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Current Opinion in Genetics & Development

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29753214/snap-crack-and-pop-of-explosive-fruit
#1
REVIEW
Anahit Galstyan, Angela Hay
There is an increasing appreciation for the role of physical forces in plant development. Mechanics are fundamental to how explosive fruit eject their seeds, and recent studies have successfully combined mechanics with developmental genetics to help explain how these dispersal traits are produced and how they evolved. Computational modeling is used more and more to address developmental questions, and explosive fruit are particularly good systems for combining biology and modeling approaches. Finite element models have been recently used to explore questions such as: Why do touch-me-not species with similar fruits, differ so much in how efficiently they transfer stored energy to eject seeds? And how do popping cress fruits use the expansive force of turgor pressure for tissue contraction?...
May 9, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29734081/monogenic-diabetes-in-adults-what-are-the-new-developments
#2
REVIEW
Katharine R Owen
Maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) is a heterogeneous group of monogenic causes of beta-cell dysfunction and diabetes arising in children and young adults. Making an accurate diagnosis of MODY is important for establishing the correct management. Recent advances in our understanding of human sequence variation, through data collated in resources such as the Exome Aggregation Consortium have refined guidelines for assessment of rare genetic variants. This will allow a more precise aetiological diagnosis in childhood and young adult diabetes...
May 4, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29729430/functional-genetics-of-early-human-development
#3
REVIEW
Nicolás M Ortega, Nerges Winblad, Alvaro Plaza Reyes, Fredrik Lanner
Understanding the genetic underpinning of early human development is of great interest not only for basic developmental and stem cell biology but also for regenerative medicine, infertility treatments, and better understanding the causes of congenital disease. Our current knowledge has mainly been generated with the use of laboratory animals, especially the mouse. While human and mouse early development present morphological resemblance, we know that the timing of the events as well as the cellular and genetic mechanisms that control fundamental processes are distinct between the species...
May 2, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29727830/mechanical-signaling-in-plant-morphogenesis
#4
REVIEW
Feng Zhao, Wenqian Chen, Jan Traas
To control changes in shape during development, the molecular regulatory networks have to interact with the mechanical, structural components of the individual cells, in particular the cytoskeleton and the cell wall. A widely accepted hypothesis proposes that molecular regulation interferes with wall synthesis and stiffness, causing the wall polymers to yield to the internal turgor pressure. However, growth is not only the result of a rigid molecular program instructing the cells precisely what to do. Local differences in growth rates between neighboring cells generate mechanical constraints that can feed back on the regulatory networks and the cytoskeleton...
May 1, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29715568/transposable-elements-and-polyploid-evolution-in-animals
#5
REVIEW
Fernando Rodriguez, Irina R Arkhipova
Polyploidy in animals is much less common than in plants, where it is thought to be pervasive in all higher plant lineages. Recent studies have highlighted the impact of polyploidization and the associated process of diploidy restoration on the evolution and speciation of selected taxonomic groups in the animal kingdom: from vertebrates represented by salmonid fishes and African clawed frogs to invertebrates represented by parasitic root-knot nematodes and bdelloid rotifers. In this review, we focus on the unique and diverse roles that transposable elements may play in these processes, from marking and diversifying subgenome-specific chromosome sets before hybridization, to influencing genome restructuring during rediploidization, to affecting subgenome-specific regulatory evolution, and occasionally providing opportunities for domestication and gene amplification to restore and improve functionality...
April 28, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29705598/the-retrotransposon-storm-and-the-dangers-of-a-collyer-s-genome
#6
REVIEW
Josh Dubnau
Like the famous Collyer's mansion in NY, our genomes have accumulated vast quantities of sequences that have been referred to as 'junk DNA,' much of which consists of retrotransposons (RTEs). A recent literature establishes the phenomenology that many RTEs become expressed at progressively higher levels during the course of normal aging. This seems to reflect gradual loss of heterochromatin in old age. In addition, RTEs appear to be precociously expressed in brains of younger animals that are experiencing neurodegenerative decline...
April 26, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29705597/transposable-elements-all-mobile-all-different-some-stress-responsive-some-adaptive
#7
REVIEW
Sophie Lanciano, Marie Mirouze
Transposable elements (TEs) were first identified through the polymorphisms they induced in plants and animals. Genomic studies have later revealed that TEs were highly abundant in eukaryotic genomes. Recently, more precise single individual genomic analyses have unravelled the huge diversity of TE insertions in many plant and animal species. In most cases the stress conditions behind this diversity are not known and neither is the adaptive capacity of these natural TE-induced variants. Here, we review some of the most recent examples of TE-related impacts on gene expression at the locus or the genome level and discuss the rich diversity of the TE repertoire and its potential role in adaptive evolution...
April 26, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29702327/clinical-and-research-uses-of-genetic-risk-scores-in-type-1-diabetes
#8
REVIEW
Seth A Sharp, Michael N Weedon, William A Hagopian, Richard A Oram
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic disease of high blood glucose caused by autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells eventually resulting in severe insulin deficiency. T1D has a significant heritable risk. Genetic associations found are particularly strong in the HLA class II region but T1D is a polygenic disease associated with over 60 loci across the genome. Polygenic risk scores are one method of summing these genetic risk elements as a single continuous variable. This review discusses the clinical and research utility of genetic risk scores in T1D particularly in disease prediction and progression...
April 24, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29674100/micromechanics-of-root-development-in-soil
#9
REVIEW
L X Dupuy, M Mimault, D Patko, V Ladmiral, B Ameduri, M P MacDonald, M Ptashnyk
Our understanding of how roots develop in soil may be at the eve of significant transformations. The formidable expansion of imaging technologies enables live observations of the rhizosphere micro-pore architecture at unprecedented resolution. Granular matter physics provides ways to understand the microscopic fluctuations of forces in soils, and the increasing knowledge of plant mechanobiology may shed new lights on how roots perceive soil heterogeneity. This opinion paper exposes how recent scientific achievements may contribute to refresh our views on root growth in heterogeneous environments...
April 16, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29602058/cell-mechanics-of-pollen-tube-growth
#10
REVIEW
Christine Cameron, Anja Geitmann
The pollen tube features particular traits that can only be understood when integrating cell biological with cell mechanical concepts. Firstly, regular temporal variations in the growth rate are governed by a feedback mechanism thought to involve mechanosensitive ion channels. Secondly, the tube uses invasive growth to penetrate the flower tissues with the aim to transport the male sperm cells to their target. Thirdly, the pollen tube is able to reorient its growth direction upon exposure to a guidance cue; the steering mechanism involves the sophisticated choreography of intracellular transport processes...
March 27, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29597064/centromeric-retrotransposons-and-centromere-function
#11
REVIEW
Gernot G Presting
The centromeric DNA of most multicellular eukaryotes consists of tandem repeats (TR) that bind centromere-specific proteins and act as a substrate for the efficient repair of frequent double-stranded DNA breaks. Some retrotransposons target active centromeres during integration with such specificity that they can be used to deduce current and historic centromere positions. The roles of transposons in centromere function remain incompletely understood but appear to include maintaining centromere size and increasing the repeat content of neocentromeres that lack TR...
March 26, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29587177/advances-in-functional-genetic-screening-with-transposons-and-crispr-cas9-to-illuminate-cancer-biology
#12
REVIEW
Kathryn A O'Donnell
Large-scale genome sequencing studies have identified a wealth of mutations in human tumors and have dramatically advanced the field of cancer genetics. However, the functional consequences of an altered gene in tumor progression cannot always be inferred from mutation status alone. This underscores the critical need for complementary methods to assign functional significance to mutated genes in cancer. Transposons are mobile genetic elements that serve as powerful tools for insertional mutagenesis. Over the last decade, investigators have employed mouse models with on-demand transposon-mediated mutagenesis to perform unbiased genetic screens to identify clinically relevant genes that participate in the pathogenesis of human cancer...
March 24, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29579574/satellite-dna-evolution-old-ideas-new-approaches
#13
REVIEW
Sarah Sander Lower, Michael P McGurk, Andrew G Clark, Daniel A Barbash
A substantial portion of the genomes of most multicellular eukaryotes consists of large arrays of tandemly repeated sequence, collectively called satellite DNA. The processes generating and maintaining different satellite DNA abundances across lineages are important to understand as satellites have been linked to chromosome mis-segregation, disease phenotypes, and reproductive isolation between species. While much theory has been developed to describe satellite evolution, empirical tests of these models have fallen short because of the challenges in assessing satellite repeat regions of the genome...
March 23, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29571069/tissue-and-cellular-mechanics-of-seeds
#14
REVIEW
Tina Steinbrecher, Gerhard Leubner-Metzger
Distinct plant seed/fruit structures evolved to support reproduction and dispersal in distinct environments. Appropriate biomechanical properties and interactions of the various seed compartments are indispensable to plant survival. Most seeds are dispersed in a dry state generated during seed development/maturation for which novel aspects of endosperm-embryo interaction were discovered. The various layers covering the embryo of a mature seed define the patterns of water uptake during germination. Their biomechanical weakening together with embryo cell expansion is mediated by cell wall remodelling to facilitate radicle protrusion...
March 20, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29571044/duplication-of-host-genes-by-transposable-elements
#15
REVIEW
Stefan Cerbin, Ning Jiang
The availability of large amounts of genomic and transcriptome sequences have allowed systematic surveys about the host gene sequences that have been duplicated by transposable elements. It is now clear that all super-families of transposons are capable of duplicating genes or gene fragments, and such incidents have been detected in a wide spectrum of organisms. Emerging evidence suggests that a considerable portion of them function as coding or non-coding sequences, driving innovations at molecular and phenotypic levels...
March 20, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29571043/transposon-control-mechanisms-in-telomere-biology
#16
REVIEW
Maria Kordyukova, Ivan Olovnikov, Alla Kalmykova
The ends of linear eukaryotic chromosomes, telomeres, are elongated by reverse transcriptase activity provided by the enzyme telomerase, or by specialized telomeric retrotransposons. Telomerase and telomeric retrotransposons represent unique examples of structurally different, but evolutionary and functionally related machineries that generate essential chromosome structures, namely telomeres. In fact, the telomere is an example of the taming of retroelements for the maintenance of essential genome function...
March 20, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29544119/distinguishing-friends-foes-and-freeloaders-in-giant-genomes
#17
REVIEW
Jeffrey L Bennetzen, Minkyu Park
Most annotations of large eukaryotic genomes initially find transposable elements (TEs) and other repeats, then mask them so that subsequent efforts can be concentrated on the annotation and study of non-TE genes. However, TEs often contribute to host biology, and their community biologies are of intrinsic interest. This review discusses the challenges, rationale and technologies for comprehensive TE annotation in the commonly giant genomes of animals and plants. Complete discovery of the TEs in a fully sequenced genome is laborious, but feasible, with current strategies in the hands of a careful researcher...
March 12, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29529423/the-genetics-of-adiposity
#18
REVIEW
Ruth Jf Loos
Genome-wide discovery efforts have identified more than 500 genetic loci associated with adiposity traits. The vast majority of these loci were found through large-scale meta-analyses for body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and in European ancestry populations. However, alternative approaches, focusing on non-European ancestry populations, more refined adiposity measures, and low-frequency (minor allele frequency (MAF)<5%) coding variants, identified additional novel loci that had not been identified before...
March 9, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29525544/transposable-elements-genome-evolution-and-transgenerational-epigenetic-variation
#19
REVIEW
Aoi Hosaka, Tetsuji Kakutani
Although transposable elements (TEs) have been regarded as genomic parasites, accumulating evidence suggests that they can also have beneficial roles in evolution of diverse biological processes. In this review, we focus on epigenetic control of TEs as sources of selectable phenotypic variation, with an emphasis on their connections to defense responses.
March 8, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29525543/exaptation-of-transposable-element-coding-sequences
#20
REVIEW
Zoé Joly-Lopez, Thomas E Bureau
Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile genetic elements that were once perceived as merely selfish, but are now recognized as potent agents of adaptation. One way TEs contribute to genome evolution is through TE exaptation, a process whereby TEs, which usually persist by replicating in the genome, transform into novel host genes, which thereafter persist by conferring phenotypic benefits. Exapted TEs are known to contribute diverse and vital functions, and may facilitate punctuated equilibrium, yet we have little understanding about the process of TE exaptation...
March 8, 2018: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
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