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Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus Lam.) is a nutritious crop from the Moraceae family. The current study was undertaken to evaluate the phenotypic diversity of fruit characteristics using a set of 27 standardized fruit descriptors to describe 28 jackfruit genotypes. These data were used to identify the superior jackfruit genotype that could be used for commercial cultivation. The data revealed a wide range of differences among the genotypes for all the traits studied. Cluster analysis classified the genotypes into four major groups that confirmed the wide diversity among them. Principal component analysis (PCA) also revealed that 80.22% of the variability among the jackfruit genotypes was explained by the first five principal components (PCs). Based on the overall results, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Research Complex for Eastern Region (ICAR-RCER) JS 6/3 and 10/3 genotypes were found to be the most promising for table purposes (medium fruit size, pulp percentage >50 and total soluble solid (TSS) >20°Brix), whereas the ICAR-RCER JS 7/7 genotype with large fruit size, pulp percentage >50 and TSS >20°Brix was found to be suitable for processing. The coefficient of variation was the least for traits such as TSS (12.56%) and average seed length (13.56%). Hence, priority may also be given to the TSS and seed size when exploring promising genotypes and operating a selection procedure for crop improvement in jackfruit. The information generated under the study forms a potential baseline for fruit breeders to use in selecting genotypes with superior fruit qualities for jackfruit crop improvement programmes in the future.
We compare the power of two different approaches to detect passive genotype–environment (GE) covariance originating from cultural and genetic transmission operating simultaneously. In the traditional nuclear twin family (NTF) design, cultural transmission is estimated from the phenotypic covariance matrices of the mono- and dizygotic twins and their parents. Here, phenotyping is required in all family members. A more recent method is the transmitted–nontransmitted (T–NT) allele design, which exploits measured genetic variants in parents and offspring to test for effects of nontransmitted alleles from parents. This design requires two-generation genome-wide data and a powerful genome-wide association study (GWAS) for the phenotype in addition to phenotyping in offspring. We compared the power of both designs. Using exact data simulation, we demonstrate three points: how the power of the T–NT design depends on the predictive power of polygenic risk scores (PRSs); that when the NTF design can be applied, its power to detect cultural transmission and GE covariance is high relative to T–NT; and that, given effect sizes from contemporary GWAS, adding PRSs to the NTF design does not yield an appreciable increase in the power to detect cultural transmission. However, it may be difficult to collect phenotypes of parents and the possible importance of gene × age interaction, and secular generational effects can cause complications for many important phenotypes. The T–NT design avoids these complications.
The current study focused on characterization of the underlying genetic divergence in inbred lines developed from local landraces of North Eastern Hill Region of India – a designated Asiatic maize diversity centre – following six generations of inbreeding. Substantial genetic differentiation was indicated based on very high to moderate Fst values for 22 of the 38 simple sequence repeat markers studied. STRUCTURE analysis partitioned the subset into two distinct and one admixture subgroup (Populations I, II and III respectively) accompanied by a significant reduction in heterozygosity. Population II was further subdivided into subpopulations Pop-M9 and Pop-T9. Nei's pairwise genetic distance and population Fst values indicated that Populations I and II were more divergent with neighbour joining clustering analysis clearly defining landraces originating from the states of Tripura (Population II) and Sikkim (Population I) as most divergent. Principal coordinates analysis could explain 31.26% of the variation present in the subgroups wherein Population I was more variable. Analysis of molecular variance and Fst coefficients (P < 0.001) indicated 17% population structuring with 55% variation detected for individuals within populations. These results combined with the presence of phenotypic variability in the subgroups for yield traits supported by results of a preliminary partial diallel analysis strongly suggest the existence of distinct heterotic groups. Divergence studies are crucial for exploiting heterosis, and the current study would go a long way to help establish a germplasm base for developing varieties with improved agronomic performance and surer commercial prospects no reports of which are available thus far.
Paediatric cardiomyopathy is a progressive and often lethal disorder and the most common cause of heart failure in children. Despite their severe outcomes, their genetic etiology is still poorly characterised. The current study aimed at uncovering the genetic background of idiopathic primary hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in a cohort of Egyptian children using targeted next-generation sequencing. The study included 24 patients (15 males and 9 females) presented to the cardiomyopathy clinic of Cairo University Children’s Hospital with a median age of 2.75 (0.5–14) years. Consanguinity was positive in 62.5% of patients. A family history of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy was present in 20.8% of patients. Ten rare variants were detected in eight patients; two pathogenic variants (8.3%) in MBPC3 and MYH7, and eight variants of uncertain significance in MYBPC3, TTN, VCL, MYL2, CSRP3, and RBM20.
Here, we report on the first national study in Egypt that analysed sarcomeric and non-sarcomeric variants in a cohort of idiopathic paediatric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients using next-generation sequencing. The current pilot study suggests that paediatric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in Egypt might have a particular genetic background, especially with the high burden of consanguinity. Including the genetic testing in the routine diagnostic service is important for a better understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease, proper patient management, and at-risk detection. Genome-wide tests (whole exome/genome sequencing) might be better than the targeted sequencing approach to test primary hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients in addition to its ability for the identification of novel genetic causes.
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is multifactorial in origin, resulting from an interaction between environmental and genetic factors. Multifactorial growth delay is common in infants with CHD. The impact of a genetic abnormality and CHD on the growth of an infant is lacking in the literature. The aim of this study is to compare the growth and method of feeding following neonatal cardiac surgery in infants with normal versus abnormal genetic testing.
A retrospective chart review of neonates who underwent a Risk Adjustment in Congenital Heart Surgery IV–VI procedure between 1 January, 2006 and 22 September, 2016 was performed at our institution. Weight, length, head circumference measurements, and feeding method were collected at birth, time of neonatal surgery, and monthly up to 6 months of age.
A total of 53 infants met inclusion criteria, of which 22 had abnormal genetic testing. Approximately 90% of infants were discharged following neonatal cardiac surgery with supplemental tube feeds. At each monthly follow-up visit, more infants were exclusively fed orally: 80% of infants with normal genetics at 5 months post-operative follow-up versus 60% of infants with abnormal genetic testing, although statistically insignificant. Growth was not different among the two groups.
Infants with critical CHD with or without genetic abnormalities are at risk for growth delays and many need supplemental tube feeds post-operatively and throughout follow-up. Infants with genetic abnormalities are slower to achieve oral feeds and more likely to require tube feedings. It is important to have a systematic protocol for managing these high-risk infants.
The development of autonomous greenhouses has caught the interest of many researchers and industrial considering their potential of offering an optimal environment for the growth of high-quality crops with minimum resources. Since an autonomous greenhouse is a mechatronic system, the consideration of its subsystem (e.g. heating systems) and component (e.g. actuators and sensors) interactions early in the design phase can ease the product development process. Indeed, this consideration could shorten the design process, reduce the number of redesign loops, and improve the performance of the overall mechatronic system. In the case of a greenhouse, it would lead to a higher quality of the crops and a better management of resources. In this work, the layout design of a general autonomous greenhouse is translated into an optimization problem statement while considering product-related dependencies. Then, a genetic algorithm is used to carry out the optimization of the layout design. The methodology is applied to the design of a fully autonomous greenhouse (45 cm × 30 cm × 30 cm) for the growth of plants in space. Although some objectives are conflictual, the developed algorithm proposes a compromise to obtain a near-optimal feasible layout design. The algorithm was also able to optimize the volume of components (occupied space) while considering the energy consumption and the overall mass. Their respective summed values are 2844.32 cm3, which represents 7% of the total volume, 5.86 W, and 655.8 g.
Integrative taxonomy was used to evaluate two component populations of Procamallanus (Spirocamallanus) inopinatus in Brazil and the phylogeny Camallanidae. Parasite populations were collected in the characiform Anostomoides passionis from River Xingu (Amazon basin) and Megaleporinus elongatus from River Miranda (Paraguay basin). Morphology was analysed using light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Genetic characterization was based on partial sequences of the 18S and 28S rDNA, and COI mtDNA. Phylogenies were based on 18S and COI due to data availability. Generalized Mixed Yule Coalescent (GMYC), Poisson Tree Process (PTP) and *BEAST were used for species delimitation and validation. SEM revealed for the first time the presence of minute denticles and pore-like structures surrounding the oral opening, phasmids in females and confirmed other important morphological aspects. Statistical comparison between the two-component populations indicated morphometric variations, especially among males. The different component population of P. (S.) inopinatus showed variable morphometry, but uniform morphology and were validated as conspecific by the GMYC, PTP and *BEAST. Some camallanid sequences in GenBank have incorrect taxonomic labelling. Host, environment and geographic aspects seem to be related to some lineages within Camallanidae; however, their real phylogenetic meanings are still unclear.
This paper proposes a mobile parallel robot (MPR) and focuses on obstacle avoidance. When analyzing the collision-free trajectories, the coupling constraints caused by the parallel mechanism and the obstacle should be emphatically solved. The solution is to divide the problem into two steps. First, the genetic algorithm is employed to search and optimize the feasible trajectories under the mechanism constraint of the MPR. Then the trajectory tracking controller is designed to make the tracked vehicles move cooperatively and track a trajectory asymptotically. Finally, simulations and experiments are carried out to verify the effectiveness of the solution.
LMNA mutations cause a variety of inherited diseases referred to as laminopathies which are associated with a wide spectrum of disease phenotypes, ranging from skeletal muscle disease, pre-mature ageing, metabolic disorders, and cardiac abnormalities. We present a case of a 14-year-old boy with dilated cardiomyopathy induced by the LMNA mutation (p. R429C) and described its electrocardiogram and imaging features.
There are two fundamentally distinct conservation strategies, in situ and ex situ that are distinguished based on whether the target taxa are conserved where they are found or are sampled and moved to a secondary location to be conserved. Within the two strategies there are a range of in situ and ex situ techniques, each of which aims to maximize the range of plant genetic diversity maintained. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with each strategy and technique. The two strategies for conservation, in situ and ex situ, complement each other and the mixture of strategies and techniques employed to conserve a target taxon will vary from taxon to taxon depending on its characteristics and the resources available to conserve that taxon.
The conservation of plant species where they naturally occur involves the planning, design, establishment, management and monitoring of viable populations of the target taxa to be conserved. It will involve the writing of a management plan as a guide to management implementation primarily based on knowledge of the target taxon’s ecology and its relationship to the biotic and abiotic environment. Regular monitoring of key populations within the reserve will ascertain whether the management plan is effective in conserving genetic diversity. Often, however, the conservationist will have to make a compromise between the objectives of the reserve and the desires of other users. The material conserved within the reserve should be made readily available to the various user groups.
Conserving plant genetic diversity for further use by crossbreeding through various methods for crop improvement is an important goal. Indeed, plant germplasm remains the most important genetic resource for sustaining crossbreeding. Advances in cell and molecular biology enable us to further exploit inter-genera and interfamily variation along with capitalizing on intra-specific and inter-specific variation. Hence, this chapter describes the theory underpinning population genetics and how to use this knowledge for providing a sound and effective strategy and ensuing plan of work for collecting, conserving and using plant genetic diversity. The reader of this chapter will get enough knowledge to identify a suitable crossbreeding method to develop a new cultivar or to improve a breeding line or population and assess the feasibility of using recent advances in agro-biotechnology for transferring new traits into available cultivars or breed new cultivars. This acquired knowledge will allow understanding the basic principles of plant breeding and thereafter use them for crossing and selecting segregating offspring with desired characters.
This chapter provides an introduction and overview of how to plan and undertake the collection of plant genetic samples in the field, and once collected how the samples should be processed, stored and made available for utilization. As such it includes a practical overview of expedition planning and of how to collect germplasm, voucher specimen and passport data. Germplasm collection involves the sampling and ex situ conservation of seed, tubers, cuttings, corms and vegetative plants away from the site where the material was originally located. The types of collection sites, and how each may be sampled are reviewed. The special cases of collecting fruit or other trees, forages, wild species, vegetative material and indigenous knowledge are discussed. A model for a generalized germplasm collection form and a collection report structure is presented, and the processing and final deposition of the conserved germplasm is summarized.
This chapter provides an overview of genetic diversity and variation and how to measure this when studying plant genetic resources. It also describes the use of DNA markers for assessing polymorphism, studying diversity and revealing trait associations relevant for searching variation of target characters in plant breeding. The goal of this chapter is therefore to highlight various methods for analyzing the range of genetic diversity and of character variation to facilitate their further use in plant breeding. The information given herein will allow to understand genetic diversity, gene polymorphism and genetic variation; assess how various techniques – based on population and quantitative genetics – are used for assessing genetic diversity and trait variation in plant germplasm; and determine how the data generated can be effectively analyzed.
An introduction and overview to the subject of biological diversity (biodiversity) is provided, and more specifically the systematic conservation and sustainable utilization of plant genetic diversity. The copious wealth of plant diversity provides the primary production to feed us all and among which we live is threatened by human mismanagement; plant diversity at the habitat, species and genetic levels is threatened to a degree never seen previously in our planet’s history. This chapter illustrates the range of plant diversity at the habitat, species and genetic levels, where plants are found and reviews the threats it currently faces. Also, the importance of genetic diversity is emphasized, why we need it and how it can be used to provide food security and other ecosystem services. The strategies and techniques used to conserve plant diversity are defined and the concept of complementary conservation is introduced. The chapter also provides an overview of the ways humankind exploits and utilizes plant diversity.
Plant genetic conservation ensures the genetic variation held within species is maintained and remains available for use. Population genetics is that branch of genetics studying the factors determining, maintaining and changing variation in populations. The main subject of study relates to factors affecting changes in allele frequency and how population genetic knowledge can be used to improve the effectiveness of the sampling of diversity conserved either in gene banks or other ex situ facilities or in situ in genetic reserves or on-farm. This chapter describes the theory underpinning population genetics and how to use this knowledge for providing a sound and effective strategy and ensuing plan of work for collecting, conserving and using plant genetic diversity.
Bipolar disorder (BD) is a familial psychiatric disorder associated with frontotemporal and subcortical brain abnormalities. It is unclear whether such abnormalities are present in relatives without BD, and little is known about structural brain trajectories in those at risk.
Neuroimaging was conducted at baseline and at 2-year follow-up interval in 90 high-risk individuals with a first-degree BD relative (HR), and 56 participants with no family history of mental illness who could have non-BD diagnoses. All 146 subjects were aged 12–30 years at baseline. We examined longitudinal change in gray and white matter volume, cortical thickness, and surface area in the frontotemporal cortex and subcortical regions.
Compared to controls, HR participants showed accelerated cortical thinning and volume reduction in right lateralised frontal regions, including the inferior frontal gyrus, lateral orbitofrontal cortex, frontal pole and rostral middle frontal gyrus. Independent of time, the HR group had greater cortical thickness in the left caudal anterior cingulate cortex, larger volume in the right medial orbitofrontal cortex and greater area of right accumbens, compared to controls. This pattern was evident even in those without the new onset of psychopathology during the inter-scan interval.
This study suggests that differences previously observed in BD are developing prior to the onset of the disorder. The pattern of pathological acceleration of cortical thinning is likely consistent with a disturbance of molecular mechanisms responsible for normal cortical thinning. We also demonstrate that neuroanatomical differences in HR individuals may be progressive in some regions and stable in others.
This study analyzes the relationship between state-level variables and Twitter discourse on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Using geographically identified tweets related to GMOs, we examined how the sentiments expressed about GMOs related to education levels, news coverage, proportion of rural and urban counties, state-level political ideology, amount of GMO-related legislation introduced, and agricultural dependence of each U.S. state. State-level characteristics predominantly did not predict the sentiment of the discourse. Instead, the topics of tweets predicted the majority of variance in tweet sentiment at the state level. The topics that tweets within a state focused on were related to state-level characteristics in some cases.
In this study, maize landraces, previously collected from different regions of Turkey through a national maize breeding project, were screened for kernel oil content and oil quality. After a seed reproduction in 2017, the screening trial was conducted in 2018, using an Augmented Experimental Design with 192 local maize populations along with seven check hybrids. Data were collected on oil, oleic acid, linoleic acid, monounsaturated (MUFA), polyunsaturated and saturated fatty acids, total carotenoid and total tocopherol contents. The results showed that there was a considerable amount of genetic variation among the Turkish maize landraces for almost all the traits investigated in this study. Some of the evaluated landraces are available that could be considered as high oil variety or special genotypes in terms of certain oil quality traits. Landraces had significantly higher values than checks for oil content, oleic acid, MUFA and tocopherol contents. Genetic analyses suggest that the kernel quality traits could be successfully manipulated using the investigated plant material. Heritability values were found high for all the traits of interest, except for saturated fatty acid and total carotenoid content. The promising landraces detected in this study could be exploited in future breeding programmes upon further evaluations at the population level.
The common kestrel is evaluated as Least Concern at global level. However, at the European level, the species is considered of conservation concern due to a continuous moderate decline since the 1980s due to agriculture intensification, landscape simplification, pesticide use and loss of nesting sites. Moreover, the conservation status of some subspecies of common kestrel appears problematic. This chapter discusses the conservation status of kestrel species and subspecies, and the main top-down and bottom-up factors that affect the viability and stability of their populations. It also points out the strong limitations of our knowledge about the density-dependent and independent processes that regulate the demography and dynamics of kestrel populations. Important conservation-related topics, such as urbanisation, pesticides, or use of artificial nest boxes, have been discussed in detail in prior chapters.