• Deciphering mollusc shell production: the roles of genetic mechanisms through to ecology, aquaculture and biomimetics

      Carlone, Bob (Wiley, 2020-08)
      Most molluscs possess shells, constructed from a vast array of microstructures and architectures. The fully formed shell is composed of calcite or aragonite. These CaCO3 crystals form complex biocomposites with proteins, which although typ- ically less than 5% of total shell mass, play significant roles in determining shell microstructure. Despite much research effort, large knowledge gaps remain in how molluscs construct and maintain their shells, and how they produce such a great diversity of forms. Here we synthesize results on how shell shape, microstructure, composition and organic content vary among, and within, species in response to numerous biotic and abiotic factors. At the local level, temperature, food supply and predation cues significantly affect shell morphology, whilst salinity has a much stronger influence across lat- itudes. Moreover, we emphasize how advances in genomic technologies [e.g. restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-Seq) and epigenetics] allow detailed examinations of whether morphological changes result from phenotypic plas- ticity or genetic adaptation, or a combination of these. RAD-Seq has already identified single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with temperature and aquaculture practices, whilst epigenetic processes have been shown significantly to mod- ify shell construction to local conditions in, for example, Antarctica and New Zealand. We also synthesize results on the costs of shell construction and explore how these affect energetic trade-offs in animal metabolism. The cellular costs are still debated, with CaCO3 precipitation estimates ranging from 1–2 J/mg to 17–55 J/mg depending on experimental and environmental conditions. However, organic components are more expensive ($29 J/mg) and recent data indicate transmembrane calcium ion transporters can involve considerable costs. This review emphasizes the role that molecular analyses have played in demonstrating multiple evolutionary origins of biomineralization genes. Although these are char- acterized by lineage-specific proteins and unique combinations of co-opted genes, a small set of protein domains have been identified as a conserved biomineralization tool box. We further highlight the use of sequence data sets in providing candidate genes for in situ localization and protein function studies. The former has elucidated gene expression modular- ity in mantle tissue, improving understanding of the diversity of shell morphology synthesis. RNA interference (RNAi) and clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats - CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR-Cas9) experi- ments have provided proof of concept for use in the functional investigation of mollusc gene sequences, showing for example that Pif (aragonite-binding) protein plays a significant role in structured nacre crystal growth and that the Lsdia1 gene sets shell chirality in Lymnaea stagnalis. Much research has focused on the impacts of ocean acidification on molluscs. Initial studies were predominantly pessimistic for future molluscan biodiversity. However, more sophisticated experi- ments incorporating selective breeding and multiple generations are identifying subtle effects and that variability within mollusc genomes has potential for adaption to future conditions. Furthermore, we highlight recent historical studies based on museum collections that demonstrate a greater resilience of molluscs to climate change compared with exper- imental data. The future of mollusc research lies not solely with ecological investigations into biodiversity, and this review synthesizes knowledge across disciplines to understand biomineralization. It spans research ranging from evolution and development, through predictions of biodiversity prospects and future-proofing of aquaculture to identifying new biomi- metic opportunities and societal benefits from recycling shell products.
    • The Endocannabinoid System and Invertebrate Neurodevelopment and Regeneration

      Carlone, Bob (MDPI, 2021-02-20)
      Cannabis has long been used for its medicinal and psychoactive properties. With the rela- tively new adoption of formal medicinal cannabis regulations worldwide, the study of cannabinoids, both endogenous and exogenous, has similarly flourished in more recent decades. In particular, research investigating the role of cannabinoids in regeneration and neurodevelopment has yielded promising results in vertebrate models. However, regeneration-competent vertebrates are few, whereas a myriad of invertebrate species have been established as superb models for regeneration. As such, this review aims to provide a comprehensive summary of the endocannabinoid system, with a focus on current advances in the area of endocannabinoid system contributions to invertebrate neurodevelopment and regeneration.
    • First evidence of the mutations associated with pyrethroid resistance in head lice (Phthiraptera: Pediculidae) from Honduras

      Larkin, Kelsey; Rodriguez, Carol A.; Jamani, Shabana; Fronza, Georgina; Roca‑Acevedo, Gonzalo; Sanchez, Ana; Toloza, Ariel C (BMC, 2020)
      The human head louse, Pediculus humanus capitis, is a cosmopolitan blood-sucking ectoparasite affecting mostly schoolchildren in both developed and developing countries. In Honduras, chemical pediculicides are the first line of treatment, with permethrin as their main active ingredient. Despite the extended use of these products, there is currently no research investigating insecticide resistance in Honduran head lice. In head lice, the most common mechanism is knockdown resistance (kdr), which is the result of two point mutations and the associated amino acid substitutions, T917I and L920F, within the voltage-sensitive sodium channel (VSSC). METHODSGenomic DNA was extracted from 83 head lice collected in the localities of San Buenaventura and La Hicaca, Honduras. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to amplify a 332-bp fragment of the VSSC gene that contains a site affected by C/T mutation which results in a T917I amino acid substitution on each human head louse genomic DNA fragments. RESULTSThe C/T non-synonymous mutation which results in the T917I kdr amino acid substitution was detected in both head lice populations at frequencies ranging between 0.45-0.5. Globally, the frequency of this substitution was 0.47. Of these, 5 (6.1%) were homozygous susceptible and 78 (93.9%) were heterozygotes. The kdr-resistant homozygote (RR) was not detected in the studied populations. Thus, 93.9% of the head lice collected in Honduras harbored only one T917I allele. Exact test for the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium for both localities showed that genotype frequencies differed significantly from expectation. In addition, San Buenaventura and La Hicaca populations had an inbreeding coefficient (Fis) < 0, suggesting an excess of heterozygotes. CONCLUSIONSTo our knowledge, this is the first study showing the presence of the C/T mutation responsible of the T917I kdr allele associated with pyrethroid resistance in P. h. capitis from Honduras. The PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) employed here has demonstrated to be a reliable, economic, and reproducible assay that can be used to accurately genotype individual head lice for the mutation encoding the resistance-conferring T917I amino acid substitution. This highlights the necessity of proactive resistance management programmes designed to detect pyrethroid mutations before they become established within populations of head lice.
    • Individual Differences in Attentional Breadth Changes Over Time: An Event-Related Potential Investigation

      Pitchford, Brent; Arnell, Karen M. (Frontiers, 2021-03-23)
      Event-related potentials (ERPs) to hierarchical stimuli have been compared for global/ local target trials, but the pattern of results across studies is mixed with respect to understanding how ERPs differ with local and global bias. There are reliable interindividual differences in attentional breadth biases. This study addresses two questions. Can these interindividual differences in attentional breadth be predicted by interindividual ERP differences to hierarchical stimuli? Can attentional breadth changes over time within participants (i.e., intraindividual differences) be predicted by ERPs changes over time when viewing hierarchical stimuli? Here, we estimated attentional breadth and isolated ERPs in response to Navon letter stimuli presented at two time points. We found that interindividual differences in ERPs at Time 1 did not predict attentional breadth differences across individuals at Time 1. However, individual differences in changes to P1, N1, and P3 ERPs to hierarchical stimuli from Time 1 to Time 2 were associated with individual differences in changes in attentional breadth from Time 1 to Time 2. These results suggest that attentional breadth changes within individuals over time are reflected in changes in ERP responses to hierarchical stimuli such that smaller N1s and larger P3s accompany a shift to processing the newly prioritized level, suggesting that the preferred level required less perceptual processing and elicited more attention.
    • Non-HDL cholesterol level and depression among Canadian elderly—a cross-sectional analysis of the baseline data from the CLSA

      Liu, Jian (Canadian Science Publishing, 2020-09-11)
      To explore whether nonhigh-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-c) is associated with depression, a total of 26 819 Canadians aged 45–85 from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) were included in analysis. Non-HDL-c, the difference between total-c and HDL-c, was categorized into five levels, i.e., <2.6, 2.6 to <3.7, 3.7 to <4.8, 4.8 to 5.7, and ≥5.7 mmol/L. History of clinical depression was collected by questionnaire at an in-home interview, and current potential depression status was determined by CES-D10 (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale 10 questions version) score, i.e., ≥10 vs. <10. Logistic continuation ratio model for ordinal data was used to estimate the odds of being at or above a higher non-HDL-c category for depression status. Compared with those without clinical depression history and currently undepressed, the adjusted odds ratios (95% CI) were 1.09 (1.02, 1.17) for those without clinical depression history but currently depressed, 1.05 (0.98, 1.12) for those had clinical depression history but currently undepressed, and 1.21 (1.10, 1.32) for those had clinical depression history and currently depressed. The average of non-HDL-c for four depression groups were 3.64, 3.71, 3.69, and 3.82 mmol/L, respectively, and group 4 was statistically higher than others (p < 0.001). In conclu- sion, people with both current depression and a history clinical depression are at an increased risk of having high level of non-HDL-c.