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Genes, Volume 14, Issue 7 (July 2023) – 206 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): RNA splicing is a key regulatory step in the proper control of gene expression. It is a highly dynamic process orchestrated by the spliceosome, a macro-molecular machinery that consists of protein and RNA components. The dysregulation of RNA splicing has been observed in many human pathologies, ranging from neurodegenerative diseases to cancer. The recent identification of recurrent mutations in the core components of the spliceosome in hematologic malignancies has advanced our knowledge of how splicing alterations contribute to disease pathogenesis. This review article will discuss our current understanding of how aberrant RNA splicing regulation drives tumor initiation and progression. We will also review current therapeutic modalities and highlight emerging technologies designed to target RNA splicing for cancer treatment. View this paper
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14 pages, 2182 KiB  
Article
The Genetic Diversity of Stallions of Different Breeds in Russia
by Natalia Dementieva, Elena Nikitkina, Yuri Shcherbakov, Olga Nikolaeva, Olga Mitrofanova, Anna Ryabova, Mikhail Atroshchenko, Oksana Makhmutova and Alexander Zaitsev
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1511; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071511 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1493
Abstract
The specifics of breeding and selection significantly affect genetic diversity and variability within a breed. We present the data obtained from the genetic analysis of 21 thoroughbred and warmblood horse breeds. The most detailed information is described from the following breeds: Arabian, Trakehner, [...] Read more.
The specifics of breeding and selection significantly affect genetic diversity and variability within a breed. We present the data obtained from the genetic analysis of 21 thoroughbred and warmblood horse breeds. The most detailed information is described from the following breeds: Arabian, Trakehner, French Trotter, Standardbred, and Soviet Heavy Horse. The analysis of 509,617 SNP variants in 87 stallions from 21 populations made it possible to estimate the genetic diversity at the genome-wide level and distinguish the studied horse breeds from each other. In this study, we searched for heterozygous and homozygous ROH regions, evaluated inbreeding using FROH analysis, and generated a population structure using Admixture 1.3 software. Our findings indicate that the Arabian breed is an ancestor of many horse breeds. The study of the full-genome architectonics of breeds is of great practical importance for preserving the genetic characteristics of breeds and managing breeding. Studies were carried out to determine homozygous regions in individual breeds and search for candidate genes in these regions. Fifty-six candidate genes for the influence of selection pressure were identified. Our research reveals genetic diversity consistent with breeding directions and the breeds’ history of origin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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11 pages, 2691 KiB  
Article
Structural Characteristics of Mitochondrial Genomes of Eight Treehoppers (Hemiptera: Membracidae: Centrotinae) and Their Phylogenetic Implications
by Haijun Bai, Jinrui Zhang, Christopher H. Dietrich, Yiping Li and Xiangqun Yuan
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1510; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071510 - 24 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1117
Abstract
Complete mitochondrial genomes were newly sequenced for eight species of the treehopper subfamily Centrotinae (Hemiptera: Membracidae), four of which represent genera for which mitogenomes were not previously available. The new mitogenomes are generally similar in overall structure, gene order, base composition, and nucleotide [...] Read more.
Complete mitochondrial genomes were newly sequenced for eight species of the treehopper subfamily Centrotinae (Hemiptera: Membracidae), four of which represent genera for which mitogenomes were not previously available. The new mitogenomes are generally similar in overall structure, gene order, base composition, and nucleotide content to those of previously sequenced species of the subfamily. Phylogenetic analyses were conducted using both maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference methods based on three separate nucleotide sequence datasets in which RNA gene sequences and/or third codon positions were either included or excluded from the concatenated protein-coding gene alignments. The results are consistent with previous phylogenies based on morphology and partial nuclear genome data, except for the lack of support for the monophyly of Leptocentrini. These results show that mitogenome sequences are informative of both ancient and recent divergence patterns within Centrotinae. Full article
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11 pages, 1406 KiB  
Article
Evidence for Two Soybean Looper Strains in the United States with Limited Capacity for Cross-Hybridization
by Rodney N. Nagoshi, Jeffrey A. Davis, Robert L. Meagher, Fred R. Musser, Graham P. Head, Hector Portillo and Henry Teran
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1509; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071509 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 897
Abstract
The noctuid moth soybean looper (SBL), Chrysodeixis includens (Walker) is an economically important pest of soybeans (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) in the southeastern United States. It has characteristics that are of particular concern for pest mitigation that include a broad host range, [...] Read more.
The noctuid moth soybean looper (SBL), Chrysodeixis includens (Walker) is an economically important pest of soybeans (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) in the southeastern United States. It has characteristics that are of particular concern for pest mitigation that include a broad host range, the capacity for annual long-distance flight, and resistance in some populations to important pesticides such as pyrethroids and chitin synthesis inhibitor. The biology of SBL in the United States resembles that of the fellow noctuid fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith), a major pest of corn and several other crops. FAW exhibits a population structure in that it can be divided into two groups (host strains) that differ in their host preferences but are broadly sympatric and exhibit incomplete reproductive isolation. In this paper, strategies used to characterize the FAW strains were applied to SBL to assess the likelihood of population structure in the United States. Evidence is presented for two SBL strains that were defined phylogenetically and display differences in the proportions of a small set of genetic markers. The populations exhibit evidence of reproductive barriers sufficient to allow persistent asymmetry in the distribution of mitochondrial haplotypes. The identified molecular markers will facilitate studies characterizing the behaviors of these two populations, with relevance to pest mitigation and efforts to prevent further dispersal of the resistance traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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14 pages, 9034 KiB  
Article
Genome-Wide RADseq Reveals Genetic Differentiation of Wild and Cultured Populations of Large Yellow Croaker
by Kaifen Zhang, Yongdong Zhou, Weihua Song, Lihua Jiang and Xiaojun Yan
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1508; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071508 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1356
Abstract
Larimichthys crocea (also known as the large yellow croaker) is one of the most economically important marine fishes in China, and research on the ecology and genetics of this species is of immense significance. In this study, we performed restriction site-associated DNA sequencing [...] Read more.
Larimichthys crocea (also known as the large yellow croaker) is one of the most economically important marine fishes in China, and research on the ecology and genetics of this species is of immense significance. In this study, we performed restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq) of 54 individuals collected from four sites in China to analyze the genetic structure and diversity of large yellow croaker at the genome level. It revealed that the large yellow croaker populations in the Ningde and Zhoushan coastal waters can be clearly distinguished. Different genetic diversity indices were used to analyze the genetic diversity of the large yellow croaker, which showed that there was a differentiation trend between the wild and farmed populations in Ningde. Moreover, we identified genetically differentiated genomic regions between the populations. GO gene enrichment analysis identified genes that are related to fatty acid metabolism and growth. These findings enhance our understanding of genetic differentiation and adaptation to different living environments, providing a theoretical basis for the preservation and restoration of the genetic resources of the large yellow croaker. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinformatics and Population Genomics)
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37 pages, 11246 KiB  
Article
GWAS for Early-Establishment QTLs and Their Linkage to Major Phenology-Affecting Genes (Vrn, Ppd, and Eps) in Bread Wheat
by Md. Farhad, Shashi B. Tripathi, Ravi P. Singh, Arun K. Joshi, Pradeep K. Bhati, Manish K. Vishwakarma and Uttam Kumar
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1507; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071507 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1998
Abstract
Farmers in northern and central Indian regions prefer to plant wheat early in the season to take advantage of the remaining soil moisture. By planting crops before the start of the season, it is possible to extend the time frame for spring wheat. [...] Read more.
Farmers in northern and central Indian regions prefer to plant wheat early in the season to take advantage of the remaining soil moisture. By planting crops before the start of the season, it is possible to extend the time frame for spring wheat. The early-wheat-establishment experiment began in the 2017 growing season at the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA) in Ludhiana, India, and, after three years of intensive study, numerous agronomic, physiological, and yield data points were gathered. This study aimed to identify wheat lines suitable for early establishment through an analysis of the agro-morphological traits and the genetic mapping of associated genes or quantitative trait loci (QTLs). Advancing the planting schedule by two–three weeks proved to be advantageous in terms of providing a longer duration for crop growth and reducing the need for irrigation. This is attributed to the presence of residual soil moisture resulting from the monsoon season. Early sowing facilitated the selection of genotypes able to withstand early elevated temperatures and a prolonged phenological period. The ideotype, which includes increased photo-growing degree days for booting and heading, as well as a longer grain-filling period, is better suited to early planting than timely planting. Senescence was delayed in combination with a slower rate of canopy temperature rise, which was an excellent trait for early-adapted ideotypes. Thus, a novel approach to wheat breeding would include a screening of genotypes for early planting and an ideotype design with consistent and appropriate features. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) revealed multiple QTLs linked to early adaptation in terms of the yield and its contributing traits. Among them, 44 novel QTLs were also found along with known loci. Furthermore, the study discovered that the phenology regulatory genes, such as Vrn and Ppd, are in the same genomic region, thereby contributing to early adaptation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wheat Genetic Improvement - Carlotta Award 2022)
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24 pages, 1874 KiB  
Review
Epigenetic Aberrations in Major Psychiatric Diseases Related to Diet and Gut Microbiome Alterations
by Shabnam Nohesara, Hamid Mostafavi Abdolmaleky and Sam Thiagalingam
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1506; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071506 - 24 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2282
Abstract
Nutrition and metabolism modify epigenetic signatures like histone acetylation and DNA methylation. Histone acetylation and DNA methylation in the central nervous system (CNS) can be altered by bioactive nutrients and gut microbiome via the gut–brain axis, which in turn modulate neuronal activity and [...] Read more.
Nutrition and metabolism modify epigenetic signatures like histone acetylation and DNA methylation. Histone acetylation and DNA methylation in the central nervous system (CNS) can be altered by bioactive nutrients and gut microbiome via the gut–brain axis, which in turn modulate neuronal activity and behavior. Notably, the gut microbiome, with more than 1000 bacterial species, collectively contains almost three million functional genes whose products interact with millions of human epigenetic marks and 30,000 genes in a dynamic manner. However, genetic makeup shapes gut microbiome composition, food/nutrient metabolism, and epigenetic landscape, as well. Here, we first discuss the effect of changes in the microbial structure and composition in shaping specific epigenetic alterations in the brain and their role in the onset and progression of major mental disorders. Afterward, potential interactions among maternal diet/environmental factors, nutrition, and gastrointestinal microbiome, and their roles in accelerating or delaying the onset of severe mental illnesses via epigenetic changes will be discussed. We also provide an overview of the association between the gut microbiome, oxidative stress, and inflammation through epigenetic mechanisms. Finally, we present some underlying mechanisms involved in mediating the influence of the gut microbiome and probiotics on mental health via epigenetic modifications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Epigenomics)
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17 pages, 1436 KiB  
Article
APC-Related Phenotypes and Intellectual Disability in 5q Interstitial Deletions: A New Case and Review of the Literature
by Flavia Privitera, Flavia Piccini, Maria Paola Recalcati, Silvia Presi, Silvia Mazzola and Paola Carrera
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1505; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071505 - 23 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1386
Abstract
The 5q deletion syndrome is a relatively rare condition caused by the monoallelic interstitial deletion of the long arm of chromosome 5. Patients described in literature usually present variable dysmorphic features, behavioral disturbance, and intellectual disability (ID); moreover, the involvement of the APC [...] Read more.
The 5q deletion syndrome is a relatively rare condition caused by the monoallelic interstitial deletion of the long arm of chromosome 5. Patients described in literature usually present variable dysmorphic features, behavioral disturbance, and intellectual disability (ID); moreover, the involvement of the APC gene (5q22.2) in the deletion predisposes them to tumoral syndromes (Familial Adenomatous Polyposis and Gardner syndrome). Although the development of gastrointestinal tract malignancies has been extensively described, the genetic causes underlying neurologic manifestations have never been investigated. In this study, we described a new patient with a 19.85 Mb interstitial deletion identified by array-CGH and compared the deletions and the phenotypes reported in other patients already described in the literature and the Decipher database. Overlapping deletions allowed us to highlight a common region in 5q22.1q23.1, identifying KCNN2 (5q22.3) as the most likely candidate gene contributing to the neurologic phenotype. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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16 pages, 1737 KiB  
Article
The Ratio of cf-mtDNA vs. cf-nDNA in the Follicular Fluid of Women Undergoing IVF Is Positively Correlated with Age
by Georgia Tsirka, Athanasios Zikopoulos, Kyriaki Papageorgiou, Charilaos Kostoulas, Ioannis Tsigkas, Efthalia Moustakli, Aris Kaltsas, Eleftheria Sarafi, Theologos M. Michaelidis and Ioannis Georgiou
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1504; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071504 - 23 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1346
Abstract
Age-related mitochondrial markers may facilitate the prognosis of artificial reproductive technology outcomes. In this report, we present our study concerning the ratio of cf-mtDNA/cf-nDNA, namely the amount of cell-free mitochondrial DNA relative to cell-free nuclear DNA, in the follicular fluid (FF) of women [...] Read more.
Age-related mitochondrial markers may facilitate the prognosis of artificial reproductive technology outcomes. In this report, we present our study concerning the ratio of cf-mtDNA/cf-nDNA, namely the amount of cell-free mitochondrial DNA relative to cell-free nuclear DNA, in the follicular fluid (FF) of women undergoing IVF, aiming to generate a molecular fingerprint of oocyte quality. The values of this ratio were measured and compared among three groups of women (101 in total): (A) 31 women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), (B) 34 women younger than 36 years, and (C) 36 women older than 35 years of age. Real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) was performed to quantify the ratio by using nuclear- and mitochondrial-specific primers and analyzed for potential correlation with age and pregnancy rate. Our analysis showed that the level of FF-cf-mtDNA was lower in the group of advanced-age women than in the groups of PCOS and non-PCOS women. Moreover, a significant positive correlation between FF-cf-mtDNA and the number of mature (MII) oocytes was observed. Collectively, the data show that the relative ratio of cf- mtDNA to cf-nDNA content in human FF can be an effective predictor for assessing the corresponding oocyte’s age-related performance in IVF. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics of Infertility)
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10 pages, 1690 KiB  
Communication
Identification of ROH Islands Conserved through Generations in Pigs Belonging to the Nero Lucano Breed
by Paola Di Gregorio, Annamaria Perna, Adriana Di Trana and Andrea Rando
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1503; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071503 - 23 Jul 2023
Viewed by 972
Abstract
The recovery of Nero Lucano (NL) pigs in the Basilicata region (Southern Italy) started in 2001 with the collaboration of several public authorities in order to preserve native breeds that can play a significant economic role both due to their remarkable ability to [...] Read more.
The recovery of Nero Lucano (NL) pigs in the Basilicata region (Southern Italy) started in 2001 with the collaboration of several public authorities in order to preserve native breeds that can play a significant economic role both due to their remarkable ability to adapt to difficult environments and the value of typical products from their area of origin. In this study, by using the Illumina Porcine SNP60 BeadChip, we compared the genetic structures of NL pigs reared in a single farm in two different periods separated by a time interval corresponding to at least three generations. The results showed an increase in the percentage of polymorphic loci, a decrease in the inbreeding coefficient calculated according to ROH genome coverage (FROH), a reduction in the number of ROH longer than 16 Mb and an increase in ROH with a length between 2 and 4 Mb, highlighting a picture of improved genetic variability. In addition, ROH island analysis in the two groups allowed us to identify five conserved regions, located on chromosomes 1, 4, 8, 14 and 15, containing genes involved in biological processes affecting immune response, reproduction and production traits. Only the conserved ROH island on chromosome 14 contains markers which, according to the literature, are associated with QTLs affecting thoracic vertebra number, teat number, gestation length, age at puberty and mean platelet volume. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends and Prospects in Pig Genomics and Genetics)
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18 pages, 8286 KiB  
Article
Drosophila as Model System to Study Ras-Mediated Oncogenesis: The Case of the Tensin Family of Proteins
by Ana Martínez-Abarca Millán, Jennifer Soler Beatty, Andrea Valencia Expósito and María D. Martín-Bermudo
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1502; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071502 - 23 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1417
Abstract
Oncogenic mutations in the small GTPase Ras contribute to ~30% of human cancers. However, tissue growth induced by oncogenic Ras is restrained by the induction of cellular senescence, and additional mutations are required to induce tumor progression. Therefore, identifying cooperating cancer genes is [...] Read more.
Oncogenic mutations in the small GTPase Ras contribute to ~30% of human cancers. However, tissue growth induced by oncogenic Ras is restrained by the induction of cellular senescence, and additional mutations are required to induce tumor progression. Therefore, identifying cooperating cancer genes is of paramount importance. Recently, the tensin family of focal adhesion proteins, TNS1-4, have emerged as regulators of carcinogenesis, yet their role in cancer appears somewhat controversial. Around 90% of human cancers are of epithelial origin. We have used the Drosophila wing imaginal disc epithelium as a model system to gain insight into the roles of two orthologs of human TNS2 and 4, blistery (by) and PVRAP, in epithelial cancer progression. We have generated null mutations in PVRAP and found that, as is the case for by and mammalian tensins, PVRAP mutants are viable. We have also found that elimination of either PVRAP or by potentiates RasV12-mediated wing disc hyperplasia. Furthermore, our results have unraveled a mechanism by which tensins may limit Ras oncogenic capacity, the regulation of cell shape and growth. These results demonstrate that Drosophila tensins behave as suppressors of Ras-driven tissue hyperplasia, suggesting that the roles of tensins as modulators of cancer progression might be evolutionarily conserved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drosophila: A Genetic Model for Studying Human Diseases)
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25 pages, 8201 KiB  
Article
Spatial Colinear but Broken Temporal Expression of Duplicated ParaHox Genes in Asexually Reproducing Annelids, Nais communis and Pristina longiseta
by Roman P. Kostyuchenko and Artem V. Amosov
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1501; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071501 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1545
Abstract
ParaHox genes are key developmental regulators involved in the patterning of the digestive tract along the anteroposterior axis and the development of the nervous system. Most studies have focused on the function of these genes in embryogenesis, while their expression patterns in postembryonic [...] Read more.
ParaHox genes are key developmental regulators involved in the patterning of the digestive tract along the anteroposterior axis and the development of the nervous system. Most studies have focused on the function of these genes in embryogenesis, while their expression patterns in postembryonic development often remain unknown. In this study, we identified for the first time all ParaHox orthologs in two naidid oligochaetes, N. communis and P. longiseta, and described their expression patterns during normal growth and fission in these animals. We showed that Gsx and Cdx are presented by two paralogs, while Xlox is a single copy gene in both species. Using whole-mount in situ hybridization, we also found that orthologs, except for the Xlox gene, have similar activity patterns with minor differences in details, while the expression patterns of paralogs can differ significantly. However, all these genes are involved in axial patterning and/or in tissue remodeling during growth and asexual reproduction in naidids. Moreover, during paratomic fission, these genes are expressed with spatial colinearity but temporal colinearity is broken. The results of this study may be evidence of the functional diversification of duplicated genes and suggest involvement of the ParaHox genes in whole-body patterning during growth and asexual reproduction in annelids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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18 pages, 2637 KiB  
Article
Neutral Forces and Balancing Selection Interplay to Shape the Major Histocompatibility Complex Spatial Patterns in the Striped Hamster in Inner Mongolia: Suggestive of Broad-Scale Local Adaptation
by Pengbo Liu, Guichang Li, Ning Zhao, Xiuping Song, Jun Wang, Xinfei Shi, Bin Wang, Lu Zhang, Li Dong, Qingduo Li, Qiyong Liu and Liang Lu
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1500; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071500 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1218
Abstract
Background: The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays a key role in the adaptive immune response to pathogens due to its extraordinary polymorphism. However, the spatial patterns of MHC variation in the striped hamster remain unclear, particularly regarding the relative contribution of the balancing [...] Read more.
Background: The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays a key role in the adaptive immune response to pathogens due to its extraordinary polymorphism. However, the spatial patterns of MHC variation in the striped hamster remain unclear, particularly regarding the relative contribution of the balancing selection in shaping MHC spatial variation and diversity compared to neutral forces. Methods: In this study, we investigated the immunogenic variation of the striped hamster in four wild populations in Inner Mongolia which experience a heterogeneous parasitic burden. Our goal was to identify local adaptation by comparing the genetic structure at the MHC with that at seven microsatellite loci, taking into account neutral processes. Results: We observed significant variation in parasite pressure among sites, with parasite burden showing a correlation with temperature and precipitation. Molecular analysis revealed a similar co-structure between MHC and microsatellite loci. We observed lower genetic differentiation at MHC loci compared to microsatellite loci, and no correlation was found between the two. Conclusions: Overall, these results suggest a complex interplay between neutral evolutionary forces and balancing selection in shaping the spatial patterns of MHC variation. Local adaptation was not detected on a small scale but may be applicable on a larger scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Population Genetics of Wildlife Animals)
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18 pages, 10388 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Mitochondrial Genome Sequences between Two Palaemon Species of the Family Palaemonidae (Decapoda: Caridea): Gene Rearrangement and Phylogenetic Implications
by Yuman Sun, Jian Chen, Yingying Ye, Kaida Xu and Jiji Li
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1499; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071499 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1045
Abstract
To further understand the origin and evolution of Palaemonidae (Decapoda: Caridea), we determined the mitochondrial genome sequence of Palaemon macrodactylus and Palaemon tenuidactylus. The entire mitochondrial genome sequences of these two Palaemon species encompassed 37 typical genes, including 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 2 [...] Read more.
To further understand the origin and evolution of Palaemonidae (Decapoda: Caridea), we determined the mitochondrial genome sequence of Palaemon macrodactylus and Palaemon tenuidactylus. The entire mitochondrial genome sequences of these two Palaemon species encompassed 37 typical genes, including 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 2 ribosomal RNA genes (rRNAs), and 22 transfer RNA genes (tRNAs), and a control region (CR). The lengths of their mitochondrial genomes were 15,744 bp (P. macrodactylus) and 15,735 bp (P. tenuidactylus), respectively. We analyzed their genomic features and structural functions. In comparison with the ancestral Decapoda, these two newly sequenced Palaemon species exhibited a translocation event, where the gene order was trnK-trnD instead of trnD-trnK. Based on phylogenetic analysis constructed from 13 PCGs, the 12 families from Caridea can be divided into four major clades. Furthermore, it was revealed that Alpheidae and Palaemonidae formed sister groups, supporting the monophyly of various families within Caridea. These findings highlight the significant gene rearrangements within Palaemonidae and provide valuable evidence for the phylogenetic relationships within Caridea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitochondrial DNA Replication and Transcription)
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11 pages, 3037 KiB  
Article
Effect of Bovine MEF2A Gene Expression on Proliferation and Apoptosis of Myoblast Cells
by Jinkui Sun, Yong Ruan, Jiali Xu, Pengfei Shi and Houqiang Xu
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1498; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071498 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 947
Abstract
Myocyte enhancer factor 2A (MEF2A) is a member of the myocyte enhancer factor 2 family. MEF2A is widely distributed in various tissues and organs and participates in various physiological processes. This study aimed to investigate the effect of MEF2A expression on [...] Read more.
Myocyte enhancer factor 2A (MEF2A) is a member of the myocyte enhancer factor 2 family. MEF2A is widely distributed in various tissues and organs and participates in various physiological processes. This study aimed to investigate the effect of MEF2A expression on the proliferation and apoptosis of bovine myoblasts. CCK8, ELISA, cell cycle, and apoptosis analyses were conducted to assess cell status. In addition, the mRNA expression levels of genes associated with bovine myoblast proliferation and apoptosis were evaluated using RT-qPCR. The results showed that the upregulation of MEF2A mRNA promoted the proliferation rate of myoblasts, shortened the cycle process, and increased the anti-apoptotic rate. Furthermore, the RT-qPCR results showed that the upregulation of MEF2A mRNA significantly increased the cell proliferation factors MyoD1 and IGF1, cell cycle factors CDK2 and CCNA2, and the apoptotic factors Bcl2 and BAD (p < 0.01). These results show that the MEF2A gene can positively regulate myoblast proliferation and anti-apoptosis, providing a basis for the analysis of the regulatory mechanism of the MEF2A gene on bovine growth and development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bovine Functional Genomics and Epigenetics)
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16 pages, 1607 KiB  
Article
Genetic Ancestry Estimates within Dutch Family Units and Across Genotyping Arrays: Insights from Empirical Analysis Using Two Estimation Methods
by Jeffrey J. Beck, Talitha Ahmed, Casey T. Finnicum, Koos Zwinderman, Erik A. Ehli, Dorret I. Boomsma and Jouke Jan Hottenga
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1497; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071497 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1039
Abstract
Accurate inference of genetic ancestry is crucial for population-based association studies, accounting for population heterogeneity and structure. This study analyzes genome-wide SNP data from the Netherlands Twin Register to compare genetic ancestry estimates. The focus is on the comparison of ancestry estimates between [...] Read more.
Accurate inference of genetic ancestry is crucial for population-based association studies, accounting for population heterogeneity and structure. This study analyzes genome-wide SNP data from the Netherlands Twin Register to compare genetic ancestry estimates. The focus is on the comparison of ancestry estimates between family members and individuals genotyped on multiple arrays (Affymetrix 6.0, Affymetrix Axiom, and Illumina GSA). Two conventional methods, principal component analysis and ADMIXTURE, were implemented to estimate ancestry, each serving its specific purpose, rather than for direct comparison. The results reveal that as the degree of genetic relatedness decreases, the Euclidean distances of genetic ancestry estimates between family members significantly increase (empirical p < 0.001), regardless of the estimation method and genotyping array. Ancestry estimates among individuals genotyped on multiple arrays also show statistically significant differences (empirical p < 0.001). Additionally, this study investigates the relationship between the ancestry estimates of non-identical twin offspring with ancestrally diverse parents and those with ancestrally similar parents. The results indicate a statistically significant weak correlation between the variation in ancestry estimates among offspring and differences in ancestry estimates among parents (Spearman’s rho: 0.07, p = 0.005). This study highlights the utility of current methods in inferring genetic ancestry, emphasizing the importance of reference population composition in determining ancestry estimates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics)
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16 pages, 2163 KiB  
Article
Evolutionary Rates, Divergence Rates, and Performance of Individual Mitochondrial Genes Based on Phylogenetic Analysis of Copepoda
by Junzong He, Zhihao Zhou, Yan Huang, Jinmei Feng, Wenxiang Li, Guitang Wang and Congjie Hua
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1496; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071496 - 22 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1312
Abstract
Copepoda is a large and diverse group of crustaceans, which is widely distributed worldwide. It encompasses roughly 9 orders, whose phylogeny remains unresolved. We sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of Sinergasilus major (Markevich, 1940) and used it to explore the phylogeny and [...] Read more.
Copepoda is a large and diverse group of crustaceans, which is widely distributed worldwide. It encompasses roughly 9 orders, whose phylogeny remains unresolved. We sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of Sinergasilus major (Markevich, 1940) and used it to explore the phylogeny and mitogenomic evolution of Copepoda. The mitogenome of S. major (14,588 bp) encodes the standard 37 genes as well as a putative control region, and molecular features are highly conserved compared to other Copepoda mitogenomes. Comparative analyses indicated that the nad2 gene has relatively high nucleotide diversity and evolutionary rate, as well as the largest amount of phylogenetic information. These results indicate that nad2 may be a better marker to investigate phylogenetic relationships among closely related species in Copepoda than the commonly used cox1 gene. The sister-group relationship of Siphonostomatoida and Cyclopoida was recovered with strong support in our study. The only topological ambiguity was found within Cyclopoida, which might be caused by the rapid evolution and sparse taxon sampling of this lineage. More taxa and genes should be used to reconstruct the Copepoda phylogeny in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phylogenetics and Mitochondrial Evolution)
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14 pages, 2320 KiB  
Article
Investigating the Migratory Behavior of Soybean Looper, a Major Pest of Soybean, through Comparisons with the Corn Pest Fall Armyworm Using Mitochondrial Haplotypes and a Sex-Linked Marker
by Rodney N. Nagoshi, Jeffrey A. Davis, Robert L. Meagher, Fred R. Musser, Graham P. Head, Hector Portillo and Henry Teran
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1495; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071495 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1115
Abstract
The Noctuid moth soybean looper (SBL), Chrysodeixis includens (Walker), is an economically important pest of soybean (Glycine max (Linnaeus) Merrill). Because it is not known to survive freezing winters, permanent populations in the United States are believed to be limited to the [...] Read more.
The Noctuid moth soybean looper (SBL), Chrysodeixis includens (Walker), is an economically important pest of soybean (Glycine max (Linnaeus) Merrill). Because it is not known to survive freezing winters, permanent populations in the United States are believed to be limited to the southern regions of Texas and Florida, yet its geographical range of infestations annually extend to Canada. This indicates annual migrations of thousands of kilometers during the spring and summer growing season. This behavior is like that of the fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith), also a Noctuid that is a major global pest of corn. SBL and FAW are projected to have very similar distributions of permanent populations in North America based on climate suitability modeling and the overlap in the distribution of their preferred host plants (corn and soybean). It therefore seems likely that the two species will display similar migratory behavior in the United States. This was tested by identifying genetic markers in SBL analogous to those successfully used to delineate FAW migratory pathways and comparing the distribution patterns of the markers from the two species. Contrary to expectations, the results indicate substantial differences in migratory behavior that appear to be related to differences in the timing of corn and soybean plantings. These findings underscore the importance of agricultural practices in influencing pest migration patterns, in particular the timing of host availability relative to mean seasonal air transport patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers in ‘Animal Genetics and Genomics’)
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8 pages, 1824 KiB  
Brief Report
Integration of Phenotype Term Prioritization and Gene Expression Analysis Reveals a Novel Variant in the PERP Gene Associated with Autosomal Recessive Erythrokeratoderma
by Adrián González-Quintana, Rocío Garrido-Moraga, Sara I. Palencia-Pérez, Ángela Hernández-Martín, Jon Sánchez-Munárriz, José M. Lezana-Rosales, Juan F. Quesada-Espinosa, Miguel A. Martín and Ana Arteche-López
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1494; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071494 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1002
Abstract
Hereditary palmoplantar keratodermas (PPKs) are a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by excessive epidermal thickening of palms and soles. Several genes have been associated with PPK including PERP, a gene encoding a crucial component of desmosomes that has been [...] Read more.
Hereditary palmoplantar keratodermas (PPKs) are a clinically and genetically heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by excessive epidermal thickening of palms and soles. Several genes have been associated with PPK including PERP, a gene encoding a crucial component of desmosomes that has been associated with dominant and recessive keratoderma. We report a patient with recessive erythrokeratoderma (EK) in which whole exome sequencing (WES) prioritized by human phenotype ontology (HPO) terms revealed the presence of the novel variant c.153C > A in the N-terminal region the PERP gene. This variant is predicted to have a nonsense effect, p.(Cys51Ter), resulting in a premature stop codon. We demonstrated a marked reduction in gene expression in cultured skin fibroblasts obtained from the patient. Despite the PERP gene is expressed at low levels in fibroblasts, our finding supports a loss-of-function (LoF) mechanism for the identified variant, as previously suggested in recessive EK. Our study underscores the importance of integrating HPO analysis when using WES for molecular genetic diagnosis in a clinical setting, as it facilitates continuous updates regarding gene–clinical feature associations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Genetic Diagnosis)
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15 pages, 3380 KiB  
Article
Morphology and Mitochondrial Lineage Investigations Corroborate the Systematic Status and Pliocene Colonization of Suncus niger (Mammalia: Eulipotyphla) in the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot of India
by Shantanu Kundu, Manokaran Kamalakannan, Ah Ran Kim, Vishwanath D. Hegde, Dhriti Banerjee, Won-Kyo Jung, Young-Mog Kim and Hyun-Woo Kim
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1493; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071493 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1273
Abstract
The Indian highland shrew, Suncus niger (Horsfield, 1851), is the least studied soricid species from its original range distribution in Southern India, with several systematics conundrums. Following its discovery in 1851, the species was synonymized with Suncus montanus (Kelaart, 1850) (endemic to Sri [...] Read more.
The Indian highland shrew, Suncus niger (Horsfield, 1851), is the least studied soricid species from its original range distribution in Southern India, with several systematics conundrums. Following its discovery in 1851, the species was synonymized with Suncus montanus (Kelaart, 1850) (endemic to Sri Lanka) and subsequently identified as a separate Indian population. However, the systematic status of S. niger from topotype specimens in Southern India has yet to be determined through an integrated approach. Both taxonomy and mitochondrial genetic data (Cytochrome b and 16S ribosomal RNA) were used to re-examine the systematics of S. niger. The mtCytb gene clearly distinguished topotypic S. niger from other Suncus species, with high genetic divergences varying from 8.49% to 26.29%. Further, the Bayesian and maximum likelihood topologies clearly segregated S. niger from other congeners and corroborated the sister relationship with S. stoliczkanus with expected divergence in the late Pliocene (2.62 MYA). The TimeTree analysis also exhibits a strong matrilineal affinity of S. dayi (endemic to India) toward the African species. The current study hypothesizes that the ancestor of the soricids evolved in Africa and that genetic lineages were subsequently shifted by plate tectonic events that subsequently colonized different continents as distinct species during the late Miocene (Tortonian) to the Holocene era. In addition to the new range expansion and elevation records of S. niger in the Central Western Ghats, we propose that additional sampling across its distribution, as well as the use of multiple genetic markers, may be useful in determining the genetic diversity and population structure of this endemic species. The present study also recommends that more molecular data on the Soricomorphs lineages, and estimates of their divergence times, will shed light on the evolution of these small mammals on Earth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Population Genetics of Wildlife Animals)
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10 pages, 2083 KiB  
Article
Context and Mutation in Gymnosperm Chloroplast DNA
by Brian R. Morton
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1492; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071492 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 908
Abstract
Mutations and subsequent repair processes are known to be strongly context-dependent in the flowering-plant chloroplast genome. At least six flanking bases, three on each side, can have an influence on the relative rates of different types of mutation at any given site. In [...] Read more.
Mutations and subsequent repair processes are known to be strongly context-dependent in the flowering-plant chloroplast genome. At least six flanking bases, three on each side, can have an influence on the relative rates of different types of mutation at any given site. In this analysis, examine context and substitution at noncoding and fourfold degenerate coding sites in gymnosperm DNA. The sequences are analyzed in sets of three, allowing the inference of the substitution direction and the generation of context-dependent rate matrices. The size of the dataset limits the analysis to the tetranucleotide context of the sites, but the evidence shows that there are significant contextual effects, with patterns that are similar to those observed in angiosperms. These effects most likely represent an influence on the underlying mutation/repair dynamics. The data extend the plastome lineages that feature very complex patterns of mutation, which can have significant effects on the evolutionary dynamics of the chloroplast genome. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Plastid Genome)
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12 pages, 2270 KiB  
Article
The Diversity in Grapes of Vitis labrusca Grown in Bolu (Türkiye) Assessed by Multivariate Approaches
by Emrah Güler, Emre Kan and Mehmet Settar Ünal
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1491; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071491 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1127
Abstract
The grape is one of the most produced and processed horticultural crops. This study evaluated the grape genetic resource belonging to the Vitis labrusca species. The diversity was assessed according to morphometric, antioxidant, physicochemical, and colorimetric characteristics. The diversity was evaluated using a [...] Read more.
The grape is one of the most produced and processed horticultural crops. This study evaluated the grape genetic resource belonging to the Vitis labrusca species. The diversity was assessed according to morphometric, antioxidant, physicochemical, and colorimetric characteristics. The diversity was evaluated using a variation index and multivariate analyses. The bunch weight of the vines exhibited a range from 21.05 g to 162.46 g, with a coefficient of variation (CV) of 38.97%. The average bunch weight was 64.74 g. In terms of the berry properties, the highest CV was observed for the berry weight (21.95%). The peel thickness displayed a CV of 36.40%, and an average of 0.23 mm. The CVs for the juice characteristics in the berries of the studied vines were 7.11%, 16.61%, 19.41%, and 28.10% for the pH, TSS, must yield, and TA, respectively. The TPC of the accessions exhibited a notably low variation (CV = 4.63%). The color properties of the accessions displayed an immense variation, except for the L* values. The hierarchical clustering analysis divided the accessions into two main clusters, which both had two subclusters. The multivariate approaches separated individuals into different groups, and they were considered useful tools for utilization in the genetic diversity assessments. Further studies on the cultivation technique and crossbreeding with Vitis vinifera will provide more insights into the population, and this study will be a source for upcoming studies on V. labrusca in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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13 pages, 1041 KiB  
Article
Germline CNV Detection through Whole-Exome Sequencing (WES) Data Analysis Enhances Resolution of Rare Genetic Diseases
by Faidon-Nikolaos Tilemis, Nikolaos M. Marinakis, Danai Veltra, Maria Svingou, Kyriaki Kekou, Anastasios Mitrakos, Maria Tzetis, Konstantina Kosma, Periklis Makrythanasis, Joanne Traeger-Synodinos and Christalena Sofocleous
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1490; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071490 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1848
Abstract
Whole-Exome Sequencing (WES) has proven valuable in the characterization of underlying genetic defects in most rare diseases (RDs). Copy Number Variants (CNVs) were initially thought to escape detection. Recent technological advances enabled CNV calling from WES data with the use of accurate and [...] Read more.
Whole-Exome Sequencing (WES) has proven valuable in the characterization of underlying genetic defects in most rare diseases (RDs). Copy Number Variants (CNVs) were initially thought to escape detection. Recent technological advances enabled CNV calling from WES data with the use of accurate and highly sensitive bioinformatic tools. Amongst 920 patients referred for WES, 454 unresolved cases were further analysed using the ExomeDepth algorithm. CNVs were called, evaluated and categorized according to ACMG/ClinGen recommendations. Causative CNVs were identified in 40 patients, increasing the diagnostic yield of WES from 50.7% (466/920) to 55% (506/920). Twenty-two CNVs were available for validation and were all confirmed; of these, five were novel. Implementation of the ExomeDepth tool promoted effective identification of phenotype-relevant and/or novel CNVs. Among the advantages of calling CNVs from WES data, characterization of complex genotypes comprising both CNVs and SNVs minimizes cost and time to final diagnosis, while allowing differentiation between true or false homozygosity, as well as compound heterozygosity of variants in AR genes. The use of a specific algorithm for calling CNVs from WES data enables ancillary detection of different types of causative genetic variants, making WES a critical first-tier diagnostic test for patients with RDs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
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13 pages, 1779 KiB  
Article
The Effect of DNA Methylation in the Development and Progression of Chronic Kidney Disease in the General Population: An Epigenome-Wide Association Study Using the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study Database
by Ji-Eun Kim, Min-Jee Jo, Eunjung Cho, Shin-Young Ahn, Young-Joo Kwon, Jeong-An Gim and Gang-Jee Ko
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1489; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071489 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1308
Abstract
Background: Although knowledge of the genetic factors influencing kidney disease is increasing, epigenetic profiles, which are associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD), have not been fully elucidated. We sought to identify the DNA methylation status of CpG sites associated with reduced kidney function [...] Read more.
Background: Although knowledge of the genetic factors influencing kidney disease is increasing, epigenetic profiles, which are associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD), have not been fully elucidated. We sought to identify the DNA methylation status of CpG sites associated with reduced kidney function and examine whether the identified CpG sites are associated with CKD development. Method: We analyzed DNA methylation patterns of 440 participants in the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study (KoGES) with estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs) ≥ 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 at baseline. CKD development was defined as a decrease in the eGFR of <60 at any time during an 8-year follow-up period (“CKD prediction” analysis). In addition, among the 440 participants, 49 participants who underwent a second methylation profiling were assessed for an association between a decline in kidney function and changes in the degree of methylation of CpG sites during the 8 years (“kidney function slope” analysis). Results: In the CKD prediction analysis, methylation profiles of a total of 403,129 CpG sites were evaluated at baseline in 440 participants, and increased and decreased methylation of 268 and 189 CpG sites, respectively, were significantly correlated with the development of CKD in multivariable logistic regression. During kidney function slope analysis using follow-up methylation profiles of 49 participants, the percent methylation changes in 913 CpG sites showed a linear relationship with the percent change in eGFR during 8 years. During functional enrichment analyses for significant CpG sites found in the CKD prediction and kidney function slope analyses, we found that those CpG sites represented MAPK, PI3K/Akt, and Rap1 pathways. In addition, three CpG sites from three genes, NPHS2, CHCHD4, and AHR, were found to be significant in the CKD prediction analysis and related to a decline in kidney function. Conclusion: It is suggested that DNA methylation on specific genes is associated with the development of CKD and the deterioration of kidney function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetics: Mechanisms in Toxicology and Disease)
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15 pages, 2709 KiB  
Article
Tumor Necrosis Factor-α G-308A Polymorphism and Sporadic IgA Nephropathy: A Meta-Analysis Using a Genetic Model-Free Approach
by Maria Tziastoudi, Ioanna Chronopoulou, Georgios Pissas, Christos Cholevas, Theodoros Eleftheriadis and Ioannis Stefanidis
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1488; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071488 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1061
Abstract
Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is a potent pro-inflammatory cytokine, involved in the pathogenesis and progression of immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN). A bi-allelic polymorphism in the promoter region, at position -308 (G/A) of the TNF-α gene (rs1800629) is associated with an increased [...] Read more.
Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is a potent pro-inflammatory cytokine, involved in the pathogenesis and progression of immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN). A bi-allelic polymorphism in the promoter region, at position -308 (G/A) of the TNF-α gene (rs1800629) is associated with an increased TNF-a production. However, several previous association studies of TNF-α G-308A polymorphism and IgAN rendered contradictory findings. The objective of the present study is to shed light on these inconclusive results and clarify the role of TNF-α and any possible contribution of this factor in the development and progression of sporadic IgAN. Therefore, a meta-analysis of all available genetic association studies relating the TNF-α G-308A polymorphism to the risk for development and/or progression of IgAN was conducted. Seven studies were included in the meta-analysis. Three of them included populations of European descent (Caucasians) and four involved Asians. The generalized odds ratio (ORG) was used to estimate the risk for the development and/or progression of the disease. Overall, the meta-analysis did not detect any significant association between the G-308A variant and both the risk of developing IgAN and the risk for progression of IgAN. In conclusion, these results suggest that TNF-α does not constitute a key component in the genetic architecture of sporadic IgAN. However, further evidence deciphering the influence of TNF-α on IgAN is still needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
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11 pages, 2284 KiB  
Article
Multiple Chromosome Fissions, Including That of the X Chromosome, in Aulacocyclus tricuspis Kaup (Coleoptera, Passalidae) from New Caledonia: Characterization of a Rare but Recurrent Pathway of Chromosome Evolution in Animals
by Bernard Dutrillaux, Anne-Marie Dutrillaux, Karen Salazar and Stéphane Boucher
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1487; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071487 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1017
Abstract
The male karyotype of Aulacocyclus tricuspis Kaup 1868 (Coleoptera, Scarabaeoidea, Passalidae, Aulacocyclinae) from New Caledonia contains an exceptionally high number of chromosomes, almost all of which are acrocentric (53,X1X2Y). Unlike the karyotypes of other species of the pantropical family Passalidae, which are principally [...] Read more.
The male karyotype of Aulacocyclus tricuspis Kaup 1868 (Coleoptera, Scarabaeoidea, Passalidae, Aulacocyclinae) from New Caledonia contains an exceptionally high number of chromosomes, almost all of which are acrocentric (53,X1X2Y). Unlike the karyotypes of other species of the pantropical family Passalidae, which are principally composed of metacentric chromosomes, this karyotype is derived by fissions involving almost all the autosomes after breakage in their centromere region. This presupposes the duplication of the centromeres. More surprising is the X chromosome fragmentation. The rarity of X chromosome fission during evolution may be explained by the deleterious effects of alterations to the mechanisms of gene dosage compensation (resulting from the over-expression of the unique X chromosome in male insects). Herein, we propose that its occurrence and persistence were facilitated by (1) the presence of amplified heterochromatin in the X chromosome of Passalidae ancestor, and (2) the capacity of heterochromatin to modulate the regulation of gene expression. In A. tricuspis, we suggest that the portion containing the X proper genes and either a gene-free heterochromatin fragment or a fragment containing a few genes insulated from the peculiar regulation of the X by surrounding heterochromatin were separated by fission. Finally, we show that similar karyotypes with multiple acrocentric autosomes and unusual sex chromosomes rarely occur in species of Coleoptera belonging to the families Vesperidae, Tenebrionidae, and Chrysomelidae. Unlike classical Robertsonian evolution by centric fusion, this pathway of chromosome evolution involving the centric fission of autosomes has rarely been documented in animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cytogenomics)
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13 pages, 930 KiB  
Article
Presence of Human DNA on Household Dogs and Its Bi-Directional Transfer
by Heidi Monkman, Bianca Szkuta and Roland A. H. van Oorschot
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1486; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071486 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3508
Abstract
Awareness of the factors surrounding the transfer of DNA from a person, item, or surface to another person, item, or surface is highly relevant during investigations of alleged criminal activity. Animals in domestic environments could be a victim, offender, or innocent party associated [...] Read more.
Awareness of the factors surrounding the transfer of DNA from a person, item, or surface to another person, item, or surface is highly relevant during investigations of alleged criminal activity. Animals in domestic environments could be a victim, offender, or innocent party associated with a crime. There is, however, very limited knowledge of human DNA transfer, persistence, prevalence, and recovery (DNA TPPR) associated with domestic animals. This pilot study aimed to improve our understanding of DNA TPPR associated with domestic dogs by collecting and analysing samples from various external areas of dogs of various breeds, interactions with humans, and living arrangements, and conducting a series of tests to investigate the possibility of dogs being vectors for the indirect transfer of human DNA. Reference DNA profiles from the dog owners and others living in the same residence were acquired to assist interpretation of the findings. The findings show that human DNA is prevalent on dogs, and in the majority of samples, two-person mixtures are present. Dogs were also found to be vectors for the transfer of human DNA, with DNA transferred from the dog to a gloved hand during patting and a sheet while walking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Genetics and Genomics)
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16 pages, 6398 KiB  
Article
Two New Mitogenomes of Bibionidae and Their Comparison within the Infraorder Bibionomorpha (Diptera)
by Mei-Ling Xiao, Huan Yuan, Ting-Jing Li and Bin Chen
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1485; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071485 - 21 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1038
Abstract
Despite the worldwide distribution and rich diversity of the infraorder Bibionomorpha in Diptera, the characteristics of mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) are still little-known, and the phylogenetics and evolution of the infraorder remains controversial. In the present study, we report complete and annotated mitogenome sequences [...] Read more.
Despite the worldwide distribution and rich diversity of the infraorder Bibionomorpha in Diptera, the characteristics of mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) are still little-known, and the phylogenetics and evolution of the infraorder remains controversial. In the present study, we report complete and annotated mitogenome sequences of Penthetria simplioipes and Plecia hardyi representing Bibionidae. This is the first report of the complete mitogenomes for the superfamily Bibionoidea. There are 37 genes in each of the complete mitogenomes of all 20 studied species from eight families of four superfamilies within infraorder Bibionomorpha. The Ka/Ks analysis suggests that all 13 PCGs have undergone purifying selection. The gene rearrangement events exist in some families (Keroplatidae, Sciaridae, and Cecidomyiidae) but not in Mycetophilidae in Sciaroidea and also in Scatopsoidea, Anisopodoidea, and Bibionoidea, which suggests that these rearrangement events are derived in the late period in the evolution of the Bibionomorpha. The phylogenetic analysis suggests the phylogenetic relationships of Scatopsoidea + (Anisopodoidea + (Bibionoidea + Sciaroidea)) in Bibionomorpha. The divergence time analysis suggests that Bibionomorpha originated in the Triassic, Scatopsoidea and Anisopodoidea in the late Triassic, Bibionoidea in the Jurassic, and Sciaroidea in the Jurassic to the Cretaceous. The work lays a base for the study of mitogenomes in Bibionomorpha but further work and broader taxon sampling are necessary for a better understanding of the phylogenetics and evolution of the infraorder. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics)
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37 pages, 2571 KiB  
Review
Integrated Genomic Selection for Accelerating Breeding Programs of Climate-Smart Cereals
by Dwaipayan Sinha, Arun Kumar Maurya, Gholamreza Abdi, Muhammad Majeed, Rachna Agarwal, Rashmi Mukherjee, Sharmistha Ganguly, Robina Aziz, Manika Bhatia, Aqsa Majgaonkar, Sanchita Seal, Moumita Das, Swastika Banerjee, Shahana Chowdhury, Sherif Babatunde Adeyemi and Jen-Tsung Chen
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1484; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071484 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 5597
Abstract
Rapidly rising population and climate changes are two critical issues that require immediate action to achieve sustainable development goals. The rising population is posing increased demand for food, thereby pushing for an acceleration in agricultural production. Furthermore, increased anthropogenic activities have resulted in [...] Read more.
Rapidly rising population and climate changes are two critical issues that require immediate action to achieve sustainable development goals. The rising population is posing increased demand for food, thereby pushing for an acceleration in agricultural production. Furthermore, increased anthropogenic activities have resulted in environmental pollution such as water pollution and soil degradation as well as alterations in the composition and concentration of environmental gases. These changes are affecting not only biodiversity loss but also affecting the physio-biochemical processes of crop plants, resulting in a stress-induced decline in crop yield. To overcome such problems and ensure the supply of food material, consistent efforts are being made to develop strategies and techniques to increase crop yield and to enhance tolerance toward climate-induced stress. Plant breeding evolved after domestication and initially remained dependent on phenotype-based selection for crop improvement. But it has grown through cytological and biochemical methods, and the newer contemporary methods are based on DNA-marker-based strategies that help in the selection of agronomically useful traits. These are now supported by high-end molecular biology tools like PCR, high-throughput genotyping and phenotyping, data from crop morpho-physiology, statistical tools, bioinformatics, and machine learning. After establishing its worth in animal breeding, genomic selection (GS), an improved variant of marker-assisted selection (MAS), has made its way into crop-breeding programs as a powerful selection tool. To develop novel breeding programs as well as innovative marker-based models for genetic evaluation, GS makes use of molecular genetic markers. GS can amend complex traits like yield as well as shorten the breeding period, making it advantageous over pedigree breeding and marker-assisted selection (MAS). It reduces the time and resources that are required for plant breeding while allowing for an increased genetic gain of complex attributes. It has been taken to new heights by integrating innovative and advanced technologies such as speed breeding, machine learning, and environmental/weather data to further harness the GS potential, an approach known as integrated genomic selection (IGS). This review highlights the IGS strategies, procedures, integrated approaches, and associated emerging issues, with a special emphasis on cereal crops. In this domain, efforts have been taken to highlight the potential of this cutting-edge innovation to develop climate-smart crops that can endure abiotic stresses with the motive of keeping production and quality at par with the global food demand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Feature Papers: 'Plant Genetics and Genomics' Section)
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16 pages, 3838 KiB  
Article
Functional Characteristics of Diverse PAX6 Mutations Associated with Isolated Foveal Hypoplasia
by Itsuka Matsushita, Hiroto Izumi, Shinji Ueno, Takaaki Hayashi, Kaoru Fujinami, Kazushige Tsunoda, Takeshi Iwata, Yoshiaki Kiuchi and Hiroyuki Kondo
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1483; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071483 - 21 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1008
Abstract
The human fovea is a specialized pit structure in the central retina. Foveal hypoplasia is a condition where the foveal pit does not fully develop, and it is associated with poor vision. Autosomal dominant isolated foveal hypoplasia (FVH1) is a rare condition of [...] Read more.
The human fovea is a specialized pit structure in the central retina. Foveal hypoplasia is a condition where the foveal pit does not fully develop, and it is associated with poor vision. Autosomal dominant isolated foveal hypoplasia (FVH1) is a rare condition of foveal hypoplasia (FH) that lacks any other ocular manifestations. FVH1 is associated with hypomorphic mutations in the PAX6 gene that encodes a sequence-specific DNA-binding transcription factor for morphogenesis and evolution of the eye. We report our findings in 17 patients with PAX6 mutations associated with FVH1 or FH with aniridia and corneal opacities. Patients with three mutations, p.V78E, p.V83F and p.R128H, in the C-terminal subdomain of the paired domain (CTS) consistently have severe FH. Luciferase assays for a single reporter containing a representative PAX6 binding site indicated that the transcriptional activities of these mutations were significantly reduced, comparable to that of the truncation mutation of p.G65Rfs*5. Patients with p.P20S in the N-terminal subdomain of the paired domain, and a patient with p.N365K in the proline-serine-threonine-rich domain (PSTD) had mild FH. A patient with p.Q255L in the homeodomain had severe FH. The P20S and Q255L mutants did not affect the transcriptional activity. Mutant N365K has a retained DNA-binding activity but a reduced transcriptional activity, due to a low PSTD transactivation. These findings demonstrated that mutations associated with FVH1 underlie a functional divergence between DNA-binding ability and transcriptional activity. We conclude that a wide range of mutations in the PAX6 gene is not limited to the CST region and are responsible for FVH1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
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9 pages, 670 KiB  
Article
Melkersson–Rosenthal Syndrome and Migraine: A New Phenotype Associated with SCN1A Variants?
by Alessia Azzarà, Ilaria Cassano, Carla Lintas, Fabio Pilato, Fioravante Capone, Vincenzo Di Lazzaro and Fiorella Gurrieri
Genes 2023, 14(7), 1482; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes14071482 - 20 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1025
Abstract
Peripheral facial palsy rarely occurs as part of Melkersson–Rosenthal syndrome (MRS), which is characterized by the classical triad of tongue cheilitis, recurrent episodes of orofacial swelling, and palsy. MRS is a disorder with variable expressivity and clinical as well as genetic heterogeneity; however, [...] Read more.
Peripheral facial palsy rarely occurs as part of Melkersson–Rosenthal syndrome (MRS), which is characterized by the classical triad of tongue cheilitis, recurrent episodes of orofacial swelling, and palsy. MRS is a disorder with variable expressivity and clinical as well as genetic heterogeneity; however, the causative gene remains to be identified. Migraine is a common neurological disorder, presenting with or without aura, which may be associated with neurological symptoms. The classical example of monogenic migraine is familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM), which has phenotypic variability in carriers of variants in the same gene or even carriers of the same variant. We present a family in which two sisters displayed recurrent migraines, one of which presented recurrent facial palsy and had clinical diagnosis of MRS. We performed WES and Sanger sequencing for segregation analysis in the available family members. We identified a c.3521C>G missense heterozygous variant in SCN1A carried only by the affected sister. Variants in the SCN1A gene can cause a spectrum of early-onset epileptic encephalopathies, in addition to FHM; therefore, our finding reasonably explains the proband phenotype, in which the main symptom was recurrent facial palsy. This report also adds knowledge to the clinical spectrum of SCN1A alterations and suggests a potential overlap between MRS and FHM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neurogenomics)
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