ResearchPad - gene-ontologies https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The sensitivity of transcriptomics BMD modeling to the methods used for microarray data normalization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14756 Whole-genome expression data generated by microarray studies have shown promise for quantitative human health risk assessment. While numerous approaches have been developed to determine benchmark doses (BMDs) from probeset-level dose responses, sensitivity of the results to methods used for normalization of the data has not yet been systematically investigated. Normalization of microarray data converts raw hybridization signals to expression estimates that are expected to be proportional to the amounts of transcripts in the profiled specimens. Different approaches to normalization have been shown to greatly influence the results of some downstream analyses, including biological interpretation. In this study we evaluate the influence of microarray normalization methods on the transcriptomic BMDs. We demonstrate using in vivo data that the use of alternative pipelines for normalization of Affymetrix microarray data can have a considerable impact on the number of detected differentially expressed genes and pathways (processes) determined to be treatment responsive, which may lead to alternative interpretations of the data. In addition, we found that normalization can have a considerable effect (as much as ~30-fold in this study) on estimation of the minimum biological potency (transcriptomic point of departure). We argue for consideration of alternative normalization methods and their data-informed selection to most effectively interpret microarray data for use in human health risk assessment.

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<![CDATA[Identification of differentially expressed genes in actinic keratosis samples treated with ingenol mebutate gel]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14730 Actinic keratosis is a common skin disease that may progress to invasive squamous cell carcinoma if left untreated. Ingenol mebutate has demonstrated efficacy in field treatment of actinic keratosis. However, molecular mechanisms on ingenol mebutate response are not yet fully understood. In this study, we evaluated the gene expression profiles of actinic keratosis lesions before and after treatment with ingenol mebutate using microarray technology. Actinic keratoses on face/scalp of 15 immunocompetent patients were identified and evaluated after treatment with topical ingenol mebutate gel 0.015%, applied once daily for 3 consecutive days. Diagnostic and clearance of lesions was determined by clinical, dermoscopic, and reflectance confocal microscopy criteria. Lesional and non-lesional skin biopsies were subjected to gene expression analysis profiled by Affymetrix microarray. Differentially expressed genes were identified, and enrichment analyses were performed using STRING database. At 8 weeks post-treatment, 60% of patients responded to ingenol mebutate therapy, achieving complete clearance in 40% of cases. A total of 128 differentially expressed genes were identified following treatment, and downregulated genes (114 of 128) revealed changes in pathways important to epidermal development, keratinocyte differentiation and cornification. In responder patients, 388 downregulated genes (of 450 differentially expressed genes) were also involved in development/differentiation of the epidermis, and immune system-related pathways, such as cytokine and interleukin signaling. Cluster analysis revealed two relevant clusters showing upregulated profile patterns in pre-treatment actinic keratoses of responders, as compared to non-responders. Again, differentially expressed genes were mainly associated with cornification, keratinization and keratinocyte differentiation. Overall, the present study provides insight into the gene expression profile of actinic keratoses after treatment with ingenol mebutate, as well as identification of genetic signatures that could predict treatment response.

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<![CDATA[Blood co-expression modules identify potential modifier genes of diabetes and lung function in cystic fibrosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N07a3560c-fa96-4eb5-821e-9292b7a2bef0

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a rare genetic disease that affects the respiratory and digestive systems. Lung disease is variable among CF patients and associated with the development of comorbidities and chronic infections. The rate of lung function deterioration depends not only on the type of mutations in CFTR, the disease-causing gene, but also on modifier genes. In the present study, we aimed to identify genes and pathways that (i) contribute to the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis and (ii) modulate the associated comorbidities. We profiled blood samples in CF patients and healthy controls and analyzed RNA-seq data with Weighted Gene Correlation Network Analysis (WGCNA). Interestingly, lung function, body mass index, the presence of diabetes, and chronic P. aeruginosa infections correlated with four modules of co-expressed genes. Detailed inspection of networks and hub genes pointed to cell adhesion, leukocyte trafficking and production of reactive oxygen species as central mechanisms in lung function decline and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes. Of note, we showed that blood is an informative surrogate tissue to study the contribution of inflammation to lung disease and diabetes in CF patients. Finally, we provided evidence that WGCNA is useful to analyze–omic datasets in rare genetic diseases as patient cohorts are inevitably small.

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<![CDATA[Rosellinia necatrix infection induces differential gene expression between tolerant and susceptible avocado rootstocks]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f14bbd5eed0c48467a754

Rosellinia necatrix is the causal agent of avocado white root rot (WRR). Control of this soil-borne disease is difficult, and the use of tolerant rootstocks may present an effective method to lessen its impact. To date, no studies on the molecular mechanisms regulating the avocado plant response towards this pathogen have been undertaken. To shed light on the mechanisms underpinning disease susceptibility and tolerance, molecular analysis of the gene’s response in two avocado rootstocks with a contrasting disease reaction was assessed. Gene expression profiles against R. necatrix were carried out in the susceptible ‘Dusa’ and the tolerant selection BG83 avocado genotypes by micro-array analysis. In ‘Dusa’, the early response was mainly related to redox processes and cell-wall degradation activities, all becoming enhanced after disease progression affected photosynthetic capacity, whereas tolerance to R. necatrix in BG83 relied on the induction of protease inhibitors and their negative regulators, as well as genes related to tolerance to salt and osmotic stress such as aspartic peptidase domain-containing proteins and gdsl esterase lipase proteins. In addition, three protease inhibitors were identified, glu protease, trypsin and endopeptidase inhibitors, which were highly overexpressed in the tolerant genotype when compared to susceptible ‘Dusa’, after infection with R. necatrix, reaching fold change values of 52, 19 and 38, respectively. The contrasting results between ‘Dusa’ and BG83 provide new insights into the different mechanisms involved in avocado tolerance to Phytophthora cinnamomi and R. necatrix, which are consistent with their biotrophic and necrotrophic lifestyles, respectively. The differential induction of genes involved in salt and osmotic stress in BG83 could indicate that R. necatrix penetration into the roots is associated with osmotic effects, suggesting that BG83’s tolerance to R. necatrix is related to the ability to withstand osmotic imbalance. In addition, the high expression of protease inhibitors in tolerant BG83 compared to susceptible ‘Dusa’ after infection with the pathogen suggests the important role that these proteins may play in the defence of avocado rootstocks against R. necatrix.

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<![CDATA[Mammalian Hbs1L deficiency causes congenital anomalies and developmental delay associated with Pelota depletion and 80S monosome accumulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df303d5eed0c484580b31

Hbs1 has been established as a central component of the cell’s translational quality control pathways in both yeast and prokaryotic models; however, the functional characteristics of its human ortholog (Hbs1L) have not been well-defined. We recently reported a novel human phenotype resulting from a mutation in the critical coding region of the HBS1L gene characterized by facial dysmorphism, severe growth restriction, axial hypotonia, global developmental delay and retinal pigmentary deposits. Here we further characterize downstream effects of the human HBS1L mutation. HBS1L has three transcripts in humans, and RT-PCR demonstrated reduced mRNA levels corresponding with transcripts V1 and V2 whereas V3 expression was unchanged. Western blot analyses revealed Hbs1L protein was absent in the patient cells. Additionally, polysome profiling revealed an abnormal aggregation of 80S monosomes in patient cells under baseline conditions. RNA and ribosomal sequencing demonstrated an increased translation efficiency of ribosomal RNA in Hbs1L-deficient fibroblasts, suggesting that there may be a compensatory increase in ribosome translation to accommodate the increased 80S monosome levels. This enhanced translation was accompanied by upregulation of mTOR and 4-EBP protein expression, suggesting an mTOR-dependent phenomenon. Furthermore, lack of Hbs1L caused depletion of Pelota protein in both patient cells and mouse tissues, while PELO mRNA levels were unaffected. Inhibition of proteasomal function partially restored Pelota expression in human Hbs1L-deficient cells. We also describe a mouse model harboring a knockdown mutation in the murine Hbs1l gene that shared several of the phenotypic elements observed in the Hbs1L-deficient human including facial dysmorphism, growth restriction and retinal deposits. The Hbs1lKO mice similarly demonstrate diminished Pelota levels that were rescued by proteasome inhibition.

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

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

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<![CDATA[Ocimum metabolomics in response to abiotic stresses: Cold, flood, drought and salinity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648ce6d5eed0c484c81a4d

Ocimum tenuiflorum is a widely used medicinal plant since ancient times and still continues to be irreplaceable due to its properties. The plant has been explored chemically and pharmacologically, however, the molecular studies have been started lately. In an attempt to get a comprehensive overview of the abiotic stress response in O. tenuiflorum, de novo transcriptome sequencing of plant leaves under the cold, drought, flood and salinity stresses was carried out. A comparative differential gene expression (DGE) study was carried out between the common transcripts in each stress with respect to the control. KEGG pathway analysis and gene ontology (GO) enrichment studies exhibited several modifications in metabolic pathways as the result of four abiotic stresses. Besides this, a comparative metabolite profiling of stress and control samples was performed. Among the cold, drought, flood and salinity stresses, the plant was most susceptible to the cold stress. Severe treatments of all these abiotic stresses also decreased eugenol which is the main secondary metabolite present in the O. tenuiflorum plant. This investigation presents a comprehensive analysis of the abiotic stress effects in O. tenuiflorum. Current study provides an insight to the status of pathway genes’ expression that help synthesizing economically valuable phenylpropanoids and terpenoids related to the adaptation of the plant. This study identified several putative abiotic stress tolerant genes which can be utilized to either breed stress tolerant O. tenuiflorum through pyramiding or generating transgenic plants.

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<![CDATA[Comparative transcriptome analysis of mammary epithelial cells at different stages of lactation reveals wide differences in gene expression and pathways regulating milk synthesis between Jersey and Kashmiri cattle]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c633941d5eed0c484ae633a

Jersey and Kashmiri cattle are important dairy breeds that contribute significantly to the total milk production of the Indian northern state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Kashmiri cattle germplasm has been extensively diluted through crossbreeding with Jersey cattle with the goal of enhancing its milk production ability. However, crossbred animals are prone to diseases resulting to unsustainable milk production. This study aimed to provide a comprehensive transcriptome profile of mammary gland epithelial cells at different stages of lactation and to find key differences in genes and pathways regulating milk traits between Jersey and Kashmiri cattle. Mammary epithelial cells (MEC) isolated from milk obtained from six lactating cows (three Jersey and three Kashmiri cattle) on day 15 (D15), D90 and D250 in milk, representing early, mid and late lactation, respectively were used. RNA isolated from MEC was subjected to next-generation RNA sequencing and bioinformatics processing. Casein and whey protein genes were found to be highly expressed throughout the lactation stages in both breeds. Largest differences in differentially expressed genes (DEG) were between D15 vs D90 (1,805 genes) in Kashmiri cattle and, D15 vs D250 (3,392 genes) in Jersey cattle. A total of 1,103, 1,356 and 1,397 genes were differentially expressed between Kashmiri and Jersey cattle on D15, D90 and D250, respectively. Antioxidant genes like RPLPO and RPS28 were highly expressed in Kashmiri cattle. Differentially expressed genes in both Kashmiri and Jersey were enriched for multicellular organismal process, receptor activity, catalytic activity, signal transducer activity, macromolecular complex and developmental process gene ontology terms. Whereas, biological regulation, endopeptidase activity and response to stimulus were enriched in Kashmiri cattle and, reproduction and immune system process were enriched in Jersey cattle. Most of the pathways responsible for regulation of milk production like JAK-STAT, p38 MAPK pathway, PI3 kinase pathway were enriched by DEG in Jersey cattle only. Although Kashmiri has poor milk production efficiency, the present study suggests possible physicochemical and antioxidant properties of Kashmiri cattle milk that needs to be further explored.

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<![CDATA[Genetic and genomic analyses of testicular hypoplasia in Nellore cattle]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536b9dd5eed0c484a48dc9

Reproductive performance is a key indicator of the long-term sustainability of any livestock production system. Testicular hypoplasia (TH) is a morphological and functional reproductive disorder that affects bulls around the world and consequently causes major economic losses due to reduced fertility rates. Despite the improvements in management practices to enhance performance of affected animals, the use of hypoplastic animals for reproduction might contribute to expand the prevalence of this disorder. The aim of this study was to identify genomic regions that are associated with TH in Nellore cattle by performing a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and functional analyses. Phenotypic and pedigree data from 47,563 animals and genotypes (500,689 Single Nucleotide Polymorphism, SNPs) from 265 sires were used in this study. TH was evaluated as a binary trait measured at 18 months of age. The estimated breeding values (EBVs) were calculated by fitting a single-trait threshold animal model using a Bayesian approach. The SNP effects were estimated using the Bayes C method and de-regressed EBVs for TH as the response variable (pseudo-phenotype). The top-15 ranking windows (5-adjacent SNPs) that explained the highest proportion of variance were identified for further functional and biological network analyses. The posterior mean (95% highest posterior density) of the heritability for TH was 0.16 (0.08; 0.23). The most important genomic windows were located on BTA1, BTA3, BTA4, BTA5, BTA9, BTA22, BTA23, and BTA25. These windows explained together 22.69% of the total additive genetic variance for TH. Strong candidate genes associated with metabolism and synthesis of steroids, cell survival, spermatogenesis process and sperm motility were identified, which might play an important role in the expression of TH. Our findings contribute to a better biological understanding of TH and future characterization of causal variants might enable improved genomic prediction of this trait in beef cattle.

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<![CDATA[Using the drug-protein interactome to identify anti-ageing compounds for humans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5f7d5eed0c484caa9c2

Advancing age is the dominant risk factor for most of the major killer diseases in developed countries. Hence, ameliorating the effects of ageing may prevent multiple diseases simultaneously. Drugs licensed for human use against specific diseases have proved to be effective in extending lifespan and healthspan in animal models, suggesting that there is scope for drug repurposing in humans. New bioinformatic methods to identify and prioritise potential anti-ageing compounds for humans are therefore of interest. In this study, we first used drug-protein interaction information, to rank 1,147 drugs by their likelihood of targeting ageing-related gene products in humans. Among 19 statistically significant drugs, 6 have already been shown to have pro-longevity properties in animal models (p < 0.001). Using the targets of each drug, we established their association with ageing at multiple levels of biological action including pathways, functions and protein interactions. Finally, combining all the data, we calculated a ranked list of drugs that identified tanespimycin, an inhibitor of HSP-90, as the top-ranked novel anti-ageing candidate. We experimentally validated the pro-longevity effect of tanespimycin through its HSP-90 target in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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<![CDATA[An interaction-based model for neuropsychiatric features of copy-number variants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61b7dbd5eed0c48493806d

Variably expressive copy-number variants (CNVs) are characterized by extensive phenotypic heterogeneity of neuropsychiatric phenotypes. Approaches to identify single causative genes for these phenotypes within each CNV have not been successful. Here, we posit using multiple lines of evidence, including pathogenicity metrics, functional assays of model organisms, and gene expression data, that multiple genes within each CNV region are likely responsible for the observed phenotypes. We propose that candidate genes within each region likely interact with each other through shared pathways to modulate the individual gene phenotypes, emphasizing the genetic complexity of CNV-associated neuropsychiatric features.

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<![CDATA[LncRNA expression profile and ceRNA analysis in tomato during flowering]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6059f3d5eed0c4847cc4eb

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a class of non-coding RNAs that play essential regulatory roles in various developmental processes and stress responses. However, the functions of lncRNAs during the flowering period of tomato are largely unknown. To explore the lncRNA profiles and functions during flowering in tomato, we performed strand-specific paired-end RNA sequencing of tomato leaves, flowers and roots, with three biological replicates. We identified 10919 lncRNAs including 248 novel lncRNAs, of which 65 novel lncRNAs were significantly differentially expressed (DE) in the flowers, leaves, and roots. The Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analyses were carried out to identify the cis target gene of DE lncRNAs. The results showed that the lncRNAs might play an important role in the growth, development, and apoptosis of flowering tomato plant by regulating the formation of intima in flower tissues, binding to various molecules, influencing metabolic pathways, and inducing apoptosis. Moreover, we identified the interaction between 32, 78, and 397 kinds of miRNAs, lncRNAs, and mRNAs. The results suggest that the lncRNAs can regulate the expression of mRNA during flowering period in tomato by forming competitive endogenous RNA, and further regulate various biological metabolism pathways in tomato.

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<![CDATA[SFPEL-LPI: Sequence-based feature projection ensemble learning for predicting LncRNA-protein interactions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c196699d5eed0c484b52590

LncRNA-protein interactions play important roles in post-transcriptional gene regulation, poly-adenylation, splicing and translation. Identification of lncRNA-protein interactions helps to understand lncRNA-related activities. Existing computational methods utilize multiple lncRNA features or multiple protein features to predict lncRNA-protein interactions, but features are not available for all lncRNAs or proteins; most of existing methods are not capable of predicting interacting proteins (or lncRNAs) for new lncRNAs (or proteins), which don’t have known interactions. In this paper, we propose the sequence-based feature projection ensemble learning method, “SFPEL-LPI”, to predict lncRNA-protein interactions. First, SFPEL-LPI extracts lncRNA sequence-based features and protein sequence-based features. Second, SFPEL-LPI calculates multiple lncRNA-lncRNA similarities and protein-protein similarities by using lncRNA sequences, protein sequences and known lncRNA-protein interactions. Then, SFPEL-LPI combines multiple similarities and multiple features with a feature projection ensemble learning frame. In computational experiments, SFPEL-LPI accurately predicts lncRNA-protein associations and outperforms other state-of-the-art methods. More importantly, SFPEL-LPI can be applied to new lncRNAs (or proteins). The case studies demonstrate that our method can find out novel lncRNA-protein interactions, which are confirmed by literature. Finally, we construct a user-friendly web server, available at http://www.bioinfotech.cn/SFPEL-LPI/.

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<![CDATA[Danger signals activate a putative innate immune system during regeneration in a filamentous fungus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ae430d5eed0c4845891aa

The ability to respond to injury is a biological process shared by organisms of different kingdoms that can even result in complete regeneration of a part or structure that was lost. Due to their immobility, multicellular fungi are prey to various predators and are therefore constantly exposed to mechanical damage. Nevertheless, our current knowledge of how fungi respond to injury is scarce. Here we show that activation of injury responses and hyphal regeneration in the filamentous fungus Trichoderma atroviride relies on the detection of two danger or alarm signals. As an early response to injury, we detected a transient increase in cytosolic free calcium ([Ca2+]c) that was promoted by extracellular ATP, and which is likely regulated by a mechanism of calcium-induced calcium-release. In addition, we demonstrate that the mitogen activated protein kinase Tmk1 plays a key role in hyphal regeneration. Calcium- and Tmk1-mediated signaling cascades activated major transcriptional changes early following injury, including induction of a set of regeneration associated genes related to cell signaling, stress responses, transcription regulation, ribosome biogenesis/translation, replication and DNA repair. Interestingly, we uncovered the activation of a putative fungal innate immune response, including the involvement of HET domain genes, known to participate in programmed cell death. Our work shows that fungi and animals share danger-signals, signaling cascades, and the activation of the expression of genes related to immunity after injury, which are likely the result of convergent evolution.

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<![CDATA[Comparative transcriptome analysis provides insights into dwarfism in cherry tomato (Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141ef4d5eed0c484d28ff7

Tomato, which can be eaten as a vegetable or fruit, is one of the most popular and nutritionally important crops around the world. Although most plants of the cherry tomato cultivar ‘Minichal’ have a normal phenotype, some plants have a stunted phenotype with reduced plant height, leaf size, and fruit size, as well as altered leaf and fruit shape. To investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying these differences, we generated RNA-seq libraries from pooled leaf samples of 10 normal (N) and 10 stunted (S) plants. Using the Illumina sequencing platform, we obtained a total of 115.45 million high-quality clean reads assembled into 35,216 genes and 35,216 transcripts. A total of 661 genes were differentially expressed between N and S plants. Of these, 420 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were up-regulated, and 221 DEGs were down-regulated. The RNA-seq data were validated using quantitative reverse-transcription PCR. Enrichment analysis of DEGs using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) showed that the enriched pathways were involved in steroid biosynthesis, homologous recombination, and mismatch repair. Among these, three genes related to steroid biosynthesis, including 3BETAHSD/D2, DIM and DWF5 were down-regulated in S compared to N. Of these, DIM and DWF5 are known to be involved in brassinosteroid biosynthesis. Our results thus provide a useful insight into dwarfism in cherry tomato, and offer a platform for evaluating related species.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptome-wide responses of adult melon thrips (Thrips palmi) associated with capsicum chlorosis virus infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141e64d5eed0c484d26693

Thrips palmi is a widely distributed major agricultural pest in the tropics and subtropics, causing significant losses in cucurbit and solanaceous crops through feeding damage and transmission of tospoviruses. Thrips palmi is a vector of capsicum chlorosis virus (CaCV) in Australia. The present understanding of transmission biology and potential effects of CaCV on T. palmi is limited. To gain insights into molecular responses to CaCV infection, we performed RNA-Seq to identify thrips transcripts that are differentially-abundant during virus infection of adults. De-novo assembly of the transcriptome generated from whole bodies of T. palmi adults generated 166,445 contigs, of which ~24% contained a predicted open reading frame. We identified 1,389 differentially-expressed (DE) transcripts, with comparable numbers up- (708) and down-regulated (681) in virus-exposed thrips compared to non-exposed thrips. Approximately 59% of these DE transcripts had significant matches to NCBI non-redundant proteins (Blastx) and Blast2GO identified provisional functional categories among the up-regulated transcripts in virus-exposed thrips including innate immune response-related genes, salivary gland and/or gut-associated genes and vitellogenin genes. The majority of the immune-related proteins are known to serve functions in lysosome activity and melanisation in insects. Most of the up-regulated oral and extra-oral digestion-associated genes appear to be involved in digestion of proteins, lipids and plant cell wall components which may indirectly enhance the likelihood or frequency of virus transmission or may be involved in the regulation of host defence responses. Most of the down-regulated transcripts fell into the gene ontology functional category of ‘structural constituent of cuticle’. Comparison to DE genes responsive to tomato spotted wilt virus in Frankliniella occidentalis indicates conservation of some thrips molecular responses to infection by different tospoviruses. This study assembled the first transcriptome in the genus Thrips and provides important data to broaden our understanding of networks of molecular interactions between thrips and tospoviruses.

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<![CDATA[Molecular genotyping, diversity studies and high-resolution molecular markers unveiled by microsatellites in Giardia duodenalis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ae439d5eed0c4845892f8

Background

Giardia duodenalis (synonyms G. lamblia and G. intestinalis) is an enteric protozoan parasite of a wide range of mammalian hosts, including humans and various domestic and wild animals. There is considerable genetic variability in G. duodenalis and isolates of this parasite have been divided into eight genetic assemblages. Microsatellites markers can be used to discriminate isolates with a high level of sensitivity. This study was conducted to identify and characterize genomic microsatellites (simple sequence repeats—SSRs), sequences of one- to six-nucleotide motifs repeated in tandem, present in the available genomes of G. duodenalis and to develop new markers that can serve as a tool for detection and for characterizing the genetic diversity of this parasite.

Methodology/ Principal findings

For each genetic assemblage, polymorphism levels for the microsatellite markers were evaluated. After performing the analysis using the MISA and SciRoKo software, 1,853 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were identified. In all the genomes, trinucleotide repeats were the most common class followed by tetranucleotide. Many of the SSR loci are assemblage-specific, and 36 SSR loci shared among all the genomes were identified. Together with hypothetical proteins, variant-specific surface proteins represented nearly half of the annotated SSR loci. The results regarding the most common repeat among the SSRs led us to infer that positive selection occurred to avoid frameshift mutations. Additionally, based on inter- and intra-genetic assemblages polymorphism analyses, we unveiled previously undetected genetic variation, indicating that the microsatellite markers we developed are useful molecular tools for epidemiological inferences based on population genetics patterns and processes.

Conclusions

There is increasing demand for the development of new molecular markers and for the characterization of pathogens at a higher resolution level. In this study, we present 60 G. duodenalis microsatellites markers that exhibited high polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification efficiency among the different genetic assemblages. Twenty of these markers presented nucleotide sequence polymorphisms and may be used as a genotyping tool. The monomorphic markers can be used for the detection of the parasite at the species and genetic assemblage level. These polymorphic markers revealed a genetic diversity that was previously undetectable, thus they can be considered valuable molecular tools for high resolution markers in future studies investigating Giardia and may also be used for epidemiological inferences based on populations genetics patterns and processes.

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<![CDATA[Analysis of the transcriptome data in Litopenaeus vannamei reveals the immune basis and predicts the hub regulation-genes in response to high-pH stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117b33d5eed0c4846983c7

Soil salinization erodes the farmlands and poses a serious threat to human life, reuse of the saline-alkali lands as cultivated resources becomes increasingly prominent. Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) is an important farmed aquatic species for the development and utilization of the saline-alkali areas. However, little is known about the adaptation mechanism of this species in terms of high-pH stress. In the present study, a transcriptome analysis on the gill tissues of L. vannamei in response to high-pH stress (pH 9.3 ± 0.1) was conducted. After analyzing, the cyclic nucleotide gated channel-Ca2+ (CNGC-Ca2+) and patched 1 (Ptc1) were detected as the majority annotated components in the cAMP signaling pathway (KO04024), indicating that the CNGC-Ca2+ and Ptc1 might be the candidate components for transducing and maintaining the high-pH stress signals, respectively. The immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF), heat shock protein (HSP), glutathione s-transferase (GST), prophenoloxidase/phenoloxidase (proPO/PO), superoxide dismutase (SOD), anti-lipopolysaccharide factor (ALF) and lipoprotein were discovered as the major transcribed immune factors in response to high-pH stress. To further detect hub regulation-genes, protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks were constructed; the genes/proteins “Polymerase (RNA) II (DNA directed) polypeptide A” (POLR2A), “Histone acetyltransferase p300” (EP300) and “Heat shock 70kDa protein 8” (HSPA8) were suggested as the top three hub regulation-genes in response to acute high-pH stress; the genes/proteins “Heat shock 70kDa protein 4” (HSPA4), “FBJ murine osteosarcoma viral oncogene homolog” (FOS) and “Nucleoporin 54kDa” (NUP54) were proposed as the top three hub regulation-genes involved in adapting endurance high-pH stress; the protein-interactions of “EP300-HSPA8” and “HSPA4-NUP54” were detected as the most important biological interactions in response to the high-pH stress; and the HSP70 family genes might play essential roles in the adaptation of the high-pH stress environment in L. vannamei. These findings provide the first insight into the molecular and immune basis of L. vannamei in terms of high-pH environments, and the construction of a PPI network might improve our understanding in revealing the hub regulation-genes in response to abiotic stress in shrimp species and might be beneficial for further studies.

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<![CDATA[A new method for evaluating the impacts of semantic similarity measures on the annotation of gene sets]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c06f055d5eed0c484c6d731

Motivation

The recent revolution in new sequencing technologies, as a part of the continuous process of adopting new innovative protocols has strongly impacted the interpretation of relations between phenotype and genotype. Thus, understanding the resulting gene sets has become a bottleneck that needs to be addressed. Automatic methods have been proposed to facilitate the interpretation of gene sets. While statistical functional enrichment analyses are currently well known, they tend to focus on well-known genes and to ignore new information from less-studied genes. To address such issues, applying semantic similarity measures is logical if the knowledge source used to annotate the gene sets is hierarchically structured. In this work, we propose a new method for analyzing the impact of different semantic similarity measures on gene set annotations.

Results

We evaluated the impact of each measure by taking into consideration the two following features that correspond to relevant criteria for a “good” synthetic gene set annotation: (i) the number of annotation terms has to be drastically reduced and the representative terms must be retained while annotating the gene set, and (ii) the number of genes described by the selected terms should be as large as possible. Thus, we analyzed nine semantic similarity measures to identify the best possible compromise between both features while maintaining a sufficient level of details. Using Gene Ontology to annotate the gene sets, we obtained better results with node-based measures that use the terms’ characteristics than with measures based on edges that link the terms. The annotation of the gene sets achieved with the node-based measures did not exhibit major differences regardless of the characteristics of terms used.

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<![CDATA[Comparative analysis of the male inflorescence transcriptome profiles of an ms22 mutant of maize]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b6003a7463d7e38dd0d05b9

In modern agricultural production, maize is the most successful crop utilizing heterosis. 712C-ms22 is an important male sterile material in maize. In this study, we performed transcriptome sequencing analysis of the V10 stage of male inflorescence. Through this analysis, 27.63 million raw reads were obtained, and trimming of the raw data revealed 26.63 million clean reads, with an average match rate of 94.64%. Using Tophat software, we matched these clean reads to the maize reference genome. The abundance of 39,622 genes was measured, and 35,399 genes remained after filtering out the non-expressed genes across all the samples. These genes were classified into 19 categories by clusters of orthologous groups of protein annotation. Transcriptome sequencing analysis of the male sterile and fertile 712C-ms22 maize revealed some key DEGs that may be related to metabolic pathways. qRT-PCR analysis validated the gene expression patterns identified by RNA-seq. This analysis revealed some of the essential genes responsible for pollen development and for pollen tube elongation. Our findings provide useful markers of male sterility and new insights into the global mechanisms mediating male sterility in maize.

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