Abstract in English:We examined the cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) gene TaqI intron 1 B1/B2 polymorphism and the -629A/C CETP promoter polymorphism in respect to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) in a healthy Iranian population taken from the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study (TLGS). The relationship between CETP activity and HDL-C level was also determined along with body mass index, blood pressure and tobacco smoking status. PCR-RFLP used to amplify a segment of the CETP intron 1 TaqI (B2/B1) polymorphism from 1021 individuals and we selected 345 individuals from the lowest, middle and highest HDL-C deciles and investigated the -629A/C polymorphism. We also evaluated the CETP activity of 103 of these individuals, each with at least one homozygous allele. The presence of the TaqI B2 and -629A/C A alleles were significantly associated with increased HDL-C levels (B2B2 = 1.19 ± 0.31 mmolL-1 vs. B1B1 = 1.01 ± 0.2 mmol L-1 for p < 0.001; AA = 1.15 ± 0.41 mmol L-1 vs. CC = 0.95 ± 0.28 mmol L-1 for p < 0.001) and decreased the CETP activity (B1B1 = 67.8 ± 8.9 pmol L-1 vs. B2B2 = 62.6 ± 9.6 pmol L-1 for p < 0.01; CC = 68.6 ± 8.4 pmol L-1 vs. AA = 62.7 ± 9.7 pmol L-1 for p < 0.002). The frequencies were 0.382 for the TaqI B2 allele and 0.462 for the -629A/C A allele, with linkage disequilibrium analysis giving D = 0.0965 and D' = 0.4695. We demonstrated that the TaqI B1 and B2 alleles and the -629A/C A and C alleles were in linkage disequilibrium in our population and that there was a significant association between the B2 and A alleles and high HDL-C levels and low CETP activity. Linkage disequilibrium between the TaqI A and B2 alleles also detected.
Abstract in English:Fragile X syndrome is the most frequent cause of inherited mental retardation. The phenotype in this syndrome is quite variable and less conspicuous in younger patients, making clinical diagnosis difficult and thus making molecular diagnosis necessary. The use of clinical checklists in mentally retarded individuals can help selecting patients to be given priority in the molecular investigation for the fragile-X mutation in the FMR1 gene. We evaluated two clinical checklists in a sample of 200 Brazilian male patients with mental retardation. The highest scores in the two checklists concentrated among the 19 males (9.5%) found to carry full mutations. Our results confirm the importance of fragile-X checklists as a clinical tool in the study of mentally retarded patients.
Abstract in English:Acute intermittent porphyria (AIP, OMIM 176000) is an autosomal dominant metabolic disease caused by mutations in the gene encoding hydroxymethylbilane synthase (HMBS; EC 22.214.171.124; formely named porphobilinogen deaminase, PBGD), mapped to chromosome 11q23.3. We describe a novel mutation of the HMBS gene, a de novo 3-base deletion in the splicing donor site of intron 3 (IVS3+2_4delTGG) in a woman affected by AIP. RT-PCR analysis revealed an abnormal HMBS mRNA, compatible with exon 3 skipping.
Abstract in English:Previous research using microdensitometric scanning and computer graphic image analysis showed that T-banded segments of human metaphase chromosomes usually exhibit an asymmetrical distribution of high density (HD) chromatin between sister chromatids. Here, we employed the same methods to analyze HD chromatin distribution at opposite ends of T-banded human lymphocyte chromosomes. This study revealed that in most chromosomes with an asymmetrical distribution of HD chromatin at both ends, the highest densities of each arm were located in opposite chromatids. The frequency of this configuration was 0.792 per chromosome, indicating that the highest chromatin densities of the terminal segments of T-banded human chromosomes were non-randomly distributed at opposite chromosome arms. The possible relationship of this observation to the mode of replication of the terminal chromosome region is briefly discussed.
Abstract in English:We sampled 119 Nelore cattle (Bos indicus), 69 harboring B. indicus mtDNA plus 50 carrying Bos taurus mtDNA, to estimate the frequencies of putative mtDNA single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and investigate their association with Nelore weight and scrotal circumference estimated breeding values (EBVs). The PCR restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method was used to detect polymorphisms in the mitochondrial asparagine, cysteine, glycine, leucine and proline transporter RNA (tRNA) genes (tRNAasn, tRNAcys, tRNAgly, tRNAleu and tRNApro). The 50 cattle carrying B. taurus mtDNA were monomorphic for all the tRNA gene SNPs analyzed, suggesting that they are specific to mtDNA from B. indicus cattle. No tRNAcys or tRNAgly polymorphisms were detected in any of the cattle but we did detect polymorphic SNPs in the tRNAasn, tRNAleu and tRNApro genes in the cattle harboring B. indicus mtDNA, with the same allele observed in the B. taurus sequence being present in the following percentage of cattle harboring B. indicus mtDNA: 72.46% for tRNAasn, 95.23% for tRNAleu and 90.62% for tRNApro. Analyses of variance using the tRNAasn SNP as the independent variable and EBVs as the dependent variable showed that the G -> T SNP was significantly associated (p < 0.05) with maternal EBVs for weight at 120 and 210 days (p < 0.05) and animal's EBVs for weight at 210, 365 and 455 days. There was no association of the tRNAasn SNP with the scrotal circumference EBVs. These results confirm that mtDNA can affect weight and that mtDNA polymorphisms can be a source of genetic variation for quantitative traits.
Abstract in English:The activity of the calpains/calpastatin proteolytic system is closely related to the postmortem tenderization of meat. We investigated the association between beef tenderness and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers on the CAPN1 gene (SNP316, alleles C/G; SNP530 alleles A/G) and the CAST gene 3' untranslated region (SNP2870, alleles A/G). We sampled nine slaughter groups comprising 313 steers which had been reared in beef production systems in Argentina between 2002 and 2004 from crosses between Angus, Hereford and Limousin cattle. Minor allele frequencies for the markers were 0.27 to 0.46 (C), 0.02 to 0.18 (A), and 0.24 to 0.53 (A), respectively. The presence of CAPN1 markers had significant effects on meat shear force but no detectable effects were demonstrated for the CAST marker. The shear force of meat from steers with the SNP316 CC genotype was 11% lower than for the SNP316 CG genotype and 17% lower than for the SNP316 GG genotype. There were very few steers with the SNP530 AA genotype and, contrary to previous studies, meat from steers with the SNP530 GG genotype showed an 11.5% higher shear force than that from steers with the SNP530 GA genotype. Final body weight, carcass weight and rib eye area were not affected by any of the markers. These results support the concept that CAPN1 variants are associated with tenderness across a wide range of beef production systems.
Abstract in English:Heritabilities and genetic correlations in a Canchim beef cattle herd were estimated using data on the following traits: male scrotal circumference at twelve months (SC12); days to first calving (DFC) for heifers; days to calving (DC) for cows; male and female weight (W) at twelve months (W12); heifer weight at the start of the first breeding season (WFBS) and at first calving (WFC); and cow weight at the start of the breeding season (WBS) and at calving (WC). Analyses of the DFC and DC traits were carried out excluding and including penalized (DFC P and DC P) non-calving females. The restricted maximum likelihood method was used, applying one-trait models for the DFC and DC analyses and two-trait models for analyses of DFC and DC combined with the other traits studied. Statistical models included fixed and additive direct random effects for all traits, maternal permanent environmental random effect for SC12 and W12, and the animal permanent environmental random effect for DC P, WBS and WC. We found that DFC and DC values can be improved by selecting for an increase in the SC12. Genetic correlations between DFC and W12 and between DC and W12 indicated that selection for increased W12 may increase DFC but does not produce significantly correlated responses in DC. Associations of the other body weight traits with DC and DFC suggest that heavier females experience lower reproductive performance.
Abstract in English:Brazilian poultry industry has reached a high level of development in both meat and egg production as a result of constant technological modernization. Further improvements can be achieved through genomics, but before this can be accomplished, a better understanding of gene expression profiles and nucleotide polymorphisms is necessary. Since animal physiology is directly or indirectly controlled by the pituitary and hypothalamus, the aim of the present work was to identify and analyze genes expressed in these tissues in chicken lines with different growth potential. Two pituitary and hypothalamus cDNA libraries from 21 day broiler (TT) and layer (CC) chickens lines were constructed and allowed identification of 3,074 unique sequences and 77 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The collection of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and SNPs identified in this study represents an important resource for future studies aimed at identifying genes responsible for growth in chicken.
Abstract in English:The species of Anastrepha are arranged into 17 intrageneric groups. Recently, it was proposed that two species of the striata group, Anastrepha striata and A. bistrigata, might be realocated to serpentina group. Anastrepha bistrigata and A. serpentina have an X1X2Y/X1X1 X2X2 sex chromosome system while A. striata has a XY/XX system. It was previously proposed that the karyotype of A. bistrigata could be derived from that of A. striata by an Y:A fusion, and that the karyotype of A. serpentina would be derived from another, hypothetical karyotype. In the present report sequential staining with DAPI and chromomycin A3 (CMA3), followed by C-banding, revealed that the C-banded heterochromatic blocks of the sex chromosomes of A. bistrigata have different affinities to fluorochromes in comparison to the chromosomes of A. striata, from which they have hypothetically derived. The chromosomes of A. serpentina show substantial differences in their cytochemical properties compared to their A. bistrigata and A. striata counterparts. The FISH technique showed that the ribosomal gene sequences are located in DAPI- or DAPI/CMA3-positive heterochromatic blocks of the sex chromosomes, one site on the Y chromosome and one site on the X chromosome (X1 in A. bistrigata and A. serpentina). The data suggest that the karyotype of A. striata and A. bistrigata could be derived from a common ancestral karyotype, while the A. serpentina karyotype probably has a distinct origin.
Abstract in English:An alpha actin gene segment, isolated from Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), was characterized by nucleotide sequencing, predicted amino acid sequence and Southern blot hybridization. Genomic DNA amplification resulted in a 1063-bp fragment corresponding to a partial alpha-cardiac muscle actin gene containing exons 3 to 6. Southern blot analysis of the restriction-digested DNA revealed that the Nile tilapia genome contains multiple muscle actin isoforms. Although comparison of the nucleotide sequence, amino acid residues and exon-intron organization of the isolated actin gene with those of other vertebrates showed a high level of identity, diagnostic amino acid residues can still be correlated to distinct actin genes in fish species.
Abstract in English:The giant otter, Pteronura brasiliensis Zimmermann 1780 (Carnivora, Mustelidae, Lutrinae), was widely distributed in South America but stable populations are now only found in the Pantanal and Amazon regions and the species is classified as endangered. There is only one recognized species of giant otter, although two subspecies of doubtful value have also been cited in the literature. We present the first karyotype of four captive P. brasiliensis specimens, all of which posses 2n = 38 chromosomes as 14M+8SM+6ST+8A and one pair of sexual chromosomes. An heteromorphic secondary constriction, associated with the nucleolar organizer region (NOR), was seen on the long arms of chromosome pair 17. The C-banding technique revealed heterochromatin in the centromeric region of all the chromosomes and the NOR was C-banding positive. The giant otter presented the same diploid number as most mustelids, although its karyotype is quite species-specific.
Abstract in English:The positional candidate diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase (DGAT1) gene affecting milk fat percentage is reported in Indian buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis). A comparison with Chinese buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) revealed eight exonic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), five of which were non-synonymous. A total of 19 SNPs were observed among diverse buffalo breeds in India. A Unique 22 base insertion has been reported in the intron between exon ten and eleven.
Abstract in English:Various population sizes and number of markers have been used to obtain genetic maps. However, the precise number of individuals and markers needed for obtaining reliable maps is not known. We used data simulation to determine the influence of population size, the effect of the degree of marker saturation of the genome, and the number of individuals required for mapping of recombinant inbred lines (RILs). Three genomes with 11 linkage groups were generated with saturation levels of 5, 10 and 20 cM. For each saturation level populations were generated with 50, 100, 154, 200, 300, 500 and 800 individuals with 100 replications for each population size. A total of 2100 populations was generated and mapped. Small marker numbers and small population sizes produced maps with more than 11 linkage groups. As population size and marker saturation increased, marker inversion and non-linked markers decreased, moreover, between-marker distance estimates were improved. In this study, a minimum size of 200, 300 and 500 individuals were necessary for obtaining reliable maps when they were evaluated over the saturation levels of 5, 10 and 20 cM, respectively.
Abstract in English:Microsatellite polymorphism was studied in a sample of 39 traditional rice (Oryza sativa L.) varieties and 11 improved varieties widely planted in Cuba. The study was aimed at assessing the extent of genetic variation in traditional and improved varieties and to establish their genetic relationship for breeding purposes. Heterozygosity was analyzed at each microsatellite loci and for each genotype using 10 microsatellite primer pairs. Between varieties genetic relationship was estimated. The number of alleles per microsatellite loci was 4 to 8, averaging 6.6 alleles per locus. Higher heterozygosity (H) was found in traditional varieties (H TV = 0.72) than in improved varieties (H IV = 0.42), and 68% of the total microsatellite alleles were found exclusively in the traditional varieties. Genetic diversity, represented by cluster analysis, indicated three different genetic groups based on their origin. Genetic relationship estimates based on the proportion of microsatellite loci with shared alleles indicated that the majority of traditional varieties were poorly related to the improved varieties. We also discuss the more efficient use of the available genetic diversity in future programs involving genetic crosses.
Abstract in English:Six species of Trifolium (T. polymorphum Poir., T. riograndense Burkart, T. argentinense Speg., T. medium L., T. pratense L. and T. repens L.) were analyzed using inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSR) markers. Six selected primers generated 186 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products exploring 112 loci in 34 genotypes analyzed with molecular sizes ranging from 200 to 1300 bp. These primers were able to discriminate among and within species, with the PCR products being on average 41.6% species-specific and 59.9% polymorphic at the within species level. Nuclear DNA content was determined by flow cytometry and revealed variation among species. The 1Cx genome size values were calculated and were found to range from 0.46 pg (T. pratense) to 0.96 pg (T. polymorphum). Genome size values of South American species were higher than those of Eurasiatic origin. The analyses of the molecular data grouped the six species in agreement with their geographical origin and clearly differentiate T. polymorphum from T. argentinense. The Eurasiatic group showed the highest average of species-specific bands (45.3%) and the South American group exhibited the highest amount of total bands (59.7). The highest level of intra-species polymorphisms was detected in T. argentinense (92.9%), followed by T. medium (89.5%).
Abstract in English:The utility of microsatellites (SSRs) in reconstructing phylogenies is largely confined to studies below the genus level, due to the potential of homoplasy resulting from allele size range constraints and poor SSR transferability among divergent taxa. The eucalypt genus Corymbia has been shown to be monophyletic using morphological characters, however, analyses of intergenic spacer sequences have resulted in contradictory hypotheses- showing the genus as either equivocal or paraphyletic. To assess SSR utility in higher order phylogeny in the family Myrtaceae, phylogenetic relationships of the bloodwood eucalypts Corymbia and related genera were investigated using eight polymorphic SSRs. Repeat size variation using the average square and Nei's distance were congruent and showed Corymbia to be a monophyletic group, supporting morphological characters and a recent combination of the internal and external transcribed spacers dataset. SSRs are selectively neutral and provide data at multiple genomic regions, thus may explain why SSRs retained informative phylogenetic signals despite deep divergences. We show that where the problems of size-range constraints, high mutation rates and size homoplasy are addressed, SSRs might resolve problematic phylogenies of taxa that have diverged for as long as three million generations or 30 million years.
Abstract in English:We analyzed the frequency of chromosomal aberrations in peripheral lymphocytes from underground miners from the Casapalca (n = 8, mean age = 45 y, range = 36 y to 55 y) and Bellavista (n = 8, mean age = 28 y, range 23 y to 34 y) high-altitude mining camps in the Peruvian Andes. This population was occupationally exposed to heavy metals such as lead and zinc as well as diesel emission particles, organic solvents and mine dust. The control groups consisted of individuals from a high altitude farming community in the Peruvian village of Tinco (n = 8, mean age = 37 y, range = 25 y to 52 y) and the sea level city of Lima (n = 14, mean age = 26 y, range = 20 y to 35 y). All individuals were male native Peruvians. A significantly higher incidence (1.88%, p < 0.05) of chromosomal aberrations (chromatid deletions and breaks, chromosome breaks and acentric fragments) were detected in lymphocytes from miners at the Casapalca camp as compared to miners from the Bellavista camp (0.5%, chromatid deletions and acentric fragments only) and the Lima sea level (0.07%, chromatid deletions only) and Tinco high altitude (no aberrations) controls. These results suggest that male native Peruvians occupationally exposed to underground mining activity have an increased frequency of chromosomal aberrations, which could be related to both age and exposure time. The increased chromosomal damage observed in the mining populations studied may be attributable to the complex mixture of genotoxic agents to which the miners may have been exposed.
Abstract in English:The mouse (Mus musculus) bone marrow micronucleus test was carried out using 24 outbred National Institutes of Health (NIH) mice, 24 inbred Swiss Webster (CFW) mice and 20 inbred Bagg albino/color locus Jackson (BALB/cJ) mice. The mice in the experimental group (n = 32) were injected intraperitoneally with 133 mg kg-1 of metronidazole parenteral solution and the control group consisted of mice (n = 36) which had not been injected with metronidazole. There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) between the sexes regarding the micronucleus frequency in either the experimental or the control group. When the Mn frequencies of the three strains were compared, the results for the CFW and BALB/cJ strains did not differ statistically (p > 0.05) for either the experimental or control groups but there were significant (p < 0.05) differences between the CFW and NIH strains and the NIH and BALB/cJ strains for the experimental and control groups, with the NIH strain always showing the highest micronucleus frequency. Our results also show that metronidazole was possible genotoxic agent because it produced a significant increase (p < 0.05) in the micronucleus frequency of the experimental group as compared to the control group for all the three mouse strains tested.
Abstract in English:Thyroid hormones stimulate aerobic metabolism which may lead to oxidative stress accompanied by damage to various cellular macromolecules, including DNA. Previous comet assay studies have shown that thyroid hormones cause DNA damage due to the creation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, cytogenetic studies have been equivocal because although an increase in the sister-chromatid exchange frequency per cell has been reported increased micronuclei frequency has not. We used cytogenetic examination of chromosome breakage and aberrations in whole-blood cultures of human peripheral blood lymphocytes to investigate possible clastogenic effects when lymphocytes were exposed to 0.002 µM to 50 µM of L-thyroxine for 24 h and 48 h, these concentrations being chosen because they had been used in previous studies of sister-chromatid exchange and micronuclei frequency. Under our experimental conditions thyroxine did not induced any statistically significant increase in chromosome breakage or aberrations. This lack of clastogenic effects is in contrast to the reported comet assay results obtained using purified lymphocytes, possibly because whole-blood cultures contain catalase and glutathione peroxidase capable of reducing the effects of reactive oxygen species.
Abstract in English:Resistance of beef cattle heifers to the cattle tick Boophilus microplus was evaluated by artificial infestation of 66 beef cattle heifers of the following genetic groups: 16 Nelore (NE), 18 Canchim x Nelore (CN), 16 Angus x Nelore (AN) and 16 Simmental x Nelore (SN). The animals, with a mean age of 16.5 months, were maintained with no chemical tick control in a Brachiaria decumbens pasture. Four artificial infestations with 20,000 B. microplus larvae were carried out 14 days apart and from day 18 to day 22 of each infestation the number of engorged female ticks (> 4.5 mm) was counted on the left side of each heifer. Data were analyzed as the percentage of return (PR = percentage of ticks counted relative to the number infested), transformed to (PR)¼, and as log10 (Cij + 1), in which Cij is the number of ticks in each infestation, using the least squares method with a model that included the effects of genetic group (GG), animal within GG (error a), infestation number (I), GG x I and the residual (error b). Results indicated a significant GG x I interaction, because AN and SN heifers had a higher percentage of return than CN and NE heifers, while CN heifers showed a higher percentage of return than the NE heifers only in infestations 3 and 4. Transformed percentages of return were NE = 0.35 ± 0.06, AN = 0.89 ± 0.06, CN = 0.54 ± 0.05 and SN = 0.85 ± 0.06.
Abstract in English:The culture of the marine shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei has recently boosted the Brazilian shrimp industry. However, it is well known that selection methods based solely on phenotypic characteristics, a reduced number of breeders and the practice of inbreeding may promote a significant raise in the genetic similarity of the captive populations, leading to greater disease susceptibility and impairing both the growth and final size of the shrimps. We used four microsatellite loci to investigate genetic variation in three generations (F5, F6 and F7) of a closed and reared L. vannamei lineage. Although an accentuated heterozygosis deficit was detected, we also observed that the captive propagation of this lineage did not lead to a significant loss of genetic variability over the three generations studied. One possible reason for this is that the breeding conditions of this lineage were good enough to prevent any significant loss of genetic variability. However, three generations may have been insufficient to produce detectable changes in genetic frequencies in the loci studied. Alternatively, the microsatellite loci may have been non-neutral (biased) and related to the conditions in which the shrimps were kept, resulting in a similar allele pool in respect to these four microsatellites over the three generations studied. Any generalizations regarding microsatellite variation in closed shrimp lines may thus be incomplete and should be carefully analyzed.
Abstract in English:This study reports on 156 specimens of the amphibian Eupemphix nattereri, a widely distributed leiuperid, obtained from 11 municipalities of central Brazil. The extent of genetic variation was quantified by determining the mean number of alleles per locus and the proportion of polymorphic loci. An analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) was performed on the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) haplotypes. The genetic distances obtained by calculating pairwise phist among local samples were used to determine population relationships using the unweighted pair-group method (UPGMA) and non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS). The cophenetic correlation was calculated to confirm agreement between the genetic matrix and the unweighted pair group method with averages (UPGMA) dendrogram. To determine if genetic distances were correlated to geographical distances we constructed pairwise genetic distance and geographical distance matrices and compared them using the Mantel test. The AMOVA results indicated significant genetic differences (p < 0.001) between E. nattereri populations, representing 69.5% of the within population genetic diversity. The Mantel test showed no significant correlation (r = 0.03; p = 0.45) between the genetic and geographical distance matrices. Our findings indicate that the genetic variation of E. nattereri populations was randomly distributed in geographic space and that gene flow for this species is probably structured at spatial scales smaller than those between our samples
Abstract in English:Polytene chromosomes banding patterns of ten of the 16 species of the Neotropical annulimana group of Drosophila were used to propose phylogenetic relationships among species. Drosophila annulimana chromosomes were used as the standard sequence and the most parsimonious series of changes (paracentric inversions) were considered. In some cases, intermediate hypothetical rearrangements were proposed to explain the sequences present in a given species. A total of 47 paracentric inversions were detected, most of them (44.7%) in chromosome 4. Three subgroups, partially coincident with those previously proposed based on morphological and karyotypical analyses, were classified as: 1) annulimana subgroup (Drosophila annulimana, D. aracataca, D. aragua, and D. arauna), 2) gibberosa subgroup (D. ararama, D. gibberosa, D. pseudotalamancana, and D. schineri), and 3) arassari subgroup (D. arapuan, and D. arassari).
Abstract in English:Museum collections have been widely used as sources of biological samples for molecular biology studies and there are several methodologies and techniques to obtain and analyze DNA from tissues archived in museums, but most of these protocols have been developed for a specific tissue or are commercial kits. We present a simple protocol for extracting and amplifying DNA segments from sloth museum specimens. With this simple protocol we analyzed DNA fragments from 64% of 64 skin samples from three-toed sloths (Bradypus variegatus and Bradypus tridactylus) archived in three different museums: 43 samples from the University of São Paulo Museum of Zoology (Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo, MUZUSP) São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; 18 samples from the Emílio Goeldi Museum (Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi, MPEG), Belém, Pará, Brazil; and 3 samples from the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ) University of California, Berkeley, USA. The specimens sampled ranged in age from 18 to 108 years old. Our methodology allowed the recovery of up to 700 bp of mitochondrial DNA and 400 bp of nuclear genes. Thereafter, it is useful for genetic diversity studies of three-toed sloths and could be applied to other animals.
Abstract in English:We tested the zinc-finger sex chromosome-linked genes Zfx/Zfy and the sex-determining region Y (Sry) genes for gender determination of biopsy samples from marine and riverine tucuxi dolphins (Sotalia guianensis and S. fluviatilis). We also evaluated the performance of these genes with decomposed carcasses, for which sexing cannot rely on the direct examination of the reproductive tract. Both systems proved reliable for sexing 46 fresh and decomposed samples, making them especially useful when biopsy darting is coupled with photo-identification studies.
Abstract in English:The doublesex/male abnormal 3 (dsx/mab-3 or DM) domain gene family involved in sexual development encodes putative transcription factors including a DNA-binding homology motif, the DM domain. We used highly degenerate primers to clone and sequence seven distinct DM related transcription factor (Dmrt) genes from the Asian toad (Bufo gargarizans Cantor, 1842). A database search for the cloned sequences revealed the following percentage identity with the homologous Dmrt genes of the human: BgDmrt1 = 97%, BgDmrt2 = 97%, three isoforms of BgDmrt3 (BgDmrt3a = 93%, BgDmrt3b = 95%, BgDmrt3c = 100%) and two isoforms of BgDmrt5 (BgDmrt5 = 97%, BgDmrt5 = 91%). Based on DM domain amino acid sequence similarities we constructed a phylogenetic tree which grouped vertebrate and invertebrate Dmrt genes into seven distinct subfamilies. The DM domains of both human and the newly-discovered Bufo gargarizans genes contained two conserved zinc-chelating sites (CCHC and HCCC), except BgDmrt3b, which contained the CCRC and HCCC sites.
Abstract in English:We performed an in silico analysis of all microsatellites so far described for penaeid shrimp and for which the polymorphic behavior has previously been analyzed. The objective of the study was to evaluate the structural characteristics of these microsatellites and identifying patterns which allow the characterization of the nature of these sequences in the penaeid genome. All data were compiled in a free-access database specially constructed for this study. Three hundred non-mononucleotide polymorphic microsatellite loci described for 12 shrimp species belonging to the family Penaeidae were analyzed and simple and compound microsatellites with di-, tri-, tetra-, penta- and hexanucleotide motifs were found. Dinucleotides and trinucleotides were the most frequent motifs among both the simple and the compound microsatellites. Although a certain bias related to different microsatellite isolation methodology could not be discarded, it is possible that part of this microsatellite abundance reflects some degree of conservation of microsatellite motifs among the different species. There was a pronounced motif variability within and between species, indicating high differentiation dynamism of these repetitions in this animal group. This study not only sheds light on the structure of the microsatellites present in the penaeid shrimp genome but also resulted in the free-access Penaeid Shrimp Microsatellite Database (available at http://www.shrimp.ufscar.br) which may be very useful for optimizing the use of these microsatellites.
Abstract in English:The fruit flies Drosophila mulleri and Drosophila navojoa are included in the mulleri complex of the mulleri subgroup and Repleta group. Although there is no demonstration that interspecific crosses between them occur in nature, they intercross in the laboratory in both cross directions. Previous data have shown the occurrence of nucleolar dominance in interspecific hybrids of some species in the mulleri complex. We investigated nucleolar dominance in D. mulleri/D. navojoa hybrids using the transcription profiles of the rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1) region. The results showed that the ribosomal cistrons present in the X chromosome and in the microchromosome of D. navojoa are exclusively or preferentially transcribed in these hybrids depending on the cross direction, denoting the complete or partial nucleolar dominance of this species over D. mulleri.
Abstract in English:The CCCTC - binding factor (CTCF) is a protein involved in repression, activation, hormone-inducible gene silencing, functional reading of imprinted genes and X-chromosome inactivation. We analyzed CTCF gene expression in bovine peripheral blood, oocytes and in different cellular stages (2-4 cells, 8-16 cells, 16-32 cells, morulae, and blastocysts) of in vitro fertilized embryos. This is the first report of CTCF expression in oocytes and preimplantation bovine embryos and has implications for the production of embryonic stem cells and the development of novel medical technologies for humans.
Abstract in English:The RNA interference (RNAi) technique is a recent technology that uses double-stranded RNA molecules to promote potent and specific gene silencing. The application of this technique to molecular biology has increased considerably, from gene function identification to disease treatment. However, not all small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are equally efficient, making target selection an essential procedure. Here we present Strand Analysis (SA), a free online software tool able to identify and classify the best RNAi targets based on Gibbs free energy (deltaG). Furthermore, particular features of the software, such as the free energy landscape and deltaG gradient, may be used to shed light on RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) activity and RNAi mechanisms, which makes the SA software a distinct and innovative tool.