Understanding the relationship between DNA sequence variation and phenotypic variation in complex or quantitative traits is one of the major challenges in modern biology. We are witnessing a deluge of DNA sequence information and association studies of genetic polymorphisms with phenotypes of interest in families and populations. In addition, it has become clear that large portions of eukaryotic genomes beyond protein-coding genes are transcribed, generating numerous noncoding RNA (ncRNA) molecules whose functions remain mostly unknown.DNA oligonucleotide microarrays constitute a powerful technology for studying the expression of genes in different organisms. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae tiling array presents a significant advance over previous array-based platforms. It has a high density of overlapping probes that start on average every 8 bp along each strand of the genome, enabling precise definition of transcript structure. Furthermore, the array includes probes specific for the polymorphic positions of another, distantly related yeast strain, allowing accurate measurement of allele-specific expression in a hybrid of the two strains. This technology thus allows high-resolution, quantitative, strand- and allele-specific measurements of transcription from a full eukaryotic genome. In this chapter, we describe the methods for extracting RNA, synthesizing first-strand cDNA, fragmenting, and labeling of samples for hybridization to the tiling array. Combining genome-wide information on variation in DNA sequence with variation in transcript structure and levels promises to increase our understanding of the genotype-to-phenotype relationship.
The modern evolutionary synthesis assumes that mutations occur at random, independently of the environment in which they confer an advantage. However, there are indications that cells facing challenging conditions can adapt rapidly, utilizing processes beyond selection of pre-existing genetic variation. Here, we show that a strong regulatory challenge can induce mutations in many independent yeast cells, in the absence of general mutagenesis. Whole genome sequencing of cell lineages reveals a repertoire of independent mutations within a single lineage that arose only after the cells were exposed to the challenging environment, while other cells in the same lineage adapted without any mutation in their genomes. Thus, our experiments uncovered multiple alternative routes for heritable adaptation that were all induced in the same lineage during a short time period. Our results demonstrate the existence of adaptation mechanisms beyond random mutation, suggesting a tight connection between physiological and genetic processes.
This study describes the species diversity of fishes of the Narmada River in India. A total of 820 fish specimens were collected from 17 sampling locations across the whole river basin. Fish were taxonomically classified into one of 90 possible species based on morphological characters, and then DNA barcoding was employed using COI gene sequences as a supplemental identification method. A total of 314 different COI sequences were generated, and specimens were confirmed to belong to 85 species representing 63 genera, 34 families and 10 orders. Findings of this study include the identification of five putative cryptic or sibling species and 43 species not previously known from the Narmada River basin. Five species are endemic to India and three are introduced species that had not been previously reported to occur in the Narmada River. Conversely, 43 species previously reported to occur in the Narmada were not found. Genetic diversity and distance values were generated for all of the species within genera, families and orders using Kimura's 2 parameter distance model followed by the construction of a Neighbor Joining tree. High resolution clusters generated in NJ trees aided the groupings of species corresponding to their genera and families which are in confirmation to the values generated by Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery bioinformatics platform. This aided to decide a threshold value for the discrimination of species boundary from the Narmada River. This study provides an important validation of the use of DNA barcode sequences for monitoring species diversity and changes within complex ecosystems such as the Narmada River.
Frequently during evolution, new phenotypes evolved due to novelty in gene regulation, such as that caused by genome rewiring. This has been demonstrated by comparing common regulatory sequences among species and by identifying single regulatory mutations that are associated with new phenotypes. However, while a single mutation changes a single element, gene regulation is accomplished by a regulatory network involving multiple interactive elements. Therefore, to better understand regulatory evolution, we have studied how mutations contributed to the adaptation of cells to a regulatory challenge. We created a synthetic genome rewiring in yeast cells, challenged their gene regulation, and studied their adaptation. HIS3, an essential enzyme for histidine biosynthesis, was placed exclusively under a GAL promoter, which is induced by galactose and strongly repressed in glucose. Such rewired cells were faced with significant regulatory challenges in a repressive glucose medium. We identified several independent mutations in elements of the GAL system associated with the rapid adaptation of cells, such as the repressor GAL80 and the binding sites of the activator GAL4. Consistent with the extraordinarily high rate of cell adaptation, new regulation emerged during adaptation via multiple trajectories, including those involving mutations in elements of the GAL system. The new regulation of HIS3 tuned its expression according to histidine requirements with or without these significant mutations, indicating that additional factors participated in this regulation and that the regulatory network could reorganize in multiple ways to accommodate different mutations. This study, therefore, stresses network plasticity as an important property for regulatory adaptation and evolution.
Colors and their patterns are fascinating phenotypes with great importance for fitness under natural conditions. For this reason and because pigmentation is associated with diseases, much research was devoted to study the genetics of pigmentation in animals. Considerable contribution to our understanding of color phenotypes was made by studies in domesticated animals that exhibit dazzling variation in color traits. Koi strains, the ornamental variants of the common carp, are a striking example for color variability that was selected by man during a very short period on an evolutionary timescale. Among several pigmentation genes, genetic variation in Melanocrtin receptor 1 was repeatedly associated with dark pigmentation phenotypes in numerous animals. In this study, we cloned Melanocrtin receptor 1 from the common carp. We found that alleles of the gene were not associated with the development of black color in Koi. However, the mRNA expression levels of the gene were higher during dark pigmentation development in larvae and in dark pigmented tissues of adult fish, suggesting that variation in the regulation of the gene is associated with black color in Koi. These regulatory differences are reflected in both the timing of the dark-pigmentation development and the different mode of inheritance of the two black patterns associated with them. Identifying the genetic basis of color and color patterns in Koi will promote the production of this valuable ornamental fish. Furthermore, given the rich variety of colors and patterns, Koi serves as a good model to unravel pigmentation genes and their phenotypic effects and by that to improve our understanding of the genetic basis of colors also in natural populations.
In the last decade, it became clear that transcription goes far beyond that of protein-coding genes. Most RNA molecules are transcribed from intergenic regions or introns and exhibit much variability in size, expression level, secondary structure, and evolutionary conservation. While for several types of non-coding RNAs some cellular functions have been reported, like for micro-RNAs and small nucleolar RNAs, for most others no indications of function or regulation have so far been found. Therefore, the RNA population inside a cell is diverse and cryptic and, thus, demands powerful methods to study its composition, abundance, and structure. DNA oligonucleotide microarrays have proven to be of great utility to study transcription of genes in various organisms. Recently, due to advancement in microarray technology, tiling microarrays that extend transcription measurement to genomic regions beyond protein-coding genes were designed for several species. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast tiling array contains overlapping probes across the full genomic sequence, with consecutive probes starting every 8 bp on average on each strand, enabling strand-specific measurement of transcription from a full eukaryotic genome. Here, we describe the methods used to extract yeast RNA, convert it into first-strand cDNA, fragment, and label it for hybridization to the tiling array. This protocol will enable researchers not only to study which genes are expressed and to what levels, but also to identify non-coding RNAs and to study the structure of transcripts including their untranslated regions, alternative start, stop, and processing sites. This information will allow understanding their roles inside cells.
Present study deals with the production of low cost salted and dried product from anchovy fish (Stolephorus spp.) using traditional technology application of different inhibitory factors to achieve a reasonable shelf life at ambient tropical temperature. Microbial safety, nutrient retention and product quality in terms of flavor and texture after rehydration have been tested. This product has been subjected to storage studies, with respect to product quality and microbial status. It can be kept well for a period of 5 weeks. The quality changes during storage are; decrease in sensory scores for the overall acceptance and also for the individual attributes. Increase in nitrogenous components such as Total Volatile Bases Nitrogen (TVB-N), Tri Methyl Amine Nitrogen (TMA-N) and Alpha Amino Nitrogen (AAN) was obtained with the advancement of the storage period. The lipid quality of the fish showed gradual increase in Preoxide Value (PV) and Free Fatty Acid (FFA) accompanied by decrease in flavor and odor scores. Activity of microorganisms showed a marginal increase with increase in storage period.
Induction of innate immune pathways is critical for early host defense, but there is limited understanding of how teleost fishes recognize pathogen molecules and activate these pathways. In mammals, cells of the innate immune system detect pathogenic molecular structures using pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). TLR9 functions as a PRR that recognizes CpG motifs in bacterial and viral DNA and requires adaptor molecules MyD88 and TRAF6 for signal transduction. Here we report full-length cDNA isolation, structural characterization and tissue mRNA expression analysis of the common carp (cc) TLR9, MyD88 and TRAF6 gene orthologs. The ccTLR9 open-reading frame (ORF) is predicted to encode a 1064-amino acid (aa) protein. We found that MyD88 and TRAF6 genes are duplicated in common carp. This is the first report of TRAF6 duplication in a vertebrate genome and stronger evidence in support of MyD88 duplication is provided. The ccMyD88a and b ORFs are predicted to encode 288-aa and 284-aa peptides, respectively. They share 91% aa sequence identity between paralogs. The ccTRAF6a and b ORFs are both predicted to encode 543-aa peptides sharing 95% aa sequence identity between paralogs. The ccTLR9 gene is contained in a single large exon. The ccMyD88a and ccMyD88b coding sequences span five exons. The TRAF6b gene spans six exons. PCR amplification to obtain the entire coding sequence of ccTRAF6a gene was not successful. The 2104-bp fragment amplified covers the 3 end of the gene and it contains a partial sequence of one exon and three complete exons. The predicated protein domains of the ccTLR9, ccMyD88 and ccTRAF6 are conserved and resemble orthologs from other vertebrates. Real-time quantitative PCR assays of the ccTLR9, MyD88a and b, and TRAF6a and b gene transcripts in healthy common carp indicated that mRNA expression varied between tissues. Differential expression of duplicate copies were found for ccMyD88 and ccTRAF6 in white and red muscle tissues, suggesting that paralogs may have evolved and attained a new function. The genomic information we describe in this paper provides evidence of sequence and structural conservation of immune response genes in common carp.
Despite their evolutionary significance, little is known about the adaptation dynamics of genomically rewired cells in evolution. We have confronted yeast cells carrying a rewired regulatory circuit with a severe and unforeseen challenge. The essential HIS3 gene from the histidine biosynthesis pathway was placed under the exclusive regulation of the galactose utilization system. Glucose containing medium strongly represses the GAL genes including HIS3 and these rewired cells are required to operate this essential gene. We show here that although there were no adapted cells prior to the encounter with glucose, a large fraction of cells adapted to grow in this medium and this adaptation was stably inherited. The adaptation relied on individual cells that switched into an adapted state and, thus, the adaptation was due to a response of many individual cells to the change in environment and not due to selection of rare advantageous phenotypes. The adaptation of numerous individual cells by heritable phenotypic switching in response to a challenge extends the common evolutionary framework and attests to the adaptive potential of regulatory circuits.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in immune response genes have been reported as markers for susceptibility to infectious diseases in human and livestock. A disease caused by cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3) is highly contagious and virulent in common carp (Cyprinus carpio). With the aim to develop molecular tools for breeding CyHV-3-resistant carp, we have amplified and sequenced 11 candidate genes for viral disease resistance including TLR2, TLR3, TLR4ba, TLR7, TLR9, TLR21, TLR22, MyD88, TRAF6, type I IFN and IL-1beta. For each gene, we initially cloned and sequenced PCR amplicons from 8 to 12 fish (2-3 fish per strain) from the SNP discovery panel. We then identified and evaluated putative SNPs for their polymorphisms in the SNP discovery panel and validated their usefulness for linkage analysis in a full-sib family using the SNaPshot method. Our sequencing results and phylogenetic analyses suggested that TLR3, TLR7 and MyD88 genes are duplicated in the common carp genome. We, therefore, developed locus-specific PCR primers and SNP genotyping assays for the duplicated loci. A total of 48 SNP markers were developed from PCR fragments of the 13 loci (7 single-locus and 3 duplicated genes). Thirty-nine markers were polymorphic with estimated minor allele frequencies of more than 0.1. The utility of the SNP markers was evaluated in one full-sib family and revealed that 20 markers from 9 loci segregated in a disomic and Mendelian pattern and would be useful for linkage analysis.
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