• Volume 99, All articles

      Continuous Article Publishing mode

    • Evolutionary divergence of function and expression of laccase genes in plants

      MINGYUE LIU HUI DONG MEI WANG QINGPO LIU

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      Laccases (LACs) are versatile enzymes that catalyze oxidation of a wide range of substrates, thereby functioning in regulation of plant developmental processes and stress responses. However, with a few exceptions, the function of most LACs remains unclear in plants. In this study, we newly identified 4, 12, 22, 26, 27, 28 and 49 LAC genes for Physcomitrella patens, Amborella trichopoda, Zeamays, Ricinus communis, Vitis vinifera, Triticum aestivum and Glycine max, on the basis of exhaustive homologous sequence searches. In these plants, LACs differ greatly in sequence length and physical properties, such as molecular weight and theoretical isoelectric point (pI), but majority of them contain a signal peptide at their N-terminus. The originality of LACs could be traced back to as early as the emergence of moss. Plant LACs are clearly divided into seven distinct classes, where six ancient LACs should be present prior to the divergence of gymnosperms and angiosperms. Functional divergence analysis reveal that functional differentiation should occur among different groups of LACs because of altered selective constraints working on some critical amino acid sites (CAASs) within conserved laccase domains during evolution. Soybean and maize LACs have significantly different exon frequency (6.08 vs 4.82), and they are unevenly distributed and tend to form gene clusters on some chromosomes. Further analysis shows that the expansion of LAC gene family would be due toextensive tandem and chromosomal segmental duplications in the two plant species. Interestingly, *81.6% and 36.4% of soybean and maize LACs are potential targets of miRNAs, such as miR397a/b, miR408d, or miR528a/b etc. Both soybean and maize LACs are tissue specifically and developmental-specifically expressed, and are in response to different external abiotic and biotic stressors. These results suggest a diversity of functions of plant LAC genes, which will broaden our understanding and lay solid foundation for further investigating their biological functions in plants.

    • MHC-DRB1 exon 2 polymorphism and its association with mycoplasma ovipneumonia resistance or susceptibility genotypes in sheep

      KAISHENG WANG XIANXIA LIU QIONGQIONG LI KEXING WAN RUI GAO GUOHUA HAN CHAOCHEN LI MENGSI XU BIN JIA XIAOYUN SHEN

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      Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) polymorphisms are associated with animal and human diseases. However, only a few studies have reported an association between MHC polymorphisms and mycoplasma ovipneumonia (MO). In the present study, three resistance/susceptibility genotypes associated with MO were identified by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism genotyping, assessing the clinical and pathological features, and examining the immune factors. The current results showed that MvaI bb and HaeIII ee were dominant genotypes in the susceptible Hu population, while MO-resistant populations, Dorper and D 9 H hybrids, were dominated by the MvaI cc and HaeIII dd genotypes, suggesting that MvaI cc and HaeIII dd genotypes might be associated with the trait of MO resistance. Further, the clinical symptoms and pathological morphology in the susceptibility group infected with MO were more severe than those in the resistant groups infected similarly. The data on the changes in the immune factor responses were utilized to deduce the molecular mechanism underlying the MO resistance/susceptibility. The results showed that the susceptible genotypes promote the inflammatory responses by inducing a high expression of TNFa, IFNc, IL-4, IL-6, and IL-1b, while the resistant genotypes inhibit the inflammatory response by increasing the expression of IL-2 and IL-10 significantly. This finding would provide the theoretical guidance for propagating sheep breeds that are highly resistant to MO.

    • Identification of genomic regions associated with early plant vigour in lentil (Lens culinaris)

      RUSHIKESH MANE MEGHA KATOCH MANEET SINGH REECHA SHARMA T. R. SHARMA R. K. CHAHOTA

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      Lentil is one of the most important food legume species, however its genetic and genomic resources remained largely uncharacterized and unexploited. In the past few years, a number of genetic maps have been constructed and marker resources have been developed in lentil. These resources could be exploited for understanding the extent and distribution of genetic variation in genus Lens andalso for developing saturated and consensus genetic maps suitable for quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping and marker-assisted selection.The present study aims to enrich polymerase chain reaction-based linkage map of F10 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) population of 94 individuals derived from cross WA8649090 9 Precoz and identification of QTLs linked to early plant vigour traits. Of the 268 polymorphic markers (93 simple sequence repeats (SSR), three inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSRs) and 172 random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPDs)), 265 (90 SSRs, three ISSRs and 172 RAPDs) were mapped on seven linkage groups, varying in length between 25.6 and 210.3 cM, coverage of 809.4 cM with an average marker spacing of 3.05 cM. The study also reported assigning of 24 new cross-genera SSRs of Trifolium pratense on the present linkage map. The RILs along with the parents were screened for shoot length, root length, seedling length, dry weight, number of leaves and number of branches based on two replications under polyhouse conditions. A QTLhotspot consisting of six QTLs for shoot length (cm), root length (cm) and seedling length (cm) was observed between a map distances of56.61 and 86.81 cM on LG1.

    • Isolation and characterization of 30 STRs in Temminck’s ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii) and potential for cross amplification in other African species

      ZELDA DU TOIT DESIRÉ L. DALTON MORNÉ DU PLESSIS RAYMOND JANSEN J. PAUL GROBLER ANTOINETTE KOTZÉ

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      Temminck’s ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii) is one of four species of pangolin, endemic to Africa. Two of the African pangolin species are listed as vulnerable and two are listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species due to their ongoing exploitation for traditional medicine and bushmeat. In this study, we developed 30 species-specific short-tandem repeats (STRs) in Temminck’s ground pangolin using next-generation sequencing. The markers were also optimized for crossamplification in other African species. All the markers amplified successfully in Temminck’s ground pangolin with allelic polymorphisms observed in 87% of the markers in giant pangolin (S. gigantea) whereas 60% of the markers were amplified polymorphic loci in both whitebellied pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis) and black-bellied pangolin (P. tetradactyla). Analysis of diversity estimates showed moderate levels of variability in Temminck’s ground pangolin (Na = 5; Ho = 0.559), giant pangolin (Na = 4.909; Ho = 0.514) and white-bellied pangolin (Na= 2.686; Ho = 0.541) with lower values being observed in black-bellied pangolin (Na = 3; Ho = 0.242). This study provides data of the first available STR markers which was amplified in all four African pangolin species that can now be used in conservation genetic and evolutionary aspects of population histories.

    • Identification of QTLs in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) using SSR markers through association mapping

      H. P. BHAGYA B. KALYANA BABU P. M. GANGADHARAPPA MAHANTESHA B. N. NAIKA D. SATISH R. K. MATHUR

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      Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) is a perennial vegetable and a high oil-yielding crop (4–6 t/ha). There is a large scope for increasing the oil yield by selecting elite planting material for breeding programme in germplasm evaluation, characterization and utilization. In the present study, a diverse range of 150 oil palm genotypes were characterized using 12 quantitative variables with 54genomic microsatellite markers. A wide variation was observed in the morphological traits among indigenous populations. Highly significantand positive correlations were observed between vegetative dry matter (VDM) and total dry matter (TDM) (0.862), and height and height increment (0.838). The first two principal component analyses explained 67.7% of total variation among morphological traits. The genotypes IC0610001-59 (Pune-2) and IC0610001-60 (Pune-2) were found highly promising based on less height increment, more TDMwith high yield. For the mapping study, general linear model (GLM) approach, quantitative-trait loci (QTL) for annual height increment, number of bunches, bunch yield and bunch index were linked to simple-sequence repeat (SSR) loci mEgCIR3649 with phenotypic variance of 15.08, 10.43, 11.74, 15.39. TDM and VDM were linked to mEgCIR0192 (27.34 and 24.19%), mEgCIR3684 (16.84 and 18.30%), SPSC00163 (18.8 and 15.39%) and mEgCIR0555 (16.47 and 18.81%), with at a significant threshold (P) level of B0.001 and by mixed linear model (MLM) approach. TDM was linked to mEgCIR0555 with phenotypic variance of 20.72%, bunch yield and bunch index were linked to mEgCIR2813 at phenotypic variance of 17.11% and 12.88%, respectively, at a significant threshold (P) level of B0.01.

    • Prevalence of Y chromosome microdeletion in azoospermic infertile males of Iraqi population

      ANWAR M. AL-JANABI ALI IBRAHIM RAHIM SHEHAB A. FARIS SALIH M. AL-KHAFAJI DHAFER JAWAD

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      In human gamete development, the important period is spermatogenesis, which is organized by specific genes on Y chromosome. In some cases, the infertile men have shown microdeletions on Y chromosome, which seemed as if the structural chromosome variance is linked to the reduction of sperm count. This study aimed to determine the frequency and patterns of Y chromosome microdeletions in azoospermia factor (AZF) of Iraqi infertile males. Here, 90 azoospermic infertile males as a study group and 95 normal fertile males as control group were investigated for the microdeletion of AZF loci using numerous sequence-tagged sites. Of these 90 infertile male patients, 43 (47.8%) demonstrated Y chromosome microdeletions, in which AZFb region was the most deleted section inazoospermia patients (33.3%) followed by deletions in the AZFc region (23%), while there were no microdeletion in the AZFa region. The largest microdeletion involved in both AZFb and AZFc was detected in six azoospermic patients (6.7%). The present study demonstrated a high frequency of Y chromosome microdeletions in the infertile Iraqi patients which is not reported previously. The high frequency of deletions may be due to the association of ethnic and genetic factors. PCR-based Y chromosome screening for microdeletions has a potential to be used in infertility clinics for genetic counselling and assisted reproduction.

    • Molecular phylogeny and evolution of Pulmonata (Mollusca: Gastropoda) on the basis of mitochondrial (16S, COI) and nuclear markers (18S, 28S): an overview

      VIJAYA SAI AYYAGARI KRUPANIDHI SREERAMA

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      The phylogenetic relationships among the major groups of Pulmonata were studied by the information derived from a concatenated dataset consisting of mitochondrial (16S and COI) and nuclear (18S and 28S) markers. Heterobranchia are recovered as monophyletic. Euthyneura as paraphyletic due to the emergence of taxa from Opisthobranchia and lower Heterobranchia. The major groupsof Pulmonata, namely Stylommatophora, Veronicellidae, Onchidiidae, Otinoidea, Siphonarioidea and Hygrophila are recovered as monophyletic. Monophyly of Basommatophora was not confirmed due to the variable position of Siphonarioidea and Amphiboloidea. Evolutionary divergence times for different taxa were also estimated using a relaxed molecular clock method in Bayesian evolutionary analysis by sampling trees (BEAST). The common ancestor of Heterobranchia and Caenogastropoda was originated in the Silurian periodand the common ancestors of Euthyneura and Pulmonata were originated in the Carboniferous and lower Triassic periods, respectively.

    • Tracing the genetic root of Trinket cattle: an endangered cattle population of a small isolated island of Nicobar group of islands

      ARUN KUMAR DE ZACHARIAH GEORGE SAMIRAN MONDAL P. PERUMAL K. MUNISWAMY A. KUNDU JAI SUNDER RAMACHANDRAN MUTHIYAN S. K. ZAMIR AHMED GAYATRI CHAKRABORTY T. SUJATHA D. BHATTACHARYA

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      Trinket cattle are the inhabitant of a small island called Trinket, which is one of the picturesque islands of Andaman. This herd is thought to be of Danish leftover during their dynasty in Nicobar archipelago. When the island was abandoned by foreign invaders, indigenes utilized the animals for the purpose of meat. As a result, the cattle became semi-feral in nature. After the Great Sumatra earthquake and tsunami of Indian Ocean in 2004, Trinket island was left abandoned by indigenes and the cattle became totally feral in nature. To trace the genetic root of the cattle, this study has been undertaken based on the sequence information of the mitochondrial D-loop and cytochrome b gene. The genomic DNA was extracted from the blood samples of the Trinket cattle and was used for amplification of mitochondrial markers, and the sequence information was generated by Sanger sequencing. The analysis of sequence information revealed that the Trinket cattle belongs to Bos indicus (I) haplotype, sub-haplotype I2. The presence of I2 sub-haplotype in Trinket cattle may be due to the expansion of this I2 haplotype towards Southeast Asian countries. This is a novel input for the formulation of breeding strategy towards conservation of eco-friendly sustainable livestock in the isolated island ecosystem.

    • Low-penetrance susceptibility variants and postmenopausal oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer

      ASUMAN ÖZGÖZ FADİME MUTLU İÇDUYGU AYŞEGÜL YÜKSELTÜRK HALE ŞAMLI KUYAŞ HEKİMLER ÖZTÜRK ZUHAL BAŞKAN

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      The risk of breast cancer (BC) in women is high and many factors including genetic factors increase the risk for the disease. It is revealed that the variations of low-penetrance susceptibility genes are important for carcinogenesis as they interact with the environmental and hereditary factors. Recently, the list of BC-associated common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and chromosomal loci in low-penetrance susceptibility genes have been expanded in genomewide association studies. FGFR2, LSP1, MAP3K1, TGFB1, TOX3, 2q35 and 8q loci variations are some examples for these common SNPs. These SNPs and their association with BC risk was investigated in many different populations. Therefore in this study, we aimed to evaluate low-penetrance susceptibility SNPs; namely FGFR2 rs1219648, rs2981579, rs2981582; MAP3K1 rs889312; TOX3 rs3803662; LSP1 rs909116, rs3817198 and SLC4A7 rs4973768 together, for the firsttime in Turkish postmenopausal oestrogen receptor positive BC cases. Following the DNA isolation, multiplex PCR and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry with time of flight measurement (MALDI-TOF) based SNP analysis were performed. MAP3K1 rs889312 SNP demonstrated the strongest association with BC risk among the other low penetrant SNPs, it was also associated with BC risk in a dominant model. Only in a ressesive model, TOX3 rs3803662 was associated with BC risk. In addition, rs4973768 CC and rs909116 CC genotypes are correlated with higher tumour size which is not reported in the literature as yet; on the other hand there are no associations between any of the other SNP genotypes and clinopathological parameters. In our opinion, MAP3K1 rs889312 may be a good BC susceptibility biomarker candidate for Turkish population.

    • Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in CLEC7A, CD209 and TLR4 gene and their association with susceptibility to paratuberculosis in Indian cattle

      B. GOPI RAN VIR SINGH SATISH KUMAR SUSHIL KUMAR ANUJ CHAUHAN AMIT KUMAR SHOOR VIR SINGH

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      The aim of this study was to identify the single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in bovine candidate genes CLEC7A, CD209 and TLR4, and explore the association between these SNPs with the occurrence of bovine paratuberculosis (PTB) disease. For this purpose, 549 animals were screened by a panel of four diagnostic tests, namely Johnin PPD test, ELISA test, faecal microscopy and IS900 blood PCR against Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP) to develop case–control populations. SNPs were genotyped by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method. Genotypic–phenotypic associations were assessed by the PROCLOGISTIC procedure of SAS 9.3. Of the seven SNPs; rs110353594 in CLEC7A gene and rs8193046 in TLR4 gene were found to be associated with PTB. For SNP rs110353594, odds of CC and CT genotypes vs TT genotype was 1.543 (0.420–5.667; 95% CI) and 0.284 (0.104–0.774; 95% CI), respectively which means that CT genotype was more resistant than TT and CC genotypes against bovine PTB. For SNP rs8193046, odds of AA and AG genotypes versus GG genotype was 0.947 (0.296–3.034; 95% CI) and 3.947 (1.555–10.022; 95% CI), respectively, i.e. probability for getting an infection in animals with AG genotype was 3.94 times more as compared to GG genotype. Hence, a selection programme favouring CT genotype for rs110353594 and against AG genotype for rs8193046 may be beneficial for conferring resistance against bovine PTB.

    • Complete chloroplast genome of Sophora alopecuroides (Papilionoideae): molecular structures, comparative genome analysis and phylogenetic analysis

      XI ZHA XIAOYANG WANG JINRONG LI FEI GAO YIJUN ZHOU

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      Sophora alopecuroides belongs to the genus Sophora of the family Papilionoideae. It is mainly distributed in the desert and semidesert areas of northern China, and has high medicinal value and ecological function. Previous studies have reported the chemical composition and ecological functions of S. alopecuroides. However, only a few reports are available on the genomic information of S. alopecuroides, especially the chloroplast genome, which greatly limits the study of the evolutionary relationship between other species of Papilionoideae. Here, we report the complete chloroplast genome of S. alopecuroides. The size of the chloroplast genome is 155,207 bp, and the GC content is 36.44%. The S. alopecuroides chloroplast genome consists of 132 genes, including 83 protein-coding genes, 41 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes,and eight ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the taxonomic position of S. alopecuroides in Papilionoideae, and the genus Sophora and the genus Ammopiptanthus were highly related. Comparative genomics analysis revealed the gene rearrangement in the evolution of S. alopecuroides. The comparison between S. alopecuroides and the species of the Papilionoideae identified a novel 23 kb inversion between the trnC-GCA and trnF-GAA which occurred before the divergence of Sophora and Ammopiptanthus of Thermopsideae. This study provided an essential data for the understanding of phylogenetic status of S. alopecuroides.

    • Drosophila ananassae: a species characterized by spontaneous male recombination in appreciable frequency

      BASHISTH N. SINGH

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      Mutation and recombination are primarily responsible for generating the genetic variability in natural populations of microorganisms, plant and animal species including humans. Upon such genetic variations, elemental forces of evolution such as natural selection, random genetic drift and migration operate to bring about micro-evolutionary changes. Recombination or crossing-over produces new combinations of genes due to interchange of corresponding segments between nonsister chromatids of homologous chromosomes, thus, it is an important evolutionary factor. Since the time of T. H. Morgan, Drosophila has been subjected to extensive investigations on crossing over while employing a number of markers, which were used for gene mapping. Interestingly, recombination occurs in females of D. melanogaster but not in males. Later on, male crossing over was investigated in various species and its occurrence was reported in D. melanogaster, D. ananassae, D. simulans, D. willistoni, D. littoralis and D. bipectinata. Recombination occurs at very low rate in all these species except for D. ananassae, which shows spontaneous male crossing over in appreciable frequency, which is meiotic in origin. This unusual phenomenon in D. ananassae is influenced by various genetic factors as well as it shows strain variation as far as frequency of male recombination is concerned. Further, the presence of chiasmata during meiosis in males at a frequency capable of accounting for the observed recombination frequency extends evidence for meiotic origin of recombination in males of D. ananassae.

    • Mining genes associated with furanocoumarin biosynthesis in an endangered medicinal plant, Glehnia littoralis

      JIEJIE SONG HONGMEI LUO ZHICHAO XU YUXI ZHANG HUA XIN DAN ZHU XUNZHI ZHU MENGMENG LIU WEIQING WANG HONGWEI REN HONGYU CHEN TING GAO

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      The endangered medicinal plant Glehnia littoralis is one of the important natural source of furanocoumarin, which has been used as mucolytic, antitussive, antitumour and antibacterial. However, the genetic information of furanocoumarin biosynthesis in G. littoralis is scarce at present. The objective of this study was to mine the putative candidate genes involved in the biosynthesis pathwayof furanocoumarin and provide references for gene identification, and functional genomics of G. littoralis. We carried out the transcriptome analysis of leaves and roots in G. littoralis, which provided a dataset for gene mining. Psoralen, imperatorin and isoimperatorin were detected in G. littoralis by high performance liquid chromatography analysis. Candidate key genes were mined based on the annotations and local BLAST with homologous sequences using BioEdit software. The relative expression of genes was analysed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Further, the CYP450 genes were mined using phylogenetic analyses using MEGA 6.0 software. Atotal of 156,949 unigenes were generated, of which 9021 were differentially-expressed between leaves and roots. A total of 82 unigenes encoding eight enzymes in furanocoumarin biosynthetic pathway were first obtained. Seven genes that encoded key enzymes in the downstream furanocoumarin biosynthetic pathway and expressed more in roots than leaves were screened. Twenty-six candidate CYP450 unigenes expressed abundantly in roots and were chiefly concentrated in CYP71, CYP85 and CYP72 clans. Finally, we filtered 102 differentially expressed transcription factors (TFs) unigenes. The transcriptome of G. littoralis was characterized which would help to elucidate the furanocoumarin biosynthetic pathway in G. littoralis and provide an invaluable resource for further study of furanocoumarin.

    • Genomewide analysis of the CIII peroxidase family in sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) and expression profiles induced by Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri and hormones

      QIANG LI WANFU DOU JINGJING QI XIUJUAN QIN SHANCHUN CHEN YONGRUI HE

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      Class III peroxidase (CIII prx) is a plant-specific multigene family that regulates the physiological and stress responses. This research aimed to exhaustively annotate and analyse the CIII prx family in sweet orange and to explore the regulated expression profiles by Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Xcc) and plant hormones. We further assessed the relationship between CIII prxs and citrus bacterial canker. The phylogeny, gene structure, conserved motifs, gene duplications and microsynteny of the CIII prx family were analysed. Expression profiles of specific CsPrxs induced by Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri and plant hormones were detected by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Subcellular localization was analysed through transient expression assessments. A total of 72 CIII prx members were identified from the genomes of sweet orange. In all chromosomes of sweet orange, the CsPrxs could be detected except in chromosome 8. In addition, three segmental duplications, four tandem duplications and 11 whole-genome duplications occurred among the CsPrxs, contributing to the family size expansion. From the Ka/Ks ratios, 15 of 18 duplicated CsPrxs pairs have experienced purifying selection process. A total of 15 conserved motifs were detected in CsPrxs, four of which were detected in all complete CsPrxs. A total of 12 expressed genes were identified from the EST database. The expression trends of 12 CsPrxs were differently expressed at different stages of infection by Xcc, five of which were potential candidate genes involved in Xcc resistance. These genes could be induced by salicylic acidand methyl jasmonate, and were extracellular proteins. These results further support our understanding of CIII prxs in citrus, particularly incitrus bacterial canker studies.

    • Two-phase SSU and SKAT in genetic association studies

      YUAN XUE JUAN DING JINJUAN WANG SANGUO ZHANG DONGDONG PAN

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      The sum of squared score (SSU) and sequence kernel association test (SKAT) are the two good alternative tests for genetic association studies in case–control data. Both SSU and SKAT are derived through assuming a dose-response model between the risk of disease and genotypes. However, in practice, the real genetic mode of inheritance is impossible to know. Thus, these two tests might losepower substantially as shown in simulation results when the genetic model is misspecified. Here, to make both the tests suitable in broad situations, we propose two-phase SSU (tpSSU) and two-phase SKAT (tpSKAT), where the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium test is adopted to choose the genetic model in the first phase and the SSU and SKAT are constructed corresponding to the selected genetic model in the second phase. We found that both tpSSU and tpSKAT outperformed the original SSU and SKAT in most of our simulation scenarios. Byapplying tpSSU and tpSKAT to the study of type 2 diabetes data, we successfully identified some genes that have direct effects on obesity. Besides, we also detected the significant chromosomal region 10q21.22 in GAW16 rheumatoid arthritis dataset, with P<10-6. These findings suggest that tpSSU and tpSKAT can be effective in identifying genetic variants for complex diseases in case–control association studies.

    • Codon usage by chloroplast gene is bias in Hemiptelea davidii

      HUABO LIU YIZENG LU BAOLIANG LAN JICHEN XU

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      The base composition of the chloroplast genes is of great interest because they play a highly significant role in the evolutionary development of the plants. Evaluation of the 48 chloroplast protein-coding genes of Hemiptelea davidii showed that the average GC content was about 37.32%, while at the third codon base position alone the average GC content was only 27.80%. The 48 genes were classified into five groups based on the gene function and each group displayed specific codon characteristics. Based on the relative synonymous codon usage analysis, a total of 30 high-frequency codons and 11 optimal codons were identified, most of them ended with A or T. Neutrality plot, ENC-plot and PR2-plot analyses showed that the codon usage bias of the chloroplast genes of H. davidii was greatly influenced by natural selection pressures. Meanwhile, the frequency of codon usage of chloroplast genes among different plant species displayed similarities, with some synonymous codons were preferred to be used in H. davidii. In this study, the codon usage pattern of the chloroplast protein coding genes of H. davidii provides us with a better understanding of the expression of chloroplast genes, and may advice the future molecular breeding programmes.

    • A novel de novo mutation in the PURA gene associated with a new clinical finding: large brainstem

      MARÍA ELENA RODRÍGUEZ-GARCÍA FRANCISCO JAVIER COTRINA-VINAGRE ELENA ARRANZ-CANALES ANA MARTÍNEZ DE ARAGÓN LAURA HERNÁNDEZ-SÁNCHEZ FÁTIMA RODRÍGUEZ-FORNÉS PATRICIA CARNICERO-RODRÍGUEZ MONTSERRAT MORALES-CONEJO ELENA MARTÍN-HERNÁNDEZ FRANCISCO MARTÍNEZ-AZORÍN

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      We report the case of a Caucasian Spanish boy, who showed profound neonatal hypotonia, feeding difficulties, apnea, severe developmental delay, epilepsy, bilateral convergent strabismus, poor verbal language development and a large brainstem. Whole-exome sequence uncovered a novel de novo mutation in the purine-rich element binding protein A gene (PURA; NM_005859.4:c.72del:p.(-Gly25AlafsTer53)) that encodes the transcriptional activator protein Pur-alpha (PURA). Mutations in this gene have been identified in patients with PURA syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by an early hypotonia, developmental delay, severe intellectual disability with or without epilepsy, and disability in expressive language development. Although, up to 75 cases have been identified worldwide, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first patient described with a brainstem larger than normal. In conclusion, our data expand both geneticand phenotypic spectrum associated with PURA gene mutations.

    • Assessment of FMR1 triplet repeats in patients affected with mental retardation, fragile X syndrome and primary ovarian insufficiency

      ZEINAB SALIMY MOHAMMAD TAGHI AKBARI FARAVAREH KHORDADPOOR DEILAMANI

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      The CGG repeats in the FMR1 gene expand in patients with fragile X syndrome, fragile X-associated tremour/ataxia syndrome and fragile X-associated primary ovarian failure. In this study, the CGG repeats in the FMR1 gene were studied in 449 males and 207 females using traditional polymerase chain reaction and triplet repeat primed PCR methods, also 18 CVS samples (six males and 12 females) were tested for prenatal diagnosis. Further, methylation sensitive multiplexed ligation dependent probe amplification was performed on some samples to confirm the results. Regarding the male patients, 1.1% and 9.7% had premutation (PM) and full mutation (FM) alleles, respectively. Also three (0.66%) male patients were mosaic for PM and FM alleles. Among females, 1.9% were GZ carriers and 5.8% were PM carriers. Prenatal diagnosis resulted in detection of two PM and one FM males as well as one FM carrier female. Our results were in concordance with the previously published results.

    • Variation of grain quality characters and marker-trait association in rice (Oryza sativa L.)

      K. SUMAN P. MADHUBABU RAMYA RATHOD D. SANJEEVA RAO A. ROJARANI S. PRASHANT L. V. SUBBARAO V. RAVINDRABABU C. N. NEERAJA

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      A set of 24 genotypes were studied for 17 grain quality characters and validated with the reported associated rice microsatellite markers with grain quality characters. Using 23 polymorphic markers distributed across 11 chromosomes marker-trait associations were studied. The percentage of polymorphism information content (PIC) of the markers ranged between 54.0 and 86.7. Eight markers with >80% and seven markers with >70% of PIC were found to be efficient in differentiating the studied grain quality characters. A total of 37 significant marker-trait associations (P ≤ 0.09) were found with R2 ranging from 4.70% to 43.80%. Eight markers a (RM246, RM11, RM241, RM16427, RM421, RM3, RM234 and RM257) showed association with more than one character suggesting their utility for the selection for grain quality characters which can be deployed in the rice crop improvement programmes.

    • A novel DNAH5 variant in a Tunisian patient with primary ciliary dyskinesia

      RAHMA MANI JIHÉNE BOUGUILA SALMA BEN AMEUR MONGIA HACHICHA ZOHRA SOUA IMED MABROUK

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      Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is a genetically heterogeneous hereditary disease caused by the structural abnormalities and dysfunction of motile cilia. The DNAH5 is the most frequently mutated gene in PCD patients and hot spot exons were reported in this gene. Here, we aim to screen mutations in a set of five hot spot exons of DNAH5 gene in a cohort of 10 clinically diagnosed Tunisian PCD patients using an optimized polymerase chain reaction-single-strand conformational polymorphism screening technique. Only one patient harboured a novel heterozygous variant in exon 63 (c.10767A[G), which was inherited from his father. This variant activates a cryptic splicing site. No deleterious mutation has been identified while screening the exons of the remaining patients. Our results show that the reported hot spot exons of DNAH5 gene are not mutated in Tunisian PCD patients. This is probably due to the differences of ethnical background of the previously reported patients. Further investigations should be performed to identify the mutations underlying PCD in this group of patients.

    • Gene coexpression network analysis reveals the role of SRS genes in senescence leaf of maize (Zea mays L.)

      BING HE PIBIAO SHI YUANDA LV ZHIPING GAO GUOXIANG CHEN

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      Shi-related sequence (SRS) proteins are plant-specific transcription factors that play important roles in developmental processes, including regulating hormone biosynthesis, response or signal transduction. However, systematical analysis of the SRS gene family in maize has not yet been conducted. In this study, 11 SRS genes with 13 transcripts were identified and characterized. The characteristics of the gene family were analysed in terms of phylogenetic relationships, chromosome distribution and gene structure. RNA-sequencing data analysis showed that the expression patterns of SRS genes were quite different from each other in maize, indicating their divergence in function. Interestingly, the GRMZM2G077752 gene is highly expressed in senescent leaves. Using further coexpression network analysis, we determined that the module containing GRMZM2G077752 were over-represented by genes related to abscisic acid (ABA) stimulus and carbohydrate metabolic process. This result indicated that GRMZM2G077752 might perceive ABA signal and cause the activation of carbohydrate remobilization during leaf ageing. This study provides valuable information for understanding the functions of the SRS genes in maize.

    • Role of MMP-1, MMP-8 and MMP-9 gene polymorphisms in preterm birth

      MONIKA PANDEY SHALLY AWASTHI

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      Novel approaches to preterm births are underway building upon our prior discoveries and probing into unknown discovery pathways. The recent findings showed a high affinity of MMP-9 in serum and its polymorphisms for preterm birth. This study, which is a hospital-based case–control study, aims to investigate the association of MMP-1, MMP-8 and MMP-9 polymorphisms, and levels of MMP-9 in preterm birth. Increased level of MMP-9 was reported in cases as compared to control. The significant association of MMP-9 (-1562) CT (P = 0.001; OR = 1.44(CI = 0.97–2.14)) and TTgenotype (P = 0.05;OR = 2.6 (CI = 1.46–4.69)) were reported in preterm birth. Our findings suggest that the MMP-9 plays an important role in contributing preterm labour and this can be used as a diagnostic tool during pregnancy.

    • Signatures of positive selection on the hepatic lipase gene in human populations

      SERGIO V. FLORES CARLA F. OLIVARI LUIS FLORES PRADO

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      The hepatic lipase plays a central role in the lipid metabolism, catalyzing the hydrolysis of phospholipids, monoglycerides, diglycerides, and triglycerides, and acyl-CoA. It is also implied in the conversion of very low-density lipoprotein and intermediate density lipoprotein to low density lipoproteins. As a consequence, the gene encoding the hepatic lipase (LIPC) is associated with several diseases derived from the imbalance of lipids that are in general derived from the interaction between life styles and genetic architecture. Therefore, it is interesting to understand more about the characteristics of the microevolutionary processes affecting genes that, like LIPC, have a role in nutrition and lipid metabolism in human populations. We explored the selection signatures on LIPC in 26 populations, detecting three regions under recent positive selection.

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