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 PLOS Genetics , 2007, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.0030151 Abstract: Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance results from incomplete erasure of parental epigenetic marks during epigenetic reprogramming at fertilization. The significance of this phenomenon, and the mechanism by which it occurs, remains obscure. Here, we show that genetic mutations in Drosophila may cause epigenetic alterations that, when inherited, influence tumor susceptibility of the offspring. We found that many of the mutations that affected tumorigenesis induced by a hyperactive JAK kinase, HopTum-l, also modified the tumor phenotype epigenetically, such that the modification persisted even in the offspring that did not inherit the modifier mutation. We analyzed mutations of the transcription repressor Krüppel (Kr), which is one of the hopTum-l enhancers known to affect ftz transcription. We demonstrate that the Kr mutation causes increased DNA methylation in the ftz promoter region, and that the aberrant ftz transcription and promoter methylation are both transgenerationally heritable if HopTum-l is present in the oocyte. These results suggest that genetic mutations may alter epigenetic markings in the form of DNA methylation, which are normally erased early in the next generation, and that JAK overactivation disrupts epigenetic reprogramming and allows inheritance of epimutations that influence tumorigenesis in future generations.
 PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061150 Abstract: The vertically transmitted endosymbionts (Sodalis glossinidius and Wigglesworthia glossinidia) of the tsetse fly (Diptera: Glossinidae) are known to supplement dietary deficiencies and modulate the reproductive fitness and the defense system of the fly. Some tsetse fly species are also infected with the bacterium, Wolbachia and with the Glossina hytrosavirus (GpSGHV). Laboratory-bred G. pallidipes exhibit chronic asymptomatic and acute symptomatic GpSGHV infection, with the former being the most common in these colonies. However, under as yet undefined conditions, the asymptomatic state can convert to the symptomatic state, leading to detectable salivary gland hypertrophy (SGH+) syndrome. In this study, we investigated the interplay between the bacterial symbiome and GpSGHV during development of G. pallidipes by knocking down the symbionts with antibiotic. Intrahaemocoelic injection of GpSGHV led to high virus titre (109 virus copies), but was not accompanied by either the onset of detectable SGH+, or release of detectable virus particles into the blood meals during feeding events. When the F1 generations of GpSGHV-challenged mothers were dissected within 24 h post-eclosion, SGH+ was observed to increase from 4.5% in the first larviposition cycle to >95% in the fourth cycle. Despite being sterile, these F1 SGH+ progeny mated readily. Removal of the tsetse symbiome, however, suppressed transgenerational transfer of the virus via milk secretions and blocked the ability of GpSGHV to infect salivary glands of the F1 progeny. Whereas GpSGHV infects and replicates in salivary glands of developing pupa, the virus is unable to induce SGH+ within fully differentiated adult salivary glands. The F1 SGH+ adults are responsible for the GpSGHV-induced colony collapse in tsetse factories. Our data suggest that GpSGHV has co-evolved with the tsetse symbiome and that the symbionts play key roles in the virus transmission from mother to progeny.
 Mathematics , 2015, DOI: 10.1007/s00220-015-2290-3 Abstract: We study transmission problems with free interfaces from one random medium to another. Solutions are required to solve distinct partial differential equations, $\mbox{L}_{+}$ and $\mbox{L}_{-}$, within their positive and negative sets respectively. A corresponding flux balance from one phase to another is also imposed. We establish existence and $L^{\infty}$ bounds of solutions. We also prove that variational solutions are non-degenerate and develop the regularity theory for solutions of such free boundary problems.