Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to readers, or important in the respective research area.The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article
Genome-Wide Analysis of Potassium Channel Genes in Rice: Expression of the OsAKT and OsKAT Genes under Salt Stress
Genes 2021, 12(5), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12050784 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 2006
Abstract
Potassium (K+), as a vital element, is involved in regulating important cellular processes such as enzyme activity, cell turgor, and nutrient movement in plant cells, which affects plant growth and production. Potassium channels are involved in the transport and release of potassium in [...] Read more.
Potassium (K+), as a vital element, is involved in regulating important cellular processes such as enzyme activity, cell turgor, and nutrient movement in plant cells, which affects plant growth and production. Potassium channels are involved in the transport and release of potassium in plant cells. In the current study, three OsKAT genes and two OsAKT genes, along with 11 nonredundant putative potassium channel genes in the rice genome, were characterized based on their physiochemical properties, protein structure, evolution, duplication, in silico gene expression, and protein–protein interactions. In addition, the expression patterns of OsAKTs and OsKATs were studied in root and shoot tissues under salt stress using real-time PCR in three rice cultivars. K+ channel genes were found to have diverse functions and structures, and OsKATs showed high genetic divergence from other K+ channel genes. Furthermore, the Ka/Ks ratios of duplicated gene pairs from the K+ channel gene family in rice suggested that these genes underwent purifying selection. Among the studied K+ channel proteins, OsKAT1 and OsAKT1 were identified as proteins with high potential N-glycosylation and phosphorylation sites, and LEU, VAL, SER, PRO, HIS, GLY, LYS, TYR, CYC, and ARG amino acids were predicted as the binding residues in the ligand-binding sites of K+ channel proteins. Regarding the coexpression network and KEGG ontology results, several metabolic pathways, including sugar metabolism, purine metabolism, carbon metabolism, glycerophospholipid metabolism, monoterpenoid biosynthesis, and folate biosynthesis, were recognized in the coexpression network of K+ channel proteins. Based on the available RNA-seq data, the K+ channel genes showed differential expression levels in rice tissues in response to biotic and abiotic stresses. In addition, the real-time PCR results revealed that OsAKTs and OsKATs are induced by salt stress in root and shoot tissues of rice cultivars, and OsKAT1 was identified as a key gene involved in the rice response to salt stress. In the present study, we found that the repression of OsAKTs, OsKAT2, and OsKAT2 in roots was related to salinity tolerance in rice. Our findings provide valuable insights for further structural and functional assays of K+ channel genes in rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Rice Genetics and Breeding)
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Article
Defining the Rhizobium leguminosarum Species Complex
Genes 2021, 12(1), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12010111 - 18 Jan 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3413
Abstract
Bacteria currently included in Rhizobium leguminosarum are too diverse to be considered a single species, so we can refer to this as a species complex (the Rlc). We have found 429 publicly available genome sequences that fall within the Rlc and these show [...] Read more.
Bacteria currently included in Rhizobium leguminosarum are too diverse to be considered a single species, so we can refer to this as a species complex (the Rlc). We have found 429 publicly available genome sequences that fall within the Rlc and these show that the Rlc is a distinct entity, well separated from other species in the genus. Its sister taxon is R. anhuiense. We constructed a phylogeny based on concatenated sequences of 120 universal (core) genes, and calculated pairwise average nucleotide identity (ANI) between all genomes. From these analyses, we concluded that the Rlc includes 18 distinct genospecies, plus 7 unique strains that are not placed in these genospecies. Each genospecies is separated by a distinct gap in ANI values, usually at approximately 96% ANI, implying that it is a ‘natural’ unit. Five of the genospecies include the type strains of named species: R. laguerreae, R. sophorae, R. ruizarguesonis, “R. indicum” and R. leguminosarum itself. The 16S ribosomal RNA sequence is remarkably diverse within the Rlc, but does not distinguish the genospecies. Partial sequences of housekeeping genes, which have frequently been used to characterize isolate collections, can mostly be assigned unambiguously to a genospecies, but alleles within a genospecies do not always form a clade, so single genes are not a reliable guide to the true phylogeny of the strains. We conclude that access to a large number of genome sequences is a powerful tool for characterizing the diversity of bacteria, and that taxonomic conclusions should be based on all available genome sequences, not just those of type strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genes at Ten)
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Article
The AP2/ERF Gene Family in Triticum durum: Genome-Wide Identification and Expression Analysis under Drought and Salinity Stresses
Genes 2020, 11(12), 1464; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11121464 - 07 Dec 2020
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 3001
Abstract
Members of the AP2/ERF transcription factor family play critical roles in plant development, biosynthesis of key metabolites, and stress response. A detailed study was performed to identify TtAP2s/ERFs in the durum wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. durum) [...] Read more.
Members of the AP2/ERF transcription factor family play critical roles in plant development, biosynthesis of key metabolites, and stress response. A detailed study was performed to identify TtAP2s/ERFs in the durum wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. durum) genome, which resulted in the identification of 271 genes distributed on chromosomes 1A-7B. By carrying 27 genes, chromosome 6A had the highest number of TtAP2s/ERFs. Furthermore, a duplication assay of TtAP2s/ERFs demonstrated that 70 duplicated gene pairs had undergone purifying selection. According to RNA-seq analysis, the highest expression levels in all tissues and in response to stimuli were associated with DRF and ERF subfamily genes. In addition, the results revealed that TtAP2/ERF genes have tissue-specific expression patterns, and most TtAP2/ERF genes were significantly induced in the root tissue. Additionally, 13 TtAP2/ERF genes (six ERFs, three DREBs, two DRFs, one AP2, and one RAV) were selected for further analysis via qRT-PCR of their potential in coping with drought and salinity stresses. The TtAP2/ERF genes belonging to the DREB subfamily were markedly induced under both drought-stress and salinity-stress conditions. Furthermore, docking simulations revealed several residues in the pocket sites of the proteins associated with the stress response, which may be useful in future site-directed mutagenesis studies to increase the stress tolerance of durum wheat. This study could provide valuable insights for further evolutionary and functional assays of this important gene family in durum wheat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics and Breeding of Triticeae: Improving Small Grain Crop Plants)
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Communication
Computational Analysis of Targeting SARS-CoV-2, Viral Entry Proteins ACE2 and TMPRSS2, and Interferon Genes by Host MicroRNAs
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1354; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111354 - 16 Nov 2020
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 2309
Abstract
Rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has led to a global pandemic, failures of local health care systems, and global economic recession. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have recently emerged as important regulators of [...] Read more.
Rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has led to a global pandemic, failures of local health care systems, and global economic recession. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have recently emerged as important regulators of viral pathogenesis, particularly among RNA viruses, but the impact of host miRNAs on SARS-CoV-2 infectivity remains unknown. In this study, we utilize the combination of powerful bioinformatic prediction algorithms and miRNA profiling to predict endogenous host miRNAs that may play important roles in regulating SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. We provide a collection of high-probability miRNA binding sites within the SARS-CoV-2 genome as well as within mRNA transcripts of critical viral entry proteins ACE2 and TMPRSS2 and their upstream modulators, the interferons (IFN). By utilizing miRNA profiling datasets of SARS-CoV-2-resistant and -susceptible cell lines, we verify the biological plausibility of the predicted miRNA–target RNA interactions. Finally, we utilize miRNA profiling of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells to identify predicted miRNAs that are differentially regulated in infected cells. In particular, we identify predicted miRNA binders to SARS-CoV-2 ORFs (miR-23a (1ab), miR-29a, -29c (1ab, N), miR-151a, -151b (S), miR-4707-3p (S), miR-298 (5′-UTR), miR-7851-3p (5′-UTR), miR-8075 (5′-UTR)), ACE2 3′-UTR (miR-9-5p, miR-218-5p), TMPRSS2 3′-UTR (let-7d-5p, -7e-5p, miR-494-3p, miR-382-3p, miR-181c-5p), and IFN-α 3′-UTR (miR-361-5p, miR-410-3p). Overall, this study provides insight into potential novel regulatory mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 by host miRNAs and lays the foundation for future investigation of these miRNAs as potential therapeutic targets or biomarkers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Involvement of Essential Signaling Cascades and Analysis of Gene Networks in Diabesity
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1256; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111256 - 25 Oct 2020
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 1865
Abstract
(1) Aims: Diabesity, defined as diabetes occurring in the context of obesity, is a serious health problem that is associated with an increased risk of premature heart attack, stroke, and death. To date, a key challenge has been to understand the molecular pathways [...] Read more.
(1) Aims: Diabesity, defined as diabetes occurring in the context of obesity, is a serious health problem that is associated with an increased risk of premature heart attack, stroke, and death. To date, a key challenge has been to understand the molecular pathways that play significant roles in diabesity. In this study, we aimed to investigate the genetic links between diabetes and obesity in diabetic individuals and highlight the role(s) of shared genes in individuals with diabesity. (2) Methods: The interactions between the genes were analyzed using the Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes (STRING) tool after the compilation of obesity genes associated with type 1 diabetes (T1D), type 2 diabetes (T2D), and maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY). Cytoscape plugins were utilized for enrichment analysis. (3) Results: We identified 546 obesity genes that are associated with T1D, T2D, and MODY. The network backbone of the identified genes comprised 514 nodes and 4126 edges with an estimated clustering coefficient of 0.242. The Molecular Complex Detection (MCODE) generated three clusters with a score of 33.61, 16.788, and 6.783, each. The highest-scoring nodes of the clusters were AGT, FGB, and LDLR genes. The genes from cluster 1 were enriched in FOXO-mediated transcription of oxidative stress, renin secretion, and regulation of lipolysis in adipocytes. The cluster 2 genes enriched in Src homology 2 domain-containing (SHC)-related events triggered by IGF1R, regulation of lipolysis in adipocytes, and GRB2: SOS produce a link to mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling for integrins. The cluster 3 genes ere enriched in IGF1R signaling cascade and insulin signaling pathway. (4) Conclusion: This study presents a platform to discover potential targets for diabesity treatment and helps in understanding the molecular mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Butyrate Levels in the Transition from an Infant- to an Adult-Like Gut Microbiota Correlate with Bacterial Networks Associated with Eubacterium Rectale and Ruminococcus Gnavus
Genes 2020, 11(11), 1245; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11111245 - 22 Oct 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 3041
Abstract
Relatively little is known about the ecological forces shaping the gut microbiota composition during infancy. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to identify the nutrient utilization- and short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production potential of gut microbes in infants during the first [...] Read more.
Relatively little is known about the ecological forces shaping the gut microbiota composition during infancy. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to identify the nutrient utilization- and short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production potential of gut microbes in infants during the first year of life. Stool samples were obtained from mothers at 18 weeks of pregnancy and from infants at birth (first stool) at 3, 6, and 12-months of age from the general population-based PreventADALL cohort. We identified the taxonomic and SCFA composition in 100 mother-child pairs. The SCFA production and substrate utilization potential of gut microbes were observed by multiomics (shotgun sequencing and proteomics) on six infants. We found a four-fold increase in relative butyrate levels from 6 to 12 months of infant age. The increase was correlated to Eubacterium rectale and its bacterial network, and Faecalibacterium prausnitzii relative abundance, while low butyrate at 12 months was correlated to Ruminococcus gnavus and its associated network of bacteria. Both E. rectale and F. prausnitzii expressed enzymes needed for butyrate production and enzymes related to dietary fiber degradation, while R. gnavus expressed mucus-, fucose, and human milk oligosaccharides (HMO)-related degradation enzymes. Therefore, we believe that the presence of E. rectale, its network, and F. prausnitzii are key bacteria in the transition from an infant- to an adult-like gut microbiota with respect to butyrate production. Our results indicate that the transition from an infant- to an adult-like gut microbiota with respect to butyrate producing bacteria, occurs between 6 and 12 months of infant age. The bacteria associated with the increased butyrate ratio/levels were E. rectale and F. prausnitzii, which potentially utilize a variety of dietary fibers based on the glycoside hydrolases (GHs) expressed. R. gnavus with a negative association to butyrate potentially utilizes mucin, fucose, and HMO components. This knowledge could have future importance in understanding how microbial metabolites can impact infant health and development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Analytical Sensitivity and Specificity of Two RT-qPCR Protocols for SARS-CoV-2 Detection Performed in an Automated Workflow
Genes 2020, 11(10), 1183; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11101183 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 2471
Abstract
WHO declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic on 11 March 2020. The establishment of standardized RT-qPCR protocols for respiratory secretions testing, as well as sharing of specimens, data, and information became critical. Here, we investigate the analytical performance of two [...] Read more.
WHO declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak a global pandemic on 11 March 2020. The establishment of standardized RT-qPCR protocols for respiratory secretions testing, as well as sharing of specimens, data, and information became critical. Here, we investigate the analytical performance of two interim RT-qPCR protocols (Charité and Centers for Disease Control (CDC)) for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 executed in a fully automated platform. Analytical specificity, PCR amplification efficiency, analytical sensitivity (limit of detection), and cross-reactivity were evaluated using contrived samples. The on-going accuracy was evaluated by retrospective analysis of our test results database (real clinical samples). N1, E, and a modified version of RdRP assays presented adequate analytical specificity, amplification efficiency, and analytical sensitivity using contrived samples. The three assays were applied to all individuals who requested the SARS-CoV-2 molecular test assay in our laboratory and it was observed that N1 gave more positive results than E, and E gave more positive results than RdRP (modified). The RdRP and E were removed from the test and its final version, based on N1 assay only, was applied to 30,699 Brazilian individuals (from 19 February 2020 to 8 May 2020). The aggregated test results available in the database were also presented. Full article
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Article
Comparison of Illumina versus Nanopore 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing of the Human Nasal Microbiota
Genes 2020, 11(9), 1105; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11091105 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4253
Abstract
Illumina and nanopore sequencing technologies are powerful tools that can be used to determine the bacterial composition of complex microbial communities. In this study, we compared nasal microbiota results at genus level using both Illumina and nanopore 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We also [...] Read more.
Illumina and nanopore sequencing technologies are powerful tools that can be used to determine the bacterial composition of complex microbial communities. In this study, we compared nasal microbiota results at genus level using both Illumina and nanopore 16S rRNA gene sequencing. We also monitored the progression of nanopore sequencing in the accurate identification of species, using pure, single species cultures, and evaluated the performance of the nanopore EPI2ME 16S data analysis pipeline. Fifty-nine nasal swabs were sequenced using Illumina MiSeq and Oxford Nanopore 16S rRNA gene sequencing technologies. In addition, five pure cultures of relevant bacterial species were sequenced with the nanopore sequencing technology. The Illumina MiSeq sequence data were processed using bioinformatics modules present in the Mothur software package. Albacore and Guppy base calling, a workflow in nanopore EPI2ME (Oxford Nanopore Technologies—ONT, Oxford, UK) and an in-house developed bioinformatics script were used to analyze the nanopore data. At genus level, similar bacterial diversity profiles were found, and five main and established genera were identified by both platforms. However, probably due to mismatching of the nanopore sequence primers, the nanopore sequencing platform identified Corynebacterium in much lower abundance compared to Illumina sequencing. Further, when using default settings in the EPI2ME workflow, almost all sequence reads that seem to belong to the bacterial genus Dolosigranulum and a considerable part to the genus Haemophilus were only identified at family level. Nanopore sequencing of single species cultures demonstrated at least 88% accurate identification of the species at genus and species level for 4/5 strains tested, including improvements in accurate sequence read identification when the basecaller Guppy and Albacore, and when flowcell versions R9.4 (Oxford Nanopore Technologies—ONT, Oxford, UK) and R9.2 (Oxford Nanopore Technologies—ONT, Oxford, UK) were compared. In conclusion, the current study shows that the nanopore sequencing platform is comparable with the Illumina platform in detection bacterial genera of the nasal microbiota, but the nanopore platform does have problems in detecting bacteria within the genus Corynebacterium. Although advances are being made, thorough validation of the nanopore platform is still recommendable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Omics Research of Pathogenic Microorganisms)
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Article
COVID-19 and Genetic Variants of Protein Involved in the SARS-CoV-2 Entry into the Host Cells
Genes 2020, 11(9), 1010; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11091010 - 27 Aug 2020
Cited by 56 | Viewed by 6375
Abstract
The recent global COVID-19 public health emergency is caused by SARS-CoV-2 infections and can manifest extremely variable clinical symptoms. Host human genetic variability could influence susceptibility and response to infection. It is known that ACE2 acts as a receptor for this pathogen, but [...] Read more.
The recent global COVID-19 public health emergency is caused by SARS-CoV-2 infections and can manifest extremely variable clinical symptoms. Host human genetic variability could influence susceptibility and response to infection. It is known that ACE2 acts as a receptor for this pathogen, but the viral entry into the target cell also depends on other proteins. The aim of this study was to investigate the variability of genes coding for these proteins involved in the SARS-CoV-2 entry into the cells. We analyzed 131 COVID-19 patients by exome sequencing and examined the genetic variants of TMPRSS2, PCSK3, DPP4, and BSG genes. In total we identified seventeen variants. In PCSK3 gene, we observed a missense variant (c.893G>A) statistically more frequent compared to the EUR GnomAD reference population and a missense mutation (c.1906A>G) not found in the GnomAD database. In TMPRSS2 gene, we observed a significant difference in the frequency of c.331G>A, c.23G>T, and c.589G>A variant alleles in COVID-19 patients, compared to the corresponding allelic frequency in GnomAD. Genetic variants in these genes could influence the entry of the SARS-CoV-2. These data also support the hypothesis that host genetic variability may contribute to the variability in infection susceptibility and severity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Host Genetics in Susceptibility to Infectious Diseases)
Communication
Prediction and Analysis of SARS-CoV-2-Targeting MicroRNA in Human Lung Epithelium
Genes 2020, 11(9), 1002; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11091002 - 26 Aug 2020
Cited by 52 | Viewed by 4031
Abstract
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), an RNA virus, is responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic of 2020. Experimental evidence suggests that microRNA can mediate an intracellular defence mechanism against some RNA viruses. The purpose of this study was to [...] Read more.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), an RNA virus, is responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic of 2020. Experimental evidence suggests that microRNA can mediate an intracellular defence mechanism against some RNA viruses. The purpose of this study was to identify microRNA with predicted binding sites in the SARS-CoV-2 genome, compare these to their microRNA expression profiles in lung epithelial tissue and make inference towards possible roles for microRNA in mitigating coronavirus infection. We hypothesize that high expression of specific coronavirus-targeting microRNA in lung epithelia may protect against infection and viral propagation, conversely, low expression may confer susceptibility to infection. We have identified 128 human microRNA with potential to target the SARS-CoV-2 genome, most of which have very low expression in lung epithelia. Six of these 128 microRNA are differentially expressed upon in vitro infection of SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, 28 microRNA also target the SARS-CoV genome while 23 microRNA target the MERS-CoV genome. We also found that a number of microRNA are commonly identified in two other studies. Further research into identifying bona fide coronavirus targeting microRNA will be useful in understanding the importance of microRNA as a cellular defence mechanism against pathogenic coronavirus infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Whole Genome Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2: Adapting Illumina Protocols for Quick and Accurate Outbreak Investigation during a Pandemic
Genes 2020, 11(8), 949; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11080949 - 17 Aug 2020
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 6181
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has spread very fast around the world. A few days after the first detected case in South Africa, an infection started in a large hospital outbreak in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Phylogenetic analysis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has spread very fast around the world. A few days after the first detected case in South Africa, an infection started in a large hospital outbreak in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Phylogenetic analysis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomes can be used to trace the path of transmission within a hospital. It can also identify the source of the outbreak and provide lessons to improve infection prevention and control strategies. This manuscript outlines the obstacles encountered in order to genotype SARS-CoV-2 in near-real time during an urgent outbreak investigation. This included problems with the length of the original genotyping protocol, unavailability of reagents, and sample degradation and storage. Despite this, three different library preparation methods for Illumina sequencing were set up, and the hands-on library preparation time was decreased from twelve to three hours, which enabled the outbreak investigation to be completed in just a few weeks. Furthermore, the new protocols increased the success rate of sequencing whole viral genomes. A simple bioinformatics workflow for the assembly of high-quality genomes in near-real time was also fine-tuned. In order to allow other laboratories to learn from our experience, all of the library preparation and bioinformatics protocols are publicly available at protocols.io and distributed to other laboratories of the Network for Genomics Surveillance in South Africa (NGS-SA) consortium. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of the Ion AmpliSeq SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel by Massive Parallel Sequencing
Genes 2020, 11(8), 929; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11080929 - 12 Aug 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2489
Abstract
Deep knowledge of the genetic features of SARS-CoV-2 is essential to track the ongoing pandemic through different geographical areas and to design and develop early diagnostic procedures, therapeutic strategies, public health interventions, and vaccines. We describe protocols and first results of the Ion [...] Read more.
Deep knowledge of the genetic features of SARS-CoV-2 is essential to track the ongoing pandemic through different geographical areas and to design and develop early diagnostic procedures, therapeutic strategies, public health interventions, and vaccines. We describe protocols and first results of the Ion AmpliSeq™ SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel by a massively parallel sequencing (MPS) assay. The panel allows for targeted sequencing by overlapping amplicons, thereby providing specific, accurate, and high throughput analysis. A modified reverse transcription reaction, which consists of the use of a SARS-CoV-2 specific primers pool from the Ion AmpliSeq SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel, was assessed in order to promote viral RNA specific reverse transcription. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Ion AmpliSeq™ SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel in sequencing the entire viral genome in different samples. SARS-CoV-2 sequence data were obtained from ten viral isolates and one nasopharyngeal swab from different patients. The ten isolate samples amplified with 12 PCR cycles displayed high mean depth values compared to those of the two isolates amplified with 20 PCR cycles. High mean depth values were also obtained for the nasopharyngeal swab processed by use of a target-specific reverse transcription. The relative depth of coverage (rDoC) analysis showed that when 12 PCR cycles were used, all target regions were amplified with high sequencing coverage, while in libraries amplified at 20 cycles, a poor uniformity of amplification, with absent or low coverage of many target regions, was observed. Our results show that the Ion AmpliSeq SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel can achieve rapid and high throughput SARS-CoV-2 whole genome sequencing from 10 ng of DNA-free viral RNA from isolates and from 1 ng of DNA-free viral RNA from a nasopharyngeal swab using 12 PCR cycles for library amplification. The modified RT-PCR protocol yielded superior results on the nasopharyngeal swab compared to the reverse transcription reaction set up according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Full article
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Article
DNA6mA-MINT: DNA-6mA Modification Identification Neural Tool
Genes 2020, 11(8), 898; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11080898 - 05 Aug 2020
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 1374
Abstract
DNA N6-methyladenine (6mA) is part of numerous biological processes including DNA repair, DNA replication, and DNA transcription. The 6mA modification sites hold a great impact when their biological function is under consideration. Research in biochemical experiments for this purpose is carried [...] Read more.
DNA N6-methyladenine (6mA) is part of numerous biological processes including DNA repair, DNA replication, and DNA transcription. The 6mA modification sites hold a great impact when their biological function is under consideration. Research in biochemical experiments for this purpose is carried out and they have demonstrated good results. However, they proved not to be a practical solution when accessed under cost and time parameters. This led researchers to develop computational models to fulfill the requirement of modification identification. In consensus, we have developed a computational model recommended by Chou’s 5-steps rule. The Neural Network (NN) model uses convolution layers to extract the high-level features from the encoded binary sequence. These extracted features were given an optimal interpretation by using a Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) layer. The proposed architecture showed higher performance compared to state-of-the-art techniques. The proposed model is evaluated on Mus musculus, Rice, and “Combined-species” genomes with 5- and 10-fold cross-validation. Further, with access to a user-friendly web server, publicly available can be accessed freely. Full article
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Article
Identification of circRNA-lncRNA-miRNA-mRNA Competitive Endogenous RNA Network as Novel Prognostic Markers for Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Genes 2020, 11(8), 868; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11080868 - 31 Jul 2020
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 3233
Abstract
Background: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is one of the most common malignant and aggressive hematologic tumors, and its pathogenesis is associated with abnormal post-transcriptional regulation. Unbalanced competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA) promotes tumorigenesis and progression, and greatly contributes to tumor risk classification and prognosis. [...] Read more.
Background: Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is one of the most common malignant and aggressive hematologic tumors, and its pathogenesis is associated with abnormal post-transcriptional regulation. Unbalanced competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA) promotes tumorigenesis and progression, and greatly contributes to tumor risk classification and prognosis. However, the comprehensive analysis of the circular RNA (circRNA)-long non-coding RNA (lncRNA)-miRNA-mRNA ceRNA network in the prognosis of AML is still rarely reported. Method: We obtained transcriptome data of AML and normal samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), Genotype-tissue Expression (GTEx), and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) databases, and identified differentially expressed (DE) mRNAs, lncRNAs, and circRNAs. Then, the targeting relationships among lncRNA-miRNA, circRNA-miRNA, and miRNA-mRNA were predicted, and the survival related hub mRNAs were further screened by univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression. Finally, the AML prognostic circRNA-lncRNA-miRNA-mRNA ceRNA regulatory network was established. Results: We identified prognostic 6 hub mRNAs (TM6SF1, ZMAT1, MANSC1, PYCARD, SLC38A1, and LRRC4) through Cox regression model, and divided the AML samples into high and low risk groups according to the risk score obtained by multivariate Cox regression. Survival analysis verified that the survival rate of the high-risk group was significantly reduced (p < 0.0001). The prognostic ceRNA network of 6 circRNAs, 32 lncRNAs, 8 miRNAs, and 6 mRNAs was established according to the targeting relationship between 6 hub mRNAs and other RNAs. Conclusion: In this study, ceRNA network jointly participated by circRNAs and lncRNAs was established for the first time. It comprehensively elucidated the post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism of AML, and identified novel AML prognostic biomarkers, which has important guiding significance for the clinical diagnosis, treatment, and further scientific research of AML. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Protein Coding and Long Noncoding RNA (lncRNA) Transcriptional Landscape in SARS-CoV-2 Infected Bronchial Epithelial Cells Highlight a Role for Interferon and Inflammatory Response
Genes 2020, 11(7), 760; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11070760 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 56 | Viewed by 4502
Abstract
The global spread of COVID-19, caused by pathogenic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) underscores the need for an imminent response from medical research communities to better understand this rapidly spreading infection. Employing multiple bioinformatics and computational pipelines on transcriptome data from [...] Read more.
The global spread of COVID-19, caused by pathogenic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) underscores the need for an imminent response from medical research communities to better understand this rapidly spreading infection. Employing multiple bioinformatics and computational pipelines on transcriptome data from primary normal human bronchial epithelial cells (NHBE) during SARS-CoV-2 infection revealed activation of several mechanistic networks, including those involved in immunoglobulin G (IgG) and interferon lambda (IFNL) in host cells. Induction of acute inflammatory response and activation of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) was prominent in SARS-CoV-2 infected NHBE cells. Additionally, disease and functional analysis employing ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) revealed activation of functional categories related to cell death, while those associated with viral infection and replication were suppressed. Several interferon (IFN) responsive gene targets (IRF9, IFIT1, IFIT2, IFIT3, IFITM1, MX1, OAS2, OAS3, IFI44 and IFI44L) were highly upregulated in SARS-CoV-2 infected NBHE cell, implying activation of antiviral IFN innate response. Gene ontology and functional annotation of differently expressed genes in patient lung tissues with COVID-19 revealed activation of antiviral response as the hallmark. Mechanistic network analysis in IPA identified 14 common activated, and 9 common suppressed networks in patient tissue, as well as in the NHBE cell model, suggesting a plausible role for these upstream regulator networks in the pathogenesis of COVID-19. Our data revealed expression of several viral proteins in vitro and in patient-derived tissue, while several host-derived long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) were identified. Our data highlights activation of IFN response as the main hallmark associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro and in human, and identified several differentially expressed lncRNAs during the course of infection, which could serve as disease biomarkers, while their precise role in the host response to SARS-CoV-2 remains to be investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics of Host-Pathogen Interactions)
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Article
Mutation Patterns of Human SARS-CoV-2 and Bat RaTG13 Coronavirus Genomes Are Strongly Biased Towards C>U Transitions, Indicating Rapid Evolution in Their Hosts
Genes 2020, 11(7), 761; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11070761 - 07 Jul 2020
Cited by 52 | Viewed by 5693
Abstract
The pandemic caused by the spread of SARS-CoV-2 has led to considerable interest in its evolutionary origin and genome structure. Here, we analyzed mutation patterns in 34 human SARS-CoV-2 isolates and a closely related RaTG13 isolated from Rhinolophus affinis (a horseshoe bat). We [...] Read more.
The pandemic caused by the spread of SARS-CoV-2 has led to considerable interest in its evolutionary origin and genome structure. Here, we analyzed mutation patterns in 34 human SARS-CoV-2 isolates and a closely related RaTG13 isolated from Rhinolophus affinis (a horseshoe bat). We also evaluated the CpG dinucleotide contents in SARS-CoV-2 and other human and animal coronavirus genomes. Out of 1136 single nucleotide variations (~4% divergence) between human SARS-CoV-2 and bat RaTG13, 682 (60%) can be attributed to C>U and U>C substitutions, far exceeding other types of substitutions. An accumulation of C>U mutations was also observed in SARS-CoV2 variants that arose within the human population. Globally, the C>U substitutions increased the frequency of codons for hydrophobic amino acids in SARS-CoV-2 peptides, while U>C substitutions decreased it. In contrast to most other coronaviruses, both SARS-CoV-2 and RaTG13 exhibited CpG depletion in their genomes. The data suggest that C-to-U conversion mediated by C deamination played a significant role in the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. We hypothesize that the high frequency C>U transitions reflect virus adaptation processes in their hosts, and that SARS-CoV-2 could have been evolving for a relatively long period in humans following the transfer from animals before spreading worldwide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rapid Evolution)
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Communication
Analysis of ACE2 Genetic Variability among Populations Highlights a Possible Link with COVID-19-Related Neurological Complications
Genes 2020, 11(7), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11070741 - 03 Jul 2020
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 4061
Abstract
Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has been recognized as the entry receptor of the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2). Structural and sequence variants in ACE2 gene may affect its expression in different tissues and determine a differential response to SARS-Cov-2 infection [...] Read more.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has been recognized as the entry receptor of the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2). Structural and sequence variants in ACE2 gene may affect its expression in different tissues and determine a differential response to SARS-Cov-2 infection and the COVID-19-related phenotype. The present study investigated the genetic variability of ACE2 in terms of single nucleotide variants (SNVs), copy number variations (CNVs), and expression quantitative loci (eQTLs) in a cohort of 268 individuals representative of the general Italian population. The analysis identified five SNVs (rs35803318, rs41303171, rs774469453, rs773676270, and rs2285666) in the Italian cohort. Of them, rs35803318 and rs2285666 displayed a significant different frequency distribution in the Italian population with respect to worldwide population. The eQTLs analysis located in and targeting ACE2 revealed a high distribution of eQTL variants in different brain tissues, suggesting a possible link between ACE2 genetic variability and the neurological complications in patients with COVID-19. Further research is needed to clarify the possible relationship between ACE2 expression and the susceptibility to neurological complications in patients with COVID-19. In fact, patients at higher risk of neurological involvement may need different monitoring and treatment strategies in order to prevent severe, permanent brain injury. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Rapid Direct Nucleic Acid Amplification Test without RNA Extraction for SARS-CoV-2 Using a Portable PCR Thermocycler
Genes 2020, 11(6), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11060664 - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 49 | Viewed by 5266
Abstract
There is an ongoing worldwide coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). At present, confirmatory diagnosis is by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), typically taking several hours and requiring a molecular laboratory to perform. There [...] Read more.
There is an ongoing worldwide coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). At present, confirmatory diagnosis is by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), typically taking several hours and requiring a molecular laboratory to perform. There is an urgent need for rapid, simplified, and cost-effective detection methods. We have developed and analytically validated a protocol for direct rapid extraction-free PCR (DIRECT-PCR) detection of SARS-CoV-2 without the need for nucleic acid purification. As few as six RNA copies per reaction of viral nucleocapsid (N) gene from respiratory samples such as sputum and nasal exudate can be detected directly using our one-step inhibitor-resistant assay. The performance of this assay was validated on a commercially available portable PCR thermocycler. Viral lysis, reverse transcription, amplification, and detection are achieved in a single-tube homogeneous reaction within 36 min. This minimizes hands-on time, reduces turnaround-time for sample-to-result, and obviates the need for RNA purification reagents. It could enable wider use of Covid-19 testing for diagnosis, screening, and research in countries and regions where laboratory capabilities are limiting. Full article
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Article
Human Nasal Epithelial Organoids for Therapeutic Development in Cystic Fibrosis
Genes 2020, 11(6), 603; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11060603 - 29 May 2020
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 2320
Abstract
We describe a human nasal epithelial (HNE) organoid model derived directly from patient samples that is well-differentiated and recapitulates the airway epithelium, including the expression of cilia, mucins, tight junctions, the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), and ionocytes. This model requires few [...] Read more.
We describe a human nasal epithelial (HNE) organoid model derived directly from patient samples that is well-differentiated and recapitulates the airway epithelium, including the expression of cilia, mucins, tight junctions, the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), and ionocytes. This model requires few cells compared to airway epithelial monolayer cultures, with multiple outcome measurements depending on the application. A novel feature of the model is the predictive capacity of lumen formation, a marker of baseline CFTR function that correlates with short-circuit current activation of CFTR in monolayers and discriminates the cystic fibrosis (CF) phenotype from non-CF. Our HNE organoid model is amenable to automated measurements of forskolin-induced swelling (FIS), which distinguishes levels of CFTR activity. While the apical side is not easily accessible, RNA- and DNA-based therapies intended for systemic administration could be evaluated in vitro, or it could be used as an ex vivo biomarker of successful repair of a mutant gene. In conclusion, this highly differentiated airway epithelial model could serve as a surrogate biomarker to assess correction of the mutant gene in CF or other diseases, recapitulating the phenotypic and genotypic diversity of the population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Basis and Gene Therapies of Cystic Fibrosis)
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Article
Trans-Atlantic Distribution and Introgression as Inferred from Single Nucleotide Polymorphism: Mussels Mytilus and Environmental Factors
Genes 2020, 11(5), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11050530 - 10 May 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 1686
Abstract
Large-scale climate changes influence the geographic distribution of biodiversity. Many taxa have been reported to extend or reduce their geographic range, move poleward or displace other species. However, for closely related species that can hybridize in the natural environment, displacement is not the [...] Read more.
Large-scale climate changes influence the geographic distribution of biodiversity. Many taxa have been reported to extend or reduce their geographic range, move poleward or displace other species. However, for closely related species that can hybridize in the natural environment, displacement is not the only effect of changes of environmental variables. Another option is subtler, hidden expansion, which can be found using genetic methods only. The marine blue mussels Mytilus are known to change their geographic distribution despite being sessile animals. In addition to natural dissemination at larval phase—enhanced by intentional or accidental introductions and rafting—they can spread through hybridization and introgression with local congeners, which can create mixed populations sustaining in environmental conditions that are marginal for pure taxa. The Mytilus species have a wide distribution in coastal regions of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. In this study, we investigated the inter-regional genetic differentiation of the Mytilus species complex at 53 locations in the North Atlantic and adjacent Arctic waters and linked this genetic variability to key local environmental drivers. Of seventy-nine candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), all samples were successfully genotyped with a subset of 54 SNPs. There was a clear interregional separation of Mytilus species. However, all three Mytilus species hybridized in the contact area and created hybrid zones with mixed populations. Boosted regression trees (BRT) models showed that inter-regional variability was important in many allele models but did not prevail over variability in local environmental factors. Local environmental variables described over 40% of variability in about 30% of the allele frequencies of Mytilus spp. For the 30% of alleles, variability in their frequencies was only weakly coupled with local environmental conditions. For most studied alleles the linkages between environmental drivers and the genetic variability of Mytilus spp. were random in respect to “coding” and “non-coding” regions. An analysis of the subset of data involving functional genes only showed that two SNPs at Hsp70 and ATPase genes correlated with environmental variables. Total predictive ability of the highest performing models (r2 between 0.550 and 0.801) were for alleles that discriminated most effectively M. trossulus from M. edulis and M. galloprovincialis, whereas the best performing allele model (BM101A) did the best at discriminating M. galloprovincialis from M. edulis and M. trossulus. Among the local environmental variables, salinity, water temperature, ice cover and chlorophyll a concentration were by far the greatest predictors, but their predictive performance varied among different allele models. In most cases changes in the allele frequencies along these environmental gradients were abrupt and occurred at a very narrow range of environmental variables. In general, regions of change in allele frequencies for M. trossulus occurred at 8–11 psu, 0–10 °C, 60%–70% of ice cover and 0–2 mg m−3 of chlorophyll a, M. edulis at 8–11 and 30–35 psu, 10–14 °C and 60%–70% of ice cover and for M. galloprovincialis at 30–35 psu, 14–20 °C. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Diversity of Marine Populations)
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Article
Efficient Generation and Correction of Mutations in Human iPS Cells Utilizing mRNAs of CRISPR Base Editors and Prime Editors
Genes 2020, 11(5), 511; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11050511 - 06 May 2020
Cited by 44 | Viewed by 6641
Abstract
In contrast to CRISPR/Cas9 nucleases, CRISPR base editors (BE) and prime editors (PE) enable predefined nucleotide exchanges in genomic sequences without generating DNA double strand breaks. Here, we employed BE and PE mRNAs in conjunction with chemically synthesized sgRNAs and pegRNAs for efficient [...] Read more.
In contrast to CRISPR/Cas9 nucleases, CRISPR base editors (BE) and prime editors (PE) enable predefined nucleotide exchanges in genomic sequences without generating DNA double strand breaks. Here, we employed BE and PE mRNAs in conjunction with chemically synthesized sgRNAs and pegRNAs for efficient editing of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). Whereas we were unable to correct a disease-causing mutation in patient derived iPSCs using a CRISPR/Cas9 nuclease approach, we corrected the mutation back to wild type with high efficiency utilizing an adenine BE. We also used adenine and cytosine BEs to introduce nine different cancer associated TP53 mutations into human iPSCs with up to 90% efficiency, generating a panel of cell lines to investigate the biology of these mutations in an isogenic background. Finally, we pioneered the use of prime editing in human iPSCs, opening this important cell type for the precise modification of nucleotides not addressable by BEs and to multiple nucleotide exchanges. These approaches eliminate the necessity of deriving disease specific iPSCs from human donors and allows the comparison of different disease-causing mutations in isogenic genetic backgrounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genes at Ten)
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Article
Microfluidic Quantitative PCR Detection of 12 Transgenes from Horse Plasma for Gene Doping Control
Genes 2020, 11(4), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040457 - 23 Apr 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3105
Abstract
Gene doping, an activity which abuses and misuses gene therapy, is a major concern in sports and horseracing industries. Effective methods capable of detecting and monitoring gene doping are urgently needed. Although several PCR-based methods that detect transgenes have been developed, many of [...] Read more.
Gene doping, an activity which abuses and misuses gene therapy, is a major concern in sports and horseracing industries. Effective methods capable of detecting and monitoring gene doping are urgently needed. Although several PCR-based methods that detect transgenes have been developed, many of them focus only on a single transgene. However, numerous genes associated with athletic ability may be potential gene-doping material. Here, we developed a detection method that targets multiple transgenes. We targeted 12 genes that may be associated with athletic performance and designed two TaqMan probe/primer sets for each one. A panel of 24 assays was prepared and detected via a microfluidic quantitative PCR (MFQPCR) system using integrated fluidic circuits (IFCs). The limit of detection of the panel was 6.25 copy/μL. Amplification-specificity was validated using several concentrations of reference materials and animal genomic DNA, leading to specific detection. In addition, target-specific detection was successfully achieved in a horse administered 20 mg of the EPO transgene via MFQPCR. Therefore, MFQPCR may be considered a suitable method for multiple-target detection in gene-doping control. To our knowledge, this is the first application of microfluidic qPCR (MFQPCR) for gene-doping control in horseracing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
MinION-Based DNA Barcoding of Preserved and Non-Invasively Collected Wildlife Samples
Genes 2020, 11(4), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040445 - 18 Apr 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3809
Abstract
The ability to sequence a variety of wildlife samples with portable, field-friendly equipment will have significant impacts on wildlife conservation and health applications. However, the only currently available field-friendly DNA sequencer, the MinION by Oxford Nanopore Technologies, has a high error rate compared [...] Read more.
The ability to sequence a variety of wildlife samples with portable, field-friendly equipment will have significant impacts on wildlife conservation and health applications. However, the only currently available field-friendly DNA sequencer, the MinION by Oxford Nanopore Technologies, has a high error rate compared to standard laboratory-based sequencing platforms and has not been systematically validated for DNA barcoding accuracy for preserved and non-invasively collected tissue samples. We tested whether various wildlife sample types, field-friendly methods, and our clustering-based bioinformatics pipeline, SAIGA, can be used to generate consistent and accurate consensus sequences for species identification. Here, we systematically evaluate variation in cytochrome b sequences amplified from scat, hair, feather, fresh frozen liver, and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) liver. Each sample was processed by three DNA extraction protocols. For all sample types tested, the MinION consensus sequences matched the Sanger references with 99.29%–100% sequence similarity, even for samples that were difficult to amplify, such as scat and FFPE tissue extracted with Chelex resin. Sequencing errors occurred primarily in homopolymer regions, as identified in previous MinION studies. We demonstrate that it is possible to generate accurate DNA barcode sequences from preserved and non-invasively collected wildlife samples using portable MinION sequencing, creating more opportunities to apply portable sequencing technology for species identification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MetaGenomics Sequencing In Situ)
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Article
A New Census of Protein Tandem Repeats and Their Relationship with Intrinsic Disorder
Genes 2020, 11(4), 407; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040407 - 09 Apr 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2235
Abstract
Protein tandem repeats (TRs) are often associated with immunity-related functions and diseases. Since that last census of protein TRs in 1999, the number of curated proteins increased more than seven-fold and new TR prediction methods were published. TRs appear to be enriched with [...] Read more.
Protein tandem repeats (TRs) are often associated with immunity-related functions and diseases. Since that last census of protein TRs in 1999, the number of curated proteins increased more than seven-fold and new TR prediction methods were published. TRs appear to be enriched with intrinsic disorder and vice versa. The significance and the biological reasons for this association are unknown. Here, we characterize protein TRs across all kingdoms of life and their overlap with intrinsic disorder in unprecedented detail. Using state-of-the-art prediction methods, we estimate that 50.9% of proteins contain at least one TR, often located at the sequence flanks. Positive linear correlation between the proportion of TRs and the protein length was observed universally, with Eukaryotes in general having more TRs, but when the difference in length is taken into account the difference is quite small. TRs were enriched with disorder-promoting amino acids and were inside intrinsically disordered regions. Many such TRs were homorepeats. Our results support that TRs mostly originate by duplication and are involved in essential functions such as transcription processes, structural organization, electron transport and iron-binding. In viruses, TRs are found in proteins essential for virulence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genes at Ten)
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Article
A Gene-Set Enrichment and Protein–Protein Interaction Network-Based GWAS with Regulatory SNPs Identifies Candidate Genes and Pathways Associated with Carcass Traits in Hanwoo Cattle
Genes 2020, 11(3), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11030316 - 16 Mar 2020
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2307
Abstract
Non-synonymous SNPs and protein coding SNPs within the promoter region of genes (regulatory SNPs) might have a significant effect on carcass traits. Imputed sequence level data of 10,215 Hanwoo bulls, annotated and filtered to include only regulatory SNPs (450,062 SNPs), were used in [...] Read more.
Non-synonymous SNPs and protein coding SNPs within the promoter region of genes (regulatory SNPs) might have a significant effect on carcass traits. Imputed sequence level data of 10,215 Hanwoo bulls, annotated and filtered to include only regulatory SNPs (450,062 SNPs), were used in a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify loci associated with backfat thickness (BFT), carcass weight (CWT), eye muscle area (EMA), and marbling score (MS). A total of 15, 176, and 1 SNPs were found to be significantly associated (p < 1.11 × 10−7) with BFT, CWT, and EMA, respectively. The significant loci were BTA4 (CWT), BTA6 (CWT), BTA14 (CWT and EMA), and BTA19 (BFT). BayesR estimated that 1.1%~1.9% of the SNPs contributed to more than 0.01% of the phenotypic variance. So, the GWAS was complemented by a gene-set enrichment (GSEA) and protein–protein interaction network (PPIN) analysis in identifying the pathways affecting carcass traits. At p < 0.005 (~2,261 SNPs), 25 GO and 18 KEGG categories, including calcium signaling, cell proliferation, and folate biosynthesis, were found to be enriched through GSEA. The PPIN analysis showed enrichment for 81 candidate genes involved in various pathways, including the PI3K-AKT, calcium, and FoxO signaling pathways. Our finding provides insight into the effects of regulatory SNPs on carcass traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
High Contiguity de novo Genome Sequence Assembly of Trifoliate Yam (Dioscorea dumetorum) Using Long Read Sequencing
Genes 2020, 11(3), 274; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11030274 - 04 Mar 2020
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 6061
Abstract
Trifoliate yam (Dioscorea dumetorum) is one example of an orphan crop, not traded internationally. Post-harvest hardening of the tubers of this species starts within 24 h after harvesting and renders the tubers inedible. Genomic resources are required for D. dumetorum to [...] Read more.
Trifoliate yam (Dioscorea dumetorum) is one example of an orphan crop, not traded internationally. Post-harvest hardening of the tubers of this species starts within 24 h after harvesting and renders the tubers inedible. Genomic resources are required for D. dumetorum to improve breeding for non-hardening varieties as well as for other traits. We sequenced the D. dumetorum genome and generated the corresponding annotation. The two haplophases of this highly heterozygous genome were separated to a large extent. The assembly represents 485 Mbp of the genome with an N50 of over 3.2 Mbp. A total of 35,269 protein-encoding gene models as well as 9941 non-coding RNA genes were predicted, and functional annotations were assigned. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Orphan Crop Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Down Regulation and Loss of Auxin Response Factor 4 Function Using CRISPR/Cas9 Alters Plant Growth, Stomatal Function and Improves Tomato Tolerance to Salinity and Osmotic Stress
Genes 2020, 11(3), 272; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11030272 - 03 Mar 2020
Cited by 46 | Viewed by 3584
Abstract
Auxin controls multiple aspects of plant growth and development. However, its role in stress responses remains poorly understood. Auxin acts on the transcriptional regulation of target genes, mainly through Auxin Response Factors (ARF). This study focuses on the involvement of SlARF4 [...] Read more.
Auxin controls multiple aspects of plant growth and development. However, its role in stress responses remains poorly understood. Auxin acts on the transcriptional regulation of target genes, mainly through Auxin Response Factors (ARF). This study focuses on the involvement of SlARF4 in tomato tolerance to salinity and osmotic stress. Using a reverse genetic approach, we found that the antisense down-regulation of SlARF4 promotes root development and density, increases soluble sugars content and maintains chlorophyll content at high levels under stress conditions. Furthermore, ARF4-as displayed higher tolerance to salt and osmotic stress through reduced stomatal conductance coupled with increased leaf relative water content and Abscisic acid (ABA) content under normal and stressful conditions. This increase in ABA content was correlated with the activation of ABA biosynthesis genes and the repression of ABA catabolism genes. Cu/ZnSOD and mdhar genes were up-regulated in ARF4-as plants which can result in a better tolerance to salt and osmotic stress. A CRISPR/Cas9 induced SlARF4 mutant showed similar growth and stomatal responses as ARF4-as plants, which suggest that arf4-cr can tolerate salt and osmotic stresses. Our data support the involvement of ARF4 as a key factor in tomato tolerance to salt and osmotic stresses and confirm the use of CRISPR technology as an efficient tool for functional reverse genetics studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue TILLING and CRISPR to design the varieties of tomorrow)
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Article
Shared Molecular Genetic Mechanisms Underlie Endometriosis and Migraine Comorbidity
Genes 2020, 11(3), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11030268 - 29 Feb 2020
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 4589
Abstract
Observational epidemiological studies indicate that endometriosis and migraine co-occur within individuals more than expected by chance. However, the aetiology and biological mechanisms underlying their comorbidity remain unknown. Here we examined the relationship between endometriosis and migraine using genome-wide association study (GWAS) data. Single [...] Read more.
Observational epidemiological studies indicate that endometriosis and migraine co-occur within individuals more than expected by chance. However, the aetiology and biological mechanisms underlying their comorbidity remain unknown. Here we examined the relationship between endometriosis and migraine using genome-wide association study (GWAS) data. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) effect concordance analysis found a significant concordance of SNP risk effects across endometriosis and migraine GWAS. Linkage disequilibrium score regression analysis found a positive and highly significant genetic correlation (rG = 0.38, P = 2.30 × 10−25) between endometriosis and migraine. A meta-analysis of endometriosis and migraine GWAS data did not reveal novel genome-wide significant SNPs, and Mendelian randomisation analysis found no evidence for a causal relationship between the two traits. However, gene-based analyses identified two novel loci for migraine. Also, we found significant enrichment of genes nominally associated (Pgene < 0.05) with both traits (Pbinomial-test = 9.83 × 10−6). Combining gene-based p-values across endometriosis and migraine, three genes, two (TRIM32 and SLC35G6) of which are at novel loci, were genome-wide significant. Genes having Pgene < 0.1 for both endometriosis and migraine (Pbinomial-test = 1.85 ×10°3) were significantly enriched for biological pathways, including interleukin-1 receptor binding, focal adhesion-PI3K-Akt-mTOR-signaling, MAPK and TNF-α signalling. Our findings further confirm the comorbidity of endometriosis and migraine and indicate a non-causal relationship between the two traits, with shared genetically-controlled biological mechanisms underlying the co-occurrence of the two disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genes at Ten)
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Article
mRNAsi Index: Machine Learning in Mining Lung Adenocarcinoma Stem Cell Biomarkers
Genes 2020, 11(3), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11030257 - 27 Feb 2020
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 3325
Abstract
Cancer stem cells (CSCs), characterized by self-renewal and unlimited proliferation, lead to therapeutic resistance in lung cancer. In this study, we aimed to investigate the expressions of stem cell-related genes in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). The stemness index based on mRNA expression (mRNAsi) was [...] Read more.
Cancer stem cells (CSCs), characterized by self-renewal and unlimited proliferation, lead to therapeutic resistance in lung cancer. In this study, we aimed to investigate the expressions of stem cell-related genes in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). The stemness index based on mRNA expression (mRNAsi) was utilized to analyze LUAD cases in the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). First, mRNAsi was analyzed with differential expressions, survival analysis, clinical stages, and gender in LUADs. Then, the weighted gene co-expression network analysis was performed to discover modules of stemness and key genes. The interplay among the key genes was explored at the transcription and protein levels. The enrichment analysis was performed to annotate the function and pathways of the key genes. The expression levels of key genes were validated in a pan-cancer scale. The pathological stage associated gene expression level and survival probability were also validated. The Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database was additionally used for validation. The mRNAsi was significantly upregulated in cancer cases. In general, the mRNAsi score increases according to clinical stages and differs in gender significantly. Lower mRNAsi groups had a better overall survival in major LUADs, within five years. The distinguished modules and key genes were selected according to the correlations to the mRNAsi. Thirteen key genes (CCNB1, BUB1, BUB1B, CDC20, PLK1, TTK, CDC45, ESPL1, CCNA2, MCM6, ORC1, MCM2, and CHEK1) were enriched from the cell cycle Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway, relating to cell proliferation Gene Ontology (GO) terms, as well. Eight of the thirteen genes have been reported to be associated with the CSC characteristics. However, all of them have been previously ignored in LUADs. Their expression increased according to the pathological stages of LUAD, and these genes were clearly upregulated in pan-cancers. In the GEO database, only the tumor necrosis factor receptor associated factor-interacting protein (TRAIP) from the blue module was matched with the stemness microarray data. These key genes were found to have strong correlations as a whole, and could be used as therapeutic targets in the treatment of LUAD, by inhibiting the stemness features. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Technologies and Resources for Genetics)
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Article
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 - 18 Feb 2020
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 2134
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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Article
Circulatory miR-133b and miR-21 as Novel Biomarkers in Early Prediction and Diagnosis of Coronary Artery Disease
Genes 2020, 11(2), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020164 - 05 Feb 2020
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 2130
Abstract
While coronary artery disease (CAD) has become a major threat worldwide, the timely biomarker-based early diagnosis of CAD remains a major unmet clinical challenge. We aimed towards assessing the level of circulatory microRNAs as candidates of novel biomarkers in patients with CAD. A [...] Read more.
While coronary artery disease (CAD) has become a major threat worldwide, the timely biomarker-based early diagnosis of CAD remains a major unmet clinical challenge. We aimed towards assessing the level of circulatory microRNAs as candidates of novel biomarkers in patients with CAD. A total of 147 subjects were recruited which includes 78 subjects with angiographically proven CAD, 15 pre-atherosclerotic normal coronary artery (NCA) subjects and 54 healthy individuals. Quantitative real-time PCR assays were performed. MiR-133b was downregulated by 4.6 fold (p < 0.0001) whereas miR-21 was upregulated by ~2 fold (p < 0.0001) in plasma samples of CAD patients. Importantly, both the miRNAs showed association with disease severity as miR-133b was downregulated by 8.45 fold in acute coronary syndrome (ACS), 3.38 fold in Stable angina (SA) and 2.08 fold in NCA. MiR-21 was upregulated by 2.46 fold in ACS, 1.90 fold in SA and 1.12 fold in NCA. Moreover, miR-133b could significantly differentiate subjects with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) from Non-STEMI. Area under the curve (AUC) for miR-133b was 0.80 with >75.6% sensitivity and specificity, AUC for miR-21 was 0.79 with >69.4% sensitivity and specificity. Our results suggest that miR-133b and miR-21 could be possible candidates of novel biomarkers in early prediction of CAD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection microRNA Omnibus)
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Article
Genomics in Bacterial Taxonomy: Impact on the Genus Pseudomonas
Genes 2020, 11(2), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020139 - 29 Jan 2020
Cited by 80 | Viewed by 4578
Abstract
The introduction of genomics is profoundly changing current bacterial taxonomy. Phylogenomics provides accurate methods for delineating species and allows us to infer the phylogeny of higher taxonomic ranks as well as those at the subspecies level. We present as a model the currently [...] Read more.
The introduction of genomics is profoundly changing current bacterial taxonomy. Phylogenomics provides accurate methods for delineating species and allows us to infer the phylogeny of higher taxonomic ranks as well as those at the subspecies level. We present as a model the currently accepted taxonomy of the genus Pseudomonas and how it can be modified when new taxonomic methodologies are applied. A phylogeny of the species in the genus deduced from analyses of gene sequences or by whole genome comparison with different algorithms allows three main conclusions: (i) several named species are synonymous and have to be reorganized in a single genomic species; (ii) many strains assigned to known species have to be proposed as new genomic species within the genus; and (iii) the main phylogenetic groups defined by 4-, 100- and 120-gene multilocus sequence analyses are concordant with the groupings in the whole genome analyses. Moreover, the boundaries of the genus Pseudomonas are also discussed based on phylogenomic analyses in relation to other genera in the family Pseudomonadaceae. The new technologies will result in a substantial increase in the number of species and probably split the current genus into several genera or subgenera, although these classifications have to be supported by a polyphasic taxonomic approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Genome-Wide Identification, Expression Profile of the TIFY Gene Family in Brassica oleracea var. capitata, and Their Divergent Response to Various Pathogen Infections and Phytohormone Treatments
Genes 2020, 11(2), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020127 - 24 Jan 2020
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 1460
Abstract
TIFY, a plant-specific gene family with the conserved motif TIF[F/Y]XG, plays important roles in various plant biological processes. Here, a total of 36 TIFY genes were identified in the Brassica oleracea genome and classified into JAZ (22 genes), TIFY (7 genes), ZML (5 [...] Read more.
TIFY, a plant-specific gene family with the conserved motif TIF[F/Y]XG, plays important roles in various plant biological processes. Here, a total of 36 TIFY genes were identified in the Brassica oleracea genome and classified into JAZ (22 genes), TIFY (7 genes), ZML (5 genes), and PPD (2 genes) subfamilies based on their conserved motifs, which were distributed unevenly across nine chromosomes with different lengths (339–1077 bp) and exon numbers (1–8). Following phylogenetic analysis with A. thaliana and B. rapa TIFY proteins, ten clades were obtained. The expression of these TIFY genes was organ-specific, with thirteen JAZ genes and two PPD genes showing the highest expression in roots and leaves, respectively. More importantly, the JAZs showed divergent responses to various pathogen infections and different phytohormone treatments. Compared with the susceptible line, most JAZs were activated after Plasmodiophora brassicae infection, while there were both induced and inhibited JAZs after Fusarium oxysporum or Xanthomonas campestris infection in the resistance line, indicating their probably distinct roles in disease resistance or susceptibility. Further, the JAZs were all upregulated after MeJA treatment, but were mostly downregulated after SA/ET treatment. In summary, these results contribute to our understanding of the TIFY gene family, revealing that JAZs may play crucial and divergent roles in phytohormone crosstalk and plant defense. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Extracellular Vesicles Derived from Human Gingival Mesenchymal Stem Cells: A Transcriptomic Analysis
Genes 2020, 11(2), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11020118 - 21 Jan 2020
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 1632
Abstract
Human gingival mesenchymal stem cells (hGMSCs) have outstanding characteristics of proliferation and are able to differentiate into osteogenic, chondrogenic, adipogenic, and neurogenic cell lineages. The extracellular vesicles (EVs) secreted by hGMSCs contain proteins, lipids, mRNA and microRNA have emerged as important mediators of [...] Read more.
Human gingival mesenchymal stem cells (hGMSCs) have outstanding characteristics of proliferation and are able to differentiate into osteogenic, chondrogenic, adipogenic, and neurogenic cell lineages. The extracellular vesicles (EVs) secreted by hGMSCs contain proteins, lipids, mRNA and microRNA have emerged as important mediators of cell-to-cell communication. In this study, we analyzed the transcriptome of hGMSCs-derived EVs using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). The functional evaluation of the transcriptome highlighted 26 structural protein classes and the presence of “non-coding RNAs”. Our results showed that EVs contain several growth factors such as Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β), Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF), and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors (VEGF) implicated in osteoblast differentiation and in angiogenetic process. Furthermore, the transcriptomic analysis showed the presence of glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) family ligands and neurotrophins involved in neuronal development. The NGS analysis also identified the presence of several interleukins among which some with anti-inflammatory action. Moreover, the transcriptome profile of EVs contained members of the Wnt family, involved in several biological processes, such as cellular proliferation and tissue regeneration. In conclusion, the huge amount of growth factors included in the hGMSCs-derived EVs could make them a big resource in regenerative medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cells Application in Clinical Practice: Advances and Challenges)
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Article
Findings from a Genotyping Study of over 1000 People with Inherited Retinal Disorders in Ireland
Genes 2020, 11(1), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11010105 - 16 Jan 2020
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3230
Abstract
The Irish national registry for inherited retinal degenerations (Target 5000) is a clinical and scientific program to identify individuals in Ireland with inherited retinal disorders and to attempt to ascertain the genetic cause underlying the disease pathology. Potential participants first undergo a clinical [...] Read more.
The Irish national registry for inherited retinal degenerations (Target 5000) is a clinical and scientific program to identify individuals in Ireland with inherited retinal disorders and to attempt to ascertain the genetic cause underlying the disease pathology. Potential participants first undergo a clinical assessment, which includes clinical history and analysis with multimodal retinal imaging, electrophysiology, and visual field testing. If suitable for recruitment, a sample is taken and used for genetic analysis. Genetic analysis is conducted by use of a retinal gene panel target capture sequencing approach. With over 1000 participants from 710 pedigrees now screened, there is a positive candidate variant detection rate of approximately 70% (495/710). Where an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern is observed, an additional 9% (64/710) of probands have tested positive for a single candidate variant. Many novel variants have also been detected as part of this endeavor. The target capture approach is an economic and effective means of screening patients with inherited retinal disorders. Despite the advances in sequencing technology and the ever-decreasing associated processing costs, target capture remains an attractive option as the data produced is easily processed, analyzed, and stored compared to more comprehensive methods. However, with decreasing costs of whole genome and whole exome sequencing, the focus will likely move towards these methods for more comprehensive data generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Inherited Eye Disease)
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Article
Low Temperature Promotes Anthocyanin Biosynthesis and Related Gene Expression in the Seedlings of Purple Head Chinese Cabbage (Brassica rapa L.)
Genes 2020, 11(1), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11010081 - 10 Jan 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 2121
Abstract
To elucidate the effect of low temperature on anthocyanin biosynthesis in purple head Chinese cabbage, we analyzed anthocyanin accumulation and related gene expression in the seedlings of purple head Chinese cabbage, white head parent Chinese cabbage, and its purple male parent under a [...] Read more.
To elucidate the effect of low temperature on anthocyanin biosynthesis in purple head Chinese cabbage, we analyzed anthocyanin accumulation and related gene expression in the seedlings of purple head Chinese cabbage, white head parent Chinese cabbage, and its purple male parent under a normal 25 °C temperature and a low 12 °C temperature. Anthocyanin accumulation in purple lines was strongly induced by low temperature, and the total anthocyanin content of seedlings was significantly enhanced. In addition, nearly all phenylpropanoid metabolic pathway genes (PMPGs) were down-regulated, some early biosynthesis genes (EBGs) were up-regulated, and nearly all late biosynthesis genes (LBGs) directly involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis showed higher expression levels in purple lines after low-temperature induction. Interestingly, a R2R3-MYB transcription factor (TF) gene ‘BrMYB2’ and a basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH) regulatory gene ‘BrTT8’ were highly up-regulated in purple lines after low temperature induction, and two negative regulatory genes ‘BrMYBL2.1’ and ‘BrLBD38.2’ were up-regulated in the white line. BrMYB2 and BrTT8 may play important roles in co-activating the anthocyanin structural genes in purple head Chinese cabbage after low-temperature induction, whereas down-regulation of BrMYB2 and up-regulation of some negative regulators might be responsible for white head phenotype formation. Data presented here provide new understanding into the anthocyanin biosynthesis mechanism during low temperature exposure in Brassica crops. Full article
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Article
Comparative Genomics Analysis of Lactobacillus ruminis from Different Niches
Genes 2020, 11(1), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11010070 - 08 Jan 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 1937
Abstract
Lactobacillus ruminis is a commensal motile lactic acid bacterium living in the intestinal tract of humans and animals. Although a few genomes of L. ruminis were published, most of them were animal derived. To explore the genetic diversity and potential niche-specific adaptation changes [...] Read more.
Lactobacillus ruminis is a commensal motile lactic acid bacterium living in the intestinal tract of humans and animals. Although a few genomes of L. ruminis were published, most of them were animal derived. To explore the genetic diversity and potential niche-specific adaptation changes of L. ruminis, in the current work, draft genomes of 81 L. ruminis strains isolated from human, bovine, piglet, and other animals were sequenced, and comparative genomic analysis was performed. The genome size and GC content of L. ruminis on average were 2.16 Mb and 43.65%, respectively. Both the origin and the sampling distance of these strains had a great influence on the phylogenetic relationship. For carbohydrate utilization, the human-derived L. ruminis strains had a higher consistency in the utilization of carbon source compared to the animal-derived strains. L. ruminis mainly increased the competitiveness of niches by producing class II bacteriocins. The type of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats /CRISPR-associated (CRISPR/Cas) system presented in L. ruminis was mainly subtype IIA. The diversity of CRISPR/Cas locus depended on the high denaturation of spacer number and sequence, although cas1 protein was relatively conservative. The genetic differences in those newly sequenced L. ruminis strains highlighted the gene gains and losses attributed to niche adaptations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Genome-Wide Analyses and Prediction of Resistance to MLN in Large Tropical Maize Germplasm
Genes 2020, 11(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11010016 - 23 Dec 2019
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2850
Abstract
Maize lethal necrosis (MLN), caused by co-infection of maize chlorotic mottle virus and sugarcane mosaic virus, can lead up to 100% yield loss. Identification and validation of genomic regions can facilitate marker assisted breeding for resistance to MLN. Our objectives were to identify [...] Read more.
Maize lethal necrosis (MLN), caused by co-infection of maize chlorotic mottle virus and sugarcane mosaic virus, can lead up to 100% yield loss. Identification and validation of genomic regions can facilitate marker assisted breeding for resistance to MLN. Our objectives were to identify marker-trait associations using genome wide association study and assess the potential of genomic prediction for MLN resistance in a large panel of diverse maize lines. A set of 1400 diverse maize tropical inbred lines were evaluated for their response to MLN under artificial inoculation by measuring disease severity or incidence and area under disease progress curve (AUDPC). All lines were genotyped with genotyping by sequencing (GBS) SNPs. The phenotypic variation was significant for all traits and the heritability estimates were moderate to high. GWAS revealed 32 significantly associated SNPs for MLN resistance (at p < 1.0 × 10−6). For disease severity, these significantly associated SNPs individually explained 3–5% of the total phenotypic variance, whereas for AUDPC they explained 3–12% of the total proportion of phenotypic variance. Most of significant SNPs were consistent with the previous studies and assists to validate and fine map the big quantitative trait locus (QTL) regions into few markers’ specific regions. A set of putative candidate genes associated with the significant markers were identified and their functions revealed to be directly or indirectly involved in plant defense responses. Genomic prediction revealed reasonable prediction accuracies. The prediction accuracies significantly increased with increasing marker densities and training population size. These results support that MLN is a complex trait controlled by few major and many minor effect genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
A 24-Month Follow-Up Study of the Effect of Intra-Articular Injection of Autologous Microfragmented Fat Tissue on Proteoglycan Synthesis in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis
Genes 2019, 10(12), 1051; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10121051 - 17 Dec 2019
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 2271
Abstract
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a widely prevalent disease worldwide, and with an increasingly ageing society, it has become a challenge for the field of regenerative medicine. OA is a disease process involving multiple joint tissues, including those not visible on radiography, and is a [...] Read more.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a widely prevalent disease worldwide, and with an increasingly ageing society, it has become a challenge for the field of regenerative medicine. OA is a disease process involving multiple joint tissues, including those not visible on radiography, and is a complex disease process with multiple phenotypes that require evaluation by a multimodality imaging assessment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of micro-fragmented fat tissue intra-articular injection 24 months after application in two ways: Indirectly using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) assessment analyzing the glycosaminoglycans (GAG) content in cartilage by means of delayed gadolinium (Gd)-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging of cartilage (dGEMRIC), as well as clinical outcome on observed level of GAG using standard orthopedic physical examination including VAS assessment. In our previous study assessing comprehensive results after 12 months, the dGEMRIC results have drawn attention. The present study explores the long-term effect of intra-articular injection of autologous microfragmented adipose tissue to host chondrocytes and cartilage proteoglycans in patients with knee OA. A prospective, non-randomized, interventional, single-center, open-label clinical trial was conducted from January 2016 to April 2018. A total of 17 patients were enrolled in the study, and 32 knees were assessed in a 12-month follow-up, but only 10 patients of them with 18 knees are included in a 24-month follow-up. The rest of the seven patients dropped out of the study 12 months after follow-up: three patients underwent knee arthroplasty, and the remaining four did not fulfil the basic criteria of 24 months involvement in the study. Surgical intervention (lipoaspiration), followed by tissue processing and intra-articular injection of the final microfragmented adipose tissue product into the affected knee(s), was performed in all patients. Patients were assessed for a visual analog scale (VAS), dGEMRIC at the baseline, three, six, 12 and 24 months after the treatment. A magnetic resonance sequence in dGEMRIC due to infiltration of the anionic, negatively-charged contrast gadopentetate dimeglumine (Gd-DTPA2) into the cartilage indicated that the contents of cartilage glycosaminoglycans significantly increased in specific areas of the treated knee joint. Our results suggest that this method of single intra-articular injection of autologous microfragmented adipose tissue improves GAG content on a significant scale, with over half of the measurements suggesting relevant improvement 24 months after intra-articular injection opposed to the expected GAG decrease over the natural course of the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cells Application in Clinical Practice: Advances and Challenges)
Article
Periodontitis and Tooth Loss Have Negative Systemic Impact on Circulating Progenitor Cell Levels: A Clinical Study
Genes 2019, 10(12), 1022; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10121022 - 07 Dec 2019
Cited by 49 | Viewed by 2670
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to investigate the association and impact of periodontitis and tooth loss on a subtype of endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) levels (CD133+/KDR+). Furthermore, the objective was to determine if the periodontal status influenced [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the association and impact of periodontitis and tooth loss on a subtype of endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) levels (CD133+/KDR+). Furthermore, the objective was to determine if the periodontal status influenced CD133+/KDR+ levels. In all, 88 patients with periodontitis and 79 healthy controls (HCs) were enrolled in the study. Enrolled patients were examined and characterized by clinical and blood sample analysis. Spearman’s correlation test was applied in order to assess the interdependence between CD133+/KDR+ levels and all periodontal parameters. In order to estimate a statistically significant trend (p-trend) for ordered CD133++/KDR+ quartiles, the Jonckheere–Terpstra test was applied for all variables. Patients in the periodontitis group presented significantly lower CD133+/KDR+ levels (66.4 (45.5–269.6 cells/µL)) compared to the HC group (76.7 (24.3–313.2 cells/µL), p < 0.001). Lower CD133+/KDR+ levels negatively correlated with C-reactive protein (CRP), with the number of teeth, and with all periodontal parameters (p < 0.001). Moreover, there was a proportional increase in CD133+/KDR+ levels with a progressive increase in number of teeth (p-trend < 0.001), while there was a proportional decrease in CD133+/KDR+ levels with a proportional increase in clinical attachment level (CAL, p-trend = 0.003), probing depth (PD, p-trend = 0.007), and bleeding sites (bleeding on probing (BOP), p-trend < 0.001) as an extent measure of periodontitis. This study demonstrated that patients with periodontitis presented significantly lower CD133+/KDR+ levels compared to HCs. Moreover, all patients presented an increase in the CD133+/KDR+ EPC levels with an extended level of periodontitis and tooth loss. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stem Cells Application in Clinical Practice: Advances and Challenges)
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Article
Transcriptome Meta-Analysis Deciphers a Dysregulation in Immune Response-Associated Gene Signatures during Sepsis
Genes 2019, 10(12), 1005; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10121005 - 04 Dec 2019
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3053
Abstract
Sepsis is a life-threatening disease induced by a systemic inflammatory response, which leads to organ dysfunction and mortality. In sepsis, the host immune response is depressed and unable to cope with infection; no drug is currently available to treat this. The lungs are [...] Read more.
Sepsis is a life-threatening disease induced by a systemic inflammatory response, which leads to organ dysfunction and mortality. In sepsis, the host immune response is depressed and unable to cope with infection; no drug is currently available to treat this. The lungs are frequently the starting point for sepsis. This study aimed to identify potential genes for diagnostics and therapeutic purposes in sepsis by a comprehensive bioinformatics analysis. Our criteria are to unravel sepsis-associated signature genes from gene expression datasets. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified from samples of sepsis patients using a meta-analysis and then further subjected to functional enrichment and protein‒protein interaction (PPI) network analysis for examining their potential functions. Finally, the expression of the topmost upregulated genes (ARG1, IL1R2, ELANE, MMP9) was quantified by reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR), and myeloperoxidase (MPO) expression was confirmed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining in the lungs of a well-established sepsis mouse model. We found that all the four genes were upregulated in semiquantitative RT-PCR studies; however, MMP9 showed a nonsignificant increase in expression. MPO staining showed strong immunoreactivity in sepsis as compared to the control. This study demonstrates the role of significant and widespread immune activation (IL1R2, MMP9), along with oxidative stress (ARG1) and the recruitment of neutrophils, in sepsis (ELANE, MPO). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Genotoxicity in Infertility and Cancer Development)
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Article
Human Endometrial Microbiota at Term of Normal Pregnancies
Genes 2019, 10(12), 971; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10120971 - 26 Nov 2019
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 2410
Abstract
The endometrium is a challenging site for metagenomic analysis due to difficulties in obtaining uncontaminated samples and the limited abundance of the bacterial population. Indeed, solid correlations between endometrial physio-pathologic conditions and bacteria compositions have not yet been firmly established. Nevertheless, the study [...] Read more.
The endometrium is a challenging site for metagenomic analysis due to difficulties in obtaining uncontaminated samples and the limited abundance of the bacterial population. Indeed, solid correlations between endometrial physio-pathologic conditions and bacteria compositions have not yet been firmly established. Nevertheless, the study of the endometrial microbiota is of great interest due to the close correlations between microbiota profiles, women’s health, and successful pregnancies. In this study, we decided to tackle the study of the endometrial microbiota through analysis of bacterial population in women subjected to elective caesarean delivery. As a pilot study, a cohort of 19 Caucasian women at full term of normal pregnancy and with a prospection of elective caesarean delivery was enrolled for endometrium sampling at the time of caesarean section. Sampling was carried out by endometrial biopsy soon after the delivery of the newborn and the discharge of the placenta and fetal membranes from the uterus. Bacterial composition was established by a deep metabarcoding next generation sequencing (NGS) procedure addressing the V5–V6 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene. Amplicon sequences were analysed by bioinformatic procedures for denoising and taxonomic classification. The RDP database was used as 16S rRNA reference collection. Metabarcoding analysis showed the presence of a common bacterial composition, including six genera classifiable within the human microbiota (Cutibacterium, Escherichia, Staphylococcus, Acinetobacter, Streptococcus, Corynebacterium), that could be part of the core endometrial microbiota under the specific conditions examined. These results can provide useful information for future studies on the correlations between bacteria and successful pregnancies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Microbiome or Microbial Communities Related with Humans)
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Article
CNV Detection from Circulating Tumor DNA in Late Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients
Genes 2019, 10(11), 926; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10110926 - 14 Nov 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2564
Abstract
While methods for detecting SNVs and indels in circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) with hybridization capture-based next-generation sequencing (NGS) have been available, copy number variations (CNVs) detection is more challenging. Here, we present a method enabling CNV detection from a 150-gene panel using a [...] Read more.
While methods for detecting SNVs and indels in circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) with hybridization capture-based next-generation sequencing (NGS) have been available, copy number variations (CNVs) detection is more challenging. Here, we present a method enabling CNV detection from a 150-gene panel using a very low amount of ctDNA. First, a read depth-based CNV estimation method without a paired blood sample was developed and cfDNA sequencing data from healthy people were used to build a panel of normal (PoN) model. Then, in silico and in vitro simulations were performed to define the limit of detection (LOD) for EGFR, ERBB2, and MET. Compared to the WES results of the 48 samples, the concordance rate for EGFR, ERBB2, and MET CNVs was 78%, 89.6%, and 92.4%, respectively. In another cohort profiled with the 150-gene panel from 5980 lung cancer ctDNA samples, we detected the three genes’ amplification with comparable population frequency with other cohorts. One lung adenocarcinoma patient with MET amplification detected by our method reached partial response to crizotinib. These findings show that our ctDNA CNV detection pipeline can detect CNVs with high specificity and concordance, which enables CNV calling in a non-invasive way for cancer patients when tissues are not available. Full article
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Article
Restrictive Cardiomyopathy is Caused by a Novel Homozygous Desmin (DES) Mutation p.Y122H Leading to a Severe Filament Assembly Defect
Genes 2019, 10(11), 918; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10110918 - 11 Nov 2019
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 2242
Abstract
Here, we present a small Iranian family, where the index patient received a diagnosis of restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM) in combination with atrioventricular (AV) block. Genetic analysis revealed a novel homozygous missense mutation in the DES gene (c.364T > C; p.Y122H), which is absent [...] Read more.
Here, we present a small Iranian family, where the index patient received a diagnosis of restrictive cardiomyopathy (RCM) in combination with atrioventricular (AV) block. Genetic analysis revealed a novel homozygous missense mutation in the DES gene (c.364T > C; p.Y122H), which is absent in human population databases. The mutation is localized in the highly conserved coil-1 desmin subdomain. In silico, prediction tools indicate a deleterious effect of the desmin (DES) mutation p.Y122H. Consequently, we generated an expression plasmid encoding the mutant and wildtype desmin formed, and analyzed the filament formation in vitro in cardiomyocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells and HT-1080 cells. Confocal microscopy revealed a severe filament assembly defect of mutant desmin supporting the pathogenicity of the DES mutation, p.Y122H, whereas the wildtype desmin formed regular intermediate filaments. According to the guidelines of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, we classified this mutation, therefore, as a novel pathogenic mutation. Our report could point to a recessive inheritance of the DES mutation, p.Y122H, which is important for the genetic counseling of similar families with restrictive cardiomyopathy caused by DES mutations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
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Article
Testosterone Degradative Pathway of Novosphingobium tardaugens
Genes 2019, 10(11), 871; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10110871 - 31 Oct 2019
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 1574
Abstract
In this work, we have shown that Novosphingobium tardaugens NBRC 16725 (strain ARI-1), a bacterial strain that was isolated due to its capacity to mineralize the estrogenic endocrine compound 17β-estradiol, is also able to mineralize testosterone, the androgenic endocrine compound. Using in silico [...] Read more.
In this work, we have shown that Novosphingobium tardaugens NBRC 16725 (strain ARI-1), a bacterial strain that was isolated due to its capacity to mineralize the estrogenic endocrine compound 17β-estradiol, is also able to mineralize testosterone, the androgenic endocrine compound. Using in silico analysis, we predicted a new putative steroid degradation (SD) gene cluster in strain ARI-1, which resembles genes involved in testosterone degradation in Comamonas testosteroni and other testosterone degrading bacteria like Actinobacteria (like Rhodococcus and Mycobacteria genera) although with significant differences in gene organization. A whole transcriptomic analysis of N. tardaugens revealed that testosterone produces a limited induction of the genes of the SD cluster that show a high basal expression in its absence. The 3β/17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase involved in the first metabolic step of testosterone degradation was identified by using genetic and biochemical approaches. The construction of knockout mutant strains in the genes of the SD cluster together with in silico analyses suggests the existence of gene redundancy in the genome of N. tardaugens. This work will expand the knowledge about the metabolic pathways and biotransformation capabilities of a Gram-negative bacterium that could become a new model system in the bacterial steroid degradation field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Biodegradation and Bioremediation)
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Comparative Study of Gut Microbiota in Wild and Captive Giant Pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)
Genes 2019, 10(10), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10100827 - 20 Oct 2019
Cited by 37 | Viewed by 3203
Abstract
Captive breeding has been used as an effective approach to protecting endangered animals but its effect on the gut microbiome and the conservation status of these species is largely unknown. The giant panda is a flagship species for the conservation of wildlife. With [...] Read more.
Captive breeding has been used as an effective approach to protecting endangered animals but its effect on the gut microbiome and the conservation status of these species is largely unknown. The giant panda is a flagship species for the conservation of wildlife. With integrated efforts including captive breeding, this species has been recently upgraded from “endangered” to “vulnerable” (IUCN 2016). Since a large proportion (21.8%) of their global population is still captive, it is critical to understand how captivity changes the gut microbiome of these pandas and how such alterations to the microbiome might affect their future fitness and potential impact on the ecosystem after release into the wild. Here, we use 16S rRNA (ribosomal RNA) marker gene sequencing and shotgun metagenomics sequencing to demonstrate that the fecal microbiomes differ substantially between wild and captive giant pandas. Fecal microbiome diversity was significantly lower in captive pandas, as was the diversity of functional genes. Additionally, captive pandas have reduced functional potential for cellulose degradation but enriched metabolic pathways for starch metabolism, indicating that they may not adapt to a wild diet after being released into the wild since a major component of their diet in the wild will be bamboo. Most significantly, we observed a significantly higher level of amylase activity but a lower level of cellulase activity in captive giant panda feces than those of wild giant pandas, shown by an in vitro experimental assay. Furthermore, antibiotic resistance genes and virulence factors, as well as heavy metal tolerance genes were enriched in the microbiomes of captive pandas, which raises a great concern of spreading these genes to other wild animals and ecosystems when they are released into a wild environment. Our results clearly show that captivity has altered the giant panda microbiome, which could have unintended negative consequences on their adaptability and the ecosystem during the reintroduction of giant pandas into the wild. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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i6mA-DNCP: Computational Identification of DNA N6-Methyladenine Sites in the Rice Genome Using Optimized Dinucleotide-Based Features
Genes 2019, 10(10), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10100828 - 20 Oct 2019
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 1283
Abstract
DNA N6-methyladenine (6mA) plays an important role in regulating the gene expression of eukaryotes. Accurate identification of 6mA sites may assist in understanding genomic 6mA distributions and biological functions. Various experimental methods have been applied to detect 6mA sites in a [...] Read more.
DNA N6-methyladenine (6mA) plays an important role in regulating the gene expression of eukaryotes. Accurate identification of 6mA sites may assist in understanding genomic 6mA distributions and biological functions. Various experimental methods have been applied to detect 6mA sites in a genome-wide scope, but they are too time-consuming and expensive. Developing computational methods to rapidly identify 6mA sites is needed. In this paper, a new machine learning-based method, i6mA-DNCP, was proposed for identifying 6mA sites in the rice genome. Dinucleotide composition and dinucleotide-based DNA properties were first employed to represent DNA sequences. After a specially designed DNA property selection process, a bagging classifier was used to build the prediction model. The jackknife test on a benchmark dataset demonstrated that i6mA-DNCP could obtain 84.43% sensitivity, 88.86% specificity, 86.65% accuracy, a 0.734 Matthew’s correlation coefficient (MCC), and a 0.926 area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). Moreover, three independent datasets were established to assess the generalization ability of our method. Extensive experiments validated the effectiveness of i6mA-DNCP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Technologies and Resources for Genetics)
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Increased Expression of Lipid Metabolism Genes in Early Stages of Wooden Breast Links Myopathy of Broilers to Metabolic Syndrome in Humans
Genes 2019, 10(10), 746; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10100746 - 25 Sep 2019
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 2580
Abstract
Wooden breast is a muscle disorder affecting modern commercial broiler chickens that causes a palpably firm pectoralis major muscle and severe reduction in meat quality. Most studies have focused on advanced stages of wooden breast apparent at market age, resulting in limited insights [...] Read more.
Wooden breast is a muscle disorder affecting modern commercial broiler chickens that causes a palpably firm pectoralis major muscle and severe reduction in meat quality. Most studies have focused on advanced stages of wooden breast apparent at market age, resulting in limited insights into the etiology and early pathogenesis of the myopathy. Therefore, the objective of this study was to identify early molecular signals in the wooden breast transcriptional cascade by performing gene expression analysis on the pectoralis major muscle of two-week-old birds that may later exhibit the wooden breast phenotype by market age at 7 weeks. Biopsy samples of the left pectoralis major muscle were collected from 101 birds at 14 days of age. Birds were subsequently raised to 7 weeks of age to allow sample selection based on the wooden breast phenotype at market age. RNA-sequencing was performed on 5 unaffected and 8 affected female chicken samples, selected based on wooden breast scores (0 to 4) assigned at necropsy where affected birds had scores of 2 or 3 (mildly or moderately affected) while unaffected birds had scores of 0 (no apparent gross lesions). Differential expression analysis identified 60 genes found to be significant at an FDR-adjusted p-value of 0.05. Of these, 26 were previously demonstrated to exhibit altered expression or genetic polymorphisms related to glucose tolerance or diabetes mellitus in mammals. Additionally, 9 genes have functions directly related to lipid metabolism and 11 genes are associated with adiposity traits such as intramuscular fat and body mass index. This study suggests that wooden breast disease is first and foremost a metabolic disorder characterized primarily by ectopic lipid accumulation in the pectoralis major. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Comparative Analysis of Fecal Microbiota Composition Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis Patients
Genes 2019, 10(10), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10100748 - 25 Sep 2019
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 3533
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate differences between the gut microbiota composition in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and those with osteoarthritis (OA). Stool samples from nine RA patients and nine OA patients were collected, and DNA was extracted. The gut [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate differences between the gut microbiota composition in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and those with osteoarthritis (OA). Stool samples from nine RA patients and nine OA patients were collected, and DNA was extracted. The gut microbiome was assessed using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. The structures and differences in the gut microbiome between RA and OA were analyzed. The analysis of diversity revealed no differences in the complexity of samples. The RA group had a lower Bacteroidetes: Firmicutes ratio than did the OA group. Lactobacilli and Prevotella, particularly Prevotella copri, were more abundant in the RA than in the OA group, although these differences were not statistically significant. The relative abundance of Bacteroides and Bifidobacterium was lower in the RA group. At the species level, the abundance of certain bacterial species was significantly lower in the RA group, such as Fusicatenibacter saccharivorans, Dialister invisus, Clostridium leptum, Ruthenibacterium lactatiformans, Anaerotruncus colihominis, Bacteroides faecichinchillae, Harryflintia acetispora, Bacteroides acidifaciens, and Christensenella minuta. The microbial properties of the gut differed between RA and OA patients, and the RA dysbiosis revealed results similar to those of other autoimmune diseases, suggesting that a specific gut microbiota pattern is related to autoimmunity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
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Article
Status of Insecticide Resistance and Its Mechanisms in Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii Populations from Forest Settings in South Cameroon
Genes 2019, 10(10), 741; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10100741 - 24 Sep 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 1794
Abstract
A key factor affecting malaria vector control efforts in Cameroon is the rapid expansion of insecticide resistance in Anopheles gambiae s.l (An. gambiae) populations; however, mechanisms involved in insecticide resistance in forest mosquito populations are still not well documented yet. The present [...] Read more.
A key factor affecting malaria vector control efforts in Cameroon is the rapid expansion of insecticide resistance in Anopheles gambiae s.l (An. gambiae) populations; however, mechanisms involved in insecticide resistance in forest mosquito populations are still not well documented yet. The present study was conducted to screen molecular mechanisms conferring insecticide resistance in An. gambiae s.l. populations from the South Cameroon forest region. WHO bioassays were conducted with F0 An. gambiae females aged three to four days from forest (Sangmelima, Nyabessan, and Mbandjock) and urban sites (Yaoundé (Bastos and Nkolondom)), against pyrethroids (permethrin 0.75% and deltamethrin 0.05%) and carbamates (bendiocarb 0.1%). Members of the An. Gambiae s.l. species complex were identified using molecular diagnostic tools. TaqMan assays were used to screen for target site mutations. The expression profiles of eight genes implicated in insecticide resistance were assessed using RT-qPCR. Cuticle hydrocarbon lipids were measured to assess their potential implication in insecticide resistance. Both An. Gambiae and An. coluzzii were detected. An. gambiae was highly prevalent in Sangmelima, Nyabessan, Mbandjock, and Nkolondom. An. coluzzii was the only species found in the Yaoundé city center (Bastos). Low mortality rate to both pyrethroids and bendiocarb was recorded in all sites. High frequency of L1014F allele (75.32–95.82%) and low frequencies of L1014S (1.71–23.05%) and N1575Y (5.28–12.87%) were recorded. The G119S mutation (14.22–35.5%) was detected for the first time in An. gambiae populations from Cameroon. This mutation was rather absent from An. coluzzii populations. The detoxification genes Cyp6m2, Cyp9k1, Cyp6p4, Cyp6z1, as well as Cyp4g16 which catalyzes epicuticular hydrocarbon biosynthesis, were found to be overexpressed in at least one population. The total cuticular hydrocarvbon content, a proxy of cuticular resistance, did not show a pattern associated with pyrethroid resistance in these populations. The rapid emergence of multiple resistance mechanisms in An. Gambiae s.l. population from the South Cameroon forest region is of big concern and could deeply affect the sustainability of insecticide-based interventions strategies in this region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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