Recent work has demonstrated the robustness and reproducibility of experimental ocular herpesvirus infections in dogs and cats, and, therefore, these non-traditional models can provide additional insights into the pathogenesis of ocular herpesvirus infections.

  4. A high-quality genome assembly of quinoa provides insights into the molecular basis of salt bladder-based salinity tolerance and the exceptional nutritional value

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Changsong; Chen, Aojun; Xiao, Lihong; Muller, Heike M; Ache, Peter; Haberer, Georg; Zhang, Meiling; Jia, Wei; Deng, Ping; Huang, Ru; Lang, Daniel; Li, Feng; Zhan, Dongliang; Wu, Xiangyun; Zhang, Hui; Bohm, Jennifer; Liu, Renyi; Shabala, Sergey; Hedrich, Rainer; Zhu, Jian-Kang; Zhang, Heng

    2017-01-01

    Chenopodium quinoa is a halophytic pseudocereal crop that is being cultivated in an ever-growing number of countries. Because quinoa is highly resistant to multiple abiotic stresses and its seed has a better nutritional value than any other major cereals, it is regarded as a future crop to ensure global food security. We generated a high-quality genome draft using an inbred line of the quinoa cultivar Real. The quinoa genome experienced one recent genome duplication about 4.3 million years ago, likely reflecting the genome fusion of two Chenopodium parents, in addition to the γ paleohexaploidization reported for most eudicots. The genome is highly repetitive (64.5% repeat content) and contains 54 438 protein-coding genes and 192 microRNA genes, with more than 99.3% having orthologous genes from glycophylic species. Stress tolerance in quinoa is associated with the expansion of genes involved in ion and nutrient transport, ABA homeostasis and signaling, and enhanced basal-level ABA responses. Epidermal salt bladder cells exhibit similar characteristics as trichomes, with a significantly higher expression of genes related to energy import and ABA biosynthesis compared with the leaf lamina. The quinoa genome sequence provides insights into its exceptional nutritional value and the evolution of halophytes, enabling the identification of genes involved in salinity tolerance, and providing the basis for molecular breeding in quinoa. PMID:28994416

  5. Underperformance of African protected area networks and the case for new conservation models: insights from Zambia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsey, Peter A; Nyirenda, Vincent R; Barnes, Jonathan I; Becker, Matthew S; McRobb, Rachel; Tambling, Craig J; Taylor, W Andrew; Watson, Frederick G; t'Sas-Rolfes, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Many African protected areas (PAs) are not functioning effectively. We reviewed the performance of Zambia's PA network and provide insights into how their effectiveness might be improved. Zambia's PAs are under-performing in ecological, economic and social terms. Reasons include: a) rapidly expanding human populations, poverty and open-access systems in Game Management Areas (GMAs) resulting in widespread bushmeat poaching and habitat encroachment; b) underfunding of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) resulting in inadequate law enforcement; c) reliance of ZAWA on extracting revenues from GMAs to cover operational costs which has prevented proper devolution of user-rights over wildlife to communities; d) on-going marginalization of communities from legal benefits from wildlife; e) under-development of the photo-tourism industry with the effect that earnings are limited to a fraction of the PA network; f) unfavourable terms and corruption which discourage good practice and adequate investment by hunting operators in GMAs; g) blurred responsibilities regarding anti-poaching in GMAs resulting in under-investment by all stakeholders. The combined effect of these challenges has been a major reduction in wildlife densities in most PAs and the loss of habitat in GMAs. Wildlife fares better in areas with investment from the private and/or NGO sector and where human settlement is absent. There is a need for: elevated government funding for ZAWA; greater international donor investment in protected area management; a shift in the role of ZAWA such that they focus primarily on national parks while facilitating the development of wildlife-based land uses by other stakeholders elsewhere; and new models for the functioning of GMAs based on joint-ventures between communities and the private and/or NGO sector. Such joint-ventures should provide defined communities with ownership of land, user-rights over wildlife and aim to attract long-term private/donor investment. These

  6. What's statistical about learning? Insights from modelling statistical learning as a set of memory processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiessen, Erik D

    2017-01-05

    Statistical learning has been studied in a variety of different tasks, including word segmentation, object identification, category learning, artificial grammar learning and serial reaction time tasks (e.g. Saffran et al. 1996 Science 274: , 1926-1928; Orban et al. 2008 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105: , 2745-2750; Thiessen & Yee 2010 Child Development 81: , 1287-1303; Saffran 2002 Journal of Memory and Language 47: , 172-196; Misyak & Christiansen 2012 Language Learning 62: , 302-331). The difference among these tasks raises questions about whether they all depend on the same kinds of underlying processes and computations, or whether they are tapping into different underlying mechanisms. Prior theoretical approaches to statistical learning have often tried to explain or model learning in a single task. However, in many cases these approaches appear inadequate to explain performance in multiple tasks. For example, explaining word segmentation via the computation of sequential statistics (such as transitional probability) provides little insight into the nature of sensitivity to regularities among simultaneously presented features. In this article, we will present a formal computational approach that we believe is a good candidate to provide a unifying framework to explore and explain learning in a wide variety of statistical learning tasks. This framework suggests that statistical learning arises from a set of processes that are inherent in memory systems, including activation, interference, integration of information and forgetting (e.g. Perruchet & Vinter 1998 Journal of Memory and Language 39: , 246-263; Thiessen et al. 2013 Psychological Bulletin 139: , 792-814). From this perspective, statistical learning does not involve explicit computation of statistics, but rather the extraction of elements of the input into memory traces, and subsequent integration across those memory traces that emphasize consistent information (Thiessen and Pavlik

  7. Pan-genomic and transcriptomic analyses of Leuconostoc mesenteroides provide insights into its genomic and metabolic features and roles in kimchi fermentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, Byung Hee; Kim, Kyung Hyun; Jeon, Hye Hee; Lee, Se Hee; Jeon, Che Ok

    2017-09-14

    The genomic and metabolic features of Leuconostoc (Leu) mesenteroides were investigated through pan-genomic and transcriptomic analyses. Relatedness analysis of 17 Leu. mesenteroides strains available in GenBank based on 16S rRNA gene sequence, average nucleotide identity, in silico DNA-DNA hybridization, molecular phenotype, and core-genome indicated that Leu. mesenteroides has been separated into different phylogenetic lineages. Pan-genome of Leu. mesenteroides strains, consisting of 999 genes in core-genome, 1,432 genes in accessory-genome, and 754 genes in unique genome, and their COG and KEGG analyses showed that Leu. mesenteroides harbors strain-specifically diverse metabolisms, probably representing high evolutionary genome changes. The reconstruction of fermentative metabolic pathways for Leu. mesenteroides strains showed that Leu. mesenteroides produces various metabolites such as lactate, ethanol, acetate, CO 2 , mannitol, diacetyl, acetoin, and 2,3-butanediol through an obligate heterolactic fermentation from various carbohydrates. Fermentative metabolic features of Leu. mesenteroides during kimchi fermentation were investigated through transcriptional analyses for the KEGG pathways and reconstructed metabolic pathways of Leu. mesenteroides using kimchi metatranscriptomic data. This was the first study to investigate the genomic and metabolic features of Leu. mesenteroides through pan-genomic and metatranscriptomic analyses, and may provide insights into its genomic and metabolic features and a better understanding of kimchi fermentations by Leu. mesenteroides.

  8. Whole genome sequencing of a banana wild relative Musa itinerans provides insights into lineage-specific diversification of the Musa genus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wei; Yang, Yu-Lan; He, Wei-Ming; Rouard, Mathieu; Li, Wei-Ming; Xu, Meng; Roux, Nicolas; Ge, Xue-Jun

    2016-08-17

    Crop wild relatives are valuable resources for future genetic improvement. Here, we report the de novo genome assembly of Musa itinerans, a disease-resistant wild banana relative in subtropical China. The assembled genome size was 462.1 Mb, covering 75.2% of the genome (615.2Mb) and containing 32, 456 predicted protein-coding genes. Since the approximate divergence around 5.8 million years ago, the genomes of Musa itinerans and Musa acuminata have shown conserved collinearity. Gene family expansions and contractions enrichment analysis revealed that some pathways were associated with phenotypic or physiological innovations. These include a transition from wood to herbaceous in the ancestral Musaceae, intensification of cold and drought tolerances, and reduced diseases resistance genes for subtropical marginally distributed Musa species. Prevalent purifying selection and transposed duplications were found to facilitate the diversification of NBS-encoding gene families for two Musa species. The population genome history analysis of M. itinerans revealed that the fluctuated population sizes were caused by the Pleistocene climate oscillations, and that the formation of Qiongzhou Strait might facilitate the population downsizing on the isolated Hainan Island about 10.3 Kya. The qualified assembly of the M. itinerans genome provides deep insights into the lineage-specific diversification and also valuable resources for future banana breeding.

  9. iTRAQ and RNA-Seq Analyses Provide New Insights into Regulation Mechanism of Symbiotic Germination of Dendrobium officinale Seeds (Orchidaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Juan; Liu, Si Si; Kohler, Annegret; Yan, Bo; Luo, Hong Mei; Chen, Xiao Mei; Guo, Shun Xing

    2017-06-02

    Mycorrhizal fungi colonize orchid seeds and induce germination. This so-called symbiotic germination is a critical developmental process in the lifecycle of all orchid species. However, the molecular changes that occur during orchid seed symbiotic germination remain largely unknown. To better understand the molecular mechanism of orchid seed germination, we performed a comparative transcriptomic and proteomic analysis of the Chinese traditional medicinal orchid Dendrobium officinale to explore the change in protein expression at the different developmental stages during asymbiotic and symbiotic germination and identify the key proteins that regulate the symbiotic germination of orchid seeds. Among 2256 identified plant proteins, 308 were differentially expressed across three developmental stages during asymbiotic and symbiotic germination, and 229 were differentially expressed during symbiotic germination compared to asymbiotic development. Of these, 32 proteins were coup-regulated at both the proteomic and transcriptomic levels during symbiotic germination compared to asymbiotic germination. Our results suggest that symbiotic germination of D. officinale seeds shares a common signaling pathway with asymbiotic germination during the early germination stage. However, compared to asymbiotic germination, fungal colonization of orchid seeds appears to induce higher and earlier expression of some key proteins involved in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and thus improves the efficiency of utilization of stored substances present in the embryo. This study provides new insight into the molecular basis of orchid seed germination.

  10. Brucella melitensis global gene expression study provides novel information on growth phase-specific gene regulation with potential insights for understanding Brucella:host initial interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garner Harold R

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Brucella spp. are the etiological agents of brucellosis, a zoonotic infectious disease that causes abortion in animals and chronic debilitating illness in humans. Natural Brucella infections occur primarily through an incompletely defined mechanism of adhesion to and penetration of mucosal epithelium. In this study, we characterized changes in genome-wide transcript abundance of the most and the least invasive growth phases of B. melitensis cultures to HeLa cells, as a preliminary approach for identifying candidate pathogen genes involved in invasion of epithelial cells. Results B. melitensis at the late logarithmic phase of growth are more invasive to HeLa cells than mid-logarithmic or stationary growth phases. Microarray analysis of B. melitensis gene expression identified 414 up- and 40 down-regulated genes in late-log growth phase (the most invasive culture compared to the stationary growth phase (the least invasive culture. As expected, the majority of up-regulated genes in late-log phase cultures were those associated with growth, including DNA replication, transcription, translation, intermediate metabolism, energy production and conversion, membrane transport, and biogenesis of the cell envelope and outer membrane; while the down-regulated genes were distributed among several functional categories. Conclusion This Brucella global expression profile study provides novel information on growth phase-specific gene expression. Further characterization of some genes found differentially expressed in the most invasive culture will likely bring new insights into the initial molecular interactions between Brucella and its host.

  11. Tri-split tRNA is a transfer RNA made from 3 transcripts that provides insight into the evolution of fragmented tRNAs in archaea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujishima, Kosuke; Sugahara, Junichi; Kikuta, Kaoru; Hirano, Reiko; Sato, Asako; Tomita, Masaru; Kanai, Akio

    2009-02-24

    Transfer RNA (tRNA) is essential for decoding the genome sequence into proteins. In Archaea, previous studies have revealed unique multiple intron-containing tRNAs and tRNAs that are encoded on 2 separate genes, so-called split tRNAs. Here, we discovered 10 fragmented tRNA genes in the complete genome of the hyperthermoacidophilic Archaeon Caldivirga maquilingensis that are individually transcribed and further trans-spliced to generate all of the missing tRNAs encoding glycine, alanine, and glutamate. Notably, the 3 mature tRNA(Gly)'s with synonymous codons are created from 1 constitutive 3' half transcript and 4 alternatively switching transcripts, representing tRNA made from a total of 3 transcripts named a "tri-split tRNA." Expression and nucleotide sequences of 10 split tRNA genes and their joined tRNA products were experimentally verified. The intervening sequences of split tRNA have high identity to tRNA intron sequences located at the same positions in intron-containing tRNAs in related Thermoproteales species. This suggests that an evolutionary relationship between intron-containing and split tRNAs exists. Our findings demonstrate the first example of split tRNA genes in a free-living organism and a unique tri-split tRNA gene that provides further insight into the evolution of fragmented tRNAs.

  12. Multi-Layered Stratification in the Baltic Sea: Insight from a Modeling Study with Reference to Environmental Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bijan Dargahi

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The hydrodynamic and transport characteristics of the Baltic Sea in the period 2000–2009 were studied using a fully calibrated and validated 3D hydrodynamic model with a horizontal resolution of 4.8 km. This study provided new insight into the type and dynamics of vertical structure in the Baltic Sea, not considered in previous studies. Thermal and salinity stratification are both addressed, with a focus on the structural properties of the layers. The detection of cooler regions (dicothermal within the layer structure is an important finding. The detailed investigation of thermal stratification for a 10-year period (i.e., 2000–2009 revealed some new features. A multilayered structure that contains several thermocline and dicothermal layers was identified from this study. Statistical analysis of the simulation results made it possible to derive the mean thermal stratification properties, expressed as mean temperatures and the normalized layer thicknesses. The three-layered model proposed by previous investigators appears to be valid only during the winter periods; for other periods, a multi-layered structure with more than five layers has been identified during this investigation. This study provides detailed insight into thermal and salinity stratification in the Baltic Sea during a recent decade that can be used as a basis for diverse environmental assessments. It extends previous studies on stratification in the Baltic Sea regarding both the extent and the nature of stratification.

  13. Functional Characterization of UDP-apiose Synthases from Bryophytes and Green Algae Provides Insight into the Appearance of Apiose-containing Glycans during Plant Evolution*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, James; Yang, Yiwen; Levy, Shahar; Adelusi, Oluwatoyin Oluwayemi; Hahn, Michael G.; O'Neill, Malcolm A.; Bar-Peled, Maor

    2016-01-01

    Apiose is a branched monosaccharide that is present in the cell wall pectic polysaccharides rhamnogalacturonan II and apiogalacturonan and in numerous plant secondary metabolites. These apiose-containing glycans are synthesized using UDP-apiose as the donor. UDP-apiose (UDP-Api) together with UDP-xylose is formed from UDP-glucuronic acid (UDP-GlcA) by UDP-Api synthase (UAS). It was hypothesized that the ability to form Api distinguishes vascular plants from the avascular plants and green algae. UAS from several dicotyledonous plants has been characterized; however, it is not known if avascular plants or green algae produce this enzyme. Here we report the identification and functional characterization of UAS homologs from avascular plants (mosses, liverwort, and hornwort), from streptophyte green algae, and from a monocot (duckweed). The recombinant UAS homologs all form UDP-Api from UDP-glucuronic acid albeit in different amounts. Apiose was detected in aqueous methanolic extracts of these plants. Apiose was detected in duckweed cell walls but not in the walls of the avascular plants and algae. Overexpressing duckweed UAS in the moss Physcomitrella patens led to an increase in the amounts of aqueous methanol-acetonitrile-soluble apiose but did not result in discernible amounts of cell wall-associated apiose. Thus, bryophytes and algae likely lack the glycosyltransferase machinery required to synthesize apiose-containing cell wall glycans. Nevertheless, these plants may have the ability to form apiosylated secondary metabolites. Our data are the first to provide evidence that the ability to form apiose existed prior to the appearance of rhamnogalacturonan II and apiogalacturonan and provide new insights into the evolution of apiose-containing glycans. PMID:27551039

  14. Fundamental studies of novel zwitterionic hybrid membranes: kinetic model and mechanism insights into strontium removal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Wen; Liu, Junsheng; Li, Meng

    2014-01-01

    A series of zwitterionic hybrid membranes were prepared via the ring opening of 1,3-propanesultone with the amine groups in the chains of TMSPEDA and a subsequent sol-gel process. Their kinetic models for strontium removal were investigated using three two-parameter kinetic equations (i.e., Lagergren pseudo-first order, pseudo-second order, and Elovich models). Adsorption mechanism was evaluated using intraparticle diffusion model, diffusion-chemisorption model, and Boyd equation. It was found that the adsorption of strontium ions on these zwitterionic hybrid membranes fitted well with the Lagergren pseudo-second order model. Mechanism insights suggested that diffusion-chemisorption was one of the main adsorption mechanisms. Boyd equation exhibited that film-diffusion mechanism might be the control process during the starting period. These findings are very useful in strontium removal from the stimulated radioactive wastewater.

  15. Fundamental Studies of Novel Zwitterionic Hybrid Membranes: Kinetic Model and Mechanism Insights into Strontium Removal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen Zhu

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available A series of zwitterionic hybrid membranes were prepared via the ring opening of 1,3-propanesultone with the amine groups in the chains of TMSPEDA and a subsequent sol-gel process. Their kinetic models for strontium removal were investigated using three two-parameter kinetic equations (i.e., Lagergren pseudo-first order, pseudo-second order, and Elovich models. Adsorption mechanism was evaluated using intraparticle diffusion model, diffusion-chemisorption model, and Boyd equation. It was found that the adsorption of strontium ions on these zwitterionic hybrid membranes fitted well with the Lagergren pseudo-second order model. Mechanism insights suggested that diffusion-chemisorption was one of the main adsorption mechanisms. Boyd equation exhibited that film-diffusion mechanism might be the control process during the starting period. These findings are very useful in strontium removal from the stimulated radioactive wastewater.

  16. Insight into the relationship between impulsivity and substance abuse from studies using animal models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winstanley, Catharine A; Olausson, Peter; Taylor, Jane R; Jentsch, J David

    2010-08-01

    Drug use disorders are often accompanied by deficits in the capacity to efficiently process reward-related information and to monitor, suppress, or override reward-controlled behavior when goals are in conflict with aversive or immediate outcomes. This emerging deficit in behavioral flexibility and impulse control may be a central component of the progression to addiction, as behavior becomes increasingly driven by drugs and drug-associated cues at the expense of more advantageous activities. Understanding how neural mechanisms implicated in impulse control are affected by addictive drugs may therefore prove a useful strategy in the search for new treatment options. Animal models of impulsivity and addiction could make a significant contribution to this endeavor. Here, some of the more common behavioral paradigms used to measure different aspects of impulsivity across species are outlined, and the importance of the response to reward-paired cues in such paradigms is discussed. Naturally occurring differences in forms of impulsivity have been found to be predictive of future drug self-administration, but drug exposure can also increase impulsive responding. Such data are in keeping with the suggestion that impulsivity may contribute to multiple stages within the spiral of addiction. From a neurobiological perspective, converging evidence from rat, monkey, and human studies suggest that compromised functioning within the orbitofrontal cortex may critically contribute to the cognitive sequelae of drug abuse. Changes in gene transcription and protein expression within this region may provide insight into the mechanism underlying drug-induced cortical hypofunction, reflecting new molecular targets for the treatment of uncontrolled drug-seeking and drug-taking behavior.

  17. CO2 conversion by plasma technology: insights from modeling the plasma chemistry and plasma reactor design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogaerts, A.; Berthelot, A.; Heijkers, S.; Kolev, St.; Snoeckx, R.; Sun, S.; Trenchev, G.; Van Laer, K.; Wang, W.

    2017-06-01

    In recent years there has been growing interest in the use of plasma technology for CO2 conversion. To improve this application, a good insight into the underlying mechanisms is of great importance. This can be obtained from modeling the detailed plasma chemistry in order to understand the chemical reaction pathways leading to CO2 conversion (either in pure form or mixed with another gas). Moreover, in practice, several plasma reactor types are being investigated for CO2 conversion, so in addition it is essential to be able to model these reactor geometries so that their design can be improved, and the most energy efficient CO2 conversion can be achieved. Modeling the detailed plasma chemistry of CO2 conversion in complex reactors is, however, very time-consuming. This problem can be overcome by using a combination of two different types of model: 0D chemical reaction kinetics models are very suitable for describing the detailed plasma chemistry, while the characteristic features of different reactor geometries can be studied by 2D or 3D fluid models. In the first instance the latter can be developed in argon or helium with a simple chemistry to limit the calculation time; however, the ultimate aim is to implement the more complex CO2 chemistry in these models. In the present paper, examples will be given of both the 0D plasma chemistry models and the 2D and 3D fluid models for the most common plasma reactors used for CO2 conversion in order to emphasize the complementarity of both approaches. Furthermore, based on the modeling insights, the paper discusses the possibilities and limitations of plasma-based CO2 conversion in different types of plasma reactors, as well as what is needed to make further progress in this field.

  18. Organization of left–right coordination of neuronal activity in the mammalian spinal cord: Insights from computational modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shevtsova, Natalia A; Talpalar, Adolfo E; Markin, Sergey N; Harris-Warrick, Ronald M; Kiehn, Ole; Rybak, Ilya A

    2015-01-01

    Different locomotor gaits in mammals, such as walking or galloping, are produced by coordinated activity in neuronal circuits in the spinal cord. Coordination of neuronal activity between left and right sides of the cord is provided by commissural interneurons (CINs), whose axons cross the midline. In this study, we construct and analyse two computational models of spinal locomotor circuits consisting of left and right rhythm generators interacting bilaterally via several neuronal pathways mediated by different CINs. The CIN populations incorporated in the models include the genetically identified inhibitory (V0D) and excitatory (V0V) subtypes of V0 CINs and excitatory V3 CINs. The model also includes the ipsilaterally projecting excitatory V2a interneurons mediating excitatory drive to the V0V CINs. The proposed network architectures and CIN connectivity allow the models to closely reproduce and suggest mechanistic explanations for several experimental observations. These phenomena include: different speed-dependent contributions of V0D and V0V CINs and V2a interneurons to left–right alternation of neural activity, switching gaits between the left–right alternating walking-like activity and the left–right synchronous hopping-like pattern in mutants lacking specific neuron classes, and speed-dependent asymmetric changes of flexor and extensor phase durations. The models provide insights into the architecture of spinal network and the organization of parallel inhibitory and excitatory CIN pathways and suggest explanations for how these pathways maintain alternating and synchronous gaits at different locomotor speeds. The models propose testable predictions about the neural organization and operation of mammalian locomotor circuits. Key points Coordination of neuronal activity between left and right sides of the mammalian spinal cord is provided by several sets of commissural interneurons (CINs) whose axons cross the midline. Genetically identified inhibitory V

  19. Tectonic drivers of the Wrangell block: Insights on fore-arc sliver processes from 3-D geodynamic models of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haynie, K. L.; Jadamec, M. A.

    2017-07-01

    Intracontinental shear zones can play a key role in understanding how plate convergence is manifested in the upper plate in regions of oblique subduction. However, the relative role of the driving forces from the subducting plate and the resisting force from within intracontinental shear zones is not well understood. Results from high-resolution, geographically referenced, instantaneous 3-D geodynamic models of flat slab subduction at the oblique convergent margin of Alaska are presented. These models investigate how viscosity and length of the Denali fault intracontinental shear zone as well as coupling along the plate boundary interface modulate motion of the Wrangell block fore-arc sliver and slip across the Denali fault. Models with a weak Denali fault (1017 Pa s) and strong plate coupling (1021 Pa s) were found to produce the fastest motions of the Wrangell block (˜10 mm/yr). The 3-D models predict along-strike variation in motion along the Denali fault, changing from dextral strike-slip motion in the eastern segment to oblique convergence toward the fault apex. Models further show that the flat slab drives oblique motion of the Wrangell block and contributes to 20% (models with a short fault) and 28% (models with a long fault) of the observed Quaternary slip rates along the Denali fault. The 3-D models provide insight into the general processes of fore-arc sliver mechanics and also offer a 3-D framework for interpreting hazards in regions of flat slab subduction.

  20. Emerging Business Models in Education Provisioning: A Case Study on Providing Learning Support as Education-as-a-Service

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Loina Prifti

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to give a deeper understanding on emerging business models in the context of education. Industry 4.0/the Industrial Internet in general and especially recent advances in cloud computing enable a new kind of service offering in the education sector and lead to new business models for education: Education-as-a-Service (EaaS. Within EaaS, learning, and teaching contents are delivered as services. By combining a literature review with a qualitative case study, this paper makes a three-fold contribution to the field of business models in education: First, we provide a theoretical definition for a common understanding of EaaS. Second, we present the state-of-the-art research on this new paradigm. Third, in the case study we describe a “best practices” business model of an existing EaaS provider. These insights build a theoretical foundation for further research in this area. The paper concludes with a research agenda for further research in this emerging field.

  1. The Structure of the MHC Class I Molecule of Bony Fishes Provides Insights into the Conserved Nature of the Antigen-Presenting System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhaosan; Zhang, Nianzhi; Qi, Jianxun; Chen, Rong; Dijkstra, Johannes M; Li, Xiaoying; Wang, Zhenbao; Wang, Junya; Wu, Yanan; Xia, Chun

    2017-11-15

    MHC molecules evolved with the descent of jawed fishes some 350-400 million years ago. However, very little is known about the structural features of primitive MHC molecules. To gain insight into these features, we focused on the MHC class I Ctid -UAA of the evolutionarily distant grass carp ( Ctenopharyngodon idella ). The Ctid -UAA H chain and β2-microglobulin ( Ctid -β2m) were refolded in vitro in the presence of peptides from viruses that infect carp. The resulting peptide- Ctid -UAA (p/ Ctid -UAA) structures revealed the classical MHC class I topology with structural variations. In comparison with known mammalian and chicken peptide-MHC class I (p/MHC I) complexes, p/ Ctid -UAA structure revealed several distinct features. Notably, 1) although the peptide ligand conventionally occupied all six pockets (A-F) of the Ag-binding site, the binding mode of the P3 side chain to pocket D was not observed in other p/MHC I structures; 2) the AB loop between β strands of the α1 domain of p/ Ctid -UAA complex comes into contact with Ctid -β2m, an interaction observed only in chicken p/BF2*2101-β2m complex; and 3) the CD loop of the α3 domain, which in mammals forms a contact with CD8, has a unique position in p/ Ctid -UAA that does not superimpose with the structures of any known p/MHC I complexes, suggesting that the p/ Ctid -UAA to Ctid -CD8 binding mode may be distinct. This demonstration of the structure of a bony fish MHC class I molecule provides a foundation for understanding the evolution of primitive class I molecules, how they present peptide Ags, and how they might control T cell responses. Copyright © 2017 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

  2. Investigation of bacterial communities within the digestive organs of the hydrothermal vent shrimp Rimicaris exoculata provide insights into holobiont geographic clustering.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominique A Cowart

    Full Text Available Prokaryotic communities forming symbiotic relationships with the vent shrimp, Rimicaris exoculata, are well studied components of hydrothermal ecosystems at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR. Despite the tight link between host and symbiont, the observed lack of spatial genetic structure seen in R. exoculata contrasts with the geographic differentiation detected in specific bacterial ectosymbionts. The geographic clustering of bacterial lineages within a seemingly panmictic host suggests either the presence of finer scale restriction to gene flow not yet detected in the host, horizontal transmission (environmental selection of its endosymbionts as a consequence of unique vent geochemistry, or vertically transmitted endosymbionts that exhibit genetic differentiation. To identify which hypothesis best fits, we tested whether bacterial assemblages exhibit differentiation across sites or host populations by performing a 16S rRNA metabarcoding survey on R. exoculata digestive prokaryote samples (n = 31 taken from three geochemically distinct vents across MAR: Rainbow, Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse (TAG and Logatchev. Analysis of communities across two organs (digestive tract, stomach, three molt colors (white, red, black and three life stages (eggs, juveniles, adults also provided insights into symbiont transmission mode. Examining both whole communities and operational taxonomic units (OTUs confirmed the presence of three main epibionts: Epsilonproteobacteria, Mollicutes and Deferribacteres. With these findings, we identified a clear pattern of geographic segregation by vent in OTUs assigned to Epsilonproteobacteria. Additionally, we detected evidence for differentiation among all communities associated to vents and life stages. Overall, results suggest a combination of environmental selection and vertical inheritance of some of the symbiotic lineages.

  3. Transcriptome analysis of skin fibroblasts with dominant negative COL3A1 mutations provides molecular insights into the etiopathology of vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiarelli, Nicola; Carini, Giulia; Zoppi, Nicoletta; Ritelli, Marco; Colombi, Marina

    2018-01-01

    Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS) is a dominantly inherited connective tissue disorder caused by mutations in the COL3A1 gene that encodes type III collagen (COLLIII), which is the major expressed collagen in blood vessels and hollow organs. The majority of disease-causing variants in COL3A1 are glycine substitutions and in-frame splice mutations in the triple helix domain that through a dominant negative effect are associated with the severe clinical spectrum potentially lethal of vEDS, characterized by fragility of soft connective tissues with arterial and organ ruptures. To shed lights into molecular mechanisms underlying vEDS, we performed gene expression profiling in cultured skin fibroblasts from three patients with different structural COL3A1 mutations. Transcriptome analysis revealed significant changes in the expression levels of several genes involved in maintenance of cell redox and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis, COLLs folding and extracellular matrix (ECM) organization, formation of the proteasome complex, and cell cycle regulation. Protein analyses showed that aberrant COLLIII expression is associated with the disassembly of many structural ECM constituents, such as fibrillins, EMILINs, and elastin, as well as with the reduction of the proteoglycans perlecan, decorin, and versican, all playing an important role in the vascular system. Furthermore, the altered distribution of the ER marker protein disulfide isomerase PDI and the strong reduction of the COLLs-modifying enzyme FKBP22 are consistent with the disturbance of ER-related homeostasis and COLLs biosynthesis and post-translational modifications, indicated by microarray analysis. Our findings add new insights into the pathophysiology of this severe vascular disorder, since they provide a picture of the gene expression changes in vEDS skin fibroblasts and highlight that dominant negative mutations in COL3A1 also affect post-translational modifications and deposition into the ECM of

  4. Transcriptome analysis of skin fibroblasts with dominant negative COL3A1 mutations provides molecular insights into the etiopathology of vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Chiarelli

    Full Text Available Vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (vEDS is a dominantly inherited connective tissue disorder caused by mutations in the COL3A1 gene that encodes type III collagen (COLLIII, which is the major expressed collagen in blood vessels and hollow organs. The majority of disease-causing variants in COL3A1 are glycine substitutions and in-frame splice mutations in the triple helix domain that through a dominant negative effect are associated with the severe clinical spectrum potentially lethal of vEDS, characterized by fragility of soft connective tissues with arterial and organ ruptures. To shed lights into molecular mechanisms underlying vEDS, we performed gene expression profiling in cultured skin fibroblasts from three patients with different structural COL3A1 mutations. Transcriptome analysis revealed significant changes in the expression levels of several genes involved in maintenance of cell redox and endoplasmic reticulum (ER homeostasis, COLLs folding and extracellular matrix (ECM organization, formation of the proteasome complex, and cell cycle regulation. Protein analyses showed that aberrant COLLIII expression is associated with the disassembly of many structural ECM constituents, such as fibrillins, EMILINs, and elastin, as well as with the reduction of the proteoglycans perlecan, decorin, and versican, all playing an important role in the vascular system. Furthermore, the altered distribution of the ER marker protein disulfide isomerase PDI and the strong reduction of the COLLs-modifying enzyme FKBP22 are consistent with the disturbance of ER-related homeostasis and COLLs biosynthesis and post-translational modifications, indicated by microarray analysis. Our findings add new insights into the pathophysiology of this severe vascular disorder, since they provide a picture of the gene expression changes in vEDS skin fibroblasts and highlight that dominant negative mutations in COL3A1 also affect post-translational modifications and deposition

  5. Yeast Interspecies Comparative Proteomics Reveals Divergence in Expression Profiles and Provides Insights into Proteome Resource Allocation and Evolutionary Roles of Gene Duplication*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kito, Keiji; Ito, Haruka; Nohara, Takehiro; Ohnishi, Mihoko; Ishibashi, Yuko; Takeda, Daisuke

    2016-01-01

    nonoptimal culture conditions but also provide valuable insights into intriguing biological principles, including the balance of proteome resource allocation and the role of gene duplication in evolutionary history. PMID:26560065

  6. Plantation Forestry under Global Warming: Hybrid Poplars with Improved Thermotolerance Provide New Insights on the in Vivo Function of Small Heat Shock Protein Chaperones1[C][W

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merino, Irene; Contreras, Angela; Jing, Zhong-Ping; Gallardo, Fernando; Cánovas, Francisco M.; Gómez, Luis

    2014-01-01

    Climate-driven heat stress is a key factor affecting forest plantation yields. While its effects are expected to worsen during this century, breeding more tolerant genotypes has proven elusive. We report here a substantial and durable increase in the thermotolerance of hybrid poplar (Populus tremula × Populus alba) through overexpression of a major small heat shock protein (sHSP) with convenient features. Experimental evidence was obtained linking protective effects in the transgenic events with the unique chaperone activity of sHSPs. In addition, significant positive correlations were observed between phenotype strength and heterologous sHSP accumulation. The remarkable baseline levels of transgene product (up to 1.8% of total leaf protein) have not been reported in analogous studies with herbaceous species. As judged by protein analyses, such an accumulation is not matched either by endogenous sHSPs in both heat-stressed poplar plants and field-grown adult trees. Quantitative real time-polymerase chain reaction analyses supported these observations and allowed us to identify the poplar members most responsive to heat stress. Interestingly, sHSP overaccumulation was not associated with pleiotropic effects that might decrease yields. The poplar lines developed here also outperformed controls under in vitro and ex vitro culture conditions (callus biomass, shoot production, and ex vitro survival), even in the absence of thermal stress. These results reinforce the feasibility of improving valuable genotypes for plantation forestry, a field where in vitro recalcitrance, long breeding cycles, and other practical factors constrain conventional genetic approaches. They also provide new insights into the biological functions of the least understood family of heat shock protein chaperones. PMID:24306533

  7. Plantation forestry under global warming: hybrid poplars with improved thermotolerance provide new insights on the in vivo function of small heat shock protein chaperones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merino, Irene; Contreras, Angela; Jing, Zhong-Ping; Gallardo, Fernando; Cánovas, Francisco M; Gómez, Luis

    2014-02-01

    Climate-driven heat stress is a key factor affecting forest plantation yields. While its effects are expected to worsen during this century, breeding more tolerant genotypes has proven elusive. We report here a substantial and durable increase in the thermotolerance of hybrid poplar (Populus tremula×Populus alba) through overexpression of a major small heat shock protein (sHSP) with convenient features. Experimental evidence was obtained linking protective effects in the transgenic events with the unique chaperone activity of sHSPs. In addition, significant positive correlations were observed between phenotype strength and heterologous sHSP accumulation. The remarkable baseline levels of transgene product (up to 1.8% of total leaf protein) have not been reported in analogous studies with herbaceous species. As judged by protein analyses, such an accumulation is not matched either by endogenous sHSPs in both heat-stressed poplar plants and field-grown adult trees. Quantitative real time-polymerase chain reaction analyses supported these observations and allowed us to identify the poplar members most responsive to heat stress. Interestingly, sHSP overaccumulation was not associated with pleiotropic effects that might decrease yields. The poplar lines developed here also outperformed controls under in vitro and ex vitro culture conditions (callus biomass, shoot production, and ex vitro survival), even in the absence of thermal stress. These results reinforce the feasibility of improving valuable genotypes for plantation forestry, a field where in vitro recalcitrance, long breeding cycles, and other practical factors constrain conventional genetic approaches. They also provide new insights into the biological functions of the least understood family of heat shock protein chaperones.

  8. Expression and phylogenetic analyses of the Gel/Gas proteins of Tuber melanosporum provide insights into the function and evolution of glucan remodeling enzymes in fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sillo, Fabiano; Gissi, Carmela; Chignoli, Daniele; Ragni, Enrico; Popolo, Laura; Balestrini, Raffaella

    2013-04-01

    The β(1,3)-glucanosyltransferases of the GH72 family are redundant enzymes that are essential for the formation and dynamic remodeling of the fungal wall during different stages of the life cycle. Four putative genes encoding glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored β(1,3)-glucanosyltransferases, designated TmelGEL1, TmelGEL2, TmelGEL4 and TmelGAS4, have been annotated in the genome of Tuber melanosporum, an ectomycorrhizal fungus that also produces a hypogeous fruiting body (FB) of great commercial value (black truffle). This work focuses on the characterization and expression of this multigene family by taking advantage of a laser microdissection (LMD) technology that has been used to separate two distinct compartments in the FB, the hyphae and the asci containing the ascospores. Of the four genes, TmelGEL1 was the most up-regulated in the FB compared to the free-living mycelium. Inside the FB, the expression of TmelGEL1 was restricted to the hyphal compartment. A phylogenetic analysis of the Gel/Gas protein family of T. melanosporum was also carried out. A total of 237 GH72 proteins from 51 Ascomycotina and 3 Basidiomycota (outgroup) species were analyzed. The resulting tree provides insight into the evolution of the T. melanosporum proteins and identifies new GH72 paralogs/subfamilies. Moreover, it represents a starting point to formulate new hypotheses on the significance of the striking GH72 gene redundancy in fungal biology. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Transcriptome-based gene profiling provides novel insights into the characteristics of radish root response to Cr stress with next-generation sequencing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang eXie

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Radish (Raphanus sativus L. is an important worldwide root vegetable crop with high nutrient values and is adversely affected by non-essential heavy metals including chromium (Cr. Little is known about the molecular mechanism underlying Cr stress response in radish. In this study, RNA-Seq technique was employed to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs under Cr stress. Based on de novo transcriptome assembly, there were 30,676 unigenes representing 60,881 transcripts isolated from radish root under Cr stress. Differential gene analysis revealed that 2,985 uingenes were significantly differentially expressed between Cr-free (CK and Cr-treated (Cr600 libraries, among which 1,424 were up-regulated and 1,561 down-regulated. Gene ontology (GO analysis revealed that these DEGs were mainly involved in primary metabolic process, response to abiotic stimulus, cellular metabolic process and small molecule metabolic process. Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG enrichment analysis showed that the DEGs were mainly involved in protein processing in endoplasmic reticulum, starch and sucrose metabolism, amino acid metabolism, glutathione metabolism, drug and xenobiotics by cytochrome P450 metabolism. RT-qPCR analysis showed that the expression patterns of 12 randomly selected DEGs were highly accordant with the results from RNA-seq. Furthermore, many candidate genes including signaling protein kinases, transcription factors and metal transporters, chelate compound biosynthesis and antioxidant system, were involved in defense and detoxification mechanisms of Cr stress response regulatory networks. These results would provide novel insight into molecular mechanism underlying plant responsiveness to Cr stress and facilitate further genetic manipulation on Cr uptake and accumulation in radish.

  10. Conventional and phenomics characterization provides insight into the diversity and relationships of hypervariable scarlet (Solanum aethiopicum L. and gboma (S. macrocarpon L. eggplant complexes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariola ePlazas

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Scarlet (Solanum aethiopicum and gboma (S. macrocarpon eggplants are major vegetable crops in sub-Saharan Africa. Together with their respective wild ancestors (S. anguivi and S. dasyphyllum and intermediate cultivated-wild forms they constitute the so-called scarlet and gboma eggplant complexes. We used conventional descriptors and the high-throughput phenomics tool Tomato Analyzer for characterizing 63 accessions of the scarlet eggplant complex, including the four S. aethiopicum cultivar groups (Aculeatum, Gilo, Kumba, and Shum, Intermediate S. aethiopicum-S. anguivi forms, and S. anguivi, and 12 cultivated and wild accessions of the gboma eggplant complex. A large diversity was found between both complexes, showing that they are very well differentiated from each other. Within the scarlet eggplant complex, many significant differences were also found among cultivar groups, but more differences were found for fruit traits evaluated with Tomato Analyzer than with conventional descriptors. In particular, Tomato Analyzer phenomics characterization was useful for distinguishing small fruited groups (Shum, Intermediate, and S. anguivi, as well as groups for which few or no significant differences were observed for plant traits. Multivariate principal components analysis (PCA separated well all groups, except the Intermediate group which plotted between S. anguivi and small fruited S. aethiopicum accessions. For the gboma eggplant complex, S. dasyphyllum was clearly distinguished from S. macrocarpon and an important diversity was found in the latter. The results have shown that both complexes are hypervariable and have provided insight into their diversity and relationships. The information obtained has important implications for the conservation and management of genetic resources as well as for the selection and breeding of both scarlet and gboma eggplants.

  11. Insights to Engineered Geothermal System Performance Using Gringarten-Witherspoon-Ohnishi Analytical Solutions and Fracture Network Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doe, T.; McLaren, R.; Finilla, A.

    2017-12-01

    An enduring legacy of Paul Witherspoon and his students and colleagues has been both the development of geothermal energy and the bases of modern fractured-rock hydrogeology. One of the seminal contributions to the geothermal field was Gringarten, Witherspoon, and Ohnishi's analytical models for enhanced geothermal systems. Although discrete fracture network (DFN) modeling developed somewhat