Grain produced from cereal crops is a primary source of human food and animal feed worldwide. To understand the genetic basis of seed-size variation, a grain yield component, we conducted a genome-wide scan to detect evidence of selection in the maize Krug Yellow Dent long-term divergent seed-size selection experiment. Previous studies have documented significant phenotypic divergence between the populations. Allele frequency estimates for ?3 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the base population and selected populations were estimated from pooled whole-genome resequencing of 48 individuals per population. Using FST values across sliding windows, 94 divergent regions with a median of six genes per region were identified. Additionally, 2729 SNPs that reached fixation in both selected populations with opposing fixed alleles were identified, many of which clustered in two regions of the genome. Copy-number variation was highly prevalent between the selected populations, with 532 total regions identified on the basis of read-depth variation and comparative genome hybridization. Regions important for seed weight in natural variation were identified in the maize nested association mapping population. However, the number of regions that overlapped with the long-term selection experiment did not exceed that expected by chance, possibly indicating unique sources of variation between the two populations. The results of this study provide insights into the genetic elements underlying seed-size variation in maize and could also have applications for other cereal crops.
The recent paper (Girona et al., 2014) describing cardiovascular and metabolic responses to the ingestion of 500 mL cold, room temperature and body temperature water is very interesting and is certainly significant as it is one of the few studies in an important and neglected topic. My research group has recently published a similar study on cardiovascular responses (McMullen et al., 2014), although our post-ingestion period was limited to 15 minutes i.e. the gastric-phase of digestion. I have two issues with the publication of Girona et al. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Since Greco-Roman times bitter tastants have been used in Europe to treat digestive disorders, yet no pharmacological mechanism has been identified which can account for this practice. This study investigates whether the bitter tastants, gentian root (Gentian lutea L.) and wormwood herb (Artemisia absinthium L.), stimulate cephalic and/or gut receptors to alter postprandial haemodynamics during the gastric-phase of digestion.
Height is one of the most heritable and easily measured traits in maize (Zea mays L.). Given a pedigree or estimates of the genomic identity-by-state among related plants, height is also accurately predictable. But, mapping alleles explaining natural variation in maize height remains a formidable challenge. To address this challenge, we measured the plant height, ear height, flowering time, and node counts of plants grown in >64,500 plots across 13 environments. These plots contained >7300 inbreds representing most publically available maize inbreds in the United States and families of the maize Nested Association Mapping (NAM) panel. Joint-linkage mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTL), fine mapping in near isogenic lines (NILs), genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP) were performed. The heritability of maize height was estimated to be >90%. Mapping NAM family-nested QTL revealed the largest explained 2.1 ± 0.9% of height variation. The effects of two tropical alleles at this QTL were independently validated by fine mapping in NIL families. Several significant associations found by GWAS colocalized with established height loci, including brassinosteroid-deficient dwarf1, dwarf plant1, and semi-dwarf2. GBLUP explained >80% of height variation in the panels and outperformed bootstrap aggregation of family-nested QTL models in evaluations of prediction accuracy. These results revealed maize height was under strong genetic control and had a highly polygenic genetic architecture. They also showed that multiple models of genetic architecture differing in polygenicity and effect sizes can plausibly explain a population's variation in maize height, but they may vary in predictive efficacy.
Ghrelin is a stomach-derived peptide that has been identified as the only circulating hunger hormone that exerts a potent orexigenic effect via activation of its receptor, the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R1a). Hence, the ghrelinergic system represents a promising target to treat obesity and obesity-related diseases. In this study we analysed the GHS-R1a receptor activating potential of Harpagophytum procumbens, popularly known as Devil's Claw, and its effect on food intake in vivo. H. procumbens is an important traditional medicinal plant from Southern Africa with potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. This plant has been also used as an appetite modulator but most evidences are anecdotal and to our knowledge, no clear scientific studies relating to appetite modulation have been done to this date. The ghrelin receptor activation potential of an extract derived from the dried tuberous roots of H. procumbens was analysed by calcium mobilization and receptor internalization assays in human embryonic kidney cells (Hek) stably expressing the GHS-R1a receptor. Food intake was investigated in male C57BL/6 mice following intraperitoneal administration of H. procumbens root extract in ad libitum and food restricted conditions. Exposure to H. procumbens extract demonstrated a significant increased cellular calcium influx but did not induce subsequent GHS-R1a receptor internalization, which is a characteristic for full receptor activation. A significant anorexigenic effect was observed in male C57BL/6 mice following peripheral administration of H. procumbens extract. We conclude that H. procumbens root extract is a potential novel source for potent anti-obesity bioactives. These results reinforce the promising potential of natural bioactives to be developed into functional foods with weight-loss and weight maintenance benefits.
To evaluate the utilization of the surgical step-down unit (SSDU) by a sample of patients who were preoperatively booked for admission to the unit, and to identify those patient characteristics and perioperative variables that are associated with an intervention in the unit.
Genotyping by sequencing, a new low-cost, high-throughput sequencing technology was used to genotype 2,815 maize inbred accessions, preserved mostly at the National Plant Germplasm System in the USA. The collection includes inbred lines from breeding programs all over the world.
To demonstrate how the analysis of clinical process, cost, and outcomes can identify healthcare improvements that reduce cost without sacrificing quality, using the example of the initial visit associated with oral contraceptive pill use.
A physically anchored consensus map is foundational to modern genomics research; however, construction of such a map in oat (Avena sativa L., 2n?=?6x?=?42) has been hindered by the size and complexity of the genome, the scarcity of robust molecular markers, and the lack of aneuploid stocks. Resources developed in this study include a modified SNP discovery method for complex genomes, a diverse set of oat SNP markers, and a novel chromosome-deficient SNP anchoring strategy. These resources were applied to build the first complete, physically-anchored consensus map of hexaploid oat. Approximately 11,000 high-confidence in silico SNPs were discovered based on nine million inter-varietal sequence reads of genomic and cDNA origin. GoldenGate genotyping of 3,072 SNP assays yielded 1,311 robust markers, of which 985 were mapped in 390 recombinant-inbred lines from six bi-parental mapping populations ranging in size from 49 to 97 progeny. The consensus map included 985 SNPs and 68 previously-published markers, resolving 21 linkage groups with a total map distance of 1,838.8 cM. Consensus linkage groups were assigned to 21 chromosomes using SNP deletion analysis of chromosome-deficient monosomic hybrid stocks. Alignments with sequenced genomes of rice and Brachypodium provide evidence for extensive conservation of genomic regions, and renewed encouragement for orthology-based genomic discovery in this important hexaploid species. These results also provide a framework for high-resolution genetic analysis in oat, and a model for marker development and map construction in other species with complex genomes and limited resources.
Stalk strength is an important trait in maize (Zea mays L.). Strong stalks reduce lodging and maximize harvestable yield. Studies show rind penetrometer resistance (RPR), or the force required to pierce a stalk rind with a spike, is a valid approximation of strength. We measured RPR across 4,692 recombinant inbreds (RILs) comprising the maize nested association mapping (NAM) panel derived from crosses of diverse inbreds to the inbred, B73. An intermated B73×Mo17 family (IBM) of 196 RILs and a panel of 2,453 diverse inbreds from the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS) were also evaluated. We measured RPR in three environments. Family-nested QTL were identified by joint-linkage mapping in the NAM panel. We also performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP) in each panel. Broad sense heritability computed on a line means basis was low for RPR. Only 8 of 26 families had a heritability above 0.20. The NCRPIS diversity panel had a heritability of 0.54. Across NAM and IBM families, 18 family-nested QTL and 141 significant GWAS associations were identified for RPR. Numerous weak associations were also found in the NCRPIS diversity panel. However, few were linked to loci involved in phenylpropanoid and cellulose synthesis or vegetative phase transition. Using an identity-by-state (IBS) relationship matrix estimated from 1.6 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and RPR measures from 20% of the NAM panel, genomic prediction by GBLUP explained 64±2% of variation in the remaining RILs. In the NCRPIS diversity panel, an IBS matrix estimated from 681,257 SNPs and RPR measures from 20% of the panel explained 33±3% of variation in the remaining inbreds. These results indicate the high genetic complexity of stalk strength and the potential for genomic prediction to hasten its improvement.
Fusarium head blight, incited by the fungus Fusarium graminearum, primarily affects wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum vulgarum), while oat (Avena sativa) appears to be more resistant. Although this has generally been attributed to the open panicle of oats, we hypothesized that a chemical component of oats might contribute to this resistance. To test this hypothesis, we created culture media made of wheat, barley, and oat flour gels (6 g of flour in 20 ml of water, gelled by autoclaving) and inoculated these with plugs of F. graminearum from actively growing cultures. Fusarium growth was measured from the diameter of the fungal plaque. Plaque diameter was significantly smaller on oat flour cultures than on wheat or barley cultures after 40 to 80 h of growth. Ergosterol concentration was also significantly lower in oat cultures than in wheat cultures after growth. A hexane extract from oats added to wheat flour also inhibited Fusarium growth, and Fusarium grew better on hexane-defatted oat flour. The growth of Fusarium on oat flour was significantly and negatively affected by the oil concentration in the oat, in a linear relationship. A hexane-soluble chemical in oat flour appears to inhibit Fusarium growth and might contribute to oats resistance to Fusarium head blight. Oxygenated fatty acids, including hydroxy, dihydroxy, and epoxy fatty acids, were identified in the hexane extracts and are likely candidates for causing the inhibition.
The maize (Zea mays) kernel plays a critical role in feeding humans and livestock around the world and in a wide array of industrial applications. An understanding of the regulation of kernel starch, protein, and oil is needed in order to manipulate composition to meet future needs. We conducted joint-linkage quantitative trait locus mapping and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for kernel starch, protein, and oil in the maize nested association mapping population, composed of 25 recombinant inbred line families derived from diverse inbred lines. Joint-linkage mapping revealed that the genetic architecture of kernel composition traits is controlled by 21-26 quantitative trait loci. Numerous GWAS associations were detected, including several oil and starch associations in acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase1-2, a gene that regulates oil composition and quantity. Results from nested association mapping were verified in a 282 inbred association panel using both GWAS and candidate gene association approaches. We identified many beneficial alleles that will be useful for improving kernel starch, protein, and oil content.
SNP genotyping arrays have been useful for many applications that require a large number of molecular markers such as high-density genetic mapping, genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and genomic selection. We report the establishment of a large maize SNP array and its use for diversity analysis and high density linkage mapping. The markers, taken from more than 800,000 SNPs, were selected to be preferentially located in genes and evenly distributed across the genome. The array was tested with a set of maize germplasm including North American and European inbred lines, parent/F1 combinations, and distantly related teosinte material. A total of 49,585 markers, including 33,417 within 17,520 different genes and 16,168 outside genes, were of good quality for genotyping, with an average failure rate of 4% and rates up to 8% in specific germplasm. To demonstrate this arrays use in genetic mapping and for the independent validation of the B73 sequence assembly, two intermated maize recombinant inbred line populations - IBM (B73×Mo17) and LHRF (F2×F252) - were genotyped to establish two high density linkage maps with 20,913 and 14,524 markers respectively. 172 mapped markers were absent in the current B73 assembly and their placement can be used for future improvements of the B73 reference sequence. Colinearity of the genetic and physical maps was mostly conserved with some exceptions that suggest errors in the B73 assembly. Five major regions containing non-colinearities were identified on chromosomes 2, 3, 6, 7 and 9, and are supported by both independent genetic maps. Four additional non-colinear regions were found on the LHRF map only; they may be due to a lower density of IBM markers in those regions or to true structural rearrangements between lines. Given the arrays high quality, it will be a valuable resource for maize genetics and many aspects of maize breeding.
The immediate and short-term chemosensory impacts of coffee and caffeine on cardiovascular activity. Introduction: Caffeine is detected by 5 of the 25 gustatory bitter taste receptors (hTAS2Rs) as well as by intestinal STC-1 cell lines. Thus there is a possibility that caffeine may elicit reflex autonomic responses via chemosensory stimulation.
The quantity of blood arriving at the left side of the heart oscillates throughout the breathing cycle due to the mechanics of breathing. Neurally regulated fluctuations in the length of the heart period act to dampen oscillations of the left ventricular stroke volume entering the aorta. We have reported that stroke volume oscillations but not spectral frequency variability stroke volume measures can be used to estimate the breathing frequency. This study investigated with the same recordings whether heart period oscillations or spectral heart rate variability measures could function as estimators of breathing frequency. Continuous 270 s cardiovascular recordings were obtained from 22 healthy adult volunteers in the supine and upright postures. Breathing was recorded simultaneously. Breathing frequency and heart period oscillation frequency were calculated manually, while heart rate variability spectral maximums were obtained using heart rate variability software. These estimates were compared to the breathing frequency using the Bland-Altman agreement procedure. Estimates were required to be < ±10% (95% levels of agreement). The 95% levels of agreement measures for the heart period oscillation frequency (supine: -27.7 to 52.0%, upright: -37.8 to 45.9%) and the heart rate variability spectral maximum estimates (supine: -48.7 to 26.5% and -56.4 to 62.7%, upright: -37.8 to 39.3%) exceeded 10%. Multiple heart period oscillations were observed to occur during breathing cycles. Both respiratory and non-respiratory sinus arrhythmia was observed amongst healthy adults. This observation at least partly explains why heart period parameters and heart rate variability parameters are not reliable estimators of breathing frequency. In determining the validity of spectral heart rate variability measurements we suggest that it is the position of the spectral peaks and not the breathing frequency that should be the basis of decision making.
We compared the genetic architecture of thirteen maize morphological traits in a large population of recombinant inbred lines. Four traits from the male inflorescence (tassel) and three traits from the female inflorescence (ear) were measured and studied using linkage and genome-wide association analyses and compared to three flowering and three leaf traits previously studied in the same population. Inflorescence loci have larger effects than flowering and leaf loci, and ear effects are larger than tassel effects. Ear trait models also have lower predictive ability than tassel, flowering, or leaf trait models. Pleiotropic loci were identified that control elongation of ear and tassel, consistent with their common developmental origin. For these pleiotropic loci, the ear effects are larger than tassel effects even though the same causal polymorphisms are likely involved. This implies that the observed differences in genetic architecture are not due to distinct features of the underlying polymorphisms. Our results support the hypothesis that genetic architecture is a function of trait stability over evolutionary time, since the traits that changed most during the relatively recent domestication of maize have the largest effects.
Caffeine users have been encouraged to consume caffeine regularly to maintain their caffeine tolerance and so avoid caffeines acute pressor effects. In controlled conditions complete caffeine tolerance to intervention doses of 250 mg develops rapidly following several days of caffeine ingestion, nevertheless, complete tolerance is not evident for lower intervention doses. Similarly complete caffeine tolerance to 250 mg intervention doses has been demonstrated in habitual coffee and tea drinkers but for lower intervention doses complete tolerance is not evident. This study investigated a group of habitual caffeine users following their self-determined consumption pattern involving two to six servings daily. Cardiovascular responses following the ingestion of low to moderate amounts caffeine (67, 133 and 200 mg) were compared with placebo in a double-blind, randomised design without caffeine abstinence. Pre-intervention and post-intervention (30 and 60 min) 90 s continuous cardiovascular recordings were obtained with the Finometer in both the supine and upright postures. Participants were 12 healthy habitual coffee and tea drinkers (10 female, mean age 36). Doses of 67 and 133 mg increased systolic pressure in both postures while in the upright posture diastolic pressure and aortic impedance increased while arterial compliance decreased. These vascular changes were larger upright than supine for 133 mg caffeine. Additionally 67 mg caffeine increased dp/dt and indexed peripheral resistance in the upright posture. For 200 mg caffeine there was complete caffeine tolerance. Cardiovascular responses to caffeine appear to be associated with the size of the intervention dose. Habitual tea and coffee drinking does not generate complete tolerance to caffeine as has been previously suggested. Both the type and the extent of caffeine induced cardiovascular changes were influenced by posture.
In maize, mutations in the pr1 locus lead to the accumulation of pelargonidin (red) rather than cyanidin (purple) pigments in aleurone cells where the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway is active. We characterized pr1 mutation and isolated a putative F3H encoding gene (Zmf3h1) and showed by segregation analysis that the red kernel phenotype is linked to this gene. Genetic mapping using SNP markers confirms its position on chromosome 5L. Furthermore, genetic complementation experiments using a CaMV 35S::ZmF3H1 promoter-gene construct established that the encoded protein product was sufficient to perform a 3-hydroxylation reaction. The Zmf3h1-specific transcripts were detected in floral and vegetative tissues of Pr1 plants and were absent in pr1. Four pr1 alleles were characterized: two carry a 24 TA dinucleotide repeat insertion in the 5-upstream promoter region, a third has a 17-bp deletion near the TATA box, and a fourth contains a Ds insertion in exon1. Genetic and transcription assays demonstrated that the pr1 gene is under the regulatory control of anthocyanin transcription factors red1 and colorless1. The cloning and characterization of pr1 completes the molecular identification of all genes encoding structural enzymes of the anthocyanin pathway of maize.
Nested association mapping (NAM) offers power to resolve complex, quantitative traits to their causal loci. The maize NAM population, consisting of 5,000 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) from 25 families representing the global diversity of maize, was evaluated for resistance to southern leaf blight (SLB) disease. Joint-linkage analysis identified 32 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) with predominantly small, additive effects on SLB resistance. Genome-wide association tests of maize HapMap SNPs were conducted by imputing founder SNP genotypes onto the NAM RILs. SNPs both within and outside of QTL intervals were associated with variation for SLB resistance. Many of these SNPs were within or near sequences homologous to genes previously shown to be involved in plant disease resistance. Limited linkage disequilibrium was observed around some SNPs associated with SLB resistance, indicating that the maize NAM population enables high-resolution mapping of some genome regions.
US maize yield has increased eight-fold in the past 80 years, with half of the gain attributed to selection by breeders. During this time, changes in maize leaf angle and size have altered plant architecture, allowing more efficient light capture as planting density has increased. Through a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of the maize nested association mapping panel, we determined the genetic basis of important leaf architecture traits and identified some of the key genes. Overall, we demonstrate that the genetic architecture of the leaf traits is dominated by small effects, with little epistasis, environmental interaction or pleiotropy. In particular, GWAS results show that variations at the liguleless genes have contributed to more upright leaves. These results demonstrate that the use of GWAS with specially designed mapping populations is effective in uncovering the basis of key agronomic traits.
MADS-box genes encode transcription factors that are key regulators of plant inflorescence and flower development. We examined DNA sequence variation in 32 maize MADS-box genes and 32 randomly chosen maize loci and investigated their involvement in maize domestication and improvement. Using neutrality tests and a test based on coalescent simulation of a bottleneck model, we identified eight MADS-box genes as putative targets of the artificial selection associated with domestication. According to neutrality tests, one additional MADS-box gene appears to have been under selection during modern agricultural improvement of maize. For random loci, two genes were indicated as targets of selection during domestication and four additional genes were indicated to be candidate-selected loci for maize improvement. These results suggest that MADS-box genes were more frequent targets of selection during domestication than genes chosen at random from the genome.
An introgression library is a family of near-isogenic lines in a common genetic background, each of which carries one or more genomic regions contributed by a donor genome. Near-isogenic lines are powerful genetic resources for the analysis of phenotypic variation and are important for map-base cloning genes underlying mutations and traits. With many thousands of distinct genotypes, querying introgression libraries for lines of interest is an issue.
The Finometer records the beat-to-beat finger pulse contour and has been recommended for research studies assessing short-term changes of blood pressure and its variability. Variability measured in the frequency domain using spectral analysis requires the impact of breathing be restricted to high frequency spectra (>0.15 Hz) so that the data from participants need to be excluded when the breathing impact occurs in the low frequency spectra (0.04-0.15 Hz). This study tested whether breathing frequency can be estimated from standard Finometer recordings using either stroke volume oscillation frequency or spectral stroke volume variability maximum scores.
To identify optimal transferable practice processes for provision of a clinical service by studying the relationships among unit cost, clinical outcome, patient satisfaction, and staff satisfaction observed for a discreet service performed at multiple sites in a well-defined patient population.
Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the nucleus accumbens play an important role in mediating the reinforcing effects of cocaine. However, there is a paucity of data regarding the role of accumbal muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the reinstatement of cocaine-seeking behavior. The goal of these experiments was to assess the role of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the nucleus accumbens core and shell in cocaine and sucrose priming-induced reinstatement. Rats were initially trained to self-administer cocaine or sucrose on a fixed-ratio schedule of reinforcement. Lever-pressing behavior was then extinguished and followed by a subsequent reinstatement phase during which operant responding was induced by either a systemic injection of cocaine in cocaine-experienced rats or non-contingent delivery of sucrose pellets in subjects with a history of sucrose self-administration. Results indicated that systemic administration of the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist scopolamine (5.0 mg/kg, i.p.) dose-dependently attenuated cocaine, but not sucrose, reinstatement. Furthermore, administration of scopolamine (36.0 ?g) directly into the nucleus accumbens shell or core attenuated cocaine priming-induced reinstatement. In contrast, infusion of scopolamine (36.0 ?g) directly into the accumbens core, but not shell, attenuated sucrose reinstatement, which suggests that muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in these two subregions of the nucleus accumbens have differential roles in sucrose seeking. Taken together, these results indicate that cocaine priming-induced reinstatement is mediated, in part, by increased signaling through muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the shell subregion of the nucleus accumbens. Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in the core of the accumbens, in contrast, appear to play a more general (i.e. not cocaine specific) role in motivated behaviors.
Central carbon metabolism (CCM) is a fundamental component of life. The participating genes and enzymes are thought to be structurally and functionally conserved across and within species. Association mapping utilizes a rich history of mutation and recombination to achieve high resolution mapping. Therefore, applying association mapping in maize (Zea mays ssp. mays), the most diverse model crop species, to study the genetics of CCM is a particularly attractive system.
Variation in maize for response to photoperiod is related to geographical adaptation in the species. Maize possesses homologs of many genes identified as regulators of flowering time in other species, but their relation to the natural variation for photoperiod response in maize is unknown. Candidate gene sequences were mapped in four populations created by crossing two temperate inbred lines to two photoperiod-sensitive tropical inbreds. Whole-genome scans were conducted by high-density genotyping of the populations, which were phenotyped over 3 years in both short- and long-day environments. Joint multiple population analysis identified genomic regions controlling photoperiod responses in flowering time, plant height, and total leaf number. Four key genome regions controlling photoperiod response across populations were identified, referred to as ZmPR1-4. Functional allelic differences within these regions among phenotypically similar founders suggest distinct evolutionary trajectories for photoperiod adaptation in maize. These regions encompass candidate genes CCA/LHY, CONZ1, CRY2, ELF4, GHD7, VGT1, HY1/SE5, TOC1/PRR7/PPD-1, PIF3, ZCN8, and ZCN19.
Maize is an important crop species of high genetic diversity. We identified and genotyped several million sequence polymorphisms among 27 diverse maize inbred lines and discovered that the genome was characterized by highly divergent haplotypes and showed 10- to 30-fold variation in recombination rates. Most chromosomes have pericentromeric regions with highly suppressed recombination that appear to have influenced the effectiveness of selection during maize inbred development and may be a major component of heterosis. We found hundreds of selective sweeps and highly differentiated regions that probably contain loci that are key to geographic adaptation. This survey of genetic diversity provides a foundation for uniting breeding efforts across the world and for dissecting complex traits through genome-wide association studies.
Large-scale screens of the maize genome identified 48 genes that show the putative signature of artificial selection during maize domestication or improvement. These selection-candidate genes may act as quantitative trait loci (QTL) that control the phenotypic differences between maize and its progenitor, teosinte. The selection-candidate genes appear to be located closer in the genome to domestication QTL than expected by chance.
Maize genetic diversity has been used to understand the molecular basis of phenotypic variation and to improve agricultural efficiency and sustainability. We crossed 25 diverse inbred maize lines to the B73 reference line, capturing a total of 136,000 recombination events. Variation for recombination frequencies was observed among families, influenced by local (cis) genetic variation. We identified evidence for numerous minor single-locus effects but little two-locus linkage disequilibrium or segregation distortion, which indicated a limited role for genes with large effects and epistatic interactions on fitness. We observed excess residual heterozygosity in pericentromeric regions, which suggested that selection in inbred lines has been less efficient in these regions because of reduced recombination frequency. This implies that pericentromeric regions may contribute disproportionally to heterosis.
Flowering time is a complex trait that controls adaptation of plants to their local environment in the outcrossing species Zea mays (maize). We dissected variation for flowering time with a set of 5000 recombinant inbred lines (maize Nested Association Mapping population, NAM). Nearly a million plants were assayed in eight environments but showed no evidence for any single large-effect quantitative trait loci (QTLs). Instead, we identified evidence for numerous small-effect QTLs shared among families; however, allelic effects differ across founder lines. We identified no individual QTLs at which allelic effects are determined by geographic origin or large effects for epistasis or environmental interactions. Thus, a simple additive model accurately predicts flowering time for maize, in contrast to the genetic architecture observed in the selfing plant species rice and Arabidopsis.
A newly developed maize Illumina GoldenGate Assay with 1536 SNPs from 582 loci was used to genotype a highly diverse global maize collection of 632 inbred lines from temperate, tropical, and subtropical public breeding programs. A total of 1229 informative SNPs and 1749 haplotypes within 327 loci was used to estimate the genetic diversity, population structure, and familial relatedness. Population structure identified tropical and temperate subgroups, and complex familial relationships were identified within the global collection. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) was measured overall and within chromosomes, allelic frequency groups, subgroups related by geographic origin, and subgroups of different sample sizes. The LD decay distance differed among chromosomes and ranged between 1 to 10 kb. The LD distance increased with the increase of minor allelic frequency (MAF), and with smaller sample sizes, encouraging caution when using too few lines in a study. The LD decay distance was much higher in temperate than in tropical and subtropical lines, because tropical and subtropical lines are more diverse and contain more rare alleles than temperate lines. A core set of inbreds was defined based on haplotypes, and 60 lines capture 90% of the haplotype diversity of the entire panel. The defined core sets and the entire collection can be used widely for different research targets.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs that play essential roles in plant growth, development, and stress response. We conducted a genome-wide survey of maize miRNA genes, characterizing their structure, expression, and evolution. Computational approaches based on homology and secondary structure modeling identified 150 high-confidence genes within 26 miRNA families. For 25 families, expression was verified by deep-sequencing of small RNA libraries that were prepared from an assortment of maize tissues. PCR-RACE amplification of 68 miRNA transcript precursors, representing 18 families conserved across several plant species, showed that splice variation and the use of alternative transcriptional start and stop sites is common within this class of genes. Comparison of sequence variation data from diverse maize inbred lines versus teosinte accessions suggest that the mature miRNAs are under strong purifying selection while the flanking sequences evolve equivalently to other genes. Since maize is derived from an ancient tetraploid, the effect of whole-genome duplication on miRNA evolution was examined. We found that, like protein-coding genes, duplicated miRNA genes underwent extensive gene-loss, with approximately 35% of ancestral sites retained as duplicate homoeologous miRNA genes. This number is higher than that observed with protein-coding genes. A search for putative miRNA targets indicated bias towards genes in regulatory and metabolic pathways. As maize is one of the principal models for plant growth and development, this study will serve as a foundation for future research into the functional roles of miRNA genes.
Pericarp Color1 (P1) encodes an R2R3-MYB transcription factor responsible for the accumulation of insecticidal flavones in maize (Zea mays) silks and red phlobaphene pigments in pericarps and other floral tissues, which makes P1 an important visual marker. Using genome-wide expression analyses (RNA sequencing) in pericarps and silks of plants with contrasting P1 alleles combined with chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with high-throughput sequencing, we show here that the regulatory functions of P1 are much broader than the activation of genes corresponding to enzymes in a branch of flavonoid biosynthesis. P1 modulates the expression of several thousand genes, and ?1500 of them were identified as putative direct targets of P1. Among them, we identified F2H1, corresponding to a P450 enzyme that converts naringenin into 2-hydroxynaringenin, a key branch point in the P1-controlled pathway and the first step in the formation of insecticidal C-glycosyl flavones. Unexpectedly, the binding of P1 to gene regulatory regions can result in both gene activation and repression. Our results indicate that P1 is the major regulator for a set of genes involved in flavonoid biosynthesis and a minor modulator of the expression of a much larger gene set that includes genes involved in primary metabolism and production of other specialized compounds.
Teosinte, the progenitor of maize, is restricted to tropical environments in Mexico and Central America. The pre-Columbian spread of maize from its center of origin in tropical Southern Mexico to the higher latitudes of the Americas required postdomestication selection for adaptation to longer day lengths. Flowering time of teosinte and tropical maize is delayed under long day lengths, whereas temperate maize evolved a reduced sensitivity to photoperiod. We measured flowering time of the maize nested association and diverse association mapping panels in the field under both short and long day lengths, and of a maize-teosinte mapping population under long day lengths. Flowering time in maize is a complex trait affected by many genes and the environment. Photoperiod response is one component of flowering time involving a subset of flowering time genes whose effects are strongly influenced by day length. Genome-wide association and targeted high-resolution linkage mapping identified ZmCCT, a homologue of the rice photoperiod response regulator Ghd7, as the most important gene affecting photoperiod response in maize. Under long day lengths ZmCCT alleles from diverse teosintes are consistently expressed at higher levels and confer later flowering than temperate maize alleles. Many maize inbred lines, including some adapted to tropical regions, carry ZmCCT alleles with no sensitivity to day length. Indigenous farmers of the Americas were remarkably successful at selecting on genetic variation at key genes affecting the photoperiod response to create maize varieties adapted to vastly diverse environments despite the hindrance of the geographic axis of the Americas and the complex genetic control of flowering time.
Domestication and plant breeding are ongoing 10,000-year-old evolutionary experiments that have radically altered wild species to meet human needs. Maize has undergone a particularly striking transformation. Researchers have sought for decades to identify the genes underlying maize evolution, but these efforts have been limited in scope. Here, we report a comprehensive assessment of the evolution of modern maize based on the genome-wide resequencing of 75 wild, landrace and improved maize lines. We find evidence of recovery of diversity after domestication, likely introgression from wild relatives, and evidence for stronger selection during domestication than improvement. We identify a number of genes with stronger signals of selection than those previously shown to underlie major morphological changes. Finally, through transcriptome-wide analysis of gene expression, we find evidence both consistent with removal of cis-acting variation during maize domestication and improvement and suggestive of modern breeding having increased dominance in expression while targeting highly expressed genes.
Whereas breeders have exploited diversity in maize for yield improvements, there has been limited progress in using beneficial alleles in undomesticated varieties. Characterizing standing variation in this complex genome has been challenging, with only a small fraction of it described to date. Using a population genetics scoring model, we identified 55 million SNPs in 103 lines across pre-domestication and domesticated Zea mays varieties, including a representative from the sister genus Tripsacum. We find that structural variations are pervasive in the Z. mays genome and are enriched at loci associated with important traits. By investigating the drivers of genome size variation, we find that the larger Tripsacum genome can be explained by transposable element abundance rather than an allopolyploid origin. In contrast, intraspecies genome size variation seems to be controlled by chromosomal knob content. There is tremendous overlap in key gene content in maize and Tripsacum, suggesting that adaptations from Tripsacum (for example, perennialism and frost and drought tolerance) can likely be integrated into maize.
Caffeine stimulates both oropharyngeal and gut bitter taste receptors (hTAS2Rs) and so has the potential to elicit reflex autonomic responses. Coffee containing 130 mg caffeine has been reported to increase heart rate for 30 min post-ingestion. Whereas added-caffeine, in doses of 25 to 200 mg, ingested with decaffeinated coffee/tea decreases heart rate 10 to 30 min post-ingestion. This study aimed to clarify caffeines chemosensory impact. Double-espresso coffees were compared to a placebo-control capsule in a double-blind between-measures design. Coffees tested were regular coffee (130 mg caffeine) and decaffeinated coffee with added-caffeine (0, 67 and 134 mg). Cardiovascular measures from three post-ingestion phases: 1) 0 to 5; 2) 10 to 15; and 3) 25 to 30 min; were compared to pre-ingestion measures. Participants comprised 11 women in the control group and 10 women in the test group. Decaffeinated coffee elicited no changes. Decaffeinated coffee with 67 mg caffeine: decreased dp/dt in Phase 1. Decaffeinated coffee with 134 mg caffeine: increased heart rate in Phases 1 and 2; decreased spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity in Phase 1; and increased diastolic pressure in Phases 2 and 3. Regular coffee: increased heart rate in Phases 1 and 2; decreased dp/dt in all phases; and decreased systolic pressure in Phase 1. Caffeine is the substance in regular coffee which elicits chemosensory autonomic reflex responses, which involves heart activity and the baroreflex. Compared to the caffeine in regular coffee, added-caffeine elicits somewhat different chemosensory responses including a more pronounced pressor effect and resetting of the baroreflex. Caffeine in commonly consumed amounts, as well as modulating body processes by blocking adenosine receptors, can elicit reflex autonomic responses during the ingestion of caffeinated drinks. It is plausible that caffeine stimulates hTAS2Rs, during the ingestion of coffee, eliciting cephalic phase responses. These cephalic phase responses likely result from vagal withdrawal and it is uncertain whether they enhance digestion or not.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.