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  1. Abstract

    Differential abundance analysis (DAA) is one central statistical task in microbiome data analysis. A robust and powerful DAA tool can help identify highly confident microbial candidates for further biological validation. Current microbiome studies frequently generate correlated samples from different microbiome sampling schemes such as spatial and temporal sampling. In the past decade, a number of DAA tools for correlated microbiome data (DAA-c) have been proposed. Disturbingly, different DAA-c tools could sometimes produce quite discordant results. To recommend the best practice to the field, we performed the first comprehensive evaluation of existing DAA-c tools using real data-based simulations. Overall, the linear model-based methods LinDA, MaAsLin2 and LDM are more robust than methods based on generalized linear models. The LinDA method is the only method that maintains reasonable performance in the presence of strong compositional effects.

  2. Malik, Harmit S. (Ed.)
    A growing body of theoretical and experimental evidence suggests that intramolecular epistasis is a major determinant of rates and patterns of protein evolution and imposes a substantial constraint on the evolution of novel protein functions. Here, we examine the role of intramolecular epistasis in the recurrent evolution of resistance to cardiotonic steroids (CTS) across tetrapods, which occurs via specific amino acid substitutions to the α-subunit family of Na,K-ATPases (ATP1A). After identifying a series of recurrent substitutions at two key sites of ATP1A that are predicted to confer CTS resistance in diverse tetrapods, we then performed protein engineering experiments to test the functional consequences of introducing these substitutions onto divergent species backgrounds. In line with previous results, we find that substitutions at these sites can have substantial background-dependent effects on CTS resistance. Globally, however, these substitutions also have pleiotropic effects that are consistent with additive rather than background-dependent effects. Moreover, the magnitude of a substitution’s effect on activity does not depend on the overall extent of ATP1A sequence divergence between species. Our results suggest that epistatic constraints on the evolution of CTS-resistant forms of Na,K-ATPase likely depend on a small number of sites, with little dependence on overall levels of proteinmore »divergence. We propose that dependence on a limited number sites may account for the observation of convergent CTS resistance substitutions observed among taxa with highly divergent Na,K-ATPases (See S1 Text for Spanish translation).« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 16, 2023
  3. Pears ( Pyrus sp.) are widely cultivated in China, and their yield accounts for more than 60% of global pear production. The fungal pathogen Valsa pyri is a major causal agent of pear canker disease, which results in enormous losses of pear production in northern China. In this study, we characterized a Zn 2 Cys 6 transcription factor that contains one GAL4 domain and a fungal-trans domain, which are present in VpxlnR. The vpxlnR gene expression was upregulated in the invasion stage of V. pyri . To investigate its functions, we constructed gene deletion mutants and complementary strains. We observed that the growth of the vpxlnR mutants was reduced on potato dextrose agar (PDA), Czapek plus glucose or sucrose compared with that of the wild-type strain. Additionally, vpxlnR mutants exhibited loss of function in fruiting body formation. Moreover, vpxlnR mutants were more susceptible to hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ) and salicylic acid (SA) and were reduced in their virulence at the early infection stage. According to a previous study, VpxlnR-interacting motifs containing NRHKGNCCGM were searched in the V. pyri genome, and we obtained 354 target genes, of which 148 genes had Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COG) terms. PHI-BLASTmore »was used to identify virulence-related genes, and we found 28 hits. Furthermore, eight genes from the 28 PHI-BLAST hits were further assessed by yeast one-hybrid (Y1H) assays, and five target genes, salicylate hydroxylase (VP1G_09520), serine/threonine-protein kinase (VP1G_03128), alpha-xylosidase (VP1G_06369), G-protein beta subunit (VP1G_02856), and acid phosphatase (VP1G_03782), could interact with VpxlnR in vivo . Their transcript levels were reduced in one or two vpxlnR mutants. Taken together, these findings imply that VpxlnR is a key regulator of growth, development, stress, and virulence through controlling genes involved in signaling pathways and extracellular enzyme activities in V. pyri . The motifs interacting with VpxlnR also provide new insights into the molecular mechanism of xlnR proteins.« less
  4. null (Ed.)
    Abstract One challenge facing omics association studies is the loss of statistical power when adjusting for confounders and multiple testing. The traditional statistical procedure involves fitting a confounder-adjusted regression model for each omics feature, followed by multiple testing correction. Here we show that the traditional procedure is not optimal and present a new approach, 2dFDR, a two-dimensional false discovery rate control procedure, for powerful confounder adjustment in multiple testing. Through extensive evaluation, we demonstrate that 2dFDR is more powerful than the traditional procedure, and in the presence of strong confounding and weak signals, the power improvement could be more than 100%.
  5. Abstract Histone lysine crotonylation is a posttranslational modification with demonstrated functions in transcriptional regulation. Here we report the discovery of a new type of histone posttranslational modification, lysine methacrylation (Kmea), corresponding to a structural isomer of crotonyllysine. We validate the identity of this modification using diverse chemical approaches and further confirm the occurrence of this type of histone mark by pan specific and site-specific anti-methacryllysine antibodies. In total, we identify 27 Kmea modified histone sites in HeLa cells using affinity enrichment with a pan Kmea antibody and mass spectrometry. Subsequent biochemical studies show that histone Kmea is a dynamic mark, which is controlled by HAT1 as a methacryltransferase and SIRT2 as a de-methacrylase. Altogether, these investigations uncover a new type of enzyme-catalyzed histone modification and suggest that methacrylyl-CoA generating metabolism is part of a growing number of epigenome-associated metabolic pathways.