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Biology Open

Julia Wukovits, Patrick Bukenberger, Annekatrin Julie Enge, Maximillian Gerg, Wolfgang Wanek, Margarete Watzka, Petra Heinz
Ammonia tepida is a common and abundant benthic foraminifer in intertidal mudflats. Benthic foraminifera are primary consumers and detritivores and act as key players in sediment nutrient fluxes.In this study, laboratory feeding experiments using isotope labeled phytodetritus were carried out with A. tepida collected at the German Wadden Sea to investigate the response of A. tepida to varying food supply. Feeding mode (single pulse, constant feeding; different incubation temperatures) caused strong variations in cytoplasmic carbon and nitrogen cycling, suggesting generalistic adaptations to variations in food availability...
March 14, 2018: Biology Open
Marcin Czarnoleski, Anna Maria Labecka, Dominika Dragosz-Kluska, Tomasz Pis, Katarzyna Pawlik, Filip Kapustka, Wincenty M Kilarski, Jan Kozłowski
Cell size plays a role in body size evolution and environmental adaptations. Addressing these roles, we studied body mass and cell size in Galliformes birds and Rodentia mammals and collected published data on their genome sizes. In birds, we measured erythrocyte nuclei and basal metabolic rates (BMRs). In birds and mammals, larger species consistently evolved larger cells for five cell types (erythrocytes, enterocytes, chondrocytes, skin epithelial cells, and kidney proximal tubule cells) and evolved smaller hepatocytes...
March 14, 2018: Biology Open
Eva Krkavcová, Jakub Kreisinger, Ludmila Hyánková, Pavel Hyršl, Veronika Javůrková
Avidin is key egg white antimicrobial protein with strong binding capacity for biotin, an essential growth and immune cell precursor. As such, it is assumed to have a pronounced, though still poorly explored, effect on hatchling phenotype. We tested the effect of experimentally increased egg white avidin concentration (AVIDIN+) on hatching success, chick morphology, post-hatching growth performance and innate immune function in a model bird, Japanese Quail ( Coturnix japonica ). Probability of embryo survival in the late embryonic phase increased with increasing egg weight in control eggs, but not in AVIDIN+ eggs...
March 14, 2018: Biology Open
Alice Sherrard, Paul Bishop, Melanie Panagi, Maria Beatriz Villagomez, Dominic Alibhai, Abderrahmane Kaidi
Changes in chromatin structure are key determinants of genomic responses. Thus, methods that enable such measurements are instrumental for investigating genome regulation and function. Here, we report further developments and validation of a streamlined method of histone-based fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) that robustly detects chromatin compaction states in fixed and live cells, in 2D and 3D. We present a quality-controlled and detailed method that is simpler and faster than previous methods, and uses FLIMfit open-source software...
March 13, 2018: Biology Open
Tomasz Dobrzycki, Monika Krecsmarik, Florian Bonkhofer, Roger Patient, Rui Monteiro
Advances in genome engineering have resulted in the generation of numerous zebrafish mutant lines. A commonly used method to assess gene expression in the mutants is in situ hybridization (ISH). Because the embryos can be distinguished by genotype after ISH, comparing gene expression between wild type and mutant siblings can be done blinded and in parallel. Such experimental design reduces the technical variation between samples and minimises the risk of bias. This approach, however, requires an efficient method of genomic DNA extraction from post-ISH fixed zebrafish samples to ascribe phenotype to genotype...
March 13, 2018: Biology Open
J Kabutomori, O Beloto-Silva, R R Geyer, R Musa-Aziz
Xenopus laevis oocytes are a valuable tool for investigating the function of membrane proteins. However, regulations around the world, specifically in Brazil, render the import of Xenopus laevis frogs impractical, and, in some cases, impossible. Here, as an alternative, we evaluate the usefulness of the North American aquatic bullfrog Lithobates catesebeianus , which is commercially available in Brazil, for the heterologous expression of aquaporin (AQP) proteins. We have developed a method that combines a brief collagenase treatment and mechanical defolliculation for isolating individual oocytes from Lithobates ovaries...
March 12, 2018: Biology Open
Hanako Hayashi, Bungo Akiyoshi
Kinetoplastids have a nucleus that contains the nuclear genome and a kinetoplast that contains the mitochondrial genome. These single-copy organelles must be duplicated and segregated faithfully to daughter cells at each cell division. In Trypanosoma brucei , although duplication of both organelles starts around the same time, segregation of the kinetoplast precedes that of the nucleus. Cytokinesis subsequently takes place so that daughter cells inherit a single copy of each organelle. Very little is known about the molecular mechanism that governs the timing of these events...
March 12, 2018: Biology Open
Emma D Spikol, Eric Glasgow
Transcriptional control of oxytocinergic cell development influences social, sexual, and appetite related behaviors, and is implicated in disorders such as autism and Prader-Willi syndrome. Mediator 12 (Med12) is a transcriptional coactivator required for multiple facets of brain development including subsets of serotonergic and dopaminergic neurons. We surveyed hormone gene expression within the hypothalamo-pituitary axis of med12 mutant zebrafish embryos with a focus on oxytocin ( oxt ) expression. Some transcripts, such as oxt , vasopressin ( avp ) and corticotrophin releasing hormone ( crh ) are undetectable in the med12 mutant, while others are upregulated or downregulated to varying degrees...
March 12, 2018: Biology Open
Myrina Boulais, Marc Suquet, Eve Julie Arsenault-Pernet, Florent Malo, Isabelle Queau, Patricia Pignet, Dominique Ratiskol, Jacqueline Le Grand, Matthias Huber, Jacky Cosson
Investigating the roles of chemical factors stimulating and inhibiting sperm motility is required to understand the mechanisms of spermatozoa movement. In this study, we described the composition of the seminal fluid (osmotic pressure, pH, and ions) and investigated the roles of these factors and salinity in initiating spermatozoa movement in the Pacific oyster. The acidic pH of the gonad (5.82 ± 0.22) maintained sperm in the quiescent stage and initiation of flagellar movement was triggered by a sudden increase of spermatozoa external pH (pHe) when released in seawater (SW)...
February 26, 2018: Biology Open
Aya Noguchi, Shungo Adachi, Naoto Yokota, Tomohisa Hatta, Tohru Natsume, Hiroyuki Kawahara
ZFP36L2 promotes the destruction of AU-rich element-containing transcripts, while its regulation and functional significance in cell cycle control are scarcely identified. We show that ZFP36L2 is a cell cycle-regulated CCCH protein whose abundance is regulated post-translationally at the respective stages of the cell cycle. Indeed, ZFP36L2 protein was eliminated after release from M phase, and ZYG11B-based E3 ligase plays a role in its polyubiquitination in interphase. Although ZFP36L2 is dispensable for normal cell cycle progression, we found that endogenous ZFP36L2 played a key role in cisplatin-induced S-phase arrest, a process in which the suppression of G1/S cyclins is necessary...
February 15, 2018: Biology Open
Zaheer Ali, Anik Islam, Peter Sherrell, Mark Le-Moine, Georgios Lolas, Konstantinos Syrigos, Mehrdad Rafat, Lasse D Jensen
Therapeutic induction of blood vessel growth (angiogenesis) in ischemic tissues holds great potential for treatment of myocardial infarction and stroke. Achieving sustained angiogenesis and vascular maturation has, however, been highly challenging. Here we demonstrate that collagen:alginate hydrogels containing therapeutic, pro-angiogenic FGF-2, and formulated as microspheres, is a promising and clinically relevant vehicle for therapeutic angiogenesis. By titrating the amount of readily dissolvable and degradable collagen with more slowly degradable alginate in the hydrogel mixture, the degradation rates of the biomaterial controlling the release kinetics of embedded pro-angiogenic FGF-2 can be adjusted...
February 15, 2018: Biology Open
Alexander M Herman, Alexander M Rhyner, W Patrick Devine, Sean P Marrelli, Benoit G Bruneau, Joshua D Wythe
Canonical Notch signaling requires the presence of a membrane bound ligand and a corresponding transmembrane Notch receptor. Receptor engagement induces multiple proteolytic cleavage events culminating in the nuclear accumulation of the Notch intracellular domain and its binding to a transcriptional co-factor to mediate gene expression. Notch signaling networks are essential regulators of vascular patterning and angiogenesis, as well as myriad other biological processes. Delta-like 4 ( Dll4 ) encodes the earliest Notch ligand detected in arterial cells, and is enriched in sprouting endothelial tip cells...
February 8, 2018: Biology Open
Genevieve G Kerr, Helen F Nahrung, Aaron Wiegand, Joanna Kristoffersen, Peter Killen, Cameron Brown, Joanne Macdonald
Silks from orb-weaving spiders are exceptionally tough, producing a model polymer for biomimetic fibre development. The mechanical properties of naturally-spun silk threads from two species of Australian orb-weavers, Nephila pilipes and N. plumipes, were examined here in relation to overall thread diameter, the size and number of fibres within threads, and spider size. N. pilipes, the larger of the two species, had significantly tougher silk with higher strain capacity than its smaller congener, producing threads with average toughness of 150 MJ m-3, despite thread diameter, mean fibre diameter and number of fibres per thread not differing significantly between the two species...
February 1, 2018: Biology Open
Zehua Wang, Jialan Lyu, Fang Wang, Chen Miao, Zi Nan, Jiayu Zhang, Yongmei Xi, Qi Zhou, Xiaohang Yang, Wanzhong Ge
The Notch signaling pathway is highly conserved across different animal species and plays crucial roles in development and physiology. Regulation of Notch signaling occurs at multiple levels in different tissues and cell types. Here, we show that the histone deacetylase HDAC1 acts as a positive regulator of Notch signaling during Drosophila wing development. Depletion of HDAC1 causes wing notches on the margin of adult wing. Consistently, the expression of Notch target genes is reduced in the absence of HDAC1 during wing margin formation...
February 1, 2018: Biology Open
Debabrata Patra, Elizabeth DeLassus, Jennifer Mueller, Grazia Abou-Ezzi, Linda J Sandell
Site-1 protease is a proprotein convertase with essential functions in the conversion of precursor proteins to their active form. In earlier studies we demonstrated that S1P ablation in the chondrocyte lineage results in a drastic reduction in endochondral bone formation. To investigate the mechanistic contribution of S1P to bone development we ablated S1P in the osterix lineage in mice. S1P ablation in this lineage results in osteochondrodysplasia and variable degrees of early postnatal scoliosis. Embryonically, even though Runx2 and osterix expressions are normal, S1P ablation results in a delay in vascular invasion and endochondral bone development...
February 1, 2018: Biology Open
Ingo D Meier, Michael P Walker, A Gregory Matera
Gemin4 is a member of the Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) protein complex, which is responsible for the assembly and maturation of Sm-class small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs). In metazoa, Sm snRNPs are assembled in the cytoplasm and subsequently imported into the nucleus. We previously showed that the SMN complex is required for snRNP import in vitro, although it remains unclear which specific components direct this process. Here, we report that Gemin4 overexpression drives SMN and the other Gemin proteins from the cytoplasm into the nucleus...
January 25, 2018: Biology Open
Miyuki T Nakata, Mayuko Sato, Mayumi Wakazaki, Nozomi Sato, Koji Kojima, Akihiko Sekine, Shiori Nakamura, Toshiharu Shikanai, Kiminori Toyooka, Hirokazu Tsukaya, Gorou Horiguchi
The plastid evolved from a symbiotic cyanobacterial ancestor and is an essential organelle for plant life, but its developmental roles in roots have been largely overlooked. Here, we show that plastid translation is connected to the stem-cell patterning in lateral root primordia. The RFC3 gene encodes a plastid-localized protein that is a conserved bacterial ribosomal protein S6 of β/γ proteobacterial origin. The rfc3 mutant developed lateral roots with disrupted stem-cell patterning and associated with decreased leaf photosynthetic activity, reduced accumulation of plastid rRNAs in roots, altered root plastid gene expression, and changes in expression of several root stem-cell regulators...
January 24, 2018: Biology Open
Raghubendra Singh Dagur, Weimin Wang, Yan Cheng, Edward Makarov, Murali Ganesan, Hiroshi Suemizu, Catherine L Gebhart, Santhi Gorantla, Natalia Osna, Larisa Y Poluektova
HIV-1 infection impairs liver function, and liver diseases have become a leading cause of morbidity in infected patients. The immunopathology of liver damage caused by HIV-1 remains unclear. We used chimeric mice dually reconstituted with a human immune system and hepatocytes to address the relevance of the model to pathobiology questions related to human hepatocytes survival in the presence of systemic infection. TK-NOG males were transplanted with mismatched human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells and hepatocytes; human albumin concentration and the presence of human immune cells in blood were monitored for hepatocytes and immune reconstitution; and mice were infected with HIV-1...
January 22, 2018: Biology Open
Antônio Jesus Dorighetto Cogo, Keilla Dos Reis Dutra Ferreira, Lev A Okorokov, Alessandro C Ramos, Arnoldo R Façanha, Anna L Okorokova-Façanha
Polyamines play a regulatory role in eukaryotic cell growth and morphogenesis. Despite many molecular advances, the underlying mechanism of action remains unclear. Here, we investigate a mechanism by which spermine affects the morphogenesis of a dimorphic fungal model of emerging relevance in plant interactions, Yarrowia lipolytica, through the recruitment of a phytohormone-like pathway involving an activation of the plasma membrane P-type H+-ATPase. Morphological transition was followed microscopically and the H+-ATPase activity was analyzed in isolated membrane vesicles...
January 22, 2018: Biology Open
Ting Duan, Chenchen Shi, Jing Zhou, Xiao Lv, Yongli Li, Yiping Luo
This study aimed to test the hypothesis that the aerial survival of the northern snakehead is involved not only with suprabranchial chamber respiration but also with physiological regulations. The aerial survival time and oxygen consumption rate (VO2) were determined in snakeheads with either normal or injured suprabranchial organs. Some hematological and biochemical parameters were assessed during aerial exposure. The results showed that resting VO2 decreased when switching from water to air in both the control and the suprabranchial organ-injured fish, with decreases of 22...
January 22, 2018: Biology Open
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