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Cristian Koepfli, Guiyun Yan
The proportion of Plasmodium spp. infections carrying gametocytes, and gametocyte densities, are often reported as surrogate markers for transmission potential. It remains unclear whether parasites under natural conditions adjust commitment to transmission depending on external factors. Population-based surveys comprising mostly asymptomatic low-density infections are always impacted by the sensitivity of the assays used to diagnose infections and detect gametocytes. Asexual parasite density is an important predictor for the probability of detecting gametocytes, and in many cases it can explain patterns in gametocyte carriage without the need for an adjustment of the gametocyte conversion rate...
March 12, 2018: Trends in Parasitology
Qing Cai, Sen-Miao Tong, Wei Shao, Sheng-Hua Ying, Ming-Guang Feng
Histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and deacetylases (HDACs) maintain dynamics of lysine acetylation/deacetylation on histones and non-histone substrates involved in gene regulation and cellular events. Hos2 is a class I HDAC that deacetylates unique histone H4-K16 site in yeasts. Here, we report that orthologous Hos2 deacetylates H4-K16 and is also involved in the acetylation of histone H3-K56 and the phosphorylation of histone H2A-S129 and cyclin-dependent kinase 1 CDK1-Y15 in Beauveria bassiana, a filamentous fungal insect pathogen...
March 15, 2018: Cellular Microbiology
Liwen Feng, Don Antoine Lanfranchi, Leandro Cotos, Elena Cesar-Rodo, Katharina Ehrhardt, Alice-Anne Goetz, Herbert Zimmermann, François Fenaille, Stephanie A Blandin, Elisabeth Davioud-Charvet
Malaria is a tropical parasitic disease threatening populations in tropical and sub-tropical areas. Resistance to antimalarial drugs has spread all over the world in the past 50 years, thus new drugs are urgently needed. Plasmodione (benzylmenadione series) has been identified as a potent antimalarial early lead drug, acting through a redox bioactivation on asexual and young sexual blood stages. To investigate its metabolism, a series of plasmodione-based tools, including a fully13 C-labelled lead drug and putative metabolites, have been designed and synthesized for drug metabolism investigation...
March 15, 2018: Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
Oren Akhberdi, Qian Zhang, Dan Wang, Haichuan Wang, Xiaoran Hao, Yanjie Liu, Dongsheng Wei, Xudong Zhu
The velvet family proteins have been shown to play critical roles in fungal secondary metabolism and development. However, variations of the roles have been observed in different fungi. We report here the observation on the role of three velvet complex components VeA, VelB, and LaeA in Pestalotiopsis microspora , a formerly reported taxol-producing fungus. Deletion of individual members led to the retardation of vegetative growth and sporulation and pigmentation, suggesting critical roles in these processes...
March 14, 2018: Genes
Cécile Molinier, Céline M O Reisser, Peter Fields, Adeline Ségard, Yan Galimov, Christoph R Haag
Daphnia reproduce by cyclic-parthenogenesis, where phases of asexual reproduction are intermitted by sexual production of diapause stages. This life cycle, together with environmental sex determination, allow the comparison of gene expression between genetically identical males and females. We investigated gene expression differences between males and females in four genotypes of Daphnia magna and compared the results with published data on sex-biased gene expression in two other Daphnia species, each representing one of the major phylogenetic clades within the genus...
March 13, 2018: G3: Genes—Genomes—Genetics
Yinghang Liu, Kunlong Yang, Qiuping Qin, Guinan Lin, Tianran Hu, Zhangling Xu, Shihua Wang
The heterotrimeric G proteins are critical for signal transduction and function in numerous biological processes including vegetative growth, asexual development and fungal virulence in fungi. Here, we identified four G protein alpha subunits (GanA, GpaB, FadA and GaoC) in the notorious Aflatoxin-producing fungus Aspergillus flavus . GanA, GpaB and FadA have homologues in other fungal species, while GaoC is a novel one. Here, we showed that the loss function of gpaB displayed a defect in conidiophore formation and considerably reduced expression levels of conidia-specific genes brlA and abaA ...
March 10, 2018: Toxins
Longzheng Chen, Wei Li, Lorenzo Katin-Grazzini, Jing Ding, Xianbin Gu, Yanjun Li, Tingting Gu, Ren Wang, Xinchun Lin, Ziniu Deng, Richard J McAvoy, Frederick G Gmitter, Zhanao Deng, Yunde Zhao, Yi Li
Developing CRISPR/Cas9-mediated non-transgenic mutants in asexually propagated perennial crop plants is challenging but highly desirable. Here, we report a highly useful method using an Agrobacterium -mediated transient CRISPR/Cas9 gene expression system to create non-transgenic mutant plants without the need for sexual segregation. We have also developed a rapid, cost-effective, and high-throughput mutant screening protocol based on Illumina sequencing followed by high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis. Using tetraploid tobacco as a model species and the phytoene desaturase ( PDS ) gene as a target, we successfully created and expediently identified mutant plants, which were verified as tetra-allelic mutants...
2018: Horticulture Research
Baoli Fan, Allen David McHugh, Shujiang Guo, Quanlin Ma, Jianhui Zhang, Xiaojuan Zhang, Weixing Zhang, Juan Du, Qiushi Yu, Changming Zhao
Calligonum mongolicum is a successful pioneer shrub to combat desertification, which is widely used for vegetation restoration in the desert regions of northwest China. In order to reveal the limitations to natural regeneration of C. mongolicum by asexual and sexual reproduction, following the process of sand dune stabilization, we assessed clonal shoots, seedling emergence, soil seed bank density, and soil physical characteristics in mobile and stabilized sand dunes. Controlled field and pot experiments were also conducted to assess germination and seedling emergence in different dune soil types and seed burial depths...
March 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Nathan W Burke, Russell Bonduriansky
Facultative reproductive strategies that incorporate both sexual and parthenogenetic reproduction should be optimal, yet are rarely observed in animals. Resolving this paradox requires an understanding of the economics of facultative asexuality. Recent work suggests that switching from parthenogenesis to sex can be costly and that females can resist mating to avoid switching. However, it remains unclear whether these costs and resistance behaviors are dependent on female age. We addressed these questions in the Cyclone Larry stick insect, Sipyloidea larryi , by pairing females with males (or with females as a control) in early life prior to the start of parthenogenetic reproduction, or in mid- or late life after a period of parthenogenetic oviposition...
March 2018: Ecology and Evolution
Marzieh Ezzaty Mirhashemi, Farzad Noubary, Susan Chapman-Bonofiglio, Saul Tzipori, Gordon S Huggins, Giovanni Widmer
BACKGROUND: Human cryptosporidiosis is caused primarily by two species of apicomplexan protozoa, Cryptosporidium parvum and C. hominis. In cultured cell monolayers, the parasite undergoes two generations of asexual multiplication (merogony). However, the proportion of parasites completing the life-cycle is low and insufficient to sustain continuous propagation. Due to the intracellular location of meronts and later life-cycle stages, oocyst and sporozoites are the only forms of the parasite that can readily be isolated...
March 12, 2018: Parasites & Vectors
Joel Sharbrough, Meagan Luse, Jeffrey L Boore, John M Logsdon, Maurine Neiman
Harmful mutations are ubiquitous and inevitable, and the rate at which these mutations are removed from populations is a critical determinant of evolutionary fate. Closely related sexual and asexual taxa provide a particularly powerful setting to study deleterious mutation elimination because sexual reproduction should facilitate mutational clearance by reducing selective interference between sites and by allowing the production of offspring with different mutational complements than their parents. Here, we compared the rate of removal of conservative (i...
March 9, 2018: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Jiyoung Shin, Jung-Eun Kim, Yin-Won Lee, Hokyoung Son
Cytochrome P450s (CYPs), heme-containing monooxygenases, play important roles in a wide variety of metabolic processes important for development as well as biotic/trophic interactions in most living organisms. Functions of some CYP enzymes are similar across organisms, but some are organism-specific; they are involved in the biosynthesis of structural components, signaling networks, secondary metabolisms, and xenobiotic/drug detoxification. Fungi possess more diverse CYP families than plants, animals, or bacteria...
March 7, 2018: Toxins
Radka Symonová, Iva Vrbová, Dunja K Lamatsch, Jürgen Paar, Renate Matzke-Karasz, Olivier Schmit, Koen Martens, Stefan Müller
Transitions from sexual to asexual reproduction are often associated with polyploidy and increased chromosomal plasticity in asexuals. We investigated chromosomes in the freshwater ostracod species Eucypris virens (Jurine, 1820), where sexual, asexual and mixed populations can be found. Our initial karyotyping of multiple populations from Europe and North Africa, both sexual and asexual, revealed a striking variability in chromosome numbers. This would suggest that chromosomal changes are likely to be accelerated in asexuals because the constraints of meiosis are removed...
March 8, 2018: Genes
P E Mandelare, D A Adpressa, E N Kaweesa, L N Zakharov, S Loesgen
The genetically encoded, small-molecule chemical diversity of filamentous fungi is still largely unexplored and represents an attractive source for the discovery of new compounds. Here we report the production of new chlorinated bianthrones from coculture of two different developmental stages, or morphs, of a marine alga-derived Aspergillus alliaceus (teleomorph: Petromyces alliaceus) strain. The vegetative stage (asexual morph) can be separated from the morph that switched to sexual development (sclerotial morph); both produce distinct secondary metabolite patterns...
March 8, 2018: Journal of Natural Products
L Allen, K L Sanders, V A Thomson
Parthenogenesis is a form of asexual reproduction by which embryos develop from unfertilized eggs. Parthenogenesis occurs in reptiles; however, it is not yet known to occur in the widespread elapid snakes (Elapidae), which include well-known taxa such as cobras, mambas, taipans and sea snakes. Here, we describe the production of viable parthenogens in two species of Australo-Papuan elapids with divergent reproductive modes: the oviparous coastal/Papuan taipan ( Oxyuranus scutellatus ) and the viviparous southern death adder ( Acanthophis antarcticus )...
February 2018: Royal Society Open Science
Eisuke Hasegawa, Saori Watanabe, Yuuka Murakami, Fuminori Ito
Phenotypic variations are observed in most organisms, but their significance is not always known. The phenotypic variations observed in social insects are exceptions. Genetically based response threshold variances have been identified among workers and are thought to play several important adaptive roles in social life, e.g. allocating tasks among workers according to demand, promoting the sustainability of the colony and forming the basis of rationality in collective decision-making. Several parthenogenetic ants produce clonal workers and new queens by asexual reproduction...
February 2018: Royal Society Open Science
Hella Schmidt, Sebastian Vlaic, Thomas Krüger, Franziska Schmidt, Johannes Balkenhohl, Thomas Dandekar, Reinhard Guthke, Olaf Kniemeyer, Thorsten Heinekamp, Axel A Brakhage
Invasive infections by the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus start with the outgrowth of asexual, airborne spores (conidia) into the lung tissue of immunocompromised patients. The resident alveolar macrophages phagocytose conidia, which end up in phagolysosomes. However, A. fumigatus conidia resist phagocytic degradation to a certain degree. This is mainly attributable to the pigment 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin located in the cell wall of conidia, which manipulates the phagolysosomal maturation and prevents their intracellular killing...
March 5, 2018: Molecular & Cellular Proteomics: MCP
A Hashimoto, M Matsumura, K Hirayama, K Tanaka
The family Lophiotremataceae ( Pleosporales , Dothideomycetes ) is taxonomically revised on the basis of morphological observations and phylogenetic analyses of sequences of nuclear rDNA SSU, ITS, and LSU regions and tef1 and rpb2 genes. A total of 208 sequences were generated from species of Lophiotremataceae and its relatives. According to phylogenetic analyses, Lophiotremataceae encompasses the genus Lophiotrema and five new genera: Atrocalyx , Crassimassarina , Cryptoclypeus , Galeaticarpa , and Pseudocryptoclypeus ...
December 2017: Persoonia
Sabine A Fraschka, Michael Filarsky, Regina Hoo, Igor Niederwieser, Xue Yan Yam, Nicolas M B Brancucci, Franziska Mohring, Annals T Mushunje, Ximei Huang, Peter R Christensen, Francois Nosten, Zbynek Bozdech, Bruce Russell, Robert W Moon, Matthias Marti, Peter R Preiser, Richárd Bártfai, Till S Voss
Heterochromatin-dependent gene silencing is central to the adaptation and survival of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites, allowing clonally variant gene expression during blood infection in humans. By assessing genome-wide heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) occupancy, we present a comprehensive analysis of heterochromatin landscapes across different Plasmodium species, strains, and life cycle stages. Common targets of epigenetic silencing include fast-evolving multi-gene families encoding surface antigens and a small set of conserved HP1-associated genes with regulatory potential...
February 22, 2018: Cell Host & Microbe
Mingyu Ding, Jing Li, Xinyue Fan, Fang He, Xiaoyang Yu, Lei Chen, Shenshen Zou, Yuancun Liang, Jinfeng Yu
The Ascomycete fungus Fusarium graminearum, the causal agent of Fusarium head blight of wheat and barley, has become a predominant model organism for the study of fungal phytopathogens. Aquaporins (AQPs) have been implicated in the transport of water, glycerol, and a variety of other small molecules in yeast, plants and animals. However, the role of these proteins in phytopathogenic fungi is not well understood. Here, we identified and attempted to elucidate the function of the five aquaporin genes in F. graminearum...
March 3, 2018: Current Genetics
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