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1.  The worker honeybee brain proteome 
Journal of Proteome Research  2012;11(3):1485-1493.
A large-scale mapping of the worker-honeybee brain proteome was achieved by MudPIT. We identified 2,742 proteins from forager and nurse honeybee brain samples, 17% of the total proteins were found to be differentially expressed by spectral count sampling statistics and a G-test. Sequences were compared with the EuKaryotic Orthologous Groups (KOG) catalog set using BLASTX, and then categorized into the major KOG categories of most similar sequences. According to this categorization, nurse brain showed increased expression of proteins implicated in translation, ribosomal structure and biogenesis (14.5%) compared with forager (1.8%). Experienced foragers overexpressed proteins involved in energy production and conversion, showing an extensive difference in this set of proteins (17%) in relation to the nurse subcaste (0.6%). Examples of proteins selectively expressed in each subcaste were analyzed. A comparison between these MudPIT experiments and previous 2-DE experiments revealed nine coincident proteins differentially expressed in both methodologies.
PMCID: PMC3321609  PMID: 22181811
Apis mellifera; brain proteome; differential expression; honeybee subcastes; MudPIT
2.  Analysis of the leaf transcriptome of Musa acuminata during interaction with Mycosphaerella musicola: gene assembly, annotation and marker development 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:78.
Although banana (Musa sp.) is an important edible crop, contributing towards poverty alleviation and food security, limited transcriptome datasets are available for use in accelerated molecular-based breeding in this genus. 454 GS-FLX Titanium technology was employed to determine the sequence of gene transcripts in genotypes of Musa acuminata ssp. burmannicoides Calcutta 4 and M. acuminata subgroup Cavendish cv. Grande Naine, contrasting in resistance to the fungal pathogen Mycosphaerella musicola, causal organism of Sigatoka leaf spot disease. To enrich for transcripts under biotic stress responses, full length-enriched cDNA libraries were prepared from whole plant leaf materials, both uninfected and artificially challenged with pathogen conidiospores.
The study generated 846,762 high quality sequence reads, with an average length of 334 bp and totalling 283 Mbp. De novo assembly generated 36,384 and 35,269 unigene sequences for M. acuminata Calcutta 4 and Cavendish Grande Naine, respectively. A total of 64.4% of the unigenes were annotated through Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) similarity analyses against public databases.
Assembled sequences were functionally mapped to Gene Ontology (GO) terms, with unigene functions covering a diverse range of molecular functions, biological processes and cellular components. Genes from a number of defense-related pathways were observed in transcripts from each cDNA library. Over 99% of contig unigenes mapped to exon regions in the reference M. acuminata DH Pahang whole genome sequence. A total of 4068 genic-SSR loci were identified in Calcutta 4 and 4095 in Cavendish Grande Naine. A subset of 95 potential defense-related gene-derived simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci were validated for specific amplification and polymorphism across M. acuminata accessions. Fourteen loci were polymorphic, with alleles per polymorphic locus ranging from 3 to 8 and polymorphism information content ranging from 0.34 to 0.82.
A large set of unigenes were characterized in this study for both M. acuminata Calcutta 4 and Cavendish Grande Naine, increasing the number of public domain Musa ESTs. This transcriptome is an invaluable resource for furthering our understanding of biological processes elicited during biotic stresses in Musa. Gene-based markers will facilitate molecular breeding strategies, forming the basis of genetic linkage mapping and analysis of quantitative trait loci.
PMCID: PMC3635893  PMID: 23379821
Musa acuminata; Mycosphaerella musicola; Biotic stress; Transcriptome; 454 pyrosequencing; SSR
3.  Development of expressed sequence tag and expressed sequence tag–simple sequence repeat marker resources for Musa acuminata 
AoB Plants  2012;2012:pls030.
Many varieties of banana (Musa acuminata) lack resistance to biotic stresses. An EST collection was developed, including transcripts expressed in banana-Mycosphaerella fijiensis interactions. Developed polymorphic gene-derived SSR markers are applicable for genetic mapping, diversity characterization and marker assisted breeding.
Background and aims
Banana (Musa acuminata) is a crop contributing to global food security. Many varieties lack resistance to biotic stresses, due to sterility and narrow genetic background. The objective of this study was to develop an expressed sequence tag (EST) database of transcripts expressed during compatible and incompatible banana–Mycosphaerella fijiensis (Mf) interactions. Black leaf streak disease (BLSD), caused by Mf, is a destructive disease of banana. Microsatellite markers were developed as a resource for crop improvement.
cDNA libraries were constructed from in vitro-infected leaves from BLSD-resistant M. acuminata ssp. burmaniccoides Calcutta 4 (MAC4) and susceptible M. acuminata cv. Cavendish Grande Naine (MACV). Clones were 5′-end Sanger sequenced, ESTs assembled with TGICL and unigenes annotated using BLAST, Blast2GO and InterProScan. Mreps was used to screen for simple sequence repeats (SSRs), with markers evaluated for polymorphism using 20 diploid (AA) M. acuminata accessions contrasting in resistance to Mycosphaerella leaf spot diseases.
Principal results
A total of 9333 high-quality ESTs were obtained for MAC4 and 3964 for MACV, which assembled into 3995 unigenes. Of these, 2592 displayed homology to genes encoding proteins with known or putative function, and 266 to genes encoding proteins with unknown function. Gene ontology (GO) classification identified 543 GO terms, 2300 unigenes were assigned to EuKaryotic orthologous group categories and 312 mapped to Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways. A total of 624 SSR loci were identified, with trinucleotide repeat motifs the most abundant in MAC4 (54.1 %) and MACV (57.6 %). Polymorphism across M. acuminata accessions was observed with 75 markers. Alleles per polymorphic locus ranged from 2 to 8, totalling 289. The polymorphism information content ranged from 0.08 to 0.81.
This EST collection offers a resource for studying functional genes, including transcripts expressed in banana–Mf interactions. Markers are applicable for genetic mapping, diversity characterization and marker-assisted breeding.
PMCID: PMC3521319  PMID: 23240072
4.  Comparative genomics allowed the identification of drug targets against human fungal pathogens 
BMC Genomics  2011;12:75.
The prevalence of invasive fungal infections (IFIs) has increased steadily worldwide in the last few decades. Particularly, there has been a global rise in the number of infections among immunosuppressed people. These patients present severe clinical forms of the infections, which are commonly fatal, and they are more susceptible to opportunistic fungal infections than non-immunocompromised people. IFIs have historically been associated with high morbidity and mortality, partly because of the limitations of available antifungal therapies, including side effects, toxicities, drug interactions and antifungal resistance. Thus, the search for alternative therapies and/or the development of more specific drugs is a challenge that needs to be met. Genomics has created new ways of examining genes, which open new strategies for drug development and control of human diseases.
In silico analyses and manual mining selected initially 57 potential drug targets, based on 55 genes experimentally confirmed as essential for Candida albicans or Aspergillus fumigatus and other 2 genes (kre2 and erg6) relevant for fungal survival within the host. Orthologs for those 57 potential targets were also identified in eight human fungal pathogens (C. albicans, A. fumigatus, Blastomyces dermatitidis, Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, Paracoccidioides lutzii, Coccidioides immitis, Cryptococcus neoformans and Histoplasma capsulatum). Of those, 10 genes were present in all pathogenic fungi analyzed and absent in the human genome. We focused on four candidates: trr1 that encodes for thioredoxin reductase, rim8 that encodes for a protein involved in the proteolytic activation of a transcriptional factor in response to alkaline pH, kre2 that encodes for α-1,2-mannosyltransferase and erg6 that encodes for Δ(24)-sterol C-methyltransferase.
Our data show that the comparative genomics analysis of eight fungal pathogens enabled the identification of four new potential drug targets. The preferred profile for fungal targets includes proteins conserved among fungi, but absent in the human genome. These characteristics potentially minimize toxic side effects exerted by pharmacological inhibition of the cellular targets. From this first step of post-genomic analysis, we obtained information relevant to future new drug development.
PMCID: PMC3042012  PMID: 21272313
5.  Analysis of non-TIR NBS-LRR resistance gene analogs in Musa acuminata Colla: Isolation, RFLP marker development, and physical mapping 
BMC Plant Biology  2008;8:15.
Many commercial banana varieties lack sources of resistance to pests and diseases, as a consequence of sterility and narrow genetic background. Fertile wild relatives, by contrast, possess greater variability and represent potential sources of disease resistance genes (R-genes). The largest known family of plant R-genes encode proteins with nucleotide-binding site (NBS) and C-terminal leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domains. Conserved motifs in such genes in diverse plant species offer a means for isolation of candidate genes in banana which may be involved in plant defence.
A computational strategy was developed for unbiased conserved motif discovery in NBS and LRR domains in R-genes and homologues in monocotyledonous plant species. Degenerate PCR primers targeting conserved motifs were tested on the wild cultivar Musa acuminata subsp. burmannicoides, var. Calcutta 4, which is resistant to a number of fungal pathogens and nematodes. One hundred and seventy four resistance gene analogs (RGAs) were amplified and assembled into 52 contiguous sequences. Motifs present were typical of the non-TIR NBS-LRR RGA subfamily. A phylogenetic analysis of deduced amino-acid sequences for 33 RGAs with contiguous open reading frames (ORFs), together with RGAs from Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa, grouped most Musa RGAs within monocotyledon-specific clades. RFLP-RGA markers were developed, with 12 displaying distinct polymorphisms in parentals and F1 progeny of a diploid M. acuminata mapping population. Eighty eight BAC clones were identified in M. acuminata Calcutta 4, M. acuminata Grande Naine, and M. balbisiana Pisang Klutuk Wulung BAC libraries when hybridized to two RGA probes. Multiple copy RGAs were common within BAC clones, potentially representing variation reservoirs for evolution of new R-gene specificities.
This is the first large scale analysis of NBS-LRR RGAs in M. acuminata Calcutta 4. Contig sequences were deposited in GenBank and assigned numbers ER935972 – ER936023. RGA sequences and isolated BACs are a valuable resource for R-gene discovery, and in future applications will provide insight into the organization and evolution of NBS-LRR R-genes in the Musa A and B genome. The developed RFLP-RGA markers are applicable for genetic map development and marker assisted selection for defined traits such as pest and disease resistance.
PMCID: PMC2262081  PMID: 18234103
6.  ESTs from a wild Arachis species for gene discovery and marker development 
BMC Plant Biology  2007;7:7.
Due to its origin, peanut has a very narrow genetic background. Wild relatives can be a source of genetic variability for cultivated peanut. In this study, the transcriptome of the wild species Arachis stenosperma accession V10309 was analyzed.
ESTs were produced from four cDNA libraries of RNAs extracted from leaves and roots of A. stenosperma. Randomly selected cDNA clones were sequenced to generate 8,785 ESTs, of which 6,264 (71.3%) had high quality, with 3,500 clusters: 963 contigs and 2537 singlets. Only 55.9% matched homologous sequences of known genes. ESTs were classified into 23 different categories according to putative protein functions. Numerous sequences related to disease resistance, drought tolerance and human health were identified. Two hundred and six microsatellites were found and markers have been developed for 188 of these. The microsatellite profile was analyzed and compared to other transcribed and genomic sequence data.
This is, to date, the first report on the analysis of transcriptome of a wild relative of peanut. The ESTs produced in this study are a valuable resource for gene discovery, the characterization of new wild alleles, and for marker development. The ESTs were released in the [GenBank:EH041934 to EH048197].
PMCID: PMC1808460  PMID: 17302987

Results 1-6 (6)