The continuous degradation and synthesis of prokaryotic mRNAs not only give rise to the metabolic changes that are required as cells grow and divide but also rapid adaptation to new environmental conditions. In bacteria, RNAs can be degraded by mechanisms that act independently, but in parallel, and that target different sites with different efficiencies. The accessibility of sites for degradation depends on several factors, including RNA higher-order structure, protection by translating ribosomes and polyadenylation status. Furthermore, RNA degradation mechanisms have shown to be determinant for the post-transcriptional control of gene expression. RNases mediate the processing, decay and quality control of RNA. RNases can be divided into endonucleases that cleave the RNA internally or exonucleases that cleave the RNA from one of the extremities. Just in Escherichia coli there are >20 different RNases. RNase E is a single-strand-specific endonuclease critical for mRNA decay in E. coli. The enzyme interacts with the exonuclease polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase), enolase and RNA helicase B (RhlB) to form the degradosome. However, in Bacillus subtilis, this enzyme is absent, but it has other main endonucleases such as RNase J1 and RNase III. RNase III cleaves double-stranded RNA and family members are involved in RNA interference in eukaryotes. RNase II family members are ubiquitous exonucleases, and in eukaryotes, they can act as the catalytic subunit of the exosome. RNases act in different pathways to execute the maturation of rRNAs and tRNAs, and intervene in the decay of many different mRNAs and small noncoding RNAs. In general, RNases act as a global regulatory network extremely important for the regulation of RNA levels.
1. Understanding how interspecific variation in functional traits influences species' capacity to persist in fragments and use patches in fragmented landscapes is fundamental for the creation of effective conservation plans. This study uses phylogenetic comparative methods to investigate which functional traits of bat species are correlated with their vulnerability to fragmentation in a tropical landscape with low fragment-matrix contrast. 2. Bats were captured over two years in eight forest fragments, nine control sites in continuous forest, and in the secondary forest matrix at the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project, Central Amazon, Brazil. We tested the hypothesis that there is a significant relationship between species functional traits, environmental gradients (continuous forest and fragment interiors, edges and matrix) and patterns of species distribution using phylogenetic generalized least squares (PGLS) models, as well as a combination of RLQ and fourth-corner analyses. 3. Mobility, body mass, wing morphology, and trophic level were the most important traits linked to fragmentation sensitivity based on the PGLS analysis, while body mass and trophic level emerged as the best predictors in the fourth-corner analysis. These last two traits were correlated with the loss of continuous forest characteristics, such as high-stature trees and forest cover. 4. Many animalivorous bat species rarely persist in small fragments (<100 ha) and in the secondary forest matrix, reflecting strong effects of trait-mediated environmental filters that selectively benefit the smaller and phytophagous species. 5. Synthesis and applications. Functional traits of species and environmental variables jointly predict local variation in patterns of bat occupancy and abundance in fragmented tropical landscapes. To minimize local extinctions, we recommend increasing habitat availability and enhancing structural and functional connectivity at the landscape scale through the creation, restoration and maintenance of corridors and stepping stones. These measures should be coupled with improving matrix quality by promoting secondary forest regeneration and persistence to effectively reduce fragment-matrix contrast.
ObjectivesTo estimate the national prevalence of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) in the adult Portuguese population and to determine their impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL), physical function, anxiety and depression.MethodsEpiReumaPt is a national health survey with a three-stage approach. First, 10 661 adult participants were randomly selected. Trained interviewers undertook structured face-to-face questionnaires that included screening for RMDs and assessments of health-related quality of life, physical function, anxiety and depression. Second, positive screenings for ≥1 RMD plus 20% negative screenings were invited to be evaluated by a rheumatologist. Finally, three rheumatologists revised all the information and confirmed the diagnoses according to validated criteria. Estimates were computed as weighted proportions, taking the sampling design into account.ResultsThe disease-specific prevalence rates (and 95% CIs) of RMDs in the adult Portuguese population were: low back pain, 26.4% (23.3% to 29.5%); periarticular disease, 15.8% (13.5% to 18.0%); knee osteoarthritis (OA), 12.4% (11.0% to 13.8%); osteoporosis, 10.2% (9.0% to 11.3%); hand OA, 8.7% (7.5% to 9.9%); hip OA, 2.9% (2.3% to 3.6%); fibromyalgia, 1.7% (1.1% to 2.1%); spondyloarthritis, 1.6% (1.2% to 2.1%); gout, 1.3% (1.0% to 1.6%); rheumatoid arthritis, 0.7% (0.5% to 0.9%); systemic lupus erythaematosus, 0.1% (0.1% to 0.2%) and polymyalgia rheumatica, 0.1% (0.0% to 0.2%). After multivariable adjustment, participants with RMDs had significantly lower EQ5D scores (β=−0.09; p<0.001) and higher HAQ scores (β=0.13; p<0.001) than participants without RMDs. RMDs were also significantly associated with the presence of anxiety symptoms (OR=3.5; p=0.006).ConclusionsRMDs are highly prevalent in Portugal and are associated not only with significant physical function and mental health impairment but also with poor HRQoL, leading to more health resource consumption. The EpiReumaPt study emphasises the burden of RMDs in Portugal and the need to increase RMD awareness, being a strong argument to encourage policymakers to increase the amount of resources allocated to the treatment of rheumatic patients.
The genus Burkholderia includes strains pathogenic to animals and plants, bioremediators, or plant growth promoters. Genome sequence analyses of representative Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) and non-Bcc strains for the presence of the bce-I gene cluster, directing the biosynthesis of the exopolysaccharide (EPS) cepacian, further extended this previously described cluster by another 9 genes. The genes in the bce-II cluster were named bceM to bceU and encode products putatively involved in nucleotide sugar precursor biosynthesis and repeat unit assembly, modification, and translocation across the cytoplasmic membrane. Disruption of the B. cepacia IST408 bceQ and bceR genes, encoding a putative repeat unit flippase and a glycosyltransferase, respectively, resulted in the abolishment of cepacian biosynthesis. A mutation in the bceS gene, encoding a putative acyltransferase, did not affect EPS production yield significantly but decreased its acetylation content by approximately 20%. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR experiments confirmed the induction of genes in the bce-I and bce-II clusters in a Burkholderia multivorans EPS producer clinical isolate in comparison to the level for its isogenic EPS-defective strain. Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy analysis confirmed that the exopolysaccharide produced by 10 Burkholderia isolates tested was cepacian. The ability of Burkholderia strains to withstand desiccation and metal ion stress was higher when bacteria were incubated in the presence of 2.5 g/liter of cepacian, suggesting that this EPS plays a role in the survival of these bacteria by contributing to their ability to thrive in different environments.
. Reproducibility is better than 50 ppm for the granitoid compositions and better than 40 ppm for the basaltic/andesitic compositions. For the isotopic analyses acquired early in this project on glass columns, Hf isotopic analyses from several of the reference materials were significantly less reproducible than Nd and Sr isotopic analyses determined from the same sample dissolution. The 176 Hf/ 177 Hf ratios for relatively radiogenic compositions (BCR-1, 2; BHVO-1, 2; RGM-1) were shifted systematically toward lower values by 100-150 ppm when a borosilicate primary column was used. Although systematic, the shift for felsic compositions was generally within analytical error, except for GSP-2, which has a very low Hf isotopic ratio, where the shift was to higher Hf and high Hf concentrations of the borosilicate glass column (16 ppm) and frit material (22 ppm) indicate that only small amounts of such unradiogenic material could cause significant contamination of small samples. For the basaltic (BCR-1, 2; BHVO-1, 2) and rhyolitic (RGM-1) samples, approximately 3 ng of Hf from the column or frit would be enough to produce the observed 100-150 ppm shift. Accurate, high-precision 176 Hf/ 177 Hf data can only be acquired if samples are processed using all PTFE Teflon 1 labware, or quartz and polypropylene.
Bacteria may become genetically and phenotypically diverse during long-term colonization of cystic fibrosis (CF) patient lungs, yet our understanding of within-host evolutionary processes during these infections is lacking. Here we combined current genome sequencing technologies and detailed phenotypic profiling of the opportunistic pathogen Burkholderia multivorans using sequential isolates sampled from a CF patient over 20 years. The evolutionary history of these isolates highlighted bacterial genes and pathways that were likely subject to strong selection within the host and were associated with altered phenotypes, such as biofilm production, motility, and antimicrobial resistance. Importantly, multiple lineages coexisted for years or even decades within the infection, and the period of diversification within the dominant lineage was associated with deterioration of the patient’s lung function. Identifying traits under strong selection during chronic infection not only sheds new light onto Burkholderia evolution but also sets the stage for tailored therapeutics targeting the prevailing lineages associated with disease progression.
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