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1.  Mapping and Exome Sequencing Identifies a Mutation in the IARS Gene as the Cause of Hereditary Perinatal Weak Calf Syndrome 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64036.
We identified an IARS (isoleucyl-tRNA synthetase) c.235G>C (p.Val79Leu) substitution as the causative mutation for neonatal weakness with intrauterine growth retardation (perinatal weak calf syndrome). In Japanese Black cattle, the syndrome was frequently found in calves sired by Bull A. Hence, we employed homozygosity mapping and linkage analysis. In order to identify the perinatal weak calf syndrome locus in a 4.04-Mb region of BTA 8, we analysed a paternal half-sibling family with a BovineSNP50 BeadChip and microsatellites. In this critical region, we performed exome sequencing to identify a causative mutation. Three variants were detected as possible candidates for causative mutations that were predicted to disrupt the protein function, including a G>C (p.Val79Leu) mutation in IARS c.235. The IARS c.235G>C mutation was not a homozygous risk allele in the 36 healthy offspring of Bull A. Moreover, the IARS Val79 residue and its flanking regions were evolutionarily and highly conserved. The IARS mutant (Leu79) had decreased aminoacylation activity. Additionally, the homozygous mutation was not found in any of 1526 healthy cattle. Therefore, we concluded that the IARS c.235G>C mutation was the cause of hereditary perinatal weak calf syndrome.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064036
PMCID: PMC3660308  PMID: 23700453
2.  BLV-CoCoMo-qPCR: a useful tool for evaluating bovine leukemia virus infection status 
Background
Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is associated with enzootic bovine leukosis, which is the most common neoplastic disease of cattle. BLV infects cattle worldwide, imposing a severe economic impact on the dairy cattle industry. Recently, we developed a new quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method using Coordination of Common Motifs (CoCoMo) primers to measure the proviral load of known and novel BLV variants in BLV-infected animals. Indeed, the assay was highly effective in detecting BLV in cattle from a range of international locations. This assay enabled us to demonstrate that proviral load correlates not only with BLV infection capacity as assessed by syncytium formation, but also with BLV disease progression. In this study, we compared the sensitivity of our BLV-CoCoMo-qPCR method for detecting BLV proviruses with the sensitivities of two real-time PCR systems, and also determined the differences of proviral load with serotests.
Results
BLV-CoCoMo-qPCR was found to be highly sensitive when compared with the real-time PCR-based TaqMan MGB assay developed by Lew et al. and the commercial TaKaRa cycleave PCR system. The BLV copy number determined by BLV-CoCoMo-qPCR was only partially correlated with the positive rate for anti-BLV antibody as determined by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, passive hemagglutination reaction, or agar gel immunodiffusion. This result indicates that, although serotests are widely used for the diagnosis of BLV infection, it is difficult to detect BLV infection with confidence by using serological tests alone. Two cattle were experimentally infected with BLV. The kinetics of the provirus did not precisely correlate with the change in anti-BLV antibody production. Moreover, both reactions were different in cattle that carried different bovine leukocyte antigen (BoLA)-DRB3 genotypes.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that the quantitative measurement of proviral load by BLV-CoCoMo-qPCR is useful tool for evaluating the progression of BLV-induced disease. BLV-CoCoMo-qPCR allows us to monitor the spread of BLV infection in different viewpoint compared with classical serotest.
doi:10.1186/1746-6148-8-167
PMCID: PMC3489618  PMID: 22995575
Bovine leukemia virus; Real-time PCR; Proviral load; Serological test; Experimental infection
4.  Resurrection of a Bull by Cloning from Organs Frozen without Cryoprotectant in a −80°C Freezer for a Decade 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(1):e4142.
Frozen animal tissues without cryoprotectant have been thought to be inappropriate for use as a nuclear donor for somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). We report the cloning of a bull using cells retrieved from testicles that had been taken from a dead animal and frozen without cryoprotectant in a −80°C freezer for 10 years. We obtained live cells from defrosted pieces of the spermatic cords of frozen testicles. The cells proliferated actively in culture and were apparently normal. We transferred 16 SCNT embryos from these cells into 16 synchronized recipient animals. We obtained five pregnancies and four cloned calves developed to term. Our results indicate that complete genome sets are maintained in mammalian organs even after long-term frozen-storage without cryoprotectant, and that live clones can be produced from the recovered cells.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004142
PMCID: PMC2613553  PMID: 19129919

Results 1-4 (4)