Rice blast disease, which is caused by the fungal pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae, is a recurring problem in all rice-growing regions of the world. The use of resistance (R) genes in rice improvement breeding programmes has been considered to be one of the best options for crop protection and blast management. Alternatively, quantitative resistance conferred by quantitative trait loci (QTLs) is also a valuable resource for the improvement of rice disease resistance. In the past, intensive efforts have been made to identify major R-genes as well as QTLs for blast disease using molecular techniques. A review of bibliographic references shows over 100 blast resistance genes and a larger number of QTLs (∼500) that were mapped to the rice genome. Of the blast resistance genes, identified in different genotypes of rice, ∼22 have been cloned and characterized at the molecular level. In this review, we have summarized the reported rice blast resistance genes and QTLs for utilization in future molecular breeding programmes to introgress high-degree resistance or to pyramid R-genes in commercial cultivars that are susceptible to M. oryzae. The goal of this review is to provide an overview of the significant studies in order to update our understanding of the molecular progress on rice and M. oryzae. This information will assist rice breeders to improve the resistance to rice blast using marker-assisted selection which continues to be a priority for rice-breeding programmes.
Two isolates of brown root disease fungi were obtained from diseased roots of sentang (Azadirachta excelsa). Morphological characters from macroscopic and microscopic studies suggested that both isolates were from the same genus namely Phellinus noxius and Phellinus sp. Cloning and sequencing of ITS region were conducted to investigate further the variation between the two species at
molecular level. PCR-amplified ITS regions were cloned in pCR2.1 and sequenced. DNA sequences sized 723bp and 710bp were obtained for Phellinus noxius and Phellinus sp respectively. Comparison between the two sequences showed 98% similarity where three nucleotide substitutions and three insertion/deletion regions were found sized 8bp, 2bp and 3bp respectively.
We report on the cloning of the lipase gene from Bacillus licheniformis IBRLCHS2
and the expression of the recombinant lipase. DNA sequencing analysis of the
cloned lipase gene showed that it shares 99% identity with the lipase gene from
B. licheniformis ATCC 14580 and belongs to subfamily 1.4 of true lipases based on amino
acid sequence alignment of various Bacillus lipases. The 612 bp lipase gene was then
cloned into the pET-15b(+) expression vector and the construct was transformed into
E. coli BL21 (DE3) for bulk expression of the lipase. Expression was analysed by SDSPAGE
where the lipase was found to have a molecular weight of about 23 kDa.
The genus Streptomonospora is a group of extremely halophilic filamentous actinomycetes that form a distinct branch in the 16S rRNA gene phylogenetic tree adjacent to the genera Nocardiopsis and Thermobifida, family Norcadiopsaceae. To date, genus Streptomonospora only contain two validly described species which are Streptomonospora salina and Streptomonospora alba. During a biodiversity study on halophilic filamentous actinomycetes from 18 co-ordinates in Barrientos Island, Antarctic, numerous actinomycetes strains were isolated. To identify whether these isolates were members of the genus Streptomonospora, a genus specific primer that allow the rapid detection of the genus Streptomonospora by means of PCR amplification was used. Furthermore molecular cloning was performed to make identical and multiple copies of the target gene. In addition, morphological characteristic identification was performed to validate isolates with positive amplification during PCR.
Partial resistance quantitative trait loci (QTLs) Rphq11 and rphq16 against Puccinia hordei isolate 1.2.1 were previously mapped in seedlings of the mapping populations Steptoe/Morex and Oregon Wolfe Barleys, respectively. In this study, QTL mapping was performed at adult plant stage for the two mapping populations challenged with the same rust isolate. The results suggest that Rphq11 and rphq16 are effective only at seedling stage, and not at adult plant stage. The cloning of several genes responsible for partial resistance of barley to P. hordei will allow elucidation of the molecular basis of this type of plant defence. A map-based cloning approach requires to fine-map the QTL in a narrow genetic window. In this study, Rphq11 and rphq16 were fine-mapped using an approach aiming at speeding up the development of plant material and simplifying its evaluation. The plant materials for fine-mapping were identified from early plant materials developed to produce QTL-NILs. The material was first selected to carry the targeted QTL in heterozygous condition and susceptibility alleles at other resistance QTLs in homozygous condition. This strategy took four to five generations to obtain fixed QTL recombinants (i.e., homozygous resistant at the Rphq11 or rphq16 QTL alleles, homozygous susceptible at the non-targeted QTL alleles). In less than 2 years, Rphq11 was fine-mapped into a 0.2-cM genetic interval and a 1.4-cM genetic interval for rphq16. The strongest candidate gene for Rphq11 is a phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase. Thus far, no candidate gene was identified for rphq16.
The process of intercellular communication among bacteria, termed quorum sensing (QS), is mediated by small diffusible molecules known as the autoinducers. QS allows the population to react to the change of cell density in unison, in processes such as biofilm formation, plasmid conjugation, virulence, motility and root nodulation. In Gram-negative proteobacteria, N-acyl homoserine lactone (AHL) is the common "language" to coordinate gene expression. This signaling molecule is usually synthesized by LuxI-type proteins. We have previously discovered that a rare bacterium, Cedecea neteri, exhibits AHL-type QS activity. With information generated from genome sequencing, we have identified the luxIR gene pair responsible for AHL-type QS and named it cneIR. In this study, we have cloned and expressed the 636 bp luxI homolog in an Escherichia coli host for further characterization. Our findings show that E. coli harboring cneI produced the same AHL profile as the wild type C. neteri, with the synthesis of AHL known as N-butyryl-homoserine lactone. This 25 kDa LuxI homolog shares high similarity with other AHL synthases from closely related species. This work is the first documentation of molecular cloning and characterization of luxI homolog from C. neteri.
In the last 20 years, stem rust caused by the fungus Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt), has re-emerged as a major threat to wheat and barley production in Africa and Europe. In contrast to wheat with 60 designated stem rust (Sr) resistance genes, barley's genetic variation for stem rust resistance is very narrow with only ten resistance genes genetically identified. Of these, only one complex locus consisting of three genes is effective against TTKSK, a widely virulent Pgt race of the Ug99 tribe which emerged in Uganda in 1999 and has since spread to much of East Africa and parts of the Middle East. The objective of this study was to assess the functionality, in barley, of cloned wheat Sr genes effective against race TTKSK. Sr22, Sr33, Sr35 and Sr45 were transformed into barley cv. Golden Promise using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. All four genes were found to confer effective stem rust resistance. The barley transgenics remained susceptible to the barley leaf rust pathogen Puccinia hordei, indicating that the resistance conferred by these wheat Sr genes was specific for Pgt. Furthermore, these transgenic plants did not display significant adverse agronomic effects in the absence of disease. Cloned Sr genes from wheat are therefore a potential source of resistance against wheat stem rust in barley.
Endolysins have been studied intensively as an alternative to antibiotics. In this study, endolysin derived from a phage which infects methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli pET28a. Initially, the endolysin was cloned using BamHI/XhoI, resulting in expression of a recombinant endolysin which was expressed in inclusion bodies. While solubilization was successful, the protein remained nonfunctional. Recloning the endolysin using NcoI/XhoI resulted in expression of soluble and functional proteins at 18°C. The endolysin was able to form halo zones on MRSA plates and showed a reduction in turbidity of MRSA growth. Therefore, cloning strategies should be chosen carefully even in an established expression system as they could greatly affect the functionality of the expressed protein.
Squalene synthase (SS) is the key precursor and first committed enzyme of the sterol biosynthesis pathway. In a previous work, SS has been identified as one of the immunogenic proteins that could be a potential diagnostic candidate for the pathogenic fungus Candida tropicalis. In this study, SS from C. tropicalis was cloned and expressed as recombinant protein in Pichia pastoris to investigate its reactivity with serum antibodies. ERG9 gene that encodes for SS was amplified by PCR and cloned in-frame into pPICZB expression vector. The recombinant construct was then transformed into P. pastoris GS115 host strain. Expression of the recombinant protein was confirmed by SDS-PAGE and Western blot analysis using anti-His tag probe. Optimal protein production was achieved by cultivating the culture with 1.0% methanol for 72h. The recombinant protein was purified to approximately 97% pure in a single step immobilized metal affinity chromatography with a yield of 70.3%. Besides, the purified protein exhibited specific reactivity with immune sera on Western blot. This is the first report on heterologous expression of antigenic SS from C. tropicalis in P. pastoris which can be exploited for large-scale production and further research. The results also suggested that the protein might be of great value as antigen candidate for serodiagnosis of Candida infection.
The gene coding for the oxygenase component, sadA, of 4-aminobenzenesulfonate (4-ABS) 3,4-dioxygenase in Hydrogenophaga sp. PBC was previously identified via transposon mutagenesis. Expression of wild-type sadA in trans restored the ability of the sadA mutant to grow on 4-ABS. The inclusion of sadB and sadD, coding for a putative glutamine-synthetase-like protein and a plant-type ferredoxin, respectively, further improved the efficiency of 4-ABS degradation. Transcription analysis using the gfp promoter probe plasmid showed that sadABD was expressed during growth on 4-ABS and 4-sulfocatechol. Heterologous expression of sadABD in Escherichia coli led to the biotransformation of 4-ABS to a metabolite which shared a similar retention time and UV/vis profile with 4-sulfocatechol. The putative reductase gene sadC was isolated via degenerate PCR and expression of sadC and sadABD in E. coli led to maximal 4-ABS biotransformation. In E. coli, the deletion of sadB completely eliminated dioxygenase activity while the deletion of sadC or sadD led to a decrease in dioxygenase activity. Phylogenetic analysis of SadB showed that it is closely related to the glutamine-synthetase-like proteins involved in the aniline degradation pathway. This is the first discovery, to our knowledge, of the functional genetic components for 4-ABS aromatic ring hydroxylation in the bacterial domain.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNAs (sRNAs) with approximately 21-24 nucleotides in length. They regulate the expression of target genes through the mechanism of RNA silencing. Conventional isolation and cloning of miRNAs methods are usually technical demanding and inefficient. These limitations include the requirement for high amounts of starting total RNA, inefficient ligation of linkers, high amount of PCR artifacts and bias in the formation of short miRNA-concatamers. Here we describe in detail a method that uses 80 μg of total RNA as the starting material. Enhancement of the ligation of sRNAs and linkers with the use of polyethylene glycol (PEG8000) was described. PCR artifacts from the amplification of reverse-transcribed sRNAs were greatly decreased by using lower concentrations of primers and reducing the number of amplification cycles. Large concatamers with up to 1 kb in size with around 20 sRNAs/concatamer were obtained by using an optimized reaction condition. This protocol provide researchers with a rapid, efficient and cost-effective method for the construction of miRNA profiles from plant tissues containing low amounts of total RNA, such as fruit flesh and senescent leaves.
The extracellular production of T1 lipase was performed by co-expression of pJL3 vector encoding bacteriocin release protein in prokaryotic system. Secretory expression was optimized by considering several parameters, including host strains, inducer (IPTG) concentration, media, induction at A(600 nm), temperature, and time of induction. Among the host strains tested, Origami B excreted out 18,100 U/ml of lipase activity into culture medium when induced with 50 microM IPTG for 12 h. The Origami B harboring recombinant plasmid pGEX/T1S and pJL3 vector was chosen for further study. IPTG at 0.05 mM, YT medium, induction at A(600 nm) of 1.25, 30 degrees C, and 32 h of induction time were best condition for T1 lipase secretion with Origami B as a host.
In this study, the genome of the Plasmodium falciparum Gombak A strain was examined for the presence of a gene encoding falcipain-2, a cysteine protease, using homology-based polymerase chain reaction cloning. The nucleotide sequence obtained from the gene cloned (designated pFG1) is approximately 99% homologous to other falcipain-2 genes from different strains. Comparatively, it is 69% homologous to falcipain-3 genes. Direct cloning of the falcipain-2 gene and its resemblance to the reported corresponding mRNA transcript suggests the absence of introns in this gene. Sequence alignment and comparison revealed four amino acid differences at positions 15, 51, 59 and 414 in the falcipain-2 from P. falciparum Gombak A as compared to other falcipain-2 proteins from different strains.
Cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) has major impacts on yield and quality of the tuberous roots of cassava in Eastern and Central Arica. At least two Potyviridae species cause the disease: Cassava brown streak virus (CBSV) and Ugandan cassava brown streak virus (UCBSV). Cloned viral genome sequences known as infectious clones (ICs) have been important in the study of other viruses, both as a means of standardising infectious material and characterising viral gene function. IC construction is often technically challenging for Potyviridae due to sequence instability in E. coli. Here, we evaluate three methods for the construction of infectious clones for CBSD. Whilst a simple IC for in vitro transcription was made for UCBSV isolate 'Kikombe', such an approach failed to deliver full-length clones for CBSV isolates 'Nampula' or 'Tanza', necessitating more complex approaches for their construction. The ICs successfully generated symptomatic infection in the model host N. benthamiana and in the natural host cassava. This shows that whilst generating ICs for CBSV is still a technical challenge, a structured approach, evaluating both in vitro and in planta transcription systems should successfully deliver ICs, allowing further study into the symptomology and virulence factors in this important disease complex.
The application of recombinant human antibodies is growing rapidly mainly in the field of diagnostics and therapeutics. To identify antibodies against a specific antigen, panning selection is carried out using different display technologies. Phage display technology remains the preferred platform due to its robustness and efficiency in biopanning experiments. There are both manual and semi-automated panning selections using polystyrene plastic, magnetic beads, and nitrocellulose as the immobilizing solid surface. Magnetic nanoparticles allow for improved antigen binding due to their large surface area. The Kingfisher Flex magnetic particle processing system was originally designed to aid in RNA, DNA, and protein extraction using magnetic beads. However, the system can be programmed for antibody phage display panning. The automation allows for a reduction in human error and improves reproducibility in between selections with the preprogrammed movements. The system requires minimum human intervention to operate; however, human intervention is needed for post-panning steps like phage rescue. In addition, polyclonal and monoclonal ELISA can be performed using the semi-automated platform to evaluate the selected antibody clones. This chapter will summarize the suggested protocol from the panning stage till the monoclonal ELISA evaluation. Other than this, important notes on the possible optimization and troubleshooting are also included at the end of this chapter.
Antibody phage display has been widely established as the method of choice to generate monoclonal antibodies with various efficacies post hybridoma technology. This technique is a popular method which takes precedence over ease of methodology, time- and cost-savings with comparable outcomes to conventional methods. Phage display technology manipulates the genome of M13 bacteriophage to display large diverse collection of antibodies that is capable of binding to various targets (nucleic acids, peptides, proteins, and carbohydrates). This subsequently leads to the discovery of target-related antibody binders. There have been several different approaches adapted for antibody phage display over the years. This chapter focuses on the semi-automated phage display antibody biopanning method utilizing the MSIA™ streptavidin D.A.R.T's® system. The system employs the use of electronic multichannel pipettes with predefined programs to carry out the panning process. The method should also be adaptable to larger liquid handling instrumentations for higher throughput.
Disease resistance (R) genes from wild relatives could be used to engineer broad-spectrum resistance in domesticated crops. We combined association genetics with R gene enrichment sequencing (AgRenSeq) to exploit pan-genome variation in wild diploid wheat and rapidly clone four stem rust resistance genes. AgRenSeq enables R gene cloning in any crop that has a diverse germplasm panel.
Vanadium-dependent haloperoxidases belong to a class of vanadium enzymes that may have potential industrial and pharmaceutical applications due to their high stability. In this study, the 5'-flanking genomic sequence and complete reading frame encoding vanadium-dependent bromoperoxidase (GcVBPO1) was cloned from the red seaweed, Fracilaria changii, and the recombinant protein was biochemically characterized. The deduced amino acid sequence of GcVBPO1 is 1818 nucleotides in length, sharing 49% identity with the vanadium-dependent bromoperoxidases from Corralina officinalis and Cor. pilulifera, respectively. The amino acid residues associated with the binding site of vanadate cofactor were found to be conserved. The Km value of recombinant GcVBPO1 for Br(-) was 4.69 mM, while its Vmax was 10.61 μkat mg(-1) at pH 7. Substitution of Arg(379) with His(379) in the recombinant protein caused a lower affinity for Br(-), while substitution of Arg(379) with Phe(379) not only increased its affinity for Br(-) but also enabled the mutant enzyme to oxidize Cl(-). The mutant Arg(379)Phe was also found to have a lower affinity for I(-), as compared to the wild-type GcVBPO1 and mutant Arg(379)His. In addition, the Arg(379)Phe mutant has a slightly higher affinity for H2O2 compared to the wild-type GcVBPO1. Multiple cis-acting regulatory elements associated with light response, hormone signaling, and meristem expression were detected at the 5'-flanking genomic sequence of GcVBPO1. The transcript abundance of GcVBPO1 was relatively higher in seaweed samples treated with 50 parts per thousand (ppt) artificial seawater (ASW) compared to those treated in 10 and 30 ppt ASW, in support of its role in the abiotic stress response of seaweed.
All honey bee species (Apis spp) share the same sex determination mechanism using the complementary sex determination (csd) gene. Only individuals heterogeneous at the csd allele develop into females, and the homozygous develop into diploid males, which do not survive. The honeybees are therefore under selection pressure to generate new csd alleles. Previous studies have shown that the csd gene is under balancing selection. We hypothesize that due to the long separation from the mainland of Hainan Island, China, that the giant honey bees (Apis dorsata) should show a founder effect for the csd gene, with many different alleles clustered together, and these would be absent on the mainland.
Galactose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferase (GALT) catalyzes the reversible conversion of glucose-1-phosphate and UDP-galactose to galactose-1-phosphate and UDP-glucose. This enzyme is also responsible for one of the biochemical steps that produce the precursors of agar and agarose. In this study, we report the molecular cloning and sequence analyses of a cDNA encoding GALT, from Gracilaria changii (B. M. Xia et I. A. Abbott) I. A. Abbott, J. Zhang et B. M. Xia, which constitutes a genus of seaweeds that supply more than 60% of the world's agar and agarose. We have subcloned this cDNA into a bacterial expression cloning vector and characterized the enzyme activities of its recombinant proteins in vitro. The GcGALT gene was shown to be up-regulated by salinity stresses. The abundance of transcripts encoding GcGALT was the highest in G. changii, followed by Gracilaria edulis and Gracilaria salicornia in a descending order, corresponding to their respective agar contents. Our findings indicated that GALT could be one of the components that determines the agar yield in Gracilaria species.