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Vaas L.A.I.,DSMZ German Collection for Microorganisms and Cell Cultures | Vaas L.A.I.,Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures Fungal Biodiversity Center | Marheine M.,DSMZ German Collection for Microorganisms and Cell Cultures | Sikorski J.,DSMZ German Collection for Microorganisms and Cell Cultures | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences | Year: 2013

Biotechnological approaches using genetic modifications such as homologous gene overexpression can be used to decode gene functions under well-defined circumstances. However, only the recording of the resulting phenotypes allows inferences about the impact of the modification on the organisms' evolutionary, ecological or economic performance. We here compare a potato wild-type cell line with two genetically engineered cell cultures homologously overexpressing Pathogenesis Related Protein 10a (pr-10a). A detailed analysis of the relative gene-expression patterns of pr-10a and its regulators sebf and pti4 over time provides insights into the molecular response of heterotrophic cells to distinct osmotic and salt-stress conditions. Furthermore, this system serves as an exemplar for the tracing of respiration kinetics as a faster and more sensitive alternative to the laborious and time-consuming recording of growth curves. The utility and characteristics of the resulting data type and the requirements for its appropriate analysis are figured out. It is demonstrated how this novel type of phenotypic information together with the gene-expression-data provides valuable insights into the effect of genetic modifications on the behaviour of cells on both the molecular and the macroscopic level. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source


Vaas L.A.I.,DSMZ German Collection for Microorganisms and Cell Cultures | Sikorski J.,DSMZ German Collection for Microorganisms and Cell Cultures | Michael V.,DSMZ German Collection for Microorganisms and Cell Cultures | Goker M.,DSMZ German Collection for Microorganisms and Cell Cultures | Klenk H.-P.,DSMZ German Collection for Microorganisms and Cell Cultures
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: The Phenotype MicroArray (OmniLog® PM) system is able to simultaneously capture a large number of phenotypes by recording an organism's respiration over time on distinct substrates. This technique targets the object of natural selection itself, the phenotype, whereas previously addressed '-omics' techniques merely study components that finally contribute to it. The recording of respiration over time, however, adds a longitudinal dimension to the data. To optimally exploit this information, it must be extracted from the shapes of the recorded curves and displayed in analogy to conventional growth curves. Methodology: The free software environment R was explored for both visualizing and fitting of PM respiration curves. Approaches using either a model fit (and commonly applied growth models) or a smoothing spline were evaluated. Their reliability in inferring curve parameters and confidence intervals was compared to the native OmniLog® PM analysis software. We consider the post-processing of the estimated parameters, the optimal classification of curve shapes and the detection of significant differences between them, as well as practically relevant questions such as detecting the impact of cultivation times and the minimum required number of experimental repeats. Conclusions: We provide a comprehensive framework for data visualization and parameter estimation according to user choices. A flexible graphical representation strategy for displaying the results is proposed, including 95% confidence intervals for the estimated parameters. The spline approach is less prone to irregular curve shapes than fitting any of the considered models or using the native PM software for calculating both point estimates and confidence intervals. These can serve as a starting point for the automated post-processing of PM data, providing much more information than the strict dichotomization into positive and negative reactions. Our results form the basis for a freely available R package for the analysis of PM data. © 2012 Vaas et al. Source


Goker M.,DSMZ German Collection for Microorganisms and Cell Cultures | Scheuner C.,DSMZ German Collection for Microorganisms and Cell Cultures | Klenk H.-P.,DSMZ German Collection for Microorganisms and Cell Cultures | Stielow J.B.,DSMZ German Collection for Microorganisms and Cell Cultures | Menzel W.,DSMZ German Collection for Microorganisms and Cell Cultures
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Background: The associations between pathogens and their hosts are complex and can result from any combination of evolutionary events such as codivergence, switching, and duplication of the pathogen. Mycoviruses are RNA viruses which infect fungi and for which natural vectors are so far unknown. Thus, lateral transfer might be improbable and codivergence their dominant mode of evolution. Accordingly, mycoviruses are a suitable target for statistical tests of virus-host codivergence, but inference of mycovirus phylogenies might be difficult because of low sequence similarity even within families. Methodology: We analyzed here the evolutionary dynamics of all mycovirus families by comparing virus and host phylogenies. Additionally, we assessed the sensitivity of the co-phylogenetic tests to the settings for inferring virus trees from their genome sequences and approximate, taxonomy-based host trees. Conclusions: While sequence alignment filtering modes affected branch support, the overall results of the co-phylogenetic tests were significantly influenced only by the number of viruses sampled per family. The trees of the two largest families, Partitiviridae and Totiviridae, were significantly more similar to those of their hosts than expected by chance, and most individual host-virus links had a significant positive impact on the global fit, indicating that codivergence is the dominant mode of virus diversification. However, in this regard mycoviruses did not differ from closely related viruses sampled from non-fungus hosts. The remaining virus families were either dominated by other evolutionary modes or lacked an apparent overall pattern. As this negative result might be caused by insufficient taxon sampling, the most parsimonious hypothesis still is that host-parasite evolution is basically the same in all mycovirus families. This is the first study of mycovirus-host codivergence, and the results shed light not only on how mycovirus biology affects their co-phylogenetic relationships, but also on their presumable host range itself. © 2011 Göker et al. Source

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