Neiker-Tecnalia Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development
Recent publications
When exposed to increased mechanical resistance from the soil, plant roots display non-linear growth responses that cannot be solely explained by mechanical principles. Here, we aim to investigate how changes in tissue mechanical properties are biologically regulated in response to soil strength. A particle-based model was developed to solve root-soil mechanical interactions at the cellular scale, and a detailed numerical study explored factors that affect root responses to soil resistance. Results showed how softening of root tissues at the tip may contribute to root responses to soil impedance, a mechanism likely linked to soil cavity expansion. The model also predicted the shortening and decreased anisotropy of the zone where growth occurs, which may improve the mechanical stability of the root against axial forces. The study demonstrates the potential of advanced modeling tools to help identify traits that confer plant resistance to abiotic stress.
Viticulture is highly dependent on phytochemicals to maintain good vineyard health. However, to reduce their accumulation in the environment, green regulations are driving the development of eco-friendly strategies. In this respect, seaweeds have proven to be one of the marine resources with the highest potential as plant protective agents, representing an environmentally-friendly alternative approach for sustainable wine production. The current work follows an interdisciplinary framework to evaluate the capacity of Ulva ohnoi and Rugulopteryx okamurae seaweeds to induce defense mechanisms in grapevine plants. To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate Rugulopteryx okamurae as a biostimulator . This macroalgae is relevant since it is an invasive species on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coast causing incalculable economic and environmental burdens. Four extracts (UL1, UL2, RU1 and RU2 developed from Ulva and Rugulopteryx , respectively) were foliar applied to Tempranillo plants cultivated under greenhouse conditions. UL1 and RU2 stood out for their capacity to induce defense genes, such as a PR10, PAL, STS48 and GST1 , mainly 24 hours after the first application. The increased expression level of these genes agreed with i) an increase in trans -piceid and trans -resveratrol content, mainly in the RU2 treated leaves, and, ii) an increase in jasmonic acid and decrease in salicylic acid. Moreover, an induction of the activity of the antioxidant enzymes was observed at the end of the experiment, with an increase in superoxide dismutase and catalase in the RU2-treated leaves in particular. Interestingly, while foliar fungal diversity was not influenced by the treatments, alga extract amendment modified fungal composition, RU2 application enriching the content of various groups known for their biocontrol activity. Overall, the results evidenced the capacity of Rugulopteryx okamurae for grapevine biostimulation, inducing the activation of several secondary metabolite pathways and promoting the abundance of beneficial microbiota involved in grapevine protection. While further studies are needed to unravel the bioactive compound(s) involved, including conducting field experiments etc., the current findings are the first steps towards the inclusion of Rugulopteryx okamurae in a circular scheme that would reduce its accumulation on the coast and benefit the viticulture sector at the same time.
Background Non-model species lacking public genomic resources have an extra handicap in bioinformatics that could be assisted by parameter tuning and the use of alternative software. Indeed, for RNA-seq-based gene differential expression analysis, parameter tuning could have a strong impact on the final results that should be evaluated. However, the lack of gold-standard datasets with known expression patterns hampers robust evaluation of pipelines and parameter combinations. Objective The aim of the presented workflow is to assess the best differential expression analysis pipeline among several alternatives, in terms of accuracy. To achieve this objective, an automatic procedure of gold-standard construction for simulation-based benchmarking is implemented. Methods The workflow, which is divided into four steps, simulates read libraries with known expression values to enable the construction of gold-standards for benchmarking pipelines in terms of true and false positives. We validated the workflow with a case study consisting of real RNA-seq libraries of radiata pine, a forest tree species with no publicly available reference genome. Method The workflow, which is divided into four steps, simulates reads libraries with known expression values that enable the construction of gold-standards for benchmarking pipelines in terms of true and false positives. We validated the workflow with a case study consisting on real RNA-seq libraries of radiata pine, a forest tree species with no publicly available reference genome. Results The workflow is available as a freeware application (DEGoldS) consisting on sequential Bash and R scripts that can run in any UNIX OS platform. The presented workflow proved to be able to construct a valid gold-standard from real count data. Additionally, benchmarking showed that slight pipeline modifications produced remarkable differences in the outcome of differential expression analysis. Conclusion The presented workflow solves the issues associated with robust gold-standard construction for benchmarking in differential expression experiments and can accommodate with a wide range of pipelines and parameter combinations. Other -
The genetic loci influencing individual resistance to Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) infection are still largely unknown. In the current study, we searched for genetic loci associated with resistance to MAP infection by evaluating the performance of monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) isolated from the peripheral blood of 75 healthy Holsteins cows and infected ex vivo with MAP. Bacterial load (log colony-forming units, log CFUs) within MDMs was quantified at 2 h and 7 days p. i. using a BACTEC MGIT 960 instrument. In addition, the expression levels of some genes with important roles in the innate immune response including epiregulin (EREG), complement component C3 (C3), galectin-9 (Gal9), and nitric oxide (NO ⁻ ) were measured in the supernatant of the infected cells. DNA from peripheral blood samples of the animals included in the study was isolated and genotyped with the EuroG MD bead Chip (44,779 single nucleotide-polymorphisms, SNPs). Linear mixed models were used to calculate the heritability ( h ² ) estimates for each indicator of MDM performance, MAP load within MDMs and EREG, C3, Gal9, and NO ⁻ expression. After performing a genome-wide association study, the only phenotypes that showed SNPs with a significant association were the bacterial load within MDMs at 2 h ( h ² = 0. 87) and 7 days ( h ² = 0.83) p.i. A total of 6 SNPs, 5 candidate genes, and one microRNA on the Bos taurus chromosomes BTA2, BTA17, BTA18, and BTA21 were associated with MAP load at 2 h p.i. Overlap was seen in two SNPs associated with the log CFUs at 2 h and 7 d p.i. The identified SNPs had negative regression coefficients, and were, therefore, associated with a low bacterial load within MDMs. Some of the identified SNPs were located within QTLs previously associated with longevity, reproductive, and udder health traits. Some of the identified candidate genes; Oxysterol Binding Protein Like 6, Cysteine and Serine Rich Nuclear Protein 3, and the Coiled-Coil Domain Containing 92 regulate cellular cholesterol trafficking and efflux, apoptosis, and interferon production, respectively. Taken together, our results define a heritable and distinct immunogenetic profile in MAP-infected macrophages designed to limit bacterial load early after infection.
The single and comparative intradermal tuberculin tests (SITT and CITT) are official in vivo tests for bovine tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis using bovine and avian purified protein derivatives (PPD-B and PPD-A). Infection with bacteria other than Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC) can result in nonspecific reactions to these tests. We evaluated the performance of the skin test with PPDs and new defined antigens in the guinea pig model. A standard dose (SD) of Rhodococcus equi, Nocardia sp., M. nonchromogenicum, M. monacense, M. intracellulare, M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis, M. avium subsp. avium, M. avium subsp. hominissuis, M. scrofulaceum, M. persicum, M. microti, M. caprae and M. bovis, and a higher dose (HD) of M. nonchromogenicum, M. monacense, M. intracellulare, M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis were tested using PPD-B, PPD-A, P22, ESAT-6-CFP-10-Rv3615c peptide cocktail long (PCL) and fusion protein (FP). The SD of R. equi, Nocardia sp., M. nonchromogenicum, M. monacense, M. intracellulare and M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis did not cause any reactions. The HD of M. nonchromogenicum, M. monacense, M. intracellulare, and M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis and the SD of M. avium subsp. hominissuis, M. scrofulaceum and M. persicum, caused nonspecific reactions (SIT). A CITT interpretation would have considered M. avium complex and M. scrofulaceum groups negative, but not all individuals from M. nonchromogenicum HD, M. monacense HD and M. persicum SD groups. Only animals exposed to M. bovis and M. caprae reacted to PCL and FP. These results support the advantage of complementing or replacing PPD-B to improve specificity without losing sensitivity.
Objective: Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) accounts for 70% of liver-related deaths in Europe, with no effective approved therapies. Although mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the earliest manifestations of alcohol-induced injury, restoring mitochondrial activity remains a problematic strategy due to oxidative stress. Here, we identify methylation-controlled J protein (MCJ) as a mediator for ALD progression and hypothesize that targeting MCJ may help recovering mitochondrial fitness without collateral oxidative damage. Design: C57BL/6 mice (Wild-type (Wt), Mcj knockout (MCJ-KO) and Mcj liver-specific silencing (MCJ-LSS) underwent the NIAAA dietary protocol (Lieber-DeCarli diet containing 5% (vol/vol) ethanol for 10 days, plus a single binge ethanol feeding at day 11). To evaluate the impact of a restored mitochondrial activity in ALD, liver, gut, and pancreas where characterized, focusing on lipid metabolism, glucose homeostasis, intestinal permeability, and microbiota composition. Results: MCJ, a protein acting as an endogenous negative regulator of mitochondrial respiration, is downregulated in the early stages of ALD and increases with the severity of the disease. Whole-body deficiency of MCJ is detrimental during ALD because it exacerbates the systemic effects of alcohol abuse through altered intestinal permeability, increased endotoxemia, and dysregulation of pancreatic function, which overall worsens liver injury. On the other hand, liver-specific Mcj silencing prevents main ALD hallmarks, i.e., mitochondrial dysfunction, steatosis, inflammation, and oxidative stress, as it restores the NAD+/NADH ratio and SIRT1 function, hence preventing de novo lipogenesis and improving lipid oxidation. Conclusion: Improving mitochondrial respiration by liver-specific Mcj silencing might become a novel therapeutic approach for treating ALD.
Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is often considered a water-sensitive crop and its production can be threatened by drought events, making water stress tolerance a trait of increasing interest. In this study, a panel of 144 tetraploid potato genotypes was evaluated for two consecutive years (2019 and 2020) to observe the variation of several physiological traits such as chlorophyll content and fluorescence, stomatal conductance, NDVI, and leaf area and circumference. In addition, agronomic parameters such as yield, tuber fresh weight, tuber number, starch content, dry matter and reducing sugars were determined. GGP V3 Potato array was used to genotype the population, obtaining a total of 18,259 high-quality SNP markers. Marker-trait association was performed using GWASpoly package in R software and Q + K linear mixed models were considered. This approach allowed us to identify eighteen SNP markers significantly associated with the studied traits in both treatments and years, which were related to genes with known functions. Markers related to chlorophyll content and number of tubers under control and stress conditions, and related to stomatal conductance, NDVI, yield and reducing sugar content under water stress, were identified. Although these markers were distributed throughout the genome, the SNPs associated with the traits under control conditions were found mainly on chromosome 11, while under stress conditions they were detected on chromosome 4. These results contribute to the knowledge of the mechanisms of potato tolerance to water stress and are useful for future marker-assisted selection programs.
Forest biomass is considered an alternative to fossil fuels in energy production, as part of global strategies for climate change mitigation. Application of by-products such as wood ash (WA) and biochar (BC) to soil could replace the nutrients removed by tree harvesting and could also increase soil carbon stocks. However, the extent to which these amendments can provide benefits depends on how the by-products interact with the soil-water-plant system. We studied the short-term responses of WA and BC application in two different mineral soil-water-plant systems in temperate forests: A. Typic Udorthent (TU) with mature Pinus radiata; B. Typic Dystrudept (TD) with young Quercus pyrenaica, to test the following hypotheses: (1) the application of WA and BC will increase nutrient uptake by plants, but (2) these products could induce toxicity in the soil-water-plant system, and (3) in case of no toxicity, plant biomass growth in these temperate forest soils will increase due to increased plant nutrient uptake. Biochar was applied at rates of 3.5, 10, and 20 Mg ha −1 and WA at rates of 1.5, 4.5, and 9 Mg ha −1 (calcium equivalent). A nitrogen enriched treatment was applied with the intermediate doses. Ecotoxicity testing indicated that WA and BC were not toxic, although Ni uptake increased in biomass of the TU after BC + N application. BC increased SOC stocks of both sites, depending on treatment. In TD BC increased K uptake by plants, but did not increase biomass. In summary, this study shows that the application of BC and WA had different effects on the soil-water-plant system in two different forest soils. This difference was attributed to (i) the soil characteristics, (ii) the application rates and (iii) whether or not nitrogen was applied. Long-term field experiments are required to test the performance and potential toxicity of these by-products as soil enhancers.
To optimise sector design in drip irrigation systems, a protocol based on the use of soil apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) data is presented and applied in a commercial vineyard plot. In a first step, before planting, ECa data up to 90 cm deep provided by the VERIS 3100 soil sensor were mapped using block ordinary kriging and then classified (k-means algorithm) to delimit two soil classes within the plot with different properties in terms of potential soil water content and/or soil water regime. Contrasting the difference between soil classes (through discriminant analysis of soil properties at different sampling locations that covered a large part of the plot), irrigation sectors were then designed in size and shape to match the previous soil zoning. The second step additionally allowed the optimal location of moisture sensors within the plot, based on a purposive soil sampling strategy, for better soil moisture monitoring and adaptation of irrigation rates and scheduling to soil classes.
Agricultural fertilization with organic amendments of animal origin often leads to antibiotic resistance dissemination. In this study, we evaluated the effect of different treatments (anaerobic digestion, biochar application, ozonation, zerovalent iron nanoparticle application, and spent mushroom substrate addition) on the resistome in dairy cow manure-derived amendments (slurry, manure, and compost). Anaerobic digestion and biochar application resulted in the highest reduction in antibiotic resistance gene (ARG) and mobile genetic element (MGE) gene abundance. These two treatments were applied to cow manure compost, which was then used to fertilize the soil for lettuce growth. After crop harvest, ARG and MGE gene absolute and relative abundances in the soil and lettuce samples were determined by droplet digital PCR and high-throughput qPCR, respectively. Prokaryotic diversity in cow manure-amended soils was determined using 16S rRNA metabarcoding. Compared to untreated compost, anaerobic digestion led to a 38% and 83% reduction in sul2 and intl1 absolute abundances in the soil, respectively, while biochar led to a 60% reduction in intl1 absolute abundance. No differences in lettuce gene abundances were observed among treatments. We conclude that amendment treatments can minimize the risk of antibiotic resistance in agroecosystems.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified host genetic variants associated with paratuberculosis (PTB) susceptibility. Most of the GWAS-identified SNPs are in non-coding regions. Connecting these non-coding variants and downstream affected genes is a challenge and, up to date, only a few functional mutations or expression quantitative loci (cis-eQTLs) associated with PTB susceptibility have been identified. In the current study, the associations between imputed whole-genome sequence genotypes and whole RNA-Sequencing data from peripheral blood (PB) and ileocecal valve (ICV) samples of Spanish Holstein cows (N= 16) were analyzed with TensorQTL . This approach allowed the identification of 88 and 37 cis-eQTLs regulating the expression levels of 90 and 37 genes in PB and ICV samples, respectively (FDR ≤ 0.05). Next, we applied summary-based data Mendelian randomization (SMR) to integrate the cis- eQTL dataset with GWAS data obtained from a cohort of 813 culled cattle that were classified according to the presence or absence of PTB-associated histopathological lesions in gut tissues. After multiple testing corrections (False discovery rate, FDR ≤ 0.05), we identified two novel cis-eQTLs affecting the expression of the early growth response factor 4 ( EGR4 ) and the bovine neuroblastoma breakpoint family member 6-like protein isoform 2 ( MGC134040 ) that showed pleiotropic associations with the presence of multifocal and diffuse lesions in gut tissues; P = 0.002 and P = 0.017, respectively. While EGR4 acts as a brake on T-cell proliferation and cytokine production through interaction with the nuclear factor Kappa β ( NF-κß), MGC134040 is a target gene of NF-κß . Although no other genes were pleiotropically associated with PTB susceptibility after correction for multiple testing, several genes involved in splicing, innate immune response, apoptosis, blood coagulation, and regulation of epithelial cell adhesion were significantly associated with the presence of multifocal and diffuse lesions (nominal P- value ≤ 0.05). Our findings provide a better understanding of the genetic factors influencing PTB outcomes, confirm that the multifocal lesions are localized/confined lesions that have different underlying host genetics than the diffuse lesions, and highlight regulatory SNPs and regulated-gene targets to design future functional studies.
Cold reduces maize (Zea mays L.) production and delays sowings. Cold tolerance in maize is very limited, and breeding maize for cold tolerance is still a major challenge. Our objective was to detect QTL for cold tolerance at germination and seedling stages. We evaluated, under cold and control conditions, 919 Dent and 1009 Flint inbred lines from two nested association mapping designs consisting in 24 double-haploid populations, genotyped with 56,110 SNPs. We found a large diversity of maize cold tolerance within these NAM populations. We detected one QTL for plant weight and four for fluorescence under cold conditions, as well as one for plant weight and two for chlorophyll content under control conditions in the Dent-NAM. There were fewer significant QTL under control conditions than under cold conditions, and half of the QTL were for quantum efficiency of photosystem II. Our results supported the large genetic discrepancy between optimal and low temperatures, as the quantity and the position of the QTL were very variable between control and cold conditions. Furthermore, as we have not found alleles with significant effects on these NAM designs, further studies are needed with other experimental designs to find favorable alleles with important effects for improving cold tolerance in maize.
This study aimed to assess the efficacy of a heat-inactivated Mycobacterium caprae (HIMC) vaccine in goats experimentally challenged with the same strain of M. caprae. Twenty-one goats were divided into three groups of seven: vaccinated with heat-inactivated Mycobacterium bovis (HIMB), with HIMC and unvaccinated. At 7 weeks post-vaccination all animals were endobronchially challenged with M. caprae. Blood samples were collected for immunological assays and clinical signs were recorded throughout the experiment. All goats were euthanized at 9 weeks post-challenge. Gross pathological examination, analysis of lung pathology using computed tomography, and bacterial load quantification in pulmonary lymph nodes (LN) by qPCR were carried out. Only HIMC vaccinated goats showed a significant reduction of lung lesions volume and mycobacterial DNA load in LN compared to unvaccinated controls. Both vaccinated groups showed also a significant reduction of the other pathological parameters, an improved clinical outcome and a higher proportion of IFN-γ-producing central memory T cells after vaccination. The results indicated that homologous vaccination of goats with HIMC induced enhanced protection against M. caprae challenge by reducing lung pathology and bacterial load compared to the heterologous vaccine (HIMB). Further large-scale trials are necessary to assess the efficacy of autovaccines under field conditions.
Atypical Scrapie, which is not linked to epidemics, is assumed to be an idiopathic spontaneous prion disease in small ruminants. Therefore, its occurrence is unlikely to be controlled through selective breeding or other strategies as it is done for classical scrapie outbreaks. Its spontaneous nature and its sporadic incidence worldwide is reminiscent of the incidence of idiopathic spontaneous prion diseases in humans, which account for more than 85% of the cases in humans. Hence, developing animal models that consistently reproduce this phenomenon of spontaneous PrP misfolding, is of importance to study the pathobiology of idiopathic spontaneous prion disorders. Transgenic mice overexpressing sheep PrP C with I112 polymorphism (TgShI112, 1–2 × PrP levels compared to sheep brain) manifest clinical signs of a spongiform encephalopathy spontaneously as early as 380 days of age. The brains of these animals show the neuropathological hallmarks of prion disease and biochemical analyses of the misfolded prion protein show a ladder-like PrP res pattern with a predominant 7–10 kDa band. Brain homogenates from spontaneously diseased transgenic mice were inoculated in several models to assess their transmissibility and characterize the prion strain generated: TgShI112 (ovine I112 ARQ PrP C ), Tg338 (ovine VRQ PrP C ), Tg501 (ovine ARQ PrP C ), Tg340 (human M129 PrP C ), Tg361 (human V129 PrP C ), TgVole (bank vole I109 PrP C ), bank vole (I109I PrP C ), and sheep (AHQ/ARR and AHQ/AHQ churra-tensina breeds). Our analysis of the results of these bioassays concludes that the strain generated in this model is indistinguishable to that causing atypical scrapie (Nor98). Thus, we present the first faithful model for a bona fide , transmissible, ovine, atypical scrapie prion disease.
Grapevine, a crop of global economic importance, is annually affected by diseases that can compromise the quality and quantity of the harvest, producing large economic losses. Downy mildew caused by Plasmopara viticola (Berk. & M.A. Curtis) Berl. & de Toni is one of the most important diseases in the vineyard. To fight this pathogen, winegrowers often rely on conventional chemical fungicides or copper-based formulations, whose use is determined to be reduced by the European Commission due to their environmental consequences. Hence, alternative plant protection products (PPP) in grapevine must be considered and studied. In this context, we selected several alternative commercial products, based on basic substances (BS) or low-risk active substances (LRAS), to evaluate their suitability to deal with P. viticola. We measured the preventive activity of the products, both in vitro and in planta, as well as their toxicity against the sporangia and zoospores of the pathogen. Results showed that four commercial products were effective against the pathogen directly and preventively, being composed of approved basic substances, more concretely, chitosan, Equisetum arvense, lecithins, and Salix cortex. Among those, the products composed of lecithins and Salix cortex were the most toxic and active preventively. Therefore, these basic substances should be promoted in the vineyard as an alternative to conventional treatments in order to transition to a more sustainable viticulture.
There is a growing concern about the risk of antibiotic resistance emergence and dissemination in the environment. Here, we evaluated the spatio-seasonal patterns of the impact of wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents on antibiotic resistance in river sediments. To this purpose, sediment samples were collected in three river basins affected by WWTP effluents in wet (high-water period) and dry (low-water period) hydrological conditions at three locations: (i) upstream the WWTPs; (ii) WWTP effluent discharge points (effluent outfall); and (iii) downstream the WWTPs (500 m downriver from the effluent outfall). The absolute and relative abundances of 9 antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs), 3 mobile genetic element (MGE) genes, and 4 metal resistance genes (MRGs) were quantified in sediment samples, as well as a variety of physicochemical parameters, metal contents, and antibiotic concentrations in both sediment and water samples. In sediments, significantly higher relative abundances of most genes were observed in downstream vs. upstream sampling points. Seasonal changes (higher values in low-water vs. high-water period) were observed for both ARG absolute and relative abundances in sediment samples. Chemical data revealed the contribution of effluents from WWTPs as a source of antibiotic and metal contamination in river ecosystems. The observed positive correlations between ARG and MGE genes relative abundances point out to the role of horizontal gene transfer in antibiotic resistance dissemination. Monitoring plans that take into consideration spatio-temporal patterns must be implemented to properly assess the environmental fate of WWTP-related emerging contaminants in river ecosystems.
La embriogénesis somática es un método prometedor de propagación de coníferas, pero necesita de protocolos optimizados de acuerdo con las diferentes etapas del proceso y la especie modelo. Pinus halepensis Mill. (pino carrasco) es una especie utilizada ampliamente en la reforestación y se logró desarrollar el procedimiento de embriogénesis somática satisfactoriamente pero aun así, existe baja germinación y conversión de embriones somáticos en plantas. En este sentido, promover cambios en el ambiente químico en la etapa de germinación es una alternativa para aumentar las tasas de germinación y la consecuente obtención de plantas somáticas. Teniendo esto en cuenta, el objetivo de este trabajo fue evaluar la influencia de diferentes fuentes de carbohidratos aplicadas durante la etapa de germinación de los embriones somáticos de P. halepensis, sobre el éxito de este proceso y la morfología de las plantas somáticas obtenidas. Se observó un aumento estadísticamente significativo en las tasas de germinación, en la longitud total de las plantas somáticas, así como en la longitud de la raíz principal cuando los embriones somáticos fueron cultivados en el medio de germinación suplementado con maltosa.
Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is one of the most important crops worldwide, but due to its sensitivity to drought, its production can be affected by water availability. In this study, the varieties Agria and Zorba were used to determine the expression differences between control and water-stressed plants. For this purpose, they were sequenced by RNAseq, obtaining around 50 million transcripts for each variety and treatment. When comparing the significant transcripts obtained from control and drought-stressed plants of the Agria variety, we detected 931 genes that were upregulated and 2077 genes that were downregulated under stress conditions. When both treatments were compared in Zorba plants, 735 genes were found to be upregulated and 923 genes were found to be downregulated. Significantly more DEGs were found in the Agria variety, indicating a good stress response of this variety. “Abscisic acid and environmental stress-inducible protein TAS14-like” was the most overexpressed gene under drought conditions in both varieties, but expression differences were also found in numerous transcription factors and heat shock proteins. The principal GO term found was “cellular components”, more specifically related to the cell membrane and the cell wall, but other metabolic pathways such as carbohydrate metabolism and osmotic adjustment were also identified. These results provide valuable information related to the molecular mechanisms of tolerance to water stress in order to establish the basis for breeding new, more tolerant varieties.
Caprine tuberculosis (TB) is a zoonosis caused by members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC). Caprine TB eradication programmes are based mainly on intradermal tuberculin tests and slaughterhouse surveillance. Different factors may affect the performance of the TB diagnostic tests used in caprine herds and, therefore, their ability to detect infected animals. The present study evaluates the effect of the fraudulent administration of two anti-inflammatory substances, dexamethasone and ketoprofen, on the performance of the TB diagnostic techniques used in goats, as well as the suitability of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for their detection in hair samples. The animals ( n = 90) were distributed in three groups: (1) a group treated with dexamethasone ( n = 30); a second group treated with ketoprofen ( n = 30); and a third non-treated control group ( n = 30). Both dexamethasone and ketoprofen groups were subjected to intramuscular inoculation with the substances 48 h after the administration of bovine and avian purified protein derivatives (PPDs), that is, 24 h before the tests were interpreted. All the animals were subjected to the single and comparative intradermal tuberculin (SIT and CIT, respectively) tests, interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) and P22 ELISA. The number of SIT test reactors was significantly lower in the dexamethasone ( p = 0.001) and ketoprofen ( p < 0.001) groups 72 h after the bovine PPD inoculation compared with the control group. A significantly higher number of positive reactors to IGRA was detected within the dexamethasone group ( p = 0.016) 72 h after PPD administration compared to the control group. Dexamethasone and ketoprofen detection in either hair or serum samples was challenging when using HPLC since these substances were not detected in animals whose skin fold thickness (SFT) was reduced, what could be an issue if they are used for fraudulent purposes. In conclusion, the parenteral administration of dexamethasone or ketoprofen 48 h after the PPDs administration can significantly reduce the increase in SFT (mm) and subsequently the number of positive reactors to SIT test.
We investigated the co-occurrence of the nine of the most relevant canine vector-borne pathogens (CVBP) using conventional and real-time PCR and evaluated risk factors and potential non-apparent haematological alterations associated with co-infection in 111 rural, owned, free-ranging dogs in the Metropolitan Region of Chile. At least one pathogen was detected in 75% of the dogs. DNA of Anaplasma platys (Ap; 36%), Candidatus Mycoplasma haematoparvum (CMhp; 31%), Mycoplasma haemocanis (Mhc; 28%), Trypanosoma cruzi (17%), Leishmania spp. (4.5%), and Acanthocheilonema reconditum (1%) was detected. All dogs were negative for Ehrlichia spp., Rickettsia spp., Bartonella spp., Piroplasmida, and Hepatozoon spp. Thirty-eight dogs (34%) were coinfected. CMhp was involved in 71%, Mhc in 58%, and Ap in 50% of the co-infections. The most common co-infection pattern was CMhp-Mhc (37% of the cases). The prevalence of Ap was higher in juvenile than in adult dogs, whereas the opposite was found for CMhp and Mhc. Adult dogs were four times more likely of being co-infected than juveniles. Co-infected animals showed higher white blood cell count, segmented neutrophil count, and GGT levels than non-co-infected dogs. Clinically healthy but infected dogs may act as reservoirs of CVBP, and their free-ranging behavior would facilitate the spread of these pathogens to other dogs as well as human beings or wild carnivores. Highlights • DNA of at least one of nine vector-borne pathogens found in 75% of rural dogs. • Anaplasma platys was most prevalent but C. M. haematoparvum was involved in more coinfections. • Adults were four times more likely of being co-infected than juveniles. • Most infections were subclinical, so dogs act as silent reservoirs of pathogens.
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115 members
Joseba Garrido
  • Animal Health Department
Idoia Goiri
  • Department of Animal Production
Mariví Geijo
  • Sanidad Animal
Iker A Sevilla
  • Department of Animal Health
Marta Alonso-Hearn
  • Department of Animal Health
Berreaga 1. Parque Tecnológico de Bizkaia, 812 L, 48160, Gasteiz / Vitoria, Bizkaia, Spain
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