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Genetics Society of America's GENETICS journal highlights for October 2012

Genetics Society of America

Bethesda, MD--October 1, 2012 - Listed below are the selected highlights for the October 2012 issue of the Genetics Society of America's journal, GENETICS. The October issue is available online at Please credit GENETICS, Vol. 192, October 2012, Copyright © 2012.

Please feel free to forward to colleagues who may be interested in these articles.


Energy-dependent modulation of glucagon-like signaling in Drosophila via the AMP-activated protein kinase, pp. 457
Jason T. Braco, Emily L. Gillespie, Gregory E. Alberto, Jay E. Brenman, and Erik C. Johnson
How organisms maintain energetic homeostasis is unclear. These authors show that the actions of a known cellular sensor of energy--the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)--cause release of a glucagon-like hormone in Drosophila. They further show that AMPK regulates secretion of adipokinetic hormone. This suggests new roles and targets for AMPK and suggests metabolic networks are organized similarly throughout Metazoa.

The relation of codon bias to tissue-specific gene expression in Arabidopsis thaliana, pp. 641
Salvatore Camiolo, Lorenzo Farina, and Andrea Porceddu
This article reports systematic differences in usage of synonymous codons in Arabidopsis thaliana genes whose expression is tissue specific. The authors propose that codon bias evolves as an adaptive response to the different abundances of tRNAs in different tissues.

Integrity and function of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae spindle pole body depends on connections between the membrane proteins Ndc1, Rtn1, and Yop1, pp. 441
Amanda K. Casey, T. Renee Dawson, Jingjing Chen, Jennifer M. Friederichs, Sue L. Jaspersen, and Susan R. Wente
Budding yeast face an unusual challenge during cell division: they must segregate their chromosomes while the nuclear envelope remains intact. Consequently, mitosis begins with insertion of the duplicated spindle pole body (a.k.a. centrosome) into the nuclear envelope, a process that parallels the generation of new nuclear pore complexes. These authors report data that suggest new mechanisms for linking nuclear division and transport.

Cellular memory of acquired stress resistance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, pp. 495
Qiaoning Guan, Suraiya Haroon, Diego González Bravo, Jessica L. Will, and Audrey P. Gasch
Cells can retain memory of prior experiences that influence future behaviors. Here, the authors show that budding yeast retains a multifaceted memory of prior stress treatment. Cells pretreated with salt retain peroxide tolerance for several generations after removal of the initial stressor. This is due to long-lived catalase, produced during salt treatment and distributed to daughter cells. These cells also display transcriptional memory dependent on the nuclear pore subunit Nup42 that functions to promote reacquisition of stress tolerance in future stress cycles.

Genomic variation in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster, pp. 533
Charles H. Langley, Kristian Stevens, Charis Cardeno, Yuh Chwen G. Lee, Daniel R. Schrider, John E. Pool, Sasha A. Langley, Charlyn Suarez, Russell B. Corbett-Detig, Bryan Kolaczkowski, Shu Fang, Phillip M. Nista, Alisha K. Holloway, Andrew D. Kern, Colin N. Dewey, Yun S. Song, Matthew W. Hahn, and David J. Begun
This article greatly extends studies of population genetic variation in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster, which have played an important role in the development of evolutionary theory. The authors describe genome sequences of 43 individuals taken from two natural populations of D. melanogaster. The genetic polymorphism, divergence, and copy-number variation revealed in these data are presented at several scales, providing unprecedented insight into forces shaping genome polymorphism and divergence.

Estimating allele age and selection coefficient from time-serial data, pp. 599
Anna-Sapfo Malaspinas, Orestis Malaspinas, Steven N. Evans, and Montgomery Slatkin
The relative importance of the four fundamental processes driving evolution--genetic drift, natural selection, migration, and mutation--remains undetermined. These authors propose a new approach to estimate the selection coefficient and the allele age of time serial data. They apply their methodology to ancient sequences of a horse coat color gene and demonstrate that the causative allele existed as a rare segregating variant prior to domestication. This illuminates the debate on the relative importance of new vs. standing variation in adaptation and domestication.

DNA replication origin function is promoted by H3K4 di-methylation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, pp. 371
Lindsay F. Rizzardi, Elizabeth S. Dorn, Brian D. Strahl, and Jeanette Gowen Cook
What defines a DNA replication origin? It is becoming increasingly apparent that post-translational modifications of nucleosomes near replication origins help mark them and control their activity. The genetic analysis presented in this article implicates di-methylated histone H3 lysine 4 (stimulated by histone H2B monoubiquitination) as part of the definition of active replication origins. Since these histone modifications are highly conserved, these findings are relevant to genome organization in other eukaryotes.

Comparative oncogenomics implicates the Neurofibromin 1 gene (NF1) as a breast cancer driver, pp. 385
Marsha D. Wallace, Adam D. Pfefferle, Lishuang Shen, Adrian J. McNairn, Ethan G. Cerami, Barbara L. Fallon, Vera D. Rinaldi, Teresa L. Southard, Charles M. Perou, and John C. Schimenti
This study of a mouse model of genomic instability indicates that NF1 (Neurofibromin 1) deficiency can drive breast cancer. ~ 63,000 people in the United States annually will develop breast cancer with an NF1 deficiency. Together with evidence that NF1 depletion confers resistance of human breast cancer cells to tamoxifen, these findings suggest therapeutic strategies for patients with NF1-deleted tumors.


ABOUT GENETICS: Since 1916, GENETICS has covered high quality, original research on a range of topics bearing on inheritance, including population and evolutionary genetics, complex traits, developmental and behavioral genetics, cellular genetics, gene expression, genome integrity and transmission, and genome and systems biology. GENETICS, a peer-reviewed, peer-edited journal of the Genetics Society of America is one of the world's most cited journals in genetics and heredity.

ABOUT GSA: Founded in 1931, the Genetics Society of America (GSA) is the professional membership organization for scientific researchers, educators, bioengineers, bioinformaticians and others interested in the field of genetics. Its nearly 5,000 members work to advance knowledge in the basic mechanisms of inheritance, from the molecular to the population level. GSA is dedicated to promoting research in genetics and to facilitating communication among geneticists worldwide through its conferences, including the biennial conference on Model Organisms to Human Biology, an interdisciplinary meeting on current and cutting edge topics in genetics research, as well as annual and biennial meetings that focus on the genetics of particular organisms, including C. elegans, Drosophila, fungi, mice, yeast, and zebrafish. GSA publishes GENETICS, a leading journal in the field and an online, open-access journal, G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics. For more information about GSA, please visit Also follow GSA on Facebook at and on Twitter @GeneticsGSA.

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