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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2013-09-23
    Description: Background: Propionibacteria are part of the human microbiota. Many studies have addressed the predominant colonizer of sebaceous follicles of the skin, Propionibacterium acnes, and investigated its association with the skin disorder acne vulgaris, and lately with prostate cancer. Much less is known about two other propionibacterial species frequently found on human tissue sites, Propionibacterium granulosum and Propionibacterium avidum. Here we analyzed two and three genomes of P. granulosum and P. avidum, respectively, and compared them to two genomes of P. acnes; we further highlight differences among the three cutaneous species with proteomic and microscopy approaches. Results: Electron and atomic force microscopy revealed an exopolysaccharide (EPS)-like structure surrounding P. avidum cells, that is absent in P. acnes and P. granulosum. In contrast, P. granulosum possesses pili-like appendices, which was confirmed by surface proteome analysis. The corresponding genes were identified; they are clustered with genes encoding sortases. Both, P. granulosum and P. avidum lack surface or secreted proteins for predicted host-interacting factors of P. acnes, including several CAMP factors, sialidases, dermatan-sulphate adhesins, hyaluronidase and a SH3 domain-containing lipoprotein; accordingly, only P. acnes exhibits neuraminidase and hyaluronidase activities. These functions are encoded on previously unrecognized island-like regions in the genome of P. acnes. Conclusions: Despite their omnipresence on human skin little is known about the role of cutaneous propionibacteria. All three species are associated with a variety of diseases, including postoperative and device-related abscesses and infections. We showed that the three organisms have evolved distinct features to interact with their human host. Whereas P. avidum and P. granulosum produce an EPS-like surface structure and pili-like appendices, respectively, P. acnes possesses a number of unique surface-exposed proteins with host-interacting properties. The different surface properties of the three cutaneous propionibacteria are likely to determine their colonizing ability and pathogenic potential on the skin and at non-skin sites.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2164
    Topics: Biology
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2016-02-05
    Description: Background: Reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen (RNS) species are produced during normal unstressed metabolic activity in aerobic tissues. Most analytical work uses tissue homogenates, and lacks spatial information on the tissue specific sites of actual ROS formation. Live-imaging techniques (LIT) utilize target-specific fluorescent dyes to visualize biochemical processes at cellular level. Results: Together with oxidative stress measurements, here we report application of LIT to bivalve gills for ex-vivo analysis of gill physiology and mapping of ROS and RNS formation in the living tissue. Our results indicate that a) mitochondria located in the basal parts of the epithelial cells close to the blood vessels are hyperpolarized with high Δψm, whereas b) the peripheral mitochondria close to the cilia have low (depolarized) Δψm. These mitochondria are densely packed (mitotracker Deep Red 633 staining), have acidic pH (Ageladine-A) and collocate with high formation of nitric oxide (DAF-2DA staining). NO formation is also observed in the endothelial cells surrounding the filament blood sinus. ROS (namely H2O2, HOO• and ONOO− radicals, assessed through C-H2DFFDA staining) are mainly formed within the blood sinus of the filaments and are likely to be produced by hemocytes as defense against invading pathogens. On the ventral bend of the gills, subepithelial mucus glands contain large mucous vacuoles showing higher fluorescence intensities for O2 •- than the rest of the tissue. Whether this O2 •- production is instrumental to mucus formation or serves antimicrobial protection of the gill surface is unknown. Cells of the ventral bends contain the superoxide forming mucocytes and show significantly higher protein carbonyl formation than the rest of the gill tissue. Conclusions: In summary, ROS and RNS formation is highly compartmentalized in bivalve gills under unstressed conditions. The main mechanisms are the differentiation of mitochondria membrane potential and basal ROS formation in inner and outer filament layers, as well as potentially antimicrobial ROS formation in the central blood vessel. Our results provide new insight into this subject and highlight the fact that studying ROS formation in tissue homogenates may not be adequate to understand the underlying mechanism in complex tissues. Keywords: Bivalve, Gill, Live-imaging, Fluorescence, Mitochondria, ROS, RNS * Correspondence:
    Repository Name: EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut
    Type: Article , NonPeerReviewed
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2016-09-22
    Description: From The Third Annual Conference of the MidSouth Computational Biology and Bioinformatics Society Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 2–4 March, 2006.
    Description: © 2006 Nahum et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
    Description: EGenBio is a system for manipulation and filtering of large numbers of sequences, integrating curated sequence alignments and phylogenetic trees, managing evolutionary analyses, and visualizing their output. EGenBio is organized into three conceptual divisions, Evolution, Genomics, and Biodiversity. The Genomics division includes tools for selecting pre-aligned sequences from different genes and species, and for modifying and filtering these alignments for further analysis. Species searches are handled through queries that can be modified based on a tree-based navigation system and saved. The Biodiversity division contains tools for analyzing individual sequences or sequence alignments, whereas the Evolution division contains tools involving phylogenetic trees. Alignments are annotated with analytical results and modification history using our PRAED format. A miscellaneous Tools section and Help framework are also available. EGenBio was developed around our comparative genomic research and a prototype database of mtDNA genomes. It utilizes MySQL-relational databases and dynamic page generation, and calls numerous custom programs.
    Description: This work was partly funded by the National Institutes of Health (R22/R33 Innovation and Development grant to David Pollock), the National Science Foundation (CBM2/EPSCOR), and the State of Louisiana (Biological Computation and Visualization Center, Governor's iotechnology Initiative, and startup funds to David Pollock).
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
    Format: 358631 bytes
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-12-14
    Description: © The Author(s), 2015. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in GigaScience 4 (2015): 27, doi:10.1186/s13742-015-0066-5.
    Description: Ocean Sampling Day was initiated by the EU-funded Micro B3 (Marine Microbial Biodiversity, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology) project to obtain a snapshot of the marine microbial biodiversity and function of the world’s oceans. It is a simultaneous global mega-sequencing campaign aiming to generate the largest standardized microbial data set in a single day. This will be achievable only through the coordinated efforts of an Ocean Sampling Day Consortium, supportive partnerships and networks between sites. This commentary outlines the establishment, function and aims of the Consortium and describes our vision for a sustainable study of marine microbial communities and their embedded functional traits.
    Description: This work was supported by the Micro B3 project, which is funded from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7; Joint Call OCEAN.2011‐2: Marine microbial diversity – new insights into marine ecosystems functioning and its biotechnological potential) under the grant agreement no 287589.
    Keywords: Ocean sampling day ; OSD ; Biodiversity ; Genomics ; Health index ; Bacteria ; Microorganism ; Metagenomics ; Marine ; Micro B3 ; Standards
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2016-12-08
    Description: © The Author(s), 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in GigaScience 5 (2016): 14, doi:10.1186/s13742-016-0118-5.
    Description: Systems biology promises to revolutionize medicine, yet human wellbeing is also inherently linked to healthy societies and environments (sustainability). The IDEA Consortium is a systems ecology open science initiative to conduct the basic scientific research needed to build use-oriented simulations (avatars) of entire social-ecological systems. Islands are the most scientifically tractable places for these studies and we begin with one of the best known: Moorea, French Polynesia. The Moorea IDEA will be a sustainability simulator modeling links and feedbacks between climate, environment, biodiversity, and human activities across a coupled marine–terrestrial landscape. As a model system, the resulting knowledge and tools will improve our ability to predict human and natural change on Moorea and elsewhere at scales relevant to management/conservation actions.
    Description: Work was supported in part by: the Institute of Theoretical Physics and the Pauli Center at ETH Zurich; the US National Science Foundation (NSF Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research Site, OCE-1236905; Socio-Ecosystem Dynamics of Natural-Human Networks on Model Islands, CNH-1313830; Coastal SEES: Adaptive Capacity, Resilience, and Coral Reef State Shifts in Social-ecological Systems, OCE-1325652, OCE-1325554); the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (Berkeley Initiative in Global Change Biology; Genomic Standards Consortium); Courtney Ross and the Ross Institute; UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Research; CRIOBE; and the France Berkeley Fund (FBF 2014-0015).
    Keywords: Computational ecology ; Biodiversity ; Genomics ; Biocode ; Earth observations ; Social-ecological system ; Ecosystem dynamics ; Climate change scenarios ; Predictive modeling
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Article
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2017-01-07
    Description: Compound selectivity is an important issue when developing a new drug. In many instances, a lack of selectivity can translate to increased toxicity. Protein kinases are particularly concerned with this issue b...
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2105
    Topics: Biology , Computer Science
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2015-11-11
    Description: Background: Gray Leaf Spot (GLS causal agents Cercospora zeae-maydis and Cercospora zeina) is one of the most important foliar diseases of maize in all areas where the crop is being cultivated. Although in the USA the situation with GLS severity is not as critical as in sub-Saharan Africa or Brazil, the evidence of climate change, increasing corn monoculture as well as the narrow genetic base of North American resistant germplasm can turn the disease into a serious threat to US corn production. The development of GLS resistant cultivars is one way to control the disease. In this study we combined the high QTL detection power of genetic linkage mapping with the high resolution power of genome-wide association study (GWAS) to precisely dissect QTL controlling GLS resistance and identify closely linked molecular markers for robust marker-assisted selection and trait introgression. Results: Using genetic linkage analysis with a small bi-parental mapping population, we identified four GLS resistance QTL on chromosomes 1, 6, 7, and 8, which were validated by GWAS. GWAS enabled us to dramatically increase the resolution within the confidence intervals of the above-mentioned QTL. Particularly, GWAS revealed that QTLGLSchr8, detected by genetic linkage mapping as a locus with major effect, was likely represented by two QTL with smaller effects. Conducted in parallel, GWAS of days-to-silking demonstrated the co-localization of flowering time QTL with GLS resistance QTL on chromosome 7 indicating that either QTLGLSchr7 is a flowering time QTL or it is a GLS resistance QTL that co-segregates with the latter. As a result, this genetic linkage – GWAS hybrid mapping system enabled us to identify one novel GLS resistance QTL (QTLGLSchr8a) and confirm with more refined positions four more previously mapped QTL (QTLGLSchr1, QTLGLSchr6, QTLGLSchr7, and QTLGLSchr8b). Through the novel Single Donor vs. Elite Panel method we were able to identify within QTL confidence intervals SNP markers that would be suitable for marker-assisted selection of gray leaf spot resistant genotypes containing the above-mentioned GLS resistance QTL. Conclusion: The application of a genetic linkage – GWAS hybrid mapping system enabled us to dramatically increase the resolution within the confidence interval of GLS resistance QTL by-passing labor- and time-intensive fine mapping. This method appears to have a great potential to accelerate the pace of QTL mapping projects. It is universal and can be used in the QTL mapping projects in any crops.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2164
    Topics: Biology
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2015-11-24
    Description: Background: Available methods to simulate nucleotide or amino acid data typically use Markov models to simulate each position independently. These approaches are not appropriate to assess the performance of combinatorial and probabilistic methods that look for coevolving positions in nucleotide or amino acid sequences. Results: We have developed a web-based platform that gives a user-friendly access to two phylogenetic-based methods implementing the Coev model: the evaluation of coevolving scores and the simulation of coevolving positions. We have also extended the capabilities of the Coev model to allow for the generalization of the alphabet used in the Markov model, which can now analyse both nucleotide and amino acid data sets. The simulation of coevolving positions is novel and builds upon the developments of the Coev model. It allows user to simulate pairs of dependent nucleotide or amino acid positions. Conclusions: The main focus of our paper is the new simulation method we present for coevolving positions. The implementation of this method is embedded within the web platform Coev-web that is freely accessible at http://coev.vital-it.ch/, and was tested in most modern web browsers.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2105
    Topics: Biology , Computer Science
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2015-11-26
    Description: Background: Gene expression is an inherently stochastic process, owing to its dynamic molecular nature. Protein amount distributions, which can be acquired by cytometry using a reporter gene, can inform about the mechanisms of the underlying microscopic molecular system. Results: By using different clones of chicken erythroid progenitor cells harboring different integration sites of a CMV-driven mCherry protein, we investigated the dynamical behavior of such distributions. We show that, on short term, clone distributions can be quickly regenerated from small population samples with a high accuracy. On longer term, on the contrary, we show variations manifested by correlated fluctuation in the Mean Fluorescence Intensity. In search for a possible cause of this correlation, we demonstrate that in response to small temperature variations cells are able to adjust their gene expression rate: a modest (2 °C) increase in external temperature induces a significant down regulation of mean expression values, with a reverse effect observed when the temperature is decreased. Using a two-state model of gene expression we further demonstrate that temperature acts by modifying the size of transcription bursts, while the burst frequency of the investigated promoter is less systematically affected. Conclusions: For the first time, we report that transcription burst size is a key parameter for gene expression that metazoan cells from homeotherm animals can modify in response to an external thermal stimulus.
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2199
    Topics: Biology
    Published by BioMed Central
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2015-12-18
    Description: Gene expression is an inherently stochastic process, owing to its dynamic molecular nature. Protein amount distributions, which can be acquired by cytometry using a reporter gene, can inform about the mechanis...
    Electronic ISSN: 1471-2199
    Topics: Biology
    Published by BioMed Central
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