85 research outputs found

    Consistent errors in first strand cDNA due to random hexamer mispriming

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    Abstract Priming of random hexamers in cDNA synthesis is known to show sequence bias, but in addition it has been suggested recently that mismatches in random hexamer priming could be a cause of mismatches between the original RNA fragment and observed sequence reads. To explore random hexamer mispriming as a potential source of these errors, we analyzed two independently generated RNA-seq datasets of synthetic ERCC spikes for which the reference is known. First strand cDNA synthesized by random hexamer priming on RNA showed consistent position and nucleotide-specific mismatch errors in the first seven nucleotides. The mismatch errors found in both datasets are consistent in distribution and thermodynamically stable mismatches are more common. This strongly indicates that RNA-DNA mispriming of specific random hexamers causes these errors. Due to their consistency and specificity, mispriming errors can have profound implications for downstream applications if not dealt with properly

    Transgenerational Effects and Epigenetic Memory in the Clonal Plant Trifolium repens

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    Transgenerational effects (TGE) can modify phenotypes of offspring generations playing thus a potentially important role in ecology and evolution of many plant species. These effects have been studied mostly across generations of sexually reproducing species. A substantial proportion of plant species are however reproducing asexually, for instance via clonal growth. TGE are thought to be enabled by heritable epigenetic modification of DNA, although unambiguous evidence is still scarce. On the clonal herb white clover (Trifolium repens), we tested the generality of clonal TGE across five genotypes and five parental environments including soil contamination and above-ground competition. Moreover, by genome wide-methylation variation analysis we explored the role of drought, one of the parental environments that triggered the strongest TGE. We tested the induction of epigenetic changes in offspring generations using several intensities and durations of drought stress. We found that TGE of different environments were highly genotype specific and all tested environments triggered TGE at least in some genotypes. In addition, parental drought stresses triggered epigenetic change in T. repens and most of the induced epigenetic change was maintained across several clonal offspring generations. We conclude that TGE are common and genotype specific in clonal plant T. repens and potentially under epigenetic control

    Small RNAs Reflect Grandparental Environments in Apomictic Dandelion

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    Plants can show long-term effects of environmental stresses and in some cases a stress “memory” has been reported to persist across generations, potentially mediated by epigenetic mechanisms. However, few documented cases exist of transgenerational effects that persist for multiple generations and it remains unclear if or how epigenetic mechanisms are involved. Here, we show that the composition of small regulatory RNAs in apomictic dandelion lineages reveals a footprint of drought stress and salicylic acid treatment experienced two generations ago. Overall proportions of 21 and 24 nt RNA pools were shifted due to grandparental treatments. While individual genes did not show strong up- or downregulation of associated sRNAs, the subset of genes that showed the strongest shifts in sRNA abundance was significantly enriched for several GO terms including stress-specific functions. This suggests that a stress-induced signal was transmitted across multiple unexposed generations leading to persistent changes in epigenetic gene regulation

    Chytrid epidemics may increase genetic diversity of a diatom spring-bloom

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    Contrary to expectation, populations of clonal organisms are often genetically highly diverse. In phytoplankton, this diversity is maintained throughout periods of high population growth (that is, blooms), even though competitive exclusion among genotypes should hypothetically lead to the dominance of a few superior genotypes. Genotype-specific parasitism may be one mechanism that helps maintain such high-genotypic diversity of clonal organisms. Here, we present a comparison of population genetic similarity by estimating the beta-dispersion among genotypes of early and peak bloom populations of the diatom Asterionella formosa for three spring-blooms under high or low parasite pressure. The Asterionella population showed greater beta-dispersion at peak bloom than early bloom in the 2 years with high parasite pressure, whereas the within group dispersion did not change under low parasite pressure. Our findings support that high prevalence parasitism can promote genetic diversification of natural populations of clonal hosts

    Disturbance of Glucose Homeostasis After Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

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    This study aimed to evaluate the time course of perioperative blood glucose levels of children undergoing cardiac surgery for congenital heart disease in relation to endogenous stress hormones, inflammatory mediators, and exogenous factors such as caloric intake and glucocorticoid use. The study prospectively included 49 children undergoing cardiac surgery. Blood glucose levels, hormonal alterations, and inflammatory responses were investigated before and at the end of surgery, then 12 and 24 h afterward. In general, blood glucose levels were highest at the end of surgery. Hyperglycemia, defined as a glucose level higher than 8.3 mmol/l (>150 mg/dl) was present in 52% of the children at the end of surgery. Spontaneous normalization of blood glucose occurred in 94% of the children within 24 h. During surgery, glucocorticoids were administered to 65% of the children, and this was the main factor associated with hyperglycemia at the end of surgery (determined by univariate analysis of variance). Hyperglycemia disappeared spontaneously without insulin therapy after 12–24 h for the majority of the children. Postoperative morbidity was low in the study group, so the presumed positive effects of glucocorticoids seemed to outweigh the adverse effects of iatrogenic hyperglycemia

    Epistasis: Obstacle or Advantage for Mapping Complex Traits?

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    Identification of genetic loci in complex traits has focused largely on one-dimensional genome scans to search for associations between single markers and the phenotype. There is mounting evidence that locus interactions, or epistasis, are a crucial component of the genetic architecture of biologically relevant traits. However, epistasis is often viewed as a nuisance factor that reduces power for locus detection. Counter to expectations, recent work shows that fitting full models, instead of testing marker main effect and interaction components separately, in exhaustive multi-locus genome scans can have higher power to detect loci when epistasis is present than single-locus scans, and improvement that comes despite a much larger multiple testing alpha-adjustment in such searches. We demonstrate, both theoretically and via simulation, that the expected power to detect loci when fitting full models is often larger when these loci act epistatically than when they act additively. Additionally, we show that the power for single locus detection may be improved in cases of epistasis compared to the additive model. Our exploration of a two step model selection procedure shows that identifying the true model is difficult. However, this difficulty is certainly not exacerbated by the presence of epistasis, on the contrary, in some cases the presence of epistasis can aid in model selection. The impact of allele frequencies on both power and model selection is dramatic

    Abstracts from the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Meeting 2016

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    Data from: Range expansion in asexual dandelions: selection for general-purpose genotypes?

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    Phenotypic plasticity and broad ecological tolerance are hypothesized as important traits in the range expansion of asexual species, because individual asexual lineages have to face spatial and temporal environmental variation with limited opportunity for genetic adaptation. The hypothesis that asexual lineages are general-purpose genotypes (GPG) has been previously tested, with mixed results, in species that have both sexual and asexual variants. Such comparisons can be confounded with intra-specific ploidy level differences that are often observed between the two reproductive types. Avoiding the confounding effects of ploidy differences, we test whether northward range expansion selects for a GPG strategy in asexual lineages of the common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), a species that shows geographic parthenogenesis. We compared the biomass of asexual lineages that were collected along a geographic transect from close to the asexuals’ area of origin (central Europe, where asexuals descend from sexual ancestors in mixed populations) towards their northern distribution edge (Northern Europe, where only asexual lineages occur) in three different experimental environments: optimal, drought and shaded conditions. The geometric mean performance across test environments did not differ significantly between plants from different regions along the transect. However, southern lineages typically showed larger differences in biomass between different test environments, mainly caused by a relatively high performance in the optimal environment. Northern and mid-latitude lineages showed more even performance across the different environments. Synthesis. Our results suggest that phenotypic plasticity is important in the asexual range expansion of Taraxacum officinale and that range shifting in this species is accompanied by a change in phenotypic plasticity strategy from lineages with high ability to increase biomass in optimal growing conditions (master-of-some strategy) to lineages that maintain more constant performance in different environments (GPG or jack-of-all-trades strategy) from core to range edge