The importance of twin research in the field of preventive medicine is described from the viewpoint of gene-environment interaction. The recent advancements in twin research in Japan and other countries are the major topics in this paper. The historical background of the Japan Society for Twin Studies is described. The Center for Twin Research of Osaka University is also described as the first center of this kind in Japan. The advancement of epigenetic research is described as a new global trend of twin research, particularly in European countries. Other new trends in twin research in Asian countries, such as China, Indonesia, Russia, Iran, and Malaysia, are also described.
Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly common to deploy sensors in public buildings or homes with the aim of obtaining data from the environment and taking decisions that help to save energy. Many of the current state-of-the-art systems make decisions considering solely the environmental factors that cause the consumption of energy. These systems are successful at optimizing energy consumption; however, they do not adapt to the preferences of users and their comfort. Any system that is to be used by end-users should consider factors that affect their wellbeing. Thus, this article proposes an energy-saving system, which apart from considering the environmental conditions also adapts to the preferences of inhabitants. The architecture is based on a Multi-Agent System (MAS), its agents use Agreement Technologies (AT) to perform a negotiation process between the comfort preferences of the users and the degree of optimization that the system can achieve according to these preferences. A case study was conducted in an office building, showing that the proposed system achieved average energy savings of 17.15%.
Submergence or flood is one of the major harmful abiotic stresses in the low-lying countries and crop losses due to waterlogging are considerably high. Plant breeding techniques, conventional or genetic engineering, might be an effective and economic way of developing crops to grow successfully in waterlogged condition. Marker assisted selection (MAS) is a new and more effective approach which can identify genomic regions of crops under stress, which could not be done previously. The discovery of comprehensive molecular linkage maps enables us to do the pyramiding of desirable traits to improve in submergence tolerance through MAS. However, because of genetic and environmental interaction, too many genes encoding a trait, and using undesirable populations the mapping of QTL was hampered to ensure proper growth and yield under waterlogged conditions Steady advances in the field of genomics and proteomics over the years will be helpful to increase the breeding programs which will help to accomplish a significant progress in the field crop variety development and also improvement in near future. Waterlogging response of soybean and major cereal crops, as rice, wheat, barley, and maize and discovery of QTL related with tolerance of waterlogging, development of resistant variety, and, in addition, future prospects have also been discussed.
Robustness has become a highly desirable breeding goal in the globalized agricultural market. Both genotype-by-environment interaction (G × E) and micro-environmental sensitivity are important robustness components of aquaculture production, in which breeding stock is often disseminated to different environments. The objectives of this study were (i) to quantify the degree of G × E by assessing the growth performance of Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT) across three countries (Malaysia, India and China) and (ii) to quantify the genetic heterogeneity of environmental variance for body weight at harvest (BW) in GIFT as a measure of micro-environmental sensitivity. Selection for BW was carried out for 13 generations in Malaysia. Subsets of 60 full-sib families from Malaysia were sent to China and India after five and nine generations respectively. First, a multi-trait animal model was used to analyse the BW in different countries as different traits. The results indicate a strong G × E. Second, a genetically structured environmental variance model, implemented using Bayesian inference, was used to analyse micro-environmental sensitivity of BW in each country. The analysis revealed the presence of genetic heterogeneity of both BW and its environmental variance in all environments. The presence of genetic variation in residual variance of BW implies that the residual variance can be modified by selection. Incorporating both G × E and micro-environmental sensitivity information may help in selecting robust genotypes with high performance across environments and resilience to environmental fluctuations.
Urbanization has provided experimental settings for testing the interactive relationship between genetic background and changes in lifestyle and dietary patterns. The concept of gene-environment interaction was described by epidemic of obesity along with urbanization. Genome-wide association has identified several genes such as melanocortin-4 receptor that associates with environmental influences of obesity. Gene environment (GxE) interaction refers to modification by an environmental factor of the effect of a genetic variant on a phenotypic trait. GxE interactions can serve to modulate the adverse effects of a risk allele, or can exacerbate the genotype-phenotype relationship and increase risk.
Epigenetic processes, including DNA methylation (DNAm), are among the mechanisms allowing integration of genetic and environmental factors to shape cellular function. While many studies have investigated either environmental or genetic contributions to DNAm, few have assessed their integrated effects. Here we examine the relative contributions of prenatal environmental factors and genotype on DNA methylation in neonatal blood at variably methylated regions (VMRs) in 4 independent cohorts (overall n = 2365). We use Akaike's information criterion to test which factors best explain variability of methylation in the cohort-specific VMRs: several prenatal environmental factors (E), genotypes in cis (G), or their additive (G + E) or interaction (GxE) effects. Genetic and environmental factors in combination best explain DNAm at the majority of VMRs. The CpGs best explained by either G, G + E or GxE are functionally distinct. The enrichment of genetic variants from GxE models in GWAS for complex disorders supports their importance for disease risk.
We evaluated 38 dura x pisifera (DP) oil palm progenies in four locations in Malaysia for genotype by environment interaction and genotypic stability studies. The DP progenies derived from crosses between pisifera palms of AVROS, Serdang S27B, Serdang 29/36, and Lever Cameroon were chosen to be the males' parent and Deli dura palms designated as females' parent. All the locations differed in terms of soil physical and chemical properties, and the soil types ranged from coastal clay to inland soils. The genotype by environment interaction and stability of the individual genotypes were analyzed for oil yield trait using several stability techniques. A genotype by environment interaction was detected for oil yield and it had a larger variance component than genotypic variance (σ(2)(gl)/σ(2)(g) = 139.7%). Genotype by environment interaction of oil yield was largely explained by a non-linear relationship between genotypic and environmental values. Overall assessment of individual genotypic stability showed that seven genotypes were highly stable and had consistent performance over the environments for the oil yield trait [total individual genotype stability scored more than 10 and mean oil yielded above the average of the environment (genotype means are more than 34.37 kg·palm(-1)·year(-1))]. These genotypes will be useful for oil palm breeding and tissue culture programs for developing high oil yielding planting materials with stable performance.
Aging is attributed to both genetic and environmental factors. Occupational exposure is one of the environmental factors with potential genotoxic effects. Researchers try to determine factors involved in genetic damages at hazards exposure that could accelerate aging. Cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) gene contributes in activation and detoxification of the environmental hazards. This polymorphism plays an important role in susceptibility of inter-individuals to DNA damage at the occupational exposure. The current study evaluated the possible influence of this gene polymorphism in aging by genomic damages through the biomarkers alterations of micronuclei (MN), comet tail length and telomere length shortening at the exposure. In this study, buccal cells were collected from the oral cavity of exposed workers and non-exposed controls. The CYP2E1 genotypes were detected by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). The wild genotype significantly affected MN frequency (p = 0.007) and relative telomere length (p = 0.047) in the older group of workers. It was concluded that the interaction of gene polymorphism and exposure enhances DNA damage and accelerates aging consequently.
BACKGROUND: Multiple factors, including interactions between genetic and environmental risks, are important in susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, the underlying mechanism is not fully understood. This study was undertaken to evaluate whether DNA methylation can mediate the interaction between genotype and smoking in the development of anti-citrullinated peptide antibody (ACPA)-positive RA.
METHODS: We investigated the gene-smoking interactions in DNA methylation using 393 individuals from the Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis (EIRA). The interaction between rs6933349 and smoking in the risk of developing ACPA-positive RA was further evaluated in a larger portion of the EIRA (1119 controls and 944 ACPA-positive patients with RA), and in the Malaysian Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis (MyEIRA) (1556 controls and 792 ACPA-positive patients with RA). Finally, mediation analysis was performed to investigate whether DNA methylation of cg21325723 mediates this gene-environment interaction on the risk of developing of ACPA-positive RA.
RESULTS: We identified and replicated one significant gene-environment interaction between rs6933349 and smoking in DNA methylation of cg21325723. This gene-smoking interaction is a novel interaction in the risk of developing ACPA-positive in both Caucasian (multiplicative P value = 0.056; additive P value = 0.016) and Asian populations (multiplicative P value = 0.035; additive P value = 0.00027), and it is mediated through DNA methylation of cg21325723.
CONCLUSIONS: We showed that DNA methylation of cg21325723 can mediate the gene-environment interaction between rs6933349 and smoking, impacting the risk of developing ACPA-positive RA, thus being a potential regulator that integrates both internal genetic and external environmental risk factors.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified over 100 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with prostate cancer. However, information on the mechanistic basis for some associations is limited. Recent research has been directed towards the potential association of vitamin D concentrations and prostate cancer, but little is known about whether the aforementioned genetic associations are modified by vitamin D. We investigated the associations of 46 GWAS-identified SNPs, circulating concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), and prostate cancer (3,811 cases, 511 of whom died from the disease, compared with 2,980 controls-from 5 cohort studies that recruited participants over several periods beginning in the 1980s). We used logistic regression models with data from the National Cancer Institute Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3) to evaluate interactions on the multiplicative and additive scales. After allowing for multiple testing, none of the SNPs examined was significantly associated with 25(OH)D concentration, and the SNP-prostate cancer associations did not differ by these concentrations. A statistically significant interaction was observed for each of 2 SNPs in the 8q24 region (rs620861 and rs16902094), 25(OH)D concentration, and fatal prostate cancer on both multiplicative and additive scales (P ≤ 0.001). We did not find strong evidence that associations between GWAS-identified SNPs and prostate cancer are modified by circulating concentrations of 25(OH)D. The intriguing interactions between rs620861 and rs16902094, 25(OH)D concentration, and fatal prostate cancer warrant replication.
The experiments were carried out in two research stations (MARDI Bukit Tangga, Kedah, and MARDI Seberang Perai, Penang) in Malaysia. The crossings were performed using the four inbred lines in complete diallel cross including selfs and reciprocals. We evaluated the yield components and fruit characters such as fruit yield per plant, vine length, days to fruit maturity, fruit weight, total soluble solid content, and rind thickness over a period of two planting seasons. General combining ability and its interaction with locations were statistically significant for all characteristics except number of fruits per plant across the environments. Results indicated that the additive genetic effects were important to the inheritance of these traits and the expression of additive genes was influenced greatly by environments. In addition, specific combining ability effect was statistically evident for fruit yield per plant, vine length, days to first female flower, and fruit weight. Most of the characters are simultaneously controlled by additive and nonadditive gene effects. This study demonstrated that the highest potential and promising among the crosses was cross P2 (BL-14) × P3 (6372-4), which possessed prolific plants, with early maturity, medium fruit weight and high soluble solid contents. Therefore this hybrid might be utilized for developing high yielding watermelon cultivars and may be recommended for commercial cultivation.
An association between lower educational attainment (EA) and an increased risk for depression has been confirmed in various western countries. This study examines whether pleiotropic genetic effects contribute to this association. Therefore, data were analyzed from a total of 9662 major depressive disorder (MDD) cases and 14,949 controls (with no lifetime MDD diagnosis) from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium with additional Dutch and Estonian data. The association of EA and MDD was assessed with logistic regression in 15,138 individuals indicating a significantly negative association in our sample with an odds ratio for MDD 0.78 (0.75-0.82) per standard deviation increase in EA. With data of 884,105 autosomal common single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), three methods were applied to test for pleiotropy between MDD and EA: (i) genetic profile risk scores (GPRS) derived from training data for EA (independent meta-analysis on ~120,000 subjects) and MDD (using a 10-fold leave-one-out procedure in the current sample), (ii) bivariate genomic-relationship-matrix restricted maximum likelihood (GREML) and (iii) SNP effect concordance analysis (SECA). With these methods, we found (i) that the EA-GPRS did not predict MDD status, and MDD-GPRS did not predict EA, (ii) a weak negative genetic correlation with bivariate GREML analyses, but this correlation was not consistently significant, (iii) no evidence for concordance of MDD and EA SNP effects with SECA analysis. To conclude, our study confirms an association of lower EA and MDD risk, but this association was not because of measurable pleiotropic genetic effects, which suggests that environmental factors could be involved, for example, socioeconomic status.
OBJECTIVES: Lung exposures including cigarette smoking and silica exposure are associated with the risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We investigated the association between textile dust exposure and the risk of RA in the Malaysian population, with a focus on women who rarely smoke.
METHODS: Data from the Malaysian Epidemiological Investigation of Rheumatoid Arthritis population-based case-control study involving 910 female early RA cases and 910 female age-matched controls were analysed. Self-reported information on ever/never occupationally exposed to textile dust was used to estimate the risk of developing anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA)-positive and ACPA-negative RA. Interaction between textile dust and the human leucocyte antigen DR β-1 (HLA-DRB1) shared epitope (SE) was evaluated by calculating the attributable proportion due to interaction (AP), with 95% CI.
RESULTS: Occupational exposure to textile dust was significantly associated with an increased risk of developing RA in the Malaysian female population (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.6 to 5.2). The association between occupational exposure to textile dust and risk of RA was uniformly observed for the ACPA-positive RA (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.3 to 4.8) and ACPA-negative RA (OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.7 to 7.0) subsets, respectively. We observed a significant interaction between exposure to occupational textile dust and HLA-DRB1 SE alleles regarding the risk of ACPA-positive RA (OR for double exposed: 39.1, 95% CI 5.1 to 297.5; AP: 0.8, 95% CI 0.5 to 1.2).
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study demonstrating that textile dust exposure is associated with an increased risk for RA. In addition, a gene-environment interaction between HLA-DRB1 SE and textile dust exposure provides a high risk for ACPA-positive RA.
Combined heredity of surnames and physique, coupled with past marriage patterns and trade-specific physical aptitude and selection factors, may have led to differential assortment of bodily characteristics among present-day men with specific trade-reflecting surnames (Tailor vs. Smith). Two studies reported here were partially consistent with this genetic-social hypothesis, first proposed by Bäumler (1980). Study 1 (N = 224) indicated significantly higher self-rated physical aptitude for prototypically strength-related activities (professions, sports, hobbies) in a random sample of Smiths. The counterpart effect (higher aptitude for dexterity-related activities among Tailors) was directionally correct, but not significant, and Tailor-Smith differences in basic physique variables were nil. Study 2 examined two large total-population-of-interest datasets (Austria/Germany combined, and UK: N = 7001 and 20,532) of men's national high-score lists for track-and-field events requiring different physiques. In both datasets, proportions of Smiths significantly increased from light-stature over medium-stature to heavy-stature sports categories. The predicted counterpart effect (decreasing prevalences of Tailors along these categories) was not supported. Related prior findings, the viability of possible alternative interpretations of the evidence (differential positive selection for trades and occupations, differential endogamy and assortative mating patterns, implicit egotism effects), and directions for further inquiry are discussed in conclusion.
The prevalence of lifestyle-related chronic diseases is increasing and gene-diet interaction studies are limited among the Malaysian population. This study was conducted to evaluate the association and interaction effects of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2(VEGFR2) gene polymorphisms and dietary patterns on anthropometric and biochemical risk factors of chronic diseases in 179 Chinese Malaysian adults.
Although Ca transport in plants is highly complex, the overexpression of vacuolar Ca(2+) transporters in crops is a promising new technology to improve dietary Ca supplies through biofortification. Here, we sought to identify novel targets for increasing plant Ca accumulation using genetical and comparative genomics. Expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) mapping to 1895 cis- and 8015 trans-loci were identified in shoots of an inbred mapping population of Brassica rapa (IMB211 × R500); 23 cis- and 948 trans-eQTLs responded specifically to altered Ca supply. eQTLs were screened for functional significance using a large database of shoot Ca concentration phenotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana. From 31 Arabidopsis gene identifiers tagged to robust shoot Ca concentration phenotypes, 21 mapped to 27 B. rapa eQTLs, including orthologs of the Ca(2+) transporters At-CAX1 and At-ACA8. Two of three independent missense mutants of BraA.cax1a, isolated previously by targeting induced local lesions in genomes, have allele-specific shoot Ca concentration phenotypes compared with their segregating wild types. BraA.CAX1a is a promising target for altering the Ca composition of Brassica, consistent with prior knowledge from Arabidopsis. We conclude that multiple-environment eQTL analysis of complex crop genomes combined with comparative genomics is a powerful technique for novel gene identification/prioritization.
The Malaysian Cohort study was initiated in 2005 by the Malaysian government. The top-down approach to this population-based cohort study ensured the allocation of sufficient funding for the project which aimed to recruit 100,000 individuals aged 35-70 years. Participants were recruited from rural and urban areas as well as from various socioeconomic groups. The main objectives of the study were to identify risk factors, to study gene-environment interaction and to discover biomarkers for the early detection of cancers and other diseases. At recruitment, a questionnaire-based interview was conducted, biophysical measurements were performed and biospecimens were collected, processed and stored. Baseline investigations included fasting blood sugar, fasting lipid profile, renal profile and full blood count. From April 2006 to the end of September 2012 we recruited a total of 106,527 participants. The baseline prevalence data showed 16.6% participants with diabetes, 46.5% with hypertension, 44.9% with hypercholesterolaemia and 17.7% with obesity. The follow-up phase commenced in June 2013. This is the most comprehensive and biggest cohort study in Malaysia, and has become a valuable resource for epidemiological and biological research. For information on collaboration and also data access, investigators can contact the project leader at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Background Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients are a high-risk population for suicide. Glutamatergic neurosystem genes have been implicated in the neurobiology of depression in SLE and suicidal behaviour in general. However, the role of glutamate receptor gene polymorphisms in suicidal behaviour among SLE patients remains unclear in the context of established clinical and psychosocial factors. We aimed to investigate the association of NR2A gene polymorphism with suicidal ideation in SLE while accounting for the interaction between clinical and psychosocial factors. Methods A total of 130 SLE patients were assessed for mood disorders (MINI International Neuropsychiatric Interview), severity of depression (Patient Health Questionnaire-9), suicidal behaviour (Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale), socio-occupational functioning (Work and Social Adjustment Scale), recent life events (Social Readjustment Rating Scale) and lupus disease activity (SELENA-SLE Disease Activity Index). Eighty-six out of the 130 study participants consented for NR2A genotyping. Results Multivariable logistic regression showed nominal significance for the interaction effect between the NR2A rs2072450 AC genotype and higher severity of socio-occupational impairment with lifetime suicidal ideation in SLE patients ( p = 0.038, odds ratio = 1.364, 95% confidence interval = 1.018-1.827). However, only the association between lifetime mood disorder and lifetime suicidal ideation remained significant after Bonferroni correction ( p gene polymorphism main and interaction effects. Clinical implications include identification and treatment of mood disorders as an early intervention for suicidal behaviour in SLE. More adequately-powered gene-environment interaction studies are required in the future to clarify the role of glutamate receptor gene polymorphisms in the risk stratification of suicidal behaviour among SLE patients.
Study site: outpatient clinics and in-patient wards, Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (PPUKM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia