Parentally biased expression of transcripts (genomic imprinting) in adult tissues, including the brain, can influence and possibly drive the evolution of behavioral traits. We have previously found that paternally determined cues are involved in population-specific mate choice decisions between two populations of the Western house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus). Here, we ask whether this could be mediated by genomically imprinted transcripts that are subject to fast differentiation between these populations. We focus on three organs that are of special relevance for mate choice and behavior: The vomeronasal organ (VNO), the hypothalamus, and the liver. To first identify candidate transcripts at a genome-wide scale, we used reciprocal crosses between M. m. domesticus and M. m. musculus inbred strains and RNA sequencing of the respective tissues. Using a false discovery cutoff derived from mock reciprocal cross comparisons, we find a total of 66 imprinted transcripts, 13 of which have previously not been described as imprinted. The largest number of imprinted transcripts were found in the hypothalamus; fewer were found in the VNO, and the least were found in the liver. To assess molecular differentiation and imprinting in the wild-derived M. m. domesticus populations, we sequenced the RNA of the hypothalamus from individuals of these populations. This confirmed the presence of the above identified transcripts also in wild populations and allowed us to search for those that show a high genetic differentiation between these populations. Our results identify the Ube3a-Snrpn imprinted region on chromosome 7 as a region that encompasses the largest number of previously not described transcripts with paternal expression bias, several of which are at the same time highly differentiated. For four of these, we confirmed their imprinting status via single nucleotide polymorphism-specific pyrosequencing assays with RNA from reciprocal crosses. In addition, we find the paternally expressed Peg13 transcript within the Trappc9 gene region on chromosome 15 to be highly differentiated. Interestingly, both regions have been implicated in Prader-Willi nervous system disorder phenotypes in humans. We suggest that these genomically imprinted regions are candidates for influencing the population-specific mate-choice in mice.
Idiopathic focal epilepsy (IFE) with rolandic spikes is the most common childhood epilepsy, comprising a phenotypic spectrum from rolandic epilepsy (also benign epilepsy with centrotemporal spikes, BECTS) to atypical benign partial epilepsy (ABPE), Landau-Kleffner syndrome (LKS) and epileptic encephalopathy with continuous spike and waves during slow-wave sleep (CSWS). The genetic basis is largely unknown. We detected new heterozygous mutations in GRIN2A in 27 of 359 affected individuals from 2 independent cohorts with IFE (7.5%; P = 4.83 × 10(-18), Fishers exact test). Mutations occurred significantly more frequently in the more severe phenotypes, with mutation detection rates ranging from 12/245 (4.9%) in individuals with BECTS to 9/51 (17.6%) in individuals with CSWS (P = 0.009, Cochran-Armitage test for trend). In addition, exon-disrupting microdeletions were found in 3 of 286 individuals (1.0%; P = 0.004, Fishers exact test). These results establish alterations of the gene encoding the NMDA receptor NR2A subunit as a major genetic risk factor for IFE.
The study addressed acetate utilization by an acclimated mixed microbial culture under different growth conditions. It explored changes in the composition of the microbial community and variable process kinetics induced by different culture history. Sequencing batch reactors were operated at steady-state at different sludge ages of two and ten days. Microbial population structure was determined using high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Parallel batch experiments were conducted with acclimated biomass for respirometric analyses. A lower sludge age sustained a different community, which also reflected as variable kinetics for microbial growth and biopolymer storage. The maximum growth rate was observed to change from 3.9/d to 8.5/d and the substrate storage rate from 3.5/d to 5.9/d when the sludge age was decreased from 10 d to 2.0 d. Results challenge the basic definition of heterotrophic biomass in activated sludge models, at least by means of variable kinetics under different growth conditions.
Residual microorganisms and/or re-infections are a major cause for root canal therapy failure. Understanding of the bacterial content could improve treatment protocols. Fifty samples from 25 symptomatic and 25 asymptomatic previously root-filled teeth were collected from Sudanese patients with periradicular lesions. Amplified 16S rRNA gene (V1-V2) variable regions were subjected to pyrosequencing (FLX 454) to determine the bacterial profile. Obtained quality-controlled sequences from forty samples were classified into 741 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) at 3% dissimilarity, 525 at 5% dissimilarity and 297 at 10% dissimilarity, approximately corresponding to species-, genus- and class levels. The most abundant phyla were: Firmicutes (29.9%), Proteobacteria (26.1%), Actinobacteria (22.72%), Bacteroidetes (13.31%) and Fusobacteria (4.55%). Symptomatic patients had more Firmicutes and Fusobacteria than asymptomatic patients, while asymptomatic patients showed more Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria. Interaction of disease status and age was observed by two-way ANOSIM. Canonical correspondence analysis for age, tooth restoration and disease status showed a correlation of disease status with the composition and prevalence of different members of the microbial community. The pyrosequencing analysis revealed a distinctly higher diversity of the microbiota compared to earlier reports. The comparison of symptomatic and asymptomatic patients showed a clear association of the composition of the bacterial community with the presence and absence of symptoms in conjunction with the patients age.
In Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems nutrient-rich waters are transported to the ocean surface, fuelling high photoautotrophic primary production. Subsequent heterotrophic decomposition of the produced biomass increases the oxygen-depletion at intermediate water depths, which can result in the formation of oxygen minimum zones (OMZ). OMZs can sporadically accumulate hydrogen sulfide (H2S), which is toxic to most multicellular organisms and has been implicated in massive fish kills. During a cruise to the OMZ off Peru in January 2009 we found a sulfidic plume in continental shelf waters, covering an area >5500 km(2), which contained ?2.2×10(4) tons of H2S. This was the first time that H2S was measured in the Peruvian OMZ and with ?440 km(3) the largest plume ever reported for oceanic waters. We assessed the phylogenetic and functional diversity of the inhabiting microbial community by high-throughput sequencing of DNA and RNA, while its metabolic activity was determined with rate measurements of carbon fixation and nitrogen transformation processes. The waters were dominated by several distinct ?-, ?- and ?-proteobacterial taxa associated with either sulfur oxidation or sulfate reduction. Our results suggest that these chemolithoautotrophic bacteria utilized several oxidants (oxygen, nitrate, nitrite, nitric oxide and nitrous oxide) to detoxify the sulfidic waters well below the oxic surface. The chemolithoautotrophic activity at our sampling site led to high rates of dark carbon fixation. Assuming that these chemolithoautotrophic rates were maintained throughout the sulfidic waters, they could be representing as much as ?30% of the photoautotrophic carbon fixation. Postulated changes such as eutrophication and global warming, which lead to an expansion and intensification of OMZs, might also increase the frequency of sulfidic waters. We suggest that the chemolithoautotrophically fixed carbon may be involved in a negative feedback loop that could fuel further sulfate reduction and potentially stabilize the sulfidic OMZ waters.
Photoparoxysmal response (PPR) is a highly heritable electroencephalographic trait characterized by an increased sensitivity to photic stimulation. It may serve as an endophenotype for idiopathic generalized epilepsy. Family linkage studies identified susceptibility loci for PPR on chromosomes 5q35.3, 8q21.13, and 16p13.3. This study aimed to identify key candidate genes within these loci. We used bioinformatics tools for gene prioritization integrating information on biologic function, sequence data, gene expression, and others. The prime candidate gene from this analysis was sequenced in 48 photopositive probands. Presumed functional implications of identified polymorphisms were investigated using bioinformatics methods. The glutamate receptor subunit gene GRIN2A was identified as a prime candidate gene. Sequence analysis revealed various new polymorphisms. None of the identified variants was predicted to be functionally relevant. We objectified the selection of candidate genes for PPR without an a priori hypothesis. Particularly among the various ion channel genes in the linkage regions, GRIN2A was identified as the prime candidate gene. GRIN2A mutations have recently been identified in various epilepsies. Even though our mutation analysis failed to demonstrate direct involvement of GRIN2A in photosensitivity, in silico gene prioritization may provide a useful tool for the identification of candidate genes within large genomic regions.
The intestinal mucosa is characterized by complex metabolic and immunological processes driven highly dynamic gene expression programs. With the advent of next generation sequencing and its utilization for the analysis of the RNA sequence space, the level of detail on the global architecture of the transcriptome reached a new order of magnitude compared to microarrays.
Although the importance and widespread occurrence of iron limitation in the contemporary ocean is well documented, we still know relatively little about genetic adaptation of phytoplankton to these environments. Compared to its coastal relative Thalassiosira pseudonana, the oceanic diatom Thalassiosira oceanica is highly tolerant to iron limitation. The adaptation to low-iron conditions in T. oceanica has been attributed to a decrease in the photosynthetic components that are rich in iron. Genomic information on T. oceanica may shed light on the genetic basis of the physiological differences between the two species.
A potentially important application of second generation sequencing technologies is to identify disease-associated variation. For comparison of the performance in SNP detection, the Crohns disease (CD)-associated NOD2 gene was subjected to targeted resequencing using two different second-generation sequencing technologies. Eleven CD patients were selected based on their haplotype background at the NOD2 locus. The 40-kb large NOD2 gene region was amplified using long-range PCR (LR-PCR), and sequenced with the Roche 454/FLX system, an Applied Biosystems SOLiD mate-pair library (2 x 25 bp), and a SOLiD fragment (50 bp) library. The entire NOD2 region was also sequenced using conventional Sanger technology. Four-hundred forty-two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were discovered with the SOLiD mate-pair library, 454 with the fragment library, and 441 with the 454/FLX. For the homozygous SNPs, 98% were confirmed by Sanger for the mate-pair library, 100% for the fragment library and 99% for the 454/FLX. Ninety-six percent of the heterozygous SNPs detected with the SOLiD mate-pair library, 91% with the fragment library and 96% with the 454/FLX were confirmed by Sanger. In a simulation, the SNP detection performance fell rapidly when the achieved coverage was below 40 x. Due to uneven representation of the target region when using LR-PCR, oversequencing of other regions is necessary.
Recent advances in sequencing technology promise to provide new strategies for studying population differentiation and speciation phenomena in their earliest phases. We focus here on the black carrion crow (Corvus [corone] corone), which forms a zone of hybridization and overlap with the grey coated hooded crow (Corvus [corone] cornix). However, although these semispecies are taxonomically distinct, previous analyses based on several types of genetic markers did not reveal significant molecular differentiation between them. We here corroborate this result with sequence data obtained from a set of 25 nuclear intronic loci. Thus, the system represents a case of a very early phase of species divergence that requires new molecular approaches for its description. We have therefore generated RNAseq expression profiles using barcoded massively parallel pyrosequencing of brain mRNA from six individuals of the carrion crow and five individuals from a hybrid zone with the hooded crow. We obtained 856 675 reads from two runs, with average read length of 270 nt and coverage of 8.44. Reads were assembled de novo into 19 552 contigs, 70% of which could be assigned to annotated genes in chicken and zebra finch. This resulted in a total of 7637 orthologous genes and a core set of 1301 genes that could be compared across all individuals. We find a clear clustering of expression profiles for the pure carrion crow animals and disperse profiles for the animals from the hybrid zone. These results suggest that gene expression differences may indeed be a sensitive indicator of initial species divergence.
The annual fish Nothobranchius furzeri is the vertebrate with the shortest known life span in captivity. Fish of the GRZ strain live only three to four months under optimal laboratory conditions, show explosive growth, early sexual maturation and age-dependent physiological and behavioral decline, and express aging related biomarkers. Treatment with resveratrol and low temperature significantly extends the maximum life span. These features make N. furzeri a promising new vertebrate model for age research.
Burkitt lymphoma is a mature aggressive B-cell lymphoma derived from germinal center B cells. Its cytogenetic hallmark is the Burkitt translocation t(8;14)(q24;q32) and its variants, which juxtapose the MYC oncogene with one of the three immunoglobulin loci. Consequently, MYC is deregulated, resulting in massive perturbation of gene expression. Nevertheless, MYC deregulation alone seems not to be sufficient to drive Burkitt lymphomagenesis. By whole-genome, whole-exome and transcriptome sequencing of four prototypical Burkitt lymphomas with immunoglobulin gene (IG)-MYC translocation, we identified seven recurrently mutated genes. One of these genes, ID3, mapped to a region of focal homozygous loss in Burkitt lymphoma. In an extended cohort, 36 of 53 molecularly defined Burkitt lymphomas (68%) carried potentially damaging mutations of ID3. These were strongly enriched at somatic hypermutation motifs. Only 6 of 47 other B-cell lymphomas with the IG-MYC translocation (13%) carried ID3 mutations. These findings suggest that cooperation between ID3 inactivation and IG-MYC translocation is a hallmark of Burkitt lymphomagenesis.
As the atmospheric CO(2) concentration rises, more CO(2) will dissolve in the oceans, leading to a reduction in pH. Effects of ocean acidification on bacterial communities have mainly been studied in biologically complex systems, in which indirect effects, mediated through food web interactions, come into play. These approaches come close to nature but suffer from low replication and neglect seasonality. To comprehensively investigate direct pH effects, we conducted highly-replicated laboratory acidification experiments with the natural bacterial community from Helgoland Roads (North Sea). Seasonal variability was accounted for by repeating the experiment four times (spring, summer, autumn, winter). Three dilution approaches were used to select for different ecological strategies, i.e. fast-growing or low-nutrient adapted bacteria. The pH levels investigated were in situ seawater pH (8.15-8.22), pH 7.82 and pH 7.67, representing the present-day situation and two acidification scenarios projected for the North Sea for the year 2100. In all seasons, both automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis and 16S ribosomal amplicon pyrosequencing revealed pH-dependent community shifts for two of the dilution approaches. Bacteria susceptible to changes in pH were different members of Gammaproteobacteria, Flavobacteriaceae, Rhodobacteraceae, Campylobacteraceae and further less abundant groups. Their specific response to reduced pH was often context-dependent. Bacterial abundance was not influenced by pH. Our findings suggest that already moderate changes in pH have the potential to cause compositional shifts, depending on the community assembly and environmental factors. By identifying pH-susceptible groups, this study provides insights for more directed, in-depth community analyses in large-scale and long-term experiments.
Many hypothesis-driven genetic studies require the ability to comprehensively and efficiently target specific regions of the genome to detect sequence variations. Often, sample availability is limited requiring the use of whole genome amplification (WGA). We evaluated a high-throughput microdroplet-based PCR approach in combination with next generation sequencing (NGS) to target 384 discrete exons from 373 genes involved in cancer. In our evaluation, we compared the performance of six non-amplified gDNA samples from two HapMap family trios. Three of these samples were also preamplified by WGA and evaluated. We tested sample pooling or multiplexing strategies at different stages of the tested targeted NGS (T-NGS) workflow.
Scientists working with single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), inferred by next-generation sequencing software, often need further information regarding true variants, artifacts and sequence coverage gaps. In clinical diagnostics, e.g. SNVs must usually be validated by visual inspection or several independent SNV-callers. We here demonstrate that 0.5-60% of relevant SNVs might not be detected due to coverage gaps, or might be misidentified. Even low error rates can overwhelm the true biological signal, especially in clinical diagnostics, in research comparing healthy with affected cells, in archaeogenetic dating or in forensics. For these reasons, we have developed a package called pibase, which is applicable to diploid and haploid genome, exome or targeted enrichment data. pibase extracts details on nucleotides from alignment files at user-specified coordinates and identifies reproducible genotypes, if present. In test cases pibase identifies genotypes at 99.98% specificity, 10-fold better than other tools. pibase also provides pair-wise comparisons between healthy and affected cells using nucleotide signals (10-fold more accurately than a genotype-based approach, as we show in our case study of monozygotic twins). This comparison tool also solves the problem of detecting allelic imbalance within heterozygous SNVs in copy number variation loci, or in heterogeneous tumor sequences.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Biogeochemical elemental cycling is driven by primary production of biomass via phototrophic phytoplankton growth, with 40% of marine productivity being assigned to diatoms. Phytoplankton growth is widely limited by the availability of iron, an essential component of the photosynthetic apparatus. The oceanic diatom Thalassiosira oceanica shows a remarkable tolerance to low-iron conditions and was chosen as a model for deciphering the cellular response upon shortage of this essential micronutrient. RESULTS: The combined efforts in genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics reveal an unexpected metabolic flexibility in response to iron availability for T. oceanica CCMP1005. The complex response comprises cellular retrenchment as well as remodeling of bioenergetic pathways, where the abundance of iron-rich photosynthetic proteins is lowered, whereas iron-rich mitochondrial proteins are preserved. As a consequence of iron deprivation, the photosynthetic machinery undergoes a remodeling to adjust the light energy utilization with the overall decrease in photosynthetic electron transfer complexes. CONCLUSIONS: Beneficial adaptations to low-iron environments include strategies to lower the cellular iron requirements and to enhance iron uptake. A novel contribution enhancing iron economy of phototrophic growth is observed with the iron-regulated substitution of three metal-containing fructose-bisphosphate aldolases involved in metabolic conversion of carbohydrates for enzymes that do not contain metals. Further, our data identify candidate components of a high-affinity iron-uptake system, with several of the involved genes and domains originating from duplication events. A high genomic plasticity, as seen from the fraction of genes acquired through horizontal gene transfer, provides the platform for these complex adaptations to a low-iron world.
RNA synthesis and decay rates determine the steady-state levels of cellular RNAs. Metabolic tagging of newly transcribed RNA by 4-thiouridine (4sU) can reveal the relative contributions of RNA synthesis and decay rates. The kinetics of RNA processing, however, had so far remained unresolved. Here, we show that ultrashort 4sU-tagging not only provides snapshot pictures of eukaryotic gene expression but, when combined with progressive 4sU-tagging and RNA-seq, reveals global RNA processing kinetics at nucleotide resolution. Using this method, we identified classes of rapidly and slowly spliced/degraded introns. Interestingly, each class of splicing kinetics was characterized by a distinct association with intron length, gene length, and splice site strength. For a large group of introns, we also observed long lasting retention in the primary transcript, but efficient secondary splicing or degradation at later time points. Finally, we show that processing of most, but not all small nucleolar (sno)RNA-containing introns is remarkably inefficient with the majority of introns being spliced and degraded rather than processed into mature snoRNAs. In summary, our study yields unparalleled insights into the kinetics of RNA processing and provides the tools to study molecular mechanisms of RNA processing and their contribution to the regulation of gene expression.
Comamonas testosteroni strains belong to the family of Comamonadaceae and are known for their ability to utilize steroid compounds as carbon source. Here, we present the draft genome sequence of strain ATCC 11996, with a G+C content of 61.48%.
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