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    Discovery of food identity markers by metabolomics and machine learning technology
    Erban, A ; Fehrle, I ; Martinez-Seidel, F ; Brigante, F ; Mas, AL ; Baroni, V ; Wunderlin, D ; Kopka, J (NATURE PORTFOLIO, 2019-07-04)
    Verification of food authenticity establishes consumer trust in food ingredients and components of processed food. Next to genetic or protein markers, chemicals are unique identifiers of food components. Non-targeted metabolomics is ideally suited to screen food markers when coupled to efficient data analysis. This study explored feasibility of random forest (RF) machine learning, specifically its inherent feature extraction for non-targeted metabolic marker discovery. The distinction of chia, linseed, and sesame that have gained attention as "superfoods" served as test case. Chemical fractions of non-processed seeds and of wheat cookies with seed ingredients were profiled. RF technology classified original seeds unambiguously but appeared overdesigned for material with unique secondary metabolites, like sesamol or rosmarinic acid in the Lamiaceae, chia. Most unique metabolites were diluted or lost during cookie production but RF technology classified the presence of the seed ingredients in cookies with 6.7% overall error and revealed food processing markers, like 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde for chia and succinic acid monomethylester for linseed additions. RF based feature extraction was adequate for difficult classifications but marker selection should not be without human supervision. Combination with alternative data analysis technologies is advised and further testing of a wide range of seeds and food processing methods.
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    Unravelling the Metabolic and Hormonal Machinery During Key Steps of Somatic Embryogenesis: A Case Study in Coffee
    Awada, R ; Campa, C ; Gibault, E ; Dechamp, E ; Georget, F ; Lepelley, M ; Abdallah, C ; Erban, A ; Martinez-Seidel, F ; Kopka, J ; Legendre, L ; Leran, S ; Conejero, G ; Verdeil, J-L ; Crouzillat, D ; Breton, D ; Bertrand, B ; Etienne, H (MDPI, 2019-10-01)
    Somatic embryogenesis (SE) is one of the most promising processes for large-scale dissemination of elite varieties. However, for many plant species, optimizing SE protocols still relies on a trial-and-error approach. Using coffee as a model plant, we report here the first global analysis of metabolome and hormone dynamics aiming to unravel mechanisms regulating cell fate and totipotency. Sampling from leaf explant dedifferentiation until embryo development covered 15 key stages. An in-depth statistical analysis performed on 104 metabolites revealed that massive re-configuration of metabolic pathways induced SE. During initial dedifferentiation, a sharp decrease in phenolic compounds and caffeine levels was also observed while auxins, cytokinins and ethylene levels were at their highest. Totipotency reached its highest expression during the callus stages when a shut-off in hormonal and metabolic pathways related to sugar and energetic substance hydrolysis was evidenced. Abscisic acid, leucine, maltotriose, myo-inositol, proline, tricarboxylic acid cycle metabolites and zeatin appeared as key metabolic markers of the embryogenic capacity. Combining metabolomics with multiphoton microscopy led to the identification of chlorogenic acids as markers of embryo redifferentiation. The present analysis shows that metabolite fingerprints are signatures of cell fate and represent a starting point for optimizing SE protocols in a rational way.
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    The transcriptional regulator CprK detects chlorination by combining direct and indirect readout mechanisms
    Kemp, LR ; Dunstan, MS ; Fisher, K ; Warwicker, J ; Leys, D (ROYAL SOC, 2013-04-19)
    The transcriptional regulator CprK controls the expression of the reductive dehalogenase CprA in organohalide-respiring bacteria. Desulfitobacterium hafniense CprA catalyses the reductive dechlorination of the terminal electron acceptor o-chlorophenol acetic acid, generating the phenol acetic acid product. It has been shown that CprK has ability to distinguish between the chlorinated CprA substrate and the de-halogenated end product, with an estimated an estimated 10(4)-fold difference in affinity. Using a green fluorescent protein GFPUV-based transcriptional reporter system, we establish that CprK can sense o-chlorophenol acetic acid at the nanomolar level, whereas phenol acetic acid leads to transcriptional activation only when approaching micromolar levels. A structure-activity relationship study, using a range of o-chlorophenol acetic-acid-related compounds and key CprK mutants, combined with pKa calculations on the effector binding site, suggests that the sensitive detection of chlorination is achieved through a combination of direct and indirect readout mechanisms. Both the physical presence of the bulky chloride substituent as well as the accompanying electronic effects lowering the inherent phenol pKa are required for high affinity. Indeed, transcriptional activation by CprK appears strictly dependent on establishing a phenolate-K133 salt bridge interaction, rather than on the presence of a halogen atom per se. As K133 is strictly conserved within the CprK family, our data suggest that physiological function and future applications in biosensing are probably restricted to phenolic compounds.
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    Visualization of poly(ADP-ribose) bound to PARG reveals inherent balance between exo- and endo-glycohydrolase activities
    Barkauskaite, E ; Brassington, A ; Tan, ES ; Warwicker, J ; Dunstan, MS ; Banos, B ; Lafite, P ; Ahel, M ; Mitchison, TJ ; Ahel, I ; Leys, D (NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2013-08-01)
    Poly-ADP-ribosylation is a post-translational modification that regulates processes involved in genome stability. Breakdown of the poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) polymer is catalysed by poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase (PARG), whose endo-glycohydrolase activity generates PAR fragments. Here we present the crystal structure of PARG incorporating the PAR substrate. The two terminal ADP-ribose units of the polymeric substrate are bound in exo-mode. Biochemical and modelling studies reveal that PARG acts predominantly as an exo-glycohydrolase. This preference is linked to Phe902 (human numbering), which is responsible for low-affinity binding of the substrate in endo-mode. Our data reveal the mechanism of poly-ADP-ribosylation reversal, with ADP-ribose as the dominant product, and suggest that the release of apoptotic PAR fragments occurs at unusual PAR/PARG ratios.
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    NUMT Confounding Biases Mitochondrial Heteroplasmy Calls in Favor of the Reference Allele
    Maude, H ; Davidson, M ; Charitakis, N ; Diaz, L ; Bowers, WHT ; Gradovich, E ; Andrew, T ; Huntley, D (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2019-09-25)
    Homology between mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and nuclear DNA of mitochondrial origin (nuMTs) causes confounding when aligning short sequence reads to the reference human genome, as the true sequence origin cannot be determined. Using a systematic in silico approach, we here report the impact of all potential mitochondrial variants on alignment accuracy and variant calling. A total of 49,707 possible mutations were introduced across the 16,569 bp reference mitochondrial genome (16,569 × 3 alternative alleles), one variant at-at-time. The resulting in silico fragmentation and alignment to the entire reference genome (GRCh38) revealed preferential mapping of mutated mitochondrial fragments to nuclear loci, as variants increased loci similarity to nuMTs, for a total of 807, 362, and 41 variants at 333, 144, and 27 positions when using 100, 150, and 300 bp single-end fragments. We subsequently modeled these affected variants at 50% heteroplasmy and carried out variant calling, observing bias in the reported allele frequencies in favor of the reference allele. Four variants (chrM:6023A, chrM:4456T, chrM:5147A, and chrM:7521A) including a possible hypertension factor, chrM:4456T, caused 100% loss of coverage at the mutated position (with all 100 bp single-end fragments aligning to homologous, nuclear positions instead of chrM), rendering these variants undetectable when aligning to the entire reference genome. Furthermore, four mitochondrial variants reported to be pathogenic were found to cause significant loss of coverage and select haplogroup-defining SNPs were shown to exacerbate the loss of coverage caused by surrounding variants. Increased fragment length and use of paired-end reads both improved alignment accuracy.
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    YCu(TeO3)(2)(NO3)(H2O)(3): a novel layered tellurite
    Mills, SJ ; Dunstan, MA ; Christy, AG (INT UNION CRYSTALLOGRAPHY, 2016-08-01)
    A new hydrated yttrium copper tellurite nitrate, yttrium(III) copper(II) bis-[trioxidotellurate(IV)] nitrate trihydrate, has been synthesized hydro-thermally in a Teflon-lined autoclave and structurally determined using synchrotron radiation. The new phase is the first example containing yttrium, copper and tellurium in one structure. Its crystal structure is unique, with relatively strongly bound layers extending parallel to (020), defined by YO8, CuO4 and TeO3 polyhedra, while the NO3 (-) anions and one third of the water mol-ecules lie between those layers. The structural unit consists of [Cu2(TeO3)4](4-) loop-branched chains of {Cu⋯Te⋯Cu⋯Te} squares running parallel to [001], which are linked further into layers only through Y(O,H2O)8 polyhedra. Weak 'secondary' Te bonds and O-H⋯O hydrogen-bonding inter-actions, involving water mol-ecules and layer O atoms, link the layers and inter-layer species. IR spectroscopic data are also presented.
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    Biogeography of functional trait diversity in the Taiwanese reef fish fauna
    Denis, V ; Chen, J-W ; Chen, Q ; Hsieh, YE ; Lin, YV ; Wang, C-W ; Wang, H-Y ; Sturaro, N (WILEY, 2019-01-01)
    The richness of Taiwanese reef fish species is inversely correlated to latitude as a direct consequence of the abiotic environment and its effects on benthic habitats. However, to date, no studies have investigated the variations in the diversity of traits (FD) linked with the role of these fishes in the ecosystem. FD is usually considered more sensitive than species richness in detecting early changes in response to disturbances, and therefore could serve as an indicator of ecological resilience to environmental changes. Here, we aim to characterize FD in the Taiwanese reef fish fauna and to document its regional variations. Six traits were used to categorize the 1,484 reef fish species occurring in four environmentally contrasted regions around Taiwan. The number of unique trait combinations (FEs), their richness (FRic), their redundancy (FR), their over-redundancy (FOR), and their vulnerability (FV) were compared among these regions. Overall, 416 FEs were identified. Their number decreased from south to north in step with regional species richness but FRic remained similar among regions. FR and FOR were higher to the south. At the local scale, variations in FEs and FRic are in concordance with the worldwide pattern of FD. High-latitude, impoverished fish assemblages, offer a range of trait combinations similar to diversified tropical assemblages. Increasing diversity in the latter mainly contributes to raising FR and supports already over-redundant entities. High vulnerability makes many combinations highly sensitive to species loss, and was higher at intermediate latitudes when using a fine resolution in trait categories. It suggests that the loss of FEs may first be characterized by an increase in their vulnerability, a pattern that could have been overlooked in previous global scale analyses. Overall, this study provides new insights into reef fish trait biogeography with potential ramifications for ecosystem functioning.
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    Reduction of hydroelastic response of a flexible floating structure by an annular flexible permeable membrane
    Selvan, SA ; Behera, H ; Sahoo, T (Springer, 2019-10-01)
    In the present study, hydroelastic response mitigation of a very large floating circular structure by an annular flexible permeable membrane is studied under the assumption of the linearized theory of water waves and small amplitude structural response. The very large floating structure is modeled based on small amplitude plate theory, while the flexible annular membrane is modeled using the two-dimensional string equation. Darcy’s law is used to model wave past the permeable annular membrane. To keep the structures in position, both the floating structures are assumed to be moored on the circular boundaries. The velocity potentials are expanded in terms of the Fourier–Bessel series in the open water, membrane-, and plate-covered regions. The solution of the physical problem is obtained using the matched eigenfunction expansion method along with the orthogonality of the vertical eigenfunctions in the open water region. On the other hand, orthogonal mode–coupling relation, satisfied by the vertical eigenfunctions in the floating flexible plate-covered region, is used when there is no spacing between the outer and the inner structures. The wave forces exerted on the inner and outer structures, deflection of the plate, and flow distribution around the inner plate are analyzed using numerical computations to understand the hydroelastic response of the inner elastic plate in the presence of the outer porous membrane. The effects of various wave and structural parameters such as wavenumber, porous-effect parameter, tensile force, width of the outer membrane, spring constants associated with the mooring joints, and the spacing between the structures are examined. The study reveals that the porous-effect parameter and the width of the annular membrane play an important role in reducing the wave forces on the inner plate. Moreover, due to the reflection and dissipation of a major part of the wave energy concentrating near the free surface, the inner floating structure experiences negligible wave loads in the case of deep water.
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    Correction: HENMT1 and piRNA Stability Are Required for Adult Male Germ Cell Transposon Repression and to Define the Spermatogenic Program in the Mouse.
    Lim, SL ; Qu, ZP ; Kortschak, RD ; Lawrence, DM ; Geoghegan, J ; Hempfling, A-L ; Bergmann, M ; Goodnow, CC ; Ormandy, CJ ; Wong, L ; Mann, J ; Scott, HS ; Jamsai, D ; Adelson, DL ; O'Bryan, MK (Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2015-12)
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    Monitoring vaginal electrical resistance, follicular waves, and hormonal profile during oestrous cycle in the transition period in Bangladeshi sheep
    Talukder, MRI ; Hasan, M ; Rosy, TA ; Bari, FY ; Juyena, NS (WALTER DE GRUYTER GMBH, 2018-12-01)
    INTRODUCTION: The ovarian follicular dynamics, vaginal electrical resistance (VER), progesterone (P4) and oestrogen (E2) profiles were investigated during the oestrous cycle in four indigenous ewes. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Daily VER values were recorded with a heat detector. The follicles were observed and measured by trans-rectal ultrasonography. Blood was collected daily for hormonal profiles. RESULTS: A significant variation in VER values (P < 0.05) in oestrus by ewes and position in the sequence of cycles was observed. Trans-rectal ultrasonography of ovaries revealed the presence of 2-4 waves of follicular growth. Study of hormonal profiles by ELISA revealed a positive correlation between E2 concentration and development of follicles and a negative correlation between P4 concentration and their development. The concentrations of oestradiol increased in oestrus and then decreased to a basal level. Follicular growth was accompanied by a rise in the concentration of serum oestradiol. Inversely, when follicles received the stimulation for ovulation, concentration of progesterone started to fall, but after ovulation, it climbed back to its peak and remained at this state until next ovulatory follicle reached its maximum diameter. CONCLUSION: This study could help to set up a manipulative reproductive technique for improving genetic values in indigenous sheep.