Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

qPCR Related Abstracts

8 Characterization of Novel Bi-Directional Promoter from Begomovirus: A Breakthrough in Plant Genomics

Authors: Zainul A. Khan, Malik Z. Abdin, Jawaid A. Khan


Begomoviruses belonging to the family Geminiviridae, have single-stranded circular DNA genomes that are monopartite or bipartite. The large intergenic region (LIR) of the monopartite and common region (CR) of bipartite begomoviruses possess promoter activity in their genomes. In this study, we have characterized novel bidirectional promoters from Cotton leaf curl Burewala virus (CLCuBuV) genome using high-throughput software and analyzed with PlantCARE, PLACE, Cister and PlantPAN databases. The promoters (Rep and CP promoters) were assayed both in stable and transient expression systems in tobacco as well as cotton plants. Rep and CP-based promoters from the LIR sequence of CLCuBuV and 35S promoter of Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) were tagged with β-glucuronidase (GUS) and green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter genes to check the efficacy of the promoters. Histochemical staining of GUS in transformed tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum cv. Xanthi) leaves showed higher GUS expression driven by CLCuBuV Rep (complimentary sense) promoter as compared to conventional CaMV 35S promoter and CLCuBuV CP (virion sense) promoter, respectively. GUS activity in individual plant cells driven by CLCuBuV Rep, CLCuBuV CP, and CaMV 35S promoter were quantified through fluorometric GUS assay and reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR). The expression level of GUS tagged with CLCuBuV Rep promoter in the transformed tobacco plants was obtained 2 to 4 fold higher than CaMV 35S promoter. When CLCuBuV CP promoter was used, lower expression level was monitored than that by CaMV 35S promoter. The expression of GFP-tagged with CLCuBuV promoters was also investigated through agroinfiltration. The CLCuBuV Rep promoters showed stronger consistent transient expression in the leaves of N. benthamiana, N. tabacum and Gossypium hirsutum plants when compared with CaMV 35S and CLCuBuV CP promoter.

Keywords: Begmovirus, bidirectional promoter, CaMV 35S promoter, GFP, GUS, qPCR

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7 Anecic and Epigeic Earthworms as Potential Biocontrol Agents of Fusarium graminearum, Causal Agent of Fusarium Head Blight on Wheat

Authors: Gabriella Jorge, Carlos A. Pérez, Hanna Friberg, Sara Söderlund, Jan Lagerlöf


Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) is one of the most important Fusarium-caused diseases, which affects cereals with serious detrimental effects on yield and grain quality worldwide. Earthworms have been suggested as an alternative to control this disease, which requires a combination of preventive methods to reduce level of damage, although it has been proven that their effect is species dependent. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of the earthworms Aporrectodea longa and Lumbricus rubellus, on the inoculum of Fusarium graminearum on wheat straw. To test this we kept earthworms in vessels with soil, and F. graminearum-inoculated straw covering the surface, under controlled conditions for 6 weeks. Two factors were evaluated with a complete factorial design: earthworms (three levels: without earthworms, A. longa, and L. rubellus), and straw (two levels: inoculated with the pathogen, and sterile). The presence of L. rubellus significantly (P<0.05) reduced the amount of inoculated straw at the soil surface 31% after 6 weeks, while the presence of A. longa, most found in quiescence, did not have any significant effect on the amount of straw when compared to the control. After incubation, F. graminearum was detected by qPCR, only in the surface straw in those treatments inoculated with the pathogen but without earthworms. None of the treatments showed presence of Fusarium in the buried straw, soil or earthworm casts. Both earthworm species decreased in body weight during incubation, most likely due to the decrease in soil water content during the experiment, from 25% to 20%, and/or inadequate food supply, since no other source of food was added. However, this reduction in weight occurred indistinctly of the presence or not of Fusarium (P<0.05). This indicates that both species, of different ecological groups, anecic and epigeic, can reduce F. graminearum inoculum present in wheat straw, while their growth is not negatively affected by this pathogen. These promising results place A. longa, and L. rubellus as potential biocontrol agents of this fungal plant pathogen responsible for Fusarium Head Blight disease in wheat, although further ongoing experiments are needed to confirm the repeatability of these results.

Keywords: Biological Control, wheat straw, qPCR, Aporrectodea longa, fungal plant pathogen, Lumbricus rubellus

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6 Horse Exposition to Coxiella burnetii in France: Antibody Dynamics in Serum, Environmental Risk Assessment and Potential Links with Symptomatology

Authors: Agnès Leblond, Joulié Aurélien, Isabelle Desjardins, Elsa Jourdain, Sophie Pradier, Dufour Philippe, Elodie Rousset


Q fever is a worldwide zoonosis caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii. It may infect a broad range of host species, including horses. Although the role of horses in C. burnetii infections remains unknown, their use as sentinel species may be interesting to better assess the human risk exposure. Thus, we aimed to assess the C. burnetii horse exposition in a French endemic area by describing the antibody dynamics detected in serum; investigating the pathogen circulation in the horse environment, and exploring potential links with unexplained syndromes. Blood samples were collected in 2015 and 2016 on 338 and 294 horses, respectively and analyzed by ELISA. Ticks collected on horses were identified, and C. burnetii DNA detection was performed by qPCR targeting the IS1111 gene. Blood sample analyses revealed a significant increase of the seroprevalence in horses between both years, from 11% [7.67; 14.43] to 25% [20.06; 29.94]. On 36 seropositive horses in 2015 and 73 in 2016, 5 and four respectively showed clinical signs compatible with a C. burnetii infection (i.e., chronic fever or respiratory disorders, unfitness and unexplained weight loss). DNA was detected in almost 40% of ticks (n=59/148 in 2015 and n=103/305 in 2016) and exceptionally in dust samples (n=2/46 in 2015 and n=1/14 in 2016) every year. The C. burnetti detection in both the serum and the environment of horses confirm their exposure to the bacterium. Therefore, consideration should be given to target a relevant sentinel species to better assess the Q fever surveillance depending on the epidemiological context.

Keywords: ELISA, qPCR, Q fever, syndromic surveillance

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5 DNA-Based Gold Nanoprobe Biosensor to Detect Pork Contaminant

Authors: Sri Mulijani, Rizka Ardhiyana, Liesbetini Haditjaroko, Reki Ashadi Wicaksono, Raafqi Ranasasmita


Designing a sensitive, specific and easy to use method to detect pork contamination in the food industry remains a major challenge. In the current study, we developed a sensitive thiol-bond AuNP-Probe biosensor that will change color when detecting pork DNA in the Cytochrome B region. The interaction between the biosensors and DNA sample is measured by spectrophotometer at 540 nm. The biosensor is made by reducing gold with trisodium citrate to produce gold nanoparticle with 39.05 nm diameter. The AuNP-Probe biosensor (gold nanoprobe) achieved 16.04 ng DNA/µl limit of detection and 53.48 ng DNA/µl limit of quantification. The linearity (R2) between color absorbance changes and DNA concentration is 0.9916. The biosensor has a good specificty as it does not cross-react with DNA of chicken and beef. To verify specificity towards the target sequence, PCR was tested to the target sequence and reacted to the PCR product with the biosensor. The PCR DNA isolate resulted in a 2.7 fold higher absorbance compared to pork-DNA isolate alone (without PCR). The sensitivity and specificity of the method show the promising application of the thiol-bond AuNP biosensor in pork-detection.

Keywords: Biosensor, pork meat, qPCR, DNA probe, gold nanoparticle (AuNP)

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4 Molecular Detection of Naegleria fowleri and Fecal Indicator Bacteria in Brackish Water of Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana

Authors: Samendra Sherchan, Jia Xue, Frederica G. Lamar, Siyu Lin, Jennifer G. Lamori


Brackish water samples from Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana were assessed for the presence of pathogenic amoeba Naegleria fowleri, which causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). In our study, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) methods were used to determine N. fowleri, E. coli, and Enterococcus in water collected from Lake Pontchartrain. A total of 158 water samples were analyzed over the 10-month sampling period. Statistically significant positive correlation between water temperature and N. fowleri concentration was observed. N. fowleri target sequence was detected at 35.4% (56/158) of the water samples from ten sites around the Lake ranged from 11.6 GC/100 ml water to 457.8 GC/100 ml water. A single factor (ANOVA) analysis shows the average concentration of N. fowleri in summer (119.8 GC/100 ml) was significantly higher than in winter (58.6 GC/100 ml) (p < 0.01). Statistically significant positive correlations were found between N. fowleri and qPCR E. coli results and N. fowleri and colilert E. coli (culture method), respectively. A weak positive correlation between E. coli and Enterococcus was observed from both qPCR (r = 0.27, p < 0.05) and culture based method (r = 0.52, p < 0.05). Meanwhile, significant positive correlation between qPCR and culture based methods for E. coli (r = 0.30, p < 0.05) and Enterococcus concentration was observed (r = 0.26, p < 0.05), respectively. Future research is needed to determine whether sediment is a source of N. fowleri found in the water column.

Keywords: Escherichia coli, brackish water, qPCR, Enterococcus, Naegleria fowleri, primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM)

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3 qPCR Method for Detection of Halal Food Adulteration

Authors: Gabriela Borilova, Monika Petrakova, Petr Kralik


Nowadays, European producers are increasingly interested in the production of halal meat products. Halal meat has been increasingly appearing in the EU's market network and meat products from European producers are being exported to Islamic countries. Halal criteria are mainly related to the origin of muscle used in production, and also to the way products are obtained and processed. Although the EU has legislatively addressed the question of food authenticity, the circumstances of previous years when products with undeclared horse or poultry meat content appeared on EU markets raised the question of the effectiveness of control mechanisms. Replacement of expensive or not-available types of meat for low-priced meat has been on a global scale for a long time. Likewise, halal products may be contaminated (falsified) by pork or food components obtained from pigs. These components include collagen, offal, pork fat, mechanically separated pork, emulsifier, blood, dried blood, dried blood plasma, gelatin, and others. These substances can influence sensory properties of the meat products - color, aroma, flavor, consistency and texture or they are added for preservation and stabilization. Food manufacturers sometimes access these substances mainly due to their dense availability and low prices. However, the use of these substances is not always declared on the product packaging. Verification of the presence of declared ingredients, including the detection of undeclared ingredients, are among the basic control procedures for determining the authenticity of food. Molecular biology methods, based on DNA analysis, offer rapid and sensitive testing. The PCR method and its modification can be successfully used to identify animal species in single- and multi-ingredient raw and processed foods and qPCR is the first choice for food analysis. Like all PCR-based methods, it is simple to implement and its greatest advantage is the absence of post-PCR visualization by electrophoresis. qPCR allows detection of trace amounts of nucleic acids, and by comparing an unknown sample with a calibration curve, it can also provide information on the absolute quantity of individual components in the sample. Our study addresses a problem that is related to the fact that the molecular biological approach of most of the work associated with the identification and quantification of animal species is based on the construction of specific primers amplifying the selected section of the mitochondrial genome. In addition, the sections amplified in conventional PCR are relatively long (hundreds of bp) and unsuitable for use in qPCR, because in DNA fragmentation, amplification of long target sequences is quite limited. Our study focuses on finding a suitable genomic DNA target and optimizing qPCR to reduce variability and distortion of results, which is necessary for the correct interpretation of quantification results. In halal products, the impact of falsification of meat products by the addition of components derived from pigs is all the greater that it is not just about the economic aspect but above all about the religious and social aspect. This work was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic (QJ1530107).

Keywords: Halal Food, Food Fraud, qPCR, pork

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2 Functional Characteristics of Chemosensory Proteins in the Sawyer Beetle Monochamus alternatus Hope

Authors: Saqib Ali, Man-Qun Wang


The Japanese pine sawyer, Monochamus alternatus Hope (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), is a major pest of pines and it is also the key vector of the exotic pinewood nematode in China. In the present study, we cloned, expressed, and purified a chemosensory protein (CSP) in M. alternatus. We surveyed its expression in various developmental stages of male and female adult tissues and determined its binding affinities for different pine volatiles using a competitive binding fluorescence assay. A CSP known as CSP5 in M. alternatus was obtained from an antennal cDNA library and expressed in Escherichia coli. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction results indicated that the CSP5 gene was mainly expressed in male and female antennae. Competitive binding assays were performed to test the binding affinity of recombinant CSP5 to 13 odour molecules of pine volatiles. The results showed that CSP5 showed very strong binding abilities to myrcene, (+)-β-pinene, and (−)-isolongifolene, whereas the volatiles 2-methoxy-4-vinylphenol, p-cymene, and (+)-limonene oxide have relatively weak binding affinity at pH 5.0. Three volatiles myrcene, (+)-β-pinene, and (−)-isolongifolene may play crucial roles in CSP5 binding with ligands, but this needs further study for confirmation. The sensitivity of insect to host plant volatiles can effectively be used to control and monitor the population through mass trapping as part of integrated pest management programs.

Keywords: qPCR, volatiles, olfactory-specific protein, competitive binding assay, expression characteristics

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1 Differential Expression Profile Analysis of DNA Repair Genes in Mycobacterium Leprae by qPCR

Authors: Mukul Sharma, Madhusmita Das, Sundeep Chaitanya Vedithi


Leprosy is a chronic human disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, that cannot be cultured in vitro. Though treatable with multidrug therapy (MDT), recently, bacteria reported resistance to multiple antibiotics. Targeting DNA replication and repair pathways can serve as the foundation of developing new anti-leprosy drugs. Due to the absence of an axenic culture medium for the propagation of M. leprae, studying cellular processes, especially those belonging to DNA repair pathways, is challenging. Genomic understanding of M. Leprae harbors several protein-coding genes with no previously assigned function known as 'hypothetical proteins'. Here, we report identification and expression of known and hypothetical DNA repair genes from a human skin biopsy and mouse footpads that are involved in base excision repair, direct reversal repair, and SOS response. Initially, a bioinformatics approach was employed based on sequence similarity, identification of known protein domains to screen the hypothetical proteins in the genome of M. leprae, that are potentially related to DNA repair mechanisms. Before testing on clinical samples, pure stocks of bacterial reference DNA of M. leprae (NHDP63 strain) was used to construct standard graphs to validate and identify lower detection limit in the qPCR experiments. Primers were designed to amplify the respective transcripts, and PCR products of the predicted size were obtained. Later, excisional skin biopsies of newly diagnosed untreated, treated, and drug resistance leprosy cases from SIHR & LC hospital, Vellore, India were taken for the extraction of RNA. To determine the presence of the predicted transcripts, cDNA was generated from M. leprae mRNA isolated from clinically confirmed leprosy skin biopsy specimen across all the study groups. Melting curve analysis was performed to determine the integrity of the amplification and to rule out primer‑dimer formation. The Ct values obtained from qPCR were fitted to standard curve to determine transcript copy number. Same procedure was applied for M. leprae extracted after processing a footpad of nude mice of drug sensitive and drug resistant strains. 16S rRNA was used as positive control. Of all the 16 genes involved in BER, DR, and SOS, differential expression pattern of the genes was observed in terms of Ct values when compared to human samples; this was because of the different host and its immune response. However, no drastic variation in gene expression levels was observed in human samples except the nth gene. The higher expression of nth gene could be because of the mutations that may be associated with sequence diversity and drug resistance which suggests an important role in the repair mechanism and remains to be explored. In both human and mouse samples, SOS system – lexA and RecA, and BER genes AlkB and Ogt were expressing efficiently to deal with possible DNA damage. Together, the results of the present study suggest that DNA repair genes are constitutively expressed and may provide a reference for molecular diagnosis, therapeutic target selection, determination of treatment and prognostic judgment in M. leprae pathogenesis.

Keywords: DNA repair, qPCR, human biopsy, hypothetical proteins, mouse footpads, Mycobacterium leprae

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