ResearchPad - animal-genomics https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Polyploidy breaks speciation barriers in Australian burrowing frogs <i>Neobatrachus</i>]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_16332 Polyploidy or whole genome duplication is rare in animals and usually polyploid animals reproduce asexually. The Australian burrowing frogs of the genus Neobatrachus form an interesting exception amongst vertebrates with multiple independently originated autotetraploid sexual species. We generated population genomic data from 87 animals representing all six diploid and three tetraploid species of Neobatrachus. We show that, while diploid Neobatrachus species seem to be isolated from each other, their sister tetraploid species experience substantial levels of gene flow, and have wider distributions. Furthermore, we observe asymmetric gene flow from diploids to tetraploids. Based on our genomic and climate analyses we suggest that such inter-specific hybridization mediated by whole genome duplication rescues species diversity and allows tetraploids to more easily avoid impacts of climate-induced habitat loss.

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<![CDATA[Genome reconstruction of the non-culturable spinach downy mildew <i>Peronospora effusa</i> by metagenome filtering]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13800 Peronospora effusa (previously known as P. farinosa f. sp. spinaciae, and here referred to as Pfs) is an obligate biotrophic oomycete that causes downy mildew on spinach (Spinacia oleracea). To combat this destructive many disease resistant cultivars have been bred and used. However, new Pfs races rapidly break the employed resistance genes. To get insight into the gene repertoire of Pfs and identify infection-related genes, the genome of the first reference race, Pfs1, was sequenced, assembled, and annotated. Due to the obligate biotrophic nature of this pathogen, material for DNA isolation can only be collected from infected spinach leaves that, however, also contain many other microorganisms. The obtained sequences can, therefore, be considered a metagenome. To filter and obtain Pfs sequences we utilized the CAT tool to taxonomically annotate ORFs residing on long sequences of a genome pre-assembly. This study is the first to show that CAT filtering performs well on eukaryotic contigs. Based on the taxonomy, determined on multiple ORFs, contaminating long sequences and corresponding reads were removed from the metagenome. Filtered reads were re-assembled to provide a clean and improved Pfs genome sequence of 32.4 Mbp consisting of 8,635 scaffolds. Transcript sequencing of a range of infection time points aided the prediction of a total of 13,277 gene models, including 99 RxLR(-like) effector, and 14 putative Crinkler genes. Comparative analysis identified common features in the predicted secretomes of different obligate biotrophic oomycetes, regardless of their phylogenetic distance. Their secretomes are generally smaller, compared to hemi-biotrophic and necrotrophic oomycete species. We observe a reduction in proteins involved in cell wall degradation, in Nep1-like proteins (NLPs), proteins with PAN/apple domains, and host translocated effectors. The genome of Pfs1 will be instrumental in studying downy mildew virulence and for understanding the molecular adaptations by which new isolates break spinach resistance.

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<![CDATA[Assessment of the genomic prediction accuracy for feed efficiency traits in meat-type chickens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc4ab

Feed represents the major cost of chicken production. Selection for improving feed utilization is a feasible way to reduce feed cost and greenhouse gas emissions. The objectives of this study were to investigate the efficiency of genomic prediction for feed conversion ratio (FCR), residual feed intake (RFI), average daily gain (ADG) and average daily feed intake (ADFI) and to assess the impact of selection for feed efficiency traits FCR and RFI on eviscerating percentage (EP), breast muscle percentage (BMP) and leg muscle percentage (LMP) in meat-type chickens. Genomic prediction was assessed using a 4-fold cross-validation for two validation scenarios. The first scenario was a random family sampling validation (CVF), and the second scenario was a random individual sampling validation (CVR). Variance components were estimated based on the genomic relationship built with single nucleotide polymorphism markers. Genomic estimated breeding values (GEBV) were predicted using a genomic best linear unbiased prediction model. The accuracies of GEBV were evaluated in two ways: the correlation between GEBV and corrected phenotypic value divided by the square root of heritability, i.e., the correlation-based accuracy, and model-based theoretical accuracy. Breeding values were also predicted using a conventional pedigree-based best linear unbiased prediction model in order to compare accuracies of genomic and conventional predictions. The heritability estimates of FCR and RFI were 0.29 and 0.50, respectively. The heritability estimates of ADG, ADFI, EP, BMP and LMP ranged from 0.34 to 0.53. In the CVF scenario, the correlation-based accuracy and the theoretical accuracy of genomic prediction for FCR were slightly higher than those for RFI. The correlation-based accuracies for FCR, RFI, ADG and ADFI were 0.360, 0.284, 0.574 and 0.520, respectively, and the model-based theoretical accuracies were 0.420, 0.414, 0.401 and 0.382, respectively. In the CVR scenario, the correlation-based accuracy and the theoretical accuracy of genomic prediction for FCR was lower than RFI, which was different from the CVF scenario. The correlation-based accuracies for FCR, RFI, ADG and ADFI were 0.449, 0.593, 0.581 and 0.627, respectively, and the model-based theoretical accuracies were 0.577, 0.629, 0.631 and 0.638, respectively. The accuracies of genomic predictions were 0.371 and 0.322 higher than the conventional pedigree-based predictions for the CVF and CVR scenarios, respectively. The genetic correlations of FCR with EP, BMP and LMP were -0.427, -0.156 and -0.338, respectively. The correlations between RFI and the three carcass traits were -0.320, -0.404 and -0.353, respectively. These results indicate that RFI and FCR have a moderate accuracy of genomic prediction. Improving RFI and FCR could be favourable for EP, BMP and LMP. Compared with FCR, which can be improved by selection for ADG in typical meat-type chicken breeding programs, selection for RFI could lead to extra improvement in feed efficiency.

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<![CDATA[Functional dynamics of bacterial species in the mouse gut microbiome revealed by metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N74c1e0c6-8f1d-4282-af8e-273065d64236

Background

Microbial communities of the mouse gut have been extensively studied; however, their functional roles and regulation are yet to be elucidated. Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses may allow us a comprehensive profiling of bacterial composition and functions of the complex gut microbiota. The present study aimed to investigate the active functions of the microbial communities in the murine cecum by analyzing both metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data on specific bacterial species within the microbial communities, in addition to the whole microbiome.

Results

Bacterial composition of the healthy mouse gut microbiome was profiled using the following three different approaches: 16S rRNA-based profiling based on amplicon and shotgun sequencing data, and genome-based profiling based on shotgun sequencing data. Consistently, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Deferribacteres emerged as the major phyla. Based on NCBI taxonomy, Muribaculaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Deferribacteraceae were the predominant families identified in each phylum. The genes for carbohydrate metabolism were upregulated in Muribaculaceae, while genes for cofactors and vitamin metabolism and amino acid metabolism were upregulated in Deferribacteraceae. The genes for translation were commonly enhanced in all three families. Notably, combined analysis of metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing data revealed that the functions of translation and metabolism were largely upregulated in all three families in the mouse gut environment. The ratio of the genes in the metagenome and their expression in the metatranscriptome indicated higher expression of carbohydrate metabolism in Muribaculum, Duncaniella, and Mucispirillum.

Conclusions

We demonstrated a fundamental methodology for linking genomic and transcriptomic datasets to examine functional activities of specific bacterial species in a complicated microbial environment. We investigated the normal flora of the mouse gut using three different approaches and identified Muribaculaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Deferribacteraceae as the predominant families. The functional distribution of these families was reflected in the entire microbiome. By comparing the metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data, we found that the expression rates differed for different functional categories in the mouse gut environment. Application of these methods to track microbial transcription in individuals over time, or before and after administration of a specific stimulus will significantly facilitate future development of diagnostics and treatments.

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<![CDATA[Generation of targeted homozygosity in the genome of human induced pluripotent stem cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nc0b5af8d-f419-410c-9036-89fcaed1eba6

When loss of heterozygosity (LOH) is correlated with loss or gain of a disease phenotype, it is often necessary to identify which gene or genes are involved. Here, we developed a region-specific LOH-inducing system based on mitotic crossover in human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). We first tested our system on chromosome 19. To detect homozygous clones generated by LOH, a positive selection cassette was inserted at the AASV1 locus of chromosome 19. LOHs were generated by the combination of allele-specific double-stranded DNA breaks introduced by CRISPR/Cas9 and suppression of Bloom syndrome (BLM) gene expression by the Tet-Off system. The BLM protein inhibitor ML216 exhibited a similar crossover efficiency and distribution of crossover sites. We next applied this system to the short arm of chromosome 6, where human leukocyte antigen (HLA) loci are located. Genotyping and flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that LOHs associated with chromosomal crossover occurred at the expected positions. Although careful examination of HLA-homozygous hiPSCs generated from parental cells is needed for cancer predisposition and effectiveness of differentiation, they may help to mitigate the current shortcoming of hiPSC-based transplantation related to the immunological differences between the donor and host.

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<![CDATA[The evolution and genetic diversity of avian influenza A(H9N2) viruses in Cambodia, 2015 – 2016]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ncf402c92-86f9-4684-b431-03c7c64bd7da

Low pathogenic A(H9N2) subtype avian influenza viruses (AIVs) were originally detected in Cambodian poultry in 2013, and now circulate endemically. We sequenced and characterised 64 A(H9N2) AIVs detected in Cambodian poultry (chickens and ducks) from January 2015 to May 2016. All A(H9) viruses collected in 2015 and 2016 belonged to a new BJ/94-like h9-4.2.5 sub-lineage that emerged in the region during or after 2013, and was distinct to previously detected Cambodian viruses. Overall, there was a reduction of genetic diversity of H9N2 since 2013, however two genotypes were detected in circulation, P and V, with extensive reassortment between the viruses. Phylogenetic analysis showed a close relationship between A(H9N2) AIVs detected in Cambodian and Vietnamese poultry, highlighting cross-border trade/movement of live, domestic poultry between the countries. Wild birds may also play a role in A(H9N2) transmission in the region. Some genes of the Cambodian isolates frequently clustered with zoonotic A(H7N9), A(H9N2) and A(H10N8) viruses, suggesting a common ecology. Molecular analysis showed 100% of viruses contained the hemagglutinin (HA) Q226L substitution, which favours mammalian receptor type binding. All viruses were susceptible to the neuraminidase inhibitor antivirals; however, 41% contained the matrix (M2) S31N substitution associated with resistance to adamantanes. Overall, Cambodian A(H9N2) viruses possessed factors known to increase zoonotic potential, and therefore their evolution should be continually monitored.

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<![CDATA[Swift Large-scale Examination of Directed Genome Editing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823fad5eed0c484639487

In the era of CRISPR gene editing and genetic screening, there is an increasing demand for quick and reliable nucleic acid extraction pipelines for rapid genotyping of large and diverse sample sets. Despite continuous improvements of current workflows, the handling-time and material costs per sample remain major limiting factors. Here we present a robust method for low-cost DIY-pipet tips addressing these needs; i.e. using a cellulose filter disc inserted into a regular pipet tip. These filter-in-tips allow for a rapid, stand-alone four-step genotyping workflow by simply binding the DNA contained in the primary lysate to the cellulose filter, washing it in water and eluting it directly into the buffer for the downstream application (e.g. PCR). This drastically cuts down processing time to maximum 30 seconds per sample, with the potential for parallelizing and automation. We show the ease and sensitivity of our procedure by genotyping genetically modified medaka (Oryzias latipes) and zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos (targeted by CRISPR/Cas9 knock-out and knock-in) in a 96-well plate format. The robust isolation and detection of multiple alleles of various abundancies in a mosaic genetic background allows phenotype-genotype correlation already in the injected generation, demonstrating the reliability and sensitivity of the protocol. Our method is applicable across kingdoms to samples ranging from cells to tissues i. e. plant seedlings, adult flies, mouse cell culture and tissue as well as adult fish fin-clips.

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<![CDATA[Genetic redundancy fuels polygenic adaptation in Drosophila]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8f6d5eed0c48496f4fd

The genetic architecture of adaptive traits is of key importance to predict evolutionary responses. Most adaptive traits are polygenic—i.e., result from selection on a large number of genetic loci—but most molecularly characterized traits have a simple genetic basis. This discrepancy is best explained by the difficulty in detecting small allele frequency changes (AFCs) across many contributing loci. To resolve this, we use laboratory natural selection to detect signatures for selective sweeps and polygenic adaptation. We exposed 10 replicates of a Drosophila simulans population to a new temperature regime and uncovered a polygenic architecture of an adaptive trait with high genetic redundancy among beneficial alleles. We observed convergent responses for several phenotypes—e.g., fitness, metabolic rate, and fat content—and a strong polygenic response (99 selected alleles; mean s = 0.059). However, each of these selected alleles increased in frequency only in a subset of the evolving replicates. We discerned different evolutionary paradigms based on the heterogeneous genomic patterns among replicates. Redundancy and quantitative trait (QT) paradigms fitted the experimental data better than simulations assuming independent selective sweeps. Our results show that natural D. simulans populations harbor a vast reservoir of adaptive variation facilitating rapid evolutionary responses using multiple alternative genetic pathways converging at a new phenotypic optimum. This key property of beneficial alleles requires the modification of testing strategies in natural populations beyond the search for convergence on the molecular level.

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<![CDATA[Genomic insights into neonicotinoid sensitivity in the solitary bee Osmia bicornis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8f0d5eed0c48496f48d

The impact of pesticides on the health of bee pollinators is determined in part by the capacity of bee detoxification systems to convert these compounds to less toxic forms. For example, recent work has shown that cytochrome P450s of the CYP9Q subfamily are critically important in defining the sensitivity of honey bees and bumblebees to pesticides, including neonicotinoid insecticides. However, it is currently unclear if solitary bees have functional equivalents of these enzymes with potentially serious implications in relation to their capacity to metabolise certain insecticides. To address this question, we sequenced the genome of the red mason bee, Osmia bicornis, the most abundant and economically important solitary bee species in Central Europe. We show that O. bicornis lacks the CYP9Q subfamily of P450s but, despite this, exhibits low acute toxicity to the N-cyanoamidine neonicotinoid thiacloprid. Functional studies revealed that variation in the sensitivity of O. bicornis to N-cyanoamidine and N-nitroguanidine neonicotinoids does not reside in differences in their affinity for the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor or speed of cuticular penetration. Rather, a P450 within the CYP9BU subfamily, with recent shared ancestry to the Apidae CYP9Q subfamily, metabolises thiacloprid in vitro and confers tolerance in vivo. Our data reveal conserved detoxification pathways in model solitary and eusocial bees despite key differences in the evolution of specific pesticide-metabolising enzymes in the two species groups. The discovery that P450 enzymes of solitary bees can act as metabolic defence systems against certain pesticides can be leveraged to avoid negative pesticide impacts on these important pollinators.

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<![CDATA[Protein composition of the occlusion bodies of Epinotia aporema granulovirus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75e6d5eed0c4843d0423

Within family Baculoviridae, members of the Betabaculovirus genus are employed as biocontrol agents against lepidopteran pests, either alone or in combination with selected members of the Alphabaculovirus genus. Epinotia aporema granulovirus (EpapGV) is a fast killing betabaculovirus that infects the bean shoot borer (E. aporema) and is a promising biopesticide. Because occlusion bodies (OBs) play a key role in baculovirus horizontal transmission, we investigated the composition of EpapGV OBs. Using mass spectrometry-based proteomics we could identify 56 proteins that are included in the OBs during the final stages of larval infection. Our data provides experimental validation of several annotated hypothetical coding sequences. Proteogenomic mapping against genomic sequence detected a previously unannotated ac110-like core gene and a putative translation fusion product of ORFs epap48 and epap49. Comparative studies of the proteomes available for the family Baculoviridae highlight the conservation of core gene products as parts of the occluded virion. Two proteins specific for betabaculoviruses (Epap48 and Epap95) are incorporated into OBs. Moreover, quantification based on emPAI values showed that Epap95 is one of the most abundant components of EpapGV OBs.

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<![CDATA[Global survey of mobile DNA horizontal transfer in arthropods reveals Lepidoptera as a prime hotspot]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df307d5eed0c484580b72

More than any other genome components, Transposable Elements (TEs) have the capacity to move across species barriers through Horizontal Transfer (HT), with substantial evolutionary consequences. Previous large-scale surveys, based on full-genomes comparisons, have revealed the transposition mode as an important predictor of HT rates variation across TE superfamilies. However, host biology could represent another major explanatory factor, one that needs to be investigated through extensive taxonomic sampling. Here we test this hypothesis using a field collection of 460 arthropod species from Tahiti and surrounding islands. Through targeted massive parallel sequencing, we uncover patterns of HT in three widely-distributed TE superfamilies with contrasted modes of transposition. In line with earlier findings, the DNA transposons under study (TC1-Mariner) were found to transfer horizontally at the highest frequency, closely followed by the LTR superfamily (Copia), in contrast with the non-LTR superfamily (Jockey), that mostly diversifies through vertical inheritance and persists longer within genomes. Strikingly, across all superfamilies, we observe a marked excess of HTs in Lepidoptera, an insect order that also commonly hosts baculoviruses, known for their ability to transport host TEs. These results turn the spotlight on baculoviruses as major potential vectors of TEs in arthropods, and further emphasize the importance of non-vertical TE inheritance in genome evolution.

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<![CDATA[Apollo: Democratizing genome annotation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d41d5eed0c484c823a0

Genome annotation is the process of identifying the location and function of a genome's encoded features. Improving the biological accuracy of annotation is a complex and iterative process requiring researchers to review and incorporate multiple sources of information such as transcriptome alignments, predictive models based on sequence profiles, and comparisons to features found in related organisms. Because rapidly decreasing costs are enabling an ever-growing number of scientists to incorporate sequencing as a routine laboratory technique, there is widespread demand for tools that can assist in the deliberative analytical review of genomic information. To this end, we present Apollo, an open source software package that enables researchers to efficiently inspect and refine the precise structure and role of genomic features in a graphical browser-based platform. Some of Apollo’s newer user interface features include support for real-time collaboration, allowing distributed users to simultaneously edit the same encoded features while also instantly seeing the updates made by other researchers on the same region in a manner similar to Google Docs. Its technical architecture enables Apollo to be integrated into multiple existing genomic analysis pipelines and heterogeneous laboratory workflow platforms. Finally, we consider the implications that Apollo and related applications may have on how the results of genome research are published and made accessible.

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<![CDATA[Transvection-like interchromosomal interaction is not observed at the transcriptional level when tested in the Rosa26 locus in mouse]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1494d5eed0c48467a353

Long-range associations between enhancers and their target gene promoters have been shown to play critical roles in executing genome function. Recent variations of chromosome capture technology have revealed a comprehensive view of intra- and interchromosomal contacts between specific genomic sites. The locus control region of the β-globin genes (β-LCR) is a super-enhancer that is capable of activating all of the β-like globin genes within the locus in cis through physical interaction by forming DNA loops. CTCF helps to mediate loop formation between LCR-HS5 and 3’HS1 in the human β-globin locus, in this way thought to contribute to the formation of a “chromatin hub”. The β-globin locus is also in close physical proximity to other erythrocyte-specific genes located long distances away on the same chromosome. In this case, erythrocyte-specific genes gather together at a shared “transcription factory” for co-transcription. Theoretically, enhancers could also activate target gene promoters at the identical loci, yet on different chromosomes in trans, a phenomenon originally described as transvection in Drosophilla. Although close physical proximity has been reported for the β-LCR and the β-like globin genes when integrated at the mouse homologous loci in trans, their structural and functional interactions were found to be rare, possibly because of a lack of suitable regulatory elements that might facilitate such trans interactions. Therefore, we re-evaluated presumptive transvection-like enhancer-promoter communication by introducing CTCF binding sites and erythrocyte-specific transcription units into both LCR-enhancer and β-promoter alleles, each inserted into the mouse ROSA26 locus on separate chromosomes. Following cross-mating of mice to place the two mutant loci at the identical chromosomal position and into active chromation in trans, their transcriptional output was evaluated. The results demonstrate that there was no significant functional association between the LCR and the β-globin gene in trans even in this idealized experimental context.

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<![CDATA[Stress response, behavior, and development are shaped by transposable element-induced mutations in Drosophila]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c758ad5eed0c4843cfe7b

Most of the current knowledge on the genetic basis of adaptive evolution is based on the analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Despite increasing evidence for their causal role, the contribution of structural variants to adaptive evolution remains largely unexplored. In this work, we analyzed the population frequencies of 1,615 Transposable Element (TE) insertions annotated in the reference genome of Drosophila melanogaster, in 91 samples from 60 worldwide natural populations. We identified a set of 300 polymorphic TEs that are present at high population frequencies, and located in genomic regions with high recombination rate, where the efficiency of natural selection is high. The age and the length of these 300 TEs are consistent with relatively young and long insertions reaching high frequencies due to the action of positive selection. Besides, we identified a set of 21 fixed TEs also likely to be adaptive. Indeed, we, and others, found evidence of selection for 84 of these reference TE insertions. The analysis of the genes located nearby these 84 candidate adaptive insertions suggested that the functional response to selection is related with the GO categories of response to stimulus, behavior, and development. We further showed that a subset of the candidate adaptive TEs affects expression of nearby genes, and five of them have already been linked to an ecologically relevant phenotypic effect. Our results provide a more complete understanding of the genetic variation and the fitness-related traits relevant for adaptive evolution. Similar studies should help uncover the importance of TE-induced adaptive mutations in other species as well.

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<![CDATA[Drosophila ZDHHC8 palmitoylates scribble and Ras64B and controls growth and viability]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6730b5d5eed0c484f37f58

Palmitoylation is an important posttranslational modification regulating diverse cellular functions. Consequently, aberrant palmitoylation can lead to diseases such as neuronal disorders or cancer. In humans there are roughly one hundred times more palmitoylated proteins than enzymes catalyzing palmitoylation (palmitoyltransferases). Therefore, it is an important challenge to establish the links between palmitoyltransferases and their targets. From publicly available data, we find that expression of human ZDHHC8 correlates significantly with cancer survival. To elucidate the organismal function of ZDHHC8, we study the Drosophila ortholog of hZDHHC8, CG34449/dZDHHC8. Knockdown of dZDHHC8 causes tissue overgrowth while dZDHHC8 mutants are larval lethal. We provide a list of 159 palmitoylated proteins in Drosophila and present data suggesting that scribble and Ras64B are targets of dZDHHC8.

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<![CDATA[Seroprevalence, cross antigenicity and circulation sphere of bat-borne hantaviruses revealed by serological and antigenic analyses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c485d5eed0c4845e8865

Bats are newly identified reservoirs of hantaviruses (HVs) among which very divergent HVs have been discovered in recent years. However, their significance for public health remains unclear since their seroprevalence as well as antigenic relationship with human-infecting HVs have not been investigated. In the present study archived tissues of 1,419 bats of 22 species from 6 families collected in 5 south and southwest provinces in China were screened by pan-HV RT-PCR following viral metagenomic analysis. As a result nine HVs have been identified in two bat species in two provinces and phylogenetically classified into two species, Laibin virus (LAIV, ICTV approved species, 1 strain) and Xuan son virus (XSV, proposed species, 8 strains). Additionally, 709 serum samples of these bats were also analyzed by ELISA to investigate the seroprevalence and cross-reactivity between different HVs using expressed recombinant nucleocapsid proteins (rNPs) of LAIV, XSV and Seoul virus (SEOV). The cross-reactivity of some bat sera were further confirmed by western blot (WB) using three rNPs followed by fluorescent antibody virus neutralization test (FAVNT) against live SEOV. Results showed that the total HV seropositive rate of bat sera was 18.5% (131/709) with many cross reacting with two or all three rNPs and several able to neutralize SEOV. WB analysis using the three rNPs and their specific hyperimmune sera demonstrated cross-reactivity between XSV/SEOV and LAIV/XSV, but not LAIV/SEOV, indicating that XSV is antigenically closer to human-infecting HVs. In addition a study of the distribution of the viruses identified an area covering the region between Chinese Guangxi and North Vietnam, in which XSV and LAIV circulate within different bat colonies with a high seroprevalence. A circulation sphere of bat-borne HVs has therefore been proposed.

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<![CDATA[Discovery of gene regulatory elements through a new bioinformatics analysis of haploid genetic screens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fef9d5eed0c48413586a

The systematic identification of regulatory elements that control gene expression remains a challenge. Genetic screens that use untargeted mutagenesis have the potential to identify protein-coding genes, non-coding RNAs and regulatory elements, but their analysis has mainly focused on identifying the former two. To identify regulatory elements, we conducted a new bioinformatics analysis of insertional mutagenesis screens interrogating WNT signaling in haploid human cells. We searched for specific patterns of retroviral gene trap integrations (used as mutagens in haploid screens) in short genomic intervals overlapping with introns and regions upstream of genes. We uncovered atypical patterns of gene trap insertions that were not predicted to disrupt coding sequences, but caused changes in the expression of two key regulators of WNT signaling, suggesting the presence of cis-regulatory elements. Our methodology extends the scope of haploid genetic screens by enabling the identification of regulatory elements that control gene expression.

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<![CDATA[The molecular biology and HPV drug responsiveness of cynomolgus macaque papillomaviruses support their use in the development of a relevant in vivo model for antiviral drug testing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e6c2d5eed0c484ef3d31

Due to the extreme tissue and species restriction of the papillomaviruses (PVs), there is a great need for animal models that accurately mimic PV infection in humans for testing therapeutic strategies against human papillomaviruses (HPVs). In this study, we present data that demonstrate that in terms of gene expression during initial viral DNA amplification, Macaca fascicularis PV (MfPV) types 5 and 8 appear to be similar to mucosal oncogenic HPVs, while MfPV1 (isolated from skin) resembles most high-risk cutaneous beta HPVs (HPV5). Similarities were also observed in replication properties during the initial amplification phase of the MfPV genomes. We demonstrate that high-risk mucosal HPV-specific inhibitors target the transient replication of the MfPV8 genomes, which indicates that similar pathways are used by the high-risk HPVs and MfPVs during their genome replication. Taking all into account, we propose that Macaca fascicularis may serve as a highly relevant model for preclinical tests designed to evaluate therapeutic strategies against HPV-associated lesions.

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<![CDATA[Artificial selection on storage protein 1 possibly contributes to increase of hatchability during silkworm domestication]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c457d5eed0c4845e85bf

Like other domesticates, the efficient utilization of nitrogen resources is also important for the only fully domesticated insect, the silkworm. Deciphering the way in which artificial selection acts on the silkworm genome to improve the utilization of nitrogen resources and to advance human-favored domestication traits, will provide clues from a unique insect model for understanding the general rules of Darwin's evolutionary theory on domestication. Storage proteins (SPs), which belong to a hemocyanin superfamily, basically serve as a source of amino acids and nitrogen during metamorphosis and reproduction in insects. In this study, through blast searching on the silkworm genome and further screening of the artificial selection signature on silkworm SPs, we discovered a candidate domestication gene, i.e., the methionine-rich storage protein 1 (SP1), which is clearly divergent from other storage proteins and exhibits increased expression in the ova of domestic silkworms. Knockout of SP1 via the CRISPR/Cas9 technique resulted in a dramatic decrease in egg hatchability, without obvious impact on egg production, which was similar to the effect in the wild silkworm compared with the domestic type. Larval development and metamorphosis were not affected by SP1 knockout. Comprehensive ova comparative transcriptomes indicated significant higher expression of genes encoding vitellogenin, chorions, and structural components in the extracellular matrix (ECM)-interaction pathway, enzymes in folate biosynthesis, and notably hormone synthesis in the domestic silkworm, compared to both the SP1 mutant and the wild silkworm. Moreover, compared with the wild silkworms, the domestic one also showed generally up-regulated expression of genes enriched in the structural constituent of ribosome and amide, as well as peptide biosynthesis. This study exemplified a novel case in which artificial selection could act directly on nitrogen resource proteins, further affecting egg nutrients and eggshell formation possibly through a hormone signaling mediated regulatory network and the activation of ribosomes, resulting in improved biosynthesis and increased hatchability during domestication. These findings shed new light on both the understanding of artificial selection and silkworm breeding from the perspective of nitrogen and amino acid resources.

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<![CDATA[The reemergence of human rabies and emergence of an Indian subcontinent lineage in Tibet, China]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c46652fd5eed0c484517e13

Coordinated surveillance, vaccination and public information efforts have brought the Chinese rabies epizootic under control, but significant numbers of fatalities are still reported annually with some cases occurring in previously rabies free regions. Tibet has remained virtually rabies free for 16 years, but since 2015 one human rabies case has been reported each year. To better understand the origins of these cases, we sequenced three human samples and an additional sample isolated from a dog in 2012. Three genomes were sequenced from brain samples: human case 1 (reported in 2015), human case 3 (2017), and the 2012 dog case. For human case 2 (2016), the rabies N gene was sequenced from a limited saliva sample. Phylogenetic analysis shows that Case 1 (CXZ1501H) and the dog case (CXZ1201D) belong to China IV lineage (equivalent to Arctic-like-2 in global rabies), suggesting an association with a wildlife spillover event. However, Case 2 (CXZ1601H) is placed within the dominant lineage China I, and was most similar with recent strains from neighboring Yunnan province, indicating the current epizootic has finally reached Tibet. Most surprisingly however, was the finding that Case 3 (CXZ1704H) is distinct from other Chinese isolates. This isolate is placed in the Indian Subcontinent clade, similar to recent Nepal strains, indicating that cross-border transmission is a new source for rabies infections. Thus, the complex mixture of the rabies epizootic in Tibet represents a major new challenge for Tibet and national rabies control.

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