Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Week in PLOS: Oct 1, 2018

In PLOS Genetics, an international team led by investigators at the University of Washington describes genetic loci with potential ties to chronic back pain. With a genome-wide association study meta-analysis involving more than 29,500 individuals with chronic back pain and nearly 129,500 unaffected controls, the team narrowed in on a SOX5 variant with significant ties to chronic back pain. This variant, and three new loci in and around the CCDC26, GSDMC, and DCC genes, remained after a replication analysis using data for hundreds of thousands of UK Biobank participants. GenomeWeb has more on this study, here.

A University of Georgia- and University of Glasgow-led team looks at the Bartonella bacterial species found in common vampire bats in Peru and Belize for a paper in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases The researchers collected nearly 200 samples from vampire bats over two years, using nested PCR, sequencing, and phylogenetics to look at the prevalence and genetic diversity of vampire bat-borne Bartonella, known for causing endocarditis in humans and other animals. "We found that vampire bat Bartonella is genetically diverse, geographically widespread, and endemic," the researchers write, "and that individual-level infection risk is highest for large, male, non-reproductive bats." 

Chinese researchers report on a chromosome 4 locus linked to yellow skin in the watermelon species Citrullus lanatus for a PLOS One paper. Using a combination of segregation analyses, bulked-segregant analysis sequencing, and a genome-wide association study, the team set out to distinguish between watermelon lines with green or yellow skin. The search ultimately led to a marker for yellow skin that the authors expect to serve as "a selection tool in breeding programs … to improve the breeder's ability to make selections at early stages of growth."