New and Exciting in PLoS ONE

There are 25 new articles in PLoS ONE today. As always, you should rate the articles, post notes and comments and send trackbacks when you blog about the papers. You can now also easily place articles on various social services (CiteULike, Mendeley, Connotea, Stumbleupon, Facebook and Digg) with just one click. Here are my own picks for the week - you go and look for your own favourites:

VitisNet: 'Omics' Integration through Grapevine Molecular Networks:

Genomic data release for the grapevine has increased exponentially in the last five years. The Vitis vinifera genome has been sequenced and Vitis EST, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic tools and data sets continue to be developed. The next critical challenge is to provide biological meaning to this tremendous amount of data by annotating genes and integrating them within their biological context. We have developed and validated a system of Grapevine Molecular Networks (VitisNet). The sequences from the Vitis vinifera (cv. Pinot Noir PN40024) genome sequencing project and ESTs from the Vitis genus have been paired and the 39,424 resulting unique sequences have been manually annotated. Among these, 13,145 genes have been assigned to 219 networks. The pathway sets include 88 "Metabolic", 15 "Genetic Information Processing", 12 "Environmental Information Processing", 3 "Cellular Processes", 21 "Transport", and 80 "Transcription Factors". The quantitative data is loaded onto molecular networks, allowing the simultaneous visualization of changes in the transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome for a given experiment. VitisNet uses manually annotated networks in SBML or XML format, enabling the integration of large datasets, streamlining biological functional processing, and improving the understanding of dynamic processes in systems biology experiments. VitisNet is grounded in the Vitis vinifera genome (currently at 8x coverage) and can be readily updated with subsequent updates of the genome or biochemical discoveries. The molecular network files can be dynamically searched by pathway name or individual genes, proteins, or metabolites through the MetNet Pathway database and web-portal at http://metnet3.vrac.iastate.edu/. All VitisNet files including the manual annotation of the grape genome encompassing pathway names, individual genes, their genome identifier, and chromosome location can be accessed and downloaded from the VitisNet tab at http://vitis-dormancy.sdstate.org.

The Evolutionary History of Protein Domains Viewed by Species Phylogeny:

Protein structural domains are evolutionary units whose relationships can be detected over long evolutionary distances. The evolutionary history of protein domains, including the origin of protein domains, the identification of domain loss, transfer, duplication and combination with other domains to form new proteins, and the formation of the entire protein domain repertoire, are of great interest. A methodology is presented for providing a parsimonious domain history based on gain, loss, vertical and horizontal transfer derived from the complete genomic domain assignments of 1015 organisms across the tree of life. When mapped to species trees the evolutionary history of domains and domain combinations is revealed, and the general evolutionary trend of domain and combination is analyzed. We show that this approach provides a powerful tool to study how new proteins and functions emerged and to study such processes as horizontal gene transfer among more distant species.

High Prevalence of Multidrug-Tolerant Bacteria and Associated Antimicrobial Resistance Genes Isolated from Ornamental Fish and Their Carriage Water:

Antimicrobials are used to directly control bacterial infections in pet (ornamental) fish and are routinely added to the water these fish are shipped in to suppress the growth of potential pathogens during transport. To assess the potential effects of this sustained selection pressure, 127 Aeromonas spp. isolated from warm and cold water ornamental fish species were screened for tolerance to 34 antimicrobials. Representative isolates were also examined for the presence of 54 resistance genes by a combination of miniaturized microarray and conventional PCR. Forty-seven of 94 Aeromonas spp. isolates recovered from tropical ornamental fish and their carriage water were tolerant to â¥15 antibiotics, representing seven or more different classes of antimicrobial. The quinolone and fluoroquinolone resistance gene, qnrS2, was detected at high frequency (37% tested recent isolates were positive by PCR). Class 1 integrons, IncA/C broad host range plasmids and a range of other antibiotic resistance genes, including floR, blaTEMâ1, tet(A), tet(D), tet(E), qacE2, sul1, and a number of different dihydrofolate reductase and aminoglycoside transferase coding genes were also detected in carriage water samples and bacterial isolates. These data suggest that ornamental fish and their carriage water act as a reservoir for both multi-resistant bacteria and resistance genes.

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