Project description:Mammalian spermatozoa deliver various classes of RNAs to the oocyte during fertilization, and many of them may regulate fertility. The objective of the present study was to determine the composition and abundance of spermatozoal transcripts in fresh bull semen. The entire transcriptome of the spermatozoa from bulls (n?=?3) was sequenced using two different platforms (Ion Proton and Illumina) to identify the maximum number of genes present in the spermatozoa. The bovine spermatozoa contained transcripts for 13,833 genes (transcripts per million, TPM?>?10). Both intact and fragmented transcripts were found. These spermatozoal transcripts were associated with various stages of spermatogenesis, spermatozoal function, fertilization, and embryo development. The presence of intact transcripts of pregnancy-associated glycoproteins (PAGs) in the spermatozoa suggest a possible influence of sperm transcripts beyond early embryonic development. The specific regions (exon, intron, and exon-intron) of the particular spermatozoal transcripts might help regulate fertilization. This study demonstrates that the use of two different RNA-seq platforms provides a comprehensive profile of bovine spermatozoal RNA. Spermatozoal RNA profiling may be useful as a non-invasive method to delineate possible causes of male infertility and to predict fertility in a manner that is more effective than the conventional methods.
Project description:Numerical approaches to high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data are often employed independently to address individual questions. We linked independent approaches in a bioinformatics pipeline for further insight. The pipeline driven by heterozygosity and Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) analyses was applied to characterize Bos taurus and Bos indicus ancestry. We infer a gene co-heterozygosity network that regulates bovine fertility, from data on 18,363 cattle with genotypes for 729,068 SNP. Hierarchical clustering separated populations according to Bos taurus and Bos indicus ancestry. The weights of the first principal component were subjected to Normal mixture modelling allowing the estimation of a gene's contribution to the Bos taurus-Bos indicus axis. We used deviation from HWE, contribution to Bos indicus content and association to fertility traits to select 1,284 genes. With this set, we developed a co-heterozygosity network where the group of genes annotated as fertility-related had significantly higher Bos indicus content compared to other functional classes of genes, while the group of genes associated with milk production had significantly higher Bos taurus content. The network analysis resulted in capturing novel gene associations of relevance to bovine domestication events. We report transcription factors that are likely to regulate genes associated with cattle domestication and tropical adaptation. Our pipeline can be generalized to any scenarios where population structure requires scrutiny at the molecular level, particularly in the presence of a priori set of genes known to impact a phenotype of evolutionary interest such as fertility.
Project description:The ability of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to establish a latent infection (LTBI) in humans confounds the treatment of tuberculosis. Consequently, there is a need to discover new therapeutic agents that can kill M. tuberculosis both during active disease and LTBI. The streptomycin-dependent strain of M. tuberculosis, 18b, provides a useful tool for this purpose since upon removal of streptomycin (STR) it enters a non-replicating state that mimics latency both in vitro and in animal models.The 4.41 Mb genome sequence of M. tuberculosis 18b was determined and this revealed the strain to belong to clade 3 of the ancient ancestral lineage of the Beijing family. STR-dependence was attributable to insertion of a single cytosine in the 530 loop of the 16S rRNA and to a single amino acid insertion in the N-terminal domain of initiation factor 3. RNA-seq was used to understand the genetic programme activated upon STR-withdrawal and hence to gain insight into LTBI. This revealed reconfiguration of gene expression and metabolic pathways showing strong similarities between non-replicating 18b and M. tuberculosis residing within macrophages, and with the core stationary phase and microaerophilic responses.The findings of this investigation confirm the validity of 18b as a model for LTBI, and provide insight into both the evolution of tubercle bacilli and the functioning of the ribosome.
Project description:The Toll-like receptor (TLR) and peptidoglycan recognition protein 1 (PGLYRP1) genes play key roles in the innate immune systems of mammals. While the TLRs recognize a variety of invading pathogens and induce innate immune responses, PGLYRP1 is directly microbicidal. We used custom allele-specific assays to genotype and validate 220 diallelic variants, including 54 nonsynonymous SNPs in 11 bovine innate immune genes (TLR1-TLR10, PGLYRP1) for 37 cattle breeds. Bayesian haplotype reconstructions and median joining networks revealed haplotype sharing between Bos taurus taurus and Bos taurus indicus breeds at every locus, and we were unable to differentiate between the specialized B. t. taurus beef and dairy breeds, despite an average polymorphism density of one locus per 219 bp. Ninety-nine tagSNPs and one tag insertion-deletion polymorphism were sufficient to predict 100% of the variation at all 11 innate immune loci in both subspecies and their hybrids, whereas 58 tagSNPs captured 100% of the variation at 172 loci in B. t. taurus. PolyPhen and SIFT analyses of nonsynonymous SNPs encoding amino acid replacements indicated that the majority of these substitutions were benign, but up to 31% were expected to potentially impact protein function. Several diversity-based tests provided support for strong purifying selection acting on TLR10 in B. t. taurus cattle. These results will broadly impact efforts related to bovine translational genomics.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Tuberculous sputum provides a sample of bacilli that must be eliminated by chemotherapy and that may go on to transmit infection. A preliminary observation that Mycobacterium tuberculosis cells contain triacylglycerol lipid bodies in sputum, but not when growing in vitro, led us to investigate the extent of this phenomenon and its physiological basis. METHODS AND FINDINGS:Microscopy-positive sputum samples from the UK and The Gambia were investigated for their content of lipid body-positive mycobacteria by combined Nile red and auramine staining. All samples contained a lipid body-positive population varying from 3% to 86% of the acid-fast bacilli present. The recent finding that triacylglycerol synthase is expressed by mycobacteria when they enter in vitro nonreplicating persistence led us to investigate whether this state was also associated with lipid body formation. We found that, when placed in laboratory conditions inducing nonreplicating persistence, two M. tuberculosis strains had lipid body levels comparable to those found in sputum. We investigated these physiological findings further by comparing the M. tuberculosis transcriptome of growing and nonreplicating persistence cultures with that obtained directly from sputum samples. Although sputum has traditionally been thought to contain actively growing tubercle bacilli, our transcript analyses refute the hypothesis that these cells predominate. Rather, they reinforce the results of the lipid body analyses by revealing transcriptional signatures that can be clearly attributed to slowly replicating or nonreplicating mycobacteria. Finally, the lipid body count was highly correlated (R(2) = 0.64, p < 0.03) with time to positivity in diagnostic liquid cultures, thereby establishing a direct link between this cytological feature and the size of a potential nonreplicating population. CONCLUSION:As nonreplicating tubercle bacilli are tolerant to the cidal action of antibiotics and resistant to multiple stresses, identification of this persister-like population of tubercle bacilli in sputum presents exciting and tractable new opportunities to investigate both responses to chemotherapy and the transmission of tuberculosis.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The highly homologous PE_PGRS (Proline-glutamic acid_polymorphic GC-rich repetitive sequence) genes are members of the PE multigene family which is found only in mycobacteria. PE genes are particularly abundant within the genomes of pathogenic mycobacteria where they seem to have expanded as a result of gene duplication events. PE_PGRS genes are characterized by their high GC content and extensive repetitive sequences, making them prone to recombination events and genetic variability.<h4>Results</h4>Comparative sequence analysis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis genes PE_PGRS17 (Rv0978c) and PE_PGRS18 (Rv0980c) revealed a striking genetic variation associated with this typical tandem duplicate. In comparison to the M. tuberculosis reference strain H37Rv, the variation (named the 12/40 polymorphism) consists of an in-frame 12-bp insertion invariably accompanied by a set of 40 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that occurs either in PE_PGRS17 or in both genes. Sequence analysis of the paralogous genes in a representative set of worldwide distributed tubercle bacilli isolates revealed data which supported previously proposed evolutionary scenarios for the M. tuberculosis complex (MTBC) and confirmed the very ancient origin of "M. canettii" and other smooth tubercle bacilli. Strikingly, the identified polymorphism appears to be coincident with the emergence of the post-bottleneck successful clone from which the MTBC expanded. Furthermore, the findings provide direct and clear evidence for the natural occurrence of gene conversion in mycobacteria, which appears to be restricted to modern M. tuberculosis strains.<h4>Conclusion</h4>This study provides a new perspective to explore the molecular events that accompanied the evolution, clonal expansion, and recent diversification of tubercle bacilli.
Project description:RNA sequencing provides a new perspective on the genome of Mycobacterium tuberculosis by revealing an extensive presence of non-coding RNA, including long 5' and 3' untranslated regions, antisense transcripts, and intergenic small RNA (sRNA) molecules. More than a quarter of all sequence reads mapping outside of ribosomal RNA genes represent non-coding RNA, and the density of reads mapping to intergenic regions was more than two-fold higher than that mapping to annotated coding sequences. Selected sRNAs were found at increased abundance in stationary phase cultures and accumulated to remarkably high levels in the lungs of chronically infected mice, indicating a potential contribution to pathogenesis. The ability of tubercle bacilli to adapt to changing environments within the host is critical to their ability to cause disease and to persist during drug treatment; it is likely that novel post-transcriptional regulatory networks will play an important role in these adaptive responses.
Project description:We present here the assembly of the bovine genome. The assembly method combines the BAC plus WGS local assembly used for the rat and sea urchin with the whole genome shotgun (WGS) only assembly used for many other animal genomes including the rhesus macaque.The assembly process consisted of multiple phases: First, BACs were assembled with BAC generated sequence, then subsequently in combination with the individual overlapping WGS reads. Different assembly parameters were tested to separately optimize the performance for each BAC assembly of the BAC and WGS reads. In parallel, a second assembly was produced using only the WGS sequences and a global whole genome assembly method. The two assemblies were combined to create a more complete genome representation that retained the high quality BAC-based local assembly information, but with gaps between BACs filled in with the WGS-only assembly. Finally, the entire assembly was placed on chromosomes using the available map information.Over 90% of the assembly is now placed on chromosomes. The estimated genome size is 2.87 Gb which represents a high degree of completeness, with 95% of the available EST sequences found in assembled contigs. The quality of the assembly was evaluated by comparison to 73 finished BACs, where the draft assembly covers between 92.5 and 100% (average 98.5%) of the finished BACs. The assembly contigs and scaffolds align linearly to the finished BACs, suggesting that misassemblies are rare. Genotyping and genetic mapping of 17,482 SNPs revealed that more than 99.2% were correctly positioned within the Btau_4.0 assembly, confirming the accuracy of the assembly.The biological analysis of this bovine genome assembly is being published, and the sequence data is available to support future bovine research.
Project description:Because retinoic acid (RA) exerts a stimulatory effect on macrophages and tubercle bacilli target alveolar macrophages, the therapeutic potential of RA was examined in rats with tuberculosis. In the main study, 15 rats were randomized to treatment with oil (control) or RA, 100 microg/100 g body weight per dose, given 3 times weekly for 3 and 5 wk after infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain H37Rv. There was a significant difference in the severity of tuberculosis histopathology between control and RA-treated rats, and oral administration of RA decreased the number of colony-forming units (CFU) in both lung and spleen at 3 and 5 wk after H37Rv infection (P < 0.005). CD4-positive and CD8-positive T cells, natural killer cells, and CD163-positive macrophages increased (P < 0.05) in the infected lung tissues of RA-treated rats. Expression of IFNgamma and inducible nitric oxide synthetase messenger RNA (mRNA) was higher in the infected lung tissues of RA-treated rats than in control rats. Alveolar macrophages from rats treated in vivo with RA and infected in vitro with M. tuberculosis showed significantly higher expression of TNFalpha and IL-1beta mRNA than macrophages in control rats. To our knowledge, this is the first reported study to demonstrate that orally administered RA significantly inhibits the in vivo growth of M. tuberculosis and the development of tuberculosis.
Project description:Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a major driving force of bacterial diversification and evolution. For tuberculosis-causing mycobacteria, the impact of HGT in the emergence and distribution of dominant lineages remains a matter of debate. Here, by using fluorescence-assisted mating assays and whole genome sequencing, we present unique experimental evidence of chromosomal DNA transfer between tubercle bacilli of the early-branching Mycobacterium canettii clade. We found that the obtained recombinants had received multiple donor-derived DNA fragments in the size range of 100 bp to 118 kbp, fragments large enough to contain whole operons. Although the transfer frequency between M. canettii strains was low and no transfer could be observed among classical Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) strains, our study provides the proof of concept for genetic exchange in tubercle bacilli. This outstanding, now experimentally validated phenomenon presumably played a key role in the early evolution of the MTBC toward pathogenicity. Moreover, our findings also provide important information for the risk evaluation of potential transfer of drug resistance and fitness mutations among clinically relevant mycobacterial strains.