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Celebrating DNA Day 2017: China

Read our special collection of genetics articles for free

We are pleased to announce that we are supporting the DNA Day 2017 celebrated on April 25. This annual event commemorates the discovery of DNA's double helix back in 1953 and celebrates the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003.

To mark this day, we invite you to explore our collection of key genetics articles carefully selected from BioMed Central. Open access articles are freely available online on a permanent basis.

Test your DNA trivia knowledge with our new DNA Day 2017 Quiz!

Check out the featured publications from China.

Plant Genetics

Genome Biology 


Genomic insights into divergence and dual domestication of cultivated allotetraploid cottons​​​​​​​New Content Item (1)

Authored by Lei Fang et al.

Cotton has been cultivated and used to make fabrics for at least 7000 years. Two allotetraploid species of great commercial importance, Gossypium hirsutum and Gossypium barbadense, were domesticated after polyploidization and are cultivated worldwide. Although the overall genetic diversity between these two cultivated species has been studied with limited accessions, their population structure and genetic variations remain largely unknown.

BMC Genomics


Exogenous glutamate rapidly induces the expression of genes involved in metabolism and defense responses in rice rootsNew Content Item (1)

Authored by Chia-Cheng Kan et al.

Glutamate is an active amino acid. In addition to protein synthesis and metabolism, increasing evidence indicates that glutamate may also function as a signaling molecule in plants. Still, little is known about the nutritional role of glutamate and genes that are directly regulated by glutamate in rice.

Plant Methods


Development of a universal and simplified ddRAD library preparation approach for SNP discovery and genotyping in angiosperm plants

Authored by Chia-Cheng Kan et al.New Content Item

The double digest restriction-site associated DNA sequencing technology (ddRAD-seq) is a reduced representation sequencing technology by sampling genome-wide enzyme loci developed on the basis of next-generation sequencing. ddRAD-seq has been widely applied to SNP marker development and genotyping on animals, especially on marine animals as the original ddRAD protocol is mainly built and trained based on animal data. However, wide application of ddRAD-seq technology in plant species has not been achieved so far. Here, we aim to develop an optimized ddRAD library preparation protocol be accessible to most angiosperm plant species without much startup pre-experiment and costs.



Recent progress on the genetics and molecular breeding of brown planthopper resistance in rice

Authored by Jie Hu et al.New Content Item

Brown planthopper (BPH) is the most devastating pest of rice. Host-plant resistance is the most desirable and economic strategy in the management of BPH. To date, 29 major BPH resistance genes have been identified from indica cultivars and wild rice species, and more than ten genes have been fine mapped to chromosome regions of less than 200 kb. Four genes (Bph14Bph26Bph17 and bph29) have been cloned. The increasing number of fine-mapped and cloned genes provide a solid foundation for development of functional markers for use in breeding. Several BPH resistant introgression lines (ILs), near-isogenic lines (NILs) and pyramided lines (PLs) carrying single or multiple resistance genes were developed by marker assisted backcross breeding (MABC). Here we review recent progress on the genetics and molecular breeding of BPH resistance in rice. Prospect for developing cultivars with durable, broad-spectrum BPH resistance are discussed.

Animal Genetics

BMC Genomics


The origin of chow chows in the light of the East Asian breedsNew Content Item

Authored by Hechuan Yang et al.

East Asian dog breeds are one of the most ancient groups of dogs that radiated after the domestication of the dog and represent the most basal lineages of dog evolution. Among these, the Chow Chow is an ancient breed that embodies very distinct morphological and physiological features, such as sturdy build, dense coat, and blue/purple tongue.

BMC Genomics


Exploratory bioinformatics investigation reveals importance of “junk” DNA in early embryo developmentNew Content Item

Authored by Steven Xijin Ge.

Instead of testing predefined hypotheses, the goal of exploratory data analysis (EDA) is to find what data can tell us. Following this strategy, we re-analyzed a large body of genomic data to study the complex gene regulation in mouse pre-implantation development (PD).

BMC Molecular Biology


Binding affinity of five PBPs to Ostrinia sex pheromonesNew Content Item

Authored by Tiantao Zhang et al.

Pheromone binding proteins (PBPs) of male Lepidoptera function in chemical communication, mate attraction and recognition. Directional selection was previously predicted between PBP3 orthologs of Ostrinia furnacalis and Ostrinia nubilalis were interpreted as being involved in sexual isolation.

Genetics Selection Evolution


Divergent selection-induced obesity alters the composition and functional pathways of chicken gut microbiotaNew Content Item

Authored by Jinmei Ding et al.

The gastrointestinal tract is populated by a complex and vast microbial network, with a composition that reflects the relationships of the symbiosis, co-metabolism, and co-evolution of these microorganisms with their host. The mechanism that underlies such interactions between the genetics of the host and gut microbiota remains elusive.

Microbial and Human Genetics

Virology Journal


Characterization and complete genome of the virulent Myoviridae phage JD007 active against a variety of Staphylococcus aureus isolates from different hospitals in Shanghai, China

Authored by Zelin Cui et al.New Content Item

Staphylococcus aureus is considered a commensal and major human pathogen responsible for a variety of acute and chronic diseases. Due to the broad range of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strains and the emergence of vancomycin- resistant S. aureus (VRSA) strains, it is feasible that in the future, there will be a lack of antibiotics available to treat antibiotic-resistant infectious diseases. Accordingly, there is recent renewed interest in phage therapy. Indeed, phages that infect S. aureus have been used in clinical trials to treat chronic venous leg ulcers, and the results show no safety concerns with regard to the use of bacteriophage treatment. Therefore, Staphylococcus phages can potentially be used for phage therapy.

Lipids in Health and Disease

RESEARCHNew Content Item

Flaxseed oil ameliorates alcoholic liver disease via anti-inflammation and modulating gut microbiota in mice

Authored by Xiaoxia Zhang et al.

Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) represents a chronic wide-spectrum of liver injury caused by consistently excessive alcohol intake. Few satisfactory advances have been made in management of ALD. Thus, novel and more practical treatment options are urgently needed. Flaxseed oil (FO) is rich in α-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-derived n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). However, the impact of dietary FO on chronic alcohol consumption remains unknown.

BMC Medical Genetics


Novel compound heterozygous mutations in the OTOF Gene identified by whole-exome sequencing in auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder

Authored by Fengzhu Tang et al.New Content Item

Many hearing-loss diseases are demonstrated to have Mendelian inheritance caused by mutations in single gene. However, many deaf individuals have diseases that remain genetically unexplained. Auditory neuropathy is a sensorineural deafness in which sounds are able to be transferred into the inner ear normally but the transmission of the signals from inner ear to auditory nerve and brain is injured, also known as auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD). The pathogenic mutations of the genes responsible for the Chinese ANSD population remain poorly understood.