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Concept: Hybrid


Understanding why some hybrid zones are bimodal and others unimodal can aid in identifying barriers to gene exchange following secondary contact. The hybrid zone between the grasshoppers Chorthippus brunneus and C. jacobsi contains a mix of allopatric parental populations and inter-mingled bimodal and unimodal sympatric populations, and provides an ideal system to examine the roles of local selection and gene flow between populations in maintaining bimodality. However, it is first necessary to confirm, over a larger spatial scale, previously identified associations between population composition and season and habitat. Here we use cline-fitting of one morphological and one song trait along two valley transects, and intervening mountains, to confirm previously identified habitat associations (mountain versus valley) and seasonal changes in population composition. As expected from previous findings of studies on a smaller spatial scale, C. jacobsi dominated mountain habitats and mixed populations dominated valleys, and C. brunneus became more prevalent in August. Controlling for habitat and incorporating into the analysis seasonal changes in cline parameters and the standard errors of parental trait values revealed wider clines than previous studies (best estimates of 6.4 to 24.5 km in our study versus 2.8 to 4.7 km in previous studies) and increased percentage of trait variance explained (52.7% and 61.5% for transects 1 and 2 respectively, versus 17.6%). Revealing such strong and consistent patterns within a complex hybrid zone will allow more focused examination of the causes of variation in bimodality in mixed populations, in particular the roles of local selection versus habitat heterogeneity and gene flow between differentiated populations.

Concepts: Grasshoppers, Chorthippus brunneus, Season, Hybrid, Allopatric speciation, Chorthippus, Speciation, Hybrid zone


Both social environment and genetic factors are critical for smoking initiation and nicotine addiction. We reported that rats developed conditioned flavor (i.e., taste and odor) aversion to intravenously self-administered (IVSA) nicotine, and that social learning promoted nicotine IVSA with flavor cues. We thus tested the hypothesis that socially acquired nicotine IVSA is a heritable trait by using female rats of six inbred strains and six F1 hybrids. Each strain was tested for 10 daily IVSA sessions. We found that the intake of nicotine (15 and 30 μg/kg/inf) varied among these strains by 33.7-56.6-fold. The heritability of nicotine intake was estimated to be 0.54-0.65. Further, there was a strong correlation in nicotine intake (R(2) = 0.85, p < 0.0001) between the two nicotine doses. Another cohort of rats was given three daily IVSA sessions followed by five sessions that tested conditioned flavor aversion. Nicotine intake was highly correlated with the extinction of the conditioned aversion (R(2) = 0.58, p < 0.005). These data showed that nicotine intake in the socially acquired nicotine self-administration model is controlled by genetic factors and that the role of social learning is likely in facilitating the extinction of conditioned aversive response to nicotine.

Concepts: Hybrid, Breeding, Olfaction, Heritability of IQ, Twin study, Heredity, Heritability, Genetics


Within the mega-pest lineage of heliothine moths are a number of polyphagous, highly mobile species for which the exchange of adaptive traits through hybridization would affect their properties as pests. The recent invasion of South America by one of the most significant agricultural pests,Helicoverpa armigera, raises concerns for the formation of novel combinations of adaptive genes following hybridization with the closely relatedHelicoverpa zeaTo investigate the propensity for hybridization within the genusHelicoverpa, we carried out whole-genome resequencing of samples from six species, focusing in particular uponH. armigerapopulation structure and its relationship withH. zeaWe show that bothH. armigerasubspecies have greater genetic diversity and effective population sizes than do the other species. We find no signals for gene flow among the six species, other than betweenH. armigeraandH. zea, with nine Brazilian individuals proving to be hybrids of those two species. Eight had largelyH. armigeragenomes with some introgressed DNA fromH. zeascattered throughout. The ninth resembled an F1 hybrid but with stretches of homozygosity for each parental species that reflect previous hybridization. Regions homozygous forH. armigera-derived DNA in this individual included one containing a gustatory receptor and esterase genes previously associated with host range, while another encoded a cytochrome P450 that confers insecticide resistance. Our data point toward the emergence of novel hybrid ecotypes and highlight the importance of monitoringH. armigeragenotypes as they spread through the Americas.

Concepts: South America, Hybrid, Genetics, Organism, Population genetics, Biology, DNA, Gene


The current rate of yield gain in crops is insufficient to meet the predicted demands. Capturing the yield boost from heterosis is one of the few technologies that offers rapid gain. Hybrids are widely used for cereals, maize and rice, but it has been a challenge to develop a viable hybrid system for bread wheat due to the wheat genome complexity, which is both large and hexaploid. Wheat is our most widely grown crop providing 20% of the calories for humans. Here, we describe the identification of Ms1, a gene proposed for use in large-scale, low-cost production of male-sterile (ms) female lines necessary for hybrid wheat seed production. We show that Ms1 completely restores fertility to ms1d, and encodes a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored lipid transfer protein, necessary for pollen exine development. This represents a key step towards developing a robust hybridization platform in wheat.Heterosis can rapidly boost yield in crop species but development of hybrid-breeding systems for bread wheat remains a challenge. Here, Tucker et al. describe the molecular identification of the wheat Ms1 gene and discuss its potential for large-scale hybrid seed production in wheat.

Concepts: Staple food, Crops, Polyploidy, Gene, Hybrid, Rice, Maize, Wheat


Hybrid Open Access is an intermediate form of OA, where authors pay scholarly publishers to make articles freely accessible within journals, in which reading the content otherwise requires a subscription or pay-per-view. Major scholarly publishers have in recent years started providing the hybrid option for the vast majority of their journals. Since the uptake usually has been low per journal and scattered over thousands of journals, it has been very difficult to obtain an overview of how common hybrid articles are. This study, using the results of earlier studies as well as a variety of methods, measures the evolution of hybrid OA over time. The number of journals offering the hybrid option has increased from around 2,000 in 2009 to almost 10,000 in 2016. The number of individual articles has in the same period grown from an estimated 8,000 in 2009 to 45,000 in 2016. The growth in article numbers has clearly increased since 2014, after some major research funders in Europe started to introduce new centralized payment schemes for the article processing charges (APCs).

Concepts: Number, The UpTake, Payment, Hybrid, Mathematics, Grammatical number


F1 hybrids can outperform their parents in yield and vegetative biomass, features of hybrid vigor that form the basis of the hybrid seed industry. The yield advantage of the F1 is lost in the F2 and subsequent generations. In Arabidopsis, from F2 plants that have a F1-like phenotype, we have by recurrent selection produced pure breeding F5/F6 lines, hybrid mimics, in which the characteristics of the F1 hybrid are stabilized. These hybrid mimic lines, like the F1 hybrid, have larger leaves than the parent plant, and the leaves have increased photosynthetic cell numbers, and in some lines, increased size of cells, suggesting an increased supply of photosynthate. A comparison of the differentially expressed genes in the F1 hybrid with those of eight hybrid mimic lines identified metabolic pathways altered in both; these pathways include down-regulation of defense response pathways and altered abiotic response pathways. F6 hybrid mimic lines are mostly homozygous at each locus in the genome and yet retain the large F1-like phenotype. Many alleles in the F6 plants, when they are homozygous, have expression levels different to the level in the parent. We consider this altered expression to be a consequence of transregulation of genes from one parent by genes from the other parent. Transregulation could also arise from epigenetic modifications in the F1. The pure breeding hybrid mimics have been valuable in probing the mechanisms of hybrid vigor and may also prove to be useful hybrid vigor equivalents in agriculture.

Concepts: Allele, Genetics, Evolution, Photosynthesis, Organism, Hybrid, Gene expression, Gene


BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to document our recent experience in managing horseshoe fistula of cryptoglandular origin with a modification of the Hanley procedure using a hybrid elastic one-stage cutting seton. METHODS: Surgical outcomes of the modified Hanley procedure for horseshoe fistulae using a seton from 2004 through 2010 were analyzed. The seton fashioned from a surgical glove was tied around the sphincter under less tension than a traditional cutting seton, hence the definition of “hybrid seton”. In addition to excision of the superficial segments of the lateral tracts, deeper extensions into the ischiorectal spaces were curetted, and Penrose drains were placed. RESULTS: All of the patients were discharged on the first postoperative day. None required readmission or needed narcotic analgesics after discharge. Complete healing was achieved in all 21 cases at 8.0 ± 3.22 weeks postoperatively. Patients were able to return to regular work activity in 3.5 ± 1 weeks. The postoperative Cleveland Clinic Incontinence Score did not differ significantly from the preoperative score (p = 0.317, Wilcoxon’s test). Recurrent fistula was noted in a single patient (4.8 %) after a mean follow-up of 20.9-months. CONCLUSIONS: The use of the hybrid elastic seton is a useful and safe additional modification for the treatment of horseshoe fistulae with the Hanley technique.

Concepts: Anal fistula, Surgery, Patient, Hybrid, Seton stitch, Hospital, Fistula


A simple solution-processing method was employed to fabricate panchromatic mp-TiO2/CH3NH3PbI3/P3HT-MWNT/Au solar cells. MWNTs in a P3HT-MWNT composite acted as efficient nanostructured charge transport tunnels and induce crystallization of P3HT, hence significantly enhancing the conductivity of the composite. The fill factor of the hybrid solar cells was greatly enhanced by 26.7%.

Concepts: Electric vehicle, Internal combustion engine, Hybrid, P-n junction, Petroleum, Fill factor, Photovoltaics, Solar cell


We report two methods for linkage disequilibrium mapping that involve incorporation of covariates through parametric modeling to utilize combined case-parent trios and unrelated case and/or control data. The proposed two combined methods were used to map the disease locus of hypertension in the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) gene with incorporation of ACE activity. The efficiencies in estimating the disease locus increased by 351- and 100-fold in the hybrid study with respect to the two proposed methods when compared to the estimates from the trios study; and they changed by 1.4- and 0.4-fold, respectively, when compared to the case-control study. Efficiency of disease locus estimates was greatly improved in both simulations and hypertension studies based on the hybrid data, compared to case-parent trio studies only. These newly developed methods preserve the advantages of the previous methods, including flexible modeling and assessment of gene-gene and gene-covariate effects, while providing more power by using all the data combined. The computing program for analysis using the separate and hybrid data sets is freely available on the author’s website.

Concepts: Experimental design, Case-control study, Trio, Hybrid, Genetic linkage, Epidemiology, Gene, Linkage disequilibrium


On-demand release of bioactive substances with high spatial and temporal control offers ground-breaking possibilities in the field of life sciences. However, available strategies for developing such release systems lack the possibility of combining efficient control over release with adequate storage capability in a reasonably compact system. In this study we present a new approach to target this deficiency by the introduction of a hybrid material. This organic-inorganic material was fabricated by atomic layer deposition of ZnO into thin films of polyethylene glycol, forming the carrier matrix for the substance to be released. Sub-surface growth mechanisms during this process converted the liquid polymer into a solid, yet water-soluble, phase. This layer permits extended storage for various substances within a single film of only a few micrometers in thickness, and hence demands minimal space and complexity. Improved control over release of the model substance Fluorescein was achieved by coating the hybrid material with a conducting polymer film. Single dosage and repetitive dispensing from this system was demonstrated. Release was controlled by applying a bias potential of ±0.5 V to the polymer film enabling or respectively suppressing the expulsion of the model drug. In vitro tests showed excellent biocompatibility of the presented system.

Concepts: Release, Layer, Control, Hybrid, Plastic, Chemical substance, Polymer, Polymers