Science.gov

Sample records for human genetic variation

  1. Extensive genetic variation in somatic human tissues.

    PubMed

    O'Huallachain, Maeve; Karczewski, Konrad J; Weissman, Sherman M; Urban, Alexander Eckehart; Snyder, Michael P

    2012-10-30

    Genetic variation between individuals has been extensively investigated, but differences between tissues within individuals are far less understood. It is commonly assumed that all healthy cells that arise from the same zygote possess the same genomic content, with a few known exceptions in the immune system and germ line. However, a growing body of evidence shows that genomic variation exists between differentiated tissues. We investigated the scope of somatic genomic variation between tissues within humans. Analysis of copy number variation by high-resolution array-comparative genomic hybridization in diverse tissues from six unrelated subjects reveals a significant number of intraindividual genomic changes between tissues. Many (79%) of these events affect genes. Our results have important consequences for understanding normal genetic and phenotypic variation within individuals, and they have significant implications for both the etiology of genetic diseases such as cancer and for immortalized cell lines that might be used in research and therapeutics.

  2. A global reference for human genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Auton, Adam; Brooks, Lisa D; Durbin, Richard M; Garrison, Erik P; Kang, Hyun Min; Korbel, Jan O; Marchini, Jonathan L; McCarthy, Shane; McVean, Gil A; Abecasis, Gonçalo R

    2015-10-01

    The 1000 Genomes Project set out to provide a comprehensive description of common human genetic variation by applying whole-genome sequencing to a diverse set of individuals from multiple populations. Here we report completion of the project, having reconstructed the genomes of 2,504 individuals from 26 populations using a combination of low-coverage whole-genome sequencing, deep exome sequencing, and dense microarray genotyping. We characterized a broad spectrum of genetic variation, in total over 88 million variants (84.7 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 3.6 million short insertions/deletions (indels), and 60,000 structural variants), all phased onto high-quality haplotypes. This resource includes >99% of SNP variants with a frequency of >1% for a variety of ancestries. We describe the distribution of genetic variation across the global sample, and discuss the implications for common disease studies. PMID:26432245

  3. A global reference for human genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Auton, Adam; Brooks, Lisa D; Durbin, Richard M; Garrison, Erik P; Kang, Hyun Min; Korbel, Jan O; Marchini, Jonathan L; McCarthy, Shane; McVean, Gil A; Abecasis, Gonçalo R

    2015-10-01

    The 1000 Genomes Project set out to provide a comprehensive description of common human genetic variation by applying whole-genome sequencing to a diverse set of individuals from multiple populations. Here we report completion of the project, having reconstructed the genomes of 2,504 individuals from 26 populations using a combination of low-coverage whole-genome sequencing, deep exome sequencing, and dense microarray genotyping. We characterized a broad spectrum of genetic variation, in total over 88 million variants (84.7 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 3.6 million short insertions/deletions (indels), and 60,000 structural variants), all phased onto high-quality haplotypes. This resource includes >99% of SNP variants with a frequency of >1% for a variety of ancestries. We describe the distribution of genetic variation across the global sample, and discuss the implications for common disease studies.

  4. A global reference for human genetic variation

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The 1000 Genomes Project set out to provide a comprehensive description of common human genetic variation by applying whole-genome sequencing to a diverse set of individuals from multiple populations. Here we report completion of the project, having reconstructed the genomes of 2,504 individuals from 26 populations using a combination of low-coverage whole-genome sequencing, deep exome sequencing, and dense microarray genotyping. We characterized a broad spectrum of genetic variation, in total over 88 million variants (84.7 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 3.6 million short insertions/deletions (indels), and 60,000 structural variants), all phased onto high-quality haplotypes. This resource includes >99% of SNP variants with a frequency of >1% for a variety of ancestries. We describe the distribution of genetic variation across the global sample, and discuss the implications for common disease studies. PMID:26432245

  5. Relating Human Genetic Variation to Variation in Drug Responses

    PubMed Central

    Madian, Ashraf G.; Wheeler, Heather E.; Jones, Richard Baker; Dolan, M. Eileen

    2012-01-01

    Although sequencing a single human genome was a monumental effort a decade ago, more than one thousand genomes have now been sequenced. The task ahead lies in transforming this information into personalized treatment strategies that are tailored to the unique genetics of each individual. One important aspect of personalized medicine is patient-to-patient variation in drug response. Pharmacogenomics addresses this issue by seeking to identify genetic contributors to human variation in drug efficacy and toxicity. Here, we present a summary of the current status of this field, which has evolved from studies of single candidate genes to comprehensive genome-wide analyses. Additionally, we discuss the major challenges in translating this knowledge into a systems-level understanding of drug physiology with the ultimate goal of developing more effective personalized clinical treatment strategies. PMID:22840197

  6. Genetic variation and the de novo assembly of human genomes

    PubMed Central

    Chaisson, Mark J. P.; Wilson, Richard K.; Eichler, Evan E.

    2016-01-01

    The discovery of genetic variation and the assembly of genome sequences are both inextricably linked to advances in DNA-sequencing technology. Short-read massively parallel sequencing has revolutionized our ability to discover genetic variation but is insufficient to generate high-quality genome assemblies or resolve most structural variation. Full resolution of variation is only guaranteed by complete de novo assembly of a genome. Here, we review approaches to genome assembly, the nature of gaps or missing sequences, and biases in the assembly process. We describe the challenges of generating a complete de novo genome assembly using current technologies and the impact that being able to perfectly sequence the genome would have on understanding human disease and evolution. Finally, we summarize recent technological advances that improve both contiguity and accuracy and emphasize the importance of complete de novo assembly as opposed to read mapping as the primary means to understanding the full range of human genetic variation. PMID:26442640

  7. Gene Expression and Genetic Variation in Human Atria

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Honghuang; Dolmatova, Elena V.; Morley, Michael P.; Lunetta, Kathryn L.; McManus, David D.; Magnani, Jared W.; Margulies, Kenneth B.; Hakonarson, Hakon; del Monte, Federica; Benjamin, Emelia J.; Cappola, Thomas P.; Ellinor, Patrick T.

    2013-01-01

    Background The human left and right atria have different susceptibilities to develop atrial fibrillation (AF). However, the molecular events related to structural and functional changes that enhance AF susceptibility are still poorly understood. Objective To characterize gene expression and genetic variation in human atria. Methods We studied the gene expression profiles and genetic variations in 53 left atrial and 52 right atrial tissue samples collected from the Myocardial Applied Genomics Network (MAGNet) repository. The tissues were collected from heart failure patients undergoing transplantation and from unused organ donor hearts with normal ventricular function. Gene expression was profiled using the Affymetrix GeneChip Human Genome U133A Array. Genetic variation was profiled using the Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0. Results We found that 109 genes were differentially expressed between left and right atrial tissues. A total of 187 and 259 significant cis-associations between transcript levels and genetic variants were identified in left and right atrial tissues, respectively. We also found that a SNP at a known AF locus, rs3740293, was associated with the expression of MYOZ1 in both left and right atrial tissues. Conclusion We found a distinct transcriptional profile between the right and left atrium, and extensive cis-associations between atrial transcripts and common genetic variants. Our results implicate MYOZ1 as the causative gene at the chromosome 10q22 locus for AF. PMID:24177373

  8. Genetics of the dentofacial variation in human malocclusion.

    PubMed

    Moreno Uribe, L M; Miller, S F

    2015-04-01

    Malocclusions affect individuals worldwide, resulting in compromised function and esthetics. Understanding the etiological factors contributing to the variation in dentofacial morphology associated with malocclusions is the key to develop novel treatment approaches. Advances in dentofacial phenotyping, which is the comprehensive characterization of hard and soft tissue variation in the craniofacial complex, together with the acquisition of large-scale genomic data have started to unravel genetic mechanisms underlying facial variation. Knowledge on the genetics of human malocclusion is limited even though results attained thus far are encouraging, with promising opportunities for future research. This review summarizes the most common dentofacial variations associated with malocclusions and reviews the current knowledge of the roles of genes in the development of malocclusions. Lastly, this review will describe ways to advance malocclusion research, following examples from the expanding fields of phenomics and genomic medicine, which aim to better patient outcomes.

  9. Functional characterization of genetic enzyme variations in human lipoxygenases☆

    PubMed Central

    Horn, Thomas; Reddy Kakularam, Kumar; Anton, Monika; Richter, Constanze; Reddanna, Pallu; Kuhn, Hartmut

    2013-01-01

    Mammalian lipoxygenases play a role in normal cell development and differentiation but they have also been implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular, hyperproliferative and neurodegenerative diseases. As lipid peroxidizing enzymes they are involved in the regulation of cellular redox homeostasis since they produce lipid hydroperoxides, which serve as an efficient source for free radicals. There are various epidemiological correlation studies relating naturally occurring variations in the six human lipoxygenase genes (SNPs or rare mutations) to the frequency for various diseases in these individuals, but for most of the described variations no functional data are available. Employing a combined bioinformatical and enzymological strategy, which included structural modeling and experimental site-directed mutagenesis, we systematically explored the structural and functional consequences of non-synonymous genetic variations in four different human lipoxygenase genes (ALOX5, ALOX12, ALOX15, and ALOX15B) that have been identified in the human 1000 genome project. Due to a lack of a functional expression system we resigned to analyze the functionality of genetic variations in the hALOX12B and hALOXE3 gene. We found that most of the frequent non-synonymous coding SNPs are located at the enzyme surface and hardly alter the enzyme functionality. In contrast, genetic variations which affect functional important amino acid residues or lead to truncated enzyme variations (nonsense mutations) are usually rare with a global allele frequency<0.1%. This data suggest that there appears to be an evolutionary pressure on the coding regions of the lipoxygenase genes preventing the accumulation of loss-of-function variations in the human population. PMID:24282679

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

    PubMed Central

    Campbell, Michael C.

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Oxytocin Receptor Genetic Variation Promotes Human Trust Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Krueger, Frank; Parasuraman, Raja; Iyengar, Vijeth; Thornburg, Matthew; Weel, Jaap; Lin, Mingkuan; Clarke, Ellen; McCabe, Kevin; Lipsky, Robert H.

    2012-01-01

    Given that human trust behavior is heritable and intranasal administration of oxytocin enhances trust, the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene is an excellent candidate to investigate genetic contributions to individual variations in trust behavior. Although a single-nucleotide polymorphism involving an adenine (A)/guanine (G) transition (rs53576) has been associated with socio-emotional phenotypes, its link to trust behavior is unclear. We combined genotyping of healthy male students (n = 108) with the administration of a trust game experiment. Our results show that a common occurring genetic variation (rs53576) in the OXTR gene is reliably associated with trust behavior rather than a general increase in trustworthy or risk behaviors. Individuals homozygous for the G allele (GG) showed higher trust behavior than individuals with A allele carriers (AA/AG). Although the molecular functionality of this polymorphism is still unknown, future research should clarify how the OXTR gene interacts with other genes and the environment in promoting socio-emotional behaviors. PMID:22347177

  12. Human genetic variation database, a reference database of genetic variations in the Japanese population

    PubMed Central

    Higasa, Koichiro; Miyake, Noriko; Yoshimura, Jun; Okamura, Kohji; Niihori, Tetsuya; Saitsu, Hirotomo; Doi, Koichiro; Shimizu, Masakazu; Nakabayashi, Kazuhiko; Aoki, Yoko; Tsurusaki, Yoshinori; Morishita, Shinichi; Kawaguchi, Takahisa; Migita, Osuke; Nakayama, Keiko; Nakashima, Mitsuko; Mitsui, Jun; Narahara, Maiko; Hayashi, Keiko; Funayama, Ryo; Yamaguchi, Daisuke; Ishiura, Hiroyuki; Ko, Wen-Ya; Hata, Kenichiro; Nagashima, Takeshi; Yamada, Ryo; Matsubara, Yoichi; Umezawa, Akihiro; Tsuji, Shoji; Matsumoto, Naomichi; Matsuda, Fumihiko

    2016-01-01

    Whole-genome and -exome resequencing using next-generation sequencers is a powerful approach for identifying genomic variations that are associated with diseases. However, systematic strategies for prioritizing causative variants from many candidates to explain the disease phenotype are still far from being established, because the population-specific frequency spectrum of genetic variation has not been characterized. Here, we have collected exomic genetic variation from 1208 Japanese individuals through a collaborative effort, and aggregated the data into a prevailing catalog. In total, we identified 156 622 previously unreported variants. The allele frequencies for the majority (88.8%) were lower than 0.5% in allele frequency and predicted to be functionally deleterious. In addition, we have constructed a Japanese-specific major allele reference genome by which the number of unique mapping of the short reads in our data has increased 0.045% on average. Our results illustrate the importance of constructing an ethnicity-specific reference genome for identifying rare variants. All the collected data were centralized to a newly developed database to serve as useful resources for exploring pathogenic variations. Public access to the database is available at http://www.genome.med.kyoto-u.ac.jp/SnpDB/. PMID:26911352

  13. Mine, Yours, Ours? Sharing Data on Human Genetic Variation

    PubMed Central

    Montinaro, Francesco; Capocasa, Marco; Sanna, Emanuele; Bisol, Giovanni Destro

    2012-01-01

    The achievement of a robust, effective and responsible form of data sharing is currently regarded as a priority for biological and bio-medical research. Empirical evaluations of data sharing may be regarded as an indispensable first step in the identification of critical aspects and the development of strategies aimed at increasing availability of research data for the scientific community as a whole. Research concerning human genetic variation represents a potential forerunner in the establishment of widespread sharing of primary datasets. However, no specific analysis has been conducted to date in order to ascertain whether the sharing of primary datasets is common-practice in this research field. To this aim, we analyzed a total of 543 mitochondrial and Y chromosomal datasets reported in 508 papers indexed in the Pubmed database from 2008 to 2011. A substantial portion of datasets (21.9%) was found to have been withheld, while neither strong editorial policies nor high impact factor proved to be effective in increasing the sharing rate beyond the current figure of 80.5%. Disaggregating datasets for research fields, we could observe a substantially lower sharing in medical than evolutionary and forensic genetics, more evident for whole mtDNA sequences (15.0% vs 99.6%). The low rate of positive responses to e-mail requests sent to corresponding authors of withheld datasets (28.6%) suggests that sharing should be regarded as a prerequisite for final paper acceptance, while making authors deposit their results in open online databases which provide data quality control seems to provide the best-practice standard. Finally, we estimated that 29.8% to 32.9% of total resources are used to generate withheld datasets, implying that an important portion of research funding does not produce shared knowledge. By making the scientific community and the public aware of this important aspect, we may help popularize a more effective culture of data sharing. PMID:22679483

  14. Human Papillomavirus 18 Genetic Variation and Cervical Cancer Risk Worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Alyce A.; Gheit, Tarik; Franceschi, Silvia

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Human papillomavirus 18 (HPV18) is the second most carcinogenic HPV type, after HPV16, and it accounts for approximately 12% of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) as well as 37% of adenocarcinoma (ADC) of the cervix worldwide. We aimed to evaluate the worldwide diversity and carcinogenicity of HPV18 genetic variants by sequencing the entire long control region (LCR) and the E6 open reading frame of 711 HPV18-positive cervical samples from 39 countries, taking advantage of the International Agency for Research on Cancer biobank. A total of 209 unique HPV18 sequence variants were identified that formed three phylogenetic lineages (A, B, and C). A and B lineages each divided into four sublineages, including a newly identified candidate B4 sublineage. The distribution of lineages varied by geographical region, with B and C lineages found principally in Africa. HPV18 (sub)lineages were compared between 453 cancer cases and 236 controls, as well as between 81 ADC and 160 matched SCC cases. In region-stratified analyses, there were no significant differences in the distribution of HPV18 variant lineages between cervical cancer cases and controls or between ADC and SCC. In conclusion, our findings do not support the role of HPV18 (sub)lineages for discriminating cancer risk or explaining why HPV18 is more strongly linked with ADC than SCC. IMPORTANCE This is the largest and most geographically/ethnically diverse study of the genetic variation of HPV18 to date, providing a comprehensive reference for phylogenetic classification of HPV18 sublineages for epidemiological and biological studies. PMID:26269181

  15. Human Neutral Genetic Variation and Forensic STR Data

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Nuno M.; Pereira, Luísa; Poloni, Estella S.; Currat, Mathias

    2012-01-01

    The forensic genetics field is generating extensive population data on polymorphism of short tandem repeats (STR) markers in globally distributed samples. In this study we explored and quantified the informative power of these datasets to address issues related to human evolution and diversity, by using two online resources: an allele frequency dataset representing 141 populations summing up to almost 26 thousand individuals; a genotype dataset consisting of 42 populations and more than 11 thousand individuals. We show that the genetic relationships between populations based on forensic STRs are best explained by geography, as observed when analysing other worldwide datasets generated specifically to study human diversity. However, the global level of genetic differentiation between populations (as measured by a fixation index) is about half the value estimated with those other datasets, which contain a much higher number of markers but much less individuals. We suggest that the main factor explaining this difference is an ascertainment bias in forensics data resulting from the choice of markers for individual identification. We show that this choice results in average low variance of heterozygosity across world regions, and hence in low differentiation among populations. Thus, the forensic genetic markers currently produced for the purpose of individual assignment and identification allow the detection of the patterns of neutral genetic structure that characterize the human population but they do underestimate the levels of this genetic structure compared to the datasets of STRs (or other kinds of markers) generated specifically to study the diversity of human populations. PMID:23185401

  16. Human genetic variation: new challenges and opportunities for doping control.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Angela J; Fedoruk, Matthew N; Rupert, Jim L

    2012-01-01

    Sport celebrates differences in competitors that lead to the often razor-thin margins between victory and defeat. The source of this variation is the interaction between the environment in which the athletes develop and compete and their genetic make-up. However, a darker side of sports may also be genetically influenced: some anti-doping tests are affected by the athlete's genotype. Genetic variation is an issue that anti-doping authorities must address as more is learned about the interaction between genotype and the responses to prohibited practices. To differentiate between naturally occurring deviations in indirect blood and urine markers from those potentially caused by doping, the "biological-passport" program uses intra-individual variability rather than population values to establish an athlete's expected physiological range. The next step in "personalized" doping control may be the inclusion of genetic data, both for the purposes of documenting an athlete's responses to doping agents and doping-control assays as well facilitating athlete and sample identification. Such applications could benefit "clean" athletes but will come at the expense of risks to privacy. This article reviews the instances where genetics has intersected with doping control, and briefly discusses the potential role, and ethical implications, of genotyping in the struggle to eliminate illicit ergogenic practices. PMID:22681541

  17. Human genetic variation: new challenges and opportunities for doping control.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Angela J; Fedoruk, Matthew N; Rupert, Jim L

    2012-01-01

    Sport celebrates differences in competitors that lead to the often razor-thin margins between victory and defeat. The source of this variation is the interaction between the environment in which the athletes develop and compete and their genetic make-up. However, a darker side of sports may also be genetically influenced: some anti-doping tests are affected by the athlete's genotype. Genetic variation is an issue that anti-doping authorities must address as more is learned about the interaction between genotype and the responses to prohibited practices. To differentiate between naturally occurring deviations in indirect blood and urine markers from those potentially caused by doping, the "biological-passport" program uses intra-individual variability rather than population values to establish an athlete's expected physiological range. The next step in "personalized" doping control may be the inclusion of genetic data, both for the purposes of documenting an athlete's responses to doping agents and doping-control assays as well facilitating athlete and sample identification. Such applications could benefit "clean" athletes but will come at the expense of risks to privacy. This article reviews the instances where genetics has intersected with doping control, and briefly discusses the potential role, and ethical implications, of genotyping in the struggle to eliminate illicit ergogenic practices.

  18. GENETIC ASSOCIATION ANALYSIS OF COPY NUMBER VARIATION (CNVs) IN HUMAN DISEASE PATHOGENESIS

    PubMed Central

    Ionita-Laza, Iuliana; Rogers, Angela J.; Lange, Christoph; Raby, Benjamin A.; Lee, Charles

    2009-01-01

    Structural genetic variation, including copy number variation (CNV), constitutes a substantial fraction of total genetic variability and the importance of structural genetic variants in modulating human disease is increasingly being recognized. Early successes in identifying disease-associated CNVs via a candidate gene approach mandate that future disease association studies need to include structural genetic variation. Such analyses should not rely on previously developed methodologies that were designed to evaluate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Instead, development of novel technical, statistical, and epidemiologic methods will be necessary to optimally capture this newly-appreciated form of genetic variation in a meaningful manner. PMID:18822366

  19. Human Papillomavirus 45 Genetic Variation and Cervical Cancer Risk Worldwide

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Alyce A.; Heideman, Daniëlle A. M.; Boon, Debby; Gheit, Tarik; Snijders, Peter J. F.; Tommasino, Massimo; Franceschi, Silvia

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Human papillomavirus 45 (HPV45) is a member of the HPV18-related alpha-7 species and accounts for approximately 5% of all cervical cancer cases worldwide. This study evaluated the genetic diversity of HPV45 and the association of HPV45 variants with the risk of cervical cancer by sequencing the entire E6 and E7 open reading frames of 300 HPV45-positive cervical samples from 36 countries. A total of 43 HPV45 sequence variants were identified that formed 5 phylogenetic sublineages, A1, A2, A3, B1, and B2, the distribution of which varied by geographical region. Among 192 cases of cervical cancer and 101 controls, the B2 sublineage was significantly overrepresented in cervical cancer, both overall and in Africa and Europe separately. We show that the sequence analysis of E6 and E7 allows the classification of HPV45 variants and that the risk of cervical cancer may differ by HPV45 variant sublineage. IMPORTANCE This work describes the largest study to date of human papillomavirus 45 (HPV45)-positive cervical samples and provides a comprehensive reference for phylogenetic classification for use in epidemiological studies of the carcinogenicity of HPV45 genetic variants, particularly as our findings suggest that the B2 sublineage of HPV45 is associated with a higher risk of cervical cancer. PMID:24501412

  20. Genetic Variation and Adaptation in Africa: Implications for Human Evolution and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, Felicia; Hirbo, Jibril; Tishkoff, Sarah A.

    2014-01-01

    Because modern humans originated in Africa and have adapted to diverse environments, African populations have high levels of genetic and phenotypic diversity. Thus, genomic studies of diverse African ethnic groups are essential for understanding human evolutionary history and how this leads to differential disease risk in all humans. Comparative studies of genetic diversity within and between African ethnic groups creates an opportunity to reconstruct some of the earliest events in human population history and are useful for identifying patterns of genetic variation that have been influenced by recent natural selection. Here we describe what is currently known about genetic variation and evolutionary history of diverse African ethnic groups. We also describe examples of recent natural selection in African genomes and how these data are informative for understanding the frequency of many genetic traits, including those that cause disease susceptibility in African populations and populations of recent African descent. PMID:24984772

  1. Human Genetic Variation. Grades 9-12. NIH Curriculum Supplement Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Colorado Springs.

    This curriculum supplement guide brings the latest medical discoveries to classrooms. This module focuses on the objectives of introducing students to the genetic variations of human beings, and developing an understanding of the relationship between biomedical research and personal and public health. This module includes five major sections: (1)…

  2. Rare structural genetic variation in human prion diseases.

    PubMed

    Lukic, Ana; Uphill, James; Brown, Craig A; Beck, John; Poulter, Mark; Campbell, Tracy; Adamson, Gary; Hummerich, Holger; Whitfield, Jerome; Ponto, Claudia; Zerr, Inga; Lloyd, Sarah E; Collinge, John; Mead, Simon

    2015-05-01

    Prion diseases are a diverse group of neurodegenerative conditions, caused by the templated misfolding of prion protein. Aside from the strong genetic risk conferred by multiple variants of the prion protein gene (PRNP), several other variants have been suggested to confer risk in the most common type, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) or in the acquired prion diseases. Large and rare copy number variants (CNVs) are known to confer risk in several related disorders including Alzheimer's disease (at APP), schizophrenia, epilepsy, mental retardation, and autism. Here, we report the first genome-wide analysis for CNV-associated risk using data derived from a recent international collaborative association study in sCJD (n = 1147 after quality control) and publicly available controls (n = 5427). We also investigated UK patients with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (n = 114) and elderly women from the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea who proved highly resistant to the epidemic prion disease kuru, who were compared with healthy young Fore population controls (n = 395). There were no statistically significant alterations in the burden of CNVs >100, >500, or >1000 kb, duplications, or deletions in any disease group or geographic region. After correction for multiple testing, no statistically significant associations were found. A UK blood service control sample showed a duplication CNV that overlapped PRNP, but these were not found in prion disease. Heterozygous deletions of a 3' region of the PARK2 gene were found in 3 sCJD patients and no controls (p = 0.001, uncorrected). A cell-based prion infection assay did not provide supportive evidence for a role for PARK2 in prion disease susceptibility. These data are consistent with a modest impact of CNVs on risk of late-onset neurologic conditions and suggest that, unlike APP, PRNP duplication is not a causal high-risk mutation.

  3. Genetic Mechanism of Human Neutrophil Antigen 2 Deficiency and Expression Variations

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yunfang; Mair, David C.; Schuller, Randy M.; Li, Ling; Wu, Jianming

    2015-01-01

    Human neutrophil antigen 2 (HNA-2) deficiency is a common phenotype as 3–5% humans do not express HNA-2. HNA-2 is coded by CD177 gene that associates with human myeloproliferative disorders. HNA-2 deficient individuals are prone to produce HNA-2 alloantibodies that cause a number of disorders including transfusion-related acute lung injury and immune neutropenia. In addition, the percentages of HNA-2 positive neutrophils vary significantly among individuals and HNA-2 expression variations play a role in human diseases such as myelodysplastic syndrome, chronic myelogenous leukemia, and gastric cancer. The underlying genetic mechanism of HNA-2 deficiency and expression variations has remained a mystery. In this study, we identified a novel CD177 nonsense single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP 829A>T) that creates a stop codon within the CD177 coding region. We found that all 829TT homozygous individuals were HNA-2 deficient. In addition, the SNP 829A>T genotypes were significantly associated with the percentage of HNA-2 positive neutrophils. Transfection experiments confirmed that HNA-2 expression was absent on cells expressing the CD177 SNP 829T allele. Our data clearly demonstrate that the CD177 SNP 829A>T is the primary genetic determinant for HNA-2 deficiency and expression variations. The mechanistic delineation of HNA-2 genetics will enable the development of genetic tests for diagnosis and prognosis of HNA-2-related human diseases. PMID:26024230

  4. Genetic variation in lipid desaturases and its impact on the development of human disease

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Perturbations in lipid metabolism characterize many of the chronic diseases currently plaguing our society, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Thus interventions that target plasma lipid levels remain a primary goal to manage these diseases. The determinants of plasma lipid levels are multi-factorial, consisting of both genetic and lifestyle components. Recent evidence indicates that fatty acid desaturases have an important role in defining plasma and tissue lipid profiles. This review will highlight the current state-of-knowledge regarding three desaturases (Scd-1, Fads1 and Fads2) and their potential roles in disease onset and development. Although research in rodent models has provided invaluable insight into the regulation and functions of these desaturases, the extent to which murine research can be translated to humans remains unclear. Evidence emerging from human-based research demonstrates that genetic variation in human desaturase genes affects enzyme activity and, consequently, disease risk factors. Moreover, this genetic variation may have a trans-generational effect via breastfeeding. Therefore inter-individual variation in desaturase function is attributed to both genetic and lifestyle components. As such, population-based research regarding the role of desaturases on disease risk is challenged by this complex gene-lifestyle paradigm. Unravelling the contribution of each component is paramount for understanding the inter-individual variation that exists in plasma lipid profiles, and will provide crucial information to develop personalized strategies to improve health management. PMID:20565855

  5. Genetic Variation of Pre-mRNA Alternative Splicing in Human Populations

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Zhi-xiang; Jiang, Peng; Xing, Yi

    2011-01-01

    The precise splicing outcome of a transcribed gene is controlled by complex interactions between cis regulatory splicing signals and trans-acting regulators. In higher eukaryotes, alternative splicing is a prevalent mechanism for generating transcriptome and proteome diversity. Alternative splicing can modulate gene function, affect organismal phenotype and cause disease. Common genetic variation that affects splicing regulation can lead to differences in alternative splicing between human individuals and consequently impact expression level or protein function. In several well-documented examples, such natural variation of alternative splicing has indeed been shown to influence disease susceptibility and drug response. With new microarray- and sequencing-based genomic technologies that can analyze eukaryotic transcriptomes at the exon- or nucleotide-level, it has become possible to globally compare the alternative splicing profiles across human individuals in any tissue or cell type of interest. Recent large-scale transcriptome studies using high-density splicing-sensitive microarray and deep RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) have revealed widespread genetic variation of alternative splicing in humans. In the future, an extensive catalogue of alternative splicing variation in human populations will help elucidate the molecular underpinnings of complex traits and human diseases, and shed light on the mechanisms of splicing regulation in human cells. PMID:22095823

  6. Human demographic processes and genetic variation as revealed by mtDNA simulations.

    PubMed

    Miró-Herrans, Aida T; Mulligan, Connie J

    2013-02-01

    Humans' ability for rapid dispersal and adaptation has allowed us to colonize diverse geographic and climatic regions of the planet, creating a complex evolutionary history. This complexity can be understood, at least partially, by modeling the underlying demographic parameters in the evolutionary process. In this study, we analyze a model of human evolution in which population size, gene flow (GF), and time are varied. Specifically, we simulate mitochondrial DNA for 42 demographic scenarios, represented by 42 parameter combinations, to describe the initial dispersal of modern humans out of Africa. The analyses include three values for colonization size (CS; 1%, 10%, and 30% of the African population), seven values for rate of GF (10(-6)-0.5), and two values for time of colonization (50,000 and 100,000 years ago). We then estimate summary statistics for the simulated data sets to calculate the percent of explained variation by each parameter and to identify which parameter combinations generate distinct differences in genetic variation, that is, which demographic scenarios can be distinguished from each other. On the basis of these results, we make recommendations about which summary statistics to use according to the parameter of interest. Our results show that CS, GF, and their interaction have the largest effect on genetic variation under our model of human evolution. Comparison with empirical data suggests that 1% of the existing African mitochondrial genetic variation left and colonized the rest of the world (i.e., CS = 1%) and bidirectional GF continued at a level of ∼10 individuals per generation (i.e., GF = 10(-3)) after the initial colonization. Our study serves as a model to bridge the gap between the use of simulations for theoretical population genetics and empirical data analysis such as approximate bayesian computation approaches and is, thus, applicable to the study of molecular evolution in any organism.

  7. Natural selection affects multiple aspects of genetic variation at putatively neutral sites across the human genome.

    PubMed

    Lohmueller, Kirk E; Albrechtsen, Anders; Li, Yingrui; Kim, Su Yeon; Korneliussen, Thorfinn; Vinckenbosch, Nicolas; Tian, Geng; Huerta-Sanchez, Emilia; Feder, Alison F; Grarup, Niels; Jørgensen, Torben; Jiang, Tao; Witte, Daniel R; Sandbæk, Annelli; Hellmann, Ines; Lauritzen, Torsten; Hansen, Torben; Pedersen, Oluf; Wang, Jun; Nielsen, Rasmus

    2011-10-01

    A major question in evolutionary biology is how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across the human genome. Previous work has documented a reduction in genetic diversity in regions of the genome with low recombination rates. However, it is unclear whether other summaries of genetic variation, like allele frequencies, are also correlated with recombination rate and whether these correlations can be explained solely by negative selection against deleterious mutations or whether positive selection acting on favorable alleles is also required. Here we attempt to address these questions by analyzing three different genome-wide resequencing datasets from European individuals. We document several significant correlations between different genomic features. In particular, we find that average minor allele frequency and diversity are reduced in regions of low recombination and that human diversity, human-chimp divergence, and average minor allele frequency are reduced near genes. Population genetic simulations show that either positive natural selection acting on favorable mutations or negative natural selection acting against deleterious mutations can explain these correlations. However, models with strong positive selection on nonsynonymous mutations and little negative selection predict a stronger negative correlation between neutral diversity and nonsynonymous divergence than observed in the actual data, supporting the importance of negative, rather than positive, selection throughout the genome. Further, we show that the widespread presence of weakly deleterious alleles, rather than a small number of strongly positively selected mutations, is responsible for the correlation between neutral genetic diversity and recombination rate. This work suggests that natural selection has affected multiple aspects of linked neutral variation throughout the human genome and that positive selection is not required to explain these observations.

  8. A comparison of worldwide phonemic and genetic variation in human populations

    PubMed Central

    Creanza, Nicole; Ruhlen, Merritt; Pemberton, Trevor J.; Rosenberg, Noah A.; Feldman, Marcus W.; Ramachandran, Sohini

    2015-01-01

    Worldwide patterns of genetic variation are driven by human demographic history. Here, we test whether this demographic history has left similar signatures on phonemes—sound units that distinguish meaning between words in languages—to those it has left on genes. We analyze, jointly and in parallel, phoneme inventories from 2,082 worldwide languages and microsatellite polymorphisms from 246 worldwide populations. On a global scale, both genetic distance and phonemic distance between populations are significantly correlated with geographic distance. Geographically close language pairs share significantly more phonemes than distant language pairs, whether or not the languages are closely related. The regional geographic axes of greatest phonemic differentiation correspond to axes of genetic differentiation, suggesting that there is a relationship between human dispersal and linguistic variation. However, the geographic distribution of phoneme inventory sizes does not follow the predictions of a serial founder effect during human expansion out of Africa. Furthermore, although geographically isolated populations lose genetic diversity via genetic drift, phonemes are not subject to drift in the same way: within a given geographic radius, languages that are relatively isolated exhibit more variance in number of phonemes than languages with many neighbors. This finding suggests that relatively isolated languages are more susceptible to phonemic change than languages with many neighbors. Within a language family, phoneme evolution along genetic, geographic, or cognate-based linguistic trees predicts similar ancestral phoneme states to those predicted from ancient sources. More genetic sampling could further elucidate the relative roles of vertical and horizontal transmission in phoneme evolution. PMID:25605893

  9. Genetic and environmental factors associated with variation of human xenobiotic glucuronidation and sulfation.

    PubMed Central

    Burchell, B; Coughtrie, M W

    1997-01-01

    Glucuronidation and sulfation are phase 2 metabolic reactions catalyzed by large families of different isoenzymes in man. The textbook view that glucuronidation and sulfation lead to the production of harmless conjugates for simple excretion is not valid. Biologically active and toxic sulfates and glucuronides are produced and leed to adverse drug reactions, including immune hypersensitivity. Considerable variation in xenobiotic conjugation is observed as a result of altered expression of UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs) and sulfotransferases (STs). Recent cloning and expression of human cDNA encoding UGTs and STs has facilitated characterization of isoform substrate specificity, which has been further validated using specific antibodies and human tissue fractions. The availability of cloned/expressed human enzymes and specific antibodies has enabled the investigation of xenobiotic induction and metabolic disruption leeding to adverse responses. Genetic polymorphisms of glucuronidation and sulfation are known to exist although the characterization and assessment of the importance of these variations are hampered by appropriate ethical studies in men with suitable safe model compounds. Genetic analysis has allowed molecular identification of defects in well-known hyperbilirubinemias. However, full characterization of the specific functional roles of human UGTs and STs requires rigorous kinetic and molecular analyses of the role of each enzyme in vivo through the use of specific antibodies and inhibitors. This will leed to the better prediction of variation of xenobiotic glucuronidation and sulfation in man. PMID:9255555

  10. Genetic background drives transcriptional variation in human induced pluripotent stem cells.

    PubMed

    Rouhani, Foad; Kumasaka, Natsuhiko; de Brito, Miguel Cardoso; Bradley, Allan; Vallier, Ludovic; Gaffney, Daniel

    2014-06-01

    Human iPS cells have been generated using a diverse range of tissues from a variety of donors using different reprogramming vectors. However, these cell lines are heterogeneous, which presents a limitation for their use in disease modeling and personalized medicine. To explore the basis of this heterogeneity we generated 25 iPS cell lines under normalised conditions from the same set of somatic tissues across a number of donors. RNA-seq data sets from each cell line were compared to identify the majority contributors to transcriptional heterogeneity. We found that genetic differences between individual donors were the major cause of transcriptional variation between lines. In contrast, residual signatures from the somatic cell of origin, so called epigenetic memory, contributed relatively little to transcriptional variation. Thus, underlying genetic background variation is responsible for most heterogeneity between human iPS cell lines. We conclude that epigenetic effects in hIPSCs are minimal, and that hIPSCs are a stable, robust and powerful platform for large-scale studies of the function of genetic differences between individuals. Our data also suggest that future studies using hIPSCs as a model system should focus most effort on collection of large numbers of donors, rather than generating large numbers of lines from the same donor.

  11. Common Genetic Variation and the Control of HIV-1 in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Shianna, Kevin V.; Colombo, Sara; Ledergerber, Bruno; Cirulli, Elizabeth T.; Urban, Thomas J.; Zhang, Kunlin; Gumbs, Curtis E.; Smith, Jason P.; Castagna, Antonella; Cozzi-Lepri, Alessandro; De Luca, Andrea; Easterbrook, Philippa; Günthard, Huldrych F.; Mallal, Simon; Mussini, Cristina; Dalmau, Judith; Martinez-Picado, Javier; Miro, José M.; Obel, Niels; Wolinsky, Steven M.; Martinson, Jeremy J.; Detels, Roger; Margolick, Joseph B.; Jacobson, Lisa P.; Descombes, Patrick; Antonarakis, Stylianos E.; Beckmann, Jacques S.; O'Brien, Stephen J.; Letvin, Norman L.; McMichael, Andrew J.; Haynes, Barton F.; Carrington, Mary; Feng, Sheng; Telenti, Amalio; Goldstein, David B.

    2009-01-01

    To extend the understanding of host genetic determinants of HIV-1 control, we performed a genome-wide association study in a cohort of 2,554 infected Caucasian subjects. The study was powered to detect common genetic variants explaining down to 1.3% of the variability in viral load at set point. We provide overwhelming confirmation of three associations previously reported in a genome-wide study and show further independent effects of both common and rare variants in the Major Histocompatibility Complex region (MHC). We also examined the polymorphisms reported in previous candidate gene studies and fail to support a role for any variant outside of the MHC or the chemokine receptor cluster on chromosome 3. In addition, we evaluated functional variants, copy-number polymorphisms, epistatic interactions, and biological pathways. This study thus represents a comprehensive assessment of common human genetic variation in HIV-1 control in Caucasians. PMID:20041166

  12. Impact of human management on the genetic variation of wild pepper, Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum.

    PubMed

    González-Jara, Pablo; Moreno-Letelier, Alejandra; Fraile, Aurora; Piñero, Daniel; García-Arenal, Fernando

    2011-01-01

    Management of wild peppers in Mexico has occurred for a long time without clear phenotypic signs of domestication. However, pre-domestication management could have implications for the population's genetic richness. To test this hypothesis we analysed 27 wild (W), let standing (LS) and cultivated (C) populations, plus 7 samples from local markets (LM), with nine polymorphic microsatellite markers. Two hundred and fifty two alleles were identified, averaging 28 per locus. Allele number was higher in W, and 15 and 40% less in LS and C populations, respectively. Genetic variation had a significant population structure. In W populations, structure was associated with ecological and geographic areas according to isolation by distance. When LM and C populations where included in the analysis, differentiation was no longer apparent. Most LM were related to distant populations from Sierra Madre Oriental, which represents their probable origin. Historical demography shows a recent decline in all W populations. Thus, pre-domestication human management is associated with a significant reduction of genetic diversity and with a loss of differentiation suggesting movement among regions by man. Measures to conserve wild and managed populations should be implemented to maintain the source and the architecture of genetic variation in this important crop relative. PMID:22163053

  13. Impact of Human Management on the Genetic Variation of Wild Pepper, Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum

    PubMed Central

    González-Jara, Pablo; Moreno-Letelier, Alejandra; Fraile, Aurora; Piñero, Daniel; García-Arenal, Fernando

    2011-01-01

    Management of wild peppers in Mexico has occurred for a long time without clear phenotypic signs of domestication. However, pre-domestication management could have implications for the population's genetic richness. To test this hypothesis we analysed 27 wild (W), let standing (LS) and cultivated (C) populations, plus 7 samples from local markets (LM), with nine polymorphic microsatellite markers. Two hundred and fifty two alleles were identified, averaging 28 per locus. Allele number was higher in W, and 15 and 40% less in LS and C populations, respectively. Genetic variation had a significant population structure. In W populations, structure was associated with ecological and geographic areas according to isolation by distance. When LM and C populations where included in the analysis, differentiation was no longer apparent. Most LM were related to distant populations from Sierra Madre Oriental, which represents their probable origin. Historical demography shows a recent decline in all W populations. Thus, pre-domestication human management is associated with a significant reduction of genetic diversity and with a loss of differentiation suggesting movement among regions by man. Measures to conserve wild and managed populations should be implemented to maintain the source and the architecture of genetic variation in this important crop relative. PMID:22163053

  14. Population genetic inference from personal genome data: impact of ancestry and admixture on human genomic variation.

    PubMed

    Kidd, Jeffrey M; Gravel, Simon; Byrnes, Jake; Moreno-Estrada, Andres; Musharoff, Shaila; Bryc, Katarzyna; Degenhardt, Jeremiah D; Brisbin, Abra; Sheth, Vrunda; Chen, Rong; McLaughlin, Stephen F; Peckham, Heather E; Omberg, Larsson; Bormann Chung, Christina A; Stanley, Sarah; Pearlstein, Kevin; Levandowsky, Elizabeth; Acevedo-Acevedo, Suehelay; Auton, Adam; Keinan, Alon; Acuña-Alonzo, Victor; Barquera-Lozano, Rodrigo; Canizales-Quinteros, Samuel; Eng, Celeste; Burchard, Esteban G; Russell, Archie; Reynolds, Andy; Clark, Andrew G; Reese, Martin G; Lincoln, Stephen E; Butte, Atul J; De La Vega, Francisco M; Bustamante, Carlos D

    2012-10-01

    Full sequencing of individual human genomes has greatly expanded our understanding of human genetic variation and population history. Here, we present a systematic analysis of 50 human genomes from 11 diverse global populations sequenced at high coverage. Our sample includes 12 individuals who have admixed ancestry and who have varying degrees of recent (within the last 500 years) African, Native American, and European ancestry. We found over 21 million single-nucleotide variants that contribute to a 1.75-fold range in nucleotide heterozygosity across diverse human genomes. This heterozygosity ranged from a high of one heterozygous site per kilobase in west African genomes to a low of 0.57 heterozygous sites per kilobase in segments inferred to have diploid Native American ancestry from the genomes of Mexican and Puerto Rican individuals. We show evidence of all three continental ancestries in the genomes of Mexican, Puerto Rican, and African American populations, and the genome-wide statistics are highly consistent across individuals from a population once ancestry proportions have been accounted for. Using a generalized linear model, we identified subtle variations across populations in the proportion of neutral versus deleterious variation and found that genome-wide statistics vary in admixed populations even once ancestry proportions have been factored in. We further infer that multiple periods of gene flow shaped the diversity of admixed populations in the Americas-70% of the European ancestry in today's African Americans dates back to European gene flow happening only 7-8 generations ago.

  15. Population Genetic Inference from Personal Genome Data: Impact of Ancestry and Admixture on Human Genomic Variation

    PubMed Central

    Kidd, Jeffrey M.; Gravel, Simon; Byrnes, Jake; Moreno-Estrada, Andres; Musharoff, Shaila; Bryc, Katarzyna; Degenhardt, Jeremiah D.; Brisbin, Abra; Sheth, Vrunda; Chen, Rong; McLaughlin, Stephen F.; Peckham, Heather E.; Omberg, Larsson; Bormann Chung, Christina A.; Stanley, Sarah; Pearlstein, Kevin; Levandowsky, Elizabeth; Acevedo-Acevedo, Suehelay; Auton, Adam; Keinan, Alon; Acuña-Alonzo, Victor; Barquera-Lozano, Rodrigo; Canizales-Quinteros, Samuel; Eng, Celeste; Burchard, Esteban G.; Russell, Archie; Reynolds, Andy; Clark, Andrew G.; Reese, Martin G.; Lincoln, Stephen E.; Butte, Atul J.; De La Vega, Francisco M.; Bustamante, Carlos D.

    2012-01-01

    Full sequencing of individual human genomes has greatly expanded our understanding of human genetic variation and population history. Here, we present a systematic analysis of 50 human genomes from 11 diverse global populations sequenced at high coverage. Our sample includes 12 individuals who have admixed ancestry and who have varying degrees of recent (within the last 500 years) African, Native American, and European ancestry. We found over 21 million single-nucleotide variants that contribute to a 1.75-fold range in nucleotide heterozygosity across diverse human genomes. This heterozygosity ranged from a high of one heterozygous site per kilobase in west African genomes to a low of 0.57 heterozygous sites per kilobase in segments inferred to have diploid Native American ancestry from the genomes of Mexican and Puerto Rican individuals. We show evidence of all three continental ancestries in the genomes of Mexican, Puerto Rican, and African American populations, and the genome-wide statistics are highly consistent across individuals from a population once ancestry proportions have been accounted for. Using a generalized linear model, we identified subtle variations across populations in the proportion of neutral versus deleterious variation and found that genome-wide statistics vary in admixed populations even once ancestry proportions have been factored in. We further infer that multiple periods of gene flow shaped the diversity of admixed populations in the Americas—70% of the European ancestry in today’s African Americans dates back to European gene flow happening only 7–8 generations ago. PMID:23040495

  16. Genetic Variations in Human Glutathione Transferase Enzymes: Significance for Pharmacology and Toxicology

    PubMed Central

    Josephy, P. David

    2010-01-01

    Glutathione transferase enzymes (GSTs) catalyze reactions in which electrophiles are conjugated to the tripeptide thiol glutathione. While many GST-catalyzed transformations result in the detoxication of xenobiotics, a few substrates, such as dihaloalkanes, undergo bioactivation to reactive intermediates. Many molecular epidemiological studies have tested associations between polymorphisms (especially, deletions) of human GST genes and disease susceptibility or response to therapy. This review presents a discussion of the biochemistry of GSTs, the sources—both genetic and environmental—of interindividual variation in GST activities, and their implications for pharmaco- and toxicogenetics; particular attention is paid to the Theta class GSTs. PMID:20981235

  17. Human metabolic profiles are stably controlled by genetic and environmental variation.

    PubMed

    Nicholson, George; Rantalainen, Mattias; Maher, Anthony D; Li, Jia V; Malmodin, Daniel; Ahmadi, Kourosh R; Faber, Johan H; Hallgrímsdóttir, Ingileif B; Barrett, Amy; Toft, Henrik; Krestyaninova, Maria; Viksna, Juris; Neogi, Sudeshna Guha; Dumas, Marc-Emmanuel; Sarkans, Ugis; The Molpage Consortium; Silverman, Bernard W; Donnelly, Peter; Nicholson, Jeremy K; Allen, Maxine; Zondervan, Krina T; Lindon, John C; Spector, Tim D; McCarthy, Mark I; Holmes, Elaine; Baunsgaard, Dorrit; Holmes, Chris C

    2011-01-01

    ¹H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy (¹H NMR) is increasingly used to measure metabolite concentrations in sets of biological samples for top-down systems biology and molecular epidemiology. For such purposes, knowledge of the sources of human variation in metabolite concentrations is valuable, but currently sparse. We conducted and analysed a study to create such a resource. In our unique design, identical and non-identical twin pairs donated plasma and urine samples longitudinally. We acquired ¹H NMR spectra on the samples, and statistically decomposed variation in metabolite concentration into familial (genetic and common-environmental), individual-environmental, and longitudinally unstable components. We estimate that stable variation, comprising familial and individual-environmental factors, accounts on average for 60% (plasma) and 47% (urine) of biological variation in ¹H NMR-detectable metabolite concentrations. Clinically predictive metabolic variation is likely nested within this stable component, so our results have implications for the effective design of biomarker-discovery studies. We provide a power-calculation method which reveals that sample sizes of a few thousand should offer sufficient statistical precision to detect ¹H NMR-based biomarkers quantifying predisposition to disease. PMID:21878913

  18. Analysis of protein-coding genetic variation in 60,706 humans.

    PubMed

    Lek, Monkol; Karczewski, Konrad J; Minikel, Eric V; Samocha, Kaitlin E; Banks, Eric; Fennell, Timothy; O'Donnell-Luria, Anne H; Ware, James S; Hill, Andrew J; Cummings, Beryl B; Tukiainen, Taru; Birnbaum, Daniel P; Kosmicki, Jack A; Duncan, Laramie E; Estrada, Karol; Zhao, Fengmei; Zou, James; Pierce-Hoffman, Emma; Berghout, Joanne; Cooper, David N; Deflaux, Nicole; DePristo, Mark; Do, Ron; Flannick, Jason; Fromer, Menachem; Gauthier, Laura; Goldstein, Jackie; Gupta, Namrata; Howrigan, Daniel; Kiezun, Adam; Kurki, Mitja I; Moonshine, Ami Levy; Natarajan, Pradeep; Orozco, Lorena; Peloso, Gina M; Poplin, Ryan; Rivas, Manuel A; Ruano-Rubio, Valentin; Rose, Samuel A; Ruderfer, Douglas M; Shakir, Khalid; Stenson, Peter D; Stevens, Christine; Thomas, Brett P; Tiao, Grace; Tusie-Luna, Maria T; Weisburd, Ben; Won, Hong-Hee; Yu, Dongmei; Altshuler, David M; Ardissino, Diego; Boehnke, Michael; Danesh, John; Donnelly, Stacey; Elosua, Roberto; Florez, Jose C; Gabriel, Stacey B; Getz, Gad; Glatt, Stephen J; Hultman, Christina M; Kathiresan, Sekar; Laakso, Markku; McCarroll, Steven; McCarthy, Mark I; McGovern, Dermot; McPherson, Ruth; Neale, Benjamin M; Palotie, Aarno; Purcell, Shaun M; Saleheen, Danish; Scharf, Jeremiah M; Sklar, Pamela; Sullivan, Patrick F; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Tsuang, Ming T; Watkins, Hugh C; Wilson, James G; Daly, Mark J; MacArthur, Daniel G

    2016-08-18

    Large-scale reference data sets of human genetic variation are critical for the medical and functional interpretation of DNA sequence changes. Here we describe the aggregation and analysis of high-quality exome (protein-coding region) DNA sequence data for 60,706 individuals of diverse ancestries generated as part of the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC). This catalogue of human genetic diversity contains an average of one variant every eight bases of the exome, and provides direct evidence for the presence of widespread mutational recurrence. We have used this catalogue to calculate objective metrics of pathogenicity for sequence variants, and to identify genes subject to strong selection against various classes of mutation; identifying 3,230 genes with near-complete depletion of predicted protein-truncating variants, with 72% of these genes having no currently established human disease phenotype. Finally, we demonstrate that these data can be used for the efficient filtering of candidate disease-causing variants, and for the discovery of human 'knockout' variants in protein-coding genes. PMID:27535533

  19. Analysis of protein-coding genetic variation in 60,706 humans.

    PubMed

    Lek, Monkol; Karczewski, Konrad J; Minikel, Eric V; Samocha, Kaitlin E; Banks, Eric; Fennell, Timothy; O'Donnell-Luria, Anne H; Ware, James S; Hill, Andrew J; Cummings, Beryl B; Tukiainen, Taru; Birnbaum, Daniel P; Kosmicki, Jack A; Duncan, Laramie E; Estrada, Karol; Zhao, Fengmei; Zou, James; Pierce-Hoffman, Emma; Berghout, Joanne; Cooper, David N; Deflaux, Nicole; DePristo, Mark; Do, Ron; Flannick, Jason; Fromer, Menachem; Gauthier, Laura; Goldstein, Jackie; Gupta, Namrata; Howrigan, Daniel; Kiezun, Adam; Kurki, Mitja I; Moonshine, Ami Levy; Natarajan, Pradeep; Orozco, Lorena; Peloso, Gina M; Poplin, Ryan; Rivas, Manuel A; Ruano-Rubio, Valentin; Rose, Samuel A; Ruderfer, Douglas M; Shakir, Khalid; Stenson, Peter D; Stevens, Christine; Thomas, Brett P; Tiao, Grace; Tusie-Luna, Maria T; Weisburd, Ben; Won, Hong-Hee; Yu, Dongmei; Altshuler, David M; Ardissino, Diego; Boehnke, Michael; Danesh, John; Donnelly, Stacey; Elosua, Roberto; Florez, Jose C; Gabriel, Stacey B; Getz, Gad; Glatt, Stephen J; Hultman, Christina M; Kathiresan, Sekar; Laakso, Markku; McCarroll, Steven; McCarthy, Mark I; McGovern, Dermot; McPherson, Ruth; Neale, Benjamin M; Palotie, Aarno; Purcell, Shaun M; Saleheen, Danish; Scharf, Jeremiah M; Sklar, Pamela; Sullivan, Patrick F; Tuomilehto, Jaakko; Tsuang, Ming T; Watkins, Hugh C; Wilson, James G; Daly, Mark J; MacArthur, Daniel G

    2016-08-17

    Large-scale reference data sets of human genetic variation are critical for the medical and functional interpretation of DNA sequence changes. Here we describe the aggregation and analysis of high-quality exome (protein-coding region) DNA sequence data for 60,706 individuals of diverse ancestries generated as part of the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC). This catalogue of human genetic diversity contains an average of one variant every eight bases of the exome, and provides direct evidence for the presence of widespread mutational recurrence. We have used this catalogue to calculate objective metrics of pathogenicity for sequence variants, and to identify genes subject to strong selection against various classes of mutation; identifying 3,230 genes with near-complete depletion of predicted protein-truncating variants, with 72% of these genes having no currently established human disease phenotype. Finally, we demonstrate that these data can be used for the efficient filtering of candidate disease-causing variants, and for the discovery of human 'knockout' variants in protein-coding genes.

  20. Large-scale SNP analysis reveals clustered and continuous patterns of human genetic variation

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    Understanding the distribution of human genetic variation is an important foundation for research into the genetics of common diseases. Some of the alleles that modify common disease risk are themselves likely to be common and, thus, amenable to identification using gene-association methods. A problem with this approach is that the large sample sizes required for sufficient statistical power to detect alleles with moderate effect make gene-association studies susceptible to false-positive findings as the result of population stratification [1,2]. Such type I errors can be eliminated by using either family-based association tests or methods that sufficiently adjust for population stratification [3-5]. These methods require the availability of genetic markers that can detect and, thus, control for sources of genetic stratification among populations. In an effort to investigate population stratification and identify appropriate marker panels, we have analysed 11,555 single nucleotide polymorphisms in 203 individuals from 12 diverse human populations. Individuals in each population cluster to the exclusion of individuals from other populations using two clustering methods. Higher-order branching and clustering of the populations are consistent with the geographic origins of populations and with previously published genetic analyses. These data provide a valuable resource for the definition of marker panels to detect and control for population stratification in population-based gene identification studies. Using three US resident populations (European-American, African-American and Puerto Rican), we demonstrate how such studies can proceed, quantifying proportional ancestry levels and detecting significant admixture structure in each of these populations. PMID:16004724

  1. ALDH1A2 (RALDH2) genetic variation in human congenital heart disease

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Signaling by the vitamin A-derived morphogen retinoic acid (RA) is required at multiple steps of cardiac development. Since conversion of retinaldehyde to RA by retinaldehyde dehydrogenase type II (ALDH1A2, a.k.a RALDH2) is critical for cardiac development, we screened patients with congenital heart disease (CHDs) for genetic variation at the ALDH1A2 locus. Methods One-hundred and thirty-three CHD patients were screened for genetic variation at the ALDH1A2 locus through bi-directional sequencing. In addition, six SNPs (rs2704188, rs1441815, rs3784259, rs1530293, rs1899430) at the same locus were studied using a TDT-based association approach in 101 CHD trios. Observed mutations were modeled through molecular mechanics (MM) simulations using the AMBER 9 package, Sander and Pmemd programs. Sequence conservation of observed mutations was evaluated through phylogenetic tree construction from ungapped alignments containing ALDH8 s, ALDH1Ls, ALDH1 s and ALDH2 s. Trees were generated by the Neighbor Joining method. Variations potentially affecting splicing mechanisms were cloned and functional assays were designed to test splicing alterations using the pSPL3 splicing assay. Results We describe in Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) the mutations Ala151Ser and Ile157Thr that change non-polar to polar residues at exon 4. Exon 4 encodes part of the highly-conserved tetramerization domain, a structural motif required for ALDH oligomerization. Molecular mechanics simulation studies of the two mutations indicate that they hinder tetramerization. We determined that the SNP rs16939660, previously associated with spina bifida and observed in patients with TOF, does not affect splicing. Moreover, association studies performed with classical models and with the transmission disequilibrium test (TDT) design using single marker genotype, or haplotype information do not show differences between cases and controls. Conclusion In summary, our screen indicates that ALDH1A2 genetic

  2. Haplotype structure and population genetic inferences from nucleotide-sequence variation in human lipoprotein lipase.

    PubMed Central

    Clark, A G; Weiss, K M; Nickerson, D A; Taylor, S L; Buchanan, A; Stengård, J; Salomaa, V; Vartiainen, E; Perola, M; Boerwinkle, E; Sing, C F

    1998-01-01

    Allelic variation in 9.7 kb of genomic DNA sequence from the human lipoprotein lipase gene (LPL) was scored in 71 healthy individuals (142 chromosomes) from three populations: African Americans (24) from Jackson, MS; Finns (24) from North Karelia, Finland; and non-Hispanic Whites (23) from Rochester, MN. The sequences had a total of 88 variable sites, with a nucleotide diversity (site-specific heterozygosity) of .002+/-.001 across this 9.7-kb region. The frequency spectrum of nucleotide variation exhibited a slight excess of heterozygosity, but, in general, the data fit expectations of the infinite-sites model of mutation and genetic drift. Allele-specific PCR helped resolve linkage phases, and a total of 88 distinct haplotypes were identified. For 1,410 (64%) of the 2,211 site pairs, all four possible gametes were present in these haplotypes, reflecting a rich history of past recombination. Despite the strong evidence for recombination, extensive linkage disequilibrium was observed. The number of haplotypes generally is much greater than the number expected under the infinite-sites model, but there was sufficient multisite linkage disequilibrium to reveal two major clades, which appear to be very old. Variation in this region of LPL may depart from the variation expected under a simple, neutral model, owing to complex historical patterns of population founding, drift, selection, and recombination. These data suggest that the design and interpretation of disease-association studies may not be as straightforward as often is assumed. PMID:9683608

  3. An integrated map of genetic variation from 1,092 human genomes

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Summary Through characterising the geographic and functional spectrum of human genetic variation, the 1000 Genomes Project aims to build a resource to help understand the genetic contribution to disease. We describe the genomes of 1,092 individuals from 14 populations, constructed using a combination of low-coverage whole-genome and exome sequencing. By developing methodologies to integrate information across multiple algorithms and diverse data sources we provide a validated haplotype map of 38 million SNPs, 1.4 million indels and over 14 thousand larger deletions. We show that individuals from different populations carry different profiles of rare and common variants and that low-frequency variants show substantial geographic differentiation, which is further increased by the action of purifying selection. We show that evolutionary conservation and coding consequence are key determinants of the strength of purifying selection, that rare-variant load varies substantially across biological pathways and that each individual harbours hundreds of rare non-coding variants at conserved sites, such as transcription-factor-motif disrupting changes. This resource, which captures up to 98% of accessible SNPs at a frequency of 1% in populations of medical genetics focus, enables analysis of common and low-frequency variants in individuals from diverse, including admixed, populations. PMID:23128226

  4. Genetic Variation and Atherosclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Biros, Erik; Karan, Mirko; Golledge, Jonathan

    2008-01-01

    A family history of atherosclerosis is independently associated with an increased incidence of cardiovascular events. The genetic factors underlying the importance of inheritance in atherosclerosis are starting to be understood. Genetic variation, such as mutations or common polymorphisms has been shown to be involved in modulation of a range of risk factors, such as plasma lipoprotein levels, inflammation and vascular calcification. This review presents examples of present studies of the role of genetic polymorphism in atherosclerosis. PMID:19424482

  5. Targeted Application of Human Genetic Variation Can Improve Red Blood Cell Production from Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Giani, Felix C; Fiorini, Claudia; Wakabayashi, Aoi; Ludwig, Leif S; Salem, Rany M; Jobaliya, Chintan D; Regan, Stephanie N; Ulirsch, Jacob C; Liang, Ge; Steinberg-Shemer, Orna; Guo, Michael H; Esko, Tõnu; Tong, Wei; Brugnara, Carlo; Hirschhorn, Joel N; Weiss, Mitchell J; Zon, Leonard I; Chou, Stella T; French, Deborah L; Musunuru, Kiran; Sankaran, Vijay G

    2016-01-01

    Multipotent and pluripotent stem cells are potential sources for cell and tissue replacement therapies. For example, stem cell-derived red blood cells (RBCs) are a potential alternative to donated blood, but yield and quality remain a challenge. Here, we show that application of insight from human population genetic studies can enhance RBC production from stem cells. The SH2B3 gene encodes a negative regulator of cytokine signaling and naturally occurring loss-of-function variants in this gene increase RBC counts in vivo. Targeted suppression of SH2B3 in primary human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells enhanced the maturation and overall yield of in-vitro-derived RBCs. Moreover, inactivation of SH2B3 by CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing in human pluripotent stem cells allowed enhanced erythroid cell expansion with preserved differentiation. Our findings therefore highlight the potential for combining human genome variation studies with genome editing approaches to improve cell and tissue production for regenerative medicine.

  6. An integrated map of genetic variation from 1,092 human genomes.

    PubMed

    Abecasis, Goncalo R; Auton, Adam; Brooks, Lisa D; DePristo, Mark A; Durbin, Richard M; Handsaker, Robert E; Kang, Hyun Min; Marth, Gabor T; McVean, Gil A

    2012-11-01

    By characterizing the geographic and functional spectrum of human genetic variation, the 1000 Genomes Project aims to build a resource to help to understand the genetic contribution to disease. Here we describe the genomes of 1,092 individuals from 14 populations, constructed using a combination of low-coverage whole-genome and exome sequencing. By developing methods to integrate information across several algorithms and diverse data sources, we provide a validated haplotype map of 38 million single nucleotide polymorphisms, 1.4 million short insertions and deletions, and more than 14,000 larger deletions. We show that individuals from different populations carry different profiles of rare and common variants, and that low-frequency variants show substantial geographic differentiation, which is further increased by the action of purifying selection. We show that evolutionary conservation and coding consequence are key determinants of the strength of purifying selection, that rare-variant load varies substantially across biological pathways, and that each individual contains hundreds of rare non-coding variants at conserved sites, such as motif-disrupting changes in transcription-factor-binding sites. This resource, which captures up to 98% of accessible single nucleotide polymorphisms at a frequency of 1% in related populations, enables analysis of common and low-frequency variants in individuals from diverse, including admixed, populations. PMID:23128226

  7. Intersection of population variation and autoimmunity genetics in human T cell activation.

    PubMed

    Ye, Chun Jimmie; Feng, Ting; Kwon, Ho-Keun; Raj, Towfique; Wilson, Michael T; Asinovski, Natasha; McCabe, Cristin; Lee, Michelle H; Frohlich, Irene; Paik, Hyun-il; Zaitlen, Noah; Hacohen, Nir; Stranger, Barbara; De Jager, Philip; Mathis, Diane; Regev, Aviv; Benoist, Christophe

    2014-09-12

    T lymphocyte activation by antigen conditions adaptive immune responses and immunopathologies, but we know little about its variation in humans and its genetic or environmental roots. We analyzed gene expression in CD4(+) T cells during unbiased activation or in T helper 17 (T(H)17) conditions from 348 healthy participants representing European, Asian, and African ancestries. We observed interindividual variability, most marked for cytokine transcripts, with clear biases on the basis of ancestry, and following patterns more complex than simple T(H)1/2/17 partitions. We identified 39 genetic loci specifically associated in cis with activated gene expression. We further fine-mapped and validated a single-base variant that modulates YY1 binding and the activity of an enhancer element controlling the autoimmune-associated IL2RA gene, affecting its activity in activated but not regulatory T cells. Thus, interindividual variability affects the fundamental immunologic process of T helper activation, with important connections to autoimmune disease.

  8. An integrated map of genetic variation from 1,092 human genomes.

    PubMed

    Abecasis, Goncalo R; Auton, Adam; Brooks, Lisa D; DePristo, Mark A; Durbin, Richard M; Handsaker, Robert E; Kang, Hyun Min; Marth, Gabor T; McVean, Gil A

    2012-11-01

    By characterizing the geographic and functional spectrum of human genetic variation, the 1000 Genomes Project aims to build a resource to help to understand the genetic contribution to disease. Here we describe the genomes of 1,092 individuals from 14 populations, constructed using a combination of low-coverage whole-genome and exome sequencing. By developing methods to integrate information across several algorithms and diverse data sources, we provide a validated haplotype map of 38 million single nucleotide polymorphisms, 1.4 million short insertions and deletions, and more than 14,000 larger deletions. We show that individuals from different populations carry different profiles of rare and common variants, and that low-frequency variants show substantial geographic differentiation, which is further increased by the action of purifying selection. We show that evolutionary conservation and coding consequence are key determinants of the strength of purifying selection, that rare-variant load varies substantially across biological pathways, and that each individual contains hundreds of rare non-coding variants at conserved sites, such as motif-disrupting changes in transcription-factor-binding sites. This resource, which captures up to 98% of accessible single nucleotide polymorphisms at a frequency of 1% in related populations, enables analysis of common and low-frequency variants in individuals from diverse, including admixed, populations.

  9. Genetic Variation of αENaC Influences Lung Diffusion During Exercise in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Sarah E.; Wheatley, Courtney M.; Cassuto, Nicholas A.; Foxx-Lupo, William T.; Sprissler, Ryan; Snyder, Eric M.

    2011-01-01

    Exercise, decompensated heart failure, and exposure to high altitude have been shown to cause symptoms of pulmonary edema in some, but not all, subjects, suggesting a genetic component to this response. Epithelial Na+ Channels (ENaC) regulate Na+ and fluid reabsorption in the alveolar airspace in the lung. An increase in number and/or activity of ENaC has been shown to increase lung fluid clearance. Previous work has demonstrated common functional genetic variants of the α-subunit of ENaC, including an A→T substitution at amino acid 663 (αA663T). We sought to determine the influence of the T663 variant of αENaC on lung diffusion at rest and at peak exercise in healthy humans. Thirty healthy subjects were recruited for study and grouped according to their SCNN1A genotype [n= 17vs.13, age=25±7vs.30±10yrs., BMI= 23±4vs.25±4kg/m2, V̇O2peak= 95±30vs.100±31%pred., mean±SD, for AA (homozygous for αA663) vs. AT/TT groups (at least one αT663), respectively]. Measures of the diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide (DLCO), the diffusing capacity of the lungs for nitric oxide (DLNO), alveolar volume (VA), and alveolar-capillary membrane conductance (DM) were taken at rest and at peak exercise. Subjects expressing the AA polymorphism of ENaC showed a significantly greater percent increase in DLCO and DLNO, and a significantly greater decrease in systemic vascular resistance from rest to peak exercise than those with the AT/TT variant (DLCO=51±12vs.36±17%, DLNO=51±24vs.32±25%, SVR=−67±3vs.−50±8%, p<0.05). The AA ENaC group also tended to have a greater percent increase in DLCO/VA from rest to peak exercise, although this did not reach statistical significance (49±26vs.33±26%, p=0.08). These results demonstrate that genetic variation of the α-subunit of ENaC at amino acid 663 influences lung diffusion at peak exercise in healthy humans, suggesting differences in alveolar Na+ and, therefore, fluid handling. These findings could be important

  10. Genetic variation and population structure in the endangered Hermann's tortoise: the roles of geography and human-mediated processes.

    PubMed

    Perez, Melanie; Livoreil, Barbara; Mantovani, Sara; Boisselier, Marie-Catherine; Crestanello, Barbara; Abdelkrim, Jawad; Bonillo, Céline; Goutner, Vassilis; Lambourdière, Josie; Pierpaoli, Massimo; Sterijovski, Bogoljub; Tomovic, Ljiljana; Vilaça, Sibelle T; Mazzotti, Stefano; Bertorelle, Giorgio

    2014-01-01

    The Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni) is an endangered land tortoise distributed in disjoint populations across Mediterranean Europe. We investigated its genetic variation by typing 1 mitochondrial locus and 9 nuclear microsatellites in approximately 300 individuals from 22 localities. Our goal was to understand the relative impact of natural and human-mediated processes in shaping the genetic structure and to identify the genetic priorities for the conservation of this species. We found that 1) all geographic areas are highly differentiated, mainly as a function of their distance but with a clear genetic discontinuity (F st values larger than 0.4) between the Eastern and the Western subspecies; 2) the contact zone between subspecies is located farthest to the west than previously believed, and it probably coincides with the delta of the largest Italian river; 3) extinction events due to climatic conditions in the Upper Palaeolithic and subsequent human-mediated translocations in the Neolithic possibly explain the unexpected similarity among Spain, Sicily, and Corsica. For conservation purposes, the large majority of genetic pools appears native although hybridization among subspecies, related to extensive 20th century trade of tortoises across Europe, is observed in Spain and some Italian samples. Most populations do not seem at immediate risk of low genetic variation, except the French population, which has very low nuclear genetic diversity (heterozygosity = 0.25) and where 50 out of 51 sampled animals shared the same mitochondrial sequence. In general, restocking and reintroduction plans should carefully consider the genetic background of the individuals.

  11. Genetic variation and population structure in the endangered Hermann's tortoise: the roles of geography and human-mediated processes.

    PubMed

    Perez, Melanie; Livoreil, Barbara; Mantovani, Sara; Boisselier, Marie-Catherine; Crestanello, Barbara; Abdelkrim, Jawad; Bonillo, Céline; Goutner, Vassilis; Lambourdière, Josie; Pierpaoli, Massimo; Sterijovski, Bogoljub; Tomovic, Ljiljana; Vilaça, Sibelle T; Mazzotti, Stefano; Bertorelle, Giorgio

    2014-01-01

    The Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni) is an endangered land tortoise distributed in disjoint populations across Mediterranean Europe. We investigated its genetic variation by typing 1 mitochondrial locus and 9 nuclear microsatellites in approximately 300 individuals from 22 localities. Our goal was to understand the relative impact of natural and human-mediated processes in shaping the genetic structure and to identify the genetic priorities for the conservation of this species. We found that 1) all geographic areas are highly differentiated, mainly as a function of their distance but with a clear genetic discontinuity (F st values larger than 0.4) between the Eastern and the Western subspecies; 2) the contact zone between subspecies is located farthest to the west than previously believed, and it probably coincides with the delta of the largest Italian river; 3) extinction events due to climatic conditions in the Upper Palaeolithic and subsequent human-mediated translocations in the Neolithic possibly explain the unexpected similarity among Spain, Sicily, and Corsica. For conservation purposes, the large majority of genetic pools appears native although hybridization among subspecies, related to extensive 20th century trade of tortoises across Europe, is observed in Spain and some Italian samples. Most populations do not seem at immediate risk of low genetic variation, except the French population, which has very low nuclear genetic diversity (heterozygosity = 0.25) and where 50 out of 51 sampled animals shared the same mitochondrial sequence. In general, restocking and reintroduction plans should carefully consider the genetic background of the individuals. PMID:24154535

  12. Genetic variation of the RASGRF1 regulatory region affects human hippocampus-dependent memory.

    PubMed

    Barman, Adriana; Assmann, Anne; Richter, Sylvia; Soch, Joram; Schütze, Hartmut; Wüstenberg, Torsten; Deibele, Anna; Klein, Marieke; Richter, Anni; Behnisch, Gusalija; Düzel, Emrah; Zenker, Martin; Seidenbecher, Constanze I; Schott, Björn H

    2014-01-01

    The guanine nucleotide exchange factor RASGRF1 is an important regulator of intracellular signaling and neural plasticity in the brain. RASGRF1-deficient mice exhibit a complex phenotype with learning deficits and ocular abnormalities. Also in humans, a genome-wide association study has identified the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs8027411 in the putative transcription regulatory region of RASGRF1 as a risk variant of myopia. Here we aimed to assess whether, in line with the RASGRF1 knockout mouse phenotype, rs8027411 might also be associated with human memory function. We performed computer-based neuropsychological learning experiments in two independent cohorts of young, healthy participants. Tests included the Verbal Learning and Memory Test (VLMT) and the logical memory section of the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS). Two sub-cohorts additionally participated in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of hippocampus function. 119 participants performed a novelty encoding task that had previously been shown to engage the hippocampus, and 63 subjects participated in a reward-related memory encoding study. RASGRF1 rs8027411 genotype was indeed associated with memory performance in an allele dosage-dependent manner, with carriers of the T allele (i.e., the myopia risk allele) showing better memory performance in the early encoding phase of the VLMT and in the recall phase of the WMS logical memory section. In fMRI, T allele carriers exhibited increased hippocampal activation during presentation of novel images and during encoding of pictures associated with monetary reward. Taken together, our results provide evidence for a role of the RASGRF1 gene locus in hippocampus-dependent memory and, along with the previous association with myopia, point toward pleitropic effects of RASGRF1 genetic variations on complex neural function in humans. PMID:24808846

  13. Genetic variation of the RASGRF1 regulatory region affects human hippocampus-dependent memory

    PubMed Central

    Barman, Adriana; Assmann, Anne; Richter, Sylvia; Soch, Joram; Schütze, Hartmut; Wüstenberg, Torsten; Deibele, Anna; Klein, Marieke; Richter, Anni; Behnisch, Gusalija; Düzel, Emrah; Zenker, Martin; Seidenbecher, Constanze I.; Schott, Björn H.

    2014-01-01

    The guanine nucleotide exchange factor RASGRF1 is an important regulator of intracellular signaling and neural plasticity in the brain. RASGRF1-deficient mice exhibit a complex phenotype with learning deficits and ocular abnormalities. Also in humans, a genome-wide association study has identified the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs8027411 in the putative transcription regulatory region of RASGRF1 as a risk variant of myopia. Here we aimed to assess whether, in line with the RASGRF1 knockout mouse phenotype, rs8027411 might also be associated with human memory function. We performed computer-based neuropsychological learning experiments in two independent cohorts of young, healthy participants. Tests included the Verbal Learning and Memory Test (VLMT) and the logical memory section of the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS). Two sub-cohorts additionally participated in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of hippocampus function. 119 participants performed a novelty encoding task that had previously been shown to engage the hippocampus, and 63 subjects participated in a reward-related memory encoding study. RASGRF1 rs8027411 genotype was indeed associated with memory performance in an allele dosage-dependent manner, with carriers of the T allele (i.e., the myopia risk allele) showing better memory performance in the early encoding phase of the VLMT and in the recall phase of the WMS logical memory section. In fMRI, T allele carriers exhibited increased hippocampal activation during presentation of novel images and during encoding of pictures associated with monetary reward. Taken together, our results provide evidence for a role of the RASGRF1 gene locus in hippocampus-dependent memory and, along with the previous association with myopia, point toward pleitropic effects of RASGRF1 genetic variations on complex neural function in humans. PMID:24808846

  14. Identification of common genetic variants controlling transcript isoform variation in human whole blood.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaoling; Joehanes, Roby; Chen, Brian H; Huan, Tianxiao; Ying, Saixia; Munson, Peter J; Johnson, Andrew D; Levy, Daniel; O'Donnell, Christopher J

    2015-04-01

    An understanding of the genetic variation underlying transcript splicing is essential to dissect the molecular mechanisms of common disease. The available evidence from splicing quantitative trait locus (sQTL) studies has been limited to small samples. We performed genome-wide screening to identify SNPs that might control mRNA splicing in whole blood collected from 5,257 Framingham Heart Study participants. We identified 572,333 cis sQTLs involving 2,650 unique genes. Many sQTL-associated genes (40%) undergo alternative splicing. Using the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) genome-wide association study (GWAS) catalog, we determined that 528 unique sQTLs were significantly enriched for 8,845 SNPs associated with traits in previous GWAS. In particular, we found 395 (4.5%) GWAS SNPs with evidence of cis sQTLs but not gene-level cis expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs), suggesting that sQTL analysis could provide additional insights into the functional mechanism underlying GWAS results. Our findings provide an informative sQTL resource for further characterizing the potential functional roles of SNPs that control transcript isoforms relevant to common diseases.

  15. Review: A high capacity of the human placenta for genetic and epigenetic variation: implications for assessing pregnancy outcome.

    PubMed

    Yuen, R K C; Robinson, W P

    2011-03-01

    Genetic and epigenetic studies of the human placenta can help to clarify the underlying mechanisms of placenta-associated diseases. However, such studies have also revealed a considerable degree of within- and between-placenta variability, which can be attributed to a variety of influences. We illustrate the inherent heterogeneity in the placenta using examples from two types of studies: 1) chromosomal mosaicism and 2) DNA methylation variation. We discuss the factors that may influence the distribution of variation and how, understanding the source of this variation is important for interpreting data used to investigate and predict clinical outcomes.

  16. Human genetics

    SciTech Connect

    Carlson, E.A.

    1984-01-01

    This text provides full and balanced coverage of the concepts requisite for a thorough understanding of human genetics. Applications to both the individual and society are integrated throughout the lively and personal narrative, and the essential principles of heredity are clearly presented to prepare students for informed participation in public controversies. High-interest, controversial topics, including recombinant DNA technology, oncogenes, embryo transfer, environmental mutagens and carcinogens, IQ testing, and eugenics encourage understanding of important social issues.

  17. Genetic Variation among Human Isolates of Uninucleated Cyst-Producing Entamoeba Species

    PubMed Central

    Verweij, Jaco J.; Polderman, Anton M.; Clark, C. Graham

    2001-01-01

    Twelve human infections with Entamoeba spp. producing uninucleated cysts were studied. DNA was extracted from infected feces and used to amplify part of the ameba small-subunit rRNA gene. Sequence analysis identified four distinct types of Entamoeba, all of which are related to Entamoeba polecki and E. chattoni and two of which have not been reported previously. Whether these genetic types represent different species is unclear. We propose that the agent of all human infections with uninucleated cyst-producing Entamoeba species be reported as “E. polecki-like.” PMID:11283106

  18. Genomic and network patterns of schizophrenia genetic variation in human evolutionary accelerated regions.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ke; Schadt, Eric E; Pollard, Katherine S; Roussos, Panos; Dudley, Joel T

    2015-05-01

    The population persistence of schizophrenia despite associated reductions in fitness and fecundity suggests that the genetic basis of schizophrenia has a complex evolutionary history. A recent meta-analysis of schizophrenia genome-wide association studies offers novel opportunities for assessment of the evolutionary trajectories of schizophrenia-associated loci. In this study, we hypothesize that components of the genetic architecture of schizophrenia are attributable to human lineage-specific evolution. Our results suggest that schizophrenia-associated loci enrich in genes near previously identified human accelerated regions (HARs). Specifically, we find that genes near HARs conserved in nonhuman primates (pHARs) are enriched for schizophrenia-associated loci, and that pHAR-associated schizophrenia genes are under stronger selective pressure than other schizophrenia genes and other pHAR-associated genes. We further evaluate pHAR-associated schizophrenia genes in regulatory network contexts to investigate associated molecular functions and mechanisms. We find that pHAR-associated schizophrenia genes significantly enrich in a GABA-related coexpression module that was previously found to be differentially regulated in schizophrenia affected individuals versus healthy controls. In another two independent networks constructed from gene expression profiles from prefrontal cortex samples, we find that pHAR-associated schizophrenia genes are located in more central positions and their average path lengths to the other nodes are significantly shorter than those of other schizophrenia genes. Together, our results suggest that HARs are associated with potentially important functional roles in the genetic architecture of schizophrenia.

  19. Human genetics of the Kula Ring: Y-chromosome and mitochondrial DNA variation in the Massim of Papua New Guinea

    PubMed Central

    van Oven, Mannis; Brauer, Silke; Choi, Ying; Ensing, Joe; Schiefenhövel, Wulf; Stoneking, Mark; Kayser, Manfred

    2014-01-01

    The island region at the southeastern-most tip of New Guinea and its inhabitants known as Massim are well known for a unique traditional inter-island trading system, called Kula or Kula Ring. To characterize the Massim genetically, and to evaluate the influence of the Kula Ring on patterns of human genetic variation, we analyzed paternally inherited Y-chromosome (NRY) and maternally inherited mitochondrial (mt) DNA polymorphisms in >400 individuals from this region. We found that the nearly exclusively Austronesian-speaking Massim people harbor genetic ancestry components of both Asian (AS) and Near Oceanian (NO) origin, with a proportionally larger NO NRY component versus a larger AS mtDNA component. This is similar to previous observations in other Austronesian-speaking populations from Near and Remote Oceania and suggests sex-biased genetic admixture between Asians and Near Oceanians before the occupation of Remote Oceania, in line with the Slow Boat from Asia hypothesis on the expansion of Austronesians into the Pacific. Contrary to linguistic expectations, Rossel Islanders, the only Papuan speakers of the Massim, showed a lower amount of NO genetic ancestry than their Austronesian-speaking Massim neighbors. For the islands traditionally involved in the Kula Ring, a significant correlation between inter-island travelling distances and genetic distances was observed for mtDNA, but not for NRY, suggesting more male- than female-mediated gene flow. As traditionally only males take part in the Kula voyages, this finding may indicate a genetic signature of the Kula Ring, serving as another example of how cultural tradition has shaped human genetic diversity. PMID:24619143

  20. Genetic Variation in Cardiomyopathy and Cardiovascular Disorders.

    PubMed

    McNally, Elizabeth M; Puckelwartz, Megan J

    2015-01-01

    With the wider deployment of massively-parallel, next-generation sequencing, it is now possible to survey human genome data for research and clinical purposes. The reduced cost of producing short-read sequencing has now shifted the burden to data analysis. Analysis of genome sequencing remains challenged by the complexity of the human genome, including redundancy and the repetitive nature of genome elements and the large amount of variation in individual genomes. Public databases of human genome sequences greatly facilitate interpretation of common and rare genetic variation, although linking database sequence information to detailed clinical information is limited by privacy and practical issues. Genetic variation is a rich source of knowledge for cardiovascular disease because many, if not all, cardiovascular disorders are highly heritable. The role of rare genetic variation in predicting risk and complications of cardiovascular diseases has been well established for hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathy, where the number of genes that are linked to these disorders is growing. Bolstered by family data, where genetic variants segregate with disease, rare variation can be linked to specific genetic variation that offers profound diagnostic information. Understanding genetic variation in cardiomyopathy is likely to help stratify forms of heart failure and guide therapy. Ultimately, genetic variation may be amenable to gene correction and gene editing strategies.

  1. Genetic, environmental and epigenetic influences on variation in human tooth number, size and shape.

    PubMed

    Townsend, Grant; Bockmann, Michelle; Hughes, Toby; Brook, Alan

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this review is to highlight some key recent developments in studies of tooth number, size and shape that are providing better insights into the roles of genetic, environmental and epigenetic factors in the process of dental development. Advances in molecular genetics are helping to clarify how epigenetic factors influence the spatial and temporal regulation of the complex processes involved in odontogenesis. At the phenotypic level, the development of sophisticated systems for image analysis is enabling new dental phenotypes to be defined. The 2D and 3D data that are generated by these imaging systems can then be analysed with mathematical approaches, such as geometric morphometric analysis. By gathering phenotypic data and DNA from twins, it is now possible to use 'genome-wide' association studies and the monozygotic co-twin design to identify important genes in odontogenesis and also to clarify how epigenetic and environmental factors can affect this process. Given that many of the common dental anomalies affecting the human dentition are interrelated, apparently reflecting pleiotropic genetic effects, the discoveries and new directions described in this paper should have important implications for clinical dental practice in the future.

  2. Genetic variation in AKT1 is linked to dopamine-associated prefrontal cortical structure and function in humans

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Hao-Yang; Nicodemus, Kristin K.; Chen, Qiang; Li, Zhen; Brooke, Jennifer K.; Honea, Robyn; Kolachana, Bhaskar S.; Straub, Richard E.; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Sei, Yoshitasu; Mattay, Venkata S.; Callicott, Joseph H.; Weinberger, Daniel R.

    2008-01-01

    AKT1-dependent molecular pathways control diverse aspects of cellular development and adaptation, including interactions with neuronal dopaminergic signaling. If AKT1 has an impact on dopaminergic signaling, then genetic variation in AKT1 would be associated with brain phenotypes related to cortical dopaminergic function. Here, we provide evidence that a coding variation in AKT1 that affects protein expression in human B lymphoblasts influenced several brain measures related to dopaminergic function. Cognitive performance linked to frontostriatal circuitry, prefrontal physiology during executive function, and frontostriatal gray-matter volume on MRI were altered in subjects with the AKT1 variation. Moreover, on neuroimaging measures with a main effect of the AKT1 genotype, there was significant epistasis with a functional polymorphism (Val158Met) in catechol-O-methyltransferase [COMT], a gene that indexes cortical synaptic dopamine. This genetic interaction was consistent with the putative role of AKT1 in dopaminergic signaling. Supportive of an earlier tentative association of AKT1 with schizophrenia, we also found that this AKT1 variant was associated with risk for schizophrenia. These data implicate AKT1 in modulating human prefrontal-striatal structure and function and suggest that the mechanism of this effect may be coupled to dopaminergic signaling and relevant to the expression of psychosis. PMID:18497887

  3. Genetic variations in the human cannabinoid receptor gene are associated with happiness.

    PubMed

    Matsunaga, Masahiro; Isowa, Tokiko; Yamakawa, Kaori; Fukuyama, Seisuke; Shinoda, Jun; Yamada, Jitsuhiro; Ohira, Hideki

    2014-01-01

    Happiness has been viewed as a temporary emotional state (e.g., pleasure) and a relatively stable state of being happy (subjective happiness level). As previous studies demonstrated that individuals with high subjective happiness level rated their current affective states more positively when they experience positive events, these two aspects of happiness are interrelated. According to a recent neuroimaging study, the cytosine to thymine single-nucleotide polymorphism of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene is associated with sensitivity to positive emotional stimuli. Thus, we hypothesized that our genetic traits, such as the human cannabinoid receptor 1 genotypes, are closely related to the two aspects of happiness. In Experiment 1, 198 healthy volunteers were used to compare the subjective happiness level between cytosine allele carriers and thymine-thymine carriers of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene. In Experiment 2, we used positron emission tomography with 20 healthy participants to compare the brain responses to positive emotional stimuli of cytosine allele carriers to that of thymine-thymine carriers. Compared to thymine-thymine carriers, cytosine allele carriers have a higher subjective happiness level. Regression analysis indicated that the cytosine allele is significantly associated with subjective happiness level. The positive mood after watching a positive film was significantly higher for the cytosine allele carriers compared to the thymine-thymine carriers. Positive emotion-related brain region such as the medial prefrontal cortex was significantly activated when the cytosine allele carriers watched the positive film compared to the thymine-thymine carriers. Thus, the human cannabinoid receptor 1 genotypes are closely related to two aspects of happiness. Compared to thymine-thymine carriers, the cytosine allele carriers of the human cannabinoid receptor 1 gene, who are sensitive to positive emotional stimuli, exhibited greater magnitude

  4. FAAH genetic variation enhances fronto-amygdala function in mouse and human

    PubMed Central

    Dincheva, Iva; Drysdale, Andrew T.; Hartley, Catherine A.; Johnson, David C.; Jing, Deqiang; King, Elizabeth C.; Ra, Stephen; Gray, Megan; Yang, Ruirong; DeGruccio, Ann Marie; Huang, Chienchun; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; Glatt, Charles E.; Hill, Matthew N.; Casey, B. J.; Lee, Francis S.

    2015-01-01

    Cross-species studies enable rapid translational discovery and produce the broadest impact when both mechanism and phenotype are consistent across organisms. We developed a knock-in mouse that biologically recapitulates a common human mutation in the gene for fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) (C385A; rs324420), the primary catabolic enzyme for the endocannabinoid anandamide. This common polymorphism impacts the expression and activity of FAAH, thereby increasing anandamide levels. Here, we show that the genetic knock-in mouse and human variant allele carriers exhibit parallel alterations in biochemisty, neurocircuitry, and behavior. Specifically, there is reduced FAAH expression associated with the variant allele that selectively enhances fronto-amygdala connectivity and fear extinction learning, and decreases anxiety-like behaviors. These results suggest a gain-of-function in fear regulation and may indicate for whom and for what anxiety symptoms FAAH inhibitors or exposure-based therapies will be most efficacious, bridging an important translational gap between the mouse and human. PMID:25731744

  5. Massively parallel quantification of the regulatory effects of noncoding genetic variation in a human cohort

    PubMed Central

    Vockley, Christopher M.; Guo, Cong; Majoros, William H.; Nodzenski, Michael; Scholtens, Denise M.; Hayes, M. Geoffrey; Lowe, William L.; Reddy, Timothy E.

    2015-01-01

    We report a novel high-throughput method to empirically quantify individual-specific regulatory element activity at the population scale. The approach combines targeted DNA capture with a high-throughput reporter gene expression assay. As demonstration, we measured the activity of more than 100 putative regulatory elements from 95 individuals in a single experiment. In agreement with previous reports, we found that most genetic variants have weak effects on distal regulatory element activity. Because haplotypes are typically maintained within but not between assayed regulatory elements, the approach can be used to identify causal regulatory haplotypes that likely contribute to human phenotypes. Finally, we demonstrate the utility of the method to functionally fine map causal regulatory variants in regions of high linkage disequilibrium identified by expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analyses. PMID:26084464

  6. Genomic and transcriptome profiling identified both human and HBV genetic variations and their interactions in Chinese hepatocellular carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Dong, Hua; Qian, Ziliang; Zhang, Lan; Chen, Yunqin; Ren, Zhenggang; Ji, Qunsheng

    2015-12-01

    Interaction between HBV and host genome integrations in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development is a complex process and the mechanism is still unclear. Here we described in details the quality controls and data mining of aCGH and transcriptome sequencing data on 50 HCC samples from the Chinese patients, published by Dong et al. (2015) (GEO#: GSE65486). In additional to the HBV-MLL4 integration discovered, we also investigated the genetic aberrations of HBV and host genes as well as their genetic interactions. We reported human genome copy number changes and frequent transcriptome variations (e.g. TP53, CTNNB1 mutation, especially MLL family mutations) in this cohort of the patients. For HBV genotype C, we identified a novel linkage disequilibrium region covering HBV replication regulatory elements, including basal core promoter, DR1, epsilon and poly-A regions, which is associated with HBV core antigen over-expression and almost exclusive to HBV-MLL4 integration.

  7. Multidimensional structure-function relationships in human β-cardiac myosin from population-scale genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Homburger, Julian R; Green, Eric M; Caleshu, Colleen; Sunitha, Margaret S; Taylor, Rebecca E; Ruppel, Kathleen M; Metpally, Raghu Prasad Rao; Colan, Steven D; Michels, Michelle; Day, Sharlene M; Olivotto, Iacopo; Bustamante, Carlos D; Dewey, Frederick E; Ho, Carolyn Y; Spudich, James A; Ashley, Euan A

    2016-06-14

    Myosin motors are the fundamental force-generating elements of muscle contraction. Variation in the human β-cardiac myosin heavy chain gene (MYH7) can lead to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heritable disease characterized by cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure, and sudden cardiac death. How specific myosin variants alter motor function or clinical expression of disease remains incompletely understood. Here, we combine structural models of myosin from multiple stages of its chemomechanical cycle, exome sequencing data from two population cohorts of 60,706 and 42,930 individuals, and genetic and phenotypic data from 2,913 patients with HCM to identify regions of disease enrichment within β-cardiac myosin. We first developed computational models of the human β-cardiac myosin protein before and after the myosin power stroke. Then, using a spatial scan statistic modified to analyze genetic variation in protein 3D space, we found significant enrichment of disease-associated variants in the converter, a kinetic domain that transduces force from the catalytic domain to the lever arm to accomplish the power stroke. Focusing our analysis on surface-exposed residues, we identified a larger region significantly enriched for disease-associated variants that contains both the converter domain and residues on a single flat surface on the myosin head described as the myosin mesa. Notably, patients with HCM with variants in the enriched regions have earlier disease onset than patients who have HCM with variants elsewhere. Our study provides a model for integrating protein structure, large-scale genetic sequencing, and detailed phenotypic data to reveal insight into time-shifted protein structures and genetic disease. PMID:27247418

  8. Multidimensional structure-function relationships in human β-cardiac myosin from population-scale genetic variation

    PubMed Central

    Homburger, Julian R.; Green, Eric M.; Caleshu, Colleen; Sunitha, Margaret S.; Taylor, Rebecca E.; Ruppel, Kathleen M.; Metpally, Raghu Prasad Rao; Colan, Steven D.; Michels, Michelle; Day, Sharlene M.; Olivotto, Iacopo; Bustamante, Carlos D.; Dewey, Frederick E.; Ho, Carolyn Y.; Spudich, James A.; Ashley, Euan A.

    2016-01-01

    Myosin motors are the fundamental force-generating elements of muscle contraction. Variation in the human β-cardiac myosin heavy chain gene (MYH7) can lead to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heritable disease characterized by cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure, and sudden cardiac death. How specific myosin variants alter motor function or clinical expression of disease remains incompletely understood. Here, we combine structural models of myosin from multiple stages of its chemomechanical cycle, exome sequencing data from two population cohorts of 60,706 and 42,930 individuals, and genetic and phenotypic data from 2,913 patients with HCM to identify regions of disease enrichment within β-cardiac myosin. We first developed computational models of the human β-cardiac myosin protein before and after the myosin power stroke. Then, using a spatial scan statistic modified to analyze genetic variation in protein 3D space, we found significant enrichment of disease-associated variants in the converter, a kinetic domain that transduces force from the catalytic domain to the lever arm to accomplish the power stroke. Focusing our analysis on surface-exposed residues, we identified a larger region significantly enriched for disease-associated variants that contains both the converter domain and residues on a single flat surface on the myosin head described as the myosin mesa. Notably, patients with HCM with variants in the enriched regions have earlier disease onset than patients who have HCM with variants elsewhere. Our study provides a model for integrating protein structure, large-scale genetic sequencing, and detailed phenotypic data to reveal insight into time-shifted protein structures and genetic disease. PMID:27247418

  9. Human papillomavirus 33 worldwide genetic variation and associated risk of cervical cancer

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Alyce A.; Heideman, Daniëlle A.M.; Boon, Debby; Chen, Zigui; Burk, Robert D.; De Vuyst, Hugo; Gheit, Tarik; Snijders, Peter J.F.; Tommasino, Massimo; Franceschi, Silvia; Clifford, Gary M.

    2014-01-01

    Human papillomavirus (HPV) 33, a member of the HPV16-related alpha-9 species group, is found in approximately 5% of cervical cancers worldwide. The current study aimed to characterize the genetic diversity of HPV33 and to explore the association of HPV33 variants with the risk for cervical cancer. Taking advantage of the International Agency for Research on Cancer biobank, we sequenced the entire E6 and E7 open reading frames of 213 HPV33-positive cervical samples from 30 countries. We identified 28 HPV33 variants that formed 5 phylogenetic groups: the previously identified A1, A2, and B (sub) lineages and the novel A3 and C (sub)lineages. The A1 sublineage was strongly over-represented in cervical cases compared to controls in both Africa and Europe. In conclusion, we provide a classification system for HPV33 variants based on the sequence of E6 and E7 and suggest that the association of HPV33 with cervical cancer may differ by variant (sub)lineage. PMID:24314666

  10. Genetic variation of the human mu-opioid receptor and susceptibility to idiopathic absence epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Sander, T; Berlin, W; Gscheidel, N; Wendel, B; Janz, D; Hoehe, M R

    2000-03-01

    Pharmacological and autoradiological studies suggest that mu-opioid receptor (OPRM) mediated neurotransmission is involved in the generation of absence seizures. Mutation screening of the human OPRM gene identified a common amino acid substitution polymorphism (Asn40Asp) that differentially modulates the binding affinity of beta-endorphin and signal transduction of the receptor. The present association study tested the candidate gene hypothesis that the Asn40Asp substitution polymorphism in the N-terminal OPRM domain confers genetic susceptibility to idiopathic absence epilepsy (IAE). The genotypes of the Asn40Asp polymorphism were assessed by allele-specific polymerase chain reaction in 72 German IAE patients and in 340 ethnically matched control subjects. The frequency of the Asp40 allele was significantly increased in the IAE patients [f(Asp40) = 0.139] compared to the controls [f(Asp40) = 0.078; chi2 = 5.467, df = 1, P = 0.019; OR = 2.03; 95%-CI: 1.12-3.68]. This allelic association suggests that the functional Asp40 variant of OPRM modulates neuronal excitability underlying the epileptogenesis of IAE.

  11. Genetic Variation among Major Human Geographic Groups Supports a Peculiar Evolutionary Trend in PAX9

    PubMed Central

    Paixão-Côrtes, Vanessa R.; Meyer, Diogo; Pereira, Tiago V.; Mazières, Stéphane; Elion, Jacques; Krishnamoorthy, Rajagopal; Zago, Marco A.; Silva, Wilson A.; Salzano, Francisco M.; Bortolini, Maria Cátira

    2011-01-01

    A total of 172 persons from nine South Amerindian, three African and one Eskimo populations were studied in relation to the Paired box gene 9 (PAX9) exon 3 (138 base pairs) as well as its 5′and 3′flanking intronic segments (232 bp and 220 bp, respectively) and integrated with the information available for the same genetic region from individuals of different geographical origins. Nine mutations were scored in exon 3 and six in its flanking regions; four of them are new South American tribe-specific singletons. Exon3 nucleotide diversity is several orders of magnitude higher than its intronic regions. Additionally, a set of variants in the PAX9 and 101 other genes related with dentition can define at least some dental morphological differences between Sub-Saharan Africans and non-Africans, probably associated with adaptations after the modern human exodus from Africa. Exon 3 of PAX9 could be a good molecular example of how evolvability works. PMID:21298044

  12. Global analysis of genetic variation in human arsenic (+ 3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT)

    SciTech Connect

    Fujihara, Junko; Soejima, Mikiko; Yasuda, Toshihiro; Koda, Yoshiro; Agusa, Tetsuro; Kunito, Takashi; Tongu, Miki; Yamada, Takaya; Takeshita, Haruo

    2010-03-15

    Human arsenic (+ 3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT) is known to catalyze the methylation of arsenite. The objective of this study was to investigate the diversity of the AS3MT gene at the global level. The distribution of 18 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in AS3MT was performed in 827 individuals from 10 populations (Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Mongolian, Tibetans, Sri Lankan Tamils, Sri Lankan Sinhalese, Nepal Tamangs, Ovambo, and Ghanaian). In the African populations, the A allele in A6144T was not observed; the allele frequencies of C35587 were much lower than those in other populations; the allele frequencies of A37616 and C37950 were relatively higher than those in other populations. Among Asian populations, Mongolians showed a different genotype distribution pattern. A lower C3963 and T6144 frequencies were observed, and, in the C37616A and T37950C polymorphism, the Mongolian population showed higher A37616 and C37950 allele frequencies than other Asian populations, similarly to the African populations. A total of 66 haplotypes were observed in the Ovambo, 48, in the Ghanaian, 99, in the Japanese, 103, in the Korean, 103, in the South Chinese, 20, in the Sri Lankan Tamil, 12, in the Sri Lankan Sinhalese, 21, in the Nepal Tamang, 50, in the Tibetan, and 45, in the Mongolian populations. The D' values between the SNP pairs were extremely high in the Sri Lankan Sinhalese population. Relatively higher D' values were observed in Mongolian and Sri Lankan Tamil populations. Network analysis showed two clusters that may have different origins, African and Asians (Chinese and/or Japanese). The present study is the first to demonstrate the existence of genetic heterogeneity in a world wide distribution of 18 SNPs in AS3MT.

  13. Genetic variations of human herpesvirus 7 by analysis of glycoproteins B and H, and R2-repeat regions.

    PubMed

    Thawaranantha, Duanthanorm; Chimabutra, Kanittha; Balachandra, Kruavon; Warachit, Paijit; Pantuwatana, Somsak; Tanaka-Taya, Keiko; Inagi, Reiko; Kurata, Takeshi; Yamanishi, Koichi

    2002-03-01

    Clinical isolates of human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7) from the saliva of healthy individual were investigated for genetic variations in the regions of two immediate-early (IE) genes, the glycoprotein B (gB) and glycoprotein H (gH) genes, and in R2-repeat. The genomic DNA of 24 isolates from citizens of Thailand, Japan, and the United States was amplified to detect size variations in the IE-1 and IE-2 loci, but none was observed, suggesting that there was no deletion or insertion in these genes, in contrast with an IE gene of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6). The sequences of the gB gene from isolates acquired from 5 Japanese and 8 Thai subject were then compared with those of American strains JI and RK with respect to codons that are known to differentiate gB alleles. All the isolates were found to have gB allele C except for the JI strain, which has allele F. Variability was also observed in five specific gH codons, resulting in 6 different groups. The HHV-7 isolates might be classified into two major genetic variants by combining their gB and gH allelic groupings. In the present study, only JI belonged to variant 1, while the rest of the isolates appeared to belong to variant 2. In the R2-repeat region, size heterogeneities were observed among the 24 isolates, due to different repeat numbers (17, 15, 14, 13, or 12 repeats). Therefore, we used the R2-repeat to identify the origins of isolates in a study of HHV-7 transmission, and found HHV-7 to be transmitted within a family from both mothers and fathers to their children.

  14. The population genetics of structural variation

    PubMed Central

    Conrad, Donald F; Hurles, Matthew E

    2009-01-01

    Population genetics is central to our understanding of human variation, and by linking medical and evolutionary themes, it enables us to understand the origins and impacts of our genomic differences. Despite current limitations in our knowledge of the locations, sizes and mutational origins of structural variants, our characterization of their population genetics is developing apace, bringing new insights into recent human adaptation, genome biology and disease. We summarize recent dramatic advances, describe the diverse mutational origins of chromosomal rearrangements and argue that their complexity necessitates a re-evaluation of existing population genetic methods. PMID:17597779

  15. Genetic Variation of the Alpha Subunit of the Epithelial Na+ Channels Influences Exhaled Na+ in Healthy Humans

    PubMed Central

    Foxx-Lupo, William T.; Wheatley, Courtney M.; Baker, Sarah E.; Cassuto, Nicholas A.; Delamere, Nicholas A.; Snyder, Eric M.

    2011-01-01

    Epithelial Na+ Channels (ENaC) are located on alveolar cells and are important in β2-adrenergic receptor-mediated lung fluid clearance through the removal of Na+ from the alveolar airspace. Previous work has demonstrated that genetic variation of the alpha subunit of ENaC at amino acid 663 is important in channel function: cells with the genotype resulting in alanine at amino acid 663 (A663) demonstrate attenuated function when compared to genotypes with at least one allele encoding threonine (T663, AT/TT). We sought to determine the influence of genetic variation at position 663 of ENaC on exhaled Na+ in healthy humans. Exhaled Na+ was measured in 18 AA and 13 AT/TT subjects (age=27±8 vs. 30±10yrs., ht.=174±12 vs. 171±10cm., wt=68±12 vs. 73±14kg., BMI=22±3 vs. 25±4kg/m2, mean±SD, for AA and AT/TT, respectively). Measurements were made at baseline and at 30, 60 and 90 minutes following the administration of a nebulized β2-agonist (albuterol sulfate, 2.5mg diluted in 3ml normal saline). The AA group had a higher baseline level of exhaled Na+ and a greater response to β2-agonist stimulation (baseline= 3.1±1.8 vs. 2.3±1.5mmol/l; 30min-post= 2.1±0.7 vs. 2.2±0.8mmol/l; 60min-post= 2.0±0.5 vs. 2.3±1.0mmol/l; 90min-post= 1.8±0.8 vs. 2.6±1.5mmol/l, mean±SD, for AA and AT/TT, respectively, p<0.05). The results are consistent with the notion that genetic variation of ENaC influences β2-adrenergic receptor stimulated Na+ clearance in the lungs, as there was a significant reduction in exhaled Na+ over time in the AA group. PMID:21889619

  16. Cryptic Genetic Variation in Evolutionary Developmental Genetics

    PubMed Central

    Paaby, Annalise B.; Gibson, Greg

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental genetics has traditionally been conducted by two groups: Molecular evolutionists who emphasize divergence between species or higher taxa, and quantitative geneticists who study variation within species. Neither approach really comes to grips with the complexities of evolutionary transitions, particularly in light of the realization from genome-wide association studies that most complex traits fit an infinitesimal architecture, being influenced by thousands of loci. This paper discusses robustness, plasticity and lability, phenomena that we argue potentiate major evolutionary changes and provide a bridge between the conceptual treatments of macro- and micro-evolution. We offer cryptic genetic variation and conditional neutrality as mechanisms by which standing genetic variation can lead to developmental system drift and, sheltered within canalized processes, may facilitate developmental transitions and the evolution of novelty. Synthesis of the two dominant perspectives will require recognition that adaptation, divergence, drift and stability all depend on similar underlying quantitative genetic processes—processes that cannot be fully observed in continuously varying visible traits. PMID:27304973

  17. The origins of genetic variation between individual human oocytes and embryos: implications for infertility.

    PubMed

    Delhanty, Joy D A

    2013-12-01

    Human fertility is low in comparison with that seen in other well-studied mammals. The main reason for this state of affairs seems to be the frequent occurrence and persistence of chromosomal errors in the human conceptus. Evidence obtained over the past two decades shows that the exceptionally high incidence of chromosomal anomalies seen in human preimplantation embryos is the result of errors that may occur at various stages during gamete and embryo formation. In rare cases, an error may exist or arise in the premeiotic germ cells; much more commonly it may arise during the first or second meiotic division in the male or female. Highly efficient cell cycle checkpoints in the male ensure that the incidence of aneuploidy in mature sperm is low compared to that in the oocyte. Most 3-day-old embryos created by IVF are chromosomal mosaics, and this persists to a lesser degree to the blastocyst stage on day 5. While aneuploidy of meiotic origin is a major factor affecting the fertility of older women, embryos from most younger women will have predominantly post-zygotic mitotic errors. Couples experiencing RIF are particularly likely to produce highly abnormal (chaotic) embryos by post-zygotic mechanisms.

  18. Genetic variations in the serotonergic system contribute to amygdala volume in humans

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jin; Chen, Chunhui; Wu, Karen; Zhang, Mingxia; Zhu, Bi; Chen, Chuansheng; Moyzis, Robert K.; Dong, Qi

    2015-01-01

    The amygdala plays a critical role in emotion processing and psychiatric disorders associated with emotion dysfunction. Accumulating evidence suggests that amygdala structure is modulated by serotonin-related genes. However, there is a gap between the small contributions of single loci (less than 1%) and the reported 63–65% heritability of amygdala structure. To understand the “missing heritability,” we systematically explored the contribution of serotonin genes on amygdala structure at the gene set level. The present study of 417 healthy Chinese volunteers examined 129 representative polymorphisms in genes from multiple biological mechanisms in the regulation of serotonin neurotransmission. A system-level approach using multiple regression analyses identified that nine SNPs collectively accounted for approximately 8% of the variance in amygdala volume. Permutation analyses showed that the probability of obtaining these findings by chance was low (p = 0.043, permuted for 1000 times). Findings showed that serotonin genes contribute moderately to individual differences in amygdala volume in a healthy Chinese sample. These results indicate that the system-level approach can help us to understand the genetic basis of a complex trait such as amygdala structure. PMID:26500508

  19. Individual Variation of the Genetic Response to Bisphenol A in Human Foreskin Fibroblast Cells Derived from Cryptorchidism and Hypospadias Patients

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Xian-Yang; Sone, Hideko; Kojima, Yoshiyuki; Mizuno, Kentaro; Ueoka, Katsuhiko; Muroya, Koji; Miyado, Mami; Hisada, Aya; Zaha, Hiroko; Fukuda, Tomokazu; Yoshinaga, Jun; Yonemoto, Junzo; Kohri, Kenjiro; Hayashi, Yutaro; Fukami, Maki; Ogata, Tsutomu

    2012-01-01

    Background/Purpose We hypothesized that polymorphic differences among individuals might cause variations in the effect that environmental endocrine disruptors (EEDs) have on male genital malformations (MGMs). In this study, individual variation in the genetic response to low-dose bisphenol A (BPA) was investigated in human foreskin fibroblast cells (hFFCs) derived from child cryptorchidism (CO) and hypospadias (HS) patients. Methodology/Principal Findings hFFCs were collected from control children without MGMs (n = 5) and child CO and HS patients (n = 8 and 21, respectively). BPA exposure (10 nM) was found to inhibit matrix metalloproteinase-11 (MMP11) expression in the HS group (0.74-fold, P = 0.0034) but not in the control group (0.93-fold, P = 0.84) and CO group (0.94-fold, P = 0.70). Significantly lower levels of MMP11 expression were observed in the HS group compared with the control group (0.80-fold, P = 0.0088) and CO group (0.79-fold, P = 0.039) in response to 10 nM BPA. The effect of single-nucleotide polymorphism rs5000770 (G>A), located within the aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator 2 (ARNT2) locus, on individual sensitivity to low-dose BPA was investigated in the HS group. A significant difference in neurotensin receptor 1 (NTSR1) expression in response to 10 nM BPA was observed between AA and AG/GG groups (n = 6 and 15, respectively. P = 0.031). However, no significant difference in ARNT2 expression was observed (P = 0.18). Conclusions/Significance This study advances our understanding of the specificity of low-dose BPA effects on human reproductive health. Our results suggest that genetic variability among individuals affects susceptibility to the effects of EEDs exposure as a potential cause of HS. PMID:23285176

  20. Human Genetic Variation, Sport and Exercise Medicine, and Achilles Tendinopathy: Role for Angiogenesis-Associated Genes.

    PubMed

    Rahim, Masouda; El Khoury, Louis Y; Raleigh, Stuart M; Ribbans, William J; Posthumus, Michael; Collins, Malcolm; September, Alison V

    2016-09-01

    Sport and Exercise Medicine is one of the important subspecialties of 21st century healthcare contributing to improving the physical function, health, and vitality of populations while reducing the prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases. Moreover, sport and exercise are associated with injuries such as Achilles tendinopathy, which is a common tendon injury. The angiogenesis-associated signaling pathway plays a key role in extracellular matrix remodeling, with increased levels of angiogenic cytokines reported after cyclic stretching of tendon fibroblasts. We investigated the variants in angiogenesis genes in relation to the risk of Achilles tendinopathy in two population samples drawn independently from South Africa (SA) and the United Kingdom (UK). The study sample comprised 120 SA and 130 UK healthy controls, and 108 SA and 87 UK participants with Achilles tendinopathy. All participants were genotyped for five functional polymorphisms in the vascular endothelial growth factor, A isoform (VEGFA) (rs699947, rs1570360, rs2010963) and kinase insert-domain receptor (KDR) genes (rs1870377, rs2071559). The VEGFA A-G-G inferred haplotype was associated with an increased risk of Achilles tendinopathy in the SA group (15% in controls vs. 20% in cases, p = 0.048) and the combined SA+UK group (14% in controls vs. 20% in cases, p = 0.009). These new findings implicate the VEGFA gene with Achilles tendinopathy risk, while highlighting the potential biological significance of the angiogenesis signaling pathway in the etiology of Achilles tendinopathy. The evidence suggesting a genetic contribution to the susceptibility of sustaining a tendon injury is growing. We anticipate that high-throughput and multi-omics approaches, building on genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, may soon uncover the pathophysiology of many diseases in the field of Sports and Exercise Medicine, as a new frontier of global precision medicine. PMID:27631191

  1. Comparing maternal genetic variation across two millennia reveals the demographic history of an ancient human population in southwest Turkey.

    PubMed

    Ottoni, Claudio; Rasteiro, Rita; Willet, Rinse; Claeys, Johan; Talloen, Peter; Van de Vijver, Katrien; Chikhi, Lounès; Poblome, Jeroen; Decorte, Ronny

    2016-02-01

    More than two decades of archaeological research at the site of Sagalassos, in southwest Turkey, resulted in the study of the former urban settlement in all its features. Originally settled in late Classical/early Hellenistic times, possibly from the later fifth century BCE onwards, the city of Sagalassos and its surrounding territory saw empires come and go. The Plague of Justinian in the sixth century CE, which is considered to have caused the death of up to a third of the population in Anatolia, and an earthquake in the seventh century CE, which is attested to have devastated many monuments in the city, may have severely affected the contemporary Sagalassos community. Human occupation continued, however, and Byzantine Sagalassos was eventually abandoned around 1200 CE. In order to investigate whether these historical events resulted in demographic changes across time, we compared the mitochondrial DNA variation of two population samples from Sagalassos (Roman and Middle Byzantine) and a modern sample from the nearby town of Ağlasun. Our analyses revealed no genetic discontinuity across two millennia in the region and Bayesian coalescence-based simulations indicated that a major population decline in the area coincided with the final abandonment of Sagalassos, rather than with the Plague of Justinian or the mentioned earthquake. PMID:26998313

  2. Comparing maternal genetic variation across two millennia reveals the demographic history of an ancient human population in southwest Turkey

    PubMed Central

    Ottoni, Claudio; Willet, Rinse; Claeys, Johan; Talloen, Peter; Van de Vijver, Katrien; Chikhi, Lounès; Poblome, Jeroen; Decorte, Ronny

    2016-01-01

    More than two decades of archaeological research at the site of Sagalassos, in southwest Turkey, resulted in the study of the former urban settlement in all its features. Originally settled in late Classical/early Hellenistic times, possibly from the later fifth century BCE onwards, the city of Sagalassos and its surrounding territory saw empires come and go. The Plague of Justinian in the sixth century CE, which is considered to have caused the death of up to a third of the population in Anatolia, and an earthquake in the seventh century CE, which is attested to have devastated many monuments in the city, may have severely affected the contemporary Sagalassos community. Human occupation continued, however, and Byzantine Sagalassos was eventually abandoned around 1200 CE. In order to investigate whether these historical events resulted in demographic changes across time, we compared the mitochondrial DNA variation of two population samples from Sagalassos (Roman and Middle Byzantine) and a modern sample from the nearby town of Ağlasun. Our analyses revealed no genetic discontinuity across two millennia in the region and Bayesian coalescence-based simulations indicated that a major population decline in the area coincided with the final abandonment of Sagalassos, rather than with the Plague of Justinian or the mentioned earthquake. PMID:26998313

  3. Genetic variation in walnuts (Juglans regia and J. sigillata; Juglandaceae): Species distinctions, human impacts, and the conservation of agrobiodiversity in Yunnan, China.

    PubMed

    Gunn, Bee F; Aradhya, Mallikarjuna; Salick, Jan M; Miller, Allison J; Yongping, Yang; Lin, Liu; Xian, Hai

    2010-04-01

    Walnuts are a major crop of many countries and mostly cultivated in large-scale plantations with few cultivars. Landraces provide important genetic reservoirs; thus, understanding factors influencing the geographic distribution of genetic variation in crop resources is a fundamental goal of agrobiodiversity conservation. Here, we investigated the role of human settlements and kinship on genetic variation and population structure of two walnut species: Juglans regia, an introduced species widely cultivated for its nuts, and J. sigillata, a native species cultivated locally in Yunnan. The objectives of this study were to characterize sympatric populations of J. regia and J. sigillata using 14 molecular markers and evaluate the role of Tibetan villages and kin groups (related households) on genotypic variation and population structure of J. regia and J. sigillata. Our results based on 220 walnut trees from six Tibetan villages show that although J. regia and J. sigillata are morphologically distinct, the two species are indistinguishable based on microsatellite data. Despite the lack of interspecific differences, AMOVAs partitioned among villages (5.41%, P = 0.0068) and kin groups within villages (3.34%, P = 0.0068) showed significant genetic variation. These findings suggest that village environments and familial relationships are factors contributing to the geographic structure of genetic variation in Tibetan walnuts.

  4. Genetic variation in the Cytb gene of human cerebral Taenia solium cysticerci recovered from clinically and radiologically heterogeneous patients with neurocysticercosis

    PubMed Central

    Palafox-Fonseca, Héctor; Zúñiga, Gerardo; Bobes, Raúl José; Govezensky, Tzipe; Piñero, Daniel; Texco-Martínez, Laura; Fleury, Agnès; Proaño, Jefferson; Cárdenas, Graciela; Hernández, Marisela; Sciutto, Edda; Fragoso, Gladis

    2013-01-01

    Neurocysticercosis (NC) is a clinically and radiologically heterogeneous parasitic disease caused by the establishment of larval Taenia solium in the human central nervous system. Host and/or parasite variations may be related to this observed heterogeneity. Genetic differences between pig and human-derived T. solium cysticerci have been reported previously. In this study, 28 cysticerci were surgically removed from 12 human NC patients, the mitochondrial gene that encodes cytochrome b was amplified from the cysticerci and genetic variations that may be related to NC heterogeneity were characterised. Nine different haplotypes (Ht), which were clustered in four haplogroups (Hg), were identified. Hg 3 and 4 exhibited a tendency to associate with age and gender, respectively. However, no significant associations were found between NC heterogeneity and the different T. solium cysticerci Ht or Hg. Parasite variants obtained from patients with similar NC clinical or radiological features were genetically closer than those found in groups of patients with a different NC profile when using the Mantel test. Overall, this study establishes the presence of genetic differences in the Cytb gene of T. solium isolated from human cysticerci and suggests that parasite variation could contribute to NC heterogeneity. PMID:24271046

  5. Genetic variation in the Cytb gene of human cerebral Taenia solium cysticerci recovered from clinically and radiologically heterogeneous patients with neurocysticercosis.

    PubMed

    Palafox-Fonseca, Héctor; Zúñiga, Gerardo; Bobes, Raúl José; Govezensky, Tzipe; Piñero, Daniel; Texco-Martínez, Laura; Fleury, Agnès; Proaño, Jefferson; Cárdenas, Graciela; Hernández, Marisela; Sciutto, Edda; Fragoso, Gladis

    2013-11-01

    Neurocysticercosis (NC) is a clinically and radiologically heterogeneous parasitic disease caused by the establishment of larval Taenia solium in the human central nervous system. Host and/or parasite variations may be related to this observed heterogeneity. Genetic differences between pig and human-derived T. solium cysticerci have been reported previously. In this study, 28 cysticerci were surgically removed from 12 human NC patients, the mitochondrial gene that encodes cytochrome b was amplified from the cysticerci and genetic variations that may be related to NC heterogeneity were characterised. Nine different haplotypes (Ht), which were clustered in four haplogroups (Hg), were identified. Hg 3 and 4 exhibited a tendency to associate with age and gender, respectively. However, no significant associations were found between NC heterogeneity and the different T. solium cysticerci Ht or Hg. Parasite variants obtained from patients with similar NC clinical or radiological features were genetically closer than those found in groups of patients with a different NC profile when using the Mantel test. Overall, this study establishes the presence of genetic differences in the Cytb gene of T. solium isolated from human cysticerci and suggests that parasite variation could contribute to NC heterogeneity.

  6. Common genetic variation in Neuregulin 3 (NRG3) influences risk for schizophrenia and impacts NRG3 expression in human brain

    PubMed Central

    Kao, Wee-Tin; Wang, Yanhong; Kleinman, Joel E.; Lipska, Barbara K.; Hyde, Thomas M.; Weinberger, Daniel R.; Law, Amanda J.

    2010-01-01

    Structural and polymorphic variations in Neuregulin 3 (NRG3), 10q22-23 are associated with a broad spectrum of neurodevelopmental disorders including developmental delay, cognitive impairment, autism, and schizophrenia. NRG3 is a member of the neuregulin family of EGF proteins and a ligand for the ErbB4 receptor tyrosine kinase that plays pleotropic roles in neurodevelopment. Several genes in the NRG-ErbB signaling pathway including NRG1 and ErbB4 have been implicated in genetic predisposition to schizophrenia. Previous fine mapping of the 10q22-23 locus in schizophrenia identified genome-wide significant association between delusion severity and polymorphisms in intron 1 of NRG3 (rs10883866, rs10748842, and rs6584400). The biological mechanisms remain unknown. We identified significant association of these SNPs with increased risk for schizophrenia in 350 families with an affected offspring and confirmed association to patient delusion and positive symptom severity. Molecular cloning and cDNA sequencing in human brain revealed that NRG3 undergoes complex splicing, giving rise to multiple structurally distinct isoforms. RNA expression profiling of these isoforms in the prefrontal cortex of 400 individuals revealed that NRG3 expression is developmentally regulated and pathologically increased in schizophrenia. Moreover, we show that rs10748842 lies within a DNA ultraconserved element and homedomain and strongly predicts brain expression of NRG3 isoforms that contain a unique developmentally regulated 5′ exon (P = 1.097E−12 to 1.445E−15). Our observations strengthen the evidence that NRG3 is a schizophrenia susceptibility gene, provide quantitative insight into NRG3 transcription traits in the human brain, and reveal a probable mechanistic basis for disease association. PMID:20713722

  7. Genetic variation in cultivated Rheum tanguticum populations

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Yanping; Xie, Xiaolong; Wang, Li; Zhang, Huaigang; Yang, Jian; Li, Yi

    2014-01-01

    To examine whether cultivation reduced genetic variation in the important Chinese medicinal plant Rheum tanguticum, the levels and distribution of genetic variation were investigated using ISSR markers. Fifty-eight R. tanguticum individuals from five cultivated populations were studied. Thirteen primers were used and a total of 320 DNA bands were scored. High levels of genetic diversity were detected in cultivated R. tanguticum (PPB = 82.19, H = 0.2498, HB = 0.3231, I = 0.3812) and could be explained by the outcrossing system, as well as long-lived and human-mediated seed exchanges. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed that more genetic variation was found within populations (76.1%) than among them (23.9%). This was supported by the coefficient of gene differentiation (Gst = 0.2742) and Bayesian analysis (θB = 0.1963). The Mantel test revealed no significant correlation between genetic and geographic distances among populations (r = 0.1176, p = 0.3686). UPGMA showed that the five cultivated populations were separated into three clusters, which was in good accordance with the results provided by the Bayesian software STRUCTURE (K = 3). A short domestication history and no artificial selection may be an effective way of maintaining and conserving the gene pools of wild R. tanguticum. PMID:25249777

  8. Cryptic genetic variation, evolution's hidden substrate

    PubMed Central

    Paaby, Annalise B.; Rockman, Matthew V.

    2016-01-01

    Cryptic genetic variation is invisible under normal conditions but fuel for evolution when circumstances change. In theory, CGV can represent a massive cache of adaptive potential or a pool of deleterious alleles in need of constant suppression. CGV emerges from both neutral and selective processes and it may inform how human populations respond to change. In experimental settings, CGV facilitates adaptation, but does it play an important role in the real world? We review the empirical support for widespread CGV in natural populations, including its potential role in emerging human diseases and the growing evidence of its contribution to evolution. PMID:24614309

  9. Characterisation of the influence of genetic variations on the enzyme activity of a recombinant human glycine N-acyltransferase.

    PubMed

    van der Sluis, Rencia; Badenhorst, Christoffel P S; van der Westhuizen, Francois H; van Dijk, Alberdina A

    2013-02-25

    Human glycine N-acyltransferase (human GLYAT) detoxifies a wide range of endogenous and xenobiotic metabolites, including benzoate and salicylate. Significant inter-individual variation exists in glycine conjugation capacity. The molecular basis for this variability is not known. To investigate the influence of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the GLYAT coding sequence on enzyme activity, we expressed and characterised a recombinant human GLYAT. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to generate six non-synonymous SNP variants of the enzyme (K16N; S17T; R131H; N156S; F168L; R199C). The variants were expressed, purified, and enzymatically characterised. The enzyme activities of the K16N, S17T and R131H variants were similar to that of the wild-type, whereas the N156S variant was more active, the F168L variant less active, and the R199C variant was inactive. We also generated an E227Q mutant, which lacks the catalytic residue proposed by Badenhorst et al. (2012). This mutant was inactive compared to the wild-type recombinant human GLYAT. A molecular model of human GLYAT containing coenzyme A (CoA) was generated which revealed that the inactivity of the R199C variant could be due to the substitution of the highly conserved Arg(199) and destabilisation of an α-loop-α motif which is important for substrate binding in the GNAT superfamily. The finding that SNP variations in the human GLYAT gene influence the kinetic properties of the enzyme may explain some of the inter-individual variation in glycine conjugation capacity, which is relevant to the metabolism of xenobiotics such as aspirin and the industrial solvent xylene, and to the treatment of some metabolic disorders. PMID:23237781

  10. Sex reduces genetic variation: a multidisciplinary review.

    PubMed

    Gorelick, Root; Heng, Henry H Q

    2011-04-01

    For over a century, the paradigm has been that sex invariably increases genetic variation, despite many renowned biologists asserting that sex decreases most genetic variation. Sex is usually perceived as the source of additive genetic variance that drives eukaryotic evolution vis-à-vis adaptation and Fisher's fundamental theorem. However, evidence for sex decreasing genetic variation appears in ecology, paleontology, population genetics, and cancer biology. The common thread among many of these disciplines is that sex acts like a coarse filter, weeding out major changes, such as chromosomal rearrangements (that are almost always deleterious), but letting minor variation, such as changes at the nucleotide or gene level (that are often neutral), flow through the sexual sieve. Sex acts as a constraint on genomic and epigenetic variation, thereby limiting adaptive evolution. The diverse reasons for sex reducing genetic variation (especially at the genome level) and slowing down evolution may provide a sufficient benefit to offset the famed costs of sex.

  11. Genetic variation and its maintenance

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, D.F.; De Stefano, G.F.

    1986-01-01

    This book contains several papers divided among three sections. The section titles are: Genetic Diversity--Its Dimensions; Genetic Diversity--Its Origin and Maintenance; and Genetic Diversity--Applications and Problems of Complex Characters.

  12. Genetic Variation among Staphylococcus aureus Strains from Bovine Milk and Their Relevance to Methicillin-Resistant Isolates from Humans

    PubMed Central

    Hata, Eiji; Katsuda, Ken; Kobayashi, Hideki; Uchida, Ikuo; Tanaka, Kiyoshi; Eguchi, Masashi

    2010-01-01

    In genetic analysis of bovine Staphylococcus aureus isolates that are recognized as an important pathogenic bacterium in bovine mastitis, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) showed strong correlation to the results of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, coa PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), spa typing, and the coagulase serotyping method. According to MLST results, strains derived from sequence type 97 (ST97) and ST705 were suggested as not only dominant bovine S. aureus lineages in Japan but also pandemic bovine S. aureus lineages. Although both lineages seem to be distantly related to each other by phylogenetic analysis, both had common characteristics, i.e., lukM/lukF′-PV and coagulase serotype VI. These characteristics were very rare among minor bovine strains and human strains and may contribute to the host specificity of these lineages. Four methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) isolates were first confirmed from bovine milk in Japan; these isolates showed geno- and serotypes that were identical or similar to those of human MRSA isolates in Japan (ST5, staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type II [SCCmec II], Spa type t002 or t375, and coagulase serotype II, and ST89, SCCmec IIIa, Spa type t5266, and coagulase serotype I). ST5 and ST89 are uncommon among bovine isolates in the world, whereas these STs are common among human MRSA isolates in Japan. PMID:20392913

  13. Host Genetic Control of the Microbiome in Humans and Maise or Relating Host Genetic Variation to the Microbiome (2011 JGI User Meeting)

    ScienceCinema

    Ley, Ruth [Cornell University

    2016-07-12

    The U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI) invited scientists interested in the application of genomics to bioenergy and environmental issues, as well as all current and prospective users and collaborators, to attend the annual DOE JGI Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting held March 22-24, 2011 in Walnut Creek, Calif. The emphasis of this meeting was on the genomics of renewable energy strategies, carbon cycling, environmental gene discovery, and engineering of fuel-producing organisms. The meeting features presentations by leading scientists advancing these topics. Ruth Ley of Cornell University gives a presentation on "Relating Host Genetic Variation to the Microbiome" at the 6th annual Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting on March 23, 2011.

  14. Host Genetic Control of the Microbiome in Humans and Maise or Relating Host Genetic Variation to the Microbiome (2011 JGI User Meeting)

    SciTech Connect

    Ley, Ruth

    2011-03-23

    The U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI) invited scientists interested in the application of genomics to bioenergy and environmental issues, as well as all current and prospective users and collaborators, to attend the annual DOE JGI Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting held March 22-24, 2011 in Walnut Creek, Calif. The emphasis of this meeting was on the genomics of renewable energy strategies, carbon cycling, environmental gene discovery, and engineering of fuel-producing organisms. The meeting features presentations by leading scientists advancing these topics. Ruth Ley of Cornell University gives a presentation on "Relating Host Genetic Variation to the Microbiome" at the 6th annual Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting on March 23, 2011.

  15. Maintenance of genetic variation in human personality: testing evolutionary models by estimating heritability due to common causal variants and investigating the effect of distant inbreeding.

    PubMed

    Verweij, Karin J H; Yang, Jian; Lahti, Jari; Veijola, Juha; Hintsanen, Mirka; Pulkki-Råback, Laura; Heinonen, Kati; Pouta, Anneli; Pesonen, Anu-Katriina; Widen, Elisabeth; Taanila, Anja; Isohanni, Matti; Miettunen, Jouko; Palotie, Aarno; Penke, Lars; Service, Susan K; Heath, Andrew C; Montgomery, Grant W; Raitakari, Olli; Kähönen, Mika; Viikari, Jorma; Räikkönen, Katri; Eriksson, Johan G; Keltikangas-Järvinen, Liisa; Lehtimäki, Terho; Martin, Nicholas G; Järvelin, Marjo-Riitta; Visscher, Peter M; Keller, Matthew C; Zietsch, Brendan P

    2012-10-01

    Personality traits are basic dimensions of behavioral variation, and twin, family, and adoption studies show that around 30% of the between-individual variation is due to genetic variation. There is rapidly growing interest in understanding the evolutionary basis of this genetic variation. Several evolutionary mechanisms could explain how genetic variation is maintained in traits, and each of these makes predictions in terms of the relative contribution of rare and common genetic variants to personality variation, the magnitude of nonadditive genetic influences, and whether personality is affected by inbreeding. Using genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data from > 8000 individuals, we estimated that little variation in the Cloninger personality dimensions (7.2% on average) is due to the combined effect of common, additive genetic variants across the genome, suggesting that most heritable variation in personality is due to rare variant effects and/or a combination of dominance and epistasis. Furthermore, higher levels of inbreeding were associated with less socially desirable personality trait levels in three of the four personality dimensions. These findings are consistent with genetic variation in personality traits having been maintained by mutation-selection balance.

  16. Genetic Variations in Vesicoureteral Reflux Sequelae

    PubMed Central

    Hains, David S.; Schwaderer, Andrew L.

    2016-01-01

    Urinary tract infections (UTI) are a common condition in children. Vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) represents a common associated condition with childhood UTI. UTI susceptibility appears to have a genetic component based on family and UTI cohort studies. Targeted analysis of innate immune system genetic variations indicate that these variations are important in UTI susceptibility. In this overview, we discuss how current cohorts and genetic strategies can be implemented to discover new susceptibility loci in patients with UTI. PMID:26848692

  17. Mapping human genetic ancestry.

    PubMed

    Ebersberger, Ingo; Galgoczy, Petra; Taudien, Stefan; Taenzer, Simone; Platzer, Matthias; von Haeseler, Arndt

    2007-10-01

    The human genome is a mosaic with respect to its evolutionary history. Based on a phylogenetic analysis of 23,210 DNA sequence alignments from human, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, and rhesus, we present a map of human genetic ancestry. For about 23% of our genome, we share no immediate genetic ancestry with our closest living relative, the chimpanzee. This encompasses genes and exons to the same extent as intergenic regions. We conclude that about 1/3 of our genes started to evolve as human-specific lineages before the differentiation of human, chimps, and gorillas took place. This explains recurrent findings of very old human-specific morphological traits in the fossils record, which predate the recent emergence of the human species about 5-6 MYA. Furthermore, the sorting of such ancestral phenotypic polymorphisms in subsequent speciation events provides a parsimonious explanation why evolutionary derived characteristics are shared among species that are not each other's closest relatives.

  18. Genetic variation in TERT and TERC and human leukocyte telomere length and longevity: a cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis.

    PubMed

    Soerensen, Mette; Thinggaard, Mikael; Nygaard, Marianne; Dato, Serena; Tan, Qihua; Hjelmborg, Jacob; Andersen-Ranberg, Karen; Stevnsner, Tinna; Bohr, Vilhelm A; Kimura, Masayuki; Aviv, Abraham; Christensen, Kaare; Christiansen, Lene

    2012-04-01

    Telomerase is of key importance for telomere maintenance, and variants of the genes encoding its major subunits, telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) and telomerase RNA component (TERC), are candidates for interindividual variation in telomere length. Recently, the two SNPs rs3772190 and rs12696304 in the TERC locus were reported to be associated with leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in two genome-wide association studies, while one haplotype of TERT (rs2853669, rs2736098, rs33954691, and rs2853691) has been reported to be associated with both LTL and longevity in a candidate gene study. In this study, we investigated the two TERC and four TERT SNPs in middle-aged, old, and oldest-old Danes (58-100 years) and their association with LTL (n = 864) and longevity (n = 1069). Furthermore, data on 11 TERT tagging SNPs in 1089 oldest-old and 736 middle-aged Danes were investigated with respect to longevity. For all SNPs, the association with longevity was investigated using both a cross-sectional and a longitudinal approach. Applying an additive model, we found association of LTL with the minor TERC alleles of rs3772190 (A) and rs12696304 (G), such that a shorter LTL was seen in rs3772190 A carriers (regression coefficient = -0.08, P = 0.011) and in male rs12696304 G carriers (regression coefficient = -0.13, P = 0.014). No TERT variations showed association. Moreover, the A allele of rs3772190 (TERC) was found to be associated with longevity [hazard rate (AG + AA) = 1.31, P = 0.006]. No associations with longevity were observed for the TERT SNPs or haplotypes. Our study, thus, indicates that TERC is associated with both LTL and longevity in humans.

  19. P450 GENETIC VARIATION: IMPLICATIONS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND WORKPLACE EXPOSURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Cytochrome P450 array detoxifies many chemicals by catalyzing the conversion of mostly hydrophobic chemicals into more hydrophilic forms that can subsequently be excreted by the body. Human genetic variation in the genes for these enzymes produces wide variations in the abili...

  20. Genetic Variation in the Presynaptic Norepinephrine Transporter is Associated with Blood Pressure Responses to Exercise in Healthy Humans

    PubMed Central

    Kohli, Utkarsh; Hahn, Maureen K.; English, Brett A.; Sofowora, Gbenga G.; Muszkat, Mordechai; Li, Chun; Blakely, Randy D.; Stein, C. Michael; Kurnik, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    Background The presynaptic norepinephrine (NE) transporter (NET) mediates synaptic clearance and recycling of NE. NET-deficient transgenic mice have elevated blood pressure, heart rate, and catecholamine concentrations. However, the in vivo effects of common NET variants on cardiovascular regulation at rest and during exercise are unknown. Methods We studied cardiovascular responses and plasma catecholamine concentrations at rest and during bicycle exercise at increasing workloads (25, 50 and 75 W) in 145 healthy subjects. We used multiple linear regressions to analyze the effect of common, purportedly functional polymorphisms in NET (rs2242446 and rs28386840) on cardiovascular measures. Results 44% and 58.9% of subjects carried at least one variant allele for NET T-182C and A-3081T, respectively. Systolic blood pressure (SBP) during exercise and SBP area-under-the-curve were higher in carriers of variant NET alleles (P=0.003 and 0.009 for T-182C and A-3081T, respectively) and NET haplotype -182C/-081T compared to -82T/-3081A (all P<0.01). Diastolic blood pressure (DBP) during exercise was also higher at lower, but not at higher exercise stages in carriers of NET -182C (P<0.01) and -081T (P< 0.05). NET genotypes were not associated with catecholamine concentrations or heart rate. Conclusion Common genetic NET variants (-182C and -081T) are associated with greater blood pressure response to exercise in humans. PMID:21412203

  1. Genetic variants associated with arsenic metabolism within human arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase show wide variation across multiple populations.

    PubMed

    Fujihara, Junko; Yasuda, Toshihiro; Kato, Hideaki; Yuasa, Isao; Panduro, Arturo; Kunito, Takashi; Takeshita, Haruo

    2011-02-01

    Human arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT) is known to catalyze the methylation of arsenite. The objective of this study was to investigate the diversity of the AS3MT gene in Mexican and German populations. The distribution of 18 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in AS3MT was assessed on healthy individuals: 38 Mestizo, 69 Nahuas, 50 Huicholes, and 32 Germans. All 18 SNPs were polymorphic in the German and Mexican populations. Of the three Mexican populations, a minor allele frequency was the highest in the Mestizo, followed by the Nahuas and Huicholes. In the German and three Mexican groups, haplotype #1(TATAGAAGTCTTCATGAC) was the most predominant. Seven haplotypes were newly found in the German and three Mexican populations. The D' values between SNP pairs were high in the German and Nahua populations; they had a similar pattern. The pattern of the Mestizo was more similar to the African than to the other Mexican populations. Huicholes had a moderate pattern of the African and German/Nahua populations. The network had three clusters. One originated in the African population and another may have originated in an Asian (Chinese and/or Japanese) population. The third one may have originated among Caucasians. This study is the first to demonstrate the existence of genetic heterogeneity in the distribution of 18 SNPs in AS3MT of German and Mexican populations.

  2. [The Human Genome Project, genetic viability and genetic epidemiology].

    PubMed

    Hagymási, Krisztina; Tulassay, Zsolt

    2005-12-18

    The goal of the Human Genome Project to elucidate the complete sequence of the human genome has been achieved. The aims of the "post-genome" era are explaining the genetic information, characterisation of functional elements encoded in the human genome and mapping the human genetic variability as well. Two unrelated human beings also share 99.9% of their genomic sequence. The difference of 0.1% is the result of genetic polymorphisms: single nucleotide polymorphisms, repetitive sequences and insertion/deletion. The genetic differences, coupled with environmental exposures will determine the phenotypic variation we observe in health or disease. The disease-causing genetic variants can be identified by linkage analysis or association studies. The knowledge of human genome and application of multiple biomarkers will improve our ability to identify individuals at risk, so that preventive interventions can be applied, earlier diagnosis can be made and treatment can be optimized.

  3. Genome-wide associations between genetic and epigenetic variation influence mRNA expression and insulin secretion in human pancreatic islets.

    PubMed

    Olsson, Anders H; Volkov, Petr; Bacos, Karl; Dayeh, Tasnim; Hall, Elin; Nilsson, Emma A; Ladenvall, Claes; Rönn, Tina; Ling, Charlotte

    2014-11-01

    Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms may interact and together affect biological processes and disease development. However, most previous studies have investigated genetic and epigenetic mechanisms independently, and studies examining their interactions throughout the human genome are lacking. To identify genetic loci that interact with the epigenome, we performed the first genome-wide DNA methylation quantitative trait locus (mQTL) analysis in human pancreatic islets. We related 574,553 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with genome-wide DNA methylation data of 468,787 CpG sites targeting 99% of RefSeq genes in islets from 89 donors. We identified 67,438 SNP-CpG pairs in cis, corresponding to 36,783 SNPs (6.4% of tested SNPs) and 11,735 CpG sites (2.5% of tested CpGs), and 2,562 significant SNP-CpG pairs in trans, corresponding to 1,465 SNPs (0.3% of tested SNPs) and 383 CpG sites (0.08% of tested CpGs), showing significant associations after correction for multiple testing. These include reported diabetes loci, e.g. ADCY5, KCNJ11, HLA-DQA1, INS, PDX1 and GRB10. CpGs of significant cis-mQTLs were overrepresented in the gene body and outside of CpG islands. Follow-up analyses further identified mQTLs associated with gene expression and insulin secretion in human islets. Causal inference test (CIT) identified SNP-CpG pairs where DNA methylation in human islets is the potential mediator of the genetic association with gene expression or insulin secretion. Functional analyses further demonstrated that identified candidate genes (GPX7, GSTT1 and SNX19) directly affect key biological processes such as proliferation and apoptosis in pancreatic β-cells. Finally, we found direct correlations between DNA methylation of 22,773 (4.9%) CpGs with mRNA expression of 4,876 genes, where 90% of the correlations were negative when CpGs were located in the region surrounding transcription start site. Our study demonstrates for the first time how genome-wide genetic and epigenetic

  4. Genome-wide associations between genetic and epigenetic variation influence mRNA expression and insulin secretion in human pancreatic islets.

    PubMed

    Olsson, Anders H; Volkov, Petr; Bacos, Karl; Dayeh, Tasnim; Hall, Elin; Nilsson, Emma A; Ladenvall, Claes; Rönn, Tina; Ling, Charlotte

    2014-11-01

    Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms may interact and together affect biological processes and disease development. However, most previous studies have investigated genetic and epigenetic mechanisms independently, and studies examining their interactions throughout the human genome are lacking. To identify genetic loci that interact with the epigenome, we performed the first genome-wide DNA methylation quantitative trait locus (mQTL) analysis in human pancreatic islets. We related 574,553 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with genome-wide DNA methylation data of 468,787 CpG sites targeting 99% of RefSeq genes in islets from 89 donors. We identified 67,438 SNP-CpG pairs in cis, corresponding to 36,783 SNPs (6.4% of tested SNPs) and 11,735 CpG sites (2.5% of tested CpGs), and 2,562 significant SNP-CpG pairs in trans, corresponding to 1,465 SNPs (0.3% of tested SNPs) and 383 CpG sites (0.08% of tested CpGs), showing significant associations after correction for multiple testing. These include reported diabetes loci, e.g. ADCY5, KCNJ11, HLA-DQA1, INS, PDX1 and GRB10. CpGs of significant cis-mQTLs were overrepresented in the gene body and outside of CpG islands. Follow-up analyses further identified mQTLs associated with gene expression and insulin secretion in human islets. Causal inference test (CIT) identified SNP-CpG pairs where DNA methylation in human islets is the potential mediator of the genetic association with gene expression or insulin secretion. Functional analyses further demonstrated that identified candidate genes (GPX7, GSTT1 and SNX19) directly affect key biological processes such as proliferation and apoptosis in pancreatic β-cells. Finally, we found direct correlations between DNA methylation of 22,773 (4.9%) CpGs with mRNA expression of 4,876 genes, where 90% of the correlations were negative when CpGs were located in the region surrounding transcription start site. Our study demonstrates for the first time how genome-wide genetic and epigenetic

  5. Genome-Wide Associations between Genetic and Epigenetic Variation Influence mRNA Expression and Insulin Secretion in Human Pancreatic Islets

    PubMed Central

    Olsson, Anders H.; Volkov, Petr; Bacos, Karl; Dayeh, Tasnim; Hall, Elin; Nilsson, Emma A.; Ladenvall, Claes; Rönn, Tina; Ling, Charlotte

    2014-01-01

    Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms may interact and together affect biological processes and disease development. However, most previous studies have investigated genetic and epigenetic mechanisms independently, and studies examining their interactions throughout the human genome are lacking. To identify genetic loci that interact with the epigenome, we performed the first genome-wide DNA methylation quantitative trait locus (mQTL) analysis in human pancreatic islets. We related 574,553 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with genome-wide DNA methylation data of 468,787 CpG sites targeting 99% of RefSeq genes in islets from 89 donors. We identified 67,438 SNP-CpG pairs in cis, corresponding to 36,783 SNPs (6.4% of tested SNPs) and 11,735 CpG sites (2.5% of tested CpGs), and 2,562 significant SNP-CpG pairs in trans, corresponding to 1,465 SNPs (0.3% of tested SNPs) and 383 CpG sites (0.08% of tested CpGs), showing significant associations after correction for multiple testing. These include reported diabetes loci, e.g. ADCY5, KCNJ11, HLA-DQA1, INS, PDX1 and GRB10. CpGs of significant cis-mQTLs were overrepresented in the gene body and outside of CpG islands. Follow-up analyses further identified mQTLs associated with gene expression and insulin secretion in human islets. Causal inference test (CIT) identified SNP-CpG pairs where DNA methylation in human islets is the potential mediator of the genetic association with gene expression or insulin secretion. Functional analyses further demonstrated that identified candidate genes (GPX7, GSTT1 and SNX19) directly affect key biological processes such as proliferation and apoptosis in pancreatic β-cells. Finally, we found direct correlations between DNA methylation of 22,773 (4.9%) CpGs with mRNA expression of 4,876 genes, where 90% of the correlations were negative when CpGs were located in the region surrounding transcription start site. Our study demonstrates for the first time how genome-wide genetic and epigenetic

  6. Genetic variation and dopamine D2 receptor availability: a systematic review and meta-analysis of human in vivo molecular imaging studies

    PubMed Central

    Gluskin, B S; Mickey, B J

    2016-01-01

    The D2 dopamine receptor mediates neuropsychiatric symptoms and is a target of pharmacotherapy. Inter-individual variation of D2 receptor density is thought to influence disease risk and pharmacological response. Numerous molecular imaging studies have tested whether common genetic variants influence D2 receptor binding potential (BP) in humans, but demonstration of robust effects has been limited by small sample sizes. We performed a systematic search of published human in vivo molecular imaging studies to estimate effect sizes of common genetic variants on striatal D2 receptor BP. We identified 21 studies examining 19 variants in 11 genes. The most commonly studied variant was a single-nucleotide polymorphism in ANKK1 (rs1800497, Glu713Lys, also called ‘Taq1A'). Fixed- and random-effects meta-analyses of this variant (5 studies, 194 subjects total) revealed that striatal BP was significantly and robustly lower among carriers of the minor allele (Lys713) relative to major allele homozygotes. The weighted standardized mean difference was −0.57 under the fixed-effect model (95% confidence interval=(−0.87, −0.27), P=0.0002). The normal relationship between rs1800497 and BP was not apparent among subjects with neuropsychiatric diseases. Significant associations with baseline striatal D2 receptor BP have been reported for four DRD2 variants (rs1079597, rs1076560, rs6277 and rs1799732) and a PER2 repeat polymorphism, but none have yet been tested in more than two independent samples. Our findings resolve apparent discrepancies in the literature and establish that rs1800497 robustly influences striatal D2 receptor availability. This genetic variant is likely to contribute to important individual differences in human striatal function, neuropsychiatric disease risk and pharmacological response. PMID:26926883

  7. Bioenergetics in human evolution and disease: implications for the origins of biological complexity and the missing genetic variation of common diseases

    PubMed Central

    Wallace, Douglas C.

    2013-01-01

    Two major inconsistencies exist in the current neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory that random chromosomal mutations acted on by natural selection generate new species. First, natural selection does not require the evolution of ever increasing complexity, yet this is the hallmark of biology. Second, human chromosomal DNA sequence variation is predominantly either neutral or deleterious and is insufficient to provide the variation required for speciation or for predilection to common diseases. Complexity is explained by the continuous flow of energy through the biosphere that drives the accumulation of nucleic acids and information. Information then encodes complex forms. In animals, energy flow is primarily mediated by mitochondria whose maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) codes for key genes for energy metabolism. In mammals, the mtDNA has a very high mutation rate, but the deleterious mutations are removed by an ovarian selection system. Hence, new mutations that subtly alter energy metabolism are continuously introduced into the species, permitting adaptation to regional differences in energy environments. Therefore, the most phenotypically significant gene variants arise in the mtDNA, are regional, and permit animals to occupy peripheral energy environments where rarer nuclear DNA (nDNA) variants can accumulate, leading to speciation. The neutralist–selectionist debate is then a consequence of mammals having two different evolutionary strategies: a fast mtDNA strategy for intra-specific radiation and a slow nDNA strategy for speciation. Furthermore, the missing genetic variation for common human diseases is primarily mtDNA variation plus regional nDNA variants, both of which have been missed by large, inter-population association studies. PMID:23754818

  8. Normal genetic variation of the human foot: part 1: the paradox of normal anatomical alignment in an evolutionary epigenetic context.

    PubMed

    Quinn, Greg

    2012-01-01

    Molecular genetics is changing our understanding of the developmental translation of genotype to phenotype between and within different phylogenetic groups. Together with a growing understanding of our own evolutionary relationships to common ancestors, the epigenetic processes involved enforce a reexamination of what is regarded as a normal foot structure. A revised populationist approach is proposed and supported by paleoanthropologic evidence that reflects a picture of emerging suitability for bipedalism that is driven by natural genetic divergence.

  9. Genetic variation in natural honeybee populations, Apis mellifera capensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hepburn, Randall; Neumann, Peter; Radloff, Sarah E.

    2004-09-01

    Genetic variation in honeybee, Apis mellifera, populations can be considerably influenced by breeding and commercial introductions, especially in areas with abundant beekeeping. However, in southern Africa apiculture is based on the capture of wild swarms, and queen rearing is virtually absent. Moreover, the introduction of European subspecies constantly failed in the Cape region. We therefore hypothesize a low human impact on genetic variation in populations of Cape honeybees, Apis mellifera capensis. A novel solution to studying genetic variation in honeybee populations based on thelytokous worker reproduction is applied to test this hypothesis. Environmental effects on metrical morphological characters of the phenotype are separated to obtain a genetic residual component. The genetic residuals are then re-calculated as coefficients of genetic variation. Characters measured included hair length on the abdomen, width and length of wax plate, and three wing angles. The data show for the first time that genetic variation in Cape honeybee populations is independent of beekeeping density and probably reflects naturally occurring processes such as gene flow due to topographic and climatic variation on a microscale.

  10. Networks of spatial genetic variation across species

    PubMed Central

    Fortuna, Miguel A.; Albaladejo, Rafael G.; Fernández, Laura; Aparicio, Abelardo; Bascompte, Jordi

    2009-01-01

    Spatial patterns of genetic variation provide information central to many ecological, evolutionary, and conservation questions. This spatial variability has traditionally been analyzed through summary statistics between pairs of populations, therefore missing the simultaneous influence of all populations. More recently, a network approach has been advocated to overcome these limitations. This network approach has been applied to a few cases limited to a single species at a time. The question remains whether similar patterns of spatial genetic variation and similar functional roles for specific patches are obtained for different species. Here we study the networks of genetic variation of four Mediterranean woody plant species inhabiting the same habitat patches in a highly fragmented forest mosaic in Southern Spain. Three of the four species show a similar pattern of genetic variation with well-defined modules or groups of patches holding genetically similar populations. These modules can be thought of as the long-sought-after, evolutionarily significant units or management units. The importance of each patch for the cohesion of the entire network, though, is quite different across species. This variation creates a tremendous challenge for the prioritization of patches to conserve the genetic variation of multispecies assemblages. PMID:19861546

  11. DNA methylation analysis of multiple tissues from newborn twins reveals both genetic and intrauterine components to variation in the human neonatal epigenome.

    PubMed

    Ollikainen, Miina; Smith, Katherine R; Joo, Eric Ji-Hoon; Ng, Hong Kiat; Andronikos, Roberta; Novakovic, Boris; Abdul Aziz, Nur Khairunnisa; Carlin, John B; Morley, Ruth; Saffery, Richard; Craig, Jeffrey M

    2010-11-01

    Mounting evidence from both animal and human studies suggests that the epigenome is in constant drift over the life course in response to stochastic and environmental factors. In humans, this has been highlighted by a small number of studies that have demonstrated discordant DNA methylation patterns in adolescent or adult monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs. However, to date, it remains unclear when such differences emerge, and how prevalent they are across different tissues. To address this, we examined the methylation of four differentially methylated regions associated with the IGF2/H19 locus in multiple birth tissues derived from 91 twin pairs: 56 MZ and 35 dizygotic (DZ). Tissues included cord blood-derived mononuclear cells and granulocytes, human umbilical vein endothelial cells, buccal epithelial cells and placental tissue. Considerable variation in DNA methylation was observed between tissues and between unrelated individuals. Most interestingly, methylation discordance was also present within twin pairs, with DZ pairs showing greater discordance than MZ pairs. These data highlight the variable contribution of both intrauterine environmental exposures and underlying genetic factors to the establishment of the neonatal epigenome of different tissues and confirm the intrauterine period as a sensitive time for the establishment of epigenetic variability in humans. This has implications for the effects of maternal environment on the development of the newborn epigenome and supports an epigenetic mechanism for the previously described phenomenon of 'fetal programming' of disease risk. PMID:20699328

  12. Personalized medicine and human genetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yi-Fan; Goldstein, David B; Angrist, Misha; Cavalleri, Gianpiero

    2014-09-01

    Human genetic diversity has long been studied both to understand how genetic variation influences risk of disease and infer aspects of human evolutionary history. In this article, we review historical and contemporary views of human genetic diversity, the rare and common mutations implicated in human disease susceptibility, and the relevance of genetic diversity to personalized medicine. First, we describe the development of thought about diversity through the 20th century and through more modern studies including genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and next-generation sequencing. We introduce several examples, such as sickle cell anemia and Tay-Sachs disease that are caused by rare mutations and are more frequent in certain geographical populations, and common treatment responses that are caused by common variants, such as hepatitis C infection. We conclude with comments about the continued relevance of human genetic diversity in medical genetics and personalized medicine more generally. PMID:25059740

  13. Genetic variation in walnuts (Juglans regia, j. sigillata and Juglandaceae) species distinctions, human impacts, and the conservation of agrobiodiversity in yunnan, china

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Walnuts are a major crop of many countries and mostly cultivated in large-scale plantations with few cultivars. Landraces provide important genetic reservoirs; thus, understanding factors influencing the geographic distribution of genetic variation in crop resources is a fundamental goal of agrobiod...

  14. The landscape of human STR variation

    PubMed Central

    Willems, Thomas; Gymrek, Melissa; Highnam, Gareth; Mittelman, David

    2014-01-01

    Short tandem repeats are among the most polymorphic loci in the human genome. These loci play a role in the etiology of a range of genetic diseases and have been frequently utilized in forensics, population genetics, and genetic genealogy. Despite this plethora of applications, little is known about the variation of most STRs in the human population. Here, we report the largest-scale analysis of human STR variation to date. We collected information for nearly 700,000 STR loci across more than 1000 individuals in Phase 1 of the 1000 Genomes Project. Extensive quality controls show that reliable allelic spectra can be obtained for close to 90% of the STR loci in the genome. We utilize this call set to analyze determinants of STR variation, assess the human reference genome’s representation of STR alleles, find STR loci with common loss-of-function alleles, and obtain initial estimates of the linkage disequilibrium between STRs and common SNPs. Overall, these analyses further elucidate the scale of genetic variation beyond classical point mutations. PMID:25135957

  15. The landscape of human STR variation.

    PubMed

    Willems, Thomas; Gymrek, Melissa; Highnam, Gareth; Mittelman, David; Erlich, Yaniv

    2014-11-01

    Short tandem repeats are among the most polymorphic loci in the human genome. These loci play a role in the etiology of a range of genetic diseases and have been frequently utilized in forensics, population genetics, and genetic genealogy. Despite this plethora of applications, little is known about the variation of most STRs in the human population. Here, we report the largest-scale analysis of human STR variation to date. We collected information for nearly 700,000 STR loci across more than 1000 individuals in Phase 1 of the 1000 Genomes Project. Extensive quality controls show that reliable allelic spectra can be obtained for close to 90% of the STR loci in the genome. We utilize this call set to analyze determinants of STR variation, assess the human reference genome's representation of STR alleles, find STR loci with common loss-of-function alleles, and obtain initial estimates of the linkage disequilibrium between STRs and common SNPs. Overall, these analyses further elucidate the scale of genetic variation beyond classical point mutations. PMID:25135957

  16. High Points of Human Genetics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stern, Curt

    1975-01-01

    Discusses such high points of human genetics as the study of chromosomes, somatic cell hybrids, the population formula: the Hardy-Weinberg Law, biochemical genetics, the single-active X Theory, behavioral genetics and finally how genetics can serve humanity. (BR)

  17. Genetic variation in prehistoric Sardinia.

    PubMed

    Caramelli, David; Vernesi, Cristiano; Sanna, Simona; Sampietro, Lourdes; Lari, Martina; Castrì, Loredana; Vona, Giuseppe; Floris, Rosalba; Francalacci, Paolo; Tykot, Robert; Casoli, Antonella; Bertranpetit, Jaume; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; Bertorelle, Giorgio; Barbujani, Guido

    2007-11-01

    We sampled teeth from 53 ancient Sardinian (Nuragic) individuals who lived in the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age, between 3,430 and 2,700 years ago. After eliminating the samples that, in preliminary biochemical tests, did not show a high probability to yield reproducible results, we obtained 23 sequences of the mitochondrial DNA control region, which were associated to haplogroups by comparison with a dataset of modern sequences. The Nuragic samples show a remarkably low genetic diversity, comparable to that observed in ancient Iberians, but much lower than among the Etruscans. Most of these sequences have exact matches in two modern Sardinian populations, supporting a clear genealogical continuity from the Late Bronze Age up to current times. The Nuragic populations appear to be part of a large and geographically unstructured cluster of modern European populations, thus making it difficult to infer their evolutionary relationships. However, the low levels of genetic diversity, both within and among ancient samples, as opposed to the sharp differences among modern Sardinian samples, support the hypothesis of the expansion of a small group of maternally related individuals, and of comparatively recent differentiation of the Sardinian gene pools.

  18. Community Engagement about Genetic Variation Research

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, Kurt D.; Metosky, Susan; Rudofsky, Gayle; Deignan, Kathleen P.; Martinez, Hulda; Johnson-Moore, Penelope; Citrin, Toby

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The aim of this article is to describe the methods and effectiveness of the Public Engagement in Genetic Variation and Haplotype Mapping Issues (PEGV) Project, which engaged a community in policy discussion about genetic variation research. The project implemented a 6-stage community engagement model in New Rochelle, New York. First, researchers recruited community partners. Second, the project team created community oversight. Third, focus groups discussed concerns generated by genetic variation research. Fourth, community dialogue sessions addressed focus group findings and developed policy recommendations. Fifth, a conference was held to present these policy recommendations and to provide a forum for HapMap (haplotype mapping) researchers to dialogue directly with residents. Finally, findings were disseminated via presentations and papers to the participants and to the wider community beyond. The project generated a list of proposed guidelines for genetic variation research that addressed the concerns of New Rochelle residents. Project team members expressed satisfaction with the engagement model overall but expressed concerns about how well community groups were utilized and what segment of the community actually engaged in the project. The PEGV Project represents a model for researchers to engage the general public in policy development about genetic research. There are benefits of such a process beyond the desired genetic research. (Population Health Management 2012;15:78–89) PMID:21815821

  19. Genetic architecture of natural variation in visual senescence in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Carbone, Mary Anna; Yamamoto, Akihiko; Huang, Wen; Lyman, Rachel A.; Meadors, Tess Brune; Yamamoto, Ryoan; Anholt, Robert R. H.; Mackay, Trudy F. C.

    2016-01-01

    Senescence, i.e., functional decline with age, is a major determinant of health span in a rapidly aging population, but the genetic basis of interindividual variation in senescence remains largely unknown. Visual decline and age-related eye disorders are common manifestations of senescence, but disentangling age-dependent visual decline in human populations is challenging due to inability to control genetic background and variation in histories of environmental exposures. We assessed the genetic basis of natural variation in visual senescence by measuring age-dependent decline in phototaxis using Drosophila melanogaster as a genetic model system. We quantified phototaxis at 1, 2, and 4 wk of age in the sequenced, inbred lines of the Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) and found an average decline in phototaxis with age. We observed significant genetic variation for phototaxis at each age and significant genetic variation in senescence of phototaxis that is only partly correlated with phototaxis. Genome-wide association analyses in the DGRP and a DGRP-derived outbred, advanced intercross population identified candidate genes and genetic networks associated with eye and nervous system development and function, including seven genes with human orthologs previously associated with eye diseases. Ninety percent of candidate genes were functionally validated with targeted RNAi-mediated suppression of gene expression. Absence of candidate genes previously implicated with longevity indicates physiological systems may undergo senescence independent of organismal life span. Furthermore, we show that genes that shape early developmental processes also contribute to senescence, demonstrating that senescence is part of a genetic continuum that acts throughout the life span. PMID:27791033

  20. GEMINI: Integrative Exploration of Genetic Variation and Genome Annotations

    PubMed Central

    Paila, Umadevi; Chapman, Brad A.; Kirchner, Rory; Quinlan, Aaron R.

    2013-01-01

    Modern DNA sequencing technologies enable geneticists to rapidly identify genetic variation among many human genomes. However, isolating the minority of variants underlying disease remains an important, yet formidable challenge for medical genetics. We have developed GEMINI (GEnome MINIng), a flexible software package for exploring all forms of human genetic variation. Unlike existing tools, GEMINI integrates genetic variation with a diverse and adaptable set of genome annotations (e.g., dbSNP, ENCODE, UCSC, ClinVar, KEGG) into a unified database to facilitate interpretation and data exploration. Whereas other methods provide an inflexible set of variant filters or prioritization methods, GEMINI allows researchers to compose complex queries based on sample genotypes, inheritance patterns, and both pre-installed and custom genome annotations. GEMINI also provides methods for ad hoc queries and data exploration, a simple programming interface for custom analyses that leverage the underlying database, and both command line and graphical tools for common analyses. We demonstrate GEMINI's utility for exploring variation in personal genomes and family based genetic studies, and illustrate its ability to scale to studies involving thousands of human samples. GEMINI is designed for reproducibility and flexibility and our goal is to provide researchers with a standard framework for medical genomics. PMID:23874191

  1. Genetics for the Human Race

    SciTech Connect

    Myles Axton; Francis Collins; Charles Rotimi; Charmaine Royal; David Goldstein, Daniel Drell; Georgia Dunston; Rick Kittles; Lynn Jorde; Mildred Cho; Joanna Mountain; Ari Patrinos; Neil Risch; Shomarka Keita; Kenneth Kidd; Mark Shriver; Sarah Tishkoff

    2004-11-01

    This supplement has its origins on May 15, 2003, when the National Human Genome Center at Howard University held a small but important workshop in Washington DC. The workshop, Human Genome Variation and 'Race', and this special issue of Nature Genetics were proposed by scientists at Howard University and financially supported by the Genome Programs of the US Department of Energy, through its Office of Science; the Irving Harris Foundation; the National Institutes of Health, through the National Human Genome Research Institute; and Howard University. As summarized by Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, the workshop focused on several key questions: ''What does the current body of scientific information say about the connections among race, ethnicity, genetics and health? What remains unknown? What additional research is needed? How can this information be applied to benefit human health? How might this information be applied in nonmedical settings? How can we adopt policies that will achieve beneficial societal outcomes?'' This supplement, supported by the Department of Energy through a grant to Howard University, contains articles based on the presentations at this workshop.

  2. The distribution pattern of genetic variation in the transcript isoforms of the alternatively spliced protein-coding genes in the human genome.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ting; Lin, Kui

    2015-05-01

    By enabling the transcription of multiple isoforms from the same gene locus, alternative-splicing mechanisms greatly expand the diversity of the human transcriptome and proteome. Currently, the alternatively spliced transcripts from each protein-coding gene locus in the human genome can be classified as either principal or non-principal isoforms, providing that they differ with respect to cross-species conservation or biological features. By mapping the variants from the 1000 Genomes Project onto the coding region of each isoform, an interesting pattern of the genetic variation distributions of the coding regions for these two types of transcript isoforms was revealed on a whole-genome scale: compared with the principal isoform-specific coding regions, the non-principal isoform-specific coding regions are significantly enriched in amino acid-changing variants, particularly those that have a strong impact on protein function and have higher derived allele frequencies, suggesting that non-principal isoform-specific substitutions are less likely to be related to phenotype changes or disease. The results herein can help us better understand the potential consequences of alternatively spliced products from a population perspective.

  3. Comprehensive variation discovery in single human genomes.

    PubMed

    Weisenfeld, Neil I; Yin, Shuangye; Sharpe, Ted; Lau, Bayo; Hegarty, Ryan; Holmes, Laurie; Sogoloff, Brian; Tabbaa, Diana; Williams, Louise; Russ, Carsten; Nusbaum, Chad; Lander, Eric S; MacCallum, Iain; Jaffe, David B

    2014-12-01

    Complete knowledge of the genetic variation in individual human genomes is a crucial foundation for understanding the etiology of disease. Genetic variation is typically characterized by sequencing individual genomes and comparing reads to a reference. Existing methods do an excellent job of detecting variants in approximately 90% of the human genome; however, calling variants in the remaining 10% of the genome (largely low-complexity sequence and segmental duplications) is challenging. To improve variant calling, we developed a new algorithm, DISCOVAR, and examined its performance on improved, low-cost sequence data. Using a newly created reference set of variants from the finished sequence of 103 randomly chosen fosmids, we find that some standard variant call sets miss up to 25% of variants. We show that the combination of new methods and improved data increases sensitivity by several fold, with the greatest impact in challenging regions of the human genome. PMID:25326702

  4. Advances in human genetics

    SciTech Connect

    Harris, H.; Hirschhorn, K.

    1993-01-01

    This book has five chapters covering peroxisomal diseases, X-linked immunodeficiencies, genetic mutations affecting human lipoproteins and their receptors and enzymes, genetic aspects of cancer, and Gaucher disease. The chapter on peroxisomes covers their discovery, structure, functions, disorders, etc. The chapter on X-linked immunodeficiencies discusses such diseases as agammaglobulinemia, severe combined immunodeficiency, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, animal models, linkage analysis, etc. Apolipoprotein formation, synthesis, gene regulation, proteins, etc. are the main focus of chapter 3. The chapter on cancer covers such topics as oncogene mapping and the molecular characterization of some recessive oncogenes. Gaucher disease is covered from its diagnosis, classification, and prevention, to its organ system involvement and molecular biology.

  5. Human Heredity: Genetic Mechanisms in Humans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blank, C. E.

    1988-01-01

    Discussed are some of the uncertainties in human genetic mechanisms that are often presented as dogma in Biology textbooks. Presented is a brief historical background and illustrations involving chromosome abnormality in humans and linkage studies in humans. (CW)

  6. Characterization of genetic variation and 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine- resistance mutations of human immunodeficiency virus by the RNase A mismatch cleavage method.

    PubMed Central

    López-Galíndez, C; Rojas, J M; Nájera, R; Richman, D D; Perucho, M

    1991-01-01

    The RNase A mismatch cleavage method has been applied to the characterization of natural genetic variation of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from different geographical areas. The approach provides a rapid and simple assay for the analysis of differences in closely related viral isolates and allows the establishment of phylogenetic relationships between epidemiologically distinct viruses. Our results show a broad clustering of circulating viruses according to their geographical distribution. We also have analyzed the temporal appearance of mutations associated with the acquisition of resistance to 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine (AZT). The results show that mutations in codon 215 of the viral reverse transcriptase can be detected readily by this method in HIV isolates and also directly in peripheral blood from HIV-infected individuals after in vitro amplification of viral sequences with the polymerase chain reaction. The specific recurrence of identical double-nucleotide substitutions in epidemiologically and geographically distant viruses suggests that the restricted amino acid substitutions at this position selected by drug exposure are a critical, rate-limiting step in the acquisition of drug resistance. Images PMID:2034672

  7. Genetic architecture of natural variation in Drosophila melanogaster aggressive behavior

    PubMed Central

    Shorter, John; Couch, Charlene; Huang, Wen; Carbone, Mary Anna; Peiffer, Jason; Anholt, Robert R. H.; Mackay, Trudy F. C.

    2015-01-01

    Aggression is an evolutionarily conserved complex behavior essential for survival and the organization of social hierarchies. With the exception of genetic variants associated with bioamine signaling, which have been implicated in aggression in many species, the genetic basis of natural variation in aggression is largely unknown. Drosophila melanogaster is a favorable model system for exploring the genetic basis of natural variation in aggression. Here, we performed genome-wide association analyses using the inbred, sequenced lines of the Drosophila melanogaster Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) and replicate advanced intercross populations derived from the most and least aggressive DGRP lines. We identified genes that have been previously implicated in aggressive behavior as well as many novel loci, including gustatory receptor 63a (Gr63a), which encodes a subunit of the receptor for CO2, and genes associated with development and function of the nervous system. Although genes from the two association analyses were largely nonoverlapping, they mapped onto a genetic interaction network inferred from an analysis of pairwise epistasis in the DGRP. We used mutations and RNAi knock-down alleles to functionally validate 79% of the candidate genes and 75% of the candidate epistatic interactions tested. Epistasis for aggressive behavior causes cryptic genetic variation in the DGRP that is revealed by changing allele frequencies in the outbred populations derived from extreme DGRP lines. This phenomenon may pertain to other fitness traits and species, with implications for evolution, applied breeding, and human genetics. PMID:26100892

  8. Thoughts on Human Genetics Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Epstein, Charles J.

    1980-01-01

    The director of the Birth Defects Center at the University of California at San Francisco addresses the reasons for developing good ways of teaching human genetics. Genetic counseling is discussed within the context of several case histories. (SA)

  9. Repeat variation in the human PER2 gene as a new genetic marker associated with cocaine addiction and brain dopamine D2 receptor availability

    PubMed Central

    Shumay, E; Fowler, J S; Wang, G-J; Logan, J; Alia-Klein, N; Goldstein, R Z; Maloney, T; Wong, C; Volkow, N D

    2012-01-01

    Low dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) levels in the striatum are consistently reported in cocaine abusers; inter-individual variations in the degree of the decrease suggest a modulating effect of genetic makeup on vulnerability to addiction. The PER2 (Period 2) gene belongs to the clock genes family of circadian regulators; circadian oscillations of PER2 expression in the striatum was modulated by dopamine through D2Rs. Aberrant periodicity of PER2 contributes to the incidence and severity of various brain disorders, including drug addiction. Here we report a newly identified variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) polymorphism in the human PER2 gene (VNTR in the third intron). We found significant differences in the VNTR alleles prevalence across ethnic groups so that the major allele (4 repeats (4R)) is over-represented in non-African population (4R homozygosity is 88%), but not in African Americans (homozygosity 51%). We also detected a biased PER2 genotype distribution among healthy controls and cocaine-addicted individuals. In African Americans, the proportion of 4R/three repeat (3R) carriers in healthy controls is much lower than that in cocaine abusers (23% vs 39%, P=0.004), whereas among non-Africans most 3R/4R heterozygotes are healthy controls (10.5% vs 2.5%, P=0.04). Analysis of striatal D2R availability measured with positron emission tomography and [11C]raclopride revealed higher levels of D2R in carriers of 4R/4R genotype (P<0.01). Taken together, these results provide preliminary evidence for the role of the PER2 gene in regulating striatal D2R availability in the human brain and in vulnerability for cocaine addiction. PMID:22832851

  10. The genetics of canine skull shape variation.

    PubMed

    Schoenebeck, Jeffrey J; Ostrander, Elaine A

    2013-02-01

    A dog's craniofacial diversity is the result of continual human intervention in natural selection, a process that began tens of thousands of years ago. To date, we know little of the genetic underpinnings and developmental mechanisms that make dog skulls so morphologically plastic. In this Perspectives, we discuss the origins of dog skull shapes in terms of history and biology and highlight recent advances in understanding the genetics of canine skull shapes. Of particular interest are those molecular genetic changes that are associated with the development of distinct breeds.

  11. Genetic Variation Associated with Hypersensitivity to Mercury

    PubMed Central

    Austin, David William; Spolding, Briana; Gondalia, Shakuntla; Shandley, Kerrie; Palombo, Enzo A.; Knowles, Simon; Walder, Ken

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: Very little is known about mechanisms of idiosyncratic sensitivity to the damaging effects of mercury (Hg); however, there is likely a genetic component. The aim of the present study was to search for genetic variation in genes thought to be involved in Hg metabolism and transport in a group of individuals identified as having elevated Hg sensitivity compared to a normal control group. Materials and Methods: Survivors of pink disease (PD; infantile acrodynia) are a population of clinically identifiable individuals who are Hg sensitive. In the present study, single nucleotide polymorphisms in genes thought to be involved in Hg transport and metabolism were compared across two groups: (i) PD survivors (n = 25); and (ii) age- and sex-matched healthy controls (n = 25). Results: Analyses revealed significant differences between groups in genotype frequencies for rs662 in the gene encoding paraoxanase 1 (PON1) and rs1801131 in the gene encoding methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR). Conclusions: We have identified two genetic polymorphisms associated with increased sensitivity to Hg. Genetic variation in MTHFR and PON1 significantly differentiated a group formerly diagnosed with PD (a condition of Hg hypersensitivity) with age- and gender-matched healthy controls. PMID:25948960

  12. Challenges and complexities in estimating both the functional impact and the disease risk associated with the extensive genetic variation in human DNA repair genes.

    PubMed

    Mohrenweiser, Harvey W; Wilson, David M; Jones, Irene M

    2003-05-15

    Individual risk and the population incidence of disease result from the interaction of genetic susceptibility and exposure. DNA repair is an example of a cellular process where genetic variation in families with extreme predisposition is documented to be associated with high disease likelihood, including syndromes of premature aging and cancer. Although the identification and characterization of new genes or variants in cancer families continues to be important, the focus of this paper is the current status of efforts to define the impact of polymorphic amino acid substitutions in DNA repair genes on individual and population cancer risk. There is increasing evidence that mild reductions in DNA repair capacity, assumed to be the consequence of common genetic variation, affect cancer predisposition. The extensive variation being found in the coding regions of DNA repair genes and the large number of genes in each of the major repair pathways results in complex genotypes with potential to impact cancer risk in the general population. The implications of this complexity for molecular epidemiology studies, as well as concepts that may make these challenges more manageable, are discussed. The concepts include both experimental and computational approaches that could be employed to develop predictors of disease susceptibility based on DNA repair genotype, focusing initially on studies to assess functional impact on individual proteins and pathways and then on molecular epidemiology studies to assess exposure-dependent health risk. In closing, we raise some of the non-technical challenges to the utilization of the full richness of the genetic variation to reduce disease occurrence and ultimately improve health care. PMID:12714187

  13. Perspectives: Why Study Human Genetics?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Childs, Barton

    1983-01-01

    Reasons for studying human genetics are discussed. These include philosophical reasons, reasons of health, and social reasons. While content, interpretation, and emphasis of human genetics study will vary depending upon schools, teachers, and developmental stages of students, it is suggested that teachers address these three domains. (Author/JN)

  14. Genetic diagnosis of human embryos.

    PubMed

    Bonnicksen, Andrea

    1992-01-01

    For all the worried talk about genetic engineering over the last two decades, it is surprising how quietly plans for the genetic diagnosis of human embryos have developed. The issues raised warrant careful examination: what needs are met through embryo diagnosis? Who bears responsibility for monitoring this technique? Under what overarching ethic should embryo diagnosis and, eventually, embryo therapy, be applied? What are the broader social implications raised by the genetic diagnosis of human embryos?

  15. Identifying environmental correlates of intraspecific genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Harrisson, K A; Yen, J D L; Pavlova, A; Rourke, M L; Gilligan, D; Ingram, B A; Lyon, J; Tonkin, Z; Sunnucks, P

    2016-09-01

    Genetic variation is critical to the persistence of populations and their capacity to adapt to environmental change. The distribution of genetic variation across a species' range can reveal critical information that is not necessarily represented in species occurrence or abundance patterns. We identified environmental factors associated with the amount of intraspecific, individual-based genetic variation across the range of a widespread freshwater fish species, the Murray cod Maccullochella peelii. We used two different approaches to statistically quantify the relative importance of predictor variables, allowing for nonlinear relationships: a random forest model and a Bayesian approach. The latter also accounted for population history. Both approaches identified associations between homozygosity by locus and both disturbance to the natural flow regime and mean annual flow. Homozygosity by locus was negatively associated with disturbance to the natural flow regime, suggesting that river reaches with more disturbed flow regimes may support larger, more genetically diverse populations. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that artificially induced perennial flows in regulated channels may provide greater and more consistent habitat and reduce the frequency of population bottlenecks that can occur frequently under the highly variable and unpredictable natural flow regime of the system. Although extensive river regulation across eastern Australia has not had an overall positive effect on Murray cod numbers over the past century, regulation may not represent the primary threat to Murray cod survival. Instead, pressures other than flow regulation may be more critical to the persistence of Murray cod (for example, reduced frequency of large floods, overfishing and chemical pollution). PMID:27273322

  16. Identifying environmental correlates of intraspecific genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Harrisson, K A; Yen, J D L; Pavlova, A; Rourke, M L; Gilligan, D; Ingram, B A; Lyon, J; Tonkin, Z; Sunnucks, P

    2016-09-01

    Genetic variation is critical to the persistence of populations and their capacity to adapt to environmental change. The distribution of genetic variation across a species' range can reveal critical information that is not necessarily represented in species occurrence or abundance patterns. We identified environmental factors associated with the amount of intraspecific, individual-based genetic variation across the range of a widespread freshwater fish species, the Murray cod Maccullochella peelii. We used two different approaches to statistically quantify the relative importance of predictor variables, allowing for nonlinear relationships: a random forest model and a Bayesian approach. The latter also accounted for population history. Both approaches identified associations between homozygosity by locus and both disturbance to the natural flow regime and mean annual flow. Homozygosity by locus was negatively associated with disturbance to the natural flow regime, suggesting that river reaches with more disturbed flow regimes may support larger, more genetically diverse populations. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that artificially induced perennial flows in regulated channels may provide greater and more consistent habitat and reduce the frequency of population bottlenecks that can occur frequently under the highly variable and unpredictable natural flow regime of the system. Although extensive river regulation across eastern Australia has not had an overall positive effect on Murray cod numbers over the past century, regulation may not represent the primary threat to Murray cod survival. Instead, pressures other than flow regulation may be more critical to the persistence of Murray cod (for example, reduced frequency of large floods, overfishing and chemical pollution).

  17. Human genetics: international projects and personalized medicine.

    PubMed

    Apellaniz-Ruiz, Maria; Gallego, Cristina; Ruiz-Pinto, Sara; Carracedo, Angel; Rodríguez-Antona, Cristina

    2016-03-01

    In this article, we present the progress driven by the recent technological advances and new revolutionary massive sequencing technologies in the field of human genetics. We discuss this knowledge in relation with drug response prediction, from the germline genetic variation compiled in the 1000 Genomes Project or in the Genotype-Tissue Expression project, to the phenome-genome archives, the international cancer projects, such as The Cancer Genome Atlas or the International Cancer Genome Consortium, and the epigenetic variation and its influence in gene expression, including the regulation of drug metabolism. This review is based on the lectures presented by the speakers of the Symposium "Human Genetics: International Projects & New Technologies" from the VII Conference of the Spanish Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics Society, held on the 20th and 21st of April 2015.

  18. Cryptic genetic variation and paraphyly in ravens.

    PubMed Central

    Omland, K E; Tarr, C L; Boarma, W I; Marzluff, J M; Fleischer, R C

    2000-01-01

    Widespread species that are morphologically uniform may be likely to harbour cryptic genetic variation. Common ravens (Corvus corax) have an extensive range covering nearly the entire Northern Hemisphere, but show little discrete phenotypic variation. We obtained tissue samples from throughout much of this range and collected mitochondrial sequence and nuclear microsatellite data. Our study revealed a deep genetic break between ravens from the western United States and ravens from throughout the rest of the world. These two groups, the 'California clade' and the 'Holarctic clade' are well supported and over 4% divergent in mitochondrial coding sequence. Microsatellites also reveal significant differentiation between these two groups. Ravens from Minnesota, Maine and Alaska are more similar to ravens from Asia and Europe than they are to ravens from California. The two clades come in contact over a huge area of the western United States, with mixtures of the two mitochondrial groups present in Washington, Idaho and California. In addition, the restricted range Chihuahuan raven (Corvus cryptoleucus) of the south-west United States and Mexico is genetically nested within the paraphyletic common raven. Our findings suggest that the common raven may have formerly consisted of two allopatric groups that may be in the process of remerging. PMID:11197122

  19. Explaining additional genetic variation in complex traits

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Matthew R.; Wray, Naomi R.; Visscher, Peter M.

    2015-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have provided valuable insights into the genetic basis of complex traits, discovering >6000 variants associated with >500 quantitative traits and common complex diseases in humans. The associations identified so far represent only a fraction of those which influence phenotype, as there are likely to be very many variants across the entire frequency spectrum, each of which influences multiple traits, with only a small average contribution to the phenotypic variance. This presents a considerable challenge to further dissection of the remaining unexplained genetic variance within populations, which limits our ability to predict disease risk, identify new drug targets, improve and maintain food sources, and understand natural diversity. This challenge will be met within the current framework through larger sample size, better phenotyping including recording of non-genetic risk factors, focused study designs, and an integration of multiple sources of phenotypic and genetic information. The current evidence supports the application of quantitative genetic approaches, and we argue that one should retain simpler theories until simplicity can be traded for greater explanatory power. PMID:24629526

  20. Genetic variation in healthy oldest-old.

    PubMed

    Halaschek-Wiener, Julius; Amirabbasi-Beik, Mahsa; Monfared, Nasim; Pieczyk, Markus; Sailer, Christian; Kollar, Anita; Thomas, Ruth; Agalaridis, Georgios; Yamada, So; Oliveira, Lisa; Collins, Jennifer A; Meneilly, Graydon; Marra, Marco A; Madden, Kenneth M; Le, Nhu D; Connors, Joseph M; Brooks-Wilson, Angela R

    2009-01-01

    Individuals who live to 85 and beyond without developing major age-related diseases may achieve this, in part, by lacking disease susceptibility factors, or by possessing resistance factors that enhance their ability to avoid disease and prolong lifespan. Healthy aging is a complex phenotype likely to be affected by both genetic and environmental factors. We sequenced 24 candidate healthy aging genes in DNA samples from 47 healthy individuals aged eighty-five years or older (the 'oldest-old'), to characterize genetic variation that is present in this exceptional group. These healthy seniors were never diagnosed with cancer, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes, or Alzheimer disease. We re-sequenced all exons, intron-exon boundaries and selected conserved non-coding sequences of candidate genes involved in aging-related processes, including dietary restriction (PPARG, PPARGC1A, SIRT1, SIRT3, UCP2, UCP3), metabolism (IGF1R, APOB, SCD), autophagy (BECN1, FRAP1), stem cell activation (NOTCH1, DLL1), tumor suppression (TP53, CDKN2A, ING1), DNA methylation (TRDMT1, DNMT3A, DNMT3B) Progeria syndromes (LMNA, ZMPSTE24, KL) and stress response (CRYAB, HSPB2). We detected 935 variants, including 848 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 87 insertion or deletions; 41% (385) were not recorded in dbSNP. This study is the first to present a comprehensive analysis of genetic variation in aging-related candidate genes in healthy oldest-old. These variants and especially our novel polymorphisms are valuable resources to test for genetic association in models of disease susceptibility or resistance. In addition, we propose an innovative tagSNP selection strategy that combines variants identified through gene re-sequencing- and HapMap-derived SNPs. PMID:19680556

  1. Statistics of selectively neutral genetic variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eriksson, A.; Haubold, B.; Mehlig, B.

    2002-04-01

    Random models of evolution are instrumental in extracting rates of microscopic evolutionary mechanisms from empirical observations on genetic variation in genome sequences. In this context it is necessary to know the statistical properties of empirical observables (such as the local homozygosity, for instance). Previous work relies on numerical results or assumes Gaussian approximations for the corresponding distributions. In this paper we give an analytical derivation of the statistical properties of the local homozygosity and other empirical observables assuming selective neutrality. We find that such distributions can be very non-Gaussian.

  2. Use of genetic variation as biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Reitz, Christiane; Mayeux, Richard

    2009-10-01

    Late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) is the most common cause of late-onset dementia in western societies. Despite remarkable achievements in human genetics throughout the years, in particular technological advances in gene mapping and in statistical methods that relate genetic variants to disease, to date only a small proportion of the genetic contribution to LOAD can be explained leaving several remaining genetic risk factors to be identified. A possible explanation for the difficulty in gene identification is that LOAD is a multifactorial complex disorder with both genetic and environmental components. Multiple genes with small effects each ("quantitative trait loci"[QTLs]) are likely to contribute to the quantitative traits associated with the disease, such as memory performance, amyloid/tau pathology, or hippocampal atrophy. The motivation for identifying the genetics of LOAD is clear. Not only could it shed light on disease pathogenesis, but it may also provide potential targets for effective treatment, screening, and prevention. Here, we review the usefulness of genetic variation as diagnostic tools and biomarkers in LOAD and discuss the potentials and difficulties researchers face in designing appropriate studies for gene discovery.

  3. Basic Genetics: A Human Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Colorado Springs, CO. Center for Education in Human and Medical Genetics.

    This document (which has the form of a magazine) provides a variety of articles, stories, editorials, letters, interviews, and other types of magazine features (such as book reviews) which focus on human genetics. In addition to providing information about the principles of genetics, nearly all of the sections in the "magazine" address moral,…

  4. Universal probe amplification: multiplex screening technologies for genetic variations.

    PubMed

    Park, Jung Hun; Park, Ki Soo; Lee, Kyungmee; Jang, Hyowon; Park, Hyun Gyu

    2015-01-01

    In order to achieve multiplex screening of genetic variations, multiplex amplification of target genomic DNA is necessary. Universal amplification technology meets this requirement by simultaneously amplifying a number of different regions within the target genomic DNA using a single pair of universal primers and thus eliminating the limitations associated with the use of multiple pairs of primers. We comprehensively review universal probe amplification and its use with multiplex technologies for the identification of the most representative genetic variation, i. e. single nucleotide polymorphisms. The progress and key issues relating to universal probe amplification are discussed and the representative technologies are summarized with an emphasis on their application for the identification of susceptibility to human diseases.

  5. The African Genome Variation Project shapes medical genetics in Africa

    PubMed Central

    Gurdasani, Deepti; Carstensen, Tommy; Tekola-Ayele, Fasil; Pagani, Luca; Tachmazidou, Ioanna; Hatzikotoulas, Konstantinos; Karthikeyan, Savita; Iles, Louise; Pollard, Martin O.; Choudhury, Ananyo; Ritchie, Graham R. S.; Xue, Yali; Asimit, Jennifer; Nsubuga, Rebecca N.; Young, Elizabeth H.; Pomilla, Cristina; Kivinen, Katja; Rockett, Kirk; Kamali, Anatoli; Doumatey, Ayo P.; Asiki, Gershim; Seeley, Janet; Sisay-Joof, Fatoumatta; Jallow, Muminatou; Tollman, Stephen; Mekonnen, Ephrem; Ekong, Rosemary; Oljira, Tamiru; Bradman, Neil; Bojang, Kalifa; Ramsay, Michele; Adeyemo, Adebowale; Bekele, Endashaw; Motala, Ayesha; Norris, Shane A.; Pirie, Fraser; Kaleebu, Pontiano; Kwiatkowski, Dominic; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Rotimi, Charles; Zeggini, Eleftheria; Sandhu, Manjinder S.

    2014-01-01

    Given the importance of Africa to studies of human origins and disease susceptibility, detailed characterisation of African genetic diversity is needed. The African Genome Variation Project (AGVP) provides a resource to help design, implement and interpret genomic studies in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and worldwide. The AGVP represents dense genotypes from 1,481 and whole genome sequences (WGS) from 320 individuals across SSA. Using this resource, we find novel evidence of complex, regionally distinct hunter-gatherer and Eurasian admixture across SSA. We identify new loci under selection, including for malaria and hypertension. We show that modern imputation panels can identify association signals at highly differentiated loci across populations in SSA. Using WGS, we show further improvement in imputation accuracy supporting efforts for large-scale sequencing of diverse African haplotypes. Finally, we present an efficient genotype array design capturing common genetic variation in Africa, showing for the first time that such designs are feasible. PMID:25470054

  6. American Society of Human Genetics

    MedlinePlus

    ... Researchers Say October 20, 2016 Researchers Explore How Zika Infection Causes Microcephaly October 19, 2016 The American Society of Human Genetics, Incorporated 9650 Rockville Pike • Bethesda, Maryland 20814 ...

  7. A simple genetic architecture underlies morphological variation in dogs.

    PubMed

    Boyko, Adam R; Quignon, Pascale; Li, Lin; Schoenebeck, Jeffrey J; Degenhardt, Jeremiah D; Lohmueller, Kirk E; Zhao, Keyan; Brisbin, Abra; Parker, Heidi G; vonHoldt, Bridgett M; Cargill, Michele; Auton, Adam; Reynolds, Andy; Elkahloun, Abdel G; Castelhano, Marta; Mosher, Dana S; Sutter, Nathan B; Johnson, Gary S; Novembre, John; Hubisz, Melissa J; Siepel, Adam; Wayne, Robert K; Bustamante, Carlos D; Ostrander, Elaine A

    2010-08-10

    Domestic dogs exhibit tremendous phenotypic diversity, including a greater variation in body size than any other terrestrial mammal. Here, we generate a high density map of canine genetic variation by genotyping 915 dogs from 80 domestic dog breeds, 83 wild canids, and 10 outbred African shelter dogs across 60,968 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Coupling this genomic resource with external measurements from breed standards and individuals as well as skeletal measurements from museum specimens, we identify 51 regions of the dog genome associated with phenotypic variation among breeds in 57 traits. The complex traits include average breed body size and external body dimensions and cranial, dental, and long bone shape and size with and without allometric scaling. In contrast to the results from association mapping of quantitative traits in humans and domesticated plants, we find that across dog breeds, a small number of quantitative trait loci (< or = 3) explain the majority of phenotypic variation for most of the traits we studied. In addition, many genomic regions show signatures of recent selection, with most of the highly differentiated regions being associated with breed-defining traits such as body size, coat characteristics, and ear floppiness. Our results demonstrate the efficacy of mapping multiple traits in the domestic dog using a database of genotyped individuals and highlight the important role human-directed selection has played in altering the genetic architecture of key traits in this important species.

  8. Intraspecific genetic variation and competition interact to influence niche expansion

    PubMed Central

    Agashe, Deepa; Bolnick, Daniel I.

    2010-01-01

    Theory and empirical evidence show that intraspecific competition can drive selection favouring the use of novel resources (i.e. niche expansion). The evolutionary response to such selection depends on genetic variation for resource use. However, while genetic variation might facilitate niche expansion, genetically diverse groups may also experience weaker competition, reducing density-dependent selection on resource use. Therefore, genetic variation for fitness on different resources could directly facilitate, or indirectly retard, niche expansion. To test these alternatives, we factorially manipulated both the degree of genetic variation and population density in flour beetles (Tribolium castaneum) exposed to both novel and familiar food resources. Using stable carbon isotope analysis, we measured temporal change and individual variation in beetle diet across eight generations. Intraspecific competition and genetic variation acted on different components of niche evolution: competition facilitated niche expansion, while genetic variation increased individual variation in niche use. In addition, genetic variation and competition together facilitated niche expansion, but all these impacts were temporally variable. Thus, we show that the interaction between genetic variation and competition can also determine niche evolution at different time scales. PMID:20462902

  9. Involvement of endocannabinoids in alcohol “binge” drinking: studies of mice with human fatty acid amide hydrolase genetic variation and after CB1 receptor antagonists

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yan; Huang, Ted; Lee, Francis; Kreek, Mary Jeanne

    2016-01-01

    Background The endocannabinoid system has been found to play an important role in modulating alcohol intake. Inhibition or genetic deletion of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH, a key catabolic enzyme for endocannabinoids) leads to increased alcohol consumption and preference in rodent models. A common human single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP; C385A, rs324420) in the FAAH gene is associated with decreased enzymatic activity of FAAH, resulting in increased anandamide levels in both humans and FAAH C385A knock-in mice. Methods As this FAAH SNP has been reported to be associated with altered alcohol abuse, the present study used these genetic knock-in mice containing the human SNP C385A to determine the impact of variant FAAH gene on alcohol “binge” drinking in the drinking-in-the-dark (DID) model. Results We found that the FAAHA/A mice had greater alcohol intake and preference than the wild-type FAAHC/C mice, suggesting that increased endocannabinoid signaling in FAAHA/A mice led to increased alcohol “binge” consumption. The specificity on alcohol vulnerability was suggested by the lack of any FAAH genotype difference on sucrose or saccharin intake. Using the “binge” DID model, we confirmed that selective CB1 receptor antagonist AM251 reduced alcohol intake in the wild-type mice. Conclusions These data suggest that there is direct and selective involvement of the human FAAH C385A SNP and CB1 receptors in alcohol “binge” drinking. PMID:26857901

  10. A Multi-scale Computational Platform to Mechanistically Assess the Effect of Genetic Variation on Drug Responses in Human Erythrocyte Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Bordbar, Aarash; Palsson, Bernhard O.

    2016-01-01

    Progress in systems medicine brings promise to addressing patient heterogeneity and individualized therapies. Recently, genome-scale models of metabolism have been shown to provide insight into the mechanistic link between drug therapies and systems-level off-target effects while being expanded to explicitly include the three-dimensional structure of proteins. The integration of these molecular-level details, such as the physical, structural, and dynamical properties of proteins, notably expands the computational description of biochemical network-level properties and the possibility of understanding and predicting whole cell phenotypes. In this study, we present a multi-scale modeling framework that describes biological processes which range in scale from atomistic details to an entire metabolic network. Using this approach, we can understand how genetic variation, which impacts the structure and reactivity of a protein, influences both native and drug-induced metabolic states. As a proof-of-concept, we study three enzymes (catechol-O-methyltransferase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) and their respective genetic variants which have clinically relevant associations. Using all-atom molecular dynamic simulations enables the sampling of long timescale conformational dynamics of the proteins (and their mutant variants) in complex with their respective native metabolites or drug molecules. We find that changes in a protein’s structure due to a mutation influences protein binding affinity to metabolites and/or drug molecules, and inflicts large-scale changes in metabolism. PMID:27467583

  11. A Multi-scale Computational Platform to Mechanistically Assess the Effect of Genetic Variation on Drug Responses in Human Erythrocyte Metabolism.

    PubMed

    Mih, Nathan; Brunk, Elizabeth; Bordbar, Aarash; Palsson, Bernhard O

    2016-07-01

    Progress in systems medicine brings promise to addressing patient heterogeneity and individualized therapies. Recently, genome-scale models of metabolism have been shown to provide insight into the mechanistic link between drug therapies and systems-level off-target effects while being expanded to explicitly include the three-dimensional structure of proteins. The integration of these molecular-level details, such as the physical, structural, and dynamical properties of proteins, notably expands the computational description of biochemical network-level properties and the possibility of understanding and predicting whole cell phenotypes. In this study, we present a multi-scale modeling framework that describes biological processes which range in scale from atomistic details to an entire metabolic network. Using this approach, we can understand how genetic variation, which impacts the structure and reactivity of a protein, influences both native and drug-induced metabolic states. As a proof-of-concept, we study three enzymes (catechol-O-methyltransferase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) and their respective genetic variants which have clinically relevant associations. Using all-atom molecular dynamic simulations enables the sampling of long timescale conformational dynamics of the proteins (and their mutant variants) in complex with their respective native metabolites or drug molecules. We find that changes in a protein's structure due to a mutation influences protein binding affinity to metabolites and/or drug molecules, and inflicts large-scale changes in metabolism. PMID:27467583

  12. Association methods in human genetics.

    PubMed

    Langefeld, Carl D; Fingerlin, Tasha E

    2007-01-01

    Genetic association studies are increasingly used in the search for susceptibility variants for human traits. While many of the statistical tools available for such studies are well established, the field is advancing rapidly, as biological and technological developments allow investigators to generate vast amounts of detailed genetic data. This chapter gives an overview of the statistical evaluation of genetic data in both unrelated individuals and families. A brief introduction to fundamental population genetics concepts is followed by detailed examinations of measures of linkage disequilibrium and single-marker and haplotype association tests. Emphasis is given to the historical development of family-based tests to provide the context for more recent advancements. The chapter concludes with a discussion of design strategies for genetic association studies with dense genotyping of hundreds or thousands of markers, such as those planned for follow up of a linkage-candidate region or genome-wide association studies.

  13. Transcriptome and genome sequencing uncovers functional variation in humans

    PubMed Central

    Lappalainen, Tuuli; Sammeth, Michael; Friedländer, Marc R; ‘t Hoen, Peter AC; Monlong, Jean; Rivas, Manuel A; Gonzàlez-Porta, Mar; Kurbatova, Natalja; Griebel, Thasso; Ferreira, Pedro G; Barann, Matthias; Wieland, Thomas; Greger, Liliana; van Iterson, Maarten; Almlöf, Jonas; Ribeca, Paolo; Pulyakhina, Irina; Esser, Daniela; Giger, Thomas; Tikhonov, Andrew; Sultan, Marc; Bertier, Gabrielle; MacArthur, Daniel G; Lek, Monkol; Lizano, Esther; Buermans, Henk PJ; Padioleau, Ismael; Schwarzmayr, Thomas; Karlberg, Olof; Ongen, Halit; Kilpinen, Helena; Beltran, Sergi; Gut, Marta; Kahlem, Katja; Amstislavskiy, Vyacheslav; Stegle, Oliver; Pirinen, Matti; Montgomery, Stephen B; Donnelly, Peter; McCarthy, Mark I; Flicek, Paul; Strom, Tim M; Lehrach, Hans; Schreiber, Stefan; Sudbrak, Ralf; Carracedo, Ángel; Antonarakis, Stylianos E; Häsler, Robert; Syvänen, Ann-Christine; van Ommen, Gert-Jan; Brazma, Alvis; Meitinger, Thomas; Rosenstiel, Philip; Guigó, Roderic; Gut, Ivo G; Estivill, Xavier; Dermitzakis, Emmanouil T

    2013-01-01

    Summary Genome sequencing projects are discovering millions of genetic variants in humans, and interpretation of their functional effects is essential for understanding the genetic basis of variation in human traits. Here we report sequencing and deep analysis of mRNA and miRNA from lymphoblastoid cell lines of 462 individuals from the 1000 Genomes Project – the first uniformly processed RNA-seq data from multiple human populations with high-quality genome sequences. We discovered extremely widespread genetic variation affecting regulation of the majority of genes, with transcript structure and expression level variation being equally common but genetically largely independent. Our characterization of causal regulatory variation sheds light on cellular mechanisms of regulatory and loss-of-function variation, and allowed us to infer putative causal variants for dozens of disease-associated loci. Altogether, this study provides a deep understanding of the cellular mechanisms of transcriptome variation and of the landscape of functional variants in the human genome. PMID:24037378

  14. Immunology taught by human genetics.

    PubMed

    Casanova, Jean-Laurent; Abel, Laurent; Quintana-Murci, Lluis

    2013-01-01

    Human genetic studies are rarely conducted for immunological purposes. Instead, they are typically driven by medical and evolutionary goals, such as understanding the predisposition or resistance to infectious or inflammatory diseases, the pathogenesis of such diseases, and human evolution in the context of the long-standing relationships between humans and their commensal and environmental microbes. However, the dissection of these experiments of Nature has also led to major immunological advances. In this review, we draw on some of the immunological lessons learned in the three branches of human molecular genetics most relevant to immunology: clinical genetics, epidemiological genetics, and evolutionary genetics. We argue that human genetics has become a new frontier not only for timely studies of specific features of human immunity, but also for defining general principles of immunity. These studies teach us about immunity as it occurs under "natural" conditions, through the transition from the almost complete wilderness that existed worldwide until about a century ago to the current unevenly distributed medically shaped environment. Hygiene, vaccines, antibiotics, and surgery have considerably decreased the burden of infection, but these interventions have been available only recently, so have yet to have a major impact on patterns of genomic diversity, making it possible to carry out unbiased evolutionary studies at the population level. Clinical genetic studies of childhood phenotypes have not been blurred by modern medicine either. Instead, medical advances have actually facilitated such studies, by making it possible for children with life-threatening infections to survive. In addition, the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases have increased life expectancy at birth from ∼20 yr to ∼80 yr, providing unique opportunities to study the genetic basis of immunological phenomena against which there is no natural counterselection, such as

  15. Antigenic variation: Molecular and genetic mechanisms of relapsing disease

    SciTech Connect

    Cruse, J.M.; Lewis, R.E.

    1987-01-01

    This book contains 10 chapters. They are: Contemporary Concepts of Antigenic Variation; Antigenic Variation in the Influenza Viruses; Mechanisms of Escape of Visna Lentiviruses from Immunological Control; A Review of Antigenic Variation by the Equine Infectious Anemia Virus; Biologic and Molecular Variations in AIDS Retrovirus Isolates; Rabies Virus Infection: Genetic Mutations and the Impact on Viral Pathogenicity and Immunity; Immunobiology of Relapsing Fever; Antigenic Variation in African Trypanosomes; Antigenic Variation and Antigenic Diversity in Malaria; and Mechanisms of Immune Evasion in Schistosomiasis.

  16. Genetic variation in resistance to ionizing radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Ayala, F.J.

    1991-06-24

    We proposed an investigation of genetically-determined individual differences in sensitivity to ionizing radiation. The model organism is Drosophila melanogaster. The gene coding for Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD) is the target locus, but the effects of variation in other components of the genome that modulate SOD levels are also taken into account. SOD scavenges oxygen radicals generated during exposure to ionizing radiation. It has been shown to protect against ionizing radiation damage to DNA, viruses, bacteria, mammalian cells, whole mice, and Drosophila. Two alleles, S and F, are commonly found in natural populations of D. melanogaster; in addition we have isolated from a natural population null'' (CA1) mutant that yields only 3.5% of normal SOD activity. The S, F, and CA1 alleles provide an ideal model system to investigate SOD-dependent radioresistance, because each allele yields different levels of SOD, so that S > F >> CA1. The roles of SOD level in radioresistance are being investigated in a series of experiments that measure the somatic and germ-line effects of increasing doses of ionizing radiation. In addition, we have pursued an unexpected genetic event-namely the nearly simultaneous transformation of several lines homozygous for the SOD null'' allele into predominately S lines. Using specifically designed probes and DNA amplification by means of the Tag polymerase chain reaction (PCR) we have shown that (1) the null allele was still present in the transformed lines, but was being gradually replaced by the S allele as a consequence of natural selection; and (2) that the transformation was due to the spontaneous deletion of a 0.68 Kb truncated P-element, the insertion of which is characteristic of the CA1 null allele.

  17. Genetic variation amongst biotypes of Dactylopius tomentosus.

    PubMed

    Mathenge, Catherine W; Riegler, Markus; Beattie, G Andrew C; Spooner-Hart, Robert N; Holford, Paul

    2015-03-01

    The tomentose cochineal scale insect, Dactylopius tomentosus (Lamarck) (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae), is an important biological control agent against invasive species of Cylindropuntia (Caryophyllales: Cactaceae). Recent studies have demonstrated that this scale is composed of host-affiliated biotypes with differential host specificity and fitness on particular host species. We investigated genetic variation and phylogenetic relationships among D. tomentosus biotypes and provenances to examine the possibility that genetic diversity may be related to their host-use pattern, and whether their phylogenetic relationships would give insights into taxonomic relatedness of their host plants. Nucleotide sequence comparison was accomplished using sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) gene. Sequences of individuals from the same host plant within a region were identical and characterized by a unique haplotype. Individuals belonging to the same biotype but from different regions had similar haplotypes. However, haplotypes were not shared between different biotypes. Phylogenetic analysis grouped the monophyletic D. tomentosus into 3 well-resolved clades of biotypes. The phylogenetic relationships and clustering of biotypes corresponded with known taxonomic relatedness of their hosts. Two biotypes, Fulgida and Mamillata, tested positive for Wolbachia (α-Proteobacteria), a common endosymbiont of insects. The Wolbachia sequences were serendipitously detected by using insect-specific COI DNA barcoding primers and are most similar to Wolbachia Supergroup F strains. This study is the first molecular characterization of cochineal biotypes that, together with Wolbachia sequences, contribute to the better identification of the biotypes of cochineal insects and to the biological control of cacti using host-specific biotypes of the scale. PMID:24619863

  18. Human cooperation in groups: variation begets variation

    PubMed Central

    Berg, Pieter van den; Molleman, Lucas; Junikka, Jaakko; Puurtinen, Mikael; Weissing, Franz J.

    2015-01-01

    Many experiments on human cooperation have revealed that individuals differ systematically in their tendency to cooperate with others. It has also been shown that individuals condition their behaviour on the overall cooperation level of their peers. Yet, little is known about how individuals respond to heterogeneity in cooperativeness in their neighbourhood. Here, we present an experimental study investigating whether and how people respond to heterogeneous behaviour in a public goods game. We find that a large majority of subjects does respond to heterogeneity in their group, but they respond in quite different ways. Most subjects contribute less to the public good when the contributions of their peers are more heterogeneous, but a substantial fraction of individuals consistently contributes more in this case. In addition, we find that individuals that respond positively to heterogeneity have a higher general cooperation tendency. The finding that social responsiveness occurs in different forms and is correlated with cooperativeness may have important implications for the outcome of cooperative interactions. PMID:26531770

  19. Genetic & epigenetic approach to human obesity

    PubMed Central

    Rao, K. Rajender; Lal, Nirupama; Giridharan, N.V.

    2014-01-01

    Obesity is an important clinical and public health challenge, epitomized by excess adipose tissue accumulation resulting from an imbalance in energy intake and energy expenditure. It is a forerunner for a variety of other diseases such as type-2-diabetes (T2D), cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer, stroke, hyperlipidaemia and can be fatal leading to premature death. Obesity is highly heritable and arises from the interplay of multiple genes and environmental factors. Recent advancements in Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have shown important steps towards identifying genetic risks and identification of genetic markers for lifestyle diseases, especially for a metabolic disorder like obesity. According to the 12th Update of Human Obesity Gene Map there are 253 quantity trait loci (QTL) for obesity related phenotypes from 61 genome wide scan studies. Contribution of genetic propensity of individual ethnic and racial variations in obesity is an active area of research. Further, understanding its complexity as to how these variations could influence ones susceptibility to become or remain obese will lead us to a greater understanding of how obesity occurs and hopefully, how to prevent and treat this condition. In this review, various strategies adapted for such an analysis based on the recent advances in genome wide and functional variations in human obesity are discussed. PMID:25579139

  20. Genetic & epigenetic approach to human obesity.

    PubMed

    Rao, K Rajender; Lal, Nirupama; Giridharan, N V

    2014-11-01

    Obesity is an important clinical and public health challenge, epitomized by excess adipose tissue accumulation resulting from an imbalance in energy intake and energy expenditure. It is a forerunner for a variety of other diseases such as type-2-diabetes (T2D), cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer, stroke, hyperlipidaemia and can be fatal leading to premature death. Obesity is highly heritable and arises from the interplay of multiple genes and environmental factors. Recent advancements in Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have shown important steps towards identifying genetic risks and identification of genetic markers for lifestyle diseases, especially for a metabolic disorder like obesity. According to the 12th Update of Human Obesity Gene Map there are 253 quantity trait loci (QTL) for obesity related phenotypes from 61 genome wide scan studies. Contribution of genetic propensity of individual ethnic and racial variations in obesity is an active area of research. Further, understanding its complexity as to how these variations could influence ones susceptibility to become or remain obese will lead us to a greater understanding of how obesity occurs and hopefully, how to prevent and treat this condition. In this review, various strategies adapted for such an analysis based on the recent advances in genome wide and functional variations in human obesity are discussed. PMID:25579139

  1. DNA diagnosis of human genetic individuality.

    PubMed

    Pena, S D; Prado, V F; Epplen, J T

    1995-11-01

    DNA studies of the human genome have shown polymorphic variation at thousands of sites, defining an absolute genetic uniqueness for each individual. There are many circumstances in which it may be desirable to diagnose this molecular individuality, as for instance, in criminal investigations or paternity testing. Several techniques can be used for this DNA diagnosis and we can choose among them the one that best suits the specific problem at hand. In this review we describe the main methodologies in current use to investigate human DNA polymorphisms, discussing the best application of each option, as well as their advantages and disadvantages. PMID:8751139

  2. Fatty acid metabolism: Implications for diet, genetic variation, and disease

    PubMed Central

    Suburu, Janel; Gu, Zhennan; Chen, Haiqin; Chen, Wei; Zhang, Hao; Chen, Yong Q.

    2014-01-01

    Cultures across the globe, especially Western societies, are burdened by chronic diseases such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Several factors, including diet, genetics, and sedentary lifestyle, are suspected culprits to the development and progression of these health maladies. Fatty acids are primary constituents of cellular physiology. Humans can acquire fatty acids by de novo synthesis from carbohydrate or protein sources or by dietary consumption. Importantly, regulation of their metabolism is critical to sustain balanced homeostasis, and perturbations of such can lead to the development of disease. Here, we review de novo and dietary fatty acid metabolism and highlight recent advances in our understanding of the relationship between dietary influences and genetic variation in fatty acid metabolism and their role in chronic diseases. PMID:24511462

  3. Genetic variation in resistance to ionizing radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Ayala, F.J.

    1990-01-01

    We proposed an investigation of genetically-determined individual differences in sensitivity to ionizing radiation. The model organism is Drosophila melanogaster. The gene coding for Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD) is the target locus, but the effects of variation in other components of the genome that modulate SOD levels are also taken into account. SOD scavenges oxygen radicals generated during exposure to ionizing radiation. It has been shown to protect against ionizing radiation damage to DNA, viruses, bacteria, mammalian cells, whole mice, and Drosophila. Two alleles, S and F, are commonly found in natural populations of D. melanogaster; in addition we have isolated from a natural population of null'' (CA1) mutant that yields only 3.5% of normal SOD activity. The S, F, and CA1 alleles provide an ideal model system to investigate SOD-dependent radioresistance, because each allele yields different levels of SOD, so that S > F >> CA1. The role of SOD levels in radioresistance are being investigated in a series of experiments that measure the somatic and germ-line effects of increasing doses of ionizing radiation. During the first seven months of funding we have completed a number of experiments and are proceeding with many others. We have made progress along all the research lines anticipated for the first year of this grant, as summarized in the following pages.

  4. Genetic variation and geographic distribution of megalocytiviruses.

    PubMed

    Song, Jun-Young; Kitamura, Shin-Ichi; Jung, Sung-Ju; Miyadai, Toshiaki; Tanaka, Shinji; Fukuda, Yutaka; Kim, Seok-Ryel; Oh, Myung-Joo

    2008-02-01

    Viruses belonging to the genus Megalocytivirus in the family Iridoviridae have caused mass mortalities in marine and freshwater fish in Asian countries. In this study, partial major capsid protein (MCP) gene of seven Japanese and six Korean megalocytiviruses was sequenced and compared with the known megalocytiviruses to evaluate genetic variation and geographic distribution of the viruses. Comparison of MCP gene nucleotide sequences revealed sequence identity of 92.8% or greater among these 48 isolates. A phylogenetic tree clearly revealed three clusters: genotype I including nine Japanese isolates, thirteen Korean isolates, one Chinese isolates, one Thailand isolate and one South China Sea isolate; genotype II including five freshwater fish isolates in Southeast Asian countries and Australia; and the remaining genotype III mainly consisted of flatfish isolate in Korea and China. This suggests that viruses belonging to the genotype I widely distribute among various fish species in many Asian countries. Conversely, the epidemic viruses belonged to genotype II and III are may be still locally spreading and constrained in their prevalence to the limited host fish species, i.e., genotype II viruses mainly distribute in Southeast Asian countries, whereas genotype III viruses distribute in flatfish species in Korea and China.

  5. Comparative RNA sequencing reveals substantial genetic variation in endangered primates

    PubMed Central

    Perry, George H.; Melsted, Páll; Marioni, John C.; Wang, Ying; Bainer, Russell; Pickrell, Joseph K.; Michelini, Katelyn; Zehr, Sarah; Yoder, Anne D.; Stephens, Matthew; Pritchard, Jonathan K.; Gilad, Yoav

    2012-01-01

    Comparative genomic studies in primates have yielded important insights into the evolutionary forces that shape genetic diversity and revealed the likely genetic basis for certain species-specific adaptations. To date, however, these studies have focused on only a small number of species. For the majority of nonhuman primates, including some of the most critically endangered, genome-level data are not yet available. In this study, we have taken the first steps toward addressing this gap by sequencing RNA from the livers of multiple individuals from each of 16 mammalian species, including humans and 11 nonhuman primates. Of the nonhuman primate species, five are lemurs and two are lorisoids, for which little or no genomic data were previously available. To analyze these data, we developed a method for de novo assembly and alignment of orthologous gene sequences across species. We assembled an average of 5721 gene sequences per species and characterized diversity and divergence of both gene sequences and gene expression levels. We identified patterns of variation that are consistent with the action of positive or directional selection, including an 18-fold enrichment of peroxisomal genes among genes whose regulation likely evolved under directional selection in the ancestral primate lineage. Importantly, we found no relationship between genetic diversity and endangered status, with the two most endangered species in our study, the black and white ruffed lemur and the Coquerel's sifaka, having the highest genetic diversity among all primates. Our observations imply that many endangered lemur populations still harbor considerable genetic variation. Timely efforts to conserve these species alongside their habitats have, therefore, strong potential to achieve long-term success. PMID:22207615

  6. The African Genome Variation Project shapes medical genetics in Africa.

    PubMed

    Gurdasani, Deepti; Carstensen, Tommy; Tekola-Ayele, Fasil; Pagani, Luca; Tachmazidou, Ioanna; Hatzikotoulas, Konstantinos; Karthikeyan, Savita; Iles, Louise; Pollard, Martin O; Choudhury, Ananyo; Ritchie, Graham R S; Xue, Yali; Asimit, Jennifer; Nsubuga, Rebecca N; Young, Elizabeth H; Pomilla, Cristina; Kivinen, Katja; Rockett, Kirk; Kamali, Anatoli; Doumatey, Ayo P; Asiki, Gershim; Seeley, Janet; Sisay-Joof, Fatoumatta; Jallow, Muminatou; Tollman, Stephen; Mekonnen, Ephrem; Ekong, Rosemary; Oljira, Tamiru; Bradman, Neil; Bojang, Kalifa; Ramsay, Michele; Adeyemo, Adebowale; Bekele, Endashaw; Motala, Ayesha; Norris, Shane A; Pirie, Fraser; Kaleebu, Pontiano; Kwiatkowski, Dominic; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Rotimi, Charles; Zeggini, Eleftheria; Sandhu, Manjinder S

    2015-01-15

    Given the importance of Africa to studies of human origins and disease susceptibility, detailed characterization of African genetic diversity is needed. The African Genome Variation Project provides a resource with which to design, implement and interpret genomic studies in sub-Saharan Africa and worldwide. The African Genome Variation Project represents dense genotypes from 1,481 individuals and whole-genome sequences from 320 individuals across sub-Saharan Africa. Using this resource, we find novel evidence of complex, regionally distinct hunter-gatherer and Eurasian admixture across sub-Saharan Africa. We identify new loci under selection, including loci related to malaria susceptibility and hypertension. We show that modern imputation panels (sets of reference genotypes from which unobserved or missing genotypes in study sets can be inferred) can identify association signals at highly differentiated loci across populations in sub-Saharan Africa. Using whole-genome sequencing, we demonstrate further improvements in imputation accuracy, strengthening the case for large-scale sequencing efforts of diverse African haplotypes. Finally, we present an efficient genotype array design capturing common genetic variation in Africa.

  7. The African Genome Variation Project shapes medical genetics in Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurdasani, Deepti; Carstensen, Tommy; Tekola-Ayele, Fasil; Pagani, Luca; Tachmazidou, Ioanna; Hatzikotoulas, Konstantinos; Karthikeyan, Savita; Iles, Louise; Pollard, Martin O.; Choudhury, Ananyo; Ritchie, Graham R. S.; Xue, Yali; Asimit, Jennifer; Nsubuga, Rebecca N.; Young, Elizabeth H.; Pomilla, Cristina; Kivinen, Katja; Rockett, Kirk; Kamali, Anatoli; Doumatey, Ayo P.; Asiki, Gershim; Seeley, Janet; Sisay-Joof, Fatoumatta; Jallow, Muminatou; Tollman, Stephen; Mekonnen, Ephrem; Ekong, Rosemary; Oljira, Tamiru; Bradman, Neil; Bojang, Kalifa; Ramsay, Michele; Adeyemo, Adebowale; Bekele, Endashaw; Motala, Ayesha; Norris, Shane A.; Pirie, Fraser; Kaleebu, Pontiano; Kwiatkowski, Dominic; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Rotimi, Charles; Zeggini, Eleftheria; Sandhu, Manjinder S.

    2015-01-01

    Given the importance of Africa to studies of human origins and disease susceptibility, detailed characterization of African genetic diversity is needed. The African Genome Variation Project provides a resource with which to design, implement and interpret genomic studies in sub-Saharan Africa and worldwide. The African Genome Variation Project represents dense genotypes from 1,481 individuals and whole-genome sequences from 320 individuals across sub-Saharan Africa. Using this resource, we find novel evidence of complex, regionally distinct hunter-gatherer and Eurasian admixture across sub-Saharan Africa. We identify new loci under selection, including loci related to malaria susceptibility and hypertension. We show that modern imputation panels (sets of reference genotypes from which unobserved or missing genotypes in study sets can be inferred) can identify association signals at highly differentiated loci across populations in sub-Saharan Africa. Using whole-genome sequencing, we demonstrate further improvements in imputation accuracy, strengthening the case for large-scale sequencing efforts of diverse African haplotypes. Finally, we present an efficient genotype array design capturing common genetic variation in Africa.

  8. The role of mutation in genetic copy number variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, B. K.; Weidner, Jacob; Wabick, Kevin

    2010-03-01

    Until very recently, the standard model of DNA included two genes for each trait. This dated model has given way to a model that includes copies of some genes well in excess of the canonical two. Copy number variations in the human genome play critical roles in causing or aggravating a number of syndromes and diseases while providing increased resistance to others. We explore the role of mutation, crossover, inversion, and reproduction in determining copy number variations in a numerical simulation of a population. The numerical model consists of a population of individuals, where each individual is represented by a single strand of DNA with the same number of genes. Each gene is initially assigned to one of two traits. Fitness of the individual is determined by the two most fit genes for trait one, and trait two genetic material is treated as a reservoir of junk DNA. After a sufficient number of generations, during which the genetic distribution is allowed to reach a steady-state, the mean number of genes per trait and the copy number variation are recorded. Here, we focus on the role of mutation and compare simulation results to theory.

  9. Ploidy Variation and Genetic Diversity in Dichroa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent evidence suggests a close genetic relationship between Hydrangea macrophylla and D. febrifuga, which supports previous morphological and DNA sequence data. This relationship was confirmed by the production of fertile intergeneric hybrids. Here we characterize the genetic diversity of availab...

  10. Microsatellite analysis of genetic variation in black bear populations.

    PubMed

    Paetkau, D; Strobeck, C

    1994-10-01

    Measuring levels of genetic variation is an important aspect of conservation genetics. The informativeness of such measurements is related to the variability of the genetic markers used; a particular concern in species, such as bears, which are characterized by low levels of genetic variation resulting from low population densities and small effective population sizes. We describe the development of microsatellite analysis in bears and its use in assessing interpopulation differences in genetic variation in black bears from three Canadian National Parks. These markers are highly variable and allowed identification of dramatic differences in both distribution and amount of variation between populations. Low levels of variation were observed in a population from the Island of Newfoundland. The significance of interpopulation differences in variability was tested using a likelihood ratio test of estimates of theta = 4Ne mu.

  11. Genetic variation in retinal vascular patterning predicts variation in pial collateral extent and stroke severity.

    PubMed

    Prabhakar, Pranay; Zhang, Hua; Chen, De; Faber, James E

    2015-01-01

    The presence of a native collateral circulation in tissues lessens injury in occlusive vascular diseases. However, differences in genetic background cause wide variation in collateral number and diameter in mice, resulting in large variation in protection. Indirect estimates of collateral perfusion suggest that wide variation also exists in humans. Unfortunately, methods used to obtain these estimates are invasive and not widely available. We sought to determine whether differences in genetic background in mice result in variation in branch patterning of the retinal arterial circulation, and whether these differences predict strain-dependent differences in pial collateral extent and severity of ischemic stroke. Retinal patterning metrics, collateral extent, and infarct volume were obtained for 10 strains known to differ widely in collateral extent. Multivariate regression was conducted, and model performance was assessed using K-fold cross-validation. Twenty-one metrics varied with strain (p<0.01). Ten metrics (e.g., bifurcation angle, lacunarity, optimality) predicted collateral number and diameter across seven regression models, with the best model closely predicting (p<0.0001) number (±1.2-3.4 collaterals, K-fold R2=0.83-0.98), diameter (±1.2-1.9 μm, R2=0.73-0.88), and infarct volume (±5.1 mm3, R2=0.85-0.87). An analogous set of the most predictive metrics, obtained for the middle cerebral artery (MCA) tree in a subset of the above strains, also predicted (p<0.0001) collateral number (±3.3 collaterals, K-fold R2=0.78) and diameter (±1.6 μm, R2=0.86). Thus, differences in arterial branch patterning in the retina and the MCA trees are specified by genetic background and predict variation in collateral extent and stroke severity. If also true in human, and since genetic variation in cerebral collaterals extends to other tissues at least in mice, a similar "retinal predictor index" could serve as a non- or minimally invasive biomarker for collateral extent in

  12. Size variation in Middle Pleistocene humans.

    PubMed

    Arsuaga, J L; Carretero, J M; Lorenzo, C; Gracia, A; Martínez, I; Bermúdez de Castro, J M; Carbonell, E

    1997-08-22

    It has been suggested that European Middle Pleistocene humans, Neandertals, and prehistoric modern humans had a greater sexual dimorphism than modern humans. Analysis of body size variation and cranial capacity variation in the large sample from the Sima de los Huesos site in Spain showed instead that the sexual dimorphism is comparable in Middle Pleistocene and modern populations. PMID:9262474

  13. Anatomy, Medical Education, and Human Ancestral Variation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strkalj, Goran; Spocter, Muhammad A.; Wilkinson, A. Tracey

    2011-01-01

    It is argued in this article that the human body both in health and disease cannot be fully understood without adequately accounting for the different levels of human variation. The article focuses on variation due to ancestry, arguing that the inclusion of information pertaining to ancestry in human anatomy teaching materials and courses should…

  14. Human heart rate: Heritability of resting and stress values in twin pairs, and influence of genetic variation in the adrenergic pathway at a micro-RNA motif in the 3’-UTR of cytochrome b561 (CYB561)

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Kuixing; Deacon, Dekker C.; Rao, Fangwen; Schork, Andrew J.; Fung, Maple M.; Waalen, Jill; Schork, Nicholas J.; Nievergelt, Caroline M.; Chi, Neil C.; O'Connor, Daniel T.

    2013-01-01

    Objective To understand the role of genetic variation in the catecholamine biosynthetic pathway for control of human heart rate (HR). Background Human HR is an integrated cardiovascular trait predictive of morbidity and survival. Since the autonomic pathway exerts rapid control over the heart, we probed the role of heredity in control of HR, focusing on a component of the autonomic sympathetic pathway already predictive of outflow responses: Cytochrome b561 (CYB561), the electron shuttle in catecholamine vesicle membranes for transmitter biosynthesis. Methods We studied hereditary control of HR with the twin pair design, at rest and during environmental (cold) stress. SNP disruption of a micro-RNA recognition motif in the human CYB561 3’-UTR was identified computationally, and its differential effect on gene expression was demonstrated in a transfected luciferase reporter / 3’-UTR variant. We exposed of stem-cell-derived human embryoid bodies to the micro-RNA mimic or antagomir oligonucleotides, and observed effects on contraction rate in proto-hearts. Results Substantial heritability (h2) was demonstrated, by twin pair variance components, for both basal/resting HR (h2=50.9±6.4% of trait variation, p=2.47E-10) and stress-augmented HR (h2=55.1±5.9%, p=8.79E-13), and the two HR traits shared genetic determination (genetic covariance ρG=0.747±0.058, p=2.85E-09). CYB561 displayed one common genetic variant in the transcript region: A+1485G (rs3087776), in the 3’-UTR, 1485 bp downstream of the termination codon, in a conserved region, with the A-allele ancestral in primates. In a twin/sibling sample (n=576), A+1485G influenced HR, both at rest (p=0.010) and after environmental stress (p=0.002), with the minor (A) allele displaying a recessive effect with lower HR. The effect of A+1485G on HR was extended by meta-analysis into two additional population samples (total n=2579), and the influence remained directionally consistent and significant (p=0.007). A+1485

  15. Genetic similarities within and between human populations.

    PubMed

    Witherspoon, D J; Wooding, S; Rogers, A R; Marchani, E E; Watkins, W S; Batzer, M A; Jorde, L B

    2007-05-01

    The proportion of human genetic variation due to differences between populations is modest, and individuals from different populations can be genetically more similar than individuals from the same population. Yet sufficient genetic data can permit accurate classification of individuals into populations. Both findings can be obtained from the same data set, using the same number of polymorphic loci. This article explains why. Our analysis focuses on the frequency, omega, with which a pair of random individuals from two different populations is genetically more similar than a pair of individuals randomly selected from any single population. We compare omega to the error rates of several classification methods, using data sets that vary in number of loci, average allele frequency, populations sampled, and polymorphism ascertainment strategy. We demonstrate that classification methods achieve higher discriminatory power than omega because of their use of aggregate properties of populations. The number of loci analyzed is the most critical variable: with 100 polymorphisms, accurate classification is possible, but omega remains sizable, even when using populations as distinct as sub-Saharan Africans and Europeans. Phenotypes controlled by a dozen or fewer loci can therefore be expected to show substantial overlap between human populations. This provides empirical justification for caution when using population labels in biomedical settings, with broad implications for personalized medicine, pharmacogenetics, and the meaning of race.

  16. Genetics of human metabolism: an update

    PubMed Central

    Kastenmüller, Gabi; Raffler, Johannes; Gieger, Christian; Suhre, Karsten

    2015-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies with metabolomics (mGWAS) identify genetically influenced metabotypes (GIMs), their ensemble defining the heritable part of every human's metabolic individuality. Knowledge of genetic variation in metabolism has many applications of biomedical and pharmaceutical interests, including the functional understanding of genetic associations with clinical end points, design of strategies to correct dysregulations in metabolic disorders and the identification of genetic effect modifiers of metabolic disease biomarkers. Furthermore, it has been shown that GIMs provide testable hypotheses for functional genomics and metabolomics and for the identification of novel gene functions and metabolite identities. mGWAS with growing sample sizes and increasingly complex metabolic trait panels are being conducted, allowing for more comprehensive and systems-based downstream analyses. The generated large datasets of genetic associations can now be mined by the biomedical research community and provide valuable resources for hypothesis-driven studies. In this review, we provide a brief summary of the key aspects of mGWAS, followed by an update of recently published mGWAS. We then discuss new approaches of integrating and exploring mGWAS results and finish by presenting selected applications of GIMs in recent studies. PMID:26160913

  17. Introducing High School Students to Human Genetics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haddow, Paula K.; And Others

    1988-01-01

    Considers six key concepts in human genetics in a question-and-answer format designed to help guide students to an understanding of the concept. Lists eight workshops in human genetics for high school biology teachers and four curriculum material packages on human genetics. (CW)

  18. Folk beliefs about genetic variation predict avoidance of biracial individuals

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Sonia K.; Plaks, Jason E.; Remedios, Jessica D.

    2015-01-01

    People give widely varying estimates for the amount of genetic overlap that exists between humans. While some laypeople believe that humans are highly genetically similar to one another, others believe that humans share very little genetic overlap. These studies examine how beliefs about genetic overlap affect neural and evaluative reactions to racially-ambiguous and biracial targets. In Study 1, we found that lower genetic overlap estimates predicted a stronger neural avoidance response to biracial compared to monoracial targets. In Study 2, we found that lower genetic overlap estimates predicted longer response times to classify biracial (vs. monoracial) faces into racial categories. In Study 3, we manipulated genetic overlap beliefs and found that participants in the low overlap condition explicitly rated biracial targets more negatively than those in the high overlap condition. Taken together, these data suggest that genetic overlap beliefs influence perceivers’ processing fluency and evaluation of biracial and racially-ambiguous individuals. PMID:25904875

  19. Propagation of genetic variation in gene regulatory networks

    PubMed Central

    Plahte, Erik; Gjuvsland, Arne B.; Omholt, Stig W.

    2013-01-01

    A future quantitative genetics theory should link genetic variation to phenotypic variation in a causally cohesive way based on how genes actually work and interact. We provide a theoretical framework for predicting and understanding the manifestation of genetic variation in haploid and diploid regulatory networks with arbitrary feedback structures and intra-locus and inter-locus functional dependencies. Using results from network and graph theory, we define propagation functions describing how genetic variation in a locus is propagated through the network, and show how their derivatives are related to the network’s feedback structure. Similarly, feedback functions describe the effect of genotypic variation of a locus on itself, either directly or mediated by the network. A simple sign rule relates the sign of the derivative of the feedback function of any locus to the feedback loops involving that particular locus. We show that the sign of the phenotypically manifested interaction between alleles at a diploid locus is equal to the sign of the dominant feedback loop involving that particular locus, in accordance with recent results for a single locus system. Our results provide tools by which one can use observable equilibrium concentrations of gene products to disclose structural properties of the network architecture. Our work is a step towards a theory capable of explaining the pleiotropy and epistasis features of genetic variation in complex regulatory networks as functions of regulatory anatomy and functional location of the genetic variation. PMID:23997378

  20. Propagation of genetic variation in gene regulatory networks.

    PubMed

    Plahte, Erik; Gjuvsland, Arne B; Omholt, Stig W

    2013-08-01

    A future quantitative genetics theory should link genetic variation to phenotypic variation in a causally cohesive way based on how genes actually work and interact. We provide a theoretical framework for predicting and understanding the manifestation of genetic variation in haploid and diploid regulatory networks with arbitrary feedback structures and intra-locus and inter-locus functional dependencies. Using results from network and graph theory, we define propagation functions describing how genetic variation in a locus is propagated through the network, and show how their derivatives are related to the network's feedback structure. Similarly, feedback functions describe the effect of genotypic variation of a locus on itself, either directly or mediated by the network. A simple sign rule relates the sign of the derivative of the feedback function of any locus to the feedback loops involving that particular locus. We show that the sign of the phenotypically manifested interaction between alleles at a diploid locus is equal to the sign of the dominant feedback loop involving that particular locus, in accordance with recent results for a single locus system. Our results provide tools by which one can use observable equilibrium concentrations of gene products to disclose structural properties of the network architecture. Our work is a step towards a theory capable of explaining the pleiotropy and epistasis features of genetic variation in complex regulatory networks as functions of regulatory anatomy and functional location of the genetic variation.

  1. Adaptive genetic variation and heart disease risk

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Purpose of review: Obesity, dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease are complex and determined by both genetic and environmental factors and their interrelationships. Many associations from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and candidate gene approaches have described a multitude of polymorphis...

  2. Molecular Darwinism: the contingency of spontaneous genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Arber, Werner

    2011-01-01

    The availability of spontaneously occurring genetic variants is an important driving force of biological evolution. Largely thanks to experimental investigations by microbial geneticists, we know today that several different molecular mechanisms contribute to the overall genetic variations. These mechanisms can be assigned to three natural strategies to generate genetic variants: 1) local sequence changes, 2) intragenomic reshuffling of DNA segments, and 3) acquisition of a segment of foreign DNA. In these processes, specific gene products are involved in cooperation with different nongenetic elements. Some genetic variations occur fully at random along the DNA filaments, others rather with a statistical reproducibility, although at many possible sites. We have to be aware that evolution in natural ecosystems is of higher complexity than under most laboratory conditions, not at least in view of symbiotic associations and the occurrence of horizontal gene transfer. The encountered contingency of genetic variation can possibly best ensure a long-term persistence of life under steadily changing living conditions.

  3. [Genetic Bases of Human Comorbidity].

    PubMed

    Puzyrev, V P

    2015-04-01

    In this review, the development of ideas focused on the phenomenon of disease combination (comorbidity) in humans is discussed. The genetic bases of the three forms of the phenomenon, comorbidity (syntropias), inverse comorbidity (dystropias), and comorbidity of Mendelian and multifactorial diseases, are analyzed. The results of personal genome-wide association studies of the genetic risk profile that may predispose an individual to cardiovascular disease continuum (CDC), including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia (CDC syntropy), as well as the results of bioinformatic analysis of common genes and the networks of molecular interactions for two (bronchial asthma and pulmonary tuberculosis) diseases rarely found in one patient (dystropy), are presented. The importance of the diseasome and network medicine concepts in the study of comorbidity is emphasized. Promising areas in genomic studies of comorbidities for disease classification and the development of personalized medicine are designated.

  4. [Genetic Bases of Human Comorbidity].

    PubMed

    Puzyrev, V P

    2015-04-01

    In this review, the development of ideas focused on the phenomenon of disease combination (comorbidity) in humans is discussed. The genetic bases of the three forms of the phenomenon, comorbidity (syntropias), inverse comorbidity (dystropias), and comorbidity of Mendelian and multifactorial diseases, are analyzed. The results of personal genome-wide association studies of the genetic risk profile that may predispose an individual to cardiovascular disease continuum (CDC), including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia (CDC syntropy), as well as the results of bioinformatic analysis of common genes and the networks of molecular interactions for two (bronchial asthma and pulmonary tuberculosis) diseases rarely found in one patient (dystropy), are presented. The importance of the diseasome and network medicine concepts in the study of comorbidity is emphasized. Promising areas in genomic studies of comorbidities for disease classification and the development of personalized medicine are designated. PMID:26087624

  5. Heredity vs. Environment: The Effects of Genetic Variation with Age

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gourlay, N.

    1978-01-01

    Major problems in the field are presented through a brief review of Burt's work and a critical account of the Hawaiian and British schools of biometrical genetics. The merits and demerits of Christopher Jencks' study are also discussed. There follows an account of the principle of genetic variation with age, a new concept to the…

  6. Genetic variation in the east Midlands.

    PubMed

    Mastana, S S; Sokol, R J

    1998-01-01

    According to history, the population of the British Isles derives its genepool from a succession of invaders and immigrants. The settlement pattern of these invaders gave rise to a patchwork of genepools, shown in previous genetic surveys. Specimens from 1117 blood donors of regionally subdivided East Midlands (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire) were analysed for 18 conventional genetic systems (blood groups, serum proteins and red cell enzymes), according to place of residence. Significant differences exist among the five geographically defined sub-populations, and it is argued that these are derived from the historical settlement of continental European populations in the region, especially the Danes and the Vikings.

  7. [Cancer pharmacogenetics: study of genetically determined variations on cancer susceptibility due to xenobiotic exposure].

    PubMed

    Quiñones, Luis; Lee, Kuen; Varela F, Nelson; Escala, Mario; García, Karen; Godoy, Loreto; Castro, Andrés; Soto, Jorge; Saavedra, Iván; Cáceres, Dante

    2006-04-01

    Pharmacogenetics is the study of genetically determined variations in the response to drugs and toxic agents, and their implications on disease. Recently, the discipline has acquired great relevancy due to the development of non-invasive molecular techniques that identify genetic variants in human beings. There is also a need to explain the individual differences in susceptibility to drug actions and disease risk. Genetic variants can modify the magnitude of a pharmacologic effect, toxicity threshold, secondary effects and drug interactions. There are approximately thirty families of drug-metabolizing enzymes with genetic variants that cause functional alterations and variations in pharmacologic activity. We summarize the general knowledge about genetic variants of biotransformation enzymes, their relationship with cancer risk and the role of ethnicity. Cancer pharmacogenetics is another promising and exciting research area that will explain why people with an almost identical group of genes, have a different susceptibility to cancer, whose etiology has genetic and environmental components.

  8. The contribution of additive genetic variation to personality variation: heritability of personality.

    PubMed

    Dochtermann, Ned A; Schwab, Tori; Sih, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Individual animals frequently exhibit repeatable differences from other members of their population, differences now commonly referred to as 'animal personality'. Personality differences can arise, for example, from differences in permanent environmental effects--including parental and epigenetic contributors--and the effect of additive genetic variation. Although several studies have evaluated the heritability of behaviour, less is known about general patterns of heritability and additive genetic variation in animal personality. As overall variation in behaviour includes both the among-individual differences that reflect different personalities and temporary environmental effects, it is possible for personality to be largely genetically influenced even when heritability of behaviour per se is quite low. The relative contribution of additive genetic variation to personality variation can be estimated whenever both repeatability and heritability are estimated for the same data. Using published estimates to address this issue, we found that approximately 52% of animal personality variation was attributable to additive genetic variation. Thus, while the heritability of behaviour is often moderate or low, the heritability of personality is much higher. Our results therefore (i) demonstrate that genetic differences are likely to be a major contributor to variation in animal personality and (ii) support the phenotypic gambit: that evolutionary inferences drawn from repeatability estimates may often be justified.

  9. Human Genetics: Educational Resources for the Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greendale, Karen; And Others

    1982-01-01

    Potential sources of information and assistance on human genetics are identified, including a brief description of the National Clearinghouse for Human Genetic Diseases, genetic service centers, voluntary groups, state programs, commercial procedures, workshops, speakers, curriculum development aids, and general references. (DC)

  10. A joint history of the nature of genetic variation and the nature of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Kendler, K S

    2015-02-01

    This essay traces the history of concepts of genetic variation and schizophrenia from Darwin and Mendel to the present. For Darwin, the important form of genetic variation for evolution is continuous in nature and small in effect. Biometricians led by Pearson agreed and developed statistical genetic approaches utilizing trait correlations in relatives. Mendel studied discontinuous traits and subsequent Mendelians, led by Bateson, assumed that important genetic variation was large in effect producing discontinuous phenotypes. Although biometricians studied 'insanity', schizophrenia genetics under Kraepelin and Rüdin utilized Mendelian approaches congruent with their anatomical-clinical disease model of dementia praecox. Fisher showed, assuming many genes of small effect, Mendelian and Biometrical models were consilient. Echoing prior conflicts, psychiatric genetics since then has utilized both biometrical models, largely in twins, and Mendelian models, based on advancing molecular techniques. In 1968, Gottesman proposed a polygenic model for schizophrenia based on a threshold version of Fisher's theory. Since then, rigorous studies of the schizophrenia spectrum suggest that genetic risk for schizophrenia is more likely continuous than categorical. The last 5 years has seen increasingly convincing evidence from genome-wide association study (GWAS) and sequencing that genetic risk for schizophrenia is largely polygenic, and congruent with Fisher's and Gottesman's models. The gap between biometrical and molecular Mendelian models for schizophrenia has largely closed. The efforts to ground a categorical biomedical model of schizophrenia in Mendelian genetics have failed. The genetic risk for schizophrenia is widely distributed in human populations so that we all carry some degree of risk.

  11. A model for monitoring of Hsp90-buffered genetic variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozeko, Liudmyla

    Genetic material of terrestrial organisms can be considerably injured by cosmic rays and UV-radiation in the space environment. Organisms onboard are also exposed to the entire complex of negative physical factors which can generate genetic variations and affect morphogenesis. However, species phenotypes must be robust to genetic variation, requiring "buffering" systems to ensure normal development. The molecular chaperone Hsp90 can serve as such "a buffer". It is important in the maturation and conformational regulation of a diverse set of signal transducers. The requirement of many principal regulatory proteins for Hsp90 renders entire metabolic pathways sensitive to impairment of its function. So inhibition of Hsp90 function can open cryptic genetic variations and produce morphological changes. In this paper, we present a model for monitoring of cryptic Hsp90-buffered genetic variations arising during exposure to space and spaceflight factors. This model has been developed with Arabidopsis thaliana seeds gathered in natural habitats with high anthropogenic pressure and wild type (Col-0) seeds subjected to negative influences (UV, heavy metals) experimentally. The phenotypic traits of early seedlings grown under reduction of Hsp90 activity were characterized to estimate Hsp90-buffered genetic variations. Geldanamycin was used as an inhibitor of Hsp90 function.

  12. Multiple capacitors for natural genetic variation in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Kazuo H

    2013-03-01

    Cryptic genetic variation (CGV) or a standing genetic variation that is not ordinarily expressed as a phenotype is released when the robustness of organisms is impaired under environmental or genetic perturbations. Evolutionary capacitors modulate the amount of genetic variation exposed to natural selection and hidden cryptically; they have a fundamental effect on the evolvability of traits on evolutionary timescales. In this study, I have demonstrated the effects of multiple genomic regions of Drosophila melanogaster on CGV in wing shape. I examined the effects of 61 genomic deficiencies on quantitative and qualitative natural genetic variation in the wing shape of D. melanogaster. I have identified 10 genomic deficiencies that do not encompass a known candidate evolutionary capacitor, Hsp90, exposing natural CGV differently depending on the location of the deficiencies in the genome. Furthermore, five genomic deficiencies uncovered qualitative CGV in wing morphology. These findings suggest that CGV in wing shape of wild-type D. melanogaster is regulated by multiple capacitors with divergent functions. Future analysis of genes encompassed by these genomic regions would help elucidate novel capacitor genes and better understand the general features of capacitors regarding natural genetic variation.

  13. Patterns of genetic variation within and between Gibbon species.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sung K; Carbone, Lucia; Becquet, Celine; Mootnick, Alan R; Li, David Jiang; de Jong, Pieter J; Wall, Jeffrey D

    2011-08-01

    Gibbons are small, arboreal, highly endangered apes that are understudied compared with other hominoids. At present, there are four recognized genera and approximately 17 species, all likely to have diverged from each other within the last 5-6 My. Although the gibbon phylogeny has been investigated using various approaches (i.e., vocalization, morphology, mitochondrial DNA, karyotype, etc.), the precise taxonomic relationships are still highly debated. Here, we present the first survey of nuclear sequence variation within and between gibbon species with the goal of estimating basic population genetic parameters. We gathered ~60 kb of sequence data from a panel of 19 gibbons representing nine species and all four genera. We observe high levels of nucleotide diversity within species, indicative of large historical population sizes. In addition, we find low levels of genetic differentiation between species within a genus comparable to what has been estimated for human populations. This is likely due to ongoing or episodic gene flow between species, and we estimate a migration rate between Nomascus leucogenys and N. gabriellae of roughly one migrant every two generations. Together, our findings suggest that gibbons have had a complex demographic history involving hybridization or mixing between diverged populations.

  14. What makes a champion? Explaining variation in human athletic performance.

    PubMed

    Brutsaert, Tom D; Parra, Esteban J

    2006-04-28

    Variation in human athletic performance is determined by a complex interaction of socio-cultural, psychological, and proximate physiological factors. Human physiological trait variance has both an environmental and genetic basis, although the classic gene-environment dichotomy is clearly too simplistic to understand the full range of variation for most proximate determinants of athletic performance, e.g., body composition. In other words, gene and environment interact, not just over the short term, but also over the lifetime of an individual with permanent effects on the adult phenotype. To further complicate matters, gene and environment may also be correlated. That is, genetically gifted individuals may be identified as children and begin training pulmonary, cardiovascular, and muscle systems at an early critical age. This review covers evidence in support of a genetic basis to human athletic performance, with some emphasis on the recent explosion of candidate gene studies. In addition, the review covers environmental influences on athletic performance with an emphasis on irreversible environmental effects, i.e., developmental effects that may accrue during critical periods of development either before conception (epigenetic effects), during fetal life (fetal programming), or during childhood and adolescence. Throughout, we emphasize the importance of gene-environment interaction (G x E) as a means of understanding variation in human physiological performance and we promote studies that integrate genomics with developmental biology.

  15. Genetic variation in BEACON influences quantitative variation in metabolic syndrome-related phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Jowett, Jeremy B; Elliott, Kate S; Curran, Joanne E; Hunt, Nicola; Walder, Ken R; Collier, Greg R; Zimmet, Paul Z; Blangero, John

    2004-09-01

    The BEACON gene (also known as UBL5) was identified as differentially expressed between lean and obese Psammomys obesus, a polygenic animal model of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia. The human homologue of BEACON is located on chromosome 19p, a region likely to contain genes affecting metabolic syndrome-related quantitative traits as established by linkage studies. To assess whether the human BEACON gene may be involved in influencing these traits, we exhaustively analyzed the complete gene for genetic variation in 40 unrelated individuals and identified four variants (three novel). The two more common variants were tested for association with a number of quantitative metabolic syndrome-related traits in two large cohorts of unrelated individuals. Significant associations were found between these variants and fat mass (P = 0.026), percentage of fat (P = 0.001), and waist-to-hip ratio (P = 0.031). The same variants were also associated with total cholesterol (P = 0.024), LDL cholesterol (P = 0.019), triglycerides (P = 0.006), and postglucose load insulin levels (P = 0.018). Multivariate analysis of these correlated phenotypes also yielded a highly significant association (P = 0.0004), suggesting that BEACON may influence phenotypic variation in metabolic syndrome-related traits.

  16. Child externalizing behavior problems linked to genetic and non-genetic variation in dental caries.

    PubMed

    Lorber, Michael F; Smith Slep, Amy M; Heyman, Richard E; Bretz, Walter A

    2014-01-01

    The association of environmental and genetic variation in caries with child externalizing behavior problems (inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and defiance) was studied in a sample of 239 pairs of 3- to 8-year-old impoverished Brazilian twins. It was hypothesized that externalizing problems would show a stronger positive association with environmental than genetic variation in caries. Univariate twin models were estimated to parse variation in caries into three components: additive genetic (A), shared environment (C) and non-shared environment/error (E). Age-adjusted associations between externalizing problems and each variance component were tested. Contrary to the hypothesis, modest but very consistent negative associations were found between externalizing problems and both genetic and environmental variation in caries. Mutans streptococci and sweetness preference did not explain the negative associations of caries and externalizing problems. Externalizing problems in non-medicated children were associated with less dental decay that could be explained by both genetic and environmental factors.

  17. Child externalizing behavior problems linked to genetic and non-genetic variation in dental caries.

    PubMed

    Lorber, Michael F; Smith Slep, Amy M; Heyman, Richard E; Bretz, Walter A

    2014-01-01

    The association of environmental and genetic variation in caries with child externalizing behavior problems (inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and defiance) was studied in a sample of 239 pairs of 3- to 8-year-old impoverished Brazilian twins. It was hypothesized that externalizing problems would show a stronger positive association with environmental than genetic variation in caries. Univariate twin models were estimated to parse variation in caries into three components: additive genetic (A), shared environment (C) and non-shared environment/error (E). Age-adjusted associations between externalizing problems and each variance component were tested. Contrary to the hypothesis, modest but very consistent negative associations were found between externalizing problems and both genetic and environmental variation in caries. Mutans streptococci and sweetness preference did not explain the negative associations of caries and externalizing problems. Externalizing problems in non-medicated children were associated with less dental decay that could be explained by both genetic and environmental factors. PMID:24852763

  18. Genetic variation in niche construction: implications for development and evolutionary genetics.

    PubMed

    Saltz, Julia B; Nuzhdin, Sergey V

    2014-01-01

    Niche construction occurs when the traits of an organism influence the environment that it experiences. Research has focused on niche-constructing traits that are fixed within populations or species. However, evidence increasingly demonstrates that niche-constructing traits vary among genotypes within populations. Here, we consider the potential implications of genetic variation in niche construction for evolutionary genetics. Specifically, genetic variation in niche-constructing traits creates a correlation between genotype and environment. Because the environment influences which genes and genetic interactions underlie trait variation, genetic variation in niche construction can alter inferences about the heritability, pleiotropy, and epistasis of traits that are phenotypically plastic. The effects of niche construction on these key evolutionary parameters further suggest novel ways by which niche construction can influence evolution.

  19. Genetic and epigenetic variation in the lineage specification of regulatory T cells.

    PubMed

    Arvey, Aaron; van der Veeken, Joris; Plitas, George; Rich, Stephen S; Concannon, Patrick; Rudensky, Alexander Y

    2015-10-28

    Regulatory T (Treg) cells, which suppress autoimmunity and other inflammatory states, are characterized by a distinct set of genetic elements controlling their gene expression. However, the extent of genetic and associated epigenetic variation in the Treg cell lineage and its possible relation to disease states in humans remain unknown. We explored evolutionary conservation of regulatory elements and natural human inter-individual epigenetic variation in Treg cells to identify the core transcriptional control program of lineage specification. Analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms in core lineage-specific enhancers revealed disease associations, which were further corroborated by high-resolution genotyping to fine map causal polymorphisms in lineage-specific enhancers. Our findings suggest that a small set of regulatory elements specify the Treg lineage and that genetic variation in Treg cell-specific enhancers may alter Treg cell function contributing to polygenic disease.

  20. Evolutionary response when selection and genetic variation covary across environments.

    PubMed

    Wood, Corlett W; Brodie, Edmund D

    2016-10-01

    Although models of evolution usually assume that the strength of selection on a trait and the expression of genetic variation in that trait are independent, whenever the same ecological factor impacts both parameters, a correlation between the two may arise that accelerates trait evolution in some environments and slows it in others. Here, we address the evolutionary consequences and ecological causes of a correlation between selection and expressed genetic variation. Using a simple analytical model, we show that the correlation has a modest effect on the mean evolutionary response and a large effect on its variance, increasing among-population or among-generation variation in the response when positive, and diminishing variation when negative. We performed a literature review to identify the ecological factors that influence selection and expressed genetic variation across traits. We found that some factors - temperature and competition - are unlikely to generate the correlation because they affected one parameter more than the other, and identified others - most notably, environmental novelty - that merit further investigation because little is known about their impact on one of the two parameters. We argue that the correlation between selection and genetic variation deserves attention alongside other factors that promote or constrain evolution in heterogeneous landscapes. PMID:27531600

  1. The impact of human copy number variation on gene expression

    PubMed Central

    Gamazon, Eric R.

    2015-01-01

    Recent years have witnessed a flurry of important technological and methodological developments in the discovery and analysis of copy number variations (CNVs), which are increasingly enabling the systematic evaluation of their impact on a broad range of phenotypes from molecular-level (intermediate) traits to higher-order clinical phenotypes. Like single nucleotide variants in the human genome, CNVs have been linked to complex traits in humans, including disease and drug response. These recent developments underscore the importance of incorporating complex forms of genetic variation into disease mapping studies and promise to transform our understanding of genome function and the genetic basis of disease. Here we review some of the findings that have emerged from transcriptome studies of CNVs facilitated by the rapid advances in -omics technologies and corresponding methodologies. PMID:25922366

  2. Seasonal variation in human births.

    PubMed

    James, W H

    1990-01-01

    During the first half of this century, the seasonal pattern of births in European countries showed a major peak in the spring and a minor peak in the autumn. In contrast, the pattern in the US was of a minor peak in spring and a major peak in autumn. Over the last 20 years, the pattern in England and Wales has changed to resemble the US pattern, and the same seems to be true of several other European countries. A hypothesis is offered to account for the difference between the European and the US patterns and for the change from one to the other in some countries. The magnitude of seasonality correlates positively with latitude: it is suggested that this is partially consequent on variation in luminosity.

  3. Fine-scaled human genetic structure revealed by SNP microarrays.

    PubMed

    Xing, Jinchuan; Watkins, W Scott; Witherspoon, David J; Zhang, Yuhua; Guthery, Stephen L; Thara, Rangaswamy; Mowry, Bryan J; Bulayeva, Kazima; Weiss, Robert B; Jorde, Lynn B

    2009-05-01

    We report an analysis of more than 240,000 loci genotyped using the Affymetrix SNP microarray in 554 individuals from 27 worldwide populations in Africa, Asia, and Europe. To provide a more extensive and complete sampling of human genetic variation, we have included caste and tribal samples from two states in South India, Daghestanis from eastern Europe, and the Iban from Malaysia. Consistent with observations made by Charles Darwin, our results highlight shared variation among human populations and demonstrate that much genetic variation is geographically continuous. At the same time, principal components analyses reveal discernible genetic differentiation among almost all identified populations in our sample, and in most cases, individuals can be clearly assigned to defined populations on the basis of SNP genotypes. All individuals are accurately classified into continental groups using a model-based clustering algorithm, but between closely related populations, genetic and self-classifications conflict for some individuals. The 250K data permitted high-level resolution of genetic variation among Indian caste and tribal populations and between highland and lowland Daghestani populations. In particular, upper-caste individuals from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh form one defined group, lower-caste individuals from these two states form another, and the tribal Irula samples form a third. Our results emphasize the correlation of genetic and geographic distances and highlight other elements, including social factors that have contributed to population structure. PMID:19411602

  4. Fine-scaled human genetic structure revealed by SNP microarrays.

    PubMed

    Xing, Jinchuan; Watkins, W Scott; Witherspoon, David J; Zhang, Yuhua; Guthery, Stephen L; Thara, Rangaswamy; Mowry, Bryan J; Bulayeva, Kazima; Weiss, Robert B; Jorde, Lynn B

    2009-05-01

    We report an analysis of more than 240,000 loci genotyped using the Affymetrix SNP microarray in 554 individuals from 27 worldwide populations in Africa, Asia, and Europe. To provide a more extensive and complete sampling of human genetic variation, we have included caste and tribal samples from two states in South India, Daghestanis from eastern Europe, and the Iban from Malaysia. Consistent with observations made by Charles Darwin, our results highlight shared variation among human populations and demonstrate that much genetic variation is geographically continuous. At the same time, principal components analyses reveal discernible genetic differentiation among almost all identified populations in our sample, and in most cases, individuals can be clearly assigned to defined populations on the basis of SNP genotypes. All individuals are accurately classified into continental groups using a model-based clustering algorithm, but between closely related populations, genetic and self-classifications conflict for some individuals. The 250K data permitted high-level resolution of genetic variation among Indian caste and tribal populations and between highland and lowland Daghestani populations. In particular, upper-caste individuals from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh form one defined group, lower-caste individuals from these two states form another, and the tribal Irula samples form a third. Our results emphasize the correlation of genetic and geographic distances and highlight other elements, including social factors that have contributed to population structure.

  5. Genetics of Human and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Siobhan; Edwards, Jennifer; Ferguson-Mignan, Thomas F. N.; Cobb, Malcolm; Mongan, Nigel P.; Rutland, Catrin S.

    2015-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in both humans and dogs. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) accounts for a large number of these cases, reported to be the third most common form of cardiac disease in humans and the second most common in dogs. In human studies of DCM there are more than 50 genetic loci associated with the disease. Despite canine DCM having similar disease progression to human DCM studies into the genetic basis of canine DCM lag far behind those of human DCM. In this review the aetiology, epidemiology, and clinical characteristics of canine DCM are examined, along with highlighting possible different subtypes of canine DCM and their potential relevance to human DCM. Finally the current position of genetic research into canine and human DCM, including the genetic loci, is identified and the reasons many studies may have failed to find a genetic association with canine DCM are reviewed. PMID:26266250

  6. Genetic architecture of regulatory variation in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xu; Cal, Andrew J; Borevitz, Justin O

    2011-05-01

    Studying the genetic regulation of expression variation is a key method to dissect complex phenotypic traits. To examine the genetic architecture of regulatory variation in Arabidopsis thaliana, we performed genome-wide association (GWA) mapping of gene expression in an F(1) hybrid diversity panel. At a genome-wide false discovery rate (FDR) of 0.2, an associated single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) explains >38% of trait variation. In comparison with SNPs that are distant from the genes to which they were associated, locally associated SNPs are preferentially found in regions with extended linkage disequilibrium (LD) and have distinct population frequencies of the derived alleles (where Arabidopsis lyrata has the ancestral allele), suggesting that different selective forces are acting. Locally associated SNPs tend to have additive inheritance, whereas distantly associated SNPs are primarily dominant. In contrast to results from mapping of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in linkage studies, we observe extensive allelic heterogeneity for local regulatory loci in our diversity panel. By association mapping of allele-specific expression (ASE), we detect a significant enrichment for cis-acting variation in local regulatory variation. In addition to gene expression variation, association mapping of splicing variation reveals both local and distant genetic regulation for intron and exon level traits. Finally, we identify candidate genes for 59 diverse phenotypic traits that were mapped to eQTL. PMID:21467266

  7. Genetic architecture of regulatory variation in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xu; Cal, Andrew J; Borevitz, Justin O

    2011-05-01

    Studying the genetic regulation of expression variation is a key method to dissect complex phenotypic traits. To examine the genetic architecture of regulatory variation in Arabidopsis thaliana, we performed genome-wide association (GWA) mapping of gene expression in an F(1) hybrid diversity panel. At a genome-wide false discovery rate (FDR) of 0.2, an associated single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) explains >38% of trait variation. In comparison with SNPs that are distant from the genes to which they were associated, locally associated SNPs are preferentially found in regions with extended linkage disequilibrium (LD) and have distinct population frequencies of the derived alleles (where Arabidopsis lyrata has the ancestral allele), suggesting that different selective forces are acting. Locally associated SNPs tend to have additive inheritance, whereas distantly associated SNPs are primarily dominant. In contrast to results from mapping of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in linkage studies, we observe extensive allelic heterogeneity for local regulatory loci in our diversity panel. By association mapping of allele-specific expression (ASE), we detect a significant enrichment for cis-acting variation in local regulatory variation. In addition to gene expression variation, association mapping of splicing variation reveals both local and distant genetic regulation for intron and exon level traits. Finally, we identify candidate genes for 59 diverse phenotypic traits that were mapped to eQTL.

  8. MutS Homologues hMSH4 and hMSH5: Genetic Variations, Functions, and Implications in Human Diseases.

    PubMed

    Clark, Nicole; Wu, Xiling; Her, Chengtao

    2013-04-01

    The prominence of the human mismatch repair (MMR) pathway is clearly reflected by the causal link between MMR gene mutations and the occurrence of Lynch syndrome (or HNPCC). The MMR family of proteins also carries out a plethora of diverse cellular functions beyond its primary role in MMR and homologous recombination. In fact, members of the MMR family of proteins are being increasingly recognized as critical mediators between DNA damage repair and cell survival. Thus, a better functional understanding of MMR proteins will undoubtedly aid the development of strategies to effectively enhance apoptotic signaling in response to DNA damage induced by anti-cancer therapeutics. Among the five known human MutS homologs, hMSH4 and hMSH5 form a unique heterocomplex. However, the expression profiles of the two genes are not correlated in a number of cell types, suggesting that they may function independently as well. Consistent with this, these two proteins are promiscuous and thought to play distinct roles through interacting with different binding partners. Here, we describe the gene and protein structures of eukaryotic MSH4 and MSH5 with a particular emphasis on their human homologues, and we discuss recent findings of the roles of these two genes in DNA damage response and repair. Finally, we delineate the potential links of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci of these two genes with several human diseases.

  9. MutS Homologues hMSH4 and hMSH5: Genetic Variations, Functions, and Implications in Human Diseases.

    PubMed

    Clark, Nicole; Wu, Xiling; Her, Chengtao

    2013-04-01

    The prominence of the human mismatch repair (MMR) pathway is clearly reflected by the causal link between MMR gene mutations and the occurrence of Lynch syndrome (or HNPCC). The MMR family of proteins also carries out a plethora of diverse cellular functions beyond its primary role in MMR and homologous recombination. In fact, members of the MMR family of proteins are being increasingly recognized as critical mediators between DNA damage repair and cell survival. Thus, a better functional understanding of MMR proteins will undoubtedly aid the development of strategies to effectively enhance apoptotic signaling in response to DNA damage induced by anti-cancer therapeutics. Among the five known human MutS homologs, hMSH4 and hMSH5 form a unique heterocomplex. However, the expression profiles of the two genes are not correlated in a number of cell types, suggesting that they may function independently as well. Consistent with this, these two proteins are promiscuous and thought to play distinct roles through interacting with different binding partners. Here, we describe the gene and protein structures of eukaryotic MSH4 and MSH5 with a particular emphasis on their human homologues, and we discuss recent findings of the roles of these two genes in DNA damage response and repair. Finally, we delineate the potential links of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci of these two genes with several human diseases. PMID:24082819

  10. Differential genetic variation of chickens and MD vaccine protective efficacy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Vaccine protective efficacy is determined by multiple factors including host genetics, the type of vaccine, vaccine dosage, the virulence and dose of challenging viruses, and the interval between vaccination and viral challenge. Studies on human immune responses to vaccinations suggest host genetic...

  11. Associations between genetic variations in the FURIN gene and hypertension

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Hypertension is a complex disease influenced by multiple genetic and environmental factors. The Kazakh ethnic group is characterized by a relatively high prevalence of hypertension. Previous research indicates that the FURIN gene may play a pivotal role in the renin-angiotensin system and maintaining the sodium-electrolyte balance. Because these systems influence blood pressure regulation, we considered FURIN as a candidate gene for hypertension. The purpose of this study was to systematically investigate the association between genetic variations in the FURIN gene and essential hypertension in a Xinjiang Kazakh population. Methods We sequenced all exons and the promoter regions of the FURIN gene in 94 hypertensive individuals to identify genetic variations associated with the disorder. Genotyping was performed using the TaqMan polymerase chain reaction method for four representative common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, -7315C > T, 1970C > G, 5604C > G, 6262C > T) in 934 Kazakh Chinese people. One SNP (1970C > G) was replicated in 1,219 Uygur Chinese people. Results Nine novel and seven known single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified in the FURIN gene. The results suggest that 1970C > G was associated with a hypertension phenotype in Kazakh Chinese (additive model, P = 0.091; dominant model, P = 0.031, allele model, P = 0.030), and after adjustment with logistic regression analysis, ORs were 1.451 (95%CI 1.106-1.905, P = 0.008) and 1.496 (95% 1.103-2.028, P = 0.01) in additive and dominant models, respectively. In addition, the association between 1970C > G and hypertension was replicated in Uygur subjects (additive model, P = 0.042; dominant model, P = 0.102; allele model, P = 0.027) after adjustment in additive and dominant models, ORs were 1.327 (95% 1.07-1.646), P = 0.01 and 1.307 (95%CI 1.015-1.681, P = 0.038), respectively. G allele carriers exhibited significant lower urinary Na+ excretion rate than non-carriers in the Kazakh

  12. Genetic toxicities of human teratogens.

    PubMed

    Bishop, J B; Witt, K L; Sloane, R A

    1997-12-12

    Birth defects cause a myriad of societal problems and place tremendous anguish on the affected individual and his or her family. Current estimates categorize about 3% of all newborn infants as having some form of birth defect or congenital anomaly. As more precise means of detecting subtle anomalies become available this estimate, no doubt, will increase. Even though birth defects have been observed in newborns throughout history, our knowledge about the causes and mechanisms through which these defects are manifested is limited. For example, it has been estimated that around 20% of all birth defects are due to gene mutations, 5-10% to chromosomal abnormalities, and another 5-10% to exposure to a known teratogenic agent or maternal factor [D.A. Beckman, R.L. Brent, Mechanisms of teratogenesis. Ann. Rev. Pharmacol. Toxicol. 24 (1984) 483-500; K. Nelson, L.B. Holmes Malformations due to presumed spontaneous mutations in newborn infants, N. Engl. J. Med. 320 (1989) 19-23.]. Together, these percentages account for only 30-40%, leaving the etiology of more than half of all human birth defects unexplained. It has been speculated that environmental factors account for no more than one-tenth of all congenital anomalies [D.A. Beckman, R.L. Brent, Mechanisms of teratogenesis, Ann. Rev. Pharmacol. Toxicol. 24 (1984) 483-500]. Furthermore, since there is no evidence in humans that the exposure of an individual to any mutagen measurably increases the risk of congenital anomalies in his or her offspring' [J.F. Crow, C. Denniston, Mutation in human populations, Adv. Human Genet. 14 (1985) 59-121; J.M. Friedman, J.E. Polifka, Teratogenic Effects of Drugs: A Resource for Clinicians (TERIS). The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1994], the mutagenic activity of environmental agents and drugs as a factor in teratogenesis has been given very little attention. Epigenetic activity has also been given only limited consideration as a mechanism for teratogenesis. As new molecular

  13. Influences of genetic variation on fetal hemoglobin.

    PubMed

    He, Yunyan; Lin, Weixiong; Luo, Jianming

    2011-11-01

    Fetal hemoglobin (HbF) plays a dominant role in ameliorating morbidity and mortality of hemoglobinopathies. The authors performed a replicated study following the genome-wide association study (GWAS) guidelines to identify the genetic mechanics that influence HbF. The authors recruited and phenotyped 312 unrelated β-thalassemia subjects. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis was performed by using polymerase chain reaction (PCR)/restriction enzymes. Four independent regions of interest were identified: HBS1L-MYB intergenic region, BCL11A locus, β-globin gene cluster, and the CSNK2A1 gene. There were 10 SNPs associated with HbF levels. In addition, haplotypes of HBS1L-MYB and BCL11A were identified and showed association with HbF production. Three independent regions, including HBS1L-MYB intergenic region, BCL11A locus, and β-globin gene cluster, were associated with HbF levels. This study can significantly improve the GWAS findings in Chinese cohorts and is useful for further research in the field of common predictors of the erythropoiesis.

  14. Genetic variation in resistance to ionizing radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Ayala, F.J.

    1992-01-01

    Results of an investigation of the gene coding for Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase (Sod) in Drosophila melanogaster seeking to understand the enzyme's role in cell protection against ionizing radiation are reported. Components of the investigation include molecular characterization of the gene; measuring the response of different genotypes to increasing levels of radiation; and investigation of the processes that maintain the Sod polymorphism in populations. While two alleles, S and F, are commonly found at the Sod locus in natural populations of D. melanogaster we have isolated from a natural population a null (CA1) mutant that yields only 3.5% of normal SOD activity. The S, F, and CA1 alleles provide a model system to investigate SOD-dependent radioresistance, because each allele yields different levels of SOD, so that S > F >> CAl. The radioprotective effects of SOD can be established by showing protective effects for the various genotypes that correspond to those inequalities. Because the allele variants studied are derived from natural populations, the proposed investigation avoids problems that arise when mutants obtained my mutagenesis are used. Moreover, each allele is studied in multiple genetic backgrounds, so that we correct for effects attributable to other loci by randomizing these effects.

  15. Intracolonial genetic variation in the scleractinian coral Seriatopora hystrix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maier, E.; Buckenmaier, A.; Tollrian, R.; Nürnberger, B.

    2012-06-01

    In recent years, increasing numbers of studies revealed intraorganismal genetic variation, primarily in modular organisms like plants or colonial marine invertebrates. Two underlying mechanisms are distinguished: Mosaicism is caused by somatic mutation, whereas chimerism originates from allogeneic fusion. We investigated the occurrence of intracolonial genetic variation at microsatellite loci in five natural populations of the scleractinian coral Seriatopora hystrix on the Great Barrier Reef. This coral is a widely distributed, brooding species that is at present a target of intensive population genetic research on reproduction and dispersal patterns. From each of 155 S. hystrix colonies, either two or three samples were genotyped at five or six loci. Twenty-seven (~17%) genetically heterogeneous colonies were found. Statistical analyses indicated the occurrence of both mosaicism and chimerism. In most cases, intracolonial variation was found only at a single allele. Our analyses suggest that somatic mutations present a major source of genetic heterogeneity within a single colony. Moreover, we observed large, apparently stable chimeric colonies that harbored clearly distinct genotypes and contrast these findings with the patterns typically observed in laboratory-based experiments. We discuss the error that mosaicism and chimerism introduce into population genetic analyses.

  16. Genetics of human sleep behavioral phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Pei-Ken; Ptáček, Louis J; Fu, Ying-Hui

    2015-01-01

    Quality sleep is critical for daily functions of human beings and thus the timing and duration of sleep are tightly controlled. However, rare genetic variants affecting sleep regulatory mechanisms can result in sleep phenotypes of extremely deviated sleep/wake onset time or duration. Using genetic analyses in families with multiple members expressing particular sleep phenotypes, these sleep-associated genetic variants can be identified. Deciphering the nature of these genetic variants using animal models or biochemical methods helps further our understanding of sleep processes. In this chapter, we describe the methods for studying genetics of human sleep behavioral phenotypes.

  17. [Bioethical principles concerning human genetic data].

    PubMed

    Cruz-Coke, Ricardo

    2003-01-01

    UNESCO'S Universal declaration on the human genome and human rights (1997) has been accepted by the international scientific community. To apply these laws, it is necessary to get more specific rules about data regulation, human genetic samples and its derived information in biomedic research. Indeed, genetic material recollection, processing, use and storing, has potential risks over human rights' protection and exercise. The author, member of UNESCO'S intergovernmental Bioethics Committee which approved the final draft in June 2003, has taken part in the writing of the final text of an international declaration about human genetic data, whose abbreviate text is described and commented in this communication.

  18. [Bioethical principles concerning human genetic data].

    PubMed

    Cruz-Coke, Ricardo

    2003-01-01

    UNESCO'S Universal declaration on the human genome and human rights (1997) has been accepted by the international scientific community. To apply these laws, it is necessary to get more specific rules about data regulation, human genetic samples and its derived information in biomedic research. Indeed, genetic material recollection, processing, use and storing, has potential risks over human rights' protection and exercise. The author, member of UNESCO'S intergovernmental Bioethics Committee which approved the final draft in June 2003, has taken part in the writing of the final text of an international declaration about human genetic data, whose abbreviate text is described and commented in this communication. PMID:15032097

  19. Genetic Variation of Bordetella pertussis in Austria.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Birgit; Melzer, Helen; Freymüller, Georg; Stumvoll, Sabine; Rendi-Wagner, Pamela; Paulke-Korinek, Maria; Repa, Andreas; Mooi, Frits R; Kollaritsch, Herwig; Mittermayer, Helmut; Kessler, Harald H; Stanek, Gerold; Steinborn, Ralf; Duchêne, Michael; Wiedermann, Ursula

    2015-01-01

    In Austria, vaccination coverage against Bordetella pertussis infections during infancy is estimated at around 90%. Within the last years, however, the number of pertussis cases has increased steadily, not only in children but also in adolescents and adults, indicating both insufficient herd immunity and vaccine coverage. Waning immunity in the host and/or adaptation of the bacterium to the immunised hosts could contribute to the observed re-emergence of pertussis. In this study we therefore addressed the genetic variability in B. pertussis strains from several Austrian cities. Between the years 2002 and 2008, 110 samples were collected from Vienna (n = 32), Linz (n = 63) and Graz (n = 15) by nasopharyngeal swabs. DNA was extracted from the swabs, and bacterial sequence polymorphisms were examined by MLVA (multiple-locus variable number of tandem repeat analysis) (n = 77), by PCR amplification and conventional Sanger sequencing of the polymorphic regions of the prn (pertactin) gene (n = 110), and by amplification refractory mutation system quantitative PCR (ARMS-qPCR) (n = 110) to directly address polymorphisms in the genes encoding two pertussis toxin subunits (ptxA and ptxB), a fimbrial adhesin (fimD), tracheal colonisation factor (tcfA), and the virulence sensor protein (bvgS). Finally, the ptxP promoter region was screened by ARMS-qPCR for the presence of the ptxP3 allele, which has been associated with elevated production of pertussis toxin. The MLVA analysis revealed the highest level of polymorphisms with an absence of MLVA Type 29, which is found outside Austria. Only Prn subtypes Prn1/7, Prn2 and Prn3 were found with a predominance of the non-vaccine type Prn2. The analysis of the ptxA, ptxB, fimD, tcfA and bvgS polymorphisms showed a genotype mixed between the vaccine strain Tohama I and a clinical isolate from 2006 (L517). The major part of the samples (93%) displayed the ptxP3 allele. The consequences for the vaccination strategy are discussed.

  20. Genetic Variation of Bordetella pertussis in Austria.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Birgit; Melzer, Helen; Freymüller, Georg; Stumvoll, Sabine; Rendi-Wagner, Pamela; Paulke-Korinek, Maria; Repa, Andreas; Mooi, Frits R; Kollaritsch, Herwig; Mittermayer, Helmut; Kessler, Harald H; Stanek, Gerold; Steinborn, Ralf; Duchêne, Michael; Wiedermann, Ursula

    2015-01-01

    In Austria, vaccination coverage against Bordetella pertussis infections during infancy is estimated at around 90%. Within the last years, however, the number of pertussis cases has increased steadily, not only in children but also in adolescents and adults, indicating both insufficient herd immunity and vaccine coverage. Waning immunity in the host and/or adaptation of the bacterium to the immunised hosts could contribute to the observed re-emergence of pertussis. In this study we therefore addressed the genetic variability in B. pertussis strains from several Austrian cities. Between the years 2002 and 2008, 110 samples were collected from Vienna (n = 32), Linz (n = 63) and Graz (n = 15) by nasopharyngeal swabs. DNA was extracted from the swabs, and bacterial sequence polymorphisms were examined by MLVA (multiple-locus variable number of tandem repeat analysis) (n = 77), by PCR amplification and conventional Sanger sequencing of the polymorphic regions of the prn (pertactin) gene (n = 110), and by amplification refractory mutation system quantitative PCR (ARMS-qPCR) (n = 110) to directly address polymorphisms in the genes encoding two pertussis toxin subunits (ptxA and ptxB), a fimbrial adhesin (fimD), tracheal colonisation factor (tcfA), and the virulence sensor protein (bvgS). Finally, the ptxP promoter region was screened by ARMS-qPCR for the presence of the ptxP3 allele, which has been associated with elevated production of pertussis toxin. The MLVA analysis revealed the highest level of polymorphisms with an absence of MLVA Type 29, which is found outside Austria. Only Prn subtypes Prn1/7, Prn2 and Prn3 were found with a predominance of the non-vaccine type Prn2. The analysis of the ptxA, ptxB, fimD, tcfA and bvgS polymorphisms showed a genotype mixed between the vaccine strain Tohama I and a clinical isolate from 2006 (L517). The major part of the samples (93%) displayed the ptxP3 allele. The consequences for the vaccination strategy are discussed. PMID

  1. Molecular genetics of human color vision.

    PubMed

    Deeb, S S; Motulsky, A G

    1996-05-01

    The significant advances in our understanding of color vision has been due to the convergence of information from behavioral and molecular genetic analyses. The molecular biology of the visual pigments; molecular genetic basis of variation in normal and abnormal color vision, and regulation of the genes at the LWS-MWS pigment gene locus are discussed.

  2. ENGINES: exploring single nucleotide variation in entire human genomes

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Next generation ultra-sequencing technologies are starting to produce extensive quantities of data from entire human genome or exome sequences, and therefore new software is needed to present and analyse this vast amount of information. The 1000 Genomes project has recently released raw data for 629 complete genomes representing several human populations through their Phase I interim analysis and, although there are certain public tools available that allow exploration of these genomes, to date there is no tool that permits comprehensive population analysis of the variation catalogued by such data. Description We have developed a genetic variant site explorer able to retrieve data for Single Nucleotide Variation (SNVs), population by population, from entire genomes without compromising future scalability and agility. ENGINES (ENtire Genome INterface for Exploring SNVs) uses data from the 1000 Genomes Phase I to demonstrate its capacity to handle large amounts of genetic variation (>7.3 billion genotypes and 28 million SNVs), as well as deriving summary statistics of interest for medical and population genetics applications. The whole dataset is pre-processed and summarized into a data mart accessible through a web interface. The query system allows the combination and comparison of each available population sample, while searching by rs-number list, chromosome region, or genes of interest. Frequency and FST filters are available to further refine queries, while results can be visually compared with other large-scale Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) repositories such as HapMap or Perlegen. Conclusions ENGINES is capable of accessing large-scale variation data repositories in a fast and comprehensive manner. It allows quick browsing of whole genome variation, while providing statistical information for each variant site such as allele frequency, heterozygosity or FST values for genetic differentiation. Access to the data mart generating scripts and to

  3. MetaRanker 2.0: a web server for prioritization of genetic variation data.

    PubMed

    Pers, Tune H; Dworzyński, Piotr; Thomas, Cecilia Engel; Lage, Kasper; Brunak, Søren

    2013-07-01

    MetaRanker 2.0 is a web server for prioritization of common and rare frequency genetic variation data. Based on heterogeneous data sets including genetic association data, protein-protein interactions, large-scale text-mining data, copy number variation data and gene expression experiments, MetaRanker 2.0 prioritizes the protein-coding part of the human genome to shortlist candidate genes for targeted follow-up studies. MetaRanker 2.0 is made freely available at www.cbs.dtu.dk/services/MetaRanker-2.0.

  4. Minireview: Linking genetic variation in human Toll-like receptor 5 genes to the gut microbiome’s potential to cause inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Leifer, Cynthia A.; McConkey, Cameron; Li, Sha; Chassaing, Benoit; Gewirtz, Andrew T.; Ley, Ruth E.

    2014-01-01

    Immunodeficiencies can lead to alterations of the gut microbiome that render it pathogenic and capable of transmitting disease to naïve hosts. Here we review the role of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 5, the innate receptor for bacterial flagellin, in immune responses to the normal gut microbiota with a focus its role on adaptive immunity. Loss of TLR5 has profound effects on the microbiota that include greater temporal instability of major lineages and upregulation of flagellar motility genes that may be linked to the reduced levels of anti-flagellin antibodies in the TLR5−/− host. A variety of human TLR5 gene alleles exist that also associated with inflammatory conditions and may do so via effects on the gut microbiome and altered host-microbial crosstalk. PMID:25284610

  5. Effects of genetic drift and gene flow on the selective maintenance of genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Star, Bastiaan; Spencer, Hamish G

    2013-05-01

    Explanations for the genetic variation ubiquitous in natural populations are often classified by the population-genetic processes they emphasize: natural selection or mutation and genetic drift. Here we investigate models that incorporate all three processes in a spatially structured population, using what we call a construction approach, simulating finite populations under selection that are bombarded with a steady stream of novel mutations. As expected, the amount of genetic variation compared to previous models that ignored the stochastic effects of drift was reduced, especially for smaller populations and when spatial structure was most profound. By contrast, however, for higher levels of gene flow and larger population sizes, the amount of genetic variation found after many generations was greater than that in simulations without drift. This increased amount of genetic variation is due to the introduction of slightly deleterious alleles by genetic drift and this process is more efficient when migration load is higher. The incorporation of genetic drift also selects for fitness sets that exhibit allele-frequency equilibria with larger domains of attraction: they are "more stable." Moreover, the finiteness of populations strongly influences levels of local adaptation, selection strength, and the proportion of allele-frequency vectors that can be distinguished from the neutral expectation.

  6. Androgens and doping tests: genetic variation and pit-falls

    PubMed Central

    Rane, Anders; Ekström, Lena

    2012-01-01

    The large variation in disposition known for most drugs is also true for anabolic androgenic steroids. Genetic factors are probably the single most important cause of this variation. Further, there are reasons to believe that there is a corresponding variation in efficacy of doping agents. Doped individuals employ a large variety of doping strategies in respect of choice of substance, dose, dose interval, duration of treatment and use of other drugs for enforcement of effects or correction of side effects. Metabolic steps up-stream and down-stream of testosterone are genetically variable and contribute substantially to the variation in disposition of testosterone, the most common doping agent in sports and in society. Large inter- and intra-ethnic variation in testosterone glucuronidation and excretion is described as well as the pit-falls in evaluation of testosterone doping test results. The hydrolysis and bioactivation of testosterone enanthate is also genetically variable yielding a 2–3 fold variation in excretion rate and serum concentration, thereby implicating a substantial variation in ‘efficacy’ of testosterone. Given this situation it is logical to adopt the new findings in the doping control programme. The population based cut-off level for the testosterone : epitestosterone ratio should be replaced by a Bayesian interpretation of consecutive tests in the same individual. When combined with the above genetic information the sensitivity of the test is considerably improved. The combination of the three approaches should reduce the rate of falsely negative or positive results and the number of expensive follow-up tests, stipulated by the World Anti-Doping Agency. PMID:22506612

  7. Permanence or change? The meaning of genetic variation

    PubMed Central

    Salzano, Francisco M.

    2000-01-01

    Selected aspects of the evolutionary process and more specifically of the genetic variation are considered, with an emphasis in studies performed by my group. One key aspect of evolution seems to be the concomitant occurrence of dichotomic, contradictory (dialect) processes. Genetic variation is structured, and the dynamics of change at one level is not necessarily paralleled by that in another. The pathogenesis-related protein superfamily can be cited as an example in which permanence (the maintenance of certain key genetic features) coexists with change (modifications that led to different functions in different classes of organisms). Relationships between structure and function are exemplified by studies with hemoglobin Porto Alegre. The genetic structure of tribal populations may differ in important aspects from that of industrialized societies. Evolutionary histories also may differ when considered through the investigation of patrilineal or matrilineal lineages. Global evaluations taking into consideration all of these aspects are needed if we really want to understand the meaning of genetic variation. PMID:10805790

  8. Impact of restricted marital practices on genetic variation in an endogamous Gujarati group.

    PubMed

    Pemberton, Trevor J; Li, Fang-Yuan; Hanson, Erin K; Mehta, Niyati U; Choi, Sunju; Ballantyne, Jack; Belmont, John W; Rosenberg, Noah A; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Patel, Pragna I

    2012-09-01

    Recent studies have examined the influence on patterns of human genetic variation of a variety of cultural practices. In India, centuries-old marriage customs have introduced extensive social structuring into the contemporary population, potentially with significant consequences for genetic variation. Social stratification in India is evident as social classes that are defined by endogamous groups known as castes. Within a caste, there exist endogamous groups known as gols (marriage circles), each of which comprises a small number of exogamous gotra (lineages). Thus, while consanguinity is strictly avoided and some randomness in mate selection occurs within the gol, gene flow is limited with groups outside the gol. Gujarati Patels practice this form of "exogamic endogamy." We have analyzed genetic variation in one such group of Gujarati Patels, the Chha Gaam Patels (CGP), who comprise individuals from six villages. Population structure analysis of 1,200 autosomal loci offers support for the existence of distinctive multilocus genotypes in the CGP with respect to both non-Gujaratis and other Gujaratis, and indicates that CGP individuals are genetically very similar. Analysis of Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial haplotypes provides support for both patrilocal and patrilineal practices within the gol, and a low-level of female gene flow into the gol. Our study illustrates how the practice of gol endogamy has introduced fine-scale genetic structure into the population of India, and contributes more generally to an understanding of the way in which marriage practices affect patterns of genetic variation.

  9. Impact of restricted marital practices on genetic variation in an endogamous Gujarati group

    PubMed Central

    Pemberton, Trevor J.; Li, Fang-Yuan; Hanson, Erin K.; Mehta, Niyati U.; Choi, Sunju; Ballantyne, Jack; Belmont, John W.; Rosenberg, Noah A.; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Patel, Pragna I.

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies have examined the influence on patterns of human genetic variation of a variety of cultural practices. In India, centuries-old marriage customs have introduced extensive social structuring into the contemporary population, potentially with significant consequences for genetic variation. Social stratification in India is evident as social classes that are defined by endogamous groups known as castes. Within a caste, there exist endogamous groups known as gols (marriage circles), each of which comprises a small number of exogamous gotra (lineages). Thus, while consanguinity is strictly avoided and some randomness in mate selection occurs within the gol, gene flow is limited with populations outside the gol. Gujarati Patels practice this form of “exogamic endogamy.” We have analyzed genetic variation in one such group of Gujarati Patels, the Chha Gaam Patels (CGP), who comprise individuals from six villages. Population structure analysis of 1,200 autosomal loci offers support for the existence of distinctive multilocus genotypes in the CGP with respect to both non-Gujaratis and other Gujaratis, and indicates that CGP individuals are genetically very similar. Analysis of Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial haplotypes provides support for both patrilocal and patrilineal practices within the gol, and a low-level of female gene flow into the gol. Our study illustrates how the practice of gol endogamy has introduced fine-scale genetic structure into the population of India, and contributes more generally to an understanding of the way in which marriage practices affect patterns of genetic variation. PMID:22729696

  10. The Genetics of Blood Pressure and Hypertension: the role of rare variation

    PubMed Central

    Doris, Peter A.

    2013-01-01

    Summary The role of heredity in influencing blood pressure and risk of hypertension is well recognized. However, progress in identifying specific genetic variation that contributes to heritability is very limited. This is in spite of completion of the human genome sequence, the development of extraordinary amounts of information about genome sequence variation and the investigation of blood pressure inheritance in linkage analysis, candidate gene studies and, most recently genome-wide association studies. This paper considers the progress of this research and the obstacles that have been encountered. This work has made clear that the genetic architecture of blood pressure regulation in the population is not likely to be shaped by commonly occurring genetic variation in a discrete set of blood pressure-influencing genes. Rather heritability may be accounted for by rare variation that has its biggest impact within pedigrees rather than on the population at large. Rare variants in a wide range of genes are likely to be the focus of high blood pressure genetics for the next several years and the emerging strategies that can be applied to uncover this genetic variation and the problems that must confronted are considered. PMID:21129164

  11. Genetic variation of human respiratory syncytial virus among children with fever and respiratory symptoms in Shanghai, China, from 2009 to 2012.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jia; Mu, Yonglin; Dong, Wei; Yao, Fujia; Wang, Lili; Yan, Huajie; Lan, Ke; Zhang, Chiyu

    2014-10-01

    Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) of genus Pneumovirus is one of the most common pathogens causing severe acute lower respiratory tract infection in infants and children. No information on the genotype distribution of HRSV is available in East China (e.g. Shanghai). From August 2009 to December 2012, 2407 nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from outpatient children with fever and respiratory symptoms in Shanghai. HRSV infection was determined using a multiplex RT-PCR assay. The second hypervariable region (HVR2) of G protein gene of HRSV was amplified and sequenced from HRSV positive samples. Genotypes were characterized by phylogenetic analyses. Of 2407 nasopharyngeal samples, 184 (7.6%) were tested as HRSV positive. From 160 positive subjects with sufficient nasopharyngeal samples, 69 HVR2 sequences were obtained by RT-PCR and sequencing. Three HRSV epidemic seasons were observed from August 2009 to December 2012, and an extreme outbreak of HRSV occurred in the 2009-2010 epidemic season. A genotype shift of predominant HRSV strains from B group in the 2009-2010 epidemic season to group A in the subsequent epidemic seasons was observed. Ten HRSV genotypes, including four group A genotypes NA1, NA3, NA4, and ON1, and six group B genotypes BA9, BA10, SAB4, CB1, BAc, and BA?, were detected in Shanghai. Seven genotypes (NA1, BA9-10, SAB4, CB1, BAc and BA?) were found in the 2009-2010 epidemic season. The co-circulation of multiple genotypes was associated with the extreme outbreak of HRSV among children with fever and respiratory symptoms in the 2009-2010 epidemic season.

  12. Cryptic genetic variation and body size evolution in threespine stickleback.

    PubMed

    McGuigan, Katrina; Nishimura, Nicole; Currey, Mark; Hurwit, Dan; Cresko, William A

    2011-04-01

    The role of environment as a selective agent is well-established. Environment might also influence evolution by altering the expression of genetic variation associated with phenotypes under selection. Far less is known about this phenomenon, particularly its contribution to evolution in novel environments. We investigated how environment affected the evolvability of body size in the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). Gasterosteus aculeatus is well suited to addressing this question due to the rapid evolution of smaller size in the numerous freshwater populations established following the colonization of new freshwater habitats by an oceanic ancestor. The repeated, rapid evolution of size following colonization contrasts with the general observation of low phenotypic variation in oceanic stickleback. We reared an oceanic population of stickleback under high and low salinity conditions, mimicking a key component of the ancestral environment, and freshwater colonization, respectively. There was low genetic variation for body size under high salinity, but this variance increased significantly when fish were reared under low salinity. We therefore conclude that oceanic populations harbor the standing genetic variation necessary for the evolution of body size, but that this variation only becomes available to selection upon colonization of a new habitat.

  13. Genetic Architecture of Natural Variation in Thermal Responses of Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Bermejo, Eduardo; Zhu, Wangsheng; Tasset, Celine; Eimer, Hannes; Sureshkumar, Sridevi; Singh, Rupali; Sundaramoorthi, Vignesh; Colling, Luana; Balasubramanian, Sureshkumar

    2015-09-01

    Wild strains of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) exhibit extensive natural variation in a wide variety of traits, including response to environmental changes. Ambient temperature is one of the major external factors that modulates plant growth and development. Here, we analyze the genetic architecture of natural variation in thermal responses of Arabidopsis. Exploiting wild accessions and recombinant inbred lines, we reveal extensive phenotypic variation in response to ambient temperature in distinct developmental traits such as hypocotyl elongation, root elongation, and flowering time. We show that variation in thermal response differs between traits, suggesting that the individual phenotypes do not capture all the variation associated with thermal response. Genome-wide association studies and quantitative trait locus analyses reveal that multiple rare alleles contribute to the genetic architecture of variation in thermal response. We identify at least 20 genomic regions that are associated with variation in thermal response. Further characterizations of temperature sensitivity quantitative trait loci that are shared between traits reveal a role for the blue-light receptor CRYPTOCHROME2 (CRY2) in thermosensory growth responses. We show the accession Cape Verde Islands is less sensitive to changes in ambient temperature, and through transgenic analysis, we demonstrate that allelic variation at CRY2 underlies this temperature insensitivity across several traits. Transgenic analyses suggest that the allelic effects of CRY2 on thermal response are dependent on genetic background suggestive of the presence of modifiers. In addition, our results indicate that complex light and temperature interactions, in a background-dependent manner, govern growth responses in Arabidopsis. PMID:26195568

  14. Genetic integration of molar cusp size variation in baboons

    PubMed Central

    Koh, Christina; Bates, Elizabeth; Broughton, Elizabeth; Do, Nicholas T.; Fletcher, Zachary; Mahaney, Michael C.; Hlusko, Leslea J.

    2010-01-01

    Many studies of primate diversity and evolution rely on dental morphology for insight into diet, behavior, and phylogenetic relationships. Consequently, variation in molar cusp size has increasingly become a phenotype of interest. In 2007 we published a quantitative genetic analysis of mandibular molar cusp size variation in baboons. Those results provided more questions than answers, as the pattern of genetic integration did not fit predictions from odontogenesis. To follow up, we expanded our study to include data from the maxillary molar cusps. Here we report on these later analyses, as well as inter-arch comparisons with the mandibular data. We analyzed variation in two-dimensional maxillary molar cusp size using data collected from a captive pedigreed breeding colony of baboons, Papio hamadryas, housed at the Southwest National Primate Research Center. These analyses show that variation in maxillary molar cusp size is heritable and sexually dimorphic. We also estimated additive genetic correlations between cusps on the same crown, homologous cusps along the tooth row, and maxillary and mandibular cusps. The pattern for maxillary molars yields genetic correlations of one between the paracone-metacone and protocone-hypocone. Bivariate analyses of cuspal homologues on adjacent teeth yield correlations that are high or not significantly different from one. Between dental arcades, the non-occluding cusps consistently yield high genetic correlations, especially the metaconid-paracone and metaconid-metacone. This pattern of genetic correlation does not immediately accord with the pattern of development and/or calcification, however these results do follow predictions that can be made from the evolutionary history of the tribosphenic molar. PMID:20034010

  15. Genetic variation and the evolution of epigenetic regulation.

    PubMed

    Furrow, Robert E; Feldman, Marcus W

    2014-03-01

    Epigenetic variation has been observed in a range of organisms, leading to questions of the adaptive significance of this variation. In this study, we present a model to explore the ecological and genetic conditions that select for epigenetic regulation. We find that the rate of temporal environmental change is a key factor controlling the features of this evolution. When the environment fluctuates rapidly between states with different phenotypic optima, epigenetic regulation may evolve but we expect to observe low transgenerational inheritance of epigenetic states, whereas when this fluctuation occurs over longer time scales, regulation may evolve to generate epigenetic states that are inherited faithfully for many generations. In all cases, the underlying genetic variation at the epigenetically regulated locus is a crucial factor determining the range of conditions that allow for evolution of epigenetic mechanisms.

  16. Global variation in copy number in the human genome

    PubMed Central

    Redon, Richard; Ishikawa, Shumpei; Fitch, Karen R.; Feuk, Lars; Perry, George H.; Andrews, T. Daniel; Fiegler, Heike; Shapero, Michael H.; Carson, Andrew R.; Chen, Wenwei; Cho, Eun Kyung; Dallaire, Stephanie; Freeman, Jennifer L.; Gonzalez, Juan R.; Gratacos, Monica; Huang, Jing; Kalaitzopoulos, Dimitrios; Komura, Daisuke; MacDonald, Jeffrey R.; Marshall, Christian R.; Mei, Rui; Montgomery, Lyndal; Nishimura, Kunihiro; Okamura, Kohji; Shen, Fan; Somerville, Martin J.; Tchinda, Joelle; Valsesia, Armand; Woodwark, Cara; Yang, Fengtang; Zhang, Junjun; Zerjal, Tatiana; Zhang, Jane; Armengol, Lluis; Conrad, Donald F.; Estivill, Xavier; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Carter, Nigel P.; Aburatani, Hiroyuki; Lee, Charles; Jones, Keith W.; Scherer, Stephen W.; Hurles, Matthew E.

    2009-01-01

    Copy number variation (CNV) of DNA sequences is functionally significant but has yet to be fully ascertained. We have constructed a first-generation CNV map of the human genome through the study of 270 individuals from four populations with ancestry in Europe, Africa or Asia (the HapMap collection). DNA from these individuals was screened for CNV using two complementary technologies: single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping arrays, and clone-based comparative genomic hybridization. 1,447 copy number variable regions covering 360 megabases (12% of the genome) were identified in these populations; these CNV regions contained hundreds of genes, disease loci, functional elements and segmental duplications. Strikingly, these CNVs encompassed more nucleotide content per genome than SNPs, underscoring the importance of CNV in genetic diversity and evolution. The data obtained delineate linkage disequilibrium patterns for many CNVs, and reveal dramatic variation in copy number among populations. We also demonstrate the utility of this resource for genetic disease studies. PMID:17122850

  17. Genetic basis of human brain evolution

    PubMed Central

    Vallender, Eric J.; Mekel-Bobrov, Nitzan; Lahn, Bruce T.

    2009-01-01

    Human evolution is characterized by a rapid increase in brain size and complexity. Decades of research have made important strides in identifying anatomical and physiological substrates underlying the unique features of the human brain. By contrast, it has become possible only very recently to examine the genetic basis of human brain evolution. Through comparative genomics, tantalizing insights regarding human brain evolution have emerged. The genetic changes that potentially underlie human brain evolution span a wide range from single nucleotide substitutions to large-scale structural alterations of the genome. Similarly, the functional consequences of these genetic changes vary greatly, including protein-sequence alterations, cis-regulatory changes and even the emergence of new genes and the extinction of existing ones. Here, we provide a general review of recent findings into the genetic basis of human brain evolution, highlight the most notable trends that have emerged and caution against overinterpretation of current data. PMID:18848363

  18. Age-Specific Variation in Immune Response in Drosophila melanogaster Has a Genetic Basis

    PubMed Central

    Felix, Tashauna M.; Hughes, Kimberly A.; Stone, Eric A.; Drnevich, Jenny M.; Leips, Jeff

    2012-01-01

    Immunosenescence, the age-related decline in immune system function, is a general hallmark of aging. While much is known about the cellular and physiological changes that accompany immunosenescence, we know little about the genetic influences on this phenomenon. In this study we combined age-specific measurements of bacterial clearance ability following infection with whole-genome measurements of the transcriptional response to infection and wounding to identify genes that contribute to the natural variation in immunosenescence, using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. Twenty inbred lines derived from nature were measured for their ability to clear an Escherichia coli infection at 1 and 4 weeks of age. We used microarrays to simultaneously determine genome-wide expression profiles in infected and wounded flies at each age for 12 of these lines. Lines exhibited significant genetically based variation in bacterial clearance at both ages; however, the genetic basis of this variation changed dramatically with age. Variation in gene expression was significantly correlated with bacterial clearance ability only in the older age group. At 4 weeks of age variation in the expression of 247 genes following infection was associated with genetic variation in bacterial clearance. Functional annotation analyses implicate genes involved in energy metabolism including those in the insulin signaling/TOR pathway as having significant associations with bacterial clearance in older individuals. Given the evolutionary conservation of the genes involved in energy metabolism, our results could have important implications for understanding immunosenescence in other organisms, including humans. PMID:22554890

  19. Genetic variation and spread pattern of invasive Conyza sumatrensis around China’s Three Gorges Dam

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Ming-Xun; Li, Xiao-Qiong; Ding, Jian-Qing

    2010-11-01

    Genetic diversity and structure within and between 17 populations of invasive Conyza sumatrensis (Asteraceae) around the world's biggest hydroelectric dam (Three Gorges Dam (TGD) on the Yangtze River in China) and nearby localities were surveyed using inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers to determine the spread pattern of this invader in TGD and nearby regions. A total of 434 individuals were analysed, for which 15 ISSR primers amplified 81 bands, with 54 (66.7%) being polymorphic. The percentage of polymorphic loci within a population ranged from 31% to 58%, Nei's gene diversity was 0.385 ± 0.056, and mean Shannon's Index was 0.5815 ± 0.0833, indicating a high genetic variation in this self-fertile plant. Mass seed production and multiple introductions associated with dam construction and local development were thought to be responsible for the high level of genetic variation. Analysis of Molecular Variance revealed 36.5% of genetic variation residing within populations, 35.0% among populations within regions, and 28.5% among the three regions: TGD, upper reaches of TGD, and lower reaches of TGD. Most populations were genetically related to their nearest neighbors, while gene flow (mainly via seed movement) across TGD existed. Long-distance dispersal of seeds and pollen such as by water current, wind and human transportation could explain the low level of geographic structure of genetic variation. The highest genetic variation was found in a population in TGD, and most populations from TGD showed closer genetic relationship to the lower reaches population, which indicated that C. sumatrensis at TGD has likely experienced multiple introductions mainly from lower reaches, which is near the area of primary introduction (southern China) of C. sumatrensis.

  20. Evolutionary developmental genetics of fruit morphological variation within the Solanaceae

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Li; Li, Jing; Zhao, Jing; He, Chaoying

    2015-01-01

    Morphological variations of fruits such as shape and size, and color are a result of adaptive evolution. The evolution of morphological novelties is particularly intriguing. An understanding of these evolutionary processes calls for the elucidation of the developmental and genetic mechanisms that result in particular fruit morphological characteristics, which determine seed dispersal. The genetic and developmental basis for fruit morphological variation was established at a microevolutionary time scale. Here, we summarize the progress on the evolutionary developmental genetics of fruit size, shape and color in the Solanaceae. Studies suggest that the recruitment of a pre-existing gene and subsequent modification of its interaction and regulatory networks are frequently involved in the evolution of morphological diversity. The basic mechanisms underlying changes in plant morphology are alterations in gene expression and/or gene function. We also deliberate on the future direction in evolutionary developmental genetics of fruit morphological variation such as fruit type. These studies will provide insights into plant developmental processes and will help to improve the productivity and fruit quality of crops. PMID:25918515

  1. Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Variation in Baboon Cranial Morphology

    PubMed Central

    Roseman, Charles C.; Willmore, Katherine E.; Rogers, Jeffrey; Hildebolt, Charles; Sadler, Brooke E.; Richtsmeier, Joan T.; Cheverud, James M.

    2011-01-01

    The development, function, and integration of morphological characteristics are all hypothesized to influence the utility of traits for phylogenetic reconstruction by affecting the way in which morphological characteristics evolve. We use a baboon model to test the hypotheses about phenotypic and quantitative genetic variation of traits in the cranium that bear on a phenotype’s propensity to evolve. We test the hypotheses that: 1) individual traits in different functionally and developmentally defined regions of the cranium are differentially environmentally, genetically, and phenotypically variable; 2) genetic covariance with other traits constrains traits in one region of the cranium more than those in others; 3) and regions of the cranium subject to different levels of mechanical strain differ in the magnitude of variation in individual traits. We find that the levels of environmental and genetic variation in individual traits are randomly distributed across regions of the cranium rather than being structured by developmental origin or degree of exposure to strain. Individual traits in the cranial vault tend to be more constrained by covariance with other traits than those in other regions. Traits in regions subject to high degrees of strain during mastication are not any more variable at any level than other traits. If these results are generalizable to other populations, they indicate that there is no reason to suppose that individual traits from any one part of the cranium are intrinsically less useful for reconstructing patterns of evolution than those from any other part. PMID:20623673

  2. Developmental and Genetic Origins of Murine Long Bone Length Variation

    PubMed Central

    Sanger, Thomas J.; Norgard, Elizabeth A.; Pletscher, L. Susan; Bevilacqua, Michael; Brooks, Victoria R.; Sandell, Linda M.; Cheverud, James M.

    2011-01-01

    If we wish to understand whether development influences the rate or direction of morphological evolution, we must first understand the developmental bases of morphological variation within species. However, quantitative variation in adult morphology is the product of molecular and cellular processes unfolding from embryonic development through juvenile growth to maturity. The Atchley-Hall model provides a useful framework for dissecting complex morphologies into their component parts as a way of determining which developmental processes contribute to variation in adult form. We have examined differences in postnatal allometry and the patterns of genetic correlation between age-specific traits for 10 recombinant inbred strains of mice generated from an intercross of LG/J and SM/J. Long bone length is closely tied to body size, but variation in adult morphology is more closely tied to differences in growth rate between 3 and 5 weeks of age. These analyses show that variation generated during early development is overridden by variation generated later in life. To more precisely determine the cellular processes generating this variation we then examined the cellular dynamics of long bone growth plates at the time of maximum elongation rate differences in the parent strains. Our analyses revealed that variation in long bone length is the result of faster elongation rates of the LG/J stain. The developmental bases for these differences in growth rate involve the rate of cell division and chondrocyte hypertrophy in the growth plate. PMID:21328530

  3. Genetic Regulation of Transcriptional Variation in Natural Arabidopsis thaliana Accessions

    PubMed Central

    Zan, Yanjun; Shen, Xia; Forsberg, Simon K. G.; Carlborg, Örjan

    2016-01-01

    An increased knowledge of the genetic regulation of expression in Arabidopsis thaliana is likely to provide important insights about the basis of the plant’s extensive phenotypic variation. Here, we reanalyzed two publicly available datasets with genome-wide data on genetic and transcript variation in large collections of natural A. thaliana accessions. Transcripts from more than half of all genes were detected in the leaves of all accessions, and from nearly all annotated genes in at least one accession. Thousands of genes had high transcript levels in some accessions, but no transcripts at all in others, and this pattern was correlated with the genome-wide genotype. In total, 2669 eQTL were mapped in the largest population, and 717 of them were replicated in the other population. A total of 646 cis-eQTL-regulated genes that lacked detectable transcripts in some accessions was found, and for 159 of these we identified one, or several, common structural variants in the populations that were shown to be likely contributors to the lack of detectable RNA transcripts for these genes. This study thus provides new insights into the overall genetic regulation of global gene expression diversity in the leaf of natural A. thaliana accessions. Further, it also shows that strong cis-acting polymorphisms, many of which are likely to be structural variations, make important contributions to the transcriptional variation in the worldwide A. thaliana population. PMID:27226169

  4. Genetic variation in biomass traits among 20 diverse rice varieties.

    PubMed

    Jahn, Courtney E; Mckay, John K; Mauleon, Ramil; Stephens, Janice; McNally, Kenneth L; Bush, Daniel R; Leung, Hei; Leach, Jan E

    2011-01-01

    Biofuels provide a promising route of producing energy while reducing reliance on petroleum. Developing sustainable liquid fuel production from cellulosic feedstock is a major challenge and will require significant breeding efforts to maximize plant biomass production. Our approach to elucidating genes and genetic pathways that can be targeted for improving biomass production is to exploit the combination of genomic tools and genetic diversity in rice (Oryza sativa). In this study, we analyzed a diverse set of 20 recently resequenced rice varieties for variation in biomass traits at several different developmental stages. The traits included plant size and architecture, aboveground biomass, and underlying physiological processes. We found significant genetic variation among the 20 lines in all morphological and physiological traits. Although heritability estimates were significant for all traits, heritabilities were higher in traits relating to plant size and architecture than for physiological traits. Trait variation was largely explained by variety and breeding history (advanced versus landrace) but not by varietal groupings (indica, japonica, and aus). In the context of cellulosic biofuels development, cell wall composition varied significantly among varieties. Surprisingly, photosynthetic rates among the varieties were inversely correlated with biomass accumulation. Examining these data in an evolutionary context reveals that rice varieties have achieved high biomass production via independent developmental and physiological pathways, suggesting that there are multiple targets for biomass improvement. Future efforts to identify loci and networks underlying this functional variation will facilitate the improvement of biomass traits in other grasses being developed as energy crops.

  5. Assessing the robustness of networks of spatial genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Albert, Eva M; Fortuna, Miguel A; Godoy, José A; Bascompte, Jordi

    2013-05-01

    Habitat transformation is one of the leading drivers of biodiversity loss. The ecological effects of this transformation have mainly been addressed at the demographic level, for example, finding extinction thresholds. However, interpopulation genetic variability and the subsequent potential for adaptation can be eroded before effects are noticed on species abundances. To what degree this is the case has been difficult to evaluate, partly because of the lack of both spatially extended genetic data and an appropriate framework to map and analyse such data. Here, we extend recent work on the analysis of networks of spatial genetic variation to address the robustness of these networks in the face of perturbations. We illustrate the potential of this framework using the case study of an amphibian metapopulation. Our results show that while the disappearance of some spatial sites barely changes the modular structure of the genetic network, other sites have a much stronger effect. Interestingly, these consequences can not be anticipated using topological, static measures. Mapping these networks of spatial genetic variation will allow identifying significant evolutionary units and how they vanish, merge and reorganise following perturbations.

  6. Genetic variation in the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Busch, Joseph; Miller, Mark P.; Paxton, E.H.; Sogge, M.K.; Keim, Paul

    2000-01-01

    The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher(Empidonax trailii extimus) is an endangered Neotropical migrant that breeds in isolated remnants of dense riparian habitat in the southwestern United States. We estimated genetic variation at 20 breedings sites of the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher(290 individuals) using 38 amplified fragment length polymorphisms(AFLPs). Our results suggest that considerable genetic diversity exists within the subspecies and within local breeding sites. Statistical analyses of genetic variation revealed only slight, although significant, differentiation among breeding sites( Mantel's r = 0.0705, P < 0.0005; 0 = 0.0816, 95% CI = 0.0608 to 0.1034; a??sr = 0.0458, P < 0.001). UPGMA cluster analysis of the AFLP markers indicates that extensive gene flow has occurred among breeding sites. No one site stood out as being genetically unique or isolated. Therefore the small level of genetic structure that we detected may not be biologically significant. Ongoing field studies are consistent with this conclusion. Of the banded birds that were resighted or recaptured in Arizona during the 1996 to 1998 breeding seasons, one-third moved between breeding sites and two-thirds were philopatric. Low differentiation maybe the result of historically high rangewide diversity followed by recent geographic isolation of breeding sites, although observational data indicate that gene flow is a current phenomenon. Our data suggest that breeding groups of E. t. extimus act as a metapopulation.

  7. Ecological genetics of range size variation in Boechera spp. (Brassicaceae).

    PubMed

    Lovell, John T; McKay, John K

    2015-11-01

    Many taxonomic groups contain both rare and widespread species, which indicates that range size can evolve quickly. Many studies have compared molecular genetic diversity, plasticity, or phenotypic traits between rare and widespread species; however, a suite of genetic attributes that unites rare species remains elusive. Here, using two rare and two widespread Boechera (Brassicaceae) species, we conduct a simultaneous comparison of quantitative trait diversity, genetic diversity, and population structure among species with highly divergent range sizes. Consistent with previous studies, we do not find strong associations between range size and within-population genetic diversity. In contrast, we find that both the degree of phenotypic plasticity and quantitative trait structure (Q ST) were positively correlated with range size. We also found higher F ST: Q ST ratios in rare species, indicative of either a greater response to stabilizing selection or a lack of additive genetic variation. While widespread species occupy more ecological and climactic space and have diverged at both traits and markers, rare species display constrained levels of population differentiation and phenotypic plasticity. Combined, our results provide evidence for a specialization-generalization trade-off across three orders of magnitude of range size variation in the ecological model genus, Boechera. PMID:26640674

  8. Additive and nonadditive genetic variation in avian personality traits.

    PubMed

    van Oers, K; Drent, P J; de Jong, G; van Noordwijk, A J

    2004-11-01

    Individuals of all vertebrate species differ consistently in their reactions to mildly stressful challenges. These typical reactions, described as personalities or coping strategies, have a clear genetic basis, but the structure of their inheritance in natural populations is almost unknown. We carried out a quantitative genetic analysis of two personality traits (exploration and boldness) and the combination of these two traits (early exploratory behaviour). This study was carried out on the lines resulting from a two-directional artificial selection experiment on early exploratory behaviour (EEB) of great tits (Parus major) originating from a wild population. In analyses using the original lines, reciprocal F(1) and reciprocal first backcross generations, additive, dominance, maternal effects ands sex-dependent expression of exploration, boldness and EEB were estimated. Both additive and dominant genetic effects were important determinants of phenotypic variation in exploratory behaviour and boldness. However, no sex-dependent expression was observed in either of these personality traits. These results are discussed with respect to the maintenance of genetic variation in personality traits, and the expected genetic structure of other behavioural and life history traits in general.

  9. A genetic basis for the variation in the vulnerability of cancer to DNA damage.

    PubMed

    Yard, Brian D; Adams, Drew J; Chie, Eui Kyu; Tamayo, Pablo; Battaglia, Jessica S; Gopal, Priyanka; Rogacki, Kevin; Pearson, Bradley E; Phillips, James; Raymond, Daniel P; Pennell, Nathan A; Almeida, Francisco; Cheah, Jaime H; Clemons, Paul A; Shamji, Alykhan; Peacock, Craig D; Schreiber, Stuart L; Hammerman, Peter S; Abazeed, Mohamed E

    2016-01-01

    Radiotherapy is not currently informed by the genetic composition of an individual patient's tumour. To identify genetic features regulating survival after DNA damage, here we conduct large-scale profiling of cellular survival after exposure to radiation in a diverse collection of 533 genetically annotated human tumour cell lines. We show that sensitivity to radiation is characterized by significant variation across and within lineages. We combine results from our platform with genomic features to identify parameters that predict radiation sensitivity. We identify somatic copy number alterations, gene mutations and the basal expression of individual genes and gene sets that correlate with the radiation survival, revealing new insights into the genetic basis of tumour cellular response to DNA damage. These results demonstrate the diversity of tumour cellular response to ionizing radiation and establish multiple lines of evidence that new genetic features regulating cellular response after DNA damage can be identified.

  10. A genetic basis for the variation in the vulnerability of cancer to DNA damage

    PubMed Central

    Yard, Brian D.; Adams, Drew J.; Chie, Eui Kyu; Tamayo, Pablo; Battaglia, Jessica S.; Gopal, Priyanka; Rogacki, Kevin; Pearson, Bradley E.; Phillips, James; Raymond, Daniel P.; Pennell, Nathan A.; Almeida, Francisco; Cheah, Jaime H.; Clemons, Paul A.; Shamji, Alykhan; Peacock, Craig D.; Schreiber, Stuart L.; Hammerman, Peter S.; Abazeed, Mohamed E.

    2016-01-01

    Radiotherapy is not currently informed by the genetic composition of an individual patient's tumour. To identify genetic features regulating survival after DNA damage, here we conduct large-scale profiling of cellular survival after exposure to radiation in a diverse collection of 533 genetically annotated human tumour cell lines. We show that sensitivity to radiation is characterized by significant variation across and within lineages. We combine results from our platform with genomic features to identify parameters that predict radiation sensitivity. We identify somatic copy number alterations, gene mutations and the basal expression of individual genes and gene sets that correlate with the radiation survival, revealing new insights into the genetic basis of tumour cellular response to DNA damage. These results demonstrate the diversity of tumour cellular response to ionizing radiation and establish multiple lines of evidence that new genetic features regulating cellular response after DNA damage can be identified. PMID:27109210

  11. Influence of barriers to movement on within-watershed genetic variation of coastal cutthroat trout

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wofford, John E.B.; Gresswell, Robert E.; Banks, M.A.

    2005-01-01

    Because human land use activities often result in increased fragmentation of aquatic and terrestrial habitats, a better understanding of the effects of fragmentation on the genetic heterogeneity of animal populations may be useful for effective management. We used eight microsatellites to examine the genetic structure of coastal cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki clarki) in Camp Creek, an isolated headwater stream in western Oregon. Our objectives were to determine if coastal cutthroat trout were genetically structured within streams and to assess the effects of natural and anthropogenic barriers on coastal cutthroat trout genetic variation. Fish sampling occurred at 10 locations, and allele frequencies differed significantly among all sampling sections. Dispersal barriers strongly influenced coastal cutthroat trout genetic structure and were associated with reduced genetic diversity and increased genetic differentiation. Results indicate that Camp Creek coastal cutthroat trout exist as many small, partially independent populations that are strongly affected by genetic drift. In headwater streams, barriers to movement can result in genetic and demographic isolation leading to reduced coastal cutthroat trout genetic diversity, and potentially compromising long-term population persistence. When habitat fragmentation eliminates gene flow among small populations, similar results may occur in other species.

  12. Hidden genetic nature of epigenetic natural variation in plants.

    PubMed

    Pecinka, Ales; Abdelsamad, Ahmed; Vu, Giang T H

    2013-11-01

    Transcriptional gene silencing (TGS) is an epigenetic mechanism that suppresses the activity of repetitive DNA elements via accumulation of repressive chromatin marks. We discuss natural variation in TGS, with a particular focus on cases that affect the function of protein-coding genes and lead to developmental or physiological changes. Comparison of the examples described has revealed that most natural variation is associated with genetic determinants, such as gene rearrangements, inverted repeats, and transposon insertions that triggered TGS. Recent technical advances have enabled the study of epigenetic natural variation at a whole-genome scale and revealed patterns of inter- and intraspecific epigenetic variation. Future studies exploring non-model species may reveal species-specific evolutionary adaptations at the level of chromatin configuration.

  13. An atlas of genetic influences on human blood metabolites.

    PubMed

    Shin, So-Youn; Fauman, Eric B; Petersen, Ann-Kristin; Krumsiek, Jan; Santos, Rita; Huang, Jie; Arnold, Matthias; Erte, Idil; Forgetta, Vincenzo; Yang, Tsun-Po; Walter, Klaudia; Menni, Cristina; Chen, Lu; Vasquez, Louella; Valdes, Ana M; Hyde, Craig L; Wang, Vicky; Ziemek, Daniel; Roberts, Phoebe; Xi, Li; Grundberg, Elin; Waldenberger, Melanie; Richards, J Brent; Mohney, Robert P; Milburn, Michael V; John, Sally L; Trimmer, Jeff; Theis, Fabian J; Overington, John P; Suhre, Karsten; Brosnan, M Julia; Gieger, Christian; Kastenmüller, Gabi; Spector, Tim D; Soranzo, Nicole

    2014-06-01

    Genome-wide association scans with high-throughput metabolic profiling provide unprecedented insights into how genetic variation influences metabolism and complex disease. Here we report the most comprehensive exploration of genetic loci influencing human metabolism thus far, comprising 7,824 adult individuals from 2 European population studies. We report genome-wide significant associations at 145 metabolic loci and their biochemical connectivity with more than 400 metabolites in human blood. We extensively characterize the resulting in vivo blueprint of metabolism in human blood by integrating it with information on gene expression, heritability and overlap with known loci for complex disorders, inborn errors of metabolism and pharmacological targets. We further developed a database and web-based resources for data mining and results visualization. Our findings provide new insights into the role of inherited variation in blood metabolic diversity and identify potential new opportunities for drug development and for understanding disease.

  14. A joint history of the nature of genetic variation and the nature of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Kendler, K S

    2015-02-01

    This essay traces the history of concepts of genetic variation and schizophrenia from Darwin and Mendel to the present. For Darwin, the important form of genetic variation for evolution is continuous in nature and small in effect. Biometricians led by Pearson agreed and developed statistical genetic approaches utilizing trait correlations in relatives. Mendel studied discontinuous traits and subsequent Mendelians, led by Bateson, assumed that important genetic variation was large in effect producing discontinuous phenotypes. Although biometricians studied 'insanity', schizophrenia genetics under Kraepelin and Rüdin utilized Mendelian approaches congruent with their anatomical-clinical disease model of dementia praecox. Fisher showed, assuming many genes of small effect, Mendelian and Biometrical models were consilient. Echoing prior conflicts, psychiatric genetics since then has utilized both biometrical models, largely in twins, and Mendelian models, based on advancing molecular techniques. In 1968, Gottesman proposed a polygenic model for schizophrenia based on a threshold version of Fisher's theory. Since then, rigorous studies of the schizophrenia spectrum suggest that genetic risk for schizophrenia is more likely continuous than categorical. The last 5 years has seen increasingly convincing evidence from genome-wide association study (GWAS) and sequencing that genetic risk for schizophrenia is largely polygenic, and congruent with Fisher's and Gottesman's models. The gap between biometrical and molecular Mendelian models for schizophrenia has largely closed. The efforts to ground a categorical biomedical model of schizophrenia in Mendelian genetics have failed. The genetic risk for schizophrenia is widely distributed in human populations so that we all carry some degree of risk. PMID:25134695

  15. Immunity Traits in Pigs: Substantial Genetic Variation and Limited Covariation

    PubMed Central

    Flori, Laurence; Gao, Yu; Laloë, Denis; Lemonnier, Gaëtan; Leplat, Jean-Jacques; Teillaud, Angélique; Cossalter, Anne-Marie; Laffitte, Joëlle; Pinton, Philippe; de Vaureix, Christiane; Bouffaud, Marcel; Mercat, Marie-José; Lefèvre, François; Oswald, Isabelle P.; Bidanel, Jean-Pierre; Rogel-Gaillard, Claire

    2011-01-01

    Background Increasing robustness via improvement of resistance to pathogens is a major selection objective in livestock breeding. As resistance traits are difficult or impossible to measure directly, potential indirect criteria are measures of immune traits (ITs). Our underlying hypothesis is that levels of ITs with no focus on specific pathogens define an individual's immunocompetence and thus predict response to pathogens in general. Since variation in ITs depends on genetic, environmental and probably epigenetic factors, our aim was to estimate the relative importance of genetics. In this report, we present a large genetic survey of innate and adaptive ITs in pig families bred in the same environment. Methodology/Principal Findings Fifty four ITs were studied on 443 Large White pigs vaccinated against Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and analyzed by combining a principal component analysis (PCA) and genetic parameter estimation. ITs include specific and non specific antibodies, seric inflammatory proteins, cell subsets by hemogram and flow cytometry, ex vivo production of cytokines (IFNα, TNFα, IL6, IL8, IL12, IFNγ, IL2, IL4, IL10), phagocytosis and lymphocyte proliferation. While six ITs had heritabilities that were weak or not significantly different from zero, 18 and 30 ITs had moderate (0.10.4) heritability values, respectively. Phenotypic and genetic correlations between ITs were weak except for a few traits that mostly include cell subsets. PCA revealed no cluster of innate or adaptive ITs. Conclusions/Significance Our results demonstrate that variation in many innate and adaptive ITs is genetically controlled in swine, as already reported for a smaller number of traits by other laboratories. A limited redundancy of the traits was also observed confirming the high degree of complementarity between innate and adaptive ITs. Our data provide a genetic framework for choosing ITs to be included as selection criteria in multitrait selection

  16. The impact of host genetic variation on infection with HIV-1.

    PubMed

    McLaren, Paul J; Carrington, Mary

    2015-06-01

    The outcome after infection with the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is a complex phenotype determined by interactions among the pathogen, the human host and the surrounding environment. An impact of host genetic variation on HIV-1 susceptibility was identified early in the pandemic, with a major role attributed to the genes encoding class I human leukocyte antigens (HLA) and the chemokine receptor CCR5. Studies using genome-wide data sets have underscored the strength of these associations relative to variants located throughout the rest of the genome. However, the extent to which additional polymorphisms influence HIV-1 disease progression, and how much of the variability in outcome can be attributed to host genetics, remain largely unclear. Here we discuss findings concerning the functional impact of associated variants, outline methods for quantifying the host genetic component and examine how available genome-wide data sets may be leveraged to discover gene variants that affect the outcome of HIV-1 infection.

  17. Recommendations for Genetic Variation Data Capture in Developing Countries to Ensure a Comprehensive Worldwide Data Collection

    PubMed Central

    Patrinos, George P; Al Aama, Jumana; Al Aqeel, Aida; Al-Mulla, Fahd; Borg, Joseph; Devereux, Andrew; Felice, Alex E; Macrae, Finlay; Marafie, Makia J; Petersen, Michael B; Qi, Ming; Ramesar, Rajkumar S; Zlotogora, Joel; Cotton, Richard GH

    2011-01-01

    Developing countries have significantly contributed to the elucidation of the genetic basis of both common and rare disorders, providing an invaluable resource of cases due to large family sizes, consanguinity, and potential founder effects. Moreover, the recognized depth of genomic variation in indigenous African populations, reflecting the ancient origins of humanity on the African continent, and the effect of selection pressures on the genome, will be valuable in understanding the range of both pathological and nonpathological variations. The involvement of these populations in accurately documenting the extant genetic heterogeneity is more than essential. Developing nations are regarded as key contributors to the Human Variome Project (HVP; http://www.humanvariomeproject.org), a major effort to systematically collect mutations that contribute to or cause human disease and create a cyber infrastructure to tie databases together. However, biomedical research has not been the primary focus in these countries even though such activities are likely to produce economic and health benefits for all. Here, we propose several recommendations and guidelines to facilitate participation of developing countries in genetic variation data documentation, ensuring an accurate and comprehensive worldwide data collection. We also summarize a few well-coordinated genetic data collection initiatives that would serve as paradigms for similar projects. Hum Mutat 31:1–8, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. PMID:21089065

  18. The genetics of human obesity

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Qianghua; Grant, Struan FA

    2013-01-01

    It has long been known that there is a genetic component to obesity, and that characterizing this underlying factor would likely offer the possibility of better intervention in the future. Monogenic obesity has proved to be relatively straightforward, with a combination of linkage analysis and mouse models facilitating the identification of multiple genes. In contrast, genome-wide association studies have successfully revealed a variety of genetic loci associated with the more common form of obesity, allowing for very strong consensus on the underlying genetic architecture of the phenotype for the first time. Although a number of significant findings have been made, it appears that very little of the apparent heritability of body mass index has actually been explained to date. New approaches for data analyses and advances in technology will be required to uncover the elusive missing heritability, and to aid in the identification of the key causative genetic underpinnings of obesity. PMID:23360386

  19. Mixture distributions in human genetics research.

    PubMed

    Schork, N J; Allison, D B; Thiel, B

    1996-06-01

    The use of mixture distributions in genetics research dates back to at least the late 1800s when Karl Pearson applied them in an analysis of crab morphometry. Pearson's use of normal mixture distributions to model the mixing of different species of crab (or 'families' of crab as he referred to them) within a defined geographic area motivated further use of mixture distributions in genetics research settings, and ultimately led to their development and recognition as intuitive modelling devices for the effects of underlying genes on quantitative phenotypic (i.e. trait) expression. In addition, mixture distributions are now used routinely to model or accommodate the genetic heterogeneity thought to underlie many human diseases. Specific applications of mixture distribution models in contemporary human genetics research are, in fact, too numerous to count. Despite this long, consistent and arguably illustrious history of use, little mention of mixture distributions in genetics research is made in many recent reviews on mixture models. This review attempts to rectify this by providing insight into the role that mixture distributions play in contemporary human genetics research. Tables providing examples from the literature that describe applications of mixture models in human genetics research are offered as a way of acquainting the interested reader with relevant studies. In addition, some of the more problematic aspects of the use of mixture models in genetics research are outlined and addressed. PMID:8817796

  20. The Role of Recombinant Genetics in Humanism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacobs, Troy A.

    1983-01-01

    To eliminate the public's fear of recombinant genetics the important link between science and the humanities should be part of the educational system. Universal applied genetics guidelines are needed that encompass philosophical and technical issues. Biological advances can revitalize humankind in the future. (AM)

  1. Genetic variation of Eryngium campestre L. (Apiaceae) in Central Europe.

    PubMed

    Bylebyl, Kathrin; Poschlod, Peter; Reisch, Christoph

    2008-07-01

    In Germany, Eryngium campestre is restricted to dry habitats along the rivers Rhine and Elbe and to a few areas in Central Germany. This distribution pattern is usually regarded as a typical pattern of postglacial immigration. In the present study, we investigated whether these two geographically distinct distribution areas are genetically differentiated and whether conclusions can be drawn regarding colonization history. To analyse the phylogeographic structure of E. campestre in Central Europe, 278 individuals from 29 populations within Germany and from further reference populations within Europe were analysed. We applied amplified fragment length polymorphisms to examine their genetic relatedness. Our analyses revealed three groups: a Mediterranean group additionally including two Rhine populations; a Rhine-Main group which further includes the westernmost population from the central German dry area; and one group which includes all eastern populations. Our results show that the two geographically distinct areas are genetically differentiated. As genetic diversity within the Elbe populations is very low, we conclude that this area, which was strongly affected through the late glacial maximum, was colonized relatively recently. High genetic diversity in the Rhine populations indicates a contact zone where lineages of different origin met. This would imply that today's patterns of genetic variation were caused through glacial range contractions and expansions. The present study is one of the first studies that deal with the postglacial distribution pattern of a dry grassland plant species in Central Europe and the results suggest that a survival of E. campestre at least during the Dryas cold stage might be possible.

  2. Interpretation of patterns of genetic variation in endemic plant species of oceanic islands

    PubMed Central

    Stuessy, Tod F; Takayama, Koji; López-Sepúlveda, Patricio; Crawford, Daniel J

    2014-01-01

    Oceanic islands offer special opportunities for understanding the patterns and processes of evolution. The availability of molecular markers in recent decades has enhanced these opportunities, facilitating the use of population genetics to reveal divergence and speciation in island systems. A common pattern seen in taxa on oceanic islands is a decreased level of genetic variation within and among populations, and the founder effect has often been invoked to explain this observation. Founder effects have a major impact on immigrant populations, but, over millions of years, the original genetic signature will normally be erased as a result of mutation, recombination, drift and selection. Therefore, the types and degrees of genetic modifications that occur must often be caused by other factors, which should be considered when explaining the patterns of genetic variation. The age of the island is extremely important because oceanic islands subside on their submarine plates over time. Erosion caused by wind, rain and wave action combine to grind down soft volcanic substrates. These geomorphological events can have a dramatic impact on population number and size, and hence levels of genetic diversity. The mode of speciation is also of significance. With anagenesis, genetic variation accumulates through time, whereas, with cladogenenesis, the gene pool splits into populations of adaptively radiating species. Breeding systems, population sizes and generation times are also important, as is hybridization between closely related taxa. Human disturbance has affected plant population number and size through the harvesting of forests and the introduction of invasive plants and animals. Therefore, the explanation of the observed levels of genetic variation in species of oceanic islands requires the consideration of many interconnected physical, biological and anthropomorphic factors. PMID:26074627

  3. Genetic Variation of Echinococcus canadensis (G7) in Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez-Prado, Ulises; Jimenez-Gonzalez, Diego Emiliano; Avila, Guillermina; Gonzalez, Armando E.; Martinez-Flores, Williams Arony; Mondragon de la Peña, Carmen; Hernandez-Castro, Rigoberto; Romero-Valdovinos, Mirza; Flisser, Ana; Martinez-Hernandez, Fernando; Maravilla, Pablo; Martinez-Maya, Jose Juan

    2014-01-01

    We evaluated the genetic variation of Echinococcus G7 strain in larval and adult stages using a fragment of the mitochondrial cox1 gen. Viscera of pigs, bovines, and sheep and fecal samples of dogs were inspected for cystic and canine echinococcosis, respectively; only pigs had hydatid cysts. Bayesian inferences grouped the sequences in an E. canadensis G7 cluster, suggesting that, in Mexico, this strain might be mainly present. Additionally, the population genetic and network analysis showed that E. canadensis in Mexico is very diverse and has probably been introduced several times from different sources. Finally, a scarce genetic differentiation between G6 (camel strain) and G7 (pig strain) populations was identified. PMID:25266350

  4. The effect of epistasis on sexually antagonistic genetic variation

    PubMed Central

    Arnqvist, Göran; Vellnow, Nikolas; Rowe, Locke

    2014-01-01

    There is increasing evidence of segregating sexually antagonistic (SA) genetic variation for fitness in laboratory and wild populations, yet the conditions for the maintenance of such variation can be restrictive. Epistatic interactions between genes can contribute to the maintenance of genetic variance in fitness and we suggest that epistasis between SA genes should be pervasive. Here, we explore its effect on SA genetic variation in fitness using a two locus model with negative epistasis. Our results demonstrate that epistasis often increases the parameter space showing polymorphism for SA loci. This is because selection in one locus is affected by allele frequencies at the other, which can act to balance net selection in males and females. Increased linkage between SA loci had more marginal effects. We also show that under some conditions, large portions of the parameter space evolve to a state where male benefit alleles are fixed at one locus and female benefit alleles at the other. This novel effect of epistasis on SA loci, which we term the ‘equity effect’, may have important effects on population differentiation and may contribute to speciation. More generally, these results support the suggestion that epistasis contributes to population divergence. PMID:24870040

  5. Genetic component of flammability variation in a Mediterranean shrub.

    PubMed

    Moreira, B; Castellanos, M C; Pausas, J G

    2014-03-01

    Recurrent fires impose a strong selection pressure in many ecosystems worldwide. In such ecosystems, plant flammability is of paramount importance because it enhances population persistence, particularly in non-resprouting species. Indeed, there is evidence of phenotypic divergence of flammability under different fire regimes. Our general hypothesis is that flammability-enhancing traits are adaptive; here, we test whether they have a genetic component. To test this hypothesis, we used the postfire obligate seeder Ulex parviflorus from sites historically exposed to different fire recurrence. We associated molecular variation in potentially adaptive loci detected with a genomic scan (using AFLP markers) with individual phenotypic variability in flammability across fire regimes. We found that at least 42% of the phenotypic variation in flammability was explained by the genetic divergence in a subset of AFLP loci. In spite of generalized gene flow, the genetic variability was structured by differences in fire recurrence. Our results provide the first field evidence supporting that traits enhancing plant flammability have a genetic component and thus can be responding to natural selection driven by fire. These results highlight the importance of flammability as an adaptive trait in fire-prone ecosystems. PMID:24433213

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  7. Genetic component of flammability variation in a Mediterranean shrub.

    PubMed

    Moreira, B; Castellanos, M C; Pausas, J G

    2014-03-01

    Recurrent fires impose a strong selection pressure in many ecosystems worldwide. In such ecosystems, plant flammability is of paramount importance because it enhances population persistence, particularly in non-resprouting species. Indeed, there is evidence of phenotypic divergence of flammability under different fire regimes. Our general hypothesis is that flammability-enhancing traits are adaptive; here, we test whether they have a genetic component. To test this hypothesis, we used the postfire obligate seeder Ulex parviflorus from sites historically exposed to different fire recurrence. We associated molecular variation in potentially adaptive loci detected with a genomic scan (using AFLP markers) with individual phenotypic variability in flammability across fire regimes. We found that at least 42% of the phenotypic variation in flammability was explained by the genetic divergence in a subset of AFLP loci. In spite of generalized gene flow, the genetic variability was structured by differences in fire recurrence. Our results provide the first field evidence supporting that traits enhancing plant flammability have a genetic component and thus can be responding to natural selection driven by fire. These results highlight the importance of flammability as an adaptive trait in fire-prone ecosystems.

  8. Genetic variation in the vulnerable and endemic Monkey Puzzle tree, detected using RAPDs.

    PubMed

    Bekessy, Sarah A; Allnutt, T R; Premoli, A C; Lara, A; Ennos, R A; Burgman, M A; Cortes, M; Newton, A C

    2002-04-01

    Araucaria araucana (Monkey Puzzle), a southern South American tree species of exceptional cultural and economic importance, is of conservation concern owing to extensive historical clearance and current human pressures. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were used to characterise genetic heterogeneity within and among 13 populations of this species from throughout its natural range. Extensive genetic variability was detected and partitioned by analysis of molecular variance, with the majority of variation existing within populations (87.2%), but significant differentiation was recorded among populations (12.8%). Estimates of Shannon's genetic diversity and percent polymorphism were relatively high for all populations and provide no evidence for a major reduction in genetic diversity from historical events, such as glaciation. All pairwise genetic distance values derived from analysis of molecular variance (Phi(ST)) were significant when individual pairs of populations were compared. Although populations are geographically divided into Chilean Coastal, Chilean Andes and Argentinean regions, this grouping explained only 1.77% of the total variation. Within Andean groups there was evidence of a trend of genetic distance with increasing latitude, and clustering of populations across the Andes, suggesting postglacial migration routes from multiple refugia. Implications of these results for the conservation and use of the genetic resource of this species are discussed.

  9. RNA splicing is a primary link between genetic variation and disease.

    PubMed

    Li, Yang I; van de Geijn, Bryce; Raj, Anil; Knowles, David A; Petti, Allegra A; Golan, David; Gilad, Yoav; Pritchard, Jonathan K

    2016-04-29

    Noncoding variants play a central role in the genetics of complex traits, but we still lack a full understanding of the molecular pathways through which they act. We quantified the contribution of cis-acting genetic effects at all major stages of gene regulation from chromatin to proteins, in Yoruba lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs). About ~65% of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) have primary effects on chromatin, whereas the remaining eQTLs are enriched in transcribed regions. Using a novel method, we also detected 2893 splicing QTLs, most of which have little or no effect on gene-level expression. These splicing QTLs are major contributors to complex traits, roughly on a par with variants that affect gene expression levels. Our study provides a comprehensive view of the mechanisms linking genetic variation to variation in human gene regulation.

  10. Genomic exploitation of genetic variation for crop improvement

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Crop plants produce food, fiber, and fuel that are essential to human civilization and mainstays of economic prosperity. Our society continues to cultivate and improve the crop plants for better quality and productivity with sustainable environments. The process of crop genetic improvement has bee...

  11. Patterns of molecular genetic variation among cat breeds.

    PubMed

    Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn; David, Victor A; Pflueger, Solveig M; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Wade, Claire M; O'Brien, Stephen J; Johnson, Warren E

    2008-01-01

    Genetic variation in cat breeds was assessed utilizing a panel of short tandem repeat (STR) loci genotyped in 38 cat breeds and 284 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped in 24 breeds. Population structure in cat breeds generally reflects their recent ancestry and absence of strong breed barriers between some breeds. There is a wide range in the robustness of population definition, from breeds demonstrating high definition to breeds with as little as a third of their genetic variation partitioning into a single population. Utilizing the STRUCTURE algorithm, there was no clear demarcation of the number of population subdivisions; 16 breeds could not be resolved into independent populations, the consequence of outcrossing in established breeds to recently developed breeds with common ancestry. These 16 breeds were divided into 6 populations. Ninety-six percent of cats in a sample set of 1040 were correctly assigned to their classified breed or breed group/population. Average breed STR heterozygosities ranged from moderate (0.53; Havana, Korat) to high (0.85; Norwegian Forest Cat, Manx). Most of the variation in cat breeds was observed within a breed population (83.7%), versus 16.3% of the variation observed between populations. The hierarchical relationships of cat breeds is poorly defined as demonstrated by phylogenetic trees generated from both STR and SNP data, though phylogeographic grouping of breeds derived completely or in part from Southeast Asian ancestors was apparent.

  12. Cosmic Rays Variations and Human Physiological State

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimitrova, S.

    2009-12-01

    It was obtained in our previous investigations that geomagnetic activity as an indirect indicator of solar activity correlates with some human physiological and psycho-physiological parameters. A lot of studies indicate that other parameters of space weather like cosmic rays Forbush decreases affect myocardial infarction, brain stroke, car accidents, etc. The purpose of that work was to study the effect of cosmic rays variations on human physiological status. It was established that the decrease in cosmic rays intensity was related to an increase in systolic and diastolic blood pressure and reported subjective psycho-physiological complaints in healthy volunteers.

  13. Genetic variation in insulin-induced kinase signaling

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Isabel Xiaorong; Ramrattan, Girish; Cheung, Vivian G

    2015-01-01

    Individual differences in sensitivity to insulin contribute to disease susceptibility including diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Cellular responses to insulin are well studied. However, which steps in these response pathways differ across individuals remains largely unknown. Such knowledge is needed to guide more precise therapeutic interventions. Here, we studied insulin response and found extensive individual variation in the activation of key signaling factors, including ERK whose induction differs by more than 20-fold among our subjects. This variation in kinase activity is propagated to differences in downstream gene expression response to insulin. By genetic analysis, we identified cis-acting DNA variants that influence signaling response, which in turn affects downstream changes in gene expression and cellular phenotypes, such as protein translation and cell proliferation. These findings show that polymorphic differences in signal transduction contribute to individual variation in insulin response, and suggest kinase modulators as promising therapeutics for diseases characterized by insulin resistance. PMID:26202599

  14. Genetic Variation in Drug Transporters in Ethnic Populations

    PubMed Central

    Cropp, Cheryl D.; Yee, Sook Wah; Giacomini, Kathleen M.

    2009-01-01

    Drug-metabolizing enzymes and membrane transporters work in concert to play crucial roles in drug absorption, distribution, and elimination. It is well recognized that genetic variation in drug-metabolizing enzymes contributes substantially to interindividual differences in drug response. With the notable exceptions of CYP1A1 and CYP2E1, genes encoding cytochrome P450s, which are involved in the metabolism of >80% of all drugs used in clinical practice, are highly polymorphic.1 Interethnic variation in the distribution and frequency of occurrence of variant alleles in drug-metabolizing enzymes is known to alter the rate of drug metabolism in vivo, resulting in interethnic variation in drug disposition and response. PMID:18528433

  15. The genetics of neuroticism and human values

    PubMed Central

    Lancaster, Thomas M.; Maio, Gregory R.; Linden, David E. J.

    2016-01-01

    Human values and personality have been shown to share genetic variance in twin studies. However, there is a lack of evidence about the genetic components of this association. This study examined the interplay between genes, values and personality in the case of neuroticism, because polygenic scores were available for this personality trait. First, we replicated prior evidence of a positive association between the polygenic neuroticism score (PNS) and neuroticism. Second, we found that the PNS was significantly associated with the whole human value space in a sinusoidal waveform that was consistent with Schwartz's circular model of human values. These results suggest that it is useful to consider human values in the analyses of genetic contributions to personality traits. They also pave the way for an investigation of the biological mechanisms contributing to human value orientations. PMID:26915771

  16. Population amalgamation and genetic variation: observations on artificially agglomerated tribal populations of Central and South America.

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborty, R; Smouse, P E; Neel, J V

    1988-01-01

    The interpretation of data on genetic variation with regard to the relative roles of different evolutionary factors that produce and maintain genetic variation depends critically on our assumptions concerning effective population size and the level of migration between neighboring populations. In humans, recent population growth and movements of specific ethnic groups across wide geographic areas mean that any theory based on assumptions of constant population size and absence of substructure is generally untenable. We examine the effects of population subdivision on the pattern of protein genetic variation in a total sample drawn from an artificial agglomerate of 12 tribal populations of Central and South America, analyzing the pooled sample as though it were a single population. Several striking findings emerge. (1) Mean heterozygosity is not sensitive to agglomeration, but the number of different alleles (allele count) is inflated, relative to neutral mutation/drift/equilibrium expectation. (2) The inflation is most serious for rare alleles, especially those which originally occurred as tribally restricted "private" polymorphisms. (3) The degree of inflation is an increasing function of both the number of populations encompassed by the sample and of the genetic divergence among them. (4) Treating an agglomerated population as though it were a panmictic unit of long standing can lead to serious biases in estimates of mutation rates, selection pressures, and effective population sizes. Current DNA studies indicate the presence of numerous genetic variants in human populations. The findings and conclusions of this paper are all fully applicable to the study of genetic variation at the DNA level as well. PMID:3189334

  17. Human genetics. The genetics of Mexico recapitulates Native American substructure and affects biomedical traits.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Estrada, Andrés; Gignoux, Christopher R; Fernández-López, Juan Carlos; Zakharia, Fouad; Sikora, Martin; Contreras, Alejandra V; Acuña-Alonzo, Victor; Sandoval, Karla; Eng, Celeste; Romero-Hidalgo, Sandra; Ortiz-Tello, Patricia; Robles, Victoria; Kenny, Eimear E; Nuño-Arana, Ismael; Barquera-Lozano, Rodrigo; Macín-Pérez, Gastón; Granados-Arriola, Julio; Huntsman, Scott; Galanter, Joshua M; Via, Marc; Ford, Jean G; Chapela, Rocío; Rodriguez-Cintron, William; Rodríguez-Santana, Jose R; Romieu, Isabelle; Sienra-Monge, Juan José; del Rio Navarro, Blanca; London, Stephanie J; Ruiz-Linares, Andrés; Garcia-Herrera, Rodrigo; Estrada, Karol; Hidalgo-Miranda, Alfredo; Jimenez-Sanchez, Gerardo; Carnevale, Alessandra; Soberón, Xavier; Canizales-Quinteros, Samuel; Rangel-Villalobos, Héctor; Silva-Zolezzi, Irma; Burchard, Esteban Gonzalez; Bustamante, Carlos D

    2014-06-13

    Mexico harbors great cultural and ethnic diversity, yet fine-scale patterns of human genome-wide variation from this region remain largely uncharacterized. We studied genomic variation within Mexico from over 1000 individuals representing 20 indigenous and 11 mestizo populations. We found striking genetic stratification among indigenous populations within Mexico at varying degrees of geographic isolation. Some groups were as differentiated as Europeans are from East Asians. Pre-Columbian genetic substructure is recapitulated in the indigenous ancestry of admixed mestizo individuals across the country. Furthermore, two independently phenotyped cohorts of Mexicans and Mexican Americans showed a significant association between subcontinental ancestry and lung function. Thus, accounting for fine-scale ancestry patterns is critical for medical and population genetic studies within Mexico, in Mexican-descent populations, and likely in many other populations worldwide.

  18. The genetic basis of complex human behaviors.

    PubMed

    Plomin, R; Owen, M J; McGuffin, P

    1994-06-17

    Quantitative genetic research has built a strong case for the importance of genetic factors in many complex behavioral disorders and dimensions in the domains of psychopathology, personality, and cognitive abilities. Quantitative genetics can also provide an empirical guide and a conceptual framework for the application of molecular genetics. The success of molecular genetics in elucidating the genetic basis of behavioral disorders has largely relied on a reductionistic one gene, one disorder (OGOD) approach in which a single gene is necessary and sufficient to develop a disorder. In contrast, a quantitative trait loci (QTL) approach involves the search for multiple genes, each of which is neither necessary nor sufficient for the development of a trait. The OGOD and QTL approaches have both advantages and disadvantages for identifying genes that affect complex human behaviors.

  19. Genetically Engineered Pig Models for Human Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Prather, Randall S.; Lorson, Monique; Ross, Jason W.; Whyte, Jeffrey J.; Walters, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Although pigs are used widely as models of human disease, their utility as models has been enhanced by genetic engineering. Initially, transgenes were added randomly to the genome, but with the application of homologous recombination, zinc finger nucleases, and transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) technologies, now most any genetic change that can be envisioned can be completed. To date these genetic modifications have resulted in animals that have the potential to provide new insights into human diseases for which a good animal model did not exist previously. These new animal models should provide the preclinical data for treatments that are developed for diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, cystic fibrosis, retinitis pigmentosa, spinal muscular atrophy, diabetes, and organ failure. These new models will help to uncover aspects and treatments of these diseases that were otherwise unattainable. The focus of this review is to describe genetically engineered pigs that have resulted in models of human diseases. PMID:25387017

  20. The influence of clan structure on the genetic variation in a single Ghanaian village.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Faddeev, Hernando; Pijpe, Jeroen; van der Hulle, Tom; Meij, Hans J; van der Gaag, Kristiaan J; Slagboom, P Eline; Westendorp, Rudi G J; de Knijff, Peter

    2013-10-01

    Socioeconomic and cultural factors are thought to have an important role in influencing human population genetic structure. To explain such population structure differences, most studies analyse genetic differences among widely dispersed human populations. In contrast, we have studied the genetic structure of an ethnic group occupying a single village in north-eastern Ghana. We found a markedly skewed male population substructure because of an almost complete lack of male gene flow among Bimoba clans in this village. We also observed a deep male substructure within one of the clans in this village. Among all males, we observed only three Y-single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) haplogroups: E1b1a*-M2, E1b1a7a*-U174 and E1b1a8a*-U209, P277, P278. In contrast to the marked Y-chromosomal substructure, mitochondrial DNA HVS-1 sequence variation and autosomal short-tandem repeats variation patterns indicate high genetic diversities and a virtually random female-mediated gene flow among clans. On the extreme micro-geographical scale of this single Bimoba village, correspondence between the Y-chromosome lineages and clan membership could be due to the combined effects of the strict patrilocal and patrilineal structure. If translated to larger geographic scales, our results would imply that the extent of variation in uniparentally inherited genetic markers, which are typically associated with historical migration on a continental scale, could equally likely be the result of many small and different cumulative effects of social factors such as clan membership that act at a local scale. Such local scale effects should therefore be considered in genetic studies, especially those that use uniparental markers, before making inferences about human history at large.

  1. Genetic Diversity and Human Equality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dobzhansky, Theodosius

    The idea of equality often, if not frequently, bogs down in confusion and apparent contradictions; equality is confused with identity, and diversity with inequality. It would seem that the easiest way to discredit the idea of equality is to show that people are innately, genetically, and, therefore, irremediably diverse and unlike. The snare is,…

  2. Defining the Genetic Architecture of Human Developmental Language Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ning; Bartlett, Christopher W.

    2012-01-01

    Language is a uniquely human trait, which poses limitations on animal models for discovering biological substrates and pathways. Despite this challenge, rapidly developing biotechnology in the field of genomics has made human genetics studies a viable alternative route for defining the molecular neuroscience of human language. This is accomplished by studying families that transmit both normal and disordered language across generations. The language disorder reviewed here is specific language impairment (SLI), a developmental deficiency in language acquisition despite adequate opportunity, normal intelligence, and without any apparent neurological etiology. Here, we describe disease gene discovery paradigms as applied to SLI families and review the progress this field has made. After review the evidence that genetic factors influence SLI, we discuss methods and findings from scans of the human chromosomes, including the main replicated regions on chromosomes 13, 16 and 19 and two identified genes, ATP2C2 and CMIP that appear to account for the language variation on chromosome 16. Additional work has been done on candidate genes, i.e., genes chosen a priori and not through a genome scanning studies, including several studies of CNTNAP2 and some recent work implicating BDNF as a gene × gene interaction partner of genetic variation on chromosome 13 that influences language. These recent developments may allow for better use of post-mortem human brain samples functional studies and animal models for circumscribed language subcomponents. In the future, the identification of genetic variation associated with language phenotypes will provide the molecular pathways to understanding human language. PMID:22365959

  3. Ecogeography, genetics, and the evolution of human body form.

    PubMed

    Roseman, Charles C; Auerbach, Benjamin M

    2015-01-01

    Genetic resemblances among groups are non-randomly distributed in humans. This population structure may influence the correlations between traits and environmental drivers of natural selection thus complicating the interpretation of the fossil record when modern human variation is used as a referential model. In this paper, we examine the effects of population structure and natural selection on postcranial traits that reflect body size and shape with application to the more general issue of how climate - using latitude as a proxy - has influenced hominin morphological variation. We compare models that include terms reflecting population structure, ascertained from globally distributed microsatellite data, and latitude on postcranial phenotypes derived from skeletal dimensions taken from a large global sample of modern humans. We find that models with a population structure term fit better than a model of natural selection along a latitudinal cline in all cases. A model including both latitude and population structure terms is a good fit to distal limb element lengths and bi-iliac breadth, indicating that multiple evolutionary forces shaped these morphologies. In contrast, a model that included only a population structure term best explained femoral head diameter and the crural index. The results demonstrate that population structure is an important part of human postcranial variation, and that clinally distributed natural selection is not sufficient to explain among-group differentiation. The distribution of human body form is strongly influenced by the contingencies of modern human origins, which calls for new ways to approach problems in the evolution of human variation, past and present.

  4. Variation and signatures of selection on the human face.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jing; Tan, Jingze; Yang, Yajun; Zhou, Hang; Hu, Sile; Hashan, Agu; Bahaxar, Nurmamat; Xu, Shuhua; Weaver, Timothy D; Jin, Li; Stoneking, Mark; Tang, Kun

    2014-10-01

    There has been much debate about why humans throughout the world differ in facial form. Previous studies of human skull morphology found levels of among-population differentiation that were comparable to those of neutral genetic markers, suggesting that genetic drift (neutral processes) played an important role in influencing facial differentiation. However, variation in soft-tissue morphology has not been studied in detail. In this study, we analyzed high-resolution 3D images of soft-tissue facial form in four Eurasian populations: Han Chinese, Tibetans, Uyghur and Europeans. A novel method was used to establish a high-density alignment across all of the faces, allowing facial diversity to be examined at an unprecedented resolution. These data exhibit signatures of population structure and history. However, among-population differentiation was higher for soft-tissue facial form than for genome-wide genetic loci, and high-resolution analyses reveal that the nose, brow area and cheekbones exhibit particularly strong signals of differentiation (Qst estimates: 0.3-0.8) between Europeans and Han Chinese. Our results suggest that local adaptation and/or sexual selection have been important in shaping human soft-tissue facial morphology. PMID:25186351

  5. Populus trichocarpa cell wall chemistry and ultrastructure trait variation, genetic control and genetic correlations.

    PubMed

    Porth, Ilga; Klápště, Jaroslav; Skyba, Oleksandr; Lai, Ben S K; Geraldes, Armando; Muchero, Wellington; Tuskan, Gerald A; Douglas, Carl J; El-Kassaby, Yousry A; Mansfield, Shawn D

    2013-02-01

    The increasing ecological and economical importance of Populus species and hybrids has stimulated research into the investigation of the natural variation of the species and the estimation of the extent of genetic control over its wood quality traits for traditional forestry activities as well as the emerging bioenergy sector. A realized kinship matrix based on informative, high-density, biallelic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genetic markers was constructed to estimate trait variance components, heritabilities, and genetic and phenotypic correlations. Seventeen traits related to wood chemistry and ultrastructure were examined in 334 9-yr-old Populus trichocarpa grown in a common-garden plot representing populations spanning the latitudinal range 44° to 58.6°. In these individuals, 9342 SNPs that conformed to Hardy-Weinberg expectations were employed to assess the genomic pair-wise kinship to estimate narrow-sense heritabilities and genetic correlations among traits. The range-wide phenotypic variation in all traits was substantial and several trait heritabilities were > 0.6. In total, 61 significant genetic and phenotypic correlations and a network of highly interrelated traits were identified. The high trait variation, the evidence for moderate to high heritabilities and the identification of advantageous trait combinations of industrially important characteristics should aid in providing the foundation for the enhancement of poplar tree breeding strategies for modern industrial use. PMID:23278123

  6. Hominin interbreeding and the evolution of human variation.

    PubMed

    Ko, Kwang Hyun

    2016-12-01

    Mitochondrial Eve confirms the "out of Africa" theory, but the evidence also supports interbreeding between Homo sapiens and other hominins: Neanderthals, Denisovans, and Homo heidelbergensis. This article explains how interbreeding between early H. sapiens and archaic hominins occurred. The availability of edible insects in East Asia aided the spread of the unaggressive, highly cooperative Neanderthals, who interbred with H. sapiens in Asia, resulting in a higher admixture of Neanderthal DNA in East Asian populations. Geographical variation in degree of interbreeding between H. sapiens and Neanderthals likely contributed to neurological and behavioral differences in modern humans. Similarly, people with Denisovan genetic admixture were better able to dwell in mountainous regions, allowing their genetic legacy to cross the Himalayas and persist in Southeast Asian and Oceanian H. sapiens. In the Sub-Saharan region, unaffected by Denisovan or Neanderthal interbreeding, H. sapiens interbred with H. heidelbergensis, because high humidity militated against fire-making and allowed the survival of these non-fire-making hominins.

  7. Genetic variation in domestic reindeer and wild caribou in Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cronin, M.; Renecker, L.; Pierson, B. J.; Patton, J.C.

    1995-01-01

    Reindeer were introduced into Alaska 100 years ago and have been maintained as semidomestic livestock. They have had contact with wild caribou herds, including deliberate cross-breeding and mixing in the wild. Reindeer have considerable potential as a domestic animal for meat or velvet antler production, and wild caribou are important to subsistence and sport hunters. Our objective was to quantify the genetic relationships of reindeer and caribou in Alaska. We identified allelic variation among five herds of wild caribou and three herds of reindeer with DNA sequencing and restriction enzymes for three loci: a DQA locus of the major histocompatibility complex (Rata-DQA1), k-casein and the D-loop of mitochondrial DNA. These loci are of interest because of their potential influence on domestic animal performance and the fitness of wild populations. There is considerable genetic variation in reindeer and caribou for all three loci, including five, three and six alleles for DQA, k-casein and D-loop respectively. Most alleles occur in both reindeer and caribou, which may be the result of recent common ancestry or genetic introgression in either direction. However, allele frequencies differ considerably between reindeer and caribou, which suggests that gene flow has been limited.

  8. Ancient genetic variation in one of the world's rarest seabirds.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, H A; Scofield, R P; Crockett, D E; Millar, C D; Lambert, D M

    2008-12-01

    The Chatham Island Taiko (Tchaik, Pterodroma magentae) is one of the world's rarest seabirds. In the past there were millions of breeding pairs of Taiko and it was the most abundant burrowing petrel on Chatham Island. The present population consists of just 120-150 birds, including only 8-15 breeding pairs. Surprisingly high genetic variation was revealed by DNA sequencing of almost every known adult Taiko (N=90). Given the massive population decline, genetic variation may have been even larger in the past. Therefore, we investigated past genetic diversity by sequencing regions of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene in 44 ancient Taiko bones. We identified a total of 12 haplotypes in Taiko. Eight haplotypes were revealed in the ancient DNA: four were unique to the bones and four corresponded to those found in the modern Taiko population. Surprisingly, despite the critically endangered status of the Taiko, no significant reduction in mitochondrial DNA haplotype diversity was observed between ancient samples (N=44) and modern adult Taiko (N=90). The modern population may have however lost four haplotypes present in the ancient populations. PMID:19018271

  9. Genetic variation in uncontrolled childhood asthma despite ICS treatment.

    PubMed

    Leusink, M; Vijverberg, S J H; Koenderman, L; Raaijmakers, J A M; de Jongste, J C; Sterk, P J; Duiverman, E J; Onland-Moret, N C; Postma, D S; de Boer, A; de Bakker, P I W; Koppelman, G H; Maitland-van der Zee, A H

    2016-04-01

    Genetic variation may partly explain asthma treatment response heterogeneity. We aimed to identify common and rare genetic variants associated with asthma that was not well controlled despite inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) treatment. Data of 110 children was collected in the Children Asthma Therapy Optimal trial. Associations of genetic variation with measures of lung function (FEV1%pred), airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) to methacholine (Mch PD20) and treatment response outcomes were analyzed using the exome chip. The 17q12-21 locus (containing ORMDL3 and GSMDB) previously associated with childhood asthma was investigated separately. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the 17q12-21 locus were found nominally associated with the outcomes. The strongest association in this region was found for rs72821893 in KRT25 with FEV1%pred (P=3.75*10(-5)), Mch PD20 (P=0.00095) and Mch PD20-based treatment outcome (P=0.006). No novel single SNPs or burden tests were significantly associated with the outcomes. The 17q12-21 region was associated with FEV1%pred and AHR, and additionally with ICS treatment response.

  10. The context of human genetic evolution.

    PubMed

    Foley, R

    1998-04-01

    The debate on modern human origins has often focused on the relationship between genes and fossils. Although more and more genetic evidence has been accumulating in favor of a recent African origin for modern humans, it has been assumed by many that the fossil evidence remains ambiguous. On the contrary, it has been clear for some time that the fossil evidence does not support the multiregional model: Fossils and archeology indicate a pattern of multiple dispersals from and beyond Africa, against which the genetic data can be compared. The continuing value of paleobiology is in complementing genetic information by revealing the context of human evolution: locating the dispersals and extinctions of populations in time and space, correlating these events with the environmental forces that shaped them, and providing an increasingly detailed understanding of the morphology and technology of early humans.

  11. Fitness and genetic variation of Viola calaminaria, an endemic metallophyte: implications of population structure and history.

    PubMed

    Bizoux, J-P; Daïnou, K; Raspé, O; Lutts, S; Mahy, G

    2008-11-01

    We investigated variations in genetic diversity and plant fitness in a rare endemic metallophyte of calamine soils, Viola calaminaria, in relation to population size, population connectivity and population history in order to evaluate and discuss potential conservation strategies for the species. Mean population genetic diversity (H(s) = 0.25) of V. calaminaria was similar to endemic non-metallophyte taxa. Twenty-one per cent of the genetic variation was partitioned among populations and a low (9%) but significant differentiation was found among geographical regions. Our results did not support the hypothesis that the acquisition of metal tolerance may result in reduced genetic diversity, and suggested that strict metallophytes do not exhibit higher inter-population differentiation resulting from scattered habitats. There were no relationships between population genetic diversity and population size. Significant correlations were found between plant fitness and (i) population size and (ii) connectivity index. Recently-founded populations exhibited the same level of genetic diversity as ancient populations and also possessed higher plant fitness. There was no indication of strong founder effects in recently-established populations. The results suggest that the creation of habitats through human activities could provide new opportunities for conservation of this species.

  12. Rapid establishment of genetic incompatibility through natural epigenetic variation.

    PubMed

    Durand, Stéphanie; Bouché, Nicolas; Perez Strand, Elsa; Loudet, Olivier; Camilleri, Christine

    2012-02-21

    Epigenetic variation is currently being investigated with the aim of deciphering its importance in both adaptation and evolution [1]. In plants, epimutations can underlie heritable phenotypic diversity [2-4], and epigenetic mechanisms might contribute to reproductive barriers between [5] or within species [6]. The extent of epigenetic variation begins to be appreciated in Arabidopsis [7], but the origin of natural epialleles and their impact in the wild remain largely unknown. Here we show that a genetic incompatibility among Arabidopsis thaliana strains is related to the epigenetic control of a pair of duplicate genes involved in fitness: a transposition event results in a rearranged paralogous structure that causes DNA methylation and transcriptional silencing of the other copy. We further show that this natural, strain-specific epiallele is stable over numerous generations even after removal of the duplicated, rearranged gene copy through crosses. Finally, we provide evidence that the rearranged gene copy triggers de novo DNA methylation and silencing of the unlinked native gene by RNA-directed DNA methylation. Our findings suggest an important role of naturally occurring epialleles originating from structural variation in rapidly establishing genetic incompatibilities following gene duplication events.

  13. Genetic mapping of adaptive wing size variation in Drosophila simulans.

    PubMed

    Lee, S F; Rako, L; Hoffmann, A A

    2011-07-01

    Many ecologically important traits exhibit latitudinal variation. Body size clines have been described repeatedly in insects across multiple continents, suggesting that similar selective forces are shaping these geographical gradients. It is unknown whether these parallel clinal patterns are controlled by the same or different genetic mechanism(s). We present here, quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis of wing size variation in Drosophila simulans. Our results show that much of the wing size variation is controlled by a QTL on Chr 3L with relatively minor contribution from other chromosome arms. Comparative analysis of the genomic positions of the QTL indicates that the major QTL on Chr 3 are distinct in D. simulans and D. melanogaster, whereas the QTL on Chr 2R might overlap between species. Our results suggest that parallel evolution of wing size clines could be driven by non-identical genetic mechanisms but in both cases involve a major QTL as well as smaller effects of other genomic regions. PMID:21157499

  14. Genetic Variation in Nacobbus aberrans: An Approach toward Taxonomic Resolution.

    PubMed

    Ibrahim, S K; Baldwin, J G; Roberts, P A; Hyman, B C

    1997-09-01

    Biochemical and molecular analyses of genetic variation were evaluated to address the taxonomic status of Nacobbus aberrans. Isolates from Mexico, Peru, and Argentina, cultured on tomato in the greenhouse, were analyzed with respect to isozyme and DNA marker variation. Although acid phosphatase and malate dehydrogenase revealed distinct profiles for each isolate, non-specific esterases revealed possible affinities between the Peruvian isolates and between the isolates from Mexico and Peru. Two of l 0 RAPD primers revealed affinities suggested by esterase profiles. RFLP analysis of the rDNA repeating unit with six restriction enzymes revealed identical cleavage patterns between the Peru isolates and a distinct profile shared by isolates from Mexico and Argentina. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the 5.8S rRNA coding region revealed differences among the four isolates at eight of 157 positions; sequences of the Peruvian isolates differed from each other at only one position, whereas the Mexican and Argentine isolates were identical and could be distinguished from the Peruvian isolates. A distance matrix from unweighted pairwise comparisons of the 5.8S rDNA revealed apparent elevated intraspecific divergence in N. aberrans comparable to intergeneric divergence between Heterodera and Globodera. Analysis of additional N. aberrans isolates from throughout the distribution range should help determine the full extent of intraspecific genetic variation that underlies the phenotypic and morphologic diversity of the genus.

  15. Seasonal Variation in Human Gut Microbiome Composition

    PubMed Central

    Davenport, Emily R.; Mizrahi-Man, Orna; Michelini, Katelyn; Barreiro, Luis B.; Ober, Carole; Gilad, Yoav

    2014-01-01

    The composition of the human gut microbiome is influenced by many environmental factors. Diet is thought to be one of the most important determinants, though we have limited understanding of the extent to which dietary fluctuations alter variation in the gut microbiome between individuals. In this study, we examined variation in gut microbiome composition between winter and summer over the course of one year in 60 members of a founder population, the Hutterites. Because of their communal lifestyle, Hutterite diets are similar across individuals and remarkably stable throughout the year, with the exception that fresh produce is primarily served during the summer and autumn months. Our data indicate that despite overall gut microbiome stability within individuals over time, there are consistent and significant population-wide shifts in microbiome composition across seasons. We found seasonal differences in both (i) the abundance of particular taxa (false discovery rate <0.05), including highly abundant phyla Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, and (ii) overall gut microbiome diversity (by Shannon diversity; P = 0.001). It is likely that the dietary fluctuations between seasons with respect to produce availability explain, at least in part, these differences in microbiome composition. For example, high levels of produce containing complex carbohydrates consumed during the summer months might explain increased abundance of Bacteroidetes, which contain complex carbohydrate digesters, and decreased levels of Actinobacteria, which have been negatively correlated to fiber content in food questionnaires. Our observations demonstrate the plastic nature of the human gut microbiome in response to variation in diet. PMID:24618913

  16. Hubby and Lewontin on Protein Variation in Natural Populations: When Molecular Genetics Came to the Rescue of Population Genetics.

    PubMed

    Charlesworth, Brian; Charlesworth, Deborah; Coyne, Jerry A; Langley, Charles H

    2016-08-01

    The 1966 GENETICS papers by John Hubby and Richard Lewontin were a landmark in the study of genome-wide levels of variability. They used the technique of gel electrophoresis of enzymes and proteins to study variation in natural populations of Drosophila pseudoobscura, at a set of loci that had been chosen purely for technical convenience, without prior knowledge of their levels of variability. Together with the independent study of human populations by Harry Harris, this seminal study provided the first relatively unbiased picture of the extent of genetic variability in protein sequences within populations, revealing that many genes had surprisingly high levels of diversity. These papers stimulated a large research program that found similarly high electrophoretic variability in many different species and led to statistical tools for interpreting the data in terms of population genetics processes such as genetic drift, balancing and purifying selection, and the effects of selection on linked variants. The current use of whole-genome sequences in studies of variation is the direct descendant of this pioneering work. PMID:27516612

  17. Evolutionary perspectives on human height variation.

    PubMed

    Stulp, Gert; Barrett, Louise

    2016-02-01

    Human height is a highly variable trait, both within and between populations, has a high heritability, and influences the manner in which people behave and are treated in society. Although we know much about human height, this information has rarely been brought together in a comprehensive, systematic fashion. Here, we present a synthetic review of the literature on human height from an explicit evolutionary perspective, addressing its phylogenetic history, development, and environmental and genetic influences on growth and stature. In addition to presenting evidence to suggest the past action of natural selection on human height, we also assess the evidence that natural and sexual selection continues to act on height in contemporary populations. Although there is clear evidence to suggest that selection acts on height, mainly through life-history processes but perhaps also directly, it is also apparent that methodological factors reduce the confidence with which such inferences can be drawn, and there remain surprising gaps in our knowledge. The inability to draw firm conclusions about the adaptiveness of such a highly visible and easily measured trait suggests we should show an appropriate degree of caution when dealing with other human traits in evolutionary perspective. PMID:25530478

  18. Genetic Variation and Population Structure in Native Americans

    PubMed Central

    Ramachandran, Sohini; Ray, Nicolas; Bedoya, Gabriel; Rojas, Winston; Parra, Maria V; Molina, Julio A; Gallo, Carla; Mazzotti, Guido; Poletti, Giovanni; Hill, Kim; Hurtado, Ana M; Labuda, Damian; Klitz, William; Barrantes, Ramiro; Bortolini, Maria Cátira; Salzano, Francisco M; Petzl-Erler, Maria Luiza; Tsuneto, Luiza T; Llop, Elena; Rothhammer, Francisco; Excoffier, Laurent; Feldman, Marcus W; Rosenberg, Noah A; Ruiz-Linares, Andrés

    2007-01-01

    We examined genetic diversity and population structure in the American landmass using 678 autosomal microsatellite markers genotyped in 422 individuals representing 24 Native American populations sampled from North, Central, and South America. These data were analyzed jointly with similar data available in 54 other indigenous populations worldwide, including an additional five Native American groups. The Native American populations have lower genetic diversity and greater differentiation than populations from other continental regions. We observe gradients both of decreasing genetic diversity as a function of geographic distance from the Bering Strait and of decreasing genetic similarity to Siberians—signals of the southward dispersal of human populations from the northwestern tip of the Americas. We also observe evidence of: (1) a higher level of diversity and lower level of population structure in western South America compared to eastern South America, (2) a relative lack of differentiation between Mesoamerican and Andean populations, (3) a scenario in which coastal routes were easier for migrating peoples to traverse in comparison with inland routes, and (4) a partial agreement on a local scale between genetic similarity and the linguistic classification of populations. These findings offer new insights into the process of population dispersal and differentiation during the peopling of the Americas. PMID:18039031

  19. Genetic variation and population structure in native Americans.

    PubMed

    Wang, Sijia; Lewis, Cecil M; Jakobsson, Mattias; Ramachandran, Sohini; Ray, Nicolas; Bedoya, Gabriel; Rojas, Winston; Parra, Maria V; Molina, Julio A; Gallo, Carla; Mazzotti, Guido; Poletti, Giovanni; Hill, Kim; Hurtado, Ana M; Labuda, Damian; Klitz, William; Barrantes, Ramiro; Bortolini, Maria Cátira; Salzano, Francisco M; Petzl-Erler, Maria Luiza; Tsuneto, Luiza T; Llop, Elena; Rothhammer, Francisco; Excoffier, Laurent; Feldman, Marcus W; Rosenberg, Noah A; Ruiz-Linares, Andrés

    2007-11-01

    We examined genetic diversity and population structure in the American landmass using 678 autosomal microsatellite markers genotyped in 422 individuals representing 24 Native American populations sampled from North, Central, and South America. These data were analyzed jointly with similar data available in 54 other indigenous populations worldwide, including an additional five Native American groups. The Native American populations have lower genetic diversity and greater differentiation than populations from other continental regions. We observe gradients both of decreasing genetic diversity as a function of geographic distance from the Bering Strait and of decreasing genetic similarity to Siberians--signals of the southward dispersal of human populations from the northwestern tip of the Americas. We also observe evidence of: (1) a higher level of diversity and lower level of population structure in western South America compared to eastern South America, (2) a relative lack of differentiation between Mesoamerican and Andean populations, (3) a scenario in which coastal routes were easier for migrating peoples to traverse in comparison with inland routes, and (4) a partial agreement on a local scale between genetic similarity and the linguistic classification of populations. These findings offer new insights into the process of population dispersal and differentiation during the peopling of the Americas. PMID:18039031

  20. Geographic variation and genetic structure in Spotted Owls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haig, Susan M.; Wagner, R.S.; Forsman, E.D.; Mullins, Thomas D.

    2001-01-01

    We examined genetic variation, population structure, and definition of conservation units in Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis). Spotted Owls are mostly non-migratory, long-lived, socially monogamous birds that have decreased population viability due to their occupation of highly-fragmented late successional forests in western North America. To investigate potential effects of habitat fragmentation on population structure, we used random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) to examine genetic variation hierarchically among local breeding areas, subregional groups, regional groups, and subspecies via sampling of 21 breeding areas (276 individuals) among the three subspecies of Spotted Owls. Data from 11 variable bands suggest a significant relationship between geographic distance among local breeding groups and genetic distance (Mantel r = 0.53, P < 0.02) although multi-dimensional scaling of three significant axes did not identify significant grouping at any hierarchical level. Similarly, neighbor-joining clustering of Manhattan distances indicated geographic structure at all levels and identified Mexican Spotted Owls as a distinct clade. RAPD analyses did not clearly differentiate Northern Spotted Owls from California Spotted Owls. Among Northern Spotted Owls, estimates of population differentiation (FST) ranged from 0.27 among breeding areas to 0.11 among regions. Concordantly, within-group agreement values estimated via multi-response permutation procedures of Jaccarda??s distances ranged from 0.22 among local sites to 0.11 among regions. Pairwise comparisons of FST and geographic distance within regions suggested only the Klamath region was in equilibrium with respect to gene flow and genetic drift. Merging nuclear data with recent mitochondrial data provides support for designation of an Evolutionary Significant Unit for Mexican Spotted Owls and two overlapping Management Units for Northern and California Spotted Owls.

  1. The Genetic Basis of Natural Variation in Caenorhabditis elegans Telomere Length.

    PubMed

    Cook, Daniel E; Zdraljevic, Stefan; Tanny, Robyn E; Seo, Beomseok; Riccardi, David D; Noble, Luke M; Rockman, Matthew V; Alkema, Mark J; Braendle, Christian; Kammenga, Jan E; Wang, John; Kruglyak, Leonid; Félix, Marie-Anne; Lee, Junho; Andersen, Erik C

    2016-09-01

    Telomeres are involved in the maintenance of chromosomes and the prevention of genome instability. Despite this central importance, significant variation in telomere length has been observed in a variety of organisms. The genetic determinants of telomere-length variation and their effects on organismal fitness are largely unexplored. Here, we describe natural variation in telomere length across the Caenorhabditis elegans species. We identify a large-effect variant that contributes to differences in telomere length. The variant alters the conserved oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding fold of protection of telomeres 2 (POT-2), a homolog of a human telomere-capping shelterin complex subunit. Mutations within this domain likely reduce the ability of POT-2 to bind telomeric DNA, thereby increasing telomere length. We find that telomere-length variation does not correlate with offspring production or longevity in C. elegans wild isolates, suggesting that naturally long telomeres play a limited role in modifying fitness phenotypes in C. elegans.

  2. The Genetic Basis of Natural Variation in Caenorhabditis elegans Telomere Length.

    PubMed

    Cook, Daniel E; Zdraljevic, Stefan; Tanny, Robyn E; Seo, Beomseok; Riccardi, David D; Noble, Luke M; Rockman, Matthew V; Alkema, Mark J; Braendle, Christian; Kammenga, Jan E; Wang, John; Kruglyak, Leonid; Félix, Marie-Anne; Lee, Junho; Andersen, Erik C

    2016-09-01

    Telomeres are involved in the maintenance of chromosomes and the prevention of genome instability. Despite this central importance, significant variation in telomere length has been observed in a variety of organisms. The genetic determinants of telomere-length variation and their effects on organismal fitness are largely unexplored. Here, we describe natural variation in telomere length across the Caenorhabditis elegans species. We identify a large-effect variant that contributes to differences in telomere length. The variant alters the conserved oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding fold of protection of telomeres 2 (POT-2), a homolog of a human telomere-capping shelterin complex subunit. Mutations within this domain likely reduce the ability of POT-2 to bind telomeric DNA, thereby increasing telomere length. We find that telomere-length variation does not correlate with offspring production or longevity in C. elegans wild isolates, suggesting that naturally long telomeres play a limited role in modifying fitness phenotypes in C. elegans. PMID:27449056

  3. The Genetic Basis of Natural Variation in Caenorhabditis elegans Telomere Length

    PubMed Central

    Cook, Daniel E.; Zdraljevic, Stefan; Tanny, Robyn E.; Seo, Beomseok; Riccardi, David D.; Noble, Luke M.; Rockman, Matthew V.; Alkema, Mark J.; Braendle, Christian; Kammenga, Jan E.; Wang, John; Kruglyak, Leonid; Félix, Marie-Anne; Lee, Junho; Andersen, Erik C.

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres are involved in the maintenance of chromosomes and the prevention of genome instability. Despite this central importance, significant variation in telomere length has been observed in a variety of organisms. The genetic determinants of telomere-length variation and their effects on organismal fitness are largely unexplored. Here, we describe natural variation in telomere length across the Caenorhabditis elegans species. We identify a large-effect variant that contributes to differences in telomere length. The variant alters the conserved oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding fold of protection of telomeres 2 (POT-2), a homolog of a human telomere-capping shelterin complex subunit. Mutations within this domain likely reduce the ability of POT-2 to bind telomeric DNA, thereby increasing telomere length. We find that telomere-length variation does not correlate with offspring production or longevity in C. elegans wild isolates, suggesting that naturally long telomeres play a limited role in modifying fitness phenotypes in C. elegans. PMID:27449056

  4. Genetic variation of mini- and microsatellites and a clonal structure in Enterocytozoon bieneusi population in foxes and raccoon dogs and population differentiation of the parasite between fur animals and humans.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Wan, Qiang; Yu, Qinlei; Yang, Yuqi; Tao, Wei; Jiang, Yanxue; Xiao, Lihua

    2016-07-01

    Enterocytozoon bieneusi is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite that infects a wide range of mammal hosts and birds. Previous genotypic surveys were limited to measure the polymorphisms at the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) that evolved slowly. Data on population structure are available only on E. bieneusi isolates from primates. This study explored the genotypic and phylogenetic characteristics of four mini- and microsatellites and performed a population genetic analysis in 39 E. bieneusi isolates of potentially zoonotic ITS genotype D from farmed foxes and raccoon dogs in China. Sequence polymorphisms facilitated determination of six, two, four, and five genotypes at markers MS1, MS3, MS4, and MS7, respectively. Patterns of phylogeny revealed different levels of diversity within and among the genetic markers. Clear genotypic and phylogenetic divergences between E. bieneusi isolates of ITS genotype D from fur animals and humans were observed at individual markers. Complete linkage disequilibrium and very limited recombination in subsequent population genetic analysis supported a clonal structure for E. bieneusi population from fur animals (FID). Phylogenetic analysis, genetic network, and measures of F ST and gene flow demonstrated population differentiation of FID from two known human E. bieneusi populations HID (with a clonal structure) and HIA (with an epidemic structure). The data indicated an ideal resolving power of MLST compared to the previously widely used ITS genotyping and confirmed the clonal nature and population differentiation of E. bieneusi in various hosts. PMID:27095568

  5. Genetic variation of mini- and microsatellites and a clonal structure in Enterocytozoon bieneusi population in foxes and raccoon dogs and population differentiation of the parasite between fur animals and humans.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Wan, Qiang; Yu, Qinlei; Yang, Yuqi; Tao, Wei; Jiang, Yanxue; Xiao, Lihua

    2016-07-01

    Enterocytozoon bieneusi is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite that infects a wide range of mammal hosts and birds. Previous genotypic surveys were limited to measure the polymorphisms at the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) that evolved slowly. Data on population structure are available only on E. bieneusi isolates from primates. This study explored the genotypic and phylogenetic characteristics of four mini- and microsatellites and performed a population genetic analysis in 39 E. bieneusi isolates of potentially zoonotic ITS genotype D from farmed foxes and raccoon dogs in China. Sequence polymorphisms facilitated determination of six, two, four, and five genotypes at markers MS1, MS3, MS4, and MS7, respectively. Patterns of phylogeny revealed different levels of diversity within and among the genetic markers. Clear genotypic and phylogenetic divergences between E. bieneusi isolates of ITS genotype D from fur animals and humans were observed at individual markers. Complete linkage disequilibrium and very limited recombination in subsequent population genetic analysis supported a clonal structure for E. bieneusi population from fur animals (FID). Phylogenetic analysis, genetic network, and measures of F ST and gene flow demonstrated population differentiation of FID from two known human E. bieneusi populations HID (with a clonal structure) and HIA (with an epidemic structure). The data indicated an ideal resolving power of MLST compared to the previously widely used ITS genotyping and confirmed the clonal nature and population differentiation of E. bieneusi in various hosts.

  6. A genetic atlas of human admixture history

    PubMed Central

    Hellenthal, Garrett; Busby, George B.J.; Band, Gavin; Wilson, James F.; Capelli, Cristian

    2014-01-01

    Modern genetic data combined with appropriate statistical methods have the potential to contribute substantially to our understanding of human history. We have developed an approach that exploits the genomic structure of admixed populations to date and characterize historical mixture events at fine scales. We used this to produce an atlas of worldwide human admixture history, constructed using genetic data alone and encompassing over 100 events occurring over the past 4,000 years. We identify events whose dates and participants suggest they describe genetic impacts of the Mongol Empire, Arab slave trade, Bantu expansion, first millennium CE migrations in eastern Europe, and European colonialism, as well as unrecorded events, revealing admixture to be an almost universal force shaping human populations. PMID:24531965

  7. Characterization of the genetic variation present in CYP3A4 in three South African populations.

    PubMed

    Drögemöller, Britt; Plummer, Marieth; Korkie, Lundi; Agenbag, Gloudi; Dunaiski, Anke; Niehaus, Dana; Koen, Liezl; Gebhardt, Stefan; Schneider, Nicol; Olckers, Antonel; Wright, Galen; Warnich, Louise

    2013-01-01

    The CYP3A4 enzyme is the most abundant human cytochrome P450 (CYP) and is regarded as the most important enzyme involved in drug metabolism. Inter-individual and inter-population variability in gene expression and enzyme activity are thought to be influenced, in part, by genetic variation. Although Southern African individuals have been shown to exhibit the highest levels of genetic diversity, they have been under-represented in pharmacogenetic research to date. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify genetic variation within CYP3A4 in three South African population groups comprising of 29 Khoisan, 65 Xhosa and 65 Mixed Ancestry (MA) individuals. To identify known and novel CYP3A4 variants, 15 individuals were randomly selected from each of the population groups for bi-directional Sanger sequencing of ~600 bp of the 5'-upstream region and all thirteen exons including flanking intronic regions. Genetic variants detected were genotyped in the rest of the cohort. In total, 24 SNPs were detected, including CYP3A4(*)12, CYP3A4(*)15, and the reportedly functional CYP3A4(*)1B promoter polymorphism, as well as two novel non-synonymous variants. These putatively functional variants, p.R162W and p.Q200H, were present in two of the three populations and all three populations, respectively, and in silico analysis predicted that the former would damage the protein product. Furthermore, the three populations were shown to exhibit distinct genetic profiles. These results confirm that South African populations show unique patterns of variation in the genes encoding xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes. This research suggests that population-specific genetic profiles for CYP3A4 and other drug metabolizing genes would be essential to make full use of pharmacogenetics in Southern Africa. Further investigation is needed to determine if the identified genetic variants influence CYP3A4 metabolism phenotype in these populations. PMID:23423246

  8. Quantitative Genetics Identifies Cryptic Genetic Variation Involved in the Paternal Regulation of Seed Development.

    PubMed

    Pires, Nuno D; Bemer, Marian; Müller, Lena M; Baroux, Célia; Spillane, Charles; Grossniklaus, Ueli

    2016-01-01

    Embryonic development requires a correct balancing of maternal and paternal genetic information. This balance is mediated by genomic imprinting, an epigenetic mechanism that leads to parent-of-origin-dependent gene expression. The parental conflict (or kinship) theory proposes that imprinting can evolve due to a conflict between maternal and paternal alleles over resource allocation during seed development. One assumption of this theory is that paternal alleles can regulate seed growth; however, paternal effects on seed size are often very low or non-existent. We demonstrate that there is a pool of cryptic genetic variation in the paternal control of Arabidopsis thaliana seed development. Such cryptic variation can be exposed in seeds that maternally inherit a medea mutation, suggesting that MEA acts as a maternal buffer of paternal effects. Genetic mapping using recombinant inbred lines, and a novel method for the mapping of parent-of-origin effects using whole-genome sequencing of segregant bulks, indicate that there are at least six loci with small, paternal effects on seed development. Together, our analyses reveal the existence of a pool of hidden genetic variation on the paternal control of seed development that is likely shaped by parental conflict.

  9. Quantitative Genetics Identifies Cryptic Genetic Variation Involved in the Paternal Regulation of Seed Development

    PubMed Central

    Pires, Nuno D.; Bemer, Marian; Müller, Lena M.; Baroux, Célia; Spillane, Charles; Grossniklaus, Ueli

    2016-01-01

    Embryonic development requires a correct balancing of maternal and paternal genetic information. This balance is mediated by genomic imprinting, an epigenetic mechanism that leads to parent-of-origin-dependent gene expression. The parental conflict (or kinship) theory proposes that imprinting can evolve due to a conflict between maternal and paternal alleles over resource allocation during seed development. One assumption of this theory is that paternal alleles can regulate seed growth; however, paternal effects on seed size are often very low or non-existent. We demonstrate that there is a pool of cryptic genetic variation in the paternal control of Arabidopsis thaliana seed development. Such cryptic variation can be exposed in seeds that maternally inherit a medea mutation, suggesting that MEA acts as a maternal buffer of paternal effects. Genetic mapping using recombinant inbred lines, and a novel method for the mapping of parent-of-origin effects using whole-genome sequencing of segregant bulks, indicate that there are at least six loci with small, paternal effects on seed development. Together, our analyses reveal the existence of a pool of hidden genetic variation on the paternal control of seed development that is likely shaped by parental conflict. PMID:26811909

  10. Quantitative Genetics Identifies Cryptic Genetic Variation Involved in the Paternal Regulation of Seed Development.

    PubMed

    Pires, Nuno D; Bemer, Marian; Müller, Lena M; Baroux, Célia; Spillane, Charles; Grossniklaus, Ueli

    2016-01-01

    Embryonic development requires a correct balancing of maternal and paternal genetic information. This balance is mediated by genomic imprinting, an epigenetic mechanism that leads to parent-of-origin-dependent gene expression. The parental conflict (or kinship) theory proposes that imprinting can evolve due to a conflict between maternal and paternal alleles over resource allocation during seed development. One assumption of this theory is that paternal alleles can regulate seed growth; however, paternal effects on seed size are often very low or non-existent. We demonstrate that there is a pool of cryptic genetic variation in the paternal control of Arabidopsis thaliana seed development. Such cryptic variation can be exposed in seeds that maternally inherit a medea mutation, suggesting that MEA acts as a maternal buffer of paternal effects. Genetic mapping using recombinant inbred lines, and a novel method for the mapping of parent-of-origin effects using whole-genome sequencing of segregant bulks, indicate that there are at least six loci with small, paternal effects on seed development. Together, our analyses reveal the existence of a pool of hidden genetic variation on the paternal control of seed development that is likely shaped by parental conflict. PMID:26811909

  11. Global genetic variations predict brain response to faces.

    PubMed

    Dickie, Erin W; Tahmasebi, Amir; French, Leon; Kovacevic, Natasa; Banaschewski, Tobias; Barker, Gareth J; Bokde, Arun; Büchel, Christian; Conrod, Patricia; Flor, Herta; Garavan, Hugh; Gallinat, Juergen; Gowland, Penny; Heinz, Andreas; Ittermann, Bernd; Lawrence, Claire; Mann, Karl; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Nees, Frauke; Nichols, Thomas; Lathrop, Mark; Loth, Eva; Pausova, Zdenka; Rietschel, Marcela; Smolka, Michal N; Ströhle, Andreas; Toro, Roberto; Schumann, Gunter; Paus, Tomáš

    2014-08-01

    Face expressions are a rich source of social signals. Here we estimated the proportion of phenotypic variance in the brain response to facial expressions explained by common genetic variance captured by ∼ 500,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms. Using genomic-relationship-matrix restricted maximum likelihood (GREML), we related this global genetic variance to that in the brain response to facial expressions, as assessed with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a community-based sample of adolescents (n = 1,620). Brain response to facial expressions was measured in 25 regions constituting a face network, as defined previously. In 9 out of these 25 regions, common genetic variance explained a significant proportion of phenotypic variance (40-50%) in their response to ambiguous facial expressions; this was not the case for angry facial expressions. Across the network, the strength of the genotype-phenotype relationship varied as a function of the inter-individual variability in the number of functional connections possessed by a given region (R(2) = 0.38, p<0.001). Furthermore, this variability showed an inverted U relationship with both the number of observed connections (R2 = 0.48, p<0.001) and the magnitude of brain response (R(2) = 0.32, p<0.001). Thus, a significant proportion of the brain response to facial expressions is predicted by common genetic variance in a subset of regions constituting the face network. These regions show the highest inter-individual variability in the number of connections with other network nodes, suggesting that the genetic model captures variations across the adolescent brains in co-opting these regions into the face network. PMID:25122193

  12. Global genetic variations predict brain response to faces.

    PubMed

    Dickie, Erin W; Tahmasebi, Amir; French, Leon; Kovacevic, Natasa; Banaschewski, Tobias; Barker, Gareth J; Bokde, Arun; Büchel, Christian; Conrod, Patricia; Flor, Herta; Garavan, Hugh; Gallinat, Juergen; Gowland, Penny; Heinz, Andreas; Ittermann, Bernd; Lawrence, Claire; Mann, Karl; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Nees, Frauke; Nichols, Thomas; Lathrop, Mark; Loth, Eva; Pausova, Zdenka; Rietschel, Marcela; Smolka, Michal N; Ströhle, Andreas; Toro, Roberto; Schumann, Gunter; Paus, Tomáš

    2014-08-01

    Face expressions are a rich source of social signals. Here we estimated the proportion of phenotypic variance in the brain response to facial expressions explained by common genetic variance captured by ∼ 500,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms. Using genomic-relationship-matrix restricted maximum likelihood (GREML), we related this global genetic variance to that in the brain response to facial expressions, as assessed with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a community-based sample of adolescents (n = 1,620). Brain response to facial expressions was measured in 25 regions constituting a face network, as defined previously. In 9 out of these 25 regions, common genetic variance explained a significant proportion of phenotypic variance (40-50%) in their response to ambiguous facial expressions; this was not the case for angry facial expressions. Across the network, the strength of the genotype-phenotype relationship varied as a function of the inter-individual variability in the number of functional connections possessed by a given region (R(2) = 0.38, p<0.001). Furthermore, this variability showed an inverted U relationship with both the number of observed connections (R2 = 0.48, p<0.001) and the magnitude of brain response (R(2) = 0.32, p<0.001). Thus, a significant proportion of the brain response to facial expressions is predicted by common genetic variance in a subset of regions constituting the face network. These regions show the highest inter-individual variability in the number of connections with other network nodes, suggesting that the genetic model captures variations across the adolescent brains in co-opting these regions into the face network.

  13. Global Genetic Variations Predict Brain Response to Faces

    PubMed Central

    Dickie, Erin W.; Tahmasebi, Amir; French, Leon; Kovacevic, Natasa; Banaschewski, Tobias; Barker, Gareth J.; Bokde, Arun; Büchel, Christian; Conrod, Patricia; Flor, Herta; Garavan, Hugh; Gallinat, Juergen; Gowland, Penny; Heinz, Andreas; Ittermann, Bernd; Lawrence, Claire; Mann, Karl; Martinot, Jean-Luc; Nees, Frauke; Nichols, Thomas; Lathrop, Mark; Loth, Eva; Pausova, Zdenka; Rietschel, Marcela; Smolka, Michal N.; Ströhle, Andreas; Toro, Roberto; Schumann, Gunter; Paus, Tomáš

    2014-01-01

    Face expressions are a rich source of social signals. Here we estimated the proportion of phenotypic variance in the brain response to facial expressions explained by common genetic variance captured by ∼500,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms. Using genomic-relationship-matrix restricted maximum likelihood (GREML), we related this global genetic variance to that in the brain response to facial expressions, as assessed with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a community-based sample of adolescents (n = 1,620). Brain response to facial expressions was measured in 25 regions constituting a face network, as defined previously. In 9 out of these 25 regions, common genetic variance explained a significant proportion of phenotypic variance (40–50%) in their response to ambiguous facial expressions; this was not the case for angry facial expressions. Across the network, the strength of the genotype-phenotype relationship varied as a function of the inter-individual variability in the number of functional connections possessed by a given region (R2 = 0.38, p<0.001). Furthermore, this variability showed an inverted U relationship with both the number of observed connections (R2 = 0.48, p<0.001) and the magnitude of brain response (R2 = 0.32, p<0.001). Thus, a significant proportion of the brain response to facial expressions is predicted by common genetic variance in a subset of regions constituting the face network. These regions show the highest inter-individual variability in the number of connections with other network nodes, suggesting that the genetic model captures variations across the adolescent brains in co-opting these regions into the face network. PMID:25122193

  14. Genetic Alterations Affecting Cholesterol Metabolism and Human Fertility1

    PubMed Central

    DeAngelis, Anthony M.; Roy-O'Reilly, Meaghan; Rodriguez, Annabelle

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) represent genetic variations among individuals in a population. In medicine, these small variations in the DNA sequence may significantly impact an individual's response to certain drugs or influence the risk of developing certain diseases. In the field of reproductive medicine, a significant amount of research has been devoted to identifying polymorphisms which may impact steroidogenesis and fertility. This review discusses current understanding of the effects of genetic variations in cholesterol metabolic pathways on human fertility that bridge novel linkages between cholesterol metabolism and reproductive health. For example, the role of the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) in cellular metabolism and human reproduction has been well studied, whereas there is now an emerging body of research on the role of the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) receptor scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI) in human lipid metabolism and female reproduction. Identifying and understanding how polymorphisms in the SCARB1 gene or other genes related to lipid metabolism impact human physiology is essential and will play a major role in the development of personalized medicine for improved diagnosis and treatment of infertility. PMID:25122065

  15. Genetic aspects of human congenital diaphragmatic hernia

    PubMed Central

    Pober, BR

    2010-01-01

    Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a common major malformation affecting 1/3000–1/4000 births, which continues to be associated with significant perinatal mortality. Much current research is focused on elucidating the genetics and pathophysiology contributing to CDH to develop more effective therapies. The latest data suggest that many cases of CDH are genetically determined and also indicate that CDH is etiologically heterogeneous. The present review will provide a brief summary of diaphragm development and model organism work most relevant to human CDH and will primarily describe important human phenotypes associated with CDH and also provide recommendations for diagnostic evaluation of a fetus or infant with CDH. PMID:18510546

  16. Genetic and molecular genetic studies of murine and human lupus.

    PubMed

    Steinberg, A D; Klinman, D M; Kastner, D L; Seldin, M F; Gause, W C; Scribner, C L; Britten, J L; Siegel, J N; Mountz, J D

    1987-06-01

    Mice and humans with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have been studied with regard to cellular, genetic and molecular genetic abnormalities. B cell hyperactivity and autoantibody production are the hallmarks of this illness. In humans with SLE, there is increased stem cell, B cell precursor and B cell proliferation. The same is true of NZB mice. In lpr/lpr and gld/gld mice, marked expansion of a subpopulation of T cells allows extrathymic terminal T cell maturation and secondary B cell hyperactivity. Androgens suppress these processes and polyclonal immune activators accelerate them. Three types of genes are identified: inducing genes, accelerating genes and background genes. These give rise to abnormal expression of various cellular oncogenes, T cell receptor genes and immunoglobulin genes. The data suggest that abnormal immune regulation plays a critical role in the development of SLE, with polyclonal B cell activation being common to both mice and humans with SLE. Different genetic and cellular abnormalities underlie the ultimate syndrome, the common denominator, generalized autoimmunity, that we call SLE.

  17. Frequency variations of discrete cranial traits in major human populations. II. Hypostotic variations

    PubMed Central

    HANIHARA, TSUNEHIKO; ISHIDA, HAJIME

    2001-01-01

    Five discrete hypostotic cranial traits, tympanic dehiscence, ovale-spinosum confluence, metopism, transverse zygomatic suture vestige, and biasterionic suture, were investigated in 81 human population samples. Except for ovale-spinosum confluence, marked asymmetric occurrences of the bilateral traits were not detected in the majority of the samples. Significant intertrait association was observed mainly between the biasterionic suture and other sutural variations including accessory ossicles. The traits showing relatively consistent sex differences across diverse populations were tympanic dehiscence, which is predominant in females, and biasterionic suture in males. On a world scale, the 5 hypostotic cranial traits showed distinctive patterns of geographical variation. Different clinal variations within and between macrogeographical areas such as western and eastern parts of the Old World were found for the frequencies of the traits. The Ainu may be the most distinct outlier in the eastern Asian region on the basis of the incidence of the traits, especially the transverse zygomatic suture vestige. The interregional variation without reasonable adaptive value and nonadaptive shift of the possible outliers presented in this study suggest that the genetic background for the occurrence of these traits cannot be excluded completely. PMID:11465863

  18. Genetic mapping of variation in spatial learning in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Steinberger, Daniela; Reynolds, David S; Ferris, Pushpindar; Lincoln, Rachael; Datta, Susmita; Stanley, Joanna; Paterson, Andrea; Dawson, Gerard R; Flint, Jonathan

    2003-03-15

    Inbred strains of mice are known to differ in their performance in the Morris water maze task, a test of spatial discrimination and place navigation in rodents, but the genetic basis of individual variation in spatial learning is unknown. We have mapped genetic effects that contribute to the difference between two strains, DBA/2 and C57BL6/J, using an F2 intercross and methods to detect quantitative trait loci (QTL). We found two QTL, one on chromosome 4 and one on chromosome 12, that influence behavior in the probe trial of the water maze (genome-wide significance p = 0.017 and 0.015, respectively). By including tests of avoidance conditioning and behavior in a novel environment, we show that the QTL on chromosomes 4 and 12 specifically influence variation in spatial learning. QTL that influence differences in fearful behavior (on chromosomes 1, 3, 7, 15, and 19) operate while mice are trained in the water maze apparatus. PMID:12657702

  19. Variation in the peacock's train shows a genetic component.

    PubMed

    Petrie, Marion; Cotgreave, Peter; Pike, Thomas W

    2009-01-01

    Female peafowl (Pavo cristatus) show a strong mating preference for males with elaborate trains. This, however, poses something of a paradox because intense directional selection should erode genetic variation in the males' trains, so that females will no longer benefit by discriminating among males on the basis of these traits. This situation is known as the 'lek paradox', and leads to the theoretical expectation of low heritability in the peacock's train. We used two independent breeding experiments, involving a total of 42 sires and 86 of their male offspring, to estimate the narrow sense heritabilities of male ornaments and other morphometric traits. Contrary to expectation, we found significant levels of heritability in a trait known to be used by females during mate choice (train length), while no significant heritabilities were evident for other, non-fitness related morphological traits (tarsus length, body weight or spur length). This study adds to the building body of evidence that high levels of additive genetic variance can exist in secondary sexual traits under directional selection, but further emphasizes the main problem of what maintains this variation.

  20. Genetic Variation in Virulence among Chalkbrood Strains Infecting Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Vojvodic, Svjetlana; Jensen, Annette B.; Markussen, Bo; Eilenberg, Jørgen; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2011-01-01

    Ascosphaera apis causes chalkbrood in honeybees, a chronic disease that reduces the number of viable offspring in the nest. Although lethal for larvae, the disease normally has relatively low virulence at the colony level. A recent study showed that there is genetic variation for host susceptibility, but whether Ascosphaera apis strains differ in virulence is unknown. We exploited a recently modified in vitro rearing technique to infect honeybee larvae from three colonies with naturally mated queens under strictly controlled laboratory conditions, using four strains from two distinct A. apis clades. We found that both strain and colony of larval origin affected mortality rates. The strains from one clade caused 12–14% mortality while those from the other clade induced 71–92% mortality. Larvae from one colony showed significantly higher susceptibility to chalkbrood infection than larvae from the other two colonies, confirming the existence of genetic variation in susceptibility across colonies. Our results are consistent with antagonistic coevolution between a specialized fungal pathogen and its host, and suggest that beekeeping industries would benefit from more systematic monitoring of this chronic stress factor of their colonies. PMID:21966406

  1. Variation in the peacock's train shows a genetic component.

    PubMed

    Petrie, Marion; Cotgreave, Peter; Pike, Thomas W

    2009-01-01

    Female peafowl (Pavo cristatus) show a strong mating preference for males with elaborate trains. This, however, poses something of a paradox because intense directional selection should erode genetic variation in the males' trains, so that females will no longer benefit by discriminating among males on the basis of these traits. This situation is known as the 'lek paradox', and leads to the theoretical expectation of low heritability in the peacock's train. We used two independent breeding experiments, involving a total of 42 sires and 86 of their male offspring, to estimate the narrow sense heritabilities of male ornaments and other morphometric traits. Contrary to expectation, we found significant levels of heritability in a trait known to be used by females during mate choice (train length), while no significant heritabilities were evident for other, non-fitness related morphological traits (tarsus length, body weight or spur length). This study adds to the building body of evidence that high levels of additive genetic variance can exist in secondary sexual traits under directional selection, but further emphasizes the main problem of what maintains this variation. PMID:17922297

  2. Human structural variation: mechanisms of chromosome rearrangements

    PubMed Central

    Weckselblatt, Brooke; Rudd, M. Katharine

    2015-01-01

    Chromosome structural variation (SV) is a normal part of variation in the human genome, but some classes of SV can cause neurodevelopmental disorders. Analysis of the DNA sequence at SV breakpoints can reveal mutational mechanisms and risk factors for chromosome rearrangement. Large-scale SV breakpoint studies have become possible recently owing to advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) including whole-genome sequencing (WGS). These findings have shed light on complex forms of SV such as triplications, inverted duplications, insertional translocations, and chromothripsis. Sequence-level breakpoint data resolve SV structure and determine how genes are disrupted, fused, and/or misregulated by breakpoints. Recent improvements in breakpoint sequencing have also revealed non-allelic homologous recombination (NAHR) between paralogous long interspersed nuclear element (LINE) or human endogenous retrovirus (HERV) repeats as a cause of deletions, duplications, and translocations. This review covers the genomic organization of simple and complex constitutional SVs, as well as the molecular mechanisms of their formation. PMID:26209074

  3. Pervasive genetic integration directs the evolution of human skull shape.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Abadías, Neus; Esparza, Mireia; Sjøvold, Torstein; González-José, Rolando; Santos, Mauro; Hernández, Miquel; Klingenberg, Christian Peter

    2012-04-01

    It has long been unclear whether the different derived cranial traits of modern humans evolved independently in response to separate selection pressures or whether they resulted from the inherent morphological integration throughout the skull. In a novel approach to this issue, we combine evolutionary quantitative genetics and geometric morphometrics to analyze genetic and phenotypic integration in human skull shape. We measured human skulls in the ossuary of Hallstatt (Austria), which offer a unique opportunity because they are associated with genealogical data. Our results indicate pronounced covariation of traits throughout the skull. Separate simulations of selection for localized shape changes corresponding to some of the principal derived characters of modern human skulls produced outcomes that were similar to each other and involved a joint response in all of these traits. The data for both genetic and phenotypic shape variation were not consistent with the hypothesis that the face, cranial base, and cranial vault are completely independent modules but relatively strongly integrated structures. These results indicate pervasive integration in the human skull and suggest a reinterpretation of the selective scenario for human evolution where the origin of any one of the derived characters may have facilitated the evolution of the others.

  4. From homothally to heterothally: Mating preferences and genetic variation within clones of the dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Figueroa, Rosa Isabel; Rengefors, Karin; Bravo, Isabel; Bensch, Staffan

    2010-02-01

    The chain-forming dinoflagellate Gymnodinium catenatum Graham is responsible for outbreaks of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), a human health threat in coastal waters. Sexuality in this species is of great importance in its bloom dynamics, and has been shown to be very complex but lacks an explanation. For this reason, we tested if unreported homothallic behavior and rapid genetic changes may clarify the sexual system of this alga. To achieve this objective, 12 clonal strains collected from the Spanish coast were analyzed for the presence of sexual reproduction. Mating affinity results, self-compatibility studies, and genetic fingerprinting (amplified fragment length polymorphism, AFLP) analysis on clonal strains, showed three facts not previously described for this species: (i) That there is a continuous mating system within G. catenatum, with either self-compatible strains (homothallic), or strains that needed to be outcrossed (heterothallic), and with a range of differences in cyst production among the crosses. (ii) There was intraclonal genetic variation, i.e. genetic variation within an asexual lineage. Moreover, the variability among homothallic clones was smaller than among the heterothallic ones. (iii) Sibling strains (the two strains established by the germination of one cyst) increased their intra- and inter-sexual compatibility with time. To summarize, we have found that G. catenatum's sexual system is much more complex than previously described, including complex homothallic/heterothallic behaviors. Additionally, high rates of genetic variability may arise in clonal strains, although explanations for the mechanisms responsible are still lacking.

  5. Evaluation of genetic variation among wild rice populations in Cambodia

    PubMed Central

    Orn, Chhourn; Shishido, Rieko; Akimoto, Masahiro; Ishikawa, Ryo; Htun, Than Myint; Nonomura, Ken-Ichi; Koide, Yohei; Sarom, Men; Vang, Seng; Sophany, Sakhan; Makara, Ouk; Ishii, Takashige

    2015-01-01

    A total of 448 samples in five natural populations of wild rice (Oryza rufipogon) were collected in Cambodia. They were examined using 12 SSR and two chloroplast markers to evaluate the degree of variation among populations and the genetic structure within populations. In the two annual populations, the number of plants with homozygous alleles at all 12 SSR loci were high (66.3% and 79.5%), suggesting that these plants propagate mainly through self-pollination. In the three perennial populations, no individuals had all homozygous genotypes, but redundant genotypes resulted from clonal propagation were observed. Percentages of the redundant genotypes were highly varied (3.6%, 29.2% and 86.0%). This may be due to the different stable levels of environmental conditions. As for chloroplast genome, most of the wild plants showed the same chloroplast types as most Indica-type cultivars have. However, plants with different chloroplast types were maintained, even in the same population. In tropical Asian countries, many wild rice populations were observed under similar ecological conditions examined in this study. Therefore, the present results concerning population structure will be important to further elucidate genetic features of wild rice, and will also give strong clues to utilize and conserve wild natural genetic resources. PMID:26719746

  6. Clinically Relevant Genetic Variations in Drug Metabolizing Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Pinto, Navin; Dolan, M. Eileen

    2011-01-01

    In the field of pharmacogenetics, we currently have a few markers to guide physicians as to the best course of therapy for patients. For the most part, these genetic variants are within a drug metabolizing enzyme that has a large effect on the degree or rate at which a drug is converted to its metabolites. For many drugs, response and toxicity are multi-genic traits and understanding relationships between a patient's genetic variation in drug metabolizing enzymes and the efficacy and/or toxicity of a medication offers the potential to optimize therapies. This review will focus on variants in drug metabolizing enzymes with predictable and relatively large impacts on drug efficacy and/or toxicity; some of these drug/gene variant pairs have impacted drug labels by the United States Food and Drug Administration. The challenges in identifying genetic markers and implementing clinical changes based on known markers will be discussed. In addition, the impact of next generation sequencing in identifying rare variants will be addressed. PMID:21453273

  7. Genetic variation modifies risk for neurodegeneration based on biomarker status

    PubMed Central

    Hohman, Timothy J.; Koran, Mary Ellen I.; Thornton-Wells, Tricia A.

    2014-01-01

    Background: While a great deal of work has gone into understanding the relationship between Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers, brain atrophy, and disease progression, less work has attempted to investigate how genetic variation modifies these relationships. The goal of this study was two-fold. First, we sought to identify high-risk vs. low-risk individuals based on their CSF tau and Aβ load and characterize these individuals with regard to brain atrophy in an AD-relevant region of interest. Next, we sought to identify genetic variants that modified the relationship between biomarker classification and neurodegeneration. Methods: Participants were categorized based on established cut-points for biomarker positivity. Mixed model regression was used to quantify longitudinal change in the left inferior lateral ventricle. Interaction analyses between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and biomarker group status were performed using a genome wide association study (GWAS) approach. Correction for multiple comparisons was performed using the Bonferroni procedure. Results: One intergenic SNP (rs4866650) and one SNP within the SPTLC1 gene (rs7849530) modified the association between amyloid positivity and neurodegeneration. A transcript variant of WDR11-AS1 gene (rs12261764) modified the association between tau positivity and neurodegeneration. These effects were consistent across the two sub-datasets and explained approximately 3% of variance in ventricular dilation. One additional SNP (rs6887649) modified the association between amyloid positivity and baseline ventricular volume, but was not observed consistently across the sub-datasets. Conclusions: Genetic variation modifies the association between AD biomarkers and neurodegeneration. Genes that regulate the molecular response in the brain to oxidative stress may be particularly relevant to neural vulnerability to the damaging effects of amyloid-β. PMID:25140149

  8. Climate variables explain neutral and adaptive variation within salmonid metapopulations: the importance of replication in landscape genetics.

    PubMed

    Hand, Brian K; Muhlfeld, Clint C; Wade, Alisa A; Kovach, Ryan P; Whited, Diane C; Narum, Shawn R; Matala, Andrew P; Ackerman, Michael W; Garner, Brittany A; Kimball, John S; Stanford, Jack A; Luikart, Gordon

    2016-02-01

    Understanding how environmental variation influences population genetic structure is important for conservation management because it can reveal how human stressors influence population connectivity, genetic diversity and persistence. We used riverscape genetics modelling to assess whether climatic and habitat variables were related to neutral and adaptive patterns of genetic differentiation (population-specific and pairwise FST ) within five metapopulations (79 populations, 4583 individuals) of steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the Columbia River Basin, USA. Using 151 putatively neutral and 29 candidate adaptive SNP loci, we found that climate-related variables (winter precipitation, summer maximum temperature, winter highest 5% flow events and summer mean flow) best explained neutral and adaptive patterns of genetic differentiation within metapopulations, suggesting that climatic variation likely influences both demography (neutral variation) and local adaptation (adaptive variation). However, we did not observe consistent relationships between climate variables and FST across all metapopulations, underscoring the need for replication when extrapolating results from one scale to another (e.g. basin-wide to the metapopulation scale). Sensitivity analysis (leave-one-population-out) revealed consistent relationships between climate variables and FST within three metapopulations; however, these patterns were not consistent in two metapopulations likely due to small sample sizes (N = 10). These results provide correlative evidence that climatic variation has shaped the genetic structure of steelhead populations and highlight the need for replication and sensitivity analyses in land and riverscape genetics. PMID:26677031

  9. Climate variables explain neutral and adaptive variation within salmonid metapopulations: The importance of replication in landscape genetics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hand, Brian K; Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Wade, Alisa A.; Kovach, Ryan; Whited, Diane C.; Narum, Shawn R; Matala, Andrew P; Ackerman, Michael W.; Garner, B. A.; Kimball, John S; Stanford, Jack A.; Luikart, Gordon

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how environmental variation influences population genetic structure is important for conservation management because it can reveal how human stressors influence population connectivity, genetic diversity and persistence. We used riverscape genetics modelling to assess whether climatic and habitat variables were related to neutral and adaptive patterns of genetic differentiation (population-specific and pairwise FST) within five metapopulations (79 populations, 4583 individuals) of steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the Columbia River Basin, USA. Using 151 putatively neutral and 29 candidate adaptive SNP loci, we found that climate-related variables (winter precipitation, summer maximum temperature, winter highest 5% flow events and summer mean flow) best explained neutral and adaptive patterns of genetic differentiation within metapopulations, suggesting that climatic variation likely influences both demography (neutral variation) and local adaptation (adaptive variation). However, we did not observe consistent relationships between climate variables and FST across all metapopulations, underscoring the need for replication when extrapolating results from one scale to another (e.g. basin-wide to the metapopulation scale). Sensitivity analysis (leave-one-population-out) revealed consistent relationships between climate variables and FST within three metapopulations; however, these patterns were not consistent in two metapopulations likely due to small sample sizes (N = 10). These results provide correlative evidence that climatic variation has shaped the genetic structure of steelhead populations and highlight the need for replication and sensitivity analyses in land and riverscape genetics.

  10. Climate variables explain neutral and adaptive variation within salmonid metapopulations: the importance of replication in landscape genetics.

    PubMed

    Hand, Brian K; Muhlfeld, Clint C; Wade, Alisa A; Kovach, Ryan P; Whited, Diane C; Narum, Shawn R; Matala, Andrew P; Ackerman, Michael W; Garner, Brittany A; Kimball, John S; Stanford, Jack A; Luikart, Gordon

    2016-02-01

    Understanding how environmental variation influences population genetic structure is important for conservation management because it can reveal how human stressors influence population connectivity, genetic diversity and persistence. We used riverscape genetics modelling to assess whether climatic and habitat variables were related to neutral and adaptive patterns of genetic differentiation (population-specific and pairwise FST ) within five metapopulations (79 populations, 4583 individuals) of steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the Columbia River Basin, USA. Using 151 putatively neutral and 29 candidate adaptive SNP loci, we found that climate-related variables (winter precipitation, summer maximum temperature, winter highest 5% flow events and summer mean flow) best explained neutral and adaptive patterns of genetic differentiation within metapopulations, suggesting that climatic variation likely influences both demography (neutral variation) and local adaptation (adaptive variation). However, we did not observe consistent relationships between climate variables and FST across all metapopulations, underscoring the need for replication when extrapolating results from one scale to another (e.g. basin-wide to the metapopulation scale). Sensitivity analysis (leave-one-population-out) revealed consistent relationships between climate variables and FST within three metapopulations; however, these patterns were not consistent in two metapopulations likely due to small sample sizes (N = 10). These results provide correlative evidence that climatic variation has shaped the genetic structure of steelhead populations and highlight the need for replication and sensitivity analyses in land and riverscape genetics.

  11. The Genetics of Human Skin Disease

    PubMed Central

    DeStefano, Gina M.; Christiano, Angela M.

    2014-01-01

    The skin is composed of a variety of cell types expressing specific molecules and possessing different properties that facilitate the complex interactions and intercellular communication essential for maintaining the structural integrity of the skin. Importantly, a single mutation in one of these molecules can disrupt the entire organization and function of these essential networks, leading to cell separation, blistering, and other striking phenotypes observed in inherited skin diseases. Over the past several decades, the genetic basis of many monogenic skin diseases has been elucidated using classical genetic techniques. Importantly, the findings from these studies has shed light onto the many classes of molecules and essential genetic as well as molecular interactions that lend the skin its rigid, yet flexible properties. With the advent of the human genome project, next-generation sequencing techniques, as well as several other recently developed methods, tremendous progress has been made in dissecting the genetic architecture of complex, non-Mendelian skin diseases. PMID:25274756

  12. The genetics of human skin disease.

    PubMed

    DeStefano, Gina M; Christiano, Angela M

    2014-10-01

    The skin is composed of a variety of cell types expressing specific molecules and possessing different properties that facilitate the complex interactions and intercellular communication essential for maintaining the structural integrity of the skin. Importantly, a single mutation in one of these molecules can disrupt the entire organization and function of these essential networks, leading to cell separation, blistering, and other striking phenotypes observed in inherited skin diseases. Over the past several decades, the genetic basis of many monogenic skin diseases has been elucidated using classical genetic techniques. Importantly, the findings from these studies has shed light onto the many classes of molecules and essential genetic as well as molecular interactions that lend the skin its rigid, yet flexible properties. With the advent of the human genome project, next-generation sequencing techniques, as well as several other recently developed methods, tremendous progress has been made in dissecting the genetic architecture of complex, non-Mendelian skin diseases. PMID:25274756

  13. Impact of natural genetic variation on gene expression dynamics.

    PubMed

    Ackermann, Marit; Sikora-Wohlfeld, Weronika; Beyer, Andreas

    2013-06-01

    DNA sequence variation causes changes in gene expression, which in turn has profound effects on cellular states. These variations affect tissue development and may ultimately lead to pathological phenotypes. A genetic locus containing a sequence variation that affects gene expression is called an "expression quantitative trait locus" (eQTL). Whereas the impact of cellular context on expression levels in general is well established, a lot less is known about the cell-state specificity of eQTL. Previous studies differed with respect to how "dynamic eQTL" were defined. Here, we propose a unified framework distinguishing static, conditional and dynamic eQTL and suggest strategies for mapping these eQTL classes. Further, we introduce a new approach to simultaneously infer eQTL from different cell types. By using murine mRNA expression data from four stages of hematopoiesis and 14 related cellular traits, we demonstrate that static, conditional and dynamic eQTL, although derived from the same expression data, represent functionally distinct types of eQTL. While static eQTL affect generic cellular processes, non-static eQTL are more often involved in hematopoiesis and immune response. Our analysis revealed substantial effects of individual genetic variation on cell type-specific expression regulation. Among a total number of 3,941 eQTL we detected 2,729 static eQTL, 1,187 eQTL were conditionally active in one or several cell types, and 70 eQTL affected expression changes during cell type transitions. We also found evidence for feedback control mechanisms reverting the effect of an eQTL specifically in certain cell types. Loci correlated with hematological traits were enriched for conditional eQTL, thus, demonstrating the importance of conditional eQTL for understanding molecular mechanisms underlying physiological trait variation. The classification proposed here has the potential to streamline and unify future analysis of conditional and dynamic eQTL as well as many

  14. Genetic variation in natural populations of Populus tremuloide

    SciTech Connect

    Cheliak, W.M.

    1980-01-01

    Vegetative reproduction results in a mosaic of clones throughout the extensive natural range of this species. An electrophoretic survey of 26 loci in 222 trees from seven natural populations in Alberta demonstrated great variability. Average observed population heterozygosity was 0.52 with an average of 2.3 alleles per locus; 84% of the loci were polymorphic. A model (for a finite population with neutral alleles) was developed to investigate the effects of partial vegetative reproduction on the amount of variation in a population. Results of the survey conformed to those predicted by the model for a population with a rate of sexual establishment greater than 1/N, where N is the population size. The model states that under these conditions, vegetative reproduction has no effect on the population. Therefore, the high level of observed variation is not an artifact of the mode of natural reproduction. These results support conclusions about high population variability based on phenotypic measurements and also suggest a genetic basis for this variation, rather than simply phenotypic plasticity.

  15. HGDBMS: a human genetics database management system.

    PubMed

    Seuchter, S A; Skolnick, M H

    1988-10-01

    Human genetics research involves a large number of complex data sets naturally organized in hierarchical structures. Data collection is performed on different levels, e.g., the project level, pedigree level, individual level, and sample level. Different aspects of a study utilize different views of the data, requiring a flexible database management system (DBMS) which satisfies these different needs for data collection and retrieval. We describe HGDBMS, a comprehensive relational DBMS, implemented as an application of the GENISYS I DBMS, which allows embedding the hierarchical structure of pedigrees in a relational structure. The system's file structure is described in detail. Currently our Melanoma and Chromosome 17 map studies are managed with HGDBMS. Our initial experience demonstrates the value of a flexible system which supports the needs for data entry, update, storage, reporting, and analysis required during different phases of genetic research. Further developments will focus on the integration of HGDBMS with a human genetics expert system shell and analysis programs. PMID:3180747

  16. HGDBMS: a human genetics database management system.

    PubMed

    Seuchter, S A; Skolnick, M H

    1988-10-01

    Human genetics research involves a large number of complex data sets naturally organized in hierarchical structures. Data collection is performed on different levels, e.g., the project level, pedigree level, individual level, and sample level. Different aspects of a study utilize different views of the data, requiring a flexible database management system (DBMS) which satisfies these different needs for data collection and retrieval. We describe HGDBMS, a comprehensive relational DBMS, implemented as an application of the GENISYS I DBMS, which allows embedding the hierarchical structure of pedigrees in a relational structure. The system's file structure is described in detail. Currently our Melanoma and Chromosome 17 map studies are managed with HGDBMS. Our initial experience demonstrates the value of a flexible system which supports the needs for data entry, update, storage, reporting, and analysis required during different phases of genetic research. Further developments will focus on the integration of HGDBMS with a human genetics expert system shell and analysis programs.

  17. Genetic variation, climate models and the ecological genetics of Larix occidentalis

    SciTech Connect

    Rehfeldt, G.E.

    1995-12-31

    Provenance tests of 138 populations of Larix occidentalis revealed genetic differentiation for eight variables describing growth, phenology, tolerance to spring frosts, effects of Meria laricis needle cast, and survival. Geographic variables accounted for as much as 34% of the variance among Rocky Mountain populations. Patterns of genetic variation were dominated by the effects of latitude and elevation, with populations from the north and from high elevations having the lowest growth potential, the least tolerance to the needle cast, and the lowest survival. However, the slope of the geographic clines was relatively flat. Populations in the same geographic area, for instance, need to be separated by about 500 m in elevation before genetic differentiation can be expected.

  18. Can genetic differences explain vocal dialect variation in sperm whales, Physeter macrocephalus?

    PubMed

    Rendell, Luke; Mesnick, Sarah L; Dalebout, Merel L; Burtenshaw, Jessica; Whitehead, Hal

    2012-03-01

    Sperm whale social groups can be assigned to vocal clans based on their production of codas, short stereotyped patterns of clicks. It is currently unclear whether genetic variation could account for these behavioural differences. We studied mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation among sympatric vocal clans in the Pacific Ocean, using sequences extracted from sloughed skin samples. We sampled 194 individuals from 30 social groups belonging to one of three vocal clans. As in previous studies of sperm whales, mtDNA control region diversity was low (π = 0.003), with just 14 haplotypes present in our sample. Both hierarchical AMOVAs and partial Mantel tests showed that vocal clan was a more important factor in matrilineal population genetic structure than geography, even though our sampling spanned thousands of kilometres. The variance component attributed to vocal dialects (7.7%) was an order of magnitude higher than those previously reported in birds, while the variance component attributed to geographic area was negligible. Despite this, the two most common haplotypes were present in significant quantities in each clan, meaning that variation in the control region cannot account for behavioural variation between clans, and instead parallels the situation in humans where parent-offspring transmission of language variation has resulted in correlations with neutral genes. Our results also raise questions for the management of sperm whale populations, which has traditionally been based on dividing populations into geographic 'stocks', suggesting that culturally-defined vocal clans may be more appropriate management units.

  19. Genetic and Environmental Variation in Lung Function Drives Subsequent Variation in Aging of Fluid Intelligence

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Chandra A.; Emery, Charles F.; Pedersen, Nancy L.

    2013-01-01

    Longitudinal studies document an association of pulmonary function with cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults. Previous analyses have identified a genetic contribution to the relationship between pulmonary function with fluid intelligence. The goal of the current analysis was to apply the biometric dual change score model to consider the possibility of temporal dynamics underlying the genetic covariance between aging trajectories for pulmonary function and fluid intelligence. Longitudinal data from the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging were available from 808 twins ranging in age from 50 to 88 years at the first wave. Participants completed up to six assessments covering a 19-year period. Measures at each assessment included spatial and speed factors and pulmonary function. Model-fitting indicated that genetic variance for FEV1 was a leading indicator of variation in age changes for spatial and speed factors. Thus, these data indicate a genetic component to the directional relationship from decreased pulmonary function to decreased function of fluid intelligence. PMID:23760789

  20. Genetic and environmental variation in lung function drives subsequent variation in aging of fluid intelligence.

    PubMed

    Finkel, Deborah; Reynolds, Chandra A; Emery, Charles F; Pedersen, Nancy L

    2013-07-01

    Longitudinal studies document an association of pulmonary function with cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults. Previous analyses have identified a genetic contribution to the relationship between pulmonary function with fluid intelligence. The goal of the current analysis was to apply the biometric dual change score model to consider the possibility of temporal dynamics underlying the genetic covariance between aging trajectories for pulmonary function and fluid intelligence. Longitudinal data from the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging were available from 808 twins ranging in age from 50 to 88 years at the first wave. Participants completed up to six assessments covering a 19-year period. Measures at each assessment included spatial and speed factors and pulmonary function. Model-fitting indicated that genetic variance for FEV1 was a leading indicator of variation in age changes for spatial and speed factors. Thus, these data indicate a genetic component to the directional relationship from decreased pulmonary function to decreased function of fluid intelligence.

  1. Genetic Sorting of Subordinate Species in Grassland Modulated by Intraspecific Variation in Dominant Species

    PubMed Central

    Gustafson, Danny J.; Major, Charles; Jones, Dewitt; Synovec, John; Baer, Sara G.; Gibson, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Genetic variation in a single species can have predictable and heritable effects on associated communities and ecosystem processes, however little is known about how genetic variation of a dominant species affects plant community assembly. We characterized the genetic structure of a dominant grass (Sorghastrum nutans) and two subordinate species (Chamaecrista fasciculata, Silphium integrifolium), during the third growing season in grassland communities established with genetically distinct (cultivated varieties or local ecotypes) seed sources of the dominant grasses. There were genetic differences between subordinate species growing in the cultivar versus local ecotype communities, indicating that intraspecific genetic variation in the dominant grasses affected the genetic composition of subordinate species during community assembly. A positive association between genetic diversity of S. nutans, C. fasciculata, and S. integrifolium and species diversity established the role of an intraspecific biotic filter during community assembly. Our results show that intraspecific variation in dominant species can significantly modulate the genetic composition of subordinate species. PMID:24637462

  2. Gene therapy for human genetic disease?

    PubMed

    Friedmann, T; Roblin, R

    1972-03-01

    In our view, gene therapy may ameliorate some human genetic diseases in the future. For this reason, we believe that research directed at the development of techniques for gene therapy should continue. For the foreseeable future, however, we oppose any further attempts at gene therapy in human patients because (i) our understanding of such basic processes as gene regulation and genetic recombination in human cells is inadequate; (ii) our understanding of the details of the relation between the molecular defect and the disease state is rudimentary for essentially all genetic diseases; and (iii) we have no information on the short-range and long-term side effects of gene therapy. We therefore propose that a sustained effort be made to formulate a complete set of ethicoscientific criteria to guide the development and clinical application of gene therapy techniques. Such an endeavor could go a long way toward ensuring that gene therapy is used in humans only in those instances where it will prove beneficial, and toward preventing its misuse through premature application. Two recent papers have provided new demonstrations of directed genetic modification of mammalian cells. Munyon et al. (44) restored the ability to synthesize the enzyme thymidine kinase to thymidine kinase-deficient mouse cells by infection with ultraviolet-irradiated herpes simplex virus. In their experiments the DNA from herpes simplex virus, which contains a gene coding for thymidine kinase, may have formed a hereditable association with the mouse cells. Merril et al. (45) reported that treatment of fibroblasts from patients with galactosemia with exogenous DNA caused increased activity of a missing enzyme, alpha-D-galactose-l-phosphate uridyltransferase. They also provided some evidence that the change persisted after subculturing the treated cells. If this latter report can be confirmed, the feasibility of directed genetic modification of human cells would be clearly demonstrated, considerably

  3. Genetic variation in the nuclear and organellar genomes modulates stochastic variation in the metabolome, growth, and defense.

    PubMed

    Joseph, Bindu; Corwin, Jason A; Kliebenstein, Daniel J

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies are starting to show that genetic control over stochastic variation is a key evolutionary solution of single celled organisms in the face of unpredictable environments. This has been expanded to show that genetic variation can alter stochastic variation in transcriptional processes within multi-cellular eukaryotes. However, little is known about how genetic diversity can control stochastic variation within more non-cell autonomous phenotypes. Using an Arabidopsis reciprocal RIL population, we showed that there is significant genetic diversity influencing stochastic variation in the plant metabolome, defense chemistry, and growth. This genetic diversity included loci specific for the stochastic variation of each phenotypic class that did not affect the other phenotypic classes or the average phenotype. This suggests that the organism's networks are established so that noise can exist in one phenotypic level like metabolism and not permeate up or down to different phenotypic levels. Further, the genomic variation within the plastid and mitochondria also had significant effects on the stochastic variation of all phenotypic classes. The genetic influence over stochastic variation within the metabolome was highly metabolite specific, with neighboring metabolites in the same metabolic pathway frequently showing different levels of noise. As expected from bet-hedging theory, there was more genetic diversity and a wider range of stochastic variation for defense chemistry than found for primary metabolism. Thus, it is possible to begin dissecting the stochastic variation of whole organismal phenotypes in multi-cellular organisms. Further, there are loci that modulate stochastic variation at different phenotypic levels. Finding the identity of these genes will be key to developing complete models linking genotype to phenotype.

  4. Genetic Variation in the Nuclear and Organellar Genomes Modulates Stochastic Variation in the Metabolome, Growth, and Defense

    PubMed Central

    Joseph, Bindu; Corwin, Jason A.; Kliebenstein, Daniel J.

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies are starting to show that genetic control over stochastic variation is a key evolutionary solution of single celled organisms in the face of unpredictable environments. This has been expanded to show that genetic variation can alter stochastic variation in transcriptional processes within multi-cellular eukaryotes. However, little is known about how genetic diversity can control stochastic variation within more non-cell autonomous phenotypes. Using an Arabidopsis reciprocal RIL population, we showed that there is significant genetic diversity influencing stochastic variation in the plant metabolome, defense chemistry, and growth. This genetic diversity included loci specific for the stochastic variation of each phenotypic class that did not affect the other phenotypic classes or the average phenotype. This suggests that the organism's networks are established so that noise can exist in one phenotypic level like metabolism and not permeate up or down to different phenotypic levels. Further, the genomic variation within the plastid and mitochondria also had significant effects on the stochastic variation of all phenotypic classes. The genetic influence over stochastic variation within the metabolome was highly metabolite specific, with neighboring metabolites in the same metabolic pathway frequently showing different levels of noise. As expected from bet-hedging theory, there was more genetic diversity and a wider range of stochastic variation for defense chemistry than found for primary metabolism. Thus, it is possible to begin dissecting the stochastic variation of whole organismal phenotypes in multi-cellular organisms. Further, there are loci that modulate stochastic variation at different phenotypic levels. Finding the identity of these genes will be key to developing complete models linking genotype to phenotype. PMID:25569687

  5. Genetic and phenotypic variation along an ecological gradient in lake trout Salvelinus namaycush

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baillie, Shauna M.; Muir, Andrew M.; Hansen, Michael J.; Krueger, Charles C.; Bentzen, Paul

    2016-01-01

    BackgroundAdaptive radiation involving a colonizing phenotype that rapidly evolves into at least one other ecological variant, or ecotype, has been observed in a variety of freshwater fishes in post-glacial environments. However, few studies consider how phenotypic traits vary with regard to neutral genetic partitioning along ecological gradients. Here, we present the first detailed investigation of lake trout Salvelinus namaycushthat considers variation as a cline rather than discriminatory among ecotypes. Genetic and phenotypic traits organized along common ecological gradients of water depth and geographic distance provide important insights into diversification processes in a lake with high levels of human disturbance from over-fishing.ResultsFour putative lake trout ecotypes could not be distinguished using population genetic methods, despite morphological differences. Neutral genetic partitioning in lake trout was stronger along a gradient of water depth, than by locality or ecotype. Contemporary genetic migration patterns were consistent with isolation-by-depth. Historical gene flow patterns indicated colonization from shallow to deep water. Comparison of phenotypic (Pst) and neutral genetic variation (Fst) revealed that morphological traits related to swimming performance (e.g., buoyancy, pelvic fin length) departed more strongly from neutral expectations along a depth gradient than craniofacial feeding traits. Elevated phenotypic variance with increasing water depth in pelvic fin length indicated possible ongoing character release and diversification. Finally, differences in early growth rate and asymptotic fish length across depth strata may be associated with limiting factors attributable to cold deep-water environments.ConclusionWe provide evidence of reductions in gene flow and divergent natural selection associated with water depth in Lake Superior. Such information is relevant for documenting intraspecific biodiversity in the largest freshwater lake

  6. Multiple genetic alterations in human carcinogenesis.

    PubMed Central

    Sugimura, T; Terada, M; Yokota, J; Hirohashi, S; Wakabayashi, K

    1992-01-01

    Cancer development in man appeared to be a multistage process as suggested by epidemiological studies on commonly occurring gastric, colon, and breast cancers and also on human retrovirus-related leukemia, and by the finding by physicians and surgeons of precancerous lesions for many types of neoplasias. In the last 10 years it has become evident that human cancers have multiple genetic alterations caused by point mutations, recombinations, amplifications, and/or deletions. The genes affected include both oncogenes and tumor-suppressor genes and genes that accelerate cell proliferation and metastasis. Cancers with more malignant properties and poorer prognosis are generally associated with larger numbers of genetic alterations. These multiple genetic alterations are considered to be a direct reflection of the multiple steps involved in carcinogenesis. The multiple genetic alterations are caused by multiple environmental carcinogenic substances or factors, each of which usually exists only at minute concentrations and does not exert any major impact alone except under particular occupational, iatrogenic, and locally geographic conditions. The fact that carcinogenesis is a multistep process involving multiple genetic alterations clearly needs to be taken into consideration in assessing the risks of environmental carcinogenic substances or factors. The increasing incidence of multiple primary cancers is also most easily understood from the viewpoint of multiple steps in carcinogenesis. Possible multiple approaches to cancer prevention should therefore be considered in relation to multistep carcinogenesis and multiple carcinogenic factors. PMID:1486862

  7. Genetic Manipulation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells.

    PubMed

    Eiges, Rachel

    2016-01-01

    One of the great advantages of embryonic stem (ES) cells over other cell types is their accessibility to genetic manipulation. They can easily undergo genetic modifications while remaining pluripotent, and can be selectively propagated, allowing the clonal expansion of genetically altered cells in culture. Since the first isolation of ES cells in mice, many effective techniques have been developed for gene delivery and manipulation of ES cells. These include transfection, electroporation, and infection protocols, as well as different approaches for inserting, deleting, or changing the expression of genes. These methods proved to be extremely useful in mouse ES cells, for monitoring and directing differentiation, discovering unknown genes, and studying their function, and are now being extensively implemented in human ES cells (HESCs). This chapter describes the different approaches and methodologies that have been applied for the genetic manipulation of HESCs and their applications. Detailed protocols for generating clones of genetically modified HESCs by transfection, electroporation, and infection will be described, with special emphasis on the important technical details that are required for this purpose. All protocols are equally effective in human-induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.

  8. Molecular genetics of human lactase deficiencies.

    PubMed

    Järvelä, Irma; Torniainen, Suvi; Kolho, Kaija-Leena

    2009-01-01

    Lactase non-persistence (adult-type hypolactasia) is present in more than half of the human population and is caused by the down-regulation of lactase enzyme activity during childhood. Congenital lactase deficiency (CLD) is a rare severe gastrointestinal disorder of new-borns enriched in the Finnish population. Both lactase deficiencies are autosomal recessive traits and characterized by diminished expression of lactase activity in the intestine. Genetic variants underlying both forms have been identified. Here we review the current understanding of the molecular defects of human lactase deficiencies and their phenotype-genotype correlation, the implications on clinical practice, and the understanding of their function and role in human evolution.

  9. Genetic variations and miRNA-target interactions contribute to natural phenotypic variations in Populus.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jinhui; Xie, Jianbo; Chen, Beibei; Quan, Mingyang; Li, Ying; Li, Bailian; Zhang, Deqiang

    2016-10-01

    Variation in regulatory factors, including microRNAs (miRNAs), contributes to variation in quantitative and complex traits. However, in plants, variants in miRNAs and their target genes that contribute to natural phenotypic variation, and the underlying regulatory networks, remain poorly characterized. We investigated the associations and interactions of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in miRNAs and their target genes with phenotypes in 435 individuals from a natural population of Populus. We used RNA-seq to identify 217 miRNAs differentially expressed in a tension wood system, and identified 1196 candidate target genes; degradome sequencing confirmed 60 of the target sites. In addition, 72 miRNA-target pairs showed significant co-expression. Gene ontology (GO) term analysis showed that most of the genes in the co-regulated pairs participate in biological regulation. Genome resequencing found 5383 common SNPs (frequency ≥ 0.05) in 139 miRNAs and 31 037 SNPs in 819 target genes. Single-SNP association analyses identified 232 significant associations between wood traits (P ≤ 0.05) and SNPs in 102 miRNAs and 1387 associations with 478 target genes. Among these, 102 miRNA-target pairs associated with the same traits. Multi-SNP associations found 102 epistatic pairs associated with traits. Furthermore, a reconstructed regulatory network contained 12 significantly co-expressed pairs, including eight miRNAs and nine targets associated with traits. Lastly, both expression and genetic association showed that miR156i, miR156j, miR396a and miR6445b were involved in the formation of tension wood. This study shows that variants in miRNAs and target genes contribute to natural phenotypic variation and annotated roles and interactions of miRNAs and their target genes by genetic association analysis. PMID:27265357

  10. Genetic variations and miRNA-target interactions contribute to natural phenotypic variations in Populus.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jinhui; Xie, Jianbo; Chen, Beibei; Quan, Mingyang; Li, Ying; Li, Bailian; Zhang, Deqiang

    2016-10-01

    Variation in regulatory factors, including microRNAs (miRNAs), contributes to variation in quantitative and complex traits. However, in plants, variants in miRNAs and their target genes that contribute to natural phenotypic variation, and the underlying regulatory networks, remain poorly characterized. We investigated the associations and interactions of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in miRNAs and their target genes with phenotypes in 435 individuals from a natural population of Populus. We used RNA-seq to identify 217 miRNAs differentially expressed in a tension wood system, and identified 1196 candidate target genes; degradome sequencing confirmed 60 of the target sites. In addition, 72 miRNA-target pairs showed significant co-expression. Gene ontology (GO) term analysis showed that most of the genes in the co-regulated pairs participate in biological regulation. Genome resequencing found 5383 common SNPs (frequency ≥ 0.05) in 139 miRNAs and 31 037 SNPs in 819 target genes. Single-SNP association analyses identified 232 significant associations between wood traits (P ≤ 0.05) and SNPs in 102 miRNAs and 1387 associations with 478 target genes. Among these, 102 miRNA-target pairs associated with the same traits. Multi-SNP associations found 102 epistatic pairs associated with traits. Furthermore, a reconstructed regulatory network contained 12 significantly co-expressed pairs, including eight miRNAs and nine targets associated with traits. Lastly, both expression and genetic association showed that miR156i, miR156j, miR396a and miR6445b were involved in the formation of tension wood. This study shows that variants in miRNAs and target genes contribute to natural phenotypic variation and annotated roles and interactions of miRNAs and their target genes by genetic association analysis.

  11. Genetic Heterogeneity in Algerian Human Populations

    PubMed Central

    Deba, Tahria; Calafell, Francesc; Benhamamouch, Soraya; Comas, David

    2015-01-01

    The demographic history of human populations in North Africa has been characterized by complex processes of admixture and isolation that have modeled its current gene pool. Diverse genetic ancestral components with different origins (autochthonous, European, Middle Eastern, and sub-Saharan) and genetic heterogeneity in the region have been described. In this complex genetic landscape, Algeria, the largest country in Africa, has been poorly covered, with most of the studies using a single Algerian sample. In order to evaluate the genetic heterogeneity of Algeria, Y-chromosome, mtDNA and autosomal genome-wide makers have been analyzed in several Berber- and Arab-speaking groups. Our results show that the genetic heterogeneity found in Algeria is not correlated with geography or linguistics, challenging the idea of Berber groups being genetically isolated and Arab groups open to gene flow. In addition, we have found that external sources of gene flow into North Africa have been carried more often by females than males, while the North African autochthonous component is more frequent in paternally transmitted genome regions. Our results highlight the different demographic history revealed by different markers and urge to be cautious when deriving general conclusions from partial genomic information or from single samples as representatives of the total population of a region. PMID:26402429

  12. Genetic Heterogeneity in Algerian Human Populations.

    PubMed

    Bekada, Asmahan; Arauna, Lara R; Deba, Tahria; Calafell, Francesc; Benhamamouch, Soraya; Comas, David

    2015-01-01

    The demographic history of human populations in North Africa has been characterized by complex processes of admixture and isolation that have modeled its current gene pool. Diverse genetic ancestral components with different origins (autochthonous, European, Middle Eastern, and sub-Saharan) and genetic heterogeneity in the region have been described. In this complex genetic landscape, Algeria, the largest country in Africa, has been poorly covered, with most of the studies using a single Algerian sample. In order to evaluate the genetic heterogeneity of Algeria, Y-chromosome, mtDNA and autosomal genome-wide makers have been analyzed in several Berber- and Arab-speaking groups. Our results show that the genetic heterogeneity found in Algeria is not correlated with geography or linguistics, challenging the idea of Berber groups being genetically isolated and Arab groups open to gene flow. In addition, we have found that external sources of gene flow into North Africa have been carried more often by females than males, while the North African autochthonous component is more frequent in paternally transmitted genome regions. Our results highlight the different demographic history revealed by different markers and urge to be cautious when deriving general conclusions from partial genomic information or from single samples as representatives of the total population of a region.

  13. Population genetic variation in gene expression is associated withphenotypic variation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    SciTech Connect

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

    2004-02-25

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

  14. Investigation of Genetic Variation Underlying Central Obesity amongst South Asians

    PubMed Central

    Scott, William R.; Zhang, Weihua; Loh, Marie; Tan, Sian-Tsung; Lehne, Benjamin; Afzal, Uzma; Peralta, Juan; Saxena, Richa; Ralhan, Sarju; Wander, Gurpreet S.; Bozaoglu, Kiymet; Sanghera, Dharambir K.; Elliott, Paul; Scott, James; Chambers, John C.; Kooner, Jaspal S.

    2016-01-01

    South Asians are 1/4 of the world’s population and have increased susceptibility to central obesity and related cardiometabolic disease. Knowledge of genetic variants affecting risk of central obesity is largely based on genome-wide association studies of common SNPs in Europeans. To evaluate the contribution of DNA sequence variation to the higher levels of central obesity (defined as waist hip ratio adjusted for body mass index, WHR) among South Asians compared to Europeans we carried out: i) a genome-wide association analysis of >6M genetic variants in 10,318 South Asians with focused analysis of population-specific SNPs; ii) an exome-wide association analysis of ~250K SNPs in protein-coding regions in 2,637 South Asians; iii) a comparison of risk allele frequencies and effect sizes of 48 known WHR SNPs in 12,240 South Asians compared to Europeans. In genome-wide analyses, we found no novel associations between common genetic variants and WHR in South Asians at P<5x10-8; variants showing equivocal association with WHR (P<1x10-5) did not replicate at P<0.05 in an independent cohort of South Asians (N = 1,922) or in published, predominantly European meta-analysis data. In the targeted analyses of 122,391 population-specific SNPs we also found no associations with WHR in South Asians at P<0.05 after multiple testing correction. Exome-wide analyses showed no new associations between genetic variants and WHR in South Asians, either individually at P<1.5x10-6 or grouped by gene locus at P<2.5x10−6. At known WHR loci, risk allele frequencies were not higher in South Asians compared to Europeans (P = 0.77), while effect sizes were unexpectedly smaller in South Asians than Europeans (P<5.0x10-8). Our findings argue against an important contribution for population-specific or cosmopolitan genetic variants underlying the increased risk of central obesity in South Asians compared to Europeans. PMID:27195708

  15. Neandertal origin of genetic variation at the cluster of OAS immunity genes.

    PubMed

    Mendez, Fernando L; Watkins, Joseph C; Hammer, Michael F

    2013-04-01

    Analyses of ancient DNA from extinct humans reveal signals of at least two independent hybridization events in the history of non-African populations. To date, there are very few examples of specific genetic variants that have been rigorously identified as introgressive. Here, we survey DNA sequence variation in the OAS gene cluster on chromosome 12 and provide strong evidence that a haplotype extending for ~185 kb introgressed from Neandertals. This haplotype is nearly restricted to Eurasians and is estimated to have diverged from the Neandertal sequence ~125 kya. Despite the potential for novel functional variation, the observed frequency of this haplotype is consistent with neutral introgression. This is the second locus in the human genome, after STAT2, carrying distinct haplotypes that appear to have introgressed separately from both Neandertals and Denisova. PMID:23315957

  16. Parasite-host interaction in malaria: genetic clues and copy number variation

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    In humans, infections contribute highly to mortality and morbidity rates worldwide. Malaria tropica is one of the major infectious diseases globally and is caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum. Plasmodia have accompanied human beings since the emergence of humankind. Due to its pathogenicity, malaria is a powerful selective force on the human genome. Genetic epidemiology approaches such as family and twin studies, candidate gene studies, and disease-association studies have identified a number of genes that mediate relative protection against the severest forms of the disease. New molecular approaches, including genome-wide association studies, have recently been performed to expand our knowledge on the functional effect of human variation in malaria. For the future, a systematic determination of gene-dosage effects and expression profiles of protective genes might unveil the functional impact of structural alterations in these genes on either side of the host-parasite interaction. PMID:19725943

  17. Short communication: Genetic variation of riboflavin content in bovine milk.

    PubMed

    Poulsen, Nina A; Rybicka, Iga; Larsen, Lotte B; Buitenhuis, Albert J; Larsen, Mette K

    2015-05-01

    Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is an essential water-soluble vitamin; elderly people and adolescents in particular can have poor riboflavin status. In Western diets, milk and dairy products are primary sources of riboflavin, but little is known about the natural variation within and among bovine breeds, and how genetic and environmental factors can affect the riboflavin content in milk. As a part of the Danish-Swedish Milk Genomics Initiative, the aim of the study was to quantify milk riboflavin content using reverse-phase HPLC in 2 major Danish dairy breeds. The results showed substantial interbreed differences in milk riboflavin content. Milk from Danish Jersey cows contained significantly higher levels of riboflavin (1.93mg/L of milk) than milk from Danish Holstein cows (1.40mg/L of milk). Furthermore, genetic analyses revealed high heritabilities in both breeds (0.52 for Danish Holstein and 0.31 for Danish Jersey). A genomic association study found 35 significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (false discovery rate<0.10) to be associated with riboflavin content in milk in Jersey cows (all on BTA14 and BTA17), and 511 significant single nucleotide polymorphisms in Holstein cows spread over 25 different autosomes with BTA13 and BTA14 having the most promising quantitative trait loci. The best candidate gene found within the identified quantitative trait loci was SLC52A3, a riboflavin transporter gene, which was among the significant markers on BTA13 in Holstein cows.

  18. Race, common genetic variation, and therapeutic response disparities in heart failure.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Mathew R; Sun, Albert Y; Davis, Gordon; Fiuzat, Mona; Liggett, Stephen B; Bristow, Michael R

    2014-12-01

    Because of its comparatively recent evolution, Homo sapiens exhibit relatively little within-species genomic diversity. However, because of genome size, a proportionately small amount of variation creates ample opportunities for both rare mutations that may cause disease as well as more common genetic variations that may be important in disease modification or pharmacogenetics. Primarily because of the East African origin of modern humans, individuals of African ancestry (AA) exhibit greater degrees of genetic diversity than more recently established populations, such as those of European ancestry (EA) or Asian ancestry. Those population effects extend to differences in frequency of common gene variants that may be important in heart failure natural history or therapy. For cell-signaling mechanisms important in heart failure, we review and present new data for genetic variation between AA and EA populations. Data indicate that: 1) neurohormonal signaling mechanisms frequently (16 of the 19 investigated polymorphisms) exhibit racial differences in the allele frequencies of variants comprising key constituents; 2) some of these differences in allele frequency may differentially affect the natural history of heart failure in AA compared with EA individuals; and 3) in many cases, these differences likely play a role in observed racial differences in drug or device response.

  19. Genetic Variations in the Serotoninergic System Contribute to Body-Mass Index in Chinese Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chuansheng; Moyzis, Robert; He, Qinghua; Lei, Xuemei; Li, Jin; Wang, Yunxin; Liu, Bin; Xiu, Daiming; Zhu, Bi; Dong, Qi

    2013-01-01

    Objective Obesity has become a worldwide health problem in the past decades. Human and animal studies have implicated serotonin in appetite regulation, and behavior genetic studies have shown that body mass index (BMI) has a strong genetic component. However, the roles of genes related to the serotoninergic (5-hydroxytryptamine,5-HT) system in obesity/BMI are not well understood, especially in Chinese subjects. Subjects and Design With a sample of 478 healthy Chinese volunteers, this study investigated the relation between BMI and genetic variations of the serotoninergic system as characterized by 136 representative polymorphisms. We used a system-level approach to identify SNPs associated with BMI, then estimated their overall contribution to BMI by multiple regression and verified it by permutation. Results We identified 12 SNPs that made statistically significant contributions to BMI. After controlling for gender and age, four of these SNPs accounted for 7.7% additional variance of BMI. Permutation analysis showed that the probability of obtaining these findings by chance was low (p = 0.015, permuted for 1000 times). Conclusion These results showed that genetic variations in the serotoninergic system made a moderate contribution to individual differences in BMI among a healthy Chinese sample, suggesting that a similar approach can be used to study obesity. PMID:23554917

  20. Frequency variations of discrete cranial traits in major human populations. III. Hyperostotic variations

    PubMed Central

    HANIHARA, TSUNEHIKO; ISHIDA, HAJIME

    2001-01-01

    Seven discrete cranial traits usually categorised as hyperostotic characters, the medial palatine canal, hypoglossal canal bridging, precondylar tubercle, condylus tertius, jugular foramen bridging, auditory exostosis, and mylohyoid bridging were investigated in 81 major human population samples from around the world. Significant asymmetric occurrences of the bilateral traits were detected in the medial palatine canal and jugular foramen bridging in several samples. Significant intertrait associations were found between some pairs of the traits, but not consistently across the large geographical samples. The auditory exostosis showed a predominant occurrence in males. With the exception of the auditory exostosis and mylohyoid bridging in a few samples, significant sex differences were slight. The frequency distributions of the traits (except for the auditory exostosis) showed some interregional clinality and intraregional discontinuity, suggesting that genetic drift could have contributed to the observed pattern of variation. PMID:11554504

  1. Genetic specificity of a plant–insect food web: Implications for linking genetic variation to network complexity

    PubMed Central

    Barbour, Matthew A.; Fortuna, Miguel A.; Bascompte, Jordi; Nicholson, Joshua R.; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta; Jules, Erik S.; Crutsinger, Gregory M.

    2016-01-01

    Theory predicts that intraspecific genetic variation can increase the complexity of an ecological network. To date, however, we are lacking empirical knowledge of the extent to which genetic variation determines the assembly of ecological networks, as well as how the gain or loss of genetic variation will affect network structure. To address this knowledge gap, we used a common garden experiment to quantify the extent to which heritable trait variation in a host plant determines the assembly of its associated insect food web (network of trophic interactions). We then used a resampling procedure to simulate the additive effects of genetic variation on overall food-web complexity. We found that trait variation among host-plant genotypes was associated with resistance to insect herbivores, which indirectly affected interactions between herbivores and their insect parasitoids. Direct and indirect genetic effects resulted in distinct compositions of trophic interactions associated with each host-plant genotype. Moreover, our simulations suggest that food-web complexity would increase by 20% over the range of genetic variation in the experimental population of host plants. Taken together, our results indicate that intraspecific genetic variation can play a key role in structuring ecological networks, which may in turn affect network persistence. PMID:26858398

  2. Genetic specificity of a plant-insect food web: Implications for linking genetic variation to network complexity.

    PubMed

    Barbour, Matthew A; Fortuna, Miguel A; Bascompte, Jordi; Nicholson, Joshua R; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta; Jules, Erik S; Crutsinger, Gregory M

    2016-02-23

    Theory predicts that intraspecific genetic variation can increase the complexity of an ecological network. To date, however, we are lacking empirical knowledge of the extent to which genetic variation determines the assembly of ecological networks, as well as how the gain or loss of genetic variation will affect network structure. To address this knowledge gap, we used a common garden experiment to quantify the extent to which heritable trait variation in a host plant determines the assembly of its associated insect food web (network of trophic interactions). We then used a resampling procedure to simulate the additive effects of genetic variation on overall food-web complexity. We found that trait variation among host-plant genotypes was associated with resistance to insect herbivores, which indirectly affected interactions between herbivores and their insect parasitoids. Direct and indirect genetic effects resulted in distinct compositions of trophic interactions associated with each host-plant genotype. Moreover, our simulations suggest that food-web complexity would increase by 20% over the range of genetic variation in the experimental population of host plants. Taken together, our results indicate that intraspecific genetic variation can play a key role in structuring ecological networks, which may in turn affect network persistence.

  3. Genetic variation and relationships among Turkish water buffalo populations.

    PubMed

    Gargani, M; Pariset, L; Soysal, M I; Ozkan, E; Valentini, A

    2010-02-01

    The genetic variation and relationships among six Turkish water buffalo populations, typical of different regions, were assessed using a set of 26 heterologous (bovine) microsatellite markers. Between seven and 17 different alleles were identified per microsatellite in a total of 254 alleles. The average number of alleles across all loci in all the analysed populations was found to be 12.57. The expected mean heterozygosity (H(e)) per population ranged between 0.5 and 0.58. Significant departures from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium were observed for 44 locus-population combinations. Population differentiation was analysed by estimation of the F(st) index (values ranging from 0.053 to 0.123) among populations. A principal component analysis of variation revealed the Merzifon population to show the highest differentiation compared with the others. In addition, some individuals of the Danamandira population appeared clearly separated, while the Afyon, Coskun, Pazar and Thural populations represented a single cluster. The assignment of individuals to their source populations, performed using the Bayesian clustering approach implemented in the structure 2.2 software, supports a high differentiation of Merzifon and Danamandira populations. The results of this study are useful for the development of conservation strategies for the Turkish buffalo.

  4. Novel genetic capacitors and potentiators for the natural genetic variation of sensory bristles and their trait specificity in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Kazuo H

    2015-11-01

    Cryptic genetic variation (CGV) is defined as the genetic variation that has little effect on phenotypic variation under a normal condition, but contributes to heritable variation under environmental or genetic perturbations. Genetic buffering systems that suppress the expression of CGV and store it in a population are called genetic capacitors, and the opposite systems are called genetic potentiators. One of the best-known candidates for a genetic capacitor and potentiator is the molecular chaperone protein, HSP90, and one of its characteristics is that it affects the genetic variation in various morphological traits. However, it remains unclear whether the wide-ranging effects of HSP90 on a broad range of traits are a general feature of genetic capacitors and potentiators. In the current study, I searched for novel genetic capacitors and potentiators for quantitative bristle traits of Drosophila melanogaster and then investigated the trait specificity of their genetic buffering effect. Three bristle traits of D. melanogaster were used as the target traits, and the genomic regions with genetic buffering effects were screened using the 61 genomic deficiencies examined previously for genetic buffering effects in wing shape. As a result, four and six deficiencies with significant effects on increasing and decreasing the broad-sense heritability of the bristle traits were identified, respectively. Of the 18 deficiencies with significant effects detected in the current study and/or by the previous study, 14 showed trait-specific effects, and four affected the genetic buffering of both bristle traits and wing shape. This suggests that most genetic capacitors and potentiators exert trait-specific effects, but that general capacitors and potentiators with effects on multiple traits also exist.

  5. Melanoma susceptibility as a complex trait: genetic variation controls all stages of tumor progression.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, B; Ram, R; Handoko, H Y; Mukhopadhyay, P; Muller, H K; Soyer, H P; Morahan, G; Walker, G J

    2015-05-28

    Susceptibility to most common cancers is likely to involve interaction between multiple low risk genetic variants. Although there has been great progress in identifying such variants, their effect on phenotype and the mechanisms by which they contribute to disease remain largely unknown. We have developed a mouse melanoma model harboring two mutant oncogenes implicated in human melanoma, CDK4(R24C) and NRAS(Q61K). In these mice, tumors arise from benign precursor lesions that are a recognized strong risk factor for this neoplasm in humans. To define molecular events involved in the pathway to melanoma, we have for the first time applied the Collaborative Cross (CC) to cancer research. The CC is a powerful resource designed to expedite discovery of genes for complex traits. We characterized melanoma genesis in more than 50 CC strains and observed tremendous variation in all traits, including nevus and melanoma age of onset and multiplicity, anatomical site predilection, time for conversion of nevi to melanoma and metastases. Intriguingly, neonatal ultraviolet radiation exposure exacerbated nevus and melanoma formation in most, but not all CC strain backgrounds, suggesting that genetic variation within the CC will help explain individual sensitivity to sun exposure, the major environmental skin carcinogen. As genetic variation brings about dramatic phenotypic diversity in a single mouse model, melanoma-related endophenotype comparisons provide us with information about mechanisms of carcinogenesis, such as whether melanoma incidence is dependent upon the density of pre-existing nevus cells. Mouse models have been used to examine the functional role of gene mutations in tumorigenesis. This work represents their next phase of development to study how biological variation greatly influences lesion onset and aggressiveness even in the setting of known somatic driver mutations.

  6. Melanoma susceptibility as a complex trait: genetic variation controls all stages of tumor progression.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, B; Ram, R; Handoko, H Y; Mukhopadhyay, P; Muller, H K; Soyer, H P; Morahan, G; Walker, G J

    2015-05-28

    Susceptibility to most common cancers is likely to involve interaction between multiple low risk genetic variants. Although there has been great progress in identifying such variants, their effect on phenotype and the mechanisms by which they contribute to disease remain largely unknown. We have developed a mouse melanoma model harboring two mutant oncogenes implicated in human melanoma, CDK4(R24C) and NRAS(Q61K). In these mice, tumors arise from benign precursor lesions that are a recognized strong risk factor for this neoplasm in humans. To define molecular events involved in the pathway to melanoma, we have for the first time applied the Collaborative Cross (CC) to cancer research. The CC is a powerful resource designed to expedite discovery of genes for complex traits. We characterized melanoma genesis in more than 50 CC strains and observed tremendous variation in all traits, including nevus and melanoma age of onset and multiplicity, anatomical site predilection, time for conversion of nevi to melanoma and metastases. Intriguingly, neonatal ultraviolet radiation exposure exacerbated nevus and melanoma formation in most, but not all CC strain backgrounds, suggesting that genetic variation within the CC will help explain individual sensitivity to sun exposure, the major environmental skin carcinogen. As genetic variation brings about dramatic phenotypic diversity in a single mouse model, melanoma-related endophenotype comparisons provide us with information about mechanisms of carcinogenesis, such as whether melanoma incidence is dependent upon the density of pre-existing nevus cells. Mouse models have been used to examine the functional role of gene mutations in tumorigenesis. This work represents their next phase of development to study how biological variation greatly influences lesion onset and aggressiveness even in the setting of known somatic driver mutations. PMID:25088201

  7. Copy Number Variation in Human Health, Disease, and Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Feng; Gu, Wenli; Hurles, Matthew E.; Lupski, James R.

    2015-01-01

    Copy number variation (CNV) is a source of genetic diversity in humans. Numerous CNVs are being identified with various genome analysis platforms, including array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH), single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping platforms, and next-generation sequencing. CNV formation occurs by both recombination-based and replication-based mechanisms and de novo locus-specific mutation rates appear much higher for CNVs than for SNPs. By various molecular mechanisms, including gene dosage, gene disruption, gene fusion, position effects, etc., CNVs can cause Mendelian or sporadic traits, or be associated with complex diseases. However, CNV can also represent benign polymorphic variants. CNVs, especially gene duplication and exon shuffling, can be a predominant mechanism driving gene and genome evolution. PMID:19715442

  8. Population Genetics of Euphydryas Butterflies. I. Genetic Variation and the Neutrality Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    McKechnie, Stephen W.; Ehrlich, Paul R.; White, Raymond R.

    1975-01-01

    Twenty-one populations of the checkerspot butterfly, Euphydryas editha, and ten populations of Euphydryas chalcedona were sampled for genetic variation at eight polymorphic enzyme loci. Both species possessed loci that were highly variable from population to population and loci that were virtually identical across all populations sampled. Our data indicate that the neutrality hypothesis is untenable for the loci studied, and therefore selection is indicated as the major factor responsible for producing these patterns. Thorough ecological work allowed gene flow to be ruled out (in almost all instances) as a factor maintaining similar gene frequencies across populations. The Lewontin-Krakauer test indicated magnitudes of heterogeneity among standardized variances of gene frequencies inconsistent with the neutrality hypothesis. The question of whether or not to correct this statistic for sample size is discussed. Observed equitability of gene frequencies of multiple allelic loci was found to be greater than that predicted under the neutrality hypothesis. Genetic differentiation presisting through two generations was found between the one pair of populations known to exchange significant numbers of individuals per generation. Two matrices of genetic distance between populations, based on the eight loci sampled, were found to be significantly correlated with a matrix of environmental distance, based on measures of fourteen environmental parameters. Correlations between gene frequencies and environmental parameters, results of multiple regression analysis, and results of principle component analysis showed strong patterns of association and of "explained" variation. The correlation analyses suggest which factors might be further investigated as proximate selective agents. PMID:1205135

  9. Human Genetic Engineering: A Survey of Student Value Stances

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Sara McCormack; And Others

    1975-01-01

    Assesses the values of high school and college students relative to human genetic engineering and recommends that biology educators explore instructional strategies merging human genetic information with value clarification techniques. (LS)

  10. New Directions in Science Teaching: Human Genetics Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mertens, Thomas R.

    1983-01-01

    The range, complexity, and rapid increase of controversial knowledge about human genetics require that students be taught the biomedical facts and ethical dilemmas. Human genetics education thus provides an excellent opportunity for increasing scientific literacy generally. (PB)

  11. Human Genetics Education: A Look to the Future.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Biological Sciences Curriculum Study Journal, 1979

    1979-01-01

    Examines the status of human genetics education. Provides an updated report of the work being done at the BSCS Center for Education in Human and Medical Genetics. Includes reports of regional conferences and of West German educational programs. (MA)

  12. Population Structure in a Comprehensive Genomic Data Set on Human Microsatellite Variation

    PubMed Central

    Pemberton, Trevor J.; DeGiorgio, Michael; Rosenberg, Noah A.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past two decades, microsatellite genotypes have provided the data for landmark studies of human population-genetic variation. However, the various microsatellite data sets have been prepared with different procedures and sets of markers, so that it has been difficult to synthesize available data for a comprehensive analysis. Here, we combine eight human population-genetic data sets at the 645 microsatellite loci they share in common, accounting for procedural differences in the production of the different data sets, to assemble a single data set containing 5795 individuals from 267 worldwide populations. We perform a systematic analysis of genetic relatedness, detecting 240 intra-population and 92 inter-population pairs of previously unidentified close relatives and proposing standardized subsets of unrelated individuals for use in future studies. We then augment the human data with a data set of 84 chimpanzees at the 246 loci they share in common with the human samples. Multidimensional scaling and neighbor-joining analyses of these data sets offer new insights into the structure of human populations and enable a comparison of genetic variation patterns in chimpanzees with those in humans. Our combined data sets are the largest of their kind reported to date and provide a resource for use in human population-genetic studies. PMID:23550135

  13. Human genetics information on the Web.

    PubMed

    Abu-Amero, Khaled

    2003-06-01

    The genetics revolution is in full swing, especially following the recent release of the complete human genome sequence which will change forever the world in which we live by providing potential for new drugs and therapies and the means of preventing inherited genetic diseases. As a result of establishing the whole human genome sequence and the associated media publicity, the general public have become familiar with and more eager to learn about the subject of genetics and its potential impact on both their own lives and those of their families. One of the main sources of information available to the public today is the World Wide Web. Vast amounts of information are contained in the numerous websites available through the Internet. However, finding the right information can be very tedious, especially with the huge number of websites currently available. This article guides the public to key websites and webpages that cover information on genetics. All sites listed here have been tested and proven to be beneficial and informative. PMID:12852194

  14. Genetic insights into human isolated gonadotropin deficiency.

    PubMed

    Trarbach, Ericka Barbosa; Silveira, Leticia Gontijo; Latronico, Ana Claudia

    2007-01-01

    The identification of naturally occurring genetic mutations has provided unique insight into the current knowledge of the human hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. In the past decade, several monogenic causes have been reported in patients with isolated gonadotropin deficiency. Kallmann Syndrome is a clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorder, characterized by isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and anosmia or hyposmia. To date, loss-of-function mutations in the genes encoding anosmin-1 (KAL1) and fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1) have been described in the X-linked and autosomal dominant forms of this syndrome, respectively. More recently, several heterozygous, homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in the G protein-coupled prokineticin receptor-2 (PROKR2) and one of its ligands, prokineticin-2 (PROK2) were described in Kallmann syndrome. In addition, complex genetic transmission (digenic inheritance) was recently demonstrated in this condition. Regarding isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism without olfactory abnormalities, loss-of-function mutations in the Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor (GnRH-R) or the G-protein coupled receptor 54 (GPR54) genes, both encoding transmembrane receptors, have been described, as well as FGFR1 mutations. Finally, mutations of the beta sub-units of LH and FSH have been described in patients with selective gonadotropin deficiency. We review the role of these distinct genetic factors in human isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism.

  15. Genetic variation in male effects on female reproduction and the genetic covariance between the sexes.

    PubMed

    Czesak, Mary Ellen; Fox, Charles W

    2003-06-01

    Males of many insect species increase the fecundity and/or egg size of their mates through the amount or composition of their nuptial gifts or ejaculate. The genetic bases of such male effects on fecundity or egg size are generally unknown, and thus their ability to evolve remains speculative. Likewise, the genetic relationship between male and female investment into reproduction in dioecious species, which is expected to be positive if effects on fecundity are controlled by at least some of the same genes in males and females, is also unknown. Males of the seed beetle Stator limbatus contribute large ejaculates to females during mating, and the amount of donated ejaculate is positively correlated with male body mass. Females mated to large males lay more eggs in their lifetime than females mated to small males. We describe an experiment in which we quantify genetic variation in the number of eggs sired by males (mated to a single female) and found that a significant proportion of the phenotypic variance in the number of eggs sired by males was explained by their genotype. Additionally, the number of eggs sired by a male was highly positively genetically correlated with his body mass. The between-sex genetic correlation, that is, the genetic correlation between the number of eggs sired by males and the number of eggs laid by females, was highly positive when eggs were laid on Acacia greggii seeds. This indicates that males that sire many eggs have sisters that lay many eggs. Thus, some of the genes that control male ejaculate size (or some other fecundity-enhancing factor) when expressed in males appear to control fecundity when expressed in females. We found no significant interaction between male and female genotype on fecundity.

  16. Genetic basis of human reproductive endocrine disorders.

    PubMed

    Fauser, B C; Hsueh, A J

    1995-04-01

    Disturbed human reproductive function may be caused by environmental and/or genetic factors. Much information related to single gene defects underlying reproductive failure has become available in recent years due to advances in molecular biology. In this review, techniques currently applied for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis are addressed. We also highlight underlying molecular mechanisms and the corresponding clinical presentation of single gene defects affecting (i) the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, resulting in disturbed gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neuron migration, or leading to defective gonadotrophins, gonadotrophin receptors and the Gs alpha protein; (ii) gonadal and adrenal steroid biosynthesis and (iii) steroid and insulin receptors. The potential genetic basis of polycystic ovary syndrome is also discussed. Although disease states caused by well-defined genetic abnormalities appear to represent only a small proportion of those found in the patient population, it should be considered that these affected individuals represent only the most severe cases in a wide spectrum of genetic abnormalities underlying disturbed fertility. Comprehension of these extreme cases will provide the basis for the elucidation of more common reproductive disorders as the result of subtle genetic changes or increased susceptibility to environmental factors.

  17. Genetic Basis of Human Circadian Rhythm Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Christopher R.; Huang, Angela L.; Ptáček, Louis J.; Fu, Ying-Hui

    2012-01-01

    Circadian rhythm disorders constitute a group of phenotypes that usually present as altered sleep-wake schedules. Until a human genetics approach was applied to investigate these traits, the genetic components regulating human circadian rhythm and sleep behaviors remained mysterious. Steady advances in the last decade have dramatically improved our understanding of the genes involved in circadian rhythmicity and sleep regulation. Finding these genes presents new opportunities to use a wide range of approaches, including in vitro molecular studies and in vivo animal modeling, to elevate our understanding of how sleep and circadian rhythms are regulated and maintained. Ultimately, this knowledge will reveal how circadian and sleep disruption contribute to various ailments and shed light on how best to maintain and recover good health. PMID:22849821

  18. Gene Conversion in Human Genetic Disease

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jian-Min; Férec, Claude; Cooper, David N.

    2010-01-01

    Gene conversion is a specific type of homologous recombination that involves the unidirectional transfer of genetic material from a ‘donor’ sequence to a highly homologous ‘acceptor’. We have recently reviewed the molecular mechanisms underlying gene conversion, explored the key part that this process has played in fashioning extant human genes, and performed a meta-analysis of gene-conversion events known to have caused human genetic disease. Here we shall briefly summarize some of the latest developments in the study of pathogenic gene conversion events, including (i) the emerging idea of minimal efficient sequence homology (MESH) for homologous recombination, (ii) the local DNA sequence features that appear to predispose to gene conversion, (iii) a mechanistic comparison of gene conversion and transient hypermutability, and (iv) recently reported examples of pathogenic gene conversion events. PMID:24710102

  19. Characterization of Greater Middle Eastern genetic variation for enhanced disease gene discovery.

    PubMed

    Scott, Eric M; Halees, Anason; Itan, Yuval; Spencer, Emily G; He, Yupeng; Azab, Mostafa Abdellateef; Gabriel, Stacey B; Belkadi, Aziz; Boisson, Bertrand; Abel, Laurent; Clark, Andrew G; Alkuraya, Fowzan S; Casanova, Jean-Laurent; Gleeson, Joseph G

    2016-09-01

    The Greater Middle East (GME) has been a central hub of human migration and population admixture. The tradition of consanguinity, variably practiced in the Persian Gulf region, North Africa, and Central Asia, has resulted in an elevated burden of recessive disease. Here we generated a whole-exome GME variome from 1,111 unrelated subjects. We detected substantial diversity and admixture in continental and subregional populations, corresponding to several ancient founder populations with little evidence of bottlenecks. Measured consanguinity rates were an order of magnitude above those in other sampled populations, and the GME population exhibited an increased burden of runs of homozygosity (ROHs) but showed no evidence for reduced burden of deleterious variation due to classically theorized 'genetic purging'. Applying this database to unsolved recessive conditions in the GME population reduced the number of potential disease-causing variants by four- to sevenfold. These results show variegated genetic architecture in GME populations and support future human genetic discoveries in Mendelian and population genetics. PMID:27428751

  20. Characterization of Greater Middle Eastern genetic variation for enhanced disease gene discovery.

    PubMed

    Scott, Eric M; Halees, Anason; Itan, Yuval; Spencer, Emily G; He, Yupeng; Azab, Mostafa Abdellateef; Gabriel, Stacey B; Belkadi, Aziz; Boisson, Bertrand; Abel, Laurent; Clark, Andrew G; Alkuraya, Fowzan S; Casanova, Jean-Laurent; Gleeson, Joseph G

    2016-09-01

    The Greater Middle East (GME) has been a central hub of human migration and population admixture. The tradition of consanguinity, variably practiced in the Persian Gulf region, North Africa, and Central Asia, has resulted in an elevated burden of recessive disease. Here we generated a whole-exome GME variome from 1,111 unrelated subjects. We detected substantial diversity and admixture in continental and subregional populations, corresponding to several ancient founder populations with little evidence of bottlenecks. Measured consanguinity rates were an order of magnitude above those in other sampled populations, and the GME population exhibited an increased burden of runs of homozygosity (ROHs) but showed no evidence for reduced burden of deleterious variation due to classically theorized 'genetic purging'. Applying this database to unsolved recessive conditions in the GME population reduced the number of potential disease-causing variants by four- to sevenfold. These results show variegated genetic architecture in GME populations and support future human genetic discoveries in Mendelian and population genetics.

  1. A golden age of human pigmentation genetics.

    PubMed

    Sturm, Richard A

    2006-09-01

    The zebrafish golden mutation is characterized by the production of small and irregular-shaped melanin granules, resulting in a lightening of the pigmented lateral stripes of the animal. The recent positional cloning and localization of the golden gene, combined with genotype-phenotype correlations of alleles of its human orthologue (SLC24A5) in African-American and African-Caribbean populations, provide insights into the genetic and molecular basis of human skin colour. SLC24A5 promotes melanin deposition through maturation of the melanosome, highlighting the importance of ion-exchange in the function of this organelle.

  2. Genetics and vaccine efficacy: host genetic variation affecting Marek's disease vaccine efficacy in White Leghorn chickens.

    PubMed

    Chang, S; Dunn, J R; Heidari, M; Lee, L F; Song, J; Ernst, C W; Ding, Z; Bacon, L D; Zhang, H

    2010-10-01

    Marek's disease (MD) is a T-cell lymphoma disease of domestic chickens induced by MD virus (MDV), a naturally oncogenic and highly contagious cell-associated α-herpesvirus. Earlier reports have shown that the MHC haplotype as well as non-MHC genes are responsible for genetic resistance to MD. The MHC was also shown to affect efficiency of vaccine response. Using specific-pathogen-free chickens from a series of 19 recombinant congenic strains and their 2 progenitor lines (lines 6(3) and 7(2)), vaccine challenge experiments were conducted to examine the effect of host genetic variation on vaccine efficacy. The 21 inbred lines of White Leghorns share the same B*2 MHC haplotype and the genome of each recombinant congenic strain differs by a random 1/8 sample of the susceptible donor line (7(2)) genome. Chickens from each of the lines were divided into 2 groups. One was vaccinated with turkey herpesvirus strain FC126 at the day of hatch and the other was treated as a nonvaccinated control. Chickens of both groups were inoculated with a very virulent plus strain of MDV on the fifth day posthatch. Analyses of the MD data showed that the genetic line significantly influenced MD incidence and days of survival post-MDV infection after vaccination of chickens (P<0.01). The protective indices against MD varied greatly among the lines with a range of 0 up to 84%. This is the first evidence that non-MHC host genetic variation significantly affects MD vaccine efficacy in chickens in a designed prospective study.

  3. Identifying Interacting Genetic Variations by Fish-Swarm Logic Regression

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Aiyuan; Yan, Chunxia; Zhu, Feng; Zhao, Zhongmeng; Cao, Zhi

    2013-01-01

    Understanding associations between genotypes and complex traits is a fundamental problem in human genetics. A major open problem in mapping phenotypes is that of identifying a set of interacting genetic variants, which might contribute to complex traits. Logic regression (LR) is a powerful multivariant association tool. Several LR-based approaches have been successfully applied to different datasets. However, these approaches are not adequate with regard to accuracy and efficiency. In this paper, we propose a new LR-based approach, called fish-swarm logic regression (FSLR), which improves the logic regression process by incorporating swarm optimization. In our approach, a school of fish agents are conducted in parallel. Each fish agent holds a regression model, while the school searches for better models through various preset behaviors. A swarm algorithm improves the accuracy and the efficiency by speeding up the convergence and preventing it from dropping into local optimums. We apply our approach on a real screening dataset and a series of simulation scenarios. Compared to three existing LR-based approaches, our approach outperforms them by having lower type I and type II error rates, being able to identify more preset causal sites, and performing at faster speeds. PMID:23984382

  4. Natural selection and genetic variation for female resistance to harm from males.

    PubMed

    Linder, J E; Rice, W R

    2005-05-01

    The sexual conflict hypothesis predicts that males evolve traits that exploit the higher parental investment of females, which generates selection for females to counter-evolve resistance. In Drosophila melanogaster it is now established that males harm females and that there is genetic variation among males for the degree of this harm. Genetic variation among females for resistance to harm from males, and the corresponding strength of selection on this variation, however, have not been quantified previously. Here we carryout a genome-wide screen for female resistance to harm from males. We estimate that the cost of interactions with males depresses lifetime fecundity of females by 15% (95% CI: 8.2-22.0), that genetic variation for female resistance constitutes 17% of total genetic variation for female adult fitness, and that propensity to remate in response to persistent male courtship is a major factor contributing to genetic variation for female resistance.

  5. Moose body mass variation revisited: disentangling effects of environmental conditions and genetics.

    PubMed

    Herfindal, Ivar; Haanes, Hallvard; Solberg, Erling J; Røed, Knut H; Høgda, Kjell Arild; Sæther, Bernt-Erik

    2014-02-01

    Large-scale geographical variation in phenotypic traits within species is often correlated to local environmental conditions and population density. Such phenotypic variation has recently been shown to also be influenced by genetic structuring of populations. In ungulates, large-scale geographical variation in phenotypic traits, such as body mass, has been related to environmental conditions and population density, but little is known about the genetic influences. Research on the genetic structure of moose suggests two distinct genetic lineages in Norway, structured along a north-south gradient. This corresponds with many environmental gradients, thus genetic structuring provides an additional factor affecting geographical phenotypic variation in Norwegian moose. We investigated if genetic structure explained geographical variation in body mass in Norwegian moose while accounting for environmental conditions, age and sex, and if it captured some of the variance in body mass that previously was attributed to environmental factors. Genetic structuring of moose was the most important variable in explaining the geographic variation in body mass within age and sex classes. Several environmental variables also had strong explanatory power, related to habitat diversity, environmental seasonality and winter harshness. The results suggest that environmental conditions, landscape characteristics, and genetic structure should be evaluated together when explaining large-scale patterns in phenotypic characters or life history traits. However, to better understand the role of genetic and environmental effects on phenotypic traits in moose, an extended individual-based study of variation in fitness-related characters is needed, preferably in an area of convergence between different genetic lineages.

  6. Haptoglobin polymorphism and schizophrenia: genetic variation on chromosome 16.

    PubMed

    Maes, M; Delanghe, J; Bocchio Chiavetto, L; Bignotti, S; Tura, G B; Pioli, R; Zanardini, R; Altamura, C A

    2001-10-10

    Recently, it was shown that schizophrenia is accompanied by an activation of the inflammatory response system with signs of an acute phase response, such as increased plasma haptoglobin (Hp) concentrations. Hp is characterized by a molecular variation with three known phenotypes, i.e. Hp 1-1, Hp 2-1 and Hp 2-2. The aim of the present study was to examine Hp phenotypic and genotypic frequencies in schizophrenic patients. Hp phenotyping was carried out in 98 Northwestern Italian schizophrenic patients and the phenotypic and genotypic distributions were compared with the distributions established in the Northwestern Italian population. Plasma Hp concentrations were determined by means of a laser nephelometric method. The allele frequency of the Hp phenotypes in schizophrenia, i.e. Hp 1-1 (9.2%), Hp 2-1 (38.8%) and Hp 2-2 (52.0%), was significantly different from that in the Northwestern Italian population, i.e. Hp 1-1 (17.0%), Hp 2-1 (51.3%) and Hp 2-2 (38.5%). The frequency of the Hp-2 gene was significantly higher in schizophrenic patients (71.7%) as compared with the observed frequency in the Northwestern Italian population (62.5%). The alterations in Hp phenotypic and genotypic distribution were more pronounced in the schizo-affective, disorganized, undifferentiated and residual schizophrenic patients than in paranoid schizophrenic patients. More than a third (35.7%) of the schizophrenic patients showed plasma Hp concentrations which were higher than the upper limits of normality. Schizophrenia is accompanied by an altered distribution of the Hp phenotypes and genotypes, suggesting that genetic variation on chromosome 16 may be associated with schizophrenia.

  7. The genomic signature of parallel adaptation from shared genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Roesti, Marius; Gavrilets, Sergey; Hendry, Andrew P; Salzburger, Walter; Berner, Daniel

    2014-08-01

    Parallel adaptation is common and may often occur from shared genetic variation, but the genomic consequences of this process remain poorly understood. We first use individual-based simulations to demonstrate that comparisons between populations adapted in parallel to similar environments from shared variation reveal a characteristic genomic signature around a selected locus: a low-divergence valley centred at the locus and flanked by twin peaks of high divergence. This signature is initiated by the hitchhiking of haplotype tracts differing between derived populations in the broader neighbourhood of the selected locus (driving the high-divergence twin peaks) and shared haplotype tracts in the tight neighbourhood of the locus (driving the low-divergence valley). This initial hitchhiking signature is reinforced over time because the selected locus acts as a barrier to gene flow from the source to the derived populations, thus promoting divergence by drift in its close neighbourhood. We next empirically confirm the peak-valley-peak signature by combining targeted and RAD sequence data at three candidate adaptation genes in multiple marine (source) and freshwater (derived) populations of threespine stickleback. Finally, we use a genome-wide screen for the peak-valley-peak signature to discover additional genome regions involved in parallel marine-freshwater divergence. Our findings offer a new explanation for heterogeneous genomic divergence and thus challenge the standard view that peaks in population divergence harbour divergently selected loci and that low-divergence regions result from balancing selection or localized introgression. We anticipate that genome scans for peak-valley-peak divergence signatures will promote the discovery of adaptation genes in other organisms. PMID:24635356

  8. Genetic variation in polyploid forage grass: Assessing the molecular genetic variability in the Paspalum genus

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Paspalum (Poaceae) is an important genus of the tribe Paniceae, which includes several species of economic importance for foraging, turf and ornamental purposes, and has a complex taxonomical classification. Because of the widespread interest in several species of this genus, many accessions have been conserved in germplasm banks and distributed throughout various countries around the world, mainly for the purposes of cultivar development and cytogenetic studies. Correct identification of germplasms and quantification of their variability are necessary for the proper development of conservation and breeding programs. Evaluation of microsatellite markers in different species of Paspalum conserved in a germplasm bank allowed assessment of the genetic differences among them and assisted in their proper botanical classification. Results Seventeen new polymorphic microsatellites were developed for Paspalum atratum Swallen and Paspalum notatum Flüggé, twelve of which were transferred to 35 Paspalum species and used to evaluate their variability. Variable degrees of polymorphism were observed within the species. Based on distance-based methods and a Bayesian clustering approach, the accessions were divided into three main species groups, two of which corresponded to the previously described Plicatula and Notata Paspalum groups. In more accurate analyses of P. notatum accessions, the genetic variation that was evaluated used thirty simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci and revealed seven distinct genetic groups and a correspondence of these groups to the three botanical varieties of the species (P. notatum var. notatum, P. notatum var. saurae and P. notatum var. latiflorum). Conclusions The molecular genetic approach employed in this study was able to distinguish many of the different taxa examined, except for species that belong to the Plicatula group, which has historically been recognized as a highly complex group. Our molecular genetic approach represents a

  9. Genetics of single-cell protein abundance variation in large yeast populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albert, Frank W.; Treusch, Sebastian; Shockley, Arthur H.; Bloom, Joshua S.; Kruglyak, Leonid

    2014-02-01

    Variation among individuals arises in part from differences in DNA sequences, but the genetic basis for variation in most traits, including common diseases, remains only partly understood. Many DNA variants influence phenotypes by altering the expression level of one or several genes. The effects of such variants can be detected as expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL). Traditional eQTL mapping requires large-scale genotype and gene expression data for each individual in the study sample, which limits sample sizes to hundreds of individuals in both humans and model organisms and reduces statistical power. Consequently, many eQTL are probably missed, especially those with smaller effects. Furthermore, most studies use messenger RNA rather than protein abundance as the measure of gene expression. Studies that have used mass-spectrometry proteomics reported unexpected differences between eQTL and protein QTL (pQTL) for the same genes, but these studies have been even more limited in scope. Here we introduce a powerful method for identifying genetic loci that influence protein expression in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We measure single-cell protein abundance through the use of green fluorescent protein tags in very large populations of genetically variable cells, and use pooled sequencing to compare allele frequencies across the genome in thousands of individuals with high versus low protein abundance. We applied this method to 160 genes and detected many more loci per gene than previous studies. We also observed closer correspondence between loci that influence protein abundance and loci that influence mRNA abundance of a given gene. Most loci that we detected were clustered in `hotspots' that influence multiple proteins, and some hotspots were found to influence more than half of the proteins that we examined. The variants that underlie these hotspots have profound effects on the gene regulatory network and provide insights into genetic variation in cell

  10. Genetics of single-cell protein abundance variation in large yeast populations

    PubMed Central

    Albert, Frank W.; Treusch, Sebastian; Shockley, Arthur H.; Bloom, Joshua S.; Kruglyak, Leonid

    2014-01-01

    Variation among individuals arises in part from differences in DNA sequences, but the genetic basis for variation in most traits, including common diseases, remains only partly understood. Many DNA variants influence phenotypes by altering the expression level of one or multiple genes. The effects of such variants can be detected as expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) 1. Traditional eQTL mapping requires large-scale genotype and gene expression data for each individual in the study sample, which limits sample sizes to hundreds of individuals in both humans and model organisms and reduces statistical power 2–6. Consequently, many eQTL are likely missed, especially those with smaller effects 7. Further, most studies use mRNA rather than protein abundance as the measure of gene expression. Studies that have used mass-spectrometry proteomics 8–13 reported surprising differences between eQTL and protein QTL (pQTL) for the same genes 9,10, but these studies have been even more limited in scope. Here, we introduce a powerful method for identifying genetic loci that influence protein expression in the yeast Saccharomyes cerevisiae. We measure single-cell protein abundance through the use of green-fluorescent-protein tags in very large populations of genetically variable cells, and use pooled sequencing to compare allele frequencies across the genome in thousands of individuals with high vs. low protein abundance. We applied this method to 160 genes and detected many more loci per gene than previous studies. We also observed closer correspondence between loci that influence protein abundance and loci that influence mRNA abundance of a given gene. Most loci cluster at hotspot locations that influence multiple proteins—in some cases, more than half of those examined. The variants that underlie these hotspots have profound effects on the gene regulatory network and provide insights into genetic variation in cell physiology between yeast strains. PMID:24402228

  11. Genetic Variation and Population Substructure in Outbred CD-1 Mice: Implications for Genome-Wide Association Studies

    PubMed Central

    Aldinger, Kimberly A.; Sokoloff, Greta; Rosenberg, David M.; Palmer, Abraham A.; Millen, Kathleen J.

    2009-01-01

    Outbred laboratory mouse populations are widely used in biomedical research. Since little is known about the degree of genetic variation present in these populations, they are not widely used for genetic studies. Commercially available outbred CD-1 mice are drawn from an extremely large breeding population that has accumulated many recombination events, which is desirable for genome-wide association studies. We therefore examined the degree of genome-wide variation within CD-1 mice to investigate their suitability for genetic studies. The CD-1 mouse genome displays patterns of linkage disequilibrium and heterogeneity similar to wild-caught mice. Population substructure and phenotypic differences were observed among CD-1 mice obtained from different breeding facilities. Differences in genetic variation among CD-1 mice from distinct facilities were similar to genetic differences detected between closely related human populations, consistent with a founder effect. This first large-scale genetic analysis of the outbred CD-1 mouse strain provides important considerations for the design and analysis of genetic studies in CD-1 mice. PMID:19266100

  12. Genetic Analysis of Human Preimplantation Embryos.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Herrero, S; Cervero, A; Mateu, E; Mir, P; Póo, M E; Rodrigo, L; Vera, M; Rubio, C

    2016-01-01

    Preimplantation development comprises the initial stages of mammalian development, before the embryo implants into the mother's uterus. In normal conditions, after fertilization the embryo grows until reaching blastocyst stage. The blastocyst grows as the cells divide and the cavity expands, until it arrives at the uterus, where it "hatches" from the zona pellucida to implant into the uterine wall. Nevertheless, embryo quality and viability can be affected by chromosomal abnormalities, most of which occur during gametogenesis and early embryo development; human embryos produced in vitro are especially vulnerable. Therefore, the selection of chromosomally normal embryos for transfer in assisted reproduction can improve outcomes in poor-prognosis patients. Additionally, in couples with an inherited disorder, early diagnosis could prevent pregnancy with an affected child and would, thereby, avoid the therapeutic interruption of pregnancy. These concerns have prompted advancements in the use of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). Genetic testing is applied in two different scenarios: in couples with an inherited genetic disorder or carriers of a structural chromosomal abnormality, it is termed PGD; in infertile couples with increased risk of generating embryos with de novo chromosome abnormalities, it is termed preimplantation genetic screening, or PGS. PMID:27475859

  13. Hominin interbreeding and the evolution of human variation.

    PubMed

    Ko, Kwang Hyun

    2016-12-01

    Mitochondrial Eve confirms the "out of Africa" theory, but the evidence also supports interbreeding between Homo sapiens and other hominins: Neanderthals, Denisovans, and Homo heidelbergensis. This article explains how interbreeding between early H. sapiens and archaic hominins occurred. The availability of edible insects in East Asia aided the spread of the unaggressive, highly cooperative Neanderthals, who interbred with H. sapiens in Asia, resulting in a higher admixture of Neanderthal DNA in East Asian populations. Geographical variation in degree of interbreeding between H. sapiens and Neanderthals likely contributed to neurological and behavioral differences in modern humans. Similarly, people with Denisovan genetic admixture were better able to dwell in mountainous regions, allowing their genetic legacy to cross the Himalayas and persist in Southeast Asian and Oceanian H. sapiens. In the Sub-Saharan region, unaffected by Denisovan or Neanderthal interbreeding, H. sapiens interbred with H. heidelbergensis, because high humidity militated against fire-making and allowed the survival of these non-fire-making hominins. PMID:27429943

  14. Variation at Genes Influencing Facial Morphology Are Not Associated with Developmental Imprecision in Human Faces

    PubMed Central

    Windhager, Sonja; Schaschl, Helmut; Schaefer, Katrin; Mitteroecker, Philipp; Huber, Susanne; Wallner, Bernard; Fieder, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Facial asymmetries are commonly used as a proxy for human developmental imprecision resulting from inbreeding, and thus reduced genetic heterozygosity. Several environmental factors influence human facial asymmetry (e.g., health care, parasites), but the generalizability of findings on genetic stressors has been limited in humans by sample characteristics (island populations, endogamy) and indirect genetic assessment (inference from pedigrees). In a sample of 3215 adult humans from the Rotterdam Study, we therefore studied the relationship of facial asymmetry, estimated from nine mid-facial landmarks, with genetic variation at 102 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci recently associated with facial shape variation. We further tested whether the degree of individual heterozygosity is negatively correlated with facial asymmetry. An ANOVA tree regression did not identify any SNP relating to either fluctuating asymmetry or total asymmetry. In a general linear model, only age and sex—but neither heterozygosity nor any SNP previously reported to covary with facial shape—was significantly related to total or fluctuating asymmetry of the midface. Our study does not corroborate the common assumption in evolutionary and behavioral biology that morphological asymmetries reflect heterozygosity. Our results, however, may be affected by a relatively small degree of inbreeding, a relatively stable environment, and an advanced age in the Rotterdam sample. Further large-scale genetic studies, including gene expression studies, are necessary to validate the genetic and developmental origin of morphological asymmetries. PMID:24914781

  15. Minifish shows high genetic variation in mtDNA size.

    PubMed

    Chen, X-W; Li, Q-L; Hu, X-J; Yuan, Y-M; Wen, M; Peng, L-Y; Liu, S-J; Hong, Y-H

    2014-01-01

    The genus Paedocypris is a newly described taxon of minifish species that are characterized by extensive chromosome evolution and one of the smallest known vertebrate nuclear genomes. Paedocypris features a tiny adult size, a short generation time, low fecundity and fragmented tropical habitats, which are factors that favor rapid speciation. Most recently, we have revealed that P. progenetica (Pp), the type species of the genus Paedocypris, has an unusual mtDNA bearing - within its D-loop - a tandem array of a 34-bp repeat sequence called the minifish repeat, which shows compromised replication efficiency in vitro. Here we report that Pp exhibits high genetic variation in mtDNA size. The efficiency of D-loop amplification was found to depend upon primers. Interestingly, Pp individuals of one and the same population differed drastically in mtDNA size resulting from varying copy numbers of the minifish repeat. We conclude that minifish has a high mutation rate and perhaps represents a rapidly evolving taxon of vertebrates.

  16. Learned vocal variation is associated with abrupt cryptic genetic change in a parrot species complex.

    PubMed

    Ribot, Raoul F H; Buchanan, Katherine L; Endler, John A; Joseph, Leo; Bennett, Andrew T D; Berg, Mathew L

    2012-01-01

    Contact zones between subspecies or closely related species offer valuable insights into speciation processes. A typical feature of such zones is the presence of clinal variation in multiple traits. The nature of these traits and the concordance among clines are expected to influence whether and how quickly speciation will proceed. Learned signals, such as vocalizations in species having vocal learning (e.g. humans, many birds, bats and cetaceans), can exhibit rapid change and may accelerate reproductive isolation between populations. Therefore, particularly strong concordance among clines in learned signals and population genetic structure may be expected, even among continuous populations in the early stages of speciation. However, empirical evidence for this pattern is often limited because differences in vocalisations between populations are driven by habitat differences or have evolved in allopatry. We tested for this pattern in a unique system where we may be able to separate effects of habitat and evolutionary history. We studied geographic variation in the vocalizations of the crimson rosella (Platycercus elegans) parrot species complex. Parrots are well known for their life-long vocal learning and cognitive abilities. We analysed contact calls across a ca 1300 km transect encompassing populations that differed in neutral genetic markers and plumage colour. We found steep clinal changes in two acoustic variables (fundamental frequency and peak frequency position). The positions of the two clines in vocal traits were concordant with a steep cline in microsatellite-based genetic variation, but were discordant with the steep clines in mtDNA, plumage and habitat. Our study provides new evidence that vocal variation, in a species with vocal learning, can coincide with areas of restricted gene flow across geographically continuous populations. Our results suggest that traits that evolve culturally can be strongly associated with reduced gene flow between

  17. Does Genetic Diversity Predict Health in Humans?

    PubMed Central

    Lie, Hanne C.; Simmons, Leigh W.; Rhodes, Gillian

    2009-01-01

    Genetic diversity, especially at genes important for immune functioning within the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC), has been associated with fitness-related traits, including disease resistance, in many species. Recently, genetic diversity has been associated with mate preferences in humans. Here we asked whether these preferences are adaptive in terms of obtaining healthier mates. We investigated whether genetic diversity (heterozygosity and standardized mean d2) at MHC and nonMHC microsatellite loci, predicted health in 153 individuals. Individuals with greater allelic diversity (d2) at nonMHC loci and at one MHC locus, linked to HLA-DRB1, reported fewer symptoms over a four-month period than individuals with lower d2. In contrast, there were no associations between MHC or nonMHC heterozygosity and health. NonMHC-d2 has previously been found to predict male preferences for female faces. Thus, the current findings suggest that nonMHC diversity may play a role in both natural and sexual selection acting on human populations. PMID:19633717

  18. The Developmental Basis of Quantitative Craniofacial Variation in Humans and Mice.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Abadías, Neus; Mitteroecker, Philipp; Parsons, Trish E; Esparza, Mireia; Sjøvold, Torstein; Rolian, Campbell; Richtsmeier, Joan T; Hallgrímsson, Benedikt

    2012-12-01

    The human skull is a complex and highly integrated structure that has long held the fascination of anthropologists and evolutionary biologists. Recent studies of the genetics of craniofacial variation reveal a very complex and multifactorial picture. These findings contrast with older ideas that posit much simpler developmental bases for variation in cranial morphology such as the growth of the brain or the growth of the chondrocranium relative to the dermatocranium. Such processes have been shown to have major effects on cranial morphology in mice. It is not known, however, whether they are relevant to explaining normal phenotypic variation in humans. To answer this question, we obtained vectors of shape change from mutant mouse models in which the developmental basis for the craniofacial phenotype is known to varying degrees, and compared these to a homologous dataset constructed from human crania obtained from a single population with a known genealogy. Our results show that the shape vectors associated with perturbations to chondrocranial growth, brain growth, and body size in mice do largely correspond to axes of covariation in humans. This finding supports the view that the developmental basis for craniofacial variation funnels down to a relatively small number of key developmental processes that are similar across mice and humans. Understanding these processes and how they influence craniofacial shape provides fundamental insights into the developmental basis for evolutionary change in the human skull as well as the developmental-genetic basis for normal phenotypic variation in craniofacial form. PMID:23226904

  19. HGV&TB: a comprehensive online resource on human genes and genetic variants associated with tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Sahajpal, Ruchika; Kandoi, Gaurav; Dhiman, Heena; Raj, Sweety; Scaria, Vinod; Bhartiya, Deeksha; Hasija, Yasha

    2014-01-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by fastidious pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB has emerged as one of the major causes of mortality in the developing world. Role of host genetic factors that modulate disease susceptibility have not been studied widely. Recent studies have reported few genetic loci that provide impetus to this area of research. The availability of tools has enabled genome-wide scans for disease susceptibility loci associated with infectious diseases. Till now, information on human genetic variations and their associated genes that modulate TB susceptibility have not been systematically compiled. In this work, we have created a resource: HGV&TB, which hosts genetic variations reported to be associated with TB susceptibility in humans. It currently houses information on 307 variations in 98 genes. In total, 101 of these variations are exonic, whereas 78 fall in intronic regions. We also analysed the pathogenicity of the genetic variations, their phenotypic consequences and ethnic origin. Using various computational analyses, 30 variations of the 101 exonic variations were predicted to be pathogenic. The resource is freely available at http://genome.igib.res.in/hgvtb/index.html. Using integrative analysis, we have shown that the disease associated variants are selectively enriched in the immune signalling pathways which are crucial in the pathophysiology of TB. Database URL: http://genome.igib.res.in/hgvtb/index.html

  20. Os incae: variation in frequency in major human population groups

    PubMed Central

    HANIHARA, TSUNEHIKO; ISHIDA, HAJIME

    2001-01-01

    The variation in frequency of the Inca bone was examined in major human populations around the world. The New World populations have generally high frequencies of the Inca bone, whereas lower frequencies occur in northeast Asians and Australians. Tibetan/Nepalese and Assam/Sikkim populations in northeast India have more Inca bones than do neighbouring populations. Among modern populations originally derived from eastern Asian population stock, the frequencies are highest in some of the marginal isolated groups. In Central and West Asia as well as in Europe, frequency of the Inca bone is relatively low. The incidence of the complete Inca bone is, moreover, very low in the western hemisphere of the Old World except for Subsaharan Africa. Subsaharan Africans show as a whole a second peak in the occurrence of the Inca bone. Geographical and ethnographical patterns of the frequency variation of the Inca bone found in this study indicate that the possible genetic background for the occurrence of this bone cannot be completely excluded. Relatively high frequencies of the Inca bone in Subsaharan Africans indicate that this trait is not a uniquely eastern Asian regional character. PMID:11273039

  1. PATENTS IN GENOMICS AND HUMAN GENETICS

    PubMed Central

    Cook-Deegan, Robert; Heaney, Christopher

    2010-01-01

    Genomics and human genetics are scientifically fundamental and commercially valuable. These fields grew to prominence in an era of growth in government and nonprofit research funding, and of even greater growth of privately funded research and development in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Patents on DNA technologies are a central feature of this story, illustrating how patent law adapts---and sometimes fails to adapt---to emerging genomic technologies. In instrumentation and for therapeutic proteins, patents have largely played their traditional role of inducing investment in engineering and product development, including expensive postdiscovery clinical research to prove safety and efficacy. Patents on methods and DNA sequences relevant to clinical genetic testing show less evidence of benefits and more evidence of problems and impediments, largely attributable to university exclusive licensing practices. Whole-genome sequencing will confront uncertainty about infringing granted patents but jurisprudence trends away from upholding the broadest and potentially most troublesome patent claims. PMID:20590431

  2. Defining the Influence of Germline Variation on Metastasis Using Systems Genetics Approaches.

    PubMed

    Lee, M; Crawford, N P S

    2016-01-01

    Cancer is estimated to be responsible for 8 million deaths worldwide and over half a million deaths every year in the United States. The majority of cancer-related deaths in solid tumors is directly associated with the effects of metastasis. While the influence of germline factors on cancer risk and development has long been recognized, the contribution of hereditary variation to tumor progression and metastasis has only gained acceptance more recently. A variety of approaches have been used to define how hereditary variation influences tumor progression and metastasis. One approach that garnered much early attention was epidemiological studies of cohorts of cancer patients, which demonstrated that specific loci within the human genome are associated with a differential propensity for aggressive tumor development. However, a powerful, and somewhat underutilized approach has been the use of systems genetics approaches in transgenic mouse models of human cancer. Such approaches are typically multifaceted, and involve integration of multiple lines of evidence derived, for example, from genetic and transcriptomic screens of genetically diverse mouse models of cancer, coupled with bioinformatics analysis of human cancer datasets, and functional analysis of candidate genes. These methodologies have allowed for the identification of multiple hereditary metastasis susceptibility genes, with wide-ranging cellular functions including regulation of gene transcription, cell proliferation, and cell-cell adhesion. In this chapter, we review how each of these approaches have facilitated the identification of these hereditary metastasis modifiers, the molecular functions of these metastasis-associated genes, and the implications of these findings upon patient survival. PMID:27613130

  3. The influence of mitonuclear genetic variation on personality in seed beetles

    PubMed Central

    Løvlie, Hanne; Immonen, Elina; Gustavsson, Emil; Kazancioğlu, Erem; Arnqvist, Göran

    2014-01-01

    There is a growing awareness of the influence of mitochondrial genetic variation on life-history phenotypes, particularly via epistatic interactions with nuclear genes. Owing to their direct effect on traits such as metabolic and growth rates, mitonuclear interactions may also affect variation in behavioural types or personalities (i.e. behavioural variation that is consistent within individuals, but differs among individuals). However, this possibility is largely unexplored. We used mitonuclear introgression lines, where three mitochondrial genomes were introgressed into three nuclear genetic backgrounds, to disentangle genetic effects on behavioural variation in a seed beetle. We found within-individual consistency in a suite of activity-related behaviours, providing evidence for variation in personality. Composite measures of overall activity of individuals in behavioural assays were influenced by both nuclear genetic variation and by the interaction between nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. More importantly, the degree of expression of behavioural and life-history phenotypes was correlated and mitonuclear genetic variation affected expression of these concerted phenotypes. These results show that mitonuclear genetic variation affects both behavioural and life-history traits, and they provide novel insights into the maintenance of genetic variation in behaviour and personality. PMID:25320161

  4. The Genetics of Sun Sensitivity in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Rees, Jonathan L.

    2004-01-01

    Humans vary >100-fold in their sensitivity to the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. The main determinants of sensitivity are melanin pigmentation and less-well-characterized differences in skin inflammation and repair processes. Pigmentation has a high heritability, but susceptibility to cancers of the skin, a key marker of sun sensitivity, is less heritable. Despite a large number of murine coat-color mutations, only one gene in humans, the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), is known to account for substantial variation in skin and hair color and in skin cancer incidence. MC1R encodes a 317–amino acid G-coupled receptor that controls the relative amounts of the two major melanin classes, eumelanin and pheomelanin. Most persons with red hair are homozygous for alleles of the MC1R gene that show varying degrees of diminished function. More than 65 human MC1R alleles with nonsynonymous changes have been identified, and current evidence suggests that many of them vary in their physiological activity, such that a graded series of responses can be achieved on the basis of (i) dosage effects (of one or two alleles) and (ii) individual differences in the pharmacological profile in response to ligand. Thus, a single locus, identified within a Mendelian framework, can contribute significantly to human pigmentary variation. PMID:15372380

  5. Child Development and Structural Variation in the Human Genome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Ying; Haraksingh, Rajini; Grubert, Fabian; Abyzov, Alexej; Gerstein, Mark; Weissman, Sherman; Urban, Alexander E.

    2013-01-01

    Structural variation of the human genome sequence is the insertion, deletion, or rearrangement of stretches of DNA sequence sized from around 1,000 to millions of base pairs. Over the past few years, structural variation has been shown to be far more common in human genomes than previously thought. Very little is currently known about the effects…

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background There is a growing concern that global climate change will affect the potential for pathogen transmission by insect species that are vectors of human diseases. One of these species is the former European malaria vector, Anopheles atroparvus. Levels of population differentiation of An. atroparvus from southern Europe were characterized as a first attempt to elucidate patterns of population structure of this former malaria vector. Results are discussed in light of a hypothetical situation of re-establishment of malaria transmission. Methods Genetic and phenotypic variation was analysed in nine mosquito samples collected from five European countries, using eight microsatellite loci and geometric morphometrics on 21 wing landmarks. Results Levels of genetic diversity were comparable to those reported for tropical malaria vectors. Low levels of genetic (0.004 Genetic differentiation (0.202

  7. Genetic variations in ZFP36 and their possible relationship to autoimmune diseases.

    PubMed

    Carrick, Danielle Mercatante; Chulada, Patricia; Donn, Rachelle; Fabris, Martina; McNicholl, Janet; Whitworth, William; Blackshear, Perry J

    2006-05-01

    The ZFP36 gene codes for TTP, a regulator of TNF alpha. In mice, TTP deficiency results in a systemic autoimmune inflammatory syndrome with severe arthritis. We hypothesized that genetic variations in ZFP36 are associated with autoimmune disease in humans. The primary objective of this study was to identify human ZFP36 genetic variants in autoimmune disease cases and controls, determine their frequencies in a general clinic population, and construct haplotypes. We resequenced ZFP36 in 316 individuals with autoimmune diseases and identified 28 polymorphisms and determined the frequency of all the known ZFP36 polymorphisms in 484 participants of the Environmental Polymorphism Registry, a regional registry being conducted by the NIEHS. Based on the sequence-verified ZFP36 genotypes, 34 haplotypes were constructed. As a secondary objective, we examined autoimmune disease cases and controls for potential ZFP36 genetic associations. One novel polymorphism, ZFP36*8, a C to T transition in the protein coding domain, was significantly associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in African-Americans (RR=1.23, 95% CI: 1.11-1.36). The data presented here suggest a tentative association between ZFP36 and RA. This finding, as well as the ZFP36 polymorphisms and haplotypes identified here, should form the basis for future association studies in autoimmune diseases.

  8. Genetics of human isolated hereditary nail disorders.

    PubMed

    Khan, S; Basit, S; Habib, R; Kamal, A; Muhammad, N; Ahmad, W

    2015-10-01

    Human hereditary nail disorders constitute a rare and heterogeneous group of ectodermal dysplasias. They occur as isolated and/or syndromic ectodermal conditions where other ectodermal appendages are also involved, and can occur associated with skeletal dysplasia. 'Nail disorder, nonsyndromic congenital' (OMIM; Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man) is subclassified into 10 different types. The underlying genes identified thus far are expressed in the nail bed and play important roles in nail development and morphogenesis. Here, we review the current literature on nail disorders and present a coherent review on the genetics of nail disorders. This review will pave the way to identifying putative genes and pathways involved in nail development and morphogenesis.

  9. The Tricentennial People: Human Applications of the New Genetics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neumann, Marguerite, Ed.

    This symposium focused on the social, political, and ethical implications of the current trends in genetic research. Four papers are presented here along with transcripts of the accompanying discussions. The topics include: (1) genetics and the biological basis of the human condition; (2) the pros and cons of genetic counseling; (3) genetics and…

  10. Association between Common Variation in Genes Encoding Sweet Taste Signaling Components and Human Sucrose Perception

    PubMed Central

    Fushan, Alexey A.; Simons, Christopher T.; Slack, Jay P.

    2010-01-01

    Variation in taste perception of different chemical substances is a well-known phenomenon in both humans and animals. Recent advances in the understanding of sweet taste signaling have identified a number of proteins involved in this signal transduction. We evaluated the hypothesis that sequence variations occurring in genes encoding taste signaling molecules can influence sweet taste perception in humans. Our population consisted of unrelated individuals (n = 160) of Caucasian, African–American, and Asian descent. Threshold and suprathreshold sensitivities of participants for sucrose were estimated using a sorting test and signal detection analysis that produced cumulative R-index area under the curve (AUC) scores. Genetic association analysis revealed significant correlation of sucrose AUC scores with genetic variation occurring in the GNAT3 gene (single point P = 10−3 to 10−4), which encodes the taste-specific Gα protein subunit gustducin. Subsequent sequencing identified additional GNAT3 variations having significant association with sucrose AUC scores. Collectively, GNAT3 polymorphisms explain 13% of the variation in sucrose perception. Our findings underscore the importance of common genetic variants influencing human taste perception. PMID:20660057

  11. The Admixture Structure and Genetic Variation of the Archipelago of Cape Verde and Its Implications for Admixture Mapping Studies

    PubMed Central

    Beleza, Sandra; Campos, Joana; Lopes, Jailson; Araújo, Isabel Inês; Hoppfer Almada, Ana; e Silva, António Correia; Parra, Esteban J.; Rocha, Jorge

    2012-01-01

    Recently admixed populations offer unique opportunities for studying human history and for elucidating the genetic basis of complex traits that differ in prevalence between human populations. Historical records, classical protein markers, and preliminary genetic data indicate that the Cape Verde islands in West Africa are highly admixed and primarily descended from European males and African females. However, little is known about the variation in admixture levels, admixture dynamics and genetic diversity across the islands, or about the potential of Cape Verde for admixture mapping studies. We have performed a detailed analysis of phenotypic and genetic variation in Cape Verde based on objective skin color measurements, socio-economic status (SES) evaluations and data for 50 autosomal, 34 X-chromosome, and 21 non-recombinant Y-chromosome (NRY) markers in 845 individuals from six islands of the archipelago. We find extensive genetic admixture between European and African ancestral populations (mean West African ancestry = 0.57, sd = 0.08), with individual African ancestry proportions varying considerably among the islands. African ancestry proportions calculated with X and Y-chromosome markers confirm that the pattern of admixture has been sex-biased. The high-resolution NRY-STRs reveal additional patterns of variation among the islands that are most consistent with differentiation after admixture. The differences in the autosomal admixture proportions are clearly evident in the skin color distribution across the islands (Pearson r = 0.54, P-value<2e–16). Despite this strong correlation, there are significant interactions between SES and skin color that are independent of the relationship between skin color and genetic ancestry. The observed distributions of admixture, genetic variation and skin color and the relationship of skin color with SES relate to historical and social events taking place during the settlement history of Cape Verde, and have

  12. Performing monkeys of Bangladesh: characterizing their source and genetic variation.

    PubMed

    Hasan, M Kamrul; Feeroz, M Mostafa; Jones-Engel, Lisa; Engel, Gregory A; Akhtar, Sharmin; Kanthaswamy, Sree; Smith, David Glenn

    2016-04-01

    The acquisition and training of monkeys to perform is a centuries-old tradition in South Asia, resulting in a large number of rhesus macaques kept in captivity for this purpose. The performing monkeys are reportedly collected from free-ranging populations, and may escape from their owners or may be released into other populations. In order to determine whether this tradition involving the acquisition and movement of animals has influenced the population structure of free-ranging rhesus macaques in Bangladesh, we first characterized the source of these monkeys. Biological samples from 65 performing macaques collected between January 2010 and August 2013 were analyzed for genetic variation using 716 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA. Performing monkey sequences were compared with those of free-ranging rhesus macaque populations in Bangladesh, India and Myanmar. Forty-five haplotypes with 116 (16 %) polymorphic nucleotide sites were detected among the performing monkeys. As for the free-ranging rhesus population, most of the substitutions (89 %) were transitions, and no indels (insertion/deletion) were observed. The estimate of the mean number of pair-wise differences for the performing monkey population was 10.1264 ± 4.686, compared to 14.076 ± 6.363 for the free-ranging population. Fifteen free-ranging rhesus macaque populations were identified as the source of performing monkeys in Bangladesh; several of these populations were from areas where active provisioning has resulted in a large number of macaques. The collection of performing monkeys from India was also evident. PMID:26758818

  13. Genetic variation and plasticity of Plantago coronopus under saline conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smekens, Marret J.; van Tienderen, Peter H.

    2001-08-01

    Phenotypic plasticity may allow organisms to cope with variation in the environmental conditions they encounter in their natural habitats. Salt adaptation appears to be an excellent example of such a plastic response. Many plant species accumulate organic solutes in response to saline conditions. Comparative and molecular studies suggest that this is an adaptation to osmotic stress. However, evidence relating the physiological responses to fitness parameters is rare and requires assessing the potential costs and benefits of plasticity. We studied the response of thirty families derived from plants collected in three populations of Plantago coronopus in a greenhouse experiment under saline and non-saline conditions. We indeed found a positive selection gradient for the sorbitol percentage under saline conditions: plant families with a higher proportion of sorbitol produced more spikes. No effects of sorbitol on fitness parameters were found under non-saline conditions. Populations also differed genetically in leaf number, spike number, sorbitol concentration and percentages of different soluble sugars. Salt treatment led to a reduction of vegetative biomass and spike production but increased leaf dry matter percentage and leaf thickness. Both under saline and non-saline conditions there was a negative trade-off between vegetative growth and reproduction. Families with a high plasticity in leaf thickness had a lower total spike length under non-saline conditions. This would imply that natural selection under predominantly non-saline conditions would lead to a decrease in the ability to change leaf morphology in response to exposure to salt. All other tests revealed no indication for any costs of plasticity to saline conditions.

  14. The link between genetic variation and variability in vaccine responses: systematic review and meta-analyses.

    PubMed

    Posteraro, Brunella; Pastorino, Roberta; Di Giannantonio, Paolo; Ianuale, Carolina; Amore, Rosarita; Ricciardi, Walter; Boccia, Stefania

    2014-03-26

    Although immune response to vaccines can be influenced by several parameters, human genetic variations are thought to strongly influence the variability in vaccine responsiveness. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are needed to clarify the genetic contribution to this variability, which may affect the efficacy of existing vaccines. We performed a systematic literature search to identify all studies describing the associations of allelic variants or single nucleotide polymorphisms in immune response genes with vaccine responses until July 2013. The studies fulfilling inclusion criteria were meta-analyzed. Thirteen studies (11,686 subjects) evaluated the associations of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and other immunity gene variations with the responses to single vaccines, including MMR-II (measles and rubella virus), HepB (hepatitis virus), influenza virus, and MenC (serogroup C meningococcus) vaccines. Seven HLA genetic variants were included in the meta-analyses. The pooled ORs showed that DRB1*07 (2.46 [95% CI=1.60-3.77]; P for heterogeneity=0.117; I(2)=49.1%), DQA1*02:01 (2.21 [95% CI=1.22-4.00]; P for heterogeneity=0.995; I(2)=0.0%), DQB1*02:01 (2.03 [95% CI=1.35-3.07]; P for heterogeneity=0.449; I(2)=0.0%), and DQB1*03:03 (3.31 [95% CI=1.12-9.78]; P for heterogeneity=0.188; I(2)=42.4%) were associated with a significant decrease of antibody responses to MMR-II, HepB, and influenza vaccines. The pooled ORs showed that DRB1*13 (0.52 [95% CI=0.32-0.84]; P for heterogeneity=0.001; I(2)=85.1%) and DRB1*13:01 (0.19 [95% CI=0.06-0.58]; P for heterogeneity=0.367; I(2)=0.0%) were associated with a significant increase of antibody responses to the above vaccines. While our findings reinforce the concept that individuals with a particular HLA allelic composition are more likely to respond efficiently to vaccines, future studies should be encouraged to further elucidate the link between genetic variation and variability of the human immune response to vaccines.

  15. Genetic variation in pattern recognition receptors: functional consequences and susceptibility to infectious disease.

    PubMed

    Jaeger, Martin; Stappers, Mark H T; Joosten, Leo A B; Gyssens, Inge C; Netea, Mihai G

    2015-01-01

    Cells of the innate immune system are equipped with surface and cytoplasmic receptors for microorganisms called pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). PRRs recognize specific pathogen-associated molecular patterns and as such are crucial for the activation of the immune system. Currently, five different classes of PRRs have been described: Toll-like receptors, C-type lectin receptors, nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptors, retinoic acid-inducible gene I-like receptors and absent in melanoma 2-like receptors. Following their discovery, many sequence variants in PRR genes have been uncovered and shown to be implicated in human infectious diseases. In this review, we will discuss the effect of genetic variation in PRRs and their signaling pathways on susceptibility to infectious diseases in humans.

  16. Comparative losses of quantitative and molecular genetic variation in finite populations of Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Gilligan, Dean M; Briscoe, David A; Frankham, Richard

    2005-02-01

    Quantitative genetic variation, the main determinant of the ability to evolve, is expected to be lost in small populations, but there are limited data on the effect, and controversy as to whether it is similar to that for near neutral molecular variation. Genetic variation for abdominal and sternopleural bristle numbers and allozyme heterozygosity were estimated in 23 populations of Drosophila melanogaster maintained at effective population sizes of 25, 50, 100, 250 or 500 for 50 generations, as well as in 19 highly inbred populations and the wild outbred base population. Highly significant negative regressions of proportion of initial genetic variation retained on inbreeding due to finite population size were observed for both quantitative characters (b = -0.67 +/- 0.14 and -0.58 +/- 0.11) and allozyme heterozygosity (b = -0.79 +/- 0.10), and the regression coefficients did not differ significantly. Thus, quantitative genetic variation is being lost at a similar rate to molecular genetic variation. However, genetic variation for all traits was lost at rates significantly slower than predicted by neutral theory, most likely due to associative overdominance. Positive, but relatively low correlations were found among the different measures of genetic variation, but their low magnitudes were attributed to large sampling errors, rather than differences in the underlying processes of loss.

  17. Anthrax Susceptibility: Human Genetic Polymorphisms Modulating ANTXR2 Expression.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhang; Zhang, Yan; Shi, Minglei; Ye, Bingyu; Shen, Wenlong; Li, Ping; Xing, Lingyue; Zhang, Xiaopeng; Hou, Lihua; Xu, Junjie; Zhao, Zhihu; Chen, Wei

    2015-12-22

    Anthrax toxin causes anthrax pathogenesis and expression levels of ANTXR2 (anthrax toxin receptor 2) are strongly correlated with anthrax toxin susceptibility. Previous studies found that ANTXR2 transcript abundance varies considerably in individuals of different ethnic/geographical groups, but no eQTLs (expression quantitative trait loci) have been identified. By using 3C (chromatin conformation capture), CRISPR-mediated genomic deletion and dual-luciferase reporter assay, gene loci containing cis-regulatory elements of ANTXR2 were localized. Two SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphism) at the conserved CREB-binding motif, rs13140055 and rs80314910 in the promoter region of the gene, modulating ANTXR2 promoter activity were identified. Combining these two regulatory SNPs with a previously reported SNP, rs12647691, for the first time, a statistically significant correlation between human genetic variations and anthrax toxin sensitivity was observed. These findings further our understanding of human variability in ANTXR2 expression and anthrax toxin susceptibility.

  18. Genetic Variation among Staphylococcus aureus Strains from Norwegian Bulk Milk

    PubMed Central

    Jørgensen, H. J.; Mørk, T.; Caugant, D. A.; Kearns, A.; Rørvik, L. M.

    2005-01-01

    Strains of Staphylococcus aureus obtained from bovine (n = 117) and caprine (n = 114) bulk milk were characterized and compared with S. aureus strains from raw-milk products (n = 27), bovine mastitis specimens (n = 9), and human blood cultures (n = 39). All isolates were typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). In addition, subsets of isolates were characterized using multilocus sequence typing (MLST), multiplex PCR (m-PCR) for genes encoding nine of the staphylococcal enterotoxins (SE), and the cloverleaf method for penicillin resistance. A variety of genotypes were observed, and greater genetic diversity was found among bovine than caprine bulk milk isolates. Certain genotypes, with a wide geographic distribution, were common to bovine and caprine bulk milk and may represent ruminant-specialized S. aureus. Isolates with genotypes indistinguishable from those of strains from ruminant mastitis were frequently found in bulk milk, and strains with genotypes indistinguishable from those from bulk milk were observed in raw-milk products. This indicates that S. aureus from infected udders may contaminate bulk milk and, subsequently, raw-milk products. Human blood culture isolates were diverse and differed from isolates from other sources. Genotyping by PFGE, MLST, and m-PCR for SE genes largely corresponded. In general, isolates with indistinguishable PFGE banding patterns had the same SE gene profile and isolates with identical SE gene profiles were placed together in PFGE clusters. Phylogenetic analyses agreed with the division of MLST sequence types into clonal complexes, and isolates within the same clonal complex had the same SE gene profile. Furthermore, isolates within PFGE clusters generally belonged to the same clonal complex. PMID:16332822

  19. Genetic variation in arthropod vectors of disease-causing organisms: obstacles and opportunities.

    PubMed Central

    Gooding, R H

    1996-01-01

    An overview of the genetic variation in arthropods that transmit pathogens to vertebrates is presented, emphasizing the genetics of vector-pathogen relationships and the biochemical genetics of vectors. Vector-pathogen interactions are reviewed briefly as a prelude to a discussion of the genetics of susceptibility and refractoriness in vectors. Susceptibility to pathogens is controlled by maternally inherited factors, sex-linked dominant alleles, and dominant and recessive autosomal genes. There is widespread interpopulation (including intercolony) and temporal variation in susceptibility to pathogens. The amount of biochemical genetic variation in vectors is similar to that found in other invertebrates. However, the amount varies widely among species, among populations within species, and temporally within populations. Biochemical genetic studies show that there is considerable genetic structuring of many vectors at the local, regional, and global levels. It is argued that genetic variation in vectors is critical in understanding vector-pathogen interactions and that genetic variation in vectors creates both obstacles to and opportunities for application of genetic techniques to the control of vectors. PMID:8809462

  20. Genetic Testing and Its Implications: Human Genetics Researchers Grapple with Ethical Issues.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rabino, Isaac

    2003-01-01

    Contributes systematic data on the attitudes of scientific experts who engage in human genetics research about the pros, cons, and ethical implications of genetic testing. Finds that they are highly supportive of voluntary testing and the right to know one's genetic heritage. Calls for greater genetic literacy. (Contains 87 references.) (Author/NB)

  1. GENETICS OF HUMAN AGE RELATED DISORDERS.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, I; Thukral, N; Hasija, Y

    2015-01-01

    Aging is an inevitable biological phenomenon. The incidence of age related disorders (ARDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, arthritis, dementia, osteoporosis, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases increase rapidly with aging. ARDs are becoming a key social and economic trouble for the world's elderly population (above 60 years), which is expected to reach 2 billion by 2050. Advancement in understanding of genetic associations, particularly through genome wide association studies (GWAS), has revealed a substantial contribution of genes to human aging and ARDs. In this review, we have focused on the recent understanding of the extent to which genetic predisposition may influence the aging process. Further analysis of the genetic association studies through pathway analysis several genes associated with multiple ARDs have been highlighted such as apolipoprotein E (APOE), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), cadherin 13 (CDH13), CDK5 regulatory subunit associated protein 1 (CDKAL-1), methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1), nitric oxide synthase 3 (NOS3), paraoxonase 1 (PON1), indicating that these genes could play a pivotal role in ARD causation. These genes were found to be significantly enriched in Jak-STAT signalling pathway, asthma and allograft rejection. Further, interleukin-6 (IL-6), insulin (INS), vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA), estrogen receptor1 (ESR1), transforming growth factor, beta 1(TGFB1) and calmodulin 1 (CALM1) were found to be highly interconnected in network analysis. We believe that extensive research on the presence of common genetic variants among various ARDs may facilitate scientists to understand the biology behind ARDs causation. PMID:26856084

  2. Genetics of human sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cleaver, James E.

    1994-07-01

    the major human health effects of solar and artificial UV light occur from the UVB and UVC wavelength ranges and involve a variety of short-term and long-term deleterious changes to the skin and eyes. the more important initial damage to cellular macromolecules involves dimerization of adjacent pyrimidines in DNA to produce cyclobutane pyrimidine dimes, (6-4) pyrimidine- pyrimidone, and (6-4) dewar photoproducts. these photoproducts can be repaired by a genetically regulated enzyme system (nucleotide excision repair) which removes oligonucleotides 29-30 nucleotides long that contain the photoproducts, and synthesizes replacement patches. At least a dozen gene products are involved in the process of recognizing photoproducts in DNA, altering local DNA helicity and cleaving the polynucleotide chain at defined positions either side of a photoproduct. Hereditary mutations in many of these genes are recognized in the human genetic disorders xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), Cockayne syndrome (CS), and trichothiodystrophy (TTD). Several of the gene products have other functions involving the regulation of gene transcription which accounts for the complex clinical presentation of repair deficient diseases that involve sensitivity of the skin and eyes to UV light, increased solar carcinogenesis (in XP), demyelination, and ganglial calcification (in CS), hair abnormalities (in TTD), and developmental and neurological abnormalities

  3. CES1 genetic variation affects the activation of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Wang, X; Wang, G; Shi, J; Aa, J; Comas, R; Liang, Y; Zhu, H-J

    2016-06-01

    The aim of the study was to determine the effect of carboxylesterase 1 (CES1) genetic variation on the activation of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI) prodrugs. In vitro incubation study of human liver, intestine and kidney s9 fractions demonstrated that the ACEI prodrugs enalapril, ramipril, perindopril, moexipril and fosinopril are selectively activated by CES1 in the liver. The impact of CES1/CES1VAR and CES1P1/CES1P1VAR genotypes and diplotypes on CES1 expression and activity on enalapril activation was investigated in 102 normal human liver samples. Neither the genotypes nor the diplotypes affected hepatic CES1 expression and activity. Moreover, among several CES1 nonsynonymous variants studied in transfected cell lines, the G143E (rs71647871) was a loss-of-function variant for the activation of all ACEIs tested. The CES1 activity on enalapril activation in human livers with the 143G/E genotype was approximately one-third of that carrying the 143G/G. Thus, some functional CES1 genetic variants (for example, G143E) may impair ACEI activation, and consequently affect therapeutic outcomes of ACEI prodrugs. PMID:26076923

  4. Challenges and prospects in genome-wide quantitative trait loci mapping of standing genetic variation in natural populations.

    PubMed

    Schielzeth, Holger; Husby, Arild

    2014-07-01

    A considerable challenge in evolutionary genetics is to understand the genetic mechanisms that facilitate or impede evolutionary adaptation in natural populations. For this, we must understand the genetic loci contributing to trait variation and the selective forces acting on them. The decreased costs and increased feasibility of obtaining genotypic data on a large number of individuals have greatly facilitated gene mapping in natural populations, particularly because organisms whose genetics have been historically difficult to study are now within reach. Here we review the methods available to evolutionary ecologists interested in dissecting the genetic basis of traits in natural populations. Our focus lies on standing genetic variation in outbred populations. We present an overview of the current state of research in the field, covering studies on both plants and animals. We also draw attention to particular challenges associated with the discovery of quantitative trait loci and discuss parallels to studies on crops, livestock, and humans. Finally, we point to some likely future developments in genetic mapping studies. PMID:24689944

  5. Challenges and prospects in genome-wide quantitative trait loci mapping of standing genetic variation in natural populations.

    PubMed

    Schielzeth, Holger; Husby, Arild

    2014-07-01

    A considerable challenge in evolutionary genetics is to understand the genetic mechanisms that facilitate or impede evolutionary adaptation in natural populations. For this, we must understand the genetic loci contributing to trait variation and the selective forces acting on them. The decreased costs and increased feasibility of obtaining genotypic data on a large number of individuals have greatly facilitated gene mapping in natural populations, particularly because organisms whose genetics have been historically difficult to study are now within reach. Here we review the methods available to evolutionary ecologists interested in dissecting the genetic basis of traits in natural populations. Our focus lies on standing genetic variation in outbred populations. We present an overview of the current state of research in the field, covering studies on both plants and animals. We also draw attention to particular challenges associated with the discovery of quantitative trait loci and discuss parallels to studies on crops, livestock, and humans. Finally, we point to some likely future developments in genetic mapping studies.

  6. Estimating Genetic and Maternal Effects Determining Variation in Immune Function of a Mixed-Mating Snail.

    PubMed

    Seppälä, Otto; Langeloh, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Evolution of host defenses such as immune function requires heritable genetic variation in them. However, also non-genetic maternal effects can contribute to phenotypic variation, thus being an alternative target for natural selection. We investigated the role of individuals' genetic background and maternal effects in determining immune defense traits (phenoloxidase and antibacterial activity of hemolymph), as well as in survival and growth, in the simultaneously hermaphroditic snail Lymnaea stagnalis. We utilized the mixed mating system of this species by producing full-sib families in which each parental snail had produced offspring as both a dam and as a sire, and tested whether genetic background (family) and non-genetic maternal effects (dam nested within family) explain trait variation. Immune defense traits and growth were affected solely by individuals' genetic background. Survival of snails did not show family-level variation. Additionally, some snails were produced through self-fertilization. They showed reduced growth and survival suggesting recessive load or overdominance. Immune defense traits did not respond to inbreeding. Our results suggest that the variation in snail immune function and growth was due to genetic differences. Since immune traits did not respond to inbreeding, this variation is most likely due to additive or epistatic genetic variance. PMID:27551822

  7. Estimating Genetic and Maternal Effects Determining Variation in Immune Function of a Mixed-Mating Snail

    PubMed Central

    Seppälä, Otto; Langeloh, Laura

    2016-01-01

    Evolution of host defenses such as immune function requires heritable genetic variation in them. However, also non-genetic maternal effects can contribute to phenotypic variation, thus being an alternative target for natural selection. We investigated the role of individuals’ genetic background and maternal effects in determining immune defense traits (phenoloxidase and antibacterial activity of hemolymph), as well as in survival and growth, in the simultaneously hermaphroditic snail Lymnaea stagnalis. We utilized the mixed mating system of this species by producing full-sib families in which each parental snail had produced offspring as both a dam and as a sire, and tested whether genetic background (family) and non-genetic maternal effects (dam nested within family) explain trait variation. Immune defense traits and growth were affected solely by individuals’ genetic background. Survival of snails did not show family-level variation. Additionally, some snails were produced through self-fertilization. They showed reduced growth and survival suggesting recessive load or overdominance. Immune defense traits did not respond to inbreeding. Our results suggest that the variation in snail immune function and growth was due to genetic differences. Since immune traits did not respond to inbreeding, this variation is most likely due to additive or epistatic genetic variance. PMID:27551822

  8. Human Genetics and Islam: Scientific and Medical Aspects

    PubMed Central

    Ghareeb, Bilal A.A.

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To relate diverse aspects of genetics and its applications to concepts in the Glorious Qur’an and the ḥadīth. Study Design: The author compared passages from the Glorious Qur’an and ḥadīth with modern concepts in genetics, such as recessive inheritance, genetic counseling, genetic variation, cytoplasmic inheritance, sex chromosomes, genetics-environment interactions, gender determination, and the hypothesis of “pairing in the universe.” Conclusions: A fresh understanding of Islamic scripture reveals references to principles of genetics that predate contemporary discoveries. This highlights the need for further exploration of possible links between science and religion. PMID:23610491

  9. Spatial and temporal patterns of neutral and adaptive genetic variation in the endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus).

    PubMed

    Marsden, Clare D; Woodroffe, Rosie; Mills, Michael G L; McNutt, J Weldon; Creel, Scott; Groom, Rosemary; Emmanuel, Masenga; Cleaveland, Sarah; Kat, Pieter; Rasmussen, Gregory S A; Ginsberg, Joshua; Lines, Robin; André, Jean-Marc; Begg, Colleen; Wayne, Robert K; Mable, Barbara K

    2012-03-01

    Deciphering patterns of genetic variation within a species is essential for understanding population structure, local adaptation and differences in diversity between populations. Whilst neutrally evolving genetic markers can be used to elucidate demographic processes and genetic structure, they are not subject to selection and therefore are not informative about patterns of adaptive variation. As such, assessments of pertinent adaptive loci, such as the immunity genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), are increasingly being incorporated into genetic studies. In this study, we combined neutral (microsatellite, mtDNA) and adaptive (MHC class II DLA-DRB1 locus) markers to elucidate the factors influencing patterns of genetic variation in the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus); an endangered canid that has suffered extensive declines in distribution and abundance. Our genetic analyses found all extant wild dog populations to be relatively small (N(e)  < 30). Furthermore, through coalescent modelling, we detected a genetic signature of a recent and substantial demographic decline, which correlates with human expansion, but contrasts with findings in some other African mammals. We found strong structuring of wild dog populations, indicating the negative influence of extensive habitat fragmentation and loss of gene flow between habitat patches. Across populations, we found that the spatial and temporal structure of microsatellite diversity and MHC diversity were correlated and strongly influenced by demographic stability and population size, indicating the effects of genetic drift in these small populations. Despite this correlation, we detected signatures of selection at the MHC, implying that selection has not been completely overwhelmed by genetic drift. PMID:22320891

  10. Spatial and temporal patterns of neutral and adaptive genetic variation in the endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus).

    PubMed

    Marsden, Clare D; Woodroffe, Rosie; Mills, Michael G L; McNutt, J Weldon; Creel, Scott; Groom, Rosemary; Emmanuel, Masenga; Cleaveland, Sarah; Kat, Pieter; Rasmussen, Gregory S A; Ginsberg, Joshua; Lines, Robin; André, Jean-Marc; Begg, Colleen; Wayne, Robert K; Mable, Barbara K

    2012-03-01

    Deciphering patterns of genetic variation within a species is essential for understanding population structure, local adaptation and differences in diversity between populations. Whilst neutrally evolving genetic markers can be used to elucidate demographic processes and genetic structure, they are not subject to selection and therefore are not informative about patterns of adaptive variation. As such, assessments of pertinent adaptive loci, such as the immunity genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), are increasingly being incorporated into genetic studies. In this study, we combined neutral (microsatellite, mtDNA) and adaptive (MHC class II DLA-DRB1 locus) markers to elucidate the factors influencing patterns of genetic variation in the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus); an endangered canid that has suffered extensive declines in distribution and abundance. Our genetic analyses found all extant wild dog populations to be relatively small (N(e)  < 30). Furthermore, through coalescent modelling, we detected a genetic signature of a recent and substantial demographic decline, which correlates with human expansion, but contrasts with findings in some other African mammals. We found strong structuring of wild dog populations, indicating the negative influence of extensive habitat fragmentation and loss of gene flow between habitat patches. Across populations, we found that the spatial and temporal structure of microsatellite diversity and MHC diversity were correlated and strongly influenced by demographic stability and population size, indicating the effects of genetic drift in these small populations. Despite this correlation, we detected signatures of selection at the MHC, implying that selection has not been completely overwhelmed by genetic drift.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. Effects of founding genetic variation on adaptation to a novel resource.

    PubMed

    Agashe, Deepa; Falk, Jay J; Bolnick, Daniel I

    2011-09-01

    Population genetic theory predicts that adaptation in novel environments is enhanced by genetic variation for fitness. However, theory also predicts that under strong selection, demographic stochasticity can drive populations to extinction before they can adapt. We exposed wheat-adapted populations of the flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) to a novel suboptimal corn resource, to test the effects of founding genetic variation on population decline and subsequent extinction or adaptation. As previously reported, genetically diverse populations were less likely to go extinct. Here, we show that among surviving populations, genetically diverse groups recovered faster after the initial population decline. Within two years, surviving populations significantly increased their fitness on corn via increased fecundity, increased egg survival, faster larval development, and higher rate of egg cannibalism. However, founding genetic variation only enhanced the increase in fecundity, despite existing genetic variation-and apparent lack of trade-offs-for egg survival and larval development time. Thus, during adaptation to novel habitats the positive impact of genetic variation may be restricted to only a few traits, although change in many life-history traits may be necessary to avoid extinction. Despite severe initial maladaptation and low population size, genetic diversity can thus overcome the predicted high extinction risk in new habitats. PMID:21884051

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

    PubMed Central

    Acland, Gregory M.

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Genetic Variation and Population Genetics of Taenia saginata in North and Northeast Thailand in relation to Taenia asiatica.

    PubMed

    Anantaphruti, Malinee; Thaenkham, Urusa; Kusolsuk, Teera; Maipanich, Wanna; Saguankiat, Surapol; Pubampen, Somjit; Phuphisut, Orawan

    2013-01-01

    Taenia saginata is the most common human Taenia in Thailand. By cox1 sequences, 73 isolates from four localities in north and northeast were differentiated into 14 haplotypes, 11 variation sites and haplotype diversity of 0.683. Among 14 haplotypes, haplotype A was the major (52.1%), followed by haplotype B (21.9%). Clustering diagram of Thai and GenBank sequences indicated mixed phylogeny among localities. By MJ analysis, haplotype clustering relationships showed paired-stars-like network, having two main cores surrounded by minor haplotypes. Tajima's D values were significantly negative in T. saginata world population, suggesting population expansion. Significant Fu's F s values in Thai, as well as world population, also indicate that population is expanding and may be hitchhiking as part of selective sweep. Haplotype B and its dispersion were only found in populations from Thailand. Haplotype B may evolve and ultimately become an ancestor of future populations in Thailand. Haplotype A seems to be dispersion haplotype, not just in Thailand, but worldwide. High genetic T. saginata intraspecies divergence was found, in contrast to its sister species, T. asiatica; among 30 samples from seven countries, its haplotype diversity was 0.067, while only 2 haplotypes were revealed. This extremely low intraspecific variation suggests that T. asiatica could be an endangered species. PMID:23864933

  15. Cyclic Variations in Sustained Human Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aue, William R.; Arruda, James E.; Kass, Steven J.; Stanny, Claudia J.

    2009-01-01

    Biological rhythms play a prominent role in the modulation of human physiology and behavior. [Smith, K., Valentino, D., & Arruda, J. (2003). "Rhythmic oscillations in the performance of a sustained attention task." "Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology," 25, 561-570] suggested that sustained human performance may systematically…

  16. Genetic variation, inbreeding and chemical exposure—combined effects in wildlife and critical considerations for ecotoxicology

    PubMed Central

    Brown, A. Ross; Hosken, David J.; Balloux, François; Bickley, Lisa K.; LePage, Gareth; Owen, Stewart F.; Hetheridge, Malcolm J.; Tyler, Charles R.

    2009-01-01

    Exposure to environmental chemicals can have negative consequences for wildlife and even cause localized population extinctions. Resistance to chemical stress, however, can evolve and the mechanisms include desensitized target sites, reduced chemical uptake and increased metabolic detoxification and sequestration. Chemical resistance in wildlife populations can also arise independently of exposure and may be spread by gene flow between populations. Inbreeding—matings between closely related individuals—can have negative fitness consequences for natural populations, and there is evidence of inbreeding depression in many wildlife populations. In some cases, reduced fitness in inbred populations has been shown to be exacerbated under chemical stress. In chemical testing, both inbred and outbred laboratory animals are used and for human safety assessments, iso-genic strains (virtual clones) of mice and rats are often employed that reduce response variation, the number of animals used and associated costs. In contrast, for environmental risk assessment, strains of animals are often used that have been selectively bred to maintain heterozygosity, with the assumption that they are better able to predict adverse effects in wild, genetically variable, animals. This may not necessarily be the case however, as one outbred strain may not be representative of another or of a wild population. In this paper, we critically discuss relationships between genetic variation, inbreeding and chemical effects with the intention of seeking to support more effective chemical testing for the protection of wildlife. PMID:19833649

  17. Genetic variation in cortico-amygdala serotonin function and risk for stress-related disease

    PubMed Central

    Holmes, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    The serotonin system is strongly implicated in the pathophysiology and therapeutic alleviation of stress-related disorders such as anxiety and depression. Serotonergic modulation of the acute response to stress and the adaptation to chronic stress is mediated by a myriad of molecules controlling serotonin neuron development (Pet-1), synthesis (tryptophan hydroxylase 1 and 2 isozymes), packaging (vesicular monoamine transporter 2), actions at presynaptic and postsynaptic receptors (5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT2A, 5-HT2C, 5-HT3A, 5-HT4, 5-HT5A, 5-HT6, 5-HT7), reuptake (serotonin transporter), and degradation (monoamine oxidase A). A growing body of evidence from preclinical rodents models, and especially genetically modified mice and inbred mouse strains, has provided significant insight into how genetic variation in these molecules can affect the development and function of a key neural circuit between the dorsal raphe nucleus, medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala. By extension, such variation is hypothesized to have a major influence on individual differences in the stress response and risk for stress-related disease in humans. The current article provides an update on this rapidly evolving field of research. PMID:18439676

  18. The genetic basis of natural variation in mushroom body size in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Zwarts, Liesbeth; Vanden Broeck, Lies; Cappuyns, Elisa; Ayroles, Julien F.; Magwire, Michael M.; Vulsteke, Veerle; Clements, Jason; Mackay, Trudy F. C.; Callaerts, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Genetic variation in brain size may provide the basis for the evolution of the brain and complex behaviours. The genetic substrate and the selective pressures acting on brain size are poorly understood. Here we use the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel to map polymorphic variants affecting natural variation in mushroom body morphology. We identify 139 genes and 39 transcription factors and confirm effects on development and adult plasticity. We show correlations between morphology and aggression, sleep and lifespan. We propose that natural variation in adult brain size is controlled by interaction of the environment with gene networks controlling development and plasticity. PMID:26656654

  19. Characterizing the Role of Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor Genetic Variation in Alzheimer’s Disease Neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Honea, Robyn A.; Cruchaga, Carlos; Perea, Rodrigo D.; Saykin, Andrew J.; Burns, Jeffrey M.; Weinberger, Daniel R.; Goate, Alison M.

    2013-01-01

    There is accumulating evidence that neurotrophins, like brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), may impact aging and Alzheimer’s Disease. However, traditional genetic association studies have not found a clear relationship between BDNF and AD. Our goal was to test whether BDNF single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) impact Alzheimer’s Disease-related brain imaging and cognitive markers of disease. We completed an imaging genetics study on 645 Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative participants (ND=175, MCI=316, AD=154) who had cognitive, brain imaging, and genetics data at baseline and a subset of those with brain imaging data at two years. Samples were genotyped using the Illumina Human610-Quad BeadChip. 13 SNPs in BDNF were identified in the dataset following quality control measures (rs6265(Val66Met), rs12273363, rs11030094, rs925946, rs1050187, rs2203877, rs11030104, rs11030108, rs10835211, rs7934165, rs908867, rs1491850, rs1157459). We analyzed a subgroup of 8 SNPs that were in low linkage disequilibrium with each other. Automated brain morphometric measures were available through ADNI investigators, and we analyzed baseline cognitive scores, hippocampal and whole brain volumes, and rates of hippocampal and whole brain atrophy and rates of change in the ADAS-Cog over one and two years. Three out of eight BDNF SNPs analyzed were significantly associated with measures of cognitive decline (rs1157659, rs11030094, rs11030108). No SNPs were significantly associated with baseline brain volume measures, however six SNPs were significantly associated with hippocampal and/or whole brain atrophy over two years (rs908867, rs11030094, rs6265, rs10501087, rs1157659, rs1491850). We also found an interaction between the BDNF Val66Met SNP and age with whole brain volume. Our imaging-genetics analysis in a large dataset suggests that while BDNF genetic variation is not specifically associated with a diagnosis of AD, it appears to play a role in AD-related brain

  20. Medical genetics

    SciTech Connect

    Jorde, L.B.; Carey, J.C.; White, R.L.

    1995-10-01

    This book on the subject of medical genetics is a textbook aimed at a very broad audience: principally, medical students, nursing students, graduate, and undergraduate students. The book is actually a primer of general genetics as applied to humans and provides a well-balanced introduction to the scientific and clinical basis of human genetics. The twelve chapters include: Introduction, Basic Cell Biology, Genetic Variation, Autosomal Dominant and Recessive Inheritance, Sex-linked and Mitochondrial Inheritance, Clinical Cytogenetics, Gene Mapping, Immunogenetics, Cancer Genetics, Multifactorial Inheritance and Common Disease, Genetic Screening, Genetic Diagnosis and Gene Therapy, and Clinical Genetics and Genetic Counseling.

  1. Cryptococcus neoformans isolates from Yaoundé human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients exhibited intra-individual genetic diversity and variation in antifungal susceptibility profiles between isolates from the same patient.

    PubMed

    Kammalac Ngouana, Thierry; Drakulovski, Pascal; Krasteva, Donika; Kouanfack, Charles; Reynes, Jacques; Delaporte, Eric; Boyom, Fabrice Fekam; Mallié, Michèle; Bertout, Sebastien

    2016-07-01

    Cryptococcal meningitis is a dreadful opportunistic fungal infection amongst human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients. One complication in the management of the disease is the possible infection of a patient by two or more different strains of Cryptococcus neoformans. This study investigated the intra-individual genetic diversity and antifungal susceptibility of C. neoformans isolates from Yaoundé (Cameroon) HIV-infected patients with cryptococcal meningitis. Twenty-five clinical isolates were obtained during a prospective study. Five colonies were randomly collected from each initial sample. The 150 isolates obtained (125 colonies and 25 initial samples) were submitted to serotyping by multiplex PCR. Genotyping analyses were achieved using RFLP, and minisatellite- and microsatellite-length polymorphism. The antifungal susceptibility testing was carried out using a Sensititre YeastOne kit. Seven antifungals were tested: itraconazole, fluconazole, amphotericin B, ketoconazole, 5-fluorocytosine, posaconazole and voriconazole. The 150 isolates were identified as C. neoformans serotype A and genotype VNI. The microsatellite and minisatellite sequence analyses generated 15 genotypes. Six out of 25 (24 %) patients were found to be infected by two different genotypes. Antifungal susceptibility showed several profiles: posaconazole (0.015-0.25 µg ml-1), amphotericin B (0.06-1 µg ml-1), fluconazole (0.5-16 µg ml-1), itraconazole (0.008-0.12 µg ml-1), ketoconazole (0.008-0.12 µg ml-1), 5-fluorocytosine (0.25-16 µg ml-1) and voriconazole (0.008-0.12 µg ml-1). It was noted that isolates from the same patient might present different susceptibility profiles to an antifungal drug with differences of more than four dilutions. The results achieved highlighted the possible presence of isolates with different genotypes in a patient with dissimilar antifungal susceptibility profiles during a single episode of cryptococcal meningitis. PMID:27100672

  2. Whole-Genome Sequencing Reveals Genetic Variation in the Asian House Rat

    PubMed Central

    Teng, Huajing; Zhang, Yaohua; Shi, Chengmin; Mao, Fengbiao; Hou, Lingling; Guo, Hongling; Sun, Zhongsheng; Zhang, Jianxu

    2016-01-01

    Whole-genome sequencing of wild-derived rat species can provide novel genomic resources, which may help decipher the genetics underlying complex phenotypes. As a notorious pest, reservoir of human pathogens, and colonizer, the Asian house rat, Rattus tanezumi, is successfully adapted to its habitat. However, little is known regarding genetic variation in this species. In this study, we identified over 41,000,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms, plus insertions and deletions, through whole-genome sequencing and bioinformatics analyses. Moreover, we identified over 12,000 structural variants, including 143 chromosomal inversions. Further functional analyses revealed several fixed nonsense mutations associated with infection and immunity-related adaptations, and a number of fixed missense mutations that may be related to anticoagulant resistance. A genome-wide scan for loci under selection identified various genes related to neural activity. Our whole-genome sequencing data provide a genomic resource for future genetic studies of the Asian house rat species and have the potential to facilitate understanding of the molecular adaptations of rats to their ecological niches. PMID:27172215

  3. Whole-Genome Sequencing Reveals Genetic Variation in the Asian House Rat.

    PubMed

    Teng, Huajing; Zhang, Yaohua; Shi, Chengmin; Mao, Fengbiao; Hou, Lingling; Guo, Hongling; Sun, Zhongsheng; Zhang, Jianxu

    2016-07-07

    Whole-genome sequencing of wild-derived rat species can provide novel genomic resources, which may help decipher the genetics underlying complex phenotypes. As a notorious pest, reservoir of human pathogens, and colonizer, the Asian house rat, Rattus tanezumi, is successfully adapted to its habitat. However, little is known regarding genetic variation in this species. In this study, we identified over 41,000,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms, plus insertions and deletions, through whole-genome sequencing and bioinformatics analyses. Moreover, we identified over 12,000 structural variants, including 143 chromosomal inversions. Further functional analyses revealed several fixed nonsense mutations associated with infection and immunity-related adaptations, and a number of fixed missense mutations that may be related to anticoagulant resistance. A genome-wide scan for loci under selection identified various genes related to neural activity. Our whole-genome sequencing data provide a genomic resource for future genetic studies of the Asian house rat species and have the potential to facilitate understanding of the molecular adaptations of rats to their ecological niches.

  4. The human genetic history of South Asia.

    PubMed

    Majumder, Partha P

    2010-02-23

    South Asia--comprising India, Pakistan, countries in the sub-Himalayan region and Myanmar--was one of the first geographical regions to have been peopled by modern humans. This region has served as a major route of dispersal to other geographical regions, including southeast Asia. The Indian society comprises tribal, ranked caste, and other populations that are largely endogamous. As a result of evolutionary antiquity and endogamy, populations of India show high genetic differentiation and extensive structuring. Linguistic differences of populations provide the best explanation of genetic differences observed in this region of the world. Within India, consistent with social history, extant populations inhabiting northern regions show closer affinities with Indo-European speaking populations of central Asia that those inhabiting southern regions. Extant southern Indian populations may have been derived from early colonizers arriving from Africa along the southern exit route. The higher-ranked caste populations, who were the torch-bearers of Hindu rituals, show closer affinities with central Asian, Indo-European speaking, populations.

  5. Mouse Genetic Models of Human Brain Disorders.

    PubMed

    Leung, Celeste; Jia, Zhengping

    2016-01-01

    Over the past three decades, genetic manipulations in mice have been used in neuroscience as a major approach to investigate the in vivo function of genes and their alterations. In particular, gene targeting techniques using embryonic stem cells have revolutionized the field of mammalian genetics and have been at the forefront in the generation of numerous mouse models of human brain disorders. In this review, we will first examine childhood developmental disorders such as autism, intellectual disability, Fragile X syndrome, and Williams-Beuren syndrome. We will then explore psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and lastly, neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. We will outline the creation of these mouse models that range from single gene deletions, subtle point mutations to multi-gene manipulations, and discuss the key behavioral phenotypes of these mice. Ultimately, the analysis of the models outlined in this review will enhance our understanding of the in vivo role and underlying mechanisms of disease-related genes in both normal brain function and brain disorders, and provide potential therapeutic targets and strategies to prevent and treat these diseases. PMID:27047540

  6. Mouse Genetic Models of Human Brain Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Celeste; Jia, Zhengping

    2016-01-01

    Over the past three decades, genetic manipulations in mice have been used in neuroscience as a major approach to investigate the in vivo function of genes and their alterations. In particular, gene targeting techniques using embryonic stem cells have revolutionized the field of mammalian genetics and have been at the forefront in the generation of numerous mouse models of human brain disorders. In this review, we will first examine childhood developmental disorders such as autism, intellectual disability, Fragile X syndrome, and Williams-Beuren syndrome. We will then explore psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and lastly, neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. We will outline the creation of these mouse models that range from single gene deletions, subtle point mutations to multi-gene manipulations, and discuss the key behavioral phenotypes of these mice. Ultimately, the analysis of the models outlined in this review will enhance our understanding of the in vivo role and underlying mechanisms of disease-related genes in both normal brain function and brain disorders, and provide potential therapeutic targets and strategies to prevent and treat these diseases. PMID:27047540

  7. Mitochondrial Genetic Variation in Iranian Infertile Men with Varicocele

    PubMed Central

    Heidari, Mohammad Mehdi; Khatami, Mehri; Danafar, Amirhossein; Dianat, Tahere; Farahmand, Ghazaleh; Talebi, Ali Reza

    2016-01-01

    Background: Several recent studies have shown that mitochondrial DNA mutations lead to major disabilities and premature death in carriers. More than 150 mutations in human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genes have been associated with a wide spectrum of disorders. Varicocele, one of the causes of infertility in men wherein abnormal inflexion and distension of veins of the pampiniform plexus is observed within spermatic cord, can increase reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in semen and cause oxidative stress and sperm dysfunction in patients. Given that mitochondria are the source of ROS production in cells, the aim of this study was to scan nine mitochondrial genes (MT-COX2, MT-tRNALys , MT-ATP8, MT-ATP6, MT-COX3, MT-tRNAGly , MT-ND3, MT-tRNAArg and MT-ND4L) for mutations in infertile patients with varicocele. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) and DNA sequencing were used to detect and identify point mutations respectively in 9 mitochondrial genes in 72 infertile men with varicocele and 159 fertile men. In brief, the samples showing altered electrophoretic patterns of DNA in the SSCP gel were sent for DNA sequencing to identify the exact nucleotide variation. Results: Ten type nucleotide variants were detected exclusively in mitochondrial DNA of infertile men. These include six novel nucleotide changes and four variants previously reported for other disorders. Conclusion: Mutations in mitochondrial genes may affect respiratory complexes in combination with environmental risk factors. Therefore these nucleotide variants probably lead to impaired ATP synthesis and mitochondrial function ultimately interfering with sperm motility and infertility. PMID:27695613

  8. Human development: biological and genetic processes.

    PubMed

    Gottesman, Irving I; Hanson, Daniel R

    2005-01-01

    Adaptation is a central organizing principle throughout biology, whether we are studying species, populations, or individuals. Adaptation in biological systems occurs in response to molar and molecular environments. Thus, we would predict that genetic systems and nervous systems would be dynamic (cybernetic) in contrast to previous conceptualizations with genes and brains fixed in form and function. Questions of nature versus nurture are meaningless, and we must turn to epigenetics--the way in which biology and experience work together to enhance adaptation throughout thick and thin. Defining endophenotypes--road markers that bring us closer to the biological origins of the developmental journey--facilitates our understanding of adaptive or maladaptive processes. For human behavioral disorders such as schizophrenia and autism, the inherent plasticity of the nervous system requires a systems approach to incorporate all of the myriad epigenetic factors that can influence such outcomes. PMID:15709936

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

    PubMed Central

    Matuszewski, Sebastian; Hermisson, Joachim; Kopp, Michael

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Analysis of genetic variation and potential applications in genome-scale metabolic modeling.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, João G R; Andersen, Mikael Rørdam; Herrgård, Markus J; Sonnenschein, Nikolaus

    2015-01-01

    Genetic variation is the motor of evolution and allows organisms to overcome the environmental challenges they encounter. It can be both beneficial and harmful in the process of engineering cell factories for the production of proteins and chemicals. Throughout the history of biotechnology, there have been efforts to exploit genetic variation in our favor to create strains with favorable phenotypes. Genetic variation can either be present in natural populations or it can be artificially created by mutagenesis and selection or adaptive laboratory evolution. On the other hand, unintended genetic variation during a long term production process may lead to significant economic losses and it is important to understand how to control this type of variation. With the emergence of next-generation sequencing technologies, genetic variation in microbial strains can now be determined on an unprecedented scale and resolution by re-sequencing thousands of strains systematically. In this article, we review challenges in the integration and analysis of large-scale re-sequencing data, present an extensive overview of bioinformatics methods for predicting the effects of genetic variants on protein function, and discuss approaches for interfacing existing bioinformatics approaches with genome-scale models of cellular processes in order to predict effects of sequence variation on cellular phenotypes.

  11. Analysis of Genetic Variation and Potential Applications in Genome-Scale Metabolic Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Cardoso, João G. R.; Andersen, Mikael Rørdam; Herrgård, Markus J.; Sonnenschein, Nikolaus

    2015-01-01

    Genetic variation is the motor of evolution and allows organisms to overcome the environmental challenges they encounter. It can be both beneficial and harmful in the process of engineering cell factories for the production of proteins and chemicals. Throughout the history of biotechnology, there have been efforts to exploit genetic variation in our favor to create strains with favorable phenotypes. Genetic variation can either be present in natural populations or it can be artificially created by mutagenesis and selection or adaptive laboratory evolution. On the other hand, unintended genetic variation during a long term production process may lead to significant economic losses and it is important to understand how to control this type of variation. With the emergence of next-generation sequencing technologies, genetic variation in microbial strains can now be determined on an unprecedented scale and resolution by re-sequencing thousands of strains systematically. In this article, we review challenges in the integration and analysis of large-scale re-sequencing data, present an extensive overview of bioinformatics methods for predicting the effects of genetic variants on protein function, and discuss approaches for interfacing existing bioinformatics approaches with genome-scale models of cellular processes in order to predict effects of sequence variation on cellular phenotypes. PMID:25763369

  12. The relationship between parental genetic or phenotypic divergence and progeny variation in the maize nested association mapping population

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The choice of populations for quantitative genetics experiments impacts inferences about genetic architecture and prospective selection gains. Plant breeding and quantitative genetics studies are often conducted in one or a few among many possible biparental families. Trait genotypic variation withi...

  13. The Evolution of Personality Variation in Humans and Other Animals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nettle, Daniel

    2006-01-01

    A comprehensive evolutionary framework for understanding the maintenance of heritable behavioral variation in humans is yet to be developed. Some evolutionary psychologists have argued that heritable variation will not be found in important, fitness-relevant characteristics because of the winnowing effect of natural selection. This article…

  14. GENETIC VARIATION FOR COPPER RESISTANCE IN FATHEAD MINNOW TOXICITY TESTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Unexplained variation in the results of aquatic organism toxicity tests is a consistently observed and troubling phenomenon. Possible sources of variation include differences in condition or nutritional status of the population prior to the test, as well as age, density and hand...

  15. Understanding mechanisms underlying human gene expression variation with RNA sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Pickrell, Joseph K.; Marioni, John C.; Pai, Athma A.; Degner, Jacob F.; Engelhardt, Barbara E.; Nkadori, Everlyne; Veyrieras, Jean-Baptiste; Stephens, Matthew; Gilad, Yoav; Pritchard, Jonathan K.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the genetic mechanisms underlying natural variation in gene expression is a central goal of both medical and evolutionary genetics, and studies of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) have become an important tool for achieving this goal1. Although all eQTL studies so far have assayed messenger RNA levels using expression microarrays, recent advances in RNA sequencing enable the analysis of transcript variation at unprecedented resolution. We sequenced RNA from 69 lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from unrelated Nigerian individuals that have been extensively genotyped by the International HapMap Project2. By pooling data from all individuals, we generated a map of the transcriptional landscape of these cells, identifying extensive use of unannotated untranslated regions and more than 100 new putative protein-coding exons. Using the genotypes from the HapMap project, we identified more than a thousand genes at which genetic variation influences overall expression levels or splicing. We demonstrate that eQTLs near genes generally act by a mechanism involving allele-specific expression, and that variation that influences the inclusion of an exon is enriched within and near the consensus splice sites. Our results illustrate the power of high-throughput sequencing for the joint analysis of variation in transcription, splicing and allele-specific expression across individuals. PMID:20220758

  16. Human gut microbiota: repertoire and variations.

    PubMed

    Lagier, Jean-Christophe; Million, Matthieu; Hugon, Perrine; Armougom, Fabrice; Raoult, Didier

    2012-01-01

    The composition of human gut microbiota and their relationship with the host and, consequently, with human health and disease, presents several challenges to microbiologists. Originally dominated by culture-dependent methods for exploring this ecosystem, the advent of molecular tools has revolutionized our ability to investigate these relationships. However, many biases that have led to contradictory results have been identified. Microbial culturomics, a recent concept based on a use of several culture conditions with identification by MALDI-TOF followed by the genome sequencing of the new species cultured had allowed a complementarity with metagenomics. Culturomics allowed to isolate 31 new bacterial species, the largest human virus, the largest bacteria, and the largest Archaea from human. Moreover, some members of this ecosystem, such as Eukaryotes, giant viruses, Archaea, and Planctomycetes, have been neglected by the majority of studies. In addition, numerous factors, such as age, geographic provenance, dietary habits, antibiotics, or probiotics, can influence the composition of the microbiota. Finally, in addition to the countless biases associated with the study techniques, a considerable limitation to the interpretation of studies of human gut microbiota is associated with funding sources and transparency disclosures. In the future, studies independent of food industry funding and using complementary methods from a broad range of both culture-based and molecular tools will increase our knowledge of the repertoire of this complex ecosystem and host-microbiota mutualism.

  17. Human Gut Microbiota: Repertoire and Variations

    PubMed Central

    Lagier, Jean-Christophe; Million, Matthieu; Hugon, Perrine; Armougom, Fabrice; Raoult, Didier

    2012-01-01

    The composition of human gut microbiota and their relationship with the host and, consequently, with human health and disease, presents several challenges to microbiologists. Originally dominated by culture-dependent methods for exploring this ecosystem, the advent of molecular tools has revolutionized our ability to investigate these relationships. However, many biases that have led to contradictory results have been identified. Microbial culturomics, a recent concept based on a use of several culture conditions with identification by MALDI-TOF followed by the genome sequencing of the new species cultured had allowed a complementarity with metagenomics. Culturomics allowed to isolate 31 new bacterial species, the largest human virus, the largest bacteria, and the largest Archaea from human. Moreover, some members of this ecosystem, such as Eukaryotes, giant viruses, Archaea, and Planctomycetes, have been neglected by the majority of studies. In addition, numerous factors, such as age, geographic provenance, dietary habits, antibiotics, or probiotics, can influence the composition of the microbiota. Finally, in addition to the countless biases associated with the study techniques, a considerable limitation to the interpretation of studies of human gut microbiota is associated with funding sources and transparency disclosures. In the future, studies independent of food industry funding and using complementary methods from a broad range of both culture-based and molecular tools will increase our knowledge of the repertoire of this complex ecosystem and host-microbiota mutualism. PMID:23130351

  18. Individual Variations in Inorganic Arsenic Metabolism Associated with AS3MT Genetic Polymorphisms

    PubMed Central

    Agusa, Tetsuro; Fujihara, Junko; Takeshita, Haruo; Iwata, Hisato

    2011-01-01

    Individual variations in inorganic arsenic metabolism may influence the toxic effects. Arsenic (+3 oxidation state) methyltransferase (AS3MT) that can catalyze the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet) to trivalent arsenical, may play a role in arsenic metabolism in humans. Since the genetic polymorphisms of AS3MT gene may be associated with the susceptibility to inorganic arsenic toxicity, relationships of several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in AS3MT with inorganic arsenic metabolism have been investigated. Here, we summarize our recent findings and other previous studies on the inorganic arsenic metabolism and AS3MT genetic polymorphisms in humans. Results of genotype dependent differences in arsenic metabolism for most of SNPs in AS3MT were Inconsistent throughout the studies. Nevertheless, two SNPs, AS3MT 12390 (rs3740393) and 14458 (rs11191439) were consistently related to arsenic methylation regardless of the populations examined for the analysis. Thus, these SNPs may be useful indicators to predict the arsenic metabolism via methylation pathways. PMID:21731446

  19. Strategies for Integrated Analysis of Genetic, Epigenetic, and Gene Expression Variation in Cancer: Addressing the Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Thingholm, Louise B.; Andersen, Lars; Makalic, Enes; Southey, Melissa C.; Thomassen, Mads; Hansen, Lise Lotte

    2016-01-01

    The development and progression of cancer, a collection of diseases with complex genetic architectures, is facilitated by the interplay of multiple etiological factors. This complexity challenges the traditional single-platform study design and calls for an integrated approach to data analysis. However, integration of heterogeneous measurements of biological variation is a non-trivial exercise due to the diversity of the human genome and the variety of output data formats and genome coverage obtained from the commonly used molecular platforms. This review article will provide an introduction to integration strategies used for analyzing genetic risk factors for cancer. We critically examine the ability of these strategies to handle the complexity of the human genome and also accommodate information about the biological and functional interactions between the elements that have been measured—making the assessment of disease risk against a composite genomic factor possible. The focus of this review is to provide an overview and introduction to the main strategies and to discuss where there is a need for further development. PMID:26870081

  20. A genetic basis of variation in eccrine sweat gland and hair follicle density.

    PubMed

    Kamberov, Yana G; Karlsson, Elinor K; Kamberova, Gerda L; Lieberman, Daniel E; Sabeti, Pardis C; Morgan, Bruce A; Tabin, Clifford J

    2015-08-11

    Among the unique features of humans, one of the most salient is the ability to effectively cool the body during extreme prolonged activity through the evapotranspiration of water on the skin's surface. The evolution of this novel physiological ability required a dramatic increase in the density and distribution of eccrine sweat glands relative to other mammals and a concomitant reduction of body hair cover. Elucidation of the genetic underpinnings for these adaptive changes is confounded by a lack of knowledge about how eccrine gland fate and density are specified during development. Moreover, although reciprocal changes in hair cover and eccrine gland density are required for efficient thermoregulation, it is unclear if these changes are linked by a common genetic regulation. To identify pathways controlling the relative patterning of eccrine glands and hair follicles, we exploited natural variation in the density of these organs between different strains of mice. Quantitative trait locus mapping identified a large region on mouse Chromosome 1 that controls both hair and eccrine gland densities. Differential and allelic expression analysis of the genes within this interval coupled with subsequent functional studies demonstrated that the level of En1 activity directs the relative numbers of eccrine glands and hair follicles. These findings implicate En1 as a newly identified and reciprocal determinant of hair follicle and eccrine gland density and identify a pathway that could have contributed to the evolution of the unique features of human skin. PMID:26195765

  1. Use of genetic variation as biomarkers for mild cognitive impairment and progression of mild cognitive impairment to dementia.

    PubMed

    Reitz, Christiane; Mayeux, Richard

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive impairment is prevalent in the elderly. The high estimates of conversion to dementia have spurred the interest in identification of genetic risk factors associated with development of cognitive impairment and or its progression. However, despite notable achievements in human genetics over the years, in particular technological advances in gene mapping and in statistical methods that relate genetic variants to disease, to date only a small proportion of the genetic contribution to late-life cognitive impairment can be explained. A likely explanation for the difficulty in gene identification is that it is a multifactorial disorder with both genetic and environmental components, in which several genes with small effects each are likely to contribute to the quantitative traits associated with the disease. The motivation for identifying the underlying genetic risk factors elderly is clear. Not only could it shed light on disease pathogenesis, but it may also provide potential targets for effective treatment, screening, and prevention. In this article we review the current knowledge on underlying genetic variants and the usefulness of genetic variation as diagnostic tools and biomarkers. In addition, we discuss the potentials and difficulties researchers face in designing appropriate studies for gene discovery.

  2. NORMAL HUMAN VARIATION: REFOCUSSING THE ENHANCEMENT DEBATE

    PubMed Central

    Kahane, Guy; Savulescu, Julian

    2015-01-01

    This article draws attention to several common mistakes in thinking about biomedical enhancement, mistakes that are made even by some supporters of enhancement. We illustrate these mistakes by examining objections that John Harris has recently raised against the use of pharmacological interventions to directly modulate moral decision-making. We then apply these lessons to other influential figures in the debate about enhancement. One upshot of our argument is that many considerations presented as powerful objections to enhancement are really strong considerations in favour of biomedical enhancement, just in a different direction. Another upshot is that it is unfortunate that much of the current debate focuses on interventions that will radically transform normal human capacities. Such interventions are unlikely to be available in the near future, and may not even be feasible. But our argument shows that the enhancement project can still have a radical impact on human life even if biomedical enhancement operated entirely within the normal human range. PMID:23906367

  3. Association analysis reveals genetic variation altering bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice.

    PubMed

    Paun, Alexandra; Lemay, Anne-Marie; Tomko, Tomasz G; Haston, Christina K

    2013-03-01

    Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease of significant morbidity, with an incompletely defined genetic basis. Here, we combine linkage and association studies to identify genetic variations associated with pulmonary fibrosis in mice. Mice were treated with bleomycin by osmotic minipump, and pulmonary fibrosis was histologically assessed 6 weeks later. Fibrosis was mapped in C57BL6/J (fibrosis-susceptible) × A/J (fibrosis-resistant) F2 mice, and the major identified linkage intervals were evaluated in consomic mice. Genome-wide and linkage-interval genes were assessed for their association with fibrosis, using phenotypic data from 23 inbred strains and the murine single-nucleotide polymorphism map. Susceptibility to pulmonary fibrosis mapped to a locus on chromosome 17, which was verified with consomic mice, and to three additional suggestive loci that may interact with alleles on chromosome 17 to affect the trait in F2 mice. Two of the loci, including the region on chromosome 17, are homologous to previously mapped loci of human idiopathic fibrosis. Of the 23 phenotyped murine strains, four developed significant fibrosis, and the majority presented minimal disease. Genome-wide and linkage region-specific association studies revealed 11 pulmonary expressed genes (including the autophagy gene Cep55, and Masp2, which is a complement component) to contain polymorphisms significantly associated with bleomycin-induced fibrotic lung disease. In conclusion, genomic approaches were used to identify linkage intervals and specific genetic variations associated with pulmonary fibrosis in mice. The common loci and similarities in phenotype suggest these findings to be of relevance to clinical pulmonary fibrosis.

  4. Expansion load: recessive mutations and the role of standing genetic variation.