Publications by authors named "Yixin Cui"

30 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Highly selective two-photon fluorescent off-on probes for imaging tyrosinase activity in living cells and tissues.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2021 Jul;57(56):6911-6914

Department of Chemistry and Nanoscience, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, 120-750, Korea.

A coumarin-based two-photon (TP) fluorescent off-on probe has been developed for detecting tyrosinase activity. High selectivity, sensitivity and biocompatibility enable the probes to successfully image tyrosinase activity in live cells and tissues using TP microscopy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d1cc02374hDOI Listing
July 2021

Melatonin prevents diabetes-associated cognitive dysfunction from microglia-mediated neuroinflammation by activating autophagy via TLR4/Akt/mTOR pathway.

FASEB J 2021 04;35(4):e21485

Department of Endocrinology, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, China.

Cognitive dysfunction often occurs in diabetes mellitus patients. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of melatonin (MLT) in improving diabetes-associated cognitive decline and the underlying mechanism involved. Type 2 diabetic mice and palmitic acid (PA)-stimulated BV-2 cells were treated by MLT, and the potential mechanisms among MLT, cognition, and autophagy were explored. The results showed that type 2 diabetic mice showed obvious learning and memory impairments in the Morris water maze test compared with normal controls, which could be ameliorated by MLT treatment. Meanwhile, MLT administration significantly improved neuroinflammation and regulated microglial apoptosis. Furthermore, autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA) increased the microglial inflammation and apoptosis, indicating that the treatment effect of MLT was mediated by autophagy. Lastly, MLT treatment significantly decreased the levels of toll-like receptors 4 (TLR4), phosphorylated-protein kinase B (Akt), and phosphorylated-mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), indicating that blocking TLR4/Akt/mTOR pathway might be an underlying basis for the anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptosis effects of MLT. Collectively, our study suggested that MLT could improve learning and memory in type 2 diabetic mice by activating autophagy via the TLR4/Akt/mTOR pathway, thereby inhibiting neuroinflammation and microglial apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.202002247RRDOI Listing
April 2021

Mesenchymal stem cell-conditioned medium improved mitochondrial function and alleviated inflammation and apoptosis in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by regulating SIRT1.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2021 03 9;546:74-82. Epub 2021 Feb 9.

Department of Endocrinology, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, No. 107 Wenhua Xi Road, Jinan, 250012, Shandong, China; Institute of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases of Shandong University, Jinan, 250012, Shandong, China; Key Laboratory of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Shandong Province Medicine & Health, Jinan, 250012, Shandong, China. Electronic address:

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), an emerging risk factor for diabetes, is now recognized as the most common liver disease worldwide. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), a promising tool in regenerative medicine, release abundant molecules into the conditioned medium (CM). Increasing evidence showed that MSC-CM is beneficial for diabetes-associated NAFLD. However, the mechanism of how MSC-CM improves NAFLD remains uncertain. In this study, to determine the effects of MSC-CM on NAFLD, streptozotocin (STZ) and high-fat diet (HFD) induced T2DM mice model and palmitic acid (PA)-stimulated L-O2 cells were used and treated with MSC-CM. Our results demonstrated that MSC-CM improved insulin resistance in diabetic mice, amended the pathological structure of the liver, enhanced the liver's total antioxidant capacity and mitochondrial function, reduced inflammation and cell apoptosis. We further verified that SIRT1 played a key role in mediating the protective effect of MSC-CM. These findings provide novel evidence that MSC-CM has the potential to treat T2DM patients with NAFLD clinically.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2021.01.098DOI Listing
March 2021

Rh(iii)-Catalyzed acylation of heteroarenes with cyclobutenones via C-H/C-C bond activation.

Chem Commun (Camb) 2020 Dec 7;56(100):15631-15634. Epub 2020 Dec 7.

Henan Key Laboratory of Organic Functional Molecule and Drug Innovation, Collaborative Innovation Center of Henan Province for Green Manufacturing of Fine Chemicals, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang 453007, China.

Rhodium(iii)-catalyzed C-H acylation of heteroarenes has been realized using cyclobutenones as an acylating reagent. This coupling proceeded via integration of C-H activation of heteroarenes and C-C cleavage of cyclobutenones. The reaction features excellent regio/chemoselectivity leading to versatile chalcones with exclusive E-selectivity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/d0cc05965jDOI Listing
December 2020

Combining quantitative trait locus and co-expression analysis allowed identification of new candidates for oil accumulation in rapeseed.

J Exp Bot 2021 02;72(5):1649-1660

College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Southwest University, Chongqing, China.

In crops there are quantitative trait loci (QTLs) in which some of the causal quantitative trait genes (QTGs) have not been functionally characterized even in the model plant Arabidopsis. We propose an approach to delineate QTGs in rapeseed by coordinating expression of genes located within QTLs and known orthologs related to traits from Arabidopsis. Using this method in developing siliques 15 d after pollination in 71 lines of rapeseed, we established an acyl-lipid metabolism co-expression network with 21 modules composed of 270 known acyl-lipid genes and 3503 new genes. The core module harbored 76 known genes involved in fatty acid and triacylglycerol biosynthesis and 671 new genes involved in sucrose transport, carbon metabolism, amino acid metabolism, seed storage protein processes, seed maturation, and phytohormone metabolism. Moreover, the core module closely associated with the modules of photosynthesis and carbon metabolism. From the co-expression network, we selected 12 hub genes to identify their putative Arabidopsis orthologs. These putative orthologs were functionally analysed using Arabidopsis knockout and overexpression lines. Four knockout mutants exhibited lower seed oil content, while the seed oil content in 10 overexpression lines was significantly increased. Therefore, combining gene co-expression network analysis and QTL mapping, this study provides new insights into the detection of QTGs and into acyl-lipid metabolism in rapeseed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/eraa563DOI Listing
February 2021

Mesenchymal stem cell-derived exosomes exert ameliorative effects in type 2 diabetes by improving hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism via enhancing autophagy.

Stem Cell Res Ther 2020 06 8;11(1):223. Epub 2020 Jun 8.

Department of Endocrinology, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, No. 107 Wenhua Xi Road, Jinan, 250012, Shandong, China.

Background: Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based therapy is currently considered to be an effective treatment strategy for diabetes and hepatic disorders, such as liver cirrhosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Exosomes are important mediators of cellular connections, and increasing evidence has suggested that exosomes derived from MSCs may be used as direct therapeutic agents; their mechanisms of action, however, remain largely unclear. Here, we evaluated the efficacy and molecular mechanisms of human umbilical cord MSC-derived exosomes (HucMDEs) on hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

Methods: HucMDEs were used to treat T2DM rats, as well as palmitic acid (PA)-treated L-O2 cells, in order to determine the effects of HucMDEs on hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism. To evaluate the changes in autophagy and potential signaling pathways, autophagy-related proteins (BECN1, microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta [MAP 1LC3B]), autophagy-related genes (ATGs, ATG5, and ATG7), AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and phosphorylated AMPK (p-AMPK) were assessed by Western blotting.

Results: HucMDEs promoted hepatic glycolysis, glycogen storage, and lipolysis, and reduced gluconeogenesis. Additionally, autophagy potentially contributed to the effects of HucMDE treatment. Transmission electron microscopy revealed an increased formation of autophagosomes in HucMDE-treated groups, and the autophagy marker proteins, BECN1 and MAP 1LC3B, were also increased. Moreover, autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine significantly reduced the effects of HucMDEs on glucose and lipid metabolism in T2DM rats. Based on its phosphorylation status, we found that the AMPK signaling pathway was activated and induced autophagy in T2DM rats and PA-treated L-O2 cells. Meanwhile, the transfection of AMPK siRNA or application of the AMPK inhibitor, Comp C, weakened the therapeutic effects of HucMDEs on glucose and lipid metabolism.

Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that HucMDEs improved hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism in T2DM rats by activating autophagy via the AMPK pathway, which provides novel evidence suggesting the potential for HucMDEs in clinically treating T2DM patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13287-020-01731-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7278170PMC
June 2020

Epistemic justifications for belief in the unobservable: The impact of minority status.

Cognition 2020 07 2;200:104273. Epub 2020 Apr 2.

Boston University, United States of America.

Children hold beliefs about religious and scientific entities, such as angels or germs, that they cannot directly observe or interact with. Given their limited opportunities for first-hand observation, children's beliefs in these entities are a clear example of cultural learning and are likely to vary based on cultural factors. In the present study, we investigated variation in the epistemic stance of 4-11-year-old children growing up in a religious minority in China (N = 47), a religious majority in Iran (N = 85), and a religious majority in the U.S. (N = 74). To assess the role of community status as a domain-specific, as opposed to a domain-general, factor contributing to children's beliefs about unobservable entities, we compared children's beliefs about religious unobservable entities with their beliefs about scientific unobservable entities in these three communities. In all three communities, younger and older children were confident that unobservable religious and scientific entities exist. However, compared to children in Iran and the U.S., children from the religious minority group in China were more likely to justify their ontological beliefs about religious entities by appealing to the source of their beliefs. These results highlight the impact of community status on learning from testimony about unobservable entities. Additionally, the results show that under certain circumstances - notably when holding minority beliefs - tracking the source of beliefs serves as a central epistemic justification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104273DOI Listing
July 2020

GWAS and co-expression network combination uncovers multigenes with close linkage effects on the oleic acid content accumulation in Brassica napus.

BMC Genomics 2020 Apr 23;21(1):320. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

Collaborative Innovation Center of Grain and Oil Crops in South China, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, 410128, China.

Background: Strong artificial and natural selection causes the formation of highly conserved haplotypes that harbor agronomically important genes. GWAS combination with haplotype analysis has evolved as an effective method to dissect the genetic architecture of complex traits in crop species.

Results: We used the 60 K Brassica Infinium SNP array to perform a genome-wide analysis of haplotype blocks associated with oleic acid (C18:1) in rapeseed. Six haplotype regions were identified as significantly associated with oleic acid (C18:1) that mapped to chromosomes A02, A07, A08, C01, C02, and C03. Additionally, whole-genome sequencing of 50 rapeseed accessions revealed three genes (BnmtACP2-A02, BnABCI13-A02 and BnECI1-A02) in the A02 chromosome haplotype region and two genes (BnFAD8-C02 and BnSDP1-C02) in the C02 chromosome haplotype region that were closely linked to oleic acid content phenotypic variation. Moreover, the co-expression network analysis uncovered candidate genes from these two different haplotype regions with potential regulatory interrelationships with oleic acid content accumulation.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that several candidate genes are closely linked, which provides us with an opportunity to develop functional haplotype markers for the improvement of the oleic acid content in rapeseed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-020-6711-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7181522PMC
April 2020

Religious testimony in a secular society: Belief in unobservable entities among Chinese parents and their children.

Dev Psychol 2020 Jan 28;56(1):117-127. Epub 2019 Oct 28.

Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, Boston University.

When learning about the existence of unobservable scientific phenomena such as germs or religious phenomena such as God, children are receptive to the testimony of other people. Research in Western cultures has shown that by 5 to 6 years of age, children-like adults-are confident about the existence of both scientific and religious phenomena. We examined the beliefs of secular and Christian children growing up in China as well as the beliefs of their parents. All participants-secular and Christian children, as well as their parents-were confident about the existence of the scientific phenomena. No such consensus emerged for religious phenomena. Whereas secular children and their parents were skeptical, Christian children and their parents were confident about the existence of the religious phenomena. Moreover, a similar pattern was found for Christian children in preschools and for Christian children with more extensive exposure to the secular state curriculum. Indeed, for religious phenomena, a positive association was found between the beliefs of Christian children and their parents, highlighting the potential influence of parental input in a predominantly secular society. Overall, the results indicate that children's religious beliefs are related to the beliefs of their parents, even when those beliefs go against the majority view. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/dev0000846DOI Listing
January 2020

Efficacy and safety of intensity-modulated radiation therapy versus three-dimensional conformal radiation treatment for patients with gastric cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Radiat Oncol 2019 May 22;14(1):84. Epub 2019 May 22.

Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853, China.

Background: Radiation or radiochemotherapy is a common adjuvant therapy for gastric cancer. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) has been demonstrated to provide better dose conformity, allowing dose escalation and/or reduction of normal tissue exposure compared with three-dimensional conformal radiation treatment (3D-CRT). However, the efficacy of IMRT and 3D-CRT in gastric cancer remains controversial. This study aimed to compare the efficacy and safety of IMRT with those of 3D-CRT in treating patients with gastric cancer through conducting a meta-analysis of 3-year survival rates [overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS)], local control rates, and toxic event rates.

Methods: Embase, PubMed, the Cochrane Library, and clinical trial databases were searched to identify the clinical trials of IMRT versus 3D-CRT for treating patients with gastric cancer. The obtained data of survival and safety were analyzed using the Stata 14.0 software.

Results: A total of 9 controlled clinical studies, including 516 patients with gastric cancer, met the inclusion criteria and were included in this meta-analysis. The results of the meta-analysis showed that the 3-year OS rate was slightly higher in the IMRT group than in the 3D-CRT group, without any statistical significance. The 3-year local control rate was significantly higher in the IMRT group than in the 3D-CRT group. No significant difference in the 3-year DFS rate was found between the IMRT and 3D-CRT groups. Grade 2-4 toxicities were similar between the IMRT and 3D-CRT groups.

Conclusion: The findings suggested that IMRT might be superior to 3D-CRT in treating patients with gastric cancer in terms of local control rates without increasing toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13014-019-1294-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6532249PMC
May 2019

The Association between Depression and Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: Inflammatory Cytokines as Ferrymen in between?

Mediators Inflamm 2019 28;2019:2987901. Epub 2019 Mar 28.

Department of Endocrinology, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong 250012, China.

The depression incidence is much higher in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM), and the majority of these cases remain under-diagnosed. Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) is now widely thought to be an organ-specific autoimmune disease. As a chronic autoimmune condition, T1D is characterized by T cell-mediated selective loss of insulin-producing cells. The age of onset of T1D is earlier than T2D, and T1D patients have an increased vulnerability to depression due to its diagnosis and treatment burden occurring in a period when the individuals are young. The literature has suggested that inflammatory cytokines play a wide role in both diseases. In this review, the mechanisms behind the initiation and propagation of the autoimmune response in T1D and depression are analyzed, and the contribution of cytokines to both conditions is discussed. This review outlines the immunological mechanism of T1D and depression, with a particular emphasis on the role of tumor necrosis factor- (TNF-), IL-1, and interferon- (IFN-) cytokines and their signaling pathways. The purpose of this review is to highlight the possible pathways of the cytokines shared by these two diseases via deciphering their cytokine cascades. They may provide a basic groundwork for future study of the possible mechanism that links these two diseases and to develop new compounds that target the same pathway but can conquer two diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2019/2987901DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6458932PMC
September 2019

Pb adsorption on TiO @HF-waste building bricks: Kinetics, thermodynamics, and mechanisms.

Water Environ Res 2019 Aug 17;91(8):788-796. Epub 2019 Apr 17.

School of Engineering, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing, China.

Pb pollution poses severe threats to human health and ecosystem. In this study, based on the waste building bricks (WBB), the TiO @HF-WBB was prepared for Pb adsorption removal from wastewater. The adsorption of Pb on TiO @HF-WBB followed the pseudo-second-order kinetics and the Freundlich isotherm model. The thermodynamic parameters indicated that the adsorption process was endothermic, spontaneous, and irreversible, and also included physical adsorption and chemical adsorption simultaneously. Ca and Mg had little effect on Pb adsorption. The effluent of fixed-bed was below 3 μg/L within 1,000 BV. The desorption rate could reach 90% by simple operation. The possible mechanisms included the electrostatic interaction and the complexation. PRACTITIONER POINTS: Waste building bricks were utilized for Pb removal from wastewater. The effluent of fixed-bed was below 3 μg/L within 1,000 BV. TiO @HF-WBB has excellent adsorption property and desorption property. Possible mechanisms are electrostatic interaction and the complexation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/wer.1109DOI Listing
August 2019

Serum Levels of Meteorin-Like (Metrnl) Are Increased in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Are Associated with Insulin Resistance.

Med Sci Monit 2019 Mar 31;25:2337-2343. Epub 2019 Mar 31.

Department of Endocrinology, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China (mainland).

BACKGROUND Meteorin-like (Metrnl) is a novel adipomyokine that may improve glucose tolerance and affect insulin resistance. This study aimed to investigate the association between serum levels of Metrnl with blood glucose status and to its association with insulin resistance. MATERIAL AND METHODS The study included 160 subjects with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) (n=40), impaired fasting glucose (IFG) (n=40), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) (n=40), and newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) (n=40). An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to measure the serum levels of Metrnl. Partial correlation analysis was used to analyze the relationship between serum levels of Metrnl and metabolic parameters. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to identify the association between serum levels of Metrnl with the risk of diabetes. RESULTS Serum levels of Metrnl was highest in patients with T2DM and significantly increased in patients with prediabetes compared with individuals with NGT. After adjusting for age, gender, and body mass index (BMI), serum Metrnl level was significantly correlated with lipid profile, glucose profile, and insulin resistance. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that Metrnl significantly increased the risk of T2DM (OR=1.727; P=0.008) before adjusting for the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). When further adjusted for HOMA-IR, Metrnl was no longer associated with an increased OR for T2DM (OR=1.491; P=0.066), while the HOMA-IR significantly increased the risk of T2DM (OR=1.935; P=0.008). CONCLUSIONS Serum levels of Metrnl were significantly increased in patients with T2DM and may increase the risk of T2DM independent of insulin resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12659/MSM.915331DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6454984PMC
March 2019

Genome-wide association study and protein network analysis for understanding candidate genes involved in root development at the rapeseed seedling stage.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2019 Apr 28;137:42-52. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Southwest University, Chongqing, 400716, China. Electronic address:

Root system is essential for plants to absorb water and nutrients. The root related traits are complex quantitative traits and regulated by genetic control. Here, we used two association mapping panels to perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on seven root related traits in Brassica napus at the seedling stage and obtained 27 SNP loci significantly associated with the phenotypes. We further conducted a genome-wide LD block analysis of the candidate peak regions and obtained 295 candidate genes with high association peaks across seven phenotypes in LD region. In addition, a protein interaction network using the candidate genes identified here was constructed, and 113 genes were associated. Seven genes, BnaA03g47330D, BnaC09g16810D, BnaA06g22840D, BnaA03g28390D, BnaA08g19920D, BnaA03g28930D and BnaA03g11440D were in a large cluster, and may play important roles in interacting with other related genes. Our data may provide resources for molecular breeding and functional analysis of root growth and development in rapeseed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2019.01.028DOI Listing
April 2019

God, Germs, and Evolution: Belief in Unobservable Religious and Scientific Entities in the U.S. and China.

Integr Psychol Behav Sci 2019 Mar;53(1):93-106

Wheelock College of Education and Human Development, Boston University, 2 Silber Way, Boston, MA, 02215, USA.

Adults in the U.S. and China were asked to make judgments about the existence of a variety of scientific and religious entities, including God, germs, and evolution. Overall, participants expressed more confidence in the existence of scientific as compared to religious entities. This differential confidence in the two domains emerged in China as well as in the U.S. Moreover, it emerged even when participants were questioned about items attracting a lower overall level of consensus. Nevertheless, the religious beliefs of individual participants moderated the degree of differentiation between scientific and religious entities. Adults reporting low levels of religiosity expressed greater belief in the existence of scientific than religious entities but adults reporting high levels of religiosity expressed equivalent levels of belief in the existence of each domain. This pattern emerged in both China and the U.S. Testimony about unobservable phenomena has a similar impact on adults' pattern of beliefs across two historically distinct cultures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12124-019-9471-0DOI Listing
March 2019

Evidence for activated Lck protein tyrosine kinase as the driver of proliferation in acute myeloid leukemia cell, CTV-1.

Leuk Res 2019 03 15;78:12-20. Epub 2019 Jan 15.

Department of Cell Biology and Medical Genetics, School of Basic Medical Science, Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, Shanxi, China; Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, USA. Electronic address:

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a heterogeneous group of fast growing cancers of myeloid progenitor cells, for which effective treatments are still lacking. Identification of signaling inhibitors that block their proliferation could reveal the proliferative mechanism of a given leukemia cell, and provide small molecule drugs for targeted therapy for AML. In this study, kinase inhibitors that block the majority of cancer signaling pathways are evaluated for their inhibition of two AML cell lines of the M5 subtypes, CTV-1 and THP-1. While THP-1 cells do not respond to any of these inhibitors, CTV-1 cells are potently inhibited by dasatinib, bosutinib, crizotinib, A-770041, and WH-4-23, all potent inhibitors for Lck, a Src family kinase. CTV-1 cells contain a kinase activity that phosphorylates an Lck-specific peptide substrate in an Lck inhibitor-sensitive manner. Furthermore, the Lck gene is over-expressed in CTV-1, and it contains four mutations, two of which are located in regions critical for Lck negative regulation, and are confirmed to activate Lck. Collectively, these results provide strong evidence that mutated and overexpressed Lck is driving CTV-1 proliferation. While Lck activation and overexpression is rare in AML, this study provides a potential therapeutic strategy for treating patients with a similar oncogenic mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.leukres.2019.01.006DOI Listing
March 2019

A Self-Assembled ATP Probe for Melanoma Cell Imaging.

Chemistry 2019 Mar 4;25(14):3501-3504. Epub 2019 Feb 4.

Department of Chemistry and Nano Science, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, 120-750, Korea.

In this investigation, a new terpyridine metal complex was developed as a probe for selective detection of ATP and imaging of melanoma cells. The probe takes advantage of the ability of the metal complex to be transformed to its imaging competent turn-on state through assembly with ATP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/chem.201806182DOI Listing
March 2019

Structural versatility that serves the function of the HRD motif in the catalytic loop of protein tyrosine kinase, Src.

Protein Sci 2019 03 30;28(3):533-542. Epub 2018 Dec 30.

Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Center for Biotechnology and Life Science, University of Rhode Island, 120 Flagg Road, Kingston, Rhode Island, 02881.

Site-directed mutagenesis is a traditional approach for structure-function analysis of protein tyrosine kinases, and it requires the generation, expression, purification, and analysis of each mutant enzyme. In this study, we report a versatile high throughput bacterial screening system that can identify functional kinase mutants by immunological detection of tyrosine phosphorylation. Two key features of this screening system are noteworthy. First, instead of blotting bacterial colonies directly from Agar plates to nitrocellulose membrane, the colonies were cultured in 96-well plates, and then spotted in duplicate onto the membrane with appropriate controls. This made the screening much more reliable compared with direct colony blotting transfer. A second feature is the parallel use of a protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP)-expressing host and a non-PTP-expressing host. Because high activity Src mutants are toxic to the host, the PTP system allowed the identification of Src mutants with high activity, while the non-PTP system identified Src mutants with low activity. This approach was applied to Src mutant libraries randomized in the highly conserved HRD motif in the catalytic loop, and revealed that structurally diverse residues can replace the His and Arg residues, while the Asp residue is irreplaceable for catalytic activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pro.3554DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371218PMC
March 2019

MicroRNA-128 is involved in dexamethasone-induced lipid accumulation via repressing SIRT1 expression in cultured pig preadipocytes.

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2019 02 28;186:185-195. Epub 2018 Oct 28.

College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, 225009, PR China; Jiangsu Co-Innovation Center for the Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Disease and Zoonoses, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, 225009, PR China. Electronic address:

In this study, pig preadipocytes were firstly treated with 10 M DEX for 48 h to explore the role of dexamethasone (DEX, a chemically synthesized long-acting glucocorticoid) on lipid accumulation. Then, miRNA scrambled control (miR-SC), miR-128 overexpression plasmid and miR-128 inhibitor were respectively transfected into pig preadipocytes at 24 h before DEX treatment for 48 h (miR-SC-DEX, miR-128-DEX and miR-128-inhibitor-DEX) to illustrate the regulatory role of miR-128 on DEX-induced lipid accumulation. Compared with control preadipocytes, 10 M Dex significantly increased triglyceride (TG) level, whereas the cell proliferation did not change. Moreover, 10 M Dex obviously decreased sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and its related lipolysis genes adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) and hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) mRNA expression and enzyme activity, while significantly increased expression of adipogenesis genes peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ), CCAAT/enhancer binding protein-α (C/EBP-α) and fatty acid synthase (FAS). In addition, 10 M DEX significantly upregulated miR-128 expression, which was confirmed to directly target SIRT1 by bioinformatics analysis and dual-luciferase reporter assay. Gain- and loss-of-function study also showed that when compared with miR-SC-DEX cells, miR-128-DEX cells showed significantly reduced SIRT1 expression and increased TG level, as well as elevated cellular levels of PPAR-γ, C/EBP-α and FAS and suppressed ATGL and HSL expression and enzyme activity. In contrast, miR-128-inhibitor-DEX cells precisely presented the opposite results. Collectively, these results indicate that miR-128 plays a role in the pathogenesis of glucocorticoid-related abnormal lipid accumulation via repressing SIRT1 expression, consequently, miR-128 inhibition may represent a novel potential therapeutic target in preventing DEX-induced abnormal lipid accumulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsbmb.2018.10.013DOI Listing
February 2019

Phosphorus removal and recovery from fosfomycin pharmaceutical wastewater by the induced crystallization process.

J Environ Manage 2019 Feb 17;231:207-212. Epub 2018 Oct 17.

School of Engineering, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing, 211198, People's Republic of China.

The excessive release of phosphorus is a main cause of eutrophication, but phosphorus itself is an important non-renewable resource. If phosphorus could be recovered from wastewater, it can not only reduce the pollution, but also reach the aim of resource recycle. An induced crystallization process was combined with the schorl/HO system to remove and recover phosphorus from the fosfomycin pharmaceutical wastewater. Firstly, in the schorl/HO heterogeneous Fenton system, the organic phosphorus (OP) in fosfomycin pharmaceutical wastewater was transformed to the inorganic phosphorus (IP), and then IP was recovered by hydroxyapatite (HAP) induced crystallization process. In sequence batch reactors (SBR), the entire crystallization process went through 60 cycles, and each of the cycle lasted for 12 h, including 2 h for reaction and 10 h for sedimentation. The influence of different initial pH values, which were 8, 9, 10 and 11, on the induced crystallized product was investigated. The morphology and structure of the induced crystallized product were analysed. The results indicated that when the pH value was about 8, most of the recovery products was in the form of dicalcium phosphate anhydrous (DCP, CaHPO). At pH 9 the recovery products were mainly DCP and HAP. As pH increased to 10 or 11, most of the recovery products would be HAP and calcium carbonate. Carbonate involved in the crystallization reaction, especially at pH 11.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.10.036DOI Listing
February 2019

Genome-wide identification of loci affecting seed glucosinolate contents in Brassica napus L.

J Integr Plant Biol 2019 May 12;61(5):611-623. Epub 2018 Nov 12.

College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China.

Glucosinolates are amino acid-derived secondary metabolites that act as chemical defense agents against pests. However, the presence of high levels of glucosinolates severely diminishes the nutritional value of seed meals made from rapeseed (Brassica napus L.). To identify the loci affecting seed glucosinolate content (SGC), we conducted genome-wide resequencing in a population of 307 diverse B. napus accessions from the three B. napus ecotype groups, namely, spring, winter, and semi-winter. These resequencing data were used for a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify the loci affecting SGC. In the three ecotype groups, four common and four ecotype-specific haplotype blocks (HBs) were significantly associated with SGC. To identify candidate genes controlling SGC, transcriptome analysis was carried out in 36 accessions showing extreme SGC values. Analyses of haplotypes, genomic variation, and candidate gene expression pointed to five and three candidate genes in the common and spring group-specific HBs, respectively. Our expression analyses demonstrated that additive effects of the three candidate genes in the spring group-specific HB play important roles in the SGC of B. napus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jipb.12717DOI Listing
May 2019

Genetic characterization and fine mapping for multi-inflorescence in Brassica napus L.

Theor Appl Genet 2018 Nov 2;131(11):2311-2319. Epub 2018 Aug 2.

College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Southwest University, Chongqing, 400715, China.

Key Message: A major QTL for multi-inflorescence was mapped to a 27.18-kb region on A05 in Brassica napus by integrating QTL mapping, microarray analysis and whole-genome sequencing. Multi-inflorescence is a desirable trait for the genetic improvement of rapeseed (Brassica napus L.). However, the genetic mechanism underlying the multi-inflorescence trait is not well understood. In the present study, a doubled haploid (DH) population derived from a cross between single- and multi-inflorescence lines was investigated for the penetrance of multi-inflorescence across 3 years and genotyped with 257 simple sequence repeat and sequence-related amplified polymorphism loci. A major quantitative trait locus (QTL) for penetrance of multi-inflorescence was mapped to a 9.31-Mb region on chromosome A05, explaining 45.81% of phenotypic variance on average. Subsequently, 13 single-inflorescence and 15 multi-inflorescence DH lines were genotyped with the Brassica microarray, and the QTL interval of multi-inflorescence was narrowed to a 0.74-Mb region with 37 successive single nucleotide polymorphisms between single- and multi-inflorescence groups. A 27.18-kb QTL interval was detected by screening 420 recessive F individuals with genome-specific markers. These results will be valuable for gene cloning and molecular breeding of multi-inflorescence in rapeseed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00122-018-3153-zDOI Listing
November 2018

Genome-Wide Association Study Reveals Both Overlapping and Independent Genetic Loci to Control Seed Weight and Silique Length in .

Front Plant Sci 2018 18;9:921. Epub 2018 Jul 18.

College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Southwest University, Chongqing, China.

Seed weight (SW) is one of three determinants of seed yield, which positively correlates with silique length (SL) in (rapeseed). However, the genetic mechanism underlying the relationship between seed weight (SW) and silique length (SL) is largely unknown at present. A natural population comprising 157 inbred lines in rapeseed was genotyped by whole-genome re-sequencing and investigated for SW and SL over four years. The genome-wide association study identified 20 SNPs in significant association with SW on A01, A04, A09, C02, and C06 chromosomes and the phenotypic variation explained by a single locus ranged from 11.85% to 34.58% with an average of 25.43%. Meanwhile, 742 SNPs significantly associated with SL on A02, A03, A04, A07, A08, A09, C01, C03, C04, C06, C07, and C08 chromosomes were also detected and the phenotypic variation explained by a single locus ranged from 4.01 to 48.02% with an average of 33.33%, out of which, more than half of the loci had not been reported in the previous studies. There were 320 overlapping or linked SNPs for both SW and SL on A04, A09, and C06 chromosomes. It indicated that both overlapping and independent genetic loci controlled both SW and SL in . On the haplotype block on A09 chromosome, the allele variants of a known gene controlling both SW and SL were identified in the natural population by developing derived cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (dCAPS) markers. These findings are valuable for understanding the genetic mechanism of SW and SL and also for rapeseed molecular breeding programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2018.00921DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6058094PMC
July 2018

GWAS, QTL mapping and gene expression analyses in Brassica napus reveal genetic control of branching morphogenesis.

Sci Rep 2017 11 21;7(1):15971. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Southwest University, Chongqing, 400716, China.

Branch number is an important trait in plant architecture that can influence crop yield and quality in Brassica napus. Here, we detected the QTLs responsible for branch number in a DH population and its reconstructed F population over two years. Further, a GWAS research on branch number was performed using a panel of 327 accessions with 33186 genomic SNPs from the 60 K Brassica Illumina® Infinium SNP array. Through combining linkage analysis and association mapping, a new QTL was fine mapped onto C03. Subsequently, we tested the correlations between the SNP polymorphisms and mRNA expression levels of genes in the target interval to identify potential loci or genes that control branch number through expression. The results show that 4 SNP loci are associated with the corresponding gene expression levels, and one locus (BnaC03g63480D) exhibited a significant correlation between the phenotype variation and gene expression levels. Our results provide insights into the genetic basis for branching morphogenesis and may be valuable for optimizing architecture in rapeseed breeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-15976-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5698412PMC
November 2017

MicroRNA-130b attenuates dexamethasone-induced increase of lipid accumulation in porcine preadipocytes by suppressing PPAR-γ expression.

Oncotarget 2017 Oct 27;8(50):87928-87943. Epub 2017 Sep 27.

College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, 225009, P. R. China.

In this study, two experiments were conducted to determine the role of miR-130b in dexamethasone (DEX)-induced lipid accumulation. Porcine preadipocytes were treated with 10 M DEX for 48 h to investigate effects of DEX in lipid accumulation. Next, in order to illustrate the regulatory role of miR-130b on lipid accumulation induced by DEX, miRNA scrambled control (miR-SC), miR-130b overexpression plasmid and miR-130b inhibitor were respectively transfected into porcine preadipocytes at 24 h before DEX treatment for 48 h (miR-SC-DEX, miR-130b-DEX and miR-130b-inhibitor-DEX). Results showed that 10 M DEX significantly increased TG concentration and expression of miR-130b as well as its target gene peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ). Dual-luciferase reporter assays indicated that PPAR-γ expression was negatively regulated by miR-130b, while this effect was abolished with cotransfection of miR-130b and miR-130b inhibitor. In addition, miR-130b-DEX did not change cell proliferation but significantly decreased TG concentration and PPAR-γ expression compared to miR-SC-DEX cells, while miR-130b-inhibitor-DEX cells presented opposite results. Furthermore, miR-130b-DEX significantly reduced expression of PPAR-γ downstream factor perilipin 1 as well as adipogenesis genes fatty acid synthase, acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase, 11β hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 and fat mass and obesity-associated gene, whereas expression as well as enzyme activity of adipose triglyceride lipase and hormone-sensitive lipase were greatly increased. Overall, these results clarified the role of miR-130b in DEX-induced increase of lipid accumulation in porcine preadipocytes, suggesting that miR-130b might be deemed as a novel potential therapeutic target for DEX-induced increase of lipid accumulation, and consequently provide new insights in obesity control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21318DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5675683PMC
October 2017

A genome-wide survey with different rapeseed ecotypes uncovers footprints of domestication and breeding.

J Exp Bot 2017 10;68(17):4791-4801

College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China.

Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) is an important oilseed crop. Despite a short period of domestication and breeding, rapeseed has formed three diverse ecotype groups, namely spring, winter, and semi-winter. However, the genetic changes among the three ecotype groups have remained largely unknown. To detect selective signals, a set of 327 accessions from a worldwide collection were genotyped using a Brassica array, producing 33 186 high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Linkage disequilibrium (LD) was unevenly distributed across the genome. A total of 705 (78.2%) weak LD regions were found in the A subgenome, whereas 445 (72.6%) strong LD regions were in the C subgenome. By calculating the nucleotide diversity and population differentiation indices, a total of 198 selective sweeps were identified across ecotype groups, spanning 5.91% (37.9 Mb) of the genome. Within these genome regions, a few known functional genes or loci were found to be in association with environmental adaptability and yield-related traits. In particular, all 12 SNPs detected in significant association with flowering time among accessions were in the selection regions between ecotype groups. These findings provide new insights into the structure of the B. napus genome and uncover the footprints of domestication and breeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erx311DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5853444PMC
October 2017

Time-Series Analyses of Transcriptomes and Proteomes Reveal Molecular Networks Underlying Oil Accumulation in Canola.

Front Plant Sci 2016 10;7:2007. Epub 2017 Jan 10.

College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Southwest UniversityChongqing, China; Engineering Research Center of South Upland Agriculture of Ministry of EducationChongqing, China.

Understanding the regulation of lipid metabolism is vital for genetic engineering of canola ( L.) to increase oil yield or modify oil composition. We conducted time-series analyses of transcriptomes and proteomes to uncover the molecular networks associated with oil accumulation and dynamic changes in these networks in canola. The expression levels of genes and proteins were measured at 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks after pollination (WAP). Our results show that the biosynthesis of fatty acids is a dominant cellular process from 2 to 6 WAP, while the degradation mainly happens after 6 WAP. We found that genes in almost every node of fatty acid synthesis pathway were significantly up-regulated during oil accumulation. Moreover, significant expression changes of two genes, acetyl-CoA carboxylase and acyl-ACP desaturase, were detected on both transcriptomic and proteomic levels. We confirmed the temporal expression patterns revealed by the transcriptomic analyses using quantitative real-time PCR experiments. The gene set association analysis show that the biosynthesis of fatty acids and unsaturated fatty acids are the most significant biological processes from 2-4 WAP and 4-6 WAP, respectively, which is consistent with the results of time-series analyses. These results not only provide insight into the mechanisms underlying lipid metabolism, but also reveal novel candidate genes that are worth further investigation for their values in the genetic engineering of canola.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2016.02007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5222877PMC
January 2017

Deletion of a Stay-Green Gene Associates with Adaptive Selection in Brassica napus.

Mol Plant 2016 12 4;9(12):1559-1569. Epub 2016 Nov 4.

Department of Plant Breeding, IFZ Research Centre for Biosystems, Land Use and Nutrition, Justus Liebig University, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26-32, 35392 Giessen, Germany. Electronic address:

Chlorophyll levels provide important information about plant growth and physiological plasticity in response to changing environments. The stay-green gene NON-YELLOWING 1 (NYE1) is believed to regulate chlorophyll degradation during senescence, concomitantly affecting the disassembly of the light-harvesting complex and hence indirectly influencing photosynthesis. We identified Brassica napus accessions carrying an NYE1 deletion associated with increased chlorophyll content, and with upregulated expression of light-harvesting complex and photosynthetic reaction center (PSI and PSII) genes. Comparative analysis of the seed oil content of accessions with related genetic backgrounds revealed that the B. napus NYE1 gene deletion (bnnye1) affected oil accumulation, and linkage disequilibrium signatures suggested that the locus has been subject to artificial selection by breeding in oilseed B. napus forms. Comparative analysis of haplotype diversity groups (haplogroups) between three different ecotypes of the allopolyploid B. napus and its A-subgenome diploid progenitor, Brassica rapa, indicated that introgression of the bnnye1 deletion from Asian B. rapa into winter-type B. napus may have simultaneously improved its adaptation to cooler environments experienced by autumn-sown rapeseed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molp.2016.10.017DOI Listing
December 2016

Genome-Wide Identification and Expression Analysis of WRKY Transcription Factors under Multiple Stresses in Brassica napus.

PLoS One 2016 20;11(6):e0157558. Epub 2016 Jun 20.

College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400716, China.

WRKY transcription factors play important roles in responses to environmental stress stimuli. Using a genome-wide domain analysis, we identified 287 WRKY genes with 343 WRKY domains in the sequenced genome of Brassica napus, 139 in the A sub-genome and 148 in the C sub-genome. These genes were classified into eight groups based on phylogenetic analysis. In the 343 WRKY domains, a total of 26 members showed divergence in the WRKY domain, and 21 belonged to group I. This finding suggested that WRKY genes in group I are more active and variable compared with genes in other groups. Using genome-wide identification and analysis of the WRKY gene family in Brassica napus, we observed genome duplication, chromosomal/segmental duplications and tandem duplication. All of these duplications contributed to the expansion of the WRKY gene family. The duplicate segments that were detected indicated that genome duplication events occurred in the two diploid progenitors B. rapa and B. olearecea before they combined to form B. napus. Analysis of the public microarray database and EST database for B. napus indicated that 74 WRKY genes were induced or preferentially expressed under stress conditions. According to the public QTL data, we identified 77 WRKY genes in 31 QTL regions related to various stress tolerance. We further evaluated the expression of 26 BnaWRKY genes under multiple stresses by qRT-PCR. Most of the genes were induced by low temperature, salinity and drought stress, indicating that the WRKYs play important roles in B. napus stress responses. Further, three BnaWRKY genes were strongly responsive to the three multiple stresses simultaneously, which suggests that these 3 WRKY may have multi-functional roles in stress tolerance and can potentially be used in breeding new rapeseed cultivars. We also found six tandem repeat pairs exhibiting similar expression profiles under the various stress conditions, and three pairs were mapped in the stress related QTL regions, indicating tandem duplicate WRKYs in the adaptive responses to environmental stimuli during the evolution process. Our results provide a framework for future studies regarding the function of WRKY genes in response to stress in B. napus.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0157558PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4913915PMC
July 2017

Comparative quantitative trait loci for silique length and seed weight in Brassica napus.

Sci Rep 2015 Sep 23;5:14407. Epub 2015 Sep 23.

College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400716, China.

Silique length (SL) and seed weight (SW) are important yield-associated traits in rapeseed (Brassica napus). Although many quantitative trait loci (QTL) for SL and SW have been identified in B. napus, comparative analysis for those QTL is seldom performed. In the present study, 20 and 21 QTL for SL and SW were identified in doubled haploid (DH) and DH-derived reconstructed F2 populations in rapeseed, explaining 55.1-74.3% and 24.4-62.9% of the phenotypic variation across three years, respectively. Of which, 17 QTL with partially or completely overlapped confidence interval on chromosome A09, were homologous with two overlapped QTL on chromosome C08 by aligning QTL confidence intervals with the reference genomes of Brassica crops. By high density selective genotyping of DH lines with extreme phenotypes, using a Brassica single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array, the QTL on chromosome A09 was narrowed, and aligned into 1.14-Mb region from 30.84 to 31.98 Mb on chromosome R09 of B. rapa and 1.05-Mb region from 27.21 to 28.26 Mb on chromosome A09 of B. napus. The alignment of QTL with Brassica reference genomes revealed homologous QTL on A09 and C08 for SL. The narrowed QTL region provides clues for gene cloning and breeding cultivars by marker-assisted selection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep14407DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4585775PMC
September 2015
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