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1.  Corrigendum 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2015;5(2):315.
PMCID: PMC4321039  PMID: 25660639
2.  Abiotic and Biotic Stressors Causing Equivalent Mortality Induce Highly Variable Transcriptional Responses in the Soybean Aphid 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;5(2):261-270.
Environmental stress affects basic organismal functioning and can cause physiological, developmental, and reproductive impairment. However, in many nonmodel organisms, the core molecular stress response remains poorly characterized and the extent to which stress-induced transcriptional changes differ across qualitatively different stress types is largely unexplored. The current study examines the molecular stress response of the soybean aphid (Aphis glycines) using RNA sequencing and compares transcriptional responses to multiple stressors (heat, starvation, and plant defenses) at a standardized stress level (27% adult mortality). Stress-induced transcriptional changes showed remarkable variation, with starvation, heat, and plant defensive stress altering the expression of 3985, 510, and 12 genes, respectively. Molecular responses showed little overlap across all three stressors. However, a common transcriptional stress response was identified under heat and starvation, involved with up-regulation of glycogen biosynthesis and molecular chaperones and down-regulation of bacterial endosymbiont cellular and insect cuticular components. Stressor-specific responses indicated heat affected expression of heat shock proteins and cuticular components, whereas starvation altered a diverse set of genes involved in primary metabolism, oxidative reductive processes, nucleosome and histone assembly, and the regulation of DNA repair and replication. Exposure to host plant defenses elicited the weakest response, of which half of the genes were of unknown function. This study highlights the need for standardizing stress levels when comparing across stress types and provides a basis for understanding the role of general vs. stressor specific molecular responses in aphids.
PMCID: PMC4321034  PMID: 25538100
transcriptomics; RNA-seq; heat; starvation; plant defense
3.  Overdominance Effect of the Bovine Ghrelin Receptor (GHSR1a)-DelR242 Locus on Growth in Japanese Shorthorn Weaner Bulls: Heterozygote Advantage in Bull Selection and Molecular Mechanisms 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;5(2):271-279.
Ghrelin and the ghrelin receptor (GHSR1a) are involved in growth hormone secretion, food intake, and several other important functions. Ghrelin acts on GHSR1a and induces signal transduction via the Gαq subunit. In our previous study, we identified the DelR242 (3R) allele, a truncated 3-arginine residue (3R) [major type: 4 arginine residues (4R)] of the third intracellular loop of GHSR1a, with a high frequency in Japanese Shorthorn bulls (0.43) but with a low frequency in other cattle breeds (0.00–0.09). To further investigate the reasons for the higher frequency of the 3R allele, we performed several experiments. In this study, we found a significant sex difference in the frequency of the 3R allele. Statistical analysis revealed a significant overdominance effect of the DelR242 locus on growth in Japanese Shorthorn weaner bulls. However, additive/dominance/overdominance effects of the 3R allele on carcass traits in adult steers and dams were not significant. The mode of the overdominance effect was estimated to be solely controlled by the single DelR242 locus without any other linked loci using linkage disequilibrium analysis in GHSR1a. These results indicated that 4R/3R heterozygotes had a selective advantage in weaner bulls because of their higher average daily gain than homozygotes. We discussed possible molecular mechanisms involved in the overdominance effect of the DelR242 locus on these traits in weaner bulls using a structural model of the complex consisting of a GHSR1a dimer and Gαq.
PMCID: PMC4321035  PMID: 25538099
overdominance; growth; ghrelin receptor (GHSR1a); DelR242; cattle
4.  Genetic Dissection of Internode Length Above the Uppermost Ear in Four RIL Populations of Maize (Zea mays L.) 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;5(2):281-289.
The internode length above the uppermost ear (ILAU) is an important influencing factor for canopy architecture in maize. Analyzing the genetic characteristics of internode length is critical for improving plant population structure and increasing photosynthetic efficiency. However, the genetic control of ILAU has not been determined. In this study, quantitative trait loci (QTL) for internode length at five positions above the uppermost ear were identified using four sets of recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations in three environments. Genetic maps and initial QTL were integrated using meta-analyses across the four populations. Seventy QTL were identified: 16 in population 1; 14 in population 2; 25 in population 3; and 15 in population 4. Individual effects ranged from 5.36% to 26.85% of phenotypic variation, with 27 QTL >10%. In addition, the following common QTL were identified across two populations: one common QTL for the internode length of all five positions; one common QTL for the internode length of three positions; and one common QTL for the internode length of one position. In addition, four common QTL for the internode length of four positions were identified in one population. The results indicated that the ILAU at different positions above the uppermost ear could be affected by one or several of the same QTL. The traits may also be regulated by many different QTL. Of the 70 initial QTL, 46 were integrated in 14 meta-QTL (mQTLs) by meta-analysis, and 17 of the 27 initial QTL with R2 >10% were integrated in 7 mQTLs. Four of the key mQTLs (mQTL2-2, mQTL3-2, mQTL5-1, mQTL5-2, and mQTL9) in which the initial QTL displayed R2 >10% included four to 11 initial QTL for an internode length of four to five positions from one or two populations. These results may provide useful information for marker-assisted selection to improve canopy architecture.
PMCID: PMC4321036  PMID: 25538101
maize; RIL population; internode length; QTL mapping; major QTL
5.  Threshold Models for Genome-Enabled Prediction of Ordinal Categorical Traits in Plant Breeding 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;5(2):291-300.
Categorical scores for disease susceptibility or resistance often are recorded in plant breeding. The aim of this study was to introduce genomic models for analyzing ordinal characters and to assess the predictive ability of genomic predictions for ordered categorical phenotypes using a threshold model counterpart of the Genomic Best Linear Unbiased Predictor (i.e., TGBLUP). The threshold model was used to relate a hypothetical underlying scale to the outward categorical response. We present an empirical application where a total of nine models, five without interaction and four with genomic × environment interaction (G×E) and genomic additive × additive × environment interaction (G×G×E), were used. We assessed the proposed models using data consisting of 278 maize lines genotyped with 46,347 single-nucleotide polymorphisms and evaluated for disease resistance [with ordinal scores from 1 (no disease) to 5 (complete infection)] in three environments (Colombia, Zimbabwe, and Mexico). Models with G×E captured a sizeable proportion of the total variability, which indicates the importance of introducing interaction to improve prediction accuracy. Relative to models based on main effects only, the models that included G×E achieved 9–14% gains in prediction accuracy; adding additive × additive interactions did not increase prediction accuracy consistently across locations.
PMCID: PMC4321037  PMID: 25538102
prediction accuracy; threshold model; disease resistance; GBLUP; genotype × environment interaction; GenPred; shared data resource
6.  Ectopic Expression Screen Identifies Genes Affecting Drosophila Mesoderm Development Including the HSPG Trol 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;5(2):301-313.
Gastrulation of the embryo involves coordinate cell movements likely supported by multiple signaling pathways, adhesion molecules, and extracellular matrix components. Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) have a major role in Drosophila melanogaster mesoderm migration; however, few other inputs are known and the mechanism supporting cell movement is unclear. To provide insight, we performed an ectopic expression screen to identify secreted or membrane-associated molecules that act to support mesoderm migration. Twenty-four UAS insertions were identified that cause lethality when expressed in either the mesoderm (Twi-Gal4) or the ectoderm (69B-Gal4). The list was narrowed to a subset of 10 genes that were shown to exhibit loss-of-function mutant phenotypes specifically affecting mesoderm migration. These include the FGF ligand Pyramus, α-integrins, E-cadherin, Cueball, EGFR, JAK/STAT signaling components, as well as the heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) Terribly reduced optic lobes (Trol). Trol encodes the ortholog of mammalian HSPG Perlecan, a demonstrated FGF signaling cofactor. Here, we examine the role of Trol in Drosophila mesoderm migration and compare and contrast its role with that of Syndecan (Sdc), another HSPG previously implicated in this process. Embryos mutant for Trol or Sdc were obtained and analyzed. Our data support the view that both HSPGs function to support FGF-dependent processes in the early embryo as they share phenotypes with FGF mutants: Trol in terms of effects on mesoderm migration and caudal visceral mesoderm (CVM) migration and Sdc in terms of dorsal mesoderm specification. The differential roles uncovered for these two HSPGs suggest that HSPG cofactor choice may modify FGF-signaling outputs.
PMCID: PMC4321038  PMID: 25538103
Drosophila; embryogenesis; Trol Syndecan; fibroblast growth factors; heparan sulfate proteoglycan; mesoderm cell migration
7.  Plant Genetic Archaeology: Whole-Genome Sequencing Reveals the Pedigree of a Classical Trisomic Line 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;5(2):253-259.
The circadian oscillator is astonishingly robust to changes in the environment but also to genomic changes that alter the copy number of its components through genome duplication, gene duplication, and homeologous gene loss. While studying the potential effect of aneuploidy on the Arabidopsis thaliana circadian clock, we discovered that a line thought to be trisomic for chromosome 3 also bears the gi-1 mutation, resulting in a short period and late flowering. With the help of whole-genome sequencing, we uncovered the unexpected complexity of this trisomic stock’s history, as its genome shows evidence of past outcrossing with another A. thaliana accession. Our study indicates that although historical aneuploidy lines exist and are available, it might be safer to generate new individuals and confirm their genomes and karyotypes by sequencing.
PMCID: PMC4321033  PMID: 25524155
trisomic line; circadian period; flowering time; GIGANTEA; deep-sequencing
8.  Segregation of a Spontaneous Klrd1 (CD94) Mutation in DBA/2 Mouse Substrains 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;5(2):235-239.
Current model DBA/2J (D2J) mice lack CD94 expression due to a deletion spanning the last coding exon of the Klrd1 gene that occurred in the mid- to late 1980s. In contrast, DBA/2JRj (D2Rj) mice, crosses derived from DBA/2J before 1984, and C57BL/6J (B6) mice lack the deletion and have normal CD94 expression. For example, BXD lines (BXD1–32) generated in the 1970s by crossing B6 and D2J do not segregate for the exonic deletion and have high expression, whereas BXD lines 33 and greater were generated after 1990 are segregating for the deletion and have highly variable Klrd1 expression. We performed quantitative trait locus analysis of Klrd1 expression by using BXD lines with different generation times and found that the expression difference in Klrd1 in the later BXD set is driven by a strong cis-acting expression quantitative trait locus. Although the Klrd1/CD94 locus is essential for mousepox resistance, the genetic variation among D2 substrains and the later set of BXD strains is not associated with susceptibility to the Influenza A virus PR8 strain. Substrains with nearly identical genetic backgrounds that are segregating functional variants such as the Klrd1 deletion are useful genetic tools to investigate biological function.
PMCID: PMC4321031  PMID: 25520036
Klrd1; BXD; DBA/2
9.  A High-Density Linkage Map for Astyanax mexicanus Using Genotyping-by-Sequencing Technology 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;5(2):241-251.
The Mexican tetra, Astyanax mexicanus, is a unique model system consisting of cave-adapted and surface-dwelling morphotypes that diverged >1 million years (My) ago. This remarkable natural experiment has enabled powerful genetic analyses of cave adaptation. Here, we describe the application of next-generation sequencing technology to the creation of a high-density linkage map. Our map comprises more than 2200 markers populating 25 linkage groups constructed from genotypic data generated from a single genotyping-by-sequencing project. We leveraged emergent genomic and transcriptomic resources to anchor hundreds of anonymous Astyanax markers to the genome of the zebrafish (Danio rerio), the most closely related model organism to our study species. This facilitated the identification of 784 distinct connections between our linkage map and the Danio rerio genome, highlighting several regions of conserved genomic architecture between the two species despite ∼150 My of divergence. Using a Mendelian cave-associated trait as a proof-of-principle, we successfully recovered the genomic position of the albinism locus near the gene Oca2. Further, our map successfully informed the positions of unplaced Astyanax genomic scaffolds within particular linkage groups. This ability to identify the relative location, orientation, and linear order of unaligned genomic scaffolds will facilitate ongoing efforts to improve on the current early draft and assemble future versions of the Astyanax physical genome. Moreover, this improved linkage map will enable higher-resolution genetic analyses and catalyze the discovery of the genetic basis for cave-associated phenotypes.
PMCID: PMC4321032  PMID: 25520037
next-generation sequencing; QTL analysis; blind Mexican cave tetra; regressive phenotypic evolution
10.  Exome Sequencing Identifies a Rare HSPG2 Variant Associated with Familial Idiopathic Scoliosis 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;5(2):167-174.
Idiopathic scoliosis occurs in 3% of individuals and has an unknown etiology. The objective of this study was to identify rare variants that contribute to the etiology of idiopathic scoliosis by using exome sequencing in a multigenerational family with idiopathic scoliosis. Exome sequencing was completed for three members of this multigenerational family with idiopathic scoliosis, resulting in the identification of a variant in the HSPG2 gene as a potential contributor to the phenotype. The HSPG2 gene was sequenced in a separate cohort of 100 unrelated individuals affected with idiopathic scoliosis and also was examined in an independent idiopathic scoliosis population. The exome sequencing and subsequent bioinformatics filtering resulted in 16 potentially damaging and rare coding variants. One of these variants, p.Asn786Ser, is located in the HSPG2 gene. The variant p.Asn786Ser also is overrepresented in a larger cohort of idiopathic scoliosis cases compared with a control population (P = 0.024). Furthermore, we identified additional rare HSPG2 variants that are predicted to be damaging in two independent cohorts of individuals with idiopathic scoliosis. The HSPG2 gene encodes for a ubiquitous multifunctional protein within the extracellular matrix in which loss of function mutation are known to result in a musculoskeletal phenotype in both mouse and humans. Based on these results, we conclude that rare variants in the HSPG2 gene potentially contribute to the idiopathic scoliosis phenotype in a subset of patients with idiopathic scoliosis. Further studies must be completed to confirm the effect of the HSPG2 gene on the idiopathic scoliosis phenotype.
PMCID: PMC4321025  PMID: 25504735
HSPG2; perlecan; idiopathic scoliosis; exome sequencing
11.  Multiple QTL for Horticultural Traits and Quantitative Resistance to Phytophthora infestans Linked on Solanum habrochaites Chromosome 11 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;5(2):219-233.
Previously, a Phytophthora infestans resistance QTL from Solanum habrochaites chromosome 11 was introgressed into cultivated tomato (S. lycopersicum). Fine mapping of this resistance QTL using near-isogenic lines (NILs) revealed some co-located QTL with undesirable effects on plant size, canopy density, and fruit size traits. Subsequently, higher-resolution mapping with sub-NILs detected multiple P. infestans resistance QTL within this 9.4-cM region of chromosome 11. In our present study, these same sub-NILs were also evaluated for 17 horticultural traits, including yield, maturity, fruit size and shape, fruit quality, and plant architecture traits in replicated field experiments over 2 years. The horticultural trait QTL originally detected by fine mapping each fractionated into two or more QTL at higher resolution. A total of 34 QTL were detected across all traits, with 14% exhibiting significant QTL × environment interactions (QTL × E). QTL for many traits were co-located, suggesting either pleiotropic effects or tight linkage among genes controlling these traits. Recombination in the pericentromeric region of the introgression between markers TG147 and At4g10050 was suppressed to approximately 29.7 Mbp per cM, relative to the genomewide average of 750 kbp per cM. The genetic architecture of many of the horticultural and P. infestans resistance traits that mapped within this chromosome 11 S. habrochaites region is complex. Complicating factors included fractionation of QTL, pleiotropy or tight linkage of QTL for multiple traits, pericentromeric chromosomal location(s), and/or QTL × E. High-resolution mapping of QTL in this region would be needed to determine which specific target QTL could be useful in breeding cultivated tomato.
PMCID: PMC4321030  PMID: 25504736
tomato; Solanum lycopersicum; introgression; QTL mapping; linkage drag; late blight disease
12.  Behavior of Aberrant Chromosome Configurations in Drosophila melanogaster Female Meiosis I 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;5(2):175-182.
One essential role of the first meiotic division is to reduce chromosome number by half. Although this is normally accomplished by segregating homologous chromosomes from each other, it is possible for a genome to have one or more chromosomes that lack a homolog (such as compound chromosomes), or have chromosomes with multiple potential homologs (such as in XXY females). These configurations complete meiosis but engage in unusual segregation patterns. In Drosophila melanogaster females carrying two compound chromosomes, the compounds can accurately segregate from each other, a process known as heterologous segregation. Similarly, in XXY females, when the X chromosomes fail to cross over, they often undergo secondary nondisjunction, where both Xs segregate away from the Y. Although both of these processes have been known for decades, the orientation mechanisms involved are poorly understood. Taking advantage of the recent discovery of chromosome congression in female meiosis I, we have examined a number of different aberrant chromosome configurations. We show that these genotypes complete congression normally, with their chromosomes bioriented at metaphase I arrest at the same rates that they segregate, indicating that orientation must be established during prometaphase I before congression. We also show that monovalent chromosomes can move out on the prometaphase I spindle, but the dot 4 chromosomes appear required for this movement. Finally, we show that, similar to achiasmate chromosomes, heterologous chromosomes can be connected by chromatin threads, suggesting a mechanism for how heterochromatic homology establishes these unusual biorientation patterns.
PMCID: PMC4321026  PMID: 25491942
aneuploidy; chromosome segregation; compound chromosomes; heterochromatin
13.  A Rapid One-Generation Genetic Screen in a Drosophila Model to Capture Rhabdomyosarcoma Effectors and Therapeutic Targets 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;5(2):205-217.
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is an aggressive childhood malignancy of neoplastic muscle-lineage precursors that fail to terminally differentiate into syncytial muscle. The most aggressive form of RMS, alveolar-RMS, is driven by misexpression of the PAX-FOXO1 oncoprotein, which is generated by recurrent chromosomal translocations that fuse either the PAX3 or PAX7 gene to FOXO1. The molecular underpinnings of PAX-FOXO1−mediated RMS pathogenesis remain unclear, however, and clinical outcomes poor. Here, we report a new approach to dissect RMS, exploiting a highly efficient Drosophila PAX7-FOXO1 model uniquely configured to uncover PAX-FOXO1 RMS genetic effectors in only one generation. With this system, we have performed a comprehensive deletion screen against the Drosophila autosomes and demonstrate that mutation of Mef2, a myogenesis lynchpin in both flies and mammals, dominantly suppresses PAX7-FOXO1 pathogenicity and acts as a PAX7-FOXO1 gene target. Additionally, we reveal that mutation of mastermind, a gene encoding a MEF2 transcriptional coactivator, similarly suppresses PAX7-FOXO1, further pointing toward MEF2 transcriptional activity as a PAX-FOXO1 underpinning. These studies show the utility of the PAX-FOXO1 Drosophila system as a robust one-generation (F1) RMS gene discovery platform and demonstrate how Drosophila transgenic conditional expression models can be configured for the rapid dissection of human disease.
PMCID: PMC4321029  PMID: 25491943
rhabdomyosarcoma; PAX7-FOXO1; PAX3-FOXO1; sarcoma; myogenesis
14.  Maternal Germline-Specific Genes in the Asian Malaria Mosquito Anopheles stephensi: Characterization and Application for Disease Control 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;5(2):157-166.
Anopheles stephensi is a principal vector of urban malaria on the Indian subcontinent and an emerging model for molecular and genetic studies of mosquito biology. To enhance our understanding of female mosquito reproduction, and to develop new tools for basic research and for genetic strategies to control mosquito-borne infectious diseases, we identified 79 genes that displayed previtellogenic germline-specific expression based on RNA-Seq data generated from 11 life stage–specific and sex-specific samples. Analysis of this gene set provided insights into the biology and evolution of female reproduction. Promoters from two of these candidates, vitellogenin receptor and nanos, were used in independent transgenic cassettes for the expression of artificial microRNAs against suspected mosquito maternal-effect genes, discontinuous actin hexagon and myd88. We show these promoters have early germline-specific expression and demonstrate 73% and 42% knockdown of myd88 and discontinuous actin hexagon mRNA in ovaries 48 hr after blood meal, respectively. Additionally, we demonstrate maternal-specific delivery of mRNA and protein to progeny embryos. We discuss the application of this system of maternal delivery of mRNA/miRNA/protein in research on mosquito reproduction and embryonic development, and for the development of a gene drive system based on maternal-effect dominant embryonic arrest.
PMCID: PMC4321024  PMID: 25480960
vector control; vector-borne disease; transcriptome; An. stephensi; gene drive
15.  Genotyping of Endosperms to Determine Seed Dormancy Genes Regulating Germination Through Embryonic, Endospermic, or Maternal Tissues in Rice 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;5(2):183-193.
Seed dormancy is imposed by one or more of the embryo, endosperm, and maternal tissues that belong to two generations and represent two ploidy levels. Many quantitative trait loci (QTL) have been identified for seed dormancy as measured by gross effects on reduced germination rate or delayed germination in crop or model plants. This research developed an endosperm genotype−based genetic approach to determine specific tissues through which a mapped QTL regulates germination using rice as a model. This approach involves testing germination velocity for partially after-ripened seeds harvested from single plants heterozygous for a tested QTL and genotyping endosperms from individual germinated and nongerminated seeds with a codominant DNA marker located on the QTL peak region. Information collected about the QTL includes genotypic frequencies in germinated and/or nongerminated subpopulations; allelic frequency distributions during a germination period; endosperm or embryo genotypic differences in germination velocity; and genotypic frequencies for gametes involved in the double fertilization to form the sampled seeds. Using this approach, the seed dormancy loci SD12, SD1-2, and SD7-1 were determined to regulate germination through the embryo, endosperm, and maternal tissues, respectively; SD12 and SD1-2 acted additively on germination velocity in the offspring tissues; and SD12 also was associated with the preferential fertilization of male gametes in rice. This new genetic approach can be used to characterize mapped genes/QTL for tissue-specific functions in endospermic seeds and for marker-assisted selection of QTL alleles before or immediately after germination in crop breeding.
PMCID: PMC4321027  PMID: 25480961
seed dormancy; quantitative trait locus; endosperm; segregation distortion; rice
16.  The BLI-3/TSP-15/DOXA-1 Dual Oxidase Complex Is Required for Iodide Toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;5(2):195-203.
Iodine is an essential trace element for life. Iodide deficiency can lead to defective biosynthesis of thyroid hormones and is a major cause of hypothyroidism and mental retardation. Excess iodide intake, however, has been linked to different thyroidal diseases. How excess iodide causes harmful effects is not well understood. Here, we found that the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans exhibits developmental arrest and other pleiotropic defects when exposed to excess iodide. To identify the responsible genes, we performed a forward genetic screen and isolated 12 mutants that can survive in excess iodide. These mutants define at least four genes, two of which we identified as bli-3 and tsp-15. bli-3 encodes the C. elegans ortholog of the mammalian dual oxidase DUOX1 and tsp-15 encodes the tetraspanin protein TSP-15, which was previously shown to interact with BLI-3. The C. elegans dual oxidase maturation factor DOXA-1 is also required for the arresting effect of excess iodide. Finally, we detected a dramatically increased biogenesis of reactive oxygen species in animals treated with excess iodide, and this effect can be partially suppressed by bli-3 and tsp-15 mutations. We propose that the BLI-3/TSP-15/DOXA-1 dual oxidase complex is required for the toxic pleiotropic effects of excess iodide.
PMCID: PMC4321028  PMID: 25480962
iodide; dual oxidase; reactive oxygen species; H2O2; C. elegans
17.  Corrigendum 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;4(12):2553.
PMCID: PMC4267949
18.  G3 Reviewer Index 2014 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;4(12):2555-2557.
PMCID: PMC4267950
19.  Detection of Alternative Splice and Gene Duplication by RNA Sequencing in Japanese Flounder, Paralichthys olivaceus 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;4(12):2419-2424.
Japanese flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) is one of the economic important fish in China. Sexual dimorphism, especially the different growth rates and body sizes between two sexes, makes this fish a good model to investigate mechanisms responsible for such dimorphism for both fundamental questions in evolution and applied topics in aquaculture. However, the lack of “omics” data has hindered the process. The recent advent of RNA-sequencing technology provides a robust tool to further study characteristics of genomes of nonmodel species. Here, we performed de novo transcriptome sequencing for a double haploid Japanese flounder individual using Illumina sequencing. A single lane of paired-end sequencing produced more than 27 million reads. These reads were assembled into 107,318 nonredundant transcripts, half of which (51,563; 48.1%) were annotated by blastx to public protein database. A total of 1051 genes that had potential alternative splicings were detected by Chrysalis implemented in Trinity software. Four of 10 randomly picked genes were verified truly containing alternative splicing by cloning and Sanger sequencing. Notably, using a doubled haploid Japanese flounder individual allow us to analyze gene duplicates. In total, 3940 “single-nucleotide polymorphisms” were detected form 1859 genes, which may have happened gene duplicates. This study lays the foundation for structural and functional genomics studies in Japanese flounder.
PMCID: PMC4267937  PMID: 25512620
Paralichthys olivaceus; transcriptome; alternative splicing; gene duplication; double haploids
20.  A Shigella flexneri Virulence Plasmid Encoded Factor Controls Production of Outer Membrane Vesicles 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;4(12):2493-2503.
Shigella spp. use a repertoire of virulence plasmid-encoded factors to cause shigellosis. These include components of a Type III Secretion Apparatus (T3SA) that is required for invasion of epithelial cells and many genes of unknown function. We constructed an array of 99 deletion mutants comprising all genes encoded by the virulence plasmid (excluding those known to be required for plasmid maintenance) of Shigella flexneri. We screened these mutants for their ability to bind the dye Congo red: an indicator of T3SA function. This screen focused our attention on an operon encoding genes that modify the cell envelope including virK, a gene of partially characterized function. We discovered that virK is required for controlled release of proteins to the culture supernatant. Mutations in virK result in a temperature-dependent overproduction of outer membrane vesicles (OMVs). The periplasmic chaperone/protease DegP, a known regulator of OMV production in Escherichia coli (encoded by a chromosomal gene), was found to similarly control OMV production in S. flexneri. Both virK and degP show genetic interactions with mxiD, a structural component of the T3SA. Our results are consistent with a model in which VirK and DegP relieve the periplasmic stress that accompanies assembly of the T3SA.
PMCID: PMC4267944  PMID: 25378474
Shigella; outer membrane vesicles; virulence
21.  Regulation of Synaptic Transmission at the Caenorhabditis elegans M4 Neuromuscular Junction by an Antagonistic Relationship Between Two Calcium Channels 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;4(12):2535-2543.
In wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans, the synapse from motor neuron M4 to pharyngeal terminal bulb (TB) muscles is silent, and the muscles are instead excited by gap junction connections from adjacent muscles. An eat-5 innexin mutant lacking this electrical connection has few TB contractions and is unable to grow well on certain foods. We showed previously that this defect can be overcome by activation of the M4 → TB synapse. To identify genes that negatively regulate synaptic transmission, we isolated new suppressors of eat-5. To our surprise, these suppressors included null mutations in NPQR-type calcium channel subunit genes unc-2 and unc-36. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that Ca2+ entry through the NPQR-type channel inhibits synaptic transmission by activating the calcium-activated K+ channel SLO-1, thus antagonizing the EGL-19 L-type calcium channel.
PMCID: PMC4267947  PMID: 25378475
behavior; feeding; synaptic transmission; calcium channels; BK channel
22.  Correcting for Sequencing Error in Maximum Likelihood Phylogeny Inference 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;4(12):2545-2552.
Accurate phylogenies are critical to taxonomy as well as studies of speciation processes and other evolutionary patterns. Accurate branch lengths in phylogenies are critical for dating and rate measurements. Such accuracy may be jeopardized by unacknowledged sequencing error. We use simulated data to test a correction for DNA sequencing error in maximum likelihood phylogeny inference. Over a wide range of data polymorphism and true error rate, we found that correcting for sequencing error improves recovery of the branch lengths, even if the assumed error rate is up to twice the true error rate. Low error rates have little effect on recovery of the topology. When error is high, correction improves topological inference; however, when error is extremely high, using an assumed error rate greater than the true error rate leads to poor recovery of both topology and branch lengths. The error correction approach tested here was proposed in 2004 but has not been widely used, perhaps because researchers do not want to commit to an estimate of the error rate. This study shows that correction with an approximate error rate is generally preferable to ignoring the issue.
PMCID: PMC4267948  PMID: 25378476
sequencing error; phylogeny inference; maximum likelihood
23.  Spatial Localization of Recent Ancestors for Admixed Individuals 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;4(12):2505-2518.
Ancestry analysis from genetic data plays a critical role in studies of human disease and evolution. Recent work has introduced explicit models for the geographic distribution of genetic variation and has shown that such explicit models yield superior accuracy in ancestry inference over nonmodel-based methods. Here we extend such work to introduce a method that models admixture between ancestors from multiple sources across a geographic continuum. We devise efficient algorithms based on hidden Markov models to localize on a map the recent ancestors (e.g., grandparents) of admixed individuals, joint with assigning ancestry at each locus in the genome. We validate our methods by using empirical data from individuals with mixed European ancestry from the Population Reference Sample study and show that our approach is able to localize their recent ancestors within an average of 470 km of the reported locations of their grandparents. Furthermore, simulations from real Population Reference Sample genotype data show that our method attains high accuracy in localizing recent ancestors of admixed individuals in Europe (an average of 550 km from their true location for localization of two ancestries in Europe, four generations ago). We explore the limits of ancestry localization under our approach and find that performance decreases as the number of distinct ancestries and generations since admixture increases. Finally, we build a map of expected localization accuracy across admixed individuals according to the location of origin within Europe of their ancestors.
PMCID: PMC4267945  PMID: 25371484
genetic variation; genetic continuum; admixture; localization; ancestry inference
24.  Corrigendum 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;4(11):2295.
PMCID: PMC4232555
25.  Quantitative Trait Locus Mapping of Melanization in the Plant Pathogenic Fungus Zymoseptoria tritici 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2014;4(12):2519-2533.
Melanin plays an important role in virulence and antimicrobial resistance in several fungal pathogens. The wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici is important worldwide, but little is known about the genetic architecture of pathogenicity, including the production of melanin. Because melanin production can exhibit complex inheritance, we used quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping in two crosses to identify the underlying genes. Restriction site−associated DNA sequencing was used to genotype 263 (cross 1) and 261 (cross 2) progeny at ~8500 single-nucleotide polymorphisms and construct two dense linkage maps. We measured gray values, representing degrees of melanization, for single-spore colonies growing on Petri dishes by using a novel image-processing approach that enabled high-throughput phenotyping. Because melanin production can be affected by stress, each offspring was grown in two stressful environments and one control environment. We detected six significant QTL in cross 1 and nine in cross 2, with three QTL shared between the crosses. Different QTL were identified in different environments and at different colony ages. By obtaining complete genome sequences for the four parents and analyzing sequence variation in the QTL confidence intervals, we identified 16 candidate genes likely to affect melanization. One of these candidates was PKS1, a polyketide synthase gene known to play a role in the synthesis of dihydroxynaphthalene melanin. Three candidate quantitative trait nucleotides were identified in PKS1. Many of the other candidate genes were not previously associated with melanization.
PMCID: PMC4267946  PMID: 25360032
Mycosphaerella graminicola; genetic linkage map; QTL; restriction site–associated DNA sequencing (RADseq); automated digital image analysis

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