ResearchPad - departures-from-diploidy 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[Induced aneuploidy in neural stem cells triggers a delayed stress response and impairs adult life span in flies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79a3e7d5eed0c4841d1c08

Studying aneuploidy during organism development has strong limitations because chronic mitotic perturbations used to generate aneuploidy usually result in lethality. We developed a genetic tool to induce aneuploidy in an acute and time-controlled manner during Drosophila development. This is achieved by reversible depletion of cohesin, a key molecule controlling mitotic fidelity. Larvae challenged with aneuploidy hatch into adults with severe motor defects shortening their life span. Neural stem cells, despite being aneuploid, display a delayed stress response and continue proliferating, resulting in the rapid appearance of chromosomal instability, a complex array of karyotypes, and cellular abnormalities. Notably, when other brain-cell lineages are forced to self-renew, aneuploidy-associated stress response is significantly delayed. Protecting only the developing brain from induced aneuploidy is sufficient to rescue motor defects and adult life span, suggesting that neural tissue is the most ill-equipped to deal with developmental aneuploidy.

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<![CDATA[A polyploid admixed origin of beer yeasts derived from European and Asian wine populations]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c88240dd5eed0c48463962a

Strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae used to make beer, bread, and wine are genetically and phenotypically distinct from wild populations associated with trees. The origins of these domesticated populations are not always clear; human-associated migration and admixture with wild populations have had a strong impact on S. cerevisiae population structure. We examined the population genetic history of beer strains and found that ale strains and the S. cerevisiae portion of allotetraploid lager strains were derived from admixture between populations closely related to European grape wine strains and Asian rice wine strains. Similar to both lager and baking strains, ale strains are polyploid, providing them with a passive means of remaining isolated from other populations and providing us with a living relic of their ancestral hybridization. To reconstruct their polyploid origin, we phased the genomes of two ale strains and found ale haplotypes to both be recombinants between European and Asian alleles and to also contain novel alleles derived from extinct or as yet uncharacterized populations. We conclude that modern beer strains are the product of a historical melting pot of fermentation technology.

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<![CDATA[In silico identification of critical proteins associated with learning process and immune system for Down syndrome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d652d5eed0c484031b96

Understanding expression levels of proteins and their interactions is a key factor to diagnose and explain the Down syndrome which can be considered as the most prevalent reason of intellectual disability in human beings. In the previous studies, the expression levels of 77 proteins obtained from normal genotype control mice and from trisomic Ts65Dn mice have been analyzed after training in contextual fear conditioning with and without injection of the memantine drug using statistical methods and machine learning techniques. Recent studies have also pointed out that there may be a linkage between the Down syndrome and the immune system. Thus, the research presented in this paper aim at in silico identification of proteins which are significant to the learning process and the immune system and to derive the most accurate model for classification of mice. In this paper, the features are selected by implementing forward feature selection method after preprocessing step of the dataset. Later, deep neural network, gradient boosting tree, support vector machine and random forest classification methods are implemented to identify the accuracy. It is observed that the selected feature subsets not only yield higher accuracy classification results but also are composed of protein responses which are important for the learning and memory process and the immune system.

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<![CDATA[Bottom-up, integrated -omics analysis identifies broadly dosage-sensitive genes in breast cancer samples from TCGA]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c605a78d5eed0c4847cd00d

The massive genomic data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), including proteomics data from Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC), provides a unique opportunity to study cancer systematically. While most observations are made from a single type of genomics data, we apply big data analytics and systems biology approaches by simultaneously analyzing DNA amplification, mRNA and protein abundance. Using multiple genomic profiles, we have discovered widespread dosage compensation for the extensive aneuploidy observed in TCGA breast cancer samples. We do identify 11 genes that show strong correlation across all features (DNA/mRNA/protein) analogous to that of the well-known oncogene HER2 (ERBB2). These genes are generally less well-characterized regarding their role in cancer and we advocate their further study. We also discover that shRNA knockdown of these genes has an impact on cancer cell growth, suggesting a vulnerability that could be used for cancer therapy. Our study shows the advantages of systematic big data methodologies and also provides future research directions.

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<![CDATA[Revisiting aneuploidy profile of surgically retrieved spermatozoa by whole exome sequencing molecular karyotype]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390bddd5eed0c48491eb66

Previous studies, including our own, have reported that spermatozoa isolated from the testis have remarkably higher occurrence of aneuploidy once isolated from azoospermic men. This notion, however, did not translate into a lower pregnancy rate nor a greater proportion of miscarriages. Indeed, ICSI offspring generated from surgically retrieved gametes did not suffer from increased karyotypic aneuploidy than children generated from ejaculated specimens. In recent years, aneuploidy assessments on a larger number of cells and utilizing more chromosome probes have reported a progressive decrease in chromosomal aberrations in spermatozoa directly retrieved from the seminiferous tubules. In light of the availability of more accurate molecular genetic techniques, we have decided to challenge the notion that sampling epididymal and testicular tissues yields spermatozoa with higher incidence of aneuploidy than those retrieved in the ejaculate. In a retrospective manner, we have carried out an analysis by FISH with 9 chromosome probes on at least 1000 cells from the ejaculates of 87 consenting men and the specimens of 6 azoospermic men, while spermatozoa of fertile donors were used as control. Aneuploidy by FISH yielded 0.9% for the donor control but rose in the study group to 3.6% in the ejaculated, 1.2% for the epididymal, and 1.1% for testicular spermatozoa. There were no differences in autosomal or gonosomal disomies, nor nullisomies. In this group, once the specimens of these men were used for ICSI, ejaculated spermatozoa yielded a 22% clinical pregnancy rate that resulted in 62.5% pregnancy loss. The surgically retrieved specimens yielded a 50% clinical pregnancy rate that progressed to term. To confirm our findings, in a prospective analysis, DNA sequencing was carried out on the ejaculates and surgical samples of 22 men with various spermatogenic characteristics. In this comparison, the findings were similar with actually a higher incidence of aneuploidy in the ejaculated spermatozoa (n = 16) compared to those surgically retrieved (n = 6) (P<0.0001). For this group, the clinical pregnancy rate for the ejaculated specimens was 47.2% with 29.4% pregnancy loss, while the surgically retrieved yielded a 50% clinical pregnancy rate, all progressing to term. A subsequent prospective combined assessment on ejaculated and surgically retrieved spermatozoa by FISH and NGS was performed on non-azoospermic men with high DNA fragmentation in their ejaculate. The assessment by FISH evidenced 2.8% chromosomal defects in the ejaculated and 1.2% in testicular biopsies while by NGS became 8.4% and 1.3% (P = 0.02), respectively. Interestingly, we evidenced a pregnancy rate of 0% with ejaculated while 100% with the testicular spermatozoa in this latter group. This indicates that improved techniques for assessing sperm aneuploidy on a wider number of cells disproves earlier reports and corroborates the safe utilization of testicular spermatozoa with a positive impact on chances of pregnancy.

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<![CDATA[Improving the calling of non-invasive prenatal testing on 13-/18-/21-trisomy by support vector machine discrimination]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117b86d5eed0c48469989c

With the advance of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) has been developed and employed in fetal aneuploidy screening on 13-/18-/21-trisomies through detecting cell-free fetal DNA (cffDNA) in maternal blood. Although Z-test is widely used in NIPT NGS data analysis, there is still necessity to improve its accuracy for reducing a) false negatives and false positives, and b) the ratio of unclassified data, so as to lower the potential harm to patients as well as the induced cost of retests. Combining the multiple Z-tests with indexes of clinical signs and quality control, features were collected from the known samples and scaled for model training using support vector machine (SVM). We trained SVM models from the qualified NIPT NGS data that Z-test can discriminate and tested the performance on the data that Z-test cannot discriminate. On screenings of 13-/18-/21-trisomies, the trained SVM models achieved 100% accuracies in both internal validations and unknown sample predictions. It is shown that other machine learning (ML) models can also achieve similar high accuracy, and SVM model is most robust in this study. Moreover, four false positives and four false negatives caused by Z-test were corrected by using the SVM models. To our knowledge, this is one of the earliest studies to employ SVM in NIPT NGS data analysis. It is expected to replace Z-test in clinical practice.

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<![CDATA[Could Digital PCR Be an Alternative as a Non-Invasive Prenatal Test for Trisomy 21: A Proof of Concept Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac7ab0ee8fa60bb2b7c

Objective

NIPT for fetal aneuploidy by digital PCR has been hampered by the large number of PCR reactions needed to meet statistical requirements, preventing clinical application. Here, we designed an octoplex droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assay which allows increasing the number of available targets and thus overcomes statistical obstacles.

Method

After technical optimization of the multiplex PCR on mixtures of trisomic and euploid DNA, we performed a validation study on samples of plasma DNA from 213 pregnant women. Molecular counting of circulating cell-free DNA was performed using a mix of hydrolysis probes targeting chromosome 21 and a reference chromosome.

Results

The results of our validation experiments showed that ddPCR detected trisomy 21 even when the sample’s trisomic DNA content is as low as 5%. In a validation study of plasma samples from 213 pregnant women, ddPCR discriminated clearly between the trisomy 21 and the euploidy groups.

Conclusion

Our results demonstrate that digital PCR can meet the requirements for non-invasive prenatal testing of trisomy 21. This approach is technically simple, relatively cheap, easy to implement in a diagnostic setting and compatible with ethical concerns regarding access to nucleotide sequence information. These advantages make it a potential technique of choice for population-wide screening for trisomy 21 in pregnant women.

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<![CDATA[PLoS Pathogens Issue Image | Vol. 13(9) September 2017]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ab0700a463d7e2b83d278d8

An activated form of Rab11 is specifically targeted to intercellular junctions in Drosophila salivary glands.

Drosophila larval salivary glands are comprised of giant polyploid cells, making them an ideal system for sub-cellular distribution and co-localization studies. In this image, an activated and YFP-tagged form of Rab11 was expressed in salivary glands. Rab11 is critical for endocytic recycling, a process through which vesicles carrying junctional components like cadherins are brought near and fuse with the plasma membrane. Only the activated form of Rab11 displays this strong preference for intercellular junctions. The anthrax toxin edema factor (EF) blocks Rab11 function, which weakens the adherens junctions, and promotes edema during infection. Guichard et al.

Image Credit: Annabel Guichard and Ethan Bier, Section of Cell and Developmental Biology, UCSD

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<![CDATA[Nuclear genome stability in long-term cultivated callus lines of Fagopyrum tataricum (L.) Gaertn]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc423

Long-term cultivated Fagopyrum tataricum (L.) Gaertn. (Tartary buckwheat) morphogenic and non-morphogenic callus lines are interesting systems for gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms that are responsible for the genetic stability and instability of a plant tissue culture. In this work, we used histological sections and transmission electron microscopy to identify and describe the morphology of the nuclei of all of the analysed callus lines. We demonstrated that the embryogenic callus cells had prominent round nuclei that did not contain heterochromatin clumps in contrast to the non-morphogenic callus lines, in which we found nuclei that had multiple lobes. Flow cytometry analysis revealed significant differences in the relative DNA content between the analysed calli. All of the analysed morphogenic callus lines had peaks from 2C to 8C as compared to the non-morphogenic callus lines, whose peaks did not reflect any regular DNA content and exceeded 8C and 16C for the line 6p1 and 16C and 32C for the callus line 10p2A. The results showed that non-morphogenic calli are of an aneuploid nature. The TUNEL test enabled us to visualise the nuclei that had DNA fragmentation in both the morphogenic and non-morphogenic lines. We revealed significantly higher frequencies of positively labelled nuclei in the non-morphogenic lines than in the morphogenic lines. In the case of the morphogenic lines, the highest observed frequency of TUNEL-positive nuclei was 7.7% for lines 2–3. In the non-morphogenic calli, the highest level of DNA damage (68.5%) was revealed in line 6p1. These results clearly indicate greater genome stability in the morphogenic lines.

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<![CDATA[Integrative taxonomy of root-knot nematodes reveals multiple independent origins of mitotic parthenogenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbcd5

During sampling of several Coffea arabica plantations in Tanzania severe root galling, caused by a root-knot nematode was observed. From pure cultures, morphology and morphometrics of juveniles and females matched perfectly with Meloidogyne africana, whereas morphology of the males matched identically with those of Meloidogyne decalineata. Based on their Cox1 sequence, however, the recovered juveniles, females and males were confirmed to belong to the same species, creating a taxonomic conundrum. Adding further to this puzzle, re-examination of M. oteifae type material showed insufficient morphological evidence to maintain its status as a separate species. Consequently, M. decalineata and M. oteifae are synonymized with M. africana, which is herewith redescribed based on results of light and scanning electron microscopy, ribosomal and mitochondrial DNA sequences, isozyme electrophoresis, along with bionomic and cytogenetic features. Multi-gene phylogenetic analysis placed M. africana outside of the three major clades, together with M. coffeicola, M. ichinohei and M. camelliae. This phylogenetic position was confirmed by several morphological features, including cellular structure of the spermatheca, egg mass position, perineal pattern and head shape. Moreover, M. africana was found to be a polyphagous species, demonstrating that “early-branching” Meloidogyne spp. are not as oligophagous as had previously been assumed. Cytogenetic information indicates M. africana (2n = 21) and M. ardenensis (2n = 51–54) to be a triploid mitotic parthenogenetic species, revealing at least four independent origins of mitotic parthenogenesis within the genus Meloidogyne. Furthermore, M. mali (n = 12) was found to reproduce by amphimixis, indicating that amphimictic species with a limited number of chromosomes are widespread in the genus, potentially reflecting the ancestral state of the genus. The wide variation in chromosome numbers and associated changes in reproduction modes indicate that cytogenetic evolution played a crucial role in the speciation of root-knot nematodes and plant-parasitic nematodes in general.

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<![CDATA[Fetal Gender and Several Cytokines Are Associated with the Number of Fetal Cells in Maternal Blood – An Observational Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da12ab0ee8fa60b7a20d

Objective

To identify factors influencing the number of fetal cells in maternal blood.

Methods

A total of 57 pregnant women at a gestational age of weeks 11–14 were included. The number of fetal cells in maternal blood was assessed in 30 ml of blood using specific markers for both enrichment and subsequent identification.

Results

Participants carrying male fetuses had a higher median number of fetal cells in maternal blood than those carrying female fetuses (5 vs. 3, p = 0.04). Certain cytokines (RANTES, IL-2 and IL-5) were significantly associated with the number of fetal cells in maternal blood.

Conclusion

The number of fetal cells in maternal blood is associated with certain cytokines and fetal gender.

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<![CDATA[Origin and Evolution of Allopolyploid Wheatgrass Elymus fibrosus (Schrenk) Tzvelev (Poaceae: Triticeae) Reveals the Effect of Its Origination on Genetic Diversity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da44ab0ee8fa60b8b158

Origin and evolution of tetraploid Elymus fibrosus (Schrenk) Tzvelev were characterized using low-copy nuclear gene Rpb2 (the second largest subunit of RNA polymerase II), and chloroplast region trnLtrnF (spacer between the tRNA Leu (UAA) gene and the tRNA-Phe (GAA) gene). Ten accessions of E. fibrosus along with 19 Elymus species with StH genomic constitution and diploid species in the tribe Triticeae were analyzed. Chloroplast trnLtrnF sequence data suggested that Pseudoroegneria (St genome) was the maternal donor of E. fibrosus. Rpb2 data confirmed the presence of StH genomes in E. fibrosus, and suggested that St and H genomes in E. fibrosus each is more likely originated from single gene pool. Single origin of E. fibrosus might be one of the reasons causing genetic diversity in E. fibrosus lower than those in E. caninus and E. trachycaulus, which have similar ecological preferences and breeding systems with E. fibrosus, and each was originated from multiple sources. Convergent evolution of St and H copy Rpb2 sequences in some accessions of E. fibrosus might have occurred during the evolutionary history of this allotetraploid.

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<![CDATA[Divergent Development of Hexaploid Triticale by a Wheat – Rye –Psathyrostachys huashanica Trigeneric Hybrid Method]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1eab0ee8fa60b7de7e

Hexaploid triticale is an important forage crop and a promising energy plant. Some forms were previously reported for developing the hexaploid triticale, such as crossing tetraploid wheat or hexaploid wheat with rye, crossing hexaploid triticale and/or hexaploid wheat with octoploid triticale, and spontaneously appearing in the selfed progenies of octoploid triticale. In the present study, we developed an effective method for production of diverse types of hexaploid triticale via wheat—rye—Psathyrostachys huashanica trigeneric hybrid. Genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) karyotyping revealed that D genome chromosomes were completely eliminated and the whole A, B, and R genome chromosomes were retained in three lines. More interestingly, the composite genome of the line K14-489-2 consisted of complete A and B genomes and chromosomes 1D, 2R, 3R, 4R, 5R, 6R, and 7R, that of line K14-491-2 was 12 A-genome (1A-6A), 14 B-genome (1B-7B), 12 R-genome (1R-3R, 5R-7R), and chromosomes 1D and 3D, and that of the line K14-547-1 had 26A/B and 14R chromosomes, plus one pair of centric 6BL/2DS translocations. This finding implies that some of D genome chromosomes can be spontaneously and stably incorporated into the hexaploid triticale. Additionally, a variety of high-molecular-weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GS) compositions were detected in the six hexaploid triticale lines, respectively. Besides, compared with its recurrent triticale parent Zhongsi828, these lines showed high level of resistance to stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, Pst) pathogens prevalent in China, including V26/Gui 22. These new hexaploid triticales not only enhanced diversification of triticale but also could be utilized as valuable germplasm for wheat improvement.

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<![CDATA[Exploiting repetitive sequences and BAC clones in Festuca pratensis karyotyping]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5dab0ee8fa60be040e

The Festuca genus is thought to be the most numerous genus of the Poaceae family. One of the most agronomically important forage grasses, Festuca pratensis Huds. is treated as a model plant to study the molecular mechanisms associated with tolerance to winter stresses, including frost. However, the precise mapping of the genes governing stress tolerance in this species is difficult as its karyotype remains unrecognized. Only two F. pratensis chromosomes with 35S and 5S rDNA sequences can be easily identified, but its remaining chromosomes have not been distinguished to date. Here, two libraries derived from F. pratensis nuclear DNA with various contents of repetitive DNA sequences were used as sources of molecular probes for fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH), a BAC library and a library representing sequences most frequently present in the F. pratensis genome. Using FISH, six groups of DNA sequences were revealed in chromosomes on the basis of their signal position, including dispersed-like sequences, chromosome painting-like sequences, centromeric-like sequences, knob-like sequences, a group without hybridization signals, and single locus-like sequences. The last group was exploited to develop cytogenetic maps of diploid and tetraploid F. pratensis, which are presented here for the first time and provide a remarkable progress in karyotype characterization.

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<![CDATA[Sequential Cross-Species Chromosome Painting among River Buffalo, Cattle, Sheep and Goat: A Useful Tool for Chromosome Abnormalities Diagnosis within the Family Bovidae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db19ab0ee8fa60bcdaf1

The main goal of this study was to develop a comparative multi-colour Zoo-FISH on domestic ruminants metaphases using a combination of whole chromosome and sub-chromosomal painting probes obtained from the river buffalo species (Bubalus bubalis, 2n = 50,XY). A total of 13 DNA probes were obtained through chromosome microdissection and DOP-PCR amplification, labelled with two fluorochromes and sequentially hybridized on river buffalo, cattle (Bos taurus, 2n = 60,XY), sheep (Ovis aries, 2n = 54,XY) and goat (Capra hircus, 2n = 60,XY) metaphases. The same set of paintings were then hybridized on bovine secondary oocytes to test their potential use for aneuploidy detection during in vitro maturation. FISH showed excellent specificity on metaphases and interphase nuclei of all the investigated species. Eight pairs of chromosomes were simultaneously identified in buffalo, whereas the same set of probes covered 13 out 30 chromosome pairs in the bovine and goat karyotypes and 40% of the sheep karyotype (11 out of 27 chromosome pairs). This result allowed development of the first comparative M-FISH karyotype within the domestic ruminants. The molecular resolution of complex karyotypes by FISH is particularly useful for the small chromosomes, whose similarity in the banding patterns makes their identification very difficult. The M-FISH karyotype also represents a practical tool for structural and numerical chromosome abnormalities diagnosis. In this regard, the successful hybridization on bovine secondary oocytes confirmed the potential use of this set of probes for the simultaneous identification on the same germ cell of 12 chromosome aneuploidies. This is a fundamental result for monitoring the reproductive health of the domestic animals in relation to management errors and/or environmental hazards.

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<![CDATA[Loss-of-Function Mutants and Overexpression Lines of the Arabidopsis Cyclin CYCA1;2/TARDY ASYNCHRONOUS MEIOSIS Exhibit Different Defects in Prophase-I Meiocytes but Produce the Same Meiotic Products]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0eab0ee8fa60bcb570

In Arabidopsis, loss-of-function mutations in the A-type cyclin CYCA1;2/TARDY ASYNCHRONOUS MEIOSIS (TAM) gene lead to the production of abnormal meiotic products including triads and dyads. Here we report that overexpression of TAM by the ASK1:TAM transgene also led to the production of triads and dyads in meiosis, as well as shriveled seeds, in a dominant fashion. However, the partial loss-of-function mutant tam-1, an ASK1:TAM line, and the wild type differed in dynamic changes in chromosome thread thickness from zygotene to diplotene. We also found that the pericentromeric heterochromatin regions in male meiocytes in tam-1 and tam-2 (a null allele) frequently formed a tight cluster at the pachytene and diplotene stages, in contrast to the infrequent occurrences of such clusters in the wild type and the ASK1:TAM line. Immunolocalization studies of the chromosome axial component ASY1 revealed that ASY1 was highly expressed at the appropriate male meiotic stages but not localized to the chromosomes in tam-2. The level of ASY1, however, was greatly reduced in another ASK1:TAM line with much overexpressed TAM. Our results indicate that the reduction and increase in the activity of TAM differentially affect chromosomal morphology and the action of ASY1 in prophase I. Based on these results, we propose that either the different meiotic defects or a common defect such as missing ASY1 on the chromosomal axes triggers a hitherto uncharacterized cell cycle checkpoint in the male meiocytes in the tam mutants and ASK1:TAM lines, leading to the production of the same abnormal meiotic products.

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<![CDATA[Expression of human Bcl-xL (Ser49) and (Ser62) mutants in Caenorhabditis elegans causes germline defects and aneuploidy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf600

An interesting feature of Bcl-xL protein is the presence of an unstructured loop domain between α1 and α2 helices, a domain not essential for its anti-apoptotic function and absent in CED-9 protein. Within this domain, Bcl-xL undergoes dynamic phosphorylation and dephosphorylation at Ser49 and Ser62 during G2 and mitosis in human cells. Studies have revealed that when these residues are mutated, cells harbour mitotic defects, including chromosome mis-attachment, lagging, bridging and mis-segregation with, ultimately, chromosome instability and aneuploidy. We undertook genetic experiments in Caenorhabditis elegans to understand the importance of Bcl-xL (Ser49) and (Ser62) in vivo. Transgenic worms carrying single-site S49A, S62A, S49D, S62D and dual site S49/62A mutants were generated and their effects were analyzed in germlines of young adult worms. Worms expressing Bcl-xL variants showed decreased egg-laying and hatching potency, variations in the length of their mitotic regions but not of their transition zones, appearance of chromosomal abnormalities at their diplotene stages, and increased germline apoptosis, with the exception of the S62D variants. Some of these transgenic strains, particularly the Ser to Ala variants, also showed slight modulations of lifespan compared to their controls. In addition, RNAi experiments silencing expression of the various Bcl-xL variants reversed their effects in vivo. Our in vivo observations confirmed the importance of Ser49 and Ser62 within Bcl-xL loop domain in maintaining chromosome stability.

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<![CDATA[The Impact of Reconstruction Methods, Phylogenetic Uncertainty and Branch Lengths on Inference of Chromosome Number Evolution in American Daisies (Melampodium, Asteraceae) ]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db15ab0ee8fa60bcd0d3

Chromosome number change (polyploidy and dysploidy) plays an important role in plant diversification and speciation. Investigating chromosome number evolution commonly entails ancestral state reconstruction performed within a phylogenetic framework, which is, however, prone to uncertainty, whose effects on evolutionary inferences are insufficiently understood. Using the chromosomally diverse plant genus Melampodium (Asteraceae) as model group, we assess the impact of reconstruction method (maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, Bayesian methods), branch length model (phylograms versus chronograms) and phylogenetic uncertainty (topological and branch length uncertainty) on the inference of chromosome number evolution. We also address the suitability of the maximum clade credibility (MCC) tree as single representative topology for chromosome number reconstruction. Each of the listed factors causes considerable incongruence among chromosome number reconstructions. Discrepancies between inferences on the MCC tree from those made by integrating over a set of trees are moderate for ancestral chromosome numbers, but severe for the difference of chromosome gains and losses, a measure of the directionality of dysploidy. Therefore, reliance on single trees, such as the MCC tree, is strongly discouraged and model averaging, taking both phylogenetic and model uncertainty into account, is recommended. For studying chromosome number evolution, dedicated models implemented in the program ChromEvol and ordered maximum parsimony may be most appropriate. Chromosome number evolution in Melampodium follows a pattern of bidirectional dysploidy (starting from x = 11 to x = 9 and x = 14, respectively) with no prevailing direction.

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<![CDATA[GBS-Based Deconvolution of the Surviving North American Collection of Cold-Hardy Kiwifruit (Actinidia spp.) Germplasm]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdba57

Plant germplasm collections can be invaluable resources to plant breeders, provided they are well-characterized. After 140 years of acquisition and curation efforts by a wide and largely non-coordinated array of private and institutional actors, the current US collection of cold-hardy kiwifruit (Actinidia spp.) is rife with misclassifications, misnomers, and mix-ups. To facilitate the systematic improvement and resource-efficient curation of these species of long-recognized horticultural potential, we used genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) data to deconvolute this historic collection. Evaluation of a total of 138 accessions (103 A. arguta, 28 A. kolomikta, and 7 A. polygama) with an interspecific set of 1,040 high-quality SNPs resulted in clear resolution of the three species. Intraspecific analysis (2,964 SNPs) within A. arguta revealed a significant level of redundancy (41.7%; only 60 unique genotypes out of 103 analyzed) and a sub-population structure reflecting likely geographic provenance, phenotypic classes, and hybrid pedigree. For A. kolomikta (3,425 SNPs), the level of accession redundancy was even higher (53.6%; 13 unique genotypes out of 28 analyzed); but no sub-structure was detected. Numerous instances were discovered of distinct genotypes sharing a common name, different names assigned to the same genotype, mistaken species assignments, and incorrect gender records, all critical information for both breeders and curators. In terms of method, this study demonstrates the practical and cost-effective use of GBS data to characterize plant genetic resources, despite ploidy differences and the lack of reference genomes. With the recent prohibition on further imports of Actinidia plant material into the country and with the active eradication of historic vines looming, this analysis of the US cold-hardy kiwifruit germplasm collection provides a timely assessment of the genetic resource base of an emerging, high-value specialty crop.

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