Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 44 in total

  1. Collins DS, Avdis A, Allison PA, Johnson HD, Hill J, Piggott MD, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2017 06 15;8:15698.
    PMID: 28643789 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15698
    Modern mangroves are among the most carbon-rich biomes on Earth, but their long-term (≥106 years) impact on the global carbon cycle is unknown. The extent, productivity and preservation of mangroves are controlled by the interplay of tectonics, global sea level and sedimentation, including tide, wave and fluvial processes. The impact of these processes on mangrove-bearing successions in the Oligo-Miocene of the South China Sea (SCS) is evaluated herein. Palaeogeographic reconstructions, palaeotidal modelling and facies analysis suggest that elevated tidal range and bed shear stress optimized mangrove development along tide-influenced tropical coastlines. Preservation of mangrove organic carbon (OC) was promoted by high tectonic subsidence and fluvial sediment supply. Lithospheric storage of OC in peripheral SCS basins potentially exceeded 4,000 Gt (equivalent to 2,000 p.p.m. of atmospheric CO2). These results highlight the crucial impact of tectonic and oceanographic processes on mangrove OC sequestration within the global carbon cycle on geological timescales.
  2. Singh R, Low ET, Ooi LC, Ong-Abdullah M, Nookiah R, Ting NC, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2014 Jun 30;5:4106.
    PMID: 24978855 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5106
    Oil palm, a plantation crop of major economic importance in Southeast Asia, is the predominant source of edible oil worldwide. We report the identification of the virescens (VIR) gene, which controls fruit exocarp colour and is an indicator of ripeness. VIR is a R2R3-MYB transcription factor with homology to Lilium LhMYB12 and similarity to Arabidopsis production of anthocyanin pigment1 (PAP1). We identify five independent mutant alleles of VIR in over 400 accessions from sub-Saharan Africa that account for the dominant-negative virescens phenotype. Each mutation results in premature termination of the carboxy-terminal domain of VIR, resembling McClintock's C1-I allele in maize. The abundance of alleles likely reflects cultural practices, by which fruits were venerated for magical and medicinal properties. The identification of VIR will allow selection of the trait at the seed or early-nursery stage, 3-6 years before fruits are produced, greatly advancing introgression into elite breeding material.
  3. Wit F, Müller D, Baum A, Warneke T, Pranowo WS, Müller M, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2015;6:10155.
    PMID: 26670925 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10155
    River outgassing has proven to be an integral part of the carbon cycle. In Southeast Asia, river outgassing quantities are uncertain due to lack of measured data. Here we investigate six rivers in Indonesia and Malaysia, during five expeditions. CO2 fluxes from Southeast Asian rivers amount to 66.9 ± 15.7 Tg C per year, of which Indonesia releases 53.9 ± 12.4 Tg C per year. Malaysian rivers emit 6.2 ± 1.6 Tg C per year. These moderate values show that Southeast Asia is not the river outgassing hotspot as would be expected from the carbon-enriched peat soils. This is due to the relatively short residence time of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the river, as the peatlands, being the primary source of DOC, are located near the coast. Limitation of bacterial production, due to low pH, oxygen depletion or the refractory nature of DOC, potentially also contributes to moderate CO2 fluxes as this decelerates decomposition.
  4. Beck MW, Losada IJ, Menéndez P, Reguero BG, Díaz-Simal P, Fernández F
    Nat Commun, 2018 06 12;9(1):2186.
    PMID: 29895942 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04568-z
    Coral reefs can provide significant coastal protection benefits to people and property. Here we show that the annual expected damages from flooding would double, and costs from frequent storms would triple without reefs. For 100-year storm events, flood damages would increase by 91% to $US 272 billion without reefs. The countries with the most to gain from reef management are Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Mexico, and Cuba; annual expected flood savings exceed $400 M for each of these nations. Sea-level rise will increase flood risk, but substantial impacts could happen from reef loss alone without better near-term management. We provide a global, process-based valuation of an ecosystem service across an entire marine biome at (sub)national levels. These spatially explicit benefits inform critical risk and environmental management decisions, and the expected benefits can be directly considered by governments (e.g., national accounts, recovery plans) and businesses (e.g., insurance).
  5. Setu SA, Dullens RP, Hernández-Machado A, Pagonabarraga I, Aarts DG, Ledesma-Aguilar R
    Nat Commun, 2015;6:7297.
    PMID: 26073752 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms8297
    Understanding fluid dynamics under extreme confinement, where device and intrinsic fluid length scales become comparable, is essential to successfully develop the coming generations of fluidic devices. Here we report measurements of advancing fluid fronts in such a regime, which we dub superconfinement. We find that the strong coupling between contact-line friction and geometric confinement gives rise to a new stability regime where the maximum speed for a stable moving front exhibits a distinctive response to changes in the bounding geometry. Unstable fronts develop into drop-emitting jets controlled by thermal fluctuations. Numerical simulations reveal that the dynamics in superconfined systems is dominated by interfacial forces. Henceforth, we present a theory that quantifies our experiments in terms of the relevant interfacial length scale, which in our system is the intrinsic contact-line slip length. Our findings show that length-scale overlap can be used as a new fluid-control mechanism in strongly confined systems.
  6. Ng CH, Akhter A, Yurko N, Burgener JM, Rosonina E, Manley JL
    Nat Commun, 2015 Mar 13;6:6610.
    PMID: 25766875 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7610
    The small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) is implicated in various cellular activities, including transcriptional regulation. We previously showed that the yeast activator Gcn4 becomes sumoylated during activation, facilitating its eventual promoter eviction and transcriptional shut off. Here we show that the corepressor Tup1 is sumoylated, at two specific lysines, under various stress conditions. Mutation of these sites has no effect on Tup1 recruitment or RNAP II promoter occupancy immediately following induction. However, Tup1 levels subsequently decrease, while RNAP II and transcription increase in Tup1 mutant cells. Consistent with this, a Tup1 mutant displaying increased sumoylation led to reduced transcription. We also show that coordinated sumoylation of Gcn4 and Tup1 enhances Gcn4 promoter eviction and that multiple Tup1-interacting proteins become sumoylated after stress. Together, our studies provide evidence that coordinated sumoylation of Gcn4, Tup1 and likely other factors dampens activated transcription by stabilizing Tup1 binding and stimulating Gcn4 and RNAP II removal.
  7. Luskin MS, Albert WR, Tobler MW
    Nat Commun, 2017 12 05;8(1):1783.
    PMID: 29208916 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01656-4
    The continuing development of improved capture-recapture (CR) modeling techniques used to study apex predators has also limited robust temporal and cross-site analyses due to different methods employed. We develop an approach to standardize older non-spatial CR and newer spatial CR density estimates and examine trends for critically endangered Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae) using a meta-regression of 17 existing densities and new estimates from our own fieldwork. We find that tiger densities were 47% higher in primary versus degraded forests and, unexpectedly, increased 4.9% per yr from 1996 to 2014, likely indicating a recovery from earlier poaching. However, while tiger numbers may have temporarily risen, the total potential island-wide population declined by 16.6% from 2000 to 2012 due to forest loss and degradation and subpopulations are significantly more fragmented. Thus, despite increasing densities in smaller parks, we conclude that there are only two robust populations left with >30 breeding females, indicating Sumatran tigers still face a high risk of extinction unless deforestation can be controlled.
  8. Chaisson MJP, Sanders AD, Zhao X, Malhotra A, Porubsky D, Rausch T, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2019 04 16;10(1):1784.
    PMID: 30992455 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-08148-z
    The incomplete identification of structural variants (SVs) from whole-genome sequencing data limits studies of human genetic diversity and disease association. Here, we apply a suite of long-read, short-read, strand-specific sequencing technologies, optical mapping, and variant discovery algorithms to comprehensively analyze three trios to define the full spectrum of human genetic variation in a haplotype-resolved manner. We identify 818,054 indel variants (<50 bp) and 27,622 SVs (≥50 bp) per genome. We also discover 156 inversions per genome and 58 of the inversions intersect with the critical regions of recurrent microdeletion and microduplication syndromes. Taken together, our SV callsets represent a three to sevenfold increase in SV detection compared to most standard high-throughput sequencing studies, including those from the 1000 Genomes Project. The methods and the dataset presented serve as a gold standard for the scientific community allowing us to make recommendations for maximizing structural variation sensitivity for future genome sequencing studies.
  9. Qie L, Lewis SL, Sullivan MJP, Lopez-Gonzalez G, Pickavance GC, Sunderland T, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2017 12 19;8(1):1966.
    PMID: 29259276 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01997-0
    Less than half of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions remain in the atmosphere. While carbon balance models imply large carbon uptake in tropical forests, direct on-the-ground observations are still lacking in Southeast Asia. Here, using long-term plot monitoring records of up to half a century, we find that intact forests in Borneo gained 0.43 Mg C ha-1 per year (95% CI 0.14-0.72, mean period 1988-2010) above-ground live biomass. These results closely match those from African and Amazonian plot networks, suggesting that the world's remaining intact tropical forests are now en masse out-of-equilibrium. Although both pan-tropical and long-term, the sink in remaining intact forests appears vulnerable to climate and land use changes. Across Borneo the 1997-1998 El Niño drought temporarily halted the carbon sink by increasing tree mortality, while fragmentation persistently offset the sink and turned many edge-affected forests into a carbon source to the atmosphere.
  10. Ewers RM, Boyle MJ, Gleave RA, Plowman NS, Benedick S, Bernard H, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2015 Apr 13;6:6836.
    PMID: 25865801 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7836
    Invertebrates are dominant species in primary tropical rainforests, where their abundance and diversity contributes to the functioning and resilience of these globally important ecosystems. However, more than one-third of tropical forests have been logged, with dramatic impacts on rainforest biodiversity that may disrupt key ecosystem processes. We find that the contribution of invertebrates to three ecosystem processes operating at three trophic levels (litter decomposition, seed predation and removal, and invertebrate predation) is reduced by up to one-half following logging. These changes are associated with decreased abundance of key functional groups of termites, ants, beetles and earthworms, and an increase in the abundance of small mammals, amphibians and insectivorous birds in logged relative to primary forest. Our results suggest that ecosystem processes themselves have considerable resilience to logging, but the consistent decline of invertebrate functional importance is indicative of a human-induced shift in how these ecological processes operate in tropical rainforests.
  11. Zhou H, Wu L, Wang HQ, Zheng JC, Zhang L, Kisslinger K, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2017 11 14;8(1):1474.
    PMID: 29133800 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-01655-5
    Multi-layer structure of functional materials often involves the integration of different crystalline phases. The film growth orientation thus frequently exhibits a transformation, owing to multiple possibilities caused by incompatible in-plane structural symmetry. Nevertheless, the detailed mechanism of the transformation has not yet been fully explored. Here we thoroughly probe the heteroepitaxially grown hexagonal zinc oxide (ZnO) films on cubic (001)-magnesium oxide (MgO) substrates using advanced scanning transition electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and first principles calculations, revealing two distinct interface models of (001) ZnO/(001) MgO and (100) ZnO/(001) MgO. We have found that the structure alternatives are controlled thermodynamically by the nucleation, while kinetically by the enhanced Zn adsorption and O diffusion upon the phase transformation. This work not only provides a guideline for the interface fabrication with distinct crystalline phases but also shows how polar and non-polar hexagonal ZnO films might be manipulated on the same cubic substrate.
  12. Czamara D, Eraslan G, Page CM, Lahti J, Lahti-Pulkkinen M, Hämäläinen E, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2019 Jun 11;10(1):2548.
    PMID: 31186427 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-10461-0
    Epigenetic processes, including DNA methylation (DNAm), are among the mechanisms allowing integration of genetic and environmental factors to shape cellular function. While many studies have investigated either environmental or genetic contributions to DNAm, few have assessed their integrated effects. Here we examine the relative contributions of prenatal environmental factors and genotype on DNA methylation in neonatal blood at variably methylated regions (VMRs) in 4 independent cohorts (overall n = 2365). We use Akaike's information criterion to test which factors best explain variability of methylation in the cohort-specific VMRs: several prenatal environmental factors (E), genotypes in cis (G), or their additive (G + E) or interaction (GxE) effects. Genetic and environmental factors in combination best explain DNAm at the majority of VMRs. The CpGs best explained by either G, G + E or GxE are functionally distinct. The enrichment of genetic variants from GxE models in GWAS for complex disorders supports their importance for disease risk.
  13. Couch FJ, Kuchenbaecker KB, Michailidou K, Mendoza-Fandino GA, Nord S, Lilyquist J, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2016 04 27;7:11375.
    PMID: 27117709 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11375
    Common variants in 94 loci have been associated with breast cancer including 15 loci with genome-wide significant associations (P<5 × 10(-8)) with oestrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer and BRCA1-associated breast cancer risk. In this study, to identify new ER-negative susceptibility loci, we performed a meta-analysis of 11 genome-wide association studies (GWAS) consisting of 4,939 ER-negative cases and 14,352 controls, combined with 7,333 ER-negative cases and 42,468 controls and 15,252 BRCA1 mutation carriers genotyped on the iCOGS array. We identify four previously unidentified loci including two loci at 13q22 near KLF5, a 2p23.2 locus near WDR43 and a 2q33 locus near PPIL3 that display genome-wide significant associations with ER-negative breast cancer. In addition, 19 known breast cancer risk loci have genome-wide significant associations and 40 had moderate associations (P<0.05) with ER-negative disease. Using functional and eQTL studies we implicate TRMT61B and WDR43 at 2p23.2 and PPIL3 at 2q33 in ER-negative breast cancer aetiology. All ER-negative loci combined account for ∼11% of familial relative risk for ER-negative disease and may contribute to improved ER-negative and BRCA1 breast cancer risk prediction.
  14. Besser K, Malyon GP, Eborall WS, Paro da Cunha G, Filgueiras JG, Dowle A, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2018 12 03;9(1):5125.
    PMID: 30510200 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07575-2
    Woody (lignocellulosic) plant biomass is an abundant renewable feedstock, rich in polysaccharides that are bound into an insoluble fiber composite with lignin. Marine crustacean woodborers of the genus Limnoria are among the few animals that can survive on a diet of this recalcitrant material without relying on gut resident microbiota. Analysis of fecal pellets revealed that Limnoria targets hexose-containing polysaccharides (mainly cellulose, and also glucomannans), corresponding with the abundance of cellulases in their digestive system, but xylans and lignin are largely unconsumed. We show that the limnoriid respiratory protein, hemocyanin, is abundant in the hindgut where wood is digested, that incubation of wood with hemocyanin markedly enhances its digestibility by cellulases, and that it modifies lignin. We propose that this activity of hemocyanins is instrumental to the ability of Limnoria to feed on wood in the absence of gut symbionts. These findings may hold potential for innovations in lignocellulose biorefining.
  15. Jeofry H, Ross N, Le Brocq A, Graham AGC, Li J, Gogineni P, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2018 Nov 01;9(1):4576.
    PMID: 30385741 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06679-z
    Satellite imagery reveals flowstripes on Foundation Ice Stream parallel to ice flow, and meandering features on the ice-shelf that cross-cut ice flow and are thought to be formed by water exiting a well-organised subglacial system. Here, ice-penetrating radar data show flow-parallel hard-bed landforms beneath the grounded ice, and channels incised upwards into the ice shelf beneath meandering surface channels. As the ice transitions to flotation, the ice shelf incorporates a corrugation resulting from the landforms. Radar reveals the presence of subglacial water alongside the landforms, indicating a well-organised drainage system in which water exits the ice sheet as a point source, mixes with cavity water and incises upwards into a corrugation peak, accentuating the corrugation downstream. Hard-bedded landforms influence both subglacial hydrology and ice-shelf structure and, as they are known to be widespread on formerly glaciated terrain, their influence on the ice-sheet-shelf transition could be more widespread than thought previously.
  16. Hendriksen RS, Munk P, Njage P, van Bunnik B, McNally L, Lukjancenko O, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2019 03 08;10(1):1124.
    PMID: 30850636 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-08853-3
    Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious threat to global public health, but obtaining representative data on AMR for healthy human populations is difficult. Here, we use metagenomic analysis of untreated sewage to characterize the bacterial resistome from 79 sites in 60 countries. We find systematic differences in abundance and diversity of AMR genes between Europe/North-America/Oceania and Africa/Asia/South-America. Antimicrobial use data and bacterial taxonomy only explains a minor part of the AMR variation that we observe. We find no evidence for cross-selection between antimicrobial classes, or for effect of air travel between sites. However, AMR gene abundance strongly correlates with socio-economic, health and environmental factors, which we use to predict AMR gene abundances in all countries in the world. Our findings suggest that global AMR gene diversity and abundance vary by region, and that improving sanitation and health could potentially limit the global burden of AMR. We propose metagenomic analysis of sewage as an ethically acceptable and economically feasible approach for continuous global surveillance and prediction of AMR.
  17. Cheng KK, Lee BS, Masuda T, Ito T, Ikeda K, Hirayama A, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2014;5:3233.
    PMID: 24481126 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4233
    Comparative whole-genome sequencing enables the identification of specific mutations during adaptation of bacteria to new environments and allelic replacement can establish their causality. However, the mechanisms of action are hard to decipher and little has been achieved for epistatic mutations, especially at the metabolic level. Here we show that a strain of Escherichia coli carrying mutations in the rpoC and glpK genes, derived from adaptation in glycerol, uses two distinct metabolic strategies to gain growth advantage. A 27-bp deletion in the rpoC gene first increases metabolic efficiency. Then, a point mutation in the glpK gene promotes growth by improving glycerol utilization but results in increased carbon wasting as overflow metabolism. In a strain carrying both mutations, these contrasting carbon/energy saving and wasting mechanisms work together to give an 89% increase in growth rate. This study provides insight into metabolic reprogramming during adaptive laboratory evolution for fast cellular growth.
  18. Matejcic M, Saunders EJ, Dadaev T, Brook MN, Wang K, Sheng X, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2018 11 05;9(1):4616.
    PMID: 30397198 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06863-1
    Chromosome 8q24 is a susceptibility locus for multiple cancers, including prostate cancer. Here we combine genetic data across the 8q24 susceptibility region from 71,535 prostate cancer cases and 52,935 controls of European ancestry to define the overall contribution of germline variation at 8q24 to prostate cancer risk. We identify 12 independent risk signals for prostate cancer (p 
  19. Auburn S, Benavente ED, Miotto O, Pearson RD, Amato R, Grigg MJ, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2018 07 03;9(1):2585.
    PMID: 29968722 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04965-4
    The incidence of Plasmodium vivax infection has declined markedly in Malaysia over the past decade despite evidence of high-grade chloroquine resistance. Here we investigate the genetic changes in a P. vivax population approaching elimination in 51 isolates from Sabah, Malaysia and compare these with data from 104 isolates from Thailand and 104 isolates from Indonesia. Sabah displays extensive population structure, mirroring that previously seen with the emergence of artemisinin-resistant P. falciparum founder populations in Cambodia. Fifty-four percent of the Sabah isolates have identical genomes, consistent with a rapid clonal expansion. Across Sabah, there is a high prevalence of loci known to be associated with antimalarial drug resistance. Measures of differentiation between the three countries reveal several gene regions under putative selection in Sabah. Our findings highlight important factors pertinent to parasite resurgence and molecular cues that can be used to monitor low-endemic populations at the end stages of P. vivax elimination.
  20. Klein AP, Wolpin BM, Risch HA, Stolzenberg-Solomon RZ, Mocci E, Zhang M, et al.
    Nat Commun, 2018 02 08;9(1):556.
    PMID: 29422604 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-02942-5
    In 2020, 146,063 deaths due to pancreatic cancer are estimated to occur in Europe and the United States combined. To identify common susceptibility alleles, we performed the largest pancreatic cancer GWAS to date, including 9040 patients and 12,496 controls of European ancestry from the Pancreatic Cancer Cohort Consortium (PanScan) and the Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium (PanC4). Here, we find significant evidence of a novel association at rs78417682 (7p12/TNS3, P = 4.35 × 10-8). Replication of 10 promising signals in up to 2737 patients and 4752 controls from the PANcreatic Disease ReseArch (PANDoRA) consortium yields new genome-wide significant loci: rs13303010 at 1p36.33 (NOC2L, P = 8.36 × 10-14), rs2941471 at 8q21.11 (HNF4G, P = 6.60 × 10-10), rs4795218 at 17q12 (HNF1B, P = 1.32 × 10-8), and rs1517037 at 18q21.32 (GRP, P = 3.28 × 10-8). rs78417682 is not statistically significantly associated with pancreatic cancer in PANDoRA. Expression quantitative trait locus analysis in three independent pancreatic data sets provides molecular support of NOC2L as a pancreatic cancer susceptibility gene.
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