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Sample records for pheromone gene clusters

  1. Pheromone 4 gene of Euplotes octocarinatus.

    PubMed

    Meyer, F; Schmidt, H J; Heckmann, K

    1992-01-01

    We have cloned and sequenced a 1.7 kb macronuclear chromosome encoding the pheromone 4 gene of Euplotes octocarinatus. The sequence of the secreted pheromone is preceded by a 42 amino acid leader peptide, which ends with a lysine residue. The sequence coding for the leader peptide contains information for a putative signal peptide and is interrupted by a 772 bp intron as shown by comparison with a cDNA clone. A 64 bp intron and a 145 bp intron interrupt the sequence coding for the secreted pheromone. The three introns contain typical 5' and 3' splice junctions and a putative branch point site. The small introns have a low GC content. The large intron has a GC content similar to that of the pheromone 4 gene exons. The amino acid sequence of pheromone 4, deduced from both the genomic DNA and the cDNA of pheromone 4, shows that the secreted pheromone consists of 85 amino acids. One of its amino acids is encoded by a UGA codon. Since it has been shown for pheromone 3 of E. octocarinatus that UGA is translated as cysteine, it is assumed that the UGA codon encodes cysteine in pheromone 4 as well. The 164 bp noncoding region upstream of the leader peptide is AT-rich and contains an inverted repeat capable of forming a stem-loop structure with a stem of 11 bp. The 151 bp noncoding region at the 3' end of the chromosome contains a putative polyadenylation sequence and an inverted repeat. The macronuclear molecule is flanked by telomeres and carries the pentanucleotide motif TTGAA, located at a distance of 17 nucleotides from the telomeres. This motif has been suggested to be involved in the formation of macronuclear chromosomes. PMID:1395137

  2. Identification and Expression Profiles of Sex Pheromone Biosynthesis and Transport Related Genes in Spodoptera litura.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ya-Nan; Zhu, Xiu-Yun; Fang, Li-Ping; He, Peng; Wang, Zhi-Qiang; Chen, Geng; Sun, Liang; Ye, Zhan-Feng; Deng, Dao-Gui; Li, Jin-Bu

    2015-01-01

    Although the general pathway of sex pheromone synthesis in moth species has been established, the molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. The common cutworm Spodoptera litura is an important agricultural pest worldwide and causes huge economic losses annually. The female sex pheromone of S. litura comprises Z9,E11-14:OAc, Z9,E12-14:OAc, Z9-14:OAc, and E11-14:OAc. By sequencing and analyzing the transcriptomic data of the sex pheromone glands, we identified 94 candidate genes related to pheromone biosynthesis (55 genes) or chemoreception (39 genes). Gene expression patterns and phylogenetic analysis revealed that two desaturase genes (SlitDes5 and SlitDes11) and one fatty acyl reductase gene (SlitFAR3) showed pheromone gland (PG) biased or specific expression, and clustered with genes known to be involved in pheromone synthesis in other moth species. Furthermore, 4 chemoreception related genes (SlitOBP6, SlitOBP11, SlitCSP3, and SlitCSP14) also showed higher expression in the PG, and could be additional candidate genes involved in sex pheromone transport. This study provides the first solid background information that should facilitate further elucidation of sex pheromone biosynthesis and transport, and indicates potential targets to disrupt sexual communication in S. litura for a novel pest management strategy. PMID:26445454

  3. Identification and Expression Profiles of Sex Pheromone Biosynthesis and Transport Related Genes in Spodoptera litura

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ya-Nan; Zhu, Xiu-Yun; Fang, Li-Ping; He, Peng; Wang, Zhi-Qiang; Chen, Geng; Sun, Liang; Ye, Zhan-Feng; Deng, Dao-Gui; Li, Jin-Bu

    2015-01-01

    Although the general pathway of sex pheromone synthesis in moth species has been established, the molecular mechanisms remain poorly understood. The common cutworm Spodoptera litura is an important agricultural pest worldwide and causes huge economic losses annually. The female sex pheromone of S. litura comprises Z9,E11-14:OAc, Z9,E12-14:OAc, Z9-14:OAc, and E11-14:OAc. By sequencing and analyzing the transcriptomic data of the sex pheromone glands, we identified 94 candidate genes related to pheromone biosynthesis (55 genes) or chemoreception (39 genes). Gene expression patterns and phylogenetic analysis revealed that two desaturase genes (SlitDes5 and SlitDes11) and one fatty acyl reductase gene (SlitFAR3) showed pheromone gland (PG) biased or specific expression, and clustered with genes known to be involved in pheromone synthesis in other moth species. Furthermore, 4 chemoreception related genes (SlitOBP6, SlitOBP11, SlitCSP3, and SlitCSP14) also showed higher expression in the PG, and could be additional candidate genes involved in sex pheromone transport. This study provides the first solid background information that should facilitate further elucidation of sex pheromone biosynthesis and transport, and indicates potential targets to disrupt sexual communication in S. litura for a novel pest management strategy. PMID:26445454

  4. Putative pathway of sex pheromone biosynthesis and degradation by expression patterns of genes identified from female pheromone gland and adult antenna of Sesamia inferens (Walker).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ya-Nan; Xia, Yi-Han; Zhu, Jia-Yao; Li, Sheng-Yun; Dong, Shuang-Lin

    2014-05-01

    The general pathway of biosynthesis and degradation for Type-I sex pheromones in moths is well established, but some genes involved in this pathway remain to be characterized. The purple stem borer, Sesamia inferens, employs a pheromone blend containing components with three different terminal functional groups (Z11-16:OAc, Z11-16:OH, and Z11-16:Ald) of Type-I sex pheromones. Thus, it provides a good model to study the diversity of genes involved in pheromone biosynthesis and degradation pathways. By analyzing previously obtained transcriptomic data of the sex pheromone glands and antennae, we identified 73 novel genes that are possibly related to pheromone biosynthesis (46 genes) or degradation (27 genes). Gene expression patterns and phylogenetic analysis revealed that one desaturase (SinfDes4), one fatty acid reductase (SinfFAR2), and one fatty acid xtransport protein (SinfFATP1) genes were predominantly expressed in pheromone glands, and clustered with genes involved in pheromone synthesis in other moth species. Ten genes including five carboxylesterases (SinfCXE10, 13, 14, 18, and 20), three aldehyde oxidases (SinfAOX1, 2 and 3), and two alcohol dehydrogenases (SinfAD1 and 3) were expressed specifically or predominantly in antennae, and could be candidate genes involved in pheromone degradation. SinfAD1 and 3 are the first reported alcohol dehydrogenase genes with antennae-biased expression. Based on these results we propose a pathway involving these potential enzyme-encoding gene candidates in sex pheromone biosynthesis and degradation in S. inferens. This study provides robust background information for further elucidation of the genetic basis of sex pheromone biosynthesis and degradation, and ultimately provides potential targets to disrupt sexual communication in S. inferens for control purposes. PMID:24817326

  5. Key biosynthetic gene subfamily recruited for pheromone production prior to the extensive radiation of Lepidoptera

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Moths have evolved highly successful mating systems, relying on species-specific mixtures of sex pheromone components for long-distance mate communication. Acyl-CoA desaturases are key enzymes in the biosynthesis of these compounds and to a large extent they account for the great diversity of pheromone structures in Lepidoptera. A novel desaturase gene subfamily that displays Δ11 catalytic activities has been highlighted to account for most of the unique pheromone signatures of the taxonomically advanced ditrysian species. To assess the mechanisms driving pheromone evolution, information is needed about the signalling machinery of primitive moths. The currant shoot borer, Lampronia capitella, is the sole reported primitive non-ditrysian moth known to use unsaturated fatty-acid derivatives as sex-pheromone. By combining biochemical and molecular approaches we elucidated the biosynthesis paths of its main pheromone component, the (Z,Z)-9,11-tetradecadien-1-ol and bring new insights into the time point of the recruitment of the key Δ11-desaturase gene subfamily in moth pheromone biosynthesis. Results The reconstructed evolutionary tree of desaturases evidenced two ditrysian-specific lineages (the Δ11 and Δ9 (18C>16C)) to have orthologs in the primitive moth L. capitella despite being absent in Diptera and other insect genomes. Four acyl-CoA desaturase cDNAs were isolated from the pheromone gland, three of which are related to Δ9-desaturases whereas the fourth cDNA clusters with Δ11-desaturases. We demonstrated that this transcript (Lca-KPVQ) exclusively accounts for both steps of desaturation involved in pheromone biosynthesis. This enzyme possesses a Z11-desaturase activity that allows transforming the palmitate precursor (C16:0) into (Z)-11-hexadecenoic acid and the (Z)-9-tetradecenoic acid into the conjugated intermediate (Z,Z)-9,11-tetradecadienoic acid. Conclusion The involvement of a single Z11-desaturase in pheromone biosynthesis of a non

  6. Targeted disruption of a single sex pheromone receptor gene completely abolishes in vivo pheromone response in the silkmoth

    PubMed Central

    Sakurai, Takeshi; Mitsuno, Hidefumi; Mikami, Akihisa; Uchino, Keiro; Tabuchi, Masashi; Zhang, Feng; Sezutsu, Hideki; Kanzaki, Ryohei

    2015-01-01

    Male moths use species-specific sex pheromones to identify and orientate toward conspecific females. Odorant receptors (ORs) for sex pheromone substances have been identified as sex pheromone receptors in various moth species. However, direct in vivo evidence linking the functional role of these ORs with behavioural responses is lacking. In the silkmoth, Bombyx mori, female moths emit two sex pheromone components, bombykol and bombykal, but only bombykol elicits sexual behaviour in male moths. A sex pheromone receptor BmOR1 is specifically tuned to bombykol and is expressed in specialized olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) in the pheromone sensitive long sensilla trichodea of male silkmoth antennae. Here, we show that disruption of the BmOR1 gene, mediated by transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), completely removes ORN sensitivity to bombykol and corresponding pheromone-source searching behaviour in male moths. Furthermore, transgenic rescue of BmOR1 restored normal behavioural responses to bombykol. Our results demonstrate that BmOR1 is required for the physiological and behavioural response to bombykol, demonstrating that it is the receptor that mediates sex pheromone responses in male silkmoths. This study provides the first direct evidence that a member of the sex pheromone receptor family in moth species mediates conspecific sex pheromone information for sexual behaviour. PMID:26047360

  7. Large number of putative chemoreception and pheromone biosynthesis genes revealed by analyzing transcriptome from ovipositor-pheromone glands of Chilo suppressalis.

    PubMed

    Xia, Yi-Han; Zhang, Ya-Nan; Hou, Xiao-Qing; Li, Fei; Dong, Shuang-Lin

    2015-01-01

    The chemoreception role of moth ovipositor has long been suggested, but its molecular mechanism is mostly unknown. By transcriptomic analysis of the female ovipositor-pheromone glands (OV-PG) of Chilo suppressalis, we obtained 31 putative chemoreception genes (9 OBPs, 10 CSPs, 2 ORs, 1 SNMP, 8 CXEs and 1 AOX), in addition to 32 genes related to sex pheromone biosynthesis (1 FAS, 6 Dess, 10 FARs, 2 ACOs, 1 ACC, 4 FATPs, 3 ACBPs and 5 ELOs). Tissue expression profiles further revealed that CsupCSP2 and CsupCSP10 were OV-PG biased, while most chemoreception genes were highly and preferably expressed in antennae. This suggests that OV-PG employs mostly the same chemoreception proteins as in antennae, although the physiological roles of these proteins might be different in OV-PG. Of the 32 pheromone biosynthesis related genes, CsupDes4, CsupDes5 and CsupFAR2 are strongly OV-PG biased, and clustered with functionally validated genes from other moths, strongly indicating their involvement in specific step of the pheromone biosynthesis. Our study for the first time identified a large number of putative chemoreception genes, and provided an important basis for exploring the chemoreception mechanisms of OV-PG in C. suppressalis, as well as other moth species. PMID:25601555

  8. Isolation and characterization of the Cryptococcus neoformans MATa pheromone gene.

    PubMed Central

    McClelland, Carol M; Fu, Jianmin; Woodlee, Gay L; Seymour, Tara S; Wickes, Brian L

    2002-01-01

    Cryptococcus neoformans is a heterothallic basidiomycete with two mating types, MATa and MATalpha. The mating pathway of this fungus has a number of conserved genes, including a MATalpha-specific pheromone (MFalpha1). A modified differential display strategy was used to identify a gene encoding the MATa pheromone. The gene, designated MFa1, is 42 amino acids in length and contains a conserved farnesylation motif. MFa1 is present in three linked copies that span a 20-kb fragment of MATa-specific DNA and maps to the MAT-containing chromosome. Transformation studies showed that MFa1 induced filament formation only in MATalpha cells, demonstrating that MFa1 is functionally conserved. Sequence analysis of the predicted Mfa1 and Mfalpha1 proteins revealed that, in contrast to other fungi such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the C. neoformans pheromone genes are structurally and functionally conserved. However, unlike the MFalpha1 gene, which is found in MATalpha strains of both varieties of C. neoformans, MFa1 is specific for the neoformans variety of C. neoformans. PMID:11901112

  9. Synthetic pheromones and plant volatiles alter the expression of chemosensory genes in Spodoptera exigua.

    PubMed

    Wan, Xinlong; Qian, Kai; Du, Yongjun

    2015-01-01

    Pheromone and plant odorants are important for insect mating, foraging food sources and oviposition. To understand the molecular mechanisms regulating pheromone and odorant signaling, we employed qRT-PCR to study the circadian rhythms of ABP, OBP, PBP, and OR gene expression in the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua and their responses after a pre-exposure to sex pheromone compounds or plant volatiles. The neuronal responses of male S. exigua to 20 chemical compounds were recorded at three specific time periods using the electroantennogram. The results showed a circadian rhythm in the expression profiles of some chemosensory genes in the antennae similar to their behavioral rhythm. The expression profiles of OR3, OR6, OR11, OR13, OR16, OR18, Orco, ABP2, OBP1, OBP7, and PBP1, and EAG responses to chemical compounds, as well as their circadian rhythm were significantly affected after exposure to synthetic sex pheromones and plant volatiles. These findings provide the first evidence that the gene expression of chemosensory genes and olfactory sensitivity to sex pheromones are affected by pre-exposing insects to pheromone compounds and plant volatiles. It helps to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying pheromone activity, and the application of sex pheromones and plant volatiles in mating disruption or mass trapping. PMID:26611815

  10. Synthetic pheromones and plant volatiles alter the expression of chemosensory genes in Spodoptera exigua

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Xinlong; Qian, Kai; Du, Yongjun

    2015-01-01

    Pheromone and plant odorants are important for insect mating, foraging food sources and oviposition. To understand the molecular mechanisms regulating pheromone and odorant signaling, we employed qRT-PCR to study the circadian rhythms of ABP, OBP, PBP, and OR gene expression in the beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua and their responses after a pre-exposure to sex pheromone compounds or plant volatiles. The neuronal responses of male S. exigua to 20 chemical compounds were recorded at three specific time periods using the electroantennogram. The results showed a circadian rhythm in the expression profiles of some chemosensory genes in the antennae similar to their behavioral rhythm. The expression profiles of OR3, OR6, OR11, OR13, OR16, OR18, Orco, ABP2, OBP1, OBP7, and PBP1, and EAG responses to chemical compounds, as well as their circadian rhythm were significantly affected after exposure to synthetic sex pheromones and plant volatiles. These findings provide the first evidence that the gene expression of chemosensory genes and olfactory sensitivity to sex pheromones are affected by pre-exposing insects to pheromone compounds and plant volatiles. It helps to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying pheromone activity, and the application of sex pheromones and plant volatiles in mating disruption or mass trapping. PMID:26611815

  11. How flies respond to honey bee pheromone: the role of the foraging gene on reproductive response to queen mandibular pheromone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camiletti, Alison L.; Awde, David N.; Thompson, Graham J.

    2014-01-01

    In this study we test one central prediction from sociogenomic theory—that social and non-social taxa share common genetic toolkits that regulate reproduction in response to environmental cues. We exposed Drosophila females of rover ( for R) and sitter ( for s) genotypes to an ovary-suppressing pheromone derived from the honeybee Apis mellifera. Surprisingly, queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) affected several measures of fitness in flies, and in a manner comparable to the pheromone's normal effect on bee workers. QMP-treated sitter flies had smaller ovaries that contained fewer eggs than did untreated controls. QMP-treated rover flies, by contrast, showed a more variable pattern that only sometimes resulted in ovary inhibition, while a third strain of fly that contains a sitter mutant allele in a rover background ( for s2) showed no ovarian response to QMP. Taken together, our results suggest that distinctly non-social insects have some capacity to respond to social cues, but that this response varies with fly genotype. In general, the interspecific response is consistent with a conserved gene set affecting reproductive physiology. The differential response among strains in particular suggests that for is itself important for modulating the fly's pheromonal response.

  12. Identification of Genes Required for Normal Pheromone-Induced Cell Polarization in Saccharomyces Cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Chenevert, J.; Valtz, N.; Herskowitz, I.

    1994-01-01

    In response to mating pheromones, cells of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae adopt a polarized ``shmoo'' morphology, in which the cytoskeleton and proteins involved in mating are localized to a cell-surface projection. This polarization is presumed to reflect the oriented morphogenesis that occurs between mating partners to facilitate cell and nuclear fusion. To identify genes involved in pheromone-induced cell polarization, we have isolated mutants defective in mating to an enfeebled partner and studied a subset of these mutants. The 34 mutants of interest are proficient for pheromone production, arrest in response to pheromone, mate to wild-type strains, and exhibit normal cell polarity during vegetative growth. The mutants were divided into classes based on their morphological responses to mating pheromone. One class is unable to localize cell-surface growth in response to mating factor and instead enlarges in a uniform manner. These mutants harbor special alleles of genes required for cell polarization during vegetative growth, BEM1 and CDC24. Another class of mutants forms bilobed, peanut-like shapes when treated with pheromone and defines two genes, PEA1 and PEA2. PEA1 is identical to SPA2. A third class forms normally shaped but tiny shmoos and defines the gene TNY1. A final group of mutants exhibits apparently normal shmoo morphology. The nature of their mating defect is yet to be determined. We discuss the possible roles of these gene products in establishing cell polarity during mating. PMID:8013906

  13. Pheromone-induced expression of immediate early genes in the mouse vomeronasal sensory system.

    PubMed

    Haga-Yamanaka, Sachiko; Touhara, Kazushige

    2013-01-01

    Immediate early genes (IEGs) are powerful tools for visualizing activated neurons and extended circuits that are stimulated by sensory input. Several kinds of IEGs (e.g., c-fos, egr-1) have been utilized for detecting activated receptor neurons in the pheromone sensory organ called the vomeronasal organ (VNO), as well as for mapping the neurons within the central nervous system (CNS) excited by pheromones.In this chapter, we describe the procedure for the detection of pheromone-induced neural activation in the VNO and CNS using the c-Fos immunostaining technique. PMID:24014367

  14. Identification of Differentially Expressed Genes in the Pheromone Glands of Mated and Virgin Bombyx mori by Digital Gene Expression Profiling

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Bin; Yin, Xinming; Du, Mengfang; Song, Qisheng; An, Shiheng

    2014-01-01

    Background Mating decreases female receptivity and terminates sex pheromone production in moths. Although significant progress has been made in elucidating the mating-regulated inactivation of pheromone biosynthesis-activating neuropeptide (PBAN) secretion, little is known about the mating induced gene expression profiles in pheromone glands (PGs). In this study, the associated genes involved in Bombyx mori mating were identified through digital gene expression (DGE) profiling and subsequent RNA interference (RNAi) to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the mating-regulated gene expression in PGs. Results Eight DGE libraries were constructed from the PGs of mated and virgin females: 1 h mating (M1)/virgin (V1) PGs, 3 h mating (M3)/virgin (V3) PGs, 24 h mating (M24)/virgin (V24) PGs and 48 h mating (M48)/virgin (V48) PGs (M48 and V48). These libraries were used to investigate the gene expression profiles affected by mating. DGE profiling revealed a series of genes showing differential expression in each set of mated and virgin female samples, including immune-associated genes, sex pheromone synthesis-associated genes, juvenile hormone (JH) signal-associated genes, etc. Most interestingly, JH signal was found to be activated by mating. Application of the JH mimics, methoprene to the newly-emerged virgin females leaded to the significant reduction of sex pheromone production. RNAi-mediated knockdown of putative JH receptor gene, Methoprene tolerant 1 (Met1), in female pupa resulted in a significant decrease in sex pheromone production in mature females, suggesting the importance of JH in sex pheromone synthesis. Conclusion A series of differentially expressed genes in PGs in response to mating was identified. This study improves our understanding of the role of JH signaling on the mating-elicited termination of sex pheromone production. PMID:25330197

  15. Sex Pheromone Evolution Is Associated with Differential Regulation of the Same Desaturase Gene in Two Genera of Leafroller Moths

    PubMed Central

    Albre, Jérôme; Liénard, Marjorie A.; Sirey, Tamara M.; Schmidt, Silvia; Tooman, Leah K.; Carraher, Colm; Greenwood, David R.; Löfstedt, Christer; Newcomb, Richard D.

    2012-01-01

    Chemical signals are prevalent in sexual communication systems. Mate recognition has been extensively studied within the Lepidoptera, where the production and recognition of species-specific sex pheromone signals are typically the defining character. While the specific blend of compounds that makes up the sex pheromones of many species has been characterized, the molecular mechanisms underpinning the evolution of pheromone-based mate recognition systems remain largely unknown. We have focused on two sets of sibling species within the leafroller moth genera Ctenopseustis and Planotortrix that have rapidly evolved the use of distinct sex pheromone blends. The compounds within these blends differ almost exclusively in the relative position of double bonds that are introduced by desaturase enzymes. Of the six desaturase orthologs isolated from all four species, functional analyses in yeast and gene expression in pheromone glands implicate three in pheromone biosynthesis, two Δ9-desaturases, and a Δ10-desaturase, while the remaining three desaturases include a Δ6-desaturase, a terminal desaturase, and a non-functional desaturase. Comparative quantitative real-time PCR reveals that the Δ10-desaturase is differentially expressed in the pheromone glands of the two sets of sibling species, consistent with differences in the pheromone blend in both species pairs. In the pheromone glands of species that utilize (Z)-8-tetradecenyl acetate as sex pheromone component (Ctenopseustis obliquana and Planotortrix octo), the expression levels of the Δ10-desaturase are significantly higher than in the pheromone glands of their respective sibling species (C. herana and P. excessana). Our results demonstrate that interspecific sex pheromone differences are associated with differential regulation of the same desaturase gene in two genera of moths. We suggest that differential gene regulation among members of a multigene family may be an important mechanism of molecular innovation in

  16. Sex pheromone production and perception in European corn borer moths is determined by both autosomal and sex-linked genes

    PubMed Central

    Roelofs, Wendell; Glover, Thomas; Tang, Xian-Han; Sreng, Isabelle; Robbins, Paul; Eckenrode, Charles; Löfstedt, Christer; Hansson, Bill S.; Bengtsson, Bengt O.

    1987-01-01

    Inheritance patterns for sex pheromone production in females, pheromone detection on male antennal olfactory receptor cells, and male pheromone behavioral responses were studied in pheromonally distinct populations of European corn borers from New York State. Gas chromatographic analyses of pheromone glands, single sensillum recordings, and flight tunnel behavioral analyses were carried out on progeny from reciprocal crosses, as well as on progeny from subsequent F2 and maternal and paternal backcrosses. The data show that the production of the female pheromone blend primarily is controlled by a single autosomal factor, that pheromone-responding olfactory cells are controlled by another autosomal factor, and that behavioral response to pheromone is controlled by a sex-linked gene. F1 males were found to possess olfactory receptor cells that give spike amplitudes to the two pheromone isomers that are intermediate to those of the high and low amplitude cells of the parent populations. Fifty-five percent of the F1 males tested responded fully to pheromone sources ranging from the hybrid (E)-11-tetradecenyl acetate/(Z)-11-tetradecenyl acetate (E/Z) molar blend of 65:35 to the E/Z molar blend of 3:97 for the Z morph parents, but very few responded to the E/Z molar blend of 99:1 for the E morph parents. Data on the inheritance patterns support speculation that the Z morph is the ancestral and that the E morph is the derived European corn borer population. PMID:16593886

  17. Ant colony clustering with fitness perception and pheromone diffusion for community detection in complex networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Junzhong; Song, Xiangjing; Liu, Chunnian; Zhang, Xiuzhen

    2013-08-01

    Community structure detection in complex networks has been intensively investigated in recent years. In this paper, we propose an adaptive approach based on ant colony clustering to discover communities in a complex network. The focus of the method is the clustering process of an ant colony in a virtual grid, where each ant represents a node in the complex network. During the ant colony search, the method uses a new fitness function to percept local environment and employs a pheromone diffusion model as a global information feedback mechanism to realize information exchange among ants. A significant advantage of our method is that the locations in the grid environment and the connections of the complex network structure are simultaneously taken into account in ants moving. Experimental results on computer-generated and real-world networks show the capability of our method to successfully detect community structures.

  18. Novel sex pheromone desaturases in the genomes of corn borers generated through gene duplication and retroposon fusion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The biosynthesis of female moth sex pheromone blends is controlled by a number of different enzymes, many of which are encoded by members of multigene families. One such multigene family, the acyl-CoA desaturases, is comprised of certain genes that function as key players in moth sex pheromone bios...

  19. Functional Evolution of a Multigene Family: Orthologous and Paralogous Pheromone Receptor Genes in the Turnip Moth, Agrotis segetum

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Dan-Dan; Löfstedt, Christer

    2013-01-01

    Lepidopteran pheromone receptors (PRs), for which orthologies are evident among closely related species, provide an intriguing example of gene family evolution in terms of how new functions may arise. However, only a limited number of PRs have been functionally characterized so far and thus evolutionary scenarios suffer from elements of speculation. In this study we investigated the turnip moth Agrotis segetum, in which female moths produce a mixture of chemically related pheromone components that elicit specific responses from receptor cells on male antennae. We cloned nine A. segetum PR genes and the Orco gene by degenerate primer based RT-PCR. The nine PR genes, named as AsegOR1 and AsegOR3-10, fall into four distinct orthologous clusters of known lepidopteran PRs, of which one contains six paralogues. The paralogues are under relaxed selective pressure, contrasting with the purifying selection on other clusters. We identified the receptors AsegOR9, AsegOR4 and AsegOR5, specific for the respective homologous pheromone components (Z)-5-decenyl, (Z)-7-dodecenyl and (Z)-9-tetradecenyl acetates, by two-electrode voltage clamp recording from Xenopus laevis oocytes co-expressing Orco and each PR candidate. These receptors occur in three different orthologous clusters. We also found that the six paralogues with high sequence similarity vary dramatically in ligand selectivity and sensitivity. Different from AsegOR9, AsegOR6 showed a relatively large response to the behavioural antagonist (Z)-5-decenol, and a small response to (Z)-5-decenyl acetate. AsegOR1 was broadly tuned, but most responsive to (Z)-5-decenyl acetate, (Z)-7-dodecenyl acetate and the behavioural antagonist (Z)-8-dodecenyl acetate. AsegOR8 and AsegOR7, which differ from AsegOR6 and AsegOR1 by 7 and 10 aa respectively, showed much lower sensitivities. AsegOR10 showed only small responses to all the tested compounds. These results suggest that new receptors arise through gene duplication, and relaxed

  20. Barcode Sequencing Screen Identifies SUB1 as a Regulator of Yeast Pheromone Inducible Genes.

    PubMed

    Sliva, Anna; Kuang, Zheng; Meluh, Pamela B; Boeke, Jef D

    2016-01-01

    The yeast pheromone response pathway serves as a valuable model of eukaryotic mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, and transcription of their downstream targets. Here, we describe application of a screening method combining two technologies: fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), and barcode analysis by sequencing (Bar-Seq). Using this screening method, and pFUS1-GFP as a reporter for MAPK pathway activation, we readily identified mutants in known mating pathway components. In this study, we also include a comprehensive analysis of the FUS1 induction properties of known mating pathway mutants by flow cytometry, featuring single cell analysis of each mutant population. We also characterized a new source of false positives resulting from the design of this screen. Additionally, we identified a deletion mutant, sub1Δ, with increased basal expression of pFUS1-GFP. Here, in the first ChIP-Seq of Sub1, our data shows that Sub1 binds to the promoters of about half the genes in the genome (tripling the 991 loci previously reported), including the promoters of several pheromone-inducible genes, some of which show an increase upon pheromone induction. Here, we also present the first RNA-Seq of a sub1Δ mutant; the majority of genes have no change in RNA, but, of the small subset that do, most show decreased expression, consistent with biochemical studies implicating Sub1 as a positive transcriptional regulator. The RNA-Seq data also show that certain pheromone-inducible genes are induced less in the sub1Δ mutant relative to the wild type, supporting a role for Sub1 in regulation of mating pathway genes. The sub1Δ mutant has increased basal levels of a small subset of other genes besides FUS1, including IMD2 and FIG1, a gene encoding an integral membrane protein necessary for efficient mating. PMID:26837954

  1. Barcode Sequencing Screen Identifies SUB1 as a Regulator of Yeast Pheromone Inducible Genes

    PubMed Central

    Sliva, Anna; Kuang, Zheng; Meluh, Pamela B.; Boeke, Jef D.

    2016-01-01

    The yeast pheromone response pathway serves as a valuable model of eukaryotic mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, and transcription of their downstream targets. Here, we describe application of a screening method combining two technologies: fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), and barcode analysis by sequencing (Bar-Seq). Using this screening method, and pFUS1-GFP as a reporter for MAPK pathway activation, we readily identified mutants in known mating pathway components. In this study, we also include a comprehensive analysis of the FUS1 induction properties of known mating pathway mutants by flow cytometry, featuring single cell analysis of each mutant population. We also characterized a new source of false positives resulting from the design of this screen. Additionally, we identified a deletion mutant, sub1Δ, with increased basal expression of pFUS1-GFP. Here, in the first ChIP-Seq of Sub1, our data shows that Sub1 binds to the promoters of about half the genes in the genome (tripling the 991 loci previously reported), including the promoters of several pheromone-inducible genes, some of which show an increase upon pheromone induction. Here, we also present the first RNA-Seq of a sub1Δ mutant; the majority of genes have no change in RNA, but, of the small subset that do, most show decreased expression, consistent with biochemical studies implicating Sub1 as a positive transcriptional regulator. The RNA-Seq data also show that certain pheromone-inducible genes are induced less in the sub1Δ mutant relative to the wild type, supporting a role for Sub1 in regulation of mating pathway genes. The sub1Δ mutant has increased basal levels of a small subset of other genes besides FUS1, including IMD2 and FIG1, a gene encoding an integral membrane protein necessary for efficient mating. PMID:26837954

  2. Genes Selectively Up-Regulated by Pheromone in White Cells Are Involved in Biofilm Formation in Candida albicans

    PubMed Central

    Sahni, Nidhi; Yi, Song; Daniels, Karla J.; Srikantha, Thyagarajan; Pujol, Claude; Soll, David R.

    2009-01-01

    To mate, MTL-homozygous strains of the yeast pathogen Candida albicans must switch from the white to opaque phase. Mating-competent opaque cells then release pheromone that induces polarization, a G1 block and conjugation tube formation in opaque cells of opposite mating type. Pheromone also induces mating-incompetent white cells to become adhesive and cohesive, and form thicker biofilms that facilitate mating. The pheromone response pathway of white cells shares the upstream components of that of opaque cells, but targets a different transcription factor. Here we demonstrate that the genes up-regulated by the pheromone in white cells are activated through a common cis-acting sequence, WPRE, which is distinct from the cis-acting sequence, OPRE, responsible for up-regulation in opaque cells. Furthermore, we find that these white-specific genes play roles in white cell biofilm formation, and are essential for biofilm formation in the absence of an added source of pheromone, suggesting either an autocrine or pheromone-independent mechanism. These results suggest an intimate, complex and unique relationship between switching, mating and MTL-homozygous white cell biofilm formation, the latter a presumed virulence factor in C. albicans. PMID:19798425

  3. Genes selectively up-regulated by pheromone in white cells are involved in biofilm formation in Candida albicans.

    PubMed

    Sahni, Nidhi; Yi, Song; Daniels, Karla J; Srikantha, Thyagarajan; Pujol, Claude; Soll, David R

    2009-10-01

    To mate, MTL-homozygous strains of the yeast pathogen Candida albicans must switch from the white to opaque phase. Mating-competent opaque cells then release pheromone that induces polarization, a G1 block and conjugation tube formation in opaque cells of opposite mating type. Pheromone also induces mating-incompetent white cells to become adhesive and cohesive, and form thicker biofilms that facilitate mating. The pheromone response pathway of white cells shares the upstream components of that of opaque cells, but targets a different transcription factor. Here we demonstrate that the genes up-regulated by the pheromone in white cells are activated through a common cis-acting sequence, WPRE, which is distinct from the cis-acting sequence, OPRE, responsible for up-regulation in opaque cells. Furthermore, we find that these white-specific genes play roles in white cell biofilm formation, and are essential for biofilm formation in the absence of an added source of pheromone, suggesting either an autocrine or pheromone-independent mechanism. These results suggest an intimate, complex and unique relationship between switching, mating and MTL-homozygous white cell biofilm formation, the latter a presumed virulence factor in C. albicans. PMID:19798425

  4. Evolution of multicomponent pheromone signals in small ermine moths involves a single fatty-acyl reductase gene

    PubMed Central

    Liénard, Marjorie A.; Hagström, Åsa K.; Lassance, Jean-Marc; Löfstedt, Christer

    2010-01-01

    Fatty-acyl CoA reductases (FAR) convert fatty acids into fatty alcohols in pro- and eukaryotic organisms. In the Lepidoptera, members of the FAR gene family serve in the biosynthesis of sex pheromones involved in mate communication. We used a group of closely related species, the small ermine moths (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae) as a model to investigate the role of FARs in the biosynthesis of complex pheromone blends. Homology-based molecular cloning in three Yponomeuta species led to the identification of multiple putative FAR transcripts homologous to FAR genes from the Bombyx mori genome. The expression of one transcript was restricted to the female pheromone-gland tissue, suggesting a role in pheromone biosynthesis, and the encoded protein belonged to a recently identified Lepidoptera-specific pgFAR gene subfamily. The Yponomeuta evonymellus pgFAR mRNA was up-regulated in sexually mature females and exhibited a 24-h cyclic fluctuation pattern peaking in the pheromone production period. Heterologous expression confirmed that the Yponomeuta pgFAR orthologs in all three species investigated [Y. evonymellus (L.), Yponomeuta padellus (L.), and Yponomeuta rorellus (Hübner)] encode a functional FAR with a broad substrate range that efficiently promoted accumulation of primary alcohols in recombinant yeast supplied with a series of biologically relevant C14- or C16-acyl precursors. Taken together, our data evidence that a single alcohol-producing pgFAR played a critical function in the production of the multicomponent pheromones of yponomeutids and support the hypothesis of moth pheromone-biosynthetic FARs belonging to a FAR gene subfamily unique to Lepidoptera. PMID:20534481

  5. Identification and Functional Analysis of Pheromone and Receptor Genes in the B3 Mating Locus of Pleurotus eryngii

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kyung-Hee; Kang, Young Min; Im, Chak Han; Ali, Asjad; Kim, Sun Young; Je, Hee-Jeong; Kim, Min-Keun; Rho, Hyun Su; Lee, Hyun Sook; Kong, Won-Sik; Ryu, Jae-San

    2014-01-01

    Pleurotus eryngii has recently become a major cultivated mushroom; it uses tetrapolar heterothallism as a part of its reproductive process. Sexual development progresses only when the A and B mating types are compatible. Such mating incompatibility occasionally limits the efficiency of breeding programs in which crossing within loci-shared strains or backcrossing strategies are employed. Therefore, understanding the mating system in edible mushroom fungi will help provide a short cut in the development of new strains. We isolated and identified pheromone and receptor genes in the B3 locus of P. eryngii and performed a functional analysis of the genes in the mating process by transformation. A genomic DNA library was constructed to map the entire mating-type locus. The B3 locus was found to contain four pheromone precursor genes and four receptor genes. Remarkably, receptor PESTE3.3.1 has just 34 amino acid residues in its C-terminal cytoplasmic region; therefore, it seems likely to be a receptor-like gene. Real-time quantitative RT-PCR (real-time qRT-PCR) revealed that most pheromone and receptor genes showed significantly higher expression in monokaryotic cells than dikaryotic cells. The pheromone genes PEphb3.1 and PEphb3.3 and the receptor gene PESTE3.3.1 were transformed into P5 (A3B4). The transformants were mated with a tester strain (A4B4), and the progeny showed clamp connections and a normal fruiting body, which indicates the proposed role of these genes in mating and fruiting processes. This result also confirms that PESTE3.3.1 is a receptor gene. In this study, we identified pheromone and receptor genes in the B3 locus of P. eryngii and found that some of those genes appear to play a role in the mating and fruiting processes. These results might help elucidate the mechanism of fruiting differentiation and improve breeding efficiency. PMID:25133513

  6. The water-born protein pheromones of the polar protozoan ciliate, Euplotes nobilii: Coding genes and molecular structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vallesi, Adriana; Alimenti, Claudio; Di Giuseppe, Graziano; Dini, Fernando; Pedrini, Bill; Wüthrich, Kurt; Luporini, Pierangelo

    2010-08-01

    The protozoan ciliate Euplotes nobilii found in Antarctic and Arctic coastal waters relies on secretion of water-soluble cell type-specific signal proteins (pheromones) to regulate its vegetative growth and sexual mating. For three of these psychrophilic pheromones we previously determined the three-dimensional structures by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy with protein solutions purified from the natural sources, which led to evidence that their adaptation to cold is primarily achieved by increased flexibility through an extension of regions free of regular secondary structures, and by increased exposure of negative charges on the protein surface. Then we cloned the coding genes of these E. nobilii pheromones from the transcriptionally active cell somatic nucleus (macronucleus) and characterized the full-length sequences. These sequences all contain an open reading frame of 252-285 nucleotides, which is specific for a cytoplasmic pheromone precursor that requires two proteolytic cleavages to remove a signal peptide and a pro segment before release of the mature protein into the extracellular environment. The 5‧ and 3‧ non-coding regions are two- to three-fold longer than the coding region and appear to be tightly conserved, probably in relation to the inclusion of intron sequences destined to be alternatively removed to play key regulatory roles in the mechanism of the pheromone gene expression.

  7. MOT2 encodes a negative regulator of gene expression that affects basal expression of pheromone-responsive genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed Central

    Cade, R M; Errede, B

    1994-01-01

    Pheromones induce haploid cells of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to differentiate into a mating-competent state. Ste11p is one of several protein kinases required to transmit the pheromone-induced signal and to maintain basal expression of certain mating-specific genes in the absence of pheromone stimulation. To identify potential regulators of Ste11p, we screened for suppressors that restored mating and basal transcriptional competence to a strain with a conditionally functional Ste11p. This screen uncovered a novel gene we call MOT2, for modulator of transcription. A mot2 deletion mutation leads to modest increases in the basal amounts of mRNA for several pheromone-responsive genes. Yet mot2 deletion does not affect the signal transmission activity of the pathway in either the presence or absence of pheromone stimulation. Therefore, we propose that Mot2p, directly or indirectly, represses basal transcription of certain mating-specific genes. Because mot2 deletion mutants also have a conditional cell lysis phenotype, we expect that Mot2p regulatory effects may be more global than for mating-specific gene expression. Images PMID:8164669

  8. Pheromone Signalling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hart, Adam G.

    2011-01-01

    Pheromones are chemicals used to communicate with members of the same species. First described in insects, pheromones are often used to attract mates but in social insects, such as ants and bees, pheromone use is much more sophisticated. For example, ants use pheromones to make foraging trails and the chemical and physical properties of the…

  9. Receptor for detection of a Type II sex pheromone in the winter moth Operophtera brumata

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Dan-Dan; Wang, Hong-Lei; Schultze, Anna; Froß, Heidrun; Francke, Wittko; Krieger, Jürgen; Löfstedt, Christer

    2016-01-01

    How signal diversity evolves under stabilizing selection in a pheromone-based mate recognition system is a conundrum. Female moths produce two major types of sex pheromones, i.e., long-chain acetates, alcohols and aldehydes (Type I) and polyenic hydrocarbons and epoxides (Type II), along different biosynthetic pathways. Little is known on how male pheromone receptor (PR) genes evolved to perceive the different pheromones. We report the identification of the first PR tuned to Type II pheromones, namely ObruOR1 from the winter moth, Operophtera brumata (Geometridae). ObruOR1 clusters together with previously ligand-unknown orthologues in the PR subfamily for the ancestral Type I pheromones, suggesting that O. brumata did not evolve a new type of PR to match the novel Type II signal but recruited receptors within an existing PR subfamily. AsegOR3, the ObruOR1 orthologue previously cloned from the noctuid Agrotis segetum that has Type I acetate pheromone components, responded significantly to another Type II hydrocarbon, suggesting that a common ancestor with Type I pheromones had receptors for both types of pheromones, a preadaptation for detection of Type II sex pheromone. PMID:26729427

  10. Mutations in a gene encoding the. cap alpha. subunit of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae G protein indicate a role in mating pheromone signaling

    SciTech Connect

    Jahng, K.Y.; Ferguson, J.; Reed, S.I.

    1988-06-01

    Mutations which allowed conjugation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells lacking a mating pheromone receptor gene were selected. One of the genes defined by such mutations was isolated from a yeast genomic library by complementation of a temperature-sensitive mutation and is identically to the gene GPA1 (also known as SCG1), recently shown to be highly homologous to gene encoding the ..cap alpha.. subunits of mammalian G proteins. Physiological analysis of temperature-sensitive gpal mutations suggests that the encoded G protein is involved in signaling in response to mating pheromones. Mutational disruption of G-protein activity causes cell-cycle arrest in G/sub 1/, deposition of mating-specific cell surface aggultinins, and induction of pheromone-specific mRNa, all of which are responses to pheromone in wild-type cells. In addition, mutants can conjugate without the benefit of mating pheromone or pheromone receptor. A model is presented where the activated G protein has a negative impact on a constitutive signal which normally keeps the pheromone response repressed.

  11. A plant factory for moth pheromone production.

    PubMed

    Ding, Bao-Jian; Hofvander, Per; Wang, Hong-Lei; Durrett, Timothy P; Stymne, Sten; Löfstedt, Christer

    2014-01-01

    Moths depend on pheromone communication for mate finding and synthetic pheromones are used for monitoring or disruption of pheromone communication in pest insects. Here we produce moth sex pheromone, using Nicotiana benthamiana as a plant factory, by transient expression of up to four genes coding for consecutive biosynthetic steps. We specifically produce multicomponent sex pheromones for two species. The fatty alcohol fractions from the genetically modified plants are acetylated to mimic the respective sex pheromones of the small ermine moths Yponomeuta evonymella and Y. padella. These mixtures are very efficient and specific for trapping of male moths, matching the activity of conventionally produced pheromones. Our long-term vision is to design tailor-made production of any moth pheromone component in genetically modified plants. Such semisynthetic preparation of sex pheromones is a novel and cost-effective way of producing moderate to large quantities of pheromones with high purity and a minimum of hazardous waste. PMID:24569486

  12. Construction of an in vivo system for functional analysis of the genes involved in sex pheromone production in the silkmoth, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Moto, Ken-Ichi; Matsumoto, Shogo

    2012-01-01

    Moths produce species-specific sex pheromones to attract conspecific mates. The biochemical processes that comprise sex pheromone biosynthesis are precisely regulated and a number of gene products are involved in this biosynthesis and regulation. In recent years, at least 300 EST clones have been isolated from Bombyx mori pheromone gland (PG) specific cDNA libraries with some of those clones [i.e., B. mori PG-specific desaturase 1 (Bmpgdesat1), PG-specific fatty acyl reductase, PG-specific acyl-CoA-binding protein, B. mori fatty acid transport protein, B. mori lipid storage droplet protein-1] characterized and demonstrated to play a role in sex pheromone production. However, most of the EST clones have yet to be fully characterized and identified. To develop an efficient system for analyzing sex pheromone production-related genes, we investigated the feasibility of a novel gene analysis system using the upstream region of Bmpgdesat1 that should contain a PG-specific gene promoter in conjunction with piggyBac vector-mediated germ line transformation. As a result, we have been able to obtain expression of our reporter gene (enhanced green fluorescent protein) in the PG but not in other tissues of transgenic B. mori. Current results indicate that we have successfully constructed a novel in vivo gene analysis system for sex pheromone production in B. mori. PMID:22649415

  13. Genetic manipulation to analyze pheromone responses: knockouts of multiple receptor genes.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Tomohiro

    2013-01-01

    Gene targeting in the mouse is an essential technique to study gene function in vivo. Multigene families encoding vomeronasal receptor (VR) type 1 and type 2 consist of ~300 intact genes, which are clustered at multiple loci in the mouse genome. To understand the function of VRs and neurons expressing a particular VR in vivo, individual endogenous receptor genes can be manipulated by conventional gene targeting to create loss-of-function mutations or to visualize neurons and their axons expressing the VR. Multiple receptor genes in a cluster can also be deleted simultaneously by chromosome engineering, allowing analysis of function of a particular VR subfamily. Here, we describe protocols for conventional gene targeting and chromosome engineering for deleting a large genomic region in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. PMID:24014359

  14. Pheromone production in bark beetles.

    PubMed

    Blomquist, Gary J; Figueroa-Teran, Rubi; Aw, Mory; Song, Minmin; Gorzalski, Andrew; Abbott, Nicole L; Chang, Eric; Tittiger, Claus

    2010-10-01

    The first aggregation pheromone components from bark beetles were identified in 1966 as a mixture of ipsdienol, ipsenol and verbenol. Since then, a number of additional components have been identified as both aggregation and anti-aggregation pheromones, with many of them being monoterpenoids or derived from monoterpenoids. The structural similarity between the major pheromone components of bark beetles and the monoterpenes found in the host trees, along with the association of monoterpenoid production with plant tissue, led to the paradigm that most if not all bark beetle pheromone components were derived from host tree precursors, often with a simple hydroxylation producing the pheromone. In the 1990 s there was a paradigm shift as evidence for de novo biosynthesis of pheromone components began to accumulate, and it is now recognized that most bark beetle monoterpenoid aggregation pheromone components are biosynthesized de novo. The bark beetle aggregation pheromones are released from the frass, which is consistent with the isoprenoid aggregation pheromones, including ipsdienol, ipsenol and frontalin, being produced in midgut tissue. It appears that exo-brevocomin is produced de novo in fat body tissue, and that verbenol, verbenone and verbenene are produced from dietary α-pinene in fat body tissue. Combined biochemical, molecular and functional genomics studies in Ips pini yielded the discovery and characterization of the enzymes that convert mevalonate pathway intermediates to pheromone components, including a novel bifunctional geranyl diphosphate synthase/myrcene synthase, a cytochrome P450 that hydroxylates myrcene to ipsdienol, and an oxidoreductase that interconverts ipsdienol and ipsdienone to achieve the appropriate stereochemistry of ipsdienol for pheromonal activity. Furthermore, the regulation of these genes and their corresponding enzymes proved complex and diverse in different species. Mevalonate pathway genes in pheromone producing male I. pini

  15. Foxn1 gene knockout suppresses sexual attractiveness and pheromonal components of male urine in inbred mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jian-Xu; Sun, Lixing; Zhang, Yao-Hua

    2010-01-01

    The immunocompetence handicap hypothesis (ICHH) posits that females prefer signals emitted by immunocompetent males over immunocompromised males and that these signals are honest. However, mechanisms of mate choice under an ICHH model may be impacted by levels of genetic variation (inbred animals vs. outbred animals). Here, we conducted 2-choice female preference experiments and chemical analyses of male urine in inbred BALB/c and outbred CD-1 mice, both of which have immunocompromised nude (nu) strains resulting from a Foxn1 gene knockout. We found that inbred BALB/c females but not outbred CD-1 females preferred the urine of healthy males over that of immunocompromised males despite measured differences in the qualities of their urine. There was a clear increase in female-attracting pheromones (such as farnesenes) in the preputial glands and urine metabolites in healthy BALB/c males but no such difference between CD-1 and CD-1 nu males. Therefore, CD-1 male urine failed to provide an honest mate-choice cue for females. Our results suggest that deleterious traits associated with male odor in mice might be jointly affected by the level of inbreeding and immunodeficiency caused by a single-gene knockout. PMID:20019156

  16. Pheromone-Regulated Expression of Sex Pheromone Plasmid pAD1-Encoded Aggregation Substance Depends on at Least Six Upstream Genes and a cis-Acting, Orientation-Dependent Factor

    PubMed Central

    Muscholl-Silberhorn, Albrecht B.

    2000-01-01

    Conjugative transfer of Enterococcus faecalis-specific sex pheromone plasmids relies on an adhesin, called aggregation substance, to confer a tight cell-to-cell contact between the mating partners. To analyze the dependence of pAD1-encoded aggregation substance, Asa1, on pheromone induction, a variety of upstream fragments were fused to an α-amylase reporter gene, amyL, by use of a novel promoter probe vector, pAMY-em1. For pheromone-regulated α-amylase activity, a total of at least six genes, traB, traC, traA, traE1, orfY, and orf1, are required: TraB efficiently represses asa1 (by a mechanism unrelated to its presumptive function in pheromone shutdown, since a complete shutdown is observed exclusively in the presence of traC); only traC can relieve traB-mediated repression in a pheromone-dependent manner. In addition to traB, traA is required but not sufficient for negative control. Mutational inactivation of traE1, orfY, or orf1, respectively, results in a total loss of α-amylase activity for constructs normally mediating constitutive expression. Inversion of a fragment covering traA, P0, and traE1 without disrupting any gene or control element switches off amyL or asa1 expression, indicating the involvement of a cis-acting, orientation-dependent factor (as had been shown for plasmid pCF10). Unexpectedly, pAD1 represses all pAMY-em1 derivatives in trans, while its own pheromone-dependent functions are unaffected. The discrepancy between the new data and those of former studies defining TraE1 as a trans-acting positive regulator is discussed. PMID:10850999

  17. Three subfamilies of pheromone and receptor genes generate multiple B mating specificities in the mushroom Coprinus cinereus.

    PubMed Central

    Halsall, J R; Milner, M J; Casselton, L A

    2000-01-01

    The B mating type locus of the basidiomycete Coprinus cinereus encodes a large family of lipopeptide pheromones and their seven transmembrane domain receptors. Here we show that the B42 locus, like the previously described B6 locus, derives its unique specificity from nine multiallelic genes that are organized into three subgroups each comprising a receptor and two pheromone genes. We show that the three genes within each group are kept together as a functional unit by being embedded in an allele-specific DNA sequence. Using a combination of sequence analysis, Southern blotting, and DNA-mediated transformation with cloned genes, we demonstrate that different B loci may share alleles of one or two groups of genes. This is consistent with the prediction that the three subgroups of genes are functionally redundant and that it is the different combinations of their alleles that generate the multiple B mating specificities found in nature. The B42 locus was found to contain an additional gene, mfs1, that encodes a putative multidrug transporter belonging to the major facilitator family. In strains with other B mating specificities, this gene, whose functional significance was not established, lies in a region of shared homology flanking the B locus. PMID:10757757

  18. Mammalian pheromones.

    PubMed

    Liberles, Stephen D

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian pheromones control a myriad of innate social behaviors and acutely regulate hormone levels. Responses to pheromones are highly robust, reproducible, and stereotyped and likely involve developmentally predetermined neural circuits. Here, I review several facets of pheromone transduction in mammals, including (a) chemosensory receptors and signaling components of the main olfactory epithelium and vomeronasal organ involved in pheromone detection; (b) pheromone-activated neural circuits subject to sex-specific and state-dependent modulation; and (c) the striking chemical diversity of mammalian pheromones, which range from small, volatile molecules and sulfated steroids to large families of proteins. Finally, I review (d) molecular mechanisms underlying various behavioral and endocrine responses, including modulation of puberty and estrous; control of reproduction, aggression, suckling, and parental behaviors; individual recognition; and distinguishing of own species from predators, competitors, and prey. Deconstruction of pheromone transduction mechanisms provides a critical foundation for understanding how odor response pathways generate instinctive behaviors. PMID:23988175

  19. Mammalian Pheromones

    PubMed Central

    Liberles, Stephen D.

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian pheromones control a myriad of innate social behaviors and acutely regulate hormone levels. Responses to pheromones are highly robust, reproducible, and stereotyped and likely involve developmentally predetermined neural circuits. Here, I review several facets of pheromone transduction in mammals, including (a) chemosensory receptors and signaling components of the main olfactory epithelium and vomeronasal organ involved in pheromone detection; (b) pheromone-activated neural circuits subject to sex-specific and state-dependent modulation; and (c) the striking chemical diversity of mammalian pheromones, which range from small, volatile molecules and sulfated steroids to large families of proteins. Finally, I review (d ) molecular mechanisms underlying various behavioral and endocrine responses, including modulation of puberty and estrous; control of reproduction, aggression, suckling, and parental behaviors; individual recognition; and distinguishing of own species from predators, competitors, and prey. Deconstruction of pheromone transduction mechanisms provides a critical foundation for understanding how odor response pathways generate instinctive behaviors. PMID:23988175

  20. Persistence drives gene clustering in bacterial genomes

    PubMed Central

    Fang, Gang; Rocha, Eduardo PC; Danchin, Antoine

    2008-01-01

    Background Gene clustering plays an important role in the organization of the bacterial chromosome and several mechanisms have been proposed to explain its extent. However, the controversies raised about the validity of each of these mechanisms remind us that the cause of this gene organization remains an open question. Models proposed to explain clustering did not take into account the function of the gene products nor the likely presence or absence of a given gene in a genome. However, genomes harbor two very different categories of genes: those genes present in a majority of organisms – persistent genes – and those present in very few organisms – rare genes. Results We show that two classes of genes are significantly clustered in bacterial genomes: the highly persistent and the rare genes. The clustering of rare genes is readily explained by the selfish operon theory. Yet, genes persistently present in bacterial genomes are also clustered and we try to understand why. We propose a model accounting specifically for such clustering, and show that indispensability in a genome with frequent gene deletion and insertion leads to the transient clustering of these genes. The model describes how clusters are created via the gene flux that continuously introduces new genes while deleting others. We then test if known selective processes, such as co-transcription, physical interaction or functional neighborhood, account for the stabilization of these clusters. Conclusion We show that the strong selective pressure acting on the function of persistent genes, in a permanent state of flux of genes in bacterial genomes, maintaining their size fairly constant, that drives persistent genes clustering. A further selective stabilization process might contribute to maintaining the clustering. PMID:18179692

  1. A moth pheromone brewery: production of (Z)-11-hexadecenol by heterologous co-expression of two biosynthetic genes from a noctuid moth in a yeast cell factory

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Moths (Lepidoptera) are highly dependent on chemical communication to find a mate. Compared to conventional unselective insecticides, synthetic pheromones have successfully served to lure male moths as a specific and environmentally friendly way to control important pest species. However, the chemical synthesis and purification of the sex pheromone components in large amounts is a difficult and costly task. The repertoire of enzymes involved in moth pheromone biosynthesis in insecta can be seen as a library of specific catalysts that can be used to facilitate the synthesis of a particular chemical component. In this study, we present a novel approach to effectively aid in the preparation of semi-synthetic pheromone components using an engineered vector co-expressing two key biosynthetic enzymes in a simple yeast cell factory. Results We first identified and functionally characterized a ∆11 Fatty-Acyl Desaturase and a Fatty-Acyl Reductase from the Turnip moth, Agrotis segetum. The ∆11-desaturase produced predominantly Z11-16:acyl, a common pheromone component precursor, from the abundant yeast palmitic acid and the FAR transformed a series of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids into their corresponding alcohols which may serve as pheromone components in many moth species. Secondly, when we co-expressed the genes in the Brewer’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a set of long-chain fatty acids and alcohols that are not naturally occurring in yeast were produced from inherent yeast fatty acids, and the presence of (Z)-11-hexadecenol (Z11-16:OH), demonstrated that both heterologous enzymes were active in concert. A 100 ml batch yeast culture produced on average 19.5 μg Z11-16:OH. Finally, we demonstrated that oxidized extracts from the yeast cells containing (Z)-11-hexadecenal and other aldehyde pheromone compounds elicited specific electrophysiological activity from male antennae of the Tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens, supporting the idea that

  2. The evolution of pheromonal communication.

    PubMed

    Swaney, William T; Keverne, Eric B

    2009-06-25

    Small-brained rodents have been the principle focus for pheromonal research and have provided comprehensive insights into the chemosensory mechanisms that underpin pheromonal communication and the hugely important roles that pheromones play in behavioural regulation. However, pheromonal communication does not start or end with the mouse and the rat, and work in amphibians reveals much about the likely evolutionary origins of the chemosensory systems that mediate pheromonal effects. The dual olfactory organs (the main olfactory epithelium and the vomeronasal organ), their receptors and their separate projection pathways appear to have ancient evolutionary origins, appearing in the aquatic ancestors of all tetrapods during the Devonian period and so pre-dating the transition to land. While the vomeronasal organ has long been considered an exclusively pheromonal organ, accumulating evidence indicates that it is not the sole channel for the transduction of pheromonal information and that both olfactory systems have been co-opted for the detection of different pheromone signals over the course of evolution. This has also led to great diversity in the vomeronasal and olfactory receptor families, with enormous levels of gene diversity and inactivation of genes in different species. Finally, the evolution of trichromacy as well as huge increases in social complexity have minimised the role of pheromones in the lives of primates, leading to the total inactivation of the vomeronasal system in catarrhine primates while the brain increased in size and behaviour became emancipated from hormonal regulation. PMID:18977248

  3. Expression of a desaturase gene, desat1, in neural and nonneural tissues separately affects perception and emission of sex pheromones in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Bousquet, François; Nojima, Tetsuya; Houot, Benjamin; Chauvel, Isabelle; Chaudy, Sylvie; Dupas, Stéphane; Yamamoto, Daisuke; Ferveur, Jean-François

    2012-01-01

    Animals often use sex pheromones for mate choice and reproduction. As for other signals, the genetic control of the emission and perception of sex pheromones must be tightly coadapted, and yet we still have no worked-out example of how these two aspects interact. Most models suggest that emission and perception rely on separate genetic control. We have identified a Drosophila melanogaster gene, desat1, that is involved in both the emission and the perception of sex pheromones. To explore the mechanism whereby these two aspects of communication interact, we investigated the relationship between the molecular structure, tissue-specific expression, and pheromonal phenotypes of desat1. We characterized the five desat1 transcripts—all of which yielded the same desaturase protein—and constructed transgenes with the different desat1 putative regulatory regions. Each region was used to target reporter transgenes with either (i) the fluorescent GFP marker to reveal desat1 tissue expression, or (ii) the desat1 RNAi sequence to determine the effects of genetic down-regulation on pheromonal phenotypes. We found that desat1 is expressed in a variety of neural and nonneural tissues, most of which are involved in reproductive functions. Our results suggest that distinct desat1 putative regulatory regions independently drive the expression in nonneural and in neural cells, such that the emission and perception of sex pheromones are precisely coordinated in this species. PMID:22114190

  4. Individual Variation in Pheromone Response Correlates with Reproductive Traits and Brain Gene Expression in Worker Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    Kocher, Sarah D.; Ayroles, Julien F.; Stone, Eric A.; Grozinger, Christina M.

    2010-01-01

    Background Variation in individual behavior within social groups can affect the fitness of the group as well as the individual, and can be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. However, the molecular factors associated with individual variation in social behavior remain relatively unexplored. We used honey bees (Apis mellifera) as a model to examine differences in socially-regulated behavior among individual workers, and used transcriptional profiling to determine if specific gene expression patterns are associated with these individual differences. In honey bees, the reproductive queen produces a pheromonal signal that regulates many aspects of worker behavior and physiology and maintains colony organization. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we demonstrate that there is substantial natural variation in individual worker attraction to queen pheromone (QMP). Furthermore, worker attraction is negatively correlated with ovariole number—a trait associated with reproductive potential in workers. We identified transcriptional differences in the adult brain associated with individual worker attraction to QMP, and identified hundreds of transcripts that are organized into statistically-correlated gene networks and associated with this response. Conclusions/Significance Our studies demonstrate that there is substantial variation in worker attraction to QMP among individuals, and that this variation is linked with specific differences in physiology and brain gene expression patterns. This variation in individual response thresholds may reveal underlying variation in queen-worker reproductive conflict, and may mediate colony function and productivity by creating variation in individual task performance. PMID:20161742

  5. Aphid pheromones.

    PubMed

    Dewhirst, Sarah Y; Pickett, John A; Hardie, Jim

    2010-01-01

    Aphids are the main insect pests of agricultural crops in temperate regions causing major economic losses. Although broad-spectrum insecticides are available for control, alternative and more targeted methods are needed due to insecticide resistance and increasing environmental pressures. An alternative control method for aphids is to exploit their pheromones, which have been extensively studied in recent years. For example, aphids release alarm pheromones in response to natural enemy attack and these could be used to deter aphids from the crops. Sex pheromones have also been identified which could be used to interfere males locating conspecific females (oviparae), as well as for manipulating natural enemies. Several hypotheses relating to how species integrity is maintained via the aphid sex pheromone have been proposed. The composition and behavioral activity of these pheromones, and how their use could be implemented in integrated pest management systems to control aphids, is discussed. PMID:20831961

  6. Evolution of the Aflatoxin Gene Cluster

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Why Aspergillus species produce aflatoxin remains an unsolved question. In this report, we suggest that evolution of the aflatoxin biosynthesis gene cluster has been a multistep process. More than 300 million years ago, a primordial cluster of genes allowed production of anthraquinones that may ha...

  7. Biological cluster evaluation for gene function prediction.

    PubMed

    Klie, Sebastian; Nikoloski, Zoran; Selbig, Joachim

    2014-06-01

    Recent advances in high-throughput omics techniques render it possible to decode the function of genes by using the "guilt-by-association" principle on biologically meaningful clusters of gene expression data. However, the existing frameworks for biological evaluation of gene clusters are hindered by two bottleneck issues: (1) the choice for the number of clusters, and (2) the external measures which do not take in consideration the structure of the analyzed data and the ontology of the existing biological knowledge. Here, we address the identified bottlenecks by developing a novel framework that allows not only for biological evaluation of gene expression clusters based on existing structured knowledge, but also for prediction of putative gene functions. The proposed framework facilitates propagation of statistical significance at each of the following steps: (1) estimating the number of clusters, (2) evaluating the clusters in terms of novel external structural measures, (3) selecting an optimal clustering algorithm, and (4) predicting gene functions. The framework also includes a method for evaluation of gene clusters based on the structure of the employed ontology. Moreover, our method for obtaining a probabilistic range for the number of clusters is demonstrated valid on synthetic data and available gene expression profiles from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Finally, we propose a network-based approach for gene function prediction which relies on the clustering of optimal score and the employed ontology. Our approach effectively predicts gene function on the Saccharomyces cerevisiae data set and is also employed to obtain putative gene functions for an Arabidopsis thaliana data set. PMID:20059365

  8. Pichia stipitis genomics, transcriptomics, and gene clusters

    PubMed Central

    Jeffries, Thomas W; Van Vleet, Jennifer R Headman

    2009-01-01

    Genome sequencing and subsequent global gene expression studies have advanced our understanding of the lignocellulose-fermenting yeast Pichia stipitis. These studies have provided an insight into its central carbon metabolism, and analysis of its genome has revealed numerous functional gene clusters and tandem repeats. Specialized physiological traits are often the result of several gene products acting together. When coinheritance is necessary for the overall physiological function, recombination and selection favor colocation of these genes in a cluster. These are particularly evident in strongly conserved and idiomatic traits. In some cases, the functional clusters consist of multiple gene families. Phylogenetic analyses of the members in each family show that once formed, functional clusters undergo duplication and differentiation. Genome-wide expression analysis reveals that regulatory patterns of clusters are similar after they have duplicated and that the expression profiles evolve along with functional differentiation of the clusters. Orthologous gene families appear to arise through tandem gene duplication, followed by differentiation in the regulatory and coding regions of the gene. Genome-wide expression analysis combined with cross-species comparisons of functional gene clusters should reveal many more aspects of eukaryotic physiology. PMID:19659741

  9. Clustering of High Throughput Gene Expression Data

    PubMed Central

    Pirim, Harun; Ekşioğlu, Burak; Perkins, Andy; Yüceer, Çetin

    2012-01-01

    High throughput biological data need to be processed, analyzed, and interpreted to address problems in life sciences. Bioinformatics, computational biology, and systems biology deal with biological problems using computational methods. Clustering is one of the methods used to gain insight into biological processes, particularly at the genomics level. Clearly, clustering can be used in many areas of biological data analysis. However, this paper presents a review of the current clustering algorithms designed especially for analyzing gene expression data. It is also intended to introduce one of the main problems in bioinformatics - clustering gene expression data - to the operations research community. PMID:23144527

  10. Sequence analysis of mouse vomeronasal receptor gene clusters reveals common promoter motifs and a history of recent expansion

    PubMed Central

    Lane, Robert P.; Cutforth, Tyler; Axel, Richard; Hood, Leroy; Trask, Barbara J.

    2002-01-01

    We have analyzed the organization and sequence of 73 V1R genes encoding putative pheromone receptors to identify regulatory features and characterize the evolutionary history of the V1R family. The 73 V1Rs arose from seven ancestral genes around the time of mouse–rat speciation through large local duplications, and this expansion may contribute to speciation events. Orthologous V1R genes appear to have been lost during primate evolution. Exceptional noncoding homology is observed across four V1R subfamilies at one cluster and thus may be important for locus-specific transcriptional regulation. PMID:11752409

  11. Clustering of gene ontology terms in genomes.

    PubMed

    Tiirikka, Timo; Siermala, Markku; Vihinen, Mauno

    2014-10-25

    Although protein coding genes occupy only a small fraction of genomes in higher species, they are not randomly distributed within or between chromosomes. Clustering of genes with related function(s) and/or characteristics has been evident at several different levels. To study how common the clustering of functionally related genes is and what kind of functions the end products of these genes are involved, we collected gene ontology (GO) terms for complete genomes and developed a method to detect previously undefined gene clustering. Exhaustive analysis was performed for seven widely studied species ranging from human to Escherichia coli. To overcome problems related to varying gene lengths and densities, a novel method was developed and a fixed number of genes were analyzed irrespective of the genome span covered. Statistically very significant GO term clustering was apparent in all the investigated genomes. The analysis window, which ranged from 5 to 50 consecutive genes, revealed extensive GO term clusters for genes with widely varying functions. Here, the most interesting and significant results are discussed and the complete dataset for each analyzed species is available at the GOme database at http://bioinf.uta.fi/GOme. The results indicated that clusters of genes with related functions are very common, not only in bacteria, in which operons are frequent, but also in all the studied species irrespective of how complex they are. There are some differences between species but in all of them GO term clusters are common and of widely differing sizes. The presented method can be applied to analyze any genome or part of a genome for which descriptive features are available, and thus is not restricted to ontology terms. This method can also be applied to investigate gene and protein expression patterns. The results pave a way for further studies of mechanisms that shape genome structure and evolutionary forces related to them. PMID:24995610

  12. Chicken rRNA Gene Cluster Structure

    PubMed Central

    Dyomin, Alexander G.; Koshel, Elena I.; Kiselev, Artem M.; Saifitdinova, Alsu F.; Galkina, Svetlana A.; Fukagawa, Tatsuo; Kostareva, Anna A.

    2016-01-01

    Ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes, whose activity results in nucleolus formation, constitute an extremely important part of genome. Despite the extensive exploration into avian genomes, no complete description of avian rRNA gene primary structure has been offered so far. We publish a complete chicken rRNA gene cluster sequence here, including 5’ETS (1836 bp), 18S rRNA gene (1823 bp), ITS1 (2530 bp), 5.8S rRNA gene (157 bp), ITS2 (733 bp), 28S rRNA gene (4441 bp) and 3’ETS (343 bp). The rRNA gene cluster sequence of 11863 bp was assembled from raw reads and deposited to GenBank under KT445934 accession number. The assembly was validated through in situ fluorescent hybridization analysis on chicken metaphase chromosomes using computed and synthesized specific probes, as well as through the reference assembly against de novo assembled rRNA gene cluster sequence using sequenced fragments of BAC-clone containing chicken NOR (nucleolus organizer region). The results have confirmed the chicken rRNA gene cluster validity. PMID:27299357

  13. Clustering gene expression data using graph separators.

    PubMed

    Kaba, Bangaly; Pinet, Nicolas; Lelandais, Gaëlle; Sigayret, Alain; Berry, Anne

    2007-01-01

    Recent work has used graphs to modelize expression data from microarray experiments, in view of partitioning the genes into clusters. In this paper, we introduce the use of a decomposition by clique separators. Our aim is to improve the classical clustering methods in two ways: first we want to allow an overlap between clusters, as this seems biologically sound, and second we want to be guided by the structure of the graph to define the number of clusters. We test this approach with a well-known yeast database (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Our results are good, as the expression profiles of the clusters we find are very coherent. Moreover, we are able to organize into another graph the clusters we find, and order them in a fashion which turns out to respect the chronological order defined by the the sporulation process. PMID:18391236

  14. Identification and Characterization of Pheromone Receptors and Interplay between Receptors and Pheromone Binding Proteins in the Diamondback Moth, Plutella xyllostella

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Mengjing; Liu, Yang; Walker, William B.; Liu, Chengcheng; Lin, Kejian; Gu, Shaohua; Zhang, Yongjun; Zhou, Jingjiang; Wang, Guirong

    2013-01-01

    Moths depend on olfactory cues such as sex pheromones to find and recognize mating partners. Pheromone receptors (PRs) and Pheromone binding proteins (PBPs) are thought to be associated with olfactory signal transduction of pheromonal compounds in peripheral olfactory reception. Here six candidate pheromone receptor genes in the diamondback moth, Plutella xyllostella were identified and cloned. All of the six candidate PR genes display male-biased expression, which is a typical characteristic of pheromone receptors. In the Xenopus-based functional study and in situ hybridization, PxylOR4 is defined as another pheromone receptor in addition to the previously characterized PxylOR1. In the study of interaction between PRs and PBPs, PxylPBPs could increase the sensitivity of the complex expressing oocyte cells to the ligand pheromone component while decreasing the sensitivity to pheromone analogs. We deduce that activating pheromone receptors in olfactory receptor neurons requires some role of PBPs to pheromone/PBP complex. If the chemical signal is not the pheromone component, but instead, a pheromone analog with a similar structure, the complex would have a decreased ability to activate downstream pheromone receptors. PMID:23626773

  15. ORA1, a Zebrafish Olfactory Receptor Ancestral to All Mammalian V1R Genes, Recognizes 4-Hydroxyphenylacetic Acid, a Putative Reproductive Pheromone

    PubMed Central

    Behrens, Maik; Frank, Oliver; Rawel, Harshadrai; Ahuja, Gaurav; Potting, Christoph; Hofmann, Thomas; Meyerhof, Wolfgang; Korsching, Sigrun

    2014-01-01

    The teleost v1r-related ora genes are a small, highly conserved olfactory receptor gene family of only six genes, whose direct orthologues can be identified in lineages as far as that of cartilaginous fish. However, no ligands for fish olfactory receptor class A related genes (ORA) had been uncovered so far. Here we have deorphanized the ORA1 receptor using heterologous expression and calcium imaging. We report that zebrafish ORA1 recognizes with high specificity and sensitivity 4-hydroxyphenylacetic acid. The carboxyl group of this compound is required in a particular distance from the aromatic ring, whereas the hydroxyl group in the para-position is not essential, but strongly enhances the binding efficacy. Low concentrations of 4-hydroxyphenylacetic acid elicit increases in oviposition frequency in zebrafish mating pairs. This effect is abolished by naris closure. We hypothesize that 4-hydroxyphenylacetic acid might function as a pheromone for reproductive behavior in zebrafish. ORA1 is ancestral to mammalian V1Rs, and its putative function as pheromone receptor is reminiscent of the role of several mammalian V1Rs as pheromone receptors. PMID:24831010

  16. Clustering Genes of Common Evolutionary History

    PubMed Central

    Gori, Kevin; Suchan, Tomasz; Alvarez, Nadir; Goldman, Nick; Dessimoz, Christophe

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetic inference can potentially result in a more accurate tree using data from multiple loci. However, if the loci are incongruent—due to events such as incomplete lineage sorting or horizontal gene transfer—it can be misleading to infer a single tree. To address this, many previous contributions have taken a mechanistic approach, by modeling specific processes. Alternatively, one can cluster loci without assuming how these incongruencies might arise. Such “process-agnostic” approaches typically infer a tree for each locus and cluster these. There are, however, many possible combinations of tree distance and clustering methods; their comparative performance in the context of tree incongruence is largely unknown. Furthermore, because standard model selection criteria such as AIC cannot be applied to problems with a variable number of topologies, the issue of inferring the optimal number of clusters is poorly understood. Here, we perform a large-scale simulation study of phylogenetic distances and clustering methods to infer loci of common evolutionary history. We observe that the best-performing combinations are distances accounting for branch lengths followed by spectral clustering or Ward’s method. We also introduce two statistical tests to infer the optimal number of clusters and show that they strongly outperform the silhouette criterion, a general-purpose heuristic. We illustrate the usefulness of the approach by 1) identifying errors in a previous phylogenetic analysis of yeast species and 2) identifying topological incongruence among newly sequenced loci of the globeflower fly genus Chiastocheta. We release treeCl, a new program to cluster genes of common evolutionary history (http://git.io/treeCl). PMID:26893301

  17. Clustering Genes of Common Evolutionary History.

    PubMed

    Gori, Kevin; Suchan, Tomasz; Alvarez, Nadir; Goldman, Nick; Dessimoz, Christophe

    2016-06-01

    Phylogenetic inference can potentially result in a more accurate tree using data from multiple loci. However, if the loci are incongruent-due to events such as incomplete lineage sorting or horizontal gene transfer-it can be misleading to infer a single tree. To address this, many previous contributions have taken a mechanistic approach, by modeling specific processes. Alternatively, one can cluster loci without assuming how these incongruencies might arise. Such "process-agnostic" approaches typically infer a tree for each locus and cluster these. There are, however, many possible combinations of tree distance and clustering methods; their comparative performance in the context of tree incongruence is largely unknown. Furthermore, because standard model selection criteria such as AIC cannot be applied to problems with a variable number of topologies, the issue of inferring the optimal number of clusters is poorly understood. Here, we perform a large-scale simulation study of phylogenetic distances and clustering methods to infer loci of common evolutionary history. We observe that the best-performing combinations are distances accounting for branch lengths followed by spectral clustering or Ward's method. We also introduce two statistical tests to infer the optimal number of clusters and show that they strongly outperform the silhouette criterion, a general-purpose heuristic. We illustrate the usefulness of the approach by 1) identifying errors in a previous phylogenetic analysis of yeast species and 2) identifying topological incongruence among newly sequenced loci of the globeflower fly genus Chiastocheta We release treeCl, a new program to cluster genes of common evolutionary history (http://git.io/treeCl). PMID:26893301

  18. Comparative Genomics Uncovers Unique Gene Turnover and Evolutionary Rates in a Gene Family Involved in the Detection of Insect Cuticular Pheromones

    PubMed Central

    Torres-Oliva, Montserrat; Almeida, Francisca C.; Sánchez-Gracia, Alejandro; Rozas, Julio

    2016-01-01

    Chemoreception is an essential process for the survival and reproduction of animals. Many of the proteins responsible for recognizing and transmitting chemical stimuli in insects are encoded by genes that are members of moderately sized multigene families. The members of the CheB family are specialized in gustatory-mediated detection of long-chain hydrocarbon pheromones in Drosophila melanogaster and play a central role in triggering and modulating mating behavior in this species. Here, we present a comprehensive comparative genomic analysis of the CheB family across 12 species of the Drosophila genus. We have identified a total of 102 new CheB genes in the genomes of these species, including a functionally divergent member previously uncharacterized in D. melanogaster. We found that, despite its relatively small repertory size, the CheB family has undergone multiple gain and loss events and various episodes of diversifying selection during the divergence of the surveyed species. Present estimates of gene turnover and coding sequence substitution rates show that this family is evolving faster than any known Drosophila chemosensory family. To date, only other insect gustatory-related genes among these families had shown evolutionary dynamics close to those observed in CheBs. Our findings reveal the high adaptive potential of molecular components of the gustatory system in insects and anticipate a key role of genes involved in this sensory modality in species adaptation and diversification.

  19. Ant trail pheromone biosynthesis is triggered by a neuropeptide hormone.

    PubMed

    Choi, Man-Yeon; Vander Meer, Robert K

    2012-01-01

    Our understanding of insect chemical communication including pheromone identification, synthesis, and their role in behavior has advanced tremendously over the last half-century. However, endocrine regulation of pheromone biosynthesis has progressed slowly due to the complexity of direct and/or indirect hormonal activation of the biosynthetic cascades resulting in insect pheromones. Over 20 years ago, a neurohormone, pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PBAN) was identified that stimulated sex pheromone biosynthesis in a lepidopteran moth. Since then, the physiological role, target site, and signal transduction of PBAN has become well understood for sex pheromone biosynthesis in moths. Despite that PBAN-like peptides (∼200) have been identified from various insect Orders, their role in pheromone regulation had not expanded to the other insect groups except for Lepidoptera. Here, we report that trail pheromone biosynthesis in the Dufour's gland (DG) of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, is regulated by PBAN. RNAi knock down of PBAN gene (in subesophageal ganglia) or PBAN receptor gene (in DG) expression inhibited trail pheromone biosynthesis. Reduced trail pheromone was documented analytically and through a behavioral bioassay. Extension of PBAN's role in pheromone biosynthesis to a new target insect, mode of action, and behavioral function will renew research efforts on the involvement of PBAN in pheromone biosynthesis in Insecta. PMID:23226278

  20. Ant Trail Pheromone Biosynthesis Is Triggered by a Neuropeptide Hormone

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Man-Yeon; Vander Meer, Robert K.

    2012-01-01

    Our understanding of insect chemical communication including pheromone identification, synthesis, and their role in behavior has advanced tremendously over the last half-century. However, endocrine regulation of pheromone biosynthesis has progressed slowly due to the complexity of direct and/or indirect hormonal activation of the biosynthetic cascades resulting in insect pheromones. Over 20 years ago, a neurohormone, pheromone biosynthesis activating neuropeptide (PBAN) was identified that stimulated sex pheromone biosynthesis in a lepidopteran moth. Since then, the physiological role, target site, and signal transduction of PBAN has become well understood for sex pheromone biosynthesis in moths. Despite that PBAN-like peptides (∼200) have been identified from various insect Orders, their role in pheromone regulation had not expanded to the other insect groups except for Lepidoptera. Here, we report that trail pheromone biosynthesis in the Dufour's gland (DG) of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, is regulated by PBAN. RNAi knock down of PBAN gene (in subesophageal ganglia) or PBAN receptor gene (in DG) expression inhibited trail pheromone biosynthesis. Reduced trail pheromone was documented analytically and through a behavioral bioassay. Extension of PBAN's role in pheromone biosynthesis to a new target insect, mode of action, and behavioral function will renew research efforts on the involvement of PBAN in pheromone biosynthesis in Insecta. PMID:23226278

  1. Transcriptional activation by the sexual pheromone and wounding: a new gene family from Volvox encoding modular proteins with (hydroxy)proline-rich and metalloproteinase homology domains.

    PubMed

    Hallmann, A; Amon, P; Godl, K; Heitzer, M; Sumper, M

    2001-06-01

    The green alga Volvox represents the simplest kind of multicellular organism: it is composed of only two cell types, somatic and reproductive, making it suitable as a model system. The sexual development of males and females of Volvox carteri is triggered by a sex-inducing pheromone at a concentration of < 10-16 M. Early biochemical responses to the pheromone involve structural modifications within the extracellular matrix (ECM). By differential screenings of cDNA libraries made from mRNAs of pheromone-treated Volvox, four novel genes were identified that encode four closely related Volvox metalloproteinases that we use to define a new protein family, the VMPs. The existence of several features common to matrix glycoproteins, such as signal peptides, a (hydroxy)proline content of 12-25%, and Ser(Pro)2-4 repeats, suggest an extracellular localization of the VMPs within the ECM. Synthesis of VMP cDNAs is triggered not only by the sex-inducing pheromone, but also by wounding, and is restricted to the somatic cell type. Sequence comparisons suggest that the VMPs are members of the MB clan of zinc-dependent matrix metalloproteinases, although the putative zinc binding site of all VMPs is QEXXHXXGXXH rather than HEXXHXXGXXH. The presence of glutamine instead of histidine in the zinc binding motif suggests a novel family, or even clan, of peptidases. Like the matrixin family of human collagenases, Volvox VMPs exhibit a modular structure: they possess a metalloproteinase homology domain and a (hydroxy)proline-rich domain, and one of them, VMP4, also has two additional domains. Metalloproteinases seem to be crucial for biochemical modifications of the ECM during development or after wounding in the lower eukaryote Volvox with only two cell types, just as in higher organisms. PMID:11489172

  2. The rise of operon-like gene clusters in plants.

    PubMed

    Boycheva, Svetlana; Daviet, Laurent; Wolfender, Jean-Luc; Fitzpatrick, Teresa B

    2014-07-01

    Gene clusters are common features of prokaryotic genomes also present in eukaryotes. Most clustered genes known are involved in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites. Although horizontal gene transfer is a primary source of prokaryotic gene cluster (operon) formation and has been reported to occur in eukaryotes, the predominant source of cluster formation in eukaryotes appears to arise de novo or through gene duplication followed by neo- and sub-functionalization or translocation. Here we aim to provide an overview of the current knowledge and open questions related to plant gene cluster functioning, assembly, and regulation. We also present potential research approaches and point out the benefits of a better understanding of gene clusters in plants for both fundamental and applied plant science. PMID:24582794

  3. An approach for clustering gene expression data with error information

    PubMed Central

    Tjaden, Brian

    2006-01-01

    Background Clustering of gene expression patterns is a well-studied technique for elucidating trends across large numbers of transcripts and for identifying likely co-regulated genes. Even the best clustering methods, however, are unlikely to provide meaningful results if too much of the data is unreliable. With the maturation of microarray technology, a wealth of research on statistical analysis of gene expression data has encouraged researchers to consider error and uncertainty in their microarray experiments, so that experiments are being performed increasingly with repeat spots per gene per chip and with repeat experiments. One of the challenges is to incorporate the measurement error information into downstream analyses of gene expression data, such as traditional clustering techniques. Results In this study, a clustering approach is presented which incorporates both gene expression values and error information about the expression measurements. Using repeat expression measurements, the error of each gene expression measurement in each experiment condition is estimated, and this measurement error information is incorporated directly into the clustering algorithm. The algorithm, CORE (Clustering Of Repeat Expression data), is presented and its performance is validated using statistical measures. By using error information about gene expression measurements, the clustering approach is less sensitive to noise in the underlying data and it is able to achieve more accurate clusterings. Results are described for both synthetic expression data as well as real gene expression data from Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Conclusion The additional information provided by replicate gene expression measurements is a valuable asset in effective clustering. Gene expression profiles with high errors, as determined from repeat measurements, may be unreliable and may associate with different clusters, whereas gene expression profiles with low errors can be

  4. Inferring the Recent Duplication History of a Gene Cluster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Giltae; Zhang, Louxin; Vinař, Tomáš; Miller, Webb

    Much important evolutionary activity occurs in gene clusters, where a copy of a gene may be free to evolve new functions. Computational methods to extract evolutionary information from sequence data for such clusters are currently imperfect, in part because accurate sequence data are often lacking in these genomic regions, making the existing methods difficult to apply. We describe a new method for reconstructing the recent evolutionary history of gene clusters. The method’s performance is evaluated on simulated data and on actual human gene clusters.

  5. The gene repertoire and the common evolutionary history of glutamate, pheromone (V2R), taste(1) and other related G protein-coupled receptors.

    PubMed

    Bjarnadóttir, Thóra K; Fredriksson, Robert; Schiöth, Helgi B

    2005-12-01

    Glutamate receptors (also known as clan C) are one of the main groups of GPCRs with many subgroup linked through complex evolutionary relationships. We performed thorough searches for genes coding for proteins belonging to this family in the human, mouse, Fugu, and zebrafish genomes, as well as in four invertebrate species. We assembled over 70 new full-length sequences from protein predictions excluding pseudogenes. This resulted in a total of 22 full-length sequences from the human genome, 79 from the mouse genome, 30 from the Fugu genome, and 32 from the zebrafish genome (pseudogenes are not included in these numbers). We show that the vertebrate Glutamate GPCRs form four main phylogenetic groups with a total of eight subgroups (Group I: V2R, TAS1R, GPRC6A, and CASR, Group II: GRM, Group III: GABA together with previously unpublished GPR158 and GPR158L and Group IV: GPRC5). All eight receptor subgroups are present both in mammals and fish, except for GPRC5 and GPR158. The pheromone (V2R), GPRC6, and sweet taste (TAS1) receptors were not found in invertebrates while GRM, GABA, and CASR were found in both C. elegans and C. intestinalis. The pheromone receptors are found in high numbers in mouse, zebrafish and Fugu but are only found as pseudogenes in the human genome. This report provides a comprehensive overview of the expansion/deletions of the groups within the Glutamate receptor family. PMID:16229975

  6. Super-paramagnetic clustering of yeast gene expression profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Getz, G.; Levine, E.; Domany, E.; Zhang, M. Q.

    2000-04-01

    High-density DNA arrays, used to monitor gene expression at a genomic scale, have produced vast amounts of information which require the development of efficient computational methods to analyze them. The important first step is to extract the fundamental patterns of gene expression inherent in the data. This paper describes the application of a novel clustering algorithm, super-paramagnetic clustering (SPC) to analysis of gene expression profiles that were generated recently during a study of the yeast cell cycle. SPC was used to organize genes into biologically relevant clusters that are suggestive for their co-regulation. Some of the advantages of SPC are its robustness against noise and initialization, a clear signature of cluster formation and splitting, and an unsupervised self-organized determination of the number of clusters at each resolution. Our analysis revealed interesting correlated behavior of several groups of genes which has not been previously identified.

  7. High-level plasmid-mediated gentamicin resistance and pheromone response of plasmids present in clinical isolates of Enterococcus faecalis.

    PubMed Central

    Shiojima, M; Tomita, H; Tanimoto, K; Fujimoto, S; Ike, Y

    1997-01-01

    Eleven pheromone-responding plasmids encoding erythromycin or gentamicin resistance were isolated from multiresistant clinical Enterococcus faecalis isolates. The plasmids were classified into six types with respect to their pheromone responses. The three erythromycin resistance plasmids responded to different pheromones. Of the eight gentamicin resistance plasmids, four plasmids responded to same pheromone. Southern hybridization studies showed that the genes involved in regulation of the pheromone response were conserved in the drug resistance plasmids. PMID:9056018

  8. Prokaryotic Gene Clusters: A Rich Toolbox for Synthetic Biology

    PubMed Central

    Fischbach, Michael; Voigt, Christopher A.

    2014-01-01

    Bacteria construct elaborate nanostructures, obtain nutrients and energy from diverse sources, synthesize complex molecules, and implement signal processing to react to their environment. These complex phenotypes require the coordinated action of multiple genes, which are often encoded in a contiguous region of the genome, referred to as a gene cluster. Gene clusters sometimes contain all of the genes necessary and sufficient for a particular function. As an evolutionary mechanism, gene clusters facilitate the horizontal transfer of the complete function between species. Here, we review recent work on a number of clusters whose functions are relevant to biotechnology. Engineering these clusters has been hindered by their regulatory complexity, the need to balance the expression of many genes, and a lack of tools to design and manipulate DNA at this scale. Advances in synthetic biology will enable the large-scale bottom-up engineering of the clusters to optimize their functions, wake up cryptic clusters, or to transfer them between organisms. Understanding and manipulating gene clusters will move towards an era of genome engineering, where multiple functions can be “mixed-and-matched” to create a designer organism. PMID:21154668

  9. Bioinformatics Prediction of Polyketide Synthase Gene Clusters from Mycosphaerella fijiensis

    PubMed Central

    Noar, Roslyn D.; Daub, Margaret E.

    2016-01-01

    Mycosphaerella fijiensis, causal agent of black Sigatoka disease of banana, is a Dothideomycete fungus closely related to fungi that produce polyketides important for plant pathogenicity. We utilized the M. fijiensis genome sequence to predict PKS genes and their gene clusters and make bioinformatics predictions about the types of compounds produced by these clusters. Eight PKS gene clusters were identified in the M. fijiensis genome, placing M. fijiensis into the 23rd percentile for the number of PKS genes compared to other Dothideomycetes. Analysis of the PKS domains identified three of the PKS enzymes as non-reducing and two as highly reducing. Gene clusters contained types of genes frequently found in PKS clusters including genes encoding transporters, oxidoreductases, methyltransferases, and non-ribosomal peptide synthases. Phylogenetic analysis identified a putative PKS cluster encoding melanin biosynthesis. None of the other clusters were closely aligned with genes encoding known polyketides, however three of the PKS genes fell into clades with clusters encoding alternapyrone, fumonisin, and solanapyrone produced by Alternaria and Fusarium species. A search for homologs among available genomic sequences from 103 Dothideomycetes identified close homologs (>80% similarity) for six of the PKS sequences. One of the PKS sequences was not similar (< 60% similarity) to sequences in any of the 103 genomes, suggesting that it encodes a unique compound. Comparison of the M. fijiensis PKS sequences with those of two other banana pathogens, M. musicola and M. eumusae, showed that these two species have close homologs to five of the M. fijiensis PKS sequences, but three others were not found in either species. RT-PCR and RNA-Seq analysis showed that the melanin PKS cluster was down-regulated in infected banana as compared to growth in culture. Three other clusters, however were strongly upregulated during disease development in banana, suggesting that they may encode

  10. Bioinformatics Prediction of Polyketide Synthase Gene Clusters from Mycosphaerella fijiensis.

    PubMed

    Noar, Roslyn D; Daub, Margaret E

    2016-01-01

    Mycosphaerella fijiensis, causal agent of black Sigatoka disease of banana, is a Dothideomycete fungus closely related to fungi that produce polyketides important for plant pathogenicity. We utilized the M. fijiensis genome sequence to predict PKS genes and their gene clusters and make bioinformatics predictions about the types of compounds produced by these clusters. Eight PKS gene clusters were identified in the M. fijiensis genome, placing M. fijiensis into the 23rd percentile for the number of PKS genes compared to other Dothideomycetes. Analysis of the PKS domains identified three of the PKS enzymes as non-reducing and two as highly reducing. Gene clusters contained types of genes frequently found in PKS clusters including genes encoding transporters, oxidoreductases, methyltransferases, and non-ribosomal peptide synthases. Phylogenetic analysis identified a putative PKS cluster encoding melanin biosynthesis. None of the other clusters were closely aligned with genes encoding known polyketides, however three of the PKS genes fell into clades with clusters encoding alternapyrone, fumonisin, and solanapyrone produced by Alternaria and Fusarium species. A search for homologs among available genomic sequences from 103 Dothideomycetes identified close homologs (>80% similarity) for six of the PKS sequences. One of the PKS sequences was not similar (< 60% similarity) to sequences in any of the 103 genomes, suggesting that it encodes a unique compound. Comparison of the M. fijiensis PKS sequences with those of two other banana pathogens, M. musicola and M. eumusae, showed that these two species have close homologs to five of the M. fijiensis PKS sequences, but three others were not found in either species. RT-PCR and RNA-Seq analysis showed that the melanin PKS cluster was down-regulated in infected banana as compared to growth in culture. Three other clusters, however were strongly upregulated during disease development in banana, suggesting that they may encode

  11. A Large Gene Cluster for the Clostridium cellulovorans Cellulosome

    PubMed Central

    Tamaru, Yutaka; Karita, Shuichi; Ibrahim, Atef; Chan, Helen; Doi, Roy H.

    2000-01-01

    A large gene cluster for the Clostridium cellulovorans cellulosome has been cloned and sequenced upstream and downstream of the cbpA and exgS genes (C.-C. Liu and R. H. Doi, Gene 211:39–47, 1998). Gene walking revealed that the engL gene cluster (Y. Tamaru and R. H. Doi, J. Bacteriol. 182:244–247, 2000) was located downstream of the cbpA-exgS genes. Further DNA sequencing revealed that this cluster contains the genes for the scaffolding protein CbpA, the exoglucanase ExgS, several endoglucanases of family 9, the mannanase ManA, and the hydrophobic protein HbpA containing a surface layer homology domain and a hydrophobic (or cohesin) domain. The sequence of the clustered genes is cbpA-exgS-engH-engK-hbpA-engL-manA-engM-engN and is about 22 kb in length. The engN gene did not have a complete catalytic domain, indicating that engN is a truncated gene. This large gene cluster is flanked at the 5′ end by a putative noncellulosomal operon consisting of nifV-orf1-sigX-regA and at the 3′ end by noncellulosomal genes with homology to transposase (trp) and malate permease (mle). Since gene clusters for the cellulosome are also found in C. cellulolyticum and C. josui, they seem to be typical of mesophilic clostridia, indicating that the large gene clusters may arise from a common ancestor with some evolutionary modifications. PMID:11004194

  12. Mating Type Gene Homologues and Putative Sex Pheromone-Sensing Pathway in Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi, a Presumably Asexual Plant Root Symbiont

    PubMed Central

    Halary, Sébastien; Daubois, Laurence; Terrat, Yves; Ellenberger, Sabrina; Wöstemeyer, Johannes; Hijri, Mohamed

    2013-01-01

    The fungal kingdom displays a fascinating diversity of sex-determination systems. Recent advances in genomics provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of sex, mating type determination, and evolution of sexual reproduction in many fungal species in both ancient and modern phylogenetic lineages. All major fungal groups have evolved sexual differentiation and recombination pathways. However, sexuality is unknown in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) of the phylum Glomeromycota, an ecologically vital group of obligate plant root symbionts. AMF are commonly considered an ancient asexual lineage dating back to the Ordovician, approximately 460 M years ago. In this study, we used genomic and transcriptomic surveys of several AMF species to demonstrate the presence of conserved putative sex pheromone-sensing mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, comparable to those described in Ascomycota and Basidiomycota. We also find genes for high mobility group (HMG) transcription factors, homologous to SexM and SexP genes in the Mucorales. The SexM genes show a remarkable sequence diversity among multiple copies in the genome, while only a single SexP sequence was detected in some isolates of Rhizophagus irregularis. In the Mucorales and Microsporidia, the sexM gene is flanked by genes for a triosephosphate transporter (TPT) and a RNA helicase, but we find no evidence for synteny in the vicinity of the Sex locus in AMF. Nonetheless, our results, together with previous observations on meiotic machinery, suggest that AMF could undergo a complete sexual reproduction cycle. PMID:24260466

  13. A knowledge-based clustering algorithm driven by Gene Ontology.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Jill; Cline, Melissa; Martin, John; Finkelstein, David; Awad, Tarif; Kulp, David; Siani-Rose, Michael A

    2004-08-01

    We have developed an algorithm for inferring the degree of similarity between genes by using the graph-based structure of Gene Ontology (GO). We applied this knowledge-based similarity metric to a clique-finding algorithm for detecting sets of related genes with biological classifications. We also combined it with an expression-based distance metric to produce a co-cluster analysis, which accentuates genes with both similar expression profiles and similar biological characteristics and identifies gene clusters that are more stable and biologically meaningful. These algorithms are demonstrated in the analysis of MPRO cell differentiation time series experiments. PMID:15468759

  14. Sesterterpene ophiobolin biosynthesis involving multiple gene clusters in Aspergillus ustus

    PubMed Central

    Chai, Hangzhen; Yin, Ru; Liu, Yongfeng; Meng, Huiying; Zhou, Xianqiang; Zhou, Guolin; Bi, Xupeng; Yang, Xue; Zhu, Tonghan; Zhu, Weiming; Deng, Zixin; Hong, Kui

    2016-01-01

    Terpenoids are the most diverse and abundant natural products among which sesterterpenes account for less than 2%, with very few reports on their biosynthesis. Ophiobolins are tricyclic 5–8–5 ring sesterterpenes with potential pharmaceutical application. Aspergillus ustus 094102 from mangrove rizhosphere produces ophiobolin and other terpenes. We obtained five gene cluster knockout mutants, with altered ophiobolin yield using genome sequencing and in silico analysis, combined with in vivo genetic manipulation. Involvement of the five gene clusters in ophiobolin synthesis was confirmed by investigation of the five key terpene synthesis relevant enzymes in each gene cluster, either by gene deletion and complementation or in vitro verification of protein function. The results demonstrate that ophiobolin skeleton biosynthesis involves five gene clusters, which are responsible for C15, C20, C25, and C30 terpenoid biosynthesis. PMID:27273151

  15. Sesterterpene ophiobolin biosynthesis involving multiple gene clusters in Aspergillus ustus.

    PubMed

    Chai, Hangzhen; Yin, Ru; Liu, Yongfeng; Meng, Huiying; Zhou, Xianqiang; Zhou, Guolin; Bi, Xupeng; Yang, Xue; Zhu, Tonghan; Zhu, Weiming; Deng, Zixin; Hong, Kui

    2016-01-01

    Terpenoids are the most diverse and abundant natural products among which sesterterpenes account for less than 2%, with very few reports on their biosynthesis. Ophiobolins are tricyclic 5-8-5 ring sesterterpenes with potential pharmaceutical application. Aspergillus ustus 094102 from mangrove rizhosphere produces ophiobolin and other terpenes. We obtained five gene cluster knockout mutants, with altered ophiobolin yield using genome sequencing and in silico analysis, combined with in vivo genetic manipulation. Involvement of the five gene clusters in ophiobolin synthesis was confirmed by investigation of the five key terpene synthesis relevant enzymes in each gene cluster, either by gene deletion and complementation or in vitro verification of protein function. The results demonstrate that ophiobolin skeleton biosynthesis involves five gene clusters, which are responsible for C15, C20, C25, and C30 terpenoid biosynthesis. PMID:27273151

  16. Nearest Neighbor Networks: clustering expression data based on gene neighborhoods

    PubMed Central

    Huttenhower, Curtis; Flamholz, Avi I; Landis, Jessica N; Sahi, Sauhard; Myers, Chad L; Olszewski, Kellen L; Hibbs, Matthew A; Siemers, Nathan O; Troyanskaya, Olga G; Coller, Hilary A

    2007-01-01

    Background The availability of microarrays measuring thousands of genes simultaneously across hundreds of biological conditions represents an opportunity to understand both individual biological pathways and the integrated workings of the cell. However, translating this amount of data into biological insight remains a daunting task. An important initial step in the analysis of microarray data is clustering of genes with similar behavior. A number of classical techniques are commonly used to perform this task, particularly hierarchical and K-means clustering, and many novel approaches have been suggested recently. While these approaches are useful, they are not without drawbacks; these methods can find clusters in purely random data, and even clusters enriched for biological functions can be skewed towards a small number of processes (e.g. ribosomes). Results We developed Nearest Neighbor Networks (NNN), a graph-based algorithm to generate clusters of genes with similar expression profiles. This method produces clusters based on overlapping cliques within an interaction network generated from mutual nearest neighborhoods. This focus on nearest neighbors rather than on absolute distance measures allows us to capture clusters with high connectivity even when they are spatially separated, and requiring mutual nearest neighbors allows genes with no sufficiently similar partners to remain unclustered. We compared the clusters generated by NNN with those generated by eight other clustering methods. NNN was particularly successful at generating functionally coherent clusters with high precision, and these clusters generally represented a much broader selection of biological processes than those recovered by other methods. Conclusion The Nearest Neighbor Networks algorithm is a valuable clustering method that effectively groups genes that are likely to be functionally related. It is particularly attractive due to its simplicity, its success in the analysis of large datasets

  17. Genomic analyses of bacterial porin-cytochrome gene clusters

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Shi, Liang; Fredrickson, James K.; Zachara, John M.

    2014-11-26

    In this study, the porin-cytochrome (Pcc) protein complex is responsible for trans-outer membrane electron transfer during extracellular reduction of Fe(III) by the dissimilatory metal-reducing bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA. The identified and characterized Pcc complex of G. sulfurreducens PCA consists of a porin-like outer-membrane protein, a periplasmic 8-heme c type cytochrome (c-Cyt) and an outer-membrane 12-heme c-Cyt, and the genes encoding the Pcc proteins are clustered in the same regions of genome (i.e., the pcc gene clusters) of G. sulfurreducens PCA. A survey of additionally microbial genomes has identified the pcc gene clusters in all sequenced Geobacter spp. and other bacteriamore » from six different phyla, including Anaeromyxobacter dehalogenans 2CP-1, A. dehalogenans 2CP-C, Anaeromyxobacter sp. K, Candidatus Kuenenia stuttgartiensis, Denitrovibrio acetiphilus DSM 12809, Desulfurispirillum indicum S5, Desulfurivibrio alkaliphilus AHT2, Desulfurobacterium thermolithotrophum DSM 11699, Desulfuromonas acetoxidans DSM 684, Ignavibacterium album JCM 16511, and Thermovibrio ammonificans HB-1. The numbers of genes in the pcc gene clusters vary, ranging from two to nine. Similar to the metal-reducing (Mtr) gene clusters of other Fe(III)-reducing bacteria, such as Shewanella spp., additional genes that encode putative c-Cyts with predicted cellular localizations at the cytoplasmic membrane, periplasm and outer membrane often associate with the pcc gene clusters. This suggests that the Pcc-associated c-Cyts may be part of the pathways for extracellular electron transfer reactions. The presence of pcc gene clusters in the microorganisms that do not reduce solid-phase Fe(III) and Mn(IV) oxides, such as D. alkaliphilus AHT2 and I. album JCM 16511, also suggests that some of the pcc gene clusters may be involved in extracellular electron transfer reactions with the substrates other than Fe(III) and Mn(IV) oxides.« less

  18. Genomic Gene Clustering Analysis of Pathways in Eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jennifer M.; Sonnhammer, Erik L.L.

    2003-01-01

    Genomic clustering of genes in a pathway is commonly found in prokaryotes due to transcriptional operons, but these are not present in most eukaryotes. Yet, there might be clustering to a lesser extent of pathway members in eukaryotic genomes, that assist coregulation of a set of functionally cooperating genes. We analyzed five sequenced eukaryotic genomes for clustering of genes assigned to the same pathway in the KEGG database. Between 98% and 30% of the analyzed pathways in a genome were found to exhibit significantly higher clustering levels than expected by chance. In descending order by the level of clustering, the genomes studied were Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Homo sapiens, Caenorhabditis elegans, Arabidopsis thaliana, and Drosophila melanogaster. Surprisingly, there is not much agreement between genomes in terms of which pathways are most clustered. Only seven of 69 pathways found in all species were significantly clustered in all five of them. This species-specific pattern of pathway clustering may reflect adaptations or evolutionary events unique to a particular lineage. We note that although operons are common in C. elegans, only 58% of the pathways showed significant clustering, which is less than in human. Virtually all pathways in S. cerevisiae showed significant clustering. PMID:12695325

  19. The duplication of the Hox gene clusters in teleost fishes.

    PubMed

    Prohaska, Sonja J; Stadler, Peter F

    2004-06-01

    Higher teleost fishes, including zebrafish and fugu, have duplicated their Hox genes relative to the gene inventory of other gnathostome lineages. The most widely accepted theory contends that the duplicate Hox clusters orginated synchronously during a single genome duplication event in the early history of ray-finned fishes. In this contribution we collect and re-evaluate all publicly available sequence information. In particular, we show that the short Hox gene fragments from published PCR surveys of the killifish Fundulus heteroclitus, the medaka Oryzias latipes and the goldfish Carassius auratus can be used to determine with little ambiguity not only their paralog group but also their membership in a particular cluster.Together with a survey of the genomic sequence data from the pufferfish Tetraodon nigroviridis we show that at least percomorpha, and possibly all eutelosts, share a system of 7 or 8 orthologous Hox gene clusters. There is little doubt about the orthology of the two teleost duplicates of the HoxA and HoxB clusters. A careful analysis of both the coding sequence of Hox genes and of conserved non-coding sequences provides additional support for the "duplication early" hypothesis that the Hox clusters in teleosts are derived from eight ancestral clusters by means of subsequent gene loss; the data remain ambiguous, however, in particular for the HoxC clusters.Assuming the "duplication early" hypothesis we use the new evidence on the Hox gene complements to determine the phylogenetic positions of gene-loss events in the wake of the cluster duplication. Surprisingly, we find that the resolution of redundancy seems to be a slow process that is still ongoing. A few suggestions on which additional sequence data would be most informative for resolving the history of the teleostean Hox genes are discussed. PMID:18202881

  20. Biologically supervised hierarchical clustering algorithms for gene expression data.

    PubMed

    Boratyn, Grzegorz M; Datta, Susmita; Datta, Somnath

    2006-01-01

    Cluster analysis has become a standard part of gene expression analysis. In this paper, we propose a novel semi-supervised approach that offers the same flexibility as that of a hierarchical clustering. Yet it utilizes, along with the experimental gene expression data, common biological information about different genes that is being complied at various public, Web accessible databases. We argue that such an approach is inherently superior than the standard unsupervised approach of grouping genes based on expression data alone. It is shown that our biologically supervised methods produce better clustering results than the corresponding unsupervised methods as judged by the distance from the model temporal profiles. R-codes of the clustering algorithm are available from the authors upon request. PMID:17947147

  1. The pheromone emergency

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Female moths utilize sex pheromones to attract mates across a potentially long geographic distance. The biochemical basis of how moth female sex pheromones are synthesized has been elucidated in a number of species, and a particularly large amount of effort has been expended on the agricultural pes...

  2. SMART: unique splitting-while-merging framework for gene clustering.

    PubMed

    Fa, Rui; Roberts, David J; Nandi, Asoke K

    2014-01-01

    Successful clustering algorithms are highly dependent on parameter settings. The clustering performance degrades significantly unless parameters are properly set, and yet, it is difficult to set these parameters a priori. To address this issue, in this paper, we propose a unique splitting-while-merging clustering framework, named "splitting merging awareness tactics" (SMART), which does not require any a priori knowledge of either the number of clusters or even the possible range of this number. Unlike existing self-splitting algorithms, which over-cluster the dataset to a large number of clusters and then merge some similar clusters, our framework has the ability to split and merge clusters automatically during the process and produces the the most reliable clustering results, by intrinsically integrating many clustering techniques and tasks. The SMART framework is implemented with two distinct clustering paradigms in two algorithms: competitive learning and finite mixture model. Nevertheless, within the proposed SMART framework, many other algorithms can be derived for different clustering paradigms. The minimum message length algorithm is integrated into the framework as the clustering selection criterion. The usefulness of the SMART framework and its algorithms is tested in demonstration datasets and simulated gene expression datasets. Moreover, two real microarray gene expression datasets are studied using this approach. Based on the performance of many metrics, all numerical results show that SMART is superior to compared existing self-splitting algorithms and traditional algorithms. Three main properties of the proposed SMART framework are summarized as: (1) needing no parameters dependent on the respective dataset or a priori knowledge about the datasets, (2) extendible to many different applications, (3) offering superior performance compared with counterpart algorithms. PMID:24714159

  3. Pheromones: a new ergogenic aid in sport?

    PubMed

    Papaloucas, Marios; Kyriazi, Kyriaki; Kouloulias, Vassilis

    2015-10-01

    Nowadays, antidoping laboratories are improving detection methods to confirm the use of forbidden substances. These tests are based both on direct identification of new substances or their metabolites and on indirect evaluation of changes in gene, protein, or metabolite patterns (genomics, proteomics, or metabolomics). The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) officially monitors anabolic steroids, hormones, growth factors, β-agonists, hormone and metabolic modulators, masking agents, street drugs, manipulation of blood and blood components, chemical and physical manipulation, gene doping, stimulants, narcotics, glucocorticosteroids, and β-blockers. However, several other substances are under review by WADA. Pheromones accomplish the structure and function of life from its first step, while they have an impact on the body's performance. Both testosterone and pheromones have an ergogenic effect that could potentially affect an athlete's performance. The authors share their questions concerning the potential impact of pheromones in sports. PMID:25710097

  4. Stereochemical studies on pheromonal communications

    PubMed Central

    MORI, Kenji

    2014-01-01

    Pheromonal communications are heavily dependent on the stereochemistry of pheromones. Their enantioselective syntheses could establish the absolute configuration of the naturally occurring pheromones, and clarified the unique relationships between absolute configuration and bioactivity. For example, neither the (R)- nor (S)-enantiomer of sulcatol, the aggregation pheromone of an ambrosia beetle, is behaviorally active, while their mixture is bioactive. Recent results as summarized in the present review further illustrate the unique and diverse relationships between stereochemistry and bioactivity of pheromones. PMID:25504227

  5. Identification of Nitrogen-Fixing Genes and Gene Clusters from Metagenomic Library of Acid Mine Drainage

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Huaqun; Liang, Yili; Cong, Jing; Liu, Xueduan

    2014-01-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation is an essential function of acid mine drainage (AMD) microbial communities. However, most acidophiles in AMD environments are uncultured microorganisms and little is known about the diversity of nitrogen-fixing genes and structure of nif gene cluster in AMD microbial communities. In this study, we used metagenomic sequencing to isolate nif genes in the AMD microbial community from Dexing Copper Mine, China. Meanwhile, a metagenome microarray containing 7,776 large-insertion fosmids was constructed to screen novel nif gene clusters. Metagenomic analyses revealed that 742 sequences were identified as nif genes including structural subunit genes nifH, nifD, nifK and various additional genes. The AMD community is massively dominated by the genus Acidithiobacillus. However, the phylogenetic diversity of nitrogen-fixing microorganisms is much higher than previously thought in the AMD community. Furthermore, a 32.5-kb genomic sequence harboring nif, fix and associated genes was screened by metagenome microarray. Comparative genome analysis indicated that most nif genes in this cluster are most similar to those of Herbaspirillum seropedicae, but the organization of the nif gene cluster had significant differences from H. seropedicae. Sequence analysis and reverse transcription PCR also suggested that distinct transcription units of nif genes exist in this gene cluster. nifQ gene falls into the same transcription unit with fixABCX genes, which have not been reported in other diazotrophs before. All of these results indicated that more novel diazotrophs survive in the AMD community. PMID:24498417

  6. Characterization of the largest effector gene cluster of Ustilago maydis.

    PubMed

    Brefort, Thomas; Tanaka, Shigeyuki; Neidig, Nina; Doehlemann, Gunther; Vincon, Volker; Kahmann, Regine

    2014-07-01

    In the genome of the biotrophic plant pathogen Ustilago maydis, many of the genes coding for secreted protein effectors modulating virulence are arranged in gene clusters. The vast majority of these genes encode novel proteins whose expression is coupled to plant colonization. The largest of these gene clusters, cluster 19A, encodes 24 secreted effectors. Deletion of the entire cluster results in severe attenuation of virulence. Here we present the functional analysis of this genomic region. We show that a 19A deletion mutant behaves like an endophyte, i.e. is still able to colonize plants and complete the infection cycle. However, tumors, the most conspicuous symptoms of maize smut disease, are only rarely formed and fungal biomass in infected tissue is significantly reduced. The generation and analysis of strains carrying sub-deletions identified several genes significantly contributing to tumor formation after seedling infection. Another of the effectors could be linked specifically to anthocyanin induction in the infected tissue. As the individual contributions of these genes to tumor formation were small, we studied the response of maize plants to the whole cluster mutant as well as to several individual mutants by array analysis. This revealed distinct plant responses, demonstrating that the respective effectors have discrete plant targets. We propose that the analysis of plant responses to effector mutant strains that lack a strong virulence phenotype may be a general way to visualize differences in effector function. PMID:24992561

  7. Biosynthetic Gene Cluster for the Polyenoyltetramic Acid α-Lipomycin

    PubMed Central

    Bihlmaier, C.; Welle, E.; Hofmann, C.; Welzel, K.; Vente, A.; Breitling, E.; Müller, M.; Glaser, S.; Bechthold, A.

    2006-01-01

    The gram-positive bacterium Streptomyces aureofaciens Tü117 produces the acyclic polyene antibiotic α-lipomycin. The entire biosynthetic gene cluster (lip gene cluster) was cloned and characterized. DNA sequence analysis of a 74-kb region revealed the presence of 28 complete open reading frames (ORFs), 22 of them belonging to the biosynthetic gene cluster. Central to the cluster is a polyketide synthase locus that encodes an eight-module system comprised of four multifunctional proteins. In addition, one ORF shows homology to those for nonribosomal peptide synthetases, indicating that α-lipomycin belongs to the classification of hybrid peptide-polyketide natural products. Furthermore, the lip cluster includes genes responsible for the formation and attachment of d-digitoxose as well as ORFs that resemble those for putative regulatory and export functions. We generated biosynthetic mutants by insertional gene inactivation. By analysis of culture extracts of these mutants, we could prove that, indeed, the genes involved in the biosynthesis of lipomycin had been cloned, and additionally we gained insight into an unusual biosynthesis pathway. PMID:16723573

  8. Detecting sequence homology at the gene cluster level with MultiGeneBlast.

    PubMed

    Medema, Marnix H; Takano, Eriko; Breitling, Rainer

    2013-05-01

    The genes encoding many biomolecular systems and pathways are genomically organized in operons or gene clusters. With MultiGeneBlast, we provide a user-friendly and effective tool to perform homology searches with operons or gene clusters as basic units, instead of single genes. The contextualization offered by MultiGeneBlast allows users to get a better understanding of the function, evolutionary history, and practical applications of such genomic regions. The tool is fully equipped with applications to generate search databases from GenBank or from the user's own sequence data. Finally, an architecture search mode allows searching for gene clusters with novel configurations, by detecting genomic regions with any user-specified combination of genes. Sources, precompiled binaries, and a graphical tutorial of MultiGeneBlast are freely available from http://multigeneblast.sourceforge.net/. PMID:23412913

  9. Clustered Genes Involved in Cyclopiazonic Acid Production are Next to the Aflatoxin Biosynthesis Gene Cluster in Aspergillus flavus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cyclopiazonic acid (CPA), an indole-tetramic acid toxin, is produced by many species of Aspergillus and Penicillium. In addition to CPA Aspergillus flavus produces polyketide-derived carcinogenic aflatoxins (AFs). AF biosynthesis genes form a gene cluster in a subtelomeric region. Isolates of A. fla...

  10. Genomic analyses of bacterial porin-cytochrome gene clusters

    SciTech Connect

    Shi, Liang; Fredrickson, James K.; Zachara, John M.

    2014-11-26

    In this study, the porin-cytochrome (Pcc) protein complex is responsible for trans-outer membrane electron transfer during extracellular reduction of Fe(III) by the dissimilatory metal-reducing bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA. The identified and characterized Pcc complex of G. sulfurreducens PCA consists of a porin-like outer-membrane protein, a periplasmic 8-heme c type cytochrome (c-Cyt) and an outer-membrane 12-heme c-Cyt, and the genes encoding the Pcc proteins are clustered in the same regions of genome (i.e., the pcc gene clusters) of G. sulfurreducens PCA. A survey of additionally microbial genomes has identified the pcc gene clusters in all sequenced Geobacter spp. and other bacteria from six different phyla, including Anaeromyxobacter dehalogenans 2CP-1, A. dehalogenans 2CP-C, Anaeromyxobacter sp. K, Candidatus Kuenenia stuttgartiensis, Denitrovibrio acetiphilus DSM 12809, Desulfurispirillum indicum S5, Desulfurivibrio alkaliphilus AHT2, Desulfurobacterium thermolithotrophum DSM 11699, Desulfuromonas acetoxidans DSM 684, Ignavibacterium album JCM 16511, and Thermovibrio ammonificans HB-1. The numbers of genes in the pcc gene clusters vary, ranging from two to nine. Similar to the metal-reducing (Mtr) gene clusters of other Fe(III)-reducing bacteria, such as Shewanella spp., additional genes that encode putative c-Cyts with predicted cellular localizations at the cytoplasmic membrane, periplasm and outer membrane often associate with the pcc gene clusters. This suggests that the Pcc-associated c-Cyts may be part of the pathways for extracellular electron transfer reactions. The presence of pcc gene clusters in the microorganisms that do not reduce solid-phase Fe(III) and Mn(IV) oxides, such as D. alkaliphilus AHT2 and I. album JCM 16511, also suggests that some of the pcc gene clusters may be involved in extracellular

  11. Uncoupling primer and releaser responses to pheromone in honey bees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grozinger, Christina M.; Fischer, Patrick; Hampton, Jacob E.

    2007-05-01

    Pheromones produce dramatic behavioral and physiological responses in a wide variety of species. Releaser pheromones elicit rapid responses within seconds or minutes, while primer pheromones produce long-term changes which may take days to manifest. Honeybee queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) elicits multiple distinct behavioral and physiological responses in worker bees, as both a releaser and primer, and thus produces responses on vastly different time scales. In this study, we demonstrate that releaser and primer responses to QMP can be uncoupled. First, treatment with the juvenile hormone analog methoprene leaves a releaser response (attraction to QMP) intact, but modulates QMP’s primer effects on sucrose responsiveness. Secondly, two components of QMP (9-ODA and 9-HDA) do not elicit a releaser response (attraction) but are as effective as QMP at modulating a primer response, downregulation of foraging-related brain gene expression. These results suggest that different responses to a single pheromone may be produced via distinct pathways.

  12. Phage cluster relationships identified through single gene analysis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Phylogenetic comparison of bacteriophages requires whole genome approaches such as dotplot analysis, genome pairwise maps, and gene content analysis. Currently mycobacteriophages, a highly studied phage group, are categorized into related clusters based on the comparative analysis of whole genome sequences. With the recent explosion of phage isolation, a simple method for phage cluster prediction would facilitate analysis of crude or complex samples without whole genome isolation and sequencing. The hypothesis of this study was that mycobacteriophage-cluster prediction is possible using comparison of a single, ubiquitous, semi-conserved gene. Tape Measure Protein (TMP) was selected to test the hypothesis because it is typically the longest gene in mycobacteriophage genomes and because regions within the TMP gene are conserved. Results A single gene, TMP, identified the known Mycobacteriophage clusters and subclusters using a Gepard dotplot comparison or a phylogenetic tree constructed from global alignment and maximum likelihood comparisons. Gepard analysis of 247 mycobacteriophage TMP sequences appropriately recovered 98.8% of the subcluster assignments that were made by whole-genome comparison. Subcluster-specific primers within TMP allow for PCR determination of the mycobacteriophage subcluster from DNA samples. Using the single-gene comparison approach for siphovirus coliphages, phage groupings by TMP comparison reflected relationships observed in a whole genome dotplot comparison and confirm the potential utility of this approach to another widely studied group of phages. Conclusions TMP sequence comparison and PCR results support the hypothesis that a single gene can be used for distinguishing phage cluster and subcluster assignments. TMP single-gene analysis can quickly and accurately aid in mycobacteriophage classification. PMID:23777341

  13. Identification of the Scopularide Biosynthetic Gene Cluster in Scopulariopsis brevicaulis.

    PubMed

    Lukassen, Mie Bech; Saei, Wagma; Sondergaard, Teis Esben; Tamminen, Anu; Kumar, Abhishek; Kempken, Frank; Wiebe, Marilyn G; Sørensen, Jens Laurids

    2015-07-01

    Scopularide A is a promising potent anticancer lipopeptide isolated from a marine derived Scopulariopsis brevicaulis strain. The compound consists of a reduced carbon chain (3-hydroxy-methyldecanoyl) attached to five amino acids (glycine, l-valine, d-leucine, l-alanine, and l-phenylalanine). Using the newly sequenced S. brevicaulis genome we were able to identify the putative biosynthetic gene cluster using genetic information from the structurally related emericellamide A from Aspergillus nidulans and W493-B from Fusarium pseudograminearum. The scopularide A gene cluster includes a nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS1), a polyketide synthase (PKS2), a CoA ligase, an acyltransferase, and a transcription factor. Homologous recombination was low in S. brevicaulis so the local transcription factor was integrated randomly under a constitutive promoter, which led to a three to four-fold increase in scopularide A production. This indirectly verifies the identity of the proposed biosynthetic gene cluster. PMID:26184239

  14. Identification of the Scopularide Biosynthetic Gene Cluster in Scopulariopsis brevicaulis

    PubMed Central

    Lukassen, Mie Bech; Saei, Wagma; Sondergaard, Teis Esben; Tamminen, Anu; Kumar, Abhishek; Kempken, Frank; Wiebe, Marilyn G.; Sørensen, Jens Laurids

    2015-01-01

    Scopularide A is a promising potent anticancer lipopeptide isolated from a marine derived Scopulariopsis brevicaulis strain. The compound consists of a reduced carbon chain (3-hydroxy-methyldecanoyl) attached to five amino acids (glycine, l-valine, d-leucine, l-alanine, and l-phenylalanine). Using the newly sequenced S. brevicaulis genome we were able to identify the putative biosynthetic gene cluster using genetic information from the structurally related emericellamide A from Aspergillus nidulans and W493-B from Fusarium pseudograminearum. The scopularide A gene cluster includes a nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS1), a polyketide synthase (PKS2), a CoA ligase, an acyltransferase, and a transcription factor. Homologous recombination was low in S. brevicaulis so the local transcription factor was integrated randomly under a constitutive promoter, which led to a three to four-fold increase in scopularide A production. This indirectly verifies the identity of the proposed biosynthetic gene cluster. PMID:26184239

  15. Identification and initial characterization of the 3' end of gene transcripts encoding putative members of the pheromone receptor sub-family in Lepidoptera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Semiochemicals, including pheromones and kairomones, used in pest management programs reduce the need for chemical insecticides, and understanding their interactions with their membrane receptor will help make them more effective in the field. Identification of odorant receptors in the Lepidoptera ...

  16. Genomic architecture and inheritance of human ribosomal RNA gene clusters

    PubMed Central

    Stults, Dawn M.; Killen, Michael W.; Pierce, Heather H.; Pierce, Andrew J.

    2008-01-01

    The finishing of the Human Genome Project largely completed the detailing of human euchromatic sequences; however, the most highly repetitive regions of the genome still could not be assembled. The 12 gene clusters producing the structural RNA components of the ribosome are critically important for cellular viability, yet fall into this unassembled region of the Human Genome Project. To determine the extent of human variation in ribosomal RNA gene content (rDNA) and patterns of rDNA cluster inheritance, we have determined the physical lengths of the rDNA clusters in peripheral blood white cells of healthy human volunteers. The cluster lengths exhibit striking variability between and within human individuals, ranging from 50 kb to >6 Mb, manifest essentially complete heterozygosity, and provide each person with their own unique rDNA electrophoretic karyotype. Analysis of these rDNA fingerprints in multigenerational human families demonstrates that the rDNA clusters are subject to meiotic rearrangement at a frequency >10% per cluster, per meiosis. With this high intrinsic recombinational instability, the rDNA clusters may serve as a unique paradigm of potential human genomic plasticity. PMID:18025267

  17. Pheromone Transduction in Moths

    PubMed Central

    Stengl, Monika

    2010-01-01

    Calling female moths attract their mates late at night with intermittent release of a species-specific sex-pheromone blend. Mean frequency of pheromone filaments encodes distance to the calling female. In their zig-zagging upwind search male moths encounter turbulent pheromone blend filaments at highly variable concentrations and frequencies. The male moth antennae are delicately designed to detect and distinguish even traces of these sex pheromones amongst the abundance of other odors. Its olfactory receptor neurons sense even single pheromone molecules and track intermittent pheromone filaments of highly variable frequencies up to about 30 Hz over a wide concentration range. In the hawkmoth Manduca sexta brief, weak pheromone stimuli as encountered during flight are detected via a metabotropic PLCβ-dependent signal transduction cascade which leads to transient changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentrations. Strong or long pheromone stimuli, which are possibly perceived in direct contact with the female, activate receptor-guanylyl cyclases causing long-term adaptation. In addition, depending on endogenous rhythms of the moth's physiological state, hormones such as the stress hormone octopamine modulate second messenger levels in sensory neurons. High octopamine levels during the activity phase maximize temporal resolution cAMP-dependently as a prerequisite to mate location. Thus, I suggest that sliding adjustment of odor response threshold and kinetics is based upon relative concentration ratios of intracellular Ca2+ and cyclic nucleotide levels which gate different ion channels synergistically. In addition, I propose a new hypothesis for the cyclic nucleotide-dependent ion channel formed by insect olfactory receptor/coreceptor complexes. Instead of being employed for an ionotropic mechanism of odor detection it is proposed to control subthreshold membrane potential oscillation of sensory neurons, as a basis for temporal encoding of odors. PMID:21228914

  18. The Fusarium graminearum Genome Reveals More Secondary Metabolite Gene Clusters and Hints of Horizontal Gene Transfer

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Philip; Münsterkötter, Martin; Mewes, Hans-Werner; Schmeitzl, Clemens; Varga, Elisabeth; Berthiller, Franz; Adam, Gerhard; Güldener, Ulrich

    2014-01-01

    Fungal secondary metabolite biosynthesis genes are of major interest due to the pharmacological properties of their products (like mycotoxins and antibiotics). The genome of the plant pathogenic fungus Fusarium graminearum codes for a large number of candidate enzymes involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis. However, the chemical nature of most enzymatic products of proteins encoded by putative secondary metabolism biosynthetic genes is largely unknown. Based on our analysis we present 67 gene clusters with significant enrichment of predicted secondary metabolism related enzymatic functions. 20 gene clusters with unknown metabolites exhibit strong gene expression correlation in planta and presumably play a role in virulence. Furthermore, the identification of conserved and over-represented putative transcription factor binding sites serves as additional evidence for cluster co-regulation. Orthologous cluster search provided insight into the evolution of secondary metabolism clusters. Some clusters are characteristic for the Fusarium phylum while others show evidence of horizontal gene transfer as orthologs can be found in representatives of the Botrytis or Cochliobolus lineage. The presented candidate clusters provide valuable targets for experimental examination. PMID:25333987

  19. A Resampling Based Clustering Algorithm for Replicated Gene Expression Data.

    PubMed

    Li, Han; Li, Chun; Hu, Jie; Fan, Xiaodan

    2015-01-01

    In gene expression data analysis, clustering is a fruitful exploratory technique to reveal the underlying molecular mechanism by identifying groups of co-expressed genes. To reduce the noise, usually multiple experimental replicates are performed. An integrative analysis of the full replicate data, instead of reducing the data to the mean profile, carries the promise of yielding more precise and robust clusters. In this paper, we propose a novel resampling based clustering algorithm for genes with replicated expression measurements. Assuming those replicates are exchangeable, we formulate the problem in the bootstrap framework, and aim to infer the consensus clustering based on the bootstrap samples of replicates. In our approach, we adopt the mixed effect model to accommodate the heterogeneous variances and implement a quasi-MCMC algorithm to conduct statistical inference. Experiments demonstrate that by taking advantage of the full replicate data, our algorithm produces more reliable clusters and has robust performance in diverse scenarios, especially when the data is subject to multiple sources of variance. PMID:26671802

  20. Quantitative Methylation Analysis of the PCDHB Gene Cluster.

    PubMed

    Banelli, Barbara; Romani, Massimo

    2015-01-01

    Long Range Epigenetic Silencing (LRES) is a repressed chromatin state of large chromosomal regions caused by DNA hypermethylation and histone modifications and is commonly observed in cancer. At 5q31 a LRES region of 800 kb includes three multi-gene clusters (PCDHA@, PCDHB@, and PCDHG@, respectively). Multiple experimental evidences have led to consider the PCDHB cluster as a DNA methylation marker of aggressiveness in neuroblastoma, second most common solid tumor in childhood. Because of its potential involvement not only in neuroblastoma but also in other malignancies, an easy and fast assay to screen the DNA methylation content of the PCDHB cluster might be useful for the precise stratification of the patients into risk groups and hence for choosing the most appropriate therapeutic protocol. Accordingly, we have developed a simple and cost-effective Pyrosequencing(®) assay to evaluate the methylation level of 17 genes in the protocadherin B cluster (PCDHB@). The rationale behind this Pyrosequencing assay can in principle be applied to analyze the DNA methylation level of any gene cluster with high homologies for screening purposes. PMID:26103900

  1. Regulatory subunit (CNB1 gene product) of yeast Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent phosphoprotein phosphatases is required for adaptation to pheromone.

    PubMed Central

    Cyert, M S; Thorner, J

    1992-01-01

    By using an assay specific for detection of calcineurin, a Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent phosphoprotein phosphatase, this enzyme was purified approximately 5,000-fold from extracts of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Cna1p and Cna2p, the products of two yeast genes encoding the catalytic (A) subunits of calcineurin, were major constituents of the purified fraction. A third prominent component of apparent molecular mass 16 kDa displayed several properties, including ability to bind 45Ca2+, that are characteristic of the regulatory (B) subunit of mammalian calcineurin and was recognized by an antiserum raised against bovine calcineurin. These antibodies were used to isolate the structural gene (CNB1) encoding this protein from a yeast expression library in the vector lambda gt11. The nucleotide sequence of CNB1 predicted a polypeptide similar in length and highly related in amino acid sequence (56% identity) to the mammalian calcineurin B subunit. Like its counterpart in higher cells, yeast Cnb1p was myristoylated at its N terminus. Mutants lacking Cnb1p, or all three calcineurin subunits (Cna1p, Cna2p, and Cnb1p), were viable. Extracts of cnb1 delta mutants contained no detectable calcineurin activity, even though Cna1p and Cna2p were present at normal levels, suggesting that the B subunit is required for full enzymatic activity in vitro. As was observed previously for MATa cna1 cna2 double mutants, MATa cnb1 mutants were defective in their ability to recover from alpha-factor-induced growth arrest. Thus, the B subunit also is required for the function of calcineurin in promoting adaptation of haploid yeast cells to pheromone in vivo. Images PMID:1321337

  2. Molecular switches for pheromone release from a moth pheromone-binding protein

    SciTech Connect

    Xu Wei; Leal, Walter S.

    2008-08-08

    Pheromone-binding proteins (PBPs) are involved in the uptake of pheromones from pores on the antennae, transport through an aqueous environment surrounding the olfactory receptor neurons, and fast delivery to pheromone receptors. We tested the hypothesis that a C-terminal segment and a flexible loop are involved in the release of pheromones to membrane-bound receptors. We expressed in Escherichia coli 11 mutants of the PBP from the silkworm moth, BmorPBP, taking into consideration structural differences between the forms with high and low binding affinity. The N-terminus was truncated and His-69, His-70 and His-95 at the base of a flexible loop, and a cluster of acidic residues at the C-terminus were mutated. Binding assays and circular dichroism analyses support a mechanism involving protonation of acidic residues Asp-132 and Glu-141 at the C-terminus and histidines, His-70 and His-95, in the base of a loop covering the binding pocket. The former leads to the formation of a new {alpha}-helix, which competes with pheromone for the binding pocket, whereas positive charge repulsion of the histidines opens the opposite side of the binding pocket.

  3. Two fatty acyl reductases involved in moth pheromone biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Antony, Binu; Ding, Bao-Jian; Moto, Ken’Ichi; Aldosari, Saleh A.; Aldawood, Abdulrahman S.

    2016-01-01

    Fatty acyl reductases (FARs) constitute an evolutionarily conserved gene family found in all kingdoms of life. Members of the FAR gene family play diverse roles, including seed oil synthesis, insect pheromone biosynthesis, and mammalian wax biosynthesis. In insects, FAR genes dedicated to sex pheromone biosynthesis (pheromone-gland-specific fatty acyl reductase, pgFAR) form a unique clade that exhibits substantial modifications in gene structure and possesses unique specificity and selectivity for fatty acyl substrates. Highly selective and semi-selective ‘single pgFARs’ produce single and multicomponent pheromone signals in bombycid, pyralid, yponomeutid and noctuid moths. An intriguing question is how a ‘single reductase’ can direct the synthesis of several fatty alcohols of various chain lengths and isomeric forms. Here, we report two active pgFARs in the pheromone gland of Spodoptera, namely a semi-selective, C14:acyl-specific pgFAR and a highly selective, C16:acyl-specific pgFAR, and demonstrate that these pgFARs play a pivotal role in the formation of species-specific signals, a finding that is strongly supported by functional gene expression data. The study envisages a new area of research for disclosing evolutionary changes associated with C14- and C16-specific FARs in moth pheromone biosynthesis. PMID:27427355

  4. Two fatty acyl reductases involved in moth pheromone biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Antony, Binu; Ding, Bao-Jian; Moto, Ken'Ichi; Aldosari, Saleh A; Aldawood, Abdulrahman S

    2016-01-01

    Fatty acyl reductases (FARs) constitute an evolutionarily conserved gene family found in all kingdoms of life. Members of the FAR gene family play diverse roles, including seed oil synthesis, insect pheromone biosynthesis, and mammalian wax biosynthesis. In insects, FAR genes dedicated to sex pheromone biosynthesis (pheromone-gland-specific fatty acyl reductase, pgFAR) form a unique clade that exhibits substantial modifications in gene structure and possesses unique specificity and selectivity for fatty acyl substrates. Highly selective and semi-selective 'single pgFARs' produce single and multicomponent pheromone signals in bombycid, pyralid, yponomeutid and noctuid moths. An intriguing question is how a 'single reductase' can direct the synthesis of several fatty alcohols of various chain lengths and isomeric forms. Here, we report two active pgFARs in the pheromone gland of Spodoptera, namely a semi-selective, C14:acyl-specific pgFAR and a highly selective, C16:acyl-specific pgFAR, and demonstrate that these pgFARs play a pivotal role in the formation of species-specific signals, a finding that is strongly supported by functional gene expression data. The study envisages a new area of research for disclosing evolutionary changes associated with C14- and C16-specific FARs in moth pheromone biosynthesis. PMID:27427355

  5. Cloning and Heterologous Expression of the Grecocycline Biosynthetic Gene Cluster

    PubMed Central

    Bilyk, Oksana; Sekurova, Olga N.; Zotchev, Sergey B.; Luzhetskyy, Andriy

    2016-01-01

    Transformation-associated recombination (TAR) in yeast is a rapid and inexpensive method for cloning and assembly of large DNA fragments, which relies on natural homologous recombination. Two vectors, based on p15a and F-factor replicons that can be maintained in yeast, E. coli and streptomycetes have been constructed. These vectors have been successfully employed for assembly of the grecocycline biosynthetic gene cluster from Streptomyces sp. Acta 1362. Fragments of the cluster were obtained by PCR and transformed together with the “capture” vector into the yeast cells, yielding a construct carrying the entire gene cluster. The obtained construct was heterologously expressed in S. albus J1074, yielding several grecocycline congeners. Grecocyclines have unique structural moieties such as a dissacharide side chain, an additional amino sugar at the C-5 position and a thiol group. Enzymes from this pathway may be used for the derivatization of known active angucyclines in order to improve their desired biological properties. PMID:27410036

  6. Discovery of the lomaiviticin biosynthetic gene cluster in Salinispora pacifica

    PubMed Central

    Janso, Jeffrey E.; Haltli, Brad A.; Eustáquio, Alessandra S.; Kulowski, Kerry; Waldman, Abraham J.; Zha, Li; Nakamura, Hitomi; Bernan, Valerie S.; He, Haiyin; Carter, Guy T.; Koehn, Frank E.; Balskus, Emily P.

    2014-01-01

    The lomaiviticins are a family of cytotoxic marine natural products that have captured the attention of both synthetic and biological chemists due to their intricate molecular scaffolds and potent biological activities. Here we describe the identification of the gene cluster responsible for lomaiviticin biosynthesis in Salinispora pacifica strains DPJ-0016 and DPJ-0019 using a combination of molecular approaches and genome sequencing. The link between the lom gene cluster and lomaiviticin production was confirmed using bacterial genetics, and subsequent analysis and annotation of this cluster revealed the biosynthetic basis for the core polyketide scaffold. Additionally, we have used comparative genomics to identify candidate enzymes for several unusual tailoring events, including diazo formation and oxidative dimerization. These findings will allow further elucidation of the biosynthetic logic of lomaiviticin assembly and provide useful molecular tools for application in biocatalysis and synthetic biology. PMID:25045187

  7. Duplications of hox gene clusters and the emergence of vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Soshnikova, Natalia; Dewaele, Romain; Janvier, Philippe; Krumlauf, Robb; Duboule, Denis

    2013-06-15

    The vertebrate body plan is characterized by an increased complexity relative to that of all other chordates and large-scale gene amplifications have been associated with key morphological innovations leading to their remarkable evolutionary success. Here, we use compound full Hox clusters deletions to investigate how Hox genes duplications may have contributed to the emergence of vertebrate-specific innovations. We show that the combined deletion of HoxA and HoxB leads to an atavistic heart phenotype, suggesting that the ancestral HoxA/B cluster was co-opted to help in diversifying the complex organ in vertebrates. Other phenotypic effects observed seem to illustrate the resurgence of ancestral (plesiomorphic) features. This indicates that the duplications of Hox clusters were associated with the recruitment or formation of novel cis-regulatory controls, which were key to the evolution of many vertebrate features and hence to the evolutionary radiation of this group. PMID:23501471

  8. Cloning and Heterologous Expression of the Grecocycline Biosynthetic Gene Cluster.

    PubMed

    Bilyk, Oksana; Sekurova, Olga N; Zotchev, Sergey B; Luzhetskyy, Andriy

    2016-01-01

    Transformation-associated recombination (TAR) in yeast is a rapid and inexpensive method for cloning and assembly of large DNA fragments, which relies on natural homologous recombination. Two vectors, based on p15a and F-factor replicons that can be maintained in yeast, E. coli and streptomycetes have been constructed. These vectors have been successfully employed for assembly of the grecocycline biosynthetic gene cluster from Streptomyces sp. Acta 1362. Fragments of the cluster were obtained by PCR and transformed together with the "capture" vector into the yeast cells, yielding a construct carrying the entire gene cluster. The obtained construct was heterologously expressed in S. albus J1074, yielding several grecocycline congeners. Grecocyclines have unique structural moieties such as a dissacharide side chain, an additional amino sugar at the C-5 position and a thiol group. Enzymes from this pathway may be used for the derivatization of known active angucyclines in order to improve their desired biological properties. PMID:27410036

  9. Identification and analysis of the resorcinomycin biosynthetic gene cluster.

    PubMed

    Ooya, Koichi; Ogasawara, Yasushi; Noike, Motoyoshi; Dairi, Tohru

    2015-01-01

    Resorcinomycin (1) is composed of a nonproteinogenic amino acid, (S)-2-(3,5-dihydroxy-4-isopropylphenyl)-2-guanidinoacetic acid (2), and glycine. A biosynthetic gene cluster was identified in a genome database of Streptoverticillium roseoverticillatum by searching for orthologs of the genes responsible for biosynthesis of pheganomycin (3), which possesses a (2)-derivative at its N-terminus. The cluster contained a gene encoding an ATP-grasp-ligase (res5), which was suggested to catalyze the peptide bond formation between 2 and glycine. A res5-deletion mutant lost 1 productivity but accumulated 2 in the culture broth. However, recombinant RES5 did not show catalytic activity to form 1 with 2 and glycine as substrates. Moreover, heterologous expression of the cluster resulted in accumulation of only 2 and no production of 1 was observed. These results suggested that a peptide with glycine at its N-terminus may be used as a nucleophile and then maturated by a peptidase encoded by a gene outside of the cluster. PMID:26034896

  10. Translational insect genomics: pheromone traps and molecular markers genotype Hessian flies for virulence to resistance gene H13 in wheat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the southeastern United States, the Hessian fly is a major pest of wheat and causes significant yield losses to the region. Hessian fly is primarily controlled through the use of resistant wheat cultivars that carry resistance (R) genes. Wheat containing the R gene H13 has been found to provide e...

  11. Retention of genes in a secondary metabolite gene cluster that has degenerated in multiple lineages of the Ascomycota

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fungal secondary metabolite (SM) gene clusters encode proteins involved in SM biosynthesis, protection against SMs, and regulation of cluster gene transcription. RNA-Seq analysis of Fusarium langsethiae (class Sordariomycetes) revealed a cluster of six genes that were highly expressed during growth...

  12. Laboratory Syntheses of Insect Pheromones.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cormier, Russell A.; Hoban, James N.

    1984-01-01

    Provides background information and procedures for the multi-step synthesis of tiger moth and boll weevil pheromones (sex attractants). These syntheses require several laboratory periods. The tiger moth pheromone synthesis is suitable for introductory organic chemistry while the boll weevil pheromone is recommended for an advanced laboratory…

  13. Volatile Hydrocarbon Pheromones from Beetles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This chapter reviews literature about hydrocarbons from beetles that serve as long-range pheromones. The most thoroughly studied beetles that use volatile hydrocarbon pheromones belong to the family Nitidulidae in the genera Carpophilus and Colopterus. Published pheromone research deals with behav...

  14. Evolutionary conservation of regulatory elements in vertebrate HOX gene clusters

    SciTech Connect

    Santini, Simona; Boore, Jeffrey L.; Meyer, Axel

    2003-12-31

    Due to their high degree of conservation, comparisons of DNA sequences among evolutionarily distantly-related genomes permit to identify functional regions in noncoding DNA. Hox genes are optimal candidate sequences for comparative genome analyses, because they are extremely conserved in vertebrates and occur in clusters. We aligned (Pipmaker) the nucleotide sequences of HoxA clusters of tilapia, pufferfish, striped bass, zebrafish, horn shark, human and mouse (over 500 million years of evolutionary distance). We identified several highly conserved intergenic sequences, likely to be important in gene regulation. Only a few of these putative regulatory elements have been previously described as being involved in the regulation of Hox genes, while several others are new elements that might have regulatory functions. The majority of these newly identified putative regulatory elements contain short fragments that are almost completely conserved and are identical to known binding sites for regulatory proteins (Transfac). The conserved intergenic regions located between the most rostrally expressed genes in the developing embryo are longer and better retained through evolution. We document that presumed regulatory sequences are retained differentially in either A or A clusters resulting from a genome duplication in the fish lineage. This observation supports both the hypothesis that the conserved elements are involved in gene regulation and the Duplication-Deletion-Complementation model.

  15. Evolution of chemical diversity by coordinated gene swaps in type II polyketide gene clusters

    PubMed Central

    Hillenmeyer, Maureen E.; Vandova, Gergana A.; Berlew, Erin E.; Charkoudian, Louise K.

    2015-01-01

    Natural product biosynthetic pathways generate molecules of enormous structural complexity and exquisitely tuned biological activities. Studies of natural products have led to the discovery of many pharmaceutical agents, particularly antibiotics. Attempts to harness the catalytic prowess of biosynthetic enzyme systems, for both compound discovery and engineering, have been limited by a poor understanding of the evolution of the underlying gene clusters. We developed an approach to study the evolution of biosynthetic genes on a cluster-wide scale, integrating pairwise gene coevolution information with large-scale phylogenetic analysis. We used this method to infer the evolution of type II polyketide gene clusters, tracing the path of evolution from the single ancestor to those gene clusters surviving today. We identified 10 key gene types in these clusters, most of which were swapped in from existing cellular processes and subsequently specialized. The ancestral type II polyketide gene cluster likely comprised a core set of five genes, a roster that expanded and contracted throughout evolution. A key C24 ancestor diversified into major classes of longer and shorter chain length systems, from which a C20 ancestor gave rise to the majority of characterized type II polyketide antibiotics. Our findings reveal that (i) type II polyketide structure is predictable from its gene roster, (ii) only certain gene combinations are compatible, and (iii) gene swaps were likely a key to evolution of chemical diversity. The lessons learned about how natural selection drives polyketide chemical innovation can be applied to the rational design and guided discovery of chemicals with desired structures and properties. PMID:26499248

  16. Cluster of genes controlling proline degradation in Salmonella typhimurium.

    PubMed Central

    Ratzkin, B; Roth, J

    1978-01-01

    A cluster of genes essential for degradation of proline to glutamate (put) is located between the pyrC and pyrD loci at min 22 of the Salmonella chromosome. A series of 25 deletion mutants of this region have been isolated and used to construct a fine-structure map of the put genes. The map includes mutations affecting the proline degradative activities, proline oxidase and pyrroline-5-carboxylic dehydrogenase. Also included are mutations affecting the major proline permease and a regulatory mutation that affects both enzyme and permease production. The two enzymatic activities appear to be encoded by a single gene (putA). The regulatory mutation maps between the putA gene and the proline permease gene (putP). PMID:342507

  17. Spatial representation of alarm pheromone information in a secondary olfactory centre in the ant brain.

    PubMed

    Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Mizunami, Makoto

    2010-08-22

    Pheromones play major roles in intraspecific communication in many animals. Elaborated communication systems in eusocial insects provide excellent materials to study neural mechanisms for social pheromone processing. We previously reported that alarm pheromone information is processed in a specific cluster of glomeruli in the antennal lobe of the ant Camponotus obscuripes. However, representation of alarm pheromone information in a secondary olfactory centre is unknown in any animal. Olfactory information in the antennal lobe is transmitted to secondary olfactory centres, including the lateral horn, by projection neurons (PNs). In this study, we compared distributions of terminal boutons of alarm pheromone-sensitive and -insensitive PNs in the lateral horn of ants. Distributions of their dendrites largely overlapped, but there was a region where boutons of pheromone-sensitive PNs, but not those of pheromone-insensitive PNs, were significantly denser than in the rest of the lateral horn. Moreover, most of a major type of pheromone-sensitive efferent neurons from the lateral horn extended dendritic branches in this region, suggesting specialization of this region for alarm pheromone processing. This study is the first study to demonstrate the presence of specialized areas for the processing of a non-sexual, social pheromone in the secondary olfactory centre in any animal. PMID:20375054

  18. Identification of genes and gene clusters involved in mycotoxin synthesis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Research methods to identify and characterize genes involved in mycotoxin biosynthetic pathways have evolved considerably over the years. Before whole genome sequences were available (e.g. pre-genomics), work focused primarily on chemistry, biosynthetic mutant strains and molecular analysis of sing...

  19. Transcription mediated insulation and interference direct gene cluster expression switches

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Tania; Brown, David; Murray, Struan C; Haenni, Simon; Halstead, James M; O'Connor, Leigh; Shipkovenska, Gergana; Steinmetz, Lars M; Mellor, Jane

    2014-01-01

    In yeast, many tandemly arranged genes show peak expression in different phases of the metabolic cycle (YMC) or in different carbon sources, indicative of regulation by a bi-modal switch, but it is not clear how these switches are controlled. Using native elongating transcript analysis (NET-seq), we show that transcription itself is a component of bi-modal switches, facilitating reciprocal expression in gene clusters. HMS2, encoding a growth-regulated transcription factor, switches between sense- or antisense-dominant states that also coordinate up- and down-regulation of transcription at neighbouring genes. Engineering HMS2 reveals alternative mono-, di- or tri-cistronic and antisense transcription units (TUs), using different promoter and terminator combinations, that underlie state-switching. Promoters or terminators are excluded from functional TUs by read-through transcriptional interference, while antisense TUs insulate downstream genes from interference. We propose that the balance of transcriptional insulation and interference at gene clusters facilitates gene expression switches during intracellular and extracellular environmental change. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03635.001 PMID:25407679

  20. Antennally mediated negative feedback regulation of pheromone production in the pine engraver beetle, Ips pini

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ginzel, Matthew D.; Bearfield, Jeremy C.; Keeling, Christopher I.; McCormack, Colin C.; Blomquist, Gary J.; Tittiger, Claus

    2007-01-01

    Bark beetles use monoterpenoid aggregation pheromones to coordinate host colonization and mating. These chemical signals are produced de novo in midgut cells via the mevalonate pathway, and pheromone production may be regulated by a negative feedback system mediated through the antennae. In this study, we explored the effect of antennectomy on pheromone production and transcript levels of key mevalonate pathway genes in juvenile hormone III-treated male pine engraver beetles, Ips pini (Say). Antennectomized males produced significantly greater amounts of pheromone than podectomized males and those with intact antennae. Likewise, mRNA levels of three mevalonate pathway genes important in pheromone biosynthesis were measured by quantitative real-time PCR and found to be induced to a greater extent with antennectomy, suggesting a transcriptional regulation of pheromone production.

  1. Pheromone Autodetection: Evidence and Implications.

    PubMed

    Holdcraft, Robert; Rodriguez-Saona, Cesar; Stelinski, Lukasz L

    2016-01-01

    Olfactory communication research with insects utilizing sex pheromones has focused on the effects of pheromones on signal receivers. Early pheromone detection studies using the silkworm moth, Bombyx mori L., and Saturniids led to the assumption that emitters, especially females, are unable to detect their own pheromone. Pheromone anosmia, i.e., the inability of females to detect their conspecific sex pheromone, was often assumed, and initially little attention was paid to female behaviors that may result from autodetection, i.e., the ability of females to detect their sex pheromone. Detection of conspecific pheromone plumes from nearby females may provide information to improve chances of mating success and progeny survival. Since the first documented example in 1972, numerous occurrences of autodetection have been observed and verified in field and laboratory studies. We summarize here a significant portion of research relating to autodetection. Electrophysiological and behavioral investigations, as well as expression patterns of proteins involved in pheromone autodetection are included. We discuss problems inherent in defining a boundary between sex and aggregation pheromones considering the occurrence of autodetection, and summarize hypothesized selection pressures favoring autodetection. Importance of including autodetection studies in future work is emphasized by complications arising from a lack of knowledge combined with expanding the use of pheromones in agriculture. PMID:27120623

  2. Pheromone Autodetection: Evidence and Implications

    PubMed Central

    Holdcraft, Robert; Rodriguez-Saona, Cesar; Stelinski, Lukasz L.

    2016-01-01

    Olfactory communication research with insects utilizing sex pheromones has focused on the effects of pheromones on signal receivers. Early pheromone detection studies using the silkworm moth, Bombyx mori L., and Saturniids led to the assumption that emitters, especially females, are unable to detect their own pheromone. Pheromone anosmia, i.e., the inability of females to detect their conspecific sex pheromone, was often assumed, and initially little attention was paid to female behaviors that may result from autodetection, i.e., the ability of females to detect their sex pheromone. Detection of conspecific pheromone plumes from nearby females may provide information to improve chances of mating success and progeny survival. Since the first documented example in 1972, numerous occurrences of autodetection have been observed and verified in field and laboratory studies. We summarize here a significant portion of research relating to autodetection. Electrophysiological and behavioral investigations, as well as expression patterns of proteins involved in pheromone autodetection are included. We discuss problems inherent in defining a boundary between sex and aggregation pheromones considering the occurrence of autodetection, and summarize hypothesized selection pressures favoring autodetection. Importance of including autodetection studies in future work is emphasized by complications arising from a lack of knowledge combined with expanding the use of pheromones in agriculture. PMID:27120623

  3. Reconstructing Histories of Complex Gene Clusters on a Phylogeny

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vinař, Tomáš; Brejová, Broňa; Song, Giltae; Siepel, Adam

    Clusters of genes that have evolved by repeated segmental duplication present difficult challenges throughout genomic analysis, from sequence assembly to functional analysis. These clusters are one of the major sources of evolutionary innovation, and they are linked to multiple diseases, including HIV and a variety of cancers. Understanding their evolutionary histories is a key to the application of comparative genomics methods in these regions of the genome. We propose a probabilistic model of gene cluster evolution on a phylogeny, and an MCMC algorithm for reconstruction of duplication histories from genomic sequences in multiple species. Several projects are underway to obtain high quality BAC-based assemblies of duplicated clusters in multiple species, and we anticipate use of our methods in their analysis. Supplementary materials are located at http://compbio.fmph.uniba.sk/suppl/09recombcg/

  4. Human metallothionein genes are clustered on chromosome 16.

    PubMed Central

    Karin, M; Eddy, R L; Henry, W M; Haley, L L; Byers, M G; Shows, T B

    1984-01-01

    The metallothioneins are a family of heavy-metal binding proteins of low molecular weight. They function in the regulation of trace metal metabolism and in the protection against toxic heavy metal ions. In man, the metallothioneins are encoded by at least 10-12 genes separated into two groups, MT-I and MT-II. To understand the genomic organization of these genes and their involvement in hereditary disorders of trace metal metabolism, we have determined their chromosomal location. Using human-mouse cell hybrids and hybridization probes derived from cloned and functional human MT1 and MT2 genes, we show that the functional human genes are clustered on human chromosome 16. Analysis of RNA from somatic cell hybrids indicated that hybrids that contained human chromosome 16 expressed both human MT1 and MT2 mRNA, and this expression is regulated by both heavy metal ions and glucocorticoid hormones. Images PMID:6089206

  5. Bi-clustering of Gene Expression Data Using Conditional Entropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olomola, Afolabi; Dua, Sumeet

    The inherent sparseness of gene expression data and the rare exhibition of similar expression patterns across a wide range of conditions make traditional clustering techniques unsuitable for gene expression analysis. Biclustering methods currently used to identify correlated gene patterns based on a subset of conditions do not effectively mine constant, coherent, or overlapping biclusters, partially because they perform poorly in the presence of noise. In this paper, we present a new methodology (BiEntropy) that combines information entropy and graph theory techniques to identify co-expressed gene patterns that are relevant to a subset of the sample. Our goal is to discover different types of biclusters in the presence of noise and to demonstrate the superiority of our method over existing methods in terms of discovering functionally enriched biclusters. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method using both synthetic and real data.

  6. Surveying phylogenetic footprints in large gene clusters: applications to Hox cluster duplications.

    PubMed

    Prohaska, Sonja J; Fried, Claudia; Flamm, Christoph; Wagner, Günter P; Stadler, Peter F

    2004-05-01

    Evolutionarily conserved non-coding genomic sequences represent a potentially rich source for the discovery of gene regulatory regions. Since these elements are subject to stabilizing selection they evolve much more slowly than adjacent non-functional DNA. These so-called phylogenetic footprints can be detected by comparison of the sequences surrounding orthologous genes in different species. Therefore the loss of phylogenetic footprints as well as the acquisition of conserved non-coding sequences in some lineages, but not in others, can provide evidence for the evolutionary modification of cis-regulatory elements. We introduce here a statistical model of footprint evolution that allows us to estimate the loss of sequence conservation that can be attributed to gene loss and other structural reasons. This approach to studying the pattern of cis-regulatory element evolution, however, requires the comparison of relatively long sequences from many species. We have therefore developed an efficient software tool for the identification of corresponding footprints in long sequences from multiple species. We apply this novel method to the published sequences of HoxA clusters of shark, human, and the duplicated zebrafish and Takifugu clusters as well as the published HoxB cluster sequences. We find that there is a massive loss of sequence conservation in the intergenic region of the HoxA clusters, consistent with the finding in [Chiu et al., PNAS 99 (2002) 5492]. The loss of conservation after cluster duplication is more extensive than expected from structural reasons. This suggests that binding site turnover and/or adaptive modification may also contribute to the loss of sequence conservation. PMID:15062796

  7. Molecular genetics of the human MHC complement gene cluster.

    PubMed

    Yu, C Y

    1998-01-01

    The human major histocompatibility complex (MHC) complement gene cluster (MCGC) is a highly variable region that is characterized by polymorphisms, variations in gene size and gene number, and associations with diseases. Deficiencies in complement C2 are either due to abolition of C2 protein synthesis by mini-deletions that caused frameshift mutations, or blocked secretion of the C2 protein by single amino acid substitutions. One, two or three C4 genes may be present in a human MCGC haplotype and these genes may code for C4A, C4B, or both. Deficiencies of C4A or C4B proteins are attributed to the expression of identical C4 isotypes or allotypes from the C4 loci, the absence or deletion of a C4 gene, 2-bp insertion at exon 29 or 1-bp deletion at exon 20 that caused frameshift mutations. The C4 genes are either 21 or 14.6 kb in size due to the presence of endogenous retrovirus HERV-K(C4) in the intron 9 of long C4 genes. A deletion or duplication of a C4 gene is always accompanied by its neighboring genes, RP at the 5' region, and CYP21 and TNX at the 3' region. These four genes form a genetic unit termed the RCCX module. In an RCCX bimodular structure, the pseudogene CYP21A, and partially duplicated gene segments TNXA and RP2 are present between the two C4 loci. The RCCX modular variations in gene number and gene size contributed to unequal crossovers and exchanges of polymorphic sequences/mutations, resulting in the homogenization of C4 polymorphisms and acquisitions of deleterious mutations in RP1, C4A, C4B, CYP21B and TNXB genes. RD, SKI2W, DOM3Z and RP1 are the four novel genes found between Bf and C4. RD and Ski2w proteins may be related to RNA splicing, RNA turnover and regulation of translation. The functions of Dom3z and RP1 are being investigated. The complete genomic DNA sequence between C2 and TNX is now available. This should facilitate a complete documentation of polymorphisms, mutations and disease associations for the MCGC. PMID:10072631

  8. Cluster analysis of gene expression data based on self-splitting and merging competitive learning.

    PubMed

    Wu, Shuanhu; Liew, Alan Wee-Chung; Yan, Hong; Yang, Mengsu

    2004-03-01

    Cluster analysis of gene expression data from a cDNA microarray is useful for identifying biologically relevant groups of genes. However, finding the natural clusters in the data and estimating the correct number of clusters are still two largely unsolved problems. In this paper, we propose a new clustering framework that is able to address both these problems. By using the one-prototype-take-one-cluster (OPTOC) competitive learning paradigm, the proposed algorithm can find natural clusters in the input data, and the clustering solution is not sensitive to initialization. In order to estimate the number of distinct clusters in the data, we propose a cluster splitting and merging strategy. We have applied the new algorithm to simulated gene expression data for which the correct distribution of genes over clusters is known a priori. The results show that the proposed algorithm can find natural clusters and give the correct number of clusters. The algorithm has also been tested on real gene expression changes during yeast cell cycle, for which the fundamental patterns of gene expression and assignment of genes to clusters are well understood from numerous previous studies. Comparative studies with several clustering algorithms illustrate the effectiveness of our method. PMID:15055797

  9. Genetic organization of the Salmonella typhimurium ilv gene cluster.

    PubMed

    Blazey, D L; Burns, R O

    1979-01-01

    A number of Salmonella typhimurium ilv::Tn10 insertion strains were used to analyze the Salmonella ilv gene cluster. Tn10 generated ilv deletion mutants were employed in mapping experiments to conclusively define the gene order as ilvG-E-D-A-C. Examination of ilv enzyme levels confirms that the direction of transcription of ilvGEDA is from ilvG to ilvA. The major control locus, designated ilvO, is located before ilvG forming an ilvOGEDA transcriptional unit that is multivalently repressed by isoleucine, valine and leucine. Two internal promoters, one before ilvE and anonother before ilvD, are identified and are shown to provide repressed levels of the ilvE, D and A gene products. Possible regulation of transcription from these promoters in response to isoleucine limitation is discussed in terms of attenuation. PMID:395408

  10. Transcriptional activation upon pheromone stimulation mediated by a small domain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Ste12p.

    PubMed Central

    Pi, H; Chien, C T; Fields, S

    1997-01-01

    In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Ste12p induces transcription of pheromone-responsive genes by binding to a DNA sequence designated the pheromone response element. We generated a series of hybrid proteins of Ste12p with the DNA-binding and activation domains of the transcriptional activator Gal4p to define a pheromone induction domain of Ste12p sufficient to mediate pheromone-induced transcription by these hybrid proteins. A minimal pheromone induction domain, delineated as residues 301 to 335 of Ste12p, is dependent on the pheromone mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway for induction activity. Mutation of the three serine and threonine residues within the minimal pheromone induction domain did not affect transcriptional induction, indicating that the activity of this domain is not directly regulated by MAP kinase phosphorylation. By contrast, mutation of the two tyrosines or their preceding acidic residues led to a high level of transcriptional activity in the absence of pheromone and consequently to the loss of pheromone induction. This constitutively high activity was not affected by mutations in the MAP kinase cascade, suggesting that the function of the pheromone induction domain is normally repressed in the absence of pheromone. By two-hybrid analysis, this minimal domain interacts with two negative regulators, Dig1p and Dig2p (also designated Rst1p and Rst2p), and the interaction is abolished by mutation of the tyrosines. The pheromone induction domain itself has weak and inducible transcriptional activity, and its ability to potentiate transcription depends on the activity of an adjacent activation domain. These results suggest that the pheromone induction domain of Ste12p mediates transcriptional induction via a two-step process: the relief of repression and synergistic transcriptional activation with another activation domain. PMID:9343403

  11. Hox cluster polarity in early transcriptional availability: a high order regulatory level of clustered Hox genes in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Roelen, Bernard A J; de Graaff, Wim; Forlani, Sylvie; Deschamps, Jacqueline

    2002-11-01

    The molecular mechanism underlying the 3' to 5' polarity of induction of mouse Hox genes is still elusive. While relief from a cluster-encompassing repression was shown to lead to all Hoxd genes being expressed like the 3'most of them, Hoxd1 (Kondo and Duboule, 1999), the molecular basis of initial activation of this 3'most gene, is not understood yet. We show that, already before primitive streak formation, prior to initial expression of the first Hox gene, a dramatic transcriptional stimulation of the 3'most genes, Hoxb1 and Hoxb2, is observed upon a short pulse of exogenous retinoic acid (RA), whereas it is not in the case for more 5', cluster-internal, RA-responsive Hoxb genes. In contrast, the RA-responding Hoxb1lacZ transgene that faithfully mimics the endogenous gene (Marshall et al., 1994) did not exhibit the sensitivity of Hoxb1 to precocious activation. We conclude that polarity in initial activation of Hoxb genes reflects a greater availability of 3'Hox genes for transcription, suggesting a pre-existing (susceptibility to) opening of the chromatin structure at the 3' extremity of the cluster. We discuss the data in the context of prevailing models involving differential chromatin opening in the directionality of clustered Hox gene transcription, and regarding the importance of the cluster context for correct timing of initial Hox gene expression.Interestingly, Cdx1 manifested the same early transcriptional availability as Hoxb1. PMID:12385756

  12. Discovery of a widely distributed toxin biosynthetic gene cluster

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Shaun W.; Mitchell, Douglas A.; Markley, Andrew L.; Hensler, Mary E.; Gonzalez, David; Wohlrab, Aaron; Dorrestein, Pieter C.; Nizet, Victor; Dixon, Jack E.

    2008-01-01

    Bacteriocins represent a large family of ribosomally produced peptide antibiotics. Here we describe the discovery of a widely conserved biosynthetic gene cluster for the synthesis of thiazole and oxazole heterocycles on ribosomally produced peptides. These clusters encode a toxin precursor and all necessary proteins for toxin maturation and export. Using the toxin precursor peptide and heterocycle-forming synthetase proteins from the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes, we demonstrate the in vitro reconstitution of streptolysin S activity. We provide evidence that the synthetase enzymes, as predicted from our bioinformatics analysis, introduce heterocycles onto precursor peptides, thereby providing molecular insight into the chemical structure of streptolysin S. Furthermore, our studies reveal that the synthetase exhibits relaxed substrate specificity and modifies toxin precursors from both related and distant species. Given our findings, it is likely that the discovery of similar peptidic toxins will rapidly expand to existing and emerging genomes. PMID:18375757

  13. Molecular Characterization of Neurally Expressing Genes in the Para Sodium Channel Gene Cluster of Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Hong, C. S.; Ganetzky, B.

    1996-01-01

    To elucidate the mechanisms regulating expression of para, which encodes the major class of sodium channels in the Drosophila nervous system, we have tried to locate upstream cis-acting regulatory elements by mapping the transcriptional start site and analyzing the region immediately upstream of para in region 14D of the polytene chromosomes. From these studies, we have discovered that the region contains a cluster of neurally expressing genes. Here we report the molecular characterization of the genomic organization of the 14D region and the genes within this region, which are: calnexin (Cnx), actin related protein 14D (Arp14D), calcineurin A 14D (CnnA14D), and chromosome associated protein (Cap). The tight clustering of these genes, their neuronal expression patterns, and their potential functions related to expression, modulation, or regulation of sodium channels raise the possibility that these genes represent a functionally related group sharing some coordinate regulatory mechanism. PMID:8849894

  14. Cloning and characterization of the biosynthetic gene cluster for kutznerides

    PubMed Central

    Fujimori, Danica Galonić; Hrvatin, Siniša; Neumann, Christopher S.; Strieker, Matthias; Marahiel, Mohamed A.; Walsh, Christopher T.

    2007-01-01

    Kutznerides, actinomycete-derived cyclic depsipetides, consist of six nonproteinogenic residues, including a highly oxygenated tricyclic hexahydropyrroloindole, a chlorinated piperazic acid, 2-(1-methylcyclopropyl)-glycine, a β-branched-hydroxy acid, and 3-hydroxy glutamic acid, for which biosynthetic logic has not been elucidated. Herein we describe the biosynthetic gene cluster for the kutzneride family, identified by degenerate primer PCR for halogenating enzymes postulated to be involved in biosyntheses of these unusual monomers. The 56-kb gene cluster encodes a series of six nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) modules distributed over three proteins and a variety of tailoring enzymes, including both mononuclear nonheme iron and two flavin-dependent halogenases, and an array of oxygen transfer catalysts. The sequence and organization of NRPS genes support incorporation of the unusual monomer units into the densely functionalized scaffold of kutznerides. Our work provides insight into the formation of this intriguing class of compounds and provides a foundation for elucidating the timing and mechanisms of their biosynthesis. PMID:17940045

  15. Pheromone-sensitive glomeruli in the primary olfactory centre of ants.

    PubMed

    Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Nishino, Hiroshi; Mizunami, Makoto

    2006-09-01

    Tremendous evolutional success and the ecological dominance of social insects, including ants, termites and social bees, are due to their efficient social organizations and their underlying communication systems. Functional division into reproductive and sterile castes, cooperation in defending the nest, rearing the young and gathering food are all regulated by communication by means of various kinds of pheromones. No brain structures specifically involved in the processing of non-sexual pheromone have been physiologically identified in any social insects. By use of intracellular recording and staining techniques, we studied responses of projection neurons of the antennal lobe (primary olfactory centre) of ants to alarm pheromone, which plays predominant roles in colony defence. Among 23 alarm pheromone-sensitive projection neurons recorded and stained in this study, eight were uniglomerular projection neurons with dendrites in one glomerulus, a structural unit of the antennal lobe, and the remaining 15 were multiglomerular projection neurons with dendrites in multiple glomeruli. Notably, all alarm pheromone-sensitive uniglomerular projection neurons had dendrites in one of five 'alarm pheromone-sensitive (AS)' glomeruli that form a cluster in the dorsalmost part of the antennal lobe. All alarm pheromone-sensitive multiglomerular projection neurons had dendrites in some of the AS glomeruli as well as in glomeruli in the anterodorsal area of the antennal lobe. The results suggest that components of alarm pheromone are processed in a specific cluster of glomeruli in the antennal lobe of ants. PMID:16901842

  16. Functional clustering of time series gene expression data by Granger causality

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background A common approach for time series gene expression data analysis includes the clustering of genes with similar expression patterns throughout time. Clustered gene expression profiles point to the joint contribution of groups of genes to a particular cellular process. However, since genes belong to intricate networks, other features, besides comparable expression patterns, should provide additional information for the identification of functionally similar genes. Results In this study we perform gene clustering through the identification of Granger causality between and within sets of time series gene expression data. Granger causality is based on the idea that the cause of an event cannot come after its consequence. Conclusions This kind of analysis can be used as a complementary approach for functional clustering, wherein genes would be clustered not solely based on their expression similarity but on their topological proximity built according to the intensity of Granger causality among them. PMID:23107425

  17. Evolutionary formation of gene clusters by reorganization: the meleagrin/roquefortine paradigm in different fungi.

    PubMed

    Martín, Juan F; Liras, Paloma

    2016-02-01

    The biosynthesis of secondary metabolites in fungi is catalyzed by enzymes encoded by genes linked in clusters that are frequently co-regulated at the transcriptional level. Formation of gene clusters may take place by de novo assembly of genes recruited from other cellular functions, but also novel gene clusters are formed by reorganization of progenitor clusters and are distributed by horizontal gene transfer. This article reviews (i) the published information on the roquefortine/meleagrin/neoxaline gene clusters of Penicillium chrysogenum (Penicillium rubens) and the short roquefortine cluster of Penicillium roqueforti, and (ii) the correlation of the genes present in those clusters with the enzymes and metabolites derived from these pathways. The P. chrysogenum roq/mel cluster consists of seven genes and includes a gene (roqT) encoding a 12-TMS transporter protein of the MFS family. Interestingly, the orthologous P. roquefortine gene cluster has only four genes and the roqT gene is present as a residual pseudogene that encodes only small peptides. Two of the genes present in the central region of the P. chrysogenum roq/mel cluster have been lost during the evolutionary formation of the short cluster and the order of the structural genes in the cluster has been rearranged. The two lost genes encode a N1 atom hydroxylase (nox) and a roquefortine scaffold-reorganizing oxygenase (sro). As a consequence P. roqueforti has lost the ability to convert the roquefortine-type carbon skeleton to the glandicoline/meleagrin-type scaffold and is unable to produce glandicoline B, meleagrin and neoxaline. The loss of this genetic information is not recent and occurred probably millions of years ago when a progenitor Penicillium strain got adapted to life in a few rich habitats such as cheese, fermented cereal grains or silage. P. roqueforti may be considered as a "domesticated" variant of a progenitor common to contemporary P. chrysogenum and related Penicillia. PMID:26668029

  18. Toward Awakening Cryptic Secondary Metabolite Gene Clusters in Filamentous Fungi

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Fang Yun; Sanchez, James F.; Wang, Clay C.C.; Keller, Nancy P.

    2013-01-01

    Mining for novel natural compounds is of eminent importance owing to the continuous need for new pharmaceuticals. Filamentous fungi are historically known to harbor the genetic capacity for an arsenal of natural compounds, both beneficial and detrimental to humans. The majority of these metabolites are still cryptic or silent under standard laboratory culture conditions. Mining for these cryptic natural products can be an excellent source for identifying new compound classes. Capitalizing on the current knowledge on how secondary metabolite gene clusters are regulated has allowed the research community to unlock many hidden fungal treasures, as described in this chapter. PMID:23084945

  19. Distribution and Genetic Diversity of Bacteriocin Gene Clusters in Rumen Microbial Genomes.

    PubMed

    Azevedo, Analice C; Bento, Cláudia B P; Ruiz, Jeronimo C; Queiroz, Marisa V; Mantovani, Hilário C

    2015-10-01

    Some species of ruminal bacteria are known to produce antimicrobial peptides, but the screening procedures have mostly been based on in vitro assays using standardized methods. Recent sequencing efforts have made available the genome sequences of hundreds of ruminal microorganisms. In this work, we performed genome mining of the complete and partial genome sequences of 224 ruminal bacteria and 5 ruminal archaea to determine the distribution and diversity of bacteriocin gene clusters. A total of 46 bacteriocin gene clusters were identified in 33 strains of ruminal bacteria. Twenty gene clusters were related to lanthipeptide biosynthesis, while 11 gene clusters were associated with sactipeptide production, 7 gene clusters were associated with class II bacteriocin production, and 8 gene clusters were associated with class III bacteriocin production. The frequency of strains whose genomes encode putative antimicrobial peptide precursors was 14.4%. Clusters related to the production of sactipeptides were identified for the first time among ruminal bacteria. BLAST analysis indicated that the majority of the gene clusters (88%) encoding putative lanthipeptides contained all the essential genes required for lanthipeptide biosynthesis. Most strains of Streptococcus (66.6%) harbored complete lanthipeptide gene clusters, in addition to an open reading frame encoding a putative class II bacteriocin. Albusin B-like proteins were found in 100% of the Ruminococcus albus strains screened in this study. The in silico analysis provided evidence of novel biosynthetic gene clusters in bacterial species not previously related to bacteriocin production, suggesting that the rumen microbiota represents an underexplored source of antimicrobial peptides. PMID:26253660

  20. Distribution and Genetic Diversity of Bacteriocin Gene Clusters in Rumen Microbial Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Azevedo, Analice C.; Bento, Cláudia B. P.; Ruiz, Jeronimo C.; Queiroz, Marisa V.

    2015-01-01

    Some species of ruminal bacteria are known to produce antimicrobial peptides, but the screening procedures have mostly been based on in vitro assays using standardized methods. Recent sequencing efforts have made available the genome sequences of hundreds of ruminal microorganisms. In this work, we performed genome mining of the complete and partial genome sequences of 224 ruminal bacteria and 5 ruminal archaea to determine the distribution and diversity of bacteriocin gene clusters. A total of 46 bacteriocin gene clusters were identified in 33 strains of ruminal bacteria. Twenty gene clusters were related to lanthipeptide biosynthesis, while 11 gene clusters were associated with sactipeptide production, 7 gene clusters were associated with class II bacteriocin production, and 8 gene clusters were associated with class III bacteriocin production. The frequency of strains whose genomes encode putative antimicrobial peptide precursors was 14.4%. Clusters related to the production of sactipeptides were identified for the first time among ruminal bacteria. BLAST analysis indicated that the majority of the gene clusters (88%) encoding putative lanthipeptides contained all the essential genes required for lanthipeptide biosynthesis. Most strains of Streptococcus (66.6%) harbored complete lanthipeptide gene clusters, in addition to an open reading frame encoding a putative class II bacteriocin. Albusin B-like proteins were found in 100% of the Ruminococcus albus strains screened in this study. The in silico analysis provided evidence of novel biosynthetic gene clusters in bacterial species not previously related to bacteriocin production, suggesting that the rumen microbiota represents an underexplored source of antimicrobial peptides. PMID:26253660

  1. The Genetic Basis of Pheromone Evolution in Moths.

    PubMed

    Groot, Astrid T; Dekker, Teun; Heckel, David G

    2016-03-11

    Moth sexual pheromones are widely studied as a fine-tuned system of intraspecific sexual communication that reinforces interspecific reproductive isolation. However, their evolution poses a dilemma: How can the female pheromone and male preference simultaneously change to create a new pattern of species-specific attraction? Solving this puzzle requires us to identify the genes underlying intraspecific variation in signals and responses and to understand the evolutionary mechanisms responsible for their interspecific divergence. Candidate gene approaches and functional analyses have yielded insights into large families of biosynthetic enzymes and pheromone receptors, although the factors controlling their expression remain largely unexplored. Intra- and interspecific crosses have provided tantalizing evidence of regulatory genes, although, to date, mapping resolution has been insufficient to identify them. Recent advances in high-throughput genome and transcriptome sequencing, together with established techniques, have great potential to help scientists identify the specific genetic changes underlying divergence and resolve the mystery of how moth sexual communication systems evolve. PMID:26565898

  2. Gene prioritization and clustering by multi-view text mining

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Text mining has become a useful tool for biologists trying to understand the genetics of diseases. In particular, it can help identify the most interesting candidate genes for a disease for further experimental analysis. Many text mining approaches have been introduced, but the effect of disease-gene identification varies in different text mining models. Thus, the idea of incorporating more text mining models may be beneficial to obtain more refined and accurate knowledge. However, how to effectively combine these models still remains a challenging question in machine learning. In particular, it is a non-trivial issue to guarantee that the integrated model performs better than the best individual model. Results We present a multi-view approach to retrieve biomedical knowledge using different controlled vocabularies. These controlled vocabularies are selected on the basis of nine well-known bio-ontologies and are applied to index the vast amounts of gene-based free-text information available in the MEDLINE repository. The text mining result specified by a vocabulary is considered as a view and the obtained multiple views are integrated by multi-source learning algorithms. We investigate the effect of integration in two fundamental computational disease gene identification tasks: gene prioritization and gene clustering. The performance of the proposed approach is systematically evaluated and compared on real benchmark data sets. In both tasks, the multi-view approach demonstrates significantly better performance than other comparing methods. Conclusions In practical research, the relevance of specific vocabulary pertaining to the task is usually unknown. In such case, multi-view text mining is a superior and promising strategy for text-based disease gene identification. PMID:20074336

  3. Arrangement of the Clostridium baratii F7 Toxin Gene Cluster with Identification of a σ Factor That Recognizes the Botulinum Toxin Gene Cluster Promoters

    SciTech Connect

    Dover, Nir; Barash, Jason R.; Burke, Julianne N.; Hill, Karen K.; Detter, John C.; Arnon, Stephen S.

    2014-05-22

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the most poisonous substances known and its eight toxin types (A to H) are distinguished by the inability of polyclonal antibodies that neutralize one toxin type to neutralize any of the other seven toxin types. Infant botulism, an intestinal toxemia orphan disease, is the most common form of human botulism in the United States. It results from swallowed spores of Clostridium botulinum (or rarely, neurotoxigenic Clostridium butyricum or Clostridium baratii) that germinate and temporarily colonize the lumen of the large intestine, where, as vegetative cells, they produce botulinum toxin. Botulinum neurotoxin is encoded by the bont gene that is part of a toxin gene cluster that includes several accessory genes. In this paper, we sequenced for the first time the complete botulinum neurotoxin gene cluster of nonproteolytic C. baratii type F7. Like the type E and the nonproteolytic type F6 botulinum toxin gene clusters, the C. baratii type F7 had an orfX toxin gene cluster that lacked the regulatory botR gene which is found in proteolytic C. botulinum strains and codes for an alternative σ factor. In the absence of botR, we identified a putative alternative regulatory gene located upstream of the C. baratii type F7 toxin gene cluster. This putative regulatory gene codes for a predicted σ factor that contains DNA-binding-domain homologues to the DNA-binding domains both of BotR and of other members of the TcdR-related group 5 of the σ70 family that are involved in the regulation of toxin gene expression in clostridia. We showed that this TcdR-related protein in association with RNA polymerase core enzyme specifically binds to the C. baratii type F7 botulinum toxin gene cluster promoters. Finally, this TcdR-related protein may therefore be involved in regulating the expression of the genes of the botulinum toxin gene cluster in neurotoxigenic C. baratii.

  4. Arrangement of the Clostridium baratii F7 Toxin Gene Cluster with Identification of a σ Factor That Recognizes the Botulinum Toxin Gene Cluster Promoters

    PubMed Central

    Dover, Nir; Barash, Jason R.; Burke, Julianne N.; Hill, Karen K.; Detter, John C.; Arnon, Stephen S.

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the most poisonous substances known and its eight toxin types (A to H) are distinguished by the inability of polyclonal antibodies that neutralize one toxin type to neutralize any of the other seven toxin types. Infant botulism, an intestinal toxemia orphan disease, is the most common form of human botulism in the United States. It results from swallowed spores of Clostridium botulinum (or rarely, neurotoxigenic Clostridium butyricum or Clostridium baratii) that germinate and temporarily colonize the lumen of the large intestine, where, as vegetative cells, they produce botulinum toxin. Botulinum neurotoxin is encoded by the bont gene that is part of a toxin gene cluster that includes several accessory genes. We sequenced for the first time the complete botulinum neurotoxin gene cluster of nonproteolytic C. baratii type F7. Like the type E and the nonproteolytic type F6 botulinum toxin gene clusters, the C. baratii type F7 had an orfX toxin gene cluster that lacked the regulatory botR gene which is found in proteolytic C. botulinum strains and codes for an alternative σ factor. In the absence of botR, we identified a putative alternative regulatory gene located upstream of the C. baratii type F7 toxin gene cluster. This putative regulatory gene codes for a predicted σ factor that contains DNA-binding-domain homologues to the DNA-binding domains both of BotR and of other members of the TcdR-related group 5 of the σ70 family that are involved in the regulation of toxin gene expression in clostridia. We showed that this TcdR-related protein in association with RNA polymerase core enzyme specifically binds to the C. baratii type F7 botulinum toxin gene cluster promoters. This TcdR-related protein may therefore be involved in regulating the expression of the genes of the botulinum toxin gene cluster in neurotoxigenic C. baratii. PMID:24853378

  5. A Single Gene Cluster for Chalcomycins and Aldgamycins: Genetic Basis for Bifurcation of Their Biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Tang, Xiao-Long; Dai, Ping; Gao, Hao; Wang, Chuan-Xi; Chen, Guo-Dong; Hong, Kui; Hu, Dan; Yao, Xin-Sheng

    2016-07-01

    Aldgamycins are 16-membered macrolide antibiotics with a rare branched-chain sugar d-aldgarose or decarboxylated d-aldgarose at C-5. In our efforts to clone the gene cluster for aldgamycins from a marine-derived Streptomyces sp. HK-2006-1 capable of producing both aldgamycins and chalcomycins, we found that both are biosynthesized from a single gene cluster. Whole-genome sequencing combined with gene disruption established the entire gene cluster of aldgamycins: nine new genes are incorporated with the previously identified chalcomycin gene cluster. Functional analysis of these genes revealed that almDI/almDII, (encoding α/β subunits of pyruvate dehydrogenase) triggers the biosynthesis of aldgamycins, whereas almCI (encoding an oxidoreductase) initiates chalcomycins biosynthesis. This is the first report that aldgamycins and chalcomycins are derived from a single gene cluster and of the genetic basis for bifurcation in their biosynthesis. PMID:27191535

  6. Parallel evolutionary events in the haptoglobin gene clusters of rhesus monkey and human

    SciTech Connect

    Erickson, L.M.; Maeda, N.

    1994-08-01

    Parallel occurrences of evolutionary events in the haptoglobin gene clusters of rhesus monkeys and humans were studied. We found six different haplotypes among 11 individuals from two rhesus monkey families. The six haplotypes include two types of haptoglobin gene clusters: one type with a single gene and the other with two genes. DNA sequence analysis indicates that the one-gene and the two-gene clusters were both formed by unequal homologous crossovers between two genes of an ancestral three-gene cluster, near exon 5, the longest exon of the gene. This exon is also the location where a separate unequal homologous crossover occured in the human lineage, forming the human two-gene haptoglobin gene cluster from an ancestral three-gene cluster. The occurrence of independent homologous unequal crossovers in rhesus monkey and in human within the same region of DNA suggests that the evolutionary history of the haptoglobin gene cluster in primates is the consequence of frequent homologous pairings facilitated by the longest and most conserved exon of the gene. 27 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab.

  7. TICK PHEROMONES AND USES THEREOF

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The subject invention provides materials and methods for tick control. The tick control methods of the subject invention are particularly advantageous because they utilize natural chemical signals (pheromones) in combination with an acaricide. The use of environmentally friendly pheromones makes i...

  8. Deletion analysis of the avermectin biosynthetic genes of Streptomyces avermitilis by gene cluster displacement.

    PubMed Central

    MacNeil, T; Gewain, K M; MacNeil, D J

    1993-01-01

    Streptomyces avermitilis produces a group of glycosylated, methylated macrocyclic lactones, the avermectins, which have potent anthelmintic activity. A homologous recombination strategy termed gene cluster displacement was used to construct Neor deletion strains with defined endpoints and to clone the corresponding complementary DNA encoding functions for avermectin biosynthesis (avr). Thirty-five unique deletions of 0.5 to > 100 kb over a continuous 150-kb region were introduced into S. avermitilis. Analysis of the avermectin phenotypes of the deletion-containing strains defined the extent and ends of the 95-kb avr gene cluster, identified a regulatory region, and mapped several avr functions. A 60-kb region in the central portion determines the synthesis of the macrolide ring. A 13-kb region at one end of the cluster is responsible for synthesis and attachment of oleandrose disaccharide. A 10-kb region at the other end has functions for positive regulation and C-5 O methylation. Physical analysis of the deletions and of in vivo-cloned fragments refined a 130-kb physical map of the avr gene cluster region. Images PMID:8478321

  9. A metabolic gene cluster in Lotus japonicus discloses novel enzyme functions and products in triterpene biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Krokida, Afrodite; Delis, Costas; Geisler, Katrin; Garagounis, Constantine; Tsikou, Daniela; Peña-Rodríguez, Luis M; Katsarou, Dimitra; Field, Ben; Osbourn, Anne E; Papadopoulou, Kalliope K

    2013-11-01

    Genes for triterpene biosynthetic pathways exist as metabolic gene clusters in oat and Arabidopsis thaliana plants. We characterized the presence of an analogous gene cluster in the model legume Lotus japonicus. In the genomic regions flanking the oxidosqualene cyclase AMY2 gene, genes for two different classes of cytochrome P450 and a gene predicted to encode a reductase were identified. Functional characterization of the cluster genes was pursued by heterologous expression in Nicotiana benthamiana. The gene expression pattern was studied under different developmental and environmental conditions. The physiological role of the gene cluster in nodulation and plant development was studied in knockdown experiments. A novel triterpene structure, dihydrolupeol, was produced by AMY2. A new plant cytochrome P450, CYP71D353, which catalyses the formation of 20-hydroxybetulinic acid in a sequential three-step oxidation of 20-hydroxylupeol was characterized. The genes within the cluster are highly co-expressed during root and nodule development, in hormone-treated plants and under various environmental stresses. A transcriptional gene silencing mechanism that appears to be involved in the regulation of the cluster genes was also revealed. A tightly co-regulated cluster of functionally related genes is involved in legume triterpene biosynthesis, with a possible role in plant development. PMID:23909862

  10. Time-series clustering of gene expression in irradiated and bystander fibroblasts: an application of FBPA clustering

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The radiation bystander effect is an important component of the overall biological response of tissues and organisms to ionizing radiation, but the signaling mechanisms between irradiated and non-irradiated bystander cells are not fully understood. In this study, we measured a time-series of gene expression after α-particle irradiation and applied the Feature Based Partitioning around medoids Algorithm (FBPA), a new clustering method suitable for sparse time series, to identify signaling modules that act in concert in the response to direct irradiation and bystander signaling. We compared our results with those of an alternate clustering method, Short Time series Expression Miner (STEM). Results While computational evaluations of both clustering results were similar, FBPA provided more biological insight. After irradiation, gene clusters were enriched for signal transduction, cell cycle/cell death and inflammation/immunity processes; but only FBPA separated clusters by function. In bystanders, gene clusters were enriched for cell communication/motility, signal transduction and inflammation processes; but biological functions did not separate as clearly with either clustering method as they did in irradiated samples. Network analysis confirmed p53 and NF-κB transcription factor-regulated gene clusters in irradiated and bystander cells and suggested novel regulators, such as KDM5B/JARID1B (lysine (K)-specific demethylase 5B) and HDACs (histone deacetylases), which could epigenetically coordinate gene expression after irradiation. Conclusions In this study, we have shown that a new time series clustering method, FBPA, can provide new leads to the mechanisms regulating the dynamic cellular response to radiation. The findings implicate epigenetic control of gene expression in addition to transcription factor networks. PMID:21205307

  11. Deletion and Gene Expression Analyses Define the Paxilline Biosynthetic Gene Cluster in Penicillium paxilli

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Barry; Young, Carolyn A.; Saikia, Sanjay; McMillan, Lisa K.; Monahan, Brendon J.; Koulman, Albert; Astin, Jonathan; Eaton, Carla J.; Bryant, Andrea; Wrenn, Ruth E.; Finch, Sarah C.; Tapper, Brian A.; Parker, Emily J.; Jameson, Geoffrey B.

    2013-01-01

    The indole-diterpene paxilline is an abundant secondary metabolite synthesized by Penicillium paxilli. In total, 21 genes have been identified at the PAX locus of which six have been previously confirmed to have a functional role in paxilline biosynthesis. A combination of bioinformatics, gene expression and targeted gene replacement analyses were used to define the boundaries of the PAX gene cluster. Targeted gene replacement identified seven genes, paxG, paxA, paxM, paxB, paxC, paxP and paxQ that were all required for paxilline production, with one additional gene, paxD, required for regular prenylation of the indole ring post paxilline synthesis. The two putative transcription factors, PP104 and PP105, were not co-regulated with the pax genes and based on targeted gene replacement, including the double knockout, did not have a role in paxilline production. The relationship of indole dimethylallyl transferases involved in prenylation of indole-diterpenes such as paxilline or lolitrem B, can be found as two disparate clades, not supported by prenylation type (e.g., regular or reverse). This paper provides insight into the P. paxilli indole-diterpene locus and reviews the recent advances identified in paxilline biosynthesis. PMID:23949005

  12. Use of Semisupervised Clustering and Feature-Selection Techniques for Identification of Co-expressed Genes.

    PubMed

    Saha, Sriparna; Alok, Abhay Kumar; Ekbal, Asif

    2016-07-01

    Studying the patterns hidden in gene-expression data helps to understand the functionality of genes. In general, clustering techniques are widely used for the identification of natural partitionings from the gene expression data. In order to put constraints on dimensionality, feature selection is the key issue because not all features are important from clustering point of view. Moreover some limited amount of supervised information can help to fine tune the obtained clustering solution. In this paper, the problem of simultaneous feature selection and semisupervised clustering is formulated as a multiobjective optimization (MOO) task. A modern simulated annealing-based MOO technique namely AMOSA is utilized as the background optimization methodology. Here, features and cluster centers are represented in the form of a string and the assignment of genes to different clusters is done using a point symmetry-based distance. Six optimization criteria based on several internal and external cluster validity indices are utilized. In order to generate the supervised information, a popular clustering technique, Fuzzy C-mean, is utilized. Appropriate subset of features, proper number of clusters and the proper partitioning are determined using the search capability of AMOSA. The effectiveness of this proposed semisupervised clustering technique, Semi-FeaClustMOO, is demonstrated on five publicly available benchmark gene-expression datasets. Comparison results with the existing techniques for gene-expression data clustering again reveal the superiority of the proposed technique. Statistical and biological significance tests have also been carried out. PMID:26208367

  13. Comparative Analysis of Cluster Validity Indices in Identifying Some Possible Genes Mediating Certain Cancers.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Anupam; Dhara, Bibhas Chandra; De, Rajat K

    2013-04-01

    In this article, we compare the performance of 19 cluster validity indices, in identifying some possible genes mediating certain cancers, based on gene expression data. For the purpose of this comparison, we have developed a method. The proposed method involves cluster generation, selection of the best k-value or c-values, cluster identification, identifying the altered gene cluster, scoring an altered gene cluster and determining the best k-value or c-value exploring through biological repositories. The effectiveness of the method has been demonstrated on three gene expression data sets dealing with human lung cancer, colon cancer, and leukemia. Here, we have used three clustering algorithms, i.e., k-means, PAM and fuzzy c-means. We have used biochemical pathways related to these cancers and p-value statistics for validating the study. PMID:27481591

  14. Elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii) provides insights into the evolution of Hox gene clusters in gnathostomes.

    PubMed

    Ravi, Vydianathan; Lam, Kevin; Tay, Boon-Hui; Tay, Alice; Brenner, Sydney; Venkatesh, Byrappa

    2009-09-22

    We have sequenced and analyzed Hox gene clusters from elephant shark, a holocephalian cartilaginous fish. Elephant shark possesses 4 Hox clusters with 45 Hox genes that include orthologs for a higher number of ancient gnathostome Hox genes than the 4 clusters in tetrapods and the supernumerary clusters in teleost fishes. Phylogenetic analysis of elephant shark Hox genes from 7 paralogous groups that contain all of the 4 members indicated an ((AB)(CD)) topology for the order of Hox cluster duplication, providing support for the 2R hypothesis (i.e., 2 rounds of whole-genome duplication during the early evolution of vertebrates). Comparisons of noncoding sequences of the elephant shark and human Hox clusters have identified a large number of conserved noncoding elements (CNEs), which represent putative cis-regulatory elements that may be involved in the regulation of Hox genes. Interestingly, in fugu more than 50% of these ancient CNEs have diverged beyond recognition in the duplicated (HoxA, HoxB, and HoxD) as well as the singleton (HoxC) Hox clusters. Furthermore, the b-paralogs of the duplicated fugu Hox clusters are virtually devoid of unique ancient CNEs. In contrast to fugu Hox clusters, elephant shark and human Hox clusters have lost fewer ancient CNEs. If these ancient CNEs are indeed enhancers directing tissue-specific expression of Hox genes, divergence of their sequences in vertebrate lineages might have led to altered expression patterns and presumably the functions of their associated Hox genes. PMID:19805301

  15. A Special Local Clustering Algorithm for Identifying the Genes Associated With Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Pang, Chao-Yang; Hu, Wei; Hu, Ben-Qiong; Shi, Ying; Vanderburg, Charles R.; Rogers, Jack T.

    2010-01-01

    Clustering is the grouping of similar objects into a class. Local clustering feature refers to the phenomenon whereby one group of data is separated from another, and the data from these different groups are clustered locally. A compact class is defined as one cluster in which all similar elements cluster tightly within the cluster. Herein, the essence of the local clustering feature, revealed by mathematical manipulation, results in a novel clustering algorithm termed as the special local clustering (SLC) algorithm that was used to process gene microarray data related to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). SLC algorithm was able to group together genes with similar expression patterns and identify significantly varied gene expression values as isolated points. If a gene belongs to a compact class in control data and appears as an isolated point in incipient, moderate and/or severe AD gene microarray data, this gene is possibly associated with AD. Application of a clustering algorithm in disease-associated gene identification such as in AD is rarely reported. PMID:20089478

  16. High presence/absence gene variability in defense-related gene clusters of Cucumis melo

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Changes in the copy number of DNA sequences are one of the main mechanisms generating genome variability in eukaryotes. These changes are often related to phenotypic effects such as genetic disorders or novel pathogen resistance. The increasing availability of genome sequences through the application of next-generation massive sequencing technologies has allowed the study of genomic polymorphisms at both the interspecific and intraspecific levels, thus helping to understand how species adapt to changing environments through genome variability. Results Data on gene presence/absence variation (PAV) in melon was obtained by resequencing a cultivated accession and an old-relative melon variety, and using previously obtained resequencing data from three other melon cultivars, among them DHL92, on which the current draft melon genome sequence is based. A total of 1,697 PAV events were detected, involving 4.4% of the predicted melon gene complement. In all, an average 1.5% of genes were absent from each analyzed cultivar as compared to the DHL92 reference genome. The most populated functional category among the 304 PAV genes of known function was that of stress response proteins (30% of all classified PAVs). Our results suggest that genes from multi-copy families are five times more likely to be affected by PAV than singleton genes. Also, the chance of genes present in the genome in tandem arrays being affected by PAV is double that of isolated genes, with PAV genes tending to be in longer clusters. The highest concentration of PAV events detected in the melon genome was found in a 1.1 Mb region of linkage group V, which also shows the highest density of melon stress-response genes. In particular, this region contains the longest continuous gene-containing PAV sequence so far identified in melon. Conclusions The first genome-wide report of PAV variation among several melon cultivars is presented here. Multi-copy and clustered genes, especially those with

  17. An Ergot Alkaloid Biosynthesis Gene and Clustered Hypothetical Genes from Aspergillus fumigatus†

    PubMed Central

    Coyle, Christine M.; Panaccione, Daniel G.

    2005-01-01

    The ergot alkaloids are a family of indole-derived mycotoxins with a variety of significant biological activities. Aspergillus fumigatus, a common airborne fungus and opportunistic human pathogen, and several fungi in the relatively distant taxon Clavicipitaceae (clavicipitaceous fungi) produce different sets of ergot alkaloids. The ergot alkaloids of these divergent fungi share a four-member ergoline ring but differ in the number, type, and position of the side chains. Several genes required for ergot alkaloid production are known in the clavicipitaceous fungi, and these genes are clustered in the genome of the ergot fungus Claviceps purpurea. We investigated whether the ergot alkaloids of A. fumigatus have a common biosynthetic and genetic origin with those of the clavicipitaceous fungi. A homolog of dmaW, the gene controlling the determinant step in the ergot alkaloid pathway of clavicipitaceous fungi, was identified in the A. fumigatus genome. Knockout of dmaW eliminated all known ergot alkaloids from A. fumigatus, and complementation of the mutation restored ergot alkaloid production. Clustered with dmaW in the A. fumigatus genome are sequences corresponding to five genes previously proposed to encode steps in the ergot alkaloid pathway of C. purpurea, as well as additional sequences whose deduced protein products are consistent with their involvement in the ergot alkaloid pathway. The corresponding genes have similarities in their nucleotide sequences, but the orientations and positions within the cluster of several of these genes differ. The data indicate that the ergot alkaloid biosynthetic capabilities in A. fumigatus and the clavicipitaceous fungi had a common origin. PMID:15933009

  18. Identification and Functional Analysis of the Nocardithiocin Gene Cluster in Nocardia pseudobrasiliensis

    PubMed Central

    Sakai, Kanae; Komaki, Hisayuki; Gonoi, Tohru

    2015-01-01

    Nocardithiocin is a thiopeptide compound isolated from the opportunistic pathogen Nocardia pseudobrasiliensis. It shows a strong activity against acid-fast bacteria and is also active against rifampicin-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Here, we report the identification of the nocardithiocin gene cluster in N. pseudobrasiliensis IFM 0761 based on conserved thiopeptide biosynthesis gene sequence and the whole genome sequence. The predicted gene cluster was confirmed by gene disruption and complementation. As expected, strains containing the disrupted gene did not produce nocardithiocin while gene complementation restored nocardithiocin production in these strains. The predicted cluster was further analyzed using RNA-seq which showed that the nocardithiocin gene cluster contains 12 genes within a 15.2-kb region. This finding will promote the improvement of nocardithiocin productivity and its derivatives production. PMID:26588225

  19. Translating biosynthetic gene clusters into fungal armor and weaponry

    PubMed Central

    Keller, Nancy P

    2015-01-01

    Filamentous fungi are renowned for the production of a diverse array of secondary metabolites (SMs) where the genetic material required for synthesis of a SM is typically arrayed in a biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC). These natural products are valued for their bioactive properties stemming from their functions in fungal biology, key among those protection from abiotic and biotic stress and establishment of a secure niche. The producing fungus must not only avoid self-harm from endogenous SMs but also deliver specific SMs at the right time to the right tissue requiring biochemical aid. This review highlights functions of BGCs beyond the enzymatic assembly of SMs, considering the timing and location of SM production and other proteins in the clusters that control SM activity. Specifically, self-protection is provided by both BGC-encoded mechanisms and non-BGC subcellular containment of toxic SM precursors; delivery and timing is orchestrated through cellular trafficking patterns and stress- and developmental-responsive transcriptional programs. PMID:26284674

  20. DoBISCUIT: a database of secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters

    PubMed Central

    Ichikawa, Natsuko; Sasagawa, Machi; Yamamoto, Mika; Komaki, Hisayuki; Yoshida, Yumi; Yamazaki, Shuji; Fujita, Nobuyuki

    2013-01-01

    This article introduces DoBISCUIT (Database of BIoSynthesis clusters CUrated and InTegrated, http://www.bio.nite.go.jp/pks/), a literature-based, manually curated database of gene clusters for secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Bacterial secondary metabolites often show pharmacologically important activities and can serve as lead compounds and/or candidates for drug development. Biosynthesis of each secondary metabolite is catalyzed by a number of enzymes, usually encoded by a gene cluster. Although many scientific papers describe such gene clusters, the gene information is not always described in a comprehensive manner and the related information is rarely integrated. DoBISCUIT integrates the latest literature information and provides standardized gene/module/domain descriptions related to the gene clusters. PMID:23185043

  1. Identification and Characterization of a Candida albicans Mating Pheromone

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Richard J.; Uhl, M. Andrew; Miller, Mathew G.; Johnson, Alexander D.

    2003-01-01

    Candida albicans, the most prevalent fungal pathogen of humans, has recently been shown to undergo mating. Here we describe a mating pheromone produced by C. albicans α cells and show that the gene which encodes it (MFα) is required for α cells, but not a cells, to mate. We also identify the receptor for this mating pheromone as the product of the STE2 gene and show that this gene is required for the mating of a cells, but not α cells. Cells of the a mating type respond to the α mating pheromone by producing long polarized projections, similar to those observed in bona fide mating mixtures of C. albicans a and α cells. During this process, transcription of approximately 62 genes is induced. Although some of these genes correspond to those induced in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by S. cerevisiae α-factor, most are specific to the C. albicans pheromone response. The most surprising class encode cell surface and secreted proteins previously implicated in virulence of C. albicans in a mouse model of disseminated candidiasis. This observation suggests that aspects of cell-cell communication in mating may have been evolutionarily adopted for host-pathogen interactions in C. albicans. PMID:14585977

  2. Challenges in microarray class discovery: a comprehensive examination of normalization, gene selection and clustering

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Cluster analysis, and in particular hierarchical clustering, is widely used to extract information from gene expression data. The aim is to discover new classes, or sub-classes, of either individuals or genes. Performing a cluster analysis commonly involve decisions on how to; handle missing values, standardize the data and select genes. In addition, pre-processing, involving various types of filtration and normalization procedures, can have an effect on the ability to discover biologically relevant classes. Here we consider cluster analysis in a broad sense and perform a comprehensive evaluation that covers several aspects of cluster analyses, including normalization. Result We evaluated 2780 cluster analysis methods on seven publicly available 2-channel microarray data sets with common reference designs. Each cluster analysis method differed in data normalization (5 normalizations were considered), missing value imputation (2), standardization of data (2), gene selection (19) or clustering method (11). The cluster analyses are evaluated using known classes, such as cancer types, and the adjusted Rand index. The performances of the different analyses vary between the data sets and it is difficult to give general recommendations. However, normalization, gene selection and clustering method are all variables that have a significant impact on the performance. In particular, gene selection is important and it is generally necessary to include a relatively large number of genes in order to get good performance. Selecting genes with high standard deviation or using principal component analysis are shown to be the preferred gene selection methods. Hierarchical clustering using Ward's method, k-means clustering and Mclust are the clustering methods considered in this paper that achieves the highest adjusted Rand. Normalization can have a significant positive impact on the ability to cluster individuals, and there are indications that background correction is

  3. Co-option and evolution of non-olfactory proteinaceous pheromones in a terrestrial lungless salamander.

    PubMed

    Doty, Kari A; Wilburn, Damien B; Bowen, Kathleen E; Feldhoff, Pamela W; Feldhoff, Richard C

    2016-03-01

    Gene co-option is a major force in the evolution of novel biological functions. In plethodontid salamanders, males deliver proteinaceous courtship pheromones to the female olfactory system or transdermally to the bloodstream. Molecular studies identified three families of highly duplicated, rapidly evolving pheromones (PRF, PMF, and SPF). Analyses for Plethodon salamanders revealed pheromone mixtures of primarily PRF and PMF. The current study demonstrates that in Desmognathus ocoee--a plesiomorphic species with transdermal delivery--SPF is the major pheromone component representing >30% of total protein. Chromatographic profiles of D. ocoee pheromones were consistent from May through October. LC/MS-MS analysis suggested uniform SPF isoform expression between individual male D. ocoee. A gene ancestry for SPF with the Three-Finger Protein superfamily was supported by intron-exon boundaries, but not by the disulfide bonding pattern. Further analysis of the pheromone mixture revealed paralogs to peptide hormones that contained mutations in receptor binding regions, such that these novel molecules may alter female physiology by acting as hormone agonists/antagonists. Cumulatively, gene co-option, duplication, and neofunctionalization have permitted recruitment of additional gene families for pheromone activity. Such independent co-option events may be playing a key role in salamander speciation by altering male traits that influence reproductive success. PMID:26385001

  4. A tripartite clustering analysis on microRNA, gene and disease model.

    PubMed

    Shen, Chengcheng; Liu, Ying

    2012-02-01

    Alteration of gene expression in response to regulatory molecules or mutations could lead to different diseases. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been discovered to be involved in regulation of gene expression and a wide variety of diseases. In a tripartite biological network of human miRNAs, their predicted target genes and the diseases caused by altered expressions of these genes, valuable knowledge about the pathogenicity of miRNAs, involved genes and related disease classes can be revealed by co-clustering miRNAs, target genes and diseases simultaneously. Tripartite co-clustering can lead to more informative results than traditional co-clustering with only two kinds of members and pass the hidden relational information along the relation chain by considering multi-type members. Here we report a spectral co-clustering algorithm for k-partite graph to find clusters with heterogeneous members. We use the method to explore the potential relationships among miRNAs, genes and diseases. The clusters obtained from the algorithm have significantly higher density than randomly selected clusters, which means members in the same cluster are more likely to have common connections. Results also show that miRNAs in the same family based on the hairpin sequences tend to belong to the same cluster. We also validate the clustering results by checking the correlation of enriched gene functions and disease classes in the same cluster. Finally, widely studied miR-17-92 and its paralogs are analyzed as a case study to reveal that genes and diseases co-clustered with the miRNAs are in accordance with current research findings. PMID:22809308

  5. A Cluster of Cuticle Protein Genes of Drosophila Melanogaster at 65a: Sequence, Structure and Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Charles, J. P.; Chihara, C.; Nejad, S.; Riddiford, L. M.

    1997-01-01

    A 36-kb genomic DNA segment of the Drosophila melanogaster genome containing 12 clustered cuticle genes has been mapped and partially sequenced. The cluster maps at 65A 5-6 on the left arm of the third chromosome, in agreement with the previously determined location of a putative cluster encompassing the genes for the third instar larval cuticle proteins LCP5, LCP6 and LCP8. This cluster is the largest cuticle gene cluster discovered to date and shows a number of surprising features that explain in part the genetic complexity of the LCP5, LCP6 and LCP8 loci. The genes encoding LCP5 and LCP8 are multiple copy genes and the presence of extensive similarity in their coding regions gives the first evidence for gene conversion in cuticle genes. In addition, five genes in the cluster are intronless. Four of these five have arisen by retroposition. The other genes in the cluster have a single intron located at an unusual location for insect cuticle genes. PMID:9383064

  6. Functional gene clustering via gene annotation sentences, MeSH and GO keywords from biomedical literature

    PubMed Central

    Natarajan, Jeyakumar; Ganapathy, Jawahar

    2007-01-01

    Gene function annotation remains a key challenge in modern biology. This is especially true for high-throughput techniques such as gene expression experiments. Vital information about genes is available electronically from biomedical literature in the form of full texts and abstracts. In addition, various publicly available databases (such as GenBank, Gene Ontology and Entrez) provide access to gene-related information at different levels of biological organization, granularity and data format. This information is being used to assess and interpret the results from high-throughput experiments. To improve keyword extraction for annotational clustering and other types of analyses, we have developed a novel text mining approach, which is based on keywords identified at the level of gene annotation sentences (in particular sentences characterizing biological function) instead of entire abstracts. Further, to improve the expressiveness and usefulness of gene annotation terms, we investigated the combination of sentence-level keywords with terms from the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and Gene Ontology (GO) resources. We find that sentence-level keywords combined with MeSH terms outperforms the typical ‘baseline’ set-up (term frequencies at the level of abstracts) by a significant margin, whereas the addition of GO terms improves matters only marginally. We validated our approach on the basis of a manually annotated corpus of 200 abstracts generated on the basis of 2 cancer categories and 10 genes per category. We applied the method in the context of three sets of differentially expressed genes obtained from pediatric brain tumor samples. This analysis suggests novel interpretations of discovered gene expression patterns. PMID:18305827

  7. Base J represses genes at the end of polycistronic gene clusters in Leishmania major by promoting RNAP II termination.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, David L; Hofmeister, Brigitte T; Cliffe, Laura; Siegel, T Nicolai; Anderson, Britta A; Beverley, Stephen M; Schmitz, Robert J; Sabatini, Robert

    2016-08-01

    The genomes of kinetoplastids are organized into polycistronic gene clusters that are flanked by the modified DNA base J. Previous work has established a role of base J in promoting RNA polymerase II termination in Leishmania spp. where the loss of J leads to termination defects and transcription into adjacent gene clusters. It remains unclear whether these termination defects affect gene expression and whether read through transcription is detrimental to cell growth, thus explaining the essential nature of J. We now demonstrate that reduction of base J at specific sites within polycistronic gene clusters in L. major leads to read through transcription and increased expression of downstream genes in the cluster. Interestingly, subsequent transcription into the opposing polycistronic gene cluster does not lead to downregulation of sense mRNAs. These findings indicate a conserved role for J regulating transcription termination and expression of genes within polycistronic gene clusters in trypanosomatids. In contrast to the expectations often attributed to opposing transcription, the essential nature of J in Leishmania spp. is related to its role in gene repression rather than preventing transcriptional interference resulting from read through and dual strand transcription. PMID:27125778

  8. A phylogenomic gene cluster resource: The phylogeneticallyinferred groups (PhlGs) database

    SciTech Connect

    Dehal, Paramvir S.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-08-25

    We present here the PhIGs database, a phylogenomic resource for sequenced genomes. Although many methods exist for clustering gene families, very few attempt to create truly orthologous clusters sharing descent from a single ancestral gene across a range of evolutionary depths. Although these non-phylogenetic gene family clusters have been used broadly for gene annotation, errors are known to be introduced by the artifactual association of slowly evolving paralogs and lack of annotation for those more rapidly evolving. A full phylogenetic framework is necessary for accurate inference of function and for many studies that address pattern and mechanism of the evolution of the genome. The automated generation of evolutionary gene clusters, creation of gene trees, determination of orthology and paralogy relationships, and the correlation of this information with gene annotations, expression information, and genomic context is an important resource to the scientific community.

  9. Identification and analysis of a highly conserved chemotaxis gene cluster in Shewanella species.

    SciTech Connect

    Li, J.; Romine, Margaret F.; Ward, M.

    2007-08-01

    A conserved cluster of chemotaxis genes was identified from the genome sequences of fifteen Shewanella species. An in-frame deletion of the cheA-3 gene, which is located in this cluster, was created in S. oneidensis MR-1 and the gene shown to be essential for chemotactic responses to anaerobic electron acceptors. The CheA-3 protein showed strong similarity to Vibrio cholerae CheA-2 and P. aeruginosa CheA-1, two proteins that are also essential for chemotaxis. The genes encoding these proteins were shown to be located in chemotaxis gene clusters closely related to the cheA-3-containing cluster in Shewanella species. The results of this study suggest that a combination of gene neighborhood and homology analyses may be used to predict which cheA genes are essential for chemotaxis in groups of closely related microorganisms.

  10. A hypothesis to explain how laeA specifically regulates certain secondary metabolite biosynthesis gene clusters

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biosynthesis of mycotoxins involves transcriptional co-regulation of sets of clustered genes. We hypothesize that specific control of transcription of genes in these clusters by LaeA, a global regulator of secondary metabolite production and development in aspergilli and other filamentous fungi, re...

  11. Paerucumarin, a new metabolite produced by the pvc gene cluster from Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Clarke-Pearson, Michael F; Brady, Sean F

    2008-10-01

    The pvc gene cluster from Pseudomonas aeruginosa has been linked to the biosynthesis of both the pyoverdine chromophore and pseudoverdine. Our reinvestigation of the role this gene cluster plays in P. aeruginosa secondary metabolite biosynthesis shows that its major product is actually paerucumarin, a novel isonitrile functionalized cumarin. PMID:18689486

  12. Paerucumarin, a New Metabolite Produced by the pvc Gene Cluster from Pseudomonas aeruginosa▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Clarke-Pearson, Michael F.; Brady, Sean F.

    2008-01-01

    The pvc gene cluster from Pseudomonas aeruginosa has been linked to the biosynthesis of both the pyoverdine chromophore and pseudoverdine. Our reinvestigation of the role this gene cluster plays in P. aeruginosa secondary metabolite biosynthesis shows that its major product is actually paerucumarin, a novel isonitrile functionalized cumarin. PMID:18689486

  13. Conservation of Hox gene clusters in the self-fertilizing fish Kryptolebias marmoratus (Cyprinodontiformes; Rivulidae).

    PubMed

    Kim, B-M; Lee, B-Y; Lee, J-H; Rhee, J-S; Lee, J-S

    2016-03-01

    In this study, whole Hox gene clusters in the self-fertilizing mangrove killifish Kryptolebias marmoratus (Cyprinodontiformes; Rivulidae), a unique hermaphroditic vertebrate in which both sex organs are functional at the same time, were identified from whole genome and transcriptome sequences. The aim was to increase the understanding of the evolutionary status of conservation of this Hox gene cluster across fish species. PMID:26822496

  14. The tryptophanase gene cluster of Haemophilus influenzae type b: evidence for horizontal gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Martin, K; Morlin, G; Smith, A; Nordyke, A; Eisenstark, A; Golomb, M

    1998-01-01

    Among strains of Haemophilus influenzae, the ability to catabolize tryptophan (as detected by indole production) varies and is correlated with pathogenicity. Tryptophan catabolism is widespread (70 to 75%) among harmless respiratory isolates but is nearly universal (94 to 100%) among strains causing serious disease, including meningitis. As a first step in investigating the relationship between tryptophan catabolism and virulence, we have identified genes in pathogenic H. influenzae which are homologous to the tryptophanase (tna) operon of Escherichia coli. The tna genes are located on a 3.1-kb fragment between nlpD and mutS in the H. influenzae type b (Eagan) genome, are flanked by 43-bp direct repeats of an uptake signal sequence downstream from nlpD, and appear to have been inserted as a mobile unit within this sequence. The organization of this insertion is reminiscent of pathogenicity islands. The tna cluster is found at the same map location in all indole-positive strains of H. influenzae surveyed and is absent from reference type d and e genomes. In contrast to H. influenzae, most other Haemophilus species lack tna genes. Phylogenetic comparisons suggest that the tna cluster was acquired by intergeneric lateral transfer, either by H. influenzae or a recent ancestor, and that E. coli may have acquired its tnaA gene from a related source. Genomes of virulent H. influenzae resemble those of pathogenic enterics in having an island of laterally transferred DNA next to mutS. PMID:9422600

  15. Origin and diversification of a salamander sex pheromone system.

    PubMed

    Janssenswillen, Sunita; Vandebergh, Wim; Treer, Dag; Willaert, Bert; Maex, Margo; Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Bossuyt, Franky

    2015-02-01

    Sex pheromones form an important facet of reproductive strategies in many organisms throughout the Animal Kingdom. One of the oldest known sex pheromones in vertebrates are proteins of the Sodefrin Precursor-like Factor (SPF) system, which already had a courtship function in early salamanders. The subsequent evolution of salamanders is characterized by a diversification in courtship and reproduction, but little is known on how the SPF pheromone system diversified in relation to changing courtship strategies. Here, we combined transcriptomic, genomic, and phylogenetic analyses to investigate the evolution of the SPF pheromone system in nine salamandrid species with distinct courtship displays. First, we show that SPF originated from vertebrate three-finger proteins and diversified through multiple gene duplications in salamanders, while remaining a single copy in frogs. Next, we demonstrate that tail-fanning newts have retained a high phylogenetic diversity of SPFs, whereas loss of tail-fanning has been associated with a reduced importance or loss of SPF expression in the cloacal region. Finally, we show that the attractant decapeptide sodefrin is cleaved from larger SPF precursors that originated by a 62 bp insertion and consequent frameshift in an ancestral Cynops lineage. This led to the birth of a new decapeptide that rapidly evolved a pheromone function independently from uncleaved proteins. PMID:25415963

  16. Identification and Characterization of a Novel Diterpene Gene Cluster in Aspergillus nidulans

    PubMed Central

    Bromann, Kirsi; Toivari, Mervi; Viljanen, Kaarina; Vuoristo, Anu; Ruohonen, Laura; Nakari-Setälä, Tiina

    2012-01-01

    Fungal secondary metabolites are a rich source of medically useful compounds due to their pharmaceutical and toxic properties. Sequencing of fungal genomes has revealed numerous secondary metabolite gene clusters, yet products of many of these biosynthetic pathways are unknown since the expression of the clustered genes usually remains silent in normal laboratory conditions. Therefore, to discover new metabolites, it is important to find ways to induce the expression of genes in these otherwise silent biosynthetic clusters. We discovered a novel secondary metabolite in Aspergillus nidulans by predicting a biosynthetic gene cluster with genomic mining. A Zn(II)2Cys6–type transcription factor, PbcR, was identified, and its role as a pathway-specific activator for the predicted gene cluster was demonstrated. Overexpression of pbcR upregulated the transcription of seven genes in the identified cluster and led to the production of a diterpene compound, which was characterized with GC/MS as ent-pimara-8(14),15-diene. A change in morphology was also observed in the strains overexpressing pbcR. The activation of a cryptic gene cluster by overexpression of its putative Zn(II)2Cys6–type transcription factor led to discovery of a novel secondary metabolite in Aspergillus nidulans. Quantitative real-time PCR and DNA array analysis allowed us to predict the borders of the biosynthetic gene cluster. Furthermore, we identified a novel fungal pimaradiene cyclase gene as well as genes encoding 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase and a geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP) synthase. None of these genes have been previously implicated in the biosynthesis of terpenes in Aspergillus nidulans. These results identify the first Aspergillus nidulans diterpene gene cluster and suggest a biosynthetic pathway for ent-pimara-8(14),15-diene. PMID:22506079

  17. A modified recombineering protocol for the genetic manipulation of gene clusters in Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Alcazar-Fuoli, Laura; Cairns, Timothy; Lopez, Jordi F; Zonja, Bozo; Pérez, Sandra; Barceló, Damià; Igarashi, Yasuhiro; Bowyer, Paul; Bignell, Elaine

    2014-01-01

    Genomic analyses of fungal genome structure have revealed the presence of physically-linked groups of genes, termed gene clusters, where collective functionality of encoded gene products serves a common biosynthetic purpose. In multiple fungal pathogens of humans and plants gene clusters have been shown to encode pathways for biosynthesis of secondary metabolites including metabolites required for pathogenicity. In the major mould pathogen of humans Aspergillus fumigatus, multiple clusters of co-ordinately upregulated genes were identified as having heightened transcript abundances, relative to laboratory cultured equivalents, during the early stages of murine infection. The aim of this study was to develop and optimise a methodology for manipulation of gene cluster architecture, thereby providing the means to assess their relevance to fungal pathogenicity. To this end we adapted a recombineering methodology which exploits lambda phage-mediated recombination of DNA in bacteria, for the generation of gene cluster deletion cassettes. By exploiting a pre-existing bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library of A. fumigatus genomic clones we were able to implement single or multiple intra-cluster gene replacement events at both subtelomeric and telomere distal chromosomal locations, in both wild type and highly recombinogenic A. fumigatus isolates. We then applied the methodology to address the boundaries of a gene cluster producing a nematocidal secondary metabolite, pseurotin A, and to address the role of this secondary metabolite in insect and mammalian responses to A. fumigatus challenge. PMID:25372385

  18. The joy of sex pheromones

    PubMed Central

    Gomez-Diaz, Carolina; Benton, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Sex pheromones provide an important means of communication to unite individuals for successful reproduction. Although sex pheromones are highly diverse across animals, these signals fulfil common fundamental roles in enabling identification of a mating partner of the opposite sex, the appropriate species and of optimal fecundity. In this review, we synthesize both classic and recent investigations on sex pheromones in a range of species, spanning nematode worms, insects and mammals. These studies reveal comparable strategies in how these chemical signals are produced, detected and processed in the brain to regulate sexual behaviours. Elucidation of sex pheromone communication mechanisms both defines outstanding models to understand the molecular and neuronal basis of chemosensory behaviours, and reveals how similar evolutionary selection pressures yield convergent solutions in distinct animal nervous systems. EMBO reports advance online publication 13 September 2013; doi:10.1038/embor.2013.140 PMID:24030282

  19. Regulation of Isoprenoid Pheromone Biosynthesis in Bumblebee Males.

    PubMed

    Prchalová, Darina; Buček, Aleš; Brabcová, Jana; Žáček, Petr; Kindl, Jiří; Valterová, Irena; Pichová, Iva

    2016-02-01

    Males of the closely related species Bombus terrestris and Bombus lucorum attract conspecific females by completely different marking pheromones. MP of B. terrestris and B. lucorum pheromones contain mainly isoprenoid (ISP) compounds and fatty acid derivatives, respectively. Here, we studied the regulation of ISP biosynthesis in both bumblebees. RNA-seq and qRT-PCR analyses indicated that acetoacetyl-CoA thiolase (AACT), 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR), and farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FPPS) transcripts are abundant in the B. terrestris labial gland. Maximal abundance of these transcripts correlated well with AACT enzymatic activity detected in the LG extracts. In contrast, transcript abundances of AACT, HMGR, and FPPS in B. lucorum were low, and AACT activity was not detected in LGs. These results suggest that transcriptional regulation plays a key role in the control of ISP biosynthetic gene expression and ISP pheromone biosynthesis in bumblebee males. PMID:26632352

  20. An effective fuzzy kernel clustering analysis approach for gene expression data.

    PubMed

    Sun, Lin; Xu, Jiucheng; Yin, Jiaojiao

    2015-01-01

    Fuzzy clustering is an important tool for analyzing microarray data. A major problem in applying fuzzy clustering method to microarray gene expression data is the choice of parameters with cluster number and centers. This paper proposes a new approach to fuzzy kernel clustering analysis (FKCA) that identifies desired cluster number and obtains more steady results for gene expression data. First of all, to optimize characteristic differences and estimate optimal cluster number, Gaussian kernel function is introduced to improve spectrum analysis method (SAM). By combining subtractive clustering with max-min distance mean, maximum distance method (MDM) is proposed to determine cluster centers. Then, the corresponding steps of improved SAM (ISAM) and MDM are given respectively, whose superiority and stability are illustrated through performing experimental comparisons on gene expression data. Finally, by introducing ISAM and MDM into FKCA, an effective improved FKCA algorithm is proposed. Experimental results from public gene expression data and UCI database show that the proposed algorithms are feasible for cluster analysis, and the clustering accuracy is higher than the other related clustering algorithms. PMID:26405958

  1. Genes for iron-sulphur cluster assembly are targets of abiotic stress in rice, Oryza sativa.

    PubMed

    Liang, Xuejiao; Qin, Lu; Liu, Peiwei; Wang, Meihuan; Ye, Hong

    2014-03-01

    Iron-sulphur (Fe-S) cluster assembly occurs in chloroplasts, mitochondria and cytosol, involving dozens of genes in higher plants. In this study, we have identified 41 putative Fe-S cluster assembly genes in rice (Oryza sativa) genome, and the expression of all genes was verified. To investigate the role of Fe-S cluster assembly as a metabolic pathway, we applied abiotic stresses to rice seedlings and analysed Fe-S cluster assembly gene expression by qRT-PCR. Our data showed that genes for Fe-S cluster assembly in chloroplasts of leaves are particularly sensitive to heavy metal treatments, and that Fe-S cluster assembly genes in roots were up-regulated in response to iron toxicity, oxidative stress and some heavy metal assault. The effect of each stress treatment on the Fe-S cluster assembly machinery demonstrated an unexpected tissue or organelle specificity, suggesting that the physiological relevance of the Fe-S cluster assembly is more complex than thought. Furthermore, our results may reveal potential candidate genes for molecular breeding of rice. PMID:24028141

  2. A recently transferred cluster of bacterial genes in Trichomonas vaginalis - lateral gene transfer and the fate of acquired genes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Lateral Gene Transfer (LGT) has recently gained recognition as an important contributor to some eukaryote proteomes, but the mechanisms of acquisition and fixation in eukaryotic genomes are still uncertain. A previously defined norm for LGTs in microbial eukaryotes states that the majority are genes involved in metabolism, the LGTs are typically localized one by one, surrounded by vertically inherited genes on the chromosome, and phylogenetics shows that a broad collection of bacterial lineages have contributed to the transferome. Results A unique 34 kbp long fragment with 27 clustered genes (TvLF) of prokaryote origin was identified in the sequenced genome of the protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis. Using a PCR based approach we confirmed the presence of the orthologous fragment in four additional T. vaginalis strains. Detailed sequence analyses unambiguously suggest that TvLF is the result of one single, recent LGT event. The proposed donor is a close relative to the firmicute bacterium Peptoniphilus harei. High nucleotide sequence similarity between T. vaginalis strains, as well as to P. harei, and the absence of homologs in other Trichomonas species, suggests that the transfer event took place after the radiation of the genus Trichomonas. Some genes have undergone pseudogenization and degradation, indicating that they may not be retained in the future. Functional annotations reveal that genes involved in informational processes are particularly prone to degradation. Conclusions We conclude that, although the majority of eukaryote LGTs are single gene occurrences, they may be acquired in clusters of several genes that are subsequently cleansed of evolutionarily less advantageous genes. PMID:24898731

  3. A network-assisted co-clustering algorithm to discover cancer subtypes based on gene expression

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Cancer subtype information is critically important for understanding tumor heterogeneity. Existing methods to identify cancer subtypes have primarily focused on utilizing generic clustering algorithms (such as hierarchical clustering) to identify subtypes based on gene expression data. The network-level interaction among genes, which is key to understanding the molecular perturbations in cancer, has been rarely considered during the clustering process. The motivation of our work is to develop a method that effectively incorporates molecular interaction networks into the clustering process to improve cancer subtype identification. Results We have developed a new clustering algorithm for cancer subtype identification, called “network-assisted co-clustering for the identification of cancer subtypes” (NCIS). NCIS combines gene network information to simultaneously group samples and genes into biologically meaningful clusters. Prior to clustering, we assign weights to genes based on their impact in the network. Then a new weighted co-clustering algorithm based on a semi-nonnegative matrix tri-factorization is applied. We evaluated the effectiveness of NCIS on simulated datasets as well as large-scale Breast Cancer and Glioblastoma Multiforme patient samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project. NCIS was shown to better separate the patient samples into clinically distinct subtypes and achieve higher accuracy on the simulated datasets to tolerate noise, as compared to consensus hierarchical clustering. Conclusions The weighted co-clustering approach in NCIS provides a unique solution to incorporate gene network information into the clustering process. Our tool will be useful to comprehensively identify cancer subtypes that would otherwise be obscured by cancer heterogeneity, using high-throughput and high-dimensional gene expression data. PMID:24491042

  4. Arrangement of the Clostridium baratii F7 Toxin Gene Cluster with Identification of a σ Factor That Recognizes the Botulinum Toxin Gene Cluster Promoters

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Dover, Nir; Barash, Jason R.; Burke, Julianne N.; Hill, Karen K.; Detter, John C.; Arnon, Stephen S.

    2014-05-22

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the most poisonous substances known and its eight toxin types (A to H) are distinguished by the inability of polyclonal antibodies that neutralize one toxin type to neutralize any of the other seven toxin types. Infant botulism, an intestinal toxemia orphan disease, is the most common form of human botulism in the United States. It results from swallowed spores of Clostridium botulinum (or rarely, neurotoxigenic Clostridium butyricum or Clostridium baratii) that germinate and temporarily colonize the lumen of the large intestine, where, as vegetative cells, they produce botulinum toxin. Botulinum neurotoxin is encoded by the bontmore » gene that is part of a toxin gene cluster that includes several accessory genes. In this paper, we sequenced for the first time the complete botulinum neurotoxin gene cluster of nonproteolytic C. baratii type F7. Like the type E and the nonproteolytic type F6 botulinum toxin gene clusters, the C. baratii type F7 had an orfX toxin gene cluster that lacked the regulatory botR gene which is found in proteolytic C. botulinum strains and codes for an alternative σ factor. In the absence of botR, we identified a putative alternative regulatory gene located upstream of the C. baratii type F7 toxin gene cluster. This putative regulatory gene codes for a predicted σ factor that contains DNA-binding-domain homologues to the DNA-binding domains both of BotR and of other members of the TcdR-related group 5 of the σ70 family that are involved in the regulation of toxin gene expression in clostridia. We showed that this TcdR-related protein in association with RNA polymerase core enzyme specifically binds to the C. baratii type F7 botulinum toxin gene cluster promoters. Finally, this TcdR-related protein may therefore be involved in regulating the expression of the genes of the botulinum toxin gene cluster in neurotoxigenic C. baratii.« less

  5. Transcriptome analysis of the sex pheromone gland of the noctuid moth Heliothis virescens

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The chemical components of sex pheromones have been determined for more than a thousand moth species, but so far only a handful of genes encoding enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of these compounds have been identified. For understanding the evolution of moth sexual communication, it is essential to know which genes are involved in the production of specific pheromone components and what controls the variation in their relative frequencies in the pheromone blend. We used a transcriptomic approach to characterize the pheromone gland of the Noctuid moth Heliothis virescens, an important agricultural pest, in order to obtain substantial general sequence information and to identify a range of candidate genes involved in the pheromone biosynthetic pathway. Results To facilitate identifying sets of genes involved in a broad range of processes and to capture rare transcripts, we developed our majority of ESTs from a normalized cDNA library of Heliothis virescens pheromone glands (PG). Combining these with a non-normalized library yielded a total of 17,233 ESTs, which assembled into 2,082 contigs and 6,228 singletons. Using BLAST searches of the NR and Swissprot databases we were able to identify a large number of putative unique gene elements (unigenes), which we compared to those derived from previous transcriptomic surveys of the larval stage of Heliothis virescens. The distribution of unigenes among GO Biological Process functional groups shows an overall similarity between PG and larval transcriptomes, but with distinct enrichment of specific pathways in the PG. In addition, we identified a large number of candidate genes in the pheromone biosynthetic pathways. Conclusion These data constitute one of the first large-scale EST-projects for Noctuidae, a much-needed resource for exploring these pest species. Our analysis shows a surprisingly complex transcriptome and we identified a large number of potential pheromone biosynthetic pathway and immune

  6. Pheromone binding proteins of Epiphyas postvittana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) are encoded at a single locus.

    PubMed

    Newcomb, R D; Sirey, T M; Rassam, M; Greenwood, D R

    2002-11-01

    The light brown apple moth, Epiphyas postvittana (Tortricidae: Lepidoptera) uses a blend of (E)-11-tetradecenyl acetate and (E,E)-9,11-tetradecadienyl acetate as its sex pheromone. Odorant binding proteins, abundant in the antennae of male and female E. postvittana, were separated by native PAGE to reveal four major proteins with distinct mobilities. Microsequencing of their N-terminal residues showed that two were general odorant binding proteins (GOBPs) while two were pheromone binding proteins (PBPs). Full length cDNAs encoding these proteins were amplified using a combination of PCR and RACE-PCR. Sequence of the GOBPs revealed two genes (EposGOBP1, EposGOBP2), similar to orthologues in other species of Lepidoptera. Eleven cDNAs of the PBP gene were amplified, cloned and sequenced revealing two major phylogenetic clusters of PBP sequences differing by six amino acid substitutions. The position of the six amino acid differences on the protein was predicted by mapping onto the three-dimensional structure of PBP of Bombyx mori. All six substitutions were predicted to fall on the outside of the protein away from the inner pheromone binding pocket. One substitution does fall close to the putative dimerisation region of the protein (Ser63Thr). Expression of three of the cDNAs in a baculovirus expression system revealed that one class encodes an electrophoretically slow form (EposPBP1-12) while the other encodes a fast form (EposPBP1-2, EposPBP1-3). A native Western of these expressed proteins compared with antennal protein extracts demonstrated that PBP is also expressed in female antennae and that PBP may be present as a dimer as well as a monomer in E. postvittana. The fast and slow forms of EposPBP1 are allelic. Westerns on single antennal pair protein extracts and allele-specific PCR from genomic DNA both show a segregating pattern of inheritance in laboratory and wild populations. Radio labelled (E)-11-tetradecenyl acetate binds to both fast and slow PBP forms in

  7. A Putative Gene Cluster from a Lyngbya wollei Bloom that Encodes Paralytic Shellfish Toxin Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Mihali, Troco K.; Carmichael, Wayne W.; Neilan, Brett A.

    2011-01-01

    Saxitoxin and its analogs cause the paralytic shellfish-poisoning syndrome, adversely affecting human health and coastal shellfish industries worldwide. Here we report the isolation, sequencing, annotation, and predicted pathway of the saxitoxin biosynthetic gene cluster in the cyanobacterium Lyngbya wollei. The gene cluster spans 36 kb and encodes enzymes for the biosynthesis and export of the toxins. The Lyngbya wollei saxitoxin gene cluster differs from previously identified saxitoxin clusters as it contains genes that are unique to this cluster, whereby the carbamoyltransferase is truncated and replaced by an acyltransferase, explaining the unique toxin profile presented by Lyngbya wollei. These findings will enable the creation of toxin probes, for water monitoring purposes, as well as proof-of-concept for the combinatorial biosynthesis of these natural occurring alkaloids for the production of novel, biologically active compounds. PMID:21347365

  8. High-throughput platform for the discovery of elicitors of silent bacterial gene clusters

    PubMed Central

    Seyedsayamdost, Mohammad R.

    2014-01-01

    Over the past decade, bacterial genome sequences have revealed an immense reservoir of biosynthetic gene clusters, sets of contiguous genes that have the potential to produce drugs or drug-like molecules. However, the majority of these gene clusters appear to be inactive for unknown reasons prompting terms such as “cryptic” or “silent” to describe them. Because natural products have been a major source of therapeutic molecules, methods that rationally activate these silent clusters would have a profound impact on drug discovery. Herein, a new strategy is outlined for awakening silent gene clusters using small molecule elicitors. In this method, a genetic reporter construct affords a facile read-out for activation of the silent cluster of interest, while high-throughput screening of small molecule libraries provides potential inducers. This approach was applied to two cryptic gene clusters in the pathogenic model Burkholderia thailandensis. The results not only demonstrate a prominent activation of these two clusters, but also reveal that the majority of elicitors are themselves antibiotics, most in common clinical use. Antibiotics, which kill B. thailandensis at high concentrations, act as inducers of secondary metabolism at low concentrations. One of these antibiotics, trimethoprim, served as a global activator of secondary metabolism by inducing at least five biosynthetic pathways. Further application of this strategy promises to uncover the regulatory networks that activate silent gene clusters while at the same time providing access to the vast array of cryptic molecules found in bacteria. PMID:24808135

  9. Identification of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions within the fibrinogen gene cluster for fibrinogen levels in three ethnically diverse populations.

    PubMed

    Jeff, Janina M; Brown-Gentry, Kristin; Crawford, Dana C

    2015-01-01

    Elevated levels of plasma fibrinogen are associated with clot formation in the absence of inflammation or injury and is a biomarker for arterial clotting, the leading cause of cardiovascular disease. Fibrinogen levels are heritable with >50% attributed to genetic factors, however little is known about possible genetic modifiers that might explain the missing heritability. The fibrinogen gene cluster is comprised of three genes (FGA, FGB, and FGG) that make up the fibrinogen polypeptide essential for fibrinogen production in the blood. Given the known interaction with these genes, we tested 25 variants in the fibrinogen gene cluster for gene x gene and gene x environment interactions in 620 non-Hispanic blacks, 1,385 non-Hispanic whites, and 664 Mexican Americans from a cross-sectional dataset enriched with environmental data, the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). Using a multiplicative approach, we added cross product terms (gene x gene or gene x environment) to a linear regression model and declared significance at p < 0.05. We identified 19 unique gene x gene and 13 unique gene x environment interactions that impact fibrinogen levels in at least one population at p < 0.05. Over 90% of the gene x gene interactions identified include a variant in the rate-limiting gene, FGB that is essential for the formation of the fibrinogen polypeptide. We also detected gene x environment interactions with fibrinogen variants and sex, smoking, and body mass index. These findings highlight the potential for the discovery of genetic modifiers for complex phenotypes in multiple populations and give a better understanding of the interaction between genes and/or the environment for fibrinogen levels. The need for more powerful and robust methods to identify genetic modifiers is still warranted. PMID:25592583

  10. IDENTIFICATION OF GENE-GENE AND GENE-ENVIRONMENT INTERACTIONS WITHIN THE FIBRINOGEN GENE CLUSTER FOR FIBRINOGEN LEVELS IN THREE ETHNICALLY DIVERSE POPULATIONS

    PubMed Central

    Jeff, Janina M.; Brown-Gentry, Kristin; Crawford, Dana C.

    2014-01-01

    Elevated levels of plasma fibrinogen are associated with clot formation in the absence of inflammation or injury and is a biomarker for arterial clotting, the leading cause of cardiovascular disease. Fibrinogen levels are heritable with >50% attributed to genetic factors, however little is known about possible genetic modifiers that might explain the missing heritability. The fibrinogen gene cluster is comprised of three genes (FGA, FGB, and FGG) that make up the fibrinogen polypeptide essential for fibrinogen production in the blood. Given the known interaction with these genes, we tested 25 variants in the fibrinogen gene cluster for gene × gene and gene × environment interactions in 620 non-Hispanic blacks, 1,385 non-Hispanic whites, and 664 Mexican Americans from a cross-sectional dataset enriched with environmental data, the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). Using a multiplicative approach, we added cross product terms (gene × gene or gene × environment) to a linear regression model and declared significance at p < 0.05. We identified 19 unique gene × gene and 13 unique gene × environment interactions that impact fibrinogen levels in at least one population at p <0.05. Over 90% of the gene × gene interactions identified include a variant in the rate-limiting gene, FGB that is essential for the formation of the fibrinogen polypeptide. We also detected gene × environment interactions with fibrinogen variants and sex, smoking, and body mass index. These findings highlight the potential for the discovery of genetic modifiers for complex phenotypes in multiple populations and give a better understanding of the interaction between genes and/or the environment for fibrinogen levels. The need for more powerful and robust methods to identify genetic modifiers is still warranted. PMID:25592583

  11. Assembly of iron-sulfur clusters. Identification of an iscSUA-hscBA-fdx gene cluster from Azotobacter vinelandii.

    PubMed

    Zheng, L; Cash, V L; Flint, D H; Dean, D R

    1998-05-22

    An enzyme having the same L-cysteine desulfurization activity previously described for the NifS protein was purified from a strain of Azotobacter vinelandii deleted for the nifS gene. This protein was designated IscS to indicate its proposed role in iron-sulfur cluster assembly. Like NifS, IscS is a pyridoxal-phosphate containing homodimer. Information gained from microsequencing of oligopeptides obtained by tryptic digestion of purified IscS was used to design a strategy for isolation and DNA sequence analysis of a 7,886-base pair A. vinelandii genomic segment that includes the iscS gene. The iscS gene is contained within a gene cluster that includes homologs to nifU and another gene contained within the major nif cluster of A. vinelandii previously designated orf6. These genes have been designated iscU and iscA, respectively. Information available from complete genome sequences of Escherichia coli and Hemophilus influenzae reveals that they also encode iscSUA gene clusters. A wide conservation of iscSUA genes in nature and evidence that NifU and NifS participate in the mobilization of iron and sulfur for nitrogenase-specific iron-sulfur cluster formation suggest that the products of the iscSUA genes could play a general role in the formation or repair of iron-sulfur clusters. The proposal that IscS is involved in mobilization of sulfur for iron-sulfur cluster formation in A. vinelandii is supported by the presence of a cysE-like homolog in another gene cluster located immediately upstream from the one containing the iscSUA genes. O-Acetylserine synthase is the product of the cysE gene, and it catalyzes the rate-limiting step in cysteine biosynthesis. A similar cysE-like gene is also located within the nif gene cluster of A. vinelandii. The likely role of such cysE-like gene products is to increase the cysteine pool needed for iron-sulfur cluster formation. Another feature of the iscSUA gene cluster region from A. vinelandii is that E. coli genes previously

  12. Neurogenic and Neuroendocrine Effects of Goldfish Pheromones

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Goldfish (Carassius auratus) use reproductive hormones as endocrine signals to synchronize sexual behavior with gamete maturation, and as exogenous signals (pheromones) to mediate spawning interactions between conspecifics. We examined the differential effects of two hormonal pheromones, prostagland...

  13. Birth of Four Chimeric Plastid Gene Clusters in Japanese Umbrella Pine

    PubMed Central

    Hsu, Chih-Yao; Wu, Chung-Shien; Chaw, Shu-Miaw

    2016-01-01

    Many genes in the plastid genomes (plastomes) of plants are organized as gene clusters, in which genes are co-transcribed, resembling bacterial operons. These plastid operons are highly conserved, even among conifers, whose plastomes are highly rearranged relative to other seed plants. We have determined the complete plastome sequence of Sciadopitys verticillata (Japanese umbrella pine), the sole member of Sciadopityaceae. The Sciadopitys plastome is characterized by extensive inversions, pseudogenization of four tRNA genes after tandem duplications, and a unique pair of 370-bp inverted repeats involved in the formation of isomeric plastomes. We showed that plastomic inversions in Sciadopitys have led to shuffling of the remote conserved operons, resulting in the birth of four chimeric gene clusters. Our data also demonstrated that the relocated genes can be co-transcribed in these chimeric gene clusters. The plastome of Sciadopitys advances our current understanding of how the conifer plastomes have evolved toward increased diversity and complexity. PMID:27269365

  14. Improved efficiency in amplification of Escherichia coli o-antigen gene clusters using genome-wide sequence comparison

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: In many bacteria including E. coli, genes encoding O-antigens are clustered in the chromosome, with a 39-bp JUMPstart sequence and gnd gene located upstream and downstream of the cluster, respectively. For determining the DNA sequence of the E. coli O-antigen gene cluster, one set of P...

  15. Performance Assessment of Kernel Density Clustering for Gene Expression Profile Data

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Beiyan; Chen, Yiping P.; Smith, Oscar H.

    2003-01-01

    Kernel density smoothing techniques have been used in classification or supervised learning of gene expression profile (GEP) data, but their applications to clustering or unsupervised learning of those data have not been explored and assessed. Here we report a kernel density clustering method for analysing GEP data and compare its performance with the three most widely-used clustering methods: hierarchical clustering, K-means clustering, and multivariate mixture model-based clustering. Using several methods to measure agreement, between-cluster isolation, and withincluster coherence, such as the Adjusted Rand Index, the Pseudo F test, the r2 test, and the profile plot, we have assessed the effectiveness of kernel density clustering for recovering clusters, and its robustness against noise on clustering both simulated and real GEP data. Our results show that the kernel density clustering method has excellent performance in recovering clusters from simulated data and in grouping large real expression profile data sets into compact and well-isolated clusters, and that it is the most robust clustering method for analysing noisy expression profile data compared to the other three methods assessed. PMID:18629292

  16. Isolation and Characterization of the Gibberellin Biosynthetic Gene Cluster in Sphaceloma manihoticola▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Bömke, Christiane; Rojas, Maria Cecilia; Gong, Fan; Hedden, Peter; Tudzynski, Bettina

    2008-01-01

    Gibberellins (GAs) are tetracyclic diterpenoid phytohormones that were first identified as secondary metabolites of the fungus Fusarium fujikuroi (teleomorph, Gibberella fujikuroi). GAs were also found in the cassava pathogen Sphaceloma manihoticola, but the spectrum of GAs differed from that in F. fujikuroi. In contrast to F. fujikuroi, the GA biosynthetic pathway has not been studied in detail in S. manihoticola, and none of the GA biosynthetic genes have been cloned from the species. Here, we present the identification of the GA biosynthetic gene cluster from S. manihoticola consisting of five genes encoding a bifunctional ent-copalyl/ent-kaurene synthase (CPS/KS), a pathway-specific geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase (GGS2), and three cytochrome P450 monooxygenases. The functions of all of the genes were analyzed either by a gene replacement approach or by complementing the corresponding F. fujikuroi mutants. The cluster organization and gene functions are similar to those in F. fujikuroi. However, the two border genes in the Fusarium cluster encoding the GA4 desaturase (DES) and the 13-hydroxylase (P450-3) are absent in the S. manihoticola GA gene cluster, consistent with the spectrum of GAs produced by this fungus. The close similarity between the two GA gene clusters, the identical gene functions, and the conserved intron positions suggest a common evolutionary origin despite the distant relatedness of the two fungi. PMID:18567680

  17. The clustering of functionally related genes contributes to CNV-mediated disease

    PubMed Central

    Andrews, Tallulah; Honti, Frantisek; Pfundt, Rolph; de Leeuw, Nicole; Hehir-Kwa, Jayne; Vulto-van Silfhout, Anneke; de Vries, Bert; Webber, Caleb

    2015-01-01

    Clusters of functionally related genes can be disrupted by a single copy number variant (CNV). We demonstrate that the simultaneous disruption of multiple functionally related genes is a frequent and significant characteristic of de novo CNVs in patients with developmental disorders (P = 1 × 10−3). Using three different functional networks, we identified unexpectedly large numbers of functionally related genes within de novo CNVs from two large independent cohorts of individuals with developmental disorders. The presence of multiple functionally related genes was a significant predictor of a CNV's pathogenicity when compared to CNVs from apparently healthy individuals and a better predictor than the presence of known disease or haploinsufficient genes for larger CNVs. The functionally related genes found in the de novo CNVs belonged to 70% of all clusters of functionally related genes found across the genome. De novo CNVs were more likely to affect functional clusters and affect them to a greater extent than benign CNVs (P = 6 × 10−4). Furthermore, such clusters of functionally related genes are phenotypically informative: Different patients possessing CNVs that affect the same cluster of functionally related genes exhibit more similar phenotypes than expected (P < 0.05). The spanning of multiple functionally similar genes by single CNVs contributes substantially to how these variants exert their pathogenic effects. PMID:25887030

  18. An Effective Tri-Clustering Algorithm Combining Expression Data with Gene Regulation Information

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ao; Tuck, David

    2009-01-01

    Motivation Bi-clustering algorithms aim to identify sets of genes sharing similar expression patterns across a subset of conditions. However direct interpretation or prediction of gene regulatory mechanisms may be difficult as only gene expression data is used. Information about gene regulators may also be available, most commonly about which transcription factors may bind to the promoter region and thus control the expression level of a gene. Thus a method to integrate gene expression and gene regulation information is desirable for clustering and analyzing. Methods By incorporating gene regulatory information with gene expression data, we define regulated expression values (REV) as indicators of how a gene is regulated by a specific factor. Existing bi-clustering methods are extended to a three dimensional data space by developing a heuristic TRI-Clustering algorithm. An additional approach named Automatic Boundary Searching algorithm (ABS) is introduced to automatically determine the boundary threshold. Results Results based on incorporating ChIP-chip data representing transcription factor-gene interactions show that the algorithms are efficient and robust for detecting tri-clusters. Detailed analysis of the tri-cluster extracted from yeast sporulation REV data shows genes in this cluster exhibited significant differences during the middle and late stages. The implicated regulatory network was then reconstructed for further study of defined regulatory mechanisms. Topological and statistical analysis of this network demonstrated evidence of significant changes of TF activities during the different stages of yeast sporulation, and suggests this approach might be a general way to study regulatory networks undergoing transformations. PMID:19838334

  19. Transcriptome Analysis of Aspergillus flavus Reveals veA-Dependent Regulation of Secondary Metabolite Gene Clusters, Including the Novel Aflavarin Cluster

    PubMed Central

    Cary, J. W.; Han, Z.; Yin, Y.; Lohmar, J. M.; Shantappa, S.; Harris-Coward, P. Y.; Mack, B.; Ehrlich, K. C.; Wei, Q.; Arroyo-Manzanares, N.; Uka, V.; Vanhaecke, L.; Bhatnagar, D.; Yu, J.; Nierman, W. C.; Johns, M. A.; Sorensen, D.; Shen, H.; De Saeger, S.; Diana Di Mavungu, J.

    2015-01-01

    The global regulatory veA gene governs development and secondary metabolism in numerous fungal species, including Aspergillus flavus. This is especially relevant since A. flavus infects crops of agricultural importance worldwide, contaminating them with potent mycotoxins. The most well-known are aflatoxins, which are cytotoxic and carcinogenic polyketide compounds. The production of aflatoxins and the expression of genes implicated in the production of these mycotoxins are veA dependent. The genes responsible for the synthesis of aflatoxins are clustered, a signature common for genes involved in fungal secondary metabolism. Studies of the A. flavus genome revealed many gene clusters possibly connected to the synthesis of secondary metabolites. Many of these metabolites are still unknown, or the association between a known metabolite and a particular gene cluster has not yet been established. In the present transcriptome study, we show that veA is necessary for the expression of a large number of genes. Twenty-eight out of the predicted 56 secondary metabolite gene clusters include at least one gene that is differentially expressed depending on presence or absence of veA. One of the clusters under the influence of veA is cluster 39. The absence of veA results in a downregulation of the five genes found within this cluster. Interestingly, our results indicate that the cluster is expressed mainly in sclerotia. Chemical analysis of sclerotial extracts revealed that cluster 39 is responsible for the production of aflavarin. PMID:26209694

  20. Leveraging long sequencing reads to investigate R-gene clustering and variation in sugar beet

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Host-pathogen interactions are of prime importance to modern agriculture. Plants utilize various types of resistance genes to mitigate pathogen damage. Identification of the specific gene responsible for a specific resistance can be difficult due to duplication and clustering within R-gene families....

  1. Cloning and Heterologous Expression of the Thioviridamide Biosynthesis Gene Cluster from Streptomyces olivoviridis

    PubMed Central

    Izawa, Masumi; Kawasaki, Takashi

    2013-01-01

    Thioviridamide is a unique peptide antibiotic containing five thioamide bonds from Streptomyces olivoviridis. Draft genome sequencing revealed a gene (the tvaA gene) encoding the thioviridamide precursor peptide. The thioviridamide biosynthesis gene cluster was identified by heterologous production of thioviridamide in Streptomyces lividans. PMID:23995943

  2. CLONING AND EXPRESSION OF THE CATA AND CATBC GENE CLUSTERS FROM PSEUDOMONAS AERUGINOSA PAO

    EPA Science Inventory

    A 9.9-kilobase (kb) BAMIII estriction endonuclease fragment encoding the catA and catBC gene clusters was selected from a gene bank of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1c chromosome. he catA, catB, and catC genes encode enzymes that catalyze consecutive reactions in the catechol bra...

  3. Characterization of a plasmid-encoded urease gene cluster found in members of the family Enterobacteriaceae.

    PubMed

    D'Orazio, S E; Collins, C M

    1993-03-01

    Plasmid-encoded urease gene clusters found in uropathogenic isolates of Escherichia coli, Providencia stuartii, and Salmonella cubana demonstrated DNA homology, similar positions of restriction endonuclease cleavage sites, and manners of urease expression and therefore represent the same locus. DNA sequence analysis indicated that the plasmid-encoded urease genes are closely related to the Proteus mirabilis urease genes. PMID:8449894

  4. A rough set based rational clustering framework for determining correlated genes.

    PubMed

    Jeyaswamidoss, Jeba Emilyn; Thangaraj, Kesavan; Ramar, Kadarkarai; Chitra, Muthusamy

    2016-06-01

    Cluster analysis plays a foremost role in identifying groups of genes that show similar behavior under a set of experimental conditions. Several clustering algorithms have been proposed for identifying gene behaviors and to understand their significance. The principal aim of this work is to develop an intelligent rough clustering technique, which will efficiently remove the irrelevant dimensions in a high-dimensional space and obtain appropriate meaningful clusters. This paper proposes a novel biclustering technique that is based on rough set theory. The proposed algorithm uses correlation coefficient as a similarity measure to simultaneously cluster both the rows and columns of a gene expression data matrix and mean squared residue to generate the initial biclusters. Furthermore, the biclusters are refined to form the lower and upper boundaries by determining the membership of the genes in the clusters using mean squared residue. The algorithm is illustrated with yeast gene expression data and the experiment proves the effectiveness of the method. The main advantage is that it overcomes the problem of selection of initial clusters and also the restriction of one object belonging to only one cluster by allowing overlapping of biclusters. PMID:27352972

  5. Queen pheromones modulate DNA methyltransferase activity in bee and ant workers.

    PubMed

    Holman, Luke; Trontti, Kalevi; Helanterä, Heikki

    2016-01-01

    DNA methylation is emerging as an important regulator of polyphenism in the social insects. Research has concentrated on differences in methylation between queens and workers, though we hypothesized that methylation is involved in mediating other flexible phenotypes, including pheromone-dependent changes in worker behaviour and physiology. Here, we find that exposure to queen pheromone affects the expression of two DNA methyltransferase genes in Apis mellifera honeybees and in two species of Lasius ants, but not in Bombus terrestris bumblebees. These results suggest that queen pheromones influence the worker methylome, pointing to a novel proximate mechanism for these key social signals. PMID:26814223

  6. Hox gene clusters of early vertebrates: do they serve as reliable markers for genome evolution?

    PubMed

    Kuraku, Shigehiro

    2011-06-01

    Hox genes, responsible for regional specification along the anteroposterior axis in embryogenesis, are found as clusters in most eumetazoan genomes sequenced to date. Invertebrates possess a single Hox gene cluster with some exceptions of secondary cluster breakages, while osteichthyans (bony vertebrates) have multiple Hox clusters. In tetrapods, four Hox clusters, derived from the so-called two-round whole genome duplications (2R-WGDs), are observed. Overall, the number of Hox gene clusters has been regarded as a reliable marker of ploidy levels in animal genomes. In fact, this scheme also fits the situations in teleost fishes that experienced an additional WGD. In this review, I focus on cyclostomes and cartilaginous fishes as lineages that would fill the gap between invertebrates and osteichthyans. A recent study highlighted a possible loss of the HoxC cluster in the galeomorph shark lineage, while other aspects of cartilaginous fish Hox clusters usually mark their conserved nature. In contrast, existing resources suggest that the cyclostomes exhibit a different mode of Hox cluster organization. For this group of species, whose genomes could have differently responded to the 2R-WGDs from jawed vertebrates, therefore the number of Hox clusters may not serve as a good indicator of their ploidy level. PMID:21802046

  7. Horizontal Transfer of a Nitrate Assimilation Gene Cluster and Ecological Transitions in Fungi: A Phylogenetic Study

    PubMed Central

    Slot, Jason C.; Hibbett, David S.

    2007-01-01

    High affinity nitrate assimilation genes in fungi occur in a cluster (fHANT-AC) that can be coordinately regulated. The clustered genes include nrt2, which codes for a high affinity nitrate transporter; euknr, which codes for nitrate reductase; and NAD(P)H-nir, which codes for nitrite reductase. Homologs of genes in the fHANT-AC occur in other eukaryotes and prokaryotes, but they have only been found clustered in the oomycete Phytophthora (heterokonts). We performed independent and concatenated phylogenetic analyses of homologs of all three genes in the fHANT-AC. Phylogenetic analyses limited to fungal sequences suggest that the fHANT-AC has been transferred horizontally from a basidiomycete (mushrooms and smuts) to an ancestor of the ascomycetous mold Trichoderma reesei. Phylogenetic analyses of sequences from diverse eukaryotes and eubacteria, and cluster structure, are consistent with a hypothesis that the fHANT-AC was assembled in a lineage leading to the oomycetes and was subsequently transferred to the Dikarya (Ascomycota+Basidiomycota), which is a derived fungal clade that includes the vast majority of terrestrial fungi. We propose that the acquisition of high affinity nitrate assimilation contributed to the success of Dikarya on land by allowing exploitation of nitrate in aerobic soils, and the subsequent transfer of a complete assimilation cluster improved the fitness of T. reesei in a new niche. Horizontal transmission of this cluster of functionally integrated genes supports the “selfish operon” hypothesis for maintenance of gene clusters. PMID:17971860

  8. Influence of microarrays experiments missing values on the stability of gene groups by hierarchical clustering

    PubMed Central

    de Brevern, Alexandre G; Hazout, Serge; Malpertuy, Alain

    2004-01-01

    Background Microarray technologies produced large amount of data. The hierarchical clustering is commonly used to identify clusters of co-expressed genes. However, microarray datasets often contain missing values (MVs) representing a major drawback for the use of the clustering methods. Usually the MVs are not treated, or replaced by zero or estimated by the k-Nearest Neighbor (kNN) approach. The topic of the paper is to study the stability of gene clusters, defined by various hierarchical clustering algorithms, of microarrays experiments including or not MVs. Results In this study, we show that the MVs have important effects on the stability of the gene clusters. Moreover, the magnitude of the gene misallocations is depending on the aggregation algorithm. The most appropriate aggregation methods (e.g. complete-linkage and Ward) are highly sensitive to MVs, and surprisingly, for a very tiny proportion of MVs (e.g. 1%). In most of the case, the MVs must be replaced by expected values. The MVs replacement by the kNN approach clearly improves the identification of co-expressed gene clusters. Nevertheless, we observe that kNN approach is less suitable for the extreme values of gene expression. Conclusion The presence of MVs (even at a low rate) is a major factor of gene cluster instability. In addition, the impact depends on the hierarchical clustering algorithm used. Some methods should be used carefully. Nevertheless, the kNN approach constitutes one efficient method for restoring the missing expression gene values, with a low error level. Our study highlights the need of statistical treatments in microarray data to avoid misinterpretation. PMID:15324460

  9. Epigenetic regulation of the RHOX homeobox gene cluster and its association with human male infertility

    PubMed Central

    Richardson, Marcy E.; Bleiziffer, Andreas; Tüttelmann, Frank; Gromoll, Jörg; Wilkinson, Miles F.

    2014-01-01

    The X-linked RHOX cluster encodes a set of homeobox genes that are selectively expressed in the reproductive tract. Members of the RHOX cluster regulate target genes important for spermatogenesis promote male fertility in mice. Studies show that demethylating agents strongly upregulate the expression of mouse Rhox genes, suggesting that they are regulated by DNA methylation. However, whether this extends to human RHOX genes, whether DNA methylation directly regulates RHOX gene transcription and how this relates to human male infertility are unknown. To address these issues, we first defined the promoter regions of human RHOX genes and performed gain- and loss-of-function experiments to determine whether human RHOX gene transcription is regulated by DNA methylation. Our results indicated that DNA methylation is necessary and sufficient to silence human RHOX gene expression. To determine whether RHOX cluster methylation associates with male infertility, we evaluated the methylation status of RHOX genes in sperm from a large cohort of infertility patients. Linear regression analysis revealed a strong association between RHOX gene cluster hypermethylation and three independent types of semen abnormalities. Hypermethylation was restricted specifically to the RHOX cluster; we did not observe it in genes immediately adjacent to it on the X chromosome. Our results strongly suggest that human RHOX homeobox genes are under an epigenetic control mechanism that is aberrantly regulated in infertility patients. We propose that hypermethylation of the RHOX gene cluster serves as a marker for idiopathic infertility and that it is a candidate to exert a causal role in male infertility. PMID:23943794

  10. A cross-species bi-clustering approach to identifying conserved co-regulated genes

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jiangwen; Jiang, Zongliang; Tian, Xiuchun; Bi, Jinbo

    2016-01-01

    Motivation: A growing number of studies have explored the process of pre-implantation embryonic development of multiple mammalian species. However, the conservation and variation among different species in their developmental programming are poorly defined due to the lack of effective computational methods for detecting co-regularized genes that are conserved across species. The most sophisticated method to date for identifying conserved co-regulated genes is a two-step approach. This approach first identifies gene clusters for each species by a cluster analysis of gene expression data, and subsequently computes the overlaps of clusters identified from different species to reveal common subgroups. This approach is ineffective to deal with the noise in the expression data introduced by the complicated procedures in quantifying gene expression. Furthermore, due to the sequential nature of the approach, the gene clusters identified in the first step may have little overlap among different species in the second step, thus difficult to detect conserved co-regulated genes. Results: We propose a cross-species bi-clustering approach which first denoises the gene expression data of each species into a data matrix. The rows of the data matrices of different species represent the same set of genes that are characterized by their expression patterns over the developmental stages of each species as columns. A novel bi-clustering method is then developed to cluster genes into subgroups by a joint sparse rank-one factorization of all the data matrices. This method decomposes a data matrix into a product of a column vector and a row vector where the column vector is a consistent indicator across the matrices (species) to identify the same gene cluster and the row vector specifies for each species the developmental stages that the clustered genes co-regulate. Efficient optimization algorithm has been developed with convergence analysis. This approach was first validated on

  11. Picocyanobacteria containing a novel pigment gene cluster dominate the brackish water Baltic Sea

    PubMed Central

    Larsson, John; Celepli, Narin; Ininbergs, Karolina; Dupont, Christopher L; Yooseph, Shibu; Bergman, Bigitta; Ekman, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Photoautotrophic picocyanobacteria harvest light via phycobilisomes (PBS) consisting of the pigments phycocyanin (PC) and phycoerythrin (PE), encoded by genes in conserved gene clusters. The presence and arrangement of these gene clusters give picocyanobacteria characteristic light absorption properties and allow the colonization of specific ecological niches. To date, a full understanding of the evolution and distribution of the PBS gene cluster in picocyanobacteria has been hampered by the scarcity of genome sequences from fresh- and brackish water-adapted strains. To remediate this, we analysed genomes assembled from metagenomic samples collected along a natural salinity gradient, and over the course of a growth season, in the Baltic Sea. We found that while PBS gene clusters in picocyanobacteria sampled in marine habitats were highly similar to known references, brackish-adapted genotypes harboured a novel type not seen in previously sequenced genomes. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the novel gene cluster belonged to a clade of uncultivated picocyanobacteria that dominate the brackish Baltic Sea throughout the summer season, but are uncommon in other examined aquatic ecosystems. Further, our data suggest that the PE genes were lost in the ancestor of PC-containing coastal picocyanobacteria and that multiple horizontal gene transfer events have re-introduced PE genes into brackish-adapted strains, including the novel clade discovered here. PMID:24621524

  12. Mapping the chromosome 16 cadherin gene cluster to a minimal deleted region in ductal breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Chalmers, I J; Aubele, M; Hartmann, E; Braungart, E; Werner, M; Höfler, H; Atkinson, M J

    2001-04-01

    The cadherin family of cell adhesion molecules has been implicated in tumor metastasis and progression. Eight family members have been mapped to the long arm of chromosome 16. Using radiation hybrid mapping, we have located six of these genes within a cluster at 16q21-q22.1. In invasive lobular carcinoma of the breast frequent LOH and accompanying mutation affect the CDH1 gene, which is a member of this chromosome 16 gene cluster. CDH1 LOH also occurs in invasive ductal carcinoma, but in the absence of gene mutation. The proximity of other cadherin genes to 16q22.1 suggests that they may be affected by LOH in invasive ductal carcinomas. Using the mapping data, microsatellite markers were selected which span regions of chromosome 16 containing the cadherin genes. In breast cancer tissues, a high rate of allelic loss was found over the gene cluster region, with CDH1 being the most frequently lost marker. In invasive ductal carcinoma a minimal deleted region was identified within part of the chromosome 16 cadherin gene cluster. This provides strong evidence for the existence of a second 16q22 suppressor gene locus within the cadherin cluster. PMID:11343777

  13. Picocyanobacteria containing a novel pigment gene cluster dominate the brackish water Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Larsson, John; Celepli, Narin; Ininbergs, Karolina; Dupont, Christopher L; Yooseph, Shibu; Bergman, Bigitta; Ekman, Martin

    2014-09-01

    Photoautotrophic picocyanobacteria harvest light via phycobilisomes (PBS) consisting of the pigments phycocyanin (PC) and phycoerythrin (PE), encoded by genes in conserved gene clusters. The presence and arrangement of these gene clusters give picocyanobacteria characteristic light absorption properties and allow the colonization of specific ecological niches. To date, a full understanding of the evolution and distribution of the PBS gene cluster in picocyanobacteria has been hampered by the scarcity of genome sequences from fresh- and brackish water-adapted strains. To remediate this, we analysed genomes assembled from metagenomic samples collected along a natural salinity gradient, and over the course of a growth season, in the Baltic Sea. We found that while PBS gene clusters in picocyanobacteria sampled in marine habitats were highly similar to known references, brackish-adapted genotypes harboured a novel type not seen in previously sequenced genomes. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the novel gene cluster belonged to a clade of uncultivated picocyanobacteria that dominate the brackish Baltic Sea throughout the summer season, but are uncommon in other examined aquatic ecosystems. Further, our data suggest that the PE genes were lost in the ancestor of PC-containing coastal picocyanobacteria and that multiple horizontal gene transfer events have re-introduced PE genes into brackish-adapted strains, including the novel clade discovered here. PMID:24621524

  14. Sequence analysis of a cluster of twenty-one tRNA genes in Bacillus subtilis.

    PubMed Central

    Green, C J; Vold, B S

    1983-01-01

    The DNA sequence of a cluster of twenty-one tRNA genes distal to a rRNA gene set in B. subtilis was determined. None of the tRNA genes are repeated in the sequence. The only classes of tRNAs that are not represented are those for cysteine, glutamine, tryptophan, and tyrosine. Three of the tRNA genes in this cluster do not have the 3'-CCA sequence encoded in the gene. There is no RNA polymerase terminator sequence in the region between the 5S gene and the first tRNA gene or within the tRNA gene cluster. A terminator sequence was found directly after the last tRNA gene. This rRNA and tRNA gene cluster probably represents one transcriptional unit. However, there may be an RNA polymerase promoter site within this sequence, which raises some interesting questions concerning the regulation of transcription for these tRNA genes. PMID:6310512

  15. The nonribosomal peptide and polyketide synthetic gene clusters in two strains of entomopathogenic fungi in Cordyceps.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wen-Jing; Vogel, Heiko; Yao, Yi-Jian; Ping, Liyan

    2012-11-01

    Species of Cordyceps Fr. are entomopathogenic fungi that parasitize the larvae or pupae of lepidopteran insects. The secondary metabolites, nonribosomal peptides and polyketides are well-known mediators of pathogenesis. The biosynthetic gene clusters of these compounds in two fungal strains (1630 and DSM 1153) formerly known as Cordyceps militaris were screened using polymerase chain reaction with degenerate primers. Two nonribosomal peptide synthetase genes, one polyketide synthetase gene and one hybrid gene cluster were identified, and certain characteristics of the structures of their potential products were predicted. All four genes were actively expressed under laboratory conditions but at markedly different levels. The gene clusters from the two fungal strains were structurally and functionally unrelated, suggesting different evolutionary origins and physiological functions. Phylogenetic and biochemical analyses confirmed that the two fungal strains are not conspecific as currently assigned. PMID:22889355

  16. Identification of a 12-gene fusaric acid biosynthetic gene cluster in Fusarium species through comparative and functional genomics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In fungi, genes involved in biosynthesis of a secondary metabolite (SM) are often located adjacent to one another in the genome and are coordinately regulated. These SM biosynthetic gene clusters typically encode enzymes, one or more transcription factors, and a transport protein. Fusaric acid is a ...

  17. Variability in mycotoxin biosynthetic genes and gene clusters in Fusarium and its implications for mycotoxin contamination of crops

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Fusarium metabolites fumonisins and trichothecenes are among the mycotoxins of greatest concern to food and feed safety worldwide. As with other fungal secondary metabolites, mycotoxin biosynthetic genes are often located adjacent to one another in gene clusters. Thus, fumonisin biosynthetic gen...

  18. The Biosynthetic Gene Cluster of Zorbamycin, a Member of the Bleomycin Family of Antitumor Antibiotics, from Streptomyces flavoviridis ATCC 21892

    PubMed Central

    Galm, Ute; Wendt-Pienkowski, Evelyn; Wang, Liyan; George, Nicholas P.; Oh, Tae-Jin; Yi, Fan; Tao, Meifeng; Coughlin, Jane M.; Shen, Ben

    2011-01-01

    The biosynthetic gene cluster for the glycopeptide-derived antitumor antibiotic zorbamycin (ZBM) was cloned by screening a cosmid library of Streptomyces flavoviridis ATCC 21892. Sequence analysis revealed 40 ORFs belonging to the ZBM biosynthetic gene cluster. However, only 23 and 22 ORFs showed striking similarities to the biosynthetic gene clusters for the bleomycins (BLMs) and tallysomycins (TLMs), respectively; the remaining ORFs do not show significant homology to ORFs from the related BLM and TLM clusters. The ZBM gene cluster consists of 16 nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) genes encoding eight complete NRPS modules, three incomplete didomain NRPS modules, and eight freestanding single NRPS domains or associated enzymes, a polyketide synthase (PKS) gene encoding one PKS module, six sugar biosynthesis genes, as well as genes encoding other biosynthesis and resistance proteins. A genetic system using Escherichia coli-Streptomyces flavoviridis intergeneric conjugation was developed to enable ZBM gene cluster boundary determinations and biosynthetic pathway manipulations. PMID:19081934

  19. Transcriptome exploration of the sex pheromone gland of Lutzomyia longipalpis (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Molecules involved in pheromone biosynthesis may represent alternative targets for insect population control. This may be particularly useful in managing the reproduction of Lutzomyia longipalpis, the main vector of the protozoan parasite Leishmania infantum in Latin America. Besides the chemical identity of the major components of the L. longipalpis sex pheromone, there is no information regarding the molecular biology behind its production. To understand this process, obtaining information on which genes are expressed in the pheromone gland is essential. Methods In this study we used a transcriptomic approach to explore the pheromone gland and adjacent abdominal tergites in order to obtain substantial general sequence information. We used a laboratory-reared L. longipalpis (one spot, 9-Methyl GermacreneB) population, captured in Lapinha Cave, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil for this analysis. Results From a total of 3,547 cDNA clones, 2,502 high quality sequences from the pheromone gland and adjacent tissues were obtained and assembled into 1,387 contigs. Through blast searches of public databases, a group of transcripts encoding proteins potentially involved in the production of terpenoid precursors were identified in the 4th abdominal tergite, the segment containing the pheromone gland. Among them, protein-coding transcripts for four enzymes of the mevalonate pathway such as 3-hydroxyl-3-methyl glutaryl CoA reductase, phosphomevalonate kinase, diphosphomevalonate descarboxylase, and isopentenyl pyrophosphate isomerase were identified. Moreover, transcripts coding for farnesyl diphosphate synthase and NADP+ dependent farnesol dehydrogenase were also found in the same tergite. Additionally, genes potentially involved in pheromone transportation were identified from the three abdominal tergites analyzed. Conclusion This study constitutes the first transcriptomic analysis exploring the repertoire of genes expressed in the tissue containing the L

  20. Classification of Arabidopsis thaliana gene sequences: clustering of coding sequences into two groups according to codon usage improves gene prediction.

    PubMed

    Mathé, C; Peresetsky, A; Déhais, P; Van Montagu, M; Rouzé, P

    1999-02-01

    While genomic sequences are accumulating, finding the location of the genes remains a major issue that can be solved only for about a half of them by homology searches. Prediction methods are thus required, but unfortunately are not fully satisfying. Most prediction methods implicitly assume a unique model for genes. This is an oversimplification as demonstrated by the possibility to group coding sequences into several classes in Escherichia coli and other genomes. As no classification existed for Arabidopsis thaliana, we classified genes according to the statistical features of their coding sequences. A clustering algorithm using a codon usage model was developed and applied to coding sequences from A. thaliana, E. coli, and a mixture of both. By using it, Arabidopsis sequences were clustered into two classes. The CU1 and CU2 classes differed essentially by the choice of pyrimidine bases at the codon silent sites: CU2 genes often use C whereas CU1 genes prefer T. This classification discriminated the Arabidopsis genes according to their expressiveness, highly expressed genes being clustered in CU2 and genes expected to have a lower expression, such as the regulatory genes, in CU1. The algorithm separated the sequences of the Escherichia-Arabidopsis mixed data set into five classes according to the species, except for one class. This mixed class contained 89 % Arabidopsis genes from CU1 and 11 % E. coli genes, mostly horizontally transferred. Interestingly, most genes encoding organelle-targeted proteins, except the photosynthetic and photoassimilatory ones, were clustered in CU1. By tailoring the GeneMark CDS prediction algorithm to the observed coding sequence classes, its quality of prediction was greatly improved. Similar improvement can be expected with other prediction systems. PMID:9925779

  1. Characterization of the fumonisin B2 biosynthetic gene cluster in Aspergillus niger and A. awamori.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aspergillus niger and A. awamori strains isolated from grapes cultivated in Mediterranean basin were examined for fumonisin B2 (FB2) production and presence/absence of sequences within the fumonisin biosynthetic gene (fum) cluster. Presence of 13 regions in the fum cluster was evaluated by PCR assay...

  2. Clusters of antibiotic resistance genes enriched together stay together in swine agriculture

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Johnson, Timothy A.; Stedtfeld, Robert D.; Wang, Qiong; Cole, James R.; Hashsham, Syed A.; Looft, Torey; Zhu, Yong -Guan; Tiedje, James M.

    2016-04-12

    Antibiotic resistance is a worldwide health risk, but the influence of animal agriculture on the genetic context and enrichment of individual antibiotic resistance alleles remains unclear. Using quantitative PCR followed by amplicon sequencing, we quantified and sequenced 44 genes related to antibiotic resistance, mobile genetic elements, and bacterial phylogeny in microbiomes from U.S. laboratory swine and from swine farms from three Chinese regions. We identified highly abundant resistance clusters: groups of resistance and mobile genetic element alleles that cooccur. For example, the abundance of genes conferring resistance to six classes of antibiotics together with class 1 integrase and the abundancemore » of IS6100-type transposons in three Chinese regions are directly correlated. These resistance cluster genes likely colocalize in microbial genomes in the farms. Resistance cluster alleles were dramatically enriched (up to 1 to 10% as abundant as 16S rRNA) and indicate that multidrug-resistant bacteria are likely the norm rather than an exception in these communities. This enrichment largely occurred independently of phylogenetic composition; thus, resistance clusters are likely present in many bacterial taxa. Furthermore, resistance clusters contain resistance genes that confer resistance to antibiotics independently of their particular use on the farms. Selection for these clusters is likely due to the use of only a subset of the broad range of chemicals to which the clusters confer resistance. The scale of animal agriculture and its wastes, the enrichment and horizontal gene transfer potential of the clusters, and the vicinity of large human populations suggest that managing this resistance reservoir is important for minimizing human risk.Agricultural antibiotic use results in clusters of cooccurring resistance genes that together confer resistance to multiple antibiotics. The use of a single antibiotic could select for an entire suite of resistance

  3. Sex Pheromone of Anastrepha striata.

    PubMed

    Cruz-López, Leopoldo; Malo, Edi A; Rojas, Julio C

    2015-05-01

    The guava fruit fly, Anastrepha striata, is a pest of several cultivated species of Myrtaceae in the American tropics and subtropics. During calling, A. striata males release numerous volatiles. This study was conducted to identify which of the male volatiles function as the A. striata sex pheromone and to investigate the effects of age and time of day on the emission of pheromone components. Analysis of the volatiles from males collected by solid phase microextraction using gas chromatography coupled to electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD) showed that three volatile compounds elicited repeatable responses from the antennae of females. The EAD-active compounds were identified by GC/mass spectrometry as ethyl hexanoate, linalool, and ethyl octanoate. In two-choice tests using Multilure traps placed in field cages, traps baited with live males, ethyl hexanoate, or the three-component blend captured more females than unbaited traps. However, there was no difference in catches when traps baited with live males were compared against traps baited with ethyl hexanoate. Although traps baited with the three-component blend caught more females than traps baited with live males, the difference was not significant. Analyses of pheromonal components released by A. striata males 8 to 26 days old showed that there was an effect of age on pheromone production and also a significant effect of time of day on pheromone emission. Release of the volatile compounds occurred from 14.00 to 18.00 hr, although traces of linalool were detected from 08.00 hr. Peak emission of pheromone compounds occurred at 14.00 hr. PMID:25912228

  4. Integrating Data Clustering and Visualization for the Analysis of 3D Gene Expression Data

    SciTech Connect

    Data Analysis and Visualization and the Department of Computer Science, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis CA 95616, USA,; nternational Research Training Group ``Visualization of Large and Unstructured Data Sets,'' University of Kaiserslautern, Germany; Computational Research Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, One Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA; Genomics Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, One Cyclotron Road, Berkeley CA 94720, USA; Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, One Cyclotron Road, Berkeley CA 94720, USA,; Computer Science Division,University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA,; Computer Science Department, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA,; All authors are with the Berkeley Drosophila Transcription Network Project, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,; Rubel, Oliver; Weber, Gunther H.; Huang, Min-Yu; Bethel, E. Wes; Biggin, Mark D.; Fowlkes, Charless C.; Hendriks, Cris L. Luengo; Keranen, Soile V. E.; Eisen, Michael B.; Knowles, David W.; Malik, Jitendra; Hagen, Hans; Hamann, Bernd

    2008-05-12

    The recent development of methods for extracting precise measurements of spatial gene expression patterns from three-dimensional (3D) image data opens the way for new analyses of the complex gene regulatory networks controlling animal development. We present an integrated visualization and analysis framework that supports user-guided data clustering to aid exploration of these new complex datasets. The interplay of data visualization and clustering-based data classification leads to improved visualization and enables a more detailed analysis than previously possible. We discuss (i) integration of data clustering and visualization into one framework; (ii) application of data clustering to 3D gene expression data; (iii) evaluation of the number of clusters k in the context of 3D gene expression clustering; and (iv) improvement of overall analysis quality via dedicated post-processing of clustering results based on visualization. We discuss the use of this framework to objectively define spatial pattern boundaries and temporal profiles of genes and to analyze how mRNA patterns are controlled by their regulatory transcription factors.

  5. A Stationary Wavelet Entropy-Based Clustering Approach Accurately Predicts Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Nha; Vo, An; Choi, Inchan

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Studying epigenetic landscapes is important to understand the condition for gene regulation. Clustering is a useful approach to study epigenetic landscapes by grouping genes based on their epigenetic conditions. However, classical clustering approaches that often use a representative value of the signals in a fixed-sized window do not fully use the information written in the epigenetic landscapes. Clustering approaches to maximize the information of the epigenetic signals are necessary for better understanding gene regulatory environments. For effective clustering of multidimensional epigenetic signals, we developed a method called Dewer, which uses the entropy of stationary wavelet of epigenetic signals inside enriched regions for gene clustering. Interestingly, the gene expression levels were highly correlated with the entropy levels of epigenetic signals. Dewer separates genes better than a window-based approach in the assessment using gene expression and achieved a correlation coefficient above 0.9 without using any training procedure. Our results show that the changes of the epigenetic signals are useful to study gene regulation. PMID:25383910

  6. Molecular Cloning and Physical Mapping of the Daptomycin Gene Cluster from Streptomyces roseosporus

    PubMed Central

    Mchenney, Margaret A.; Hosted, Thomas J.; Dehoff, Bradley S.; Rosteck, Paul R.; Baltz, Richard H.

    1998-01-01

    The daptomycin biosynthetic gene cluster of Streptomyces roseosporus was analyzed by Tn5099 mutagenesis, molecular cloning, partial DNA sequencing, and insertional mutagenesis with cloned segments of DNA. The daptomycin biosynthetic gene cluster spans at least 50 kb and is located about 400 to 500 kb from one end of the ∼7,100-kb linear chromosome. We identified two peptide synthetase coding regions interrupted by a 10- to 20-kb region that may encode other functions in lipopeptide biosynthesis. PMID:9422604

  7. Regulation of transcription of cell division genes in the Escherichia coli dcw cluster.

    PubMed

    Vicente, M; Gomez, M J; Ayala, J A

    1998-04-01

    The Escherichia coli dcw cluster contains cell division genes, such as the phylogenetically ubiquitous ftsZ, and genes involved in peptidoglycan synthesis. Transcription in the cluster proceeds in the same direction as the progress of the replication fork along the chromosome. Regulation is exerted at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. The absence of transcriptional termination signals may, in principle, allow extension of the transcripts initiated at the up-stream promoter (mraZ1p) even to the furthest down-stream gene (envA). Complementation tests suggest that they extend into ftsW in the central part of the cluster. In addition, the cluster contains other promoters individually regulated by cis- and trans-acting signals. Dissociation of the expression of the ftsZ gene, located after ftsQ and A near the 3' end of the cluster, from its natural regulatory signals leads to an alteration in the physiology of cell division. The complexities observed in the regulation of gene expression in the cluster may then have an important biological role. Among them, LexA-binding SOS boxes have been found at the 5' end of the cluster, preceding promoters which direct the expression of ftsI (coding for PBP3, the penicillin-binding protein involved in septum formation). A gearbox promoter, ftsQ1p, forms part of the signals regulating the transcription of ftsQ, A and Z. It is an inversely growth-dependent mechanism driven by RNA polymerase containing sigma s, the factor involved in the expression of stationary phase-specific genes. Although the dcw cluster is conserved to a different extent in a variety of bacteria, the regulation of gene expression, the presence or absence of individual genes, and even the essentiality of some of them, show variations in the phylogenetic scale which may reflect adaptation to specific life cycles. PMID:9614967

  8. Unusual Gene Order and Organization of the Sea Urchin HoxCluster

    SciTech Connect

    Richardson, Paul M.; Lucas, Susan; Cameron, R. Andrew; Rowen,Lee; Nesbitt, Ryan; Bloom, Scott; Rast, Jonathan P.; Berney, Kevin; Arenas-Mena, Cesar; Martinez, Pedro; Davidson, Eric H.; Peterson, KevinJ.; Hood, Leroy

    2005-05-10

    The highly consistent gene order and axial colinear expression patterns found in vertebrate hox gene clusters are less well conserved across the rest of bilaterians. We report the first deuterostome instance of an intact hox cluster with a unique gene order where the paralog groups are not expressed in a sequential manner. The finished sequence from BAC clones from the genome of the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, reveals a gene order wherein the anterior genes (Hox1, Hox2 and Hox3) lie nearest the posterior genes in the cluster such that the most 3' gene is Hox5. (The gene order is : 5'-Hox1,2, 3, 11/13c, 11/13b, '11/13a, 9/10, 8, 7, 6, 5 - 3)'. The finished sequence result is corroborated by restriction mapping evidence and BAC-end scaffold analyses. Comparisons with a putative ancestral deuterostome Hox gene cluster suggest that the rearrangements leading to the sea urchin gene order were many and complex.

  9. Unusual Gene Order and Organization of the Sea Urchin Hox Cluster

    SciTech Connect

    Cameron, R A; Rowen, L; Nesbitt, R; Bloom, S; Rast, J P; Berney, K; Arenas-Mena, C; Martinez, P; Lucas, S; Richardson, P M; Davidson, E H; Peterson, K J; Hood, L

    2005-10-11

    The highly consistent gene order and axial colinear expression patterns found in vertebrate hox gene clusters are less well conserved across the rest of bilaterians. We report the first deuterostome instance of an intact hox cluster with a unique gene order where the paralog groups are not expressed in a sequential manner. The finished sequence from BAC clones from the genome of the sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, reveals a gene order wherein the anterior genes (Hox1, Hox2 and Hox3) lie nearest the posterior genes in the cluster such that the most 3 gene is Hox5. (The gene order is : 5-Hox1, 2, 3, 11/13c, 11/13b, 11/13a, 9/10, 8, 7, 6, 5 - 3). The finished sequence result is corroborated by restriction mapping evidence and BAC-end scaffold analyses. Comparisons with a putative ancestral deuterostome Hox gene cluster suggest that the rearrangements leading to the sea urchin gene order were many and complex.

  10. Fine genetic mapping localizes cucumber scab resistance gene Ccu into an R gene cluster.

    PubMed

    Kang, Houxiang; Weng, Yiqun; Yang, Yuhong; Zhang, Zhonghua; Zhang, Shengping; Mao, Zhenchuan; Cheng, Guohua; Gu, Xingfang; Huang, Sanwen; Xie, Bingyan

    2011-03-01

    Scab, caused by Cladosporium cucumerinum, is an important disease of cucumber, Cucumis sativus. In this study, we conducted fine genetic mapping of the single dominant scab resistance gene, Ccu, with 148 F(9) recombinant inbred lines (RILs) and 1,944 F(2) plants derived from the resistant cucumber inbred line 9110Gt and the susceptible line 9930, whose draft genome sequence is now available. A framework linkage map was first constructed with simple sequence repeat markers placing Ccu into the terminal 670 kb region of cucumber Chromosome 2. The 9110Gt genome was sequenced at 5× genome coverage with the Solexa next-generation sequencing technology. Sequence analysis of the assembled 9110Gt contigs and the Ccu region of the 9930 genome identified three insertion/deletion (Indel) markers, Indel01, Indel02, and Indel03 that were closely linked with the Ccu locus. On the high-resolution map developed with the F(2) population, the two closest flanking markers, Indel01 and Indel02, were 0.14 and 0.15 cM away from the target gene Ccu, respectively, and the physical distance between the two markers was approximately 140 kb. Detailed annotation of the 180 kb region harboring the Ccu locus identified a cluster of six resistance gene analogs (RGAs) that belong to the nucleotide binding site (NBS) type R genes. Four RGAs were in the region delimited by markers Indel01 and Indel02, and thus were possible candidates of Ccu. Comparative DNA analysis of this cucumber Ccu gene region with a melon (C. melo) bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone revealed a high degree of micro-synteny and conservation of the RGA tandem repeats in this region. PMID:21104067

  11. Evidence that a secondary metabolic biosynthetic gene cluster has grown by gene relocation during evolution of the filamentous fungus Fusarium.

    PubMed

    Proctor, Robert H; McCormick, Susan P; Alexander, Nancy J; Desjardins, Anne E

    2009-12-01

    Trichothecenes are terpene-derived secondary metabolites produced by multiple genera of filamentous fungi, including many plant pathogenic species of Fusarium. These metabolites are of interest because they are toxic to animals and plants and can contribute to pathogenesis of Fusarium on some crop species. Fusarium graminearum and F. sporotrichioides have trichothecene biosynthetic genes (TRI) at three loci: a 12-gene TRI cluster and two smaller TRI loci that consist of one or two genes. Here, comparisons of additional Fusarium species have provided evidence that TRI loci have a complex evolutionary history that has included loss, non-functionalization and rearrangement of genes as well as trans-species polymorphism. The results also indicate that the TRI cluster has expanded in some species by relocation of two genes into it from the smaller loci. Thus, evolutionary forces have driven consolidation of TRI genes into fewer loci in some fusaria but have maintained three distinct TRI loci in others. PMID:19843228

  12. A Forward Genetic Screen for Molecules Involved in Pheromone-Induced Dauer Formation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Neal, Scott J; Park, JiSoo; DiTirro, Danielle; Yoon, Jason; Shibuya, Mayumi; Choi, Woochan; Schroeder, Frank C; Butcher, Rebecca A; Kim, Kyuhyung; Sengupta, Piali

    2016-01-01

    Animals must constantly assess their surroundings and integrate sensory cues to make appropriate behavioral and developmental decisions. Pheromones produced by conspecific individuals provide critical information regarding environmental conditions. Ascaroside pheromone concentration and composition are instructive in the decision of Caenorhabditis elegans to either develop into a reproductive adult or enter into the stress-resistant alternate dauer developmental stage. Pheromones are sensed by a small set of sensory neurons, and integrated with additional environmental cues, to regulate neuroendocrine signaling and dauer formation. To identify molecules required for pheromone-induced dauer formation, we performed an unbiased forward genetic screen and identified phd (pheromone response-defective dauer) mutants. Here, we describe new roles in dauer formation for previously identified neuronal molecules such as the WD40 domain protein QUI-1 and MACO-1 Macoilin, report new roles for nociceptive neurons in modulating pheromone-induced dauer formation, and identify tau tubulin kinases as new genes involved in dauer formation. Thus, phd mutants define loci required for the detection, transmission, or integration of pheromone signals in the regulation of dauer formation. PMID:26976437

  13. A Forward Genetic Screen for Molecules Involved in Pheromone-Induced Dauer Formation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Neal, Scott J.; Park, JiSoo; DiTirro, Danielle; Yoon, Jason; Shibuya, Mayumi; Choi, Woochan; Schroeder, Frank C.; Butcher, Rebecca A.; Kim, Kyuhyung; Sengupta, Piali

    2016-01-01

    Animals must constantly assess their surroundings and integrate sensory cues to make appropriate behavioral and developmental decisions. Pheromones produced by conspecific individuals provide critical information regarding environmental conditions. Ascaroside pheromone concentration and composition are instructive in the decision of Caenorhabditis elegans to either develop into a reproductive adult or enter into the stress-resistant alternate dauer developmental stage. Pheromones are sensed by a small set of sensory neurons, and integrated with additional environmental cues, to regulate neuroendocrine signaling and dauer formation. To identify molecules required for pheromone-induced dauer formation, we performed an unbiased forward genetic screen and identified phd (pheromone response-defective dauer) mutants. Here, we describe new roles in dauer formation for previously identified neuronal molecules such as the WD40 domain protein QUI-1 and MACO-1 Macoilin, report new roles for nociceptive neurons in modulating pheromone-induced dauer formation, and identify tau tubulin kinases as new genes involved in dauer formation. Thus, phd mutants define loci required for the detection, transmission, or integration of pheromone signals in the regulation of dauer formation. PMID:26976437

  14. Characterization of two acetyltransferase genes in the pyripyropene biosynthetic gene cluster from Penicillium coprobium

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Jie; Furutani, Ayako; Yamamoto, Kentaro; Oyama, Kazuhiko; Mitomi, Masaaki; Anzai, Hiroyuki

    2014-01-01

    Pyripyropenes potently and selectively inhibit acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase 2 (ACAT-2). Among multiple isomers of pyripyropene (A to R), pyripyropene A (PyA) has insecticidal properties in addition to its growth inhibition properties against human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Based on the predicted biosynthetic gene cluster of pyripyropene A, two genes (ppb8 and ppb9) encoding two acetyltransferases (ATs) were separately isolated and introduced into the model fungus Aspergillus oryzae, using the protoplast–polyethylene glycol method. The bioconversion of certain predicted intermediates in the transformants revealed the manner by which acetylation occurred in the biosynthetic pathway by the products expressed by these two genes (AT-1 and AT-2). The acetylated products detected by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) in the extracts from AT-1 and AT-2 transformant clones were not present in the extract from the transformant clone with an empty vector. The HLPC charts of each bioconversion study exhibited high peaks at 12, 10.5 and 9 min, respectively. Further ultraviolet absorption and mass spectrometry analyses identified the products as PyE, PyO and PyA, respectively. AT-1 acetylated the C-1 of deacetyl-pyripyropene E (deAc-PyE), while AT-2 played an active role in acetylating the C-11 of 11-deAc-PyO and C-7 of deAc-PyA at two different steps of the biosynthetic pathway. PMID:26019565

  15. The gene cluster of aureocyclicin 4185: the first cyclic bacteriocin of Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Potter, Amina; Ceotto, Hilana; Coelho, Marcus Lívio Varella; Guimarães, Allan J; Bastos, Maria do Carmo de Freire

    2014-05-01

    Staphylococcus aureus 4185 was previously shown to produce at least two bacteriocins. One of them is encoded by pRJ101. To detect the bacteriocin-encoding gene cluster, an ~9160 kb region of pRJ101 was sequenced. In silico analyses identified 10 genes (aclX, aclB, aclI, aclT, aclC, aclD, aclA, aclF, aclG and aclH) that might be involved in the production of a novel cyclic bacteriocin named aureocyclicin 4185. The organization of these genes was quite similar to that of the gene cluster responsible for carnocyclin A production and immunity. Four putative proteins encoded by these genes (AclT, AclC, AclD and AclA) also exhibited similarity to proteins encoded by cyclic bacteriocin gene clusters. Mutants derived from insertion of Tn917-lac into aclC, aclF, aclH and aclX were affected in bacteriocin production and growth. AclX is a 205 aa putative protein not encoded by the gene clusters of other cyclic bacteriocins. AclX exhibits 50 % similarity to a permease and has five putative membrane-spanning domains. Transcription analyses suggested that aclX is part of the aureocyclicin 4185 gene cluster, encoding a protein required for bacteriocin production. The aclA gene is the structural gene of aureocyclicin 4185, which shows 65 % similarity to garvicin ML. AclA is proposed to be cleaved off, generating a mature peptide with a predicted Mr of 5607 Da (60 aa). By homology modelling, AclA presents four α-helices, like carnocyclin A. AclA could not be found at detectable levels in the culture supernatant of a strain carrying only pRJ101. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a cyclic bacteriocin gene cluster in the genus Staphylococcus. PMID:24574434

  16. Nanoscale spatial organization of the HoxD gene cluster in distinct transcriptional states.

    PubMed

    Fabre, Pierre J; Benke, Alexander; Joye, Elisabeth; Nguyen Huynh, Thi Hanh; Manley, Suliana; Duboule, Denis

    2015-11-10

    Chromatin condensation plays an important role in the regulation of gene expression. Recently, it was shown that the transcriptional activation of Hoxd genes during vertebrate digit development involves modifications in 3D interactions within and around the HoxD gene cluster. This reorganization follows a global transition from one set of regulatory contacts to another, between two topologically associating domains (TADs) located on either side of the HoxD locus. Here, we use 3D DNA FISH to assess the spatial organization of chromatin at and around the HoxD gene cluster and report that although the two TADs are tightly associated, they appear as spatially distinct units. We measured the relative position of genes within the cluster and found that they segregate over long distances, suggesting that a physical elongation of the HoxD cluster can occur. We analyzed this possibility by super-resolution imaging (STORM) and found that tissues with distinct transcriptional activity exhibit differing degrees of elongation. We also observed that the morphological change of the HoxD cluster in developing digits is associated with its position at the boundary between the two TADs. Such variations in the fine-scale architecture of the gene cluster suggest causal links among its spatial configuration, transcriptional activation, and the flanking chromatin context. PMID:26504220

  17. Isolation and characterization of the gene cluster for biosynthesis of the thiopeptide antibiotic TP-1161.

    PubMed

    Engelhardt, Kerstin; Degnes, Kristin F; Zotchev, Sergey B

    2010-11-01

    Recently, we isolated a new thiopeptide antibiotic, TP-1161, from the fermentation broth of a marine actinomycete typed as a member of the genus Nocardiopsis. Here we report the identification, isolation, and analysis of the TP-1161 biosynthetic gene cluster from this species. The gene cluster was identified by mining a draft genome sequence using the predicted structural peptide sequence of TP-1161. Functional assignment of a ∼16-kb genomic region revealed 13 open reading frames proposed to constitute the TP-1161 biosynthetic locus. While the typical core set of thiopeptide modification enzymes contains one cyclodehydratase/dehydrogenase pair, paralogous genes predicted to encode additional cyclodehydratases and dehydrogenases were identified. Although attempts at heterologous expression of the TP-1161 gene cluster in Streptomyces coelicolor failed, its identity was confirmed through the targeted gene inactivation in the original host. PMID:20851988

  18. Chromosomal clustering and GATA transcriptional regulation of intestine-expressed genes in C. elegans.

    PubMed

    Pauli, Florencia; Liu, Yueyi; Kim, Yoona A; Chen, Pei-Jiun; Kim, Stuart K

    2006-01-01

    We used mRNA tagging to identify genes expressed in the intestine of C. elegans. Animals expressing an epitope-tagged protein that binds the poly-A tail of mRNAs (FLAG::PAB-1) from an intestine-specific promoter (ges-1) were used to immunoprecipitate FLAG::PAB-1/mRNA complexes from the intestine. A total of 1938 intestine-expressed genes (P<0.001) were identified using DNA microarrays. First, we compared the intestine-expressed genes with those expressed in the muscle and germline, and identified 510 genes enriched in all three tissues and 624 intestine-, 230 muscle- and 1135 germ line-enriched genes. Second, we showed that the 1938 intestine-expressed genes were physically clustered on the chromosomes, suggesting that the order of genes in the genome is influenced by the effect of chromatin domains on gene expression. Furthermore, the commonly expressed genes showed more chromosomal clustering than the tissue-enriched genes, suggesting that chromatin domains may influence housekeeping genes more than tissue-specific genes. Third, in order to gain further insight into the regulation of intestinal gene expression, we searched for regulatory motifs. This analysis found that the promoters of the intestine genes were enriched for the GATA transcription factor consensus binding sequence. We experimentally verified these results by showing that the GATA motif is required in cis and that GATA transcription factors are required in trans for expression of these intestinal genes. PMID:16354718

  19. Identification of a 12-gene Fusaric Acid Biosynthetic Gene Cluster in Fusarium Species Through Comparative and Functional Genomics.

    PubMed

    Brown, Daren W; Lee, Seung-Ho; Kim, Lee-Han; Ryu, Jae-Gee; Lee, Soohyung; Seo, Yunhee; Kim, Young Ho; Busman, Mark; Yun, Sung-Hwan; Proctor, Robert H; Lee, Theresa

    2015-03-01

    In fungi, genes involved in biosynthesis of a secondary metabolite (SM) are often located adjacent to one another in the genome and are coordinately regulated. These SM biosynthetic gene clusters typically encode enzymes, one or more transcription factors, and a transport protein. Fusaric acid is a polyketide-derived SM produced by multiple species of the fungal genus Fusarium. This SM is of concern because it is toxic to animals and, therefore, is considered a mycotoxin and may contribute to plant pathogenesis. Preliminary descriptions of the fusaric acid (FA) biosynthetic gene (FUB) cluster have been reported in two Fusarium species, the maize pathogen F. verticillioides and the rice pathogen F. fujikuroi. The cluster consisted of five genes and did not include a transcription factor or transporter gene. Here, analysis of the FUB region in F. verticillioides, F. fujikuroi, and F. oxysporum, a plant pathogen with multiple hosts, indicates the FUB cluster consists of at least 12 genes (FUB1 to FUB12). Deletion analysis confirmed that nine FUB genes, including two Zn(II)2Cys6 transcription factor genes, are required for production of wild-type levels of FA. Comparisons of FUB cluster homologs across multiple Fusarium isolates and species revealed insertion of non-FUB genes at one or two locations in some homologs. Although the ability to produce FA contributed to the phytotoxicity of F. oxysporum culture extracts, lack of production did not affect virulence of F. oxysporum on cactus or F. verticillioides on maize seedlings. These findings provide new insights into the genetic and biochemical processes required for FA production. PMID:25372119

  20. The Fumagillin Gene Cluster, an Example of Hundreds of Genes under veA Control in Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Dhingra, Sourabh; Lind, Abigail L.; Lin, Hsiao-Ching; Tang, Yi; Rokas, Antonis; Calvo, Ana M.

    2013-01-01

    Aspergillus fumigatus is the causative agent of invasive aspergillosis, leading to infection-related mortality in immunocompromised patients. We previously showed that the conserved and unique-to-fungi veA gene affects different cell processes such as morphological development, gliotoxin biosynthesis and protease activity, suggesting a global regulatory effect on the genome of this medically relevant fungus. In this study, RNA sequencing analysis revealed that veA controls the expression of hundreds of genes in A. fumigatus, including those comprising more than a dozen known secondary metabolite gene clusters. Chemical analysis confirmed that veA controls the synthesis of other secondary metabolites in this organism in addition to gliotoxin. Among the secondary metabolite gene clusters regulated by veA is the elusive but recently identified gene cluster responsible for the biosynthesis of fumagillin, a meroterpenoid known for its anti-angiogenic activity by binding to human methionine aminopeptidase 2. The fumagillin gene cluster contains a veA-dependent regulatory gene, fumR (Afu8g00420), encoding a putative C6 type transcription factor. Deletion of fumR results in silencing of the gene cluster and elimination of fumagillin biosynthesis. We found expression of fumR to also be dependent on laeA, a gene encoding another component of the fungal velvet complex. The results in this study argue that veA is a global regulator of secondary metabolism in A. fumigatus, and that veA may be a conduit via which chemical development is coupled to morphological development and other cellular processes. PMID:24116213

  1. Two Horizontally Transferred Xenobiotic Resistance Gene Clusters Associated with Detoxification of Benzoxazolinones by Fusarium Species

    PubMed Central

    Glenn, Anthony E.; Davis, C. Britton; Gao, Minglu; Gold, Scott E.; Mitchell, Trevor R.; Proctor, Robert H.; Stewart, Jane E.; Snook, Maurice E.

    2016-01-01

    Microbes encounter a broad spectrum of antimicrobial compounds in their environments and often possess metabolic strategies to detoxify such xenobiotics. We have previously shown that Fusarium verticillioides, a fungal pathogen of maize known for its production of fumonisin mycotoxins, possesses two unlinked loci, FDB1 and FDB2, necessary for detoxification of antimicrobial compounds produced by maize, including the γ-lactam 2-benzoxazolinone (BOA). In support of these earlier studies, microarray analysis of F. verticillioides exposed to BOA identified the induction of multiple genes at FDB1 and FDB2, indicating the loci consist of gene clusters. One of the FDB1 cluster genes encoded a protein having domain homology to the metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) superfamily. Deletion of this gene (MBL1) rendered F. verticillioides incapable of metabolizing BOA and thus unable to grow on BOA-amended media. Deletion of other FDB1 cluster genes, in particular AMD1 and DLH1, did not affect BOA degradation. Phylogenetic analyses and topology testing of the FDB1 and FDB2 cluster genes suggested two horizontal transfer events among fungi, one being transfer of FDB1 from Fusarium to Colletotrichum, and the second being transfer of the FDB2 cluster from Fusarium to Aspergillus. Together, the results suggest that plant-derived xenobiotics have exerted evolutionary pressure on these fungi, leading to horizontal transfer of genes that enhance fitness or virulence. PMID:26808652

  2. Two Horizontally Transferred Xenobiotic Resistance Gene Clusters Associated with Detoxification of Benzoxazolinones by Fusarium Species.

    PubMed

    Glenn, Anthony E; Davis, C Britton; Gao, Minglu; Gold, Scott E; Mitchell, Trevor R; Proctor, Robert H; Stewart, Jane E; Snook, Maurice E

    2016-01-01

    Microbes encounter a broad spectrum of antimicrobial compounds in their environments and often possess metabolic strategies to detoxify such xenobiotics. We have previously shown that Fusarium verticillioides, a fungal pathogen of maize known for its production of fumonisin mycotoxins, possesses two unlinked loci, FDB1 and FDB2, necessary for detoxification of antimicrobial compounds produced by maize, including the γ-lactam 2-benzoxazolinone (BOA). In support of these earlier studies, microarray analysis of F. verticillioides exposed to BOA identified the induction of multiple genes at FDB1 and FDB2, indicating the loci consist of gene clusters. One of the FDB1 cluster genes encoded a protein having domain homology to the metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) superfamily. Deletion of this gene (MBL1) rendered F. verticillioides incapable of metabolizing BOA and thus unable to grow on BOA-amended media. Deletion of other FDB1 cluster genes, in particular AMD1 and DLH1, did not affect BOA degradation. Phylogenetic analyses and topology testing of the FDB1 and FDB2 cluster genes suggested two horizontal transfer events among fungi, one being transfer of FDB1 from Fusarium to Colletotrichum, and the second being transfer of the FDB2 cluster from Fusarium to Aspergillus. Together, the results suggest that plant-derived xenobiotics have exerted evolutionary pressure on these fungi, leading to horizontal transfer of genes that enhance fitness or virulence. PMID:26808652

  3. The Genome of Tolypocladium inflatum: Evolution, Organization, and Expression of the Cyclosporin Biosynthetic Gene Cluster

    PubMed Central

    Bushley, Kathryn E.; Raja, Rajani; Jaiswal, Pankaj; Cumbie, Jason S.; Nonogaki, Mariko; Boyd, Alexander E.; Owensby, C. Alisha; Knaus, Brian J.; Elser, Justin; Miller, Daniel; Di, Yanming; McPhail, Kerry L.; Spatafora, Joseph W.

    2013-01-01

    The ascomycete fungus Tolypocladium inflatum, a pathogen of beetle larvae, is best known as the producer of the immunosuppressant drug cyclosporin. The draft genome of T. inflatum strain NRRL 8044 (ATCC 34921), the isolate from which cyclosporin was first isolated, is presented along with comparative analyses of the biosynthesis of cyclosporin and other secondary metabolites in T. inflatum and related taxa. Phylogenomic analyses reveal previously undetected and complex patterns of homology between the nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) that encodes for cyclosporin synthetase (simA) and those of other secondary metabolites with activities against insects (e.g., beauvericin, destruxins, etc.), and demonstrate the roles of module duplication and gene fusion in diversification of NRPSs. The secondary metabolite gene cluster responsible for cyclosporin biosynthesis is described. In addition to genes necessary for cyclosporin biosynthesis, it harbors a gene for a cyclophilin, which is a member of a family of immunophilins known to bind cyclosporin. Comparative analyses support a lineage specific origin of the cyclosporin gene cluster rather than horizontal gene transfer from bacteria or other fungi. RNA-Seq transcriptome analyses in a cyclosporin-inducing medium delineate the boundaries of the cyclosporin cluster and reveal high levels of expression of the gene cluster cyclophilin. In medium containing insect hemolymph, weaker but significant upregulation of several genes within the cyclosporin cluster, including the highly expressed cyclophilin gene, was observed. T. inflatum also represents the first reference draft genome of Ophiocordycipitaceae, a third family of insect pathogenic fungi within the fungal order Hypocreales, and supports parallel and qualitatively distinct radiations of insect pathogens. The T. inflatum genome provides additional insight into the evolution and biosynthesis of cyclosporin and lays a foundation for further investigations of the role

  4. Shared Gene Structures and Clusters of Mutually Exclusive Spliced Exons within the Metazoan Muscle Myosin Heavy Chain Genes

    PubMed Central

    Kollmar, Martin; Hatje, Klas

    2014-01-01

    Multicellular animals possess two to three different types of muscle tissues. Striated muscles have considerable ultrastructural similarity and contain a core set of proteins including the muscle myosin heavy chain (Mhc) protein. The ATPase activity of this myosin motor protein largely dictates muscle performance at the molecular level. Two different solutions to adjusting myosin properties to different muscle subtypes have been identified so far: Vertebrates and nematodes contain many independent differentially expressed Mhc genes while arthropods have single Mhc genes with clusters of mutually exclusive spliced exons (MXEs). The availability of hundreds of metazoan genomes now allowed us to study whether the ancient bilateria already contained MXEs, how MXE complexity subsequently evolved, and whether additional scenarios to control contractile properties in different muscles could be proposed, By reconstructing the Mhc genes from 116 metazoans we showed that all intron positions within the motor domain coding regions are conserved in all bilateria analysed. The last common ancestor of the bilateria already contained a cluster of MXEs coding for part of the loop-2 actin-binding sequence. Subsequently the protostomes and later the arthropods gained many further clusters while MXEs got completely lost independently in several branches (vertebrates and nematodes) and species (for example the annelid Helobdella robusta and the salmon louse Lepeophtheirus salmonis). Several bilateria have been found to encode multiple Mhc genes that might all or in part contain clusters of MXEs. Notable examples are a cluster of six tandemly arrayed Mhc genes, of which two contain MXEs, in the owl limpet Lottia gigantea and four Mhc genes with three encoding MXEs in the predatory mite Metaseiulus occidentalis. Our analysis showed that similar solutions to provide different myosin isoforms (multiple genes or clusters of MXEs or both) have independently been developed several times

  5. CASSIS and SMIPS: promoter-based prediction of secondary metabolite gene clusters in eukaryotic genomes

    PubMed Central

    Wolf, Thomas; Shelest, Vladimir; Nath, Neetika; Shelest, Ekaterina

    2016-01-01

    Motivation: Secondary metabolites (SM) are structurally diverse natural products of high pharmaceutical importance. Genes involved in their biosynthesis are often organized in clusters, i.e., are co-localized and co-expressed. In silico cluster prediction in eukaryotic genomes remains problematic mainly due to the high variability of the clusters’ content and lack of other distinguishing sequence features. Results: We present Cluster Assignment by Islands of Sites (CASSIS), a method for SM cluster prediction in eukaryotic genomes, and Secondary Metabolites by InterProScan (SMIPS), a tool for genome-wide detection of SM key enzymes (‘anchor’ genes): polyketide synthases, non-ribosomal peptide synthetases and dimethylallyl tryptophan synthases. Unlike other tools based on protein similarity, CASSIS exploits the idea of co-regulation of the cluster genes, which assumes the existence of common regulatory patterns in the cluster promoters. The method searches for ‘islands’ of enriched cluster-specific motifs in the vicinity of anchor genes. It was validated in a series of cross-validation experiments and showed high sensitivity and specificity. Availability and implementation: CASSIS and SMIPS are freely available at https://sbi.hki-jena.de/cassis. Contact: thomas.wolf@leibniz-hki.de or ekaterina.shelest@leibniz-hki.de Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:26656005

  6. Clustering of time-course gene expression profiles using normal mixture models with autoregressive random effects

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Time-course gene expression data such as yeast cell cycle data may be periodically expressed. To cluster such data, currently used Fourier series approximations of periodic gene expressions have been found not to be sufficiently adequate to model the complexity of the time-course data, partly due to their ignoring the dependence between the expression measurements over time and the correlation among gene expression profiles. We further investigate the advantages and limitations of available models in the literature and propose a new mixture model with autoregressive random effects of the first order for the clustering of time-course gene-expression profiles. Some simulations and real examples are given to demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed models. Results We illustrate the applicability of our new model using synthetic and real time-course datasets. We show that our model outperforms existing models to provide more reliable and robust clustering of time-course data. Our model provides superior results when genetic profiles are correlated. It also gives comparable results when the correlation between the gene profiles is weak. In the applications to real time-course data, relevant clusters of coregulated genes are obtained, which are supported by gene-function annotation databases. Conclusions Our new model under our extension of the EMMIX-WIRE procedure is more reliable and robust for clustering time-course data because it adopts a random effects model that allows for the correlation among observations at different time points. It postulates gene-specific random effects with an autocorrelation variance structure that models coregulation within the clusters. The developed R package is flexible in its specification of the random effects through user-input parameters that enables improved modelling and consequent clustering of time-course data. PMID:23151154

  7. Parsing a multifunctional biosynthetic gene cluster from rice: Biochemical characterization of CYP71Z6 & 7.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yisheng; Hillwig, Matthew L; Wang, Qiang; Peters, Reuben J

    2011-11-01

    Rice (Oryza sativa) contains a biosynthetic gene cluster associated with production of at least two groups of diterpenoid phytoalexins, the antifungal phytocassanes and antibacterial oryzalides. While cytochromes P450 (CYP) from this cluster are known to be involved in phytocassane production, such mono-oxygenase activity relevant to oryzalide biosynthesis was unknown. Here we report biochemical characterization demonstrating that CYP71Z6 from this cluster acts as an ent-isokaurene C2-hydroxylase that is presumably involved in the biosynthesis of oryzalides. Our results further suggest that the closely related and co-clustered CYP71Z7 likely acts as a C2-hydroxylase involved in a latter step of phytocassane biosynthesis. Thus, CYP71Z6 & 7 appear to have evolved distinct roles in rice diterpenoid metabolism, offering insight into plant biosynthetic gene cluster evolution. PMID:21985968

  8. Parsing a multifunctional biosynthetic gene cluster from rice: Biochemical characterization of CYP71Z6 & 7

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Yisheng; Hillwig, Matthew L.; Wang, Qiang; Peters, Reuben J.

    2011-01-01

    Rice (Oryza sativa) contains a biosynthetic gene cluster associated with production of at least two groups of diterpenoid phytoalexins, the antifungal phytocassanes and antibacterial oryzalides. While cytochromes P450 (CYP) from this cluster are known to be involved in phytocassane production, such mono-oxygenase activity relevant to oryzalide biosynthesis was unknown. Here we report biochemical characterization demonstrating that CYP71Z6 from this cluster acts as an ent-isokaurene C2-hydroxylase that is presumably involved in the biosynthesis of oryzalides. Our results further suggest that the closely related and co-clustered CYP71Z7 likely acts as a C2-hydroxylase involved in a latter step of phytocassane biosynthesis. Thus, CYP71Z6 & 7 appear to have evolved distinct roles in rice diterpenoid metabolism, offering insight into plant biosynthetic gene cluster evolution. PMID:21985968

  9. Insights into secondary metabolism from a global analysis of prokaryotic biosynthetic gene clusters

    PubMed Central

    Cimermancic, Peter; Medema, Marnix H.; Claesen, Jan; Kurita, Kenji; Wieland Brown, Laura C.; Mavrommatis, Konstantinos; Pati, Amrita; Godfrey, Paul A.; Koehrsen, Michael; Clardy, Jon; Birren, Bruce W.; Takano, Eriko; Sali, Andrej; Linington, Roger G.; Fischbach, Michael A.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Although biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) have been discovered for hundreds of bacterial metabolites, our knowledge of their diversity remains limited. Here, we used a novel algorithm to systematically identify BGCs in the extensive extant microbial sequencing data. Network analysis of the predicted BGCs revealed large gene cluster families, the vast majority uncharacterized. We experimentally characterized the most prominent family, consisting of two subfamilies of hundreds of BGCs distributed throughout the Proteobacteria; their products are aryl polyenes, lipids with an aryl head group conjugated to a polyene tail. We identified a distant relationship to a third subfamily of aryl polyene BGCs, and together the three subfamilies represent the largest known family of biosynthetic gene clusters, with more than 1,000 members. Although these clusters are widely divergent in sequence, their small molecule products are remarkably conserved, indicating for the first time the important roles these compounds play in Gram-negative cell biology. PMID:25036635

  10. Mass distributed clustering: a new algorithm for repeated measurements in gene expression data.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Shinya; Aisaki, Ken-ichi; Kanno, Jun

    2005-01-01

    The availability of whole-genome sequence data and high-throughput techniques such as DNA microarray enable researchers to monitor the alteration of gene expression by a certain organ or tissue in a comprehensive manner. The quantity of gene expression data can be greater than 30,000 genes per one measurement, making data clustering methods for analysis essential. Biologists usually design experimental protocols so that statistical significance can be evaluated; often, they conduct experiments in triplicate to generate a mean and standard deviation. Existing clustering methods usually use these mean or median values, rather than the original data, and take significance into account by omitting data showing large standard deviations, which eliminates potentially useful information. We propose a clustering method that uses each of the triplicate data sets as a probability distribution function instead of pooling data points into a median or mean. This method permits truly unsupervised clustering of the data from DNA microarrays. PMID:16901101