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Science advances, 9, eadh2501
August, 2023

An engineered Sox17 induces somatic to neural stem cell fate transitions independently from pluripotency reprogramming.

Weng, Mingxi, Hu, Haoqing, Graus, Matthew S., Tan, Daisylyn Senna, Gao, Ya, Ren, Shimiao, Ho, Derek Hoi Hang, Langer, Jakob, Holzner, Markus, Huang, Yuhua, Ling, Guang Sheng, Lai, Cora Sau Wan, Francois, Mathias, Jauch, Ralf

<p>Advanced strategies to interconvert cell types provide promising avenues to model cellular pathologies and to develop therapies for neurological disorders. Yet, methods to directly transdifferentiate somatic cells into multipotent induced neural stem cells (iNSCs) are slow and inefficient, and it is unclear whether cells pass through a pluripotent state with full epigenetic reset. We report iNSC reprogramming from embryonic and aged mouse fibroblasts as well as from human blood using an engineered Sox17 (eSox17 ). eSox17 efficiently drives iNSC reprogramming while Sox2 or Sox17 fail. eSox17 acquires the capacity to bind different protein partners on regulatory DNA to scan the genome more efficiently and has a more potent transactivation domain than Sox2. Lineage tracing and time-resolved transcriptomics show that emerging iNSCs do not transit through a pluripotent state. Our work distinguishes lineage from pluripotency reprogramming with the potential to generate more authentic cell models for aging-associated neurodegenerative diseases.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1126/sciadv.adh2501

Environmental science and pollution research international, 30, 35258--35268
March, 2023

Exudation of microplastics from commonly used face masks in COVID-19 pandemic.

Bhangare, Rahul C., Tiwari, Mahesh, Ajmal, Puthiyaveettilparambu Yousuf, Rathod, Tejas D., Sahu, Sanjay K.

<p>The COVID-19 pandemic forced use of face masks up to billions of masks per day globally. Though an important and necessary measure for control of the pandemic, use of masks also poses some inherent risks. One of those risks is inhalation of microplastics released from the mask materials. Since most of the mask materials are made from plastic/polymers, they always have the potential to expose the user to fragmented microplastics. To estimate the amount of inhalable microplastic exuded from masks, an experiment simulating real-life scenario of mask usage was performed. The study included collection of microplastics oozed out from the masks on to a filter paper followed by staining and fluorescence detection of the total number of microplastics using a microscope. Both used and new masks were studied. Based on the emission wavelength, the microplastics were found to be belonging to three different categories, namely blue, green and red emitting microplastics respectively. The number of microplastic particles emitted per mask over a period of usage of 8 h was about 5000 to 9000 for new masks and about 6500 to 15,000 for used masks respectively. The estimation of polymer type of plastic in the mask fabrics was also carried out using Raman and FTIR spectroscopy.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s11356-022-24702-1

International journal of molecular sciences, 24
March, 2023

High Resolution and Automatable Cytogenetic Biodosimetry Using In Situ Telomere and Centromere Hybridization for the Accurate Detection of DNA Damage: An Overview.

M'Kacher, Radhia, Colicchio, Bruno, Junker, Steffen, El Maalouf, Elie, Heidingsfelder, Leonhard, Plesch, Andreas, Dieterlen, Alain, Jeandidier, Eric, Carde, Patrice, Voisin, Philippe

<p>In the event of a radiological or nuclear accident, or when physical dosimetry is not available, the scoring of radiation-induced chromosomal aberrations in lymphocytes constitutes an essential tool for the estimation of the absorbed dose of the exposed individual and for effective triage. Cytogenetic biodosimetry employs different cytogenetic assays including the scoring of dicentrics, micronuclei, and translocations as well as analyses of induced premature chromosome condensation to define the frequency of chromosome aberrations. However, inherent challenges using these techniques include the considerable time span from sampling to result, the sensitivity and specificity of the various techniques, and the requirement of highly skilled personnel. Thus, techniques that obviate these challenges are needed. The introduction of telomere and centromere (TC) staining have successfully met these challenges and, in addition, greatly improved the efficiency of cytogenetic biodosimetry through the development of automated approaches, thus reducing the need for specialized personnel. Here, we review the role of the various cytogenetic dosimeters and their recent improvements in the management of populations exposed to genotoxic agents such as ionizing radiation. Finally, we discuss the emerging potentials to exploit these techniques in a wider spectrum of medical and biological applications, e.g., in cancer biology to identify prognostic biomarkers for the optimal triage and treatment of patients.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3390/ijms24065699

Biomedicines, 10
December, 2022

The Precise Breakpoint Mapping in Paracentric Inversion 10q22.2q23.3 by Comprehensive Cytogenomic Analysis, Multicolor Banding, and Single-Copy Chromosome Sequencing.

Karamysheva, Tatyana V., Gayner, Tatyana A., Elisaphenko, Eugeny A., Trifonov, Vladimir A., Zakirova, Elvira G., Orishchenko, Konstantin E., Prokhorovich, Mariya A., Lopatkina, Maria E., Skryabin, Nikolay A., Lebedev, Igor N., Rubtsov, Nikolay B.

<p>Detection and precise genomic mapping of balanced chromosomal abnormalities in patients with impaired fertility or a clinical phenotype represent a challenge for current cytogenomics owing to difficulties with precise breakpoint localization in the regions enriched for DNA repeats and high genomic variation in such regions. Here, we present a comprehensive cytogenomic approach to breakpoint mapping in a rare paracentric inversion on 10q (in a patient with oligoasthenoteratozoospermia and necrozoospermia) that does not affect other phenotype traits. Multicolor banding, chromosomal microarray analysis, chromosome microdissection with reverse painting, and single-copy sequencing of the rearranged chromosome were performed to determine the length and position of the inverted region as well as to rule out a genetic imbalance at the breakpoints. As a result, a paracentric 19.251 Mbp inversion at 10q22.2q23.3 was described. The most probable location of the breakpoints was predicted using the hg38 assembly. The problems of genetic counseling associated with enrichment for repeats and high DNA variability of usual breakpoint regions were discussed. Possible approaches for cytogenomic assessment of couples with balanced chromosome rearrangements and problems like reproductive failures were considered and suggested as useful part of effective genetic counseling.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3390/biomedicines10123255

Cancer Genetics, 260, 23-29
January, 2022

Classification of fluorescent R-Band metaphase chromosomes using a convolutional neural network is precise and fast in generating karyograms of hematologic neoplastic cells

Beate Vajen, Siegfried Hänselmann, Friederike Lutterloh, Simon Käfer, Jennifer Espenkötter, Anna Beening, Jochen Bogin, Brigitte Schlegelberger, Gudrun Göhring

<p>Karyotype analysis has a great impact on the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis in hematologic neo-plasms. The identification and characterization of chromosomes is a challenging process and needs experienced personal. Artificial intelligence provides novel support tools. However, their safe and reliable application in diagnostics needs to be evaluated. Here, we present a novel laboratory approach to identify chromosomes in cancer cells using a convolutional neural network (CNN). The CNN identified the correct chromosome class for 98.8% of chromosomes, which led to a time saving of 42% for the karyotyping workflow. These results demonstrate that the CNN has potential application value in chromosome classification of hematologic neoplasms. This study contributes to the development of an automatic karyotyping platform.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI):

European journal of clinical microbiology & infectious diseases : official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology, 40, 2171--2176
October, 2021

Performances of automated digital imaging of Gram-stained slides with on-screen reading against manual microscopy.

Fischer, Adrien, Azam, Nouria, Rasga, Lara, Barras, Valérie, Tangomo, Manuela, Renzi, Gesuele, Vuilleumier, Nicolas, Schrenzel, Jacques, Cherkaoui, Abdessalam

<p>The objective of this study was to evaluate the performances of the automated digital imaging of Gram-stained slides against manual microscopy. Four hundred forty-three identified Gram-stained slides were included in this study. When both methods agreed, we considered the results as correct, and no further examination was carried out. Whenever the methods gave discrepant results, we reviewed the digital images and the glass slides by manual microscopy to avoid incorrectly read smears. The final result was a consensus of multiple independent reader interpretations. Among the 443 slides analyzed in this study, 101 (22.8%) showed discrepant results between the compared methods. The rates of discrepant results according to the specimen types were 5.7% (9/157) for positive blood cultures, 42% (60/142) for respiratory tract specimens, and 22% (32/144) for sterile site specimens. After a subsequent review of the discrepant slides, the final rate of discrepancies dropped to 7.0% (31/443). The overall agreement between the compared methods and the culture results reached 78% (345/443) and 79% (349/443) for manual microscopy and automated digital imaging, respectively. According to culture results, the specificity for automated digital imaging and manual microscopy were 90.8% and 87.7% respectively. In contrast, sensitivity was 84.1% for the two compared methods. The discrepant results were mostly encountered with microorganism morphologies of rare occurrence. The results reported in this study emphasize that on-screen reading is challenging, since the recognition of morphologies on-screen can appear different as compared to routine manual microscopy. Monitoring of Gram stain errors, which is facilitated by automated digital imaging, remains crucial for the quality control of reported Gram stain results.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1007/s10096-021-04233-2

Radiation research
September, 2021

CytoRADx: A High-Throughput, Standardized Biodosimetry Diagnostic System Based on the Cytokinesis-Block Micronucleus Assay.

Capaccio, Chris, Perrier, Jay R., Cunha, Lídia, Mahnke, Ryan C., Lörch, Thomas, Porter, Michael, Smith, Chris L., Damer, Ken, Bourland, J. Daniel, Frizzell, Bart, Torelli, Jennifer, Vasquez, Marie, Brower, Jeremy B., Doyle-Eisele, Melanie, Taveras, Maria, Turner, Helen, Brenner, David J., Kowalski, Richard

<p>In a large-scale catastrophe, such as a nuclear detonation in a major city, it will be crucial to accurately diagnose large numbers of people to direct scarce medical resources to those in greatest need. Currently no FDA-cleared tests are available to diagnose radiation exposures, which can lead to complex, life-threatening injuries. To address this gap, we have achieved substantial advancements in radiation biodosimetry through refinement and adaptation of the cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN) assay as a high throughput, quantitative diagnostic test. The classical CBMN approach, which quantifies micronuclei (MN) resulting from DNA damage, suffers from considerable time and expert labor requirements, in addition to a lack of universal methodology across laboratories. We have developed the CytoRADx™ System to address these drawbacks by implementing a standardized reagent kit, optimized assay protocol, fully automated microscopy and image analysis, and integrated dose prediction. These enhancements allow the CytoRADx System to obtain high-throughput, standardized results without specialized labor or laboratory-specific calibration curves. The CytoRADx System has been optimized for use with both humans and non-human primates (NHP) to quantify radiation dose-dependent formation of micronuclei in lymphocytes, observed using whole blood samples. Cell nuclei and resulting MN are fluorescently stained and preserved on durable microscope slides using materials provided in the kit. Up to 1,000 slides per day are subsequently scanned using the commercially based RADxScan™ Imager with customized software, which automatically quantifies the cellular features and calculates the radiation dose. Using less than 1 mL of blood, irradiated ex vivo, our system has demonstrated accurate and precise measurement of exposures from 0 to 8 Gy (90% of results within 1 Gy of delivered dose). These results were obtained from 636 human samples (24 distinct donors) and 445 NHP samples (30 distinct subjects). The system demonstrated comparable results during in vivo studies, including an investigation of 43 NHPs receiving single-dose total-body irradiation. System performance is repeatable across laboratories, operators, and instruments. Results are also statistically similar across diverse populations, considering various demographics, common medications, medical conditions, and acute injuries associated with radiological disasters. Dose calculations are stable over time as well, providing reproducible results for at least 28 days postirradiation, and for blood specimens collected and stored at room temperature for at least 72 h. The CytoRADx System provides significant advancements in the field of biodosimetry that will enable accurate diagnoses across diverse populations in large-scale emergency scenarios. In addition, our technological enhancements to the well-established CBMN assay provide a pathway for future diagnostic applications, such as toxicology and oncology.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1667/RADE-20-00030.1

The British journal of dermatology
January, 2021

COVID-19 related dermatosis in November 2019. Could this case be Italy's patient zero?

Gianotti, R., Barberis, M., Fellegara, G., Galván-Casas, C., Gianotti, E.

<p>Milan, the largest city in northern Italy, was one of the first European metropolitan areas to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We analyzed skin biopsies of patients from Milan with dermatoses and positive PCR swabs for SARS-CoV-2 at different stages of the infection (1,2). The results were compared to skin biopsies of 20 COVID-19 non-diagnosed patients with dermatoses, who were at high-risk of COVID-19 infection.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1111/bjd.19804

Frontiers in oncology, 11, 682647

The Proton-Boron Reaction Increases the Radiobiological Effectiveness of Clinical Low- and High-Energy Proton Beams: Novel Experimental Evidence and Perspectives.

Bláha, Pavel, Feoli, Chiara, Agosteo, Stefano, Calvaruso, Marco, Cammarata, Francesco Paolo, Catalano, Roberto, Ciocca, Mario, Cirrone, Giuseppe Antonio Pablo, Conte, Valeria, Cuttone, Giacomo, Facoetti, Angelica, Forte, Giusi Irma, Giuffrida, Lorenzo, Magro, Giuseppe, Margarone, Daniele, Minafra, Luigi, Petringa, Giada, Pucci, Gaia, Ricciardi, Valerio, Rosa, Enrico, Russo, Giorgio, Manti, Lorenzo

<p>Protontherapy is a rapidly expanding radiotherapy modality where accelerated proton beams are used to precisely deliver the dose to the tumor target but is generally considered ineffective against radioresistant tumors. Proton-Boron Capture Therapy (PBCT) is a novel approach aimed at enhancing proton biological effectiveness. PBCT exploits a nuclear fusion reaction between low-energy protons and B atoms, i.e. p+ B→ 3α (p-B), which is supposed to produce highly-DNA damaging α-particles exclusively across the tumor-conformed Spread-Out Bragg Peak (SOBP), without harming healthy tissues in the beam entrance channel. To confirm previous work on PBCT, here we report new in-vitro data obtained at the 62-MeV ocular melanoma-dedicated proton beamline of the INFN-Laboratori Nazionali del Sud (LNS), Catania, Italy. For the first time, we also tested PBCT at the 250-MeV proton beamline used for deep-seated cancers at the Centro Nazionale di Adroterapia Oncologica (CNAO), Pavia, Italy. We used Sodium Mercaptododecaborate (BSH) as B carrier, DU145 prostate cancer cells to assess cell killing and non-cancer epithelial breast MCF-10A cells for quantifying chromosome aberrations (CAs) by FISH painting and DNA repair pathway protein expression by western blotting. Cells were exposed at various depths along the two clinical SOBPs. Compared to exposure in the absence of boron, proton irradiation in the presence of BSH significantly reduced DU145 clonogenic survival and increased both frequency and complexity of CAs in MCF-10A cells at the mid- and distal SOBP positions, but not at the beam entrance. BSH-mediated enhancement of DNA damage response was also found at mid-SOBP. These results corroborate PBCT as a strategy to render protontherapy amenable towards radiotherapy-resilient tumor. If coupled with emerging proton FLASH radiotherapy modalities, PBCT could thus widen the protontherapy therapeutic index.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3389/fonc.2021.682647

Pediatric reports, 13, 9--14
December, 2020

Detection of New Translocation in Infant Twins with Concordant ALL and Discordant Outcome.

Bahoush, Golamreza, Vafapour, Maryam, Kariminejad, Roxana

<p>About 2-5% of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cases in pediatric patients are infants with an unfavorable prognosis because of high relapse probability. Early detection of the disease is, therefore, very important. Despite the fact that leukemia in twins occurs rarely, more attention has been paid to it in genetic studies. In the present study, through cytogenetic testing, a special case of concordant ALL in monozygotic twins was presented with different outcomes. In spite of an acceptable initial consequence to medical treatment in twins, in another brother (Twin B), early relapse was observed. In the cytogenetic study, both twins expressed while twin A expressed No cases have previously reported this mutation. Whether this translocation has a protective role for leukemia with mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) gene rearrangement is still unclear. The difference in the translocation identified in the identical twins is also subject to further investigations.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3390/pediatric13010002

Genes, 12
December, 2020

A Comprehensive Integrated Genetic Map of the Complete Karyotype of Solea senegalensis (Kaup 1858).

Merlo, Manuel A., Portela-Bens, Silvia, Rodríguez, María E., García-Angulo, Aglaya, Cross, Ismael, Arias-Pérez, Alberto, García, Emilio, Rebordinos, Laureana

<p>aquaculture production has experienced a great increase in the last decade and, consequently, the genome knowledge of the species is gaining attention. In this sense, obtaining a high-density genome mapping of the species could offer clues to the aquaculture improvement in those aspects not resolved so far. In the present article, a review and new processed data have allowed to obtain a high-density BAC-based cytogenetic map of beside the analysis of the sequences of such BAC clones to achieve integrative data. A total of 93 BAC clones were used to localize the chromosome complement of the species and 588 genes were annotated, thus almost reaching the 2.5% of the genome sequences. As a result, important data about its genome organization and evolution were obtained, such as the lesser gene density of the large metacentric pair compared with the other metacentric chromosomes, which supports the theory of a sex proto-chromosome pair. In addition, chromosomes with a high number of linked genes that are conserved, even in distant species, were detected. This kind of result widens the knowledge of this species' chromosome dynamics and evolution.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3390/genes12010049

Journal of personalized medicine, 10
October, 2020

Radiation Biomarkers in Large Scale Human Health Effects Studies.

Moquet, Jayne, Rothkamm, Kai, Barnard, Stephen, Ainsbury, Elizabeth

Following recent developments, the RENEB network (Running the European Network of biological dosimetry and physical retrospective dosimetry) is in an excellent position to carry out large scale molecular epidemiological studies of ionizing radiation effects, with validated expertise in the dicentric, fluorescent hybridization (FISH)-translocation, micronucleus, premature chromosome condensation, gamma-H2AX foci and gene expression assays. Large scale human health effects studies present complex challenges such as the practical aspects of sample logistics, assay costs, effort, effect modifiers and quality control/assurance measures. At Public Health England, the dicentric, automated micronucleus and gamma-H2AX radiation-induced foci assays have been tested for use in a large health effects study. The results of the study and the experience gained in carrying out such a large scale investigation provide valuable information that could help minimise random and systematic errors in biomarker data sets for health surveillance analyses going forward.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3390/jpm10040155

International journal of radiation biology, 96, 1263--1273
October, 2020

Comparison of inexperienced operators and experts in γH2A.X and 53BP1 foci assay for high-throughput biodosimetry approaches in a mass casualty incident.

Bucher, Martin, Duchrow, Lukas, Endesfelder, David, Roessler, Ute, Gomolka, Maria

<p>In case of population exposure by ionizing radiation, a fast and reliable dose assessment of exposed and non-exposed individuals is crucial important. In initial triage, physicians have to take fast decisions whom to treat with adequate medical care. In addition, worries about significant exposure can be taken away from hundreds to thousands non- or low exposed individuals. Studies have shown that the γH2A.X radiation-induced foci assay is a promising test for fast triage decisions. However, in a large-scale scenario most biodosimetry laboratories will quickly reach their capacity limit. The aim of this study was to evaluate the benefit of inexperienced experimenters to speed up the foci assay and manual foci scoring. The participants of two training courses performed the radiation-induced foci assay (γH2A.X) under the guidance of experts and scored foci (γH2A.X and 53BP1) on sham-irradiated and irradiated blood samples (0.05-1.5 Gy). The outcome of laboratory experiments and manual foci scoring by 26 operators with basic experience in laboratory work was statistically analyzed in comparison to the results from experts. Inexperienced operators prepared slides with significant dose-effects (0, 0.1 and 1.0 Gy) for semi-automatic microscopic analyses. Manual foci scoring by inexperienced scorer resulted in a dose-effect curve for γH2A.X, 53BP1 and co-localized foci. In addition, inexperienced scorers were able to distinguish low irradiation doses from unirradiated cells. While 53BP1 foci scoring was in accordance to the expert counting, differences between beginners and expert increased for γH2A.X or co-localized foci. In case of a large-scale radiation event, inexperienced staff is useful to support laboratories in slide preparation for semi-automatic foci counting as well as γH2A.X and 53BP1 manual foci scoring for triage-mode biodosimetry. Slides can be clearly classified in the non-, low- or high-exposed category.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1080/09553002.2020.1793024

Tuberculosis (Edinburgh, Scotland), 125, 101993
September, 2020

Machine-assisted interpretation of auramine stains substantially increases through-put and sensitivity of microscopic tuberculosis diagnosis.

Horvath, L., Hänselmann, S., Mannsperger, H., Degenhardt, S., Last, K., Zimmermann, S., Burckhardt, I.

Of all bacterial infectious diseases, infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis poses one of the highest morbidity and mortality burdens on humans throughout the world. Due to its speed and cost-efficiency, manual microscopy of auramine-stained sputum smears remains a crucial first-line detection method. However, it puts considerable workload on laboratory staff and suffers from a limited sensitivity. Here we validate a scanning and analysis system that combines fully-automated microscopy with deep-learning based image analysis. After automated scanning, the system summarizes diagnosis-relevant image information and presents it to the microbiologist in order to assist diagnosis. We tested the benefit of the automated scanning and analysis system using 531 slides from routine workflow, of which 56 were from culture positive specimen. Assistance by the scanning and analysis system allowed for a higher sensitivity (40/56 positive slides detected) than manual microscopy (34/56 positive slides detected), while greatly reducing manual slide-analysis time from a recommended 5-15 min to around 10 s per slide on average.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1016/

Applied and environmental microbiology, 86
August, 2020

3-Hydroxybutyrate Derived from Poly-3-Hydroxybutyrate Mobilization Alleviates Protein Aggregation in Heat-Stressed Herbaspirillum seropedicae SmR1.

Alves, Luis Paulo Silveira, Santana-Filho, Arquimedes Paixão, Sassaki, Guilherme Lanzi, de Oliveira Pedrosa, Fabio, Maltempi de Souza, Emanuel, Chubatsu, Leda Satie, Müller-Santos, Marcelo

Under conditions of carbon starvation or thermal, osmotic, or oxidative shock, mutants affected in the synthesis or mobilization of poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB) are known to survive less well. It is still unclear if the synthesis and accumulation of PHB are sufficient to protect bacteria against stress conditions or if the stored PHB has to be mobilized. Here, we demonstrated that mobilization of PHB in SmR1 was heat-shock activated at 45°C. proton ( H) nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (i.e., H-nuclear magnetic resonance) showed that heat shock increased amounts of 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB) only in strains able to synthesize and mobilize PHB. SmR1 mutants unable to synthesize or mobilize PHB were more susceptible to heat shock and survived less well than the parental strain. When 100 mM 3-hydroxybutyrate was added to the medium, the Δ strain (an mutant unable to synthesize PHB) and the double mutant with deletion of both and (i.e., Δ ) (unable to mobilize PHB) showed partial rescue of heat adaptability (from 0% survival without 3HB to 40% of the initial viable population). Addition of 200 mM 3HB before the imposition of heat shock reduced protein aggregation to 15% in the Δ mutant and 12% in the Δ mutant. We conclude that SmR1 is naturally protected by 3HB released by PHB mobilization, while mutants unable to generate large amounts of 3HB under heat shock conditions are less able to cope with heat damage. Bacteria are subject to abrupt changes in environmental conditions affecting their growth, requiring rapid adaptation. Increasing the concentration of some metabolites can protect bacteria from hostile conditions that lead to protein denaturation and precipitation, as well as damage to plasma membranes. In this work, we demonstrated that under thermal shock, the bacterium depolymerized its intracellular stock polymer known as poly-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB), rapidly increasing the concentration of 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB) and decreasing protein precipitation by thermal denaturation. Mutant strains unable to produce or depolymerize PHB suffered irreparable damage during thermal shock, resulting in fast death when incubated at 45°C. Our results will contribute to the development of bacteria better adapted to high temperatures found either in natural conditions or in industrial processes. In the case of and other bacteria that interact beneficially with plants, the understanding of PHB metabolism can be decisive for the development of more-competitive strains and their application as biofertilizers in agriculture.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1128/AEM.01265-20

Toxicology in vitro : an international journal published in association with BIBRA, 66, 104866
August, 2020

A comparative in vitro toxicity assessment of electronic vaping product e-liquids and aerosols with tobacco cigarette smoke.

Wieczorek, R., Phillips, G., Czekala, L., Trelles Sticken, E., O'Connell, G., Simms, L., Rudd, K., Stevenson, M., Walele, T.

The use of electronic vaping products (EVPs) continues to increase worldwide among adult smokers in parallel with accumulating information on their potential toxicity and relative safety compared to tobacco smoke. At this time, in vitro assessments of many widely available EVPs are limited. In this study, an in vitro battery of established assays was used to examine the cytotoxic (Neutral red uptake), genotoxic (In vitro micronucleus) and mutagenic (Bacterial reverse mutation) responses of two commercial EVPs (blu GO™ disposable and blu PLUS+™ rechargeable) when compared to smoke from a reference cigarette (3R4F). In total, 12 commercial products were tested as e-liquids and as aerosols. In addition, two experimental base liquids containing 1.2% and 2.4% nicotine were also assessed to determine the effect of flavour and nicotine on all three assays. In the bacterial reverse mutation (Ames) and in vitro micronucleus (IVM) assays, exposures to e-liquids and EVP aerosols, with and without nicotine and in a range of flavourings, showed no mutagenic or genotoxic effects compared to tobacco smoke. The neutral red uptake (NRU) assay showed significantly reduced cytotoxicity (P < .05) for whole undiluted EVP aerosols compared to tobacco smoke, which by contrast was markedly cytotoxic even when diluted. The reduced in vitro toxicological responses of the EVPs add to the increasing body of scientific weight-of-evidence supporting the role of high-quality EVPs as a harm reduction tool for adult smokers.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.tiv.2020.104866

Molecular ecology
July, 2020

Adaptive divergence across Southern Ocean gradients in the pelagic diatom Fragilariopsis kerguelensis.

Postel, Ute, Glemser, Barbara, Salazar Alekseyeva, Katherine, Eggers, Sarah Lena, Groth, Marco, Glöckner, Gernot, John, Uwe, Mock, Thomas, Klemm, Kerstin, Valentin, Klaus, Beszteri, Bánk

The Southern Ocean is characterized by longitudinal water circulations crossed by strong latitudinal gradients. How this oceanographic background shapes planktonic populations is largely unknown, despite the significance of this region for global biogeochemical cycles. Here, we show, based on genomic, morphometric, ecophysiological and mating compatibility data, an example of ecotypic differentiation and speciation within an endemic pelagic inhabitant, the diatom Fragilariopsis kerguelensis. We discovered three genotypic variants, one present throughout the latitudinal transect sampled, the others restricted to the north and south, respectively. The latter two showed reciprocal monophyly across all three genomes and significant ecophysiological differences consistent with local adaptation, but produced viable offspring in laboratory crosses. The third group was also reproductively isolated from the latter two. We hypothesize that this pattern originated by an adaptive expansion accompanied by ecotypic divergence, followed by sympatric speciation.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1111/mec.15554

Genes, 11
July, 2020

Deciphering the Impact of a Bacterial Infection on Meiotic Recombination in Arabidopsis with Fluorescence Tagged Lines.

Gratias, Ariane, Geffroy, Valérie

<p>Plants are under strong evolutionary pressure to maintain surveillance against pathogens. One major disease resistance mechanism is based on NB-LRR (NLR) proteins that specifically recognize pathogen effectors. The cluster organization of the NLR gene family could favor sequence exchange between NLR genes via recombination, favoring their evolutionary dynamics. Increasing data, based on progeny analysis, suggest the existence of a link between the perception of biotic stress and the production of genetic diversity in the offspring. This could be driven by an increased rate of meiotic recombination in infected plants, but this has never been strictly demonstrated. In order to test if pathogen infection can increase DNA recombination in pollen meiotic cells, we infected Fluorescent Tagged Lines (FTL) with the virulent bacteria . We measured the meiotic recombination rate in two regions of chromosome 5, containing or not an NLR gene cluster. In all tested intervals, no significant difference in genetic recombination frequency between infected and control plants was observed. Although it has been reported that pathogen exposure can sometimes increase the frequency of recombinant progeny in plants, our findings suggest that meiotic recombination rate in may be resilient to at least some pathogen attack. Alternative mechanisms are discussed.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3390/genes11070832

Health physics, 119, 52--58
July, 2020

Automated Dicentric Aberration Scoring for Triage Dose Assessment: 60Co Gamma Ray Dose-response at Different Dose Rates.

Subramanian, Uma, O'Brien, Brett, McNamara, Maureen, Romanyukha, Lyudmila, Bolduc, David L., Olsen, Cara, Blakely, William F.

<p>The objective of this study was to establish radiation dose-response calibration curves using automated dicentric scoring to support rapid and accurate cytogenetic triage dose-assessment. Blood was drawn from healthy human volunteers and exposed to Co gamma rays at several dose rates (i.e., 1.0, 0.6, and 0.1 Gy min). After radiation, the blood was placed for 2 h in a 37 °C incubator for repair. Blood was then cultured in complete media to which a mitogen (i.e., phytoghemagglutinin, concentration 4%) was added for 48 h. Colcemid was added to the culture at a final concentration of 0.2 μg mL after 24 h for the purpose of arresting first-division metaphase mitotics. Cells were harvested at the end of 48 h. Samples were processed using an automated metaphase harvester and automated microscope metaphase finder equipped with a suite of software including a specialized automated dicentric scoring application. The data obtained were used to create dose-response tables of dicentric yields. The null hypothesis that the data is Poisson-distributed could not be rejected at the significance level of α = 0.05 using results from a Shiny R Studio application (goodness-of-fit Poisson). Calibration curves based on linear-quadratic fits for Co gamma rays at the three different dose rates were generated using these data. The calibration curves were used to detect blind test cases. In conclusion, using the automated harvester and automated microscope metaphase finder with associated automated dicentric scoring software demonstrates high-throughput with suitable accuracy for triage radiation dose assessment.</p>

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1097/HP.0000000000001285

Science advances, 6, eabb3446
June, 2020

Molecular atlas of the adult mouse brain.

Ortiz, Cantin, Navarro, Jose Fernandez, Jurek, Aleksandra, Märtin, Antje, Lundeberg, Joakim, Meletis, Konstantinos

Brain maps are essential for integrating information and interpreting the structure-function relationship of circuits and behavior. We aimed to generate a systematic classification of the adult mouse brain based purely on the unbiased identification of spatially defining features by employing whole-brain spatial transcriptomics. We found that the molecular information was sufficient to deduce the complex and detailed neuroanatomical organization of the brain. The unsupervised (non-expert, data-driven) classification revealed new area- and layer-specific subregions, for example in isocortex and hippocampus, and new subdivisions of striatum. The molecular atlas further supports the characterization of the spatial identity of neurons from their single-cell RNA profile, and provides a resource for annotating the brain using a minimal gene set-a brain palette. In summary, we have established a molecular atlas to formally define the spatial organization of brain regions, including the molecular code for mapping and targeting of discrete neuroanatomical domains.

Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.1126/sciadv.abb3446