The whole-genome sequence of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai), a valuable horticultural crop worldwide, was released in 2013. Here, we compared a de novo-based approach (DBA) to a reference-based approach (RBA) using RNA-seq data, to aid in efforts to improve the annotation of the watermelon reference genome and to obtain biological insight into male-sterility in watermelon. We applied these techniques to available data from two watermelon lines: the male-sterile line DAH3615-MS and the male-fertile line DAH3615. Using DBA, we newly annotated 855 watermelon transcripts, and found gene functional clusters predicted to be related to stimulus responses, nucleic acid binding, transmembrane transport, homeostasis, and Golgi/vesicles. Among the DBA-annotated transcripts, 138 de novo-exclusive differentially-expressed genes (DEDEGs) related to male sterility were detected. Out of 33 randomly selected newly annotated transcripts and DEDEGs, 32 were validated by RT-qPCR. This study demonstrates the usefulness and reliability of the de novo transcriptome assembly in watermelon, and provides new insights for researchers exploring transcriptional blueprints with regard to the male sterility.
In inbred mouse lines, there is generally little genetic difference between individuals. This small genetic variability facilitates carrying out research on minute changes of various traits and the gene pool. Also, characterizing the diversity and detecting selective genetic and phenotypic signatures are crucial to understanding the genomic basis of a population and to identify specific patterns of evolutionary change. In this study, we investigated the underlying genetic profiles of a newly developed mouse strain, C57BL/6NKorl (Korl), established through sibling mating over 30 generations. To analyse the distinctive genomic features of Korl mice, we used whole-genome sequencing from six samples, which were compared to those of other C57BL/6N-based mouse strains. Korl strain-specific polymorphisms were identified and signatures of a selective sweep were detected. In particular, the candidate genes related to the increased body weight of the Korl strain were identified. Establishment of the genetic profile of Korl mice can provide insight into the inbreeding-induced changes to the gene pool, and help to establish this strain as a useful model for practical and targeted research purposes.
Artificial selection towards a desired phenotype/trait has modified the genomes of livestock dramatically that generated breeds that greatly differ in morphology, production and environmental adaptation traits. Angus cattle are among the famous cattle breeds developed for superior beef quality. This paper aimed at exploring genomic regions under selection in Angus cattle that are associated with meat quality traits and other associated phenotypes. The whole genome of 10 Angus cattle was compared with 11 Hanwoo (A-H) and 9 Jersey (A-J) cattle breeds using a cross-population composite likelihood ratio (XP-CLR) statistical method. The top 1% of the empirical distribution was taken as significant and annotated using UMD3.1. As a result, 255 and 210 genes were revealed under selection from A?H and A?J comparisons, respectively. The WebGestalt gene ontology analysis resulted in sixteen (A?H) and five (A?J) significantly enriched KEGG pathways. Several pathways associated with meat quality traits (insulin signaling, type II diabetes mellitus pathway, focal adhesion pathway, and ECM-receptor interaction), and feeding efficiency (olfactory transduction, tight junction, and metabolic pathways) were enriched. Genes affecting beef quality traits (e.g., FABP3, FTO, DGAT2, ACS, ACAA2, CPE, TNNI1), stature and body size (e.g., PLAG1, LYN, CHCHD7, RPS20), fertility and dystocia (e.g., ESR1, RPS20, PPP2R1A, GHRL, PLAG1), feeding efficiency (e.g., PIK3CD, DNAJC28, DNAJC3, GHRL, PLAG1), coat color (e.g., MC1-R) and genetic disorders (e.g., ITGB6, PLAG1) were found to be under positive selection in Angus cattle. The study identified genes and pathways that are related to meat quality traits and other phenotypes of Angus cattle. The findings in this study, after validation using additional or independent dataset, will provide useful information for the study of Angus cattle in particular and beef cattle in general.
The aim of this study was to investigate which of the gut microbes respond to probiotic intervention, as well as study whether they are associated with gastrointestinal symptoms in a healthy adult human. For the experimental purpose, twenty-one healthy adults were recruited and received probiotic mixture, which is composed of five Lactobacilli strains and two Bifidobacteria strains, once a day for 60 days. Defecation survey and Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis were conducted pre- and post-administration to measure phenotypic differences. Stool samples of the subjects were collected twice.
The statistical analysis was performed for pair designed metagenome data with 11 phenotypic records of the bioelectrical impedance body composition analyzer and 6 responses of the questionnaires about gastrointestinal symptom. Furthemore, correlation-based network analysis was conducted for exploring complex relationships among microbiome communities.
The abundances of Citrobacter, Klebsiella, and Methanobrevibacter were significantly reduced, which are strong candidates to be highly affected by the probiotic administration. In addition, interaction effects were observed between flatulence symptom attenuation and decreasing patterns of the Methanobrevibacter abundance.
These results reveal that probiotic intervention modulated the composition of gut microbiota and reduced the abundance of potential pathogens (i.e. Citrobacter and Klebsiella). In addition, methanogens (i.e. Methanobrevibacter) associated with the gastrointestinal symptom in an adult human.
Since domestication, the genome landscape of cattle has been changing due to natural and artificial selection forces resulting in several general and specialized cattle breeds of the world. Identifying genomic regions affected due to these forces in livestock gives an insight into the history of selection for economically important traits and genetic adaptation to specific environments of the populations under consideration. This study explores the genes/genomic regions under selection in relation to the phenotypes of Holstein, Hanwoo, and N’Dama cattle breeds using Tajima’s D, XP-CLR, and XP-EHH population statistical methods. The whole genomes of 10 Holstein (South Korea), 11 Hanwoo (South Korea), and 10 N’Dama (West Africa?Guinea) cattle breeds re-sequenced to ~11x coverage and retained 37 million SNPs were used for the study. Selection signature analysis revealed 441, 512, and 461 genes under selection from Holstein, Hanwoo, and N’Dama cattle breeds, respectively. Among all these, seven genes including ARFGAP3, SNORA70, and other RNA genes were common between the breeds. From each of the gene lists, significant functional annotation cluster terms including milk protein and thyroid hormone signaling pathway (Holstein), histone acetyltransferase activity (Hanwoo), and renin secretion (N’Dama) were enriched. Genes that are related to the phenotypes of the respective breeds were also identified. Moreover, significant breed-specific missense variants were identified in CSN3, PAPPA2 (Holstein), C1orf116 (Hanwoo), and COMMD1 (N’Dama) genes. The genes identified from this study provide an insight into the biological mechanisms and pathways that are important in cattle breeds selected for different traits of economic significance.
The tail of many animal species is responsible for various physiological functions. The functional importance of tail may have brought tail-loss to attention in many evolutionary and developmental studies. To provide a better explanation for the loss of tail, the current study aims to identify the evolutionary history and putative causal variants for the short tail in DongGyeongi (DG), an endangered dog breed, which is also the only dog in Korea that possesses a short tail. Whole genome sequencing was conducted on 22 samples of DG, followed by an investigation of population stratification with 10 other dog breeds. The genotypes, selective sweep and demography of DG were also investigated. As a result, we discovered the unique genetic structure of DG and suggested two possible ways in which the short tail phenotype developed. Moreover, this study suggested that selective sweep genes, ANKRD11 and ACVR2B may contribute to the reduction in tail length, and non-synonymous variant in the coding sequence of T gene and the CpG island variant of SFRP2 gene are the candidate causal variants for the tail-loss.
Research findings on probiotics highlight their importance in repressing harmful bacteria, leading to more extensive research on their potential applications. We analysed the genome of Lactobacillus fermentum SK152, which was isolated from the Korean traditional fermented vegetable dish kimchi, to determine the genetic makeup and genetic factors responsible for the antimicrobial activity of L. fermentum SK152 and performed a comparative genome analysis with other L. fermentum strains. The genome of L. fermentum SK152 was found to comprise a complete circular chromosome of 2,092,273 bp, with an estimated GC content of 51.9% and 2,184 open reading frames. It consisted of 2,038 protein-coding genes and 73 RNA-coding genes. Moreover, a gene encoding a putative endolysin was found. A comparative genome analysis with other L. fermentum strains showed that SK152 is closely related to L. fermentum 3872 and F-6. An evolutionary analysis identified five positively selected genes that encode proteins associated with transport, survival and stress resistance. These positively selected genes may be essential for L. fermentum to colonise and survive in the stringent environment of the human gut and exert its beneficial effects. Our findings highlight the potential benefits of SK152.
As African indigenous cattle evolved in a hot tropical climate, they have developed an inherent thermotolerance; survival mechanisms include a light-colored and shiny coat, increased sweating, and cellular and molecular mechanisms to cope with high environmental temperature. Here, we report the positive selection signature of genes in African cattle breeds which contribute for their heat tolerance mechanisms. We compared the genomes of five indigenous African cattle breeds with the genomes of four commercial cattle breeds using cross-population composite likelihood ratio (XP-CLR) and cross-population extended haplotype homozygosity (XP-EHH) statistical methods. We identified 296 (XP-EHH) and 327 (XP-CLR) positively selected genes. Gene ontology analysis resulted in 41 biological process terms and six Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways. Several genes and pathways were found to be involved in oxidative stress response, osmotic stress response, heat shock response, hair and skin properties, sweat gland development and sweating, feed intake and metabolism, and reproduction functions. The genes and pathways identified directly or indirectly contribute to the superior heat tolerance mechanisms in African cattle populations. The result will improve our understanding of the biological mechanisms of heat tolerance in African cattle breeds and opens an avenue for further study.
Holsteins are known as the world’s highest-milk producing dairy cattle. The purpose of this study was to identify genetic regions strongly associated with milk traits (milk production, fat, and protein) using Korean Holstein data.
This study was performed using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip data (Illumina BovineSNP50 Beadchip) of 911 Korean Holstein individuals. We inferred each genomic estimated breeding values based on best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) and ridge regression using BLUPF90 and R. We then performed a genome-wide association study and identified genetic regions related to milk traits.
We identified 9, 6, and 17 significant genetic regions related to milk production, fat and protein, respectively. These genes are newly reported in the genetic association with milk traits of Holstein.
This study complements a recent Holstein genome-wide association studies that identified other SNPs and genes as the most signif
Domestication and artificial selection have modified the genome landscape of the pig. The identification of selection signatures in the genome can help to elucidate the selection mechanisms and uncover the causal genes related to the phenotypic variations between domestic pig breeds. We scanned the genomes of Korean imported pig breeds against native breeds using Z-transformed Fst (ZFST) and Heterozygosity (ZHp) statistics to search for the signatures of positive selection. We identified 411 (ZFST?=?175; ZHp?=?256) putatively selected genes in commercial breeds. The gene regions identified were harboring those related to immunity, coat color, reproduction function and other traits. Several genes (e.g., PLSCR4, AGTR1 and CORIN) were related to reproduction traits such as fertility, ovulation rate, and uterine function. This study revealed genes which improve our understanding of the biological mechanisms of higher litter sizes, the phenotype of interest, in higher litter pig breeds.