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A fundamental concept in biology is that heritable material, DNA, is passed from parent to offspring, a process called vertical gene transfer. An alternative mechanism of gene acquisition is through horizontal gene transfer (HGT), which involves movement of genetic material between different species. HGT is well-known in single-celled organisms such as(More)
Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins are associated with desiccation tolerance in resurrection plants and in plant seeds, and the recent discovery of a dehydration-induced Group 3 LEA-like gene in the nematode Aphelenchus avenae suggests a similar association in anhydrobiotic animals. Despite their importance, little is known about the structure of(More)
Anhydrobiotic engineering aims to increase the level of desiccation tolerance in sensitive organisms to that observed in true anhydrobiotes. In addition to a suitable extracellular drying excipient, a key factor for anhydrobiotic engineering of gram-negative enterobacteria seems to be the generation of high intracellular concentrations of the nonreducing(More)
Accumulation of the non-reducing disaccharide trehalose is associated with desiccation tolerance during anhydrobiosis in a number of invertebrates, but there is little information on trehalose biosynthetic genes in these organisms. We have identified two trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (tps) genes in the anhydrobiotic nematode Aphelenchus avenae and(More)
When subjected to drought conditions, some organisms enter a state of suspended animation known as anhydrobiosis, surviving for indefinite periods until rehydration allows them to resume normal metabolism. We have identified a gene in the anhydrobiotic nematode Aphelenchus avenae that is upregulated in response to desiccation stress and whose encoded(More)
The tetrahydropyramidine hydroxyectoine acts as an osmolyte in a range of bacterial species, but its use as a desiccation protectant is less well explored. Recently, it was demonstrated that hydroxyectoine provides effective stabilisation of the Gram-negative species Pseudomonas putida, which is only relatively poorly preserved by the better-characterised(More)
Understanding the formation and propagation of aggregates of the Alzheimer disease-associated Tau protein in vivo is vital for the development of therapeutics for this devastating disorder. Using our recently developed live-cell aggregation sensor in neuron-like cells, we demonstrate that different variants of exogenous monomeric Tau, namely full-length Tau(More)
The fragile site FRA11B has been localized to the p(CCG)n repeat of the CBL2 proto-oncogene. A proportion of Jacobsen (11q-) syndrome patients inherited a chromosome carrying a CBL2 p(CCG)n expansion, which was truncated close to FRA11B. These results have broad implications for the role of p(CCG)n repeat expansion in the aetiology of genetic disease(More)
Bdelloid rotifers are microinvertebrates with unique characteristics: they have survived tens of millions of years without sexual reproduction; they withstand extreme desiccation by undergoing anhydrobiosis; and they tolerate very high levels of ionizing radiation. Recent evidence suggests that subtelomeric regions of the bdelloid genome contain sequences(More)
The broad family of LEA proteins are intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) with several potential roles in desiccation tolerance, or anhydrobiosis, one of which is to limit desiccation-induced aggregation of cellular proteins. We show here that this activity, termed molecular shield function, is distinct from that of a classical molecular chaperone, such(More)