Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is used to treat liver diseases and demonstrates cardioprotective effects. Accumulation of the plasma membrane sphingolipid sphingomyelin in the heart can lead to atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Sphingomyelinases (SMases) break down sphingomyelin, producing ceramide, and inhibition of SMases activity can promote cell survival. We hypothesized that UDCA regulates activation of ERK and Akt survival signaling pathways and SMases in protecting cardiac cells against hypoxia. Neonatal cardiomyocytes were isolated from 0- to 2-day-old Sprague Dawley rats, and given 100 μM CoCl2, 150 μM H2O2, or placed in a hypoxia chamber for 24 h. The ameliorative effects of 100-μM UDCA treatment for 12 h were then assessed using MTS, QuantiGene Plex (for Smpd1 and Smpd2), and SMase assays, beating rate assessment, and western blotting (for ERK and Akt). Data were analyzed by the paired Student t-tests and one-way analyses of variance. Cell viability decreased significantly after H2O2 (85%), CoCl2 (50%), and hypoxia chamber (52%) treatments compared to the untreated control (100%). UDCA significantly counteracted the effects of chamber- and CoCl2- induced hypoxia on viability and beating rate. However, no significant differences were observed in acid SMase gene and protein expression between the untreated, CoCl2, and UDCA-CoCl2 groups. In contrast, neutral SMase gene and protein expression did significantly differ between the latter two groups. ERK and Akt phosphorylation was higher in hypoxic cardiomyocytes treated with UDCA than those given CoCl2 alone. In conclusion, UDCA regulates the activation of survival signaling proteins and SMases in neonatal rat cardiomyocytes during hypoxia.
The aim of this study was to determine whether C34T, a common polymorphism of the adenosine monophosphate deaminase 1 gene (AMPD1), is associated with essential hypertension (EH). We hypothesize that C34T is associated with the development of EH. A case-control design was used for this study. The DNA was extracted using a commercial kit from the whole blood of 200 patients with hypertension and 200 subjects without hypertension from selected Malaysian ethnicities (Malays, Chinese, and Indians). Polymerase chain reaction followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and agarose gel electrophoresis were used for genotyping. The C34T gene polymorphism of AMPD1 was significantly associated with EH in the Malaysian subjects (P < 0.0001). The genotype frequencies of CC, CT, and TT were 6%, 79%, and 15%, respectively, among hypertensive subjects, while no TT genotypes were observed in the normotensive subjects. Further, the frequency of hypertension was higher among T allele carriers than C carriers (OD = 9.94; 95%CI = 6.851-14.434). There were significant differences in the systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and pulse pressure (P ˂ 0.05) between the normotensive and hypertensive Malaysian subjects; we believe those difference were caused by the C34T polymorphism. For the first time in Malaysia, the current study provides evidence that a common polymorphism of the AMPD1 gene (C34T) is strongly associated with EH.
Disease susceptibility and genetic variability in 10 eggplant genotypes were studied after inoculating Phomopsis vexans under confined field conditions. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were used to assess genetic variation and relationships among eggplant genotypes. The disease index of leaves ranged 0.208-13.79%, while fruit infection ranged 2.15-42.76%. Two varieties, Dohazari G and Laffa S, were found to be susceptible, 6 were moderately resistant, 1 was moderately susceptible, and BAU Begun-1 was resistant to P. vexans. Amplification of genomic DNA by using 3 RAPD primers produced 20 bands: 14 (70%) were polymorphic and 6 (30%) were monomorphic. The highest intra-variety similarity indices values were found in ISD 006, Ishurdi L, Jessore L, and BAU Begun-1 (100%), while the lowest was in Dohazari G (90%). The lowest genetic distance (0.0513) and the highest genetic identity (0.9500) were observed between the ISD 006 and Ishurdi L combinations. A comparatively higher genetic distance (0.3724) and the lowest genetic identity (0.6891) were observed between the ISD 006 and Dohazari G combinations. A dendogram was constructed based on Nei's genetic distance, which produced 2 main clusters of the genotypes - Cluster I: ISD 006, Ishurdi L, Marich begun L, BAU Begun-1, Marich begun S, and Chega and Cluster 2: Laffa S, Dohazari G, Jessore L, and Singhnath. Genetic variation and its relationship with disease susceptibility were assessed using RAPD markers, to develop disease-resistant varieties and improve eggplant crops.
Rape seed (Brassica napus L.) is one of the most important oil seed crops in the world. Genetic manipulation of rapeseed requires a suitable tissue culture system and an efficient method for plant regeneration, as well as an efficient transformation procedure. However, development of transgenic B. napus has been problematic, and current studies are limited to cultivated varieties. In this study, we report a protocol for regeneration of transgenic rape after Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of hypocotyls from the spring B. napus 'Precocity' cultivar. We analyzed the effects of plant growth regulators in the medium on regeneration. Additionally, factors affecting the transformation efficiency, including seedling age, Agrobacterium concentration, infection time, and co-cultivation time, were assessed by monitoring GUS expression. Results from these experiments revealed that transformation was optimized when the meristematic parts of the hypocotyls were taken from 8 day-old seedlings, cultured on Murashinge and Skoog basal media containing 0.1 mg/L 1-naphthaleneacetic acid and 2.5 mg/L 6-benzylaminopurine, and incubated in Agrobacterium suspension (OD600 = 0.5) for 3 to 5 min, followed by 2 days of co-cultivation. Integration of T-DNA into the plant genome was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), b-glucuronidase histochemical staining, and quantitative real-time PCR. The protocols developed for regeneration, transformation, and rooting described in this study could help to accelerate the development of transgenic spring rape varieties with novel features.
Kemunting (Rhodomyrtus tomentosa) from the Myrtaceae family, is native to Malaysia. It is widely used in traditional medicine to treat various illnesses and possesses significant antibacterial properties. In addition, it has great potential as ornamental in landscape design. Genetic variability studies are important for the rational management and conservation of genetic material. In the present study, inter-simple sequence repeat markers were used to assess the genetic diversity of 18 R. tomentosa populations collected from ten states of Peninsular Malaysia. The 11 primers selected generated 173 bands that ranged in size from 1.6 kb to 130 bp, which corresponded to an average of 15.73 bands per primer. Of these bands, 97.69% (169 in total) were polymorphic. High genetic diversity was documented at the species level (H(T) = 0.2705; I = 0.3973; PPB = 97.69%) but there was a low diversity at population level (H(S) = 0.0073; I = 0 .1085; PPB = 20.14%). The high level of genetic differentiation revealed by G(ST) (73%) and analysis of molecular variance (63%), together with the limited gene flow among population (N(m) = 0.1851), suggests that the populations examined are isolated. Results from an unweighted pair group method with arithmetic mean dendrogram and principal coordinate analysis clearly grouped the populations into two geographic groups. This clear grouping can also be demonstrated by the significant Mantel test (r = 0.581, P = 0.001). We recommend that all the R. tomentosa populations be preserved in conservation program.
Genetic diversity and patterns of population structure of the 94 oil palm lines were investigated using species-specific simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. We designed primers for 63 SSR loci based on their flanking sequences and conducted amplification in 94 oil palm DNA samples. The amplification result showed that a relatively high level of genetic diversity was observed between oil palm individuals according a set of 21 polymorphic microsatellite loci. The observed heterozygosity (Ho) was 0.3683 and 0.4035, with an average of 0.3859. The Ho value was a reliable determinant of the discriminatory power of the SSR primer combinations. The principal component analysis and unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic averaging cluster analysis showed the 94 oil palm lines were grouped into one cluster. These results demonstrated that the oil palm in Hainan Province of China and the germplasm introduced from Malaysia may be from the same source. The SSR protocol was effective and reliable for assessing the genetic diversity of oil palm. Knowledge of the genetic diversity and population structure will be crucial for establishing appropriate management stocks for this species.
Plants have been used throughout human history for food and medicine. However, many plants are toxic, and cannot easily be morphologically distinguished from non-toxic plants. DNA identification solves this problem and is widely used. Nonetheless, plant DNA barcode identification faces a number of challenges, and many studies have been conducted to find suitable barcodes. The present study was conducted to test the efficiency of commonly used primers, namely ITS2, rpoC1, and trnH-psbA, in order to find the best DNA barcode markers for the identification of medicinal plants in Malaysia. Fresh leaves from 12 medicinal plants that are commonly used by Malay traditional healers were collected from the Tropical Spice Garden, Pulau Pinang, and subjected to polymerase chain reaction amplification using ITS2, rpoC1, and trnH-psbA DNA markers. We found that trnH-psbA is the best DNA marker for the species-level identification of medicinal plants in Malaysia.
Grain weight is a major component of rice grain yield and is controlled by quantitative trait loci. Previously, a rice grain weight quantitative trait locus (qGW6) was detected near marker RM587 on chromosome 6 in a backcross population (BC2F2) derived from a cross between Oryza rufipogon IRGC105491 and O. sativa cv. MR219. Using a BC2F5 population, qGW6 was validated and mapped to a region of 4.8 cM (1.2 Mb) in the interval between RM508 and RM588. Fine mapping using a series of BC4F3 near isogenic lines further narrowed the interval containing qGW6 to 88 kb between markers RM19268 and RM19271.1. According to the Duncan multiple range test, 8 BC4F4 near isogenic lines had significantly higher 100-grain weight (4.8 to 7.5% over MR219) than their recurrent parent, MR219 (P < 0.05). According to the rice genome automated annotation database, there are 20 predicted genes in the 88-kb target region, and 9 of them have known functions. Among the genes with known functions in the target region, in silico gene expression analysis showed that 9 were differentially expressed during the seed development stage(s) from gene expression series GSE6893; however, only 3 of them have known functions. These candidates provide targets for further characterization of qGW6, which will assist in understanding the genetic control of grain weight in rice.
This study was directed at the understanding of the function of CCoAOMT isolated from Acacia auriculiformis x Acacia mangium. Full length cDNA of the Acacia hybrid CCoAOMT (AhCCoAOMT) was 1024-bp long, containing 750-bp coding regions, with one major open reading frame of 249 amino acids. On the other hand, full length genomic sequence of the CCoAOMT (AhgflCCoAOMT) was 2548 bp long, containing three introns and four exons with a 5' untranslated region (5'UTR) of 391 bp in length. The 5'UTR of the characterized CCoAOMT gene contains various regulatory elements. Southern analysis revealed that the Acacia hybrid has more than three copies of the CCoAOMT gene. Real-time PCR showed that this gene was expressed in root, inner bark, leaf, flower and seed pod of the Acacia hybrid. Downregulation of the homologous CCoAOMT gene in tobacco by antisense (AS) and intron-containing hairpin (IHP) constructs containing partial AhCCoAOMT led to reduction in lignin content. Expression of the CCoAOMT in AS line (pART-HAS78-03) and IHP line (pART-HIHP78-06) was reduced respectively by 37 and 75% compared to the control, resulting in a decrease in the estimated lignin content by 24 and 56%, respectively. AhCCoAOMT was found to have altered not only S and G units but also total lignin content, which is of economic value to the pulp industry. Subsequent polymorphism analysis of this gene across eight different genetic backgrounds each of A. mangium and A. auriculiformis revealed 47 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in A. auriculiformis CCoAOMT and 30 SNPs in A. mangium CCoAOMT.
The genus Curcuma is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) that has recently become popular for use as flowering pot plants, both indoors and as patio and landscape plants. We used PCR-based molecular markers (SSRs) to elucidate genetic variation and relationships between five varieties of Curcuma (Curcuma alismatifolia) cultivated in Malaysia. Of the primers tested, 8 (of 17) SSR primers were selected for their reproducibility and high rates of polymorphism. The number of presumed alleles revealed by the SSR analysis ranged from two to six alleles, with a mean value of 3.25 alleles per locus. The values of HO and HE ranged from 0 to 0.8 (mean value of 0.2) and 0.1837 to 0.7755 (mean value of 0.5102), respectively. Eight SSR primers yielded 26 total amplified fragments and revealed high rates of polymorphism among the varieties studied. The polymorphic information content varied from 0.26 to 0.73. Dice's similarity coefficient was calculated for all pairwise comparisons and used to construct an unweighted pair group method with arithmetic average (UPGMA) dendrogram. Similarity coefficient values from 0.2105 to 0.6667 (with an average of 0.4386) were found among the five varieties examined. A cluster analysis of data using a UPGMA algorithm divided the five varieties/hybrids into 2 groups.
Growth factors are polypeptides that are critical for the initiation, progression, and metastasis of cancer. Most tumor cells are capable of synthesizing particular growth factors leading to constitutive pathway activation in these cells through autocrine signaling. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a potent mitogenic peptide that exerts direct effects on the proliferation and differentiation of tumor cells in carcinogenesis. By contrast, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is vital for the invasion and metastasis of neoplasms through the formation of new blood vessels from mature endothelial cells. In this study, we investigated the association between functional polymorphisms of both the EGF and VEGF genes and colorectal cancer (CRC) susceptibility. A total of 130 CRC patients and 212 healthy controls were recruited for this case-control study. Genotyping of genetic variants was conducted via real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification with allele-specific TaqMan probes. None of the genotypes of the EGF +61 A>G and VEGF +936 C>T variants was significantly associated with CRC susceptibility among the Malaysian subjects evaluated (P > 0.05). The observed frequency distributions of the EGF +61 A>G polymorphism genotypes showed ethnic heterogeneity, which was not the case for the VEGF +936 C>T genotypes. In conclusion, no positive correlation between these functional polymorphisms and CRC risk was found in this Malaysian population. Studies of the EGF and VEGF genes and CRC susceptibility are scarce, and the results reported thus far differ from one population to another. Hence, more replication studies are warranted before any firm conclusions can be made.
Calamus palustris Griff. is an economically important dioecious rattan species in Southeast Asia. However, dioecy and onset of flowering at 3-4 years old render uncertainties in desired female:male seedling ratios to establish a productive seed orchard for this rattan species. We constructed a subtractive library for male floral tissue to understand the genetic mechanism for gender determination in C. palustris. The subtractive library produced 1536 clones with 1419 clones of high quality. Reverse Northern screening showed 313 clones with differential expression, and sequence analyses clustered them into 205 unigenes, including 32 contigs and 173 singletons. The subtractive library was further validated with reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis. Homology identification classified the unigenes into 12 putative functional proteins with 83% unigenes showing significant match to proteins in databases. Functional annotations of these unigenes revealed genes involved in male flower development, including MADS-box genes, pollen-related genes, phytohormones for flower development, and male flower organ development. Our results showed that the male floral genes may play a vital role in sex determination in C. palustris. The identified genes can be exploited to understand the molecular basis of sex determination in C. palustris.
Commercial flocks infected by Eimeria species parasites, including Eimeria maxima, have an increased risk of developing clinical or subclinical coccidiosis; an intestinal enteritis associated with increased mortality rates in poultry. Currently, infection control is largely based on chemotherapy or live vaccines; however, drug resistance is common and vaccines are relatively expensive. The development of new cost-effective intervention measures will benefit from unraveling the complex genetic mechanisms that underlie host-parasite interactions, including the identification and characterization of genes encoding proteins such as phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5-kinase (PIP5K). We previously identified a PIP5K coding sequence within the E. maxima genome. In this study, we analyzed two bacterial artificial chromosome clones presenting a ~145-kb E. maxima (Weybridge strain) genomic region spanning the PIP5K gene locus. Sequence analysis revealed that ~95% of the simple sequence repeats detected were located within regions comparable to the previously described feature-rich segments of the Eimeria tenella genome. Comparative sequence analysis with the orthologous E. maxima (Houghton strain) region revealed a moderate level of conserved synteny. Unique segmental organizations and telomere-like repeats were also observed in both genomes. A number of incomplete transposable elements were detected and further scrutiny of these elements in both orthologous segments revealed interesting nesting events, which may play a role in facilitating genome plasticity in E. maxima. The current analysis provides more detailed information about the genome organization of E. maxima and may help to reveal genotypic differences that are important for expression of traits related to pathogenicity and virulence.
A genome-wide association study showed that the tagging single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs7566605 in the insulin-induced gene 2 (INSIG2) was associated with obesity. Attempts to replicate this result in different populations have produced inconsistent findings. We aimed to study the association between the rs7566605 SNP with obesity and other metabolic parameters in Malaysian Malays. Anthropometric and obesity-related metabolic parameters and DNA samples were collected. We genotyped the rs7566605 polymorphism in 672 subjects using real-time polymerase chain reaction. No significant associations were found between the rs7566605 tagging SNP of INSIG2 with obesity or other metabolic parameters in the Malaysian Malay population. The INSIG2 rs7566605 SNP may not play a role in the development of obesity-related metabolic traits in Malaysian Malays.
The mosquito Aedes albopictus is indigenous to Southeast Asian and is a vector for arbovirus diseases. Studies examining the population genetics structure of A. albopictus have been conducted worldwide; however, there are no documented reports on the population genetic structure of A. albopictus in Malaysia, particularly in Penang. We examined the population genetics of A. albopictus based on a 445-base pair segment of the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase 1 gene among 77 individuals from 9 localities representing 4 regions (Seberang Perai Utara, Seberang Perai Tengah, Northeast, and Southwest) of Penang. A total of 37 haplotypes were detected, including 28 unique haplotypes. The other 9 haplotypes were shared among various populations. These shared haplotypes reflect the weak population genetic structure of A. albopictus. The phylogenetic tree showed a low bootstrap value with no genetic structure, which was supported by minimum spanning network analysis. Analysis of mismatch distribution showed poor fit of equilibrium distribution. The genetic distance showed low genetic variation, while pairwise FST values showed no significant difference between all regions in Penang except for some localities. High haplotype diversity and low nucleotide diversity was observed for cytochrome oxidase 1 mtDNA. We conclude that there is no population genetic structure of A. albopictus mosquitoes in the Penang area.
For centuries, morphology-based fish identification has been applied without molecular evaluation. Many studies showed that specimens with a similar morphology are frequently found to be quite genetically distinct. One of the fish species that still remains taxonomically problematic is a commercial snapper species, Lutjanus johnii. Because of morphological ambiguities among local fish taxonomists in Malaysia, we examined the ability of the cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene to genetically examine the taxonomic status of L. johnii. A 626-base pair COI region was successfully amplified and aligned with conspecific sequences that were retrieved from GenBank. The phylogenetic tree obtained showed two major clusters; the first cluster consists of L. johnii from Straits of Malacca, Thailand, Australia, and China while the second cluster comprises L. johnii from China and India. The latter group showed sequence divergence greater than 3.5%. After observing this, we suspected that there might be a cryptic species between the South China Sea and Indian Ocean. This is the first molecular report concerning the commercial species of snapper, L. johnii, in Malaysia, which had only gained provisional recognition from morphological examination.
Anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum species is a common postharvest disease of banana fruit. We investigated and identified Colletotrichum species associated with anthracnose in several local banana cultivars based on morphological characteristics and sequencing of ITS regions and of the β-tubulin gene. Thirty-eight Colletotrichum isolates were encountered in anthracnose lesions of five local banana cultivars, 'berangan', 'mas', 'awak', 'rastali', and 'nangka'. Based on morphological characteristics, 32 isolates were identified as Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and 6 isolates as C. musae. C. gloeosporioides isolates were divided into two morphotypes, with differences in colony color, shape of the conidia and growth rate. Based on ITS regions and β-tubulin sequences, 35 of the isolates were identified as C. gloeosporioides and only 3 isolates as C. musae; the percentage of similarity from BLAST ranged from 95-100% for ITS regions and 97-100% for β-tubulin. C. gloeosporioides isolates were more prevalent compared to C. musae. This is the first record of C. gloeosporioides associated with banana anthracnose in Malaysia. In a phylogenetic analysis of the combined dataset of ITS regions and β-tubulin using a maximum likelihood method, C. gloeosporioides and C. musae isolates were clearly separated into two groups. We concluded that C. gloeosporioides and C. musae isolates are associated with anthracnose in the local banana cultivars and that C. gloeosporioides is more prevalent than C. musae.
The genus Labisia (Myrsinaceae) is a popular medicinal plant in Malaysia. We examined the genetic relationship among three varieties of L. pumila var. pumila, L. pumila var. alata, L. pumila var. lanceolata and Labisia paucifolia using an ISSR assay. Fifty-eight primers were tested, among which 18 gave reliable polymorphic banding patterns; these yielded 264 polymorphic markers. A similarity matrix was used to construct a dendrogram, and a principal component plot was developed to examine genetic relationships among varieties. Jaccard's similarity coefficient among species ranged from 0.09 to 0.14. At a similarity of 0.117%, species were divided into two main clusters. The mean value of the observed number of alleles, the effective number of alleles, mean Nei's gene diversity, and Shannon's information index were 1.98, 1.64, 0.38, and 0.57, respectively.
The sympathetic nervous system plays a major role in blood pressure regulation. Beta 2 (β2) adrenoceptor gene polymorphisms have been associated with hypertension in different populations with conflicting results. We examined the association of three common polymorphisms, Arg16Gly, Gln27Glu, and Thr164Ile, of the β2 adrenoceptor gene in Malaysian hypertensive subjects. A total of 160 hypertensive and control subjects were recruited. Systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), and anthropometric measurements were obtained from each subject. Biochemical analyses of lipid profiles were conducted with an autoanalyzer. DNA samples were extracted from blood and buccal cells. Genotyping was accomplished with polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. SBP, DBP, body mass index, and biochemical factors all differed significantly between case and control subjects (P < 0.05). The genotype frequencies of Arg16Arg, Arg16Gly, and Gly16Gly were 22.5, 70, and 7.5% among cases and 33.1, 63.1, and 3.8% among controls, respectively. The genotype frequencies of Gln27Gln, Gln27Glu, and Glu27Glu among cases were 41.1, 50, and 1.9% compared to 77.5, 20.6, and 1.9% among controls, respectively. In this study, the Gln27Glu polymorphism was significantly associated with Malaysian hypertensive subjects (P < 0.05). Therefore, the Gln27Glu polymorphism of the β2 adrenoceptor could be a risk factor associated with hypertension among Malaysians.
Twelve introgressed oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) progenies of Nigerian dura x Deli dura were evaluated for bunch yield, yield attributes, bunch quality components and vegetative characters at the Malaysian Palm Oil Board Research Station, in Keratong, Pahang, Malaysia. Analysis of variance revealed significant to highly significant genotypic differences, indicating sufficient genetic variability among the progenies for bunch yield and its attributes, vegetative characters and bunch quality components, except fruit to bunch ratio. Fresh fruit bunch yield ranged from 167 kg·palm(-1)·year(-1) in PK1330 to 212 kg·palm(-1)·year(-1) in PK1351, with a mean yield of 192 kg·palm(-1)·year(-1). Among the progeny, PK1313 had the highest oil to bunch ratio (19.36%), due to its high mesocarp to fruit ratio, fruit to bunch ratio and low shell to fruit ratio. Among the progenies, PK1313 produced the highest oil yield of 31.4 kg·palm(-1)·year(-1), due to a high mesocarp to fruit ratio (61.2%) and a low shell to fruit ratio (30.7%), coupled with high fruit to bunch ratio (65.6%). PK1330 was found promising for selection, as it had desirable vegetative characters, including smaller petiole cross section (27.15 cm2), short rachis length (4.83 m), short palm height (1.85 m), and the lowest leaf number (164.6), as these vegetative characters are prerequisites for selecting palms for high density planting and high yield per hectare. The genetic variability among the progenies was found to be high, indicating ample scope for further breeding, followed by selection.