ResearchPad - heredity https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Genetic diversity of <i>Echinococcus multilocularis</i> and <i>Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato</i> in Kyrgyzstan: The A2 haplotype of <i>E</i>. <i>multilocularis</i> is the predominant variant infecting humans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13871 Analysis of the genetic variability in Echinococcus species from different endemic countries have contributed to the knowledge in the taxonomy and phylogeography of these parasites. The most important species of this genus, Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato and Echinococcus multilocularis, co-exist in Kyrgyzstan causing serious public health issues. E. granulosus s.l. causes cystic echinococcosis and E. multilocularis is the causative agent of alveolar echinococcosis. The most relevant finding of our study is the identification of the cob/nad2/cox1 A2 haplotype of E. multilocularis as the most commonly found in humans and dogs. However, it remains unknown if this variant of E. multilocularis, based on genetic differences in mitochondrial genes, presents differences in virulence which could have contributed to the emergence of alveolar echinococcosis in Kyrgyzstan. The results also show a number of non-previously described genetic variants of E. multilocularis and E. granulosus s.s.

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<![CDATA[Interaction between host genes and <i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</i> lineage can affect tuberculosis severity: Evidence for coevolution?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13824 Susceptibility to tuberculosis (TB) is affected by genetic variation in both the human host and the causative bacterium, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. However, prior studies of the genetics of each species have not explained a large part of TB risk. The possibility exists that risk can be better estimated from patterns of variation in the two species as a unit, such that some combinations provide increased risk, or in the presence of TB, increased disease severity. We hypothesized that alleles in the two species that have co-existed for long periods are more likely to reduce disease severity so as to promote prolonged co-occurrence. We tested this by studying TB severity in two patient cohorts from Uganda for which paired MTB-human DNA were available. We examined severity, as measured by the Bandim TBscore, and assessed whether there was an interaction between MTB lineage and SNPs in the host with this metric. Our results indicate that the most recent TB lineage (L4.6/Uganda) when found together with an ancestral allele in SLC11A1 resulted in more severe disease. This finding is consistent with the conclusion that MTB and human have coevolved to modulate TB severity.

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<![CDATA[Adaptive genetic diversity and evidence of population genetic structure in the endangered Sierra Madre Sparrow (<i>Xenospiza baileyi</i>)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11235 The magnitude and distribution of genetic diversity through space and time can provide useful information relating to evolutionary potential and conservation status in threatened species. In assessing genetic diversity in species that are of conservation concern, several studies have focused on the use of Toll-like receptors (TLRs). TLRs are innate immune genes related to pathogen resistance, and polymorphisms may reflect not only levels of functional diversity, but may also be used to assess genetic diversity within and among populations. Here, we combined four potentially adaptive markers (TLRs) with one mitochondrial (COI) marker to evaluate genetic variation in the endangered Sierra Madre Sparrow (Xenospiza baileyi). This species offers an ideal model to investigate population and evolutionary genetic processes that may be occurring in a habitat restricted endangered species with disjunct populations (Mexico City and Durango), the census sizes of which differ by an order of magnitude. TLRs diversity in the Sierra Madre Sparrow was relatively high, which was not expected given its two small, geographically isolated populations. Genetic diversity was different (but not significantly so) between the two populations, with less diversity seen in the smaller Durango population. Population genetic structure between populations was due to isolation and different selective forces acting on different TLRs; population structure was also evident in COI. Reduction of genetic diversity in COI was observed over 20 years in the Durango population, a result likely caused by habitat loss, a factor which may be the main cause of diversity decline generally. Our results provide information related to the ways in which adaptive variation can be altered by demographic changes due to human-mediated habitat alterations. Furthermore, our findings may help to guide conservation schemes for both populations and their restricted habitat.

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<![CDATA[Breeding practices and trait preferences of smallholder farmers for indigenous sheep in the northwest highlands of Ethiopia: Inputs to design a breeding program]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7865 The aim of this study was to identify breeding practices and trait preferences for indigenous sheep in three districts (Estie, Farta and Lay Gayient) located in the northwest highlands of Ethiopia. Questionnaire survey and choice experiment methods were used to collect data from 370 smallholder farmers. Respondents were selected randomly among smallholder farmers who own sheep in the aforementioned districts. A generalized multinomial logit model was employed to examine preferences for sheep attributes, while descriptive statistics and index values were computed to describe sheep breeding practices. Having the highest index value of 0.36, income generation was ranked as the primary reason for keeping sheep, followed by meat and manure sources. The average flock size per smallholder farmer was 10.21 sheep. The majority of the smallholder farmers (91%) have the experience of selecting breeding rams and ewes within their own flock using diverse criteria. Given the highest index value of 0.34, body size was ranked as a primary ram and ewe selection criteria, followed by coat color. Furthermore, choice modeling results revealed that tail type, body size, coat color, growth rate, horn and ear size have shown significant influences on smallholder farmers’ preference for breeding rams (P<0.01). The part-worth utility coefficients were positive for all ram attributes except ear size. For breeding ewes, mothering ability, coat color, body size, lambing interval, growth rate, tail type and litter size have shown significant effects on choice preferences of smallholder farmers (P<0.05). Moreover, significant scale heterogeneity was observed among respondents for ewe attributes (P<0.001). Overall, the results implied that sheep breeding objectives suitable for the northwest highlands of the country can be derived from traits such as linear body measurement, weight and survival at different ages, and lambing intervals. However, selection decisions at the smallholder level should not only be based on estimated breeding values of traits included in the breeding objective but instead, incorporate ways to address farmers’ preference for qualitative traits.

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<![CDATA[Evidence for both sequential mutations and recombination in the evolution of kdr alleles in Aedes aegypti]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8479e8f6-b6ad-4aa7-91b1-bf6bde90184a

Background

Aedes aegypti is a globally distributed vector of human diseases including dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika. Pyrethroid insecticides are the primary means of controlling adult A. aegypti populations to suppress arbovirus outbreaks, but resistance to pyrethroid insecticides has become a global problem. Mutations in the voltage-sensitive sodium channel (Vssc) gene are a major mechanism of pyrethroid resistance in A. aegypti. Vssc resistance alleles in A. aegypti commonly have more than one mutation. However, our understanding of the evolutionary dynamics of how alleles with multiple mutations arose is poorly understood.

Methodology/Principal findings

We examined the geographic distribution and association between the common Vssc mutations (V410L, S989P, V1016G/I and F1534C) in A. aegypti by analyzing the relevant Vssc fragments in 25 collections, mainly from Asia and the Americas. Our results showed all 11 Asian populations had two types of resistance alleles: 1534C and 989P+1016G. The 1534C allele was more common with frequencies ranging from 0.31 to 0.88, while the 989P+1016G frequency ranged from 0.13 to 0.50. Four distinct alleles (410L, 1534C, 410L+1534C and 410L+1016I+1534C) were detected in populations from the Americas. The most common was 410L+1016I+1534C with frequencies ranging from 0.50 to 1.00, followed by 1534C with frequencies ranging from 0.13 to 0.50. Our phylogenetic analysis of Vssc supported multiple independent origins of the F1534C mutation. Our results indicated the 410L+1534C allele may have arisen by addition of the V410L mutation to the 1534C allele, or by a crossover event. The 410L+1016I+1534C allele was the result of one or two mutational steps from a 1534C background.

Conclusions/Significance

Our data corroborated previous geographic distributions of resistance mutations and provided evidence for both recombination and sequential accumulation of mutations contributing to the molecular evolution of resistance alleles in A. aegypti.

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<![CDATA[Identification of NUDT15 gene variants in Amazonian Amerindians and admixed individuals from northern Brazil]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0a09703b-e69a-40d3-8ae4-dfe23e56b45d

Introduction

The nudix hydrolase 15 (NUDT15) gene acts in the metabolism of thiopurine, by catabolizing its active metabolite thioguanosine triphosphate into its inactivated form, thioguanosine monophosphate. The frequency of alternative NUDT15 alleles, in particular those that cause a drastic loss of gene function, varies widely among geographically distinct populations. In the general population of northern Brazilian, high toxicity rates (65%) have been recorded in patients treated with the standard protocol for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which involves thiopurine-based drugs. The present study characterized the molecular profile of the coding region of the NUDT15 gene in two groups, non-admixed Amerindians and admixed individuals from the Amazon region of northern Brazil.

Methods

The entire NUDT15 gene was sequenced in 64 Amerindians from 12 Amazonian groups and 82 admixed individuals from northern Brazil. The DNA was extracted using phenol-chloroform. The exome libraries were prepared using the Nextera Rapid Capture Exome (Illumina) and SureSelect Human All Exon V6 (Agilent) kits. The allelic variants were annotated in the ViVa® (Viewer of Variants) software.

Results

Four NUDT15 variants were identified: rs374594155, rs1272632214, rs147390019, andrs116855232. The variants rs1272632214 and rs116855232 were in complete linkage disequilibrium, and were assigned to the NUDT15*2 genotype. These variants had high frequencies in both our study populations in comparison with other populations catalogued in the 1000 Genomes database. We also identified the NUDT15*4 haplotype in our study populations, at frequencies similar to those reported in other populations from around the world.

Conclusion

Our findings indicate that Amerindian and admixed populations from northern Brazil have high frequencies of the NUDT15 haplotypes that alter the metabolism profile of thiopurines.

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<![CDATA[A framework for gene mapping in wheat demonstrated using the Yr7 yellow rust resistance gene]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8aa5bdf2-6390-43c2-aef2-b7a76659179a

We used three approaches to map the yellow rust resistance gene Yr7 and identify associated SNPs in wheat. First, we used a traditional QTL mapping approach using a double haploid (DH) population and mapped Yr7 to a low-recombination region of chromosome 2B. To fine map the QTL, we then used an association mapping panel. Both populations were SNP array genotyped allowing alignment of QTL and genome-wide association scans based on common segregating SNPs. Analysis of the association panel spanning the QTL interval, narrowed the interval down to a single haplotype block. Finally, we used mapping-by-sequencing of resistant and susceptible DH bulks to identify a candidate gene in the interval showing high homology to a previously suggested Yr7 candidate and to populate the Yr7 interval with a higher density of polymorphisms. We highlight the power of combining mapping-by-sequencing, delivering a complete list of gene-based segregating polymorphisms in the interval with the high recombination, low LD precision of the association mapping panel. Our mapping-by-sequencing methodology is applicable to any trait and our results validate the approach in wheat, where with a near complete reference genome sequence, we are able to define a small interval containing the causative gene.

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<![CDATA[Systematic scoping review of the concept of ‘genetic identity’ and its relevance for germline modification]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nb5b3e5e6-9f74-4bf5-850c-740f6e227f81

EU legislation prohibits clinical trials that modify germ line ‘genetic identity’. ‘Genetic identity’ however, is left undefined. This study aims to identify the use of the term ‘genetic identity’ in academic literature, and investigate its relevance for debates on genetic modification. A total of 616 articles that contained the term were identified. Content analysis revealed that the term was used in various and contradicting ways and a clear understanding of the term is lacking. This review demonstrates that the EU legislation is open to interpretation, because of the diversity of meaning with which ‘genetic identity’ is currently used. Because of the diversity of meaning with which ‘genetic identity’ is used and understood, further reflection is needed. This requires further medical, legal, ethical and social debate and a coordinated response at both a European and a global level.

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

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

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<![CDATA[Comparison of infinitesimal and finite locus models for long-term breeding simulations with direct and maternal effects at the example of honeybees]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897737d5eed0c4847d272e

Stochastic simulation studies of animal breeding have mostly relied on either the infinitesimal genetic model or finite polygenic models. In this study, we investigated the long-term effects of the chosen model on honeybee breeding schemes. We implemented the infinitesimal model, as well as finite locus models, with 200 and 400 gene loci and simulated populations of 300 and 1000 colonies per year over the course of 100 years. The selection was of a directly and maternally influenced trait with maternal heritability of hm2=0.42, direct heritability of hd2=0.27, and a negative correlation between the effects of rmd = − 0.18. Another set of simulations was run with parameters hm2=0.53, hd2=0.34, and rmd = − 0.53. All models showed similar behavior for the first 20 years. Throughout the study, we observed a higher genetic gain in the direct than in the maternal effects and a smaller gain with a stronger negative covariance. In the long-term, however, only the infinitesimal model predicted sustainable linear genetic progress, while the finite locus models showed sublinear behavior and, after 100 years, only reached between 58% and 62% of the mean breeding values in the infinitesimal model. While the infinitesimal model suggested a reduction of genetic variance by 33% to 49% after 100 years, the finite locus models saw a more drastic loss of 76% to 92%. When designing sustainable breeding strategies, one should, therefore, not blindly trust the infinitesimal model as the predictions may be overly optimistic. Instead, the more conservative choice of the finite locus model should be favored.

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<![CDATA[Genome-wide haplotype-based association analysis of key traits of plant lodging and architecture of maize identifies major determinants for leaf angle: hapLA4]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89773ed5eed0c4847d27e7

Traits related to plant lodging and architecture are important determinants of plant productivity in intensive maize cultivation systems. Motivated by the identification of genomic associations with the leaf angle, plant height (PH), ear height (EH) and the EH/PH ratio, we characterized approximately 7,800 haplotypes from a set of high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), in an association panel consisting of tropical maize inbred lines. The proportion of the phenotypic variations explained by the individual SNPs varied between 7%, for the SNP S1_285330124 (located on chromosome 9 and associated with the EH/PH ratio), and 22%, for the SNP S1_317085830 (located on chromosome 6 and associated with the leaf angle). A total of 40 haplotype blocks were significantly associated with the traits of interest, explaining up to 29% of the phenotypic variation for the leaf angle, corresponding to the haplotype hapLA4.04, which was stable over two growing seasons. Overall, the associations for PH, EH and the EH/PH ratio were environment-specific, which was confirmed by performing a model comparison analysis using the information criteria of Akaike and Schwarz. In addition, five stable haplotypes (83%) and 15 SNPs (75%) were identified for the leaf angle. Finally, approximately 62% of the associated haplotypes (25/40) did not contain SNPs detected in the association study using individual SNP markers. This result confirms the advantage of haplotype-based genome-wide association studies for examining genomic regions that control the determining traits for architecture and lodging in maize plants.

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<![CDATA[Biogeography of the endosymbiotic dinoflagellates (Symbiodiniaceae) community associated with the brooding coral Favia gravida in the Atlantic Ocean]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c1937d5eed0c484b4d1a6

Zooxanthellate corals live in symbiosis with phototrophic dinoflagellates of the family Symbiodiniaceae, enabling the host coral to dwell in shallow, nutrient-poor marine waters. The South Atlantic Ocean is characterized by low coral diversity with high levels of endemism. However, little is known about coral–dinoflagellate associations in the region. This study examined the diversity of Symbiodiniaceae associated with the scleractinian coral Favia gravida across its distributional range using the ITS-2 marker. This brooding coral endemic to the South Atlantic can be found across a wide range of latitudes and longitudes, including the Mid-Atlantic islands. Even though it occurs primarily in shallower environments, F. gravida is among the few coral species that live in habitats with extreme environmental conditions (high irradiance, temperature, and turbidity) such as very shallow tide pools. In the present study, we show that F. gravida exhibits some degree of flexibility in its symbiotic association with zooxanthellae across its range. F. gravida associates predominantly with Cladocopium C3 (ITS2 type Symbiodinium C3) but also with Symbiodinium A3, Symbiodinium linucheae (ITS2 type A4), Cladocopium C1, Cladocopium C130, and Fugacium F3. Symbiont diversity varied across biogeographic regions (Symbiodinium A3 and S. linucheae were found in the Tropical Eastern Atlantic, Cladocopium C1 in the Mid-Atlantic, and other subtypes in the Southwestern Atlantic) and was affected by local environmental conditions. In addition, Symbiodiniaceae diversity was highest in a southwestern Atlantic oceanic island (Rocas Atoll). Understanding the relationship between corals and their algal symbionts is critical in determining the factors that control the ecological niches of zooxanthellate corals and their symbionts, and identifying host-symbiont pairs that may be more resistant to environmental changes.

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<![CDATA[Ser96Ala genetic variant of the human histidine-rich calcium-binding protein is a genetic predictor of recurrence after catheter ablation in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897742d5eed0c4847d2858

Background

Atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrence after radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) still remains a serious issue. Ca2+ handling has a considerable effect on AF recurrence. The histidine-rich calcium-binding protein (HRC) genetic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs3745297 (T>G, Ser96Ala), is known to cause a sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ leak. We investigated the association between HRC Ser96Ala and AF recurrence after RFCA in paroxysmal AF (PAF) patients.

Methods and results

We enrolled PAF patients who underwent RFCA (N = 334 for screening and N = 245 for replication) and were genotyped for HRC SNP (rs3745297). The patient age was younger and rate of diabetes and hypertension lower in the PAF patients with Ser96Ala than in those without (TT/TG/GG, 179/120/35; 64±10/60±12/59±13 y, P = 0.001; 18.5/ 9.2/8.6%, P = 0.04 and 66.1/50.0/37.1%, P = 0.001, respectively). During a mean 19 month follow-up, 57 (17.1%) patients suffered from AF recurrences. The rate of an Ser96Ala was significantly higher in patients with AF recurrence than in those without in the screening set (allele frequency model: odds ratio [OR], 1.80; P = 0.006). We also confirmed this significant association in the replication set (OR 1.74; P = 0.03) and combination (P = 0.0008). A multivariate analysis revealed that the AF duration, sinus node dysfunction, and HRC Ser96Ala were independent predictors of an AF recurrence (hazard ratio [HR], 1.04, P = 0.037; HR 2.42, P = 0.018; and HR 2.66, P = 0.007, respectively).

Conclusion

HRC SNP Ser96Ala is important as a new genetic marker of AF recurrence after RFCA.

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<![CDATA[HCV transmission in high-risk communities in Bulgaria]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c882406d5eed0c4846395b0

Background

The rate of HIV infection in Bulgaria is low. However, the rate of HCV-HIV-coinfection and HCV infection is high, especially among high-risk communities. The molecular epidemiology of those infections has not been studied before.

Methods

Consensus Sanger sequences of HVR1 and NS5B from 125 cases of HIV/HCV coinfections, collected during 2010–2014 in 15 different Bulgarian cities, were used for preliminary phylogenetic evaluation. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) data of the hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) analyzed via the Global Hepatitis Outbreak and Surveillance Technology (GHOST) were used to evaluate genetic heterogeneity and possible transmission linkages. Links between pairs that were below and above the established genetic distance threshold, indicative of transmission, were further examined by generating k-step networks.

Results

Preliminary genetic analyses showed predominance of HCV genotype 1a (54%), followed by 1b (20.8%), 2a (1.4%), 3a (22.3%) and 4a (1.4%), indicating ongoing transmission of many HCV strains of different genotypes. NGS of HVR1 from 72 cases showed significant genetic heterogeneity of intra-host HCV populations, with 5 cases being infected with 2 different genotypes or subtypes and 6 cases being infected with 2 strains of same subtype. GHOST revealed 8 transmission clusters involving 30 cases (41.7%), indicating a high rate of transmission.

Four transmission clusters were found in Sofia, three in Plovdiv, and one in Peshtera. The main risk factor for the clusters was injection drug use. Close genetic proximity among HCV strains from the 3 Sofia clusters, and between HCV strains from Peshtera and one of the two Plovdiv clusters confirms a long and extensive transmission history of these strains in Bulgaria.

Conclusions

Identification of several HCV genotypes and many HCV strains suggests a frequent introduction of HCV to the studied high-risk communities. GHOST detected a broad transmission network, which sustains circulation of several HCV strains since their early introduction in the 3 cities. This is the first report on the molecular epidemiology of HIV/HCV coinfections in Bulgaria.

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

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

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<![CDATA[Origins and geographic diversification of African rice (Oryza glaberrima)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897765d5eed0c4847d2be9

Rice is a staple food for the majority of the world’s population. Whereas Asian rice (Oryza sativa) has been extensively studied, the exact origins of African rice (Oryza glaberrima) are still contested. Previous studies have supported either a centric or a non-centric geographic origin of African rice domestication. Here we review the evidence for both scenarios through a critical reassessment of 206 whole genome sequences of domesticated and wild African rice. While genetic diversity analyses support a severe bottleneck caused by domestication, signatures of recent and strong positive selection do not unequivocally point to candidate domestication genes, suggesting that domestication proceeded differently than in Asian rice–either by selection on different alleles, or different modes of selection. Population structure analysis revealed five genetic clusters localising to different geographic regions. Isolation by distance was identified in the coastal populations, which could account for parallel adaptation in geographically separated demes. Although genome-wide phylogenetic relationships support an origin in the eastern cultivation range followed by diversification along the Atlantic coast, further analysis of domestication genes shows distinct haplotypes in the southwest—suggesting that at least one of several key domestication traits might have originated there. These findings shed new light on an old controversy concerning plant domestication in Africa by highlighting the divergent roots of African rice cultivation, including a separate centre of domestication activity in the Guinea Highlands. We thus suggest that the commonly accepted centric origin of African rice must be reconsidered in favour of a non-centric or polycentric view.

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<![CDATA[A novel polymorphism in the fatty acid desaturase 2 gene (Fads2): A possible role in the basal metabolic rate]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c818e86d5eed0c484cc247a

Fatty acyl composition of cell membrane lipids, particularly the abundance of highly unsaturated docosahexaenoic fatty acid (22:6n-3, DHA), is likely to be an important predictor of basal metabolic rate (BMR). Our study was performed using two lines of laboratory mice divergently selected for either high or low BMR. We describe a novel single nucleotide polymorphism in the Fads2 gene encoding Δ6-desaturase, a key enzyme in the metabolic pathways of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). The allele frequencies of Fads2 were significantly different in both lines of mice. The analysis of genetic distances revealed that the genetic differentiation between the two studied lines developed significantly faster at the Fads2 locus than it did at neutral loci. Such a pattern suggests that the Fads2 polymorphism is related to the variation in BMR, i.e. the direct target of selection. The Fads2 polymorphism significantly affected abundance of several PUFAs; however, the differences in PUFA composition between lines were compatible with the difference in frequency of Fads2 alleles only for DHA. We hypothesize that the polymorphism in the Fads2 gene affects the BMR through modification of DHA abundance in cell membranes. This may be the first example of a significant link between a polymorphism in a gene responsible for fatty acyl composition and variation in BMR.

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<![CDATA[IL-10 polymorphisms +434T/C, +504G/T, and -2849C/T may predispose to tubulointersititial nephritis and uveitis in pediatric population]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac83d5eed0c484d08944

Background

Tubulointerstitial nephritis (TIN) and uveitis syndrome (TINU) are likely to be autoimmune diseases. Based on previous studies, adults with isolated idiopathic uveitis have polymorphisms in interleukin 10 (IL-10) and tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) genes. We aimed to evaluate the presence of IL-10 and TNF-α polymorphisms in a nationwide cohort of pediatric TIN/TINU patients.

Methods

Single nucleotide polymorphisms in IL-10 (+434T/C, +504G/T, -1082G/A, -2849C/T) and in TNFα (-308G/A, -238G/A, -857C/T) genes were genotyped in 30 well-defined pediatric patients with idiopathic TIN/TINU syndrome. Control group frequencies for these SNPs were obtained from 393 independent Finnish subjects.

Results

The homozygous minor allele in IL-10 +434T (rs2222202) and IL-10+504G (rs3024490) was found in all patients with TIN or TINU syndrome while the frequency of these minor alleles in the control population was 44% and 23%, respectively (p <0.001). In IL-10 SNP -2849 (rs6703630) a significant difference was found with genotype TT in all patients (p = 0.004) and in subgroups with TINU syndrome (p = 0.017) and TINU syndrome with chronic uveitis (p = 0.01) compared to reference population. There were no statistical differences in any of the studied TNF-α genotypes between TIN/TINU patients and control population.

Conclusions

A significant difference in the frequency of IL-10+434T and +504G alleles was found between TIN/TINU patients and control population. Genotype -2849TT was more frequently present in patients with TINU syndrome than in the reference subjects. Genetic variation in the inflammatory mediators may predispose to autoimmune nephritis and uveitis.

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<![CDATA[Rectifying long-standing misconceptions about the ρ statistic for molecular dating]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac76d5eed0c484d08825

When divided by a given mutation rate, the ρ (rho) statistic provides a simple estimator of the age of a clade within a phylogenetic tree by averaging the number of mutations from each sample in the clade to its root. However, a long-standing critique of the use of ρ in genetic dating has been quite often cited. Here we show that the critique is unfounded. We demonstrate by a formal mathematical argument and illustrate with a simulation study that ρ estimates are unbiased and also that ρ and maximum likelihood estimates do not differ in any systematic fashion. We also demonstrate that the claim that the associated confidence intervals commonly estimate the uncertainty inappropriately is flawed since it relies on a means of calculating standard errors that is not used by any other researchers, whereas an established expression for the standard error is largely unproblematic. We conclude that ρ dating, alongside approaches such as maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference, remains a useful tool for genetic dating.

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<![CDATA[Molecular dynamic (MD) studies on Gln233Arg (rs1137101) polymorphism of leptin receptor gene and associated variations in the anthropometric and metabolic profiles of Saudi women]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1542d5eed0c48467afac

The Gln233Arg (A>G; rs1137101) polymorphism of the leptin receptor gene (LEPR) has been investigated extensively and is reported to be associated with different metabolic states. In this investigation, we aimed to study the frequency of Gln233Arg genotypes and alleles in a group of Saudi women stratified by their body mass index (BMI), to correlate the LEPR genotypes with variations in anthropometric, lipid and hormonal parameters and to investigate conformational and structural variations in the mutant LEPR using molecular dynamic (MD) investigations. The study group included 122 Saudi women (normal weight = 60; obese = 62) attending the clinics for a routine checkup. Anthropometric data: height, weight, waist and hip circumference were recorded and fasting serum sample was used to estimate glucose, lipids, ghrelin, leptin and insulin. BMI, W/H ratio, and HOMA-IR values were calculated. Whole blood sample was used to extract DNA; exon 6 of the LEPR gene was amplified by PCR and sequencing was conducted on an ABI 3100 Avant Genetic Analyser. Molecular Dynamic Simulation studies were carried out using different softwares. The results showed the presence of all three genotypes of Gln233Arg in Saudi women, but the frequencies were significantly different when compared to reports from some populations. No differences were seen in the genotype and allele frequencies between the normal weight and obese women. Stratification by the genotypes showed significantly higher BMI, waist and hip circumference, leptin, insulin, fasting glucose and HOMA-IR and lower ghrelin levels in obese women carrying the GG genotype. Even in the normal weight group, individuals with GG genotype had higher BMI, waist and hip circumference and significantly lower ghrelin levels. The MD studies showed a significant effect of the Gln/Arg substitution on the conformation, flexibility, root-mean-square fluctuation (RMSF), radius of gyration (Rg) values, solvent-accessible surface area (SASA) and number of inter- and intra-molecular H-bonds. The results suggest that the structural changes brought about by the mutation, influence the signaling pathways by some unknown mechanism, which may be contributing to the abnormalities seen in the individuals carrying the G allele of rs1137101.

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