ResearchPad - embryogenesis https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Production location of the gelling agent Phytagel has a significant impact on <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i> seedling phenotypic analysis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14611 Recently, it was found that 1% Phytagel plates used to conduct Arabidopsis thaliana seedling phenotypic analysis no longer reproduced previously published results. This Phytagel, which is produced in China (Phytagel C), has replace American-made Phytagel (Phytagel), which is no longer commercially available. In this study, we present the impact of Phytagel produced in the United States vs. China on seedling phenotypic analysis. As a part of this study, an alternative gelling agent has been identified that is capable of reproducing previously published seedling morphometrics.ResultsPhytagel and Phytagel C were investigated based on their ability to reproduce the subtle phenotype of the sob3-4 esc-8 double mutant. Fluence-rate-response analysis of seedlings grown on 1% Phytagel C plates failed to replicate the sob3-4 esc-8 subtle phenotype seen on 1% Phytagel. Furthermore, root penetrance analysis showed a significant difference between sob3-4 esc-8 seedlings grown on 1% Phytagel and 1% Phytagel C. It was also found that 1% Phytagel C was significantly harder than 1% Phytagel. As a replacement for Phytagel C, Gellan was tested. 1% Gellan was able to reproduce the subtle phenotype of sob3-4 esc-8. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in root penetration of the wild type or sob3-4 esc-8 seedlings between 1% Phytagel and 1% Gellan. This may be due to the significant reduction in hardness in 1% Gellan plates compared to 1% Phytagel plates. Finally, we tested additional concentrations of Gellan and found that seedlings on 0.6% Gellan looked more uniform while also being able to reproduce previously published results.ConclusionsPhytagel has been the standard gelling agent for several studies involving the characterization of subtle seedling phenotypes. After production was moved to China, Phytagel C was no longer capable of reproducing these previously published results. An alternative gelling agent, Gellan, was able to reproduce previously published seedling phenotypes at both 1% and 0.6% concentrations. The information provided in this manuscript is beneficial to the scientific community as whole, specifically phenomics labs, as it details key problematic differences between gelling agents that should be performing identically (Phytagel and Phytagel C). ]]> <![CDATA[Impact of fruit orientation and pelleting material on water uptake and germination performance in artificial substrate for sugar beet]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14564 Water uptake into seeds is a fundamental prerequisite of germination and commonly influenced by commercial seed enhancement technologies. The effect of fruit orientation and contrasting pelleting materials on germination and biological performance of sugar beet was assessed. The results indicated there was orientation dependent fruit shrinkage of 37% for the operculum side supplied by moisture compared to 4% for the basal pore side. The expansion rate of 5% compared to the original size, which was also observed for non-shrinking seeds, indicated this was a temporary effect. This behaviour has importance for the application pelleting materials to seeds. Pellets composed of materials exhibiting low levels of swelling act as a water distribution layer which increased germination rates. Careful selection of pelleting material is crucial as it has direct implications on germination speed and subsequent establishment rates.

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<![CDATA[Uptake and speciation of zinc in edible plants grown in smelter contaminated soils]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N21b4cc8f-fdc5-4198-8cfa-2868c1971919

Heavy metal accumulation in edible plants grown in contaminated soils poses a major environmental risk to humans and grazing animals. This study focused on the concentration and speciation of Zn in different edible plants grown in soils contaminated with smelter wastes (Spelter, WV, USA) containing high levels of the metals Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd. Their accumulation was examined in different parts (roots, stem, and leaves) of plants and as a function of growth stage (dry seed, sprouting seed, cotyledon, and leaves) in the root vegetables radish, the leafy vegetable spinach and the legume clover. Although the accumulation of metals varied significantly with plant species, the average metal concentrations were [Zn] > [Pb] > [Cu] > [Cd]. Metal uptake studies were complemented with bulk and micro X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) at Zn K-edge and micro X-ray fluorescence (μXRF) measurements to evaluate the speciation and distribution of Zn in these plant species. Dynamic interplay between the histidine and malate complexation of Zn was observed in all plant species. XRF mapping of spinach leaves at micron spatial resolution demonstrated the accumulation of Zn in vacuoles and leaf tips. Radish root showed accumulation of Zn in root hairs, likely as ZnS nanoparticles. At locations of high Zn concentration in spinach leaves, μXANES suggests Zn complexation with histidine, as opposed to malate in the bulk leaf. These findings shed new light on the dynamic nature of Zn speciation in plants.

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<![CDATA[RSM1, an Arabidopsis MYB protein, interacts with HY5/HYH to modulate seed germination and seedling development in response to abscisic acid and salinity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c23f311d5eed0c48404a31b

MYB transcription factors are involved in many biological processes, including metabolism, development and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. RADIALIS-LIKE SANT/MYB 1 (RSM1) belongs to a MYB-related subfamily, and previous transcriptome analysis suggests that RSM1 may play roles in plant development, stress responses and plant hormone signaling. However, the molecular mechanisms of RSM1 action in response to abiotic stresses remain obscure. We show that down-regulation or up-regulation of RSM1 expression alters the sensitivity of seed germination and cotyledon greening to abscisic acid (ABA), NaCl and mannitol in Arabidopsis. The expression of RSM1 is dynamically regulated by ABA and NaCl. Transcription factors ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL 5 (HY5) and HY5 HOMOLOG (HYH) regulate RSM1 expression via binding to the RSM1 promoter. Genetic analyses reveal that RSM1 mediates multiple functions of HY5 in responses of seed germination, post-germination development to ABA and abiotic stresses, and seedling tolerance to salinity. Pull-down and BiFC assays show that RSM1 interacts with HY5/HYH in vitro and in vivo. RSM1 and HY5/HYH may function as a regulatory module in responses to ABA and abiotic stresses. RSM1 binds to the promoter of ABA INSENSITIVE 5 (ABI5), thereby regulating its expression, while RSM1 interaction also stimulates HY5 binding to the ABI5 promoter. However, no evidence was found in the dual-luciferase transient expression assay to support that RSM enhances the activation of ABI5 expression by HY. In summary, HY5/HYH and RSM1 may converge on the ABI5 promoter and independently or somehow dependently regulate ABI5 expression and ABI5-downstream ABA and abiotic stress-responsive genes, thereby improving the adaption of plants to the environment.

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<![CDATA[MYB1 transcription factor is a candidate responsible for red root skin in radish (Raphanus sativus L.)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5bae98f440307c0c23a1c152

Root skin color is one of the economically important traits in radish (Raphanus sativus), and the pigmentation in red skin varieties is largely attributable to anthocyanin accumulation. Pelargonidin was found as a major anthocyanin pigment accumulated in the sub-epidermal layer of red radish roots. In the 20 F2 population generated from the F1 with red root skins, root skins with red and white colors segregated in a 3:1 ratio. Additionally, a test cross between a red F3 individual and a white skin individual gave rise to 1:1 segregation of red and white, indicating that the root skin color of radish is determined by a single locus and red color is dominant over white. We performed association mapping for root skin color using SNPs obtained from RNA-seq analysis. Segregation analysis on the 152 F3 test-cross population revealed an RsMyb1 transcription factor as a candidate gene to determine root skin color. A PCR marker based on the polymorphism within 2 kb of RsMyb1 was developed and tested on 12 and 152 individuals from F2 and F3 test cross populations, respectively, and red and white root skin colors were completely distinguished corresponding to the genotypes. Expression levels of RsMyb1 in red or purple root cultivars were significantly higher than in white root cultivars. These findings suggest that RsMyb1 is a crucial determinant for anthocyanin biosynthesis in radish roots, and the molecular marker developed in this study will be useful for marker-assisted selection for red skin individuals at early seedling stages.

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<![CDATA[Comparative transcriptomics reveals shared gene expression changes during independent evolutionary origins of stem and hypocotyl/root tubers in Brassica (Brassicaceae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c032dfed5eed0c4844f8aab

Plant succulence provides a classic example of evolutionary convergence in over 40 plant families. If evolutionary parallelism is in fact responsible for separate evolutionary origins of expanded storage tissues in stems, hypocotyls, and roots, we expect similar gene expression profiles in stem and hypocotyl / root tubers. We analyzed RNA-Seq transcript abundance patterns in stem and hypocotyl / root tubers of the Brassica crops kohlrabi (B. oleracea) and turnip (B. rapa) and compared their transcript expression profiles to those in the conspecific thin-stemmed and thin-rooted crops flowering kale and pak choi, respectively. Across these four cultivars, 38,192 expressed gene loci were identified. Of the 3,709 differentially-expressed genes (DEGs) in the turnip: pak choi comparison and the 6,521 DEGs in the kohlrabi: kale comparison, turnips and kohlrabies share a statistically disproportionate overlap of 841 DEG homologs in their tubers (p value < 1e-10). This overlapping set is statistically enriched in biochemical functions that are also associated with tuber induction in potatoes and sweet potatoes: sucrose metabolism, lipoxygenases, auxin metabolism, and meristem development. These shared expression profiles in tuberous stems and root / hypocotyls in Brassica suggest parallel employment of shared molecular genetic pathways during the evolution of tubers in stems, hypocotyls and roots of Brassica crops and more widely in other tuberous plants as well.

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<![CDATA[Distinctive types of postzygotic single-nucleotide mosaicisms in healthy individuals revealed by genome-wide profiling of multiple organs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b05631a463d7e320f547fc7

Postzygotic single-nucleotide mosaicisms (pSNMs) have been extensively studied in tumors and are known to play critical roles in tumorigenesis. However, the patterns and origin of pSNMs in normal organs of healthy humans remain largely unknown. Using whole-genome sequencing and ultra-deep amplicon re-sequencing, we identified and validated 164 pSNMs from 27 postmortem organ samples obtained from five healthy donors. The mutant allele fractions ranged from 1.0% to 29.7%. Inter- and intra-organ comparison revealed two distinctive types of pSNMs, with about half originating during early embryogenesis (embryonic pSNMs) and the remaining more likely to result from clonal expansion events that had occurred more recently (clonal expansion pSNMs). Compared to clonal expansion pSNMs, embryonic pSNMs had higher proportion of C>T mutations with elevated mutation rate at CpG sites. We observed differences in replication timing between these two types of pSNMs, with embryonic and clonal expansion pSNMs enriched in early- and late-replicating regions, respectively. An increased number of embryonic pSNMs were located in open chromatin states and topologically associating domains that transcribed embryonically. Our findings provide new insights into the origin and spatial distribution of postzygotic mosaicism during normal human development.

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<![CDATA[The Talin Head Domain Reinforces Integrin-Mediated Adhesion by Promoting Adhesion Complex Stability and Clustering]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da37ab0ee8fa60b86886

Talin serves an essential function during integrin-mediated adhesion in linking integrins to actin via the intracellular adhesion complex. In addition, the N-terminal head domain of talin regulates the affinity of integrins for their ECM-ligands, a process known as inside-out activation. We previously showed that in Drosophila, mutating the integrin binding site in the talin head domain resulted in weakened adhesion to the ECM. Intriguingly, subsequent studies showed that canonical inside-out activation of integrin might not take place in flies. Consistent with this, a mutation in talin that specifically blocks its ability to activate mammalian integrins does not significantly impinge on talin function during fly development. Here, we describe results suggesting that the talin head domain reinforces and stabilizes the integrin adhesion complex by promoting integrin clustering distinct from its ability to support inside-out activation. Specifically, we show that an allele of talin containing a mutation that disrupts intramolecular interactions within the talin head attenuates the assembly and reinforcement of the integrin adhesion complex. Importantly, we provide evidence that this mutation blocks integrin clustering in vivo. We propose that the talin head domain is essential for regulating integrin avidity in Drosophila and that this is crucial for integrin-mediated adhesion during animal development.

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<![CDATA[De Novo Assembly and Transcriptome Analysis of the Mediterranean Fruit Fly Ceratitis capitata Early Embryos]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f2ab0ee8fa60b6eeb8

The agricultural pest Ceratitis capitata, also known as the Mediterranean fruit fly or Medfly, belongs to the Tephritidae family, which includes a large number of other damaging pest species. The Medfly has been the first non-drosophilid fly species which has been genetically transformed paving the way for designing genetic-based pest control strategies. Furthermore, it is an experimentally tractable model, in which transient and transgene-mediated RNAi have been successfully used. We applied Illumina sequencing to total RNA preparations of 8–10 hours old embryos of C. capitata, This developmental window corresponds to the blastoderm cellularization stage. In summary, we assembled 42,614 transcripts which cluster in 26,319 unique transcripts of which 11,045 correspond to protein coding genes; we identified several hundreds of long ncRNAs; we found an enrichment of transcripts encoding RNA binding proteins among the highly expressed transcripts, such as CcTRA-2, known to be necessary to establish and, most likely, to maintain female sex of C. capitata. Our study is the first de novo assembly performed for Ceratitis capitata based on Illumina NGS technology during embryogenesis and it adds novel data to the previously published C. capitata EST databases. We expect that it will be useful for a variety of applications such as gene cloning and phylogenetic analyses, as well as to advance genetic research and biotechnological applications in the Medfly and other related Tephritidae.

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<![CDATA[Identification of Multiple Proteins Coupling Transcriptional Gene Silencing to Genome Stability in Arabidopsis thaliana]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf7ab0ee8fa60bc331f

Eukaryotic genomes are regulated by epigenetic marks that act to modulate transcriptional control as well as to regulate DNA replication and repair. In Arabidopsis thaliana, mutation of the ATXR5 and ATXR6 histone methyltransferases causes reduction in histone H3 lysine 27 monomethylation, transcriptional upregulation of transposons, and a genome instability defect in which there is an accumulation of excess DNA corresponding to pericentromeric heterochromatin. We designed a forward genetic screen to identify suppressors of the atxr5/6 phenotype that uncovered loss-of-function mutations in two components of the TREX-2 complex (AtTHP1, AtSAC3B), a SUMO-interacting E3 ubiquitin ligase (AtSTUbL2) and a methyl-binding domain protein (AtMBD9). Additionally, using a reverse genetic approach, we show that a mutation in a plant homolog of the tumor suppressor gene BRCA1 enhances the atxr5/6 phenotype. Through characterization of these mutations, our results suggest models for the production atxr5 atxr6-induced extra DNA involving conflicts between the replicative and transcriptional processes in the cell, and suggest that the atxr5 atxr6 transcriptional defects may be the cause of the genome instability defects in the mutants. These findings highlight the critical intersection of transcriptional silencing and DNA replication in the maintenance of genome stability of heterochromatin.

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<![CDATA[Molecular actions of two synthetic brassinosteroids, iso-carbaBL and 6-deoxoBL, which cause altered physiological activities between Arabidopsis and rice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc2b6

Brassinosteroid (BR) is an important plant hormone that is perceived by the BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE 1 (BRI1) receptor. BRI1 is conserved among dicot and monocot species; however, the molecular mechanism underlying BR perception in monocots is not fully understood. We synthesised two BRs, iso-carbabrassinolide (iso-carbaBL) and 6-deoxoBL, which have different BR activities in Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) and rice. Our bioassay indicated that iso-carbaBL has relatively strong BR activity in Arabidopsis, but is inactive in rice and competitively inhibits BR activity. The bioactivity of 6-deoxoBL was similar to that of BL in Arabidopsis, but was much lower in rice. Binding experiments using recombinant Arabidopsis and rice BRI1 protein fragments suggested that iso-carbaBL and 6-deoxoBL bind to both receptors. These results showed that iso-carbaBL and 6-deoxoBL act as an antagonist and agonist, respectively, of BRs in rice. A docking simulation analysis suggested that iso-carbaBL fits deeper in the binding pocket to block the binding of active BR to rice BRI1. The simulated binding energy of 6-deoxoBL with rice BRI1 is much lower than that with Arabidopsis BRI1. The possible structural characteristics of rice BRI1 were determined based on the difference in the BR activities of iso-carbaBL and 6-deoxoBL in Arabidopsis and rice.

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<![CDATA[Uncoupling Different Characteristics of the C. elegans E Lineage from Differentiation of Intestinal Markers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf2ab0ee8fa60bc17a7

In the 4-cell C. elegans embryo, a signal from P2 to its anterior sister, EMS, specifies the posterior daughter of EMS, E, as the sole founder cell for intestine. The P2-to-EMS signal restricts high level zygotic expression of the redundant GATA transcription factors, END-1 and END-3, to only the E lineage. Expression of END-1 or END-3 in early blastomeres is sufficient to drive intestinal differentiation. We show here that a number of E lineage characteristics, which are also regulated through P2-EMS signaling, can be uncoupled from intestine development, and each with a different sensitivity to specific perturbations of the P2-EMS signal. For example, we show that the extended cell cycle in Ea and Ep depends on the P2-induced high level expression of the cell cycle regulator, WEE-1.1, in E. A mutation in wee-1.1 results in shortened Ea and Ep cell cycles, but has no effect upon intestinal differentiation or embryogenesis. Furthermore, it has been shown previously that the total number of E lineage cell divisions is regulated by a mechanism dependent upon E being specified as the intestinal founder cell. We now show, however, that cell division counting can be uncoupled from intestine differentiation in the E lineage. Many mutations in P2-EMS signal genes exhibit nonfully-penetrant defects in intestinal differentiation. When embryos with those mutations generate intestinal cells, they often make too many intestinal cells. In addition, at the level of individual embryos, expression of end-1 and end-3, and another very early E-specific zygotic gene, sdz-23, exhibit stochastic and discordant defects in P2-EMS signaling mutants. We show here that sdz-23 is expressed close to wildtype levels in embryos deleted of both end-1 and end-3. sdz-23 does not appear to function in intestine development, raising the intriguing possibility that the P2-EMS interaction has downstream molecular consequences within the E lineage independent of end-1/3 and intestinal development.

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<![CDATA[Apomixis frequency under stress conditions in weeping lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdc9d8

To overcome environmental stress, plants develop physiological responses that are triggered by genetic or epigenetic changes, some of which involve DNA methylation. It has been proposed that apomixis, the formation of asexual seeds without meiosis, occurs through the temporal or spatial deregulation of the sexual process mediated by genetic and epigenetic factors influenced by the environment. Here, we explored whether there was a link between the occurrence of apomixis and various factors that generate stress, including drought stress, in vitro culture, and intraspecific hybridization. For this purpose, we monitored the embryo sacs of different weeping lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula [Schrad.] Nees) genotypes after the plants were subjected to these stress conditions. Progeny tests based on molecular markers and genome methylation status were analyzed following the stress treatment. When grown in the greenhouse, the cultivar Tanganyika INTA generated less than 2% of its progeny by sexual reproduction. Plants of this cultivar subjected to different stresses showed an increase of sexual embryo sacs, demonstrating an increased expression of sexuality compared to control plants. Plants of the cv. Tanganyika USDA did not demonstrate the ability to generate sexual embryo sacs under any conditions and is therefore classified as a fully apomictic cultivar. We found that this change in the prevalence of sexuality was correlated with genetic and epigenetic changes analyzed by MSAP and AFLPs profiles. Our results demonstrate that different stress conditions can alter the expression of sexual reproduction in facultative tetraploid apomictic cultivars and when the stress stops the reproductive mode shift back to the apomixis original level. These data together with previous observations allow us to generate a hypothetical model of the regulation of apomixis in weeping lovegrass in which the genetic/s region/s that condition apomixis, is/are affected by ploidy, and is/are subjected to epigenetic control.

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<![CDATA[The AP-2 Transcription Factor APTF-2 Is Required for Neuroblast and Epidermal Morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans Embryogenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d5ab0ee8fa60b657c8

The evolutionarily conserved family of AP-2 transcription factors (TF) regulates proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. Mutations in human AP-2 TF have been linked with bronchio-occular-facial syndrome and Char Syndrome, congenital birth defects characterized by craniofacial deformities and patent ductus arteriosus, respectively. How mutations in AP-2 TF cause the disease phenotypes is not well understood. Here, we characterize the aptf-2(qm27) allele in Caenorhabditis elegans, which carries a point mutation in the conserved DNA binding region of AP-2 TF. We show that compromised APTF-2 activity leads to defects in dorsal intercalation, aberrant ventral enclosure and elongation defects, ultimately culminating in the formation of morphologically deformed larvae or complete arrest during epidermal morphogenesis. Using cell lineaging, we demonstrate that APTF-2 regulates the timing of cell division, primarily in ABarp, D and C cell lineages to control the number of neuroblasts, muscle and epidermal cells. Live imaging revealed nuclear enrichment of APTF-2 in lineages affected by the qm27 mutation preceding the relevant morphogenetic events. Finally, we found that another AP-2 TF, APTF-4, is also essential for epidermal morphogenesis, in a similar yet independent manner. Thus, our study provides novel insight on the cellular-level functions of an AP-2 transcription factor in development.

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<![CDATA[Kank Is an EB1 Interacting Protein that Localises to Muscle-Tendon Attachment Sites in Drosophila]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da87ab0ee8fa60b9cc17

Little is known about how microtubules are regulated in different cell types during development. EB1 plays a central role in the regulation of microtubule plus ends. It directly binds to microtubule plus ends and recruits proteins which regulate microtubule dynamics and behaviour. We report the identification of Kank, the sole Drosophila orthologue of human Kank proteins, as an EB1 interactor that predominantly localises to embryonic attachment sites between muscle and tendon cells. Human Kank1 was identified as a tumour suppressor and has documented roles in actin regulation and cell polarity in cultured mammalian cells. We found that Drosophila Kank binds EB1 directly and this interaction is essential for Kank localisation to microtubule plus ends in cultured cells. Kank protein is expressed throughout fly development and increases during embryogenesis. In late embryos, it accumulates to sites of attachment between muscle and epidermal cells. A kank deletion mutant was generated. We found that the mutant is viable and fertile without noticeable defects. Further analysis showed that Kank is dispensable for muscle function in larvae. This is in sharp contrast to C. elegans in which the Kank orthologue VAB-19 is required for development by stabilising attachment structures between muscle and epidermal cells.

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<![CDATA[Physiological effects of autotoxicity due to DHAP stress on Picea schrenkiana regeneration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf61c

Picea Schrenkiana as one of the most important zonal vegetation was an endemic species in Middle Asia. Natural regeneration of P. Schrenkiana is a long existing problem troubling scientists. The autotoxicity of 3,4-dihydroxy-acetophenone (DHAP) was found to be a causative factor causing the failure of P. Schrenkiana natural regeneration. The effects of concentrations of DHAP treatment on the viability of root cell, activities of antioxidant enzymes and levels of P. Schrenkiana phytohormones were performed to disclose the physiological mechanism of DHAP autotoxicity. It was observed that high concentration of DHAP could inhibit the seed germination and seedling growth, but had a hormesis at low concentrations. Analyses showed that the root cells significantly lost their viability treated with high DHAP. The enzymes activities of seedlings were significantly stimulated by the treatment of 0.5 mM DHAP to give a transient increase and then decrease as DHAP concentration increased to 1.0 mM except for GR (glutathione reductase) in which DHAP treatment had little effect on its activity. Comparing with the control, an increase in the levels of phytohormones ZT (zeatin), GA3 (gibberellic acid) and IAA (indole acetic acid) was induced by the treatment of DHAP at low concentrations (0.1–0.25 mM), but the significant deficiency was found treated by high concentrations (0.5–1.0 mM). In addition, the ABA (abscisic acid) level increased in all experimental observations. These results suggested that DHAP significantly affected indices of growth and physiology, and provided some new information about different effect in P. Schrenkiana treated with DHAP.

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<![CDATA[Deciphering Transcriptional Programming during Pod and Seed Development Using RNA-Seq in Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daffab0ee8fa60bc62b3

Seed development is an important event in plant life cycle that has interested humankind since ages, especially in crops of economic importance. Pigeonpea is an important grain legume of the semi-arid tropics, used mainly for its protein rich seeds. In order to understand the transcriptional programming during the pod and seed development, RNA-seq data was generated from embryo sac from the day of anthesis (0 DAA), seed and pod wall (5, 10, 20 and 30 DAA) of pigeonpea variety “Asha” (ICPL 87119) using Illumina HiSeq 2500. About 684 million sequencing reads have been generated from nine samples, which resulted in the identification of 27,441 expressed genes after sequence analysis. These genes have been studied for their differentially expression, co-expression, temporal and spatial gene expression. We have also used the RNA-seq data to identify important seed-specific transcription factors, biological processes and associated pathways during seed development process in pigeonpea. The comprehensive gene expression study from flowering to mature pod development in pigeonpea would be crucial in identifying candidate genes involved in seed traits directly or indirectly related to yield and quality. The dataset will serve as an important resource for gene discovery and deciphering the molecular mechanisms underlying various seed related traits.

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<![CDATA[PEG3 control on the mammalian MSL complex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5eab0ee8fa60be0b17

Peg3 (paternally expressed gene 3) encodes a DNA-binding protein that functions as a transcriptional repressor. Recent studies revealed that PEG3 binds to Msl1 (male-specific lethal 1) and Msl3, the two main components of the MSL complex. In the current study, we investigated potential roles of Peg3 in controlling its downstream genes through H4K16ac, the histone modification by the MSL complex. According to the results, complete removal of PEG3 resulted in up-regulation of Msl1 and Msl3, and subsequently an increase in the global levels of H4K16ac, confirming PEG3 as a transcriptional repressor for MSL during mammalian development. Genome-wide analyses further revealed that about 10% of the entire gene catalogue was affected in the MEF cells lacking PEG3, displaying the increased levels of H4K16ac in their promoter regions. The expression levels of a small subset of the affected genes were up-regulated in the MEF cells lacking PEG3. Interestingly, three Hox clusters also exhibited changes in the levels of H4K16ac, suggesting potential roles of PEG3 and MSL in the regulation of Hox clusters. Overall, the current study reports that Peg3 may control its downstream genes through mammalian MSL.

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<![CDATA[Identification of Novel Reference Genes Suitable for qRT-PCR Normalization with Respect to the Zebrafish Developmental Stage]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4eab0ee8fa60bdb536

Reference genes used in normalizing qRT-PCR data are critical for the accuracy of gene expression analysis. However, many traditional reference genes used in zebrafish early development are not appropriate because of their variable expression levels during embryogenesis. In the present study, we used our previous RNA-Seq dataset to identify novel reference genes suitable for gene expression analysis during zebrafish early developmental stages. We first selected 197 most stably expressed genes from an RNA-Seq dataset (29,291 genes in total), according to the ratio of their maximum to minimum RPKM values. Among the 197 genes, 4 genes with moderate expression levels and the least variation throughout 9 developmental stages were identified as candidate reference genes. Using four independent statistical algorithms (delta-CT, geNorm, BestKeeper and NormFinder), the stability of qRT-PCR expression of these candidates was then evaluated and compared to that of actb1 and actb2, two commonly used zebrafish reference genes. Stability rankings showed that two genes, namely mobk13 (mob4) and lsm12b, were more stable than actb1 and actb2 in most cases. To further test the suitability of mobk13 and lsm12b as novel reference genes, they were used to normalize three well-studied target genes. The results showed that mobk13 and lsm12b were more suitable than actb1 and actb2 with respect to zebrafish early development. We recommend mobk13 and lsm12b as new optimal reference genes for zebrafish qRT-PCR analysis during embryogenesis and early larval stages.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of Doxycycline, Minocycline, Doxycycline plus Albendazole and Albendazole Alone in Their Efficacy against Onchocerciasis in a Randomized, Open-Label, Pilot Trial]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcf37

The search for new macrofilaricidal drugs against onchocerciasis that can be administered in shorter regimens than required for doxycycline (DOX, 200mg/d given for 4–6 weeks), identified minocycline (MIN) with superior efficacy to DOX. Further reduction in the treatment regimen may be achieved with co-administration with standard anti-filarial drugs. Therefore a randomized, open-label, pilot trial was carried out in an area in Ghana endemic for onchocerciasis, comprising 5 different regimens: the standard regimen DOX 200mg/d for 4 weeks (DOX 4w, N = 33), the experimental regimens MIN 200mg/d for 3 weeks (MIN 3w; N = 30), DOX 200mg/d for 3 weeks plus albendazole (ALB) 800mg/d for 3 days (DOX 3w + ALB 3d, N = 32), DOX 200mg/d for 3 weeks (DOX 3w, N = 31) and ALB 800mg for 3 days (ALB 3d, N = 30). Out of 158 randomized participants, 116 (74.4%) were present for the follow-up at 6 months of whom 99 participants (63.5%) followed the treatment per protocol and underwent surgery. Histological analysis of the adult worms in the extirpated nodules revealed absence of Wolbachia in 98.8% (DOX 4w), 81.4% (DOX 3w + ALB 3d), 72.7% (MIN 3w), 64.1% (DOX 3w) and 35.2% (ALB 3d) of the female worms. All 4 treatment regimens showed superiority to ALB 3d (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, p = 0.002, p = 0.008, respectively), which was confirmed by real-time PCR. Additionally, DOX 4w showed superiority to all other treatment arms. Furthermore DOX 4w and DOX 3w + ALB 3d showed a higher amount of female worms with degenerated embryogenesis compared to ALB 3d (p = 0.028, p = 0.042, respectively). These results confirm earlier studies that DOX 4w is sufficient for Wolbachia depletion and the desired parasitological effects. The data further suggest that there is an additive effect of ALB (3 days) on top of that of DOX alone, and that MIN shows a trend for stronger potency than DOX. These latter two results are preliminary and need confirmation in a fully randomized controlled phase 2 trial.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov #06010453

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