ResearchPad - dna-filter-assay https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Democratizing water monitoring: Implementation of a community-based qPCR monitoring program for recreational water hazards]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14486 Recreational water monitoring can be challenging due to the highly variable nature of pathogens and indicator concentrations, the myriad of potential biological hazards to measure for, and numerous access points, both official and unofficial, that are used for recreation. The aim of this study was to develop, deploy, and assess the effectiveness of a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) community-based monitoring (CBM) program for the assessment of bacterial and parasitic hazards in recreational water. This study developed methodologies for performing qPCR ‘in the field,’ then engaged with water management and monitoring groups and tested the method in a real-world implementation study to evaluate the accuracy of CBM using qPCR both quantitatively and qualitatively. This study found high reproducibility between qPCR results performed by non-expert field users and expert laboratory results, suggesting that qPCR as a methodology could be amenable to a CBM program.

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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[Environmental DNA metabarcoding for fish community analysis in backwater lakes: A comparison of capture methods]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca318d5eed0c48441f14d

The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) methods for community analysis has recently been developed. High-throughput parallel DNA sequencing (HTS), called eDNA metabarcoding, has been increasingly used in eDNA studies to examine multiple species. However, eDNA metabarcoding methodology requires validation based on traditional methods in all natural ecosystems before a reliable method can be established. To date, relatively few studies have performed eDNA metabarcoding of fishes in aquatic environments where fish communities were intensively surveyed using multiple traditional methods. Here, we have compared fish communities’ data from eDNA metabarcoding with seven conventional multiple capture methods in 31 backwater lakes in Hokkaido, Japan. We found that capture and field surveys of fishes were often interrupted by macrophytes and muddy sediments in the 31 lakes. We sampled 1 L of the surface water and analyzed eDNA using HTS. We also surveyed the fish communities using seven different capture methods, including various types of nets and electrofishing. At some sites, we could not detect any eDNA, presumably because of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) inhibition. We also detected the marine fish species as sewage-derived eDNA. Comparisons of eDNA metabarcoding and capture methods showed that the detected fish communities were similar between the two methods, with an overlap of 70%. Thus, our study suggests that to detect fish communities in backwater lakes, the performance of eDNA metabarcoding with the use of 1 L surface water sampling is similar to that of capturing methods. Therefore, eDNA metabarcoding can be used for fish community analysis but environmental factors that can cause PCR inhibition, should be considered in eDNA applications.

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<![CDATA[Filter paper-based spin column method for cost-efficient DNA or RNA purification]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141ee9d5eed0c484d28cb3

We describe herein a method of recharging used commercial spin columns or assembling homemade spin columns using filter paper as binding material for cost-effective, low throughput nucleic acid purification. The efficiency of filter paper-based spin columns was evaluated for purification of nucleic acids from various sources. Following protocols of commercial kits, we found filter paper to be a useful binding material for purification of nucleic acids, including plant genomic DNA, plant total RNA, PCR products, and DNA from agarose gels. However, filter paper has a weak binding affinity to plasmid DNA in tested miniprep protocols. Protocols for the use of filter paper recharged spin columns or homemade spin columns for low throughput purification of plant genomic DNA and total RNA with unused commercial kit buffers or less expensive homemade buffers are presented.

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<![CDATA[Environmental DNA reflects spatial and temporal jellyfish distribution]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcbb2

Recent development of environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis allows us to survey underwater macro-organisms easily and cost effectively; however, there have been no reports on eDNA detection or quantification for jellyfish. Here we present the first report on an eDNA analysis of marine jellyfish using Japanese sea nettle (Chrysaora pacifica) as a model species by combining a tank experiment with spatial and temporal distribution surveys. We performed a tank experiment monitoring eDNA concentrations over a range of time intervals after the introduction of jellyfish, and quantified the eDNA concentrations by quantitative real-time PCR. The eDNA concentrations peaked twice, at 1 and 8 h after the beginning of the experiment, and became stable within 48 h. The estimated release rates of the eDNA in jellyfish were higher than the rates previously reported in fishes. A spatial survey was conducted in June 2014 in Maizuru Bay, Kyoto, in which eDNA was collected from surface water and sea floor water samples at 47 sites while jellyfish near surface water were counted on board by eye. The distribution of eDNA in the bay corresponded with the distribution of jellyfish inferred by visual observation, and the eDNA concentration in the bay was ~13 times higher on the sea floor than on the surface. The temporal survey was conducted from March to November 2014, in which jellyfish were counted by eye every morning while eDNA was collected from surface and sea floor water at three sampling points along a pier once a month. The temporal fluctuation pattern of the eDNA concentrations and the numbers of observed individuals were well correlated. We conclude that an eDNA approach is applicable for jellyfish species in the ocean.

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<![CDATA[Environmental DNA (eDNA) Detection Probability Is Influenced by Seasonal Activity of Organisms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da5fab0ee8fa60b90bc8

Environmental DNA (eDNA) holds great promise for conservation applications like the monitoring of invasive or imperiled species, yet this emerging technique requires ongoing testing in order to determine the contexts over which it is effective. For example, little research to date has evaluated how seasonality of organism behavior or activity may influence detection probability of eDNA. We applied eDNA to survey for two highly imperiled species endemic to the upper Black Warrior River basin in Alabama, US: the Black Warrior Waterdog (Necturus alabamensis) and the Flattened Musk Turtle (Sternotherus depressus). Importantly, these species have contrasting patterns of seasonal activity, with N. alabamensis more active in the cool season (October-April) and S. depressus more active in the warm season (May-September). We surveyed sites historically occupied by these species across cool and warm seasons over two years with replicated eDNA water samples, which were analyzed in the laboratory using species-specific quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays. We then used occupancy estimation with detection probability modeling to evaluate both the effects of landscape attributes on organism presence and season of sampling on detection probability of eDNA. Importantly, we found that season strongly affected eDNA detection probability for both species, with N. alabamensis having higher eDNA detection probabilities during the cool season and S. depressus have higher eDNA detection probabilities during the warm season. These results illustrate the influence of organismal behavior or activity on eDNA detection in the environment and identify an important role for basic natural history in designing eDNA monitoring programs.

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<![CDATA[Seasonal Dynamics of the Airborne Bacterial Community and Selected Viruses in a Children’s Daycare Center]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db48ab0ee8fa60bd9503

Children’s daycare centers appear to be hubs of respiratory infectious disease transmission, yet there is only limited information about the airborne microbial communities that are present in daycare centers. We have investigated the microbial community of the air in a daycare center, including seasonal dynamics in the bacterial community and the presence of specific viral pathogens. We collected filters from the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system of a daycare center every two weeks over the course of a year. Amplifying and sequencing the 16S rRNA gene revealed that the air was dominated by Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes that are commonly associated with the human skin flora. Clear seasonal differences in the microbial community were not evident; however, the community structure differed when the daycare center was closed and unoccupied for a 13-day period. These results suggest that human occupancy, rather than the environment, is the major driver in shaping the microbial community structure in the air of the daycare center. Using PCR for targeted viruses, we detected a seasonal pattern in the presence of respiratory syncytial virus that included the period of typical occurrence of the disease related to the virus; however, we did not detect the presence of adenovirus or rotavirus at any time.

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<![CDATA[Environmental DNA Detection of the Golden Tree Frog (Phytotriades auratus) in Bromeliads]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac0ab0ee8fa60bb0a24

The analysis of environmental DNA (eDNA) is a powerful, non-destructive technique for detecting rare or hard to find freshwater organisms. In this study, we investigated the effectiveness of environmental DNA analysis as a method for detecting a rare amphibian, the golden tree frog (Phytotriades auratus). These frogs are believed to live exclusively within one species of tank bromeliad, Glomeropitcairnia erectiflora, found on the highest peaks of the island of Trinidad in the West Indies. Previous survey methods for this species involved bromeliad destruction, while here we collected and analyzed water samples from discrete pools within G. erectiflora plants for species-specific DNA. We found 1) that we can identify the presence of P. auratus in the bromeliads using environmental DNA analysis, and 2) that environmental DNA evidence indicates the presence of a previously undiscovered P. auratus population, increasing the species’ range from two isolated ‘sky islands’ to three.

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<![CDATA[Implementation of Novel Design Features for qPCR-Based eDNA Assessment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e1ab0ee8fa60b69ce5

Environmental stewardship requires timely, accurate information related to the status of a given ecosystem and the species that occupy it. Recent advances in the application of the highly sensitive real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) towards identification of constituents within environmental DNA (eDNA) now allow targeted detection of the presence of species-specific biological material within a localized geographic region. However, as with all molecular techniques predicated on the specificity and sensitivity of the PCR assay, careful validation of each eDNA qPCR assay in development must be performed both under controlled laboratory conditions and when challenged with field-derived eDNA samples. Such a step-wise approach forms the basis for incorporation of innovative qPCR design features that strengthen the implementation and interpretation of the eDNA assay. This includes empirical determination that the qPCR assay is refractory to the presence of human DNA and the use of a tripartite assay approach comprised of 1) a primer set targeting plant chloroplast that evaluates the presence of amplifiable DNA from field samples to increase confidence in a negative result, 2) an animal group primer set to increase confidence in the assay result, and 3) a species-specific primer set to assess presence of DNA from the target species. To demonstrate this methodology, we generated eDNA assays specific for the North American bullfrog (Lithobates (Rana) catesbeiana) and the Rocky Mountain tailed frog (Ascaphus montanus) and characterized each with respect to detection sensitivity and specificity with demonstrated performance in a field survey scenario. The qPCR design features presented herein address specific challenges of eDNA assays thereby increasing their interpretative power.

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<![CDATA[Potential of Environmental DNA to Evaluate Northern Pike (Esox lucius) Eradication Efforts: An Experimental Test and Case Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daecab0ee8fa60bbf643

Determining the success of invasive species eradication efforts is challenging because populations at very low abundance are difficult to detect. Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling has recently emerged as a powerful tool for detecting rare aquatic animals; however, detectable fragments of DNA can persist over time despite absence of the targeted taxa and can therefore complicate eDNA sampling after an eradication event. This complication is a large concern for fish eradication efforts in lakes since killed fish can sink to the bottom and slowly decay. DNA released from these carcasses may remain detectable for long periods. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of eDNA sampling to detect invasive Northern pike (Esox lucius) following piscicide eradication efforts in southcentral Alaskan lakes. We used field observations and experiments to test the sensitivity of our Northern pike eDNA assay and to evaluate the persistence of detectable DNA emitted from Northern pike carcasses. We then used eDNA sampling and traditional sampling (i.e., gillnets) to test for presence of Northern pike in four lakes subjected to a piscicide-treatment designed to eradicate this species. We found that our assay could detect an abundant, free-roaming population of Northern pike and could also detect low-densities of Northern pike held in cages. For these caged Northern pike, probability of detection decreased with distance from the cage. We then stocked three lakes with Northern pike carcasses and collected eDNA samples 7, 35 and 70 days post-stocking. We detected DNA at 7 and 35 days, but not at 70 days. Finally, we collected eDNA samples ~ 230 days after four lakes were subjected to piscicide-treatments and detected Northern pike DNA in 3 of 179 samples, with a single detection at each of three lakes, though we did not catch any Northern pike in gillnets. Taken together, we found that eDNA can help to inform eradication efforts if used in conjunction with multiple lines of inquiry and sampling is delayed long enough to allow full degradation of DNA in the water.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of Techniques for Measuring Microbial Hazards in Bathing Waters: A Comparative Study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3dab0ee8fa60bd5608

Recreational water quality is commonly monitored by means of culture based faecal indicator organism (FIOs) assays. However, these methods are costly and time-consuming; a serious disadvantage when combined with issues such as non-specificity and user bias. New culture and molecular methods have been developed to counter these drawbacks. This study compared industry-standard IDEXX methods (Colilert and Enterolert) with three alternative approaches: 1) TECTA™ system for E. coli and enterococci; 2) US EPA’s 1611 method (qPCR based enterococci enumeration); and 3) Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). Water samples (233) were collected from riverine, estuarine and marine environments over the 2014–2015 summer period and analysed by the four methods. The results demonstrated that E. coli and coliform densities, inferred by the IDEXX system, correlated strongly with the TECTA™ system. The TECTA™ system had further advantages in faster turnaround times (~12 hrs from sample receipt to result compared to 24 hrs); no staff time required for interpretation and less user bias (results are automatically calculated, compared to subjective colorimetric decisions). The US EPA Method 1611 qPCR method also showed significant correlation with the IDEXX enterococci method; but had significant disadvantages such as highly technical analysis and higher operational costs (330% of IDEXX). The NGS method demonstrated statistically significant correlations between IDEXX and the proportions of sequences belonging to FIOs, Enterobacteriaceae, and Enterococcaceae. While costs (3,000% of IDEXX) and analysis time (300% of IDEXX) were found to be significant drawbacks of NGS, rapid technological advances in this field will soon see it widely adopted.

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<![CDATA[Using eDNA to detect the distribution and density of invasive crayfish in the Honghe-Hani rice terrace World Heritage site]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf7b0

The Honghe-Hani landscape in China is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage site due to the beauty of its thousands of rice terraces, but these structures are in danger from the invasive crayfish Procambarus clarkii. Crayfish dig nest holes, which collapse terrace walls and destroy rice production. Under the current control strategy, farmers self-report crayfish and are issued pesticide, but this strategy is not expected to eradicate the crayfish nor to prevent their spread since farmers are not able to detect small numbers of crayfish. Thus, we tested whether environmental DNA (eDNA) from paddy-water samples could provide a sensitive detection method. In an aquarium experiment, Real-time Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) successfully detected crayfish, even at a simulated density of one crayfish per average-sized paddy (with one false negative). In a field test, we tested eDNA and bottle traps against direct counts of crayfish. eDNA successfully detected crayfish in all 25 paddies where crayfish were observed and in none of the 7 paddies where crayfish were absent. Bottle-trapping was successful in only 68% of the crayfish-present paddies. eDNA concentrations also correlated positively with crayfish counts. In sum, these results suggest that single samples of eDNA are able to detect small crayfish populations, but not perfectly. Thus, we conclude that a program of repeated eDNA sampling is now feasible and likely reliable for measuring crayfish geographic range and for detecting new invasion fronts in the Honghe Hani landscape, which would inform regional control efforts and help to prevent the further spread of this invasive crayfish.

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<![CDATA[Water temperature-dependent degradation of environmental DNA and its relation to bacterial abundance]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf226

Environmental DNA (eDNA) is DNA shed by organisms into surrounding environments such as soil and water. The new methods using eDNA as a marker for species detection are being rapidly developed. Here we explore basic knowledge regarding the dependence of the eDNA degradation rate on time and water temperature, and the relationship between eDNA degradation and bacterial abundance. This subject has not been well clarified, even though it is essential for improving the reliability of eDNA analysis. To determine the time- and water temperature-dependent degradation of eDNA, river water was sampled and eDNA concentrations were determined for ayu sweetfish (Plecoglossus altivelis altivelis) and common carp (Cyprinus carpio) at seven time points, over a 48-h period, and at three different water temperatures. The degradation of eDNA was modeled for each species using an existing exponential decay model with an extension to include water temperature effects. The degradation models were constructed for ayu sweetfish as Nt = 229,901.2 × exp [− (0.01062 × k − 0.07081) × t] and for common carp as Nt = 2,558.0 × exp [− (0.01075 × k − 0.07372) × t]. Nt is the DNA concentration at time t (elapsed time in hours) and k is the water temperature (°C). We also measured the concentration of eDNA derived from purified genomic DNA of the common carp, which was spiked into aquarium water without the target species, and we measured the bacterial abundance in the sample water after 12 and 24 h of incubation. Environmental DNA degradation was accelerated at higher water temperatures (generalized linear model, GLM; p < 0.001), but bacterial abundance did not have a significant effect on eDNA degradation (GLM, p = 0.097). These results suggest that the proper treatment of this temperature effect in data interpretations and adjustments would increase the reliability of eDNA analysis in future studies.

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<![CDATA[Aquatic environmental DNA detects seasonal fish abundance and habitat preference in an urban estuary]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc772

The difficulty of censusing marine animal populations hampers effective ocean management. Analyzing water for DNA traces shed by organisms may aid assessment. Here we tested aquatic environmental DNA (eDNA) as an indicator of fish presence in the lower Hudson River estuary. A checklist of local marine fish and their relative abundance was prepared by compiling 12 traditional surveys conducted between 1988–2015. To improve eDNA identification success, 31 specimens representing 18 marine fish species were sequenced for two mitochondrial gene regions, boosting coverage of the 12S eDNA target sequence to 80% of local taxa. We collected 76 one-liter shoreline surface water samples at two contrasting estuary locations over six months beginning in January 2016. eDNA was amplified with vertebrate-specific 12S primers. Bioinformatic analysis of amplified DNA, using a reference library of GenBank and our newly generated 12S sequences, detected most (81%) locally abundant or common species and relatively few (23%) uncommon taxa, and corresponded to seasonal presence and habitat preference as determined by traditional surveys. Approximately 2% of fish reads were commonly consumed species that are rare or absent in local waters, consistent with wastewater input. Freshwater species were rarely detected despite Hudson River inflow. These results support further exploration and suggest eDNA will facilitate fine-scale geographic and temporal mapping of marine fish populations at relatively low cost.

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<![CDATA[Application of environmental DNA to detect an endangered marine skate species in the wild]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5dab0ee8fa60be0433

Environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques have only recently been applied in the marine environment to detect the presence of marine species. Species-specific primers and probes were designed to detect the eDNA of the endangered Maugean skate (Zearaja maugeana) from as little as 1 L of water collected at depth (10–15 m) in Macquarie Harbour (MH), Tasmania. The identity of the eDNA was confirmed as Z. maugeana by sequencing the qPCR products and aligning these with the target sequence for a 100% match. This result has validated the use of this eDNA technique for detecting a rare species, Z. maugeana, in the wild. Being able to investigate the presence, and possibly the abundance, of Z. maugeana in MH and Bathurst harbour (BH), would be addressing a conservation imperative for the endangered Z. maugeana. For future application of this technique in the field, the rate of decay was determined for Z. maugeana eDNA under ambient dissolved oxygen (DO) levels (55% saturation) and lower DO (20% saturation) levels, revealing that the eDNA can be detected for 4 and 16 hours respectively, after which eDNA concentration drops below the detection threshold of the assay. With the rate of decay being influenced by starting eDNA concentrations, it is recommended that samples be filtered as soon as possible after collection to minimize further loss of eDNA prior to and during sample processing.

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<![CDATA[RED: A Java-MySQL Software for Identifying and Visualizing RNA Editing Sites Using Rule-Based and Statistical Filters]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da59ab0ee8fa60b8f90c

RNA editing is one of the post- or co-transcriptional processes that can lead to amino acid substitutions in protein sequences, alternative pre-mRNA splicing, and changes in gene expression levels. Although several methods have been suggested to identify RNA editing sites, there remains challenges to be addressed in distinguishing true RNA editing sites from its counterparts on genome and technical artifacts. In addition, there lacks a software framework to identify and visualize potential RNA editing sites. Here, we presented a software − ‘RED’ (RNA Editing sites Detector) − for the identification of RNA editing sites by integrating multiple rule-based and statistical filters. The potential RNA editing sites can be visualized at the genome and the site levels by graphical user interface (GUI). To improve performance, we used MySQL database management system (DBMS) for high-throughput data storage and query. We demonstrated the validity and utility of RED by identifying the presence and absence of C→U RNA-editing sites experimentally validated, in comparison with REDItools, a command line tool to perform high-throughput investigation of RNA editing. In an analysis of a sample data-set with 28 experimentally validated C→U RNA editing sites, RED had sensitivity and specificity of 0.64 and 0.5. In comparison, REDItools had a better sensitivity (0.75) but similar specificity (0.5). RED is an easy-to-use, platform-independent Java-based software, and can be applied to RNA-seq data without or with DNA sequencing data. The package is freely available under the GPLv3 license at http://github.com/REDetector/RED or https://sourceforge.net/projects/redetector.

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<![CDATA[Imputation for transcription factor binding predictions based on deep learning]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdce4d

Understanding the cell-specific binding patterns of transcription factors (TFs) is fundamental to studying gene regulatory networks in biological systems, for which ChIP-seq not only provides valuable data but is also considered as the gold standard. Despite tremendous efforts from the scientific community to conduct TF ChIP-seq experiments, the available data represent only a limited percentage of ChIP-seq experiments, considering all possible combinations of TFs and cell lines. In this study, we demonstrate a method for accurately predicting cell-specific TF binding for TF-cell line combinations based on only a small fraction (4%) of the combinations using available ChIP-seq data. The proposed model, termed TFImpute, is based on a deep neural network with a multi-task learning setting to borrow information across transcription factors and cell lines. Compared with existing methods, TFImpute achieves comparable accuracy on TF-cell line combinations with ChIP-seq data; moreover, TFImpute achieves better accuracy on TF-cell line combinations without ChIP-seq data. This approach can predict cell line specific enhancer activities in K562 and HepG2 cell lines, as measured by massively parallel reporter assays, and predicts the impact of SNPs on TF binding.

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<![CDATA[Expansion of the known distribution of the coastal tailed frog, Ascaphus truei, in British Columbia, Canada, using robust eDNA detection methods]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c94056ad5eed0c4845388e0

The coastal tailed frog (Ascaphus truei) is endemic to the Pacific Northwest of North America and is listed as a species of Special Concern under the Canadian Species at Risk Act. Its range is limited to British Columbia where it occurs widely west of the Coast Mountain Ranges extending north almost to the Alaskan Panhandle. The present study focused on surveying within the Cayoosh, Bridge (Shulaps), Seton, Anderson, Carpenter, and Downton Lake drainages. Four years of previous inventory efforts using conventional time-constrained search (TCS) methods detected tailed frog at 23/292 discrete sites (7.9% detection rate) in seven watersheds. Non-invasive environmental DNA (eDNA) methods hold promise for cryptic and low-abundance species detection. We rigorously validated a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)-based tool for detecting coastal tailed frog eDNA in water samples. This eASTR4 test is highly specific and sensitive. We applied a two-step targeted eDNA analysis approach on duplicate filtered water samples from a total of 72 sites collected over five days. The first IntegritE-DNA step mitigates false negative results and tests all DNA samples for the ability to support amplification from endogenous plant chloroplast DNA as a measure of sample viability. Three DNA samples failed this step even after inhibitor clean up suggesting that these samples were poor quality and not reliable for targeted species’ DNA analyses. All other DNA samples were deemed viable and were then tested for species-specific DNA. Coastal tailed frog eDNA was detected in 55/72 (76%) discrete stream reaches; nine sites with historical known occurrence were all eDNA positive. The false negative rate for TCS compared to eDNA methods was 58%. The results expand known coastal tailed frog distribution to 24 watersheds effectively more than tripling extant occurrences and confirm a previously suspected, apparently isolated coastal tailed frog metapopulation in the Shulaps drainage.

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<![CDATA[The Miraprep: A Protocol that Uses a Miniprep Kit and Provides Maxiprep Yields]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3eab0ee8fa60b88e1d

Plasmid purification is a basic tool of molecular biologists. Although the development of plasmid isolation kits utilizing silica spin columns reduced the time and labor spent on plasmid purification, achieving large plasmid DNA yields still requires significant time and effort. Here we introduce the Miraprep, a rapid protocol that allows isolation of plasmid DNA using commercial Miniprep kits, but with DNA yields comparable to commercial Maxiprep plasmid purifications. Combining ethanol precipitation with spin column purification, we created a DNA isolation protocol that yields highly concentrated plasmid DNA samples in less than 30 minutes. We show that Miraprep isolated plasmids are as stable as plasmids isolated by standard procedures, can be used for standard molecular biology procedures including DNA sequencing, and can be efficiently transfected into mammalian cells. This new plasmid DNA isolation protocol will significantly reduce time and labor without increasing costs.

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<![CDATA[Environmental DNA method for estimating salamander distribution in headwater streams, and a comparison of water sampling methods]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60bdfdfd

Environmental DNA (eDNA) has recently been used for detecting the distribution of macroorganisms in various aquatic habitats. In this study, we applied an eDNA method to estimate the distribution of the Japanese clawed salamander, Onychodactylus japonicus, in headwater streams. Additionally, we compared the detection of eDNA and hand-capturing methods used for determining the distribution of O. japonicus. For eDNA detection, we designed a qPCR primer/probe set for O. japonicus using the 12S rRNA region. We detected the eDNA of O. japonicus at all sites (with the exception of one), where we also observed them by hand-capturing. Additionally, we detected eDNA at two sites where we were unable to observe individuals using the hand-capturing method. Moreover, we found that eDNA concentrations and detection rates of the two water sampling areas (stream surface and under stones) were not significantly different, although the eDNA concentration in the water under stones was more varied than that on the surface. We, therefore, conclude that eDNA methods could be used to determine the distribution of macroorganisms inhabiting headwater systems by using samples collected from the surface of the water.

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