Hemoglobin (Hb) Adana [HBA2: c179G>A (or HBA1); p.Gly60Asp] is a non-deletional α-thalassemia variant found in Malaysia. An improvement in the molecular techniques in recent years has made identification of Hb Adana much easier. For this study, a total of 26 Hb Adana α-thalassemia intermedia and 10 Hb Adana trait blood samples were collected from patients. Common deletional and non-deletional α-thalassemia genotypes were determined using multiplex gap polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and multiplex ARMS PCR techniques. Identification of the Hb Adana location on the α-globin gene was carried out using genomic sequencing and the location of the mutation was confirmed via restriction fragment length polymorphism-PCR. Among the 36 samples, 24 (66.7%) had the -α(3.7)/α(Cd59)α mutation, while the -α(3.7)/α(Cd59)α mutation accounted for 2 samples (5.6%) and the remaining 10 (27.8%) samples were α/α(Cd59)α. All 36 samples were found to have the Hb Adana mutation on the α2-globin gene. The position of the α-globin gene mutation found in our cases was similar to that reported in Indonesia (16%) but not to that in Turkey (0.6%). Our results showed that the Hb Adana mutation was preferentially present in the α2-globin genes in Malays compared to the other ethnicities in Malaysia. Thus, the Malays might have similar ancestry based on the similarities in the Hb Adana position.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is believed to be associated with excessive production of reactive oxygen species. Glutathione S-transferase (GST) polymorphisms result in decreased or absent enzyme activity and altered oxidative stress, and have been associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). The present study assessed the effect of GST polymorphisms on the risk of developing T2DM in individuals of Malaysian Malay ethnicity. A total of 287 subjects, consisting of 87 T2DM and 64 CVD/T2DM patients, as well as 136 healthy gender- and age-matched controls were genotyped for selected polymorphisms to evaluate associations with T2DM susceptibility. Genomic DNA was extracted using commercially available kits, and GSTM1, GSTT1, and α-globin sequences were amplified by multiplex polymerase chain reaction. Biochemical parameters were measured with a Hitachi autoanalyzer. The Fisher exact test, the chi-square statistic, and means ± standard deviations were calculated using the SPSS software. Overall, we observed no significant differences regarding genotype and allele frequencies between each group (P = 0.224 and 0.199, respectively). However, in the combined analysis of genotypes and blood measurements, fasting plasma glucose, HbA1c, and triglyceride levels, followed by age, body mass index, waist-hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, and history of T2DM significantly differed according to GST polymorphism (P ˂ 0.05). Genetically induced absence of the GSTT1 enzyme is an independent and powerful predictor of premature vascular morbidity and death in individuals with T2DM, and might be triggered by cigarette smoking's oxidative effects. These polymorphisms could be screened in other ethnicities within Malaysia to determine further possible risk factors.
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.
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.
This study aims to investigate the effects of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) G308A gene polymorphism on essential hypertension (EHT) with or without type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The project was conducted on buccal epithelial and blood cells for case and control patients, respectively. Epithelial cells were obtained from the inner part of the cheeks. Techniques including DNA extraction, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) were utilized to assess biomarkers of DNA damage. Our results demonstrated significant differences between wild and mutated genotypes among EHT patients without T2DM. We also found a significant association between wild and mutated allele frequencies in EHT patients (P < 0.05). Clinical characteristics between the groups (EHT with or without T2DM and controls) showed statistically significant association (P < 0.05). Overall, we show that G308A polymorphism of the TNF-αgene may be a significant genetic risk factor for EHT without T2DM patients in Malaysia.
Mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy (MNGIE) is a rare, autosomal recessive disorder associated with mutations in the thymidine phosphorylase (TYMP) gene. The main objective of this study was to characterize the genetic profiles of the deceased proband's family members (N = 4) using DNA sequencing and to determine miRNA deregulation in MNGIE using miRNA microarray profiling and bioinformatic analysis. We found that the genetic profile of the younger sister showed similar TYMP gene mutations as that of the proband with the exception of a heterozygous mutation in exon 10. The miRNA microarray revealed 55 significantly up-regulated and 65 significantly down-regulated miRNAs. These miRNAs have been implicated in various mitochondrial dynamics such as energy metabolism, Krebs cycle, mitochondria-associated apoptosis, and mitophagy. In conclusion, we demonstrate that blood miRNAs are deregulated in the pathogenesis of MNGIE and these changes may have therapeutic implications. Further experimental studies will be required to elucidate the functional miRNA-mRNA interactions in MNGIE.
To examine the impact of regional and seasonal variations on the incidence and severity of sheath rot, a major seed-borne disease of rice caused by Sarocladium oryzae, data on incidence and severity were collected from 27 selected fields in the Gazipur, Rangpur, Bogra, Chittagong, Comilla, Gopalgonj, Jessore, Manikgonj, and Bhola districts of Bangladesh in rain-fed and irrigated conditions. Cultural variability of 29 pathogen isolates obtained from 8 different locations was studied on potato dextrose agar (PDA) and genetic variability was determined by DNA fingerprinting using variable number tandem repeat-polymerase chain reaction markers. Overall, disease incidence and severity were higher in irrigated rice. Disease incidence and severity were highest in the Bhola district in rain-fed rice and lowest in irrigated rice. Mycelial growth of 29 representative isolates was found to vary on PDA and the isolates were divided into 6 groups. The range of the overall size of conidia of the selected isolates was 2.40-7.20 x 1.20-2.40 μm. Analysis of the DNA fingerprint types of the 29 isolates of S. oryzae, obtained from the amplification reactions, revealed 10 fingerprinting types (FPTs) that were 80% similar. FPT-1 was the largest group and included 13 isolates (44.8%), while FPT-2 was the third largest group and included 3 isolates. Each of FPT-3, 4, 5, and 6 included only 1 isolate. We observed no relationship between cultural and genetic groupings.
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.
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.
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.
Inheritance of polymorphisms in the interleukin (IL)-10 promoter and IL-12B genes, which influence cytokine production and activities, may define the balance in T helper response in infection and autoimmune diseases. In the present study, we investigated the distribution of the IL-10 promoter and IL-12B gene polymorphisms in a multiethnic Malaysian population. Overall, our findings suggest that the IL-12B and IL-10 -592 genotypes were distributed homogenously across all major ethnic groups, including Malays, Chinese, and Indians, except for polymorphisms at IL-10 -1082. At this gene locus, the ethnic Chinese showed a significantly lower allele frequency of -1082G (2.1%) compared to the Malay (12.2%) and Indian (15.3%) populations. Results for the IL-12B and IL-10 gene polymorphisms were consistent with those reported for the Asian population, but markedly different from those of the African and Caucasian populations. Our findings suggest that there are specific genetic variations between different ethnic groups, which should be examined in all gene population-based association studies.
The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene has been universally and successfully utilized as a barcoding gene, mainly because it can be amplified easily, applied across a wide range of taxa, and results can be obtained cheaply and quickly. However, in rare cases, the gene can fail to distinguish between species, particularly when exposed to highly sensitive methods of data analysis, such as the Bayesian method, or when taxa have undergone introgressive hybridization, over-splitting, or incomplete lineage sorting. Such cases require the use of alternative markers, and nuclear DNA markers are commonly used. In this study, a dendrogram produced by Bayesian analysis of an mtDNA COI dataset was compared with that of a nuclear DNA ATPS-α dataset, in order to evaluate the efficiency of COI in barcoding Malaysian nerites (Neritidae). In the COI dendrogram, most of the species were in individual clusters, except for two species: Nerita chamaeleon and N. histrio. These two species were placed in the same subcluster, whereas in the ATPS-α dendrogram they were in their own subclusters. Analysis of the ATPS-α gene also placed the two genera of nerites (Nerita and Neritina) in separate clusters, whereas COI gene analysis placed both genera in the same cluster. Therefore, in the case of the Neritidae, the ATPS-α gene is a better barcoding gene than the COI gene.
The quality of RNA is crucial when performing microarray experiments. This is particularly important when dealing with preimplantation embryos, from which a minimum yield of RNA of good quality can be produced. We report the optimization of several RNA extraction methods applied to preimplantation embryos at different stages of development. The quality of the samples was confirmed using a microarray and reverse transcription quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) analysis. A total of 30 cultured two-cell stage embryos of ICR mice were pooled at the 8-cell, morula, and blastocyst stages. The embryos were divided into two groups comprising DNase-treated and non-DNase-treated RNA samples. Total RNA was extracted using a Pico Pure RNA Isolation Kit following the manufacturer protocol, with some modifications. Lysed samples were bound to a silica-based filter, treated with deoxyribonuclease I (DNase I), and washed several times before elution. RNA concentration and integrity were evaluated using an Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer and an RNA 6000 Pico Assay kit. Although concentrations of non-DNase-treated RNAs were higher than DNase-treated RNA, DNase-treated RNA gave a higher RNA integrity number compared with non-DNase-treated RNA. Inclusion of DNase treatment in the RNA extraction procedure gave the best quality RNA samples from preimplantation embryos, as validated by microarray and RT-qPCR quality control.
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.
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.
Oil palm tissues are rich in polyphenols, polysaccharides and secondary metabolites; these can co-precipitate with RNA, causing problems for downstream applications. We compared two different methods (one conventional and a kit-based method - Easy-Blue(TM) Total RNA Extraction Kit) to isolate total RNA from leaves, roots and shoot apical meristems of tissue culture derived truncated leaf syndrome somaclonal oil palm seedlings. The quality and quantity of total RNA were compared through spectrophotometry and formaldehyde gel electrophoresis. The specificity and applicability of the protocols were evaluated for downstream applications, including cDNA synthesis and RT-PCR analysis. We found that the conventional method gave higher yields of RNA but took longer, and it was contaminated with genomic DNA. This method required extra genomic DNA removal steps that further reduced the RNA yield. The kit-based method, on the other hand, produced good yields as well as well as good quality RNA, within a very short period of time from a small amount of starting material. Moreover, the RNA from the kit-based method was more suitable for synthesizing cDNA and RT-PCR amplification than the conventional method. Therefore, we conclude that the Easy-BlueTM Total RNA Extraction Kit method is suitable and superior for isolation of total RNA from oil palm leaf, root and shoot apical meristem.
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.