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Publications in peer reviewed journals

2 Publications found
  • Great Cause-Small Effect: Undeclared Genetically Engineered Orange Petunias Harbor an Inefficient Dihydroflavonol 4-Reductase.

    Haselmair-Gosch C, Miosic S, Nitarska D, Roth BL, Walliser B, Paltram R, Lucaciu RC, Eidenberger L, Rattei T, Olbricht K, Stich K, Halbwirth H
    2018 - Front Plant Sci, 149


    A recall campaign for commercial, orange flowering petunia varieties in spring 2017 caused economic losses worldwide. The orange varieties were identified as undeclared genetically engineered (GE)-plants, harboring a maize dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (), which was used in former scientific transgenic breeding attempts to enable formation of orange pelargonidin derivatives from the precursor dihydrokaempferol (DHK) in petunia. How and when the cDNA entered the commercial breeding process is unclear. We provide an in-depth analysis of three orange petunia varieties, released by breeders from three countries, with respect to their transgenic construct, transcriptomes, anthocyanin composition, and flavonoid metabolism at the level of selected enzymes and genes. The two possible sources of the cDNA in the undeclared GE-petunia can be discriminated by PCR. A special version of the gene, the type 2 allele, is present, which includes, at the 3'-end, an additional 144 bp segment from the non-viral transposable sequence, which does not add any functional advantage with respect to DFR activity. This unequivocally points at the first scientific GE-petunia from the 1980s as the source, which is further underpinned e.g., by the presence of specific restriction sites, parts of the untranslated sequences, and the same arrangement of the building blocks of the transformation plasmid used. Surprisingly, however, the GE-petunia cannot be distinguished from native red and blue varieties by their ability to convert DHK in common enzyme assays, as DHK is an inadequate substrate for both the petunia and maize DFR. Recombinant maize DFR underpins the low DHK acceptance, and, thus, the strikingly limited suitability of the protein for a transgenic approach for breeding pelargonidin-based flower color. The effect of single amino acid mutations on the substrate specificity of DFRs is demonstrated. Expression of the gene is generally lower than the petunia expression despite being under the control of the strong, constitutive p promoter. We show that a rare constellation in flavonoid metabolism-absence or strongly reduced activity of both flavonol synthase and B-ring hydroxylating enzymes-allows pelargonidin formation in the presence of DFRs with poor DHK acceptance.

  • Asian horses deepen the MSY phylogeny.

    Felkel S, Vogl C, Rigler D, Jagannathan V, Leeb T, Fries R, Neuditschko M, Rieder S, Velie B, Lindgren G, Rubin CJ, Schlötterer C, Rattei T, Brem G, Wallner B
    2018 - Anim. Genet., 1: 90-93


    Humans have shaped the population history of the horse ever since domestication about 5500 years ago. Comparative analyses of the Y chromosome can illuminate the paternal origin of modern horse breeds. This may also reveal different breeding strategies that led to the formation of extant breeds. Recently, a horse Y-chromosomal phylogeny of modern horses based on 1.46 Mb of the male-specific Y (MSY) was generated. We extended this dataset with 52 samples from five European, two American and seven Asian breeds. As in the previous study, almost all modern European horses fall into a crown group, connected via a few autochthonous Northern European lineages to the outgroup, the Przewalski's Horse. In total, we now distinguish 42 MSY haplotypes determined by 158 variants within domestic horses. Asian horses show much higher diversity than previously found in European breeds. The Asian breeds also introduce a deep split to the phylogeny, preliminarily dated to 5527 ± 872 years. We conclude that the deep splitting Asian Y haplotypes are remnants of a far more diverse ancient horse population, whose haplotypes were lost in other lineages.

Book chapters and other publications

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