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1.  Indian genetic disease database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;39(Database issue):D933-D938.
Indians, representing about one-sixth of the world population, consist of several thousands of endogamous groups with strong potential for excess of recessive diseases. However, no database is available on Indian population with comprehensive information on the diseases common in the country. To address this issue, we present Indian Genetic Disease Database (IGDD) release 1.0 (—an integrated and curated repository of growing number of mutation data on common genetic diseases afflicting the Indian populations. Currently the database covers 52 diseases with information on 5760 individuals carrying the mutant alleles of causal genes. Information on locus heterogeneity, type of mutation, clinical and biochemical data, geographical location and common mutations are furnished based on published literature. The database is currently designed to work best with Internet Explorer 8 (optimal resolution 1440 × 900) and it can be searched based on disease of interest, causal gene, type of mutation and geographical location of the patients or carriers. Provisions have been made for deposition of new data and logistics for regular updation of the database. The IGDD web portal, planned to be made freely available, contains user-friendly interfaces and is expected to be highly useful to the geneticists, clinicians, biologists and patient support groups of various genetic diseases.
PMCID: PMC3013653  PMID: 21037256
2.  Transcriptome analysis of ripe and unripe fruit tissue of banana identifies major metabolic networks involved in fruit ripening process 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14(1):316.
Banana is one of the most important crop plants grown in the tropics and sub-tropics. It is a climacteric fruit and undergoes ethylene dependent ripening. Once ripening is initiated, it proceeds at a fast rate making postharvest life short, which can result in heavy economic losses. During the fruit ripening process a number of physiological and biochemical changes take place and thousands of genes from various metabolic pathways are recruited to produce a ripe and edible fruit. To better understand the underlying mechanism of ripening, we undertook a study to evaluate global changes in the transcriptome of the fruit during the ripening process.
We sequenced the transcriptomes of the unripe and ripe stages of banana (Musa accuminata; Dwarf Cavendish) fruit. The transcriptomes were sequenced using a 454 GSFLX-Titanium platform that resulted in more than 7,00,000 high quality (HQ) reads. The assembly of the reads resulted in 19,410 contigs and 92,823 singletons. A large number of the differentially expressed genes identified were linked to ripening dependent processes including ethylene biosynthesis, perception and signalling, cell wall degradation and production of aromatic volatiles. In the banana fruit transcriptomes, we found transcripts included in 120 pathways described in the KEGG database for rice. The members of the expansin and xyloglucan transglycosylase/hydrolase (XTH) gene families were highly up-regulated during ripening, which suggests that they might play important roles in the softening of the fruit. Several genes involved in the synthesis of aromatic volatiles and members of transcription factor families previously reported to be involved in ripening were also identified.
A large number of differentially regulated genes were identified during banana fruit ripening. Many of these are associated with cell wall degradation and synthesis of aromatic volatiles. A large number of differentially expressed genes did not align with any of the databases and might be novel genes in banana. These genes can be good candidates for future studies to establish their role in banana fruit ripening. The datasets developed in this study will help in developing strategies to manipulate banana fruit ripening and reduce post harvest losses.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12870-014-0316-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4263013  PMID: 25442405
Banana; Ethylene; Fruit ripening; Musa acuminata; Transcriptome
3.  Comparative transcriptome analysis of Gossypium hirsutum L. in response to sap sucking insects: aphid and whitefly 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:241.
Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is a major fiber crop that is grown worldwide; it faces extensive damage from sap-sucking insects, including aphids and whiteflies. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis was performed to understand the molecular details of interaction between Gossypium hirsutum L. and sap-sucking pests, namely Aphis gossypii (Aphid) and Bemisia tabacci (Whiteflies). Roche’s GS-Titanium was used to sequence transcriptomes of cotton infested with aphids and whiteflies for 2 h and 24 h.
A total of 100935 contigs were produced with an average length of 529 bp after an assembly in all five selected conditions. The Blastn of the non-redundant (nr) cotton EST database resulted in the identification of 580 novel contigs in the cotton plant. It should be noted that in spite of minimal physical damage caused by the sap-sucking insects, they can change the gene expression of plants in 2 h of infestation; further change in gene expression due to whiteflies is quicker than due to aphids. The impact of the whitefly 24 h after infestation was more or less similar to that of the aphid 2 h after infestation. Aphids and whiteflies affect many genes that are regulated by various phytohormones and in response to microbial infection, indicating the involvement of complex crosstalk between these pathways. The KOBAS analysis of differentially regulated transcripts in response to aphids and whiteflies indicated that both the insects induce the metabolism of amino acids biosynthesis specially in case of whiteflies infestation at later phase. Further we also observed that expression of transcript related to photosynthesis specially carbon fixation were significantly influenced by infestation of Aphids and Whiteflies.
A comparison of different transcriptomes leads to the identification of differentially and temporally regulated transcripts in response to infestation by aphids and whiteflies. Most of these differentially expressed contigs were related to genes involved in biotic, abiotic stresses and enzymatic activities related to hydrolases, transferases, and kinases. The expression of some marker genes such as the overexpressors of cationic peroxidase 3, lipoxygenase I, TGA2, and non-specific lipase, which are involved in phytohormonal-mediated plant resistance development, was suppressed after infestation by aphids and whiteflies, indicating that insects suppressed plant resistance in order to facilitate their infestation. We also concluded that cotton shares several pathways such as phagosomes, RNA transport, and amino acid metabolism with Arabidopsis in response to the infestation by aphids and whiteflies.
PMCID: PMC3637549  PMID: 23577705
Gossypium hirsutum; Aphids; Whitefly; Transcriptome sequencing; Sap sucking insects; Biotic stress
4.  Transcriptomic and metabolomic shifts in rice roots in response to Cr (VI) stress 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:648.
Widespread use of chromium (Cr) contaminated fields due to careless and inappropriate management practices of effluent discharge, mostly from industries related to metallurgy, electroplating, production of paints and pigments, tanning, and wood preservation elevates its concentration in surface soil and eventually into rice plants and grains. In spite of many previous studies having been conducted on the effects of chromium stress, the precise molecular mechanisms related to both the effects of chromium phytotoxicity, the defense reactions of plants against chromium exposure as well as translocation and accumulation in rice remain poorly understood.
Detailed analysis of genome-wide transcriptome profiling in rice root is reported here, following Cr-plant interaction. Such studies are important for the identification of genes responsible for tolerance, accumulation and defense response in plants with respect to Cr stress. Rice root metabolome analysis was also carried out to relate differential transcriptome data to biological processes affected by Cr (VI) stress in rice. To check whether the Cr-specific motifs were indeed significantly over represented in the promoter regions of Cr-responsive genes, occurrence of these motifs in whole genome sequence was carried out. In the background of whole genome, the lift value for these 14 and 13 motifs was significantly high in the test dataset. Though no functional role has been assigned to any of the motifs, but all of these are present as promoter motifs in the Database of orthologus promoters.
These findings clearly suggest that a complex network of regulatory pathways modulates Cr-response of rice. The integrated matrix of both transcriptome and metabolome data after suitable normalization and initial calculations provided us a visual picture of the correlations between components. Predominance of different motifs in the subsets of genes suggests the involvement of motif-specific transcription modulating proteins in Cr stress response of rice.
PMCID: PMC3224690  PMID: 21092124
5.  Universal Plant DNA Barcode Loci May Not Work in Complex Groups: A Case Study with Indian Berberis Species 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(10):e13674.
The concept of DNA barcoding for species identification has gained considerable momentum in animals because of fairly successful species identification using cytochrome oxidase I (COI). In plants, matK and rbcL have been proposed as standard barcodes. However, barcoding in complex genera is a challenging task.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We investigated the species discriminatory power of four reportedly most promising plant DNA barcoding loci (one from nuclear genome- ITS, and three from plastid genome- trnH-psbA, rbcL and matK) in species of Indian Berberis L. (Berberidaceae) and two other genera, Ficus L. (Moraceae) and Gossypium L. (Malvaceae). Berberis species were delineated using morphological characters. These characters resulted in a well resolved species tree. Applying both nucleotide distance and nucleotide character-based approaches, we found that none of the loci, either singly or in combinations, could discriminate the species of Berberis. ITS resolved all the tested species of Ficus and Gossypium and trnH-psbA resolved 82% of the tested species in Ficus. The highly regarded matK and rbcL could not resolve all the species. Finally, we employed amplified fragment length polymorphism test in species of Berberis to determine their relationships. Using ten primer pair combinations in AFLP, the data demonstrated incomplete species resolution. Further, AFLP analysis showed that there was a tendency of the Berberis accessions to cluster according to their geographic origin rather than species affiliation.
We reconfirm the earlier reports that the concept of universal barcode in plants may not work in a number of genera. Our results also suggest that the matK and rbcL, recommended as universal barcode loci for plants, may not work in all the genera of land plants. Morphological, geographical and molecular data analyses of Indian species of Berberis suggest probable reticulate evolution and thus barcode markers may not work in this case.
PMCID: PMC2965122  PMID: 21060687
6.  Oligonucleotide Frequencies of Barcoding Loci Can Discriminate Species across Kingdoms 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(8):e12330.
DNA barcoding refers to the use of short DNA sequences for rapid identification of species. Genetic distance or character attributes of a particular barcode locus discriminate the species. We report an efficient approach to analyze short sequence data for discrimination between species.
Methodology and Principal Findings
A new approach, Oligonucleotide Frequency Range (OFR) of barcode loci for species discrimination is proposed. OFR of the loci that discriminates between species was characteristic of a species, i.e., the maxima and minima within a species did not overlap with that of other species. We compared the species resolution ability of different barcode loci using p-distance, Euclidean distance of oligonucleotide frequencies, nucleotide-character based approach and OFR method. The species resolution by OFR was either higher or comparable to the other methods. A short fragment of 126 bp of internal transcribed spacer region in ribosomal RNA gene was sufficient to discriminate a majority of the species using OFR.
Oligonucleotide frequency range of a barcode locus can discriminate between species. Ability to discriminate species using very short DNA fragments may have wider applications in forensic and conservation studies.
PMCID: PMC2924895  PMID: 20808837
7.  Distinct, ecotype-specific genome and proteome signatures in the marine cyanobacteria Prochlorococcus 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:103.
The marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus marinus, having multiple ecotypes of distinct genotypic/phenotypic traits and being the first documented example of genome shrinkage in free-living organisms, offers an ideal system for studying niche-driven molecular micro-diversity in closely related microbes. The present study, through an extensive comparative analysis of various genomic/proteomic features of 6 high light (HL) and 6 low light (LL) adapted strains, makes an attempt to identify molecular determinants associated with their vertical niche partitioning.
Pronounced strand-specific asymmetry in synonymous codon usage is observed exclusively in LL strains. Distinct dinucleotide abundance profiles are exhibited by 2 LL strains with larger genomes and G+C-content ≈ 50% (group LLa), 4 LL strains having reduced genomes and G+C-content ≈ 35-37% (group LLb), and 6 HL strains. Taking into account the emergence of LLa, LLb and HL strains (based on 16S rRNA phylogeny), a gradual increase in average aromaticity, pI values and beta- & coil-forming propensities and a decrease in mean hydrophobicity, instability indices and helix-forming propensities of core proteins are observed. Greater variations in orthologous gene repertoire are found between LLa and LLb strains, while higher number of positively selected genes exist between LL and HL strains.
Strains of different Prochlorococcus groups are characterized by distinct compositional, physicochemical and structural traits that are not mere remnants of a continuous genetic drift, but are potential outcomes of a grand scheme of niche-oriented stepwise diversification, that might have driven them chronologically towards greater stability/fidelity and invoked upon them a special ability to inhabit diverse oceanic environments.
PMCID: PMC2836286  PMID: 20146791
8.  Molecular signature of hypersaline adaptation: insights from genome and proteome composition of halophilic prokaryotes 
Genome Biology  2008;9(4):R70.
A comparative genomic and proteomic study of halophilic and non-halophilic prokaryotes identifies specific genomic and proteomic features typical of halophilic species that are independent from genomic GC-content and taxonomic position.
Halophilic prokaryotes are adapted to thrive in extreme conditions of salinity. Identification and analysis of distinct macromolecular characteristics of halophiles provide insight into the factors responsible for their adaptation to high-salt environments. The current report presents an extensive and systematic comparative analysis of genome and proteome composition of halophilic and non-halophilic microorganisms, with a view to identify such macromolecular signatures of haloadaptation.
Comparative analysis of the genomes and proteomes of halophiles and non-halophiles reveals some common trends in halophiles that transcend the boundary of phylogenetic relationship and the genomic GC-content of the species. At the protein level, halophilic species are characterized by low hydrophobicity, over-representation of acidic residues, especially Asp, under-representation of Cys, lower propensities for helix formation and higher propensities for coil structure. At the DNA level, the dinucleotide abundance profiles of halophilic genomes bear some common characteristics, which are quite distinct from those of non-halophiles, and hence may be regarded as specific genomic signatures for salt-adaptation. The synonymous codon usage in halophiles also exhibits similar patterns regardless of their long-term evolutionary history.
The generality of molecular signatures for environmental adaptation of extreme salt-loving organisms, demonstrated in the present study, advocates the convergent evolution of halophilic species towards specific genome and amino acid composition, irrespective of their varying GC-bias and widely disparate taxonomic positions. The adapted features of halophiles seem to be related to physical principles governing DNA and protein stability, in response to the extreme environmental conditions under which they thrive.
PMCID: PMC2643941  PMID: 18397532
9.  Reverse Polarization in Amino acid and Nucleotide Substitution Patterns Between Human–Mouse Orthologs of Two Compositional Extrema 
Genome-wide analysis of sequence divergence patterns in 12 024 human–mouse orthologous pairs reveals, for the first time, that the trends in nucleotide and amino acid substitutions in orthologs of high and low GC composition are highly asymmetric and polarized to opposite directions. The entire dataset has been divided into three groups on the basis of the GC content at third codon sites of human genes: high, medium, and low. High-GC orthologs exhibit significant bias in favor of the replacements, Thr → Ala, Ser → Ala, Val → Ala, Lys → Arg, Asn → Ser, Ile → Val etc., from mouse to human, whereas in low-GC orthologs, the reverse trends prevail. In general, in the high-GC group, residues encoded by A/U-rich codons of mouse proteins tend to be replaced by the residues encoded by relatively G/C-rich codons in their human orthologs, whereas the opposite trend is observed among the low-GC orthologous pairs. The medium-GC group shares some trends with high-GC group and some with low-GC group. The only significant trend common in all groups of orthologs, irrespective of their GC bias, is (Asp)Mouse → (Glu)Human replacement. At the nucleotide level, high-GC orthologs have undergone a large excess of (A/T)Mouse → (G/C)Human substitutions over (G/C)Mouse → (A/T)Human at each codon position, whereas for low-GC orthologs, the reverse is true.
PMCID: PMC2533592  PMID: 17895298
high-GC orthologs; low-GC orthologs; amino acid replacement matrix; nucleotide replacement matrix; sequence divergence
10.  Analysis of Nanoarchaeum equitans genome and proteome composition: indications for hyperthermophilic and parasitic adaptation 
BMC Genomics  2006;7:186.
Nanoarchaeum equitans, the only known hyperthermophilic archaeon exhibiting parasitic life style, has raised some new questions about the evolution of the Archaea and provided a model of choice to study the genome landmarks correlated with thermo-parasitic adaptation. In this context, we have analyzed the genome and proteome composition of N. equitans and compared the same with those of other mesophiles, hyperthermophiles and obligatory host-associated organisms.
Analysis of nucleotide, codon and amino acid usage patterns in N. equitans indicates the presence of distinct selective constraints, probably due to its adaptation to a thermo-parasitic life-style. Among the conspicuous characteristics featuring its hyperthermophilic adaptation are overrepresentation of purine bases in protein coding sequences, higher GC-content in tRNA/rRNA sequences, distinct synonymous codon usage, enhanced usage of aromatic and positively charged residues, and decreased frequencies of polar uncharged residues, as compared to those in mesophilic organisms. Positively charged amino acid residues are relatively abundant in the encoded gene-products of N. equitans and other hyperthermophiles, which is reflected in their isoelectric point distribution. Pairwise comparison of 105 orthologous protein sequences shows a strong bias towards replacement of uncharged polar residues of mesophilic proteins by Lys/Arg, Tyr and some hydrophobic residues in their Nanoarchaeal orthologs. The traits potentially attributable to the symbiotic/parasitic life-style of the organism include the presence of apparently weak translational selection in synonymous codon usage and a marked heterogeneity in membrane-associated proteins, which may be important for N. equitans to interact with the host and hence, may help the organism to adapt to the strictly host-associated life style. Despite being strictly host-dependent, N. equitans follows cost minimization hypothesis.
The present study reveals that the genome and proteome composition of N. equitans are marked with the signatures of dual adaptation – one to high temperature and the other to obligatory parasitism. While the analysis of nucleotide/amino acid preferences in N. equitans offers an insight into the molecular strategies taken by the archaeon for thermo-parasitic adaptation, the comparative study of the compositional characteristics of mesophiles, hyperthermophiles and obligatory host-associated organisms demonstrates the generality of such strategies in the microbial world.
PMCID: PMC1574309  PMID: 16869956

Results 1-10 (10)