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Genes, Volume 11, Issue 2 (February 2020) – 121 articles

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Open AccessArticle
Serendipitous In Situ Conservation of Faba Bean Landraces in Tunisia: A Case Study
Genes 2020, 11(2), 236; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020236 (registering DOI) - 24 Feb 2020
Abstract
Cultivation of faba bean (Vicia faba L.) in Tunisia is largely based on improved varieties of the crop. However, a few farmers continue to produce local cultivars or landraces. The National Gene Bank of Tunisia (NGBT) recently launched a collection project for [...] Read more.
Cultivation of faba bean (Vicia faba L.) in Tunisia is largely based on improved varieties of the crop. However, a few farmers continue to produce local cultivars or landraces. The National Gene Bank of Tunisia (NGBT) recently launched a collection project for faba bean landraces, with special focus on the regions of the North West, traditionally devoted to cultivating grain legumes, and where around 80% of the total national faba bean cultivation area is located. The seed phenotypic features of the collected samples were studied, and the genetic diversity and population structure analyzed using simple sequence repeat markers. The genetic constitution of the present samples was compared to that of faba bean samples collected by teams of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) in the 1970s in the same region, and stored at the ICARDA gene bank. The results of the diversity analysis demonstrate that the recently collected samples and those stored at ICARDA largely overlap, thus demonstrating that over the past 50 years, little genetic change has occurred to the local faba bean populations examined. These findings suggest that farmers serendipitously applied international best practices for in situ conservation of agricultural crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Diversity Assessment and Marker-Assisted Selection in Crops)
Open AccessArticle
Comprehensive Sequence Analysis of IQD Gene Family and their Expression Profiling in Grapevine (Vitis vinifera)
Genes 2020, 11(2), 235; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020235 (registering DOI) - 24 Feb 2020
Abstract
The plant-specific IQ67-domain (IQD) protein family members are downstream targets of calcium sensors, known to regulate plant growth and lateral organ polarity, and basal defense response against environmental cues. No systematic study of IQD gene family has been performed on grapevine. The public [...] Read more.
The plant-specific IQ67-domain (IQD) protein family members are downstream targets of calcium sensors, known to regulate plant growth and lateral organ polarity, and basal defense response against environmental cues. No systematic study of IQD gene family has been performed on grapevine. The public availability of grapevine genome enables us to perform identification, phylogeny, chromosomal orientation, and gene structure analysis of the IQD genes in grapevine. We identified 49 VvIQD genes (VvIQD1VvIQD49) and further classified them into eight subgroups based on phylogenetic relationships. The 49 VvIQD genes were assigned to 19 different chromosomal positions. The collinear relationship between grapevine and Arabidopsis IQDs (VvIQD and AtIQD), and within grapevine VvIQDs, was highly conserved. In addition, most of duplicated gene pairs showed Ka/Ks ratio less than 1.00, indicating purifying selection within these gene pairs, implying functional discrepancy after duplication. Transcription profiling of VvIQD genes shed light on their specific role in grapevine tissue and organ development. The qRT-PCR validation of the 49 VvIQD genes in grape berry tissue from cultivars with distinct berry shape during developmental phases suggested candidate genes involved in the shape of grape berries. The subcellular prediction of VvIQD22, VvIQD23, VvIQD38, and VvIQD49 genes validated their localization in the nucleus and plasma membrane. The VvIQD49 protein interaction with VvCaM2 was also verified by bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) analysis in the plasma membrane. Our findings will be valuable for the functional genomic studies for desirable shape development of grape berries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
The Genetic Basis of Natural Variation in Drosophila melanogaster Immune Defense against Enterococcus faecalis
Genes 2020, 11(2), 234; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020234 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
Viewed by 128
Abstract
Dissecting the genetic basis of natural variation in disease response in hosts provides insights into the coevolutionary dynamics of host-pathogen interactions. Here, a genome-wide association study of Drosophila melanogaster survival after infection with the Gram-positive entomopathogenic bacterium Enterococcus faecalis is reported. There was [...] Read more.
Dissecting the genetic basis of natural variation in disease response in hosts provides insights into the coevolutionary dynamics of host-pathogen interactions. Here, a genome-wide association study of Drosophila melanogaster survival after infection with the Gram-positive entomopathogenic bacterium Enterococcus faecalis is reported. There was considerable variation in defense against E. faecalis infection among inbred lines of the Drosophila Genetics Reference Panel. We identified single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with six genes with a significant (p < 10−08, corresponding to a false discovery rate of 2.4%) association with survival, none of which were canonical immune genes. To validate the role of these genes in immune defense, their expression was knocked-down using RNAi and survival of infected hosts was followed, which confirmed a role for the genes krishah and S6k in immune defense. We further identified a putative role for the Bomanin gene BomBc1 (also known as IM23), in E. faecalis infection response. This study adds to the growing set of association studies for infection in Drosophila melanogaster and suggests that the genetic causes of variation in immune defense differ for different pathogens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Basis of Phenotypic Variation in Drosophila and Other Insects)
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Open AccessReview
Hearing Impairment Overview in Africa: the Case of Cameroon
Genes 2020, 11(2), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020233 (registering DOI) - 22 Feb 2020
Viewed by 143
Abstract
The incidence of hearing impairment (HI) is higher in low- and middle-income countries when compared to high-income countries. There is therefore a necessity to estimate the burden of this condition in developing world. The aim of our study was to use a systematic [...] Read more.
The incidence of hearing impairment (HI) is higher in low- and middle-income countries when compared to high-income countries. There is therefore a necessity to estimate the burden of this condition in developing world. The aim of our study was to use a systematic approach to provide summarized data on the prevalence, etiologies, clinical patterns and genetics of HI in Cameroon. We searched PubMed, Scopus, African Journals Online, AFROLIB and African Index Medicus to identify relevant studies on HI in Cameroon, published from inception to 31 October, 2019, with no language restrictions. Reference lists of included studies were also scrutinized, and data were summarized narratively. This study is registered with PROSPERO, number CRD42019142788. We screened 333 records, of which 17 studies were finally included in the review. The prevalence of HI in Cameroon ranges from 0.9% to 3.6% in population-based studies and increases with age. Environmental factors contribute to 52.6% to 62.2% of HI cases, with meningitis, impacted wax and age-related disorder being the most common ones. Hereditary HI comprises 0.8% to 14.8% of all cases. In 32.6% to 37% of HI cases, the origin remains unknown. Non-syndromic hearing impairment (NSHI) is the most frequent clinical entity and accounts for 86.1% to 92.5% of cases of HI of genetic origin. Waardenburg and Usher syndromes account for 50% to 57.14% and 8.9% to 42.9% of genetic syndromic cases, respectively. No pathogenic mutation was described in GJB6 gene, and the prevalence of pathogenic mutations in GJB2 gene ranged from 0% to 0.5%. The prevalence of pathogenic mutations in other known NSHI genes was <10% in Cameroonian probands. Environmental factors are the leading etiology of HI in Cameroon, and mutations in most important HI genes are infrequent in Cameroon. Whole genome sequencing therefore appears as the most effective way to identify variants associated with HI in Cameroon and sub-Saharan Africa in general. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Epidemiology of Deafness)
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Open AccessReview
RECQ5: A Mysterious Helicase at the Interface of DNA Replication and Transcription
Genes 2020, 11(2), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020232 (registering DOI) - 21 Feb 2020
Viewed by 186
Abstract
RECQ5 belongs to the RecQ family of DNA helicases. It is conserved from Drosophila to humans and its deficiency results in genomic instability and cancer susceptibility in mice. Human RECQ5 is known for its ability to regulate homologous recombination by disrupting RAD51 nucleoprotein [...] Read more.
RECQ5 belongs to the RecQ family of DNA helicases. It is conserved from Drosophila to humans and its deficiency results in genomic instability and cancer susceptibility in mice. Human RECQ5 is known for its ability to regulate homologous recombination by disrupting RAD51 nucleoprotein filaments. It also binds to RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) and negatively regulates transcript elongation by RNAPII. Here, we summarize recent studies implicating RECQ5 in the prevention and resolution of transcription-replication conflicts, a major intrinsic source of genomic instability during cancer development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Helicases: Mechanisms, Biological Pathways, and Disease Relevance)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Genomics and Evolutionary Analysis of RNA-Binding Proteins of Burkholderia cenocepacia J2315 and Other Members of the B. cepacia Complex
Genes 2020, 11(2), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020231 (registering DOI) - 21 Feb 2020
Viewed by 113
Abstract
RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are important regulators of cellular functions, playing critical roles on the survival of bacteria and in the case of pathogens, on their interaction with the host. RBPs are involved in transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and translational processes. However, except for model organisms [...] Read more.
RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are important regulators of cellular functions, playing critical roles on the survival of bacteria and in the case of pathogens, on their interaction with the host. RBPs are involved in transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and translational processes. However, except for model organisms like Escherichia coli, there is little information about the identification or characterization of RBPs in other bacteria, namely in members of the Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc). Bcc is a group of bacterial species associated with a poor clinical prognosis in cystic fibrosis patients. These species have some of the largest bacterial genomes, and except for the presence of two-distinct Hfq-like proteins, their RBP repertoire has not been analyzed so far. Using in silico approaches, we identified 186 conventional putative RBPs in Burkholderia cenocepacia J2315, an epidemic and multidrug resistant pathogen of cystic fibrosis patients. Here we describe the comparative genomics and phylogenetic analysis of RBPs present in multiple copies and predicted to play a role in transcription, protein synthesis, and RNA decay in Bcc bacteria. In addition to the two different Hfq chaperones, five cold shock proteins phylogenetically close to E. coli CspD protein and three distinct RhlE-like helicases could be found in the B. cenocepacia J2315 genome. No RhlB, SrmB, or DeaD helicases could be found in the genomes of these bacteria. These results, together with the multiple copies of other proteins generally involved in RNA degradation, suggest the existence, in B. cenocepacia and in other Bcc bacteria, of some extra and unexplored functions for the mentioned RBPs, as well as of alternative mechanisms involved in RNA regulation and metabolism in these bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Anti-Aging Effects of Leontopodium alpinum (Edelweiss) Callus Culture Extract Through Transcriptome Profiling
Genes 2020, 11(2), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020230 (registering DOI) - 21 Feb 2020
Viewed by 98
Abstract
Edelweiss (Leontopodium Alpinum) in the family Asteraceae is a wildflower that grows in rocky limestone places. Here, we investigated the efficacy of edelweiss callus culture extract (Leontopodium Alpinum callus culture extract; LACCE) using multiple assays from in vitro to in [...] Read more.
Edelweiss (Leontopodium Alpinum) in the family Asteraceae is a wildflower that grows in rocky limestone places. Here, we investigated the efficacy of edelweiss callus culture extract (Leontopodium Alpinum callus culture extract; LACCE) using multiple assays from in vitro to in vivo as well as transcriptome profiling. Several in vitro assay results showed the strong antioxidant activity of LACCE in response to UVB treatment. Moreover, LACCE suppressed inflammation and wrinkling; however, moisturizing activity was increased by LACCE. The clinical test in vivo demonstrated that constant application of LACCE on the face and skin tissues improved anti-periorbital wrinkles, skin elasticity, dermal density, and skin thickness compared with the placebo. The RNA-Sequencing results showed at least 16.56% of human genes were expressed in keratinocyte cells. LACCE up-regulated genes encoding several KRT proteins; DDIT4, BNIP3, and IGFBP3 were involved in the positive regulation of the developmental process, programmed cell death, keratinization, and cornification forming skin barriers, which provide many advantages in the human skin. By contrast, down-regulated genes were stress-responsive genes, including metal, oxidation, wounding, hypoxia, and virus infection, suggesting LACCE did not cause any harmful stress on the skin. Our comprehensive study demonstrated LACCE is a promising agent for anti-aging cosmetics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
Open AccessArticle
Ubiquitin E3 Ligase AaBre1 Responsible for H2B Monoubiquitination Is Involved in Hyphal Growth, Conidiation and Pathogenicity in Alternaria alternata
Genes 2020, 11(2), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020229 (registering DOI) - 21 Feb 2020
Viewed by 94
Abstract
Ubiquitination is one of several post-transcriptional modifications of histone 2B (H2B) which affect the chromatin structure and, hence, influence gene transcription. This study focuses on Alternaria alternata, a fungal pathogen responsible for leaf spot in many plant species. The experiments show that the [...] Read more.
Ubiquitination is one of several post-transcriptional modifications of histone 2B (H2B) which affect the chromatin structure and, hence, influence gene transcription. This study focuses on Alternaria alternata, a fungal pathogen responsible for leaf spot in many plant species. The experiments show that the product of AaBRE1, a gene which encodes H2B monoubiquitination E3 ligase, regulates hyphal growth, conidial formation and pathogenicity. Knockout of AaBRE1 by the homologous recombination strategy leads to the loss of H2B monoubiquitination (H2Bub1), as well as a remarkable decrease in the enrichment of trimethylated lysine 4 on histone 3 (H3K4me3). RNA sequencing assays elucidated that the transcription of genes encoding certain C2H2 zinc-finger family transcription factors, cell wall-degrading enzymes and chitin-binding proteins was suppressed in the AaBRE1 knockout cells. GO enrichment analysis showed that these proteins encoded by the set of genes differentially transcribed between the deletion mutant and wild type were enriched in the functional categories “macramolecular complex”, “cellular metabolic process”, etc. A major conclusion was that the AaBRE1 product, through its effect on histone 2B monoubiquitination and histone 3 lysine 4 trimethylation, makes an important contribution to the fungus’s hyphal growth, conidial formation and pathogenicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Stem Secondary Growth of Grafted Rosa rugosa ‘Rosea’ Scion and R. multiflora ‘Innermis’ Rootstock
Genes 2020, 11(2), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020228 (registering DOI) - 21 Feb 2020
Viewed by 104
Abstract
Grafted plant is a chimeric organism formed by the connection of scion and rootstock through stems, so stem growth and development become one of the important factors to affect grafted plant state. However, information regarding the molecular responses of stems secondary growth after [...] Read more.
Grafted plant is a chimeric organism formed by the connection of scion and rootstock through stems, so stem growth and development become one of the important factors to affect grafted plant state. However, information regarding the molecular responses of stems secondary growth after grafting is limited. A grafted Rosa plant, with R. rugosa ‘Rosea’ as the scion (Rr_scion) grafted onto R. multiflora ‘Innermis’ as the stock (Rm_stock), has been shown to significantly improve stem thickness. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms of stem secondary growth in grafted plant, a genome-wide transcription analysis was performed using an RNA sequence (RNA-seq) method between the scion and rootstock. Comparing ungrafted R. rugosa ‘Rosea’ (Rr) and R. multiflora ‘Innermis’ (Rm) plants, there were much more differentially expressed genes (DEGs) identified in Rr_scion (6887) than Rm_stock (229). Functional annotations revealed that DEGs in Rr_scion are involved in two Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways: the phenylpropanoid biosynthesis metabolism and plant hormone signal transduction, whereas DEGs in Rm_stock were associated with starch and sucrose metabolism pathway. Moreover, different kinds of signal transduction-related DEGs, e.g., receptor-like serine/threonine protein kinases (RLKs), transcription factor (TF), and transporters, were identified and could affect the stem secondary growth of both the scion and rootstock. This work provided new information regarding the underlying molecular mechanism between scion and rootstock after grafting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Alternative Splicing Events as Indicators for the Prognosis of Uveal Melanoma
Genes 2020, 11(2), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020227 (registering DOI) - 21 Feb 2020
Viewed by 111
Abstract
Growing evidence has revealed that abnormal alternative splicing (AS) events are closely related to carcinogenic processes. However, the comprehensive study on the prognostic value of splicing events involved in uveal melanoma (UM) is still lacking. Therefore, splicing data of 80 UM patients were [...] Read more.
Growing evidence has revealed that abnormal alternative splicing (AS) events are closely related to carcinogenic processes. However, the comprehensive study on the prognostic value of splicing events involved in uveal melanoma (UM) is still lacking. Therefore, splicing data of 80 UM patients were obtained from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) SpliceSeq and RNA sequence data of UM and patient clinical features were downloaded from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database to identify survival related splicing events in UM. As a result, a total of 37996 AS events of 17911 genes in UM were detected, among which 5299 AS events of 3529 genes were significantly associated with UM patients’ survival. Functional enrichment analysis revealed that this survival related splicing genes are corelated with mRNA catabolic process and ribosome pathway. Based on survival related splicing events, seven types of prognostic markers and the final overall prognostic signature could independently predict the overall survival of UM patients. Finally, an 11 spliced gene was identified in the final signature. On the basis of these 11 genes, we constructed a Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier and evaluated it with leave-one-out cross-validation. The results showed that the 11 genes could determine short- and long-term survival with a predicted accuracy of 97.5%. Besides, the splicing factors and alternative splicing events correlation network was constructed to serve as therapeutic targets for UM treatment. Thus, our study depicts a comprehensive landscape of alternative splicing events in the prognosis of UM. The correlation network and associated pathways would provide additional potential targets for therapy and prognosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrative Analysis Identifies Candidate Tumor Microenvironment and Intracellular Signaling Pathways that Define Tumor Heterogeneity in NF1
Genes 2020, 11(2), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020226 (registering DOI) - 21 Feb 2020
Viewed by 142
Abstract
Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a monogenic syndrome that gives rise to numerous symptoms including cognitive impairment, skeletal abnormalities, and growth of benign nerve sheath tumors. Nearly all NF1 patients develop cutaneous neurofibromas (cNFs), which occur on the skin surface, whereas 40–60% of [...] Read more.
Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a monogenic syndrome that gives rise to numerous symptoms including cognitive impairment, skeletal abnormalities, and growth of benign nerve sheath tumors. Nearly all NF1 patients develop cutaneous neurofibromas (cNFs), which occur on the skin surface, whereas 40–60% of patients develop plexiform neurofibromas (pNFs), which are deeply embedded in the peripheral nerves. Patients with pNFs have a ~10% lifetime chance of these tumors becoming malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs). These tumors have a severe prognosis and few treatment options other than surgery. Given the lack of therapeutic options available to patients with these tumors, identification of druggable pathways or other key molecular features could aid ongoing therapeutic discovery studies. In this work, we used statistical and machine learning methods to analyze 77 NF1 tumors with genomic data to characterize key signaling pathways that distinguish these tumors and identify candidates for drug development. We identified subsets of latent gene expression variables that may be important in the identification and etiology of cNFs, pNFs, other neurofibromas, and MPNSTs. Furthermore, we characterized the association between these latent variables and genetic variants, immune deconvolution predictions, and protein activity predictions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics and Models of Nerve Sheath Tumors)
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Open AccessReview
Working on Genomic Stability: From the S-Phase to Mitosis
Genes 2020, 11(2), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020225 (registering DOI) - 20 Feb 2020
Viewed by 174
Abstract
Fidelity in chromosome duplication and segregation is indispensable for maintaining genomic stability and the perpetuation of life. Challenges to genome integrity jeopardize cell survival and are at the root of different types of pathologies, such as cancer. The following three main sources of [...] Read more.
Fidelity in chromosome duplication and segregation is indispensable for maintaining genomic stability and the perpetuation of life. Challenges to genome integrity jeopardize cell survival and are at the root of different types of pathologies, such as cancer. The following three main sources of genomic instability exist: DNA damage, replicative stress, and chromosome segregation defects. In response to these challenges, eukaryotic cells have evolved control mechanisms, also known as checkpoint systems, which sense under-replicated or damaged DNA and activate specialized DNA repair machineries. Cells make use of these checkpoints throughout interphase to shield genome integrity before mitosis. Later on, when the cells enter into mitosis, the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) is activated and remains active until the chromosomes are properly attached to the spindle apparatus to ensure an equal segregation among daughter cells. All of these processes are tightly interconnected and under strict regulation in the context of the cell division cycle. The chromosomal instability underlying cancer pathogenesis has recently emerged as a major source for understanding the mitotic processes that helps to safeguard genome integrity. Here, we review the special interconnection between the S-phase and mitosis in the presence of under-replicated DNA regions. Furthermore, we discuss what is known about the DNA damage response activated in mitosis that preserves chromosomal integrity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chromosome Segregation Defects in the Origin of Genomic Instability)
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Open AccessReview
Yeast Genome Maintenance by the Multifunctional PIF1 DNA Helicase Family
Genes 2020, 11(2), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020224 (registering DOI) - 20 Feb 2020
Viewed by 107
Abstract
The two PIF1 family helicases in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Rrm3, and ScPif1, associate with thousands of sites throughout the genome where they perform overlapping and distinct roles in telomere length maintenance, replication through non-histone proteins and G4 structures, lagging strand replication, replication fork convergence, [...] Read more.
The two PIF1 family helicases in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Rrm3, and ScPif1, associate with thousands of sites throughout the genome where they perform overlapping and distinct roles in telomere length maintenance, replication through non-histone proteins and G4 structures, lagging strand replication, replication fork convergence, the repair of DNA double-strand break ends, and transposable element mobility. ScPif1 and its fission yeast homolog Pfh1 also localize to mitochondria where they protect mitochondrial genome integrity. In addition to yeast serving as a model system for the rapid functional evaluation of human Pif1 variants, yeast cells lacking Rrm3 have proven useful for elucidating the cellular response to replication fork pausing at endogenous sites. Here, we review the increasingly important cellular functions of the yeast PIF1 helicases in maintaining genome integrity, and highlight recent advances in our understanding of their roles in facilitating fork progression through replisome barriers, their functional interactions with DNA repair, and replication stress response pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Helicases: Mechanisms, Biological Pathways, and Disease Relevance)
Open AccessArticle
Genes ScBx1 and ScIgl—Competitors or Cooperators?
Genes 2020, 11(2), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020223 (registering DOI) - 20 Feb 2020
Viewed by 128
Abstract
Two genes, Bx1 and Igl, both encoding indole-3-glycerol phosphate lyase (IGL), are believed to control the conversion of indole-3-glycerol phosphate (IGP) to indole. The first of these has generally been supposed to be regulated developmentally, being expressed at early stages of plant [...] Read more.
Two genes, Bx1 and Igl, both encoding indole-3-glycerol phosphate lyase (IGL), are believed to control the conversion of indole-3-glycerol phosphate (IGP) to indole. The first of these has generally been supposed to be regulated developmentally, being expressed at early stages of plant development with the indole being used in the benzoxazinoid (BX) biosynthesis pathway. In contrast, it has been proposed that the second one is regulated by stresses and that the associated free indole is secreted as a volatile. However, our previous results contradicted this. In the present study, we show that the ScIgl gene takes over the role of ScBx1 at later developmental stages, between the 42nd and 70th days after germination. In the majority of plants with silenced ScBx1 expression, ScIgl was either expressed at a significantly higher level than ScBx1 or it was the only gene with detectable expression. Therefore, we postulate that the synthesis of indole used in BX biosynthesis in rye is controlled by both ScBx1 and ScIgl, which are both regulated developmentally and by stresses. In silico and in vivo analyses of the promoter sequences further confirmed our hypothesis that the roles and modes of regulation of the ScBx1 and ScIgl genes are similar. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessCase Report
Two Novel FAM20C Variants in A Family with Raine Syndrome
Genes 2020, 11(2), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020222 (registering DOI) - 20 Feb 2020
Viewed by 128
Abstract
Two siblings from a Mexican family who carried lethal Raine syndrome are presented. A newborn term male (case 1) and his 21 gestational week brother (case 2), with a similar osteosclerotic pattern: generalized osteosclerosis, which is more evident in facial bones and cranial [...] Read more.
Two siblings from a Mexican family who carried lethal Raine syndrome are presented. A newborn term male (case 1) and his 21 gestational week brother (case 2), with a similar osteosclerotic pattern: generalized osteosclerosis, which is more evident in facial bones and cranial base. Prenatal findings at 21 weeks and histopathological features for case 2 are described. A novel combination of biallelic FAM20C pathogenic variants were detected, a maternal cytosine duplication at position 456 and a paternal deletion of a cytosine in position 474 in exon 1, which change the reading frame with a premature termination at codon 207 and 185 respectively. These changes are in concordance with a negative detection of the protein in liver and kidney as shown in case 2. Necropsy showed absence of pancreatic Langerhans Islets, which are reported here for the first time. Corpus callosum absence is added to the few reported cases of brain defects in Raine syndrome. This report shows two new FAM20C variants not described previously, and negative protein detection in the liver and the kidney. We highlight that lethal Raine syndrome is well defined as early as 21 weeks, including mineralization defects and craniofacial features. Pancreas and brain defects found here in FAM20C deficiency extend the functional spectrum of this protein to previously unknown organs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics of Facial Traits and Malformations)
Open AccessArticle
AaCOI1, Encoding a CORONATINE INSENSITIVE 1-Like Protein of Artemisia annua L., Is Involved in Development, Defense, and Anthocyanin Synthesis
Genes 2020, 11(2), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020221 (registering DOI) - 19 Feb 2020
Viewed by 164
Abstract
Artemisia annua is an important medicinal plant producing the majority of the antimalarial compound artemisinin. Jasmonates are potent inducers of artemisinin accumulation in Artemisisa annua plants. As the receptor of jasmonates, the F-box protein COI1 is critical to the JA signaling required for [...] Read more.
Artemisia annua is an important medicinal plant producing the majority of the antimalarial compound artemisinin. Jasmonates are potent inducers of artemisinin accumulation in Artemisisa annua plants. As the receptor of jasmonates, the F-box protein COI1 is critical to the JA signaling required for plant development, defense, and metabolic homeostasis. AaCOI1 from Artemisia annua, homologous to Arabidopsis AtCOI1, encodes a F-box protein located in the nuclei. Expressional profiles of the AaCOI1 in the root, stem, leaves, and inflorescence was investigated. The mRNA abundance of AaCOI1 was the highest in inflorescence, followed by in the leaves. Upon mechanical wounding or MeJA treatment, expression of AaCOI1 was upregulated after 6 h. When ectopically expressed, driven by the native promoter from Arabidopsis thaliana, AaCOI1 could partially complement the JA sensitivity and defense responses, but fully complemented the fertility, and the JA-induced anthocyanin accumulation in a coi1-16 loss-of-function mutant. Our study identifies the paralog of AtCOI1 in Artemisia annua, and revealed its implications in development, hormone signaling, defense, and metabolism. The results provide insight into JA perception in Artemisia annua, and pave the way for novel molecular breeding strategies in the canonical herbs to manipulate the anabolism of pharmaceutic compounds on the phytohormonal level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
Open AccessArticle
Development of Molecular Marker Linked with Bacterial Fruit Blotch Resistance in Melon (Cucumis melo L.)
Genes 2020, 11(2), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020220 (registering DOI) - 19 Feb 2020
Viewed by 155
Abstract
Bacterial fruit blotch (BFB) causes losses in melon marketable yield. However, until now, there has been no information about the genetic loci responsible for resistance to the disease or their pattern of inheritance. We determined the inheritance pattern of BFB resistance from a [...] Read more.
Bacterial fruit blotch (BFB) causes losses in melon marketable yield. However, until now, there has been no information about the genetic loci responsible for resistance to the disease or their pattern of inheritance. We determined the inheritance pattern of BFB resistance from a segregating population of 491 F2 individuals raised by crossing BFB-resistant (PI 353814) and susceptible (PI 614596) parental accessions. All F1 plants were resistant to Acidovorax citrulli strain KACC18782, and F2 plants segregated with a 3:1 ratio for resistant and susceptible phenotypes, respectively, in a seedling bioassay experiment, indicating that BFB resistance is controlled by a monogenic dominant gene. In an investigation of 57 putative disease-resistance related genes across the melon genome, only the MELO3C022157 gene (encoding TIR-NBS-LRR domain), showing polymorphism between resistant and susceptible parents, revealed as a good candidate for further investigation. Cloning, sequencing and quantitative RT-PCR expression of the polymorphic gene MELO3C022157 located on chromosome 9 revealed multiple insertion/deletions (InDels) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), of which the SNP A2035T in the second exon of the gene caused loss of the LRR domain and truncated protein in the susceptible accession. The InDel marker MB157-2, based on the large (504 bp) insertion in the first intron of the susceptible accession, was able to distinguish resistant and susceptible accessions among 491 F2 and 22 landraces/inbred accessions with 98.17% and 100% detection accuracy, respectively. This novel PCR-based, co-dominant InDel marker represents a practical tool for marker-assisted breeding aimed at developing BFB-resistant melon accessions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
Open AccessArticle
Clinical Ketosis-Associated Alteration of Gene Expression in Holstein Cows
Genes 2020, 11(2), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020219 (registering DOI) - 19 Feb 2020
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Abstract
Ketosis is one of the most prevalent transition metabolic disorders in dairy cows, and has been intrinsically influenced by both genetic and nutritional factors. However, altered gene expression with respective to dairy cow ketosis has not been addressed yet, especially at the genome-wide [...] Read more.
Ketosis is one of the most prevalent transition metabolic disorders in dairy cows, and has been intrinsically influenced by both genetic and nutritional factors. However, altered gene expression with respective to dairy cow ketosis has not been addressed yet, especially at the genome-wide level. In this study, we recruited nine Holsteins diagnosed with clinical ketosis and ten healthy controls, for which whole blood samples were collected at both prepartum and postpartum. Four groups of blood samples were defined: from cows with ketosis at prepartum (PCK, N = 9) and postpartum (CK, N = 9), respectively, and controls at prepartum (PHC, N = 10) and postpartum (HC, N = 10). RNA-Seq approach was used for investigating gene expression, by which a total of 27,233 genes were quantified with four billion high-quality reads. Subsequently, we revealed 75 and four differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between sick and control cows at postpartum and prepartum, respectively, which indicated that sick and control cows had similar gene expression patterns at prepartum. Meanwhile, there were 95 DEGs between postpartum and prepartum for sick cows, which showed depressed changes of gene expression during this transition period in comparison with healthy cows (428 DEGs). Functional analyses revealed the associated DEGs with ketosis were mainly involved in biological stress response, ion homeostasis, AA metabolism, energy signaling, and disease related pathways. Finally, we proposed that the expression level of STX1A would be potentially used as a new biomarker because it was the only gene that was highly expressed in sick cows at both prepartum and postpartum. These results could significantly help us to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms for incidence and progression of ketosis in dairy cows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Phenotype Selection on Genome Size Variation in Two Species of Diptera
Genes 2020, 11(2), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020218 (registering DOI) - 19 Feb 2020
Viewed by 181
Abstract
Genome size varies widely across organisms yet has not been found to be related to organismal complexity in eukaryotes. While there is no evidence for a relationship with complexity, there is evidence to suggest that other phenotypic characteristics, such as nucleus size and [...] Read more.
Genome size varies widely across organisms yet has not been found to be related to organismal complexity in eukaryotes. While there is no evidence for a relationship with complexity, there is evidence to suggest that other phenotypic characteristics, such as nucleus size and cell-cycle time, are associated with genome size, body size, and development rate. However, what is unknown is how the selection for divergent phenotypic traits may indirectly affect genome size. Drosophila melanogaster were selected for small and large body size for up to 220 generations, while Cochliomyia macellaria were selected for 32 generations for fast and slow development. Size in D. melanogaster significantly changed in terms of both cell-count and genome size in isolines, but only the cell-count changed in lines which were maintained at larger effective population sizes. Larger genome sizes only occurred in a subset of D. melanogaster isolines originated from flies selected for their large body size. Selection for development time did not change average genome size yet decreased the within-population variation in genome size with increasing generations of selection. This decrease in variation and convergence on a similar mean genome size was not in correspondence with phenotypic variation and suggests stabilizing selection on genome size in laboratory conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Basis of Phenotypic Variation in Drosophila and Other Insects)
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Open AccessArticle
BTG4 is A Novel p53 Target Gene That Inhibits Cell Growth and Induces Apoptosis
Genes 2020, 11(2), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020217 (registering DOI) - 19 Feb 2020
Viewed by 114
Abstract
BTG4 is the last cloned and poorly studied member of BTG/Tob family. Studies have suggested that BTG4 is critical for the degradation of maternal mRNAs in mice during the process of maternal-to-zygotic transition, and downregulated in cancers, such as gastric cancer. However, the [...] Read more.
BTG4 is the last cloned and poorly studied member of BTG/Tob family. Studies have suggested that BTG4 is critical for the degradation of maternal mRNAs in mice during the process of maternal-to-zygotic transition, and downregulated in cancers, such as gastric cancer. However, the regulatory mechanism of BTG4 and its function in cancers remain elusive. In this study, we have for the first time identified the promoter region of the human BTG4 gene. Serial luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that the core promoter of BTG4 is mainly located within the 388 bp region near its transcription initiation site. Transcription factor binding site analysis revealed that the BTG4 promoter contains binding sites for canonical transcription factors, such as Sp1, whereas its first intron contains two overlapped consensus p53 binding sites. However, overexpression of Sp1 has negligible effects on BTG4 promoter activity, and site-directed mutagenesis assay further suggested that Sp1 is not a critical transcription factor for the transcriptional regulation of BTG4. Of note, luciferase assay revealed that one of the intronic p53 binding sites is highly responsive to p53. Both exogenous p53 overexpression and adriamycin-mediated endogenous p53 activation result in the transcriptional upregulation of BTG4. In addition, BTG4 is downregulated in lung and colorectal cancers, and overexpression of BTG4 inhibits cell growth and induces apoptosis in cancer cells. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that BTG4 is a novel p53-regulated gene and probably functions as a tumor suppressor in lung and colorectal cancers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Repetitive DNA Restructuring Across Multiple Nicotiana Allopolyploidisation Events Shows a Lack of Strong Cytoplasmic Bias in Influencing Repeat Turnover
Genes 2020, 11(2), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020216 (registering DOI) - 19 Feb 2020
Viewed by 126
Abstract
Allopolyploidy is acknowledged as an important force in plant evolution. Frequent allopolyploidy in Nicotiana across different timescales permits the evaluation of genome restructuring and repeat dynamics through time. Here we use a clustering approach on high-throughput sequence reads to identify the main classes [...] Read more.
Allopolyploidy is acknowledged as an important force in plant evolution. Frequent allopolyploidy in Nicotiana across different timescales permits the evaluation of genome restructuring and repeat dynamics through time. Here we use a clustering approach on high-throughput sequence reads to identify the main classes of repetitive elements following three allotetraploid events, and how these are inherited from the closest extant relatives of the maternal and paternal subgenome donors. In all three cases, there was a lack of clear maternal, cytoplasmic bias in repeat evolution, i.e., lack of a predicted bias towards maternal subgenome-derived repeats, with roughly equal contributions from both parental subgenomes. Different overall repeat dynamics were found across timescales of <0.5 (N. rustica L.), 4 (N. repanda Willd.) and 6 (N. benthamiana Domin) Ma, with nearly additive, genome upsizing, and genome downsizing, respectively. Lower copy repeats were inherited in similar abundance to the parental subgenomes, whereas higher copy repeats contributed the most to genome size change in N. repanda and N. benthamiana. Genome downsizing post-polyploidisation may be a general long-term trend across angiosperms, but at more recent timescales there is species-specific variance as found in Nicotiana. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytonuclear Interactions in Polyploid Species)
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Open AccessArticle
Drosophila Interspecific Hybridization Causes A Deregulation of the piRNA Pathway Genes
Genes 2020, 11(2), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020215 (registering DOI) - 19 Feb 2020
Viewed by 218
Abstract
Almost all eukaryotes have transposable elements (TEs) against which they have developed defense mechanisms. In the Drosophila germline, the main transposable element (TE) regulation pathway is mediated by specific Piwi-interacting small RNAs (piRNAs). Nonetheless, for unknown reasons, TEs sometimes escape cellular control during [...] Read more.
Almost all eukaryotes have transposable elements (TEs) against which they have developed defense mechanisms. In the Drosophila germline, the main transposable element (TE) regulation pathway is mediated by specific Piwi-interacting small RNAs (piRNAs). Nonetheless, for unknown reasons, TEs sometimes escape cellular control during interspecific hybridization processes. Because the piRNA pathway genes are involved in piRNA biogenesis and TE control, we sequenced and characterized nine key genes from this pathway in Drosophila buzzatii and Drosophila koepferae species and studied their expression pattern in ovaries of both species and their F1 hybrids. We found that gene structure is, in general, maintained between both species and that two genes—armitage and aubergineare under positive selection. Three genes—krimper, methyltransferase 2, and zucchini—displayed higher expression values in hybrids than both parental species, while others had RNA levels similar to the parental species with the highest expression. This suggests that the overexpression of some piRNA pathway genes can be a primary response to hybrid stress. Therefore, these results reinforce the hypothesis that TE deregulation may be due to the protein incompatibility caused by the rapid evolution of these genes, leading to a TE silencing failure, rather than to an underexpression of piRNA pathway genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics)
Open AccessArticle
Characteristics of Microsatellites Mined from Transcriptome Data and the Development of Novel Markers in Paeonia lactiflora
Genes 2020, 11(2), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020214 (registering DOI) - 19 Feb 2020
Viewed by 147
Abstract
The insufficient number of available simple sequence repeats (SSRs) inhibits genetic research on and molecular breeding of Paeonia lactiflora, a flowering crop with great economic value. The objective of this study was to develop SSRs for P. lactiflora with Illumina RNA sequencing [...] Read more.
The insufficient number of available simple sequence repeats (SSRs) inhibits genetic research on and molecular breeding of Paeonia lactiflora, a flowering crop with great economic value. The objective of this study was to develop SSRs for P. lactiflora with Illumina RNA sequencing and assess the role of SSRs in gene regulation. The results showed that dinucleotides with AG/CT repeats were the most abundant type of repeat motif in P. lactiflora and were preferentially distributed in untranslated regions. Significant differences in SSR size were observed among motif types and locations. A large number of unigenes containing SSRs participated in catalytic activity, metabolic processes and cellular processes, and 28.16% of all transcription factors and 21.74% of hub genes for inflorescence stem straightness were found to contain SSRs. Successful amplification was achieved with 89.05% of 960 pairs of SSR primers, 55.83% of which were polymorphic, and most of the 46 tested primers had a high level of transferability to the genus Paeonia. Principal component and cluster dendrogram analyses produced results consistent with known genealogical relationships. This study provides a set of SSRs with abundant information for future accession identification, marker-trait association and molecular assisted breeding in P. lactiflora. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Diversity Assessment and Marker-Assisted Selection in Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Evolutionary Dynamics of the POTE Gene Family in Human and Nonhuman Primates
Genes 2020, 11(2), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020213 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 210
Abstract
POTE (prostate, ovary, testis, and placenta expressed) genes belong to a primate-specific gene family expressed in prostate, ovary, and testis as well as in several cancers including breast, prostate, and lung cancers. Due to their tumor-specific expression, POTEs are potential oncogenes, therapeutic targets, [...] Read more.
POTE (prostate, ovary, testis, and placenta expressed) genes belong to a primate-specific gene family expressed in prostate, ovary, and testis as well as in several cancers including breast, prostate, and lung cancers. Due to their tumor-specific expression, POTEs are potential oncogenes, therapeutic targets, and biomarkers for these malignancies. This gene family maps within human and primate segmental duplications with a copy number ranging from two to 14 in different species. Due to the high sequence identity among the gene copies, specific efforts are needed to assemble these loci in order to correctly define the organization and evolution of the gene family. Using single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) sequencing, in silico analyses, and molecular cytogenetics, we characterized the structure, copy number, and chromosomal distribution of the POTE genes, as well as their expression in normal and disease tissues, and provided a comparative analysis of the POTE organization and gene structure in primate genomes. We were able, for the first time, to de novo sequence and assemble a POTE tandem duplication in marmoset that is misassembled and collapsed in the reference genome, thus revealing the presence of a second POTE copy. Taken together, our findings provide comprehensive insights into the evolutionary dynamics of the primate-specific POTE gene family, involving gene duplications, deletions, and long interspersed nuclear element (LINE) transpositions to explain the actual repertoire of these genes in human and primate genomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Tale of Genes and Genomes)
Open AccessArticle
Heteroplasmy and Copy Number in the Common m.3243A>G Mutation—A Post-Mortem Genotype–Phenotype Analysis
Genes 2020, 11(2), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020212 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 207
Abstract
Different mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations have been identified to cause mitochondrial encephalopathy, lactate acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS). The underlying genetic cause leading to an enormous clinical heterogeneity associated with m.3243A>G-related mitochondrial diseases is still poorly understood. Genotype–phenotype correlation (heteroplasmy levels and clinical [...] Read more.
Different mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations have been identified to cause mitochondrial encephalopathy, lactate acidosis and stroke-like episodes (MELAS). The underlying genetic cause leading to an enormous clinical heterogeneity associated with m.3243A>G-related mitochondrial diseases is still poorly understood. Genotype–phenotype correlation (heteroplasmy levels and clinical symptoms) was analysed in 16 patients (15 literature cases and one unreported case) harbouring the m.3243A>G mutation. mtDNA copy numbers were correlated to heteroplasmy levels in 30 different post-mortem tissue samples, including 14 brain samples of a 46-year-old female. In the central nervous system, higher levels of heteroplasmy correlated significantly with lower mtDNA copy numbers. Skeletal muscle levels of heteroplasmy correlated significantly with kidney and liver. There was no significant difference of heteroplasmy levels between clinically affected and unaffected patients. In the patient presented, we found >75% heteroplasmy levels in all central nervous system samples, without harbouring a MELAS phenotype. This underlines previous suggestions, that really high levels in tissues do not automatically lead to a specific phenotype. Missing significant differences of heteroplasmy levels between clinically affected and unaffected patients underline recent suggestions that there are additional factors such as mtDNA copy number and nuclear factors that may also influence disease severity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forensic Mitochondrial Genomics)
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Open AccessArticle
Inhibition of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Ameliorates Renal Fibrosis by Mitigating DPP-4 Level and Restoring Antifibrotic MicroRNAs
Genes 2020, 11(2), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020211 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 192
Abstract
Two class of drugs 1) angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEis) and 2) angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are well-known conventional drugs that can retard the progression of chronic nephropathies to end-stage renal disease. However, there is a lack of comparative studies on the effects [...] Read more.
Two class of drugs 1) angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEis) and 2) angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) are well-known conventional drugs that can retard the progression of chronic nephropathies to end-stage renal disease. However, there is a lack of comparative studies on the effects of ACEi versus ARB on renal fibrosis. Here, we observed that ACEi ameliorated renal fibrosis by mitigating DPP-4 and TGFβ signaling, whereas, ARB did not show. Moreover, the combination of N-acetyl-seryl-aspartyl-lysyl-proline (AcSDKP), one of the substrates of ACE, with ACEi slightly enhanced the inhibitory effects of ACEi on DPP-4 and associated-TGFβ signaling. Further, the comprehensive miRome analysis in kidneys of ACEi+AcSDKP (combination) treatment revealed the emergence of miR-29s and miR-let-7s as key antifibrotic players. Treatment of cultured cells with ACEi alone or in combination with AcSDKP prevented the downregulated expression of miR-29s and miR-let-7s induced by TGFβ stimulation. Interestingly, ACEi also restored miR-29 and miR-let-7 family cross-talk in endothelial cells, an effect that is shared by AcSDKP suggesting that AcSDKP may be partially involved in the anti-mesenchymal action of ACEi. The results of the present study promise to advance our understanding of how ACEi regulates antifibrotic microRNAs crosstalk and DPP-4 associated-fibrogenic processes which is a critical event in the development of diabetic kidney disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection microRNA Omnibus)
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Open AccessEditorial
Form from Function, Order from Chaos in Male Germline Chromatin
Genes 2020, 11(2), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020210 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 154
Abstract
Spermatogenesis requires radical restructuring of germline chromatin at multiple stages, involving co-ordinated waves of DNA methylation and demethylation, histone modification, replacement and removal occurring before, during and after meiosis. This Special Issue has drawn together papers addressing many aspects of chromatin organization and [...] Read more.
Spermatogenesis requires radical restructuring of germline chromatin at multiple stages, involving co-ordinated waves of DNA methylation and demethylation, histone modification, replacement and removal occurring before, during and after meiosis. This Special Issue has drawn together papers addressing many aspects of chromatin organization and dynamics in the male germ line, in humans and in model organisms. Two major themes emerge from these studies: the first is the functional significance of nuclear organisation in the developing germline; the second is the interplay between sperm chromatin structure and susceptibility to DNA damage and mutation. The consequences of these aspects for fertility, both in humans and other animals, is a major health and social welfare issue and this is reflected in these nine exciting manuscripts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Male Germline Chromatin)
Open AccessReview
Transforming Ocean Conservation: Applying the Genetic Rescue Toolkit
Genes 2020, 11(2), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020209 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 209
Abstract
Although oceans provide critical ecosystem services and support the most abundant populations on earth, the extent of damage impacting oceans and the diversity of strategies to protect them is disconcertingly, and disproportionately, understudied. While conventional modes of conservation have made strides in mitigating [...] Read more.
Although oceans provide critical ecosystem services and support the most abundant populations on earth, the extent of damage impacting oceans and the diversity of strategies to protect them is disconcertingly, and disproportionately, understudied. While conventional modes of conservation have made strides in mitigating impacts of human activities on ocean ecosystems, those strategies alone cannot completely stem the tide of mounting threats. Biotechnology and genomic research should be harnessed and developed within conservation frameworks to foster the persistence of viable ocean ecosystems. This document distills the results of a targeted survey, the Ocean Genomics Horizon Scan, which assessed opportunities to bring novel genetic rescue tools to marine conservation. From this Horizon Scan, we have identified how novel approaches from synthetic biology and genomics can alleviate major marine threats. While ethical frameworks for biotechnological interventions are necessary for effective and responsible practice, here we primarily assessed technological and social factors directly affecting technical development and deployment of biotechnology interventions for marine conservation. Genetic insight can greatly enhance established conservation methods, but the severity of many threats may demand genomic intervention. While intervention is controversial, for many marine areas the cost of inaction is too high to allow controversy to be a barrier to conserving viable ecosystems. Here, we offer a set of recommendations for engagement and program development to deploy genetic rescue safely and responsibly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Technologies and Resources for Genetics)
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Open AccessReview
Cas3 Protein—A Review of a Multi-Tasking Machine
Genes 2020, 11(2), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020208 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 166
Abstract
Cas3 has essential functions in CRISPR immunity but its other activities and roles, in vitro and in cells, are less widely known. We offer a concise review of the latest understanding and questions arising from studies of Cas3 mechanism during CRISPR immunity, and [...] Read more.
Cas3 has essential functions in CRISPR immunity but its other activities and roles, in vitro and in cells, are less widely known. We offer a concise review of the latest understanding and questions arising from studies of Cas3 mechanism during CRISPR immunity, and highlight recent attempts at using Cas3 for genetic editing. We then spotlight involvement of Cas3 in other aspects of cell biology, for which understanding is lacking—these focus on CRISPR systems as regulators of cellular processes in addition to defense against mobile genetic elements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue CRISPR-Cas: Interactions with Genome and Physiological Maintenance)
Open AccessArticle
Evolution of the Small Family of Alternative Splicing Modulators Nuclear Speckle RNA-binding Proteins in Plants
Genes 2020, 11(2), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020207 (registering DOI) - 18 Feb 2020
Viewed by 149
Abstract
RNA-Binding Protein 1 (RBP1) was first identified as a protein partner of the long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) ENOD40 in Medicago truncatula, involved in symbiotic nodule development. RBP1 is localized in nuclear speckles and can be relocalized to the cytoplasm by the interaction [...] Read more.
RNA-Binding Protein 1 (RBP1) was first identified as a protein partner of the long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) ENOD40 in Medicago truncatula, involved in symbiotic nodule development. RBP1 is localized in nuclear speckles and can be relocalized to the cytoplasm by the interaction with ENOD40. The two closest homologs to RBP1 in Arabidopsis thaliana were called Nuclear Speckle RNA-binding proteins (NSRs) and characterized as alternative splicing modulators of specific mRNAs. They can recognize in vivo the lncRNA ALTERNATIVE SPLICING COMPETITOR (ASCO) among other lncRNAs, regulating lateral root formation. Here, we performed a phylogenetic analysis of NSR/RBP proteins tracking the roots of the family to the Embryophytes. Strikingly, eudicots faced a reductive trend of NSR/RBP proteins in comparison with other groups of flowering plants. In Medicago truncatula and Lotus japonicus, their expression profile during nodulation and in specific regions of the symbiotic nodule was compared to that of the lncRNA ENOD40, as well as to changes in alternative splicing. This hinted at distinct and specific roles of each member during nodulation, likely modulating the population of alternatively spliced transcripts. Our results establish the basis to guide future exploration of NSR/RBP function in alternative splicing regulation in different developmental contexts along the plant lineage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Evolution of Root Nodule Symbioses)
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