A Pennsylvania State University-led team describes a strategy for sequencing mammalian Y chromosomes in a manner that's speedier and more affordable than bacterial artificial chromosome-based approaches used in the past. Using this approach — which includes flow sorting, short and long read DNA sequencing, RNA sequencing on transcripts from testis tissue, digital droplet PCR, and specialized computational approaches — the team did put together a draft sequence and de novo assembly of the gorilla Y chromosome that was used to get a better look at the specific-specific repeats, gene families, genetic markers, and other features of the gorilla's male sex chromosome, alone and in comparison to those on the human or chimpanzee Y chromosome.
Researchers from Canada, Sweden, and the US present findings from a functional screen of nearly 200 genetic variants in 22 genes implicated in human disease in the budding yeast assay Saccharomyces cerevisiae. After looking at how well human disease genes rescued the activity of temperature sensitive versions of orthologous yeast genes, the team came up with a set of 26 functional assays for evaluating human disease gene activity, including assays based on 19 complementation relationships not reported previously. The investigators then used these assays to begin evaluating the potential pathogenicity of 179 disease-associated and non-disease-associated SNPs in 22 human disease genes.
A group from the US and Russia reports on gene expression regulatory differences detected in ecotypes of the perennial C4 grass Panicum hallii that have become more or less drought adapted. The researchers considered leaf gene expression patterns in a lowland variety of the grass called P. hallii var. filipes, which grows in northern Mexico, the Rio Grande, and the Gulf Coast, with those in a the drought-adapted upland variety P. hallii var. hallii, which extends into desert regions, looking at regulatory features mediating expression differences and drought responses in the grass varieties under different environmental conditions.