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See detailIdentification of candidate transmission-blocking antigen genes in Theileria annulata and related vector-borne apicomplexan parasites.
Lempereur, Laetitia ULg; Larcombe, Stephen; Durrani, Zeeshan et al

in BMC Genomics (2017), 18(1), 438

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See detailBioinformatic analyses in early host response to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus (PRRSV) reveals pathway differences between pigs with alternate genotypes for a major host response QTL
Schroyen, Martine ULg; Eisley, C.; Koltes, J. E. et al

in BMC Genomics (2016), 17(1),

Background: A region on Sus scrofa chromosome 4 (SSC4) surrounding single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) marker WUR10000125 (WUR) has been reported to be strongly associated with both weight gain and serum ... [more ▼]

Background: A region on Sus scrofa chromosome 4 (SSC4) surrounding single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) marker WUR10000125 (WUR) has been reported to be strongly associated with both weight gain and serum viremia in pigs after infection with PRRS virus (PRRSV). A proposed causal mutation in the guanylate binding protein 5 gene (GBP5) is predicted to truncate the encoded protein. To investigate transcriptional differences between WUR genotypes in early host response to PRRSV infection, an RNA-seq experiment was performed on globin depleted whole blood RNA collected on 0, 4, 7, 10 and 14 days post-infection (dpi) from eight littermate pairs with one AB (favorable) and one AA (unfavorable) WUR genotype animal per litter. Results: Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analysis of transcripts that were differentially expressed (DE) between dpi across both genotypes revealed an inflammatory response for all dpi when compared to day 0. However, at the early time points of 4 and 7dpi, several GO terms had higher enrichment scores compared to later dpi, including inflammatory response (p < 10-7), specifically regulation of NFkappaB (p < 0.01), cytokine, and chemokine activity (p < 0.01). At 10 and 14dpi, GO term enrichment indicated a switch to DNA damage response, cell cycle checkpoints, and DNA replication. Few transcripts were DE between WUR genotypes on individual dpi or averaged over all dpi, and little enrichment of any GO term was found. However, there were differences in expression patterns over time between AA and AB animals, which was confirmed by genotype-specific expression patterns of several modules that were identified in weighted gene co-expression network analyses (WGCNA). Minor differences between AA and AB animals were observed in immune response and DNA damage response (p = 0.64 and p = 0.11, respectively), but a significant effect between genotypes pointed to a difference in ion transport/homeostasis and the participation of G-coupled protein receptors (p = 8e-4), which was reinforced by results from regulatory and phenotypic impact factor analyses between genotypes. Conclusion: We propose these pathway differences between WUR genotypes are the result of the inability of the truncated GBP5 of the AA genotyped pigs to inhibit viral entry and replication as quickly as the intact GBP5 protein of the AB genotyped pigs. © 2016 Schroyen et al. [less ▲]

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See detailWhole blood microarray analysis of pigs showing extreme phenotypes after a porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus infection
Schroyen, Martine ULg; Steibel, J. P.; Koltes, J. E. et al

in BMC Genomics (2015), 16(1),

Background: The presence of variability in the response of pigs to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus (PRRSv) infection, and recent demonstration of significant genetic control of such ... [more ▼]

Background: The presence of variability in the response of pigs to Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus (PRRSv) infection, and recent demonstration of significant genetic control of such responses, leads us to believe that selection towards more disease resistant pigs could be a valid strategy to reduce its economic impact on the swine industry. To find underlying molecular differences in PRRS susceptible versus more resistant pigs, 100 animals with extremely different growth rates and viremia levels after PRRSv infection were selected from a total of 600 infected pigs. A microarray experiment was conducted on whole blood RNA samples taken at 0, 4 and 7 days post infection (dpi) from these pigs. From these data, we examined associations of gene expression with weight gain and viral load phenotypes. The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) marker WUR10000125 (WUR) on the porcine 60 K SNP chip was shown to be associated with viral load and weight gain after PRRSv infection, and so the effect of the WUR10000125 (WUR) genotype on expression in whole blood was also examined. Results: Limited information was obtained through linear modeling of blood gene differential expression (DE) that contrasted pigs with extreme phenotypes, for growth or viral load or between animals with different WUR genotype. However, using network-based approaches, molecular pathway differences between extreme phenotypic classes could be identified. Several gene clusters of interest were found when Weighted Gene Co-expression Network Analysis (WGCNA) was applied to 4dpi contrasted with 0dpi data. The expression pattern of one such cluster of genes correlated with weight gain and WUR genotype, contained numerous immune response genes such as cytokines, chemokines, interferon type I stimulated genes, apoptotic genes and genes regulating complement activation. In addition, Partial Correlation and Information Theory (PCIT) identified differentially hubbed (DH) genes between the phenotypically divergent groups. GO enrichment revealed that the target genes of these DH genes are enriched in adaptive immune pathways. Conclusion: There are molecular differences in blood RNA patterns between pigs with extreme phenotypes or with a different WUR genotype in early responses to PRRSv infection, though they can be quite subtle and more difficult to discover with conventional DE expression analyses. Co-expression analyses such as WGCNA and PCIT can be used to reveal network differences between such extreme response groups. © 2015 Schroyen et al. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification of a putative quantitative trait nucleotide in guanylate binding protein 5 for host response to PRRS virus infection
Koltes, J. E.; Fritz-Waters, E.; Eisley, C. J. et al

in BMC Genomics (2015), 16(1),

Background: Previously, we identified a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) for host response to Porcine Respiratory and Reproductive Syndrome virus (PRRSV) infection in high linkage disequilibrium (LD ... [more ▼]

Background: Previously, we identified a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) for host response to Porcine Respiratory and Reproductive Syndrome virus (PRRSV) infection in high linkage disequilibrium (LD) with SNP rs80800372 on Sus scrofa chromosome 4 (SSC4). Results: Within this QTL, guanylate binding protein 5 (GBP5) was differentially expressed (DE) (p < 0.05) in blood from AA versus AB rs80800372 genotyped pigs at 7,11, and 14 days post PRRSV infection. All variants within the GBP5 transcript in LD with rs80800372 exhibited allele specific expression (ASE) in AB individuals (p < 0.0001). A transcript re-assembly revealed three alternatively spliced transcripts for GBP5. An intronic SNP in GBP5, rs340943904, introduces a splice acceptor site that inserts five nucleotides into the transcript. Individuals homozygous for the unfavorable AA genotype predominantly produced this transcript, with a shifted reading frame and early stop codon that truncates the 88 C-terminal amino acids of the protein. RNA-seq analysis confirmed this SNP was associated with differential splicing by QTL genotype (p < 0.0001) and this was validated by quantitative capillary electrophoresis (p < 0.0001). The wild-type transcript was expressed at a higher level in AB versus AA individuals, whereas the five-nucleotide insertion transcript was the dominant form in AA individuals. Splicing and ASE results are consistent with the observed dominant nature of the favorable QTL allele. The rs340943904 SNP was also 100 % concordant with rs80800372 in a validation population that possessed an alternate form of the favorable B QTL haplotype. Conclusions: GBP5 is known to play a role in inflammasome assembly during immune response. However, the role of GBP5 host genetic variation in viral immunity is novel. These findings demonstrate that rs340943904 is a strong candidate causal mutation for the SSC4 QTL that controls variation in host response to PRRSV. © 2015 Koltes et al. [less ▲]

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See detailEndogenous murine leukemia retroviral variation across wild European and inbred strains of house mouse
Hartmann, Stephanie; Hasenkamp, Natasha; Mayer, Jens et al

in BMC Genomics (2015), DOI 10.1186/s12864-015-1766-z

Background: Endogenous Q1 murine leukemia retroviruses (MLVs) are high copy number proviral elements difficult to comprehensively characterize using standard low throughput sequencing approaches. However ... [more ▼]

Background: Endogenous Q1 murine leukemia retroviruses (MLVs) are high copy number proviral elements difficult to comprehensively characterize using standard low throughput sequencing approaches. However, high throughput approaches generate data that is challenging to process, interpret and present. 8 9 10 Results: Next generation sequencing (NGS) data was generated for MLVs from two wild caught Mus musculus domesticus (from mainland France and Corsica) and for inbred laboratory mouse strains C3H, LP/J and SJL. Sequence reads were grouped using a novel sequence clustering approach as applied to retroviral sequences. A Markov cluster algorithm was employed, and the sequence reads were queried for matches to specific xenotropic (Xmv), polytropic (Pmv) and modified polytropic (Mpmv) viral reference sequences. 11 12 13 14 15 Conclusions: Various MLV subtypes were more widespread than expected among the mice, which may be due to the higher coverage of NGS, or to the presence of similar sequence across many different proviral loci. The results did not correlate with variation in the major MLV receptor Xpr1, which can restrict exogenous MLVs, suggesting that endogenous MLV distribution may reflect gene flow more than past resistance to infection. [less ▲]

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See detailExperimental evaluation does not reveal a direct effect of microRNA from the callipyge locus on DLK1 expression.
Cheng, Huijun ULg; Xu, Xuewen; Hadfield, Tracy et al

in BMC genomics (2014), 15

BACKGROUND: Polar overdominance at the ovine callipyge (CLPG) locus involves the post-transcriptional trans-inhibition of DLK1 in skeletal muscle of CLPG/CLPG sheep. The abundant maternally expressed ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Polar overdominance at the ovine callipyge (CLPG) locus involves the post-transcriptional trans-inhibition of DLK1 in skeletal muscle of CLPG/CLPG sheep. The abundant maternally expressed microRNAs (miRNAs) mapping to the imprinted DLK1-GTL2 domain are prime candidate mediators of this trans-effect. RESULTS: We have tested the affinity of 121 miRNAs processed from this locus for DLK1 by co-transfecting COS1 cells with a vector expressing the full-length ovine DLK1 with corresponding mimic miRNAs. None of the tested miRNAs was able to down regulate DLK1 to the extent observed in vivo. CONCLUSIONS: This suggests that other factors, with or without these miRNAs, are involved in mediating the observed trans-effect. [less ▲]

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See detailEndometrial gene expression profiling in pregnant Meishan and Yorkshire pigs on day 12 of gestation
Gu, T.; Zhu, M.-J.; Schroyen, Martine ULg et al

in BMC Genomics (2014), 15(1),

Background: Litter size in pigs is a major factor affecting the profitability in the pig industry. The peri-implantation window in pigs is characterized by the coordinated interactions between the ... [more ▼]

Background: Litter size in pigs is a major factor affecting the profitability in the pig industry. The peri-implantation window in pigs is characterized by the coordinated interactions between the maternal uterine endometrium and the rapidly elongating conceptuses and represents a period of time during which a large percentage of the developing conceptuses are lost. However, the gene expression and regulatory networks in the endometrium contributing to the establishment of the maternal: placental interface remain poorly understood.Results: We characterized the endometrial gene expression profile during the peri-implantation stage of development by comparing two breeds that demonstrate very different reproductive efficiencies. We employed the porcine Affymetrix GeneChip® to assay the transcriptomic profiles of genes expressed in the uterine endometrium obtained from Meishan and Yorkshire gilts (n = 4 for each breed) on day 12 of gestation (M12 and Y12, respectively). Total of 17,076 probesets were identified as "present" in at least two arrays. A mixed model-based statistical analysis predicted a total of 2,656 (q < 0.1) transcripts as differentially expressed between Meishan and Yorkshire pigs. Eighteen differentially expressed transcripts of interest were validated by quantitative real-time PCR. Gene ontology (GO) annotation revealed that the known functions of the differentially expressed genes were involved in a series of important biological processes relevant to early pregnancy establishment in the pig.Conclusions: The results identified endometrial gene expression profiles of two breeds differing in litter size and identified candidate genes that are related to known physiological pathways related to reproductive prolificacy. These findings provide a deeper understanding of molecular pathways differing between two breeds at the critical peri-implantation stage of pregnancy, which can be utilized to better understand the events contributing to pregnancy establishment in the pig. © 2014 Gu et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. [less ▲]

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See detailSelection in action: dissecting the molecular underpinnings of the increasing muscle mass of Belgian Blue Cattle.
Druet, Tom ULg; Ahariz, Naima; Cambisano, Nadine et al

in BMC genomics (2014), 15(1), 796

BACKGROUND: Belgian Blue cattle are famous for their exceptional muscular development or "double-muscling". This defining feature emerged following the fixation of a loss-of-function variant in the ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Belgian Blue cattle are famous for their exceptional muscular development or "double-muscling". This defining feature emerged following the fixation of a loss-of-function variant in the myostatin gene in the eighties. Since then, sustained selection has further increased muscle mass of Belgian Blue animals to a comparable extent. In the present paper, we study the genetic determinants of this second wave of muscle growth. RESULTS: A scan for selective sweeps did not reveal the recent fixation of another allele with major effect on muscularity. However, a genome-wide association study identified two genome-wide significant and three suggestive quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting specific muscle groups and jointly explaining 8-21% of the heritability. The top two QTL are caused by presumably recent mutations on unique haplotypes that have rapidly risen in frequency in the population. While one appears on its way to fixation, the ascent of the other is compromised as the likely underlying MRC2 mutation causes crooked tail syndrome in homozygotes. Genomic prediction models indicate that the residual additive variance is largely polygenic. CONCLUSIONS: Contrary to complex traits in humans which have a near-exclusive polygenic architecture, muscle mass in beef cattle (as other production traits under directional selection), appears to be controlled by (i) a handful of recent mutations with large effect that rapidly sweep through the population, and (ii) a large number of presumably older variants with very small effects that rise slowly in the population (polygenic adaptation). [less ▲]

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See detailMapping QTL influencing gastrointestinal nematode burden in Dutch Holstein-Friesian dairy cattle.
Coppieters, Wouter ULg; Mes, Ted H M; Druet, Tom ULg et al

in BMC Genomics (2009), 10

BACKGROUND: Parasitic gastroenteritis caused by nematodes is only second to mastitis in terms of health costs to dairy farmers in developed countries. Sustainable control strategies complementing ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Parasitic gastroenteritis caused by nematodes is only second to mastitis in terms of health costs to dairy farmers in developed countries. Sustainable control strategies complementing anthelmintics are desired, including selective breeding for enhanced resistance. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: To quantify and characterize the genetic contribution to variation in resistance to gastro-intestinal parasites, we measured the heritability of faecal egg and larval counts in the Dutch Holstein-Friesian dairy cattle population. The heritability of faecal egg counts ranged from 7 to 21% and was generally higher than for larval counts. We performed a whole genome scan in 12 paternal half-daughter groups for a total of 768 cows, corresponding to the approximately 10% most and least infected daughters within each family (selective genotyping). Two genome-wide significant QTL were identified in an across-family analysis, respectively on chromosomes 9 and 19, coinciding with previous findings in orthologous chromosomal regions in sheep. We identified six more suggestive QTL by within-family analysis. An additional 73 informative SNPs were genotyped on chromosome 19 and the ensuing high density map used in a variance component approach to simultaneously exploit linkage and linkage disequilibrium in an initial inconclusive attempt to refine the QTL map position. [less ▲]

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See detailPutative DNA G-quadruplex formation within the promoters of Plasmodium falciparum var genes
Smargiasso, Nicolas ULg; Gabelica, Valérie ULg; Damblon, Christian ULg et al

in BMC Genomics (2009), 10

Background. Guanine-rich nucleic acid sequences are capable of folding into an intramolecular four-stranded structure called a G-quadruplex. When found in gene promoter regions, G-quadruplexes can ... [more ▼]

Background. Guanine-rich nucleic acid sequences are capable of folding into an intramolecular four-stranded structure called a G-quadruplex. When found in gene promoter regions, G-quadruplexes can downregulate gene expression, possibly by blocking the transcriptional machinery. Here we have used a genome-wide bioinformatic approach to identify Putative G-Quadruplex Sequences (PQS) in the Plasmodium falciparum genome, along with biophysical techniques to examine the physiological stability of P. falciparum PQS in vitro. Results. We identified 63 PQS in the non-telomeric regions of the P. falciparum clone 3D7. Interestingly, 16 of these PQS occurred in the upstream region of a subset of the P. falciparum var genes (group B var genes). The var gene family encodes PfEMP1, the parasite’s major variant antigen and adhesin expressed at the surface of infected erythrocytes, that plays a key role in malaria pathogenesis and immune evasion. The ability of the PQS found in the upstream regions of group B var genes (UpsB-Q) to form stable Gquadruplex structures in vitro was confirmed using 1H NMR, circular dichroism, UV spectroscopy, and thermal denaturation experiments. Moreover, the synthetic compound BOQ1 that shows a higher affinity for DNA forming quadruplex rather than duplex structures was found to bind with high affinity to the UpsB-Q. Conclusions. This is the first demonstration of non-telomeric PQS in the genome of P. falciparum that form stable G-quadruplexes under physiological conditions in vitro. These results allow the generation of a novel hypothesis that the G-quadruplex sequences in the upstream regions of var genes have the potential to play a role in the transcriptional control of this major virulence-associated multi-gene family. [less ▲]

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See detailTranscriptomic and proteomic analyses of seasonal photoperiodism in the pea aphid
LE TRIONNAIRE, G.; Francis, Frédéric ULg; JAUBERT-POSSAMAI, S. et al

in BMC Genomics (2009), 29

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See detailWASP: a Web-based Allele-Specific PCR assay designing tool for detecting SNPs and mutations.
Wangkumhang, Pongsakorn; Chaichoompu, Kridsadakorn ULg; Ngamphiw, Chumpol et al

in BMC genomics (2007), 8

BACKGROUND: Allele-specific (AS) Polymerase Chain Reaction is a convenient and inexpensive method for genotyping Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) and mutations. It is applied in many recent studies ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Allele-specific (AS) Polymerase Chain Reaction is a convenient and inexpensive method for genotyping Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) and mutations. It is applied in many recent studies including population genetics, molecular genetics and pharmacogenomics. Using known AS primer design tools to create primers leads to cumbersome process to inexperience users since information about SNP/mutation must be acquired from public databases prior to the design. Furthermore, most of these tools do not offer the mismatch enhancement to designed primers. The available web applications do not provide user-friendly graphical input interface and intuitive visualization of their primer results. RESULTS: This work presents a web-based AS primer design application called WASP. This tool can efficiently design AS primers for human SNPs as well as mutations. To assist scientists with collecting necessary information about target polymorphisms, this tool provides a local SNP database containing over 10 million SNPs of various populations from public domain databases, namely NCBI dbSNP, HapMap and JSNP respectively. This database is tightly integrated with the tool so that users can perform the design for existing SNPs without going off the site. To guarantee specificity of AS primers, the proposed system incorporates a primer specificity enhancement technique widely used in experiment protocol. In particular, WASP makes use of different destabilizing effects by introducing one deliberate 'mismatch' at the penultimate (second to last of the 3'-end) base of AS primers to improve the resulting AS primers. Furthermore, WASP offers graphical user interface through scalable vector graphic (SVG) draw that allow users to select SNPs and graphically visualize designed primers and their conditions. CONCLUSION: WASP offers a tool for designing AS primers for both SNPs and mutations. By integrating the database for known SNPs (using gene ID or rs number), this tool facilitates the awkward process of getting flanking sequences and other related information from public SNP databases. It takes into account the underlying destabilizing effect to ensure the effectiveness of designed primers. With user-friendly SVG interface, WASP intuitively presents resulting designed primers, which assist users to export or to make further adjustment to the design. This software can be freely accessed at http://bioinfo.biotec.or.th/WASP. [less ▲]

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