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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Department of Animal Science

UC Davis

Open Access Policy Deposits

Cover page of Estimating geographic variation of infection fatality ratios during epidemics.

Estimating geographic variation of infection fatality ratios during epidemics.

(2024)

OBJECTIVES: We aim to estimate geographic variability in total numbers of infections and infection fatality ratios (IFR; the number of deaths caused by an infection per 1,000 infected people) when the availability and quality of data on disease burden are limited during an epidemic. METHODS: We develop a noncentral hypergeometric framework that accounts for differential probabilities of positive tests and reflects the fact that symptomatic people are more likely to seek testing. We demonstrate the robustness, accuracy, and precision of this framework, and apply it to the United States (U.S.) COVID-19 pandemic to estimate county-level SARS-CoV-2 IFRs. RESULTS: The estimators for the numbers of infections and IFRs showed high accuracy and precision; for instance, when applied to simulated validation data sets, across counties, Pearson correlation coefficients between estimator means and true values were 0.996 and 0.928, respectively, and they showed strong robustness to model misspecification. Applying the county-level estimators to the real, unsimulated COVID-19 data spanning April 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020 from across the U.S., we found that IFRs varied from 0 to 44.69, with a standard deviation of 3.55 and a median of 2.14. CONCLUSIONS: The proposed estimation framework can be used to identify geographic variation in IFRs across settings.

Cover page of New biochemical pathways for forming short-chain fatty acids during fermentation in rumen bacteria.

New biochemical pathways for forming short-chain fatty acids during fermentation in rumen bacteria.

(2024)

Short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) are essential to cattle as a source of energy and for other roles in metabolism. These molecules are formed during fermentation by microbes in the rumen, but even after decades of study, the biochemical pathways responsible for forming them are not always clear. Here we review recent advances in this area and their importance for improving animal productivity. Studies of bacterial genomes have pointed to unusual biochemical pathways in rumen organisms. One study found that 8% of rumen organisms forming acetate, a major SCFA, had genes for a pathway previously unknown in bacteria. The existence of this pathway was subsequently confirmed biochemically in propionibacteria. The pathway was shown to involve 2 enzymes that convert acetyl-coenzyme A to acetate. Similar studies have revealed new enzymatic steps for forming propionate and butyrate, other major SCFA. These new steps and pathways are significant for controlling fermentation. With more precise control over SCFA, cows can be fed more precisely and potentially reach higher productivity.

Cover page of Mapping and functional characterization of structural variation in 1060 pig genomes

Mapping and functional characterization of structural variation in 1060 pig genomes

(2024)

Background

Structural variations (SVs) have significant impacts on complex phenotypes by rearranging large amounts of DNA sequence.

Results

We present a comprehensive SV catalog based on the whole-genome sequence of 1060 pigs (Sus scrofa) representing 101 breeds, covering 9.6% of the pig genome. This catalog includes 42,487 deletions, 37,913 mobile element insertions, 3308 duplications, 1664 inversions, and 45,184 break ends. Estimates of breed ancestry and hybridization using genotyped SVs align well with those from single nucleotide polymorphisms. Geographically stratified deletions are observed, along with known duplications of the KIT gene, responsible for white coat color in European pigs. Additionally, we identify a recent SINE element insertion in MYO5A transcripts of European pigs, potentially influencing alternative splicing patterns and coat color alterations. Furthermore, a Yorkshire-specific copy number gain within ABCG2 is found, impacting chromatin interactions and gene expression across multiple tissues over a stretch of genomic region of ~200 kb. Preliminary investigations into SV's impact on gene expression and traits using the Pig Genotype-Tissue Expression (PigGTEx) data reveal SV associations with regulatory variants and gene-trait pairs. For instance, a 51-bp deletion is linked to the lead eQTL of the lipid metabolism regulating gene FADS3, whose expression in embryo may affect loin muscle area, as revealed by our transcriptome-wide association studies.

Conclusions

This SV catalog serves as a valuable resource for studying diversity, evolutionary history, and functional shaping of the pig genome by processes like domestication, trait-based breeding, and adaptive evolution.

Cover page of Draft genome sequence of antibiotic-resistant Shigella flexneri MTR_GR_V146 strain isolated from a tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) sample collected from a peri-urban area of Bangladesh.

Draft genome sequence of antibiotic-resistant Shigella flexneri MTR_GR_V146 strain isolated from a tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) sample collected from a peri-urban area of Bangladesh.

(2024)

This study announces the genome sequence of the Shigella flexneri MTR_GR_V146 strain isolated from a tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) sample in Bangladesh. This strain has a 4,624,521 bp genome length (coverage: 73.07×), 2 CRISPR arrays, 1 plasmid, 52 predicted antibiotic resistance genes, and 53 virulence factor genes.

Cover page of Gene Expression in Porcine Bulbourethral Glands.

Gene Expression in Porcine Bulbourethral Glands.

(2024)

The porcine bulbourethral glands produce a gel-type secretion. Although the role of these contributions to reproductive success remains murky, the bulbourethral glands are major accessory sex glands in this species. Isometric growth in the early neonatal interval is followed by allometric growth in the late juvenile interval (6 to 11 weeks of age), while circulating endogenous steroids are low. The rate of allometric growth increases during the peripuberal interval (16 to 20 weeks of age) when systemic testosterone is relatively high. Gene expression for androgen receptor (AR) and for the steroid 5 alpha-reductase 2 (SRD5A2) enzyme that synthesizes the more potent androgen dihydrotestosterone from its precursor was evaluated by qPCR analyses of bulbourethral gland tissue. Tissues were collected from control boars (2 weeks to 40 weeks of age) and from littermates of these boars treated with letrozole to suppress endogenous estrogen synthesis. Gene expression for these two key proteins in androgen signaling was quite low during the initial allometric growth in the late juvenile and prepuberal intervals, suggesting that this initial growth was not primarily stimulated by androgens. These observations are consistent with a more direct estrogen-mediated inhibition of growth via GPER previously proposed, with the sensitivity extending into the late juvenile interval when estrogens as well as androgens are normally relatively low.

Cover page of Notch2 Regulates the Function of Bovine Follicular Granulosa Cells via the Wnt2/β-Catenin Signaling Pathway.

Notch2 Regulates the Function of Bovine Follicular Granulosa Cells via the Wnt2/β-Catenin Signaling Pathway.

(2024)

Ovarian follicular GCs are strongly implicated in the growth, development, and atresia of ovarian follicles. The Wnt/β-catenin and Notch signaling pathways participate in GC proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and steroid hormone production during follicular development. However, the crosstalk between Wnt and Notch signaling in GCs remains unclear. This study investigated this crosstalk and the roles of these pathways in apoptosis, cell cycle progression, cell proliferation, and steroid hormone secretion in bovine follicular GCs. The interaction between β-catenin and Notch2 in GCs was assessed by overexpressing CTNNB1, which encodes β-catenin. The results showed that inhibiting the Notch pathway by Notch2 silencing in GCs arrested the cell cycle, promoted apoptosis, reduced progesterone (P4) production, and inhibited the Wnt2-mediated Wnt/β-catenin pathway in GCs. IWR-1 inhibited Wnt2/β-catenin and Notch signaling, reduced GC proliferation, stimulated apoptosis, induced G1 cell cycle arrest, and reduced P4 production. CTNNB1 overexpression had the opposite effect and increased 17β-estradiol (E2) production and Notch2 protein expression. Co-immunoprecipitation assays revealed that Notch2 interacted with β-catenin. These results elucidate the crosstalk between the Wnt/β-catenin and Notch pathways and the role of these pathways in bovine follicular GC development.

Cover page of Genomic Regions and Candidate Genes Affecting Response to Heat Stress with Newcastle Virus Infection in Commercial Layer Chicks Using Chicken 600K Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Array.

Genomic Regions and Candidate Genes Affecting Response to Heat Stress with Newcastle Virus Infection in Commercial Layer Chicks Using Chicken 600K Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Array.

(2024)

Heat stress results in significant economic losses to the poultry industry. Genetics plays an important role in chickens adapting to the warm environment. Physiological parameters such as hematochemical parameters change in response to heat stress in chickens. To explore the genetics of heat stress resilience in chickens, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) was conducted using Hy-Line Brown layer chicks subjected to either high ambient temperature or combined high temperature and Newcastle disease virus infection. Hematochemical parameters were measured during three treatment phases: acute heat stress, chronic heat stress, and chronic heat stress combined with NDV infection. Significant changes in blood parameters were recorded for 11 parameters (sodium (Na+, potassium (K+), ionized calcium (iCa2+), glucose (Glu), pH, carbon dioxide partial pressure (PCO2), oxygen partial pressure (PO2), total carbon dioxide (TCO2), bicarbonate (HCO3), base excess (BE), and oxygen saturation (sO2)) across the three treatments. The GWAS revealed 39 significant SNPs (p < 0.05) for seven parameters, located on Gallus gallus chromosomes (GGA) 1, 3, 4, 6, 11, and 12. The significant genomic regions were further investigated to examine if the genes within the regions were associated with the corresponding traits under heat stress. A candidate gene list including genes in the identified genomic regions that were also differentially expressed in chicken tissues under heat stress was generated. Understanding the correlation between genetic variants and resilience to heat stress is an important step towards improving heat tolerance in poultry.

Cover page of Modeling Climate Change Effects on Genetic Diversity of an Endangered Horse Breed Using Canonical Correlations.

Modeling Climate Change Effects on Genetic Diversity of an Endangered Horse Breed Using Canonical Correlations.

(2024)

The historical increase in the occurrence of extreme weather events in Spain during the last thirty years makes it a perfect location for the evaluation of climate change. Modeling the effects of climate change on domestic animals genetic diversity may help to anticipate challenging situations. However, animal populations short life cycle and patent lack of historical information during extended periods of time drastically compromise the evaluation of climate change effects. Locally adapted breeds gene pool is the base for their improved resilience and plasticity in response to climate changes extreme climatic conditions. The preservation of these domestic resources offers selection alternatives to breeders who seek such improved adaptability. The Spanish endangered autochthonous Hispano-Arabian horse breed is perfectly adapted to the conditions of the territory where it was created, developed, and widespread worldwide. The possibility to trace genetic diversity in the Hispano-Arabian breed back around seven decades and its global ubiquity make this breed an idoneous reference subject to act as a model for other international populations. Climate changes shaping effects on the genetic diversity of the Hispano-Arabian horse breeds historical population were monitored from 1950 to 2019 and evaluated. Wind speed, gust speed, or barometric pressure have greater repercussions than extreme temperatures on genetic diversity. Extreme climate conditions, rather than average modifications of climate, may push breeders/owners to implement effective strategies in the short to medium term, but the effect will be plausible in the long term due to breed sustainability and enhanced capacity of response to extreme climate events. When extreme climatic conditions occur, breeders opt for mating highly diverse unrelated individuals, avoiding the production of a large number of offspring. People in charge of domestic population conservation act as catalyzers of the regulatory changes occurring during breeds climate change adaptive process and may identify genes conferring their animals with greater adaptability but still maintaining enhanced performance. This model assists in determining how owners of endangered domestic populations should plan their breeding strategies, seeking the obtention of animals more resilient and adapted to climate-extreme conditions. This efficient alternative is focused on the obtention of increased profitability from this population and in turn ensuring their sustainability.

Cover page of Draft genome sequence of multidrug-resistant Citrobacter freundii MTR_GS_V1777 strain isolated from a spinach (Spinacia oleracea) sample in Gazipur, Bangladesh.

Draft genome sequence of multidrug-resistant Citrobacter freundii MTR_GS_V1777 strain isolated from a spinach (Spinacia oleracea) sample in Gazipur, Bangladesh.

(2024)

We announce a genome sequence of Citrobacter freundii MTR_GS_V1777 strain isolated from a vegetable sample in Bangladesh. This strain had a genome size of 4,997,753 bp (58.7× genome coverage) and contained two plasmids, typed as sequence type ST124, 38 predicted antibiotic resistance genes, and 77 predicted virulence factor genes.

Electron and photon energy calibration with the ATLAS detector using LHC Run 2 data

(2024)

Abstract: This paper presents the electron and photon energy calibration obtained with the ATLAS detector using 140 fb-1 of LHC proton-proton collision data recorded at √(s) = 13 TeV between 2015 and 2018. Methods for the measurement of electron and photon energies are outlined, along with the current knowledge of the passive material in front of the ATLAS electromagnetic calorimeter. The energy calibration steps are discussed in detail, with emphasis on the improvements introduced in this paper. The absolute energy scale is set using a large sample of Z-boson decays into electron-positron pairs, and its residual dependence on the electron energy is used for the first time to further constrain systematic uncertainties. The achieved calibration uncertainties are typically 0.05% for electrons from resonant Z-boson decays, 0.4% at E T ∼ 10 GeV, and 0.3% at E T ∼ 1 TeV; for photons at E T ∼ 60 GeV, they are 0.2% on average. This is more than twice as precise as the previous calibration. The new energy calibration is validated using J/ψ → ee and radiative Z-boson decays.