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The onion thrips (Thrips tabaci Lindeman, 1889) is a key pest of a wide range of crops because of its ecological attributes such as polyphagy, high reproduction rate, ability to transmit tospoviruses and resistance to insecticides. Recent studies revealed that T. tabaci is a cryptic species complex and it has three lineages (leek-associated arrhenotokous L1-biotype, leek-associated thelytokous L2-biotype and tobacco-associated arrhenotokous T-biotype), however, the adults remain indistinguishable. T. tabaci individuals were collected from different locations of Hungary to create laboratory colonies from each biotypes. Mitochondrial COI (mtCOI) region was sequenced from morphologically identified individuals. After sequence analysis SNPs were identified and used for CAPS marker development, which were suitable for distinguishing the three T. tabaci lineages. Genetic analysis of the T. tabaci species complex based on mtCOI gene confirmed the three well-known biotypes (L1, L2, T) and a new biotype because the new molecular evidence presented in this study suggests T-biotype of T. tabaci forming two distinct (sub)clades (T1 and T2). This genetic finding indicates that the genetic variability of T. tabaci populations is still not fully mapped. We validated our developed marker on thrips individuals from our thrips colonies. The results demonstrated that the new marker effectively identifies the different T. tabaci biotypes. We believe that our reliable genotyping method will be useful in further studies focusing on T. tabaci biotypes and in pest management by scanning the composition of sympatric T. tabaci populations.
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common monogenic kidney disease and is caused by heterozygous germ-line mutations in either PKD1 (85%) or PKD2 (15%). It is characterised by the formation of numerous fluid-filled renal cysts and leads to adult-onset kidney failure in ~50% of patients by 60 years. Kidney cysts in ADPKD are focal and sporadic, arising from the clonal proliferation of collecting-duct principal cells, but in only 1–2% of nephrons for reasons that are not clear. Previous studies have demonstrated that further postnatal reductions in PKD1 (or PKD2) dose are required for kidney cyst formation, but the exact triggering factors are not clear. A growing body of evidence suggests that DNA damage, and activation of the DNA damage response pathway, are altered in ciliopathies. The aims of this review are to: (i) analyse the evidence linking DNA damage and renal cyst formation in ADPKD; (ii) evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of biomarkers to assess DNA damage in ADPKD and finally, (iii) evaluate the potential effects of current clinical treatments on modifying DNA damage in ADPKD. These studies will address the significance of DNA damage and may lead to a new therapeutic approach in ADPKD.
Echinococcosis is a zoonotic parasitic illness that can cause significant disabilities, and even death for sick people. The disease is caused by the larval stage of cestodes belonging to the Echinococcus genus. In this study, multiple hydatid cysts were excised from an infected porcine liver. The identification of the parasitic species was made by the morphometric assessment of rostellar hooks and molecular detection of ribosomal DNA extant in protoscoleces of the hydatid sand. Rostellar hooks presented an average length of 27.4 µm by optical microscopy. Parasite DNA were detected in samples of hydatid sediment and positive controls by polymerase chain reaction. In conclusion, Echinococcus granulosus was recognized in samples of porcine hydatid cysts by microscopic observation, and the E. granulosus sensu lato strain E. canadensis G6/G7 was identified by molecular assay.
Macroalgae play important ecological roles, including as hosts for a wide range of epifauna. However, the diversity relationships between macroalgae and epifauna are poorly understood for most tropical host species and algal morphologies. This study aims to characterize and analyse the diversity of invertebrates present amongst macroalgae with three distinct morphologies (three-dimensional, filamentous and foliose) across different tropical intertidal sites in Singapore. Morphological and DNA barcoding tools were employed for epifaunal species identification, and ordination statistics and multiple linear regression were used to test the effects of algal morphology, species and site on community structure and diversity of epiphytic invertebrates. Overall, epifaunal communities were distinct among sites and algal morphologies, and diversity was affected significantly by algal morphology. In particular, filamentous macroalgae hosted the highest abundance of epifauna dominated mainly by amphipods, which were able to take advantage of the high surface area to volume ratio in filamentous algal mats as a consequence of their thinner forms. Foliose species showed a significantly negative effect on invertebrate diversity. Our findings highlight the diverse associations between intertidal macroalgae and invertebrates with high turnover between algal morphology and sites that contribute to the high biodiversity of tropical shores. Future studies should consider the effects of the host habitat, seasonality and more algal species on epifaunal diversity.
Oxidative stress has been suggested to increase after electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), a treatment which continues to be the most effective for severe depression. Oxidative stress could potentially be mechanistically involved in both the therapeutic effects and side effects of ECT.
We measured sensitive markers of systemic and central nervous system (CNS) oxidative stress on DNA and RNA (urinary 8-oxodG/8-oxoGuo, cerebrospinal fluid 8-oxoGuo, and brain oxoguanine glycosylase mRNA expression) in male rats subjected to electroconvulsive stimulations (ECS), an animal model of ECT. Due to the previous observations that link hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA)-axis activity and age to DNA/RNA damage from oxidation, groups of young and middle-aged male animals were included, and markers of HPA-axis activity were measured.
ECS induced weight loss, increased corticosterone (only in middle-aged animals), and decreased cerebral glucocorticoid receptor mRNA expression, while largely leaving the markers of systemic and CNS DNA/RNA damage from oxidation unaltered.
These results suggest that ECS is not associated with any lasting effects on oxidative stress on nucleic acids neither in young nor middle-aged rats.
Sperm DNA fragmentation is referred to as one of the main causes of male infertility. Failures in the protamination process, apoptosis and action of reactive oxygen species (ROS) are considered the most important causes of DNA fragmentation. Action of ROS or changes in sperm protamination would increase the susceptibility of sperm DNA to fragmentation. Routine semen analysis is unable to estimate sperm chromatin damage. Sperm DNA integrity influences sperm functional capability, therefore tests that measure sperm DNA fragmentation are important to assess fertility disorders. Actually, there is a considerable number of methods for assessing sperm DNA fragmentation and chromatin integrity, sperm chromatin stability assay (SCSA modified), sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD), comet assay, transferase dUTP nick end labelling (TUNEL); and protamine evaluation in sperm chromatin assay, such as toluidine blue, CMA3, protamine expression and evaluation of cysteine radicals. This review aims to describe the main causes of sperm DNA fragmentation and the tests commonly used to evaluate sperm DNA fragmentation.
Cysticercus tenuicollis as metacestode of Taenia hydatigena is the most prevalent taeniid species in livestock. Eighty-eight C. tenuicollis samples were collected from sheep (n = 44) and goats (n = 44) of the northern Iran from 2015 to 2016. The isolated parasites were characterized by morphometric keys. The DNA of the larval stage was extracted, amplified and sequenced targeting mitochondrial 12S rRNA and Cox 1 markers. A significant difference in larval rostellar hook length was observed in 12S rRNA haplotypes. Analysis of molecular variance of 12S rRNA indicated a moderate genetic diversity in the C. tenuicollis isolates. The pairwise sequence distance of C. tenuicollis showed an intra-species diversity of 0.3–0.5% and identity of 99.5–100%. Using the 12S rRNA sequence data we found a moderate genetic difference (Fst; 0.05421) in C. tenucollis isolates collected from livestock of the northern and southeastern regions of Iran. We concluded that the genetic variants of C. tenuicollis are being undoubtedly distributing mostly in different parts of Iran. Further studies with a larger number of T. hydatigena isolates collected from various intermediate and definitive hosts are needed to study this evolutionary assumption and also to determine the apparent genetic differences observed in the studied regions.
There is a growing research interest in determining whether changes in the Global status of DNA methylation are related to the environment, in particular, to one-carbon metabolism. So, our aim was to investigate the effect of dietary methyl-group donor intake (methionine, folate, choline, betaine, vitamins B2, B6, and B12), biomarkers (total folate, UMFA, 5-methylTHF, hcy, vitamins B6 and B12 concentrations) and genetic variants (polymorphisms involved in one-carbon metabolism) on Global DNA methylation in a population exposed to mandatory flour fortification with folic acid. A cross-sectional study of health and living conditions was conducted among a representative sample of residents in São Paulo-Brazil. The mean of Global DNA methylation was lower in young people than in adults and the elderly (p=0.049). No differences between genotypes of polymorphism and Global DNA methylation mean were identified. We observed that the increase in betaine intake led to an absolute change in percentage of DNA methylation (β=0.0005, p=0.024) using multiple regression. Betaine intake alone was associated with an absolute change in percentage of Global DNA methylation. The study did not find an association between Global DNA methylation and folate status even in a population exposed to mandatory flour fortification with folic acid.
Due to the high rate of complications, special medical care must be provided especially for monozygotic twin pregnancies, which are characterized as having 2.5 times higher mortality of fetuses. In recent years, examination of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) circulating in maternal plasma has become a useful noninvasive method of prenatal diagnosis. However, fetal DNA constitutes only 3–20% of plasma cfDNA during pregnancy. Short tandem repeats (STRs) are routinely used in forensic examination of DNA mixtures and are able to identify 5% minority components. Haplotypes of deletion/insertion polymorphisms and STRs (DIP–STRs) are able to detect even 0.1% minority components of DNA mixtures. Thus, STRs and DIP–STRs seem to be a perfect tool for detection of fetal alleles in DNA isolated from maternal plasma. Here, we present a novel noninvasive prenatal diagnosis technique of determination of pregnancy zygosity based on examination of feto-maternal microchimerism of plasma cfDNA with the use of STRs and DIP–STRs. Our preliminary results based on 22 STR loci showed 67% sensitivity, 100% specificity and 82% accuracy for prenatal detection of twin dizygosity. The corresponding values for seven DIP–STRs were 13%, 100% and 54%, respectively. Owing to assay performance, low DNA input requirements, low costs (below 10 USD per patient) and simplicity of analysis, genotyping of STR/DIP–STR markers in maternal plasma cfDNA may become a useful supplementary test for noninvasive prenatal diagnosis of twin zygosity in cases when chorionicity and zygosity cannot be reliably determined by ultrasound examination and prognostic value may be provided by a DNA test determining pregnancy zygosity.
Some studies have shown that the excessive metabolic heat production is the primary cause for dead chicken embryos during late embryonic development. Increasing heat shock protein (HSP) expression and adjusting metabolism are important ways to maintain body homeostasis under heat stress. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of in ovo injection (IOI) of vitamin C (VC) at embryonic age 11th day (E11) on HSP and metabolic genes expression. A total of 320 breeder eggs were randomly divided into normal saline and VC injection groups. We detected plasma VC content and rectal temperature at chick’s age 1st day, and the mRNA levels of HSP and metabolic genes in embryonic livers at E14, 16 and 18, analysed the promoter methylation levels of differentially expressed genes and predicted transcription factors at the promoter regions. The results showed that IOI of VC significantly increased plasma VC content and decreased rectal temperature (P < 0.05). In ovo injection of VC significantly increased heat shock protein 60 (HSP60) and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) genes expression at E16 and PDK4 and secreted frizzled related protein 1 (SFRP1) at E18 (P < 0.05). At E16, IOI of VC significantly decreased the methylation levels of total CpG sites and −336 CpG site in HSP60 promoter and −1137 CpG site in PDK4 promoter (P < 0.05). Potential binding sites for nuclear factor-1 were found around −389 and −336 CpG sites in HSP60 promoter and potential binding site for specificity protein 1 was found around −1137 CpG site in PDK4 promoter. Our results suggested that IOI of VC increased HSP60, PDK4 and SFRP1 genes expression at E16 and 18, which may be associated with the demethylation in gene promoters. Whether IOI of VC could improve hatchability needs to be further verified by setting uninjection group.
The first record of the ophiuroid family Ophiohelidae from the Mediterranean Sea is reported. It consists of the description of the new record of Ophiomyces grandis from the Mallorca Channel seamounts in the Balearic Islands, western Mediterranean, where it shows high abundances. We present both the morphological description of the individuals collected and, for the first time, the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) sequence of this species. The morphological traits of our specimens match the available descriptions of O. grandis. On the other hand, molecular analyses show a large genetic distance between O. grandis and Ophiomyces delata, the two species being very similar morphologically. Despite the high abundances of O. grandis reported here, previous surveys in the Mallorca Channel seamounts using ROV did not detect it, emphasizing the importance of beam trawl sampling to improving the biodiversity description of these geomorphological sea bottom features.
Species of Agonoscena (Hemiptera: Aphalaridae) are key pests of pistachio in all of the most important pistachio producing countries in the Old World. The efficiency and accuracy of DNA barcoding for the identification of Agonoscena species were tested using mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (mtCO1) and cytochrome b (cytb) gene sequences. Moreover, morphometric sexual dimorphism was studied. Finally, the potential geographical distribution of Agonoscena pistaciae, the most important pistachio pest, was calculated using the MaxEnt model. Similar relationships of clustering were found in the morphometric analysis and the molecular analyses with mtCO1 and cytb genes, with A. bimaculata and A. pistaciae being closely related, and A. pegani constituting their sister group. Although the results showed that the cytb gene is a better marker for barcoding in this group, the mtCO1 gene clearly separates the three psyllid species making mtCO1 suitable for diagnostic purposes. A geometric morphometric analysis showed that the distance between landmark number 7 (bifurcation of vein M) to the fore margin of the forewing, and the distance between landmarks number 6 (apex of vein Cu1b) and 11 (wing base), are the most important geometric characters for diagnosing the studied species. Moreover, the forewing shape of males vs females is similar in A. pistaciae and A. bimaculata but differs significantly in A. pegani. In the ecological niche modeling of the distribution of A. pistaciae, the most important contribution was made by the variable ‘minimum temperature of coldest period’. The most suitable areas for A. pistaciae are restricted to Eastern, Southern and some parts of Central Iran.
The morphology of the zoeal stages IX and XI of the shrimp Thalassocaris lucida is described and illustrated in detail from plankton specimens identified by barcoding of the mitochondrial 16S ribosomal RNA gene (sequence similarities 99.4–99.6%). The present study confirms the larval morphology of Thalassocaris, that shows distinct features within Pandaloidea: (1) carapace broad and dorsoventrally flattened, (2) coxal endite of maxilla with only one lobe, (3) basis of third maxilliped with a distal globose lobe. On the other hand, the funnel-shaped eyes, and the development with long series of larval stages of Thalassocaris indicate affinities with some genera of Pandalidae which corroborates the results of recent phylogenetic analyses in abandoning the family status of Thalassocarididae.
This article is a detailed critical review of all the major scholarly publications in the rapidly expanding field of the Justinianic Plague published from 2000 through 2018. It updates the article in this journal by Dionysios Stathakopoulos from 2000, while also providing a detailed appraisal of the state of the field across all disciplines, including: literary studies, archaeology, DNA evidence, climatology, and epidemiology. We also identify the current paradigm for the Justinianic Plague as well as survey possible avenues forward for the field in the future.1
A central and critical step in the molecular detection of soil-transmitted helminths from environmental sources is the extraction of DNA from the eggs. In this study, we investigated the yield of DNA extracted from known quantities (500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5) of Ascaris suum eggs, as well as directly from wastewater and sludge samples containing Ascaris spp. eggs, using six commercial DNA extraction kits. The amount of DNA extracted was quantified with NanoDrop, Qubit and Ct values from quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay using CFX96 Touch™ real-time PCR equipment. The PowerLyzer Ultraclean Microbial DNA isolation kit and PowerSoil DNA isolation kit gave the highest yield of DNA based on the NanoDrop, Qubit and Ct values. However, the qPCR results indicate that in some of the kits, PCR inhibitors may have been carried over to the PCR reaction. DNA extraction kits that incorporate a bead-beating step as well as other mechanical eggshell disruption steps were superior in extracting DNA from Ascaris spp. eggs. Additionally, for the accurate quantification of extracted DNA, the use of Ct values from qPCR and Qubit readings gives better results compared to the NanoDrop readings. For efficient downstream applications, the use of DNA extraction kits with superior inhibitor removal technology is essential, in addition to a high yield of DNA.
Increasingly, basic, translational, and clinical research has become more collaborative, resulting in multi-institutional studies that involve common approaches to a central question. For multi-institutional projects that involve recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids, institutional biosafety committee (IBC) review is generally required at each separate site. Duplicative review may result in both administrative costs and delays, without evidence of increased safety or protections, and investigator frustration. To address these inefficiencies, IBC leaders drafted a collaborative IBC Reliance Authorization Agreement. The Agreement allows one or more institutions to cede IBC review to a reviewing IBC that accepts the responsibility. The ability to cede IBC review, and the ability to rely on one decision on behalf of all collaborating institutions for a given protocol, removes delays in approval of multi-center protocols and collaborating principal investigators are able to focus on research rather than administrative tasks. In the process, we found promotion of this collaborative model led to stronger connections among institutions and among IBC members. The requirement for IBC member representation from the local community, however, limits its broader dissemination; we make several recommendations to mitigate this challenge.
Trichomonas vaginalis is an extracellular parasite that colonizes the human urogenital tract leading to trichomoniasis, the most common sexually-transmitted non-viral disease worldwide. The immune response plays a critical role in the host defense against this parasite. Trichomonas' DNA contains unmethylated CpG motifs (CpGDNA) that in other microorganisms act as modulators of the immune response. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for CpGDNA immune modulation are still unclear. As macrophages participate in the first line of defense against infection, we investigated the type of immune response of murine macrophages to T. vaginalis DNA (TvDNA). We observed high expression of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-12p40 in macrophages stimulated with TvDNA. In contrast, the anti-inflammatory response, assessed by IL-10 and IL-13 mRNA expression was delayed. This suggests that the immune response induced by TvDNA is modulated through cytokine production, mediated partly by NADPH-oxidase activity, as TvDNA induced reactive species of oxygen production and a rounded morphology in macrophages indicative of an M1 phenotype. Furthermore, infected mice pretreated with TvDNA displayed persistent vulvar inflammation and decreased parasite viability consistent with higher proinflammatory cytokine levels during infection compared to untreated mice. Overall, our findings suggest that TvDNA pretreatment modulates the immune response favouring parasite elimination.
Male germ cell development is a critical period during which epigenetic patterns are established and maintained. The progression from diploid spermatogonia to haploid spermatozoa involves the incorporation of testis-specific histone variants, mitotic and meiotic divisions, haploid gene expression, histone–protamine transitions and massive epigenetic reprogramming. Understanding the protein players and the epigenetic mark network involved in the setting of the epigenetic programme in spermatogenesis is an exciting new clue in the field of reproductive biology with translational outcomes. As information in the existing literature regarding cross-talk between DNA methylation and histone hyperacetylation in the advanced stages of murine spermatogenesis is still scarce and controversial we have investigated the effect of a DNA-methyltransferase inhibitor, 5-aza-2′-deoxycytidine, at the cytological and molecular level (by transmission electron microscopy, immunocytochemistry and immunoprecipitation methods). Our results revealed an important role for regulation of DNA methylation in controlling histone hyperacetylation and chromatin remodelling during spermatogenesis.
Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) possess enzymes required for the endogenous biosynthesis of n-3 long-chain PUFA (LC-PUFA), EPA and DHA, from α-linolenic acid (ALA). Linoleic acid (LA) competes with ALA for LC-PUFA biosynthesis enzymes leading to the production of n-6 LC-PUFA, including arachidonic acid (ARA). We aimed to quantify the endogenous production of EPA and DHA from ALA in salmon fed from first feeding on diets that contain no EPA and DHA and to determine the influence of dietary LA and ALA:LA ratio on LC-PUFA production. Salmon were fed from first feeding for 22 weeks with three diets formulated with linseed and sunflower oils to provide ALA:LA ratios of approximately 3:1, 1:1 and 1:3. Endogenous production of n-3 LC-PUFA was 5·9, 4·4 and 2·8 mg per g fish and that of n-6 LC-PUFA was 0·2, 0·5 and 1·4 mg per g fish in salmon fed diets with ALA:LA ratios of 3:1, 1:1 and 1:3, respectively. The ratio of n-3:n-6 LC-PUFA production decreased from 27·4 to 2·0, and DHA:EPA ratio increased and EPA:ARA and DHA:ARA ratios decreased, as dietary ALA:LA ratio decreased. In conclusion, with a dietary ALA:LA ratio of 1, salmon fry/parr produced about 28 μg n-3 LC-PUFA per g fish per d, with a DHA:EPA ratio of 3·4. Production of n-3 LC-PUFA exceeded that of n-6 LC-PUFA by almost 9-fold. Reducing the dietary ALA:LA ratio reduced n-3 LC-PUFA production and EPA:ARA and DHA:ARA ratios but increased n-6 LC-PUFA production and DHA:EPA ratio.
Several studies have proposed that cell-free DNA (cfDNA) is a potential biomarker present in follicular fluid (FF) for oocyte quality. Recently we reported that mitochondria-derived cfDNA (mt-cfDNA) closely reflects the amount of cfDNA in FFs. The present study investigated the mechanism regulating mt-cfDNA secretion from porcine granulosa cells. Oocytes and cumulus cell complexes or granulosa cells (GCs) were cultured in maturation medium for 24 or 48 h respectively. Then, nuclear-derived cell-free DNA (n-cfDNA) or mt-cfDNA contents in the spent medium were examined using real-time polymerase chain reaction. When 10 μM of MG132, a proteasome inhibitor, was added to the culture medium, cellular viability of both COCs and GCs decreased and n-cfDNA significantly increased in the culture medium, whereas mt-cfDNA significantly decreased. Supplementation of the culture medium with GW4869, an inhibitor of intracellular vesicle formation, significantly decreased the mt-cfDNA, whereas no effect was observed on n-cfDNA in the medium of both COCs and GCs. Furthermore, the addition of bafilomycin, an inhibitor of autophagy to the culture medium significantly increased mt-cfDNA in the culture medium. After filtration (0.22 μm) and centrifugation (23,000 g), the mt-cfDNA content of the medium decreased significantly. In conclusion, the proteasomal mitochondrial quality control system is upstream of mt-cfDNA secretion and autophagy plays a role in cellular digestion of mitochondrial DNA in the cytoplasm. It is further suggested that dsDNA is enclosed in certain vesicles or associated with small molecules and secreted into the medium.