Research Article

Table of Contents | Genet. Mol. Res. 2016 (3)

Displaying 61 - 75 of 361
Research Article

The aim of this study was to explore the diversity of culturable bacterial communities residing in blackberry plants (Rubus fruticosus). Bacterial endophytes were isolated from plant roots, and their 16S rDNA sequences were amplified and sequenced. Our results show that the roots of R. fruticosus exhibit low colony forming units of bacterial endophytes per gram of fresh tissue (6 x 102 ± 0.5 x 102). We identified 41 endophytic bacterial species in R. fruticosus by BLAST homology search and a subsequent phylogenetic analysis, belonging to the classes Actinobacteria, Bacilli, Alfaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria, and Gammaproteobacteria. Predominantly, genera belonging the Proteobacteria (Burkholderia, 29.4%; Herbaspirillum, 10.7%; Pseudomonas, 4.9%; and Dyella, 3.9%), Firmicutes (Bacillus, 42.1%), and Actinobacteria (two isolates showing high identity with the Streptomyces genus, 1.9%) divisions were identified. Fifty percent of the bacterial endophytes produced the phytohormone indole-acetic acid (IAA), eleven of which exhibited higher IAA production (>5.8 mg/mL) compared to the plant growth-promoting strain, Pseudomonas fluorescens UM270. Additionally, the endophytic isolates exhibited protease activity (22%), produced siderophores (26.4%), and demonstrated antagonistic action (>50% inhibition of mycelial growth) against the grey mold phytopathogen Botrytis cinerea (3.9%). These results suggested that field-grown R. fruticosus plants contain bacterial endophytes within their tissues with the potential to promote plant growth and display antagonism towards plant pathogens.

Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8542
DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038542
Research Article

Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in HTR3A and HTR3B have been reported to be associated with bipolar disorder in European and Japanese populations. We explored the roles of 21 tag SNPs in HTR3A and HTR3B in susceptibility to bipolar disorder in a Chinese cohort. Twenty-one Tag SNPs were genotyped in a study consisting of 130 patients with bipolar disorder, who visited Shandong Mental Health Center between June 2013 and May 2014, and 109 healthy individuals as controls. All of the tag SNPs were genotyped using Sequenom MassArray matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight spectrometry. Plink 1.07, Haploview 4.2, and SPSS 20.0 were used for the analysis of the genotypes and the associations of the haplotypes with bipolar disorder. Association analyses of tag SNPs detected significant associations with the A allele in HTR3A rs1176719 (P = 0.030) and the C allele in HTR3A rs1176713 (P = 0.048). Haplotype-based association analyses indicated a statistically significant (P = 0.035) five-SNP haplotype (rs1062613:C, rs11604247:C, rs1176722:G, rs2276302:A, rs1176719:G) of linkage disequilibrium in block 3. Analysis of our small Chinese sample revealed a significant association of HTR3A with bipolar disorder, but yielded no evidence of an association between HTR3B and bipolar disorder. Furthermore, evidence for an association was found for a haplotype of HTR3A. Studies with larger Chinese samples are needed to verify our findings.

Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8671
DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038671
Research Article

Disease-resistant potato cultivars with good tuber appearance and desirable agronomic traits are essential for meeting the demands of producers and the market. Attaining these cultivars is the focus of potato breeding programs whose aim is to benefit the productive chain. The purpose of this study was to estimate combining abilities and evaluate potato clones based on tuber appearance, yield, and resistance to the PVY and PVX viruses. Crosses between four commercial cultivars of potato with good tuber appearance were performed, using eight clones with proven resistance to PVY and PVX from the breeding program of UFLA. The clones obtained were evaluated for agronomic traits, tuber appearance, and the presence of both Ryadg and Rx1 alleles, which confer extreme resistance to the PVY and PVX viruses, respectively. The independent culling level method was used to select genotypes of commercial interest, as well as to estimate the combining abilities of the parents. We identified clones carrying the Ryadg and Rx1 alleles with agronomic traits suitable for the fresh market and for processing. The BRS Ana cultivar and CMA-399 and CMA-385 clones showed positive effects on general combining ability (GCA) for tuber yield, while the Monalisa cultivar showed positive effects on GCA for general tuber appearance.

Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8685
DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038685
Research Article

Long-term radiation exposure is hazardous to health; late-onset effects of exposure to ionizing radiation (IR) pose risks to the lens, and are associated with other non-cancerous diseases. Individuals occupationally exposed to low-dose IR are prone to developing eye cataracts. Cytogenetic evaluations suggest that IR is associated with chromosomal aberrations in occupationally exposed individuals. However, data regarding the association between chromosomal aberrations in cataract patients and occupational exposure to IR is scarce. Therefore, we aimed to report the characteristics of chromosomal aberrations in cataract patients from a Chinese population, occupationally exposed to IR. We found that the average age and frequency of numerical chromosomal aberrations were significantly lower in the exposed patients as compared with that in the non-exposed patients. In addition, the frequencies of dicentric and acentric chromosomes were significantly higher in the exposed patients as compared with those in the non-exposed patients. Therefore, chronic occupational exposure to IR affects cataract development in the Chinese population. The age of cataract patients exposed to IR was significantly lower than the age of cataract onset in normal individuals. Based on this study, we suggest that there is an urgent need for improved radiation safety and eye protection in individuals exposed to IR in the work place.

Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8687
DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038687
Research Article

Cluster of differentiation 4 gene (CD4) is well known for its role in immunity, but its effects on production traits remain to be elucidated. The present study was designed to explore single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the exons, flanking introns, and promoter of CD4, as well as to analyze their effects on milk production traits (percentage of protein, fat, and lactose; mastitis indicator traits somatic cell count; and somatic cell score). A total of 10 SNPs, including eight in the exon and two in the intron regions, were identified using pooled DNA sequencing. These SNPs were screened in a population of 258 Chinese Holstein using the SNaPshot technique. We analyzed the effects of SNPs, parity, herd, year, and season of calving on the production and mastitis indicator traits. Our analysis revealed two haplotypes and strong linkage disequilibrium (D' > 0.97) among all SNPs. All 10 SNPs were significantly associated with fat percentage (P CD4 plays a role in production traits as well as in immune function. The identified SNPs could be used as genetic markers for selection of dairy cows with improved fat percentage. We propose further studies of these SNPs in a larger population as well as further investigations of the function of this gene.

Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8697
DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038697
Research Article

The effects of muscle-specific miRNAs in the repair of exercise-induced muscle injury were investigated by examining the changes in their expression and that of the target genes in rat skeletal muscle. Two-month-old agile male rats were randomly divided into exercise and static control groups, the former subdivided into 0-h, 6-h, 12-h, 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, 1-week, and 2-week groups based on time after exercise. Left gastrocnemii of rats were hematoxylin-eosin stained whereas the right gastrocnemii were used for expression analysis of muscle-specific miRNAs (miR-1 and miR-206) and their target genes, Cx43 and HDAC. Cellular swelling and increased cell volume and intercellular spaces were observed histologically in the 0-h group. Unlike the control group, cells continued to swell whereas intercellular spaces decreased slightly, in the 6-h, 12-h, 1-day, and 2-day groups. Cell swelling was most serious in the 3-day group. In the 1-week group, inflammatory cell infiltration decreased and in the 2-week group, repair was almost complete. The differences in miR-1 expression between the groups were neither obvious nor significant. miR-206 expression increased; however, it differed significantly from that in group C only in the 1-week group. Cx43 and HDAC4 mRNA expression first decreased and then increased compared to that in the control group; differences in HDAC4 mRNA expression were significant in the 1-week group. Compared to the control group, the differences in Cx43 protein levels were significant in the 0-h and 3-day groups. Thus, miR-206 and Cx43 are involved in the repair of exercise-induced muscle injury.

Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8698
DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038698
Research Article

This study aimed to develop a multivariate selection index based on the graphical area of a polygon formed by standardized values, also known as radar chart. This methodology may be used to assist selection of superior genotypes in sugarcane breeding programs. Seven technological traits in 37 sugarcane genotypes were evaluated. An area index (AI) was constructed and the resulting polygon areas were used to rank genotypes under selection. In this study, we propose the use of restricted maximum likelihood to estimate genetic parameters and mixed model equations to predict genotypic and breeding values. The area of each polygon was calculated for phenotypic, genotypic, and estimated breeding values. Thereby, the genotypes with larger area can be selected based on a detailed a posteriori evaluation of the radar charts. The proposed AI can be adjusted based on the breeders’ specific interests, it is perfectly useful in other crops, and may also be applied to studies on genotype-environment interactions. Moreover, AI is a powerful tool that can evaluate trait stability of genotypes based on slight differences in the area formed by each genotype. Hence, this method is easy to apply and shows great potential for use in sugarcane breeding programs as well as in other breeding programs.

Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8711
DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038711
Research Article

miR-137, a brain-enriched microRNA, is involved in the control of neuronal proliferation, differentiation, and dendritic arborization, all of which are important for proper neurogenesis and relevant to schizophrenia. miR-137 is also known to regulate many genes implicated in schizophrenia risk. Although reports have associated the miR-137 polymorphism rs1625579 with this disease, their results have been inconsistent. The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the relationship between rs1625579 and schizophrenia. Data were obtained from an electronic database, and pooled odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were used to test the association using the RevMan 5.3 software. Twelve case-control studies comprising 11,583 cases and 14,315 controls were included. An estimated lambda value of 0.46 was recorded, suggesting that a codominant model of inheritance was most likely. A statistically significant association was established under allelic (T vs G: OR = 1.15, 95%CI = 1.10-1.21, P vs GG: OR = 1.32, 95%CI = 1.13-1.54, P vs GG: OR = 1.14, 95%CI = 0.97-1.34, P = 0.11). This meta-analysis demonstrates that the rs1625579 miR-137 genetic variant significantly increases schizophrenia risk.

Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8703
DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038703
Research Article

Under certain circumstances, transposable elements (TE) can create or reverse mutations and alter the genome size of a cell. Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) is promising for plant transposon tagging due to its small genome size and its low content of repetitive DNA. We developed a marker system based on targeted region amplification polymorphisms (TE-TRAP) that uses the terminal inverted repeats (TIRs) of transposons. A total of 3816 class 2 transposons belonging to the PIF/Harbinger family were identified from the whole sorghum genome that produced five primers, including eight types of TIRs. To define the applicability and utilization of TE-TRAP, we used 21 individuals that had been bred after ɤ-ray irradiation. In total, 31 TE-TRAP, 16 TD, and 21 AFLP primer combinations generated 1133, 223, and 555 amplicons, respectively. The percent polymorphic marker was 62.8, 51.1, and 59.3% for the TE-TRAP, TD, and AFLP markers, respectively. Phylogenetic and principal component analyses revealed that TE-TRAP divided the 21 individuals into three groups. Analysis of molecular variance suggested that TE-TRAP had a higher level of genetic diversity than the other two marker systems. After verifying the efficiency of TE-TRAP, 189 sorghum individuals were used to investigate the associations between the markers and the ɤ-ray doses. Two significant associations were found among the polymorphic markers. This TE-based method provides a useful marker resource for mutation breeding research.

Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8713
DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038713
Research Article

The objective of this study was to characterize species of the Cladosporium cladosporioides complex isolated from pecan trees (Carya illinoinensis) with symptoms of leaf spot, based on morphological and molecular approaches. Morphological attributes were assessed using monosporic cultures on potato dextrose agar medium, which were examined for mycelial growth, sporulation, color, and conidia and ramoconidia size. Molecular characterization comprised isolation of DNA and subsequent amplification of the translation elongation factor 1α (TEF-1α) region. Three species of the C. cladosporioides complex were identified: C. cladosporioides, Cladosporium pseudocladosporioides, and Cladosporium subuliforme. Sporulation was the most important characteristic differentiating species of this genus. However, morphological features must be considered together with molecular analysis, as certain characters are indistinguishable between species. TEF-1αcan be effectively used to identify and group isolates belonging to the C. cladosporioides complex. The present study provides an important example of a methodology to ascertain similarity between isolates of this complex causing leaf spot in pecan trees, which should facilitate future pathogenicity studies.

Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8714
DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038714
Research Article

Gastric cancer (GC), the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Mexico and worldwide, can be classified into diffuse (DGC) or intestinal (IGC) types based on its histological characteristics. DGC is characterized by reduced expression of the cell adhesion protein E-cadherin, which is encoded by CDH1. The -472delA (rs5030625) and -160C>A (rs16260) polymorphisms in CDH1 induce a decrease in gene transcription; in fact, these mutated alleles have been associated with GC in some populations, with conflicting results. The aim of this study was to determine the association between the CDH1 -472delA and -160C>A polymorphisms and DGC and IGC in Mexican patients. The study was conducted in 24, 23, 48, and 93 individuals with DGC and IGC, without GC (control), and belonging to the general Mexican population (GMP), respectively. The genotypes were obtained by polymerase chain reaction - restriction fragment length polymorphism and the obtained data analyzed using Arlequin 3.1. The frequencies of the mutated allele (A) of -472delA were 0.326, 0.318, 0.284, and 0.296 in the DGC, IGC, control, and GMP groups, respectively, and those of the -160C>A polymorphism were 0.174, 0.318, 0.313, and 0.280, respectively. The genotype and allele frequencies of the two polymorphisms did not differ significantly (P > 0.05) among DGC, IGC, and control subjects. Therefore, we concluded that the CDH1 -472delA and -160C>A polymorphisms are not associated with DGC or IGC in patients from western Mexico.

Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8715
DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038715
Research Article

Reduced reproductive performance of the black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) has caused economic losses and hampered the fishing industry. Detailed investigation of the molecular mechanism by which the cell cycle is regulated in this organism is needed to understand the development and maturation of ovaries and oocytes, with a view to improving reproductive capacity. Cell cycle progression is mainly determined by cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) and cyclin complexes, the cyclin E/CDK2 complex playing a key role in G1/S transition. However, knowledge of the interplay between cyclin E and CDK2 in invertebrates remains limited. In this study, full-length P. monodon cyclin E (Pmcyclin E) and CDK2 (PmCDK2) sequences were cloned. The open reading frame of Pmcyclin E was 1263 bp in length and encoded a 47.9-kDa protein, while that of PmCDK2 was 921 bp, encoding a protein of 34.9 kDa. Recombinant cyclin E and CDK2 proteins were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified by Ni-chelating affinity chromatography. In addition, a pull-down assay was performed to identify any interaction between Pmcyclin E and PmCDK2. This research provides a basis for the study of the functional mechanisms of the cyclin E/CDK2 complex in shrimp, further enriching our knowledge of invertebrate cell cycle regulation.

Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8716
DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038716
Research Article

Water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) are quite well adapted to climatic conditions in the Amazon, and in this biome, they are noted for the considerable amount of meat and milk they produce and how hard they are able to work. Because of a lack of research dedicated to improving the rearing of buffaloes in the Amazon, the objective of this study was to genetically characterize the Murrah and Mediterranean breeds, as well as a mixed-breed population, based on polymorphisms in the diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase 1 gene (DGAT1), and associate the genotypes with milk production. By using the polymerase chain reaction-single-strand conformation polymorphism technique, the alleles A (0.79), B (0.20), and D (0.01) were found in the Murrah breed. In the Mediterranean and mixed-breed buffaloes, we found alleles A (0.69) and (0.77) and B (0.31) and (0.23), respectively. The Murrah breed had the genotypes AA (0.63), AB (0.29), BB (0.05), and AD (0.03), and the Mediterranean and mixed-breed buffaloes had the genotypes AA (0.44) and (0.61), AB (0.50) and (0.31), and BB (0.06) and (0.08), respectively. For the Murrah, Mediterranean, and mixed-breed buffaloes, respectively, the expected heterozygosity values were 0.34, 0.43, and 0.35, the inbreeding coefficients were 0.78, -0.15, and 0.17, and the Hardy-Weinberg probabilities were 0.70, 0.67, and 0.52. The genotypes evaluated did not have an effect on milk production; however, the single nucleotide polymorphisms can be used in studies on genetic variability.

Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8720
DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038720
Research Article

Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) is a widely used molecular marker technique. As traditional RAPD has poor reproducibility and productivity, we previously developed an improved RAPD method (termed RAMP-PCR), which increased the reproducibility, number of bands, and efficiency of studies on polymorphism. To further develop the efficiency of this method, we used high-GC content primers for improved RAMP-PCR with DNA samples from Lonicera japonica. Comparison of amplification profiles obtained by standard RAPD primers with those obtained by regular PCR and RAMP-PCR, and high-GC primers with regular PCR and RAMP-PCR showed that the average number of bands and polymorphisms per primer gradually and significantly increased (from 6.4 to 15.0 and from 4.6 to 10.2, respectively). Cluster dendrograms showed similar results, indicating that this new method is consistent and reproducible. A total of 22 samples from different species, including plants, animals, and humans, were used for RAMP-PCR with high-GC primers. Multiple bands were successfully amplified from all samples, demonstrating that this method is a reliable technique with consistent results and may be of general interest in studies on different genera and species. We developed highly effective DNA markers, which can provide a more effective and potentially valuable approach than traditional RAPD for the genetic identification of various organisms, particularly of medicinal plants.

Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8721
DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038721
Research Article

Enzymes produced by basidiomycetes that are involved in the cellulose degradation process, and their respective codifying genes, must be identified to facilitate the development of novel biotechnological strategies and applications in the agro-industry. The objective of this study was to identify prospective cellulase-producing genes and characterize their cellulolytic activity, in order to elucidate the potential biotechnological applications (with respect to vegetal residues) of basidiomycetes. The basidiomycete strains Lentinula edodes U8-1, Lentinus crinitus U9-1, and Schizophyllum commune U6-7 were analyzed in this study. The cellulolytic activities of these fungi were evaluated based on the halo formation in carboxymethyl cellulose culture medium after dyeing with Congo red. The presence of cellulase-codifying genes (cel7A, cel6B, cel3A, and egl) in these fungal strains was also evaluated. L. edodes and S. commune presented the highest cellulolytic halo to mycelial growth radius ratio, followed by L. crinitus. Four genes were amplified in the L. edodes strain, whereas three and one genes were isolated from L. crinitus and S. commune, respectively. The cel6B gene (L. edodes) presented the conserved domain glyco_hydro_6 and characterized as cellobiohydrolase gene. The results of this study contribute to the existing knowledge on cellulases in basidiomycetes, and serve as a basis for future studies on the expression of these genes and the characterization of the catalytic activity of these enzymes. This allows for better utilization of these fungi in degrading vegetal fibers from agro-industrial residues and in other biotechnological applications.

Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr8722
DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15038722