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  • Author: Dāvids Fridmanis x
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Maize is becoming more and more important crop for dairy farming as forage and as substrate for biogas production. The mycotoxin producing fungi can spoil feed, reduce cattle productivity and cause health problems. The aim of this research was to study the mycoflora of maize grains in order to clarify the fungal composition and verify the presence of potential mycotoxin producing fungi. The grain samples were collected from different maize hybrid performance trial in Research and Study farm “Vecauce” of Latvia University of Agriculture in 2014. The fungi from 14 genera were isolated from surface sterilized grains. The most abundant were Alternaria, Fusarium and Penicillium spp. Mycotoxin producing fungi are present in maize grain mycoflora, and there is a risk that maize production can contain mycotoxins.

Analysis of Polymorphisms at the Adiponectin Gene Locus in Association with Type 2 Diabetes, Body Mass Index and Cardiovascular Traits in Latvian Population

Despite the number of recently conducted studies seeking to determine the association between genetic variants of adiponectin gene and susceptibility to type 2 diabetes (T2D) and increased body mass index (BMI), the results obtained are often inconsistent. To determine the impact of common polymorphisms in promoter and coding regions of adiponectin gene on these conditions in Latvian population, we selected ten SNPs (rs2241767, rs1501299, rs3777261, rs16861210, rs2241766, rs822396, rs182052, rs17300539, rs16861194, rs266729) based on haploblock structure and previously reported association studies. The selected SNPs were screened in a study group of 835 participants from the Genome Data Base of Latvian Population and mainly consisted of patients with T2D and coronary heart disease. None of the individual polymorphisms were significantly associated with T2D status or BMI when analysed using logistic or linear regression and adjusted for gender, age and other significant covariates. Frequency of rs2241766 T allele homozygotes however was significantly increased in T2D patients compared to controls (uncorrected P = 0.007). When analysed with other traits, the rs182052 G allele was found to be less frequent in patients suffering from myocardial infarction (P = 0.02; OR = 0.76, CI95% [0.61-0.92]) compared to others. Haplotype analysis revealed significant association of one haplotype with atrial fibrillation (uncorrected P = 0.01). In summary, we conclude that SNPs in adiponectin gene are unlikely to represent the risk for T2D, but may be involved in pathogenesis of CHD in the Latvian population.


Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is one of the most common single gene disorders, which is mostly inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. The physical signs of FH are elevated low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), elevated total cholesterol (TC) levels and tendon xantomas. Identification and early treatment of affected individuals is desirable and in lack of physical symptoms DNA-based diagnosis provides confirmation of diagnosis and enables early patient management. The majority of FH cases are caused by mutations in four genes (APOB, LADLR, PCSK9, and LDLRAP1). There are commercial kits available for testing of the 20 most common FH causing mutations, but the spectrum of disease-causing mutations is quite diverse in various populations and these tests cover only a minority of disease-causing genetic variants. There is therefore a need to determine the full spectrum of mutations in LDLR, APOB, PCSK9, and LDLRAP1 genes in each population. Here we report mutations found in 16 patients with suspected FH in a sample from the Genome Database of the Latvian population enrolled at the Latvian Centre of Cardiology. We used the next generation sequencing approach to determine the full spectrum of mutations in coding regions of LDLR, APOB, PCSK9, and LDLRAP1. In total we found 22 missense mutations, from which only rs5742904 (Arg3527Gln) in APOB gene had been previously described as a FH-causing mutation confirming FH in one patient. Possible FH-causing mutations however, were identified in the majority of patients. The conclusion is that the most commonly employed commercial mutation panel is not sufficient for diagnosis of FH patients and NGS can help to identify FH-causing mutations in the Latvian population.