Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • A comparison of two popular statistical methods for estimating the time to most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) from a sample of DNA sequences

      Analabha Basu Partha P. Majumder

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      We have compared two statistical methods of estimating the time to most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) from a sample of DNA sequences, which have been proposed by Templeton (1993) and Bandeltet al. (1995). Monte-Carlo simulations were used for generating DNA sequence data. Different evolutionary scenarios were simulated and the estimation procedures were evaluated. We have found that for both methods (i) the estimates are insensitive to demographic parameters and (ii) the standard deviations of the estimates are too high for these methods to be reliably used in practice.

    • Comparative analyses of genetic risk prediction methods reveal extreme diversity of genetic predisposition to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) among ethnic populations of India

      Ankita Chatterjee Analabha Basu Abhijit Chowdhury Kausik Das Neeta Sarkar-Roy Partha P. Majumder Priyadarshi Basu

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      Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a distinct pathologic condition characterized by a disease spectrum ranging from simple steatosis to steato-hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Prevalence of NAFLD varies in different ethnic groups, ranging from 12% in Chinese to 45% in Hispanics. Among Indian populations, the diversity in prevalence is high, ranging from 9% in rural populations to 32% in urban populations, with geographic differences as well. Here, we wished to find out if this difference is reflected in their genetic makeup. To date, several candidate genes and a few genomewide association studies (GWAS) have been carried out, and many associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and NAFLD have been observed. In this study, the risk allele frequencies (RAFs) of NAFLD-associated SNPs in 20 Indian ethnic populations (376 individuals) were analysed. We used two different measures for calculating genetic risk scores and compared their performance. The correlation of additive risk scores of NAFLD for three Hapmap populations with their weighted mean prevalence was found to be high (𝑅2 = 0.93). Later we used this method to compare NAFLD risk among ethnic Indian populations. Based on our observation, the Indian caste populations have high risk scores compared to Caucasians, who are often used as surrogate and similar to Indian caste population in disease gene association studies, and is significantly higher than the Indian tribal populations.

    • Genomewide association study for C-reactive protein in Indians replicates known associations of common variants


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      Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) serves as an independent biomarker for acute and chronic inflammation, and is also associated with metabolic diseases. Genomewide loci regulating CRP level in Indian population, a high-risk group for metabolic illness, is unexplored. Therefore, we aimed to discover common polymorphisms associated with plasma CRP level in 4493 Indians of Indo-European origin using genomewide association study. Genomewide strong associations of two known intronic variants in hepatocyte nuclear factor-1 α gene (HNF1A)were identified among Indian subjects. We also detected prior associations of several variants in/near metabolic and inflammatory process genes: APOC1, LEPR, CRP, HNF4A, IL6R and APOE with modest associations. This study confirms that Indians from Indo-European origin display similar core universal genetic factors for CRP levels.

    • Gut microbiome architecture of wild greater one-horned rhinoceros: a vulnerable species from Kaziranga National Park, India


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      Rhinoceros unicornis, also known as the greater one-horned rhinoceros (GoHR), is a vulnerable wildlife species found in the Indian subcontinent with an estimated global population of 3582, of which an estimated 2995 resides in India. The Kaziranga National Park of Assam is the home to ~80.56% of the GoH population in India. Recent advances in genetics and microbial studies underscored theimportance of gut microbial symbiosis as a crucial factor for host metabolic health and environmental interaction, particularly for higher mammals. Alteration of the normal microbiome can also be an indicator of chronic disease and infection. Freshly voided dung samples from nine dung heaps of free ranging or wild GoH rhinoceros were collected from Kaziranga National Park for mapping the gut microbial architecture through 16S-metagenomic approach. In our sample, the GoH gut harbours 168.8±12.55 (SE) bacteria-specific OTUsbelonging to 21 phyla of which the gram-negative Proteobacteria is the most abundant phyla. Other abundant phylas found in the GoH gut are Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Although the GoH rhinoceros gut can utilize fibrous plant by microbial fermentation, the aerobic, nonfermenting Acinetobacter (20.7%), Stenotrophomonas (17.8%) and Brevundimonas (9.1%) constitute about 50% of all identified genus. Functional prediction of the GoH microbiome reveals that >50% of the bacteria present are involved in metabolism followed by cellularprocesses and information processing. A significant proportion (>1%) are associated with different diseases. In summary, our study characterized bacterial communities of nine wild GoH to identify some unique features and its implication in disease and survival of GoH.

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