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BMC Biology

Diyendo Massilani, Silvia Guimaraes, Jean-Philip Brugal, E Andrew Bennett, Malgorzata Tokarska, Rose-Marie Arbogast, Gennady Baryshnikov, Gennady Boeskorov, Jean-Christophe Castel, Sergey Davydov, Stéphane Madelaine, Olivier Putelat, Natalia N Spasskaya, Hans-Peter Uerpmann, Thierry Grange, Eva-Maria Geigl
BACKGROUND: Climatic and environmental fluctuations as well as anthropogenic pressure have led to the extinction of much of Europe's megafauna. The European bison or wisent (Bison bonasus), one of the last wild European large mammals, narrowly escaped extinction at the onset of the 20th century owing to hunting and habitat fragmentation. Little is known, however, about its origin, evolutionary history and population dynamics during the Pleistocene. RESULTS: Through ancient DNA analysis we show that the emblematic European bison has experienced several waves of population expansion, contraction, and extinction during the last 50,000 years in Europe, culminating in a major reduction of genetic diversity during the Holocene...
October 21, 2016: BMC Biology
Francis M Jiggins
A common symbiont of insects, the bacterium Wolbachia has been implicated in phenomena as diverse as sex determination, pathogen defence and speciation and is being used in public health programs to prevent mosquitoes transmitting disease. Despite decades of research, we know remarkably little about how it exerts its effects.
October 19, 2016: BMC Biology
Aleš Hnízda, Jana Škerlová, Milan Fábry, Petr Pachl, Martina Šinalová, Lukáš Vrzal, Petr Man, Petr Novák, Pavlína Řezáčová, Václav Veverka
BACKGROUND: Relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is one of the main causes of mortality in childhood malignancies. Previous genetic studies demonstrated that chemoresistant ALL is driven by activating mutations in NT5C2, the gene encoding cytosolic 5´-nucleotidase (cN-II). However, molecular mechanisms underlying this hyperactivation are still unknown. Here, we present kinetic and structural properties of cN-II variants that represent 75 % of mutated alleles in patients who experience relapsed ALL (R367Q, R238W and L375F)...
October 19, 2016: BMC Biology
Chuan Ku, William F Martin
BACKGROUND: The literature harbors many claims for lateral gene transfer (LGT) from prokaryotes to eukaryotes. Such claims are typically founded in analyses of genome sequences. It is undisputed that many genes entered the eukaryotic lineage via the origin of mitochondria and the origin of plastids. Claims for lineage-specific LGT to eukaryotes outside the context of organelle origins and claims of continuous LGT to eukaryotic lineages are more problematic. If eukaryotes acquire genes from prokaryotes continuously during evolution, then sequenced eukaryote genomes should harbor evidence for recent LGT, like prokaryotic genomes do...
October 17, 2016: BMC Biology
Stefan Dippel, Martin Kollmann, Georg Oberhofer, Alice Montino, Carolin Knoll, Milosz Krala, Karl-Heinz Rexer, Sergius Frank, Robert Kumpf, Joachim Schachtner, Ernst A Wimmer
BACKGROUND: The red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum is an emerging insect model organism representing the largest insect order, Coleoptera, which encompasses several serious agricultural and forest pests. Despite the ecological and economic importance of beetles, most insect olfaction studies have so far focused on dipteran, lepidopteran, or hymenopteran systems. RESULTS: Here, we present the first detailed morphological description of a coleopteran olfactory pathway in combination with genome-wide expression analysis of the relevant gene families involved in chemoreception...
October 17, 2016: BMC Biology
Mauricio Toro-Nahuelpan, Frank D Müller, Stefan Klumpp, Jürgen M Plitzko, Marc Bramkamp, Dirk Schüler
BACKGROUND: The navigation of magnetotactic bacteria relies on specific intracellular organelles, the magnetosomes, which are membrane-enclosed crystals of magnetite aligned into a linear chain. The magnetosome chain acts as a cellular compass, aligning the cells in the geomagnetic field in order to search for suitable environmental conditions in chemically stratified water columns and sediments. During cytokinesis, magnetosome chains have to be properly positioned, cleaved and separated in order to be evenly passed into daughter cells...
October 12, 2016: BMC Biology
Rafael C Ferraz, Henrique Camara, Evandro A De-Souza, Silas Pinto, Ana Paula F Pinca, Richard C Silva, Vitor N Sato, Beatriz A Castilho, Marcelo A Mori
BACKGROUND: The General Control Nonderepressible 2 (GCN2) kinase is a conserved member of the integrated stress response (ISR) pathway that represses protein translation and helps cells to adapt to conditions of nutrient shortage. As such, GCN2 is required for longevity and stress resistance induced by dietary restriction (DR). IMPACT is an ancient protein that inhibits GCN2. RESULTS: Here, we tested whether IMPACT down-regulation mimics the effects of DR in C. elegans...
October 7, 2016: BMC Biology
David S Rabiger, Jennifer M Taylor, Andrew Spriggs, Melanie L Hand, Steven T Henderson, Susan D Johnson, Karsten Oelkers, Maria Hrmova, Keisuke Saito, Go Suzuki, Yasuhiko Mukai, Bernard J Carroll, Anna M G Koltunow
BACKGROUND: Application of apomixis, or asexual seed formation, in crop breeding would allow rapid fixation of complex traits, economizing improved crop delivery. Identification of apomixis genes is confounded by the polyploid nature, high genome complexity and lack of genomic sequence integration with reproductive tissue transcriptomes in most apomicts. RESULTS: A genomic and transcriptomic resource was developed for Hieracium subgenus Pilosella (Asteraceae) which incorporates characterized sexual, apomictic and mutant apomict plants exhibiting reversion to sexual reproduction...
October 6, 2016: BMC Biology
John F Y Brookfield
Any figure in a research article will typically represent only a small portion of the total data gained by a researcher for that experiment, and it is therefore key that the figure accurately reflects what was found overall. Furthermore, if individual observations form clusters with differing mean properties, those individual observations would not represent independent samples from the populations being compared. In this example, the question of how to fairly represent and treat image data is addressed.
October 4, 2016: BMC Biology
M Tofazzal Islam, Daniel Croll, Pierre Gladieux, Darren M Soanes, Antoine Persoons, Pallab Bhattacharjee, Md Shaid Hossain, Dipali Rani Gupta, Md Mahbubur Rahman, M Golam Mahboob, Nicola Cook, Moin U Salam, Musrat Zahan Surovy, Vanessa Bueno Sancho, João Leodato Nunes Maciel, Antonio NhaniJúnior, Vanina Lilián Castroagudín, Juliana T de Assis Reges, Paulo Cezar Ceresini, Sebastien Ravel, Ronny Kellner, Elisabeth Fournier, Didier Tharreau, Marc-Henri Lebrun, Bruce A McDonald, Timothy Stitt, Daniel Swan, Nicholas J Talbot, Diane G O Saunders, Joe Win, Sophien Kamoun
BACKGROUND: In February 2016, a new fungal disease was spotted in wheat fields across eight districts in Bangladesh. The epidemic spread to an estimated 15,000 hectares, about 16 % of the cultivated wheat area in Bangladesh, with yield losses reaching up to 100 %. Within weeks of the onset of the epidemic, we performed transcriptome sequencing of symptomatic leaf samples collected directly from Bangladeshi fields. RESULTS: Reinoculation of seedlings with strains isolated from infected wheat grains showed wheat blast symptoms on leaves of wheat but not rice...
October 3, 2016: BMC Biology
Suhyoung Bahk, Walton D Jones
BACKGROUND: Like most animals, insects rely on their olfactory systems for finding food and mates and in avoiding noxious chemicals and predators. Most insect olfactory neurons express an odorant-specific odorant receptor (OR) along with Orco, the olfactory co-receptor. Orco binds ORs and permits their trafficking to the dendrites of antennal olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs), where together, they are suggested to form heteromeric ligand-gated non-selective cation channels. While most amino acid residues in Orco are well conserved across insect orders, one especially well-conserved region in Orco's second intracellular loop is a putative calmodulin (CaM) binding site (CBS)...
September 29, 2016: BMC Biology
Esben M Quistgaard, Ulrich Weininger, Yonca Ural-Blimke, Kristofer Modig, Pär Nordlund, Mikael Akke, Christian Löw
BACKGROUND: Peptidyl-prolyl isomerases (PPIases) catalyze cis/trans isomerization of peptidyl-prolyl bonds, which is often rate-limiting for protein folding. SlyD is a two-domain enzyme containing both a PPIase FK506-binding protein (FKBP) domain and an insert-in-flap (IF) chaperone domain. To date, the interactions of these domains with unfolded proteins have remained rather obscure, with structural information on binding to the FKBP domain being limited to complexes involving various inhibitor compounds or a chemically modified tetrapeptide...
2016: BMC Biology
Vlatko Stojanoski, Banumathi Sankaran, B V Venkataram Prasad, Laurent Poirel, Patrice Nordmann, Timothy Palzkill
BACKGROUND: Due to the paucity of novel antibiotics, colistin has become a last resort antibiotic for treating multidrug resistant bacteria. Colistin acts by binding the lipid A component of lipopolysaccharides and subsequently disrupting the bacterial membrane. The recently identified plasmid-encoded MCR-1 enzyme is the first transmissible colistin resistance determinant and is a cause for concern for the spread of this resistance trait. MCR-1 is a phosphoethanolamine transferase that catalyzes the addition of phosphoethanolamine to lipid A to decrease colistin affinity...
2016: BMC Biology
Luke Alphey
Release of sterile insects, the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), can be an extremely effective and precise method of pest control. A study in BMC Biology from the New World screwworm SIT program and others shows that modern genetic methods can provide major improvements even to this well-established and highly successful SIT program.See research article:
2016: BMC Biology
Antoine Larrieu, Teva Vernoux
Jasmonates (JAs) are a class of plant hormones that play essential roles in response to tissue wounding. They act on gene expression to slow down growth and to redirect metabolism towards producing defense molecules and repairing damage. These responses are systemic and have dramatic impacts on yields, making JAs a very active research area. JAs interact with many other plant hormones and therefore also have essential functions throughout development, notably during plant reproduction, leaf senescence and in response to many biotic and abiotic stresses...
2016: BMC Biology
Garrett P League, Julián F Hillyer
BACKGROUND: As both larvae and adults, mosquitoes encounter a barrage of immune insults, ranging from microbe-rich communities in larval habitats to ingested blood-borne pathogens in adult blood meals. Given that mosquito adults have evolved an efficient means of eliminating infections in their hemocoel (body cavity) via the coordinated action of their immune and circulatory systems, the goal of the present study was to determine whether such functional integration is also present in larvae...
2016: BMC Biology
Feifei Xu, Jon Jerlström-Hultqvist, Martin Kolisko, Alastair G B Simpson, Andrew J Roger, Staffan G Svärd, Jan O Andersson
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2016: BMC Biology
Lori Buetow, Giancarlo Tria, Syed Feroj Ahmed, Andreas Hock, Hao Dou, Gary J Sibbet, Dmitri I Svergun, Danny T Huang
BACKGROUND: Casitas B-lineage lymphoma (Cbl or c-Cbl) is a RING ubiquitin ligase that negatively regulates protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) signalling. Phosphorylation of a conserved residue (Tyr371) on the linker helix region (LHR) between the substrate-binding and RING domains is required to ubiquitinate PTKs, thereby flagging them for degradation. This conserved Tyr is a mutational hotspot in myeloproliferative neoplasms. Previous studies have revealed that select point mutations in Tyr371 can potentiate transformation in cells and mice but not all possible mutations do so...
2016: BMC Biology
JunMo Lee, Chung Hyun Cho, Seung In Park, Ji Won Choi, Hyun Suk Song, John A West, Debashish Bhattacharya, Hwan Su Yoon
BACKGROUND: The red algae (Rhodophyta) diverged from the green algae and plants (Viridiplantae) over one billion years ago within the kingdom Archaeplastida. These photosynthetic lineages provide an ideal model to study plastid genome reduction in deep time. To this end, we assembled a large dataset of the plastid genomes that were available, including 48 from the red algae (17 complete and three partial genomes produced for this analysis) to elucidate the evolutionary history of these organelles...
2016: BMC Biology
Alba Diz-Muñoz, Pawel Romanczuk, Weimiao Yu, Martin Bergert, Kenzo Ivanovitch, Guillaume Salbreux, Carl-Philipp Heisenberg, Ewa K Paluch
BACKGROUND: High directional persistence is often assumed to enhance the efficiency of chemotactic migration. Yet, cells in vivo usually display meandering trajectories with relatively low directional persistence, and the control and function of directional persistence during cell migration in three-dimensional environments are poorly understood. RESULTS: Here, we use mesendoderm progenitors migrating during zebrafish gastrulation as a model system to investigate the control of directional persistence during migration in vivo...
2016: BMC Biology
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