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Genes, Volume 15, Issue 7 (July 2024) – 95 articles

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15 pages, 1591 KiB  
Review
Sulfotransferase 4A1 Coding Sequence and Protein Structure Are Highly Conserved in Vertebrates
by Robert C. A. M. van Waardenburg and Charles N. Falany
Genes 2024, 15(7), 914; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070914 (registering DOI) - 13 Jul 2024
Abstract
Cytosolic sulfotransferases (SULTs) are Phase 2 drug-metabolizing enzymes that catalyze the conjugation of sulfonate to endogenous and xenobiotic compounds, increasing their hydrophilicity and excretion from cells. To date, 13 human SULTs have been identified and classified into five families. SULT4A1 mRNA encodes two [...] Read more.
Cytosolic sulfotransferases (SULTs) are Phase 2 drug-metabolizing enzymes that catalyze the conjugation of sulfonate to endogenous and xenobiotic compounds, increasing their hydrophilicity and excretion from cells. To date, 13 human SULTs have been identified and classified into five families. SULT4A1 mRNA encodes two variants: (1) the wild type, encoding a 284 amino acid, ~33 kDa protein, and (2) an alternative spliced variant resulting from a 126 bp insert between exon 6 and 7, which introduces a premature stop codon that enhances nonsense-mediated decay. SULT4A1 is classified as an SULT based on sequence and structural similarities, including PAPS-domains, active-site His, and the dimerization domain; however, the catalytic pocket lid ‘Loop 3′ size is not conserved. SULT4A1 is uniquely expressed in the brain and localized in the cytosol and mitochondria. SULT4A1 is highly conserved, with rare intronic polymorphisms that have no outward manifestations. However, the SULT4A1 haplotype is correlated with Phelan–McDermid syndrome and schizophrenia. SULT4A1 knockdown revealed potential SULT4A1 functions in photoreceptor signaling and knockout mice display hampered neuronal development and behavior. Mouse and yeast models revealed that SULT4A1 protects the mitochondria from endogenously and exogenously induced oxidative stress and stimulates cell division, promoting dendritic spines’ formation and synaptic transmission. To date, no physiological enzymatic activity has been associated with SULT4A1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
15 pages, 1955 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Influence of Fok1/Apa1 Polymorphic Variants on Adolescent Mental Health and Response to Vitamin D Supplementation in Embryonic Hippocampal Cell Lines
by Giulia Gizzi, Federico Fiorani, Samuela Cataldi, Martina Mandarano, Elisa Delvecchio, Claudia Mazzeschi and Elisabetta Albi
Genes 2024, 15(7), 913; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070913 - 12 Jul 2024
Viewed by 58
Abstract
Several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) have been observed in association with susceptibility to various pathologies, including autism, major depression, age-related changes in cognitive functioning, and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. This study aimed to establish the association between [...] Read more.
Several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) have been observed in association with susceptibility to various pathologies, including autism, major depression, age-related changes in cognitive functioning, and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. This study aimed to establish the association between Fok1/Apa1 polymorphic variants and anxious/depressive symptoms in nonclinical adolescents from central Italy, with the goal of identifying the risk of developing both symptoms. We found no significant difference in genotype distribution or dominant/recessive models of Fok1/Apa1 VDR polymorphic variants between subjects with anxious/depressive symptoms and controls. HN9.10e cell lines carrying the AA genotype for Fok1 and the CC genotype for Apa1 responded better to treatment with vitamin D3 than cell lines carrying the AG genotype for Fok1 and CA genotype for Apa1. Cell lines carrying the GG genotype for Fok1 and the AA genotype for Apa1 did not respond at all, suggesting avenues for future studies in both the general population and individuals with mental and/or neuropsychiatric disorders. These studies suggest that the level of response to vitamin D3 administered to prevent and/or treat mental or neurological disorders could depend on the polymorphic variants of the vitamin D receptor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
16 pages, 6479 KiB  
Article
Comprehensive Identification and Expression Profiling of Epidermal Pattern Factor (EPF) Gene Family in Oilseed Rape (Brassica napus L.) under Salt Stress
by Shanshan Wang, Wei Wang, Jingdong Chen, Heping Wan, Huixia Zhao, Xiaoyun Liu, Xigang Dai, Changli Zeng and Danyun Xu
Genes 2024, 15(7), 912; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070912 - 12 Jul 2024
Viewed by 85
Abstract
Rapeseed is a crucial oil crop globally, and in recent years, abiotic stress has increasingly affected its growth, development, yield, and quality. Salt stress is a significant abiotic factor that restricts crop production. The EPF gene family is vital in managing salt stress [...] Read more.
Rapeseed is a crucial oil crop globally, and in recent years, abiotic stress has increasingly affected its growth, development, yield, and quality. Salt stress is a significant abiotic factor that restricts crop production. The EPF gene family is vital in managing salt stress by controlling stomatal development and opening, which reduces water loss and increases plant salt tolerance. To explore the features of the EPF gene family in Brassica napus and their expression under salt stress, this study utilized Arabidopsis EPF protein sequences as seed sequences, including their PF17181 and PF16851 domains. A total of 27 members of the EPF gene family were detected within the rapeseed genome. The study examined the physicochemical properties, gene structure, phylogenetic relationships, and collinearity of BnEPFs. Through transcriptomes, we employed the qPCR method to determine the relative expression levels of BnEPF genes potentially associated with rapeseed stress resistance under both non-salt and salt stress conditions. Subsequently, we assessed their influence on rapeseed plants subjected to salt stress. During salt stress conditions, all BnEPF genes displayed a downregulation trend, indicating their potential impact on stomatal development and signal transduction pathways, consequently improving rapeseed’s resistance to salt stress. The study findings establish a basis for exploring the roles of BnEPFs and offer candidate genes for breeding stress-resistant varieties and enhancing the yield in rapeseed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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21 pages, 6208 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification of APX Gene Family in Citrus maxima and Expression Analysis at Different Postharvest Preservation Times
by Yu Zhang, Yujiao Peng, Huixin Zhang, Qiuyu Gao, Fangfei Song, Xueyu Cui and Fulei Mo
Genes 2024, 15(7), 911; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070911 - 12 Jul 2024
Viewed by 127
Abstract
Ascorbate peroxidase (APX) is a crucial enzyme involved in cellular antioxidant defense and plays a pivotal role in modulating reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels under various environmental stresses in plants. This study utilized bioinformatics methods to identify and analyze the APX gene family [...] Read more.
Ascorbate peroxidase (APX) is a crucial enzyme involved in cellular antioxidant defense and plays a pivotal role in modulating reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels under various environmental stresses in plants. This study utilized bioinformatics methods to identify and analyze the APX gene family of pomelo, while quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was employed to validate and analyze the expression of CmAPXs at different stages of fruit postharvest. This study identified 96 members of the CmAPX family in the entire pomelo genome, with uneven distribution across nine chromosomes and occurrences of gene fragment replication. The subcellular localization includes peroxisome, cytoplasm, chloroplasts, and mitochondria. The CmAPX family exhibits a similar gene structure, predominantly consisting of two exons. An analysis of the upstream promoter regions revealed a significant presence of cis-acting elements associated with light (Box 4, G-Box), hormones (ABRE, TCA-element), and stress-related (MBS, LTR, ARE) responses. Phylogenetic and collinearity analyses revealed that the CmAPX gene family can be classified into three subclasses, with seven collinear gene pairs. Furthermore, CmAPXs are closely related to citrus, pomelo, and lemon, followed by Arabidopsis, and exhibit low homology with rice. Additionally, the transcriptomic heat map and qPCR results revealed that the expression levels of CmAPX57, CmAPX34, CmAPX50, CmAPX4, CmAPX5, and CmAPX81 were positively correlated with granulation degree, indicating the activation of the endogenous stress resistance system in pomelo cells by these genes, thereby conferring resistance to ROS. This finding is consistent with the results of GO enrichment analysis. Furthermore, 38 miRNAs were identified as potential regulators targeting the CmAPX family for post-transcriptional regulation. Thus, this study has preliminarily characterized members of the APX gene family in pomelo and provided valuable insights for further research on their antioxidant function and molecular mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers: 'Plant Genetics and Genomics' Section)
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12 pages, 2224 KiB  
Article
invdup(8)(8q24.13q24.3)—A Complex Alteration and Its Clinical Consequences
by Rafaella Mergener, Marcela Rodrigues Nunes, Ana Kalise Böttcher, Monique Banik Siqueira, Helena Froener Peruzzo, Milene Carvalho Merola, Mariluce Riegel and Paulo Ricardo Gazzola Zen
Genes 2024, 15(7), 910; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070910 - 12 Jul 2024
Viewed by 139
Abstract
Structural variation is a source of genetic variation that, in some cases, may trigger pathogenicity. Here, we describe two cases, a mother and son, with the same partial inverted duplication of the long arm of chromosome 8 [invdup(8)(q24.21q24.21)] of 17.18 Mb, showing different [...] Read more.
Structural variation is a source of genetic variation that, in some cases, may trigger pathogenicity. Here, we describe two cases, a mother and son, with the same partial inverted duplication of the long arm of chromosome 8 [invdup(8)(q24.21q24.21)] of 17.18 Mb, showing different clinical manifestations: microcephaly, dorsal hypertrichosis, seizures and neuropsychomotor development delay in the child, and a cleft lip/palate, down-slanted palpebral fissures and learning disabilities in the mother. The deleterious outcome, in general, is reflected by the gain or loss of genetic material. However, discrepancies among the clinical manifestations raise some concerns about the genomic configuration within the chromosome and other genetic modifiers. With that in mind, we also performed a literature review of research published in the last 20 years about the duplication of the same, or close, chromosome region, seeking the elucidation of at least some relevant clinical features. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Basis of Rare Genetic Diseases)
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16 pages, 5650 KiB  
Article
Illuminating Genetic Diversity and Selection Signatures in Matou Goats through Whole-Genome Sequencing Analysis
by Ruiyao HuangFu, Haobang Li, Yang Luo, Fang He, Cheng Huan, Zulfiqar Ahmed, Baizhong Zhang, Chuzhao Lei and Kangle Yi
Genes 2024, 15(7), 909; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070909 - 12 Jul 2024
Viewed by 70
Abstract
(1) Background: Matou goats, native to Hunan and Hubei provinces in China, are renowned for their exceptional meat and skin quality. However, a comprehensive whole-genome-based exploration of the genetic architecture of this breed is scant in the literature. (2) Methods: To address this [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Matou goats, native to Hunan and Hubei provinces in China, are renowned for their exceptional meat and skin quality. However, a comprehensive whole-genome-based exploration of the genetic architecture of this breed is scant in the literature. (2) Methods: To address this substantial gap, we used whole-genome sequences of 20 Matou goats and compared them with published genomic data of 133 goats of different breeds across China. This comprehensive investigation sought to assess genetic diversity, population structure, and the presence of genomic selection signals. (3) Results: The whole genome of Matou goat populations yielded a substantial catalog of over 19 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), primarily distributed within intergenic and intron regions. The phylogenetic tree analysis revealed distinct clades corresponding to each goat population within the dataset. Notably, this analysis positioned Matou goats in a closer genetic affinity with Guizhou White goats, compared to other recognized goat breeds. This observation was corroborated by principal component analysis (PCA) and admixture analysis. Remarkably, Matou goats exhibited diminished genetic diversity and a notable degree of inbreeding, signifying a reduced effective population size. Moreover, the study employed five selective sweep detection methods (including PI, CLR, PI-Ratio, Fst, and XP-EHH) to screen top signal genes associated with critical biological functions, encompassing cardiomyocytes, immunity, coat color, and meat quality. (4) Conclusions: In conclusion, this study significantly advances our understanding of the current genetic landscape and evolutionary dynamics of Matou goats. These findings underscore the importance of concerted efforts in resource conservation and genetic enhancement for this invaluable breed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Cattle, Sheep, and Goats Molecular Genetics and Breeding)
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23 pages, 2299 KiB  
Review
Emerging Microorganisms and Infectious Diseases: One Health Approach for Health Shared Vision
by Maria Vittoria Ristori, Valerio Guarrasi, Paolo Soda, Nicola Petrosillo, Fiorella Gurrieri, Umile Giuseppe Longo, Massimo Ciccozzi, Elisabetta Riva and Silvia Angeletti
Genes 2024, 15(7), 908; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070908 (registering DOI) - 11 Jul 2024
Viewed by 218
Abstract
Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are newly emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases identifies the following as emerging infectious diseases: SARS, MERS, COVID-19, influenza, fungal diseases, plague, schistosomiasis, smallpox, tick-borne diseases, and West Nile fever. The factors [...] Read more.
Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are newly emerging and reemerging infectious diseases. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases identifies the following as emerging infectious diseases: SARS, MERS, COVID-19, influenza, fungal diseases, plague, schistosomiasis, smallpox, tick-borne diseases, and West Nile fever. The factors that should be taken into consideration are the genetic adaptation of microbial agents and the characteristics of the human host or environment. The new approach to identifying new possible pathogens will have to go through the One Health approach and omics integration data, which are capable of identifying high-priority microorganisms in a short period of time. New bioinformatics technologies enable global integration and sharing of surveillance data for rapid public health decision-making to detect and prevent epidemics and pandemics, ensuring timely response and effective prevention measures. Machine learning tools are being more frequently utilized in the realm of infectious diseases to predict sepsis in patients, diagnose infectious diseases early, and forecast the effectiveness of treatment or the appropriate choice of antibiotic regimen based on clinical data. We will discuss emerging microorganisms, omics techniques applied to infectious diseases, new computational solutions to evaluate biomarkers, and innovative tools that are useful for integrating omics data and electronic medical records data for the clinical management of emerging infectious diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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10 pages, 567 KiB  
Article
Genetic Variants of the Receptor Activator Nuclear of κB Ligand Gene Increase the Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis in a Mexican Mestizo Population: A Case–Control Study
by Nava-Valdivia Cesar Arturo, Gamez-Nava Jorge Ivan, Contreras-Haro Betsabe, Perez-Guerrero Edsaul Emilio, Esparza-Guerrero Yussef, Rodriguez-Jimenez Norma Alejandra, Gonzalez-Heredia Tonatiuh, Villagomez-Vega Alejandra, Nuño-Arana Ismael, Totsuka-Sutto Sylvia Elena, Ponce-Guarneros Juan Manuel, Jacobo-Cuevas Heriberto, Alvarez-Ayala Efren Gerardo, Gonzalez-Lopez Laura and Saldaña-Cruz Ana Miriam
Genes 2024, 15(7), 907; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070907 - 11 Jul 2024
Viewed by 259
Abstract
The Receptor Activator Nuclear of κB Ligand (RANKL) plays an important function in immune responses, activating osteoclast cells and unchanged bone resorption, which in turn leads to bone erosion and inflammation. Genetic variants in the promoter region of the RANKL gene could lead [...] Read more.
The Receptor Activator Nuclear of κB Ligand (RANKL) plays an important function in immune responses, activating osteoclast cells and unchanged bone resorption, which in turn leads to bone erosion and inflammation. Genetic variants in the promoter region of the RANKL gene could lead to a higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Objective: To assess the association of rs9533155 (-693C>G) and rs9533156 (-643T>C) genetic variants with RA risk. Methods: A case–control study was carried out. A total of 94 patients with RA (RA group) and 134 subjects without any rheumatologic disease (control group) were included. Genetic DNA was extracted from peripheral white blood cells (leukocytes). Genetic variant rs9533155 (-693C>G) was screened by an approach based on Polymerase Chain Reaction–Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (PCR-RFLP), while rs9533156 (-643T>C) was screened using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) with TaqMan probes. RANKL serum levels were measured by ELISA. Results: For rs9533155 (-693C>G), the polymorphic homozygous genotype frequencies (CC) were higher in the RA group (p = 0.006). Individuals carrying the risk genotype presented higher levels of serum RANKL. Carriers of the polymorphic homozygous genotype in the dominant model (CC vs. CG + GG) had an increased risk of developing RA (OR: 1.8, 95% CI 1.04 to 3.1). No association between rs9533156 (-643T>C) and the haplotypes with RA risk was observed. Conclusion: The rs9533155 (-693C>G) genetic variant exhibits a potential role in RA risk. The studied population had no association with the rs9533156 (-643T>C) genetic variant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Autoimmune Disease Genetics Volume II)
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19 pages, 1973 KiB  
Review
The Potential Links between lncRNAs and Drug Tolerance in Lung Adenocarcinoma
by William J. H. Davis, Catherine J. Drummond, Sarah Diermeier and Glen Reid
Genes 2024, 15(7), 906; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070906 - 11 Jul 2024
Viewed by 179
Abstract
Lung cancer patients treated with targeted therapies frequently respond well but invariably relapse due to the development of drug resistance. Drug resistance is in part mediated by a subset of cancer cells termed “drug-tolerant persisters” (DTPs), which enter a dormant, slow-cycling state that [...] Read more.
Lung cancer patients treated with targeted therapies frequently respond well but invariably relapse due to the development of drug resistance. Drug resistance is in part mediated by a subset of cancer cells termed “drug-tolerant persisters” (DTPs), which enter a dormant, slow-cycling state that enables them to survive drug exposure. DTPs also exhibit stem cell-like characteristics, broad epigenetic reprogramming, altered metabolism, and a mutagenic phenotype mediated by adaptive mutability. While several studies have characterised the transcriptional changes that lead to the altered phenotypes exhibited in DTPs, these studies have focused predominantly on protein coding changes. As long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are also implicated in the phenotypes altered in DTPs, it is likely that they play a role in the biology of drug tolerance. In this review, we outline how lncRNAs may contribute to the key characteristics of DTPs, their potential roles in tolerance to targeted therapies, and the emergence of genetic resistance in lung adenocarcinoma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section RNA)
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13 pages, 2719 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Urinary Exosome microRNA Profile of von Hippel Lindau Syndrome Patients with Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma
by Beatriz Walter-Rodriguez, Christopher J. Ricketts, W. Marston Linehan and Maria J. Merino
Genes 2024, 15(7), 905; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070905 - 11 Jul 2024
Viewed by 190
Abstract
Introduction: Renal cell carcinoma is one of the ten more common malignant tumors worldwide, with a high incidence and mortality rate. Kidney cancer frequently presents at an advanced stage, and it is almost invariably fatal. Much progress has been made in identifying molecular [...] Read more.
Introduction: Renal cell carcinoma is one of the ten more common malignant tumors worldwide, with a high incidence and mortality rate. Kidney cancer frequently presents at an advanced stage, and it is almost invariably fatal. Much progress has been made in identifying molecular targets for therapy in the hope of improving survival rates, but still, we have no good markers for early detection or progression of the disease. Von Hippel Lindau syndrome (VHL) is an autosomal dominant cancer hereditary syndrome in which affected individuals are at risk of developing bilateral and multifocal renal cell carcinomas (RCC) as well as other tumors. These patients provide an ideal platform to investigate the potential of urinary exosomal miRNA biomarkers in the early development of ccRCC, as these patients are regularly imaged and tumors are actively monitored until the tumor reaches 3 cm before surgical excision. This allows for pre- and post-surgical urine collection and comparison to excised tumor tissues. Studying different biomarkers in urine can provide comprehensive molecular profiling available to patients and physicians and can be a great source of additional tumor genetic information. Methods: Pre- and postoperative urine samples were obtained from a cohort of VHL patients undergoing surveillance and surgical excision of ccRCCs, and exosomes were extracted. MicroRNA-Seq analysis was performed on miRNA extracted from both urine-derived exosomes and FFPE material from excised ccRCCs. Results: MicroRNA-Seq analysis highlighted a significant difference in the urinary exosome-derived miRNA expression profiles between VHL patients and normal control individuals. This included decreased expression of the miR-320 family, such as miR-320a, known to be decreased in sporadic ccRCC and suppressed by the HIF1α transcription factor activated by the loss of the VHL gene. MiR-542-5p represented a potential marker of VHL-associated ccRCC that was lowly expressed in normal control urinary exosomes, significantly increased in the preoperative urinary exosomes of tumor-bearing VHL patients, and subsequently reduced to normal levels of expression after tumor excision. In concordance with this, the expression of miR-542-5p was increased in the VHL-associated ccRCC in comparison to the normal kidney. Conclusions: This study shows the potential for miRNA profiling of exosomes from readily available biofluids to both distinguish VHL patient urine from normal control urine microRNAs and to provide biomarkers for the presence of VHL syndrome-associated ccRCC. Further validation studies are necessary to demonstrate the utility of urinary exosome-derived miRNAs as biomarkers in kidney cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Markers and Liquid Biopsy for Kidney Diseases)
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13 pages, 2718 KiB  
Article
Molecular Mechanisms of Resistance against PSII-Inhibiting Herbicides in Amaranthus retroflexus from the Czech Republic
by Jakub Mikulka, Madhab Kumar Sen, Pavlína Košnarová, Pavel Hamouz, Kateřina Hamouzová, Vishma Pratap Sur, Jaromír Šuk, Soham Bhattacharya and Josef Soukup
Genes 2024, 15(7), 904; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070904 - 11 Jul 2024
Viewed by 179
Abstract
Amaranthus retroflexus L. (redroot pigweed) is one of the most problematic weeds in maize, sugar beet, vegetables, and soybean crop fields in Europe. Two pigweed amaranth biotypes (R1 and R2) from the Czech Republic resistant to photosystem II (PSII)-inhibiting herbicides were analyzed in [...] Read more.
Amaranthus retroflexus L. (redroot pigweed) is one of the most problematic weeds in maize, sugar beet, vegetables, and soybean crop fields in Europe. Two pigweed amaranth biotypes (R1 and R2) from the Czech Republic resistant to photosystem II (PSII)-inhibiting herbicides were analyzed in this study. This study aimed to identify the genetic mechanisms that underlie the resistance observed in the biotypes. Additionally, we also intended to establish the use of chlorophyll fluorescence measurement as a rapid and reliable method for confirming herbicide resistance in this weed species. Both biotypes analyzed showed high resistance factors in a dose–response study and were thus confirmed to be resistant to PSII-inhibiting herbicides. A sequence analysis of the D1 protein revealed a well-known Ser-Gly substitution at amino acid position 264 in both biotypes. Molecular docking studies, along with the wild-type and mutant D1 protein’s secondary structure analyses, revealed that the S264G mutation did not reduce herbicide affinity but instead indirectly affected the interaction between the target protein and the herbicides. The current study identified the S264G mutation as being responsible for conferring herbicide resistance in the pigweed amaranth biotypes. These findings can provide a strong basis for future studies that might use protein structure and mutation-based approaches to gain further insights into the detailed mechanisms of resistance in this weed species. In many individuals from both biotypes, resistance at a very early stage (BBCH10) of plants was demonstrated several hours after the application of the active ingredients by the chlorophyll fluorescence method. The effective PS II quantum yield parameter can be used as a rapid diagnostic tool for distinguishing between sensitive and resistant plants on an individual level. This method can be useful for identifying herbicide-resistant weed biotypes in the field, which can help farmers and weed management practitioners develop more effective weed control tactics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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15 pages, 1824 KiB  
Review
A Comprehensive Review of HER2 in Cancer Biology and Therapeutics
by Xiaoqing Cheng
Genes 2024, 15(7), 903; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070903 - 11 Jul 2024
Viewed by 202
Abstract
Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), a targetable transmembrane glycoprotein receptor of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family, plays a crucial role in cell proliferation, survival, and differentiation. Aberrant HER2 signaling is implicated in various cancers, particularly in breast and gastric [...] Read more.
Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), a targetable transmembrane glycoprotein receptor of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family, plays a crucial role in cell proliferation, survival, and differentiation. Aberrant HER2 signaling is implicated in various cancers, particularly in breast and gastric cancers, where HER2 overexpression or amplification correlates with aggressive tumor behavior and poor prognosis. HER2-activating mutations contribute to accelerated tumorigenesis and metastasis. This review provides an overview of HER2 biology, signaling pathways, mechanisms of dysregulation, and diagnostic approaches, as well as therapeutic strategies targeting HER2 in cancer. Understanding the intricate details of HER2 regulation is essential for developing effective targeted therapies and improving patient outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Signaling Pathway of Cancer)
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12 pages, 5214 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification and Bioinformatics Analysis of the FK506 Binding Protein Family in Rice
by Fanhao Nie, Minghao Wang, Linlin Liu, Xuefei Ma and Juan Zhao
Genes 2024, 15(7), 902; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070902 - 10 Jul 2024
Viewed by 238
Abstract
The FK506 Binding Protein (FKBP), ubiquitously present across diverse species, is characterized by its evolutionarily conserved FK506 binding domain (FKBd). In plants, evidence suggests that this gene family plays integral roles in regulating growth, development, and responses to environmental stresses. Notably, research on [...] Read more.
The FK506 Binding Protein (FKBP), ubiquitously present across diverse species, is characterized by its evolutionarily conserved FK506 binding domain (FKBd). In plants, evidence suggests that this gene family plays integral roles in regulating growth, development, and responses to environmental stresses. Notably, research on the identification and functionality of FKBP genes in rice remains limited. Therefore, this study utilized bioinformatic tools to identify 30 FKBP-encoding genes in rice. It provides a detailed analysis of their chromosomal locations, evolutionary relationships with the Arabidopsis thaliana FKBP family, and gene structures. Further analysis of the promoter elements of these rice FKBP genes revealed a high presence of stress-responsive elements. Quantitative PCR assays under drought and heat stress conditions demonstrated that genes OsFKBP15-2, OsFKBP15-3, OsFKBP16-3, OsFKBP18, and OsFKBP42b are inducible by these adverse conditions. These findings suggest a significant role for the rice FKBP gene family in stress adaptation. This research establishes a critical foundation for deeper explorations of the functional roles of the OsFKBP genes in rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Breeding of Rice)
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12 pages, 451 KiB  
Article
CNV Analysis through Exome Sequencing Reveals a Large Duplication Involved in Sex Reversal, Neurodevelopmental Delay, Epilepsy and Optic Atrophy
by Cybel Mehawej, Joy El Maalouf, Mohamad Abdelkhalik, Peter Mahfouz, Eliane Chouery and Andre Megarbane
Genes 2024, 15(7), 901; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070901 - 10 Jul 2024
Viewed by 268
Abstract
Background: Duplications on the short arm of chromosome X, including the gene NR0B1, have been associated with gonadal dysgenesis and with male to female sex reversal. Additional clinical manifestations can be observed in the affected patients, depending on the duplicated genomic region. [...] Read more.
Background: Duplications on the short arm of chromosome X, including the gene NR0B1, have been associated with gonadal dysgenesis and with male to female sex reversal. Additional clinical manifestations can be observed in the affected patients, depending on the duplicated genomic region. Here we report one of the largest duplications on chromosome X, in a Lebanese patient, and we provide the first comprehensive review of duplications in this genomic region. Case Presentation: A 2-year-old female patient born to non-consanguineous Lebanese parents, with a family history of one miscarriage, is included in this study. The patient presents with sex reversal, dysmorphic features, optic atrophy, epilepsy, psychomotor and neurodevelopmental delay. Single nucleotide variants and copy number variants analysis were carried out on the patient through exome sequencing (ES). This showed an increased coverage of a genomic region of around 23.6 Mb on chromosome Xp22.31-p21.2 (g.7137718-30739112) in the patient, suggestive of a large duplication encompassing more than 60 genes, including the NR0B1 gene involved in sex reversal. A karyotype analysis confirmed sex reversal in the proband presenting with the duplication, and revealed a balanced translocation between the short arms of chromosomes X and 14:46, X, t(X;14) (p11;p11) in her/his mother. Conclusions: This case highlights the added value of CNV analysis from ES data in the genetic diagnosis of patients. It also underscores the challenges encountered in announcing unsolicited incidental findings to the family. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
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14 pages, 12283 KiB  
Article
The Complete Chloroplast Genome Sequence of the Medicinal Moss Rhodobryum giganteum (Bryaceae, Bryophyta): Comparative Genomics and Phylogenetic Analyses
by Zhengyuan Shen, Qin Liu, Jiewei Hao, Sheng Bi, Yezhen Fu and Lina Zhang
Genes 2024, 15(7), 900; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070900 - 10 Jul 2024
Viewed by 295
Abstract
Rhodobryum giganteum (Bryaceae, Bryophyta), a rare medicinal bryophyte, is valued for its cardiovascular therapeutic properties in traditional Chinese medicine. This study presents the first complete chloroplast genome sequence of R. giganteum, including its assembly and annotation. The circular chloroplast genome of R. [...] Read more.
Rhodobryum giganteum (Bryaceae, Bryophyta), a rare medicinal bryophyte, is valued for its cardiovascular therapeutic properties in traditional Chinese medicine. This study presents the first complete chloroplast genome sequence of R. giganteum, including its assembly and annotation. The circular chloroplast genome of R. giganteum is 124,315 bp in length, displaying a typical quadripartite structure with 128 genes: 83 protein-coding genes, 37 tRNAs, and 8 rRNAs. Analyses of codon usage bias, repetitive sequences, and simple sequence repeats (SSRs) revealed an A/U-ending codon preference, 96 repetitive sequences, and 385 SSRs in the R. giganteum chloroplast genome. Nucleotide diversity analysis identified 10 high mutational hotspots. Ka/Ks ratio analysis suggested potential positive selection in rpl20, rps18, petG, and psbM genes. Phylogenetic analysis of whole chloroplast genomes from 38 moss species positioned R. giganteum within Bryales, closely related to Rhodobryum laxelimbatum. This study augments the chloroplast genomic data for Bryales and provides a foundation for molecular marker development and genetic diversity analyses in medicinal bryophytes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics and Genetics of Medicinal Plants)
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11 pages, 515 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Codon Usage Bias in Chloroplast Genomes of Dryas octopetala var. asiatica (Rosaceae)
by Lizhen Ling, Shudong Zhang and Tao Yang
Genes 2024, 15(7), 899; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070899 - 9 Jul 2024
Viewed by 271
Abstract
Dryas octopetala var. asiatica, a dwarf shrub belonging to the Rosaceae family and native to Asia, exhibits notable plasticity in photosynthesis in response to temperature variations. However, the codon usage patterns and factors influencing them in the chloroplast genome of this species [...] Read more.
Dryas octopetala var. asiatica, a dwarf shrub belonging to the Rosaceae family and native to Asia, exhibits notable plasticity in photosynthesis in response to temperature variations. However, the codon usage patterns and factors influencing them in the chloroplast genome of this species have not yet been documented. This study sequenced and assembled the complete genome of D. octopetala var. asiatica. The annotated genes in the chloroplast genome were analyzed for codon composition through multivariate statistical methods including a neutrality plot, a parity rule 2 (PR2) bias plot, and an effective number of codons (ENC) plot using CodonW 1.4.2 software. The results indicated that the mean GC content of 53 CDSs was 38.08%, with the average GC content at the third codon base position being 27.80%, suggesting a preference for A/U(T) at the third codon position in chloroplast genes. Additionally, the chloroplast genes exhibited a weak overall codon usage bias (CUB) based on ENC values and other indicators. Correlation analysis showed a significant negative correlation between ENC value and GC2, an extremely positive correlation with GC3, but no correlation with GC1 content. These findings highlight the importance of the codon composition at the third position in influencing codon usage bias. Furthermore, our analysis indicated that the CUB of the chloroplast genome of D. octopetala var. asiatica was primarily influenced by natural selection and other factors. Finally, this study identified UCA, CCU, GCU, AAU, GAU, and GGU as the optimal codons. These results offer a foundational understanding for genetic modification and evolutionary dynamics of the chloroplast genome of D. octopetala var. asiatica. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Plastid Genome and Phylogenetics)
18 pages, 2782 KiB  
Article
Revealing Differential RNA Editing Specificity of Human ADAR1 and ADAR2 in Schizosaccharomyces pombe
by Niubing Zhang, Ping Chen, Zilin Cui, Xiaojuan Zhou, Chenhui Hao, Bingran Xie, Pei Hao, Bang-Ce Ye, Xuan Li and Xinyun Jing
Genes 2024, 15(7), 898; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070898 (registering DOI) - 9 Jul 2024
Viewed by 295
Abstract
Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing is an important post-transcriptional modification mediated by the adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADAR) family of enzymes, expanding the transcriptome by altering selected nucleotides A to I in RNA molecules. Recently, A-to-I editing has been explored for correcting disease-causing [...] Read more.
Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing is an important post-transcriptional modification mediated by the adenosine deaminases acting on RNA (ADAR) family of enzymes, expanding the transcriptome by altering selected nucleotides A to I in RNA molecules. Recently, A-to-I editing has been explored for correcting disease-causing mutations in RNA using therapeutic guide oligonucleotides to direct ADAR editing at specific sites. Humans have two active ADARs whose preferences and specificities are not well understood. To investigate their substrate specificity, we introduced hADAR1 and hADAR2, respectively, into Schizosaccharomyces pombe (S. pombe), which lacks endogenous ADARs, and evaluated their editing activities in vivo. Using transcriptome sequencing of S. pombe cultured at optimal growth temperature (30 °C), we identified 483 A-to-I high-confident editing sites for hADAR1 and 404 for hADAR2, compared with the non-editing wild-type control strain. However, these sites were mostly divergent between hADAR1 and hADAR2-expressing strains, sharing 33 common sites that are less than 9% for each strain. Their differential specificity for substrates was attributed to their differential preference for neighboring sequences of editing sites. We found that at the -3-position relative to the editing site, hADAR1 exhibits a tendency toward T, whereas hADAR2 leans toward A. Additionally, when varying the growth temperature for hADAR1- and hADAR2-expressing strains, we observed increased editing sites for them at both 20 and 35 °C, compared with them growing at 30 °C. However, we did not observe a significant shift in hADAR1 and hADAR2’s preference for neighboring sequences across three temperatures. The vast changes in RNA editing sites at lower and higher temperatures were also observed for hADAR2 previously in budding yeast, which was likely due to the influence of RNA folding at these different temperatures, among many other factors. We noticed examples of longer lengths of dsRNA around the editing sites that induced editing at 20 or 35 °C but were absent at the other two temperature conditions. We found genes’ functions can be greatly affected by editing of their transcripts, for which over 50% of RNA editing sites for both hADAR1 and hADAR2 in S. pombe were in coding sequences (CDS), with more than 60% of them resulting in amino acid changes in protein products. This study revealed the extensive differences in substrate selectivity between the two active human ADARS, i.e., ADAR1 and ADAR2, and provided novel insight when utilizing the two different enzymes for in vivo treatment of human genetic diseases using the RNA editing approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNAs in Biology)
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14 pages, 4204 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide Identification and Evolutionary and Mutational Analysis of the Bos taurus Pax Gene Family
by Jintao Zhong, Wenliang Wang, Yifei Li, Jia Wei, Shuangshuang Cui, Ning Song, Yunhai Zhang and Hongyu Liu
Genes 2024, 15(7), 897; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070897 (registering DOI) - 9 Jul 2024
Viewed by 337
Abstract
Bos taurus is known for its tolerance of coarse grains, adaptability, high temperature, humidity, and disease resistance. Primarily, cattle are raised for their meat and milk, and pinpointing genes associated with traits relevant to meat production can enhance their overall productivity. The aim [...] Read more.
Bos taurus is known for its tolerance of coarse grains, adaptability, high temperature, humidity, and disease resistance. Primarily, cattle are raised for their meat and milk, and pinpointing genes associated with traits relevant to meat production can enhance their overall productivity. The aim of this study was to identify the genome, analyze the evolution, and explore the function of the Pax gene family in B. taurus to provide a new molecular target for breeding in meat-quality-trait cattle. In this study, 44 Pax genes were identified from the genome database of five species using bioinformatics technology, indicating that the genetic relationships of bovids were similar. The Pax3 and Pax7 protein sequences of the five animals were highly consistent. In general, the Pax gene of the buffalo corresponds to the domestic cattle. In summary, there are differences in affinity between the Pax family genes of buffalo and domestic cattle in the Pax1/9, Pax2/5/8, Pax3/7, and Pax4/6 subfamilies. We believe that Pax1/9 has an effect on the growth traits of buffalo and domestic cattle. The Pax3/7 gene is conserved in the evolution of buffalo and domestic animals and may be a key gene regulating the growth of B. taurus. The Pax2/5/8 subfamily affects coat color, reproductive performance, and milk production performance in cattle. The Pax4/6 subfamily had an effect on the milk fat percentage of B. taurus. The results provide a theoretical basis for understanding the evolutionary, structural, and functional characteristics of the Pax family members of B. taurus and for molecular genetics and the breeding of meat-production B. taurus species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Breeding of Cattle Volume II)
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11 pages, 1470 KiB  
Article
Influence of ACTN3 R577X Polymorphism on Blood Creatine Kinase Levels Relative to Number of Sprints in Brazilian Professional Soccer Players
by Kathleen Y. de Almeida, Hirofumi Zempo, Mika Saito, Tiago Cetolin, Rodrigo dos Santos Guimarães, Andrea Rita Marrero, Aderbal S. Aguiar, Jr. and Naoki Kikuchi
Genes 2024, 15(7), 896; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070896 - 8 Jul 2024
Viewed by 393
Abstract
This study sought to assess how post-game creatine kinase (CK) levels correlate with the number of sprints and the impact of the ACTN3 polymorphism on this response. This research constituted a descriptive/observational, retrospective cross-sectional study. DNA was extracted from blood samples for ACTN3 [...] Read more.
This study sought to assess how post-game creatine kinase (CK) levels correlate with the number of sprints and the impact of the ACTN3 polymorphism on this response. This research constituted a descriptive/observational, retrospective cross-sectional study. DNA was extracted from blood samples for ACTN3 polymorphism genotyping. CK was measured 48 h after official matches, and the number of sprints (>19 km/h) was tracked using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. The main cohort included 23 professional soccer players from the top tier of the Brazilian Championship. We analyzed 115 GPS + CK data sets. The replication cohort comprised 18 professional soccer players from the First Division of the Championship, had the same methodology applied, and featured a total of 90 GPS (sprints > 25.2 km/h) + CK data sets. For the main cohort, a significant positive correlation was seen between the number of sprints and the CK levels (p = 0.009). Athletes with the ACTN3 RR genotype had higher CK levels as more sprints were performed during the match (p = 0.017). However, the relationship was not found for X allele carriers (p > 0.05). For the replication cohort, there was a near-significant correlation between CK levels and the number of sprints (p = 0.05), and RR individuals showed a significant association (p = 0.01), whereas X allele carriers did not (p = 0.06). A greater number of sprints during matches is linked to higher CK levels, primarily among players with the ACTN3 RR genotype, which is potentially due to an increased presence of type II muscle fibers. These findings were replicated for both cohorts of elite Brazilian soccer players, emphasizing the importance of genetic factors in injury prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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7 pages, 256 KiB  
Article
Early Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing at 6–9 Weeks of Gestation
by Alexandros Katrachouras, Harry Kontos, Kyriacos Konis, Chara Skentou and George Makrydimas
Genes 2024, 15(7), 895; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070895 - 8 Jul 2024
Viewed by 275
Abstract
Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is usually performed beyond 10 weeks of gestation, because earlier in pregnancy, the fetal fraction is low, resulting in failure to obtain reliable results. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical performance of NIPT earlier in pregnancy using a [...] Read more.
Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is usually performed beyond 10 weeks of gestation, because earlier in pregnancy, the fetal fraction is low, resulting in failure to obtain reliable results. This study aimed to evaluate the clinical performance of NIPT earlier in pregnancy using a method for cell-free DNA (cfDNA) analysis that eliminates the need for polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA sequencing, or microarrays (Vanadis® system, PerkinElmer, Waltham, MA, USA). Cell-free DNA was extracted from the maternal plasma of 30 singleton pregnancies at 6–9 weeks of gestation (group 1) and at 11–14 weeks of gestation of the same patients (group 2). The mean crown-rump length (CRL) and gestational age in group A was 16.12 mm and that in group B was 61.45 mm. In group A, results were obtained in all, but one, cases (97%). From the remaining pregnancies, one miscarried at 8 weeks and, therefore, the follow-up NIPT at 12 weeks could not be performed. The fetal sex was diagnosed correctly in the 28 cases that had a successful early test, and the results were in accordance with the examination at 12 weeks. There were no cases of aneuploidies and disomy was diagnosed correctly in all. The “Vanadis” prenatal NIPT assay can successfully be used early during the first trimester at 6–9 weeks of gestation (early NIPT) to identify the fetal sex. Further studies are needed to explore the diagnostic potential for aneuploidies. Full article
15 pages, 2057 KiB  
Review
Mechanisms and Future Research Perspectives on Mitochondrial Diseases Associated with Isoleucyl-tRNA Synthetase Gene Mutations
by Masaki Watanabe and Nobuya Sasaki
Genes 2024, 15(7), 894; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070894 - 8 Jul 2024
Viewed by 500
Abstract
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases are essential enzymes for the accurate translation of genetic information. IARS1 and IARS2 are isoleucyl-tRNA synthetases functioning in the cytoplasm and mitochondria, respectively, with genetic mutations in these enzymes causing diverse clinical phenotypes in specific organs and tissues. Mutations in IARS1 [...] Read more.
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases are essential enzymes for the accurate translation of genetic information. IARS1 and IARS2 are isoleucyl-tRNA synthetases functioning in the cytoplasm and mitochondria, respectively, with genetic mutations in these enzymes causing diverse clinical phenotypes in specific organs and tissues. Mutations in IARS1 and IARS2 have recently been linked to mitochondrial diseases. This review aims to explore the relationship between IARS1 and IARS2 and these diseases, providing a comprehensive overview of their association with mitochondrial diseases. Mutations in IARS1 cause weak calf syndrome in cattle and mitochondrial diseases in humans, leading to growth retardation and liver dysfunction. Mutations in IARS2 are associated with Leigh syndrome, craniosynostosis and abnormal genitalia syndrome. Future research is expected to involve genetic analysis of a larger number of patients, identifying new mutations in IARS1 and IARS2, and elucidating their impact on mitochondrial function. Additionally, genetically modified mice and the corresponding phenotypic analysis will serve as powerful tools for understanding the functions of these gene products and unraveling disease mechanisms. This will likely promote the development of new therapies and preventive measures. Full article
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12 pages, 2589 KiB  
Article
Mitochondrial Genome Characteristics Reveal Evolution of Acanthopsetta nadeshnyi (Jordan and Starks, 1904) and Phylogenetic Relationships
by Li-min Yang, Jing-feng Xue, Xiao-man Zhao, Ke Ding, Zhao-wen Liu, Zhou-si-yu Wang, Jian-bing Chen and You-kun Huang
Genes 2024, 15(7), 893; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070893 - 8 Jul 2024
Viewed by 385
Abstract
In the present study, the mitochondrial genomic characteristics of Acanthopsetta nadeshnyi have been reported and have depicted the phylogenetic relationship among Pleuronectidae. Combined with a comparative analysis of 13 PCGs, the TN93 model was used to review the neutral evolution and habitat evolution [...] Read more.
In the present study, the mitochondrial genomic characteristics of Acanthopsetta nadeshnyi have been reported and have depicted the phylogenetic relationship among Pleuronectidae. Combined with a comparative analysis of 13 PCGs, the TN93 model was used to review the neutral evolution and habitat evolution catalysis of the mitogenome to verify the distancing and purification selectivity of the mitogenome in Pleuronectidae. At the same time, a species differentiation and classification model based on mitogenome analysis data was established. This study is expected to provide a new perspective on the phylogenetic relationship and taxonomic status of A. nadeshnyi and lay a foundation for further exploration of environmental and biological evolutionary mechanisms. Full article
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31 pages, 3267 KiB  
Article
Identification and Candidate Gene Evaluation of a Large Fast Neutron-Induced Deletion Associated with a High-Oil Phenotype in Soybean Seeds
by William R. Serson, Mohammad Fazel Soltani Gishini, Robert M. Stupar, Adrian O. Stec, Paul R. Armstrong and David Hildebrand
Genes 2024, 15(7), 892; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070892 - 8 Jul 2024
Viewed by 576
Abstract
Since the dawn of agriculture, crops have been genetically altered for desirable characteristics. This has included the selection of natural and induced mutants. Increasing the production of plant oils such as soybean (Glycine max) oil as a renewable resource for food [...] Read more.
Since the dawn of agriculture, crops have been genetically altered for desirable characteristics. This has included the selection of natural and induced mutants. Increasing the production of plant oils such as soybean (Glycine max) oil as a renewable resource for food and fuel is valuable. Successful breeding for higher oil levels in soybeans, however, usually results in reduced seed protein. A soybean fast neutron population was screened for oil content, and three high oil mutants with minimal reductions in protein levels were found. Three backcross F2 populations derived from these mutants exhibited segregation for seed oil content. DNA was pooled from the high-oil and normal-oil plants within each population and assessed by comparative genomic hybridization. A deletion encompassing 20 gene models on chromosome 14 was found to co-segregate with the high-oil trait in two of the three populations. Eighteen genes in the deleted region have known functions that appear unrelated to oil biosynthesis and accumulation pathways, while one of the unknown genes (Glyma.14G101900) may contribute to the regulation of lipid droplet formation. This high-oil trait can facilitate the breeding of high-oil soybeans without protein reduction, resulting in higher meal protein levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Breeding of Legume Crops)
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12 pages, 1000 KiB  
Article
New Virus Variant Detection Based on the Optimal Natural Metric
by Hongyu Yu and Stephen S.-T. Yau
Genes 2024, 15(7), 891; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070891 - 7 Jul 2024
Viewed by 411
Abstract
The highly variable SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic frequently undergoes mutations, leading to the emergence of new variants that present novel threats to public health. The determination of these variants often relies on manual definition based on local sequence characteristics, resulting [...] Read more.
The highly variable SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic frequently undergoes mutations, leading to the emergence of new variants that present novel threats to public health. The determination of these variants often relies on manual definition based on local sequence characteristics, resulting in delays in their detection relative to their actual emergence. In this study, we propose an algorithm for the automatic identification of novel variants. By leveraging the optimal natural metric for viruses based on an alignment-free perspective to measure distances between sequences, we devise a hypothesis testing framework to determine whether a given viral sequence belongs to a novel variant. Our method demonstrates high accuracy, achieving nearly 100% precision in identifying new variants of SARS-CoV-2 and HIV-1 as well as in detecting novel genera in Orthocoronavirinae. This approach holds promise for timely surveillance and management of emerging viral threats in the field of public health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Statistical Methods for Genetic Epidemiology)
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13 pages, 2799 KiB  
Article
Screening of CIMMYT and South Asian Bread Wheat Germplasm Reveals Marker–Trait Associations for Seedling Resistance to Septoria Nodorum Blotch
by Rupsanatan Mandal, Xinyao He, Gyanendra Singh, Muhammad Rezaul Kabir, Arun Kumar Joshi and Pawan Kumar Singh
Genes 2024, 15(7), 890; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070890 - 7 Jul 2024
Viewed by 488
Abstract
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production is adversely impacted by Septoria nodorum blotch (SNB), a fungal disease caused by Parastagonospora nodorum. Wheat breeders are constantly up against this biotic challenge as they try to create resistant cultivars. The genome-wide association study (GWAS) [...] Read more.
Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production is adversely impacted by Septoria nodorum blotch (SNB), a fungal disease caused by Parastagonospora nodorum. Wheat breeders are constantly up against this biotic challenge as they try to create resistant cultivars. The genome-wide association study (GWAS) has become an efficient tool for identifying molecular markers linked with SNB resistance. This technique is used to acquire an understanding of the genetic basis of resistance and to facilitate marker-assisted selection. In the current study, a total of 174 bread wheat accessions from South Asia and CIMMYT were assessed for SNB reactions at the seedling stage in three greenhouse experiments at CIMMYT, Mexico. The results indicated that 129 genotypes were resistant to SNB, 39 were moderately resistant, and only 6 were moderately susceptible. The Genotyping Illumina Infinium 15K Bead Chip was used, and 11,184 SNP markers were utilized to identify marker–trait associations (MTAs) after filtering. Multiple tests confirmed the existence of significant MTAs on chromosomes 5B, 5A, and 3D, and the ones at Tsn1 on 5B were the most stable and conferred the highest phenotypic variation. The resistant genotypes identified in this study could be cultivated in South Asian countries as a preventative measure against the spread of SNB. This work also identified molecular markers of SNB resistance that could be used in future wheat breeding projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Disease Resistance in Wheat)
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10 pages, 3506 KiB  
Article
Pathway-Based Mendelian Randomization for Pre-Infection IL-6 Levels Highlights Its Role in Coronavirus Disease
by Zoha Kamali, Nafiseh Esmaeil, Chris H. L. Thio, Ahmad Vaez and Harold Snieder
Genes 2024, 15(7), 889; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070889 - 6 Jul 2024
Viewed by 500
Abstract
Objectives: Interleukin 6 (IL-6) levels at hospital admission have been suggested for disease prognosis, and IL-6 antagonists have been suggested for the treatment of patients with severe COVID-19. However, less is known about the relationship between pre-COVID-19 IL-6 levels and the risk of [...] Read more.
Objectives: Interleukin 6 (IL-6) levels at hospital admission have been suggested for disease prognosis, and IL-6 antagonists have been suggested for the treatment of patients with severe COVID-19. However, less is known about the relationship between pre-COVID-19 IL-6 levels and the risk of severe COVID-19. To fill in this gap, here we extensively investigated the association of genetically instrumented IL-6 pathway components with the risk of severe COVID-19. Methods: We used a two-sample Mendelian randomization study design and retrieved genetic instruments for blood biomarkers of IL-6 activation, including IL-6, soluble IL-6 receptor, IL-6 signal transducer, and CRP, from respective large available GWASs. To establish associations of these instruments with COVID-19 outcomes, we used data from the Host Genetics Initiative and GenOMICC studies. Results: Our analyses revealed inverse associations of genetically instrumented levels of IL-6 and its soluble receptor with the risk of developing severe disease (OR = 0.60 and 0.94, respectively). They also demonstrated a positive association of severe disease with the soluble signal transducer level (OR = 1.13). Only IL-6 associations with severe COVID-19 outcomes reached the significance threshold corrected for multiple testing (p < 0.003; with COVID-19 hospitalization and critical illness). Conclusions: These potential causal relationships for pre-COVID-19 IL-6 levels with the risk of developing severe symptoms provide opportunities for further evaluation of these factors as prognostic/preventive markers of severe COVID-19. Further studies will need to clarify whether the higher risk for a severe disease course with lower baseline IL-6 levels may also extend to other infectious diseases. Full article
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12 pages, 2947 KiB  
Article
Does Sunlight Affect the Quality for Purposes of DNA Analysis of Blood Stain Evidence Collected from Different Surfaces?
by Livia Sliskovic, Ivana Milos, Antonia Zecic, Sendi Kuret and Davorka Sutlovic
Genes 2024, 15(7), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070888 - 6 Jul 2024
Viewed by 480
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of sunlight on the degradation of DNA samples taken from blood stains from different types of surfaces. A blood sample obtained from a single male donor was placed on seven different surfaces (galvanized [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of sunlight on the degradation of DNA samples taken from blood stains from different types of surfaces. A blood sample obtained from a single male donor was placed on seven different surfaces (galvanized sheet, iron rod, newspaper, white printer paper, glass, soil, and ceramic panel). Samples were kept, during a 4-week summer period, in a room, but next to an open window. Every 7 days, 1 mm2 of blood sample was collected from each substrate and stored in labeled tube for later analysis. DNA was extracted with the Chelex method, amplified using AmpFISTRTM MinifilerTM Plus Amplification Kit, and quantified using a QuantifilerTM Human DNA Quantification kit. After 7 days of sun exposure, the highest DNA concentration was determined to be from the sample from a galvanized sheet stain, followed by, in order of decreasing concentration, the ceramic panel, glass, newspaper, iron rod, and white printer paper surface. As expected, the DNA concentration from all samples decreased as the sunlight exposure time progressed. The results obtained after the amplification in the MiniFilerTM system were in correlation with the DNA concentrations measured by the qPCR method for all samples, except for the glass, soil, and white printer paper samples. The obtained data show that DNA degradation is correlated to the length of sunlight exposure and to the type of surface the samples are collected from. A negative qPCR result does not mean negative PCR amplification in the STR system; therefore, both methods should be applied when analyzing forensic samples collected from trace evidence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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16 pages, 1873 KiB  
Article
Patterns in Genome-Wide Codon Usage Bias in Representative Species of Lycophytes and Ferns
by Piaoran Xu, Lijuan Zhang, Liping Lu, Yanli Zhu, Dandan Gao and Shanshan Liu
Genes 2024, 15(7), 887; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070887 - 5 Jul 2024
Viewed by 367
Abstract
The latest research shows that ferns and lycophytes have distinct evolutionary lineages. The codon usage patterns of lycophytes and ferns have not yet been documented. To investigate the gene expression profiles across various plant lineages with respect to codon usage, analyze the disparities [...] Read more.
The latest research shows that ferns and lycophytes have distinct evolutionary lineages. The codon usage patterns of lycophytes and ferns have not yet been documented. To investigate the gene expression profiles across various plant lineages with respect to codon usage, analyze the disparities and determinants of gene evolution in primitive plant species, and identify appropriate exogenous gene expression platforms, the whole-genome sequences of four distinct species were retrieved from the NCBI database. The findings indicated that Ceratopteris richardii, Adiantum capillus-veneris, and Selaginella moellendorffii exhibited an elevated A/U content in their codon base composition and a tendency to end with A/U. Additionally, S. capillus-veneris had more C/G in its codons and a tendency to end with C/G. The ENC values derived from both ENC-plot and ENC-ratio analyses deviated significantly from the standard curves, suggesting that the codon usage preferences of these four species were primarily influenced by genetic mutations and natural selection, with natural selection exerting a more prominent influence. This finding was further supported by PR2-Plot, neutrality plot analysis, and COA. A combination of RSCU and ENC values was used as a reference criterion to rank the codons and further identify the optimal codons. The study identified 24 high-frequency codons in C. richardii, A. capillus-veneris, and Diphasiastrum complanatum, with no shared optimal codons among the four species. Arabidopsis thaliana and Ginkgo biloba exhibited similar codon preferences to the three species, except for S. moellendorffii. This research offers a theoretical framework at the genomic codon level for investigating the phylogenetic relationships between lycophytes and ferns, shedding light on gene codon optimization and its implications for genetic engineering in breeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Genetics and Genomics of Plants)
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18 pages, 8717 KiB  
Article
Complete Chloroplast Genome of Megacarpaea megalocarpa and Comparative Analysis with Related Species from Brassicaceae
by Zhuo Zhang, Xiaojun Shi, Haowen Tian, Juan Qiu, Hanze Ma and Dunyan Tan
Genes 2024, 15(7), 886; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070886 - 5 Jul 2024
Viewed by 349
Abstract
Megacarpaea megalocarpa, a perennial herbaceous species belonging to the Brassicaceae family, has potential medicinal value. We isolated and characterized the chloroplast (cp) genome of M. megalocarpa and compared it with closely related species. The chloroplast genome displayed a typical quadripartite structure, spanning [...] Read more.
Megacarpaea megalocarpa, a perennial herbaceous species belonging to the Brassicaceae family, has potential medicinal value. We isolated and characterized the chloroplast (cp) genome of M. megalocarpa and compared it with closely related species. The chloroplast genome displayed a typical quadripartite structure, spanning 154,877 bp, with an overall guanine–cytosine (GC) content of 36.20%. Additionally, this genome contained 129 genes, 105 simple sequence repeats (SSRs), and 48 long repeat sequences. Significantly, the ycf1 gene exhibited a high degree of polymorphism at the small single copy (SSC) region and the inverted repeat a (IRa) boundary. Despite this polymorphism, relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU) values were found to be similar across species, and no large segment rearrangements or inversions were detected. The large single copy (LSC) and SSC regions showed higher sequence variations and nucleotide polymorphisms compared to the IR region. Thirteen distinct hotspot regions were identified as potential molecular markers. Our selection pressure analysis revealed that the protein-coding gene rpl20 is subjected to different selection pressures in various species. Phylogenetic analysis positioned M. megalocarpa within the expanded lineage II of the Brassicaceae family. The estimated divergence time suggests that M. megalocarpa diverged approximately 4.97 million years ago. In summary, this study provides crucial baseline information for the molecular identification, phylogenetic relationships, conservation efforts, and utilization of wild resources in Megacarpaea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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20 pages, 8533 KiB  
Article
The Development of a Fluorescent Microsatellite Marker Assay for the Pitaya Canker Pathogen (Neoscytalidium dimidiatum)
by Rui Li, Xi Li, Jingcheng Tang, Changping Xie and Jianan Wang
Genes 2024, 15(7), 885; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes15070885 - 5 Jul 2024
Viewed by 296
Abstract
Pitaya canker, caused by Neoscytalidium dimidiatum, is a destructive disease that significantly threatens the safety of the pitaya industry. The authors of previous studies have mainly focused on its biological characteristics and chemical control. However, there are no molecular markers available thus [...] Read more.
Pitaya canker, caused by Neoscytalidium dimidiatum, is a destructive disease that significantly threatens the safety of the pitaya industry. The authors of previous studies have mainly focused on its biological characteristics and chemical control. However, there are no molecular markers available thus far that can be used for the population genetics study of this pathogen. In the present study, a draft genome of N. dimidiatum with a total length of 41.46 MB was assembled in which 9863 coding genes were predicted and annotated. In particular, the microsatellite sequences in the draft genome were investigated. To improve the successful screening rate of potentially polymorphic microsatellite makers, another five N. dimidiatum isolates were resequenced and assembled. A total of eight pairs of polymorphic microsatellite primers were screened out based on the polymorphic microsatellite loci after investigating the sequencing and resequencing assemblies of the six isolates. A total of thirteen representative isolates sampled from different pitaya plantations were genotyped in order to validate the polymorphism of the resulting eight markers. The results indicated that these markers were able to distinguish the isolates well. Lastly, a neighbor-joining tree of 35 isolates, sampled from different pitaya plantations located in different regions, was constructed according to the genotypes of the eight molecular markers. The developed tree indicated that these molecular markers had sufficient genotyping capabilities for our test panel of isolates. In summary, we developed a set of polymorphic microsatellite markers in the following study that can effectively genotype and distinguish N. dimidiatum isolates and be utilized in the population genetics study of N. dimidiatum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics)
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