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Sample records for quantitative phenotypic variation

  1. Beyond Punnett Squares: Student Word Association and Explanations of Phenotypic Variation through an Integrative Quantitative Genetics Unit Investigating Anthocyanin Inheritance and Expression in "Brassica rapa" Fast Plants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Batzli, Janet M.; Smith, Amber R.; Williams, Paul H.; McGee, Seth A.; Dosa, Katalin; Pfammatter, Jesse

    2014-01-01

    Genetics instruction in introductory biology is often confined to Mendelian genetics and avoids the complexities of variation in quantitative traits. Given the driving question "What determines variation in phenotype (Pv)? (Pv=Genotypic variation Gv + environmental variation Ev)," we developed a 4-wk unit for an inquiry-based laboratory…

  2. Beyond Punnett Squares: Student Word Association and Explanations of Phenotypic Variation through an Integrative Quantitative Genetics Unit Investigating Anthocyanin Inheritance and Expression in "Brassica rapa" Fast Plants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Batzli, Janet M.; Smith, Amber R.; Williams, Paul H.; McGee, Seth A.; Dosa, Katalin; Pfammatter, Jesse

    2014-01-01

    Genetics instruction in introductory biology is often confined to Mendelian genetics and avoids the complexities of variation in quantitative traits. Given the driving question "What determines variation in phenotype (Pv)? (Pv=Genotypic variation Gv + environmental variation Ev)," we developed a 4-wk unit for an inquiry-based laboratory…

  3. Beyond Punnett squares: Student word association and explanations of phenotypic variation through an integrative quantitative genetics unit investigating anthocyanin inheritance and expression in Brassica rapa Fast plants.

    PubMed

    Batzli, Janet M; Smith, Amber R; Williams, Paul H; McGee, Seth A; Dósa, Katalin; Pfammatter, Jesse

    2014-01-01

    Genetics instruction in introductory biology is often confined to Mendelian genetics and avoids the complexities of variation in quantitative traits. Given the driving question "What determines variation in phenotype (Pv)? (Pv=Genotypic variation Gv + environmental variation Ev)," we developed a 4-wk unit for an inquiry-based laboratory course focused on the inheritance and expression of a quantitative trait in varying environments. We utilized Brassica rapa Fast Plants as a model organism to study variation in the phenotype anthocyanin pigment intensity. As an initial curriculum assessment, we used free word association to examine students' cognitive structures before and after the unit and explanations in students' final research posters with particular focus on variation (Pv = Gv + Ev). Comparison of pre- and postunit word frequency revealed a shift in words and a pattern of co-occurring concepts indicative of change in cognitive structure, with particular focus on "variation" as a proposed threshold concept and primary goal for students' explanations. Given review of 53 posters, we found ?50% of students capable of intermediate to high-level explanations combining both Gv and Ev influence on expression of anthocyanin intensity (Pv). While far from "plug and play," this conceptually rich, inquiry-based unit holds promise for effective integration of quantitative and Mendelian genetics. PMID:25185225

  4. Beyond Punnett Squares: Student Word Association and Explanations of Phenotypic Variation through an Integrative Quantitative Genetics Unit Investigating Anthocyanin Inheritance and Expression in Brassica rapa Fast Plants

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Amber R.; Williams, Paul H.; McGee, Seth A.; Dósa, Katalin; Pfammatter, Jesse

    2014-01-01

    Genetics instruction in introductory biology is often confined to Mendelian genetics and avoids the complexities of variation in quantitative traits. Given the driving question “What determines variation in phenotype (Pv)? (Pv=Genotypic variation Gv + environmental variation Ev),” we developed a 4-wk unit for an inquiry-based laboratory course focused on the inheritance and expression of a quantitative trait in varying environments. We utilized Brassica rapa Fast Plants as a model organism to study variation in the phenotype anthocyanin pigment intensity. As an initial curriculum assessment, we used free word association to examine students’ cognitive structures before and after the unit and explanations in students’ final research posters with particular focus on variation (Pv = Gv + Ev). Comparison of pre- and postunit word frequency revealed a shift in words and a pattern of co-occurring concepts indicative of change in cognitive structure, with particular focus on “variation” as a proposed threshold concept and primary goal for students’ explanations. Given review of 53 posters, we found ?50% of students capable of intermediate to high-level explanations combining both Gv and Ev influence on expression of anthocyanin intensity (Pv). While far from “plug and play,” this conceptually rich, inquiry-based unit holds promise for effective integration of quantitative and Mendelian genetics. PMID:25185225

  5. The quantitative genetics of phenotypic robustness.

    PubMed

    Fraser, Hunter B; Schadt, Eric E

    2010-01-01

    Phenotypic robustness, or canalization, has been extensively investigated both experimentally and theoretically. However, it remains unknown to what extent robustness varies between individuals, and whether factors buffering environmental variation also buffer genetic variation. Here we introduce a quantitative genetic approach to these issues, and apply this approach to data from three species. In mice, we find suggestive evidence that for hundreds of gene expression traits, robustness is polymorphic and can be genetically mapped to discrete genomic loci. Moreover, we find that the polymorphisms buffering genetic variation are distinct from those buffering environmental variation. In fact, these two classes have quite distinct mechanistic bases: environmental buffers of gene expression are predominantly sex-specific and trans-acting, whereas genetic buffers are not sex-specific and often cis-acting. Data from studies of morphological and life-history traits in plants and yeast support the distinction between polymorphisms buffering genetic and environmental variation, and further suggest that loci buffering different types of environmental variation do overlap with one another. These preliminary results suggest that naturally occurring polymorphisms affecting phenotypic robustness could be abundant, and that these polymorphisms may generally buffer either genetic or environmental variation, but not both. PMID:20072615

  6. Phenotypic variation and quantitative trait locus identification for osmotic potential in an interspecific hybrid inbred F2 poplar pedigree grown in contrasting environments.

    PubMed

    Tschaplinski, Timothy J; Tuskan, Gerald A; Sewell, Mitchell M; Gebre, G Michael; Todd, Donald E; Pendley, Carrie D

    2006-05-01

    Elucidation of the mechanisms of dehydration tolerance in poplar (Populus sp.) trees will permit development of biochemical and molecular indicators to identify dehydration-tolerant genotypes during genetic selection. The objectives of this study were to characterize the degree of phenotypic variation in osmotic potential (a determinant of dehydration tolerance), determine the relationship between osmotic potential at full turgor and relative growth rate, and identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) for osmotic potential in an advanced-generation, interspecific poplar pedigree established in contrasting environments. A three-generation, sib-mated black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa Torr. & Gray) and eastern cottonwood (P. deltoides Bartr.) segregating F(2) family (Family 331) was analyzed at a dry site east of the Cascade Mountain Range (Boardman, OR) and at a wet site west of the mountains (Clatskanie, OR). At the Boardman site, 2-year-old trees (59 clones) were either irrigated everyday (wet) or every other day (dry), whereas 3- and 4-year-old trees (58 clones) at the Clatskanie site were unirrigated. At the Boardman site, the typically narrow range of osmotic potentials exhibited by grandparents and parents was greatly expanded in the F(2) population, spanning from -1.38 to -2.35 MPa under wet conditions, with a similar range under dry conditions (-1.40 to -2.15 MPa). Clones that had osmotic potentials < or = -1.90 MPa generally displayed full maintenance of stem relative growth rates under dry conditions in contrast to clones with osmotic potentials that were < or = -1.60 MPa, in which stem relative growth rates were reduced by an average of 38% in the dry treatment relative to the wet treatment. Although osmotic adjustments of 0.13 to 0.36 MPa were observed in nine out of 59 clones, adjustment typically occurred from relatively high baseline osmotic potentials. The range in osmotic potential at the wetter Clatskanie site at age three was higher (-1.27 to -1.84 MPa) and was further expanded the following year (-1.14 to -1.94 MPa), which had a wetter spring than the previous year, followed by a typically dry July. Seven QTL for osmotic potential were identified that each explained > 7.5% of the variation in osmotic potential. Given that four clones (7%) had osmotic potentials of -2.00 MPa or less and that QTL for osmotic potential have been identified, we suggest that there are opportunities to extend the limit of dehydration tolerance in Populus. PMID:16452073

  7. Genetic mapping of quantitative phenotypic traits in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Swinnen, Steve; Thevelein, Johan M; Nevoigt, Elke

    2012-03-01

    Saccharomyces cerevisiae has become a favorite production organism in industrial biotechnology presenting new challenges to yeast engineers in terms of introducing advantageous traits such as stress tolerances. Exploring subspecies diversity of S. cerevisiae has identified strains that bear industrially relevant phenotypic traits. Provided that the genetic basis of such phenotypic traits can be identified inverse engineering allows the targeted modification of production strains. Most phenotypic traits of interest in S. cerevisiae strains are quantitative, meaning that they are controlled by multiple genetic loci referred to as quantitative trait loci (QTL). A straightforward approach to identify the genetic basis of quantitative traits is QTL mapping which aims at the allocation of the genetic determinants to regions in the genome. The application of high-density oligonucleotide arrays and whole-genome re-sequencing to detect genetic variations between strains has facilitated the detection of large numbers of molecular markers thus allowing high-resolution QTL mapping over the entire genome. This review focuses on the basic principle and state of the art of QTL mapping in S. cerevisiae. Furthermore we discuss several approaches developed during the last decade that allow down-scaling of the regions identified by QTL mapping to the gene level. We also emphasize the particular challenges of QTL mapping in nonlaboratory strains of S. cerevisiae. PMID:22150948

  8. Quantitative phenotypic analysis of multistress response in Zygosaccharomyces rouxii complex.

    PubMed

    Solieri, Lisa; Dakal, Tikam C; Bicciato, Silvio

    2014-06-01

    Zygosaccharomyces rouxii complex comprises three yeasts clusters sourced from sugar- and salt-rich environments: haploid Zygosaccharomyces rouxii, diploid Zygosaccharomyces sapae and allodiploid/aneuploid strains of uncertain taxonomic affiliations. These yeasts have been characterized with respect to gene copy number variation, karyotype variability and change in ploidy, but functional diversity in stress responses has not been explored yet. Here, we quantitatively analysed the stress response variation in seven strains of the Z. rouxii complex by modelling growth variables via model and model-free fitting methods. Based on the spline fit as most reliable modelling method, we resolved different interstrain responses to 15 environmental perturbations. Compared with Z. rouxii CBS 732(T) and Z. sapae strains ABT301(T) and ABT601, allodiploid strain ATCC 42981 and aneuploid strains CBS 4837 and CBS 4838 displayed higher multistress resistance and better performance in glycerol respiration even in the presence of copper. ?-based logarithmic phenotypic index highlighted that ABT601 is a slow-growing strain insensitive to stress, whereas ABT301(T) grows fast on rich medium and is sensitive to suboptimal conditions. Overall, the differences in stress response could imply different adaptation mechanisms to sugar- and salt-rich niches. The obtained phenotypic profiling contributes to provide quantitative insights for elucidating the adaptive mechanisms to stress in halo- and osmo-tolerant Zygosaccharomyces yeasts. PMID:24533625

  9. Epigenetic variation in the Egfr gene generates quantitative variation in a complex trait in ants.

    PubMed

    Alvarado, Sebastian; Rajakumar, Rajendhran; Abouheif, Ehab; Szyf, Moshe

    2015-01-01

    Complex quantitative traits, like size and behaviour, are a pervasive feature of natural populations. Quantitative trait variation is the product of both genetic and environmental factors, yet little is known about the mechanisms through which their interaction generates this variation. Epigenetic processes, such as DNA methylation, can mediate gene-by-environment interactions during development to generate discrete phenotypic variation. We therefore investigated the developmental role of DNA methylation in generating continuous size variation of workers in an ant colony, a key trait associated with division of labour. Here we show that, in the carpenter ant Camponotus floridanus, global (genome-wide) DNA methylation indirectly regulates quantitative methylation of the conserved cell-signalling gene Epidermal growth factor receptor to generate continuous size variation of workers. DNA methylation can therefore generate quantitative variation in a complex trait by quantitatively regulating the transcription of a gene. This mechanism, alongside genetic variation, may determine the phenotypic possibilities of loci for generating quantitative trait variation in natural populations. PMID:25758336

  10. [Quantitative and thermodynamic study of weak A erythrocyte phenotypes].

    PubMed

    Cartron, J P

    1976-03-01

    The analysis of more than 140 "weak A" samples: A3, Ax, Aend, Am, Ay and Ael, support the classical distinction between each subgroup which has been established on serological and genetical data. Accordingly, a valuable classification of these rare phenotypes must take into account, (i) the mode of inheritance, (ii) the agglutination pattern of the RBC by anti-A reagents, (iii) the presence or absence of soluble A substances in the saliva of secretors. The question is then open to know if such related erythrocytic antigens, whose specificity appears to be very similar, could be described on a quantitative basis or on qualitative structural variations. Evidence for quantitative differences was first demonstrated by a gradual decrease in the standard agglutinability of "weak A" RBC with human anti-A (B) sera, from A3 red cells (63 +/- 10%) to Ax (33 +/- 10%), Aend (10 +/- 5%) then Am, Ay and Ael (0%), and secondly by direct measurement of A antigen site densities, the mean values being respectively 35.10(3) A sites/RBC (A3); 4.8 10(3) (Ax); 3.5 10(3) (Aend) and 0.7 10(3) (Am, Ael). Further investigation on A3, Ax and Aend RBC agglutinability lead also to the demonstration of a large heterogeneity in the A antigenic content of red cells inside one individual sample. The most striking result was obtained with Aend phenotypes which appeared like A + O transmitted mosaicisms. However, heterogeneity was also observed, but to a lesser extent, among A3 and Ax RBC. The significance of this heterogeneity is discussed and used to explained the typical picture of agglutinability commonly observed with such red cells and anti-A antibodies. Qualitative difference were also studied by estimation of equilibrium constants (Ko) and thermodynamic parameters (delta Fo, delta Ho and delta So) associated with the binding of rabbit 125I-IgG anti-A molecules onto A RBC determinants. Only small variations of thermodynamic parameters were observed between each subgroup, but the high Ko values (greater than 10(8)M-1) measured, strongly suggest that "weak A" RBC determinants would process a common antigenic structure of the type: alpha-GalNAc (1 leads to 3) [alphaLFuc (1 leads to 2) beta Gal. However, the small differences of reactivity observed from one sample to an other could be related to slight variations in tridimensional configurations of oligosaccharides chains bearing the A specificity, associated with their variable antigenic content. PMID:61610

  11. Derivation of genetic interaction networks from quantitative phenotype data

    PubMed Central

    Drees, Becky L; Thorsson, Vesteinn; Carter, Gregory W; Rives, Alexander W; Raymond, Marisa Z; Avila-Campillo, Iliana; Shannon, Paul; Galitski, Timothy

    2005-01-01

    We have generalized the derivation of genetic-interaction networks from quantitative phenotype data. Familiar and unfamiliar modes of genetic interaction were identified and defined. A network was derived from agar-invasion phenotypes of mutant yeast. Mutations showed specific modes of genetic interaction with specific biological processes. Mutations formed cliques of significant mutual information in their large-scale patterns of genetic interaction. These local and global interaction patterns reflect the effects of gene perturbations on biological processes and pathways. PMID:15833125

  12. Empirically derived phenotypic subgroups – qualitative and quantitative trait analyses

    PubMed Central

    Wilcox, Marsha A; Wyszynski, Diego F; Panhuysen, Carolien I; Ma, Qianli; Yip, Agustin; Farrell, John; Farrer, Lindsay A

    2003-01-01

    Background The Framingham Heart Study has contributed a great deal to advances in medicine. Most of the phenotypes investigated have been univariate traits (quantitative or qualitative). The aims of this study are to derive multivariate traits by identifying homogeneous groups of people and assigning both qualitative and quantitative trait scores; to assess the heritability of the derived traits; and to conduct both qualitative and quantitative linkage analysis on one of the heritable traits. Methods Multiple correspondence analysis, a nonparametric analogue of principal components analysis, was used for data reduction. Two-stage clustering, using both k-means and agglomerative hierarchical clustering, was used to cluster individuals based upon axes (factor) scores obtained from the data reduction. Probability of cluster membership was calculated using binary logistic regression. Heritability was calculated using SOLAR, which was also used for the quantitative trait analysis. GENEHUNTER-PLUS was used for the qualitative trait analysis. Results We found four phenotypically distinct groups. Membership in the smallest group was heritable (38%, p < 1 × 10-6) and had characteristics consistent with atherogenic dyslipidemia. We found both qualitative and quantitative LOD scores above 3 on chromosomes 11 and 14 (11q13, 14q23, 14q31). There were two Kong & Cox LOD scores above 1.0 on chromosome 6 (6p21) and chromosome 11 (11q23). Conclusion This approach may be useful for the identification of genetic heterogeneity in complex phenotypes by clarifying the phenotype definition prior to linkage analysis. Some of our findings are in regions linked to elements of atherogenic dyslipidemia and related diagnoses, some may be novel, or may be false positives. PMID:14975083

  13. Genotypic richness predicts phenotypic variation in an endangered clonal plant

    PubMed Central

    Sinclair, Elizabeth A.; Poore, Alistair G.B.; Bain, Keryn F.; Vergés, Adriana

    2016-01-01

    Declines in genetic diversity within a species can affect the stability and functioning of populations. The conservation of genetic diversity is thus a priority, especially for threatened or endangered species. The importance of genetic variation, however, is dependent on the degree to which it translates into phenotypic variation for traits that affect individual performance and ecological processes. This is especially important for predominantly clonal species, as no single clone is likely to maximise all aspects of performance. Here we show that intraspecific genotypic diversity as measured using microsatellites is a strong predictor of phenotypic variation in morphological traits and shoot productivity of the threatened, predominantly clonal seagrass Posidonia australis, on the east coast of Australia. Biomass and surface area variation was most strongly predicted by genotypic richness, while variation in leaf chemistry (phenolics and nitrogen) was unrelated to genotypic richness. Genotypic richness did not predict tissue loss to herbivores or epiphyte load, however we did find that increased herbivore damage was positively correlated with allelic richness. Although there was no clear relationship between higher primary productivity and genotypic richness, variation in shoot productivity within a meadow was significantly greater in more genotypically diverse meadows. The proportion of phenotypic variation explained by environmental conditions varied among different genotypes, and there was generally no variation in phenotypic traits among genotypes present in the same meadows. Our results show that genotypic richness as measured through the use of presumably neutral DNA markers does covary with phenotypic variation in functionally relevant traits such as leaf morphology and shoot productivity. The remarkably long lifespan of individual Posidonia plants suggests that plasticity within genotypes has played an important role in the longevity of the species. However, the strong link between genotypic and phenotypic variation suggests that a range of genotypes is still the best case scenario for adaptation to and recovery from predicted environmental change. PMID:26925313

  14. Genotypic richness predicts phenotypic variation in an endangered clonal plant.

    PubMed

    Evans, Suzanna M; Sinclair, Elizabeth A; Poore, Alistair G B; Bain, Keryn F; Vergés, Adriana

    2016-01-01

    Declines in genetic diversity within a species can affect the stability and functioning of populations. The conservation of genetic diversity is thus a priority, especially for threatened or endangered species. The importance of genetic variation, however, is dependent on the degree to which it translates into phenotypic variation for traits that affect individual performance and ecological processes. This is especially important for predominantly clonal species, as no single clone is likely to maximise all aspects of performance. Here we show that intraspecific genotypic diversity as measured using microsatellites is a strong predictor of phenotypic variation in morphological traits and shoot productivity of the threatened, predominantly clonal seagrass Posidonia australis, on the east coast of Australia. Biomass and surface area variation was most strongly predicted by genotypic richness, while variation in leaf chemistry (phenolics and nitrogen) was unrelated to genotypic richness. Genotypic richness did not predict tissue loss to herbivores or epiphyte load, however we did find that increased herbivore damage was positively correlated with allelic richness. Although there was no clear relationship between higher primary productivity and genotypic richness, variation in shoot productivity within a meadow was significantly greater in more genotypically diverse meadows. The proportion of phenotypic variation explained by environmental conditions varied among different genotypes, and there was generally no variation in phenotypic traits among genotypes present in the same meadows. Our results show that genotypic richness as measured through the use of presumably neutral DNA markers does covary with phenotypic variation in functionally relevant traits such as leaf morphology and shoot productivity. The remarkably long lifespan of individual Posidonia plants suggests that plasticity within genotypes has played an important role in the longevity of the species. However, the strong link between genotypic and phenotypic variation suggests that a range of genotypes is still the best case scenario for adaptation to and recovery from predicted environmental change. PMID:26925313

  15. Phenotypic divergence and population variation in cuphea

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Morphological and seed-related traits in populations of a semi-domesticated, potential oilseed crop (PSR23), selected from an inter-specific Cuphea spp. cross, were used in quantifying levels of divergence from its wild parents and levels of variation among and within its populations. Multivariate a...

  16. Sexual selection and temporal phenotypic variation in a damselfly population.

    PubMed

    Steele, D B; Siepielski, A M; McPeek, M A

    2011-07-01

    Temporal variation in selection can be generated by temporal variation in either the fitness surface or phenotypic distributions around a static fitness surface, or both concurrently. Here, we use within- and between-generation sampling of fitness surfaces and phenotypic distributions over 2 years to investigate the causes of temporal variation in the form of sexual selection on body size in the damselfly Enallagma aspersum. Within a year, when the average female body size differed substantially from the average male body size, male body size experienced directional selection. In contrast, when male and female size distributions overlapped, male body size experienced stabilizing selection when variances in body size were large, but no appreciable selection when the variances in body size were small. The causes of temporal variation in the form of selection can only be inferred by accounting for changes in both the fitness surface and changes in the distribution of phenotypes. PMID:21569154

  17. Phenotypic approaches for understanding patterns of intracemetery biological variation.

    PubMed

    Stojanowski, Christopher M; Schillaci, Michael A

    2006-01-01

    This paper reviews studies of phenotypic inheritance and microevolutionary processes in archaeological populations using data on cranial and dental phenotypic variation, often referred to as paleogenetics or biodistance analysis. The estimation of biological distances between populations, or among individuals within populations, is one component of bioarchaeological research on past populations. In this overview, five approaches that focus on morphological variation within cemeteries are summarized: kinship and cemetery structure analysis, postmarital residence analysis, sample aggregate phenotypic variability, temporal microchronology, and age-structured phenotypic variation. Previous research, theoretical justifications, and methods are outlined for each topic. Case studies are presented that illustrate these theoretical and methodological bases, as well as demonstrate the kinds of inferences possible using these approaches. Kinship and cemetery structure analysis seeks to identify the members of family groups within larger cemeteries or determine whether cemeteries were kin-structured. Analysis of sex-specific phenotypic variation allows estimation of postmarital residence practices, which is important for understanding other aspects of prehistoric social organization. Analysis of aggregate phenotypic variability can be used to infer site formation processes or cemetery catchment area. The study of temporal microchronologies can be used to evaluate provisional archaeological chronologies or study microevolutionary processes such as adaptive selection or changing patterns of gene flow. Finally, age-structured phenotypic variation can be reflective of selection processes within populations or it can be used as a measure of morbidity, growth arrest, and early mortality within past populations. Use of phenotypic data as a genotypic proxy is theoretically sound, even at small scales of analysis. PMID:17103428

  18. Extensive Phenotypic Variation in Early Flowering Mutants of Arabidopsis1

    PubMed Central

    Pouteau, Sylvie; Ferret, Valérie; Gaudin, Valérie; Lefebvre, Delphine; Sabar, Mohammed; Zhao, Gengchun; Prunus, Franck

    2004-01-01

    Flowering time, the major regulatory transition of plant sequential development, is modulated by multiple endogenous and environmental factors. By phenotypic profiling of 80 early flowering mutants of Arabidopsis, we examine how mutational reduction of floral repression is associated with changes in phenotypic plasticity and stability. Flowering time measurements in mutants reveal deviations from the linear relationship between the number of leaves and number of days to bolting described for natural accessions and late flowering mutants. The deviations correspond to relative early bolting and relative late bolting phenotypes. Only a minority of mutants presents no detectable phenotypic variation. Mutants are characterized by a broad release of morphological pleiotropy under short days, with leaf characters being most variable. They also exhibit changes in phenotypic plasticity across environments for florigenic-related responses, including the reaction to light and dark, photoperiodic behavior, and Suc sensitivity. Morphological pleiotropy and plasticity modifications are differentially distributed among mutants, resulting in a large diversity of multiple phenotypic changes. The pleiotropic effects observed may indicate that floral repression defects are linked to global developmental perturbations. This first, to our knowledge, extensive characterization of phenotypic variation in early flowering mutants correlates with the reports that most factors recruited in floral repression at the molecular genetic level correspond to ubiquitous regulators. We discuss the importance of functional ubiquity for floral repression with respect to robustness and flexibility of network biological systems. PMID:15122022

  19. Extensive phenotypic variation in early flowering mutants of Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Pouteau, Sylvie; Ferret, Valérie; Gaudin, Valérie; Lefebvre, Delphine; Sabar, Mohammed; Zhao, Gengchun; Prunus, Franck

    2004-05-01

    Flowering time, the major regulatory transition of plant sequential development, is modulated by multiple endogenous and environmental factors. By phenotypic profiling of 80 early flowering mutants of Arabidopsis, we examine how mutational reduction of floral repression is associated with changes in phenotypic plasticity and stability. Flowering time measurements in mutants reveal deviations from the linear relationship between the number of leaves and number of days to bolting described for natural accessions and late flowering mutants. The deviations correspond to relative early bolting and relative late bolting phenotypes. Only a minority of mutants presents no detectable phenotypic variation. Mutants are characterized by a broad release of morphological pleiotropy under short days, with leaf characters being most variable. They also exhibit changes in phenotypic plasticity across environments for florigenic-related responses, including the reaction to light and dark, photoperiodic behavior, and Suc sensitivity. Morphological pleiotropy and plasticity modifications are differentially distributed among mutants, resulting in a large diversity of multiple phenotypic changes. The pleiotropic effects observed may indicate that floral repression defects are linked to global developmental perturbations. This first, to our knowledge, extensive characterization of phenotypic variation in early flowering mutants correlates with the reports that most factors recruited in floral repression at the molecular genetic level correspond to ubiquitous regulators. We discuss the importance of functional ubiquity for floral repression with respect to robustness and flexibility of network biological systems. PMID:15122022

  20. Phenotypic variation and diversity among Trichomonas vaginalis isolates and correlation of phenotype with trichomonal virulence determinants.

    PubMed Central

    Alderete, J F; Kasmala, L; Metcalfe, E; Garza, G E

    1986-01-01

    The extent and nature of heterogeneity among representative Trichomonas vaginalis isolates were evaluated by flow cytofluorometry analysis. Monoclonal antibody and monospecific antiserum to an immunodominant trichomonad surface glycoprotein with a molecular weight of 267,000 (267K glycoprotein) were used to evaluate fresh isolates (JHH and RU375) and long-term grown isolates (NYH286, IR78, and JH31A) of T. vaginalis. Isolates NYH286, JH31A, and JHH were made up of heterogeneous staining (positive [pos] phenotype) and nonstaining (negative [neg] phenotype) populations of trichomonads, whereas RU375 and IR78 were all neg phenotype parasites. Flow cytofluorometric patterns of agar clones derived from single organisms of heterogeneous isolates such as NYH286 showed populations which were either homogeneous pos or neg and also showed clones which were heterogeneous in nature containing both phenotypes. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting was also accomplished, and subpopulations of defined pos or neg phenotype were purified. Flow cytofluorometry evaluation of all isolates for an extended period revealed a phenotypic variation among all heterogeneous isolates and also for all clones and subpopulations derived from the heterogeneous isolates. On the other hand, IR78 and RU375 did not undergo phenotypic variation and have remained neg for greater than 4 years. Parasites which were nonreactive with either monoclonal antibody or monospecific antiserum to the 267K glycoprotein in flow cytofluorometry did not possess the antigen on their surface. This was determined by radioimmunoprecipitation assays using extracts of iodinated trichomonads. Finally, neg phenotype parasites yielded enhanced rates of contact-dependent cytotoxicity of host cell monolayers as compared with the pos phenotype trichomonads. Images PMID:2426199

  1. Phenotypic variation in infants, not adults, reflects genotypic variation among chimpanzees and bonobos.

    PubMed

    Morimoto, Naoki; Ponce de León, Marcia S; Zollikofer, Christoph P E

    2014-01-01

    Studies comparing phenotypic variation with neutral genetic variation in modern humans have shown that genetic drift is a main factor of evolutionary diversification among populations. The genetic population history of our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees and bonobos, is now equally well documented, but phenotypic variation among these taxa remains relatively unexplored, and phenotype-genotype correlations are not yet documented. Also, while the adult phenotype is typically used as a reference, it remains to be investigated how phenotype-genotye correlations change during development. Here we address these questions by analyzing phenotypic evolutionary and developmental diversification in the species and subspecies of the genus Pan. Our analyses focus on the morphology of the femoral diaphysis, which represents a functionally constrained element of the locomotor system. Results show that during infancy phenotypic distances between taxa are largely congruent with non-coding (neutral) genotypic distances. Later during ontogeny, however, phenotypic distances deviate from genotypic distances, mainly as an effect of heterochronic shifts between taxon-specific developmental programs. Early phenotypic differences between Pan taxa are thus likely brought about by genetic drift while late differences reflect taxon-specific adaptations. PMID:25013970

  2. Phenotypic Variation in Infants, Not Adults, Reflects Genotypic Variation among Chimpanzees and Bonobos

    PubMed Central

    Morimoto, Naoki; Ponce de León, Marcia S.; Zollikofer, Christoph P. E.

    2014-01-01

    Studies comparing phenotypic variation with neutral genetic variation in modern humans have shown that genetic drift is a main factor of evolutionary diversification among populations. The genetic population history of our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees and bonobos, is now equally well documented, but phenotypic variation among these taxa remains relatively unexplored, and phenotype-genotype correlations are not yet documented. Also, while the adult phenotype is typically used as a reference, it remains to be investigated how phenotype-genotye correlations change during development. Here we address these questions by analyzing phenotypic evolutionary and developmental diversification in the species and subspecies of the genus Pan. Our analyses focus on the morphology of the femoral diaphysis, which represents a functionally constrained element of the locomotor system. Results show that during infancy phenotypic distances between taxa are largely congruent with non-coding (neutral) genotypic distances. Later during ontogeny, however, phenotypic distances deviate from genotypic distances, mainly as an effect of heterochronic shifts between taxon-specific developmental programs. Early phenotypic differences between Pan taxa are thus likely brought about by genetic drift while late differences reflect taxon-specific adaptations. PMID:25013970

  3. Natural Variation of Model Mutant Phenotypes in Ciona intestinalis

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Euan R.; Leccia, Nicola I.; Squarzoni, Paola; Tarallo, Raffaella; Alfano, Christian; Caputi, Luigi; D'Ambrosio, Palmira; Daniele, Paola; D'Aniello, Enrico; D'Aniello, Salvatore; Maiella, Sylvie; Miraglia, Valentina; Russo, Monia Teresa; Sorrenti, Gerarda; Branno, Margherita; Cariello, Lucio; Cirino, Paola; Locascio, Annamaria; Spagnuolo, Antonietta; Zanetti, Laura; Ristoratore, Filomena

    2008-01-01

    Background The study of ascidians (Chordata, Tunicata) has made a considerable contribution to our understanding of the origin and evolution of basal chordates. To provide further information to support forward genetics in Ciona intestinalis, we used a combination of natural variation and neutral population genetics as an approach for the systematic identification of new mutations. In addition to the significance of developmental variation for phenotype-driven studies, this approach can encompass important implications in evolutionary and population biology. Methodology/Principal Findings Here, we report a preliminary survey for naturally occurring mutations in three geographically interconnected populations of C. intestinalis. The influence of historical, geographical and environmental factors on the distribution of abnormal phenotypes was assessed by means of 12 microsatellites. We identified 37 possible mutant loci with stereotyped defects in embryonic development that segregate in a way typical of recessive alleles. Local populations were found to differ in genetic organization and frequency distribution of phenotypic classes. Conclusions/Significance Natural genetic polymorphism of C. intestinalis constitutes a valuable source of phenotypes for studying embryonic development in ascidians. Correlating genetic structure and the occurrence of abnormal phenotypes is a crucial focus for understanding the selective forces that shape natural finite populations, and may provide insights of great importance into the evolutionary mechanisms that generate animal diversity. PMID:18523552

  4. Phenotypic variation of fluoride responses between inbred strains of mice.

    PubMed

    Yan, Dong; Willett, Thomas L; Gu, Xiao-Mei; Martinez-Mier, E Angeles; Sardone, Laura; McShane, Lauren; Grynpas, Marc; Everett, Eric T

    2011-01-01

    Excessive systemic exposure to fluoride (F) can lead to disturbances in bone homeostasis and dental enamel development. We have previously shown strain-specific responses to F in the development of dental fluorosis (DF) and in bone formation/mineralization. The current study was undertaken to further investigate F responsive variations in bone metabolism and to determine possible relationships with DF susceptibility. Seven-week-old male mice from FVB/NJ, C57BL/6J, C3H/HeJ, A/J, 129S1/SvImJ, AKR/J, DBA/2J, and BALB/cByJ inbred strains were exposed to NaF (0 or 50 ppm as F(-)) in drinking water for 60 days. Sera were collected for F, Ca, Mg, PO(4), iPTH, sRANKL, and ALP levels. Bone marrow cells were subjected to ex vivo cell culture for osteoclast potential and CFU colony assays (CFU-fibroblast, CFU-osteoblast, CFU-erythrocyte/granulocyte/macrophage/megakaryocyte, CFU-granulocyte/macrophage, CFU-macrophage, and CFU-granulocyte). Femurs and vertebrae were subjected to micro-CT analyses, biomechanical testing, and F, Mg, and Ca content assays. DF was evaluated using quantitative fluorescence and clinical criteria. Strain-specific responses to F were observed for DF, serum studies, ex vivo cell culture studies, and bone quality. Among the strains, there were no patterns or significant correlations between DF severity and the actions of F on bone homeostasis (serum studies, ex vivo assays, or bone quality parameters). The genetic background continues to play a role in the actions of F on tooth enamel development and bone homeostasis. F exposure led to variable phenotypic responses between strains involving dental enamel development and bone metabolism. PMID:21555858

  5. Variations in genotype-phenotype correlations in phenylketonuria patients.

    PubMed

    Santos, L L; Fonseca, C G; Starling, A L P; Januário, J N; Aguiar, M J B; Peixoto, M G C D; Carvalho, M R S

    2010-01-01

    Phenylalanine hydroxylase deficiency is a trait inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern; the associated phenotype varies considerably. This variation is mainly due to the considerable allelic heterogeneity in the phenylalanine hydroxylase enzyme locus. We examined the genotype-phenotype correlation in 54 phenylketonuria (PKU) patients from Minas Gerais, Brazil. Two systems were used. The first was a phenotype prediction system based on arbitrary values (AV) attributed to each mutation and the second was a correlation analysis. An AV was assigned to each mutation: AV = 1 for classical PKU mutation; AV = 2 for moderate PKU mutation; AV = 4 for mild PKU mutation, and AV = 8 for non-PKU hyperphenylalaninemia mutation. The observed phenotype for AV analysis was the clinical diagnosis established by the overloading phenylalanine test. Among the 51 PKU patients that we analyzed based on this trait, in 51% the predicted phenotype did not match the observed phenotype; the highest degree of concordance was found in patients with null/null genotypes. The genotype was observed to be a good predictor of the clinical course of the patients and significant correlations were found between phenylalanine values at first interview and predicted residual activity, genotype and arbitrary value sum. PMID:20082265

  6. The genetics of phenotypic plasticity. X. Variation versus uncertainty

    PubMed Central

    Scheiner, Samuel M; Holt, Robert D

    2012-01-01

    Despite the apparent advantages of adaptive plasticity, it is not common. We examined the effects of variation and uncertainty on selection for plasticity using an individual-based computer simulation model. In the model, the environment consisted of a linear gradient of 50 demes with dispersal occurring either before or after selection. Individuals consisted of multiple loci whose phenotypic expression either are affected (plastic) or are not affected (nonplastic) by the environment. Typically, evolution occurred first as genetic differentiation, which was then replaced by the evolution of adaptive plasticity, opposite to the evolutionary trend that is often assumed. Increasing dispersal rates selected for plasticity, if selection occurred before dispersal. If selection occurred after dispersal, the highest plasticity was at intermediate dispersal rates. Temporal variation in the environment occurring after development, but before selection, favored the evolution of plasticity. With dispersal before selection, such temporal variation resulted in hyperplasticity, with a reaction norm much steeper than the optimum. This effect was enhanced with negative temporal autocorrelation and can be interpreted as representing a form of bet hedging. As the number of nonplastic loci increased, plasticity was disfavored due to an increase in the uncertainty of the genomic environment. This effect was reversed with temporal variation. Thus, variation and uncertainty affect whether or not plasticity is favored with different sources of variation—arising from the amount and timing of dispersal, from temporal variation, and even from the genetic architecture underlying the phenotype—having contrasting, interacting, and at times unexpected effects. PMID:22837824

  7. The genetics of phenotypic plasticity. X. Variation versus uncertainty.

    PubMed

    Scheiner, Samuel M; Holt, Robert D

    2012-04-01

    Despite the apparent advantages of adaptive plasticity, it is not common. We examined the effects of variation and uncertainty on selection for plasticity using an individual-based computer simulation model. In the model, the environment consisted of a linear gradient of 50 demes with dispersal occurring either before or after selection. Individuals consisted of multiple loci whose phenotypic expression either are affected (plastic) or are not affected (nonplastic) by the environment. Typically, evolution occurred first as genetic differentiation, which was then replaced by the evolution of adaptive plasticity, opposite to the evolutionary trend that is often assumed. Increasing dispersal rates selected for plasticity, if selection occurred before dispersal. If selection occurred after dispersal, the highest plasticity was at intermediate dispersal rates. Temporal variation in the environment occurring after development, but before selection, favored the evolution of plasticity. With dispersal before selection, such temporal variation resulted in hyperplasticity, with a reaction norm much steeper than the optimum. This effect was enhanced with negative temporal autocorrelation and can be interpreted as representing a form of bet hedging. As the number of nonplastic loci increased, plasticity was disfavored due to an increase in the uncertainty of the genomic environment. This effect was reversed with temporal variation. Thus, variation and uncertainty affect whether or not plasticity is favored with different sources of variation-arising from the amount and timing of dispersal, from temporal variation, and even from the genetic architecture underlying the phenotype-having contrasting, interacting, and at times unexpected effects. PMID:22837824

  8. Phenotypical variation within 22 families with Pompe disease

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Pompe disease has a broad clinical spectrum, in which the phenotype is partially explained by the genotype. The aim of this study was to describe phenotypical variation among siblings with non-classic Pompe disease. We hypothesized that siblings and families with the same genotype share more similar phenotypes than the total population of non-classic Pompe patients, and that this might reveal genotype-phenotype correlations. Methods We identified all Dutch families in which two or three siblings were diagnosed with Pompe disease and described genotype, acid ?-glucosidase activity, age at symptom onset, presenting symptoms, specific clinical features, mobility and ventilator dependency. Results We identified 22 families comprising two or three siblings. All carried the most common mutation c.-32-13 T?>?G in combination with another pathogenic mutation. The median age at symptom onset was 33 years (range 1–62 years). Within sibships symptom onset was either in childhood or in adulthood. The median variation in symptom onset between siblings was nine years (range 0–31 years). Presenting symptoms were similar across siblings in 14 out of 22 families. Limb girdle weakness was most frequently reported. In some families ptosis or bulbar weakness were present in all siblings. A large variation in disease severity (based on wheelchair/ventilator dependency) was observed in 11 families. This variation did not always result from a difference in duration of the disease since a third of the less affected siblings had a longer course of the disease. Enzyme activity could not explain this variation either. In most families male patients were more severely affected. Finally, symptom onset varied substantially in twelve families despite the same GAA genotype. Conclusion In most families with non-classic Pompe disease siblings share a similar phenotype regarding symptom onset, presenting symptoms and specific clinical features. However, in some families the course and severity of disease varied substantially. This phenotypical variation was also observed in families with identical GAA genotypes. The commonalities and differences indicate that besides genotype, other factors such as epigenetic and environmental effects influence the clinical presentation and disease course. PMID:24245577

  9. Population genetic variation in gene expression is associated with phenotypic variation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Fay, Justin C; McCullough, Heather L; Sniegowski, Paul D; Eisen, Michael B

    2004-01-01

    Background The relationship between genetic variation in gene expression and phenotypic variation observable in nature is not well understood. Identifying how many phenotypes are associated with differences in gene expression and how many gene-expression differences are associated with a phenotype is important to understanding the molecular basis and evolution of complex traits. Results We compared levels of gene expression among nine natural isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae grown either in the presence or absence of copper sulfate. Of the nine strains, two show a reduced growth rate and two others are rust colored in the presence of copper sulfate. We identified 633 genes that show significant differences in expression among strains. Of these genes, 20 were correlated with resistance to copper sulfate and 24 were correlated with rust coloration. The function of these genes in combination with their expression pattern suggests the presence of both correlative and causative expression differences. But the majority of differentially expressed genes were not correlated with either phenotype and showed the same expression pattern both in the presence and absence of copper sulfate. To determine whether these expression differences may contribute to phenotypic variation under other environmental conditions, we examined one phenotype, freeze tolerance, predicted by the differential expression of the aquaporin gene AQY2. We found freeze tolerance is associated with the expression of AQY2. Conclusions Gene expression differences provide substantial insight into the molecular basis of naturally occurring traits and can be used to predict environment dependent phenotypic variation. PMID:15059259

  10. A protocol for high-throughput phenotyping, suitable for quantitative trait analysis in mice.

    PubMed

    Solberg, Leah C; Valdar, William; Gauguier, Dominique; Nunez, Graciela; Taylor, Amy; Burnett, Stephanie; Arboledas-Hita, Carmen; Hernandez-Pliego, Polinka; Davidson, Stuart; Burns, Peter; Bhattacharya, Shoumo; Hough, Tertius; Higgs, Douglas; Klenerman, Paul; Cookson, William O; Zhang, Youming; Deacon, Robert M; Rawlins, J Nicholas P; Mott, Richard; Flint, Jonathan

    2006-02-01

    Whole-genome genetic association studies in outbred mouse populations represent a novel approach to identifying the molecular basis of naturally occurring genetic variants, the major source of quantitative variation between inbred strains of mice. Measuring multiple phenotypes in parallel on each mouse would make the approach cost effective, but protocols for phenotyping on a large enough scale have not been developed. In this article we describe the development and deployment of a protocol to collect measures on three models of human disease (anxiety, type II diabetes, and asthma) as well as measures of mouse blood biochemistry, immunology, and hematology. We report that the protocol delivers highly significant differences among the eight inbred strains (A/J, AKR/J, BALBc/J, CBA/J, C3H/HeJ, C57BL/6 J, DBA/2 J, and LP/J), the progenitors of a genetically heterogeneous stock (HS) of mice. We report the successful collection of multiple phenotypes from 2000 outbred HS animals. The phenotypes measured in the protocol form the basis of a large-scale investigation into the genetic basis of complex traits in mice designed to examine interactions between genes and between genes and environment, as well as the main effects of genetic variants on phenotypes. PMID:16465593

  11. Catch Me if You Can: Adaptation from Standing Genetic Variation to a Moving Phenotypic Optimum

    PubMed Central

    Matuszewski, Sebastian; Hermisson, Joachim; Kopp, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Adaptation lies at the heart of Darwinian evolution. Accordingly, numerous studies have tried to provide a formal framework for the description of the adaptive process. Of these, two complementary modeling approaches have emerged: While so-called adaptive-walk models consider adaptation from the successive fixation of de novo mutations only, quantitative genetic models assume that adaptation proceeds exclusively from preexisting standing genetic variation. The latter approach, however, has focused on short-term evolution of population means and variances rather than on the statistical properties of adaptive substitutions. Our aim is to combine these two approaches by describing the ecological and genetic factors that determine the genetic basis of adaptation from standing genetic variation in terms of the effect-size distribution of individual alleles. Specifically, we consider the evolution of a quantitative trait to a gradually changing environment. By means of analytical approximations, we derive the distribution of adaptive substitutions from standing genetic variation, that is, the distribution of the phenotypic effects of those alleles from the standing variation that become fixed during adaptation. Our results are checked against individual-based simulations. We find that, compared to adaptation from de novo mutations, (i) adaptation from standing variation proceeds by the fixation of more alleles of small effect and (ii) populations that adapt from standing genetic variation can traverse larger distances in phenotype space and, thus, have a higher potential for adaptation if the rate of environmental change is fast rather than slow. PMID:26038348

  12. Understanding and using quantitative genetic variation

    PubMed Central

    Hill, William G.

    2010-01-01

    Quantitative genetics, or the genetics of complex traits, is the study of those characters which are not affected by the action of just a few major genes. Its basis is in statistical models and methodology, albeit based on many strong assumptions. While these are formally unrealistic, methods work. Analyses using dense molecular markers are greatly increasing information about the architecture of these traits, but while some genes of large effect are found, even many dozens of genes do not explain all the variation. Hence, new methods of prediction of merit in breeding programmes are again based on essentially numerical methods, but incorporating genomic information. Long-term selection responses are revealed in laboratory selection experiments, and prospects for continued genetic improvement are high. There is extensive genetic variation in natural populations, but better estimates of covariances among multiple traits and their relation to fitness are needed. Methods based on summary statistics and predictions rather than at the individual gene level seem likely to prevail for some time yet. PMID:20008387

  13. Estimating the variation, autocorrelation, and environmental sensitivity of phenotypic selection.

    PubMed

    Chevin, Luis-Miguel; Visser, Marcel E; Tufto, Jarle

    2015-09-01

    Despite considerable interest in temporal and spatial variation of phenotypic selection, very few methods allow quantifying this variation while correctly accounting for the error variance of each individual estimate. Furthermore, the available methods do not estimate the autocorrelation of phenotypic selection, which is a major determinant of eco-evolutionary dynamics in changing environments. We introduce a new method for measuring variable phenotypic selection using random regression. We rely on model selection to assess the support for stabilizing selection, and for a moving optimum that may include a trend plus (possibly autocorrelated) fluctuations. The environmental sensitivity of selection also can be estimated by including an environmental covariate. After testing our method on extensive simulations, we apply it to breeding time in a great tit population in the Netherlands. Our analysis finds support for an optimum that is well predicted by spring temperature, and occurs about 33 days before a peak in food biomass, consistent with what is known from the biology of this species. We also detect autocorrelated fluctuations in the optimum, beyond those caused by temperature and the food peak. Because our approach directly estimates parameters that appear in theoretical models, it should be particularly useful for predicting eco-evolutionary responses to environmental change. PMID:26227394

  14. Genetic and phenotypic intra-species variation in Candida albicans.

    PubMed

    Hirakawa, Matthew P; Martinez, Diego A; Sakthikumar, Sharadha; Anderson, Matthew Z; Berlin, Aaron; Gujja, Sharvari; Zeng, Qiandong; Zisson, Ethan; Wang, Joshua M; Greenberg, Joshua M; Berman, Judith; Bennett, Richard J; Cuomo, Christina A

    2015-03-01

    Candida albicans is a commensal fungus of the human gastrointestinal tract and a prevalent opportunistic pathogen. To examine diversity within this species, extensive genomic and phenotypic analyses were performed on 21 clinical C. albicans isolates. Genomic variation was evident in the form of polymorphisms, copy number variations, chromosomal inversions, subtelomeric hypervariation, loss of heterozygosity (LOH), and whole or partial chromosome aneuploidies. All 21 strains were diploid, although karyotypic changes were present in eight of the 21 isolates, with multiple strains being trisomic for Chromosome 4 or Chromosome 7. Aneuploid strains exhibited a general fitness defect relative to euploid strains when grown under replete conditions. All strains were also heterozygous, yet multiple, distinct LOH tracts were present in each isolate. Higher overall levels of genome heterozygosity correlated with faster growth rates, consistent with increased overall fitness. Genes with the highest rates of amino acid substitutions included many cell wall proteins, implicating fast evolving changes in cell adhesion and host interactions. One clinical isolate, P94015, presented several striking properties including a novel cellular phenotype, an inability to filament, drug resistance, and decreased virulence. Several of these properties were shown to be due to a homozygous nonsense mutation in the EFG1 gene. Furthermore, loss of EFG1 function resulted in increased fitness of P94015 in a commensal model of infection. Our analysis therefore reveals intra-species genetic and phenotypic differences in C. albicans and delineates a natural mutation that alters the balance between commensalism and pathogenicity. PMID:25504520

  15. Genetic and phenotypic intra-species variation in Candida albicans

    PubMed Central

    Hirakawa, Matthew P.; Martinez, Diego A.; Sakthikumar, Sharadha; Anderson, Matthew Z.; Berlin, Aaron; Gujja, Sharvari; Zeng, Qiandong; Zisson, Ethan; Wang, Joshua M.; Greenberg, Joshua M.; Berman, Judith

    2015-01-01

    Candida albicans is a commensal fungus of the human gastrointestinal tract and a prevalent opportunistic pathogen. To examine diversity within this species, extensive genomic and phenotypic analyses were performed on 21 clinical C. albicans isolates. Genomic variation was evident in the form of polymorphisms, copy number variations, chromosomal inversions, subtelomeric hypervariation, loss of heterozygosity (LOH), and whole or partial chromosome aneuploidies. All 21 strains were diploid, although karyotypic changes were present in eight of the 21 isolates, with multiple strains being trisomic for Chromosome 4 or Chromosome 7. Aneuploid strains exhibited a general fitness defect relative to euploid strains when grown under replete conditions. All strains were also heterozygous, yet multiple, distinct LOH tracts were present in each isolate. Higher overall levels of genome heterozygosity correlated with faster growth rates, consistent with increased overall fitness. Genes with the highest rates of amino acid substitutions included many cell wall proteins, implicating fast evolving changes in cell adhesion and host interactions. One clinical isolate, P94015, presented several striking properties including a novel cellular phenotype, an inability to filament, drug resistance, and decreased virulence. Several of these properties were shown to be due to a homozygous nonsense mutation in the EFG1 gene. Furthermore, loss of EFG1 function resulted in increased fitness of P94015 in a commensal model of infection. Our analysis therefore reveals intra-species genetic and phenotypic differences in C. albicans and delineates a natural mutation that alters the balance between commensalism and pathogenicity. PMID:25504520

  16. Deciphering Genomic Underpinnings of Quantitative MRI-based Radiomic Phenotypes of Invasive Breast Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Yitan; Li, Hui; Guo, Wentian; Drukker, Karen; Lan, Li; Giger, Maryellen L.; Ji, Yuan

    2015-01-01

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) has been routinely used for the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. However, the relationship between the MRI tumor phenotypes and the underlying genetic mechanisms remains under-explored. We integrated multi-omics molecular data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) with MRI data from The Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA) for 91 breast invasive carcinomas. Quantitative MRI phenotypes of tumors (such as tumor size, shape, margin, and blood flow kinetics) were associated with their corresponding molecular profiles (including DNA mutation, miRNA expression, protein expression, pathway gene expression and copy number variation). We found that transcriptional activities of various genetic pathways were positively associated with tumor size, blurred tumor margin, and irregular tumor shape and that miRNA expressions were associated with the tumor size and enhancement texture, but not with other types of radiomic phenotypes. We provide all the association findings as a resource for the research community (available at http://compgenome.org/Radiogenomics/). These findings pave potential paths for the discovery of genetic mechanisms regulating specific tumor phenotypes and for improving MRI techniques as potential non-invasive approaches to probe the cancer molecular status. PMID:26639025

  17. Evolution of adaptive phenotypic variation patterns by direct selection for evolvability

    PubMed Central

    Pavlicev, Mihaela; Cheverud, James M.; Wagner, Günter P.

    2011-01-01

    A basic assumption of the Darwinian theory of evolution is that heritable variation arises randomly. In this context, randomness means that mutations arise irrespective of the current adaptive needs imposed by the environment. It is broadly accepted, however, that phenotypic variation is not uniformly distributed among phenotypic traits, some traits tend to covary, while others vary independently, and again others barely vary at all. Furthermore, it is well established that patterns of trait variation differ among species. Specifically, traits that serve different functions tend to be less correlated, as for instance forelimbs and hind limbs in bats and humans, compared with the limbs of quadrupedal mammals. Recently, a novel class of genetic elements has been identified in mouse gene-mapping studies that modify correlations among quantitative traits. These loci are called relationship loci, or relationship Quantitative Trait Loci (rQTL), and affect trait correlations by changing the expression of the existing genetic variation through gene interaction. Here, we present a population genetic model of how natural selection acts on rQTL. Contrary to the usual neo-Darwinian theory, in this model, new heritable phenotypic variation is produced along the selected dimension in response to directional selection. The results predict that selection on rQTL leads to higher correlations among traits that are simultaneously under directional selection. On the other hand, traits that are not simultaneously under directional selection are predicted to evolve lower correlations. These results and the previously demonstrated existence of rQTL variation, show a mechanism by which natural selection can directly enhance the evolvability of complex organisms along lines of adaptive change. PMID:21106581

  18. The Evolution of Human Genetic and Phenotypic Variation in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Michael C.

    2010-01-01

    Africa is the birthplace of modern humans, and is the source of the geographic expansion of ancestral populations into other regions of the world. Indigenous Africans are characterized by high levels of genetic diversity within and between populations. The pattern of genetic variation in these populations has been shaped by demographic events occurring over the last 200,000 years. The dramatic variation in climate, diet, and exposure to infectious disease across the continent has also resulted in novel genetic and phenotypic adaptations in extant Africans. This review summarizes some recent advances in our understanding of the demographic history and selective pressures that have influenced levels and patterns of diversity in African populations. PMID:20178763

  19. Phenotypic variation and selective mortality as major drivers of recruitment variability in fishes.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Darren W; Grorud-Colvert, Kirsten; Sponaugle, Su; Semmens, Brice X

    2014-06-01

    An individual's phenotype will usually influence its probability of survival. However, when evaluating the dynamics of populations, the role of selective mortality is not always clear. Not all mortality is selective, patterns of selective mortality may vary, and it is often unknown how selective mortality compares or interacts with other sources of mortality. As a result, there is seldom a clear expectation for how changes in the phenotypic composition of populations will translate into differences in average survival. We address these issues by evaluating how selective mortality affects recruitment of fish populations. First, we provide a quantitative review of selective mortality. Our results show that most of the mortality during early life is selective, and that variation in phenotypes can have large effects on survival. Next, we describe an analytical framework that accounts for variation in selection, while also describing the amount of selective mortality experienced by different cohorts recruiting to a single population. This framework is based on reconstructing fitness surfaces from phenotypic selection measurements, and can be employed for either single or multiple traits. Finally, we show how this framework can be integrated with models of density-dependent survival to improve our understanding of recruitment variability and population dynamics. PMID:24674603

  20. Post-transcriptional Mechanisms Contribute Little to Phenotypic Variation in Snake Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Rokyta, Darin R.; Margres, Mark J.; Calvin, Kate

    2015-01-01

    Protein expression is a major link in the genotype–phenotype relationship, and processes affecting protein abundances, such as rates of transcription and translation, could contribute to phenotypic evolution if they generate heritable variation. Recent work has suggested that mRNA abundances do not accurately predict final protein abundances, which would imply that post-transcriptional regulatory processes contribute significantly to phenotypes. Post-transcriptional processes also appear to buffer changes in transcriptional patterns as species diverge, suggesting that the transcriptional changes have little or no effect on the phenotypes undergoing study. We tested for concordance between mRNA and protein expression levels in snake venoms by means of mRNA-seq and quantitative mass spectrometry for 11 snakes representing 10 species, six genera, and three families. In contrast to most previous work, we found high correlations between venom gland transcriptomes and venom proteomes for 10 of our 11 comparisons. We tested for protein-level buffering of transcriptional changes during species divergence by comparing the difference between transcript abundance and protein abundance for three pairs of species and one intraspecific pair. We found no evidence for buffering during divergence of our three species pairs but did find evidence for protein-level buffering for our single intraspecific comparison, suggesting that buffering, if present, was a transient phenomenon in venom divergence. Our results demonstrated that post-transcriptional mechanisms did not contribute significantly to phenotypic evolution in venoms and suggest a more prominent and direct role for cis-regulatory evolution in phenotypic variation, particularly for snake venoms. PMID:26358130

  1. A systematic strategy for the discovery of candidate genes responsible for phenotypic variation.

    PubMed

    Fisher, Paul; Noyes, Harry; Kemp, Stephen; Stevens, Robert; Brass, Andrew

    2009-01-01

    It is increasingly common to combine genome-wide expression data with quantitative trait mapping data to aid in the search for sequence polymorphisms responsible for phenotypic variation. By joining these complex but different data types at the level of the biological pathway, we can take advantage of existing biological knowledge to systematically identify possible mechanisms of genotype-phenotype interaction. With the development of web services and workflows, this process can be made rapid and systematic. Our methodology was applied to a use case of resistance to African trypanosomiasis in mice. Workflows developed in this investigation, including a guide to loading and executing them with example data, are available at http://www.myexperiment.org/users/43/workflows . PMID:19763936

  2. Structural genomic variation in childhood epilepsies with complex phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Helbig, Ingo; Swinkels, Marielle E M; Aten, Emmelien; Caliebe, Almuth; van 't Slot, Ruben; Boor, Rainer; von Spiczak, Sarah; Muhle, Hiltrud; Jähn, Johanna A; van Binsbergen, Ellen; van Nieuwenhuizen, Onno; Jansen, Floor E; Braun, Kees P J; de Haan, Gerrit-Jan; Tommerup, Niels; Stephani, Ulrich; Hjalgrim, Helle; Poot, Martin; Lindhout, Dick; Brilstra, Eva H; Møller, Rikke S; Koeleman, Bobby PC

    2014-01-01

    A genetic contribution to a broad range of epilepsies has been postulated, and particularly copy number variations (CNVs) have emerged as significant genetic risk factors. However, the role of CNVs in patients with epilepsies with complex phenotypes is not known. Therefore, we investigated the role of CNVs in patients with unclassified epilepsies and complex phenotypes. A total of 222 patients from three European countries, including patients with structural lesions on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), dysmorphic features, and multiple congenital anomalies, were clinically evaluated and screened for CNVs. MRI findings including acquired or developmental lesions and patient characteristics were subdivided and analyzed in subgroups. MRI data were available for 88.3% of patients, of whom 41.6% had abnormal MRI findings. Eighty-eight rare CNVs were discovered in 71 out of 222 patients (31.9%). Segregation of all identified variants could be assessed in 42 patients, 11 of which were de novo. The frequency of all structural variants and de novo variants was not statistically different between patients with or without MRI abnormalities or MRI subcategories. Patients with dysmorphic features were more likely to carry a rare CNV. Genome-wide screening methods for rare CNVs may provide clues for the genetic etiology in patients with a broader range of epilepsies than previously anticipated, including in patients with various brain anomalies detectable by MRI. Performing genome-wide screens for rare CNVs can be a valuable contribution to the routine diagnostic workup in patients with a broad range of childhood epilepsies. PMID:24281369

  3. Intraspecific phenotypic variation among alewife populations drives parallel phenotypic shifts in bluegill

    PubMed Central

    Huss, Magnus; Howeth, Jennifer G.; Osterman, Julia I.; Post, David M.

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary diversification within consumer species may generate selection on local ecological communities, affecting prey community structure. However, the extent to which this niche construction can propagate across food webs and shape trait variation in competing species is unknown. Here, we tested whether niche construction by different life-history variants of the planktivorous fish alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) can drive phenotypic divergence and resource use in the competing species bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus). Using a combination of common garden experiments and a comparative field study, we found that bluegill from landlocked alewife lakes grew relatively better when fed small than large zooplankton, had gill rakers better adapted for feeding on small-bodied prey and selected smaller zooplankton compared with bluegill from lakes with anadromous or no alewife. Observed shifts in bluegill foraging traits in lakes with landlocked alewife parallel those in alewife, suggesting interspecific competition leading to parallel phenotypic changes rather than to divergence (which is commonly predicted). Our findings suggest that species may be locally adapted to prey communities structured by different life-history variants of a competing dominant species. PMID:24920478

  4. Genetic interactions contribute less than additive effects to quantitative trait variation in yeast

    PubMed Central

    Bloom, Joshua S.; Kotenko, Iulia; Sadhu, Meru J.; Treusch, Sebastian; Albert, Frank W.; Kruglyak, Leonid

    2015-01-01

    Genetic mapping studies of quantitative traits typically focus on detecting loci that contribute additively to trait variation. Genetic interactions are often proposed as a contributing factor to trait variation, but the relative contribution of interactions to trait variation is a subject of debate. Here we use a very large cross between two yeast strains to accurately estimate the fraction of phenotypic variance due to pairwise QTL–QTL interactions for 20 quantitative traits. We find that this fraction is 9% on average, substantially less than the contribution of additive QTL (43%). Statistically significant QTL–QTL pairs typically have small individual effect sizes, but collectively explain 40% of the pairwise interaction variance. We show that pairwise interaction variance is largely explained by pairs of loci at least one of which has a significant additive effect. These results refine our understanding of the genetic architecture of quantitative traits and help guide future mapping studies. PMID:26537231

  5. Disentangling the Phylogenetic and Ecological Components of Spider Phenotypic Variation

    PubMed Central

    Gonçalves-Souza, Thiago; Diniz-Filho, José Alexandre Felizola; Romero, Gustavo Quevedo

    2014-01-01

    An understanding of how the degree of phylogenetic relatedness influences the ecological similarity among species is crucial to inferring the mechanisms governing the assembly of communities. We evaluated the relative importance of spider phylogenetic relationships and ecological niche (plant morphological variables) to the variation in spider body size and shape by comparing spiders at different scales: (i) between bromeliads and dicot plants (i.e., habitat scale) and (ii) among bromeliads with distinct architectural features (i.e., microhabitat scale). We partitioned the interspecific variation in body size and shape into phylogenetic (that express trait values as expected by phylogenetic relationships among species) and ecological components (that express trait values independent of phylogenetic relationships). At the habitat scale, bromeliad spiders were larger and flatter than spiders associated with the surrounding dicots. At this scale, plant morphology sorted out close related spiders. Our results showed that spider flatness is phylogenetically clustered at the habitat scale, whereas it is phylogenetically overdispersed at the microhabitat scale, although phylogenic signal is present in both scales. Taken together, these results suggest that whereas at the habitat scale selective colonization affect spider body size and shape, at fine scales both selective colonization and adaptive evolution determine spider body shape. By partitioning the phylogenetic and ecological components of phenotypic variation, we were able to disentangle the evolutionary history of distinct spider traits and show that plant architecture plays a role in the evolution of spider body size and shape. We also discussed the relevance in considering multiple scales when studying phylogenetic community structure. PMID:24651264

  6. Oral phenotype and variation in focal dermal hypoplasia.

    PubMed

    Wright, John Timothy; Puranik, Chaitanya P; Farrington, Frank

    2016-03-01

    Focal dermal hypoplasia (FDH) or Goltz Syndrome (OMIM# 305600) is an X-linked dominant ectodermal dysplasia caused by mutations in the PORCN gene. This gene encodes an endoplasmic reticulum transmembrane protein that is involved in processing the embryonically critical WNT signaling proteins. Individuals diagnosed with FDH were recruited to participate in the study through the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasia. Individuals were evaluated to characterize the FDH phenotype. Each participant completed a brief dental survey and oral evaluation using artificial light. To identify the oral soft and hard tissue findings 19 individuals (16 female and 3 male) participated with a median age of 10 years (range 2-56 years). Soft and hard tissue defects were present in 68% (13) and 94% (18) of the patients, respectively. Dental anomalies were highly prevalent with 68% (13) demonstrating vertical enamel grooving, 52% (10) having peg shaped tooth deformities, and 78% (15) having enamel hypoplasia with or without discoloration. Cleft lip and cleft palate presented in 15% (3) of the participants. Other findings included 57% (11) having intra-oral lipoma or papilloma with no site predilection. Dental malocclusions were common with 63% (12) having some degree of malocclusion with 15% (3) of participants having class III malocclusion with an anterior dental cross bite. Participants frequently reported speech problems or difficulty with chewing (73%; N = 14). This study shows there is marked variation in the oral phenotype of individuals with FDH and underscores the important role of WNT signaling in oro-facial development. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26843121

  7. Classification of human chromosome 21 gene-expression variations in Down syndrome: impact on disease phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Aït Yahya-Graison, E; Aubert, J; Dauphinot, L; Rivals, I; Prieur, M; Golfier, G; Rossier, J; Personnaz, L; Creau, N; Bléhaut, H; Robin, S; Delabar, J M; Potier, M-C

    2007-09-01

    Down syndrome caused by chromosome 21 trisomy is the most common genetic cause of mental retardation in humans. Disruption of the phenotype is thought to be the result of gene-dosage imbalance. Variations in chromosome 21 gene expression in Down syndrome were analyzed in lymphoblastoid cells derived from patients and control individuals. Of the 359 genes and predictions displayed on a specifically designed high-content chromosome 21 microarray, one-third were expressed in lymphoblastoid cells. We performed a mixed-model analysis of variance to find genes that are differentially expressed in Down syndrome independent of sex and interindividual variations. In addition, we identified genes with variations between Down syndrome and control samples that were significantly different from the gene-dosage effect (1.5). Microarray data were validated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. We found that 29% of the expressed chromosome 21 transcripts are overexpressed in Down syndrome and correspond to either genes or open reading frames. Among these, 22% are increased proportional to the gene-dosage effect, and 7% are amplified. The other 71% of expressed sequences are either compensated (56%, with a large proportion of predicted genes and antisense transcripts) or highly variable among individuals (15%). Thus, most of the chromosome 21 transcripts are compensated for the gene-dosage effect. Overexpressed genes are likely to be involved in the Down syndrome phenotype, in contrast to the compensated genes. Highly variable genes could account for phenotypic variations observed in patients. Finally, we show that alternative transcripts belonging to the same gene are similarly regulated in Down syndrome but sense and antisense transcripts are not. PMID:17701894

  8. Mutations and quantitative genetic variation: lessons from Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Mackay, Trudy F C

    2010-04-27

    A central issue in evolutionary quantitative genetics is to understand how genetic variation for quantitative traits is maintained in natural populations. Estimates of genetic variation and of genetic correlations and pleiotropy among multiple traits, inbreeding depression, mutation rates for fitness and quantitative traits and of the strength and nature of selection are all required to evaluate theoretical models of the maintenance of genetic variation. Studies in Drosophila melanogaster have shown that a substantial fraction of segregating variation for fitness-related traits in Drosophila is due to rare deleterious alleles maintained by mutation-selection balance, with a smaller but significant fraction attributable to intermediate frequency alleles maintained by alleles with antagonistic pleiotropic effects, and late-age-specific effects. However, the nature of segregating variation for traits under stabilizing selection is less clear and requires more detailed knowledge of the loci, mutation rates, allelic effects and frequencies of molecular polymorphisms affecting variation in suites of pleiotropically connected traits. Recent studies in D. melanogaster have revealed unexpectedly complex genetic architectures of many quantitative traits, with large numbers of pleiotropic genes and alleles with sex-, environment- and genetic background-specific effects. Future genome wide association analyses of many quantitative traits on a common panel of fully sequenced Drosophila strains will provide much needed empirical data on the molecular genetic basis of quantitative traits. PMID:20308098

  9. Integromic Analysis of Genetic Variation and Gene Expression Identifies Networks for Cardiovascular Disease Phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Chen; Chen, Brian H.; Joehanes, Roby; Otlu, Burcak; Zhang, Xiaoling; Liu, Chunyu; Huan, Tianxiao; Tastan, Oznur; Cupples, L. Adrienne; Meigs, James B.; Fox, Caroline S.; Freedman, Jane E.; Courchesne, Paul; O’Donnell, Christopher J.; Munson, Peter J.; Keles, Sunduz; Levy, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Background Cardiovascular disease (CVD) reflects a highly coordinated complex of traits. Although genome-wide association studies have reported numerous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to be associated with CVD, the role of most of these variants in disease processes remains unknown. Methods and Results We built a CVD network using 1512 SNPs associated with 21 CVD traits in genome-wide association studies (at P?5×10?8) and cross-linked different traits by virtue of their shared SNP associations. We then explored whole blood gene expression in relation to these SNPs in 5257 participants in the Framingham Heart Study. At a false discovery rate <0.05, we identified 370 cis-expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs; SNPs associated with altered expression of nearby genes) and 44 trans-eQTLs (SNPs associated with altered expression of remote genes). The eQTL network revealed 13 CVD-related modules. Searching for association of eQTL genes with CVD risk factors (lipids, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, and body mass index) in the same individuals, we found examples in which the expression of eQTL genes was significantly associated with these CVD phenotypes. In addition, mediation tests suggested that a subset of SNPs previously associated with CVD phenotypes in genome-wide association studies may exert their function by altering expression of eQTL genes (eg, LDLR and PCSK7), which in turn may promote interindividual variation in phenotypes. Conclusions Using a network approach to analyze CVD traits, we identified complex networks of SNP-phenotype and SNP-transcript connections. Integrating the CVD network with phenotypic data, we identified biological pathways that may provide insights into potential drug targets for treatment or prevention of CVD. PMID:25533967

  10. Epigenetic Basis of Morphological Variation and Phenotypic Plasticity in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Kooke, Rik; Johannes, Frank; Wardenaar, René; Becker, Frank; Etcheverry, Mathilde; Colot, Vincent; Vreugdenhil, Dick; Keurentjes, Joost J.B.

    2015-01-01

    Epigenetics is receiving growing attention in the plant science community. Epigenetic modifications are thought to play a particularly important role in fluctuating environments. It is hypothesized that epigenetics contributes to plant phenotypic plasticity because epigenetic modifications, in contrast to DNA sequence variation, are more likely to be reversible. The population of decrease in DNA methylation 1-2 (ddm1-2)-derived epigenetic recombinant inbred lines (epiRILs) in Arabidopsis thaliana is well suited for studying this hypothesis, as DNA methylation differences are maximized and DNA sequence variation is minimized. Here, we report on the extensive heritable epigenetic variation in plant growth and morphology in neutral and saline conditions detected among the epiRILs. Plant performance, in terms of branching and leaf area, was both reduced and enhanced by different quantitative trait loci (QTLs) in the ddm1-2 inherited epigenotypes. The variation in plasticity associated significantly with certain genomic regions in which the ddm1-2 inherited epigenotypes caused an increased sensitivity to environmental changes, probably due to impaired genetic regulation in the epiRILs. Many of the QTLs for morphology and plasticity overlapped, suggesting major pleiotropic effects. These findings indicate that epigenetics contributes substantially to variation in plant growth, morphology, and plasticity, especially under stress conditions. PMID:25670769

  11. A simple regression-based method to map quantitative trait loci underlying function-valued phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Kwak, Il-Youp; Moore, Candace R; Spalding, Edgar P; Broman, Karl W

    2014-08-01

    Most statistical methods for quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping focus on a single phenotype. However, multiple phenotypes are commonly measured, and recent technological advances have greatly simplified the automated acquisition of numerous phenotypes, including function-valued phenotypes, such as growth measured over time. While methods exist for QTL mapping with function-valued phenotypes, they are generally computationally intensive and focus on single-QTL models. We propose two simple, fast methods that maintain high power and precision and are amenable to extensions with multiple-QTL models using a penalized likelihood approach. After identifying multiple QTL by these approaches, we can view the function-valued QTL effects to provide a deeper understanding of the underlying processes. Our methods have been implemented as a package for R, funqtl. PMID:24931408

  12. From phenotypic to molecular polymorphisms involved in naturally occurring variation of plant development.

    PubMed

    Alonso-Blanco, Carlos; Mendez-Vigo, Belén; Koornneef, Maarten

    2005-01-01

    An enormous amount of naturally occurring genetic variation affecting development is found within wild and domesticated plant species. This diversity is presumably involved in plant adaptation to different natural environments or in human preferences. In addition, such intraspecific variation provides the basis for the evolution of plant development at larger evolutionary scales. Natural phenotypic differences are now amenable to genetic dissection up to the identification of causal DNA polymorphisms. Here we describe 30 genes and their functional nucleotide polymorphisms currently found as underlying allelic variation accounting for plant intraspecific developmental diversity. These studies provide molecular and cellular mechanisms that determine natural variation for quantitative and qualitative traits such as: fruit and seed morphology, colour and composition; flowering time; seedling emergence; plant architecture and inflorescence or flower morphology. Besides, analyses of flowering time variation within several distant species allow molecular comparisons between species, which are detecting homologous genes with partly different functions and unrelated genes with analogous functions. Thus, considerable gene function differences are being revealed also among species. Inspection of a catalogue of intraspecific nucleotide functional polymorphisms shows that transcriptional regulators are the main class of genes involved. Furthermore, barely more than half of the polymorphisms described are located in coding regions and affect protein structure, while the rest are regulatory changes altering gene expression. These limited analyses of intraspecific developmental variation support Doebley and Lukens's proposition (1998) that modifications in cis -regulatory regions of transcriptional regulators represent a predominant mode for the evolution of novel forms, but await more detailed studies in wild plant species. PMID:16096977

  13. Genome-Wide Pathway Association Studies of Multiple Correlated Quantitative Phenotypes Using Principle Component Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Feng; Guo, Xiong; Wu, Shixun; Han, Jing; Liu, Yongjun; Shen, Hui; Deng, Hong-Wen

    2012-01-01

    Genome-wide pathway association studies provide novel insight into the biological mechanism underlying complex diseases. Current pathway association studies primarily focus on single important disease phenotype, which is sometimes insufficient to characterize the clinical manifestations of complex diseases. We present a multi-phenotypes pathway association study(MPPAS) approach using principle component analysis(PCA). In our approach, PCA is first applied to multiple correlated quantitative phenotypes for extracting a set of orthogonal phenotypic components. The extracted phenotypic components are then used for pathway association analysis instead of original quantitative phenotypes. Four statistics were proposed for PCA-based MPPAS in this study. Simulations using the real data from the HapMap project were conducted to evaluate the power and type I error rates of PCA-based MPPAS under various scenarios considering sample sizes, additive and interactive genetic effects. A real genome-wide association study data set of bone mineral density (BMD) at hip and spine were also analyzed by PCA-based MPPAS. Simulation studies illustrated the performance of PCA-based MPPAS for identifying the causal pathways underlying complex diseases. Genome-wide MPPAS of BMD detected associations between BMD and KENNY_CTNNB1_TARGETS_UP as well as LONGEVITYPATHWAY pathways in this study. We aim to provide a applicable MPPAS approach, which may help to gain deep understanding the potential biological mechanism of association results for complex diseases. PMID:23285279

  14. Application of quantitative metabolomics in systems genetics in rodent models of complex phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Gauguier, Dominique

    2016-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have provided remarkable advances in our understanding of the etiology of complex diseases in humans and have underlined the need to improve patients' phenotype characterization with intermediate molecular phenotypes. High resolution metabolomics is becoming an increasingly popular and robust strategy for metabolic phenotyping large cohorts of patients and controls in genetic studies, in order to map the genetic control of metabotypes in various biological matrices (organ extracts and biofluids) through Quantitative Trait Locus (mQTL) analysis. This article reviews results from ongoing research in mQTL mapping in rodent models of human complex traits, with a specific focus on the cardiometabolic syndrome, and prospects of applications of untargeted metabolomics to improve knowledge of multilevel genome expression control in health and disease and to detect potential novel biomarkers for complex phenotypes in experimental systems in mice and rats. PMID:26391925

  15. Quantitative Molecular Phenotyping of Gill Remodeling in a Cichlid Fish Responding to Salinity Stress*

    PubMed Central

    Kültz, Dietmar; Li, Johnathon; Gardell, Alison; Sacchi, Romina

    2013-01-01

    A two-tiered label-free quantitative (LFQ) proteomics workflow was used to elucidate how salinity affects the molecular phenotype, i.e. proteome, of gills from a cichlid fish, the euryhaline tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). The workflow consists of initial global profiling of relative tryptic peptide abundances in treated versus control samples followed by targeted identification (by MS/MS) and quantitation (by chromatographic peak area integration) of validated peptides for each protein of interest. Fresh water acclimated tilapia were independently exposed in separate experiments to acute short-term (34 ppt) and gradual long-term (70 ppt, 90 ppt) salinity stress followed by molecular phenotyping of the gill proteome. The severity of salinity stress can be deduced with high technical reproducibility from the initial global label-free quantitative profiling step alone at both peptide and protein levels. However, an accurate regulation ratio can only be determined by targeted label-free quantitative profiling because not all peptides used for protein identification are also valid for quantitation. Of the three salinity challenges, gradual acclimation to 90 ppt has the most pronounced effect on gill molecular phenotype. Known salinity effects on tilapia gills, including an increase in the size and number of mitochondria-rich ionocytes, activities of specific ion transporters, and induction of specific molecular chaperones are reflected in the regulation of abundances of the corresponding proteins. Moreover, specific protein isoforms that are responsive to environmental salinity change are resolved and it is revealed that salinity effects on the mitochondrial proteome are nonuniform. Furthermore, protein NDRG1 has been identified as a novel key component of molecular phenotype restructuring during salinity-induced gill remodeling. In conclusion, besides confirming known effects of salinity on gills of euryhaline fish, molecular phenotyping reveals novel insight into proteome changes that underlie the remodeling of tilapia gill epithelium in response to environmental salinity change. PMID:24065692

  16. PhenoChipping of psychotic disorders: a novel approach for deconstructing and quantitating psychiatric phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Niculescu, Alexander B; Lulow, Len L; Ogden, Corey A; Le-Niculescu, Helen; Salomon, Daniel R; Schork, Nicholas J; Caligiuri, Michael P; Lohr, James B

    2006-09-01

    Psychiatric phenotypes as currently defined are primarily the result of clinical consensus criteria rather than empirical research. We propose, and present initial proof of principle for, a novel approach to characterizing psychiatric phenotypes. We have termed our approach PhenoChipping, by analogy with, and borrowing paradigms and tools from, gene expression microarray studies (GeneChipping). A massive parallel profiling of cognitive and affective state is done with a PhenoChip composed of a battery of existing and new quantitative psychiatric rating scales, as well as hand neuromotor measures. We present preliminary data from 104 subjects, 72 with psychotic disorders (bipolar disorder-41, schizophrenia-17, schizoaffective disorder-14), and 32 normal controls. Microarray data analysis software and visualization tools were used to investigate: 1. relationships between phenotypic items ("phenes"), including with objective motor measures, and 2. relationships between subjects. Our analyses revealed phenotypic overlap among, as well as phenotypic heterogeneity within, the three major psychotic disorders studied. This approach may be useful in helping us move beyond current diagnostic classifications, and suggests a combinatorial building-block (Lego-like) structure underlies psychiatric syndromes. The adaptation of microarray informatic tools for phenotypic analysis readily facilitates direct integration with gene expression profiling of lymphocytes in the same individuals, a strategy for molecular biomarker identification. Empirically derived clusterings of (endo)phenotypes and of patients will better serve genetic, pharmacological, and imaging research, as well as clinical practice. PMID:16838358

  17. Nucleotide sequence variation of GLABRA1 contributing to phenotypic variation of leaf hairiness in Brassicaceae vegetables.

    PubMed

    Li, Feng; Zou, Zhongwei; Yong, Hui-Yee; Kitashiba, Hiroyasu; Nishio, Takeshi

    2013-05-01

    GLABRA1 (GL1) belongs to the group of R2R3-MYB transcription factors and is known to be essential for trichome initiation in Arabidopsis. In our previous study, we identified a GL1 ortholog in Brassica rapa as a candidate for the gene controlling leaf hairiness by QTL analysis and suggested that a 5-bp deletion (B-allele) and a 2-bp deletion (D-allele) in the exon 3 of BrGL1 and a non-synonymous SNP (C-allele) in the second nucleotide of exon 3 possibly cause leaf hairlessness. In this study, we transformed a B. rapa line having the B-allele with the A-allele (wild type) or the C-allele of BrGL1 under the control of the CaMV 35S promoter. The transgenic plants with the A-allele showed dense coverage of seedling tissues including stems, young leaves and hypocotyls with trichomes, whereas the phenotypes of those with the C-allele were unchanged. In order to obtain more information about allelic variation of GL1 in different plant lineages and its correlation with leaf hairiness, two GL1 homologs, i.e., RsGL1a and RsGL1b, in Raphanus sativus were analyzed. Allelic variation of RsGL1a between a hairless line and a hairy line was completely associated with hairiness in their BC1F1 population. Comparison of the full-length of RsGL1a in the hairless and hairy lines showed great variation of nucleotides in the 3' end, which might be essential for its function and expression. PMID:23370467

  18. Genotype-by-Diet Interactions Drive Metabolic Phenotype Variation in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Laura K.; Williams, Stephanie; Springston, Mastafa; Brown, Julie; Freeman, Kenda; DesRoches, Christie E.; Sokolowski, Marla B.; Gibson, Greg

    2010-01-01

    The rising prevalence of complex disease suggests that alterations to the human environment are increasing the proportion of individuals who exceed a threshold of liability. This might be due either to a global shift in the population mean of underlying contributing traits, or to increased variance of such underlying endophenotypes (such as body weight). To contrast these quantitative genetic mechanisms with respect to weight gain, we have quantified the effect of dietary perturbation on metabolic traits in 146 inbred lines of Drosophila melanogaster and show that genotype-by-diet interactions are pervasive. For several metabolic traits, genotype-by-diet interactions account for far more variance (between 12 and 17%) than diet alone (1–2%), and in some cases have as large an effect as genetics alone (11–23%). Substantial dew point effects were also observed. Larval foraging behavior was found to be a quantitative trait exhibiting significant genetic variation for path length (P = 0.0004). Metabolic and fitness traits exhibited a complex correlation structure, and there was evidence of selection minimizing weight under laboratory conditions. In addition, a high fat diet significantly increases population variance in metabolic phenotypes, suggesting decreased robustness in the face of dietary perturbation. Changes in metabolic trait mean and variance in response to diet indicates that shifts in both population mean and variance in underlying traits could contribute to increases in complex disease. PMID:20385784

  19. Detection of differential gene flow from patterns of quantitative variation.

    PubMed

    Relethford, J H; Blangero, J

    1990-02-01

    A major goal in anthropological genetics is the assessment of the effects of different microevolutionary forces. Harpending and Ward (1982) developed a model that aids in this effort by comparing observed and expected heterozygosity within populations in a local region. The expected heterozygosity within a population is a function of the total heterozygosity of the entire region and the distance of the population from the regional mean centroid of allele frequencies. Greater than average gene flow from an external source will result in a population having greater heterozygosity than expected. Less than average gene flow from an external source will result in a population having less heterozygosity than expected. We extend the Harpending-Ward model to quantitative traits using an equal and additive effects model of inheritance. Here the additive genetic variance within a population is directly proportional to heterozygosity, and its expectation is directly proportional to the genetic distance from the centroid. Under certain assumptions the expectations for phenotypic variances are similar. Observed and expected genetic or phenotypic variance can then be compared to assess the effects of differential external gene flow. When the additive genetic covariance matrix or heritabilities are not known, the phenotypic covariance matrix can be used to provide a conservative application of the model. In addition, we develop new methods for estimation of the genetic relationship matrix (R) from quantitative traits. We apply these models to two data sets: (1) six principal components derived from twenty dermatoglyphic ridge count measures for nine villages in Nepal and (2) ten anthropometric measurements for seven isolated populations in western Ireland. In both cases both the univariate and multivariate analyses provide results that can be directly interpreted in terms of historically known patterns of gene flow. PMID:2323770

  20. Decoupled phenotypic variation between floral and vegetative traits: distinguishing between developmental and environmental correlations

    PubMed Central

    Pélabon, Christophe; Osler, Nora C.; Diekmann, Martin; Graae, Bente J.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims In species with specialized pollination, floral traits are expected to be relatively invariant and decoupled from the phenotypic variation affecting vegetative traits. However, inferring the degree of decoupling between morphological characters from patterns of phenotypic correlations is difficult because phenotypic correlations result from the superimposition of several sources of covariance. In this study it is hypothesized that, in some cases, negative environmental correlations generated by non-congruent reaction norms across traits overshadow positive developmental correlations and generate a decoupling of the phenotypic variation between vegetative and floral traits. Methods To test this hypothesis, Campanula rotundifolia were grown from two distinct populations under two temperature treatments, and patterns of correlation were analysed between leaf size and flower size within and among treatments. Key Results Flower size was less sensitive to temperature variation than leaf size. Furthermore, flower size and leaf size showed temperature-induced reaction norms in opposite directions. Flower size decreased with an increasing temperature, while leaf size increased. Consequently, among treatments, correlations between leaf size and flower size were negative or absent, while, within treatments, these correlations were positive or absent in the cold and warm environments, respectively. Conclusions These results confirm that the decoupling of the phenotypic variation between vegetative and floral traits can be dependent on the environment. They also underline the importance of distinguishing sources of phenotypic covariance when testing hypotheses about phenotypic integration. PMID:23471008

  1. Phenotypic variation and genotype-phenotype discordance in canine cone-rod dystrophy with an RPGRIP1 mutation

    PubMed Central

    Kato, Kumiko; Aguirre-Hernández, Jesús; Tokuriki, Tsuyoshi; Morimoto, Kyohei; Busse, Claudia; Barnett, Keith; Holmes, Nigel; Ogawa, Hiroyuki; Sasaki, Nobuo; Mellersh, Cathryn S.; Sargan, David R.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose Previously, a 44 bp insertion in exon 2 of retinitis pigmentosa GTPase interacting protein 1 (RPGRIP1) was identified as the cause of cone-rod dystrophy 1 (cord1), a recessive form of progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) in the Miniature Longhaired Dachshund (MLHD), a dog model for Leber congenital amaurosis. The cord1 locus was mapped using MLHDs from an inbred colony with a homogeneous early onset disease phenotype. In this paper, the MLHD pet population was studied to investigate phenotypic variation and genotype-phenotype correlation. Further, the cord1 locus was fine-mapped using PRA cases from the MLHD pet population to narrow the critical region. Other dog breeds were also screened for the RGPRIP1 insertion. Methods This study examined phenotypic variation in an MLHD pet population that included 59 sporadic PRA cases and 18 members of an extended family with shared environment and having six PRA cases. Ophthalmologic evaluations included behavioral abnormalities, responses to menace and light, fundoscopy, and electroretinography (ERG). The RPGRIP1 insertion was screened for in all cases and 200 apparently normal control MLHDs and in 510 dogs from 66 other breed. To fine-map the cord1 locus in the MLHD, 74 PRA cases and 86 controls aged 4 years or more were genotyped for 24 polymorphic markers within the previously mapped cord1 critical region of 14.15 Mb. Results Among sporadic PRA cases from the MLHD pet population, the age of onset varied from 4 months to 15 years old; MLHDs from the extended family also showed variable onset and rate of progression. Screening for the insertion in RPGRIP1 identified substantial genotype-phenotype discordance: 16% of controls were homozygous for the insertion (RPGRIP1?/?), while 20% of PRA cases were not homozygous for it. Four other breeds were identified to carry the insertion including English Springer Spaniels and Beagles with insertion homozygotes. The former breed included both controls and PRA cases, yet in the latter breed, cone ERG was undetectable in two dogs with no clinically apparent visual dysfunction. Notably, the insertion in the Beagles was a longer variant of that seen in the other breeds. Fine-mapping of the cord1 locus narrowed the critical region on CFA15 from 14.15 Mb to 1.74 Mb which still contains the RPGRIP1 gene. Conclusions Extensive phenotypic variations of onset age and progression rate were observed in PRA cases of the MLHD pet population. The insertion in RPGRIP1 showed the strongest association with the disease, yet additional as well as alternative factors may account for the substantial genotype-phenotype discordance. PMID:19936303

  2. Transgenerational genetic effects on phenotypic variation and disease risk

    PubMed Central

    Nadeau, Joseph H.

    2009-01-01

    Traditionally, we understand that individual phenotypes result primarily from inherited genetic variants together with environmental exposures. However, many studies showed that a remarkable variety of factors including environmental agents, parental behaviors, maternal physiology, xenobiotics, nutritional supplements and others lead to epigenetic changes that can be transmitted to subsequent generations without continued exposure. Recent discoveries show transgenerational epistasis and transgenerational genetic effects where genetic factors in one generation affect phenotypes in subsequent generation without inheritance of the genetic variant in the parents. Together these discoveries implicate a key signaling pathway, chromatin remodeling, methylation, RNA editing and microRNA biology. This exceptional mode of inheritance complicates the search for disease genes and represents perhaps an adaptation to transmit useful gene expression profiles from one generation to the next. In this review, I present evidence for these transgenerational genetic effects, identify their common features, propose a heuristic model to guide the search for mechanisms, discuss the implications, and pose questions whose answers will begin to reveal the underlying mechanisms. PMID:19808797

  3. Stochastic developmental variation, an epigenetic source of phenotypic diversity with far-reaching biological consequences.

    PubMed

    Vogt, Günter

    2015-03-01

    This article reviews the production of different phenotypes from the same genotype in the same environment by stochastic cellular events, nonlinear mechanisms during patterning and morphogenesis, and probabilistic self-reinforcing circuitries in the adult life. These aspects of phenotypic variation are summarized under the term 'stochastic developmental variation' (SDV) in the following. In the past, SDV has been viewed primarily as a nuisance, impairing laboratory experiments, pharmaceutical testing, and true-to-type breeding. This article also emphasizes the positive biological effects of SDV and discusses implications for genotype-to-phenotype mapping, biological individuation, ecology, evolution, and applied biology. There is strong evidence from experiments with genetically identical organisms performed in narrowly standardized laboratory set-ups that SDV is a source of phenotypic variation in its own right aside from genetic variation and environmental variation. It is obviously mediated by molecular and higher-order epigenetic mechanisms. Comparison of SDV in animals, plants, fungi, protists, bacteria, archaeans, and viruses suggests that it is a ubiquitous and phylogenetically old phenomenon. In animals, it is usually smallest for morphometric traits and highest for life history traits and behaviour. SDV is thought to contribute to phenotypic diversity in all populations but is particularly relevant for asexually reproducing and genetically impoverished populations, where it generates individuality despite genetic uniformity. In each generation, SDV produces a range of phenotypes around a well-adapted target phenotype, which is interpreted as a bet-hedging strategy to cope with the unpredictability of dynamic environments. At least some manifestations of SDV are heritable, adaptable, selectable, and evolvable, and therefore, SDV may be seen as a hitherto overlooked evolution factor. SDV is also relevant for husbandry, agriculture, and medicine because most pathogens are asexuals that exploit this third source of phenotypic variation to modify infectivity and resistance to antibiotics. Since SDV affects all types of organisms and almost all aspects of life, it urgently requires more intense research and a better integration into biological thinking. PMID:25740150

  4. Maize pan-transcriptome provides novel insights into genome complexity and quantitative trait variation

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Minliang; Liu, Haijun; He, Cheng; Fu, Junjie; Xiao, Yingjie; Wang, Yuebin; Xie, Weibo; Wang, Guoying; Yan, Jianbing

    2016-01-01

    Gene expression variation largely contributes to phenotypic diversity and constructing pan-transcriptome is considered necessary for species with complex genomes. However, the regulation mechanisms and functional consequences of pan-transcriptome is unexplored systematically. By analyzing RNA-seq data from 368 maize diverse inbred lines, we identified almost one-third nuclear genes under expression presence and absence variation, which tend to play regulatory roles and are likely regulated by distant eQTLs. The ePAV was directly used as “genotype” to perform GWAS for 15 agronomic phenotypes and 526 metabolic traits to efficiently explore the associations between transcriptomic and phenomic variations. Through a modified assembly strategy, 2,355 high-confidence novel sequences with total 1.9 Mb lengths were found absent within reference genome. Ten randomly selected novel sequences were fully validated with genomic PCR, including another two NBS_LRR candidates potentially affect flavonoids and disease-resistance. A simulation analysis suggested that the pan-transcriptome of the maize whole kernel is approaching a maximum value of 63,000 genes, and through developing two test-cross populations and surveying several most important yield traits, the dispensable genes were shown to contribute to heterosis. Novel perspectives and resources to discover maize quantitative trait variations were provided to better understand the kernel regulation networks and to enhance maize breeding. PMID:26729541

  5. Maize pan-transcriptome provides novel insights into genome complexity and quantitative trait variation.

    PubMed

    Jin, Minliang; Liu, Haijun; He, Cheng; Fu, Junjie; Xiao, Yingjie; Wang, Yuebin; Xie, Weibo; Wang, Guoying; Yan, Jianbing

    2016-01-01

    Gene expression variation largely contributes to phenotypic diversity and constructing pan-transcriptome is considered necessary for species with complex genomes. However, the regulation mechanisms and functional consequences of pan-transcriptome is unexplored systematically. By analyzing RNA-seq data from 368 maize diverse inbred lines, we identified almost one-third nuclear genes under expression presence and absence variation, which tend to play regulatory roles and are likely regulated by distant eQTLs. The ePAV was directly used as "genotype" to perform GWAS for 15 agronomic phenotypes and 526 metabolic traits to efficiently explore the associations between transcriptomic and phenomic variations. Through a modified assembly strategy, 2,355 high-confidence novel sequences with total 1.9 Mb lengths were found absent within reference genome. Ten randomly selected novel sequences were fully validated with genomic PCR, including another two NBS_LRR candidates potentially affect flavonoids and disease-resistance. A simulation analysis suggested that the pan-transcriptome of the maize whole kernel is approaching a maximum value of 63,000 genes, and through developing two test-cross populations and surveying several most important yield traits, the dispensable genes were shown to contribute to heterosis. Novel perspectives and resources to discover maize quantitative trait variations were provided to better understand the kernel regulation networks and to enhance maize breeding. PMID:26729541

  6. Tissue Culture-Induced Heritable Genomic Variation in Rice, and Their Phenotypic Implications

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Yang; Liu, Ying; Wu, Ying; Bai, Yan; Zhang, Zhibin; Lin, Xiuyun; Dong, Yuzhu; Ou, Xiufang; Xu, Chunming; Liu, Bao

    2014-01-01

    Background Somaclonal variation generally occurs in plants regenerated from tissue culture. However, fundamental issues regarding molecular characteristics, mutation rates and mutation spectra of plant somatic variation as well as their phenotypic relevance have been addressed only recently. Moreover, these studies have reported highly discrepant results in different plant species and even in the same plant genotype. Methodology/principal findings We investigated heritable genomic variation induced by tissue culture in rice by whole genome re-sequencing of an extensively selfed somaclonal line (TC-reg-2008) and its wild type (WT) donor (cv. Hitomebore). We computed the overall mutation rate, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), small scale insertions/deletions (Indels) and mobilization of transposable elements (TEs). We assessed chromosomal distribution of the various types of genomic variations, tested correlations between SNPs and Indels, and examined concomitancy between TE activity and its cytosine methylation states. We also performed gene ontology (GO) analysis of genes containing nonsynonymous mutations and large-effect mutations, and assayed effects of the genomic variations on phenotypes under both normal growing condition and several abiotic stresses. We found that heritable somaclonal genomic variation occurred extensively in rice. The genomic variations distributed non-randomly across each of the 12 rice chromosomes, and affected a large number of functional genes. The phenotypic penetrance of the genomic variations was condition-dependent. Conclusions/significance Tissue culture is a potent means to generate heritable genetic variations in rice, which bear distinct difference at least in space (chromosomal distribution) from those occurred under natural settings. Our findings have provided new information regarding the mutation rate and spectrum as well as chromosomal distribution pattern of somaclonal variation in rice. Our data also suggest that rice possesses a strong capacity to canalize genetic variations under normal growing conditions to maintain phenotypic robustness, which however can be released by certain abiotic stresses to generate variable phenotypes. PMID:24804838

  7. Copy number variations and cognitive phenotypes in unselected populations

    PubMed Central

    Männik, Katrin; Mägi, Reedik; Macé, Aurélien; Cole, Ben; Guyatt, Anna; Shihab, Hashem A.; Maillard, Anne M.; Alavere, Helene; Kolk, Anneli; Reigo, Anu; Mihailov, Evelin; Leitsalu, Liis; Ferreira, Anne-Maud; Nõukas, Margit; Teumer, Alexander; Salvi, Erika; Cusi, Daniele; McGue, Matt; Iacono, William G.; Gaunt, Tom R.; Beckmann, Jacques S.; Jacquemont, Sébastien; Kutalik, Zoltán; Pankratz, Nathan; Timpson, Nicholas; Metspalu, Andres; Reymond, Alexandre

    2015-01-01

    Importance The association of rare copy number variants (CNVs) with complex disorders is almost exclusively evaluated using clinically ascertained cohorts. As a result, the contribution of these genetic variants to cognitive phenotypes in the general population remains unclear. Objectives - To investigate the clinical features of genomic disorders in adult carriers without clinical pre-selection. - To assess the genome-wide burden of rare CNVs on carriers’ educational attainment and intellectual disability prevalence in the general population. Design, Setting, and Participants The population biobank of Estonia (EGCUT) contains 52,000 participants, or 5% of the Estonian adults, enrolled in 2002-2010. General practitioners examined participants and filled out a questionnaire of health- and lifestyle-related questions, as well as reported diagnoses. As EGCUT is representative of the country's population, we investigated a random sample of 7877 individuals for CNV analysis and genotype-phenotype associations with education and disease traits. Main Outcomes and Measures Phenotypes of genomic disorders in the general population, prevalence of autosomal CNVs, and association of the latter variants with decreased educational attainment and increased prevalence of intellectual disability. Results We identified 56 carriers of genomic disorders. Their phenotypes are reminiscent of those described for carriers of identical rearrangements ascertained in clinical cohorts. We also generated a genome-wide map of rare (frequency ?0.05%) autosomal CNVs and identified 10.5% of the screened general population (n=831) as carriers of CNVs ?250kb. Carriers of deletions ?250kb or duplications ?1Mb show, compared to the Estonian population, a greater prevalence of intellectual disability (P=0.0015, OR=3.16, (95%CI: 1.51-5.98); P=0.0083, OR=3.67, (95%CI: 1.29-8.54), respectively), reduced mean education attainment (a proxy for intelligence; P=1.06e-04; P=5.024e-05, respectively) and an increased fraction of individuals not graduating from secondary school (P=0.005, OR=1.48 (95%CI: 1.12-1.95); P=0.0016, OR=1.89 (95%CI: 1.27-2.8), respectively). The deletions show evidence of enrichment for genes with a role in neurogenesis, cognition, learning, memory and behavior. Evidence for an association between rare CNVs and decreased educational attainment was confirmed by analyses in adult cohorts of Italian (HYPERGENES) and European American (Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research) individuals, as well as in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) birth cohort. Conclusions and Relevance Our results challenge the assumption that carriers of known syndromic CNVs identified in population cohorts are asymptomatic. They also indicate that individually rare but collectively common intermediate-size CNVs contribute to the variance in educational attainment. Refinements of these findings in additional population groups is warranted given the potential implications of this observation for genomics research, clinical care, and public health. PMID:26010633

  8. KRN4 Controls Quantitative Variation in Maize Kernel Row Number

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Lei; Du, Yanfang; Shen, Xiaomeng; Li, Manfei; Sun, Wei; Huang, Juan; Liu, Zhijie; Tao, Yongsheng; Zheng, Yonglian; Yan, Jianbing; Zhang, Zuxin

    2015-01-01

    Kernel row number (KRN) is an important component of yield during the domestication and improvement of maize and controlled by quantitative trait loci (QTL). Here, we fine-mapped a major KRN QTL, KRN4, which can enhance grain productivity by increasing KRN per ear. We found that a ~3-Kb intergenic region about 60 Kb downstream from the SBP-box gene Unbranched3 (UB3) was responsible for quantitative variation in KRN by regulating the level of UB3 expression. Within the 3-Kb region, the 1.2-Kb Presence-Absence variant was found to be strongly associated with quantitative variation in KRN in diverse maize inbred lines, and our results suggest that this 1.2-Kb transposon-containing insertion is likely responsible for increased KRN. A previously identified A/G SNP (S35, also known as Ser220Asn) in UB3 was also found to be significantly associated with KRN in our association-mapping panel. Although no visible genetic effect of S35 alone could be detected in our linkage mapping population, it was found to genetically interact with the 1.2-Kb PAV to modulate KRN. The KRN4 was under strong selection during maize domestication and the favorable allele for the 1.2-Kb PAV and S35 has been significantly enriched in modern maize improvement process. The favorable haplotype (Hap1) of 1.2-Kb-PAV-S35 was selected during temperate maize improvement, but is still rare in tropical and subtropical maize germplasm. The dissection of the KRN4 locus improves our understanding of the genetic basis of quantitative variation in complex traits in maize. PMID:26575831

  9. Quantitative trait loci affecting response to crowding stress in an F(2) generation of rainbow trout produced through phenotypic selection.

    PubMed

    Rexroad, Caird E; Vallejo, Roger L; Liu, Sixin; Palti, Yniv; Weber, Gregory M

    2013-10-01

    Selective breeding programs for salmonids typically aim to improve traits associated with growth and disease resistance. It has been established that stressors common to production environments can adversely affect these and other traits which are important to producers and consumers. Previously, we employed phenotypic selection to create families that exhibit high or low plasma cortisol concentrations in response to crowding stress. Subsequent crosses of high × low phenotypes founded a multigenerational breeding scheme with the aim of dissecting the genetic basis for variation underlying stress response through the identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL). Multiple methods of QTL analyses differing in their assumptions of homozygosity of the causal alleles in the grandparental generation yielded similar results in the F1 generation, and the analysis of two stress response phenotype measurement indexes were highly correlated. In the current study, we conducted a genome scan with microsatellites to detect QTL in the F2 generation of two families created through phenotypic selection and having larger numbers of offspring than families screened in the previous generation. Seven suggestive and three significant QTL were detected, seven of which were not previously detected in the National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture germplasm, bringing the total number of chromosomes containing significant and suggestive stress response QTL to 4 and 15, respectively. One significant QTL which peaks at 7 cM on chromosome Omy12 spans 12 cM and explains 25 % of the phenotypic variance in family 2008052 particularly warrants further investigation. Five QTL with significant parent-of-origin effects were detected in family 2008052, including two QTL on Omy12. The 95 % confidence intervals for the remaining QTL we detected were broad, requiring validation and fine mapping with other genotyping approaches and mapping strategies. These results will facilitate identification of potential casual alleles that can be employed in strategies aimed at better understanding the genetic and physiological basis of stress responses to crowding in rainbow trout aquaculture production. PMID:23709047

  10. Gene Expression in Transformed Lymphocytes Reveals Variation in Endomembrane and HLA Pathways Modifying Cystic Fibrosis Pulmonary Phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    O’Neal, Wanda K.; Gallins, Paul; Pace, Rhonda G.; Dang, Hong; Wolf, Whitney E.; Jones, Lisa C.; Guo, XueLiang; Zhou, Yi-Hui; Madar, Vered; Huang, Jinyan; Liang, Liming; Moffatt, Miriam F.; Cutting, Garry R.; Drumm, Mitchell L.; Rommens, Johanna M.; Strug, Lisa J.; Sun, Wei; Stonebraker, Jaclyn R.; Wright, Fred A.; Knowles, Michael R.

    2015-01-01

    Variation in cystic fibrosis (CF) phenotypes, including lung disease severity, age of onset of persistent Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) lung infection, and presence of meconium ileus (MI), has been partially explained by genome-wide association studies (GWASs). It is not expected that GWASs alone are sufficiently powered to uncover all heritable traits associated with CF phenotypic diversity. Therefore, we utilized gene expression association from lymphoblastoid cells lines from 754 p.Phe508del CF-affected homozygous individuals to identify genes and pathways. LPAR6, a G protein coupled receptor, associated with lung disease severity (false discovery rate q value = 0.0006). Additional pathway analyses, utilizing a stringent permutation-based approach, identified unique signals for all three phenotypes. Pathways associated with lung disease severity were annotated in three broad categories: (1) endomembrane function, containing p.Phe508del processing genes, providing evidence of the importance of p.Phe508del processing to explain lung phenotype variation; (2) HLA class I genes, extending previous GWAS findings in the HLA region; and (3) endoplasmic reticulum stress response genes. Expression pathways associated with lung disease were concordant for some endosome and HLA pathways, with pathways identified using GWAS associations from 1,978 CF-affected individuals. Pathways associated with age of onset of persistent P. aeruginosa infection were enriched for HLA class II genes, and those associated with MI were related to oxidative phosphorylation. Formal testing demonstrated that genes showing differential expression associated with lung disease severity were enriched for heritable genetic variation and expression quantitative traits. Gene expression provided a powerful tool to identify unrecognized heritable variation, complementing ongoing GWASs in this rare disease. PMID:25640674

  11. Gene expression in transformed lymphocytes reveals variation in endomembrane and HLA pathways modifying cystic fibrosis pulmonary phenotypes.

    PubMed

    O'Neal, Wanda K; Gallins, Paul; Pace, Rhonda G; Dang, Hong; Wolf, Whitney E; Jones, Lisa C; Guo, XueLiang; Zhou, Yi-Hui; Madar, Vered; Huang, Jinyan; Liang, Liming; Moffatt, Miriam F; Cutting, Garry R; Drumm, Mitchell L; Rommens, Johanna M; Strug, Lisa J; Sun, Wei; Stonebraker, Jaclyn R; Wright, Fred A; Knowles, Michael R

    2015-02-01

    Variation in cystic fibrosis (CF) phenotypes, including lung disease severity, age of onset of persistent Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) lung infection, and presence of meconium ileus (MI), has been partially explained by genome-wide association studies (GWASs). It is not expected that GWASs alone are sufficiently powered to uncover all heritable traits associated with CF phenotypic diversity. Therefore, we utilized gene expression association from lymphoblastoid cells lines from 754 p.Phe508del CF-affected homozygous individuals to identify genes and pathways. LPAR6, a G protein coupled receptor, associated with lung disease severity (false discovery rate q value = 0.0006). Additional pathway analyses, utilizing a stringent permutation-based approach, identified unique signals for all three phenotypes. Pathways associated with lung disease severity were annotated in three broad categories: (1) endomembrane function, containing p.Phe508del processing genes, providing evidence of the importance of p.Phe508del processing to explain lung phenotype variation; (2) HLA class I genes, extending previous GWAS findings in the HLA region; and (3) endoplasmic reticulum stress response genes. Expression pathways associated with lung disease were concordant for some endosome and HLA pathways, with pathways identified using GWAS associations from 1,978 CF-affected individuals. Pathways associated with age of onset of persistent P. aeruginosa infection were enriched for HLA class II genes, and those associated with MI were related to oxidative phosphorylation. Formal testing demonstrated that genes showing differential expression associated with lung disease severity were enriched for heritable genetic variation and expression quantitative traits. Gene expression provided a powerful tool to identify unrecognized heritable variation, complementing ongoing GWASs in this rare disease. PMID:25640674

  12. Relevance of phenotypic variation in risk assessment: The scientific viewpoint

    SciTech Connect

    Setlow, R.B.

    1986-01-01

    A number of examples are presented indicating the types of variation that may be expected in the responses of the human population to deleterious agents of an endogeneous or exogenous nature. If one assumes that the variations in repair in the normal population are reflected in large variations in carcinogenic risk per unit of exposure, then the dose-response curves at low doses cannot be extrapolated from high doeses without knowing the distribution of sensitivities among humans. The probability of determining this range by ecpidemiological studies on a random population by small. On the other hand, the probability of determining the range by careful genetic and molecular studies appears high enough so that such experiments now are being carried out. They cannot be carried out on real populations, using chronic exposures. Hence, the ability to estimate dose-response relations in the low dose region on human populations can only be by making theoretical constructs that, in turn, are dependent on fundamental research. 12 refs., 2 tabs.

  13. Rapid Plant Invasion in Distinct Climates Involves Different Sources of Phenotypic Variation

    PubMed Central

    Monty, Arnaud; Bizoux, Jean-Philippe; Escarré, José; Mahy, Grégory

    2013-01-01

    When exotic species spread over novel environments, their phenotype will depend on a combination of different processes, including phenotypic plasticity (PP), local adaptation (LA), environmental maternal effects (EME) and genetic drift (GD). Few attempts have been made to simultaneously address the importance of those processes in plant invasion. The present study uses the well-documented invasion history of Senecio inaequidens (Asteraceae) in southern France, where it was introduced at a single wool-processing site. It gradually invaded the Mediterranean coast and the Pyrenean Mountains, which have noticeably different climates. We used seeds from Pyrenean and Mediterranean populations, as well as populations from the first introduction area, to explore the phenotypic variation related to climatic variation. A reciprocal sowing experiment was performed with gardens under Mediterranean and Pyrenean climates. We analyzed climatic phenotypic variation in germination, growth, reproduction, leaf physiology and survival. Genetic structure in the studied invasion area was characterized using AFLP. We found consistent genetic differentiation in growth traits but no home-site advantage, so weak support for LA to climate. In contrast, genetic differentiation showed a relationship with colonization history. PP in response to climate was observed for most traits, and it played an important role in leaf trait variation. EME mediated by seed mass influenced all but leaf traits in a Pyrenean climate. Heavier, earlier-germinating seeds produced larger individuals that produced more flower heads throughout the growing season. However, in the Mediterranean garden, seed mass only influenced the germination rate. The results show that phenotypic variation in response to climate depends on various ecological and evolutionary processes associated with geographical zone and life history traits. Seeing the relative importance of EME and GD, we argue that a “local adaptation vs. phenotypic plasticity” approach is therefore not sufficient to fully understand what shapes phenotypic variation and genetic architecture of invasive populations. PMID:23383251

  14. Acetylation phenotypes and biological variation in a French Caucasian population.

    PubMed

    Pontes, Z B; Vincent-Viry, M; Gueguen, R; Galteau, M M; Siest, G

    1993-02-01

    Factors affecting the caffeine acetylation phenotype were investigated in a French Caucasian population of 150 unrelated supposedly healthy subjects, aged 18 to 63 years. This population, including 75 men and 75 women, was used to determine whether the acetylation polymorphism is related to environmental influences such as smoking habits, intake of alcohol, use of oral contraceptives, use of certain drugs. The acetylation phenotype was assessed from the molar ratio of two caffeine metabolites: 5-acetylamino-6-formylamino-3-methyluracil/1-methylxanthine. For values less than 0.85, the subjects were classified as poor acetylators (frequency, mean +/- SD: 61.3 +/- 7.9%) in this study. Dose recoveries of 5-acetylamino-6-formylamino-3-methyluracil (mean +/- SD) were 1.26 +/- 0.85% and 3.58 +/- 1.64% in slow and rapid acetylators, respectively. The recovery (mean +/- SD) of 1-methylxanthine in the 3 hour-urine was 2.86 +/- 1.51% in slow acetylators and 2.36 +/- 1.27% in rapid acetylators. The mean value (and SD) of the molar ratio was 0.437 (0.177) and 1.669 (0.651) for slow and rapid acetylators. Three other metabolite ratios can also provide an acetylation index: 5-acetylamino-6-formylamino-3-methyluracil/5-acetylamino-6-formylamino-3 - methyluracil + 1-methylxanthine + 1-methyluric acid; 5-acetylamino-6-formylamino-3-methyluracil/1-methylxanthine + 1-methyluric acid + 1,7-dimethyluric acid; and 5-acetylamino-6-formylamino-3-methyluracil/1-methylxanthine + 1-methyluric acid + 1,7-dimethyluric acid + 1,7-dimethylxanthine with a bimodal distribution for the former and a trimodal distribution for the two latter ratios, both showing about 95% concordance with the 5-acetylamino-6-formylamino-3-methyluracil/1-methylxanthine ratio. Age did not influence the excretion of caffeine and its five major metabolites. A marked influence of sex was observed only on the unchanged caffeine excretion, and the effect was greater in slow acetylators than in rapid acetylators. The 5-acetylamino-6-formylamino-3-methyluracil excretion was about three times higher in rapid acetylators than in slow acetylators in both sexes. PMID:8467011

  15. Impact of Temporal Variation on Design and Analysis of Mouse Knockout Phenotyping Studies

    PubMed Central

    Karp, Natasha A.; Speak, Anneliese O.; White, Jacqueline K.; Adams, David J.; Hrabé de Angelis, Martin; Hérault, Yann; Mott, Richard F.

    2014-01-01

    A significant challenge facing high-throughput phenotyping of in-vivo knockout mice is ensuring phenotype calls are robust and reliable. Central to this problem is selecting an appropriate statistical analysis that models both the experimental design (the workflow and the way control mice are selected for comparison with knockout animals) and the sources of variation. Recently we proposed a mixed model suitable for small batch-oriented studies, where controls are not phenotyped concurrently with mutants. Here we evaluate this method both for its sensitivity to detect phenotypic effects and to control false positives, across a range of workflows used at mouse phenotyping centers. We found the sensitivity and control of false positives depend on the workflow. We show that the phenotypes in control mice fluctuate unexpectedly between batches and this can cause the false positive rate of phenotype calls to be inflated when only a small number of batches are tested, when the effect of knockout becomes confounded with temporal fluctuations in control mice. This effect was observed in both behavioural and physiological assays. Based on this analysis, we recommend two approaches (workflow and accompanying control strategy) and associated analyses, which would be robust, for use in high-throughput phenotyping pipelines. Our results show the importance in modelling all sources of variability in high-throughput phenotyping studies. PMID:25343444

  16. Impact of temporal variation on design and analysis of mouse knockout phenotyping studies.

    PubMed

    Karp, Natasha A; Speak, Anneliese O; White, Jacqueline K; Adams, David J; Hrabé de Angelis, Martin; Hérault, Yann; Mott, Richard F

    2014-01-01

    A significant challenge facing high-throughput phenotyping of in-vivo knockout mice is ensuring phenotype calls are robust and reliable. Central to this problem is selecting an appropriate statistical analysis that models both the experimental design (the workflow and the way control mice are selected for comparison with knockout animals) and the sources of variation. Recently we proposed a mixed model suitable for small batch-oriented studies, where controls are not phenotyped concurrently with mutants. Here we evaluate this method both for its sensitivity to detect phenotypic effects and to control false positives, across a range of workflows used at mouse phenotyping centers. We found the sensitivity and control of false positives depend on the workflow. We show that the phenotypes in control mice fluctuate unexpectedly between batches and this can cause the false positive rate of phenotype calls to be inflated when only a small number of batches are tested, when the effect of knockout becomes confounded with temporal fluctuations in control mice. This effect was observed in both behavioural and physiological assays. Based on this analysis, we recommend two approaches (workflow and accompanying control strategy) and associated analyses, which would be robust, for use in high-throughput phenotyping pipelines. Our results show the importance in modelling all sources of variability in high-throughput phenotyping studies. PMID:25343444

  17. Genetic variation in aggregation behaviour and interacting phenotypes in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Philippe, Anne-Sophie; Jeanson, Raphael; Pasquaretta, Cristian; Rebaudo, Francois; Sueur, Cedric; Mery, Frederic

    2016-03-30

    Aggregation behaviour is the tendency for animals to group together, which may have important consequences on individual fitness. We used a combination of experimental and simulation approaches to study how genetic variation and social environment interact to influence aggregation dynamics inDrosophila To do this, we used two different natural lines ofDrosophilathat arise from a polymorphism in theforaginggene (rovers and sitters). We placed groups of flies in a heated arena. Flies could freely move towards one of two small, cooler refuge areas. In groups of the same strain, sitters had a greater tendency to aggregate. The observed behavioural variation was based on only two parameters: the probability of entering a refuge and the likelihood of choosing a refuge based on the number of individuals present. We then directly addressed how different strains interact by mixing rovers and sitters within a group. Aggregation behaviour of each line was strongly affected by the presence of the other strain, without changing the decision rules used by each. Individuals obeying local rules shaped complex group dynamics via a constant feedback loop between the individual and the group. This study could help to identify the circumstances under which particular group compositions may improve individual fitness through underlying aggregation mechanisms under specific environmental conditions. PMID:27009219

  18. Life history as a constraint on plasticity: developmental timing is correlated with phenotypic variation in birds.

    PubMed

    Snell-Rood, E C; Swanson, E M; Young, R L

    2015-10-01

    Understanding why organisms vary in developmental plasticity has implications for predicting population responses to changing environments and the maintenance of intraspecific variation. The epiphenotype hypothesis posits that the timing of development can constrain plasticity-the earlier alternate phenotypes begin to develop, the greater the difference that can result amongst the final traits. This research extends this idea by considering how life history timing shapes the opportunity for the environment to influence trait development. We test the prediction that the earlier an individual begins to actively interact with and explore their environment, the greater the opportunity for plasticity and thus variation in foraging traits. This research focuses on life history variation across four groups of birds using museum specimens and measurements from the literature. We reasoned that greater phenotypic plasticity, through either environmental effects or genotype-by-environment interactions in development, would be manifest in larger trait ranges (bills and tarsi) within species. Among shorebirds and ducks, we found that species with relatively shorter incubation times tended to show greater phenotypic variation. Across warblers and sparrows, we found little support linking timing of flight and trait variation. Overall, our results also suggest a pattern between body size and trait variation, consistent with constraints on egg size that might result in larger species having more environmental influences on development. Taken together, our results provide some support for the hypothesis that variation in life histories affects how the environment shapes development, through either the expression of plasticity or the release of cryptic genetic variation. PMID:26039409

  19. Integrating environmental variation, predation pressure, phenotypic plasticity and locomotor performance.

    PubMed

    Fu, Shi-Jian; Cao, Zhen-Dong; Yan, Guan-Jie; Fu, Cheng; Pang, Xu

    2013-10-01

    The Wujiang River, a tributary of the Three Gorges Reservoir, has many dams along its length. These dams alter the river's natural habitat and produce various flow regimes and degrees of predator stress. To test whether the swimming performance and external body shape of pale chub (Zacco platypus) have changed as a result of alterations in the flow regime and predator conditions, we measured the steady (U(crit)) and unsteady (fast-start) swimming performances and morphological characteristics of fish collected from different sites along the Wujiang River. We also calculated the maximum respiratory capacity and cost of transport (COT). We demonstrated significant differences in swimming performance and morphological traits among the sampling sites. Steady swimming performance was positively correlated with water velocity and negatively correlated with the abundance of predators, whereas unsteady swimming performance was negatively correlated with water velocity. The body shape was significantly correlated with both swimming performance and ecological parameters. These findings suggested that selection pressure on swimming performance results in a higher U(crit) and a more streamlined body shape in fast-flow and (or) in habitats with low predator stress and subsequently results in a lower COT. These characteristics were accompanied by a poorer fast-start performance than that of the fish from the slow-flow and (or) high-predator habitats. The divergence in U(crit) may also be due in part to variation in respiratory capacity. PMID:23463244

  20. Genetic Architectures of Quantitative Variation in RNA Editing Pathways.

    PubMed

    Gu, Tongjun; Gatti, Daniel M; Srivastava, Anuj; Snyder, Elizabeth M; Raghupathy, Narayanan; Simecek, Petr; Svenson, Karen L; Dotu, Ivan; Chuang, Jeffrey H; Keller, Mark P; Attie, Alan D; Braun, Robert E; Churchill, Gary A

    2016-02-01

    RNA editing refers to post-transcriptional processes that alter the base sequence of RNA. Recently, hundreds of new RNA editing targets have been reported. However, the mechanisms that determine the specificity and degree of editing are not well understood. We examined quantitative variation of site-specific editing in a genetically diverse multiparent population, Diversity Outbred mice, and mapped polymorphic loci that alter editing ratios globally for C-to-U editing and at specific sites for A-to-I editing. An allelic series in the C-to-U editing enzyme Apobec1 influences the editing efficiency of Apob and 58 additional C-to-U editing targets. We identified 49 A-to-I editing sites with polymorphisms in the edited transcript that alter editing efficiency. In contrast to the shared genetic control of C-to-U editing, most of the variable A-to-I editing sites were determined by local nucleotide polymorphisms in proximity to the editing site in the RNA secondary structure. Our results indicate that RNA editing is a quantitative trait subject to genetic variation and that evolutionary constraints have given rise to distinct genetic architectures in the two canonical types of RNA editing. PMID:26614740

  1. Optimizing experimental procedures for quantitative evaluation of crop plant performance in high throughput phenotyping systems

    PubMed Central

    Junker, Astrid; Muraya, Moses M.; Weigelt-Fischer, Kathleen; Arana-Ceballos, Fernando; Klukas, Christian; Melchinger, Albrecht E.; Meyer, Rhonda C.; Riewe, David; Altmann, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Detailed and standardized protocols for plant cultivation in environmentally controlled conditions are an essential prerequisite to conduct reproducible experiments with precisely defined treatments. Setting up appropriate and well defined experimental procedures is thus crucial for the generation of solid evidence and indispensable for successful plant research. Non-invasive and high throughput (HT) phenotyping technologies offer the opportunity to monitor and quantify performance dynamics of several hundreds of plants at a time. Compared to small scale plant cultivations, HT systems have much higher demands, from a conceptual and a logistic point of view, on experimental design, as well as the actual plant cultivation conditions, and the image analysis and statistical methods for data evaluation. Furthermore, cultivation conditions need to be designed that elicit plant performance characteristics corresponding to those under natural conditions. This manuscript describes critical steps in the optimization of procedures for HT plant phenotyping systems. Starting with the model plant Arabidopsis, HT-compatible methods were tested, and optimized with regard to growth substrate, soil coverage, watering regime, experimental design (considering environmental inhomogeneities) in automated plant cultivation and imaging systems. As revealed by metabolite profiling, plant movement did not affect the plants' physiological status. Based on these results, procedures for maize HT cultivation and monitoring were established. Variation of maize vegetative growth in the HT phenotyping system did match well with that observed in the field. The presented results outline important issues to be considered in the design of HT phenotyping experiments for model and crop plants. It thereby provides guidelines for the setup of HT experimental procedures, which are required for the generation of reliable and reproducible data of phenotypic variation for a broad range of applications. PMID:25653655

  2. Combined mass quantitation and phenotyping of intact extracellular vesicles by a microarray platform.

    PubMed

    Gagni, Paola; Cretich, Marina; Benussi, Luisa; Tonoli, Elisa; Ciani, Miriam; Ghidoni, Roberta; Santini, Benedetta; Galbiati, Elisabetta; Prosperi, Davide; Chiari, Marcella

    2016-01-01

    The interest towards extracellular vesicles (EVs) has grown exponentially over the last few years; being involved in intercellular communication and serving as reservoirs for biomarkers for tumors, they have a great potential for liquid biopsy development, possibly replacing many costly and invasive tissue biopsies. Here we propose, for the first time, the use of a Si/SiO2 interferometric, microarray platform for multiparametric intact EVs analysis combining label-free EVs mass quantitation and high sensitivity fluorescence based phenotyping. Label free interferometric measurement allows to quantify the amount of vesicles captured by printed antibodies while, on the same chip, EVs are also detected by fluorescence in a sandwich immunoassay. The proposed method simultaneously detects, quantify and phenotype intact EVs in a microarray format. PMID:26703266

  3. ClinVar: public archive of relationships among sequence variation and human phenotype.

    PubMed

    Landrum, Melissa J; Lee, Jennifer M; Riley, George R; Jang, Wonhee; Rubinstein, Wendy S; Church, Deanna M; Maglott, Donna R

    2014-01-01

    ClinVar (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/clinvar/) provides a freely available archive of reports of relationships among medically important variants and phenotypes. ClinVar accessions submissions reporting human variation, interpretations of the relationship of that variation to human health and the evidence supporting each interpretation. The database is tightly coupled with dbSNP and dbVar, which maintain information about the location of variation on human assemblies. ClinVar is also based on the phenotypic descriptions maintained in MedGen (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/medgen). Each ClinVar record represents the submitter, the variation and the phenotype, i.e. the unit that is assigned an accession of the format SCV000000000.0. The submitter can update the submission at any time, in which case a new version is assigned. To facilitate evaluation of the medical importance of each variant, ClinVar aggregates submissions with the same variation/phenotype combination, adds value from other NCBI databases, assigns a distinct accession of the format RCV000000000.0 and reports if there are conflicting clinical interpretations. Data in ClinVar are available in multiple formats, including html, download as XML, VCF or tab-delimited subsets. Data from ClinVar are provided as annotation tracks on genomic RefSeqs and are used in tools such as Variation Reporter (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/variation/tools/reporter), which reports what is known about variation based on user-supplied locations. PMID:24234437

  4. Estimation Of The Proportion Of Variation Accounted For By DNA Tests. II: Phenotypic Variance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The proportion of phenotypic variation accounted for (Rp2) is an important characteristic of a DNA test. Therefore, several estimators of this quantity were evaluated by simulation of 500 replicates of a population of 1000 progeny of 100 sires (3 levels of narrow sense heritability and 4 levels of ...

  5. The quantitative genetics of floral trait variation in Lobelia: potential constraints on adaptive evolution.

    PubMed

    Caruso, Christina M

    2004-04-01

    Although pollinator-mediated natural selection has been measured on many floral traits and in many species, the extent to which selection is constrained from producing optimal floral phenotypes is less frequently studied. In particular, negative correlations between flower size and flower number are hypothesized to be a major constraint on the evolution of floral displays, yet few empirical studies have documented such a trade-off. To determine the potential for genetic constraints on the adaptive evolution of floral displays, I estimated the quantitative genetic basis of floral trait variation in two populations of Lobelia siphilitica. Restricted maximum likelihood (REML) analyses of greenhouse-grown half-sib families were used to estimate genetic variances and covariances for flower number and six measures of flower size. There was significant genetic variation for all seven floral traits in both populations. Flower number was negatively genetically correlated with four measures of flower size in one population and three measures in the other. When the genetic variance-covariance matrices were combined with field estimates of phenotypic selection gradients, the predicted multivariate evolutionary response was less than or opposite in sign to the selection gradient for flower number and five of six measures of flower size, suggesting genetic constraints on the evolution of these traits. More generally, my results indicate that the adaptive evolution of floral displays can be constrained by trade-offs between flower size and number, as has been assumed by many theoretical models of floral evolution. PMID:15154549

  6. A quantitative study of cerebrovascular variation in inbred mice.

    PubMed Central

    Ward, R; Collins, R L; Tanguay, G; Miceli, D

    1990-01-01

    The arteries of the base of the mouse brain were examined after perfusion with India ink. A qualitative difference exists between inbred mice of three strains (C57BL/6J, 129/J and BALB/cCF) on the one hand, and genetically defined heterogeneous mice on the other; the latter consistently show anomalies similar to those previously described in genetically undefined rodents, whereas inbred mice do not. A quantitative morphometric analysis of the Circle of Willis of inbred mice was undertaken. The results of this analysis are consistent with the notion that the differences in shape between the circles of Willis of different strains of inbred mice are due to additive genetic variation between these strains. PMID:2074233

  7. Quantitative Trait Loci Identify Functional Noncoding Variation in Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Heyn, Holger

    2016-01-01

    The interpretation of noncoding alterations in cancer genomes presents an unresolved problem in cancer studies. While the impact of somatic variations in protein-coding regions is widely accepted, noncoding aberrations are mostly considered as passenger events. However, with the advance of genome-wide profiling strategies, alterations outside the coding context entered the focus, and multiple examples highlight the role of gene deregulation as cancer-driving events. This review describes the implication of noncoding alterations in oncogenesis and provides a theoretical framework for the identification of causal somatic variants using quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis. Assuming that functional noncoding alterations affect quantifiable regulatory processes, somatic QTL studies constitute a valuable strategy to pinpoint cancer gene deregulation. Eventually, the comprehensive identification and interpretation of coding and noncoding alterations will guide our future understanding of cancer biology. PMID:26938653

  8. Phenotypic variation and water selection potential in the stem structure of invasive alligator weed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Leshan; Yang, Beifen; Guan, Wenbin; Li, Junmin

    2016-02-01

    The morphological and anatomical characteristics of stems have been found to be related to drought resistance in plants. Testing the phenotypic selection of water availability on stem anatomical traits would be useful for exploring the evolutionary potential of the stem in response to water availability. To test the phenotypic variation of the stem anatomical traits of an invasive plant in response to water availability, we collected a total of 320 individuals of Alternanthera philoxeroides from 16 populations from terrestrial and aquatic habitats in 8 plots in China and then analyzed the variation, differentiation, plasticity and selection potential of water availability on the stem anatomical traits. We found that except for the thickness of the cortex, all of the examined phenotypic parameters of the A. philoxeroides stem were significantly and positively correlated with soil water availability. The phenotypic differentiation coefficient for all of the anatomical structural parameters indicated that most of the variation existed between habitats within the same plot, whereas there was little variation among plots or among individuals within the same habitat except for variation in the thickness of the cortex. A significant phenotypic plasticity response to water availability was found for all of the anatomical traits of A. philoxeroides stem except for the thickness of the cortex. The associations between fitness and some of the anatomical traits, such as the stem diameter, the cortex area-to-stem area ratio, the pith cavity area-to-stem area ratio and the density of vascular bundles, differed with heterogeneous water availability. In both the aquatic and terrestrial habitats, no significant directional selection gradient was found for the stem diameter, the cortex area-to-stem area ratio or the density of vascular bundles. These results indicated that the anatomical structure of the A. philoxeroides stem may play an important role in the adaptation to changes in water availability.

  9. Diurnal variation in the quantitative EEG in healthy adult volunteers

    PubMed Central

    Cummings, L; Dane, A; Rhodes, J; Lynch, P; Hughes, A M

    2000-01-01

    Aims To define the change in power in standard waveband frequencies of quantitative cortical electroencephalogram (EEG) data over a 24 h period, in a drug free representative healthy volunteer population. Methods This was an open, non randomised study in which 18 volunteers (9 male and 9 female) were studied on 1 study day, over a 24 h period. Volunteers had a cortical EEG recording taken at 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16 and 24 h. Each recording lasted for 6 min (3 min eyes open, 3 min eyes closed). All EEG recordings were taken in a quietened ward environment with the curtains drawn round the bed and the volunteer supine. During the 3 min eyes open, volunteers were asked to look at a red circle on a screen at the foot of the bed, and refrain from talking. Results Plots produced of geometric mean power by time of the standard wave band frequencies gave some indication of a circadian rhythm over the 24 h period for ? (4.75–6.75 Hz), ?1 (7.0–9.5 Hz) and ?1 (12.75–18.50 Hz) wavebands. Mixed models were fitted to both the eyes open and eyes closed data which confirmed a change in mean waveband power with time with statistical significance at the conventional 5% level (P < 0.05). Conclusions These data indicate the presence of a diurnal variation in the cortical quantitative EEG. They support the use of a placebo control group when designing clinical trials which utilize quantitative EEG to screen for central nervous system (CNS) activity of pharmaceutical agents, to control for the confounding variable of time of day at which the EEG recordings were made. PMID:10886113

  10. Stressful environments induce novel phenotypic variation: hierarchical reaction norms for sperm performance of a pervasive invader

    PubMed Central

    Purchase, Craig F; Moreau, Darek T R

    2012-01-01

    Genetic variation for phenotypic plasticity is ubiquitous and important. However, the scale of such variation including the relative variability present in reaction norms among different hierarchies of biological organization (e.g., individuals, populations, and closely related species) is unknown. Complicating interpretation is a trade-off in environmental scale. As plasticity can only be inferred over the range of environments tested, experiments focusing on fine tuned responses to normal or benign conditions may miss cryptic phenotypic variation expressed under novel or stressful environments. Here, we sought to discern the presence and shape of plasticity in the performance of brown trout sperm as a function of optimal to extremely stressful river pH, and demarcate if the reaction norm varies among genotypes. Our overarching goal was to determine if deteriorating environmental quality increases expressed variation among individuals. A more applied aim was to ascertain whether maintaining sperm performance over a wide pH range could help explain how brown trout are able to invade diverse river systems when transplanted outside of their native range. Individuals differed in their reaction norms of phenotypic expression of an important trait in response to environmental change. Cryptic variation was revealed under stressful conditions, evidenced through increasing among-individual variability. Importantly, data on population averages masked this variability in plasticity. In addition, canalized reaction norms in sperm swimming velocities of many individuals over a very large range in water chemistry may help explain why brown trout are able to colonize a wide variety of habitats. PMID:23145341

  11. Phenotypic variation of Staphylococcus epidermidis isolated from a patient with native valve endocarditis.

    PubMed Central

    Deighton, M; Pearson, S; Capstick, J; Spelman, D; Borland, R

    1992-01-01

    Two colonial variants of Staphylococcus epidermidis were isolated from the valvular tissue of a patient with native valve endocarditis. In addition to differing in colonial morphology, the two variants differed in hemolysis on blood-containing media, in adherence capacity, and in the expression of certain enzymes. Under suitable conditions, both variants were themselves capable of phenotypic variation, although they differed in the rate at which variants were generated. The variants yielded identical profiles on restriction endonuclease analysis of plasmid DNA and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis of whole-cell DNA. This report suggests a possible role for phenotypic variation in coagulase-negative staphylococcal virulence. Congo red agar would be an excellent medium for studying the contribution of variation to the virulence of these organisms. Images PMID:1401003

  12. A formal perturbation equation between genotype and phenotype determines the Evolutionary Action of protein-coding variations on fitness

    PubMed Central

    Katsonis, Panagiotis

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between genotype mutations and phenotype variations determines health in the short term and evolution over the long term, and it hinges on the action of mutations on fitness. A fundamental difficulty in determining this action, however, is that it depends on the unique context of each mutation, which is complex and often cryptic. As a result, the effect of most genome variations on molecular function and overall fitness remains unknown and stands apart from population genetics theories linking fitness effect to polymorphism frequency. Here, we hypothesize that evolution is a continuous and differentiable physical process coupling genotype to phenotype. This leads to a formal equation for the action of coding mutations on fitness that can be interpreted as a product of the evolutionary importance of the mutated site with the difference in amino acid similarity. Approximations for these terms are readily computable from phylogenetic sequence analysis, and we show mutational, clinical, and population genetic evidence that this action equation predicts the effect of point mutations in vivo and in vitro in diverse proteins, correlates disease-causing gene mutations with morbidity, and determines the frequency of human coding polymorphisms, respectively. Thus, elementary calculus and phylogenetics can be integrated into a perturbation analysis of the evolutionary relationship between genotype and phenotype that quantitatively links point mutations to function and fitness and that opens a new analytic framework for equations of biology. In practice, this work explicitly bridges molecular evolution with population genetics with applications from protein redesign to the clinical assessment of human genetic variations. PMID:25217195

  13. Gene Expression Profiles Deciphering Rice Phenotypic Variation between Nipponbare (Japonica) and 93-11 (Indica) during Oxidative Stress

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Qiang; Zhang, Zhenghai; Xing, Zhuo; Tan, Lubin; Di, Chao; Yao, Dongxia; Wang, Chunchao; Tan, Yuanjun; Yan, Hong; Ling, Yi; Sun, Chuanqing; Xue, Yongbiao; Su, Zhen

    2010-01-01

    Rice is a very important food staple that feeds more than half the world's population. Two major Asian cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.) subspecies, japonica and indica, show significant phenotypic variation in their stress responses. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this phenotypic variation are still largely unknown. A common link among different stresses is that they produce an oxidative burst and result in an increase of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In this study, methyl viologen (MV) as a ROS agent was applied to investigate the rice oxidative stress response. We observed that 93-11 (indica) seedlings exhibited leaf senescence with severe lesions under MV treatment compared to Nipponbare (japonica). Whole-genome microarray experiments were conducted, and 1,062 probe sets were identified with gene expression level polymorphisms between the two rice cultivars in addition to differential expression under MV treatment, which were assigned as Core Intersectional Probesets (CIPs). These CIPs were analyzed by gene ontology (GO) and highlighted with enrichment GO terms related to toxin and oxidative stress responses as well as other responses. These GO term-enriched genes of the CIPs include glutathine S-transferases (GSTs), P450, plant defense genes, and secondary metabolism related genes such as chalcone synthase (CHS). Further insertion/deletion (InDel) and regulatory element analyses for these identified CIPs suggested that there may be some eQTL hotspots related to oxidative stress in the rice genome, such as GST genes encoded on chromosome 10. In addition, we identified a group of marker genes individuating the japonica and indica subspecies. In summary, we developed a new strategy combining biological experiments and data mining to study the possible molecular mechanism of phenotypic variation during oxidative stress between Nipponbare and 93-11. This study will aid in the analysis of the molecular basis of quantitative traits. PMID:20072620

  14. Region and site conditions affect phenotypic trait variation in five forest herbs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemke, Isgard Holle; Kolb, Annette; Diekmann, Martin Reemt

    2012-02-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of organisms to express different phenotypes under different environmental conditions. It may buffer individuals both against short-term environmental fluctuations and long-term effects of global change. A plastic behaviour in response to changes in the environment may be especially important in species with low migration rates and colonization capacities, such as in many forest plants in present-day fragmented landscapes. We compared the phenotypic trait variation (used as a proxy for the amount of phenotypic plasticity) of five forest herbs (Brachypodium sylvaticum, Circaea lutetiana, Impatiens noli-tangere, Sanicula europaea and Stachys sylvatica) between two regions in Germany that differ in their overall environmental conditions (Bremen in the northwest, Freiburg in the southwest; 5 species × 2 regions × 8-15 populations × 25-50 individuals). In addition, we measured light intensity and important soil parameters (soil pH, moisture, K, P and N) in all populations. We found consistent differences in trait variability between the two regions in several species. In Brachypodium and Stachys both vegetative and reproductive traits were more variable in Freiburg. Similarly, reproductive traits of Impatiens and Sanicula appeared to be more variable in Freiburg, while in both species at least one of the vegetative traits was more variable in Bremen. Mean local environmental conditions also affected trait variation; in most of the species both vegetative and reproductive traits were more variable in sites with higher nutrient contents and higher light availability. Across all traits and both regions, seed or fruit production was most variable. In summary, at least some of the studied forest herbs appear to respond strongly to large-scale environmental differences, showing a higher trait variability in the more southern region. Given the assumption that phenotypic trait variation is positively associated with phenotypic plasticity, we conclude that these populations may more easily respond to changes in the environment.

  15. Phenotypic Variation in Mangrove Cuckoo (Coccyzus minor) across Its Geographic Range

    PubMed Central

    Lloyd, John D.

    2016-01-01

    Mangrove Cuckoo (Coccyzus minor) exhibits substantial phenotypic variation across its geographic range, but the significance of this variation for taxonomy remains unresolved. Using measurements of bill size and ventral color recorded from 274 museum specimens, I found that variation in these traits was clinal. No named subspecies was reciprocally diagnosable from all others, and none was distinguishable from the nominate form, such that previously recognized subspecific distinctions are invalid. Greatest differences in phenotype occurred between populations in Florida, the Bahamas, and the Greater Antilles–characteristically small-billed–and those in the Lesser Antilles, which had larger bills. Phenotypically intermediate individuals on the geographically intermediate islands of Barbuda and Antigua linked these two extremes. Individuals intermediate in bill size and color also characterized populations from throughout the remainder of the range in northern South America and Middle America. Mechanisms maintaining the fairly pronounced phenotypic differences between nearby populations of Greater and Lesser Antillean birds are unknown, yet the geographic proximity of these populations suggests that they probably persist despite occasional gene flow, and may be adaptive. PMID:27008380

  16. Phenotypic Variation in Mangrove Cuckoo (Coccyzus minor) across Its Geographic Range.

    PubMed

    Lloyd, John D

    2016-01-01

    Mangrove Cuckoo (Coccyzus minor) exhibits substantial phenotypic variation across its geographic range, but the significance of this variation for taxonomy remains unresolved. Using measurements of bill size and ventral color recorded from 274 museum specimens, I found that variation in these traits was clinal. No named subspecies was reciprocally diagnosable from all others, and none was distinguishable from the nominate form, such that previously recognized subspecific distinctions are invalid. Greatest differences in phenotype occurred between populations in Florida, the Bahamas, and the Greater Antilles-characteristically small-billed-and those in the Lesser Antilles, which had larger bills. Phenotypically intermediate individuals on the geographically intermediate islands of Barbuda and Antigua linked these two extremes. Individuals intermediate in bill size and color also characterized populations from throughout the remainder of the range in northern South America and Middle America. Mechanisms maintaining the fairly pronounced phenotypic differences between nearby populations of Greater and Lesser Antillean birds are unknown, yet the geographic proximity of these populations suggests that they probably persist despite occasional gene flow, and may be adaptive. PMID:27008380

  17. Phenotypic and Genetic Variations in Obligate Parthenogenetic Populations of Eriosoma lanigerum Hausmann (Hemiptera: Aphididae).

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Montoya, L; Zúñiga, G; Cisneros, R; Salinas-Moreno, Y; Peña-Martínez, R; Machkour-M'Rabet, S

    2015-12-01

    The study of phenotypic and genetic variation of obligate parthenogenetic organisms contributes to an understanding of evolution in the absence of genetic variation produced by sexual reproduction. Eriosoma lanigerum Hausmann undergoes obligate parthenogenesis in Mexico City, Mexico, due to the unavailability of the host plants required for sexual reproduction. We analysed the phenotypic and genetic variation of E. lanigerum in relation to the dry and wet season and plant phenology. Aphids were collected on two occasions per season on a secondary host plant, Pyracantha koidzumii, at five different sites in the southern area of Mexico City, Mexico. Thirteen morphological characteristics were measured from 147 to 276 individuals per site and per season. A multivariate analysis of variance was performed to test the effect of the season, site and their interaction on morphological traits. Morphological variation was summarised using a principal component analysis. Genetic variation was described using six enzymatic loci, four of which were polymorphic. Our study showed that the site and season has a significant effect on morphological trait variation. The largest aphids were recorded during cold temperatures with low relative humidity and when the plant was at the end of the fruiting period. The mean genetic diversity was low (mean H e =  .161), and populations were genetically structured by season and site. Morphological and genetic variations appear to be associated with environmental factors that directly affect aphid development and/or indirectly by host plant phenology. PMID:26272633

  18. Intraspecific phenotypic variation in a fish predator affects multitrophic lake metacommunity structure

    PubMed Central

    Howeth, Jennifer G; Weis, Jerome J; Brodersen, Jakob; Hatton, Elizabeth C; Post, David M

    2013-01-01

    Contemporary insights from evolutionary ecology suggest that population divergence in ecologically important traits within predators can generate diversifying ecological selection on local community structure. Many studies acknowledging these effects of intraspecific variation assume that local populations are situated in communities that are unconnected to similar communities within a shared region. Recent work from metacommunity ecology suggests that species dispersal among communities can also influence species diversity and composition but can depend upon the relative importance of the local environment. Here, we study the relative effects of intraspecific phenotypic variation in a fish predator and spatial processes related to plankton species dispersal on multitrophic lake plankton metacommunity structure. Intraspecific diversification in foraging traits and residence time of the planktivorous fish alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) among coastal lakes yields lake metacommunities supporting three lake types which differ in the phenotype and incidence of alewife: lakes with anadromous, landlocked, or no alewives. In coastal lakes, plankton community composition was attributed to dispersal versus local environmental predictors, including intraspecific variation in alewives. Local and beta diversity of zooplankton and phytoplankton was additionally measured in response to intraspecific variation in alewives. Zooplankton communities were structured by species sorting, with a strong influence of intraspecific variation in A. pseudoharengus. Intraspecific variation altered zooplankton species richness and beta diversity, where lake communities with landlocked alewives exhibited intermediate richness between lakes with anadromous alewives and without alewives, and greater community similarity. Phytoplankton diversity, in contrast, was highest in lakes with landlocked alewives. The results indicate that plankton dispersal in the region supplied a migrant pool that was strongly structured by intraspecific variation in alewives. This is one of the first studies to demonstrate that intraspecific phenotypic variation in a predator can maintain contrasting patterns of multitrophic diversity in metacommunities. PMID:24455134

  19. Divergence in a master variator generates distinct phenotypes and transcriptional responses

    PubMed Central

    Gallagher, Jennifer E.G.; Zheng, Wei; Rong, Xiaoqing; Miranda, Noraliz; Lin, Zhixiang; Dunn, Barbara; Zhao, Hongyu; Snyder, Michael P.

    2014-01-01

    Genetic basis of phenotypic differences in individuals is an important area in biology and personalized medicine. Analysis of divergent Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains grown under different conditions revealed extensive variation in response to both drugs (e.g., 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide [4NQO]) and different carbon sources. Differences in 4NQO resistance were due to amino acid variation in the transcription factor Yrr1. Yrr1YJM789 conferred 4NQO resistance but caused slower growth on glycerol, and vice versa with Yrr1S96, indicating that alleles of Yrr1 confer distinct phenotypes. The binding targets of Yrr1 alleles from diverse yeast strains varied considerably among different strains grown under the same conditions as well as for the same strain under different conditions, indicating that distinct molecular programs are conferred by the different Yrr1 alleles. Our results demonstrate that genetic variations in one important control gene (YRR1), lead to distinct regulatory programs and phenotypes in individuals. We term these polymorphic control genes “master variators.” PMID:24532717

  20. A pleiotropic nonadditive model of variation in quantitative traits

    SciTech Connect

    Caballero, A.; Keightley, P.D.

    1994-11-01

    A model of mutation-selection-drift balance incorporating pleiotropic and dominance effects of new mutations on quantitative traits and fitness is investigated and used to predict the amount and nature of genetic variation maintained in segregating populations. The model is based on recent information on the joint distribution of mutant effects on bristle traits and fitness in Drosophila melanogaster from experiments on the accumulation of spontaneous and P element-induced mutations. Mutants of large effect tend to be partially recessive while those with smaller effect are on average additive, but apparently with very variable gene action. The model is parameterized with two different sets of information derived from P element insertion and spontaneous mutation data, though the latter are not fully known. They differ in the number of mutations per generation which is assumed to affect the trait. Predictions of the variance maintained for bristle number assuming parameters derived from effects of P element insertions fit reasonably well with experimental observations. The equilibrium genetic variance is nearly independent of the degree of dominance of new mutations. Heritabilities of between 0.4 and 0.6 are predicted with population sizes from 10{sup 4} to 10{sup 6}, and most of the variance for the metric trait in segregating populations is due to a small proportion of mutations with neutral or nearly neutral effects on fitness and intermediate effects on the trait. Much of the genetic variance is contributed by recessive or partially recessive mutants, but only a small proportion of the genetic variance is dominance variance. If a model is assumed in which all mutation events have an effect on the quantitative trait, the majority of the genetic variance is contributed by deleterious mutations with tiny effects on the trait. If such a model is assumed for variability, the heritability is about 0.1, independent of the population size. 83 refs., 8 figs., 8 tabs.

  1. Adaptive basis of geographic variation: genetic, phenotypic and environmental differences among beach mouse populations

    PubMed Central

    Mullen, Lynne M.; Vignieri, Sacha N.; Gore, Jeffery A.; Hoekstra, Hopi E.

    2009-01-01

    A major goal in evolutionary biology is to understand how and why populations differentiate, both genetically and phenotypically, as they invade a novel habitat. A classical example of adaptation is the pale colour of beach mice, relative to their dark mainland ancestors, which colonized the isolated sandy dunes and barrier islands on Florida's Gulf Coast. However, much less is known about differentiation among the Gulf Coast beach mice, which comprise five subspecies linearly arrayed on Florida's shoreline. Here, we test the role of selection in maintaining variation among these beach mouse subspecies at multiple levels—phenotype, genotype and the environments they inhabit. While all beach subspecies have light pelage, they differ significantly in colour pattern. These subspecies are also genetically distinct: pair-wise Fst-values range from 0.23 to 0.63 and levels of gene flow are low. However, we did not find a correlation between phenotypic and genetic distance. Instead, we find a significant association between the average ‘lightness’ of each subspecies and the brightness of the substrate it inhabits: the two most genetically divergent subspecies occupy the most similar habitats and have converged on phenotype, whereas the most genetically similar subspecies occupy the most different environments and have divergent phenotypes. Moreover, allelic variation at the pigmentation gene, Mc1r, is statistically correlated with these colour differences but not with variation at other genetic loci. Together, these results suggest that natural selection for camouflage—via changes in Mc1r allele frequency—contributes to pigment differentiation among beach mouse subspecies. PMID:19656790

  2. Phenotypic Variation and Fitness in a Metapopulation of Tubeworms (Ridgeia piscesae Jones) at Hydrothermal Vents

    PubMed Central

    Tunnicliffe, Verena; St. Germain, Candice; Hilário, Ana

    2014-01-01

    We examine the nature of variation in a hot vent tubeworm, Ridgeia piscesae, to determine how phenotypes are maintained and how reproductive potential is dictated by habitat. This foundation species at northeast Pacific hydrothermal sites occupies a wide habitat range in a highly heterogeneous environment. Where fluids supply high levels of dissolved sulphide for symbionts, the worm grows rapidly in a “short-fat” phenotype characterized by lush gill plumes; when plumes are healthy, sperm package capture is higher. This form can mature within months and has a high fecundity with continuous gamete output and a lifespan of about three years in unstable conditions. Other phenotypes occupy low fluid flux habitats that are more stable and individuals grow very slowly; however, they have low reproductive readiness that is hampered further by small, predator cropped branchiae, thus reducing fertilization and metabolite uptake. Although only the largest worms were measured, only 17% of low flux worms were reproductively competent compared to 91% of high flux worms. A model of reproductive readiness illustrates that tube diameter is a good predictor of reproductive output and that few low flux worms reached critical reproductive size. We postulate that most of the propagules for the vent fields originate from the larger tubeworms that live in small, unstable habitat patches. The large expanses of worms in more stable low flux habitat sustain a small, but long-term, reproductive output. Phenotypic variation is an adaptation that fosters both morphological and physiological responses to differences in chemical milieu and predator pressure. This foundation species forms a metapopulation with variable growth characteristics in a heterogeneous environment where a strategy of phenotypic variation bestows an advantage over specialization. PMID:25337895

  3. Phenotypic variation and fitness in a metapopulation of tubeworms (Ridgeia piscesae Jones) at hydrothermal vents.

    PubMed

    Tunnicliffe, Verena; St Germain, Candice; Hilário, Ana

    2014-01-01

    We examine the nature of variation in a hot vent tubeworm, Ridgeia piscesae, to determine how phenotypes are maintained and how reproductive potential is dictated by habitat. This foundation species at northeast Pacific hydrothermal sites occupies a wide habitat range in a highly heterogeneous environment. Where fluids supply high levels of dissolved sulphide for symbionts, the worm grows rapidly in a "short-fat" phenotype characterized by lush gill plumes; when plumes are healthy, sperm package capture is higher. This form can mature within months and has a high fecundity with continuous gamete output and a lifespan of about three years in unstable conditions. Other phenotypes occupy low fluid flux habitats that are more stable and individuals grow very slowly; however, they have low reproductive readiness that is hampered further by small, predator cropped branchiae, thus reducing fertilization and metabolite uptake. Although only the largest worms were measured, only 17% of low flux worms were reproductively competent compared to 91% of high flux worms. A model of reproductive readiness illustrates that tube diameter is a good predictor of reproductive output and that few low flux worms reached critical reproductive size. We postulate that most of the propagules for the vent fields originate from the larger tubeworms that live in small, unstable habitat patches. The large expanses of worms in more stable low flux habitat sustain a small, but long-term, reproductive output. Phenotypic variation is an adaptation that fosters both morphological and physiological responses to differences in chemical milieu and predator pressure. This foundation species forms a metapopulation with variable growth characteristics in a heterogeneous environment where a strategy of phenotypic variation bestows an advantage over specialization. PMID:25337895

  4. Hsp90 prevents phenotypic variation by suppressing the mutagenic activity of transposons.

    PubMed

    Specchia, Valeria; Piacentini, Lucia; Tritto, Patrizia; Fanti, Laura; D'Alessandro, Rosalba; Palumbo, Gioacchino; Pimpinelli, Sergio; Bozzetti, Maria P

    2010-02-01

    The canalization concept describes the resistance of a developmental process to phenotypic variation, regardless of genetic and environmental perturbations, owing to the existence of buffering mechanisms. Severe perturbations, which overcome such buffering mechanisms, produce altered phenotypes that can be heritable and can themselves be canalized by a genetic assimilation process. An important implication of this concept is that the buffering mechanism could be genetically controlled. Recent studies on Hsp90, a protein involved in several cellular processes and development pathways, indicate that it is a possible molecular mechanism for canalization and genetic assimilation. In both flies and plants, mutations in the Hsp90-encoding gene induce a wide range of phenotypic abnormalities, which have been interpreted as an increased sensitivity of different developmental pathways to hidden genetic variability. Thus, Hsp90 chaperone machinery may be an evolutionarily conserved buffering mechanism of phenotypic variance, which provides the genetic material for natural selection. Here we offer an additional, perhaps alternative, explanation for proposals of a concrete mechanism underlying canalization. We show that, in Drosophila, functional alterations of Hsp90 affect the Piwi-interacting RNA (piRNA; a class of germ-line-specific small RNAs) silencing mechanism leading to transposon activation and the induction of morphological mutants. This indicates that Hsp90 mutations can generate new variation by transposon-mediated 'canonical' mutagenesis. PMID:20062045

  5. Ploidy-Regulated Variation in Biofilm-Related Phenotypes in Natural Isolates of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    Hope, Elyse A.; Dunham, Maitreya J.

    2014-01-01

    The ability of yeast to form biofilms contributes to better survival under stressful conditions. We see the impact of yeast biofilms and “flocs” (clumps) in human health and industry, where forming clumps enables yeast to act as a natural filter in brewing and forming biofilms enables yeast to remain virulent in cases of fungal infection. Despite the importance of biofilms in yeast natural isolates, the majority of our knowledge about yeast biofilm genetics comes from work with a few tractable laboratory strains. A new collection of sequenced natural isolates from the Saccharomyces Genome Resequencing Project enabled us to examine the breadth of biofilm-related phenotypes in geographically, ecologically, and genetically diverse strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We present a panel of 31 haploid and 24 diploid strains for which we have characterized six biofilm-related phenotypes: complex colony morphology, complex mat formation, flocculation, agar invasion, polystyrene adhesion, and psuedohyphal growth. Our results show that there is extensive phenotypic variation between and within strains, and that these six phenotypes are primarily uncorrelated or weakly correlated, with the notable exception of complex colony and complex mat formation. We also show that the phenotypic strength of these strains varies significantly depending on ploidy, and the diploid strains demonstrate both decreased and increased phenotypic strength with respect to their haploid counterparts. This is a more complex view of the impact of ploidy on biofilm-related phenotypes than previous work with laboratory strains has suggested, demonstrating the importance and enormous potential of working with natural isolates of yeast. PMID:25060625

  6. Phenotypic variation and covariation indicate high evolvability of acoustic communication in crickets.

    PubMed

    Blankers, T; Lübke, A K; Hennig, R M

    2015-09-01

    Studying the genetic architecture of sexual traits provides insight into the rate and direction at which traits can respond to selection. Traits associated with few loci and limited genetic and phenotypic constraints tend to evolve at high rates typically observed for secondary sexual characters. Here, we examined the genetic architecture of song traits and female song preferences in the field crickets Gryllus rubens and Gryllus texensis. Song and preference data were collected from both species and interspecific F1 and F2 hybrids. We first analysed phenotypic variation to examine interspecific differentiation and trait distributions in parental and hybrid generations. Then, the relative contribution of additive and additive-dominance variation was estimated. Finally, phenotypic variance-covariance (P) matrices were estimated to evaluate the multivariate phenotype available for selection. Song traits and preferences had unimodal trait distributions, and hybrid offspring were intermediate with respect to the parents. We uncovered additive and dominance variation in song traits and preferences. For two song traits, we found evidence for X-linked inheritance. On the one hand, the observed genetic architecture does not suggest rapid divergence, although sex linkage may have allowed for somewhat higher evolutionary rates. On the other hand, P matrices revealed that multivariate variation in song traits aligned with major dimensions in song preferences, suggesting a strong selection response. We also found strong covariance between the main traits that are sexually selected and traits that are not directly selected by females, providing an explanation for the striking multivariate divergence in male calling songs despite limited divergence in female preferences. PMID:26134540

  7. Earlier Migration Timing, Decreasing Phenotypic Variation, and Biocomplexity in Multiple Salmonid Species

    PubMed Central

    Kovach, Ryan P.; Joyce, John E.; Echave, Jesse D.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Tallmon, David A.

    2013-01-01

    Climate-induced phenological shifts can influence population, evolutionary, and ecological dynamics, but our understanding of these phenomena is hampered by a lack of long-term demographic data. We use a multi-decade census of 5 salmonid species representing 14 life histories in a warming Alaskan stream to address the following key questions about climate change and phenology: How consistent are temporal patterns and drivers of phenology for similar species and alternative life histories? Are shifts in phenology associated with changes in phenotypic variation? How do phenological changes influence the availability of resource subsidies? For most salmonid species, life stages, and life histories, freshwater temperature influences migration timing – migration events are occurring earlier in time (mean = 1.7 days earlier per decade over the 3–5 decades), and the number of days over which migration events occur is decreasing (mean = 1.5 days per decade). Temporal trends in migration timing were not correlated with changes in intra-annual phenotypic variation, suggesting that these components of the phenotypic distribution have responded to environmental change independently. Despite commonalities across species and life histories, there was important biocomplexity in the form of disparate shifts in migration timing and variation in the environmental factors influencing migration timing for alternative life history strategies in the same population. Overall, adult populations have been stable during these phenotypic and environmental changes (λ ≈1.0), but the temporal availability of salmon as a resource in freshwater has decreased by nearly 30 days since 1971 due to changes in the median date of migration timing and decreases in intra-annual variation in migration timing. These novel observations advance our understanding of phenological change in response to climate warming, and indicate that climate change has influenced the ecology of salmon populations, which will have important consequences for the numerous species that depend on this resource. PMID:23326513

  8. Earlier migration timing, decreasing phenotypic variation, and biocomplexity in multiple salmonid species.

    PubMed

    Kovach, Ryan P; Joyce, John E; Echave, Jesse D; Lindberg, Mark S; Tallmon, David A

    2013-01-01

    Climate-induced phenological shifts can influence population, evolutionary, and ecological dynamics, but our understanding of these phenomena is hampered by a lack of long-term demographic data. We use a multi-decade census of 5 salmonid species representing 14 life histories in a warming Alaskan stream to address the following key questions about climate change and phenology: How consistent are temporal patterns and drivers of phenology for similar species and alternative life histories? Are shifts in phenology associated with changes in phenotypic variation? How do phenological changes influence the availability of resource subsidies? For most salmonid species, life stages, and life histories, freshwater temperature influences migration timing--migration events are occurring earlier in time (mean?=?1.7 days earlier per decade over the 3-5 decades), and the number of days over which migration events occur is decreasing (mean?=?1.5 days per decade). Temporal trends in migration timing were not correlated with changes in intra-annual phenotypic variation, suggesting that these components of the phenotypic distribution have responded to environmental change independently. Despite commonalities across species and life histories, there was important biocomplexity in the form of disparate shifts in migration timing and variation in the environmental factors influencing migration timing for alternative life history strategies in the same population. Overall, adult populations have been stable during these phenotypic and environmental changes (? ? 1.0), but the temporal availability of salmon as a resource in freshwater has decreased by nearly 30 days since 1971 due to changes in the median date of migration timing and decreases in intra-annual variation in migration timing. These novel observations advance our understanding of phenological change in response to climate warming, and indicate that climate change has influenced the ecology of salmon populations, which will have important consequences for the numerous species that depend on this resource. PMID:23326513

  9. Sexual variation in assimilation efficiency: its link to phenotype and potential role in sexual dimorphism.

    PubMed

    Stahlschmidt, Zachary R; Davis, Jon R; Denardo, Dale F

    2011-04-01

    Sex-specific variation in morphology (sexual dimorphism) is a prevalent phenomenon among animals, and both dietary intake and resource allocation strategies influence sexually dimorphic traits (e.g., body size or composition). However, we investigated whether assimilation efficiency (AE), an intermediate step between dietary intake and allocation, can also vary between the sexes. Specifically, we tested whether sex-based differences in AE can explain variation in phenotypic traits. We measured morphometric characteristics (i.e., body length, mass, condition, and musculature) and AE of total energy, crude protein, and crude fat in post-reproductive adult Children's pythons (which exhibit a limited female-biased sexual size dimorphism) fed both low and high dietary intakes. Meal size was negatively related to AE of energy. Notably, male snakes absorbed crude protein more efficiently and increased epaxial (dorsal) musculature faster than females, which demonstrates a link between AE and phenotype. However, females grew in body length faster but did not absorb any nutrient more efficiently than males. Although our results do not provide a direct link between AE and sexual size dimorphism, they demonstrate that sexual variation in nutrient absorption exists and can contribute to other types of sex-based differences in phenotype (i.e., sexual dimorphism in growth of musculature). Hence, testing the broader applicability of AE's role in sexually dimorphic traits among other species is warranted. PMID:21104089

  10. Quantitative trait loci on chromosomes 3 and 17 influence phenotypes of the metabolic syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Kissebah, Ahmed H.; Sonnenberg, Gabriele E.; Myklebust, Joel; Goldstein, Michael; Broman, Karl; James, Roland G.; Marks, Jacqueline A.; Krakower, Glenn R.; Jacob, Howard J.; Weber, James; Martin, Lisa; Blangero, John; Comuzzie, Anthony G.

    2000-01-01

    Recent research has emphasized the importance of the metabolic cluster, which includes glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, and high blood pressure, as a strong predictor of the obesity-related morbidities and premature mortality. Fundamental to this association, commonly referred to as the metabolic syndrome, is the close interaction between abdominal fat patterning, total body adiposity, and insulin resistance. As the initial step in identifying major genetic loci influencing these phenotypes, we performed a genomewide scan by using a 10-centiMorgan map in 2,209 individuals distributed over 507 nuclear Caucasian families. Pedigree-based analysis using a variance components linkage model demonstrated a quantitative trait locus (QTL) on chromosome 3 (3q27) strongly linked to six traits representing these fundamental phenotypes [logarithm of odds (lod) scores ranged from 2.4 to 3.5]. This QTL exhibited possible epistatic interaction with a second QTL on chromosome 17 (17p12) strongly linked to plasma leptin levels (lod = 5.0). Situated at these epistatic QTLs are candidate genes likely to influence two biologic precursor pathways of the metabolic syndrome. PMID:11121050

  11. Digital holographic microscopy: a quantitative label-free microscopy technique for phenotypic screening.

    PubMed

    Rappaz, Benjamin; Breton, Billy; Shaffer, Etienne; Turcatti, Gerardo

    2014-01-01

    Digital Holographic Microscopy (DHM) is a label-free imaging technique allowing visualization of transparent cells with classical imaging cell culture plates. The quantitative DHM phase contrast image provided is related both to the intracellular refractive index and to cell thickness. DHM is able to distinguish cellular morphological changes on two representative cell lines (HeLa and H9c2) when treated with doxorubicin and chloroquine, two cytotoxic compounds yielding distinct phenotypes. We analyzed parameters linked to cell morphology and to the intracellular content in endpoint measurements and further investigated them with timelapse recording. The results obtained by DHM were compared with other optical label-free microscopy techniques, namely Phase Contrast, Differential Interference Contrast and Transport of Intensity Equation (reconstructed from three bright-field images). For comparative purposes, images were acquired in a common 96-well plate format on the different motorized microscopes. In contrast to the other microscopies assayed, images generated with DHM can be easily quantified using a simple automatized on-the-fly analysis method for discriminating the different phenotypes generated in each cell line. The DHM technology is suitable for the development of robust and unbiased image-based assays. PMID:24152227

  12. Digital Holographic Microscopy: A Quantitative Label-Free Microscopy Technique for Phenotypic Screening

    PubMed Central

    Rappaz, Benjamin; Breton, Billy; Shaffer, Etienne; Turcatti, Gerardo

    2014-01-01

    Digital Holographic Microscopy (DHM) is a label-free imaging technique allowing visualization of transparent cells with classical imaging cell culture plates. The quantitative DHM phase contrast image provided is related both to the intracellular refractive index and to cell thickness. DHM is able to distinguish cellular morphological changes on two representative cell lines (HeLa and H9c2) when treated with doxorubicin and chloroquine, two cytotoxic compounds yielding distinct phenotypes. We analyzed parameters linked to cell morphology and to the intracellular content in endpoint measurements and further investigated them with timelapse recording. The results obtained by DHM were compared with other optical label-free microscopy techniques, namely Phase Contrast, Differential Interference Contrast and Transport of Intensity Equation (reconstructed from three bright-field images). For comparative purposes, images were acquired in a common 96-well plate format on the different motorized microscopes. In contrast to the other microscopies assayed, images generated with DHM can be easily quantified using a simple automatized on-the-fly analysis method for discriminating the different phenotypes generated in each cell line. The DHM technology is suitable for the development of robust and unbiased image-based assays.

  13. Differential Expression of Ecdysone Receptor Leads to Variation in Phenotypic Plasticity across Serial Homologs

    PubMed Central

    Tong, Xiaoling; Bear, Ashley; Liew, Seng Fatt; Bhardwaj, Shivam; Wasik, Bethany R.; Dinwiddie, April; Bastianelli, Carole; Cheong, Wei Fun; Wenk, Markus R.; Cao, Hui

    2015-01-01

    Bodies are often made of repeated units, or serial homologs, that develop using the same core gene regulatory network. Local inputs and modifications to this network allow serial homologs to evolve different morphologies, but currently we do not understand which modifications allow these repeated traits to evolve different levels of phenotypic plasticity. Here we describe variation in phenotypic plasticity across serial homologous eyespots of the butterfly Bicyclus anynana, hypothesized to be under selection for similar or different functions in the wet and dry seasonal forms. Specifically, we document the presence of eyespot size and scale brightness plasticity in hindwing eyespots hypothesized to vary in function across seasons, and reduced size plasticity and absence of brightness plasticity in forewing eyespots hypothesized to have the same function across seasons. By exploring the molecular and physiological causes of this variation in plasticity across fore and hindwing serial homologs we discover that: 1) temperature experienced during the wandering stages of larval development alters titers of an ecdysteroid hormone, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E), in the hemolymph of wet and dry seasonal forms at that stage; 2) the 20E receptor (EcR) is differentially expressed in the forewing and hindwing eyespot centers of both seasonal forms during this critical developmental stage; and 3) manipulations of EcR signaling disproportionately affected hindwing eyespots relative to forewing eyespots. We propose that differential EcR expression across forewing and hindwing eyespots at a critical stage of development explains the variation in levels of phenotypic plasticity across these serial homologues. This finding provides a novel signaling pathway, 20E, and a novel molecular candidate, EcR, for the regulation of levels of phenotypic plasticity across body parts or serial homologs. PMID:26405828

  14. Quantitative social dialectology: explaining linguistic variation geographically and socially.

    PubMed

    Wieling, Martijn; Nerbonne, John; Baayen, R Harald

    2011-01-01

    In this study we examine linguistic variation and its dependence on both social and geographic factors. We follow dialectometry in applying a quantitative methodology and focusing on dialect distances, and social dialectology in the choice of factors we examine in building a model to predict word pronunciation distances from the standard Dutch language to 424 Dutch dialects. We combine linear mixed-effects regression modeling with generalized additive modeling to predict the pronunciation distance of 559 words. Although geographical position is the dominant predictor, several other factors emerged as significant. The model predicts a greater distance from the standard for smaller communities, for communities with a higher average age, for nouns (as contrasted with verbs and adjectives), for more frequent words, and for words with relatively many vowels. The impact of the demographic variables, however, varied from word to word. For a majority of words, larger, richer and younger communities are moving towards the standard. For a smaller minority of words, larger, richer and younger communities emerge as driving a change away from the standard. Similarly, the strength of the effects of word frequency and word category varied geographically. The peripheral areas of the Netherlands showed a greater distance from the standard for nouns (as opposed to verbs and adjectives) as well as for high-frequency words, compared to the more central areas. Our findings indicate that changes in pronunciation have been spreading (in particular for low-frequency words) from the Hollandic center of economic power to the peripheral areas of the country, meeting resistance that is stronger wherever, for well-documented historical reasons, the political influence of Holland was reduced. Our results are also consistent with the theory of lexical diffusion, in that distances from the Hollandic norm vary systematically and predictably on a word by word basis. PMID:21912639

  15. Quantitative Social Dialectology: Explaining Linguistic Variation Geographically and Socially

    PubMed Central

    Wieling, Martijn; Nerbonne, John; Baayen, R. Harald

    2011-01-01

    In this study we examine linguistic variation and its dependence on both social and geographic factors. We follow dialectometry in applying a quantitative methodology and focusing on dialect distances, and social dialectology in the choice of factors we examine in building a model to predict word pronunciation distances from the standard Dutch language to 424 Dutch dialects. We combine linear mixed-effects regression modeling with generalized additive modeling to predict the pronunciation distance of 559 words. Although geographical position is the dominant predictor, several other factors emerged as significant. The model predicts a greater distance from the standard for smaller communities, for communities with a higher average age, for nouns (as contrasted with verbs and adjectives), for more frequent words, and for words with relatively many vowels. The impact of the demographic variables, however, varied from word to word. For a majority of words, larger, richer and younger communities are moving towards the standard. For a smaller minority of words, larger, richer and younger communities emerge as driving a change away from the standard. Similarly, the strength of the effects of word frequency and word category varied geographically. The peripheral areas of the Netherlands showed a greater distance from the standard for nouns (as opposed to verbs and adjectives) as well as for high-frequency words, compared to the more central areas. Our findings indicate that changes in pronunciation have been spreading (in particular for low-frequency words) from the Hollandic center of economic power to the peripheral areas of the country, meeting resistance that is stronger wherever, for well-documented historical reasons, the political influence of Holland was reduced. Our results are also consistent with the theory of lexical diffusion, in that distances from the Hollandic norm vary systematically and predictably on a word by word basis. PMID:21912639

  16. Quantitative trait loci mapping of phenotypic plasticity and genotype–environment interactions in plant and insect performance

    PubMed Central

    Tétard-Jones, C.; Kertesz, M. A.; Preziosi, R. F.

    2011-01-01

    Community genetic studies generally ignore the plasticity of the functional traits through which the effect is passed from individuals to the associated community. However, the ability of organisms to be phenotypically plastic allows them to rapidly adapt to changing environments and plasticity is commonly observed across all taxa. Owing to the fitness benefits of phenotypic plasticity, evolutionary biologists are interested in its genetic basis, which could explain how phenotypic plasticity is involved in the evolution of species interactions. Two current ideas exist: (i) phenotypic plasticity is caused by environmentally sensitive loci associated with a phenotype; (ii) phenotypic plasticity is caused by regulatory genes that simply influence the plasticity of a phenotype. Here, we designed a quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping experiment to locate QTL on the barley genome associated with barley performance when the environment varies in the presence of aphids, and the composition of the rhizosphere. We simultaneously mapped aphid performance across variable rhizosphere environments. We mapped main effects, QTL × environment interaction (QTL×E), and phenotypic plasticity (measured as the difference in mean trait values) for barley and aphid performance onto the barley genome using an interval mapping procedure. We found that QTL associated with phenotypic plasticity were co-located with main effect QTL and QTL×E. We also located phenotypic plasticity QTL that were located separately from main effect QTL. These results support both of the current ideas of how phenotypic plasticity is genetically based and provide an initial insight into the functional genetic basis of how phenotypically plastic traits may still be important sources of community genetic effects. PMID:21444311

  17. Natural diversity in daily rhythms of gene expression contributes to phenotypic variation.

    PubMed

    de Montaigu, Amaury; Giakountis, Antonis; Rubin, Matthew; Tóth, Réka; Cremer, Frédéric; Sokolova, Vladislava; Porri, Aimone; Reymond, Matthieu; Weinig, Cynthia; Coupland, George

    2015-01-20

    Daily rhythms of gene expression provide a benefit to most organisms by ensuring that biological processes are activated at the optimal time of day. Although temporal patterns of expression control plant traits of agricultural importance, how natural genetic variation modifies these patterns during the day and how precisely these patterns influence phenotypes is poorly understood. The circadian clock regulates the timing of gene expression, and natural variation in circadian rhythms has been described, but circadian rhythms are measured in artificial continuous conditions that do not reflect the complexity of biologically relevant day/night cycles. By studying transcriptional rhythms of the evening-expressed gene gigantea (GI) at high temporal resolution and during day/night cycles, we show that natural variation in the timing of GI expression occurs mostly under long days in 77 Arabidopsis accessions. This variation is explained by natural alleles that alter light sensitivity of GI, specifically in the evening, and that act at least partly independent of circadian rhythms. Natural alleles induce precise changes in the temporal waveform of GI expression, and these changes have detectable effects on phytochrome interacting factor 4 expression and growth. Our findings provide a paradigm for how natural alleles act within day/night cycles to precisely modify temporal gene expression waveforms and cause phenotypic diversity. Such alleles could confer an advantage by adjusting the activity of temporally regulated processes without severely disrupting the circadian system. PMID:25548158

  18. Natural diversity in daily rhythms of gene expression contributes to phenotypic variation

    PubMed Central

    de Montaigu, Amaury; Giakountis, Antonis; Rubin, Matthew; Tóth, Réka; Cremer, Frédéric; Sokolova, Vladislava; Porri, Aimone; Reymond, Matthieu; Weinig, Cynthia; Coupland, George

    2015-01-01

    Daily rhythms of gene expression provide a benefit to most organisms by ensuring that biological processes are activated at the optimal time of day. Although temporal patterns of expression control plant traits of agricultural importance, how natural genetic variation modifies these patterns during the day and how precisely these patterns influence phenotypes is poorly understood. The circadian clock regulates the timing of gene expression, and natural variation in circadian rhythms has been described, but circadian rhythms are measured in artificial continuous conditions that do not reflect the complexity of biologically relevant day/night cycles. By studying transcriptional rhythms of the evening-expressed gene GIGANTEA (GI) at high temporal resolution and during day/night cycles, we show that natural variation in the timing of GI expression occurs mostly under long days in 77 Arabidopsis accessions. This variation is explained by natural alleles that alter light sensitivity of GI, specifically in the evening, and that act at least partly independent of circadian rhythms. Natural alleles induce precise changes in the temporal waveform of GI expression, and these changes have detectable effects on PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 4 expression and growth. Our findings provide a paradigm for how natural alleles act within day/night cycles to precisely modify temporal gene expression waveforms and cause phenotypic diversity. Such alleles could confer an advantage by adjusting the activity of temporally regulated processes without severely disrupting the circadian system. PMID:25548158

  19. Marked phenotypic variation in a family with a new myelin protein zero mutation.

    PubMed

    Szabo, A; Züchner, S; Siska, E; Mechler, F; Molnar, M J

    2005-11-01

    Myelin protein zero (MPZ) is a member of the immunoglobulin gene superfamily, which has a role in myelin compaction. MPZ gene mutations cause mostly demyelinating neuropathies of the Charcot-Marie-Tooth 1B type (CMT1B), but axonal CMT have been described as well. There is a broad spectrum of phenotypic manifestation of neuropathies caused by MPZ mutations. Some mutations of MPZ cause severe early-onset neuropathies such as Dejerine-Sottas disease, while others cause the classical CMT phenotype with normal early milestones but development of disability during the first two decades of life. We describe a family in which five members of three consecutive generations had a heterozygous mutation in nucleotide position 143 with a T-C transition in exon 2 of the MPZ gene. The resulting substitution of Leu48 with proline has not been previously described. The age of onset of symptoms varied from 8 months to 41 years. The marked variation of the age of disease onset and clinical phenotype in this one family, related to the same MPZ mutation, suggests that in addition to the type and intragenic location of the mutation, other putative modifying gene(s) are regulating MPZ gene expression, mRNA stability and posttranslational protein modification and may have an important effect on the ultimate clinical phenotype. PMID:16198109

  20. Propagule Limitation, Disparate Habitat Quality, and Variation in Phenotypic Selection at a Local Species Range Boundary

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Kara A.; Stanton, Maureen L.

    2014-01-01

    Adaptation to novel conditions beyond current range boundaries requires the presence of suitable sites within dispersal range, but may be impeded when emigrants encounter poor habitat and sharply different selection pressures. We investigated fine-scale spatial heterogeneity in ecological dynamics and selection at a local population boundary of the annual plant Gilia tricolor. In two years, we planted G. tricolor seeds in core habitat, margin habitat at the edge of the local range, and exterior habitat in order to measure spatial and temporal variation in habitat quality, opportunity for selection, and selection on phenotypic traits. We found a striking decline in average habitat quality with distance from the population core, yet some migrant seeds were successful in suitable, unoccupied microsites at and beyond the range boundary. Total and direct selection on four out of five measured phenotypic traits varied across habitat zones, as well as between years. Moreover, the margin habitat often exerted unique selection pressures that were not intermediate between core and exterior habitats. This study reveals that a combination of ecological and evolutionary forces, including propagule limitation, variation in habitat quality and spatial heterogeneity in phenotypic selection may reduce opportunities for adaptive range expansion, even across a very local population boundary. PMID:24717472

  1. The alignment between phenotypic plasticity, the major axis of genetic variation and the response to selection

    PubMed Central

    Lind, Martin I.; Yarlett, Kylie; Reger, Julia; Carter, Mauricio J.; Beckerman, Andrew P.

    2015-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of a genotype to produce more than one phenotype in order to match the environment. Recent theory proposes that the major axis of genetic variation in a phenotypically plastic population can align with the direction of selection. Therefore, theory predicts that plasticity directly aids adaptation by increasing genetic variation in the direction favoured by selection and reflected in plasticity. We evaluated this theory in the freshwater crustacean Daphnia pulex, facing predation risk from two contrasting size-selective predators. We estimated plasticity in several life-history traits, the G matrix of these traits, the selection gradients on reproduction and survival, and the predicted responses to selection. Using these data, we tested whether the genetic lines of least resistance and the predicted response to selection aligned with plasticity. We found predator environment-specific G matrices, but shared genetic architecture across environments resulted in more constraint in the G matrix than in the plasticity of the traits, sometimes preventing alignment of the two. However, as the importance of survival selection increased, the difference between environments in their predicted response to selection increased and resulted in closer alignment between the plasticity and the predicted selection response. Therefore, plasticity may indeed aid adaptation to new environments. PMID:26423845

  2. The alignment between phenotypic plasticity, the major axis of genetic variation and the response to selection.

    PubMed

    Lind, Martin I; Yarlett, Kylie; Reger, Julia; Carter, Mauricio J; Beckerman, Andrew P

    2015-10-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of a genotype to produce more than one phenotype in order to match the environment. Recent theory proposes that the major axis of genetic variation in a phenotypically plastic population can align with the direction of selection. Therefore, theory predicts that plasticity directly aids adaptation by increasing genetic variation in the direction favoured by selection and reflected in plasticity. We evaluated this theory in the freshwater crustacean Daphnia pulex, facing predation risk from two contrasting size-selective predators. We estimated plasticity in several life-history traits, the G matrix of these traits, the selection gradients on reproduction and survival, and the predicted responses to selection. Using these data, we tested whether the genetic lines of least resistance and the predicted response to selection aligned with plasticity. We found predator environment-specific G matrices, but shared genetic architecture across environments resulted in more constraint in the G matrix than in the plasticity of the traits, sometimes preventing alignment of the two. However, as the importance of survival selection increased, the difference between environments in their predicted response to selection increased and resulted in closer alignment between the plasticity and the predicted selection response. Therefore, plasticity may indeed aid adaptation to new environments. PMID:26423845

  3. The Rat Genome Database 2015: genomic, phenotypic and environmental variations and disease

    PubMed Central

    Shimoyama, Mary; De Pons, Jeff; Hayman, G. Thomas; Laulederkind, Stanley J.F.; Liu, Weisong; Nigam, Rajni; Petri, Victoria; Smith, Jennifer R.; Tutaj, Marek; Wang, Shur-Jen; Worthey, Elizabeth; Dwinell, Melinda; Jacob, Howard

    2015-01-01

    The Rat Genome Database (RGD, http://rgd.mcw.edu) provides the most comprehensive data repository and informatics platform related to the laboratory rat, one of the most important model organisms for disease studies. RGD maintains and updates datasets for genomic elements such as genes, transcripts and increasingly in recent years, sequence variations, as well as map positions for multiple assemblies and sequence information. Functional annotations for genomic elements are curated from published literature, submitted by researchers and integrated from other public resources. Complementing the genomic data catalogs are those associated with phenotypes and disease, including strains, QTL and experimental phenotype measurements across hundreds of strains. Data are submitted by researchers, acquired through bulk data pipelines or curated from published literature. Innovative software tools provide users with an integrated platform to query, mine, display and analyze valuable genomic and phenomic datasets for discovery and enhancement of their own research. This update highlights recent developments that reflect an increasing focus on: (i) genomic variation, (ii) phenotypes and diseases, (iii) data related to the environment and experimental conditions and (iv) datasets and software tools that allow the user to explore and analyze the interactions among these and their impact on disease. PMID:25355511

  4. Effects of genotypic and phenotypic variation on establishment are important for conservation, invasion, and infection biology

    PubMed Central

    Forsman, Anders

    2014-01-01

    There is abundant evidence that the probability of successful establishment in novel environments increases with number of individuals in founder groups and with number of repeated introductions. Theory posits that the genotypic and phenotypic variation among individuals should also be important, but few studies have examined whether founder diversity influences establishment independent of propagule pressure, nor whether the effect is model or context dependent. I summarize the results of 18 experimental studies and report on a metaanalysis that provides strong evidence that higher levels of genotypic and phenotypic diversity in founder groups increase establishment success in plants and animals. The effect of diversity is stronger in experiments carried out under natural conditions in the wild than under seminatural or standardized laboratory conditions. The realization that genetic and phenotypic variation is key to successful establishment may improve the outcome of reintroduction and translocation programs used to vitalize or restore declining and extinct populations. Founder diversity may also improve the ability of invasive species to establish and subsequently spread in environments outside of their native community, and enhance the ability of pathogens and parasites to colonize and invade the environment constituted by their hosts. It is argued that exchange of ideas, methodological approaches, and insights of the role of diversity for establishment in different contexts may further our knowledge, vitalize future research, and improve management plans in different disciplines. PMID:24367109

  5. Hormones, life-history, and phenotypic variation: opportunities in evolutionary avian endocrinology.

    PubMed

    Williams, Tony D

    2012-05-01

    Life-histories provide a powerful, conceptual framework for integration of endocrinology, evolutionary biology and ecology. This has been a commonly articulated statement but here I show, in the context of avian reproduction, that true integration of ultimate and proximate approaches has been slow. We have only a rudimentary understanding of the physiological and hormonal basis of phenotypic variation in (a) reproductive traits that contribute most to individual variation in lifetime fitness in birds (e.g. laying date, clutch size, parental effort) and (b) trade-offs that link these traits or that link reproduction to other life stages (e.g. migration, molt). I suggest that some reasons for this relative lack of progress include (a) an increasingly reductionist and centralist (upstream) focus which is more and more removed from ecological/evolutionary context, and from peripheral (downstream) mechanisms that actually determine how phenotypes work (b) a long-standing male-bias in experimental studies, even though the key reproductive traits which contribute most to variation in fitness are female-specific traits (e.g. onset of vitellogenesis, egg size or number). Endocrine systems provide strong candidate mechanisms for regulation of phenotypic variation in single traits, and two endocrine concepts capture the essence of life-history trade-offs: (a) hormonal 'pleiotropy', when single hormones have both positive and negative effects on multiple physiological systems and (b) hormonal conflict between regulatory systems required for different but over-lapping or linked life-history stages. I illustrate these ideas with examples of reproductive anemia, migration-reproduction overlap, and molt-breeding overlap, to highlight some of the tremendous opportunities that exist for comparative endocrinologists to contribute to mechanistic studies of avian reproduction in an evolutionary context. PMID:22154573

  6. Identification of Genomic Regions Associated with Phenotypic Variation between Dog Breeds using Selection Mapping

    PubMed Central

    Derrien, Thomas; Axelsson, Erik; Rosengren Pielberg, Gerli; Sigurdsson, Snaevar; Fall, Tove; Seppälä, Eija H.; Hansen, Mark S. T.; Lawley, Cindy T.; Karlsson, Elinor K.; Bannasch, Danika; Vilà, Carles; Lohi, Hannes; Galibert, Francis; Fredholm, Merete; Häggström, Jens; Hedhammar, Åke; André, Catherine; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Hitte, Christophe; Webster, Matthew T.

    2011-01-01

    The extraordinary phenotypic diversity of dog breeds has been sculpted by a unique population history accompanied by selection for novel and desirable traits. Here we perform a comprehensive analysis using multiple test statistics to identify regions under selection in 509 dogs from 46 diverse breeds using a newly developed high-density genotyping array consisting of >170,000 evenly spaced SNPs. We first identify 44 genomic regions exhibiting extreme differentiation across multiple breeds. Genetic variation in these regions correlates with variation in several phenotypic traits that vary between breeds, and we identify novel associations with both morphological and behavioral traits. We next scan the genome for signatures of selective sweeps in single breeds, characterized by long regions of reduced heterozygosity and fixation of extended haplotypes. These scans identify hundreds of regions, including 22 blocks of homozygosity longer than one megabase in certain breeds. Candidate selection loci are strongly enriched for developmental genes. We chose one highly differentiated region, associated with body size and ear morphology, and characterized it using high-throughput sequencing to provide a list of variants that may directly affect these traits. This study provides a catalogue of genomic regions showing extreme reduction in genetic variation or population differentiation in dogs, including many linked to phenotypic variation. The many blocks of reduced haplotype diversity observed across the genome in dog breeds are the result of both selection and genetic drift, but extended blocks of homozygosity on a megabase scale appear to be best explained by selection. Further elucidation of the variants under selection will help to uncover the genetic basis of complex traits and disease. PMID:22022279

  7. Copy number variations at LEPR gene locus associated with gene expression and phenotypic traits in Chinese cattle.

    PubMed

    Shi, Tao; Xu, Yao; Yang, Mingjuan; Huang, Yongzhen; Lan, Xianyong; Lei, Chuzhao; Qi, Xinglei; Yang, Xiaoming; Chen, Hong

    2016-03-01

    Current evidences show that copy number variations (CNVs) are linked to complex phenotypic traits. Leptin receptor (LEPR) gene plays a critical role in energy homeostasis and fat development and re-sequencing of the cattle genome revealed the CNV region (herein referred to as "I3 DNA") within the LEPR intron 3. In the present study, we qualified copy numbers of I3 DNA within LEPR gene in four cattle breeds (Qinchuan, Nanyang, Jinnan and Xianan) by quantitative PCR, and explored their impacts on LEPR gene expression and phenotypic traits in Qinchuan and Nanyang cattle. The results showed that more individuals in Nanyang are with loss of the I3 DNA copy number than that in the others. Additionally, I3 DNA CNVs exhibited a significant negative correlation with LEPR gene expression (P < 0.05). Association analysis showed that gain/normal copy number types performed better traits of body weight, body height and body length than the loss type in Nanyang. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first evidence of the association between LEPR CNVs and cattle traits, and this may help deep understanding of the function of CNVs which may be promising markers for beef cattle breeding and genetics. © 2015 Japanese Society of Animal Science. PMID:26568073

  8. Intra-specific variation in genome size in maize: cytological and phenotypic correlates

    PubMed Central

    Realini, María Florencia; Poggio, Lidia; Cámara-Hernández, Julián; González, Graciela Esther

    2016-01-01

    Genome size variation accompanies the diversification and evolution of many plant species. Relationships between DNA amount and phenotypic and cytological characteristics form the basis of most hypotheses that ascribe a biological role to genome size. The goal of the present research was to investigate the intra-specific variation in the DNA content in maize populations from Northeastern Argentina and further explore the relationship between genome size and the phenotypic traits seed weight and length of the vegetative cycle. Moreover, cytological parameters such as the percentage of heterochromatin as well as the number, position and sequence composition of knobs were analysed and their relationships with 2C DNA values were explored. The populations analysed presented significant differences in 2C DNA amount, from 4.62 to 6.29 pg, representing 36.15 % of the inter-populational variation. Moreover, intra-populational genome size variation was found, varying from 1.08 to 1.63-fold. The variation in the percentage of knob heterochromatin as well as in the number, chromosome position and sequence composition of the knobs was detected among and within the populations. Although a positive relationship between genome size and the percentage of heterochromatin was observed, a significant correlation was not found. This confirms that other non-coding repetitive DNA sequences are contributing to the genome size variation. A positive relationship between DNA amount and the seed weight has been reported in a large number of species, this relationship was not found in the populations studied here. The length of the vegetative cycle showed a positive correlation with the percentage of heterochromatin. This result allowed attributing an adaptive effect to heterochromatin since the length of this cycle would be optimized via selection for an appropriate percentage of heterochromatin. PMID:26644343

  9. Genetic and phenotypically flexible components of seasonal variation in immune function.

    PubMed

    Versteegh, M A; Helm, B; Kleynhans, E J; Gwinner, E; Tieleman, B I

    2014-05-01

    Animals cope with seasonal variation in environmental factors by adjustments of physiology and life history. When seasonal variation is partly predictable, such adjustments can be based on a genetic component or be phenotypically flexible. Animals have to allocate limited resources over different demands, including immune function. Accordingly, immune traits could change seasonally, and such changes could have a genetic component that differs between environments. We tested this hypothesis in genotypically distinct groups of a widespread songbird, the stonechat (Saxicola torquata). We compared variation in immunity during 1 year in long-distance migrants, short-distance migrants, tropical residents and hybrids in a common garden environment. Additionally, we investigated phenotypically flexible responses to temperature by applying different temperature regimes to one group. We assessed constitutive immunity by measuring hemagglutination, hemolysis, haptoglobin and bactericidal ability against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Genotypic groups differed in patterns of variation of all measured immune indices except haptoglobin. Hybrids differed from, but were rarely intermediate to, parental subspecies. Temperature treatment only influenced patterns of hemolysis and bactericidal ability against E. coli. We conclude that seasonal variation in constitutive immunity has a genetic component, that heredity does not follow simple Mendelian rules, and that some immune measures are relatively rigid while others are more flexible. Furthermore, our results support the idea that seasonal variability in constitutive immunity is associated with variability in environment and annual-cycle demands. This study stresses the importance of considering seasonal variation in immune function in relation to the ecology and life history of the organism of interest. PMID:24436383

  10. Anticipation with phenotypic variation in three father-son pairs with affective disorder: a case series.

    PubMed

    Rajkumar, R P

    2014-12-01

    Anticipation is a phenomenon in which successive generations within a family experience an earlier age of onset and a more severe form of a given illness. It has been observed in various neurological and psychiatric conditions, including bipolar disorder. The molecular basis of anticipation involves trinucleotide repeat expansions in genes, but this has not been conclusively demonstrated in bipolar disorder. The histories of 3 father-son pairs are presented. In each pair, the son presented with an early-onset bipolar disorder, and the father developed severe depression after the age of 50 years. No female relatives were affected. The implications of these observations are discussed. Genetic, epigenetic, and environmental mechanisms that may have contributed to this phenomenon are briefly described. The study of such patients may throw light on the "extended phenotype" of mood disorders, as well as the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms involved in the phenomena of anticipation and phenotypic variation. PMID:25482836

  11. Inferring metabolic phenotypes from the exometabolome through a thermodynamic variational principle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Martino, Daniele; Capuani, Fabrizio; De Martino, Andrea

    2014-11-01

    Networks of biochemical reactions, like cellular metabolic networks, are kept in non-equilibrium steady states by the exchange fluxes connecting them to the environment. In most cases, feasible flux configurations can be derived from minimal mass-balance assumptions upon prescribing in- and outtake fluxes. Here we consider the problem of inferring intracellular flux patterns from extracellular metabolite levels. Resorting to a thermodynamic out of equilibrium variational principle to describe the network at steady state, we show that the switch from fermentative to oxidative phenotypes in cells can be characterized in terms of the glucose, lactate, oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations. Results obtained for an exactly solvable toy model are fully recovered for a large scale reconstruction of human catabolism. Finally we argue that, in spite of the many approximations involved in the theory, available data for several human cell types are well described by the predicted phenotypic map of the problem.

  12. Quantitative analysis of ruminal methanogenic microbial populations in beef cattle divergent in phenotypic residual feed intake (RFI) offered contrasting diets

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Methane (CH4) emissions in cattle are an undesirable end product of rumen methanogenic fermentative activity as they are associated not only with negative environmental impacts but also with reduced host feed efficiency. The aim of this study was to quantify total and specific rumen microbial methanogenic populations in beef cattle divergently selected for residual feed intake (RFI) while offered (i) a low energy high forage (HF) diet followed by (ii) a high energy low forage (LF) diet. Ruminal fluid was collected from 14 high (H) and 14 low (L) RFI animals across both dietary periods. Quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis was conducted to quantify the abundance of total and specific rumen methanogenic microbes. Spearman correlation analysis was used to investigate the association between the relative abundance of methanogens and animal performance, rumen fermentation variables and diet digestibility. Results Abundance of methanogens, did not differ between RFI phenotypes. However, relative abundance of total and specific methanogen species was affected (P < 0.05) by diet type, with greater abundance observed while animals were offered the LF compared to the HF diet. Conclusions These findings suggest that differences in abundance of specific rumen methanogen species may not contribute to variation in CH4 emissions between efficient and inefficient animals, however dietary manipulation can influence the abundance of total and specific methanogen species. PMID:25276350

  13. Functional Coding Variation in Recombinant Inbred Mouse Lines Reveals Novel Serotonin Transporter-Associated Phenotypes

    SciTech Connect

    Carneiro, Ana; Airey, David; Thompson, Brent; Zhu, C; Rinchik, Eugene M; Lu, Lu; Chesler, Elissa J; Erikson, Keith; Blakely, Randy

    2009-01-01

    The human serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) transporter (hSERT, SLC6A4) figures prominently in the etiology or treatment of many prevalent neurobehavioral disorders including anxiety, alcoholism, depression, autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Here we utilize naturally occurring polymorphisms in recombinant inbred (RI) lines to identify novel phenotypes associated with altered SERT function. The widely used mouse strain C57BL/6J, harbors a SERT haplotype defined by two nonsynonymous coding variants (Gly39 and Lys152 (GK)). At these positions, many other mouse lines, including DBA/2J, encode Glu39 and Arg152 (ER haplotype), assignments found also in hSERT. Synaptosomal 5-HT transport studies revealed reduced uptake associated with the GK variant. Heterologous expression studies confirmed a reduced SERT turnover rate for the GK variant. Experimental and in silico approaches using RI lines (C57Bl/6J X DBA/2J=BXD) identifies multiple anatomical, biochemical and behavioral phenotypes specifically impacted by GK/ER variation. Among our findings are multiple traits associated with anxiety and alcohol consumption, as well as of the control of dopamine (DA) signaling. Further bioinformatic analysis of BXD phenotypes, combined with biochemical evaluation of SERT knockout mice, nominates SERT-dependent 5-HT signaling as a major determinant of midbrain iron homeostasis that, in turn, dictates ironregulated DA phenotypes. Our studies provide a novel example of the power of coordinated in vitro, in vivo and in silico approaches using murine RI lines to elucidate and quantify the system-level impact of gene variation.

  14. Quantitative DNA methylation analysis improves epigenotype-phenotype correlations in Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Calvello, Mariarosaria; Tabano, Silvia; Colapietro, Patrizia; Maitz, Silvia; Pansa, Alessandra; Augello, Claudia; Lalatta, Faustina; Gentilin, Barbara; Spreafico, Filippo; Calzari, Luciano; Perotti, Daniela; Larizza, Lidia; Russo, Silvia; Selicorni, Angelo; Sirchia, Silvia M; Miozzo, Monica

    2013-01-01

    Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is a rare disorder characterized by overgrowth and predisposition to embryonal tumors. BWS is caused by various epigenetic and/or genetic alterations that dysregulate the imprinted genes on chromosome region 11p15.5. Molecular analysis is required to reinforce the clinical diagnosis of BWS and to identify BWS patients with cancer susceptibility. This is particularly crucial prenatally because most signs of BWS cannot be recognized in utero. We established a reliable molecular assay by pyrosequencing to quantitatively evaluate the methylation profiles of ICR1 and ICR2. We explored epigenotype-phenotype correlations in 19 patients that fulfilled the clinical diagnostic criteria for BWS, 22 patients with suspected BWS, and three fetuses with omphalocele. Abnormal methylation was observed in one prenatal case and 19 postnatal cases, including seven suspected BWS. Seven cases showed ICR1 hypermethylation, five cases showed ICR2 hypomethylation, and eight cases showed abnormal methylation of ICR1 and ICR2 indicating paternal uniparental disomy (UPD). More cases of ICR1 alterations and UPD were found than expected. This is likely due to the sensitivity of this approach, which can detect slight deviations in methylation from normal levels. There was a significant correlation (p < 0.001) between the percentage of ICR1 methylation and BWS features: severe hypermethylation (range: 75–86%) was associated with macroglossia, macrosomia, and visceromegaly, whereas mild hypermethylation (range: 55–59%) was associated with umbilical hernia and diastasis recti. Evaluation of ICR1 and ICR2 methylation by pyrosequencing in BWS can improve epigenotype-phenotype correlations, detection of methylation alterations in suspected cases, and identification of UPD. PMID:23917791

  15. Potential Use of Quantitative Tissue Phenotype to Predict Malignant Risk for Oral Premalignant Lesions

    PubMed Central

    Guillaud, Martial; Zhang, Lewei; Poh, Catherine; Rosin, Miriam P.; MacAulay, Calum

    2009-01-01

    The importance of early diagnosis in improving mortality and morbidity rates of oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) has long been recognized. However, a major challenge for early diagnosis is our limited ability to differentiate oral premalignant lesions (OPLs) at high risk of progressing into invasive SCC from those at low risk. We investigated the potential of Quantitative Tissue Phenotype (QTP), measured by high-resolution image analysis, to recognize severe dysplasia/carcinoma in situ (CIS) (known to have an increased risk of progression) and to predict progression within hyperplasia or mild/moderate dysplasia (termed HMD). We generated a Nuclear Phenotypic Score (NPS), a combination of 5 nuclear morphometric features that best discriminate 4,027 “normal” nuclei (selected from 29 normal oral biopsies) from 4,298 “abnormal” nuclei (selected from 30 SCC biopsies). This NPS was then determined for a set of 69 OPLs. Severe dysplasia/CIS, showed a significant increase in NPS compared to HMD. However, within the latter group, elevated NPS was strongly associated with the presence of high-risk LOH patterns. There was a statistical difference between NPS of HMD that progressed to cancer and those that did not. Individuals with a high NPS had a 10-fold increase in relative risk of progression. In the multivariate Cox model, LOH and NPS together were the strongest predictors for cancer development. These data suggest that QTP could be used to identify lesions that require molecular evaluation and should be integrated with such approaches to facilitate the identification of HMD OPLs at high risk of progression. PMID:18451134

  16. Multiple Disguises for the Same Party: The Concepts of Morphogenesis and Phenotypic Variations in Cryptococcus neoformans.

    PubMed

    Zaragoza, Oscar

    2011-01-01

    Although morphological transitions (such as hyphae and pseudohyphae formation) are a common feature among fungi, the encapsulated pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans is found during infection as blastoconidia. However, this fungus exhibits striking variations in cellular structure and size, which have important consequences during infection. This review will summarize the main aspects related with phenotypic and morphological variations in C. neoformans, which can be divided in three classes. Two of them are related to changes in the capsule, while the third one involves changes in the whole cell. The three morphological and phenotypic variations in C. neoformans can be classified as: (1) changes in capsule structure, (2) changes in capsule size, and (3) changes in the total size of the cell, which can be achieved by the formation of cryptococcal giant/titan cells or microforms. These changes have profound consequences on the interaction with the host, involving survival, phagocytosis escape and immune evasion and dissemination. This article will summarize the main features of these changes, and highlight their importance during the interaction with the host and how they contribute to the development of the disease. PMID:21922016

  17. Multiple Disguises for the Same Party: The Concepts of Morphogenesis and Phenotypic Variations in Cryptococcus neoformans†

    PubMed Central

    Zaragoza, Oscar

    2011-01-01

    Although morphological transitions (such as hyphae and pseudohyphae formation) are a common feature among fungi, the encapsulated pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans is found during infection as blastoconidia. However, this fungus exhibits striking variations in cellular structure and size, which have important consequences during infection. This review will summarize the main aspects related with phenotypic and morphological variations in C. neoformans, which can be divided in three classes. Two of them are related to changes in the capsule, while the third one involves changes in the whole cell. The three morphological and phenotypic variations in C. neoformans can be classified as: (1) changes in capsule structure, (2) changes in capsule size, and (3) changes in the total size of the cell, which can be achieved by the formation of cryptococcal giant/titan cells or microforms. These changes have profound consequences on the interaction with the host, involving survival, phagocytosis escape and immune evasion and dissemination. This article will summarize the main features of these changes, and highlight their importance during the interaction with the host and how they contribute to the development of the disease. PMID:21922016

  18. Does individual variation in metabolic phenotype predict fish behaviour and performance?

    PubMed

    Metcalfe, N B; Van Leeuwen, T E; Killen, S S

    2016-01-01

    There is increasing interest in documenting and explaining the existence of marked intraspecific variation in metabolic rate in animals, with fishes providing some of the best-studied examples. After accounting for variation due to other factors, there can typically be a two to three-fold variation among individual fishes for both standard and maximum metabolic rate (SMR and MMR). This variation is reasonably consistent over time (provided that conditions remain stable), and its underlying causes may be influenced by both genes and developmental conditions. In this paper, current knowledge of the extent and causes of individual variation in SMR, MMR and aerobic scope (AS), collectively its metabolic phenotype, is reviewed and potential links among metabolism, behaviour and performance are described. Intraspecific variation in metabolism has been found to be related to other traits: fishes with a relatively high SMR tend to be more dominant and grow faster in high food environments, but may lose their advantage and are more prone to risk-taking when conditions deteriorate. In contrast to the wide body of research examining links between SMR and behavioural traits, very little work has been directed towards understanding the ecological consequences of individual variation in MMR and AS. Although AS can differ among populations of the same species in response to performance demands, virtually nothing is known about the effects of AS on individual behaviours such as those associated with foraging or predator avoidance. Further, while factors such as food availability, temperature, hypoxia and the fish's social environment are known to alter resting and MMRs in fishes, there is a paucity of studies examining how these effects vary among individuals, and how this variation relates to behaviour. Given the observed links between metabolism and measures of performance, understanding the metabolic responses of individuals to changing environments will be a key area for future research because the environment will have a strong influence on which animals survive predation, become dominant and ultimately have the highest reproductive success. Although current evidence suggests that variation in SMR may be maintained within populations via context-dependent fitness benefits, it is suggested that a more integrative approach is now required to fully understand how the environment can modulate individual performance via effects on metabolic phenotypes encompassing SMR, MMR and AS. PMID:26577442

  19. Quantitative mouse brain phenotyping based on single and multispectral MR protocols.

    PubMed

    Badea, Alexandra; Gewalt, Sally; Avants, Brian B; Cook, James J; Johnson, G Allan

    2012-11-15

    Sophisticated image analysis methods have been developed for the human brain, but such tools still need to be adapted and optimized for quantitative small animal imaging. We propose a framework for quantitative anatomical phenotyping in mouse models of neurological and psychiatric conditions. The framework encompasses an atlas space, image acquisition protocols, and software tools to register images into this space. We show that a suite of segmentation tools (Avants, Epstein et al., 2008) designed for human neuroimaging can be incorporated into a pipeline for segmenting mouse brain images acquired with multispectral magnetic resonance imaging (MR) protocols. We present a flexible approach for segmenting such hyperimages, optimizing registration, and identifying optimal combinations of image channels for particular structures. Brain imaging with T1, T2* and T2 contrasts yielded accuracy in the range of 83% for hippocampus and caudate putamen (Hc and CPu), but only 54% in white matter tracts, and 44% for the ventricles. The addition of diffusion tensor parameter images improved accuracy for large gray matter structures (by >5%), white matter (10%), and ventricles (15%). The use of Markov random field segmentation further improved overall accuracy in the C57BL/6 strain by 6%; so Dice coefficients for Hc and CPu reached 93%, for white matter 79%, for ventricles 68%, and for substantia nigra 80%. We demonstrate the segmentation pipeline for the widely used C57BL/6 strain, and two test strains (BXD29, APP/TTA). This approach appears promising for characterizing temporal changes in mouse models of human neurological and psychiatric conditions, and may provide anatomical constraints for other preclinical imaging, e.g. fMRI and molecular imaging. This is the first demonstration that multiple MR imaging modalities combined with multivariate segmentation methods lead to significant improvements in anatomical segmentation in the mouse brain. PMID:22836174

  20. Quantitative mouse brain phenotyping based on single and multispectral MR protocols

    PubMed Central

    Badea, Alexandra; Gewalt, Sally; Avants, Brian B.; Cook, James J.; Johnson, G. Allan

    2013-01-01

    Sophisticated image analysis methods have been developed for the human brain, but such tools still need to be adapted and optimized for quantitative small animal imaging. We propose a framework for quantitative anatomical phenotyping in mouse models of neurological and psychiatric conditions. The framework encompasses an atlas space, image acquisition protocols, and software tools to register images into this space. We show that a suite of segmentation tools (Avants, Epstein et al., 2008) designed for human neuroimaging can be incorporated into a pipeline for segmenting mouse brain images acquired with multispectral magnetic resonance imaging (MR) protocols. We present a flexible approach for segmenting such hyperimages, optimizing registration, and identifying optimal combinations of image channels for particular structures. Brain imaging with T1, T2* and T2 contrasts yielded accuracy in the range of 83% for hippocampus and caudate putamen (Hc and CPu), but only 54% in white matter tracts, and 44% for the ventricles. The addition of diffusion tensor parameter images improved accuracy for large gray matter structures (by >5%), white matter (10%), and ventricles (15%). The use of Markov random field segmentation further improved overall accuracy in the C57BL/6 strain by 6%; so Dice coefficients for Hc and CPu reached 93%, for white matter 79%, for ventricles 68%, and for substantia nigra 80%. We demonstrate the segmentation pipeline for the widely used C57BL/6 strain, and two test strains (BXD29, APP/TTA). This approach appears promising for characterizing temporal changes in mouse models of human neurological and psychiatric conditions, and may provide anatomical constraints for other preclinical imaging, e.g. fMRI and molecular imaging. This is the first demonstration that multiple MR imaging modalities combined with multivariate segmentation methods lead to significant improvements in anatomical segmentation in the mouse brain. PMID:22836174

  1. Phenotypic Variation and Sexual Size Dimorphism in Dichroplus elongatus (Orthoptera: Acrididae).

    PubMed

    Rosetti, N; Remis, M I

    2015-08-01

    Patterns of body size evolution are of particular interest because body size can affect virtually all the physiological and life history traits of an organism. Sexual size dimorphism (SSD), a difference in body size between males and females, is a widespread phenomenon in insects. Much of the variation in SSD is genetically based and likely due to differential selection acting on males and females. The importance of environmental variables and evolutionary processes affecting phenotypeic variation in both sexes may be useful to gain insights into insect ecology and evolution. Dichroplus elongatus Giglio-Tos is a South American grasshopper widely distributed throughout Argentina, Uruguay, most of Chile, and southern Brazil. In this study, we analyzed 122 adult females of D. elongatus collected in eight natural populations from central-east Argentina. Females show large body size variation among the analyzed populations and this variation exhibits a strong relationship with fecundity. Our results have shown that larger females were more fecund than smaller ones. We found that ovariole number varied along a latitudinal gradient, with higher ovariole numbers in populations from warmer locations. A considerable female-biased SSD was detected. SSD for three analyzed morphometric traits scaled isometrically. However, SSD for thorax length displayed a considerable variation across the studied area, indicating a larger relative increase in female size than in male size in warmer environmental conditions. PMID:26314070

  2. Variation and inter-relationships of quantitative traits in tef (Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter) germplasm from western and southern Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Assefa, Kebebew; Tefera, Hailu; Merker, Arnulf

    2002-01-01

    Three thousand tef (Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter) lines representing 60 germplasm populations from western and southern Ethiopia were sown on pellic Vertisols at Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center during the 1999/2000 main season. The objectives were to assess the variation with respect to regions and altitude zones of origin and to study the inter-relationships of 17 pheno-morphic and agronomic traits. The populations showed significant (p < or = 0.05) regional variation in 10 (59%) of the quantitative traits, but clinal variation among altitude zones was significant (p < or = 0.05) only for six (35%) of the traits. On the other hand, the populations revealed consistent variation (p < or = 0.05) within both regions and altitude zones in all the traits evaluated. Likewise, the variation among lines within populations of both regions and altitude zones was significant (p < or = 0.05) in most of the traits. The number of characters showing substantial correlation depicted regional and clinal variation mainly depending on the number of populations. Based on the mean of the populations, grain yield panicle and shoot phytomass plant showed negative correlation with harvest index, and positive correlation with most of the remaining traits. Individual plant grain yield was positively correlated with all the other traits except harvest index, days to maturity, grain filling period and number of primary panicle branches. Overall, the tef germplasm populations showed substantial phenotypic variation which can be utilized in the genetic improvement of the crop. PMID:12369096

  3. Quantitative molecular phenotyping with topically applied SERS nanoparticles for intraoperative guidance of breast cancer lumpectomy

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yu; Kang, Soyoung; Khan, Altaz; Ruttner, Gabriel; Leigh, Steven Y.; Murray, Melissa; Abeytunge, Sanjee; Peterson, Gary; Rajadhyaksha, Milind; Dintzis, Suzanne; Javid, Sara; Liu, Jonathan T.C.

    2016-01-01

    There is a need to image excised tissues during tumor-resection procedures in order to identify residual tumors at the margins and to guide their complete removal. The imaging of dysregulated cell-surface receptors is a potential means of identifying the presence of diseases with high sensitivity and specificity. However, due to heterogeneities in the expression of protein biomarkers in tumors, molecular-imaging technologies should ideally be capable of visualizing a multiplexed panel of cancer biomarkers. Here, we demonstrate that the topical application and quantification of a multiplexed cocktail of receptor-targeted surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanoparticles (NPs) enables rapid quantitative molecular phenotyping (QMP) of the surface of freshly excised tissues to determine the presence of disease. In order to mitigate the ambiguity due to nonspecific sources of contrast such as off-target binding or uneven delivery, a ratiometric method is employed to quantify the specific vs. nonspecific binding of the multiplexed NPs. Validation experiments with human tumor cell lines, fresh human tumor xenografts in mice, and fresh human breast specimens demonstrate that QMP imaging of excised tissues agrees with flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry, and that this technique may be achieved in less than 15 minutes for potential intraoperative use in guiding breast-conserving surgeries. PMID:26878888

  4. Quantitative molecular phenotyping with topically applied SERS nanoparticles for intraoperative guidance of breast cancer lumpectomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Yu; Kang, Soyoung; Khan, Altaz; Ruttner, Gabriel; Leigh, Steven Y.; Murray, Melissa; Abeytunge, Sanjee; Peterson, Gary; Rajadhyaksha, Milind; Dintzis, Suzanne; Javid, Sara; Liu, Jonathan T. C.

    2016-02-01

    There is a need to image excised tissues during tumor-resection procedures in order to identify residual tumors at the margins and to guide their complete removal. The imaging of dysregulated cell-surface receptors is a potential means of identifying the presence of diseases with high sensitivity and specificity. However, due to heterogeneities in the expression of protein biomarkers in tumors, molecular-imaging technologies should ideally be capable of visualizing a multiplexed panel of cancer biomarkers. Here, we demonstrate that the topical application and quantification of a multiplexed cocktail of receptor-targeted surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanoparticles (NPs) enables rapid quantitative molecular phenotyping (QMP) of the surface of freshly excised tissues to determine the presence of disease. In order to mitigate the ambiguity due to nonspecific sources of contrast such as off-target binding or uneven delivery, a ratiometric method is employed to quantify the specific vs. nonspecific binding of the multiplexed NPs. Validation experiments with human tumor cell lines, fresh human tumor xenografts in mice, and fresh human breast specimens demonstrate that QMP imaging of excised tissues agrees with flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry, and that this technique may be achieved in less than 15 minutes for potential intraoperative use in guiding breast-conserving surgeries.

  5. Genetic and phenotypic variation of the malaria vector Anopheles atroparvus in southern Europe

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background There is a growing concern that global climate change will affect the potential for pathogen transmission by insect species that are vectors of human diseases. One of these species is the former European malaria vector, Anopheles atroparvus. Levels of population differentiation of An. atroparvus from southern Europe were characterized as a first attempt to elucidate patterns of population structure of this former malaria vector. Results are discussed in light of a hypothetical situation of re-establishment of malaria transmission. Methods Genetic and phenotypic variation was analysed in nine mosquito samples collected from five European countries, using eight microsatellite loci and geometric morphometrics on 21 wing landmarks. Results Levels of genetic diversity were comparable to those reported for tropical malaria vectors. Low levels of genetic (0.004 phenotypic differentiation were detected among An. atroparvus populations spanning over 3,000 km distance. Genetic differentiation (0.202 phenotype level. Conclusions Levels of population differentiation within An. atroparvus were low and not correlated with geographic distance or with putative physical barriers to gene flow (Alps and Pyrenées). While these results may suggest considerable levels of gene flow, other explanations such as the effect of historical population perturbations can also be hypothesized. PMID:21223582

  6. Epigenetic marks: regulators of livestock phenotypes and conceivable sources of missing variation in livestock improvement programs.

    PubMed

    Ibeagha-Awemu, Eveline M; Zhao, Xin

    2015-01-01

    Improvement in animal productivity has been achieved over the years through careful breeding and selection programs. Today, variations in the genome are gaining increasing importance in livestock improvement strategies. Genomic information alone, however, explains only a part of the phenotypic variance in traits. It is likely that a portion of the unaccounted variance is embedded in the epigenome. The epigenome encompasses epigenetic marks such as DNA methylation, histone tail modifications, chromatin remodeling, and other molecules that can transmit epigenetic information such as non-coding RNA species. Epigenetic factors respond to external or internal environmental cues such as nutrition, pathogens, and climate, and have the ability to change gene expression leading to emergence of specific phenotypes. Accumulating evidence shows that epigenetic marks influence gene expression and phenotypic outcome in livestock species. This review examines available evidence of the influence of epigenetic marks on livestock (cattle, sheep, goat, and pig) traits and discusses the potential for consideration of epigenetic markers in livestock improvement programs. However, epigenetic research activities on farm animal species are currently limited partly due to lack of recognition, funding and a global network of researchers. Therefore, considerable less attention has been given to epigenetic research in livestock species in comparison to extensive work in humans and model organisms. Elucidating therefore the epigenetic determinants of animal diseases and complex traits may represent one of the principal challenges to use epigenetic markers for further improvement of animal productivity. PMID:26442116

  7. Phenotypic and genetic variation in emergence and development time of a trimorphic damselfly.

    PubMed

    Abbott, J; Svensson, E I

    2005-11-01

    Although colour polymorphisms in adult organisms of many taxa are often adaptive in the context of sexual selection or predation, genetic correlations between colour and other phenotypic traits expressed early in ontogeny could also play an important role in polymorphic systems. We studied phenotypic and genetic variation in development time among female colour morphs in the polymorphic damselfly Ischnura elegans in the field and by raising larvae in a common laboratory environment. In the field, the three different female morphs emerged at different times. Among laboratory-raised families, we found evidence of a significant correlation between maternal morph and larval development time in both sexes. This suggests that the phenotypic correlation between morph and emergence time in the field has a parallel in a genetic correlation between maternal colour and offspring development time. Maternal colour morph frequencies could thus potentially change as correlated responses to selection on larval emergence dates. The similar genetic correlation in male offspring suggests that sex-limitation in this system is incomplete, which may lead to an ontogenetic sexual conflict between selection for early male emergence (protandry) and emergence times associated with maternal morph. PMID:16313459

  8. Epigenetic marks: regulators of livestock phenotypes and conceivable sources of missing variation in livestock improvement programs

    PubMed Central

    Ibeagha-Awemu, Eveline M.; Zhao, Xin

    2015-01-01

    Improvement in animal productivity has been achieved over the years through careful breeding and selection programs. Today, variations in the genome are gaining increasing importance in livestock improvement strategies. Genomic information alone, however, explains only a part of the phenotypic variance in traits. It is likely that a portion of the unaccounted variance is embedded in the epigenome. The epigenome encompasses epigenetic marks such as DNA methylation, histone tail modifications, chromatin remodeling, and other molecules that can transmit epigenetic information such as non-coding RNA species. Epigenetic factors respond to external or internal environmental cues such as nutrition, pathogens, and climate, and have the ability to change gene expression leading to emergence of specific phenotypes. Accumulating evidence shows that epigenetic marks influence gene expression and phenotypic outcome in livestock species. This review examines available evidence of the influence of epigenetic marks on livestock (cattle, sheep, goat, and pig) traits and discusses the potential for consideration of epigenetic markers in livestock improvement programs. However, epigenetic research activities on farm animal species are currently limited partly due to lack of recognition, funding and a global network of researchers. Therefore, considerable less attention has been given to epigenetic research in livestock species in comparison to extensive work in humans and model organisms. Elucidating therefore the epigenetic determinants of animal diseases and complex traits may represent one of the principal challenges to use epigenetic markers for further improvement of animal productivity. PMID:26442116

  9. Genetic Differentiation, Clinal Variation and Phenotypic Associations With Growth Cessation Across the Populus tremula Photoperiodic Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Xiao-Fei; Hall, David; Onge, Katherine R. St.; Jansson, Stefan; Ingvarsson, Pär K.

    2010-01-01

    Perennial plants monitor seasonal changes through changes in environmental conditions such as the quantity and quality of light. To ensure a correct initiation of critical developmental processes, such as the initiation and cessation of growth, plants have adapted to a spatially variable light regime and genes in the photoperiodic pathway have been implicated as likely sources for these adaptations. Here we examine genetic variation in genes from the photoperiodic pathway in Populus tremula (Salicaceae) for signatures diversifying selection in response to varying light regimes across a latitudinal gradient. We fail to identify any loci with unusually high levels of genetic differentiation among populations despite identifying four SNPs that show significant allele frequency clines with latitude. We do, however, observe large covariance in allelic effects across populations for growth cessation, a highly adaptive trait in P. tremula. High covariance in allelic effects is a signature compatible with diversifying selection along an environmental gradient. We also observe significantly higher heterogeneity in genetic differentiation among SNPs from the photoperiod genes than among SNPs from randomly chosen genes. This suggests that spatially variable selection could be affecting genes from the photoperiod pathway even if selection is not strong enough to cause individual loci to be identified as outliers. SNPs from three genes in the photoperiod pathway (PHYB2, LHY1, and LHY2) show significant associations with natural variation in growth cessation. Collectively these SNPs explain 10–15% of the phenotypic variation in growth cessation. Covariances in allelic effects across populations help explain an additional 5–7% of the phenotypic variation in growth cessation. PMID:20805554

  10. Plasmodium falciparum Heterochromatin Protein 1 Marks Genomic Loci Linked to Phenotypic Variation of Exported Virulence Factors

    PubMed Central

    Volz, Jennifer; Niederwieser, Igor; Salcedo-Amaya, Adriana M.; Alako, Blaise T. F.; Ehlgen, Florian; Ralph, Stuart A.; Cowman, Alan F.; Bozdech, Zbynek; Stunnenberg, Hendrik G.; Voss, Till S.

    2009-01-01

    Epigenetic processes are the main conductors of phenotypic variation in eukaryotes. The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum employs antigenic variation of the major surface antigen PfEMP1, encoded by 60 var genes, to evade acquired immune responses. Antigenic variation of PfEMP1 occurs through in situ switches in mono-allelic var gene transcription, which is PfSIR2-dependent and associated with the presence of repressive H3K9me3 marks at silenced loci. Here, we show that P. falciparum heterochromatin protein 1 (PfHP1) binds specifically to H3K9me3 but not to other repressive histone methyl marks. Based on nuclear fractionation and detailed immuno-localization assays, PfHP1 constitutes a major component of heterochromatin in perinuclear chromosome end clusters. High-resolution genome-wide chromatin immuno-precipitation demonstrates the striking association of PfHP1 with virulence gene arrays in subtelomeric and chromosome-internal islands and a high correlation with previously mapped H3K9me3 marks. These include not only var genes, but also the majority of P. falciparum lineage-specific gene families coding for exported proteins involved in host–parasite interactions. In addition, we identified a number of PfHP1-bound genes that were not enriched in H3K9me3, many of which code for proteins expressed during invasion or at different life cycle stages. Interestingly, PfHP1 is absent from centromeric regions, implying important differences in centromere biology between P. falciparum and its human host. Over-expression of PfHP1 results in an enhancement of variegated expression and highlights the presence of well-defined heterochromatic boundaries. In summary, we identify PfHP1 as a major effector of virulence gene silencing and phenotypic variation. Our results are instrumental for our understanding of this widely used survival strategy in unicellular pathogens. PMID:19730695

  11. Evaluation of Cronobacter Growth and Phenotypic Variation Under Modified Culture Conditions.

    PubMed

    Segars, Katharine; Simpson, Steven; Kerdahi, Khalil; Sulaiman, Irshad M

    2016-02-01

    Cronobacter sakazakii is an opportunistic pathogen known to cause acute meningitis and necrotizing enterocolitis in neonates and immunocompromised individuals. It has been isolated from a wide range of food and environmental samples, and has been linked to outbreaks associated with powdered infant formula. This study was carried out to assess variations in growth conditions (temperature, pH, and sugar supplement) and to establish how these changes impact phenotypic characteristics for successful recovery and identification of Cronobacter, particularly for routine surveillance purposes. A total of six Cronobacter isolates were tested to evaluate the above growth conditions, including three ATCC Cronobacter reference and three environmental isolates obtained from regulatory sample screening. Although only slight changes in colony-forming units were observed across the pH range and the sugars tested, the morphology was significantly impacted by changes in these growth factors. Incubation between 30 and 50 °C resulted in growth after 24 h, and the growth was slower at ambient temperature and colony formation was most robust at 30 °C. Results of this study suggest that 30 °C may be suitable for recovery of some Cronobacter strains, and minor variations in growth conditions can alter colony morphology and appearance. Expression of unique biological characteristics based on phenotypic observations may be beneficial for differentiating various Cronobacter strains. PMID:26567034

  12. Genomic structural variation contributes to phenotypic change of industrial bioethanol yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ke; Zhang, Li-Jie; Fang, Ya-Hong; Jin, Xin-Na; Qi, Lei; Wu, Xue-Chang; Zheng, Dao-Qiong

    2016-03-01

    Genomic structural variation (GSV) is a ubiquitous phenomenon observed in the genomes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains with different genetic backgrounds; however, the physiological and phenotypic effects of GSV are not well understood. Here, we first revealed the genetic characteristics of a widely used industrial S. cerevisiae strain, ZTW1, by whole genome sequencing. ZTW1 was identified as an aneuploidy strain and a large-scale GSV was observed in the ZTW1 genome compared with the genome of a diploid strain YJS329. These GSV events led to copy number variations (CNVs) in many chromosomal segments as well as one whole chromosome in the ZTW1 genome. Changes in the DNA dosage of certain functional genes directly affected their expression levels and the resultant ZTW1 phenotypes. Moreover, CNVs of large chromosomal regions triggered an aneuploidy stress in ZTW1. This stress decreased the proliferation ability and tolerance of ZTW1 to various stresses, while aneuploidy response stress may also provide some benefits to the fermentation performance of the yeast, including increased fermentation rates and decreased byproduct generation. This work reveals genomic characters of the bioethanol S. cerevisiae strain ZTW1 and suggests that GSV is an important kind of mutation that changes the traits of industrial S. cerevisiae strains. PMID:26733503

  13. Natural variation in non-coding regions underlying phenotypic diversity in budding yeast.

    PubMed

    Salinas, Francisco; de Boer, Carl G; Abarca, Valentina; García, Verónica; Cuevas, Mara; Araos, Sebastian; Larrondo, Luis F; Martínez, Claudio; Cubillos, Francisco A

    2016-01-01

    Linkage mapping studies in model organisms have typically focused their efforts in polymorphisms within coding regions, ignoring those within regulatory regions that may contribute to gene expression variation. In this context, differences in transcript abundance are frequently proposed as a source of phenotypic diversity between individuals, however, until now, little molecular evidence has been provided. Here, we examined Allele Specific Expression (ASE) in six F1 hybrids from Saccharomyces cerevisiae derived from crosses between representative strains of the four main lineages described in yeast. ASE varied between crosses with levels ranging between 28% and 60%. Part of the variation in expression levels could be explained by differences in transcription factors binding to polymorphic cis-regulations and to differences in trans-activation depending on the allelic form of the TF. Analysis on highly expressed alleles on each background suggested ASN1 as a candidate transcript underlying nitrogen consumption differences between two strains. Further promoter allele swap analysis under fermentation conditions confirmed that coding and non-coding regions explained aspartic and glutamic acid consumption differences, likely due to a polymorphism affecting Uga3 binding. Together, we provide a new catalogue of variants to bridge the gap between genotype and phenotype. PMID:26898953

  14. Natural variation in non-coding regions underlying phenotypic diversity in budding yeast

    PubMed Central

    Salinas, Francisco; de Boer, Carl G.; Abarca, Valentina; García, Verónica; Cuevas, Mara; Araos, Sebastian; Larrondo, Luis F.; Martínez, Claudio; Cubillos, Francisco A.

    2016-01-01

    Linkage mapping studies in model organisms have typically focused their efforts in polymorphisms within coding regions, ignoring those within regulatory regions that may contribute to gene expression variation. In this context, differences in transcript abundance are frequently proposed as a source of phenotypic diversity between individuals, however, until now, little molecular evidence has been provided. Here, we examined Allele Specific Expression (ASE) in six F1 hybrids from Saccharomyces cerevisiae derived from crosses between representative strains of the four main lineages described in yeast. ASE varied between crosses with levels ranging between 28% and 60%. Part of the variation in expression levels could be explained by differences in transcription factors binding to polymorphic cis-regulations and to differences in trans-activation depending on the allelic form of the TF. Analysis on highly expressed alleles on each background suggested ASN1 as a candidate transcript underlying nitrogen consumption differences between two strains. Further promoter allele swap analysis under fermentation conditions confirmed that coding and non-coding regions explained aspartic and glutamic acid consumption differences, likely due to a polymorphism affecting Uga3 binding. Together, we provide a new catalogue of variants to bridge the gap between genotype and phenotype. PMID:26898953

  15. Quantitative Genomics of 30 Complex Phenotypes in Wagyu x Angus F1 Progeny

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lifan; Michal, Jennifer J.; O'Fallon, James V.; Pan, Zengxiang; Gaskins, Charles T.; Reeves, Jerry J.; Busboom, Jan R.; Zhou, Xiang; Ding, Bo; Dodson, Michael V.; Jiang, Zhihua

    2012-01-01

    In the present study, a total of 91 genes involved in various pathways were investigated for their associations with six carcass traits and twenty-four fatty acid composition phenotypes in a Wagyu×Angus reference population, including 43 Wagyu bulls and their potential 791 F1 progeny. Of the 182 SNPs evaluated, 102 SNPs that were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium with minor allele frequencies (MAF>0.15) were selected for parentage assignment and association studies with these quantitative traits. The parentage assignment revealed that 40 of 43 Wagyu sires produced over 96.71% of the calves in the population. Linkage disequilibrium analysis identified 75 of 102 SNPs derived from 54 genes as tagged SNPs. After Bonferroni correction, single-marker analysis revealed a total of 113 significant associations between 44 genes and 29 phenotypes (adjusted P<0.05). Multiple-marker analysis confirmed single-gene associations for 10 traits, but revealed two-gene networks for 9 traits and three-gene networks for 8 traits. Particularly, we observed that TNF (tumor necrosis factor) gene is significantly associated with both beef marbling score (P=0.0016) and palmitic acid (C16:0) (P=0.0043), RCAN1 (regulator of calcineurin 1) with rib-eye area (P=0.0103), ASB3 (ankyrin repeat and SOCS box-containing 3) with backfat (P=0.0392), ABCA1 (ATP-binding cassette A1) with both palmitic acid (C16:0) (P=0.0025) and oleic acid (C18:1n9) (P=0.0114), SLC27A1(solute carrier family 27 A1) with oleic acid (C18:1n9) (P=0.0155), CRH (corticotropin releasing hormone) with both linolenic acid (OMEGA-3) (P=0.0200) and OMEGA 6:3 RATIO (P=0.0054), SLC27A2 (solute carrier family 27 A2) with both linoleic acid (OMEGA-6) (P=0.0121) and FAT (P=0.0333), GNG3 (guanine nucleotide binding protein gamma 3 with desaturase 9 (P=0.0115), and EFEMP1 (EGF containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1), PLTP (phospholipid transfer protein) and DSEL (dermatan sulfate epimerase-like) with conjugated linoleic acid (P=0.0042-0.0044), respectively, in the Wagyu x Angus F1 population. In addition, we observed an interesting phenomenon that crossbreeding of different breeds might change gene actions to dominant and overdominant modes, thus explaining the origin of heterosis. The present study confirmed that these important families or pathway-based genes are useful targets for improving meat quality traits and healthful beef products in cattle. PMID:22745575

  16. Unequal Crossing over at the Rrna Tandon as a Source of Quantitative Genetic Variation in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Frankham, R.; Briscoe, D. A.; Nurthen, R. K.

    1980-01-01

    Abdominal bristle selection lines (three high and three low) and controls were founded from a marked homozygous line to measure the contribution of sex-linked "mutations" to selection response. Two of the low lines exhibited a period of rapid response to selection in females, but not in males. There were corresponding changes in female variance, in heritabilities in females, in the sex ratio (a deficiency of females) and in fitness, as well as the appearance of a mutant phenotype in females of one line. All of these changes were due to bb alleles (partial deficiencies for the rRNA tandon) in the X chromosomes of these lines, while the Y chromosomes remained wild-type bb+. We argue that the bb alleles arose by unequal crossing over in the rRNA tandon.—A prediction of this hypothesis is that further changes can occur in the rRNA tandon as selection is continued. This has now been shown to occur.—Our minimum estimate of the rate of occurrence of changes at the rRNA tandon is 3 x 10-4. As this is substantially higher than conventional mutation rates, the questions of the mechanisms and rates of origin of new quantitative genetic variation require careful re-examination. PMID:7439683

  17. The Role of Inflammatory Pathway Genetic Variation on Maternal Metabolic Phenotypes during Pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Urbanek, Margrit; Hayes, M. Geoffrey; Lee, Hoon; Freathy, Rachel M.; Lowe, Lynn P.; Ackerman, Christine; Jafari, Nadereh; Dyer, Alan R.; Cox, Nancy J.; Dunger, David B.; Hattersley, Andrew T.; Metzger, Boyd E.; Lowe, William L.

    2012-01-01

    Background Since mediators of inflammation are associated with insulin resistance, and the risk of developing diabetes mellitus and gestational diabetes, we hypothesized that genetic variation in members of the inflammatory gene pathway impact glucose levels and related phenotypes in pregnancy. We evaluated this hypothesis by testing for association between genetic variants in 31 inflammatory pathway genes in the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) cohort, a large multiethnic multicenter study designed to address the impact of glycemia less than overt diabetes on pregnancy outcome. Results Fasting, 1-hour, and 2-hour glucose, fasting and 1-hour C-peptide, and HbA1c levels were measured in blood samples obtained from HAPO participants during an oral glucose tolerance test at 24-32 weeks gestation. We tested for association between 458 SNPs mapping to 31 genes in the inflammatory pathway and metabolic phenotypes in 3836 European ancestry and 1713 Thai pregnant women. The strongest evidence for association was observed with TNF alpha and HbA1c (rs1052248; 0.04% increase per allele C; p-value?=?4.4×10?5), RETN and fasting plasma glucose (rs1423096; 0.7 mg/dl decrease per allele A; p-value?=?1.1×10?4), IL8 and 1 hr plasma glucose (rs2886920; 2.6 mg/dl decrease per allele T; p-value?=?1.3×10?4), ADIPOR2 and fasting C-peptide (rs2041139; 0.55 ug/L decrease per allele A; p-value?=?1.4×10?4), LEPR and 1-hour C-peptide (rs1171278; 0.62 ug/L decrease per allele T; p-value?=?2.4×10?4), and IL6 and 1-hour plasma glucose (rs6954897; ?2.29 mg/dl decrease per allele G, p-value?=?4.3×10?4). Conclusions Based on the genes surveyed in this study the inflammatory pathway is unlikely to have a strong impact on maternal metabolic phenotypes in pregnancy although variation in individual members of the pathway (e.g. RETN, IL8, ADIPOR2, LEPR, IL6, and TNF alpha,) may contribute to metabolic phenotypes in pregnant women. PMID:22479352

  18. Molecular genetics of growth and development in Populus (Salicaceae). V. Mapping quantitative trait loci affecting leaf variation

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, R.; Bradshaw, H.D. Jr.; Stettler, R.F.

    1997-02-01

    The genetic variation of leaf morphology and development was studied in the 2-yr-old replicated plantation of an interspecific hybrid pedigree of Populus trichocarpa T. & G. and P. deltoides Marsh. via both molecular and quantitative genetic methods. Leaf traits chosen showed pronounced differences between the original parents, including leaf size, shape, orientation, color, structure, petiole size, and petiole cross section. In the F{sub 2} generation, leaf traits were all significantly different among genotypes, but with significant effects due to genotype X crown-position interaction. Variation in leaf pigmentation, petiole length, and petiole length proportion appeared to be under the control of few quantitative trait loci (QTLs). More QTLs were associated with single leaf area, leaf shape, lamina angle, abaxial color, and petiole flatness, and in these traits the number of QTLs varied among crown positions. In general the estimates of QTL numbers from Wright`s biometric method were close to those derived from molecular markers. For those traits with few underlying QTLs, a single marker interval could explain from 30-60% of the observed phenotypic variance. For multigenic traits, certain markers contributed more substantially to the observed variation than others. Genetic cluster analysis showed developmentally related traits to be more strongly associated with each other than with unrelated traits. This finding was also supported by the QTL mapping. For example, the same chromosomal segment of linkage group L seemed to account for 20% of the phenotypic variation of all dimension-related traits, leaf size, petiole length, and midrib angle. In both traits, the P. deltoides alleles had positive effects and were dominant to the P. trichocarpa alleles. Similar relationships were also found for lamina angle, abaxial greenness, and petiole flatness. 72 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  19. The 100-genomes strains, an S. cerevisiae resource that illuminates its natural phenotypic and genotypic variation and emergence as an opportunistic pathogen

    PubMed Central

    Strope, Pooja K.; Skelly, Daniel A.; Kozmin, Stanislav G.; Mahadevan, Gayathri; Stone, Eric A.; Magwene, Paul M.; Dietrich, Fred S.; McCusker, John H.

    2015-01-01

    Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a well-established model for species as diverse as humans and pathogenic fungi, is more recently a model for population and quantitative genetics. S. cerevisiae is found in multiple environments—one of which is the human body—as an opportunistic pathogen. To aid in the understanding of the S. cerevisiae population and quantitative genetics, as well as its emergence as an opportunistic pathogen, we sequenced, de novo assembled, and extensively manually edited and annotated the genomes of 93 S. cerevisiae strains from multiple geographic and environmental origins, including many clinical origin strains. These 93 S. cerevisiae strains, the genomes of which are near-reference quality, together with seven previously sequenced strains, constitute a novel genetic resource, the “100-genomes” strains. Our sequencing coverage, high-quality assemblies, and annotation provide unprecedented opportunities for detailed interrogation of complex genomic loci, examples of which we demonstrate. We found most phenotypic variation to be quantitative and identified population, genotype, and phenotype associations. Importantly, we identified clinical origin associations. For example, we found that an introgressed PDR5 was present exclusively in clinical origin mosaic group strains; that the mosaic group was significantly enriched for clinical origin strains; and that clinical origin strains were much more copper resistant, suggesting that copper resistance contributes to fitness in the human host. The 100-genomes strains are a novel, multipurpose resource to advance the study of S. cerevisiae population genetics, quantitative genetics, and the emergence of an opportunistic pathogen. PMID:25840857

  20. A Quantitative Investigation of Stakeholder Variation in Training Program Evaluation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Michalski, Greg V.

    A survey was conducted to investigate variation in stakeholder perceptions of training results and evaluation within the context of a high-technology product development firm (the case organization). A scannable questionnaire survey booklet was developed and scanned data were exported and analyzed. Based on an achieved sample of 280 (70% response…

  1. Human MAMLD1 Gene Variations Seem Not Sufficient to Explain a 46,XY DSD Phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Audí, Laura; Mullis, Primus E.; Moreno, Francisca; González Casado, Isabel; López-Siguero, Juan Pedro; Corripio, Raquel; Bermúdez de la Vega, José Antonio; Blanco, José Antonio; Flück, Christa E.

    2015-01-01

    MAMLD1 is thought to cause disordered sex development in 46,XY patients. But its role is controversial because some MAMLD1 variants are also detected in normal individuals, several MAMLD1 mutations have wild-type activity in functional tests, and the male Mamld1-knockout mouse has normal genitalia and reproduction. Our aim was to search for MAMLD1 variations in 108 46,XY patients with disordered sex development, and to test them functionally. We detected MAMDL1 variations and compared SNP frequencies in controls and patients. We tested MAMLD1 transcriptional activity on promoters involved in sex development and assessed the effect of MAMLD1 on androgen production. MAMLD1 expression in normal steroid-producing tissues and mutant MAMLD1 protein expression were also assessed. Nine MAMLD1 mutations (7 novel) were characterized. In vitro, most MAMLD1 variants acted similarly to wild type. Only the L210X mutation showed loss of function in all tests. We detected no effect of wild-type or MAMLD1 variants on CYP17A1 enzyme activity in our cell experiments, and Western blots revealed no significant differences for MAMLD1 protein expression. MAMLD1 was expressed in human adult testes and adrenals. In conclusion, our data support the notion that MAMLD1 sequence variations may not suffice to explain the phenotype in carriers and that MAMLD1 may also have a role in adult life. PMID:26580071

  2. Variation at range margins across multiple spatial scales: environmental temperature, population genetics and metabolomic phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Kunin, William E.; Vergeer, Philippine; Kenta, Tanaka; Davey, Matthew P.; Burke, Terry; Ian Woodward, F.; Quick, Paul; Mannarelli, Maria-Elena; Watson-Haigh, Nathan S.; Butlin, Roger

    2009-01-01

    Range margins are spatially complex, with environmental, genetic and phenotypic variations occurring across a range of spatial scales. We examine variation in temperature, genes and metabolomic profiles within and between populations of the subalpine perennial plant Arabidopsis lyrata ssp. petraea from across its northwest European range. Our surveys cover a gradient of fragmentation from largely continuous populations in Iceland, through more fragmented Scandinavian populations, to increasingly widely scattered populations at the range margin in Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Temperature regimes vary substantially within some populations, but within-population variation represents a larger fraction of genetic and especially metabolomic variances. Both physical distance and temperature differences between sites are found to be associated with genetic profiles, but not metabolomic profiles, and no relationship was found between genetic and metabolomic population structures in any region. Genetic similarity between plants within populations is the highest in the fragmented populations at the range margin, but differentiation across space is the highest there as well, suggesting that regional patterns of genetic diversity may be scale dependent. PMID:19324821

  3. Sex-specific phenotypic selection and geographic variation in gender divergence in a gynodioecious shrub.

    PubMed

    Castilla, A R; Alonso, C; Herrera, C M

    2015-01-01

    In sexually polymorphic plant species the extent of gender divergence in floral morphology and phenology may be influenced by gender-specific selection patterns imposed by pollinators, which may change geographically. Distribution margins are areas where changes in the pollinator fauna, and thus variation in gender divergence of floral traits, are expected. We tested for pollination-driven geographic variation in the gender divergence in floral and phenological traits in the gynodioecious shrub Daphne laureola, in core and marginal areas differing in the identity of the main pollinator. Pollinators selected for longer corolla tubes in hermaphrodite individuals only in core populations, which in turn recorded higher fruit set. Consistent with these phenotypic selection patterns, gender divergence in flower corolla length was higher in core populations. Moreover, pollinators selected towards delayed flowering on hermaphrodite individuals only in marginal populations, where the two sexes differed more in flowering time. Our results support that a shift in main pollinators is able to contribute to geographic variation in the gender divergence of sexually polymorphic plant species. PMID:24841933

  4. Non-random distribution of macromolecules as driving forces for phenotypic variation.

    PubMed

    Jahn, Michael; Günther, Susanne; Müller, Susann

    2015-06-01

    Clonal populations employ many strategies of diversification to deal with constraints. All these strategies result in the generation of different phenotypes with diverse functions. Events like cell division are major sources of phenotypic variability due to the unequal partitioning of cellular components. In this review we concentrate on passive and active mechanisms cells employ to distribute macromolecules between their offspring. Different types of segregation are described, addressing both metabolically pertinent molecules such as PHA/PHB or polyphosphates, and components that adversely affect cells by promoting aging, such as damaged protein complexes or extrachromosomal rDNA circles. We also refer to mechanisms generating plasmid copy number (PCN) variation between cells in a population, and how elaborate partitioning systems counteract partitioning errors and ensure equal distribution. Finally, we demonstrate how simple differences in chromosomal copy number determine the fate of a cell, in this case the effect of gene dosage on the onset of sporulation in Bacillus subtilis or on a functional trait in Sinorhizobium meliloti. PMID:25974411

  5. Mathematical Learning Disabilities in Special Populations: Phenotypic Variation and Cross-Disorder Comparisons

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Maureen; Berch, Daniel B.; Mazzocco, Michèle M.M.

    2011-01-01

    What is mathematical learning disability (MLD)? The reviews in this special issue adopt different approaches to defining the construct of MLD. Collectively, they demonstrate the current status of efforts to establish a consensus definition and the challenges faced in this endeavor. In this commentary, we reflect upon the proposed pathways to mathematical learning difficulties and disabilities presented across the reviews. Specifically we consider how each of the reviews contributes to identifying the MLD phenotype by specifying the range of assets and deficits in mathematics, identifying sources of individual variation, and characterizing the natural progression of MLD over the life course. We show how principled comparisons across disorders address issues about the cognitive and behavioral co-morbidities of MLD, and whether commonalities in brain dysmorphology are associated with common mathematics performance profiles. We project the status of MLD research ten years hence with respect to theoretical gains, advances in methodology, and principled intervention studies. PMID:19213019

  6. Genotypic and phenotypic variation as stress adaptations in temperate tree species: a review of several case studies.

    PubMed

    Abrams, Marc D.

    1994-01-01

    Species that occupy large geographic ranges or a variety of habitats within a limited area deal with contrasting environmental conditions by genotypic and phenotypic variation. My students and I have studied these forms of ecophysiological variation in temperate tree species in eastern North America by means of a series of field and greenhouse experiments, including controlled studies with Cercis canadensis L., Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh., Acer rubrum L., Prunus serotina Ehrh. and Quercus rubra L., in relation to drought stress. These studies have included measurements of gas exchange, tissue water relations and leaf morphology, and have identified genotypic variation at the biome and individual community levels. Xeric genotypes generally had higher net photosynthesis and leaf conductance and lower osmotic and water potentials at incipient wilting than mesic genotypes during drought. Xeric genotypes also produced leaves with greater thickness, leaf mass per area and stomatal density and smaller area than the mesic genotypes, suggesting general coordination among leaf morphology, gas exchange and tissue water relations. Leaf phenotypic plasticity to different light environments occurred in virtually every study species, which represented a wide array of ecological tolerances. In a study of interactions of genotypes with environment, shade plants, but not sun plants, exhibited osmotic adjustment during drought and shade plants had smaller reductions in photosynthesis with decreasing leaf water potential. In that study, sun, but not shade, plants had significant genotypic differences in leaf structure, but with certain variables phenotypic variation exceeded genotype variation. Thus, genotypic variation was not expressed in all phenotypes, and phenotypes responded differentially to stress. Overall, these studies indicate the importance of genotypic and phenotypic variation as stress adaptations in temperate tree species among both distant and nearby sites of contrasting environmental conditions. PMID:14967652

  7. 3D phenotyping and quantitative trait locus mapping identify core regions of the rice genome controlling root architecture

    PubMed Central

    Topp, Christopher N.; Iyer-Pascuzzi, Anjali S.; Anderson, Jill T.; Lee, Cheng-Ruei; Zurek, Paul R.; Symonova, Olga; Zheng, Ying; Bucksch, Alexander; Mileyko, Yuriy; Galkovskyi, Taras; Moore, Brad T.; Harer, John; Edelsbrunner, Herbert; Mitchell-Olds, Thomas; Weitz, Joshua S.; Benfey, Philip N.

    2013-01-01

    Identification of genes that control root system architecture in crop plants requires innovations that enable high-throughput and accurate measurements of root system architecture through time. We demonstrate the ability of a semiautomated 3D in vivo imaging and digital phenotyping pipeline to interrogate the quantitative genetic basis of root system growth in a rice biparental mapping population, Bala × Azucena. We phenotyped >1,400 3D root models and >57,000 2D images for a suite of 25 traits that quantified the distribution, shape, extent of exploration, and the intrinsic size of root networks at days 12, 14, and 16 of growth in a gellan gum medium. From these data we identified 89 quantitative trait loci, some of which correspond to those found previously in soil-grown plants, and provide evidence for genetic tradeoffs in root growth allocations, such as between the extent and thoroughness of exploration. We also developed a multivariate method for generating and mapping central root architecture phenotypes and used it to identify five major quantitative trait loci (r2 = 24–37%), two of which were not identified by our univariate analysis. Our imaging and analytical platform provides a means to identify genes with high potential for improving root traits and agronomic qualities of crops. PMID:23580618

  8. Phenotypic phase variation in Haemophilus somnus lipooligosaccharide during bovine pneumonia and after in vitro passage.

    PubMed Central

    Inzana, T J; Gogolewski, R P; Corbeil, L B

    1992-01-01

    A high rate of phenotypic variation in the lipooligosaccharide (LOS) electrophoretic profile of Haemophilus somnus occurred in most isolates obtained at approximately weekly intervals from three calves intrabronchially challenged with a cloned isolate of H. somnus 2336. Daily subculturing for 2 weeks resulted in at least one major alteration in the LOS electrophoretic profiles for strain 2336 and both additional disease isolates examined, but no change occurred in the LOS electrophoretic profiles for any of three commensal isolates examined. None of the LOSs from any of the postchallenge intrabronchial isolates reacted with rabbit antiserum to the challenge strain LOS in immunoblotting, but LOSs from two nasopharyngeal isolates did. Antigenic variation in the extracted LOSs of most of the isolates was supported by the results of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Preimmune serum from each of the calves did not react with any of the isolates or the challenge strain, whereas sera obtained 35 days after challenge reacted with the challenge strain and zero to five additional isolates and sera obtained 74 days after challenge reacted with two to six additional isolates. Recognition of LOSs from isolates obtained near the end of the 70-day experiment by day-74 sera was related to clearance of the bacteria from the lungs. Isolates demonstrating major electrophoretic changes showed variations in the composition of the oligosaccharide, but not lipid A, moiety of their LOSs. The oligosaccharide of the LOS of each isolate was composed predominantly of glucose but varied substantially in the contents of galactose, arabinose, xylose, mannose, and 3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonic acid. Therefore, the LOS of H. somnus is capable of undergoing compositional and antigenic variations, which may act as an important virulence mechanism for evading host immune defense mechanisms. Images PMID:1612761

  9. Cone and seed trait variation in whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis; Pinaceae) and the potential for phenotypic selection.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Roberto; Siepielski, Adam M; Benkman, Craig W

    2009-05-01

    Phenotypic variation among individuals is necessary for natural selection to operate and is therefore essential for adaptive evolution. However, extensive variation within individuals can mask variation among individuals and weaken the potential for selection. Here we quantify variation among and within individuals in female cone and seed traits of whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis). In many plants, the production of numerous reproductive structures creates the potential for considerable variation within a plant, but these same traits should also undergo strong selection because of their direct link to plant fitness. We found about twice as much variation among individuals (overall mean = 65.3 ± 4.5% SE) than within individuals (overall mean = 34.7 ± 4.5%). One only needs to sample three to five cones per tree to accurately assess variation among trees in most cone and seed traits. The ease at which trees can be assessed helps account for the strong and consistent patterns of phenotypic selection exerted by seed predators and dispersers of whitebark pine and many other conifers. In contrast, the few traits where variation within trees equaled or exceeded that among trees underwent weak if any phenotypic selection. PMID:21628255

  10. Temporal patterns of genetic and phenotypic variation in the epidemiologically important drone fly, Eristalis tenax.

    PubMed

    Francuski, Lj; Mati?, I; Ludoški, J; Milankov, V

    2011-06-01

    Eristalis tenax L. (Diptera: Syrphidae) is commonly known as the drone fly (adult) or rat-tailed maggot (immature). Both adults and immature stages are identified as potential mechanical vectors of mycobacterial pathogens, and early-stage maggots cause accidental myiasis. We compared four samples from Mount Fruška Gora, Serbia, with the aim of obtaining insights into the temporal variations and sexual dimorphism in the species. This integrative approach was based on allozyme loci, morphometric wing parameters (shape and size) and abdominal colour patterns. Consistent sexual dimorphism was observed, indicating that male specimens had lighter abdomens and smaller and narrower wings than females. The distribution of genetic diversity at polymorphic loci indicated genetic divergence among collection dates. Landmark-based geometric morphometrics revealed, contrary to the lack of divergence in wing size, significant wing shape variation throughout the year. In addition, temporal changes in the frequencies of the abdominal patterns observed are likely to relate to the biology of the species and ecological factors in the locality. Hence, the present study expands our knowledge of the genetic diversity and phenotypic plasticity of E. tenax. The quantification of such variability represents a step towards the evaluation of the adaptive potential of this species of medical and epidemiological importance. PMID:21414022

  11. Phenotypic variation and vulnerability to predation in juvenile bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chipps, S.R.; Dunbar, J.A.; Wahl, David H.

    2004-01-01

    Bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) are known to diversify into two forms specialized for foraging on either limnetic or littoral prey. Because juvenile bluegills seek vegetative cover in the presence of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) predators, natural selection should favor the littoral body design at size ranges most vulnerable to predation. Yet within bluegill populations, both limnetic and littoral forms occur where vegetation and predators are present. While adaptive for foraging in different environments, does habitat-linked phenotypic variation also influence predator evasiveness for juvenile bluegills? We evaluate this question by quantifying susceptibility to predation for two groups of morphologically distinct bluegills; a limnetic form characteristic of bluegills inhabiting open water areas (limnetic bluegill) and a littoral form characteristic of bluegills inhabiting dense vegetation (littoral bluegill). In a series of predation trials, we found that bluegill behaviors differed in open water habitat but not in simulated vegetation. In open water habitat, limnetic bluegills formed more dense shoaling aggregations, maintained a larger distance from the predator, and required longer amounts of time to capture than littoral bluegill. When provided with simulated vegetation, largemouth bass spent longer amounts of time pursuing littoral bluegill and captured significantly fewer littoral bluegills than limnetic fish. Hence, morphological and behavioral variation in bluegills was linked to differential susceptibility to predation in open water and vegetated environments. Combined with previous studies, these findings show that morphological and behavioral adaptations enhance both foraging performance and predator evasiveness in different lake habitats.

  12. Semi-quantitative and structural metabolic phenotyping by direct infusion ion trap mass spectrometry and its application in genetical metabolomics.

    PubMed

    Koulman, Albert; Cao, Mingshu; Faville, Marty; Lane, Geoff; Mace, Wade; Rasmussen, Susanne

    2009-08-01

    The identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for plant metabolites requires the quantitation of these metabolites across a large range of progeny. We developed a rapid metabolic profiling method using both untargeted and targeted direct infusion tandem mass spectrometry (DIMSMS) with a linear ion trap mass spectrometer yielding sufficient precision and accuracy for the quantification of a large number of metabolites in a high-throughput environment. The untargeted DIMSMS method uses top-down data-dependent fragmentation yielding MS(2) and MS(3) spectra. We have developed software tools to assess the structural homogeneity of the MS(2) and MS(3) spectra hence their utility for phenotyping and genetical metabolomics. In addition we used a targeted DIMS(MS) method for rapid quantitation of specific compounds. This method was compared with targeted LC/MS/MS methods for these compounds. The DIMSMS methods showed sufficient precision and accuracy for QTL discovery. We phenotyped 200 individual Lolium perenne genotypes from a mapping population harvested in two consecutive years. Computational and statistical analyses identified 246 nominal m/z bins with sufficient precision and homogeneity for QTL discovery. Comparison of the data for specific metabolites obtained by DIMSMS with the results from targeted LC/MS/MS analysis showed that quantitation by this metabolic profiling method is reasonably accurate. Of the top 100 MS(1) bins, 22 ions gave one or more reproducible QTL across the 2 years. PMID:19551846

  13. Quantitative multi-parametric evaluation of centrosome declustering drugs: centrosome amplification, mitotic phenotype, cell cycle and death

    PubMed Central

    Ogden, A; Cheng, A; Rida, P C G; Pannu, V; Osan, R; Clewley, R; Aneja, R

    2014-01-01

    Unlike normal cells, cancer cells contain amplified centrosomes and rely on centrosome clustering mechanisms to form a pseudobipolar spindle that circumvents potentially fatal spindle multipolarity (MP). Centrosome clustering also promotes low-grade chromosome missegregation, which can drive malignant transformation and tumor progression. Putative ‘centrosome declustering drugs' represent a cancer cell-specific class of chemotherapeutics that produces a common phenotype of centrosome declustering and spindle MP. However, differences between individual agents in terms of efficacy and phenotypic nuances remain unexplored. Herein, we have developed a conceptual framework for the quantitative evaluation of centrosome declustering drugs by investigating their impact on centrosomes, clustering, spindle polarity, cell cycle arrest, and death in various cancer cell lines at multiple drug concentrations over time. Surprisingly, all centrosome declustering drugs evaluated in our study were also centrosome-amplifying drugs to varying extents. Notably, all declustering drugs induced spindle MP, and the peak extent of MP positively correlated with the induction of hypodiploid DNA-containing cells. Our data suggest acentriolar spindle pole amplification as a hitherto undescribed activity of some declustering drugs, resulting in spindle MP in cells that may not have amplified centrosomes. In general, declustering drugs were more toxic to cancer cell lines than non-transformed ones, with some exceptions. Through a comprehensive description and quantitative analysis of numerous phenotypes induced by declustering drugs, we propose a novel framework for the assessment of putative centrosome declustering drugs and describe cellular characteristics that may enhance susceptibility to them. PMID:24787016

  14. PhenoMiner: a quantitative phenotype database for the laboratory rat, Rattus norvegicus. Application in hypertension and renal disease

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shur-Jen; Laulederkind, Stanley J. F.; Hayman, G. Thomas; Petri, Victoria; Liu, Weisong; Smith, Jennifer R.; Nigam, Rajni; Dwinell, Melinda R.; Shimoyama, Mary

    2015-01-01

    Rats have been used extensively as animal models to study physiological and pathological processes involved in human diseases. Numerous rat strains have been selectively bred for certain biological traits related to specific medical interests. Recently, the Rat Genome Database (http://rgd.mcw.edu) has initiated the PhenoMiner project to integrate quantitative phenotype data from the PhysGen Program for Genomic Applications and the National BioResource Project in Japan as well as manual annotations from biomedical literature. PhenoMiner, the search engine for these integrated phenotype data, facilitates mining of data sets across studies by searching the database with a combination of terms from four different ontologies/vocabularies (Rat Strain Ontology, Clinical Measurement Ontology, Measurement Method Ontology and Experimental Condition Ontology). In this study, salt-induced hypertension was used as a model to retrieve blood pressure records of Brown Norway, Fawn-Hooded Hypertensive (FHH) and Dahl salt-sensitive (SS) rat strains. The records from these three strains served as a basis for comparing records from consomic/congenic/mutant offspring derived from them. We examined the cardiovascular and renal phenotypes of consomics derived from FHH and SS, and of SS congenics and mutants. The availability of quantitative records across laboratories in one database, such as these provided by PhenoMiner, can empower researchers to make the best use of publicly available data. Database URL: http://rgd.mcw.edu PMID:25632109

  15. PhenoMiner: a quantitative phenotype database for the laboratory rat, Rattus norvegicus. Application in hypertension and renal disease.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shur-Jen; Laulederkind, Stanley J F; Hayman, G Thomas; Petri, Victoria; Liu, Weisong; Smith, Jennifer R; Nigam, Rajni; Dwinell, Melinda R; Shimoyama, Mary

    2015-01-01

    Rats have been used extensively as animal models to study physiological and pathological processes involved in human diseases. Numerous rat strains have been selectively bred for certain biological traits related to specific medical interests. Recently, the Rat Genome Database (http://rgd.mcw.edu) has initiated the PhenoMiner project to integrate quantitative phenotype data from the PhysGen Program for Genomic Applications and the National BioResource Project in Japan as well as manual annotations from biomedical literature. PhenoMiner, the search engine for these integrated phenotype data, facilitates mining of data sets across studies by searching the database with a combination of terms from four different ontologies/vocabularies (Rat Strain Ontology, Clinical Measurement Ontology, Measurement Method Ontology and Experimental Condition Ontology). In this study, salt-induced hypertension was used as a model to retrieve blood pressure records of Brown Norway, Fawn-Hooded Hypertensive (FHH) and Dahl salt-sensitive (SS) rat strains. The records from these three strains served as a basis for comparing records from consomic/congenic/mutant offspring derived from them. We examined the cardiovascular and renal phenotypes of consomics derived from FHH and SS, and of SS congenics and mutants. The availability of quantitative records across laboratories in one database, such as these provided by PhenoMiner, can empower researchers to make the best use of publicly available data. Database URL: http://rgd.mcw.edu. PMID:25632109

  16. An Image Informatics Method for Automated Quantitative Analysis of Phenotype Visual Similarities

    PubMed Central

    Shamir, Lior; Eckley, D. Mark; Delaney, John; Orlov, Nikita; Goldberg, Ilya G.

    2010-01-01

    The post genomic era introduced the need to define single gene functions within biological pathways. A systems biology approach can be realized by automating image acquisition and phenotype classification. While machinery for automated data acquisition have been developing rapidly in the past years, the main bottleneck remains the effectiveness of the computer vision algorithms. Here we describe a fully automated process for finding phenotype similarities within a dataset acquired from an RNAi screen. The source code for the algorithms is available for free download. PMID:20431693

  17. Assessing the extent of phenotypic variation for dermo resistance among selectively-bred families of the Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dermo disease impacts nearly every region where oysters are cultured in the Eastern U.S. and is a significant concern to industry stakeholders. Efforts to breed for Dermo resistance in the Eastern Oyster have had modest success, yet the range of existing phenotypic variation with respect to Dermo ...

  18. Characterization of phenotypic variation for dermo resistance among selectively-bred families of the Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dermo disease impacts nearly every region where oysters are cultured in the Eastern U.S. and is a significant concern to industry stakeholders. Efforts to breed for Dermo resistance in the Eastern Oyster have had modest success, yet the range of existing phenotypic variation with respect to Dermo r...

  19. An investigation into genetic and phenotypic variation in time budgets and yield of dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Løvendahl, Peter; Munksgaard, Lene

    2016-01-01

    Time budgets (TB) of lactating Holstein cows in a freestall loose housing system were recorded twice in early and late lactation to study genetic and phenotypic variation in TB. Time budget traits were recorded using focal animal scanning at 10-min intervals for full 24-h sessions. The study included 243 first-lactation cows, with 389 TB records in early lactation (50 to 123d in milk) and 403 records in late lactation (152 to 248d in milk). Milk was recorded at 3-wk intervals during the same periods, and yield was expressed as energy-corrected milk. Time budget traits were analyzed with mixed linear models to obtain estimates of genetic variation (heritability) and permanent animal variance (repeatability). Correlations between TB traits and energy-corrected milk yield were estimated at the individual cow level. In early lactation, the cows spent, on average, 5.0h eating and 1.8h at feed gates without eating while they were still locked in the gates. Cows lay down for 10.4h and stood in stalls for 3.2h. The cows also spent 2.8h standing in aisles, but only 0.5h in the milking area. In late lactation, cows spent 1h more lying, but less time standing in stalls and less time eating and at the feed gates. Time budget traits were moderately repeatable although highly consistent across lactation stages. Estimates of heritability were moderate for eating time (0.20) but almost zero for lying time. Correlations showed that cows with higher yield spent more time eating and less time lying. As there is a trade-off between lying time and eating time, lying time approached lower limits for cows with highest yields. It is suggested that time is viewed as an important but restricted resource that cows may be short of while trying to maintain high yields. PMID:26519973

  20. Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms for gene expression and phenotypic variation in plant polyploids.

    PubMed

    Chen, Z Jeffrey

    2007-01-01

    Polyploidy, or whole-genome duplication (WGD), is an important genomic feature for all eukaryotes, especially many plants and some animals. The common occurrence of polyploidy suggests an evolutionary advantage of having multiple sets of genetic material for adaptive evolution. However, increased gene and genome dosages in autopolyploids (duplications of a single genome) and allopolyploids (combinations of two or more divergent genomes) often cause genome instabilities, chromosome imbalances, regulatory incompatibilities, and reproductive failures. Therefore, new allopolyploids must establish a compatible relationship between alien cytoplasm and nuclei and between two divergent genomes, leading to rapid changes in genome structure, gene expression, and developmental traits such as fertility, inbreeding, apomixis, flowering time, and hybrid vigor. Although the underlying mechanisms for these changes are poorly understood, some themes are emerging. There is compelling evidence that changes in DNA sequence, cis- and trans-acting effects, chromatin modifications, RNA-mediated pathways, and regulatory networks modulate differential expression of homoeologous genes and phenotypic variation that may facilitate adaptive evolution in polyploid plants and domestication in crops. PMID:17280525

  1. Consistency and variation in phenotypic selection exerted by a community of seed predators.

    PubMed

    Benkman, Craig W; Smith, Julie W; Maier, Monika; Hansen, Leif; Talluto, Matt V

    2013-01-01

    Phenotypic selection that is sustained over time underlies both anagenesis and cladogenesis, but the conditions that lead to such selection and what causes variation in selection are not well known. We measured the selection exerted by three species of predispersal seed predators of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta latifolia) in the South Hills, Idaho, and found that net selection on different cone and seed traits exerted by red crossbills (Loxia curvirostra) and cone borer moths (Eucosma recissoriana) over 10 years of seed crops was similar to that measured in another mountain range. We also found that the strength of selection increased as seed predation increased, which provides a mechanism for the correlation between the escalation of seed defenses and the density of seed predators. Red crossbills consume the most seeds and selection they exert accounts for much of the selection experienced by lodgepole pine, providing additional support for a coevolutionary arms race between crossbills and lodgepole pine in the South Hills. The third seed predator, hairy woodpeckers (Picoides villosus), consumed less than one-sixth as many seeds as crossbills. Across the northern Rocky Mountains, woodpecker abundance and therefore selective impact appears limited by the elevated seed defenses of lodgepole pine. PMID:23289569

  2. Phenotypic variation in metamorphosis and paedomorphosis in the salamander Ambystoma talpoideum

    SciTech Connect

    Semlitsch, R.D.; Gibbons, J.W.

    1985-08-01

    Phenotypic variation in metamorphosis and paedomorphosis in the salamander Ambystoma talpoideum was examined to determine its environmental or genetic basis. Eight artificial ponds were maintained, four at each of two environmental treatments: constant water level, to simulate fish-free permanent breeding ponds, and gradual drying out, to simulate temporary breeding ponds. Two populations of salamanders were used, derived from two breeding ponds having different frequencies of paedomorphosis. The water level in the drying treatment was lowered during the last 10 wk of the experimental period with no apparent differences in water chemistry parameters between treatments and only a slight change in water temperature during the last 2 wk. The effects of water level were potentially confounded by those of water temperature, density of larvae, and amount food. Population differences in the frequency of metamorphosis and paedomorphosis could potentially represent genetic differences resulting from the different selective regimes that individuals encounter in breeding ponds varying in drying frequency. 35 references, 3 figures, 4 tables.

  3. Genetic and Epigenetic Mechanisms for Gene Expression and Phenotypic Variation in Plant Polyploids

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Z. Jeffrey

    2007-01-01

    Polyploidy, or whole-genome duplication (WGD), is an important genomic feature for all eukaryotes, especially many plants and some animals. The common occurrence of polyploidy suggests an evolutionary advantage of having multiple sets of genetic material for adaptive evolution. However, increased gene and genome dosages in autopolyploids (duplications of a single genome) and allopolyploids (combinations of two or more divergent genomes) often cause genome instabilities, chromosome imbalances, regulatory incompatibilities, and reproductive failures. Therefore, new allopolyploids must establish a compatible relationship between alien cytoplasm and nuclei and between two divergent genomes, leading to rapid changes in genome structure, gene expression, and developmental traits such as fertility, inbreeding, apomixis, flowering time, and hybrid vigor. Although the underlying mechanisms for these changes are poorly understood, some themes are emerging. There is compelling evidence that changes in DNA sequence, cis- and trans-acting effects, chromatin modifications, RNA-mediated pathways, and regulatory networks modulate differential expression of homoeologous genes and phenotypic variation that may facilitate adaptive evolution in polyploid plants and domestication in crops. PMID:17280525

  4. Genomic Analysis of Natural Selection and Phenotypic Variation in High-Altitude Mongolians

    PubMed Central

    Watkins, W. Scott; Witherspoon, David J.; Wu, Wilfred; Qin, Ga; Huff, Chad D.; Jorde, Lynn B.; Ge, Ri-Li

    2013-01-01

    Deedu (DU) Mongolians, who migrated from the Mongolian steppes to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau approximately 500 years ago, are challenged by environmental conditions similar to native Tibetan highlanders. Identification of adaptive genetic factors in this population could provide insight into coordinated physiological responses to this environment. Here we examine genomic and phenotypic variation in this unique population and present the first complete analysis of a Mongolian whole-genome sequence. High-density SNP array data demonstrate that DU Mongolians share genetic ancestry with other Mongolian as well as Tibetan populations, specifically in genomic regions related with adaptation to high altitude. Several selection candidate genes identified in DU Mongolians are shared with other Asian groups (e.g., EDAR), neighboring Tibetan populations (including high-altitude candidates EPAS1, PKLR, and CYP2E1), as well as genes previously hypothesized to be associated with metabolic adaptation (e.g., PPARG). Hemoglobin concentration, a trait associated with high-altitude adaptation in Tibetans, is at an intermediate level in DU Mongolians compared to Tibetans and Han Chinese at comparable altitude. Whole-genome sequence from a DU Mongolian (Tianjiao1) shows that about 2% of the genomic variants, including more than 300 protein-coding changes, are specific to this individual. Our analyses of DU Mongolians and the first Mongolian genome provide valuable insight into genetic adaptation to extreme environments. PMID:23874230

  5. Genomic analysis of natural selection and phenotypic variation in high-altitude mongolians.

    PubMed

    Xing, Jinchuan; Wuren, Tana; Simonson, Tatum S; Watkins, W Scott; Witherspoon, David J; Wu, Wilfred; Qin, Ga; Huff, Chad D; Jorde, Lynn B; Ge, Ri-Li

    2013-01-01

    Deedu (DU) Mongolians, who migrated from the Mongolian steppes to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau approximately 500 years ago, are challenged by environmental conditions similar to native Tibetan highlanders. Identification of adaptive genetic factors in this population could provide insight into coordinated physiological responses to this environment. Here we examine genomic and phenotypic variation in this unique population and present the first complete analysis of a Mongolian whole-genome sequence. High-density SNP array data demonstrate that DU Mongolians share genetic ancestry with other Mongolian as well as Tibetan populations, specifically in genomic regions related with adaptation to high altitude. Several selection candidate genes identified in DU Mongolians are shared with other Asian groups (e.g., EDAR), neighboring Tibetan populations (including high-altitude candidates EPAS1, PKLR, and CYP2E1), as well as genes previously hypothesized to be associated with metabolic adaptation (e.g., PPARG). Hemoglobin concentration, a trait associated with high-altitude adaptation in Tibetans, is at an intermediate level in DU Mongolians compared to Tibetans and Han Chinese at comparable altitude. Whole-genome sequence from a DU Mongolian (Tianjiao1) shows that about 2% of the genomic variants, including more than 300 protein-coding changes, are specific to this individual. Our analyses of DU Mongolians and the first Mongolian genome provide valuable insight into genetic adaptation to extreme environments. PMID:23874230

  6. From phenotypes to causal sequences: using genome wide association studies to dissect the sequence basis for variation of plant development.

    PubMed

    Ogura, Takehiko; Busch, Wolfgang

    2015-02-01

    Tremendous natural variation of growth and development exists within species. Uncovering the molecular mechanisms that tune growth and development promises to shed light on a broad set of biological issues including genotype to phenotype relations, regulatory mechanisms of biological processes and evolutionary questions. Recent progress in sequencing and data processing capabilities has enabled Genome Wide Association Studies (GWASs) to identify DNA sequence polymorphisms that underlie the variation of biological traits. In the last years, GWASs have proven powerful in revealing the complex genetic bases of many phenotypes in various plant species. Here we highlight successful recent GWASs that uncovered mechanistic and sequence bases of trait variation related to plant growth and development and discuss important considerations for conducting successful GWASs. PMID:25449733

  7. Localized versus generalist phenotypes in a broadly distributed tropical mammal: how is intraspecific variation distributed across disparate environments?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The extent of phenotypic differentiation in response to local environmental conditions is a key component of species adaptation and persistence. Understanding the structuring of phenotypic diversity in response to local environmental pressures can provide important insights into species evolutionary dynamics and responses to environmental change. This work examines the influence of steep environmental gradients on intraspecific phenotypic variation and tests two hypotheses about how the tropical soft grass mouse, Akodon mollis (Cricetidae, Rodentia), contends with the disparate environmental conditions encompassed by its broad distribution. Specifically, we test if the species expresses a geographically unstructured, or generalist, phenotype throughout its range or if it shows geographically localized morphological differentiation across disparate environments. Results Using geometric morphometric and ecomorphological analyses of skull shape variation we found that despite distinct environmental conditions, geographically structured morphological variation is limited, with the notable exception of a distinct morphological disjunction at the high-elevation forest-grassland transition in the southern portion of A. mollis distribution. Based on genetic analyses, geographic isolation alone does not explain this localized phenotype, given that similar levels of genetic differentiation were also observed among individuals inhabiting other ecosystems that are nonetheless not distinct morphologically. Conclusions Instead of phenotypic specialization across environments in these tropical mountains, there was limited differentiation of skull shape and size across the broad range of A. mollis, with the exception of individuals from the puna, the highest-elevation ecosystem. The high morphological variance among individuals, together with a weak association with local environmental conditions, not only highlights the flexibility of A. mollis’ skull, but also highlights the need for further study to understand what maintains the observed morphological patterns. The work also indicates that mechanisms other than processes linked to local ecological specialization as a driver of diversification may contribute to the high diversity of this tropical region. PMID:23899319

  8. Heritability and phenotypic variation of canine hip dysplasia radiographic traits in a cohort of Australian German shepherd dogs.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Bethany J; Nicholas, Frank W; James, John W; Wade, Claire M; Tammen, Imke; Raadsma, Herman W; Castle, Kao; Thomson, Peter C

    2012-01-01

    Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) is a common, painful and debilitating orthopaedic disorder of dogs with a partly genetic, multifactorial aetiology. Worldwide, potential breeding dogs are evaluated for CHD using radiographically based screening schemes such as the nine ordinally-scored British Veterinary Association Hip Traits (BVAHTs). The effectiveness of selective breeding based on screening results requires that a significant proportion of the phenotypic variation is caused by the presence of favourable alleles segregating in the population. This proportion, heritability, was measured in a cohort of 13,124 Australian German Shepherd Dogs born between 1976 and 2005, displaying phenotypic variation for BVAHTs, using ordinal, linear and binary mixed models fitted by a Restricted Maximum Likelihood method. Heritability estimates for the nine BVAHTs ranged from 0.14-0.24 (ordinal models), 0.14-0.25 (linear models) and 0.12-0.40 (binary models). Heritability for the summed BVAHT phenotype was 0.30 ± 0.02. The presence of heritable variation demonstrates that selection based on BVAHTs has the potential to improve BVAHT scores in the population. Assuming a genetic correlation between BVAHT scores and CHD-related pain and dysfunction, the welfare of Australian German Shepherds can be improved by continuing to consider BVAHT scores in the selection of breeding dogs, but that as heritability values are only moderate in magnitude the accuracy, and effectiveness, of selection could be improved by the use of Estimated Breeding Values in preference to solely phenotype based selection of breeding animals. PMID:22761846

  9. Speciation, Phenotypic Variation and Plasticity: What Can Endocrine Disruptors Tell Us?

    PubMed Central

    Ayala-García, Braulio; López-Santibáñez Guevara, Marta; Marcos-Camacho, Lluvia I.; Fuentes-Farías, Alma L.; Meléndez-Herrera, Esperanza; Gutiérrez-Ospina, Gabriel

    2013-01-01

    Phenotype variability, phenotypic plasticity, and the inheritance of phenotypic traits constitute the fundamental ground of processes such as individuation, individual and species adaptation and ultimately speciation. Even though traditional evolutionary thinking relies on genetic mutations as the main source of intra- and interspecies phenotypic variability, recent studies suggest that the epigenetic modulation of gene transcription and translation, epigenetic memory, and epigenetic inheritance are by far the most frequent reliable sources of transgenerational variability among viable individuals within and across organismal species. Therefore, individuation and speciation should be considered as nonmutational epigenetic phenomena. PMID:23762055

  10. Variation in Phenotype, Parasite Load and Male Competitive Ability across a Cryptic Hybrid Zone

    PubMed Central

    Stuart-Fox, Devi; Godinho, Raquel; Goüy de Bellocq, Joëlle; Irwin, Nancy R.; Brito, José Carlos; Moussalli, Adnan; Široký, Pavel; Hugall, Andrew F.; Baird, Stuart J. E.

    2009-01-01

    Background Molecular genetic studies are revealing an increasing number of cryptic lineages or species, which are highly genetically divergent but apparently cannot be distinguished morphologically. This observation gives rise to three important questions: 1) have these cryptic lineages diverged in phenotypic traits that may not be obvious to humans; 2) when cryptic lineages come into secondary contact, what are the evolutionary consequences: stable co-existence, replacement, admixture or differentiation and 3) what processes influence the evolutionary dynamics of these secondary contact zones? Methodology/Principal Findings To address these questions, we first tested whether males of the Iberian lizard Lacerta schreiberi from two highly genetically divergent, yet morphologically cryptic lineages on either side of an east-west secondary contact could be differentiated based on detailed analysis of morphology, coloration and parasite load. Next, we tested whether these differences could be driven by pre-copulatory intra-sexual selection (male-male competition). Compared to eastern males, western males had fewer parasites, were in better body condition and were more intensely coloured. Although subtle environmental variation across the hybrid zone could explain the differences in parasite load and body condition, these were uncorrelated with colour expression, suggesting that the differences in coloration reflect heritable divergence. The lineages did not differ in their aggressive behaviour or competitive ability. However, body size, which predicted male aggressiveness, was positively correlated with the colour traits that differed between genetic backgrounds. Conclusions/Significance Our study confirms that these cryptic lineages differ in several aspects that are likely to influence fitness. Although there were no clear differences in male competitive ability, our results suggest a potential indirect role for intra-sexual selection. Specifically, if lizards use the colour traits that differ between genetic backgrounds to assess the size of potential rivals or mates, the resulting fitness differential favouring western males could result in net male-mediated gene flow from west to east across the current hybrid zone. PMID:19479073

  11. Drosophila americana as a Model Species for Comparative Studies on the Molecular Basis of Phenotypic Variation

    PubMed Central

    Fonseca, Nuno A.; Morales-Hojas, Ramiro; Reis, Micael; Rocha, Helder; Vieira, Cristina P.; Nolte, Viola; Schlötterer, Christian; Vieira, Jorge

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the molecular basis of within and between species phenotypic variation is one of the main goals of Biology. In Drosophila, most of the work regarding this issue has been performed in D. melanogaster, but other distantly related species must also be studied to verify the generality of the findings obtained for this species. Here, we make the case for D. americana, a species of the virilis group of Drosophila that has been diverging from the model species, D. melanogaster, for approximately 40 Myr. To determine the suitability of this species for such studies, polymorphism and recombination estimates are presented for D. americana based on the largest nucleotide sequence polymorphism data set so far analyzed (more than 100 data sets) for this species. The polymorphism estimates are also compared with those obtained from the comparison of the genome assembly of two D. americana strains (H5 and W11) here reported. As an example of the general utility of these resources, we perform a preliminary study on the molecular basis of lifespan differences in D. americana. First, we show that there are lifespan differences between D. americana populations from different regions of the distribution range. Then, we perform five F2 association experiments using markers for 21 candidate genes previously identified in D. melanogaster. Significant associations are found between polymorphism at two genes (hep and Lim3) and lifespan. For the F2 association study involving the two sequenced strains (H5 and W11), we identify amino acid differences at Lim3 and Hep that could be responsible for the observed changes in lifespan. For both genes, no large gene expression differences were observed between the two strains. PMID:23493635

  12. Phenotypic Variation in Fitness Traits of a Managed Solitary Bee, Osmia ribifloris (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae).

    PubMed

    Sampson, B J; Rinehart, T A; Kirker, G T; Stringer, S J; Werle, C T

    2015-12-01

    We investigated fitness in natural populations of a managed solitary bee Osmia ribifloris Cockerell (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) from sites separated from 400 to 2,700 km. Parental wild bees originated in central Texas (TX), central-northern Utah (UT), and central California (CA). They were then intercrossed and raised inside a mesh enclosure in southern Mississippi (MS). Females from all possible mated pairs of O. ribifloris produced F1 broods with 30-40% female cocoons and outcrossed progeny were 30% heavier. Mitochondrial (COI) genomes of the four populations revealed three distinct clades, a TX-CA clade, a UT clade, and an MS clade, the latter (MS) representing captive progeny of CA and UT bees. Although classified as separate subspecies, TX and CA populations from 30° N to 38° N latitude shared 98% similarity in COI genomes and the greatest brood biomass per nest straw (600- to 700-mg brood). Thus, TX and CA bees show greater adaptation for southern U.S. sites. In contrast, UT-sourced bees were more distantly related to TX and CA bees and also produced ?50% fewer brood. These results, taken together, confirm that adult O. ribifloris from all trap-nest sites are genetically compatible, but some phenotypic variation exists that could affect this species performance as a commercial blueberry pollinator. Males, their sperm, or perhaps a substance in their sperm helped stabilize our captive bee population by promoting legitimate nesting over nest usurpation. Otherwise, without insemination, 50% fewer females nested (they nested 14 d late) and 20% usurped nests, killing 33-67% of brood in affected nests. PMID:26470379

  13. Development of resources and tools for mapping genetic sources of phenotypic variation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Commercial and experimental genetic resources were established and investigated for a range of reproductive and disease susceptibility phenotypes. The phenotyping efforts were accompanied with RNA and whole genome sequencing and novel assemblies of the swine genome. The efforts were complemented wit...

  14. Genetic gain from phenotypic and genomic selection for quantitative resistance to stem rust of wheat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Stem rust of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici, is a globally important disease that can cause severe yield loss. Breeding for quantitative stem rust resistance (QSRR) is important for developing cultivars with durable resistance. Genomic selection (GS) could i...

  15. Phenotypic Variation Is Almost Entirely Independent of the Host-Pathogen Relationship in Clinical Isolates of S. aureus

    PubMed Central

    Land, Adrian D.; Hogan, Patrick; Fritz, Stephanie; Levin, Petra Anne

    2015-01-01

    Background A key feature of Staphylococcus aureus biology is its ability to switch from an apparently benign colonizer of ~30% of the population to a cutaneous pathogen, to a deadly invasive pathogen. Little is known about the mechanisms driving this transition or the propensity of different S. aureus strains to engender different types of host-pathogen interactions. At the same time, significant weight has been given to the role of specific in vitro phenotypes in S. aureus virulence. Biofilm formation, hemolysis and pigment formation have all been associated with virulence in mice. Design To determine if there is a correlation between in vitro phenotype and the three types of host-pathogen relationships commonly exhibited by S. aureus in the context of its natural human host, we assayed 300 clinical isolates for phenotypes implicated in virulence including hemolysis, sensitivity to autolysis, and biofilm formation. For comparative purposes, we also assayed phenotype in 9 domesticated S. aureus strains routinely used for analysis of virulence determinants in laboratory settings. Results Strikingly, the clinical strains exhibited significant phenotypic uniformity in each of the assays evaluated in this study. One exception was a small, but significant, correlation between an increased propensity for biofilm formation and isolation from skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs). In contrast, we observed a high degree of phenotypic variation between common laboratory strains that exhibit virulence in mouse models. These data suggest the existence of significant evolutionary pressure on the S. aureus genome and highlight a role for host factors as a strong determinant of the host-pathogen relationship. In addition, the high degree of variation between laboratory strains emphasizes the need for caution when applying data obtained in one lab strain to the analysis of another. PMID:26098551

  16. Detection of copy number variation and single nucleotide polymorphisms in genes involved in drug resistance and other phenotypic traits in P. falciparum clinical isolates collected from Uganda.

    PubMed

    Kiwuwa, Mpungu Steven; Byarugaba, Justus; Wahlgren, Mats; Kironde, Fred

    2013-03-01

    There is an increasing interest in mapping the genes of pathogens which underlie important phenotypic traits such as virulence and drug resistance. The Plasmodium falciparum genome exhibits sequence variation that contributes to the pathogenic mechanisms of the parasite. Determining the prevalence of resistance markers could provide a prediction about drug efficacy. Copy number polymorphism (CNP) of genes has been shown to influence important parasite phenotypes. In this work, CNPs within genes involved in drug resistance and other phenotypic traits namely P. falciparum multidrug resistance 1 (pfmdr-1), GTP cyclo hydrolase (gch1), Ring infected erythrocyte surface antigen precursor (resa) and a hypothetical protein coding gene were analyzed by quantitative real time-polymerase reaction (qRT-PCR) among clinical isolates collected from Uganda. The pfmdr-1 codons 86 and 1246 and P. falciparum chloroquine resistance (pfcrt) codon 76 were genotyped for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP), and the proportion of resistance associated mutations were determined among mild and severe malaria cases using the chi-square test. Forty and 42 P. falciparum isolates collected from children with mild and severe malaria respectively were analyzed for CNPs. Seventy five and 81 P. falciparum isolates from children with mild or severe malaria were analyzed for SNPs. No pfmdr-1, gch1 or novel gene amplifications were identified among the P. falciparum clinical isolates. Although chloroquine was officially withdrawn from policy use since 7 years, all P. falciparum isolates presented the associated pfcrt K76T mutation, whatever the clinical status and no specific mutation in the pfmdr-1 gene was associated with disease type. In conclusion, this study provides baseline measures for continued surveillance for changes in copy number and SNP types among genes implicated in drug resistance and other important phenotypes that may have a potential role in parasite virulence mechanisms or drug treatment outcomes. PMID:23220229

  17. Quantitative Analysis of Adventitious Root Growth Phenotypes in Carnation Stem Cuttings.

    PubMed

    Birlanga, Virginia; Villanova, Joan; Cano, Antonio; Cano, Emilio A; Acosta, Manuel; Pérez-Pérez, José Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Carnation is one of the most important species on the worldwide market of cut flowers. Commercial carnation cultivars are vegetatively propagated from terminal stem cuttings that undergo a rooting and acclimation process. For some of the new cultivars that are being developed by ornamental breeders, poor adventitious root (AR) formation limits its commercial scaling-up, due to a significant increase in the production costs. We have initiated a genetical-genomics approach to determine the molecular basis of the differences found between carnation cultivars during adventitious rooting. The detailed characterization of AR formation in several carnation cultivars differing in their rooting losses has been performed (i) during commercial production at a breeders' rooting station and (ii) on a defined media in a controlled environment. Our study reveals the phenotypic signatures that distinguishes the bad-rooting cultivars and provides the appropriate set-up for the molecular identification of the genes involved in AR development in this species. PMID:26230608

  18. Quantitative Analysis of Adventitious Root Growth Phenotypes in Carnation Stem Cuttings

    PubMed Central

    Birlanga, Virginia; Villanova, Joan; Cano, Antonio; Cano, Emilio A.; Acosta, Manuel; Pérez-Pérez, José Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Carnation is one of the most important species on the worldwide market of cut flowers. Commercial carnation cultivars are vegetatively propagated from terminal stem cuttings that undergo a rooting and acclimation process. For some of the new cultivars that are being developed by ornamental breeders, poor adventitious root (AR) formation limits its commercial scaling-up, due to a significant increase in the production costs. We have initiated a genetical-genomics approach to determine the molecular basis of the differences found between carnation cultivars during adventitious rooting. The detailed characterization of AR formation in several carnation cultivars differing in their rooting losses has been performed (i) during commercial production at a breeders’ rooting station and (ii) on a defined media in a controlled environment. Our study reveals the phenotypic signatures that distinguishes the bad-rooting cultivars and provides the appropriate set-up for the molecular identification of the genes involved in AR development in this species. PMID:26230608

  19. Missense variants in CFTR nucleotide-binding domains predict quantitative phenotypes associated with cystic fibrosis disease severity.

    PubMed

    Masica, David L; Sosnay, Patrick R; Raraigh, Karen S; Cutting, Garry R; Karchin, Rachel

    2015-04-01

    Predicting the impact of genetic variation on human health remains an important and difficult challenge. Often, algorithmic classifiers are tasked with predicting binary traits (e.g. positive or negative for a disease) from missense variation. Though useful, this arrangement is limiting and contrived, because human diseases often comprise a spectrum of severities, rather than a discrete partitioning of patient populations. Furthermore, labeling variants as causal or benign can be error prone, which is problematic for training supervised learning algorithms (the so-called garbage in, garbage out phenomenon). We explore the potential value of training classifiers using continuous-valued quantitative measurements, rather than binary traits. Using 20 variants from cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) nucleotide-binding domains and six quantitative measures of cystic fibrosis (CF) severity, we trained classifiers to predict CF severity from CFTR variants. Employing cross validation, classifier prediction and measured clinical/functional values were significantly correlated for four of six quantitative traits (correlation P-values from 1.35 × 10(-4) to 4.15 × 10(-3)). Classifiers were also able to stratify variants by three clinically relevant risk categories with 85-100% accuracy, depending on which of the six quantitative traits was used for training. Finally, we characterized 11 additional CFTR variants using clinical sweat chloride testing, two functional assays, or all three diagnostics, and validated our classifier using blind prediction. Predictions were within the measured sweat chloride range for seven of eight variants, and captured the differential impact of specific variants on the two functional assays. This work demonstrates a promising and novel framework for assessing the impact of genetic variation. PMID:25489051

  20. Temporal variation in phenotypic gender and expected functional gender within and among individuals in an annual plant

    PubMed Central

    Austen, Emily J.; Weis, Arthur E.

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Adaptive explanations for variation in sex allocation centre on variation in resource status and variation in the mating environment. The latter can occur when dichogamy causes siring opportunity to vary across the flowering season. In this study, it is hypothesized that the widespread tendency towards declining fruit-set from first to last flowers on plants can similarly lead to a varying mating environment by causing a temporal shift in the quality (not quantity) of siring opportunities. Methods A numerical model was developed to examine the effects of declining fruit-set on the expected male versus female reproductive success (functional gender) of first and last flowers on plants, and of early- and late-flowering plants. Within- and among-plant temporal variation in pollen production, ovule production and fruit-set in 70 Brassica rapa plants was then characterized to determine if trends in male and female investment mirror expected trends in functional gender. Key Results Under a wide range of model conditions, functional femaleness decreased sharply in the last flowers on plants, and increased from early- to late-flowering plants in the population. In B. rapa, pollen production decreased more rapidly than ovule production from first to last flowers, leading to a within-plant increase in phenotypic femaleness. Among plants, ovule production decreased from early- to late-flowering plants, causing a temporal decrease in phenotypic femaleness. Conclusions The numerical model confirmed that declining fruit-set can drive temporal variation in functional gender, especially among plants. The discrepancy between observed trends in phenotypic gender in B. rapa and expected functional gender predicted by the numerical model does not rule out the possibility that male reproductive success decreases with later flowering onset. If so, plants may experience selection for early flowering through male fitness. PMID:24854170

  1. Genetic variation in the oxytocin receptor gene is associated with a social phenotype in autism spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Ashley J; Gamsiz, Ece D; Berkowitz, Isaac C; Nagpal, Shailender; Jerskey, Beth A

    2015-12-01

    Oxytocin regulates social behavior in animal models. Research supports an association between genetic variation in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In this study, we examine the association between the OXTR gene and a specific social phenotype within ASD. This genotype-phenotype investigation may provide insight into how OXTR conveys risk for social impairment. The current study investigated 10 SNPS in the OXTR gene that have been previously shown to be associated with ASD. We examine the association of these SNPs with both a social phenotype and a repetitive behavior phenotype comprised of behaviors commonly impaired in ASD in the Simons simplex collection (SSC). Using a large sample to examine the association between OXTR and ASD (n = range: 485-1002), we find evidence to support a relation between two OXTR SNPs and the examined social phenotype among children diagnosed with ASD. Greater impairment on the social responsiveness scale standardized total score and on several subdomains was observed among individuals with one or more copies of the minor frequency allele in both rs7632287 and rs237884. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) mapping suggests that these two SNPs are in LD within and overlapping the 3' untranslated region (3'-UTR) of the OXTR gene. These two SNPs were also associated with greater impairment on the repetitive behavior scale. Results of this study indicate that social impairment and repetitive behaviors in ASD are associated with genomic variation in the 3'UTR of the OXTR gene. These variants may be linked to an allele that alters stability of the mRNA message although further work is necessary to test this hypothesis. PMID:26365303

  2. Quantitative measurement of phase variation amplitude of ultrasonic diffraction grating based on diffraction spectral analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Meiyan Zeng, Yingzhi; Huang, Zuohua

    2014-09-15

    A new method based on diffraction spectral analysis is proposed for the quantitative measurement of the phase variation amplitude of an ultrasonic diffraction grating. For a traveling wave, the phase variation amplitude of the grating depends on the intensity of the zeroth- and first-order diffraction waves. By contrast, for a standing wave, this amplitude depends on the intensity of the zeroth-, first-, and second-order diffraction waves. The proposed method is verified experimentally. The measured phase variation amplitude ranges from 0 to 2?, with a relative error of approximately 5%. A nearly linear relation exists between the phase variation amplitude and driving voltage. Our proposed method can also be applied to ordinary sinusoidal phase grating.

  3. Phenotypic differences in a cryptic predator: factors influencing morphological variation in the terciopelo Bothrops asper (Garman, 1884; Serpentes: Viperidae).

    PubMed

    Saldarriaga-Córdoba, Mónica María; Sasa, Mahmood; Pardo, Rodrigo; Méndez, Marco Antonio

    2009-12-01

    The terciopelo Bothrops asper, is a cryptic lancehead pitviper widely distributed in humid environments of Middle America and the north-western portion of South America. Throughout its extensive distribution range, the terciopelo exhibits great morphological variation in external characters, a situation that has complicated its proper separation from other related species. In this paper, we analyzed the phenotypic variation of B. asper based in a sample of 514 specimens from nine distinct physiographic regions. Univariate and multivariate analyses demonstrated great phenotypic differentiation among most pre-established groups, and the pattern is fairly congruent between sexes. However, no correspondence was observed between morphological variation and molecular divergence, inferred from mDNA sequences, between individuals representing the physiographical regions under study. Geographic variation in the number of interrictals, ventral scales, subcaudal scales and dorsal blotches was positively correlated with latitude and number of dry months, but inversely related with precipitation. However, other variables do not exhibit such an effect. The observed relationships between scale counts and environmental variables are explained in terms of selective pressures to improve water balance along the distributional range of the species. PMID:19505490

  4. Maintenance of phenotypic variation: Repeatability, heritability and size-dependent processes in a wild brook trout population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Letcher, B.H.; Coombs, J.A.; Nislow, K.H.

    2011-01-01

    Phenotypic variation in body size can result from within-cohort variation in birth dates, among-individual growth variation and size-selective processes. We explore the relative effects of these processes on the maintenance of wide observed body size variation in stream-dwelling brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis). Based on the analyses of multiple recaptures of individual fish, it appears that size distributions are largely determined by the maintenance of early size variation. We found no evidence for size-dependent compensatory growth (which would reduce size variation) and found no indication that size-dependent survival substantially influenced body size distributions. Depensatory growth (faster growth by larger individuals) reinforced early size variation, but was relatively strong only during the first sampling interval (age-0, fall). Maternal decisions on the timing and location of spawning could have a major influence on early, and as our results suggest, later (>age-0) size distributions. If this is the case, our estimates of heritability of body size (body length=0.25) will be dominated by processes that generate and maintain early size differences. As a result, evolutionary responses to environmental change that are mediated by body size may be largely expressed via changes in the timing and location of reproduction. Published 2011. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  5. Developmental Patterning as a Quantitative Trait: Genetic Modulation of the Hoxb6 Mutant Skeletal Phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Kappen, Claudia

    2016-01-01

    The process of patterning along the anterior-posterior axis in vertebrates is highly conserved. The function of Hox genes in the axis patterning process is particularly well documented for bone development in the vertebral column and the limbs. We here show that Hoxb6, in skeletal elements at the cervico-thoracic junction, controls multiple independent aspects of skeletal pattern, implicating discrete developmental pathways as substrates for this transcription factor. In addition, we demonstrate that Hoxb6 function is subject to modulation by genetic factors. These results establish Hox-controlled skeletal pattern as a quantitative trait modulated by gene-gene interactions, and provide evidence that distinct modifiers influence the function of conserved developmental genes in fundamental patterning processes. PMID:26800342

  6. Phenotypic Variation across Chromosomal Hybrid Zones of the Common Shrew (Sorex araneus) Indicates Reduced Gene Flow

    PubMed Central

    Polly, P. David; Polyakov, Andrei V.; Ilyashenko, Vadim B.; Onischenko, Sergei S.; White, Thomas A.; Shchipanov, Nikolay A.; Bulatova, Nina S.; Pavlova, Svetlana V.; Borodin, Pavel M.; Searle, Jeremy B.

    2013-01-01

    Sorex araneus, the Common shrew, is a species with more than 70 karyotypic races, many of which form parapatric hybrid zones, making it a model for studying chromosomal speciation. Hybrids between races have reduced fitness, but microsatellite markers have demonstrated considerable gene flow between them, calling into question whether the chromosomal barriers actually do contribute to genetic divergence. We studied phenotypic clines across two hybrid zones with especially complex heterozygotes. Hybrids between the Novosibirsk and Tomsk races produce chains of nine and three chromosomes at meiosis, and hybrids between the Moscow and Seliger races produce chains of eleven. Our goal was to determine whether phenotypes show evidence of reduced gene flow at hybrid zones. We used maximum likelihood to fit tanh cline models to geometric shape data and found that phenotypic clines in skulls and mandibles across these zones had similar centers and widths as chromosomal clines. The amount of phenotypic differentiation across the zones is greater than expected if it were dissipating due to unrestricted gene flow given the amount of time since contact, but it is less than expected to have accumulated from drift during allopatric separation in glacial refugia. Only if heritability is very low, Ne very high, and the time spent in allopatry very short, will the differences we observe be large enough to match the expectation of drift. Our results therefore suggest that phenotypic differentiation has been lost through gene flow since post-glacial secondary contact, but not as quickly as would be expected if there was free gene flow across the hybrid zones. The chromosomal tension zones are confirmed to be partial barriers that prevent differentiated races from becoming phenotypically homogenous. PMID:23874420

  7. The effect of transposable elements on phenotypic variation: insights from plants to humans.

    PubMed

    Wei, Liya; Cao, Xiaofeng

    2016-01-01

    Transposable elements (TEs), originally discovered in maize as controlling elements, are the main components of most eukaryotic genomes. TEs have been regarded as deleterious genomic parasites due to their ability to undergo massive amplification. However, TEs can regulate gene expression and alter phenotypes. Also, emerging findings demonstrate that TEs can establish and rewire gene regulatory networks by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. In this review, we summarize the key roles of TEs in fine-tuning the regulation of gene expression leading to phenotypic plasticity in plants and humans, and the implications for adaption and natural selection. PMID:26753674

  8. Phenotypes, genotypes and disease susceptibility associated with gene copy number variations: complement C4 CNVs in European American healthy subjects and those with systemic lupus erythematosus

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Y.L.; Yang, Y.; Chung, E.K.; Zhou, B.; Kitzmiller, K.J.; Savelli, S.L.; Nagaraja, H.N.; Birmingham, D.J.; Tsao, B.P.; Rovin, B.H.; Hebert, L.A.; Yu, C.Y.

    2009-01-01

    A new paradigm in human genetics is high frequencies of inter-individual variations in copy numbers of specific genomic DNA segments. Such common copy number variation (CNV) loci often contain genes engaged in host-environment interaction including those involved in immune effector functions. DNA sequences within a CNV locus often share a high degree of identity but beneficial or deleterious polymorphic variants are present among different individuals. Thus, common gene CNVs can contribute, both qualitatively and quantitatively, to a spectrum of phenotypic variants. In this review we describe the phenotypic and genotypic diversities of complement C4 created by copy number variations of RCCX modules (RP-C4-CYP21-TNX) and size dichotomy of C4 genes. A direct outcome of C4 CNV is the generation of two classes of polymorphic proteins, C4A and C4B, with differential chemical reactivities towards peptide or carbohydrate antigens, and a range of C4 plasma protein concentrations (from 15 to 70 mg/dl) among healthy subjects. Deliberate molecular genetic studies enabled development of definitive techniques to determine exact patterns of RCCX modular variations, copy numbers of long and short C4A and C4B genes by Southern blot analyses or by real-time quantitative PCR. It is found that in healthy European Americans, the total C4 gene copy number per diploid genome ranges from 2 to 6: 60.8% of people with four copies of C4 genes, 27.2% with less than four copies, and 12% with more than four copies. Such a distribution is skewed towards the low copy number side in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a prototypic autoimmune disease with complex etiology. In SLE, the frequency of individuals with less than four copies of C4 is significantly increased (42.2%), while the frequency of those with more than four copies is decreased (6%). This decrease in total C4 gene copy number in SLE is due to increases in homozygous and heterozygous deficiencies of C4A but not C4B. Therefore, it is concluded that lower copy number of C4 is a risk factor for and higher gene copy number of C4 is a protective factor against SLE disease susceptibility. PMID:19287147

  9. Variation in human brains may facilitate evolutionary change toward a limited range of phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Charvet, Christine J.; Darlington, Richard B.; Finlay, Barbara L.

    2013-01-01

    Individual variation is the foundation for evolutionary change, but little is known about the nature of normal variation between brains. Phylogenetic variation across mammalian brains is characterized by high inter-correlations in brain region volumes, distinct allometric scaling for each brain region and the relative independence in olfactory and limbic structures volumes from the rest of the brain. Previous work examining brain variation in individuals of some domesticated species showed that these three features of phylogenetic variation were mirrored in individual variation. We extend this analysis to the human brain and 10 of its subdivisions (e.g., isocortex, hippocampus) by using magnetic resonance imaging scans of 90 human brains ranging between 16 to 25 years of age. Human brain variation resembles both the individual variation seen in other species, and variation observed across mammalian species. That is, the relative differences in the slopes of each brain region compared to medulla size within humans and between mammals are concordant, and limbic structures scale with relative independence from other brain regions. This non-random pattern of variation suggests that developmental programs channel the variation available for selection. PMID:23363667

  10. Co-localization of quantitative trait loci regulating resistance to Salmonella typhimurium infection and specific antibody production phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Trezena, Aryene Goes; Souza, Carla Martins; Borrego, Andrea; Massa, Solange; Siqueira, Maria; De Franco, Marcelo; Sant'Anna, Osvaldo Augusto

    2002-11-01

    Salmonella enterica serotype typhimurium is a facultative intracellular bacteria that induces systemic infection in mice. Resistance to this pathogen is under polygenic control in which Nramp1 is the major gene involved. Lines of mice obtained by selective breeding for high (HIII) or low (LIII) antibody response to flagellar antigens of salmonellae showed significant susceptibility differences, although both the lines display Nramp1(R) alleles. The HIII line was extremely susceptible to infection, while the LIII line was resistant. In order to examine the cellular and genetic mechanisms involved in this distinct pattern of resistance, HIII and LIII mice were analyzed for IFNgamma and IL4 production and screened for quantitative trait loci involved in S. typhimurium infection, using several polymorphic microsatellites. In the present work, HIII mice showed an IFNgamma downregulation in the early phase of infection when compared with LIII animals. No interline differences in IL4 production were verified. The loci screening was performed on immunized F2 intercrosses obtained from HIII and LIII mice. Three antibody-controlling chromosomal regions were coincident, and another was mapped near one of the four loci known to affect susceptibility to S. typhimurium. These results indicate a major role of IFNgamma in our model, and suggest the co-localization of quantitative trait loci modulating both infection and antibody production phenotypes. PMID:12475631

  11. Mining natural variation for maize improvement: Selection on phenotypes and genes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize is highly genetically and phenotypically diverse. Tropical maize and teosinte are important genetic resources that harbor unique alleles not found in temperate maize hybrids. To access these resources, breeders must be able to extract favorable unique alleles from tropical maize and teosinte f...

  12. Variation in Plasmodium falciparum Erythrocyte Invasion Phenotypes and Merozoite Ligand Gene Expression across Different Populations in Areas of Malaria Endemicity

    PubMed Central

    Bowyer, Paul W.; Stewart, Lindsay B.; Aspeling-Jones, Harvey; Mensah-Brown, Henrietta E.; Ahouidi, Ambroise D.; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Awandare, Gordon A.

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum merozoites use diverse alternative erythrocyte receptors for invasion and variably express cognate ligands encoded by the erythrocyte binding antigen (eba) and reticulocyte binding-like homologue (Rh) gene families. Previous analyses conducted on parasites from single populations in areas of endemicity revealed a wide spectrum of invasion phenotypes and expression profiles, although comparisons across studies have been limited by the use of different protocols. For direct comparisons within and among populations, clinical isolates from three different West African sites of endemicity (in Ghana, Guinea, and Senegal) were cryopreserved and cultured ex vivo after thawing in a single laboratory to assay invasion of target erythrocytes pretreated with enzymes affecting receptor subsets. Complete invasion assay data from 67 isolates showed no differences among the populations in the broad range of phenotypes measured by neuraminidase treatment (overall mean, 40.6% inhibition) or trypsin treatment (overall mean, 83.3% inhibition). The effects of chymotrypsin treatment (overall mean, 79.2% inhibition) showed heterogeneity across populations (Kruskall-Wallis P = 0.023), although the full phenotypic range was seen in each. Schizont-stage transcript data for a panel of 8 invasion ligand genes (eba175, eba140, eba181, Rh1, Rh2a, Rh2b, Rh4, and Rh5) were obtained for 37 isolates, showing similar ranges of variation in each population except that eba175 levels tended to be higher in parasites from Ghana than in those from Senegal (whereas levels of eba181 and Rh2b were lower in parasites from Ghana). The broad diversity in invasion phenotypes and gene expression seen within each local population, with minimal differences among them, is consistent with a hypothesis of immune selection maintaining parasite variation. PMID:25870227

  13. Variation in Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte invasion phenotypes and merozoite ligand gene expression across different populations in areas of malaria endemicity.

    PubMed

    Bowyer, Paul W; Stewart, Lindsay B; Aspeling-Jones, Harvey; Mensah-Brown, Henrietta E; Ahouidi, Ambroise D; Amambua-Ngwa, Alfred; Awandare, Gordon A; Conway, David J

    2015-06-01

    Plasmodium falciparum merozoites use diverse alternative erythrocyte receptors for invasion and variably express cognate ligands encoded by the erythrocyte binding antigen (eba) and reticulocyte binding-like homologue (Rh) gene families. Previous analyses conducted on parasites from single populations in areas of endemicity revealed a wide spectrum of invasion phenotypes and expression profiles, although comparisons across studies have been limited by the use of different protocols. For direct comparisons within and among populations, clinical isolates from three different West African sites of endemicity (in Ghana, Guinea, and Senegal) were cryopreserved and cultured ex vivo after thawing in a single laboratory to assay invasion of target erythrocytes pretreated with enzymes affecting receptor subsets. Complete invasion assay data from 67 isolates showed no differences among the populations in the broad range of phenotypes measured by neuraminidase treatment (overall mean, 40.6% inhibition) or trypsin treatment (overall mean, 83.3% inhibition). The effects of chymotrypsin treatment (overall mean, 79.2% inhibition) showed heterogeneity across populations (Kruskall-Wallis P = 0.023), although the full phenotypic range was seen in each. Schizont-stage transcript data for a panel of 8 invasion ligand genes (eba175, eba140, eba181, Rh1, Rh2a, Rh2b, Rh4, and Rh5) were obtained for 37 isolates, showing similar ranges of variation in each population except that eba175 levels tended to be higher in parasites from Ghana than in those from Senegal (whereas levels of eba181 and Rh2b were lower in parasites from Ghana). The broad diversity in invasion phenotypes and gene expression seen within each local population, with minimal differences among them, is consistent with a hypothesis of immune selection maintaining parasite variation. PMID:25870227

  14. Conformation of polyelectrolytes in poor solvents: Variational approach and quantitative comparison with scaling predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Haozhe; Liao, Qi; Zhang, Pingwen

    2014-05-01

    We present the results of variational calculations of a polyelectrolyte solution with low salt in poor solvent conditions for a polymer backbone. By employing the variation method, we quantitatively determined the diagram of the state of the polyelectrolyte in poor solvents as a function of the charge density and the molecular weight. The exact structure and diagram of the polyelectrolyte were compared to the scaling predictions of the necklace model developed by Dobrynin and Rubinstein [Prog. Polym. Sci. 30, 1049-1118 (2005); Dobrynin and Rubinstein, Macromolecules 32, 915-922 (1999); Dobrynin and Rubinstein, Macromolecules 34, 1964-1972 (2001)]. We find that the scaling necklace model may be used as a rather good estimation and analytical approximation of the exact variational model. It is also pointed out that the molecular connection of polymer is crucial for ellipsoid and necklace conformation.

  15. Transcriptional Analysis of a Photorhabdus sp. Variant Reveals Transcriptional Control of Phenotypic Variation and Multifactorial Pathogenicity in Insects▿

    PubMed Central

    Lanois, A.; Pages, S.; Bourot, S.; Canoy, A.-S.; Givaudan, A.; Gaudriault, S.

    2011-01-01

    Photorhabdus luminescens lives in a mutualistic association with entomopathogenic nematodes and is pathogenic for insects. Variants of Photorhabdus frequently arise irreversibly and are studied because they have altered phenotypic traits that are potentially important for the host interaction. VAR* is a colonial and phenotypic variant displaying delayed pathogenicity when directly injected into the insect, Spodoptera littoralis. In this study, we evaluated the role of transcriptomic modulation in determining the phenotypic variation and delayed pathogenicity of VAR* with respect to the corresponding wild-type form, TT01α. A P. luminescens microarray identified 148 genes as differentially transcribed between VAR* and TT01α. The net regulator status of VAR* was found to be significantly modified. We also observed in VAR* a decrease in the transcription of genes supporting certain phenotypic traits, such as pigmentation, crystalline inclusion, antibiosis, and protease and lipase activities. Three genes encoding insecticidal toxins (pit and pirB) or putative insecticidal toxins (xnp2) were less transcribed in VAR* than in the TT01α. The overexpression of these genes was not sufficient to restore the virulence of VAR* to the levels of ΤΤ01α, which suggests that the lower virulence of VAR* does not result from impaired toxemia in insects. Three loci involved in oxidative stress responses (sodA, katE, and the hca operon) were found to be downregulated in VAR*. This is consistent with the greater sensitivity of VAR* to H2O2 and may account for the impaired bacteremia in the hemolymph of S. littoralis larvae observed with VAR*. In conclusion, we demonstrate here that some phenotypic traits of VAR* are regulated transcriptionally and highlight the multifactorial nature of pathogenicity in insects. PMID:21131515

  16. Clonal expansion of the Pseudogymnoascus destructans genotype in North America is accompanied by significant variation in phenotypic expression.

    PubMed

    Khankhet, Jordan; Vanderwolf, Karen J; McAlpine, Donald F; McBurney, Scott; Overy, David P; Slavic, Durda; Xu, Jianping

    2014-01-01

    Pseudogymnoascus destructans is the causative agent of an emerging infectious disease that threatens populations of several North American bat species. The fungal disease was first observed in 2006 and has since caused the death of nearly six million bats. The disease, commonly known as white-nose syndrome, is characterized by a cutaneous infection with P. destructans causing erosions and ulcers in the skin of nose, ears and/or wings of bats. Previous studies based on sequences from eight loci have found that isolates of P. destructans from bats in the US all belong to one multilocus genotype. Using the same multilocus sequence typing method, we found that isolates from eastern and central Canada also had the same genotype as those from the US, consistent with the clonal expansion of P. destructans into Canada. However, our PCR fingerprinting revealed that among the 112 North American isolates we analyzed, three, all from Canada, showed minor genetic variation. Furthermore, we found significant variations among isolates in mycelial growth rate; the production of mycelial exudates; and pigment production and diffusion into agar media. These phenotypic differences were influenced by culture medium and incubation temperature, indicating significant variation in environmental condition--dependent phenotypic expression among isolates of the clonal P. destructans genotype in North America. PMID:25122221

  17. Clonal Expansion of the Pseudogymnoascus destructans Genotype in North America Is Accompanied by Significant Variation in Phenotypic Expression

    PubMed Central

    Khankhet, Jordan; Vanderwolf, Karen J.; McAlpine, Donald F.; McBurney, Scott; Overy, David P.; Slavic, Durda; Xu, Jianping

    2014-01-01

    Pseudogymnoascus destructans is the causative agent of an emerging infectious disease that threatens populations of several North American bat species. The fungal disease was first observed in 2006 and has since caused the death of nearly six million bats. The disease, commonly known as white-nose syndrome, is characterized by a cutaneous infection with P. destructans causing erosions and ulcers in the skin of nose, ears and/or wings of bats. Previous studies based on sequences from eight loci have found that isolates of P. destructans from bats in the US all belong to one multilocus genotype. Using the same multilocus sequence typing method, we found that isolates from eastern and central Canada also had the same genotype as those from the US, consistent with the clonal expansion of P. destructans into Canada. However, our PCR fingerprinting revealed that among the 112 North American isolates we analyzed, three, all from Canada, showed minor genetic variation. Furthermore, we found significant variations among isolates in mycelial growth rate; the production of mycelial exudates; and pigment production and diffusion into agar media. These phenotypic differences were influenced by culture medium and incubation temperature, indicating significant variation in environmental condition - dependent phenotypic expression among isolates of the clonal P. destructans genotype in North America. PMID:25122221

  18. Environmental effects on molecular and phenotypic variation in populations of Eruca sativa across a steep climatic gradient

    PubMed Central

    Westberg, Erik; Ohali, Shachar; Shevelevich, Anatoly; Fine, Pinchas; Barazani, Oz

    2013-01-01

    Abstract In Israel Eruca sativa has a geographically narrow distribution across a steep climatic gradient that ranges from mesic Mediterranean to hot desert environments. These conditions offer an opportunity to study the influence of the environment on intraspecific genetic variation. For this, we combined an analysis of neutral genetic markers with a phenotypic evaluation in common-garden experiments, and environmental characterization of populations that included climatic and edaphic parameters, as well as geographic distribution. A Bayesian clustering of individuals from nine representative populations based on amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) divided the populations into a southern and a northern geographic cluster, with one admixed population at the geographic border between them. Linear mixed models, with cluster added as a grouping factor, revealed no clear effects of environment or geography on genetic distances, but this may be due to a strong association of geography and environment with genetic clusters. However, environmental factors accounted for part of the phenotypic variation observed in the common-garden experiments. In addition, candidate loci for selection were identified by association with environmental parameters and by two outlier methods. One locus, identified by all three methods, also showed an association with trichome density and herbivore damage, in net-house and field experiments, respectively. Accordingly, we propose that because trichomes are directly linked to defense against both herbivores and excess radiation, they could potentially be related to adaptive variation in these populations. These results demonstrate the value of combining environmental and phenotypic data with a detailed genetic survey when studying adaptation in plant populations. This article describes the use of several types of data to estimate the influence of the environment on intraspecific genetic variation in populations originating from a steep climatic gradient. In addition to molecular marker data, we made use of phenotypic evaluation from common garden experiments, and a broad GIS based environmental data with edaphic information gathered in the field. This study, among others, lead to the identification of an outlier locus with an association to trichome formation and herbivore defense, and its ecological adaptive value is discussed. PMID:24567822

  19. Quantitative Fundus Autofluorescence and Optical Coherence Tomography in PRPH2/RDS- and ABCA4-Associated Disease Exhibiting Phenotypic Overlap

    PubMed Central

    Duncker, Tobias; Tsang, Stephen H.; Woods, Russell L.; Lee, Winston; Zernant, Jana; Allikmets, Rando; Delori, François C.; Sparrow, Janet R.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. To assess whether quantitative fundus autofluorescence (qAF), a measure of RPE lipofuscin, and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) can aid in the differentiation of patients with fundus features that could either be related to ABCA4 mutations or be part of the phenotypic spectrum of pattern dystrophies. Methods. Autofluorescence images (30°, 488-nm excitation) from 39 patients (67 eyes) were acquired with a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope equipped with an internal fluorescent reference and were quantified as previously described. In addition, horizontal SD-OCT images through the fovea were obtained. Patients were screened for ABCA4 and PRPH2/RDS mutations. Results. ABCA4 mutations were identified in 19 patients (mean age, 37 ± 12 years) and PRPH2/RDS mutations in 8 patients (mean age, 48 ± 13 years); no known ABCA4 or PRPH2/RDS mutations were found in 12 patients (mean age, 48 ± 9 years). Differentiation of the groups using phenotypic SD-OCT and AF features (e.g., peripapillary sparing, foveal sparing) was not reliable. However, patients with ABCA4 mutations could be discriminated reasonably well from other patients when qAF values were corrected for age and race. In general, ABCA4 patients had higher qAF values than PRPH2/RDS patients, while most patients without mutations in PRPH2/RDS or ABCA4 had qAF levels within the normal range. Conclusions. The high qAF levels of ABCA4-positive patients are a hallmark of ABCA4-related disease. The reason for high qAF among many PRPH2/RDS-positive patients is not known; higher RPE lipofuscin accumulation may be a primary or secondary effect of the PRPH2/RDS mutation. PMID:26024099

  20. Interindividual methylomic variation across blood, cortex, and cerebellum: implications for epigenetic studies of neurological and neuropsychiatric phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Hannon, Eilis; Lunnon, Katie; Schalkwyk, Leonard; Mill, Jonathan

    2015-11-01

    Given the tissue-specific nature of epigenetic processes, the assessment of disease-relevant tissue is an important consideration for epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS). Little is known about whether easily accessible tissues, such as whole blood, can be used to address questions about interindividual epigenomic variation in inaccessible tissues, such as the brain. We quantified DNA methylation in matched DNA samples isolated from whole blood and 4 brain regions (prefrontal cortex, entorhinal cortex, superior temporal gyrus, and cerebellum) from 122 individuals. We explored co-variation between tissues and the extent to which methylomic variation in blood is predictive of interindividual variation identified in the brain. For the majority of DNA methylation sites, interindividual variation in whole blood is not a strong predictor of interindividual variation in the brain, although the relationship with cortical regions is stronger than with the cerebellum. Variation at a subset of probes is strongly correlated across tissues, even in instances when the actual level of DNA methylation is significantly different between them. A substantial proportion of this co-variation, however, is likely to result from genetic influences. Our data suggest that for the majority of the genome, a blood-based EWAS for disorders where brain is presumed to be the primary tissue of interest will give limited information relating to underlying pathological processes. These results do not, however, discount the utility of using a blood-based EWAS to identify biomarkers of disease phenotypes manifest in the brain. We have generated a searchable database for the interpretation of data from blood-based EWAS analyses ( http://epigenetics.essex.ac.uk/bloodbrain/ ). PMID:26457534

  1. Continuous Variation Rather than Specialization in the Egg Phenotypes of Cuckoos (Cuculus canorus) Parasitizing Two Sympatric Reed Warbler Species

    PubMed Central

    Drobniak, Szymon M.; Dyrcz, Andrzej; Sudyka, Joanna; Cicho?, Mariusz

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of brood parasitism has long attracted considerable attention among behavioural ecologists, especially in the common cuckoo system. Common cuckoos (Cuculus canorus) are obligatory brood parasites, laying eggs in nests of passerines and specializing on specific host species. Specialized races of cuckoos are genetically distinct. Often in a given area, cuckoos encounter multiple hosts showing substantial variation in egg morphology. Exploiting different hosts should lead to egg-phenotype specialization in cuckoos to match egg phenotypes of the hosts. Here we test this assumption using a wild population of two sympatrically occurring host species: the great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) and reed warbler (A. scirpaceus). Using colour spectrophotometry, egg shell dynamometry and egg size measurements, we studied egg morphologies of cuckoos parasitizing these two hosts. In spite of observing clear differences between host egg phenotypes, we found no clear differences in cuckoo egg morphologies. Interestingly, although chromatically cuckoo eggs were more similar to reed warbler eggs, after taking into account achromatic differences, cuckoo eggs seemed to be equally similar to both host species. We hypothesize that such pattern may represent an initial stage of an averaging strategy of cuckoos, that – instead of specializing for specific hosts or exploiting only one host – adapt to multiple hosts. PMID:25180796

  2. Extreme phenotypic variation in Cetraria aculeata (lichenized Ascomycota): adaptation or incidental modification?

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Ortega, Sergio; Fernández-Mendoza, Fernando; Raggio, José; Vivas, Mercedes; Ascaso, Carmen; Sancho, Leopoldo G.; Printzen, Christian; de los Ríos, Asunción

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Phenotypic variability is a successful strategy in lichens for colonizing different habitats. Vagrancy has been reported as a specific adaptation for lichens living in steppe habitats around the world. Among the facultatively vagrant species, the cosmopolitan Cetraria aculeata apparently forms extremely modified vagrant thalli in steppe habitats of Central Spain. The aim of this study was to investigate whether these changes are phenotypic plasticity (a single genotype producing different phenotypes), by characterizing the anatomical and ultrastructural changes observed in vagrant morphs, and measuring differences in ecophysiological performance. Methods Specimens of vagrant and attached populations of C. aculeata were collected on the steppes of Central Spain. The fungal internal transcribed spacer (ITS), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GPD) and the large sub-unit of the mitochondrial ribosomal DNA (mtLSUm), and the algal ITS and actin were studied within a population genetics framework. Semi-thin and ultrathin sections were analysed by means of optical, scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy. Gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence were used to compare the physiological performance of both morphs. Key Results and Conclusions Vagrant and attached morphs share multilocus haplotypes which may indicate that they belong to the same species in spite of their completely different anatomy. However, differentiation tests suggested that vagrant specimens do not represent a random sub-set of the surrounding population. The morphological differences were related to anatomical and ultrastructural differences. Large intercalary growth rates of thalli after the loss of the basal–apical thallus polarity may be the cause of the increased growth shown by vagrant specimens. The anatomical and morphological changes lead to greater duration of ecophysiological activity in vagrant specimens. Although the anatomical and physiological changes could be chance effects, the genetic differentiation between vagrant and attached sub-populations and the higher biomass of the former show fitness effects and adaptation to dry environmental conditions in steppe habitats. PMID:22451601

  3. SNP array mapping of chromosome 20p deletions: genotypes, phenotypes, and copy number variation.

    PubMed

    Kamath, Binita M; Thiel, Brian D; Gai, Xiaowu; Conlin, Laura K; Munoz, Pedro S; Glessner, Joseph; Clark, Dinah; Warthen, Daniel M; Shaikh, Tamim H; Mihci, Ercan; Piccoli, David A; Grant, Struan F A; Hakonarson, Hakon; Krantz, Ian D; Spinner, Nancy B

    2009-03-01

    The use of array technology to define chromosome deletions and duplications is bringing us closer to establishing a genotype/phenotype map of genomic copy number alterations. We studied 21 patients and five relatives with deletions of the short arm of chromosome 20 using the Illumina HumanHap550 SNP array to: 1) more accurately determine the deletion sizes; 2) identify and compare breakpoints; 3) establish genotype/phenotype correlations; and 4) investigate the use of the HumanHap550 platform for analysis of chromosome deletions. Deletions ranged from 95 kb to 14.62 Mb, and all of the breakpoints were unique. Eleven patients had deletions between 95 kb and 4 Mb and these individuals had normal development, with no anomalies outside of those associated with Alagille syndrome (AGS). The proximal and distal boundaries of these 11 deletions constitute a 5.4-Mb region, and we propose that haploinsufficiency for only 1 of the 12 genes in this region causes phenotypic abnormalities. This defines the JAG1-associated critical region, in which deletions do not confer findings other than those associated with AGS. The other 10 patients had deletions between 3.28 Mb and 14.62 Mb, which extended outside the critical region, and, notably, all of these patients had developmental delay. This group had other findings such as autism, scoliosis, and bifid uvula. We identified 47 additional polymorphic genome-wide copy number variants (>20 SNPs), with 0 to 5 variants called per patient. Deletions of the short arm of chromosome 20 are associated with relatively mild and limited clinical anomalies. The use of SNP arrays provides accurate high-resolution definition of genomic abnormalities. PMID:19058200

  4. Genetic and phenotypic variations of inherited retinal diseases in dogs: the power of within- and across-breed studies

    PubMed Central

    Acland, Gregory M.

    2014-01-01

    Considerable clinical and molecular variations have been known in retinal blinding diseases in man and also in dogs. Different forms of retinal diseases occur in specific breed(s) caused by mutations segregating within each isolated breeding population. While molecular studies to find genes and mutations underlying retinal diseases in dogs have benefited largely from the phenotypic and genetic uniformity within a breed, within- and across-breed variations have often played a key role in elucidating the molecular basis. The increasing knowledge of phenotypic, allelic, and genetic heterogeneities in canine retinal degeneration has shown that the overall picture is rather more complicated than initially thought. Over the past 20 years, various approaches have been developed and tested to search for genes and mutations underlying genetic traits in dogs, depending on the availability of genetic tools and sample resources. Candidate gene, linkage analysis, and genome-wide association studies have so far identified 24 mutations in 18 genes underlying retinal diseases in at least 58 dog breeds. Many of these genes have been associated with retinal diseases in humans, thus providing opportunities to study the role in pathogenesis and in normal vision. Application in therapeutic interventions such as gene therapy has proven successful initially in a naturally occurring dog model followed by trials in human patients. Other genes whose human homologs have not been associated with retinal diseases are potential candidates to explain equivalent human diseases and contribute to the understanding of their function in vision. PMID:22065099

  5. Contrasting the distribution of phenotypic and molecular variation in the freshwater snail Biomphalaria pfeifferi, the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Tian-Bi, Y-NT; Jarne, P; Konan, J-NK; Utzinger, J; N'Goran, E K

    2013-01-01

    Population differentiation was investigated by confronting phenotypic and molecular variation in the highly selfing freshwater snail Biomphalaria pfeifferi, the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni. We sampled seven natural populations separated by a few kilometers, and characterized by different habitat regimes (permanent/temporary) and openness (open/closed). A genetic analysis based on five microsatellite markers confirms that B. pfeifferi is a selfer (s?0.9) and exhibits limited variation within populations. Most pairwise FST were significant indicating marked population structure, though no isolation by distance was detected. Families from the seven populations were monitored under laboratory conditions over two generations (G1 and G2), allowing to record several life-history traits, including growth, fecundity and survival, over 25 weeks. Marked differences were detected among populations for traits expressed early in the life cycle (up to sexual maturity). Age and size at first reproduction had high heritability values, but such a trend was not found for early reproductive traits. In most populations, G1 snails matured later and at a larger size than G2 individuals. Individuals from permanent habitats matured at a smaller size and were more fecund than those from temporary habitats. The mean phenotypic differentiation over all populations (QST) was lower than the mean genetic differentiation (FST), suggesting stabilizing selection. However, no difference was detected between QST and FST for both habitat regime and habitat openness. PMID:23321708

  6. Phenotypic Variation Among Seven Members of One Family with Deficiency of Hypoxanthine-Guanine Phosphoribosyltransferase

    PubMed Central

    Ceballos-Picot, Irène; Augé, Franck; Fu, Rong; Olivier-Bandini, Anne; Cahu, Julie; Chabrol, Brigitte; Aral, Bernard; de Martinville, Bérengère; Lecain, Jean-Paul; Jinnah, H. A.

    2013-01-01

    We describe a family of seven boys affected by Lesch-Nyhan disease with various phenotypes. Further investigations revealed a mutation c.203T>C in the gene encoding HGprt of all members, with substitution of leucine to proline at residue 68 (p.Leu68Pro). Thus patients from this family display a wide variety of symptoms although sharing the same mutation. Mutant HGprt enzyme was prepared by site-directed mutagenesis and the kinetics of the enzyme revealed that the catalytic activity of the mutant was reduced, in association with marked reductions in the affinity towards phosphoribosylpyrophosphate (PRPP). Its Km for PRPP was increased 215-fold with hypoxanthine as substrate and 40-fold with guanine as substrate with associated reduced catalytic potential. Molecular modeling confirmed that the most prominent defect was the dramatically reduced affinity towards PRPP. Our studies suggest that the p.Leu68Pro mutation has a strong impact on PRPP binding and on stability of the active conformation. This suggests that factors other than HGprt activity per se may influence the phenotype of Lesch-Nyhan patients. PMID:24075303

  7. Phenotypic variation among seven members of one family with deficiency of hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Ceballos-Picot, Irène; Augé, Franck; Fu, Rong; Olivier-Bandini, Anne; Cahu, Julie; Chabrol, Brigitte; Aral, Bernard; de Martinville, Bérengère; Lecain, Jean-Paul; Jinnah, H A

    2013-11-01

    We describe a family of seven boys affected by Lesch-Nyhan disease with various phenotypes. Further investigations revealed a mutation c.203T>C in the gene encoding HGprt of all members, with substitution of leucine to proline at residue 68 (p.Leu68Pro). Thus patients from this family display a wide variety of symptoms although sharing the same mutation. Mutant HGprt enzyme was prepared by site-directed mutagenesis and the kinetics of the enzyme revealed that the catalytic activity of the mutant was reduced, in association with marked reductions in the affinity towards phosphoribosylpyrophosphate (PRPP). Its Km for PRPP was increased 215-fold with hypoxanthine as substrate and 40-fold with guanine as substrate with associated reduced catalytic potential. Molecular modeling confirmed that the most prominent defect was the dramatically reduced affinity towards PRPP. Our studies suggest that the p.Leu68Pro mutation has a strong impact on PRPP binding and on stability of the active conformation. This suggests that factors other than HGprt activity per se may influence the phenotype of Lesch-Nyhan patients. PMID:24075303

  8. Quantitative variation in obesity-related traits and insulin precursors linked to the OB gene region on human chromosome 7.

    PubMed Central

    Duggirala, R.; Stern, M. P.; Mitchell, B. D.; Reinhart, L. J.; Shipman, P. A.; Uresandi, O. C.; Chung, W. K.; Leibel, R. L.; Hales, C. N.; O'Connell, P.; Blangero, J.

    1996-01-01

    Despite the evidence that human obesity has strong genetic determinants, efforts at identifying specific genes that influence human obesity have largely been unsuccessful. Using the sibship data obtained from 32 low income Mexican American pedigrees ascertained on a type II diabetic proband and a multipoint variance-components method, we tested for linkage between various obesity-related traits plus associated metabolic traits and 15 markers on human chromosome 7. We found evidence for linkage between markers in the OB gene region and various traits, as follows: D7S514 and extremity skinfolds (LOD = 3.1), human carboxypeptidase A1 (HCPA1) and 32,33-split proinsulin level (LOD = 4.2), and HCPA1 and proinsulin level (LOD = 3.2). A putative susceptibility locus linked to the marker D7S514 explained 56% of the total phenotypic variation in extremity skinfolds. Variation at the HCPA1 locus explained 64% of phenotypic variation in proinsulin level and approximately 73% of phenotypic variation in split proinsulin concentration, respectively. Weaker evidence for linkage to several other obesity-related traits (e.g., waist circumference, body-mass index, fat mass by bioimpedance, etc.) was observed for a genetic location, which is approximately 15 cM telomeric to OB. In conclusion, our study reveals that the OB region plays a significant role in determining the phenotypic variation of both insulin precursors and obesity-related traits, at least in Mexican Americans. PMID:8751871

  9. Quantitative variation in obesity-related traits and insulin precursors linked to the OB gene region on human chromosome 7

    SciTech Connect

    Duggirala, R.; Stern, M.P.; Reinhart, L.J.

    1996-09-01

    Despite the evidence that human obesity has strong genetic determinants, efforts at identifying specific genes that influence human obesity have largely been unsuccessful. Using the sibship data obtained from 32 low-income Mexican American pedigrees ascertained on a type II diabetic proband and a multipoint variance-components method, we tested for linkage between various obesity-related traits plus associated metabolic traits and 15 markers on human chromosome 7. We found evidence for linkage between markers in the OB gene region and various traits, as follows: D7S514 and extremity skinfolds (LOD = 3.1), human carboxypeptidase A1 (HCPA1) and 32,33-split proinsulin level (LOD = 4.2), and HCPA1 and proinsulin level (LOD = 3.2). A putative susceptibility locus linked to the marker D7S514 explained 56% of the total phenotypic variation in extremity skinfolds. Variation at the HCPA1 locus explained 64% of phenotypic variation in proinsulin level and {approximately}73% of phenotypic variation in split proinsulin concentration, respectively. Weaker evidence for linkage to several other obesity-related traits (e.g., waist circumference, body-mass index, fat mass by bioimpedance, etc.) was observed for a genetic location, which is {approximately}15 cM telomeric to OB. In conclusion, our study reveals that the OB region plays a significant role in determining the phenotypic variation of both insulin precursors and obesity-related traits, at least in Mexican Americans. 66 refs., 3 figs., 4 tabs.

  10. Quantitative and qualitative genetic variation in two-dimensional DNA gels of human lymphocytoid cell lines.

    PubMed

    Asakawa, J; Kuick, R; Neel, J V; Kodaira, M; Satoh, C; Hanash, S M

    1995-02-01

    There is a continuing need for more efficient methods to examine human (and other) populations for altered germinal and somatic cell mutation rates. To this end, we have explored the potential usefulness of two-dimensional (2-D) electrophoresis of human DNA fragments obtained from restriction-enzyme-digested genomic DNA, using samples from father/mother/child trios. On a single 2-D DNA preparation, approximately 2000 DNA fragments varying in size from 1.0 to 5.0 kbp in the first dimension and 0.3 to 2.0 kbp in the second dimension are visualized. To enter into a genetic analysis of quantitative variation, these fragments must exhibit positional and quantitative stability. With respect to the latter, if spots that are the product of two homologous DNA fragments are to be distinguished with the requisite accuracy from spots that are the product of only one fragment, the coefficient of variation of spot intensity should be approximately < or = 0.12. At present, 482 of the spots in our preparations meet these standards. In an examination of preparations based on three Japanese mother/father/child trios, 43 of these 482 spots were found to exhibit variations that segregated within families according to Mendelian principles. Additionally, of the 2000 spots, 1114 (of which the aforementioned 482 are a subset) were deemed appropriate for the study of qualitative variation. A total of 142 variable spots were identified; the heterozygosity index for these DNA fragments was 4.4%. The genetic nature of the additional variants was again established by their segregation according to Mendelian principles. We have established the feasibility of cloning fragments from such gels and determining their nucleotide sequence. This technology should be highly efficient in monitoring for mutation resulting in loss/gain/rearrangement events in DNA fragments distributed throughout the genome. PMID:7774565

  11. Quantitative genetic variation in the control of ovarian apoptosis under different environments.

    PubMed

    Edvardsson, M; Hunt, J; Moore, A J; Moore, P J

    2009-09-01

    Fertility loss in otherwise healthy individuals can be an evolutionary conundrum. Most studies on the evolution of post-reproductive lifespan focus on the fitness effects of survival past the age of last reproduction. A complementary approach, which has been largely neglected, is to develop an understanding of the nature of variation in the mechanism underlying loss of fertility, ovarian apoptosis. Variation in the genetics underlying the regulation of ovarian apoptosis could hold the key to understanding the evolution of midlife fertility loss. We estimated quantitative genetic variation in the regulation of ovarian apoptosis in females of the cockroach Nauphoeta cinerea, an insect with reproductive cycles. We have earlier shown that delaying reproduction incites loss of fertility. Here, we forced females to delay reproduction under conditions of excess or limited food and examined apoptosis under both conditions. We found substantial additive genetic variation in levels of apoptosis when females experienced a limited period of starvation during sexual maturation but not when females had unlimited access to food. Hence, selection could act on the regulation of ovarian apoptosis to change the rate of fertility loss with age at least under some environmental circumstances. Our results suggest that an understanding of how loss of fertility evolves requires an understanding of the interaction between genes involved in the regulation of apoptosis and environmental factors such as diet. PMID:19401711

  12. Natural genetic variation in transcriptome reflects network structure inferred with major effect mutations: insulin/TOR and associated phenotypes in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Nuzhdin, Sergey V; Brisson, Jennifer A; Pickering, Andrew; Wayne, Marta L; Harshman, Lawrence G; McIntyre, Lauren M

    2009-01-01

    Background A molecular process based genotype-to-phenotype map will ultimately enable us to predict how genetic variation among individuals results in phenotypic alterations. Building such a map is, however, far from straightforward. It requires understanding how molecular variation re-shapes developmental and metabolic networks, and how the functional state of these networks modifies phenotypes in genotype specific way. We focus on the latter problem by describing genetic variation in transcript levels of genes in the InR/TOR pathway among 72 Drosophila melanogaster genotypes. Results We observe tight co-variance in transcript levels of genes not known to influence each other through direct transcriptional control. We summarize transcriptome variation with factor analyses, and observe strong co-variance of gene expression within the dFOXO-branch and within the TOR-branch of the pathway. Finally, we investigate whether major axes of transcriptome variation shape phenotypes expected to be influenced through the InR/TOR pathway. We find limited evidence that transcript levels of individual upstream genes in the InR/TOR pathway predict fly phenotypes in expected ways. However, there is no evidence that these effects are mediated through the major axes of downstream transcriptome variation. Conclusion In summary, our results question the assertion of the 'sparse' nature of genetic networks, while validating and extending candidate gene approaches in the analyses of complex traits. PMID:19317915

  13. Genetic and Phenotypic Variation of FMDV During Serial Passages in a Natural Host

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV) exhibits high mutation rates during replication that have been suggested to be of adaptive value. However, even though genetic variation in RNA viruses has been extensively examined during virus replication in a wide variety of in vitro cell cultures, very little ...

  14. Litter Size Variation in Hypothalamic Gene Expression Determines Adult Metabolic Phenotype in Brandt's Voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii)

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xue-Ying; Zhang, Qiang; Wang, De-Hua

    2011-01-01

    Background Early postnatal environments may have long-term and potentially irreversible consequences on hypothalamic neurons involved in energy homeostasis. Litter size is an important life history trait and negatively correlated with milk intake in small mammals, and thus has been regarded as a naturally varying feature of the early developmental environment. Here we investigated the long-term effects of litter size on metabolic phenotype and hypothalamic neuropeptide mRNA expression involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis, using the offspring reared from large (10–12) and small (3–4) litter sizes, of Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii), a rodent species from Inner Mongolia grassland in China. Methodology/Principal Findings Hypothalamic leptin signaling and neuropeptides were measured by Real-Time PCR. We showed that offspring reared from small litters were heavier at weaning and also in adulthood than offspring from large litters, accompanied by increased food intake during development. There were no significant differences in serum leptin levels or leptin receptor (OB-Rb) mRNA in the hypothalamus at weaning or in adulthood, however, hypothalamic suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) mRNA in adulthood increased in small litters compared to that in large litters. As a result, the agouti-related peptide (AgRP) mRNA increased in the offspring from small litters. Conclusions/Significance These findings support our hypothesis that natural litter size has a permanent effect on offspring metabolic phenotype and hypothalamic neuropeptide expression, and suggest central leptin resistance and the resultant increase in AgRP expression may be a fundamental mechanism underlying hyperphagia and the increased risk of overweight in pups of small litters. Thus, we conclude that litter size may be an important and central determinant of metabolic fitness in adulthood. PMID:21637839

  15. Variation in antibiotic-induced microbial recolonization impacts on the host metabolic phenotypes of rats.

    PubMed

    Swann, Jonathan R; Tuohy, Kieran M; Lindfors, Peter; Brown, Duncan T; Gibson, Glenn R; Wilson, Ian D; Sidaway, James; Nicholson, Jeremy K; Holmes, Elaine

    2011-08-01

    The interaction between the gut microbiota and their mammalian host is known to have far-reaching consequences with respect to metabolism and health. We investigated the effects of eight days of oral antibiotic exposure (penicillin and streptomycin sulfate) on gut microbial composition and host metabolic phenotype in male Han-Wistar rats (n = 6) compared to matched controls. Early recolonization was assessed in a third group exposed to antibiotics for four days followed by four days recovery (n = 6). Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis of the intestinal contents collected at eight days showed a significant reduction in all bacterial groups measured (control, 10(10.7) cells/g feces; antibiotic-treated, 10(8.4)). Bacterial suppression reduced the excretion of mammalian-microbial urinary cometabolites including hippurate, phenylpropionic acid, phenylacetylglycine and indoxyl-sulfate whereas taurine, glycine, citrate, 2-oxoglutarate, and fumarate excretion was elevated. While total bacterial counts remained notably lower in the recolonized animals (10(9.1) cells/g faeces) compared to the controls, two cage-dependent subgroups emerged with Lactobacillus/Enterococcus probe counts dominant in one subgroup. This dichotomous profile manifested in the metabolic phenotypes with subgroup differences in tricarboxylic acid cycle metabolites and indoxyl-sulfate excretion. Fecal short chain fatty acids were diminished in all treated animals. Antibiotic treatment induced a profound effect on the microbiome structure, which was reflected in the metabotype. Moreover, the recolonization process was sensitive to the microenvironment, which may impact on understanding downstream consequences of antibiotic consumption in human populations. PMID:21591676

  16. [Quantitive variation of polysaccharides and alcohol-soluble extracts in F1 generation of Dendrobium officinale].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiao-Ling; Liu, Jing-Jing; Wu, Ling-Shang; Si, Jin-Ping; Guo, Ying-Ying; Yu, Jie; Wang, Lin-Hua

    2013-11-01

    Using phenol-sulfuric acid method and hot-dip method of alcohol-soluble extracts, the contents of polysaccharides and alcohol-soluble extracts in 11 F1 generations of Dendrobium officinale were determined. The results showed that the polysaccharides contents in samples collected in May and February were 32.89%-43.07% and 25.77%-35.25%, respectively, while the extracts contents were 2.81%-4.85% and 7.90%-17.40%, respectively. They were significantly different among families. The content of polysaccharides in offspring could be significantly improved by hybridization between parents with low and high polysaccharides contents, and the hybrid vigor was obvious. Cross breeding was an effective way for breeding new varieties with higher polysaccharides contents. Harvest time would significantly affect the contents of polysaccharides and alcohol-soluble extracts. The contents of polysaccharides in families collected in May were higher than those of polysaccharides in families collected in February, but the extracts content had the opposite variation. The extents of quantitative variation of polysaccharides and alcohol-soluble extracts were different among families, and each family had its own rules. It would be significant in giving full play to their role as the excellent varieties and increasing effectiveness by studying on the quantitative accumulation regularity of polysaccharides and alcohol-soluble extracts in superior families (varieties) of D. officinale to determine the best harvesting time. PMID:24494555

  17. Quantitative Variation in Responses to Root Spatial Constraint within Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Bindu; Lau, Lillian; Kliebenstein, Daniel J

    2015-08-01

    Among the myriad of environmental stimuli that plants utilize to regulate growth and development to optimize fitness are signals obtained from various sources in the rhizosphere that give an indication of the nutrient status and volume of media available. These signals include chemical signals from other plants, nutrient signals, and thigmotropic interactions that reveal the presence of obstacles to growth. Little is known about the genetics underlying the response of plants to physical constraints present within the rhizosphere. In this study, we show that there is natural variation among Arabidopsis thaliana accessions in their growth response to physical rhizosphere constraints and competition. We mapped growth quantitative trait loci that regulate a positive response of foliar growth to short physical constraints surrounding the root. This is a highly polygenic trait and, using quantitative validation studies, we showed that natural variation in EARLY FLOWERING3 (ELF3) controls the link between root constraint and altered shoot growth. This provides an entry point to study how root and shoot growth are integrated to respond to environmental stimuli. PMID:26243313

  18. Quantitative Variation in Responses to Root Spatial Constraint within Arabidopsis thaliana[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, Bindu; Lau, Lillian; Kliebenstein, Daniel J.

    2015-01-01

    Among the myriad of environmental stimuli that plants utilize to regulate growth and development to optimize fitness are signals obtained from various sources in the rhizosphere that give an indication of the nutrient status and volume of media available. These signals include chemical signals from other plants, nutrient signals, and thigmotropic interactions that reveal the presence of obstacles to growth. Little is known about the genetics underlying the response of plants to physical constraints present within the rhizosphere. In this study, we show that there is natural variation among Arabidopsis thaliana accessions in their growth response to physical rhizosphere constraints and competition. We mapped growth quantitative trait loci that regulate a positive response of foliar growth to short physical constraints surrounding the root. This is a highly polygenic trait and, using quantitative validation studies, we showed that natural variation in EARLY FLOWERING3 (ELF3) controls the link between root constraint and altered shoot growth. This provides an entry point to study how root and shoot growth are integrated to respond to environmental stimuli. PMID:26243313

  19. Phenotypic Variation in Overwinter Environmental Transmission of a Baculovirus and the Cost of Virulence.

    PubMed

    Fleming-Davies, Arietta E; Dwyer, Greg

    2015-12-01

    A pathogen's ability to persist in the environment is an ecologically important trait, and variation in this trait may promote coexistence of different pathogen strains. We asked whether naturally occurring isolates of the baculovirus that infects gypsy moth larvae varied in their overwinter environmental transmission and whether this variation was consistent with a trade-off or an upper limit to virulence that might promote pathogen diversity. We used experimental manipulations to replicate the natural overwinter infection process, using 16 field-collected isolates. Virus isolates varied substantially in the fraction of larvae infected, leading to differences in overwinter transmission rates. Furthermore, isolates that killed more larvae also had higher rates of early larval death in which no infectious particles were produced, consistent with a cost of high virulence. Our results thus support the existence of a cost that could impose an upper limit to virulence even in a highly virulent pathogen. PMID:26655986

  20. DNA variation in the phenotypically-diverse brown alga Saccharina japonica

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Saccharina japonica (Areschoug) Lane, Mayes, Druehl et Saunders is an economically important and highly morphologically variable brown alga inhabiting the northwest Pacific marine waters. On the basis of nuclear (ITS), plastid (rbcLS) and mitochondrial (COI) DNA sequence data, we have analyzed the genetic composition of typical Saccharina japonica (TYP) and its two common morphological varieties, known as the “longipes” (LON) and “shallow-water” (SHA) forms seeking to clarify their taxonomical status and to evaluate the possibility of cryptic species within S. japonica. Results The data show that the TYP and LON forms are very similar genetically in spite of drastic differences in morphology, life history traits, and ecological preferences. Both, however, are genetically quite different from the SHA form. The two Saccharina lineages are distinguished by 109 fixed single nucleotide differences as well as by seven fixed length polymorphisms (based on a 4,286?bp concatenated dataset that includes three gene regions). The GenBank database reveals a close affinity of the TYP and LON forms to S. japonica and the SHA form to S. cichorioides. The three gene markers used in the present work have different sensitivity for the algal species identification. COI gene was the most discriminant gene marker. However, we have detected instances of interspecific COI recombination reflecting putative historical hybridization events between distantly related algal lineages. The recombinant sequences show highly contrasted level of divergence in the 5’- and 3’- regions of the gene, leading to significantly different tree topologies depending on the gene segment (5’- or 3’-) used for tree reconstruction. Consequently, the 5’-COI “barcoding” region (~ 650?bp) can be misleading for identification purposes, at least in the case of algal species that might have experienced historical hybridization events. Conclusion Taking into account the potential roles of phenotypic plasticity in evolution, we conclude that the TYP and LON forms represent examples of algae phenotypic diversification that enables successful adaptation to contrasting shallow- and deep-water marine environments, while the SHA form is very similar to S. cichorioides and should be considered a different species. Practical applications for algal management and conservation are briefly considered. PMID:22784095

  1. Phenotypic variation of a novel nonsense mutation in the P0 intracellular domain.

    PubMed

    Senderek, J; Ramaekers, V T; Zerres, K; Rudnik-Schöneborn, S; Schröder, J M; Bergmann, C

    2001-11-15

    Mutations in the gene for the peripheral myelin protein zero (P0, MPZ) cause type 1B of Charcot-Marie-Tooth sensorimotor neuropathy (CMT1B). Here we report a German family with a novel heterozygous P0 nonsense mutation (G206X) that supposedly removes four-fifths of the amino acid residues constituting the P0 intracellular domain. The 12-year-old propositus had childhood-onset CMT1B associated with bilateral pes cavus, moderate lower limb weakness, and mildly reduced sensory qualities in the distal legs. The electrophysiology was consistent with a demyelinating neuropathy. He inherited the mutation from his mother who had no complaints but slight pes cavus deformity and slow nerve conduction velocities (NCV). Conclusively, truncating mutations within the P0 intracellular domain do not necessarily cause a severe phenotype such as Dejerine-Sottas syndrome (DSS) or congenital hypomyelinating neuropathy (CHN), but can result in mild or moderate CMT1B with intrafamilial clinical variability. PMID:11701152

  2. Biogeographic discordance of molecular phylogenetic and phenotypic variation in a continental archipelago radiation of land snails

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In island archipelagos, where islands have experienced repeated periods of fragmentation and connection through cyclic changes in sea level, complex among-island distributions might reflect historical distributional changes or local evolution. We test the relative importance of these mechanisms in an endemic radiation of Rhagada land snails in the Dampier Archipelago, a continental archipelago off the coast of Western Australia, where ten morphospecies have complex, overlapping distributions. Results We obtained partial mtDNA sequence (COI) for 1015 snails collected from 213 locations across 30 Islands, and used Bayesian phylogenetic analysis and Analysis of Molecular Variance (AMOVA) to determine whether geography or the morphological taxonomy best explains the pattern of molecular evolution. Rather than forming distinct monophyletic groups, as would be expected if they had single, independent origins, all of the widely distributed morphospecies were polyphyletic, distributed among several well-supported clades, each of which included several morphospecies. Each mitochondrial clade had a clear, cohesive geographic distribution, together forming a series of parapatric replacements separated by narrow contact zones. AMOVA revealed further incongruence between mtDNA diversity and morphological variation within clades, as the taxonomic hypothesis always explained a low or non-significant proportion of the molecular variation. In contrast, the pattern of mtDNA evolution closely reflected contemporary and historical marine barriers. Conclusions Despite opportunities for distributional changes during periods when the islands were connected, there is no evidence that dispersal has contributed to the geographic variation of shell form at the broad scale. Based on an estimate of dispersal made previously for Rhagada, we conclude that the periods of connection have been too short in duration to allow for extensive overland dispersal or deep mitochondrial introgression. The result is a sharp and resilient phylogeographic pattern. The distribution of morphotypes among clades and distant islands is explained most simply by their parallel evolution. PMID:24393567

  3. DNA hypermethylation and X chromosome inactivation are major determinants of phenotypic variation in women heterozygous for G6PD mutations.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jin; Xiao, Qi-Zhi; Chen, You-Ming; Yi, Sheng; Liu, Dun; Liu, Yan-Hui; Zhang, Cui-Mei; Wei, Xiao-Feng; Zhou, Yu-Qiu; Zhong, Xing-Ming; Zhao, Cun-You; Xiong, Fu; Wei, Xiang-Cai; Xu, Xiang-Min

    2014-12-01

    Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency is an X-linked incompletely dominant enzyme deficiency that results from G6PD gene mutations. Women heterozygous for G6PD mutations exhibit variation in the loss of enzyme activity but the cause of this phenotypic variation is unclear. We determined DNA methylation and X-inactivation patterns in 71 G6PD-deficient female heterozygotes and 68 G6PD non-deficient controls with the same missense mutations (G6PD Canton c.1376G>T or Kaiping c.1388G>A) to correlate determinants with variable phenotypes. Specific CpG methylations within the G6PD promoter were significantly higher in G6PD-deficient heterozygotes than in controls. Preferential X-inactivation of the G6PD wild-type allele was determined in heterozygotes. The incidence of preferential X-inactivation was 86.2% in the deficient heterozygote group and 31.7% in the non-deficient heterozygote group. A significant negative correlation was observed between X-inactivation ratios of the wild-type allele and G6PD/6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (6PGD) ratios in heterozygous G6PD Canton (r=-0.657, p<0.001) or Kaiping (r=-0.668, p<0.001). Multivariate logistic regression indicated that heterozygotes with hypermethylation of specific CpG sites in the G6PD promoter and preferential X-inactivation of the wild-type allele were at risk of enzyme deficiency. PMID:24958328

  4. Environmental correlates of phenotypic variation: do variable tidal regimes influence morphology in intertidal seaweeds?

    PubMed

    Mueller, Rebecca; Fischer, Andrew M; Bolch, Christopher J S; Wright, Jeffrey T

    2015-10-01

    Seaweed morphology is often shaped by the hydrodynamic environment. However, exposure to air at low tide represents an additional factor potentially affecting the morphology of intertidal species. Here, we examined the relationships between the morphology of Hormosira banksii, an important intertidal habitat-forming seaweed in southern Australia, and environmental factors across multiple spatial scales around the island of Tasmania, Australia. Tasmania is surrounded by a diverse coastline with differences in wave exposure, tidal parameters, and temperature. We sampled Hormosira from four regions (100s km apart), three sites (10s km apart) within each region, and two zones (meters apart; eulittoral and sublittoral) at each site, and measured multiple morphological variables to test for differences in morphology at those different spatial scales. Thirteen environmental variables reflecting wave exposure, tidal conditions, and temperature for each site were generated to assess the relationship between Hormosira morphology and environmental variation. Morphology varied at all spatial scales examined. Most notably, north coast individuals had a distinct morphology, generally having smaller vesicles and shorter fronds, compared to other regions. Tidal conditions were the main environmental factors separating north coast sites from other sites and tidal regime was identified as the best predictor of morphological differences between regions. In contrast to other studies, we found little evidence that wave exposure was associated with morphological variation. Overall, our study emphasizes the role of tidal conditions, associated with emersion stress during low tide, in affecting the morphology of intertidal seaweeds. PMID:26986883

  5. Phenotypic variation of TTC19-deficient mitochondrial complex III deficiency: a case report and literature review.

    PubMed

    Mordaunt, Dylan A; Jolley, Alexandra; Balasubramaniam, Shanti; Thorburn, David R; Mountford, Hayley S; Compton, Alison G; Nicholl, Jillian; Manton, Nicholas; Clark, Damian; Bratkovic, Drago; Friend, Kathryn; Yu, Sui

    2015-06-01

    Isolated mitochondrial respiratory chain complex III deficiency has been described in a heterogeneous group of clinical presentations in children and adults. It has been associated with mutations in MT-CYB, the only mitochondrial DNA encoded subunit, as well as in nine nuclear genes described thus far: BCS1L, TTC19, UQCRB, UQCRQ, UQCRC2, CYC1, UQCC2, LYRM7, and UQCC3. BCS1L, TTC19, UQCC2, LYRM7, and UQCC3 are complex III assembly factors. We report on an 8-year-old girl born to consanguineous Iraqi parents presenting with slowly progressive encephalomyopathy, severe failure to thrive, significant delays in verbal and communicative skills and bilateral retinal cherry red spots on fundoscopy. SNP array identified multiple regions of homozygosity involving 7.5% of the genome. Mutations in the TTC19 gene are known to cause complex III deficiency and TTC19 was located within the regions of homozygosity. Sequencing of TTC19 revealed a homozygous nonsense mutation at exon 6 (c.937C > T; p.Q313X). We reviewed the phenotypes and genotypes of all 11 patients with TTC19 mutations leading to complex III deficiency (including our case). The consistent features noted are progressive neurodegeneration with Leigh-like brain MRI abnormalities. Significant variability was observed however with the age of symptom onset and rate of disease progression. The bilateral retinal cherry red spots and failure to thrive observed in our patient are unique features, which have not been described, in previously reported patients with TTC19 mutations. Interestingly, all reported TTC19 mutations are nonsense mutations. The severity of clinical manifestations however does not specifically correlate with the residual complex III enzyme activities. PMID:25899669

  6. Genome-wide association mapping in a wild avian population identifies a link between genetic and phenotypic variation in a life-history trait

    PubMed Central

    Husby, Arild; Kawakami, Takeshi; Rönnegård, Lars; Smeds, Linnéa; Ellegren, Hans; Qvarnström, Anna

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the genetic basis of traits involved in adaptation is a major challenge in evolutionary biology but remains poorly understood. Here, we use genome-wide association mapping using a custom 50 k single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array in a natural population of collared flycatchers to examine the genetic basis of clutch size, an important life-history trait in many animal species. We found evidence for an association on chromosome 18 where one SNP significant at the genome-wide level explained 3.9% of the phenotypic variance. We also detected two suggestive quantitative trait loci (QTLs) on chromosomes 9 and 26. Fitness differences among genotypes were generally weak and not significant, although there was some indication of a sex-by-genotype interaction for lifetime reproductive success at the suggestive QTL on chromosome 26. This implies that sexual antagonism may play a role in maintaining genetic variation at this QTL. Our findings provide candidate regions for a classic avian life-history trait that will be useful for future studies examining the molecular and cellular function of, as well as evolutionary mechanisms operating at, these loci. PMID:25833857

  7. Genome-wide association mapping in a wild avian population identifies a link between genetic and phenotypic variation in a life-history trait.

    PubMed

    Husby, Arild; Kawakami, Takeshi; Rönnegård, Lars; Smeds, Linnéa; Ellegren, Hans; Qvarnström, Anna

    2015-05-01

    Understanding the genetic basis of traits involved in adaptation is a major challenge in evolutionary biology but remains poorly understood. Here, we use genome-wide association mapping using a custom 50 k single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array in a natural population of collared flycatchers to examine the genetic basis of clutch size, an important life-history trait in many animal species. We found evidence for an association on chromosome 18 where one SNP significant at the genome-wide level explained 3.9% of the phenotypic variance. We also detected two suggestive quantitative trait loci (QTLs) on chromosomes 9 and 26. Fitness differences among genotypes were generally weak and not significant, although there was some indication of a sex-by-genotype interaction for lifetime reproductive success at the suggestive QTL on chromosome 26. This implies that sexual antagonism may play a role in maintaining genetic variation at this QTL. Our findings provide candidate regions for a classic avian life-history trait that will be useful for future studies examining the molecular and cellular function of, as well as evolutionary mechanisms operating at, these loci. PMID:25833857

  8. Phenotypic and genotypic background underlying variations in fatty acid composition and sensory parameters in European bovine breeds

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Consuming moderate amounts of lean red meat as part of a balanced diet valuably contributes to intakes of essential nutrients. In this study, we merged phenotypic and genotypic information to characterize the variation in lipid profile and sensory parameters and to represent the diversity among 15 cattle populations. Correlations between fat content, organoleptic characteristics and lipid profiles were also investigated. Methods A sample of 436 largely unrelated purebred bulls belonging to 15 breeds and reared under comparable management conditions was analyzed. Phenotypic data -including fatness score, fat percentage, individual fatty acids (FA) profiles and sensory panel tests- and genotypic information from 11 polymorphisms was used. Results The correlation coefficients between muscle total lipid measurements and absolute vs. relative amounts of polyunsaturated FA (PUFA) were in opposite directions. Increasing carcass fat leads to an increasing amount of FAs in triglycerides, but at the same time the relative amount of PUFAs is decreasing, which is in concordance with the negative correlation obtained here between the percentage of PUFA and fat measurements, as well as the weaker correlation between total phospholipids and total lipid muscle content compared with neutral lipids. Concerning organoleptic characteristics, a negative correlation between flavour scores and the percentage of total PUFA, particularly to n-6 fraction, was found. The correlation between juiciness and texture is higher than with flavour scores. The distribution of SNPs plotted by principal components analysis (PCA) mainly reflects their known trait associations, although influenced by their specific breed allele frequencies. Conclusions The results presented here help to understand the phenotypic and genotypic background underlying variations in FA composition and sensory parameters between breeds. The wide range of traits and breeds studied, along with the genotypic information on polymorphisms previously associated with different lipid traits, provide a broad characterization of beef meat, which allows giving a better response to the variety of consumers’ preferences. Also, the development and implementation of low-density SNP panels with predictive value for economically important traits, such as those summarized here, may be used to improve production efficiency and meat quality in the beef industry. PMID:24735897

  9. Genomic and phenotypic variation in epidemic-spanning Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis isolates

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) has caused major epidemics of gastrointestinal infection in many different countries. In this study we investigate genome divergence and pathogenic potential in S. Enteritidis isolated before, during and after an epidemic in Uruguay. Results 266 S. Enteritidis isolates were genotyped using RAPD-PCR and a selection were subjected to PFGE analysis. From these, 29 isolates spanning different periods, genetic profiles and sources of isolation were assayed for their ability to infect human epithelial cells and subjected to comparative genomic hybridization using a Salmonella pan-array and the sequenced strain S. Enteritidis PT4 P125109 as reference. Six other isolates from distant countries were included as external comparators. Two hundred and thirty three chromosomal genes as well as the virulence plasmid were found as variable among S. Enteritidis isolates. Ten out of the 16 chromosomal regions that varied between different isolates correspond to phage-like regions. The 2 oldest pre-epidemic isolates lack phage SE20 and harbour other phage encoded genes that are absent in the sequenced strain. Besides variation in prophage, we found variation in genes involved in metabolism and bacterial fitness. Five epidemic strains lack the complete Salmonella virulence plasmid. Significantly, strains with indistinguishable genetic patterns still showed major differences in their ability to infect epithelial cells, indicating that the approach used was insufficient to detect the genetic basis of this differential behaviour. Conclusion The recent epidemic of S. Enteritidis infection in Uruguay has been driven by the introduction of closely related strains of phage type 4 lineage. Our results confirm previous reports demonstrating a high degree of genetic homogeneity among S. Enteritidis isolates. However, 10 of the regions of variability described here are for the first time reported as being variable in S. Enteritidis. In particular, the oldest pre-epidemic isolates carry phage-associated genetic regions not previously reported in S. Enteritidis. Overall, our results support the view that phages play a crucial role in the generation of genetic diversity in S. Enteritidis and that phage SE20 may be a key marker for the emergence of particular isolates capable of causing epidemics. PMID:19922635

  10. Intraspecific Phenotypic Variation and Morphological Divergence of Strains of Folsomia candida (Willem) (Collembola: Isotomidae), the "Standard" Test Springtaill

    PubMed Central

    Tully, Thomas; Potapov, Mikhail

    2015-01-01

    We describe and compare the external morphology of eleven clonal strains and one sexual lineage of the globally distributed Folsomia candida, known as “standard” test Collembola. Of the 18 morphological characters studied, we measured 14 to have significant between-strains genetic variations, 9 of these had high heritabilities (>78%). The quantified morphological polymorphism was used to analyse the within-species relationships between strains by using both a parsimony analysis and a distance tree. These two detailed morphological phylogenies have revealed that the parthenogenetic strains grouped themselves into two major clades. However the exact position of the sexual strain remains unclear and further analysis is needed to confirm its exact relationship with the parthenogenetic ones. The two morphologically based clades were found to be the same as the ones previously described using molecular analysis. This shows that despite large within-strain variations, morphological characters can be used to differentiate some strains that have diverged within a single morphospecies. We discuss the potential evolutionary interpretations and consequences of these different levels of phenotypic variability. PMID:26355293

  11. Plastic and Heritable Components of Phenotypic Variation in Nucella lapillus: An Assessment Using Reciprocal Transplant and Common Garden Experiments

    PubMed Central

    Pascoal, Sonia; Carvalho, Gary; Creer, Simon; Rock, Jenny; Kawaii, Kei; Mendo, Sonia; Hughes, Roger

    2012-01-01

    Assessment of plastic and heritable components of phenotypic variation is crucial for understanding the evolution of adaptive character traits in heterogeneous environments. We assessed the above in relation to adaptive shell morphology of the rocky intertidal snail Nucella lapillus by reciprocal transplantation of snails between two shores differing in wave action and rearing snails of the same provenance in a common garden. Results were compared with those reported for similar experiments conducted elsewhere. Microsatellite variation indicated limited gene flow between the populations. Intrinsic growth rate was greater in exposed-site than sheltered-site snails, but the reverse was true of absolute growth rate, suggesting heritable compensation for reduced foraging opportunity at the exposed site. Shell morphology of reciprocal transplants partially converged through plasticity toward that of native snails. Shell morphology of F2s in the common garden partially retained characteristics of the P-generation, suggesting genetic control. A maternal effect was revealed by greater resemblance of F1s than F2s to the P-generation. The observed synergistic effects of plastic, maternal and genetic control of shell-shape may be expected to maximise fitness when environmental characteristics become unpredictable through dispersal. PMID:22299035

  12. Daily stress reactivity and serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) variation: internalizing responses to everyday stress as a possible transdiagnostic phenotype

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Recent studies examining the interaction between the 5-HTTLPR locus in the serotonin transporter gene and life stress in predicting depression have yielded equivocal results, leading some researchers to question whether 5-HTTLPR variation indeed regulates depressive responses to stress. Two possible sources of inconsistent data in this literature are imprecise stress assessment methodologies and a restricted focus on depression phenotypes as the outcome of interest, as opposed to transdiagnostic emotional symptoms such as internalizing and externalizing dimensions. The present study aimed to address these critical limitations in prior research by examining how 5-HTTLPR acts in concert with idiographically assessed daily life stress to predict transdiagnostic emotional outcomes. Results One hundred and four healthy young adults genotyped for 5-HTTLPR reported on their life stress exposure and internalizing and externalizing experiences for 14 consecutive days. As hypothesized, daily stress levels were associated with severity of internalizing symptoms, but only for 5-HTTLPR S allele carriers. Additional analyses revealed that these interactive effects of 5-HTTLPR and daily life stress on internalizing symptoms extended to both the distress and fear subdomains of internalizing symptoms. Conclusions Considered together, these results support the validity of the 5-HTTLPR stress sensitivity hypothesis and suggest for the first time that variation at 5-HTTLPR moderates the effects of daily life stress on broadband symptom profiles. PMID:24461074

  13. Genetic variation within the Chrna7 gene modulates nicotine reward-like phenotypes in mice

    PubMed Central

    Harenza, Jo Lynne; Muldoon, Pretal P.; De Biasi, Mariella; Damaj, M. Imad; Miles, Michael F.

    2014-01-01

    Mortality from tobacco smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the world, yet current cessation therapies are only modestly successful, suggesting new molecular targets are needed. Genetic analysis of gene expression and behavior identified Chrna7 as potentially modulating nicotine place conditioning in the BXD panel of inbred mice. We used gene targeting and pharmacological tools to confirm the role of Chrna7 in nicotine CPP. To identify molecular events downstream of Chrna7 that may modulate nicotine preference, we performed microarray analysis of ?7 KO and WT nucleus accumbens tissue, followed by confirmation with quantitative PCR and immunoblotting. In the BXD panel, we found a putative cis eQTL for Chrna7 in nucleus accumbens that correlated inversely to nicotine CPP. We observed that gain-of-function ?7 mice did not display nicotine preference at any dose tested, while conversely, ?7 KO mice showed nicotine place preference at a dose below that routinely required to produce preference. In B6 mice, the ?7 nAChR-selective agonist, PHA-543613, dose-dependently blocked nicotine CPP, which was restored using the ?7 nAChR-selective antagonist, MLA. Our genomic studies implicated an mRNA co-expression network regulated by Chrna7 in nucleus accumbens. Mice lacking Chrna7 demonstrate increased insulin signaling in the nucleus accumbens, which may modulate nicotine place preference. Our studies provide novel targets for future work on development of more effective therapeutic approaches to counteract the rewarding properties of nicotine for smoking cessation. PMID:24289814

  14. [Phenotypic expression variation of isovaleric acidemia in Argentinian patients. A long term follow-up].

    PubMed

    Dodelson de Kremer, R; Depetris de Boldini, C; Paschini de Capra, A; Hliba, E; Corbella, L

    1992-01-01

    In this paper we discuss the first five Argentinean patients presenting isovaleric acidemia (IVA), an alteration of leucine catabolism due to a genetic defect of isovaleryl-CoA dehydrogenase. Belonging to unrelated families, one from native (H. Fam.) and the other from Italian ancestry (M. Fam.); the patients presented the clinical pattern highly suggestive of the disease: they were siblings, had disease-free intervals, vomiting, ketoacidosis crises, "sweaty feet" odor and progression of the neurologic involvement from somnolence and stupor to profound coma. In the four children of H. Fam. the disease had a late but severe beginning; one of the girls died (N.H.). The boy from M. Fam. presented a neonatal form of clearly benign course. The disease was confirmed by gas-chromatography (GC) of volatile acids in serum and also by the typical urinary acid GC-profiles (Fig. 1, A and B); the isovalerylglycine quantitative evaluation in urinary samples collected during crises is shown in Table 1. The morphological findings in liver and brain of N.H. showed at the ultrastructural study, an extensive fatty degeneration and greatly marked mitochondrial alterations in the liver and edema, neuronal karyorrhexis and karyolysis in the brain (Fig. 2). The therapeutic protocol based on a low leucine or low protein diet and use of glycine is described. The evolutionary follow up, more than 10 years for the first case, showed a normal mental development in three of them and retardation in the first child of H. Fam., who had a late diagnosis. IVA is still valuable as a paradigm in the acquisition of a highly clinical suspicion and for its introduction in the study of genetic organic acidemias. PMID:1308904

  15. Quantitative Estimation of Temperature Variations in Plantar Angiosomes: A Study Case for Diabetic Foot

    PubMed Central

    Peregrina-Barreto, H.; Morales-Hernandez, L. A.; Rangel-Magdaleno, J. J.; Avina-Cervantes, J. G.; Ramirez-Cortes, J. M.; Morales-Caporal, R.

    2014-01-01

    Thermography is a useful tool since it provides information that may help in the diagnostic of several diseases in a noninvasive and fast way. Particularly, thermography has been applied in the study of the diabetic foot. However, most of these studies report only qualitative information making it difficult to measure significant parameters such as temperature variations. These variations are important in the analysis of the diabetic foot since they could bring knowledge, for instance, regarding ulceration risks. The early detection of ulceration risks is considered an important research topic in the medicine field, as its objective is to avoid major complications that might lead to a limb amputation. The absence of symptoms in the early phase of the ulceration is conceived as the main disadvantage to provide an opportune diagnostic in subjects with neuropathy. Since the relation between temperature and ulceration risks is well established in the literature, a methodology that obtains quantitative temperature differences in the plantar area of the diabetic foot to detect ulceration risks is proposed in this work. Such methodology is based on the angiosome concept and image processing. PMID:24688595

  16. Phenotypic Association Analyses With Copy Number Variation in Recurrent Depressive Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Rucker, James J.H.; Tansey, Katherine E.; Rivera, Margarita; Pinto, Dalila; Cohen-Woods, Sarah; Uher, Rudolf; Aitchison, Katherine J.; Craddock, Nick; Owen, Michael J.; Jones, Lisa; Jones, Ian; Korszun, Ania; Barnes, Michael R.; Preisig, Martin; Mors, Ole; Maier, Wolfgang; Rice, John; Rietschel, Marcella; Holsboer, Florian; Farmer, Anne E.; Craig, Ian W.; Scherer, Stephen W.; McGuffin, Peter; Breen, Gerome

    2016-01-01

    Background Defining the molecular genomic basis of the likelihood of developing depressive disorder is a considerable challenge. We previously associated rare, exonic deletion copy number variants (CNV) with recurrent depressive disorder (RDD). Sex chromosome abnormalities also have been observed to co-occur with RDD. Methods In this reanalysis of our RDD dataset (N = 3106 cases; 459 screened control samples and 2699 population control samples), we further investigated the role of larger CNVs and chromosomal abnormalities in RDD and performed association analyses with clinical data derived from this dataset. Results We found an enrichment of Turner’s syndrome among cases of depression compared with the frequency observed in a large population sample (N = 34,910) of live-born infants collected in Denmark (two-sided p = .023, odds ratio = 7.76 [95% confidence interval = 1.79–33.6]), a case of diploid/triploid mosaicism, and several cases of uniparental isodisomy. In contrast to our previous analysis, large deletion CNVs were no more frequent in cases than control samples, although deletion CNVs in cases contained more genes than control samples (two-sided p = .0002). Conclusions After statistical correction for multiple comparisons, our data do not support a substantial role for CNVs in RDD, although (as has been observed in similar samples) occasional cases may harbor large variants with etiological significance. Genetic pleiotropy and sample heterogeneity suggest that very large sample sizes are required to study conclusively the role of genetic variation in mood disorders. PMID:25861698

  17. Application of quantitative trait locus mapping and transcriptomics to studies of the senescence-accelerated phenotype in rats

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Etiology of complex disorders, such as cataract and neurodegenerative diseases including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), remains poorly understood due to the paucity of animal models, fully replicating the human disease. Previously, two quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with early cataract, AMD-like retinopathy, and some behavioral aberrations in senescence-accelerated OXYS rats were uncovered on chromosome 1 in a cross between OXYS and WAG rats. To confirm the findings, we generated interval-specific congenic strains, WAG/OXYS-1.1 and WAG/OXYS-1.2, carrying OXYS-derived loci of chromosome 1 in the WAG strain. Both congenic strains displayed early cataract and retinopathy but differed clinically from OXYS rats. Here we applied a high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) strategy to facilitate nomination of the candidate genes and functional pathways that may be responsible for these differences and can contribute to the development of the senescence-accelerated phenotype of OXYS rats. Results First, the size and map position of QTL-derived congenic segments were determined by comparative analysis of coding single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which were identified for OXYS, WAG, and congenic retinal RNAs after sequencing. The transferred locus was not what we expected in WAG/OXYS-1.1 rats. In rat retina, 15442 genes were expressed. Coherent sets of differentially expressed genes were identified when we compared RNA-Seq retinal profiles of 20-day-old WAG/OXYS-1.1, WAG/OXYS-1.2, and OXYS rats. The genes most different in the average expression level between the congenic strains included those generally associated with the Wnt, integrin, and TGF-β signaling pathways, widely involved in neurodegenerative processes. Several candidate genes (including Arhgap33, Cebpg, Gtf3c1, Snurf, Tnfaip3, Yme1l1, Cbs, Car9 and Fn1) were found to be either polymorphic in the congenic loci or differentially expressed between the strains. These genes may contribute to the development of cataract and retinopathy. Conclusions This study is the first RNA-Seq analysis of the rat retinal transcriptome generated with 40 mln sequencing read depth. The integration of QTL and transcriptomic analyses in our study forms the basis of future research into the relationship between the candidate genes within the congenic regions and specific changes in the retinal transcriptome as possible causal mechanisms that underlie age-associated disorders. PMID:25563673

  18. SU-E-T-635: Quantitative Study On Beam Flatness Variation with Beam Energy Change

    SciTech Connect

    Li, J S; Eldib, A; Ma, C; Lin, M

    2014-06-15

    Purpose: Beam flatness check has been proposed for beam energy check for photon beams with flattering filters. In this work, beam flatness change with beam energy was investigated quantitatively using the Monte Carlo method and its significance was compared with depth dose curve change. Methods: Monte Carlo simulations for a linear accelerator with flattering filter were performed with different initial electron energies for photon beams of 6MV and 10MV. Dose calculations in a water phantom were then perform with the phase space files obtained from the simulations. The beam flatness was calculated based on the dose profile at 10 cm depth for all the beams with different initial electron energies. The percentage depth dose (PDD) curves were also analyzed. The dose at 10cm depth (D10) and the ratio of the dose at 10cm and 20cm depth (D10/D20) and their change with the beam energy were calculated and compared with the beam flatness variation. Results: It was found that the beam flatness variation with beam energy change was more significant than the change of D10 and the ratio between D10 and D20 for both 6MV and 10MV beams. Half MeV difference on the initial electron beam energy brought in at least 20% variation on the beam flatness but only half percent change on the ratio of D10 and D20. The change of D10 or D20 alone is even less significant. Conclusion: The beam energy impact on PDD is less significant than that on the beam flatness. If the PDD is used for checking the beam energy, uncertainties of the measurement could possibly disguise its change. Beam flatness changes more significantly with beam energy and therefore it can be used for monitoring the energy change for photon beams with flattering filters. However, other factors which may affect the beam flatness should be watched as well.

  19. Geographic and phenotypic variation in heartwood and essential-oil characters in natural populations of Santalum austrocaledonicum in Vanuatu.

    PubMed

    Page, Tony; Southwell, Ian; Russell, Mike; Tate, Hanington; Tungon, Joseph; Sam, Chanel; Dickinson, Geoff; Robson, Ken; Leakey, Roger R B

    2010-08-01

    Phenotypic variation in heartwood and essential-oil characters of Santalum austrocaledonicum was assessed across eleven populations on seven islands of Vanuatu. Trees differed significantly in their percentage heartwood cross-sectional area and this varied independently of stem diameter. The concentrations of the four major essential-oil constituents (alpha-santalol, beta-santalol, (Z)-beta-curcumen-12-ol, and cis-nuciferol) of alcohol-extracted heartwood exhibited at least tenfold and continuous tree-to-tree variation. Commercially important components alpha- and beta-santalol found in individual trees ranged from 0.8-47% and 0-24.1%, respectively, across all populations, and significant (P<0.05) differences for each were found between individual populations. The Erromango population was unique in that the mean concentrations of its monocyclic ((Z)-beta-curcumen-12-ol and cis-nuciferol) sesquiterpenes exceeded those of its bi- and tricyclic (alpha- and beta-santalol) sesquiterpenes. Heartwood colour varied between trees and spanned 65 colour categories, but no identifiable relationships were found between heartwood colour and alpha- and beta-santalol, although a weak relationship was evident between colour saturation and total oil concentration. These results indicate that the heartwood colour is not a reliable predictive trait for oil quality. The results of this study highlight the knowledge gaps in fundamental understanding of heartwood biology in Santalum genus. The intraspecific variation in heartwood cross-sectional area, oil concentration, and oil quality traits is of considerable importance to the domestication of sandalwood and present opportunities for the development of highly superior S. austrocaledonicum cultivars that conform to the industry's International Standards used for S. album. PMID:20730962

  20. Two Chinese pedigrees for adenomatous polyposis coli: new mutations at codon 1309 and predisposition to phenotypic variations.

    PubMed

    Liao, Dai-Xiang; Li, Bing; Du, Xue-Mei; Yu, Jun-Hui; Chang, Hong; Wu, Zhi-Qiang; Hao, Hao-Jie; Wang, You-Xin; Han, Wei-Dong; Cheng, Shu-Jun; Luo, Cheng-Hua

    2014-09-01

    Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is an autosomal dominant inherited disease caused by a mutation in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene. Some studies have attempted to correlate mutations at codon 1309 with classic FAP (?100 colorectal polyps). We report two Chinese FAP pedigrees with new frameshift mutations at codon 1309, in which affected individuals manifest phenotypic variations. Comprehensive physical examinations were performed for all living individuals and the medical data of deceased patients were collected. Screening of the APC and human mutY homolog (MUTYH) genes for germline mutations was conducted by direct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) sequencing. In two pedigrees, a heterozygous deletion in exon 16 of the APC gene was present in all FAP patients but absent in the unaffected individuals. There were no changes to the MUTYH gene. The first pedigree, with a new frameshift mutation at c.3926_3930 del AAAAG (p. Glu1309Aspfs X4), exhibited obvious differences in the polyp number such that the proband manifested only three colorectal polyps, whereas another patients showed the symptoms of classic FAP. The second pedigree, also traced a new mutation at c.3922_3925 del AAAG (p. Glu1309Argfs X11). Although all of the patients presented with classic polyposis, one of them exhibited a delayed onset of colorectal cancer in his 50s. Two novel mutations at codon 1309 in two Chinese families suffering from FAP could enrich the germline mutation spectrum of the APC gene. Families of individuals might manifest different phenotypes, even with an identical codon 1309 mutation, unlike in previous studies. PMID:24664542

  1. Associations of prodynorphin sequence variation with alcohol dependence and related traits are phenotype-specific and sex-dependent.

    PubMed

    Winham, Stacey J; Preuss, Ulrich W; Geske, Jennifer R; Zill, Peter; Heit, John A; Bakalkin, Georgy; Biernacka, Joanna M; Karpyak, Victor M

    2015-01-01

    We previously demonstrated that prodynorphin (PDYN) haplotypes and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2281285 are associated with alcohol dependence and the propensity to drink in negative emotional states, and recent studies suggest that PDYN gene effects on substance dependence risk may be sex-related. We examined sex-dependent associations of PDYN variation with alcohol dependence and related phenotypes, including negative craving, time until relapse after treatment and the length of sobriety episodes before seeking treatment, in discovery and validation cohorts of European ancestry. We found a significant haplotype-by-sex interaction (p??=??0.03), suggesting association with alcohol dependence in males (p?=?1E-4) but not females. The rs2281285?G allele increased risk for alcohol dependence in males in the discovery cohort (OR?=?1.49, p?=?0.002), with a similar trend in the validation cohort (OR?=?1.35, p?=?0.086). However, rs2281285 showed a trend towards association with increased negative craving in females in both the discovery (beta?=?10.16, p?=?0.045) and validation samples (OR?=?7.11, p?=?0.066). In the discovery cohort, rs2281285 was associated with time until relapse after treatment in females (HR?=?1.72, p?=?0.037); in the validation cohort, it was associated with increased length of sobriety episodes before treatment in males (beta?=?13.49, p?=?0.001). Our findings suggest that sex-dependent effects of PDYN variants in alcohol dependence are phenotype-specific. PMID:26502829

  2. Associations of prodynorphin sequence variation with alcohol dependence and related traits are phenotype-specific and sex-dependent

    PubMed Central

    Winham, Stacey J.; Preuss, Ulrich W.; Geske, Jennifer R.; Zill, Peter; Heit, John A.; Bakalkin, Georgy; Biernacka, Joanna M.; Karpyak, Victor M.

    2015-01-01

    We previously demonstrated that prodynorphin (PDYN) haplotypes and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2281285 are associated with alcohol dependence and the propensity to drink in negative emotional states, and recent studies suggest that PDYN gene effects on substance dependence risk may be sex-related. We examined sex-dependent associations of PDYN variation with alcohol dependence and related phenotypes, including negative craving, time until relapse after treatment and the length of sobriety episodes before seeking treatment, in discovery and validation cohorts of European ancestry. We found a significant haplotype-by-sex interaction (p  =  0.03), suggesting association with alcohol dependence in males (p = 1E-4) but not females. The rs2281285 G allele increased risk for alcohol dependence in males in the discovery cohort (OR = 1.49, p = 0.002), with a similar trend in the validation cohort (OR = 1.35, p = 0.086). However, rs2281285 showed a trend towards association with increased negative craving in females in both the discovery (beta = 10.16, p = 0.045) and validation samples (OR = 7.11, p = 0.066). In the discovery cohort, rs2281285 was associated with time until relapse after treatment in females (HR = 1.72, p = 0.037); in the validation cohort, it was associated with increased length of sobriety episodes before treatment in males (beta = 13.49, p = 0.001). Our findings suggest that sex-dependent effects of PDYN variants in alcohol dependence are phenotype-specific. PMID:26502829

  3. Quantitative NMR Metabolite Profiling of Methicillin-Resistant and Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus Discriminates between Biofilm and Planktonic Phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Wound bioburden in the form of colonizing biofilms is a major contributor to nonhealing wounds. Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive, facultative anaerobe commonly found in chronic wounds; however, much remains unknown about the basic physiology of this opportunistic pathogen, especially with regard to the biofilm phenotype. Transcriptomic and proteomic analysis of S. aureus biofilms have suggested that S. aureus biofilms exhibit an altered metabolic state relative to the planktonic phenotype. Herein, comparisons of extracellular and intracellular metabolite profiles detected by 1H NMR were conducted for methicillin-resistant (MRSA) and methicillin-susceptible (MSSA) S. aureus strains grown as biofilm and planktonic cultures. Principal component analysis distinguished the biofilm phenotype from the planktonic phenotype, and factor loadings analysis identified metabolites that contributed to the statistical separation of the biofilm from the planktonic phenotype, suggesting that key features distinguishing biofilm from planktonic growth include selective amino acid uptake, lipid catabolism, butanediol fermentation, and a shift in metabolism from energy production to assembly of cell-wall components and matrix deposition. These metabolite profiles provide a basis for the development of metabolite biomarkers that distinguish between biofilm and planktonic phenotypes in S. aureus and have the potential for improved diagnostic and therapeutic use in chronic wounds. PMID:24809402

  4. Allelic variations at the haploid TBX1 locus do not influence the cardiac phenotype in cases of 22q11 microdeletion.

    PubMed

    Voelckel, Marie-Antoinette; Girardot, Lydie; Giusiano, Bernard; Levy, Nicolas; Philip, Nicole

    2004-01-01

    Microdeletion at the 22q11 locus is characterised by a high clinical variability. Congenital heart defects (CHD) are the most life-threatening manifestations of the syndrome and affect approximately 50% of patients carrying the deleted chromosome 22. The causes of this phenotype variability remain unknown although several hypotheses have been raised. It has been suggested that allelic variations at the haploid locus could modify the phenotypic expression. Regarding this hypothesis, TBX1 was thought to be a major candidate to the cardiac phenotype or its severity in patients carrying the 22q11 microdeletion. A mutational screening was performed in this gene, in a series of 39 deleted patients, with and without CHD. The results indicate that mutations in TBX1 are not likely to be involved in the cardiac phenotype observed in del22q11 patients. PMID:15337468

  5. Effects of environmental disturbance on phenotypic variation: an integrated assessment of canalization, developmental stability, modularity, and allometry in lizard head shape.

    PubMed

    Lazi?, Marko M; Carretero, Miguel A; Crnobrnja-Isailovi?, Jelka; Kaliontzopoulou, Antigoni

    2015-01-01

    When populations experience suboptimal conditions, the mechanisms involved in the regulation of phenotypic variation can be challenged, resulting in increased phenotypic variance. This kind of disturbance can be diagnosed by using morphometric tools to study morphological patterns at different hierarchical levels and evaluate canalization, developmental stability, integration, modularity, and allometry. We assess the effect of urbanization on phenotypic variation in the common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis) by using geometric morphometrics to assess disturbance to head shape development. The head shapes of urban lizards were more variable and less symmetric, suggesting that urban living is more likely to disturb development. Head shape variation was congruent within and across individuals, which indicated that canalization and developmental stability are two related phenomena in these organisms. Furthermore, urban lizards exhibited smaller mean head sizes, divergent size-shape allometries, and increased deviation from within-group allometric lines. This suggests that mechanisms regulating head shape allometry may also be disrupted. The integrated evaluation of several measures of developmental instability at different hierarchical levels, which provided in this case congruent results, can be a powerful methodological guide for future studies, as it enhances the detection of environmental disturbances on phenotypic variation and aids biological interpretation of the results. PMID:25560552

  6. Quantitative assessment of the importance of phenotypic plasticity in adaptation to climate change in wild bird populations.

    PubMed

    Vedder, Oscar; Bouwhuis, Sandra; Sheldon, Ben C

    2013-07-01

    Predictions about the fate of species or populations under climate change scenarios typically neglect adaptive evolution and phenotypic plasticity, the two major mechanisms by which organisms can adapt to changing local conditions. As a consequence, we have little understanding of the scope for organisms to track changing environments by in situ adaptation. Here, we use a detailed individual-specific long-term population study of great tits (Parus major) breeding in Wytham Woods, Oxford, UK to parameterise a mechanistic model and thus directly estimate the rate of environmental change to which in situ adaptation is possible. Using the effect of changes in early spring temperature on temporal synchrony between birds and a critical food resource, we focus in particular on the contribution of phenotypic plasticity to population persistence. Despite using conservative estimates for evolutionary and reproductive potential, our results suggest little risk of population extinction under projected local temperature change; however, this conclusion relies heavily on the extent to which phenotypic plasticity tracks the changing environment. Extrapolating the model to a broad range of life histories in birds suggests that the importance of phenotypic plasticity for adjustment to projected rates of temperature change increases with slower life histories, owing to lower evolutionary potential. Understanding the determinants and constraints on phenotypic plasticity in natural populations is thus crucial for characterising the risks that rapidly changing environments pose for the persistence of such populations. PMID:23874152

  7. Detecting the Common and Individual Effects of Rare Variants on Quantitative Traits by Using Extreme Phenotype Sampling

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Ya-Jing; Wang, Yong; Chen, Li-Li

    2016-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing technology has made it possible to detect rare genetic variants associated with complex human traits. In recent literature, various methods specifically designed for rare variants are proposed. These tests can be broadly classified into burden and nonburden tests. In this paper, we take advantage of the burden and nonburden tests, and consider the common effect and the individual deviations from the common effect. To achieve robustness, we use two methods of combining p-values, Fisher’s method and the minimum-p method. In rare variant association studies, to improve the power of the tests, we explore the advantage of the extreme phenotype sampling. At first, we dichotomize the continuous phenotypes before analysis, and the two extremes are treated as two different groups representing a dichotomous phenotype. We next compare the powers of several methods based on extreme phenotype sampling and random sampling. Extensive simulation studies show that our proposed methods by using extreme phenotype sampling are the most powerful or very close to the most powerful one in various settings of true models when the same sample size is used. PMID:26784232

  8. Quantitative Assessment of the Importance of Phenotypic Plasticity in Adaptation to Climate Change in Wild Bird Populations

    PubMed Central

    Vedder, Oscar; Bouwhuis, Sandra; Sheldon, Ben C.

    2013-01-01

    Predictions about the fate of species or populations under climate change scenarios typically neglect adaptive evolution and phenotypic plasticity, the two major mechanisms by which organisms can adapt to changing local conditions. As a consequence, we have little understanding of the scope for organisms to track changing environments by in situ adaptation. Here, we use a detailed individual-specific long-term population study of great tits (Parus major) breeding in Wytham Woods, Oxford, UK to parameterise a mechanistic model and thus directly estimate the rate of environmental change to which in situ adaptation is possible. Using the effect of changes in early spring temperature on temporal synchrony between birds and a critical food resource, we focus in particular on the contribution of phenotypic plasticity to population persistence. Despite using conservative estimates for evolutionary and reproductive potential, our results suggest little risk of population extinction under projected local temperature change; however, this conclusion relies heavily on the extent to which phenotypic plasticity tracks the changing environment. Extrapolating the model to a broad range of life histories in birds suggests that the importance of phenotypic plasticity for adjustment to projected rates of temperature change increases with slower life histories, owing to lower evolutionary potential. Understanding the determinants and constraints on phenotypic plasticity in natural populations is thus crucial for characterising the risks that rapidly changing environments pose for the persistence of such populations. PMID:23874152

  9. Detecting the Common and Individual Effects of Rare Variants on Quantitative Traits by Using Extreme Phenotype Sampling.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Ya-Jing; Wang, Yong; Chen, Li-Li

    2016-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing technology has made it possible to detect rare genetic variants associated with complex human traits. In recent literature, various methods specifically designed for rare variants are proposed. These tests can be broadly classified into burden and nonburden tests. In this paper, we take advantage of the burden and nonburden tests, and consider the common effect and the individual deviations from the common effect. To achieve robustness, we use two methods of combining p-values, Fisher's method and the minimum-p method. In rare variant association studies, to improve the power of the tests, we explore the advantage of the extreme phenotype sampling. At first, we dichotomize the continuous phenotypes before analysis, and the two extremes are treated as two different groups representing a dichotomous phenotype. We next compare the powers of several methods based on extreme phenotype sampling and random sampling. Extensive simulation studies show that our proposed methods by using extreme phenotype sampling are the most powerful or very close to the most powerful one in various settings of true models when the same sample size is used. PMID:26784232

  10. Fast quantitative susceptibility mapping using 3D EPI and total generalized variation.

    PubMed

    Langkammer, Christian; Bredies, Kristian; Poser, Benedikt A; Barth, Markus; Reishofer, Gernot; Fan, Audrey Peiwen; Bilgic, Berkin; Fazekas, Franz; Mainero, Caterina; Ropele, Stefan

    2015-05-01

    Quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) allows new insights into tissue composition and organization by assessing its magnetic property. Previous QSM studies have already demonstrated that magnetic susceptibility is highly sensitive to myelin density and fiber orientation as well as to para- and diamagnetic trace elements. Image resolution in QSM with current approaches is limited by the long acquisition time of 3D scans and the need for high signal to noise ratio (SNR) to solve the dipole inversion problem. We here propose a new total-generalized-variation (TGV) based method for QSM reconstruction, which incorporates individual steps of phase unwrapping, background field removal and dipole inversion in a single iteration, thus yielding a robust solution to the reconstruction problem. This approach has beneficial characteristics for low SNR data, allowing for phase data to be rapidly acquired with a 3D echo planar imaging (EPI) sequence. The proposed method was evaluated with a numerical phantom and in vivo at 3 and 7 T. Compared to total variation (TV), TGV-QSM enforced higher order smoothness which yielded solutions closer to the ground truth and prevented stair-casing artifacts. The acquisition time for images with 1mm isotropic resolution and whole brain coverage was 10s on a clinical 3 Tesla scanner. In conclusion, 3D EPI acquisition combined with single-step TGV reconstruction yields reliable QSM images of the entire brain with 1mm isotropic resolution in seconds. The short acquisition time combined with the robust reconstruction may enable new QSM applications in less compliant populations, clinical susceptibility tensor imaging, and functional resting state examinations. PMID:25731991

  11. Genetic variation in leaf pigment, optical and photosynthetic function among diverse phenotypes of Metrosideros polymorpha grown in a common garden.

    PubMed

    Martin, Roberta E; Asner, Gregory P; Sack, Lawren

    2007-03-01

    Coordinated variation has been reported for leaf structure, composition and function, across and within species, and theoretically should occur across populations of a species that span an extensive environmental range. We focused on Hawaiian keystone tree species Metrosideros polymorpha, specifically, 13-year old trees grown (2-4 m tall) in a common garden (approximately 1 ha field with 2-3 m between trees) from seeds collected from 14 populations along an altitude-soil age gradient. We determined the genetic component of relationships among specific leaf area (SLA), the concentrations of nitrogen (N) and pigments (chlorophylls, carotenoids, and anthocyanins), and photosynthetic light-use efficiency. These traits showed strong ecotypic variation; SLA declined 35% with increasing source elevation, and area-based concentrations of N, Chl a + b and Car increased by 50, 109 and 96%, respectively. Concentrations expressed on a mass basis were not well related to source elevation. Pigment ratios expressed covariation that suggested an increased capacity for light harvesting at higher source elevation; Chl/N and Car/Chl increased with source elevation, whereas Chl a/b declined; Chl a/b was higher for populations on younger soil, suggesting optimization for low N supply. Parallel trends were found for the photosynthetic reactions; light-saturated quantum yield of photosystem II (Phi (PSII)) and electron transport rate (ETR) increased with source elevation. Correlations of the concentrations of photosynthetic pigments, pigment ratios, and photosynthetic function across the ecotypes indicated a stoichiometric coordination of the components of the light-harvesting antennae and reaction centers. The constellation of coordinated morphological, biochemical and physiological properties was expressed in the leaf reflectance and transmittance properties in the visible and near-infrared wavelength region (400-950 nm), providing an integrated metric of leaf status among and between plant phenotypes. PMID:17124568

  12. A quantitative assessment of the relationship between precipitation deficits and air temperature variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, B.; Wang, H. L.; Wang, Q. F.; Di, Z. H.

    2015-06-01

    Previous studies have reported precipitation deficits related to temperature extremes. However, how and to what extent precipitation deficits affect surface air temperatures is still poorly understood. In this study, the relationship between precipitation deficits and surface temperatures was examined in China from 1960 to 2012 based on monthly temperature and precipitation records from 565 stations. Significant negative correlations were identified in each season, with the strongest relationships in the summer, indicating that higher temperatures usually accompanied water-deficient conditions and lower temperatures usually accompanied wet conditions. The examination of the correlations based on 30 year moving windows suggested that the interaction between the two variables has declined over the past three decades. Further investigation indicated a higher impact of extreme dry conditions on temperature than that of extreme wet conditions. In addition, a new simple index (Dry Temperature Index, DTI) was developed and used to quantitatively describe the relationship between water deficits and air temperature variations. We tested and compared the DTI in the coldest month (January) and the hottest month (July) of the year, station by station. In both months, the number of stations with a DThighI ? 50% was greater than those with a DThighI < 50%, indicating that a greater proportion of higher temperatures occurred during dry conditions. Based on the results, we conclude that water deficits in China are usually correlated to high temperatures but not to low temperatures.

  13. Genes and quantitative genetic variation involved with senescence in cells, organs, and the whole plant

    PubMed Central

    Pujol, Benoit

    2015-01-01

    Senescence, the deterioration of morphological, physiological, and reproductive functions with age that ends with the death of the organism, was widely studied in plants. Genes were identified that are linked to the deterioration of cells, organs and the whole plant. It is, however, unclear whether those genes are the source of age dependent deterioration or get activated to regulate such deterioration. Furthermore, it is also unclear whether such genes are active as a direct consequence of age or because they are specifically involved in some developmental stages. At the individual level, it is the relationship between quantitative genetic variation, and age that can be used to detect the genetic signature of senescence. Surprisingly, the latter approach was only scarcely applied to plants. This may be the consequence of the demanding requirements for such approaches and/or the fact that most research interest was directed toward plants that avoid senescence. Here, I review those aspects in turn and call for an integrative genetic theory of senescence in plants. Such conceptual development would have implications for the management of plant genetic resources and generate progress on fundamental questions raised by aging research. PMID:25755664

  14. Response of the exocrine pancreas to quantitative and qualitative variations in dietary lipids.

    PubMed

    Saraux, B; Girard-Globa, A; Ouagued, M; Vacher, D

    1982-07-01

    In the rat, pancreatic amylase and, to a lesser extent, lipase adapt quantitatively to the amount of their respective substrates in the diet by an increase in specific activity and total contents (range of variation, fivefold for amylase and twofold for lipase). Colipase responded to protein intake (r = 0.85, P less than 0.01) and not to lipids provided protein intake was below 3.5 g or above 6.0 g. With this latter amount of protein, a maximal level was obtained, even with 2% lipid in the diet. Between 3.5 and 6.0 g, lipid intake was found to modulate colipase in parallel with lipase. When different types of fat were compared, the degree of saturation was found to have no impact on lipase, colipase, and amylase. Diets containing medium-chain triglycerides (C8-C10) did not maximally increase specific activity and total content of lipase and colipase, whereas they did not repress amylase as much longer chain triglycerides did. With coconut oil (45% C12), lipase was maximally stimulated but amylase was not maximally repressed, showing that the regulation of the hydrolases may be partly reciprocal and partly independent. PMID:6178299

  15. Genes and quantitative genetic variation involved with senescence in cells, organs, and the whole plant.

    PubMed

    Pujol, Benoit

    2015-01-01

    Senescence, the deterioration of morphological, physiological, and reproductive functions with age that ends with the death of the organism, was widely studied in plants. Genes were identified that are linked to the deterioration of cells, organs and the whole plant. It is, however, unclear whether those genes are the source of age dependent deterioration or get activated to regulate such deterioration. Furthermore, it is also unclear whether such genes are active as a direct consequence of age or because they are specifically involved in some developmental stages. At the individual level, it is the relationship between quantitative genetic variation, and age that can be used to detect the genetic signature of senescence. Surprisingly, the latter approach was only scarcely applied to plants. This may be the consequence of the demanding requirements for such approaches and/or the fact that most research interest was directed toward plants that avoid senescence. Here, I review those aspects in turn and call for an integrative genetic theory of senescence in plants. Such conceptual development would have implications for the management of plant genetic resources and generate progress on fundamental questions raised by aging research. PMID:25755664

  16. Flower color changes in three Japanese hibiscus species: further quantitative variation of anthocyanin and flavonols.

    PubMed

    Shimokawa, Satoshi; Iwashina, Tsukasa; Murakami, Noriaki

    2015-03-01

    One anthocyanin and four flavonols were detected from the petals of Hibiscus hamabo, H. tiliaceus and H. glaber. They were identified as cyanidin 3-0- sambubioside, gossypetin 3-O-glucuronide-8-O-glucoside, quercetin 7-O-rutinoside, gossypetin 3-O-glucoside and gossypetin 8-O-glucuronide by UV spectra, LC-MS, acid hydrolysis and HPLC. The flavonoid composition was essentially the same among the petals ofH. hamabo, H. tiliaceus and H. glaber, and there was little quantitative variation, except for cyanidin 3-O-sambubioside, the content of which in the petals ofH. tiliaceus and H. glaber was much higher than in that of H. hamabo. Flower colors of H. tiliaceus and H. glaber change from yellow to red, and that of H. hamabo changes from yellow to orange. These changes were caused by contents of anthocyanin and flavonols, which increased after flowering of H. hamabo, H. tiliaceus and H. glaber. PMID:25924527

  17. Quantitative Assessment of Autism Symptom-Related Traits in Probands and Parents: Broader Phenotype Autism Symptom Scale

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dawson, Geraldine; Estes, Annette; Munson, Jeffrey; Schellenberg, Gerard; Bernier, Raphael; Abbott, Robert

    2007-01-01

    Autism susceptibility genes likely have effects on continuously distributed autism-related traits, yet few measures of such traits exist. The Broader Phenotype Autism Symptom Scale (BPASS), developed for use with affected children and family members, measures social motivation, social expressiveness, conversational skills, and flexibility. Based…

  18. Tests of linkage and association of the COL1A2 gene with bone phenotypes' variation in Chinese nuclear families.

    PubMed

    Deng, F Y; Liu, M Y; Li, M X; Lei, S F; Qin, Y J; Zhou, Q; Liu, Y J; Deng, H W

    2003-10-01

    In the present study, we simultaneously test linkage and/or association of the collagen type I alpha 2 (COL1A2) gene with bone mineral density (BMD) and bone area. A total of 1280 subjects from 407 Chinese nuclear families (including both parents and their daughters) were genotyped for an intragenic marker MspI in the COL1A2 gene. BMD and bone area at the lumbar spine and hip were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Applying the QTDT (quantitative transmission disequilibrium test) program, we performed tests for population stratification, within-family association (via transmission disequilibrium test), total association, linkage, and linkage while modeling association. Significant or marginal within-family associations were found with BMD at the lumbar spine (P = 0.013), trochanter (P = 0.004), and total hip (P = 0.053) and with bone area at the intertrochanteric region (P = 0.024) and total hip (P = 0.048). The positive associations were confirmed in permutations except for bone area at total hip (P > 0.10). A small proportion (<1%) of the population variance of bone phenotypes can be explained by the MspI polymorphism; however, it may be underestimated given the significant population stratification detected in our sample. Due to the limited number of sib pairs in this sample, we did not find evidence of linkage. In summary, the MspI polymorphism is likely to be in linkage disequilibrium with a nearby functional mutation affecting BMD and bone area. PMID:14555266

  19. Deleterious Mutations, Apparent Stabilizing Selection and the Maintenance of Quantitative Variation

    PubMed Central

    Kondrashov, A. S.; Turelli, M.

    1992-01-01

    Apparent stabilizing selection on a quantitative trait that is not causally connected to fitness can result from the pleiotropic effects of unconditionally deleterious mutations, because as N. Barton noted, ``... individuals with extreme values of the trait will tend to carry more deleterious alleles ....'' We use a simple model to investigate the dependence of this apparent selection on the genomic deleterious mutation rate, U; the equilibrium distribution of K, the number of deleterious mutations per genome; and the parameters describing directional selection against deleterious mutations. Unlike previous analyses, we allow for epistatic selection against deleterious alleles. For various selection functions and realistic parameter values, the distribution of K, the distribution of breeding values for a pleiotropically affected trait, and the apparent stabilizing selection function are all nearly Gaussian. The additive genetic variance for the quantitative trait is kQa(2), where k is the average number of deleterious mutations per genome, Q is the proportion of deleterious mutations that affect the trait, and a(2) is the variance of pleiotropic effects for individual mutations that do affect the trait. In contrast, when the trait is measured in units of its additive standard deviation, the apparent fitness function is essentially independent of Q and a(2); and ?, the intensity of selection, measured as the ratio of additive genetic variance to the ``variance'' of the fitness curve, is very close to s = U/k, the selection coefficient against individual deleterious mutations at equilibrium. Therefore, this model predicts appreciable apparent stabilizing selection if s exceeds about 0.03, which is consistent with various data. However, the model also predicts that ? must equal V(m)/V(G), the ratio of new additive variance for the trait introduced each generation by mutation to the standing additive variance. Most, although not all, estimates of this ratio imply apparent stabilizing selection weaker than generally observed. A qualitative argument suggests that even when direct selection is responsible for most of the selection observed on a character, it may be essentially irrelevant to the maintenance of variation for the character by mutation-selection balance. Simple experiments can indicate the fraction of observed stabilizing selection attributable to the pleiotropic effects of deleterious mutations. PMID:1427047

  20. Quantitative monitoring of the coseismic seismoelectric field relatively to salinity and saturation variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brito, D.; Holzhauer, J.; Bordes, C.; Guatarbes, B.; Callot, J. P.

    2014-12-01

    Resulting from an electrokinetic coupling generated under seismic excitation, the seismoelectric (SE) effect appears as a promising tool for porous media characterization. However, due to the incomplete understanding of the underlying physics, observations remained strictly qualitative for a long time. Eventually in the 1990's, Pride's robust explanation for the SE effect opened new prospects. Within a decade, a dynamic formulation of the coseismic transfer function had been given, that expresses the coseismic electric field E relatively to the acceleration ü.Our purpose is to confront this model to measurements carried out on a simple porous medium at lab scale. In this experiment, a seismic wave propagates within a 120l-sandbox, filled with unconsolidated monodisperse quartz sand, for varying water contents and fluid conductivities. The seismic wave is generated by a pneumatic source of wide frequency spectrum allowing for measurements at the kilohertz range. The sandbox is equipped with 20 accelerometers, 5 water-sensors and a 30 rods electrode array. All captors are placed with a maximum offset of 30cm to the source.By changing salinity in the range [2-8mS/m] at constant saturation, we observed a decrease in the |E/ü| transfer function proportional to the salinity increase, as expected by Pride and already reported in literature. This proved the experimental setup to be suitable for further quantitative measuring, being in our case a SE monitoring under saturation variations. After a relaxation time, a dramatic increase in seismic velocities attested full saturation. The ensuing SE monitoring while draining, going from 100 to 35% water-content, showed a change in the sign of the E/ü ratio consistent with Pride's predictions. In the meanwhile, seismic records exhibited velocity changes in agreement with a patchy evolution of the saturation

  1. Combining high-throughput phenotyping and genome-wide association studies to reveal natural genetic variation in rice.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wanneng; Guo, Zilong; Huang, Chenglong; Duan, Lingfeng; Chen, Guoxing; Jiang, Ni; Fang, Wei; Feng, Hui; Xie, Weibo; Lian, Xingming; Wang, Gongwei; Luo, Qingming; Zhang, Qifa; Liu, Qian; Xiong, Lizhong

    2014-01-01

    Even as the study of plant genomics rapidly develops through the use of high-throughput sequencing techniques, traditional plant phenotyping lags far behind. Here we develop a high-throughput rice phenotyping facility (HRPF) to monitor 13 traditional agronomic traits and 2 newly defined traits during the rice growth period. Using genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of the 15 traits, we identify 141 associated loci, 25 of which contain known genes such as the Green Revolution semi-dwarf gene, SD1. Based on a performance evaluation of the HRPF and GWAS results, we demonstrate that high-throughput phenotyping has the potential to replace traditional phenotyping techniques and can provide valuable gene identification information. The combination of the multifunctional phenotyping tools HRPF and GWAS provides deep insights into the genetic architecture of important traits. PMID:25295980

  2. Combining high-throughput phenotyping and genome-wide association studies to reveal natural genetic variation in rice

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Wanneng; Guo, Zilong; Huang, Chenglong; Duan, Lingfeng; Chen, Guoxing; Jiang, Ni; Fang, Wei; Feng, Hui; Xie, Weibo; Lian, Xingming; Wang, Gongwei; Luo, Qingming; Zhang, Qifa; Liu, Qian; Xiong, Lizhong

    2014-01-01

    Even as the study of plant genomics rapidly develops through the use of high-throughput sequencing techniques, traditional plant phenotyping lags far behind. Here we develop a high-throughput rice phenotyping facility (HRPF) to monitor 13 traditional agronomic traits and 2 newly defined traits during the rice growth period. Using genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of the 15 traits, we identify 141 associated loci, 25 of which contain known genes such as the Green Revolution semi-dwarf gene, SD1. Based on a performance evaluation of the HRPF and GWAS results, we demonstrate that high-throughput phenotyping has the potential to replace traditional phenotyping techniques and can provide valuable gene identification information. The combination of the multifunctional phenotyping tools HRPF and GWAS provides deep insights into the genetic architecture of important traits. PMID:25295980

  3. R2OBBIE-3D, a Fast Robotic High-Resolution System for Quantitative Phenotyping of Surface Geometry and Colour-Texture

    PubMed Central

    Manukyan, Liana; Milinkovitch, Michel C.

    2015-01-01

    While recent imaging techniques provide insights into biological processes from the molecular to the cellular scale, phenotypes at larger scales remain poorly amenable to quantitative analyses. For example, investigations of the biophysical mechanisms generating skin morphological complexity and diversity would greatly benefit from 3D geometry and colour-texture reconstructions. Here, we report on R2OBBIE-3D, an integrated system that combines a robotic arm, a high-resolution digital colour camera, an illumination basket of high-intensity light-emitting diodes and state-of-the-art 3D-reconstruction approaches. We demonstrate that R2OBBIE generates accurate 3D models of biological objects between 1 and 100 cm, makes multiview photometric stereo scanning possible in practical processing times, and enables the capture of colour-texture and geometric resolutions better than 15 μm without the use of magnifying lenses. R2OBBIE has the potential to greatly improve quantitative analyses of phenotypes in addition to providing multiple new applications in, e.g., biomedical science. PMID:26039509

  4. A Quantitative Comparison of Human HT-1080 Fibrosarcoma Cells and Primary Human Dermal Fibroblasts Identifies a 3D Migration Mechanism with Properties Unique to the Transformed Phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Michael P.; Rogers, Robert E.; Singh, Samir P.; Lee, Justin Y.; Loveland, Samuel G.; Koepsel, Justin T.; Witze, Eric S.; Montanez-Sauri, Sara I.; Sung, Kyung E.; Tokuda, Emi Y.; Sharma, Yasha; Everhart, Lydia M.; Nguyen, Eric H.; Zaman, Muhammad H.; Beebe, David J.; Ahn, Natalie G.; Murphy, William L.; Anseth, Kristi S.

    2013-01-01

    Here, we describe an engineering approach to quantitatively compare migration, morphologies, and adhesion for tumorigenic human fibrosarcoma cells (HT-1080s) and primary human dermal fibroblasts (hDFs) with the aim of identifying distinguishing properties of the transformed phenotype. Relative adhesiveness was quantified using self-assembled monolayer (SAM) arrays and proteolytic 3-dimensional (3D) migration was investigated using matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-degradable poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels (“synthetic extracellular matrix” or “synthetic ECM”). In synthetic ECM, hDFs were characterized by vinculin-containing features on the tips of protrusions, multipolar morphologies, and organized actomyosin filaments. In contrast, HT-1080s were characterized by diffuse vinculin expression, pronounced ?1-integrin on the tips of protrusions, a cortically-organized F-actin cytoskeleton, and quantitatively more rounded morphologies, decreased adhesiveness, and increased directional motility compared to hDFs. Further, HT-1080s were characterized by contractility-dependent motility, pronounced blebbing, and cortical contraction waves or constriction rings, while quantified 3D motility was similar in matrices with a wide range of biochemical and biophysical properties (including collagen) despite substantial morphological changes. While HT-1080s were distinct from hDFs for each of the 2D and 3D properties investigated, several features were similar to WM239a melanoma cells, including rounded, proteolytic migration modes, cortical F-actin organization, and prominent uropod-like structures enriched with ?1-integrin, F-actin, and melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MCAM/CD146/MUC18). Importantly, many of the features observed for HT-1080s were analogous to cellular changes induced by transformation, including cell rounding, a disorganized F-actin cytoskeleton, altered organization of focal adhesion proteins, and a weakly adherent phenotype. Based on our results, we propose that HT-1080s migrate in synthetic ECM with functional properties that are a direct consequence of their transformed phenotype. PMID:24349113

  5. The Genotype and Phenotype (GaP) registry: a living biobank for the analysis of quantitative traits.

    PubMed

    Gregersen, Peter K; Klein, Gila; Keogh, Mary; Kern, Marlena; DeFranco, Margaret; Simpfendorfer, Kim R; Kim, Sun Jung; Diamond, Betty

    2015-12-01

    We describe the development of the Genotype and Phenotype (GaP) Registry, a living biobank of normal volunteers who are genotyped for genetic markers related to human disease. Participants in the GaP can be recalled for hypothesis driven study of disease associated genetic variants. The GaP has facilitated functional studies of several autoimmune disease associated loci including Csk, Blk, PDRM1 (Blimp-1) and PTPN22. It is likely that expansion of such living biobank registries will play an important role in studying and understanding the function of disease associated alleles in complex disease. PMID:26467974

  6. High Genetic and Epigenetic Stability in Coffea arabica Plants Derived from Embryogenic Suspensions and Secondary Embryogenesis as Revealed by AFLP, MSAP and the Phenotypic Variation Rate

    PubMed Central

    Bobadilla Landey, Roberto; Cenci, Alberto; Georget, Frédéric; Bertrand, Benoît; Camayo, Gloria; Dechamp, Eveline; Herrera, Juan Carlos; Santoni, Sylvain; Lashermes, Philippe; Simpson, June; Etienne, Hervé

    2013-01-01

    Embryogenic suspensions that involve extensive cell division are risky in respect to genome and epigenome instability. Elevated frequencies of somaclonal variation in embryogenic suspension-derived plants were reported in many species, including coffee. This problem could be overcome by using culture conditions that allow moderate cell proliferation. In view of true-to-type large-scale propagation of C. arabica hybrids, suspension protocols based on low 2,4-D concentrations and short proliferation periods were developed. As mechanisms leading to somaclonal variation are often complex, the phenotypic, genetic and epigenetic changes were jointly assessed so as to accurately evaluate the conformity of suspension-derived plants. The effects of embryogenic suspensions and secondary embryogenesis, used as proliferation systems, on the genetic conformity of somatic embryogenesis-derived plants (emblings) were assessed in two hybrids. When applied over a 6 month period, both systems ensured very low somaclonal variation rates, as observed through massive phenotypic observations in field plots (0.74% from 200 000 plant). Molecular AFLP and MSAP analyses performed on 145 three year-old emblings showed that polymorphism between mother plants and emblings was extremely low, i.e. ranges of 0–0.003% and 0.07–0.18% respectively, with no significant difference between the proliferation systems for the two hybrids. No embling was found to cumulate more than three methylation polymorphisms. No relation was established between the variant phenotype (27 variants studied) and a particular MSAP pattern. Chromosome counting showed that 7 of the 11 variant emblings analyzed were characterized by the loss of 1–3 chromosomes. This work showed that both embryogenic suspensions and secondary embryogenesis are reliable for true-to-type propagation of elite material. Molecular analyses revealed that genetic and epigenetic alterations are particularly limited during coffee somatic embryogenesis. The main change in most of the rare phenotypic variants was aneuploidy, indicating that mitotic aberrations play a major role in somaclonal variation in coffee. PMID:23418563

  7. Associating Multivariate Quantitative Phenotypes with Genetic Variants in Family Samples with a Novel Kernel Machine Regression Method.

    PubMed

    Yan, Qi; Weeks, Daniel E; Celedón, Juan C; Tiwari, Hemant K; Li, Bingshan; Wang, Xiaojing; Lin, Wan-Yu; Lou, Xiang-Yang; Gao, Guimin; Chen, Wei; Liu, Nianjun

    2015-12-01

    The recent development of sequencing technology allows identification of association between the whole spectrum of genetic variants and complex diseases. Over the past few years, a number of association tests for rare variants have been developed. Jointly testing for association between genetic variants and multiple correlated phenotypes may increase the power to detect causal genes in family-based studies, but familial correlation needs to be appropriately handled to avoid an inflated type I error rate. Here we propose a novel approach for multivariate family data using kernel machine regression (denoted as MF-KM) that is based on a linear mixed-model framework and can be applied to a large range of studies with different types of traits. In our simulation studies, the usual kernel machine test has inflated type I error rates when applied directly to familial data, while our proposed MF-KM method preserves the expected type I error rates. Moreover, the MF-KM method has increased power compared to methods that either analyze each phenotype separately while considering family structure or use only unrelated founders from the families. Finally, we illustrate our proposed methodology by analyzing whole-genome genotyping data from a lung function study. PMID:26482791

  8. Quantitative phenotyping-based in vivo chemical screening in a zebrafish model of leukemia stem cell xenotransplantation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Beibei; Shimada, Yasuhito; Kuroyanagi, Junya; Umemoto, Noriko; Nishimura, Yuhei; Tanaka, Toshio

    2014-01-01

    Zebrafish-based chemical screening has recently emerged as a rapid and efficient method to identify important compounds that modulate specific biological processes and to test the therapeutic efficacy in disease models, including cancer. In leukemia, the ablation of leukemia stem cells (LSCs) is necessary to permanently eradicate the leukemia cell population. However, because of the very small number of LSCs in leukemia cell populations, their use in xenotransplantation studies (in vivo) and the difficulties in functionally and pathophysiologically replicating clinical conditions in cell culture experiments (in vitro), the progress of drug discovery for LSC inhibitors has been painfully slow. In this study, we developed a novel phenotype-based in vivo screening method using LSCs xenotransplanted into zebrafish. Aldehyde dehydrogenase-positive (ALDH+) cells were purified from chronic myelogenous leukemia K562 cells tagged with a fluorescent protein (Kusabira-orange) and then implanted in young zebrafish at 48 hours post-fertilization. Twenty-four hours after transplantation, the animals were treated with one of eight different therapeutic agents (imatinib, dasatinib, parthenolide, TDZD-8, arsenic trioxide, niclosamide, salinomycin, and thioridazine). Cancer cell proliferation, and cell migration were determined by high-content imaging. Of the eight compounds that were tested, all except imatinib and dasatinib selectively inhibited ALDH+ cell proliferation in zebrafish. In addition, these anti-LSC agents suppressed tumor cell migration in LSC-xenotransplants. Our approach offers a simple, rapid, and reliable in vivo screening system that facilitates the phenotype-driven discovery of drugs effective in suppressing LSCs. PMID:24454867

  9. The development of quick, robust, quantitative phenotypic assays for describing the host–nonhost landscape to stripe rust

    PubMed Central

    Dawson, Andrew M.; Bettgenhaeuser, Jan; Gardiner, Matthew; Green, Phon; Hernández-Pinzón, Inmaculada; Hubbard, Amelia; Moscou, Matthew J.

    2015-01-01

    Nonhost resistance is often conceptualized as a qualitative separation from host resistance. Classification into these two states is generally facile, as they fail to fully describe the range of states that exist in the transition from host to nonhost. This poses a problem when studying pathosystems that cannot be classified as either host or nonhost due to their intermediate status relative to these two extremes. In this study, we investigate the efficacy of the Poaceae-stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis Westend.) interaction for describing the host–nonhost landscape. First, using barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and Brachypodium distachyon (L.) P. Beauv. We observed that macroscopic symptoms of chlorosis and leaf browning were associated with hyphal colonization by P. striiformis f. sp. tritici, respectively. This prompted us to adapt a protocol for visualizing fungal structures into a phenotypic assay that estimates the percent of leaf colonized. Use of this assay in intermediate host and intermediate nonhost systems found the frequency of infection decreases with evolutionary divergence from the host species. Similarly, we observed that the pathogen’s ability to complete its life cycle decreased faster than its ability to colonize leaf tissue, with no incidence of pustules observed in the intermediate nonhost system and significantly reduced pustule formation in the intermediate host system as compared to the host system, barley-P. striiformis f. sp. hordei. By leveraging the stripe rust pathosystem in conjunction with macroscopic and microscopic phenotypic assays, we now hope to dissect the genetic architecture of intermediate host and intermediate nonhost resistance using structured populations in barley and B. distachyon. PMID:26579142

  10. Limited phylogeographic signal in sex-linked and autosomal loci despite geographically, ecologically, and phenotypically concordant structure of mtDNA variation in the Holarctic avian genus Eremophila.

    PubMed

    Drovetski, Sergei V; Raković, Marko; Semenov, Georgy; Fadeev, Igor V; Red'kin, Yaroslav A

    2014-01-01

    Phylogeographic studies of Holarctic birds are challenging because they involve vast geographic scale, complex glacial history, extensive phenotypic variation, and heterogeneous taxonomic treatment across countries, all of which require large sample sizes. Knowledge about the quality of phylogeographic information provided by different loci is crucial for study design. We use sequences of one mtDNA gene, one sex-linked intron, and one autosomal intron to elucidate large scale phylogeographic patterns in the Holarctic lark genus Eremophila. The mtDNA ND2 gene identified six geographically, ecologically, and phenotypically concordant clades in the Palearctic that diverged in the Early-Middle Pleistocene and suggested paraphyly of the horned lark (E. alpestris) with respect to the Temminck's lark (E. bilopha). In the Nearctic, ND2 identified five subclades which diverged in the Late Pleistocene. They overlapped geographically and were not concordant phenotypically or ecologically. Nuclear alleles provided little information on geographic structuring of genetic variation in horned larks beyond supporting the monophyly of Eremophila and paraphyly of the horned lark. Multilocus species trees based on two nuclear or all three loci provided poor support for haplogroups identified by mtDNA. The node ages calculated using mtDNA were consistent with the available paleontological data, whereas individual nuclear loci and multilocus species trees appeared to underestimate node ages. We argue that mtDNA is capable of discovering independent evolutionary units within avian taxa and can provide a reasonable phylogeographic hypothesis when geographic scale, geologic history, and phenotypic variation in the study system are too complex for proposing reasonable a priori hypotheses required for multilocus methods. Finally, we suggest splitting the currently recognized horned lark into five Palearctic and one Nearctic species. PMID:24498139

  11. Phenotypic variation within European carriers of the Y-chromosomal gr/gr deletion is independent of Y-chromosomal background

    PubMed Central

    Krausz, Csilla; Giachini, Claudia; Xue, Yali; O’Brya, Moira K.; Gromoll, Joerg; Rajpert-de Meyts, Ewa; Oliva, Rafael; Aknin-Seifer, Isabelle; Erdei, Edit; Jorgensen, Niels; Simoni, Manuela; Ballescà, José Luis; Levy, Rachel; Balercia, Giancarlo; Piomboni, Paola; Nieschlag, Eberhard; Forti, Gianni; McLachlan, Rob; Tyler-Smith, Chris

    2009-01-01

    Background Previous studies have compared sperm phenotypes between men with partial [1] deletions within the AZFc region of the Y chromosome with non-carriers, with variable results. Here, we have investigated a separate question, the basis of the variation in sperm phenotype within gr/gr deletion carriers, which ranges from normozoospermia to azoospermia. Differences in the genes removed by independent gr/gr deletions, the occurrence of subsequent duplications or the presence of linked modifying variants elsewhere on the chromosome have been suggested as possible causal factors. We set out to test these possibilities in a large sample of gr/gr deletion carriers with known phenotypes spanning the complete range. Results We assembled a collection of 169 men diagnosed with gr/gr deletions from six centres in Europe and one in Australia, and characterized the DAZ and CDY1 copies retained, the presence or absence of duplications and the Y-chromosomal haplogroup. Although our study had good power to detect factors that accounted for ?5.5% of the variation in sperm concentration, no such factor was detected. A negative effect of gr/gr deletions followed by b2/b4 duplication was observed within the normospermic group, which remains to be further explored in a larger study population. Finally, we observed significant geographical differences in the frequency of different subtypes of gr/gr deletions which may have relevance for the interpretation of case control studies dealing with admixed populations. Conclusions We conclude that the phenotypic variation of gr/gr carriers in men of European origin is largely independent of the Y-chromosomal background. PMID:18782837

  12. Large-scale objective association of mouse phenotypes with human symptoms through structural variation identified in patients with developmental disorders.

    PubMed

    Boulding, Hannah; Webber, Caleb

    2012-05-01

    Copy number variants (CNVs) are thought to underlie many human developmental abnormalities. However, it is unclear how many of these CNVs exert their pathogenic effects or, in particular, how distinct CNVs at dispersed loci can give rise to the same abnormality. We hypothesize that the mouse orthologs of genes whose copy number change gives rise to the same human abnormality might also yield a similar phenotype when disrupted in mice. Thus, by bringing together a large number of disparate CNVs, we may be able to identify an unusually overrepresented phenotype among the affected genes' mouse orthologs. We obtained 1,624 de novo CNVs identified in patients with developmental abnormalities from Database of Chromosomal Imbalance and Phenotype in Humans Using Ensembl Resources and European Cytogeneticists Association Register of Unbalanced Chromosome Aberrations database. Forming CNV sets for each of 1,088 distinct human abnormalities, we were able to associate a total of 143 (13%) human abnormalities with mouse model phenotypes. Although many mouse phenotypes are readily comparable to their associated human abnormality, others are less so, generating novel biological hypotheses. Of the 2,086 candidate genes that contribute to these associations, 65% have not been previously associated with human disease in Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man, and their distribution suggests both extensive pleiotropy and epistasis while also proposing a small number of simple additive consequences. PMID:22396327

  13. Genetic Variation, Heritability, and Diversity Analysis of Upland Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Genotypes Based on Quantitative Traits.

    PubMed

    Tuhina-Khatun, Mst; Hanafi, Mohamed M; Rafii Yusop, Mohd; Wong, M Y; Salleh, Faezah M; Ferdous, Jannatul

    2015-01-01

    Upland rice is important for sustainable crop production to meet future food demands. The expansion in area of irrigated rice faces limitations due to water scarcity resulting from climate change. Therefore, this research aimed to identify potential genotypes and suitable traits of upland rice germplasm for breeding programmes. Forty-three genotypes were evaluated in a randomised complete block design with three replications. All genotypes exhibited a wide and significant variation for 22 traits. The highest phenotypic and genotypic coefficient of variation was recorded for the number of filled grains/panicle and yields/plant (g). The highest heritability was found for photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, intercellular CO?, and number of filled grains/panicle and yields/plant (g). Cluster analysis based on 22 traits grouped the 43 rice genotypes into five clusters. Cluster II was the largest and consisted of 20 genotypes mostly originating from the Philippines. The first four principle components of 22 traits accounted for about 72% of the total variation and indicated a wide variation among the genotypes. The selected best trait of the number of filled grains/panicle and yields/plant (g), which showed high heritability and high genetic advance, could be used as a selection criterion for hybridisation programmes in the future. PMID:26258135

  14. Genetic Variation, Heritability, and Diversity Analysis of Upland Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Genotypes Based on Quantitative Traits

    PubMed Central

    Tuhina-Khatun, Mst.; Hanafi, Mohamed M.; Rafii Yusop, Mohd; Wong, M. Y.; Salleh, Faezah M.; Ferdous, Jannatul

    2015-01-01

    Upland rice is important for sustainable crop production to meet future food demands. The expansion in area of irrigated rice faces limitations due to water scarcity resulting from climate change. Therefore, this research aimed to identify potential genotypes and suitable traits of upland rice germplasm for breeding programmes. Forty-three genotypes were evaluated in a randomised complete block design with three replications. All genotypes exhibited a wide and significant variation for 22 traits. The highest phenotypic and genotypic coefficient of variation was recorded for the number of filled grains/panicle and yields/plant (g). The highest heritability was found for photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, intercellular CO2, and number of filled grains/panicle and yields/plant (g). Cluster analysis based on 22 traits grouped the 43 rice genotypes into five clusters. Cluster II was the largest and consisted of 20 genotypes mostly originating from the Philippines. The first four principle components of 22 traits accounted for about 72% of the total variation and indicated a wide variation among the genotypes. The selected best trait of the number of filled grains/panicle and yields/plant (g), which showed high heritability and high genetic advance, could be used as a selection criterion for hybridisation programmes in the future. PMID:26258135

  15. Phenotypic variation of Val1589Met mutation in a four-generation Chinese pedigree with mild paramyotonia congenitia: case report.

    PubMed

    Xu, Changshui; Qi, Junjia; Shi, Yingying; Feng, Yan; Zang, Weizhou; Zhang, Jiewen

    2015-01-01

    Four generations of a Chinese family with a mild form of paramyotonia congenital was characterized in phenotype and genotype. For each member, clinical history, physical examination, laboratory tests, electrophysiological and gene analyses were recorded and carried out. A potassium loading, exercise and cold provocation were further tested to diagnose the clinical differentiation. All members shared the characteristics of mild muscle cramp and stiffness induced by exercise or exposed to cold. The symptoms were relieved after rest and warming. A Val1589Met mutation at exon 24 of the SCN4A gene appears in affected subjects, while healthy members had a point mutation at position 1513 at exon 24 of the SCN4A gene. The mild phenotype of the paramyotonia congenital in the family had a Val1589Met mutation in the SCN4A gene. Various phenotypes can exist among different families, indicating that family, individual, genetic or environmental factors influence symptoms. PMID:25755818

  16. Phenotypic variation of Val1589Met mutation in a four-generation Chinese pedigree with mild paramyotonia congenitia: case report

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Changshui; Qi, Junjia; Shi, Yingying; Feng, Yan; Zang, Weizhou; Zhang, Jiewen

    2015-01-01

    Four generations of a Chinese family with a mild form of paramyotonia congenital was characterized in phenotype and genotype. For each member, clinical history, physical examination, laboratory tests, electrophysiological and gene analyses were recorded and carried out. A potassium loading, exercise and cold provocation were further tested to diagnose the clinical differentiation. All members shared the characteristics of mild muscle cramp and stiffness induced by exercise or exposed to cold. The symptoms were relieved after rest and warming. A Val1589Met mutation at exon 24 of the SCN4A gene appears in affected subjects, while healthy members had a point mutation at position 1513 at exon 24 of the SCN4A gene. The mild phenotype of the paramyotonia congenital in the family had a Val1589Met mutation in the SCN4A gene. Various phenotypes can exist among different families, indicating that family, individual, genetic or environmental factors influence symptoms. PMID:25755818

  17. A pyramid breeding of eight grain-yield related quantitative trait loci based on marker-assistant and phenotype selection in rice (Oryza sativa L.).

    PubMed

    Zong, Guo; Wang, Ahong; Wang, Lu; Liang, Guohua; Gu, Minghong; Sang, Tao; Han, Bin

    2012-07-20

    1000-Grain weight and spikelet number per panicle are two important components for rice grain yield. In our previous study, eight quantitative trait loci (QTLs) conferring spikelet number per panicle and 1000-grain weight were mapped through sequencing-based genotyping of 150 rice recombinant inbred lines (RILs). In this study, we validated the effects of four QTLs from Nipponbare using chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs), and pyramided eight grain yield related QTLs. The new lines containing the eight QTLs with positive effects showed increased panicle and spikelet size as compared with the parent variety 93-11. We further proposed a novel pyramid breeding scheme based on marker-assistant and phenotype selection (MAPS). This scheme allowed pyramiding of as many as 24 QTLs at a single hybridization without massive cross work. This study provided insights into the molecular basis of rice grain yield for direct wealth for high-yielding rice breeding. PMID:22835980

  18. Exploring the quantitative relationship between metabolism and enzymatic phenotype by physiological modeling of glucose metabolism and lactate oxidation in solid tumors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qian; Vaupel, Peter; Ziegler, Sibylle I.; Shi, Kuangyu

    2015-03-01

    Molecular imaging using PET or hyperpolarized MRI can characterize tumor phenotypes by assessing the related metabolism of certain substrates. However, the interpretation of the substrate turnover in terms of a pathophysiological understanding is not straightforward and only semiquantitative. The metabolism of imaging probes is influenced by a number of factors, such as the microvascular structure or the expression of key enzymes. This study aims to use computational simulation to investigate the relationship between the metabolism behind molecular imaging and the underlying tumor phenotype. The study focused on the pathways of glucose metabolism and lactate oxidation in order to establish the quantitative relationship between the expression of several transporters (GLUT, MCT1 and MCT4), expression of the enzyme hexokinase (HK), microvasculature and the metabolism of glucose or lactate and the extracellular pH distribution. A computational model for a 2D tumor tissue phantom was constructed and the spatio-temporal evolution of related species (e.g. oxygen, glucose, lactate, protons, bicarbonate ions) was estimated by solving reaction-diffusion equations. The proposed model was tested by the verification of the simulation results using in vivo and in vitro literature data. The influences of different expression levels of GLUT, MCT1, MCT4, HK and microvessel distribution on substrate concentrations were analyzed. The major results are consistent with experimental data (e.g. GLUT is more influential to glycolytic flux than HK; extracellular pH is not correlated with MCT expressions) and provide theoretical interpretation of the co-influence of multiple factors of the tumor microenvironment. This computational simulation may assist the generation of hypotheses to bridge the discrepancy between tumor metabolism and the functions of transporters and enzymes. It has the potential to accelerate the development of multi-modal imaging strategies for assessment of tumor phenotypes.

  19. Effects of cultivation on N2O emission and seasonal quantitative variations of related microbes in a temperate grassland soil.

    PubMed

    Huang, B; Chen, G X

    2001-07-01

    Laboratory and in situ experiments were done to investigate the influences of cultivation on temperate semi-arid grassland (for 17 years spring wheat planted once every two years without fertilisation) on soil N2O emission and quantitative variations of related soil microbes. In the laboratory (25 degrees C and soil moisture 18%), cultivation increased soil transformations of fertilizer nitrogen (100 micrograms N/g as NaNO3, urea, or as urea with dicyandiamide 1 microgram N/g). The N2O emissions from the cultivated and uncultivated soils with or without nitrogen additions were relatively low, and mainly originated from the nitrification. The soil N2O emission due to cultivation decreased somewhat upon no fertilization or NaNO3 addition, but significantly upon urea addition. The role of dicyandiamide as nitrification inhibitor was only considerable in the cultivated soil, and had small influence on decreasing N2O emission in the two soils. The influence of cultivation on soil N2O emission was also reflected by the number variations of microbes related with soil nitrogen transformation in the two soils. Compared to the uncultivated grassland, in situ ammonifiers and denitrifiers in the cultivated grassland quantitatively averagely increased, and aerobic no-symbiotic azotobacters were quantitatively similar, leading to the continued decrease of organic matter content and the decrease of N2O emission from the cultivated grassland soil. PMID:11590774

  20. Validation and Estimation of Additive Genetic Variation Associated with DNA Tests for Quantitative Beef Cattle Traits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The U.S. National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium (NBCEC) has been involved in the validation of commercial DNA tests for quantitative beef quality traits since their first appearance on the U.S. market in the early 2000s. The NBCEC Advisory Council initially requested that the NBCEC set up a syst...

  1. Genic and non-genic contributions to natural variation of quantitative traits in maize

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The complex genomes of many economically important crops present tremendous challenges to understand the genetic control of many quantitative traits with great importance in crop production, adaptation, and evolution. Advances in genomic technology need to be integrated with strategic genetic design...

  2. 3D geometry and quantitative variation of the cervico-thoracic region in Crocodylia.

    PubMed

    Chamero, Beatriz; Buscalioni, Angela D; Marugán-Lobón, Jesús; Sarris, Ioannis

    2014-07-01

    This study aims to interpret the axial patterning of the crocodylian neck, and to find a potential taxonomic signal that corresponds to vertebral position. Morphological variation in the cervico-thoracic vertebrae is compared in fifteen different crocodylian species using 3D geometric morphometric methods. Multivariate analysis indicated that the pattern of intracolumnar variation was a gradual change in shape of the vertebral series (at the parapophyses, diapophyses, prezygapohyses, and postzygapohyses), in the cervical (C3 to C9) and dorsal (D1-D2) regions which was quite conservative among the crocodylians studied. In spite of this, we also found that intracolumnar shape variation allowed differentiation between two sub regions of the crocodylian neck. Growth is subtly correlated with vertebral shape variation, predicting changes in both the vertebral centrum and the neural spine. Interestingly, the allometric scaling for the pooled sample is equivalently shared by each vertebra studied. However, there were significant taxonomic differences, both in the average shape of the entire neck configuration (regional variation) and by shape variation at each vertebral position (positional variation) among the necks. The average neck vertebra of crocodylids is characterized by a relatively cranio-caudally short neural arch, whereby the spine is relatively longer and pointed orthogonal to the frontal plane. Conversely, the average vertebra in alligatorids has cranio-caudally longer neural spine and arch, with a relatively (dorso-ventrally) shorter spine. At each vertebral position there are significant differences between alligatorids and crocodylids. We discuss that the delayed timing of neurocentral fusion in Alligatoridae possibly explains the observed taxonomic differences. PMID:24753482

  3. Quantitative mapping of pore fraction variations in silicon nitride using an ultrasonic contact scan technique

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roth, Don J.; Kiser, James D.; Swickard, Suzanne M.; Szatmary, Steven A.; Kerwin, David P.

    1993-01-01

    An ultrasonic scan procedure using the pulse-echo contact configuration was employed to obtain maps of pore fraction variations in sintered silicon nitride samples in terms of ultrasonic material properties. Ultrasonic velocity, attenuation coefficient, and reflection coefficient images were obtained simultaneously over a broad band of frequencies (e.g., 30 to 110 MHz) by using spectroscopic analysis. Liquid and membrane (dry) coupling techniques and longitudinal and shear-wave energies were used. The major results include the following: Ultrasonic velocity (longitudinal and shear wave) images revealed and correlated with the extent of average through-thickness pore fraction variations in the silicon nitride disks. Attenuation coefficient images revealed pore fraction nonuniformity due to the scattering that occurred at boundaries between regions of high and low pore fraction. Velocity and attenuation coefficient images were each nearly identical for machined and polished disks, making the method readily applicable to machined materials. Velocity images were similar for wet and membrane coupling. Maps of apparent Poisson's ratio constructed from longitudinal and shear-wave velocities quantified Poisson's ratio variations across a silicon nitride disk. Thermal wave images of a disk indicated transient thermal behavior variations that correlated with observed variations in pore fraction and velocity and attenuation coefficients.

  4. Influence of dominance, leptokurtosis and pleiotropy of deleterious mutations on quantitative genetic variation at mutation-selection balance.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xu-Sheng; Wang, Jinliang; Hill, William G

    2004-01-01

    In models of maintenance of genetic variance (V (G)) it has often been assumed that mutant alleles act additively. However, experimental data show that the dominance coefficient varies among mutant alleles and those of large effect tend to be recessive. On the basis of empirical knowledge of mutations, a joint-effect model of pleiotropic and real stabilizing selection that includes dominance is constructed and analyzed. It is shown that dominance can dramatically alter the prediction of equilibrium V (G). Analysis indicates that for the situations where mutations are more recessive for fitness than for a quantitative trait, as supported by the available data, the joint-effect model predicts a significantly higher V (G) than does an additive model. Importantly, for what seem to be realistic distributions of mutational effects (i.e., many mutants may not affect the quantitative trait substantially but are likely to affect fitness), the observed high levels of genetic variation in the quantitative trait under strong apparent stabilizing selection can be generated. This investigation supports the hypothesis that most V (G) comes from the alleles nearly neutral for fitness in heterozygotes while apparent stabilizing selection is contributed mainly by the alleles of large effect on the quantitative trait. Thus considerations of dominance coefficients of mutations lend further support to our previous conclusion that mutation-selection balance is a plausible mechanism of the maintenance of the genetic variance in natural populations. PMID:15020447

  5. Opposite risk patterns for autism and schizophrenia are associated with normal variation in birth size: phenotypic support for hypothesized diametric gene-dosage effects.

    PubMed

    Byars, Sean G; Stearns, Stephen C; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2014-11-01

    Opposite phenotypic and behavioural traits associated with copy number variation and disruptions to imprinted genes with parent-of-origin effects have led to the hypothesis that autism and schizophrenia share molecular risk factors and pathogenic mechanisms, but a direct phenotypic comparison of how their risks covary has not been attempted. Here, we use health registry data collected on Denmark's roughly 5 million residents between 1978 and 2009 to detect opposing risks of autism and schizophrenia depending on normal variation (mean ± 1 s.d.) in adjusted birth size, which we use as a proxy for diametric gene-dosage variation in utero. Above-average-sized babies (weight, 3691-4090 g; length, 52.8-54.3 cm) had significantly higher risk for autism spectrum (AS) and significantly lower risk for schizophrenia spectrum (SS) disorders. By contrast, below-average-sized babies (2891-3290 g; 49.7-51.2 cm) had significantly lower risk for AS and significantly higher risk for SS disorders. This is the first study directly comparing autism and schizophrenia risks in the same population, and provides the first large-scale empirical support for the hypothesis that diametric gene-dosage effects contribute to these disorders. Only the kinship theory of genomic imprinting predicts the opposing risk patterns that we discovered, suggesting that molecular research on mental disease risk would benefit from considering evolutionary theory. PMID:25232142

  6. Opposite risk patterns for autism and schizophrenia are associated with normal variation in birth size: phenotypic support for hypothesized diametric gene-dosage effects

    PubMed Central

    Byars, Sean G.; Stearns, Stephen C.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2014-01-01

    Opposite phenotypic and behavioural traits associated with copy number variation and disruptions to imprinted genes with parent-of-origin effects have led to the hypothesis that autism and schizophrenia share molecular risk factors and pathogenic mechanisms, but a direct phenotypic comparison of how their risks covary has not been attempted. Here, we use health registry data collected on Denmark's roughly 5 million residents between 1978 and 2009 to detect opposing risks of autism and schizophrenia depending on normal variation (mean ± 1 s.d.) in adjusted birth size, which we use as a proxy for diametric gene-dosage variation in utero. Above-average-sized babies (weight, 3691–4090 g; length, 52.8–54.3 cm) had significantly higher risk for autism spectrum (AS) and significantly lower risk for schizophrenia spectrum (SS) disorders. By contrast, below-average-sized babies (2891–3290 g; 49.7–51.2 cm) had significantly lower risk for AS and significantly higher risk for SS disorders. This is the first study directly comparing autism and schizophrenia risks in the same population, and provides the first large-scale empirical support for the hypothesis that diametric gene-dosage effects contribute to these disorders. Only the kinship theory of genomic imprinting predicts the opposing risk patterns that we discovered, suggesting that molecular research on mental disease risk would benefit from considering evolutionary theory. PMID:25232142

  7. Quantitative genetic analysis indicates natural selection on leaf phenotypes across wild tomato species (Solanum sect. Lycopersicon; Solanaceae).

    PubMed

    Muir, Christopher D; Pease, James B; Moyle, Leonie C

    2014-12-01

    Adaptive evolution requires both raw genetic material and an accessible path of high fitness from one fitness peak to another. In this study, we used an introgression line (IL) population to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) for leaf traits thought to be associated with adaptation to precipitation in wild tomatoes (Solanum sect. Lycopersicon; Solanaceae). A QTL sign test showed that several traits likely evolved under directional natural selection. Leaf traits correlated across species do not share a common genetic basis, consistent with a scenario in which selection maintains trait covariation unconstrained by pleiotropy or linkage disequilibrium. Two large effect QTL for stomatal distribution colocalized with key genes in the stomatal development pathway, suggesting promising candidates for the molecular bases of adaptation in these species. Furthermore, macroevolutionary transitions between vastly different stomatal distributions may not be constrained when such large-effect mutations are available. Finally, genetic correlations between stomatal traits measured in this study and data on carbon isotope discrimination from the same ILs support a functional hypothesis that the distribution of stomata affects the resistance to CO2 diffusion inside the leaf, a trait implicated in climatic adaptation in wild tomatoes. Along with evidence from previous comparative and experimental studies, this analysis indicates that leaf traits are an important component of climatic niche adaptation in wild tomatoes and demonstrates that some trait transitions between species could have involved few, large-effect genetic changes, allowing rapid responses to new environmental conditions. PMID:25298519

  8. Quantitative Genetic Analysis Indicates Natural Selection on Leaf Phenotypes Across Wild Tomato Species (Solanum sect. Lycopersicon; Solanaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Muir, Christopher D.; Pease, James B.; Moyle, Leonie C.

    2014-01-01

    Adaptive evolution requires both raw genetic material and an accessible path of high fitness from one fitness peak to another. In this study, we used an introgression line (IL) population to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) for leaf traits thought to be associated with adaptation to precipitation in wild tomatoes (Solanum sect. Lycopersicon; Solanaceae). A QTL sign test showed that several traits likely evolved under directional natural selection. Leaf traits correlated across species do not share a common genetic basis, consistent with a scenario in which selection maintains trait covariation unconstrained by pleiotropy or linkage disequilibrium. Two large effect QTL for stomatal distribution colocalized with key genes in the stomatal development pathway, suggesting promising candidates for the molecular bases of adaptation in these species. Furthermore, macroevolutionary transitions between vastly different stomatal distributions may not be constrained when such large-effect mutations are available. Finally, genetic correlations between stomatal traits measured in this study and data on carbon isotope discrimination from the same ILs support a functional hypothesis that the distribution of stomata affects the resistance to CO2 diffusion inside the leaf, a trait implicated in climatic adaptation in wild tomatoes. Along with evidence from previous comparative and experimental studies, this analysis indicates that leaf traits are an important component of climatic niche adaptation in wild tomatoes and demonstrates that some trait transitions between species could have involved few, large-effect genetic changes, allowing rapid responses to new environmental conditions. PMID:25298519

  9. Complex genetics controls natural variation among seed quality phenotypes in a recombinant inbred population of an interspecific cross between Solanum lycopersicum × Solanum pimpinellifolium.

    PubMed

    Kazmi, Rashid H; Khan, Noorullah; Willems, Leo A J; VAN Heusden, Adriaan W; Ligterink, Wilco; Hilhorst, Henk W M

    2012-05-01

    Seed quality in tomato is associated with many complex physiological and genetic traits. While plant processes are frequently controlled by the action of small- to large-effect genes that follow classic Mendelian inheritance, our study suggests that seed quality is primarily quantitative and genetically complex. Using a recombinant inbred line population of Solanum lycopersicum?×?Solanum pimpinellifolium, we identified quantitative trait loci (QTLs) influencing seed quality phenotypes under non-stress, as well as salt, osmotic, cold, high-temperature and oxidative stress conditions. In total, 42 seed quality traits were analysed and 120 QTLs were identified for germination traits under different conditions. Significant phenotypic correlations were observed between germination traits under optimal conditions, as well as under different stress conditions. In conclusion, one or more QTLs were identified for each trait with some of these QTLs co-locating. Co-location of QTLs for different traits can be an indication that a locus has pleiotropic effects on multiple traits due to a common mechanistic basis. However, several QTLs also dissected seed quality in its separate components, suggesting different physiological mechanisms and signalling pathways for different seed quality attributes. PMID:22074055

  10. A quantitative evaluation of microstructure by electron back-scattered diffraction pattern quality variations.

    PubMed

    Kang, Suk Hoon; Jin, Hyung-Ha; Jang, Jinsung; Choi, Yong Seok; Oh, Kyu Hwan; Foley, David C; Zhang, Xinghang

    2013-08-01

    Band contrast (BC) is a qualitative measure of electron back-scattered diffraction (EBSD), which is derived from the intensity of the Kikuchi bands. The BC is dependent upon several factors including scanning electron microscope measurement parameters, EBSD camera setup, and the specimen itself (lattice defect and grain orientation). In this study, the effective factors for BC variations and the feasibility of using BC variations for the quantification of microstructure evolutions have been investigated. In addition, the effects of the lattice defect and the grain orientation on the BC variations are studied. Next, a shear-deformed microstructure of 316L stainless steel, which contains nanosized grains and a large portion of twin boundaries, is revealed by BC map and histogram. Recovery and recrystallization of shear-deformed 316L stainless steel are displayed by BC variations during isothermal annealing at 700 and 800°C, respectively. It is observed that the BC turns bright as the shear-deformed crystal structure is recovered or recrystallized. PMID:23920181

  11. Quantitative Secretomic Analysis Identifies Extracellular Protein Factors That Modulate the Metastatic Phenotype of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

    PubMed

    Hu, Rongkuan; Huffman, Kenneth E; Chu, Michael; Zhang, Yajie; Minna, John D; Yu, Yonghao

    2016-02-01

    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for men and women in the United States, with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) representing 85% of all diagnoses. Late stage detection, metastatic disease and lack of actionable biomarkers contribute to the high mortality rate. Proteins in the extracellular space are known to be critically involved in regulating every stage of the pathogenesis of lung cancer. To investigate the mechanism by which secreted proteins contribute to the pathogenesis of NSCLC, we performed quantitative secretomic analysis of two isogenic NSCLC cell lines (NCI-H1993 and NCI-H2073) and an immortalized human bronchial epithelial cell line (HBEC3-KT) as control. H1993 was derived from a chemo-naïve metastatic tumor, while H2073 was derived from the primary tumor after etoposide/cisplatin therapy. From the conditioned media of these three cell lines, we identified and quantified 2713 proteins, including a series of proteins involved in regulating inflammatory response, programmed cell death and cell motion. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis indicates that a number of proteins overexpressed in H1993 media are involved in biological processes related to cancer metastasis, including cell motion, cell-cell adhesion and cell migration. RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knock down of a number of these proteins, including SULT2B1, CEACAM5, SPRR3, AGR2, S100P, and S100A14, leads to dramatically reduced migration of these cells. In addition, meta-analysis of survival data indicates NSCLC patients whose tumors express higher levels of several of these secreted proteins, including SULT2B1, CEACAM5, SPRR3, S100P, and S100A14, have a worse prognosis. Collectively, our results provide a potential molecular link between deregulated secretome and NSCLC cell migration/metastasis. In addition, the identification of these aberrantly secreted proteins might facilitate the development of biomarkers for early detection of this devastating disease. PMID:26736068

  12. In Vivo Quantitative Microvasculature Phenotype Imaging of Healthy and Malignant Tissues Using a Fiber-Optic Confocal Laser Microprobe1

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Ken Young; Maricevich, Marco; Bardeesy, Nabeel; Weissleder, Ralph; Mahmood, Umar

    2008-01-01

    Real-time in vivo imaging of the microvasculature may help both earlier clinical detection of disease and the understanding of tumor-host interaction at various stages of progression. In vivo confocal and multiphoton microscopy is often hampered by bulky optics setup and has limited access to internal organs. A fiber-optic setup avoids these limitations and offers great user maneuverability. We report here the in vivo validation of a fiber-optic confocal fluorescence microprobe imaging system. In addition, we developed an automated fractal-based image analysis to characterize microvascular morphology based on vessel diameter distribution, density, volume fraction, and fractal dimension from real-time data. The system is optimized for use in the far-red and near-infrared region. The flexible 1.5-mm-diameter fiber-optic bundle and microprobe enable great user maneuverability, with a field of view of 423 x 423 µm and a tissue penetration of up to 15 µm. Lateral and axial resolutions are 3.5 and 15 µm. We show that it is possible to obtain high temporal and spatial resolution images of virtually any abdominal viscera in situ using a far-red blood pool imaging probe. Using an orthotopic model of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, we characterized the tumor surface capillary and demonstrated that the imaging system and analysis can quantitatively differentiate between the normal and tumor surface capillary. This clinically approved fiber-optic system, together with the fractal-based image analysis, can potentially be applied to characterize other tumors in vivo and may be a valuable tool to facilitate their clinical evaluation. PMID:18633456

  13. Characterization of phenotype variations of luminescent and non-luminescent variants of Vibrio harveyi wild type and quorum sensing mutants.

    PubMed

    Hong, N T X; Baruah, K; Vanrompay, D; Bossier, P

    2016-03-01

    Vibrio harveyi, a luminescent Gram-negative motile marine bacterium, is an important pathogen responsible for causing severe diseases in shrimp, finfish and molluscs leading to severe economic losses. Non-luminescent V. harveyi obtained by culturing luminescent strains under static and dark condition were reported to alter the levels of virulence factors and metalloprotease gene and luxR expression when compared to their luminescent variants. Presently, we conducted an in vitro study aiming at the characterization of virulence-related phenotypic traits of the wild-type V. harveyi BB120 strain and its isogenic quorum sensing mutants before and after switching to the non-luminescent status. We measured the production of caseinase, haemolysin and elastase and examined swimming motility and biofilm formation. Our results showed that switching from the bioluminescent to the non-luminescent state changed the phenotypic physiology or behaviour of V. harveyi resulting in alterations in caseinase and haemolytic activities, swimming motility and biofilm formation. The switching capacity was to a large extent independent from the quorum sensing status, in that quorum sensing mutants were equally capable of making the phenotypic switch. PMID:25865123

  14. Consequences of recombination rate variation on quantitative trait locus mapping studies. Simulations based on the Drosophila melanogaster genome.

    PubMed Central

    Noor, M A; Cunningham, A L; Larkin, J C

    2001-01-01

    We examine the effect of variation in gene density per centimorgan on quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping studies using data from the Drosophila melanogaster genome project and documented regional rates of recombination. There is tremendous variation in gene density per centimorgan across this genome, and we observe that this variation can cause systematic biases in QTL mapping studies. Specifically, in our simulated mapping experiments of 50 equal-effect QTL distributed randomly across the physical genome, very strong QTL are consistently detected near the centromeres of the two major autosomes, and few or no QTL are often detected on the X chromosome. This pattern persisted with varying heritability, marker density, QTL effect sizes, and transgressive segregation. Our results are consistent with empirical data collected from QTL mapping studies of this species and its close relatives, and they explain the "small X-effect" that has been documented in genetic studies of sexual isolation in the D. melanogaster group. Because of the biases resulting from recombination rate variation, results of QTL mapping studies should be taken as hypotheses to be tested by additional genetic methods, particularly in species for which detailed genetic and physical genome maps are not available. PMID:11606535

  15. AstR-AstS, a new two-component signal transduction system, mediates swarming, adaptation to stationary phase and phenotypic variation in Photorhabdus luminescens.

    PubMed

    Derzelle, Sylviane; Ngo, Saravuth; Turlin, Evelyne; Duchaud, Eric; Namane, Abdelkader; Kunst, Frank; Danchin, Antoine; Bertin, Philippe; Charles, Jean-François

    2004-04-01

    Photorhabdus luminescens is an insect-pathogenic bacterium that forms a symbiosis with specific entomopathogenic nematodes. In this bacterium, a symbiosis-'deficient' phenotypic variant (known as the secondary variant or form II) arises at a low frequency during prolonged incubation. A knock-out mutant was generated of the regulator of a newly identified two-component regulatory system, designated AstR-AstS. Interestingly, this mutation altered the timing of phenotypic switching. Variant cells arose in the mutant strain several days before they did in the wild-type population, suggesting that AstRS is directly or indirectly involved in the genetic mechanism underlying variant cell formation. This mutation also affected motility and antibiotic synthesis. To identify AstRS-regulated genes, a comparative analysis using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis was performed. Seventeen proteins with modified synthesis in stationary phase were identified by mass spectrometry and shown to be involved in electron-transport systems, energy metabolism, iron acquisition and stress responses. The results imply that AstRS is involved in the adaptation of cells to the stationary phase, whilst negatively affecting the competitive advantage of form I cells. The link between AstRS-dependent stationary-phase adaptation and phenotypic variation is discussed. PMID:15073299

  16. Quantitative Genetics Identifies Cryptic Genetic Variation Involved in the Paternal Regulation of Seed Development

    PubMed Central

    Pires, Nuno D.; Bemer, Marian; Müller, Lena M.; Baroux, Célia; Spillane, Charles; Grossniklaus, Ueli

    2016-01-01

    Embryonic development requires a correct balancing of maternal and paternal genetic information. This balance is mediated by genomic imprinting, an epigenetic mechanism that leads to parent-of-origin-dependent gene expression. The parental conflict (or kinship) theory proposes that imprinting can evolve due to a conflict between maternal and paternal alleles over resource allocation during seed development. One assumption of this theory is that paternal alleles can regulate seed growth; however, paternal effects on seed size are often very low or non-existent. We demonstrate that there is a pool of cryptic genetic variation in the paternal control of Arabidopsis thaliana seed development. Such cryptic variation can be exposed in seeds that maternally inherit a medea mutation, suggesting that MEA acts as a maternal buffer of paternal effects. Genetic mapping using recombinant inbred lines, and a novel method for the mapping of parent-of-origin effects using whole-genome sequencing of segregant bulks, indicate that there are at least six loci with small, paternal effects on seed development. Together, our analyses reveal the existence of a pool of hidden genetic variation on the paternal control of seed development that is likely shaped by parental conflict. PMID:26811909

  17. Whole genome association study of brain-wide imaging phenotypes for identifying quantitative trait loci in MCI and AD: A study of the ADNI cohort.

    PubMed

    Shen, Li; Kim, Sungeun; Risacher, Shannon L; Nho, Kwangsik; Swaminathan, Shanker; West, John D; Foroud, Tatiana; Pankratz, Nathan; Moore, Jason H; Sloan, Chantel D; Huentelman, Matthew J; Craig, David W; Dechairo, Bryan M; Potkin, Steven G; Jack, Clifford R; Weiner, Michael W; Saykin, Andrew J

    2010-11-15

    A genome-wide, whole brain approach to investigate genetic effects on neuroimaging phenotypes for identifying quantitative trait loci is described. The Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative 1.5 T MRI and genetic dataset was investigated using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and FreeSurfer parcellation followed by genome-wide association studies (GWAS). One hundred forty-two measures of grey matter (GM) density, volume, and cortical thickness were extracted from baseline scans. GWAS, using PLINK, were performed on each phenotype using quality-controlled genotype and scan data including 530,992 of 620,903 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 733 of 818 participants (175 AD, 354 amnestic mild cognitive impairment, MCI, and 204 healthy controls, HC). Hierarchical clustering and heat maps were used to analyze the GWAS results and associations are reported at two significance thresholds (p<10(-7) and p<10(-6)). As expected, SNPs in the APOE and TOMM40 genes were confirmed as markers strongly associated with multiple brain regions. Other top SNPs were proximal to the EPHA4, TP63 and NXPH1 genes. Detailed image analyses of rs6463843 (flanking NXPH1) revealed reduced global and regional GM density across diagnostic groups in TT relative to GG homozygotes. Interaction analysis indicated that AD patients homozygous for the T allele showed differential vulnerability to right hippocampal GM density loss. NXPH1 codes for a protein implicated in promotion of adhesion between dendrites and axons, a key factor in synaptic integrity, the loss of which is a hallmark of AD. A genome-wide, whole brain search strategy has the potential to reveal novel candidate genes and loci warranting further investigation and replication. PMID:20100581

  18. Quantitation of fixative-induced morphologic and antigenic variation in mouse and human breast cancers.

    PubMed

    Cardiff, Robert D; Hubbard, Neil E; Engelberg, Jesse A; Munn, Robert J; Miller, Claramae H; Walls, Judith E; Chen, Jane Q; Velásquez-García, Héctor A; Galvez, Jose J; Bell, Katie J; Beckett, Laurel A; Li, Yue-Ju; Borowsky, Alexander D

    2013-04-01

    Quantitative Image Analysis (QIA) of digitized whole slide images for morphometric parameters and immunohistochemistry of breast cancer antigens was used to evaluate the technical reproducibility, biological variability, and intratumoral heterogeneity in three transplantable mouse mammary tumor models of human breast cancer. The relative preservation of structure and immunogenicity of the three mouse models and three human breast cancers was also compared when fixed with representatives of four distinct classes of fixatives. The three mouse mammary tumor cell models were an ER+/PR+ model (SSM2), a Her2+ model (NDL), and a triple negative model (MET1). The four breast cancer antigens were ER, PR, Her2, and Ki67. The fixatives included examples of (1) strong cross-linkers, (2) weak cross-linkers, (3) coagulants, and (4) combination fixatives. Each parameter was quantitatively analyzed using modified Aperio Technologies ImageScope algorithms. Careful pre-analytical adjustments to the algorithms were required to provide accurate results. The QIA permitted rigorous statistical analysis of results and grading by rank order. The analyses suggested excellent technical reproducibility and confirmed biological heterogeneity within each tumor. The strong cross-linker fixatives, such as formalin, consistently ranked higher than weak cross-linker, coagulant and combination fixatives in both the morphometric and immunohistochemical parameters. PMID:23399853

  19. Worm variation made accessible

    PubMed Central

    Snoek, L Basten; Joeri van der Velde, K; Li, Yang; Jansen, Ritsert C; Swertz, Morris A; Kammenga, Jan E

    2014-01-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, the recent advances in high-throughput quantitative analyses of natural genetic and phenotypic variation have led to a wealth of data on genotype phenotype relations. This data has resulted in the discovery of genes with major allelic effects and insights in the effect of natural genetic variation on a whole range of complex traits as well as how this variation is distributed across the genome. Regardless of the advances presented in specific studies, the majority of the data generated in these studies had yet to be made easily accessible, allowing for meta-analysis. Not only data in figures or tables but meta-data should be accessible for further investigation and comparison between studies. A platform was created where all the data, phenotypic measurements, genotypes, and mappings can be stored, compared, and new linkages within and between published studies can be discovered. WormQTL focuses on quantitative genetics in Caenorhabditis and other nematode species, whereas WormQTLHD quantitatively links gene expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in C. elegans to gene–disease associations in humans. PMID:24843834

  20. Rapid and Inexpensive Screening of Genomic Copy Number Variations Using a Novel Quantitative Fluorescent PCR Method

    PubMed Central

    Han, Joan C.; Elsea, Sarah H.; Pena, Heloísa B.; Pena, Sérgio Danilo Junho

    2013-01-01

    Detection of human microdeletion and microduplication syndromes poses significant burden on public healthcare systems in developing countries. With genome-wide diagnostic assays frequently inaccessible, targeted low-cost PCR-based approaches are preferred. However, their reproducibility depends on equally efficient amplification using a number of target and control primers. To address this, the recently described technique called Microdeletion/Microduplication Quantitative Fluorescent PCR (MQF-PCR) was shown to reliably detect four human syndromes by quantifying DNA amplification in an internally controlled PCR reaction. Here, we confirm its utility in the detection of eight human microdeletion syndromes, including the more common WAGR, Smith-Magenis, and Potocki-Lupski syndromes with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity. We present selection, design, and performance evaluation of detection primers using variety of approaches. We conclude that MQF-PCR is an easily adaptable method for detection of human pathological chromosomal aberrations. PMID:24288428

  1. Quantitative Analysis of Competition in Posttranscriptional Regulation Reveals a Novel Signature in Target Expression Variation

    PubMed Central

    Klironomos, Filippos D.; Berg, Johannes

    2013-01-01

    When small RNAs are loaded onto Argonaute proteins they can form the RNA-induced silencing complexes (RISCs), which mediate RNA interference (RNAi). RISC-formation is dependent on a shared pool of Argonaute proteins and RISC-loading factors, and is susceptible to competition among small RNAs. We present a mathematical model that aims to understand how small RNA competition for RISC-formation affects target gene repression. We discuss that small RNA activity is limited by RISC-formation, RISC-degradation, and the availability of Argonautes. We show that different competition conditions for RISC-loading result in different signatures of RNAi determined also by the amount of RISC-recycling taking place. In particular, we find that the small RNAs, although less efficient at RISC-formation, can perform in the low RISC-recycling range as well as their more effective counterparts. Additionally, we predict that under conditions of low RISC-loading efficiency and high RISC-recycling, the variation in target levels increases linearly with the target transcription rate. Furthermore, we show that RISC-recycling determines the effect that Argonaute scarcity conditions have on target expression variation. Our observations, taken together, offer a framework of predictions that can be used to infer from data the particular characteristics of underlying RNAi activity. PMID:23442974

  2. The cost of keeping eggs fresh: quantitative genetic variation in females that mate late relative to sexual maturation.

    PubMed

    Moore, Patricia J; Harris, W Edwin; Moore, Allen J

    2007-03-01

    In many species, females abandon mate choice to ensure that eggs are fertilized before they are lost. But why do females not just maintain oocytes longer if there is a benefit to mate choice? We conducted a quantitative genetic study in the cockroach Nauphoeta cinerea to test whether genetic constraints prevent the evolution of oocyte maintenance or selection against oocyte loss is weak when females mate late relative to sexual maturity. We found standing genetic variation within the population and no evidence for genetic constraints. Levels of genetic variation are of the magnitude found for life-history traits in general, suggesting that this trait has been exposed to selection. We unexpectedly found two categories of females: those that delay reproduction and those that reproduce at a normal time when mating late, which could indicate alternative strategies. However, frequency-dependent selection does not maintain this variation as females that delay always reproduce less well. Given these findings, we suggest that there may be advantages to egg degradation. The evolution of maintenance of fertilizable oocytes over time would then be constrained by the need to maintain the mechanism by which females control the distribution of resources between current and future reproductive events. PMID:17243076

  3. Major gene analysis of quantitative variation in blood clotting factor X levels.

    PubMed Central

    Siervogel, R M; Elston, R C; Lester, R H; Graham, J B

    1979-01-01

    Blood clotting factor ten (X) levels measured in 149 people in six pedigrees were found to fit a mixture of normal distributions. No environmental effect could be identified to account for the wide separation in the means of these distributions. Pedigree analysis reveals that the data are compatible with an autosomal, one locus, two allele genetic model affecting factor X activity. Goodness of fit tests suggest that the allele for low levels of factor X is dominant, though on the basis of likelihood tests, mean heterozygote levels are different from mean homozygote levels. A similar bimodal distribution for factor X levels observed previously in a separate sample of 207 young men, indicated that the proposed dominant allele has an estimated population gene frequency of .53. The earlier estimate is remarkably similar to that obtained with the currently ascertained pedigrees. The postulated major gene accounts for more than half of the variation in factor X levels. PMID:453203

  4. Sequence Variation of Human Papillomavirus Type 16 and Measurement of Viral Integration by Quantitative PCR?

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Mingjun; Baseman, Janet G.; Koutsky, Laura A.; Feng, Qinghua; Mao, Constance; Kiviat, Nancy B.; Xi, Long Fu

    2009-01-01

    Given that the integration of human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) into the host genome occurs preferentially with the disruption of the E2 gene, a ratio of E2 to E7 gene copies is often used as a marker for integration. It is largely undetermined, however, whether ratio estimates are affected by HPV intratypic variations. We assembled four plasmid constructs, each containing a DNA fragment from an HPV16 European, Asian-American, African-1, or African-2 variant. These constructs and nine cervical swab samples were assayed by real-time PCR with two primer-probe sets for each gene: a specific set, fully complementary to the HPV16 prototype, and a degenerate set, incorporating degenerate bases at positions where nucleotides differed among the variants. The ratio of E2 to E7 gene copies for the European variant construct was close to 1, no matter which sets of primers and probes were used. While the ratios for the African-1 and Asian-American variant constructs remained close to 1 with the degenerate sets of primers and probes, the ratios were 0.36 and 2.57, respectively, with the specific sets of primers and probes. In addition, a nucleotide alteration at the position immediately following the 3? end of the E2 forward primer binding site was found to be responsible for an underestimation of E2 gene copies for the African-2 variant construct. Similar patterns were found in nine cervical samples. In conclusion, mismatches between the primers and probes and their targets due to HPV16 intratypic variations would introduce errors in testing for integration; this situation can be sufficiently ameliorated by incorporating degenerate bases into the primers and probes. PMID:19116350

  5. Quantitative mapping of a digenic behavioral trait implicates globin variation in C. elegans sensory behaviors.

    PubMed

    McGrath, Patrick T; Rockman, Matthew V; Zimmer, Manuel; Jang, Heeun; Macosko, Evan Z; Kruglyak, Leonid; Bargmann, Cornelia I

    2009-03-12

    Most heritable behavioral traits have a complex genetic basis, but few multigenic traits are understood at a molecular level. Here we show that the C. elegans strains N2 and CB4856 have opposite behavioral responses to simultaneous changes in environmental O(2) and CO(2). We identify two quantitative trait loci (QTL) that affect this trait and map each QTL to a single-gene polymorphism. One gene, npr-1, encodes a previously described neuropeptide receptor whose high activity in N2 promotes CO(2) avoidance. The second gene, glb-5, encodes a neuronal globin domain protein whose high activity in CB4856 modifies behavioral responses to O(2) and combined O(2)/CO(2) stimuli. glb-5 acts in O(2)-sensing neurons to increase O(2)-evoked calcium signals, implicating globins in sensory signaling. An analysis of wild C. elegans strains indicates that the N2 alleles of npr-1 and glb-5 arose recently in the same strain background, possibly as an adaptation to laboratory conditions. PMID:19285466

  6. Minimizing technical variation during sample preparation prior to label-free quantitative mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Scheerlinck, E; Dhaenens, M; Van Soom, A; Peelman, L; De Sutter, P; Van Steendam, K; Deforce, D

    2015-12-01

    Sample preparation is the crucial starting point to obtain high-quality mass spectrometry data and can be divided into two main steps in a bottom-up proteomics approach: cell/tissue lysis with or without detergents and a(n) (in-solution) digest comprising denaturation, reduction, alkylation, and digesting of the proteins. Here, some important considerations, among others, are that the reagents used for sample preparation can inhibit the digestion enzyme (e.g., 0.1% sodium dodecyl sulfate [SDS] and 0.5 M guanidine HCl), give rise to ion suppression (e.g., polyethylene glycol [PEG]), be incompatible with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) (e.g., SDS), and can induce additional modifications (e.g., urea). Taken together, all of these irreproducible effects are gradually becoming a problem when label-free quantitation of the samples is envisioned such as during the increasingly popular high-definition mass spectrometry (HDMS(E)) and sequential window acquisition of all theoretical fragment ion spectra (SWATH) data-independent acquisition strategies. Here, we describe the detailed validation of a reproducible method with sufficient protein yield for sample preparation without any known LC-MS/MS interfering substances by using 1% sodium deoxycholate (SDC) during both cell lysis and in-solution digest. PMID:26302362

  7. Conflicting selection from fire and seed predation drives fine-scaled phenotypic variation in a widespread North American conifer

    PubMed Central

    Talluto, Matthew V.; Benkman, Craig W.

    2014-01-01

    Recent work has demonstrated that evolutionary processes shape ecological dynamics on relatively short timescales (eco-evolutionary dynamics), but demonstrating these effects at large spatial scales in natural landscapes has proven difficult. We used empirical studies and modeling to investigate how selective pressures from fire and predispersal seed predation affect the evolution of serotiny, an ecologically important trait. Serotiny is a highly heritable key reproductive trait in Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta subsp. latifolia), a conifer that dominates millions of hectares in western North America. In these forests, the frequency of serotiny determines postfire seedling density with corresponding community- and ecosystem-level effects. We found that serotinous individuals have a selective advantage at high fire frequencies and low predation pressure; however, very high seed predation shifted the selective advantage to nonserotinous individuals even at high fire frequencies. Simulation modeling suggests that spatial variation in the frequency of serotiny results from heterogeneity in these two selective agents. These results, combined with previous findings showing a negative association between the density of seed predators and the frequency of serotiny at both landscape and continental scales, demonstrate that contemporary patterns in serotiny reflect an evolutionary response to conflicting selection pressures from fire and seed predation. Thus, we show that variation in the frequency of a heritable polygenic trait depends on spatial variation in two dominant selective agents, and, importantly, the effects of the local trait variation propagate with profound consequences to the structure and function of communities and ecosystems across a large landscape. PMID:24979772

  8. Conflicting selection from fire and seed predation drives fine-scaled phenotypic variation in a widespread North American conifer.

    PubMed

    Talluto, Matthew V; Benkman, Craig W

    2014-07-01

    Recent work has demonstrated that evolutionary processes shape ecological dynamics on relatively short timescales (eco-evolutionary dynamics), but demonstrating these effects at large spatial scales in natural landscapes has proven difficult. We used empirical studies and modeling to investigate how selective pressures from fire and predispersal seed predation affect the evolution of serotiny, an ecologically important trait. Serotiny is a highly heritable key reproductive trait in Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta subsp. latifolia), a conifer that dominates millions of hectares in western North America. In these forests, the frequency of serotiny determines postfire seedling density with corresponding community- and ecosystem-level effects. We found that serotinous individuals have a selective advantage at high fire frequencies and low predation pressure; however, very high seed predation shifted the selective advantage to nonserotinous individuals even at high fire frequencies. Simulation modeling suggests that spatial variation in the frequency of serotiny results from heterogeneity in these two selective agents. These results, combined with previous findings showing a negative association between the density of seed predators and the frequency of serotiny at both landscape and continental scales, demonstrate that contemporary patterns in serotiny reflect an evolutionary response to conflicting selection pressures from fire and seed predation. Thus, we show that variation in the frequency of a heritable polygenic trait depends on spatial variation in two dominant selective agents, and, importantly, the effects of the local trait variation propagate with profound consequences to the structure and function of communities and ecosystems across a large landscape. PMID:24979772

  9. Rainfall can explain adaptive phenotypic variation with high gene flow in the New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae)

    PubMed Central

    Myers, Steven A; Donnellan, Stephen; Kleindorfer, Sonia

    2012-01-01

    Identifying environmentally driven changes in traits that serve an ecological function is essential for predicting evolutionary outcomes of climate change. We examined population genetic structure, sex-specific dispersal patterns, and morphology in relation to rainfall patterns across an island and three peninsulas in South Australia. The study system was the New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae), a nectarivorous passerine that is a key pollinator species. We predicted that rainfall-related mechanisms would be driving local adaptation of morphological traits, such that in areas of lower rainfall, where nectar is less available, more insectivorous traits – shorter, deeper bills, longer tarsi, and longer wings – would be favored. The study populations differed in phenotype across the Eyre, Yorke, and Fleurieu Peninsulas and Kangaroo Island despite high gene flow (single continuous population) and sex-biased dispersal (males were philopatric and females dispersed). We tested the role of rainfall in shaping the observed phenotypic differences, and found strong support for our predicted relationships: birds in areas of higher rainfall had higher condition indices, as well as longer bill-head length, deeper bills, and shorter tarsi. Bill depth in males in high-rainfall sites showed signals of stabilizing selection, suggesting local adaptation. In addition to these local indications of selection, a global pattern of directional selection toward larger size for bill-head length, bill-nostril length, and wing length was also observed. We suggest this pattern may reflect an adaptive response to the relatively dry conditions that South Australia has experienced over the last decade. We conclude that rainfall has shaped aspects of phenology in P. novaehollandiae, both locally, with different patterns of stabilizing and directional selection, and globally, with evidence of adaptive divergence at a landscape scale. PMID:23145327

  10. Rainfall can explain adaptive phenotypic variation with high gene flow in the New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae).

    PubMed

    Myers, Steven A; Donnellan, Stephen; Kleindorfer, Sonia

    2012-10-01

    Identifying environmentally driven changes in traits that serve an ecological function is essential for predicting evolutionary outcomes of climate change. We examined population genetic structure, sex-specific dispersal patterns, and morphology in relation to rainfall patterns across an island and three peninsulas in South Australia. The study system was the New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae), a nectarivorous passerine that is a key pollinator species. We predicted that rainfall-related mechanisms would be driving local adaptation of morphological traits, such that in areas of lower rainfall, where nectar is less available, more insectivorous traits - shorter, deeper bills, longer tarsi, and longer wings - would be favored. The study populations differed in phenotype across the Eyre, Yorke, and Fleurieu Peninsulas and Kangaroo Island despite high gene flow (single continuous population) and sex-biased dispersal (males were philopatric and females dispersed). We tested the role of rainfall in shaping the observed phenotypic differences, and found strong support for our predicted relationships: birds in areas of higher rainfall had higher condition indices, as well as longer bill-head length, deeper bills, and shorter tarsi. Bill depth in males in high-rainfall sites showed signals of stabilizing selection, suggesting local adaptation. In addition to these local indications of selection, a global pattern of directional selection toward larger size for bill-head length, bill-nostril length, and wing length was also observed. We suggest this pattern may reflect an adaptive response to the relatively dry conditions that South Australia has experienced over the last decade. We conclude that rainfall has shaped aspects of phenology in P. novaehollandiae, both locally, with different patterns of stabilizing and directional selection, and globally, with evidence of adaptive divergence at a landscape scale. PMID:23145327

  11. Phenotypic variation as an indicator of pesticide stress in gudgeon: Accounting for confounding factors in the wild.

    PubMed

    Shinn, Cândida; Blanchet, Simon; Loot, Géraldine; Lek, Sovan; Grenouillet, Gaël

    2015-12-15

    The response of organisms to environmental stress is currently used in the assessment of ecosystem health. Morphological changes integrate the multiple effects of one or several stress factors upon the development of the exposed organisms. In a natural environment, many factors determine the patterns of morphological differentiation between individuals. However, few studies have sought to distinguish and measure the independent effect of these factors (genetic diversity and structure, spatial structuring of populations, physical-chemical conditions, etc.). Here we investigated the relationship between pesticide levels measured at 11 sites sampled in rivers of the Garonne river basin (SW France) and morphological changes of a freshwater fish species, the gudgeon (Gobio gobio). Each individual sampled was genotyped using 8 microsatellite markers and their phenotype characterized via 17 morphological traits. Our analysis detected a link between population genetic structure (revealed by a Bayesian method) and morphometry (linear discriminant analysis) of the studied populations. We then developed an original method based on general linear models using distance matrices, an extension of the partial Mantel test beyond 3 matrices. This method was used to test the relationship between contamination (toxicity index) and morphometry (PST of morphometric traits), taking into account (1) genetic differentiation between populations (FST), (2) geographical distances between sites, (3) site catchment area, and (4) various physical-chemical parameters for each sampling site. Upon removal of confounding effects, 3 of the 17 morphological traits studied were significantly correlated with pesticide toxicity, suggesting a response of these traits to the anthropogenic stress. These results underline the importance of taking into account the different sources of phenotypic variability between organisms when identifying the stress factors involved. The separation and quantification of the independent effect of such factors provides an interesting outlook regarding the use of these evaluation metrics as indicators of ecosystem health. PMID:26327641

  12. Burkholderia cenocepacia Phenotypic Clonal Variation during a 3.5-Year Colonization in the Lungs of a Cystic Fibrosis Patient ?

    PubMed Central

    Coutinho, Carla P.; de Carvalho, Carla C. C. R.; Madeira, Andreia; Pinto-de-Oliveira, Ana; Sá-Correia, Isabel

    2011-01-01

    Chronic lung infection is the major cause of morbidity and premature mortality in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Bacteria of the Burkholderia cepacia complex are the most threatening pathogens in CF, and a better understanding of how these bacteria adapt to the CF airway environment and resist the host defense mechanisms and therapeutically administered antibiotics is crucial. To provide clues to the adaptive strategies adopted by Burkholderia cenocepacia during long-term colonization, we carried out a phenotypic assessment of 11 clonal variants obtained at the major Portuguese CF Center in Lisbon from sputa of the same CF patient during 3.5 years of colonization of the lungs, until the patient's death with cepacia syndrome. Phenotypic characterization included susceptibility assays against different classes of antimicrobials and characterization of cell motility, cell hydrophobicity and zeta potential, colony and cell morphology, fatty acid composition, growth under iron limitation/load conditions, exopolysaccharide production, and size of the biofilms formed. The results suggest the occurrence of clonal expansion during long-term colonization. For a number of the characteristics tested, no isolation time-dependent consistent alteration pattern could be identified. However, the values for antimicrobial susceptibility and swarming motility for the first B. cenocepacia isolate, thought to have initiated the infection, were consistently above those for the clonal variants obtained during the course of infection, and the opposite was found for the zeta potential. The adaptive strategy for long-term colonization, described here for the first time, involved the alteration of membrane fatty acid composition, in particular a reduction of the degree of fatty acid saturation, in the B. cenocepacia variants retrieved, along with the deterioration of pulmonary function and severe oxygen limitation. PMID:21536796

  13. Genome-wide quantitative assessment of variation in DNA methylation patterns

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Hehuang; Wang, Min; de Andrade, Alexandre; de F. Bonaldo, Maria; Galat, Vasil; Arndt, Kelly; Rajaram, Veena; Goldman, Stewart; Tomita, Tadanori; Soares, Marcelo B.

    2011-01-01

    Genomic DNA methylation contributes substantively to transcriptional regulations that underlie mammalian development and cellular differentiation. Much effort has been made to decipher the molecular mechanisms governing the establishment and maintenance of DNA methylation patterns. However, little is known about genome-wide variation of DNA methylation patterns. In this study, we introduced the concept of methylation entropy, a measure of the randomness of DNA methylation patterns in a cell population, and exploited it to assess the variability in DNA methylation patterns of Alu repeats and promoters. A few interesting observations were made: (i) within a cell population, methylation entropy varies among genomic loci; (ii) among cell populations, the methylation entropies of most genomic loci remain constant; (iii) compared to normal tissue controls, some tumors exhibit greater methylation entropies; (iv) Alu elements with high methylation entropy are associated with high GC content but depletion of CpG dinucleotides and (v) Alu elements in the intronic regions or far from CpG islands are associated with low methylation entropy. We further identified 12 putative allelic-specific methylated genomic loci, including four Alu elements and eight promoters. Lastly, using subcloned normal fibroblast cells, we demonstrated the highly variable methylation patterns are resulted from low fidelity of DNA methylation inheritance. PMID:21278160

  14. Quantitative estimation of Holocene surface salinity variation in the Black Sea using dinoflagellate cyst process length

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mertens, Kenneth Neil; Bradley, Lee R.; Takano, Yoshihito; Mudie, Petra J.; Marret, Fabienne; Aksu, Ali E.; Hiscott, Richard N.; Verleye, Thomas J.; Mousing, Erik A.; Smyrnova, Ludmila L.; Bagheri, Siamak; Mansor, Mashhor; Pospelova, Vera; Matsuoka, Kazumi

    2012-04-01

    Reconstruction of salinity in the Holocene Black Sea has been an ongoing debate over the past four decades. Here we calibrate summer surface water salinity in the Black Sea, Sea of Azov and Caspian Sea with the process length of the dinoflagellate cyst Lingulodinium machaerophorum. We then apply this calibration to make a regional reconstruction of paleosalinity in the Black Sea, calculated by averaging out process length variation observed at four core sites from the Black Sea with high sedimentation rates and dated by multiple mollusk shell ages. Results show a very gradual change of salinity from ˜14 ± 0.91 psu around 9.9 cal ka BP to a minimum ˜12.3 ± 0.91 psu around 8.5 cal ka BP, reaching current salinities of ˜17.1 ± 0.91 psu around 4.1 cal ka BP. The resolution of our sampling is about 250 years, and it fails to reveal a catastrophic salinization event at ˜9.14 cal ka BP advocated by other researchers. The dinoflagellate cyst salinity-proxy does not record large Holocene salinity fluctuations, and after early Holocene freshening, it shows correspondence to the regional sea-level curve of Brückner et al. (2010) derived from Balabanov (2007).

  15. Cranial Ontogeny in Stegoceras validum (Dinosauria: Pachycephalosauria): A Quantitative Model of Pachycephalosaur Dome Growth and Variation

    PubMed Central

    Schott, Ryan K.; Evans, David C.; Goodwin, Mark B.; Horner, John R.; Brown, Caleb Marshall; Longrich, Nicholas R.

    2011-01-01

    Historically, studies of pachycephalosaurs have recognized plesiomorphically flat-headed taxa and apomorphically domed taxa. More recently, it has been suggested that the expression of the frontoparietal dome is ontogenetic and derived from a flat-headed juvenile morphology. However, strong evidence to support this hypothesis has been lacking. Here we test this hypothesis in a large, stratigraphically constrained sample of specimens assigned to Stegoceras validum, the best known pachycephalosaur, using multiple independent lines of evidence including conserved morphology of ornamentation, landmark-based allometric analyses of frontoparietal shape, and cranial bone histology. New specimens show that the diagnostic ornamentation of the parietosquamosal bar is conserved throughout the size range of the sample, which links flat-headed specimens to domed S. validum. High-resolution CT scans of three frontoparietals reveal that vascularity decreases with size and document a pattern that is consistent with previously proposed histological changes during growth. Furthermore, aspects of dome shape and size are strongly correlated and indicative of ontogenetic growth. These results are complementary and strongly support the hypothesis that the sample represents a growth series of a single taxon. Cranial dome growth is positively allometric, proceeds from a flat-headed to a domed state, and confirms the synonymy of Ornatotholus browni as a juvenile Stegoceras. This dataset serves as the first detailed model of growth and variation in a pachycephalosaur. Flat-headed juveniles possess three characters (externally open cranial sutures, tuberculate dorsal surface texture, and open supratemporal fenestrae) that are reduced or eliminated during ontogeny. These characters also occur in putative flat-headed taxa, suggesting that they may also represent juveniles of domed taxa. However, open cranial sutures and supratemporal fenestrae are plesiomorphic within Ornithischia, and thus should be expected in the adult stage of a primitive pachycephalosaur. Additional lines of evidence will be needed to resolve the taxonomic validity of flat-headed pachycephalosaur taxa. PMID:21738608

  16. The effect of variation in physical properties of porous bioactive glass on the expression and maintenance of the osteoblastic phenotype

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Effah Kaufmann, Elsie Akosua Biraa

    Revision surgery to replace failed hip implants is a significant health care issue that is expected to escalate as life expectancy increases. A major goal of revision surgery is to reconstruct femoral intramedullary bone-stock loss. To address this problem of bone loss, grafting techniques are widely used. Although fresh autografts remain the optimal material for all forms of surgery seeking to restore structural integrity to the skeleton, it is evident that the supply of such tissue is limited. In recent years, calcium phosphate ceramics have been studied as alternatives to autografts and allografts. The significant limitations associated with the use of biological and synthetic grafts have led to a growing interest in the in vitro synthesis of bone tissue. The approach is to synthesize bone tissue in vitro with the patient's own cells, and use this tissue for the repair of bony defects. Various substrates including metals, polymers, calcium phosphate ceramics and bioactive glasses, have been seeded with osteogenic cells. The selection of bioactive glass in this study is based on the fact that this material has shown an intense beneficial biological effect which has not been reproduced by other biomaterials. Even though the literature provides extensive data on the effect of pore size and porosity on in vivo bone tissue ingrowth into porous materials for joint prosthesis fixation, the data from past studies cannot be applied to the use of bioactive glass as a substrate for the in vitro synthesis of bone tissue. First, unlike the in vivo studies in the literature, this research deals with the growth of bone tissue in vitro. Second, unlike the implants used in past studies, bioactive glass is a degradable and resorbable material. Thus, in order to establish optimal substrate characteristics (porosity and pore size) for bioactive glass, it was important to study these parameters in an in vitro model. We synthesized porous bioactive glass substrates (BG) with varying pore sizes and porosity and determined the effect of substrate properties on the expression and maintenance of the osteoblastic phenotype, using an in vitro culture of osteoblast-like cells. Our data showed that porous bioactive glass substrates support the proliferation and maturation of osteoblast-like cells. Within the conditions of the experiment, we also found that at a given porosity of 44% the pore size of bioactive glass neither directs nor modulates the in vitro expression of the osteoblastic phenotype. On the other hand, at an average pore size of 92 mum, when cultures are maintained for 14 days, cell activity is greatly affected by the substrate porosity. As the porosity increases from 35% to 59%, osteoblast activity is adversely affected. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

  17. Variations in dysfunction of sister chromatid cohesion in esco2 mutant zebrafish reflect the phenotypic diversity of Roberts syndrome.

    PubMed

    Percival, Stefanie M; Thomas, Holly R; Amsterdam, Adam; Carroll, Andrew J; Lees, Jacqueline A; Yost, H Joseph; Parant, John M

    2015-08-01

    Mutations in ESCO2, one of two establishment of cohesion factors necessary for proper sister chromatid cohesion (SCC), cause a spectrum of developmental defects in the autosomal-recessive disorder Roberts syndrome (RBS), warranting in vivo analysis of the consequence of cohesion dysfunction. Through a genetic screen in zebrafish targeting embryonic-lethal mutants that have increased genomic instability, we have identified an esco2 mutant zebrafish. Utilizing the natural transparency of zebrafish embryos, we have developed a novel technique to observe chromosome dynamics within a single cell during mitosis in a live vertebrate embryo. Within esco2 mutant embryos, we observed premature chromatid separation, a unique chromosome scattering, prolonged mitotic delay, and genomic instability in the form of anaphase bridges and micronuclei formation. Cytogenetic studies indicated complete chromatid separation and high levels of aneuploidy within mutant embryos. Amongst aneuploid spreads, we predominantly observed decreases in chromosome number, suggesting that either cells with micronuclei or micronuclei themselves are eliminated. We also demonstrated that the genomic instability leads to p53-dependent neural tube apoptosis. Surprisingly, although many cells required Esco2 to establish cohesion, 10-20% of cells had only weakened cohesion in the absence of Esco2, suggesting that compensatory cohesion mechanisms exist in these cells that undergo a normal mitotic division. These studies provide a unique in vivo vertebrate view of the mitotic defects and consequences of cohesion establishment loss, and they provide a compensation-based model to explain the RBS phenotypes. PMID:26044958

  18. Variations in dysfunction of sister chromatid cohesion in esco2 mutant zebrafish reflect the phenotypic diversity of Roberts syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Percival, Stefanie M.; Thomas, Holly R.; Amsterdam, Adam; Carroll, Andrew J.; Lees, Jacqueline A.; Yost, H. Joseph; Parant, John M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Mutations in ESCO2, one of two establishment of cohesion factors necessary for proper sister chromatid cohesion (SCC), cause a spectrum of developmental defects in the autosomal-recessive disorder Roberts syndrome (RBS), warranting in vivo analysis of the consequence of cohesion dysfunction. Through a genetic screen in zebrafish targeting embryonic-lethal mutants that have increased genomic instability, we have identified an esco2 mutant zebrafish. Utilizing the natural transparency of zebrafish embryos, we have developed a novel technique to observe chromosome dynamics within a single cell during mitosis in a live vertebrate embryo. Within esco2 mutant embryos, we observed premature chromatid separation, a unique chromosome scattering, prolonged mitotic delay, and genomic instability in the form of anaphase bridges and micronuclei formation. Cytogenetic studies indicated complete chromatid separation and high levels of aneuploidy within mutant embryos. Amongst aneuploid spreads, we predominantly observed decreases in chromosome number, suggesting that either cells with micronuclei or micronuclei themselves are eliminated. We also demonstrated that the genomic instability leads to p53-dependent neural tube apoptosis. Surprisingly, although many cells required Esco2 to establish cohesion, 10-20% of cells had only weakened cohesion in the absence of Esco2, suggesting that compensatory cohesion mechanisms exist in these cells that undergo a normal mitotic division. These studies provide a unique in vivo vertebrate view of the mitotic defects and consequences of cohesion establishment loss, and they provide a compensation-based model to explain the RBS phenotypes. PMID:26044958

  19. Quantitative Monitoring for Enhanced Geothermal Systems Using Double-Difference Waveform Inversion with Spatially-Variant Total-Variation Regularization

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Youzuo; Huang, Lianjie; Zhang, Zhigang

    2011-01-01

    Double-difference waveform inversion is a promising tool for quantitative monitoring for enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). The method uses time-lapse seismic data to jointly inverts for reservoir changes. Due to the ill-posedness of waveform inversion, it is a great challenge to obtain reservoir changes accurately and efficiently, particularly when using timelapse seismic reflection data. To improve reconstruction, we develop a spatially-variant total-variation regularization scheme into double-difference waveform inversion to improve the inversion accuracy and robustness. The new regularization scheme employs different regularization parameters in different regions of the model to obtain an optimal regularization in each area. We compare the results obtained using a spatially-variant parameter with those obtained using a constant regularization parameter. Utilizing a spatially-variant regularization scheme, the target monitoring regions are well reconstructed and the image noise is significantly reduced outside the monitoring regions. Our numerical examples demonstrate that the spatially-variant total-variation regularization scheme provides the flexibility to regularize local regions based on the a priori spatial information without increasing computational costs and the computer memory requirement.

  20. Are we Genomic Mosaics? Variations of the Genome of Somatic Cells can Contribute to Diversify our Phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Astolfi, P.A.; Salamini, F.; Sgaramella, V.

    2010-01-01

    Theoretical and experimental evidences support the hypothesis that the genomes and the epigenomes may be different in the somatic cells of complex organisms. In the genome, the differences range from single base substitutions to chromosome number; in the epigenome, they entail multiple postsynthetic modifications of the chromatin. Somatic genome variations (SGV) may accumulate during development in response both to genetic programs, which may differ from tissue to tissue, and to environmental stimuli, which are often undetected and generally irreproducible. SGV may jeopardize physiological cellular functions, but also create novel coding and regulatory sequences, to be exposed to intraorganismal Darwinian selection. Genomes acknowledged as comparatively poor in genes, such as humans’, could thus increase their pristine informational endowment. A better understanding of SGV will contribute to basic issues such as the “nature vs nurture” dualism and the inheritance of acquired characters. On the applied side, they may explain the low yield of cloning via somatic cell nuclear transfer, provide clues to some of the problems associated with transdifferentiation, and interfere with individual DNA analysis. SGV may be unique in the different cells types and in the different developmental stages, and thus explain the several hundred gaps persisting in the human genomes “completed” so far. They may compound the variations associated to our epigenomes and make of each of us an “(epi)genomic” mosaic. An ensuing paradigm is the possibility that a single genome (the ephemeral one assembled at fertilization) has the capacity to generate several different brains in response to different environments. PMID:21358981

  1. Are we Genomic Mosaics? Variations of the Genome of Somatic Cells can Contribute to Diversify our Phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Astolfi, P A; Salamini, F; Sgaramella, V

    2010-09-01

    Theoretical and experimental evidences support the hypothesis that the genomes and the epigenomes may be different in the somatic cells of complex organisms. In the genome, the differences range from single base substitutions to chromosome number; in the epigenome, they entail multiple postsynthetic modifications of the chromatin. Somatic genome variations (SGV) may accumulate during development in response both to genetic programs, which may differ from tissue to tissue, and to environmental stimuli, which are often undetected and generally irreproducible. SGV may jeopardize physiological cellular functions, but also create novel coding and regulatory sequences, to be exposed to intraorganismal Darwinian selection. Genomes acknowledged as comparatively poor in genes, such as humans', could thus increase their pristine informational endowment. A better understanding of SGV will contribute to basic issues such as the "nature vs nurture" dualism and the inheritance of acquired characters. On the applied side, they may explain the low yield of cloning via somatic cell nuclear transfer, provide clues to some of the problems associated with transdifferentiation, and interfere with individual DNA analysis. SGV may be unique in the different cells types and in the different developmental stages, and thus explain the several hundred gaps persisting in the human genomes "completed" so far. They may compound the variations associated to our epigenomes and make of each of us an "(epi)genomic" mosaic. An ensuing paradigm is the possibility that a single genome (the ephemeral one assembled at fertilization) has the capacity to generate several different brains in response to different environments. PMID:21358981

  2. Genetic architecture of quantitative traits and complex diseases.

    PubMed

    Fu, Wenqing; O'Connor, Timothy D; Akey, Joshua M

    2013-12-01

    More than 150 years after Mendel discovered the laws of heredity, the genetic architecture of phenotypic variation remains elusive. Here, we discuss recent progress in deciphering how genotypes map onto phenotypes, sources of genetic complexity, and how model organisms are illuminating general principles about the relationship between genetic and phenotypic variation. Moreover, we highlight insights gleaned from large-scale sequencing studies in humans, and how this knowledge informs outstanding questions about the genetic architecture of quantitative traits and complex diseases. Finally, we articulate how the confluence of technologies enabling whole-genome sequencing, comprehensive phenotyping, and high-throughput functional assays of polymorphisms will facilitate a more principled and mechanistic understanding of the genetic architecture of phenotypic variation. PMID:24287334

  3. Individual quality, survival variation and patterns of phenotypic selection on body condition and timing of nesting in birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blums, P.; Nichols, J.D.; Hines, J.E.; Lindberg, M.; Mednis, A.

    2005-01-01

    Questions about individual variation in 'quality' and fitness are of great interest to evolutionary and population ecologists. Such variation can be investigated using either a random effects approach or an approach that relies on identifying observable traits that are themselves correlated with fitness components. We used the latter approach with data from 1,925 individual females of three species of ducks (tufted duck, Aythya fuligula; common pochard, Aythya ferina; northern shoveler, Anas clypeata) sampled on their breeding grounds at Engure Marsh, Latvia, for over 15 years. Based on associations with reproductive output, we selected two traits, one morphological (relative body condition) and one behavioral (relative time of nesting), that can be used to characterize individual females over their lifetimes. We then asked whether these traits were related to annual survival probabilities of nesting females. We hypothesized quadratic, rather than monotonic, relationships based loosely on ideas about the likely action of stabilizing selection on these two traits. Parameters of these relationships were estimated directly using ultrastructural models embedded within capture-recapture-band-recovery models. Results provided evidence that both traits were related to survival in the hypothesized manner. For all three species, females that tended to nest earlier than the norm exhibited the highest survival rates, but very early nesters experienced reduced survival and late nesters showed even lower survival. For shovelers, females in average body condition showed the highest survival, with lower survival rates exhibited by both heavy and light birds. For common pochard and tufted duck, the highest survival rates were associated with birds of slightly above-average condition, with somewhat lower survival for very heavy birds and much lower survival for birds in relatively poor condition. Based on results from this study and previous work on reproduction, we conclude that nest initiation date and body condition covary with both reproductive and survival components of fitness. These associations lead to a positive covariance of these two fitness components within individuals and to the conclusion that these two traits are indeed correlates of individual quality.

  4. Genetic and environmental components of phenotypic variation in immune response and body size of a colonial bird, Delichon urbica (the house martin).

    PubMed

    Christe, P; Moller, A P; Saino, N; De Lope, F

    2000-07-01

    Directional selection for parasite resistance is often intense in highly social host species. Using a partial cross-fostering experiment we studied environmental and genetic variation in immune response and morphology in a highly colonial bird species, the house martin (Delichon urbica). We manipulated intensity of infestation of house martin nests by the haematophagous parasitic house martin bug Oeciacus hirundinis either by spraying nests with a weak pesticide or by inoculating them with 50 bugs. Parasitism significantly affected tarsus length, T cell response, immunoglobulin and leucocyte concentrations. We found evidence of strong environmental effects on nestling body mass, body condition, wing length and tarsus length, and evidence of significant additive genetic variance for wing length and haematocrit. We found significant environmental variance, but no significant additive genetic variance in immune response parameters such as T cell response to the antigenic phytohemagglutinin, immunoglobulins, and relative and absolute numbers of leucocytes. Environmental variances were generally greater than additive genetic variances, and the low heritabilities of phenotypic traits were mainly a consequence of large environmental variances and small additive genetic variances. Hence, highly social bird species such as the house martin, which are subject to intense selection by parasites, have a limited scope for immediate microevolutionary response to selection because of low heritabilities, but also a limited scope for long-term response to selection because evolvability as indicated by small additive genetic coefficients of variation is weak. PMID:10971693

  5. Genetic and phenotypic variation of foot-and-mouth disease virus during serial passages in a natural host.

    PubMed

    Carrillo, C; Lu, Z; Borca, M V; Vagnozzi, A; Kutish, G F; Rock, D L

    2007-10-01

    Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), like other RNA viruses, exhibits high mutation rates during replication that have been suggested to be of adaptive value. However, even though genetic variation in RNA viruses and, more specifically, FMDV has been extensively examined during virus replication in a wide variety of in vitro cell cultures, very little is known regarding the generation and effects of genetic variability of virus replication in the natural host under experimental conditions and no genetic data are available regarding the effects of serial passage in natural hosts. Here, we present the results of 20 serial contact transmissions of the highly pathogenic, pig-adapted O Taiwan 97 (O Tw97) isolate of FMDV in swine. We examined the virus genomic consensus sequences for a total of 37 full-length viral genomes recovered from 20 in vivo passages. The characteristics and distributions of changes in the sequences during the series of pig infections were analyzed in comparison to the O Tw97 genomes recovered from serially infected BHK-21 cell cultures. Unexpectedly, a significant reduction of virulence upon pig passages was observed, and finally, interruption of the viral transmission chain occurred after the14th pig passage (T14). Virus was, however, isolated from the tonsils and nasal swabs of the asymptomatic T15 pigs at 26 days postcontact, consistent with a natural establishment of the carrier state previously described only for ruminants. Surprisingly, the region encoding the capsid protein VP1 (1D) did not show amino acid changes during in vivo passages. These data demonstrate that contact transmission of FMDV O Tw97 in pigs mimics the fitness loss induced by the bottleneck effect, which was previously observed by others during plaque-to-plaque FMDV passage in vitro, suggesting that unknown mechanisms of virulence recovery might be necessary during the evolution and perpetuation of FMDV in nature. PMID:17686868

  6. Genotypic and Phenotypic Variation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa Reveals Signatures of Secondary Infection and Mutator Activity in Certain Cystic Fibrosis Patients with Chronic Lung Infections ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Ashley E.; Boulianne-Larsen, Carla M.; Chandler, Christine B.; Chiotti, Kami; Kroll, Evgueny; Miller, Scott R.; Taddei, Francois; Sermet-Gaudelus, Isabelle; Ferroni, Agnes; McInnerney, Kathleen; Franklin, Michael J.; Rosenzweig, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary adaptation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to the cystic fibrosis lung is limited by genetic variation, which depends on rates of horizontal gene transfer and mutation supply. Because each may increase following secondary infection or mutator emergence, we sought to ascertain the incidence of secondary infection and genetic variability in populations containing or lacking mutators. Forty-nine strains collected over 3 years from 16 patients were phenotyped for antibiotic resistance and mutator status and were genotyped by repetitive-sequence PCR (rep-PCR), pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Though phenotypic and genetic polymorphisms were widespread and clustered more strongly within than between longitudinal series, their distribution revealed instances of secondary infection. Sequence data, however, indicated that interlineage recombination predated initial strain isolation. Mutator series were more likely to be multiply antibiotic resistant, but not necessarily more variable in their nucleotide sequences, than nonmutators. One mutator and one nonmutator series were sequenced at mismatch repair loci and analyzed for gene content using DNA microarrays. Both were wild type with respect to mutL, but mutators carried an 8-bp mutS deletion causing a frameshift mutation. Both series lacked 126 genes encoding pilins, siderophores, and virulence factors whose inactivation has been linked to adaptation during chronic infection. Mutators exhibited loss of severalfold more genes having functions related to mobile elements, motility, and attachment. A 105-kb, 86-gene deletion was observed in one nonmutator that resulted in loss of virulence factors related to pyoverdine synthesis and elements of the multidrug efflux regulon. Diminished DNA repair activity may facilitate but not be absolutely required for rapid evolutionary change. PMID:21930755

  7. Ethnic differentiation of copy number variation on chromosome 16p12.3 for association with obesity phenotypes in European and Chinese populations

    PubMed Central

    Yang, T-L; Guo, Y; Li, SM; Li, SK; Tian, Q; Liu, Y-J; Deng, H-W

    2012-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Genomic copy number variations (CNVs) have been strongly implicated as important genetic factors for obesity. A recent genome-wide association study identified a novel variant, rs12444979, which is in high linkage disequilibrium with CNV 16p12.3, for association with obesity in Europeans. The aim of this study was to directly examine the relationship between the CNV 16p12.3 and obesity phenotypes, including body mass index (BMI) and body fat mass. SUBJECTS Subjects were a multi-ethnic sample, including 2286 unrelated subjects from a European population and 1627 unrelated Han subjects from a Chinese population. Body fat mass was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. RESULTS Using Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0, we directly detected CNV 16p12.3, with the deletion frequency of 27.26 and 0.8% in the European and Chinese populations, respectively. We confirmed the significant association between this CNV and obesity (BMI: P = 1.38 × 10?2; body fat mass: P = 2.13 × 10?3) in the European population. Less copy numbers were associated with lower BMI and body fat mass, and the effect size was estimated to be 0.62 (BMI) and 1.41 (body fat mass), respectively. However, for the Chinese population, we did not observe significant association signal, and the frequencies of this deletion CNV are quite different between the European and Chinese populations (P<0.001). CONCLUSION Our findings first suggest that CNV 16p12.3 might be ethnic specific and cause ethnic phenotypic diversity, which may provide some new clues into the understanding of the genetic architecture of obesity. PMID:22391884

  8. Quantitatively analyzing dielectrical properties of resins and mapping permittivity variations in CFRP with high-frequency eddy current device technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gäbler, Simone; Heuer, Henning; Heinrich, Gert; Kupke, Richard

    2015-03-01

    Eddy current testing is well-established for non-destructive characterization of electrical conductive materials. The development of high-frequency eddy current technology (with frequency ranges up to 100 MHz) made it even possible to extend the classical fields of application towards less conductive materials like CFRP. Maxwell's equations and recent research show that the use of high-frequency eddy current technology is also suitable for non-conductive materials. In that case the change of complex impedance of the probing coil contains information on sample permittivity. This paper shows that even a quantitative measurement of complex permittivity with high-frequency eddy current device technology is possible using an appropriate calibration. Measurement accuracy is comparable to commercial capacitive dielectric analyzers. If the sample material is electrically conductive, both, permittivity and conductivity influence the complex impedance measured with high-frequency eddy current devices. Depending on the measurement setup and the sheet resistance of the sample a parallel characterization of both parameters is possible on isotropic multi-layer materials. On CFRP the permittivity measurement is much more complex due to the capacitive effects between the carbon rovings. However, first results show that at least the local permittivity variations (like those caused by thermal damages) are detectable.

  9. Quantitative estimation of density variation in high-speed flows through inversion of the measured wavefront distortion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medhi, Biswajit; Hegde, Gopalkrishna Mahadeva; Reddy, Kalidevapura Polareddy Jagannath; Roy, Debasish; Vasu, Ram Mohan

    2014-12-01

    A simple method employing an optical probe is presented to measure density variations in a hypersonic flow obstructed by a test model in a typical shock tunnel. The probe has a plane light wave trans-illuminating the flow and casting a shadow of a random dot pattern. Local slopes of the distorted wavefront are obtained from shifts of the dots in the pattern. Local shifts in the dots are accurately measured by cross-correlating local shifted shadows with the corresponding unshifted originals. The measured slopes are suitably unwrapped by using a discrete cosine transform based phase unwrapping procedure and also through iterative procedures. The unwrapped phase information is used in an iterative scheme for a full quantitative recovery of density distribution in the shock around the model through refraction tomographic inversion. Hypersonic flow field parameters around a missile shaped body at a free-stream Mach number of 5.8 measured using this technique are compared with the numerically estimated values.

  10. Dissecting quantitative trait variation in the resequencing era: complementarity of bi-parental, multi-parental and association panels.

    PubMed

    Pascual, Laura; Albert, Elise; Sauvage, Christopher; Duangjit, Janejira; Bouchet, Jean-Paul; Bitton, Frédérique; Desplat, Nelly; Brunel, Dominique; Le Paslier, Marie-Christine; Ranc, Nicolas; Bruguier, Laure; Chauchard, Betty; Verschave, Philippe; Causse, Mathilde

    2016-01-01

    Quantitative trait loci (QTL) have been identified using traditional linkage mapping and positional cloning identified several QTLs. However linkage mapping is limited to the analysis of traits differing between two lines and the impact of the genetic background on QTL effect has been underlined. Genome-wide association studies (GWAs) were proposed to circumvent these limitations. In tomato, we have shown that GWAs is possible, using the admixed nature of cherry tomato genomes that reduces the impact of population structure. Nevertheless, GWAs success might be limited due to the low decay of linkage disequilibrium, which varies along the genome in this species. Multi-parent advanced generation intercross (MAGIC) populations offer an alternative to traditional linkage and GWAs by increasing the precision of QTL mapping. We have developed a MAGIC population by crossing eight tomato lines whose genomes were resequenced. We showed the potential of the MAGIC population when coupled with whole genome sequencing to detect candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) underlying the QTLs. QTLs for fruit quality traits were mapped and related to the variations detected at the genome sequence and expression levels. The advantages and limitations of the three types of population, in the context of the available genome sequence and resequencing facilities, are discussed. PMID:26566830

  11. The Klinefelter syndrome is associated with high recurrence of copy number variations on the X chromosome with a potential role in the clinical phenotype.

    PubMed

    Rocca, M S; Pecile, V; Cleva, L; Speltra, E; Selice, R; Di Mambro, A; Foresta, C; Ferlin, A

    2016-03-01

    The Klinefelter syndrome (KS) is the most frequent sex chromosomal disorder in males, characterized by at least one supernumerary X chromosome (most frequent karyotype 47,XXY). This syndrome presents with a broad range of phenotypes. The common characteristics include small testes and infertility, but KS subjects are at increased risk of hypogonadism, cognitive dysfunction, obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, osteoporosis, and autoimmune disorders, which are present in variable proportion. Although part of the clinical variability might be linked to a different degree of testicular function observed in KS patients, genetic mechanisms of the supernumerary X chromosome might contribute. Gene-dosage effects and parental origin of the supernumerary X chromosome have been suggested to this regard. No study has been performed analyzing the genetic constitution of the X chromosome in terms of copy number variations (CNVs) and their possible involvement in phenotype of KS. To this aim, we performed a SNP arrays analysis on 94 KS and 85 controls. We found that KS subjects have more frequently than controls X-linked CNVs (39/94, [41.5%] with respect to 12/42, [28.6%] of females, and 8/43, [18.6%] of males, p < 0.01). The number of X-linked CNVs in KS patients was 4.58 ± 1.92 CNVs/subject, significantly higher with respect to that found in control females (1.50 ± 1.29 CNVs/subject) and males (1.14 ± 0.37 CNVs/subject). Importantly, 94.4% X-linked CNVs in KS subjects were duplications, higher with respect to control males (50.0%, p < 0.001) and females (83.3%, p = 0.1). Half of the X-linked CNVs fell within regions encompassing genes and most of them (90%) included genes escaping X-inactivation in the regions of X-Y homology, particularly in the pseudoautosomal region 1 (PAR1) and Xq21.31. This study described for the first time the genetic properties of the X chromosome in KS and suggests that X-linked CNVs (especially duplications) might contribute to the clinical phenotype. PMID:26789125

  12. Quantifying genetic variations and phenotypic plasticity of leaf phenology and growth for two temperate Fagaceae species (sessile oak and european beech)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delzon, Sylvain; Vitasse, Yann; Alberto, Florian; Bresson, Caroline; Kremer, Antoine

    2010-05-01

    Under current climate change, research on inherent adaptive capacities of organisms is crucial to assess future evolutionary changes of natural populations. Genetic diversity and phenotypic plasticity constitute adaptative capacities that could allow populations to respond to new environmental conditions. The aim of the present study was (i) to determine whether there are genetic variations among populations from altitudinal gradients using a lowland common garden experiment and (ii) to assess the magnitude of phenotypic plasticity using a reciprocal transplant experiment (5 elevations from 100 to 1600 m asl.) for leaf phenology (flushing and senescence) and growth of two fagaceae species (Fagus sylvatica and Quercus petraea). We found significant differences in phenology among provenances for most species, and evidenced that these among-population differences in phenology were related to annual temperature of the provenance sites for both species. It's noteworthy that, along the same climatic gradient, the species exhibited opposite genetic clines: beech populations from high elevation flushed earlier than those of low elevation, whereas we observed an opposite trend for oak. Finally, we highlighted that both phenology timing and growth rate were highly consistent year to year. The results demonstrated that in spite of the proximity of the populations in their natural area, altitude led to genetic differentiations in their phenology and growth. Moreover, a high phenological plasticity was found for both species. We evidenced that reaction norms of flushing timing to temperature followed linear clinal trends for both species with an average shift of 5.7 days per degree increase. Timing of leaf senescence exhibited hyperbolic trends for beech and no or slight trends for oak. Furthermore, within species, there was no difference in magnitude of phenological plasticity among populations neither for flushing, nor for senescence. Consequently, for both species, the growing season length increased to reach maximum values for annual temperature ranging from 10°C to 13°C according to the population. These adaptive capacities (genetic differentiations and high magnitude of plasticity) could allow populations to respond immediately to temperature variations in term of leaf phenology and then to cope with current climate change. Finally, we also highlight that current populations tend to occupy suboptimal environments, i.e, populations inhabit climates colder that their optimum.

  13. Quantitative Label-Free Proteomics for Discovery of Biomarkers in Cerebrospinal Fluid: Assessment of Technical and Inter-Individual Variation

    PubMed Central

    Malone, James P.; Gilmore, Petra; Davis, Alan E.; Xiong, Chengjie; Fagan, Anne M.; Townsend, R. Reid; Holtzman, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Background Biomarkers are required for pre-symptomatic diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a favored source because its proteome reflects the composition of the brain. Ideal biomarkers have low technical and inter-individual variability (subject variance) among control subjects to minimize overlaps between clinical groups. This study evaluates a process of multi-affinity fractionation (MAF) and quantitative label-free liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) for CSF biomarker discovery by (1) identifying reparable sources of technical variability, (2) assessing subject variance and residual technical variability for numerous CSF proteins, and (3) testing its ability to segregate samples on the basis of desired biomarker characteristics. Methods/Results Fourteen aliquots of pooled CSF and two aliquots from six cognitively normal individuals were randomized, enriched for low-abundance proteins by MAF, digested endoproteolytically, randomized again, and analyzed by nano-LC-MS. Nano-LC-MS data were time and m/z aligned across samples for relative peptide quantification. Among 11,433 aligned charge groups, 1360 relatively abundant ones were annotated by MS2, yielding 823 unique peptides. Analyses, including Pearson correlations of annotated LC-MS ion chromatograms, performed for all pairwise sample comparisons, identified several sources of technical variability: i) incomplete MAF and keratins; ii) globally- or segmentally-decreased ion current in isolated LC-MS analyses; and iii) oxidized methionine-containing peptides. Exclusion of these sources yielded 609 peptides representing 81 proteins. Most of these proteins showed very low coefficients of variation (CV<5%) whether they were quantified from the mean of all or only the 2 most-abundant peptides. Unsupervised clustering, using only 24 proteins selected for high subject variance, yielded perfect segregation of pooled and individual samples. Conclusions Quantitative label-free LC-MS/MS can measure scores of CSF proteins with low technical variability and can segregate samples according to desired criteria. Thus, this technique shows potential for biomarker discovery for neurological diseases. PMID:23700471

  14. The genetic and molecular origin of natural variation for the fragrance trait in an elite Malaysian aromatic rice through quantitative trait loci mapping using SSR and gene-based markers.

    PubMed

    Golestan Hashemi, Farahnaz Sadat; Rafii, Mohd Y; Ismail, Mohd Razi; Mohamed, Mahmud Tengku Muda; Rahim, Harun A; Latif, Mohammad Abdul; Aslani, Farzad

    2015-01-25

    MRQ74, a popular aromatic Malaysian landrace, allows for charging considerably higher prices than non-aromatic landraces. Thus, breeding this profitable trait has become a priority for Malaysian rice breeding. Despite many studies on aroma genetics, ambiguities considering its genetic basis remain. It has been observed that identifying quantitative trait loci (QTLs) based on anchor markers, particularly candidate genes controlling a trait of interest, can increase the power of QTL detection. Hence, this study aimed to locate QTLs that influence natural variations in rice scent using microsatellites and candidate gene-based sequence polymorphisms. For this purpose, an F2 mapping population including 189 individual plants was developed by MRQ74 crosses with 'MR84', a non-scented Malaysian accession. Additionally, qualitative and quantitative approaches were applied to obtain a phenotype data framework. Consequently, we identified two QTLs on chromosomes 4 and 8. These QTLs explained from 3.2% to 39.3% of the total fragrance phenotypic variance. In addition, we could resolve linkage group 8 by adding six gene-based primers in the interval harboring the most robust QTL. Hence, we could locate a putative fgr allele in the QTL found on chromosome 8 in the interval RM223-SCU015RM (1.63cM). The identified QTLs represent an important step toward recognition of the rice flavor genetic control mechanism. In addition, this identification will likely accelerate the progress of the use of molecular markers for gene isolation, gene-based cloning, and marker-assisted selection breeding programs aimed at improving rice cultivars. PMID:25445269

  15. Quantitative trait loci in hop (Humulus lupulus L.) reveal complex genetic architecture underlying variation in sex, yield and cone chemistry

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Hop (Humulus lupulus L.) is cultivated for its cones, the secondary metabolites of which contribute bitterness, flavour and aroma to beer. Molecular breeding methods, such as marker assisted selection (MAS), have great potential for improving the efficiency of hop breeding. The success of MAS is reliant on the identification of reliable marker-trait associations. This study used quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis to identify marker-trait associations for hop, focusing on traits related to expediting plant sex identification, increasing yield capacity and improving bittering, flavour and aroma chemistry. Results QTL analysis was performed on two new linkage maps incorporating transferable Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) markers. Sixty-three QTL were identified, influencing 36 of the 50 traits examined. A putative sex-linked marker was validated in a different pedigree, confirming the potential of this marker as a screening tool in hop breeding programs. An ontogenetically stable QTL was identified for the yield trait dry cone weight; and a QTL was identified for essential oil content, which verified the genetic basis for variation in secondary metabolite accumulation in hop cones. A total of 60 QTL were identified for 33 secondary metabolite traits. Of these, 51 were pleiotropic/linked, affecting a substantial number of secondary metabolites; nine were specific to individual secondary metabolites. Conclusions Pleiotropy and linkage, found for the first time to influence multiple hop secondary metabolites, have important implications for molecular selection methods. The selection of particular secondary metabolite profiles using pleiotropic/linked QTL will be challenging because of the difficulty of selecting for specific traits without adversely changing others. QTL specific to individual secondary metabolites, however, offer unequalled value to selection programs. In addition to their potential for selection, the QTL identified in this study advance our understanding of the genetic control of traits of current economic and breeding significance in hop and demonstrate the complex genetic architecture underlying variation in these traits. The linkage information obtained in this study, based on transferable markers, can be used to facilitate the validation of QTL, crucial to the success of MAS. PMID:23718194

  16. Comparative sex pherome biosynthesis in Thaumetopoea pityocampa and T. processionea: a rationale for the phenotypic variation in the sex pherome within the genus Thaumetopoea.

    PubMed

    Villorbina, G; Rodríguez, S; Camps, F; Fabriàs, G

    2003-02-01

    The female sex pheromones of the Mediterranean processionary moths (Thaumetopoea sp.) are conjugated dienes or enynes of 16 carbon atoms with the unsaturations located at C11 and C13. To investigate the biochemical basis of this phenotypic variation, the biosynthetic pathway of T. processionea sex pheromone, a diene acetate, has been elucidated and compared to that reported for the enyne-producing species T. pityocampa. Mass labeling experiments showed that T. processionea sex pheromone is biosynthesized from palmitic acid, by subsequent (Z)-11 and (Z)-13 desaturations and final reduction and acetylation. The Pheromone Biosynthesis Activating Neuropeptide (PBAN) activates this biosynthetic pathway downstream of the dienoate intermediate. When either 11-hexadecynoic acid or (Z)-13-hexadecen-11-ynoic acid were administered to T. processionea, this species was able to produce the enyne sex pheromone of T. pityocampa upon PBAN stimulation. In contrast, T. pityocampa does not produce either 11-hexadecynyl acetate or (Z,Z)-11,13-hexadecadienyl acetate, despite having the corresponding precursors in the pheromone gland. However, both acetates are detected after administration of the corresponding alcohols. These overall results suggest that the absence of delta(11) acetylenase and the existence of an enynoate specific reductase in the diene and enyne-producing Thaumetopeae, respectively, account for the different sex pheromones produced by the two groups. PMID:12535674

  17. Novel temporal, fine-scale and growth variation phenotypes in roots of adult-stage maize (Zea mays L.) in response to low nitrogen stress.

    PubMed

    Gaudin, Amelie C M; McClymont, Sarah A; Holmes, Bridget M; Lyons, Eric; Raizada, Manish N

    2011-12-01

    There is interest in discovering root traits associated with acclimation to nutrient stress. Large root systems, such as in adult maize, have proven difficult to be phenotyped comprehensively and over time, causing target traits to be missed. These challenges were overcome here using aeroponics, a system where roots grow in the air misted with a nutrient solution. Applying an agriculturally relevant degree of low nitrogen (LN) stress, 30-day-old plants responded by increasing lengths of individual crown roots (CRs) by 63%, compensated by a 40% decline in CR number. LN increased the CR elongation rate rather than lengthening the duration of CR growth. Only younger CR were significantly responsive to LN stress, a novel finding. LN shifted the root system architectural balance, increasing the lateral root (LR)-to-CR ratio, adding ?70 m to LR length. LN caused a dramatic increase in second-order LR density, not previously reported in adult maize. Despite the near-uniform aeroponics environment, LN induced increased variation in the relative lengths of opposing LR pairs. Large-scale analysis of root hairs (RHs) showed that LN decreased RH length and density. Time-course experiments suggested the RH responses may be indirect consequences of decreased biomass/demand under LN. These results identify novel root traits for genetic dissection. PMID:21848860

  18. Expression Quantitative Trait Loci Information Improves Predictive Modeling of Disease Relevance of Non-Coding Genetic Variation.

    PubMed

    Croteau-Chonka, Damien C; Rogers, Angela J; Raj, Towfique; McGeachie, Michael J; Qiu, Weiliang; Ziniti, John P; Stubbs, Benjamin J; Liang, Liming; Martinez, Fernando D; Strunk, Robert C; Lemanske, Robert F; Liu, Andrew H; Stranger, Barbara E; Carey, Vincent J; Raby, Benjamin A

    2015-01-01

    Disease-associated loci identified through genome-wide association studies (GWAS) frequently localize to non-coding sequence. We and others have demonstrated strong enrichment of such single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs), supporting an important role for regulatory genetic variation in complex disease pathogenesis. Herein we describe our initial efforts to develop a predictive model of disease-associated variants leveraging eQTL information. We first catalogued cis-acting eQTLs (SNPs within 100 kb of target gene transcripts) by meta-analyzing four studies of three blood-derived tissues (n = 586). At a false discovery rate < 5%, we mapped eQTLs for 6,535 genes; these were enriched for disease-associated genes (P < 10(-04)), particularly those related to immune diseases and metabolic traits. Based on eQTL information and other variant annotations (distance from target gene transcript, minor allele frequency, and chromatin state), we created multivariate logistic regression models to predict SNP membership in reported GWAS. The complete model revealed independent contributions of specific annotations as strong predictors, including evidence for an eQTL (odds ratio (OR) = 1.2-2.0, P < 10(-11)) and the chromatin states of active promoters, different classes of strong or weak enhancers, or transcriptionally active regions (OR = 1.5-2.3, P < 10(-11)). This complete prediction model including eQTL association information ultimately allowed for better discrimination of SNPs with higher probabilities of GWAS membership (6.3-10.0%, compared to 3.5% for a random SNP) than the other two models excluding eQTL information. This eQTL-based prediction model of disease relevance can help systematically prioritize non-coding GWAS SNPs for further functional characterization. PMID:26474488

  19. Expression Quantitative Trait Loci Information Improves Predictive Modeling of Disease Relevance of Non-Coding Genetic Variation

    PubMed Central

    Raj, Towfique; McGeachie, Michael J.; Qiu, Weiliang; Ziniti, John P.; Stubbs, Benjamin J.; Liang, Liming; Martinez, Fernando D.; Strunk, Robert C.; Lemanske, Robert F.; Liu, Andrew H.; Stranger, Barbara E.; Carey, Vincent J.; Raby, Benjamin A.

    2015-01-01

    Disease-associated loci identified through genome-wide association studies (GWAS) frequently localize to non-coding sequence. We and others have demonstrated strong enrichment of such single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs), supporting an important role for regulatory genetic variation in complex disease pathogenesis. Herein we describe our initial efforts to develop a predictive model of disease-associated variants leveraging eQTL information. We first catalogued cis-acting eQTLs (SNPs within 100kb of target gene transcripts) by meta-analyzing four studies of three blood-derived tissues (n = 586). At a false discovery rate < 5%, we mapped eQTLs for 6,535 genes; these were enriched for disease-associated genes (P < 10−04), particularly those related to immune diseases and metabolic traits. Based on eQTL information and other variant annotations (distance from target gene transcript, minor allele frequency, and chromatin state), we created multivariate logistic regression models to predict SNP membership in reported GWAS. The complete model revealed independent contributions of specific annotations as strong predictors, including evidence for an eQTL (odds ratio (OR) = 1.2–2.0, P < 10−11) and the chromatin states of active promoters, different classes of strong or weak enhancers, or transcriptionally active regions (OR = 1.5–2.3, P < 10−11). This complete prediction model including eQTL association information ultimately allowed for better discrimination of SNPs with higher probabilities of GWAS membership (6.3–10.0%, compared to 3.5% for a random SNP) than the other two models excluding eQTL information. This eQTL-based prediction model of disease relevance can help systematically prioritize non-coding GWAS SNPs for further functional characterization. PMID:26474488

  20. Phenotypic and Genetic Characterization of Avian Influenza H5N2 Viruses with Intra- and Inter-Duck Variations in Taiwan

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yao-Tsun; Lai, Ching-Yu; Kao, Chuan-Liang; Yang, Chinglai; Wang, Won-Bo; King, Chwan-Chuen

    2015-01-01

    Background Human infections with avian influenza viruses (AIVs) have frequently raised global concerns of emerging, interspecies-transmissible viruses with pandemic potential. Waterfowl, the predominant reservoir of influenza viruses in nature, harbor precursors of different genetic lineages that have contributed to novel pandemic influenza viruses in the past. Methods Two duck influenza H5N2 viruses, DV518 and DV413, isolated through virological surveillance at a live-poultry market in Taiwan, showed phylogenetic relatedness but exhibited different replication capabilities in mammalian Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cells. This study characterizes the replication properties of the two duck H5N2 viruses and the determinants involved. Results The DV518 virus replicated more efficiently than DV413 in both MDCK and chicken DF1 cells. Interestingly, the infection of MDCK cells by DV518 formed heterogeneous plaques with great differences in size [large (L) and small (S)], and the two viral strains (p518-L and p518-S) obtained from plaque purification exhibited distinguishable replication kinetics in MDCK cells. Nonetheless, both plaque-purified DV518 strains still maintained their growth advantages over the plaque-purified p413 strain. Moreover, three amino acid substitutions in PA (P224S), PB2 (E72D), and M1 (A128T) were identified in intra-duck variations (p518-L vs p518-S), whereas other changes in HA (N170D), NA (I56T), and NP (Y289H) were present in inter-duck variations (DV518 vs DV413). Both p518-L and p518-S strains had the N170D substitution in HA, which might be related to their greater binding to MDCK cells. Additionally, polymerase activity assays on 293T cells demonstrated the role of vRNP in modulating the replication capability of the duck p518-L viruses in mammalian cells. Conclusion These results demonstrate that intra-host phenotypic variation occurs even within an individual duck. In view of recent human infections by low pathogenic AIVs, this study suggests possible determinants involved in the stepwise selection of virus variants from the duck influenza virus population which may facilitate inter-species transmission. PMID:26263554

  1. Comparison of quantitative and molecular variation in agroforestry populations of the shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa C.F. Gaertn) in Mali.

    PubMed

    Sanou, H; Lovett, P N; Bouvet, J-M

    2005-07-01

    In this study we investigated the within- and between-population genetic variation using microsatellite markers and quantitative traits of the shea tree, Vitellaria paradoxa, an important agroforestry tree species of the Sudano-Sahelian region in Africa. Eleven populations were sampled across Mali and in northern Côte d'Ivoire. Leaf size and form and growth traits were measured in a progeny test at the nursery stage. Eight microsatellites were used to assess neutral genetic variation. Low levels of heterozygosity were recorded (1.6-3.0 alleles/locus; H(E) = 0.25-0.42) and the fixation index (F(IS) = -0.227-0.186) was not significantly different from zero suggesting that Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium is encountered in all populations sampled. Quantitative traits exhibited a strong genetic variation between populations and between families within populations. The degree of population differentiation of the quantitative traits (Q(ST) = 0.055-0.283, Q(STmean) = 0.189) strongly exceeds that in eight microsatellite loci (F(ST) = -0.011-0.142, F(STmean) = 0.047). Global and pairwise F(ST) values were very low and not significantly different from zero suggesting agroforestry practices are amplifying gene flow (Nm = 5.07). The population means for quantitative traits and the rainfall variable were not correlated, showing variation was not linked with this climatic cline. It is suggested that this marked differentiation for quantitative traits, independent of environmental clines and despite a high gene flow, is a result of local adaptation and human selection of shea trees. This process has induced high linkage disequilibrium between underlying loci of polygenic characters. PMID:15969738

  2. Apomixis Allows the Transgenerational Fixation of Phenotypes in Hybrid Plants.

    PubMed

    Sailer, Christian; Schmid, Bernhard; Grossniklaus, Ueli

    2016-02-01

    The introduction of apomixis-asexual reproduction through seeds-into crop plants is considered the holy grail of agriculture, as it would provide a mechanism to maintain agriculturally important phenotypes [1, 2]. Apomicts produce clonal offspring, such that apomixis could be used to transgenerationally fix any genotype, including that of F1 hybrids, which are used in agriculture due to their superior vigor and yield [3-9]. However, traits (phenotypes) do not only result from a complex combination of genetic and environmental variation but can also be influenced by epigenetic variation, which can be transgenerationally heritable in plants [10-15]. Hence, it is far from clear whether genetic fixation by apomixis suffices to fix the agriculturally relevant phenotypes of F1 hybrids, in particular because hybridization was recently shown to induce epigenetic changes [16, 17]. Here, we show that the phenotypes of Hieracium pilosella hybrids can be fixed across generations by apomixis. Using a natural apomict, we created 11 hybrid genotypes (lines). In these and a parental line, we analyzed 20 phenotypic traits that are related to plant growth and reproduction. Of the 20 traits, 18 (90%) were stably inherited over two apomictic generations, grown at the same time in a randomized design, in 11 of the 12 lines. Although one hybrid line showed phenotypic instability, our results provide a fundamental proof of principle, demonstrating that apomixis can indeed be used in plant breeding and seed production to fix complex, quantitative phenotypes across generations. PMID:26832437

  3. Recent Variations of The Italian Glaciers: Qualitative and Quantitative Data-base and Processings On A Fundamental Water Resource

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diolaiuti, G.; D'Agata, C.; Stella, G.; Apadula, F.; Smiraglia, C.

    This paper introduces the preliminary results of a project applied primarily to the compilation of the first general and complete data-base of all Italian glaciers, avail- able to the scientific community, and secondly to the elaboration of the information contained in the data base to supply a strong contribution to the study of the spatial and temporal variabilities of the climatic signal inside the alpine glacier historical series. The project started in the year 2000 as a convention between Università degli Studi di Milano (Italy) and CESI (Italian Electrical Sperimental Center) and gives the first results and the free use by people in the 2002, the International Year of Mountains. Fundamental for the development of the project was the collaboration of the Italian Glaciological Committee (CGI) with its publications (from 1914 to 1977 SBollettino & cedil;del Comitato Glaciologico ItalianoT and from 1978 to 2000 SGeografia Fisica e Di- & cedil;namica Quaternaria). The data-base collects qualitative and quantitative information on glaciers monitored by the Italian Glaciological CommitteeSs operators during the century of their activity for a total of 902 glaciers (901 alpine glaciers and only Ap- pennine one, the Calderone Glacier). For every glacier were inserted in the data-base: 1) data about the glacial terminus elevations, date and method of the measure 2) name and position of the signals used by the operators in order to verify the variations of extension of glacial terminus 3) distance between the signal and the glacier terminus and relative angle of measure 4) operatorSs name 5) bibliographical source of the information 6) qualitative data (on cartographic material, photographies and papers). Currently only a part of the data collected in the data-base is directly available in the web site: www.cesi.it/greeninfo/i ghiacciai Italiani/. Here the users are able to find, for every glacier, a table with all the references of qualitative (as cartography and iconog- raphy) data and diagrams of the frontal variations (both annual and cumulated) and of the glacier terminus elevations. For each diagram it is possible to evidence different temporal range (according to the usersS interest) by means of appropriate interroga- tion. It is possible to use all tha data base (and not only the diagrams and the qualitative table) by compiling appropriate request. The second phase consisted in the data pro- cessing. For all the glaciers collected in the database the data are processed in order to supply time-distance diagrams of the annual and cumulated frontal variations. The 1 comparison of the curves allowed to appreciate the common glacial trend differenti- ated from a glacial body to another in function of the multiple influential factors on frontal dynamics. All the monitored glaciers have in fact a phase of progress in the 20s of XXth century, a hard frontal retreat after the 30s and a new generalized progress be- tween the end of the 60s and the half of the 80s of XXth century and a general retreat from 1985 up to now. This is according to the climatic dynamics of the XX century (a general warming tendence with short periods of thermal reduction in the 20s and in 60s-.80s). For a sample of glacier were available complete data set for over a period of twenty years (without gaps) or not complete data set but with little gap of about 5 years or less that were possible to fulfill. For these data series were possible to cal- culate the correlation with the other glaciers. This type of analysis allowed to prepare correlation matrices for different temporal periods that allow to visualize the space and temporal variations of the climatic signal of the Italian glaciers frontal variations. It was possible to notice that glaciers located in close areas often do not manifest an strong correlation, while sometimes glaciers located far but with morphometric characteristics (dimensions) and geographic ones (aspect) similar were meaningfully correlated. This result is particularly interesting because it was quite different from th

  4. Phenotypic switching in bacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merrin, Jack

    Living matter is a non-equilibrium system in which many components work in parallel to perpetuate themselves through a fluctuating environment. Physiological states or functionalities revealed by a particular environment are called phenotypes. Transitions between phenotypes may occur either spontaneously or via interaction with the environment. Even in the same environment, genetically identical bacteria can exhibit different phenotypes of a continuous or discrete nature. In this thesis, we pursued three lines of investigation into discrete phenotypic heterogeneity in bacterial populations: the quantitative characterization of the so-called bacterial persistence, a theoretical model of phenotypic switching based on those measurements, and the design of artificial genetic networks which implement this model. Persistence is the phenotype of a subpopulation of bacteria with a reduced sensitivity to antibiotics. We developed a microfluidic apparatus, which allowed us to monitor the growth rates of individual cells while applying repeated cycles of antibiotic treatments. We were able to identify distinct phenotypes (normal and persistent) and characterize the stochastic transitions between them. We also found that phenotypic heterogeneity was present prior to any environmental cue such as antibiotic exposure. Motivated by the experiments with persisters, we formulated a theoretical model describing the dynamic behavior of several discrete phenotypes in a periodically varying environment. This theoretical framework allowed us to quantitatively predict the fitness of dynamic populations and to compare survival strategies according to environmental time-symmetries. These calculations suggested that persistence is a strategy used by bacterial populations to adapt to fluctuating environments. Knowledge of the phenotypic transition rates for persistence may provide statistical information about the typical environments of bacteria. We also describe a design of artificial genetic networks that would implement a more general theoretical model of phenotypic switching. We will use a new cloning strategy in order to systematically assemble a large number of genetic features, such as site-specific recombination components from the R64 plasmid, which invert several coexisting DNA segments. The inversion of these segments would lead to discrete phenotypic transitions inside a living cell. These artificial phenotypic switches can be controlled precisely in experiments and may serve as a benchmark for their natural counterparts.

  5. Next Generation Quantitative Genetics in Plants

    PubMed Central

    Jiménez-Gómez, José M.

    2011-01-01

    Most characteristics in living organisms show continuous variation, which suggests that they are controlled by multiple genes. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis can identify the genes underlying continuous traits by establishing associations between genetic markers and observed phenotypic variation in a segregating population. The new high-throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies greatly facilitate QTL analysis by providing genetic markers at genome-wide resolution in any species without previous knowledge of its genome. In addition HTS serves to quantify molecular phenotypes, which aids to identify the loci responsible for QTLs and to understand the mechanisms underlying diversity. The constant improvements in price, experimental protocols, computational pipelines, and statistical frameworks are making feasible the use of HTS for any research group interested in quantitative genetics. In this review I discuss the application of HTS for molecular marker discovery, population genotyping, and expression profiling in QTL analysis. PMID:22645550

  6. Intra-species variation in transient accumulation of leaf anthocyanins in Cistus creticus during winter: evidence that anthocyanins may compensate for an inherent photosynthetic and photoprotective inferiority of the red-leaf phenotype.

    PubMed

    Kytridis, Velissarios-Phaedon; Karageorgou, Panagiota; Levizou, Efi; Manetas, Yiannis

    2008-06-16

    Leaf color in some individuals of Cistus creticus turns transiently to red during winter, while neighboring individuals occupying the same site remain green. We have examined whether anthocyanin accumulation can be associated with variations in photosynthetic and/or photoprotective characteristics between the two phenotypes, rendering the red phenotype more vulnerable to photoinhibition and, accordingly, needing additional protection in the form of anthocyanins. Towards this aim, maximum (pre-dawn) and effective (mid-day) PSII photochemical efficiencies, xanthophyll cycle pool sizes and leaf nitrogen contents were seasonably followed, encompassing both the green (spring, summer, autumn) and the red (winter) period of the year. Moreover, the distribution of the two phenotypes in exposed and shaded sites was assessed. The frequency of red individuals was considerably higher in fully exposed sites, pointing to a photoprotective function of leaf anthocyanins. Yet, the assumption was not corroborated by pre-dawn PSII yield measurements, since both phenotypes displayed similar high values throughout the year and a similar drop during winter. However, the red phenotype was characterized by lower light-saturated PSII yields, xanthophyll cycle pool sizes and leaf nitrogen, during both the green and the red period of the year. Based on this correlative evidence, we suggest that winter redness in C. creticus may compensate for an inherent photosynthetic and photoprotective inferiority, possibly through a light screen and/or an antioxidant function of leaf anthocyanins. PMID:17923168

  7. Explaining Quantitative Variation in the Rate of Optional Infinitive Errors across Languages: A Comparison of MOSAIC and the Variational Learning Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freudenthal, Daniel: Pine, Julian; Gobet, Fernando

    2010-01-01

    In this study, we use corpus analysis and computational modelling techniques to compare two recent accounts of the OI stage: Legate & Yang's (2007) Variational Learning Model and Freudenthal, Pine & Gobet's (2006) Model of Syntax Acquisition in Children. We first assess the extent to which each of these accounts can explain the level of OI errors…

  8. A general framework for the analysis of phenotypic trajectories in evolutionary studies.

    PubMed

    Adams, Dean C; Collyer, Michael L

    2009-05-01

    Many evolutionary studies require an understanding of phenotypic change. However, while analyses of phenotypic variation across pairs of evolutionary levels (populations or time steps) are well established, methods for testing hypotheses that compare evolutionary sequences across multiple levels are less developed. Here we describe a general analytical procedure for quantifying and comparing patterns of phenotypic evolution. The phenotypic evolution of a lineage is defined as a trajectory across a set of evolutionary levels in a multivariate phenotype space. Attributes of these trajectories (their size, direction, and shape), are quantified, and statistically compared across pairs of taxa, and a summary statistic is used to determine the extent to which patterns of phenotypic evolution are concordant across multiple taxa. This approach provides a direct quantitative description of how patterns of phenotypic evolution differ, as well as a statistical assessment of the degree of repeatability in the evolutionary responses to selection among taxa. We describe how this approach can quantify phenotypic trajectories from many ecological and evolutionary processes, whose data encode multivariate characterizations of the phenotype, including: phenotypic plasticity, ecological selection, ontogeny and growth, local adaptation, and biomechanics. We illustrate the approach by examining the phenotypic evolution of several fossil lineages of Globorotalia. PMID:19210539

  9. Pseudohyphal variations of yeasts exposed to specific space flight parameters.

    PubMed

    Volz, P A; Hunter, R L

    1998-01-01

    Phenotypes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Rhodotorula rubra exposed to specific parameters of space flight, which were measured both quantitatively and qualitatively, produced variations in pseudohyphal formation. Both the length of the parent and branch psuedohyphal filaments varied according to specific wavelengths and energy levels of UV light exposures when phenotypic isolates were compared with the parent or ground control isolate of each yeast species. PMID:9881461

  10. Quantitative Autism Traits in First Degree Relatives: Evidence for the Broader Autism Phenotype in Fathers, but Not in Mothers and Siblings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De la Marche, Wouter; Noens, Ilse; Luts, Jan; Scholte, Evert; Van Huffel, Sabine; Steyaert, Jean

    2012-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms are present in unaffected relatives and individuals from the general population. Results are inconclusive, however, on whether unaffected relatives have higher levels of quantitative autism traits (QAT) or not. This might be due to differences in research populations, because behavioral data and molecular…

  11. Quantitative Autism Traits in First Degree Relatives: Evidence for the Broader Autism Phenotype in Fathers, but Not in Mothers and Siblings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De la Marche, Wouter; Noens, Ilse; Luts, Jan; Scholte, Evert; Van Huffel, Sabine; Steyaert, Jean

    2012-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms are present in unaffected relatives and individuals from the general population. Results are inconclusive, however, on whether unaffected relatives have higher levels of quantitative autism traits (QAT) or not. This might be due to differences in research populations, because behavioral data and molecular…

  12. Variation in Adult Plant Phenotypes and Partitioning among Seed and Stem-Borne Roots across Brachypodium distachyon Accessions to Exploit in Breeding Cereals for Well-Watered and Drought Environments1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Seedling roots enable plant establishment. Their small phenotypes are measured routinely. Adult root systems are relevant to yield and efficiency, but phenotyping is challenging. Root length exceeds the volume of most pots. Field studies measure partial adult root systems through coring or use seedling roots as adult surrogates. Here, we phenotyped 79 diverse lines of the small grass model Brachypodium distachyon to adults in 50-cm-long tubes of soil with irrigation; a subset of 16 lines was droughted. Variation was large (total biomass, ×8; total root length [TRL], ×10; and root mass ratio, ×6), repeatable, and attributable to genetic factors (heritabilities ranged from approximately 50% for root growth to 82% for partitioning phenotypes). Lines were dissected into seed-borne tissues (stem and primary seminal axile roots) and stem-borne tissues (tillers and coleoptile and leaf node axile roots) plus branch roots. All lines developed one seminal root that varied, with branch roots, from 31% to 90% of TRL in the well-watered condition. With drought, 100% of TRL was seminal, regardless of line because nodal roots were almost always inhibited in drying topsoil. Irrigation stimulated nodal roots depending on genotype. Shoot size and tillers correlated positively with roots with irrigation, but partitioning depended on genotype and was plastic with drought. Adult root systems of B. distachyon have genetic variation to exploit to increase cereal yields through genes associated with partitioning among roots and their responsiveness to irrigation. Whole-plant phenotypes could enhance gain for droughted environments because root and shoot traits are coselected. PMID:25975834

  13. Variation in Adult Plant Phenotypes and Partitioning among Seed and Stem-Borne Roots across Brachypodium distachyon Accessions to Exploit in Breeding Cereals for Well-Watered and Drought Environments.

    PubMed

    Chochois, Vincent; Vogel, John P; Rebetzke, Gregory J; Watt, Michelle

    2015-07-01

    Seedling roots enable plant establishment. Their small phenotypes are measured routinely. Adult root systems are relevant to yield and efficiency, but phenotyping is challenging. Root length exceeds the volume of most pots. Field studies measure partial adult root systems through coring or use seedling roots as adult surrogates. Here, we phenotyped 79 diverse lines of the small grass model Brachypodium distachyon to adults in 50-cm-long tubes of soil with irrigation; a subset of 16 lines was droughted. Variation was large (total biomass, ×8; total root length [TRL], ×10; and root mass ratio, ×6), repeatable, and attributable to genetic factors (heritabilities ranged from approximately 50% for root growth to 82% for partitioning phenotypes). Lines were dissected into seed-borne tissues (stem and primary seminal axile roots) and stem-borne tissues (tillers and coleoptile and leaf node axile roots) plus branch roots. All lines developed one seminal root that varied, with branch roots, from 31% to 90% of TRL in the well-watered condition. With drought, 100% of TRL was seminal, regardless of line because nodal roots were almost always inhibited in drying topsoil. Irrigation stimulated nodal roots depending on genotype. Shoot size and tillers correlated positively with roots with irrigation, but partitioning depended on genotype and was plastic with drought. Adult root systems of B. distachyon have genetic variation to exploit to increase cereal yields through genes associated with partitioning among roots and their responsiveness to irrigation. Whole-plant phenotypes could enhance gain for droughted environments because root and shoot traits are coselected. PMID:25975834

  14. Understanding Variation in Treatment Effects in Education Impact Evaluations: An Overview of Quantitative Methods. NCEE 2014-4017

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schochet, Peter Z.; Puma, Mike; Deke, John

    2014-01-01

    This report summarizes the complex research literature on quantitative methods for assessing how impacts of educational interventions on instructional practices and student learning differ across students, educators, and schools. It also provides technical guidance about the use and interpretation of these methods. The research topics addressed…

  15. Quantitative genetic analysis of brain size variation in sticklebacks: support for the mosaic model of brain evolution.

    PubMed

    Noreikiene, Kristina; Herczeg, Gábor; Gonda, Abigél; Balázs, Gergely; Husby, Arild; Merilä, Juha

    2015-07-01

    The mosaic model of brain evolution postulates that different brain regions are relatively free to evolve independently from each other. Such independent evolution is possible only if genetic correlations among the different brain regions are less than unity. We estimated heritabilities, evolvabilities and genetic correlations of relative size of the brain, and its different regions in the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). We found that heritabilities were low (average h(2) = 0.24), suggesting a large plastic component to brain architecture. However, evolvabilities of different brain parts were moderate, suggesting the presence of additive genetic variance to sustain a response to selection in the long term. Genetic correlations among different brain regions were low (average rG = 0.40) and significantly less than unity. These results, along with those from analyses of phenotypic and genetic integration, indicate a high degree of independence between different brain regions, suggesting that responses to selection are unlikely to be severely constrained by genetic and phenotypic correlations. Hence, the results give strong support for the mosaic model of brain evolution. However, the genetic correlation between brain and body size was high (rG = 0.89), suggesting a constraint for independent evolution of brain and body size in sticklebacks. PMID:26108633

  16. Detection and quantitation of single nucleotide polymorphisms, DNA sequence variations, DNA mutations, DNA damage and DNA mismatches

    DOEpatents

    McCutchen-Maloney, Sandra L.

    2002-01-01

    DNA mutation binding proteins alone and as chimeric proteins with nucleases are used with solid supports to detect DNA sequence variations, DNA mutations and single nucleotide polymorphisms. The solid supports may be flow cytometry beads, DNA chips, glass slides or DNA dips sticks. DNA molecules are coupled to solid supports to form DNA-support complexes. Labeled DNA is used with unlabeled DNA mutation binding proteins such at TthMutS to detect DNA sequence variations, DNA mutations and single nucleotide length polymorphisms by binding which gives an increase in signal. Unlabeled DNA is utilized with labeled chimeras to detect DNA sequence variations, DNA mutations and single nucleotide length polymorphisms by nuclease activity of the chimera which gives a decrease in signal.

  17. Explaining quantitative variation in the rate of Optional Infinitive errors across languages: a comparison of MOSAIC and the Variational Learning Model.

    PubMed

    Freudenthal, Daniel; Pine, Julian; Gobet, Fernand

    2010-06-01

    In this study, we use corpus analysis and computational modelling techniques to compare two recent accounts of the OI stage: Legate & Yang's (2007) Variational Learning Model and Freudenthal, Pine & Gobet's (2006) Model of Syntax Acquisition in Children. We first assess the extent to which each of these accounts can explain the level of OI errors across five different languages (English, Dutch, German, French and Spanish). We then differentiate between the two accounts by testing their predictions about the relation between children's OI errors and the distribution of infinitival verb forms in the input language. We conclude that, although both accounts fit the cross-linguistic patterning of OI errors reasonably well, only MOSAIC is able to explain why verbs that occur more frequently as infinitives than as finite verb forms in the input also occur more frequently as OI errors than as correct finite verb forms in the children's output. PMID:20334719

  18. Iris pigmentation as a quantitative trait: variation in populations of European, East Asian and South Asian ancestry and association with candidate gene polymorphisms.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Melissa; Cha, David; Krithika, S; Johnson, Monique; Cook, Gillian; Parra, Esteban J

    2016-03-01

    In this study, we present a new quantitative method to measure iris colour based on high-resolution photographs. We applied this method to analyse iris colour variation in a sample of individuals of East Asian, European and South Asian ancestry. We show that measuring iris colour using the coordinates of the CIELAB colour space uncovers a significant amount of variation that is not captured using conventional categorical classifications, such as 'brown', 'blue' or 'green'. We tested the association of a selected panel of polymorphisms with iris colour in each population group. Six markers showed significant associations with iris colour in the European sample, three in the South Asian sample and two in the East Asian sample. We also observed that the marker HERC2 rs12913832, which is the main determinant of 'blue' versus 'brown' iris colour in European populations, is also significantly associated with central heterochromia in the European sample. PMID:26547379

  19. Quantitative Variation of Flavonoids and Diterpenes in Leaves and Stems of Cistus ladanifer L. at Different Ages.

    PubMed

    Valares Masa, Cristina; Sosa Díaz, Teresa; Alías Gallego, Juan Carlos; Chaves Lobón, Natividad

    2016-01-01

    The compounds derived from secondary metabolism in plants perform a variety of ecological functions, providing the plant with resistance to biotic and abiotic factors. The basal levels of these metabolites for each organ, tissue or cell type depend on the development stage of the plant and they may be modified as a response to biotic and/or abiotic stress. As a consequence, the resistance state of a plant may vary in space and time. The secondary metabolites of Cistus ladanifer have been quantified in leaves and stems throughout autumn, winter, spring and summer, and at different ages of the plant. This study shows that there are significant differences between young leaves, mature leaves and stems, and between individuals of different ages. Young leaves show significantly greater synthesis of flavonoids and diterpenes than mature leaves and stems, with a clear seasonal variation, and the differences between leaves at different growth stages and stems is maintained during the quantified seasons. With respect to age, specimens under one year of age secreted significantly lower amounts of compounds. The variation in the composition of secondary metabolites between different parts of the plant, the season and the variations in age may determine the interactions of Cistus ladanifer with the biotic and abiotic factors to which it is exposed. PMID:26927053

  20. Rapid evolution of quantitative traits: theoretical perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Kopp, Michael; Matuszewski, Sebastian

    2014-01-01

    An increasing number of studies demonstrate phenotypic and genetic changes in natural populations that are subject to climate change, and there is hope that some of these changes will contribute to avoiding species extinctions (‘evolutionary rescue’). Here, we review theoretical models of rapid evolution in quantitative traits that can shed light on the potential for adaptation to a changing climate. Our focus is on quantitative-genetic models with selection for a moving phenotypic optimum. We point out that there is no one-to-one relationship between the rate of adaptation and population survival, because the former depends on relative fitness and the latter on absolute fitness. Nevertheless, previous estimates that sustainable rates of genetically based change usually do not exceed 0.1 haldanes (i.e., phenotypic standard deviations per generation) are probably correct. Survival can be greatly facilitated by phenotypic plasticity, and heritable variation in plasticity can further speed up genetic evolution. Multivariate selection and genetic correlations are frequently assumed to constrain adaptation, but this is not necessarily the case and depends on the geometric relationship between the fitness landscape and the structure of genetic variation. Similar conclusions hold for adaptation to shifting spatial gradients. Recent models of adaptation in multispecies communities indicate that the potential for rapid evolution is strongly influenced by interspecific competition. PMID:24454555

  1. General quantitative analysis of stress partitioning and boundary conditions in undrained biphasic porous media via a purely macroscopic and purely variational approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serpieri, Roberto; Travascio, Francesco

    2016-03-01

    In poroelasticity, the effective stress law relates the external stress applied to the medium to the macroscopic strain of the solid phase and the interstitial pressure of the fluid saturating the mixture. Such relationship has been formerly introduced by Terzaghi in form of a principle. To date, no poroelastic theory is capable of recovering a stress partitioning law in agreement with Terzaghi's postulated one in the absence of ad hoc constitutive assumptions on the medium. We recently proposed a variational macroscopic continuum description of two-phase poroelasticity to derive a general biphasic formulation at finite deformations, termed variational macroscopic theory of porous media (VMTPM). Such approach proceeds from the inclusion of the intrinsic volumetric strain among the kinematic descriptors aside to macroscopic displacements, and as a variational theory, uses the Hamilton least-action principle as the unique primitive concept of mechanics invoked to derive momentum balance equations. In a previous related work it was shown that, for the subclass of undrained problems, VMTPM predicts that stress is partitioned in the two phases in strict compliance with Terzaghi's law, irrespective of the microstructural and constitutive features of a given medium. In the present contribution, we further develop the linearized framework of VMTPM to arrive at a general operative formula that allows the quantitative determination of stress partitioning in a jacketed test over a generic isotropic biphasic specimen. This formula is quantitative and general, in that it relates the partial phase stresses to the externally applied stress as function of partitioning coefficients that are all derived by strictly following a purely variational and purely macroscopic approach, and in the absence of any specific hypothesis on the microstructural or constitutive features of a given medium. To achieve this result, the stiffness coefficients of the theory are derived by using exclusively variational arguments. We derive the boundary conditions attained across the boundary of a poroelastic saturated medium in contact with an impermeable surface also based on purely variational arguments. A technique to retrieve bounds for the resulting elastic moduli, based on Hashin's composite spheres assemblage method, is also reported. Notably, in spite of the minimal mechanical hypotheses introduced, a rich mechanical behavior is observed.

  2. Phenotypic integration between antipredator behavior and camouflage pattern in juvenile sticklebacks.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sin-Yeon; Velando, Alberto

    2015-03-01

    Predation is a strong selective force that promotes the evolution of antipredator behaviors and camouflage in prey animals. However, the independent evolution of single traits cannot explain how observed phenotypic variations of these traits are maintained within populations. We studied genetic and phenotypic correlations between antipredator behaviors (shoaling and risk-taking) and morphology traits (pigmentation and size) in juvenile three-spined sticklebacks by using pedigree-based quantitative genetic analysis to test phenotypic integration (or complex phenotype) as an evolutionary response to predation risk. Individuals with strongly melanized (i.e., camouflaged) phenotype and genotype were less sociable to conspecifics, but bolder during foraging under predation risk. Individuals with faster growing phenotype and genotype were bolder, and those with lager eyes were more fearful. These phenotypic integrations were not confounded with correlated plastic responses to predation risk because the phenotypes were measured in naïve fish born in the laboratory, but originated from a natural population with predation pressure. Consistent selection for particular combinations of traits under predation pressure or pleiotropic genes might influence the maintenance of the genetic (co)variations and polymorphism in melanin color, growth trajectory, and behavior patterns. PMID:25572122

  3. Use of the growing environment as a source of variation to identify the quantitative trait transcripts and modules of co-expressed genes that determine chlorogenic acid accumulation

    PubMed Central

    JOËT, THIERRY; SALMONA, JORDI; LAFFARGUE, ANDRÉINA; DESCROIX, FRÉDÉRIC; DUSSERT, STÉPHANE

    2010-01-01

    Developing Coffea arabica seeds accumulate large amounts of chlorogenic acids (CGAs) as a storage form of phenylpropanoid derivatives, making coffee a valuable model to investigate the metabolism of these widespread plant phenolics. However, developmental and environmental regulations of CGA metabolism are poorly understood. In the present work, the expression of selected phenylpropanoid genes, together with CGA isomer profiles, was monitored throughout seed development across a wide set of contrasted natural environments. Although CGA metabolism was controlled by major developmental factors, the mean temperature during seed development had a direct impact on the time-window of CGA biosynthesis, as well as on final CGA isomer composition through subtle transcriptional regulations. We provide evidence that the variability induced by the environment is a useful tool to test whether CGA accumulation is quantitatively modulated at the transcriptional level, hence enabling detection of rate-limiting transcriptional steps [quantitative trait transcripts (QTTs)] for CGA biosynthesis. Variations induced by the environment also enabled a better description of the phenylpropanoid gene transcriptional network throughout seed development, as well as the detection of three temporally distinct modules of quantitatively co-expressed genes. Finally, analysis of metabolite-to-metabolite relationships revealed new biochemical characteristics of the isomerization steps that remain uncharacterized at the gene level. PMID:20199615

  4. Protein Quantitative Trait Loci Analysis Identifies Genetic Variation in the Innate Immune Regulator TOLLIP in Post-Lung Transplant Primary Graft Dysfunction Risk.

    PubMed

    Cantu, E; Suzuki, Y; Diamond, J M; Ellis, J; Tiwari, J; Beduhn, B; Nellen, J R; Shah, R; Meyer, N J; Lederer, D J; Kawut, S M; Palmer, S M; Snyder, L D; Hartwig, M G; Lama, V N; Bhorade, S; Crespo, M; Demissie, E; Wille, K; Orens, J; Shah, P D; Weinacker, A; Weill, D; Wilkes, D; Roe, D; Ware, L B; Wang, F; Feng, R; Christie, J D

    2016-03-01

    The authors previously identified plasma plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) level as a quantitative lung injury biomarker in primary graft dysfunction (PGD). They hypothesized that plasma levels of PAI-1 used as a quantitative trait could facilitate discovery of genetic loci important in PGD pathogenesis. A two-stage cohort study was performed. In stage 1, they tested associations of loci with PAI-1 plasma level using linear modeling. Genotyping was performed using the Illumina CVD Bead Chip v2. Loci meeting a p < 5 × 10(-4) cutoff were carried forward and tested in stage 2 for association with PGD. Two hundred ninety-seven enrollees were evaluated in stage 1. Six loci, associated with PAI-1, were carried forward to stage 2 and evaluated in 728 patients. rs3168046 (Toll interacting protein [TOLLIP]) was significantly associated with PGD (p = 0.006). The increased risk of PGD for carrying at least one copy of this variant was 11.7% (95% confidence interval 4.9-18.5%). The false-positive rate for individuals with this genotype who did not have PGD was 6.1%. Variants in the TOLLIP gene are associated with higher circulating PAI-1 plasma levels and validate for association with clinical PGD. A protein quantitative trait analysis for PGD risk prioritizes genetic variations in TOLLIP and supports a role for Toll-like receptors in PGD pathogenesis. PMID:26663441

  5. Protein quantitative trait loci analysis identifies genetic variation in the innate immune regulator TOLLIP in post lung transplant primary graft dysfunction risk

    PubMed Central

    Cantu, Edward; Suzuki, Yoshikazu; Diamond, Joshua M.; Ellis, John; Tiwari, Jaya; Beduhn, Ben; Nellen, James R.; Shah, Rupal; Meyer, Nuala J.; Lederer, David J.; Kawut, Steven M.; Palmer, Scott M.; Snyder, Laurie D.; Hartwig, Matthew G.; Lama, Vibha N.; Bhorade, Sangeeta; Crespo, Maria; Demissie, Ejigayehu; Wille, Keith; Orens, Jonathan; Shah, Pali D.; Weinacker, Ann; Weill, David; Wilkes, David; Roe, David; Ware, Lorraine B.; Wang, Fan; Feng, Rui; Christie, Jason D.

    2016-01-01

    Summary We previously identified plasma plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) level as a quantitative lung injury biomarker in PGD. We hypothesized plasma levels of PAI-1 used as a quantitative trait could facilitate discovery of genetic loci important in PGD pathogenesis. A 2-stage cohort study was performed. In stage 1, we tested associations of loci with PAI-1 plasma level using linear modeling. Genotyping was performed using the Illumina CVD Bead Chip v2. Loci meeting a p<5×10−4 cutoff were carried forward and tested in Stage 2 for association with PGD. 297 enrollees were evaluated in Stage 1. 6 loci, associated with PAI-1, were carried forward to Stage 2 and evaluated in 728 patients. rs3168046 (Toll interacting protein, TOLLIP) was significantly associated with PGD (p=0.006). The increased risk of PGD for carrying at least one copy of this variant was 11.7% [95% CI: 4.9%, 18.5%]. The false positive rate for individuals with this genotype who did not have PGD was 6.1%. Variants in the TOLLIP gene are associated with higher circulating PAI-1 plasma levels and validate for association with clinical PGD. A protein quantitative trait analysis for PGD risk prioritizes genetic variations in TOLLIP, and supports a role for toll-like receptors in PGD pathogenesis. PMID:26663441

  6. Neurochemical phenotype of corticocortical connections in the macaque monkey: quantitative analysis of a subset of neurofilament protein-immunoreactive projection neurons in frontal, parietal, temporal, and cingulate cortices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hof, P. R.; Nimchinsky, E. A.; Morrison, J. H.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1995-01-01

    The neurochemical characteristics of the neuronal subsets that furnish different types of corticocortical connections have been only partially determined. In recent years, several cytoskeletal proteins have emerged as reliable markers to distinguish subsets of pyramidal neurons in the cerebral cortex of primates. In particular, previous studies using an antibody to nonphosphorylated neurofilament protein (SMI-32) have revealed a consistent degree of regional and laminar specificity in the distribution of a subpopulation of pyramidal cells in the primate cerebral cortex. The density of neurofilament protein-immunoreactive neurons was shown to vary across corticocortical pathways in macaque monkeys. In the present study, we have used the antibody SMI-32 to examine further and to quantify the distribution of a subset of corticocortically projecting neurons in a series of long ipsilateral corticocortical pathways in comparison to short corticocortical, commissural, and limbic connections. The results demonstrate that the long association pathways interconnecting the frontal, parietal, and temporal neocortex have a high representation of neurofilament protein-enriched pyramidal neurons (45-90%), whereas short corticocortical, callosal, and limbic pathways are characterized by much lower numbers of such neurons (4-35%). These data suggest that different types of corticocortical connections have differential representation of highly specific neuronal subsets that share common neurochemical characteristics, thereby determining regional and laminar cortical patterns of morphological and molecular heterogeneity. These differences in neuronal neurochemical phenotype among corticocortical circuits may have considerable influence on cortical processing and may be directly related to the type of integrative function subserved by each cortical pathway. Finally, it is worth noting that neurofilament protein-immunoreactive neurons are dramatically affected in the course of Alzheimer's disease. The present results support the hypothesis that neurofilament protein may be crucially linked to the development of selective neuronal vulnerability and subsequent disruption of corticocortical pathways that lead to the severe impairment of cognitive function commonly observed in age-related dementing disorders.

  7. Chimeric proteins for detection and quantitation of DNA mutations, DNA sequence variations, DNA damage and DNA mismatches

    DOEpatents

    McCutchen-Maloney, Sandra L.

    2002-01-01

    Chimeric proteins having both DNA mutation binding activity and nuclease activity are synthesized by recombinant technology. The proteins are of the general formula A-L-B and B-L-A where A is a peptide having DNA mutation binding activity, L is a linker and B is a peptide having nuclease activity. The chimeric proteins are useful for detection and identification of DNA sequence variations including DNA mutations (including DNA damage and mismatches) by binding to the DNA mutation and cutting the DNA once the DNA mutation is detected.

  8. A Quantitative Model of Motility Reveals Low-Dimensional Variation in Exploratory Behavior Across Multiple Nematode Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helms, Stephen; Avery, Leon; Stephens, Greg; Shimizu, Tom

    2014-03-01

    Animal behavior emerges from many layers of biological organization--from molecular signaling pathways and neuronal networks to mechanical outputs of muscles. In principle, the large number of interconnected variables at each of these layers could imply dynamics that are complex and hard to control or even tinker with. Yet, for organisms to survive in a competitive, ever-changing environment, behavior must readily adapt. We applied quantitative modeling to identify important aspects of behavior in chromadorean nematodes ranging from the lab strain C. elegans N2 to wild strains and distant species. We revealed subtle yet important features such as speed control and heavy-tailed directional changes. We found that the parameters describing this behavioral model varied among individuals and across species in a correlated way that is consistent with a trade-off between exploratory and exploitative behavior.

  9. Simple Quantitative PCR Approach to Reveal Naturally Occurring and Mutation-Induced Repetitive Sequence Variation on the Drosophila Y Chromosome

    PubMed Central

    Aldrich, John C.; Maggert, Keith A.

    2014-01-01

    Heterochromatin is a significant component of the human genome and the genomes of most model organisms. Although heterochromatin is thought to be largely non-coding, it is clear that it plays an important role in chromosome structure and gene regulation. Despite a growing awareness of its functional significance, the repetitive sequences underlying some heterochromatin remain relatively uncharacterized. We have developed a real-time quantitative PCR-based method for quantifying simple repetitive satellite sequences and have used this technique to characterize the heterochromatic Y chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster. In this report, we validate the approach, identify previously unknown satellite sequence copy number polymorphisms in Y chromosomes from different geographic sources, and show that a defect in heterochromatin formation can induce similar copy number polymorphisms in a laboratory strain. These findings provide a simple method to investigate the dynamic nature of repetitive sequences and characterize conditions which might give rise to long-lasting alterations in DNA sequence. PMID:25285439

  10. A Colony Multiplex Quantitative PCR-Based 3S3DBC Method and Variations of It for Screening DNA Libraries

    PubMed Central

    An, Yang; Toyoda, Atsushi; Zhao, Chen; Fujiyama, Asao; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2015-01-01

    A DNA library is a collection of DNA fragments cloned into vectors and stored individually in host cells, and is a valuable resource for molecular cloning, gene physical mapping, and genome sequencing projects. To take the best advantage of a DNA library, a good screening method is needed. After describing pooling strategies and issues that should be considered in DNA library screening, here we report an efficient colony multiplex quantitative PCR-based 3-step, 3-dimension, and binary-code (3S3DBC) method we used to screen genes from a planarian genomic DNA fosmid library. This method requires only 3 rounds of PCR reactions and only around 6 hours to distinguish one or more desired clones from a large DNA library. According to the particular situations in different research labs, this method can be further modified and simplified to suit their requirements. PMID:25646755

  11. A colony multiplex quantitative PCR-Based 3S3DBC method and variations of it for screening DNA libraries.

    PubMed

    An, Yang; Toyoda, Atsushi; Zhao, Chen; Fujiyama, Asao; Agata, Kiyokazu

    2015-01-01

    A DNA library is a collection of DNA fragments cloned into vectors and stored individually in host cells, and is a valuable resource for molecular cloning, gene physical mapping, and genome sequencing projects. To take the best advantage of a DNA library, a good screening method is needed. After describing pooling strategies and issues that should be considered in DNA library screening, here we report an efficient colony multiplex quantitative PCR-based 3-step, 3-dimension, and binary-code (3S3DBC) method we used to screen genes from a planarian genomic DNA fosmid library. This method requires only 3 rounds of PCR reactions and only around 6 hours to distinguish one or more desired clones from a large DNA library. According to the particular situations in different research labs, this method can be further modified and simplified to suit their requirements. PMID:25646755

  12. Shift in phenotypic variation coupled with rapid loss of genetic diversity in captive populations of Eristalis tenax (Diptera: Syrphidae): consequences for rearing and potential commercial use.

    PubMed

    Francuski, Ljubinka; Djurakic, Marko; Ludoski, Jasmina; Hurtado, Pilar; Pérez-Bañón, Celeste; Ståhls, Gunilla; Rojo, Santos; Milankov, Vesna

    2014-04-01

    Because of its importance as a pollinator and its potential economic usefulness for the biodegradation of organic animal waste, the genetic and phenotypic diversity of the drone fly, Eristalis tenax L. (Diptera: Syrphidae), was studied in both wild and captive populations from southeastern Europe. Wild specimens from a natural protected habitat (with low human impact), field crop habitat (semisynanthropic condition), and intensive pig farming habitat (synanthropic condition) were compared with a laboratory colony reared on artificial media An integrative approach was applied based on allozyme loci, cytochrome c oxidase I mitochondrial DNA, wing traits (size and shape), and abdominal color patterns. Our results indicate that the fourth and eighth generations of the laboratory colony show a severe lack of genetic diversity compared with natural populations. Reduced genetic diversity in subsequent generations (F4 and F8) of the laboratory colony was found to be linked with phenotypic divergence. Loss of genetic variability associated with phenotypic differentiation in laboratory samples suggests a founder effect, followed by stochastic genetic processes and inbreeding. Hence, our results have implications for captive bred Eristalis flies, which have been used in crop pollination and biodegradation of organic waste under synanthropic conditions. PMID:24772566

  13. Variational formulation and numerical accuracy of a quantitative phase-field model for binary alloy solidification with two-sided diffusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohno, Munekazu; Takaki, Tomohiro; Shibuta, Yasushi

    2016-01-01

    We present the variational formulation of a quantitative phase-field model for isothermal low-speed solidification in a binary dilute alloy with diffusion in the solid. In the present formulation, cross-coupling terms between the phase field and composition field, including the so-called antitrapping current, naturally arise in the time evolution equations. One of the essential ingredients in the present formulation is the utilization of tensor diffusivity instead of scalar diffusivity. In an asymptotic analysis, it is shown that the correct mapping between the present variational model and a free-boundary problem for alloy solidification with an arbitrary value of solid diffusivity is successfully achieved in the thin-interface limit due to the cross-coupling terms and tensor diffusivity. Furthermore, we investigate the numerical performance of the variational model and also its nonvariational versions by carrying out two-dimensional simulations of free dendritic growth. The nonvariational model with tensor diffusivity shows excellent convergence of results with respect to the interface thickness.

  14. Variational formulation and numerical accuracy of a quantitative phase-field model for binary alloy solidification with two-sided diffusion.

    PubMed

    Ohno, Munekazu; Takaki, Tomohiro; Shibuta, Yasushi

    2016-01-01

    We present the variational formulation of a quantitative phase-field model for isothermal low-speed solidification in a binary dilute alloy with diffusion in the solid. In the present formulation, cross-coupling terms between the phase field and composition field, including the so-called antitrapping current, naturally arise in the time evolution equations. One of the essential ingredients in the present formulation is the utilization of tensor diffusivity instead of scalar diffusivity. In an asymptotic analysis, it is shown that the correct mapping between the present variational model and a free-boundary problem for alloy solidification with an arbitrary value of solid diffusivity is successfully achieved in the thin-interface limit due to the cross-coupling terms and tensor diffusivity. Furthermore, we investigate the numerical performance of the variational model and also its nonvariational versions by carrying out two-dimensional simulations of free dendritic growth. The nonvariational model with tensor diffusivity shows excellent convergence of results with respect to the interface thickness. PMID:26871136

  15. Evaluation of quantitative imaging methods for organ activity and residence time estimation using a population of phantoms having realistic variations in anatomy and uptake.

    PubMed

    He, Bin; Du, Yong; Segars, W Paul; Wahl, Richard L; Sgouros, George; Jacene, Heather; Frey, Eric C

    2009-02-01

    Estimating organ residence times is an essential part of patient-specific dosimetry for radioimmunotherapy (RIT). Quantitative imaging methods for RIT are often evaluated using a single physical or simulated phantom but are intended to be applied clinically where there is variability in patient anatomy, biodistribution, and biokinetics. To provide a more relevant evaluation, the authors have thus developed a population of phantoms with realistic variations in these factors and applied it to the evaluation of quantitative imaging methods both to find the best method and to demonstrate the effects of these variations. Using whole body scans and SPECT/CT images, organ shapes and time-activity curves of 111In ibritumomab tiuxetan were measured in dosimetrically important organs in seven patients undergoing a high dose therapy regimen. Based on these measurements, we created a 3D NURBS-based cardiac-torso (NCAT)-based phantom population. SPECT and planar data at realistic count levels were then simulated using previously validated Monte Carlo simulation tools. The projections from the population were used to evaluate the accuracy and variation in accuracy of residence time estimation methods that used a time series of SPECT and planar scans, Quantitative SPECT (QSPECT) reconstruction methods were used that compensated for attenuation, scatter, and the collimator-detector response. Planar images were processed with a conventional (CPlanar) method that used geometric mean attenuation and triple-energy window scatter compensation and a quantitative planar (QPlanar) processing method that used model-based compensation for image degrading effects. Residence times were estimated from activity estimates made at each of five time points. The authors also evaluated hybrid methods that used CPlanar or QPlanar time-activity curves rescaled to the activity estimated from a single QSPECT image. The methods were evaluated in terms of mean relative error and standard deviation of the relative error in the residence time estimates taken over the phantom population. The mean errors in the residence time estimates over all the organs were < 9.9% (pure QSPECT), < 13.2% (pure QPLanar), < 7.2% (hybrid QPlanar/QSPECT), < 19.2% (hybrid CPlanar/QSPECT), and 7%-159% (pure CPlanar). The standard deviations of the errors for all the organs over all the phantoms were < 9.9%, < 11.9%, < 10.8%, < 22.0%, and < 107.9% for the same methods, respectively. The processing methods differed both in terms of their average accuracy and the variation of the accuracy over the population of phantoms, thus demonstrating the importance of using a phantom population in evaluating quantitative imaging methods. Hybrid CPlanar/QSPECT provided improved accuracy compared to pure CPlanar and required the addition of only a single SPECT acquisition. The QPlanar or hybrid QPlanar/QSPECT methods had mean errors and standard deviations of errors that approached those of pure QSPECT while providing simplified image acquisition protocols, and thus may be more clinically practical. PMID:19292001

  16. Evaluation of quantitative imaging methods for organ activity and residence time estimation using a population of phantoms having realistic variations in anatomy and uptake

    SciTech Connect

    He Bin; Du Yong; Segars, W. Paul; Wahl, Richard L.; Sgouros, George; Jacene, Heather; Frey, Eric C.

    2009-02-15

    Estimating organ residence times is an essential part of patient-specific dosimetry for radioimmunotherapy (RIT). Quantitative imaging methods for RIT are often evaluated using a single physical or simulated phantom but are intended to be applied clinically where there is variability in patient anatomy, biodistribution, and biokinetics. To provide a more relevant evaluation, the authors have thus developed a population of phantoms with realistic variations in these factors and applied it to the evaluation of quantitative imaging methods both to find the best method and to demonstrate the effects of these variations. Using whole body scans and SPECT/CT images, organ shapes and time-activity curves of 111In ibritumomab tiuxetan were measured in dosimetrically important organs in seven patients undergoing a high dose therapy regimen. Based on these measurements, we created a 3D NURBS-based cardiac-torso (NCAT)-based phantom population. SPECT and planar data at realistic count levels were then simulated using previously validated Monte Carlo simulation tools. The projections from the population were used to evaluate the accuracy and variation in accuracy of residence time estimation methods that used a time series of SPECT and planar scans. Quantitative SPECT (QSPECT) reconstruction methods were used that compensated for attenuation, scatter, and the collimator-detector response. Planar images were processed with a conventional (CPlanar) method that used geometric mean attenuation and triple-energy window scatter compensation and a quantitative planar (QPlanar) processing method that used model-based compensation for image degrading effects. Residence times were estimated from activity estimates made at each of five time points. The authors also evaluated hybrid methods that used CPlanar or QPlanar time-activity curves rescaled to the activity estimated from a single QSPECT image. The methods were evaluated in terms of mean relative error and standard deviation of the relative error in the residence time estimates taken over the phantom population. The mean errors in the residence time estimates over all the organs were <9.9% (pure QSPECT), <13.2% (pure QPLanar), <7.2% (hybrid QPlanar/QSPECT), <19.2% (hybrid CPlanar/QSPECT), and 7%-159% (pure CPlanar). The standard deviations of the errors for all the organs over all the phantoms were <9.9%, <11.9%, <10.8%, <22.0%, and <107.9% for the same methods, respectively. The processing methods differed both in terms of their average accuracy and the variation of the accuracy over the population of phantoms, thus demonstrating the importance of using a phantom population in evaluating quantitative imaging methods. Hybrid CPlanar/QSPECT provided improved accuracy compared to pure CPlanar and required the addition of only a single SPECT acquisition. The QPlanar or hybrid QPlanar/QSPECT methods had mean errors and standard deviations of errors that approached those of pure QSPECT while providing simplified image acquisition protocols, and thus may be more clinically practical.

  17. The role of phenotype in gene discovery in the whole genome sequencing era

    PubMed Central

    Almasy, Laura

    2012-01-01

    As whole genome sequence becomes a routine component of gene discovery studies in humans, we will have an exhaustive catalog of genetic variation and the challenge becomes understanding the phenotypic consequences of these variants. Statistical genetic methods and analytical approaches that are concerned with optimizing phenotypes for gene discovery for complex traits offer two general categories of advantages. They may increase power to localize genes of interest and also aid in interpreting associations between genetic variants and disease outcomes by suggesting potential mechanisms and pathways through which genes may affect outcomes. Such phenotype optimization approaches include use of allied phenotypes such as symptoms or ages of onset to reduce genetic heterogeneity within a set of cases, study of quantitative risk factors or endophenotypes, joint analyses of related phenotypes, and derivation of new phenotypes designed to extract independent measures underlying the correlations among a set of related phenotypes through approaches such as principal components. New opportunities are also presented by technological advances that permit efficient collection of hundreds or thousands of phenotypes on an individual, including phenotypes more proximal to the level of gene action such as levels of gene expression, microRNAs, or metabolic and proteomic profiles. PMID:22722752

  18. Variation in heading date conceals quantitative trait loci for other traits of importance in breeding selection of rice

    PubMed Central

    Hori, Kiyosumi; Kataoka, Tomomori; Miura, Kiyoyuki; Yamaguchi, Masayuki; Saka, Norikuni; Nakahara, Takahiro; Sunohara, Yoshihiro; Ebana, Kaworu; Yano, Masahiro

    2012-01-01

    To identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with the primary target traits for selection in practical rice breeding programs, backcross inbred lines (BILs) derived from crosses between temperate japonica rice cultivars Nipponbare and Koshihikari were evaluated for 50 agronomic traits at six experimental fields located throughout Japan. Thirty-three of the 50 traits were significantly correlated with heading date. Using a linkage map including 647 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), a total of 122 QTLs for 38 traits were mapped on all rice chromosomes except chromosomes 5 and 9. Fifty-eight of the 122 QTLs were detected near the heading date QTLs Hd16 and Hd17 and the remaining 64 QTLs were found in other chromosome regions. QTL analysis of 51 BILs having homozygous for the Koshihikari chromosome segments around Hd16 and Hd17 allowed us to detect 40 QTLs associated with 27 traits; 23 of these QTLs had not been detected in the original analysis. Among the 97 QTLs for the 30 traits measured in multiple environments, the genotype-by-environment interaction was significant for 44 QTLs and not significant for 53 QTLs. These results led us to propose a new selection strategy to improve agronomic performance in temperate japonica rice cultivars. PMID:23226082

  19. The Optokinetic Reflex as a Tool for Quantitative Analyses of Nervous System Function in Mice: Application to Genetic and Drug-Induced Variation

    PubMed Central

    Cahill, Hugh; Nathans, Jeremy

    2008-01-01

    The optokinetic reflex (OKR), which serves to stabilize a moving image on the retina, is a behavioral response that has many favorable attributes as a test of CNS function. The OKR requires no training, assesses the function of diverse CNS circuits, can be induced repeatedly with minimal fatigue or adaptation, and produces an electronic record that is readily and objectively quantifiable. We describe a new type of OKR test apparatus in which computer-controlled visual stimuli and streamlined data analysis facilitate a relatively high throughput behavioral assay. We used this apparatus, in conjunction with infrared imaging, to quantify basic OKR stimulus-response characteristics for C57BL/6J and 129/SvEv mouse strains and for genetically engineered lines lacking one or more photoreceptor systems or with an alteration in cone spectral sensitivity. A second generation (F2) cross shows that the characteristic difference in OKR frequency between C57BL/6J and 129/SvEv is inherited as a polygenic trait. Finally, we demonstrate the sensitivity and high temporal resolution of the OKR for quantitative analysis of CNS drug action. These experiments show that the mouse OKR is well suited for neurologic testing in the context of drug discovery and large-scale phenotyping programs. PMID:18446207

  20. Genome-wide Association Study of N370S Homozygous Gaucher Disease Reveals the Candidacy of CLN8 gene as a Genetic Modifier Contributing to Extreme Phenotypic Variation

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Clarence K.; Stein, Philip B.; Liu, Jun; Pastores, Gregory M.; Wang, Zuoheng; Yang, Ruhua; Cho, Judy H.; Gregersen, Peter K.; Aerts, Johannes M. F. G.; Zhao, Hongyu; Mistry, Pramod K.

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in GBA1 gene result in defective acid ?-glucosidase and the complex phenotype of Gaucher disease (GD) related to the accumulation of glucosylceramide-laden macrophages. The phenotype is highly variable even among patients harboring identical GBA1 mutations. We hypothesized that modifier gene(s) underlie phenotypic diversity in GD and performed a GWAS study in Ashkenazi Jewish patients with type 1 GD (GD1), homozygous for N370S mutation. Patients were assigned to mild, moderate or severe disease category using composite disease severity scoring systems. Whole-genome genotyping for >500,000 SNPs was performed to search for associations using OQLS algorithm in 139 eligible patients. Several SNPs in linkage disequilibrium within the CLN8 gene locus were associated with the GD1 severity: SNP rs11986414 was associated with GD1 severity at p value 1.26 × 10?6. Compared to mild disease, risk allele A at rs11986414 conferred an odds ratio of 3.72 for moderate/severe disease. Loss of function mutations in CLN8 causes neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis but our results indicate that its increased expression may protect against severe GD1. In cultured skin fibroblasts, the relative expression of CLN8 was higher in mild GD compared to severely affected patients in whom CLN8 risk alleles were over-represented. In an in vitro cell model of GD, CLN8 expression was increased which was further enhanced in the presence of bioactive substrate, glucosylsphingosine. Taken together, CLN8 is a candidate modifier gene for GD1 that may function as a protective sphingolipid sensor and/or in glycosphingolipid trafficking. Future studies should explore the role of CLN8 in pathophysiology of GD. PMID:22388998

  1. Phylogenetic Classification at Generic Level in the Absence of Distinct Phylogenetic Patterns of Phenotypical Variation: A Case Study in Graphidaceae (Ascomycota)

    PubMed Central

    Parnmen, Sittiporn; Lücking, Robert; Lumbsch, H. Thorsten

    2012-01-01

    Molecular phylogenies often reveal that taxa circumscribed by phenotypical characters are not monophyletic. While re-examination of phenotypical characters often identifies the presence of characters characterizing clades, there is a growing number of studies that fail to identify diagnostic characters, especially in organismal groups lacking complex morphologies. Taxonomists then can either merge the groups or split taxa into smaller entities. Due to the nature of binomial nomenclature, this decision is of special importance at the generic level. Here we propose a new approach to choose among classification alternatives using a combination of morphology-based phylogenetic binning and a multiresponse permutation procedure to test for morphological differences among clades. We illustrate the use of this method in the tribe Thelotremateae focusing on the genus Chapsa, a group of lichenized fungi in which our phylogenetic estimate is in conflict with traditional classification and the morphological and chemical characters do not show a clear phylogenetic pattern. We generated 75 new DNA sequences of mitochondrial SSU rDNA, nuclear LSU rDNA and the protein-coding RPB2. This data set was used to infer phylogenetic estimates using maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches. The genus Chapsa was found to be polyphyletic, forming four well-supported clades, three of which clustering into one unsupported clade, and the other, supported clade forming two supported subclades. While these clades cannot be readily separated morphologically, the combined binning/multiresponse permutation procedure showed that accepting the four clades as different genera each reflects the phenotypical pattern significantly better than accepting two genera (or five genera if splitting the first clade). Another species within the Thelotremateae, Thelotrema petractoides, a unique taxon with carbonized excipulum resembling Schizotrema, was shown to fall outside Thelotrema. Consequently, the new genera Astrochapsa, Crutarndina, Pseudochapsa, and Pseudotopeliopsis are described here and 39 new combinations are proposed. PMID:23251515

  2. Phenotype-genotype correlations of facial width and height proportions in patients with Class II malocclusion

    PubMed Central

    Uribe, L.M. Moreno; Ray, A.; Blanchette, D. R.; Dawson, D.V.; Southard, T.E.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To characterize soft tissue facial height and width variation in Class II malocclusion and test for correlations with genes HMGA2, AJUBA and ADK. Setting and Sample Population Nine facial proportions were estimated from 2D frontal repose photographs of 330 Caucasian adults with Class II malocclusion. Material & Methods After adjustments for age and gender, the facial proportions were submitted to a principal component analyses (PCA). The most meaningful phenotypic variations were correlated with SNPS rs7924176 (ADK), rs17101923 (HMGA2), and rs997154 (AJUBA) genotyped in 106 individuals. Results PCA resulted in 4 principal components (PCs) which explained 75% of total variation. PC1 captured variation in the intercanthus distance and explained 28% of total variation. PC2 explained 21% of the variations in facial taper and facial index. PC3 explained 14% and reflected variations in the vertical dimension of the lower face. PC4 explained 12% and captured variations in distance between the eyes, width of the commissures, and the length of the superior aspect of the lower face height, corresponding to the vertical dimension of the philtrum of the upper lip. A suggestive association (p<0.05) was observed between PC4 and rs997154 corroborating the role of AJUBA in variation of facial dimensions. Conclusion 2D frontal photographs can be used to derive quantitative measures of soft tissue phenotypes that are of clinical relevance. The methods described are suitable for discovery and replication of associations between genotypes and malocclusion phenotypes. PMID:25865538

  3. Behavioral idiosyncrasy reveals genetic control of phenotypic variability

    PubMed Central

    Ayroles, Julien F.; Buchanan, Sean M.; O’Leary, Chelsea; Skutt-Kakaria, Kyobi; Grenier, Jennifer K.; Clark, Andrew G.; Hartl, Daniel L.; de Bivort, Benjamin L.

    2015-01-01

    Quantitative genetics has primarily focused on describing genetic effects on trait means and largely ignored the effect of alternative alleles on trait variability, potentially missing an important axis of genetic variation contributing to phenotypic differences among individuals. To study the genetic effects on individual-to-individual phenotypic variability (or intragenotypic variability), we used Drosophila inbred lines and measured the spontaneous locomotor behavior of flies walking individually in Y-shaped mazes, focusing on variability in locomotor handedness, an assay optimized to measure variability. We discovered that some lines had consistently high levels of intragenotypic variability among individuals, whereas lines with low variability behaved as although they tossed a coin at each left/right turn decision. We demonstrate that the degree of variability is itself heritable. Using a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for the degree of intragenotypic variability as the phenotype across lines, we identified several genes expressed in the brain that affect variability in handedness without affecting the mean. One of these genes, Ten-a, implicates a neuropil in the central complex of the fly brain as influencing the magnitude of behavioral variability, a brain region involved in sensory integration and locomotor coordination. We validated these results using genetic deficiencies, null alleles, and inducible RNAi transgenes. Our study reveals the constellation of phenotypes that can arise from a single genotype and shows that different genetic backgrounds differ dramatically in their propensity for phenotypic variabililty. Because traditional mean-focused GWASs ignore the contribution of variability to overall phenotypic variation, current methods may miss important links between genotype and phenotype. PMID:25953335

  4. Quantitative assessment of single-cell whole genome amplification methods for detecting copy number variation using hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Ning, Luwen; Li, Zhoufang; Wang, Guan; Hu, Wen; Hou, Qingming; Tong, Yin; Zhang, Meng; Chen, Yao; Qin, Li; Chen, Xiaoping; Man, Heng-Ye; Liu, Pinghua; He, Jiankui

    2015-01-01

    Single-cell genomic analysis has grown rapidly in recent years and finds widespread applications in various fields of biology, including cancer biology, development, immunology, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, and neurobiology. To date, the amplification bias, amplification uniformity and reproducibility of the three major single cell whole genome amplification methods (GenomePlex WGA4, MDA and MALBAC) have not been systematically investigated using mammalian cells. In this study, we amplified genomic DNA from individual hippocampal neurons using three single-cell DNA amplification methods, and sequenced them at shallow depth. We then systematically evaluated the GC-bias, reproducibility, and copy number variations among individual neurons. Our results showed that single-cell genome sequencing results obtained from the MALBAC and WGA4 methods are highly reproducible and have a high success rate. The MALBAC displays significant biases towards high GC content. We then attempted to correct the GC bias issue by developing a bioinformatics pipeline, which allows us to call CNVs in single cell sequencing data, and chromosome level and sub-chromosomal level CNVs among individual neurons can be detected. We also proposed a metric to determine the CNV detection limits. Overall, MALBAC and WGA4 have better performance than MDA in detecting CNVs. PMID:26091148

  5. Quantitative assessment of single-cell whole genome amplification methods for detecting copy number variation using hippocampal neurons

    PubMed Central

    Ning, Luwen; Li, Zhoufang; Wang, Guan; Hu, Wen; Hou, Qingming; Tong, Yin; Zhang, Meng; Chen, Yao; Qin, Li; Chen, Xiaoping; Man, Heng-Ye; Liu, Pinghua; He, Jiankui

    2015-01-01

    Single-cell genomic analysis has grown rapidly in recent years and finds widespread applications in various fields of biology, including cancer biology, development, immunology, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, and neurobiology. To date, the amplification bias, amplification uniformity and reproducibility of the three major single cell whole genome amplification methods (GenomePlex WGA4, MDA and MALBAC) have not been systematically investigated using mammalian cells. In this study, we amplified genomic DNA from individual hippocampal neurons using three single-cell DNA amplification methods, and sequenced them at shallow depth. We then systematically evaluated the GC-bias, reproducibility, and copy number variations among individual neurons. Our results showed that single-cell genome sequencing results obtained from the MALBAC and WGA4 methods are highly reproducible and have a high success rate. The MALBAC displays significant biases towards high GC content. We then attempted to correct the GC bias issue by developing a bioinformatics pipeline, which allows us to call CNVs in single cell sequencing data, and chromosome level and sub-chromosomal level CNVs among individual neurons can be detected. We also proposed a metric to determine the CNV detection limits. Overall, MALBAC and WGA4 have better performance than MDA in detecting CNVs. PMID:26091148

  6. Quantitative and qualitative variation of fat in model vanilla custard desserts: effects on sensory properties and consumer acceptance.

    PubMed

    Tomaschunas, Maja; Köhn, Ehrhard; Bennwitz, Petra; Hinrichs, Jörg; Busch-Stockfisch, Mechthild

    2013-06-01

    The effects of variation in fat content (0.1% to 15.8%) and type of fat, using different types of milk, dairy cream, or vegetable fat cream, on sensory characteristics and consumer acceptance of starch-based vanilla model custards were studied. Descriptive analysis with trained panelists and consumer testing with untrained assessors were applied. Descriptive data were related to hedonic data using principal component analysis to determine drivers of liking and disliking. Results demonstrated an increasing effect of fat concerning visual and oral thickness, creamy flavor, and fat-related texture properties, as well as a decreasing effect concerning yellow color and surface shine. A lack of fat caused moderate intensities in pudding-like flavor attributes and an intensive jelly texture. Adding a vegetable fat cream led to lower intensities in attributes yellow color, cooked flavor, thick, and jelly texture, whereas intensities in vegetable fat flavor and fat-related texture properties increased. All consumers favored custards with medium fat contents, being high in pudding-like and vegetable fat flavor as well as in fat-related texture attributes. Nonfat custards were rejected due to jelly texture and moderate intensities in pudding-flavor attributes. High-fat samples were liked by some consumers, but their high intensities in thickness, white color, and creamy flavor also drove disliking for others. PMID:23772708

  7. On the capability of Swarm for surface mass variation monitoring: Quantitative assessment based on orbit information from CHAMP, GRACE and GOCE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baur, Oliver; Weigelt, Matthias; Zehentner, Norbert; Mayer-Gürr, Torsten; Jäggi, Adrian

    2014-05-01

    In the last decade, temporal variations of the gravity field from GRACE observations have become one of the most ubiquitous and valuable sources of information for geophysical and environmental studies. In the context of global climate change, mass balance of the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets gained particular attention. Because GRACE has outlived its predicted lifetime by several years already, it is very likely that a gap between GRACE and its successor GRACE follow-on (supposed to be launched in 2017, at the earliest) occurs. The Swarm mission - launched on November 22, 2013 - is the most promising candidate to bridge this potential gap, i.e., to directly acquire large-scale mass variation information on the Earth's surface in case of a gap between the present GRACE and the upcoming GRACE follow-on projects. Although the magnetometry mission Swarm has not been designed for gravity field purposes, its three satellites have the characteristics for such an endeavor: (i) low, near-circular and near-polar orbits, (ii) precise positioning with high-quality GNSS receivers, (iii) on-board accelerometers to measure the influence of non-gravitational forces. Hence, from an orbit analysis point of view the Swarm satellites are comparable to the CHAMP, GRACE and GOCE spacecraft. Indeed and as data analysis from CHAMP has been shown, the detection of annual signals and trends from orbit analysis is possible for long-wavelength features of the gravity field, although the accuracy associated with the inter-satellite GRACE measurements cannot be reached. We assess the capability of the (non-dedicated) mission Swarm for mass variation detection in a real-case environment (opposed to simulation studies). For this purpose, we "approximate" the Swarm scenario by the GRACE+CHAMP and GRACE+GOCE constellations. In a first step, kinematic orbits of the individual satellites are derived from GNSS observations. From these orbits, we compute monthly combined GRACE+CHAMP and GRACE+GOCE time-variable gravity fields; sophisticated techniques based on Kalman filtering are applied to reduce noise in the time series. Finally, we infer mass variation in selected areas from to gravity signal. These results are compared to the findings obtained from mass variation detection exploiting CSR-RL05 gravity fields; due to their superior quality (which is due to the fact that they are derived from inter-satellite GRACE measurements), the CSR-RL05 solutions serve as benchmark. Our quantitative assessment shows the potential and limitations of what can be expected from Swarm with regard to surface mass variation monitoring.

  8. Quantitative variations of individual carotenoids in relationship with the leaflet development of six species of the genus Ceratozamia (Cycads).

    PubMed

    Cardini, Franco; Pucci, Susanna; Calamassi, Roberto

    2006-02-01

    The content and relative variations of individual carotenoids during the leaflet development stages (I, II, III, A and P) of six species of Ceratozamia (Cycads) were investigated. There is an unusual, transitory and marked presence of six red stroma keto-carotenoids in the first development stages, while the thylakoidal carotenoids showed a low concentration during the same period. As no official A1cm1% coefficients were available, it was necessary to calculate these for the following stroma carotenoids: semi-beta-carotenone (major component), triphasiaxanthin, ceratoxanthin, ceratozamiaxanthin, kuesteriaxanthin and ceratoxanthone. The stroma keto-carotenoids, which reached the highest content in the first development stage (average of 78% of total carotenoids), were always present in the five species: C. fuscoviridis, C. robusta, C. spinosa, C. kuesteriana and C. hildae, but never in C. mexicana. From stage II, the stroma keto-carotenoids decreased and finally disappeared in the green adult leaflets. The thylakoidal carotenoids showed a minimum at stage III, and then increased to a maximum in the perennial leaflets. Among these, beta-carotene showed an anomalous and characteristic behaviour, being a minor component during leaflet development (from stage I to A). In stage P it was markedly exceeded not only by lutein but also by alpha-carotene, neoxanthin and violaxanthin, and in C. robusta also by lutein-5,6-epoxide. Additionally, the alpha/beta ratio in these species is unusual: it increased from 0.3-0.5 to 1.5-3.0 during leaflet development. Moreover, antheraxanthin amounts are very small, while zeaxanthin was present only in the evergreen leaflets of C. mexicana in small quantities. Lutein-5,6-epoxide represented more than 5% of thylakoidal carotenoids in the leaflets of all the species. A revision of the taxonomic rank of C. fuscoviridis is recommended. PMID:16399003

  9. Quantitative Estimation of the Impact of European Teleconnections on Interannual Variation of East Asian Winter Temperature and Monsoon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lim, Young-Kwon; Kim, Hae-Dong

    2014-01-01

    The impact of European teleconnections including the East AtlanticWest Russia (EA-WR), the Scandinavia (SCA), and the East Atlantic (EA) on East Asian winter temperature variability was quantified and compared with the combined effect of the Arctic Oscillation (AO), the Western Pacific (WP), and the El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which are originated in the Northern Hemispheric high-latitudes or the Pacific. Three European teleconnections explained 22-25 percent of the total monthly upper-tropospheric height variance over Eurasia. Regression analysis revealed warming by EA-WR and EA and cooling by SCA over mid-latitude East Asia during their positive phase and vice versa. Temperature anomalies were largely explained by the advective temperature change process at the lower troposphere. The average spatial correlation over East Asia (90-180E, 10-80N) for the last 34 winters between observed and reconstructed temperature comprised of AO, WP and ENSO effect (AWE) was approximately 0.55, and adding the European teleconnection components (ESE) to the reconstructed temperature improved the correlation up to approximately 0.64. Lower level atmospheric structure demonstrated that approximately five of the last 34 winters were significantly better explained by ESE than AWE to determine East Asian seasonal winter temperatures. We also compared the impact between EA-WR and AO on the 1) East Asian winter monsoon, 2) cold surge, and 3) the Siberian high. These three were strongly coupled, and their spatial features and interannual variation were somewhat better explained by EA-WR than AO. Results suggest that the EA-WR impact must be treated more importantly than previously thought for a better understanding of East Asian winter temperature and monsoon variability.

  10. Topological Phenotypes in Complex Leaf Venation Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ronellenfitsch, Henrik; Lasser, Jana; Daly, Douglas; Katifori, Eleni

    2015-03-01

    The leaves of vascular plants contain highly complex venation networks consisting of recursively nested, hierarchically organized loops. We analyze the topology of the venation of leaves from ca. 200 species belonging to ca. 10 families, defining topological metrics that quantify the hierarchical nestedness of the network cycles. We find that most of the venation variability can be described by a two dimensional phenotypic space, where one dimension consists of a linear combination of geometrical metrics and the other dimension of topological, previously uncharacterized metrics. We show how this new topological dimension in the phenotypic space significantly improves identification of leaves from fragments, by calculating a ``leaf fingerprint'' from the topology and geometry of the higher order veins. Further, we present a simple model suggesting that the topological phenotypic traits can be explained by noise effects and variations in the timing of higher order vein developmental events. This work opens the path to (a) new quantitative identification techniques for leaves which go beyond simple geometric traits such as vein density and (b) topological quantification of other planar or almost planar networks such as arterial vaculature in the neocortex and lung tissue.

  11. Phenotyping Bleeding

    PubMed Central

    James, Paula; Coller, Barry S.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose of review Although recorded evidence of phenotyping bleeding disorders extends back two millennia, standardization of phenotyping has only begun in the past half century. This was spurred by the need for greater precision in diagnosing disorders in order to select proper laboratory tests and treatment, and the realization that the bleeding history provides prognostic information about the future risk of bleeding with surgery or invasive procedures. Recent findings New bleeding assessment tools (BATs) have been developed to: 1. evaluate the relative bleeding risks associated with new anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents, 2. assess the efficacy of new thrombopoiesis stimulating agents in preventing hemorrhage in patients with immune thrombocytopenia, and 3. assess complex gene-gene and gene-environment interactions. New web-based systems allow many researchers to collaborate by sharing the same electronic phenotyping infrastructure. Major issues of validation remain, but at present, the data indicate that the new BATs have relatively high negative predictive value for excluding a significant bleeding disorder, but disappointingly low positive predictive values. Summary New instruments to phenotype bleeding have been developed to address a number of different important clinical and research goals. The improved standardization and opportunities for collaborative studies hold promise for maximizing diagnostic, prognostic, and scientific information. PMID:22759628

  12. A quantitative trait locus on Bos taurus autosome 17 explains a large proportion of the genetic variation in de novo synthesized milk fatty acids.

    PubMed

    Duchemin, S I; Visker, M H P W; Van Arendonk, J A M; Bovenhuis, H

    2014-11-01

    A genomic region associated with milk fatty acid (FA) composition has been detected on Bos taurus autosome (BTA)17 based on 50,000 (50K) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotypes. The aim of our study was to fine-map BTA17 with imputed 777,000 (777 K) SNP genotypes to identify candidate genes associated with milk FA composition. Phenotypes consisted of gas chromatography measurements of 14 FA based on winter and summer milk samples. Phenotypes and genotypes were available on 1,640 animals in winter milk, and on 1,581 animals in summer milk samples. Single-SNP analyses showed that several SNP in a region located between 29.0 and 34.0 Mbp were in strong association with C6:0, C8:0, and C10:0. This region was further characterized based on haplotypes. In summer milk samples, for example, these haplotypes explained almost 10% of the genetic variance in C6:0, 9% in C8:0, 3.5% in C10:0, 1.8% in C12:0, and 0.9% in C14:0. Two groups of haplotypes with distinct predicted effects could be defined, suggesting the presence of one causal variant. Predicted haplotype effects tended to increase from C6:0 to C14:0; however, the proportion of genetic variance explained by the haplotypes tended to decrease from C6:0 to C14:0. This is an indication that the quantitative trait locus (QTL) region is involved either in the elongation process or in early termination of de novo synthesized FA. Although many genes are present in this QTL region, most of these genes on BTA17 have not been characterized yet. The strongest association was found close to the progesterone receptor membrane component 2 (PGRMC2) gene, which has not yet been associated with milk FA composition. Therefore, no clear candidate gene associated with milk FA composition could be identified for this QTL. PMID:25242430

  13. Transmission-disequilibrium tests for quantitative traits

    SciTech Connect

    Allison, D.B.

    1997-03-01

    The transmission-disequilibrium test (TDT) of Spielman et al. is a family-based linkage-disequilibrium test that offers a powerful way to test for linkage between alleles and phenotypes that is either causal (i.e., the marker locus is the disease/trait allele) or due to linkage disequilibrium. The TDT is equivalent to a randomized experiment and, therefore, is resistant to confounding. When the marker is extremely close to the disease locus or is the disease locus itself, tests such as the TDT can be far more powerful than conventional linkage tests. To date, the TDT and most other family-based association tests have been applied only to dichotomous traits. This paper develops five TDT-type tests for use with quantitative traits. These tests accommodate either unselected sampling or sampling based on selection of phenotypically extreme offspring. Power calculations are provided and show that, when a candidate gene is available (1) these TDT-type tests are at least an order of magnitude more efficient than two common sib-pair tests of linkage; (2) extreme sampling results in substantial increases in power; and (3) if the most extreme 20% of the phenotypic distribution is selectively sampled, across a wide variety of plausible genetic models, quantitative-trait loci explaining as little as 5% of the phenotypic variation can be detected at the .0001 a level with <300 observations. 57 refs., 2 figs., 5 tabs.

  14. Precision phenotyping of biomass accumulation in triticale reveals temporal genetic patterns of regulation

    PubMed Central

    Busemeyer, Lucas; Ruckelshausen, Arno; Möller, Kim; Melchinger, Albrecht E.; Alheit, Katharina V.; Maurer, Hans Peter; Hahn, Volker; Weissmann, Elmar A.; Reif, Jochen C.; Würschum, Tobias

    2013-01-01

    To extend agricultural productivity by knowledge-based breeding and tailor varieties adapted to specific environmental conditions, it is imperative to improve our ability to assess the dynamic changes of the phenome of crops under field conditions. To this end, we have developed a precision phenotyping platform that combines various sensors for a non-invasive, high-throughput and high-dimensional phenotyping of small grain cereals. This platform yielded high prediction accuracies and heritabilities for biomass of triticale. Genetic variation for biomass accumulation was dissected with 647 doubled haploid lines derived from four families. Employing a genome-wide association mapping approach, two major quantitative trait loci (QTL) for biomass were identified and the genetic architecture of biomass accumulation was found to be characterized by dynamic temporal patterns. Our findings highlight the potential of precision phenotyping to assess the dynamic genetics of complex traits, especially those not amenable to traditional phenotyping. PMID:23942574

  15. Precision phenotyping of biomass accumulation in triticale reveals temporal genetic patterns of regulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busemeyer, Lucas; Ruckelshausen, Arno; Möller, Kim; Melchinger, Albrecht E.; Alheit, Katharina V.; Maurer, Hans Peter; Hahn, Volker; Weissmann, Elmar A.; Reif, Jochen C.; Würschum, Tobias

    2013-08-01

    To extend agricultural productivity by knowledge-based breeding and tailor varieties adapted to specific environmental conditions, it is imperative to improve our ability to assess the dynamic changes of the phenome of crops under field conditions. To this end, we have developed a precision phenotyping platform that combines various sensors for a non-invasive, high-throughput and high-dimensional phenotyping of small grain cereals. This platform yielded high prediction accuracies and heritabilities for biomass of triticale. Genetic variation for biomass accumulation was dissected with 647 doubled haploid lines derived from four families. Employing a genome-wide association mapping approach, two major quantitative trait loci (QTL) for biomass were identified and the genetic architecture of biomass accumulation was found to be characterized by dynamic temporal patterns. Our findings highlight the potential of precision phenotyping to assess the dynamic genetics of complex traits, especially those not amenable to traditional phenotyping.

  16. Exploiting Gene Expression Variation to Capture Gene-Environment Interactions for Disease

    PubMed Central

    Idaghdour, Youssef; Awadalla, Philip

    2013-01-01

    Gene-environment interactions have long been recognized as a fundamental concept in evolutionary, quantitative, and medical genetics. In the genomics era, study of how environment and genome interact to shape gene expression variation is relevant to understanding the genetic architecture of complex phenotypes. While genetic analysis of gene expression variation focused on main effects, little is known about the extent of interaction effects implicating regulatory variants and their consequences on transcriptional variation. Here we survey the current state of the concept of transcriptional gene-environment interactions and discuss its utility for mapping disease phenotypes in light of the insights gained from genome-wide association studies of gene expression. PMID:23755064

  17. Diagnosing Smith-Magenis syndrome and duplication 17p11.2 syndrome by RAI1 gene copy number variation using quantitative real-time PCR.

    PubMed

    Truong, Hoa T; Solaymani-Kohal, Sara; Baker, Kevin R; Girirajan, Santhosh; Williams, Stephen R; Vlangos, Christopher N; Smith, Ann C M; Bunyan, David J; Roffey, Paul E; Blanchard, Christopher L; Elsea, Sarah H

    2008-03-01

    Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS) and duplication 17p11.2 (dup17p11.2) syndrome are multiple congenital anomalies/mental retardation disorders resulting from either a deletion or duplication of the 17p11.2 region, respectively. The retinoic acid induced 1 (RAI1) gene is the causative gene for SMS and is included in the 17p11.2 region of dup17p11.2 syndrome. Currently SMS and dup17p11.2 syndrome are diagnosed using a combination of clinically recognized phenotypes and molecular cytogenetic analyses such as fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). However, these methods have proven to be highly expensive, time consuming, and dependent upon the low resolving capabilities of the assay. To address the need for improved diagnostic methods for SMS and dup17p11.2 syndrome, we designed a quantitative real-time PCR (Q-PCR) assay that measures RAI1 copy number using the comparative C(t) method, DeltaDeltaC(t). We tested our assay with samples blinded to their previous SMS or dup17p11.2 syndrome status. In all cases, we were able to determine RAI1 copy number status and render a correct diagnosis accordingly. We validated these results by both FISH and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). We conclude that Q-PCR is an accurate, reproducible, low-cost, and reliable assay that can be employed for routine use in SMS and dup17p11.2 diagnosis. PMID:18373405

  18. Extensive intrafamilial and interfamilial phenotypic variation among patients with autosomal dominant retinal dystrophy and mutations in the human RDS/peripherin gene.

    PubMed

    Apfelstedt-Sylla, E; Theischen, M; Rüther, K; Wedemann, H; Gal, A; Zrenner, E

    1995-01-01

    Clinical phenotypes of patients with mutations in the human RDS/peripherin gene are described. A 67-year-old woman, who carried a 1 base pair deletion in codon 307, presented with typical late onset autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (RP). In another autosomal dominant pedigree, a nonsense mutation at codon 46 caused 'inverse' retinitis pigmentosa-like fundus changes associated with progressive cone-rod degeneration in a 58-year-old man, whereas his 40-year-old son presented with yellow deposits in the retinal pigment epithelial layer resembling a pattern dystrophy, and with moderately reduced rod and cone function, as determined by two colour dark adapted threshold perimetry and electroretinography. It is suggested that both clinical pictures within this latter family may represent manifestations of fundus flavimaculatus. The clinical data of the three patients provide further evidence for the remarkable variety of disease expression within and between families with mutations in the RDS/peripherin gene. Currently, the most comprehensive statement could be that RDS/peripherin mutations are associated either with typical RP or with various forms of flecked retinal disease. PMID:7880786

  19. Experimental Crossing of Two Distinct Species of Leopard Geckos, Eublepharis angramainyu and E. macularius: Viability, Fertility and Phenotypic Variation of the Hybrids

    PubMed Central

    Jančúchová-Lásková, Jitka; Landová, Eva; Frynta, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Hybridization between distinct species of animals and subsequent genetic introgression plays a considerable role in the speciation process and the emergence of adaptive characters. Fitness of between-species hybrids usually sharply decreases with the divergence time of the concerned species and the divergence depth, which still allows for a successful crossing differs among principal clades of vertebrates. Recently, a review of hybridization events among distinct lizard species revealed that lizards belong to vertebrates with a highly developed ability to hybridize. In spite of this, reliable reports of experimental hybridizations between genetically fairly divergent species are only exceptional. Here, we show the results of the crossing of two distinct allopatric species of eyelid geckos possessing temperature sex determination and lacking sex chromosomes: Eublepharis macularius distributed in Pakistan/Afghanistan area and E. angramainyu, which inhabits Mesopotamia and adjacent areas. We demonstrated that F1 hybrids were viable and fertile, and the introgression of E. angramainyu genes into the E. macularius genome can be enabled via a backcrossing. The examined hybrids (except those of the F2 generation) displayed neither malformations nor a reduced survival. Analyses of morphometric and coloration traits confirmed phenotypic distinctness of both parental species and their F1 hybrids. These findings contrast with long-term geographic and an evolutionary separation of the studied species. Thus, the occurrence of fertile hybrids of comparably divergent species, such as E. angramainyu and E. macularius, may also be expected in other taxa of squamates. This would violate the current estimates of species diversity in lizards. PMID:26633648

  20. Experimental Crossing of Two Distinct Species of Leopard Geckos, Eublepharis angramainyu and E. macularius: Viability, Fertility and Phenotypic Variation of the Hybrids.

    PubMed

    Jan?úchová-Lásková, Jitka; Landová, Eva; Frynta, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Hybridization between distinct species of animals and subsequent genetic introgression plays a considerable role in the speciation process and the emergence of adaptive characters. Fitness of between-species hybrids usually sharply decreases with the divergence time of the concerned species and the divergence depth, which still allows for a successful crossing differs among principal clades of vertebrates. Recently, a review of hybridization events among distinct lizard species revealed that lizards belong to vertebrates with a highly developed ability to hybridize. In spite of this, reliable reports of experimental hybridizations between genetically fairly divergent species are only exceptional. Here, we show the results of the crossing of two distinct allopatric species of eyelid geckos possessing temperature sex determination and lacking sex chromosomes: Eublepharis macularius distributed in Pakistan/Afghanistan area and E. angramainyu, which inhabits Mesopotamia and adjacent areas. We demonstrated that F1 hybrids were viable and fertile, and the introgression of E. angramainyu genes into the E. macularius genome can be enabled via a backcrossing. The examined hybrids (except those of the F2 generation) displayed neither malformations nor a reduced survival. Analyses of morphometric and coloration traits confirmed phenotypic distinctness of both parental species and their F1 hybrids. These findings contrast with long-term geographic and an evolutionary separation of the studied species. Thus, the occurrence of fertile hybrids of comparably divergent species, such as E. angramainyu and E. macularius, may also be expected in other taxa of squamates. This would violate the current estimates of species diversity in lizards. PMID:26633648

  1. Advances in Quantitative Trait Analysis in Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Liti, Gianni; Louis, Edward J.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the genetic mechanisms underlying complex traits is one of the next frontiers in biology. The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has become an important model for elucidating the mechanisms that govern natural genetic and phenotypic variation. This success is partially due to its intrinsic biological features, such as the short sexual generation time, high meiotic recombination rate, and small genome size. Precise reverse genetics technologies allow the high throughput manipulation of genetic information with exquisite precision, offering the unique opportunity to experimentally measure the phenotypic effect of genetic variants. Population genomic and phenomic studies have revealed widespread variation between diverged populations, characteristic of man-made environments, as well as geographic clusters of wild strains along with naturally occurring recombinant strains (mosaics). Here, we review these recent studies and provide a perspective on how these previously unappreciated levels of variation can help to bridge our understanding of the genotype-phenotype gap, keeping budding yeast at the forefront of genetic studies. Not only are quantitative trait loci (QTL) being mapped with high resolution down to the nucleotide, for the first time QTLs of modest effect and complex interactions between these QTLs and between QTLs and the environment are being determined experimentally at unprecedented levels using next generation techniques of deep sequencing selected pools of individuals as well as multi-generational crosses. PMID:22916041

  2. Phenotypic plasticity of gas exchange pattern and water loss in Scarabaeus spretus (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae): deconstructing the basis for metabolic rate variation.

    PubMed

    Terblanche, John S; Clusella-Trullas, Susana; Chown, Steven L

    2010-09-01

    Investigation of gas exchange patterns and modulation of metabolism provide insight into metabolic control systems and evolution in diverse terrestrial environments. Variation in metabolic rate in response to environmental conditions has been explained largely in the context of two contrasting hypotheses, namely metabolic depression in response to stressful or resource-(e.g. water) limited conditions, or elevation of metabolism at low temperatures to sustain life in extreme conditions. To deconstruct the basis for metabolic rate changes in response to temperature variation, here we undertake a full factorial study investigating the longer- and short-term effects of temperature exposure on gas exchange patterns. We examined responses of traits of gas exchange [standard metabolic rate (SMR); discontinuous gas exchange (DGE) cycle frequency; cuticular, respiratory and total water loss rate (WLR)] to elucidate the magnitude and form of plastic responses in the dung beetle, Scarabaeus spretus. Results showed that short- and longer-term temperature variation generally have significant effects on SMR and WLR. Overall, acclimation to increased temperature led to a decline in SMR (from 0.071+/-0.004 ml CO(2) h(-1) in 15 degrees C-acclimated beetles to 0.039+/-0.004 ml CO(2) h(-1) in 25 degrees C-acclimated beetles measured at 20 degrees C) modulated by reduced DGE frequency (15 degrees C acclimation: 0.554+/-0.027 mHz, 20 degrees C acclimation: 0.257+/-0.030 mHz, 25 degrees C acclimation: 0.208+/-0.027 mHz recorded at 20 degrees C), reduced cuticular WLRs (from 1.058+/-0.537 mg h(-1) in 15 degrees C-acclimated beetles to 0.900+/-0.400 mg h(-1) in 25 degrees C-acclimated beetles measured at 20 degrees C) and reduced total WLR (from 4.2+/-0.5 mg h(-1) in 15 degrees C-acclimated beetles to 3.1+/-0.5 mg h(-1) in 25 degrees C-acclimated beetles measured at 25 degrees C). Respiratory WLR was reduced from 2.25+/-0.40 mg h(-1) in 15 degrees C-acclimated beetles to 1.60+/-0.40 mg h(-1) in 25 degrees C-acclimated beetles measured at 25 degrees C, suggesting conservation of water during DGE bursts. Overall, this suggests water conservation is a priority for S. spretus exposed to longer-term temperature variation, rather than elevation of SMR in response to low temperature acclimation, as might be expected from a beetle living in a relatively warm, low rainfall summer region. These results are significant for understanding the evolution of gas exchange patterns and trade-offs between metabolic rate and water balance in insects and other terrestrial arthropods. PMID:20709922

  3. Quantitative aspects of variations of 1.5-6.0 MeV electrons in the outer radiation belt during magnetic storms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, C. J.; Zong, Q.-G.

    2012-11-01

    We have quantitatively investigated the radiation belt dynamic variations of 1.5-6.0 MeV electrons during 54 coronal mass ejection (CME)-driven storms from 1993 to 2003 and 26 corotating interaction region (CIR)-driven recurrent storms in 1995 by utilizing case and statistical studies based on the data from the SAMPEX satellite. It is found that the boundaries determined by fitting an exponential to the flux as a function of L shell obtained in this study agree with the observed outer and inner boundaries of the outer radiation belt. Furthermore, we have constructed the radiation belt content (RBC) index by integrating the number density of electrons between those inner and outer boundaries. According to the ratio of the maximum RBC index during the recovery phase to the prestorm average RBC index, we conclude that CME-driven storms produce more relativistic electrons than CIR-driven storms in the entire outer radiation belt, although the relativistic electron fluxes during CIR-related storms are much higher than those during CME-related storms at geosynchronous orbit.

  4. Quantitative variation in water-use efficiency across water regimes and its relationship with circadian, vegetative, reproductive, and leaf gas-exchange traits.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Christine E; Ewers, Brent E; McClung, C Robertson; Lou, Ping; Weinig, Cynthia

    2012-05-01

    Drought limits light harvesting, resulting in lower plant growth and reproduction. One trait important for plant drought response is water-use efficiency (WUE). We investigated (1) how the joint genetic architecture of WUE, reproductive characters, and vegetative traits changed across drought and well-watered conditions, (2) whether traits with distinct developmental bases (e.g. leaf gas exchange versus reproduction) differed in the environmental sensitivity of their genetic architecture, and (3) whether quantitative variation in circadian period was related to drought response in Brassica rapa. Overall, WUE increased in drought, primarily because stomatal conductance, and thus water loss, declined more than carbon fixation. Genotypes with the highest WUE in drought expressed the lowest WUE in well-watered conditions, and had the largest vegetative and floral organs in both treatments. Thus, large changes in WUE enabled some genotypes to approach vegetative and reproductive trait optima across environments. The genetic architecture differed for gas-exchange and vegetative traits across drought and well-watered conditions, but not for floral traits. Correlations between circadian and leaf gas-exchange traits were significant but did not vary across treatments, indicating that circadian period affects physiological function regardless of water availability. These results suggest that WUE is important for drought tolerance in Brassica rapa and that artificial selection for increased WUE in drought will not result in maladaptive expression of other traits that are correlated with WUE. PMID:22319207

  5. Allelic variants of the amylose extender mutation of maize demonstrate phenotypic variation in starch structure resulting from modified protein–protein interactions

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Fushan; Ahmed, Zaheer; Lee, Elizabeth A.; Donner, Elizabeth; Liu, Qiang; Ahmed, Regina; Morell, Matthew K.; Emes, Michael J.; Tetlow, Ian J.

    2012-01-01

    amylose extender (ae−) starches characteristically have modified starch granule morphology resulting from amylopectin with reduced branch frequency and longer glucan chains in clusters, caused by the loss of activity of the major starch branching enzyme (SBE), which in maize endosperm is SBEIIb. A recent study with ae− maize lacking the SBEIIb protein (termed ae1.1 herein) showed that novel protein–protein interactions between enzymes of starch biosynthesis in the amyloplast could explain the starch phenotype of the ae1.1 mutant. The present study examined an allelic variant of the ae− mutation, ae1.2, which expresses a catalytically inactive form of SBEIIb. The catalytically inactive SBEIIb in ae1.2 lacks a 28 amino acid peptide (Val272–Pro299) and is unable to bind to amylopectin. Analysis of starch from ae1.2 revealed altered granule morphology and physicochemical characteristics distinct from those of the ae1.1 mutant as well as the wild-type, including altered apparent amylose content and gelatinization properties. Starch from ae1.2 had fewer intermediate length glucan chains (degree of polymerization 16–20) than ae1.1. Biochemical analysis of ae1.2 showed that there were differences in the organization and assembly of protein complexes of starch biosynthetic enzymes in comparison with ae1.1 (and wild-type) amyloplasts, which were also reflected in the composition of starch granule-bound proteins. The formation of stromal protein complexes in the wild-type and ae1.2 was strongly enhanced by ATP, and broken by phosphatase treatment, indicating a role for protein phosphorylation in their assembly. Labelling experiments with [γ-32P]ATP showed that the inactive form of SBEIIb in ae1.2 was phosphorylated, both in the monomeric form and in association with starch synthase isoforms. Although the inactive SBEIIb was unable to bind starch directly, it was strongly associated with the starch granule, reinforcing the conclusion that its presence in the granules is a result of physical association with other enzymes of starch synthesis. In addition, an Mn2+-based affinity ligand, specific for phosphoproteins, was used to show that the granule-bound forms of SBEIIb in the wild-type and ae1.2 were phosphorylated, as was the granule-bound form of SBEI found in ae1.2 starch. The data strongly support the hypothesis that the complement of heteromeric complexes of proteins involved in amylopectin synthesis contributes to the fine structure and architecture of the starch granule. PMID:22121198

  6. Allelic variants of the amylose extender mutation of maize demonstrate phenotypic variation in starch structure resulting from modified protein-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Liu, Fushan; Ahmed, Zaheer; Lee, Elizabeth A; Donner, Elizabeth; Liu, Qiang; Ahmed, Regina; Morell, Matthew K; Emes, Michael J; Tetlow, Ian J

    2012-02-01

    Amylose extender (ae(-)) starches characteristically have modified starch granule morphology resulting from amylopectin with reduced branch frequency and longer glucan chains in clusters, caused by the loss of activity of the major starch branching enzyme (SBE), which in maize endosperm is SBEIIb. A recent study with ae(-) maize lacking the SBEIIb protein (termed ae1.1 herein) showed that novel protein-protein interactions between enzymes of starch biosynthesis in the amyloplast could explain the starch phenotype of the ae1.1 mutant. The present study examined an allelic variant of the ae(-) mutation, ae1.2, which expresses a catalytically inactive form of SBEIIb. The catalytically inactive SBEIIb in ae1.2 lacks a 28 amino acid peptide (Val272-Pro299) and is unable to bind to amylopectin. Analysis of starch from ae1.2 revealed altered granule morphology and physicochemical characteristics distinct from those of the ae1.1 mutant as well as the wild-type, including altered apparent amylose content and gelatinization properties. Starch from ae1.2 had fewer intermediate length glucan chains (degree of polymerization 16-20) than ae1.1. Biochemical analysis of ae1.2 showed that there were differences in the organization and assembly of protein complexes of starch biosynthetic enzymes in comparison with ae1.1 (and wild-type) amyloplasts, which were also reflected in the composition of starch granule-bound proteins. The formation of stromal protein complexes in the wild-type and ae1.2 was strongly enhanced by ATP, and broken by phosphatase treatment, indicating a role for protein phosphorylation in their assembly. Labelling experiments with [γ-(32)P]ATP showed that the inactive form of SBEIIb in ae1.2 was phosphorylated, both in the monomeric form and in association with starch synthase isoforms. Although the inactive SBEIIb was unable to bind starch directly, it was strongly associated with the starch granule, reinforcing the conclusion that its presence in the granules is a result of physical association with other enzymes of starch synthesis. In addition, an Mn(2+)-based affinity ligand, specific for phosphoproteins, was used to show that the granule-bound forms of SBEIIb in the wild-type and ae1.2 were phosphorylated, as was the granule-bound form of SBEI found in ae1.2 starch. The data strongly support the hypothesis that the complement of heteromeric complexes of proteins involved in amylopectin synthesis contributes to the fine structure and architecture of the starch granule. PMID:22121198

  7. Genome wide search for variation associated with micronutrient density of developing rice grains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    "Omic" tools are rapidly being employed to delineate the biological framework controlling phenotypes of interest in crop species. An advanced understanding of the genetic basis for quantitative trait variation has been made possible through genome wide association studies (GWAS) that make use of gen...

  8. Genome-wide association studies of quantitatively measured skin, hair, and eye pigmentation in four European populations.

    PubMed

    Candille, Sophie I; Absher, Devin M; Beleza, Sandra; Bauchet, Marc; McEvoy, Brian; Garrison, Nanibaa' A; Li, Jun Z; Myers, R