The free-living flatworm Macrostoma lignano (M. lignano) is an emerging model organism for aging and regeneration research. Long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) have important roles in many biological processes such as aging, stem cell maintenance and differentiation. However, to date, there is no systematic identification of lincRNAs in M. lignano. By using public RNA-seq data, we identified a total of 2547 lincRNA transcripts in M. lignano genome. We discovered that M. lignano lincRNAs shared many characteristics with other species such as shorter in length, lower GC content, and lower in expression compared to protein-coding genes. Unlike protein-coding genes, M. lignano lincRNAs showed higher tendency to be expressed in temporal and region-specific fashion. Additionally, co-expression network analysis and functional enrichment suggest that M. lignano lincRNAs have potential roles in regeneration. This study will provide important resources and pave the way for investigations on non-coding genes involved in aging and regeneration.
This paper describes the pattern of diving accidents treated in a military hospital-based recompression chamber facility in Peninsular Malaysia. A retrospective study was carried out to utilize secondary data from the respective hospital medical records from 1st January 1996 to 31st December 2004. A total of 179 cases categorized as diving accidents received treatment with an average of 20 cases per year. Out of 179 cases, 96.3% (n = 173) received recompression treatment. Majority were males (93.3%), civilians (87.2%) and non-Malaysian citizens (59.2%). Commercial diving activities contributed the highest percentage of diving accidents (48.0%), followed by recreational (39.2%) and military (12.8%). Diving accidents due to commercial diving (n = 86) were mainly contributed by underwater logging activities (87.2%). The most common cases sustained were decompression illness (DCI) (96.1%). Underwater logging and recreational diving activities which contribute to a significant number of diving accidents must be closely monitored. Notification, centralised data registration, medical surveillance as well as legislations related to diving activities in Malaysia are essential to ensure adequate monitoring of diving accidents in the future.
This article contains data on the bacterial communities and its diversity associated with Anadara granosa. The A. granosa samples were obtained from two major estuaries in Penang, Malaysia using a culture dependent and 16S rRNA Illumina sequencing approaches. A. granosa, a commercial blood cockles and popular seafoods, is fragile to the surrounding environments. Thus, our research focused to better understand the bacterial communities and it diversity in the A. granosa, as well as on the generation of a metagenomic library from A. granosa to further understanding on it diversity. The bacteria Vibrionaceae (34.1%) was predominant in the A. granosa from both environments followed by Enterobacteriaceae (33.3%) and Bacillaceae (16.75%). Vibrio sp., Klebsiella sp., and Bacillus subtilis were the most abundant species present. The data generated in this research is the first metagenomic examination of A. granosa and will provide as a baseline to understand the bacterial communities associated with A. granosa and its surrounding natural environments.
In settings where stigma and discrimination toward men who have sex with men (MSM) are high or illegal, like in Malaysia, innovative methods to anonymously reach them are urgently needed. The near ubiquitous availability of mobile technology, including smartphones, has the potential to open new frontiers (such as mHealth) to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The extent to which MSM use mHealth tools for HIV and STI prevention in the Malaysia context, however, is unknown. A cross-sectional online survey in 622 Malaysian MSM was conducted between July and November 2017. Participants were recruited via advertisements on mobile apps frequently used by MSM. In addition to demographic, smartphone access and utilization, and other information were assessed using logistic regression to determine factors associated with the use of a smartphone to search for online sexual health information. Nearly all (99.2%) participants owned a smartphone, with 63% reported having used one to seek sexual health information, including HIV/STIs. Overall, 96% used smartphones to find sexual partners, with high levels of HIV risk behavior reported. Independent correlates of smartphone use to seek online sexual health information included older age (aOR 0.943, p = 0.005), higher education (aOR 2.14, p = 027), recent (past year) HIV testing (aOR 3.91, p = 0.026), and seeking sexual partners using geosocial networking apps (aOR 5.58, p = 0.006). These findings suggest high smartphone use by high-risk MSM to seek sexual health information and suggests that mHealth strategies may be an effective strategy to engage MSM in HIV prevention activities.
Comparative genomics and transcriptomic analyses were performed on two agronomically important groups of genes from oil palm versus other major crop species and the model organism, Arabidopsis thaliana. The first analysis was of two gene families with key roles in regulation of oil quality and in particular the accumulation of oleic acid, namely stearoyl ACP desaturases (SAD) and acyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) thioesterases (FAT). In both cases, these were found to be large gene families with complex expression profiles across a wide range of tissue types and developmental stages. The detailed classification of the oil palm SAD and FAT genes has enabled the updating of the latest version of the oil palm gene model. The second analysis focused on disease resistance (R) genes in order to elucidate possible candidates for breeding of pathogen tolerance/resistance. Ortholog analysis showed that 141 out of the 210 putative oil palm R genes had homologs in banana and rice. These genes formed 37 clusters with 634 orthologous genes. Classification of the 141 oil palm R genes showed that the genes belong to the Kinase (7), CNL (95), MLO-like (8), RLK (3) and Others (28) categories. The CNL R genes formed eight clusters. Expression data for selected R genes also identified potential candidates for breeding of disease resistance traits. Furthermore, these findings can provide information about the species evolution as well as the identification of agronomically important genes in oil palm and other major crops.
A key event in the domestication and breeding of the oil palm Elaeis guineensis was loss of the thick coconut-like shell surrounding the kernel. Modern E. guineensis has three fruit forms, dura (thick-shelled), pisifera (shell-less) and tenera (thin-shelled), a hybrid between dura and pisifera. The pisifera palm is usually female-sterile. The tenera palm yields far more oil than dura, and is the basis for commercial palm oil production in all of southeast Asia. Here we describe the mapping and identification of the SHELL gene responsible for the different fruit forms. Using homozygosity mapping by sequencing, we found two independent mutations in the DNA-binding domain of a homologue of the MADS-box gene SEEDSTICK (STK, also known as AGAMOUS-LIKE 11), which controls ovule identity and seed development in Arabidopsis. The SHELL gene is responsible for the tenera phenotype in both cultivated and wild palms from sub-Saharan Africa, and our findings provide a genetic explanation for the single gene hybrid vigour (or heterosis) attributed to SHELL, via heterodimerization. This gene mutation explains the single most important economic trait in oil palm, and has implications for the competing interests of global edible oil production, biofuels and rainforest conservation.
Oil palm is the most productive oil-bearing crop. Although it is planted on only 5% of the total world vegetable oil acreage, palm oil accounts for 33% of vegetable oil and 45% of edible oil worldwide, but increased cultivation competes with dwindling rainforest reserves. We report the 1.8-gigabase (Gb) genome sequence of the African oil palm Elaeis guineensis, the predominant source of worldwide oil production. A total of 1.535 Gb of assembled sequence and transcriptome data from 30 tissue types were used to predict at least 34,802 genes, including oil biosynthesis genes and homologues of WRINKLED1 (WRI1), and other transcriptional regulators, which are highly expressed in the kernel. We also report the draft sequence of the South American oil palm Elaeis oleifera, which has the same number of chromosomes (2n = 32) and produces fertile interspecific hybrids with E. guineensis but seems to have diverged in the New World. Segmental duplications of chromosome arms define the palaeotetraploid origin of palm trees. The oil palm sequence enables the discovery of genes for important traits as well as somaclonal epigenetic alterations that restrict the use of clones in commercial plantings, and should therefore help to achieve sustainability for biofuels and edible oils, reducing the rainforest footprint of this tropical plantation crop.
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.
Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) is the most productive oil bearing crop worldwide. It has three fruit forms, namely dura (thick-shelled), pisifera (shell-less) and tenera (thin-shelled), which are controlled by the SHELL gene. The fruit forms exhibit monogenic co-dominant inheritance, where tenera is a hybrid obtained by crossing maternal dura and paternal pisifera palms. Commercial palm oil production is based on planting thin-shelled tenera palms, which typically yield 30% more oil than dura palms, while pisifera palms are female-sterile and have little to no palm oil yield. It is clear that tenera hybrids produce more oil than either parent due to single gene heterosis. The unintentional planting of dura or pisifera palms reduces overall yield and impacts land utilization that would otherwise be devoted to more productive tenera palms. Here, we identify three additional novel mutant alleles of the SHELL gene, which encode a type II MADS-box transcription factor, and determine oil yield via control of shell fruit form phenotype in a manner similar to two previously identified mutant SHELL alleles. Assays encompassing all five mutations account for all dura and pisifera palms analyzed. By assaying for these variants in 10,224 mature palms or seedlings, we report the first large scale accurate genotype-based determination of the fruit forms in independent oil palm planting sites and in the nurseries that supply them throughout Malaysia. The measured non-tenera contamination rate (10.9% overall on a weighted average basis) underscores the importance of SHELL genetic testing of seedlings prior to planting in production fields. By eliminating non-tenera contamination, comprehensive SHELL genetic testing can improve sustainability by increasing yield on existing planted lands. In addition, economic modeling demonstrates that SHELL gene testing will confer substantial annual economic gains to the oil palm industry, to Malaysian gross national income and to Malaysian government tax receipts.