The bacterium strain SE31, a member of the genus Sciscionella, was isolated from intertidal sediments collected from Cape Rachado, Malaysia. The high quality draft genome sequence of Sciscionella strain SE31 with a genome size of approximately 7.4 Mbp is reported. Preliminary analysis revealed 46 putative gene clusters involved in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites and 113 putative genes that are associated with bacterial virulence, disease and defense. Availability of the genome sequence of Sciscionella SE31 will contribute to a better understanding of the genus Sciscionella.
Since the inception of deep sequencing, isomiRs are consistently observed to be produced by most miRNA genes in a variety of cell types. IsomiRs appear as a variation in length from the canonical sequence annotated in miRBase, due to an addition or deletion of one or more nucleotides at the 5(') or 3(') ends or both. As the seed sequence is located at the 5(') end of the microRNA, the target mRNA will be theoretically different. Therefore, 5(')isomiRs might potentially target a new set mRNA compared to their canonical counterpart. This article gives an overview of investigations that explored the functional potential of isomiRs such as their ability to incorporate into Argonaute protein, the differential expression of isomiRs in various tissue types and cell lines, and the differences of mRNA targets between isomiR and its canonical microRNA. In addition, this article provides a brief introduction of RNA sponges as a potential way to inhibit isomiRs.
Cupriavidus sp. strain BIS7 is a Malaysian tropical soil bacterium that exhibits broad heavy-metal resistance [Co(II), Zn(II), Ni(II), Se(IV), Cu(II), chromate, Co(III), Fe(II), and Fe(III)]. It is particularly resistant to Fe(II), Fe(III), and Zn(II). Here we present the assembly and annotation of its genome.
Burkholderia sp. strain GG4, isolated from the ginger rhizosphere, possesses a unique N-acylhomoserine lactone (AHL)-modifying activity that reduces 3-oxo-AHLs to 3-hydroxy-AHLs. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first sequenced genome from a bacterium of the genus Burkholderia that shows both quorum-sensing and signaling confusion activities.
Anew hydrophilid genus Chimaerocyon gen. nov. containing two species, C. shimadai sp. nov. (Malaysia: Pahang) and C. sumatranus sp. nov. (Indonesia: Sumatra), is described. Specimens of C. shimadai were collected from brood cells in anest of Pheidole singaporensis Özdikmen, 2010. The biology of C. sumatranus remains unknown. A molecular phylogeny based on four genes (cox1, cox2, 18S and 28S) supports the placement of the genus as deeply nested within the Cercyon-group of the tribe Megasternini. This position is supported by the subdistal position of the median spur in the hind wing (unique to Megasternini) and the presence of sucking disc on male maxilla (unique for Megastemini+Sphaeridiini). The remaining external morphology differs substantially from other representatives of Megasternini. The hypothesis that the aberrant morphology of Chimaerocyon gen. nov. is a consequence of myrmecophily is discussed.
The Malayan gaur (Bos gaurus hubbacki) is one of the three subspecies of gaurs that can be found in Malaysia. We examined the phylogenetic relationships of this subspecies with other species of the genus Bos (B. javanicus, B. indicus, B. taurus, and B. grunniens). The sequence of a key gene, cytochrome b, was compared among 20 Bos species and the bongo antelope, used as an outgroup. Phylogenetic reconstruction was employed using neighbor joining and maximum parsimony in PAUP and Bayesian inference in MrBayes 3.1. All tree topologies indicated that the Malayan gaur is in its own monophyletic clade, distinct from other species of the genus Bos. We also found significant branching differences in the tree topologies between wild and domestic cattle.
A study of about 500 expressed sequence tags (ESTs), derived from a merozoite cDNA library, was initiated as an approach to generate a larger pool of gene information on Eimeria tenella. Of the ESTs, 47.7% had matches with entries in the databases, including ribosomal proteins, metabolic enzymes and proteins with other functions, of which 14.3% represented previously known E. tenella genes. Thus over 50% of the ESTs had no significant database matches. The E. tenella EST dataset contained a range of highly abundant genes comparable with that found in the EST dataset of T. gondii and may thus reflect the importance of such molecules in the biology of the apicomplexan organisms. However, comparison of the two datasets revealed very few homologies between sequences of apical organelle molecules, and provides evidence for sequence divergence between these closely-related parasites. The data presented underpin the potential value of the EST strategy for the discovery of novel genes and may allow for a more rapid increase in the knowledge and understanding of gene expression in the merozoite life cycle stage of Eimeria spp.
Pineapple (Ananas comosus var. comosus) is known as the king of fruits for its crown and is the third most important tropical fruit after banana and citrus. The plant, which is indigenous to South America, is the most important species in the Bromeliaceae family and is largely traded for fresh fruit consumption. Here, we report the complete chloroplast sequence of the MD-2 pineapple that was sequenced using the PacBio sequencing technology.
Protein structure prediction from amino acid sequence has been one of the most challenging aspects in computational structural biology despite significant progress in recent years showed by critical assessment of protein structure prediction (CASP) experiments. When experimentally determined structures are unavailable, the predictive structures may serve as starting points to study a protein. If the target protein consists of homologous region, high-resolution (typically <1.5 Å) model can be built via comparative modelling. However, when confronted with low sequence similarity of the target protein (also known as twilight-zone protein, sequence identity with available templates is less than 30%), the protein structure prediction has to be initiated from scratch. Traditionally, twilight-zone proteins can be predicted via threading or ab initio method. Based on the current trend, combination of different methods brings an improved success in the prediction of twilight-zone proteins. In this mini review, the methods, progresses and challenges for the prediction of twilight-zone proteins were discussed.
As a health-beneficial fruit, litchi is widely accepted by people in subtropical and tropical regions. However, the critical chemicals responsible for the health benefits are not clear yet. As a large amount of polysaccharides are present in litchi, they might play an important role in the health benefits. In this work, the main water-soluble polysaccharide (LPPBa) was purified from litchi pulp. The chemical structure was characterized as arabinogalactan by gas chromatography and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry (NMR). NMR data revealed the glycosidic linkages and their locations in backbone and branches. The precise structure was putatively identified as below, and it was different to those commonly occurred arabinogalactans. The molecular weight was determined to be 2.4 × 10(6)Da by gel permeation chromatography.
Living fossils are lineages that have retained plesiomorphic traits through long time periods. It is expected that such lineages have both originated and diversified long ago. Such expectations have recently been challenged in some textbook examples of living fossils, notably in extant cycads and coelacanths. Using a phylogenetic approach, we tested the patterns of the origin and diversification of liphistiid spiders, a clade of spiders considered to be living fossils due to their retention of arachnid plesiomorphies and their exclusive grouping in Mesothelae, an ancient clade sister to all modern spiders. Facilitated by original sampling throughout their Asian range, we here provide the phylogenetic framework necessary for reconstructing liphistiid biogeographic history. All phylogenetic analyses support the monophyly of Liphistiidae and of eight genera. As the fossil evidence supports a Carboniferous Euramerican origin of Mesothelae, our dating analyses postulate a long eastward over-land dispersal towards the Asian origin of Liphistiidae during the Palaeogene (39-58 Ma). Contrary to expectations, diversification within extant liphistiid genera is relatively recent, in the Neogene and Late Palaeogene (4-24 Ma). While no over-water dispersal events are needed to explain their evolutionary history, the history of liphistiid spiders has the potential to play prominently in vicariant biogeographic studies.
Angiostrongylus cantonensis is a bursate nematode parasite that causes eosinophilic meningitis (or meningoencephalitis) in humans in many parts of the world. The genomic data from A. cantonensis will form a useful resource for comparative genomic and chemogenomic studies to aid the development of diagnostics and therapeutics. We have sequenced, assembled and annotated the genome of A. cantonensis. The genome size is estimated to be ∼260 Mb, with 17,280 genomic scaffolds, 91X coverage, 81.45% for complete and 93.95% for partial score based on CEGMA analysis of genome completeness. The number of predicted genes of ≥300 bp was 17,482. A total of 7737 predicted protein-coding genes of ≥50 amino acids were identified in the assembled genome. Among the proteins of known function, kinases are the most abundant followed by transferases. The draft genome contains 34 excretory-secretory proteins (ES), a minimum of 44 Nematode Astacin (NAS) metalloproteases, 12 Homeobox (HOX) genes, and 30 neurotransmitters. The assembled genome size (260 Mb) is larger than those of Pristionchus pacificus, Caenorhabditis elegans, Necator americanus, Caenorhabditis briggsae, Trichinella spiralis, Brugia malayi and Loa loa, but smaller than Haemonchus contortus and Ascaris suum. The repeat content (25%) is similar to H. contortus. The GC content (41.17%) is lower compared to P. pacificus (42.7%) and H. contortus (43.1%) but higher compared to C. briggsae (37.69%), A. suum (37.9%) and N. americanus (40.2%) while the scaffold N50 is 42,191. This draft genome will facilitate the understanding of many unresolved issues on the parasite and the disorder it causes.
Mosquitoes are principal vectors of major vector-borne diseases. They are widely found throughout urban and rural areas in Malaysia. They are responsible for various vector-borne diseases such as dengue, malaria, filariasis and encephalitis. A total of 158 mosquito larvae specimens were collected from the National Zoo, Malaysia, from 11 types of breeding habitats during the study period from end of May 2007 to July 2007. Aedes albopictus was the predominant species (35.4%), followed by Tripteroides aranoides (26.6%), Lutzia halifaxii (11.4%), Aedes alboscutellatus (10.1%), Aedes caecus (8.9%), Armigeres spp. (4.4%), Malaya genurostris (2.5%) and Culex vishnui (0.6%). It is important to have a mosquito free environment in a public place like the zoo. Routine larval surveillance should be implemented for an effective mosquito control program in order to reduce mosquito population.
A newly discovered, diminutive, cave-dwelling, lowland species of the colubrid snake genus Lycodon Boie is described from a limestone cave along the Thai-Malaysian border in the state of Perlis, northwestern Peninsular Malaysia. Lycodon cavernicolus sp. nov. is most closely related to L. butleri Boulenger, an endemic, upland, forest-dwelling species from Peninsular Malaysia of the fasciatus group but is separated from L. butleri and all other species of the L. fasciatus group and the closely related L. ruhstrati group by having the combination of 245 (male) and 232 (female) ventral scales; 113 (male) and 92 (female) paired, subcaudal scales; a single precloacal plate; nine or 10 supralabials; 10 or 11 infralabials; a maximum total length of 508 mm (female); a relative tail length of 0.25-0.27; an immaculate venter in juveniles and dark-brown, posterior, ventral scale margins in adults; and dorsal and caudal bands in juveniles white. The discovery of L. cavernicolus sp. nov. adds to a rapidly growing list of newly discovered reptiles from karst regions and limestone forests of Peninsular Malaysia, underscoring the fact that these areas should be studied before they are quarried as they harbor a significant portion of the Peninsular Malaysia's herpetological diversity.
The complete mitogenome of the ray Pastinachus atrus was recovered from a partial genome scan using the HiSeq sequencing system. The P. atrus mitogenome has 18,162 base pairs (61% A + T content) made up of 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal subunit genes, 22 transfer RNAs, and a 2516 bp non-coding AT-rich region. This mitogenome sequence is the first for a ray from Australian waters, the first for the Genus Pastinachus, and the 6th for the family Dasyatidae.
Kraits (Bungarus spp.) are highly venomous elapids that are only found in Asia. In the current study, 103 and 86 different proteins were identified from Bungarus candidus and Bungarus fasciatus venoms, respectively. These proteins were classified into 18 different venom protein families. Both venoms were found to contain a high percentage of three finger toxins, phospholipase A2 enzymes and Kunitz-type inhibitors. Smaller number of high molecular weight enzymes such as L-amino acid oxidase, hyaluronidases, and acetylcholinesterase were also detected in the venoms. We also detected some unique proteins that were not known to be present in these venoms. The presence of a natriuretic peptide, vespryn, and serine protease families was detected in B. candidus venom. We also detected the presence of subunit A and B of β-bungarotoxin and α-bungarotoxin which had not been previously found in B. fasciatus venom. Understanding the proteome composition of Malaysian krait species will provide useful information on unique toxins and proteins which are present in the venoms. This knowledge will assist in the management of krait envenoming. In addition, these proteins may have potential use as research tools or as drug-design templates.
Signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) proteins are key signalling molecules in metazoans, implicated in various cellular processes. Increased research in the field has resulted in the accumulation of STAT sequence and structure data, which are scattered across various public databases, missing extensive functional annotations, and prone to effort redundancy because of the dearth of community sharing. Therefore, there is a need to integrate the existing sequence, structure and functional data into a central repository, one that is enriched with annotations and provides a platform for community contributions. Herein, we present STATdb (publicly available at http://statdb.bic.nus.edu.sg/), the first integrated resource for STAT sequences comprising 1540 records representing the known STATome, enriched with existing structural and functional information from various databases and literature and including manual annotations. STATdb provides advanced features for data visualization, analysis and prediction, and community contributions. A key feature is a meta-predictor to characterise STAT sequences based on a novel classification that integrates STAT domain architecture, lineage and function. A curation policy workflow has been devised for regulated and structured community contributions, with an update policy for the seamless integration of new data and annotations.