Abstract in English:Congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD) accounts for 1%-2% of sterility in men. A high incidence of mutations, as well as the involvement of the 5T variant of the T tract length in intron 8 of the cystic fibrosis conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, have been previously described in males with CBAVD. Herein we report the screening for mutations and for the 5T variant of the CFTR gene in 17 patients with CBAVD and three others with non-CABVD obstructive azoospermia. In the CBAVD group, three patients (15%) were compound heterozygotes for mutations, and five patients (25%) had a mutation in one allele and the 5T variant in the other; the 5T variant was also present in two other patients, one of them being homozygous. The most frequent mutation was DF508, present on five chromosomes (12.5%). A novel missense mutation (A399D) was detected in a Japanese CBVAD patient. Our results yield further evidence for a strong association between male obstructive azoospermia caused by CBAVD and mutation/5T variant in the CFTR gene. The search for CFTR mutations in such patients is thus recommended for genetic counseling of couples who undergo assisted fertilization due to CBAVD.
Abstract in English:We sequenced part of the 16S rRNA mitochondrial gene in 17 extant taxa of Pilosa (sloths and anteaters) and used these sequences along with GenBank sequences of both extant and extinct sloths to perform phylogenetic analysis based on parsimony, maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods. By increasing the taxa density for anteaters and sloths we were able to clarify some points of the Pilosa phylogenetic tree. Our mitochondrial 16S results show Bradypodidae as a monophyletic and robustly supported clade in all the analysis. However, the Pleistocene fossil Mylodon darwinii does not group significantly to either Bradypodidae or Megalonychidae which indicates that trichotomy best represents the relationship between the families Mylodontidae, Bradypodidae and Megalonychidae. Divergence times also allowed us to discuss the taxonomic status of Cyclopes and the three species of three-toed sloths, Bradypus tridactylus, Bradypus variegatus and Bradypus torquatus. In the Bradypodidae the split between Bradypus torquatus and the proto-Bradypus tridactylus / B. variegatus was estimated as about 7.7 million years ago (MYA), while in the Myrmecophagidae the first offshoot was Cyclopes at about 31.8 MYA followed by the split between Myrmecophaga and Tamandua at 12.9 MYA. We estimate the split between sloths and anteaters to have occurred at about 37 MYA.
Abstract in English:After the advent of the genome projects, followed by the discovery of DNA polymorphisms, basic understanding of gene expression is the next focus to explain the association between polymorphisms and the level of gene expression, as well as to demonstrate the interaction among genes. Among the various techniques for the investigation of transcriptional profiling involving patterns of gene expression, quantitative PCR is the simplest analytical laboratory technique. The objective of this work was to analyze two strategies of a competitive PCR technique for the quantification of the pig growth hormone (GH) gene expression. A pair of primers was designed targeting exons 3 and 5, and two competitive PCR strategies were performed, one utilizing a specific amplicon as a competitor, and the other utilizing a low-stringency PCR amplicon as a competitor. The latter strategy proved to be easier and more efficient, offering an accessible tool that can be used in any kind of competitive reaction, facilitating the study of gene expression patterns for both genetics and diagnostics of infectious diseases.
Abstract in English:Many factors have contributed to the destruction of fish habitats. Hydroelectric dams, water pollution and other environmental changes have resulted in the eradication of natural stocks. The aim of this study was to detect the genetic variation in Prochilodus marggravii from three collection sites in the area of influence of the Três Marias dam (MG) on the São Francisco river (Brazil), using the RAPD technique. The results obtained revealed that the fish in the downstream region nearest the dam have a higher similarity coefficient than those from the other sampling sites that may be related to differences in environmental characteristics in these regions. Additionaly, significant differences in the band frequencies were observed from one collection site to another. These both findings suggest the occurrence of a structured population and have important implications for the conservation of the genetic variability of distinct natural P. marggravii stocks.
Abstract in English:In this paper, we describe the enzyme levels and isozyme distribution in skeletal and heart muscle of Satanoperca aff. jurupari, (Cichlidae, subgroup Geophaginae). LDH and CS were measured in skeletal and heart muscle. Starch gel electrophoresis was used to determine the isozyme/allozyme patterns in different tissues; LDH, MDHs, PGM, PGI, ADH, G-6-PDH and SOD were screened for the numbers of loci, presence of alleles, and tissue specificity. The LDH/CS ratio in heart and skeletal muscle were 173.36 and 6.1, respectively, indicating anaerobic metabolism in the former and aerobic metabolism in the latter muscle. No inhibition by pyruvate (based on the ratios of LDH activity with 1 mM and 10 mM pyruvate) was detected in heart and skeletal muscle, indicating the presence of physiological plasticity in heart muscle. The heart can cope with anaerobic metabolism for short periods of hypoxia such as occurs in nature. Isozyme patterns for most of the enzymes analyzed were similar to the general patterns for advanced teleosts. S. aff. jurupari had no reduced LDH-B* expression in heart muscle, but the, MDHs-B* locus was duplicated, as reported for most Amazon cichlids species. Only three out of the 13 loci analyzed (PGM, PGI and SOD) were variable. These results are consistent with the metabolic profile and life style of the most cichlids. A low genetic variability may be a counterpart for plasticity, and may be guaranteed by the regulation of invariable structural genes.
Abstract in English:Leporinus elongatus, a fish species widely distributed throughout the Paraná River basin in South America, is an important fishery resource and a valuable species in aquaculture programs. Despite its great economic importance, several wild populations have been suffering a drastic reduction. The comprehension of its population structure represents an important step for the conservation of these organisms in natural environments, and also for the selection of wild stocks to be used in hatchery programs. In order to understand the genetic-population structure of L. elongatus, D-loop mitochondrial DNA analyses were applied in six wild populations of the species. The results were used to estimate the levels of within and among population genetic variability. Although the D-loop variations could not be correlated to the geographic distribution of these organisms, it was possible to detect high levels of genetic variability within each population and the occurrence of exclusive population haplotypes, which suggests a partial genetic differentiation among them. The obtained data can be useful in selecting fish stocks that preserve a better genetic diversity of L. elongatus for use in conservation and/or hatchery programs.
Abstract in English:Electrophoretic studies of isozymes were done with four closely related species of the Simulium perflavum species group (Diptera: Simuliidade) in the Brazilian Amazon, using last-instar larvae collected in the field. Ten enzymes were studied, which yielded 11 loci. Diagnostic loci were not found between Simulium maroniense cytotype D and Simulium rorotaense. Simulium maroniense and S. rorotaense differed from Simulium trombetense by two diagnostic loci (Me and Xdh), and Simulium perflavum differed from the other three species by four diagnostic loci (Me, Xdh, Mdh, and Got). The mean number of alleles per locus ranged from 1.30 to 2.30, the percentage of polymorphic loci ranged from 18.2 to 63.6% and the mean heterozygosity values observed ranged from 0.062 to 0.108. Genetic distances among the species ranged from 0.010 to 0.581. The lowest value was obtained between S. maroniense and S. rorotaense, and the highest between S. perflavum and S. trombetense. The genetic relationships among the four S. perflavum group species indicate that they are closely related. The high similarity at the isozyme level, allied to previous studies of morphology and polytene chromosomes, may suggest that the divergence time since the separation of S. maroniense and S. rorotaense is still too recent for diagnostic loci to have evolved.
Abstract in English:Apis mellifera scutellata was introduced to Brazil in 1956 and Africanized honeybee populations have now spread from Argentina to the southwestern United States. Temperate climatic restrictions seem to be a natural limit to Africanized honeybee expansion around parallels 35° to 40° SL. We used allozyme loci (Mdh-1 and Hk-1) and mtDNA haplotypes to characterize honeybee populations in southern Brazil and Uruguay and define a possible transition area between Africanized and European bees. Samples of 194 bee colonies were collected from ten localities between 30°-35° SL and 52°-59° WL. The mtDNA restriction patterns of these colonies were obtained through digestion of the mitochondrial genome by Eco RI, or by digestion by Bgl II and Xba I of the cytochrome B locus and the COI-COII intergenic region, respectively. The distribution limit of African bee colonies, i.e., those populations with only the African mtDNA haplotype and with a high proportion of African genes as shown by allozyme analysis, is located in northern Uruguay, with a hybridization zone located farther south in Uruguay. A gradual cline from north to south was observed, confirmed by mtDNA, racial admixture, and genetic distance analyses. No evidence of either gametic disequilibrium between nuclear markers or cytonuclear disequilibrium among the nuclear and mtDNA genotypes was detected, suggesting that the hybridization process has been completed.
Abstract in English:The stingless bees of the Partamona genus have been studied taxonomically, ecologically and behaviourally, but cytogenetic studies are still rare. The objective of this study was to obtain cytogenetic data to contribute to Partamona peckolti species characterization. Heterochromatin was localized in all chromosome pericentromeric regions but some blocks could be visualized on some large chromosomes arms. A large heterozygous DA-CMA3-positive band was observed on one large chromosome arm, but was completely absent when C banding was applied before fluorochrome staining, with only one small positive band being visualized. Sequential DA-CMA3-NOR staining of interphase nuclei provided coincident positive responses. This suggests that DA-CMA3-positive bands of P. peckolti correspond to nucleolar organizer regions, as previously confirmed for another Partamona species by FISH.
Abstract in English:Knowledge of the genetic variability among genotypes is important for the transfer of useful genes and to maximize the use of available germplasm resources. This study was carried out to assess the genetic variability of 14 elite Coffea arabica cultivars using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) associated with a prior digestion of genomic DNA with restriction endonucleases. The accessions were obtained from the Coffea collection maintained at the Instituto Agronômico do Paraná (IAPAR), located in Londrina, Paraná, Brazil. Twenty-four informative RAPD primers, used in association with restriction enzymes, yielded 330 reproducible and scorable DNA bands, of which 224 (68%) were polymorphic. The amplified products were used to estimate the genetic variability using Dice's similarity coefficient. The data matrix was converted to a dendrogram and a three-dimensional plot using principal coordinate analysis. The accessions studied were separated into clusters in a manner that was consistent with the known pedigree. The associations obtained in the dendrogram and in the principal coordinate analysis plot suggest the probable origin of the Kattimor cultivar. The RAPD technique associated with restriction digestion was proved to be a useful tool for genetic characterization of C. arabica genotypes making an important contribution to the application of molecular markers to coffee breeding.
Abstract in English:The genetic reduction of linolenic acid levels increases the quality and stability of soybean oil. The objective of this study was to determine the inheritance and evaluate the nature and magnitude of gene effects on soybean seed linolenic acid level. Means and variances of F1, F2, and F3 generations were made from the cross between accession BARC-12 (low linolenic acid content) and the commercial Brazilian cultivar CAC-1 (normal linolenic acid content). The results demonstrated that linolenic acid content in soybean is under the genetic control of a small number of genes. The additive model explained the means for the three generations and for the parents. Non-allelic gene interactions had little effect on the determination of genotypic values for the individuals. The generation means and population variation analyses demonstrated that the dominance deviations contribute little to the trait. These results showed that backcross breeding programs can be used to introduce the low linolenic acid content trait into soybean seeds, since it is possible to identify with very high accuracy the desired genotypes in segregating populations.
Abstract in English:The amylase electrophoretic patterns of 10 Brazilian brewing-barley varieties with different malting grades and diastatic power were analyzed during the 7-day germination which occurs during the malting process. Intra and inter-variety genetic variability was observed at both the structural and regulatory level. In the first few days after germination all varieties showed a few active loci, all of them with low activity. In subsequent days, new loci became active and those already detected since early germination showed increased activity. All varieties showed a continuous increase in amylase synthesis until the 3rd and/or 4th day after germination. Some varieties maintained high amylase activity until the last day of germination, while others showed a decrease in activity on the 5th or 6th day. No specific band increased or decreased its intensity independently of the others. A total of 14 loci were detected, out of which only one locus was polymorphic, indicating very low structural genetic variability, with only 2.8% polymorphic loci, an average of 1.04 alleles per loci, and an average expected heterozygosity of only 0.7%. The mean intra-variety Jaccard similarity coefficient complement (1 - S J) was 0.009. The mean intra-variety difference based on regulatory differences was higher (1 - S J = 0.17) than that obtained based on structural differences, suggesting differential gene activation. Inter-variety differentiation also showed low structural variability, with 1 - S J = 0.026 and a Nei genetic distance (D) value of 0.0076, and a remarkable increase in divergence caused by differential gene activation (1 - S J = 0.34). These results indicate that regulatory polymorphism is the principal agent responsible for amylase variability in the barley varieties analyzed.
Abstract in English:The amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) assay is an efficient method for the identification of molecular markers, useful in the improvement of numerous crop species. Bulked Segregant Analysis (BSA) was used to identify AFLP markers associated with water-stress tolerance in barley, as this would permit rapid selection of water-stress tolerant genotypes in breeding programs. AFLP markers linked to water-stress tolerance was identified in two DNA pools (tolerant and sensitive), which were established using selected F2 individuals resulting from a cross between water-stress-tolerant and sensitive barley parental genotypes, based on their paraquat (PQ) tolerance, leaf size, and relative water content (RWC). All these three traits were previously shown to be associated with water-stress tolerance in segregating F2 progeny of the barley cross used in a previous study. AFLP analysis was then performed on these DNA pools, using 40 primer pairs to detect AFLP fragments that are present/absent, respectively, in the two pools and their parental lines. One separate AFLP fragment, which was present in the tolerant parent and in the tolerant bulk, but absent in the sensitive parent and in the sensitive bulk, was identified. Polymorphism of the AFLP marker was tested among tolerant and sensitive F2 individuals. The presence of this marker that is associated with water-stress tolerance will greatly enhance selection for paraquat and water-stress tolerant genotypes in future breeding programs.
Abstract in English:Mutations related to gene methG1 of Aspergillus nidulans were analyzed, in order to study a mathematical model for the determination of the mutation rate per nucleus per generation, in filamentous fungi. A replica plating technique was used to inoculate, in a single operation, 26 colonies of the strain, into Petri dishes containing culture medium, and the nine central colonies were analyzed for size and number of conidia in each colony. Using this technique, several central colonies were analyzed with regard to the appearance of mutation, and the number and type of reversions were determined for each colony. The frequencies obtained for each reversion were analyzed, in order to verify if their distribution was in accordance with that of Greenwood and Yule. The data obtained allowed us to conclude that, using the mathematical model studied, it is possible to determine the mutation rate per nucleus, per generation, in filamentous fungi.
Abstract in English:Vps33p is a member of the Sec1/munc18-like protein (SM protein) family involved in vesicular protein transport to the yeast vacuole. It is part of a high molecular weight complex which is required for homotypic vacuole fusion, and participates in Golgi-to-endosome and endosome-to-vacuole transport steps. Deletions in the vps33 gene result in severe vacuolar protein sorting and vacuolar morphology defects. We used a temperature sensitive (ts) vps33 deletion strain in a high copy plasmid suppressor approach to identify genes possibly acting along the same vesicular trafficking pathway(s) as Vps33p. While only the original VPS33 gene could restore the vacuolar enzyme sorting and vacuolar morphology defects, several suppressors of temperature sensitivity were found. Sequence analysis identified the ubiquitin-ligase Ufd4p as the only open reading frame (ORF) of two suppressor plasmids. Further suppressor candidates included the ubiquitin-processing protease Ubp10p and genes whose products are involved in more general stress responses. The result of this screening supports the emerging concept of a crosstalk between vesicular trafficking pathways and the ubiquitin/proteasome system of protein degradation.
Abstract in English:Pyrethroid lambda-cyhalothrin genotoxicity was evaluated using the micronucleus test in Rana catesbeiana tadpoles. The effects of concentration and exposure time on the micronuclei frequency were studied in blood smears obtained from tadpoles exposed to four concentrations (0.02, 0.1, 0.2 and 0.4 mg/L) of the compound for 24, 48, 72 and 96 h and 8, 15, 20 and 30 days. As a positive control, tadpoles were exposed to cyclophosphamide (5 mg/L). The micronucleated cell frequency was expressed per 1,000 cells. R. catesbeiana tadpoles exposed to increasing concentrations of lambda-cyhalothrin showed an increase in the micronuclei frequency in peripheral blood. Tadpoles exposed to cyclophosphamide (CP) also showed a significant increase in micronucleated erythrocytes which peaked after 15 days. These results suggest that R. catesbeiana tadpoles may provide a useful model for monitoring water pollution.