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The COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins) project is a large international collaborative effort to analyze individual-level phenotype data from twins in multiple cohorts from different environments. The main objective is to study factors that modify genetic and environmental variation of height, body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and size at birth, and additionally to address other research questions such as long-term consequences of birth size. The project started in 2013 and is open to all twin projects in the world having height and weight measures on twins with information on zygosity. Thus far, 54 twin projects from 24 countries have provided individual-level data. The CODATwins database includes 489,981 twin individuals (228,635 complete twin pairs). Since many twin cohorts have collected longitudinal data, there is a total of 1,049,785 height and weight observations. For many cohorts, we also have information on birth weight and length, own smoking behavior and own or parental education. We found that the heritability estimates of height and BMI systematically changed from infancy to old age. Remarkably, only minor differences in the heritability estimates were found across cultural–geographic regions, measurement time and birth cohort for height and BMI. In addition to genetic epidemiological studies, we looked at associations of height and BMI with education, birth weight and smoking status. Within-family analyses examined differences within same-sex and opposite-sex dizygotic twins in birth size and later development. The CODATwins project demonstrates the feasibility and value of international collaboration to address gene-by-exposure interactions that require large sample sizes and address the effects of different exposures across time, geographical regions and socioeconomic status.
Triploid and pentaploid breeding is of great importance in agricultural production, but it is not always easy to obtain double ploidy parents. However, in fishes, chromosome ploidy is diversiform, which may provide natural parental resources for triploid and pentaploid breeding. Both tetraploid and hexaploid exist in Schizothorax fishes, which were thought to belong to different subfamilies with tetraploid Percocypris fishes in morphology, but they are sister genera in molecule. Fortunately, the pentaploid hybrid fishes have been successfully obtained by hybridization of Schizothorax wangchiachii (♀, 2n = 6X = 148) × Percocypris pingi (♂, 2n = 4X = 98). To understand the genetic and morphological difference among the hybrid fishes and their parents, four methods were used in this study: morphology, karyotype, red blood cell (RBC) DNA content determination and inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR). In morphology, the hybrid fishes were steady, and between their parents with no obvious preference. The chromosome numbers of P. pingi have been reported as 2n = 4X = 98. In this study, the karyotype of S. wangchiachii was 2n = 6X = 148 = 36m + 34sm + 12st + 66t, while that the hybrid fishes was 2n = 5X = 123 = 39m + 28sm + 5st + 51t. Similarly, the RBC DNA content of the hybrid fishes was intermediate among their parents. In ISSR, the within-group genetic diversity of hybrid fishes was higher than that of their parents. Moreover, the genetic distance of hybrid fishes between P. pingi and S.wangchiachii was closely related to that of their parental ploidy, suggesting that parental genetic material stably coexisted in the hybrid fishes. This is the first report to show a stable pentaploid F1 hybrids produced by hybridization of a hexaploid and a tetraploid in aquaculture.
The treatment gap between the number of people with mental disorders and the number treated represents a major public health challenge. We examine this gap by socio-economic status (SES; indicated by family income and respondent education) and service sector in a cross-national analysis of community epidemiological survey data.
Data come from 16 753 respondents with 12-month DSM-IV disorders from community surveys in 25 countries in the WHO World Mental Health Survey Initiative. DSM-IV anxiety, mood, or substance disorders and treatment of these disorders were assessed with the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
Only 13.7% of 12-month DSM-IV/CIDI cases in lower-middle-income countries, 22.0% in upper-middle-income countries, and 36.8% in high-income countries received treatment. Highest-SES respondents were somewhat more likely to receive treatment, but this was true mostly for specialty mental health treatment, where the association was positive with education (highest treatment among respondents with the highest education and a weak association of education with treatment among other respondents) but non-monotonic with income (somewhat lower treatment rates among middle-income respondents and equivalent among those with high and low incomes).
The modest, but nonetheless stronger, an association of education than income with treatment raises questions about a financial barriers interpretation of the inverse association of SES with treatment, although future within-country analyses that consider contextual factors might document other important specifications. While beyond the scope of this report, such an expanded analysis could have important implications for designing interventions aimed at increasing mental disorder treatment among socio-economically disadvantaged people.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the leading causes of death and morbidity associated with liver disease. Risk factors identified for the transmission of HCV include contaminated blood products, intravenous drug use, body piercing, an infected mother at birth, sexual activity, and dental therapy, among others. However, the exact diversity of the HCV genotype and genetic variation among patients with low-risk factors is still unknown. In this study, we briefly described and analysed the genotype distribution and genetic variation of HCV infections with low-risk factors using molecular biology techniques. The results suggested that genotype 1b was predominant, followed by genotypes 2a and 1a. Genetic variations in the 5′ UTR sequences of HCV were identified, including point mutations, deletions, and insertions. The frequency of genetic variations in 1b was higher than in 2a. This study provides considerable value for the prevention and treatment of liver disease caused by HCV among patients with low-risk factors and for the development of HCV diagnostic reagents and vaccines.
A ground-based hyperspectral imaging system covering the spectral range of 384–1034 nm was used for Sclerotinia Stem Rot (SSR) detection. Two sample sets of oilseed leaves were collected. Four vegetation indices were extracted and evaluated by analysis of variance (ANOVA) combined with linear discriminant analysis (LDA) for the two sample sets. Discriminant models were built using the 4 vegetation indices. The discriminant results of the two sample sets were good with classification accuracies of the calibration set and the prediction set over 85%. The overall results indicated that vegetation indices calculated from ground-based hyperspectral imaging could be used as reliable and accurate indices for SSR detection.
H9 avian influenza virus played a key role during generation of the novel H7N9 virus. A surveillance programme was conducted to assess the H9 virus in relation to the risk of H7N9 virus contamination in the environment. Risk of H7N9 virus contamination in the presence of H9 virus was higher than without (adjusted odds ratio 4·49, 95% confidence interval 3·79–5·31). Adjusted odds ratios of the H7N9 virus associated with co-presence of H9 virus and interacting factors were 4·93 (rural vs. urban area), 46·80 (live poultry markets vs. other premises), 6·86 (Huzhou vs. Hangzhou prefecture), 40·67 (year 2015 vs. 2013), and 9·63 (sewage from cleaning poultry vs. poultry faeces). Regular surveillance on gene variability of H7N9 and H9 viruses should be conducted and extra measures are needed to reduce co-circulation of H7N9 and H9 viruses in the environment.
Schizophrenia patients have a higher prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) than normals. We examined the relationship between IGT and clinical phenotypes or cognitive deficits in first-episode, drug-naïve (FEDN) Han Chinese patients with schizophrenia.
A total of 175 in-patients were compared with 31 healthy controls on anthropometric measures and fasting plasma levels of glucose, insulin and lipids. They were also compared using a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test and the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Neurocognitive functioning was assessed using the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB). Patient psychopathology was assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS).
Of the patients, 24.5% had IGT compared with none of the controls, and they also had significantly higher levels of fasting blood glucose and 2-h glucose after an oral glucose load, and were more insulin resistant. Compared with those patients with normal glucose tolerance, the IGT patients were older, had a later age of onset, higher waist or hip circumference and body mass index, higher levels of low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides and higher insulin resistance. Furthermore, IGT patients had higher PANSS total and negative symptom subscale scores, but no greater cognitive impairment except on the emotional intelligence index of the MCCB.
IGT occurs with greater frequency in FEDN schizophrenia, and shows association with demographic and anthropometric parameters, as well as with clinical symptoms but minimally with cognitive impairment during the early course of the disorder.
Phosphatidylinositol-3 kinases (PI3K)-Protein kinase B (Akt)-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway plays an important role in the synthesis and secretion of triacylglycerol. However, the mechanism of PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway in regulating lipid metabolism of goose liver was poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to determine how PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway regulating lipid metabolic homeostasis in goose hepatocytes. Goose primary hepatocytes were treated with different PI3K-Akt-mTOR signal inhibitors (LY294002, rapamycin and NVP-BEZ235) for 24 h. The results showed that these inhibitors evidently inhibited PI3K-Akt-mTOR downstream signaling. Meanwhile, these PI3K-Akt-mTOR inhibitors reduced intracellular lipid accumulation, decreased the mRNA expression and protein content of genes involved in the de novo fatty acid synthesis, while increased the transcriptional and protein level of key factors involved in fatty acid oxidation and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) assembly and secretion. Conclusion: These findings suggested that the reduction of lipids accumulation induced-by inhibiting PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway was closely linked to the decrease of lipogenesis, the increase of fatty acids oxidation, and the increase of VLDL assembly and secretion in goose hepatocytes.
Cryptolestes ferrugineus (Stephens, 1831) is an important insect pest of stored products. Due to its broad host range, short life cycle, and high reproductive capacity, this species has rapidly colonized temperate and tropical regions around the world. In this study, we isolated 18 novel polymorphic microsatellite loci from an enriched genomic library based on a biotin/streptavidin capture protocol. These loci will be useful tool to better understand the genetic structure and migration patterns of C. ferrugineus throughout the world. The genetic parameters were estimated based on 80 individual C. ferrugineus from two natural populations. The results revealed that 18 loci were different polymorphic levels. The numbers of alleles ranged from 3 to 12, and eleven loci demonstrated polymorphic information contents greater than 0.5. The observed (HO) and expected (HE) heterozygosities ranged from 0.051 to 0.883 and 0.173 to 0.815, respectively. Five locus/population combinations significantly deviated from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium. We also demonstrated the potential utility of the C. ferrugineus microsatellites as population and species markers for four additional Cryptolestes species.
Neurological soft signs (NSS) have long been considered potential endophenotypes for schizophrenia. However, few studies have investigated the heritability and familiality of NSS. The present study examined the heritability and familiality of NSS in healthy twins and patient–relative pairs.
The abridged version of the Cambridge Neurological Inventory was administered to 267 pairs of monozygotic twins, 124 pairs of dizygotic twins, and 75 pairs of patients with schizophrenia and their non-psychotic first-degree relatives.
NSS were found to have moderate but significant heritability in the healthy twin sample. Moreover, patients with schizophrenia correlated closely with their first-degree relatives on NSS.
Taken together, the findings provide evidence on the heritability and familiality of NSS in the Han Chinese population.
A trend toward greater body size in dizygotic (DZ) than in monozygotic (MZ) twins has been suggested by some but not all studies, and this difference may also vary by age. We analyzed zygosity differences in mean values and variances of height and body mass index (BMI) among male and female twins from infancy to old age. Data were derived from an international database of 54 twin cohorts participating in the COllaborative project of Development of Anthropometrical measures in Twins (CODATwins), and included 842,951 height and BMI measurements from twins aged 1 to 102 years. The results showed that DZ twins were consistently taller than MZ twins, with differences of up to 2.0 cm in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.9 cm in adulthood. Similarly, a greater mean BMI of up to 0.3 kg/m2 in childhood and adolescence and up to 0.2 kg/m2 in adulthood was observed in DZ twins, although the pattern was less consistent. DZ twins presented up to 1.7% greater height and 1.9% greater BMI than MZ twins; these percentage differences were largest in middle and late childhood and decreased with age in both sexes. The variance of height was similar in MZ and DZ twins at most ages. In contrast, the variance of BMI was significantly higher in DZ than in MZ twins, particularly in childhood. In conclusion, DZ twins were generally taller and had greater BMI than MZ twins, but the differences decreased with age in both sexes.
For over 100 years, the genetics of human anthropometric traits has attracted scientific interest. In particular, height and body mass index (BMI, calculated as kg/m2) have been under intensive genetic research. However, it is still largely unknown whether and how heritability estimates vary between human populations. Opportunities to address this question have increased recently because of the establishment of many new twin cohorts and the increasing accumulation of data in established twin cohorts. We started a new research project to analyze systematically (1) the variation of heritability estimates of height, BMI and their trajectories over the life course between birth cohorts, ethnicities and countries, and (2) to study the effects of birth-related factors, education and smoking on these anthropometric traits and whether these effects vary between twin cohorts. We identified 67 twin projects, including both monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins, using various sources. We asked for individual level data on height and weight including repeated measurements, birth related traits, background variables, education and smoking. By the end of 2014, 48 projects participated. Together, we have 893,458 height and weight measures (52% females) from 434,723 twin individuals, including 201,192 complete twin pairs (40% monozygotic, 40% same-sex dizygotic and 20% opposite-sex dizygotic) representing 22 countries. This project demonstrates that large-scale international twin studies are feasible and can promote the use of existing data for novel research purposes.
Development of partial inter-specific hybrid (PIH) rice is a promising approach for exploiting inter-specific heterosis between Oryza glaberrima and Oryza sativa. In the present study, the relationship between genetic distance (GD) of parental lines and yield performance of the PIHs was assessed using partial diallel crosses between three indica male sterile lines and 14 introgression lines (ILs) with different fragments of O. glaberrima genes. Twenty two out of the 42 PIHs expressed positive heterobeltiosis (i.e., the Fl hybrid showed superiority over the better parent in the target trait) for panicle number, spikelet number, thousand grain weight and grain yield/plant. The proportion of O. glaberrima genome in the ILs ranged from 0·03 to 0·41, as revealed by 16 informative simple sequence repeat markers. Significant positive correlations were found between the proportion of O. glaberrima genome of the ILs and the GD between the ILs and the three different female parents. Heterosis of spikelet number per panicle in the hybrids was positively proportional with the O. glaberrima genome content of the parental ILs, while that of fertile grain percentage was negatively proportional to the O. glaberrima genome proportion. On average, the PIHs with higher grain yield and highest heterobeltiosis were obtained from the ILs carrying between 0·15 and 0·30 of O. glaberrima genome. The results indicated that a small proportion (<0·15) of the O. glaberrima genome in the ILs might limit heterosis expression of spikelet number per panicle, while a very large proportion (>0·30) of the O. glaberrima genome decreased the grain filling percentage in the PIHs, thus an intermediate range of O. glaberrima genome proportion should be more suitable for breeding heterotic PIHs. The exploitation of inter-specific heterosis between O. glaberrima and O. sativa has potential value for heterotic breeding in rice.
To examine cross-national patterns and correlates of lifetime and 12-month comorbid DSM-IV anxiety disorders among people with lifetime and 12-month DSM-IV major depressive disorder (MDD).
Nationally or regionally representative epidemiological interviews were administered to 74 045 adults in 27 surveys across 24 countries in the WHO World Mental Health (WMH) Surveys. DSM-IV MDD, a wide range of comorbid DSM-IV anxiety disorders, and a number of correlates were assessed with the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
45.7% of respondents with lifetime MDD (32.0–46.5% inter-quartile range (IQR) across surveys) had one of more lifetime anxiety disorders. A slightly higher proportion of respondents with 12-month MDD had lifetime anxiety disorders (51.7%, 37.8–54.0% IQR) and only slightly lower proportions of respondents with 12-month MDD had 12-month anxiety disorders (41.6%, 29.9–47.2% IQR). Two-thirds (68%) of respondents with lifetime comorbid anxiety disorders and MDD reported an earlier age-of-onset (AOO) of their first anxiety disorder than their MDD, while 13.5% reported an earlier AOO of MDD and the remaining 18.5% reported the same AOO of both disorders. Women and previously married people had consistently elevated rates of lifetime and 12-month MDD as well as comorbid anxiety disorders. Consistently higher proportions of respondents with 12-month anxious than non-anxious MDD reported severe role impairment (64.4 v. 46.0%; χ21 = 187.0, p < 0.001) and suicide ideation (19.5 v. 8.9%; χ21 = 71.6, p < 0.001). Significantly more respondents with 12-month anxious than non-anxious MDD received treatment for their depression in the 12 months before interview, but this difference was more pronounced in high-income countries (68.8 v. 45.4%; χ21 = 108.8, p < 0.001) than low/middle-income countries (30.3 v. 20.6%; χ21 = 11.7, p < 0.001).
Patterns and correlates of comorbid DSM-IV anxiety disorders among people with DSM-IV MDD are similar across WMH countries. The narrow IQR of the proportion of respondents with temporally prior AOO of anxiety disorders than comorbid MDD (69.6–74.7%) is especially noteworthy. However, the fact that these proportions are not higher among respondents with 12-month than lifetime comorbidity means that temporal priority between lifetime anxiety disorders and MDD is not related to MDD persistence among people with anxious MDD. This, in turn, raises complex questions about the relative importance of temporally primary anxiety disorders as risk markers v. causal risk factors for subsequent MDD onset and persistence, including the possibility that anxiety disorders might primarily be risk markers for MDD onset and causal risk factors for MDD persistence.
A high molecular weight protein (HMWP) was isolated and purified from sow milk, and some of its biochemical characteristics and biological functions were identified. The origin of HMWP was also investigated. The molecular weight of HMWP was determined to be about 115 000 and 114 800 by SDS-PAGE and gel filtration, respectively. The sequence of 10 amino acids in N-terminal of HMWP was Ala-Leu-Val-Gln-Ser-Cys-Leu-Asn-Leu-Val. The sequence was blasted against GenBank. No protein showed significant similarity with this sequence suggesting the HMWP may be novel. The result of liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) also proved HMWP could be a novel protein. By amino acid assay, HMWP was rich in glutamate (including glutamine), cysteine, glycine, aspartic acid (including asparagines) and proline. The content of hydrophobic amino acids (Ala, Val, Leu, Ile, Met, Phe and Pro) was lower at 18.59% of the total amino acids suggesting HMWP has high solubility in water. Western blots of lectins were used to identify the kinds of carbohydrate residues attached to HMWP qualitatively. The result showed that HMWP was a kind of glycoprotein containing N-acetylneuraminic acid (NeuNAc), mannose (Man) and/or N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc). By isoelectric focusing, HMWP pI was found to be 5.1. Compared with milk fat globule membrane protein (MFGMP) isolated from the sow milk in SDS-PAGE, MFGMP did not contain HMWP. HMWP was assumed to be a secretory milk protein. HMWP was not found in bovine, goat, rabbit or human milk in SDS-PAGE gel suggesting HMWP may be unique to sow milk. By Western blot, HMWP could be detected in sow milk, not in sow serum, which suggests it is synthesized and secreted by the mammary gland. HMWP concentrations in sows milk were the lowest in the first day of lactation, rose significantly during lactation 1 to 7 days. The HMWP content of sows milk remained relatively constant ((1.95±0.13) g/l) during lactation 7 to 20 days. HMWP significantly inhibited Escherichia coli in a dose related manner in vitro. Overall, HMWP could be a novel sow milk protein with implications for the mammary gland and the piglet.
Batch cultures of mixed rumen micro-organisms were used to evaluate varying enzyme products with high xylanase activity (EPX), four of which were recombinant single xylanase activity developmental enzyme products (EPX1–EPX4, products of xylanase genes derived from Trichoderma harzianum, Trichoderma reesei, Orpinomyces and Aspergillus oryzae, respectively), for their potential to improve in vitro ruminal fermentation of three forages [maize (Zea mays) stover (MS), rice (Oryza sativa) straw (RS) and Guimu No. 1 grass (Pennisetum americanum×Pennisetum purpureum, GM)]. The enzyme product EPX5, derived from Trichoderma longibrachiatum, was used as a positive control that could improve in vitro fermentation of forages. Enzymes were supplied at dose rates of 0 (control), 20 (low), 50 (medium) and 80 (high) enzymic units of xylanase/g of dry matter (DM). There were no interactions between EPX and dose for the fermentation characteristics evaluated. Increasing EPX dose linearly increased gas production (GP) kinetic characters [i.e. asymptotic GP (VF), half time when GP is half of the theoretical maximum GP (t0·5), and initial fractional rate of degradation (FRD0)] and methane (CH4) production from RS and GM at 24 h, and increased degradability of DM at 24 h for MS and RS. A linear increase in degradability of neutral detergent fibre (NDF) of the three forages at 24 h was observed with increasing dose of EPX, but at 48 h only NDF degradability of RS was increased. There were differences in the effects of EPX on degradability of DM and NDF from RS at 24 h, with EPX4 having the highest and EPX1 having the lowest. In addition, increasing EPX dose linearly increased acetate proportion at 24 h and total volatile fatty acids (TVFA) at 48 h in MS. Increasing EPX dose linearly increased TVFA at 24 h, and ammonia-nitrogen (NH3-N) concentration at 48 h in RS. For GM, linear or quadratic effects of dose on acetate and butyrate concentration were observed at 24 and 48 h. The present study indicates that applying EPX to low-quality forages has the potential to improve rumen degradability and utilization. Furthermore, EPX from different sources differed in their effects when applied at the same dose rate, with the responses being forage-specific. For RS, the EPX derived from A. oryzae showed the greatest positive effects on forage degradation; whereas for MS and GM, the source of micro-organism where EPX gene was derived did not affect the degradation, with little difference among the EPX evaluated.
To understand the clinical epidemiology and molecular characteristics of human bocavirus (HBoV) infection in children with diarrhoea in Guangzhou, South China, we collected 1128 faecal specimens from children with diarrhoea from July 2010 to December 2012. HBoV and five other major enteric viruses were examined using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Human rotavirus (HRV) was the most prevalent pathogen, detected in 250 (22·2%) cases, followed by enteric adenovirus (EADV) in 76 (6·7%) cases, human astrovirus (HAstV) in 38 (3·4%) cases, HBoV in 17 (1·5%) cases, sapovirus (SaV) in 14 (1·2%) cases, and norovirus (NoV) in 9 (0·8%) cases. Co-infections were identified in 3·7% of the study population and 23·5% of HBoV-positive specimens. Phylogenetic analysis revealed 14 HBoV strains to be clustered into species HBoV1 with only minor variations among them. Overall, the detection of HBoV appears to partially contribute to the overall detection gap for enteric infections, single HBoV infection rarely results in severe clinical outcomes, and HBoV sequencing data appears to support conserved genomes across strains identified in this study.
No published studies have discussed details of the prognosis and survival of patients with severe avian influenza A(H7N9) infection. In this study we analysed 128 laboratory-confirmed cases of severe H7N9 infection in Zhejiang province, the most affected region during the H7N9 epidemic in mainland China. We found that an increase in patient age by 5 years was associated with a 1·41 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1·19–1·67] times odds ratio for fatality. In addition, the time interval between the first clinical visit after symptom onset and hospital admission was inversely associated with survival time since admission. Of the 47 patients who died of the disease, when the time interval between the first clinical visit and hospital admission increased by 1 day, the duration of survival was 0·78 times (95% CI 0·62–0·98) as long. Our results suggest that patients with severe influenza H7N9 infection at older ages were at a higher risk of fatality, and that a delay in hospital admission was associated with more rapid death. More studies are required to corroborate our major findings.
We compared the epidemiological and clinical features of avian influenza A(H7N9) virus infections in the population in Zhejiang province, China, between March and April 2013 (first wave) and October 2013 and February 2014 (second wave). No statistical difference was found for age, sex, occupation, presence of underlying conditions, exposure history, white blood cell count, lymphocyte percentage and illness timeline and duration (all P > 0·05). The virus spread to 30 new counties compared to the first wave. The case-fatality rate was 22% in the first wave and 42% in the second (P = 0·023). Of those infected, 66% in the first wave and 62% in the second wave had underlying conditions. The proportion of those exposed to live poultry markets were 80% and 66%, respectively. We recommend permanent closure of live poultry markets and reformation of poultry supply and sales.