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Sample records for aflatoxin gene cluster

  1. Aflatoxin biosynthesis cluster gene cypA is required for G aflatoxin formation.

    PubMed

    Ehrlich, Kenneth C; Chang, Perng-Kuang; Yu, Jiujiang; Cotty, Peter J

    2004-11-01

    Aspergillus flavus isolates produce only aflatoxins B1 and B2, while Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus nomius produce aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2. Sequence comparison of the aflatoxin biosynthesis pathway gene cluster upstream from the polyketide synthase gene, pksA, revealed that A. flavus isolates are missing portions of genes (cypA and norB) predicted to encode, respectively, a cytochrome P450 monooxygenase and an aryl alcohol dehydrogenase. Insertional disruption of cypA in A. parasiticus yielded transformants that lack the ability to produce G aflatoxins but not B aflatoxins. The enzyme encoded by cypA has highest amino acid identity to Gibberella zeae Tri4 (38%), a P450 monooxygenase previously shown to be involved in trichodiene epoxidation. The substrate for CypA may be an intermediate formed by oxidative cleavage of the A ring of O-methylsterigmatocystin by OrdA, the P450 monooxygenase required for formation of aflatoxins B1 and B2. PMID:15528514

  2. Degeneration of aflatoxin gene cluster in Aspergillus flavus from Africa and North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aspergillus flavus is the primary causal agent of food and feed contamination with the toxic fungal metabolites aflatoxins. Aflatoxin-producing potential of A. flavus is known to vary among isolates. The genes involved in aflatoxin biosynthesis are clustered together and the order of genes within th...

  3. Degeneration of aflatoxin gene clusters in Aspergillus flavus from Africa and North America.

    PubMed

    Adhikari, Bishwo N; Bandyopadhyay, Ranajit; Cotty, Peter J

    2016-12-01

    Aspergillus flavus is the most common causal agent of aflatoxin contamination of food and feed. However, aflatoxin-producing potential varies widely among A. flavus genotypes with many producing no aflatoxins. Some non-aflatoxigenic genotypes are used as biocontrol agents to prevent contamination. Aflatoxin biosynthesis genes are tightly clustered in a highly conserved order. Gene deletions and presence of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in aflatoxin biosynthesis genes are often associated with A. flavus inability to produce aflatoxins. In order to identify mechanisms of non-aflatoxigenicity in non-aflatoxigenic genotypes of value in aflatoxin biocontrol, complete cluster sequences of 35 A. flavus genotypes from Africa and North America were analyzed. Inability of some genotypes to produce aflatoxin resulted from deletion of biosynthesis genes. In other genotypes, non-aflatoxigenicity originated from SNP formation. The process of degeneration differed across the gene cluster; genes involved in early biosynthesis stages were more likely to be deleted while genes involved in later stages displayed high frequencies of SNPs. Comparative analyses of aflatoxin gene clusters provides insight into the diversity of mechanisms of non-aflatoxigenicity in A. flavus genotypes used as biological control agents. The sequences provide resources for both diagnosis of non-aflatoxigenicity and monitoring of biocontrol genotypes during biopesticide manufacture and in the environment. PMID:27576895

  4. Predicted Roles of the Uncharacterized Clustered Genes in Aflatoxin Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Ehrlich, Kenneth C.

    2009-01-01

    Biosynthesis of the toxic and carcinogenic aflatoxins (AFs) requires the activity of more than 27 enzymes. The roles in biosynthesis of newly described enzymes are discussed in this review. We suggest that HypC catalyzes the oxidation of norsolorinic acid anthrone; AvfA (AflI), the ring-closure step in formation of hydroxyversicolorone; HypB, the second oxidation step in conversion of O-methylsterigmatocystin to AF; and HypE and NorA (AflE), the final two steps in AFB1 formation. HypD, an integral membrane protein, affects fungal development and lowers AF production while AflJ (AflS), has a partial methyltransferase domain that may be important in its function as a transcriptional co-activator. PMID:22069531

  5. Comparative mapping of aflatoxin pathway gene clusters in Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus.

    PubMed Central

    Yu, J; Chang, P K; Cary, J W; Wright, M; Bhatnagar, D; Cleveland, T E; Payne, G A; Linz, J E

    1995-01-01

    Aflatoxins are toxic and carcinogenic secondary metabolites produced by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. Aflatoxins are synthesized by condensation of acetate units; their synthesis is estimated to involve at least 16 different enzymes. In this study we have shown that at least nine genes involved in the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway are located within a 60-kb DNA fragment. Four of these genes, nor-1, aflR, ver-1, and omtA (previously named omt-1), have been cloned in A. flavus and A. parasiticus. In addition, five other genes, pksA, uvm8, aad, ord-1, and ord-2 have been recently cloned in A. parasiticus. The pksA, aad, and uvm8 genes exhibit sequence homologies to polyketide synthase, aryl-alcohol dehydrogenase, and fatty acid synthase genes, respectively. The cDNA sequences of ord-1 and ord-2 genes, which may be involved in later steps of aflatoxin biosynthesis, have been determined; the ord-1 gene product exhibits homology to cytochrome P-450-type enzymes. By characterizing the overlapping regions of the DNA inserts in different cosmid and lambda DNA clones, we have determined the order of these aflatoxin pathway genes within this 60-kb DNA region to be pksA, nor-1, uvm8, aflR, aad, ver-1, ord-1, ord-2, and omtA in A. parasiticus and nor-1, aflR, ver-1, ord-1, ord-2, and omtA in A. flavus. The order is related to the order in enzymatic steps required for aflatoxin biosynthesis. The physical distances (in kilobase pairs) and the directions of transcription of these genes have been determined for both aflatoxigenic species. PMID:7793957

  6. GENE DUPLICATION, MODULARITY AND ADAPTATION IN THE EVOLUTION OF THE AFLATOXIN GENE CLUSTER

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The biosynthesis of aflatoxin (AF) involves over 20 enzymatic reactions in a complex polyketide pathway that converts acetate and malonate to the intermediates sterigmatocystin (ST) and O-methylsterigmatocysin (OMST), the respective penultimate and ultimate precursors of AF. Although these precurso...

  7. Sexuality generates diversity in the aflatoxin gene cluster: evidence on a global scale

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The worldwide costs associated with aflatoxin monitoring and crop losses are in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Aflatoxins also account for considerable health risks, even in countries where food contamination is regulated. Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus are the most common agents of af...

  8. Characterization of the Aspergillus ochraceoroseus aflatoxin/sterigmatocystin biosynthetic gene cluster

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Production of the carcinogenic aflatoxins has been reported from members of Aspergillus section Flavi, Aspergillus section Nidulantes, and a newly proposed section, Aspergillus section Ochraceorosei that consists of Aspergillus ochraceoroseus and A. rambellii. Unlike members of section Flavi, A. oc...

  9. Dothistroma pini, a Forest Pathogen, Contains Homologs of Aflatoxin Biosynthetic Pathway Genes

    PubMed Central

    Bradshaw, Rosie E.; Bhatnagar, Deepak; Ganley, Rebecca J.; Gillman, Carmel J.; Monahan, Brendon J.; Seconi, Janet M.

    2002-01-01

    Homologs of aflatoxin biosynthetic genes have been identified in the pine needle pathogen Dothistroma pini. D. pini produces dothistromin, a difuranoanthraquinone toxin with structural similarity to the aflatoxin precursor versicolorin B. Previous studies with purified dothistromin suggest a possible role for this toxin in pathogenicity. By using an aflatoxin gene as a hybridization probe, a genomic D. pini clone was identified that contained four dot genes with similarity to genes in aflatoxin and sterigmatocystin gene clusters with predicted activities of a ketoreductase (dotA), oxidase (dotB), major facilitator superfamily transporter (dotC), and thioesterase (dotD). A D. pini dotA mutant was made by targeted gene replacement and shown to be severely impaired in dothistromin production, confirming that dotA is involved in dothistromin biosynthesis. Accumulation of versicolorin A (a precursor of aflatoxin) by the dotA mutant confirms that the dotA gene product is involved in an aflatoxin-like biosynthetic pathway. Since toxin genes have been found to be clustered in fungi in every case analyzed so far, it is speculated that the four dot genes may comprise part of a dothistromin biosynthetic gene cluster. A fifth gene, ddhA, is not a homolog of aflatoxin genes and could be at one end of the dothistromin cluster. These genes will allow comparative biochemical and genetic studies of the aflatoxin and dothistromin biosynthetic pathways and may also lead to new ways to control Dothistroma needle blight. PMID:12039746

  10. Current Understanding on Aflatoxin Biosynthesis and Future Perspective in Reducing Aflatoxin Contamination

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Jiujiang

    2012-01-01

    Traditional molecular techniques have been used in research in discovering the genes and enzymes that are involved in aflatoxin formation and genetic regulation. We cloned most, if not all, of the aflatoxin pathway genes. A consensus gene cluster for aflatoxin biosynthesis was discovered in 2005. The factors that affect aflatoxin formation have been studied. In this report, the author summarized the current status of research progress and future possibilities that may be used for solving aflatoxin contamination. PMID:23202305

  11. A systems approach to model the relationship between aflatoxin gene cluster expression, environmental factors, growth and toxin production by Aspergillus flavus

    PubMed Central

    Abdel-Hadi, Ahmed; Schmidt-Heydt, Markus; Parra, Roberto; Geisen, Rolf; Magan, Naresh

    2012-01-01

    A microarray analysis was used to examine the effect of combinations of water activity (aw, 0.995–0.90) and temperature (20–42°C) on the activation of aflatoxin biosynthetic genes (30 genes) in Aspergillus flavus grown on a conducive YES (20 g yeast extract, 150 g sucrose, 1 g MgSO4·7H2O) medium. The relative expression of 10 key genes (aflF, aflD, aflE, aflM, aflO, aflP, aflQ, aflX, aflR and aflS) in the biosynthetic pathway was examined in relation to different environmental factors and phenotypic aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) production. These data, plus data on relative growth rates and AFB1 production under different aw × temperature conditions were used to develop a mixed-growth-associated product formation model. The gene expression data were normalized and then used as a linear combination of the data for all 10 genes and combined with the physical model. This was used to relate gene expression to aw and temperature conditions to predict AFB1 production. The relationship between the observed AFB1 production provided a good linear regression fit to the predicted production based in the model. The model was then validated by examining datasets outside the model fitting conditions used (37°C, 40°C and different aw levels). The relationship between structural genes (aflD, aflM) in the biosynthetic pathway and the regulatory genes (aflS, aflJ) was examined in relation to aw and temperature by developing ternary diagrams of relative expression. These findings are important in developing a more integrated systems approach by combining gene expression, ecophysiological influences and growth data to predict mycotoxin production. This could help in developing a more targeted approach to develop prevention strategies to control such carcinogenic natural metabolites that are prevalent in many staple food products. The model could also be used to predict the impact of climate change on toxin production. PMID:21880616

  12. Aflatoxin

    MedlinePlus

    ... aflatoxin may be found in the following foods: Peanuts and peanut butter Tree nuts such as pecans Corn Wheat ... the FDA tests foods that may contain aflatoxin. Peanuts and peanut butter are some of the most ...

  13. The inhibitory effect of Bacillus megaterium on aflatoxin and cyclopiazonic acid biosynthetic pathway gene expression in Aspergillus flavus.

    PubMed

    Kong, Qing; Chi, Chen; Yu, Jiujiang; Shan, Shihua; Li, Qiyu; Li, Qianting; Guan, Bin; Nierman, William C; Bennett, Joan W

    2014-06-01

    Aspergillus flavus is one of the major moulds that colonize peanut in the field and during storage. The impact to human and animal health, and to the economy in agriculture and commerce, is significant since this mold produces the most potent known natural toxins, aflatoxins, which are carcinogenic, mutagenic, immunosuppressive, and teratogenic. A strain of marine Bacillus megaterium isolated from the Yellow Sea of East China was evaluated for its effect in inhibiting aflatoxin formation in A. flavus through down-regulating aflatoxin pathway gene expression as demonstrated by gene chip analysis. Aflatoxin accumulation in potato dextrose broth liquid medium and liquid minimal medium was almost totally (more than 98 %) inhibited by co-cultivation with B. megaterium. Growth was also reduced. Using expression studies, we identified the fungal genes down-regulated by co-cultivation with B. megaterium across the entire fungal genome and specifically within the aflatoxin pathway gene cluster (aflF, aflT, aflS, aflJ, aflL, aflX). Modulating the expression of these genes could be used for controlling aflatoxin contamination in crops such as corn, cotton, and peanut. Importantly, the expression of the regulatory gene aflS was significantly down-regulated during co-cultivation. We present a model showing a hypothesis of the regulatory mechanism of aflatoxin production suppression by AflS and AflR through B. megaterium co-cultivation.

  14. Absence of the aflatoxin biosynthesis gene, norA, allows accumulation of deoxyaflatoxin B1 in Aspergillus flavus cultures

    PubMed Central

    Ehrlich, Kenneth C.; Chang, Perng-Kuang; Scharfenstein, Lester L.; Cary, Jeffrey W.; Crawford, Jason M.; Townsend, Craig A.

    2010-01-01

    Biosynthesis of the highly toxic and carcinogenic aflatoxins in select Aspergillus species from the common intermediate O-methylsterigmatocystin (OMST) has been postulated to require only the cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, OrdA (AflQ). We now provide evidence that the aryl alcohol dehydrogenase NorA (AflE) encoded by the aflatoxin biosynthetic gene cluster in A. flavus affects the accumulation of aflatoxins in the final steps of aflatoxin biosynthesis. Mutants with inactive norA produced reduced quantities of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), but elevated quantities of a new metabolite, deoxyAFB1. To explain this result, we suggest that, in the absence of NorA, the AFB1 reduction product, aflatoxicol, is produced and is readily dehydrated to deoxyAFB1 in the acidic medium, enabling us to observe this otherwise minor toxin produced in wild-type A. flavus. PMID:20158523

  15. Aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway and pathway genes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aspergillus flavus is the most economically important because it produces the toxic and carcinogenic aflatoxins. A. flavus fungus is capable of surviving on many organic nutrient sources and is one of the most abundant soil-borne molds on earth. Aflatoxins were first identified in 1960. Over the la...

  16. Aflatoxin conducive and non-conducive growth conditions reveal new gene associations with aflatoxin production.

    PubMed

    Price, Michael S; Conners, Shannon B; Tachdjian, Sabrina; Kelly, Robert M; Payne, Gary A

    2005-06-01

    Research on aflatoxin (AF) production has traditionally focused on defining the AF biosynthetic pathway with the goal of identifying potential targets for intervention. To understand the effect of nitrogen source, carbon source, temperature, and pH on the regulation of AF biosynthesis, a targeted cDNA microarray consisting of genes associated with AF production over time was employed. Expression profiles for genes involved in AF biosynthesis grouped into five clades. A putative regulon was identified consisting of 20 genes that were induced in the conducive nitrogen and pH treatments and the non-conducive carbon and temperature treatments, as well as four other putative regulons corresponding to each of the four variables studied. Seventeen genes exhibited consistent induction/repression profiles across all the experiments. One of these genes was consistently downregulated with AF production. Overexpression of this gene resulted in repression of AF biosynthesis. The cellular function of this gene is currently unresolved.

  17. Effect of temperature and water activity on gene expression and aflatoxin biosynthesis in Aspergillus flavus on almond medium.

    PubMed

    Gallo, Antonia; Solfrizzo, Michele; Epifani, Filomena; Panzarini, Giuseppe; Perrone, Giancarlo

    2016-01-18

    Almonds are among the commodities at risk of aflatoxin contamination by Aspergillus flavus. Temperature and water activity are the two key determinants in pre and post-harvest environments influencing both the rate of fungal spoilage and aflatoxin production. Varying the combination of these parameters can completely inhibit or fully activate the biosynthesis of aflatoxin, so it is fundamental to know which combinations can control or be conducive to aflatoxin contamination. Little information is available about the influence of these parameters on aflatoxin production on almonds. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of different combinations of temperature (20 °C, 28 °C, and 37 °C) and water activity (0.90, 0.93, 0.96, 0.99 aw) on growth, aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) production and expression of the two regulatory genes, aflR and aflS, and two structural genes, aflD and aflO, of the aflatoxin biosynthetic cluster in A. flavus grown on an almond medium solidified with agar. Maximum accumulation of fungal biomass and AFB1 production was obtained at 28 °C and 0.96 aw; no fungal growth and AFB1 production were observed at 20 °C at the driest tested conditions (0.90 and 0.93 aw). At 20° and 37 °C AFB1 production was 70-90% lower or completely suppressed, depending on aw. Reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR showed that the two regulatory genes (aflR and aflS) were highly expressed at maximum (28 °C) and minimum (20 °C and 37 °C) AFB1 production. Conversely the two structural genes (aflD and aflO) were highly expressed only at maximum AFB1 production (28 °C and 0.96-0.99 aw). It seems that temperature acts as a key factor influencing aflatoxin production which is strictly correlated to the induction of expression of structural biosynthesis genes (aflD and aflO), but not to that of aflatoxin regulatory genes (aflR and aflS), whose functional products are most likely subordinated to other regulatory processes acting at post-translational level

  18. Effect of temperature and water activity on gene expression and aflatoxin biosynthesis in Aspergillus flavus on almond medium.

    PubMed

    Gallo, Antonia; Solfrizzo, Michele; Epifani, Filomena; Panzarini, Giuseppe; Perrone, Giancarlo

    2016-01-18

    Almonds are among the commodities at risk of aflatoxin contamination by Aspergillus flavus. Temperature and water activity are the two key determinants in pre and post-harvest environments influencing both the rate of fungal spoilage and aflatoxin production. Varying the combination of these parameters can completely inhibit or fully activate the biosynthesis of aflatoxin, so it is fundamental to know which combinations can control or be conducive to aflatoxin contamination. Little information is available about the influence of these parameters on aflatoxin production on almonds. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of different combinations of temperature (20 °C, 28 °C, and 37 °C) and water activity (0.90, 0.93, 0.96, 0.99 aw) on growth, aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) production and expression of the two regulatory genes, aflR and aflS, and two structural genes, aflD and aflO, of the aflatoxin biosynthetic cluster in A. flavus grown on an almond medium solidified with agar. Maximum accumulation of fungal biomass and AFB1 production was obtained at 28 °C and 0.96 aw; no fungal growth and AFB1 production were observed at 20 °C at the driest tested conditions (0.90 and 0.93 aw). At 20° and 37 °C AFB1 production was 70-90% lower or completely suppressed, depending on aw. Reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR showed that the two regulatory genes (aflR and aflS) were highly expressed at maximum (28 °C) and minimum (20 °C and 37 °C) AFB1 production. Conversely the two structural genes (aflD and aflO) were highly expressed only at maximum AFB1 production (28 °C and 0.96-0.99 aw). It seems that temperature acts as a key factor influencing aflatoxin production which is strictly correlated to the induction of expression of structural biosynthesis genes (aflD and aflO), but not to that of aflatoxin regulatory genes (aflR and aflS), whose functional products are most likely subordinated to other regulatory processes acting at post-translational level

  19. A beta-glucuronidase reporter gene construct for monitoring aflatoxin biosynthesis in Aspergillus flavus.

    PubMed Central

    Flaherty, J E; Weaver, M A; Payne, G A; Woloshuk, C P

    1995-01-01

    Aflatoxins are toxic and carcinogenic secondary metabolites produced by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. Current research is directed at the elimination of these compounds in important food sources. The objective of this research was to develop a method to study the induction and regulation of aflatoxin biosynthesis by examining the expression of one aflatoxin pathway gene, ver1. The promoter region of ver1 was fused to the beta-glucuronidase (GUS) gene (uidA) from Escherichia coli to form the reporter construct, GAP13. A. flavus 656-2 was transformed with this construct. Aflatoxin production, GUS activity, and transcript accumulation were determined in transformants after shifting the cultures from a nonconducive medium to a medium conducive to aflatoxin biosynthesis. Transformants harboring GAP13 displayed GUS expression only when aflatoxin was detected in culture. Further, the transcription of the uidA gene driven by the ver1 promoter followed the same profile as for the ver1 genes. The results show that the GAP13 construct may be useful as a genetic tool to study the induction of aflatoxin in situ and to identify substances that affect the expression of genes involved in aflatoxin biosynthesis. The utility of this construct to detect inducers of aflatoxin biosynthesis in maize kernels was tested in a bioassay. A heat-stable inducer of aflatoxin with a molecular size of less than 10 kDa was detected in extracts from maize kernels colonized by A. flavus. PMID:7618859

  20. The potential effects of Zataria multiflora Boiss essential oil on growth, aflatoxin production and transcription of aflatoxin biosynthesis pathway genes of toxigenic Aspergillus parasiticus

    PubMed Central

    Yahyaraeyat, R.; Khosravi, A.R.; Shahbazzadeh, D.; Khalaj, V.

    2013-01-01

    This study aims at evaluating the effects of Zataria multiflora (Z. multiflora) essential oil (EO) on growth, aflatoxin production and transcription of aflatoxin biosynthesis pathway genes. Total RNAs of Aspergillus parasiticus (A.parasiticus) ATCC56775 grown in yeast extract sucrose (YES) broth medium treated with Z. multiflora EO were subjected to reverse transcription- polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Specific primers of nor-1, ver-1, omt-A and aflR genes were used. In parallel mycelial dry weight of samples were measured and all the media were assayed by high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) for aflatoxinB1 (AFB1), aflatoxinB2 (AFB2), aflatoxinG1 (AFG1), aflatoxinG2 (AFG2) and aflatoxin total (AFTotal) production. The results showed that mycelial dry weight and aflatoxin production reduce in the presence of Z. multiflora EO (100 ppm) on day 5 of growth. It was found that the expression of nor-1, ver-1, omt-A and aflR genes was correlated with the ability of fungus to produce aflatoxins on day 5 in YES medium. RT-PCR showed that in the presence of Z.multiflora EO (100 ppm) nor-1, ver-1 and omtA genes expression was reduced. It seems that toxin production inhibitory effects of Z. multiflora EO on day 5 may be at the transcription level and this herb may cause reduction in aflatoxin biosynthesis pathway genes activity. PMID:24294264

  1. Use of Selected Essential Oils to Control Aflatoxin Contaminated Stored Cashew and Detection of Aflatoxin Biosynthesis Gene

    PubMed Central

    Abd El-Aziz, Abeer R. M.; Mahmoud, Mohamed A.; Al-Othman, Monira R.; Al-Gahtani, Munirah F.

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus spp. associated with cashew from the regions of Riyadh, Dammam, and Abha were isolated and three different culture media were used to qualitatively measure aflatoxin production by Aspergillus via UV light (365 nm), which was expressed as positive or negative. The obtained data showed that six isolates of A. flavus and four isolates of A. parasiticus were positive for aflatoxin production, while all isolates of A. niger were negative. Five commercially essential oils (thyme, garlic, cinnamon, mint, and rosemary) were tested to determine their influence on growth and aflatoxin production in A. flavus and A. parasiticus by performing high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The results showed that the tested essential oils caused highly significant inhibition of fungal growth and aflatoxin production in A. flavus and A. parasiticus. The extent of the inhibition of fungal growth and aflatoxin production was dependent on the type and concentration of essential oils applied. The results indicate that cinnamon and thyme oils show strong antimicrobial potential. PCR was used with four sets of primer pairs for nor-1, omt-1, ver-1, and aflR genes, enclosed in the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway. The interpretation of the results revealed that PCR is a rapid and sensitive method. PMID:25705718

  2. Use of selected essential oils to control aflatoxin contaminated stored cashew and detection of aflatoxin biosynthesis gene.

    PubMed

    Abd El-Aziz, Abeer R M; Mahmoud, Mohamed A; Al-Othman, Monira R; Al-Gahtani, Munirah F

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus spp. associated with cashew from the regions of Riyadh, Dammam, and Abha were isolated and three different culture media were used to qualitatively measure aflatoxin production by Aspergillus via UV light (365 nm), which was expressed as positive or negative. The obtained data showed that six isolates of A. flavus and four isolates of A. parasiticus were positive for aflatoxin production, while all isolates of A. niger were negative. Five commercially essential oils (thyme, garlic, cinnamon, mint, and rosemary) were tested to determine their influence on growth and aflatoxin production in A. flavus and A. parasiticus by performing high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The results showed that the tested essential oils caused highly significant inhibition of fungal growth and aflatoxin production in A. flavus and A. parasiticus. The extent of the inhibition of fungal growth and aflatoxin production was dependent on the type and concentration of essential oils applied. The results indicate that cinnamon and thyme oils show strong antimicrobial potential. PCR was used with four sets of primer pairs for nor-1, omt-1, ver-1, and aflR genes, enclosed in the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway. The interpretation of the results revealed that PCR is a rapid and sensitive method. PMID:25705718

  3. Use of selected essential oils to control aflatoxin contaminated stored cashew and detection of aflatoxin biosynthesis gene.

    PubMed

    Abd El-Aziz, Abeer R M; Mahmoud, Mohamed A; Al-Othman, Monira R; Al-Gahtani, Munirah F

    2015-01-01

    Aspergillus spp. associated with cashew from the regions of Riyadh, Dammam, and Abha were isolated and three different culture media were used to qualitatively measure aflatoxin production by Aspergillus via UV light (365 nm), which was expressed as positive or negative. The obtained data showed that six isolates of A. flavus and four isolates of A. parasiticus were positive for aflatoxin production, while all isolates of A. niger were negative. Five commercially essential oils (thyme, garlic, cinnamon, mint, and rosemary) were tested to determine their influence on growth and aflatoxin production in A. flavus and A. parasiticus by performing high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The results showed that the tested essential oils caused highly significant inhibition of fungal growth and aflatoxin production in A. flavus and A. parasiticus. The extent of the inhibition of fungal growth and aflatoxin production was dependent on the type and concentration of essential oils applied. The results indicate that cinnamon and thyme oils show strong antimicrobial potential. PCR was used with four sets of primer pairs for nor-1, omt-1, ver-1, and aflR genes, enclosed in the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway. The interpretation of the results revealed that PCR is a rapid and sensitive method.

  4. Involvement of the nadA gene in formation of G-group aflatoxins in Aspergillus parasiticus.

    PubMed

    Cai, Jingjing; Zeng, Hongmei; Shima, Yoko; Hatabayashi, Hidemi; Nakagawa, Hiroyuki; Ito, Yasuhiro; Adachi, Yoshikazu; Nakajima, Hiromitsu; Yabe, Kimiko

    2008-07-01

    The nadA gene is present at the end of the aflatoxin gene cluster in the genome of Aspergillus parasiticus as well as in Aspergillus flavus. RT-PCR analyses showed that the nadA gene was expressed in an aflatoxin-inducible YES medium, but not in an aflatoxin-non-inducible YEP medium. The nadA gene was not expressed in the aflR gene-deletion mutant, irrespective of the culture medium used. To clarify the nadA gene's function, we disrupted the gene in aflatoxigenic A. parasiticus. The four nadA-deletion mutants that were isolated commonly accumulated a novel yellow-fluorescent pigment (named NADA) in mycelia as well as in culture medium. When the mutants and the wild-type strain were cultured for 3 days in YES medium, the mutants each produced about 50% of the amounts of G-group aflatoxins that the wild-type strain produced. In contrast, the amounts of B-group aflatoxins did not significantly differ between the mutants and the wild-type strain. The NADA pigment was so unstable that it could non-enzymatically change to aflatoxin G(1) (AFG(1)). LC-MS measurement showed that the molecular mass of NADA was 360, which is 32 higher than that of AFG(1). We previously reported that at least one cytosol enzyme, together with two other microsome enzymes, is necessary for the formation of AFG(1) from O-methylsterigmatocystin (OMST) in the cell-free system of A. parasiticus. The present study confirmed that the cytosol fraction of the wild-type A.parasiticus strain significantly enhanced the AFG(1) formation from OMST, whereas the cytosol fraction of the nadA-deletion mutant did not show the same activity. Furthermore, the cytosol fraction of the wild-type strain showed the enzyme activity catalyzing the reaction from NADA to AFG(1), which required NADPH or NADH, indicating that NADA is a precursor of AFG(1); in contrast, the cytosol fraction of the nadA-deletion mutant did not show the same enzyme activity. These results demonstrated that the NadA protein is the cytosol enzyme

  5. Expression analysis of stress-related genes in kernels of different maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines with different resistance to aflatoxin contamination.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Tingbo; Zhou, Boru; Luo, Meng; Abbas, Hamed K; Kemerait, Robert; Lee, Robert Dewey; Scully, Brian T; Guo, Baozhu

    2011-06-01

    This research examined the expression patterns of 94 stress-related genes in seven maize inbred lines with differential expressions of resistance to aflatoxin contamination. The objective was to develop a set of genes/probes associated with resistance to A. flavus and/or aflatoxin contamination. Ninety four genes were selected from previous gene expression studies with abiotic stress to test the differential expression in maize lines, A638, B73, Lo964, Lo1016, Mo17, Mp313E, and Tex6, using real-time RT-PCR. Based on the relative-expression levels, the seven maize inbred lines clustered into two different groups. One group included B73, Lo1016 and Mo17, which had higher levels of aflatoxin contamination and lower levels of overall gene expression. The second group which included Tex6, Mp313E, Lo964 and A638 had lower levels of aflatoxin contamination and higher overall levels of gene expressions. A total of six "cross-talking" genes were identified between the two groups, which are highly expressed in the resistant Group 2 but down-regulated in susceptible Group 1. When further subjected to drought stress, Tex6 expressed more genes up-regulated and B73 has fewer genes up-regulated. The transcript patterns and interactions measured in these experiments indicate that the resistant mechanism is an interconnected process involving many gene products and transcriptional regulators, as well as various host interactions with environmental factors, particularly, drought and high temperature. PMID:22069724

  6. Supervised clustering of genes

    PubMed Central

    Dettling, Marcel; Bühlmann, Peter

    2002-01-01

    Background We focus on microarray data where experiments monitor gene expression in different tissues and where each experiment is equipped with an additional response variable such as a cancer type. Although the number of measured genes is in the thousands, it is assumed that only a few marker components of gene subsets determine the type of a tissue. Here we present a new method for finding such groups of genes by directly incorporating the response variables into the grouping process, yielding a supervised clustering algorithm for genes. Results An empirical study on eight publicly available microarray datasets shows that our algorithm identifies gene clusters with excellent predictive potential, often superior to classification with state-of-the-art methods based on single genes. Permutation tests and bootstrapping provide evidence that the output is reasonably stable and more than a noise artifact. Conclusions In contrast to other methods such as hierarchical clustering, our algorithm identifies several gene clusters whose expression levels clearly distinguish the different tissue types. The identification of such gene clusters is potentially useful for medical diagnostics and may at the same time reveal insights into functional genomics. PMID:12537558

  7. Construction and preliminary evaluation of an Aspergillus flavus reporter gene construct as a potential tool for screening aflatoxin resistance.

    PubMed

    Brown, Robert L; Brown-Jenco, Carmen S; Bhatnagar, Deepak; Payne, Gary A

    2003-10-01

    Effective preharvest strategies to eliminate aflatoxin accumulation in crops are not presently available. The molecular biology of aflatoxin biosynthesis has been extensively studied, and genetic and molecular tools such as reporter gene systems for the measurement of fungal growth have been developed. A reporter construct containing the Aspergillus flavus beta-tubulin gene promoter fused to Escherichia coli beta-glucuronidase (GUS) has been shown to be a reliable tool for the indirect measurement of fungal growth in maize kernels. Since cost-saving alternative methods for the direct measurement of aflatoxin levels are needed to facilitate more widespread field and laboratory screening of maize lines, a new reporter gene construct involving the promoter region of the omtA gene of the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway was constructed and tested. Expression of GUS activity by this construct (omtA::GUS) was correlated with aflatoxin accumulation in culture. In the fungal transformant GAP26-1, which harbors this construct, aflatoxin production and GUS expression on sucrose-containing medium showed the same temporal pattern of toxin induction. Furthermore, GUS expression by GAP26-1 was shown to be associated with aflatoxin accumulation in maize kernels inoculated with this strain. Our results suggest that this and other reporter gene pathway promoter constructs may provide superior alternatives to direct aflatoxin quantification with respect to time, labor, and materials for the screening of maize lines for resistance to aflatoxin accumulation. PMID:14572235

  8. Construction and preliminary evaluation of an Aspergillus flavus reporter gene construct as a potential tool for screening aflatoxin resistance.

    PubMed

    Brown, Robert L; Brown-Jenco, Carmen S; Bhatnagar, Deepak; Payne, Gary A

    2003-10-01

    Effective preharvest strategies to eliminate aflatoxin accumulation in crops are not presently available. The molecular biology of aflatoxin biosynthesis has been extensively studied, and genetic and molecular tools such as reporter gene systems for the measurement of fungal growth have been developed. A reporter construct containing the Aspergillus flavus beta-tubulin gene promoter fused to Escherichia coli beta-glucuronidase (GUS) has been shown to be a reliable tool for the indirect measurement of fungal growth in maize kernels. Since cost-saving alternative methods for the direct measurement of aflatoxin levels are needed to facilitate more widespread field and laboratory screening of maize lines, a new reporter gene construct involving the promoter region of the omtA gene of the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway was constructed and tested. Expression of GUS activity by this construct (omtA::GUS) was correlated with aflatoxin accumulation in culture. In the fungal transformant GAP26-1, which harbors this construct, aflatoxin production and GUS expression on sucrose-containing medium showed the same temporal pattern of toxin induction. Furthermore, GUS expression by GAP26-1 was shown to be associated with aflatoxin accumulation in maize kernels inoculated with this strain. Our results suggest that this and other reporter gene pathway promoter constructs may provide superior alternatives to direct aflatoxin quantification with respect to time, labor, and materials for the screening of maize lines for resistance to aflatoxin accumulation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Aspergillus parasiticus SU-1 genome sequence, predicted chromosome structure, and comparative gene expression under aflatoxin-inducing conditions: evidence that differential expression contributes to species phenotype.

    PubMed

    Linz, John E; Wee, Josephine; Roze, Ludmila V

    2014-08-01

    The filamentous fungi Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus produce the carcinogenic secondary metabolite aflatoxin on susceptible crops. These species differ in the quantity of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2 produced in culture, in the ability to produce the mycotoxin cyclopiazonic acid, and in morphology of mycelia and conidiospores. To understand the genetic basis for differences in biochemistry and morphology, we conducted next-generation sequence (NGS) analysis of the A. parasiticus strain SU-1 genome and comparative gene expression (RNA sequence analysis [RNA Seq]) analysis of A. parasiticus SU-1 and A. flavus strain NRRL 3357 (3357) grown under aflatoxin-inducing and -noninducing culture conditions. Although A. parasiticus SU-1 and A. flavus 3357 are highly similar in genome structure and gene organization, we observed differences in the presence of specific mycotoxin gene clusters and differential expression of specific mycotoxin genes and gene clusters that help explain differences in the type and quantity of mycotoxins synthesized. Using computer-aided analysis of secondary metabolite clusters (antiSMASH), we demonstrated that A. parasiticus SU-1 and A. flavus 3357 may carry up to 93 secondary metabolite gene clusters, and surprisingly, up to 10% of the genome appears to be dedicated to secondary metabolite synthesis. The data also suggest that fungus-specific zinc binuclear cluster (C6) transcription factors play an important role in regulation of secondary metabolite cluster expression. Finally, we identified uniquely expressed genes in A. parasiticus SU-1 that encode C6 transcription factors and genes involved in secondary metabolism and stress response/cellular defense. Future work will focus on these differentially expressed A. parasiticus SU-1 loci to reveal their role in determining distinct species characteristics. PMID:24951444

  11. Network analysis of maize RNA transport pathway genes associated with maize resistance to aflatoxin accumulation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aspergillus flavus is a pathogenic fungus producing alfatoxins that cause significant economic losses in maize production. This study analyzes the differences in expression levels of maize genes in response to A. flavus infection and aflatoxin accumulation. Identification of defense related genes an...

  12. Inhibitory Effect of Cinnamaldehyde, Citral, and Eugenol on Aflatoxin Biosynthetic Gene Expression and Aflatoxin B1 Biosynthesis in Aspergillus flavus.

    PubMed

    Liang, Dandan; Xing, Fuguo; Selvaraj, Jonathan Nimal; Liu, Xiao; Wang, Limin; Hua, Huijuan; Zhou, Lu; Zhao, Yueju; Wang, Yan; Liu, Yang

    2015-12-01

    In order to reveal the inhibitory effects of cinnamaldehyde, citral, and eugenol on aflatoxin biosynthesis, the expression levels of 5 key aflatoxin biosynthetic genes were evaluated by real-time PCR. Aspergillus flavus growth and AFB1 production were completely inhibited by 0.80 mmol/L of cinnamaldehyde and 2.80 mmol/L of citral. However, at lower concentration, cinnamaldehyde (0.40 mmol/L), eugenol (0.80 mmol/L), and citral (0.56 mmol/L) significantly reduced AFB1 production with inhibition rate of 68.9%, 95.4%, and 41.8%, respectively, while no effect on fungal growth. Real-time PCR showed that the expressions of aflR, aflT, aflD, aflM, and aflP were down-regulated by cinnamaldehyde (0.40 mmol/L), eugenol (0.80 mmol/L), and citral (0.56 mmol/L). In the presence of cinnamaldehyde, AflM was highly down-regulated (average of 5963 folds), followed by aflP, aflR, aflD, and aflT with the average folds of 55, 18, 6.5, and 5.8, respectively. With 0.80 mmol/L of eugenol, aflP was highly down-regulated (average of 2061-folds), followed by aflM, aflR, aflD, and aflT with average of 138-, 15-, 5.2-, and 4.8-folds reduction, respectively. With 0.56 mmol/L of citral, aflT was completely inhibited, followed by aflM, aflP, aflR, and aflD with average of 257-, 29-, 3.5-, and 2.5-folds reduction, respectively. These results suggest that the reduction in AFB1 production by cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, and citral at low concentration may be due to the down-regulations of the transcription level of aflatoxin biosynthetic genes. Cinnamaldehyde and eugenol may be employed successfully as a good candidate in controlling of toxigenic fungi and subsequently contamination with aflatoxins in practice.

  13. Comparison of expression of secondary metabolite biosynthesis cluster genes in Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus, and A. oryzae.

    PubMed

    Ehrlich, Kenneth C; Mack, Brian M

    2014-06-01

    Fifty six secondary metabolite biosynthesis gene clusters are predicted to be in the Aspergillus flavus genome. In spite of this, the biosyntheses of only seven metabolites, including the aflatoxins, kojic acid, cyclopiazonic acid and aflatrem, have been assigned to a particular gene cluster. We used RNA-seq to compare expression of secondary metabolite genes in gene clusters for the closely related fungi A. parasiticus, A. oryzae, and A. flavus S and L sclerotial morphotypes. The data help to refine the identification of probable functional gene clusters within these species. Our results suggest that A. flavus, a prevalent contaminant of maize, cottonseed, peanuts and tree nuts, is capable of producing metabolites which, besides aflatoxin, could be an underappreciated contributor to its toxicity. PMID:24960201

  14. Comparison of Expression of Secondary Metabolite Biosynthesis Cluster Genes in Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus, and A. oryzae

    PubMed Central

    Ehrlich, Kenneth C.; Mack, Brian M.

    2014-01-01

    Fifty six secondary metabolite biosynthesis gene clusters are predicted to be in the Aspergillus flavus genome. In spite of this, the biosyntheses of only seven metabolites, including the aflatoxins, kojic acid, cyclopiazonic acid and aflatrem, have been assigned to a particular gene cluster. We used RNA-seq to compare expression of secondary metabolite genes in gene clusters for the closely related fungi A. parasiticus, A. oryzae, and A. flavus S and L sclerotial morphotypes. The data help to refine the identification of probable functional gene clusters within these species. Our results suggest that A. flavus, a prevalent contaminant of maize, cottonseed, peanuts and tree nuts, is capable of producing metabolites which, besides aflatoxin, could be an underappreciated contributor to its toxicity. PMID:24960201

  15. Comparison of expression of secondary metabolite biosynthesis cluster genes in Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus, and A. oryzae.

    PubMed

    Ehrlich, Kenneth C; Mack, Brian M

    2014-06-23

    Fifty six secondary metabolite biosynthesis gene clusters are predicted to be in the Aspergillus flavus genome. In spite of this, the biosyntheses of only seven metabolites, including the aflatoxins, kojic acid, cyclopiazonic acid and aflatrem, have been assigned to a particular gene cluster. We used RNA-seq to compare expression of secondary metabolite genes in gene clusters for the closely related fungi A. parasiticus, A. oryzae, and A. flavus S and L sclerotial morphotypes. The data help to refine the identification of probable functional gene clusters within these species. Our results suggest that A. flavus, a prevalent contaminant of maize, cottonseed, peanuts and tree nuts, is capable of producing metabolites which, besides aflatoxin, could be an underappreciated contributor to its toxicity.

  16. Characterization of the Maize Chitinase Genes and Their Effect on Aspergillus flavus and Aflatoxin Accumulation Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Hawkins, Leigh K.; Mylroie, J. Erik; Oliveira, Dafne A.; Smith, J. Spencer; Ozkan, Seval; Windham, Gary L.; Williams, W. Paul; Warburton, Marilyn L.

    2015-01-01

    Maize (Zea mays L.) is a crop of global importance, but prone to contamination by aflatoxins produced by fungi in the genus Aspergillus. The development of resistant germplasm and the identification of genes contributing to resistance would aid in the reduction of the problem with a minimal need for intervention by farmers. Chitinolytic enzymes respond to attack by potential pathogens and have been demonstrated to increase insect and fungal resistance in plants. Here, all chitinase genes in the maize genome were characterized via sequence diversity and expression patterns. Recent evolution within this gene family was noted. Markers from within each gene were developed and used to map the phenotypic effect on resistance of each gene in up to four QTL mapping populations and one association panel. Seven chitinase genes were identified that had alleles associated with increased resistance to aflatoxin accumulation and A. flavus infection in field grown maize. The chitinase in bin 1.05 identified a new and highly significant QTL, while chitinase genes in bins 2.04 and 5.03 fell directly beneath the peaks of previously published QTL. The expression patterns of these genes corroborate possible grain resistance mechanisms. Markers from within the gene sequences or very closely linked to them are presented to aid in the use of marker assisted selection to improve this trait. PMID:26090679

  17. Characterization of the Maize Chitinase Genes and Their Effect on Aspergillus flavus and Aflatoxin Accumulation Resistance.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, Leigh K; Mylroie, J Erik; Oliveira, Dafne A; Smith, J Spencer; Ozkan, Seval; Windham, Gary L; Williams, W Paul; Warburton, Marilyn L

    2015-01-01

    Maize (Zea mays L.) is a crop of global importance, but prone to contamination by aflatoxins produced by fungi in the genus Aspergillus. The development of resistant germplasm and the identification of genes contributing to resistance would aid in the reduction of the problem with a minimal need for intervention by farmers. Chitinolytic enzymes respond to attack by potential pathogens and have been demonstrated to increase insect and fungal resistance in plants. Here, all chitinase genes in the maize genome were characterized via sequence diversity and expression patterns. Recent evolution within this gene family was noted. Markers from within each gene were developed and used to map the phenotypic effect on resistance of each gene in up to four QTL mapping populations and one association panel. Seven chitinase genes were identified that had alleles associated with increased resistance to aflatoxin accumulation and A. flavus infection in field grown maize. The chitinase in bin 1.05 identified a new and highly significant QTL, while chitinase genes in bins 2.04 and 5.03 fell directly beneath the peaks of previously published QTL. The expression patterns of these genes corroborate possible grain resistance mechanisms. Markers from within the gene sequences or very closely linked to them are presented to aid in the use of marker assisted selection to improve this trait. PMID:26090679

  18. Aflatoxin biosynthesis is a novel source of reactive oxygen species—a potential redox signal to initiate resistance to oxidative stress?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aflatoxin biosynthesis in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus parasiticus involves a minimum of 21 enzymes, encoded by genes located in a 70 kb gene cluster. For aflatoxin biosynthesis to be completed, the required enzymes must be transported to specialized early and late endosomes called aflatoxisom...

  19. The alcohol dehydrogenase gene adh1 is induced in Aspergillus flavus grown on medium conducive to aflatoxin biosynthesis.

    PubMed Central

    Woloshuk, C P; Payne, G A

    1994-01-01

    An Aspergillus flavus cDNA library was screened by differential hybridization to isolate clones corresponding to genes that are actively transcribed under culture conditions conducive to aflatoxin biosynthesis. One clone with a 1.28-kb insert was isolated, and its nucleotide sequence was determined. The nucleotide sequence of this clone had 75% DNA identity to those of the alcohol dehydrogenase genes from Aspergillus nidulans, and the putative polypeptide translated from the cDNA sequence had 82% similarity with the amino acid sequences of the A. nidulans proteins. Thus, this gene has been designated adh1. Southern hybridization analysis of genomic DNA from A. flavus indicated that there was one copy of the adh1 gene. Northern (RNA) hybridization analysis indicated that the adh1 transcript accumulated in culture medium conducive to aflatoxin production and the timing of accumulation of adh1 transcripts was similar to that for aflatoxin. Fusion of the promoter region of adh1 to a beta-glucuronidase reporter gene indicated that accumulation of the adh1 transcript was the result of transcriptional activation. These molecular data support previous physiological evidence that showed the importance of carbohydrate metabolism during aflatoxin biosynthesis. Images PMID:8135521

  20. Understanding the genetics of regulation of aflatoxin production and Aspergillus flavus development.

    PubMed

    Bhatnagar, Deepak; Cary, Jeffrey W; Ehrlich, Kenneth; Yu, Jiujiang; Cleveland, Thomas E

    2006-09-01

    Aflatoxins are polyketide-derived, toxic, and carcinogenic secondary metabolites produced primarily by two fungal species, Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, on crops such as corn, peanuts, cottonseed, and treenuts. Regulatory guidelines issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prevent sale of commodities if contamination by these toxins exceeds certain levels. The biosynthesis of these toxins has been extensively studied. About 15 stable precursors have been identified. The genes involved in encoding the proteins required for the oxidative and regulatory steps in the biosynthesis are clustered in a 70 kb portion of chromosome 3 in the A. flavus genome. With the characterization of the gene cluster, new insights into the cellular processes that govern the genes involved in aflatoxin biosynthesis have been revealed, but the signaling processes that turn on aflatoxin biosynthesis during fungal contamination of crops are still not well understood. New molecular technologies, such as gene microarray analyses, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and chromatin immunoprecipitation are being used to understand how physiological stress, environmental and soil conditions, receptivity of the plant, and fungal virulence lead to episodic outbreaks of aflatoxin contamination in certain commercially important crops. With this fundamental understanding, we will be better able to design improved non-aflatoxigenic biocompetitive Aspergillus strains and develop inhibitors of aflatoxin production (native to affected crops or otherwise) amenable to agricultural application for enhancing host-resistance against fungal invasion or toxin production. Comparisons of aflatoxin-producing species with other fungal species that retain some of the genes required for aflatoxin formation is expected to provide insight into the evolution of the aflatoxin gene cluster, and its role in fungal physiology. Therefore, information on how and why the fungus makes the toxin will

  1. Identification of Maize Genes Associated with Host Plant Resistance or Susceptibility to Aspergillus flavus Infection and Aflatoxin Accumulation

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, Rowena Y.; Williams, W. Paul; Mylroie, J. Erik; Boykin, Deborah L.; Harper, Jonathan W.; Windham, Gary L.; Ankala, Arunkanth; Shan, Xueyan

    2012-01-01

    Background Aspergillus flavus infection and aflatoxin contamination of maize pose negative impacts in agriculture and health. Commercial maize hybrids are generally susceptible to this fungus. Significant levels of host plant resistance have been observed in certain maize inbred lines. This study was conducted to identify maize genes associated with host plant resistance or susceptibility to A. flavus infection and aflatoxin accumulation. Results Genome wide gene expression levels with or without A. flavus inoculation were compared in two resistant maize inbred lines (Mp313E and Mp04∶86) in contrast to two susceptible maize inbred lines (Va35 and B73) by microarray analysis. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to find genes contributing to the larger variances associated with the resistant or susceptible maize inbred lines. The significance levels of gene expression were determined by using SAS and LIMMA programs. Fifty candidate genes were selected and further investigated by quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) in a time-course study on Mp313E and Va35. Sixteen of the candidate genes were found to be highly expressed in Mp313E and fifteen in Va35. Out of the 31 highly expressed genes, eight were mapped to seven previously identified quantitative trait locus (QTL) regions. A gene encoding glycine-rich RNA binding protein 2 was found to be associated with the host hypersensitivity and susceptibility in Va35. A nuclear pore complex protein YUP85-like gene was found to be involved in the host resistance in Mp313E. Conclusion Maize genes associated with host plant resistance or susceptibility were identified by a combination of microarray analysis, qRT-PCR analysis, and QTL mapping methods. Our findings suggest that multiple mechanisms are involved in maize host plant defense systems in response to Aspergillus flavus infection and aflatoxin accumulation. These findings will be important in identification of DNA markers for breeding maize lines resistant to

  2. Inhibitory effect of eugenol on aflatoxin B1 production in Aspergillus parasiticus by downregulating the expression of major genes in the toxin biosynthetic pathway.

    PubMed

    Jahanshiri, Zahra; Shams-Ghahfarokhi, Masoomeh; Allameh, Abdolamir; Razzaghi-Abyaneh, Mehdi

    2015-07-01

    Aflatoxin contamination of grains and agro-products is a serious food safety issue and a significant economic concern worldwide. In the present study, the effects of eugenol on Aspergillus parasiticus growth and aflatoxin production were studied in relation to the expression of some essential genes involved in aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway. The fungus was cultured in presence of serial two-fold concentrations of eugenol (15.62-500 μg mL(-1)) for 3 days at 28 °C. Mycelia dry weight was determined as an index of fungal growth, while aflatoxin production was assessed by high performance liquid chromatography. The expression of aflatoxin biosynthetic genes including ver-1, nor-1, pksA, omtA and aflR were evaluated by real-time PCR. Eugenol strongly inhibited A. parasiticus growth in the range of 19.16-95.83 % in a dose-dependent manner. Aflatoxin B1 production was also inhibited by the compound in the range of 15.07-98.0 %. The expressions of ver-1, nor-1, pksA, omtA and aflR genes were significantly suppressed by eugenol at concentrations of 62.5 and 125 μg mL(-1). These results indicate that eugenol may be considered as a good candidate to control toxigenic fungal growth and the subsequent contamination of food, feed and agricultural commodities by carcinogenic aflatoxins.

  3. Persistence drives gene clustering in bacterial genomes

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  4. An Aspergillus flavus secondary metabolic gene cluster containing a hybrid PKS-NRPS is necessary for synthesis of the 2-pyridones, leporins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genome of the filamentous fungus, Aspergillus flavus, has been shown to harbor as many as 55 putative secondary metabolic gene clusters including the one responsible for production of the toxic and carcinogenic, polyketide synthase (PKS)-derived family of secondary metabolites termed aflatoxins....

  5. Biological cluster evaluation for gene function prediction.

    PubMed

    Klie, Sebastian; Nikoloski, Zoran; Selbig, Joachim

    2014-06-01

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

  6. Effects of Zinc Chelators on Aflatoxin Production in Aspergillus parasiticus

    PubMed Central

    Wee, Josephine; Day, Devin M.; Linz, John E.

    2016-01-01

    Zinc concentrations strongly influence aflatoxin accumulation in laboratory media and in food and feed crops. The presence of zinc stimulates aflatoxin production, and the absence of zinc impedes toxin production. Initial studies that suggested a link between zinc and aflatoxin biosynthesis were presented in the 1970s. In the present study, we utilized two zinc chelators, N,N,N′,N′-tetrakis (2-pyridylmethyl) ethane-1,2-diamine (TPEN) and 2,3-dimercapto-1-propanesulfonic acid (DMPS) to explore the effect of zinc limitation on aflatoxin synthesis in Aspergillus parasiticus. TPEN but not DMPS decreased aflatoxin biosynthesis up to six-fold depending on whether A. parasiticus was grown on rich or minimal medium. Although we observed significant inhibition of aflatoxin production by TPEN, no detectable changes were observed in expression levels of the aflatoxin pathway gene ver-1 and the zinc binuclear cluster transcription factor, AflR. Treatment of growing A. parasiticus solid culture with a fluorescent zinc probe demonstrated an increase in intracellular zinc levels assessed by increases in fluorescent intensity of cultures treated with TPEN compared to controls. These data suggest that TPEN binds to cytoplasmic zinc therefore limiting fungal access to zinc. To investigate the efficacy of TPEN on food and feed crops, we found that TPEN effectively decreases aflatoxin accumulation on peanut medium but not in a sunflower seeds-derived medium. From an application perspective, these data provide the basis for biological differences that exist in the efficacy of different zinc chelators in various food and feed crops frequently contaminated by aflatoxin. PMID:27271668

  7. Identification of gene markers in aflatoxin-resistant maize germplasm for marker-assisted breeding

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The discovery of maize lines with natural resistance to Aspergillus flavus infection and/or aflatoxin production has aided host resistance in becoming a viable approach for the elimination of aflatoxin contamination of maize. Further breeding involving resistant lines is developing sources of resist...

  8. Genome-Wide Transcriptome Analysis of Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) Identifies Candidate Gene Signatures in Response to Aflatoxin Producing Fungus Aspergillus flavus

    PubMed Central

    Bedre, Renesh; Rajasekaran, Kanniah; Mangu, Venkata Ramanarao; Sanchez Timm, Luis Eduardo; Bhatnagar, Deepak; Baisakh, Niranjan

    2015-01-01

    Aflatoxins are toxic and potent carcinogenic metabolites produced from the fungi Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. Aflatoxins can contaminate cottonseed under conducive preharvest and postharvest conditions. United States federal regulations restrict the use of aflatoxin contaminated cottonseed at >20 ppb for animal feed. Several strategies have been proposed for controlling aflatoxin contamination, and much success has been achieved by the application of an atoxigenic strain of A. flavus in cotton, peanut and maize fields. Development of cultivars resistant to aflatoxin through overexpression of resistance associated genes and/or knocking down aflatoxin biosynthesis of A. flavus will be an effective strategy for controlling aflatoxin contamination in cotton. In this study, genome-wide transcriptome profiling was performed to identify differentially expressed genes in response to infection with both toxigenic and atoxigenic strains of A. flavus on cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) pericarp and seed. The genes involved in antifungal response, oxidative burst, transcription factors, defense signaling pathways and stress response were highly differentially expressed in pericarp and seed tissues in response to A. flavus infection. The cell-wall modifying genes and genes involved in the production of antimicrobial substances were more active in pericarp as compared to seed. The genes involved in auxin and cytokinin signaling were also induced. Most of the genes involved in defense response in cotton were highly induced in pericarp than in seed. The global gene expression analysis in response to fungal invasion in cotton will serve as a source for identifying biomarkers for breeding, potential candidate genes for transgenic manipulation, and will help in understanding complex plant-fungal interaction for future downstream research. PMID:26366857

  9. Genome-Wide Transcriptome Analysis of Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) Identifies Candidate Gene Signatures in Response to Aflatoxin Producing Fungus Aspergillus flavus.

    PubMed

    Bedre, Renesh; Rajasekaran, Kanniah; Mangu, Venkata Ramanarao; Sanchez Timm, Luis Eduardo; Bhatnagar, Deepak; Baisakh, Niranjan

    2015-01-01

    Aflatoxins are toxic and potent carcinogenic metabolites produced from the fungi Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. Aflatoxins can contaminate cottonseed under conducive preharvest and postharvest conditions. United States federal regulations restrict the use of aflatoxin contaminated cottonseed at >20 ppb for animal feed. Several strategies have been proposed for controlling aflatoxin contamination, and much success has been achieved by the application of an atoxigenic strain of A. flavus in cotton, peanut and maize fields. Development of cultivars resistant to aflatoxin through overexpression of resistance associated genes and/or knocking down aflatoxin biosynthesis of A. flavus will be an effective strategy for controlling aflatoxin contamination in cotton. In this study, genome-wide transcriptome profiling was performed to identify differentially expressed genes in response to infection with both toxigenic and atoxigenic strains of A. flavus on cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) pericarp and seed. The genes involved in antifungal response, oxidative burst, transcription factors, defense signaling pathways and stress response were highly differentially expressed in pericarp and seed tissues in response to A. flavus infection. The cell-wall modifying genes and genes involved in the production of antimicrobial substances were more active in pericarp as compared to seed. The genes involved in auxin and cytokinin signaling were also induced. Most of the genes involved in defense response in cotton were highly induced in pericarp than in seed. The global gene expression analysis in response to fungal invasion in cotton will serve as a source for identifying biomarkers for breeding, potential candidate genes for transgenic manipulation, and will help in understanding complex plant-fungal interaction for future downstream research.

  10. Genome-Wide Transcriptome Analysis of Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) Identifies Candidate Gene Signatures in Response to Aflatoxin Producing Fungus Aspergillus flavus.

    PubMed

    Bedre, Renesh; Rajasekaran, Kanniah; Mangu, Venkata Ramanarao; Sanchez Timm, Luis Eduardo; Bhatnagar, Deepak; Baisakh, Niranjan

    2015-01-01

    Aflatoxins are toxic and potent carcinogenic metabolites produced from the fungi Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. Aflatoxins can contaminate cottonseed under conducive preharvest and postharvest conditions. United States federal regulations restrict the use of aflatoxin contaminated cottonseed at >20 ppb for animal feed. Several strategies have been proposed for controlling aflatoxin contamination, and much success has been achieved by the application of an atoxigenic strain of A. flavus in cotton, peanut and maize fields. Development of cultivars resistant to aflatoxin through overexpression of resistance associated genes and/or knocking down aflatoxin biosynthesis of A. flavus will be an effective strategy for controlling aflatoxin contamination in cotton. In this study, genome-wide transcriptome profiling was performed to identify differentially expressed genes in response to infection with both toxigenic and atoxigenic strains of A. flavus on cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) pericarp and seed. The genes involved in antifungal response, oxidative burst, transcription factors, defense signaling pathways and stress response were highly differentially expressed in pericarp and seed tissues in response to A. flavus infection. The cell-wall modifying genes and genes involved in the production of antimicrobial substances were more active in pericarp as compared to seed. The genes involved in auxin and cytokinin signaling were also induced. Most of the genes involved in defense response in cotton were highly induced in pericarp than in seed. The global gene expression analysis in response to fungal invasion in cotton will serve as a source for identifying biomarkers for breeding, potential candidate genes for transgenic manipulation, and will help in understanding complex plant-fungal interaction for future downstream research. PMID:26366857

  11. Evaluation of STAT5A Gene Expression in Aflatoxin B1 Treated Bovine Mammary Epithelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Forouharmehr, Ali; Harkinezhad, Taher; Qasemi-Panahi, Babak

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a potent mycotoxin which has been produced by fungi such as Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus as secondary metabolites due to their growth on food stuffs and induces hepatocellular carcinoma in many animal species, including humans. In the present study, the effect of AFB1 on STAT5A gene expression was investigated in bovine mammary epithelial cells using real time RT-PCR. Methods: Bovine mammary epithelial cells were seeded in a 24-well culture plate for three-dimensional (3D) culture in Matrigel matrix. After 21 days of 3D culture and reaching the required number of cells, cells were treated with AFB1 and incubated for 8 h. For real time PCR reaction, total RNA from the cultured and treated cells was extracted and used for complementary DNA synthesis. Results: The expression of STAT5A gene was significantly down regulated by AFB1 in dose- dependent manner and led to the reduction of proliferation and differentiation of epithelial cells, which has direct effect in milk protein quantity and quality. Conclusion: According to the results, it seems that down regulation of STAT5A gene in AFB1-treated cells maybe due to DNA damage induced by AFB1 in bovine mammary epithelial cells. PMID:24312879

  12. HypC, the Anthrone Oxidase Involved in Aflatoxin Biosynthesis▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Ehrlich, Kenneth C.; Li, Ping; Scharfenstein, Leslie; Chang, Perng-Kuang

    2010-01-01

    On the basis of gene disruption and enzyme activity, hypC, an open reading frame in the region between the pksA (aflC) and nor-1 (aflD) genes in the aflatoxin biosynthesis gene cluster, encodes a 17-kDa oxidase that converts norsolorinic acid anthrone to norsolorinic acid. PMID:20348292

  13. Interaction of DNA repair gene polymorphisms and aflatoxin B1 in the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Jin-Guang; Huang, Xiao-Ying; Long, Xi-Dai

    2014-01-01

    Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is an important environmental carcinogen and can induce DNA damage and involve in the carcinogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The deficiency of DNA repair capacity related to the polymorphisms of DNA repair genes might play a central role in the process of HCC tumorigenesis. However, the interaction of DNA repair gene polymorphisms and AFB1 in the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma has not been elucidated. In this study, we investigated whether six polymorphisms (including rs25487, rs861539, rs7003908, rs28383151, rs13181, and rs2228001) in DNA repair genes (XPC, XRCC4, XRCC1, XRCC4, XPD, XRCC7, and XRCC3) interacted with AFB1, and the gene-environmental interactive role in the risk of HCC using hospital-based case-control study (including 1486 HCC cases and 1996 controls). Genotypes of DNA repair genes were tested using TaqMan-PCR technique. Higher AFB1 exposure was observed among HCC patients versus the control group [odds ratio (OR) = 2.08 for medium AFB1 exposure level and OR = 6.52 for high AFB1 exposure level]. Increasing risk of HCC was also observed in these with the mutants of DNA repair genes (risk values were from 1.57 to 5.86). Furthermore, these risk roles would be more noticeable under the conditions of two variables, and positive interactive effects were proved in the followed multiplicative interaction analysis. These results suggested that DNA repair risk genotypes might interact with AFB1 in the risk of HCC. PMID:25337275

  14. A public platform for the verification of the phenotypic effect of candidate genes for resistance to aflatoxin accumulation and Aspergillus flavus infection in maize.

    PubMed

    Warburton, Marilyn L; Williams, William Paul; Hawkins, Leigh; Bridges, Susan; Gresham, Cathy; Harper, Jonathan; Ozkan, Seval; Mylroie, J Erik; Shan, Xueyan

    2011-07-01

    A public candidate gene testing pipeline for resistance to aflatoxin accumulation or Aspergillus flavus infection in maize is presented here. The pipeline consists of steps for identifying, testing, and verifying the association of selected maize gene sequences with resistance under field conditions. Resources include a database of genetic and protein sequences associated with the reduction in aflatoxin contamination from previous studies; eight diverse inbred maize lines for polymorphism identification within any maize gene sequence; four Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) mapping populations and one association mapping panel, all phenotyped for aflatoxin accumulation resistance and associated phenotypes; and capacity for Insertion/Deletion (InDel) and SNP genotyping in the population(s) for mapping. To date, ten genes have been identified as possible candidate genes and put through the candidate gene testing pipeline, and results are presented here to demonstrate the utility of the pipeline. PMID:22069738

  15. A Public Platform for the Verification of the Phenotypic Effect of Candidate Genes for Resistance to Aflatoxin Accumulation and Aspergillus flavus Infection in Maize

    PubMed Central

    Warburton, Marilyn L.; Williams, William Paul; Hawkins, Leigh; Bridges, Susan; Gresham, Cathy; Harper, Jonathan; Ozkan, Seval; Mylroie, J. Erik; Shan, Xueyan

    2011-01-01

    A public candidate gene testing pipeline for resistance to aflatoxin accumulation or Aspergillus flavus infection in maize is presented here. The pipeline consists of steps for identifying, testing, and verifying the association of selected maize gene sequences with resistance under field conditions. Resources include a database of genetic and protein sequences associated with the reduction in aflatoxin contamination from previous studies; eight diverse inbred maize lines for polymorphism identification within any maize gene sequence; four Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) mapping populations and one association mapping panel, all phenotyped for aflatoxin accumulation resistance and associated phenotypes; and capacity for Insertion/Deletion (InDel) and SNP genotyping in the population(s) for mapping. To date, ten genes have been identified as possible candidate genes and put through the candidate gene testing pipeline, and results are presented here to demonstrate the utility of the pipeline. PMID:22069738

  16. Testing an aflatoxin B1 gene signature in rat archival tissues.

    PubMed

    Merrick, B Alex; Auerbach, Scott S; Stockton, Patricia S; Foley, Julie F; Malarkey, David E; Sills, Robert C; Irwin, Richard D; Tice, Raymond R

    2012-05-21

    Archival tissues from laboratory studies represent a unique opportunity to explore the relationship between genomic changes and agent-induced disease. In this study, we evaluated the applicability of qPCR for detecting genomic changes in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues by determining if a subset of 14 genes from a 90-gene signature derived from microarray data and associated with eventual tumor development could be detected in archival liver, kidney, and lung of rats exposed to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) for 90 days in feed at 1 ppm. These tissues originated from the same rats used in the microarray study. The 14 genes evaluated were Adam8, Cdh13, Ddit4l, Mybl2, Akr7a3, Akr7a2, Fhit, Wwox, Abcb1b, Abcc3, Cxcl1, Gsta5, Grin2c, and the C8orf46 homologue. The qPCR FFPE liver results were compared to the original liver microarray data and to qPCR results using RNA from fresh frozen liver. Archival liver paraffin blocks yielded 30 to 50 μg of degraded RNA that ranged in size from 0.1 to 4 kB. qPCR results from FFPE and fresh frozen liver samples were positively correlated (p ≤ 0.05) by regression analysis and showed good agreement in direction and proportion of change with microarray data for 11 of 14 genes. All 14 transcripts could be amplified from FFPE kidney RNA except the glutamate receptor gene Grin2c; however, only Abcb1b was significantly upregulated from control. Abundant constitutive transcripts, S18 and β-actin, could be amplified from lung FFPE samples, but the narrow RNA size range (25-500 bp length) prevented consistent detection of target transcripts. Overall, a discrete gene signature derived from prior transcript profiling and representing cell cycle progression, DNA damage response, and xenosensor and detoxication pathways was successfully applied to archival liver and kidney by qPCR and indicated that gene expression changes in response to subchronic AFB1 exposure occurred predominantly in the liver, the primary target for AFB1-induced

  17. Effect of the combined probiotics with aflatoxin B₁-degrading enzyme on aflatoxin detoxification, broiler production performance and hepatic enzyme gene expression.

    PubMed

    Zuo, Rui-yu; Chang, Juan; Yin, Qing-qiang; Wang, Ping; Yang, Yu-rong; Wang, Xiao; Wang, Guo-qiang; Zheng, Qiu-hong

    2013-09-01

    In order to degrade aflatoxin B₁ (AFB₁), AFB₁-degrading microbes (probiotics) such as Lactobacillus casei, Bacillus subtilis and Pichia anomala, and the AFB₁-degrading enzyme from Aspergillus oryzae were selected and combined to make feed additive. Seventy-five 43-day-old male Arbor Acres broilers were randomly divided into 5 groups, 15 broilers for each group. The broilers were given with 5 kinds of diets such as the basal diet, 400 μg/kg AFB₁ supplement without feed additive, and 200, 400, 800 μg/kg AFB₁ supplement with 0.15% feed additive. The feeding experimental period was 30 d, which was used to determine production performance of broilers. In addition, serum, liver and chest muscle were selected for measuring AFB₁ residues, gene expressions, microscopic and antioxidant analyses. The results showed that adding 0.15% feed additive in broiler diets could significantly relieve the negative effect of AFB₁ on chicken's production performance and nutrient metabolic rates (P<0.05). It could also improve AFB₁ metabolism, hepatic cell structure, antioxidant activity, and many hepatic enzyme gene expressions involved in oxidoreductase, apoptosis, cell growth, immune system and metabolic process (P<0.05). It could be concluded that the feed additive was able to degrade AFB₁ and improve animal production.

  18. Effect of the combined probiotics with aflatoxin B₁-degrading enzyme on aflatoxin detoxification, broiler production performance and hepatic enzyme gene expression.

    PubMed

    Zuo, Rui-yu; Chang, Juan; Yin, Qing-qiang; Wang, Ping; Yang, Yu-rong; Wang, Xiao; Wang, Guo-qiang; Zheng, Qiu-hong

    2013-09-01

    In order to degrade aflatoxin B₁ (AFB₁), AFB₁-degrading microbes (probiotics) such as Lactobacillus casei, Bacillus subtilis and Pichia anomala, and the AFB₁-degrading enzyme from Aspergillus oryzae were selected and combined to make feed additive. Seventy-five 43-day-old male Arbor Acres broilers were randomly divided into 5 groups, 15 broilers for each group. The broilers were given with 5 kinds of diets such as the basal diet, 400 μg/kg AFB₁ supplement without feed additive, and 200, 400, 800 μg/kg AFB₁ supplement with 0.15% feed additive. The feeding experimental period was 30 d, which was used to determine production performance of broilers. In addition, serum, liver and chest muscle were selected for measuring AFB₁ residues, gene expressions, microscopic and antioxidant analyses. The results showed that adding 0.15% feed additive in broiler diets could significantly relieve the negative effect of AFB₁ on chicken's production performance and nutrient metabolic rates (P<0.05). It could also improve AFB₁ metabolism, hepatic cell structure, antioxidant activity, and many hepatic enzyme gene expressions involved in oxidoreductase, apoptosis, cell growth, immune system and metabolic process (P<0.05). It could be concluded that the feed additive was able to degrade AFB₁ and improve animal production. PMID:23831311

  19. The major volatile compound 2-phenylethanol from the biocontrol yeast, Pichia anomala, inhibits growth and expression of aflatoxin biosynthetic genes of Aspergillus flavus.

    PubMed

    Hua, Sui Sheng T; Beck, John J; Sarreal, Siov Bouy L; Gee, Wai

    2014-05-01

    Aspergillus flavus is a ubiquitous saprophyte that is able to produce the most potent natural carcinogenic compound known as aflatoxin B1 (AFB1). This toxin frequently contaminates crops including corn, cotton, peanuts, and tree nuts causing substantial economic loss worldwide. Consequently, more than 100 countries have strict regulations limiting AFB1 in foodstuffs and feedstuffs. Plants and microbes are able to produce volatile compounds that act as a defense mechanism against other organisms. Pichia anomala strain WRL-076 is a biocontrol yeast currently being tested to reduce AF contamination of tree nuts in California. We used the SPME-GC/MS analysis and identified the major volatile compound produced by this strain to be 2-phenylethanol (2-PE). It inhibited spore germination and AF production of A. flavus. Inhibition of AF formation by 2-PE was correlated with significant down regulation of clustering AF biosynthesis genes as evidenced by several to greater than 10,000-fold decrease in gene expression. In a time-course analysis we found that 2-PE also altered the expression patterns of chromatin modifying genes, MYST1, MYST2, MYST3, gcn5, hdaA and rpdA. The biocontrol capacity of P. anomala can be attributed to the production of 2-PE, which affects spore germination, growth, toxin production, and gene expression in A. flavus. PMID:24504634

  20. Clustering of High Throughput Gene Expression Data

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Interferon-alpha gene therapy prevents aflatoxin and carbon tetrachloride promoted hepatic carcinogenesis in rats.

    PubMed

    Aziz, Talaat Abdel; Aziz, Mohammed Abdel; Fouad, Hanan Hassan; Rashed, Laila Ahmed; Salama, Hosny; Abd-Alla, Samira; Wehab, Mosaad Attia Abdel; Ahmed, Tauseef

    2005-01-01

    Retrovirus-mediated interferon alpha (IFN-alpha) gene transfer was evaluated with regard to its possible protective effects against aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)-initiated and carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-promoted hepatic carcinogenesis in rats. To our knowledge, this is the first time an experimental in vivo gene therapy trial was conducted in Egypt. Two genes were examined in liver tissue by RT-PCR: the first was glutathione-S-transferase placental (GST-P) isoenzyme, as an early marker to detect hepatic malignancy; the second was IFN-alpha gene expression to detect the efficiency of gene uptake and its persistence after transduction. Forty male rats, divided equally into 4 groups, were included in the study: the first group was the control; the second group received CCl4 0.2 ml subcutaneously twice weekly for 12 weeks and AFB1 0.25 mg/kg body wt intraperitoneally twice weekly for 6 weeks; the third group received IFN-alpha (10(8) pfu) intravenously in the tail vein prior to the start of CCl4 and AFB1 injections; and the fourth group received IFN-alpha (10(8) pfu) by intrahepatic injection under ultrasonography guide after termination of the CCl4 and AFB1 injection schedule. The results showed that IFN-alpha has a marked and significant protective effect against hepatic fibrogenesis as well as hepatic carcinogenesis. Pathological examination of liver tissue proved that IFN-alpha minimized both fibrotic and cirrhotic processes. The amount of fibrosis was less in both groups receiving IFN-alpha, with more protection in the group that received IFN-alpha intravenously prior to CCl4 and AFB1. The results of RT-PCR showed that the IFN-alpha gene was significantly expressed in both groups receiving IFN-alpha, with a more intense expression in the group that received IFN-alpha by intrahepatic injection after termination of CCl4 and AFB1 injections. The IFN-alpha gene was detected after three months of gene transduction in rats receiving IFN-alpha intravenously prior to CCl4 and AFB1

  2. Clustering of gene ontology terms in genomes.

    PubMed

    Tiirikka, Timo; Siermala, Markku; Vihinen, Mauno

    2014-10-25

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

  3. A public platform for the verification of the phenotypic effect of candidate genes for resistance to aflatoxin accumulation and Aspergillus flavus infection in maize

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A public candidate gene testing pipeline for resistance to aflatoxin accumulation or Aspergillus flavus infection in maize is presented here. The pipeline consists of steps for identifying, testing, and verifying the association of any maize gene sequence with resistance under field conditions. Reso...

  4. Chicken rRNA Gene Cluster Structure

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Loss of msnA, a putative stress regulatory gene, in Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus increased production of conidia, aflatoxins and kojic acid

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Production of the harmful carcinogenic aflatoxins by Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus has been postulated to be a mechanism to relieve oxidative stress. The msnA gene, the ortholog of Saccharomyces cerevisiae MSN2 associated with multi-stress response, of the two species was disrupted....

  6. Association with AflR in Endosomes Reveals New Functions for AflJ in Aflatoxin Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Ehrlich, Kenneth C.; Mack, Brian M.; Wei, Qijian; Li, Ping; Roze, Ludmila V.; Dazzo, Frank; Cary, Jeffrey W.; Bhatnagar, Deepak; Linz, John E.

    2012-01-01

    Aflatoxins are the most potent naturally occurring carcinogens of fungal origin. Biosynthesis of aflatoxin involves the coordinated expression of more than 25 genes. The function of one gene in the aflatoxin gene cluster, aflJ, is not entirely understood but, because previous studies demonstrated a physical interaction between the Zn2Cys6 transcription factor AflR and AflJ, AflJ was proposed to act as a transcriptional co-activator. Image analysis revealed that, in the absence of aflJ in A. parasiticus, endosomes cluster within cells and near septa. AflJ fused to yellow fluorescent protein complemented the mutation in A. parasiticus ΔaflJ and localized mainly in endosomes. We found that AflJ co-localizes with AflR both in endosomes and in nuclei. Chromatin immunoprecipitation did not detect AflJ binding at known AflR DNA recognition sites suggesting that AflJ either does not bind to these sites or binds to them transiently. Based on these data, we hypothesize that AflJ assists in AflR transport to or from the nucleus, thus controlling the availability of AflR for transcriptional activation of aflatoxin biosynthesis cluster genes. AflJ may also assist in directing endosomes to the cytoplasmic membrane for aflatoxin export. PMID:23342682

  7. Clustering Genes of Common Evolutionary History

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Clustering Genes of Common Evolutionary History.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  9. Combined clustering models for the analysis of gene expression

    SciTech Connect

    Angelova, M. Ellman, J.

    2010-02-15

    Clustering has become one of the fundamental tools for analyzing gene expression and producing gene classifications. Clustering models enable finding patterns of similarity in order to understand gene function, gene regulation, cellular processes and sub-types of cells. The clustering results however have to be combined with sequence data or knowledge about gene functionality in order to make biologically meaningful conclusions. In this work, we explore a new model that integrates gene expression with sequence or text information.

  10. Effect of curcumin on hepatic antioxidant enzymes activities and gene expressions in rats intoxicated with aflatoxin B1.

    PubMed

    El-Bahr, S M

    2015-01-01

    Twenty-eight rats were examined in a 5-week experiment to investigate the effect of curcumin on gene expression and activities of hepatic antioxidant enzymes in rats intoxicated with aflatoxin B1 (AFB1 ). The rats were divided into four groups. Rats in 1-4 groups served as control, oral curcumin treated (15 mg/kg body weight), single i.p. dose of AFB1 (3 mg/kg body weight) and combination of single i.p. dose of AFB1 with oral curcumin treated, respectively. AFB1 Liver damage and oxidative stress were evident in untreated AFB1 -intoxicated rats as indicated by a significant elevation in hepatic transaminases, elevation in lipid peroxide biomarkers (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances; TBARS), reduction of reduced glutathione (GSH) concentration, reduction in the activities of antioxidant enzymes namely catalase (CAT), total superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPX) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST) and down-regulation of gene expression of these antioxidant enzymes compared to control. Liver sections of rats intoxicated with AFB1 showed a disrupted lobular architecture, scattered necrotic cells and biliary proliferation. Administration of curcumin with AFB1 resulted in amelioration of AFB1 -induced effects compared to untreated AFB1 -intoxicated rats via an up-regulation of antioxidant enzyme gene expression, activation of the expressed genes and increase in the availability of GSH.

  11. Comprehensive curation and analysis of fungal biosynthetic gene clusters of published natural products.

    PubMed

    Li, Yong Fuga; Tsai, Kathleen J S; Harvey, Colin J B; Li, James Jian; Ary, Beatrice E; Berlew, Erin E; Boehman, Brenna L; Findley, David M; Friant, Alexandra G; Gardner, Christopher A; Gould, Michael P; Ha, Jae H; Lilley, Brenna K; McKinstry, Emily L; Nawal, Saadia; Parry, Robert C; Rothchild, Kristina W; Silbert, Samantha D; Tentilucci, Michael D; Thurston, Alana M; Wai, Rebecca B; Yoon, Yongjin; Aiyar, Raeka S; Medema, Marnix H; Hillenmeyer, Maureen E; Charkoudian, Louise K

    2016-04-01

    Microorganisms produce a wide range of natural products (NPs) with clinically and agriculturally relevant biological activities. In bacteria and fungi, genes encoding successive steps in a biosynthetic pathway tend to be clustered on the chromosome as biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs). Historically, "activity-guided" approaches to NP discovery have focused on bioactivity screening of NPs produced by culturable microbes. In contrast, recent "genome mining" approaches first identify candidate BGCs, express these biosynthetic genes using synthetic biology methods, and finally test for the production of NPs. Fungal genome mining efforts and the exploration of novel sequence and NP space are limited, however, by the lack of a comprehensive catalog of BGCs encoding experimentally-validated products. In this study, we generated a comprehensive reference set of fungal NPs whose biosynthetic gene clusters are described in the published literature. To generate this dataset, we first identified NCBI records that included both a peer-reviewed article and an associated nucleotide record. We filtered these records by text and homology criteria to identify putative NP-related articles and BGCs. Next, we manually curated the resulting articles, chemical structures, and protein sequences. The resulting catalog contains 197 unique NP compounds covering several major classes of fungal NPs, including polyketides, non-ribosomal peptides, terpenoids, and alkaloids. The distribution of articles published per compound shows a bias toward the study of certain popular compounds, such as the aflatoxins. Phylogenetic analysis of biosynthetic genes suggests that much chemical and enzymatic diversity remains to be discovered in fungi. Our catalog was incorporated into the recently launched Minimum Information about Biosynthetic Gene cluster (MIBiG) repository to create the largest known set of fungal BGCs and associated NPs, a resource that we anticipate will guide future genome mining and

  12. Isolation and characterization of a gene from Aspergillus parasiticus associated with the conversion of versicolorin A to sterigmatocystin in aflatoxin biosynthesis.

    PubMed Central

    Skory, C D; Chang, P K; Cary, J; Linz, J E

    1992-01-01

    DNA isolated from the wild-type aflatoxin-producing (Afl+) fungus Aspergillus parasiticus NRRL 5862 was used to construct a cosmid genomic DNA library employing the homologous gene (pyrG) encoding orotidine monophosphate decarboxylase for selection of fungal transformants. The cosmid library was transformed into an Afl- mutant, A. parasiticus CS10 (ver-1 wh-1 pyrG), deficient in the conversion of the aflatoxin biosynthetic intermediate versicolorin A to sterigmatocystin. One pyrG+ Afl+ transformant was identified. DNA fragments from this transformant, recovered by marker rescue, contained part of the cosmid vector including the pyrG gene, the ampr gene, and a piece of the original genomic insert DNA. Transformation of these rescued DNA fragments into A. parasiticus CS10 resulted in production of wild-type levels of aflatoxin and abundant formation of sclerotia. The gene responsible for this complementation (ver-1) was identified by Northern RNA analysis and transformation with subcloned DNA fragments. The approximate locations of transcription initiation and polyadenylation sites of ver-1 were determined by an RNase protection assay and cDNA sequence analysis. The predicted amino acid sequence, deduced from the ver-1 genomic and cDNA nucleotide sequences, was compared with the EMBL and GenBank data bases. The search revealed striking similarity with Streptomyces ketoreductases involved in polyketide biosynthesis. Images PMID:1339261

  13. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) identifies candidate gene signatures in response to aflatoxin producing fungus Aspergillus flavus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aflatoxins are toxic metabolites and potent carcinogen produced from asexual fungi Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. Aflatoxins can contaminate cottonseed under conducive preharvest and postharvest conditions. U.S. federal regulations restrict the use of aflatoxin contaminated cottonseed at >20...

  14. Potential of Chitinolytic Serratia marcescens Strain JPP1 for Biological Control of Aspergillus parasiticus and Aflatoxin

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Kai; Yan, Pei-sheng; Cao, Li-xin; Ding, Qing-long; Shao, Chi; Zhao, Teng-fei

    2013-01-01

    Serratia marcescens strain JPP1 was isolated from peanut hulls in Huai'an city, Jiangsu Province, China. Its potential to inhibit the mycelial growth of Aspergillus parasiticus and the subsequent aflatoxin production was evaluated. The strain JPP1 could produce chitinase to degrade fungal cell walls, which was the main mechanism of strain JPP1 for biocontrol. Scanning electron microscopy of fungi treated with the crude chitinase revealed abnormal morphological changes. While the strain was grown in the peanut hulls-based medium, the chitinase activity reached 7.39 units. RT-PCR analysis showed that the crude chitinase repressed the transcription of genes involved in the aflatoxin gene cluster, such as aflR, aflC (pksL1), and aflO (dmtA) genes. By visual agar plate assay and tip culture method, the strain JPP1 exhibited remarkable inhibitory effect on mycelia growth (antifungal ratio >95%) and subsequent aflatoxin production (antiaflatoxigenic ratio >98%). An in vitro assay with seed coating agent of bacterial suspension showed that strain JPP1 effectively reduced fungal growth and subsequent aflatoxin production on peanut seeds, and its antagonistic effect was superior to the common agricultural fungicide of carbendazim. These characteristics suggest that S. marcescens JPP1 strain could potentially be utilized for the biological control of phytopathogenic fungi and aflatoxin in Chinese peanut main producing areas. PMID:23865052

  15. Potential of chitinolytic Serratia marcescens strain JPP1 for biological control of Aspergillus parasiticus and aflatoxin.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kai; Yan, Pei-Sheng; Cao, Li-Xin; Ding, Qing-Long; Shao, Chi; Zhao, Teng-Fei

    2013-01-01

    Serratia marcescens strain JPP1 was isolated from peanut hulls in Huai'an city, Jiangsu Province, China. Its potential to inhibit the mycelial growth of Aspergillus parasiticus and the subsequent aflatoxin production was evaluated. The strain JPP1 could produce chitinase to degrade fungal cell walls, which was the main mechanism of strain JPP1 for biocontrol. Scanning electron microscopy of fungi treated with the crude chitinase revealed abnormal morphological changes. While the strain was grown in the peanut hulls-based medium, the chitinase activity reached 7.39 units. RT-PCR analysis showed that the crude chitinase repressed the transcription of genes involved in the aflatoxin gene cluster, such as aflR, aflC (pksL1), and aflO (dmtA) genes. By visual agar plate assay and tip culture method, the strain JPP1 exhibited remarkable inhibitory effect on mycelia growth (antifungal ratio >95%) and subsequent aflatoxin production (antiaflatoxigenic ratio >98%). An in vitro assay with seed coating agent of bacterial suspension showed that strain JPP1 effectively reduced fungal growth and subsequent aflatoxin production on peanut seeds, and its antagonistic effect was superior to the common agricultural fungicide of carbendazim. These characteristics suggest that S. marcescens JPP1 strain could potentially be utilized for the biological control of phytopathogenic fungi and aflatoxin in Chinese peanut main producing areas.

  16. Identification of differentially expressed genes in aflatoxin B1-treated cultured primary rat hepatocytes and Fischer 344 rats.

    PubMed

    Harris, A J; Shaddock, J G; Manjanatha, M G; Lisenbey, J A; Casciano, D A

    1998-08-01

    Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), a mutagen and hepatocarcinogen in rats and humans, is a contaminant of the human food supply, particularly in parts of Africa and Asia. AFB1-induced changes in gene expression may play a part in the development of the toxic, immunosuppressive and carcinogenic properties of this fungal metabolite. An understanding of the-role of AFB1 in modulating gene regulation should provide insight regarding mechanisms of AFB1-induced carcinogenesis. We used three PCR-based subtractive techniques to identify AFB1-responsive genes in cultured primary rat hepatocyte RNA: differential display PCR (DD-PCR), representational difference analysis (RDA) and suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH). Each of the three techniques identified AFB1-responsive genes, although no individual cDNA was isolated by more than one technique. Nine cDNAs isolated using DD-PCR, RDA or SSH were found to represent eight genes that are differentially expressed as a result of AFB1 exposure. Genes whose mRNA levels were increased in cultured primary rat hepatocytes after AFB1 treatment were corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), cytochrome P450 4F1 (CYP4F1), alpha-2 microglobulin, C4b-binding protein (C4BP), serum amyloid A-2 and glutathione S-transferase Yb2 (GST). Transferrin and a small CYP3A-like cDNA had reduced mRNA levels after AFB1 exposure. Full-length CYP3A mRNA levels were increased. When liver RNA from AFB1-treated male F344 rats was evaluated for transferrin, CBG, GST, CYP3A and CYP4F1 expression, a decrease in transferrin mRNA and an increase in CBG, GST, CYP3A and CYP4F1 mRNA levels was also seen. Analysis of the potential function of these genes in maintaining cellular homeostasis suggests that their differential expression could contribute to the toxicity associated with AFB1 exposure.

  17. Functional Gene Group Summarization by Clustering MEDLINE Abstract Sentences

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jianji; Cohen, Aaron M.; Hersh, William R.

    2006-01-01

    Tools to automatically summarize functional gene group information from the biomedical literature will help genomics researchers both better interpret gene expression data and understand biological pathways. In this study, we built a system that takes in a set of genes and MEDLINE records and outputs clusters of genes along with summaries of each cluster by sentence extraction from MEDLINE abstracts. Our preliminary use-case evaluation shows that this approach can identify gene clusters similar to manually generated groupings. PMID:17238770

  18. Aflatoxin biosynthesis is a novel source of reactive oxygen species--a potential redox signal to initiate resistance to oxidative stress?

    PubMed

    Roze, Ludmila V; Laivenieks, Maris; Hong, Sung-Yong; Wee, Josephine; Wong, Shu-Shyan; Vanos, Benjamin; Awad, Deena; Ehrlich, Kenneth C; Linz, John E

    2015-05-01

    Aflatoxin biosynthesis in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus parasiticus involves a minimum of 21 enzymes, encoded by genes located in a 70 kb gene cluster. For aflatoxin biosynthesis to be completed, the required enzymes must be transported to specialized early and late endosomes called aflatoxisomes. Of particular significance, seven aflatoxin biosynthetic enzymes are P450/monooxygenases which catalyze reactions that can produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) as byproducts. Thus, oxidative reactions in the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway could potentially be an additional source of intracellular ROS. The present work explores the hypothesis that the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway generates ROS (designated as "secondary" ROS) in endosomes and that secondary ROS possess a signaling function. We used specific dyes that stain ROS in live cells and demonstrated that intracellular ROS levels correlate with the levels of aflatoxin synthesized. Moreover, feeding protoplasts with precursors of aflatoxin resulted in the increase in ROS generation. These data support the hypothesis. Our findings also suggest that secondary ROS may fulfill, at least in part, an important mechanistic role in increased tolerance to oxidative stress in germinating spores (seven-hour germlings) and in regulation of fungal development. PMID:25928133

  19. Aflatoxin Biosynthesis Is a Novel Source of Reactive Oxygen Species—A Potential Redox Signal to Initiate Resistance to Oxidative Stress?

    PubMed Central

    Roze, Ludmila V.; Laivenieks, Maris; Hong, Sung-Yong; Wee, Josephine; Wong, Shu-Shyan; Vanos, Benjamin; Awad, Deena; Ehrlich, Kenneth C.; Linz, John E.

    2015-01-01

    Aflatoxin biosynthesis in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus parasiticus involves a minimum of 21 enzymes, encoded by genes located in a 70 kb gene cluster. For aflatoxin biosynthesis to be completed, the required enzymes must be transported to specialized early and late endosomes called aflatoxisomes. Of particular significance, seven aflatoxin biosynthetic enzymes are P450/monooxygenases which catalyze reactions that can produce reactive oxygen species (ROS) as byproducts. Thus, oxidative reactions in the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway could potentially be an additional source of intracellular ROS. The present work explores the hypothesis that the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway generates ROS (designated as “secondary” ROS) in endosomes and that secondary ROS possess a signaling function. We used specific dyes that stain ROS in live cells and demonstrated that intracellular ROS levels correlate with the levels of aflatoxin synthesized. Moreover, feeding protoplasts with precursors of aflatoxin resulted in the increase in ROS generation. These data support the hypothesis. Our findings also suggest that secondary ROS may fulfill, at least in part, an important mechanistic role in increased tolerance to oxidative stress in germinating spores (seven-hour germlings) and in regulation of fungal development. PMID:25928133

  20. Control of Aflatoxin Production of Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus Using RNA Silencing Technology by Targeting aflD (nor-1) Gene

    PubMed Central

    Abdel-Hadi, Ahmed M.; Caley, Daniel P.; Carter, David R. F.; Magan, Naresh

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus are important pathogens of cotton, corn, peanuts and other oil-seed crops, producing toxins both in the field and during storage. We have designed three siRNA sequences (Nor-Ia, Nor-Ib, Nor-Ic) to target the mRNA sequence of the aflD gene to examine the potential for using RNA silencing technology to control aflatoxin production. Thus, the effect of siRNAs targeting of two key genes in the aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway, aflD (structural) and aflR (regulatory gene) and on aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), and aflatoxin G1 (AFG1) production was examined. The study showed that Nor-Ib gave a significant decrease in aflD mRNA, aflR mRNA abundance, and AFB1 production (98, 97 and 97% when compared to the controls) in A. flavus NRRL3357, respectively. Reduction in aflD and aflR mRNA abundance and AFB1 production increased with concentration of siRNA tested. There was a significant inhibition in aflD and AFB1 production by A. flavus EGP9 and AFG1 production by A. parasiticus NRRL 13005. However, there was no significant decrease in AFG1 production by A. parasiticus SSWT 2999. Changes in AFB1 production in relation to mRNA levels of aflD showed a good correlation (R = 0.88; P = 0.00001); changes in aflR mRNA level in relation to mRNA level of aflD also showed good correlation (R = 0.82; P = 0.0001). The correlations between changes in aflR and aflD gene expression suggests a strong relationship between these structural and regulatory genes, and that aflD could be used as a target gene to develop efficient means for aflatoxin control using RNA silencing technology. PMID:22069731

  1. Microarray gene cluster identification and annotation through cluster ensemble and EM-based informative textual summarization.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xiaohua; Park, E K; Zhang, Xiaodan

    2009-09-01

    Generating high-quality gene clusters and identifying the underlying biological mechanism of the gene clusters are the important goals of clustering gene expression analysis. To get high-quality cluster results, most of the current approaches rely on choosing the best cluster algorithm, in which the design biases and assumptions meet the underlying distribution of the dataset. There are two issues for this approach: 1) usually, the underlying data distribution of the gene expression datasets is unknown and 2) there are so many clustering algorithms available and it is very challenging to choose the proper one. To provide a textual summary of the gene clusters, the most explored approach is the extractive approach that essentially builds upon techniques borrowed from the information retrieval, in which the objective is to provide terms to be used for query expansion, and not to act as a stand-alone summary for the entire document sets. Another drawback is that the clustering quality and cluster interpretation are treated as two isolated research problems and are studied separately. In this paper, we design and develop a unified system Gene Expression Miner to address these challenging issues in a principled and general manner by integrating cluster ensemble, text clustering, and multidocument summarization and provide an environment for comprehensive gene expression data analysis. We present a novel cluster ensemble approach to generate high-quality gene cluster. In our text summarization module, given a gene cluster, our expectation-maximization based algorithm can automatically identify subtopics and extract most probable terms for each topic. Then, the extracted top k topical terms from each subtopic are combined to form the biological explanation of each gene cluster. Experimental results demonstrate that our system can obtain high-quality clusters and provide informative key terms for the gene clusters.

  2. Evolution of Hox gene clusters in deuterostomes.

    PubMed

    Pascual-Anaya, Juan; D'Aniello, Salvatore; Kuratani, Shigeru; Garcia-Fernàndez, Jordi

    2013-01-01

    Hox genes, with their similar roles in animals as evolutionarily distant as humans and flies, have fascinated biologists since their discovery nearly 30 years ago. During the last two decades, reports on Hox genes from a still growing number of eumetazoan species have increased our knowledge on the Hox gene contents of a wide range of animal groups. In this review, we summarize the current Hox inventory among deuterostomes, not only in the well-known teleosts and tetrapods, but also in the earlier vertebrate and invertebrate groups. We draw an updated picture of the ancestral repertoires of the different lineages, a sort of "genome Hox bar-code" for most clades. This scenario allows us to infer differential gene or cluster losses and gains that occurred during deuterostome evolution, which might be causally linked to the morphological changes that led to these widely diverse animal taxa. Finally, we focus on the challenging family of posterior Hox genes, which probably originated through independent tandem duplication events at the origin of each of the ambulacrarian, cephalochordate and vertebrate/urochordate lineages.

  3. Evolution of Hox gene clusters in deuterostomes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Hox genes, with their similar roles in animals as evolutionarily distant as humans and flies, have fascinated biologists since their discovery nearly 30 years ago. During the last two decades, reports on Hox genes from a still growing number of eumetazoan species have increased our knowledge on the Hox gene contents of a wide range of animal groups. In this review, we summarize the current Hox inventory among deuterostomes, not only in the well-known teleosts and tetrapods, but also in the earlier vertebrate and invertebrate groups. We draw an updated picture of the ancestral repertoires of the different lineages, a sort of “genome Hox bar-code” for most clades. This scenario allows us to infer differential gene or cluster losses and gains that occurred during deuterostome evolution, which might be causally linked to the morphological changes that led to these widely diverse animal taxa. Finally, we focus on the challenging family of posterior Hox genes, which probably originated through independent tandem duplication events at the origin of each of the ambulacrarian, cephalochordate and vertebrate/urochordate lineages. PMID:23819519

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  5. Effects of turmeric (Curcuma longa) on the expression of hepatic genes associated with biotransformation, antioxidant, and immune systems in broiler chicks fed aflatoxin.

    PubMed

    Yarru, L P; Settivari, R S; Gowda, N K S; Antoniou, E; Ledoux, D R; Rottinghaus, G E

    2009-12-01

    The objective of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of curcumin, an antioxidant found in turmeric (Curcuma longa) powder (TMP), to ameliorate changes in gene expression in the livers of broiler chicks fed aflatoxin B(1) (AFB(1)). Four pen replicates of 5 chicks each were assigned to each of 4 dietary treatments, which included the following: A) basal diet containing no AFB(1) or TMP (control), B) basal diet supplemented with TMP (0.5%) that supplied 74 mg/kg of curcumin, C) basal diet supplemented with 1.0 mg of AFB(1)/kg of diet, and D) basal diet supplemented with TMP that supplied 74 mg/kg of curcumin and 1.0 mg of AFB(1)/kg of diet. Aflatoxin reduced (P < 0.05) feed intake and BW gain and increased (P < 0.05) relative liver weight. Addition of TMP to the AFB(1) diet ameliorated (P < 0.05) the negative effects of AFB(1) on growth performance and liver weight. At the end of the 3-wk treatment period, livers were collected (6 per treatment) to evaluate changes in the expression of genes involved in antioxidant function [catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione S-transferase (GST)], biotransformation [epoxide hydrolase (EH), cytochrome P450 1A1 and 2H1 (CYP1A1 and CYP2H1)], and the immune system [interleukins 6 and 2 (IL-6 and IL-2)]. Changes in gene expression were determined using the quantitative real-time PCR technique. There was no statistical difference in gene expression among the 4 treatment groups for CAT and IL-2 genes. Decreased expression of SOD, GST, and EH genes due to AFB(1) was alleviated by inclusion of TMP in the diet. Increased expression of IL-6, CYP1A1 and CYP2H1 genes due to AFB(1) was also alleviated by TMP. The current study demonstrates partial protective effects of TMP on changes in expression of antioxidant, biotransformation, and immune system genes in livers of chicks fed AFB(1). Practical application of the research is supplementation of TMP in diets to prevent or reduce the

  6. High sequence variations in the region containing genes encoding a cellular morphogenesis protein and the repressor of sexual development help to reveal origins of Aspergillus oryzae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus flavus are closely related fungal species. The A. flavus population that produces numerous small sclerotia (S strain) and aflatoxin has a unique 1.5 kb deletion in the norB-cypA region of the aflatoxin gene cluster (the S genotype). Phylogenetic studies have indica...

  7. Streptomyces coelicolor as an expression host for heterologous gene clusters.

    PubMed

    Gomez-Escribano, Juan Pablo; Bibb, Mervyn J

    2012-01-01

    The expression of a gene or a set of genes from one organism in a different species is known as "heterologous expression." In actinomycetes, prolific producers of natural products, heterologous gene expression has been used to confirm the clustering of secondary metabolite biosynthetic genes, to analyze natural product biosynthesis, to produce variants of natural products by genetic engineering, and to discover new compounds by screening genomic libraries. Recent advances in DNA sequencing have enabled the rapid and affordable sequencing of actinomycete genomes and revealed a large number of secondary metabolite gene clusters with no known products. Heterologous expression of these cryptic gene clusters combined with comparative metabolic profiling provides an important means to identify potentially novel compounds. In this chapter, the methods and strategies used to heterologously express actinomycete gene clusters, including the techniques used for cloning secondary metabolite gene clusters, the Streptomyces hosts used for their expression, and the techniques employed to analyze their products by metabolic profiling, are described.

  8. The genetics of aflatoxin B1 metabolism. Association of the induction of aflatoxin B1-4-hydroxylase with the transcriptional activation of cytochrome P3-450 gene.

    PubMed

    Koser, P L; Faletto, M B; Maccubbin, A E; Gurtoo, H L

    1988-09-01

    The association between murine cytochrome P3-450 and hepatic aflatoxin B1-4-hydroxylase, a cytochrome P-450-dependent enzyme which converts aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) to aflatoxin M1 (AFM1), was examined by (a) purification of the cytochrome P-450 which preferentially metabolizes AFB1 to AFM1; (b) isolation of the specific cDNA clone; and (c) correlating induction of transcriptional activation of the specific message with the enzyme activity in the hepatic microsomes. Isolation of cytochromes P-450 from C57BL/6 mice, an Ah-responsive strain, pretreated with a 150 mg/kg dose of beta-naphthoflavone resulted in the partial purification of the cytochrome P-450 with preference for the metabolism of AFB1 to AFM1. Antibodies raised against this cytochrome P-450 were used to enrich hepatic mRNA for cDNA cloning. A cDNA library screened with a rat cytochrome P-450c gene probe yielded only two types of cDNA clones that contained inserts corresponding to cytochrome P1-450 and cytochrome P3-450. Specific restriction fragments of near full-length P1-450 cDNA and full-length P3-450 cDNA, hybridizing only with their respective messages, were isolated and used to assess transcriptional activation of these messages in liver and extrahepatic tissues from C57BL/6 mice treated with 3-methylcholanthrene, beta-naphthoflavone, indolylacetonitrile, and Aroclor-1254. Dose-dependent induction of the two messenger RNAs, when compared with the induction of specific enzyme activities, demonstrated the association of cytochrome P1-450 with aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase activity and the association of cytochrome P3-450 with AFB1-4-hydroxylase activity. This supports our earlier hypothesis that AFB1-4-hydroxylase and aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase, although regulated by the Ah locus, are the products of two separate genes (Gurtoo, H.L., Dahms, R.P., Kanter, P., and Vaught, J.B. (1978) J. Biol. Chem. 253, 3952-3961). PMID:3137229

  9. Genetic characteristics of vancomycin resistance gene cluster in Enterococcus spp.

    PubMed

    Chunhui, Chen; Xiaogang, Xu

    2015-05-01

    Vancomycin resistant enterococci has become an important nosocomial pathogen since it is discovered in late 1980s. The products, encoded by vancomycin resistant gene cluster in enterococci, catalyze the synthesis of peptidoglycan precursors with low affinity with glycopeptide antibiotics including vancomycin and teicoplanin and lead to resistance. These vancomycin resistant gene clusters are classified into nine types according to their gene sequences and organization, or D-Ala:D-Lac (VanA, VanB, VanD and VanM) and D-Ala:D-Ser (VanC, VanE, VanG, VanL and VanN) ligase gene clusters based on the differences of their encoded ligases. Moreover, these gene clusters are characterized by their different resistance levels and infection models. In this review, we summarize the classification, gene organization and infection model of vancomycin resistant gene cluster in Enterococcus spp.

  10. Host-Induced Gene Silencing (HIGS) of aflatoxin synthesis genes in peanut and maize: use of RNA interference and genetic diversity of Aspergillus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Approximately 4.5 billion people are chronically exposed to aflatoxins, these are powerful carcinogens produced by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. High levels of aflatoxins in crops result in approximately 100 million metric tons of cereals, ¬nuts, root crops and other agricultural products ...

  11. Transformation of Aspergillus flavus to study aflatoxin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Payne, G A; Woloshuk, C P

    1989-09-01

    Aflatoxin contamination of agricultural commodities continues to be a serious problem in the United States. Breeding for resistant genotypes has been unsuccessful and detoxification of food sources is not economically feasible. New strategies for control may become apparent once more is known about the biosynthesis and regulation of aflatoxin. Although the biosynthetic pathway of aflatoxin has been extensively studied, little is known about the regulation of the individual steps in the pathway. We have developed a genetic transformation system for Aspergillus flavus that provides a new and expedient approach to studying the biosynthesis of aflatoxin and its regulation. Through the use of this genetic transformation system, genes for aflatoxin biosynthesis can be identified and isolated by the complementation of aflatoxin negative mutants. In this paper we discuss molecular strategies for studying the regulation and biosynthesis of aflatoxin. PMID:2515438

  12. Loss of msnA, a Putative Stress Regulatory Gene, in Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus Increased Production of Conidia, Aflatoxins and Kojic Acid

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Perng-Kuang; Scharfenstein, Leslie L.; Luo, Meng; Mahoney, Noreen; Molyneux, Russell J.; Yu, Jiujiang; Brown, Robert L.; Campbell, Bruce C.

    2011-01-01

    Production of the harmful carcinogenic aflatoxins by Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus has been postulated to be a mechanism to relieve oxidative stress. The msnA gene of A. parasiticus and A. flavus is the ortholog of Saccharomyces cerevisiae MSN2 that is associated with multi-stress response. Compared to wild type strains, the msnA deletion (∆msnA) strains of A. parasiticus and A. flavus exhibited retarded colony growth with increased conidiation. The ∆msnA strains also produced slightly higher amounts of aflatoxins and elevated amounts of kojic acid on mixed cereal medium. Microarray assays showed that expression of genes encoding oxidative stress defense enzymes, i.e., superoxide dismutase, catalase, and cytochrome c peroxidase in A. parasiticus ∆msnA, and the catalase A gene in A. flavus ∆msnA, was up-regulated. Both A. parasiticus and A. flavus ∆msnA strains produced higher levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and ROS production of A. flavus msnA addback strains was decreased to levels comparable to that of the wild type A. flavus. The msnA gene appears to be required for the maintenance of the normal oxidative state. The impairment of msnA resulted in the aforementioned changes, which might be used to combat the increased oxidative stress in the cells. PMID:22069691

  13. Loss of msnA, a putative stress regulatory gene, in Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus increased production of conidia, aflatoxins and kojic acid.

    PubMed

    Chang, Perng-Kuang; Scharfenstein, Leslie L; Luo, Meng; Mahoney, Noreen; Molyneux, Russell J; Yu, Jiujiang; Brown, Robert L; Campbell, Bruce C

    2011-01-01

    Production of the harmful carcinogenic aflatoxins by Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus has been postulated to be a mechanism to relieve oxidative stress. The msnA gene of A. parasiticus and A. flavus is the ortholog of Saccharomyces cerevisiae MSN2 that is associated with multi-stress response. Compared to wild type strains, the msnA deletion (∆msnA) strains of A. parasiticus and A. flavus exhibited retarded colony growth with increased conidiation. The ∆msnA strains also produced slightly higher amounts of aflatoxins and elevated amounts of kojic acid on mixed cereal medium. Microarray assays showed that expression of genes encoding oxidative stress defense enzymes, i.e., superoxide dismutase, catalase, and cytochrome c peroxidase in A. parasiticus ∆msnA, and the catalase A gene in A. flavus ∆msnA, was up-regulated. Both A. parasiticus and A. flavus ∆msnA strains produced higher levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and ROS production of A. flavus msnA addback strains was decreased to levels comparable to that of the wild type A. flavus. The msnA gene appears to be required for the maintenance of the normal oxidative state. The impairment of msnA resulted in the aforementioned changes, which might be used to combat the increased oxidative stress in the cells. PMID:22069691

  14. A Nomadic Subtelomeric Disease Resistance Gene Cluster in Common Bean

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The B4 resistance (R)-gene cluster, located in subtelomeric region of chromosome 4, is one of the largest clusters known in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris, Pv). We sequenced 650 kb spanning this locus and annotated 97 genes, 26 of which correspond to Coiled-coil-Nucleotide-Binding-Site-Leucine-Rich...

  15. Estimating the number of clusters via system evolution for cluster analysis of gene expression data.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kaijun; Zheng, Jie; Zhang, Junying; Dong, Jiyang

    2009-09-01

    The estimation of the number of clusters (NC) is one of crucial problems in the cluster analysis of gene expression data. Most approaches available give their answers without the intuitive information about separable degrees between clusters. However, this information is useful for understanding cluster structures. To provide this information, we propose system evolution (SE) method to estimate NC based on partitioning around medoids (PAM) clustering algorithm. SE analyzes cluster structures of a dataset from the viewpoint of a pseudothermodynamics system. The system will go to its stable equilibrium state, at which the optimal NC is found, via its partitioning process and merging process. The experimental results on simulated and real gene expression data demonstrate that the SE works well on the data with well-separated clusters and the one with slightly overlapping clusters. PMID:19527960

  16. Super-paramagnetic clustering of yeast gene expression profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-04-01

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

  17. GE-Miner: integration of cluster ensemble and text mining for comprehensive gene expression analysis.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xiaohua

    2006-01-01

    Generating high quality gene clusters and identifying the underlying biological mechanism of the gene clusters are the important goals of clustering gene expression analysis. Based on this consideration, we design and develop a unified system Gene Expression Miner (GE-Miner) by integrating cluster ensemble, text clustering and multidocument summarisation and provide an environment for comprehensive gene expression data analysis. Experimental results demonstrate that our systems can obtain high quality clusters and provide concise and informative textual summary for the gene clusters.

  18. Gene expression data clustering using a multiobjective symmetry based clustering technique.

    PubMed

    Saha, Sriparna; Ekbal, Asif; Gupta, Kshitija; Bandyopadhyay, Sanghamitra

    2013-11-01

    The invention of microarrays has rapidly changed the state of biological and biomedical research. Clustering algorithms play an important role in clustering microarray data sets where identifying groups of co-expressed genes are a very difficult task. Here we have posed the problem of clustering the microarray data as a multiobjective clustering problem. A new symmetry based fuzzy clustering technique is developed to solve this problem. The effectiveness of the proposed technique is demonstrated on five publicly available benchmark data sets. Results are compared with some widely used microarray clustering techniques. Statistical and biological significance tests have also been carried out. PMID:24209942

  19. Remodelling of a homeobox gene cluster by multiple independent gene reunions in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Chan, Carolus; Jayasekera, Suvini; Kao, Bryant; Páramo, Moisés; von Grotthuss, Marcin; Ranz, José M

    2015-01-01

    Genome clustering of homeobox genes is often thought to reflect arrangements of tandem gene duplicates maintained by advantageous coordinated gene regulation. Here we analyse the chromosomal organization of the NK homeobox genes, presumed to be part of a single cluster in the Bilaterian ancestor, across 20 arthropods. We find that the ProtoNK cluster was extensively fragmented in some lineages, showing that NK clustering in Drosophila species does not reflect selectively maintained gene arrangements. More importantly, the arrangement of NK and neighbouring genes across the phylogeny supports that, in two instances within the Drosophila genus, some cluster remnants became reunited via large-scale chromosomal rearrangements. Simulated scenarios of chromosome evolution indicate that these reunion events are unlikely unless the genome neighbourhoods harbouring the participating genes tend to colocalize in the nucleus. Our results underscore how mechanisms other than tandem gene duplication can result in paralogous gene clustering during genome evolution. PMID:25739651

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

    PubMed Central

    Fischbach, Michael; Voigt, Christopher A.

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Recommending pathway genes using a compendium of clustering solutions.

    PubMed

    Ng, David M; Woehrmann, Marcos H; Stuart, Joshua M

    2007-01-01

    A common approach for identifying pathways from gene expression data is to cluster the genes without using prior information about a pathway, which often identifies only the dominant coexpression groups. Recommender systems are well-suited for using the known genes of a pathway to identify the appropriate experiments for predicting new members. However, existing systems, such as the GeneRecommender, ignore how genes naturally group together within specific experiments. We present a collaborative filtering approach which uses the pattern of how genes cluster together in different experiments to recommend new genes in a pathway. Clusters are first identified within a single experiment series. Informative clusters, in which the user-supplied query genes appear together, are identified. New genes that cluster with the known genes, in a significant fraction of the informative clusters, are recommended. We implemented a prototype of our system and measured its performance on hundreds of pathways. We find that our method performs as well as an established approach while significantly increasing the speed and scalability of searching large datasets. [Supplemental material is available online at sysbio.soe.ucsc.edu/cluegene/psb07.

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

    PubMed

    Noar, Roslyn D; Daub, Margaret E

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Noar, Roslyn D.; Daub, Margaret E.

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Impact of bacterial biocontrol agents on aflatoxin biosynthetic genes, aflD and aflR expression, and phenotypic aflatoxin B₁ production by Aspergillus flavus under different environmental and nutritional regimes.

    PubMed

    Al-Saad, Labeed A; Al-Badran, Adnan I; Al-Jumayli, Sami A; Magan, Naresh; Rodríguez, Alicia

    2016-01-18

    The objectives of this study were to examine the efficacy of four bacterial antagonists against Aspergillus flavus using 50:50 ratio of bacterial cells/conidia for the control of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) production on two different nutritional matrices, nutrient and maize-based media at different water availabilities (0.98, 0.94 water activity (aw) on nutrient medium; 0.995, 0.98 aw on maize meal agar medium) at 35°C. The indicators of efficacy used were the relative expression of one structural and regulatory gene in the biosynthetic pathway (aflD and aflR respectively) and the production of AFB1. These studies showed that some of the bacterial species could significantly inhibit the relative expression of the aflD and aflR genes at both 0.98 and 0.94 aw on nutrient agar. On maize-based media some of the bacterial antagonists reduced the activity of both genes at 0.94 aw and some at 0.995 aw. However, the results for AFB1 production were not consistent with the effects on gene expression. Some bacterial species stimulated AFB1 production on both nutrient and maize-based media regardless of aw. However, some bacterial treatments did inhibit AFB1 production significantly when compared to the control. Overall, this study suggests that temporal studies are required on the biosynthetic genes under different environmental and nutritional conditions to evaluate the potential of antagonists to control AFB1. PMID:26513252

  5. Identification of early target genes of aflatoxin B1 in human hepatocytes, inter-individual variability and comparison with other genotoxic compounds

    SciTech Connect

    Josse, Rozenn; Dumont, Julie; Fautrel, Alain; Robin, Marie-Anne; Guillouzo, André

    2012-01-15

    Gene expression profiling has recently emerged as a promising approach to identify early target genes and discriminate genotoxic carcinogens from non-genotoxic carcinogens and non-carcinogens. However, early gene changes induced by genotoxic compounds in human liver remain largely unknown. Primary human hepatocytes and differentiated HepaRG cells were exposed to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) that induces DNA damage following enzyme-mediated bioactivation. Gene expression profile changes induced by a 24 h exposure of these hepatocyte models to 0.05 and 0.25 μM AFB1 were analyzed by using oligonucleotide pangenomic microarrays. The main altered signaling pathway was the p53 pathway and related functions such as cell cycle, apoptosis and DNA repair. Direct involvement of the p53 protein in response to AFB1 was verified by using siRNA directed against p53. Among the 83 well-annotated genes commonly modulated in two pools of three human hepatocyte populations and HepaRG cells, several genes were identified as altered by AFB1 for the first time. In addition, a subset of 10 AFB1-altered genes, selected upon basis of their function or tumor suppressor role, was tested in four human hepatocyte populations and in response to other chemicals. Although they exhibited large variable inter-donor fold-changes, several of these genes, particularly FHIT, BCAS3 and SMYD3, were found to be altered by various direct and other indirect genotoxic compounds and unaffected by non-genotoxic compounds. Overall, this comprehensive analysis of early gene expression changes induced by AFB1 in human hepatocytes identified a gene subset that included several genes representing potential biomarkers of genotoxic compounds. -- Highlights: ► Gene expression profile changes induced by aflatoxin B1 in human hepatocytes. ► AFB1 modulates various genes including tumor suppressor genes and proto-oncogenes. ► Important inter-individual variations in the response to AFB1. ► Some genes also altered by other

  6. Aflatoxins as a cause of hepatocellular carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Kew, Michael C

    2013-09-01

    Aflatoxins, metabolites of the fungi Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, are frequent contaminants of a number of staple foods, particularly maize and ground nuts, in subsistence farming communities in tropical and sub-tropical climates in sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Asia and parts of South America. Contamination of foods occurs during growth and as a result of storage in deficient or inappropriate facilities. These toxins pose serious public health hazards, including the causation of hepatocellular carcinoma by aflatoxin B1. Exposure begins in utero and is life-long. The innocuous parent molecule of the fungus is converted by members of the cytochrome p450 family into mutagenic and carcinogenic intermediates. Aflatoxin-B1 is converted into aflatoxin B1-8,9 exo-epoxide, which is in turn converted into 8,9-dihydroxy-8-(N7) guanyl-9-hydroxy aflatoxin B1 adduct. This adduct is metabolized into aflatoxin B1 formaminopyrimidine adduct. These adducts are mutagenic and carcinogenic. In addition, an arginine to serine mutation at codon 249 of the p53 tumor suppressor gene is produced, abrogating the function of the tumor suppressor gene, and contributing to hepatocarcinogenesis. Aflatoxin B1 acts synergistically with hepatitis B virus in causing hepatocellular carcinoma. A number of interactions between the two carcinogens may be responsible for this action, including integration of hepatitis B virus x gene and its consequences, as well as interference with nucleotide excision repair, activation of p21waf1/cip1, generation of DNA mutations, and altered methylation of genes. But much remains to be learnt about the precise pathogenetic mechanisms responsible for aflatoxin B1-induced hepatocellular carcinoma as well as the interaction between the toxin and hepatitis B virus in causing the tumor.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Prodigiosin biosynthesis gene cluster in the roseophilin producer Streptomyces griseoviridis.

    PubMed

    Kawasaki, Takashi; Sakurai, Fumi; Nagatsuka, Shun-ya; Hayakawa, Yoichi

    2009-05-01

    Streptomyces griseoviridis 2464-S5 produces prodigiosin R1, a tripyrrole antibiotic, and roseophilin, a structurally related compound containing two pyrrole and one furan rings. A gene cluster for the biosynthesis of a prodigiosin was identified in S. griseoviridis. The cluster consisted of 24 open reading frames, including 21 genes (rphD-rphZ) homologous to prodigiosin biosynthesis genes in the red cluster in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2). The expression of rphN in S. coelicolor lacking redN restored the production of prodigiosin.

  9. Genomic analyses of bacterial porin-cytochrome gene clusters

    DOE PAGES

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

    2014-11-26

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

  10. Aflatoxin-Exposure of Vibrio gazogenes as a Novel System for the Generation of Aflatoxin Synthesis Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Gummadidala, Phani M.; Chen, Yung Pin; Beauchesne, Kevin R.; Miller, Kristen P.; Mitra, Chandrani; Banaszek, Nora; Velez-Martinez, Michelle; Moeller, Peter D. R.; Ferry, John L.; Decho, Alan W.; Chanda, Anindya

    2016-01-01

    Aflatoxin is a mycotoxin and a secondary metabolite, and the most potent known liver carcinogen that contaminates several important crops, and represents a significant threat to public health and the economy. Available approaches reported thus far have been insufficient to eliminate this threat, and therefore provide the rational to explore novel methods for preventing aflatoxin accumulation in the environment. Many terrestrial plants and microbes that share ecological niches and encounter the aflatoxin producers have the ability to synthesize compounds that inhibit aflatoxin synthesis. However, reports of natural aflatoxin inhibitors from marine ecosystem components that do not share ecological niches with the aflatoxin producers are rare. Here, we show that a non-pathogenic marine bacterium, Vibrio gazogenes, when exposed to low non-toxic doses of aflatoxin B1, demonstrates a shift in its metabolic output and synthesizes a metabolite fraction that inhibits aflatoxin synthesis without affecting hyphal growth in the model aflatoxin producer, Aspergillus parasiticus. The molecular mass of the predominant metabolite in this fraction was also different from the known prodigiosins, which are the known antifungal secondary metabolites synthesized by this Vibrio. Gene expression analyses using RT-PCR demonstrate that this metabolite fraction inhibits aflatoxin synthesis by down-regulating the expression of early-, middle-, and late- growth stage aflatoxin genes, the aflatoxin pathway regulator, aflR and one global regulator of secondary metabolism, laeA. Our study establishes a novel system for generation of aflatoxin synthesis inhibitors, and emphasizes the potential of the under-explored Vibrio’s silent genome for generating new modulators of fungal secondary metabolism. PMID:27375561

  11. Relevant and significant supervised gene clusters for microarray cancer classification.

    PubMed

    Maji, Pradipta; Das, Chandra

    2012-06-01

    An important application of microarray data in functional genomics is to classify samples according to their gene expression profiles such as to classify cancer versus normal samples or to classify different types or subtypes of cancer. One of the major tasks with gene expression data is to find co-regulated gene groups whose collective expression is strongly associated with sample categories. In this regard, a gene clustering algorithm is proposed to group genes from microarray data. It directly incorporates the information of sample categories in the grouping process for finding groups of co-regulated genes with strong association to the sample categories, yielding a supervised gene clustering algorithm. The average expression of the genes from each cluster acts as its representative. Some significant representatives are taken to form the reduced feature set to build the classifiers for cancer classification. The mutual information is used to compute both gene-gene redundancy and gene-class relevance. The performance of the proposed method, along with a comparison with existing methods, is studied on six cancer microarray data sets using the predictive accuracy of naive Bayes classifier, K-nearest neighbor rule, and support vector machine. An important finding is that the proposed algorithm is shown to be effective for identifying biologically significant gene clusters with excellent predictive capability. PMID:22552589

  12. Hox gene clusters in the Indonesian coelacanth, Latimeria menadoensis.

    PubMed

    Koh, Esther G L; Lam, Kevin; Christoffels, Alan; Erdmann, Mark V; Brenner, Sydney; Venkatesh, Byrappa

    2003-02-01

    The Hox genes encode transcription factors that play a key role in specifying body plans of metazoans. They are organized into clusters that contain up to 13 paralogue group members. The complex morphology of vertebrates has been attributed to the duplication of Hox clusters during vertebrate evolution. In contrast to the single Hox cluster in the amphioxus (Branchiostoma floridae), an invertebrate-chordate, mammals have four clusters containing 39 Hox genes. Ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii) such as zebrafish and fugu possess more than four Hox clusters. The coelacanth occupies a basal phylogenetic position among lobe-finned fishes (Sarcopterygii), which gave rise to the tetrapod lineage. The lobe fins of sarcopterygians are considered to be the evolutionary precursors of tetrapod limbs. Thus, the characterization of Hox genes in the coelacanth should provide insights into the origin of tetrapod limbs. We have cloned the complete second exon of 33 Hox genes from the Indonesian coelacanth, Latimeria menadoensis, by extensive PCR survey and genome walking. Phylogenetic analysis shows that 32 of these genes have orthologs in the four mammalian HOX clusters, including three genes (HoxA6, D1, and D8) that are absent in ray-finned fishes. The remaining coelacanth gene is an ortholog of hoxc1 found in zebrafish but absent in mammals. Our results suggest that coelacanths have four Hox clusters bearing a gene complement more similar to mammals than to ray-finned fishes, but with an additional gene, HoxC1, which has been lost during the evolution of mammals from lobe-finned fishes.

  13. Suppression of Aflatoxin Biosynthesis in Aspergillus flavus by 2-Phenylethanol Is Associated with Stimulated Growth and Decreased Degradation of Branched-Chain Amino Acids

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Perng-Kuang; Hua, Sui Sheng T.; Sarreal, Siov Bouy L.; Li, Robert W.

    2015-01-01

    The saprophytic soil fungus Aspergillus flavus infects crops and produces aflatoxin. Pichia anomala, which is a biocontrol yeast and produces the major volatile 2-phenylethanol (2-PE), is able to reduce growth of A. flavus and aflatoxin production when applied onto pistachio trees. High levels of 2-PE are lethal to A. flavus and other fungi. However, at low levels, the underlying mechanism of 2-PE to inhibit aflatoxin production remains unclear. In this study, we characterized the temporal transcriptome response of A. flavus to 2-PE at a subinhibitory level (1 µL/mL) using RNA-Seq technology and bioinformatics tools. The treatment during the entire 72 h experimental period resulted in 131 of the total A. flavus 13,485 genes to be significantly impacted, of which 82 genes exhibited decreased expression. They included those encoding conidiation proteins and involved in cyclopiazonic acid biosynthesis. All genes in the aflatoxin gene cluster were also significantly decreased during the first 48 h treatment. Gene Ontology (GO) analyses showed that biological processes with GO terms related to catabolism of propionate and branched-chain amino acids (valine, leucine and isoleucine) were significantly enriched in the down-regulated gene group, while those associated with ribosome biogenesis, translation, and biosynthesis of α-amino acids were over-represented among the up-regulated genes. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis revealed that metabolic pathways negatively impacted among the down-regulated genes parallel to those active at 30 °C, a condition conducive to aflatoxin biosynthesis. In contrast, metabolic pathways positively related to the up-regulated gene group resembled those at 37 °C, which favors rapid fungal growth and is inhibitory to aflatoxin biosynthesis. The results showed that 2-PE at a low level stimulated active growth of A. flavus but concomitantly rendered decreased activities in branched-chain amino acid degradation

  14. Suppression of Aflatoxin Biosynthesis in Aspergillus flavus by 2-Phenylethanol Is Associated with Stimulated Growth and Decreased Degradation of Branched-Chain Amino Acids.

    PubMed

    Chang, Perng-Kuang; Hua, Sui Sheng T; Sarreal, Siov Bouy L; Li, Robert W

    2015-10-01

    The saprophytic soil fungus Aspergillus flavus infects crops and produces aflatoxin. Pichia anomala, which is a biocontrol yeast and produces the major volatile 2-phenylethanol (2-PE), is able to reduce growth of A. flavus and aflatoxin production when applied onto pistachio trees. High levels of 2-PE are lethal to A. flavus and other fungi. However, at low levels, the underlying mechanism of 2-PE to inhibit aflatoxin production remains unclear. In this study, we characterized the temporal transcriptome response of A. flavus to 2-PE at a subinhibitory level (1 μL/mL) using RNA-Seq technology and bioinformatics tools. The treatment during the entire 72 h experimental period resulted in 131 of the total A. flavus 13,485 genes to be significantly impacted, of which 82 genes exhibited decreased expression. They included those encoding conidiation proteins and involved in cyclopiazonic acid biosynthesis. All genes in the aflatoxin gene cluster were also significantly decreased during the first 48 h treatment. Gene Ontology (GO) analyses showed that biological processes with GO terms related to catabolism of propionate and branched-chain amino acids (valine, leucine and isoleucine) were significantly enriched in the down-regulated gene group, while those associated with ribosome biogenesis, translation, and biosynthesis of α-amino acids OPEN ACCESS Toxins 2015, 7 3888 were over-represented among the up-regulated genes. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis revealed that metabolic pathways negatively impacted among the down-regulated genes parallel to those active at 30 °C, a condition conducive to aflatoxin biosynthesis. In contrast, metabolic pathways positively related to the up-regulated gene group resembled those at 37 °C, which favors rapid fungal growth and is inhibitory to aflatoxin biosynthesis. The results showed that 2-PE at a low level stimulated active growth of A. flavus but concomitantly rendered decreased activities in

  15. Panax ginseng extract modulates oxidative stress, DNA fragmentation and up-regulate gene expression in rats sub chronically treated with aflatoxin B1 and fumonisin B 1.

    PubMed

    Hassan, Aziza M; Abdel-Aziem, Sekena H; El-Nekeety, Aziza A; Abdel-Wahhab, Mosaad A

    2015-10-01

    Aflatoxins and fumonisins are important food-borne mycotoxins implicated in human health and have cytotoxic effects. The aims of the current study were to evaluate the protective role of Panax ginseng extract (PGE) against the synergistic effect of subchronic administration of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) and fumonisin B1 (FB1) on DNA and gene expression in rat. Female Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into eight groups (ten rats/group) and treated for 12 weeks including the control group, the group having received AFB1 (80 µg/kg bw), the group having received FB1 (100 µg/kg bw), the group having received AFB1 plus FB1 and the groups having received PGE (20 mg/kg bw) alone or with AFB1 and/or FB1. At the end of experiment, liver and kidney were collected for the determination of DNA fragmentation, lipid peroxidation (LP), glutathione (GSH) contents and alterations in gene expression. The results indicated that these mycotoxins increased DNA fragmentation, LP and decreased GSH content in liver and kidney and down-regulated gene expression of antioxidants enzymes. The combined treatments with AFB1 and/or FB1 plus PGE suppressed DNA fragmentation only in the liver, normalized LP and increased GSH in the liver and kidney as well as up-regulated the expression of GPx, SOD1 and CAT mRNA. It could be concluded that AFB1 and FB1 have synergistic genotoxic effects. PGE induced protective effects against their oxidative stress and genotoxicity through its antioxidant properties. PMID:24748134

  16. SMART: Unique Splitting-While-Merging Framework for Gene Clustering

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Examining emergence of functional gene clustering in a simulated evolution.

    PubMed

    Yerushalmi, Uri; Teicher, Mina

    2007-10-01

    Recent research suggests that rather than being random, gene order may be coupled with gene functionality. These findings may be explained by mechanisms that require physical proximity such as co-expression and co-regulation. Alternatively, they may be due to evolutionary-dynamics forces, as expressed in genetic drift or linkage disequilibrium. This paper proposes a biologically plausible model for evolutionary development. Using the model, which includes natural selection and the development of gene networks and cellular organisms, the co-evolution of recombination rate and gene functionality is examined. The results presented here are compatible with previous biological findings showing that functionally related genes are clustered. These results imply that evolutionary pressure in a complex environment is sufficient for the emergence of gene order that is coupled with functionality. They shed further light on the mechanisms that may cause such gene clusters.

  18. Molecular characterization of aflR, a regulatory locus for aflatoxin biosynthesis.

    PubMed Central

    Woloshuk, C P; Foutz, K R; Brewer, J F; Bhatnagar, D; Cleveland, T E; Payne, G A

    1994-01-01

    Aflatoxins belong to a family of decaketides that are produced as secondary metabolites by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. The aflatoxin biosynthetic pathway involves several enzymatic steps that appear to be regulated by the afl2 gene in A. flavus and the apa2 gene in A. parasiticus. Several lines of evidence indicate that these two genes are homologous. The DNA sequences of the two genes are highly similar, they both are involved in the regulation of aflatoxin biosynthesis, and apa2 can complement the afl2 mutation in A. flavus. Because of these similarities, we propose that these two genes are homologs, and because of the ability of these genes to regulate aflatoxin biosynthesis, we suggest that they be designated aflR. We report here the further characterization of aflR from A. flavus and show that aflR codes for a 2,078-bp transcript with an open reading frame of 1,311 nucleotides that codes for 437 amino acids and a putative protein of 46,679 daltons. Analysis of the predicted amino acid sequence indicated that the polypeptide contains a zinc cluster motif between amino acid positions 29 and 56. This region contains the consensus sequence Cys-Xaa2-Cys-Xaa6-Cys-Xaa6-Cys-Xaa2-Cys-Xaa6+ ++-Cys. This motif has been found in several fungal transcriptional regulatory proteins. DNA hybridization of the aflR gene with genomic digests of seven polyketide-producing fungi revealed similar sequences in three other species related to A. flavus: A. parasiticus, A. oryzae, and A. sojae. Finally, we present evidence for an antisense transcript (aflRas) derived from the opposite strand of aflR, suggesting that the aflR locus involves some form of antisense regulation. Images PMID:8074521

  19. Functional optimization of gene clusters by combinatorial design and assembly.

    PubMed

    Smanski, Michael J; Bhatia, Swapnil; Zhao, Dehua; Park, YongJin; B A Woodruff, Lauren; Giannoukos, Georgia; Ciulla, Dawn; Busby, Michele; Calderon, Johnathan; Nicol, Robert; Gordon, D Benjamin; Densmore, Douglas; Voigt, Christopher A

    2014-12-01

    Large microbial gene clusters encode useful functions, including energy utilization and natural product biosynthesis, but genetic manipulation of such systems is slow, difficult and complicated by complex regulation. We exploit the modularity of a refactored Klebsiella oxytoca nitrogen fixation (nif) gene cluster (16 genes, 103 parts) to build genetic permutations that could not be achieved by starting from the wild-type cluster. Constraint-based combinatorial design and DNA assembly are used to build libraries of radically different cluster architectures by varying part choice, gene order, gene orientation and operon occupancy. We construct 84 variants of the nifUSVWZM operon, 145 variants of the nifHDKY operon, 155 variants of the nifHDKYENJ operon and 122 variants of the complete 16-gene pathway. The performance and behavior of these variants are characterized by nitrogenase assay and strand-specific RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), and the results are incorporated into subsequent design cycles. We have produced a fully synthetic cluster that recovers 57% of wild-type activity. Our approach allows the performance of genetic parts to be quantified simultaneously in hundreds of genetic contexts. This parallelized design-build-test-learn cycle, which can access previously unattainable regions of genetic space, should provide a useful, fast tool for genetic optimization and hypothesis testing.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  1. Identification of early target genes of aflatoxin B1 in human hepatocytes, inter-individual variability and comparison with other genotoxic compounds.

    PubMed

    Josse, Rozenn; Dumont, Julie; Fautrel, Alain; Robin, Marie-Anne; Guillouzo, André

    2012-01-15

    Gene expression profiling has recently emerged as a promising approach to identify early target genes and discriminate genotoxic carcinogens from non-genotoxic carcinogens and non-carcinogens. However, early gene changes induced by genotoxic compounds in human liver remain largely unknown. Primary human hepatocytes and differentiated HepaRG cells were exposed to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) that induces DNA damage following enzyme-mediated bioactivation. Gene expression profile changes induced by a 24h exposure of these hepatocyte models to 0.05 and 0.25μM AFB1 were analyzed by using oligonucleotide pangenomic microarrays. The main altered signaling pathway was the p53 pathway and related functions such as cell cycle, apoptosis and DNA repair. Direct involvement of the p53 protein in response to AFB1 was verified by using siRNA directed against p53. Among the 83 well-annotated genes commonly modulated in two pools of three human hepatocyte populations and HepaRG cells, several genes were identified as altered by AFB1 for the first time. In addition, a subset of 10 AFB1-altered genes, selected upon basis of their function or tumor suppressor role, was tested in four human hepatocyte populations and in response to other chemicals. Although they exhibited large variable inter-donor fold-changes, several of these genes, particularly FHIT, BCAS3 and SMYD3, were found to be altered by various direct and other indirect genotoxic compounds and unaffected by non-genotoxic compounds. Overall, this comprehensive analysis of early gene expression changes induced by AFB1 in human hepatocytes identified a gene subset that included several genes representing potential biomarkers of genotoxic compounds. PMID:22100608

  2. Streptomyces-Aspergillus flavus interactions: impact on aflatoxin B accumulation.

    PubMed

    Verheecke, C; Liboz, T; Anson, P; Zhu, Y; Mathieu, F

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this work was to investigate the potential of Streptomyces sp. as biocontrol agents against aflatoxins in maize. As such, we assumed that Streptomyces sp. could provide a complementary approach to current biocontrol systems such as Afla-guard(®) and we focused on biocontrol that was able to have an antagonistic contact with A. flavus. A previous study showed that 27 (out of 38) Streptomyces sp. had mutual antagonism in contact with A. flavus. Among these, 16 Streptomyces sp. were able to reduce aflatoxin content to below 17% of the residual concentration. We selected six strains to understand the mechanisms involved in the prevention of aflatoxin accumulation. Thus, in interaction with A. flavus, we monitored by RT-qPCR the gene expression of aflD, aflM, aflP, aflR and aflS. All the Streptomyces sp. were able to reduce aflatoxin concentration (24.0-0.2% residual aflatoxin B1). They all impacted on gene expression, but only S35 and S38 were able to repress expression significantly. Indeed, S35 significantly repressed aflM expression and S38 significantly repressed aflR, aflM and aflP. S6 reduced aflatoxin concentrations (2.3% residual aflatoxin B1) and repressed aflS, aflM and enhanced aflR expression. In addition, the S6 strain (previously identified as the most reducing pure aflatoxin B1) was further tested to determine a potential adsorption mechanism. We did not observe any adsorption phenomenon. In conclusion, this study showed that Streptomyces sp. prevent the production of (aflatoxin gene expression) and decontamination of (aflatoxin B1 reduction) aflatoxins in vitro. PMID:25632796

  3. Identification of nitrogen-fixing genes and gene clusters from metagenomic library of acid mine drainage.

    PubMed

    Dai, Zhimin; Guo, Xue; Yin, Huaqun; Liang, Yili; Cong, Jing; Liu, Xueduan

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Inferring the evolutionary history of gene clusters from phylogenetic and gene order data.

    PubMed

    Lajoie, Mathieu; Bertrand, Denis; El-Mabrouk, Nadia

    2010-04-01

    Gene duplication is frequent within gene clusters and plays a fundamental role in evolution by providing a source of new genetic material upon which natural selection can act. Although classical phylogenetic inference methods provide some insight into the evolutionary history of a gene cluster, they are not sufficient alone to differentiate single- from multiple gene duplication events and to answer other questions regarding the nature and size of evolutionary events. In this paper, we present an algorithm allowing to infer a set of optimal evolutionary histories for a gene cluster in a single species, according to a general cost model involving variable length duplications (in tandem or inverted), deletions, and inversions. We applied our algorithm to the human olfactory receptor and protocadherin gene clusters, showing that the duplication size distribution differs significantly between the two gene families. The algorithm is available through a web interface at http://www-lbit.iro.umontreal.ca/DILTAG/.

  6. Evolution of the Leucine Gene Cluster in Buchnera aphidicola: Insights from Chromosomal Versions of the Cluster

    PubMed Central

    Sabater-Muñoz, Beatriz; van Ham, Roeland C. H. J.; Moya, Andrés; Silva, Francisco J.; Latorre, Amparo

    2004-01-01

    In Buchnera aphidicola strains associated with the aphid subfamilies Thelaxinae, Lachninae, Pterocommatinae, and Aphidinae, the four leucine genes (leuA, -B, -C, and -D) are located on a plasmid. However, these genes are located on the main chromosome in B. aphidicola strains associated with the subfamilies Pemphiginae and Chaitophorinae. The sequence of the chromosomal fragment containing the leucine cluster and flanking genes has different positions in the chromosome in B. aphidicola strains associated with three tribes of the subfamily Pemphiginae and one tribe of the subfamily Chaitophorinae. Due to the extreme gene order conservation of the B. aphidicola genomes, the variability in the position of the leucine cluster in the chromosome may be interpreted as resulting from independent insertions from an ancestral plasmid-borne leucine gene. These findings do not support a chromosomal origin for the leucine genes in the ancestral B. aphidicola and do support a back transfer evolutionary scenario from a plasmid to the main chromosome. PMID:15090505

  7. Genomic analyses of bacterial porin-cytochrome gene clusters

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-11-26

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Phage cluster relationships identified through single gene analysis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Identification of caerulomycin A gene cluster implicates a tailoring amidohydrolase.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yiguang; Fu, Peng; Lin, Qinheng; Zhang, Guangtao; Zhang, Haibo; Li, Sumei; Ju, Jianhua; Zhu, Weiming; Zhang, Changsheng

    2012-06-01

    The biosynthetic gene cluster for caerulomycin A (1) was cloned and characterized from the marine actinomycete Actinoalloteichus cyanogriseus WH1-2216-6, which revealed an unusual hybrid polyketide synthase (PKS)/nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) system. The crmL disruption mutant accumulated caerulomycin L (2) with an extended L-leucine at C-7, implicating an amidohydrolase activity for CrmL. The leucine-removing activity was confirmed for crude CrmL enzymes. Heterologous expression of the 1 gene cluster led to 1 production in Streptomyces coelicolor.

  11. IGSA: Individual Gene Sets Analysis, including Enrichment and Clustering

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Lei; Ma, Hongzhe; Yang, Jingbo; Xie, Hongbo; Liu, Bo; Jin, Qing

    2016-01-01

    Analysis of gene sets has been widely applied in various high-throughput biological studies. One weakness in the traditional methods is that they neglect the heterogeneity of genes expressions in samples which may lead to the omission of some specific and important gene sets. It is also difficult for them to reflect the severities of disease and provide expression profiles of gene sets for individuals. We developed an application software called IGSA that leverages a powerful analytical capacity in gene sets enrichment and samples clustering. IGSA calculates gene sets expression scores for each sample and takes an accumulating clustering strategy to let the samples gather into the set according to the progress of disease from mild to severe. We focus on gastric, pancreatic and ovarian cancer data sets for the performance of IGSA. We also compared the results of IGSA in KEGG pathways enrichment with David, GSEA, SPIA, ssGSEA and analyzed the results of IGSA clustering and different similarity measurement methods. Notably, IGSA is proved to be more sensitive and specific in finding significant pathways, and can indicate related changes in pathways with the severity of disease. In addition, IGSA provides with significant gene sets profile for each sample. PMID:27764138

  12. Comparative Hepatotoxicity of Aflatoxin B1 among Workers Exposed to Different Organic Dust with Emphasis on Polymorphism Role of Glutathione S-Transferase Gene

    PubMed Central

    Saad-Hussein, Amal; Shahy, Eman M.; Shaheen, Weam; Taha, Mona M.; Mahdy-Abdallah, Heba; Ibrahim, Khadiga S.; Hafez, Salwa F.; Fadl, Nevein N.; El-Shamy, Karima A.

    2016-01-01

    AIM: The study aimed to investigate effects of organic dust exposure from different sources on aflatoxin B1-albumin adducts (AFB1/Alb), and role of glutathione S-transferase (GST) gene polymorphism in hepatotoxicity of (AFB1) among exposed workers. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Liver enzymes, AFB1/Alb, and GST polymorphism were estimated in 132 wheat flour dust and 87 woods sawmill workers, and 156 controls. RESULTS: Results revealed that AFB1/Alb and liver enzymes were significantly elevated in exposed workers compared to controls, and were significantly higher in sawmill workers compared to flour workers. AFB1/Alb in flour and sawmill workers with GSTT1 and GSTM1&GSTT1 null genotypes were significantly higher than controls, and in sawmill workers with GSTM1&GSTT1 null than flour workers. Liver enzymes (ALT and AST) in sawmill workers were significantly higher than flour workers and controls in all GST polymorphism; except in GSTT1 polymorphism, where these enzymes were significantly higher in the two exposed groups than controls. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, organic dust exposure may cause elevation in AFB1/Alb and liver enzymes of exposed workers, and GST gene polymorphism plays an important role in susceptibility to hepatic parenchymal cell injury; except in workers with GSTT1&GSTM1 null genotype, gene susceptibility seemed to have little role and the main role was for environmental exposures. PMID:27335608

  13. The use of gene clusters to infer functional coupling.

    SciTech Connect

    Overbeek, R.; Fonstein, M.; D'Souza, M.; Pusch, G. D.; Mathematics and Computer Science; Integrated Genomics; Univ. of Chicago

    1999-03-01

    Previously, we presented evidence that it is possible to predict functional coupling between genes based on conservation of gene clusters between genomes. With the rapid increase in the availability of prokaryotic sequence data, it has become possible to verify and apply the technique. In this paper, we extend our characterization of the parameters that determine the utility of the approach, and we generalize the approach in a way that supports detection of common classes of functionally coupled genes (e.g., transport and signal transduction clusters). Now that the analysis includes over 30 complete or nearly complete genomes, it has become clear that this approach will play a significant role in supporting efforts to assign functionality to the remaining uncharacterized genes in sequenced genomes.

  14. The Use of Gene Clusters to Infer Functional Coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overbeek, Ross; Fonstein, Michael; D'Souza, Mark; Pusch, Gordon D.; Maltsev, Natalia

    1999-03-01

    Previously, we presented evidence that it is possible to predict functional coupling between genes based on conservation of gene clusters between genomes. With the rapid increase in the availability of prokaryotic sequence data, it has become possible to verify and apply the technique. In this paper, we extend our characterization of the parameters that determine the utility of the approach, and we generalize the approach in a way that supports detection of common classes of functionally coupled genes (e.g., transport and signal transduction clusters). Now that the analysis includes over 30 complete or nearly complete genomes, it has become clear that this approach will play a significant role in supporting efforts to assign functionality to the remaining uncharacterized genes in sequenced genomes.

  15. Quantitative Methylation Analysis of the PCDHB Gene Cluster.

    PubMed

    Banelli, Barbara; Romani, Massimo

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Crohn's disease & aflatoxins.

    PubMed

    Roy, R N; Russell, R I

    1992-12-01

    An investigation to examine the relationship between Crohn's disease and aflatoxins, a group of structurally related toxic and carcinogenic metabolites, was carried out on 24 patients. Extracts of serum and urine from the patients were assayed qualitatively by thin layer chromatography and the Aflatest method, and quantitatively by fluorimetry. There was evidence that some patients suffering from Crohn's Disease, together with some having coeliac disease and ulcerative colitis, did have varying amounts of aflatoxins in their serum and urine. The presence of aflatoxins may have been due to exposure to food containing these toxins or inability of the patient to excrete aflatoxins on account of some gastro-intestinal derangement. Only long-term investigation would establish the link between dietary history and the presence of aflatoxins in these patients.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-15

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

  1. RNA sequencing of an nsdC mutant reveals global regulation of secondary metabolic gene clusters in Aspergillus flavus.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Matthew K; Mack, Brian M; Wei, Qijian; Bland, John M; Bhatnagar, Deepak; Cary, Jeffrey W

    2016-01-01

    The filamentous fungus, Aspergillus flavus (A. flavus) is an opportunistic pathogen capable of invading a number of crops and contaminating them with toxic secondary metabolites such as aflatoxins. Characterizing the molecular mechanisms governing growth and development of this organism is vital for developing safe and effective strategies for reducing crop contamination. The transcription factor nsdC has been identified as being required for normal asexual development and aflatoxin production in A. flavus. Building on a previous study using a large (L)-sclerotial morphotype A. flavus nsdC mutant we observed alterations in conidiophore development and loss of sclerotial and aflatoxin production using a nsdC mutant of a small (S)-sclerotial morphotype, that normally produces aflatoxin and sclerotia in quantities much higher than the L-morphotype. RNA sequencing analysis of the nsdC knockout mutant and isogenic control strain identified a number of differentially expressed genes related to development and production of secondary metabolites, including aflatoxin, penicillin and aflatrem. Further, RNA-seq data indicating down regulation of aflatrem biosynthetic gene expression in the nsdC mutant correlated with HPLC analyses showing a decrease in aflatrem levels. The current study expands the role of nsdC as a globally acting transcription factor that is a critical regulator of both asexual reproduction and secondary metabolism in A. flavus. PMID:26686623

  2. From Green to Red: Horizontal Gene Transfer of the Phycoerythrin Gene Cluster between Planktothrix Strains

    PubMed Central

    Sogge, Hanne; Rounge, Trine Ballestad; Nederbragt, Alexander J.; Lagesen, Karin; Glöckner, Gernot; Hayes, Paul K.; Rohrlack, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer is common in cyanobacteria, and transfer of large gene clusters may lead to acquisition of new functions and conceivably niche adaption. In the present study, we demonstrate that horizontal gene transfer between closely related Planktothrix strains can explain the production of the same oligopeptide isoforms by strains of different colors. Comparison of the genomes of eight Planktothrix strains revealed that strains producing the same oligopeptide isoforms are closely related, regardless of color. We have investigated genes involved in the synthesis of the photosynthetic pigments phycocyanin and phycoerythrin, which are responsible for green and red appearance, respectively. Sequence comparisons suggest the transfer of a functional phycoerythrin gene cluster generating a red phenotype in a strain that is otherwise more closely related to green strains. Our data show that the insertion of a DNA fragment containing the 19.7-kb phycoerythrin gene cluster has been facilitated by homologous recombination, also replacing a region of the phycocyanin operon. These findings demonstrate that large DNA fragments spanning entire functional gene clusters can be effectively transferred between closely related cyanobacterial strains and result in a changed phenotype. Further, the results shed new light on the discussion of the role of horizontal gene transfer in the sporadic distribution of large gene clusters in cyanobacteria, as well as the appearance of red and green strains. PMID:23995927

  3. Comparative Genomics of Natural Killer Cell Receptor Gene Clusters

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, James; Walter, Lutz; Trowsdale, John

    2005-01-01

    Many receptors on natural killer (NK) cells recognize major histocompatibility complex class I molecules in order to monitor unhealthy tissues, such as cells infected with viruses, and some tumors. Genes encoding families of NK receptors and related sequences are organized into two main clusters in humans: the natural killer complex on Chromosome 12p13.1, which encodes C-type lectin molecules, and the leukocyte receptor complex on Chromosome 19q13.4, which encodes immunoglobulin superfamily molecules. The composition of these gene clusters differs markedly between closely related species, providing evidence for rapid, lineage-specific expansions or contractions of sets of loci. The choice of NK receptor genes is polarized in the two species most studied, mouse and human. In mouse, the C-type lectin-related Ly49 gene family predominates. Conversely, the single Ly49 sequence is a pseudogene in humans, and the immunoglobulin superfamily KIR gene family is extensive. These different gene sets encode proteins that are comparable in function and genetic diversity, even though they have undergone species-specific expansions. Understanding the biological significance of this curious situation may be aided by studying which NK receptor genes are used in other vertebrates, especially in relation to species-specific differences in genes for major histocompatibility complex class I molecules. PMID:16132082

  4. The evolution of small gene clusters: evidence for an independent origin of the maltase gene cluster in Drosophila virilis and Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Vieira, C P; Vieira, J; Hartl, D L

    1997-10-01

    We analyzed a 5,770-bp genomic region of Drosophila virilis that contains a cluster of two maltase genes showing sequence similarity with genes in a cluster of three maltase genes previously identified in Drosophila melanogaster. The D. virilis maltase genes are designated Mav1 and Mav2. In addition to being different in gene number, the cluster of genes in D. virilis differs dramatically in intron-exon structure from the maltase genes in D. melanogaster, the transcriptional orientation of the genes in the cluster also differs between the species. Our findings support a model in which the maltase gene cluster in D. virilis and D. melanogaster evolved independently. Furthermore, while in D. melanogaster the maltase gene cluster lies only 10 kb distant from the larval cuticle gene cluster, the maltase and larval cuticle gene clusters in D. virilis are located very far apart and on a different chromosome than that expected from the known chromosome arm homologies between D. virilis and D. melanogaster. A region of the genome containing the maltase and larval cuticle gene clusters appears to have been relocated between nonhomologous chromosomes.

  5. An alanine tRNA gene cluster from Nephila clavipes.

    PubMed

    Luciano, E; Candelas, G C

    1996-06-01

    We report the sequence of a 2.3-kb genomic DNA fragment from the orb-web spider, Nephila clavipes (Nc). The fragment contains four regions of high homology to tRNA(Ala). The members of this irregularly spaced cluster of genes are oriented in the same direction and have the same anticodon (GCA), but their sequence differs at several positions. Initiation and termination signals, as well as consensus intragenic promoter sequences characteristic of tRNA genes, have been identified in all genes. tRNA(Ala) are involved in the regulation of the fibroin synthesis in the large ampullate Nc glands.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2003-12-31

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

  7. Coupled two-way clustering analysis of gene microarray data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Getz, Gad; Levine, Erel; Domany, Eytan

    2000-10-01

    We present a coupled two-way clustering approach to gene microarray data analysis. The main idea is to identify subsets of the genes and samples, such that when one of these is used to cluster the other, stable and significant partitions emerge. The search for such subsets is a computationally complex task. We present an algorithm, based on iterative clustering, that performs such a search. This analysis is especially suitable for gene microarray data, where the contributions of a variety of biological mechanisms to the gene expression levels are entangled in a large body of experimental data. The method was applied to two gene microarray data sets, on colon cancer and leukemia. By identifying relevant subsets of the data and focusing on them we were able to discover partitions and correlations that were masked and hidden when the full dataset was used in the analysis. Some of these partitions have clear biological interpretation; others can serve to identify possible directions for future research.

  8. High diversity of polyketide synthase genes and the melanin biosynthesis gene cluster in Penicillium marneffei.

    PubMed

    Woo, Patrick C Y; Tam, Emily W T; Chong, Ken T K; Cai, James J; Tung, Edward T K; Ngan, Antonio H Y; Lau, Susanna K P; Yuen, Kwok-Yung

    2010-09-01

    Despite the unique phenotypic properties and clinical importance of Penicillium marneffei, the polyketide synthase genes in its genome have never been characterized. Twenty-three putative polyketide synthase genes and two putative polyketide synthase nonribosomal peptide-synthase hybrid genes were identified in the P. marneffei genome, a diversity much higher than found in other pathogenic thermal dimorphic fungi, such as Histoplasma capsulatum (one polyketide synthase gene) and Coccidioides immitis (10 polyketide synthase genes). These genes were evenly distributed on the phylogenetic tree with polyketide synthase genes of Aspergillus and other fungi, indicating that the high diversity was not a result of lineage-specific gene expansion through recent gene duplication. The melanin-biosynthesis gene cluster had gene order and orientations identical to those in the Talaromyces stipitatus (a teleomorph of Penicillium emmonsii) genome. Phylogenetically, all six genes of the melanin-biosynthesis gene cluster in P. marneffei were also most closely related to those in T. stipitatus, with high bootstrap supports. The polyketide synthase gene of the melanin-biosynthesis gene cluster (alb1) in P. marneffei was knocked down, which was accompanied by loss of melanin pigment production and reduced ornamentation in conidia. The survival of mice challenged with the alb1 knockdown mutant was significantly better than those challenged with wild-type P. marneffei (P < 0.005). The sterilizing doses of hydrogen peroxide, leading to a 50% reduction in survival of conidia, were 11 min for wild-type P. marneffei and 6 min for the alb1 knockdown mutant of P. marneffei, implying that the melanin-biosynthesis gene cluster contributed to virulence through decreased susceptibility to killing by hydrogen peroxide. PMID:20718860

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Ratzkin, B; Roth, J

    1978-01-01

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

  11. Aflatoxins and disease.

    PubMed

    Patten, R C

    1981-03-01

    These days it is widely believed by experts that most cancers are caused by environment factors. The epidemiology of most of these suspected factors is still equivocal. One such factor which has been widely studied is aflatoxin, a chemical produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus. Because of the widespread distribution of this agent, its known toxicity, and its frequent ingestion by humans, aflatoxin may well be a significant cause of cancer worldwide. This paper attempts to summarize some of the historical and epidemiological evidence regarding aflatoxins and disease.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Tania; Fischl, Harry; Howe, Françoise S; Woloszczuk, Ronja; Serra Barros, Ana; Xu, Zhenyu; Brown, David; Murray, Struan C; Haenni, Simon; Halstead, James M; O'Connor, Leigh; Shipkovenska, Gergana; Steinmetz, Lars M; Mellor, Jane

    2014-11-19

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Reconstructing Histories of Complex Gene Clusters on a Phylogeny

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  16. Transcriptional analysis of exopolysaccharides biosynthesis gene clusters in Lactobacillus plantarum.

    PubMed

    Vastano, Valeria; Perrone, Filomena; Marasco, Rosangela; Sacco, Margherita; Muscariello, Lidia

    2016-04-01

    Exopolysaccharides (EPS) from lactic acid bacteria contribute to specific rheology and texture of fermented milk products and find applications also in non-dairy foods and in therapeutics. Recently, four clusters of genes (cps) associated with surface polysaccharide production have been identified in Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1, a probiotic and food-associated lactobacillus. These clusters are involved in cell surface architecture and probably in release and/or exposure of immunomodulating bacterial molecules. Here we show a transcriptional analysis of these clusters. Indeed, RT-PCR experiments revealed that the cps loci are organized in five operons. Moreover, by reverse transcription-qPCR analysis performed on L. plantarum WCFS1 (wild type) and WCFS1-2 (ΔccpA), we demonstrated that expression of three cps clusters is under the control of the global regulator CcpA. These results, together with the identification of putative CcpA target sequences (catabolite responsive element CRE) in the regulatory region of four out of five transcriptional units, strongly suggest for the first time a role of the master regulator CcpA in EPS gene transcription among lactobacilli.

  17. Analysis of lamprey clustered Fox genes: insight into Fox gene evolution and expression in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Wotton, Karl R; Shimeld, Sebastian M

    2011-12-01

    In the human genome, members of the FoxC, FoxF, FoxL1, and FoxQ1 gene families are found in two paralagous clusters. One cluster contains the genes FOXQ1, FOXF2, FOXC1 and the second consists of FOXF1, FOXC2, and FOXL1. In jawed vertebrates these genes are known to be expressed in different pharyngeal tissues and all, except FoxQ1, are involved in patterning the early embryonic mesoderm. We have previously traced the evolution of this cluster in the bony vertebrates, and the gene content is identical in the dogfish, a member of the most basally branching lineage of the jawed vertebrates. Here we extend these analyses to jawless vertebrates. Using genomic searches and molecular approaches we have identified homologues of these genes from lampreys. We identify two FoxC genes, two FoxF genes, two FoxQ1 genes and single FoxL1 gene. We examine the embryonic expression of one predominantly mesodermally expressed gene family, FoxC, and the endodermally expressed member of the cluster, FoxQ1. We identified FoxQ1 transcripts in the pharyngeal endoderm, while the two FoxC genes are differentially expressed in the pharyngeal mesenchyme and ectoderm. Furthermore we identify conserved expression of lamprey FoxC genes in the paraxial and intermediate mesoderms. We interpret our results through a chordate-wide comparison of expression patterns and discuss gene content in the context of theories on the evolution of the vertebrate genome.

  18. Sulforaphane- and phenethyl isothiocyanate-induced inhibition of aflatoxin B1-mediated genotoxicity in human hepatocytes: role of GSTM1 genotype and CYP3A4 gene expression.

    PubMed

    Gross-Steinmeyer, Kerstin; Stapleton, Patricia L; Tracy, Julia H; Bammler, Theo K; Strom, Stephen C; Eaton, David L

    2010-08-01

    Primary cultures of human hepatocytes were used to investigate whether the dietary isothiocyanates, sulforaphane (SFN), and phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) can reduce DNA adduct formation of the hepatocarcinogen aflatoxin B(1) (AFB). Following 48 h of pretreatment, 10 and 50 microM SFN greatly decreased AFB-DNA adduct levels, whereas 25muM PEITC decreased AFB-DNA adducts in some but not all hepatocyte preparations. Microarray and quantitative reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR analyses of gene expression in SFN and PEITC-treated hepatocytes demonstrated that SFN greatly decreased cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4 mRNA but did not induce the expression of either glutathione S-transferase (GST) M1 or GSTT1. The protective effects of SFN required pretreatment; cotreatment of hepatocytes with SFN and AFB in the absence of pretreatment had no effect on AFB-DNA adduct formation. When AFB-DNA adduct formation was evaluated by GST genotype, the presence of one or two functional alleles of GSTM1 was associated with a 75% reduction in AFB-DNA adducts, compared with GSTM1 null. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that the inhibition of AFB-DNA adduct formation by SFN is dependent on changes in gene expression rather than direct inhibition of catalytic activity. Transcriptional repression of genes involved in AFB bioactivation (CYP3A4 and CYP1A2), but not transcriptional activation of GSTs, may be responsible for the protective effects of SFN. Although GSTM1 expression was not induced by SFN, the presence of a functional GSTM1 allele can afford substantial protection against AFB-DNA damage in human liver. The downregulation of CYP3A4 by SFN may have important implications for drug interactions. PMID:20442190

  19. Metabolic diversification--independent assembly of operon-like gene clusters in different plants.

    PubMed

    Field, Ben; Osbourn, Anne E

    2008-04-25

    Operons are clusters of unrelated genes with related functions that are a feature of prokaryotic genomes. Here, we report on an operon-like gene cluster in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana that is required for triterpene synthesis (the thalianol pathway). The clustered genes are coexpressed, as in bacterial operons. However, despite the resemblance to a bacterial operon, this gene cluster has been assembled from plant genes by gene duplication, neofunctionalization, and genome reorganization, rather than by horizontal gene transfer from bacteria. Furthermore, recent assembly of operon-like gene clusters for triterpene synthesis has occurred independently in divergent plant lineages (Arabidopsis and oat). Thus, selection pressure may act during the formation of certain plant metabolic pathways to drive gene clustering.

  20. Metabolic diversification--independent assembly of operon-like gene clusters in different plants.

    PubMed

    Field, Ben; Osbourn, Anne E

    2008-04-25

    Operons are clusters of unrelated genes with related functions that are a feature of prokaryotic genomes. Here, we report on an operon-like gene cluster in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana that is required for triterpene synthesis (the thalianol pathway). The clustered genes are coexpressed, as in bacterial operons. However, despite the resemblance to a bacterial operon, this gene cluster has been assembled from plant genes by gene duplication, neofunctionalization, and genome reorganization, rather than by horizontal gene transfer from bacteria. Furthermore, recent assembly of operon-like gene clusters for triterpene synthesis has occurred independently in divergent plant lineages (Arabidopsis and oat). Thus, selection pressure may act during the formation of certain plant metabolic pathways to drive gene clustering. PMID:18356490

  1. Developing Resistance to Aflatoxin in Maize and Cottonseed

    PubMed Central

    Cary, Jeffrey W.; Rajasekaran, Kanniah; Brown, Robert L.; Luo, Meng; Chen, Zhi-Yuan; Bhatnagar, Deepak

    2011-01-01

    At this time, no “magic bullet” for solving the aflatoxin contamination problem in maize and cottonseed has been identified, so several strategies must be utilized simultaneously to ensure a healthy crop, free of aflatoxins. The most widely explored strategy for the control of aflatoxin contamination is the development of preharvest host resistance. This is because A. flavus infects and produces aflatoxins in susceptible crops prior to harvest. In maize production, the host resistance strategy has gained prominence because of advances in the identification of natural resistance traits. However, native resistance in maize to aflatoxin contamination is polygenic and complex and, therefore, markers need to be identified to facilitate the transfer of resistance traits into agronomically viable genetic backgrounds while limiting the transfer of undesirable traits. Unlike maize, there are no known cotton varieties that demonstrate enhanced resistance to A. flavus infection and aflatoxin contamination. For this reason, transgenic approaches are being undertaken in cotton that utilize genes encoding antifungal/anti-aflatoxin factors from maize and other sources to counter fungal infection and toxin production. This review will present information on preharvest control strategies that utilize both breeding and native resistance identification approaches in maize as well as transgenic approaches in cotton. PMID:22069734

  2. Developing resistance to aflatoxin in maize and cottonseed.

    PubMed

    Cary, Jeffrey W; Rajasekaran, Kanniah; Brown, Robert L; Luo, Meng; Chen, Zhi-Yuan; Bhatnagar, Deepak

    2011-06-01

    At this time, no "magic bullet" for solving the aflatoxin contamination problem in maize and cottonseed has been identified, so several strategies must be utilized simultaneously to ensure a healthy crop, free of aflatoxins. The most widely explored strategy for the control of aflatoxin contamination is the development of preharvest host resistance. This is because A. flavus infects and produces aflatoxins in susceptible crops prior to harvest. In maize production, the host resistance strategy has gained prominence because of advances in the identification of natural resistance traits. However, native resistance in maize to aflatoxin contamination is polygenic and complex and, therefore, markers need to be identified to facilitate the transfer of resistance traits into agronomically viable genetic backgrounds while limiting the transfer of undesirable traits. Unlike maize, there are no known cotton varieties that demonstrate enhanced resistance to A. flavus infection and aflatoxin contamination. For this reason, transgenic approaches are being undertaken in cotton that utilize genes encoding antifungal/anti-aflatoxin factors from maize and other sources to counter fungal infection and toxin production. This review will present information on preharvest control strategies that utilize both breeding and native resistance identification approaches in maize as well as transgenic approaches in cotton. PMID:22069734

  3. Bacillus subtilis Gene Cluster Involved in Calcium Carbonate Biomineralization▿

    PubMed Central

    Barabesi, Chiara; Galizzi, Alessandro; Mastromei, Giorgio; Rossi, Mila; Tamburini, Elena; Perito, Brunella

    2007-01-01

    Calcium carbonate precipitation, a widespread phenomenon among bacteria, has been investigated due to its wide range of scientific and technological implications. Nevertheless, little is known of the molecular mechanisms by which bacteria foster calcium carbonate mineralization. In our laboratory, we are studying calcite formation by Bacillus subtilis, in order to identify genes involved in the biomineralization process. A previous screening of UV mutants and of more than one thousand mutants obtained from the European B. subtilis Functional Analysis project allowed us to isolate strains altered in the precipitation phenotype. Starting from these results, we focused our attention on a cluster of five genes (lcfA, ysiA, ysiB, etfB, and etfA) called the lcfA operon. By insertional mutagenesis, mutant strains carrying each of the five genes were produced. All of them, with the exception of the strain carrying the mutated lcfA operon, were unable to form calcite crystals. By placing transcription under IPTG (isopropyl-β-d-thiogalactopyranoside) control, the last gene, etfA, was identified as essential for the precipitation process. To verify cotranscription in the lcfA operon, reverse transcription-PCR experiments were performed and overlapping retrocotranscripts were found comprising three adjacent genes. The genes have putative functions linked to fatty acid metabolism. A link between calcium precipitation and fatty acid metabolism is suggested. PMID:17085570

  4. Using endophenotypes for pathway clusters to map complex disease genes.

    PubMed

    Pan, Wen-Harn; Lynn, Ke-Shiuan; Chen, Chun-Houh; Wu, Yi-Lin; Lin, Chung-Yen; Chang, Hsing-Yi

    2006-02-01

    Nature determines the complexity of disease etiology and the likelihood of revealing disease genes. While culprit genes for many monogenic diseases have been successfully unraveled, efforts to map major complex disease genes have not been as productive as hoped. The conceptual framework currently adopted to deal with the heterogeneous nature of complex diseases focuses on using homogeneous internal features of the disease phenotype for mapping. However, phenotypic homogeneity does not equal genotypic homogeneity. In this report, we advocate working with well-measured phenotypes portrayed by amounts of transcripts and activities of gene products or their metabolites, which are pertinent to relatively small pathway clusters. Reliable and controlled measures for oligogenic traits resulting from proper dissection efforts may enhance statistical power. The large amounts of information obtained on gene and protein expression from technological advances can add to the power of gene finding, particularly for diseases with unclear etiology. Data-mining tools for dimension reduction can assist biologists to reveal novel molecular endophenotypes. However, there are still hurdles to overcome, including high cost, relatively poor reproducibility and comparability among platforms, the cross-sectional nature of the information, and the accessibility of human tissues. Concerted efforts are required to carry out large-scale prospective studies that are integrated at the levels of phenotype characterization, high throughput experimental techniques, data analyses, and beyond.

  5. Discovery of a widely distributed toxin biosynthetic gene cluster

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  7. Aflatoxins and safe storage

    PubMed Central

    Villers, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    The paper examines both field experience and research on the prevention of the exponential growth of aflatoxins during multi-month post-harvest storage in hot, humid countries. The approach described is the application of modern safe storage methods using flexible, Ultra Hermetic™ structures that create an unbreatheable atmosphere through insect and microorganism respiration alone, without use of chemicals, fumigants, or pumps. Laboratory and field data are cited and specific examples are given describing the uses of Ultra Hermetic storage to prevent the growth of aflatoxins with their significant public health consequences. Also discussed is the presently limited quantitative information on the relative occurrence of excessive levels of aflatoxin (>20 ppb) before vs. after multi-month storage of such crops as maize, rice, and peanuts when under high humidity, high temperature conditions and, consequently, the need for further research to determine the frequency at which excessive aflatoxin levels are reached in the field vs. after months of post-harvest storage. The significant work being done to reduce aflatoxin levels in the field is mentioned, as well as its probable implications on post-harvest storage. Also described is why, with some crops such as peanuts, using Ultra Hermetic storage may require injection of carbon dioxide, or use of an oxygen absorber as an accelerant. The case of peanuts is discussed and experimental data is described. PMID:24782846

  8. From hormones to secondary metabolism: the emergence of metabolic gene clusters in plants.

    PubMed

    Chu, Hoi Yee; Wegel, Eva; Osbourn, Anne

    2011-04-01

    Gene clusters for the synthesis of secondary metabolites are a common feature of microbial genomes. Well-known examples include clusters for the synthesis of antibiotics in actinomycetes, and also for the synthesis of antibiotics and toxins in filamentous fungi. Until recently it was thought that genes for plant metabolic pathways were not clustered, and this is certainly true in many cases; however, five plant secondary metabolic gene clusters have now been discovered, all of them implicated in synthesis of defence compounds. An obvious assumption might be that these eukaryotic gene clusters have arisen by horizontal gene transfer from microbes, but there is compelling evidence to indicate that this is not the case. This raises intriguing questions about how widespread such clusters are, what the significance of clustering is, why genes for some metabolic pathways are clustered and those for others are not, and how these clusters form. In answering these questions we may hope to learn more about mechanisms of genome plasticity and adaptive evolution in plants. It is noteworthy that for the five plant secondary metabolic gene clusters reported so far, the enzymes for the first committed steps all appear to have been recruited directly or indirectly from primary metabolic pathways involved in hormone synthesis. This may or may not turn out to be a common feature of plant secondary metabolic gene clusters as new clusters emerge.

  9. Molecular characterization of neurally expressing genes in the para sodium channel gene cluster of Drosophila

    SciTech Connect

    Hong, Chang-Sook; Ganetzky, B.

    1996-03-01

    To elucidate the mechanisms regulating expression of para, which encodes the major class of sodium channels in the Drosophila nervous system, we have tried to locate upstream cis-acting regulatory elements by mapping the transcriptional start site and analyzing the region immediately upstream of para in region 14D of the polytene chromosomes. From these studies, we have discovered that the region contains a cluster of neurally expressing genes. Here we report the molecular characterization of the genomic organization of the 14D region and the genes within this region, which are: calnexin (Cnx), actin related protein 14D (Arp14D), calcineurin A 14D (CnnA14D), and chromosome associated protein (Cap). The tight clustering of these genes, their neuronal expression patterns, and their potential functions related to expression, modulation, or regulation of sodium channels raise the possibility that these genes represent a functionally related group sharing some coordinate regulatory mechanism. 76 refs., 11 figs.

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

    PubMed Central

    Hong, C. S.; Ganetzky, B.

    1996-01-01

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

  11. The toxicology of aflatoxins as a basis for public health decisions.

    PubMed

    Wild, C P; Turner, P C

    2002-11-01

    Aflatoxins have been extensively studied with respect to their mechanisms of toxicity. An understanding of metabolism, DNA adduct induction, mutagenicity and carcinogenicity has been paralleled by the development of biomarkers of aflatoxin exposure and biological effects (e.g. mutations) applied to human populations. The improvements in exposure assessment and their application in prospective epidemiological studies and the demonstration of a specific mutation in the TP53 gene in hepatocellular carcinomas from areas of high aflatoxin exposure have contributed significantly to the classification of aflatoxins as human carcinogens. In addition to establishing the carcinogenicity of aflatoxins in humans, understanding molecular mechanisms of action has provided the scientific rationale for prevention strategies, including primary and chemoprevention approaches. Overall, integrated, multidisciplinary research on aflatoxins has provided the platform on which to base decisions regarding acceptable exposures and priorities for interventions to reduce human risk in a public health context.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  15. Aflatoxin decomposition in various soils

    SciTech Connect

    Angle, J.S.

    1986-08-01

    The persistence of aflatoxin in the soil environment could potentially result in a number of adverse environmental consequences. To determine the persistence of aflatoxin in soil, /sup 14/C-labeled aflatoxin B1, was added to silt loam, sandy loam, and silty clay loam soils and the subsequent release of /sup 14/CO/sub 2/ was determined. After 120 days of incubation, 8.1% of the original aflatoxin added to the silt loam soil was released as CO/sub 2/. Aflatoxin decomposition in the sandy loam soil proceeded more quickly than the other two soils for the first 20 days of incubation. After this time, the decomposition rate declined and by the end of the study, 4.9% of the aflatoxin was released as CO/sub 2/. Aflatoxin decomposition proceeded most slowly in the silty clay loam soil. Only 1.4% of aflatoxin added to the soil was released as CO/sub 2/ after 120 days incubation. To determine whether aflatoxin was bound to the silty clay loam soil, aflatoxin B1 was added to this soil and incubated for 20 days. The soil was periodically extracted and the aflatoxin species present were determined using thin layer chromatographic (TLC) procedures. After one day of incubation, the degradation products, aflatoxins B2 and G2, were observed. It was also found that much of the aflatoxin extracted from the soil was not mobile with the TLC solvent system used. This indicated that a conjugate may have formed and thus may be responsible for the lack of aflatoxin decomposition.

  16. Sequencing, characterization, and gene expression analysis of the histidine decarboxylase gene cluster of Morganella morganii.

    PubMed

    Ferrario, Chiara; Borgo, Francesca; de Las Rivas, Blanca; Muñoz, Rosario; Ricci, Giovanni; Fortina, Maria Grazia

    2014-03-01

    The histidine decarboxylase gene cluster of Morganella morganii DSM30146(T) was sequenced, and four open reading frames, named hdcT1, hdc, hdcT2, and hisRS were identified. Two putative histidine/histamine antiporters (hdcT1 and hdcT2) were located upstream and downstream the hdc gene, codifying a pyridoxal-P dependent histidine decarboxylase, and followed by hisRS gene encoding a histidyl-tRNA synthetase. This organization was comparable with the gene cluster of other known Gram negative bacteria, particularly with that of Klebsiella oxytoca. Recombinant Escherichia coli strains harboring plasmids carrying the M. morganii hdc gene were shown to overproduce histidine decarboxylase, after IPTG induction at 37 °C for 4 h. Quantitative RT-PCR experiments revealed the hdc and hisRS genes were highly induced under acidic and histidine-rich conditions. This work represents the first description and identification of the hdc-related genes in M. morganii. Results support the hypothesis that the histidine decarboxylation reaction in this prolific histamine producing species may play a role in acid survival. The knowledge of the role and the regulation of genes involved in histidine decarboxylation should improve the design of rational strategies to avoid toxic histamine production in foods.

  17. Fluorometric assay for aflatoxins

    SciTech Connect

    Chakrabarti, A.G.

    1984-11-01

    The method that is now widely adopted by the government laboratories for the assay of individual aflatoxin components (B/sub 1/, B/sub 2/, G/sub 1/, and G/sub 2/) utilizes a TLC technique. The extraction and clean-up steps of this technique were further researched but the method is still time consuming. It is, therefore, very important to develop a rapid and accurate assay technique for aflatoxins. The current research proposes a technique which utilizes a Turner Fluorometer.

  18. Gravitation field algorithm and its application in gene cluster

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Searching optima is one of the most challenging tasks in clustering genes from available experimental data or given functions. SA, GA, PSO and other similar efficient global optimization methods are used by biotechnologists. All these algorithms are based on the imitation of natural phenomena. Results This paper proposes a novel searching optimization algorithm called Gravitation Field Algorithm (GFA) which is derived from the famous astronomy theory Solar Nebular Disk Model (SNDM) of planetary formation. GFA simulates the Gravitation field and outperforms GA and SA in some multimodal functions optimization problem. And GFA also can be used in the forms of unimodal functions. GFA clusters the dataset well from the Gene Expression Omnibus. Conclusions The mathematical proof demonstrates that GFA could be convergent in the global optimum by probability 1 in three conditions for one independent variable mass functions. In addition to these results, the fundamental optimization concept in this paper is used to analyze how SA and GA affect the global search and the inherent defects in SA and GA. Some results and source code (in Matlab) are publicly available at http://ccst.jlu.edu.cn/CSBG/GFA. PMID:20854683

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-05-22

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

  20. Arrangement of the Clostridium baratii F7 toxin gene cluster with identification of a σ factor that recognizes the botulinum toxin gene cluster promoters.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Erickson, L.M.; Maeda, N.

    1994-08-01

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

  2. The major volatile compound 2-phenylethanol from the biocontrol yeast Pichia anomala inhibits growth and expression of aflatoxin biosynthetic genes of Aspergillus flavus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aspergillus flavus is a globally distributed fungus and an important food contaminant because it produces the most potent natural carcinogenic compound known as aflatoxin (AF) B1. The major volatile from a yeast strain, Pichia anomala WRL-076 was identified by SPEM-GC/MS analysis to be 2-phenylethan...

  3. Recurrent adenylation domain replacement in the microcystin synthetase gene cluster

    PubMed Central

    Fewer, David P; Rouhiainen, Leo; Jokela, Jouni; Wahlsten, Matti; Laakso, Kati; Wang, Hao; Sivonen, Kaarina

    2007-01-01

    Background Microcystins are small cyclic heptapeptide toxins produced by a range of distantly related cyanobacteria. Microcystins are synthesized on large NRPS-PKS enzyme complexes. Many structural variants of microcystins are produced simulatenously. A recombination event between the first module of mcyB (mcyB1) and mcyC in the microcystin synthetase gene cluster is linked to the simultaneous production of microcystin variants in strains of the genus Microcystis. Results Here we undertook a phylogenetic study to investigate the order and timing of recombination between the mcyB1 and mcyC genes in a diverse selection of microcystin producing cyanobacteria. Our results provide support for complex evolutionary processes taking place at the mcyB1 and mcyC adenylation domains which recognize and activate the amino acids found at X and Z positions. We find evidence for recent recombination between mcyB1 and mcyC in strains of the genera Anabaena, Microcystis, and Hapalosiphon. We also find clear evidence for independent adenylation domain conversion of mcyB1 by unrelated peptide synthetase modules in strains of the genera Nostoc and Microcystis. The recombination events replace only the adenylation domain in each case and the condensation domains of mcyB1 and mcyC are not transferred together with the adenylation domain. Our findings demonstrate that the mcyB1 and mcyC adenylation domains are recombination hotspots in the microcystin synthetase gene cluster. Conclusion Recombination is thought to be one of the main mechanisms driving the diversification of NRPSs. However, there is very little information on how recombination takes place in nature. This study demonstrates that functional peptide synthetases are created in nature through transfer of adenylation domains without the concomitant transfer of condensation domains. PMID:17908306

  4. Growth, serum biochemistry, complement activity, and liver gene expression responses of Pekin ducklings to graded levels of cultured aflatoxin B1.

    PubMed

    Chen, X; Horn, N; Cotter, P F; Applegate, T J

    2014-08-01

    A 14-d study was conducted to evaluate the effects of cultured aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) on performance, serum biochemistry, serum natural antibody and complement activity, and hepatic gene expression parameters in Pekin ducklings. A total of 144 male Pekin ducklings were weighed, tagged, and randomly allotted to 4 dietary treatments containing 4 concentrations of AFB1 (0, 0.11, 0.14, and 0.21 mg/kg) from 0 to 14 d of age (6 cages per diet; 6 ducklings per cage). Compared with the control group, there was a 10.9, 31.7, and 47.4% (P < 0.05) decrease in cumulative BW gain with 0.11, 0.14, and 0.21 mg of AFB1/kg of diet, respectively, but feed efficiency was not affected. Increasing concentrations of AFB1 reduced cumulative BW gain and feed intake both linearly and quadratically, and regression equations were developed with r(2) ≥0.73. Feeding 0.11 to 0.21 mg of AFB1/kg reduced serum glucose, creatinine, albumin, total protein, globulin, Ca, P, and creatine phosphokinase linearly, whereas serum urea N, Cl, alkaline phosphatase, and aspartate amino transferase concentrations increased linearly with increasing AFB1 (P < 0.05). Additionally, 0.11 to 0.21 mg of AFB1/kg diets impaired classical and alternative complement pathways in the duckling serum when tested by lysis of rabbit, human type O, and horse erythrocytes, and decreased rabbit and horse agglutinins (P < 0.05). Liver peroxisome proliferator activated receptor α (PPARα) expression was linearly downregulated by AFB1 (P < 0.01). Results from this study indicate that for every 0.10 mg/kg increase in dietary AFB1, cumulative feed intake and BW gain decrease approximately 230 and 169 g per duckling from hatch to 14 d; and that AFB1 at very low concentrations can significantly impair liver function and gene expression, and innate immune dynamics in Pekin ducklings.

  5. Impacts of environmental stress on growth, secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters and metabolite production of xerotolerant/xerophilic fungi.

    PubMed

    Medina, Angel; Schmidt-Heydt, Markus; Rodríguez, Alicia; Parra, Roberto; Geisen, Rolf; Magan, Naresh

    2015-08-01

    This paper examines the impact that single and interacting environmental stress factors have on tolerance mechanisms, molecular ecology and the relationship with secondary metabolite production by a group of mycotoxigenic species of economic importance. Growth of these fungi (Aspergillus flavus, A.ochraceus, A.carbonarius, Penicillium nordicum and P. verrucosum) is influenced by water and temperature interactions and type of solute used to induce water stress. Such abiotic stresses are overcome by the synthesis of increased amounts of low molecular weight sugar alcohols, especially glycerol and erythritol, to enable them to remain active under abiotic stress. This is accompanied by increased expression of sugar transporter genes, e.g., in A. flavus, which provides the nutritional means of tolerating such stress. The optimum conditions of water activity (a w) × temperature stress for growth are often different from those for secondary metabolite production. The genes for toxin production are clustered together and their relative expression is influenced by abiotic interacting stress factors. For example., A. flavus synthesises aflatoxins under water stress in non-ionic solutes. In contrast, P. nordicum specifically occupies a high salt (0.87 a w = 22% NaCl) niche such as cured meats, and produces ochratoxin A (OTA). There is differential and temporal expression of the genes in the secondary metabolite clusters in response to a w × temperature stress. We have used a microarray and integrated data on growth, relative expression of key genes in the biosynthetic pathways for secondary metabolite production and toxin production using a mixed growth model. This was used to correlate these factors and predict the toxin levels produced under different abiotic stress conditions. This system approach to integrate these different data sets and model the relationships could be a powerful tool for predicting the relative toxin production under extreme stress conditions

  6. A Hybrid Distance Measure for Clustering Expressed Sequence Tags Originating from the Same Gene Family

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Keng-Hoong; Ho, Chin-Kuan; Phon-Amnuaisuk, Somnuk

    2012-01-01

    Background Clustering is a key step in the processing of Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs). The primary goal of clustering is to put ESTs from the same transcript of a single gene into a unique cluster. Recent EST clustering algorithms mostly adopt the alignment-free distance measures, where they tend to yield acceptable clustering accuracies with reasonable computational time. Despite the fact that these clustering methods work satisfactorily on a majority of the EST datasets, they have a common weakness. They are prone to deliver unsatisfactory clustering results when dealing with ESTs from the genes derived from the same family. The root cause is the distance measures applied on them are not sensitive enough to separate these closely related genes. Methodology/Principal Findings We propose a hybrid distance measure that combines the global and local features extracted from ESTs, with the aim to address the clustering problem faced by ESTs derived from the same gene family. The clustering process is implemented using the DBSCAN algorithm. We test the hybrid distance measure on the ten EST datasets, and the clustering results are compared with the two alignment-free EST clustering tools, i.e. wcd and PEACE. The clustering results indicate that the proposed hybrid distance measure performs relatively better (in terms of clustering accuracy) than both EST clustering tools. Conclusions/Significance The clustering results provide support for the effectiveness of the proposed hybrid distance measure in solving the clustering problem for ESTs that originate from the same gene family. The improvement of clustering accuracies on the experimental datasets has supported the claim that the sensitivity of the hybrid distance measure is sufficient to solve the clustering problem. PMID:23071763

  7. Mutational and Phylogenetic Analyses of the Mycobacterial mbt Gene Cluster ▿§

    PubMed Central

    Chavadi, Sivagami Sundaram; Stirrett, Karen L.; Edupuganti, Uthamaphani R.; Vergnolle, Olivia; Sadhanandan, Gigani; Marchiano, Emily; Martin, Che; Qiu, Wei-Gang; Soll, Clifford E.; Quadri, Luis E. N.

    2011-01-01

    The mycobactin siderophore system is present in many Mycobacterium species, including M. tuberculosis and other clinically relevant mycobacteria. This siderophore system is believed to be utilized by both pathogenic and nonpathogenic mycobacteria for iron acquisition in both in vivo and ex vivo iron-limiting environments, respectively. Several M. tuberculosis genes located in a so-called mbt gene cluster have been predicted to be required for the biosynthesis of the core scaffold of mycobactin based on sequence analysis. A systematic and controlled mutational analysis probing the hypothesized essential nature of each of these genes for mycobactin production has been lacking. The degree of conservation of mbt gene cluster orthologs remains to be investigated as well. In this study, we sought to conclusively establish whether each of nine mbt genes was required for mycobactin production and to examine the conservation of gene clusters orthologous to the M. tuberculosis mbt gene cluster in other bacteria. We report a systematic mutational analysis of the mbt gene cluster ortholog found in Mycobacterium smegmatis. This mutational analysis demonstrates that eight of the nine mbt genes investigated are essential for mycobactin production. Our genome mining and phylogenetic analyses reveal the presence of orthologous mbt gene clusters in several bacterial species. These gene clusters display significant organizational differences originating from an intricate evolutionary path that might have included horizontal gene transfers. Altogether, the findings reported herein advance our understanding of the genetic requirements for the biosynthesis of an important mycobacterial secondary metabolite with relevance to virulence. PMID:21873494

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Diverse inhibitors of aflatoxin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Robert A; Boston, Rebecca S; Payne, Gary A

    2008-03-01

    Pre-harvest and post-harvest contamination of maize, peanuts, cotton, and tree nuts by members of the genus Aspergillus and subsequent contamination with the mycotoxin aflatoxin pose a widespread food safety problem for which effective and inexpensive control strategies are lacking. Since the discovery of aflatoxin as a potently carcinogenic food contaminant, extensive research has been focused on identifying compounds that inhibit its biosynthesis. Numerous diverse compounds and extracts containing activity inhibitory to aflatoxin biosynthesis have been reported. Only recently, however, have tools been available to investigate the molecular mechanisms by which these inhibitors affect aflatoxin biosynthesis. Many inhibitors are plant-derived and a few may be amenable to pathway engineering for tissue-specific expression in susceptible host plants as a defense against aflatoxin contamination. Other compounds show promise as protectants during crop storage. Finally, inhibitors with different modes of action could be used in comparative transcriptional and metabolomic profiling experiments to identify regulatory networks controlling aflatoxin biosynthesis.

  10. Translating biosynthetic gene clusters into fungal armor and weaponry

    PubMed Central

    Keller, Nancy P

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. The gsdf gene locus harbors evolutionary conserved and clustered genes preferentially expressed in fish previtellogenic oocytes.

    PubMed

    Gautier, Aude; Le Gac, Florence; Lareyre, Jean-Jacques

    2011-02-01

    display a different cellular localization compared to that of the gsdf gene indicating that the later gene is not co-regulated. Interestingly, our study identifies new clustered genes that are specifically expressed in previtellogenic oocytes (nup54, aff1, klhl8, sdad1).

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

    PubMed Central

    Sakai, Kanae; Komaki, Hisayuki; Gonoi, Tohru

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Coyle, Christine M.; Panaccione, Daniel G.

    2005-01-01

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

  16. Activation and Characterization of a Cryptic Polycyclic Tetramate Macrolactam Biosynthetic Gene Cluster

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Yunzi; Huang, Hua; Liang, Jing; Wang, Meng; Lu, Lu; Shao, Zengyi; Cobb, Ryan E.; Zhao, Huimin

    2014-01-01

    Polycyclic tetramate macrolactams (PTMs) are a widely distributed class of natural products with important biological activities. However, many of them have not been characterized. Here we apply a plug and play synthetic biology strategy to activate a cryptic PTM biosynthetic gene cluster SGR810-815 from Streptomyces griseus and discover three potential PTMs. This gene cluster is highly conserved in phylogenetically diverse bacterial strains and contains an unusual hybrid polyketide synthase-nonribosomal peptide synthetase (PKS-NRPS) which resembles iterative PKSs known in fungi. To further characterize this gene cluster, we use the same synthetic biology approach to create a series of gene deletion constructs and elucidate the biosynthetic steps for the formation of the polycyclic system. The strategy we employ bypasses the traditional laborious processes to elicit gene cluster expression and should be generally applicable to many other silent or cryptic gene clusters for discovery and characterization of new natural products. PMID:24305602

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Phenotype-based clustering of glycosylation-related genes by RNAi-mediated gene silencing.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto-Hino, Miki; Yoshida, Hideki; Ichimiya, Tomomi; Sakamura, Sho; Maeda, Megumi; Kimura, Yoshinobu; Sasaki, Norihiko; Aoki-Kinoshita, Kiyoko F; Kinoshita-Toyoda, Akiko; Toyoda, Hidenao; Ueda, Ryu; Nishihara, Shoko; Goto, Satoshi

    2015-06-01

    Glycan structures are synthesized by a series of reactions conducted by glycosylation-related (GR) proteins such as glycosyltransferases, glycan-modifying enzymes, and nucleotide-sugar transporters. For example, the common core region of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) is sequentially synthesized by peptide-O-xylosyltransferase, β1,4-galactosyltransferase I, β1,3-galactosyltransferase II, and β1,3-glucuronyltransferase. This raises the possibility that functional impairment of GR proteins involved in synthesis of the same glycan might result in the same phenotypic abnormality. To examine this possibility, comprehensive silencing of genes encoding GR and proteoglycan core proteins was conducted in Drosophila. Drosophila GR candidate genes (125) were classified into five functional groups for synthesis of GAGs, N-linked, O-linked, Notch-related, and unknown glycans. Spatiotemporally regulated silencing caused a range of malformed phenotypes that fell into three types: extra veins, thick veins, and depigmentation. The clustered phenotypes reflected the biosynthetic pathways of GAGs, Fringe-dependent glycan on Notch, and glycans placed at or near nonreducing ends (herein termed terminal domains of glycans). Based on the phenotypic clustering, CG33145 was predicted to be involved in formation of terminal domains. Our further analysis showed that CG33145 exhibited galactosyltransferase activity in synthesis of terminal N-linked glycans. Phenotypic clustering, therefore, has potential for the functional prediction of novel GR genes. PMID:25940448

  19. Phenotype-based clustering of glycosylation-related genes by RNAi-mediated gene silencing

    PubMed Central

    Yamamoto-Hino, Miki; Yoshida, Hideki; Ichimiya, Tomomi; Sakamura, Sho; Maeda, Megumi; Kimura, Yoshinobu; Sasaki, Norihiko; Aoki-Kinoshita, Kiyoko F; Kinoshita-Toyoda, Akiko; Toyoda, Hidenao; Ueda, Ryu; Nishihara, Shoko; Goto, Satoshi

    2015-01-01

    Glycan structures are synthesized by a series of reactions conducted by glycosylation-related (GR) proteins such as glycosyltransferases, glycan-modifying enzymes, and nucleotide-sugar transporters. For example, the common core region of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) is sequentially synthesized by peptide-O-xylosyltransferase, β1,4-galactosyltransferase I, β1,3-galactosyltransferase II, and β1,3-glucuronyltransferase. This raises the possibility that functional impairment of GR proteins involved in synthesis of the same glycan might result in the same phenotypic abnormality. To examine this possibility, comprehensive silencing of genes encoding GR and proteoglycan core proteins was conducted in Drosophila. Drosophila GR candidate genes (125) were classified into five functional groups for synthesis of GAGs, N-linked, O-linked, Notch-related, and unknown glycans. Spatiotemporally regulated silencing caused a range of malformed phenotypes that fell into three types: extra veins, thick veins, and depigmentation. The clustered phenotypes reflected the biosynthetic pathways of GAGs, Fringe-dependent glycan on Notch, and glycans placed at or near nonreducing ends (herein termed terminal domains of glycans). Based on the phenotypic clustering, CG33145 was predicted to be involved in formation of terminal domains. Our further analysis showed that CG33145 exhibited galactosyltransferase activity in synthesis of terminal N-linked glycans. Phenotypic clustering, therefore, has potential for the functional prediction of novel GR genes. PMID:25940448

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

    PubMed

    Shen, Chengcheng; Liu, Ying

    2012-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Shen, Chengcheng; Liu, Ying

    2012-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  3. Cowpeas as growth substrate do not support the production of aflatoxin byAspergillus sp.

    PubMed

    Houssou, P A; Schmidt-Heydt, M; Geisen, R; Fandohan, P; Ahohuendo, B C; Hounhouigan, D J; Jakobsen, M

    2008-06-01

    A number of 21Aspergillus sp. strains isolated from cowpeas from Benin (Africa) were characterized by RAPD methodology. Seven of these strains grouped withA. flavus in the dendrogram generated with the RAPD data. Only three were able to produce aflatoxin in significant amounts. Twelve other isolates grouped withA. parasiticus. All of these strains except 3 produced aflatoxin. Two additional strains neither fit with theA. flavus group, nor theA. parasiticus group according to their RAPD pattern. Both did not produce aflatoxin in measurable amounts.Generally the aflatoxin positive strains produced high amounts of aflatoxin after growth on YES medium. However after growth on cowpea based medium aflatoxin biosynthesis was strongly ceased, albeit the growth of the colony was only partly reduced. This was true for media made either with the whole cowpea seed or with cowpea seed without seed coat. Interestingly when the cowpea medium was heat sterilized the fungus was able to produce high amounts of aflatoxin. This, however, was not the case after the use of gamma irradiation as sterilization method for the medium. The expression of thenor- 1 gene, which is one of the early genes involved in aflatoxin biosynthesis, was significantly repressed after growth on gamma irradiated cowpea medium in contrast to YES medium. PMID:23604687

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Dehal, Paramvir S.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-08-25

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. The genomisotopic approach: a systematic method to isolate products of orphan biosynthetic gene clusters.

    PubMed

    Gross, Harald; Stockwell, Virginia O; Henkels, Marcella D; Nowak-Thompson, Brian; Loper, Joyce E; Gerwick, William H

    2007-01-01

    With the increasing number of genomes sequenced and available in the public domain, a large number of orphan gene clusters, for which the encoded natural product is unknown, have been identified. These orphan gene clusters represent a tremendous source of novel and possibly bioactive compounds. Here, we describe a "genomisotopic approach," which employs a combination of genomic sequence analysis and isotope-guided fractionation to identify unknown compounds synthesized from orphan gene clusters containing nonribosomal peptide synthetases. Analysis of the Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf-5 genome led to the identification of an orphan gene cluster predicted to code for the biosynthesis of a lipopeptide natural product. Application of the genomisotopic approach to isolate the product of this gene cluster resulted in the discovery of orfamide A, founder of a group of bioactive cyclic lipopeptides.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. Identification and characterization of a novel diterpene gene cluster in Aspergillus nidulans.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Fungal secondary metabolites are a rich source of medically useful compounds due to their pharmaceutical and toxic properties. Sequencing of fungal genomes has revealed numerous secondary metabolite gene clusters, yet products of many of these biosynthetic pathways are unknown since the expression of the clustered genes usually remains silent in normal laboratory conditions. Therefore, to discover new metabolites, it is important to find ways to induce the expression of genes in these otherwise silent biosynthetic clusters. We discovered a novel secondary metabolite in Aspergillus nidulans by predicting a biosynthetic gene cluster with genomic mining. A Zn(II)(2)Cys(6)-type transcription factor, PbcR, was identified, and its role as a pathway-specific activator for the predicted gene cluster was demonstrated. Overexpression of pbcR upregulated the transcription of seven genes in the identified cluster and led to the production of a diterpene compound, which was characterized with GC/MS as ent-pimara-8(14),15-diene. A change in morphology was also observed in the strains overexpressing pbcR. The activation of a cryptic gene cluster by overexpression of its putative Zn(II)(2)Cys(6)-type transcription factor led to discovery of a novel secondary metabolite in Aspergillus nidulans. Quantitative real-time PCR and DNA array analysis allowed us to predict the borders of the biosynthetic gene cluster. Furthermore, we identified a novel fungal pimaradiene cyclase gene as well as genes encoding 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase and a geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP) synthase. None of these genes have been previously implicated in the biosynthesis of terpenes in Aspergillus nidulans. These results identify the first Aspergillus nidulans diterpene gene cluster and suggest a biosynthetic pathway for ent-pimara-8(14),15-diene.

  11. The DmtA methyltransferase contributes to Aspergillus flavus conidiation, sclerotial production, aflatoxin biosynthesis and virulence

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Kunlong; Liang, Linlin; Ran, Fanlei; Liu, Yinghang; Li, Zhenguo; Lan, Huahui; Gao, Peili; Zhuang, Zhenhong; Zhang, Feng; Nie, Xinyi; Kalayu Yirga, Shimuye; Wang, Shihua

    2016-01-01

    DNA methylation is essential for epigenetic regulation of gene transcription and development in many animals, plants and fungi. We investigated whether DNA methylation plays a role in the development and secondary metabolism of Aspergillus flavus, identified the DmtA methyltransferase from A. flavus, and produced a dmtA knock-out mutant by replacing the dmtA coding sequence with the pyrG selectable marker. The A. flavus dmtA null mutant lines produced white fluffy mycelium in liquid medium, and displayed a slightly flavescent conidial pigmentation compared with the normal yellow of the wild-type strain when grown on agar. The ΔdmtA lines exhibited decreased conidiation and aflatoxin (AF) biosynthesis, compared with the wild-type line, suggesting that the DmtA knock-out affected the transcriptional level of genes in the AF cluster. In particular, sclerotia development and host colonization were altered in the dmtA null mutants. Green fluorescent protein tagging at the C-terminus of DmtA showed that DmtA localized to the nucleus and cytoplasm. DNA methylation content measurements in the dmtA mutants revealed no widespread DNA methylation in the mutants or wild-type lines. Thus, our findings suggest that DmtA, apart from being a C-5 cytosine methyltransferase in A. flavus, contributes to asexual development, aflatoxin biosynthesis, sclerotial production and virulence. PMID:26979781

  12. Identifying Subspace Gene Clusters from Microarray Data Using Low-Rank Representation

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Yan; Zheng, Chun-Hou; Yang, Jian

    2013-01-01

    Identifying subspace gene clusters from the gene expression data is useful for discovering novel functional gene interactions. In this paper, we propose to use low-rank representation (LRR) to identify the subspace gene clusters from microarray data. LRR seeks the lowest-rank representation among all the candidates that can represent the genes as linear combinations of the bases in the dataset. The clusters can be extracted based on the block diagonal representation matrix obtained using LRR, and they can well capture the intrinsic patterns of genes with similar functions. Meanwhile, the parameter of LRR can balance the effect of noise so that the method is capable of extracting useful information from the data with high level of background noise. Compared with traditional methods, our approach can identify genes with similar functions yet without similar expression profiles. Also, it could assign one gene into different clusters. Moreover, our method is robust to the noise and can identify more biologically relevant gene clusters. When applied to three public datasets, the results show that the LRR based method is superior to existing methods for identifying subspace gene clusters. PMID:23527177

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2014-05-22

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Clustering of Drosophila melanogaster Immune Genes in Interplay with Recombination Rate

    PubMed Central

    Wegner, K. Mathias

    2008-01-01

    Background Gene order in eukaryotic chromosomes is not random and has been linked to coordination of gene expression, chromatin structure and also recombination rate. The evolution of recombination rate is especially relevant for genes involved in immunity because host-parasite co-evolution could select for increased recombination rate (Red Queen hypothesis). To identify patterns left by the intimate interaction between hosts and parasites, I analysed the genomic parameters of the immune genes from 24 gene families/groups of Drosophila melanogaster. Principal Findings Immune genes that directly interact with the pathogen (i.e. recognition and effector genes) clustered in regions of higher recombination rates. Out of these, clustered effector genes were transcribed fastest indicating that transcriptional control might be one major cause for cluster formation. The relative position of clusters to each other, on the other hand, cannot be explained by transcriptional control per se. Drosophila immune genes that show epistatic interactions can be found at an average distance of 15.44±2.98 cM, which is considerably closer than genes that do not interact (30.64±1.95 cM). Conclusions Epistatically interacting genes rarely belong to the same cluster, which supports recent models of optimal recombination rates between interacting genes in antagonistic host-parasite co-evolution. These patterns suggest that formation of local clusters might be a result of transcriptional control, but that in the condensed genome of D. melanogaster relative position of these clusters may be a result of selection for optimal rather than maximal recombination rates between these clusters. PMID:18665272

  16. Applying Robust Directional Similarity based Clustering approach RDSC to classification of gene expression data.

    PubMed

    Li, H X; Wang, Shitong; Xiu, Yu

    2006-06-01

    Despite the fact that the classification of gene expression data from a cDNA microarrays has been extensively studied, nowadays a robust clustering method, which can estimate an appropriate number of clusters and be insensitive to its initialization has not yet been developed. In this work, a novel Robust Clustering approach, RDSC, based on the new Directional Similarity measure is presented. This new approach RDSC, which integrates the Directional Similarity based Clustering Algorithm, DSC, with the Agglomerative Hierarchical Clustering Algorithm, AHC, exhibits its robustness to initialization and its capability to determine the appropriate number of clusters reasonably. RDSC has been successfully employed to both artificial and benchmarking gene expression datasets. Our experimental results demonstrate its distinctive superiority over the conventional method Kmeans and the two typical directional clustering algorithms SPKmeans and moVMF.

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

    PubMed

    Seyedsayamdost, Mohammad R

    2014-05-20

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

  18. A model of interaction: aflatoxins and hepatitis viruses in liver cancer aetiology and prevention.

    PubMed

    Wild, Christopher P; Montesano, Ruggero

    2009-12-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide and has an extremely poor prognosis. The majority of cases occur in south-east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa where the major risk factors are chronic infection with hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV) as well as dietary exposure to aflatoxins. Aflatoxin B1, the most commonly occurring and potent of the aflatoxins is associated with a specific AGG to AGT transversion mutation at codon 249 of the p53 gene in human HCC, providing mechanistic support to a causal link between exposure and disease. Prospective epidemiological studies have shown a more than multiplicative interaction between HBV and aflatoxins in terms of HCC risk. However, the biology underlying this statistical interaction is not fully understood. There are a number of potential mechanisms including, among others: the fixation of AFB1-induced mutations in the presence of liver regeneration and hyperplasia induced by chronic HBV infection; the predisposition of HBV-infected hepatocytes to aflatoxin-induced DNA damage; an increase in susceptibility to chronic HBV infection in aflatoxin-exposed individuals; and oxidative stress exacerbated by co-exposure to aflatoxins and chronic hepatitis infection. Priorities for prevention are global HBV vaccination, primary and secondary prevention strategies against aflatoxin and the avoidance of transmission of HCV through good hygiene practices.

  19. Sphingolipids regulate telomere clustering by affecting the transcription of genes involved in telomere homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Ikeda, Atsuko; Muneoka, Tetsuya; Murakami, Suguru; Hirota, Ayaka; Yabuki, Yukari; Karashima, Takefumi; Nakazono, Kota; Tsuruno, Masahiro; Pichler, Harald; Shirahige, Katsuhiko; Kodama, Yukiko; Shimamoto, Toshi; Mizuta, Keiko; Funato, Kouichi

    2015-07-15

    In eukaryotic organisms, including mammals, nematodes and yeasts, the ends of chromosomes, telomeres are clustered at the nuclear periphery. Telomere clustering is assumed to be functionally important because proper organization of chromosomes is necessary for proper genome function and stability. However, the mechanisms and physiological roles of telomere clustering remain poorly understood. In this study, we demonstrate a role for sphingolipids in telomere clustering in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Because abnormal sphingolipid metabolism causes downregulation of expression levels of genes involved in telomere organization, sphingolipids appear to control telomere clustering at the transcriptional level. In addition, the data presented here provide evidence that telomere clustering is required to protect chromosome ends from DNA-damage checkpoint signaling. As sphingolipids are found in all eukaryotes, we speculate that sphingolipid-based regulation of telomere clustering and the protective role of telomere clusters in maintaining genome stability might be conserved in eukaryotes.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. A Cluster of Genes Involved in Polysaccharide Biosynthesis from Enterococcus faecalis OG1RF

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yi; Murray, Barbara E.; Weinstock, George M.

    1998-01-01

    Our previous work identified a cosmid clone containing a 43-kb insert from Enterococcus faecalis OG1RF that produced a nonprotein antigen in Escherichia coli. In the present work, we studied this clone in detail. Periodate treatment of lysates of the clone confirmed that the antigen was carbohydrate in nature. Analysis of DNA sequences and transposon insertion mutants suggested that the insert contained a multicistronic gene cluster. Database comparison showed that the cluster contained genes similar to genes involved in the biosynthesis of dTDP-rhamnose, glycosyltransferases, and ABC transporters involved in the export of sugar polymers from both gram-positive and gram-negative organisms. Insertions in several genes within the cluster abolished the immunoreactivity of the clone. This is the first report on a gene cluster of E. faecalis involved in the biosynthesis of an antigenic polysaccharide. PMID:9712783

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Comparative and genetic analyses of the putative Vibrio cholerae lipopolysaccharide core oligosaccharide biosynthesis (wav) gene cluster.

    PubMed

    Nesper, Jutta; Kraiss, Anita; Schild, Stefan; Blass, Julia; Klose, Karl E; Bockemühl, Jochen; Reidl, Joachim

    2002-05-01

    We identified five different putative wav gene cluster types, which are responsible for the synthesis of the core oligosaccharide (OS) region of Vibrio cholerae lipopolysaccharide. Preliminary evidence that the genes encoded by this cluster are involved in core OS biosynthesis came from analysis of the recently released O1 El Tor V. cholerae genome sequence and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis of O1 El Tor mutant strains defective in three genes (waaF, waaL, and wavB). Investigations of 38 different V. cholerae strains by Southern blotting, PCR, and sequencing analyses showed that the O1 El Tor wav gene cluster type is prevalent among clinical isolates of different serogroups associated with cholera and environmental O1 strains. In contrast, we found differences in the wav gene contents of 19 unrelated non-O1, non-O139 environmental and human isolates not associated with cholera. These strains contained four new wav gene cluster types that differ from each other in distinct gene loci, providing evidence for horizontal transfer of wav genes and for limited structural diversity of the core OS among V. cholerae isolates. Our results show genetic diversity in the core OS biosynthesis gene cluster and predominance of the type 1 wav gene locus in strains associated with clinical cholera, suggesting that a specific core OS structure could contribute to V. cholerae virulence.

  5. Comparative and Genetic Analyses of the Putative Vibrio cholerae Lipopolysaccharide Core Oligosaccharide Biosynthesis (wav) Gene Cluster

    PubMed Central

    Nesper, Jutta; Kraiß, Anita; Schild, Stefan; Blaβ, Julia; Klose, Karl E.; Bockemühl, Jochen; Reidl, Joachim

    2002-01-01

    We identified five different putative wav gene cluster types, which are responsible for the synthesis of the core oligosaccharide (OS) region of Vibrio cholerae lipopolysaccharide. Preliminary evidence that the genes encoded by this cluster are involved in core OS biosynthesis came from analysis of the recently released O1 El Tor V. cholerae genome sequence and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis of O1 El Tor mutant strains defective in three genes (waaF, waaL, and wavB). Investigations of 38 different V. cholerae strains by Southern blotting, PCR, and sequencing analyses showed that the O1 El Tor wav gene cluster type is prevalent among clinical isolates of different serogroups associated with cholera and environmental O1 strains. In contrast, we found differences in the wav gene contents of 19 unrelated non-O1, non-O139 environmental and human isolates not associated with cholera. These strains contained four new wav gene cluster types that differ from each other in distinct gene loci, providing evidence for horizontal transfer of wav genes and for limited structural diversity of the core OS among V. cholerae isolates. Our results show genetic diversity in the core OS biosynthesis gene cluster and predominance of the type 1 wav gene locus in strains associated with clinical cholera, suggesting that a specific core OS structure could contribute to V. cholerae virulence. PMID:11953379

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kuraku, Shigehiro

    2011-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Izawa, Masumi; Kawasaki, Takashi

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  13. RNAi control of aflatoxins in peanut plants, a multifactorial system

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    RNA-interference (RNAi)-mediated control of aflatoxin contamination in peanut plants is a multifactorial and hyper variable system. The use of RNAi biotechnology to silence single genes in plants has inherently high-variability among transgenic events. Also the level of expression of small interfe...

  14. Prediction of operon-like gene clusters in the Arabidopsis thaliana genome based on co-expression analysis of neighboring genes.

    PubMed

    Wada, Masayoshi; Takahashi, Hiroki; Altaf-Ul-Amin, Md; Nakamura, Kensuke; Hirai, Masami Y; Ohta, Daisaku; Kanaya, Shigehiko

    2012-07-15

    Operon-like arrangements of genes occur in eukaryotes ranging from yeasts and filamentous fungi to nematodes, plants, and mammals. In plants, several examples of operon-like gene clusters involved in metabolic pathways have recently been characterized, e.g. the cyclic hydroxamic acid pathways in maize, the avenacin biosynthesis gene clusters in oat, the thalianol pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana, and the diterpenoid momilactone cluster in rice. Such operon-like gene clusters are defined by their co-regulation or neighboring positions within immediate vicinity of chromosomal regions. A comprehensive analysis of the expression of neighboring genes therefore accounts a crucial step to reveal the complete set of operon-like gene clusters within a genome. Genome-wide prediction of operon-like gene clusters should contribute to functional annotation efforts and provide novel insight into evolutionary aspects acquiring certain biological functions as well. We predicted co-expressed gene clusters by comparing the Pearson correlation coefficient of neighboring genes and randomly selected gene pairs, based on a statistical method that takes false discovery rate (FDR) into consideration for 1469 microarray gene expression datasets of A. thaliana. We estimated that A. thaliana contains 100 operon-like gene clusters in total. We predicted 34 statistically significant gene clusters consisting of 3 to 22 genes each, based on a stringent FDR threshold of 0.1. Functional relationships among genes in individual clusters were estimated by sequence similarity and functional annotation of genes. Duplicated gene pairs (determined based on BLAST with a cutoff of E<10(-5)) are included in 27 clusters. Five clusters are associated with metabolism, containing P450 genes restricted to the Brassica family and predicted to be involved in secondary metabolism. Operon-like clusters tend to include genes encoding bio-machinery associated with ribosomes, the ubiquitin/proteasome system, secondary

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  16. A gene cluster for amylovoran synthesis in Erwinia amylovora: characterization and relationship to cps genes in Erwinia stewartii.

    PubMed

    Bernhard, F; Coplin, D L; Geider, K

    1993-05-01

    A large ams gene cluster required for production of the acidic extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) amylovoran by the fire blight pathogen Erwinia amylovora was cloned. Tn5 mutagenesis and gene replacement were used to construct chromosomal ams mutants. Five complementation groups, essential for amylovoran synthesis and virulence in E. amylovora, were identified and designated ams A-E. The ams gene cluster is about 7 kb in size and functionally equivalent to the cps gene cluster involved in EPS synthesis by the related pathogen Erwinia stewartii. Mucoidy and virulence were restored to E. stewartii mutants in four cps complementation groups by the cloned E. amylovora ams genes. Conversely, the E. stewartii cps gene cluster was able to complement mutations in E. amylovora ams genes. Correspondence was found between the amsA-E complementation groups and the cpsB-D region, but the arrangement of the genes appears to be different. EPS production and virulence were also restored to E. amylovora amsE and E. stewartii cpsD mutants by clones containing the Rhizobium meliloti exo A gene.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. An adaptive strategy for single- and multi-cluster gene assignment.

    PubMed

    Garg, Sanjeev; Hansen, Marc F; Rowe, David W; Achenie, Luke E K

    2003-01-01

    Strict assignment of genes to one class, dimensionality reduction, a priori specification of the number of classes, the need for a training set, nonunique solution, and complex learning mechanisms are some of the inadequacies of current clustering algorithms. Existing algorithms cluster genes on the basis of high positive correlations between their expression patterns. However, genes with strong negative correlations can also have similar functions and are most likely to have a role in the same pathways. To address some of these issues, we propose the adaptive centroid algorithm (ACA), which employs an analysis of variance (ANOVA)-based performance criterion. The ACA also uses Euclidian distances, the center-of-mass principle for heterogeneously distributed mass elements, and the given data set to give unique solutions. The proposed approach involves three stages. In the first stage a two-way ANOVA of the gene expression matrix is performed. The two factors in the ANOVA are gene expression and experimental condition. The residual mean squared error (MSE) from the ANOVA is used as a performance criterion in the ACA. Finally, correlated clusters are found based on the Pearson correlation coefficients. To validate the proposed approach, a two-way ANOVA is again performed on the discovered clusters. The results from this last step indicate that MSEs of the clusters are significantly lower compared to that of the fibroblast-serum gene expression matrix. The ACA is employed in this study for single- as well as multi-cluster gene assignments.

  20. Identification of Nocobactin NA Biosynthetic Gene Clusters in Nocardia farcinica▿ §

    PubMed Central

    Hoshino, Yasutaka; Chiba, Kazuhiro; Ishino, Keiko; Fukai, Toshio; Igarashi, Yasuhiro; Yazawa, Katsukiyo; Mikami, Yuzuru; Ishikawa, Jun

    2011-01-01

    We identified the biosynthetic gene clusters of the siderophore nocobactin NA. The nbt clusters, which were discovered as genes highly homologous to the mycobactin biosynthesis genes by the genomic sequencing of Nocardia farcinica IFM 10152, consist of 10 genes separately located at two genomic regions. The gene organization of the nbt clusters and the predicted functions of the nbt genes, particularly the cyclization and epimerization domains, were in good agreement with the chemical structure of nocobactin NA. Disruptions of the nbtA and nbtE genes, respectively, reduced and abolished the productivity of nocobactin NA. The heterologous expression of the nbtS gene revealed that this gene encoded a salicylate synthase. These results indicate that the nbt clusters are responsible for the biosynthesis of nocobactin NA. We also found putative IdeR-binding sequences upstream of the nbtA, -G, -H, -S, and -T genes, whose expression was more than 10-fold higher in the low-iron condition than in the high-iron condition. These results suggest that nbt genes are regulated coordinately by IdeR protein in an iron-dependent manner. The ΔnbtE mutant was found to be impaired in cytotoxicity against J774A.1 cells, suggesting that nocobactin NA production is required for virulence of N. farcinica. PMID:21097631

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

  2. Identification of a recent recombination event within the human beta-globin gene cluster.

    PubMed Central

    Gerhard, D S; Kidd, K K; Kidd, J R; Egeland, J A; Housman, D E

    1984-01-01

    In a detailed study of inheritance of DNA sequence polymorphism in a large reference pedigree, an individual was identified with an apparent genetic recombination event within the human beta-globin gene cluster. Analysis of the haplotypes of relevant individuals within this pedigree suggested that the meiotic crossing-over event is likely to have occurred within a 19.8-kilobase-pair region of the beta-globin gene cluster. Analysis of other DNA markers closely linked to the beta-globin gene cluster--segment 12 of chromosome 11 (D11S12) and loci for insulin, the cellular oncogene c-Ha-ras, and preproparathyroid hormone--confirmed that a crossover event must have occurred within the region of chromosome 11 between D11S12 and the beta-globin gene cluster. It is suggested that the event observed has occurred within a DNA region compatible with recombinational "hot spots" suggested by population studies. PMID:6096866

  3. Neuronal plasticity after spinal cord injury: identification of a gene cluster driving neurite outgrowth.

    PubMed

    Di Giovanni, Simone; Faden, Alan I; Yakovlev, Alexander; Duke-Cohan, Jonathan S; Finn, Tom; Thouin, Melissa; Knoblach, Susan; De Biase, Andrea; Bregman, Barbara S; Hoffman, Eric P

    2005-01-01

    Functional recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI) may result in part from axon outgrowth and related plasticity through coordinated changes at the molecular level. We employed microarray analysis to identify a subset of genes the expression patterns of which were temporally coregulated and correlated to functional recovery after SCI. Steady-state mRNA levels of this synchronously regulated gene cluster were depressed in both ventral and dorsal horn neurons within 24 h after injury, followed by strong re-induction during the following 2 wk, which paralleled functional recovery. The identified cluster includes neuritin, attractin, microtubule-associated protein 1a, and myelin oligodendrocyte protein genes. Transcriptional and protein regulation of this novel gene cluster was also evaluated in spinal cord tissue and in single neurons and was shown to play a role in axonal plasticity. Finally, in vitro transfection experiments in primary dorsal root ganglion cells showed that cluster members act synergistically to drive neurite outgrowth. PMID:15522907

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  5. Development of Methods for Determination of Aflatoxins.

    PubMed

    Xie, Lijuan; Chen, Min; Ying, Yibin

    2016-12-01

    Aflatoxins can cause damage to the health of humans and animals. Several institutions around the world have established regulations to limit the levels of aflatoxins in food, and numerous analytical methods have been extensively developed for aflatoxin determination. This review covers the currently used analytical methods for the determination of aflatoxins in different food matrices, which includes sampling and sample preparation, sample pretreatment methods including extraction methods and purification methods of aflatoxin extracts, separation and determination methods. Validation for analysis of aflatoxins and safety considerations and precautions when doing the experiments are also discussed.

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2016-04-12

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-05-12

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Nha; Vo, An; Choi, Inchan

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Yeast homologous recombination-based promoter engineering for the activation of silent natural product biosynthetic gene clusters.

    PubMed

    Montiel, Daniel; Kang, Hahk-Soo; Chang, Fang-Yuan; Charlop-Powers, Zachary; Brady, Sean F

    2015-07-21

    Large-scale sequencing of prokaryotic (meta)genomic DNA suggests that most bacterial natural product gene clusters are not expressed under common laboratory culture conditions. Silent gene clusters represent a promising resource for natural product discovery and the development of a new generation of therapeutics. Unfortunately, the characterization of molecules encoded by these clusters is hampered owing to our inability to express these gene clusters in the laboratory. To address this bottleneck, we have developed a promoter-engineering platform to transcriptionally activate silent gene clusters in a model heterologous host. Our approach uses yeast homologous recombination, an auxotrophy complementation-based yeast selection system and sequence orthogonal promoter cassettes to exchange all native promoters in silent gene clusters with constitutively active promoters. As part of this platform, we constructed and validated a set of bidirectional promoter cassettes consisting of orthogonal promoter sequences, Streptomyces ribosome binding sites, and yeast selectable marker genes. Using these tools we demonstrate the ability to simultaneously insert multiple promoter cassettes into a gene cluster, thereby expediting the reengineering process. We apply this method to model active and silent gene clusters (rebeccamycin and tetarimycin) and to the silent, cryptic pseudogene-containing, environmental DNA-derived Lzr gene cluster. Complete promoter refactoring and targeted gene exchange in this "dead" cluster led to the discovery of potent indolotryptoline antiproliferative agents, lazarimides A and B. This potentially scalable and cost-effective promoter reengineering platform should streamline the discovery of natural products from silent natural product biosynthetic gene clusters. PMID:26150486

  12. Yeast homologous recombination-based promoter engineering for the activation of silent natural product biosynthetic gene clusters.

    PubMed

    Montiel, Daniel; Kang, Hahk-Soo; Chang, Fang-Yuan; Charlop-Powers, Zachary; Brady, Sean F

    2015-07-21

    Large-scale sequencing of prokaryotic (meta)genomic DNA suggests that most bacterial natural product gene clusters are not expressed under common laboratory culture conditions. Silent gene clusters represent a promising resource for natural product discovery and the development of a new generation of therapeutics. Unfortunately, the characterization of molecules encoded by these clusters is hampered owing to our inability to express these gene clusters in the laboratory. To address this bottleneck, we have developed a promoter-engineering platform to transcriptionally activate silent gene clusters in a model heterologous host. Our approach uses yeast homologous recombination, an auxotrophy complementation-based yeast selection system and sequence orthogonal promoter cassettes to exchange all native promoters in silent gene clusters with constitutively active promoters. As part of this platform, we constructed and validated a set of bidirectional promoter cassettes consisting of orthogonal promoter sequences, Streptomyces ribosome binding sites, and yeast selectable marker genes. Using these tools we demonstrate the ability to simultaneously insert multiple promoter cassettes into a gene cluster, thereby expediting the reengineering process. We apply this method to model active and silent gene clusters (rebeccamycin and tetarimycin) and to the silent, cryptic pseudogene-containing, environmental DNA-derived Lzr gene cluster. Complete promoter refactoring and targeted gene exchange in this "dead" cluster led to the discovery of potent indolotryptoline antiproliferative agents, lazarimides A and B. This potentially scalable and cost-effective promoter reengineering platform should streamline the discovery of natural products from silent natural product biosynthetic gene clusters.

  13. Yeast homologous recombination-based promoter engineering for the activation of silent natural product biosynthetic gene clusters

    PubMed Central

    Montiel, Daniel; Kang, Hahk-Soo; Chang, Fang-Yuan; Charlop-Powers, Zachary; Brady, Sean F.

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale sequencing of prokaryotic (meta)genomic DNA suggests that most bacterial natural product gene clusters are not expressed under common laboratory culture conditions. Silent gene clusters represent a promising resource for natural product discovery and the development of a new generation of therapeutics. Unfortunately, the characterization of molecules encoded by these clusters is hampered owing to our inability to express these gene clusters in the laboratory. To address this bottleneck, we have developed a promoter-engineering platform to transcriptionally activate silent gene clusters in a model heterologous host. Our approach uses yeast homologous recombination, an auxotrophy complementation-based yeast selection system and sequence orthogonal promoter cassettes to exchange all native promoters in silent gene clusters with constitutively active promoters. As part of this platform, we constructed and validated a set of bidirectional promoter cassettes consisting of orthogonal promoter sequences, Streptomyces ribosome binding sites, and yeast selectable marker genes. Using these tools we demonstrate the ability to simultaneously insert multiple promoter cassettes into a gene cluster, thereby expediting the reengineering process. We apply this method to model active and silent gene clusters (rebeccamycin and tetarimycin) and to the silent, cryptic pseudogene-containing, environmental DNA-derived Lzr gene cluster. Complete promoter refactoring and targeted gene exchange in this “dead” cluster led to the discovery of potent indolotryptoline antiproliferative agents, lazarimides A and B. This potentially scalable and cost-effective promoter reengineering platform should streamline the discovery of natural products from silent natural product biosynthetic gene clusters. PMID:26150486

  14. The naphthalene catabolic (nag) genes of Polaromonas naphthalenivorans CJ2: Evolutionary implications for two gene clusters and novel regulatory control

    SciTech Connect

    Jeon, C.O.; Park, M.; Ro, H.S.; Park, W.; Madsen, E.L.

    2006-02-15

    Polaromonas naphthalenivorans CJ2, found to be responsible for the degradation of naphthalene in situ at a coal tar waste-contaminated site, is able to grow on mineral salts agar media with naphthalene as the sole carbon source. Beginning from a 484-bp nagAc-like region, we used a genome walking strategy to sequence genes encoding the entire naphthalene degradation pathway and additional flanking regions. We found that the naphthalene catabolic genes in P. naphthalenivorans CJ2 were divided into one large and one small gene cluster, separated by an unknown distance. The large gene cluster is bounded by a LysR-type regulator (nagR). The small cluster is bounded by a MarR-type regulator (nagR2). The catabolic genes of P. naphthalenivorans CJ2 were homologous to many of those of Ralstonia U2, which uses the gentisate pathway to convert naphthalene to central metabolites. However, three open reading frames (nagY, nagM, and nagN), present in Ralstonia U2, were absent. Also, P. naphthalenivorans carries two copies of gentisate dioxygenase (nagI) with 77.4% DNA sequence identity to one another and 82% amino acid identity to their homologue in Ralstonia sp. strain U2. Investigation of the operons using reverse transcription PCR showed that each cluster was controlled independently by its respective promoter. Insertional inactivation and lacZ reporter assays showed that nagR2 is a negative regulator and that expression of the small cluster is not induced by naphthalene, salicylate, or gentisate. Association of two putative Azoarcus-related transposases with the large cluster and one Azoarcus-related putative salicylate 5-hydroxylase gene (ORF2) in the small cluster suggests that mobile genetic elements were likely involved in creating the novel arrangement of catabolic and regulatory genes in P. naphthalenivorans.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-10-11

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2005-05-10

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

  17. Visualization of mappings between the gene ontology and cluster trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jusufi, Ilir; Kerren, Andreas; Aleksakhin, Vladyslav; Schreiber, Falk

    2012-01-01

    Ontologies and hierarchical clustering are both important tools in biology and medicine to study high-throughput data such as transcriptomics and metabolomics data. Enrichment of ontology terms in the data is used to identify statistically overrepresented ontology terms, giving insight into relevant biological processes or functional modules. Hierarchical clustering is a standard method to analyze and visualize data to find relatively homogeneous clusters of experimental data points. Both methods support the analysis of the same data set, but are usually considered independently. However, often a combined view is desired: visualizing a large data set in the context of an ontology under consideration of a clustering of the data. This paper proposes a new visualization method for this task.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-10

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

  19. Engineering Streptomyces coelicolor for heterologous expression of secondary metabolite gene clusters.

    PubMed

    Gomez-Escribano, Juan Pablo; Bibb, Mervyn J

    2011-03-01

    We have constructed derivatives of Streptomyces coelicolor M145 as hosts for the heterologous expression of secondary metabolite gene clusters. To remove potentially competitive sinks of carbon and nitrogen, and to provide a host devoid of antibiotic activity, we deleted four endogenous secondary metabolite gene clusters from S. coelicolor M145--those for actinorhodin, prodiginine, CPK and CDA biosynthesis. We then introduced point mutations into rpoB and rpsL to pleiotropically increase the level of secondary metabolite production. Introduction of the native actinorhodin gene cluster and of gene clusters for the heterologous production of chloramphenicol and congocidine revealed dramatic increases in antibiotic production compared with the parental strain. In addition to lacking antibacterial activity, the engineered strains possess relatively simple extracellular metabolite profiles. When combined with liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, we believe that these genetically engineered strains will markedly facilitate the discovery of new compounds by heterologous expression of cloned gene clusters, particularly the numerous cryptic secondary metabolic gene clusters that are prevalent within actinomycete genome sequences.

  20. Present and future directions of translational research on aflatoxin and hepatocellular carcinoma. A review.

    PubMed

    Wogan, Gerald N; Kensler, Thomas W; Groopman, John D

    2012-01-01

    The aflatoxins were discovered in toxic peanut meal causing "turkey X" disease, which killed large numbers of turkey poults, ducklings and chicks in the UK in the early 1960s. Extracts of toxic feed induced the symptoms in experimental animals, and purified metabolites with properties identical to aflatoxins B(1) and G(1) (AFB(1) and AFG(1)) were isolated from Aspergillus flavus cultures. Structure elucidation of aflatoxin B(1) was accomplished and confirmed by total synthesis in 1963. AFB(1) is a potent liver carcinogen in rodents, non-human primates, fish and birds, operating through a genotoxic mechanism involving metabolic activation to an epoxide, formation of DNA adducts and, in humans, modification of the p53 gene. Aflatoxins are unique among environmental carcinogens, in that elucidation of their mechanisms of action combined with molecular epidemiology provides a foundation for quantitative risk assessment; extensive evidence confirms that contamination of the food supply by AFB(1) puts an exposed population at increased risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Molecular biomarkers to quantify aflatoxin exposure in individuals were essential to link aflatoxin exposure with liver cancer risk. Biomarkers were validated in populations with high HCC incidence in China and The Gambia, West Africa; urinary AFB(1)-N (7)-Guanine excretion was linearly related to aflatoxin intake, and levels of aflatoxin-serum albumin adducts also reflected aflatoxin intake. Two major cohort studies employing aflatoxin biomarkers identified their causative role in HCC etiology. Results of a study in Shanghai men strongly support a causal relationship between HCC risk and the presence of biomarkers for aflatoxin and HBV infection, and also show that the two risk factors act synergistically. Subsequent cohort studies in Taiwan confirm these results. IARC classified aflatoxin as a Group 1 human carcinogen in 1993, based on sufficient evidence in humans and experimental

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

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

  4. Partial mixture model for tight clustering of gene expression time-course

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Yinyin; Li, Chang-Tsun; Wilson, Roland

    2008-01-01

    Background Tight clustering arose recently from a desire to obtain tighter and potentially more informative clusters in gene expression studies. Scattered genes with relatively loose correlations should be excluded from the clusters. However, in the literature there is little work dedicated to this area of research. On the other hand, there has been extensive use of maximum likelihood techniques for model parameter estimation. By contrast, the minimum distance estimator has been largely ignored. Results In this paper we show the inherent robustness of the minimum distance estimator that makes it a powerful tool for parameter estimation in model-based time-course clustering. To apply minimum distance estimation, a partial mixture model that can naturally incorporate replicate information and allow scattered genes is formulated. We provide experimental results of simulated data fitting, where the minimum distance estimator demonstrates superior performance to the maximum likelihood estimator. Both biological and statistical validations are conducted on a simulated dataset and two real gene expression datasets. Our proposed partial regression clustering algorithm scores top in Gene Ontology driven evaluation, in comparison with four other popular clustering algorithms. Conclusion For the first time partial mixture model is successfully extended to time-course data analysis. The robustness of our partial regression clustering algorithm proves the suitability of the combination of both partial mixture model and minimum distance estimator in this field. We show that tight clustering not only is capable to generate more profound understanding of the dataset under study well in accordance to established biological knowledge, but also presents interesting new hypotheses during interpretation of clustering results. In particular, we provide biological evidences that scattered genes can be relevant and are interesting subjects for study, in contrast to prevailing opinion

  5. Organization, structure and evolution of the CYP2 gene cluster on human chromosome 19.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, S M; Nelson, D R; Keeney, D S

    2001-11-01

    The cytochrome P450 superfamily of mixed-function oxygenases has been extensively studied due to its many critical metabolic roles, and also because it is a fascinating example of gene family evolution. The cluster of genes on human chromosome 19 from the CYP2A, 2B, and 2F subfamilies has been previously described as having a complex organization and many pseudogenes. We describe the discovery of genes from three more CYP2 subfamilies inside the cluster, and assemble a complete map of the region. We comprehensively review the organization, structure, and expression of genes from all six subfamilies. A general hypothesis for the evolution of this complex gene cluster is also presented.

  6. Reduction of aflatoxin production by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus in interaction with Streptomyces.

    PubMed

    Verheecke, C; Liboz, T; Anson, P; Diaz, R; Mathieu, F

    2015-05-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate aflatoxin gene expression during Streptomyces-Aspergillus interaction. Aflatoxins are carcinogenic compounds produced mainly by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. A previous study has shown that Streptomyces-A. flavus interaction can reduce aflatoxin content in vitro. Here, we first validated this same effect in the interaction with A. parasiticus. Moreover, we showed that growth reduction and aflatoxin content were correlated in A. parasiticus but not in A. flavus. Secondly, we investigated the mechanisms of action by reverse-transcriptase quantitative PCR. As microbial interaction can lead to variations in expression of household genes, the most stable [act1, βtub (and cox5 for A. parasiticus)] were chosen using geNorm software. To shed light on the mechanisms involved, we studied during the interaction the expression of five genes (aflD, aflM, aflP, aflR and aflS). Overall, the results of aflatoxin gene expression showed that Streptomyces repressed gene expression to a greater level in A. parasiticus than in A. flavus. Expression of aflR and aflS was generally repressed in both Aspergillus species. Expression of aflM was repressed and was correlated with aflatoxin B1 content. The results suggest that aflM expression could be a potential aflatoxin indicator in Streptomyces species interactions. Therefore, we demonstrate that Streptomyces can reduce aflatoxin production by both Aspergillus species and that this effect can be correlated with the repression of aflM expression.

  7. Selenate reductase activity in Escherichia coli requires Isc iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis genes.

    PubMed

    Yee, Nathan; Choi, Jessica; Porter, Abigail W; Carey, Sean; Rauschenbach, Ines; Harel, Arye

    2014-12-01

    The selenate reductase in Escherichia coli is a multi-subunit enzyme predicted to bind Fe-S clusters. In this study, we examined the iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis genes that are required for selenate reductase activity. Mutants devoid of either the iscU or hscB gene in the Isc iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis pathway lost the ability to reduce selenate. Genetic complementation by the wild-type sequences restored selenate reductase activity. The results indicate the Isc biosynthetic system plays a key role in selenate reductase Fe-S cofactor assembly and is essential for enzyme activity.

  8. Identification of two gene clusters involved in cyclohexanone oxidation in Brevibacterium epidermidis strain HCU.

    PubMed

    Brzostowicz, P C; Blasko, M S; Rouvière, P E

    2002-05-01

    Brevibacterium epidermidis HCU can grow on cyclic ketones and alcohols as a sole carbon source. We have previously reported the identification of two cyclohexanone-induced Bayer-Villiger monooxygenase genes by mRNA differential display. Using the related technique of Out-PCR, we have amplified large DNA fragments flanking the two monooxygenase genes. Two large gene clusters were sequenced. Several ORFs in each gene cluster encoded proteins homologous to cyclohexanol and cyclohexanone oxidation enzymes from Acinetobacter. However, the structure of these two gene clusters differs significantly from that of Acinetobacter, where the complete pathway has been described. To assess activity of these genes, they were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. In vivo and in vitro assays enabled us to assign functions to the expressed ORFs. These ORFs included a cyclohexanol dehydrogenase, two different epsilon-caprolactone hydrolases and two 6-hydroxyhexanoate dehydrogenases belonging to different enzyme families. Because this environmental isolate is difficult to manipulate, we cannot determine at this time which cluster is involved in the degradation of cyclohexanone under physiological conditions. However, the original differential display experiments and some of the experiments reported here suggest the involvement of both gene clusters in the oxidation of cyclic ketones.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Revealing gene clusters associated with the development of cholangiocarcinoma, based on a time series analysis.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jianyu; Xiao, Zhifu; Zhao, Xiulei; Wu, Xiangsong

    2015-05-01

    Cholangiocarcinoma (CC) is a rapidly lethal malignancy and currently is considered to be incurable. Biomarkers related to the development of CC remain unclear. The present study aimed to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between normal tissue and intrahepatic CC, as well as specific gene expression patterns that changed together with the development of CC. By using a two‑way analysis of variance test, the biomarkers that could distinguish between normal tissue and intrahepatic CC dissected from different days were identified. A k‑means cluster method was used to identify gene clusters associated with the development of CC according to their changing expression pattern. Functional enrichment analysis was used to infer the function of each of the gene sets. A time series analysis was constructed to reveal gene signatures that were associated with the development of CC based on gene expression profile changes. Genes related to CC were shown to be involved in 'mitochondrion' and 'focal adhesion'. Three interesting gene groups were identified by the k‑means cluster method. Gene clusters with a unique expression pattern are related with the development of CC. The data of this study will facilitate novel discoveries regarding the genetic study of CC by further work.

  13. Histone gene number and organisation in Xenopus: Xenopus borealis has a homogeneous major cluster.

    PubMed Central

    Turner, P C; Woodland, H R

    1983-01-01

    Using a Xenopus laevis H4 cDNA clone as a probe we have determined that the numbers of H4 histone genes in Xenopus laevis and Xenopus borealis are approximately the same. These numbers are dependent on the hybridization stringency and we measure about 90 H4 genes per haploid genome after a 60 degrees C wash in 3 X SSC. Using histone probes from both Xenopus and sea urchin we have studied the genomic organization of histone genes in these two species. In all of the X.borealis individuals analyzed about 70% of the histone genes were present in a very homogeneous major cluster. These genes are present in the order H1, H2B, H2A, H4 and H3, and the minimum length of the repeated unit is 16kb. In contrast, the histone gene clusters in X.laevis showed considerable sequence variation. However two major cluster types with different gene orders seem to be present in most individuals. The differences in histone gene organization seen in species of Xenopus suggest that even in closely related vertebrates the major histone gene clusters are quite fluid structures in evolutionary terms. Images PMID:6298735

  14. The Local Maximum Clustering Method and Its Application in Microarray Gene Expression Data Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiongwu; Chen, Yidong; Brooks, Bernard R.; Su, Yan A.

    2004-12-01

    An unsupervised data clustering method, called the local maximum clustering (LMC) method, is proposed for identifying clusters in experiment data sets based on research interest. A magnitude property is defined according to research purposes, and data sets are clustered around each local maximum of the magnitude property. By properly defining a magnitude property, this method can overcome many difficulties in microarray data clustering such as reduced projection in similarities, noises, and arbitrary gene distribution. To critically evaluate the performance of this clustering method in comparison with other methods, we designed three model data sets with known cluster distributions and applied the LMC method as well as the hierarchic clustering method, the[InlineEquation not available: see fulltext.]-mean clustering method, and the self-organized map method to these model data sets. The results show that the LMC method produces the most accurate clustering results. As an example of application, we applied the method to cluster the leukemia samples reported in the microarray study of Golub et al. (1999).

  15. Wide Distribution of O157-Antigen Biosynthesis Gene Clusters in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Seto, Kazuko; Ooka, Tadasuke; Ogura, Yoshitoshi; Hayashi, Tetsuya; Osawa, Kayo; Osawa, Ro

    2011-01-01

    Most Escherichia coli O157-serogroup strains are classified as enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), which is known as an important food-borne pathogen for humans. They usually produce Shiga toxin (Stx) 1 and/or Stx2, and express H7-flagella antigen (or nonmotile). However, O157 strains that do not produce Stxs and express H antigens different from H7 are sometimes isolated from clinical and other sources. Multilocus sequence analysis revealed that these 21 O157:non-H7 strains tested in this study belong to multiple evolutionary lineages different from that of EHEC O157:H7 strains, suggesting a wide distribution of the gene set encoding the O157-antigen biosynthesis in multiple lineages. To gain insight into the gene organization and the sequence similarity of the O157-antigen biosynthesis gene clusters, we conducted genomic comparisons of the chromosomal regions (about 59 kb in each strain) covering the O-antigen gene cluster and its flanking regions between six O157:H7/non-H7 strains. Gene organization of the O157-antigen gene cluster was identical among O157:H7/non-H7 strains, but was divided into two distinct types at the nucleotide sequence level. Interestingly, distribution of the two types did not clearly follow the evolutionary lineages of the strains, suggesting that horizontal gene transfer of both types of O157-antigen gene clusters has occurred independently among E. coli strains. Additionally, detailed sequence comparison revealed that some positions of the repetitive extragenic palindromic (REP) sequences in the regions flanking the O-antigen gene clusters were coincident with possible recombination points. From these results, we conclude that the horizontal transfer of the O157-antigen gene clusters induced the emergence of multiple O157 lineages within E. coli and speculate that REP sequences may involve one of the driving forces for exchange and evolution of O-antigen loci. PMID:21876740

  16. Development of greenhouse screening for resistance to Aspergillus parasiticus infection and preharvest aflatoxin contamination in peanut.

    PubMed

    Anderson, W F; Holbrook, C C; Wilson, D M

    1996-01-01

    Aspergillus flavus Link ex Fries and A. parasiticus Speare can invade peanut kernels and under certain environmental conditions produce unacceptable levels of the mycotoxin aflatoxin. A concerted effort is underway to reduce aflatoxin contamination in peanut and peanut products. A potentially effective method of control in peanut is the discovery and use of genes for resistance to either fungal invasion or aflatoxin formation. The objective of the present experimental study was to develop an effective and efficient procedure for screening individual plants or pods of single plants for resistance to invasion by the aflatoxigenic fungi and subsequent aflatoxin production. Methods of obtaining adequate drought-stress and fungal infection were developed through this series of experiments. By completely isolating the pods from the root zone and imposing drought-stress only on pegs and pods, high levels of fungal infection were observed. High amounts of preharvest aflatoxin accumulation were also produced by completely isolating the pods from the root zone. Mid-bloom inoculation with A. parasiticus-contaminated cracked corn and drought-stress periods of 40 to 60 days were the most effective procedures. This technique was used to assess peanut genotypes previously identified as being partially resistant to A. parasiticus infection or aflatoxin contamination, and segregating populations from four crosses. Variability in aflatoxin contamination was found among the 11 genotypes evaluated, however, none were significantly lower than the standard cultivars. Broad-sense heritability of four crosses was estimated through evaluation of seed from individual plants in the F2 generation. The heritability estimates of crosses GFA-2 x NC-V11 and Tifton-8 X NC-V11 were 0.46 and 0.29, respectively, but mean aflatoxin contamination levels were high (73,295 and 27,305 ppb). This greenhouse screening method could be an effective tool when genes for superior aflatoxin resistance are

  17. Automatic Summarization of Mouse Gene Information by Clustering and Sentence Extraction from MEDLINE Abstracts

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jianji; Cohen, Aaron M.; Hersh, William

    2007-01-01

    Tools to automatically summarize gene information from the literature have the potential to help genomics researchers better interpret gene expression data and investigate biological pathways. The task of finding information on sets of genes is common for genomic researchers, and PubMed is still the first choice because the most recent and original information can only be found in the unstructured, free text biomedical literature. However, finding information on a set of genes by manually searching and scanning the literature is a time-consuming and daunting task for scientists. We built and evaluated a query-based automatic summarizer of information on mouse genes studied in microarray experiments. The system clusters a set of genes by MeSH, GO and free text features and presents summaries for each gene by ranked sentences extracted from MEDLINE abstracts. Evaluation showed that the system seems to provide meaningful clusters and informative sentences are ranked higher by the algorithm. PMID:18693953

  18. Biosilica formation in spicules of the sponge Suberites domuncula: synchronous expression of a gene cluster.

    PubMed

    Schröder, Heinz C; Perovic-Ottstadt, Sanja; Grebenjuk, Vladislav A; Engel, Sylvia; Müller, Isabel M; Müller, Werner E G

    2005-06-01

    The formation of spicules is a complicated morphogenetic process in sponges (phylum Porifera). The primmorph system was used to demonstrate that in the demosponge Suberites domuncula the synthesis of the siliceous spicules starts intracellularly and is dependent on the concentration of silicic acid. To understand spicule formation, a cluster of genes was isolated. In the center of this cluster is the silicatein gene, which codes for the enzyme that synthesizes spicules. This gene is flanked by an ankyrin repeat gene at one side and by a tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor and a protein kinase gene at the other side. All genes are strongly expressed in primmorphs and intact animals after exposure to silicic acid, and this expression is restricted to those areas where the spicule formation starts or where spicules are maintained in the animals. Our observations suggest that in S. domuncula a coordinated expression of physically linked genes is essential for the synthesis of the major skeletal elements.

  19. Effect of climate change on Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxin B1 production

    PubMed Central

    Medina, Angel; Rodriguez, Alicia; Magan, Naresh

    2014-01-01

    This review considers the available information on the potential impact of key environmental factors and their interactions on the molecular ecology, growth and aflatoxin production by Aspergillus flavus in vitro and in maize grain. The recent studies which have been carried out to examine the impact of water activity × temperature on aflatoxin biosynthesis and phenotypic aflatoxin production are examined. These have shown that there is a direct relationship between the relative expression of key regulatory and structural genes under different environmental conditions which correlate directly with aflatoxin B1 production. A model has been developed to integrate the relative expression of 10 biosynthetic genes in the pathway, growth and aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) production which was validated under elevated temperature and water stress conditions. The effect of interacting conditions of aw × temperature × elevated CO2 (2 × and 3 × existing levels) are detailed for the first time. This suggests that while such interacting environmental conditions have little effect on growth they do have a significant impact on aflatoxin biosynthetic gene expression (structural aflD and regulatory aflR genes) and can significantly stimulate the production of AFB1. While the individual factors alone have an impact, it is the combined effect of these three abiotic factors which have an impact on mycotoxin production. This approach provides data which is necessary to help predict the real impacts of climate change on mycotoxigenic fungi. PMID:25101060

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Cytotoxicity of aflatoxin on red blood corpuscles

    SciTech Connect

    Verma, R.J.; Raval, P.J. )

    1991-09-01

    The exact mechanism of aflatoxin action is not clearly understood. In the present investigation the authors report morphological aberrations and increased rate of hemolysis caused by aflatoxins in vitro.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Selfish Operons: Horizontal Transfer May Drive the Evolution of Gene Clusters

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, J. G.; Roth, J. R.

    1996-01-01

    A model is presented whereby the formation of gene clusters in bacteria is mediated by transfer of DNA within and among taxa. Bacterial operons are typically composed of genes whose products contribute to a single function. If this function is subject to weak selection or to long periods with no selection, the contributing genes may accumulate mutations and be lost by genetic drift. From a cell's perspective, once several genes are lost, the function can be restored only if all missing genes were acquired simultaneously by lateral transfer. The probability of transfer of multiple genes increases when genes are physically proximate. From a gene's perspective, horizontal transfer provides a way to escape evolutionary loss by allowing colonization of organisms lacking the encoded functions. Since organisms bearing clustered genes are more likely to act as successful donors, clustered genes would spread among bacterial genomes. The physical proximity of genes may be considered a selfish property of the operon since it affects the probability of successful horizontal transfer but may provide no physiological benefit to the host. This process predicts a mosaic structure of modern genomes in which ancestral chromosomal material is interspersed with novel, horizontally transferred operons providing peripheral metabolic functions. PMID:8844169

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

    PubMed Central

    Kollmar, Martin; Hatje, Klas

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Aflatoxin in Tunisian aleppo pine nuts.

    PubMed

    Boutrif, E; Jemmali, M; Pohland, A E; Campbell, A D

    1977-05-01

    Twenty-six of 50 Aleppo pine nuts samples collected throughout Tunisia showed relatively high levels of contamination by aflatoxin. Some samples contained as much as 2000 ppb aflatoxin B1, and very few contained less than 100 ppb. Total aflatoxins as high as 7550 ppb were found. A traditional pudding, widely consumed in Tunisia, which was prepared from contaminated nuts still contained more than 80% of the aflatoxin originally present in the nuts.

  7. Genomics-driven discovery of the pneumocandin biosynthetic gene cluster in the fungus Glarea lozoyensis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The antifungal therapy caspofungin is a semi-synthetic derivative of pneumocandin B0, a lipohexapeptide produced by the fungus Glarea lozoyensis, and was the first member of the echinocandin class approved for human therapy. The nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS)-polyketide synthases (PKS) gene cluster responsible for pneumocandin biosynthesis from G. lozoyensis has not been elucidated to date. In this study, we report the elucidation of the pneumocandin biosynthetic gene cluster by whole genome sequencing of the G. lozoyensis wild-type strain ATCC 20868. Results The pneumocandin biosynthetic gene cluster contains a NRPS (GLNRPS4) and a PKS (GLPKS4) arranged in tandem, two cytochrome P450 monooxygenases, seven other modifying enzymes, and genes for L-homotyrosine biosynthesis, a component of the peptide core. Thus, the pneumocandin biosynthetic gene cluster is significantly more autonomous and organized than that of the recently characterized echinocandin B gene cluster. Disruption mutants of GLNRPS4 and GLPKS4 no longer produced the pneumocandins (A0 and B0), and the Δglnrps4 and Δglpks4 mutants lost antifungal activity against the human pathogenic fungus Candida albicans. In addition to pneumocandins, the G. lozoyensis genome encodes a rich repertoire of natural product-encoding genes including 24 PKSs, six NRPSs, five PKS-NRPS hybrids, two dimethylallyl tryptophan synthases, and 14 terpene synthases. Conclusions Characterization of the gene cluster provides a blueprint for engineering new pneumocandin derivatives with improved pharmacological properties. Whole genome estimation of the secondary metabolite-encoding genes from G. lozoyensis provides yet another example of the huge potential for drug discovery from natural products from the fungal kingdom. PMID:23688303

  8. Biotechnological advances for combating Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxin contamination in crops.

    PubMed

    Bhatnagar-Mathur, Pooja; Sunkara, Sowmini; Bhatnagar-Panwar, Madhurima; Waliyar, Farid; Sharma, Kiran Kumar

    2015-05-01

    Aflatoxins are toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic and immunosuppressive byproducts of Aspergillus spp. that contaminate a wide range of crops such as maize, peanut, and cotton. Aflatoxin not only affects crop production but renders the produce unfit for consumption and harmful to human and livestock health, with stringent threshold limits of acceptability. In many crops, breeding for resistance is not a reliable option because of the limited availability of genotypes with durable resistance to Aspergillus. Understanding the fungal/crop/environment interactions involved in aflatoxin contamination is therefore essential in designing measures for its prevention and control. For a sustainable solution to aflatoxin contamination, research must be focused on identifying and improving knowledge of host-plant resistance factors to aflatoxin accumulation. Current advances in genetic transformation, proteomics, RNAi technology, and marker-assisted selection offer great potential in minimizing pre-harvest aflatoxin contamination in cultivated crop species. Moreover, developing effective phenotyping strategies for transgenic as well as precision breeding of resistance genes into commercial varieties is critical. While appropriate storage practices can generally minimize post-harvest aflatoxin contamination in crops, the use of biotechnology to interrupt the probability of pre-harvest infection and contamination has the potential to provide sustainable solution. PMID:25804815

  9. Identification of the Herboxidiene Biosynthetic Gene Cluster in Streptomyces chromofuscus ATCC 49982

    PubMed Central

    Shao, Lei; Zi, Jiachen; Zeng, Jia

    2012-01-01

    The 53-kb biosynthetic gene cluster for the novel anticholesterol natural product herboxidiene was identified in Streptomyces chromofuscus ATCC 49982 by genome sequencing and gene inactivation. In addition to herboxidiene, a biosynthetic intermediate, 18-deoxy-herboxidiene, was also isolated from the fermentation broth of S. chromofuscus ATCC 49982 as a minor metabolite. PMID:22247174

  10. Phage p1-derived artificial chromosomes facilitate heterologous expression of the FK506 gene cluster.

    PubMed

    Jones, Adam C; Gust, Bertolt; Kulik, Andreas; Heide, Lutz; Buttner, Mark J; Bibb, Mervyn J

    2013-01-01

    We describe a procedure for the conjugative transfer of phage P1-derived Artificial Chromosome (PAC) library clones containing large natural product gene clusters (≥70 kilobases) to Streptomyces coelicolor strains that have been engineered for improved heterologous production of natural products. This approach is demonstrated using the gene cluster for FK506 (tacrolimus), a clinically important immunosuppressant of high commercial value. The entire 83.5 kb FK506 gene cluster from Streptomyces tsukubaensis NRRL 18488 present in one 130 kb PAC clone was introduced into four different S. coelicolor derivatives and all produced FK506 and smaller amounts of the related compound FK520. FK506 yields were increased by approximately five-fold (from 1.2 mg L(-1) to 5.5 mg L(-1)) in S. coelicolor M1146 containing the FK506 PAC upon over-expression of the FK506 LuxR regulatory gene fkbN. The PAC-based gene cluster conjugation methodology described here provides a tractable means to evaluate and manipulate FK506 biosynthesis and is readily applicable to other large gene clusters encoding natural products of interest to medicine, agriculture and biotechnology.

  11. Structural variation of the ribosomal gene cluster within the class Insecta

    SciTech Connect

    Mukha, D.V.; Sidorenko, A.P.; Lazebnaya, I.V.

    1995-09-01

    General estimation of ribosomal DNA variation within the class Insecta is presented. It is shown that, using blot-hybridization, one can detect differences in the structure of the ribosomal gene cluster not only between genera within an order, but also between species within a genera, including sibling species. Structure of the ribosomal gene cluster of the Coccinellidae family (ladybirds) is analyzed. It is shown that cloned highly conservative regions of ribosomal DNA of Tetrahymena pyriformis can be used as probes for analyzing ribosomal genes in insects. 24 refs., 4 figs.

  12. Heterologous Expression of Fluostatin Gene Cluster Leads to a Bioactive Heterodimer.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chunfang; Huang, Chunshuai; Zhang, Wenjun; Zhu, Yiguang; Zhang, Changsheng

    2015-11-01

    The biosynthesis gene cluster (fls) for atypical angucycline fluostatins was identified from the marine derived Micromonospora rosaria SCSIO N160 and was confirmed by gene knockouts and the biochemical characterization of a bifunctional oxygenase FlsO2. The absolute configuration of the key biosynthetic intermediate prejadomycin was determined for the first time by Cu Kα X-ray analysis. Heterologous expression of the intact fls-gene cluster in Streptomyces coelicolor YF11 in the presence of 3% sea salts led to the isolation of two new compounds: fluostatin L (1) and difluostatin A (2). Difluostatin A (2), an unusual heterodimer, exhibited antibacterial activities.

  13. 7 CFR 983.150 - Aflatoxin regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... Agreements and Orders; Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts), DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE PISTACHIOS GROWN IN CALIFORNIA... handler shall ship for domestic human consumption, pistachios that exceed an aflatoxin level of 15 ppb... covered by an aflatoxin inspection certificate. Pistachios that fail to meet the aflatoxin...

  14. 7 CFR 983.50 - Aflatoxin regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Aflatoxin regulations. 983.50 Section 983.50..., ARIZONA, AND NEW MEXICO Regulations § 983.50 Aflatoxin regulations. The committee shall establish, with the approval of the Secretary, such aflatoxin sampling, analysis, and inspection...

  15. 7 CFR 983.150 - Aflatoxin regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Aflatoxin regulations. 983.150 Section 983.150..., ARIZONA, AND NEW MEXICO Rules and Regulations § 983.150 Aflatoxin regulations. (a) Maximum level. No handler shall ship for domestic human consumption, pistachios that exceed an aflatoxin level of 15...

  16. 7 CFR 983.150 - Aflatoxin regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Aflatoxin regulations. 983.150 Section 983.150..., ARIZONA, AND NEW MEXICO Rules and Regulations § 983.150 Aflatoxin regulations. (a) Maximum level. No handler shall ship for domestic human consumption, pistachios that exceed an aflatoxin level of 15...

  17. 7 CFR 983.50 - Aflatoxin regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Aflatoxin regulations. 983.50 Section 983.50..., ARIZONA, AND NEW MEXICO Regulations § 983.50 Aflatoxin regulations. The committee shall establish, with the approval of the Secretary, such aflatoxin sampling, analysis, and inspection...

  18. 7 CFR 983.50 - Aflatoxin regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Aflatoxin regulations. 983.50 Section 983.50..., ARIZONA, AND NEW MEXICO Regulations § 983.50 Aflatoxin regulations. The committee shall establish, with the approval of the Secretary, such aflatoxin sampling, analysis, and inspection...

  19. 7 CFR 983.150 - Aflatoxin regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Aflatoxin regulations. 983.150 Section 983.150..., ARIZONA, AND NEW MEXICO Rules and Regulations § 983.150 Aflatoxin regulations. (a) Maximum level. No handler shall ship for domestic human consumption, pistachios that exceed an aflatoxin level of 15...

  20. 7 CFR 983.150 - Aflatoxin regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Aflatoxin regulations. 983.150 Section 983.150..., ARIZONA, AND NEW MEXICO Rules and Regulations § 983.150 Aflatoxin regulations. (a) Maximum level. No handler shall ship for domestic human consumption, pistachios that exceed an aflatoxin level of 15...

  1. 7 CFR 983.50 - Aflatoxin regulations.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 8 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Aflatoxin regulations. 983.50 Section 983.50..., ARIZONA, AND NEW MEXICO Regulations § 983.50 Aflatoxin regulations. The committee shall establish, with the approval of the Secretary, such aflatoxin sampling, analysis, and inspection...

  2. A putative greigite-type magnetosome gene cluster from the candidate phylum Latescibacteria.

    PubMed

    Lin, Wei; Pan, Yongxin

    2015-04-01

    The intracellular biomineralization of magnetite and/or greigite magnetosomes in magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) is strictly controlled by a group of conserved genes, termed magnetosome genes, which are organized as clusters (or islands) in MTB genomes. So far, all reported MTB are affiliated within the Proteobacteria phylum, the Nitrospirae phylum and the candidate division OP3. Here, we report the discovery of a putative magnetosome gene cluster structure from the draft genome of an uncultivated bacterium belonging to the candidate phylum Latescibacteria (formerly candidate division WS3) recently recovered by Rinke and colleagues, which contains 10 genes with homology to magnetosome mam genes of magnetotactic Proteobacteria and Nitrospirae. Moreover, these genes are phylogenetically closely related to greigite-type magnetosome genes that were only found from the Deltaproteobacteria MTB before, suggesting that the greigite genes may originate earlier than previously imagined. These findings indicate that some members of Latescibacteria may be capable of forming greigite magnetosomes, and thus may play previously unrecognized roles in environmental iron and sulfur cycles. The conserved genomic structure of magnetosome gene cluster in Latescibacteria phylum supports the hypothesis of horizontal transfer of these genes among distantly related bacterial groups in nature.

  3. Co-clustering phenome–genome for phenotype classification and disease gene discovery

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, TaeHyun; Atluri, Gowtham; Xie, MaoQiang; Dey, Sanjoy; Hong, Changjin; Kumar, Vipin; Kuang, Rui

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the categorization of human diseases is critical for reliably identifying disease causal genes. Recently, genome-wide studies of abnormal chromosomal locations related to diseases have mapped >2000 phenotype–gene relations, which provide valuable information for classifying diseases and identifying candidate genes as drug targets. In this article, a regularized non-negative matrix tri-factorization (R-NMTF) algorithm is introduced to co-cluster phenotypes and genes, and simultaneously detect associations between the detected phenotype clusters and gene clusters. The R-NMTF algorithm factorizes the phenotype–gene association matrix under the prior knowledge from phenotype similarity network and protein–protein interaction network, supervised by the label information from known disease classes and biological pathways. In the experiments on disease phenotype–gene associations in OMIM and KEGG disease pathways, R-NMTF significantly improved the classification of disease phenotypes and disease pathway genes compared with support vector machines and Label Propagation in cross-validation on the annotated phenotypes and genes. The newly predicted phenotypes in each disease class are highly consistent with human phenotype ontology annotations. The roles of the new member genes in the disease pathways are examined and validated in the protein–protein interaction subnetworks. Extensive literature review also confirmed many new members of the disease classes and pathways as well as the predicted associations between disease phenotype classes and pathways. PMID:22735708

  4. Structure and gene cluster of the O-antigen of Escherichia coli O137.

    PubMed

    Perepelov, Andrei V; Guo, Xi; Senchenkova, Sof'ya N; Li, Yayue; Shashkov, Alexander S; Liu, Bin; Knirel, Yuriy A

    2016-03-01

    The O-polysaccharide (O-antigen) was isolated from the lipopolysaccharide of Escherichia coli O137 and studied by sugar analysis and NMR spectroscopy. The following structure of the branched tetrasaccharide repeating unit was established: Formula: see text] Both structure and gene cluster of the E. coli O137 polysaccharide are related to those of the E. coli K40 polysaccharide (Amor et al., 1999), which lacks the side-chain glucosylation but contains serine that is amide-linked to GlcA. Functions of genes in the O137-antigen gene cluster were assigned by a comparison with those in K40 and sequences in the available databases. Particularly, predicted glycosyltransferases encoded in the gene cluster were assigned to the formation of three glycosidic linkages in the O-polysaccharide repeating unit.

  5. Identification and manipulation of the pleuromutilin gene cluster from Clitopilus passeckerianus for increased rapid antibiotic production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bailey, Andy M.; Alberti, Fabrizio; Kilaru, Sreedhar; Collins, Catherine M.; de Mattos-Shipley, Kate; Hartley, Amanda J.; Hayes, Patrick; Griffin, Alison; Lazarus, Colin M.; Cox, Russell J.; Willis, Christine L.; O’Dwyer, Karen; Spence, David W.; Foster, Gary D.

    2016-05-01

    Semi-synthetic derivatives of the tricyclic diterpene antibiotic pleuromutilin from the basidiomycete Clitopilus passeckerianus are important in combatting bacterial infections in human and veterinary medicine. These compounds belong to the only new class of antibiotics for human applications, with novel mode of action and lack of cross-resistance, representing a class with great potential. Basidiomycete fungi, being dikaryotic, are not generally amenable to strain improvement. We report identification of the seven-gene pleuromutilin gene cluster and verify that using various targeted approaches aimed at increasing antibiotic production in C. passeckerianus, no improvement in yield was achieved. The seven-gene pleuromutilin cluster was reconstructed within Aspergillus oryzae giving production of pleuromutilin in an ascomycete, with a significant increase (2106%) in production. This is the first gene cluster from a basidiomycete to be successfully expressed in an ascomycete, and paves the way for the exploitation of a metabolically rich but traditionally overlooked group of fungi.

  6. Microbisporicin gene cluster reveals unusual features of lantibiotic biosynthesis in actinomycetes

    PubMed Central

    Foulston, Lucy C.; Bibb, Mervyn J.

    2010-01-01

    Lantibiotics are ribosomally synthesized, posttranslationally modified peptide antibiotics. The biosynthetic gene cluster for microbisporicin, a potent lantibiotic produced by the actinomycete Microbispora corallina containing chlorinated tryptophan and dihydroxyproline residues, was identified by genome scanning and isolated from an M. corallina cosmid library. Heterologous expression in Nonomuraea sp. ATCC 39727 confirmed that all of the genes required for microbisporicin biosynthesis were present in the cluster. Deletion, in M. corallina, of the gene (mibA) predicted to encode the prepropeptide abolished microbisporicin production. Further deletion analysis revealed insights into the biosynthesis of this unusual and potentially clinically useful lantibiotic, shedding light on mechanisms of regulation and self-resistance. In particular, we report an example of the involvement of a tryptophan halogenase in the modification of a ribosomally synthesized peptide and the pathway-specific regulation of an antibiotic biosynthetic gene cluster by an extracytoplasmic function σ factor–anti-σ factor complex. PMID:20628010

  7. Identification and manipulation of the pleuromutilin gene cluster from Clitopilus passeckerianus for increased rapid antibiotic production

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, Andy M.; Alberti, Fabrizio; Kilaru, Sreedhar; Collins, Catherine M.; de Mattos-Shipley, Kate; Hartley, Amanda J.; Hayes, Patrick; Griffin, Alison; Lazarus, Colin M.; Cox, Russell J.; Willis, Christine L.; O’Dwyer, Karen; Spence, David W.; Foster, Gary D.

    2016-01-01

    Semi-synthetic derivatives of the tricyclic diterpene antibiotic pleuromutilin from the basidiomycete Clitopilus passeckerianus are important in combatting bacterial infections in human and veterinary medicine. These compounds belong to the only new class of antibiotics for human applications, with novel mode of action and lack of cross-resistance, representing a class with great potential. Basidiomycete fungi, being dikaryotic, are not generally amenable to strain improvement. We report identification of the seven-gene pleuromutilin gene cluster and verify that using various targeted approaches aimed at increasing antibiotic production in C. passeckerianus, no improvement in yield was achieved. The seven-gene pleuromutilin cluster was reconstructed within Aspergillus oryzae giving production of pleuromutilin in an ascomycete, with a significant increase (2106%) in production. This is the first gene cluster from a basidiomycete to be successfully expressed in an ascomycete, and paves the way for the exploitation of a metabolically rich but traditionally overlooked group of fungi. PMID:27143514

  8. Microbisporicin gene cluster reveals unusual features of lantibiotic biosynthesis in actinomycetes.

    PubMed

    Foulston, Lucy C; Bibb, Mervyn J

    2010-07-27

    Lantibiotics are ribosomally synthesized, posttranslationally modified peptide antibiotics. The biosynthetic gene cluster for microbisporicin, a potent lantibiotic produced by the actinomycete Microbispora corallina containing chlorinated tryptophan and dihydroxyproline residues, was identified by genome scanning and isolated from an M. corallina cosmid library. Heterologous expression in Nonomuraea sp. ATCC 39727 confirmed that all of the genes required for microbisporicin biosynthesis were present in the cluster. Deletion, in M. corallina, of the gene (mibA) predicted to encode the prepropeptide abolished microbisporicin production. Further deletion analysis revealed insights into the biosynthesis of this unusual and potentially clinically useful lantibiotic, shedding light on mechanisms of regulation and self-resistance. In particular, we report an example of the involvement of a tryptophan halogenase in the modification of a ribosomally synthesized peptide and the pathway-specific regulation of an antibiotic biosynthetic gene cluster by an extracytoplasmic function sigma factor-anti-sigma factor complex.

  9. Characterization of the rat glutathione S-transferase Yc2 subunit gene, GSTA5: identification of a putative antioxidant-responsive element in the 5'-flanking region of rat GSTA5 that may mediate chemoprotection against aflatoxin B1.

    PubMed

    Pulford, D J; Hayes, J D

    1996-08-15

    We have isolated and characterized genomic DNA encoding the rat glutathione S-transferase Yc2 subunit. This protein is now referred to as rGSTA5 and is noteworthy because of its high activity towards aflatoxin B1-8,9-epoxide, its marked inducibility by chemoprotectors, its sex-specific regulation, and its over-expression in hepatoma and preneoplastic nodules. The rGSTA5 gene, which was isolated on two overlapping bacteriophage lambda clones, is approx. 12 kb in length and, unlike other class Alpha genes described to date, it comprises six exons. The transcription start site has been identified 228 bp upstream from the ATG translational initiation codon, and is situated 51 bp downstream from a consensus TATA-box. Deletion analysis, using luciferase reporter constructs, has shown that the region between -177 bp and +65 bp from the transcriptional start site contains a functional promoter. Computer-assisted analysis of the upstream sequence has indicated the presence of an antioxidant-responsive element (ARE), and several elements thought to be required for tissue-specific expression of the enzyme. In addition, several putative oestrogen-responsive half sites were observed in both upstream and intronic sequences. PMID:8761455

  10. Paradigm of Tunable Clustering Using Binarization of Consensus Partition Matrices (Bi-CoPaM) for Gene Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Abu-Jamous, Basel; Fa, Rui; Roberts, David J.; Nandi, Asoke K.

    2013-01-01

    Clustering analysis has a growing role in the study of co-expressed genes for gene discovery. Conventional binary and fuzzy clustering do not embrace the biological reality that some genes may be irrelevant for a problem and not be assigned to a cluster, while other genes may participate in several biological functions and should simultaneously belong to multiple clusters. Also, these algorithms cannot generate tight clusters that focus on their cores or wide clusters that overlap and contain all possibly relevant genes. In this paper, a new clustering paradigm is proposed. In this paradigm, all three eventualities of a gene being exclusively assigned to a single cluster, being assigned to multiple clusters, and being not assigned to any cluster are possible. These possibilities are realised through the primary novelty of the introduction of tunable binarization techniques. Results from multiple clustering experiments are aggregated to generate one fuzzy consensus partition matrix (CoPaM), which is then binarized to obtain the final binary partitions. This is referred to as Binarization of Consensus Partition Matrices (Bi-CoPaM). The method has been tested with a set of synthetic datasets and a set of five real yeast cell-cycle datasets. The results demonstrate its validity in generating relevant tight, wide, and complementary clusters that can meet requirements of different gene discovery studies. PMID:23409186

  11. Clusters of Antibiotic Resistance Genes Enriched Together Stay Together in Swine Agriculture

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT   Antibiotic resistance is a worldwide health risk, but the influence of animal agriculture on the genetic context and enrichment of individual antibiotic resistance alleles remains unclear. Using quantitative PCR followed by amplicon sequencing, we quantified and sequenced 44 genes related to antibiotic resistance, mobile genetic elements, and bacterial phylogeny in microbiomes from U.S. laboratory swine and from swine farms from three Chinese regions. We identified highly abundant resistance clusters: groups of resistance and mobile genetic element alleles that cooccur. For example, the abundance of genes conferring resistance to six classes of antibiotics together with class 1 integrase and the abundance of IS6100-type transposons in three Chinese regions are directly correlated. These resistance cluster genes likely colocalize in microbial genomes in the farms. Resistance cluster alleles were dramatically enriched (up to 1 to 10% as abundant as 16S rRNA) and indicate that multidrug-resistant bacteria are likely the norm rather than an exception in these communities. This enrichment largely occurred independently of phylogenetic composition; thus, resistance clusters are likely present in many bacterial taxa. Furthermore, resistance clusters contain resistance genes that confer resistance to antibiotics independently of their particular use on the farms. Selection for these clusters is likely due to the use of only a subset of the broad range of chemicals to which the clusters confer resistance. The scale of animal agriculture and its wastes, the enrichment and horizontal gene transfer potential of the clusters, and the vicinity of large human populations suggest that managing this resistance reservoir is important for minimizing human risk. PMID:27073098

  12. Unbiased Functional Clustering of Gene Variants with a Phenotypic-Linkage Network

    PubMed Central

    Honti, Frantisek; Meader, Stephen; Webber, Caleb

    2014-01-01

    Groupwise functional analysis of gene variants is becoming standard in next-generation sequencing studies. As the function of many genes is unknown and their classification to pathways is scant, functional associations between genes are often inferred from large-scale omics data. Such data types—including protein–protein interactions and gene co-expression networks—are used to examine the interrelations of the implicated genes. Statistical significance is assessed by comparing the interconnectedness of the mutated genes with that of random gene sets. However, interconnectedness can be affected by confounding bias, potentially resulting in false positive findings. We show that genes implicated through de novo sequence variants are biased in their coding-sequence length and longer genes tend to cluster together, which leads to exaggerated p-values in functional studies; we present here an integrative method that addresses these bias. To discern molecular pathways relevant to complex disease, we have inferred functional associations between human genes from diverse data types and assessed them with a novel phenotype-based method. Examining the functional association between de novo gene variants, we control for the heretofore unexplored confounding bias in coding-sequence length. We test different data types and networks and find that the disease-associated genes cluster more significantly in an integrated phenotypic-linkage network than in other gene networks. We present a tool of superior power to identify functional associations among genes mutated in the same disease even after accounting for significant sequencing study bias and demonstrate the suitability of this method to functionally cluster variant genes underlying polygenic disorders. PMID:25166029

  13. Aflatoxin regulations in a network of global maize trade.

    PubMed

    Wu, Felicia; Guclu, Hasan

    2012-01-01

    Worldwide, food supplies often contain unavoidable contaminants, many of which adversely affect health and hence are subject to regulations of maximum tolerable levels in food. These regulations differ from nation to nation, and may affect patterns of food trade. We soughtto determine whether there is an association between nations' food safety regulations and global food trade patterns, with implications for public health and policymaking. We developed a network model of maize trade around the world. From maize import/export data for 217 nations from 2000-2009, we calculated basic statistics on volumes of trade; then examined how regulations of aflatoxin, a common contaminant of maize, are similar or different between pairs of nations engaging in significant amounts of maize trade. Globally, market segregation appears to occur among clusters of nations. The United States is at the center of one cluster; European countries make up another cluster with hardly any maize trade with the US; and Argentina, Brazil, and China export maize all over the world. Pairs of nations trading large amounts of maize have very similar aflatoxin regulations: nations with strict standards tend to trade maize with each other, while nations with more relaxed standards tend to trade maize with each other. Rarely among the top pairs of maize-trading nations do total aflatoxin standards (standards based on the sum of the levels of aflatoxins B(1), B(2), G(1), and G(2)) differ by more than 5 µg/kg. These results suggest that, globally, separate maize trading communities emerge; and nations tend to trade with other nations that have very similar food safety standards.

  14. Aflatoxin regulations in a network of global maize trade.

    PubMed

    Wu, Felicia; Guclu, Hasan

    2012-01-01

    Worldwide, food supplies often contain unavoidable contaminants, many of which adversely affect health and hence are subject to regulations of maximum tolerable levels in food. These regulations differ from nation to nation, and may affect patterns of food trade. We soughtto determine whether there is an association between nations' food safety regulations and global food trade patterns, with implications for public health and policymaking. We developed a network model of maize trade around the world. From maize import/export data for 217 nations from 2000-2009, we calculated basic statistics on volumes of trade; then examined how regulations of aflatoxin, a common contaminant of maize, are similar or different between pairs of nations engaging in significant amounts of maize trade. Globally, market segregation appears to occur among clusters of nations. The United States is at the center of one cluster; European countries make up another cluster with hardly any maize trade with the US; and Argentina, Brazil, and China export maize all over the world. Pairs of nations trading large amounts of maize have very similar aflatoxin regulations: nations with strict standards tend to trade maize with each other, while nations with more relaxed standards tend to trade maize with each other. Rarely among the top pairs of maize-trading nations do total aflatoxin standards (standards based on the sum of the levels of aflatoxins B(1), B(2), G(1), and G(2)) differ by more than 5 µg/kg. These results suggest that, globally, separate maize trading communities emerge; and nations tend to trade with other nations that have very similar food safety standards. PMID:23049773

  15. Aflatoxin Regulations in a Network of Global Maize Trade

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Felicia; Guclu, Hasan

    2012-01-01

    Worldwide, food supplies often contain unavoidable contaminants, many of which adversely affect health and hence are subject to regulations of maximum tolerable levels in food. These regulations differ from nation to nation, and may affect patterns of food trade. We soughtto determine whether there is an association between nations' food safety regulations and global food trade patterns, with implications for public health and policymaking. We developed a network model of maize trade around the world. From maize import/export data for 217 nations from 2000–2009, we calculated basic statistics on volumes of trade; then examined how regulations of aflatoxin, a common contaminant of maize, are similar or different between pairs of nations engaging in significant amounts of maize trade. Globally, market segregation appears to occur among clusters of nations. The United States is at the center of one cluster; European countries make up another cluster with hardly any maize trade with the US; and Argentina, Brazil, and China export maize all over the world. Pairs of nations trading large amounts of maize have very similar aflatoxin regulations: nations with strict standards tend to trade maize with each other, while nations with more relaxed standards tend to trade maize with each other. Rarely among the top pairs of maize-trading nations do total aflatoxin standards (standards based on the sum of the levels of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2) differ by more than 5 µg/kg. These results suggest that, globally, separate maize trading communities emerge; and nations tend to trade with other nations that have very similar food safety standards. PMID:23049773

  16. Population structure and aflatoxin production by Aspergillus Sect. Flavi from maize in Nigeria and Ghana.

    PubMed

    Perrone, Giancarlo; Haidukowski, Miriam; Stea, Gaetano; Epifani, Filomena; Bandyopadhyay, Ranajit; Leslie, John F; Logrieco, Antonio

    2014-08-01

    Aflatoxins are highly toxic carcinogens that contaminate crops worldwide. Previous studies conducted in Nigeria and Ghana found high concentrations of aflatoxins in pre- and post-harvest maize. However, little information is available on the population structure of Aspergillus Sect. Flavi in West Africa. We determined the incidence of Aspergillus Sect. Flavi and the level of aflatoxin contamination in 91 maize samples from farms and markets in Nigeria and Ghana. Aspergillus spp. were recovered from 61/91 maize samples and aflatoxins B1 and/or B2 occurred in 36/91 samples. Three samples from the farms also contained aflatoxin G1 and/or G2. Farm samples were more highly contaminated than were samples from the market, in terms of both the percentage of the samples contaminated and the level of mycotoxin contamination. One-hundred-and-thirty-five strains representative of the 1163 strains collected were identified by using a multilocus sequence analysis of portions of the genes encoding calmodulin, β-tubulin and actin, and evaluated for aflatoxin production. Of the 135 strains, there were 110 - Aspergillus flavus, 20 - Aspergillus tamarii, 2 - Aspergillus wentii, 2 - Aspergillus flavofurcatus, and 1 - Aspergillus parvisclerotigenus. Twenty-five of the A. flavus strains and the A. parvisclerotigenus strain were the only strains that produced aflatoxins. The higher contamination of the farm than the market samples suggests that the aflatoxin exposure of rural farmers is even higher than previously estimated based on reported contamination of market samples. The relative infrequency of the A. flavus SBG strains, producing small sclerotia and high levels of both aflatoxins (B and G), suggests that long-term chronic exposure to this mycotoxin are a much higher health risk in West Africa than is the acute toxicity due to very highly contaminated maize in east Africa.

  17. Aflatoxin B1 metabolism by 3-methylcholanthrene-induced hamster hepatic cytochrome P-450s.

    PubMed

    Lai, T S; Chiang, J Y

    1990-01-01

    We have studied the activation of aflatoxin B1 by hamster liver microsomes and purified hamster cytochrome P-450 isozymes using a umu mutagen test. The hamster liver microsomes or S-9 fractions were much more active than rat liver microsomes or S-9 fractions in the activation of umu gene expression by aflatoxin B1 metabolites. 3-Methyl-cholanthrene treatment increased aflatoxin B1 activation by hamster liver microsomes. Two major 3-methylcholanthrene-inducible cytochrome P-450 isozymes, P-450 MC1 (IIA) and P-450 MC4 (IA2), were purified from 3-methylcholanthrene-treated hamster liver microsomes, and the metabolism of aflatoxin B1 by these two cytochromes was studied. In the reconstituted enzyme system, both P-450 MC1 and P-450 MC4 were highly active in the activation of aflatoxin B1, and antibodies against these P-450s specifically inhibited these activities. Antibody against P-450 MC1 inhibited the activation of aflatoxin B1 by 20% in the presence of 3-methyl-cholanthrene-treated hamster liver microsomes. In contrast, antibody against P-450 MC4 stimulated the activity by 175%. These results indicated that hamster P-450 MC1 might convert aflatoxin B1 to more toxic metabolite(s), whereas P-450 MC4 might convert aflatoxin B1 to less toxic metabolite(s), than aflatoxin B1 in liver microsomes. The metabolite(s) produced by both hamster cytochrome P-450 MC1 and MC4 were genotoxic in the umu mutagen test. PMID:2126562

  18. A Genomics Based Discovery of Secondary Metabolite Biosynthetic Gene Clusters in Aspergillus ustus

    PubMed Central

    Pi, Borui; Yu, Dongliang; Dai, Fangwei; Song, Xiaoming; Zhu, Congyi; Li, Hongye; Yu, Yunsong

    2015-01-01

    Secondary metabolites (SMs) produced by Aspergillus have been extensively studied for their crucial roles in human health, medicine and industrial production. However, the resulting information is almost exclusively derived from a few model organisms, including A. nidulans and A. fumigatus, but little is known about rare pathogens. In this study, we performed a genomics based discovery of SM biosynthetic gene clusters in Aspergillus ustus, a rare human pathogen. A total of 52 gene clusters were identified in the draft genome of A. ustus 3.3904, such as the sterigmatocystin biosynthesis pathway that was commonly found in Aspergillus species. In addition, several SM biosynthetic gene clusters were firstly identified in Aspergillus that were possibly acquired by horizontal gene transfer, including the vrt cluster that is responsible for viridicatumtoxin production. Comparative genomics revealed that A. ustus shared the largest number of SM biosynthetic gene clusters with A. nidulans, but much fewer with other Aspergilli like A. niger and A. oryzae. These findings would help to understand the diversity and evolution of SM biosynthesis pathways in genus Aspergillus, and we hope they will also promote the development of fungal identification methodology in clinic. PMID:25706180

  19. Genetic analysis of chromosomal mutations in the polysialic acid gene cluster of Escherichia coli K1.

    PubMed Central

    Vimr, E R; Aaronson, W; Silver, R P

    1989-01-01

    The kps gene cluster of Escherichia coli K1 encodes functions for sialic acid synthesis, activation, polymerization, and possibly translocation of polymer to the cell surface. The size and complexity of this membrane polysaccharide biosynthetic cluster have hindered genetic mapping and functional descriptions of the kps genes. To begin a detailed investigation of the polysialic acid synthetic mechanism, acapsular mutants were characterized to determine their probable defects in polymer synthesis. The mutants were tested for complementation with kps fragments subcloned from two separately isolated, functionally intact kps gene clusters. Complementation was assayed by immunological and biochemical methods and by sensitivity to the K1-specific bacteriophage K1F. The kps cluster consisted of a central 5.8-kilobase region that contained at least two genes coding for sialic acid synthetic enzymes, a gene encoding the sialic acid-activating enzyme, and a gene encoding the sialic acid polymerase. This biosynthetic region is flanked on one side by an approximately 2.8-kilobase region that contains a potential regulatory locus and at least one structural gene for a polypeptide that appears to function in polysialic acid assembly. Flanking the biosynthetic region on the opposite side is a 6- to 8.4-kilobase region that codes for at least three proteins which may also function in polymer assembly and possibly in translocating polymer to the outer cell surface. Results of transduction crosses supported these conclusions and indicated that some of the kps genes flanking the central biosynthetic region may not function directly in transporting polymer to the cell surface. The results also demonstrate that the map position and probable function of most of the kps cluster genes have been identified. Images PMID:2644224

  20. Molecular cloning and identification of the laspartomycin biosynthetic gene cluster from Streptomyces viridochromogenes

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yang; Chen, Ying; Shen, Qirong; Yin, Xihou

    2011-01-01

    The biosynthetic gene cluster for laspartomycins, a family of 11 amino acid peptide antibiotics, has been cloned and sequenced from Streptomyces viridochromogenes ATCC 29814. Annotation of a segment of 88912 bp of S. viridochromogenes genomic sequence revealed the putative las cluster and its flanking regions which harbor 43 open reading frames. The lpm cluster, which spans approximately 60 kb, consists of 21 open reading frames. Those include four NRPS genes (lpmA/orf18, lpmB/orf25, lpmC/orf26 and lpmD/orf27), four genes (orfs 21, 22, 24 and 29) involved in the lipid tail biosynthesis and attachment, four regulatory genes (orfs 13, 19, 32 and 33) and three putative exporters or self-resistance genes (orfs 14, 20 and 30). In addition, the gene involved in the biosynthesis of the nonproteinogenic amino acid Pip was also identified in the lpm cluster while the genes necessary for the biosynthesis of the rare residue diaminopropionic acid (Dap) were found to reside elsewhere on the chromosome. Interestingly, the dabA, dabB and dabC genes predicted to code for the biosynthesis of the unusual amino acid diaminobutyric acid (Dab) are organized into the lpm cluster even though the Dab residue was not found in the laspartomycins. Disruption of the NRPS lpmC gene completely abolished laspartomycin production in the corresponding mutant strain. These findings will allow molecular engineering and combinatorial biosynthesis approaches to expand the structural diversity of the amphomycin-group peptide antibiotics including the laspartomycins and friulimicins. PMID:21640802

  1. The Eucalyptus grandis NBS-LRR Gene Family: Physical Clustering and Expression Hotspots

    PubMed Central

    Christie, Nanette; Tobias, Peri A.; Naidoo, Sanushka; Külheim, Carsten

    2016-01-01

    Eucalyptus grandis is a commercially important hardwood species and is known to be susceptible to a number of pests and pathogens. Determining mechanisms of defense is therefore a research priority. The published genome for E. grandis has aided the identification of one important class of resistance (R) genes that incorporate nucleotide binding sites and leucine-rich repeat domains (NBS-LRR). Using an iterative search process we identified NBS-LRR gene models within the E. grandis genome. We characterized the gene models and identified their genomic arrangement. The gene expression patterns were examined in E. grandis clones, challenged with a fungal pathogen (Chrysoporthe austroafricana) and insect pest (Leptocybe invasa). One thousand two hundred and fifteen putative NBS-LRR coding sequences were located which aligned into two large classes, Toll or interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) and coiled-coil (CC) based on NB-ARC domains. NBS-LRR gene-rich regions were identified with 76% organized in clusters of three or more genes. A further 272 putative incomplete resistance genes were also identified. We determined that E. grandis has a higher ratio of TIR to CC classed genes compared to other woody plant species as well as a smaller percentage of single NBS-LRR genes. Transcriptome profiles indicated expression hotspots, within physical clusters, including expression of many incomplete genes. The clustering of putative NBS-LRR genes correlates with differential expression responses in resistant and susceptible plants indicating functional relevance for the physical arrangement of this gene family. This analysis of the repertoire and expression of E. grandis putative NBS-LRR genes provides an important resource for the identification of novel and functional R-genes; a key objective for strategies to enhance resilience. PMID:26793216

  2. Regulation of Three Nitrogenase Gene Clusters in the Cyanobacterium Anabaena variabilis ATCC 29413

    PubMed Central

    Thiel, Teresa; Pratte, Brenda S.

    2014-01-01

    The filamentous cyanobacterium Anabaena variabilis ATCC 29413 fixes nitrogen under aerobic conditions in specialized cells called heterocysts that form in response to an environmental deficiency in combined nitrogen. Nitrogen fixation is mediated by the enzyme nitrogenase, which is very sensitive to oxygen. Heterocysts are microxic cells that allow nitrogenase to function in a filament comprised primarily of vegetative cells that produce oxygen by photosynthesis. A. variabilis is unique among well-characterized cyanobacteria in that it has three nitrogenase gene clusters that encode different nitrogenases, which function under different environmental conditions. The nif1 genes encode a Mo-nitrogenase that functions only in heterocysts, even in filaments grown anaerobically. The nif2 genes encode a different Mo-nitrogenase that functions in vegetative cells, but only in filaments grown under anoxic conditions. An alternative V-nitrogenase is encoded by vnf genes that are expressed only in heterocysts in an environment that is deficient in Mo. Thus, these three nitrogenases are expressed differentially in response to environmental conditions. The entire nif1 gene cluster, comprising at least 15 genes, is primarily under the control of the promoter for the first gene, nifB1. Transcriptional control of many of the downstream nif1 genes occurs by a combination of weak promoters within the coding regions of some downstream genes and by RNA processing, which is associated with increased transcript stability. The vnf genes show a similar pattern of transcriptional and post-transcriptional control of expression suggesting that the complex pattern of regulation of the nif1 cluster is conserved in other cyanobacterial nitrogenase gene clusters. PMID:25513762

  3. Sequencing and mapping hemoglobin gene clusters in the australian model dasyurid marsupial sminthopsis macroura

    SciTech Connect

    De Leo, A.A.; Wheeler, D.; Lefevre, C.; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Hope, R.; Kuliwaba, J.; Nicholas, K.R.; Westermanc, M.; Graves, J.A.M.

    2004-07-26

    Comparing globin genes and their flanking sequences across many species has allowed globin gene evolution to be reconstructed in great detail. Marsupial globin sequences have proved to be of exceptional significance. A previous finding of a beta-like omega gene in the alpha cluster in the tammar wallaby suggested that the alpha and beta cluster evolved via genome duplication and loss rather than tandem duplication. To confirm and extend this important finding we isolated and sequenced BACs containing the alpha and beta loci from the distantly related Australian marsupial Sminthopsis macroura. We report that the alpha gene lies in the same BAC as the beta-like omega gene, implying that the alpha-omega juxtaposition is likely to be conserved in all marsupials. The LUC7L gene was found 3' of the S. macroura alpha locus, a gene order shared with humans but not mouse, chicken or fugu. Sequencing a BAC contig that contained the S. macroura beta globin and epsilon globin loci showed that the globin cluster is flanked by olfactory genes, demonstrating a gene arrangement conserved for over 180 MY. Analysis of the region 5' to the S. macroura epsilon globin gene revealed a region similar to the eutherian LCR, containing sequences and potential transcription factor binding sites with homology to eutherian hypersensitive sites 1 to 5. FISH mapping of BACs containing S. macroura alpha and beta globin genes located the beta globin cluster on chromosome 3q and the alpha locus close to the centromere on 1q, resolving contradictory map locations obtained by previous radioactive in situ hybridization.

  4. How Peroxisomes Affect Aflatoxin Biosynthesis in Aspergillus Flavus

    PubMed Central

    Reverberi, Massimo; Punelli, Marta; Smith, Carrie A.; Zjalic, Slaven; Scarpari, Marzia; Scala, Valeria; Cardinali, Giorgia; Aspite, Nicaela; Pinzari, Flavia; Payne, Gary A.; Fabbri, Anna A.; Fanelli, Corrado

    2012-01-01

    In filamentous fungi, peroxisomes are crucial for the primary metabolism and play a pivotal role in the formation of some secondary metabolites. Further, peroxisomes are important site for fatty acids β-oxidation, the formation of reactive oxygen species and for their scavenging through a complex of antioxidant activities. Oxidative stress is involved in different metabolic events in all organisms and it occurs during oxidative processes within the cell, including peroxisomal β-oxidation of fatty acids. In Aspergillus flavus, an unbalance towards an hyper-oxidant status into the cell is a prerequisite for the onset of aflatoxin biosynthesis. In our preliminary results, the use of bezafibrate, inducer of both peroxisomal β-oxidation and peroxisome proliferation in mammals, significantly enhanced the expression of pex11 and foxA and stimulated aflatoxin synthesis in A. flavus. This suggests the existence of a correlation among peroxisome proliferation, fatty acids β-oxidation and aflatoxin biosynthesis. To investigate this correlation, A. flavus was transformed with a vector containing P33, a gene from Cymbidium ringspot virus able to induce peroxisome proliferation, under the control of the promoter of the Cu,Zn-sod gene of A. flavus. This transcriptional control closely relates the onset of the antioxidant response to ROS increase, with the proliferation of peroxisomes in A. flavus. The AfP33 transformant strain show an up-regulation of lipid metabolism and an higher content of both intracellular ROS and some oxylipins. The combined presence of a higher amount of substrates (fatty acids-derived), an hyper-oxidant cell environment and of hormone-like signals (oxylipins) enhances the synthesis of aflatoxins in the AfP33 strain. The results obtained demonstrated a close link between peroxisome metabolism and aflatoxin synthesis. PMID:23094106

  5. Functional Gene Networks: R/Bioc package to generate and analyse gene networks derived from functional enrichment and clustering

    PubMed Central

    Aibar, Sara; Fontanillo, Celia; Droste, Conrad; De Las Rivas, Javier

    2015-01-01

    Summary: Functional Gene Networks (FGNet) is an R/Bioconductor package that generates gene networks derived from the results of functional enrichment analysis (FEA) and annotation clustering. The sets of genes enriched with specific biological terms (obtained from a FEA platform) are transformed into a network by establishing links between genes based on common functional annotations and common clusters. The network provides a new view of FEA results revealing gene modules with similar functions and genes that are related to multiple functions. In addition to building the functional network, FGNet analyses the similarity between the groups of genes and provides a distance heatmap and a bipartite network of functionally overlapping genes. The application includes an interface to directly perform FEA queries using different external tools: DAVID, GeneTerm Linker, TopGO or GAGE; and a graphical interface to facilitate the use. Availability and implementation: FGNet is available in Bioconductor, including a tutorial. URL: http://bioconductor.org/packages/release/bioc/html/FGNet.html Contact: jrivas@usal.es Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:25600944

  6. Sequencing and Transcriptional Analysis of the Biosynthesis Gene Cluster of Abscisic Acid-Producing Botrytis cinerea

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Tao; Shu, Dan; Yang, Jie; Ding, Zhong-Tao; Tan, Hong

    2014-01-01

    Botrytis cinerea is a model species with great importance as a pathogen of plants and has become used for biotechnological production of ABA. The ABA cluster of B. cinerea is composed of an open reading frame without significant similarities (bcaba3), followed by the genes (bcaba1 and bcaba2) encoding P450 monooxygenases and a gene probably coding for a short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase (bcaba4). In B. cinerea ATCC58025, targeted inactivation of the genes in the cluster suggested at least three genes responsible for the hydroxylation at carbon atom C-1' and C-4' or oxidation at C-4' of ABA. Our group has identified an ABA-overproducing strain, B. cinerea TB-3-H8. To differentiate TB-3-H8 from other B. cinerea strains with the functional ABA cluster, the DNA sequence of the 12.11-kb region containing the cluster of B. cinerea TB-3-H8 was determined. Full-length cDNAs were also isolated for bcaba1, bcaba2, bcaba3 and bcaba4 from B. cinerea TB-3-H8. Sequence comparison of the four genes and their flanking regions respectively derived from B. cinerea TB-3-H8, B05.10 and T4 revealed that major variations were located in intergenic sequences. In B. cinerea TB-3-H8, the expression profiles of the four function genes under ABA high-yield conditions were also analyzed by real-time PCR. PMID:25268614

  7. Effects of lipoic acid on immune function, the antioxidant defense system, and inflammation-related genes expression of broiler chickens fed aflatoxin contaminated diets.

    PubMed

    Li, Yan; Ma, Qiu-Gang; Zhao, Li-Hong; Wei, Hua; Duan, Guo-Xiang; Zhang, Jian-Yun; Ji, Cheng

    2014-01-01

    This study was designed to evaluate the effect of low level of Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) on oxidative stress, immune reaction and inflammation response and the possible ameliorating effects of dietary alpha-lipoic acid (α-LA) in broilers. Birds were randomly allocated into three groups and assigned to receive different diets: basal diet, diet containing 74 μg/kg AFB1, and 300 mg/kg α-LA supplementation in diet containing 74 μg/kg AFB1 for three weeks. The results showed that the serum levels of malondialdehyde, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interferon gamma (IFNγ) in the AFB1-treated group were significantly increased than the control group. In addition, the increased expressions of interleukin 6 (IL6), TNFα and IFNγ were observed in birds exposed to the AFB1-contaminated diet. These degenerative changes were inhibited by α-LA-supplement. The activities of total superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase, the levels of humoral immunity, and the expressions of nuclear factor-κB p65 and heme oxygenase-1, however, were not affected by AFB1. The results suggest that α-LA alleviates AFB1 induced oxidative stress and immune changes and modulates the inflammatory response at least partly through changes in the expression of proinflammatory cytokines of spleen such as IL6 and TNFα in broiler chickens. PMID:24699046

  8. Effects of Lipoic Acid on Immune Function, the Antioxidant Defense System, and Inflammation-Related Genes Expression of Broiler Chickens Fed Aflatoxin Contaminated Diets

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yan; Ma, Qiu-Gang; Zhao, Li-Hong; Wei, Hua; Duan, Guo-Xiang; Zhang, Jian-Yun; Ji, Cheng

    2014-01-01

    This study was designed to evaluate the effect of low level of Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) on oxidative stress, immune reaction and inflammation response and the possible ameliorating effects of dietary alpha-lipoic acid (α-LA) in broilers. Birds were randomly allocated into three groups and assigned to receive different diets: basal diet, diet containing 74 μg/kg AFB1, and 300 mg/kg α-LA supplementation in diet containing 74 μg/kg AFB1 for three weeks. The results showed that the serum levels of malondialdehyde, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interferon gamma (IFNγ) in the AFB1-treated group were significantly increased than the control group. In addition, the increased expressions of interleukin 6 (IL6), TNFα and IFNγ were observed in birds exposed to the AFB1-contaminated diet. These degenerative changes were inhibited by α-LA-supplement. The activities of total superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase, the levels of humoral immunity, and the expressions of nuclear factor-κB p65 and heme oxygenase-1, however, were not affected by AFB1. The results suggest that α-LA alleviates AFB1 induced oxidative stress and immune changes and modulates the inflammatory response at least partly through changes in the expression of proinflammatory cytokines of spleen such as IL6 and TNFα in broiler chickens. PMID:24699046

  9. Breaking the Silence: Protein Stabilization Uncovers Silenced Biosynthetic Gene Clusters in the Fungus Aspergillus nidulans

    PubMed Central

    Gerke, Jennifer; Bayram, Özgür; Feussner, Kirstin; Landesfeind, Manuel; Shelest, Ekaterina; Feussner, Ivo

    2012-01-01

    The genomes of filamentous fungi comprise numerous putative gene clusters coding for the biosynthesis of chemically and structurally diverse secondary metabolites (SMs), which are rarely expressed under laboratory conditions. Previous approaches to activate these genes were based primarily on artificially targeting the cellular protein synthesis apparatus. Here, we applied an alternative approach of genetically impairing the protein degradation apparatus of the model fungus Aspergillus nidulans by deleting the conserved eukaryotic csnE/CSN5 deneddylase subunit of the COP9 signalosome. This defect in protein degradation results in the activation of a previously silenced gene cluster comprising a polyketide synthase gene producing the antibiotic 2,4-dihydroxy-3-methyl-6-(2-oxopropyl)benzaldehyde (DHMBA). The csnE/CSN5 gene is highly conserved in fungi, and therefore, the deletion is a feasible approach for the identification of new SMs. PMID:23001671

  10. Cloning and characterization of the goadsporin biosynthetic gene cluster from Streptomyces sp. TP-A0584.

    PubMed

    Onaka, Hiroyasu; Nakaho, Mizuho; Hayashi, Keiko; Igarashi, Yasuhiro; Furumai, Tamotsu

    2005-12-01

    The biosynthetic gene cluster of goadsporin, a polypeptide antibiotic containing thiazole and oxazole rings, was cloned from Streptomyces sp. TP-A0584. The cluster contains a structural gene, godA, and nine god (goadsporin) genes involved in post-translational modification, immunity and transcriptional regulation. Although the gene organization is similar to typical bacteriocin biosynthetic gene clusters, each goadsporin biosynthetic gene shows low homology to these genes. Goadsporin biosynthesis is initiated by the translation of godA, and the subsequent cyclization, dehydration and acetylation are probably catalysed by godD, godE, godF, godG and godH gene products. godI shows high similarity to the 54 kDa subunit of the signal recognition particle and plays an important role in goadsporin immunity. Furthermore, four goadsporin analogues were produced by site-directed mutagenesis of godA, suggesting that this biosynthesis machinery is used for the heterocyclization of peptides. PMID:16339937

  11. Form gene clustering method about pan-ethnic-group products based on emotional semantic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Dengkai; Ding, Jingjing; Gao, Minzhuo; Ma, Danping; Liu, Donghui

    2016-09-01

    The use of pan-ethnic-group products form knowledge primarily depends on a designer's subjective experience without user participation. The majority of studies primarily focus on the detection of the perceptual demands of consumers from the target product category. A pan-ethnic-group products form gene clustering method based on emotional semantic is constructed. Consumers' perceptual images of the pan-ethnic-group products are obtained by means of product form gene extraction and coding and computer aided product form clustering technology. A case of form gene clustering about the typical pan-ethnic-group products is investigated which indicates that the method is feasible. This paper opens up a new direction for the future development of product form design which improves the agility of product design process in the era of Industry 4.0.

  12. Physical and genetic map of the major nif gene cluster from Azotobacter vinelandii.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, M R; Brigle, K E; Bennett, L T; Setterquist, R A; Wilson, M S; Cash, V L; Beynon, J; Newton, W E; Dean, D R

    1989-02-01

    Determination of a 28,793-base-pair DNA sequence of a region from the Azotobacter vinelandii genome that includes and flanks the nitrogenase structural gene region was completed. This information was used to revise the previously proposed organization of the major nif cluster. The major nif cluster from A. vinelandii encodes 15 nif-specific genes whose products bear significant structural identity to the corresponding nif-specific gene products from Klebsiella pneumoniae. These genes include nifH, nifD, nifK, nifT, nifY, nifE, nifN, nifX, nifU, nifS, nifV, nifW, nifZ, nifM, and nifF. Although there are significant spatial differences, the identified A. vinelandii nif-specific genes have the same sequential arrangement as the corresponding nif-specific genes from K. pneumoniae. Twelve other potential genes whose expression could be subject to nif-specific regulation were also found interspersed among the identified nif-specific genes. These potential genes do not encode products that are structurally related to the identified nif-specific gene products. Eleven potential nif-specific promoters were identified within the major nif cluster, and nine of these are preceded by an appropriate upstream activator sequence. A + T-rich regions were identified between 8 of the 11 proposed nif promoter sequences and their upstream activator sequences. Site-directed deletion-and-insertion mutagenesis was used to establish a genetic map of the major nif cluster.

  13. Physical and genetic map of the major nif gene cluster from Azotobacter vinelandii.

    PubMed Central

    Jacobson, M R; Brigle, K E; Bennett, L T; Setterquist, R A; Wilson, M S; Cash, V L; Beynon, J; Newton, W E; Dean, D R

    1989-01-01

    Determination of a 28,793-base-pair DNA sequence of a region from the Azotobacter vinelandii genome that includes and flanks the nitrogenase structural gene region was completed. This information was used to revise the previously proposed organization of the major nif cluster. The major nif cluster from A. vinelandii encodes 15 nif-specific genes whose products bear significant structural identity to the corresponding nif-specific gene products from Klebsiella pneumoniae. These genes include nifH, nifD, nifK, nifT, nifY, nifE, nifN, nifX, nifU, nifS, nifV, nifW, nifZ, nifM, and nifF. Although there are significant spatial differences, the identified A. vinelandii nif-specific genes have the same sequential arrangement as the corresponding nif-specific genes from K. pneumoniae. Twelve other potential genes whose expression could be subject to nif-specific regulation were also found interspersed among the identified nif-specific genes. These potential genes do not encode products that are structurally related to the identified nif-specific gene products. Eleven potential nif-specific promoters were identified within the major nif cluster, and nine of these are preceded by an appropriate upstream activator sequence. A + T-rich regions were identified between 8 of the 11 proposed nif promoter sequences and their upstream activator sequences. Site-directed deletion-and-insertion mutagenesis was used to establish a genetic map of the major nif cluster. PMID:2644218

  14. Contributions of vertical descent, horizontal transfer and gene loss to the distribution of mycotoxin biosynthetic gene clusters in Fusarium

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The genus Fusarium produces a diverse array of mycotoxins and other secondary metabolites, but individual species contribute to only a small fraction of this diversity. Here, we employed comparative genomic and phylogenetic analyses to investigate the distribution and evolution of gene clusters resp...

  15. Delineation of metabolic gene clusters in plant genomes by chromatin signatures

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Nan; Nützmann, Hans-Wilhelm; MacDonald, James T.; Moore, Ben; Field, Ben; Berriri, Souha; Trick, Martin; Rosser, Susan J.; Kumar, S. Vinod; Freemont, Paul S.; Osbourn, Anne

    2016-01-01

    Plants are a tremendous source of diverse chemicals, including many natural product-derived drugs. It has recently become apparent that the genes for the biosynthesis of numerous different types of plant natural products are organized as metabolic gene clusters, thereby unveiling a highly unusual form of plant genome architecture and offering novel avenues for discovery and exploitation of plant specialized metabolism. Here we show that these clustered pathways are characterized by distinct chromatin signatures of histone 3 lysine trimethylation (H3K27me3) and histone 2 variant H2A.Z, associated with cluster repression and activation, respectively, and represent discrete windows of co-regulation in the genome. We further demonstrate that knowledge of these chromatin signatures along with chromatin mutants can be used to mine genomes for cluster discovery. The roles of H3K27me3 and H2A.Z in repression and activation of single genes in plants are well known. However, our discovery of highly localized operon-like co-regulated regions of chromatin modification is unprecedented in plants. Our findings raise intriguing parallels with groups of physically linked multi-gene complexes in animals and with clustered pathways for specialized metabolism in filamentous fungi. PMID:26895889

  16. Delineation of metabolic gene clusters in plant genomes by chromatin signatures.

    PubMed

    Yu, Nan; Nützmann, Hans-Wilhelm; MacDonald, James T; Moore, Ben; Field, Ben; Berriri, Souha; Trick, Martin; Rosser, Susan J; Kumar, S Vinod; Freemont, Paul S; Osbourn, Anne

    2016-03-18

    Plants are a tremendous source of diverse chemicals, including many natural product-derived drugs. It has recently become apparent that the genes for the biosynthesis of numerous different types of plant natural products are organized as metabolic gene clusters, thereby unveiling a highly unusual form of plant genome architecture and offering novel avenues for discovery and exploitation of plant specialized metabolism. Here we show that these clustered pathways are characterized by distinct chromatin signatures of histone 3 lysine trimethylation (H3K27me3) and histone 2 variant H2A.Z, associated with cluster repression and activation, respectively, and represent discrete windows of co-regulation in the genome. We further demonstrate that knowledge of these chromatin signatures along with chromatin mutants can be used to mine genomes for cluster discovery. The roles of H3K27me3 and H2A.Z in repression and activation of single genes in plants are well known. However, our discovery of highly localized operon-like co-regulated regions of chromatin modification is unprecedented in plants. Our findings raise intriguing parallels with groups of physically linked multi-gene complexes in animals and with clustered pathways for specialized metabolism in filamentous fungi. PMID:26895889

  17. ToppCluster: a multiple gene list feature analyzer for comparative enrichment clustering and network-based dissection of biological systems.

    PubMed

    Kaimal, Vivek; Bardes, Eric E; Tabar, Scott C; Jegga, Anil G; Aronow, Bruce J

    2010-07-01

    ToppCluster is a web server application that leverages a powerful enrichment analysis and underlying data environment for comparative analyses of multiple gene lists. It generates heatmaps or connectivity networks that reveal functional features shared or specific to multiple gene lists. ToppCluster uses hypergeometric tests to obtain list-specific feature enrichment P-values for currently 17 categories of annotations of human-ortholog genes, and provides user-selectable cutoffs and multiple testing correction methods to control false discovery. Each nameable gene list represents a column input to a resulting matrix whose rows are overrepresented features, and individual cells per-list P-values and corresponding genes per feature. ToppCluster provides users with choices of tabular outputs, hierarchical clustering and heatmap generation, or the ability to interactively select features from the functional enrichment matrix to be transformed into XGMML or GEXF network format documents for use in Cytoscape or Gephi applications, respectively. Here, as example, we demonstrate the ability of ToppCluster to enable identification of list-specific phenotypic and regulatory element features (both cis-elements and 3'UTR microRNA binding sites) among tissue-specific gene lists. ToppCluster's functionalities enable the identification of specialized biological functions and regulatory networks and systems biology-based dissection of biological states. ToppCluster can be accessed freely at http://toppcluster.cchmc.org.

  18. Real-time PCR assays for detection and quantification of aflatoxin-producing molds in foods.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Alicia; Rodríguez, Mar; Luque, M Isabel; Martín, Alberto; Córdoba, Juan J

    2012-08-01

    Aflatoxins are among the most toxic mycotoxins. Early detection and quantification of aflatoxin-producing species is crucial to improve food safety. In the present work, two protocols of real-time PCR (qPCR) based on SYBR Green and TaqMan were developed, and their sensitivity and specificity were evaluated. Primers and probes were designed from the o-methyltransferase gene (omt-1) involved in aflatoxin biosynthesis. Fifty-three mold strains representing aflatoxin producers and non-producers of different species, usually reported in food products, were used as references. All strains were tested for aflatoxins production by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS). The functionality of the proposed qPCR method was demonstrated by the strong linear relationship of the standard curves constructed with the omt-1 gene copy number and Ct values for the different aflatoxin producers tested. The ability of the qPCR protocols to quantify aflatoxin-producing molds was evaluated in different artificially inoculated foods. A good linear correlation was obtained over the range 4 to 1 log cfu/g per reaction for all qPCR assays in the different food matrices (peanuts, spices and dry-fermented sausages). The detection limit in all inoculated foods ranged from 1 to 2 log cfu/g for SYBR Green and TaqMan assays. No significant effect was observed due to the different equipment, operator, and qPCR methodology used in the tests of repeatability and reproducibility for different foods. The proposed methods quantified with high efficiency the fungal load in foods. These qPCR protocols are proposed for use to quantify aflatoxin-producing molds in food products. PMID:22475946

  19. Real-time PCR assays for detection and quantification of aflatoxin-producing molds in foods.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, Alicia; Rodríguez, Mar; Luque, M Isabel; Martín, Alberto; Córdoba, Juan J

    2012-08-01

    Aflatoxins are among the most toxic mycotoxins. Early detection and quantification of aflatoxin-producing species is crucial to improve food safety. In the present work, two protocols of real-time PCR (qPCR) based on SYBR Green and TaqMan were developed, and their sensitivity and specificity were evaluated. Primers and probes were designed from the o-methyltransferase gene (omt-1) involved in aflatoxin biosynthesis. Fifty-three mold strains representing aflatoxin producers and non-producers of different species, usually reported in food products, were used as references. All strains were tested for aflatoxins production by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS). The functionality of the proposed qPCR method was demonstrated by the strong linear relationship of the standard curves constructed with the omt-1 gene copy number and Ct values for the different aflatoxin producers tested. The ability of the qPCR protocols to quantify aflatoxin-producing molds was evaluated in different artificially inoculated foods. A good linear correlation was obtained over the range 4 to 1 log cfu/g per reaction for all qPCR assays in the different food matrices (peanuts, spices and dry-fermented sausages). The detection limit in all inoculated foods ranged from 1 to 2 log cfu/g for SYBR Green and TaqMan assays. No significant effect was observed due to the different equipment, operator, and qPCR methodology used in the tests of repeatability and reproducibility for different foods. The proposed methods quantified with high efficiency the fungal load in foods. These qPCR protocols are proposed for use to quantify aflatoxin-producing molds in food products.

  20. Birth, death and horizontal transfer of the fumonisin biosynthetic gene cluster during the evolutionary diversification of Fusarium.

    PubMed

    Proctor, Robert H; Van Hove, François; Susca, Antonia; Stea, Gaetano; Busman, Mark; van der Lee, Theo; Waalwijk, Cees; Moretti, Antonio; Ward, Todd J

    2013-10-01

    Fumonisins are a family of carcinogenic secondary metabolites produced by members of the Fusarium fujikuroi species complex (FFSC) and rare strains of Fusarium oxysporum. In Fusarium, fumonisin biosynthetic genes (FUM) are clustered, and the cluster is uniform in gene organization. Here, sequence analyses indicated that the cluster exists in five different genomic contexts, defining five cluster types. In FUM gene genealogies, evolutionary relationships between fusaria with different cluster types were largely incongruent with species relationships inferred from primary-metabolism (PM) gene genealogies, and FUM cluster types are not trans-specific. In addition, synonymous site divergence analyses indicated that three FUM cluster types predate diversification of FFSC. The data are not consistent with balancing selection or interspecific hybridization, but they are consistent with two competing hypotheses: (i) multiple horizontal transfers of the cluster from unknown donors to FFSC recipients and (ii) cluster duplication and loss (birth and death). Furthermore, low levels of FUM gene divergence in F. bulbicola, an FFSC species, and F. oxysporum provide evidence for horizontal transfer of the cluster from the former, or a closely related species, to the latter. Thus, uniform gene organization within the FUM cluster belies a complex evolutionary history that has not always paralleled the evolution of Fusarium.

  1. Comprehensive annotation of secondary metabolite biosynthetic genes and gene clusters of Aspergillus nidulans, A. fumigatus, A. niger and A. oryzae

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Secondary metabolite production, a hallmark of filamentous fungi, is an expanding area of research for the Aspergilli. These compounds are potent chemicals, ranging from deadly toxins to therapeutic antibiotics to potential anti-cancer drugs. The genome sequences for multiple Aspergilli have been determined, and provide a wealth of predictive information about secondary metabolite production. Sequence analysis and gene overexpression strategies have enabled the discovery of novel secondary metabolites and the genes involved in their biosynthesis. The Aspergillus Genome Database (AspGD) provides a central repository for gene annotation and protein information for Aspergillus species. These annotations include Gene Ontology (GO) terms, phenotype data, gene names and descriptions and they are crucial for interpreting both small- and large-scale data and for aiding in the design of new experiments that further Aspergillus research. Results We have manually curated Biological Process GO annotations for all genes in AspGD with recorded functions in secondary metabolite production, adding new GO terms that specifically describe each secondary metabolite. We then leveraged these new annotations to predict roles in secondary metabolism for genes lacking experimental characterization. As a starting point for manually annotating Aspergillus secondary metabolite gene clusters, we used antiSMASH (antibiotics and Secondary Metabolite Analysis SHell) and SMURF (Secondary Metabolite Unknown Regions Finder) algorithms to identify potential clusters in A. nidulans, A. fumigatus, A. niger and A. oryzae, which we subsequently refined through manual curation. Conclusions This set of 266 manually curated secondary metabolite gene clusters will facilitate the investigation of novel Aspergillus secondary metabolites. PMID:23617571

  2. Arrangements of alpha-globin gene cluster in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Peng, H W; Choo, K B; Ho, C H; Yen, M S; Liung, W Y; Lin, C K; Yang, Z L; Ng, H T; Ching, K N; Han, S H

    1989-01-01

    In a gene mapping study on 217 newborn babies in Taiwan with alpha- and zeta-globin probes, we have observed 4 cases (1.84%) of alpha-thalassemia-2 heterozygotes (zeta zeta-alpha/zeta zeta alpha alpha) without increased levels of hemoglobin (Hb) Bart's in the cord blood. Eleven subjects (5.07%) were found to have the South East Asian alpha-thalassemia-1 haplotype (zeta zeta--SEA/zeta zeta alpha alpha) with increased Hb Bart's levels ranging from 2.2 to 9%. One case, with Hb Bart's level of 14% in the cord blood, was found to have the genotype of zeta zeta--SEA/zeta zeta alpha alpha T (0.46%). Four heterozygotes (1.84%) were found with the triple alpha gene anti-rightward arrangement (zeta zeta alpha alpha alpha 3.7/zeta zeta alpha alpha). Twenty-one heterozygotes (9.68%) were found to have the triple zeta-globin gene arrangement (zeta zeta zeta alpha alpha/zeta zeta alpha alpha). A new triple zeta-globin gene variant with a BamHI polymorphism was also observed in this study.

  3. microRNAs in the Same Clusters Evolve to Coordinately Regulate Functionally Related Genes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yirong; Luo, Junjie; Zhang, Hong; Lu, Jian

    2016-09-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenously expressed small noncoding RNAs. The genomic locations of animal miRNAs are significantly clustered in discrete loci. We found duplication and de novo formation were important mechanisms to create miRNA clusters and the clustered miRNAs tend to be evolutionarily conserved. We proposed a "functional co-adaptation" model to explain how clustering helps newly emerged miRNAs survive and develop functions. We presented evidence that abundance of miRNAs in the same clusters were highly correlated and those miRNAs exerted cooperative repressive effects on target genes in human tissues. By transfecting miRNAs into human and fly cells and extensively profiling the transcriptome alteration with deep-sequencing, we further demonstrated the functional co-adaptation between new and old miRNAs in the miR-17-92 cluster. Our population genomic analysis suggest that positive Darwinian selection might be the driving force underlying the formation and evolution of miRNA clustering. Our model provided novel insights into mechanisms and evolutionary significance of miRNA clustering. PMID:27189568

  4. microRNAs in the Same Clusters Evolve to Coordinately Regulate Functionally Related Genes

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yirong; Luo, Junjie; Zhang, Hong; Lu, Jian

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenously expressed small noncoding RNAs. The genomic locations of animal miRNAs are significantly clustered in discrete loci. We found duplication and de novo formation were important mechanisms to create miRNA clusters and the clustered miRNAs tend to be evolutionarily conserved. We proposed a “functional co-adaptation” model to explain how clustering helps newly emerged miRNAs survive and develop functions. We presented evidence that abundance of miRNAs in the same clusters were highly correlated and those miRNAs exerted cooperative repressive effects on target genes in human tissues. By transfecting miRNAs into human and fly cells and extensively profiling the transcriptome alteration with deep-sequencing, we further demonstrated the functional co-adaptation between new and old miRNAs in the miR-17–92 cluster. Our population genomic analysis suggest that positive Darwinian selection might be the driving force underlying the formation and evolution of miRNA clustering. Our model provided novel insights into mechanisms and evolutionary significance of miRNA clustering. PMID:27189568

  5. Recombination and spontaneous mutation at the major cluster of resistance genes in lettuce (Lactuca sativa).

    PubMed Central

    Chin, D B; Arroyo-Garcia, R; Ochoa, O E; Kesseli, R V; Lavelle, D O; Michelmore, R W

    2001-01-01

    Two sets of overlapping experiments were conducted to examine recombination and spontaneous mutation events within clusters of resistance genes in lettuce. Multiple generations were screened for recombinants using PCR-based markers flanking Dm3. The Dm3 region is not highly recombinagenic, exhibiting a recombination frequency 18-fold lower than the genome average. Recombinants were identified only rarely within the cluster of Dm3 homologs and no crossovers within genes were detected. Three populations were screened for spontaneous mutations in downy mildew resistance. Sixteen Dm mutants were identified corresponding to spontaneous mutation rates of 10(-3) to 10(-4) per generation for Dm1, Dm3, and Dm7. All mutants carried single locus, recessive mutations at the corresponding Dm locus. Eleven of the 12 Dm3 mutations were associated with large chromosome deletions. When recombination could be analyzed, deletion events were associated with exchange of flanking markers, consistent with unequal crossing over; however, although the number of Dm3 paralogs was changed, no novel chimeric genes were detected. One mutant was the result of a gene conversion event between Dm3 and a closely related homolog, generating a novel chimeric gene. In two families, spontaneous deletions were correlated with elevated levels of recombination. Therefore, the short-term evolution of the major cluster of resistance genes in lettuce involves several genetic mechanisms including unequal crossing over and gene conversion. PMID:11157000

  6. DNase I hypersensitive sites within the inducible qa gene cluster of Neurospora crassa.

    PubMed Central

    Baum, J A; Giles, N H

    1986-01-01

    DNase I hypersensitive regions were mapped within the 17.3-kilobase qa (quinic acid) gene cluster of Neurospora crassa. The 5'-flanking regions of the five qa structural genes and the two qa regulatory genes each contain DNase I hypersensitive sites under noninducing conditions and generally exhibit increases in DNase I cleavage upon induction of transcription with quinic acid. The two large intergenic regions of the qa gene cluster appear to be similarly organized with respect to the positions of constitutive and inducible DNase I hypersensitive sites. Inducible hypersensitive sites on the 5' side of one qa gene, qa-x, appear to be differentially regulated. Employing these and previously published data, we have identified a conserved sequence element that may mediate the activator function of the qa-1F regulatory gene. Variants of the 16-base-pair consensus sequence are consistently found within DNase I-protected regions adjacent to inducible DNase I hypersensitive sites within the gene cluster. Images PMID:2944110

  7. Copy Number Variants in the Kallikrein Gene Cluster

    PubMed Central

    Lindahl, Pernilla; Säll, Torbjörn; Bjartell, Anders; Johansson, Anna M.; Lilja, Hans; Halldén, Christer

    2013-01-01

    The kallikrein gene family (KLK1-KLK15) is the largest contiguous group of protease genes within the human genome and is associated with both risk and outcome of cancer and other diseases. We searched for copy number variants in all KLK genes using quantitative PCR analysis and analysis of inheritance patterns of single nucleotide polymorphisms. Two deletions were identified: one 2235-bp deletion in KLK9 present in 1.2% of alleles, and one 3394-bp deletion in KLK15 present in 4.0% of alleles. Each deletion eliminated one complete exon and created out-of-frame coding that eliminated the catalytic triad of the resulting truncated gene product, which therefore likely is a non-functional protein. Deletion breakpoints identified by DNA sequencing located the KLK9 deletion breakpoint to a long interspersed element (LINE) repeated sequence, while the deletion in KLK15 is located in a single copy sequence. To search for an association between each deletion and risk of prostate cancer (PC), we analyzed a cohort of 667 biopsied men (266 PC cases and 401 men with no evidence of PC at biopsy) using short deletion-specific PCR assays. There was no association between evidence of PC in this cohort and the presence of either gene deletion. Haplotyping revealed a single origin of each deletion, with most recent common ancestor estimates of 3000-8000 and 6000-14 000 years for the deletions in KLK9 and KLK15, respectively. The presence of the deletions on the same haplotypes in 1000 Genomes data of both European and African populations indicate an early origin of both deletions. The old age in combination with homozygous presence of loss-of-function variants suggests that some kallikrein-related peptidases have non-essential functions. PMID:23894413

  8. Intact cluster and chordate-like expression of ParaHox genes in a sea star

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The ParaHox genes are thought to be major players in patterning the gut of several bilaterian taxa. Though this is a fundamental role that these transcription factors play, their activities are not limited to the endoderm and extend to both ectodermal and mesodermal tissues. Three genes compose the ParaHox group: Gsx, Xlox and Cdx. In some taxa (mostly chordates but to some degree also in protostomes) the three genes are arranged into a genomic cluster, in a similar fashion to what has been shown for the better-known Hox genes. Sea urchins possess the full complement of ParaHox genes but they are all dispersed throughout the genome, an arrangement that, perhaps, represented the primitive condition for all echinoderms. In order to understand the evolutionary history of this group of genes we cloned and characterized all ParaHox genes, studied their expression patterns and identified their genomic loci in a member of an earlier branching group of echinoderms, the asteroid Patiria miniata. Results We identified the three ParaHox orthologs in the genome of P. miniata. While one of them, PmGsx is provided as maternal message, with no zygotic activation afterwards, the other two, PmLox and PmCdx are expressed during embryogenesis, within restricted domains of both endoderm and ectoderm. Screening of a Patiria bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library led to the identification of a clone containing the three genes. The transcriptional directions of PmGsx and PmLox are opposed to that of the PmCdx gene within the cluster. Conclusions The identification of P. miniata ParaHox genes has revealed the fact that these genes are clustered in the genome, in contrast to what has been reported for echinoids. Since the presence of an intact cluster, or at least a partial cluster, has been reported in chordates and polychaetes respectively, it becomes clear that within echinoderms, sea urchins have modified the original bilaterian arrangement. Moreover, the sea star

  9. Hybrid coexpression link similarity graph clustering for mining biological modules from multiple gene expression datasets

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Advances in genomic technologies have enabled the accumulation of vast amount of genomic data, including gene expression data for multiple species under various biological and environmental conditions. Integration of these gene expression datasets is a promising strategy to alleviate the challenges of protein functional annotation and biological module discovery based on a single gene expression data, which suffers from spurious coexpression. Results We propose a joint mining algorithm that constructs a weighted hybrid similarity graph whose nodes are the coexpression links. The weight of an edge between two coexpression links in this hybrid graph is a linear combination of the topological similarities and co-appearance similarities of the corresponding two coexpression links. Clustering the weighted hybrid similarity graph yields recurrent coexpression link clusters (modules). Experimental results on Human gene expression datasets show that the reported modules are functionally homogeneous as evident by their enrichment with biological process GO terms and KEGG pathways. PMID:25221624

  10. Identification of a gene cluster associated with triclosan catabolism.

    PubMed

    Kagle, Jeanne M; Paxson, Clayton; Johnstone, Precious; Hay, Anthony G

    2015-06-01

    Aerobic degradation of bis-aryl ethers like the antimicrobial triclosan typically proceeds through oxygenase-dependent catabolic pathways. Although several studies have reported on bacteria capable of degrading triclosan aerobically, there are no reports describing the genes responsible for this process. In this study, a gene encoding the large subunit of a putative triclosan oxygenase, designated tcsA was identified in a triclosan-degrading fosmid clone from a DNA library of Sphingomonas sp. RD1. Consistent with tcsA's similarity to two-part dioxygenases, a putative FMN-dependent ferredoxin reductase, designated tcsB was found immediately downstream of tcsA. Both tcsAB were found in the midst of a putative chlorocatechol degradation operon. We show that RD1 produces hydroxytriclosan and chlorocatechols during triclosan degradation and that tcsA is induced by triclosan. This is the first study to report on the genetics of triclosan degradation.

  11. Teaching Gene Technology in an Outreach Lab: Students' Assigned Cognitive Load Clusters and the Clusters' Relationships to Learner Characteristics, Laboratory Variables, and Cognitive Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scharfenberg, Franz-Josef; Bogner, Franz X.

    2013-01-01

    This study classified students into different cognitive load (CL) groups by means of cluster analysis based on their experienced CL in a gene technology outreach lab which has instructionally been designed with regard to CL theory. The relationships of the identified student CL clusters to learner characteristics, laboratory variables, and…

  12. Diversity and depth-specific distribution of SAR11 cluster rRNA genes from marine planktonic bacteria.

    PubMed Central

    Field, K G; Gordon, D; Wright, T; Rappé, M; Urback, E; Vergin, K; Giovannoni, S J

    1997-01-01

    Small-subunit (SSU) ribosomal DNA (rDNA) gene clusters are phylogenetically related sets of SSU rRNA genes, commonly encountered in genes amplified from natural populations. Genetic variability in gene clusters could result from artifacts (polymerase error or PCR chimera formation), microevolution (variation among rrn copies within strains), or macroevolution (genetic divergence correlated with long-term evolutionary divergence). To better understand gene clusters this study assessed genetic diversity and distribution of a single environmental SSU rDNA gene cluster, the SAR11 cluster. SAR11 cluster genes, from an uncultured group of the alpha subclass of the class Proteobacteria, have been recovered from coastal and midoceanic waters of the North Atlantic and Pacific. We cloned and bidirectionally sequenced 23 new SAR11 cluster 16S rRNA genes, from 80 and 250 m in the Sargasso Sea and from surface coastal waters of the Atlantic and Pacific, and analyzed them with previously published sequences. Two SAR11 genes were obviously PCR chimeras, but the biological (nonchimeric) origins of most subgroups within the cluster were confirmed by independent recovery from separate gene libraries. Using group-specific oligonucleotide probes, we analyzed depth profiles of nucleic acids, targeting both amplified rDNAs and bulk RNAs. Two subgroups within the SAR11 cluster showed different highly depth-specific distributions. We conclude that some of the genetic diversity within the SAR11 gene cluster represents macroevolutionary divergence correlated with niche specialization. Furthermore, we demonstrate the utility for marine microbial ecology of oligonucleotide probes based on gene sequences amplified from natural populations and show that a detailed knowledge of sequence variability may be needed to effectively design these probes. PMID:8979340

  13. Diversity and depth-specific distribution of SAR11 cluster rRNA genes from marine planktonic bacteria

    SciTech Connect

    Field, K.G.; Gordon, D.; Wright, T.

    1997-01-01

    Small-subunit (SSU) ribosomal DNA (rDNA) gene clusters are phylogenetically related sets of SSU rRNA genes, commonly encountered in genes amplified from natural populations. Genetic variability in gene clusters could result form artifacts (polymerase error or PCR chimera formation), microevolution (variation among rrn copies within strains), or macroevolution (genetic divergence correlated with long-term evolutionary divergence). To better understand gene clusters, this study assessed genetic diversity and distribution of a single environmental SSU rDNA gene cluster, the SAR11 cluster. SAR11 cluster genes, from an uncultured group of the {alpha} subclass of the class Proteobacteria, have been recovered from coastal and midoceanic waters of the North Atlantic and Pacific. We cloned and bidirectionally sequenced 23 new SAR11 cluster 16S rRNA genes, from 80 and 250 m im the Sargasso Sea and from surface coastal waters of the Atlantic and Pacific, and analyzed them with previously published sequences. Two SAR11 genes were obviously PCR chimeras, but the biological (nonchimeric) origins of most subgroups within the cluster were confirmed by independent recovery from separate gene libraries. Using group-specific oligonucleotide probes, we analyzed depth profiles of nucleic acids, targeting both amplified rDNAs and bulk RNAs. Two subgroups within the SAR11 cluster showed different highly depth-specific distributions. We conclude that some of the genetic diversity within the SAR11 gene cluster represents macroevolutionary divergence correlated with niche specialization. Furthermore, we demonstrate the utility for marine microbial ecology of oligonucleotide probes based on gene sequences amplified from natural populations and show that a detailed knowledge of sequence variability may be needed to effectively design these probes. 48 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

  14. The Magea gene cluster regulates male germ cell apoptosis without affecting the fertility in mice.

    PubMed

    Hou, Siyuan; Xian, Li; Shi, Peiliang; Li, Chaojun; Lin, Zhaoyu; Gao, Xiang

    2016-01-01

    While apoptosis is essential for male germ cell development, improper activation of apoptosis in the testis can affect spermatogenesis and cause reproduction defects. Members of the MAGE-A (melanoma antigen family A) gene family are frequently clustered in mammalian genomes and are exclusively expressed in the testes of normal animals but abnormally activated in a wide variety of cancers. We investigated the potential roles of these genes in spermatogenesis by generating a mouse model with a 210-kb genomic deletion encompassing six members of the Magea gene cluster (Magea1, Magea2, Magea3, Magea5, Magea6 and Magea8). Male mice carrying the deletion displayed smaller testes from 2 months old with a marked increase in apoptotic germ cells in the first wave of spermatogenesis. Furthermore, we found that Magea genes prevented stress-induced spermatogenic apoptosis after N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) treatment during the adult stage. Mechanistically, deletion of the Magea gene cluster resulted in a dramatic increase in apoptotic germ cells, predominantly spermatocytes, with activation of p53 and induction of Bax in the testes. These observations demonstrate that the Magea genes are crucial in maintaining normal testicular size and protecting germ cells from excessive apoptosis under genotoxic stress. PMID:27226137

  15. The Magea gene cluster regulates male germ cell apoptosis without affecting the fertility in mice

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Siyuan; Xian, Li; Shi, Peiliang; Li, Chaojun; Lin, Zhaoyu; Gao, Xiang

    2016-01-01

    While apoptosis is essential for male germ cell development, improper activation of apoptosis in the testis can affect spermatogenesis and cause reproduction defects. Members of the MAGE-A (melanoma antigen family A) gene family are frequently clustered in mammalian genomes and are exclusively expressed in the testes of normal animals but abnormally activated in a wide variety of cancers. We investigated the potential roles of these genes in spermatogenesis by generating a mouse model with a 210-kb genomic deletion encompassing six members of the Magea gene cluster (Magea1, Magea2, Magea3, Magea5, Magea6 and Magea8). Male mice carrying the deletion displayed smaller testes from 2 months old with a marked increase in apoptotic germ cells in the first wave of spermatogenesis. Furthermore, we found that Magea genes prevented stress-induced spermatogenic apoptosis after N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) treatment during the adult stage. Mechanistically, deletion of the Magea gene cluster resulted in a dramatic increase in apoptotic germ cells, predominantly spermatocytes, with activation of p53 and induction of Bax in the testes. These observations demonstrate that the Magea genes are crucial in maintaining normal testicular size and protecting germ cells from excessive apoptosis under genotoxic stress. PMID:27226137

  16. Rotation of photoreceptor clusters in the developing Drosophila eye requires the nemo gene.

    PubMed

    Choi, K W; Benzer, S

    1994-07-15

    The Drosophila eye consists of a reiterative hexagonal array of photoreceptor cell clusters, the ommatidia. During normal morphogenesis, the clusters in the dorsal or ventral halves of the disc rotate 90 degrees in opposite directions, forming mirror images across a dorsoventral equator. In the mutant nemo (nmo), there is an initial turning of approximately 45 degrees, but further rotation is blocked. Genetic mosaic analysis indicates that the nmo gene acts upon each cluster as a whole; normal nmo function in one or more photoreceptor cells appears to be sufficient to induce full rotation. The nmo gene sequence encodes a serine/threonine protein kinase homolog, suggesting that the kinase is required to initiate the second step of rotation. In another mutant, roulette, excessive rotation through varying angles occurs in many ommatidia. This defect is suppressed by nmo, indicating that nmo acts upstream in a rotation-regulating pathway.

  17. TreeParser-Aided Klee Diagrams Display Taxonomic Clusters in DNA Barcode and Nuclear Gene Datasets

    PubMed Central

    Stoeckle, Mark Y.; Coffran, Cameron

    2013-01-01

    Indicator vector analysis of a nucleotide sequence alignment generates a compact heat map, called a Klee diagram, with potential insight into clustering patterns in evolution. However, so far this approach has examined only mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) DNA barcode sequences. To further explore, we developed TreeParser, a freely-available web-based program that sorts a sequence alignment according to a phylogenetic tree generated from the dataset. We applied TreeParser to nuclear gene and COI barcode alignments from birds and butterflies. Distinct blocks in the resulting Klee diagrams corresponded to species and higher-level taxonomic divisions in both groups, and this enabled graphic comparison of phylogenetic information in nuclear and mitochondrial genes. Our results demonstrate TreeParser-aided Klee diagrams objectively display taxonomic clusters in nucleotide sequence alignments. This approach may help establish taxonomy in poorly studied groups and investigate higher-level clustering which appears widespread but not well understood. PMID:24022383

  18. TreeParser-aided Klee diagrams display taxonomic clusters in DNA barcode and nuclear gene datasets.

    PubMed

    Stoeckle, Mark Y; Coffran, Cameron

    2013-01-01

    Indicator vector analysis of a nucleotide sequence alignment generates a compact heat map, called a Klee diagram, with potential insight into clustering patterns in evolution. However, so far this approach has examined only mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) DNA barcode sequences. To further explore, we developed TreeParser, a freely-available web-based program that sorts a sequence alignment according to a phylogenetic tree generated from the dataset. We applied TreeParser to nuclear gene and COI barcode alignments from birds and butterflies. Distinct blocks in the resulting Klee diagrams corresponded to species and higher-level taxonomic divisions in both groups, and this enabled graphic comparison of phylogenetic information in nuclear and mitochondrial genes. Our results demonstrate TreeParser-aided Klee diagrams objectively display taxonomic clusters in nucleotide sequence alignments. This approach may help establish taxonomy in poorly studied groups and investigate higher-level clustering which appears widespread but not well understood.

  19. Identification of the Viridicatumtoxin and Griseofulvin Gene Clusters from Penicillium aethiopicum

    PubMed Central

    Chooi, Yit-Heng; Cacho, Ralph; Tang, Yi

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Penicillium aethiopicum produces two structurally interesting and biologically active polyketides: the tetracycline-like viridicatumtoxin 1 and the classic antifungal agent griseofulvin 2. Here, we report the concurrent discovery of the two corresponding biosynthetic gene clusters (vrt and gsf) by 454 shotgun sequencing. Gene deletions confirmed two nonreducing PKSs (NRPKS), vrtA and gsfA, are required for the biosynthesis of 1 and 2, respectively. Both PKSs share similar domain architectures and lack a C-terminal thioesterase domain. We identified gsfI as the chlorinase involved in the biosynthesis of 2, as deletion of gsfI resulted in the accumulation of decholorogriseofulvin 3. Comparative analysis with the P. chrysogenum genome revealed that both clusters are embedded within conserved syntenic regions of P. aethiopicum chromosomes. Discovery of the vrt and gsf clusters provided the basis for genetic and biochemical studies of the pathways. PMID:20534346

  20. The Evolution of Aflatoxin Biosynthesis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The biosynthesis of aflatoxin (AF) involves over 20 enzymatic reactions in a complex polyketide pathway that converts acetate and malonate to the intermediates sterigmatocystin (ST) and O-methylsterigmatocysin (OMST), the respective penultimate and ultimate precursors of AF. Although ST, OMST, and ...

  1. Regulation of alkyl-dihydrothiazole-carboxylates (ATCs) by iron and the pyochelin gene cluster in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Vinayavekhin, Nawaporn; Saghatelian, Alan

    2009-08-21

    Using the pyochelin (pch) gene cluster as an example, we demonstrate the utility of untargeted metabolomics in the discovery and characterization of secondary metabolites regulated by biosynthetic gene clusters. Comparison of the extracellular metabolomes of pch gene cluster mutants to the wild-type Pseudomonas aeruginosa (strain PA 14) identified 198 ions regulated by the pch genes. In addition to known metabolites, we characterized the structure of a pair of novel metabolites regulated by the pch gene cluster as 2-alkyl-4,5-dihydrothiazole-4-carboxylates (ATCs), using a combination of mass spectrometry, chemical synthesis, and stable isotope labeling. Subsequent assays revealed that ATCs bind iron and are regulated by iron levels in the media in a similar fashion as other metabolites associated with the pch gene cluster. Further genetic complementation and overexpression analyses of the pch genes revealed ATC production to be dependent on the pchE gene in the pch gene cluster. Overall, these studies highlight the ability of untargeted metabolomics to reveal regulatory connections between gene clusters and secondary metabolites, including novel metabolites. PMID:19621937

  2. Resolving misassembled cattle immune gene clusters with hierarchical, long read sequencing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Animal health is a critical component of productivity; however, current genomic selection genotyping tools have a paucity of genetic markers within key immune gene clusters (IGC) involved in the cattle innate and adaptive immune systems. With diseases such as Bovine Tuberculosis and Johne’s disease ...

  3. Expanded Natural Product Diversity Revealed by Analysis of Lanthipeptide-Like Gene Clusters in Actinobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Qi; Doroghazi, James R.; Zhao, Xiling; Walker, Mark C.

    2015-01-01

    Lanthionine-containing peptides (lanthipeptides) are a rapidly growing family of polycyclic peptide natural products belonging to the large class of ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptides (RiPPs). Lanthipeptides are widely distributed in taxonomically distant species, and their currently known biosynthetic systems and biological activities are diverse. Building on the recent natural product gene cluster family (GCF) project, we report here large-scale analysis of lanthipeptide-like biosynthetic gene clusters from Actinobacteria. Our analysis suggests that lanthipeptide biosynthetic pathways, and by extrapolation the natural products themselves, are much more diverse than currently appreciated and contain many different posttranslational modifications. Furthermore, lanthionine synthetases are much more diverse in sequence and domain topology than currently characterized systems, and they are used by the biosynthetic machineries for natural products other than lanthipeptides. The gene cluster families described here significantly expand the chemical diversity and biosynthetic repertoire of lanthionine-related natural products. Biosynthesis of these novel natural products likely involves unusual and unprecedented biochemistries, as illustrated by several examples discussed in this study. In addition, class IV lanthipeptide gene clusters are shown not to be silent, setting the stage to investigate their biological activities. PMID:25888176

  4. Characterization of the complete zwittermicin A biosynthesis gene cluster from Bacillus cereus.

    PubMed

    Kevany, Brian M; Rasko, David A; Thomas, Michael G

    2009-02-01

    Bacillus cereus UW85 produces the linear aminopolyol antibiotic zwittermicin A (ZmA). This antibiotic has diverse biological activities, such as suppression of disease in plants caused by protists, inhibition of fungal and bacterial growth, and amplification of the insecticidal activity of the toxin protein from Bacillus thuringiensis. ZmA has an unusual chemical structure that includes a d amino acid and ethanolamine and glycolyl moieties, as well as having an unusual terminal amide that is generated from the modification of the nonproteinogenic amino acid beta-ureidoalanine. The diverse biological activities and unusual structure of ZmA have stimulated our efforts to understand how this antibiotic is biosynthesized. Here, we present the identification of the complete ZmA biosynthesis gene cluster from B. cereus UW85. A nearly identical gene cluster is identified on a plasmid from B. cereus AH1134, and we show that this strain is also capable of producing ZmA. Bioinformatics and biochemical analyses of the ZmA biosynthesis enzymes strongly suggest that ZmA is initially biosynthesized as part of a larger metabolite that is processed twice, resulting in the formation of ZmA and two additional metabolites. Additionally, we propose that the biosynthesis gene cluster for the production of the amino sugar kanosamine is contained within the ZmA biosynthesis gene cluster in B. cereus UW85.

  5. Pre-termination in aflR of Aspergillus sojae inhibits aflatoxin biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Matsushima, K; Chang, P K; Yu, J; Abe, K; Bhatnagar, D; Cleveland, T E

    2001-05-01

    The aflR gene product is the main transcriptional regulator of aflatoxin biosynthesis in Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus. Although A. sojae strains do not produce aflatoxins, they do have an aflR homologue. When compared with the aflR of A. parasiticus, the A. sojae gene contains two mutations: an HAHA motif and a premature stop codon. To investigate the functionality of the A. sojae aflR gene product, we used a GAL4 one-hybrid system in yeast. The transcription-activating activity of AflR from A. sojae was 15% of that from A. parasiticus. The introduction of an additional aflR from A. sojae into an A. parasiticus strain did not affect aflatoxin productivity. A hybrid aflR comprising the amino-terminal region of A. sojae aflR and the carboxy-terminal region of A. parasiticus aflR suppressed the effect associated with pre-termination of the A. sojae AflR. We conclude that the premature stop codon of the A. sojae aflR is the key to its functionality and leads to prevention of aflatoxin biosynthesis through loss of the transcription of aflatoxin biosynthesis-related genes.

  6. Growth of an Aspergillus flavus transformant expressing Escherichia coli beta-glucuronidase in maize kernels resistant to aflatoxin production.

    PubMed

    Brown, R L; Cleveland, T E; Payne, G A; Woloshuk, C P; White, D G

    1997-01-01

    Kernels of a maize inbred that demonstrated resistance to aflatoxin production in previous studies were inoculated with an Aspergillus flavus strain containing the Escherichia coli beta-D-glucuronidase reporter gene linked to a beta-tubulin gene promoter and assessed for both fungal growth and aflatoxin accumulation. Prior to inoculation, kernels were pin-wounded through the pericarp to the endosperm, pin-wounded in the embryo region, or left unwounded. After 7 days incubation with the fungus, beta-glucuronidase activity (fungal growth) in the kernels was quantified using a fluorogenic assay and aflatoxin B content of the same kernels was analyzed. Kernels of a susceptible inbred, similarly treated, served as controls. Results indicate a positive relationship between aflatoxin levels and the amount of fungal growth. However, resistant kernels wounded through the pericarp to the endosperm before inoculation supported an increase in aflatoxin B over levels observed in nonwounded kernels, without an increase in fungal growth. Wounding kernels of the resistant inbred through the embryo resulted in both the greatest fungal growth and the highest levels of aflatoxin B1 for this genotype. Maintenance of resistance to aflatoxin B1 in endosperm-wounded kernels may be due to the action of a mechanism which limits fungal access to the kernel embryo. PMID:10465048

  7. Following tetraploidy in an Arabidopsis ancestor, genes were removed preferentially from one homeolog leaving clusters enriched in dose-sensitive genes.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Brian C; Pedersen, Brent; Freeling, Michael

    2006-07-01

    Approximately 90% of Arabidopsis' unique gene content is found in syntenic blocks that were formed during the most recent whole-genome duplication. Within these blocks, 28.6% of the genes have a retained pair; the remaining genes have been lost from one of the homeologs. We create a minimized genome by condensing local duplications to one gene, removing transposons, and including only genes within blocks defined by retained pairs. We use a moving average of retained and non-retained genes to find clusters of retention and then identify the types of genes that appear in clusters at frequencies above expectations. Significant clusters of retention exist for almost all chromosomal segments. Detailed alignments show that, for 85% of the genome, one homeolog was preferentially (1.6x) targeted for fractionation. This homeolog fractionation bias suggests an epigenetic mechanism. We find that islands of retention contain "connected genes," those genes predicted-by the gene balance hypothesis-to be resistant to removal because the products they encode interact with other products in a dose-sensitive manner, creating a web of dependency. Gene families that are overrepresented in clusters include those encoding components of the proteasome/protein modification complexes, signal transduction machinery, ribosomes, and transcription factor complexes. Gene pair fractionation following polyploidy or segmental duplication leaves a genome enriched for "connected" genes. These clusters of duplicate genes may help explain the evolutionary origin of coregulated chromosomal regions and new functional modules. PMID:16760422

  8. Following tetraploidy in an Arabidopsis ancestor, genes were removed preferentially from one homeolog leaving clusters enriched in dose-sensitive genes.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Brian C; Pedersen, Brent; Freeling, Michael

    2006-07-01

    Approximately 90% of Arabidopsis' unique gene content is found in syntenic blocks that were formed during the most recent whole-genome duplication. Within these blocks, 28.6% of the genes have a retained pair; the remaining genes have been lost from one of the homeologs. We create a minimized genome by condensing local duplications to one gene, removing transposons, and including only genes within blocks defined by retained pairs. We use a moving average of retained and non-retained genes to find clusters of retention and then identify the types of genes that appear in clusters at frequencies above expectations. Significant clusters of retention exist for almost all chromosomal segments. Detailed alignments show that, for 85% of the genome, one homeolog was preferentially (1.6x) targeted for fractionation. This homeolog fractionation bias suggests an epigenetic mechanism. We find that islands of retention contain "connected genes," those genes predicted-by the gene balance hypothesis-to be resistant to removal because the products they encode interact with other products in a dose-sensitive manner, creating a web of dependency. Gene families that are overrepresented in clusters include those encoding components of the proteasome/protein modification complexes, signal transduction machinery, ribosomes, and transcription factor complexes. Gene pair fractionation following polyploidy or segmental duplication leaves a genome enriched for "connected" genes. These clusters of duplicate genes may help explain the evolutionary origin of coregulated chromosomal regions and new functional modules.

  9. Organization of the qa Gene Cluster in NEUROSPORA CRASSA: Direction of Transcription of the qa-3 Gene

    PubMed Central

    Strøman, Per; Reinert, William; Case, Mary E.; Giles, Norman H.

    1979-01-01

    In Neurospora crassa, the enzyme quinate (shikimate) dehydrogenase catalyzes the first reaction in the inducible quinic acid catabolic pathway and is encoded in the qa-3 gene of the qa cluster. In this cluster, the order of genes has been established as qa-1 qa-3 qa-4 qa-2. Amino-terminal sequences have been determined for purified quinate dehydrogenase from wild type and from UV-induced revertants in two different qa-3 mutants. These two mutants (M16 and M45) map at opposite ends of the qa-3 locus. In addition, mapping data (Case et al. 1978) indicate that the end of the qa-3 gene specified by M45 is closer to the adjacent qa-1 gene than is the end specified by the M16 mutant site. In one of the revertants (R45 from qa-3 mutant M45), the aminoterminal sequence for the first ten amino acids is identical to that of wild type. The other revertant (R1 from qa-3 mutant M16) differs from wild type at the amino-terminal end by a single altered residue at position three in the sequence. The observed change involves the substitution of an isoleucine in M16-R1 for a proline in wild type. This substitution requires a two-nucleotide change in the corresponding wild-type codon.——The combined genetic and biochemical data indicate that the qa-3 mutants M16 and M45 carry amino acid substitutions near the amino-terminal and carboxyl-terminal ends of the quinate dehydrogenase enzyme, respectively. On this basis we conclude that transcription of the qa-3 gene proceeds from the end specified by the M16 mutant site in the direction of the qa-1 gene. It appears probable that transcription is initiated from a promoter site within the qa cluster, possibly immediately adjacent to the qa-3 gene. PMID:159203

  10. Toxicity of aflatoxin B1 towards the vitamin D receptor (VDR).

    PubMed

    Costanzo, Paola; Santini, Antonello; Fattore, Luigi; Novellino, Ettore; Ritieni, Alberto

    2015-02-01

    This research describes an unexpected toxicity of the aflatoxin B1 towards the vitamin D receptors. Rickets is a childhood disease, and calcium deficiency is the aetiological cause in Africa, being primarily associated with nutritional problems; in this research the contribution of aflatoxin B1 exposure during the early months of life is an interesting factor to deepen in order to prevent liver damages or the development of rickets. The results show that the expression of vitamin D receptor in osteosarcoma cell line SAOS-2 is significantly down-modulated by exposure to aflatoxin B1. This seems to suggest that Aflatoxin B1, toxic towards the vitamin D receptor, interferes with the actions of the vitamin D on calcium binding gene expression in the kidney and intestine. Experimental data indicate a 58% and 86% decrease if the cells are exposed to 5 ng/mL and 50 ng/mL of aflatoxin B1, respectively. These results seem to indicate that natural occurrence of the aflatoxin B1 and allelic variant of vitamin D receptor on (F allele) increase the risk of developing rickets of African children.

  11. Clusters of genes encoding fructan biosynthesizing enzymes in wheat and barley.

    PubMed

    Huynh, Bao-Lam; Mather, Diane E; Schreiber, Andreas W; Toubia, John; Baumann, Ute; Shoaei, Zahra; Stein, Nils; Ariyadasa, Ruvini; Stangoulis, James C R; Edwards, James; Shirley, Neil; Langridge, Peter; Fleury, Delphine

    2012-10-01

    Fructans are soluble carbohydrates with health benefits and possible roles in plant adaptation. Fructan biosynthetic genes were isolated using comparative genomics and physical mapping followed by BAC sequencing in barley. Genes encoding sucrose:sucrose 1-fructosyltransferase (1-SST), fructan:fructan 1-fructosyltransferase (1-FFT) and sucrose:fructan 6-fructosyltransferase (6-SFT) were clustered together with multiple copies of vacuolar invertase genes and a transposable element on two barley BAC. Intron-exon structures of the genes were similar. Phylogenetic analysis of the fructosyltransferases and invertases in the Poaceae showed that the fructan biosynthetic genes may have evolved from vacuolar invertases. Quantitative real-time PCR was performed using leaf RNA extracted from three wheat cultivars grown under different conditions. The 1-SST, 1-FFT and 6-SFT genes had correlated expression patterns in our wheat experiment and in existing barley transcriptome database. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were developed and successfully mapped to a major QTL region affecting wheat grain fructan accumulation in two independent wheat populations. The alleles controlling high- and low- fructan in parental lines were also found to be associated in fructan production in a diverse set of 128 wheat lines. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report on the mapping and sequencing of a fructan biosynthetic gene cluster and in particular, the isolation of a novel 1-FFT gene from barley.

  12. Clusters of genes encoding fructan biosynthesizing enzymes in wheat and barley.

    PubMed

    Huynh, Bao-Lam; Mather, Diane E; Schreiber, Andreas W; Toubia, John; Baumann, Ute; Shoaei, Zahra; Stein, Nils; Ariyadasa, Ruvini; Stangoulis, James C R; Edwards, James; Shirley, Neil; Langridge, Peter; Fleury, Delphine

    2012-10-01

    Fructans are soluble carbohydrates with health benefits and possible roles in plant adaptation. Fructan biosynthetic genes were isolated using comparative genomics and physical mapping followed by BAC sequencing in barley. Genes encoding sucrose:sucrose 1-fructosyltransferase (1-SST), fructan:fructan 1-fructosyltransferase (1-FFT) and sucrose:fructan 6-fructosyltransferase (6-SFT) were clustered together with multiple copies of vacuolar invertase genes and a transposable element on two barley BAC. Intron-exon structures of the genes were similar. Phylogenetic analysis of the fructosyltransferases and invertases in the Poaceae showed that the fructan biosynthetic genes may have evolved from vacuolar invertases. Quantitative real-time PCR was performed using leaf RNA extracted from three wheat cultivars grown under different conditions. The 1-SST, 1-FFT and 6-SFT genes had correlated expression patterns in our wheat experiment and in existing barley transcriptome database. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were developed and successfully mapped to a major QTL region affecting wheat grain fructan accumulation in two independent wheat populations. The alleles controlling high- and low- fructan in parental lines were also found to be associated in fructan production in a diverse set of 128 wheat lines. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report on the mapping and sequencing of a fructan biosynthetic gene cluster and in particular, the isolation of a novel 1-FFT gene from barley. PMID:22864927

  13. Clustered Transcription Factor Genes Regulate Nicotine Biosynthesis in Tobacco[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Shoji, Tsubasa; Kajikawa, Masataka; Hashimoto, Takashi

    2010-01-01

    Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) synthesizes nicotine and related pyridine alkaloids in the root, and their synthesis increases upon herbivory on the leaf via a jasmonate-mediated signaling cascade. Regulatory NIC loci that positively regulate nicotine biosynthesis have been genetically identified, and their mutant alleles have been used to breed low-nicotine tobacco varieties. Here, we report that the NIC2 locus, originally called locus B, comprises clustered transcription factor genes of an ethylene response factor (ERF) subfamily; in the nic2 mutant, at least seven ERF genes are deleted altogether. Overexpression, suppression, and dominant repression experiments using transgenic tobacco roots showed both functional redundancy and divergence among the NIC2-locus ERF genes. These transcription factors recognized a GCC-box element in the promoter of a nicotine pathway gene and specifically activated all known structural genes in the pathway. The NIC2-locus ERF genes are expressed in the root and upregulated by jasmonate with kinetics that are distinct among the members. Thus, gene duplication events generated a cluster of highly homologous transcription factor genes with transcriptional and functional diversity. The NIC2-locus ERFs are close homologs of ORCA3, a jasmonate-responsive transcriptional activator of indole alkaloid biosynthesis in Catharanthus roseus, indicating that the NIC2/ORCA3 ERF subfamily was recruited independently to regulate jasmonate-inducible secondary metabolism in distinct plant lineages. PMID:20959558

  14. Biosynthetic Gene Cluster for Surugamide A Encompasses an Unrelated Decapeptide, Surugamide F.

    PubMed

    Ninomiya, Akihiro; Katsuyama, Yohei; Kuranaga, Takefumi; Miyazaki, Masayuki; Nogi, Yuichi; Okada, Shigeru; Wakimoto, Toshiyuki; Ohnishi, Yasuo; Matsunaga, Shigeki; Takada, Kentaro

    2016-09-15

    Genome mining is a powerful method for finding novel secondary metabolites. In our study on the biosynthetic gene cluster for the cyclic octapeptides surugamides A-E (inhibitors of cathepsin B), we found a putative gene cluster consisting of four successive non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) genes, surA, surB, surC, and surD. Prediction of amino acid sequence based on the NRPSs and gene inactivation revealed that surugamides A-E are produced by two NRPS genes, surA and surD, which were separated by two NRPS genes, surB and surC. The latter genes are responsible for the biosynthesis of an unrelated peptide, surugamide F. The pattern of intercalation observed in the sur genes is unprecedented. The structure of surugamide F, a linear decapeptide containing one 3-amino-2-methylpropionic acid (AMPA) residue, was determined by spectroscopic methods and was confirmed by solid-phase peptide synthesis. PMID:27443244

  15. Complete Genome Sequence of the Filamentous Fungus Aspergillus westerdijkiae Reveals the Putative Biosynthetic Gene Cluster of Ochratoxin A

    PubMed Central

    Chakrabortti, Alolika; Li, Jinming

    2016-01-01

    Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a common mycotoxin that contaminates food and agricultural products. Sequencing of the complete genome of Aspergillus westerdijkiae, a major producer of OTA, reveals more than 50 biosynthetic gene clusters, including a putative OTA biosynthetic gene cluster that encodes a dozen of enzymes, transporters, and regulatory proteins. PMID:27635003

  16. Complete Genome Sequence of the Filamentous Fungus Aspergillus westerdijkiae Reveals the Putative Biosynthetic Gene Cluster of Ochratoxin A.

    PubMed

    Chakrabortti, Alolika; Li, Jinming; Liang, Zhao-Xun

    2016-01-01

    Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a common mycotoxin that contaminates food and agricultural products. Sequencing of the complete genome of Aspergillus westerdijkiae, a major producer of OTA, reveals more than 50 biosynthetic gene clusters, including a putative OTA biosynthetic gene cluster that encodes a dozen of enzymes, transporters, and regulatory proteins. PMID:27635003

  17. Clustering of two genes putatively involved in cyanate detoxification evolved recently and independently in multiple fungal lineages

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fungi that have the enzymes cyanase and carbonic anhydrase show a limited capacity to detoxify cyanate, a fungicide employed by both plants and humans. Here, we describe a novel two-gene cluster that comprises duplicated cyanase and carbonic anhydrase copies, which we name the CCA gene cluster, trac...

  18. Cloning and Analysis of the Planosporicin Lantibiotic Biosynthetic Gene Cluster of Planomonospora alba

    PubMed Central

    Sherwood, Emma J.; Hesketh, Andrew R.

    2013-01-01

    The increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens has renewed focus on natural products with antimicrobial properties. Lantibiotics are ribosomally synthesized peptide antibiotics that are posttranslationally modified to introduce (methyl)lanthionine bridges. Actinomycetes are renowned for their ability to produce a large variety of antibiotics, many with clinical applications, but are known to make only a few lantibiotics. One such compound is planosporicin produced by Planomonospora alba, which inhibits cell wall biosynthesis in Gram-positive pathogens. Planosporicin is a type AI lantibiotic structurally similar to those which bind lipid II, the immediate precursor for cell wall biosynthesis. The gene cluster responsible for planosporicin biosynthesis was identified by genome mining and subsequently isolated from a P. alba cosmid library. A minimal cluster of 15 genes sufficient for planosporicin production was defined by heterologous expression in Nonomuraea sp. strain ATCC 39727, while deletion of the gene encoding the precursor peptide from P. alba, which abolished planosporicin production, was also used to confirm the identity of the gene cluster. Deletion of genes encoding likely biosynthetic enzymes identified through bioinformatic analysis revealed that they, too, are essential for planosporicin production in the native host. Reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) analysis indicated that the planosporicin gene cluster is transcribed in three operons. Expression of one of these, pspEF, which encodes an ABC transporter, in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) conferred some degree of planosporicin resistance on the heterologous host. The inability to delete these genes from P. alba suggests that they play an essential role in immunity in the natural producer. PMID:23475977

  19. Cloning and analysis of the planosporicin lantibiotic biosynthetic gene cluster of Planomonospora alba.

    PubMed

    Sherwood, Emma J; Hesketh, Andrew R; Bibb, Mervyn J

    2013-05-01

    The increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens has renewed focus on natural products with antimicrobial properties. Lantibiotics are ribosomally synthesized peptide antibiotics that are posttranslationally modified to introduce (methyl)lanthionine bridges. Actinomycetes are renowned for their ability to produce a large variety of antibiotics, many with clinical applications, but are known to make only a few lantibiotics. One such compound is planosporicin produced by Planomonospora alba, which inhibits cell wall biosynthesis in Gram-positive pathogens. Planosporicin is a type AI lantibiotic structurally similar to those which bind lipid II, the immediate precursor for cell wall biosynthesis. The gene cluster responsible for planosporicin biosynthesis was identified by genome mining and subsequently isolated from a P. alba cosmid library. A minimal cluster of 15 genes sufficient for planosporicin production was defined by heterologous expression in Nonomuraea sp. strain ATCC 39727, while deletion of the gene encoding the precursor peptide from P. alba, which abolished planosporicin production, was also used to confirm the identity of the gene cluster. Deletion of genes encoding likely biosynthetic enzymes identified through bioinformatic analysis revealed that they, too, are essential for planosporicin production in the native host. Reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) analysis indicated that the planosporicin gene cluster is transcribed in three operons. Expression of one of these, pspEF, which encodes an ABC transporter, in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) conferred some degree of planosporicin resistance on the heterologous host. The inability to delete these genes from P. alba suggests that they play an essential role in immunity in the natural producer.

  20. Identification and analysis of the paulomycin biosynthetic gene cluster and titer improvement of the paulomycins in Streptomyces paulus NRRL 8115.

    PubMed

    Li, Jine; Xie, Zhoujie; Wang, Min; Ai, Guomin; Chen, Yihua

    2015-01-01

    The paulomycins are a group of glycosylated compounds featuring a unique paulic acid moiety. To locate their biosynthetic gene clusters, the genomes of two paulomycin producers, Streptomyces paulus NRRL 8115 and Streptomyces sp. YN86, were sequenced. The paulomycin biosynthetic gene clusters were defined by comparative analyses of the two genomes together with the genome of the third paulomycin producer Streptomyces albus J1074. Subsequently, the identity of the paulomycin biosynthetic gene cluster was confirmed by inactivation of two genes involved in biosynthesis of the paulomycose branched chain (pau11) and the ring A moiety (pau18) in Streptomyces paulus NRRL 8115. After determining the gene cluster boundaries, a convergent biosynthetic model was proposed for paulomycin based on the deduced functions of the pau genes. Finally, a paulomycin high-producing strain was constructed by expressing an activator-encoding gene (pau13) in S. paulus, setting the stage for future investigations. PMID:25822496

  1. RNAi-mediated Control of Aflatoxins in Peanut: Method to Analyze Mycotoxin Production and Transgene Expression in the Peanut/Aspergillus Pathosystem.

    PubMed

    Arias, Renée S; Dang, Phat M; Sobolev, Victor S

    2015-12-21

    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that 25% of the food crops in the world are contaminated with aflatoxins. That represents 100 million tons of food being destroyed or diverted to non-human consumption each year. Aflatoxins are powerful carcinogens normally accumulated by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus in cereals, nuts, root crops and other agricultural products. Silencing of five aflatoxin-synthesis genes by RNA interference (RNAi) in peanut plants was used to control aflatoxin accumulation following inoculation with A. flavus. Previously, no method existed to analyze the effectiveness of RNAi in individual peanut transgenic events, as these usually produce few seeds, and traditional methods of large field experiments under aflatoxin-conducive conditions were not an option. In the field, the probability of finding naturally contaminated seeds is often 1/100 to 1/1,000. In addition, aflatoxin contamination is not uniformly distributed. Our method uses few seeds per transgenic event, with small pieces processed for real-time PCR (RT-PCR) or small RNA sequencing, and for analysis of aflatoxin accumulation by ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC). RNAi-expressing peanut lines 288-72 and 288-74, showed up to 100% reduction (p ≤ 0.01) in aflatoxin B1 and B2 compared to the control that accumulated up to 14,000 ng · g(-1) of aflatoxin B1 when inoculated with aflatoxigenic A. flavus. As reference, the maximum total of aflatoxins allowable for human consumption in the United States is 20 ng · g(-1). This protocol describes the application of RNAi-mediated control of aflatoxins in transgenic peanut seeds and methods for its evaluation. We believe that its application in breeding of peanut and other crops will bring rapid advancement in this important area of science, medicine and human nutrition, and will significantly contribute to the international effort to control aflatoxins, and potentially other

  2. RNAi-mediated Control of Aflatoxins in Peanut: Method to Analyze Mycotoxin Production and Transgene Expression in the Peanut/Aspergillus Pathosystem

    PubMed Central

    Arias, Renée S.; Dang, Phat M.; Sobolev, Victor S.

    2015-01-01

    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that 25% of the food crops in the world are contaminated with aflatoxins. That represents 100 million tons of food being destroyed or diverted to non-human consumption each year. Aflatoxins are powerful carcinogens normally accumulated by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus in cereals, nuts, root crops and other agricultural products. Silencing of five aflatoxin-synthesis genes by RNA interference (RNAi) in peanut plants was used to control aflatoxin accumulation following inoculation with A. flavus. Previously, no method existed to analyze the effectiveness of RNAi in individual peanut transgenic events, as these usually produce few seeds, and traditional methods of large field experiments under aflatoxin-conducive conditions were not an option. In the field, the probability of finding naturally contaminated seeds is often 1/100 to 1/1,000. In addition, aflatoxin contamination is not uniformly distributed. Our method uses few seeds per transgenic event, with small pieces processed for real-time PCR (RT-PCR) or small RNA sequencing, and for analysis of aflatoxin accumulation by ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC). RNAi-expressing peanut lines 288-72 and 288-74, showed up to 100% reduction (p≤0.01) in aflatoxin B1 and B2 compared to the control that accumulated up to 14,000 ng.g-1 of aflatoxin B1 when inoculated with aflatoxigenic A. flavus. As reference, the maximum total of aflatoxins allowable for human consumption in the United States is 20 ng.g-1. This protocol describes the application of RNAi-mediated control of aflatoxins in transgenic peanut seeds and methods for its evaluation. We believe that its application in breeding of peanut and other crops will bring rapid advancement in this important area of science, medicine and human nutrition, and will significantly contribute to the international effort to control aflatoxins, and potentially other mycotoxins in major

  3. Web-type evolution of rhodococcus gene clusters associated with utilization of naphthalene.

    PubMed

    Kulakov, Leonid A; Chen, Shenchang; Allen, Christopher C R; Larkin, Michael J

    2005-04-01

    Clusters of genes which include determinants for the catalytic subunits of naphthalene dioxygenase (narAa and narAb) were analyzed in naphthalene-degrading Rhodococcus strains. We demonstrated (i) that in the region analyzed homologous gene clusters are separated from each other by nonhomologous DNA, (ii) that there are various degrees of homology between related genes, and (iii) that nar genes are located on plasmids in strains NCIMB12038 and P400 and on a chromosome in P200. These observations suggest that genetic exchange and reshuffling of genetic modules, as well as vertical descent of the genetic information, were the main routes in the evolution of naphthalene degradation in Rhodococcus. These conclusions were supported by studies of transcription patterns in the region analyzed. It was found that the nar region is not organized into a single operon but there are several transcription units which differ in the strains investigated. The narA and narB genes were found to be transcribed as a single unit in all strains analyzed, and their transcription was induced by naphthalene. The putative aldolase gene (narC) was found on the same transcript only in strains P200 and P400. In NCIMB12038 transcription of two more gene clusters was induced by growth on naphthalene. Transcription start sites for narA and narB were found to be different in all of the strains studied. Putative regulatory genes (narR1 and narR2) were transcribed as a single mRNA in naphthalene-induced cells. At the same time, a number of the genes known to be essential for naphthalene catabolism in gram-negative bacteria were not found in the region analyzed.

  4. Clustering of multiallele DNA markers near the Huntington's disease gene.

    PubMed

    MacDonald, M E; Cheng, S V; Zimmer, M; Haines, J L; Poustka, A; Allitto, B; Smith, B; Whaley, W L; Romano, D M; Jagadeesh, J

    1989-09-01

    Five highly informative multiallele restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) of value for preclinical diagnosis of Huntington's disease (HD) have been genetically characterized. One RFLP was uncovered by expansion of the D4S43 locus while three others are at D4S111 and D4S115, loci defined by NotI-linking clones. The final marker, D4S125, represents a recently discovered VNTR locus. All four loci map closer to the HD gene and to the telomere than D4S10, the original linked marker for HD. In combination with two multiallele RFLPs previously identified for D4S43 and another linked locus, D4S95, these five new multiallele markers will dramatically improve the speed and accuracy of predictive testing in HD, and increase its applicability by maximizing the chances of an informative test for anyone with appropriate family structure.

  5. The Yersinia kristensenii O11 O-antigen gene cluster was acquired by lateral gene transfer and incorporated at a novel chromosomal locus.

    PubMed

    Cunneen, Monica M; Reeves, Peter R

    2007-06-01

    We have sequenced the O-antigen gene clusters for the Escherichia coli O98 and Yersinia kristensenii O11 O antigens. The basic structures of these O antigens are identical, and the sequence data indicate that Y. kristensenii O11 gained its O-antigen gene cluster by lateral gene transfer (LGT). Escherichia coli O98 has a typical O-antigen gene cluster between galF and gnd as is usual in E. coli. However, the O-antigen gene cluster of Y. kristensenii O11 is not located at the traditional Yersinia O-antigen gene cluster locus, between hemH and gsk, but at a novel chromosomal locus between aroA and cmk where it is flanked by remnant galF and gnd genes that indicate the probable source of the gene cluster. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the source was not E. coli itself but a species in the Escherichia, Salmonella, and Klebsiella group of genera. Although other O-antigen studies imply LGT on the basis of the hypervariability of the loci and GC content, this report also identifies a potential donor and provides evidence for the mechanism involved. Remnant insertion sequence (IS) sequences flank the galF and gnd remnants and suggest that LGT of the gene cluster was IS mediated.

  6. Classification and Clustering on Microarray Data for Gene Functional Prediction Using R.

    PubMed

    López-Kleine, Liliana; Kleine, Liliana López; Montaño, Rosa; Torres-Avilés, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Gene expression data (microarrays and RNA-sequencing data) as well as other kinds of genomic data can be extracted from publicly available genomic data. Here, we explain how to apply multivariate cluster and classification methods on gene expression data. These methods have become very popular and are implemented in freely available software in order to predict the participation of gene products in a specific functional category of interest. Taking into account the availability of data and of these methods, every biological study should apply them in order to obtain knowledge on the organism studied and functional category of interest. A special emphasis is made on the nonlinear kernel classification methods. PMID:25762300

  7. GIP2, a Putative Transcription Factor That Regulates the Aurofusarin Biosynthetic Gene Cluster in Gibberella zeae

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jung-Eun; Jin, Jianming; Kim, Hun; Kim, Jin-Cheol; Yun, Sung-Hwan; Lee, Yin-Won

    2006-01-01

    Gibberella zeae (anamorph: Fusarium graminearum) is an important pathogen of maize, wheat, and rice. Colonies of G. zeae produce yellow-to-tan mycelia with the white-to-carmine red margins. In this study, we focused on nine putative open reading frames (ORFs) closely linked to PKS12 and GIP1, which are required for aurofusarin biosynthesis in G. zeae. Among them is an ORF designated GIP2 (for Gibberella zeae pigment gene 2), which encodes a putative protein of 398 amino acids that carries a Zn(II)2Cys6 binuclear cluster DNA-binding domain commonly found in transcription factors of yeasts and filamentous fungi. Targeted gene deletion and complementation analyses confirmed that GIP2 is required for aurofusarin biosynthesis. Expression of GIP2 in carrot medium correlated with aurofusarin production by G. zeae and was restricted to vegetative mycelia. Inactivation of the 10 contiguous genes in the ΔGIP2 strain delineates an aurofusarin biosynthetic gene cluster. Overexpression of GIP2 in both the ΔGIP2 and the wild-type strains increases aurofusarin production and reduces mycelial growth. Thus, GIP2 is a putative positive regulator of the aurofusarin biosynthetic gene cluster, and aurofusarin production is negatively correlated with vegetative growth by G. zeae. PMID:16461721

  8. Strategies to regulate transcription factor–mediated gene positioning and interchromosomal clustering at the nuclear periphery

    PubMed Central

    Randise-Hinchliff, Carlo; Coukos, Robert; Sood, Varun; Sumner, Michael Chas; Zdraljevic, Stefan; Meldi Sholl, Lauren; Garvey Brickner, Donna; Ahmed, Sara; Watchmaker, Lauren

    2016-01-01

    In budding yeast, targeting of active genes to the nuclear pore complex (NPC) and interchromosomal clustering is mediated by transcription factor (TF) binding sites in the gene promoters. For example, the binding sites for the TFs Put3, Ste12, and Gcn4 are necessary and sufficient to promote positioning at the nuclear periphery and interchromosomal clustering. However, in all three cases, gene positioning and interchromosomal clustering are regulated. Under uninducing conditions, local recruitment of the Rpd3(L) histone deacetylase by transcriptional repressors blocks Put3 DNA binding. This is a general function of yeast repressors: 16 of 21 repressors blocked Put3-mediated subnuclear positioning; 11 of these required Rpd3. In contrast, Ste12-mediated gene positioning is regulated independently of DNA binding by mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation of the Dig2 inhibitor, and Gcn4-dependent targeting is up-regulated by increasing Gcn4 protein levels. These different regulatory strategies provide either qualitative switch-like control or quantitative control of gene positioning over different time scales. PMID:26953353

  9. Next-generation sequencing approach for connecting secondary metabolites to biosynthetic gene clusters in fungi

    PubMed Central

    Cacho, Ralph A.; Tang, Yi; Chooi, Yit-Heng

    2015-01-01

    Genomics has revolutionized the research on fungal secondary metabolite (SM) biosynthesis. To elucidate the molecular and enzymatic mechanisms underlying the biosynthesis of a specific SM compound, the important first step is often to find the genes that responsible for its synthesis. The accessibility to fungal genome sequences allows the bypass of the cumbersome traditional library construction and screening approach. The advance in next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have further improved the speed and reduced the cost of microbial genome sequencing in the past few years, which has accelerated the research in this field. Here, we will present an example work flow for identifying the gene cluster encoding the biosynthesis of SMs of interest using an NGS approach. We will also review the different strategies that can be employed to pinpoint the targeted gene clusters rapidly by giving several examples stemming from our work. PMID:25642215

  10. Identification, isolation, and analysis of a gene cluster involved in iron acquisition by Pseudomonas mendocina ymp

    PubMed Central

    Awaya, Jonathan D.

    2013-01-01

    Microbial acquisition of iron from natural sources in aerobic environments is a little-studied process that may lead to mineral instability and trace metal mobilization. Pseudomonas mendocina ymp was isolated from the Yucca Mountain Site for long-term nuclear waste storage. Its ability to solubilize a variety of Fe-containing minerals under aerobic conditions has been previously investigated but its molecular and genetic potential remained uncharacterized. Here, we have shown that the organism produces a hydroxamate and not a catecholate-based siderophore that is synthesized via non-ribosomal peptide synthetases. Gene clustering patterns observed in other Pseudomonads suggested that hybridizing multiple probes to the same library could allow for the identification of one or more clusters of syntenic siderophore-associated genes. Using this approach, two independent clusters were identified. An unfinished draft genome sequence of P. mendocina ymp indicated that these mapped to two independent contigs. The sequenced clusters were investigated informatically and shown to contain respectively a potentially complete set of genes responsible for siderophore biosynthesis, uptake, and regulation, and an incomplete set of genes with low individual homology to siderophore-associated genes. A mutation in the cluster’s pvdA homolog (pmhA) resulted in a siderophore-null phenotype, which could be reversed by complementation. The organism likely produces one siderophore with possibly different isoforms and a peptide backbone structure containing seven residues (predicted sequence: Acyl-Asp-Dab-Ser-fOHOrn-Ser-fOHorn). A similar approach could be applied for discovery of Fe− and siderophore-associated genes in unsequenced or poorly annotated organisms. PMID:18058194

  11. A Telomeric Cluster of Antimony Resistance Genes on Chromosome 34 of Leishmania infantum.

    PubMed

    Tejera Nevado, Paloma; Bifeld, Eugenia; Höhn, Katharina; Clos, Joachim

    2016-09-01

    The mechanisms underlying the drug resistance of Leishmania spp. are manifold and not completely identified. Apart from the highly conserved multidrug resistance gene family known from higher eukaryotes, Leishmania spp. also possess genus-specific resistance marker genes. One of them, ARM58, was first identified in Leishmania braziliensis using a functional cloning approach, and its domain structure was characterized in L. infantum Here we report that L. infantum ARM58 is part of a gene cluster at the telomeric end of chromosome 34 also comprising the neighboring genes ARM56 and HSP23. We show that overexpression of all three genes can confer antimony resistance to intracellular amastigotes. Upon overexpression in L. donovani, ARM58 and ARM56 are secreted via exosomes, suggesting a scavenger/secretion mechanism of action. Using a combination of functional cloning and next-generation sequencing, we found that the gene cluster was selected only under antimonyl tartrate challenge and weakly under Cu(2+) challenge but not under sodium arsenite, Cd(2+), or miltefosine challenge. The selective advantage is less pronounced in intracellular amastigotes treated with the sodium stibogluconate, possibly due to the known macrophage-stimulatory activity of this drug, against which these resistance markers may not be active. Our data point to the specificity of these three genes for antimony resistance. PMID:27324767

  12. Discovery of five conserved beta -defensin gene clusters using a computational search strategy.

    PubMed

    Schutte, Brian C; Mitros, Joseph P; Bartlett, Jennifer A; Walters, Jesse D; Jia, Hong Peng; Welsh, Michael J; Casavant, Thomas L; McCray, Paul B

    2002-02-19

    The innate immune system includes antimicrobial peptides that protect multicellular organisms from a diverse spectrum of microorganisms. beta-Defensins comprise one important family of mammalian antimicrobial peptides. The annotation of the human genome fails to reveal the expected diversity, and a recent query of the draft sequence with the blast search engine found only one new beta-defensin gene (DEFB3). To define better the beta-defensin gene family, we adopted a genomics approach that uses hmmer, a computational search tool based on hidden Markov models, in combination with blast. This strategy identified 28 new human and 43 new mouse beta-defensin genes in five syntenic chromosomal regions. Within each syntenic cluster, the gene sequences and organization were similar, suggesting each cluster pair arose from a common ancestor and was retained because of conserved functions. Preliminary analysis indicates that at least 26 of the predicted genes are transcribed. These results demonstrate the value of a genomewide search strategy to identify genes with conserved structural motifs. Discovery of these genes represents a new starting point for exploring the role of beta-defensins in innate immunity.

  13. Dynamic and physical clustering of gene expression during epidermal barrier formation in differentiating keratinocytes.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Jennifer M; Street, Teresa L; Hao, Lizhong; Copley, Richard; Taylor, Martin S; Hayden, Patrick J; Stolper, Gina; Mott, Richard; Hein, Jotun; Moffatt, Miriam F; Cookson, William O C M

    2009-01-01

    The mammalian epidermis is a continually renewing structure that provides the interface between the organism and an innately hostile environment. The keratinocyte is its principal cell. Keratinocyte proteins form a physical epithelial barrier, protect against microbial damage, and prepare immune responses to danger. Epithelial immunity is disordered in many common diseases and disordered epithelial differentiation underlies many cancers. In order to identify the genes that mediate epithelial development we used a tissue model of the skin derived from primary human keratinocytes. We measured global gene expression in triplicate at five times over the ten days that the keratinocytes took to fully differentiate. We identified 1282 gene transcripts that significantly changed during differentiation (false discovery rate <0.01%). We robustly grouped these transcripts by K-means clustering into modules with distinct temporal expression patterns, shared regulatory motifs, and biological functions. We found a striking cluster of late expressed genes that form the structural and innate immune defences of the epithelial barrier. Gene Ontology analyses showed that undifferentiated keratinocytes were characterised by genes for motility and the adaptive immune response. We systematically identified calcium-binding genes, which may operate with the epidermal calcium gradient to control keratinocyte division during skin repair. The results provide multiple novel insights into keratinocyte biology, in particular providing a comprehensive list of known and previously unrecognised major components of the epidermal barrier. The findings provide a reference for subsequent understanding of how the barrier functions in health and disease. PMID:19888454

  14. Genetic Characterization of the Klebsiella pneumoniae waa Gene Cluster, Involved in Core Lipopolysaccharide Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Regué, Miguel; Climent, Núria; Abitiu, Nihal; Coderch, Núria; Merino, Susana; Izquierdo, Luis; Altarriba, Maria; Tomás, Juan M.

    2001-01-01

    A recombinant cosmid containing genes involved in Klebsiella pneumoniae C3 core lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis was identified by its ability to confer bacteriocin 28b resistance to Escherichia coli K-12. The recombinant cosmid contains 12 genes, the whole waa gene cluster, flanked by kbl and coaD genes, as was found in E. coli K-12. PCR amplification analysis showed that this cluster is conserved in representative K. pneumoniae strains. Partial nucleotide sequence determination showed that the same genes and gene order are found in K. pneumoniae subsp. ozaenae, for which the core chemical structure is known. Complementation analysis of known waa mutants from E. coli K-12 and/or Salmonella enterica led to the identification of genes involved in biosynthesis of the inner core backbone that are shared by these three members of the Enterobacteriaceae. K. pneumoniae orf10 mutants showed a two-log-fold reduction in a mice virulence assay and a strong decrease in capsule amount. Analysis of a constructed K. pneumoniae waaE deletion mutant suggests that the WaaE protein is involved in the transfer of the branch β-d-Glc to the O-4 position of l-glycero-d-manno-heptose I, a feature shared by K. pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, and Yersinia enterocolitica. PMID:11371519

  15. Sequencing and Analysis of the Biosynthetic Gene Cluster of the Lipopeptide Antibiotic Friulimicin in Actinoplanes friuliensis▿

    PubMed Central

    Müller, C.; Nolden, S.; Gebhardt, P.; Heinzelmann, E.; Lange, C.; Puk, O.; Welzel, K.; Wohlleben, W.; Schwartz, D.

    2007-01-01

    Actinoplanes friuliensis produces the lipopeptide antibiotic friulimicin, which is a cyclic peptide with one exocyclic amino acid linked to a branched-chain fatty acid acyl residue. The structural relationship to daptomycin and the excellent antibacterial performance of friulimicin make the antibiotic an attractive drug candidate. The complete friulimicin biosynthetic gene cluster of 24 open reading frames from A. friuliensis was sequenced and analyzed. In addition to genes for regulation, self-resistance, and transport, the cluster contains genes encoding peptide synthetases, proteins involved in the synthesis and linkage of the fatty acid component of the antibiotic, and proteins involved in the synthesis of the nonproteinogenic amino acids pipecolinic acid, methylaspartic acid, and 2,3-diaminobutyric acid. By using heterologous gene expression in Escherichia coli, we provide biochemical evidence for the stereoselective synthesis of l-pipecolinic acid by the deduced protein of the lysine cyclodeaminase gene pip. Furthermore, we show the involvement of the dabA and dabB genes in the biosynthesis of 2,3-diaminobutyric acid by gene inactivation and subsequent feeding experiments. PMID:17220414

  16. 7 CFR 983.4 - Aflatoxin.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... molds Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Aflatoxins are naturally occurring compounds produced by molds, which can be spread in improperly processed and stored nuts, dried fruits and grains....

  17. 7 CFR 983.4 - Aflatoxin.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... molds Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Aflatoxins are naturally occurring compounds produced by molds, which can be spread in improperly processed and stored nuts, dried fruits and grains....

  18. 7 CFR 983.4 - Aflatoxin.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... molds Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Aflatoxins are naturally occurring compounds produced by molds, which can be spread in improperly processed and stored nuts, dried fruits and grains....

  19. 7 CFR 983.4 - Aflatoxin.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... molds Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Aflatoxins are naturally occurring compounds produced by molds, which can be spread in improperly processed and stored nuts, dried fruits and grains....

  20. Aflatoxins in black tea in Iran.

    PubMed

    Pouretedal, Zohreh; Mazaheri, Mansooreh

    2013-01-01

    Aflatoxins (AFs) are highly toxic, and carcinogenic secondary fungal metabolites and have been detected in various food commodities. In this regard, 40 black tea samples including domestic and imported black tea were analysed for aflatoxin contamination by high-performance liquid chromatography using a post-column derivatisation procedure (Kobra cell) with fluorescence detection. Samples were randomly collected in 2010 from Tehran markets. The results revealed that 30 among 40 samples were contaminated with aflatoxins (27.5% of the total). Mean AFB1 content was 10.0 ng/g and mean of aflatoxin total was 12.07 ng/g for the 11 contaminated samples.

  1. Visualizing the HoxD Gene Cluster at the Nanoscale Level.

    PubMed

    Fabre, Pierre J; Benke, Alexander; Manley, Suliana; Duboule, Denis

    2015-01-01

    Transcription of HoxD cluster genes in limbs is coordinated by two topologically associating domains (TADs), neighboring the cluster and containing various enhancers. Here, we use a combination of microscopy approaches and chromosome conformation capture to assess the structural changes occurring in this global architecture in various functional states. We observed that despite their spatial juxtaposition, the TADs are consistently kept as distinct three-dimensional units. Hox genes located at their boundary can show significant spatial segregation over long distances, suggesting that physical elongation of the HoxD cluster occurs. The use of superresolution imaging (STORM [stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy]) revealed that the gene cluster can be in an either compact or elongated shape. The latter configuration is observed in transcriptionally active tissue and in embryonic stem cells, consistent with chromosome conformation capture results. Such morphological changes at HoxD in developing digits seem to be associated with its position at the boundary between two TADs and support the idea that chromatin dynamics is important in the establishment of transcriptional activity. PMID:26767994

  2. Sequencing and transcriptional analysis of the biosynthesis gene cluster of putrescine-producing Lactococcus lactis.

    PubMed

    Ladero, Victor; Rattray, Fergal P; Mayo, Baltasar; Martín, María Cruz; Fernández, María; Alvarez, Miguel A

    2011-09-01

    Lactococcus lactis is a prokaryotic microorganism with great importance as a culture starter and has become the model species among the lactic acid bacteria. The long and safe history of use of L. lactis in dairy fermentations has resulted in the classification of this species as GRAS (General Regarded As Safe) or QPS (Qualified Presumption of Safety). However, our group has identified several strains of L. lactis subsp. lactis and L. lactis subsp. cremoris that are able to produce putrescine from agmatine via the agmatine deiminase (AGDI) pathway. Putrescine is a biogenic amine that confers undesirable flavor characteristics and may even have toxic effects. The AGDI cluster of L. lactis is composed of a putative regulatory gene, aguR, followed by the genes (aguB, aguD, aguA, and aguC) encoding the catabolic enzymes. These genes are transcribed as an operon that is induced in the presence of agmatine. In some strains, an insertion (IS) element interrupts the transcription of the cluster, which results in a non-putrescine-producing phenotype. Based on this knowledge, a PCR-based test was developed in order to differentiate nonproducing L. lactis strains from those with a functional AGDI cluster. The analysis of the AGDI cluster and their flanking regions revealed that the capacity to produce putrescine via the AGDI pathway could be a specific characteristic that was lost during the adaptation to the milk environment by a process of reductive genome evolution.

  3. Amplification of the entire kanamycin biosynthetic gene cluster during empirical strain improvement of Streptomyces kanamyceticus.

    PubMed

    Yanai, Koji; Murakami, Takeshi; Bibb, Mervyn

    2006-06-20

    Streptomyces kanamyceticus 12-6 is a derivative of the wild-type strain developed for industrial kanamycin (Km) production. Southern analysis and DNA sequencing revealed amplification of a large genomic segment including the entire Km biosynthetic gene cluster in the chromosome of strain 12-6. At 145 kb, the amplifiable unit of DNA (AUD) is the largest AUD reported in Streptomyces. Striking repetitive DNA sequences belonging to the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats family were found in the AUD and may play a role in its amplification. Strain 12-6 contains a mixture of different chromosomes with varying numbers of AUDs, sometimes exceeding 36 copies and producing an amplified region >5.7 Mb. The level of Km production depended on the copy number of the Km biosynthetic gene cluster, suggesting that DNA amplification occurred during strain improvement as a consequence of selection for increased Km resistance. Amplification of DNA segments including entire antibiotic biosynthetic gene clusters might be a common mechanism leading to increased antibiotic production in industrial strains.

  4. A USA-Africa collaborative strategy for identifying, characterizing, and developing maize germplasm with resistance to aflatoxin contamination.

    PubMed

    Menkir, Abebe; Brown, Robert L; Bandyopadhyay, Ranajit; Chen, Zhi-Yuan; Cleveland, Thomas E

    2006-09-01

    Aflatoxin contamination of maize by Aspergillus flavus poses serious potential economic losses in the US and health hazards to humans, particularly in West Africa. The Southern Regional Research Center of the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS-SRRC) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) initiated a collaborative breeding project to develop maize germplasm with resistance to aflatoxin accumulation. Resistant genotypes from the US and selected inbred lines from IITA were used to generate backcrosses with 75% US germplasm and F(1) crosses with 50% IITA and 50% US germplasm. A total of 65 S(4) lines were developed from the backcross populations and 144 S(4) lines were derived from the F(1) crosses. These lines were separated into groups and screened in SRRC laboratory using a kernel-screening assay. Significant differences in aflatoxin production were detected among the lines within each group. Several promising S(4) lines with aflatoxin values significantly lower than their respective US resistant recurrent parent or their elite tropical inbred parent were selected for resistance-confirmation tests. We found pairs of S(4) lines with 75-94% common genetic backgrounds differing significantly in aflatoxin accumulation. These pairs of lines are currently being used for proteome analysis to identify resistance-associated proteins and the corresponding genes underlying resistance to aflatoxin accumulation. Following confirmation tests in the laboratory, lines with consistently low aflatoxin levels will be inoculated with A. flavus in the field in Nigeria to identify lines resistant to strains specific to both US and West Africa. Maize inbred lines with desirable agronomic traits and low levels of aflatoxin in the field would be released as sources of genes for resistance to aflatoxin production. PMID:16944289

  5. Localization of the {alpha}7 integrin gene (ITGA7) on human chromosome 12q13: Clustering of integrin and Hox genes implies parallel evolution of these gene families

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, W.; Wu, W.; Kaufman, S.J.

    1995-04-10

    Expression of the {alpha}7 integrin gene (ITGA7) is developmentally regulated during the formation of skeletal muscle. Increased levels of expression and production of isoforms containing different cytoplasmic and extracellular domains accompany myogenesis. To determine whether a single or multiple {alpha}7 gene(s) underlie the structural diversity in this alpha chain that accompanies development, we have examined the rat and human genomes by Southern blotting and in situ hybridization. Our results demonstrate that there is only one {alpha}7 gene in both the rat and the human genomes. In the human, ITGA7 is present on chromosome 12q13. Phylogenetic analysis of the integrin alpha chain sequences suggests that the early integrin genes evolved in two pathways to form the I-integrins and the non-I-integrins. The I-integrin alpha chains contain an additional sequence of approximately 180 amino acids and arose as a result of an early insertion into the non-I-gene. The I-chain subfamily further evolved by duplications within the same chromosome. The non-I-integrin alpha chain genes are localized in clusters on chromosomes 2, 12, and 17, and this closely coincides with the localization of the human homeobox gene clusters. Non-I-integrin alpha chain genes appear to have evolved in parallel and in proximity to the Hox clusters. Thus, the Hox genes that underlie the design of body structure and the Integrin genes that underlie informed cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions appear to have evolved in parallel and coordinate fashions. 52 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

  6. A Papaver somniferum 10-gene cluster for synthesis of the anticancer alkaloid noscapine.

    PubMed

    Winzer, Thilo; Gazda, Valeria; He, Zhesi; Kaminski, Filip; Kern, Marcelo; Larson, Tony R; Li, Yi; Meade, Fergus; Teodor, Roxana; Vaistij, Fabián E; Walker, Carol; Bowser, Tim A; Graham, Ian A

    2012-06-29

    Noscapine is an antitumor alkaloid from opium poppy that binds tubulin, arrests metaphase, and induces apoptosis in dividing human cells. Elucidation of the biosynthetic pathway will enable improvement in the commercial production of noscapine and related bioactive molecules. Transcriptomic analysis revealed the exclusive expression of 10 genes encoding five distinct enzyme classes in a high noscapine-producing poppy variety, HN1. Analysis of an F(2) mapping population indicated that these genes are tightly linked in HN1, and bacterial artificial chromosome sequencing confirmed that they exist as a complex gene cluster for plant alkaloids. Virus-induced gene silencing resulted in accumulation of pathway intermediates, allowing gene function to be linked to noscapine synthesis and a novel biosynthetic pathway to be proposed.

  7. Random Monoallelic Expression of Three Genes Clustered within 60 kb of Mouse t Complex Genomic DNA

    PubMed Central

    Sano, Yuri; Shimada, Tokihiko; Nakashima, Hiroshi; Nicholson, Rhonda H.; Eliason, James F.; Kocarek, Thomas A.; Ko, Minoru S.H.

    2001-01-01

    Mammals achieve gene dosage control by (1) random X-chromosome inactivation in females, (2) parental origin-specific imprinting of selected autosomal genes, and (3) random autosomal inactivation. Genes belonging to the third category of epigenetic phenomenon are just now emerging, with only six identified so far. Here we report three additional genes, Nubp2, Igfals, and Jsap1, that show 50%-methylated CpG sites by Southern blot analyses and primarily monoallelic expression in single-cell allele-specific RT-PCR analysis of bone marrow stromal cells and hepatocytes. Furthermore, we show that, in contrast to X inactivation, alleles can switch between active and inactive states during the formation of daughter cells. These three genes are the first in their category to exist as a tight cluster, in the proximal region of mouse chromosome 17, providing a thus far unique example of a region of autosomal random monoallelic expression. PMID:11691847

  8. Conservation of the pyrrolnitrin biosynthetic gene cluster among six pyrrolnitrin-producing strains.

    PubMed

    Hammer, P E; Burd, W; Hill, D S; Ligon, J M; van Pée, K

    1999-11-01

    The prnABCD gene cluster from Pseudomonas fluorescens encodes the biosynthetic pathway for pyrrolnitrin, a secondary metabolite derived from tryptophan which has strong anti-fungal activity. We used the prn genes from P. fluorescens strain BL915 as a probe to clone and sequence homologous genes from three other Pseudomonas strains, Burkholderia cepacia and Myxococcus fulvus. With the exception of the prnA gene from M. fulvus59% similar among the strains, indicating that the biochemical pathway for pyrrolnitrin biosynthesis is highly conserved. The prnA gene from M. fulvus is about 45% similar to prnA from the other strains and contains regions which are highly conserved among all six strains.

  9. Effect of sexual recombination on population diversity in aflatoxin production by Aspergillus flavus and evidence for cryptic heterokaryosis.

    PubMed

    Olarte, Rodrigo A; Horn, Bruce W; Dorner, Joe W; Monacell, James T; Singh, Rakhi; Stone, Eric A; Carbone, Ignazio

    2012-03-01

    Aspergillus flavus is the major producer of carcinogenic aflatoxins (AFs) in crops worldwide. Natural populations of A. flavus show tremendous variation in AF production, some of which can be attributed to environmental conditions, differential regulation of the AF biosynthetic pathway and deletions or loss-of-function mutations in the AF gene cluster. Understanding the evolutionary processes that generate genetic diversity in A. flavus may also explain quantitative differences in aflatoxigenicity. Several population studies using multilocus genealogical approaches provide indirect evidence of recombination in the genome and specifically in the AF gene cluster. More recently, A. flavus has been shown to be functionally heterothallic and capable of sexual reproduction in laboratory crosses. In the present study, we characterize the progeny from nine A. flavus crosses using toxin phenotype assays, DNA sequence-based markers and array comparative genome hybridization. We show high AF heritability linked to genetic variation in the AF gene cluster, as well as recombination through the independent assortment of chromosomes and through crossing over within the AF cluster that coincides with inferred recombination blocks and hotspots in natural populations. Moreover, the vertical transmission of cryptic alleles indicates that while an A. flavus deletion strain is predominantly homokaryotic, it may harbour AF cluster genes at a low copy number. Results from experimental matings indicate that sexual recombination is driving genetic and functional hyperdiversity in A. flavus. The results of this study have significant implications for managing AF contamination of crops and for improving biocontrol strategies using nonaflatoxigenic strains of A. flavus.

  10. Structure and gene cluster of the o-antigen of Escherichia coli o96.

    PubMed

    Guo, Xi; Senchenkova, Sof'ya N; Shashkov, Alexander S; Perepelov, Andrei V; Liu, Bin; Knirel, Yuriy A

    2016-02-01

    Mild acid degradation of the lipopolysaccharide of Escherichia coli O96 afforded a mixture of two polysaccharides. The following structure of the pentasaccharide repeating unit of the major polymer was established by sugar analysis, Smith degradation, and (1)H and (13)C NMR spectroscopy: [Formula: see text]. The O-antigen gene cluster of E. coli O96 between conserved galF and gnd genes was found to be consistent with this structure, and hence, the major polysaccharide represents the O96-antigen. The O96-antigen structure and gene cluster are similar to those of E. coli O170, and two proteins encoded in the gene clusters of both bacteria were putatively assigned a function of galactofuranosyltransferases. The minor polymer has the same structure as a peptidoglycan-related polysaccharide reported earlier in Providencia alcalifeciens O45 and several other O-serogoups of this species (Ovchinnikova OG, Liu B, Kocharova NA, Shashkov AS, Kondakova AN, Siwinska M, Feng L, Rozalski A, Wang L, Knirel YA. Biochemistry (Moscow) 2012;77:609-15) → 4)-β-D-GlcpNAc-(1 → 4)-β-D-GlcpNAc3(Rlac-lAla)-(1 → where Rlac-lAla indicates (R)-1-[(S)-1-carboxyethylaminocarbonyl]ethyl.

  11. The hydroxyectoine gene cluster of the non-halophilic acidophile Acidiphilium cryptum.

    PubMed

    Moritz, Katharina D; Amendt, Birgit; Witt, Elisabeth M H J; Galinski, Erwin A

    2015-01-01

    Acidiphilium cryptum is an acidophilic, heterotrophic α-Proteobacterium which thrives in acidic, metal-rich environments (e.g. acid mine drainage). Recently, an ectABCDask gene cluster for biosynthesis of the compatible solutes ectoine and hydroxyectoine was detected in the genome sequence of A. cryptum JF-5. We were able to demonstrate that the type strain A. cryptum DSM 2389(T) is capable of synthesizing the compatible solute hydroxyectoine in response to moderate osmotic stress caused by sodium chloride and aluminium sulphate, respectively. Furthermore, we used the A. cryptum JF-5 sequence to amplify the ectABCDask gene cluster from strain DSM 2389(T) and achieved heterologous expression of the gene cluster in Escherichia coli. Hence, we could for the first time prove metabolic functionality of the genes responsible for hydroxyectoine biosynthesis in the acidophile A. cryptum. In addition, we present information on specific enzyme activity of A. cryptum DSM 2389(T) ectoine synthase (EctC) in vitro. In contrast to EctCs from halophilic microorganisms, the A. cryptum enzyme exhibits a higher isoelectric point, thus a lower acidity, and has maximum specific activity in the absence of sodium chloride.

  12. Identification and Engineering of the Cytochalasin Gene Cluster from Aspergillus clavatus NRRL 1

    PubMed Central

    Qiao, Kangjian; Chooi, Yit-Heng; Tang, Yi

    2012-01-01

    Cytochalasins are a group of fungal secondary metabolites with diverse structures and bioactivities, including cytochalasin E produced by Aspergillus clavatus, which is a potent anti-angiogenic agent. Here, we report the identification and characterization of the cytochalasin gene cluster from A. clavatus NRRL 1. As a producer of cytochalasin E and K, the genome of A. clavatus was analyzed and the ~30 kb ccs gene cluster was identified based on the presence of a polyketide synthase-nonribosomal peptide synthetases (PKS-NRPS) and a putative Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenase (BVMO). Deletion of the central PKS-NRPS gene, ccsA, abolished the production of cytochalasin E and K, confirming the association between the natural products and the gene cluster. Based on bioinformatic analysis, a putative biosynthetic pathway is proposed. Furthermore, overexpression of the pathway specific regulator ccsR elevated the titer of cytochalasin E from 25 mg/L to 175 mg/L. Our results not only shed light on the biosynthesis of cytochalasins, but also provided genetic tools for increasing and engineering the production. PMID:21983160

  13. Two new aflatoxin producing species, and an overview of Aspergillus section Flavi

    PubMed Central

    Varga, J.; Frisvad, J.C.; Samson, R.A.

    2011-01-01

    Aspergillus subgenus Circumdati section Flavi includes species with usually biseriate conidial heads, in shades of yellow-green to brown, and dark sclerotia. Several species assigned to this section are either important mycotoxin producers including aflatoxins, cyclopiazonic acid, ochratoxins and kojic acid, or are used in oriental food fermentation processes and as hosts for heterologous gene expression. A polyphasic approach was applied using morphological characters, extrolite data and partial calmodulin, β-tubulin and ITS sequences to examine the evolutionary relationships within this section. The data indicate that Aspergillus section Flavi involves 22 species, which can be grouped into seven clades. Two new species, A. pseudocaelatus sp. nov. and A. pseudonomius sp. nov. have been discovered, and can be distinguished from other species in this section based on sequence data and extrolite profiles. Aspergillus pseudocaelatus is represented by a single isolate collected from Arachis burkartii leaf in Argentina, is closely related to the non-aflatoxin producing A. caelatus, and produces aflatoxins B & G, cyclopiazonic acid and kojic acid, while A. pseudonomius was isolated from insects and soil in the USA. This species is related to A. nomius, and produces aflatoxin B1 (but not G-type aflatoxins), chrysogine and kojic acid. In order to prove the aflatoxin producing abilities of the isolates, phylogenetic analysis of three genes taking part in aflatoxin biosynthesis, including the transcriptional regulator aflR, norsolonic acid reductase and O-methyltransferase were also carried out. A detailed overview of the species accepted in Aspergillus section Flavi is presented. PMID:21892243

  14. Molecular analysis of SCARECROW genes expressed in white lupin cluster roots.

    PubMed

    Sbabou, Laila; Bucciarelli, Bruna; Miller, Susan; Liu, Junqi; Berhada, Fatiha; Filali-Maltouf, Abdelkarim; Allan, Deborah; Vance, Carroll

    2010-03-01

    The Scarecrow (SCR) transcription factor plays a crucial role in root cell radial patterning and is required for maintenance of the quiescent centre and differentiation of the endodermis. In response to phosphorus (P) deficiency, white lupin (Lupinus albus L.) root surface area increases some 50-fold to 70-fold due to the development of cluster (proteoid) roots. Previously it was reported that SCR-like expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were expressed during early cluster root development. Here the cloning of two white lupin SCR genes, LaSCR1 and LaSCR2, is reported. The predicted amino acid sequences of both LaSCR gene products are highly similar to AtSCR and contain C-terminal conserved GRAS family domains. LaSCR1 and LaSCR2 transcript accumulation localized to the endodermis of both normal and cluster roots as shown by in situ hybridization and gene promoter::reporter staining. Transcript analysis as evaluated by quantitative real-time-PCR (qRT-PCR) and RNA gel hybridization indicated that the two LaSCR genes are expressed predominantly in roots. Expression of LaSCR genes was not directly responsive to the P status of the plant but was a function of cluster root development. Suppression of LaSCR1 in transformed roots of lupin and Medicago via RNAi (RNA interference) delivered through Agrobacterium rhizogenes resulted in decreased root numbers, reflecting the potential role of LaSCR1 in maintaining root growth in these species. The results suggest that the functional orthologues of AtSCR have been characterized.

  15. Toward elucidation of genetic and functional genetic mechanisms in corn host resistance to Aspergillus flavus infection and aflatoxin contamination.

    PubMed

    Shan, Xueyan; Williams, W Paul

    2014-01-01

    Aflatoxins are carcinogenic mycotoxins produced by some species in the Aspergillus genus, such as A. flavus and A. parasiticus. Contamination of aflatoxins in corn profusely happens at pre-harvest stage when heat and drought field conditions favor A. flavus colonization. Commercial corn hybrids are generally susceptible to A. flavus infection. An ideal strategy for preventing aflatoxin contamination is through the enhancement of corn host resistance to Aspergillus infection and aflatoxin production. Constant efforts have been made by corn breeders to develop resistant corn genotypes. Significantly low levels of aflatoxin accumulation have been determined in certain resistant corn inbred lines. A number of reports of quantitative trait loci have provided compelling evidence supporting the quantitative trait genetic basis of corn host resistance to aflatoxin accumulation. Important findings have also been obtained from the investigation on candidate resistance genes through transcriptomics approach. Elucidation of molecular mechanisms will provide in-depth understanding of the host-pathogen interactions and hence facilitate the breeding of corn with resistance to A. flavus infection and aflatoxin accumulation. PMID:25101068

  16. Toward elucidation of genetic and functional genetic mechanisms in corn host resistance to Aspergillus flavus infection and aflatoxin contamination

    PubMed Central

    Shan, Xueyan; Williams, W. Paul

    2014-01-01

    Aflatoxins are carcinogenic mycotoxins produced by some species in the Aspergillus genus, such as A. flavus and A. parasiticus. Contamination of aflatoxins in corn profusely happens at pre-harvest stage when heat and drought field conditions favor A. flavus colonization. Commercial corn hybrids are generally susceptible to A. flavus infection. An ideal strategy for preventing aflatoxin contamination is through the enhancement of corn host resistance to Aspergillus infection and aflatoxin production. Constant efforts have been made by corn breeders to develop resistant corn genotypes. Significantly low levels of aflatoxin accumulation have been determined in certain resistant corn inbred lines. A number of reports of quantitative trait loci have provided compelling evidence supporting the quantitative trait genetic basis of corn host resistance to aflatoxin accumulation. Important findings have also been obtained from the investigation on candidate resistance genes through transcriptomics approach. Elucidation of molecular mechanisms will provide in-depth understanding of the host–pathogen interactions and hence facilitate the breeding of corn with resistance to A. flavus infection and aflatoxin accumulation. PMID:25101068

  17. A Large Gene Cluster Encoding Several Magnetosome Proteins Is Conserved in Different Species of Magnetotactic Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Grünberg, Karen; Wawer, Cathrin; Tebo, Bradley M.; Schüler, Dirk

    2001-01-01

    In magnetotactic bacteria, a number of specific proteins are associated with the magnetosome membrane (MM) and may have a crucial role in magnetite biomineralization. We have cloned and sequenced the genes of several of these polypeptides in the magnetotactic bacterium Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense that could be assigned to two different genomic regions. Except for mamA, none of these genes have been previously reported to be related to magnetosome formation. Homologous genes were found in the genome sequences of M. magnetotacticum and magnetic coccus strain MC-1. The MM proteins identified display homology to tetratricopeptide repeat proteins (MamA), cation diffusion facilitators (MamB), and HtrA-like serine proteases (MamE) or bear no similarity to known proteins (MamC and MamD). A major gene cluster containing several magnetosome genes (including mamA and mamB) was found to be conserved in all three of the strains investigated. The mamAB cluster also contains additional genes that have no known homologs in any nonmagnetic organism, suggesting a specific role in magnetosome formation. PMID:11571158

  18. Spatial expression of Hox cluster genes in the ontogeny of a sea urchin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arenas-Mena, C.; Cameron, A. R.; Davidson, E. H.

    2000-01-01

    The Hox cluster of the sea urchin Strongylocentrous purpuratus contains ten genes in a 500 kb span of the genome. Only two of these genes are expressed during embryogenesis, while all of eight genes tested are expressed during development of the adult body plan in the larval stage. We report the spatial expression during larval development of the five 'posterior' genes of the cluster: SpHox7, SpHox8, SpHox9/10, SpHox11/13a and SpHox11/13b. The five genes exhibit a dynamic, largely mesodermal program of expression. Only SpHox7 displays extensive expression within the pentameral rudiment itself. A spatially sequential and colinear arrangement of expression domains is found in the somatocoels, the paired posterior mesodermal structures that will become the adult perivisceral coeloms. No such sequential expression pattern is observed in endodermal, epidermal or neural tissues of either the larva or the presumptive juvenile sea urchin. The spatial expression patterns of the Hox genes illuminate the evolutionary process by which the pentameral echinoderm body plan emerged from a bilateral ancestor.

  19. Conserved gene clusters in bacterial genomes provide further support for the primacy of RNA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siefert, J. L.; Martin, K. A.; Abdi, F.; Widger, W. R.; Fox, G. E.

    1997-01-01

    Five complete bacterial genome sequences have been released to the scientific community. These include four (eu)Bacteria, Haemophilus influenzae, Mycoplasma genitalium, M. pneumoniae, and Synechocystis PCC 6803, as well as one Archaeon, Methanococcus jannaschii. Features of organization shared by these genomes are likely to have arisen very early in the history of the bacteria and thus can be expected to provide further insight into the nature of early ancestors. Results of a genome comparison of these five organisms confirm earlier observations that gene order is remarkably unpreserved. There are, nevertheless, at least 16 clusters of two or more genes whose order remains the same among the four (eu)Bacteria and these are presumed to reflect conserved elements of coordinated gene expression that require gene proximity. Eight of these gene orders are essentially conserved in the Archaea as well. Many of these clusters are known to be regulated by RNA-level mechanisms in Escherichia coli, which supports the earlier suggestion that this type of regulation of gene expression may have arisen very early. We conclude that although the last common ancestor may have had a DNA genome, it likely was preceded by progenotes with an RNA genome.

  20. Analysis of the human alpha-globin gene cluster in transgenic mice.

    PubMed Central

    Sharpe, J A; Wells, D J; Whitelaw, E; Vyas, P; Higgs, D R; Wood, W G

    1993-01-01

    A 350-bp segment of DNA associated with an erythroid-specific DNase I-hypersensitive site (HS-40), upstream of the alpha-globin gene cluster, has been identified as the major tissue-specific regulator of the alpha-globin genes. However, this element does not direct copy number-dependent or developmentally stable expression of the human genes in transgenic mice. To determine whether additional upstream hypersensitive sites could provide more complete regulation of alpha gene expression we have studied 17 lines of transgenic mice bearing various DNA fragments containing HSs -33, -10, -8, and -4, in addition to HS -40. Position-independent, high-level expression of the human zeta- and alpha-globin genes was consistently observed in embryonic erythroid cells. However, the additional HSs did not confer copy-number dependence, alter the level of expression, or prevent the variable down-regulation of expression in adults. These results suggest that the region upstream of the human alpha-globin genes is not equivalent to that upstream of the beta locus and that although the two clusters are coordinately expressed, there may be differences in their regulation. Images Fig. 2 Fig. 4 Fig. 6 PMID:8248238

  1. Identification of novel mureidomycin analogues via rational activation of a cryptic gene cluster in Streptomyces roseosporus NRRL 15998

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Lingjuan; Wang, Lu; Zhang, Jihui; Liu, Hao; Hong, Bin; Tan, Huarong; Niu, Guoqing

    2015-01-01

    Antimicrobial agents are urgently needed to tackle the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. An important source of new antimicrobials is the large repertoire of cryptic gene clusters embedded in microbial genomes. Genome mining revealed a napsamycin/mureidomycin biosynthetic gene cluster in the chromosome of Streptomyces roseosporus NRRL 15998. The cryptic gene cluster was activated by constitutive expression of a foreign activator gene ssaA from sansanmycin biosynthetic gene cluster of Streptomyces sp. strain SS. Expression of the gene cluster was verified by RT-PCR analysis of key biosynthetic genes. The activated metabolites demonstrated potent inhibitory activity against the highly refractory pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and characterization of the metabolites led to the discovery of eight acetylated mureidomycin analogues. To our surprise, constitutive expression of the native activator gene SSGG_02995, a ssaA homologue in S. roseosporus NRRL 15998, has no beneficial effect on mureidomycin stimulation. This study provides a new way to activate cryptic gene cluster for the acquisition of novel antibiotics and will accelerate the exploitation of prodigious natural products in Streptomyces. PMID:26370924

  2. Versatile Cosmid Vectors for the Isolation, Expression, and Rescue of Gene Sequences: Studies with the Human α -globin Gene Cluster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, Yun-Fai; Kan, Yuet Wai

    1983-09-01

    We have developed a series of cosmids that can be used as vectors for genomic recombinant DNA library preparations, as expression vectors in mammalian cells for both transient and stable transformations, and as shuttle vectors between bacteria and mammalian cells. These cosmids were constructed by inserting one of the SV2-derived selectable gene markers-SV2-gpt, SV2-DHFR, and SV2-neo-in cosmid pJB8. High efficiency of genomic cloning was obtained with these cosmids and the size of the inserts was 30-42 kilobases. We isolated recombinant cosmids containing the human α -globin gene cluster from these genomic libraries. The simian virus 40 DNA in these selectable gene markers provides the origin of replication and enhancer sequences necessary for replication in permissive cells such as COS 7 cells and thereby allows transient expression of α -globin genes in these cells. These cosmids and their recombinants could also be stably transformed into mammalian cells by using the respective selection systems. Both of the adult α -globin genes were more actively expressed than the embryonic zeta -globin genes in these transformed cell lines. Because of the presence of the cohesive ends of the Charon 4A phage in the cosmids, the transforming DNA sequences could readily be rescued from these stably transformed cells into bacteria by in vitro packaging of total cellular DNA. Thus, these cosmid vectors are potentially useful for direct isolation of structural genes.

  3. Onto-CC: a web server for identifying Gene Ontology conceptual clusters.

    PubMed

    Romero-Zaliz, R; Del Val, C; Cobb, J P; Zwir, I

    2008-07-01

    The Gene Ontology (GO) vocabulary has been extensively explored to analyze the functions of coexpressed genes. However, despite its extended use in Biology and Medical Sciences, there are still high levels of uncertainty about which ontology (i.e. Molecular Process, Cellular Component or Molecular Function) should be used, and at which level of specificity. Moreover, the GO database can contain incomplete information resulting from human annotations, or highly influenced by the available knowledge about a specific branch in an ontology. In spite of these drawbacks, there is a trend to ignore these problems and even use GO terms to conduct searches of gene expression profiles (i.e. expression + GO) instead of more cautious approaches that just consider them as an independent source of validation (i.e. expression versus GO). Consequently, propagating the uncertainty and producing biased analysis of the required gene grouping hypotheses. We proposed a web tool, Onto-CC, as an automatic method specially suited for independent explanation/validation of gene grouping hypotheses (e.g. coexpressed genes) based on GO clusters (i.e. expression versus GO). Onto-CC approach reduces the uncertainty of the queries by identifying optimal conceptual clusters that combine terms from different ontologies simultaneously, as well as terms defined at different levels of specificity in the GO hierarchy. To do so, we implemented the EMO-CC methodology to find clusters in structural databases [GO Directed acyclic Graph (DAG) tree], inspired on Conceptual Clustering algorithms. This approach allows the management of optimal cluster sets as potential parallel hypotheses, guided by multiobjective/multimodal optimization techniques. Therefore, we can generate alternative and, still, optimal explanations of queries that can provide new insights for a given problem. Onto-CC has been successfully used to test different medical and biological hypotheses including the explanation and prediction of

  4. Onto-CC: a web server for identifying Gene Ontology conceptual clusters

    PubMed Central

    Romero-Zaliz, R.; del Val, C.; Cobb, J. P.; Zwir, I.

    2008-01-01

    The Gene Ontology (GO) vocabulary has been extensively explored to analyze the functions of coexpressed genes. However, despite its extended use in Biology and Medical Sciences, there are still high levels of uncertainty about which ontology (i.e. Molecular Process, Cellular Component or Molecular Function) should be used, and at which level of specificity. Moreover, the GO database can contain incomplete information resulting from human annotations, or highly influenced by the available knowledge about a specific branch in an ontology. In spite of these drawbacks, there is a trend to ignore these problems and even use GO terms to conduct searches of gene expression profiles (i.e. expression + GO) instead of more cautious approaches that just consider them as an independent source of validation (i.e. expression versus GO). Consequently, propagating the uncertainty and producing biased analysis of the required gene grouping hypotheses. We proposed a web tool, Onto-CC, as an automatic method specially suited for independent explanation/validation of gene grouping hypotheses (e.g. coexpressed genes) based on GO clusters (i.e. expression versus GO). Onto-CC approach reduces the uncertainty of the queries by identifying optimal conceptual clusters that combine terms from different ontologies simultaneously, as well as terms defined at different levels of specificity in the GO hierarchy. To do so, we implemented the EMO-CC methodology to find clusters in structural databases [GO Directed acyclic Graph (DAG) tree], inspired on Conceptual Clustering algorithms. This approach allows the management of optimal cluster sets as potential parallel hypotheses, guided by multiobjective/multimodal optimization techniques. Therefore, we can generate alternative and, still, optimal explanations of queries that can provide new insights for a given problem. Onto-CC has been successfully used to test different medical and biological hypotheses including the explanation and prediction of

  5. Cluster Analysis of Tumor Suppressor Genes in Canine Leukocytes Identifies Activation State

    PubMed Central

    Daly, Julie-Anne; Mortlock, Sally-Anne; Taylor, Rosanne M.; Williamson, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Cells of the immune system undergo activation and subsequent proliferation in the normal course of an immune response. Infrequently, the molecular and cellular events that underlie the mechanisms of proliferation are dysregulated and may lead to oncogenesis, leading to tumor formation. The most common forms of immunological cancers are lymphomas, which in dogs account for 8%–20% of all cancers, affecting up to 1.2% of the dog population. Key genes involved in negatively regulating proliferation of lymphocytes include a group classified as tumor suppressor genes (TSGs). These genes are also known to be associated with progression of lymphoma in humans, mice, and dogs and are potential candidates for pathological grading and diagnosis. The aim of the present study was to analyze TSG profiles in stimulated leukocytes from dogs to identify genes that discriminate an activated phenotype. A total of 554 TSGs and three gene set collections were analyzed from microarray data. Cluster analysis of three subsets of genes discriminated between stimulated and unstimulated cells. These included 20 most upregulated and downregulated TSGs, TSG in hallmark gene sets significantly enriched in active cells, and a selection of candidate TSGs, p15 (CDKN2B), p18 (CDKN2C), p19 (CDKN1A), p21 (CDKN2A), p27 (CDKN1B), and p53 (TP53) in the third set. Analysis of two subsets suggested that these genes or a subset of these genes may be used as a specialized PCR set for additional analysis. PMID:27478369

  6. Analysis of Pseudomonas putida alkane-degradation gene clusters and flanking insertion sequences: evolution and regulation of the alk genes.

    PubMed

    van Beilen, J B; Panke, S; Lucchini, S; Franchini, A G; Röthlisberger, M; Witholt, B

    2001-06-01

    The Pseudomonas putida GPo1 (commonly known as Pseudomonas oleovorans GPo1) alkBFGHJKL and alkST gene clusters, which encode proteins involved in the conversion of n-alkanes to fatty acids, are located end to end on the OCT plasmid, separated by 9.7 kb of DNA. This DNA segment encodes, amongst others, a methyl-accepting transducer protein (AlkN) that may be involved in chemotaxis to alkanes. In P. putida P1, the alkBFGHJKL and alkST gene clusters are flanked by almost identical copies of the insertion sequence ISPpu4, constituting a class 1 transposon. Other insertion sequences flank and interrupt the alk genes in both strains. Apart from the coding regions of the GPo1 and P1 alk genes (80-92% sequence identity), only the alkB and alkS promoter regions are conserved. Competition experiments suggest that highly conserved inverted repeats in the alkB and alkS promoter regions bind ALKS: PMID:11390693

  7. The small MbtH-like protein encoded by an internal gene of the balhimycin biosynthetic gene cluster is not required for glycopeptide production.

    PubMed

    Stegmann, Efthimia; Rausch, Christian; Stockert, Sigrid; Burkert, Daniel; Wohlleben, Wolfgang

    2006-09-01

    The balhimycin biosynthetic gene cluster of the glycopeptide producer Amycolatopsis balhimycina includes a gene (orf1) with unknown function. orf1 shows high similarity to the mbtH gene from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In almost all nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) biosynthetic gene clusters, we could identify a small mbtH-like gene whose function in peptide biosynthesis is not known. The mbtH-like gene is always colocalized with the NRPS genes; however, it does not have a specific position in the gene cluster. In all glycopeptide biosynthetic gene clusters the orf1-like gene is always located downstream of the gene encoding the last module of the NRPS. We inactivated the orf1 gene in A. balhimycina by generating a deletion mutant. The balhimycin production is not affected in the orf1-deletion mutant and is indistinguishable from that of the wild type. For the first time, we show that the inactivation of an mbtH-like gene does not impair the biosynthesis of a nonribosomal peptide.

  8. Identification and expression of an uncharacterized Ly-6 gene cluster in zebrafish Danio rerio.

    PubMed

    Guo, Quanyang; Ji, Dongrui; Wang, Man; Zhang, Shicui; Li, Hongyan

    2015-09-01

    The Ly-6/uPAR/CD59/neurotoxin superfamily (Ly-6SF) identified in most metazoan has been shown to play important roles in different biological processes including immunity, cellular adhesion, and cell signaling. Members of this superfamily contain one or more conserved domains known as Ly-6/uPAR (LU) domain, which harbors 8 or 10 conserved cysteine residues forming 4-5 disulfide bonds. In this study, we reported the identification of a novel zebrafish Ly-6 gene cluster on chromosome 21, which consists of seven genes ly21.1, ly21.2, ly21.3, ly21.4, ly21.5, ly21.6, and ly21.7 and their spatiotemporal expression pattern during development. All the seven genes possess features typical of the Ly-6/neurotoxin superfamily, and phylogenetic analysis shows that these genes form a single cluster branching form other members of Ly-6 family, suggesting that the seven genes evolved by an event of intra-chromosome gene duplication. However, deduced Ly21.1-7 proteins share little homology with Ly-6 family proteins from other species, no orthologs are identified in vertebrates, including teleosts, hinting that ly21.1-7 genes are evolutionarily a novel addition to zebrafish. Expression analyses show that maternal mRNAs of ly21.1-7 genes are detected during early developmental stages, but later in development, they exhibit tissue-specific expression. Except for ly21.2 which is expressed in the skin ionocytes, all the remaining six genes are mainly expressed in the developing brain.

  9. The phn Genes of Burkholderia sp. Strain RP007 Constitute a Divergent Gene Cluster for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Catabolism

    PubMed Central

    Laurie, Andrew D.; Lloyd-Jones, Gareth

    1999-01-01

    Cloning and molecular ecological studies have underestimated the diversity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) catabolic genes by emphasizing classical nah-like (nah, ndo, pah, and dox) sequences. Here we report the description of a divergent set of PAH catabolic genes, the phn genes, which although isofunctional to the classical nah-like genes, show very low homology. This phn locus, which contains nine open reading frames (ORFs), was isolated on an 11.5-kb HindIII fragment from phenanthrene-degrading Burkholderia sp. strain RP007. The phn genes are significantly different in sequence and gene order from previously characterized genes for PAH degradation. They are transcribed by RP007 when grown at the expense of either naphthalene or phenanthrene, while in Escherichia coli the recombinant phn enzymes have been shown to be capable of oxidizing both naphthalene and phenanthrene to predicted metabolites. The locus encodes iron sulfur protein α and β subunits of a PAH initial dioxygenase but lacks the ferredoxin and reductase components. The dihydrodiol dehydrogenase of the RP007 pathway, PhnB, shows greater similarity to analogous dehydrogenases from described biphenyl pathways than to those characterized from naphthalene/phenanthrene pathways. An unusual extradiol dioxygenase, PhnC, shows no similarity to other extradiol dioxygenases for naphthalene or biphenyl oxidation but is the first member of the recently proposed class III extradiol dioxygenases that is specific for polycyclic arene diols. Upstream of the phn catabolic genes are two putative regulatory genes, phnR and phnS. Sequence homology suggests that phnS is a LysR-type transcriptional activator and that phnR, which is divergently transcribed with respect to phnSFECDAcAdB, is a member of the ς54-dependent family of positive transcriptional regulators. Reverse transcriptase PCR experiments suggest that this gene cluster is coordinately expressed and is under regulatory control which may involve

  10. Regulatory Feedback Loop of Two phz Gene Clusters through 5′-Untranslated Regions in Pseudomonas sp. M18

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yaqian; Du, Xilin; Lu, Zhi John; Wu, Daqiang; Zhao, Yilei; Ren, Bin; Huang, Jiaofang; Huang, Xianqing; Xu, Yuhong; Xu, Yuquan

    2011-01-01

    Background Phenazines are important compounds produced by pseudomonads and other bacteria. Two phz gene clusters called phzA1-G1 and phzA2-G2, respectively, were found in the genome of Pseudomonas sp. M18, an effective biocontrol agent, which is highly homologous to the opportunistic human pathogen P. aeruginosa PAO1, however little is known about the correlation between the expressions of two phz gene clusters. Methodology/Principal Findings Two chromosomal insertion inactivated mutants for the two gene clusters were constructed respectively and the correlation between the expressions of two phz gene clusters was investigated in strain M18. Phenazine-1-carboxylic acid (PCA) molecules produced from phzA2-G2 gene cluster are able to auto-regulate expression itself and activate the expression of phzA1-G1 gene cluster in a circulated amplification pattern. However, the post-transcriptional expression of phzA1-G1 transcript was blocked principally through 5′-untranslated region (UTR). In contrast, the phzA2-G2 gene cluster was transcribed to a lesser extent and translated efficiently and was negatively regulated by the GacA signal transduction pathway, mainly at a post-transcriptional level. Conclusions/Significance A single molecule, PCA, produced in different quantities by the two phz gene clusters acted as the functional mediator and the two phz gene clusters developed a specific regulatory mechanism which acts through 5′-UTR to transfer a single, but complex bacterial signaling event in Pseudomonas sp. strain M18. PMID:21559370

  11. Hierarchical Clustering of Breast Cancer Methylomes Revealed Differentially Methylated and Expressed Breast Cancer Genes

    PubMed Central

    Lin, I-Hsuan; Chen, Dow-Tien; Chang, Yi-Feng; Lee, Yu-Ling; Su, Chia-Hsin; Cheng, Ching; Tsai, Yi-Chien; Ng, Swee-Chuan; Chen, Hsiao-Tan; Lee, Mei-Chen; Chen, Hong-Wei; Suen, Shih-Hui; Chen, Yu-Cheng; Liu, Tze-Tze; Chang, Chuan-Hsiung; Hsu, Ming-Ta

    2015-01-01

    Oncogenic transformation of normal cells often involves epigenetic alterations, including histone modification and DNA methylation. We conducted whole-genome bisulfite sequencing to determine the DNA methylomes of normal breast, fibroadenoma, invasive ductal carcinomas and MCF7. The emergence, disappearance, expansion and contraction of kilobase-sized hypomethylated regions (HMRs) and the hypomethylation of the megabase-sized partially methylated domains (PMDs) are the major forms of methylation changes observed in breast tumor samples. Hierarchical clustering of HMR revealed tumor-specific hypermethylated clusters and differential methylated enhancers specific to normal or breast cancer cell lines. Joint analysis of gene expression and DNA methylation data of normal breast and breast cancer cells identified differentially methylated and expressed genes associated with breast and/or ovarian cancers in cancer-specific HMR clusters. Furthermore, aberrant patterns of X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) was found in breast cancer cell lines as well as breast tumor samples in the TCGA BRCA (breast invasive carcinoma) dataset. They were characterized with differentially hypermethylated XIST promoter, reduced expression of XIST, and over-expression of hypomethylated X-linked genes. High expressions of these genes were significantly associated with lower survival rates in breast cancer patients. Comprehensive analysis of the normal and breast tumor methylomes suggests selective targeting of DNA methylation changes during breast cancer progression. The weak causal relationship between DNA methylation and gene expression observed in this study is evident of more complex role of DNA methylation in the regulation of gene expression in human epigenetics that deserves further investigation. PMID:25706888

  12. Identification and characterization of a dense cluster of placenta-specific cysteine peptidase genes and related genes on mouse chromosome 13.

    PubMed

    Deussing, Jan; Kouadio, Martin; Rehman, Salima; Werber, Ingrid; Schwinde, Anne; Peters, Christoph

    2002-02-01

    Genes encoding novel murine cysteine peptidases of the papain family C1A and related genes were cloned and mapped to mouse chromosome 13, colocalizing with the previously assigned cathepsin J gene. We constructed a <460-kb phage artificial chromosome (PAC) contig and characterized a dense cluster comprising eight C1A cysteine peptidase genes, cathepsins J, M, Q, R, -1, -2, -3, and -6; three pseudogenes of cathepsins M, -1, and -2; and four genes encoding putative cysteine peptidase inhibitors related to the proregion of C1A peptidases (trophoblast-specific proteins alpha and beta and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated proteins 2alpha and -beta). Because of sequence homologies of 61.9-72.0% between cathepsin J and the other seven putative cysteine peptidases of the cluster, these peptidases are classified as "cathepsin J-like". The absence of cathepsin J-like peptidases and related genes from the human genome suggests that the cathepsin J cluster arose by partial and complete gene duplication events after the divergence of primate and rodent lineages. The expression of cathepsin J-like peptidases and related genes in the cluster is restricted to the placenta only. Clustered genes are induced at specific time points, and their expression increases toward the end of gestation. The specific expression pattern and high expression level suggest an essential role of cathepsin J-like peptidases and related genes in formation and development of the murine placenta.

  13. A system for the targeted amplification of bacterial gene clusters multiplies antibiotic yield in Streptomyces coelicolor.

    PubMed

    Murakami, Takeshi; Burian, Jan; Yanai, Koji; Bibb, Mervyn J; Thompson, Charles J

    2011-09-20

    Gene clusters found in bacterial species classified as Streptomyces encode the majority of known antibiotics as well as many pharmaceutically active compounds. A site-specific recombination system similar to those that mediate plasmid conjugation was engineered to catalyze tandem amplification of one of these gene clusters in a heterologous Streptomyces species. Three genetic elements were known to be required for DNA amplification in S. kanamyceticus: the oriT-like recombination sites RsA and RsB, and ZouA, a site-specific relaxase similar to TraA proteins that catalyze plasmid transfer. We inserted RsA and RsB sequences into the S. coelicolor genome flanking a cluster of 22 genes (act) responsible for biosynthesis of the polyketide antibiotic actinorhodin. Recombination between RsA and RsB generated zouA-dependent DNA amplification resulting in 4-12 tandem copies of the act gene cluster averaging nine repeats per genome. This resulted in a 20-fold increase in actinorhodin production compared with the parental strain. To determine whether the recombination event required taxon-specific genetic effectors or generalized bacterial recombination (recA), it was also analyzed in the heterologous host Escherichia coli. zouA was expressed under the control of an inducible promoter in wild-type and recA mutant strains. A plasmid was constructed with recombination sites RsA and RsB bordering a drug resistance marker. Induction of zouA expression generated hybrid RsB/RsA sites, evidence of site-specific recombination that occurred independently of recA. ZouA-mediated DNA amplification promises to be a valuable tool for increasing the activities of commercially important biosynthetic, degradative, and photosynthetic pathways in a wide variety of organisms.

  14. A system for the targeted amplification of bacterial gene clusters multiplies antibiotic yield in Streptomyces coelicolor

    PubMed Central

    Murakami, Takeshi; Burian, Jan; Yanai, Koji; Bibb, Mervyn J.; Thompson, Charles J.

    2011-01-01

    Gene clusters found in bacterial species classified as Streptomyces encode the majority of known antibiotics as well as many pharmaceutically active compounds. A site-specific recombination system similar to those that mediate plasmid conjugation was engineered to catalyze tandem amplification of one of these gene clusters in a heterologous Streptomyces species. Three genetic elements were known to be required for DNA amplification in S. kanamyceticus: the oriT-like recombination sites RsA and RsB, and ZouA, a site-specific relaxase similar to TraA proteins that catalyze plasmid transfer. We inserted RsA and RsB sequences into the S. coelicolor genome flanking a cluster of 22 genes (act) responsible for biosynthesis of the polyketide antibiotic actinorhodin. Recombination between RsA and RsB generated zouA-dependent DNA amplification resulting in 4–12 tandem copies of the act gene cluster averaging nine repeats per genome. This resulted in a 20-fold increase in actinorhodin production compared with the parental strain. To determine whether the recombination event required taxon-specific genetic effectors or generalized bacterial recombination (recA), it was also analyzed in the heterologous host Escherichia coli. zouA was expressed under the control of an inducible promoter in wild-type and recA mutant strains. A plasmid was constructed with recombination sites RsA and RsB bordering a drug resistance marker. Induction of zouA expression generated hybrid RsB/RsA sites, evidence of site-specific recombination that occurred independently of recA. ZouA-mediated DNA amplification promises to be a valuable tool for increasing the activities of commercially important biosynthetic, degradative, and photosynthetic pathways in a wide variety of organisms. PMID:21903924

  15. Identification and characterization of the carbapenem MM 4550 and its gene cluster in Streptomyces argenteolus ATCC 11009

    PubMed Central

    Li, Rongfeng; Lloyd, Evan P.; Moshos, Kristos A.

    2014-01-01

    Nearly 50 naturally-occurring carbapenem β-lactam antibiotics, most produced by Streptomyces, have been identified. The structural diversity of these compounds is limited to variance of the C-2 and C-6 side chains as well as the stereochemistry at C-5/C-6. These structural motifs are of interest both for their antibiotic effects and their biosynthesis. While the thienamycin gene cluster is the only active gene cluster publically available in this group, more comparative information is needed to understand the genetic basis of these structural differences. We report here the identification of MM 4550, a member of the olivanic acids, as the major carbapenem produced by S. argenteolus ATCC 11009. Its gene cluster was also identified by degenerate PCR and targeted gene inactivation. Sequence analysis revealed that genes encoding the biosynthesis of the bicyclic core and the C-6 and C-2 side chains are well conserved in the MM 4550 and thienamycin gene clusters. Three new genes, cmmSu, cmm17 and cmmPah were found in the new cluster and their putative functions in the sulfonation and epimerization of MM 4550 are proposed. Gene inactivation showed that, in addition to cmmI, two new genes, cmm22/23, encode a two-component response system thought to regulate the production of MM 4550. Overexpression of cmmI, cmm22 and cmm23 promoted MM 4550 production in an engineered strain. Finally, the involvement and putative roles of all genes in the MM 4550 cluster are proposed based on the results of bioinformatics analysis, gene inactivation, and analysis of disruption mutants. Overall, the differences between the thienamycin and MM 4550 gene clusters are reflected in characteristic structural elements and provide new insights into the biosynthesis of the complex carbapenems. PMID:24420617

  16. Comparative analysis of a conserved zinc finger gene cluster on human chromosome 19q and mouse chromosome 7

    SciTech Connect

    Shannon, M.; Mucenski, M.L.; Stubbs, L.

    1996-04-01

    Several lines of evidence now suggest that many of the zinc-finger-containing (ZNF) genes in the human genome are arranged in clusters. However, little is known about the structure or function of the clusters or about their conservation throughout evolution. Here, we report the analysis of a conserved ZNF gene cluster located in human chromosome 19q13.2 and mouse chromosome 7. Our results indicate that the human cluster consists of at least 10 related Kruppel-associated box (KRAB)-containing ZNF genes organized in tandem over a distance of 350-450 kb. Two cDNA clones representing genes in the murine cluster have been studied in detail. The KRAB A domains of these genes are nearly identical and are highly similar to human 19q13.2-derived KRAB sequences, but DNA-binding ZNF domains and other portions of the genes differ considerably. The two murine genes display distinct expression patterns, but are coexpressed in some adult tissues. These studies pave the way for a systematic analysis of the evolution of structure and function of genes within the numerous clustered ZNF families located on human chromosome 19 and elsewhere in the human and mouse genomes. 32 refs., 7 figs.

  17. Structure and gene cluster of the O-antigen of Escherichia coli O140.

    PubMed

    Perepelov, Andrei V; Wang, Quan; Senchenkova, Sof'ya N; Mei, Zhu; Shashkov, Alexander S; Wang, Lei; Knirel, Yuriy A

    2015-06-26

    An acidic O-polysaccharide (O-antigen) was isolated from the lipopolysaccharide of Escherichia coli O140 and studied by sugar analysis along with 1D and 2D (1)H and (13)C NMR spectroscopy. The following structure of the branched hexasaccharide repeating unit was established: [Formula: see text]. The O-antigen gene cluster of E. coli O140 was sequenced. The gene functions were tentatively assigned by a comparison with sequences in the available databases and found to be in full agreement with the E. coli O140 polysaccharide structure.

  18. Structure and gene cluster of the O-antigen of Escherichia coli O68.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Lingyan; Perepelov, Andrei V; Filatov, Andrei V; Liu, Bin; Shashkov, Alexander S; Senchenkova, Sof'ya N; Wang, Lei; Knirel, Yuriy A

    2014-10-01

    The O-polysaccharide (O-antigen) of Escherichia coli O68 was studied by sugar analysis, partial solvolysis with anhydrous trifluoroacetic acid, and 1D and 2D (1)H and (13)C NMR spectroscopies. The following structure of the branched heptasaccharide repeating unit was established: [structure: see text]. The O-antigen gene cluster of E. coli O68 was sequenced. The gene functions were tentatively assigned by comparison with sequences in the available databases and found to be in full agreement with the O-antigen structure.

  19. Structure and gene cluster of the O-antigen of Escherichia coli O43.

    PubMed

    Perepelov, Andrei V; Guo, Xi; Filatov, Andrei V; Liu, Bin; Knirel, Yuriy A

    2015-10-30

    The O-polysaccharide (O-antigen) of Escherichia coli O43 was isolated from the lipopolysaccharide and studied by chemical methods, including sugar analyses, Smith degradation, and solvolysis with anhydrous trifluoroacetic acid, along with (1)H and (13)C NMR spectroscopy. The following structure of the pentasaccharide repeating unit of the O-polysaccharide was established: [Formula: see text] Functions of genes in the O-antigen gene cluster of E. coli O43 were assigned by a comparison with sequences in the available databases and found to be in agreement with the O-polysaccharide structure.

  20. Localization of glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) to a gene cluster on chromosome 17q

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, T.B.; Saenz, M.; O'Connell, P.; Leach, R.J. )

    1994-02-01

    Glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) has been regionally localized to a gene cluster on human chromosome 17q. Genetic mapping through CEPH reference families demonstrated that GIP was tightly linked to NME1 and PPY and fully linked to HOXB6 and NGFR. High-resolution radiation hybrid mapping resolved the gene order as cen-PPY-HOXB6-NGFR-GIP-NME1-tel. GIP maps distal to NGFR with an estimated distance of 250 kb. 12 refs., 1 fig., 1 fig.

  1. Biostatistical analysis of gene microarrays reveals diverse expression clusters between macaque subspecies in brain SIV infection.

    PubMed

    Kneitz, S; Meisner, F; Sopper, S; Kaiser, F; Grünblatt, E; Scheller, C; Riederer, P; ter Meulen, V; Koutsilieri, E

    2007-01-01

    In this study we investigated differences in the gene expression profiling of the brains of rhesus macaques that were uninfected or infected with SIV in the asymptomatic stage or AIDS. The main aim was to use biostatistical methods to classify brain gene expression following SIV infection, without consideration of the biological significance of the individual genes. We also used data from animals treated with different pharmacological substances such as dopaminergic drugs, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) antagonists or antioxidants during the early stage of infection as these animals exhibited an accelerated or attenuated neuropsychiatric disease progression. We found macaque subspecies to be a more important factor for disease classification based on gene expression profiling than clinical symptoms or neuropathological findings. It is noteworthy that SIV-infected pharmacologically-treated. Chinese animals clustered near uninfected animals independent on the outcome of the treatment, whereas untreated SIV infected animals were clustered in a separate subtree. It is clear from this study that NeuroAIDS is a diverse disease entity and that SIV brain genes can be differentially regulated, depending on the disease type as well as changed dependent on the monkey subspecies.

  2. Separation of aflatoxins from filter cake

    SciTech Connect

    Ogawa, I.; Chriswell, C.D.

    1982-02-01

    Size-exclusion chromatography using silianized porous silica microspheres is used to clean up an environmental sample prior to aflatoxin analysis. B/sub 1/ and B/sub 2/ aflatoxins were found in an anaerobic digestor filter cake sample at concentrations of 1 ppb.

  3. Aflatoxins, hepatocellular carcinoma and public health.

    PubMed

    Magnussen, Arvin; Parsi, Mansour A

    2013-03-14

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths worldwide, primarily affecting populations in the developing countries. Aflatoxin, a food contaminant produced by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, is a known human carcinogen that has been shown to be a causative agent in the pathogenesis of HCC. Aflatoxin can affect a wide range of food commodities including corns, oilseeds, spices, and tree nuts as well as milk, meat, and dried fruit. Many factors affect the growth of Aspergillus fungi and the level of aflatoxin contamination in food. Drought stress is one of the factors that increase susceptibility of plants to Aspergillus and thus aflatoxin contamination. A recent drought is thought to be responsible for finding of trace amounts of aflatoxin in some of the corn harvested in the United States. Although it's too soon to know whether aflatoxin will be a significant problem, since United States is the world's largest corn producer and exporter, this has raised alarm bells. Strict regulations and testing of finished foods and feeds in the United States should prevent a major health scare, and prevent human exposure to deleterious levels of aflatoxin. Unfortunately, such regulations and testing are not in place in many countries. The purpose of this editorial is to summarize the current knowledge on association of aflatoxin and HCC, encourage future research and draw attention to this global public health issue. PMID:23539499

  4. Incidence of Aflatoxin in California Almonds

    PubMed Central

    Schade, J. E.; McGreevy, K.; King, A. D.; Mackey, B.; Fuller, G.

    1975-01-01

    In a survey of California almonds, aflatoxin was found in 14% of 74 samples of unsorted, in-shell almonds as received by the processor in 1972, but it occurred at very low levels (below 20 parts per billion [ppb]) in 90% of the contaminated samples. The overall proportion of individual nuts contaminated was especially low and is estimated with 95% probability to have been in the range of 1 nut/55,300 nuts to 1 nut/14,700 nuts. Aflatoxin contamination is not restricted to any particular section of the almond-growing region of California. Commercial sorting procedures are effective in removing most aflatoxin-contaminated nutmeats, since none of 26 samples of processed, whole nutmeats contained aflatoxin. In contrast, 13 of 27 samples of diced almonds were contaminated, but nine of these 13 samples contained less than 20 ppb. Only one of 25 samples of sliced nutmeats contained aflatoxin (4 ppb). Thus, aflatoxin incidence in almonds varies greatly with the category of finished product. The apparent high incidence in diced nutmeats is probably due mostly to the more uniform distribution of aflatoxin occurring in this product (because of its small particle size) than that occurring in the other products. Sample size requirements for monitoring aflatoxin in almonds are discussed. PMID:1110492

  5. Aflatoxins, hepatocellular carcinoma and public health.

    PubMed

    Magnussen, Arvin; Parsi, Mansour A

    2013-03-14

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths worldwide, primarily affecting populations in the developing countries. Aflatoxin, a food contaminant produced by the fungi Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, is a known human carcinogen that has been shown to be a causative agent in the pathogenesis of HCC. Aflatoxin can affect a wide range of food commodities including corns, oilseeds, spices, and tree nuts as well as milk, meat, and dried fruit. Many factors affect the growth of Aspergillus fungi and the level of aflatoxin contamination in food. Drought stress is one of the factors that increase susceptibility of plants to Aspergillus and thus aflatoxin contamination. A recent drought is thought to be responsible for finding of trace amounts of aflatoxin in some of the corn harvested in the United States. Although it's too soon to know whether aflatoxin will be a significant problem, since United States is the world's largest corn producer and exporter, this has raised alarm bells. Strict regulations and testing of finished foods and feeds in the United States should prevent a major health scare, and prevent human exposure to deleterious levels of aflatoxin. Unfortunately, such regulations and testing are not in place in many countries. The purpose of this editorial is to summarize the current knowledge on association of aflatoxin and HCC, encourage future research and draw attention to this global public health issue.

  6. Aflatoxins in Iran: Nature, Hazards and Carcinogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Khoshpey, B; Farhud, DD; Zaini, F

    2011-01-01

    Many studies have shown that mycotoxin contamination of agricultural products is a challenge for individual’s health especially in developing countries. Improper production and storage of foods, prepare conditions for aflatoxin production in crops, especially rice, wheat, pistachio, walnut, almond, etc which are the main sources of foods for people. Feeding livestock by contaminated bread is another way of human exposure to mycotoxins, especially aflatoxin and because of expensive methods for detecting and analyzing aflatoxin in laboratory; it is not measured in foods. This manuscript is a review of some Iranian and nonIranian reports about aflatoxin, its exposure ways, its adverse effect on human health and nutrition, as well as methods for reducing its exposure. Based on studies on foods, aflatoxin exposure is high in Iran. Since livestock feeding by contaminated bread is one of the potential ways for milk contamination, we should control and reduce aflatoxin contamination by improving production process, storage condition and livestock feeding as soon as possible. Pistachio is one of the most important exporting products of Iran and to maintain Iran’s position in exporting of this product, specific regulations on lowering its contamination with aflatoxin should be considered seriously. Finally, effective controlling of all food and feedstuffs which are vulnerable to aflatoxin contamination is necessary to prevent its effects. PMID:23113099

  7. Patterning in time and space: HoxB cluster gene expression in the developing chick embryo.

    PubMed

    Gouveia, Analuce; Marcelino, Hugo M; Gonçalves, Lisa; Palmeirim, Isabel; Andrade, Raquel P

    2015-01-01

    The developing embryo is a paradigmatic model to study molecular mechanisms of time control in Biology. Hox genes are key players in the specification of tissue identity during embryo development and their expression is under strict temporal regulation. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying timely Hox activation in the early embryo remain unknown. This is hindered by the lack of a rigorous temporal framework of sequential Hox expression within a single cluster. Herein, a thorough characterization of HoxB cluster gene expression was performed over time and space in the early chick embryo. Clear temporal collinearity of HoxB cluster gene expression activation was observed. Spatial collinearity of HoxB expression was evidenced in different stages of development and in multiple tissues. Using embryo explant cultures we showed that HoxB2 is cyclically expressed in the rostral presomitic mesoderm with the same periodicity as somite formation, suggesting a link between timely tissue specification and somite formation. We foresee that the molecular framework herein provided will facilitate experimental approaches aimed at identifying the regulatory mechanisms underlying Hox expression in Time and Space.

  8. Deciphering Tuberactinomycin Biosynthesis: Isolation, Sequencing, and Annotation of the Viomycin Biosynthetic Gene Cluster

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Michael G.; Chan, Yolande A.; Ozanick, Sarah G.

    2003-01-01

    The tuberactinomycin antibiotics are essential components in the drug arsenal against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections and are specifically used for the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. These antibiotics are also being investigated for their targeting of the catalytic RNAs involved in viral replication and for the treatment of bacterial infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains and vancomycin-resistant enterococci. We report on the isolation, sequencing, and annotation of the biosynthetic gene cluster for one member of this antibiotic family, viomycin, from Streptomyces sp. strain ATCC 11861. This is the first gene cluster for a member of the tuberactinomycin family of antibiotics sequenced, and the information gained can be extrapolated to all members of this family. The gene cluster covers 36.3 kb of DNA and encodes 20 open reading frames that we propose are involved in the biosynthesis, regulation, export, and activation of viomycin, in addition to self-resistance to the antibiotic. These results enable us to predict the metabolic logic of tuberactinomycin production and begin steps toward the combinatorial biosynthesis of these antibiotics to complement existing chemical modification techniques to produce novel tuberactinomycin derivatives. PMID:12936980

  9. Chromatin boundary elements organize genomic architecture and developmental gene regulation in Drosophila Hox clusters.

    PubMed

    Ma, Zhibo; Li, Mo; Roy, Sharmila; Liu, Kevin J; Romine, Matthew L; Lane, Derrick C; Patel, Sapna K; Cai, Haini N

    2016-08-26

    The three-dimensional (3D) organization of the eukaryotic genome is critical for its proper function. Evidence suggests that extensive chromatin loops form the building blocks of the genomic architecture, separating genes and gene clusters into distinct functional domains. These loops are anchored in part by a special type of DNA elements called chromatin boundary elements (CBEs). CBEs were originally found to insulate neighboring genes by blocking influences of transcriptional enhancers or the spread of silent chromatin. However, recent results show that chromatin loops can also play a positive role in gene regulation by looping out intervening DNA and "delivering" remote enhancers to gene promoters. In addition, studies from human and model organisms indicate that the configuration of chromatin loops, many of which are tethered by CBEs, is dynamically regulated during cell differentiation. In particular, a recent work by Li et al has shown that the SF1 boundary, located in the Drosophila Hox cluster, regulates local genes by tethering different subsets of chromatin loops: One subset enclose a neighboring gene ftz, limiting its access by the surrounding Scr enhancers and restrict the spread of repressive histones during early embryogenesis; and the other loops subdivide the Scr regulatory region into independent domains of enhancer accessibility. The enhancer-blocking activity of these CBE elements varies greatly in strength and tissue distribution. Further, tandem pairing of SF1 and SF2 facilitate the bypass of distal enhancers in transgenic flies, providing a mechanism for endogenous enhancers to circumvent genomic interruptions resulting from chromosomal rearrangement. This study demonstrates how a network of chromatin boundaries, centrally organized by SF1, can remodel the 3D genome to facilitate gene regulation during development. PMID:27621770

  10. The complete coenzyme B12 biosynthesis gene cluster of Lactobacillus reuteri CRL1098.

    PubMed

    Santos, Filipe; Vera, Jose L; van der Heijden, René; Valdez, Graciela; de Vos, Willem M; Sesma, Fernando; Hugenholtz, Jeroen

    2008-01-01

    The coenzyme B(12) production pathway in Lactobacillus reuteri has been deduced using a combination of genetic, biochemical and bioinformatics approaches. The coenzyme B(12) gene cluster of Lb. reuteri CRL1098 has the unique feature of clustering together the cbi, cob and hem genes. It consists of 29 ORFs encoding the complete enzymic machinery necessary for de novo biosynthesis. Transcriptional analysis showed it to be expressed as two tandem transcripts of approximately 22 and 4 kb, carrying cobD, cbiABCDETFGHJ, cobA/hemD, cbiKLMNQOP, sirA, hemACBL, and cobUSC, hemD, cobT, respectively. Both transcripts appear to be similarly regulated, and under the conditions assayed are induced in the late-exponential growth phase. Evidence for a regulatory mechanism of negative feedback inhibition by vitamin B(12) itself was observed. Comparative genomics analysis of the coding sequences showed them to be most similar to those coding for the anaerobic coenzyme B(12) pathways previously characterized in a few representatives of the genera Listeria and Salmonella. This contrasts with the trusted species phylogeny and suggests horizontal gene transfer of the B(12) biosynthesis genes. G+C content and codon adaptation index analysis is suggestive that the postulated transfer of these genes was not a recent event. Additional comparative genomics and transcriptional analysis of the sequences acquired during this study suggests a functional link between coenzyme B(12) biosynthesis and reuterin production, which might be implicated in Lb. reuteri's success in colonizing the gastrointestinal tract. This information on gene organization, gene transcription and gene acquisition is relevant for the development of (fermented) foods and probiotics enriched in B(12). PMID:18174128

  11. Chromatin boundary elements organize genomic architecture and developmental gene regulation in Drosophila Hox clusters

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Zhibo; Li, Mo; Roy, Sharmila; Liu, Kevin J; Romine, Matthew L; Lane, Derrick C; Patel, Sapna K; Cai, Haini N

    2016-01-01

    The three-dimensional (3D) organization of the eukaryotic genome is critical for its proper function. Evidence suggests that extensive chromatin loops form the building blocks of the genomic architecture, separating genes and gene clusters into distinct functional domains. These loops are anchored in part by a special type of DNA elements called chromatin boundary elements (CBEs). CBEs were originally found to insulate neighboring genes by blocking influences of transcriptional enhancers or the spread of silent chromatin. However, recent results show that chromatin loops can also play a positive role in gene regulation by looping out intervening DNA and “delivering” remote enhancers to gene promoters. In addition, studies from human and model organisms indicate that the configuration of chromatin loops, many of which are tethered by CBEs, is dynamically regulated during cell differentiation. In particular, a recent work by Li et al has shown that the SF1 boundary, located in the Drosophila Hox cluster, regulates local genes by tethering different subsets of chromatin loops: One subset enclose a neighboring gene ftz, limiting its access by the surrounding Scr enhancers and restrict the spread of repressive histones during early embryogenesis; and the other loops subdivide the Scr regulatory region into independent domains of enhancer accessibility. The enhancer-blocking activity of these CBE elements varies greatly in strength and tissue distribution. Further, tandem pairing of SF1 and SF2 facilitate the bypass of distal enhancers in transgenic flies, providing a mechanism for endogenous enhancers to circumvent genomic interruptions resulting from chromosomal rearrangement. This study demonstrates how a network of chromatin boundaries, centrally organized by SF1, can remodel the 3D genome to facilitate gene regulation during development.

  12. Functional analysis of promoters in the nisin gene cluster of Lactococcus lactis.

    PubMed Central

    de Ruyter, P G; Kuipers, O P; Beerthuyzen, M M; van Alen-Boerrigter, I; de Vos, W M

    1996-01-01

    The promoters in the nisin gene cluster nisABTCIPRKFEG of Lactococcus lactis were characterized by primer extension and transcriptional fusions to the Escherichia coli promoterless beta-glucuronidase gene (gusA). Three promoters preceding the nisA, nisR, and nisF genes, which all give rise to gusA expression in the nisin-producing strain L. lactis NZ9700, were identified. The transcriptional autoregulation of nisA by signal transduction involving the sensor histidine kinase NisK and the response regulator NisR has been demonstrated previously (0. P. Kuipers, M. M. Beerthuyzen, P. G. G. A. de Ruyter, E. J. Luesink, and W. M. de Vos, J. Biol. Chem. 270: 27299-27304, 1995), and therefore the possible nisin-dependent expression of gusA under control of the nisR and nisF promoters was also investigated. The nisR promoter was shown to direct nisin-independent gusA expression in L. lactis MG 1363, which is a nisin-transposon- and plasmid-free strain. L. lactis NZ9800, which does not produce nisin because of a deletion in the nisA gene, containing the nisF-gusA fusion plasmid, gave rise to beta-glucuronidase production only after induction by nisin. A similar regulation was found in L. lactis NZ3900, which contains a single copy of the nisR and nisK genes but no other genes of the nisin gene cluster. In contrast, when the nisK gene was disrupted, no beta-glucuronidase activity directed by the nisF promoter could be detected even after induction with nisin. These results show that, like the nisA promoter, the nisF promoter is nisin inducible. The nisF and nisA promoter sequences have significant similarities and contain a conserved region that could be important for transcriptional control. PMID:8655538

  13. Chromatin boundary elements organize genomic architecture and developmental gene regulation in Drosophila Hox clusters

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Zhibo; Li, Mo; Roy, Sharmila; Liu, Kevin J; Romine, Matthew L; Lane, Derrick C; Patel, Sapna K; Cai, Haini N

    2016-01-01

    The three-dimensional (3D) organization of the eukaryotic genome is critical for its proper function. Evidence suggests that extensive chromatin loops form the building blocks of the genomic architecture, separating genes and gene clusters into distinct functional domains. These loops are anchored in part by a special type of DNA elements called chromatin boundary elements (CBEs). CBEs were originally found to insulate neighboring genes by blocking influences of transcriptional enhancers or the spread of silent chromatin. However, recent results show that chromatin loops can also play a positive role in gene regulation by looping out intervening DNA and “delivering” remote enhancers to gene promoters. In addition, studies from human and model organisms indicate that the configuration of chromatin loops, many of which are tethered by CBEs, is dynamically regulated during cell differentiation. In particular, a recent work by Li et al has shown that the SF1 boundary, located in the Drosophila Hox cluster, regulates local genes by tethering different subsets of chromatin loops: One subset enclose a neighboring gene ftz, limiting its access by the surrounding Scr enhancers and restrict the spread of repressive histones during early embryogenesis; and the other loops subdivide the Scr regulatory region into independent domains of enhancer accessibility. The enhancer-blocking activity of these CBE elements varies greatly in strength and tissue distribution. Further, tandem pairing of SF1 and SF2 facilitate the bypass of distal enhancers in transgenic flies, providing a mechanism for endogenous enhancers to circumvent genomic interruptions resulting from chromosomal rearrangement. This study demonstrates how a network of chromatin boundaries, centrally organized by SF1, can remodel the 3D genome to facilitate gene regulation during development. PMID:27621770

  14. Early response of gene clusters is associated with mouse lung resistance or sensitivity to cigarette smoke.

    PubMed

    Cavarra, Eleonora; Fardin, Paolo; Fineschi, Silvia; Ricciardi, Annamaria; De Cunto, Giovanna; Sallustio, Fabio; Zorzetto, Michele; Luisetti, Maurizio; Pfeffer, Ulrich; Lungarella, Giuseppe; Varesio, Luigi

    2009-03-01

    We have investigated the effects of cigarette smoke exposure in three different strains of mice. DBA/2 and C57BL/6J are susceptible to smoke and develop different lung changes in response to chronic exposure, whereas ICR mice are resistant to smoke and do not develop emphysema. The present study was carried out to determine early changes in the gene expression profile of mice exposed to cigarette smoke with either a susceptible or resistant phenotype. The three strains of mice were exposed to smoke from three cigarettes per day, 5 days/wk, for 4 wk. Microarray analysis was carried out on total RNA extracted from the lung using the Affymetrix platform. Cigarette smoke modulates several clusters of genes (i.e., proemphysematous, acute phase response, and cell adhesion) in smoke-sensitive DBA/2 or C57BL/6J strains, but the same genes are not altered by smoke in ICR resistant mice. Only a few genes were commonly modulated by smoke in the three strains of mice. This pattern of gene expression suggests that the response to smoke is strain-dependent and may involve different molecular signaling pathways. Real-time quantitative PCR was used to verify the pattern of modulation of selected genes and their potential biological relevance. We conclude that gene expression response to smoke is highly dependent on the mouse genetic background. We speculate that the definition of gene clusters associated, to various degrees, with mouse susceptibility or resistance to smoke may be instrumental in defining the molecular basis of the individual response to smoke-induced lung injury in humans.

  15. Interplay between pathway-specific and global regulation of the fumonisin gene cluster in the rice pathogen Fusarium fujikuroi.

    PubMed

    Rösler, Sarah M; Sieber, Christian M K; Humpf, Hans-Ulrich; Tudzynski, Bettina

    2016-07-01

    The rice pathogenic fungus Fusarium fujikuroi is known to produce a large variety of secondary metabolites. Besides the gibberellins, causing the bakanae effect in infected rice seedlings, the fungus produces several mycotoxins and pigments. Among the 47 putative secondary metabolite gene clusters identified in the genome of F. fujikuroi, the fumonisin gene cluster (FUM) shows very high homology to the FUM cluster of the main fumonisin producer Fusarium verticillioides, a pathogen of maize. Despite the high level of cluster gene conservation, total fumonisin FB1 and FB2 levels (FBx) produced by F. fujikuroi were only 1-10 % compared to F. verticillioides under inducing conditions. Nitrogen repression was found to be relevant for wild-type strains of both species. However, addition of germinated maize kernels activated the FBx production only in F. verticillioides, reflecting the different host specificity of both wild-type strains. Over-expression of the pathway-specific transcription factor Fum21 in F. fujikuroi strongly activated the FUM cluster genes leading to 1000-fold elevated FBx levels. To gain further insights into the nitrogen metabolite repression of FBx biosynthesis, we studied the impact of the global nitrogen regulators AreA and AreB and demonstrated that both GATA-type transcription factors are essential for full activation of the FUM gene cluster. Loss of one of them obstructs the pathway-specific transcription factor Fum21 to fully activate expression of FUM cluster genes.

  16. Effect of floral cluster pruning on anthocyanin levels and anthocyanain-related gene expression in ‘Houman’ grape

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lei; Xu, Yan-shuai; Jia, Yue; Wang, Ji-yuan; Yuan, Yue; Yu, Yang; Tao, Jian-min

    2016-01-01

    Lateral floral clusters were removed from the main axis of the floral clusters of ‘Houman’ grape plants, leaving only 3–5-cm-long region of flowers at the end of the central axis. The floral clusters were pruned at 7 days prior to flowering. The effect of the pruning on fruit quality was assessed by determining the composition and levels of anthocyanins in the fruit and anthocyanin-related gene expression. Results indicated that floral cluster pruning significantly improved the quality of the fruit by increasing berry size, fruit weight and the total content of soluble solids. Floral cluster pruning also decreased the level of titratable acidity. Sixteen different anthocyanins were detected in fruit of the pruned clusters, while only 15 were detected in fruit from unpruned clusters. The level of anthocyanins was also significantly higher in fruit of the pruned clusters than in the unpruned clusters. Anthocyanin-related gene expression was also significantly upregulated to a higher level in fruit from pruned floral clusters as compared with unpruned clusters. The upregulation was closely associated with increases in anthocyanin biosynthesis. PMID:27555920

  17. Effect of floral cluster pruning on anthocyanin levels and anthocyanain-related gene expression in 'Houman' grape.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Xu, Yan-Shuai; Jia, Yue; Wang, Ji-Yuan; Yuan, Yue; Yu, Yang; Tao, Jian-Min

    2016-01-01

    Lateral floral clusters were removed from the main axis of the floral clusters of 'Houman' grape plants, leaving only 3-5-cm-long region of flowers at the end of the central axis. The floral clusters were pruned at 7 days prior to flowering. The effect of the pruning on fruit quality was assessed by determining the composition and levels of anthocyanins in the fruit and anthocyanin-related gene expression. Results indicated that floral cluster pruning significantly improved the quality of the fruit by increasing berry size, fruit weight and the total content of soluble solids. Floral cluster pruning also decreased the level of titratable acidity. Sixteen different anthocyanins were detected in fruit of the pruned clusters, while only 15 were detected in fruit from unpruned clusters. The level of anthocyanins was also significantly higher in fruit of the pruned clusters than in the unpruned clusters. Anthocyanin-related gene expression was also significantly upregulated to a higher level in fruit from pruned floral clusters as compared with unpruned clusters. The upregulation was closely associated with increases in anthocyanin biosynthesis. PMID:27555920

  18. The Lineage-Specific Evolution of Aquaporin Gene Clusters Facilitated Tetrapod Terrestrial Adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Finn, Roderick Nigel; Chauvigné, François; Hlidberg, Jón Baldur;