ResearchPad - yeast-and-fungal-models https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Abrogation of pathogenic attributes in drug resistant <i>Candida auris</i> strains by farnesol]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7651 Candida auris, a decade old Candida species, has been identified globally as a significant nosocomial multidrug resistant (MDR) pathogen responsible for causing invasive outbreaks. Biofilms and overexpression of efflux pumps such as Major Facilitator Superfamily and ATP Binding Cassette are known to cause multidrug resistance in Candida species, including C. auris. Therefore, targeting these factors may prove an effective approach to combat MDR in C. auris. In this study, 25 clinical isolates of C. auris from different hospitals of South Africa were used. All the isolates were found capable enough to form biofilms on 96-well flat bottom microtiter plate that was further confirmed by MTT reduction assay. In addition, these strains have active drug efflux mechanism which was supported by rhodamine-6-G extracellular efflux and intracellular accumulation assays. Antifungal susceptibility profile of all the isolates against commonly used drugs was determined following CLSI recommended guidelines. We further studied the role of farnesol, an endogenous quorum sensing molecule, in modulating development of biofilms and drug efflux in C. auris. The MIC for planktonic cells ranged from 62.5–125 mM, and for sessile cells was 125 mM (4h biofilm) and 500 mM (12h and 24h biofilm). Furthermore, farnesol (125 mM) also suppresses adherence and biofilm formation by C. auris. Farnesol inhibited biofilm formation, blocked efflux pumps and downregulated biofilm- and efflux pump- associated genes. Modulation of C. auris biofilm formation and efflux pump activity by farnesol represent a promising approach for controlling life threatening infections caused by this pathogen.

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<![CDATA[The SET Domain Protein, Set3p, Promotes the Reliable Execution of Cytokinesis in Schizosaccharomyces pombe]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dadeab0ee8fa60bbafce

In response to perturbation of the cell division machinery fission yeast cells activate regulatory networks that ensure the faithful completion of cytokinesis. For instance, when cells are treated with drugs that impede constriction of the actomyosin ring (low doses of Latrunculin A, for example) these networks ensure that cytokinesis is complete before progression into the subsequent mitosis. Here, we identify three previously uncharacterized genes, hif2, set3, and snt1, whose deletion results in hyper-sensitivity to LatA treatment and in increased rates of cytokinesis failure. Interestingly, these genes are orthologous to TBL1X, MLL5, and NCOR2, human genes that encode components of a histone deacetylase complex with a known role in cytokinesis. Through co-immunoprecipitation experiments, localization studies, and phenotypic analysis of gene deletion mutants, we provide evidence for an orthologous complex in fission yeast. Furthermore, in light of the putative role of the complex in chromatin modification, together with our results demonstrating an increase in Set3p levels upon Latrunculin A treatment, global gene expression profiles were generated. While this analysis demonstrated that the expression of cytokinesis genes was not significantly affected in set3Δ backgrounds, it did reveal defects in the ability of the mutant to regulate genes with roles in the cellular response to stress. Taken together, these findings support the existence of a conserved, multi-protein complex with a role in promoting the successful completion of cytokinesis.

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<![CDATA[Host factors that promote retrotransposon integration are similar in distantly related eukaryotes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ab4e87b463d7e0cbd0422e6

Retroviruses and Long Terminal Repeat (LTR)-retrotransposons have distinct patterns of integration sites. The oncogenic potential of retrovirus-based vectors used in gene therapy is dependent on the selection of integration sites associated with promoters. The LTR-retrotransposon Tf1 of Schizosaccharomyces pombe is studied as a model for oncogenic retroviruses because it integrates into the promoters of stress response genes. Although integrases (INs) encoded by retroviruses and LTR-retrotransposons are responsible for catalyzing the insertion of cDNA into the host genome, it is thought that distinct host factors are required for the efficiency and specificity of integration. We tested this hypothesis with a genome-wide screen of host factors that promote Tf1 integration. By combining an assay for transposition with a genetic assay that measures cDNA recombination we could identify factors that contribute differentially to integration. We utilized this assay to test a collection of 3,004 S. pombe strains with single gene deletions. Using these screens and immunoblot measures of Tf1 proteins, we identified a total of 61 genes that promote integration. The candidate integration factors participate in a range of processes including nuclear transport, transcription, mRNA processing, vesicle transport, chromatin structure and DNA repair. Two candidates, Rhp18 and the NineTeen complex were tested in two-hybrid assays and were found to interact with Tf1 IN. Surprisingly, a number of pathways we identified were found previously to promote integration of the LTR-retrotransposons Ty1 and Ty3 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, indicating the contribution of host factors to integration are common in distantly related organisms. The DNA repair factors are of particular interest because they may identify the pathways that repair the single stranded gaps flanking the sites of strand transfer following integration of LTR retroelements.

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<![CDATA[Switchable resolution in soft x-ray tomography of single cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N83fafb3a-9522-40a6-a68c-b2c601c68e90

The diversity of living cells, in both size and internal complexity, calls for imaging methods with adaptable spatial resolution. Soft x-ray tomography (SXT) is a three-dimensional imaging technique ideally suited to visualizing and quantifying the internal organization of single cells of varying sizes in a near-native state. The achievable resolution of the soft x-ray microscope is largely determined by the objective lens, but switching between objectives is extremely time-consuming and typically undertaken only during microscope maintenance procedures. Since the resolution of the optic is inversely proportional to the depth of focus, an optic capable of imaging the thickest cells is routinely selected. This unnecessarily limits the achievable resolution in smaller cells and eliminates the ability to obtain high-resolution images of regions of interest in larger cells. Here, we describe developments to overcome this shortfall and allow selection of microscope optics best suited to the specimen characteristics and data requirements. We demonstrate that switchable objective capability advances the flexibility of SXT to enable imaging cells ranging in size from bacteria to yeast and mammalian cells without physically modifying the microscope, and we demonstrate the use of this technology to image the same specimen with both optics.

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<![CDATA[Candida lusitaniae in Kuwait: Prevalence, antifungal susceptibility and role in neonatal fungemia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8accced5eed0c484990063

Objectives

Candida lusitaniae is an opportunistic yeast pathogen in certain high-risk patient populations/cohorts. The species exhibits an unusual antifungal susceptibility profile with tendency to acquire rapid resistance. Here, we describe prevalence of C. lusitaniae in clinical specimens in Kuwait, its antifungal susceptibility profile and role in neonatal fungemia.

Methods

Clinical C. lusitaniae isolates recovered from diverse specimens during 2011 to 2017 were retrospectively analyzed. All isolates were identified by germ tube test, growth on CHROMagar Candida and by Vitek 2 yeast identification system. A simple species-specific PCR assay was developed and results were confirmed by PCR-sequencing of ITS region of rDNA. Antifungal susceptibility was determined by Etest. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were recorded after 24 h incubation at 35°C.

Results

Of 7068 yeast isolates, 134 (1.89%) were identified as C. lusitaniae including 25 (2.52%) among 990 bloodstream isolates. Species-specific PCR and PCR-sequencing of rDNA confirmed identification. Of 11 cases of neonatal candidemia, 9 occurred in NICU of Hospital A and are described here. Eight of 9 neonates received liposomal amphotericin B, which was followed by fluconazole in 7 and additionally by caspofungin in 2 cases as salvage therapy. Three of 8 (37.5%) patients died. No isolate exhibited reduced susceptibility to amphotericin B, fluconazole, voriconazole, caspopfungin, micafungin and anidulafungin. The MIC ± geometric mean values for amphotericin B, fluconazole, voriconazole, and caspofungin were as follows: 0.072 ± 0.037 μg/ml, 2.32 ± 0.49 μg/ml, 0.09 ± 0.01 μg/ml and 0.16 ± 0.08 μg/ml, respectively. Only two isolates exhibited reduced susceptibility to fluconazole.

Conclusions

This study describes the prevalence and antifungal susceptibility profile of clinical C. lusitaniae isolates in Kuwait. No isolate showed reduced susceptibility to amphotericin B. The study highlights the emerging role of C. lusitaniae as a healthcare-associated pathogen capable of causing fungemia in preterm neonates and causing significant mortality.

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<![CDATA[A prospective, multi-center study of Candida bloodstream infections in Chile]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8c1960d5eed0c484b4d4f3

Background

Active surveillance is necessary for improving the management and outcome of patients with candidemia. The aim of this study was to describe epidemiologic and clinical features of candidemia in children and adults in tertiary level hospitals in Chile.

Methods

We conducted a prospective, multicenter, laboratory-based survey study of candidemia in 26 tertiary care hospitals in Chile, from January 2013 to October 2017.

Results

A total of 780 episodes of candidemia were included, with a median incidence of 0.47/1,000 admissions. Demographic, clinical and microbiological information of 384 cases of candidemia, from 18 hospitals (7,416 beds), was included in this report. One hundred and thirty-four episodes (35%) occurred in pediatric patients and 250 (65%) in adult population. Candida albicans (39%), Candida parapsilosis (30%) and Candida glabrata (10%) were the leading species, with a significant difference in the distribution of species between ages. The use of central venous catheter and antibiotics were the most frequent risk factors in all age groups (> 70%). Three hundred and fifteen strains were studied for antifungal susceptibility; 21 strains (6.6%) were resistant to fluconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole, anidulafungin or micafungin. The most commonly used antifungal therapies were fluconazole (39%) and echinocandins (36%). The overall 30-day survival was 74.2%, significantly higher in infants (82%) and children (86%) compared with neonates (72%), adults (71%) and elderly (70%).

Conclusions

Our prospective, multicenter surveillance study showed a low incidence of candidemia in Chile, with high 30-day survival, a large proportion of elderly patients, C. glabrata as the third most commonly identified strain, a 6.6% resistance to antifungal agents and a frequent use of echinocandins.

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<![CDATA[Evolutionary behaviour of bacterial prion-like proteins]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823f7d5eed0c484639437

Prions in eukaryotes have been linked to diseases, evolutionary capacitance, large-scale genetic control and long-term memory formation. In bacteria, constructed prion-forming proteins have been described, such as the prion-forming protein recently described for Clostridium botulinum transcription terminator Rho. Here, I analyzed the evolution of the Rho prion-forming domain across bacteria, and discovered that its conservation is sporadic both in the Clostridium genus and in bacteria generally. Nonetheless, it has an apparent evolutionary reach into eight or more different bacterial phyla. Motivated by these results, I investigated whether this pattern of wide-ranging evolutionary sporadicity is typical of bacterial prion-like domains. A measure of coverage of a domain (C) within its evolutionary range was derived, which is effectively a weighted fraction of the number of species in which the domain is found. I observe that occurrence across multiple phyla is not uncommon for bacterial prion-like protein domain families, but that they tend to sample of a low fraction of species within their evolutionary range, like Rho. The Rho prion-like domain family is one of the top three most widely distributed prion-like protein domain families in terms of number of phyla. There are >60 prion-like protein domain families that have at least the evolutionary coverage of Rho, and are found in multiple phyla. The implications of these findings for evolution and for experimental investigations into prion-forming proteins are discussed.

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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[Efficacy of liposomal amphotericin B and anidulafungin using an antifungal lock technique (ALT) for catheter-related Candida albicans and Candida glabrata infections in an experimental model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac7dd5eed0c484d088b2

Objective

The aims of this study were as follows. First, we sought to compare the in vitro susceptibility of liposomal amphotericin B (LAmB) and anidulafungin on Candida albicans and Candida glabrata biofilms growing on silicone discs. Second, we sought to compare the activity of LAmB versus anidulafungin for the treatment of experimental catheter-related C. albicans and C. glabrata infections with the antifungal lock technique in a rabbit model.

Methods

Two C. albicans and two C. glabrata clinical strains were used. The minimum biofilm eradication concentration for 90% eradication (MBEC90) values were determined after 48h of treatment with LAmB and anidulafungin. Confocal microscopy was used to visualize the morphology and viability of yeasts growing in biofilms. Central venous catheters were inserted into New Zealand rabbits, which were inoculated of each strain of C. albicans and C. glabrata. Then, catheters were treated for 48h with saline or with antifungal lock technique using either LAmB (5mg/mL) or anidulafungin (3.33mg/mL).

Results

In vitro: anidulafungin showed greater activity than LAmB against C. albicans and C. glabrata strains. For C. albicans: MBEC90 of anidulafungin versus LAmB: CA176, 0.03 vs. 128 mg/L; CA180, 0.5 vs. 64 mg/L. For C. glabrata: MBEC90 of anidulafungin versus LAmB: CG171, 0.5 vs. 64 mg/L; CG334, 2 vs. 32 mg/L. In vivo: for C. albicans species, LAmB and anidulafungin achieved significant reductions relative to growth control of log10 cfu recovered from the catheter tips (CA176: 3.6±0.3 log10 CFU, p≤0.0001; CA180: 3.8±0.1 log10 CFU, p≤0.01). For C. glabrata, anidulafungin lock therapy achieved significant reductions relative to the other treatments (CG171: 4.8 log10 CFU, p≤0.0001; CG334: 5.1 log10 CFU, p≤0.0001)

Conclusions

For the C. albicans strains, both LAmB and anidulafungin may be promising antifungal lock technique for long-term catheter-related infections; however, anidulafungin showed significantly higher activity than LAmB against the C. glabrata strains.

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<![CDATA[Exposure of Candida albicans β (1,3)-glucan is promoted by activation of the Cek1 pathway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca280d5eed0c48441e4da

Candida albicans is among the most common causes of human fungal infections and is an important source of mortality. C. albicans is able to diminish its detection by innate immune cells through masking of β (1,3)-glucan in the inner cell wall with an outer layer of heavily glycosylated mannoproteins (mannan). However, mutations or drugs that disrupt the cell wall can lead to exposure of β (1,3)-glucan (unmasking) and enhanced detection by innate immune cells through receptors like Dectin-1, the C-type signaling lectin. Previously, our lab showed that the pathway for synthesizing the phospholipid phosphatidylserine (PS) plays a role in β (1,3)-glucan masking. The homozygous PS synthase knockout mutant, cho1Δ/Δ, exhibits increased exposure of β (1,3)-glucan. Several Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) pathways and their upstream Rho-type small GTPases are important for regulating cell wall biogenesis and remodeling. In the cho1Δ/Δ mutant, both the Cek1 and Mkc1 MAPKs are constitutively activated, and they act downstream of the small GTPases Cdc42 and Rho1, respectively. In addition, Cdc42 activity is up-regulated in cho1Δ/Δ. Thus, it was hypothesized that activation of Cdc42 or Rho1 and their downstream kinases cause unmasking. Disruption of MKC1 does not decrease unmasking in cho1Δ/Δ, and hyperactivation of Rho1 in wild-type cells increases unmasking and activation of both Cek1 and Mkc1. Moreover, independent hyperactivation of the MAP kinase kinase kinase Ste11 in wild-type cells leads to Cek1 activation and increased β (1,3)-glucan exposure. Thus, upregulation of the Cek1 MAPK pathway causes unmasking, and may be responsible for unmasking in cho1Δ/Δ.

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<![CDATA[A rapid methods development workflow for high-throughput quantitative proteomic applications]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f152ed5eed0c48467ae98

Recent improvements in the speed and sensitivity of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry systems have driven significant progress toward system-wide characterization of the proteome of many species. These efforts create large proteomic datasets that provide insight into biological processes and identify diagnostic proteins whose abundance changes significantly under different experimental conditions. Yet, these system-wide experiments are typically the starting point for hypothesis-driven, follow-up experiments to elucidate the extent of the phenomenon or the utility of the diagnostic marker, wherein many samples must be analyzed. Transitioning from a few discovery experiments to quantitative analyses on hundreds of samples requires significant resources both to develop sensitive and specific methods as well as analyze them in a high-throughput manner. To aid these efforts, we developed a workflow using data acquired from discovery proteomic experiments, retention time prediction, and standard-flow chromatography to rapidly develop targeted proteomic assays. We demonstrated this workflow by developing MRM assays to quantify proteins of multiple metabolic pathways from multiple microbes under different experimental conditions. With this workflow, one can also target peptides in scheduled/dynamic acquisition methods from a shotgun proteomic dataset downloaded from online repositories, validate with appropriate control samples or standard peptides, and begin analyzing hundreds of samples in only a few minutes.

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<![CDATA[The genetic intractability of Symbiodinium microadriaticum to standard algal transformation methods]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac68d5eed0c484d08712

Modern transformation and genome editing techniques have shown great success across a broad variety of organisms. However, no study of successfully applied genome editing has been reported in a dinoflagellate despite the first genetic transformation of Symbiodinium being published about 20 years ago. Using an array of different available transformation techniques, we attempted to transform Symbiodinium microadriaticum (CCMP2467), a dinoflagellate symbiont of reef-building corals, with the view to performing subsequent CRISPR-Cas9 mediated genome editing. Plasmid vectors designed for nuclear transformation containing the chloramphenicol resistance gene under the control of the CaMV p35S promoter as well as several putative endogenous promoters were used to test a variety of transformation techniques including biolistics, electroporation and agitation with silicon carbide whiskers. Chloroplast-targeted transformation was attempted using an engineered Symbiodinium chloroplast minicircle encoding a modified PsbA protein expected to confer atrazine resistance. We report that we have been unable to confer chloramphenicol or atrazine resistance on Symbiodinium microadriaticum strain CCMP2467.

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<![CDATA[Isolation and identification of aroma producing strain with esterification capacity from yellow water]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1540d5eed0c48467af8c

Kaoliang is a refreshing fragranced type of Chinese spirits with slight apple fragrance that comes from ethyl acetate (EA). Special aromas are produced by esterification microorganisms, which affect the taste and quality of the wine. In this study, new yeast strains were isolated from yellow water, a by-product during fermentation process. Meanwhile, the optimal culture condition was determined for its growth and EA production. Three new strains, Kazachstaniaexigua, Candida humilis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae were identified from yellow water. Among these strains, S. cerevisiae S5 was the new and dominant strain. Results from response surface methodology showed that S. cerevisiae S5 produced 161.88 ppm of EA, in the medium with 4.91% yeast extract, 9.82% peptone, and 20.91% glucose after 96 hours of cultivation at 27.53°C. GC analysis showed that aroma compounds, such as EA, isoamyl acetate and 2-phenylethanol increased from the sample of optimal condition when compared to the one from initial fermentation condition.

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<![CDATA[Toxicity and oviposition deterrence of essential oils of Clinopodium nubigenum and Lavandula angustifolia against the myiasis-inducing blowfly Lucilia sericata]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe5ad5eed0c484e5b930

Cutaneous myiasis is a severe worldwide medical and veterinary issue. In this trial the essential oil (EO) of the Andean medicinal plant species Clinopodium nubigenum (Kunth) Kuntze was evaluated for its bioactivity against the myiasis-inducing blowfly Lucilia sericata (Meigen) (Diptera Calliphoridae) and compared with that of the well-known medicinal plant species Lavandula angustifolia Mill. The EOs were analysed and tested in laboratory for their oviposition deterrence and toxicity against L. sericata adults. The physiology of EO toxicity was evaluated by enzymatic inhibition tests. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of the EOs were tested as well. At 0.8 μL cm-2, both EOs completely deterred L. sericata oviposition up to 3 hours. After 24 h, the oviposition deterrence was still 82.7% for L. angustifolia and the 89.5% for C. nubigenum. The two EOs were also toxic to eggs and adults of L. sericata. By contact/fumigation, the EOs, the LC50 values against the eggs were 0.07 and 0.48 μL cm-2 while, by topical application on the adults, LD50 values were 0.278 and 0.393 μL per individual for C. nubigenum and L. angustifolia EOs, respectively. Inhibition of acetylcholine esterase of L. sericata by EOs (IC50 = 67.450 and 79.495 mg L-1 for C. nubigenum and L. angustifolia, respectively) suggested that the neural sites are targets of the EO toxicity. Finally, the observed antibacterial and antifungal properties of C. nubigenum and L. angustifolia EOs suggest that they could also help prevent secondary infections.

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<![CDATA[Network hubs affect evolvability]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52c6d5eed0c4842bcfcd

The regulatory processes in cells are typically organized into complex genetic networks. However, it is still unclear how this network structure modulates the evolution of cellular regulation. One would expect that mutations in central and highly connected modules of a network (so-called hubs) would often result in a breakdown and therefore be an evolutionary dead end. However, a new study by Koubkova-Yu and colleagues finds that in some circumstances, altering a hub can offer a quick evolutionary advantage. Specifically, changes in a hub can induce significant phenotypic changes that allow organisms to move away from a local fitness peak, whereas the fitness defects caused by the perturbed hub can be mitigated by mutations in its interaction partners. Together, the results demonstrate how network architecture shapes and facilitates evolutionary adaptation.

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<![CDATA[Environment-dependent pleiotropic effects of mutations on the maximum growth rate r and carrying capacity K of population growth]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e656d5eed0c484ef2c2a

Maximum growth rate per individual (r) and carrying capacity (K) are key life-history traits that together characterize the density-dependent population growth and therefore are crucial parameters of many ecological and evolutionary theories such as r/K selection. Although r and K are generally thought to correlate inversely, both r/K tradeoffs and trade-ups have been observed. Nonetheless, neither the conditions under which each of these relationships occur nor the causes of these relationships are fully understood. Here, we address these questions using yeast as a model system. We estimated r and K using the growth curves of over 7,000 yeast recombinants in nine environments and found that the rK correlation among genotypes changes from 0.53 to −0.52 with the rise of environment quality, measured by the mean r of all genotypes in the environment. We respectively mapped quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for r and K in each environment. Many QTLs simultaneously influence r and K, but the directions of their effects are environment dependent such that QTLs tend to show concordant effects on the two traits in poor environments but antagonistic effects in rich environments. We propose that these contrasting trends are generated by the relative impacts of two factors—the tradeoff between the speed and efficiency of ATP production and the energetic cost of cell maintenance relative to reproduction—and demonstrate an agreement between model predictions and empirical observations. These results reveal and explain the complex environment dependency of the rK relationship, which bears on many ecological and evolutionary phenomena and has biomedical implications.

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<![CDATA[Genomic content of a novel yeast species Hanseniaspora gamundiae sp. nov. from fungal stromata (Cyttaria) associated with a unique fermented beverage in Andean Patagonia, Argentina]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5290d5eed0c4842bcb8e

A novel yeast species was isolated from the sugar-rich stromata of Cyttaria hariotii collected from two different Nothofagus tree species in the Andean forests of Patagonia, Argentina. Phylogenetic analyses of the concatenated sequence of the rRNA gene sequences and the protein-coding genes for actin and translational elongation factor-1α indicated that the novel species belongs to the genus Hanseniaspora. De novo genome assembly of the strain CRUB 1928T yielded a 10.2-Mbp genome assembly predicted to encode 4452 protein-coding genes. The genome sequence data were compared to the genomes of other Hanseniaspora species using three different methods, an alignment-free distance measure, Kr, and two model-based estimations of DNA-DNA homology values, of which all provided indicative values to delineate species of Hanseniaspora. Given its potential role in a rare indigenous alcoholic beverage in which yeasts ferment sugars extracted from the stromata of Cytarria sp., we searched for the genes that may suggest adaptation of novel Hanseniaspora species to fermenting communities. The SSU1-like gene encoding a sulfite efflux pump, which, among Hanseniaspora, is present only in close relatives to the new species, was detected and analyzed, suggesting that this gene might be one factor that characterizes this novel species. We also discuss several candidate genes that likely underlie the physiological traits used for traditional taxonomic identification. Based on these results, a novel yeast species with the name Hanseniaspora gamundiae sp. nov. is proposed with CRUB 1928T (ex-types: ZIM 2545T = NRRL Y-63793T = PYCC 7262T; MycoBank number MB 824091) as the type strain. Furthermore, we propose the transfer of the Kloeckera species, K. hatyaiensis, K. lindneri and K. taiwanica to the genus Hanseniaspora as Hanseniaspora hatyaiensis comb. nov. (MB 828569), Hanseniaspora lindneri comb. nov. (MB 828566) and Hanseniaspora taiwanica comb. nov. (MB 828567).

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<![CDATA[The glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase PLAT2 functions in the generation of DHA-rich glycerolipids in Aurantiochytrium limacinum F26-b]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52aad5eed0c4842bcdd2

Thraustochytrids possess docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) as acyl chain(s) of triacylglycerol (TG) and phosphatidylcholine (PC), some of which contain multiple DHAs. However, little is known about how these DHA-rich glycerolipids are produced in thraustochytrids. In this study, we identified PLAT2 in Aurantiochytrium limacinum F26-b as a glycerol-3-phosphate (G3P) acyltransferase (GPAT) by heterologous expression of the gene in budding yeast. Subsequently, we found that GPAT activity was reduced by disruption of the PLAT2 gene in A. limacinum, resulting in a decrease in DHA-containing lysophosphatidic acid (LPA 22:6). Conversely, overexpression of PLAT2 increased both GPAT activity and LPA 22:6. These results indicate that PLAT2 is a GPAT that transfers DHA to G3P in vivo as well as in vitro. Overexpression of the PLAT2 gene increased the production of a two DHA-containing diacylglycerol (DG 44:12), followed by an increase in the three DHA-containing TG (TG 66:18), two-DHA-containing TG (TG 60:12), and two DHA-containing PC (PC 44:12). However, overexpression of PLAT2 did not increase DHA-free DG (DG32:0), which was preferentially converted to three 16:0-containing TG (TG 48:0) but not two 16:0-containing PC (PC 32:0). Collectively, we revealed that DHA-rich glycerolipids are produced from a precursor, LPA 22:6, which is generated by incorporating DHA to G3P by PLAT2 in the A. limacinum.

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<![CDATA[Dissection of the regulatory role for the N-terminal domain in Candida albicans protein phosphatase Z1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df31ad5eed0c484580d1d

The novel type, fungus specific protein phosphatase Z1 of the opportunistic pathogen, Candida albicans (CaPpz1) has several important physiological roles. It consists of a conserved C-terminal catalytic domain and a variable, intrinsically disordered, N-terminal regulatory domain. To test the function of these domains we modified the structure of CaPpz1 by in vitro mutagenesis. The two main domains were separated, four potential protein binding regions were deleted, and the myristoylation site as well as the active site of the enzyme was crippled by point mutations G2A and R262L, respectively. The in vitro phosphatase activity assay of the bacterially expressed recombinant proteins indicated that the N-terminal domain was inactive, while the C-terminal domain became highly active against myosin light chain substrate. The deletion of the N-terminal 1–16 amino acids and the G2A mutation significantly decreased the specific activity of the enzyme. Complementation of the ppz1 Saccharomyces cerevisiae deletion mutant strain with the different CaPpz1 forms demonstrated that the scission of the main domains, the two point mutations and the N-terminal 1–16 deletion rendered the phosphatase incompetent in the in vivo assays of LiCl tolerance and caffeine sensitivity. Thus our results confirmed the functional role of the N-terminal domain and highlighted the significance of the very N-terminal part of the protein in the regulation of CaPpz1.

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<![CDATA[Multi-study inference of regulatory networks for more accurate models of gene regulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536a85d5eed0c484a47592

Gene regulatory networks are composed of sub-networks that are often shared across biological processes, cell-types, and organisms. Leveraging multiple sources of information, such as publicly available gene expression datasets, could therefore be helpful when learning a network of interest. Integrating data across different studies, however, raises numerous technical concerns. Hence, a common approach in network inference, and broadly in genomics research, is to separately learn models from each dataset and combine the results. Individual models, however, often suffer from under-sampling, poor generalization and limited network recovery. In this study, we explore previous integration strategies, such as batch-correction and model ensembles, and introduce a new multitask learning approach for joint network inference across several datasets. Our method initially estimates the activities of transcription factors, and subsequently, infers the relevant network topology. As regulatory interactions are context-dependent, we estimate model coefficients as a combination of both dataset-specific and conserved components. In addition, adaptive penalties may be used to favor models that include interactions derived from multiple sources of prior knowledge including orthogonal genomics experiments. We evaluate generalization and network recovery using examples from Bacillus subtilis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and show that sharing information across models improves network reconstruction. Finally, we demonstrate robustness to both false positives in the prior information and heterogeneity among datasets.

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