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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Emerging mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria and fungi: advances in the era of genomics.

Bacteria and fungi continue to develop new ways to adapt and survive the lethal or biostatic effects of antimicrobials through myriad mechanisms. Novel antibiotic resistance genes such as lsa(C), erm(44), VCC-1, mcr-1, mcr-2, mcr-3, mcr-4, bla KLUC-3 and bla KLUC-4 were discovered through comparative genomics and further functional studies. As well, mutations in genes that hitherto were unknown to confer resistance to antimicrobials, such as trm, PP2C, rpsJ, HSC82, FKS2 and Rv2887, were shown by genomics and transcomplementation assays to mediate antimicrobial resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii, Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecium, Saccharomyces cerevisae, Candida glabrata and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, respectively. Thus, genomics,…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Optimise wheat A-genome.

The wild einkorn wheat Triticum urartu (Tu) is the A-genome progenitor of tetraploid (AABB) and hexaploid (AABBDD) wheat. A draft genome of Tu was published in 2013, but a better reference sequence is urgently needed by scientists and breeders. Hong-Qing Ling, from the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and colleagues have now completed a high-quality Tu genome using multiple methods.

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The challenge of analyzing the sugarcane genome.

Reference genome sequences have become key platforms for genetics and breeding of the major crop species. Sugarcane is probably the largest crop produced in the world (in weight of crop harvested) but lacks a reference genome sequence. Sugarcane has one of the most complex genomes in crop plants due to the extreme level of polyploidy. The genome of modern sugarcane hybrids includes sub-genomes from two progenitors Saccharum officinarum and S. spontaneum with some chromosomes resulting from recombination between these sub-genomes. Advancing DNA sequencing technologies and strategies for genome assembly are making the sugarcane genome more tractable. Advances in long read…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Immunoglobulin gene analysis as a tool for investigating human immune responses.

The human immunoglobulin repertoire is a hugely diverse set of sequences that are formed by processes of gene rearrangement, heavy and light chain gene assortment, class switching and somatic hypermutation. Early B cell development produces diverse IgM and IgD B cell receptors on the B cell surface, resulting in a repertoire that can bind many foreign antigens but which has had self-reactive B cells removed. Later antigen-dependent development processes adjust the antigen affinity of the receptor by somatic hypermutation. The effector mechanism of the antibody is also adjusted, by switching the class of the antibody from IgM to one of…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genomes and transcriptomes of duckweeds.

Duckweeds (Lemnaceae family) are the smallest flowering plants that adapt to the aquatic environment. They are regarded as the promising sustainable feedstock with the characteristics of high starch storage, fast propagation, and global distribution. The duckweed genome size varies 13-fold ranging from 150 Mb in Spirodela polyrhiza to 1,881 Mb in Wolffia arrhiza. With the development of sequencing technology and bioinformatics, five duckweed genomes from Spirodela and Lemna genera are sequenced and assembled. The genome annotations discover that they share similar protein orthologs, whereas the repeat contents could mainly explain the genome size difference. The gene families responsible for cell…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Implementation of pharmacogenomics in everyday clinical settings.

Currently, germline pharmacogenomics (PGx) is successfully implemented within certain specialties in clinical care. With the integration of PGx in pharmacotherapy multiple stakeholders are involved, which are identified in this chapter. Clinically relevant pharmacogenes with their related PGx test are discussed, along with diagnostic test criteria to guide clinicians and policy makers in PGx test selection. The chapter further reviews the similarities and the differences between the guidelines of the Dutch Pharmacogenetics Working Group and the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium which both support healthcare professionals in understanding PGx test results and help guiding pharmacotherapy by providing evidence-based dosing recommendations. Finally, clinical…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Regulation of neuronal differentiation, function, and plasticity by alternative splicing.

Posttranscriptional mechanisms provide powerful means to expand the coding power of genomes. In nervous systems, alternative splicing has emerged as a fundamental mechanism not only for the diversification of protein isoforms but also for the spatiotemporal control of transcripts. Thus, alternative splicing programs play instructive roles in the development of neuronal cell type-specific properties, neuronal growth, self-recognition, synapse specification, and neuronal network function. Here we discuss the most recent genome-wide efforts on mapping RNA codes and RNA-binding proteins for neuronal alternative splicing regulation. We illustrate how alternative splicing shapes key steps of neuronal development, neuronal maturation, and synaptic properties. Finally,…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

The regenerative flatworm Macrostomum lignano, a model organism with high experimental potential.

Understanding the process of regeneration has been one of the longstanding scientific aims, from a fundamental biological perspective, as well as within the applied context of regenerative medicine. Because regeneration competence varies greatly between organisms, it is essential to investigate different experimental animals. The free-living marine flatworm Macrostomum lignano is a rising model organism for this type of research, and its power stems from a unique set of biological properties combined with amenability to experimental manipulation. The biological properties of interest include production of single-cell fertilized eggs, a transparent body, small size, short generation time, ease of culture, the presence…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Recent advances on detection and characterization of fruit tree viruses using high-throughput sequencing technologies.

Perennial crops, such as fruit trees, are infected by many viruses, which are transmitted through vegetative propagation and grafting of infected plant material. Some of these pathogens cause severe crop losses and often reduce the productive life of the orchards. Detection and characterization of these agents in fruit trees is challenging, however, during the last years, the wide application of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies has significantly facilitated this task. In this review, we present recent advances in the discovery, detection, and characterization of fruit tree viruses and virus-like agents accomplished by HTS approaches. A high number of new viruses have…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Pathogenesis of Helicobacter pylori infection

In this review, we highlight progress in the last year in characterizing known virulence factors like flagella and the Cag type IV secretion system with sophisticated struc- tural and biochemical approaches to yield new insight on the assembly and functions of these critical virulence determinants. Several aspects of Helicobacter pylori physi- ology were newly explored this year and evaluated for their functions during stom- ach colonization, including a fascinating role for the essential protease HtrA in allowing access of H. pylori to the basolateral side of the gastric epithelium through cleavage of the tight junction protein E- cadherin to facilitate…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Evolutionary emergence of drug resistance in Candida opportunistic pathogens.

Fungal infections, such as candidiasis caused by Candida, pose a problem of growing medical concern. In developed countries, the incidence of Candida infections is increasing due to the higher survival of susceptible populations, such as immunocompromised patients or the elderly. Existing treatment options are limited to few antifungal drug families with efficacies that vary depending on the infecting species. In this context, the emergence and spread of resistant Candida isolates are being increasingly reported. Understanding how resistance can evolve within naturally susceptible species is key to developing novel, more effective treatment strategies. However, in contrast to the situation of antibiotic…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Genomics, GPCRs and new targets for the control of insect pests and vectors.

The pressing need for new pest control products with novel modes of action has spawned interest in small molecules and peptides targeting arthropod GPCRs. Genome sequence data and tools for reverse genetics have enabled the prediction and characterization of GPCRs from many invertebrates. We review recent work to identify, characterize and de-orphanize arthropod GPCRs, with a focus on studies that reveal exciting new functional roles for these receptors, including the regulation of metabolic resistance. We explore the potential for insecticides targeting Class A biogenic amine-binding and peptide-binding receptors, and consider the innovation required to generate pest-selective leads for development, within…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Omics in weed science: A perspective from genomics, transcriptomics, and metabolomics approaches

Modern high-throughput molecular and analytical tools offer exciting opportunities to gain a mechanistic understanding of unique traits of weeds. During the past decade, tremendous progress has been made within the weed science discipline using genomic techniques to gain deeper insights into weedy traits such as invasiveness, hybridization, and herbicide resistance. Though the adoption of newer “omics” techniques such as proteomics, metabolomics, and physionomics has been slow, applications of these omics platforms to study plants, especially agriculturally important crops and weeds, have been increasing over the years. In weed science, these platforms are now used more frequently to understand mechanisms of…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Myxobacteria: Unraveling the potential of a unique microbiome niche

Natural products obtained from microorganisms have been playing an imperative role in drug discovery for decades. Hence, rightfully, microorganisms are considered as the richest source of biochemical remedies. In this review, we represent an unexplored family of bacteria considered to be prolific producers of diverse metabolites. Myxobacteria are gram-negative bacteria which have been reported to produce large families of secondary metabolites with prominent antimicrobial, antifungal, and antitumor activities. Klaus Gerth, Norbert Bedorf, Herbert Irschik, and Hans Reichenbach observed the antifungal activity of Sorangium cellulosum against Mucor hiemalis. In 2006, Hans Reichenbach and his team obtained a novel macrolide cruentaren A…

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Identification of woodland strawberry gene coexpression networks

What we think of as a strawberry is botanically not a berry or even a fruit, but rather multiple fruits (achenes that contain the seeds) on the outside of a swollen receptacle. This technicality aside, strawberries are both economically important and a useful system in which to study seed-fruit communication. While cultivated strawberries have a complex octoploid genome, one of their likely progenitors, the woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca; Fig. 1), is a rapidly growing model system for the Rosaceae family due to its short generation time and capacity to be transformed. A draft of the woodland strawberry diploid genome sequence…

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