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Concept: Microsatellite

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Microsatellite primers were developed to investigate population genetic structure in Ficus hirta (Moraceae).

Concepts: Genetics, Biology, Ficus, Microsatellite, Human Development Index

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Andrographis paniculata (AP) is a medicinal plant species introduced into Malaysia. To address the genetic structure and evolutionary connectedness of the Malaysian AP with the Indian AP, a DNA sequence analysis was conducted based on 24 microsatellite markers. Out of the 24 primer sets, seven novel microsatellite primers were designed and amplified intra-specifically according to the available Indian AP sequences at the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), where 17 of them were amplified using the cross-species strategy by employing the primers belonging to Acanthus ilicifolius Linn (Acanthaceae) and Lumnitzera racemosa Wild (Combretaceae). The primers were then applied on the Malaysian AP accessions. Sixteen of the new microsatellite loci were amplified successfully. Analysis of these microsatellite sequences, revealed some significant differences between the Indian and Malaysian AP accessions in terms of the size and type of the repeat motifs. These findings depicted the cryptic feature of this species. Despite identifying several heterozygous alleles no polymorphism was observed in the detected loci of the selected accessions. This situation was in concordance with the presence of “fixed heterozygosity” phenomenon in the mentioned loci. Accordingly, this was fully consistent with the occurrence of the genetic bottleneck and founder effect within Malaysian AP population. Apart from the amplification of new microsatellites in this species, our observations could be in agreement with the risk of genetic depletion and consequently extinction of this precious herb in Malaysia. This issue should be taken into consideration in the future studies.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Evolution, Population genetics, Speciation, Microsatellite, Population bottleneck

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Aspergillosis is one of the most common causes of death in captive birds. Aspergillus fumigatus accounts for approximately 95 % of aspergillosis cases and Aspergillus flavus is the second most frequent organism associated with avian infections. In the present study, the fungi were grown from avian clinical samples (post-mortem lung material) and environmental samples (eggs, food and litter). Microsatellite markers were used to type seven clinical avian isolates and 22 environmental isolates of A. flavus. A. flavus was the only species (28 % prevalence) detected in the avian clinical isolates, whereas this species ranked third (19 %) after members of the genera Penicillium (39 %) and Cladosporium (21 %) in the environmental samples. Upon microsatellite analysis, five to eight distinct alleles were detected for each marker. The marker with the highest discriminatory power had eight alleles and a 0.852 D value. The combination of all six markers yielded a 0.991 D value with 25 distinct genotypes. One clinical avian isolate (lung biopsy) and one environmental isolate (egg) shared the same genotype. Microsatellite typing of A. flavus grown from avian and environmental samples displayed an excellent discriminatory power and 100 % reproducibility. This study showed a clustering of clinical and environmental isolates, which were clearly separated. Based upon these results, aspergillosis in birds may be induced by a great diversity of isolates.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Evolution, Biology, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Microsatellite

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• Premise of the study: Microsatellite loci were developed for tucumã of Amazonas (Astrocaryum aculeatum), and cross-species amplification was performed in six other Arecaceae, to investigate genetic diversity and population structure and to provide support for natural populations management.• Methods and Results: Fourteen microsatellite loci were isolated from a microsatellite-enriched genomic library and used to characterize two wild populations of tucumã of Amazonas (Manaus and Manicoré cities). The investigated loci displayed high polymorphism for both A. aculeatum populations, with a mean observed heterozygosity of 0.498. Amplification rates ranging from 50% to 93% were found for four Astrocaryum species and two additional species of Arecaceae.• Conclusions: The information derived from the microsatellite markers developed here provides significant gains in conserved allelic richness and supports the implementation of several molecular breeding strategies for the Amazonian tucumã.

Concepts: Gene, Genetics, Biodiversity, Biology, Population ecology, Nature, Microsatellite, Manaus

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Motivation: Microsatellites are among the most useful genetic markers in population biology. High-throughput sequencing of microsatellite-enriched libraries dramatically expedites the traditional process of screening recombinant libraries for microsatellite markers. However, sorting through millions of reads to distill high-quality polymorphic markers requires special algorithms tailored to tolerate sequencing errors in locus reconstruction, distinguish paralogous loci, rarify raw reads originating from the same amplicon and sort out various artificial fragments resulting from recombination or concatenation of auxiliary adapters. Existing programs warrant improvement. Results: We describe a microsatellite prediction framework named HighSSR for microsatellite genotyping based on high-throughput sequencing. We demonstrate the utility of HighSSR in comparison to Roche gsAssembler on two Roche 454 GS FLX runs. The majority of the HighSSR-assembled loci were reliably mapped against model organism reference genomes. HighSSR demultiplexes pooled libraries, assesses locus polymorphism and implements Primer3 for the design of PCR primers flanking polymorphic microsatellite loci. As sequencing costs drop and permit the analysis of all project samples on next-generation platforms, this framework can also be used for direct simple sequence repeats genotyping. Availability: http://code.google.com/p/highssr/ Contact: alexander@big.ac.cn SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Biology, Variable number tandem repeat, Microsatellite, Minisatellite, Genetic marker

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The white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius italicus), a cornerstone of Spain’s aquatic ecosystems, was once widely distributed throughout much of the country. Unfortunately, its populations have suffered very strong declines over the last 40 years due to the spread of introduced species (red swamp and signal crayfishes), diseases, habitat loss and other anthropogenic impacts. The present work examines the genetic variation in 23 Spanish and four Italian populations of white-clawed crayfish via the analysis of microsatellite loci. The data show genetic variation in the Spanish populations to be affected by drastic and successive bottlenecks. Notwithstanding, the diversity of these Spanish populations in terms of observed heterozygosity is similar to or even higher than that recorded for other European populations studied using these same markers. North-central Spanish populations are clearly differentiated from the country’s remaining populations; they should be considered distinct management units. Processes occurred in historical and recent times, such as genetic drift and translocations, contribute greatly to this genetic structure. These data provide useful information for conservation of this species, since the preservation of its population structure and genetic variability should be goals for management decisions.

Concepts: Genetics, Population, Population genetics, Crayfish, Microsatellite, Astacidae, Austropotamobius, Austropotamobius pallipes

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Chrysophyllum gonocarpum is a tropical tree species that is very important in the recovery of heterogeneous forests and of degraded areas of permanent preservation. We identified microsatellite loci for C. gonocarpum to assess the genetic variability and the patterns of the population structure of the species. We isolated 8 microsatellite primers by using CT- and GT-enriched genomic libraries. We detected 2-4 alleles with 2.9 alleles per locus on average, by polymerase chain reaction. Test for cross-amplification showed that some loci were successfully amplified in 2 other Chrysophyllum species. The microsatellites can be used to assess the genetic diversity and population structure of C. gonocarpum. Some primer pairs can be amplified in C. marginatum and C. splendens.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Biodiversity, Polymerase chain reaction, DNA polymerase, Microsatellite, Primer

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Microsatellites (MSs) are tracts of variable-length repeats of short DNA motifs that exhibit high rates of mutation in the form of insertions or deletions (indels) of the repeated motif. Despite their prevalence, the contribution of somatic MS indels to cancer has been largely unexplored, owing to difficulties in detecting them in short-read sequencing data. Here we present two tools: MSMuTect, for accurate detection of somatic MS indels, and MSMutSig, for identification of genes containing MS indels at a higher frequency than expected by chance. Applying MSMuTect to whole-exome data from 6,747 human tumors representing 20 tumor types, we identified >1,000 previously undescribed MS indels in cancer genes. Additionally, we demonstrate that the number and pattern of MS indels can accurately distinguish microsatellite-stable tumors from tumors with microsatellite instability, thus potentially improving classification of clinically relevant subgroups. Finally, we identified seven MS indel driver hotspots: four in known cancer genes (ACVR2A, RNF43, JAK1, and MSH3) and three in genes not previously implicated as cancer drivers (ESRP1, PRDM2, and DOCK3).

Concepts: Genetics, Cancer, Mutation, Oncology, Molecular biology, Tumor, Microsatellite, Microsatellite instability

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Fishes belonging to the family Clinidae in South Africa display super-embryonation, a rare reproductive mode were females gestate broods at different gestational stages, but little is known regarding the mating systems of this family. Here we tested the hypothesis that multiple males would contribute not only to the offspring of each female, but that several males would contribute to each brood, by sampling Muraenoclinus dorsalis from three sampling locations along the west and south-west coast of South Africa. Larval (n = 97) and maternal (n = 14) genotpyes, generated with newly developed microsatellites, were used to estimate the number of potential mates per female. Our results show that up to 78% of females displayed multiple mating with an average of 2·1-2·2 males. In addition, 39-42% of females displayed polyandry with an average of 1·5-1·6 sires per brood. This study provides the evidence for multiple mating and polyandry within a clinid fish characterized by super-embryonation that offers important baseline information regarding rare reproductive strategies, highlighting several gaps in our knowledge concerning clinid reproduction and mating systems.

Concepts: Human, Male, Reproduction, Female, Sex, Gestation, Hermaphrodite, Microsatellite

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Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR- associated (Cas) protein 9 system is a novel and powerful tool which is widely used for genome editing. CRISPR/Cas9 is RNA-guided and can lead to desired genomic modifications. However, whether the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing causes genomic alterations and genomic instability, such as microsatellite instability (MSI), is still unknown. Here we detected MSI in 21 CRISPR/Cas9 mouse strains using a panel of 42 microsatellite loci which were selected from our previous studies. Surprisingly, MSI occurrence was common in CRISPR/Cas9 modified genome, and most of the strains (19/21, 90.5%) examined showed MSI. Of 42 loci examined, 8 loci (8/42, 19.05%) exhibited MSI in the Cas9 editing mice. The Ttll9 (4/42, 9.5%) were the most unstable strains, and D10Mit3 and D10Mit198 (9/21, 42.9%) were considered to be the most “hot” loci in the Cas9 strains we tested. Through analyzing the mutation of microsatellite loci, we provide new insights into the genomic alterations of CRISPR/Cas9 models and it will help us for a better understanding of this powerful technology.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Genome, Mouse, Microsatellite, Instability, Microsatellite instability