Table of Contents | Genet. Mol. Res. 2024 (1)
Capsicum peppers are valued in Brazil and throughout the world for their great variety of shapes, colors, flavors, and pungency levels. Various health benefits have been attributed to chili peppers, including their antioxidant activity. Despite great efforts to characterize Capsicum germplasm around the world, few studies have used biochemical descriptors. We examined 11 morphoagronomic and six biochemical descriptors for the fruit to analyze 69 Capsicum accessions from four regions of Brazil; these belong to the Instituto Federal do Espírito Santo – Campus de Alegre Germplasm Collection. The accessions comprise five different Capsicum taxa: Capsicum chinense, Capsicum baccatum var. pendulum, Capsicum frutescens, Capsicum annuum var. annuum and Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum. The experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design with three replicates under field conditions. For all the traits examined, ANOVA showed a significant variability between accessions. We detected significant diversity among the Capsicum genotypes; the Scott-Knott’s test grouped the accessions into five to 14 groups, depending on the trait. Pearson’s correlation analysis revealed strong correlation between morphoagronomic (fruit length, diameter and weight) and physical and-chemical (soluble solids and moisture content) traits. Principal component analysis indicated that fruit diameter and fruit fresh mass were among the most important traits contributing to diversity among the accessions. Together these results demonstrate the success of indirect selection of useful chemical properties in Capsicum peppers through breeding for other easy-to-measure morphoagronomic traits. This research is also an important step for the creation of a representative collection of pepper germplasm, facilitating the conservation of this genetic resource, which suffers a continuous process of genetic erosion.
In the 1990s, studies began on genetic differences and their association with human physical performance. Various phenotypic characteristics, such as diseases and human performance, could be associated with genetic polymorphisms of the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) gene. We evaluated studies on genetic polymorphisms of the ACE gene associated with elite athletes. Data were searched through the Scopus database using the descriptors “elite athlete*” AND (allele* OR polymorphism*). The PICO strategy was used to elaborate the guiding question of this integrative systematic review, where P indicates the population/patients, I is related to the intervention, C refers to comparison/control and the letter O refers to the expected outcomes. The articles were compared and grouped by similarity of content referring to the studied genetic polymorphisms. After selecting and tabulating the data, they were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The search returned a total of 212 studies and of these, 27 articles that studied the ACE gene in elite athletes were considered in the analyses. A total of 8,146 individuals were analyzed; among them 2,660 were athletes and 5,486 were from the control group. The studies were conducted in countries in Europe and Asia. The most studied sport modality was athletics (n = 13), followed by soccer (n = 8). Among the selected studies, 59% found a significant association between ACE gene polymorphism and elite athlete performance, where the polymorphic allele I is associated with resistance increase, the allele D with strength increase and the heterozygous genotype with the power of the elite athlete. With this study, it was possible to perceive that genetic factors, such as polymorphism of the ACE gene, influence several characteristics related to sports performance, especially in elite athletes.
The Amur viper (family Viperidae), Gloydius saxatilis (Emelianov, 1937) is found in Russia, China, and the Korean Peninsula, and suffers from considerable poaching pressure driven by financial incentives. Its unique distribution has attracted attention as an indicator species for climate change. Herein, we report the isolation and characterization of 23 novel microsatellite loci in G. saxatilis using next-generation sequencing technology consisting of six multiplex panels. We collected 42 muscle samples from G. saxatilis that had either been road-killed or captured at various natural sites in South Korea. Twenty-two samples were collected from Gangwon-do, four from Gyeonggi-do, nine from Gyeongsang-do, five from Jella-do, and two from Chungcheong-do. The observed and expected heterozygosities of the loci varied from 0.447 to 0.937 and 0.436 to 0.815, respectively. The number of alleles per locus ranged from four to 15. All loci were in Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium, and no linkage disequilibrium was detected among any pairs of the loci. Examination of cross-species amplification showed that 20 loci were transferable to two other Gloydius snakes (G. ussuriensis and G. brevicaudus) and helped in identifying each species and hybrid. The six multiplex panels of 23 polymorphic microsatellite loci will play an important role in future population genetic studies and in the conservation and management of the Gloydius species.
Depressive and anxiety disorders have been associated with body mass index (BMI), since mesolimbic reward circuits, such as dopamine secretion and the expression of dopamine neuronal receptors, have been related to weight in people with mental issues. However, few studies have analyzed polymorphisms of genes of the dopaminergic system in healthy populations. We evaluated association of BMI with four polymorphisms of genes related to the dopaminergic system, DRD4, DAT1, BDNF, and COMT, in young adults without depression or anxiety disorders. Blood samples of 62 subjects were analyzed for polymorphisms of VNTR DRD4 and DAT1 by PCR, and the SNPs of BDNF and COMT genes by Sanger sequencing, as well as their score in the Beck Depression and Beck Anxiety inventories. We also measured the level of physical activity, height (cm), weight (kg), and calculated BMI. Multivariate linear regression was used to analyze associations between BMI and polymorphisms. Allelic frequencies of the four genes in the sample studied were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. BMI was higher in male subjects (p<0.05). Multivariate linear regression did not show an association between the polymorphisms with BMI after adjusting by sex. The BMI of young adults without depression and anxiety disorders was not found to be associated with polymorphisms of the 3rd exon of DRD4, 3’UTR of DAT1 genes, rs6265 BDNF, or rs4680 COMT.
About 350 million people worldwide are affected by depression, which is often accompanied by other comorbidities such as anxiety. Research on the use of cannabinoids for these debilitating mental illnesses has advanced. However, although Cannabis has putative therapeutic use for the treatment of both psychiatric and neurological diseases due to psychotropic and non-psychotropic effects of cannabinoid components of Cannabis sativa on the central nervous system, there is resistance in some countries due to regulations for the use of these substances. Given the diversity of different preparations characteristics, either containing natural phytocannabinoids or synthetic cannabinoids, successful implementation of cannabis therapy will require considerable research. It has to be considered that the endocannabinoid system is complex; each neurological disease has its particular pathophysiology. Therefore, it is a challenge to obtain a pharmaceutical product with an adequate profile for each patient. This review examined the results of preclinical and clinical studies that focused on cannabinoid therapy for depression and anxiety disorders. Searches were carried out in international databases, including studies that presented consistent data on medical cannabis in depression and anxiety. Published studies provide weak scientific evidence concerning improvement of the symptoms of these mental disorders. More preclinical studies are needed that involve the various pathological conditions, as well as placebo controlled, double-blind and randomized clinical trials. We need robust data that can better evaluate dependence and other consequences of prolonged use of these compounds.
Research has advanced and pre and post-harvest management strategies for Cannabis sativa have been proposed, aiming to improve cannabis production and efficiently attain industrial scale cannabinoid production. In general, studies have focused on genetic modification and cultivation methods designed to increase the content of the substance of interest (in general, cannabidiol; CBD) and obtain varieties with high productivity and resistance to pests. For the cannabis industry, propagating vigorous and uniform plants remains a challenge, as it is a dioecious crop and therefore depends on cross-fertilization for seed production. In this context, this review, through searches in international databases, examined aspects of the C. sativa plant associated with its genotypic plasticity and chemical variability, as well as strategies and perspectives for achieving success in industrial scale production of phytocannabinoids. The methods and techniques that have been used include micropropagation to generate exclusively female individuals; development of semi-dwarf cannabis cultivars, which have a high leaf density and low Δ9-Tetrahidrocanabinol (THC) levels; and alterations in the spectrum of LED lights to stimulate photoreceptors and maximize the yield and quality of cannabis, with reduced operational costs. Polyploidization has been used to develop new strains of cannabis with significant increases in CBD concentration in the terpene profile and in the buds of tetraploid clones, without increased THC content. Genetically modified microorganisms have been developed for large-scale production of both natural (phytocannabinoids) and non-natural cannabinoids. Parameters such as plant variety and density, light intensity, and fertilization affect biomass and cannabinoid yields. Considering the complexity of the endocannabinoid system and the specificities of the diseases that medicinal cannabis could be used to treat, obtaining a pharmaceutical product that meets this demand remains a great challenge.
Honey bee (Apis mellifera) drones reared in protein-supplemented colonies may have reproductive advantages over drones reared in non-supplemented colonies. Additionally, climate and genotype can influence drone and semen quality; however, the studies conducted till now have been carried out in temperate climate countries with European honey bee subspecies. Furthermore, it is not known what minerals are associated with sperm quality in honey bees. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of a protein diet supplement fed to Africanized honey bee colonies on drone and semen quality, as well as on the mineral content and concentration of their semen. The experimental colonies were fed sucrose syrup and a commercial protein supplement, while control colonies were fed only sucrose syrup. Drones reared in these colonies were weighed and their thoraxes and abdomens measured. Ejaculated semen collected from the drones was evaluated for volume, sperm concentration, sperm viability, morphological abnormalities, and mineral content. Mineral analyses were also made of drone seminal vesicles. Drones reared in colonies supplemented with the protein diet were significantly heavier and larger than drones from control colonies. Semen volume did not differ significantly between treatments (P > 0.05), but the sperm concentration and viability of drones reared in supplemented colonies were significantly higher relative to the control. Furthermore, the rate of abnormalities of sperm cells was significantly lower for drones of supplemented colonies (P < 0.0001). There were no differences between treatments for concentration of Mg, P, Cu, Zn, and Se in the ejaculated semen; however, P was significantly more concentrated in seminal vesicles of drones of supplemented colonies. Most of these minerals had not been reported in bee semen before. We conclude that protein diet supplementation provided to Africanized honey bee colonies improves the quality of drones and their semen.
Various studies have been conducted to improve feed efficiency in Nellore beef cattle, as well as to select for more sexually precocious animals. In order to understand how reproduction is affected by selection for feed efficiency, we analyzed a database containing phenotypic information from 194,063 Nellore animals, a pedigree file containing 331,752 animals, and a genotyping file of 7,631 animals. The evaluated traits were probability of pregnancy at 14 months (PP14), stayability (STAY), cumulative annual productivity (COWPROD), residual feed intake (RFI), residual body weight gain (RG), and residual intake and gain (RIG). The (co)variance components were estimated through a multi-trait Bayesian linear-threshold model combination. The heritability estimates were: 0.38 ± 0.03 for PP14, 0.23 ± 0.02 for STAY, 0.14 ± 0.00 for COWPROD, 0.18 ± 0.05 for RFI, 0.21 ± 0.05 for RG and 0.18 ± 0.05 for RIG. Estimates of genetic correlation coefficients between feed efficiency and reproduction traits were unfavorable for selection, 0.10 (RFI and PP14), -0.16 (RG and PP14), -0.11 (RIG and PP14), 0.12 (RFI and STAY), -0.21 (RG and STAY), -0.13 (RIG and STAY), and -0.16 (RG and COWPROD), indicating that selection for these feed efficiency traits could reduce the probability of early pregnancy of heifers and decrease the number of cows that remain in the herd for at least six years. Considering the importance of reproduction for beef cattle production and the costs of feeding the cattle, examining their genetic association with better modeling strategies could help breeders and researchers to overcome such unfavorable relationships between feed efficiency and reproduction.