ResearchPad - transcriptome-analysis https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Active Notch signaling is required for arm regeneration in a brittle star]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7845 Cell signaling pathways play key roles in coordinating cellular events in development. The Notch signaling pathway is highly conserved across all multicellular animals and is known to coordinate a multitude of diverse cellular events, including proliferation, differentiation, fate specification, and cell death. Specific functions of the pathway are, however, highly context-dependent and are not well characterized in post-traumatic regeneration. Here, we use a small-molecule inhibitor of the pathway (DAPT) to demonstrate that Notch signaling is required for proper arm regeneration in the brittle star Ophioderma brevispina, a highly regenerative member of the phylum Echinodermata. We also employ a transcriptome-wide gene expression analysis (RNA-seq) to characterize the downstream genes controlled by the Notch pathway in the brittle star regeneration. We demonstrate that arm regeneration involves an extensive cross-talk between the Notch pathway and other cell signaling pathways. In the regrowing arm, Notch regulates the composition of the extracellular matrix, cell migration, proliferation, and apoptosis, as well as components of the innate immune response. We also show for the first time that Notch signaling regulates the activity of several transposable elements. Our data also suggests that one of the possible mechanisms through which Notch sustains its activity in the regenerating tissues is via suppression of Neuralized1.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptomic analysis of polyketide synthases in a highly ciguatoxic dinoflagellate, Gambierdiscus polynesiensis and low toxicity Gambierdiscus pacificus, from French Polynesia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nca210627-69b7-4a50-96ce-ecb4ce1a2ae1

Marine dinoflagellates produce a diversity of polyketide toxins that are accumulated in marine food webs and are responsible for a variety of seafood poisonings. Reef-associated dinoflagellates of the genus Gambierdiscus produce toxins responsible for ciguatera poisoning (CP), which causes over 50,000 cases of illness annually worldwide. The biosynthetic machinery for dinoflagellate polyketides remains poorly understood. Recent transcriptomic and genomic sequencing projects have revealed the presence of Type I modular polyketide synthases in dinoflagellates, as well as a plethora of single domain transcripts with Type I sequence homology. The current transcriptome analysis compares polyketide synthase (PKS) gene transcripts expressed in two species of Gambierdiscus from French Polynesia: a highly toxic ciguatoxin producer, G. polynesiensis, versus a non-ciguatoxic species G. pacificus, each assembled from approximately 180 million Illumina 125 nt reads using Trinity, and compares their PKS content with previously published data from other Gambierdiscus species and more distantly related dinoflagellates. Both modular and single-domain PKS transcripts were present. Single domain β-ketoacyl synthase (KS) transcripts were highly amplified in both species (98 in G. polynesiensis, 99 in G. pacificus), with smaller numbers of standalone acyl transferase (AT), ketoacyl reductase (KR), dehydratase (DH), enoyl reductase (ER), and thioesterase (TE) domains. G. polynesiensis expressed both a larger number of multidomain PKSs, and larger numbers of modules per transcript, than the non-ciguatoxic G. pacificus. The largest PKS transcript in G. polynesiensis encoded a 10,516 aa, 7 module protein, predicted to synthesize part of the polyether backbone. Transcripts and gene models representing portions of this PKS are present in other species, suggesting that its function may be performed in those species by multiple interacting proteins. This study contributes to the building consensus that dinoflagellates utilize a combination of Type I modular and single domain PKS proteins, in an as yet undefined manner, to synthesize polyketides.

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<![CDATA[Detection of microbial cell-free DNA in maternal and umbilical cord plasma in patients with chorioamnionitis using next generation sequencing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N85cfbb28-a074-423a-88cd-d5e05af52830

Background

Chorioamnionitis has been linked to spontaneous preterm labor and complications such as neonatal sepsis. We hypothesized that microbial cell-free (cf) DNA would be detectable in maternal plasma in patients with chorioamnionitis and could be the basis for a non-invasive method to detect fetal exposure to microorganisms.

Objective

The purpose of this study was to determine whether next generation sequencing could detect microbial cfDNA in maternal plasma in patients with chorioamnionitis.

Study design

Maternal plasma (n = 94) and umbilical cord plasma (n = 120) were collected during delivery at gestational age 28–41 weeks. cfDNA was extracted and sequenced. Umbilical cord plasma samples with evidence of contamination were excluded. The prevalence of microorganisms previously implicated in choriomanionitis, neonatal sepsis and intra-amniotic infections, as described in the literature, were examined to determine if there was enrichment of these microorganisms in this cohort. Specific microbial cfDNA associated with chorioamnionitis was first detected in umbilical cord plasma and confirmed in the matched maternal plasma samples (n = 77 matched pairs) among 14 cases of histologically confirmed chorioamnionitis and one case of clinical chorioamnionitis; 63 paired samples were used as controls. A correlation of rank of a given microorganism across maternal plasma and matched umbilical cord plasma was used to assess whether signals found in umbilical cord plasma were also present in maternal plasma.

Results

Microbial DNA sequences associated with clinical and/or histological chorioamnionitis were enriched in maternal plasma in cases with suspected chorioamnionitis when compared to controls (12/14 microorganisms, p = 0.02). Analysis of the microbial cfDNA in umbilical cord plasma among the 1,251 microorganisms detectable with this assay identified Streptococcus mitis, Ureaplasma spp., and Mycoplasma spp. in cases of suspected chorioamnionitis. This assay also detected cfDNA from Lactobacillus spp. in controls. Comparison between maternal plasma and umbilical cord plasma confirmed these signatures were also present in maternal plasma. Unbiased analysis of microorganisms with significantly correlated signal between matched maternal plasma and umbilical cord plasma identified the above listed 3 microorganisms, all of which have previously been implicated in patients with chorioamnionitis (Mycoplasma hominis p = 0.0001; Ureaplasma parvum p = 0.002; Streptococcus mitis p = 0.007). These data show that the pathogen signal relevant for chorioamnionitis can be identified in both maternal and umbilical cord plasma.

Conclusion

This is the first report showing the detection of relevant microbial cell-free cfDNA in maternal plasma and umbilical cord plasma in patients with clinical and/or histological chorioamnionitis. These results may lead to the development of a specific assay to detect perinatal infections for targeted therapy to reduce early neonatal sepsis complications.

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<![CDATA[All of gene expression (AOE): An integrated index for public gene expression databases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N65b3f432-723a-4d59-a70d-2c0d696b62b7

Gene expression data have been archived as microarray and RNA-seq datasets in two public databases, Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) and ArrayExpress (AE). In 2018, the DNA DataBank of Japan started a similar repository called the Genomic Expression Archive (GEA). These databases are useful resources for the functional interpretation of genes, but have been separately maintained and may lack RNA-seq data, while the original sequence data are available in the Sequence Read Archive (SRA). We constructed an index for those gene expression data repositories, called All Of gene Expression (AOE), to integrate publicly available gene expression data. The web interface of AOE can graphically query data in addition to the application programming interface. By collecting gene expression data from RNA-seq in the SRA, AOE also includes data not included in GEO and AE. AOE is accessible as a search tool from the GEA website and is freely available at https://aoe.dbcls.jp/.

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<![CDATA[A graph-based algorithm for RNA-seq data normalization]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0b813aa9-b155-4778-93ba-b0f37d26ae8a

The use of RNA-sequencing has garnered much attention in recent years for characterizing and understanding various biological systems. However, it remains a major challenge to gain insights from a large number of RNA-seq experiments collectively, due to the normalization problem. Normalization has been challenging due to an inherent circularity, requiring that RNA-seq data be normalized before any pattern of differential (or non-differential) expression can be ascertained; meanwhile, the prior knowledge of non-differential transcripts is crucial to the normalization process. Some methods have successfully overcome this problem by the assumption that most transcripts are not differentially expressed. However, when RNA-seq profiles become more abundant and heterogeneous, this assumption fails to hold, leading to erroneous normalization. We present a normalization procedure that does not rely on this assumption, nor prior knowledge about the reference transcripts. This algorithm is based on a graph constructed from intrinsic correlations among RNA-seq transcripts and seeks to identify a set of densely connected vertices as references. Application of this algorithm on our synthesized validation data showed that it could recover the reference transcripts with high precision, thus resulting in high-quality normalization. On a realistic data set from the ENCODE project, this algorithm gave good results and could finish in a reasonable time. These preliminary results imply that we may be able to break the long persisting circularity problem in RNA-seq normalization.

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<![CDATA[The genetic diversity and population structure of Sophora alopecuroides (Faboideae) as determined by microsatellite markers developed from transcriptome]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8ed88142-6689-430c-b82a-b033b4ff58ac

Sophora alopecuroides (Faboideae) is an endemic species, mainly distributed in northwest China. However, the limited molecular markers range for this species hinders breeding and genetic studies. A total of 20,324 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were identified from 118,197 assembled transcripts and 18 highly polymorphic SSR markers were used to explore the genetic diversity and population structure of S. alopecuroides from 23 different geographical populations. A relatively low genetic diversity was found in S. alopecuroides based on mean values of the number of effective alleles (Ne = 1.81), expected heterozygosity (He = 0.39) and observed heterozygosity (Ho = 0.55). The results of AMOVA indicated higher levels of variation within populations than between populations. Bayesian-based cluster analysis, principal coordinates analysis and Neighbor-Joining phylogeny analysis roughly divided all genotypes into four major groups with some admixtures. Meanwhile, geographic barriers would have restricted gene flow between the northern and southern regions (separated by Tianshan Mountains), wherein the two relatively ancestral and independent clusters of S. alopecuroides occur. History trade and migration along the Silk Road would together have promoted the spread of S. alopecuroides from the western to the eastern regions of the northwest plateau in China, resulting in the current genetic diversity and population structure. The transcriptomic SSR markers provide a valuable resource for understanding the genetic diversity and population structure of S. alopecuroides, and will assist effective conservation management.

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<![CDATA[Determination of essential phenotypic elements of clusters in high-dimensional entities—DEPECHE]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8accc7d5eed0c48498ffa7

Technological advances have facilitated an exponential increase in the amount of information that can be derived from single cells, necessitating new computational tools that can make such highly complex data interpretable. Here, we introduce DEPECHE, a rapid, parameter free, sparse k-means-based algorithm for clustering of multi- and megavariate single-cell data. In a number of computational benchmarks aimed at evaluating the capacity to form biologically relevant clusters, including flow/mass-cytometry and single cell RNA sequencing data sets with manually curated gold standard solutions, DEPECHE clusters as well or better than the currently available best performing clustering algorithms. However, the main advantage of DEPECHE, compared to the state-of-the-art, is its unique ability to enhance interpretability of the formed clusters, in that it only retains variables relevant for cluster separation, thereby facilitating computational efficient analyses as well as understanding of complex datasets. DEPECHE is implemented in the open source R package DepecheR currently available at github.com/Theorell/DepecheR.

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<![CDATA[Profile of the tprK gene in primary syphilis patients based on next-generation sequencing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c784fecd5eed0c484007915

Background

The highly variable tprK gene of Treponema pallidum has been acknowledged to be one of the mechanisms that causes persistent infection. Previous studies have mainly focused on the heterogeneity in tprK in propagated strains using a clone-based Sanger approach. Few studies have investigated tprK directly from clinical samples using deep sequencing.

Methods/Principal findings

We conducted a comprehensive analysis of 14 primary syphilis clinical isolates of T. pallidum via next-generation sequencing to gain better insight into the profile of tprK in primary syphilis patients. Our results showed that there was a mixture of distinct sequences within each V region of tprK. Except for the predominant sequence for each V region as previously reported using the clone-based Sanger approach, there were many minor variants of all strains that were mainly observed at a frequency of 1–5%. Interestingly, the identified distinct sequences within the regions were variable in length and differed by only 3 bp or multiples of 3 bp. In addition, amino acid sequence consistency within each V region was found among the 14 strains. Among the regions, the sequence IASDGGAIKH in V1 and the sequence DVGHKKENAANVNGTVGA in V4 showed a high stability of inter-strain redundancy.

Conclusions

The seven V regions of the tprK gene in primary syphilis infection demonstrated high diversity; they generally contained a high proportion sequence and numerous low-frequency minor variants, most of which are far below the detection limit of Sanger sequencing. The rampant variation in each V region was regulated by a strict gene conversion mechanism that maintained the length difference to 3 bp or multiples of 3 bp. The highly stable sequence of inter-strain redundancy may indicate that the sequences play a critical role in T. pallidum virulence. These highly stable peptides are also likely to be potential targets for vaccine development.

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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[Targeted next generation sequencing can serve as an alternative to conventional tests in myeloid neoplasms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897760d5eed0c4847d2b67

The 2016 World Health Organization classification introduced a number of genes with somatic mutations and a category for germline predisposition syndromes in myeloid neoplasms. We have designed a comprehensive next-generation sequencing assay to detect somatic mutations, translocations, and germline mutations in a single assay and have evaluated its clinical utility in patients with myeloid neoplasms. Extensive and specified bioinformatics analyses were undertaken to detect single nucleotide variations, FLT3 internal tandem duplication, genic copy number variations, and chromosomal copy number variations. This enabled us to maximize the clinical utility of the assay, and we concluded that, as a single assay, it can be a good supplement for many conventional tests, including Sanger sequencing, RT-PCR, and cytogenetics. Of note, we found that 8.4–11.6% of patients with acute myeloid leukemia and 12.9% of patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms had germline mutations, and most were heterozygous carriers for autosomal recessive marrow failure syndromes. These patients often did not respond to standard chemotherapy, suggesting that germline predisposition may have distinct and significant clinical implications.

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<![CDATA[The responses of lungs and adjacent lymph nodes in responding to Yersinia pestis infection: A transcriptomic study using a non-human primate model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c78500ed5eed0c484007bfd

Initiation of treatment during the pre-symptomatic phase of Yersinia pestis (Y. pestis) infection is particularly critical. The rapid proliferation of Y. pestis typically couples with the manifestation of common flu-like early symptoms that often misguides the medical intervention. Our study used African green monkeys (AGM) that did not exhibit clear clinical symptoms for nearly two days after intranasal challenge with Y. pestis and succumbed within a day after showing the first signs of clinical symptoms. The lung, and mediastinal and submandibular lymph nodes (LN) accumulated significant Y. pestis colonization immediately after the intranasal challenge. Hence, organ-specific molecular investigations are deemed to be the key to elucidating mechanisms of the initial host response. Our previous study focused on the whole blood of AGM, and we found early perturbations in the ubiquitin-microtubule-mediated host defense. Altered expression of the genes present in ubiquitin and microtubule networks indicated an early suppression of these networks in the submandibular lymph nodes. In concert, the upstream toll-like receptor signaling and downstream NFκB signaling were inhibited at the multi-omics level. The inflammatory response was suppressed in the lungs, submandibular lymph nodes and mediastinal lymph nodes. We posited a causal chain of molecular mechanisms that indicated Y. pestis was probably able to impair host-mediated proteolysis activities and evade autophagosome capture by dysregulating both ubiquitin and microtubule networks in submandibular lymph nodes. Targeting these networks in a submandibular LN-specific and time-resolved fashion could be essential for development of the next generation therapeutics for pneumonic plague.

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<![CDATA[A precedented nuclear genetic code with all three termination codons reassigned as sense codons in the syndinean Amoebophrya sp. ex Karlodinium veneficum]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c818e8fd5eed0c484cc2557

Amoebophrya is part of an enigmatic, diverse, and ubiquitous marine alveolate lineage known almost entirely from anonymous environmental sequencing. Two cultured Amoebophrya strains grown on core dinoflagellate hosts were used for transcriptome sequencing. BLASTx using different genetic codes suggests that Amoebophyra sp. ex Karlodinium veneficum uses the three typical stop codons (UAA, UAG, and UGA) to encode amino acids. When UAA and UAG are translated as glutamine about half of the alignments have better BLASTx scores, and when UGA is translated as tryptophan one fifth have better scores. However, the sole stop codon appears to be UGA based on conserved genes, suggesting contingent translation of UGA. Neither host sequences, nor sequences from the second strain, Amoebophrya sp. ex Akashiwo sanguinea had similar results in BLASTx searches. A genome survey of Amoebophyra sp. ex K. veneficum showed no evidence for transcript editing aside from mitochondrial transcripts. The dynein heavy chain (DHC) gene family was surveyed and of 14 transcripts only two did not use UAA, UAG, or UGA in a coding context. Overall the transcriptome displayed strong bias for A or U in third codon positions, while the tRNA genome survey showed bias against codons ending in U, particularly for amino acids with two codons ending in either C or U. Together these clues suggest contingent translation mechanisms in Amoebophyra sp. ex K. veneficum and a phylogenetically distinct instance of genetic code modification.

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<![CDATA[Presence, persistence and effects of pre-treatment HIV-1 drug resistance variants detected using next generation sequencing: A Retrospective longitudinal study from rural coastal Kenya]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9f3d5eed0c48452a5bd

Background

The epidemiology of HIV-1 drug resistance (HIVDR) determined by Sanger capillary sequencing, has been widely studied. However, much less is known about HIVDR detected using next generation sequencing (NGS) methods. We aimed to determine the presence, persistence and effect of pre-treatment HIVDR variants detected using NGS in HIV-1 infected antiretroviral treatment (ART) naïve participants from rural Coastal Kenya.

Methods

In a retrospective longitudinal study, samples from HIV-1 infected participants collected prior [n = 2 time-points] and after [n = 1 time-point] ART initiation were considered. An ultra-deep amplicon-based NGS assay, calling for nucleotide variants at >2.0% frequency of viral population, was used. Suspected virologic failure (sVF) was defined as a one-off HIV-1 viral load of >1000 copies/ml whilst on ART.

Results

Of the 50 eligible participants, 12 (24.0% [95% CI: 13.1–38.2]) had at least one detectable pre-treatment HIVDR variant against Protease Inhibitors (PIs, n = 6 [12%]), Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs, n = 4 [8.0%]) and Non-NRTIs (n = 3 [6.0%]). Overall, 15 pre-treatment resistance variants were detected (frequency, range: 2.3–92.0%). A positive correlation was observed between mutation frequency and absolute load for NRTI and/or NNRTI variants (r = 0.761 [p = 0.028]), but not for PI variants (r = -0.117 [p = 0.803]). Participants with pre-treatment NRTI and/or NNRTI resistance had increased odds of sVF (OR = 6.0; 95% CI = 1.0–36.9; p = 0.054).

Conclusions

Using NGS, pre-treatment resistance variants were common, though observed PI variants were unlikely transmitted, but rather probably generated de novo. Even when detected from a low frequency, pre-treatment NRTI and/or NNRTI resistance variants may adversely affect treatment outcomes.

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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[Testing of library preparation methods for transcriptome sequencing of real life glioblastoma and brain tissue specimens: A comparative study with special focus on long non-coding RNAs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6b26afd5eed0c484289e7d

Current progress in the field of next-generation transcriptome sequencing have contributed significantly to the study of various malignancies including glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Differential sequencing of transcriptomes of patients and non-tumor controls has a potential to reveal novel transcripts with significant role in GBM. One such candidate group of molecules are long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) which have been proved to be involved in processes such as carcinogenesis, epigenetic modifications and resistance to various therapeutic approaches. To maximize the value of transcriptome sequencing, a proper protocol for library preparation from tissue-derived RNA needs to be found which would produce high quality transcriptome sequencing data and increase the number of detected lncRNAs. It is important to mention that success of library preparation is determined by the quality of input RNA, which is in case of real-life tissue specimens very often altered in comparison to high quality RNA commonly used by manufacturers for development of library preparation chemistry. In the present study, we used GBM and non-tumor brain tissue specimens and compared three different commercial library preparation kits, namely NEXTflex Rapid Directional qRNA-Seq Kit (Bioo Scientific), SENSE Total RNA-Seq Library Prep Kit (Lexogen) and NEBNext Ultra II Directional RNA Library Prep Kit for Illumina (NEB). Libraries generated using SENSE kit were characterized by the most normal distribution of normalized average GC content, the least amount of over-represented sequences and the percentage of ribosomal RNA reads (0.3–1.5%) and highest numbers of uniquely mapped reads and reads aligning to coding regions. However, NEBNext kit performed better having relatively low duplication rates, even transcript coverage and the highest number of hits in Ensembl database for every biotype of our interest including lncRNAs. Our results indicate that out of three approaches the NEBNext library preparation kit was most suitable for the study of lncRNAs via transcriptome sequencing. This was further confirmed by highly consistent data reached in an independent validation on an expanded cohort.

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<![CDATA[A diurnal flux balance model of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 metabolism]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536a77d5eed0c484a4747a

Phototrophic organisms such as cyanobacteria utilize the sun’s energy to convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into organic carbon, resulting in diurnal variations in the cell’s metabolism. Flux balance analysis is a widely accepted constraint-based optimization tool for analyzing growth and metabolism, but it is generally used in a time-invariant manner with no provisions for sequestering different biomass components at different time periods. Here we present CycleSyn, a periodic model of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 metabolism that spans a 12-hr light/12-hr dark cycle by segmenting it into 12 Time Point Models (TPMs) with a uniform duration of two hours. The developed framework allows for the flow of metabolites across TPMs while inventorying metabolite levels and only allowing for the utilization of currently or previously produced compounds. The 12 TPMs allow for the incorporation of time-dependent constraints that capture the cyclic nature of cellular processes. Imposing bounds on reactions informed by temporally-segmented transcriptomic data enables simulation of phototrophic growth as a single linear programming (LP) problem. The solution provides the time varying reaction fluxes over a 24-hour cycle and the accumulation/consumption of metabolites. The diurnal rhythm of metabolic gene expression driven by the circadian clock and its metabolic consequences is explored. Predicted flux and metabolite pools are in line with published studies regarding the temporal organization of phototrophic growth in Synechocystis PCC 6803 paving the way for constructing time-resolved genome-scale models (GSMs) for organisms with a circadian clock. In addition, the metabolic reorganization that would be required to enable Synechocystis PCC 6803 to temporally separate photosynthesis from oxygen-sensitive nitrogen fixation is also explored using the developed model formalism.

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<![CDATA[INDETERMINATE-DOMAIN 4 (IDD4) coordinates immune responses with plant-growth in Arabidopsis thaliana]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536a50d5eed0c484a471ee

INDETERMINATE DOMAIN (IDD)/ BIRD proteins are a highly conserved plant-specific family of transcription factors which play multiple roles in plant development and physiology. Here, we show that mutation in IDD4/IMPERIAL EAGLE increases resistance to the hemi-biotrophic pathogen Pseudomonas syringae, indicating that IDD4 may act as a repressor of basal immune response and PAMP-triggered immunity. Furthermore, the idd4 mutant exhibits enhanced plant-growth indicating IDD4 as suppressor of growth and development. Transcriptome comparison of idd4 mutants and IDD4ox lines aligned to genome-wide IDD4 DNA-binding studies revealed major target genes related to defense and developmental-biological processes. IDD4 is a phospho-protein that interacts and becomes phosphorylated on two conserved sites by the MAP kinase MPK6. DNA-binding studies of IDD4 after flg22 treatment and with IDD4 phosphosite mutants show enhanced binding affinity to ID1 motif-containing promoters and its function as a transcriptional regulator. In contrast to the IDD4-phospho-dead mutant, the IDD4 phospho-mimicking mutant shows altered susceptibility to PstDC3000, salicylic acid levels and transcriptome reprogramming. In summary, we found that IDD4 regulates various hormonal pathways thereby coordinating growth and development with basal immunity.

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<![CDATA[Comparative transcriptome analysis reveals osmotic-regulated genes in the gill of Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f75ad5eed0c484385f57

Salinity is one of the most important abiotic factors directly affecting the reproduction, molting, growth, immune, physiological and metabolic activities of Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis). This species has strong osmoregulatory capacity and can maintain stringent internal homeostasis. However, the mechanisms conferring tolerance to salinity fluctuations are not well understood. To reveal the genes and pathways involved in osmoregulation, adult male crabs (body weight = 110 ± 5 g) were acclimated for 144 h in freshwater (FW, 0 ppt) or seawater (SW, 25 ppt). Changes in the transcriptome of crab gills were then analysed by RNA-Seq, and 174,903 unigenes were obtained. Comparison of genes between FW- SW-acclimated groups identified 932 genes that were significantly differentially expressed in the gill, comprising 433 and 499 up- and downregulated transcripts. Gene Ontology functional enrichment analysis revealed that important biological processes related to salt stress were significantly enriched, including energy metabolism, ion transport, signal transduction and antioxidant activity. Kyoto Encyclopaedia of Genes and Genomes enrichment analysis mapped the differentially expressed genes to 241 specific metabolic pathways, and pathways related to energy metabolism, oxidative phosphorylation and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA)/citrate cycle were significantly enriched. Salinity stress altered the expression of many enzymes involved in energy metabolism, ion transport, signal transduction and antioxidant pathways, including citrate synthase (CS), Na+/K+-ATPase (NKA), Na+-K+-2Cl cotransporter-1 (NKCC1), dopamine receptor D1 (DRD1), synaptic binding protein 1 (STXBP1), Cu2+/Zn2+ superoxide dismutase (SOD1) and glutathione S-transferase (GST). Additionally, the obtained transcriptomic sequencing data provided a useful resource for identification of novel genes, and further physiological analysis of Chinese mitten crab.

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<![CDATA[Adding function to the genome of African Salmonella Typhimurium ST313 strain D23580]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c3bd5eed0c484bd0f6c

Salmonella Typhimurium sequence type (ST) 313 causes invasive nontyphoidal Salmonella (iNTS) disease in sub-Saharan Africa, targeting susceptible HIV+, malarial, or malnourished individuals. An in-depth genomic comparison between the ST313 isolate D23580 and the well-characterized ST19 isolate 4/74 that causes gastroenteritis across the globe revealed extensive synteny. To understand how the 856 nucleotide variations generated phenotypic differences, we devised a large-scale experimental approach that involved the global gene expression analysis of strains D23580 and 4/74 grown in 16 infection-relevant growth conditions. Comparison of transcriptional patterns identified virulence and metabolic genes that were differentially expressed between D23580 versus 4/74, many of which were validated by proteomics. We also uncovered the S. Typhimurium D23580 and 4/74 genes that showed expression differences during infection of murine macrophages. Our comparative transcriptomic data are presented in a new enhanced version of the Salmonella expression compendium, SalComD23580: http://bioinf.gen.tcd.ie/cgi-bin/salcom_v2.pl. We discovered that the ablation of melibiose utilization was caused by three independent SNP mutations in D23580 that are shared across ST313 lineage 2, suggesting that the ability to catabolize this carbon source has been negatively selected during ST313 evolution. The data revealed a novel, to our knowledge, plasmid maintenance system involving a plasmid-encoded CysS cysteinyl-tRNA synthetase, highlighting the power of large-scale comparative multicondition analyses to pinpoint key phenotypic differences between bacterial pathovariants.

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<![CDATA[The transcriptome sequencing and functional analysis of eyestalk ganglions in Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) treated with different photoperiods]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c478c7bd5eed0c484bd294c

Photoperiod plays an important role in individual growth, development, and metabolism in crustaceans. The growth and reproduction of crabs are closely related to the photoperiod. However, as of yet, there are still no transcriptomic reports of eyestalk ganglions treated under different photoperiods in the Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis), which is a benthonic crab with high commercial value in Asia. In this study, we collected the eyestalk ganglions of crabs that were reared under different photoperiods, including a control group (L: D = 12 h: 12 h, named CC), a constant light group (L: D = 24 h: 0 h, named LL) and a constant darkness group (L: D = 0 h: 24 h, named DD). RNA sequencing was performed on these tissues in order to examine the effects of different photoperiods. The total numbers of clean reads from the CC, LL and DD groups were 48,772,584 bp, 53,943,281 bp and 53,815,178 bp, respectively. After de novo assembly, 161,380 unigenes were obtained and were matched with different databases. The DEGs were significantly enriched in phototransduction and energy metabolism pathways. Results from RT-qPCR showed that TRP channel protein (TRP) in the phototransduction pathway had a significantly higher level of expression in LL and DD groups than in the CC group. We found that the downregulation of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC) gene and the upregulation phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PPC) gene were involved in energy metabolism processes in LL or DD. In addition, we also found that the upregulation of the expression level of the genes Gαq, pyruvate kinase (PK), NADH peroxidase (NADH) and ATPase is involved in phototransduction and energy metabolism. These results may shed some light on the molecular mechanism underlying the effect of photoperiod in physiological activity of E. sinensis.

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