ResearchPad - acids https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Within-patient plasmid dynamics in <i>Klebsiella pneumoniae</i> during an outbreak of a carbapenemase-producing <i>Klebsiella pneumoniae</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15752 Knowledge of within-patient dynamics of resistance plasmids during outbreaks is important for understanding the persistence and transmission of plasmid-mediated antimicrobial resistance. During an outbreak of a Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase-producing (KPC) K. pneumoniae, the plasmid and chromosomal dynamics of K. pneumoniae within-patients were investigated.MethodsDuring the outbreak, all K. pneumoniae isolates of colonized or infected patients were collected, regardless of their susceptibility pattern. A selection of isolates was short-read and long-read sequenced. A hybrid assembly of the short-and long-read sequence data was performed. Plasmid contigs were extracted from the hybrid assembly, annotated, and within patient plasmid comparisons were performed.ResultsFifteen K. pneumoniae isolates of six patients were short-read whole-genome sequenced. Whole-genome multi-locus sequence typing revealed a maximum of 4 allele differences between the sequenced isolates. Within patients 1 and 2 the resistance gene- and plasmid replicon-content did differ between the isolates sequenced. Long-read sequencing and hybrid assembly of 4 isolates revealed loss of the entire KPC-gene containing plasmid in the isolates of patient 2 and a recombination event between the plasmids in the isolates of patient 1. This resulted in two different KPC-gene containing plasmids being simultaneously present during the outbreak.ConclusionDuring a hospital outbreak of a KPC-producing K. pneumoniae isolate, plasmid loss of the KPC-gene carrying plasmid and plasmid recombination was detected within the isolates from two patients. When investigating outbreaks, one should be aware that plasmid transmission can occur and the possibility of within- and between-patient plasmid variation needs to be considered. ]]> <![CDATA[A tale of textiles: Genetic characterization of historical paper mulberry barkcloth from Oceania]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15748 Humans introduced paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera) from Taiwan into the Pacific over 5000 years ago as a fiber source to make barkcloth textiles that were, and still are, important cultural artifacts throughout the Pacific. We have used B. papyrifera, a species closely associated to humans, as a proxy to understand the human settlement of the Pacific Islands. We report the first genetic analysis of paper mulberry textiles from historical and archaeological contexts (200 to 50 years before present) and compare our results with genetic data obtained from contemporary and herbarium paper mulberry samples. Following stringent ancient DNA protocols, we extracted DNA from 13 barkcloth textiles. We confirmed that the fiber source is paper mulberry in nine of the 13 textiles studied using the nuclear ITS-1 marker and by statistical estimates. We detected high genetic diversity in historical Pacific paper mulberry barkcloth with a set of ten microsatellites, showing new alleles and specific genetic patterns. These genetic signatures allow tracing connections to plants from the Asian homeland, Near and Remote Oceania, establishing links not observed previously (using the same genetic tools) in extant plants or herbaria samples. These results show that historic barkcloth textiles are cultural materials amenable to genetic analysis to reveal human history and that these artifacts may harbor evidence of greater genetic diversity in Pacific B. papyrifera in the past.

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<![CDATA[Single-cell amplicon sequencing reveals community structures and transmission trends of protist-associated bacteria in a termite host]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14746 The hindgut protists of wood-feeding termites are usually colonized by prokaryotic symbionts. Many of the hurdles that have prevented a better understanding of these symbionts arise from variation among protist and termite host species and the inability to maintain prominent community members in culture. These issues have made it difficult to study the fidelity, acquisition, and differences in colonization of protists by bacterial symbionts. In this study, we use high throughput amplicon sequencing of the V4 region of 16S rRNA genes to determine the composition of bacterial communities associated with single protist cells of six protist species, from the genera Pyrsonympha, Dinenympha, and Trichonympha that are present in the hindgut of the termite Reticulitermes flavipes. By analyzing amplicon sequence variants (ASVs), the diversity and distribution of protist-associated bacteria was compared within and across these six different protist species. ASV analysis showed that, in general, each protist genus associated with a distinct community of bacterial symbionts which were conserved across different termite colonies. However, some ASVs corresponding to ectosymbionts (Spirochaetes) were shared between different Dinenympha species and to a lesser extent with Pyrsonympha and Trichonympha hosts. This suggested that certain bacterial symbionts may be cosmopolitan to some degree and perhaps acquired by horizontal transmission. Using a fluorescence-based cell assay, we could observe the horizontal acquisition of surface-bound bacteria. This acquisition was shown to be time-dependent, involve active processes, and was non-random with respect to binding locations on some protists.

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<![CDATA[The influenza replication blocking inhibitor LASAG does not sensitize human epithelial cells for bacterial infections]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14740 Severe influenza virus (IV) infections still represent a major challenge to public health. To combat IV infections, vaccines and antiviral compounds are available. However, vaccine efficacies vary with very limited to no protection against newly emerging zoonotic IV introductions. In addition, the development of resistant virus variants against currently available antivirals can be rapidly detected, in consequence demanding the design of novel antiviral strategies. Virus supportive cellular signaling cascades, such as the NF-κB pathway, have been identified to be promising antiviral targets against IV in in vitro and in vivo studies and clinical trials. While administration of NF-κB pathway inhibiting agents, such as LASAG results in decreased IV replication, it remained unclear whether blocking of NF-κB might sensitize cells to secondary bacterial infections, which often come along with viral infections. Thus, we examined IV and Staphylococcus aureus growth during LASAG treatment. Interestingly, our data reveal that the presence of LASAG during superinfection still leads to reduced IV titers. Furthermore, the inhibition of the NF-κB pathway resulted in decreased intracellular Staphylococcus aureus loads within epithelial cells, indicating a dependency on the pathway for bacterial uptake. Unfortunately, so far it is not entirely clear if this phenomenon might be a drawback in bacterial clearance during infection.

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<![CDATA[Influence of total western diet on docosahexaenoic acid suppression of silica-triggered lupus flaring in NZBWF1 mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14732 Lupus is a debilitating multi-organ autoimmune disease clinically typified by periods of flare and remission. Exposing lupus-prone female NZBWF1 mice to crystalline silica (cSiO2), a known human autoimmune trigger, mimics flaring by inducing interferon-related gene (IRG) expression, inflammation, ectopic lymphoid structure (ELS) development, and autoantibody production in the lung that collectively accelerate glomerulonephritis. cSiO2-triggered flaring in this model can be prevented by supplementing mouse diet with the ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). A limitation of previous studies was the use of purified diet that, although optimized for rodent health, does not reflect the high American intake of saturated fatty acid (SFA), ω-6 PUFAs, and total fat. To address this, we employed here a modified Total Western Diet (mTWD) emulating the 50th percentile U.S. macronutrient distribution to discern how DHA supplementation and/or SFA and ω-6 reduction influences cSiO2-triggered lupus flaring in female NZBWF1 mice. Six-week-old mice were fed isocaloric experimental diets for 2 wks, intranasally instilled with cSiO2 or saline vehicle weekly for 4 wks, and tissues assessed for lupus endpoints 11 wks following cSiO2 instillation. In mice fed basal mTWD, cSiO2 induced robust IRG expression, proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine elevation, leukocyte infiltration, ELS neogenesis, and autoantibody production in the lung, as well as early kidney nephritis onset compared to vehicle-treated mice fed mTWD. Consumption of mTWD containing DHA at the caloric equivalent to a human dose of 5 g/day dramatically suppressed induction of all lupus-associated endpoints. While decreasing SFA and ω-6 in mTWD modestly inhibited some disease markers, DHA addition to this diet was required for maximal protection against lupus development. Taken together, DHA supplementation at a translationally relevant dose was highly effective in preventing cSiO2-triggered lupus flaring in NZBWF1 mice, even against the background of a typical Western diet.

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<![CDATA[Atco, a yeast mitochondrial complex of Atp9 and Cox6, is an assembly intermediate of the ATP synthase]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14724 Mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (oxphos) is the process by which the ATP synthase conserves the energy released during the oxidation of different nutrients as ATP. The yeast ATP synthase consists of three assembly modules, one of which is a ring consisting of 10 copies of the Atp9 subunit. We previously reported the existence in yeast mitochondria of high molecular weight complexes composed of mitochondrially encoded Atp9 and of Cox6, an imported structural subunit of cytochrome oxidase (COX). Pulse-chase experiments indicated a correlation between the loss of newly translated Atp9 complexed to Cox6 and an increase of newly formed Atp9 ring, but did not exclude the possibility of an alternate source of Atp9 for ring formation. Here we have extended studies on the functions and structure of this complex, referred to as Atco. We show that Atco is the exclusive source of Atp9 for the ATP synthase assembly. Pulse-chase experiments show that newly translated Atp9, present in Atco, is converted to a ring, which is incorporated into the ATP synthase with kinetics characteristic of a precursor-product relationship. Even though Atco does not contain the ring form of Atp9, cross-linking experiments indicate that it is oligomeric and that the inter-subunit interactions are similar to those of the bona fide ring. We propose that, by providing Atp9 for biogenesis of ATP synthase, Atco complexes free Cox6 for assembly of COX. This suggests that Atco complexes may play a role in coordinating assembly and maintaining proper stoichiometry of the two oxphos enzymes

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<![CDATA[How global DNA unwinding causes non-uniform stress distribution and melting of DNA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14712 DNA unwinding is an important process that controls binding of proteins, gene expression and melting of double-stranded DNA. In a series of all-atom MD simulations on two DNA molecules containing a transcription start TATA-box sequence we demonstrate that application of a global restraint on the DNA twisting dramatically changes the coupling between helical parameters and the distribution of deformation energy along the sequence. Whereas only short range nearest-neighbor coupling is observed in the relaxed case, long-range coupling is induced in the globally restrained case. With increased overall unwinding the elastic deformation energy is strongly non-uniformly distributed resulting ultimately in a local melting transition of only the TATA box segment during the simulations. The deformation energy tends to be stored more in cytidine/guanine rich regions associated with a change in conformational substate distribution. Upon TATA box melting the deformation energy is largely absorbed by the melting bubble with the rest of the sequences relaxing back to near B-form. The simulations allow us to characterize the structural changes and the propagation of the elastic energy but also to calculate the associated free energy change upon DNA unwinding up to DNA melting. Finally, we design an Ising model for predicting the local melting transition based on empirical parameters. The direct comparison with the atomistic MD simulations indicates a remarkably good agreement for the predicted necessary torsional stress to induce a melting transition, for the position and length of the melted region and for the calculated associated free energy change between both approaches.

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<![CDATA[CRISPR-mediated ablation of overexpressed EGFR in combination with sunitinib significantly suppresses renal cell carcinoma proliferation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14711 Receptor tyrosine kinases, such as VEGFR, PDGFR and EGFR, play important roles in renal cancer. In this study, we investigated EGFR knockout as a therapeutic approach in renal cell carcinoma (RCC). We showed that a renal cell carcinoma cell line (RC21) has higher expression of EGFR as compared to other frequently used cell lines such as HEK293, A549, Hela and DLD1. Ablation of EGFR by CRISPR/Cas9 significantly restrained tumor cell growth and activated the MAPK (pERK1/2) pathway. The VEGFR and PDGFR inhibitor, sunitinib, attenuated the expression of MAPK (pERK1/2) and pAKT induced by EGFR loss and further inhibited EGFR-/- cell proliferation. We showed that loss of EGFR eventually leads to resistance to SAHA and cisplatin. Furthermore, EGFR loss induced G2/M phase arrest and resulted in an increased resistance to TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) in renal cell carcinoma. Thus, ablation of overexpressed EGFR by CRISPR/Cas9 alone or in combination with sunitinib may be a new treatment option for renal cell carcinoma.

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<![CDATA[A new neuropeptide insect parathyroid hormone iPTH in the red flour beetle <i>Tribolium castaneum</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14647 Vertebrate parathyroid hormone (PTH) and its receptors have been extensively studied with respect to their function in bone remodeling and calcium metabolism. Insect parathyroid hormone receptors (iPTHRs) have been previously described as counterparts of vertebrate PTHRs, however, they are still orphan receptors for which the authentic ligands and biological functions remain unknown. We describe an insect form of parathyroid hormone (iPTH) by analyzing its interactions with iPTHRs. Identification of this new insect peptidergic system proved that the PTH system is an ancestral signaling system dating back to the evolutionary time before the divergence of protostomes and deuterostomes. We also investigated the functions of the iPTH system in a model beetle Tribolium castaneum by using RNA interference. RNA interference of iPTHR resulted in defects in wing exoskeleton maturation and fecundity. Based on the differential gene expression patterns and the phenotype induced by RNAi, we propose that the iPTH system is likely involved in the regulation of exoskeletal cuticle formation and fecundity in insects.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptome analysis of Catarina scallop (<i>Argopecten ventricosus</i>) juveniles treated with highly-diluted immunomodulatory compounds reveals activation of non-self-recognition system]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14633 Marine bivalve hatchery productivity is continuously challenged by apparition and propagation of new diseases, mainly those related to vibriosis. Disinfectants and antibiotics are frequently overused to prevent pathogen presence, generating a potential negative impact on the environment. Recently, the use of highly diluted compounds with immunostimulant properties in marine organisms has been trailed successfully to activate the self-protection mechanisms of marine bivalves. Despite their potential as immunostimulants, little is known about their way of action. To understand their effect, a comparative transcriptomic analysis was performed with Argopecten ventricosus juveniles. The experimental design consisted of four treatments formulated from pathogenic Vibrio lysates at two dilutions: [(T1) Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio alginolyticus 1D; (T2) V. parahaemolyticus and V. alginolyticus 7C]; minerals [(T3) PhA+SiT 7C], scorpion venom [(T4) ViT 31C]; and one control (C1) hydro-alcoholic solution (ethanol 1%). The RNA sequencing (RNAseq) analysis showed a higher modulation of differentially expressed genes (DEG) in mantle tissue compared to gill tissue. The scallops that showed a higher number of DEG related to immune response in mantle tissue corresponded to T1 (V. parahaemolyticus and V. alginolyticus lysate) and T3 (Silicea terra® - Phosphoric acid®). The transcriptome analysis allowed understanding some interactions between A. ventricosus juveniles and highly-diluted treatments.

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<![CDATA[Rev-erbα heterozygosity produces a dose-dependent phenotypic advantage in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14626 Numerous mutational studies have demonstrated that circadian clock proteins regulate behavior and metabolism. Nr1d1(Rev-erbα) is a key regulator of circadian gene expression and a pleiotropic regulator of skeletal muscle homeostasis and lipid metabolism. Loss of Rev-erbα expression induces muscular atrophy, high adiposity, and metabolic syndrome in mice. Here we show that, unlike knockout mice, Nr1d1 heterozygous mice are not susceptible to muscular atrophy and in fact paradoxically possess larger myofiber diameters and improved neuromuscular function, compared to wildtype mice. Heterozygous mice lacked dyslipidemia, a characteristic of Nr1d1 knockout mice and displayed increased whole-body fatty-acid oxidation during periods of inactivity (light cycle). Heterozygous mice also exhibited higher rates of glucose uptake when fasted, and had elevated basal rates of gluconeogenesis compared to wildtype and knockout littermates. Rev-erbα ablation suppressed glycolysis and fatty acid-oxidation in white-adipose tissue (WAT), whereas partial Rev-erbα loss, curiously stimulated these processes. Our investigations revealed that Rev-erbα dose-dependently regulates glucose metabolism and fatty acid oxidation in WAT and muscle.

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<![CDATA[The impact of rumen-protected amino acids on the expression of key- genes involved in the innate immunity of dairy sheep]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14615 Rumen protected amino acids inclusion in ewes’ diets has been proposed to enhance their innate immunity. The objective of this work was to determine the impact of dietary supplementation with rumen-protected methionine or lysine, as well as with a combination of these amino acids in two different ratios, on the expression of selected key-genes (NLRs, MyD88, TRIF, MAPK-1, IRF-3, JunD, TRAF-3, IRF-5, IL-1α, IL-10, IKK-α, STAT-3 and HO-1). Thus, sixty Chios dairy ewes (Ovis aries) were assigned to one of the following five dietary treatments (12 animals/ treatment): A: basal diet consist of concentrates, wheat straw and alfalfa hay (control group); B: basal diet +6.0 g/head rumen-protected methionine; C: basal diet + 5.0 g/head rumen-protected lysine; D: basal diet +6.0 g/head rumen-protected methionine + 5.0 g/head rumen-protected lysine and E: basal diet +12.0 g/head rumen-protected methionine + 5.0 g/head rumen-protected lysine. The results revealed a significant downregulation of relative transcript level of the IL-1α gene in the neutrophils of C and in monocytes of D ewes compared with the control. Significantly lower mRNA transcript accumulation was also observed for the MyD88 gene in the neutrophils of ewes fed with lysine only (C). The mRNA relative expression levels of JunD gene were highly induced in the monocytes, while those of IL-10 and HO-1 genes were declined in the neutrophils of ewes fed with the C and D diets compared with the control. Lower transcript levels of STAT-3 gene were observed in the neutrophils of ewes fed with either C or with E diets in comparison with the control. In conclusion, our results suggest that the dietary supplementation of ewes with rumen-protected amino acids, down regulate the expression of some genes involved in the pro-inflammatory signalling.

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<![CDATA[Maximizing viral detection with SIV droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assays]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14590 Highly sensitive detection of HIV-1 nucleic acids is of critical importance for evaluating treatment interventions superimposed on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) in HIV-1 infected individuals. SIV infection of rhesus macaques models many key aspects of human HIV-1 infection and plays a key role in evaluation of approaches for prevention, treatment and attempted eradication of HIV infection. Here we describe two droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assays, a ddPCR DNA assay and an RT-ddPCR RNA assay for detecting simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) on the RainDance platform. We demonstrate that RainDance ddPCR can tolerate significantly higher cell DNA input without inhibition on a per reaction basis (compared to both qPCR and Bio-Rad ddPCR), thus allowing a large quantity of sample to be analyzed in each reaction. In addition, the combination of a high processivity RT enzyme and RainDance ddPCR could overcome inhibition in severely inhibited (99.99% inhibition in qPCR quantification) viral RNA samples. These assays offer valuable tools for assessing low level viral production/replication and strategies for targeting residual virus in the setting of cART suppression of viral replication. The methodologies presented here can be adapted for a broad range of applications where highly sensitive nucleic acid detection is required.

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<![CDATA[Comparative mitochondrial genome analysis of <i>Dendrolimus houi</i> (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae) and phylogenetic relationship among Lasiocampidae species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14575 Dendrolimus houi is one of the most common caterpillars infesting Gymnosperm trees, and widely distributed in several countries in Southeast Asia, and exists soley or coexists with several congeners and some Lasiocampidae species in various forest habitats. However, natural hybrids occasionally occur among some closely related species in the same habitat, and host preference, extreme climate stress, and geographic isolation probably lead to their uncertain taxonomic consensus. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of D. houi was extracted and sequenced by using high-throughput technology, and the mitogenome composition and characteristics were compared and analyzed of these species, then the phylogenetic relationship was constructed using the maximum likelihood method (ML) and the Bayesian method (BI) based on their 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs) dataset, which were combined and made available to download which were combined and made available to download among global Lasiocampidae species data. Mitogenome of D. houi was 15,373 bp in length, with 37 genes, including 13 PCGs, 22 tRNA genes (tRNAs) and 2 rRNA genes (rRNAs). The positions and sequences of genes were consistent with those of most known Lasiocampidae species. The nucleotide composition was highly A+T biased, accounting for ~80% of the whole mitogenome. All start codons of PCGs belonged to typical start codons ATN except for COI which used CGA, and most stop codons ended with standard TAA or TAG, while COI, COII, ND4 ended with incomplete T. Only tRNASer (AGN) lacked DHU arm, while the remainder formed a typical “clover-shaped” secondary structure. For Lasiocampidae species, their complete mitochondrial genomes ranged from 15,281 to 15,570 bp in length, and all first genes started from trnM in the same direction. And base composition was biased toward A and T. Finally, both two methods (ML and BI) separately revealed that the same phylogenetic relationship of D. spp. as ((((D. punctatus + D. tabulaeformis) + D. spectabilis) + D. superans) + (D. kikuchii of Hunan population + D. houi) as in previous research, but results were different in that D. kikuchii from a Yunnan population was included, indicating that different geographical populations of insects have differentiated. And the phylogenetic relationship among Lasiocampidae species was ((((Dendrolimus) + Kunugia) + Euthrix) + Trabala). This provides a better theoretical basis for Lasiocampidae evolution and classification for future research directions.

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<![CDATA[Mitochondrial genome sequence of <i>Phytophthora sansomeana</i> and comparative analysis of <i>Phytophthora</i> mitochondrial genomes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14567 Phytophthora sansomeana infects soybean and causes root rot. It was recently separated from the species complex P. megasperma sensu lato. In this study, we sequenced and annotated its complete mitochondrial genome and compared it to that of nine other Phytophthora species. The genome was assembled into a circular molecule of 39,618 bp with a 22.03% G+C content. Forty-two protein coding genes, 25 tRNA genes and two rRNA genes were annotated in this genome. The protein coding genes include 14 genes in the respiratory complexes, four ATP synthase genes, 16 ribosomal proteins genes, a tatC translocase gene, six conserved ORFs and a unique orf402. The tRNA genes encode tRNAs for 19 amino acids. Comparison among mitochondrial genomes of 10 Phytophthora species revealed three inversions, each covering multiple genes. These genomes were conserved in gene content with few exceptions. A 3' truncated atp9 gene was found in P. nicotianae. All 10 Phytophthora species, as well as other oomycetes and stramenopiles, lacked tRNA genes for threonine in their mitochondria. Phylogenomic analysis using the mitochondrial genomes supported or enhanced previous findings of the phylogeny of Phytophthora spp.

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<![CDATA[Genetic variation and phylogeographic structure of <i>Spodoptera exigua</i> in western China based on mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite markers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14552 The beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua, is a significant agricultural pest of numerous crops and has caused serious economic losses in China. To effectively control this pest, we analyzed its genetic variation, population genetic structure and demographic history. We used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) fragments of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and eight nuclear microsatellite loci to investigate genetic diversity and population genetic structure of S. exigua populations at 14 sampling sites in western China. Both mtDNA and microsatellite data indicated low levels of genetic diversity among all populations. A moderate genetic differentiation among some S. exigua populations was detected. Neighbor-joining dendrograms, STRUCTURE, and principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) revealed two genetically distinct groups: the KEL group and the remaining population group. Isolation by distance (IBD) results showed a weak significant correlation between geographic distance and genetic differentiation. Haplotype networks, neutrality testing, and mismatch distribution analysis indicated that the beet armyworm experienced a recent rapid expansion without a recent genetic bottleneck in western China. Thus, the results of this population genetic study can help with the development of strategies for managing this highly migratory pest.

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<![CDATA[Serological evidence for human exposure to <i>Bacillus cereus</i> biovar <i>anthracis</i> in the villages around Taï National Park, Côte d’Ivoire]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14539 Anthrax is a zoonotic disease transmitted from animals to humans and normally caused by B. anthracis mainly in savanna regions. However, untypical bacteria named Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis (Bcbva) were detected in a variety of wild animals in the rain forest region of the Taï National Park (TNP) in Côte d’Ivoire. No anthrax infections in humans living in the region around TNP were reported until now. Therefore, we assessed exposure to the pathogen by analysis of sera from human volunteers for the presence of antibodies against the protective antigen (PA), which is produced by B. anthracis and Bcbva, and against the Bcbva-specific protein pXO2-60. We found antibodies against PA in more than 20% of sera from humans living in the TNP region, and around 10% possessed also antibodies against pXO2-60, confirming exposure to Bcbva. As only Bcbva, but not classic B. anthracis was found in TNP, we assume that the majority of humans had contact with Bcbva and that pXO2-60 is less immunogenic than PA. Although most people reported animal contacts, there was no statistically significant correlation with the presence of antibodies against Bcbva. Nevertheless, our study confirmed that Bcbva represents a danger for humans living in the affected area.

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<![CDATA[A conformation-based intra-molecular initiation factor identified in the flavivirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14506 The function of a protein is often dictated by a single defined fold, which in turn is determined by its amino acid sequences. However, multiple global conformations can be utilized by a protein to fulfill distinct functions under different circumstances. The flavivirus NS5 protein, a natural fusion of an N-terminal methyltransferase (MTase) and a C-terminal RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP), may be such an example. Previously reported NS5 crystal structures exhibit two apparently different global conformations. In this work, we demonstrate that both conformations are conserved in the flaviviruses and important for virus proliferation, but only one of them is clearly relevant to RdRP catalysis, in particular at the early stages of the RNA synthesis.

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<![CDATA[Ontogenetic changes in energetic reserves, digestive enzymes, amino acid and energy content of <i>Lithodes santolla</i> (Anomura: Lithodidae): Baseline for culture]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14500 The southern king crab (SKC) Lithodes santolla is an important commercial species in southern South America. Fishing pressure has caused the deterioration of its stocks. Currently, culture techniques are being developed for producing SKC juveniles to enhance the natural population and to recover the fishing stock. Therefore, it is necessary to know about physiology, energetic and nutritional requirements for SKC maintenance in hatchery. Thus, this study aims to evaluate the biochemical and physiological changes in the midgut gland, muscle and hemolymph of juveniles, pre-adults and adults of wild SKC. The energetic reserves, digestive enzymes activity, amino acid profile and energy were quantified in twelve juveniles, ten pre-adult, and ten adult crabs. Juveniles showed high glycogen and low lipids in the midgut gland, and low proteins and low lactate in muscle. In the hemolymph, juveniles had high lipids. Pre-adults had high glycogen and lipids in the midgut gland, and both high protein and lactate in muscle. In the hemolymph, pre-adults had high lipids. Adults had low glycogen and high lipids in midgut gland, and both high proteins and high lactate in muscle. In hemolymph, adults had high glucose and lactate. Juveniles and pre-adults had high proteinase activity, whereas adults had high lipase activity. Major essential amino acids of SKC were arginine, methionine, and tryptophan, and the non-essential amino acids were glycine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid. On another hand, SKC had similar energy in the midgut gland and muscle, regardless of the ontogenetic stage. Moreover, we demonstrated that the biochemical energy calculation underestimates the actual measured values by a calorimeter. Thus, our results help to understand the physiological changes, energetic and nutritional requirements of L. santolla, and this study is a baseline for research on diet formulation for maintaining this species under culture conditions.

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<![CDATA[Codon Pairs are Phylogenetically Conserved: A comprehensive analysis of codon pairing conservation across the Tree of Life]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14487 Identical codon pairing and co-tRNA codon pairing increase translational efficiency within genes when two codons that encode the same amino acid are translated by the same tRNA before it diffuses from the ribosome. We examine the phylogenetic signal in both identical and co-tRNA codon pairing across 23 428 species using alignment-free and parsimony methods. We determined that conserved codon pairing typically has a smaller window size than the length of a ribosome, and codon pairing tracks phylogenies across various taxonomic groups. We report a comprehensive analysis of codon pairing, including the extent to which each codon pairs. Our parsimony method generally recovers phylogenies that are more congruent with the established phylogenies than our alignment-free method. However, four of the ten taxonomic groups did not have sufficient orthologous codon pairings and were therefore analyzed using only the alignment-free methods. Since the recovered phylogenies using only codon pairing largely match phylogenies from the Open Tree of Life and the NCBI taxonomy, and are comparable to trees recovered by other algorithms, we propose that codon pairing biases are phylogenetically conserved and should be considered in conjunction with other phylogenomic techniques.

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