Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Genetics and Molecular Biology]]> vol. 43 num. 1 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[The future of plant biotechnology in a globalized and environmentally endangered world]]> Abstract This paper draws on the importance of science-based agriculture in order to throw light on the way scientific achievements are at the basis of modern civilization. An overview of literature on plant biotechnology innovations and the need to steer agriculture towards sustainability introduces a series of perspectives on how plant biotech can contribute to the major challenge of feeding our super population with enough nutritious food without further compromise of the environment. The paper argues that science alone will not solve problems. Three major forces - science, the economy and society - shape our modern world. There is a need for a new social contract to harmonize these forces. The deployment of the technologies must be done on the basis of ethical and moral values. <![CDATA[Identification of environmental and genetic factors that influence warfarin time in therapeutic range]]> Abstract Warfarin is an oral anticoagulant prescribed to prevent and treat thromboembolic disorders. It has a narrow therapeutic window and must have its effect controlled. Prothrombin test, expressed in INR value, is used for dose management. Time in therapeutic range (TTR) is an important outcome of quality control of anticoagulation therapy and is influenced by several factors. The aim of this study was to identify genetic, demographic, and clinical factors that can potentially influence TTR. In total,422 patients using warfarin were investigated. Glibenclamide co-medication and presence of CYP2C9*2 and/or *3 alleles were associated with higher TTR, while amiodarone, acetaminophen and verapamil co-medication were associated with lower TTR. Our data suggest that TTR is influenced by co-medication and genetic factors. Thus, individuals in use of glibenclamide may need a more careful monitoring and genetic testing (CYP2C9*2 and/or *3 alleles) may improve the anticoagulation management. In addition, in order to reach and maintain the INR in the target for a longer period, it is better to discuss dose adjustment in office instead of by telephone assessment. Other studies are needed to confirm these results and to find more variables that could contribute to this important parameter. <![CDATA[Underrated <em>Staphylococcus</em> species and their role in antimicrobial resistance spreading]]> Abstract The increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance has shed light on the interconnection between humans, animals, the environment, and their roles in the exchange and spreading of resistance genes. In this review, we present evidences that show that Staphylococcus species, usually referred to as harmless or opportunistic pathogens, represent a threat to human and animal health for acting as reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance genes. The capacity of genetic exchange between isolates of different sources and species of the Staphylococcus genus is discussed with emphasis on mobile genetic elements, the contribution of biofilm formation, and evidences obtained either experimentally or through genome analyses. We also discuss the involvement of CRISPR-Cas systems in the limitation of horizontal gene transfer and its suitability as a molecular clock to describe the history of genetic exchange between staphylococci. <![CDATA[Ecological setup, ploidy diversity, and reproductive biology of <em>Paspalum modestum</em>, a promising wetland forage grass from South America]]> Abstract With ever-rising demand for food, forage breeding for intensification of cattle production is also taking a leap. In South America, cattle production systems are displaced to marginal areas poorly exploited with cultivated pastures yet with high potential for growing stocking rates. This places the need for using native genetic resources to breed locally adapted plant genotypes that benefits from better forage quality, yield, and lesser threat to the local biodiversity. Paspalum modestum Mez is a grass species that produces quality forage and grows in marginal areas like estuaries and floodplains, suitable for introduction in breeding programs. In this study we characterize the species' reproductive biology and ecological preferences needed beforehand any improvement. P. modestum plants found in nature are commonly diploids, rarely triploids, and tetraploids. Chromosome associations during meiosis in polyploids indicate they are autopolyploids. While diploids are sexual self-sterile, analyses of embryology, gamete fertility and experimental crossings show tetraploids are self-compatible facultative apomicts, highly fertile and have a high proportion of sexuality compared to other apomictic species. Ecological niche analysis and species distribution modelling show mean annual temperature and precipitation as main ecological drivers and a wide geographical area of climatic suitability where P. modestum can grow and be exploited as a forage grass. Our study points to P. modestum as a native plant resource appropriate for breeding waterlogging tolerant ecotypes and genotypes of high biomass production adapted to low flow areas in the Subtropics of Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. <![CDATA[Identification of soybean <em>trans</em>-factors associated with plastid RNA editing sites]]> Abstract RNA editing is a posttranscriptional process that changes nucleotide sequences, among which cytosine-to-uracil by a deamination reaction can revert non-neutral codon mutations. Pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins comprise a family of RNA-binding proteins, with members acting as editing trans-factors that recognize specific RNA cis-elements and perform the deamination reaction. PPR proteins are classified into P and PLS subfamilies. In this work, we have designed RNA biotinylated probes based in soybean plastid RNA editing sites to perform trans-factor specific protein isolation. Soybean cis-elements from these three different RNA probes show differences in respect to other species. Pulldown samples were submitted to mass spectrometry for protein identification. Among detected proteins, five corresponded to PPR proteins. More than one PPR protein, with distinct functional domains, was pulled down with each one of the RNA probes. Comparison of the soybean PPR proteins to Arabidopsis allowed identification of the closest homologous. Differential gene expression analysis demonstrated that the PPR locus Glyma.02G174500 doubled its expression under salt stress, which correlates with the increase of its potential rps14 editing. The present study represents the first identification of RNA editing trans-factors in soybean. Data also indicated that potential multiple trans-factors should interact with RNA cis-elements to perform the RNA editing.