Oil palm breeding has been progressing very well in Southeast Asia, especially in Malaysia and Indonesia. Despite this progress, there are still problems due to the difficulty of controlled crossing in oil palm. Contaminated/illegitimate progeny has appeared in some breeding programs; late and failure of detection by the traditional method causes a waste of time and labor. The use of molecular markers improves the integrity of breeding programs in perennial crops such as oil palm. Four half-sib families with a total of 200 progeny were used in this study. Thirty polymorphic single locus DNA microsatellites markers were typed to identify the illegitimate individuals and to obtain the correct parental and progeny assignments by using the CERVUS and COLONY programs. Three illegitimate palms (1.5%) were found, and 16 loci proved to be sufficient for sibship assignments without parental genotypes by using the COLONY program. The pairwise-likelihood score (PLS) method was better for half-sib family assignments than the full likelihood (FL) method.
Biotechnology-based detection systems and sensors are in use for a wide range of applications in biomedicine, including the diagnostics of viral pathogens. In this review, emerging detection systems and their applicability for diagnostics of viruses, exemplified by the case of avian influenza virus, are discussed. In particular, nano-diagnostic assays presently under development or available as prototype and their potentials for sensitive and rapid virus detection are highlighted.
Common purslane (Portulaca oleracea), also known as pigweed, fatweed, pusle, and little hogweed, is an annual succulent herb in the family Portulacaceae that is found in most corners of the globe. From the ancient ages purslane has been treated as a major weed of vegetables as well as other crops. However, worldwide researchers and nutritionists have studied this plant as a potential vegetable crop for humans as well as animals. Purslane is a nutritious vegetable with high antioxidant properties and recently has been recognized as the richest source of α-linolenic acid, essential omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, ascorbic acid, glutathione, α-tocopherol and β-carotene. The lack of vegetable sources of ω-3 fatty acids has resulted in a growing level of attention to introduce purslane as a new cultivated vegetable. In the rapid-revolutionizing worldwide atmosphere, the ability to produce improved planting material appropriate to diverse and varying rising conditions is a supreme precedence. Though various published reports on morphological, physiological, nutritional and medicinal aspects of purslane are available, research on the genetic improvement of this promising vegetable crop are scant. Now it is necessary to conduct research for the genetic improvement of this plant. Genetic improvement of purslane is also a real scientific challenge. Scientific modernization of conventional breeding with the advent of advance biotechnological and molecular approaches such as tissue culture, protoplast fusion, genetic transformation, somatic hybridization, marker-assisted selection, qualitative trait locus mapping, genomics, informatics and various statistical representation have opened up new opportunities of revising the relationship between genetic diversity, agronomic performance and response to breeding for varietal improvement. This review is an attempt to amalgamate the assorted scientific information on purslane propagation, cultivation, varietal improvement, nutrient analyses, medicinal uses and to describe prospective research especially for genetic improvement of this crop.
Computational epigenetics is a new area of research focused on exploring how DNA methylation patterns affect transcription factor binding that affect gene expression patterns. The aim of this study was to produce a new protocol for the detection of DNA methylation patterns using computational analysis which can be further confirmed by bisulfite PCR with serial pyrosequencing. The upstream regulatory element and pre-initiation complex relative to CpG islets within the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene were determined via computational analysis and online databases. The 1,104 bp long CpG island located near to or at the alternative promoter site of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene was identified. The CpG plot indicated that CpG islets A and B, within the island, contained 62 and 75 % GC content CpG ratios of 0.70 and 0.80-0.95, respectively. Further exploration of the CpG islets A and B indicates that the transcription start sites were GGC which were absent from the TATA boxes. In addition, although six PROSITE motifs were identified in CpG B, no motifs were detected in CpG A. A number of cis-regulatory elements were found in different regions within the CpGs A and B. Transcription factors were predicted to bind to CpGs A and B with varying affinities depending on the DNA methylation status. In addition, transcription factor binding may influence the expression patterns of the methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene by recruiting chromatin condensation inducing factors. These results have significant implications for the understanding of the architecture of transcription factor binding at CpG islets as well as DNA methylation patterns that affect chromatin structure.
There is growing global interest to stratify men into different levels of risk to developing prostate cancer, thus it is important to identify common genetic variants that confer the risk. Although many studies have identified more than a dozen common genetic variants which are highly associated with prostate cancer, none have been done in Malaysian population. To determine the association of such variants in Malaysian men with prostate cancer, we evaluated a panel of 768 SNPs found previously associated with various cancers which also included the prostate specific SNPs in a population based case control study (51 case subjects with prostate cancer and 51 control subjects) in Malaysian men of Malay, Chinese and Indian ethnicity. We identified 21 SNPs significantly associated with prostate cancer. Among these, 12 SNPs were strongly associated with increased risk of prostate cancer while remaining nine SNPs were associated with reduced risk. However, data analysis based on ethnic stratification led to only five SNPs in Malays and 3 SNPs in Chinese which remained significant. This could be due to small sample size in each ethnic group. Significant non-genetic risk factors were also identified for their association with prostate cancer. Our study is the first to investigate the involvement of multiple variants towards susceptibility for PC in Malaysian men using genotyping approach. Identified SNPs and non-genetic risk factors have a significant association with prostate cancer.
A total of 30 specimens belonging to five species, namely; Cryptozona siamensis, Sarika resplendens and Sarika sp. from the family Ariophantidae as well as Quantula striata and Quantula sp. from the family Dyakiidae were collected from the Langkawi Island in Northern Peninsular Malaysia. All specimens were identified through comparisons of shell morphology and amplification of a 500 bp segment of the 16S rRNA mtDNA gene. To assess phylogenetic insights, the sequences were aligned using ClustalW and phylogenetic trees were constructed. The analyses showed two major lineages in both Maximum Parsimony and Neighbour Joining phylogenetic trees. Each putative taxonomic group formed a monophyletic cluster. Our study revealed low species and intraspecies genetic diversities based on the 16S rRNA gene sequences. Thus, this study has provided an insight of land snail diversity in populations of an island highly influenced by anthropogenic activities through complementary use of shell morphological and molecular data.
The present study documents the isolation of eight polymorphic microsatellite markers from the bighead catfish, Clarias macrocephalus and cross-amplification in two other catfish species. The number of alleles per locus in C. macrocephalus ranged from 2 to 21. The most polymorphic locus was NCm-G12 with 21 alleles while the least polymorphic locus was NCm-H2 with only two alleles. Locus NCm-F8 significantly deviated from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (P value <0.05) after Bonferroni correction. Linkage disequilibrium was non-significant in all loci comparisons. The observed and expected heterozygosities varied from 0.033 to 0.967 and from 0.033 to 0.942, respectively. Mean polymorphic information content for the eight loci was 0.765. Cross-amplification was successfully performed with two other catfish species, C. batrachus and C. meladerma for all eight loci. Locus NCm-D8 was monomorphic in both species while NCm-F8 was monomorphic only in C. batrachus. These newly developed markers would be useful for better management and conservation of the economically important C. macrocephalus species.
Jatropha curcas L. (Euphorbiaceae) has acquired a great importance as a renewable source of energy with a number of environmental benefits. Very few attempts were made to understand the extent of genetic diversity and its distribution. This study was aimed to study the diversity and deduce the phylogeography of Jatropha curcas L. which is said to be the most primitive species of the genus Jatropha. Here we studied the intraspecific genetic diversity of the species distributed in different parts of the globe. The study also focused to understand the molecular diversity at reported probable center of origin (Mexico), and to reveal the dispersal route to other regions based on random amplified polymorphic DNA, amplified fragment length polymorphism and nrDNA-ITS sequences data. The overall genetic diversity of J. curcas found in the present study was narrow. The highest genetic diversity was observed in the germplasm collected from Mexico and supports the earlier hypothesis based on morphological data and natural distribution, it is the center for origin of the species. Least genetic diversity found in the Indian germplasm and clustering results revealed that the species was introduced simultaneously by two distinct germplasm and subsequently distributed in different parts of India. The present molecular data further revealed that J. curcas might have spread from the center of the origin to Cape Verde, than to Spain, Portuguese to other neighboring countries and simultaneously to Africa. The molecular evidence supports the Burkill et al. (A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula, Governments of Malaysia and Singapore by the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1966) view of Portuguese might have introduced the species to India. The clustering pattern suggests that the distribution was interfered by human activity.
Studies have shown that single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on the ADIPOQ gene have been linked with obesity and with adiponectin levels in various populations. Here, we aimed to investigate the association of ADIPOQ rs17366568 and rs3774261 SNPs with obesity and with adiponectin levels in Malaysian Malays. Obesity parameters and adiponectin levels were measured in 574 subjects. Genotyping was performed using real-time polymerase chain reaction and Sequenom MassARRAY. A significant genotypic association was observed between ADIPOQ rs17366568 and obesity. The frequencies of AG and AA genotypes were significantly higher in the obese group (11%) than in the non-obese group (5%) (P=0.024). The odds of A alleles occurring among the obese group were twice those among the non-obese group (odds ratio 2.15; 95% confidence interval 1.13-4.09). However, no significant association was found between allelic frequencies of ADIPOQ rs17366568 and obesity after Bonferroni correction (P>0.025) or between ADIPOQ rs3774261 and obesity both at allelic and genotypic levels. ADIPOQ SNPs were not significantly associated with log-adiponectin levels. GA, GG, and AG haplotypes of the ADIPOQ gene were not associated with obesity. We confirmed the previously reported association of ADIPOQ rs17366568 with the risk of obesity. ADIPOQ SNPs are not important modulators of adiponectin levels in this population.
Eleusine indica is one of the most common weed species found in agricultural land worldwide. Although herbicide-glyphosate provides good control of the weed, its frequent uses has led to abundant reported cases of resistance. Hence, the development of genetic markers for quick detection of glyphosate-resistance in E. indica population is imperative for the control and management of the weed. In this study, a total of 14 specific random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were identified and two of the markers, namely S4R727 and S26R6976 were further sequence characterized. Sequence alignment revealed that marker S4R727 showing a 12-bp nucleotides deletion in resistant biotypes, while marker S26R6976 contained a 167-bp nucleotides insertion in the resistant biotypes. Based on these sequence differences, three pairs of new sequence characterized amplified region (SCAR) primers were developed. The specificity of these primer pairs were further validated with genomic DNA extracted from ten individual plants of one glyphosate-susceptible and five glyphosate-resistant (R2, R4, R6, R8 and R11) populations. The resulting RAPD-SCAR markers provided the basis for assessing genetic diversity between glyphosate-susceptible and -resistant E. indica biotypes, as well for the identification of genetic locus link to glyphosate-resistance event in the species.
A primary factor in population management and wildlife conservation is the delineation of population units derived from descriptions of population genetic structure. Yet, predicting factors that influence the patterns of gene flow in a population particularly at landscape scales remains a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Here we report a population genetic study of the mud crab Scylla olivacea examined based on a 542 bp segment of the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase I gene among 91 individuals from six localities in the west and east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. In total 55 unique haplotypes were distinguished with 45 private haplotypes and a single common haplotype shared among all populations studied. The other ten haplotypes were shared among various populations. The sharing of this haplotype reflects the connection of the mangrove areas between east and west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. High haplotype diversity (h = 0.968 ± 0.021; mean ± SD) and low nucleotide diversity (π = 0.120 ± 0.015; mean ± SD) were displayed, which may be indicative of genetic bottleneck events. No significant phylogenetic lineages were recognized using neighbour-joining and maximum parsimony methods. Hierarchical AMOVA analysis indicated that 99.33 % of the genetic variation was contained within populations and 0.67 % occurred among populations, suggesting no geographical patterning among populations studied, supported by F st test. Mismatch distribution analysis showed that the observed distribution of the pairwise mutation differences among haplotypes was multimodal, which is not concordant with a sudden range expansion scenario. However, neutrality tests showed non-significant negative values suggesting that the populations studied may have experienced past population growth, but the expansion may have been restricted to separate local areas that resulted in the non-significant negative Fu's Fs and Tajima's D value. Overall, this present preliminary study was able to be a reference on the phylogenetic relationships and assessment of genetic structure of Scylla sp. in Malaysia.
Bali cattle is a domestic cattle breed that can be found in Malaysia. It is a domestic cattle that was purely derived from a domestication event in Banteng (Bos javanicus) around 3,500 BC in Indonesia. This research was conducted to portray the phylogenetic relationships of the Bali cattle with other cattle species in Malaysia based on maternal and paternal lineage. We analyzed the cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) mitochondrial gene and SRY of Y chromosome obtained from five species of the Bos genus (B. javanicus, Bos gaurus, Bos indicus, Bos taurus, and Bos grunniens). The water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) was used as an outgroup. The phylogenetic relationships were observed by employing several algorithms: Neighbor-Joining (PAUP version 4.0), Maximum parsimony (PAUP version 4.0) and Bayesian inference (MrBayes 3.1). Results from the maternal data showed that the Bali cattle formed a monophyletic clade, and together with the B. gaurus clade formed a wild cattle clade. Results were supported by high bootstrap and posterior probability values together with genetic distance data. For the paternal lineage, the sequence variation is low (with parsimony informative characters: 2/660) resulting an unresolved Neighbor-Joining tree. However, Bali cattle and other domestic cattle appear in two monophyletic clades distinct from yak, gaur and selembu. This study expresses the potential of the COI gene in portraying the phylogenetic relationships between several Bos species which is important for conservation efforts especially in decision making since cattle is highly bred and hybrid breeds are often formed. Genetic conservation for this high quality beef cattle breed is important by maintaining its genetic characters to prevent extinction or even decreased the genetic quality.
Andrographis paniculata (AP) is a medicinal plant species introduced into Malaysia. To address the genetic structure and evolutionary connectedness of the Malaysian AP with the Indian AP, a DNA sequence analysis was conducted based on 24 microsatellite markers. Out of the 24 primer sets, seven novel microsatellite primers were designed and amplified intra-specifically according to the available Indian AP sequences at the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), where 17 of them were amplified using the cross-species strategy by employing the primers belonging to Acanthus ilicifolius Linn (Acanthaceae) and Lumnitzera racemosa Wild (Combretaceae). The primers were then applied on the Malaysian AP accessions. Sixteen of the new microsatellite loci were amplified successfully. Analysis of these microsatellite sequences, revealed some significant differences between the Indian and Malaysian AP accessions in terms of the size and type of the repeat motifs. These findings depicted the cryptic feature of this species. Despite identifying several heterozygous alleles no polymorphism was observed in the detected loci of the selected accessions. This situation was in concordance with the presence of "fixed heterozygosity" phenomenon in the mentioned loci. Accordingly, this was fully consistent with the occurrence of the genetic bottleneck and founder effect within Malaysian AP population. Apart from the amplification of new microsatellites in this species, our observations could be in agreement with the risk of genetic depletion and consequently extinction of this precious herb in Malaysia. This issue should be taken into consideration in the future studies.
A sum of 48 accessions of physic nut, Jatropha curcas L. were analyzed to determine the genetic diversity and association between geographical origin using RAPD-PCR markers. Eight primers generated a total of 92 fragments with an average of 11.5 amplicons per primer. Polymorphism percentages of J. curcas accessions for Selangor, Kelantan, and Terengganu states were 80.4, 50.0, and 58.7%, respectively, with an average of 63.04%. Jaccard's genetic similarity co-efficient indicated the high level of genetic variation among the accessions which ranged between 0.06 and 0.81. According to UPGMA dendrogram, 48 J. curcas accessions were grouped into four major clusters at coefficient level 0.3 and accessions from same and near states or regions were found to be grouped together according to their geographical origin. Coefficient of genetic differentiation (G(st)) value of J. curcas revealed that it is an outcrossing species.
Chitinases are glycosyl hydrolases that cleave the β-1,4-glycosidic linkages between N-acetylglucosamine residues in chitin which is a major component of fungal cell wall. Plant chitinases hydrolyze fungal chitin to chitin oligosaccharides that serve as elicitors of plant defense system against fungal pathogens. However, plants synthesize many chitinase isozymes and some of them are not pathogenesis-related. In this study, three full-length cDNA sequences encoding a putative chitinase (EgChit3-1) and two chitinase-like proteins (EgChit1-1 and EgChit5-1) have been cloned from oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The abundance of these transcripts in the roots and leaves of oil palm seedlings treated with Ganoderma boninense (a fungal pathogen) or Trichoderma harzianum (an avirulent symbiont), and a combination of both fungi at 3, 6 and 12 weeks post infection were profiled by real time quantitative reverse-transcription (qRT)-PCR. Our findings showed that the gene expression of EgChit3-1 increased significantly in the roots of oil palm seedlings treated with either G. boninense or T. harzianum and a combination of both; whereas the gene expression of EgChit1-1 in the treated roots of oil palm seedlings was not significantly higher compared to those of the untreated oil palm roots. The gene expression of EgChit5-1 was only higher in the roots of oil palm seedlings treated with T. harzianum compared to those of the untreated oil palm roots. In addition, the gene expression of EgChit1-1 and EgChit3-1 showed a significantly higher gene expression in the leaf samples of oil palm seedlings treated with either G. boninense or T. harzianum.
Abscisic acid (ABA) is an important phytohormone involved in the abiotic stress resistance in plants. The ABA-responsive element (ABRE) binding factors play significant roles in the plant development and response to abiotic stresses, but none so far have been isolated and characterized from the oil palm. Two ABA-responsive cDNA clones, named EABF and EABF1, were isolated from the oil palm fruits using yeast one-hybrid system. The EABF had a conserved AP2/EREBP DNA-binding domain (DNA-BD) and a potential nuclear localization sequence (NLS). No previously known DNA-BD was identified from the EABF1 sequence. The EABF and EABF1 proteins were classified as DREB/CBF and bZIP family members based on the multiple sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis. Both proteins showed ABRE-binding and transcriptional activation properties in yeast. Furthermore, both proteins were able to trans-activate the down-stream expression of the LacZ reporter gene in yeast. An electrophoretic mobility shift assay revealed that in addition to the ABRE sequence, both proteins could bind to the DRE sequence as well. Transcriptional analysis revealed that the expression of EABF was induced in response to the ABA in the oil palm fruits and leaves, but not in roots, while the EABF1 was constitutively induced in all tissues. The expressions of both genes were strongly induced in fruits in response to the ABA, ethylene, methyl jasmonate, drought, cold and high-salinity treatments, indicating that the EABF and EABF1 might act as connectors among different stress signal transduction pathways. Our results indicate that the EABF and EABF1 are novel stress-responsive transcription factors, which are involved in the abiotic stress response and ABA signaling in the oil palm and could be used for production of stress-tolerant transgenic crops.
Morphological identification of edible mushrooms can sometimes prove troublesome, because phenotypic variation in fungi can be affected by substrate and environmental factors. One of the most important problems for mushroom breeders is the lack of a systematic consensus tool to distinguish different species, which are sometimes morphologically identical. Basidiomycetes as one of the largest groups of edible mushrooms have become more important in recent times for their medicinal and nutritional properties. Partial rDNA sequences, including the Internal Transcribed Spacer I-5.8SrDNA-Internal Transcribed Spacer II, were used in this study for molecular identification and assessment of phylogenetic relationships between selected edible species of the Basidiomycetes. Phylogenetic trees showed five distinct clades; each clade belonging to a separate family group. The first clade included all the species belonging to the Pleurotaceae (Pleurotus spp.) family; similarly, the second, third, fourth, and fifth clades consist of species from the Agaricaceae (Agaricus sp.), Lyophllaceae (Hypsigygus sp.), Marasmiaceae (Lentinula edodes sp.) and Physalacriaceae (Flammulina velutipes sp.) families, respectively. Moreover, different species of each family were clearly placed in a distinct sub-cluster and a total of 13 species were taken for analysis. Species differentiation was re-confirmed by AMOVA analysis (among the populations: 99.67%; within: 0.33%), nucleotide divergence, haplotyping and P value. Polymorphism occurred throughout the ITS regions due to insertion-deletion and point mutations, and can be clearly differentiated within the families as well as genera. Moreover, this study proves that the sequence of the ITS region is a superior molecular DNA barcode for taxonomic identification of Basidiomycetes.
Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a disease implicated with defects in either, Low density lipoprotein receptor gene (LDLR), Apolipoprotein B-100 gene (APOB), the Proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 gene (PCSK9) or other related genes of the lipid metabolism pathway. The general characterization of heterozygous FH is by elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and early-onset cardiovascular diseases, while the more severe type, the homozygous FH results in extreme elevated levels of LDL cholesterol and usually death of an affected individual by early twenties. We present here a novel non-synonymous, missense mutation in exon 14 of the LDLR gene in two siblings of the Malay ethnicity discovered during an in-house genetic test. We postulate that their elevated cholesterol is due to this novel mutation and they are positive for homozygous FH. This is the first report of a C711Y mutation in patients with elevated cholesterol in Asia.
Nain-e Havandi (Andrographis paniculata Nees.) (AP) is an annual herbaceous plant belonging to the family Acanthacea. Only a few species of Andrographis genus out of 28 are medicinally concerned of which AP is the most important. Knowledge about the arrival of AP to Iran is extremely lacking but most probably it has been imported from India. However, evidence implies the familiarity of Iran's folkloric medicine with this plant, but it has been disappeared from contemporary medicine for unknown reasons. Presence of active ingredients from diterpenoids group such as andrographolide, neoandrographolide and 14-deoxy-11,12-didehydroandrographolide has given incredible unique medicinal properties to the plant. Traditionally, Nain-e Havandi has been used in the role of a non-farm plant as a remedy for skin problems, flu, respiratory disease, and snakebite in East and Southeast Asia for centuries. Recently, it has been utilized as a treatment for HIV, hepatitis, diabetes, cancer and kidney disorders. Intensive cultivation of the herb started only in the past decade in countries such as China, India, Thailand, Indonesia, West Indies, Mauritius and to some extent, in Malaysia. Availability of different ecological zones in Iran complies with reestablishment of AP in tropical and temperate regions of the country. This is killing two birds with one stone, supporting the conservational and economic aspects.
The taxonomy of the causal pathogen of basal stem rot of oil palms, Ganoderma is somewhat problematic at present. In order to determine the genetic distance relationship between G. boninense isolates and non-boninense isolates, a random amplified microsatellites DNA (RAMS) technique was carried out. The result was then compared with interfertility data of G. boninense that had been determined in previous mating studies to confirm the species of G. boninense. Dendrogram from cluster analysis based on UPGMA of RAMS data showed that two major clusters, I and II which separated at a genetic distance of 0.7935 were generated. Cluster I consisted of all the biological species G. boninense isolates namely CNLB, GSDK 3, PER 71, WD 814, GBL 3, GBL 6, OC, GH 02, 170 SL and 348781 while all non-boninense isolates namely G. ASAM, WRR, TFRI 129, G. RES, GJ, and CNLM were grouped together in cluster II. Although the RAMS markers showed polymorphisms in all the isolates tested, the results obtained were in agreement with the interfertility data. Therefore, the RAMS data could support the interfertility data for the identification of Ganoderma isolates.