A high-salt environment represents environmental stress for most plants. Those that can grow and thrive in such an environment must have membrane transport systems that can respond effectively. Plant roots absorb Na+ from the soil, and the plant must maintain Na+ homeostasis to survive salt stress. A major mechanism by which salt-tolerant plants adapt to salt stress is through modulation of ion transport genes. We have subjected a population of rice plants to mutagenesis, and identified lines with both single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in membrane transport genes and altered responses to salt stress. Primers labeled with FAM or HEX fluorescent dyes were designed for nine target genes encoding membrane transport proteins that are believed to regulate salt stress tolerance. A TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions IN Genome) assay was performed on 2,961 M2 rice mutant lines using electrophoresis. After the TILLING assay, a total of 41 mutant lines containing SNPs in the target genes were identified and screened. The average number of mutations per gene was 1/492 kb in lines having SNPs, and the percentage of mutation sites per total sequence was 0.67. Among the 41 lines, nine had altered sequences in the exon region of the genes. Of these nine lines, seven were tolerant to salt stress after exposure to 170 mM NaCl for three weeks, while the other two lines were not more salt-tolerant than the control lines. Furthermore, five mutant lines containing SNPs in the coding region of OsAKT1, OsHKT6, OsNSCC2, OsHAK11 and OsSOS1 showed changed expression levels for each gene. We conclude that variation in membrane transport genes, such as expression levels and protein structures, may affect the rice plant’s tolerance to salt stress. These mutations represent traits that may be selected for large rice mutant populations, permitting efficient acquisition of salt-tolerant lines.
The early development of mollusks exhibits important characteristics from the developmental and evolutionary perspective. With the increasing number of genome-wide studies, accurate analyses of quantitative gene expression during development are impeded by the lack of validated reference genes. To improve the situation, in this study, we analyzed the expression stability of seven candidate housekeeping genes during early development of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas: actin, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gapdh), α subunit of elongation factor 1 (elf1α), adp-ribosylation factor 1 (arf1), heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein q, ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme e2d2 and ribosomal protein s18. We focused on 11 stages from oocyte to D-veliger, which include crucial developmental processes such as axis determination, gastrulation and shell formation. Gene expression stabilities were assessed with the three commonly used programs geNorm, NormFinder and BestKeeper. Although the results obtained with the three programs varied to some extent, in general, arf1, elf1α and gapdh were highly ranked and actin was poorly ranked. This analysis also indicated that multiple genes should be used for normalization, and we concluded that arf1-elf1α-gapdh should be used as internal references. The findings of this study will help researchers to obtain accurate results in future quantitative gene expression analysis of development in bivalve mollusks.
Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 3 (TRAF3) is an important adaptor that transmits upstream activation signals to induce innate immune responses. TRAF3 interacting protein 1 (TRAF3IP1) interacts specifically with TRAF3, but its function in innate immunity remains unclear, especially in marine invertebrates. In this study, to better understand the functions of TRAFs in innate immune responses, we identified and characterized the first bivalve TRAF3IP1 gene, PyTRAF3IP1, from Yesso scallop (Patinopecten yessoensis), one of the most important mollusk species for aquaculture. The PyTRAF3IP1 cDNA is 2,367 bp, with an open reading frame of 1,629 bp encoding 542 amino acids. Phylogenetic and protein structural analysis confirmed the gene’s identity and revealed that PyTRAF3IP1 was more similar to vertebrate TRAF3IP1s than to those of invertebrates. PyTRAF3IP1 was expressed in all the adult tissues and developmental stages sampled, implying that it plays versatile roles in many biological processes. Furthermore, PyTRAF3IP1 expression was dramatically induced in the acute phase (3–6 h) after infection with both Gram-positive (Micrococcus luteus) and Gram-negative (Vibrio anguillarum) bacteria, even stronger induction being observed after V. anguillarum challenge. This is the first report of the characterization and immune response involvement of TRAF3IP1 in marine invertebrates, and suggests that TRAF3IP1 contributes to innate immunity in bivalves.
Since NAT2 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are responsible for the efficacy of arylamines and hydrazine drugs, defining the effects of these SNPs in various ethnicities is an important factor in the development of personalized medicine. In the present study, we examined the expression efficiency of NAT2 using promoter haplotypes identified in a Korean population. To construct NAT2 promoter haplotypes, seven NAT2 promoter SNPs (rs4646241, rs4646242, rs4646243, rs4646267, rs4345600, rs4271002 and rs4646246) were genotyped in a total of 192 Korean subjects. A luciferase assay was performed using the three commonest haplotypes to evaluate enzyme expression level of NAT2 promoter haplotypes. The most common haplotype (TACGAGG) showed the lowest enzyme expression level (0.72 ± 0.06 relative light units (RLU)/[β-galactosidase]). The second (CGTAAGA) and third (TATAACA) commonest haplotypes showed intermediate and the highest enzyme expression level (0.99 ± 0.05 and 1.45 ± 0.11 RLU/[β-galactosidase]), respectively. Haplotype comparison among populations showed that Asian populations had a high proportion of the haplotype for lowest enzyme expression. Haplotype frequencies of Caucasian and African ethnicities were markedly different from those of Korean ethnicity. Results from the present study should contribute to the expansion of our current understanding of the pharmacogenetics field.
Bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) possess a genome of 10 segmented RNAs (S1–S10), one copy of each of which is considered to be packaged in a virion. This selective packaging is thought to be mediated by supramolecular complex formation of the 10 RNAs, through intermolecular base pairing of complementary nucleotide sequences termed the bundling signal. Here, the whole genomic sequences of BTV and EHDV isolates were analyzed to identify co-evolving pairs of complementary nucleotide sequences within and between genomic segments. One co-evolving pair was identified within S5 and another between S5 and S10. The co-evolving pair between S5 and S10, consisting of six bases in each segment, was a candidate for a bundling signal and was identical to one of two putative bundling signals reported in a previous experimental study, validating the effectiveness of the method used in the present study. The six bases in S10 were confirmed to be located in a loop at the end of a stable stem. Although the six bases in S5 were located in a loop at the end of a stem of only four bases long, the complementary nucleotide sequences constituting this stem were, remarkably, the co-evolving pair within S5. These results highlight the importance not only of loops but also of stems in the intermolecular base pairing of bundling signals.
Hair cells in the cochlea display highly regulated actin polymerization, which is mediated by the human diaphanous-related formin 1 gene (DIAPH1; also called DFNA1, DIA1). DFNA1, the first type of autosomal dominant nonsyndromic hearing loss (ADNSHL), is known to be associated with mutations in DIAPH1. However, no genetic study of DFNA1 in Koreans with hearing loss has yet been reported. A 51-year-old patient in a Korean family with ADNSHL was examined by pure-tone audiometry, and genetic analysis of DIAPH1 was performed. A novel variant, p.I530S (c.1589T > G), was identified in the DIAPH1 gene, and the mutation was located in the highly conserved coiled-coil domain of the DIA1 protein, where an amino acid substitution was predicted to change the domain structure. Further functional investigations will provide more information to help us understand the role of DIAPH1 in maintenance of hair cell function in the auditory pathway.