Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Week in PLOS: Apr 27, 2015

In PLOS One, Swedish researchers describe a phylogenetic study of hepatitis E viruses found in that country's moose population. The team used a PCR-based assay and serological analyses to test blood or fecal samples collected from 231 moose in several Swedish counties, searching for signs of virus — a divergent form of HEV compared to those that infect humans, pigs, deer, and wild boars. The investigators identified the virus's RNA in 15 percent of the animals, while nearly 30 percent showed signs of past infection. By sequencing a genome for the moose virus and comparing it with other forms of HEV, they determined that it falls in a group known as genotype 1-6, which houses human-infecting strains.

A team from China used a combination of messenger RNA sequencing, small RNA sequencing, and digital gene expression analyses to investigate pathways involved in cold stress response in the plant, Camellia sinensis. As they report in another PLOS One study, the researchers tested plants that had been exposed to a chill or to temperatures below freezing. When they compared the molecular pathways at play to those found in tea plants grown at more typical temperatures, the study's authors uncovered a "complex and dynamic network of genes, transcription factors, and [microRNAs] involved in the regulation of early cold response," along with pathway features that distinguish freezing from chilled tea plants.

The honeybee's evolution has been marked by genome variation driven by very high rates of meiotic recombination, according to a paper in PLOS Genetics. Researchers from Sweden and France looked at genome sequences for 30 diploid honeybees, using linkage disequilibrium patterns for more than 6 million SNPs to track the insect's recombination rate. Rather than uncovering the sorts of recombination hotspots described in the genomes of humans and other vertebrates, the team saw meiotic recombination sites across the honeybee genome. The rates of recombination were also far higher than those described in human genomes, study authors noted, coinciding with genetic variation levels.

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.