The mosquito Aedes aegypti is the main vector of several arthropod-borne diseases that have global impacts. In a previous meta-analysis, our group identified a vector gene set containing 110 genes strongly associated with infections of dengue, West Nile and yellow fever viruses. Of these 110 genes, four genes allowed a highly accurate classification of infected status. More recently, a new study of Ae. aegypti infected with Zika virus (ZIKV) was published, providing new data to investigate whether this “infection” gene set is also altered during a ZIKV infection. Our hypothesis is that the infection-associated signature may also serve as a proxy to classify the ZIKV infection in the vector. Raw data associated with the NCBI/BioProject were downloaded and re-analysed. A total of 18 paired-end replicates corresponding to three ZIKV-infected samples and three controls were included in this study. The nMDS technique with a logistic regression was used to obtain the probabilities of belonging to a given class. Thus, to compare both gene sets, we used the area under the curve and performed a comparison using the bootstrap method. Our meta-signature was able to separate the infected mosquitoes from the controls with good predictive power to classify the Zika-infected mosquitoes.
The phytopathogenic fungus Moniliophthora perniciosa (Stahel) Aime & Philips-Mora, causal agent of witches' broom disease of cocoa, causes countless damage to cocoa production in Brazil. Molecular studies have attempted to identify genes that play important roles in fungal survival and virulence. In this study, sequences deposited in the M. perniciosa Genome Sequencing Project database were analyzed to identify potential biological targets. For the first time, the ergosterol biosynthetic pathway in M. perniciosa was studied and the lanosterol 14α-demethylase gene (ERG11) that encodes the main enzyme of this pathway and is a target for fungicides was cloned, characterized molecularly and its phylogeny analyzed. ERG11 genomic DNA and cDNA were characterized and sequence analysis of the ERG11 protein identified highly conserved domains typical of this enzyme, such as SRS1, SRS4, EXXR and the heme-binding region (HBR). Comparison of the protein sequences and phylogenetic analysis revealed that the M. perniciosa enzyme was most closely related to that of Coprinopsis cinerea.