The sequences of the mitochondrial ND4 gene (1339 bp) and the ND4L gene (290 bp) were determined for all the 14 extant taxa of the Drosophila nasuta subgroup. The average A + T content of ND4 genes is 76.5% and that of ND4L genes is 83.5%. A total of 114 variable sites were scored. The ND4 gene sequence divergence ranged from 0 to 5.4% within the subgroup. The substitution rate of the ND4 gene is about 1.25% per million years. The base substitution of the genes is strongly transition biased. Neighbor-joining and parsimony were used to construct a phylogeny based on the resultant sequence data set. According to these trees, five distinct mtDNA clades can be identified. D. niveifrons represents the most diverged lineage. D. sulfurigaster bilimbata and D. kepulauana form two independent lineages. The other two clades are the kohkoa complex and the albomicans complex. The kohkoa complex consists of D. sulfurigaster sulfurigaster, D. pulaua, D. kohkoa, and Taxon-F. The albomicans complex can be divided into two groups: D. nasuta, D. sulfurigaster neonasuta, D. sulfurigaster albostrigata, and D. albomicans from Chiangmai form one group; and D. pallidifrons, Taxon-I, Taxon-J, and D. albomicans from China form the other group. High genetic differentiation was found among D. albomicans populations. Based on our phylogenetic results, we hypothesize that D. niveifrons diverged first from the D. nasuta subgroup in Papua New Guinea about 3.5 Mya. The ancestral population spread to the north and when it reached Borneo, it diversified sequentially into the kohkoa complex, D. s. bilimbata, and D. kepulauana. About 1 Mya, another radiation occurred when the ancestral populations reached the Indo-China Peninsula, forming the albomicans complex. Discrepancy between morphological groupings and phylogenetic results suggests that the male morphological traits may not be orthologous.
In this study, we first identified male-specific SNP markers using restriction site-associated DNA sequencing, and further developed a PCR-based sex identification technique for Charybdis feriatus. A total of 296.96 million clean reads were obtained, with 114.95 and 182.01 million from females and males. After assembly and alignment, 10 SNP markers were identified being heterozygous in males but homozygous in females. Five markers were further confirmed to be male-specific in a large number of individuals. Moreover, two male-specific sense primers and a common antisense primer were designed, using which, a PCR-based genetic sex identification method was successfully developed and used to identify the sex of 103 individuals, with a result of 49 females and 54 males. The presence of male-specific SNP markers suggests an XX/XY sex determination system for C. feriatus. These findings should be helpful for better understanding sex determination mechanism, and drafting artificial breeding program in crustaceans.
Mud crab, Scylla paramamosain is one of the most important crustacean species in global aquaculture. To determine the genetic basis of sex and growth-related traits in S. paramamosain, a high-density genetic linkage map with 16,701 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was constructed using SLAF-seq and a full-sib family. The consensus map has 49 linkage groups, spanning 5,996.66 cM with an average marker-interval of 0.81 cM. A total of 516 SNP markers, including 8 female-specific SNPs segregated in two quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for phenotypic sex were located on LG32. The presence of female-specific SNP markers only on female linkage map, their segregation patterns and lower female: male recombination rate strongly suggest the conformation of a ZW/ZZ sex determination system in S. paramamosain. The QTLs of most (90%) growth-related traits were found within a small interval (25.18-33.74 cM) on LG46, highlighting the potential involvement of LG46 in growth. Four markers on LG46 were significantly associated with 10-16 growth-related traits. BW was only associated with marker 3846. Based on the annotation of transcriptome data, 11 and 2 candidate genes were identified within the QTL regions of sex and growth-related traits, respectively. The newly constructed high-density genetic linkage map with sex-specific SNPs, and the identified QTLs of sex- and growth-related traits serve as a valuable genetic resource and solid foundation for marker-assisted selection and genetic improvement of crustaceans.
Two major flaviviruses, dengue virus (DENV) and Zika virus (ZIKV), cause severe health and economic burdens worldwide. Recently, genome-wide screenings have uncovered the importance of the Hrd1 ubiquitin ligase-mediated endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway for flavivirus replication in host cells. Here we report the identification of the compound Bardoxolone methyl (CDDO-me) as a potent inhibitor of the Hrd1 ubiquitin ligase-mediated ERAD, which possesses a broad-spectrum antiviral activity against both DENV and ZIKV. Cellular thermal shift assay (CETSA) suggested that CDDO-me binds to grp94, a key component of the Hrd1 pathway, at a low nanomolar concentration, whereas interaction was not detected with its paralog Hsp90. CDDO-me and the grp94 inhibitor PU-WS13 substantially suppressed DENV2 replication and the cytopathic effects caused by DENV and ZIKV infection. The antiviral activities of both compounds were demonstrated for all four DENV serotypes and four ZIKV strains in multiple human cell lines. This study defines grp94 as a crucial host factor for flavivirus replication and identified CDDO-me as a potent small molecule inhibitor of flavivirus infection. Inhibition of grp94 may contribute to the antiviral activity of CDDO-me. Further investigation of grp94 inhibitors may lead to a new class of broad-spectrum anti-flaviviral medications.
Here, we explore the use of two- and three-dimensional scaffolds of multiwalled-carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) for hepatocyte cell culture. Our objective is to study the use of these scaffolds in liver tissue engineering and drug discovery. In our experiments, primary rat hepatocytes, the parenchymal (main functional) cell type in the liver, were cultured on aligned nanogrooved MWNT sheets, MWNT yarns, or standard 2-dimensional culture conditions as a control. We find comparable cell viability between all three culture conditions but enhanced production of the hepatocyte-specific marker albumin for cells cultured on MWNTs. The basal activity of two clinically relevant cytochrome P450 enzymes, CYP1A2 and CYP3A4, are similar on all substrates, but we find enhanced induction of CYP1A2 for cells on the MWNT sheets. Our data thus supports the use of these substrates for applications including tissue engineering and enhancing liver-specific functions, as well as in in vitro model systems with enhanced predictive capability in drug discovery and development.
BACKGROUND: Based on the `European Position Paper on Rhinosinusitis and Nasal polyps (EP3OS 2007)`, this study aimed to investigate general practitioners (GPs) and other specialists` understanding when managing patients with acute rhinosinusitis (ARS) in Asia.
METHODOLOGY: Among a total of 2662 questionnaires completed, 2524 (94.8%) were valid for analysis. There were 1308 GPs (51.8%), 989 otolaryngologists (39.2%) and 227 paediatricians (9%) from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Taiwan.
RESULTS: ARS is affecting an estimated 6 - 10% of patients seen in a daily out-patient practice. The EP3OS criteria are well supported by Asian physicians (94.1%). Most physicians (62.7%) agreed that radiological investigation is not needed to diagnose ARS. However, even for mild ARS (common cold), medical treatments were still recommended by 87% of GPs, 83.9% of otolaryngologists, and 70% of paediatricians. The top three first-line treatments prescribed were antihistamines (39.2%), nasal decongestants (33.6%), and antibiotics (29.5%). Antibiotics usage increased as the first line treatment of moderate (45.9%) and severe (60.3%) ARS.
CONCLUSION: ARS is commonly managed by GPs, otolaryngologists, and paediatricians in Asia. However, understanding of the management of ARS needs further improvement to minimize unnecessary use of radiological investigations, overuse of antibiotics, and under use of nasal corticosteroids.
Climate is widely recognised as an important determinant of the latitudinal diversity gradient. However, most existing studies make no distinction between direct and indirect effects of climate, which substantially hinders our understanding of how climate constrains biodiversity globally. Using data from 35 large forest plots, we test hypothesised relationships amongst climate, topography, forest structural attributes (stem abundance, tree size variation and stand basal area) and tree species richness to better understand drivers of latitudinal tree diversity patterns. Climate influences tree richness both directly, with more species in warm, moist, aseasonal climates and indirectly, with more species at higher stem abundance. These results imply direct limitation of species diversity by climatic stress and more rapid (co-)evolution and narrower niche partitioning in warm climates. They also support the idea that increased numbers of individuals associated with high primary productivity are partitioned to support a greater number of species.